Up | February 16, 2013
>>> health throw new york . i'm chris hayes . hello from new york . i'm chris hayes . luke burbank of the podcast too beautiful to live. heidi moore of the guardian. this week we got to see the state of the union from president barack obama touching on a whole range of domestic issues as well as turning to some of the foreign policy that -- items on his agenda. i thought the way that he dealt with the difference between his domestic policy call for gun violence and his -- his call on immigration was really, really notable. particularly because those are the two things in the administration now. this was the rallying moment of the state of the union was this very dramatic crescendo around gun violence when he talked about the victims of some of the mass shootings.
>> senators of both parties are working together on tough new laws to prevent anyone from buying guns for resale to criminals. each of these proposals deserve as vote in congress. one of those we lost was a young girl named nadia pendleton. he was 15 years old. she loved figure newtons and lip gloss. she was a majorette. she was so good to her friends that they all thought they were her best friend . just three weeks ago she was here in washington with her classmates perfect forming for her country at my inauguration. and a week later, she was shot and killed in a chicago park after school. just a mile away from my house. her parents are in this chamber tonight. along with more than two dozen americans whose lives have been torn apart by gun violence . they deserve a vote. gabby giffords deserves a vote. the families of newtown deserve a vote. the families of aurora deserve a vote. the families of tucson and blacksburg and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence , they deserve a simple vote.
>> i thought that was a very powerful moment in the speech. jennifer, i'm curious your reaction to it. because it seems to me that there's two things going there. one is -- the -- details of newtown were so horrific i think helped to educate americans a bit how many people died from gun violence a year. and there's aol actually a great article in the "new york times" pointing out 60% are from suicide. a lot of people die from guns in all sorts of different ways. the idea that i'm just asking for a vote, he has this riff you can vote against it if you want. do you think that's a compelling case?
>> i think -- obviously it was horrific what happened in newtown . horrific when anybody dies. i think that he's a very good communicator so he uses that to strike emotion in people and so he's using that to then go ahead and move an agenda that he likes. i think that it would be better if we would talk about the things that actually will help prevent things like what happened in newtown and, unfortunately, you know, even see vice president joe biden saying that oh, well, the things they have been talking about really aren't going to prevent things like that from happening. it is an emotional issue. he can talk about it. we should talk about the things that are going to -- what do you think those are?
>> some of the ideas floating around what a are we going to do about our system for mental illness ? what do we do about the people that actually use the guns because he talked about the fact that oh, these guns are killing people. it is the people with guns that are killing people. we really should explore with a about some kind of security for our children at schools? we secure money when, you know, money is transferred from banks.
>> do you believe that?
>> absolutely. i mean, we should look at it. i'm not sure if that's the actual --
>> there was an armed guard at columbine. if you want to look at -- here's the problem i have with that particular argument is i feel like people who are very sort of vigorous in their defense of the second amendment and -- may or may not be you, typically they want to ait is everything except the guns. when we are talking about the problem. i would say it is everything including the guns.
>> i feel like the left is giving on armed guards. i'm fine with armed guards in the schools.
>> i am not. continue.
>> i feel like i'm giving ground -- you want to put an armed guard in the school i'm okay with that. talk about mental illness , absolutely. i just think it is a complex issue. i feel like wayne la pea scare a lot of other people on the sort of gun side of this worked so hard to exclude guns from just being that -- piece of the pie. with.
>> i think that's well said which is why i think it was such an for piece of the address and emotional piece because there's such a -- kind of radical reactionary response with any type of gun control violence. i think what to me -- struck me was there was an for pit from a newtown sense of school massacre of gun violence to a more broadening of what gun violence is. sigh sides, every shootings that occur. that wasn't a major poke us and i think president obama helped bring that more to the forefront with his recent visit to chicago and state of the union a
>> his -- i think he does have that power of emotion like you said. the only way that you are going to go up against, you know, gun advocates or people who really firmly believe in the second amendment is to appeal to their sense of humanity. right? the law is on their side. they do have the right to bear arms. so he -- to make the case that, you know, we need to scale back anything in that law or moderate it in any way he has to talk about real people .
>> i think the refrain -- there's two things that are going on in public opinion. one is i felt this interesting. he took a lead on this. i think this was the most provocative and part -- part of the speech. not provocative in any way other than he was -- where he stood was so unequivocal and rousing emotionally. here is what's interesting. if you ask people, do you favor opposed banning the sale of semiautomatic assault weapons ? republicans 30% favor it and 64% oppose which is about what you would think. you add the president in a it. you say you attached the president to the policy and say -- president obama proposed banning the sale of semiautomatic assault weapons . it doesn't matter whether the president is associated. those views are pretty baked in. now, turn to immigration. this is really as if mating. if you compare what he said in the speech about guns to immigration, he was very quiet about immigration. will was only about 200 yards and short passage. take a look right now to hear how he talked about immigration.
>> right now leaders from the business labor law enforcement, faith communities, they all agree that the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform . now is the time to do it. real reform means stronger border security , and we can build on the progress my administration has already made. putting more boots on the southern border than any time in our history. and reducing illegal crossings to the lowest levels in 40 years. real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earn citizenship. path that includes passing a background check. paying taxes and a meaningful penalty. learning english and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally.
>> that's the president talking about immigration. incredibly different tone, very different emotional register. almost kind of bureaucratic in its -- approach. and here's what i think is so interesting because i think they must know this polling inside the white house . you say to people to republicans, all right, do you favor creating a way for illegal immigrants to come here if they meet certain requirements. that's looking pretty good. then you say president obama has proposed creating a way for illegal immigrants already here to become citizens that meet certain requirements. almost inverts. right? as soon as the president is associated with this particular policy, it goes away. and i -- i'm curious what your understanding is of that dynamic? particularly as a republican, difference between the gun position of republicans and where his attachment needs to be polarize.
>> this is an issue i feel strongly about. i work order this in 2006 and 2007 when we tried to pass immigration reform . disappointed to your point, though, about two minutes and over an hour speech and touched immigration reform . even though he campaigned heavily in 2008 on this issue and, again, in 2012 on this issue. to us it was very disappointing.
>> wait. even in doing the right thing -- because if that's the polling, the more he talks about it the more he imperils it. that -- i really -- genuinely believe that's the case.
>> if you love something set it free.
>> i think he can talk about it smartly and i think -- you know, this comes from four years of demonizing republicans. when you actually dash putting out proposals they are weary of where he will go. he -- needs to talk about border security along with earned legal status and americans dash by -- we do polling, too. don't believe that the government is capable of securing our borders. his credibility on this is low. i don't think that that's what he shouldn't have talked about in the state of the union .
>> i'm asking you a genuine question about this. right? if you want to see this passed, obviously do you. you worked hard on this. i think there -- i covered this issue, too. there is a relative amount of consensus about the immigration reform . if you want to see it passed and the president getting out front of it will imperil passing it, why do you want him to talk more about it? i-want you to answer that question after