updated 10/25/2012 11:56:32 AM ET 2012-10-25T15:56:32

THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
October 24, 2012

Guests: Cecile Richards, Martha Plimpton, Sam Stein

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: It`s National Bologna Day. It really is,
and with 13 days to go, Mitt Romney says, yes, he does want you to vote for
a Republican senator who thinks rape is something that God intended to
happen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Are you fired up? Are
you ready to go?

ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: The campaign enters the final stretch.

TAMRON HALL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thirteen days of the race for the White
House.

MARTIN BASHIR, MSNBC HOST: If the schedules, events and remarks are
any indication.

CHRIS JANSING, NBC NEWS: You`ll know where the race will be won.

OBAMA: We`ll win Iowa again.

We`re going to win Colorado.

We`ll win Ohio again.

BASHIR: The president will hit four states just today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Racking up the miles on Air Force One.

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC HOST: Fifty-three hundred miles.

OBAMA: Forty-eight-hour marathon extravaganza.

WAGNER: We know the thing is really close.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How close is it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s all about math versus momentum.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Our campaign is gaining.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Do they know something we don`t?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a bluff.

THOMAS ROBERTS, MSNBC ANCHOR: Projecting momentum where it doesn`t
exist.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitt Romney still has an electoral math problem.

OBAMA: The arithmetic does not work.

ROMNEY: Our campaign is gaining.

ROBERTS: Fake it until you make it.

MATTHEWS: B.S., if you will.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mitt Romney talks out of all sides of his mouth.

ROMNEY: This fall, I`m supporting Richard Mourdock for Senate.

TAMRON: This Mourdock story line.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Mourdock mess.

RICHARD MOURDOCK (R), INDIANA SENATE CANDIDATE: Life is a gift from
God.

ROMNEY: I`m supporting Richard Mourdock.

MOURDOCK: Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape,
it is something that God intended to happen.

JANSING: What in the world, what is going on?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re on drugs. We`re on drugs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not just Mourdock, it`s also Akin.

REP. TODD AKIN (R), MISSOURI: If it`s a legitimate rape, the female
has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are 1.3 million rapes a year.

AKIN: The female body has ways to shut the whole thing down.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Eighty thousand of them result in pregnancy.

MOURDOCK: It`s something that God intended to happen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The god running for vice president right now is
a part of it.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I don`t see how a
person can separate their public life from their faith.

ROMNEY: If you want to know my position on issues, ask me and I`ll
tell you.

Do I believe Supreme Courts should overturn Roe versus Wade? Yes.

My presidency will be a pro-life presidency.

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is not pro-life. This is the forced birth
movement.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: With just 13 days until the election, today, President
Obama embarked on a campaign trip through battleground states with the most
intense 48-hour travel schedule of his re-election campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: No sleep. We`re starting here in Iowa. We`re going to
Colorado. Then we`re going to go to Nevada. Then, we`re going to Florida,
Virginia, Ohio.

(APPLAUSE)

I am going to stop in Chicago to vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And President Obama still had time to sit down with NBC`s
Brian Williams in Colorado.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: The one thing I`ve tried to always be is just steady, in terms
of what I believe in, who I`m fighting for and, you know, I think that one
of the qualities I bring to bear in this campaign is people see what did I
say I was going to do in 2008 and what have I delivered, and they can have
some confidence that the things I say, I mean.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Here is what President Obama told Colorado voters today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years!

OBAMA: Now, the reason I want four more years is because I`ve got a
plan that will actually create jobs, a plan that will actually create
middle class security. And unlike Mitt Romney, I`m actually proud to talk
about what`s in my plan, because it actually adds up.

And if you get me that vote, Colorado, you`ll have a president who
hears your voice, a president who fights for your families, a president who
spends every waking hour trying to make your lives a little bit better.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Today is National Bologna Day. By now some of you have
Googled it. It really is National Bologna Day -- which could explain why
Mitt Romney said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Our campaign is growing into a movement across this country
that says we`re going to get America back, we`re going to get America
strong, we`re going to provide for our families. And I`m optimistic. I`m
optimistic not just about winning. We are going to win by the way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And today, Mitt Romney was confronted with the question,
does he support the Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock
who said this last night?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MOURDOCK: I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of
rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: This morning, Mitt Romney decided to follow his campaign
staff`s advice and once again side with the insanity of the Republican
right wing and continue supporting the Republican Senate candidate who
thinks rape is something that God intended to happen.

A new "Time" magazine poll of Ohio likely voters shows President Obama
leading Romney by five points.

There is no better analyst of Electoral College maps than Charlie Cook
of "The National Journal", who says, "If Obama carries Ohio and Wisconsin,
where he is ahead in most polling, he gets the 270 with one electoral vote
to spare, so Romney could sweep Colorado, Florida, Iowa and New Hampshire
and still come up short."

Today, Nate Silver of "New York Times" "FiveThirtyEight" blog
forecasts that on November 6th, President Obama has a 68 percent chance of
winning re-election and President Obama will win 288 Electoral College
votes and Mitt Romney will win 250.

Richard Wolffe, I know you were watching the president there on the
48-hour no sleep campaign.

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I wish I could have been
there.

O`DONNELL: That`s what I`m saying, you were there last time. Four
years ago that was you who wasn`t sleeping.

WOLFFE: It brings back such fun memories.

O`DONNELL: What is it like out there when they`re on this final 13
days. There`s nothing quite like it, is there?

WOLFFE: No, there`s also nothing like the consumption of empty
calories that you need to sustain you through those moments.

Look, the energy of the crowds is huge. So, that does take some way.
At this point, the press and I think the candidates as well are not even
listening to the words that comes out of the candidate`s mouth.

So there`s a lot of noise and not much actual news, which is why, you
know, I`m a little bit confused about the polls you just raise. I`ve been
reading for several days now about momentum being with Mitt Romney. And it
turns out there is still polls that put the president five points up in a
bellwether key battleground state like Ohio.

So, that`s the kind of dissonance you have on the campaign trail,
where you`re having the spin poured into all the time, we`re going to win,
we`re going to get -- I was with Karl Rove in 2000, we`re going to win
California. And you end up believing this stuff until something pulls you
up short like one of those polls.

O`DONNELL: I remember that Rove California fake-out.

Let`s look at this new ad they`re using with Bill Clinton in the
battleground states.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: The stuff some folks are
saying about President Obama sounds kind of familiar. The same people said
my ideas would destroy jobs and they called me every name in the book.
Well, we created 22 million new jobs and turned deficits into surpluses.

President Obama has got it right. We should invest in middle class
education and innovation. And pay down our debt with spending restraint
and asking the wealthy to pay a little more. Sound familiar?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Ari, it`s so true that in 1993, when President Clinton was
passing his first budget, raising taxes that everybody Republican speech in
the Senate and the House floor said this will kill jobs, this will kill the
economy.

ARI MELBER, THE NATION: Exactly. And I think it fits with the
closing argument here which is Barack Obama is steady. The people you
trust in the economy like Bill Clinton are steady and the plan is steady.
And in many ways, it`s the same plan that Democrats have used and has
worked before.

I mean, one of the funniest thing from Romney land was when the
president held up the plan in the footage you just showed, he was holding
it, people in Romney`s camp said, well, you know, this isn`t new, there`s
nothing new in here because in Romney world, 14 days out of an election,
you should be bringing up brand new ideas or proposals or reversing
yourself because that`s what they do. They don`t understand the fact that
the president has outlined of jobs act, you know, he`s outlined a recovery
plan and he`s outlined health care that is to be continued and enacted in
his second term.

The other point I`ll say about Mourdock is, you know, it`s funny
they`re trying to draw this line and the Romney campaign is saying, well,
we actually support abortion in the exceptions of incest and rape.

That`s not really true. I think he supports abortion in the
exemptions of incest, rape and Massachusetts elections. And that`s
ultimately the biggest problem here, is it`s a serious issue but he looks
like a joke because we know he`s held five different positions, whereas,
well, Obama told Brian Williams in the clip you showed, he`s been steady on
those issues, like the economy, like every other issue.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to Joe Biden in Ohio today talking about
another president who raised taxes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They say it`s just
like what Ronald Reagan did. Ronald Reagan did not do this. I served with
Ronald Reagan.

Ronald Reagan had a massive tax cut. When it didn`t work, he ended up
raising taxes 11 times.

Ronald Reagan did not do this. Ronald Reagan couldn`t even be the
standard bearer this time based on what he did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: It is so true that Ronald Reagan could not possibly win
the nomination this year among Republicans since he actually raised taxes
as governor and president.

WOLFFE: And it would be hard even with his reputation now as the
ultimate cold warrior, hard for him to square his position towards war and
this Republican Party. You know, he could never have gone out there
saying, as Mitt Romney did, well they kept the drones and we should go in
there and bomb the hell of the place or invade. That was actually Mitt
Romney`s position in the primaries.

Well, Ronald Reagan never took those positions. Well, there was
Grenada, right? There was such a wide gap over these many decades between
the Ronald Reagan who actually was president and the Ronald Reagan that
they think they`re following.

O`DONNELL: The bombing of the marine barracks during Reagan and he
just retreated. That was his reaction to that.

Ari, 13 days is going to go so fast. Where do you think the president
needs to be going in message terms, given all the issues that we see in
front of us? From this latest outburst from the Indiana senator, should
that steer him towards women`s issues? Where should he be?

MELBER: I think it`s women`s issues but I think it`s mobilizing
people both on the early vote where the polls in Ohio shown they`re up over
20 points in early vote. But also about jobs and justice, also about the
idea that if you take a step back and look at all this stuff, whether it`s
the medical rights, it`s personal rights, it`s your right to unemployment
insurance, a social safety net, Medicare, Social Security -- all these
things if you take a step back, are about whether there`s somebody looking
out for you when things are tough or not.

And time and time, again if you have a 1 percent opponent, which you
do in Mitt Romney, you`ve got someone who`s going to turn their back on you
and I think that stitches together the justice and the jobs.

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

MELBER: Thanks.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, what it means to stand by your nut when you`re
the Republican candidate for president. Joy Reid and Karen Finney will
join me.

And Cecile Richards and Martha Plimpton are here to talk about the
latest outbreak of madness in the Republican Party.

And later, coverage of last night`s presidential debate. Yes, there
was a presidential debate last night and you probably missed it because we
didn`t cover it. It was the third-party debate and some of the things that
you really care about that were never mentioned in the two-party
presidential debate were finally discussed. That`s in tonight`s rewrite.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: I have a serious question for you. It`s not going to
sound serious, but -- well, OK. It`s a question. What does Mitt Romney
have in common with Paris Hilton, in addition -- in addition to being born
rich? The answer to that is coming up.

And the third party presidential candidates debated last night in
Chicago. Should you vote for a third party candidate? Have you been
thinking about that? The answer is in tonight`s rewrite.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MOURDOCK: Anyone who views, who goes to the videotape and views that,
understands fully what I meant. I really believe that, if they watch that
video out there, I understand it`s on several Web sites. I think the
meaning will be quite clear.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock this
afternoon telling us to watch the video of what he said at last night`s
debate. Now, we showed you that video last night minutes after the debate
was over. But sure, we can watch it again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MOURDOCK: I believe that life begins at conception. The only
exception I have for -- to have an abortion, is in that case of the life of
the mother. I just -- I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I
came to realize, life is that gift from God. And I think even when life
begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God
intended to happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The Romney campaign`s first reaction was to distance
Governor Romney from the latest crazy Republican outburst. Last night his
campaign said Governor Romney disagrees with Richard Mourdock`s comments
and they do not reflect his views.

Then today, his campaign added this. "We disagree on the policy
regarding exceptions for rape and incest, but still support him."

And still supporting Richard Mourdock means that this ad is still
running in Indiana.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: This fall, I`m supporting Richard Mourdock for Senate. As
state treasurer, Richard worked with Governor Daniels to balance the budget
and make government more accountable. As senator, Richard will be the 51st
vote to repeal and replace government-run health care. Richard will help
stop the liberal Reid-Pelosi agenda.

There`s so much at stake, I hope you`ll join me in supporting Richard
Mourdock for U.S. Senate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The Obama campaign called Murdock`s remarks outrageous and
demeaning to women and said, "This is a reminder that a Republican Congress
working with a Republican president, Mitt Romney, would feel that woman
should not be able to make choices about their own health care."

Joy Reid, the president taped Jay Leno in Burbank late this afternoon,
he commented on this, criticizing the Republican Senate candidate Mourdock.
And the president said something that Republicans seem to struggle with.
He said to Jay Leno, rape is rape.

What`s complicated about that?

JOY REID, THEGRIO.COM: Yes, I know. It`s pretty incredible just to
watch it back again and to watch Richard Mourdock to say this in all
sincerity. I mean, he really means it. He wasn`t posturing like, let`s
say, I don`t know, Mitt Romney does whenever he says something political.

And I think if Mitt Romney believed that Richard Mourdock`s beliefs
were not common to the base of his own party, he could walk away from him,
because he is a calculating man. He will do anything whatever it takes to
achieve his goal, which is to win the White House. He has clearly made the
calculation that Richard Mourdock`s believes are not unique, that they are
not outliers, that he still needs those folks in Indiana to win the state.
He doesn`t want to be taken down by Richard Mourdock, but he also wants
Richard Mourdock to help carry him to win in Indiana.

What`s terrifying is you have so many in the Republican Party who say
this. And Sharron Angle said in 2010, essentially when a rapist gives you
lemons, make lemonade. That is so insulting to women who have suffered the
worst degradation, the -- almost dehumanizing murder, soul-killing
experience of their lives and then to say to that woman, the state, the
51st vote in the Senate, Richard Mourdock, is going to order you to have
that rapist`s child.

This is a --it`s so degrading it`s hard to put it into words. It
actually is infuriating to women. And at the same time, Mitt Romney is
trying to cover all that up and sell himself specifically to women. That`s
all he`s campaigning for right now, women.

O`DONNELL: Karen Finney, let`s stay with this political calculus that
Joy has raised. And it sound to me that it`s a sign of weakness on
Romney`s part that he has to -- they had overnight to think about this.
You know, they spent some time and they decided that the Romney campaign,
we have to stick with our crazy buddy Richard Mourdock in Indiana,
obviously because they need turnout of the hard-core right wing Republican
base.

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Right.

O`DONNELL: They don`t believe Mitt Romney is persuading people in the
middle. Is that what that indicates?

FINNEY: Absolutely. But this is the political calculation that I
think we need to make. So, he`s trying to say I can`t afford to lose
Indiana.

Well, you know what, Mitt Romney? You`re going to lose women over
this. We`ve got to raise the stakes for Mitt Romney on this cowardice.

I mean, think about this -- this man is so afraid of his party he
won`t distance himself from this man. He won`t ask to have these ads taken
down.

And this is the guy you want sitting across the table from
Ahmadinejad? Right? Like earlier this week he was talking so tough.

No, that`s not the guy I want to entrust with my future. I mean, I
think, that`s literally the kind of question we have to put to voters to
say -- he`s making that political calculation and, yet, within that
calculation is a cowardice.

Remember when Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a slut, and he said,
well, I wouldn`t make those kind of comments. That is a mealy mouth answer
and that is not leadership and that is not somebody who is going to stand
up and fight for our rights at a time when we need it.

I mean, that`s something I think we have to make very, very clear in
the political calculation here for women voters not just in Indiana, but
across the country.

O`DONNELL: Let`s take a look at the ad that the Democratic National
Committee got out today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, POLITICAL AD)

ROMNEY: This fall, I`m supporting Richard Mourdock for Senate.

MOURDOCK: Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape,
that it is something that God intended to happen.

ROMNEY: This is a man who I want to see in Washington to make sure
that we cannot just talk about changing things, but actually have the votes
to get things changed.

MOURDOCK: Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape,
that it is something that God intended to happen.

ROMNEY: We`ve got to get this guy elected in the U.S. Senate.

MOURDOCK: It is something that God intended to happen.

ROMNEY: There`s so much at stake. I hope you`ll join me in
supporting Richard Mourdock for U.S. Senate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joy, it`s a very fair ad when you consider that the Romney
and the Romney campaign took their time and decided, yes, we`re sticking
with Richard.

REID: Absolutely. And he cut that ad for Richard Mourdock the same
day of the debate. The same day that Richard Mourdock made the statement
about rape. I mean, I think, the thing we have to remember is that Mitt
Romney pulled off this incredible magic trip which was to divorce himself
or separate himself at least from the Republican brand, to separate himself
from really what alarmed young women in particular in this country about
Republicans, which is -- wait a minute, they actually believe that there is
something, a difference between so-called forcible rape and regular rape.

He had distanced himself from sort of the Todd Akin wing of the party
at one point and now was being allowed to pivot and go forward. Well, you
know what? There`s someone closer to Mitt Romney who believes exactly the
way that Richard Mourdock does, who believes in absolute barring and
banning of abortion. It`s his running mate, Paul Ryan -- the other
elephant in the room.

O`DONNELL: Karen, your quick take on what this does to the Indiana
Senate race?

FINNEY: Unfortunately the Indiana senate race, I think it probably
doesn`t change the outcome, which is again why I think we have to make sure
that beyond Indiana, that the stakes are high.

I mean, the Republican message to women has been, if you`re
legitimately raped or forcibly raped, well, you have a whole way to shut
that whole thing done. If you`re not legitimately raped, and you want to
have an abortion, we`re going to make you have a vaginal probe. But, by
the way, don`t worry because your life doesn`t really matter to us, we`re
not worried about, because as Joe Walsh said, there`s no way that women are
going to die from -- you know, women never die in childbirth, right?

I mean, this is what Republican men are saying to women.

O`DONNELL: Joy Reid and Karen Finney, thanks for joining me tonight.

REID: Thank you.

FINNEY: Thanks.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, in a LAST WORD exclusive, Cecile Richards and
Martha Plimpton will join me next to discuss the Republican Party`s problem
with women voters.

And why Democrats are reminding voters of what happened in Florida in
2000. And why voting for a third party candidate is a lot easier choice to
make if you don`t live in Florida.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: When speculation erupted last month that Mitt Romney uses
an artificial tanning process, Romney campaign spokes liar Andrea Saul
simply said, quote, "Not true". But now, an unnamed source tells BuzzFeed
that Mitt Romney that does enjoy the occasional spray tan before major
events and that Mitt Romney pays for it out of his own pocket so it won`t
show up in campaign records. And he gets sprayed in the privacy of his
hotel room, so you won`t catch him walking out of your neighborhood tanning
salon.

And so it turns out Mitt Romney has more than just being born rich in
common with Paris Hilton.

Coming up in the rewrite tonight, everything you need to know about
the presidential debate that you did not watch this week. There was
another presidential debate last night in Chicago that we did not cover,
because President Obama and Mitt Romney did not participate.

And women against Romney. Cecile Richards and Martha Plimpton join me
next in the LAST WORD exclusive.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD MOURDOCK (R), CANDIDATE FOR SENATE: And if because of the
lack of clarity in my words, that they came away with an impression other
than those that I stated a moment ago, that life is precious and that I
abhor violence and I`m confident God abhors violence and rape -- if they
came away with any impression other than that, I truly regret it. I
apologize.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Planned Parenthood Action Fund released a statement today
saying "Mitt Romney and Richard Mourdock share an allegiance to the
Republican party platform, which would ban safe and legal abortion without
any exceptions, give full Constitutional rights to fertilized eggs and
repeal the birth control benefit. Richard Mourdock is the only Senate
candidate in the country with a TV ad starring Mitt Romney. It`s not
enough for the Romney campaign to issue a tepid statement disagreeing with
Richard Mourdock`s appalling remarks. Mitt Romney must immediately rescind
his endorsement of Mourdock and demand that Mourdock take down the campaign
ads featuring him.

Joining me now for an exclusive interview are Planned Parenthood
president Cecile Richards and one of the stars of the Draw the Line
Campaign, actress/activist Martha Plimpton.

Cecile, with Mitt Romney in the ads for Mourdock just emerging this
week, do you expect him, after having made this decision, after having
thought about it overnight, for him to stay in those ads with Mourdock? Do
you expect there is any possibility of a change in the Romney campaign on
this?

CECILE RICHARDS, PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Well, apparently not, Lawrence.
And it`s incredible to see this happening. But really, Richard Mourdock I
think -- seeing what he said in this debate shows that Todd Akin is not an
anomaly or an outlier, but that, in fact, this is really the mainstream now
of the Republican party running this election.

And the fact that Mitt Romney can`t do anything, or is unwilling to do
anything to distance himself and reject this candidacy speaks volumes.
Women can`t trust him. He has run on a platform of overturning Roe, of
getting rid of Planned Parenthood. I think Richard Mourdock is just more
part and parcel of essentially what Mitt Romney is pledging to do to women
in America.

O`DONNELL: Martha Plimpton, John McCain tonight said that Mourdock
really needs to apologize, that there`s a way, I guess, for Mourdock to
talk his way out of this that he just hasn`t found yet.

MARTHA PLIMPTON, ACTRESS/ACTIVIST: Well, apologies are nice and I`m
sure, you know, a lot of people would appreciate that. But ultimately what
matters is what he would do if he got into office. You know, we`ve already
seen an enormous pattern, a really disturbing pattern of total disregard
for American women`s individual right to physical autonomy.

And that has presented itself in one piece of legislation after
another all over the country, limiting women`s access not only to abortion
but to basic health care. So while apologies are appreciated, the fact is
rape is a crime; 44 percent of rape victims are under 18 years of age. And
while he may think that there`s a sunny side to rape, pretty much every
rape victim will tell you that there is not.

And for him to suggest that God`s intention has anything to do with
rape or its consequences is not only offensive, it`s actually quite
dangerous.

O`DONNELL: And that would be guiding his voting in the United States
Senate. And Cecile, what we see in the Romney ad for Mourdock, they`re
talking about exactly that. Romney is saying, I need him in the Senate to
cast that majority vote for my agenda on all these things. We have Senate
candidates now around the country who are running away from Mourdock, Linda
McMahon, Republican Senate candidates in Connecticut. Scott Brown in
Massachusetts is running scared about this. Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin,
Dean Heller in Nevada, Mike Pence.

And specifically in the Massachusetts race, Scott Brown against
Elizabeth Warren, I want to show a clip of what Scott Brown said in
Massachusetts about control of the Senate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How important is this race to Republicans
recapturing control of the Senate?

SEN. SCOTT BROWN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: For me, it really doesn`t matter
who`s in charge.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Cecile Richards, does it matter who`s in charge of the
Senate?

RICHARDS: Well, of course it matters. And of course they`re running
away from this, because it`s really showing what the danger is of having a
Republican-led Senate. And the danger of Mitt Romney is he would be a
rubber stamp for all the crazy legislation that we have seen passed by the
House, by this Tea Party led Congress. And if they can control the Senate
and control the White House, we`re going to lose gains we`ve made over the
last 40 years.

It`s been interesting though, Lawrence. I think that the whole Romney
theory has been to just tell women that these are small issues. Paul Ryan
literally used those words "these don`t matter." And I think what you`re
seeing is actually they do matter. I just left New Hampshire where women -
- Republican women are outraged that this is where the Republican party is
headed.

O`DONNELL: Martha Plimpton, Elizabeth Warren in her Massachusetts
campaign has been making a great deal about control of the Senate. And the
truth of it is a vote for Scott Brown in Massachusetts is, in effect, a
vote for empowering a senator like Mourdock, making him more powerful by
putting him into the majority if possible, if enough people vote for
Republican senators.

This seems to be the kind of thing that Elizabeth Warren needs to make
her point about control of the Senate, isn`t it?

PLIMPTON: Well, I suppose it is. But I mean, it`s the point we all
need to make on a larger level. I mean, of course it`s always more than
just one race or just one candidate. This has to do with an overarching
steady stream of limits and reductions of women`s rights in this country.
I mean, look it, you know, if you don`t have an actual reasonable or sane
argument, you know, on an economic level or on a social policy level
against women`s right to physical autonomy, you`re going to resort to
extreme bombastic and very often religious-based ideas to get your point
across.

And the thing we have to remember in this country is that while Mr.
Mourdock or Scott Brown or Todd Akin or any of these other people are
perfectly within their rights to have a conversation with their God about
what they think about these issues, what they do not have the right to do
is impose the conclusion of that conversation that they`ve had on to other
free Americans.

O`DONNELL: Cecile Richards and Martha Plimpton, thank you both for
joining me once again.

RICHARDS: Thanks for having me.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, why Democrats want you to remember the 2000
election and the Florida recount.

And in the Rewrite, the debate you`ve heard nothing about.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: In the Rewrite tonight, we`re on drugs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not for funding public broadcasting.

LARRY KING, FORMER CNN ANCHOR: We`re on drug. We`re on drugs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was last night`s presidential debate where the
moderator Larry King had to remind the candidates that they were on drugs.
What Larry meant, of course, at that point was that the candidates were
supposed to be discussing drug policy. That`s right, there was a
presidential debate last night that was not covered by the major networks,
because it did not include any candidates who are running above 15 percent
in the polls.

But it did include candidates who dared to talk about important issues
that never came up in the presidential debates watched by 60 million
people. The Free and Equal Elections Foundation sponsored a debate in
Chicago last night with four presidential candidates: Gary Johnson of the
Libertarian Party, Jill Stein of the Green Party, Rocky Anderson of the
Justice Party and Virgil Goode of the Constitutional Party.

They discussed the war that the Democratic and Republican candidate
refused to discuss, America`s longest war, the war on drugs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GARY JOHNSON, LIBERTARIAN PARTY CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT: Ninety
percent of the drug problem is prohibition related, not use related. So
let`s legalize marijuana now.

I am not a hypocrite on this issue. I have drank alcohol. I`ve
smoked marijuana.

JILL STEIN, GREEN PARTY CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT: The most important
thing we can do to get rid of the health problems associated with marijuana
is to legalize it.

ROCKY ANDERSON, JUSTICE PARTY CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT: We don`t just
need to legalize marijuana, we need to end drug prohibition just like we
ended alcohol prohibition.

VIRGIL GOODE, CONSTITUTION PARTY CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT: I would cut
federal spending on the war on drugs. However, drug use is primarily a
state issue, not a federal issue. I`m not for legalizing marijuana use or
other drug use.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And imagine if Congress passed a bill that the president
signed that allowed indefinite detention without charge or trial. That
would be issue one at any presidential debate, wouldn`t it? The media`s
favorite debate moderator, Martha Raddatz, would have forced a full
discussion of that one at the vice presidential debate, wouldn`t she?

Well, congress did pass that law last year and President Obama signed
it and he never mentioned it on his list of his accomplishments in any of
the debates. And he was never asked about it, not by the media`s second
favorite debate moderator, Candy Crowley, and not by Mitt Romney. It never
came up at the two-party presidential debates.

No one pressed the president on how he could possibly sign a bill like
that into law. And no one pressed Mitt Romney about why repealing that law
is not on his day one list. If that law worries you, if it concerns you in
any way, your concern, your interest in that law is not represented by
either of the two major parties.

But at least night`s debate, that law was called the very definition
of tyranny.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDERSON: That spells tyranny. It`s the very definition of tyranny.

JOHNSON: I would have veer toted the National Defense Authorization
Act allowing for you and I as U.S. citizens to be arrested and detained
without being charged.

STEIN: This is unallowable and is a basic offense against the very
foundation of American liberty. And it should be repealed.

GOODE: One sentence answer, Larry. If I were president, I would have
vetoed NDAA.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: In the instantly immortal words of Larry King, we`re on
drugs. The media is feeding you a drug called the two party system. Big
media is incapable of covering a political landscape that is more
complicated than the two party system. Big media does not have the
resources or the interest or the intellectual capacity to cover something
more complicated than the two-party system.

The two-party system and the electoral college have conspired to make
most voters feel irrelevant to the outcome of the presidential election.
The major party candidates ignore most states. And they ignore most voters
most of the time.

And then we act surprised that voters turnout is so low. They never
really campaign in more than 10 states. And now they`re campaigning in
even fewer than that. Like most Americans, I have never lived in and voted
in a state that mattered in a presidential campaign.

I first voted in Massachusetts, then in New York. Now I vote in the
biggest state in the union, California, the state with the most electoral
votes and the most voters, and the one that is always -- always completely
ignored by the presidential campaigns, because it is not a battleground
state.

The outcome in California is never in doubt. If, like most Americans,
you live in one of the states where the outcome is predetermined, you
should feel absolutely free to take a good, long look at third-party
candidates and pick one whose ideas you want to encourage.

Your vote for the Libertarian or Green Party will not effect the
outcome in a state where the president or Mitt Romney has a big lead. But
your vote will say something important about what you believe.

The bad news about living in a state like California is that you`re
completely ignored in the presidential campaigns. The good news is you can
consider voting for a third party candidate without any worry that your
vote might tip the balance the wrong way in the electoral college.

It you want to see the entire third-party debate, you can find it on
our blog, TheLastWord.MSNBC.com. You will be told you`re wasting your vote
if you vote for a third party candidate, because the third party candidate
is not going to win the presidency. Well, I guess that means everyone who
voted for John McCain for president or John Kerry for president wasted
their votes, too.

Having spent my lifetime in states irrelevant to the electoral
college, I have mostly, in fact, voted for third-party candidates for
president. And I was always told I was wasting my vote. When I voted for
Democrats for president who lost, I was never told I was wasting my vote.
I have actually voted for the winner of the presidency exactly once.

So please don`t try to tell me that voting for a candidate who loses
is wasting a vote in a democracy. If you live in a battleground state,
voting for a third-party candidate can be a lot dicier. Just ask the
people who voted for Ralph Nader in Florida in 2000. If you`re lucky
enough to live in a state that the presidential candidates care about, then
your vote really does count in the way most people want it to. Then you
really should think about who you want to see take the Oath of Office when
you cast your vote, because your vote matters much, much more than mine.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AL GORE, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The U.S. Supreme
Court has spoken. Let there be know doubt that while I strongly disagree
with the court`s decision, I accept it. I accept the finality of this
outcome, which will be ratified next Monday in the electoral college.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That man won the most votes for president in 2000. But in
the electoral college, where not all votes were equal, the outcome was
decided through a litigated recount that went all the way to the United
States Supreme Court. And when the dust cleared, the so-called winner of
the state of Florida had a 537 vote margin, out of six million votes cast.

And the Obama campaign wants you to never forget that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five hundred and thirty seven, the number of votes
that changed the course of American history.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Florida is too close to call.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The difference between what was and what could
have been. So this year, if you`re thinking that your vote doesn`t count,
that it won`t matter, well, back then there were probably at least 537
people who felt the same way. Make your voice heard. Vote.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m Barack Obama and I
approved this message.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Most of you should not look for that new ad on your local
television channels. The ad stressing the importance of voting will, of
course, appear in only the eight states that could actually affect the
outcome of the election, Ohio, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, New Hampshire,
Virginia, Wisconsin and of course Florida.

Joining me now is Sam Stein, political editor and White House
correspondent for "Huffington Post.". Sam, the Obama campaign is fearing
any kind of no-show voter or third-party voter in any of these battleground
states. It really is the get out of vote time for them, isn`t it?

SAM STEIN, "THE HUFFINGTON POST": Yeah. They`re worried about
complacency, obviously. This was a much bigger problem a couple months
ago, maybe even one month ago, when it looked like the president could
coast potentially to reelection. There was this whole notion of enthusiasm
gap, what not.

Now they`re basically playing every card in the book. And they`re
saying there`s this fear card. And this is about as close as they`ve
gotten to invoking George W. Bush in this election. But it`s an effective
tool for a lot of people -- there are actually people -- I`ve talked to
voters in some swing states who basically are lethargic about the idea of
voting. They don`t think it makes a difference in their lives. This
remind them that there are huge consequences, only in those eight states,
of course.

O`DONNELL: They are the most empowered voters on Earth. What I would
do to live in a swing state.

STEIN: I don`t know. You would be bombarded with ads. You couldn`t
watch it.

O`DONNELL: I would pay that price. I lived in the swing state of
Florida this past weekend and I was bombarded with the ads, but I would pay
that price to have my vote matter that much. Sam, there`s early voting
indicators that are very strong for the president. A new Time poll shows
that among those who have already voted in Ohio, 60 percent have cast their
votes for the president, 30 percent for Paul Ryan. And David Gergen wrote
a piece for CNN saying that the turnout machine for Republicans for Romney
in Ohio apparently looks pathetic.

That`s according to his Republican sources on the ground. And the
Obama turnout machine in Ohio looks like it`s running in fantastic shape.

STEIN: I was in Ohio about three or four weeks ago. And I went to 10
field offices in one day, five for Obama, five for Romney. They were both
very energetic. They both had a lot of people on the phones. The problem
I think that Republicans have is twofold. One, Obama has tons more offices
than he does. He`s been setting up an infrastructure in the state for a
while.

And that`s the second problem, which is that Obama has done this
before. His team has done this before. And it`s not just about the amount
of offices you have or the amount of phone calls you make or the amount of
doors you knock on. It`s about figuring out how you can get voters out
there, not just your base, but what they call sporadic voters, voters who
don`t tend to vote every four years or two years, people who aren`t
politically engaged.

And you do that in fairly nuanced ways. You know people in churches,
you know people in community groups and they can vouch for the Obama
campaign, rather than having a volunteer come into the state from
Washington, D.C. and knock on the door. That`s the most effective form of
turnout. The Romney campaign, to their credit, has made great advancements
from where John McCain was in 2008. But that was a really low bar.

And so the Obama campaign has managed to move beyond those numbers.
And I think the Romney campaign`s having a little difficulty catching up.

O`DONNELL: Sam Stein gets tonight`s LAST WORD.

STEIN: Yes. Thank you.

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

END

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