msnbc | February 03, 2013
>>> out in record numbers and because of that, we have a better chance now than any time since i've been president.
>> a busy week on immigration reform . president obama 's speech and bipartisan groups in the house and senate drafting their own plans. senate majority leader harry reid seemed hopeful that progress was near.
>> it's really easy to write prin principles, but to write legislation it much harder, and once you write it, you have to get it passed. things are looking good. for a number of reasons, it's the right thing to do, and republicans can no longer stop this.
>> joining me now from dallas, kay bailey hutchison , former governor of texas, republican, and worked hard before leaving the senate earlier in year.
>> craig, good to be with up.
>> senate majority leader came out strongly in the president's hope that the gay and lesbian couples should have the same immigration rights as straight couples, take a listen.
>> we have gay folks in this country who have children, they come from other place, they should be protected just like any other child.
>> how might including provisions for same-sex couples affect chances that a come comprehensive bill will pass?
>> i don't think that will be the issue on the front burner at all. issues will have to be worked out. the bigger issues, craig, are when you start a legal process, is it after border security is affirmed? if so, who affirms it? or the president's plan which starts it immediately? that is the area i hear discussed the most, and i also think that comprehensive reform is a big chunk. you know, i'm sure i was dealing with the dream achieve act with jon kyle and dick durbin , marco rubio . that has an immediate affect, and i hope that can be something that will go pretty quick. frr gay rights are part of the comprehensive immigration reform act , there is talk nah thaw senator leahy will introduce an amendment to whatever -- whatever is brought to the senate. if that's a part of the deal, does that tank it?
>> well, i just think that is peripheral issue, because some states recognize gay marriage and others don't. national policy on that is a different subject that has to be discussed, maybe in conjunction with this, but i think they are going to be issues directly related to this that are certainly going to come first.
>> marco rub yobo, at the center of the debate. but david vitter said i love and respect marco, i think he's just amazingly naive on this issue. what is your take?
>> well, i think he's very important. very important in this issue. he does have certainly credibility. but i think those of us who worked on comprehensive immigration effort know that comprehensive immigration reform is very, very difficult. people may agree on the dream act , the achieve act, young people , but they may not agree on border security or agricultural workers or areas of s.t.e.m. education that would give immediate green cards . i think in the end you will see more of a piecemeal effort than the comprehensive.
>> although i think this is a good beginning.
>> you think it will be step by step , incremental, not the whole kit 'n' kaboodle, what the white house wants to see?
>> i do. i have been in those negotiations and meetings, and i think you find one group for a part of it, but then they fall out on something else, and, therefore, the something else, and then the first group falls out. i have seen that, and i think in the end, you will have a good start, and i think this is a good start, but i think you are going to have much more incremental successes and i think we should start on those incremental successes.
>> really quickly while i have you here, let's switch gears to the other hot topic. gun rights . a long-time supporter, a grade "a" from the nra while in office. you recently said that high capacity magazines are a real danger to our society. what else needs to happen? and politically at this particular juncture, what do you think can happen?
>> well, i think that it is going to be very difficult to come to an agreement particularly between the house and the senate. the kinds of gun control efforts. i think we need to look at what areas can be improved, like certainly knowing background checks before people can buy think there i s a general acceptance of that, even though i know there is just a recent disagreement that has coughed up with the nra , but i think background checks are a minimum. i think that we can talk about the magazines and how many rounds should be in a magazine. i think that's a worthy area of discussion. is it ten, is it 30, is it 20? i don't know the answer, but i think there is an answer there, and then you have to look at mental illness and look at the things young people are looking at with movies, violence, video games . you have to look at all of these areas, not gun control .
>> we are out of time. 10 seconds , does the nra represent its members or does it represent the gun industry right now in your opinion? ten seconds.
>> that's a hard question. i can't answer correctly. i think there are a lot of strong members of the nra that are hunters, normal regular citizens who think we must have protection for our families and must have the ability to hunt and the second amendment must be adhered to, and i think they are members of the nra . are they the majority? i don't know. i don't know what the gun manufacturers have in this, but i think there are a lot of hunters and people who want to protect their families.
>> kay bailey --
>> it's a great issue for sure.
>> former senator who can still answer questions like a politician