updated 10/31/2012 11:56:00 AM ET 2012-10-31T15:56:00

THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
October 26, 2012

Guests: Sway Calloway, Ana Marie Cox, Nina Turner, Joy Reid, Gray Davis

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: Let`s see -- for president. Jill Stein,
Thomas Hoefling, Mitt Romney, Gary Johnson, Barack Obama. Oh. We`re doing
a TV show.

There`s minutes left in my life as an undecided voter. Got my
California ballot right here. It`s early voting night here on THE LAST
WORD. And this thing, this California ballot is so complicated. I`ve got
like, I don`t know -- 14 pieces of legislation in here that I have to vote
on, and I understand maybe two of them.

So I have flown in a California governor to help me with this. A
former California governor is going to have to do this work for me.

Early voting night on THE LAST WORD.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARTIN BASHIR, MSNBC HOST: We are just 11 days out from the election.

TAMRON HALL, MSNBC ANCHOR: With 11 days left in this campaign.

CHRIS JANSING, NBC NEWS: Eleven days left.

HALL: Mitt Romney`s latest description of himself.

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC HOST: Running on a message of change.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: What this requires is change.
Big change. Change, change, change. Change. Change. Change, change.

CARTOON CHARACTER: Leave me alone, I don`t have the change.

HALL: Not change. It`s just Bush.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There`s not much there
there.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: He`ll apparently stick to giving speeches
like he did today.

ROMNEY: What this requires is change.

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Can you really trust Mitt Romney?

OBAMA: Trust matters.

JANSING: Trust versus change.

ROMNEY: We need real change.

SHARPTON: Republicans are going right back to the old, ugly playbook.

JANSING: John Sununu.

WAGNER: John Sununu.

HALL: John Sununu on Colin Powell.

JOHN SUNUNU, ROMNEY CAMPAIGN: When you have somebody of your own race
that you`re proud of being president of the United States. I applaud Colin
for standing with him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A race-based endorsement was the accusation there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations, John Sununu. You`ve now stooped
down to the level of Rush Limbaugh.

JANSING: Does it take Mitt Romney off-message.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a complete unforced error for team Romney.

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The more courage
to stand up and say what they said was wrong.

MATTHEWS: Of course, if you refused to let the media ask you
questions, you never have to worry about giving them answers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Obama will hit the interview circuit
today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Obama team clearly is relying on them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doing a total of 10 different interviews.

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: All about targeting young voters there.

JANSING: All the pieces are moving.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: We`re basically down to the turnout
operations.

JANSING: Ground game, advertising, campaign stop.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama`s the one who is working it harder.

JANSING: Eleven days left.

HALL: There`s 11 days left in this campaign. Every move counts right
now.

OBAMA: Are you fired up? Are you ready to go?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: With just 11 days until the election, which, of course,
means 12 days until John Sununu climbs back into his cave, and with only
minutes left in which Mitt Romney can convince me to vote for him, Mitt
Romney remains silent today about his favorite crazy people. Mitt Romney
hasn`t answered a single question about the only Senate candidate he has
done a campaign ad for, the candidate who said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICHARD MOURDOCK (R-IN), U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: 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: Today, a reporter asked Romney campaign senior adviser
Eric Fehrnstrom why the campaign has not asked Mourdock to pull the
television featuring Mitt Romney`s endorsement. Fehrnstrom said, "That`s
his decision."

Today in Wisconsin, Vice President Joe Biden had to say about Mitt
Romney and Paul Ryan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BIDEN: They can`t even get up the gumption to condemn the statements
made by two of their candidates in the United States senate. It`s not
enough to tell me you don`t agree. It`s having the moral courage to stand
up and say what they said was wrong, simply wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Today, Mitt Romney did not address what his campaign
national co-chair John Sununu said last night about Colin Powell`s
endorsement of President Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUNUNU: We have to wonder whether that`s an endorsement based on
issues or whether he`s got a slightly different reason for preferring
President Obama.

PIERS MORGAN, CNN: What reason would that be?

SUNUNU: Well, I think when you have somebody of your own race that
you`re proud of being president of the United States, I applaud Colin for
standing with him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: What reason would that be was the question and John Sununu
issued this lie today. "Colin Powell is a friend and I respect the
endorsement decision that he made today and I do not doubt that it was
based on anything but his support of the president`s policies. Piers
Morgan`s question was whether Colin Powell should leave the part, and I
don`t think he should.

President Obama responded today.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

OBAMA: I don`t think there`s many people in America who would
question General Powell`s credibility, his patriotism, his willingness to
tell it straight. And so, any suggestion that General Powell would make
such a profound statement in such a important election based on anything
other than what he thought was what`s going to be best for America, I
think, you know, doesn`t make much sense.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Today, the Republican-leaning "Chicago Tribune" endorsed a
Democrat for president for only the second time in its 164 years of
existence. The first time was Barack Obama in 2008. "On questions on
economics and limited government, the `Chicago Tribune` has forged
principles that put us closer to the challenger in this race, Republican
Mitt Romney. Bolstered by his steadiness in office, cognizant of the vast
unfinished business before him, we endorse the re-election of Barack
Obama."

A CNN poll of Ohio likely voters has President Obama leading Mitt
Romney now by four points, 50 percent to 46 percent. A New England College
poll of New Hampshire likely voters has President Obama leading Mitt Romney
by three points, in John Sununu state, 49 to 46.

Tonight, Nate Silver of the "New York Times" "FiveThirtyEight" blog
forecasts that on November 6th, President Obama has a 74 percent chance of
winning re-election and over 13 point increase in the last two weeks. Nate
silver projects President Obama will win 295 electoral votes and Mitt
Romney will win 243.

So, Krystal Ball, we are 12 days away from the ugliest creature that
Mitt Romney has dragged into the presidential campaign, John Sununu.

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC HOST: Yes.

O`DONNELL: -- finding his way back into his cave in New Hampshire.
He was driven out of Washington, in scandal when he was the White House
chief of staff for the first President Bush. The man was driven out in
scandal and it took Mitt Romney to drag him back in front of television
cameras.

BALL: It`s been such a bizarre choice. I mean, he is the person he
put forward the most. He`s their lead surrogate and it`s such a strange
choice for his campaign and this is not the first time that he`s stepped in
it. He`s the one who had to apologize for saying the president needs to
learn how to be an American. He`s the one who called the president lazy
after the first debate.

I mean, this guy has been more of a liability.

And on the Colin Powell endorsement, it was likely to be a one-day
story. John Sununu has ensured that we have a reason to continue talking
about how important Colin Powell`s endorsement is for another day.

O`DONNELL: And then, Ari, he thinks he can put out the lie about what
the question was.

BALL: That was unbelievable.

O`DONNELL: That is not the question. The question was, why do you
think he endorsed him?

ARI MELBER, THE NATION: I think he forgot he was on TV when he made
these remarks.

O`DONNELL: No, I think the game with them is we don`t care. We`re
kind of glad you said it. We like racial messaging in the campaign and
we`re going to issue an apology that won`t actually be an apology because
the media kind of demands that in the way they do business so we`ll put
this thing out there and we`ll just lie in the apology and the
clarification.

BALL: It was taken out of context.

O`DONNELL: Yes, because that`s their game.

MELBER: Right. I mean, that`s what makes it worse, really. That it
is such a nod and wink.

This did come up last cycle when Colin Powell endorsed. I mean,
George Will went on a Sunday and made a very similar suggestion. The one
silver lining in all this is that the traditional has gotten better at
calling out the dog whistles in real time. And I do think, although you`re
right about how weak the spinning on apology was, the fact they had to say
anything reflects the fact they`re getting called on this stuff.

O`DONNELL: President Obama didn`t get to Ohio today but he did some
Ohio TV via satellite from Washington. Let`s listen to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: When you break down Governor Romney`s approach, it won`t add
jobs. It won`t reduce our deficit. And so, there`s just not much there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And the television ads are now powering out fast and
furious. There`s a new Obama reelection ad starring Jay-Z, which we better
look at right away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY-Z, SINGER: For so long, there was a voice that was silenced out
there, as far as exercising the right to vote. I think it was a voice that
was silent because people had lost hope. They didn`t believe their voice
mattered or counted. You know, we thought it was just policies, people
going back and forth. But at the end of the day, it never trickled down to
where we lived.

Now, people are exercising their right and you`re starting to see the
power of our vote. It means something for the first time for a lot of
people, having someone in office who understands how powerful our voice can
be is very important.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Krystal, obviously not a policy persuasion ad, a turnout
ad.

BALL: A turnout ad, an inspiration ad, a recapture the magic kind of
ad. And, you know what? It looks like those efforts are working. If you
look at Georgia, obviously not a swing or battleground state, African-
American turnout is on pace to be at record historical levels, higher even
than 2008.

So it looks like these efforts to remind people of how important their
vote is, how their vote could be the difference, how important it is to
have that voice, it seems to be breaking through.

MELBER: But also, and Jay-Z is an ad that obviously resonates with
African-Americans and the hip hop community, but it`s also a big youth ad.
This is a famous person who`s part of American royalty. Jay-Z is a model
of American --

O`DONNELL: Show business royalty.

MELBER: Show business royalty -- and Jay-Z is a model of American
success which doesn`t mean that you didn`t do anything in your life or face
adversity. It means that you won.

I mean, he raps about saying basically I can`t help the poor if I`m
one of them. I got rich and gave back. That`s a win-win.

I mean, this is American capitalism and American success with a social
contract. He raps about that. He supported Obama for those reasons both
personal and policy, and I think it`s really strong because this is someone
that people trust. He`s credible.

And it says something to me that`s amazing about where we are in
America. That you can take a person who did struggle with drugs and other
things on the streets but has built himself up and hold them out as what
Obama e says in that ad, as a model of the American dream. I think that`s
great.

O`DONNELL: Mitt Romney stepped in it on the auto issue today in Ohio,
taking about Jeep.

Let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I saw a story today that one of the great manufacturers of
this state, Jeep -- now owned by the Italians -- is thinking of moving all
production to China. I will fight for every good job in America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: OK. So Chrysler Corporation then issues this statement.
Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of
North America to China. It`s simply reviewing the opportunities to return
Jeep output to China for the world`s largest auto market. A careful and
unbiased reading of the Bloomberg take would have saved unnecessary
fantasies."

So Bloomberg had this piece about moving jobs to China. They weren`t
saying that. They were saying maybe they could expand and do some business
in China.

BALL: It`s actually a success story.

O`DONNELL: So here you have a giant corporation that is completely
uninhibited about simply referring to what Romney is saying about
unnecessary fantasies.

BALL: Well, I`ve got to tell you I`m not Pollyanna here. I am the
first person to call on Democrats when they`re getting too moralistic and
not willing to get in the dirt and the mud in politics. But the way that
Mitt Romney has run this campaign, has been disgusting.

No regard for the facts. No regard for the truth. Willing to say
anything just as you were alluding to with John Sununu, willing to say
anything that serves his purpose at the moment and relying on the fact that
he`s not going to get called out on it and most people are going to hear
the initial claim and not the fact check.

It`s really disturbing, especially in a situation like this where he
is talking to people whose jobs are literally on the line and stoking fear
with them. It`s unbelievable.

O`DONNELL: President Obama picking up a bunch of newspaper editorial
endorsements in swing states. "The Las Vegas Sun", "The Miami Herald", and
then also in the Detroit paper, they endorsed Mitt Romney but said he was
wrong about the auto bailout. They were lucky they had the president they
did back then.

Krystal Ball and Ari Melber, thank you both for joining me tonight.

BALL: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up. Early voting in Ohio and early voting right
here on THE LAST WORD. I`m going to fill out my California ballot, the
most complicated ballot you`ve ever seen. Joe Reid is Ohio reporting for
us tonight.

And in the rewrite, why Lena Dunham has Rush Limbaugh wondering what
it would be like if he was a woman. And I`m sure it`s not the first time.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Shall an ordinance be adopted requiring producers of adult
films to -- oh, we`re back.

I`m struggling with this California ballot. It`s incredibly long and
complicated and that`s why I`m going to have a former governor of
California join later to explain some of these things, to help me fill out
this ballot.

And in the rewrite tonight, Rush Limbaugh pretends to be offended by a
double entendre and imagines what it would like if he was a woman. Thank
you, Lena Dunham.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC NEWS: In the middle of roughly 24 hours, riding
along during several stops with the Obama campaign. Earlier today, that
meant a stop in Iowa. We had an opportunity to sit down with the
president, all of it by the way for a special package of coverage on
tomorrow evening`s broadcast of "Rock Center".

JAY LENO, COMEDIAN: It is my honor to welcome my first guest back to
the show, please welcome the 44th president of the United States, Barack
Obama.

(CHEERS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m honored to be sitting next to the 44th
president of the United States, Mr. Barack Obama. It`s an honor.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

O`DONNELL: With just 11 days until election, President Obama made the
media rounds this week, in between a nonstop campaign scheduled today
alone, the president did at least seven affiliate interviews, a handful of
radio interviews and a live interview for the under-30 crowd on MTV.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SWAY CALLOWAY, MTV: What are you most worried about? Malia getting
her driver`s licenses, Malia going out on a date or Malia being on
Facebook?

OBAMA: I`m worried about Facebook.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Mitt Romney on the other hand is playing hard to get.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Although it was last April when we began
requesting that former Governor Romney answer your questions, his team has
told us he`s been, quote, "unable to fit it in," unquote.

WILLIAMS: We should also know once again, we`ve asked for the chance
to spend similar time with the Romney campaign.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Of course, we extended the same offer to Governor
Romney and we hoped to be able to bring you that interview sometime soon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now for an exclusive interview, MTV`s Sway
Calloway, who sat down with the president for a one-on-one interview
earlier today, and also joining me, Ana Marie Cox, political correspondent
for "The Guardian".

Sway, congratulations.

CALLOWAY: Thank you very kindly.

O`DONNELL: But you know what? It turns out he`s not that hard to
get. He`s doing all these shows, right?

CALLOWAY: H`s everywhere. I talked to him about that off mike.

O`DONNELL: What did he say about that?

CALLOWAY: He said he`s anxious to get out there and get the message
across in terms of young voters and talk about the issues that matter the
most for them. And he believed that light night talk show hosts make
better interviewers because it allows him to loosen up and he was able to
crack up a few jokes and talk about policy as well.

O`DONNELL: And, Ana Marie, he also has to be comfort enough to do
this, because he doesn`t know what sway is going to come up with. You had
questions from some viewers and all that, tweeted questions all that stuff.

CALLOWAY: Facebook and tweets.

O`DONNELL: Right. And anything can happen in those situations. And
that seems to be what Mitt Romney is afraid of, is those anything can
happen situations.

ANA MARIE COX, THE GUARDIAN: I think so. And I also think that Mitt
Romney, he`s unsure of his mastery of popular culture probably for good
reason. I mean, I was imaging if you asked him about Facebook, he`d be
like, a photo album? A book of faces?

I don`t think he quite knows all of that. Whereas I think that one
thing -- I do believe the president is ultimately a nerd, but I think that
nerdiness serves him well in cultural situation. I think he studies. I
think he knows what`s going on.

I also think he does have this underlying confidence that he is going
to be able to handle a situation. He is going to be able to handle it if
someone asked him a tough question.

And I want to give the late night hosts some credit. I think he did a
very interesting interview on Jon Stewart and let`s face it, a lot of
Americans get their news from those shows. And those shows, especially
Stewart and Colbert, I think we can say had stepped up in that regard.

O`DONNELL: And you guys have invited Mitt Romney?

CALLOWAY: Absolutely. We would love to have Mitt Romney speak with
young people, give him the same opportunity to talk about the issues that
concern them also as well. We reached out to both of them. And hopefully,
we will get Mitt Romney. I mean --

O`DONNELL: There were two shows, two very big ones, by which I mean
tall, complaining about this last night. Let`s look at David letterman and
Bill O`Reilly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID LETTERMAN, TV HOST: We have our own little problem and I don`t
want to bore you --

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: Oh, Romney won`t come in.

LETTERMAN: He won`t come on. He`s not coming on at all, which is --
you know, he doesn`t have to come on but I think he does kind of have to
come on.

O`REILLY: I think you and I because he`s not on "The Factor." We
should go together and just confront him, you know?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COX: I would watch that.

O`DONNELL: Yes, we would all watch that.

COX: That would be fascinating.

O`DONNELL: Sway, if Mitt Romney was on MTV, what are the kinds of
things you think that you and some of the questioners today would have put
to him that would be different from the questions that they put to the
president?

CALLOWAY: I`m not sure which ones would be different. I know we
would talk to him about, you know, the economy and jobs. What would he
plan to do to create more jobs for young people and definitely build the
economy. Same-sex marriage was a big topic that came up.

O`DONNELL: Cost of education.

CALLOWAY: Cost of education was a gigantic issue that came up with
young people.

So, you know, so the question would have been similar. It`s not about
-- we look at elections and policies through the eyes of young people. So
whatever concerns them most and affects their every day life are the
questions that we ask. So, he would have gotten probably cache of
questions.

O`DONNELL: One thing I was struck by was, it was about a half hour
and a bunch of questions from kids, of military age, not one question about
the other kids of military age who are in Afghanistan were now in our 11th
year of war, not one question about that.

COX: Well, if we keep going in Afghanistan, we might start to get
some questions from those same kids 10 years from now. But we`ve largely
outsourced that war. I mean, you know that. The people in America,
although we`re aware of it and aware of the cost, a lot of people who
aren`t fighting it think of it as something that other people do.

O`DONNELL: But he does have an announced exit plan from there also.

My favorite thing, Sway, was you speaking to him father to father.

CALLOWAY: That was really interesting. One of the questions we posed
was: what are you most worried about Malia getting a driver`s license.
And, you know, I have a daughter. So --

O`DONNELL: Yes.

CALLOWAY: -- I was curious what the leader of the free world would
say.

O`DONNELL: How old is your daughter?

CALLOWAY: My daughter is the same age as his, 14.

O`DONNELL: Right, yes.

CALLOWAY: So I was curious as to what he would say about he`s dealing
with Facebook and driver`s license --

O`DONNELL: Or dating.

CALLOWAY: -- or dating and it was hilarious that he said, I`m not
worried, the secret service will probably follow her around. But I hope
that she picks the right type of guy.

And what our power12.org campaign that we`re doing, those are the type
of issues that come up as well. People want to know, how does your
president view a teenager or soon to be voter? I thought it went really
well.

We had a lot of questions we wanted to get in but we only had so much
time.

O`DONNELL: I`m sure it must be nerve racking and also you`re
listening to his answer thinking, am I going to get another question?

CALLOWAY: I skipped a few. The global climate -- we wanted to talk
about that definitely because we didn`t hear anything about that in the
debates.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

CALLOWAY: That`s an important issue in young Americans. So, we were
able to get him to speak on that.

Gun violence was an important issue that we had a chance to bring up
as well.

O`DONNELL: In very particular terms to Chicago, that story from
Chicago -- it was great.

Sway Calloway and Ana Marie Cox, thank you both for joining me.

CALLOWAY: Thanks.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

Coming up, early voting in Ohio and early voting right here on THE
LAST WORD. And up next on THE LAST WORD, a man who defined what it was to
be a dignified man of government.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: He was a husband for 64 years. He was a father for 68
years. He was a United States senator for 18 years. And all of those
years were celebrated today in a South Dakota farewell to George McGovern.

His political career peaked in 1972 when he was the Democratic nominee
for president. He lost the election, but his governing career continued in
the Senate. He teamed up with another senator with presidential ambitions
and put aside party politics to do something great.

In 1977, the year after Bob Dole was the Republican vice presidential
nominee, Senator McGovern and Senator Dole worked together to pass the Food
Stamp Act of 1977, legislation that has been feeding hungry children and
hungry families since President Jimmy Carter signed it into law.

George McGovern lived just long enough to hear his most important
Senate work thrown at the president of the United States as an epithet, the
Food Stamp president. Senator McGovern would not be able to find a single
Republican senator who would work with him on Food Stamp legislation if he
were in the Senate today. The 21st century has so far sadly become that
period in United States Senate history when, one by one, we have begun to
bury the senators who knew how to reach across the aisle and put petty
partisan interests aside in order to do the important and honorable work of
governing, senators in both parties who knew how to come together to do
things for the history books, senators who saw hungry children and fed
them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BISHOP BRUCE OUGH, UNITED METHODIST CHURCH: When you meet your maker
and he asks have you fed the hungry, given drink to the thirsty and cared
for the lonely, you, George, can answer yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R), OHIO: I feel pressure in that way. If we don`t
win Ohio, it`s tough to see us winning the election nationally.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was Republican Ohio Senator Rob Portman saying that
if his man Mitt is going to be president, he has to win Ohio. In the
spotlight tonight, the ground game in Ohio, where a new CNN/Opinion
Research poll of likely Ohio voters shows President Obama running at 50
percent and Mitt Romney trailing at 46 percent.

Early voting has been under way in Ohio for 25 days. Today, President
Obama campaigned on local Ohio television via satellite from Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I`m very confident. And the reason is, first of all, we`ve
got incredible volunteers and folks who are out there every single day
making phone calls, knocking on doors. And as you know, early voting has
started in Ohio. And we`ve seen a huge up surge in people taking advantage
of that. So we`ve got a pretty good sense of who`s actually voting in
Ohio.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now are Joy Reid, managing editor of the Grio
and an MSNBC contributor, and Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, joining me
from Ohio.

Senator Turner, you`ve had get out the vote rallies repeatedly, I
believe. What have you been doing today and in the last 11 days to get out
the vote in Ohio?

NINA TURNER (D), OHIO STATE SENATOR: We`re really just firing up the
president`s base and making sure that people understand that this is a
choice election and that no one can sit this out. And we have to make sure
that in the state of Ohio that we continue to rally the base, get folks
excited. And they are very excited, Lawrence, contrary to what folks may
be saying.

There is no enthusiasm gap in the state of Ohio. They fully
understand what is at stake here, what is on the line, and that is the
future of America, and that all roads lead through Ohio.

O`DONNELL: Joy Reid, the Obama campaign has 131 field offices in
Ohio, compared to just 40 for the Romney campaign. Is that all we have to
know about the voter turnout situation in Ohio? Or are there more
complications to know about?

JOY REID, THEGRIO: No, it is a lot about ground game. First of all,
I have to thank you, Lawrence, for giving Nina Turner and I, the senator, a
chance to prove that we are two different people. That had to be done.
And I appreciate you doing that.

O`DONNELL: It`s about time.

REID: It`s about time we prove that. No, it is all about ground
game. At this stage of a campaign, it is all go about GOTV, get out the
vote. That`s what you`re seeing with the Obama campaign, which by the way
never really fully turned off its ground operation from 2008. So the built
in advantage that Barack Obama`s campaign has in a state like Ohio is that
it was sort of turn key. They could just turn that operation back on. And
the Romney campaign had to ramp up, which they haven`t done yet.

So today in Ohio what you see is people literally putting people into
vans and getting them to the polls. You`re seeing a lot of seniors getting
to the polls that way. I actually saw a lot of young people at the polls,
more than I would have expected. And they`re actually sort of self
motivated to get here and vote, because they`re very motivated to get it
done early, so they don`t have to wait in line on election day.

O`DONNELL: Senator Turner, there was a drop in turnout for the 2010
midterm campaign. Has the Obama campaign been able to identify those
voters and aim for them? That seems to be the first place to go to look to
build up the turnout back up toward 2008 numbers.

TURNER: Absolutely. We`re going after them strong. Make no mistake
about it, the ministers in the Cleveland area, or in the state of Ohio, to
be more expansive, they are out there. We`re making sure that we`re going
to drive out the souls to the polls. No stone will be left unturned when
it comes to driving out the vote.

That`s why when we were in the Central community today, a community
where some of those ridiculous billboards appeared, to make sure that we
say to that community that voting ask a right and it is not a crime, and
that you have something at stake, your children`s future is at stake. And
we`ve got to stand behind the president that believes in this state, who
believes in the 47 percent, who believes that women should make dollar for
dollar, who believe that pocket book issues, health issues, that women
should have a right to chose and control their own bodies. They should not
have to ask government for permission, no men.

So absolutely, Ohio is in full effect, Lawrence. And we are fired up
and more than ready to go.

REID: Lawrence, if I could just quickly give you a couple of stats.
You talk about a drop in turnout. I spoke with the supervisors of
elections here in Cayahoga County, which includes Cleveland. And she said
that you had 266,000 people early vote in 2008, which is the first year you
could do it in person as opposed to just by mail. She`s expecting that to
go up. She was saying that people really appreciated the process.

And the difference this year is more people are switching to the in-
person form of early voting, rather than just doing it absentee. She`s
saying they`re looking to do about 2,000 voters per day, which is up from
2008, because people are taking more advantage of the process.

O`DONNELL: Is there any problem with the number of early voting
locations that are available in Ohio?

TURNER: Not that I`ve heard of, Lawrence. Not at all. People
understand where to go. We`ve been early voting in the state of Ohio since
2006. And people understand it, which makes it even that much more
ridiculous that Republicans would go after early in-person voting. But we
know why they did.

But people, because of the actions of the secretary of state and the
GOP-led legislature, people are that much more determined to make sure
their voice is heard. People are mad at hell, Lawrence, to be honest with
you, particularly in the African-American community, that folks who have
political power would try to use it to suppress the vote. But they are out
and they are voting.

REID: And this is actually one case, Lawrence, where it is actually
fair across the board. There are 88 counties here in Ohio. And each gets
one early vote location. But the supervisor of elections gets to choose
where that is, so they can sort of put it in the place where they feel is
most central and most convenient. In the case of Cayahoga County, it`s
right downtown. So it is actually right along -- we saw bus lines, sort of
an electronic train. So it`s right there in the center of the city.

O`DONNELL: Joy Reid and Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, thank you
both for joining me tonight.

TURNER: Thank you.

REID: Great to be here.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Lena Dunham made an ad for the Obama campaign
and it is so controversial to people who do not understand jokes. And it`s
made Rush Limbaugh think out loud about what it would be like if he was a
woman.

And I will vote. It`s early voting night here on THE LAST WORD, And
I`m going to need the help of a former California governor to fill out my
ballot because that`s how crazy and complicated the California ballot is.
That`s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: In tonight`s Rewrite, more proof that the Obama campaign
is running a turnout election. The Obama campaign in the closing weeks
does not need to persuade voters to switch their support from Mitt Romney
to Barack Obama. They simply need to persuade the voters who support
President Obama to actually go out and vote for him, especially younger
voters. The Obama campaign has now delivered the hippest ad in the history
of presidential campaigning, starring possibly the most ultra cool person
in the history of television.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LENA DUNHAM, ACTRESS: Your first time shouldn`t be with just anybody.
You want to do it with a great guy. It should be with a guy with beautiful
-- someone who really cares about and understands women. A guy who cares
whether you get health insurance, specifically whether you get birth
control.

The consequences are huge. You want to do it with a guy who brought
the troops out of Iraq. You don`t want a guy who says, oh hey, I`m at the
library studying when really he`s out not signing the Lilly Ledbetter Act,
or who thinks that gay people should never have beautiful complicated
weddings of the kind we see on Bravo or TLC all the time.

It`s a fun game to say who are you voting for and they say I don`t
want to tell you. And you go, no, who are you voting for. They go, guess.
Think about how you want to spend those four years. In college age time,
that`s 150 years.

Also super uncool to be out and about and say did you vote, no, I
wasn`t ready.

My first time voting was amazing. It was this line in the sand.
Before I was a girl, now I was a woman. I went to the polling station, I
pulled back the curtain. I voted for Barack Obama.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was, of course, Lena Dunham, star of HBO`s "Girls," a
show she created. I think she made Emmy history by being the first actress
nominated simultaneously for the Emmy for lead actress, writer and
director. The can`t take a joke crowd is, of course, outraged. I guess I
mean can`t take a dirty joke crowd, even when the punch line proves it`s
not actually a dirty joke.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I think it crosses a line. Who would
you want to do it with? That was Obama for America putting out this ad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s not a good ad.

HANNITY: It`s a horrible ad.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, it`s the political equivalent of a booty
call. 3:00 am in his campaign and this is who he dials. So actress Lena
Dunham describes voting for Obama like it`s losing your virginity.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You know how in a lot of the ads, they have to
say I`m Barack Obama and I approved this message. Who approved this
message? Valerie Jarrett, Anita Dunn -- who is in the White House --
Stephanie Cutter like, who thought this was a great idea?

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: How about this ad that they --
this -- here we are in the midst of the war on women, right? The
republicans hate women, guilty of all this misogyny, want to deny women all
kind of fun in life. We`ve got a 26-year-old television star, female, in
an ad basically saying if you`re going to lose your virginity and vote at
the same time, it`s got to be with the right guy. Vote for Obama, just
like having sex with Obama. You`ve got to choose the right guy.

If I were a woman today, this bunch -- I would feel insulted each and
every day. The way they look at women all thinking the same way, all
wanting the same things. I think that ad -- some people look at it and
they`ll think it`s cool and it`s hip and it`s representative of the current
modern day pop culture. But I think it`s an insult to women everywhere.

This is the kind of thing that you do in desperation, when you don`t
have an agenda, when you don`t have anything positive to say about
yourself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Yes, the hurler of insults at women everywhere is suddenly
the defender against insults to women everywhere. Everyone you just heard
from, except Lena Dunham, thinks of Ronald Reagan as a perfectly reasonable
candidate for sainthood. Ronald Reagan got 100 percent of the votes from
the can`t take a joke crowd and 110 percent of the votes from the can`t
take a dirty joke crowd.

But that crowd has forgotten a lot about Reagan, like how many times
he raised taxes as governor and president, and today`s uncomfortable fact
that when he was running for president, Ronald Reagan told a double
entendre joke that ingeniously included, within its overall double entendre
structure, an internal double entendre that allows for both straight and
gay entendre.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Listen, I know
what it`s like the first time you pull that Republican lever because I used
to be a Democrat myself. And I could tell you, it only hurts for a minute.
And then you`ll feel just great.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Oh, my. Did you get all those entendres? Ronald Reagan
just told you that it only hurts for a minute and then you`ll feel just
great. Now, I don`t think we have to decide whether Ronald Reagan intended
that to be a straight or gay entendre. The guy was a Hollywood actor. He
had seen it all. And he knew there is never, never a joke that has too
many entendre.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REAGAN: Listen. I know what it`s like the first time you pull that
Republican lever because I used to be a Democrat myself. And I could tell
you, it only hurts for a minute. And then you`ll feel just great.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: It`s early voting night here on THE LAST WORD, And that
means Indecision 2012 stops right now, for me anyway. My undecided time is
up. I`m going to vote right here and now. But this is a California ballot
we`re talking about. So it`s not going to be as easy as you might think.

Because in California, we voters are legislators. We have 14 pieces
of legislation in here, in this ballot, that I have to vote on. And I
understand I think maybe two of them. And so joining me now to help me get
through this incredibly complex California ballot, the former Democratic
Governor of California and someone I have actually voted for on one of
these ballots, Gray Davis.

Governor, thank you very much.

GRAY DAVIS, FORMER GOVERNOR OF CALIFORNIA: My pleasure, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: I hate this. I hate being a legislator. I just want to
be a voter. Let`s get right down to the easy part here. President, Jill
Stein, that`s the Green Party, Thomas Hoefling (ph), American Independent,
Mitt Romney, Republican, Gary Johnson, Libertarian, Roseanne Barr, peace
and freedom -- and Barack Obama, Democrat. I didn`t know Roseanne Barr and
I`m in favor of peace and freedom.

Let`s come back to that. I didn`t know Roseanne was on the ballot.

DAVIS: I don`t think this is that hard.

O`DONNELL: Well, you know, Senate --

DAVIS: Let`s just do the right thing and vote for Barack Obama.

O`DONNELL: -- versus Diane Feinstein. Absolutely I`m voting for
Diane Feinstein. That couldn`t be easier. Let`s see, number 38. I fill
in number 38 for Diane. And united states representative Bill -- Henry
Waxman. I have a big important chairman in my district. I get to vote for
Chairman Waxman. That`s so easy. Who would ever give up that seniority.
That`s the easy part.

Now this, member of the state assembly, Betsy Butler, Richard Bloom.
Who are these people?

DAVIS: Betsy Butler is in the assembly now. Richard Bloom is the
mayor of Santa Monica.

O`DONNELL: They`re both Democrats, right?

DAVIS: Right. We have this top two system now, two Republicans, two
Democrats.

O`DONNELL: I don`t know anything about either one of them. I`m going
to vote for change.

DAVIS: I would recommend you vote for Betsy Butler. You do what you
want. She`s in the assembly.

O`DONNELL: You know what, I`ve never had a governor at my side voting
before, so I`m voting for Betsy.

DAVIS: That`s a good start.

O`DONNELL: Take credit for that one.

O`DONNELL: This is utterly hopeless. District attorney, OK, two
people I`ve never heard of, Alan Jackson, gang homicide prosecutor, Jackie
Lacy, chief deputy D.A.. See, I come to that and I just -- you know, there
are times when I just haven`t voted when I come to one of those. I leave
them blank because I don`t want to encourage either one of them. I just
don`t know. What do I do?

DAVIS: Well I`m going to vote for Jackie Lacy. Alan Jackson is a
good prosecutor. He`s a good man. But Jackie Lacy has basically been the
chief of staff to the current D.A. for several years. And this job is a
huge administrator job. People don`t know, Lawrence, L.A. county is larger
than 35 states. So you`ve got prosecutors all over the place.

O`DONNELL: In this information book you get, it tells you something
about Alan Jackson, who is the other candidate. And one of the things it
says here for him, which he has put in here, is it says Alan Jackson
prosecuted music producer Phil Specter, winning Los Angeles county`s first
celebrity murder conviction in over 40 years. Wow, that`s a real swipe at
the D.A.`s office over the O.J. case, isn`t it?

DAVIS: It is.

O`DONNELL: He`s not a team player. So Jackie Lacy, 64. You`re
voting for Jackie.

DAVIS: I`m voting for Jackie, because this job is largely
administrative.

O`DONNELL: They`re not really in the courtroom?

DAVIS: No.

O`DONNELL: All right. Now, these ballot measures, these are really
tough. The first one, temporary taxes to fund education. That sounds
great. Guaranteed local public safety funding initiative. It`s a
constitutional amendment. I don`t feel that I should be amending the
Constitution. Now it says it increases taxes on earnings over 250,000
dollars for seven years, and sales taxes by one quarter cent for four
years. Here`s what I don`t get, how much does it increase taxes over
250,000 dollars?

DAVIS: It`s a graduated scale. A little bit 250, more for 500, more
over a million.

O`DONNELL: That`s not even in here.

DAVIS: I`m giving you the answer.

O`DONNELL: How are voters --

DAVIS: This is the voter guide.

O`DONNELL: It`s in that? The phone book version.

DAVIS: In fairness, I brought that for you. In fairness, this is
printed front and back. I have it printed single -- one side of the page.
It`s about half this size. But if you go through it, all of that is
explained.

O`DONNELL: This is -- it`s just unbelievable.

DAVIS: Here`s the deal. Arnold had a temporary tax that expired when
he left off.

O`DONNELL: I have no problem with taxation. It`s just that I don`t
really -- did I just lose a mic? No, OK. That`s how excited I am.

DAVIS: You and I will pay more. The average guy will only pay a
quarter of a cent on sales tax.

O`DONNELL: So I`m going to vote -- my instinct is to vote for it.
But it`s just instinct. I don`t feel adequately informed without my
governor here instructing me.

DAVIS: This is a winner take all proposition. Schools either get six
billion or they`re cut six billion.

O`DONNELL: I`m voting for that. Number 30, I`m voting yes.

DAVIS: That`s 80, number 80.

O`DONNELL: Yeah. I`m voting 80 in the box here. It`s question 30,
you vote not in the 30 box. You vote in the 80 box. Because it`s the
California ballot.

DAVIS: That`s right.

O`DONNELL: I`ve got to do this president thing. Time is running out.
We`re down to the end. Roseanne Barr, Barack Obama? You know what? I
voted for Obama last time. I think he deserves another shot at this.
Barack Obama, voting number 19. We are I think running out of time here on
this thing. Can you hang around and help me finish this? And we`ll post
online.

DAVIS: Sure.

O`DONNELL: -- the results of how we finish this?

DAVIS: Absolutely.

O`DONNELL: OK, because we`re not going to finish this on the show.
OK, so, I mean, for example, the condoms on porn sets proposition.

DAVIS: Yes, I don`t know a great deal about that.

O`DONNELL: You don`t?

DAVIS: It sounds like the right thing to me.

END

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