updated 10/29/2013 4:54:01 PM ET 2013-10-29T20:54:01

THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
October 28, 2013
Guest: Krystal Ball, Irin Carmon, Melaney Linton, Ari Melber, Nia-Malika
Henderson, Ronan Farrow, Howard Dean, Nia-Malika Henderson

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST, "THE LAST WORD": A judge appointed by
George W. Bush has just handed the women of Texas a big victory.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This abortion issue in Texas.

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST, "POLITICS NATION": Today, a victory.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Tonight a federal judge has put it on hold.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Clearly unconstitutional.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: This really is all about politics.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We need a better system of bipartisanship in Texas.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: What complete happy --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The weekend has put the two halves of the Republican
Party unfolds its way.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Senators and governors both have to win statewide.

CRUZ: What all the Washington strategists say in 2014th?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Finding common ground with voters will be our top
priority.

CRUZ: That`s not how you win race --

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST, "HARDBALL": In New Jersey, we see a different
Republican Party.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Up to your election you say.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Chris Christie has forth an intriguing endorsement.

SHAQUILLE O`NEAL, BASKETBALL LEGEND: Please join me in supporting Chris
Christie.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: From former NBA star, Shaquille O`Neal.

O`NEAL: He`s a good man. Excuse me. He`s a great man.

CRUZ: That`s not how you win races.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Ideological purity versus electability.

MATTHEWS: Ideology versus electability.

CRUZ: The only way to win this is to win it together.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Chris Christie appears to be crossing to re-election.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Christie`s growing stature stand in start contrast.

ANN COULTER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: I`m now a single issue voter. Christie
is off of my list.

MATTHEWS: Senator Cruz is the right wing -- of the season.

COULTER: The shutdown was so magnificent run beautifully.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: In the end he did more harm.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: -- House Republicans? He was like a general.

MATTHEWS: The inimitable Ann Coulter.

COULTER: We`re going to bring in Chris Christie.

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

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The argument that Senator Wendy Davis made in her filibuster in
the Texas state Senate against a restrictive abortion bill carried the day
in court when a federal judge in Texas found provisions of that law
unconstitutional today. One third of Texas, abortion clinics were set to
close their doors at midnight tonight when the law would have gone into
effect. One provision of the law required doctors performing abortions to
have admitting privileges of a hospital within 30 miles of that abortion
facility.

But in a decision this afternoon, federal district judge Lee Yeakel wrote,
"The admitting privileges provision of House bill 2 does not bear a
rational relationship to the legitimate right of the state in preserving
and promoting fetal life or a woman`s health and in any event places a
substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a non-
viable fetus and is thus an undue burden to her." The judge struck down
some of the law`s restrictions on the use of pills used to induce abortion.
Wendy Davis issued this warning during her filibuster of the bill.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STATE SEN. WENDY DAVIS (D), FORT WORTH: I`d say that if you vote for this
bill you`re simply happy to ignore medical science and watch women and
children die for no reason.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Wendy Davis released this statement today, "Texas families are
stronger and healthier when women across the state have access to quality
health care. I`m not surprised by the judges ruling as a mother. I would
rather see our tax dollars spent on improving our kids` schools rather than
defending this law." Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott immediately filed
an appeal to today`s ruling.

Joining me now, MSNBC`s Krystal Ball, co-host of "The Cycle." Irin Carmon,
MSNBC.com national reporter. And Melaney Linton, president and CEO of
Planned Parenthood Center for Choice in Houston, Texas, one of the
plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Melaney, this must have been quiet a win down
there today.

MELANEY LINTON, PLANNED PARENTHOOD CENTER FOR CHOICE: Yes, Lawrence, thank
you. This ruling is a victory for our patients. It`s a ruling for women.
It sends a clear signal across 50 states. It is unconstitutional for
politicians to pass laws that take away the private personal health care
decisions that women make in consultation with their physician.

O`DONNELL: Melaney, I just want to check one thing. So, the 30 mile rule
of being knocked out, does that mean that there won`t be any facilities
that will have to close as a result of any other provisions in this law?

LINTON: Well, that remains to be seen. But what this does mean is that
women across the state will have access to abortion care preserved for
them.

O`DONNELL: Krystal Ball, here is a George W. Bush judge looking at what
this legislature did and saying it cannot stand within what`s been sit down
by Roe versus Wade in the Supreme Court.

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC CO-HOST, "THE CYCLE": Yes. And the piece that you
highlighted where the ruling stated that it was an undue burden, I mean,
that is the judicial standard and what this judge found was as you`re
pointing out, with a third of abortion clinics in Texas likely to close as
a result of this law, and no medical reason to require abortion providers
to have admitting privileges, it just couldn`t stand. And what they call
these laws is trap laws.

And essentially what they are is they are not designed to do anything other
than force the closure of abortion clinics. But they masquerade being in
the interest of public health, so that is been their tactic in Texas and in
states across the country, in fact 27 of these states have similar type
trap laws where they pretend to be all about women`s health but really
their only purpose is to try to restrict access to abortion.

O`DONNELL: Now the Republican Greg Abbott, the Attorney General is running
for governor presumably will be the nominee against Wendy Davis, let`s
listen to an ad that he is running now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GREG ABBOTT, TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL: We won`t allow Texas to be taken over
by California style government. We will win this election because the
people and values of Texas are on our side. We know the power of the
individual, what liberty means to the voters who go to the polls.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: So, Irin, Wendy Davis wants to turn Texas into California.

(LAUGHTER)

IRIN CARMON, MSNBC.COM NATIONAL REPORTER: Well, you know, God bless her.
California just expanded access to safe abortion by increasing the number
of people that could provide it. So, you know, California would be a much
safer place for women to be going forward compared to Texas. I do want to
temper the optimism a little bit about this decision. Unfortunately, not
all the provisions were challenged. There is still the 20 week abortion
ban which is not been challenged. And the judge upheld restrictions on
Medicaid and abortion. So the Supreme Court has said that you can`t put an
undue burden on women that they`ve left so many loopholes that many women
can fall through.

O`DONNELL: But not only that, it`s interesting, I mean, I read what the
judge did on the medication abortions. And it seemed to me that he left
opened -- re-opened some possibility for the physician`s discretion in how
to handle that.

LINTON: Yes. I mean, I have to agree with Krystal. We are disappointed
with that portion of this ruling. But on balance, this ruling is still a
victory for Texas women.

O`DONNELL: And Krystal, this is not the only state and the only obviously
where this is going on it is not the only part of our politics. I want to
listen to what Rand Paul said campaigning for Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia
today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: In your lifetime, much of your potential or
maybe lack thereof will be known simply by swabbing the inside of your
cheek. In the process, will we perhaps eliminate something, some part of
our humanness, some part of our specialness if we seek perfection? Will we
be flying too close to the sun? My hope though is that we don`t lose our
appreciation of the miracle that springs forth from tiny strands of DNA.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was in the anti-abortion section of Rand Paul`s comments,
I`m proving once again that Rand Paul is not actually a libertarian.

BALL: No. And in fact, a lot of folks who claim the label of libertarian
are not libertarians. We`re talking about this earlier and Rand Paul
supported the personhood amendment, I mean, this is the guy who opposes
abortion in all forms. So, when we see the Republican Party gravitating
more towards the libertarian branding we have to remember that is only in
certain regards that certainly not when it comes to a woman`s right to
choose her own medical decision.

O`DONNELL: Irin, Wendy Davis is in an interesting spot here where she
can`t overplay this hand because it`s a tricky issue when you`re running in
a general election in Texas.

CARMON: Absolutely. I think that they are trying to peg her as an extreme
candidate, associate her with later abortion but I also think that they
overplayed their hand with this omnibus abortion bill. You saw thousands
of women in taxes stand up against this. You saw, people around the world
pay attention. That gives her financial advantage, she`s got a lot of star
power and she`s got a lot of grassroots enthusiasm behind her, so. I think
he is worried if he is running ads of that stage.

BALL: Yes. And let`s keep in mind I mean who Greg Abbott is, right. He`s
the guy who two hours after the Supreme Court struck down a provision of
the voting rights act said, we`re going to go forward with the voter ID
laws and the redistricting laws that were deemed discriminatory before. I
mean, that is who he is. And those laws are so difficult and so burdensome
on women in particular that Wendy Davis herself had trouble today when she
was trying to vote early for this year`s November 15th election. She had
to sign an affidavit because her name on her driver`s license does not
precisely match her name on the voter role. So, just another example of
how extreme the politics are. And Greg Abbott is really at the center of
that extremism.

O`DONNELL: Melaney, Rick Perry released a statement saying, this isn`t the
end of this. They`re going to keep fighting it through the appeals
process. What is your sense of the prospects of this as it goes through
appeals?

LINTON: Well, we would hope that the appellate court would look through 40
years of the Supreme Court decisions protecting women`s access to abortion
and ruling out any medically unnecessary burdens.

O`DONNELL: And Krystal, there are elements of this law that as Irin`s
pointed out, it`s going unchallenged here. It seems to be a very careful
selection of what they think they can get knocked out here.

BALL: Yes. I think that`s right. And looking forward to the challenge at
the Fifth Court of Appeals, the Circuit Court, Fifth Circuit Court,
unfortunately that is very conservative court, they are the ones who upheld
Texas`s attempts to defund Planned Parenthood. At another time, they also
upheld Texas` mandatory ultrasound law. So, I think, you know, that court
is going to be another difficult challenge but it seems in this piece
Planned Parenthood and others involved in this suit were very selective and
very smart about the parts that went after.

CARMON: Right. And part of the reason is unfortunately they don`t trust
the current Supreme Court to uphold row. They don`t want to give the
Supreme Court a chance to rule on something that may change the standard of
viability.

O`DONNELL: And not just that but going through that circuit on the way to
the Supreme Court.

CARMON: Right. In the Ninth Circuit, it`s already been held
unconstitutional, the 20 week ban out of Arizona, so they don`t want to
create a split on the circuit that will force the court.

O`DONNELL: Melaney, is that all part of the legal reasoning that you have
heard as this case has been moving?

LINTON: Well, you know. The lawsuit that we filed was meant to challenge.
The provisions that would have the most immediate, most clear, and wide
sweeping damaging effects to women. Abortions past to 20 weeks are less
than one percent of all abortions. Our philosophy around that is that we
are weighing our options and looking to see what the best strategy is on
the 20 week ban.

O`DONNELL: Melaney Linton, Krystal Ball, Irin Carmon, thank you all very
much for joining me tonight.

BALL: Thanks, Lawrence.

CARMON: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Ann Coulter says, she has a new love but someone
should tell Ted Cruz that Ann`s love is a fleeting thing. And the Rewrite
tonight, the Tea Party wants Republicans to take a new pledge.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Ted Cruz went to Iowa this weekend. Bill Clinton went to
Virginia this weekend campaigning for his friend Terry McAuliffe. He was
obviously kind of rehearsing his campaign moves for Hillary Clinton when
the time comes. We will going to have all of that coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANN COULTER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: I`m going to have to have a chat with
my love, Ted Cruz.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Ann Coulter has a new love but he is not her first love.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And then of course, Romney was the nominee and Ann fell in love
with Romney and I wasn`t the only one to notice how fickle she could be.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: You said, if you don`t run Christies, Romney
will be the nominee, if you lose, now you`re saying if Romney is not the
nominee we`re going to lose.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And then of course, after Mitt Romney lost, Ann could not quite
find her way back into the arms of Chris Christie.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

COULTER: I must say that now I have loved Chris Christie, I am now a
single issue voter against the amnesty, so Christie is off my list.

O`DONNELL: And so now, Ann Coulter loves Ted Cruz. That`s three man in
two years which means if Ann keeps up this Kardashian pace to her political
wrong answers, she will be throwing Ted Cruz to the curb sometime next
year. Ted Cruz went to Iowa this weekend for the third time this year.
NBC News` Kasie Hunt reports that Ted Cruz`s reception at a fundraiser on
Friday was quote, "warm but muted."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUZ: We didn`t accomplish our ultimate policy goal in this battle and we
didn`t because unfortunately a significant number of Senate Republicans
chose not to unite and stand side by side with House Republicans. Had we
stood together, I`m convinced the outcome of this fight would be very, very
different.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now, MSNBC`s Ari Melber and "The Washington Post"
Nia-Malika Henderson.

Nia-Malika, not a lot of hooting and howling there at every word that Ted
Cruz would say unlike his reception in Texas last week.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, "THE WASHINGTON POST": That`s right. A little bit
different there. I think he gave a speech of about 40 minutes long at some
point. I don`t know who could actually sit through a speech like that.
Some people are left in the middle of it I`d heard. Oh, but I talked to
some folks on the ground there in Iowa and they still think that he is the
front runner in terms of who these are teen evangelicals like in Iowa.
He`s very much jumped ahead of people like Rand Paul, jumped ahead of
people like Marco Rubio.

So, that in that way, I think he`s dumped himself some good over these last
ten months. He`s very pre-come. The leader of this Tea Party moving
because, before they didn`t really have that, they sort of had Michele
Bachmann, she of course was in the Congress there and then people thought
she was a little bit goofy but now I think with Ted Cruz in some ways they
feel like they have someone in a powerful position who can get stuff done
or not get stuff done which is what they want to see happen. The Tea Party
folks.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what the winner of the last Republican Iowa
caucus said on "Meet the Press" this weekend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: In the end, he did more harm. I think it was not his
objective. I think his objective was a laudable one. I think he didn`t do
a very good job and clean it out. I mean, there is one thing to have a
goal, another thing to have a plan to get you to that goal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: So Ari, Rick Santorum who does horrible thoughts of maybe doing
this again, the running for president thing, very clear anti-Ted Cruz
position. He thinks that`s the bet for him to make at this point.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST, "THE CYCLE": Yes. And Lawrence, real quick, one
sign that he might be running is no sweater vest.

O`DONNELL: There you go.

MELBER: I think he has learned that he might want to transition to the
tie.

O`DONNELL: He is running for the president this time instead of class
president. Yes.

MELBER: Exactly. There you see, I mean, that`s the outer outer edge of
the Republican right in Rick Santorum.

O`DONNELL: It used to be. Now we have got this other ring --

(CROSSTALK)

MELBER: Off the table. But that`s the right edge saying the new right
edge is too right wing. He gets a little bit of the shutout there as they
off -- as they say, well, Ted Cruz has the right ideas but the wrong
implementation. Well, implementation is everything in politics. They lost
the shutdown debate and they lost it in many ways by deceiving and lying to
their own base. So, I didn`t catch number one. Number two with the
Coulter Cruz connection. Her policies for the Republican Party do not
match Ted Cruz because she is ultimately an incumbent aligned with the
incumbent. So, she`s out there defending Mitch McConnell while Cruz and
others are saying those primaries are fair game. In fact --

O`DONNELL: Yes. She is saying she does not want Ted Cruz to help primary
sitting Republican senators.

MELBER: And one data point out that there are 14 Republicans up for
reelection in midterms. Seven already are facing these conservative
primaries.

O`DONNELL: Yes. Ann has said, she needs to talk to her love about this
one little disagreement they have. Let`s listen to what Grover Norquist
said about Ted Cruz.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GROVER NORQUIST, AMERICANS FOR TAX REFORM: What is your strategy, how does
this work? OK. I have never had a criticism of Ted Cruz`s strategy
because I have never been able to find it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Nia, I believe that is a criticism of Ted Cruz`s strategy.

HENDERSON: Yes. And that very much is. And that`s what you were saying
here. I mean, people like Grover Norquist who would you imagine would be a
fan of Ted Cruz isn`t anymore. I think it helps Ted Cruz that people like
John McCain are no friends of his at this point. But when you have
somebody like Grover Norquist, and he is sort of the money guy, the repeal
all the taxes guy, that does not really help him very much. But we will
see what happens with him over these next couple of years. Iowa everybody
focused on Iowa. But again, I think just ask President Huckabee, just ask
President Santorum how good it is to win Iowa in terms of your chances in
the general or even your chances in the Republican Party primary fight.
Ultimately those Chamber of Commerce Republicans really do matter.

O`DONNELL: And Ari, what strikes me is there is safety in numbers,
political safety, and so coming out against Ted Cruz, is you have a lot of
company in the Republican Party now if you do that.

MELBER: I mean, that`s the key point, right? He got to take this dance
out farther than the incumbent establishment wanted. And it blew up in
everyone`s face and they`re going to make sure they will continue to hang
that on him. That`s why we`re seeing the louder noises, that`s why we`re
seeing Boehner and McConnell basically saying -- they don`t always single
him out but they say, we`re not doing this awful failed strategy again
which everyone knows internally on the Republican side is the Cruz
strategy. He does still have the following whether people are making noise
at a given event or not, he has the following of the right right which
isn`t really even watching FOX News. These are people watching the blaze,
which is Glenn Beck`s network named after the burning Bush that speaks the
truth of God to the people. It`s a very modest name for a media company.

O`DONNELL: I didn`t know that -- that`s good to know.

MELBER: And that`s where these guys are. And do they have a subscriber
base. It`s not a majority. It does not look like it`s edging towards a
majority but Ted Cruz can take some cold comfort in that angry minority.

O`DONNELL: Now we may be seeing a Ted Cruz versus Chris Christie
presidential primary. Let`s look at the big endorsement that Chris
Christie picked up in his governor`s campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`NEAL: I don`t endorse so many politicians but Chris Christie is
different. He is working with me to bring job`s back to our cities. And a
new program will help kids in tough neighborhoods get ahead. Governor
Christie has provide a more funding to schools, given parents more choices
and more schools that kids can go to. And merit pay for good teachers.
He`s a good man -- excuse me. He`s a great man. Please join me in
supporting Chris Christie for governor.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Nia, the list is now three of candidates that Shaquille O`Neal
has endorsed in his lifetime. Al Gore for president in 1999, Barack Obama
for president only in 2012. Only for reelection and now Chris Christie.

HENDERSON: Right. He certainly has a long list of products he has liked
to endorse. Gold bond powder, I think the icy hot patch is among them,
too. I think what Chris Christie is doing here, this is really about the
black vote. Right? He is trying to potentially argue that he can get the
black vote. And if you look at what he`s been able to do in New Jersey, it
looks like he is on pace to get about 30 percent of the black vote. He has
got some prominent endorsements from preachers, black preachers in New
Jersey. So, he is going to be making that argument I think in 2016 that
hey, he is a different kind of Republican.

On New Jersey, it`s about 30 percent. Between African-Americans and
Latinos and he is going to get a pretty good majority or good slice of that
in his campaign. I think the over arching question is, will there be a
Republican candidate at the presidential level who can match George Bush`s
ratings among black folks? You get about 10 or 12 percent. Did very well
in key states. Particularly Ohio, Virginia, Florida, can he match that or
can he even get -- like Nixonian rates. Nixon got about 17 percent of the
black vote. Was on the cover of jet magazine with Sammy Davis, Jr. And I
think that`s the question. Is there going to be a Republican candidate who
can match that and whether or not it`s Christie.

O`DONNELL: And the question, does Shaquille O`Neal have the endorsement
power of Sammy Davis, Jr.?

MELBER: Well, and also, Lawrence look, the black vote does matter in New
Jersey and it`s not -- Shaquille has a presence there. But we should also
look to the cartoons from space jam with Michael Jordan. Who do they
endorse at the end of this thing?

O`DONNELL: All right. There`s that.

HENDERSON: There`s that. I didn`t think about that.

O`DONNELL: Ari Melber and Nia-Malika Henderson. Thank you both for
joining me tonight.

MELBER: Thank you.

HENDERSON: Thanks.

MELBER: Coming up. Howard Dean on fixing the Affordable Care Act website
and in the rewrite, why Darrell Issa is not crazy enough for the Tea Party.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: On the Spotlight tonight, the star up of the federal health
care exchange for the Affordable Care Act was all over weekend television
and not just the Sunday shows.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATE MCKINNON, AS KATHLEEN SEBELIUS: Hi, I`m Kathleen Sebelius, secretary
of Health under President Obama. Now, a lot of folks have been talking
about our new health care enrollment website, how it has been crashing and
freezing and shutting down and stalling and not working and breaking and
sucking.

(LAUGHTER)

Well, tonight I have a number of friendly tips to help you deal with those
technical problems. For example, have you tried restarting your computer?
Sometimes it helps to turn the computer off and then turn it back on. We
don`t know why, it just does. If our website still isn`t loading properly,
we`re probably just over loaded with traffic. Millions of Americans are
visiting health care.gov, which is great news unfortunately the site was
only designed to handle six users at a time.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now is the former Democratic governor -- former
governor of Vermont, not a former Democrat, former governor of Vermont and
a former DNC chairman, Dr. Howard Dean.

Governor, I want to listen to what the governor of Kentucky has to say
about his successful start up in his state. Let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FMR. GOV. STEVE BESHEAR (D), KENTUCKY: At 12:01 a.m. on October 1, when
our exchange opened up to enrollment, Kentuckians started swarming all over
our exchange and our toll free lines and in about four weeks we have had
over 300,000 Kentuckians trying to find out and finding out about
affordable health care. When things are not working on a federal level yet
but it`s going to. You know, the advice I would give to news media and the
critics up here is take a deep breath.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Governor Dean, do you have the same optimism that it is going
to work?

HOWARD DEAN, FORMER CHAIRMAN, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: I do
eventually. I think the problems that the federal Web site is having is
worse than the problems that the state Web sites are having in general.
And that`s simply because of the size of the federal Web site.

I think when Obamacare passed, nobody envisioned that 30 some odd
Republican governors would refuse Medicaid and keep some of their people
uninsured. And I don`t think anybody envisioned that 30 some odd fellow --
I mean, state governors were going to Republican governors would then
refused to put in exchange.

But that`s where we have. We have a federal exchanges. There is still
progressive Democrat wanted the federal exchange anyway, But these things
are -- it is big and it is hard to get the techno out to work right. I
don`t know many could have.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Jay Carney had to say about this today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, the president says, what
everybody said all along is there will be changes brought about by the
Affordable Care Act to create minimum standards of coverage. Minimum
services that every insurance plan has to provide. So, it is true that
there are existing health care plans on the individual market that don`t
meet those minimum standards and therefore do not qualify for the
Affordable Care Act.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Carney is talking there about one of the kind of controversial
aspects of the law as it`s working now which is the way Republicans talk
about it. They say that people are being kicked off of their health plans.
In fact, what`s going on is that the health plans are being brought up to
standard, up to grade where they will actually provide a greater value.

DEAN: Right. We went through this. We did a lot and have done a lot of
Obamacare. We did it about 20 years ago when I first was governor and we
have gone through this. And there is some annoyance and resistance because
people like what they have but the truth is a lot of what people have had
in the individual market which was really a disaster before this, before
Obamacare was inferior stuff.

I used to have patients that got sick and were kicked off of their health
insurance. The company golden rule took 50 percent of every payment dollar
away and put it in their pocket and then spent it on health care. Most
decent insurance companies spend 80 percent of their premium dollars on
health care. So, one of the things that the government is doing is
bringing order to chaotic markets where all kinds of stuff gets sold that
shouldn`t. Some of this is consumer protection. I`m in favor of that.

O`DONNELL: Yes. There is this notion that these changes in the health
care plan are something that only would happen because of the new law when
in fact insurance companies are changing the internals of your own plan all
the time.

DEAN: They do that. Unfortunately, in the past, they haven`t always done
it very nicely. Aetna for example, kicked over 300,000 people off their
rolls over a three-year period simply because they were sick and they
didn`t want to spend the money. That is not really health insurance. And
one of the things that Obamacare is doing is making sure that if you buy a
policy through Obamacare, that is a legitimate policy that subjects its
federal rules which protect consumers. That is something that the
Republicans don`t want to talk about because they take a lot of money from
those insurance companies that are doing things that are really bad to
people.

O`DONNELL: I want to go some tape of a hearing of the rollout in 2006 of
Medicare part D. Let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This program is a month old. And we Americans are in
this business and everything has to be instant. Tea, coffee, everything
that we do and we`re supposed to go out there and have a new program, put
it in place and all at once it`s perfect.

FORMER SEN. JIM TALENT (R), WISCONSIN: I thought the auto enrollment
process would go well because we already had those people in the computers
and that we would be able to shift them over. We have had 14,000
Missourians for whom the auto enrollment process failed.

RICK SANTORUM (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Those that stand here and
suggest that the whole thing should be thrown out may have forgotten that
it took us 20 years to get the whole thing passed in the first place.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was Rick Santorum getting the last word there of
Republicans that defending the problems in that rollout.

DEAN: Well, the interestingly enough is that, you know, change is hard.
It is very complicated. Obamacare is more complicated than Medicare Part
D. They both worked out. Medicare Part D worked out very, very well on
the end. And Democrats opposed it simply for partisan reasons at the time.
And it turned out to be a very good program.

I think Obamacare is the same. The Republicans are opposing it for
partisan reasons. In the end, let`s not forget the best example we have.
We know this works. The reason we know this works is Mitt Romney did it
five years ago in Massachusetts. 98.5 percent of all citizens in
Massachusetts have health insurance. And that`s -- and now, it is going to
work. Now, we are going towards that go for the whole United States. And
I think Barack Obama gets some credit for that.

O`DONNELL: Governor Howard Dean, thank you very much for joining us
tonight.

DEAN: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, in the "rewrite," why the tea party has decided that
Darrell Issa is now a traitor.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: The National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. unveiled its
latest acquisition today. It is a portrait of the first four and still the
only four women to serve as justices of the Supreme Court of the United
States.

The "rewrite" is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON HUNTSMAN (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I would love to get
everyone to sign a pledge to take no pledges. I have a pledge to my wife
and I pledge allegiance to my country, but beyond that, no pledges.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Having refused to sign Grover Norquist`s pledge to never ever,
ever raise taxes, Jon Huntsman`s presidential campaign was, of course,
doomed from the start. Republicans don`t think you were a real Republican
these days if you don`t sign Grover Norquist`s pledge. They think you are
a Rino, Republican in name only.

And now, more right wing groups are trying to define who the real
Republicans are through pledges. The tea party is now running a new ad
asking real conservatives to pledge to defeat Republicans who voted to
reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling. And in this case, by
pledge, they mean pledge money.

If you are inspired to pledge to the tea party after you watch their ad,
you will go to their Web site and be led to this page where you will be
asked to pledge at least $25 to run primary campaigns against House
Republicans.

Here then is the new tea party ad attacking 87 house Republicans, including
John Boehner and Eric cantor. See if you can count how many times they
used the word "traitor."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need all true conservatives to call in and stand up
now to the latest RINO betrayal. The tea party and all conservatives are
being betrayed by the Republican party`s real traitors, yet again. These
traitors sold out America and voted to fund Obamacare, voted to raise the
debt ceiling and voted to further expand debt spending yet again. And it
is up to the tea party to hold these 87 House traitors accountable starting
with speaker John Boehner. The tea party insist to hold these traitors
accountable for their actions by mounting primary challenges against them,
all of them.

And to do that we need your support. With your help we will remove these
traitors from office and replace them with true conservatives.

Please call now to show your support for the tea party and sign the pledge
to hold these traitors accountable. Call 1800-676-8141 now or go to our
Web site.

Stop the traitors.com to see the list of traitors. We must replace these
RINOs with real conservative and the first step is for you to call now and
sign the pledge to hold these traitors accountable. That`s 1800-676-8141.
Call now to sign the pledge.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: I got eight. Eight traitors. You just heard the word traitor
eight times in one minute, one minute ad. And here is one of the traitors
the tea party just promised to challenge.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: This was the
targeting of the president`s political enemies effectively and lies about
it during the election year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That`s right, Darrell Issa is not insanely conservative enough
for the tea party now. And so, they are raising money on the promise that
they will challenge Darrell Issa in the primary along with 86 other House
Republicans including John Boehner.

They are lying, of course. They have no intention of mounting tea party
challenges against 87 Republicans, least of all, Darrell Issa, who is the
richest member of Congress in both the House and Senate.

Darrell Issa`s wealth is at least $350 million. Darrell Issa has the money
to crush any tea party challenger who comes his way and the tea party knows
it. The tea party is not going to go after most of the 87 members of
Congress, who they claim they are out to get.

So Republican world has become a game of the liars versus the traitors and
boy, do they deserve each other.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Democrat Terry McAuliffe now has a double digit leads over
Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the race for Virginia governor. McAuliffe now
leads 51-39 percent among likely voters in the new "Washington Post" poll.

Up next, the campaigners in chief for Terry McAuliffe, the Clintons.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The one political
virtue of extremism is this. If you can really get people (INAUDIBLE)
nerve, there in size and nuts, full of angers, steam coming out of their
ear instead of a light bulb going off in their brains, they will vote.
They will show up every time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was Bill Clinton campaigning for his friend, Terry
McAuliffe yesterday in the Virginia governor`s race. The Clintons have
been stepping up to the microphone a lot lately.

Here is Hillary Clinton last week in Washington speaking in an event, that
an event for the center for American progress.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: John and Niro (ph) and I have
been discussing what it means to a progressive in America and in the world
for years now. So many of you rolled up your selves every single day to
build the case for a progressive agenda. It is based on data and evidence,
not ideology to have cap at the table making the case for progressive
policies, bold new progressive policies.

(INAUDIBLE) progressive values, progressive ideas that helped make this
country the greatest force for human liberty, dignity and opportunity the
world has even known.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now is MSNBC`s Ronan Farrow who served as a special
advisor for Global Youth issues under secretary of state Hillary Clinton
and back with us, the "The Washington Post" Nia-Malika Henderson.

Nia, I think I counted five progressives there from Hillary. I could be
wrong, the audience can check us on that. But I get the message. I think
she was trying to talk to progressives there.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes. I
think that`s right. And I guess we are starting to see of what kind of
candidate she would be should she run.

Remember, when she ran last time, people didn`t think she was progressive
enough. They went with Barack Obama. I think the question for Hillary
Clinton is whether or not she is getting out there too soon. She is
certainly going a lot of (INAUDIBLE) from Republican. That`s good in the
sense that she can feed what kind of playbook of a might run against her in
2016. But it could be bad for her because it starts to then her
favorability and remind people of, you know, those old Clinton wars that
everybody went through in the 90s.
RONAN FARROW, FORMER HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: CLINTON
ADVISER: I would offer a counter points to Nia here. You know, I stay in
touch with this Hillary Clinton team virtually every day. I talk to her
about two weeks ago about this. You know, my genuine sense from her is
what she says again and again in public quotations. She is still figuring
it out. She is actually ---

O`DONNELL: Ronan, the official position of this show is that she is
running for president, has already decided to run for president. It is
underway.

FARROW: I get that. I hear that.

O`DONNELL: So please, all analysis should take place --

FARROW: But it`s worth noting that actually she has been, I think, more
than at any prior point in her career, very transparent about the fact that
she is wrestling with it. I think, you know, Nia is absolutely right. We
are seeing a preview of what her issues will be regardless of what she will
be doing in a couple of years. What her issues have been. Her focus on
youth, her focus on women, her focus on the core issues that she brought
front and center while secretary of state.

I don`t think any of these recent events say loud and clear that I am
reentering politics. She may well, but she is still weighing that call.

O`DONNELL: She already did, stop. It`s clear.

HENDERSON: I mean, she never left politics, right? I mean, she did while
when she was secretary of state. But I mean, --

FARROW: She is without a doubt a leader who will always be invested in the
political scene. I think her support for these close friends, de Blasio,
for McAuliffe, who used to be her campaign manager, indicates that she will
always go to bat for the people in that world that she cares about. I
don`t think that this is the first tip of the iceberg on a war for
political attack, not yet.

O`DONNELL: Nia, how important is the Virginia win, the Terry McAuliffe
win, for team Clinton and their own ability to make these kinds of
campaigns work?

HENDERSON: You know, it`s big win for them should McAuliffe win. And it
looks like he will. I mean, I think Cuccinelli is an incredibly weak
candidate. And McAuliffe himself isn`t that good of candidate. But I
mean, when you look at the Clintons there with McAuliffe, again, it`s like
the 1990s all over again. And it is, you know, it sort of riding again and
we will ride all along. So, it is very much, I think, a positive for him.

I think the question is what does he do in 2014? What does Hillary do in
2014? Will they be in Kentucky? Will they be in North Carolina? Will
they be in Georgia for Michelle (INAUDIBLE)? I think that`s the real
question.

Ronan says that he feels like she is still making her mind. It looks like
Bill Clinton might already have his mind made up what she should do.

O`DONNELL: Ronan, she got beat to her left last time by Barack Obama when
she ran for president. Is there any space to her left now? I`m not sure
who would run to her left from, you know, Andrew Cuomo or anyone else who
may run.

FARROW: Look, I mean, I think that the spark for this conversation is that
there is so little space for other competitors within the Democrats field
right now. But there is still time. She has pointed that out. I would
point that out.

I think in terms of the actual issues that she would theoretically
campaigned on, I really do think it`s going to be the core issues that she
has brought front and center in her time working on foreign policy.

O`DONNELL: Nia, is there a left space to Hillary Clinton now in a
Democratic field?

HENDERSON: It`s hard to see who that would be. It is hard to see who
would actually get out there should she actually run. Maybe you got the
governor of California. Maybe he would get out there and run hard. And
Cuomo would run, maybe Martin O`Malley. But you know, he didn`t do too
well when he had that big speeches at the DNC. I mean, he is not exactly
figure of people know across the country in terms of the Democratic base.

So, it`s hard to see how she moves over or somebody gets to the left of
her. And I think for somebody like Hillary Clinton, though, real test is
going to be can she hold the Obama coalition on the one hand? But also,
peel off some of these blue collar white voters who Clinton, the original
Clinton, was so adept at getting. He is somebody who won Kentucky, never
won North Carolina. Certainly, that would be on their list of must win
states or want to win states should she win. But it`s hard to see that
somebody was going to get in this race if Hillary does decide to do it.

FARROW: I also think, you know, the number shows us that people are
craving moderation right now. And you know, particularly with the
frustration within the Republican party and the craving for moderation on
that side of the aisle, there`s a real opening for someone like Hillary
Clinton who has a fairly mainstream body of core positions to go in
uncontested if that is what she decides to do.

O`DONNELL: Nia, John McCain said this morning that he thinks Hillary
Clinton will be a formidable candidate and a good candidate for the
Democrats. (INAUDIBLE) makes a point in Politico. She`s got an article
saying that it has to be a different team this time than the team she used
in the last presidential campaign.

HENDERSON: That`s right. I mean, a lot of fighting from that team. They
sort of frittered away a lot of money in Iowa. I still think still look
big test and the big hurdle that Hillary Clinton is going to have to pass
is that she is from the 90s.

So, sure she is a contemporary now. She was the secretary of state, but
presidential contests are always about the future. And that`s why you get
somebody in there like Chris Christie. He is going to be able to say he`s
something new. He is something fresh. Who wants to go back to the 90s?
It`s the exact same race that Barack Obama ran against Hillary in 2008.

FARROW: I have to say, having worked with her, that is not on my list of
worries. If she decides to run, she is someone who is so vibrant about
jumping on the new generation of issues, jumping on new technology, jumping
on new ways of communicating. I think increasingly in the last year, she
has shown herself to be amenable to that. I think that will come out
whatever she does that.

HENDERSON: But I don`t think joining Twitter is enough on this. I think
she is --

FARROW: I do. It`s got to be --

HENDERSON: But I think the fact that you have to make the argument that
she is on twitter and she is on new technology, it is (INAUDIBLE) she is
vibrant, I think that`s a problem.

FARROW: I mean, the policy that she championed as secretary of state, I
mean, the commitment to you outside the box programs, offices like the one
I ran for her. She was doing pretty out there stuff.

O`DONNELL: All right.

Ronan gets tonight`s "Last Word."

And Nia, I will keep Ronan after school to convinced that Hillary is
actually running already. It`s under way.

Nia-Malika Henderson and Ronan Farrow, thank you both for joining us.

FARROW: Likewise.

HENDERSON: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST, ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES: Good evening from New
York. I`m Chris Hayes.

Yes, the government shutdown is over. The sequester continues. And today,
another part of basic government function turned off by Republicans. One
Republican, to be precise.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going to block every appointment in the United
States Senate until the survivors are being made available to Congress.
I`m tired of hearing from people on TV and reading about stuff in books.
We need to get to the bottom of this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

END

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