Morning Joe | January 29, 2013
>> outlets, last week the iranian government launched a live monkey into launched a live monkey into space. there's been no independent confirmati confirmation which means it probably didn't happen. they released a photo, this is the alleged iranian space monkey . based on the photo, i'm guessing he didn't volunteer for the mission. and i'd like to see them hook the iranian space monkey with the ikea sweater monkey. wouldn't they make a great couple. they said he flew into space and came back alive and well and even threw him a parade when he got back. there's the space monkey . adorable when he banks his little sim balls together. very cute.
>> good morning from los angeles , tuesday, january 29th . with us on set from new york, willie geist , mike barnicle , senior political editor and white house correspondent for the " huffington post ," sam stein, former treasury official and " morning joe " economic analyst, steve rattner and in washington , washington anchor for bbc world news america , katty kay . so glad to have you with us this morning. willie geist , an awful lot to talk about. you almost wanted to hear don pardo say, tell them what you want. hillary gets parting gifts , a 60 minutes send-off by the president of the united states . yesterday, lots of cash.
>> yeah. looks like the obama campaign is going to retire her debt. according to bloomberg business week's josh green , a group of obama donors deciding to pay off the 2008 campaign debt she ran up which came to 250,000 bucks of last year. 120 people cut checks to pay off her bills. we will get into that story a little bit. put that something with the " 60 minutes " view, a nice parting package for hillary clinton .
>> no doubt about it. also outside washington , looks like gridlock finally getting set aside for a comprehensive immigration bill . we'll still see whether it passes or not. you had a lot of people in 2007 saying democrats and republicans had come together and then it was sidetracked. not so sure if that will happen again. certainly the republicans and president feeling like they may get a deal on immigration.
>> yeah. the moment feels a little bit different. john mccain said on sunday we have to do something about the latino vote. president obama won 71% in the election a few months ago. he said today, the president is to unveil his own plan for immigration reform and will do that in las vegas . in nevada, a state where hispanicses makes.27% of the population, comes a day after a bipartisan group of eight senators reached a compromise how to move forward with comprehensive immigration reform . included in that bill, a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented workers currently in this country.
>> other bipartisan groups and senators have stood in the same spot before trumpeting similar proposals, but we believe this will be the year congress finally gets it done. the politics on this issue have been turned upside down. for the first time ever, there's more political risk opposing immigration reform than supporting it.
>> the what's going on now is unacceptable. in reality, what's been created is a de facto amnesty . we have been too content for too long to allow individuals to mow our lawn, serve our food, clean our homes and even watch our children while not affording them any of the benefits that make our country so great.
>> a few of the bullet points, under the framework, those seeking citizenship would be required to register with the federal government , settle debts with the government including fines and back taxes, undergo a background check and learn english and american civics. yesterday, marco rubio in florida sought to win over conservatives opposed to any deal with threats of amnesty .
>> there are over 11 million workers undocumented. that's not something any wanted to see happen. it is what has happened. we have an obligation and need to address the reality of the situation we face. i think today is an important first step in what's going to be a significant complicated journey. the issue of immigration is not a simple one. we have the opportunity to do it right and if we do, i think we'll do a tremendous service to our country. snow jo joe, remains to be seen how far this gets but you see john mccain and lindsey graham talking about what they're talking about in terms of a bill that even hints at amnesty .
>> no doubt about it, things have changed in the last five years. there will still be conservatives in the house who want to be assured by marco rubio and john mccain and any conservative that supports this bill that won't be a repeat of 1996 , that was an out-right amnesty bill, it really didn't look for, didn't plan for, to make sure you didn't continue a steady stream of illegal immigrants into the country. already they're looking back, mike barnicle , at 1986 , ronald reagan , again, and congress passing a bill that only caused more problems in the future. but i think they feel this time they will get it right.
>> they better get it right. i don't know if there's a way for chuck schumer or harry reid to make marco rubio the point person and would be the success of this bill if he were to play a daily role in the senate. the problem is, as you alluded to, what happens when this bill goes over to the house of representatives . i would think given the composition of the house and what's gone on within elements of the house republican party , someone has to sit down with them and ask the question, don't you think, katty, are you interested, is the republican party interested in carrying a national election within the next 80 years.
>> that's the polisplit they have to look at. if mitt romney had won a share of hispanic votes george bush got back in 2004 we'd be looking at president romney right now. the republican party has to decide, are we going to try go for the presidential elections, in which case we have to do better with the hispanic vote and means frankly we have to do immigration reform or are you a house republican member from a seat in south carolina and you're worried about who is going to run against you in a primary from the right if you support and sign up for immigration reform . you know that primary challenge will come from somebody more conservative than you, who will say i know constituents don't like immigration reform and hate amnesty in a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and i will counter you in your primary challenge . that's the dynamic at play for house republicans. if they're looking at their own seat and actually the party as a whole, if we had a lot more conservative people elected in those primaries, the house republican party looks more conservative as well.
>> this looks like the first obvious instance gerrymandering will have a legislative effect.
>> this is totally different district by district than state by state. i think marco rubio has his work cut out because he is the point person to sell this to conservative house caucus and conservative radio. he will be doing hits with rush limbaugh , the point person talking to that universe. what he's telling them is a package that say this is amnesty but we will have strenuous and onerous requirements before hand and a system set up where we ensure the border is set up before you go there.
>> i like the way you describe limbaugh's audience as that universe.
>> was being generous.
>>> i don't know if this bill will go through for all the reasons you guys have been talking about. it gets closer than anything we've seen before, first, because the republicans should need something like this and it does address their concerns, particularly you just alluded to, sam, the principle the border has to be made secure before you start dealing with these people and one question joe mentioned what happened in the '80s you stop this flow and don't have this problem again. the right wing of the republicans can say what they will say. everybody knows in their heart of hearts we're not going to deport 11 or 12 million illegal immigrants , split up families, it's not going to happen. the question is, what is the path and how do you deal with it in a way both sides are comfortable and not rewarding people with bad behavior and sneaking in the country.
>> let's address the liberal concern, they're worried the southwestern attorney generals are border hawks and have a de facto sign-off whether this goes through. there's no detail as to what the sequencing is. is secure, let's go with the amnesty part of it. there's real concern i'm hearing from progressives, we don't want the border to go through and none of the other.
>> and president obama himself, who believes those are too strenuous.
>> if the " wall street journal " opinion page is any indication, they're saying this morning this is a promising senate framework and it ought to be looked at very seriously.
>> it will be interesting to see what the president says about another aspect of immigration, critical, when you think about it, a lot of people don't think about it. the guest worker aspect. come into this country, work for a period of time and stay illegally. if they go back home, they can't come back in. dealing with that is a critical component.
>> that's a part of it. this economy cannot function without people to do the jobs americans won't do.
>> quickly, with that said, we would be fooling ourselves this morning if we didn't look at this immigration debate and understand there might not be a tinge of the gun debate involved where you have people in new york and people in washington and people at the networks and national newspapers all supporting this and even a lot of the leaders inside washington d.c. where the rest of america is a bit more wary and skeptical. if you don't believe that, go to the conservative websites, the national review , go to several others. the " wall street journal " says it is a promising framework and i think it is. there are a lot of conservative outlets that have yet to weigh in on this aggressively. they will start that now. the phone calls will start the congressional offices and just like the gun debate, you will have people energized who want this bill killed and congress will get 10-1 calls against this immigration bill and they have to make this decision just like they have to make a decision on background checks , just like they have to make the decision on assault weapons and just like they have to make the decision on high capacity magazines. do they want to speak to a certain constituency that will keep them in the minority national party forever or do they want to take a step forward ? we'll see.
>> you're already starting to see the protests out of the house of representatives , where the real challenge is. secretary of