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March 20th, 2013
10:56 AM ET

Kansas City Mayor: Man who rushed stage has frustrations that are the same to my frustrations

On "Starting Point" this morning, Kansas City Mayor Sly James talks with John Berman and Christine Romans about the unarmed man who rushed the stage during his State of City Speech.

James, who has been mayor since May 2011, believes that it was clear the man "had something to say, and he was intent on saying it.” Derron Black had unsuccessfully run for the Missouri House last year, and was taken into custody after the incident. The mayor seemed unfazed while security apprehended Black, and removed him from stage. James’ calm and cool demeanor can be attributed to his time in the Marine Corps.

James does not think this was a security breach, and has “nothing but faith” in his security team. He feels part of being a mayor is having people around him at all times, and that any added security would make him unapproachable.

“I’m not the President, I’m the mayor of a city, I’m supposed to be out with the people talking to them,” he says.

Given the problems facing certain parts of Kansas City such as unemployment, lack of education, high crime rates, and poverty, the mayor sympathizes with the man’s frustrations, “the only difference that he and I may actually have is his method of delivery.”

As a parting note James wishes the man “nothing but the best, and perhaps at some point in the future we can have a conversation and get things straightened out.”

Filed under: Kansas City • Politics
March 20th, 2013
10:41 AM ET

S.C. GOP primary heads to runoff – Teddy Turner on his race and who he thinks will win against Colbert Busch

It all comes down to two in South Carolina's extra special special election.

Fmr. Gov. Mark Sanford will move forward into a run-off in the election to replace Rep. Tim Scott. But it's still not clear who Sanford will face in the Republican run-off.

The close race for a second triggered a recount, and whoever wins will go up against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch, sister of Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert. She was the runaway winner of the Democratic primary.

Teddy Turner, son of CNN founder Ted Turner, finished fourth in a GOP field of 16. He talks with John and Christine on "Starting Point" this morning to talk about the race.

Filed under: Politics • Special election
March 11th, 2013
11:00 AM ET

Sen. Blumenthal: Ideological stances, inflexibility responsible for Washington dysfunction

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) on the root of the dysfunction in Washington politics and how it can be stopped. He also explains how this 'dysfunction' is hampering budget and spending cuts negotiations.

Filed under: Budget • Politics
March 11th, 2013
10:20 AM ET

Rep. Chaffetz on negotiations for budget and spending cuts: We can't spend our way to infinity

All eyes are on Washington, D.C., where politicians on both sides of the aisle are desperately trying to make a deal on the budget. Since it's Washington, D.C., it's not likely to happen very fast.

President Obama heads to Capitol Hill this week to meet with Republicans as Congressman Paul Ryan introduces a budget that would require Obamacare to be fully repealed. Washington insiders, like Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) say Washington's dysfunction is deep.

This morning on "Starting Point," Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) talks with Soledad and the "Starting Point" team about the ongoing dysfunction in Washington D.C., and what Republicans hope to do to encourage reigning in of spending.

Transcript available after the jump.


Filed under: Budget • Politics • Spending
February 18th, 2013
10:38 AM ET

Was Obama's immigration plan leaked on purpose? Fmr. Reps. Mack and Bono Mack weigh in

Undocumented immigrants could get an eight-year pathway to citizenship under a plan that President Obama is reportedly drafting. The details were leaked to USA Today. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) immediately said the plan would be "dead on arrival." Rubio’s fellow Republicans were not impressed either. This morning, fmr. Congressman Connie Mack (R-FL) and Fmr. Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) join “Starting Point” to discuss Obama's leaked immigration plan.

Mack says “we should see what the president’s ideas are on [immigration].” He adds that Republicans have been seeking the president’s plan on “a whole host of things, so I’m all for a robust debate on this.”

“Bipartisanship takes trust from both sides,” says Bono Mack. “There is no trust in Washington D.C. any longer from either side,” she adds. The former California Congresswoman says that if there ever was any issue that everybody should come together on it should be immigration.

Mack says “you can’t get to a solution if you don’t put everything out on the table.”

"Instead of floating [the plan] or having this leak [the president] should have came to the American people …and done a press conference and talked about it,” Mack says. In addition to the Obama’s plan, a gang of eight Democratic and Republican senators have said they plan to release a draft version of a bill on immigration next month. Mack says the multiple plans are “a good place to be.”

Filed under: Immigration • Politics
February 13th, 2013
12:37 PM ET

Rep. Van Hollen on Obama gun control proposals: The President's right

On Tuesday President Obama used his State of The Union address to call on politicians on both sides of the aisle to get work done and to work towards compromise on a host of issues from the economy to immigration. The most emotional moment of last night's address came when Obama asked for an up-or-down vote on gun legislation. This morning Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), a democrat from Maryland joins “Starting Point” to provide reaction to the president’s speech.

Van Hollen says when it comes to Obama’s proposals for a package of measures intended to reduce gun violence, “the president’s right.” He adds that the president’s proposals are saying, “Let’s see if you have a criminal record, let’s see if you have mental stability before you have a gun and at the very least lets have a vote on it.”

The congressman says, “If speaker Boehner and others want to vote no go ahead and do it but do it in the light of day. Don’t try and hide from the American people.”

February 1st, 2013
11:48 AM ET

Geraldo Rivera...for Senate? Howard Kurtz and Lauren Ashburn on his election chances

On Thursday, Fox News host Geraldo Rivera teased a prospective campaign. The former talk show host, who first floated the possibility of running for office, now says "I really do believe, as a modern Republican, that there is a point of view that is unrepresented in states like New Jersey."

This morning host of CNN's Reliable Sources and Daily Beast Washington Bureau Chief Howard Kurtz and Daily Download editor-in-chief Lauren Ashburn join “Starting Point” to discuss Rivera's possible run for Senate in 2014.

Ashburn says Rivera's hinting toward a possible run is not shocking. She adds that Rivera “is a guy just crazy enough to do this,” noting the TV personality’s famous special where he opened a secret vault once owned by gangster Al Capone that turned up to be empty.

Kurtz says Geraldo is not going to run primarily because of the ads his competitors would release against him. Ashburn adds that “New Jersey has already someone who’s pretty outspoken and I think Chris Christie could eat him for lunch.”

Ultimately Geraldo’s hints towards a senate run are strictly for attention and coming at a time where his contract with Fox is ending, Ashburn says.

Filed under: Politics
January 30th, 2013
12:17 PM ET

Fmr. Rep. Bono Mack: Immigration is chance for Obama to lead, put partisanship aside

Fmr. Congress Reps. Connie Mack & Mary Bono Mack weigh in on President Obama's immigration proposal.

Filed under: Immigration • Immigration reform • Politics
January 29th, 2013
10:54 AM ET

Hillary Clinton hosts global town hall meeting today before stepping down Friday – CNN Senior Political Analyst David Gergen weighs in

Hillary Clinton will officially step down as Secretary of State on Friday. Today, the world will have the opportunity to interview her at the Newseum in Washington, DC. She’ll take questions via satellite, and from social media outlets to interact with a global audience. The event will be streamed live online in partnership with YouTube.  

Is this a sign that Clinton is making a move to run for president in 2016?

CNN Senior Political Analyst David Gergen weighs in this morning on the global town hall meeting and on Clinton’s role as Secretary of State and her future.

“She's having a wonderful farewell, and I think she's probably enjoying every minute of it and frankly,” Gergen says, “she deserves it.”

Enormously popular, Clinton has been pressured about a run for president in 2016 by many in her party. Gergen believes she doesn't know yet if she will run. “I think there's going to be a question of her health that she has to consider, and at some point she'll have to come forward and people will want to know what her health records are if she decides to run,” Gergen says.

He comments on Clinton’s legacy as Secretary of State, which he says the public narrative shows is quite substantive. “The dignity with which she carried herself, the fact that she and President Obama did seem to go more from the team of rivals to the team of friends, all of that I think are still in good standing,” Gergen says. “I think her record as Secretary Of State will be a strong plus not a minus.”

January 28th, 2013
11:49 AM ET

Senators to outline bipartisan immigration plan – Rep. Gutierrez (D-IL) and Rep. Diaz-Balart (R-FL) on what needs to be done

Today, the Senate's 'group of eight,' including Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) will reportedly unveil their proposal to reform our nation's immigration system. This plan comes a day before President Obama announces his own immigration proposal in Las Vegas.

The plan includes items such as a pathway to citizenship provided that our borders are secured, reforming the current system to attract the best and brightest from other countries and creating an effective employment verification system. The proposal will also discuss improving the process for admitting workers in the future.

This morning Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) speak to Soledad O’Brien to discuss the proposal.

Rep. Gutierrez says during his immigration reform meeting on Friday, the president said he is going to make immigration reform his top priority. He says the one sticking point may be the road to citizenship, but he thinks “we’re going to be able to overcome it because...there’s a real urgency to this matter.”

"In the end [undocumented immigrants] are going to become American citizens one way or another. It’s a question is when it’s going to be,” he adds. Gutierrez says he wants the undocumented to integrate themselves, make a commitment and to have to fulfill all the responsibilities that American citizens are required to do fulfill.

Rep. Diaz-Balart says he and his colleagues have been hammering out their differences and the details on immigration reform for years and “what has to be rather extensive.”

“All of it is broken and all of it has to be fixed. It’s been a very difficult process,” Rep. Diaz-Balart says.

The Florida congressman says he is however proud of the work he and his colleagues have done and that they have “been able to do it quietly, try to solve this broken problem.”

Filed under: Immigration • Politics
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