updated 10/22/2012 2:54:22 PM ET 2012-10-22T18:54:22

THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
October 19, 2012

Guests: Adam B. Ellick, Tammy Duckworth


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: Tonight, Dr. Obama says Mitt Romney has a
bad case of Romnesia, and Dr. Biden says Romnesia is contagious.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just 18 days until the election.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Eighteen days to go.

CHRIS JANSING, NBC NEWS: I know you`re counting down.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just 18 days.

JANSING: Three days until the third and final presidential debate.

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: Monday foreign policy debate.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Backtracking and side
stepping.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every time Romney opened his mouth on foreign
policy, he does make a misstep.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: So much to redistribute.

DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS: We`re not in a position to start to call who
has the most definite edge here.

O`DONNELL: We may not have a call on election night.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Maybe many days after the polls close.

ANN ROMNEY, MITT ROMNEY`S WIFE: Women are going to have a choice.

MITT ROMNEY: Remove funding for Planned Parenthood.

ANN ROMNEY: If you really want to make a choice, those choices are
about reproductive rights, that`s your choice.

OBAMA: You don`t want someone who needs to ask for binders of women.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Women are not binders.

OBAMA: You don`t want to back down (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just got shelved like a binder.

OBAMA: He`s forgetting what his own positions are.

MITT ROMNEY: I care about 100 percent of the American people.

OBAMA: I think it`s called Romnesia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Romnesia.

OBAMA: If you say you`ll protect a woman`s right to choose.

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

OBAMA: He`ll be delighted to sign a law outlawing that right.

MITT ROMNEY: I`ll be delighted to sign that bill.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`ll be delighted.

OBAMA: Man, you definitely got Romnesia.

MARTIN BASHIR, MSNBC HOST: Romnesia.

OBAMA: He`s going to give a tax cut to the top 1 percent.

MITT ROMNEY: We ought to bring the tax rates down.

OBAMA: I don`t know anything about giving tax cuts to rich folks.

MITT ROMNEY: I don`t have a $5 trillion tax cut.

OBAMA: You probably got Romnesia.

Here`s the good news -- Obamacare covers preexisting conditions!

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: With just 18 days until the election, President Obama got
some important endorsements today and Mitt Romney got an ailment that Dr.
Obama diagnosed as Romnesia.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: H`s forgetting what his own positions are. And he`s betting
that you will too. I mean, he`s changing up so much and backtracking and
sidestepping.

We`ve got -- we`ve got to name this condition that he`s going through.
I think, I think it`s called Romnesia.

If you say you`ll protect a woman`s right to choose but you stand up
in a primary debate and said that you`d be delighted to sign a law
outlawing that right to choose in all cases -- man, you definitely got
Romnesia.

And if you come down with a case of Romnesia, and you can`t seem to
remember the policies that are still on your Web site, or the promises that
you`ve made over the six years you`ve been running for president, here`s
the good news -- Obamacare covers preexisting conditions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: After Dr. Obama listed the symptoms of Romnesia in
Virginia today, Dr. Biden warned a Florida audience about just how
contagious Romnesia can be.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Because it`s
Romnesia. Boy, I`ll tell you what. I hope you all don`t get Romnesia.

It`s contagious, because all of a sudden, Paul Ryan, the budget hawk,
the guy who introduced a whole budget plan that actually already passed, it
already passed the House of Representatives, all of a sudden he doesn`t
remember it. He doesn`t remember it.

Ryan is saying his budget doesn`t decimate Medicare and Medicaid and
eviscerate education. It`s a little like Mitt Romney standing in an
unemployment line in Florida and turning to the guy and saying, look, I
didn`t outsource your job, I offshored it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The vice president was welcomed to Florida today by this
editorial from Florida`s largest newspaper, "The Tampa Bay Times," "Obama
has been tested by harsh circumstance and proven himself worthy for a
second term for president of the United States. `The Tampa Bay Times`
recommends Barack Obama."

"The Denver Post" editorial board writes today, "Mitt Romney`s
comments on the 47 percent of Americans who refuse to take personal
responsibility and care for their lives were a telling insight into his
views and a low point of the campaign. Obama, on the other hand, has shown
throughout his term that he is a steady leader who keeps the interests of a
broad array of Americans in mind. We urge Coloradans to re-elect him to a
second term."

And in Utah today, a "Salt Lake Tribune" editorial says, "Through a
pair of presidential debates, Romney`s domestic agenda remains bereft of
detail and worthy of mistrust. Therefore, our endorsement must go to the
incumbent, a competent leader who, against tough odds has guided the
country through catastrophe set a course that while rocky, is pointing
toward a brighter day."

Nate Silver of "The New York Times" "FiveThirtyEight" blog forecasts
that on November 6th, President Obama has a 66.9 chance of winning
reelection, and President Obama will win 287 Electoral College votes, and
Mitt Romney will within 251.

Krystal Ball, the newspaper editorials are fascinating to me. The
Republicans take their convention to Tampa, the local endorsement endorses
President Obama`s reelection. Mitt Romney goes into Denver, and according
to "The Denver Post," on big page one headline won the debate.

KRYSTAL BALL, THE CYCLE: Right.

O`DONNELL: That very same newspaper comes out and says President
Obama should be re-elected.

And then you go to Utah. You would presume a stronghold area for Mitt
Romney. Surely he`s going to carry the state. But there, big local paper
in Salt Lake says, no, President Obama has earned re-election.

What do newspaper endorsements mean in a 21st century campaign?

BALL: You know, it would be easy to dismiss them to say they don`t
amount a whole lot, there`s so much media out there, people are making
decisions in different ways. But I actually think for a lot of undecided
voters, who you might call low information voters, their local paper is
still a go-to source for what`s going on. It`s a trusted source, it`s
reporters they know, it`s editors that they know.

So it can mean something in a swing state to those voters who are kind
of on the fence. I think it can make a difference.

O`DONNELL: Ari Melber, 18 days to go and the president is now I think
beginning to make his closing arguments out there in the stump.

Let`s listen to what he was saying today in Virginia, that is
something of a summation of his case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: In 18 days, you can let them turn the clock back 50 years for
immigrants and gays and women or we can stand up and say we are a country
in which everybody has a place. A country where no matter where you are,
no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, black, white,
Hispanic, Asian, Native American, young, old, gay, straight, abled,
disabled, we have a place for everybody. Everybody has got chance to make
it if you try.

I want to finish the job. And if you`re willing to stand with me and
make some phone calls with me, and knock some doors with me, get your
friends to vote for me, we will win Fairfax County again. We`ll win
Virginia again. We`ll finish what we started.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Ari, that`s the man we first saw on a national stage in
Boston during John Kerry`s convention and the man who ran for president
last time.

ARI MELBER, THE NATION: Yes, and it`s a strong closing argument.
It`s justice and jobs. And there are areas we`ve seen where they`ve linked
those really strongly like on pay equity for women. There are areas where
you have to think about it a little more. I think the president has been
explaining and really embracing Obamacare as something that can be very
good for jobs, very good for your pocketbook.

And then the negative side of it is, you know, one of those editorials
was called too many Mitts and this idea of Romnesia that you can`t figure
out where Romney stands because he can`t figure out where he stands and Joe
Biden says it`s contagious.

You know, the next question is it an FTD? Is it a FOX-transmitted
disease?

BALL: You went (INAUDIBLE).

MELBER: Because if it is.

O`DONNELL: I think it may be.

MELBER: Because if it is, because FOX was attacking Romney back when
he was for regulated assault weapons, now they`re supporting his claim that
he`s actually against that. They were attacking him when he was pro-
choice, and now they`re supporting him saying he`s pro-life.

But you know what? In Ohio and around the country, people are just
relying on FOX News, which has a couple of million. They are, as Krystal
said, reading their local paper, hearing this message. And when your local
paper says there`s too many Mitts and Joe Biden says he can`t remember
where he is, and the president says it, and then you watch a debate where
Mitt Romney is running from his positions on abortion and can`t figure out
in real time what his position is on Libya, I think all that adds up to a
pretty strong closing argument.

O`DONNELL: Let`s take a look at a new Obama ad that`s running in Ohio
now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They came up and they said you`re laid off,
everybody, as of right now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What was I going to do for my children? Are
they going to have a home?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Without President Obama`s rescue of the auto
industry, Ohio would have collapsed. Mitt Romney would have just let us go
under. Just let us go bankrupt.

ROMNEY: That`s exactly what I said, by the headline your read, which
is that, let Detroit go bankrupt.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And for him to just say let them fail.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How you can say something like that is just beyond
me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Krystal, that looks like something that will work in Ohio.

BALL: That`s pretty devastating. I mean, Ohio has been an outlier
for the president in terms of how well he`s performing there versus the
national average and even versus other battleground states. And this is
the essence of the reason why, on the most important economic decision
facing Ohioans, Mitt Romney got it dead wrong in a very obvious way that
everyone can understand.

So I think, underscoring that as much as possible between now and
Election Day is critical and it`s devastating.

O`DONNELL: And, Ari, on the Romnesia thing, doesn`t it also sound
like, it`s not just forgetful and all of that, there`s a kind of out-of-
touch element to it. It seems to be something that encapsulates a lot
about Romney.

MELBER: Yes, I think that`s exactly right, Lawrence, and it`s what
Bill Clinton said. They think you`re stupid.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

MELBER: They think they can run through six different positions and
then say, no, I`m not the one. You`re the one that wanted to go bankrupt
and that`s going to work. And I think in this environment, it doesn`t work
because people care about what`s happening to this country.

BALL: Can I say how satisfying that Democrats come up with such a
great word? It seems like the Republicans are always the ones that come
with Medi-scare and Obamacare and all this language. Finally, we have such
a beautiful crystallization of exactly who Mitt Romney is and what the
problem is.

O`DONNELL: I think we`ll all remember where we were this morning when
we first saw it on Twitter.

BALL: Say the hashtag.

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

O`DONNELL: Oh, yes. Who wrote that? I mean, someone in the campaign
is getting a little prize for writing that.

BALL: Absolutely.

O`DONNELL: And so, going into next week`s debate, I think one of the
challenges we`re going to talk about on the next segment, but foreign
policy is not probably where this debate, this campaign is going to be won.
They`re going to have to find some ways to trick that debate into domestic
issues, aren`t they?

BALL: Well, there are a lot of ways that you can do it. Things like
climate change and energy certainly have international and domestic
implications. But I do have to think, you know, in terms of the impact of
these debates, there`s a little bit of drama gone because we`ve had both
Mitt Romney and the president have strong performances. It`s 90 minutes of
foreign policy.

And, frankly, if you look at the town hall format and what questions
voters wanted to ask, what was on their mind, there was only one foreign
policy question. So, as you said, I think both candidates actually, to the
extent that they can kind of cheat back to domestic policy will probably do
so.

O`DONNELL: Krystal Ball and Ari Melber, thank you both for joining me
tonight.

MELBER: Thank you.

BALL: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the most important news in the world. Malala
Yousufzai is back on her feet. She is standing with help now and is
writing again after being shot in the head by Pakistan-Taliban.

In a LAST WORD exclusive, "The New York Times" reporter who knows her
well and made a documentary about her will join me.

The woman who is trying to save the world from bat crap crazy
Congressman Joe Walsh, Democratic congressional candidate and war veteran
Tammy Duckworth joins me, also for THE LAST WORD exclusive.

And in the rewrite tonight: Lingerie, the kind of lingerie that Mitt
Romney hates the most. Chinese lingerie and why getting tough China is
tougher than Mitt Romney thinks.

And we will give Mitt Romney another little lesson from "The West
Wing."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: You know Mitt Romney is going to talk tough about China in
Monday night`s debate. That`s in the rewrite tonight.

And Karen Finney and Richard Wolffe will join me next with what else
we can expect Monday night. And in THE LAST WORD exclusive, congressional
candidate Tammy Duckworth joins me when her opponent crazy Republican
Congressman Joe Walsh continues to evolve his opinion on abortion to save
the life of the mother. He was opposed to it yesterday and not quite so
opposed to it today.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON STEWART, THE DAILY SHOW: I do want to ask you this. I`m putting
together a scrapbook of the whole 2012 campaign. And I don`t -- I have
these great pictures from the two debates, but I don`t know which debate
they`re from. So if you could -- I have two pictures. There`s one
picture, I don`t know if you can get that. And then there`s the other
picture and I`m wondering, could you tell me which -- I don`t know if I
have the debates, do you know which debate was which?

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: Cute.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: As the final presidential debate approaches Monday night,
last night, the Al at the Al Smith Dinner here in New York, Mitt Romney
said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: And even though we`re enjoying ourselves tonight, we`re both
thinking ahead of our final debate on Monday. I`m hoping that Governor
Romney and I will have the chance to answer questions that is on the mind
of millions of Americans watching at home. Is this happening again? Why
aren`t they putting on "The Voice"?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: President Obama did tip his hand last night on one of the
debate points he has ready for Monday night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Monday`s debate is a little different because the topic is
foreign policy. Spoiler alert: We`ve got bin Laden.

Of course, world affairs are a challenge for every candidate. After
some of you guys remember. After my foreign trip in 2008, I was attacked
as a celebrity because I was so popular with our alleys overseas. And I
have to say I`m impressed with how well Governor Romney has avoided that
problem.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now: Richard Wolffe and Karen Finney.

Richard, why am I suspecting that the candidates are spending their
weekend trying to figure out how to steer this back to domestic policy
whenever they can during this foreign policy debate.

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Because you`ve seen this
stuff before.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

WOLFFE: I mean, remember the foreign policy debate in 2008 turned out
to be about the world economy which turned out to be about the American
economy and they`ll do some of that again. Trade is an obvious place you
can do that.

But don`t under estimate the animosity between these two people and
how much they want to relitigate every foreign change policy exchange we
saw in the last two, including, by the way, I would expect, Mitt Romney
going back to Libya and having at it all over again, only this time trying
to do a clean-up job. I think they will want to engage because they really
dislike each other and because, let`s face it, Mitt Romney has got some
explaining to do.

O`DONNELL: Karen Finney, I have good news for you. Rush Limbaugh
believes that President Obama is going to win Monday night`s debate. Now,
I want you to listen how Rush thinks he`s going to do that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Just get together with Bob
Schieffer before the debate bike he did Candy Crowley, and say, look, when
this comes up, you just go there. And we`ll handle it -- we`ll handle it
that way.

Folks, I -- no, I`m not alleging anything. I just -- I find, I watch
the debate again and Romney goes on, he said, Mr. President, we have this
over you called it a terrorist attack the day after? And Obama said,
proceed. Governor, proceed.

So Romney said, OK, we have it on record the president of the United
States said, blah, blah, blah, and then Obama points and says to Candy
Crowley, get the transcript. And she just happens to have it. So a little
powwow with Bob Schieffer, you never know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Karen, I show you the ravings of Rush Limbaugh here to
save you the time to listen to all three hours of it every day yourself.

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Oh, thank you.

O`DONNELL: But also because he does have a huge Republican audience
and this does explain what is the real belief among a lot of Republicans
about exactly how this works. They have a crazy view of what`s possible
Monday night.

FINNEY: Well, they absolutely do. And what they don`t like, right,
is that what really happened was Romney tried to roll up on the president
with bad facts and the president checked him on it. So, you know, they
didn`t like that, so now they`ve come up with an alternate theory of
reality which I`m sure they`ll come up with some alternate theory of
reality for the next debate as well.

But, you know, one thing I think is important. I think it will be a
mistake for President Obama to spend too much time relitigating Libya,
because, you know, there are a number of studies that have shown, polls
semi-recently that have shown the majority of Americans actually are tired
of war. They don`t want more troops in Afghanistan. We don`t want more
troops in -- they`re wary of sending troops to Syria, they`re wary of the
idea of troops in Iran.

So I think it`s important for the president to press Romney in the way
you saw Biden really press Ryan to say, so are you saying you would commit
troops? Because that is a death knell for Romney. The Americans don`t
want it. I think it`s another way for Obama to talk about how he has tried
to change the nature of American foreign policy to be more about
multilateralism and not this sort of cowboy diplomacy.

O`DONNELL: All right. Let`s take a look at President Obama in the
2008 debate, as Richard said, finding a way to take the foreign policy
debate back to domestic policy. Let`s listen to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: You know, we are at a defining moment in our history. Our
nation is involved in two wars. And we are going through the worst
financial crisis since the Great Depression. And although we`ve heard a
lot about Wall Street, those of you on Main Street, I think have been
struggling for a while. And you recognize that this could have an impact
on all sectors of the economy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Richard, surely we will see that from both of them.

WOLFFE: We will. And there is -- there`s a legitimate piece of the
international policy debate that deals with the American economy. The
American economy triggered or rather Wall Street triggered this financial
collapse, it spread through the world economy and it`s been sustained by
Europe.

But, you know, there are pieces of this international debate, it`s not
really about trade. It`s the world financial architecture and how banks
are interrelated. I don`t think they`re going to go there because neither
candidate really has the solution to that piece of it.

Bringing it back though, look -- Mitt Romney`s classic debating
position. We`ve seen it two times already, is not to offer up solution and
to say, I don`t have to do anything. I just have to critique you. You`re
the president.

So whenever people ask him, in a debate or otherwise, what would you
do about this or that problem, Simpson-Bowles. You say the president
failed in Simpson-Bowles, would you take it? He says, "I don`t need to
give you an answer." It`s a bit like hearing his wife saying we don`t need
to give you those tax returns. You have all you`re going to get.

FINNEY: You know, I --

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Karen.

FINNEY: I was going to say, don`t forget, there is another
vulnerability for Governor Romney and that is when we talk about trading,
we talk about the global economy, President Obama has a wonderful argument
to make about, who was it that was betting against the American economy,
who was it that was part of shipping jobs overseas, by putting their money
in foreign bank accounts, right, trying to obfuscate their tax
responsibility to the United States and trying to, you know, reduce their
tax burden?

So there are some other liabilities that relate to the economy and
foreign policy, if you will, that the president -- that is right for the
president.

O`DONNELL: Let`s take another look at the 2008 foreign policy debate
and how it managed to stay on the economy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: There are folks out there who have been struggling before this
crisis took place, and that`s why it`s so important, as we saw the short
term problem that we look at some of the underlying issues that have led
for wages and incomes for ordinary Americans to go down, the health care
system that is broken, energy policies that are not working, because, you
know, 10 days ago, John said that the fundamentals in the economy is sound.

MODERATOR: Say it directly to him.

OBAMA: John, 10 days ago, you said the fundamentals of the economy
are sound.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Are you afraid I couldn`t hear him?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOLFFE: Those were the days when Jim Lehrer intervened in the debate.

You know, this is where you`ve got a sweet spot for the president,
because China is obviously a piece of the international puzzle here. It`s
got to be part of trade. Mitt Romney is surely going to bring it up.
That`s where the president brings up our old friend Bain, because it`s
personal investments, it`s offshoring.

When he`s talking about, you know, the middle class suffering over the
years, you cannot deal with that without talking about Bain and its
approach to outsourcing and shipping companies overseas, these whole
factories overseas. That`s where the pivot is going to come.

But don`t get me wrong. Libya is just a piece of it. What is Mitt
Romney`s position on Afghanistan? Why did he say that leaving Iraq was a
disaster?

I mean, there are really substantive differences that both of these
candidates need to go through in this debate.

O`DONNELL: Richard Wolffe and Karen Finney, thank you both for
joining me tonight.

WOLFFE: Thank you.

FINNEY: Thanks.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, "The West Wing" returns to THE LAST WORD
tonight, this time with lingerie, the kind of lingerie that scares Mitt
Romney the most -- Chinese bras. I will use Chinese bras to show Mitt
Romney just how tough it is to get tough on China trade. That`s in
tonight`s rewrite.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Tonight, Malala lives. And today, she`s been able to
stand again for the first time with some help and she is writing again.

In a LAST WORD exclusive, "The New York Times" journalist who spent
six months tracking Malala`s fight for the education of girls in Pakistan
will join us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: In the Spotlight tonight, Malala lives. This newly
released picture shows 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai out of her coma and no
longer on a ventilator. The brave Pakistani girl is in recovery at a
British hospital after being shot in the head on her school bus by the
Taliban Pakistan 10 days ago.

Doctors say Malala wanted this picture released.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. DAVID ROSSER, MEDICAL DIRECTOR AT HOSPITAL TREATING MALALA: It`s
clear that she`s not out of the woods yet. Having said that, she`s doing
very well. In fact, she was standing with some help for the first time
this morning when I went in to see her.

She`s communicating very freely. She`s writing. She`s keen that
people share the details. She`s also keen that I thank people for their
support and their interests. Because she`s obviously aware of the amount
of interest and support this has generated around the world. And she`s
keen to thank people for that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Malala is still fighting an infection along the path the
bullet traveled after she was shot at point blank range above her left
brow. Malala will also need major reconstructive surgery and rehab.
Tonight, the man accused of shooting Malala Yousafzai and two of her school
mates has not yet been apprehended, but Pakistani security forces have
detained several of his relatives.

The Pakistani Taliban still vows to kill the 15-year-old girl who
revealed the dangers girls in Pakistan face in this 2009 documentary.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MALALA YOUSAFZAI, PAKISTANI ACTIVIST: In the world, the girls are
going to their schools freely and there is no fear. But in Savath, when we
go to our school, we are very afraid of Taliban. He will kill us. He will
throw acid on our face. And he can do anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now for an exclusive interview is the man who
created that documentary, Adam B..Ellick, "New York Times" video and print
journalist. Adam, thanks for joining us.

How did you discover Malala to follow her and document what she was
doing?

ADAM B. ELLICK, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": Well, I had read a three-
paragraph description in a local paper that said in two weeks the Taliban
are going to close all schools for girls. So I called a Pakistani
journalist who had reported in the region and I asked him how many girls
does this affect. And he said 50,000 school girls will be losing their
education in a few weeks.

So I asked him to connect me to an educational activist in Swath. And
a few days later in a neutral city, because Swath was so dangerous at the
time, Zaoudine (ph), Malala`s father, showed up. And I didn`t even know
it, but there was a I think 11-year-old girl with him at the time. And she
didn`t speak for the first maybe 30 minutes or so.

And finally, I said who`s this and what do you have to say. And she
spoke in her local language, Pashtun. And only about 10 minutes later did
she even reveal that she spoke English. So she has transformed quite a
lot. She was once a shy girl. And now she`s quite fiery, as you see.

O`DONNELL: And how old was she when you made your documentary
following her in Pakistan?

ELLICK: I believe when we started, she was 10 or 11. And now she`s
15. It was January 2009.

O`DONNELL: And she seems to -- this point made by the hospital today,
that she actually wants that picture of her released. She seems to
understand the power of worldwide media, that this will give encouragement
to all of us who want to see her survive and want her cause to prevail.

ELLICK: Yeah. It`s a great point. When I heard that, that`s the
Malala I know. And I can assure you of that. I mean, there were many
times when we were filming when it was extremely dangerous. I mean, Malala
described the days I was there as the worst days in Swath, when the Taliban
had closed down her school. And there were many times when her father
asked me to put away the camera because he was nervous.

I would always get this look from her. She was very quiet. But she
would just give me the look of sort of, don`t worry you can bring it out
again. And she was always giving me these approving glances of you can
film anything. There are no limits. Always open and always keen to tell
her story.

O`DONNELL: The Taliban has once again issued the threat on her life
if they get another chance. And they say it has nothing to do with the
education part of her cause. They say it`s simply because she`s a traitor,
that that is why they want to kill her.

ELLICK: Yeah. The Taliban released a seven-page statement earlier
this week. And they listed several reasons for why they issued this
assassination attempt. I think one thing to extract from this statement is
that they`re on the defensive. I mean, they rarely release a statement and
certainly almost never seven pages, and in Urdu, which -- normally they
release statements in Pashtun, which is the language in the tribal areas.

So it shows that they`re clearly backed up to the edge. And they`re
on the defensive. And as you see from the video this week in Pakistan, the
country has come out in widespread unanimous support in favor of Malala.
And that`s something we didn`t see when politicians, three prominent
politicians were assassinated in Pakistan last year. There was more of a
divided reaction.

O`DONNELL: Adam, the Taliban is also threatening to kill Pakistani
journalists who cover this story. How dangerous was it for you to be doing
what you did with Malala?

ELLICK: Well, those were really dangerous times. And the only reason
that I was able to realize this film -- well, several reasons. One of
course is the courage of Malala and her father, Zaoudine. But I worked
very closely with two incredibly courageous Pakistani journalists who took
tremendous risks to go into areas that had a curfew at night, and where
shelling was going on.

And I give the credit to them, because those guys, you know, they live
there. That`s their home. And they`re putting their life on the line
every day telling these kinds of stories. I was just there for a year or
so.

O`DONNELL: Quickly before we go, people keep asking how they might be
able to help Malala.

ELLICK: Great question. There are -- there are several initiatives
going on. One of the good ones, one of the ones that I think is doing
something on a more societal level, is EducationEnvoy.org. It`s run by
Gordon Brown, the global education ambassador for the United Nations. And
he`s going to Pakistan next week to lobby President Zardari of Pakistan to
get every girl in Pakistan an education.

So it`s an e-mail petition in which people can sign to support that
they want all girls in Pakistan to go to school. Keep in mind that in the
area where Malala is from, only half of the girls are educated --
officially enrolled in school.

O`DONNELL: Adam Ellick of "the New York Times." can`t thank you
enough for brining her story to the world. And thanks for joining us
tonight.

ELLICK: Thank you for caring.

O`DONNELL: In Illinois, the war over women is being fought by a woman
with combat experience, Democratic Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth,
who is running against Republican Congressman Joe Walsh. Tammy Duckworth
joins me in a LAST WORD exclusive.

And in the Rewrite tonight, everything -- just everything Mitt Romney
needs to know about lingerie is in an episode of "The West Wing." Chinese
bras might not come up in Monday night`s debate, but if you really want to
talk tough with China, you`re going to have to talk to the Chinese
government about lingerie. That`s in the Rewrite.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: In the Rewrite tonight, women`s undergarments,
specifically bras. And even more specifically, the scariest bras in the
world, Chinese bras.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chinese bras are killing us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re flooding Wal-Mart with cheap bras.
Domestic producers can`t compete. China has tripled its market share in
the last two years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I assume we`re all OK with French bras, right?
Because I for one prefer them and --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This isn`t funny.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course not. Look, I`m with you on this one. I
just wish the president could do something about cheap bras.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He can.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He can activate the textile and apparel import
safe guards we got you guys to put in the deal admitting to the WTO,
starting with bras.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apparent import safeguards, didn`t know about
that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everyone`s going to know about it tomorrow when we
start burning bras in front of the White House.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ll be right back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Ah, the great Richard Schiff. I wrote that episode of
"The West Wing" in 2004 when Chinese bras were surging into the American
market. Chinese bras now have serious competition for market share in
America. But that competition does not come from American lingerie
manufacturers. It comes from other Asian bra manufacturers.

It turns out getting tough with China and preserving the American
market for American manufacturers is not as easy as simpletons like Donald
Trump and Mitt Romney think it is. At the debate on Monday night, I
guarantee you, you will hear Mitt Romney make this empty promise once
again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: On day one, I will label China a currency manipulator.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And I guarantee you that Mitt Romney would never do that
if elected president. It is traditional for candidates running for
president, who are not already president to demagogue about international
trade. Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama said when they were running
against each other as president that they would reopen NAFTA. Do you
remember the day President Obama announced he would not reopen NAFTA?

No, you don`t. Because it was a buried news story in the back of the
business section in the "New York Times" about 90 days into the Obama
presidency. In the White House, there is not a Democratic position on
trade and a Republican position on trade. There is simply a presidential
position on trade. And the presidential position is flawlessly consistent.
And it is simply that the president must first do no harm, which means the
president must not take any action that can provoke a trade war.

And presidents never do take such action, no matter what they have
promised on the campaign trail. Presidents publicly complain about China
on trade issues, then they privately negotiate with China on trade. They
have some wins with China and they have some losses with China on trade.
But taking punitive action with China or any other country other than Cuba
is almost always more costly to the United States than it is to China or
that other country.

In 2009, the Obama administration imposed tariffs on tires imported
from China. And last month the administration very quietly let that tariff
expire. After one study says that that tariff preserved maybe about 1,200
American jobs at a cost of 1.1 billion dollars. That would be 900,000
dollars per job.

Now, those numbers could be overstated, even significantly overstated.
But what`s absolutely true is that any tariff we put on any product in this
country is paid not by the country that produces the product. It is paid
by American consumers when they purchase that product. Tariffs are simply
sales taxes on American consumers. And that`s why tariffs are almost
always self-defeating.

So if a president wants to get tough with China and slap some heavy
tariffs on Chinese products, the question for that president is very
simple: Mr. President, tell us exactly what products you want to make much
more expensive for American consumers. And presidents look at that menu of
choice and wisely choose none of the above.

Mitt Romney likes to pretend that he`s the only candidate who cares
about Chinese currency manipulation. American presidents have been
pressuring the Chinese on their currency manipulation for decades now. And
no president has been more successful in dealing with Chinese currency than
President Obama.

During President Obama`s term, the value of Chinese currency has
actually increased 11 percent. And that`s what we want it to do. We want
it to increase, because Chinese goods are cheap not just because their
labor prices are lower, but because China has always manipulated its
currency to have a lower value so that Chinese goods are lower priced in
the world market.

That`s how they do it. What we really want China to do is to allow
its currency to float in the international currency market. We want the
value of the Chinese currency to be determined by the international market.
But China refuses to do that because they know that would make their goods
much more expensive.

So American presidents, publicly and privately, push and push and
push. And the most important pushes are all done privately. They push the
Chinese on their currency. For most of President Bush`s eight years, the
value of the Chinese currency stayed absolutely flat. The Bush
administration couldn`t push the Chinese successfully on currency
manipulation at all.

In just three and a half years of the Obama administration, the
Chinese currency has increased 11 percent. President Obama has gotten a
little help from his friends on this one. Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer
pushed a bill through the Senate that was publicly presented as a big
crackdown on Chinese currency manipulation, but really it just required the
secretary of the Treasury to file a bunch of reports analyzing Chinese
currency.

It never even came to a vote in the House of Representatives. But it
was a very good way of showing the Chinese how much political pressure
there is in Washington on the issue of their currency manipulation. The
Schumer bill was part of a public, an important game that we play with
China which is part of the game of playing tough with China.

China does actually respond to the public pressure that Senator
Schumer brings to the game and the public and private pressure that the
Obama administration brings to the game. So on Monday night when you hear
Mitt Romney once again say this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: On day one, I will label China a currency manipulator.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Don`t expect the moderator to fact check him on that one,
but you can tell everyone in your living room that Mitt Romney is lying
once again.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOE WALSH (R), ILLINOIS: I was marching in a parade in Chaumberg
Sunday, two days before the Democratic convention, when Tammy Duckworth was
on a stage down in Charlotte, if you can look at the picture, picking out a
dress for her speech Tuesday night.

REP. TAMMY DUCKWORTH (D), ILLINOIS: And yes, I do sometimes look at
the clothes that I wear. But you know, for most of my adult life, I have
worn one color. It`s called camouflage.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was a scene from last week`s debate between Tammy
Duckworth and Republican Congressman Joe Walsh. Last night the two
candidates competing for Illinois` eighth congressional district seat met
again for their final debate before November`s election. Here`s what Joe
Walsh had to say about reproductive rights.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALSH: I`m pro-life without exception. Understand though, when we
talk about exceptions, we talk about rape, incest, health of a woman, the
life of the woman. Life of the woman is not an exception.

DUCKWORTH: He would let a woman die rather than --

(CROSS TALK)

DUCKWORTH: -- than to give the doctor the option to save her life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: After the debate, Joe Walsh added this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALSH: Let me briefly say there`s no such exception. With modern
technology and science, you can`t find one instance. This is an issue that
opponents of life throw out there to make us look unreasonable. There`s no
such exception as life of the mother.

And as far as health of the mother, same thing. With advances in
science and technology, there`s -- health of the mother has been -- has
become a tool for abortions any time under any reason.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You mean to say it`s never medically necessary to
do an abortion to save the life of the mother.

WALSH: Absolutely.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And this afternoon, medical expert Joe Walsh said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALSH: When I say I`m pro-life, I mean that I`m pro-life for the
mother and I`m pro-life for the unborn child. While I do not support
abortion, I do of course support medical procedures for women during their
pregnancies that might result in the loss of an unborn child.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now for an exclusive interview, the woman
running against Joe Walsh, Lieutenant Colonel Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq war
veteran and purple heart recipient.

Tammy Duckworth, it looks like you`re running against a moving target
here on this issue.

DUCKWORTH: Well, the rest of that clip actually this afternoon,
Lawrence, he said that ectopic pregnancies were so rare that they never
happened, and because of that, he stands by his position of pro life
without exception. Now, never mind that women can need abortions because
they`re undergoing chemotherapy due to cancer, preeclampsia, so many
reasons. But I think he`s taking biology lessons from Todd Akin on this.

O`DONNELL: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
actually addressed this today with a statement saying, "more than 600 women
die each year from pregnancy and child birth related reasons right here in
the United States."

I`m just stunned by watching -- I mean, I`ve been watching him for a
long time for other reasons of crazy things he`s said. But as you come
down to the wire in campaigns, I would actually expect candidates to get
more careful. This guy just seems capable of saying anything at any time.

DUCKWORTH: Well, you know, I`m saddened but not surprised, Lawrence,
because this is who he is. He believes in these extreme positions. And
he`s backed by extreme people. There`s a super PAC that has vowed to flood
me under a sea of negative ads just to get him elected. They don`t care
that he`s out of touch with the district.

But this is who this guy is, whether it`s his comments about military
veterans or African-Americans or the president, or now that women can`t die
from pregnancy. It`s not acceptable.

O`DONNELL: What was the point he was trying to make about you at the
Democratic convention in which he managed to get himself booed at your
debate?

DUCKWORTH: Well, he`s a very sexist kind of a guy. He`s called me
dear. He has offered to hold my hand. He grabs me during debates, pokes
me. And he was just trying to say that I was more concerned about picking
out the outfits that I`m going to wear, rather than concentrating on the
issues in the district.

You know, I just let him have it. Look, I`ve worn one color most of
my adult life. It`s called camouflage. Back off, buddy. I don`t scare
easy.

O`DONNELL: And I have to ask you about, how did it play in the
district that he failed to pay child support for so many years?

DUCKWORTH: People hate that he never -- that he did not pay child
support. His congressional salary is actually still being garnished. The
only reason he`s paying child support is because he`s got a job as a
congressman that his ex-wife can actually have garnished for child support.
That`s not responsible. That`s not the kind of behavior we need in a
Congress person in this country.

O`DONNELL: Tammy Duckworth, thank you very much for joining us
tonight. You get tonight`s LAST WORD.

DUCKWORTH: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: "THE ED SHOW" is up next.

END

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