Morning Joe | September 21, 2012
>> let's get to massachusetts before we go to break. the first of four televised debates there took place last night with republican incumbent scott brown looking to defend his seat against democratic challenger elizabeth warren . it's a race that could determine which party controls the senate . new polling released this week shows just how tight the race is. the suffolk university survey hassle his beth warren leading brown by four points. but a boston poll has brown leading by four right out of the gate, the candidates were asked about their opponent's character. brown immediately questioned warren's claim of being of native american heritage.
>> professor warren claimed that she was a native american , a person of color. and as you can see, she's not. that being said, she checked the box. and she had an opportunity actually to make a decision through her career when she applied to penn and harvard, she checked the box claiming she was a native american . i don't know and neither do the viewers know whether, in fact, she got ahead as a result of that checking of the box.
>> when i was growing up, these are the stories i knew about my heritage. i believed my mother and my father and my aunts and my uncles, and i never asked anybody for any documentation. i don't know any kid who did. but i did know this about my parents. that my mother and dad loved each other very, very much. and they wanted to get married. and my father's family said no. because my mother was part delaware and part cherokee. but you know, i never used it, never used it for getting into college. never used it for getting into law school . and the people who have hired me for my jobs have all made clear, they didn't even know about it until long after i was hired.
>> hours earlier there was a question of whether senator scott brown would make it to the debate. this is kind of awkward. suggesting the senate 's voting schedule could cause him to stay in washington . majority leader harry reid interrupted floor speeches to suggest senator brown was looking for a way out.
>> second, you could ask economists, most reputable economists including --
>> would my friend yield?
>> majority leader.
>> mr. president -- madam president, i'm so sorry. we have no more votes today. no more votes today. it's obvious to me what's going on. i've been to a few of these rodeos. it's obvious there's a big stall taking place. so one of the senators who doesn't want to be in a debate tonight won't be in the debate. well, he can't use the senate as an excuse. there will be no more votes today.
>> the senator from minnesota.
>> thank you. that is too bad.
>> i like al franken with the old afro.
>> what is going on?
>> seriously. i mean, can you imagine george mitchell being that petulant?
>> or bob dole on the other side?
>> chuck schumer , no.
>> we wonder why washington 's the way it is. there's just an anger, a meanness right there. just be sulbtle about it and just dismiss it without making a snotty remark. you know what? i expect more from senate majority leaders than i do from back benchers in the chamber. again, george mitchell would have been up there and would have been very dignified about it.
>> key phrase, senate majority leader. he was saying that to keep his job as majority leader, hoping that elizabeth warren beats scott brown in massachusetts .
>> there's a way to do it with a little bit of dignity.
>> no kidding.
>> does everybody on both sides in the house and the senate , do they have to claw everybody else 's eyes out and be snippy? it's unbecoming of the position of senate majority leader.
>> i think that's unbecoming of a senator. if i was watching that clip between brown and warren, to me brown is tone deaf . americans don't want to hear oh, you checked the box this way. you've shook people down.
>> that would be like bringing up paul ryan 's marathon time. it's silly.
>> is that all you got? i looked at that clip -- that's not the way to play right now.
>> i don't know. i don't know.
>> it was his to use, but --
>> it's amazing it's that close. seriously, president obama 's going to beat mitt romney in massachusetts by 30 points.
>> and the fact that --
>> that's true.
>> -- a republican senator has it that close at this stage --
>> they're two fantastic candidates. we'll show more from that debate.
>>> coming up, michael bloomberg will be here, melody barnes, thomas friedman and grammy award winner carole king .
>> up next, mike allen with the top stories in the "politico playbook."
>>> but first, here's nbc meteorologist dylan dreyer with a check on the forecast.
>> this friday we have a couple clouds across the northeast. trouble spots back across the great lakes. just a few scattered showers in that area. we also have heavier thunderstorms falling down through southern missouri and into northern arkansas. we had severe weather there earlier this morning. those will fizzle out as they spread south and east. also heavy rain falling across southern florida . miami going to see rain and thunderstorms today. another inch or two of rain possible across southern florida . temperaturewise, we're cool up in boston but warmer down through new york city and washington , d.c., thanks to the clouds this morning, we're in the lower 60s. we will top out with highs today in the 70s. 75 degrees, just about perfect in new york city . the rest of the country should be a little seasonable. temperatures in the 70s most everywhere else as well. you are watching " morning joe " brewed by starbucks.