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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Monday, May 6th, 2013

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THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
May 6, 2013

Guests: Mike Weisser, Ana Marie Cox, Jamie Harrison, Rachel Dissell


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: It was a weekend of lies and paranoia in
Houston at the NRA convention -- lies about the president, lies about the
Second Amendment, and lies about Boston.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANDREA MTICHELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Seventy thousand turn out for the
NRA`s annual meeting in Texas this weekend.

GLENN BECK, RADIO HOST: The freedom of all mankind, make no mistake,
is at stake.

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC ANCHOR: Glenn Beck believes our very souls are at
stake.

BECKEL: I usually write things about 20 minutes on the back of a
napkin before I speak.

THOMAS ROBERTS, MSNBC ANCHOR: The motto for this year`s convention
was stand and fight.

CHRIS JANSING, MSNBC ANCHOR: The theme of the convention, stand and
fight.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI, MSNBC ANCHOR: Words like battle, war.

ROBERTS: Us against them.

BRZEZINSKI: And stand and fight.

WAYNE LAPIERRE, NRA: We must remain vigilant.

WAGNER: Fear mongers from the right plank.

LAPIERRE: They don`t get it because they don`t America.

WAGNER: Effectively, a culture war that the NRA would like to wage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is nothing new with the NRA.

LAPIERRE: Absolutely nothing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re doubling down on out of touch rhetoric.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The NRA needs to make President Obama into a
villain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Barack Obama is AWOL.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So that it can keep its membership.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Every vote that would have undermined the
Second Amendment right was voted down.

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: We need five more votes. We can do
this.

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think there`s going to be an
electoral price to be paid for this.

LAPIERRE: The news media called me paranoid.

SHRUM: Paranoid fantasies.

WAGNER: The epicenter of paranoid patriotism.

LAPIERRE: Really?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is the frightened, he is frightened the losing
what power he has.

LAPIERRE: All the Piers Morgan, Lawrence O`Donnells, Rachel Maddows,
they pound that message over and over again, over and over again, over and
over again.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: Tonight, some members of the United States Senate regret
their decision to follow orders of the National Rifle Association and vote
against expanded background checks for gun buyers. Forty-six senators
voted against that bill, which was, enough to stop it because 60 votes were
needed that day to pass the bill according to Senate procedure.

According to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tonight, some senators
might want another chance of that vote.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: Joe Manchin called me
yesterday. He thinks he has a couple more votes. One senator, Republican
senator from New Hampshire has been -- wham, man, she`d been hit hard.
She`s only senator in the Northeast to vote against background checks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Harry Reid is, of course, talking about Republican Senator
Kelly Ayotte. Her job approval rating in New Hampshire dropped a net 15
points she voted against expanding background checks.

A source close to the Senate negotiations tells Sam Stein from
"Huffington Post" two senators voted against the background check bill
would vote for it after minor superficial changes.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REID: I may be able to get another Democrat or two that would get us
up to 57. We only need three Republicans, additional Republicans. So
we`ll see.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Today, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We remain optimistic, the
president does, that when it comes to background checks, that this will
happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The National Rifle Association, as you know, held its
annual meeting in Houston this weekend. Here is the newly elected NRA
president, James Porter.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES PORTER, NRA PRESIDENT: Revenge is what is motivating the
president`s unrelenting attacks on gun owners today. Just look at his
reaction to his defeat in the U.S. Senate with his step at a time gun owner
registration under the guise of universal background checks. He`s now
threatening Democratic senators who are friends of NRA. He will destroy
them, if he can.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And here is the NRA`s executive vice president, Wayne
LaPierre.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAPIERRE: While the Senate vote less than two weeks ago is
significant, it`s the one skirmish in what can only be defined as a long
war against our constitutional rights. We will never surrender our guns,
never.

And to the political and media elite who score us, we say let them be
damned.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: After that speech, this open letter to Wayne LaPierre
appeared in "The Huffington Post". It is written by Mike Weisser, gun shop
owner, senior firearms instructor, NRA life member.

It begins, "Dear Wayne. Sorry I couldn`t make it to the annual
meeting. I am a life member, try to get there every year but this year is
different. If I showed up, you would try to get me to help fight a culture
war. If there is a war going on, you represent the wrong side."

Joining me for an exclusive interview, the author of that letter, mike
Weisser.

Thank you for joining us tonight, Mr. Weisser.

MIKE WEISSER, GUN SHOP OWNER: My pleasure. Thanks for having me on.

O`DONNELL: What pushed you to this point to break? With the NRA like
this. You`re a life member. You`re a gun seller yourself. What got you
to this point?

WEISSER: What got me to this point is the fact it seems increasingly,
the NRA leadership is taking an extreme position on issues that we really
all should come around and get together on. I mean, I don`t think the
issue of background checks really has anything to do with whether or not
people are in favor or opposed to the Second Amendment. I know a lot of
people that aren`t gun owners. And, of course, I know many gun owners.
All of us recognize that a background check is a very important tool for
keeping guns out of the wrong hands.

Well, the fact that you have a tool like that doesn`t say that you`re
opposed to the second amendment or to the rights of gun owners to own their
guns. There`s no connection between those two things.

O`DONNELL: Mike, I want to read something that you wrote in your
letter to Wayne LaPierre. You said, "There`s something I am moral with the
connection between deaths of children and explosion in gun sales you claim
show how much we love our freedom. I`d rather have those kids alive, even
if it costs me more than a few bucks in gun sales."

Do you think you speak for some other gun sellers when you say that?

WEISSER: Well, I hope so, because the fact of the matter is that we
all have to face the reality of selling a product, which if it gets in the
wrong hands can do a tremendous amount of damage. One of the reasons that
I wrote that letter is because I wanted people on my side of the equation,
the gun owners and gun sellers, to help me come together and to discuss
these issues, not in terms of the extreme, not in terms of a culture war,
but simply let`s find a reasonable solution to keep guns where they belong,
that is to say safely stored, safely used.

Gun owners understand that. Gun owners are usually very responsible.
They understand that they have a wonderful legacy. They have wonderful
products. And they also understand if they`re misused they can be very
dangerous.

So if you`re going to end gun violence, seems to me you have to start
with the people who understand both the value of guns as well as their
danger, if they`re misused. And that`s myself and people like me.

O`DONNELL: Mike, in your letter to Wayne LaPierre, you talk about gun
murders at Sandy Hook Elementary and other gun killings of other children,
and Wayne LaPierre says we shouldn`t be using tragedies like that. Let`s
listen to what he said about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAPIERRE: They used tragedy to try to blame us, to shame us into
compromising our freedom for their political agenda. They want to change
America, change our culture. They want to change our values.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Mike Weisser, he`s talking about you there. He`s talking
about people using tragedy to try to make points in this discussion.

WEISSER: I don`t think I have to defend my values when it is a
question of human life. I don`t think that there`s any connection between
whether or not we venerate and we do everything to protect human life and
political issues that are made in a totally different context.

I`m happy to sit down with Wayne LaPierre or anybody and talk about
what we`re going to do in a reasonable and proper way to keep people from
getting killed.

You know, I joined an organization called Evolve because they were the
first organization it seemed to me that was really willing to say we don`t
need to sit here and argue and yell back and forth. We need to come
together and we need to find a reasonable solution to these problems.

O`DONNELL: Mike Weisser, stay with us.

We`re also going to be joined in the conversation now by "The
Guardian`s", Ana Marie Cox, and MSNBC contributor and NRA expert, Frank
Smyth.

Ana Marie, you were watching most if not all of the NRA proceedings
this weekend. Tell us what struck you most about what you were watching.

ANA MARIE COX, THE GUARDIAN: I think if there was one headline to
come out of it for me, this is not necessarily the most important thing
that happened but it was the most astonishing thing that happened, it was
at the end of Glenn Beck`s speech when he said he`d be willing to fight for
gun rights alongside blacks, whites, Native Americans, Hispanics, and
people from off the planet.

I`m speechless. I mean, at least he`s consistent in his craziness. I
mean, the whole thing was kind of unhinged.

But I have to say something. Mr. Weisser is in good company. My dad
was a lifetime member of the NRA. He`s been a marksman for most of his
life. He owns multiple guns, and he resigned his membership recently as
well.

I don`t think they`re going to be alone. I think that the average NRA
member sees what`s going on in Houston and rhetoric is getting further and
further away from what a normal person wants out of gun ownership, which is
to be a responsible gun owner. They don`t look responsible any more.

I look forward to another organization coming forward and also having
some sanity from people who know what they`re talking about, but want to
reach agreement, like Mr. Weisser.

O`DONNELL: Frank Smyth, there`s a new president of the NRA. And we
just saw a clip of him. Among the lies he told, he casually referred to
the president of the United States as a fake president.

What does he mean by that and what else should we know about this new
president of the NRA?

FRANK SMYTH, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: The new president of the National
Rifle Association, Lawrence, is a man named James Porter, attorney from
Alabama. He is somebody whose father was a president of the NRA back in
1959 and `60. But that was a time when the National Rifle Association in
fact supported gun control.

So, Mr. Porter`s challenge within the NRA is to live up to his
father`s legacy and at the same time communicate to NRA loyalists that he
has made the transition as someone who now is staunchly opposed to gun
control. You saw it coming from Mr. Porter in a speech a year ago in New
York state and you saw it again this weekend in the speech he gave in
Houston.

And he`s also attempting it seems to broaden the message of the NRA,
to broaden it beyond guns and make it a, quote, "culture war", which I
think is part of a strategy, something the NRA does often when it feels
like the gun issue may not be saleable, they try to broaden the message.
This time there may be too much focus on them and they may face troubles.

O`DONNELL: Mike Weisser, you mention in your letter to Wayne LaPierre
that gun sales are what his mission is all about, and you say that in 2011,
Ruger stock was trading at $21 a share. Now, it`s at $51. Smith and
Wesson was 3 bucks a share, today, it is almost $9 a share.

What happened in that period of time to push this share price of these
gun makers up like that?

WEISSER: Well, those prices really started going up not so much in
2011 but really once the president was reelected.

And once President Obama was reelected, and the NRA of course spent
four years reminding membership that if Obama got reelected in a second
term, he would do everything he could to take their guns away. Once that
happened, then, of course, you had the natural reaction of people who have
been listening to this rhetoric for four years and see he`s reelected, and
they say OK, we`ve got to make sure we can get our hands on every gun we
can because otherwise we`re not going to have them around.

And that`s -- you know, you put that together with a tragedy like
Newtown in which then, all of a sudden, the rhetoric changes, the president
comes out and starts hammering at the issue of gun control, and one thing
will lead to the other.

O`DONNELL: Mike Weisser, Ana Marie Cox and Frank Smyth, thank you all
for joining me.

SMYTH: Thank you, Lawrence.

WEISSER: Thank you.

COX: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up in tonight`s "Rewrite," the lies Wayne LaPierre
told this weekend about Boston and the people of Boston.

And the breaking news story unfolding out of Cleveland tonight, three
women, young women, each missing for about 10 years, all found alive today,
reportedly being held against their will for all those years.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAPIERRE: Imagine with me just a minute right now, living in a large
metropolitan area where lawful firearms ownership is heavily regulated and
discouraged. Imagine waking up to a phone call from the police at 3:00
a.m. in the morning warning that a terrorist event is occurring outside and
ordering you to stay inside your home.

I`m talking, of course, about Boston, where residents were imprisoned
behind the locked doors of their own homes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That is, of course, a lie as we`ve shown you before on
this program. No one was ordered to stay in their homes in Boston, no one
was ordered. That was a request, a request made by local police.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. DEVAL PATRICK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We`re asking people to shelter
in place. In other words, to stay indoors with their doors locked and not
to open the door for anyone other than a properly identified law
enforcement officer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was the governor asking people to stay in their
homes, asking them to. Then, after he did that, the Boston police
commissioner stepped up to the very same microphone and said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COMM. ED DAVIS, BOSTON POLICE DEPARTMENT: Mayor Menino was asking me
to come here and tell that you that the shelter in place recommendation has
been extended throughout the city of Boston.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Recommendation. It was a recommendation. It was not an
order. But this is the lie that the NRA will tell forever, that people
were ordered to stay in their homes. In fact, in wide stretches of Boston,
the recommendation wasn`t followed, especially on the south side of the
city, in Dorchester, in south Boston, it was not -- because they considered
themselves farther enough away from Watertown where they understood the
action to be to not be threatened.

And in downtown Boston, people were walking, driving, doing all sorts
of things in far less numbers, but no one, I`m going to repeat this, no one
was ordered to stay in their homes.

But that lie, that lie will live. Ron Paul will continue to tell that
lie. The NRA will continue to tell that lie because they thrive on the
notion that there is looming some police state that is coming to control
them, so much so that they have to be ready with their Second Amendment
rights to revolt and fight against that police state.

We`ll have more about the lies told about the lies told by Wayne
LaPierre later in the "Rewrite." That`s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: The president of the United States
said there was clear red lines, those red lines to the view of most have
been crossed, and he has failed to act.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: John McCain wants us to have another war because he
imagines that the Syrian government has crossed an imaginary line that he
imagines is red.

President Obama was the first to imagine a red line in Syria.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A red line for us is we
start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being
utilized.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: OK. Now listen carefully to the words that follow and see
if you can tell us exactly what President Obama planned to do if the
imaginary red line was crossed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We have communicated in no uncertain terms with every player
in the region that that`s a red line for us and that there would be
enormous consequences if we start seeing movement on the chemical weapons
front or the use of chemical weapons, that would change my calculations
significantly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Did you hear what I heard? What I heard was nothing. The
president didn`t say what would happen if the red line got crossed. He
said there would be, quote, "enormous consequences if we start seeing
movement on the chemical weapons front."

But what does that mean? Of course there would be enormous
consequences for the people who are being attacked with chemical weapons,
but politicians are supposed to be masters of vague language and that was
language that was masterfully and diplomatically vague and it allows Jay
Carney to fairly interpret the president`s comments this way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: What the president made
clear is that it was a red line and that it was unacceptable and that it
would change his calculus as he viewed the situation in Syria because the
use of chemical weapons represents the kind of escalation and threat that I
just described.

What he never did, and it is simplistic to do so, to say that if X
happens, Y will happen. He has never said what reaction he would take at a
policy level to the proved crossing of the red line in Syria -- simply that
he would consider it a red line that had been crossed and that he would
take appropriate action.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That`s right. The president was wise enough to never say
if X happens, Y will happen. But John McCain imagines that the president
said that.

One of the most nonsensical arguments being advanced now for America
going to war, once again, is that if the imaginary red line is crossed and
we don`t do something after saying we would do something, then American
foreign policy credibility would be harmed, to which every sane person in
the United States and around the world is saying, what credibility?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: From the standpoint Iraqi people,
my belief is we will be greeted as liberators.

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT: Iraq`s combination of weapons of
mass destruction and ties to terrorist groups, and ballistic missiles would
threaten the peace and security of many nations.

CONDOLEEZZA RICE, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: We don`t want the
smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

O`DONNELL: Richard Wolffe, there`s our credibility. The previous
administration did everything it possibly could to eliminate any notion of
worldwide credibility for American foreign policy predictions or
pronouncements.

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC.COM EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Lawrence, I think you`re
being unfair. They did say there were red lines over Iraq, and that Saddam
Hussein, by being Saddam Hussein, had actually crossed them. So, you can`t
doubt their sincerity about their desire to go to war.

You know, the weapons of mass destruction was overstated. Because
they were true to their word, they did in fact invade Iraq.

O`DONNELL: Yes, I mean, they were incapable of changing course in
their predetermined desires of what to do, no matter what kind of
information came their way. There wasn`t any kind of intelligence that
could derail them from where they were going in Iraq.

WOLFFE: Which is why exactly John McCain is saying we need to do it
all over again.

O`DONNELL: Exactly, yes.

WOLFFE: The outcome wasn`t exactly what they planned. Maybe the do
over is the right thing.

I mean, in all seriousness, what the president said was that his
calculation would change. And, right now, the calculator in the
president`s brain is actually turning over in some random fashion.

I tell you what has changed. What has changed the last couple days,
Israel has attacked targets inside Syria without apparently losing any
planes to Syrian air defense. Now, that is part of the calculation,
because one of the things the president learned from the disaster that was
Iraq, the disaster that John McCain supported, was that you should not go
into this kind of scenario and face full blown war.

So, if the Syrian air defenses are not what they used to be, maybe the
calculation has changed and that`s not because of rhetoric or whatever John
McCain says to FOX News. That`s because of reality that the Israelis have
shown today.

O`DONNELL: Well, the other calculation that would have to change is
the president`s calculation that we have interests within Syria that are
worth fighting for at this point in some form and he has not reached that
particular conclusion yet.

WOLFFE: But he hasn`t. But remember, there were lots of people that
said at the time of the Libyan situation and I`m not talking Benghazi,
talking about the revolution, that in fact his policy was doomed to
failure, that unless there were boots on the ground or massive American air
power, it was all doomed to fail.

And, you know, people could say then what was America`s interest in
there. In fact, by using that awful phrase, leading from behind, America
did change the calculation along with French and British forces as well,
and, you know, the situation in Libya was far less costly both to Libyans,
also allied forces in terms of blood and treasure and the outcome was far
better.

O`DONNELL: Richard Wolffe, thank you very much for joining us
tonight.

WOLFFE: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the latest on Mark Sanford and his race against
Elizabeth Colbert-Busch. They will be counting the votes this time
tomorrow night.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK SANFORD, FORMER GOVERNOR OF SOUTH CAROLINA: First I would like
to thank Jenny and the boys. I couldn`t be doing this job without their
support. As Jenny would eagerly say to House and Senate members sitting
here tonight, if you think that getting along with Mark Sanford on spending
is tough, try being married to him.

So Jenny, I would just say thank you for all that you put up with and
all that you do. Would you stand and be recognized?

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: All she put up with. That was Mark Sanford back in his
happy days as governor of South Carolina, before he started wandering down
to Argentina. Tomorrow, South Carolina voters will decide whether to send
him or Elizabeth Colbert Busch to Congress. In a new Public Policy Polling
poll, Mark Sanford is at 47 percent, Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch is at
46 percent. Two weeks ago, Colbert Busch led by nine points, 50-41, after
Sanford faced trespassing allegations by his ex-wife, Jenny.

He will be in court, Mark Sanford will, on those charges Thursday,
just two days after the election. Tonight, "USA Today" reports that
cameras will be allowed in court. There will, of course, be many more
cameras in court Thursday if Mark Sanford wins tomorrow night.

Joining me for his first national interview since getting the big job,
Jamie Harrison, newly elected chairman of the South Carolina Democratic
Party, and Krystal Ball, cohost of MSNBC`s "THE CYCLE."

Mr. Chairman, how does it look?

JAMIE HARRISON, SOUTH CAROLINA DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIRMAN: Lawrence,
it looks good right now. We really believe that Elizabeth is going to pull
this victory out tomorrow. I tell you, it will be huge. It will be
historic. It is almost the equivalent of, say, some super Democratic giant
losing to a Republican. But we`re going to do that here tomorrow in South
Carolina. So we`re excited.

O`DONNELL: Krystal Ball, in the poll on the race, it is 47 percent
say they think Colbert Busch is too liberal, 43 percent say her positions
are about right, and 38 percent say that Mark Sanford is too conservative,
48 percent say that his positions are about right. What`s your bet on what
is going to control this thing in the end, the positions of the candidates
or the strange history of Mark Sanford?

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Well, I think the real place to look is
who ends up showing up in this election. What you`ve seen, as you
highlighted, there was a huge shift in that PPP poll, from Elizabeth
Colbert Busch being up by nine to now losing by one, essentially a tied
race. The biggest shift there was not in the change in attitudes, although
there was some momentum that way towards Sanford as well.

The biggest shift was the electorate that was planning on turning out
for the election. This is a district that Mitt Romney won by eighteen
points. So it is, frankly, a miracle that Elizabeth Colbert Busch has made
this a close race and has a shot at winning it tomorrow. So it is
notoriously hard to figure out who is going to show up at elections. It`s
even harder to figure out who is going to show up in a special election.
That`s really what it is going to come down to tomorrow.

O`DONNELL: Jamie Harrison, if you look at those numbers and think of
Mark Sanford as an incumbent, then it actually looks pretty good for
Elizabeth Colbert Busch, because whenever the incumbent is polling below
50, and certainly that close to the challenger, the presumption is that
most of the undecideds will go for the challenger, because most people make
up their minds about the incumbent faster, and it is the challenger that
they kind of wait to decide on.

So is that the way you`re looking at those numbers, that those are
good if you think of -- good for Elizabeth Colbert Busch if you think of
Mark Sanford as the incumbent?

HARRISON: Yeah, that`s exactly right, Lawrence. Krystal was right.
This -- Mitt Romney won this seat with 18 points over Barack Obama in the
last general election. But we do see an enthusiasm gap here in this
district. Republicans, there are a lot of them, you know, they might agree
with Mark Sanford on some policies, but they really have some problems with
his ethical background. So, in the end, we think, you know, as the day
goes long and people are working, the question comes well, am I going to
leave my job to vote for Mark Sanford or will I just sit on my hands this
time around? We think a lot of Republicans are going to choose that.

We also think, though, there`s a large number of independents in this
district who tend to vote Republican, but with the right candidate they
will vote for a Democrat. And we think many of those independents are
going to come our way.

O`DONNELL: Krystal, Jamie makes a good point about the energy in
these things tends to be with the upstart, with the challenger. And that
is the role that Elizabeth Colbert Busch is in. You would think, on this
kind of odd day election, you know, out of schedule election, that more
turnout energy might be on her side than on his?

BALL: I would definitely think that. I mean, just from the
grassroots base all the way up, Democrats are really excited about the
chance of winning this seat. There`s no question she has the enthusiasm on
her side. And I think the other key piece here is how do those independent
women, in particular, vote and do they show up to vote. I think that`s the
other key piece here.

One independent women`s group that`s trying to back Mark Sanford is
basically saying, don`t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. That`s
the best argument they can make for him. So that`s another sort of key
piece to watch here, is how do women turn out and who do they vote for.

O`DONNELL: Krystal Ball and Jamie Harrison, the first African-
American chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party. Congratulations
on your election, Mr. Chairman. And thank you both for joining me tonight.

BALL: Thanks, Lawrence.

HARRISON: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the latest on the extraordinary breaking news
out of Cleveland tonight. Three girls who went missing 10 years ago have
been found. They have escaped from their captivity. It is a dramatic and
extraordinary situation in Cleveland tonight. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: One of the three friends of accused Boston bomber Dzhokhar
Tsarnaev is now under house arrest at home after going before a U.S.
magistrate judge this afternoon. Nineteen-year-old Robel Phillipos wore a
bright orange prison jump suit as the federal magistrate ordered him
released on bail while he waits to go to trial for lying to federal
investigators right after the Boston marathon bombing.

The FBI arrested Phillipos along with two other young men from
Kazakhstan last week. They were all friends of Dzhokhar at the University
of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. Phillipos will be under home confinement
and must wear an ankle monitor.

Ten bombing victims remain in Boston hospitals, including one child at
Boston Children`s Hospital, who is now in fair condition in ICU.

Up next in the Rewrite, Wayne LaPierre`s lies about Boston at the NRA
convention.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WAYNE LAPIERRE, NRA VICE PRESIDENT: How many Bostonians wish they had
a gun two weeks ago?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Yeah, Wayne LaPierre went there. And the answer is none
of the Bostonians I talked to wished they had a gun. No one I talked to in
Boston for a week after the marathon bombing wished they had a gun.

Guns would not have done anyone any good at any time in that story in
Boston. And we know it. If every man, woman and child at the finish line
of the Boston Marathon had a gun, it would have done them absolutely no
good when the bombs went off. The three dead would still have been killed.
All of the injured and maimed would still have suffered the same injuries.
And the people that weren`t injured would not have reached for their guns.
They would have rushed to help the injured, just like all the gun toting
police officers did.

No one with a gun would have taken a shot at the bombers because no
one knew who the bombers were. But Wayne LaPierre could still ask his
reality challenged audience "how many Bostonians wished they had a gun two
weeks ago." Wayne doesn`t care about or even know the facts of the Boston
case, so he probably doesn`t know that the first person that the bombers
encountered after the bombing had a gun.

That was MIT Police Officer Sean Collier. He was assassinated by
Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Officer Collier never had a chance to use his gun.
Wayne LaPierre did not lead a moment of silence for Sean Collier this
weekend at that convention. His death was not worthy of NRA attention,
even during the Boston section of Wayne LaPierre`s speech. The next person
Tamerlan Tsarnaev approached was a citizen of China who is so naive, so
trusting, so not from around here that when Tamerlan Tsarnaev approached
his car in Cambridge late at night, in the dark, the Chinese man actually
rolled down his window to talk to Tamerlan and got himself hijacked.

The Tsarnaev brothers` next encounter was with the Watertown Police on
Laurel Street, where the police killed Tamerlan and wounded Dzhokhar
Tsarnaev in a wild shootout. Is Wayne LaPierre saying it would have been
helpful to have the residents of Laurel Street join in that gun battle? He
is very clearly saying he believes that a lot of us in Boston two weeks ago
wished we had a gun, but he never says what we would have or could have
done with guns if we had them.

Now watch how Wayne LaPierre concluded his exploitation of the Boston
bombing tragedy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LAPIERRE: I said it before, and I`ll say it again: no bill in
Congress, no Rose Garden Speech will ever change that inescapable fact that
the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

(APPLAUSE)

LAPIERRE: Boston proves it. When brave law enforcement officers did
their jobs in that city, so courageously, good guys with guns stopped
terrorists with guns.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: He uses Boston as a device to get him to his punch line,
good guys with guns stopped terrorists with guns. And he blurs it there,
because the proverbial NRA good guy with a gun is a citizen with a gun, not
a police officer. There is no debate in this country -- there`s no debate
in the United States Senate about police officers having guns. The NRA`s
cause, its mission, what that convention was about, is making sure everyone
else, everyone other than police officers, can get any kind of gun and
ammunition they want any time they want it.

In fact, the NRA`s mission is to make sure citizens can outgun police
officers, make sure we all have access to even more lethal weapons than
police officers use or can afford. The psychotic vision of an armed
uprising against our government, the uprising that 44 percent of
Republicans think might have to happen soon, is an uprising against police
officers.

Police officers are the first people those armed Republicans and NRA
members imagine themselves shooting and killing with guns and high capacity
magazines. Wayne LaPierre talks them into stockpiling those things in
their homes. It was not Wayne LaPierre`s armed citizenry that stopped
terrorists in Boston. It was the Watertown Police, all six of them, plus a
transit officer who got shot.

Wayne LaPierre`s sleazy exploitive question, "how many Bostonians
wished they had a gun two weeks ago," was spoken like a man that knows
nothing about Boston, that was appreciated by a relentlessly ignorant NRA
audience that knows nothing about what happened in Boston. What Bostonians
wished was that Tamerlan Tsarnaev didn`t have a gun. Officer Sean Collier
would be alive today if the Tsarnaev Brothers couldn`t get their hands on a
gun.

Transit Officer Richard Donahue wouldn`t have been wounded in the
Laurel Street shootout if the Tsarnaevs couldn`t get their hands on a gun.
And we don`t know yet exactly how Tamerlan Tsarnaev got the gun used to
assassinate Officer Sean Collier and wound Richard Donahue. But we do know
getting that gun was made easier, much, much easier, by the life`s work of
Wayne LaPierre.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Tonight in Cleveland, Ohio, a stunning break in some of
the most famous missing person cases in that city`s history. Three young
women who went missing a decade ago escaped their captor today and were
found alive and are now safe. Police say Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and
Michele Knight were all held against their will in the home of a 52-year-
old man who was taken into custody earlier today.

Amanda Berry was last seen in April 2003, leaving her job at Burger
King. Today, she`s 27 years old. Gina DeJesus was only 14 years old when
she went missing after school in April 2004. She`s now 23 years old. And
Michelle Knight was 21-years-old when she went missing in August of 2002.
Today she`s 32 years old.

Tonight, all three women are being checked by a local hospital. And
doctors say they are in fair condition. Police will release more details
at a press conference tomorrow morning. We`re now going to listen to the
911 call Amanda Berry made when she escaped. Amanda Berry seemed very
conscious in this call that her case was very well known. It seems she
probably had access to television or some media within that home where she
was being held, because she tries to tell the 911 operator who she is, and
that she has been in the news for 10 years now. This is an extraordinary
call.

Let`s listen to this now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AMANDA BERRY, RESCUED AFTER 10 YEARS: Help me, I`m Amanda Berry!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You need police, fire or ambulance?

BERRY: I need police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. What`s going on there?

BERRY: I`ve been kidnapped and I`ve been with him for ten years and
I`m here, I`m free now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Okay. What`s your address?

BERRY: I can`t hear you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks like you`re calling me from --

BERRY: I`m using the phone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stay there with those neighbors. Talk to the
police when they get there.

BERRY: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, talk to the police when they get there.

BERRY: OK. Hello?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. Talk to the police when they get there.

BERRY: OK. Are they on their way right now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As soon as we get a car open.

BERRY: No, I need them now, before he gets back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re sending them, OK? Who`s the guy you`re --
who`s the guy who went out?

BERRY: His name is --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. How old is he?

BERRY: He`s like 52.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right.

BERRY: I`m Amanda Berry. I`ve been on the news for the last 10
years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. I got that. You said what was his name
again?

Is he white, black or Hispanic?

BERRY: He`s Hispanic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s he wearing?

BERRY: I don`t know, because he`s not here right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When he left, what was he wearing?

BERRY: Who knows?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The police are on the way. Talk to them when they
get there, OK?

BERRY: OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I told you they`re on the way. Talk to them when
they get there.

BERRY: All right. OK. Bye.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me by phone, Rachel Dissell, a reporter for the
"Cleveland Plain Dealer," who has been following this story for the last 10
years. Rachel, the suspect in custody tonight is Ariel Castro. What do we
know about him?

RACHEL DISSELL, "CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER": Well, I talked to a lot of
neighbors. He has lived on that street for quite a long time. Actually
his uncle, Julio Castro, owns a store that`s just at the corner across the
street. And every single person I talked to said that they had never seen
him with any of these women, that if you would have met him and got to know
him, people would have said he was a beautiful person.

You know, very different than what we would think. Usually when you
go to a potential crime scene like this, a lot of people that walk up to
you have something negative to say about the person who`s been arrested.
And that wasn`t the case here. It was mostly just shock. People talked
about him cooking out with everybody, driving four wheelers in the field
with everybody. No sign, at least according to neighbors, that any of
these women were in the house.

The uncle that I talked to, who owns the store at the corner, said
that his family and Gina DeJesus` family know each other, and have known
each other for years. And this gentleman used to play bass in a band that
played in Gina`s uncle`s club that he had that was just in the
neighborhood. So everybody kind of knew each other.

This guy also wrote an article kind of trying to draw attention to
Gina`s disappearance in a local neighborhood kind of newspaper that`s
distributed, you know, in the different neighborhoods called "The Plain
Press." He wrote about it, trying to draw attention to it years and years
ago.

O`DONNELL: Rachel, what about there`s reports of babies coming out of
that house, too. What do we know about that.

DISSELL: From what all of the neighbors told me, Amanda came out
through the bottom of the door first. This is a gentleman, Charles Ramsey,
that let her use the phone to call 911. And it was not a baby according to
him. It was a child nine or ten years old.

O`DONNELL: OK, Rachel Dissell of the "Cleveland Plain Dealer," thank
you very much for joining us on this breaking news night.

DISSELL: All right, thanks so much.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.

END

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