Morning Joe | December 14, 2012
>> i like the cover, why every kid should read.
>> mike allen has a look at the "playbook." hello, mike.
>> happy friday, willie.
>> let's talk immigration because the president has said this is next on deck once we get through this fiscal cliff question and the debt ceiling. will be the next big undertaking for congress sometime in 2013 . how does it shake out?
>> yeah, well, "politico" has learned that the president plans to really step on the gas on this. you know, the other day tom friedman was saying that we have to change our mindset about new administrations. it's not the first 100 days when you look at the agenda. you only have 100 days to get something real done in the current environment. and so the president is very much taking this approach. you know, we've been told that as soon as they get past the cliff talks, immigration was going to be what they're doing next. we're told now that the president hopes to pass it by june. that within six months, the administration would hope to pass a comprehensive immigration plan. so senator chuck schumer of new york is part of a gang of eight. washington and the senate love their gangs. that's working on immigration. early in the year they'll have principles. by march they'll have immigration. so already, we're told, the white house is starting to reach out to the hispanic groups that were very helpful to it during the election campaign . also are going to work with business groups . business wants much of the same immigration agenda that the administration does, try and put together a coalition. and as we talked there on set the other day, republicans, more than ever before, are willing to talk with the president about it, even work with him about it. they know they have to do something about this, too.
>> and mike, what would it look like -- and this is a very detailed conversation that will require a lot more time than we have right now -- but what would a good immigration reform package look like to the president?
>> yeah, it's not complicated. there's two basic choices. one is the president's approach, what people in washington have called the big enchilada, the big bill , a grand slam which would not only include a guest worker program but would have some formal way for people who are now in the country illegally to get on a path to being here legally. also would take in the dream act , young people who were born here, fix their status. the republican approach is to go more piecemeal, to do parts of it that they think that they can get passage on rather than taking the risk of a huge bill like with health care . the republicans will draw the health care analogy and say, you would have had us for lots of parts of it. it wound up being much more partisan by being a bill bill. that will be the fight of how to go. democrats, we're told, are going to be very tough on republicans and say if you really care about this issue, if you really have hispanics' backs, if you really want to get well on this issue, you need to go for the big bill . we're not going to let you get away with just doing these little pieces.
>> and andrea, republicans don't want to roll over completely for the president, but given the spread we saw in the election among latino voters, this is also something they don't want to be seen now as standing in the way of.
>> absolutely. and you know, the moment is so ripe for them to join the president and come up with a big approach. because doing it piece by piece is not going to get any of them the kind of political leverage and the legacy advantage that certainly the white house is seeking. this is the moment, but it will take the kind of political skill that they lacked -- the white house lacked -- in trying to push for health care initially. they have to reach out and be much more creative as they try to build this coalition.
>> and mike, as you say, this is something business leaders want, too. there's a big economic question there. mike allen with a look at the "playbook." mike, thanks so much.