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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Read the transcript to the Wednesday show

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Guests: Jonathan Capehart, Jay Newton-Small, Rich Galen, Jay Carney

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: Herman Cain continues to cling to the
wreckage of his campaign, for at least another week or so.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Nine-nine-nine, doing fine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every time he goes on TV, Mr. Cain damages his
campaign more.

CAIN: Stupid people run in the middle.

This is a character assassination on me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Herman Cain is calling it a character
assassination.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The totality that Herman Cain is asking us to
believe.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST, MSNBC`S "HARDBALL": Sixty-one text messages.

CAIN: Sixty-one calls. I talk to a lot of people 61 times.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five people all alleging this, all of whom are
lying?

CAIN: My star was shining and rising too fast.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ginger White gave more details.

GINGER WHITE, CAIN`S ALLEGED MISTRESS: It was a very casual affair.

CAIN: Nine-nine-nine.

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Willard Romney gets a little hot under the
collar.

MARTIN BASHIR, MSNBC HOST: Romney even disheveled his perfectly
coifed hair.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A rare interview Mitt Romney did.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was very condescending.

BASHIR: It got a bit testy.

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: He gets maybe overly testy.

SHARPTON: Pop some pop corn because it`s getting good.

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS: Climate change, abortion, immigration, gay
rights.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Your list is just not
accurate.

ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC HOST: Romney is not comfortable.

ROMNEY: One, we are going to have to be better informed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Andrea, you`re going to have to be a little bit
better informed.

ROMNEY: This is an unusual interview.

MATTHEWS: Let`s listen to Newt describing how great he is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He calls himself a celebrity.

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Celebrities leave and
gradually fewer speeches every year. We are selling more.

MATTHEWS: He was a celebrity.

TAMRON HALL, MSNBC ANCHOR: In his words, a celebrity of sorts.

MATTHEWS: Angelina Jolie doesn`t say I`m a celebrity.

GINGRICH: I was charging $60,000 a speech.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was a ballsy statement.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The former speaker is never shy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He makes a mess, he does clean it up, and
eventually marries his mistress.

JON STEWART, COMEDIAN: Newt Gingrich becomes the candidate for people
who like Herman Cain but think he was too monogamous.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: The future of Herman Cain`s campaign is now up to Gloria
Cain.

Tonight, Cain told FOX News how Ginger White`s allegations of a 13-
year affair with Herman Cain affected his wife of 43 years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN: It has had a very damaging effect on her emotionally.

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS: Did she ask you did this happen, Herman? Did
she ask you that?

CAIN: Yes, she did ask me and I have told her exactly what has
happened and what the situation is. But that`s -- you know, my wife loves
me. She just told me that again today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: You will notice that Herman Cain said my wife loves me.
He did not say my wife believes me. This is a very different description
of Gloria Cain than the description Herman Cain gave us when he was faced
with sexual harassment charges.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN: She said, I`ve known you for over 40 years. That stuff doesn`t
even sound like you. Let alone that you did this with somebody that, you
know, is making these accusations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Tonight, in New Hampshire, Herman Cain explained why he
was going home to Georgia on Friday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN: I`m evaluating the impact of all of this on my family, first.

REPORTER: How is your wife?

CAIN: She is doing great, number one. Since I have been campaigning
all week, I haven`t had an opportunity to sit down with her and walk
through this with my wife and my family. I will do that when I get back
home on Friday. I have talked to my wife many times since Monday about
this situation. I have not talked to her face to face. I am not going to
make a decision until after we talk face to face.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: A reporter asked Cain about his relationship with Ginger
White.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN: Last one. Yes.

REPORTER: We have all had long-term relationships, long-term friends.
What do you want people to understand about Ginger? Who is the Ginger that
you know?

CAIN: All right. Let me answer it this way -- 999 is going to turn
this economy around. Peace through strength and clarity is what we need.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: This morning, Ginger White offered more details of the
alleged affair.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WHITE: It was a very casual affair that Herman flew me to -- on
several trips. I went on several trips with Herman. We -- one particular
trip was the Mike Tyson/Holyfield fight in Las Vegas.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Republican media support for Cain has now completely
collapsed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

REPORTER: It looks like it`s all over for Herman Cain. The bad
publicity has wrecked his presidential chances.

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: It`s now clear Herman Cain will not secure
the Republican nomination for president.

GLENN BECK, FOUNDER OF GBTV: I agree, it looks like Herman Cain is
through.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The media believe that they have
accomplished their mission to kill the Cain campaign. And I don`t know --
they may be right.

All they have to do is create enough doubt about the candidate in the
minds of his donors and then the money stops and that`s it. That`s all
they have to do. Campaign will die.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now, Washington correspondent for "Time"
magazine, Jay Newton Small, who was in New Hampshire where Cain gave the
speech tonight. Also, "Washington Post" editorial writer and MSNBC
contributor, Jonathan Capehart.

Jay, you were there with Herman Cain in New Hampshire tonight. He`s
making some very different sounds this time around, as he`s confronted with
these accusations. That last part when he was asked to describe what he
wanted us to know about Gloria White and about his relationship with Gloria
White, he absolutely refused to say one word in response -- Ginger White,
I`m sorry -- not one word in response to that, but just went right into had
the 999.

Do you think that`s the way his response will hold on that particular
question?

JAY NEWTON-SMALL, TIME MAGAZINE: I think so. I mean, he just doesn`t
want to talk about her at all. Any questions that all day when people have
been asking about this affair, he`s just really gone back to policy every
time saying we are trying to assess. You know, we are going to take a few
days to see how things are going.

And it`s sort of a really disjointed answer because the one hand,
earlier on in the evening in New Hampshire, he said I`m going to quote Yogi
Berra, it`s not over until it`s over and five minutes later, he was saying,
but we need to reassess. And that kind of sort of, well, is at the in it
or is he not in it? And you can`t really have the sort of bomb door`s
halfway open. You`re never halfway running for president.

And right now, he really is -- which is going to be very tough with
donors, I think. And he did say he`s been having a hard time since the
accusations came out earlier this week that they thought fundraising
plummets and it`s just starting to come back again, but it`s a problem.

O`DONNELL: Jay, is anyone on the road with Herman Cain in the Cain
campaign giving any of you in the press any scenario by which he stays in
the campaign?

NEWTON-SMALL: I mean, he is traveling with his campaign manager, Mark
Block, you know, the famous smoking man from that advertisement, also with
his spokesman, J.D. Gordon. And in talking to them, they both just say --
you know, they are even more gentler than what the -- Mr. Cain is saying.
They are saying we are not -- J.D. Gordon is saying we are not going to
pull out of the race, we`re just reassessing really how we are going to go
forward with our strategy and we`re not even thinking about pulling out of
the race.

Herman Cain actually is saying, well, I`m not sure I`m going to be in
it. I asked him earlier tonight if he was going to unveil the third leg of
his policy because he is supposed to be unveiling -- he did his 999 plan,
which is the economy. And then he did his foreign policy plan on Monday.
And next week, he`s supposed to do an energy plan. And I said, well,
you`re still going to do the energy plan next week, and he asked he wasn`t
sure, and that a lot defended on with the conversation with his wife.

O`DONNELL: All right. Jonathan Capehart, I want you to be the jury
as we listen to Herman Cain`s answer tonight on FOX News about why he was
giving this woman money. Let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAVUTO: You did give her money over the years and that raised
questions -- a basic one, why?

CAIN: Well, Neil, over the years, because I have been successful, I
have helped many people financially. I have helped people to stay in their
homes. I have helped people to, you know, be able to buy groceries --
directly, not through an organization.

She was someone that I considered a friend, although, apparently she`s
not, that I was helping because she was having financial troubles. And it
was over an extended -- it was over two and a half years that I was able
that I was doing this because -- because of the job market.

And so, this -- she is not the only person that I have helped. I have
helped a lot of people. The only thing about this particular one is, yes,
she happened to be female.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Jonathan Capehart, you do not have to keep a straight face
as you evaluate the credibility of that answer.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Lawrence, for giving
me the liberty. Look, Herman Cain is in trouble. When that reporter asked
him in Manchester to describe the relationship with Ginger White and he
resorted to 999 and peace, strength and clarity, he can`t answer the
questions anymore because all the answers are bad.

If the person you`re talking to at 4:00 in the morning and the person
you`re giving money to who you`re talking to at 4:00 in the morning is not
Gloria Cain, you`ve got serious, serious problems. And that Ginger White
is not a family friend?

None of this makes sense. None of this holds up to his explanation
that he`s given that she`s just a -- just a friend.

You know, she was -- oh, fine. She was destitute. She was desperate.
She has been out of work. We all know about her legal and financial
problems.

But still, Herman Cain is now faced with a fifth woman with whom he
has some sort of relationship broadly defined that`s not his wife.

O`DONNELL: Jay, FOX News, you will not be surprised, forgot to ask
Herman Cain if his wife knows this woman. Has anyone on the campaign trail
been able to ask him that question?

NEWTON-SMALL: Actually, Wolf Blitzer asked him that question a few
nights ago on CNN and he said that no, his wife had never met Ginger White,
that he`d never -- she has no knowledge of this woman. So, it`s really --
I mean, it`s clear he kept these two women apart, that they were completely
separate, and if he was giving 13 years worth of charity to Ginger White,
his wife clearly had no idea about it.

O`DONNELL: And, Jonathan, in your understanding of the way the
healthy marriage works in America, when you are giving 13 years of
financial support to a woman not your wife, your wife is supposed to know
about that and go along with it, isn`t she?

CAPEHART: Absolutely. And the key thing, Lawrence, here, let`s say
Ginger White and Gloria Cain were friends, that these this story about
Ginger White comes out, wouldn`t you expect Gloria Cain -- the campaign
would orchestrate a statement of some sort from Gloria Cain saying you guys
are ridiculous, Ginger White has been a long-time family friend, we have
been helping her over the last few years because she, like millions of
other Americans, have been hit hard by the economic problems facing the
country and we are lucky enough to be able to extent a helping hand.

But that`s not what we got. Gloria Cain doesn`t know Ginger White.

O`DONNELL: Jonathan, Allen West is saying that Herman Cain really has
to really think about maybe just wrapping this thing up. Allen West is
thinking Herman Cain is hurting the Republican Party. I think, you know,
one of the House members who has hurt the Republican Party image more than
any other is now worried about Herman Cain.

CAPEHART: You know, the Republican Party should be worried that
Herman Cain could be dragging down an already dragged down field of
candidates.

But look, Herman Cain is not fit to sit in the Oval Office. He is
definitely not prepared sit in the Oval Office. And the longer he stays in
the race, he makes a mockery of those people on the stage who actually do
stand a chance of getting the nomination, but he also makes a mockery of
those people who still are hanging on to some thin thread of belief that
what Herman Cain is saying is the truth and that he is someone who is
worthy of being followed.

O`DONNELL: Jay Newton-Small, do you know which campaign bus you`re
going to be reassigned to next week after Mrs. Cain tells Herman to stay
home?

NEWTON-SMALL: Well, I cover all of the campaigns, Lawrence. So, I
will still be covering all of the campaigns as of next week. But I think
is so fascinating because he is supposed to be opening his campaign
headquarters in Atlanta on Saturday and he is having this heart-to-heart
talk with his wife Friday night. And, you know, she is supposed to be
standing next to him on Saturday, it will be fascinating to watch and see
what happens.

O`DONNELL: Jay Newton-Small of "Time" magazine, and Jonathan Capehart
of the "Washington Post," thank you both very much for joining me.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

Coming up, Gingrich versus Mitt, the fight is really on with those
guys and the Obama campaign could not be happier. White House Press
Secretary Jay Carney will join me to talk about the president`s push for
tax fairness and Mitt Romney`s lies about the president.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON STEWART, COMEDIAN: How badly is this going to further damage
Herman Cain`s credibility?

WYATT CENAC, SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: This one is bad,
seriously. Do you know how often married men give money to single women
they have been acquainted with for 13 years but haven`t had sex with?
Never.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: One of the real changes that comes when you start running
for president as opposed to being an analyst on FOX is I have to actually
know what I`m talking about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The Obama re-election campaign is watching with glee
tonight as Newt Gingrich`s rise in the polls has finally gotten to Mitt
Romney, who the Obama campaign considers their most formidable possible
opponent. Romney launched his first attack against Gingrich last night on
FOX News.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: He spent his last 30 or 40 years in Washington. I spent my
career in the private sector. I think that`s what the country needs right
now.

I think to get President Obama out of office, you`re going to have to
bring something to the race that`s different than what he brings. He`s a
life-long politician. I think you have to have the credibility of
understanding how the economy works, and I do, and that`s one reason I`m in
this race.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Gingrich took Romney`s attack on him as a compliment.
Gingrich told the "Washington Post," "You`re talking to a guy who was dead
in June. I`m now being attacked by the former front-runner."

Tonight on FOX News, Gingrich described the campaign`s new dynamic
this way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: People are saying, you know, I think we need Newt Gingrich
because we need somebody who can debate Obama. We need somebody who has
actually done it before. We need somebody with very substantial big ideas.

And so, I think whereas I would have thought originally it was going
to be Mitt and not Mitt, I think it is going to be Newt and not Newt, and
that`s very different formula than frankly -- having to redesign our
campaign strategy because we are at least 60 days ahead of where I thought
we`d be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was Gingrich playing softball with Sean Hannity
tonight. FOX News has clearly chosen its candidate for president and it is
former FOX News player Newt Gingrich.

Mitt Romney had a much tougher time in his turn on FOX News.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BAIER: You have been on both sides of some issues and there`s
videotape of you going back years, speaking about different issues --
climate change, abortion, immigration, gay rights. How can voters trust
what they hear from you today is what you will believe if you win the White
House?

ROMNEY: Well, Bret, your list is just not accurate. So, one, we are
going to have to be better informed by about my views on issues.

BAIER: Do you think a mandate -- mandating people to buy insurance is
the right tool?

ROMNEY: Bret, I don`t know how many hundred times I have said this,
too, this is an unusual interview. All right. Let`s do it again.

Absolutely. What we did in Massachusetts was right for Massachusetts.
This is not a federal plan. It`s a state plan.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now is Republican strategist Rich Galen, a
former aide to Newt Gingrich, and editor of Mullings.com.

Thanks for joining me tonight, Rich.

RICH GALEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Glad to be with you again,
Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Rich, when I watch the rough ride that Romney had last
night on FOX News and I watched the softball that Sean Hannity played with
Gingrich tonight for an hour, FOX has made its pick, haven`t they?

GALEN: Well, I think probably so, but it is also true that Bret Baier
is a real reporter. I mean, when he was covering the Pentagon, he was one
of the top guys in the country on defense issues. So, he`s a real
reporter. Sean has never pretended to be a reporter and he is not. He is
Sean Hannity. So, it`s a different deal all together.

But here`s the thing about the Romney interview that struck me. And
that is this is -- this is what happens when -- when you -- it`s like
spring training, where you don`t do any of the drills. You don`t do the
covering first on a bunt. You don`t want to take batting practice. You
show up for the game, i.e., the debates but don`t do anything else in the
middle.

Governor Romney hasn`t done very many interviews and I think it has
shown there he hasn`t grown the tough skin he is probably going to need
between now and the end of January certainly, and if he becomes the
nominee, all the way through next year. I think what`s showing is the
downside of not having been challenged for the last four, five months.

O`DONNELL: Rich, let`s take another look at the Democratic National
Committee ad against Mitt Romney.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NARRATOR: From the creator of "I`m running for office for Pete`s
sake" comes the story of two men, trapped in one body, Mitt versus Mitt.

ROMNEY: I will preserve and protect the woman`s right to choose.

The right next step is to see if Roe v. Wade overturned.

NARRATOR: Two Mitts willing to say anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Rich, any professional can see that the Democrats and
obviously the Obama re-election campaign believe that Mitt Romney is their
biggest threat. That`s why they came out with that as their ad against
Romney. They weren`t even thinking about doing a Gingrich ad.

The Obama campaign has to be cheered by the Gingrich surge. Is this
the surge that will last? Every other surge we have seen in the anti-
Romney candidate has collapsed. This one starts to feel like the one that
could really last for a while and maybe even go all the way.

GALEN: Well, I don`t know about going all the way. But certainly the
Romney people think it`s got legs because they are responding to Gingrich
where they didn`t -- pardon me, particularly respond to Bachmann, Perry or
Cain. But the other side of that is that -- and we talk about this once
before on the show that this is really the Harry Reid playbook. You run
ads against the strongest opponent in the -- in the other guy`s primary,
hoping that the weaker candidate emerges from it, which is what Senator
Reid did and was successful at it.

I`m not so sure that will be the outcome here. It may well be it has
the opposite effect, that by forcing Romney to be tougher earlier than he
would prefer to be, if he does win the nomination, by the time we get into
the general election, he is going to be toughened up by having to go toe-
to-toe with Gingrich, whereas if they had just left everything alone,
Romney might well have been able to just kind of skate through and then
Obama could just kind of sheer the skin off, because he`s been -- he would
have been better prepared at that point.

O`DONNELL: Now, Newt offered a new defense of why he was not a
lobbyist. I, of course, insisted for practical purposes, he was. I know
you made the case that technically he wasn`t.

But Newt`s defense he absolutely wasn`t a lobbyist was basically I
didn`t need the money because I was making 60 grand a speech everywhere I
went. And so, he sort of leaving open the idea that, well, you know, I
would have been a lobbyist if I needed the money. How does that sound in
South Carolina and these other states?

GALEN: I wrote about that. It`s a great question. I wrote about
that today and I said two things -- one, there are event planners all over
the country who are being pilloried by their bosses because they paid
$100,000 and didn`t know they could get him for $60,000. That`s the first
thing.

The second thing is I went and looked at the census data and the chart
I looked at showed the median income in South Carolina for a family of four
is $58,000. So, Newt made the case that he made more in a 45-minute speech
than the median income of families in South Carolina made in a whole year.

And I`m not sure how that fits the message of being the out-of-beltway
man of the people that he`s been trying to -- trying to build for himself.
I don`t think that is the right approach. But this is what happens when
you don`t have -- not people like me, but kind of skilled people around you
that you can say let do don`t that. Let`s do this. If you say that,
that`s going happen.

But that`s not the way Newt operates. And we`ll see whether he pulls
this off.

O`DONNELL: He did very well for himself as a politician when you were
around him.

Rich Galen, thank you very much for joining me tonight.

GALEN: Any time, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney joins me
to talk about the one tax cut Republican reasons don`t like.

And how the president`s -- how the president plans to deal with Mitt
Romney`s lies about him.

And later tonight, a great American story that redefines police
bravery. The sheriffs in Atlanta who had to defy the letter of the law to
follow their own conscience. They simply could not bring themselves to
carry out a foreclosure order and evict a 103-year-old woman from her home.
This is a deeply moving story of American law enforcement with a heart.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Congressional Republicans are refusing to govern but the
president still continues to try to push tax fairness legislation through
Congress. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney will join me next. And I
will ask him about how the president plans to deal with the way Mitt Romney
lies about him.

And even Fox News has given up on Herman Cain and simply wants to know
when he is going to drop out. But Cain still has one true believer left in
the political media. Stephen Colbert will show Herman Cain how to Rewrite
his scandals into campaign assets.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: While the Republican presidential campaign continues to
expose the weaknesses of all of the Republican candidates, President Obama
took his Fair Tax Campaign to Pennsylvania today, where he made the case
for cutting payroll taxes as outlined in his American Jobs Act.

The president wants to replace the revenue that would be lost to a
payroll tax cut by imposing a small surtax of 3.25 percent only -- only on
earned incomes above a million dollars, a position that has earned very
strong support across the board in polls of voters.

The president`s message seems to be getting through now that the tax
discussion in this country has passed through its ridiculous 9-9-9 phase.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Republicans have
said they were the party of tax cuts. That`s what they said. A lot have
sworn an oath to never raise taxes on anybody as long as they live.

That doesn`t square with their vote against these tax cuts.

(CROSS TALK)

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: I mean, how is it that they can break their oath when it comes
to raising your taxes, but not break their oath when it comes to raising
taxes for wealthy people?

That doesn`t make any sense.

And that`s the very simple choice that`s facing Congress right now.
Are you going to cut taxes for the middle class and those who are trying to
get into the middle class? Or are you going to protect massive tax breaks
for millionaires and billionaires, many of whom don`t even want those tax
breaks?

Are you going to ask a few hundred thousand people who have done very,
very well to do their fair share? Or are you going to raise taxes for
hundreds of millions of people across the country, 160 million Americans?

Are you willing to fight as hard for middle class families as you do
for those who are most fortunate? What`s it going to be? That`s the
choice in front of Congress.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now is White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.
Jay, thanks for joining me tonight.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Lawrence, always good to be
with you.

O`DONNELL: Jay, I want you to listen to this ad that Mitt Romney has
put out quoting the president. Let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Thank you, New Hampshire. I am confident that we can steer
ourselves out of this crisis.

Who has been in charge of the economy?

We need a rescue plan for the middle class.

We need to provide relief for homeowners.

It is going to take a new direction.

If we keep talking about the economy, we are going to lose.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Now, Jay, as you know, and you have seen it, the Romney
campaign creates a lie there by editing the president`s words in such a
way. He was quoting John McCain, as we all know, on that line, saying if
we keep talking about the economy, we are going to lose.

And so it leaves me wondering, when the president goes out to
Pennsylvania today and gives a speech like he was giving today, do you at
the White House vet the speech looking for how is the Romney campaign or
the Perry campaign going to lie about what the president has said?

CARNEY: Lawrence, honestly, we don`t. I -- what we focus on is
having the president deliver as clear a possible explanation of what his
policy priorities are. And the fallacy of the suggestion that the
president doesn`t want to talk about the economy is demonstrated by the
fact he talks about the economy almost every day, because it is his number
one priority, as evidenced by his speech in Scranton, Pennsylvania, earlier
today.

So today, he is calling for an extension -- an expansion of the
payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans, everyone who gets a paycheck.
And he is challenging the Congress and Republicans in particular to support
that, and to do it, as you said, by asking millionaires and billionaires to
pay a little bit extra.

He hardly thinks that -- and the vast majority of Americans agree with
him -- that that is anything but fair. And right now, what we have seen so
far from Republicans, unfortunately, is far greater passion behind
protecting the tax benefits of the very wealthiest Americans than
advocating for tax cuts for middle class Americans.

O`DONNELL: Yeah, I got to say, the president talks about the economy
far more and in much greater specificity than any Republican candidate out
there. The only Republican candidate who tried to talk about taxation at
all was Herman Cain with the 9-9-9 thing. I don`t hear anything from Mitt
Romney about what he thinks the payroll tax cut should be, or the payroll
tax rate should be going forward.

Are you going to try to put it on to the leading Republican candidates
to take a position on where -- what should happen in the Senate and what
should happen in the House on this bill?

CARNEY: You know, we are not, particularly. We are focused on the
Congress and what Congress can do. You know, to the extent that Republican
candidates have weighed in general on the economic debate here, economic
policy debate in Washington, the most notable moment that I can remember
was earlier in one of the debates, where all of the GOP would-be presidents
raised their hand and said that they would not support a deficit reduction
deal that matched 10 dollars in spending cuts for every one dollar in new
revenue, which is so far out of sync with mainstream America that it`s
really eyebrow raising.

So -- but beyond that, we focus on getting the work done that the
American people want us to get done. It is a long time before the general
election, as you know. Obviously the president doesn`t face a primary
challenge. So he is not spending much time on campaigning or politics
right now, beyond his desire to get as much done as he can through Congress
and through the use of his executive authority.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Mitch McConnell has said about this
payroll tax going forward, and what he think also the outcome is going to
be.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MINORITY LEADER: In all likelihood, we will
agree to continue the current payroll tax relief for another year. But we
believe that it should be paid for. Senate Republicans will offer an
alternative that would pay for it.

At the end of the day, I think the House will insist that as we extend
this payroll tax relief for individuals only for another year, that it be
paid for in an acceptable way that does not adversely impact job creation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Jay, it`s fascinating to hear Republicans talk about
paying for tax cuts. That is to say replacing the revenue lost to the tax
cut some other way. This is something that has never crossed their minds
before in any discussion of any tax cut prior to now. They have always
made the case that any tax cut will actually just pay for itself by
generating economic activity.

CARNEY: You have identified what seems to be a little bit of
hypocrisy Lawrence. I mean, the passion -- I mean, there was so -- such a
lack of passion evident in that statement that you just played for me when
he is talking about the kinds of tax cuts that will help middle class
Americans and working Americans make ends meet.

We don`t see the same -- we see a much greater level of intensity when
they are insisting that tax cuts for Americans who are fortunate enough to
make more than a million dollars be protected. You know, I -- the
president put forward, as you know, in the American Jobs Act, a fully paid
for series of provisions that would grow the economy and create jobs,
including a payroll tax cut and expansion.

The Senate Democrats have now put forward an alternative proposal for
paying for the payroll tax cut extension and expansion. The president
supports their approach. So he is for paying for it.

The issue here, though, that also strikes me, Lawrence, if I may, is,
you know, Senator McConnell was just talking about an extension of the two
percent reduction that Americans have had this year in the payroll tax cut.
The president has put forward an expansion, a 3.1 percent reduction,
cutting the payroll tax cult in half for 160 million Americans. That would
result in an additional tax cut for next year bigger than the one they have
gotten this year.

Because he think it is the right thing to do for the economy.
Economists -- independent economists on the outside will tell you that one
of the most effective thing also you can do to inject energy into the
economy is this payroll tax cut, in addition to the extension of
unemployment insurance. So that`s why the president is pushing for it.
And he just wishes that Republicans would be as enthusiastic about helping
working Americans with tax cuts as they are about protecting the tax
benefits for the wealthiest Americans.

O`DONNELL: Jay, the irony here is that the president has lid the
Republicans to find a tax cut they don`t like. They -- the president
actually wants to reduce the payroll tax beyond where it`s been cut
already, and the Republicans are saying no, no, no, let`s hold it right
where it is right here.

CARNEY: And it is very grudging support, you are correct. I mean, we
are glad that Senator McConnell now says that, at the very least, a
majority of Senate Republicans want to extend the existing payroll tax cut.
As you know, just a few days ago, another member of the Senate Republican
leadership suggested that he opposed an extension of the payroll tax cut.

So there is progress here. It is grudging, but it is progress. And
this president is just going to keep fighting for every provision in the
American Jobs Act, because he thinks it is the right thing to do for the
economy. We are not growing fast enough. And we are not creating jobs at
a substantial enough pace to bring the unemployment rate down.

So this president is going to focus on doing everything he can to make
that happen. And he is going to push Congress to take action. And he is
going to continue to take executive action, to act without Congress where
he can.

O`DONNELL: Jay, is it your sense in the White House that the
Republicans on Capitol Hill think they can get away with their wild
inconsistencies on these tax cut issues because they think America`s not
watching? If America`s watching anything in politics, they are watching
Herman Cain collapse and they`re watching Newt Gingrich rise and they are
watching Mitt Romney contradict himself every day?

CARNEY: I think that will be up to the American people to decide come
election time, not just obviously for the presidency, but for races in the
House of Representatives and the Senate. I do think that polling I have
seen suggests that people are paying attention. There`s overwhelming
evidence that Americans of all political persuasions -- Democrats,
independents, Republicans -- support the approach the president`s taken to
job creation, through the American Jobs Act.

They support the way that he would pay for it, by asking millionaires
and billionaires to pay a little bit extra and by -- in the American Jobs
Act, closing loopholes for corporations and subsidies for the oil and gas
industry. And they support his approach to balanced deficit reduction and
debt control that he put forward in September.

You know, his approach is broadly supported by the American public.
And the approach that Republicans unfortunately have taken so far is not
nearly as popular among the rank and file American people as the
president`s approach.

O`DONNELL: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, thank you very
much for joining me tonight.

CARNEY: Thank you, sir.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, police bravery is redefined by a southern
sheriff and his deputies when they choose their conscience over the law.
This is a moving, inspiring story of American police work at its best, a
triumph of human decency. You will really want to see this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: The media vultures are circling the Herman Cain campaign,
waiting for him to drop out. Even Fox News wants to know when he is going
to quit. >

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: A week from now, do you think, in your
gut, you will still be a presidential candidate, a week from now?

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A week from now, I will have
made a final decision.

CAVUTO: In or out?

CAIN: A week from now, I will have made a decision.

CAIN: OK. All right. At least you didn`t say 9-9-9.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: In or out? That`s right. Even Fox News has Rewritten its
position on Herman Cain from the women are all lying to when are you gonna
drop out? There is only one Herman Cain true believer left in the
political media. Stephen Colbert, the right-wing reactionary played by
Stephen Colbert the actor, refuses to give up on his dream of a Cain
presidency. And he is still trying to show Cain how to Rewrite his
troubles to his advantage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT, "THE COLBERT REPORT": Now, technically, I believe we
are now up to he said/she said/she said/she said/she said/she was paid not
to say. Nation, this is -- this is devastating. Because of this, the
former Godfather`s Pizza CEO is considering the up thinkable. Cain says he
is going to spend a few days off, reassessing his candidacy.

We could lose him. Herman, don`t you leave this election lover`s
pizza half baked. I`m saying this not just as a supporter but as a
broadcaster. I need you in the race. Don`t leave me with him. He brings
board games.

And there`s no reason for you to leave. A 13-year affair just proves
you can carry on a stable relationship. Two, counting your marriage.
Besides, you have ridden out the storm over accusations like this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He suddenly reached over and he put his hand on
my leg, under my skirt and reached for my genitals. He also grabbed my
head and brought it toward his crotch.

COLBERT: That`s rough stuff. But this new woman says the affair was
consensual. I`d say things are looking up. I mean, compared to all that
reaching for the lady parts like a dachshund going after a ball under the
couch, these new allegations sound like leave it to -- let`s not say
beaver. Jim?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She says he would fly to cities where he was
speaking and lavish her with gifts it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He made it very intriguing.

COLBERT: Great. That`s plus. It reminds everyone how intriguing
Herman Cain is.

Oh, yes. That`s the stuff right there. Mr. Cain, you can totally
bounce back from this and be the front runner again. Because if these
allegations prove true, that means you are only one extra marital affair
behind Newt Gingrich.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: In tonight`s episode of Profiles in Greed, greed loses,
for once. Yesterday, on a cold drizzly day in Atlanta, two Fulton County
sheriff deputies and a moving truck showed up at a home to serve an
eviction notice after Chase Bank foreclosed on the property.

But then the deputies and the movers met the mother and daughter
living in the house. The mother is Vida Lee, 103 years old.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VIDA LEE, 103 YEAR OLD HOME OWNER: I know God said if things go
wrong, he make it right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At just three weeks shy of her 104th birthday,
Vida Lee has shared this house on Penelope Road in northwestern Atlanta
with her 83-year-old daughter for years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long has this been your home?

LEE: Fifty three years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How much do you love this community and this
house?

LEE: I love it. It`s a mansion.
.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The moving company and the deputies took one look
at Ms. Lee and decided this would not happen today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I saw the sheriffs who came to put them out take
off and leave. I gave all glory to God.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You weren`t worried at all about them trying to
take you out of your house?

LEE: No. I knew they didn`t know what they were doing. God don`t
let you do wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This house and case has been in the courts for
years. Tuesday, possible eviction proved too much for Ms. Lee`s 83-year-
old daughter. She had to be rushed to the hospital.

LEE: Please don`t come and disturb me no more. I have -- when I`m
gone, you all can come out here and do anything you want to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope you stay around a whole lot longer.

LEE: Yeah. Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The deputies called their supervisors to make sure they
could stop the eviction. Those calls went all the way up the chain of
command to Sheriff Theodore Jackson, who backed up the deputies and told
them to stand down. We invited Sheriff Jackson on this program tonight to
commend him for doing the right thing, but he modestly declined to appear.

The sheriff`s spokesperson, Tracy Flanagan, told us today that
carrying out the eviction order might very well have constituted elder
abuse. She said, quote, "a little sensitivity was needed."

Tracy Flanagan also said that the sheriff`s department would examine
the validity of the eviction order, and in the meantime, hopes some kind of
arrangement would be worked out. As media attention heaped embarrassment
and we can only hope shame on Chase Bank today, Chase Bank decided that it
was doing just fine this year, and allowing Vida Lee and her daughter to
sleep in their beds tonight would do nothing to knock Chase off track on
its way to another year of 17 billion dollars in profits.

Chase Bank issued this one-sentence statement: "we will work out a
resolution to keep them in the home." Laws alone cannot make a just
society. If we strictly enforce all of our laws, we can get some cruel and
unjust outcomes. A just society must be ready to temper its laws with
mercy and what the sheriff`s spokesperson called a little sensitivity.

As we`ve seen during the Occupy Wall Street protests and, in fact,
throughout this country`s history, American police too often violate the
law and basic human decency in their physical abuse of citizens, including,
in some cases, their use of deadly force.

They should be sharply criticized and held to account for every such
abuse. And I, for one, will continue to do so. But tonight, thanks to the
quick thinking, good sense and humanity of sheriff Theodore Jackson and his
deputies, we can all go to sleep knowing that Vida Lee will continue to
sleep in her own bed.

Sheriff Jackson had to choose between the law and his conscience. And
we have a more just society tonight because this man of the law chose his
conscience. As the son of a man of the law, it is an honor to commend you
tonight, Sheriff Jackson. You have given your children a permanent point
of pride in their father, the most invaluable gift a father can give.

Your action deserves a place in the annals of American police bravery.
Vida Lee is surely grateful to you, and your country should be too.

END

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