updated 11/8/2012 11:41:26 AM ET 2012-11-08T16:41:26

THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
November 7, 2012

Guests: Ana Marie Cox, Joy Reid, Mark McKinnon, Cecile Richards

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: Come on. You know what I`m going to say.
You do. You know I`ve been dying to say this for a year. Ann Coulter was
right.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANN COULTER, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: Well, I`ll put it in a
nutshell. If we don`t run Chris Christie, Romney will be the nominee and
we`ll lose.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: Romney is expanding his math.

DICK MORRIS, FOX NEWS: We`re going to win 325 electoral votes.

HANNITY: The president dramatically down.

NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: You`ll see a Romney land
slide.

REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: It`s going to be a great day tomorrow.

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

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC HOST: Shellacking, repudiation, meltdown.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I believe we can seize
this future together.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four more for 44.

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: A decisive victory.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 2008 was not a fluke.

MARTIN BASHIR, MSNBC HOST: His emphatic victory tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re kidding. What?

CHRIS JANSING, MSNBC ANCHOR: It was over in about five minutes.

OBAMA: We are not as divided as our politics suggest.

SENATOR-ELECT ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I won`t just be
your senator. I will be your champion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From a whole new crew of Democratic senators.

ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS: The highest number of women senators in
American history.

TAMRON HALL, MSNBC ANCHOR: What was the key to success last night?

TODD: Cold, hard demographics.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What does he able to keep every group?

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: Our top priority over the next
two years --

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Making Barack Obama.

MCCONNELL: -- should be to deny President Obama second term.

BACHMANN: -- a one-term president.

OBAMA: We are not as divided as our politics suggest.

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

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: Yes, Ann Coulter was right. If the Republicans nominate
Mitt Romney, they`ll lose. But she was wrong about what would have
happened if the Republicans had nominated Chris Christie, President Obama
would have beaten him, too.

And now even Ann Coulter knows that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COULTER: I abandoned Romney and ran off with Chris Christie in the
middle of Obama`s term, because I just thought --

HANNITY: I remember that.

COULTER: He`s likable but Obama is likable. He`s an incumbent. It`s
going to be very hard to take him out. We`re going to need some star
power, street fighter like Chris Christie. I think I was wrong about that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Just before 7:00 p.m. tonight, President Obama and his
family returned to the White House which they will call home until January
2017. It will be a half empty nest by then, Malia will be a freshman in
college.

Today, we learned new details of the president`s campaign decision
that was crucial to extending his stay in the White House.

The "Wall Street Journal" reveals, "One Sunday in May, Mr. Messina,
the manager of President Barack Obama`s reelection campaign went to the
president, along with other top advisers, and proposed an unorthodox
strategy. `The campaign,` he said `wanted to spend heavily starting
immediately on ads blasting away at Republican nominee Mitt Romney to shape
voters` impressions before Mr. Romney had the money to do it for himself.
If it doesn`t work, we`re not going to have enough money to go have a
second theory in the fall,` Mr. Messina, said, according to people in the
meeting. The president gave his approval."

The risky Obama campaign strategy worried Ann Romney. The "Washington
Post" writes today, "Ann would come to me and say, `Eric, what are we going
to do about this? It needs to be addressed,` said Eric Fehrnstrom, Romney
senior adviser. Another Romney adviser said, `The group think today is if
we were to go back and change one thing, we`d spend more money and more
strongly defend Mitt, push back on the rich guy, the tax rate issue, the
Bain capital issue.`"

Of course, pushing back against the image of Mitt Romney is a rich guy
who paid an extraordinarily low income tax rate and was a Bain Capital
profiteer based on layoffs and outsourcing would be pushing back against
the truth.

Today, Bill O`Reilly said the win went to the smartest team.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS: If Mitt Romney had a guy as smart as Obama`s
chief strategist David Axelrod, the governor would be celebrating, I should
say, tonight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: As of this hour, President Obama has won 303 Electoral
College votes, and Mitt Romney has won 206. The only state has yet to call
is Florida, where President Obama leads by just over 47,000 votes, with 97
percent of precincts reporting. President Obama has won the popular vote,
50 percent to 48 percent as of now.

The 113th Congress will be composed of a Democratic majority in the
Senate with 53 Democrats, a two seat increase, as well as 45 Republicans
and two independents, at least one of which will caucus with the Democrats.
In the House of Representatives, Republicans will retain the majority. As
of now, Republicans have won 233 seats, Democrats 195 seats. NBC News
projects that once the votes are counted, Republicans will hold 236 seats
and Democrats will hold 199 seats, a nine-seat gain.

Nate Silver of "The New York Times`" "FiveThirtyEight" blog, as
reported here every night, correctly predicted the electoral outcome in all
50 states and the District of Columbia, assuming Florida tips towards
President Obama as it now appears it will.

Last night, voters made history on the issue of same sex marriage, a
marriage equality referendum has passed in both Maine and Maryland, and is
on track to pass in Washington state. Those states become the first to
approve same sex marriage through a ballot measure in our nation`s history.

And in Minnesota, voters rejected a state constitutional amendment
limiting marriage to between one man and one women, though same sex
marriage is still illegal in that state.

Krystal Ball, there are so many things to catch up on what happened
last night. But let`s start with Mitt Romney. Republicans said when they
were running against him, he`s the worst possible candidate they could
nominate.

KRYSTAL BALL, "THE CYCLE" CO-HOST: Right.

O`DONNELL: It`s hard to say. The trouble is the guys who were saying
that were crazier, they`re much worse candidates. When Newt Gingrich says
you`re the worst candidate, that`s not true.

BALL: It`s not --

O`DONNELL: Not as bad as you, Newt.

BALL: Right.

O`DONNELL: But my feeling from the start was the Republicans did not
have someone who could beat President Obama.

BALL: Well, I think that`s true, out of that group, Rick Perry,
Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney was the best
candidate. I think that is correct.

But there`s a danger to them looking too much to the personality of
Mitt Romney saying he was not the right guy, he didn`t do a good job of
articulating conservative principles. In fact his own party doomed him.
And the positions he had to take in the primary on immigration, on women`s
issues, on not accepting a 10-1 spending cut to tax increase deal -- those
things set him up for defeat and he was never able to overcome the sense
that he is part of this party that has done everything they possibly can to
keep the president from succeeding.

O`DONNELL: Ari Melber, John Podhoretz, today`s "New York Post",
conservative columnist. First sentence I think of the column was, "Barack
Obama is one of the greatest politicians of all time."

ARI MELBER, THE NATION: Well, it`s sort of the mirror image of the
point Krystal was making, which is to focus on the personality of Mitt
Romney and then to try and say that this victory is limited to the
political genius of David Axelrod, as you showed Bill O`Reilly saying, or
that Barack Obama is a good politician, which he is.

But I think there`s something more fundamental that happened yet
yesterday. I think we came out of a period of American history where
government was seriously discredited often for good reason because of
failures on foreign policy, on responding to Katrina, on regulating the
financial markets, and we had a president, Barack Obama, who came in and
often in unpopular ways at first, basically said government has an
important role to play in all of these markets, the insurance market, the
car market, small business, tax reform and he went and did that when it was
unpopular.

And by the end of the race, as you showed on your show, Lawrence, we
had a substantive debate about the car bailout, about the stimulus. And
what we see here I think is an endorsement of an Obamaism, of an approach
here that embraces government to do things for people.

O`DONNELL: But, Krystal, with unemployment where it is and all the
political arithmetic we know says the president can`t be re-elected with
unemployment up near 8 percent. It cannot happen. It takes an
extraordinary campaign or an extraordinary president to be able to do that.

BALL: Well, I think that is true. I mean, on the other hand, it is
very hard to unseat incumbent presidents. That`s there`s about, you know,
70 percent of incumbent presidents are re-elected. Ronald Reagan was re-
elected, unemployment wasn`t quite as it is now, but he was reelected in a
landslide, suggesting that there was some room for unemployment to be a bit
higher in him to win.

The president, though, did run a fantastic campaign. They understood
America as it exists today. Republicans tried to convince themselves that
it was the America that they knew in the past and they deluded themselves.

MELBER: Yes.

BALL: And now that I think, you know, you`re seeing the results
today. Dick Morris and Karl Rove, and other people saying, here`s where we
got it wrong and we`ve got to rethink.

So, definitely, kudos to David Axelrod, David Plouffe, Jim Messina,
brilliant calls. But I do think the economy was getting better, people
were starting to feel like things were getting better, and ultimately said,
I want to give this guy another four years to finish the job.

O`DONNELL: Here`s one thing that I don`t think was a factor in the
last week. And that is the hurricane on the East Coast.

MELBER: Right.

O`DONNELL: I don`t that`s a factor in Ohio, where they didn`t have a
hurricane. I -- if there was a factor in the last week, I believe it was
Mitt Romney going into Ohio --

MELBER: Yes.

O`DONNELL: -- lying to Ohio about something Ohio voters know the
truth about on this sending Jeep jobs to China and to lie straight to the
voters who know it`s not true, who are related to the workers, whose jobs
are not going to China was a deadly move by Romney.

MELBER: Exactly. And we have the numbers on that now. We know that
three out of four Ohio voters thought the economy was doing very poorly.
OK? They were not that excited about what`s going on because it`s tough
out there.

But when it comes to policy, six out of 10 supported the bailout of
the auto industry and to your point, they knew on the ground, they knew in
their bones what was going on and they knew that Mitt Romney was lying to
them.

So that goes to I think another really exciting thing here. Money
matters and in down ballot races, it can destroy you. But in the
presidential race, what we`re seeing is there`s a limit to how much cash
and lies can bury the truth, just because an advertisement says up or down
doesn`t mean people are going to be snookered that way.

O`DONNELL: OK, MVP of the campaign, candidates not included.
Multiple choices, David Axelrod, Jim Messina or whoever taped that 47
video.

BALL: I do think it goes to the 47 percent video.

O`DONNELL: I think it goes to the unanimous.

MELBER: Yes, the gaffe is when you accidentally say the truth. And
that was the truth for Mitt Romney that hurt.

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

BALL: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Rush Limbaugh made a big confession today. He
actually admitted to his radio audience that he told them a big lie. Now,
go ahead -- tweet your guesses about what Rush admits he was lying about.
And the answer will be in tonight`s rewrite.

And Cecile Richards joins me with the record wins for women last night
at the ballot box.

And Jonathan Capehart and Ana Marie Cox are here. I`m going to see if
I can get them to go off the cliff.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: The results are in and we now have the winners and the
losers of the polling business, according to a study by Fordham University
Political Science Department. The poll I hate to mention, because it
sounds so weird. The PPP poll was actually number one tied with Daily Kos
as the most accurate polls.

You see poor NBC was down at number six was actually the top level of
accuracy for all of the networks. CBS was tied at number six with "New
York Times"/CBS poll, NBC was tied, ABC down at 12, ABC/"Washington Post".
Pew was at 13.

CNN, the next was 15. A bunch of them tied at 15. CNN, FOX News,
"Politico", all of that.

And then way down the bottom, you have Rasmussen coming in at 24, tied
with Gallup, poor NPR at 26. And the big loser, of course, the "A.P."
poll.

Now, just remember all of that four years from now. You`re going to
want to know which ones got it right. Which ones got it wrong. PPP and,
of course, Nate Silver.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: And so the day after President Obama`s triumphant
reelection and Democrats increased control of the United States Senate, the
top Republican in town tried to get Washington`s focus on governing again
using the oh, so scary imagery of the fiscal cliff.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: There will be many
who will say that with the election over, we should confront the first of
these challenges by simply letting the top two tax rates expire and pushing
the sequester off to some other date.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Yes, there will be many who say that and they will be led
by this woman who led Senate Democrats to victory last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D), WASHINGTON: If we can`t get a good deal, a
balanced deal that calls on the wealthy to pay their fair share, then I
will absolutely continue this debate into 2013. On January 1st, if we have
not gotten a deal, Grover Norquist and his pledge are no longer relevant to
this conversation. We will have a new fiscal and political reality.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was Senator Patty Murray who is more than willing to
go off the cliff on January 1st, if Republicans continue to block an
increase in the top income tax rates. She said that back in July and I`m
sure many Republicans who don`t know her didn`t take her seriously then.

But as the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee this
year, she just led the Democrats to a victory that increased their majority
margin in the Senate and raised the number of women senators to 20.

When Patty Murray first won her seat in the Senate in 1992, there were
three woman senators. Patty Murray is suddenly one of the new power
centers in the Senate, and if she`s ready to go off the cliff, then she
won`t be going alone.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)

O`DONNELL: Ana Marie Cox, do you think of yourself more as a Thelma
or a Louise?

ANA MARIE COX, GUARDIAN: Well, I`ve got the red hair.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

COX: I was going to say like it is a noble thing to go off a cliff
some time, but maybe it`s not the perfect imagery. It`s one of those
things that`s more -- I mean, I feel like the thing we need to get across
to people as lovely as it is to say going off the cliff or whatever, that
this is a principled stand to make.

This is not going off the cliff as some sort like lemmings. You know,
this is not like Wiley E. Coyote like spinning his legs. This is getting
the Republican Party to try and do the right thing, trying to do the thing
that I think the American people said that they wanted to have happened.

O`DONNELL: I believe in the presidential election, they voted for
higher top income tax rates, the Obama position. The other piece of this
cliff is a big spending cut that`s built in that was written in there by
the Congress and Republicans in Congress and they`re now afraid of what
they wrote.

COX: Yes, they are afraid of what they wrote. They`re afraid of
being held accountable to almost anything. The people that lost in this
election are the people that we held accountable. The people who were held
accountable for what they had to say, held accountable for the bad
decisions that they made.

And you know what? Yes, the guy that lost the election is the guy
that campaigned on lowering the taxes for the high income people. So, I
mean, I don`t know where Boehner and McConnell kind of like where their
idea that the president isn`t going somewhere with this. I`m curious to
see how it comes out.

And again, I feel like I wish we could change the language on this so
that it didn`t seem like we were taking America with us.

O`DONNELL: But it did give us the "Thelma and Louise" clip. Without
it, I can`t justify the "Thelma and Louise" clip.

Jonathan Capehart, the truth about going off the cliff is it`s not
exactly a cliff, it`s kind of like a driveway. It`s a little slope.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Right.

O`DONNELL: You know, it happens over time. And so, the theory that
Patty Murray has and other Democrats have is let`s go off the cliff, as
they say, and that will force, that`s the only thing that will force
Republicans to come to the table to work on the tax piece of this, which
will include maintaining the current rates for people below the top
brackets and let those top brackets stay up. It will therefore be
described as a tax cut for everybody on the lower brackets and then work
out something else on the spending side because neither one of the parties
actually wants to see these giant cuts in defense and a lot of the other
cuts that happen across the board.

CAPEHART: Well, remember, the sequester was supposed to be the hammer
on Congress, in case -- if memory serves, in case the super committee
didn`t do what it was supposed to do. And so, since the super committee
proved to be not so super, that`s why everyone is freaked out about the
sequester cuts that are about to happen.

Meanwhile, Patty Murray has been signaling for a long time now, or not
signaling, saying flat out, that she wants to go over the fiscal cliff and
she wants to take it to the Republicans.

And I think now that the president has won re-election and that he
already has the experience of the debt ceiling fight from last year under
his belt, he knows how to fight this fight now. And so, I think he`s more
than willing to also go over the cliff. One, he knows what the fight is.
Two, as you said, it`s not exactly a cliff. It`s more of a slope. And he
and the nation actually have a few more weeks, maybe a couple more months
before the cliff really hits.

O`DONNELL: Yes. The president is in a stronger position in every
way, including tactically. But let`s listen to what he said in July on the
campaign trail, in terms of his veto power that he has in this situation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Will you veto any legislation that extends all
of the Bush tax cuts even to what you call the wealthy?

OBAMA: Yes. And the reason is we can`t afford it. It would not make
sense for us to give folks like me or Mr. Romney or Mr. Buffett another
trillion in tax cuts that we don`t need.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Ana Marie, following the constitutional powers of the
presidency, the only interesting question to ask a question is what will
you veto? And to put it in a yes or know form like that reporter wisely
did. And you saw it right there, yes, he will veto anything that they
might send him that way. I mean, that is the only reason the legislators
listen to the president, is that he says, by the way, if you do that I`ll
veto it. And they say, oh, well, can we negotiate?

COX: That is the balance of power.

O`DONNELL: Ye.

COX: That is the thing that balances power with the legislature. It
seems like a small thing, but it`s a huge hammer. We`re talking about
hammers.

I was thinking this is a case of like you know what, you said you`re
going to do this, we`re all going to do this. This is -- what Patty Murray
and the president are asking, you said we`re going to do this thing? All
right, everyone, come on, let`s walk -- let`s walk towards that cliff.
They`re willing to keep walking until Republicans finally say, OK, fine, I
think we`ll do something about it.

I don`t think they`re going to chicken out. I hope they`re not going
to chicken out. It`s impossible to think of a solution. I don`t know what
it is -- the thing also what Patty Murray said, Grover Norquist/no new
taxes pledge won`t be relevant anymore.

O`DONNELL: Exactly.

COX: It`s never been relevant. It`s never been a sensical position
to take. I guess I just hope that maybe it will be the end of that pledge
entirely.

O`DONNELL: It may break it.

Jonathan Capehart and Ana Marie Cox, thank you both for joining me
tonight.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: It turns out women did have a legitimate way to shut down
that whole thing -- an historic night for women candidates across America.
Cecile Richards will join me later.

And soul searching, if there are souls in the Republican Party, over
how to fix their demographic disaster, if they can fix it. That`s coming
up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Yesterday, in the neighborhood where I grew up in Boston,
the oldest known voter in the United States made her way to a voting booth
at a middle school auditorium on Columbia Road in Dorchester. Elizabeth
Hinton cast her vote in her 22nd presidential election. Yes, that`s 88
years of voting for president.

She cast her first vote only seven years after women obtained the
right to vote. Elizabeth Hinton never considered the more leisurely option
of voting by mail. Her niece told "The Boston Globe", "She wanted to get
out here and vote. She`s a true citizen that way."

Elizabeth Hinton is 106 years old. Her last two presidential votes
have been for the winner Barack Obama. Her grand niece told "The Globe"
the secret to Elizabeth Hinton`s longevity, quote, "She has a gin and tonic
everyday."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER RNC CHAIRMAN: For the Republican Party, you
know what our new reality is? Every month, 50,000 Hispanics turn 18 years
old, every month. That`s 600,000 Hispanic youth every year.

Do you really think this party wants to spend the rest of the next 15,
20, 40, 50 years in the political desert? If they do, great. Here`s your
moment. If you don`t, you`ve got to get real with the new reality.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: NBC exit polls found the share of the white electorate
fell by two points since the 2008 election, to 72 percent, while the Latino
electorate jumped one point to become 10 percent of the electorate. An
overwhelming 71 percent of the Latino electorate went for President Obama
this year, compared to Mitt Romney`s 27 percent.

That is the lowest performance for Republicans in eight years. John
McCain got 31 percent four years ago. George W. Bush got 40 percent in
2004. Exit polls show Latinos are becoming a solid Democratic voting
block. In 2004, 42 percent of Latino voters called themselves Democrats
and 31 percent Republicans.

That moved to 51 percent Democratic, 21 percent Republican in 2008.
And this year, 53 percent of Latinos called themselves Democrats. Just 20
percent called themselves Republicans. Bill O`Reilly had a warning for Fox
viewers last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: It`s a changing country. The
demographics are changing. It`s not a traditional America anymore. And
there are 50 percent of the voting public who want stuff. They want
things. And who is going to give them things?

President Obama. He knows it and he ran on it. And whereby 20 years
ago, President Obama would have been roundly defeated by an establishment
candidate like Mitt Romney, the white establishment is now the minority.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now is MSNBC`s Joy Reid and Mark McKinnon,
former adviser to George W. Bush, founder of No Labels, and a "Daily Beast"
columnist. Joy Reid, how bad are you feeling for the white establishment
tonight?

JOY REID, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Tragic.

O`DONNELL: Bill O`Reilly and the white establishment are finding
their powers fading, their magic powers.

REID: Yeah, it`s absolutely fading. You know what? I will concede
to Bill O`Reilly, absolutely, the minorities who are taking over the
country want things. They want stuff.

You know what things they want? Let`s see. They want to not have
voter ID laws that seem to be trying to disenfranchise them at the polls.
They want the respect of being treated like Americans even if they might
have an accent.

They want to not be labeled welfare queens and lay abouts and cheats,
just because they don`t happen to be of the majority. So yes, they want
things. They want to vote, you know. That`s -- fancy that.

The problem that the Republican party has is that when they look at
minorities, they either look at them as a threat that`s taking over the
country -- they ascribe to the minorities this ordinate power that, trust
me, we don`t have. Or they just look at them as an opportunity for
tokenism.

And this party that is supposedly against affirmative action, their
way of outreach, quote unquote, to Latinos or to African-Americans is to
find one so conservative that no other blacks or Latinos would ever vote
for them, and then say, hey, look at this, there`s a black person.

O`DONNELL: We have Allen West.

REID: There they are. Mia Love wants to get rid of the Department of
Education. I wonder why she lost. So I mean, it doesn`t work.

O`DONNELL: Mark McKinnon, you`ve watched the Republican party drift
in this direction and take active steps in this direction certainly in the
last presidential campaign, in those primaries, where Mitt Romney thought
his job was to sound as tough as possible on any form of opening of
immigration in any way on the southern border.

And there we saw another Texas governor, Rick Perry, with a more
expansive view of this than the rest of the people in his party, as the
Texas governor before him who ran for president had a more expansive view
of this. For Republicans, do you have to actually live on that border to
get this?

MARK MCKINNON, "THE DAILY BEAST": Well, you shouldn`t have to. But
you`re right. Governors like Rick Perry and George W. Bush, being close to
the border with a lot of Hispanic population, understood the policies and
messages that are important to -- to Hispanics. And you know, I couldn`t
disagree more with what Bill O`Reilly said. And Bill O`Reilly`s exactly
why the Republicans have a problem.

They talk about it`s not traditional America anymore, as if Hispanics
are not traditional. There`s nothing more traditional in the American
dream of immigrants and Hispanics to make this country great.

And the notion that they want things, Hispanics are great
entrepreneurs. They`re -- they`re small business builders. They`re great
examples of the American dream. And that`s exactly why Republicans have a
problem.

You know, one in five voters said the most important issue to them was
the notion that the candidates cared about people like them. I suspect a
lot of those voters are Hispanics. And Romney won that vote by 81 to 18.
So when you have a candidate who`s out there talking about self
deportation, and who is attacking Rick Perry for providing in state tuition
for children of immigrants, there`s no -- it`s quite clear why we have a
problem.

And demographics is destiny. And Republicans continue to claw their
way to the problem unless they get this turned around.

O`DONNELL: Bill O`Reilly actually thinks he has a solution to the
Republicans` problem of appeal in this direction. And he thinks the
solution is just get rid of Paul Ryan and pull in someone else from the
bullpen. Let`s listen to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`REILLY: The Republican party has to rethink strategy. In
hindsight, Senator Marco Rubio would have been the best choice to run with
Mitt Romney. It`s not a knock on Congressman Paul Ryan. He did very well.
It`s just that the GOP needs to send a powerful signal to Hispanic voters
that the party respects them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: He thinks it`s about signals. He think it`s about having
a Spanish name on the ballot and you`re done. You don`t have to do
anything on policy.

REID: And that`s the thing. And you don`t have to do anything on
tone. I think that Mark McKinnon got to a really good point. You had this
phenomenon happen in the conservative movement where their media culture
has taken over their political culture.

I mean, the left has a media culture too. But it doesn`t instruct the
party how to behave. But people like Bill O`Reilly and like Rush Limbaugh,
they actually set the tone and then the Tea Party enforces that within the
political space. They expect and demand that even a Marco Rubio, when he
was running for Senate, he had to be against the DREAM act. He had to use
terms like illegals.

You have to get right up to the edge of talk radio speak in order to
fit in. And so look, just having somebody with an O at the end of their
name is not going to fix the tone. And it`s the tone that`s turning off
Latino voters.

O`DONNELL: Mark McKinnon, I was watching these results come in last
night. And I was thinking, OK, here`s the deal. Here`s what Mitch
McConnell has to do. He has to get Marco Rubio in the office. He has to
get John Boehner in the office. And he has to say OK, look guys, I`m
running for reelection in two years. I can`t be caught doing this.

I want Marco Rubio here to find us a way out of this on policy. Find
us a version of the DREAM Act that we can live with, that the president can
sign. It doesn`t have to be a majority vote of Republicans. We can vote
with Democrats in the Senate on this and Boehner can let House Republicans
slide over to support Democrats on something. And let it get through his
chamber and pretend to oppose it and all that, so that they get this issue
out of their way.

Mark, when you listen to that math that Michael Steele mentioned, I
just don`t see how the party -- the Republican party can pretend to have a
chance nationally four years from now.

MCKINNON: It can`t. It simply can`t. It can`t with these kind of
numbers. And I think actually one of the good results of Republicans
losing is that they`re going to have to examine the reality here, and that
they`re going to have to -- they`re going to have to cut a deal on
immigration.

They need to because it`s the right thing to do, but it`s also
politically will help. And I think it`s going to take more than just
rolling out somebody with an Hispanic name, but there are a lot of people,
including people like Jeb Bush, who have a lot of good ideas about where
the party needs to go on these issues.

And I think we need a very quick consensus. And Republicans need to
pull together, step forward with their own plan on immigration, be
proactive about this. They don`t have to follow. They can lead on this
and then come together with President Obama and get a deal done in the
first year. I think it would be terrific for the country. I think it would
be good for the Republican party.

O`DONNELL: And I think the president would be ready to do that deal,
too.

MCKINNON: I do too.

O`DONNELL: Mark McKinnon and Joy Reid, thank you both for joining me
tonight.

REID: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Come up, breaking news, Rush Limbaugh admits to a lie.
Rush`s big confession of a big lie is in the Rewrite.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: The author of the Romney big prediction is desperately
trying to Rewrite himself after saying things like this the day before the
election.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: My friends, I`ve been looking at
all of the data that you have been looking at. I`ve been trying to
separate feelings from thoughts and come up with some sort of a -- an
educated prognostication.

You know, common sense tells me this election isn`t going to be close,
and shouldn`t be.

All of my thinking says Romney big. All of my feeling, if you -- all
of my feeling is where my concern is. But my thoughts, my intellectual
analysis of this, factoring everything I see, plus the polling data, not
even close, 300-plus electoral votes for Romney.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was the dean of the Limbaugh Institute for Advanced
Conservative Studies on Monday. Here is Dean Limbaugh today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH: Before the election, my thoughts, when I would think about
this -- and I told you this on election day, there`s no way Obama wins
this. But my feeling, I felt concerned. You can ask anybody. You can ask
my brother.

I had people telling me -- asking me Monday and Tuesday, please tell
me we`re going to win this big, please. And I didn`t.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: What? You didn`t? You didn`t tell anybody on Monday or
Tuesday Romney`s going to win big? Romney big was Monday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH: All of my thinking says Romney big, not even close, 300-
plus electoral votes for Romney.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: So you said that on Monday, Romney big. And now you`re
saying I had people telling me -- asking me Monday and Tuesday, please tell
me we`re going to win this big, please, and I didn`t. Rush, do you think
we don`t have recordings of this stuff? What were you thinking?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH: You can ask anybody. You can ask my brother. I had people
telling me, asking me, Monday and Tuesday, please tell me we`re going to
win this big, please. And I didn`t. I never privately told anybody I
thought we were going to win this big.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Oh, he never privately told anybody. That`s how desperate
Rush Limbaugh become today because rule number one at the Limbaugh
Institute for Advanced Conservative Studies is Rush can never be wrong.
The Rush mystique is that he`s smarter than the poor people who listen to
his show in the hope of learning something.

Think about how low you have to be on the low information voter scale
to be moved to tune into Rush Limbaugh to learn something. But millions of
people do every day. And the day before the election, Rush told them
Romney was going to win big. He was going to win 300-plus electoral votes.

And when Romney lost big, lost the electoral college big, anyway, Rush
had to come up with an explanation for his low information listeners. He
had to find an explanation that they would accept in order to keep that 50
million dollars a year that he collects for playing tricks on low
information voters, those people who listen to Rush because they believe
he`s right.

Rush knows what`s at stake for him if his low information audience
starts to think Rush is wrong. He let this slip yesterday afternoon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH: I could be proven tonight to be so wrong and so all wet
that nobody should be listening to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: After trying to sleep off the Obama victory last night,
Rush clearly decided, simply as a business proposition, that he couldn`t
just say he was wrong about Romney winning big. Because as Rush said, if
he is so wrong, quote, nobody should be listening to me. So his choice was
admit he was wrong or say something else.

But what else? Rush proved today that he fears being exposed as wrong
more than anything else. So much more that he decided to tell his audience
that he simply lied to them, that he was just -- that what he was telling
his millions of listeners was different from what he was telling his
brother and his friends.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH: You can ask anybody. You can ask my brother. I had people
telling me, asking me, Monday and Tuesday, please tell me we`re going to
win this big, please. And I didn`t. I never privately told anybody I
thought we were going to win this big.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: So that`s Rush`s defense to his audience. I was lying to
you. And the thing about Rush is, that`s weirdly believable. Rush is,
after all, a liar day in and day out. It is usually very easy to tell when
Rush is lying to his audience.

You know he doesn`t believe half of the crazy, nutty stuff he says
about the president. But he knows saying those things will make him rich,
thanks to the audience support of millions of people who deeply, deeply
hate the president.

So would Rush lie to his audience and say he thought Romney was going
to win big when he didn`t really think that? Yes, he would. And would
Rush lie to his audience and say I privately never told my brother that
Romney would win big, even if he did tell his brother that Romney would win
big?

Yes. Rush would tell that lie, too. And so, President Obama`s
triumph has done the impossible. It has forced me to agree with Rush
Limbaugh on one thing. Rush is a liar. But Rush`s low information
audience still doesn`t know that, even though he just told them.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Women will never go back. We will re-elect
President Obama.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Democratic women candidates had a very good night last
night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELIZABETH WARREN (D), SENATOR ELECT: And despite the odds, you
elected the first woman senator to the state of Massachusetts.

(APPLAUSE)

TAMMY BALDWIN (D), SENATOR ELECT: I`m well aware that I will be the
first openly gay member --

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Senators elect Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin giving
their victory speeches last night. In January, Warren and Baldwin will
join fellow senate new comers Heidi Heitkamp and Mazie Hirono, who is also
the first Asian-American woman to serve in the Senate.

In January, a record 20 women will serve in the United States Senate.
And at least 78 will serve in the House of Representatives. New Hampshire
also made history last night after electing the nation`s first all women
delegation, which includes two congresswomen, two senators. They also
elected a woman governor.

In presidential politics, President Obama once again decisively won
the woman`s vote, 55 to 44 percent. Not only did the majority of women
vote to reelect President Obama, they also helped to vote out some of the
crazies, including Tea Partier Joe Walsh, who said women no longer die from
pregnancy because of advances in science and technology, Richard Mourdock,
who said that pregnancy from rape was something that God intended to
happen, and of course "legitimate rape" Todd Akin.

Joining me now, Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood
Action Fund. Cecile, no one worked harder out there for President Obama in
trying to remind voters of what was at stake here. It seems that your
efforts and the party`s efforts also had a spill over supportive effect in
these Senate races.

CECILE RICHARDS, PRESIDENT, PLANNED PARENTHOOD: Yes. Listen,
Lawrence, it was a great night for women, a great night for women`s health.
Frankly, it was a great night for Planned Parenthood. I think these issues
-- certainly the extreme positions that Mitt Romney took on women`s health
issues hurt him with women.

We had a gender gap of 18 points. And women and men, honestly, were
elected to the United States Senate across the country because they took a
position in support of women`s health care. It`s -- even the state of
Virginia, which you didn`t mention, where Tim Kaine won last in one of the
most hotly contested races in the country, where he was a strong supporter
of women`s health in comparison with George Allen. So just across the
board great night for women`s health.

O`DONNELL: I was working in the Senate when Patty Murray arrived
there as a senator. The year before she arrived, there were only three
women in the Senate. And to watch her run the Democratic Senate Campaign
Committee this year and end up, at the end of it all, with this record
number of women has been just a marvelous thing to watch.

RICHARDS: It`s fantastic. I mean, and one of the best news today was
hearing that Heidi Heitkamp had won her race in North Dakota, again a race
that shouldn`t even have been a contest. She really just worked hard. And
as a breast cancer survivor, as someone who talked about women`s health
care issues, again a really great victory there.

There`s going to be some wonderful women coming to the United States
Senate.

O`DONNELL: You watched your mother make this choice, to go from being
a schoolteacher to getting elected county-wide, all the way up to governor
of Texas. What is it like when -- for women making this kind of decision
to move into this field?

RICHARDS: Well, I think, look, you`ve got to be ready to take a lot
of hits. And these races this year were really tough. But the exciting
thing to me when I look at Patty and the other women in this Senate and all
these women joining them, each one of them brings such an incredible
experience to the Senate. Every single woman we`ve added to the United
States Senate has made each one stronger.

And you know, I think it`s people think women candidates, by and
large, get things done. And our experience is they do. And particularly
when it comes to issues of women`s health and for Planned Parenthood, it`s
been so important to have alleys who understand women`s health. And that`s
certainly the perspective that women senators bring. It`s going to be a
great -- great new class.

O`DONNELL: I have to ask you, when I watch you out there on the
campaign stage, working to introduce the president, that sort of thing, and
I think back about your mother, have you thought yourself about possibly
running at some point?

RICHARDS: Well, Lawrence, the only problem is I come from the state
of Texas. So if you follow the politics of my home state, probably no time
in the near future. And I love my job at Planned Parenthood. I`m so proud
to represent this organization that serves three million folks ever year,
and to partner with great people in office. But thanks for asking.

O`DONNELL: Cecile Richards, thank you very much for joining us
tonight.

RICHARDS: Absolutely, thank you.

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

END

Copyright 2012 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>

Watch The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell each weeknight at 10 p.m. ET