Morning Joe | February 06, 2013
>> mike allen , he's the chief white house correspondent for "politico" with a look at the "playbook." good morning.
>> good morning. and it's national friend mika day.
>> i love it.
>> there you go.
>> that's exciting.
>> let's get on facebook and friend mika.
>> said nobody at all in america .
>> that's so mean.
>> go ahead.
>> mike, let's talk about your piece. you're dealing with immigration this morning over at "politico." talking about the religious right starting to weigh in on this debate. people like ralph reed , the head of the southern baptist convention . what's the position? why are they getting involved now?
>> this is a real change in the temperature here in washington on the immigration debate . the christian right which in the past has been quiet on immigration are really opposed to any kind of reform is now actively working for it. we have pastors talking about it. we have religious right leaders on the hill meeting with members behind the scenes . ralph reed is head of the faith and freedom coalition, says that he sees a night-and-day difference in the attitudes of the evangelicals he talked to. so his group yesterday came out with their principles for immigration reform . but now here's the catch. their principles are very different than what's being talked about in the senate. two of the four are respect for the rule of law. then you throw in visa reform and keeping families together. and that's the rub. there's this plan in the senate which is moving along, has marco rubio behind it, but then just yesterday in the house, the judiciary at the chairman, bob goodlat of virginia, i used to work for him when i worked at "the richmond times dispatch ." he said the house is not going to be doing the big bill that the senate is doing. they're going to be doing it in pieces. he says don't rush to judgment. this shows there are two very different tracks. not clear how you can bring them together.
>> one of the most exciting developments i think coming as far as political realignment goes, and i know we talk about this all the time, evangelicals. i said it before when i first got elected, young evangelical kids were focused on social issues. by the time i left just four terms later, they were talking about poverty. they were talking about aids in africa. they looked different. they changed different.
>> in many ways, they're helping the republican party move in the direction it needs to go. they support the president bush on his compassionate conservative agenda.
>> aids in africa.
>> moving the right way on environmental policies and now they could be the cover on immigration reform .
>> not only that, i remember pat robertson a few years ago and other pastors in the evangelical community starting to speak out against the death penalty .
>> pat robertson saying we're not consistent with new testament teaching. and i have another prediction. you're going to also see evangelicals softening the republican stance on guns, whether we're talking about universal background checks, whether we're talking about stopping the gun trafficking that kills so many young children across america . i think -- this is really an opportunity for realignment in the republican party . and actually, because evangelicals have been blamed for years for costing republicans elections.
>> yeah, it's a counterintuitive narrative.
>> it's counterintuitive, but there is a real chance that evangelicals across america could actually make republicans more mainstream on a lot of these issues. like you said, on the environment, on immigration, on the death penalty , on guns, on a lot of things.
>> yeah. good reporting by mike allen .
>> mike allen , it's fascinating, isn't it?
>> it sure is. and ralph reed points out in here that the bible talks about compassion for the foreigner, compassion for the alien. and before we go, a quick exclusive for " morning joe " viewers, richard haass has a new colleague. the cfr is going to announce today that the former treasury secretary, tim geithner , will be back in the new york headquarters as a distinguished fellow.
>> oh, my gosh.
>> lowering the average age down to about 81.
>> but the average intelligence up a great deal.
>> he's a nice guy. thank you, mike.
>> does anybody here want to warn geithner ?
>> geithner 's fine.
>> he's going to be hanging out with richard.
>> you know what richard's platform was? to move from tapioca to harder food. that's how he got the job.
>> you know, people always talk about oh, the cfr, one- world government , international conspiracy. it's like, i've been over there, man. they can't even get my sandwich order right. there's no international plot.
>> the bread gets hard.
>> it's a lovely place.
>> are you being mean? i love the cfr.
>> i do, too.
>> do we want to talk about your club you belong to up here?
>> average age , 94.
>> all right, ruben kinkade.
>> you opened the door.