Show: UP with STEVE KORNACKI Date: January 9, 2016 Guest: Matt Viser, Patrick Kennedy, Mollie Hemingway, Caitlin Huey-Burns, Steve Israel, Vanessa Potkin, Robert Boland, Michael Walden, Cristina Jimenez, Susan Coppedge, Alexandra Petri, Jamal Igle
RICHARD LUI, MSNBC ANCHOR: Hillary Clinton calls out Bernie Sanders on gun reform.
And good morning, I`m Richard Lui. Thanks for getting UP with us on this Saturday exactly one month to New Hampshire. Hillary Clinton is slamming Bernie Sanders for his stance on guns. We`ll tell you what she is saying in an exclusive interview with MSNBC.
Plus, candidates on both sides of the aisle make the drug epidemic now sweeping New Hampshire a national conversation. Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy will be here to talk about that.
Now also this hour for you, how a Mexican drug lord`s own ego may lead to his arrest. New details in the capture of El Chapo.
Ahead, protesters in Flint, Michigan want the governor to not only resign but face criminal charges over the contamination of that city`s water supply with lead. And making a murderer, how true crime dramas are not just huge hits with fans. They`re also having a legal impact along the way.
But we begin today this morning exactly again one month away from the New Hampshire primary on February 9th. The first on the nation`s presidential primaries many of you know coming right on the heels of the Iowa caucuses. And as of today, the two frontrunners in the state are Donald Trump among Republicans and Bernie Sanders among Democrats. A new poll just out last night, showing Sanders with a 13 point lead in New Hampshire. This comes as the Sanders campaign this week said, there was, quote, "zero daylight between President Obama and the Vermont senator on gun control." This after the President wrote an op-ed saying, he would not support any candidate who does not support common sense gun reform. But after months of attacking Mr. Sander`s gun record, Hillary Clinton was not going to let that slide.
And here`s how she responded last night on MSNBC`s "HARDBALL." Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it`s important for Democrats to know that ten years ago gun safety advocates wanted to make gun makers and sellers have to go to court to answer for their reckless disregard for human life. So the NRA wrote this bill that said no one can sue a gun maker or gun seller and called it the most significant piece of pro-gun legislation in 20 years. And when it really mattered, Senator Sanders voted with the gun lobby, and I voted against the gun lobby, maybe it`s time for Senator Sanders to stand up and say, I got this one wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LUI: And that`s the democrat side. And on the Republican side, there`s a new poll, shows Donald Trump with a double digit lead in New Hampshire. But primary voters there have historically waited until the very last minute certainly to make their decision and this year is no exception. This same poll show that 43 percent of New Hampshire Republican primary voters say they may change their mind and support someone else. It looks as if there are two lanes in the GOP contest right now, at least two, one dominated by Donald Trump, trying to capture the disaffected votes and then there`s the establishment candidates looking to cast themselves as a more moderate alternatives and possibly a third option in between who that might be and all of this is anyone`s guess certainly. For now, Marco Rubio looks best position be that establishment alternative. But he`ll need to fend off conservative insurgent Ted Cruz along the way who is poised to win in Iowa, at least by the polls.
Joining us now to discuss the ground game in New Hampshire is Matt Visor, national political reporter for "The Boston Globe." Matt, always good to see you. Thanks for joining us.
MATT VISER, "THE BOSTON GLOBE" NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: Yes. Thanks for having me.
LUI: Hey, Matt. You know, we were listening to Hillary Clinton here and there`s a lot of things that were different in what we heard and what she did and getting on the phone and making that call to Chris Matthews. She really wants to draw that distinction as we heard certainly between Sanders and the rest of the party on gun reform. Do you think this is the topic that will make the difference for her, especially given the numbers that we were just showing in New Hampshire for her?
VISER: It is one where there`s a clear distinction, at least in the record between her and Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders traditionally has been a little bit more against gun control measures coming from Vermont, a very rural state. And I think it gives her a little bit of an opening and she`s trying to chip away at those numbers, particularly in New Hampshire among Democrats, she runs the risk. Bernie Sanders has a narrow enough gap so that he could close in Iowa, that if she loses both Iowa and New Hampshire, she could be in real trouble.
LUI: What I think surprising too in poll numbers that we`re showing right here with Bernie Sanders, again 13 percentage points above Hillary Clinton at this stage of the game.
VISER: It is a pretty big margin, you know, double digits, and you would think that this late in the game, that Hillary Clinton would be closing the gap rather than Bernie Sanders is sort of still fairly comfortable. That said, New Hampshire has a tradition of breaking late and has, you know, helped Hillary Clinton and the Clinton family in general in the past. So you would expect that to close, but it is surprising given this late stage of the game, that it is a pretty big gap.
LUI: Yes. The Pinnacle of Independent voting and what it means to any sort of race. Now also on the forum, I want to go over to the GOP side for a second. Ted Cruz, moving into third, Christie, now this is a point to be watched here, dropped out of the top five. This despite a lot of support locally. If Cruz wins in Iowa here, what kind of bounce could we see -- he see in New Hampshire, and do comment about Chris Christie in his move to number five now or out of the top five?
VISER: I mean, Cruz winning Iowa and doing well in New Hampshire could put him on a strong path toward the nomination. I mean, there is this idea that New Hampshire will help clarify a little more of the establishment lane and you see in this poll numbers, there`s sort of a traffic jam of, you know, three or four --
VISER: -- candidates fighting for that. And Christie is, you know, still fighting to be in that mix. Some of these recent polls are showing that he may be sliding a little bit despite support from the union leader, the dominate newspaper out there, and what many of us have seen momentum behind him. So, you know, I think he has to be a little bit concerned about some of these numbers.
LUI: What do you suppose here Matt is causing his drop out of the top five, despite that momentum, despite his ground game and him being on the ground and try to make difference here?
VISER: Part of it maybe, the strength to some of the other candidates. Jeb Bush, you know, has totally refocused his campaign on New Hampshire --
LUI: Yes. Yes.
VISER: -- and maybe we`re seeing a little bit of the result of that where people are giving Jeb Bush a second look --
VISER: -- including some of those who were floating over to Christie maybe sort of floating back to Bush at this point. Or Kasich is doing quite well up there too. And Rubio as well. So, I think you`re seeing just an amount of influx nature of New Hampshire at this stage and I think that will only be more vulnerable after Iowa, you know, New Hampshire looks to Iowa to see what happens and then reacts.
VISER: That I think is going to be the key, you know, eight days between those two contests.
LUI: Matt, I think a lot of folks will agree that there`s still a lot of volatility ahead for us as we look on the Republican side. You`re talking about Jeb Bush, a favorability rating among Republican voters, you know, dropping 28 points, percentage points here. That`s a big difference since July. Just look at the numbers here, net favorability, as you can see here, negative one, he was plus 27 before. How do people view him in New Hampshire? And what do you think is behind this? Is this just a lack of him being able to actually get out there and have a nice, sharp message for the platform issue that he is adhering to?
VISER: I think the people in New Hampshire certainly respect the amount of time that he`s spending there --
VISER: And they love this sort of be lathered with attention and Jeb Bush is doing that. And so, there is a measure of respect for him in the time that he`s spinning up there. There is still some befuddlement, though, as there has been for months about Jeb Bush`s ability to attract more supporter, to sort of have a clear crystal message, a crystallized reason and a crystallized message for supporting him. And I don`t know the way sort of fully seen him find that voice yet. And there`s not too much time left for him. But there is sort of an appetite, New Hampshire has traditionally supported a lot of candidates like Jeb Bush. You know, somebody who spends a lot of time there, puts in the hours and does --
VISER: -- all the town halls and you know, so you would think that a candidate like Jeb Bush would do well, and he`s laid the ground work --
VISER: -- to have a breakout. But, you know, he still hasn`t had that moment.
LUI: You know, and, Matt, the number to watch on that, and we have got to go here, is the unfavorability numbers. That`s the biggest changes you were noting here and how as he is trying to sharpen his message, maybe folks aren`t lacking exactly what you`re saying and what he is doing at least at this turn, at this juncture.
Matt Viser, from "Boston Globe," national political reporter, thank you, that was great.
VISER: Yes. Thanks for having me.
LUI: OK. Many of the Republican presidential hopefuls that we have been talking about have gathered in New Hampshire this week to discuss how they would handle the drug addiction problem as president specifically here. Heroin addiction, a drug which has been making what the "New York Times" described as an alarming comeback in America and especially in New England.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FMR. GOV. JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I could go in my public life and I could be at a chamber of commerce event and someone would look at me with a feeling that I felt. I could just look them in the eyes and know that as a mom or a dad or a spouse, they were going through the same things, what I realized was, there were a whole lot of people that were going through the exact same thing.
GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You don`t you know, go to a neighborhood dinner party and say, hey, my daughter`s addicted to heroin, what`s new with you? But if your daughter had cancer, you would tell them. We are contributing to the stigma by our unwillingness to talk about it openly.
CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The light, the sparkle she once had left her. And what remained was a dull, flat void. It is the look of hopelessness. It is the look that too many of us see. And it is that look that haunts me most when I think of her.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LUI: Carly Fiorina there, talking about her stepdaughter Lori who died in 2009 after battling drug and alcohol addiction.
Joining us right now as you see there is Patrick Kennedy, former congressman from Rhode Island, co-author of the book, "A Common Struggle."
Thank you so much for being here, Congressman, I appreciate it. The widespread use of heroin, you know the history here, fade in the late 1970s and early `80s, we`re now seeing this being a topic, being brought up on the campaign trail at the moment. Why are we seeing such a rapid resurgence in 2016 or show we say in recent years?
FMR. REP. PATRICK KENNEDY (D), RHODE ISLAND: Well, first of all, I think the political calculus of addiction is because of the rise of both heroin and prescription painkiller abuse and overdose. We`re reaching 41,000 Americans every year who overdose from opiates. I mean that`s an alarming number, that`s higher obviously than traffic fatalities. So there`s that number, but what`s also coming into play, Richard, is the fact that these are white Americans. In the past, you know, these issues of addiction we`re seeing as urban problems, now as you`re seeing in New Hampshire, this is affecting, according to a poll in New Hampshire, literally 50 percent of people in New Hampshire are affected. In some ways, it is the number one issue in New Hampshire surpassing the economy and jobs and the like.
There is a reason for that and that is that this is an epidemic and it`s not only in New Hampshire, but it is around the country. It is heartening to hear Republicans speak out and speak out so eloquently and speak from personal experience. I think Governor Chris Christie had it right, I think it`s the silence that is so deadly here, I recall to the signs during the HIV/AIDS crisis, and it was a silence equals death. And I think that`s true in this epidemic of both suicides and overdoses. Keep in mind not only 41,000 overdoses but you have an additional 40 some thousand suicides, and that`s the ones that we know of. So, you had 80,000 Americans dying every year principally at their own hands. I mean, this has got to be something that we address. And frankly, I don`t think either party has a handle on this in terms of its platform and it`s positions and hopefully 2016 is an opportunity for us to really get this prominently on the national agenda in both parties.
LUI: Congressman, how would you suggest if they were to put it on their platform, what would be the headline there that you would like to see the candidates adopt?
KENNEDY: It`s very simple, treat addiction as the disease that it is. It`s a chronic illness. It needs to be treated in a chronic fashion. Much like diabetes and heart disease and even cancer. And if you treated this like a disease of those kinds, you would see a great urgency in the medical system and in our country at doing early intervention. Because you see, the problem here, Richard is that we wouldn`t let someone with diabetes wait until they go blind or have to have their legs amputated before we treat them, but if you compare the way we treat addiction and mental illness, we wait until those illnesses become stage IV if you will, cancers, before we begin in the medical and insurance system in reimbursing for treatment.
So, I would say very clearly Richard, there`s one thing, treat it like every other illness and that means reimburse for it. And if insurance companies had to start paying for it, then they would say, well, it makes no sense for us to pay for all these rehabs because frankly they`re not very effective. The most effective treatment is early intervention. That is the science behind treating the disease of addiction and by the way, mental illness in general.
LUI: Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, thank you so much for your perspective and again for joining us this morning.
KENNEDY: My pleasure, thank you, Richard.
LUI: You bet.
I want to turn now to our panel, Mollie Hemingway, senior editor of the Federalist. Caitlin Huey-Burns, political reporter for Real Clear Politics. Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post opinion writer and MSNBC contributor.
Let`s move from exactly the topic that former Congressman Kennedy was talking about. I do want to bring up a recent poll that shows and since we`re talking about the election and this very topic because it`s being -- it`s on the campaign trail as I was mentioning a second ago. This comes out of New Hampshire, show voters consider drug abuse the most important problem facing their state. While 60 percent of New Hampshire adults aged 18 to 34 know someone who has abused heroin, those are the numbers, do you think that this will be a resonant issue as we move into 2016 as the former congressman is hoping, and you heard in the headlines, he hopes that they would adopt?
JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I think it will be. And let`s keep in mind that, you know, when Secretary Clinton went out and started her listening tour for her presidential campaign.
CAPEHART: One of the things she learned that she didn`t expect to learn was that there was this opioid abuse out there. And that people, families were struggling with this and she, from the news reports I read at the Times, she called to the campaign and said, get me everything because I want to know about this, we have to do something about this. And then we saw on the Republican side what happened when that video went viral of Governor Christie --
CAPEHART: -- speaking so passionately and eloquently about drug abuse and substance abuse and the damage it`s doing to families, that it`s not that the American people are suddenly talking about this, it`s that the politicians have caught up with the American people.
CAITLIN HUEY-BURNS, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: And it`s bipartisan, which is the important part that you`re making here.
LUI: The fabric of America issue, and that`s what the former congressman is saying, it`s not this other group, it`s all of us.
HUEY-BURNS: Exactly. And this is to your point about Chris Christie, these are the moments that we have seen these candidates at their most personal and vulnerable levels. I mean, Jeb Bush never talks about his daughter, and he`s been on the trail now talking about that personal story and you hear it in town halls and various meetings and also it`s going to be important in the Senate races as well, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire of course, but it`s a widespread issue.
LUI: But based on the polling numbers, are they politicizing this, some critics might say to their own advantage.
MOLLIE HEMINGWAY, THE FEDERALIST: Well, actually one of the things that`s nice about this is, as we`re covering politics --
HEMINGWAY: -- we talk so much about things we don`t like things and how incendiary the rhetoric is and whatnot, this is a rare instance where this is a good, net good for the entire country.
HEMINGWAY: That people in both parties are talking about it. That you`re hearing not just the tales of tragedy like what happened with Carly Fiorina`s stepdaughter --
HEMINGWAY: But also details of hope, of people overcoming their addiction, these are things that families, because so many of us have dealt with this in our families, we struggle with this to hear these stories is very helpful, even completely apart from the political solutions.
LUI: Our panel all thumbs up on the discussion of this topic on the campaign trail so far. I appreciate that. We`ll be checking of course with them a little bit later.
But first, new details about the capture of Mexican drug lord El Chapo Guzman, now how his desire to have a movie made about himself and his life -- uh-hm -- may have helped catch one of the world`s most wanted man for the third time. That`s next.
LUI: A notorious Mexican drug lord is back behind bars this morning in the same prison from which he escaped six months ago. And authorities were able to track down Joaquin Guzman that are known as El Chapo partly because he wanted to make a movie about his own life. Mexico`s attorney general says, the drug lord contacted actors, contacted producers all in hopes of getting a film made about him.
For more details, NBC`s Gabe Gutierrez is live in Mexico City. And so, Gabe, there`s a lot of twist and turns of this story as you know so well here. But that`s really the point that a lot of people waking up overnight were saying, he wanted a movie made about himself?
GABE GUTIERREZ, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. That`s right, Richard, this caps off an embarrassing few months for the Mexican authorities, after El Chapo`s escaped, that was straight out of a Hollywood movie but now it turns out that a different kind of movie may have been instrumental in the kingpin`s capture.
GUTIERREZ (voice-over): Overnight the most wanted drug lord in the world, once among the most richest and powerful men on earth was paraded in front of cameras in handcuffs. Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman captured in a dramatic early morning raid. Mexico`s attorney general saying the drug boss was tracked down partly because he was trying to make a biopic and people were communicating with actors and producers. Authorities had gotten a tip Guzman and others were hiding in the town of Los Mochis, deep in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, home to his notorious drug cartel.
Five other suspects were killed, six arrested and a Mexican marine was injured in a bloody shoot-out. His head draped in a towel, Guzman was finally whisked away after six months on the run.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hasta Manana.
GUTIERREZ: Mexico`s President Enrique Pena Nieto called it a victory for the rule of law. But El Chapo`s daring escape in July from a maximum security prison was a huge embarrassment for the Mexican government. He disappeared through an incredibly tunnel complete with electricity and a motorcycle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To get any type of credibility, Pena Nieto knew that he had to capture El Chapo Guzman.
GUTIERREZ: Now the question is, will Guzman remain in Mexico or be extradited to the U.S. where he`s wanted in a half dozen cities on drug charges.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mexico`s legal process tends to be -- it`s pretty good likelihood that he will eventually be extradited.
GUTIERREZ: After being flown by navy helicopter this morning, El Chapo is waking up in the same prison he escaped from.
Now, authorities say El Cholo, Guzman`s right hand man was also captured in that raid after being on the run. And investigators were able to seize an arsenal and included a rocket propelled grenade launcher, machine guns and armored vehicles. What an incredible story, Richard.
LUI: And those are just some of the details as we know right now. NBC`s Gabe Gutierrez with that report in Mexico City. Thank you so much Gabe for that.
He`s one of the Democrats most influential strategists in Congress and now he just announced he will not be running for re-election. Up next, Congressman Steve Israel will join us live to explain why he`s made this decision and what he plans on doing after he leaves Capitol Hill.
LUI: A top House Democrat now heading for the exit. New York Congressman Steve Israel announced Tuesday he will be leaving Congress at the end of the year. He is one of his party`s top strategists, a close advisor to Nancy Pelosi, as well as former chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. But the eight-term congressman is not going to go quietly into the night. In an op-ed in the "New York Times" yesterday, the Congressman blasted the growing influence of money in politics, saying, quote, "I`ll be leaving Congress at the end of this term, sentimental about many things but liberated from a fundraising regime that`s never been more dangerous to our democracy." He continues saying, "as the bidding grows higher, your voice gets lower, you`re simply priced out of the marketplace of ideas, that is unless you are one of the ultra-wealthy," end quote.
Joining me now is Congressman Steve Israel. Congressman, thanks for being here, and you know, you`ve spoken many times on this camera here as well as you`ve done on other cable networks. It`s strange to here that you`ll decided to step down. Why are you doing this now?
REP. STEVE ISRAEL (D), NEW YORK: Well, I grew up with two dreams, one was to be a member of Congress, and that dream came true. I also have another dream which is to write satire. I published a novel last year that was very successful. And I want to see if my other dream of writing satirical novels about politics will come true. How often in life do you get a crack at two dreams? So I leave with a great sense of fondness for my colleagues in Congress and you. But I also leave with a deep sense of frustration, principally over with this relentless fundraising regimen that members of Congress go through. I`m really frustrated with a Congress that seems to impede with a Republican Congress that seems to impede virtually all progress unless you`re the Koch Brothers. People say Congress is dysfunctional. If you`re the Koch Brothers, Congress is working out just fine for you.
LUI: You know, I was looking at what Nora Kelly wrote in "The Atlantic" about your retirement. And she says, quote, "The move also might reflect a near-inevitability for Democrats going into November`s contest." Going on, she says, "They aren`t going to win back the House and longtime public servants in the party are fed up with the languishing in the minority." Is that part of why that you`re also moving on and perhaps that Nancy Pelosi, Leader Pelosi is not going anywhere, and perhaps therefore you`re looking upwards in terms of, where you might be going in the future if you were to stay in Congress?
ISRAEL: Adamantly, no. First of all, I cannot think of a more effective and relentless leader on behalf of the American people than Nancy Pelosi, and I believe that I spent more time and watched her more closely than many of my colleagues. And so, why would we want to tinker with that success? She just passed a budget in the Republican majority that reflects Democratic principle. So, it has nothing to do with that at all. And with respect to the piece in "The Atlantic" while I agree with some of it. I disagree with this automatic notion that we can`t take back the majority, in fact the same thing could have been written in 2005 before we took the majority.
I think we`re on a path to get into the majority, whether it will be in 2016 or later remains to be seen. But particularly if Donald Trump or Ted Cruz are the Republican presidential nominees, I think that Democrats really have a chance to get in the majority and then you will see some real meaningful action to reform the system, pass campaign finance legislation, pass the disclose act and give the American people in the middle class their voice back again.
LUI: You`re leaving Congress, as I was saying earlier after eight terms. What`s the headline of your time in Congress?
ISRAEL: I am more proud, this is a local thing.
LUI: Yes. Yes.
ISRAEL: But there is nothing that makes me prouder than the work that I have done on behalf of veterans on Long Island, we secured $8.2 million and back pay for the veterans that I represent. Nothing gave me more pride and joy.
LUI: What do you wish your headline could have been?
ISRAEL: What do I wish my headline?
LUI: Yes. Would it have been about campaign financial reform? Would it have been about gun rights? What would it have been about?
ISRAEL: I wish that the headline would have been that we made meaningful progress on gun violence. So, we have a Republican majority that reflexively says, no to any common sense legislation to protect the American people from guns. That is something that I wish we had accomplished. I hope that under the President or the next president, we`ll get that done.
LUI: And finally because you said you`re moving into a satirical part of your being, what would the joke be about Congress that you might write as you are putting together your book?
ISRAEL: Well, there`s just so much material to work with. The book that I published last year was a satire called "The Global War on War." It was a satire in the Bush administration. My next book is, I take on the gun lobby, it`s called is "Big Guns." I may not have a seat in Congress, but I will be observing in Congress, with my tongue planted firmly in my cheeks and then years ahead.
LUI: Up next, you didn`t get a choke but we did have a good conversation. Congressman Steve Israel --
ISRAEL: Thank you.
LUI: -- of New York. Thank you for being here for your exit interview. We appreciate that already.
ISRAEL: Thanks so much.
LUI: Up next, we`ll go live to Flint, Michigan where the scandal over the city`s tainted drinking water continues to grow as the calls for Michigan`s governor to resign over the issue.
LUI: New details this morning about the man accused of shooting a Philadelphia police officer in the name of ISIS. Investigators are still trying to determine if the alleged gunman acted alone.
MSNBC`s Adam Reiss is live in Philadelphia. Good morning, Adam.
ADAM REISS, MSNBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Richard, that suspect, 30-year-old Edward Archer of West Philadelphia, and you see him in that brazen ambush on video, as he approaches the police car of Officer Hartnett, he`s wearing a white robe. He`s firing 11 times. He actually reaches into the car. He shoots him three times in the arm. Even though he`s seriously injured, Officer Hartnett is able to get out of the car, run, return fire, call in the shooting. Now, his former attorney says, he`s someone who`s impulsive, paranoid, someone who`s always looking over his shoulder and someone who loved guns and he believes he did want to kill a police officer. But despite the fact that the suspect says, he did this in the name of Islam, he doesn`t believe he is connected in any way to any radical Islamic group. Here`s the mayor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JIM KENNEY (D), PHILADELPHIA MAYOR: In no way, shape or form, does anyone in this room believes that Islam or the teaching of Islam has anything to do with what you`ve seen on that screen. This is a criminal with a stolen gun who tried to kill one of our officers, it has nothing to do with being a Muslim or following the Islamic faith.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REISS: Now the FBI is searching his home. They`re searching his commuter and his phone. They want to know his entire digital footprint, who he`s been in contact with, why did he go to Saudi Arabia and Egypt in recent years, and most importantly, they want to know, how did he get this gun that was stolen from a police officer`s home here in Philadelphia some two years ago. Now, this morning Officer Hartnett remains in the hospital, he`s got a broken arm and nerve damage, but Richard, he is certainly lucky to be alive.
LUI: MSNBC`s Adam Reiss in Philadelphia with us this morning. Thank you.
Taking you now to Flint, Michigan. Concerns over the poisonous levels of lead, found in the city`s water supply. They continue to grow right now. And on Friday, residents and activists attended a rally outside the city of Flint municipal center with many calling for the arrest of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.
Now the governor has been under fire due to his administration`s low response to the crisis. Yesterday, MSNBC learned of at least 200 confirmed cases of elevated blood lead levels and at least 9,000 residents expose to lead tainted water.
MSNBC`s Tony Dokoupil is live in Flint this morning with the very latest. Good morning.
TONY DOKOUPIL, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Richard. The anger here is growing, it seems to be cresting and yesterday about 150 residents gathered to call for the arrest of Governor Snyder, not only that he would step down, but the arrest of Governor Snyder. And the reason they`re so angry starts with this river behind me. This is the Flint River. In 2014, the state and the city moved the water source from Lake Huron, which is pretreated pure water to this water out of the river. It`s more corrosive and when it moved to the older pipes, they -- and that led began to flow into the bodies of the residents here. Now, those numbers you brought up. I want to focus on them for a minute because they`re pretty important.
The 200 confirmed cases, that is a baseline, according to the pediatrician who did the analysis. That is based on lead testing that the government does already. Right now the state of Michigan is offering free tests for anyone who wants them and they want to go through every single child. Since October they have already found 23 additional cases according to the Detroit Free Press. So the scale of this problem is only just now being recognized and the rhetoric is crusting as well.
Michael Moore, a rabble rousing Flint native, the filmmaker Michael Moore, he has some petition out calling for the arrest of Governor Snyder. And he compares the Governor to terrorist organization. He says, not even ISIS is capable of poisoning a city`s water supply, but you did it, Governor. And share, the single share incredibly inflammatory rhetoric saying the Governor should face a firing squad. So the anger here I don`t think is going to be satisfied by the apology that the administration has already provided.
LUI: MSNBC`s Tony Dokoupil in Flint, Michigan with the latest for us. Thank you so much, Tony.
Up next, the power of true crime dramas, the hype over the new series, "Making a Murderer" even how`s the White House now responding. But do true crime dramas such as this hurt or help the pursuit of justice?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST, "HARDBALL": Do you have an indication at all as to which is the actual guilt or innocence of this man Steven Avery in this murder case?
DEAN STRANG, STEVEN AVERY`S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I have had the same doubts Chris that I have had all along. I don`t know for certain that he is innocent, I do know that I`ve never been convinced by anything close to the burden of proof here that he was guilty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LUI: That was Dean Strang of the new and widely popular true crime series, "Making a Murderer," speaking out on last night`s "HARDBALL" Chris Matthews. That Netflix series which follows a Wisconsin murder trial has been casting doubt on much of the evidence presented against defendant Steven Avery and has viewers outraged. More than 500,000 people have now signed petitions asking for a presidential pardon of Steven Avery. So many that the White House responded yesterday saying, the President does not have the power to pardon a state criminal offense.
This is not the first true crime special that sparked widespread speculation and outraged. Adnan Syed of the hit podcast "Serial" will return to court next month after the episode raised questions about his murder conviction and how could we forget, Robert Durst, real estate heir arrested on murder charges just before the finale of HBO`s documentary series "The Jinx." Not only are this now household names but the specials could be having a real impact on the cases that they follow.
Here to discuss this new wave of true crime documentaries, Vanessa Potkin, senior staff attorney at The Innocence Project. Some folks will stay here. And thanks for joining us this morning here Vanessa. This is skirting justice. Let the justice system work as it is and these documentaries are not letting them have the breathing room that they need?
VANESSA POTKIN, THE INNOCENCE PROJECT: Making up a murder and documentaries like this are so critical in our criminal justice system. This theories of the brilliant job of exposing the systematic failures of the criminal justice system that most people are not familiar with. We do have 2.3 million people incarcerated in America, so there are a lot of people who know how the system isn`t working. But for the rest of us who are not necessarily involved day in and day out, people just have no idea what is going on in American courtrooms --
POTKIN: What is going on in criminal investigations that are -- it`s really unfair.
LUI: Well, Vanessa, you bring up a good point, as was written in the "L.A. Times," Meghan Daum saying this quote. As engaged and enraged as we are, it doesn`t change the fact that we watched a multipart movie, not the trial itself, even in ten hours, the filmmakers can`t possibly include every relevant detail.
POTKIN: Well, first of all "Making of a Murderer" is 10 hours, so it`s a very in depth piece when you compare it to, you know, other journalism, other coverage that, you know, we normally read. Also a trial itself is only a portion of what really happened in life in the story, in the case. And so by this logic would we ever read a biography, would there ever be any coverage of a historical on which we could form a basis of what happened. It`s just -- I don`t think we can follow this through.
LUI: You know, an interesting part to which is relevant since you`re an attorney as well. The prosecuting attorney though, which is going to be different then the role you normally take on, representing defendants, is that he`s now getting death threats and so we`re seeing some of the extremes of this sort of publicity of these cases.
POTKIN: Well, nobody condones death threats, that`s unacceptable. But there`s something a bit ironic about the prosecutor in this case complaining about bad publicity when in the documentary, you quite clearly see that the prosecution used the press as a tool for the prosecution, had a press conference before the trial began, before a jury was selected and essentially poisoned the jury pool by painting Avery out as a monster and essentially ensuring that he would get a conviction.
LUI: The flip side is we have seen how these series have really worked. "America`s Most Wanted" which is really the first nationally watched series that helped to capture bad people. And then we`re seeing these now more lengthy documentaries that are looking at crime cases. So, some would say, look at the flip side of this, this has worked really well historically.
POTKIN: Well, I would think that, yes, it`s true that these shows have helped with the apprehension of people that the police are looking for. But I think what`s critical about what`s happening today is that we have systematic failures of the criminal justice system, when you look at how we, you know, interrogations of juveniles, when you look at police misconduct, prosecutorial misconduct, you know, many of the failings of our criminal justice system are expose in this documentary and what the outrage that you`re hearing is that, you know, when an individual accused of a crime in this country, it`s an individual up against the power of the state.
All of the resources of the state, from the beginning, it`s an unfair, it`s an unfair endeavor and, you know, hopefully that individual have access to a defense attorney who is going to fight for them. But you know what? A lot of people don`t have access to a defense attorney who`s a forceful advocate, we have in effective attorneys, we don`t fund a defense properly in this country, and so what we`re seeing now is not just let`s help solve a crime, but let`s help change a broken criminal justice system.
LUI: Vanessa Potkin of The Innocence Project. Thank you so much for your time today.
POTKIN: Thank you.
LUI: Thank you.
Up next, a real life soap opera playing out in the NFL, which football team if any will end up calling Los Angeles their home next year?
LUI: So after 21 years without an NFL franchise, football fans in the southland. In Los Angeles may finally be getting their wish, maybe. The nation`s second largest media market has been without an NFL franchise since 1994 when at last not one, but two teams. The Raiders moving to Oakland and the Rams heading east to St. Louis, Missouri. Now both teams are hoping to make a return to the city of angels. And they have got some company along the way. On Monday, the San Diego Chargers, just south of Los Angeles, right? Oakland Raiders as well and the St. Louis Rams all three of them submitted some applications to relocate their teams to Los Angeles. So, with billions of dollars at stake. League owners will hold a special meeting in Houston next week to hold a vote. Well, that`s going to be a meeting.
Joining me now is Robert Boland, a former sports agent and professor of Sports Business at Ohio University.
All right. So, Bob, this is a math problem as you were saying that is so complex. I was saying you got three teams on the left, you got four cities on the other axis and where they`re all going to end up?
ROBERT BOLAND, OHIO UNIVERSITY: It`s very significant and there`s a lot at stake. The teams that yet to go will probably get a billion dollar increase in their valuation and as much as $200 million in annual revenue added on, and if you think about it this way, the three teams that are trying to go are in the bottom third in the league in revenue, they jump to the top ten very quickly maybe even higher. So, a lot of stake and a lot politically at stake is the NFL really does have to keep a map for television and cities have to.
LUI: Yes. And the question is, you have the local, ie the owners, and then you have the entire NFL which the commissioner has to worry about here. But let`s take town a little bit deeper on Los Angeles itself first. Two decades without a franchise. Is it ready now? Why would it be ready now to hold a franchise if it hasn`t been able to keep one in the past.
BOLAND: Well, probably some of that, is that the 32 owners and the commissioner collectively want to create and create more top line revenue.
BOLAND: And Los Angeles has been without a team for a long time. The teams are ready to move. It looks like the stadium development deals are ready to move in that way.
LUI: Well, it was but it didn`t happen.
LUI: No team.
BOLAND: Now, it looks like we`re ready to go. It looks like the Inglewood Project, that`s the Rams Project, Stan Kroenke, the owner over there is going to develop in what was Hollywood Park --
BOLAND: -- and Pierson tend to do that.
BOLAND: And then over in Carson, the Chargers and Raiders have signed a deal. That`s a little bit more remote, but it serves another part of the L.A. Metro.
LUI: And so, Bob, you`re saying LA is ready. Then the question is, is the right franchise ready to come back? And I think is that the Rams? Is that the right franchise for Los Angeles to have that stickiness?
BOLAND: Well, with the exception of the fact that they have something holding them in St. Louis, St. Louis has come to the table with a stadium proposal that is publicly financed and ready to go. They`re the only team of the three that has a team or a magnet holding them back and the NFL as a matter of policy, doesn`t want to separate a city and a team, particularly St. Louis for the second time when there`s a deal on the table to get them a stadium.
LUI: Who do you pick and that goes to L.A.?
BOLAND: I still think the Rams are going to go.
BOLAND: I think politically, that`s the team that the NFL wants least on some level. But I think they`re going to go because Stan Kroenke wants them and they can make money in a couple of years as the (INAUDIBLE) --
LUI: OK. And as you and I both know, the way the NFL functions is like a bunch of wildcats running around, the commissioner tries to corral them, it`s very unlike the NBA. So, which of the owners of all these teams has the most juice?
BOLAND: I think Alex Spanos and the Chargers have the most juice. They have tried for a long time to get a deal in their local market. They are well regarded team and I think they think if they can move up to LA, they can keep some of their corporate client base from San Diego. So, I think they get in. I think if you`re thinking about a game of musical chairs with only two seats and three teams, I think its Chargers and Rams ultimately in a deal together although right now, they are each have their own competing stadium proposals.
LUI: Yes. Watch out Davis (ph) -- to be part of all of this. I`d really make it exiting. Bob, thank you so much for stopping by. A lot to watch as that meeting happens this coming week.
Bob Boland, a former sports agent professor. Sports business at Ohio University. Thank you so much.
Still ahead this morning, President Obama`s very last State of the Union Address.
LUI: President Obama`s final State of the Union Address.
LUI: Hi. Richard Lui with you this hour. Thanks for staying with us this Saturday morning.
We`re counting down to President Obama`s final State of the Union Address. We`ll be joined by the man who used to write those speeches for President Clinton.
Plus, the president`s executive actions on gun reform, catapult that issue to the front of the race to replace him.
Also this hour, a Mexican drug lord is sent back to the same prison from which he escaped just six months ago.
Also ahead, the new front of the fight against human trafficking. One of the nation`s biggest retailers is accused of selling shrimp farmed by slaves.
And where`s Rey? Charges of gender bias, as a central character of "Star Wars" movie is missing from action figure play sets.
All that ahead.
But we start this hour with President Obama`s final State of the Union address. The president giving the speech before joint session of Congress on Tuesday night. He says this year`s speech will be different, focusing more on his legacy and vision for the future than legislative goals for his last year in office.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Just the remarkable progress we`ve made, not just what I want to get done in the year ahead, but what we all need to do together in the years to come. The big things that guarantee an even stronger, better more prosperous America for our kids, the America we believe in.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LUI: We`re joined now by Michael Waldman, who was director of speechwriting for President Clinton. He`s now president of the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law.
Michael, thanks for being with us here today.
So, what has been said at least by the White House is that this will be a different speech in this eighth year for him, his eighth time. How might it be different in the arc of State of the Union speeches, at least in your experience?
MICHAEL WALDMAN, FORMER CLINTON DIRECTOR OF SPEECHWRITING: Well, I`ll believe that when I hear it. These speeches by their very nature are always something of a laundry list. And I would expect that while they may be saying, my fellow Americans this time it won`t be boring, the fact is by it`s nature, it`s a set of policy goals for the country. And as many people don`t realize, it`s actually required in the Constitution, although it`s not required that it be delivered in person. And it is still the one time every year where people get to hear their president, the person elected by the whole country say what direction things ought to go.
So, I actually hope there`s some policy meat on issues like gun violence, on criminal justice reform, on political reform and not just nice words.
LUI: And so, how did that work change for you, Michael, as you were working with the Clinton administration, and moving forward as the years went by, and how the tone changed, how policy directive changed?
WALDMAN: Well, it matters a lot whether the Congress is of your own party or divided or hostile. It matters a lot what the context is out in the country. And, of course, they even moved this speech earlier to be before the Iowa caucuses, because this is when the spotlight is still on President Obama.
But the audience is not just the members of Congress who jump up and down and applaud, but the whole country. And it would be a big mistake for this president or any president to be limited by just what they can get passed through the subcommittee chair or that caucus. Now, it is the case that this time, there are still some measures that could move through Congress even with bipartisan support. There`s, for example, bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation that the president supports. You know, I wouldn`t be surprised if he talks about that.
The gun issue where we know he`s going to talk, is something where he`s very likely to be setting up the obstinacy of the Congress as a foil to what he wants to talk about.
LUI: So, let`s bring our panel who has been here over the past hour. Senior editor at "The Federalist", Mollie Hemingway, "Real Clear Politics" Caitlin Huey-Burns, and "Washington Post" opinion writer and MSNBC contributor Jonathan Capehart.
So, you know, what Michael teed up for us is here, there`s still some policy opportunities here for the president despite what the White House is saying and this is going to be different from previous speeches?
HEMINGWAY: I don`t think there are that many policy opportunities. I mean, the only thing worse than typical interminable State of the Union Address is an interminable State of the Union Address from a lame duck president with only 40 percent approval and a Congress that`s just willing to wait him out. Plus, he`s really signaled that he`s not that interested in working with Congress, so much as just doing executive action. So, I don`t think he has that much to talk about.
HUEY-BURNS: I think what`s really key about this speech to is teeing it up for this election year. I think his goal as it should be to really energize Democrats. He knows it`s his legacy, but also the legacy of his party. It`s a very tough election, setting goals that he wants to see perhaps draw some things from Hillary Clinton and other Democrats down the ballot.
What`s also important to remember is what comes after the State of the Union, you have the Republican debate two days later and then you have a Democratic debate on Sunday. Guarantee, this will be --
LUI: An opportunity, yes.
CAPEHART: And to build on what McCain was just saying, the other thing that we know about this president is that, yes, he`ll set things up in terms of the election, he`ll try to give a boost to the Democrats and whoever the nominee will be, but also this is a president who is -- goes beyond party in terms of his vision for the country.
And so, his last State of the Union Address in his last year of his last term, I won`t be surprised if we hear the president who outlines his vision of the country that goes beyond him, no matter who the president is from whatever party. And that -- when the president speaks in those words, in that language, that`s when he really brings the country together.
We know about Barack Obama because of that keynote address he gave in 2004 at the Democratic convention and nominee John Kerry when he talked about no red state America, no blue state America. He unified the country and catapulted himself into a national star and into the White House. I would be very surprised if he didn`t use this state of the union as an opportunity to do that again.
WALDMAN: And what`s interesting, this is obviously such a polarized in some ways bitter time. There`s a lot of roiling anger. But in a lot of ways, the country is doing really well, and better overtime that it was certainly when he started. And one of the things he can do for his own party but really for the country is to try to inject a note of, hey, wait a minute, unemployment is at 5 percent. So many positive social changes had happened.
LUI: Michael, I was talking about it early this morning, the economy, look at the employment report, you look at all the key indicators, CPI, you look at consumer confidence. In previous cycles, it`s the economy. Yet it does not seem like his party is hitting that note in grand ways as might have been done in the past.
WALDMAN: Well, it`s a challenge for anybody in politics for a president or a candidate. On the one hand, you don`t want to look as if you don`t understand, that for many, many people, wages and their own economic station has not improved, even as the overall economy has. This has gone on for decades, so it can sound tinny and false to be just roaring about morning in America.
On the other hand, the broad positive trends and you want to make it so that people can participate in that. It would be a political state for the Democrats to run around saying, oh, my god things are terrible, because to the voters are more likely to give them another term in office if they`re buying into that narrative as well.
HUEY-BURNS: And that`s where you see Republicans on the campaign trail picking when it comes to economic issues. It`s about personal security, but also national security. I mean, because there are signs of the economy improving, they have focused so much on national security and foreign policy and terrorism because that`s really at this point is what is at the center of voters minds right now.
LUI: All right. We`ll have to leave it there. Michael Waldman, we could talk to you all day, all night on this topic. But we`ll have that opportunity in the coming no doubt. Appreciate it.
WALDMAN: Thank you.
LUI: And a reminder you can watch Tuesday night`s State of the Union right here on MSNBC. Our special coverage starts at 8:00 Eastern Time that evening.
President Obama spent the week leading up to his final State of the Union by redoubling his efforts to enact stricter gun safety measures, signing a slate of executive action that expand background checks on gun purchases and increased funding for mental health treatment.
On Thursday, President Obama held a nationally televised town hall, facing off with opponents of efforts to strengthen gun laws. And yesterday, the president unveiled a big new promise. In an op-ed in the "New York Times," President Obama declared, quote, "I will not campaign for, vote for or support any candidate, even in my own party who does not support common sense gun reform."
Some of the president`s actions all but guaranteeing that gun control will be a central issue of the 2016 campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: So, he`s going to sign another executive order having to do with the Second Amendment, having to do with guns, I will veto that, I will unsign a that so fast.
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: His first impulse is always to take rights away from law abiding citizens and it`s wrong.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I fully intend to delight in rescinding whatever illegal and unconstitutional executive actions President Obama takes to undermine our right to keen and bear arms.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LUI: Our panel still with us right here.
2016, he`s laid down the gauntlet in that op-ed, if I`m to support anybody in my heart, his party is what he`s saying, you better have common sense gun support.
CAPEHART: Well, what we`re hearing here in that op-ed, during that town hall forum, during his remarks at the White House is a president who`s not only frustrated but weary. I mean, this is a man who as president of the United States who has gone to a lot of these sites of mass shootings, looked the families of the victims in the eye. Not only felt their pain, but grieved with them, not just one time, but 13, 14 times in his presidency?
This is not just a political thing for the president anymore. This is for him, I believe, sort of a moral calling that we have got to do something that so that he in his final years as president doesn`t have to go to another town to console another grieving community.
LUI: And as all of you know so well, to the public supports for the most part, President Obama`s stance here. A new CNN poll, just to give you some numbers here of the public, they agree that his executive actions to increase enforcement of existing laws to expand background checks is good, 67 percent to 32 percentage points. So, he`s really resonating with his message, certainly, and that may be why -- may be why Hillary Clinton is coming out in very strong words saying, I support that too.
HEMINGWAY: These executive actions were one thing, they were fairly modest. They didn`t actually make any meaningful legal change. So, it`s not surprising that there would be support.
But making guns an issue in 2016 is just a horrible idea for Democrats, vulnerable Democrats, and also those states where you need to win that are -- that very much care about gun rights -- Nevada, New Mexico, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, Florida. In Colorado two years ago, two Democratic state senators were recalled because they voted for common sense gun reform. One was the president of the state senate.
This is not an issue that favors Democrats and President Obama has already overseen historic losses in midterm elections. There`s no need to further hurt Democrats in to 2016.
LUI: It`s a good point. It may be energizing the GOP base, yet it may be this, again, legacy issue where the president says, I`m just tired, as you were saying here, Jonathan. I need to stand up and do this.
HUEY-BURNS: Yes, I think that`s a big part of it. I also think it`s pretty remarkable to see how this is not a divisive issue within the Democratic Party. I mean, think about how the Democrats are now widely in support of stricter gun laws and that`s different from 2008.
But on the Republican side there, you see this from the candidates, but also from people, voters that they don`t like these executive actions, all presidents use them and use them a lot. But Republicans have been able to make this even a broader issue. Immigration we saw executive actions, John Boehner sued over those. So that is a key issue here as well.
LUI: So, Bernie Sanders, since he is the more moderate when it comes to gun rights, is he the secret sauce, the nice medium that brings it all together?
HUEY-BURNS: Well, it`s interesting. Bernie Sanders supporters I have talked to are very focused on what Bernie Sanders central message is, on the economy, on not being able to get ahead, the deck being stacked, and talked to them. And they don`t want the president to focus on gun laws right at this minute.
HEMINGWAY: It also speaks to how Hillary Clinton has not done a great job in New Hampshire. She`s trying to position Bernie Sanders as some NRA stooge, and people there know Bernie Sanders position on guns very well. I think he is better positioned and it speaks to her weakness as a candidate to know how to position herself.
CAPEHART: I would say that she`s tacking to the left on Bernie Sanders. And yes, that`s fine for New Hampshire, it might not work there. But she`s speaking to a broader audience. And listening to the clip that we showed in the earlier hour when she went after Senator Sanders, t reminded me that it was to the same thing that was used against her on her Iraq war vote.
LUI: OK. All right. Thank you all three for that.
Up next, more on the capture of Mexican drug king El Chapo. How his thirst for more celebrity and fame landed him back in custody.
LUI: This morning, drug lord Joaquin El Chapo Guzman is back behind bars, waking up in the same maximum security prison in Mexico that he escaped from six months ago. Mexican marines arrested Guzman yesterday after a shoot-out in his home state. Authorities say they were able to track him down because he wanted to make a movie about his life and previous escapes from prison. And his people had been in contact with various actors and producers.
For more, let`s go to NBC`s Gabe Gutierrez in Mexico City for us this morning.
Good morning, Gabe.
GUTIERREZ: Richard, good morning.
It`s really an incredible story. Narcissism may have ended up bringing down this drug kingpin. As you mentioned, the Mexican attorney general saying at a news conference late last night that El Chapo Guzman was in contact with actors and producers through intermediaries because he wanted to make a biographical movie about himself and that was partly what helped authorities tracked him down to the Sinaloa state here in Mexico, the home of El Chapo`s notorious drug cartel.
Now, it was an incredible bloody shoot-out where suspects were killed. Six others were arrested and a Mexican marine was injured. El Chapo and his head of security were also able to briefly escape for a brief time through the sewer system but were eventually.
He was then transported back to Mexico City late last night where he was paraded in front of cameras. The Mexican authorities and Mexican president, Enrique Pena Nieto, saying this is a victory for the rule of law.
However, Richard, the big question right now is whether El Chapo will stay here in Mexico, or whether he will eventually be extradited back to the United States. Some legal experts saying it could take a while, but that he will eventually be extradited back to the United States. He faces drug charges in at least six cities, but again, it was a very dramatic early morning raid yesterday that captured El Chapo. He is now waking up this morning in the very same maximum security prison that he escaped from.
Richard, back to you.
LUI: Apprehended for the third time in this story. Thank you so much, NBC`s Gabe Gutierrez, live for us in Mexico City. Thank you.
President Obama now finding himself at odds with members of his own party after a series of deportation raids. The Department of Homeland Security is still taking an aggressive approach to removing more than 100 undocumented immigrants who had received deportation orders. DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson defends the raid saying, quote, "Our borders are not open to illegal immigration. If you come here illegally, we will send you back consistent with our laws and values."
Yesterday, members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other top Democrats called on the administration to stop these raids.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LINDA SANCHEZ (D), CALIFORNIA: We don`t agree with these raids that the administration conducted and what has transpired, that our communities are feeling traumatized and scared.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president said that we were going to focus on felons, not families. Everybody understands focusing on felons. But focusing families is not reflective of our values.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LUI: Despite the increasing outcry, the Obama administration officials say yesterday that they will continue the raids.
Joining us now, Cristina Jimenez, managing director of the immigrant rights group United We Dream.
So, you heard what Jeh Johnson had to say and what was said by administration officials consistently on their part, that this was to prevent those considering coming to the United States illegally, not to do it because they will be deported.
What`s your response to that reasoning?
CRISTINA JIMENEZ, UNITED WE DREAM: For us, this is just not the way. Terrorizing immigrant communities, we at United We Dream, had a hot line, families were calling, many folks were not going to work, not sending their kids to school. So, terrorizing families, particularly these families already are fleeing violence from Central America and are coming for seek refuge here in the United States, this is a country that`s known for protecting refugees -- this is not the way to go about treating these families.
So, what we are saying is, first all, give these families due process. If they have legal assistance and they can talk about their cases, we may be able to find a way to keep the families here. That`s what we`re asking, raids are terrorizing the community, from our perspective, this is just cementing the legacy of the president as deporter in chief.
LUI: Deporter -- he has the highest number of deportation than any other presidency.
So, 121 mothers and children also part of the numbers here coming from three states that were part of those who were deported. You talk more legal assistance. As you know that the legal aides that can get through due process have been inundated, just by the numbers itself, one can probably tell.
But how would you get to that assistance to go through that the due process?
JIMENEZ: This is the challenge that we`re having with the Obama administration. The administration is treating this as a border security issue when we`re having a humanitarian refugee crisis, and that is the approach that the administration needs to take. So, the same way in which we deal with other refugee crisises, we talk about due process, legal assistance and figuring out legal ways in which these families can stay.
LUI: We`ve got to. I have to ask you, Cristina, what does this mean for 2016, the election?
JIMENEZ: I think this is a big problem for the Democratic Party. You have already seen Trump taking huge credit for a Democratic president raiding families and deporting many of them, over 100 of them in just one weekend.
LUI: OK. Cristina Jimenez, thank you so much for your time this morning.
JIMENEZ: Thank you.
LUI: All righty.
Up next, what the next president must do to combat one of the world`s biggest crises you may not even know exists.
LUI: Authorities in Washington state near Seattle arrested fourteen people on as part of a bust that shutdown a prostitution ring. Twelve trafficked women were released as a result. Most of them having been sent to the United States from South Korea against their will to pay off their families` debts to organized criminals.
And in a related story this week, three California law firms filed a suit to get Costco to re-label the shrimp it sells, not whether it`s farmed or wild or fresh or frozen. Instead, they want the shell fish to be marked as the product of slavery, claiming that farmed shrimp from Thailand, one of the biggest exporters of sea food in the world, is harvested with slave labor.
Now, both stories are reminder of just how prevalent slavery remains around the world. The impact being felt right here in the United States, in places as different as brothels and mega warehouse chain stores.
On New Year`s Eve, President Obama issued a proclamation declaring January National Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Month, the seventh time he has done so.
This past July, he named Susan Coppedge director of the office to monitor and combat trafficking, giving her the rank of ambassador at large for the State Department.
Ambassador Coppedge joins us now from Washington, D.C.
And thanks for doing that ambassador.
I want to start with the two stories I just brought up. Shrimp is something we all eat every day. And I know it`s been in the headlines for months now, but still, some actions need to be taken as have been described.
AMB. SUSAN COPPEDGE, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT: Yes, action definitely needs to be taken to look at forced labor, so long in this country and other countries, we have focused on sex trafficking because that too is on human trafficking. There are also problems with forced labor in industries such as the shrimp industry, the electronics industry, mining and other extraction industries. Anywhere where there`s a lot of manual labor at stake, there can also be forced labor.
LUI: So, if we buy, if we take a stand with our dollars, perhaps a change can be made when we talk about slavery in the United States and abroad. And a part of what you`re saying is electronics and what brought the CES to mind, for me at least, with the Computer Electronics Show, we also have the Super Bowl coming as well. Those are events where slavery, sex slavery specifically happens at higher rates.
COPPEDGE: I mean, certainly, around any sports event there is increased attention to sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. I as a federal prosecutor was involved in cases that arose around the NCAA Final Four and the NBA all-star game. So, I know that sex trafficking does occur during sporting events.
But I want to emphasize that it does occur year round. And we need to focus attention on sex trafficking year round. Sporting events are a wonderful opportunity to get the message out to people and to raise public awareness, but it is a crime that goes on every day in this country.
LUI: Well, when you talk about every day, you and I work on a story five years ago, also somebody that you had prosecuted. And these are residential brothels, brothels that hold four to five women, forced to have sex up to 100 times a day. And they`re in just about every state in the union. That`s something you follow closely.
What`s the latest on that?
COPPEDGE: I mean, there still are residential brothels in this country. But the United States has made great strides in training and educating law enforcement on what to look for. The U.S. Department of Justice is engaged in a bilateral cooperation agreement with Mexico, to look at trafficking across our borders, traffickers certainly don`t respect our borders and both countries coming together to fight that is an excellent effort.
One of our most recent cases involved arrests simultaneously in New York and in Mexico and those individuals who are arrested in Mexico will be extradited to stand trial in New York.
LUI: So as we look at this, Ambassador, this is the awareness month that President Obama has now called January, when we look at human trafficking. What do you hope, since we`re talking about the president, for the next administration and the way that they might address this for the most part, issue that is supported with bipartisan support overall.
COPPEDGE: This is not a problem that`s going to be solved by any one administration or any one political party, and that`s why it`s so important that this is a bipartisan issue. As the secretary said this week, an issue of extreme moral clarity, it`s an issue the American public cares deeply about. And it`s an issue that we will continue to raise and fight on all levels of government.
LUI: All right, thank you so much. Ambassador Susan Coppedge from the State Department, thank you.
COPPEDGE: Thank you for having me.
LUI: All right. You bet.
Coming up, the sip of water that still haunts Senator Marco Rubio.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In preparation for a big speech, make sure there`s water nearby. Like right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LUI: Well, the presidential candidate referring to the now infamous water bottle moment while giving the Republican State of the Union response in 2013. It`s incidents like this that make you wonder why any rising political star would want to make that speech. We`ll discuss whether the State of the Union response is really cursed, right after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: The short time that I`ve been here in the Washington, nothing has frustrated me more than false choices like the one the president laid out tonight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LUI: You know, that still fun --
LUI: Fun to look at and we can do this on a Saturday morning. Our panel is here.
That was Senator Marco Rubio on the official Republican response to President Obama`s State of the Union Address back in 2013 which we all remember here. That sip of water that quickly became very infamous.
And this week, we learned that the GOP has tapped South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to deliver this year`s response, an honor bestowed on a politician viewed to be a rising star in the party, but for many in recent years, to the follow-up address has not always proven to be a shining moment in the sun.
For instance in 2009, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was viewed as the standard bearer of the new generation of conservatives. But his overly enthusiastic demeanor drew some comparisons here to the "30 Rock" sitcom character, Kenneth the page.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: Good evening and happy Mardi Gras. I`m Bobby Jindal.
JACK MCBRAYER AS KENNETH PARCELL: Hello, everyone, and welcome to another evening with Kenneth. I`m Kenneth Parcell.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LUI: 2011, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann delivered the Tea Party response in 2011, she was not remembered for what she said but how she appeared to be looking off camera the entire time.
But on the flip side, Congressman Paul Ryan gave the Republican Party`s official response that same year, arguably a springboard for the 2012 nomination for someone who`s now speaker of the House.
The response that Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers delivered in 2014 was also well-received, and she is currently the highest ranking Republican woman in Congress.
For more on the pitfalls, sometimes rewards of delivering the response, let`s return to our panel.
So, does it really come down to the nature of the Republican response? Or really more who`s giving it. Because it seems like from the examples that we provided for our viewers here, it really, what do you have and are you good at this?
CAPEHART: I think it`s both of those days and the thing that we saw, the two people who succeed at their response, the two people who were well received were two people who didn`t actually run for president of the United States or was -- at least Paul Ryan was talked with about someone who was going to run for president. But he`s speaker of the house now, but he`s not running for president now.
And so, I think that, you know, they both -- both of them, he and McMorris- Rodgers came to it -- I`m a Republican, here is my response and it is what it is.
LUI: Well, you know, Nikki Haley is now the name, right? And I want to bring in former RNC Chairman Michael Steele who is very much a watcher of this.
And so, Michael, thanks for being here.
MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure.
LUI: And Nikki Haley as a choice, your thought?
STEELE: Yes, I think it`s a great choice. I think the governor, I`ve always been a fan of her. I remember working with her team in getting her elected back in the day and she`s done an incredibly good job. Some of the issues in her state have propelled her to the forefront of her party as someone who is really the image and the message that we went to send to the country about the modern day GOP.
There are some real risks involved, though, if this comes off flat, if it seems to staged.
STEELE: Look, the bottom of the line at the end of the day, that that is anachronistic thing. We actually need to do away with it, because in the number of sense, no one is paying attention to it.
You`re competing against the biggest stage on the planet, with the president walking into that great chamber, with the command of the Congress before him. It`s a just very tough sell to then follow up in a small space, with no audience, looking into a camera and trying to engage in American people when they have moved on with the president who`s just left the building.
LUI: So, your belief is it`s and anachronism even though this goes back to LBJ and the Republican response. But why not keep it, given that -- as you started by saying, Michael, that is what the party wants to be, in this case, perhaps young and diverse, perhaps, she of Asian background.
STEELE: Well, there are other ways to do that without competing directly with the president of the United States on one of the biggest nights in the year. So, you know, if you control the Congress, then you have the opportunity to have the majority leader or someone who designates to give a speech at some point before or after the president`s speech in a separate, you know, within the chamber, in a separate setting, at a separate time, so that you can draw attention to your message.
What happens is everyone gets caught up on how the person looked, how they sounded, what flubs they made, not the substance of the argument that they`re making to the country.
CAPEHART: And, you know, Chairman Steele, the question I have is, to your point, why not have the Republican response come the day after, when you have an opportunity to actually respond to the president?
My problem with the response has always been, it sounds canned because they have no idea what the president`s going to say and so, they`re trying to anticipate and you just heard the leader of the free world say X, Y or Z, and you`re sitting in front of a camera talking about D, F and Q.
STEELE: That`s exactly the point, and that`s really what I`m driving at, Jonathan, is the idea to take the time and respond to the president. Not react to what you think the president is going to say or just said. So, you know, create that space, build it up, put someone who`s, you know, one of the leading edge leaders in the party and give them a shot to actually address the county on the substance of what the party wants to fight about in contrast to the president.
LUI: You know, I want to play a little bit of video, because it goes back a little bit here, back to President Reagan`s State of the Union in 1985, and the Democratic response, since we are looking at the RNC response as of late. Let`s watch that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL CLINTON: We have just heard to the president of the United States address our nation, and by the way, Mr. President, happy birthday tonight. Our objective tonight is not to disagree with our president and his party, though our differences are many.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LUI: So, Michael, there you go.
STEELE: Yes. It doesn`t matter whether it`s Republican or Democrat. It`s the same effect. It has the same lack of impact because, as you rightly pointed out, you`re responding to something that you don`t know. I mean, you don`t know what the president has said until he says it. And then you`re asked to go in front of a camera and put together a message that is probably as Jonathan noted, not connected to anything to the man just talked about.
HEMINGWAY: The Republican Party has only itself to blame too for the failure of some of these speeches, yes, it`s impossible, it`s a trap, you can`t compete against all the pomp and circumstance of the office.
But why not show some creativity, why not have a live audience, why not do it in a bar? Why not do it the next day? Why not shake it up a little bit, there`s no need to keep to the same format of a cavernous hall with bad idea --
LUI: The technology has changed, expectations have changed, right?
STEELE: Can I just make the note that Bob McDonnell, then governor of Virginia, when he gave to the address did do it in the state chamber in front of an office. But again, it still lacks the same kind of power because you`re responding to something that you don`t know the full text and measure of.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look what happened to Bob McDonnell.
LUI: Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele, always a pleasure to speak with you, my friend, on this Saturday morning. Have a good one.
STEELE: All right. Take care, guys.
LUI: All right. Up next, why one of the biggest heroes of the biggest movie of the year is not getting much love.
LUI: Where is Rey? That`s the question "Star Wars" fans are asking after Daisy Ridley`s pivotal character was discovered to be missing from a number of licensed products tied to the new film, including action figure sets, bed spreads, and a special edition of Monopoly, all despite being the film`s central heroine?
One 8-year-old fan was so upset, she sent a letter to Hasbro asking why Rey was not including in the game. After her mother posted the leader on Twitter, fans started weighing in with the #where`srey.
On Monday, Hasbro responded to the backlash, claiming that Rey was not included to avoid revealing a key plotline and the company is now promising to add her character to the game later this year.
But filmmakers were able to feature Rey prominently on the poster as you see here, without giving anything away.
Is Rey`s absence from many products indicated of a larger cultural trend?
We`re joined now by "The Washington Post`s" Alexandra Petri, a self described "Star Wars" nut and I again, that`s what you call yourself. And Jamal Igle, creator of the comic book "Molly Danger".
All right. Let`s start with you, Alex. You wrote an article on this for "The Washington Post," so you were obviously looking at this topic, something that`s not really been addressed since the movie came out. Do you really believe that this could be done without giving a spoiler out?
ALEXANDRA PETRI, THE WASHINGTON POST: Oh, absolutely, it`s also just silly to say that we`re going to omit the main character from this game on the grounds that it will spoil the fact that she`s a main character. I mean, that`s a nonsense then to say, it`s like putting Luke Skywalker in and saying we don`t know, he could just be a farm boy, all it shows on the trailer is him being a farm boy. I think that`s nonsense.
LUI: Go ahead.
PETRI: The thing about Rey too is a lot of the complaints about character that are missing, is you`ll have a whole set of action figures, like Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy or Black Widow, where it will be one of the team, just she is sort of a girl one. But Rey is not just the girl one, she`s the main character in the movie. So, it`s especially egregious that she`s omitted.
LUI: So, Jamal, she brought up Black Widow, Scarlet Johansson`s character also omitted from a lot of the Avengers products here.
JAMAL IGLE, COMIC BOOK CREATOR: Absolutely, absolutely. I agree with her.
And I think the optics make it worse, to be honest. Hasbro`s response, while it was quick, doesn`t really address the bigger problem, which is, you know, we are in a period of social media right now where everybody has access to a lot more information and everybody wants -- they want to see reflections of themselves in popular media.
You know, Alexandra mentioned Black Widow, one of the biggest problems with that was the fact that she was omitted from a lot of material. There are a lot of people asking for a Black Widow movie. Scarlet Johansson has been in four Marvel movies as to the Black Widow, you would think they would want to do that.
LUI: Interesting back to your story here, Jamal. You created Molly Danger for your daughter so your daughter could have a heroine to look up to?
IGLE: Absolutely. Molly, when I first created Molly back in 2013 is before I became a father, but when I revisited back in 2010, it was definitely based on -- not just for my daughter, but nieces, I was raised by a single mom, you know, I believe in gender equality and the strength of women.
And I wanted to create a character in Molly, that wasn`t connected to another superhero character, who wasn`t connected to another male character, who had her own agency, who was the team leader, who is a force to be reckoned with.
But Molly as a character, just to the give you a little back story, she looks like she`s 10 years old, but she`s actually 30.
LUI: All right.
Alexandra, as we look at what Jamal was trying to work with for his daughter when he revisited Molly Danger, how widespread is that dynamic that he`s describing, when we look at representations of women and girls in media and that balance that it seems is not there based on what you`re saying?
PETRI: I think it`s -- it`s a tremendous problem, but it`s getting better. I would love to be a little girl going to the movies right now, and getting to see sort of as a default in a lot of cases, like the top ten movies this year, you got Katniss, you got Rey, you`ve got these people who were just there, and that sort of is beginning to feel more like the norm, but as the result of people constantly striving to do that.
One of the things I hate most in general is the pink aisle/blue aisle divide in toy stores. Because I think, it`s such a problem like you go to, there`s like a blue aisle, it`s like build things and blow things up. And the pink aisle is like "Dream to be a Princess." and like "Sexy Monster." It`s like, no, when you`re giving people toys, you`re teaching them what to dream of being.
So, like, I was always a big "Star Wars" nut so I always had Darth Vader toys. He was the one I saw myself in weirdly. But, you know, I want little boys and little girls to see themselves.
And like, another point is Rey`s not just for girls. A cool character transcends gender.
LUI: So well said. Alexandra Petri of "The Washington Post", real pleasure. As well as comic book creator Jamal Igle, for joining us on this one.
Fun conversation there on a very important issue.
Up next, how Ben Carson may still be elected to Washington this November even if he does not win the Republican nomination.
LUI: As you know, there`s a lot going on this morning. Let`s get caught up on some of the other headlines making news with today`s panel.
I`ve got my four that I love to get through with you guys.
"The Washington Post" saying, your paper, right -- sorry, grammar nerd, the singular they has been declared word of the year. I think it`s the word of the century. My mother used to use that all the time. They say you shouldn`t do that so you better not do that.
CAPEHART: I think it`s terrific. It`s gender neutral, which in English we don`t have. If you study other languages, you know, you have gender specific. And so, here, especially in a time when we`re talking about gender conformity or nonconformity, and transgender issues, this is something that`s actually is inclusive.
HEMINGWAY: I have to point out this actually does have a pretty ancient lineage. We`ve used "they" for the singular before so it`s not as radical as it seems.
LUI: Not as crazy as -- as opposed to having to say his or her. You love the donuts today., Capehart.
CAPEHART: I know --
LUI: So, you guys have probably seen so many stories in the headlines, the Powerball. What could you buy with $800 million? It`s $372 million, by the way, after taxes.
CAPEHART: I was going to ask --
LUI: So just to let you know, 2,800, Maserati Grand Turismo Coupes, 89 million cups of Starbucks 20 oz cafe lattes. What would you do with it?
HUEY-BURNS: I like the latte.
CAPEHART: A house on the Amalfi Coast. A private plane. You noticed I haven`t thought about this at all. And various other things that I wouldn`t want to give away for security reasons.
LUI: 747-8I for me is what I`d buy.
HEMINGWAY: I think the lottery is a tax on people who don`t understand math, so I don`t play it.
CAPEHART: And tax on the poor.
LUI: It is a talk of the town, "The Hill", Carson leaves open possibility of run for Congress. Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson saying that, you know, hey, I still could run for a member of Congress. Perhaps, you know, looking at maybe even speaker of the house, you know?
HEMINGWAY: This is what he should have done all along. He`s actually got tremendous skill and political skill. He should have started at a lower stage.
LUI: You think it`s maybe a good idea?
HEMINGWAY: He should have done it instead.
LUI: All right. We`ll finish with this. AOL, lawmaker proposes removing husband and wife from Utah law. So this is following the ruling on same sex marriage. Remove husband and wife from law there.
CAPEHART: To replace it with what, spouse?
CAPEHART: Yes. Imminently sensible.
HEMINGWAY: It Shows how when you redefine marriage to make it more inclusive it also changes what it means to be a husband and a wife and it changes it for everybody. It might be an unintended consequence of saying there`s no distinction.
CAPEHART: It`s a consequence --
LUI: We got to leave there, sorry. So much to talk about. Thank you to our panel, fantastic bunch. Molly Hemingway, Caitlin Huey-Burns, and Jonathan Capehart -- thanks for joining us. Appreciate it.
Thank you for getting UP with us on this day. Join us tomorrow Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern.
"MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY", that`s up next. Have a great Saturday.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END