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tv   Jansing and Co.  MSNBC  November 22, 2013 7:00am-8:01am PST

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good morning. i'm chris jansing. today the nation unites to remember a president taken from us too soon. the 50-year anniversary of the assassination of president john f. kennedy, today not just renewing the debate over how and why he was killed but also reminding us with his youthful optimism and soaring rhetoric why his accepsenseless killing us shattered. flags across the country are at half staff. president obama gave the word to honor in his words an extraordinary public servant. members of the kennedy family left flowers at the arlington national cemetery this morning. this afternoon 5,000 people will gather to pause for a moment of silence, a moment that marked every american alive. it changed the nation and some
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believe took its innocence. we'll talk to a nurse who was inside the e.r. when the president was brought in and ask questions of our panel, including where were you, how did it change us. that's coming up. but we want to begin with the big news out of washington today. democrats in the senate doing something unprecedented, changing the filibuster rules so only a simple majority is required to confirm most presidential nominees. democrats say they had no choice if anything was ever going to get done. >> what could they do more than what they have already done to stop the senate from legislating. >> dysfunction is their goal and they have been achieving it a lot recently. >> i have also been around long enough to know this is an entirely new level of obstruction. >> well, republicans meantime essentially said you'll be sorry. >> this was nothing more than a power grab. >> and i think what we really need is an anti-bullying
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ordinance in the senate. i mean now we've got a big bully. harry reid says he's just going to break the rules and make new rules. >> this is a power grab. it's obama 2. >> frankly what they did today was shameless. >> right now 76 nominees are waiting for confirmation, three that finally pushed reid to the breaking point. the nominees to the d.c. circuit court, the second most powerful court in the country. let me bring in carrie budoff brown and lynn sweet, washington bureau chief for the "chicago sun-times." carrie, what happens now? does it mean more gets done? >> i don't think so. the senate was grinding to a halt anyways heading into 2014. there's not, you know, too many sort of big-ticket items that the president was looking to pass through the end of the year into next year. there's still big items. the defense authorization bill, there's a potential budget deal that is, you know, possibly
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forth coming in the next few weeks, so clearly there are things that need to be done but the senate is, you know, for all intents and purposes is stopping ahead of the election and, you know, it's hard to see something like immigration getting done, even though it passed the senate. but going back, seeing immigration have a chance because the well is poisoned there. but it has been for a while. >> is that what has happened? look, nobody thought that even in the senate there was the sense of unity, but they were able, lynn, at various times to get things done. democrats say they had no choice, though. is there a chance, and even a likelihood, that the republicans will make them pay for this? >> the answer is, chris, yes and no. this rule change affects judicial nominations and some other executive appointments, so you still need a super majority of 60 votes to get some other things done, which will force the democrats to compromise with
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republicans unless they get 60 of themselves elected or the republicans do. i think what this does, i know that there's a lot of sense that it will increase acrimony, but for the short term, not long term, you'll just get these nominations passed and off the board which will lower the heat. of course in the long run, chris, there could be a backlash. but when you think of the public, the public, how can you tell the public that majority rule is wrong? that's where i think in the optics of it the democrats may be able to weather this very well because when you explain what's the power grab? oh, we just want majority rule, it may not, may not be that bad. >> yeah, i'm not sure that out there in the general public they spend a lot of time contemplating the filibuster. let me play what the president, who agreed with this, had to say yesterday. >> the american people deserve better than politicians who run for election telling them how terrible government is and then
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devoting their time in elected office to try to make government not work as often as possible. >> yet you do kind of wonder, carrie, i mean is there anything that either side can do that can make them less popular at this point with the american people. >> i think there's probably still ways that they can do that. >> you're scaring me. >> well, you never know what anybody is capable of, but there's a lot of stuff going on here in washington that isn't making people happy. i think democrats came around to this idea at least the last couple of holdouts in the senate. because they feel like as the president said that the president won the election and he's still being prevented from appointing his own team. and this is a pretty huge thing for the president and his administration and the priorities he's trying to push in the last three years. he's given up on congress. his goal right now is to get things through administratively, through his agencies, through his cabinets and this gives him
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the leeway now to appoint the people he wants to appoint, where before it was always baked into the process that any of your nominees for your cabinet or for the judiciary had to at least pass muster with some of the opposite party. so he has more leeway now. he has more of an ability. and then on the flip side, the courts, they'll be more favorable court there for a long time to come. so this is a big thing for him and i think that's why we're seeing democrats unite behind it. though, in the end, like you said, it's going to be -- it could come back to bite them in a few years. >> i want to bring in bernie sanders, an independent from vermont. always good to see you, senator. good morning. >> good to see you, chris. >> you voted for the change in rules and you also know that harry reid once said that the nuclear option was unamerican, would destroy the senate and ruin our country. tell us why you voted for it. >> i voted for it because the
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senate as a result of republican obstructionism has become totally dysfunctional. chris, this country faces a series of problems that are just extraordinary. unemployment is much too high, wages are much too low, the gap between the very rich and everybody else is growing wider. there are huge issues that we have got to address and we're not addressing it. this year i think history will record that less has been done in the senate despite all of our problems than in the modern history of the united states of america. and what's going on is what the republicans have done is obstruct, obstruct, obstruct. historically when the president made a nomination to the judiciary or to the executive branch, there was debate. if the candidate was, you know, terrible or corrupt, it was defeated. but it did not go on and on and on. in the history of the country, there have been 168 filibusters
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regarding these appointments. half of them took place during the obama administration. and the republicans are not objecting to the qualifications of these appointments. what they are saying is we don't like the agencies that they head. we don't like the environmental protection agency. therefore, we're not going to appoint geno mccarthy. >> but it has the effect of making sure these nominations go through. are you worried about the impact on the other side? are you worried about the things that have gotten done in the senate? look, an immigration bill was passed, 14 republicans supported it. ten republicans supported the farm bill. 18 republicans. is it poisoning the well to the point where seriously nothing legislatively gets done that you might have had a hope of doing? >> i really don't think so. i think what the american people perceive and why congress is rated at 10% or 15% is we are not addressing the real problems
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facing the american people. we should not have to spend months and months trying to get presidential appointees done. we should be dealing with issues like global warming. you know, the scientific community tells us that global warming is the major planetary crisis we face. do you know how much time we have spent on the floor of the senate this year debating that issue? zero. so the point is it's not just these appointees, it's the amounting of time we've wasted on these appointees and not addressing the real problems facing our people. can it get worse? to be really honest i doubt that it can because the senate today is dysfunctional. one person can get to the floor of the senate and say the two magical words, i object. nothing happens. and that has happened time and time and time again. and in order to respond to the problems facing our people, we have just got to move forward. >> and just because you're here, we have to ask are you seriously thinking about running for president in 2016?
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a lot of liberals would love you to put your hat in the ring. >> well, this is what i'm serious about, as i've just mentioned. there are enormous problems facing this country. the middle class is disappearing. you have more people living in poverty. almost all of the new income goes to the top 1%. we're moving toward an oligargic form of society. these issues have got to be addressed. it will be a great disservice to the political service and the american people if someone is not standing up for working class people and the middle class. am i the only person talking about those issues? absolutely not. might there be better people, yes, there might. >> but, is it hillary clinton you're waiting to see if she runs, joe biden, who are you waiting to see if they run? >> it's not the individual, chris, it's the issues. the collapse of the middle class and growing wealth and income inequality must be discussed. can other people do it? absolutely. if nobody else is going to do it? you know what, i would be prepared to do it.
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>> senator bernie sanders of vermont. thank you very much for your time today. appreciate it. >> thank you. i want to bring back our journalists and talk a little bit about the affordable care act because that is also in the headlines today. and despite all the problems, there was one big bright spot that we heard about today. california, 80,000 people have signed up through that state's online marketplace. 360,000 have applied. carrie, is this a case of the president and his party just having to weather the storm and they do really believe obama care issues will iron themselves out? >> certainly on the website that is their view. the fact that california has -- is showing that pace and elsewhere states that are doing their own exchanges are showing a similar uptick, within the white house they feel as though the website will continue to get better. it will bow better next week, be better the week after. the only problem they face right now is expectations after november 30th. the fact that there will still be glitches, there will still be problems and getting people to
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come back. but right now, you know, they're confident about the website but there are many other issues on the horizon. >> well, lynn, what about the decision to move the 2015 enrollment date back a month until after the 2014 elections? i mean the administration says it's going to give insurers, consumers, engineers more time. of course republicans say it's a move to high premium hikes which they would prefer to have happen after the election. >> well, i think they had -- the moving of the date past the election is good for all kinds of reasons, political and practical. but the looming crisis, presuming they do get the website fixed or almost fixed, however you want to define it, that goes back and forth with jay carney during the briefings, i think the most important thing still is grappling with the people who found that their policies are not renewed. now, if they go to -- if these health insurance market places, they are happy what they can buy in the alternative, there's one thing. but there's another wave coming,
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employer policies. see what happens with that. >> lynn sweet, we will be watching. carrie budoff brown, thanks to both of you. have a didn't weekend. eyewitness to tragedy. one of the nurses in the dallas emergency room shares her story. what was it like to be there as doctors desperately worked to save jfk's life. her story next. [ male announcer ] laura's heart attack didn't come with a warning. today her doctor has her on a bayer aspirin regimen to help reduce the risk of another one. if you've had a heart attack, be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. ♪ hark how the bells, sweet silver bells ♪ ♪ all seem to say throw care away ♪ ♪ from everywhere, filling the air ♪ [ female announcer ] chex party mix. easy 15-minute homemade recipes you just pop in a microwave. like caramel chocolate drizzles. happier holidays. chex party mix. you really love, what would you do?" ♪ [ woman ] i'd be a writer. [ man ] i'd be a baker. [ woman ] i wanna be a pie maker. [ man ] i wanna be a pilot. [ woman ] i'd be an architect. what if i told you someone could pay you and what if that person were you?
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there are signs both political bparties in washington get it: washington is lagging behind the country on this... ...this issue has been around far too long... and yet, we wait. reforming our immigration system would dramatically reduce our nation's debt... grow the economy by 5.4% ... and take bold steps to secure our borders. on this, both parties say they agree: democrats... we are very very strongly in favor of moving immigration reform... and republicans... i wouldn't underestimate the house's ability to pass the immigration bill...
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and yet, we wait... americans are tired of empty rhetoric. it is time for every leader to come through on their promise... and fix our broken immigration system tell congress: the time is now. fix america's broken immigration system. for millions of americans, it was a moment that has consumed us for half a century. it changed us, cut at our sense of safety and hopefulness and none more so than those who were in dallas on november 22nd, 1963. people gathered at the plaza who witnessed the shooting or parkland hospital who tried to save the unsaveable life of the president. that dramatic, intense scene was
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the basis for the recent movie "parkland." >> doctor -- doctor! >> who's the attending? >> dr. perry. >> he's on his way. >> hey, we need help here. >> it is just you. >> do something! >> doctor! it is the president. >> i know who it is. >> joining me now is phyllis hall, who was a nurse at parkland memorial hospital and was in the e.r. with president kennedy after he was shot. good morning. thank you for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> you were 28 years old at the time. you just happened to be in the e.r. you were actually on your lunch break that day. when did you first learn it was president kennedy who had been brought in? >> we got the call about six minutes before the people started arriving. and i walked over to the outer
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door to see what all the commotion was about and saw different people that i knew, such as the dallas mayor, vice president johnson, governor connelly and then i saw the stretcher coming in. all i could see was a gentleman was laying on the stretcher and a lady in pink was pretty much shielding his head and his shoulder area. right after that, a gentleman came in front of me and said they needed my help back there and he guided me back towards trauma one. as soon as i walked in, of course i knew it was president kennedy. at that point i just shut the emotions off, because that's what you do when you work in an emergency. >> but you were actually, as i understand it, phyllis, you had his head in your hands. you were cradling essentially john f. kennedy? is that right? >> no, that's not true. >> no?
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>> no, huh-uh. >> what was your role inside that emergency room? >> i walked over to the table. i saw it was the president. and so to me he was dead on arrival. he was very cyanotic, which is a blue-grey color that occurs after you die. and it was deepening around his mouth. so i immediately started feeling for pulses in his neck and here in the wrist and down by his feet. was not able to detect any pulses at that time. >> i can't even imagine -- obviously that's what you all do in an emergency room. i mean you're used to dealing with life and death situations. but this is the president. >> yes, that's correct. >> -- of the united states. did you feel like at least in the way everyone was to handle the situation that they were able to do what you said you were able to do, shut off those emotions, which seems so hard for those of us who don't work in those kinds of situations to
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imagine? >> well, you cannot be effective or help somebody if you're going to be emotional, and that's just kind of a trait that people that choose the emergency room have. we did -- it didn't make any difference if he was out of the slums of dallas or as was the truth he was the president of the united states, he was going to get the best care that we could give him and hopefully at some point we might be able to detect one little sign of life, which we were not able to do. >> there is another scene -- >> but -- >> in the movie "parkland" about the decision to move the body and have the autopsy done in washington instead of in dallas. i just want to play that little clip, if i can. >> move it out! >> the dallas police is here. you execute the laws of the state of texas. >> screw the lid on that coffin,
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now! >> go, go! >> move! move! >> you cannot take him! >> did you see or hear what was going on at that moment? and do you think we might know more about the death of john f. kennedy if the medical examiner there was allowed to keep and study the body? because so many conspiracy theories have grown up just around the fact that his body was moved before there was an autopsy. >> well, it's a law in texas that if you die under circumstances as this, that an autopsy must be performed. so i -- it's my understanding that the pathologist who did the autopsy was just a straightforward pathologist, and parkland has always had the best
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forensic pathologists who receive more training than just a regular pathologist would have. so they're more knowledgeable about suspicious deaths, gunshot wounds, the trajectories that the bullets travel in the body and so i really think that it would have been very advantageous had a forensic pathologist had done the autopsy but that didn't happen. >> phyllis hall, who was in the e.r. with president john f. kennedy, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. >> you're welcome. >> and everyone asks the question, of course, where were you when president kennedy was shot. compelling stories from senator pat leahy, among others, coming up. msnbc will be streaming nbc's coverage of the assassination of jfk has it happened starting today at 2:00 p.m. eastern time.
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in kr-- incredibly powerful footage. >> a flash from dallas. two priests who were with president kennedy say he is dead of bullet wounds. >> this is the latest information we have from dallas. of course standing by to give you all of the available information as it comes to us. i will repeat with the greatest regret this flash, two priests who were with president kennedy say he has died of bullet wounds. >> a flash from dallas. rock beats scissors! [ chuckles ] wife beats rock. and with two checks a year, everyone wins. [ female announcer ] switch today and get two safe driving bonus checks a year for driving safely. only from allstate. call 866-906-8500 now. [ dennis ] zach really loves his new camera. problem is...this isn't zach. it's a friend of a friend who was at zach's party and stole his camera. but zach's got it covered... with allstate renters insurance. [ female announcer ] protect your valuables for as low as $4 a month
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. we know that the historic vote to change the filibuster rules will alter the way the senate runs, but does it tell us something larger about a change that had already taken place? now, after the so-called nuclear option passed, mitch mcconnell called it a sad day, and here's harry reid. >> the changes we made today will apply equally to both parties. when republicans are in power, these changes will apply to them as well. that's simple fairness. >> but looking beyond those points, manu raju of politico points out that the growing crop of senate democrats who have never served a day in the minority party now wield enormous clout with reid who has evolved of being an outspoken opponent to the nuclear option to one of its staunchest proponents. daniella gibbs leger, robert traynham, assistant dean at
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georgetown university and former deputy chief of staff to senator rick santorum. good morning. >> good morning, chris. >> daniella, does this sound like what's been said about john boehner and the right wing of the gop in the house? are we seeing the impact essentially of all these new folks coming in who used to be back in the day, when you were new, you just sort of sat back and kept quiet and learned things. now they're wielding huge influence? >> i don't think that's a fair comparison at all. i mean i think what you see in the senate is not that the new democrats are wielding some sort of outsized power, it's that they see what's happening in the senate, that it's becoming a more dysfunctional body because of the republicans. if you look at the number of people who have been filibustered throughout history, half of them have occurred under this president. how is that sustainable? how is that our democracy working? and i think harry reid was -- he was a reluctant warrior but he
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felt like he had to do this. i'm sure there are a lot of democrats who wish we didn't have to go down this road but when you look at over 80 of thesis nominees, most of whom are not controversial but just getting stopped because of politics on the right, they had to do something. >> robert was this inevitable in some ways when you look at the numbers of the nominations that have been held up? >> well, yes and no. look, this is deja vu all over again. i remember being in the senate from '96 to 2006 and the same exact narrative was being told by the democrats when president bush was trying to put through his nominees. so this is a dangerous, dangerous slope that we're going down where the framers of our constitution and so forth put these rules in place for a reason. and the reason why is they did not want the executive branch to have absolute power when it came to nominating folks to the federal branch. having said that, the president did win fair and square. he does have a right to his nominees being confirmed. however, the senate does have a
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prerogative to be able to, quote, advise and to consent. that's what the framers put into the constitution. this is a dangerous slope that we're going down. the question becomes how do we remedy this. we remedy this through the ballot box next november. >> will democrats maybe live to regret the nuclear option? nobody stays in the majority forever. and obviously the concern that some people have expressed, including the democrats who voted against it, is that this could mean a sweeping conservative agenda if the gop takes over the senate? >> look, it's a risk, but i think they weighed the pros and cons and realized that they had to do this. there are, like i said, over 80 people who have been stymied by this republican senate and, you know, i would love to hear what the other options are. they have tried. they have tried to come to compromises but mitch mcconnell just won't let it happen. so i think it's great to say that, oh, this is terrible and it is a slippery slope. but again, i don't hear republicans or anyone on the right offering a real viable solution to get these nominees through. >> robert?
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>> not to interrupt you, daniella, when i was in the senate when president clinton was president he and his staff sat down with trent lott and others and worked out a deal. for every three democrats that you nominate, we would like to have one. it was a relationship. it was a partnership. it was a conversation. my understanding is, and i haven't been on the hill for many years now, but my understanding is there is no relationship between capitol hill and the white house and that there is a lot of kind of dictatorial practices that are hatching and that needs to stop on both sides. >> robert traynham, daniella gibbs leger, good to see both of you. we learned virginia state senator creigh deeds has been released from the hospital. deeds was stabbed by his son, who then committed suicide. gus deeds had been rejected from a mental hospital just the day before. three students at san jose state university are facing hate crime charges. police say they viciously harassed their black roommate, reportedly clamping a bicycle
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lock around his neck and writing the "n" word on their door. angered by the attacks, their classmates protested on campus. the three are suspended and could go to jail for a year if convicted. disturbing new information coming out of the murder indictment against the massachusetts teenager accused of killing his teacher. it says that philip chisom sexually assaulted her before killing and robbing her. he brought a box cutter, a mask, gloves and several changes of clothes to school. her body was found behind the high school with a note that read "i hate you all." one of the last cell phone free zones could disappear. the proposal will formally be introduced in december with time for public comment. the flight attendants union is against it questioning the safety. an informal poll among my producers and me, we all think it's a horrible idea.
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stocks moving deeper into record territory after the dow closed above the 16,000 mark for the first time yesterday while investors made some money. starbucks baristas are getting a little pay cut of sorts. paycheck, i guess you would say. cnbc's jackie deangeles is here with what's moving your money. so this is about a federal appeals court saying baristas have to share their tips with their supervisors? >> hi, good morning, chris. that's exactly right. a very interesting case. that federal appeals court saying that the baristas, the people who make the drinks at starbucks, they have to pay deference to their shift supervisor. that's because the supervisors, they are spending time serving customers. they're also assigning the barista duties, providing barista feedback. they also open and close the stores so it's not like they're not getting their hands dirty. a spokeswoman for starbucks said that the company was pleased with the ruling. an attorney for the baristas said the ruling was unfortunate. it lets employers subsidize the pay of its supervisors with money that should be going to
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the lowest wage workers. it may make you think twice the next time you don't put money in the tip jar. with the holidays coming we could certainly do it a little more. speaking of pay, mcdonald's has taken down an article on a website they have that's called mcresources. it offered employees some, i would say, tone deaf advice about how to save money. >> i would agree with you. speaking of 'tis the season, mcdonald's is looking a little scrooge-like with this advice. these tips are to help employees get out of holiday debt. wait until you hear them. visiting thrift stores is one way that they say you can save. they also suggest eating steal bread and bruised apples. that could put more money in your pocket. how about, chris, returning unopened holiday purchases. and finally, this one was my favorite. quit complaining. some are out there complaining that rather than offering this advice, mcdonald's might want to pay its employees a little bit more. >> okay. cnbc's jackie deangeles.
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at this moment, 50 years ago, president kennedy was at the ft. worth chamber of commerce delivering what would turn out to be his last public speech. it ended with a special presentation of a stetson to the president, who very rarely wore hats. >> we couldn't let you leave ft. worth without providing you with some protection against the rain. [ applause ] >> i'll put it on in the white house on monday. if you come up there, you'll
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have a chance to see it then. >> why so many people loved him so much, but less than three hours later in dallas, unspeakable tragedy when jfk was gunned down as his motorcade made its way through dealey plaza. it of course became one of those indelible moments like pearl harbor before and 9/11 after where anyone who was alive remembers who they were doing. >> i was in my calculus class, my fourth period advanced math class. i was a senior in high school. it was right after lunch that i heard my teacher, doyle coe, was the assistant principal. he was called to the phone and he came in totally ashen faced and told us the president had been shot. i remember it as if it were yesterday. >> what did you think? >> i was heart broken. i was hoping he would live. >> we looked over and our teacher was crying. and she -- she broke out
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literally these words. "they killed him. they killed the president." >> i want to bring in senator patrick leahy, hendrik hertzberg and holly millea, author of the e-book "seven seconds, memories of the jfk assassination, the tragedy that changed america." good morning to all of you. >> good morning. >> we all do remember, i was in my first grade class. i had never seen the nun look like that at my catholic grade school when she told us that the president had been shot and then sent us home because he had been killed. senator, where were you when you got the news? >> i was a student at georgetown law school and i was in the library. somebody came in and told me. i can -- to this day i remember it like it was just an hour ago. >> it's amazing how vivid it is, isn't it? not just that moment but the hours after. i remember going home and i was shocked. i had never seen my mother cry.
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>> i went home and my wife was a nurse, working at the va hospital. she had been on night duty so she was sleeping and i'm pounding on the door of our apartment in washington saying they killed him, they killed him. we turned on the news just in time to see the confirmation of the most horrible news. the two of us just sat there holding hands and crying. >> rick, you were a student at harvard, you were a big fan of kennedy's. what do you remember about that day? >> i remember i had gotten up late. i always got up late because i had been up all night working on the crimson, the school paper. it was about 11:30 in the morning and i was taking a shower. and i heard a radio very, very faintly through the wall saying somebody had been shot. it sounded like somebody important. somehow i got the idea that it it was francisco franco, the dictator of spain. i thought, well, that's not so bad.
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i got out of the shower, i turned on our little television, our little black and white television, and that was when i found out -- that was how i found out. and i just sank to our couch there in my room, numb. sat there for two hours. president kennedy's death was announced. i looked out the window and there were people wandering in the courtyard stunned. there was a boy, i remember, leaning against a tree and weeping. >> there was something about that moment that we do still all talk about it, still we remember it so profoundly still. holly, you interviewed a lot of cultural icons for their thoughts. robert redford was 27 at the time. he said i had the cab driver pull over and let me out. i remember walking around central park trying to make sense of it and then to go and have to perform a comedy that night with this going on and trying to think of every line before i said it. i had to double think every line of the performance.
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barbra streisand i think was also -- got out, she saw her ex-husband. she got out in central park. when you talk to these folks, was there a commonality? >> well, the thing that struck me as interesting is that everyone touched on something different, whether it's robert redford brought in what happened on broadway that night. he was starring in "barefoot in the park." barbra streisand had just purchased a victorian diamond choker and it was her first big purchase and she was so proud of it. she heard the news on the radio in the jewelry shop. and she said, you know, she got in the cab and saw her then husband, elliott gould, sitting on a bench in central park. she got out of the cab and she said do you know to this day i've never been able to wear that choker. i mean everybody touched on different things like meryl streep brought up the bomb. she thought should we all dive
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under our desks, they were so confused. ryan o'neal brought up the vietnam war. chuck close brought up going through yale through the smoking room, which at the time yale very, very conservative. and seeing the law students actually raise a toast to the death of john f. kennedy. and so i was stunned. everybody brought something different to this oral history. >> senator, 50 years later when you look at john kennedy, and he remains at the top of even the latest gallup poll of living presidents by a wide margin and not just for people like us who were arrive and remember the assassination, but young people too, what would you like to say about his political legacy as people debate how great a president he was or wasn't. what do you think his biggest impact was? >> he appealed to americans, especially young americans. he had the sense -- none of us knew about the physical pain he was going through in all that time, but he had such a sense of
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optimism. we can go to the moon. the peace corps. it made you want to be part of this. i remember as a student being at the white house when he came out to meet us and just feeling thrilled. boy, i can do anything. we can do anything. and today you have politicians who try to appeal to the lowest common denominator. he appealed to the best of all of us. the fact that there is such a huge number of people wanting to join the peace corps. it wasn't just the peace corps. this was john kennedy's peace corps. and that kind of enthusiasm made us a better country. and we've got to go back to that. it's not a question whether you're a democrat or republican, it's a question of what can you do to make yourself and your country better. it's not for nothing that people remember the ask not what you can do -- or ask not what
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america can do for you or your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. and people really believed that and felt that. it would be nice if we could go back to that. >> he did, rick, have those not just lines, not just those phrases, but there was something about watching him speak. the powerful nature, the lyrical nature, the beautiful words. rick, you were a speechwriter for jimmy carter, head speechwriter, i think, so you have some understanding of politicians and speeches. what was it about him? >> he was really educated. he really studied history. he had a real feel for language. >> and poetry in particular. >> and he was very careful -- he chose ted sorensen as his number one aide and also his number one speechwriter. and you can read about how they worked back and forth, back and forth on the inaugural address, on the famous american
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university address, which is the last big important speech he gave. and when you're writing for a president, you always look to the collected speeches of john f. kennedy for inspiration. >> and, holly, jfk inspired, just as we heard from the senator, so many people in politics, including jimmy carter, and you talked to him as well, didn't you? >> well, he actually wrote something for me and sent it to me. and, you know, when you think -- i mean i love jimmy carter. i know you wrote speeches for him. when you think that he was a farmer, got down off his tractor and went and then became president himself and used the same desk that john kennedy had used. you know, and also what he's done since he was president starting habitat for humanity, building these homes, and that really also speaks and carries on the legacy of john kennedy. i mean i have to say he really
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did inspire people at the time, but still inspires people. >> you know, president carter told me about that day too. he said that it's important to remember that not everybody loved john f. kennedy, particularly down in georgia. and the day after the assassination, he went to a football game. they had refused to cancel it. and he remembered that when there was -- when there was an announcement that asked for a moment of silence, lots of people booed. lots of people booed. >> that is one of the most startling things that i discovered reporting out this oral history is because i was raised catholic in south dakota. i just grew up assuming he was beloved, you know, and a hero to everyone. but so many of the people i interviewed brought up the division and the fact that he won the election by a smaller margin than gore -- the
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gore/bush election. >> but you don't -- >> and it's just all so surprising, you know. >> yes, senator? >> i was just going to say, i agree with that. we've heard -- and those things did happen, but i also remember vividly when my wife, marcell, and i stood on pennsylvania avenue with hundreds of thousands of people in dead silence. if you heard any sound at all, it was people sobbing. we were near the capitol yet we could hear the hoofbeats and the drums as they left the white house, it was that silent. people were just united in grief. i have not seen washington like that except for one other time and that was on 9/11. >> senator leahy, holly millea, hendrik hertzberg, thanks to all of you. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. ooh, homemade soup! yeah...
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that wraps up this hour of "jansing & co." i'm chris jansing. thomas roberts is up next, live
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a flash from dallas. two priests who were with president kennedy say he is dead. of bullet wounds. >> this is the latest information we have from dallas. of course we're standing by to give you all available information as it comes to us. i will repeat with the greatest regret, this flash. two priests who were with president kennedy say he has died of bullet wounds. >> 50 years ago today, the death of president john f. kennedy was announced on air waves across this country. his death, one of those few moments in history that's imprinted on the minds of americans who lived that day. and today under overcast skies in northern virginia, the eternal flame burns on jfk's gravesite.

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