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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Read the transcript to the Wednesday show

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Guests: John Heilemann, Steve Kornacki, Karen Finney, Judith Grey, Rep. Barney Frank, Kevin Bleyer


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: It`s official. Mitt Romney has won enough
delegates for the Republican presidential nomination, and the general
election is just about under way. But the candidates really would like
just another minute to raise that billion dollars each one of them is going
to need.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I can assure you that if I
get elected, with your help, I will make things better.

ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS: The president placed a call to Mitt Romney
at 11:30 this morning.

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC HOST: Called Governor Romney to congratulate him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitt Romney has clinched those much needed
delegates.

CHRIS JANSING, NBC NEWS: Finally clinching the delegates needed.

MARTIN BASHIR, MSNBC HOST: Officially becoming the projected
Republican nominee.

WAGNER: Welcome to the general election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s on his campaign`s checklist?

WAGNER: For the Romney campaign --

UNIDENTIFIED MLE: The real priority right now is to raise money.

WAGNER: Check.

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: He`s willing to take the big
money.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The super PAC money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re writing very, very huge checks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Another priority is avoiding gaffes.

WAGNER: Check and check.

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: Governor Romney put an iPhone app out. It
misspelled America.

WAGNER: Hashtag failed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: None of it matters. That`s what they think.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think as people get to
know me better, they`ll -- some will like me, some won`t.

BASHIR: Romney wanted to reintroduce himself to voters.

ROMNEY: Some will like, some won`t.

BASHIR: One of the most cynical politicians of the modern era.

ROMNEY: I`m not familiar precisely with exactly what I said. But I
standby what I said, whatever it was.

BASHIR: Thank goodness we`ve got that cleared up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What Romney says, he`s held accountable for.

ROMNEY: But I standby what I said, whatever it was.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a presidential race.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People don`t want to know what you`re against.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Presidential races are about choices.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want to know what you`re for.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: His main calling card
for why he thinks he should be president --

ROMNEY: I speak the language of business.

OBAMA: -- is his business experience.

ROMNEY: Twenty-fived years in the private sector.

OBAMA: He`s not going out there touting his experience in
Massachusetts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People don`t want to know what you`re against.
They want to know what you`re for.

ROMNEY: I like being able to fire people that provide services to me.

ANN COULTER, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: If you don`t run Chris Christie,
Romney will be the nominee, and we`ll lose.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: Hours after President Obama phoned Mitt Romney to
congratulate him on virtually securing the Republican presidential
nomination, the president`s senior campaign strategist, David Axelrod,
released a memo showing the Obama campaign will broaden their attacks on
Mitt Romney and expose Mitt Romney`s darkest secret -- his record as
Massachusetts governor.

Ten years ago, Mitt Romney told the people of Massachusetts that his
experience in business uniquely qualified him to strengthen the state`s
economy. When he left office, however, state debt had increased. The size
of government had grown. And over his four years, Massachusetts record of
job creation was among the worst in the nation.

The Obama campaign quotes promises that Romney made to Massachusetts
voters during his 2002 run for governor. Promises like this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I`m the only candidate in this race who has a lifetime of
experience in the private economy. I speak the language of business. I
know how jobs are created and how jobs are lost. I`m going to do
everything in my power to get our economy back working again for the people
of Massachusetts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Doing everything in Mitt Romney`s power to create jobs
left Massachusetts 47th in job creation among the 50 states, which is why
Mitt Romney does not cite his experience in government as a job creator.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I think my background of 25 years in the private sector gives
me credibility on the economy and on creating jobs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The Obama campaign is also highlighting this Romney
promise from 2002.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I will fight taxes at every turn. The problem with
increasing taxes is that it puts a burden on working families. They can`t
afford it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The Obama campaign today pointed out Romney`s record of
raising fees and taxes in Massachusetts of over $700 million a year,
imposing more fee increases in his first year in office than any other
state. How is that for number one?

If you`re wondering why Mitt Romney is polling 25 points behind
President Obama in his home state of Massachusetts, it`s because
Massachusetts voters have heard him say this kind of thing before.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I`m not going to raise taxes on the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Today, Mitt Romney took his fund raising tour to Silicon
Valley with the help of former Bain executive and current Hewlett-Packard
CEO, Meg Whitman, who announced her company plans to lay off a mere 27,000
workers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I like being able to fire people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Not as much as Meg Whitman.

A new "Politico" report describes just how much money Mitt Romney and
the outside groups supporting his candidacy plan to spend in addition -- in
addition -- to the $800 million the Romney campaign and the Republican
National Committee intend to spend. Republican super PACs and other
outside groups shaped by a loose network of prominent conservatives,
including Karl Rove, the Koch brothers, and Tom Donahue of the U.S. Chamber
of Commerce, plan to spend roughly $1 billion on November`s elections for
the White House and control of Congress, according to officials familiar
with the group`s internal operations.

John Heilemann`s latest report in "New York" magazine, he quotes White
House political adviser David Plouffe saying, quote, "From a political
standpoint, I`m almost worried about that," that meaning the money, "as I
am about the question of what the economy is going to do over the next
three or four months."

Joining me now is "New York" magazine national affairs editor John
Heilemann and Salon.com political columnist Steve Kornacki.

John Heilemann, it sounds like David Plouffe got a calculator out
there. He`s seeing how much money is coming in on the Republican side.
And as he said, it worries him almost as much as the economy.

JOHN HEILEMANN, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Yes, Lawrence, it`s true. And
it`s one of the big takeaways from, more or less, month I spent between
Chicago and the White House talking to all the senior people running the
Obama reelection effort. They are convinced, as are most Republicans, that
the president is going to get outspent, when you take all the money
together. What the president raises, what the DNC raises, what the
Democratic super PACs raise, what the labor unions raise and spend.

And then you take all the Republican money. Again, the super PACs,
the Party, Romney himself, they`re not just going to get outspent, they`re
going to be outspent by a reasonable amount, maybe by 20 percent, 30
percent, even 40 percent. Maybe about a billion on the Democratic side, a
$1.3 billion, $1.4 billion on the Republican side.

On the presidential race alone, you know, Lawrence, as everybody
following politics knows you never want to get outspent in a contest. But
when you`re an incumbent president, you have the expectation that you`re
never going to get outspent. It`s never happened. And they know they`re
going to get outspent.

The only question is what the affect is going to be, because you`re
going to see $2.5 billion get spent in nine or 10 states. And no one has
ever seen anything like that. It`s like a test tube experiment. No one
has any idea what the impact is going to be on the ultimate outcome.

O`DONNELL: Steve Kornacki, you can see that the Republican money has
the Obama campaign scared. So scared they decided the to not play fair
anymore, and they`re going to Massachusetts tomorrow apparently, and
they`re going to have a press conference with Democratic legislators in
Massachusetts to talk about Mitt Romney`s secret, his big secret, which of
course is his record in government in Massachusetts.

It seems like about the right time to make that shift, doesn`t it?

STEVE KORNACKI, SALON.COM: Yes, no. I think so. It followed up
nicely from the Obama standpoint. It follows up nicely what they did and
what they`re going to keep doing with the Bain Capital record of Romney,
because basically, you know, what the Obama campaign is up against is
obviously the economy is not in a good place. It`s not likely to be in a
better place come November.

As Romney said in the clip, he`s playing on, look, the economy is a
bad place. You want to get rid of the incumbent president or you`re
inclined to get rid of the incumbent president. And I have all this great
private sector experience.

And I think there`s a natural tendency of people to link, you know,
competence and success in the private sector with competence in the
government. If you can blow it up on the Bain side, that helps. If you
can say, hey, look, this is what he`s actually doing in business.

But then, if you can also make the argument that, OK, he took the
business experience. He became governor of a state, of a major state, and
the results were very, very unimpressive. If you can make that case on two
fronts, you`re really impeaching his credibility on economic incompetence.

It`s just critical for the Obama campaign that they do that, because
again, in this climate the tendency for swing voters, I really think is,
you know, don`t ask questions, just vote the incumbent out. That`s what
Romney is banking. The Obama campaign really needs for there to be
context.

O`DONNELL: John Heilemann, in your piece, your sources say that the
Obama campaign, in addition to going after his public record in
Massachusetts, they believe they have an issue of character to go after
here. You write, it will -- the campaign will drive home the idea that
Romney is a skillful but self serving plutocrat who has never cared an iota
about bettering the lives of ordinary people. One tag line the campaign is
considering using, he`s never been in it for you.

HEILEMANN: Yes, and that`s a very strong line. And now that it`s
been in this magazine piece, I don`t know if they`re going to feel
comfortable using it or not.

But, you know, it ties up -- it does what Steve Kornacki was just
talking about, which is it ties up everything into a very concise, tough
line. It ties up Bain. It ties up Massachusetts, the records there. And
it also ties up every faux pas that Romney committed that made him seem
like a combination of Thurston Howell III and Gordon Gekko, in the course
of the Republican primary fight -- that out of touch, this wealthy guy, the
tax returns, all of that. They want to make that all one big bundle of
disqualification for swing voters, for those voter who is are the 8 percent
or 10 percent in the eight or nine states who are going to matter, who are
uncertain about the president`s economic management, as Steve said.

You know, in an economy like this, especially if it gets rattled again
by a European fiasco, if the job numbers are poor over the next few months,
they must disqualify Romney. They must speak directly to those voters who
are kind of like would normally kinds of take a flier on someone else. But
they want to make Romney so unappealing and so obviously not on those
people`s side that they`ll have to stick with Obama, even despite their
doubts.

O`DONNELL: Steve, the polls indicate there is room to create
character doubt about Mitt Romney, that his favorability numbers have not
been good. Although the latest "Washington Post" poll shows they are
improving. The president`s favorability is now 52 in that poll. Mitt
Romney`s is at 41. Romney`s unfavorable is at 45, which, as they say, is
underwater on that.

It`s a big jump, though. A big improvement for Romney, who in April
had a favorability of only 35. President had a four-point higher
favorability of 56.

So that favorability gap is closing. But the president still has a
significant lead over Romney with it. That is the polling that indicates
there`s a vulnerability for Romney on character.

KORNACKI: Oh, I absolutely agree. I mean, I wouldn`t read too much
into the jump in his favorability, because a lot of that is just
Republicans who waited forever to get blind Mitt Romney. Finally at this
late day saying, yes, we like the guy. We`re with him. So, I think a lot
of that is at work there.

But, you know, I`m thinking of the slogan you just quoted from John`s
piece there, whether they use it or not. You know, I think there`s another
aspect of the Massachusetts record that speaks directly to it. I mean, one
of the reasons why Romney left Massachusetts and so unpopular is because he
quit on the job half way through. He was elected in 2002. He was out the
door for all intents by the end of 2004. And people were well aware of
that. He was using the office as a springboard.

O`DONNELL: Sarah Palin had the integrity, if we can call it that, to
at least leave the building and give up the paycheck.

John Heilemann of "New York" magazine and Steve Kornacki of "Salon" --
thank you both very much for joining me tonight.

HEILEMANN: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, 50 shades of Mitt. Karen Finney and Judith
Grey join me on how Republicans are trying to win over Republican voters.

And 25 years ago today, Barney Frank made history. He`ll tell us what
it was like to be America`s first openly gay member of Congress.

And in the "Rewrite," Newt Gingrich pretends there`s nothing racist
about the lies of Donald Trump. And while he`s at it, Newt lies about his
true feelings about the bloviating ignoramus.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: A new poll shows Mitt Romney gaining ground with women
voters. Is the Republican strategy of 50 shades of Mitt actually working?
Karen Finney and Judith Grey join us next.

And in the rewrite tonight, the lies Newt Gingrich uses to diffuse the
lies of the bloviating ignoramus. Newt insists there`s absolutely nothing
racist about anything the pied piper of American racism says. Nothing at
all.

That`s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CECILE RICHARDS, PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Today, I`m proud to make it
official. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund is endorsing President Barack
Obama for re-election.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Today`s endorsement by Planned Parenthood Action Fund for
President Obama comes just as the group rolled out its largest campaign ad
ever. More than $1.1 million ad against Mitt Romney, calling him wrong for
women.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NARRATOR: When Mitt Romney says --

ROMNEY: Planned Parenthood, we`re going to get rid of that.

NARRATOR: Romney is saying he`ll deny women the birth control and
cancer screenings they depend on.

When Romney says --

ROMNEY: But do I believe Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade?
Yes.

NARRATOR: He`s saying he`ll deny women the right to make his own
medical decisions.

And when his campaign can`t say if he can support equal pay
protections --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sam, we`ll get back to you on that.

NARRATOR: Romney is putting your paycheck at risk.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Planned Parenthood`s campaign against Mitt Romney comes
just as the Senate is gearing up to push for the Paycheck Fairness Act,
which would combat wage discrimination against women. It`s an issue Romney
has been silent on.

According to the conservative newspaper, the "Washington Times", Mitt
Romney`s campaign didn`t respond to five messages left over the last week
seeking his stance on the Paycheck Fairness Act. Despite his silence on
this issue, Mitt Romney is sounding better to some women voters. A new
"Washington Post" poll shows Romney`s favorability improving with women.
In April, 58 percent of women said they had a favorable view of President
Obama, compared to just 27 percent, who then said they had a favorable view
of Mitt Romney.

Today, 51 percent of women say they have a favorable view of President
Obama. And no, 40 percent of women in the "Washington Post" poll say they
have a favorable view of Mitt Romney. But still, 44 percent of women say
they have an unfavorable view of Mitt Romney.

Romney has seen the greatest improvement among Republican women. Last
month, 59 percent of women had a favorable view of Romney. Today, 80
percent do -- a 21-point gain. Joining me now, Judith Grey, contributing
writer for "The Daily Beast," and Karen Finney, former DNC communications
director and MSNBC political analyst.

Judith, in your piece in "The Daily Beast," which is titled "GOP to
women: Obama is your guilty pleasure," you explain how Republicans are
trying to win the women voters. How are they doing it?

JUDITH GREY, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, what they`re doing, and I think
they`re being extremely clever, is they`re painting Barack Obama as a
guilty pleasure that you indulged in 2008. He made you feel wonderful. He
made you feel euphoric. You were moved by his lofty speeches.

But now, given your economic situation, it`s time to atone for that
indulgence. It`s time to consider a candidate like Mitt Romney, someone
who doesn`t feel very good right now, someone who isn`t as instantly as
gratifying as Barack Obama felt in 2008, but in the long term, if you vote
for someone like him, your life will be much, much better.

I think that`s what they`re doing. And it seems to be working,
according to new polls that are coming out.

O`DONNELL: Karen, now as we know, I`m not a woman.

But I am a feminist. And pardon me, but I felt condescended, too,
when I was hearing Judith`s explanation of the way they want to appeal to
women voters you know, you were so superficial in your assessment of Barack
Obama the last time around.

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: You, girl.

O`DONNELL: You fell for his smile. You fell for the fancy words.

FINNEY: That`s right. You wanted that pint of chocolate ice cream
and you took it, didn`t you?

In a political context, she`s making a great point. The way we would
talk about it from a political strategy is voters don`t like to be told
they were wrong, right? We know that. So you have to make it OK.

Part of the way you make it okay is in part this idea that it`s OK,
you were seduced. It was the smile. It was the lofty rhetoric.

But you know, now we`ve got to get down to brass tax. So part of this
is about showing women who look like the women they`re trying to appeal to,
kind of articulating this sort of idea, well, gee, maybe -- and also it`s
not just you made a bad decision. He fooled you with his rhetoric. He
didn`t keep his promises. So, it`s also a way to go at his character,
which is one that has great strength, than one of Romney`s weaknesses at
this point, without doing so directly, as you`ll see in some of the other
kinds of ads they`ll do.

O`DONNELL: Let`s watch and listen to an ad produced by Karl Rove`s
super PAC last year that I think is using some of the elements that Judith
identified in her piece.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lately, I worry a lot about my kids. What is
their future going to be like? I supported President Obama because he
spoke so beautifully. But since then, things have gone from bad to much
worse.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Judith, they`re now releasing longer versions of that, but
that kind of ad, but it still includes that thing about he spoke so
beautifully -- saying I supported him because he spoke so beautifully. And
no other reason, that`s really the only one they identify.

GREY: Yes, when I heard it the first time, I had a very negative
response to it. I thought, how could this be working? But it seems to be
working.

You see this woman. Her gaze is downcast. She`s full of self
reproach, self-blame. And I think that what the Republicans have found is
that women are very comfortable with this. They`re comfortable with the
idea that if you indulge in something, you have to atone for it shortly
afterwards.

They`re really taking advantage of that, because they are pouring so
much money into running these ads. They`ve done various iterations of the
same ads. So, you know they`re being focus-grouped, you know that they`re
working.

FINNEY: You know, I don`t know yet that they`re working. I mean,
this is, you know, May and June. And part of what we saw in the last round
of polling is there was still room for Romney to begin to define himself.

So, I actually -- if this was August, I`d be more concerned. I
certainly think that it mean -- I mean, look, you can`t win without winning
women voters. Obviously, this means, I think for the Obama campaign, they
cannot afford to let up on the pressure in their messaging on Romney on all
the reasons why Romney is not good for women.

But I`m not sure, if I`m convinced yet that Romney has, you know, kind
of closed the deal with women voters.

GREY: I don`t think he`s closed the deal. But if you think about the
negative press he`s been getting lately, that bullying story that came out
just a couple weeks ago, I thought it would have had a lot -- you know, the
repercussions would have been a lot worse. So, I`m sort of thinking, even
in light of all the negative press that`s been coming out, the numbers are
rising. And I found that curious and I thought, maybe this is really the
way to go for the Republicans.

O`DONNELL: Yes, we have seen the favorability movement in the
"Washington Post" poll in Mitt Romney`s direction.

Judith Grey and Karen Finney, thank you both very much for joining me
tonight.

FINNEY: Thanks.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Barney Frank joins me on the 25th anniversary
of his coming out as our first openly gay member of Congress. We`ll talk
about how 25 years later, we still live in a country where children are
taught to sing hate songs about gay people in church. You will hear a 5-
year-old spewing hatred in church to the rapturous joy of all in
attendance.

And the lies of Newt Gingrich about the lies of Donald Trump are in
tonight`s rewrite. And later, Emmy-winning "Daily Show" writer Kevin
Bleyer joins me to try to talk about some serious stuff. Let`s see if he
can do that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: We revere the Constitution of the United States in this
country, but "Daily Show" writer Kevin Bleyer doesn`t. He has actually
rewritten it. We`ll discuss his rewritten version, and yes, I will ask to
see his law school grades.

And, Barney Frank is here to discuss how America has changed and not
changed since he came out 25 years ago. You will see a video of a child
singing a hate song about gay people in church. And in the rewrite
tonight, Newt Gingrich`s lying defense of the Republicans -- of who the
Republicans are counting onto help turn out the racist vote for Mitt
Romney.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. BARNEY FRANK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I just want to thank all the
people in this room for who -- that made this possible for me. No, because
what I thought was going to be a very tough time turned out to be a
surprisingly easy one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Twenty five years ago today, Democratic Congressman from
Massachusetts Barney Frank chose to publicly reveal that he is gay. On
that historic day, he became the first member of Congress to voluntarily
make such a revelation. Twenty five years later, pollsters have stopped
asking Americans whether they approve of members of Congress being gay.

But they do now ask Americans something they couldn`t have imagined
polling on 25 years ago. Do they approve the president`s endorsement of
same-sex marriage? And 51 percent now say yes.

But no matter the great distance this country has traveled on these
issues, this is still the country where this happens.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know the Bible`s right, somebody`s wrong. I
know the Bible`s right, somebody`s wrong. Romans one and twenty seven.
Ain`t no homo gonna make it to heaven.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The church in that video has been identified as the
Apostolic Truth Tabernacle Church in Greensburg, Indiana, where truth is
obviously not part of their liturgy. Today, the church released a
statement on its website saying "the pastor and members of Apostolic Truth
Tabernacle do not condone, teach, or practice hate of any person for any
reason. We believe and hope that every person can find true Bible
salvation and mercy and grace of God in their lives. We are a strong
advocate of the family unit, according to the teachings and precepts found
in the holy Bible.

"We believe the holy Bible is the divinely inspired word of God. And
we will continue to uphold and preach that which is found in scripture."

In other words, the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle Church will continue to
teach five-year-olds that God wants them to sing hate filled songs.

Joining me now is Democratic Congressman Barney Frank. Congressman
Frank, first of all, happy anniversary.

FRANK: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: I remember so vividly your decision to do that, and the
statements you made at that time. I actually want to go to a clip of
something you said that I can still remember quite clearly, a short time
after having come out and publicly announced that you`re gay. Let`s listen
to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANK: I had the fear that maybe if people knew that I was gay that
they might not want to vote for me. So there was a sense of well, that`s
not hanging over me anymore. On the other hand, I feel a little funny.
It`s a little bit late in life to become any kind of sex symbol. I feel
funny.

I walk around and I get a sense people are saying, gee, I wonder what
he does.

I`ve had people say, oh, well, now we understand your work on gay
rights. Well, I`m very proud of the fact that my voting record on women`s
issues is a pretty good one. I think it would be a lousy world if the only
people who were concerned about mistreatment or discrimination were the
victims of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Congressman frank, it was as clear and as quick an it gets
better message as you could have I think imagined after coming out.

FRANK: There`s no question, including back then -- it`s one of the
things I regret, Lawrence. A couple of people who immediately told me they
were supportive were some major Republican -- not liberals, necessarily,
mainstream conservatives, former Senator Al Simpson, former Senator Warren
Rudman.

One of the things that I regret is that there`s been a great progress
made on diminishing prejudice and hate in the country as a whole.
Unfortunately it`s become partisan. The Democrats have gotten better at an
even faster rate than the country, but the Republicans have regress
regressed. I look back somewhat nostalgically to a degree of bipartisan
encouragement I got then that sadly I couldn`t count on today.

O`DONNELL: Congressman Frank, we live in a country where JC Penny has
decided to run an ad featuring two dads, a Father`s Day ad. And yet we see
this five-year-old kid in a church singing this hate song about gay people.
This is part of the regression your talking about, these things that are
going on in these churches.

FRANK: No question. What we`ve seen there, let`s be very clear, is
child abuse.

O`DONNELL: Yes, it is.

FRANK: To have a young kid, ain`t gonna -- a great, great education.
And the irony, of course, is if you allow people of the same sex to marry,
the next thing you know, you`ll be teaching the children about homosexuals
in school. Apparently someone has taught that poor kid -- and I mean that,
this poor kid being inducted with this crap about us in a very negative
way.

But those people are diminishing. And you know what happens,
Lawrence? Sometimes when people know they`re losing, they get more
virulent. They strike out more. That can be a dangerous time in some
ways.

But there isn`t any question. Look, let`s look a t the question of
marriage. Anywhere same sex marriage has gone into affect and been in
affect for a year or more it immediately becomes noncontroversial. We have
had problems where people vote on whether or not it should happen before
it`s happened. Or a month or two after it`s gone into effect.

And the fear is the kind of indoctrination you saw that poor kid
getting prevail. But in the state of New Hampshire, the Democrats enacted
same-sex marriage. The Republicans came to power in 2010 and said we`re
going to repeal it. But after two years, the public in New Hampshire said,
wait a minute; what are you talking about? There`s no issue.

Another one is the Don`t Ask, Don`t Tell. You will remember. You did
stories on this. A year ago, we were being told this would be a terrible
blow with the cohesion of the American military. The Don`t Ask Don`t Tell
policy was repealed. Openly gay and bisexual people have been able to
serve in the military, transgender people for months now, and nobody
noticed.

And so reality is they`re feeding the prejudices. Younger people,
left to their own devices, not indoctrinated like that young man was, are
doing away with it. But there is this problem that the Republican party
and some minority religious groups -- I don`t mean racial minority. I mean
people who are in the minority are kind of seizing on this in a very angry
way, but they`re going to this lose.

O`DONNELL: Congressman Frank, I wasn`t in a position to publicly
congratulate you 25 years ago on that day. But I have to say, as a
Massachusetts voter at the time, I couldn`t have been more proud.
Congressman Frank, thank you very, very much for joining me tonight.

FRANK: A month ago from now or so, this summer, I`m going to be
getting married. Never thought the day would come when I would be able to
do that. I`m looking forward to introducing Jim as my husband to my
colleagues for the rest of this year.

O`DONNELL: Congratulations again. And thank you, Congressman Frank.

FRANK: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Newt Gingrich defends Donald Trump the only way
he knows how, by lying. Newt Gingrich and the bloviating ignoramus are in
tonight`s Rewrite.

And later, Emmy Award winning "Daily Show" writer Kevin Bleyer joins
me.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Time for tonight`s Rewrite. Newt Gingrich is pretending
that he doesn`t know what all the fuss is about. The fuss about Mitt
Romney palling around with a bloviating ignoramus who peddles the lie that
President Obama was not born in the United States.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m happy to say I
believe he was born in Hawaii. We believe that this is an American born
job killing president. Other people may believe that he was born somewhere
else and still kills jobs, but that`s an argument over background.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: No, Newt, it is not an argument over background. It`s an
argument over a lie. It`s an argument over the very legitimacy of this
presidency, the Constitutional legitimacy of Barack Obama to be president
of the United States.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: The president challenges his own legitimacy by his failures
on the economy, his failures on the deficit, his failures in being candid
with the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Oh, so failures on the economy challenge the legitimacy of
a presidency. I didn`t hear Newt Gingrich say that during George H.W.
Bush`s recession. And now Newt says that failures on the deficit challenge
a president`s legitimacy. But I didn`t hear him say that about every
president during Newt`s lifetime that ran a budget deficit and failed to
pay off the national debt.

And now Newt Gingrich is saying that failures on being candid with the
American people challenge a president`s legitimacy. Well, that was
certainly true with Republican President Nixon, who was driven from office
at the end of impeachment hearings in the House of Representatives. But
then Ronald Reagan was anything but candid with the American people on the
Iran Contra, the mining of the harbors in Nicaragua.

In fact, every president, every single one of them from George
Washington on, has failed to be candid with the American people about
something, or about many things, without -- without ever having the
legitimacy of his presidency challenged. This is the first president who
has suffered a challenge to his legitimacy from a bloviating ignoramus or
from anyone else. No other president`s citizenship has been challenged.

Newt Gingrich knows that George Will is right about Donald Trump being
a bloviating ignoramus. Newt Gingrich is afraid to say that. How do we
know that Newt Gingrich is afraid to say that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: No, I`m not afraid of him. I just know it`s hopeless to
suggest anything to him about what he should do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: No, it couldn`t be that Newt is afraid of a bloviating
ignoramus. It`s just that Newt is not one for hopeless quests like trying
to get Donald Trump to change his mind or, you know, running for president,
something like that. That kind of Don Quixote stuff just isn`t Newt
Gingrich. He is a practical man who would never get caught trying to do
something hopeless.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: We are going to contest every place. And we are going to
win. And we will be in Tampa as the nominee in August.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And Newt thinks there isn`t a whiff of racism in anything
Donald Trump says about President Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: I know that there`s a desperate need to attach racism to
everything. But, in fact, I think Donald Trump said what he said because
he thinks it`s the right thing for him to say.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Well, Governor George Wallace thought this was the right
thing for him to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE WALLACE, FORMER GOVERNOR OF MISSISSIPPI: And I say segregation
now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And President Richard Nixon, who Newt Gingrich supported,
thought that this was the right thing for him to say: quote, "the Jews are
just a very aggressive and abrasive and obnoxious personality."

The fact that a bloviating ignoramus thinks something is the right
thing for him to say doesn`t make it right. And Newt Gingrich knows that.
And Newt Gingrich is afraid of Donald Trump.

When Republican president Lyndon Johnson pushed the Civil Rights Act
and the Voting Right Act through Congress in 1964 and 1965, Republicans
realized there were millions of racists in this country who from that point
forward would hate the Democratic party. But they were still registered
voters.

And some Republicans wanted to make sure that those racist registered
voters knew they still had a political home. And so was born the
Republican so-called southern strategy, which delivered the presidency to
Nixon in 1968 and has been the key to every Republican electoral college
victory since then. Some Republican presidential campaign strategists are
always looking for a way to signal to the racist vote that they should be
voting Republican.

And with a bloviating ignoramus casting himself in the role of the
Pied Piper of American racism, the Romney campaign is doing everything it
can to help provide a stage for Trump to play his tune.

Newt Gingrich knows the southern strategy well. He`s from Georgia, a
state that used to be controlled by the Democratic party and is now a rock
solid Republican. Newt Gingrich, as we know him, would not exist were it
not for the Republican southern strategy, the euphemism Republicans coined
for coddling racists and making them feel welcome in their party.

And Newt Gingrich knows the racial element of the southern strategy
must never be acknowledged publicly. And so Newt explains the unique race
based assault on the legitimacy of the Obama presidency this way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: I think that Obama creates very powerful emotions about
him, largely because of the radicalism of his views. And I think that
that`s the key. Nobody runs around and asks whether Colonel West was born
in the United States. He`s an African-American, you know. He`s a
congressman.

Nobody runs around and says was Tim Scott born in the United States.
He`s a congressman. He`s African-American. So the idea of asserting that
any charge against Obama somehow manages magically in the media to get back
to racism I think is just one more device to protect Obama.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: I was told during the Gingrich tape that I slipped back
there and referred to Lyndon Johnson as a Republican. He was, of course, a
Democrat, and of course his pushing the Civil Rights Act and the Voting
Rights Act is what inspired the wrath of southern voters against the
Democratic party.

And there you just saw Newt Gingrich`s tortured rhetorical device to
protect the southern strategy, to protect the vile race based rantings of
the national embarrassment called Donald Trump, to protect Mitt Romney from
charges of palling around with an incoherent racial racketeer.

Of course, no one need ask where a member of Congress was born because
it doesn`t matter. We`ve had many members of Congress who were foreign
born, not natural born citizens, because there are only two elective
positions in the country that requires the office holder to be, quote, a
natural born citizen: president and vice president.

And historian Newt Gingrich knows that. He knows that his reference
to African-American congressmen is still constitutionally irrelevant to the
racist messaging about the president`s birth certificate that the
Republicans and Mitt Romney have outsourced to a bloviating ignoramus.
They have decided that to win this election, they need someone to sell the
hatred that Donald Trump sells. But none of those republicans can be
caught getting their hands dirty with it themselves.

Mitt Romney can`t say these things. That`s why he needs Donald Trump
to say these things. He needs a bloviating ignoramus with access to
microphones to tell everyone who hates President Obama to vote Romney. He
needs them to make sure every racist registered voter in America will be
filled with what Newt Gingrich calls, quote, very powerful emotions on
election day.

He needs to make sure that they will turn out, to try to get every one
of them to turn out for Donald Trump`s candidate, because in the
presidential election of 2012, the Republicans` southern strategy has
become the Trump strategy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I was speaking with one of these business owner who is owns a
couple restaurants in town. He said, you know, I would like to change the
Constitution. I`m not sure I can do it, he said. But I would like to have
a provision in the Constitution that in addition to the age of the
president and the citizenship of the president and the birthplace of the
president being set by the Constitution, I would like it also to say that
the president has to spend at least three years working in business before
he can become president of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now is Constitutional scholar Kevin Bleyer, an
Emmy winning writer for "The Daily Show" and author of the new book "Me The
People: One Man`s Selfless Quest to Rewrite the Constitution of the United
States of America."

Kevin, we don`t have a lot of time tonight. So I recommend holding
the book up in front of you at all times as a promo?

KEVIN BLEYER, AUTHOR, "ME THE PEOPLE": Is that right? I have my
marching orders at the top here?

O`DONNELL: We want to sell books. There it is, "Me the People,"
right there. So Kevin, you and Mitt Romney have something in common. You
are deeply dissatisfied with the Constitution of the United States. What
did you think of --

BLEYER: That`s not a fair approximation, no. >

O`DONNELL: What did you think of his rewrite? He wants to
constitutionally mandate three years business experience.

BLEYER: I am so glad you brought this up, because I think you and I
both have to applaud Mitt Romney for following your lead --

O`DONNELL: Speak for yourself, my friend. Speak for yourself.

BLEYER: Page two rewrite of the second article of the Constitution of
the United States of "Amercia" or America. I don`t know what it is. Even
though that would have been one that would have disqualified Eisenhower,
Roosevelt or John McCain. But what it didn`t say is that anonymous
business who actually whispered that constitutional amendment into his ear,
it might have been me, because it certainly does sound like the kind of
absurd suggestion that I might make in this book.

O`DONNELL: And you do, it turns out, have access to power. For your
book about the Constitution, I believe you got access to at least one
Supreme Court Justice.

BLEYER: Well the rumors are true. I did think to myself, who on the
planet would be the most amenable to a page one rewrite of the
Constitution. I thought, it`s probably the man who has devoted his entire
life to securing and protecting every article, phrase and sentence in the
Constitution. But yes, Justice Scalia did meet. He was game. He enjoyed
I think --

(CROSS TALK)

O`DONNELL: What you`re revealing here is we have a Supreme Court
Justice with time on his hands. We have a guy with nothing to do, enough
time to say yes, Mr. Emmy winning "Daily Show" writer, come right in. I
got nothing to do.

BLEYER: He`s a man with a sense of humor.

When I suggested to him that article three might, in fact, no longer
allow him to have lifetime tenure, he in fact asked me if he could at least
be grand fathered in, which I appreciated.

O`DONNELL: Kevin Bleyer, author of the book "Me the People." Kevin,
let`s -- can you stick around and we`ll do a little extra stuff for the web
that we can post. You "Daily Show" guys do that all the time with your
guests when you run out of time.

BLEYER: We do run long.

O`DONNELL: All right, we`re going to do that. "THE ED SHOW" is up
next.

END

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