updated 2/25/2014 11:44:39 AM ET 2014-02-25T16:44:39

THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
February 24, 2014

Guests: Adrian Karatnycky


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Last week, the president of Ukraine
was trying to crush protests. Tonight his whereabouts are unknown.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A new chapter begins in Ukraine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Major breakthroughs in Ukraine today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Deposed President Viktor Yanukovych.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Former President Yanukovych.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was now accused of mass crimes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bloody crackdown has left dozens dead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There has been a week of bloodshed.

(GUNSHOTS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ukraine`s parliament voted to remove Yanukovych
from power.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The deposed leader fled Kiev on Friday.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Leaving the capital of Kiev on Friday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: An arrest warrant has been issued for him.

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: He is not actively leading
the country at present.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now back in Independence Square.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It has been filled with flowers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Explosions and Molotov cocktails have been
supplanted now by the glow of candles.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People coming here all day to pay their respects.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Russia and the U.S. are both doing a bit of saber
rattling.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Russia`s leaders entered the fray, an ominous
reaction from Russia this morning criticizing the West for recognizing the
new government.

CARNEY: We do believe that parliament has lawfully elected its new
speaker.

SUSAN RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: This is not about the U.S. and
Russia.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There has to be some type of stability.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A revolution has taken place. Parliament is
taking charge.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: Ukraine`s president was driven out of office and into
hiding over the weekend. On Friday night, President Viktor Yanukovych was
captured on surveillance cameras leaving Kiev in a helicopter. On
Saturday, he went on Ukrainian television to insist he would not resign.
He would not leave the country and that he remains the legitimately elected
president.

He denounced the current situation in Ukraine as a coup d`etat by
bandits and compared it to how Nazis came to power in the 1930s.

Today, the Ukrainian parliament drew up a warrant to arrest Yanukovych
for the mass murder of civilians in Kiev`s Independence Square last week.
Police now say they are on the hunt for him.

And tonight, "The Associated Press" reports before he was ousted as
Ukraine`s president, Viktor Yanukovych drew up plans to use thousands of
troops to crush the protests. A former deputy interior minister published
a document online detailing a plan to surround Independence Square, the
cradle of the uprising, with snipers and open fire on the protesters below.
Armored vehicles and about 22,000 police would have been involved.

National security adviser Susan Rice spoke for the Obama
administration yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICE: The Ukrainian people expressed themselves peacefully. They
were met with violence. And that did not end well for Yanukovych.

DAVID GREGORY, "MEET THE PRESS" MODERATOR: Does he have to go in the
president`s mind?

RICE: He has gone.

GREGORY: But does he have to relinquish power?

RICE: He has gone, David. I mean, this is an interesting and
complicated situation, as you know. He`s lost -- Yanukovych has lost
enormous legitimacy despite having been originally democratically elected,
by turning on his people, by using violence in the streets against peaceful
protesters. And by flouting the will of the Ukrainian --

GREGORY: But he`s saying he`s not stepping down.

RICE: But he left Kiev, packed up in an orderly fashion, took his
stuff, his furniture with him. This was not fleeing --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The United States says it does not know Yanukovych`s
current location. The Ukrainian parliament has named its new speaker as
the interim head of state. Russia has recalled its ambassador to Ukraine.

Today, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told reporters, "The
legitimacy of a whole number of organs of power that function there raises
great doubts. Some of our foreign Western partners think otherwise. This
is some kind of aberration of perception when people call legitimate what
is essentially the result of an armed mutiny. We do not understand what is
going on there. There is a real threat to our interests and to the lives
of our citizens."

Joining me now are: Steve Clemons, Washington editor at large for "The
Atlantic" and an MSNBC contributor, and Adrian Karatnycky, a senior fellow
at the Atlantic Council. Adrian is also a managing partner for the
Myrmidon Group, which advises companies looking to enter the Ukraine.

Steve Clemons, a lot has happened since we last met on this subject,
very fast-moving situation. Where do you think it stands now, and can this
government that`s kind of holding on at the moment continue to hold on with
the speaker of the parliament basically in charge?

STEVE CLEMONS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it`s highly fragile. There`s
no one that can watch the events of really the last 48 hours and not be
incredibly impressed with the bravery of the protesters and frankly the
efficacy and efficiency of that parliament that has moved so rapidly that I
think that they`ve moved very expeditiously, but it raises other doubts
because they are in a geographically complex position. They`re wedged
right in the armpit of Russia. And I think the last thing that Vladimir
Putin wants to see is this kind of liberal spring come rushing right in to
Russia.

And so, you know, after the Sochi Olympics I think you`re going to
see, you know -- you`re going to see the question of whether those moves by
the Ukrainian parliament and the counter-forces to Yanukovych can afford
what they have. They have a lot of financial exposure to Russia. And at
the end of the day will Europe and the United States ante up the money to
support the Ukrainian change in power?

And I think those are the questions that are uncomfortable to ask.
It`s easy to say democracy is, you know, flaming ahead. But there are a
lot of expenses and bills to be paid, and I think Russia`s going to be a
very, very tough neighbor.

O`DONNELL: Adrian, how does the Russian government see the stakes in
this?

ADRIAN KARATNYCKY, ATLANTIC COUNCIL: Well, I think the Russians were
very close to wooing and wrenching Ukraine out of the European orbit and
putting it within its own. And the people basically spoke. The people
stood up. These protests really started after Mr. Yanukovych reversed
course on a path to association with the European Union.

And that was what provoked the initial wave of protests. And they
accelerated after there was of course a lot of repression.

But the point is Mr. Putin is I think angry, frustrated. He was on a
roll. He was on a roll in Syria. He was on a roll with his sort of Iran
policy.

He was exerting a lot of clout for a fairly small economy relative to
the European and the United States, and here suddenly the people of a
country bordering him surprise him with their vehemence, their courage and
their civic-mindedness, and deal him a pretty severe setback.

O`DONNELL: I want to listen to what Susan Rice said about warning
about going back to a cold war dynamic. Let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICE: The president is very plain and very forceful in his dealings
with Putin. But it`s not necessary, nor is it in our interest to return to
a Cold War construct, which is long out of date and that doesn`t reflect
the realities of the 21st century.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Steve, is this the biggest risk we`ve seen of slipping
back into some of the cold war dynamic?

CLEMONS: Well, I think we`ve seen it for some time. You know, in
2008-2009, Russia basically, you know, showed a lot of tough love with
Ukraine on its natural gas exports. We saw some of the tension over
Georgia in a number of other cases.

But President Obama through this crisis has been careful to say that
Ukraine needs to be itself careful of choosing between an orientation
towards Europe versus an orientation toward Russia. It needs to co-exist
within these.

And I think President Obama and Susan Rice should say the same thing
coming forward, that it needs to balance its interests, because the nation
is divided and split. It can`t afford a zero sum game between both of
these contending arenas of influence.

And I think Obama and his team, Susan Rice, have been very cautious on
that front in an admirable way because they don`t want to see Russia use
this as an excuse to everywhere else, whether it`s in Edward Snowden`s case
or Syria or a number of other fronts, begin to use that to challenge the
U.S. in kind of a global game of chess.

O`DONNELL: Yes, Susan Rice was very careful yesterday to talk about
some things that we`ve been compatible with Russia on, working with Russia
on, then listing things we disagree with them on, showing that both of
those, you can have disagreements and agreements at the same time.

I want to listen to what Jay Carney said today when he was asked about
who is in charge in Ukraine.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: Just a practical matter. Who does the U.S. consider to be
the leader of Ukraine at this point?

CARNEY: Well, as you know, Mr. Yanukovych has left Kiev in an orderly
fashion, packed up his things and left, and his whereabouts are not known
to us in a confirmable way. And certainly while he was a democratically
elected leader, his actions have undermined his legitimacy, and he is not
actively leading the country at present.

We do believe that parliament has lawfully elected its new speaker,
and we support getting the situation under control in terms of law and
order and ensuring that the institutions of government are working. We
note that recent parliamentary votes have been passed by overwhelming
majorities that include members of Yanukovych`s own party.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Adrian, is that the answer? Basically it`s the speaker
who`s in charge?

KARATNYCKY: Well, there is I think a collective leadership. The
speaker has been elected, and by the Ukrainian constitution. And Ukraine
just adopted a return to its 2004 constitution where the presidential
powers are limited.

In the absence of a president, the speaker fulfills the role of the
president as the acting president until elections which are to be convened
within 60 to 90 days, and they will be on May 25th.

So there is an orderly transition. There is not a full consolidation
of authority.

But the interesting thing is there is no serious challenge to
authority. There are a lot of people who have been part of these protests
and self-defense groups protecting protesters from government violence who
are, you know, patrolling streets and working in some places with the local
police, in some places the police have disappeared because they were part
of the repressive mechanism. But basically there`s no one systematically
capable of challenging the people in power.

And certainly the military is on board. The security service has a
new leader. There`s a new minister of the interior. He has purged all the
intermediate people who were associated with the violence. And a new chain
of command is being put together.

So, it is a little bit of a -- you know, transitional and bumpy ride.
But they are well on the path after such a turbulent period and the
collapse of an entire system which had ruled as a very authoritarian and
tightly controlled system. We`re moving toward the consolidation of power
of these people.

And I think one thing I want to point out is that yes, Western Europe
and Europe and the United States have recognized the orderly transition of
power. I think it`s very important for the United States and the Europeans
to get other countries outside of the East-West divide to recognize the
legitimacy of the Ukrainian government, really to isolate Russia, to not
make it an East-West game but to make it a consensus of the international
community.

O`DONNELL: Steve Clemons and Adrian Karatnycky, thank you both for
joining me tonight.

CLEMONS: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the chairman of the Republican Governors
Association could not appear at the Republican Governors Association`s
press conference today because, you know, it was a press conference.

And some Republican legislators in Arizona have apparently been
listening to George Takei`s objections to the bill they passed that would
allow businesses to discriminate against people for religious reasons.
George Takei will join me to try to convince Governor Jan Brewer to veto
that bill.

And in the "Rewrite" today, Republicans who were for defense cuts
until they were against them, which is to say of course Republicans who
were for defense cuts until President Obama was for defense cuts.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: President Obama invited Republicans who want to move into
the White House to visit the White House today. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Tonight, we want to
make sure that all of you make yourselves at home, to which I`m sure some
of you are thinking, that`s been the plan all along.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

But keep in mind what a wise man once wrote, "I am more than contented
to be governor and shall not care if I never hold another office." Of
course, that was Teddy Roosevelt.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was President Obama at his dinner for governors last
night at the White House.

And one governor, who hopes to one day be the host of such a White
House dinner for governors, did not show up for that event last night.
Chris Christie skipped the White House dinner for the governors, and after
having skipped the governors association opening press conference on
Saturday, today, he skipped the Republican Governors Association press
conference in Washington, as well as a meeting at the White House today to
which all governors, Democrat and Republican, were invited.

Needless to say, the chairman of the Republican Governors Association
missing their press conference did not go unnoticed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: RGA is more important than just any
one governor. It`s not about the chairman. It wasn`t about the chairman
when I was chairman last year. It`s not about the chairman this year.

The reality is RGA is about the 29 governors that are members. It`s
also about the 36 governors` elections we`ve got this year.

And I know the media`s got attention on one particular governor in
RGA. I think he can be and has been an effective leader of RGA. I think
he should remain.

The reality is Chris -- he is taking responsibility. He has said
he`ll cooperate with all of the investigations. I don`t know what more we
can ask him to do beyond that. So, yes, he can be effective.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Chris Christie is not the only Republican governor with
problems these days.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: Question: if county workers were doing
nothing wrong, why should they be using a private e-mail account?

GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: Well, but that`s exactly to my
point. You had a Democratic district attorney spend almost three years
looking at every single one of those communications, interviewing people,
talking to people. And closed the case --

(CROSSTALK)

WALLACE: -- private e-mail account.

WALKER: Again, it`s one of those where I point out the district
attorney has reviewed every single one of these issues --

WALLACE: But, sir, you`re not answering my question.

WALKER: No, because I`m not going to get into 27,000 different pieces
of information.

WALLACE: You are in an election this year, as you point out. A lot
of people talked about you possibly running for president in 2016. Should
Republicans worry from all of this about you as a potential presidential
candidate in 2016?

WALKER: No, I think we`ll lay the issues out --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: After today`s meeting at the White House with all of the
governors the normally non-partisan National Governors Association turned
sharply partisan at the White House driveway when Bobby Jindal said this --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JINDAL: What I worry about is that this president, the White House
seems to be waving the white flag of surrender after five -- more than five
years now under this administration the Obama economy is now the minimum
wage economy. I think we can do better than that.

GOV. DANNEL MALLOY (D), CONNECTICUT: One second. Until a few moments
ago, we were going down a pretty cooperative road. I don`t know what the
heck was a reference to white flag when it comes to people making $404 a
week. I mean, that`s the most insane statement I`ve ever heard.

JINDAL: If that was the most partisan statement he`s heard all week I
want to make sure he hears a more partisan statement, which is I think we
could also grow the economy more if we would delay more of these Obamacare
mandates.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now is MSNBC senior political analyst David
Axelrod, who`s a former senior adviser to President Obama.

David, it seems like the Republican Governors Association has a new
chairman, whether they like it or not. Bobby Jindal`s just grabbing the
microphone.

DAVID AXELROD, MSNBC SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes. It seems that
way. I was interested in what he had to say. He was offering all kinds of
economic advice.

You know, the mean wage in his state is 44th among all the states.
They`re second in poverty. He`s 45th in people covered by health care.

I`m not sure he`s the guy we`re going to be looking for, for advice on
how to get this economy moving.

O`DONNELL: And the president has been telling the governors,
administration`s been telling Republican governors you can do a lot to
improve the situation for people in your state simply by accepting the
Medicaid provision in the Affordable Care Act.

Let`s listen to what Chris Wallace and Scott Walker said about that
yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: You turned down $119 million in federal money to expand
Medicaid. A lot of people would say, really?

WALKER: Well, in our case, I don`t think the measure of success in
government is how many people are dependent on the government. I want
people to no longer be dependent because we empower them to get good jobs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: David Axelrod, how is that going to sound on the campaign
trail against a Hillary Clinton Democratic nominee for president?

AXELROD: Well, here`s the thing. Before you get to run against
Hillary Clinton you`ve got to go through a Republican primary. And I think
what walker is betting is that by turning down that money, even if it`s to
the detriment of folks in his state, that he`ll get some points from the
right wing of his party and that`ll help him become the nominee of the
party.

I think that it is a hard thing to justify other Republican governors,
Kasich and others have taken a different tack and Christie has taken a
different tack on that. But they`ve been excoriated by people on the right
for it. Walker I think is trying to walk that line and be acceptable to
the right, but mainstream enough as a governor to present himself as a
national candidate.

It`s a tough line to walk.

O`DONNELL: New poll in New Jersey saying Chris Christie`s approval
rating falling a little bit more with registered voters. And there he is
unable to even be present at events like this now because there will be
reporters there asking questions.

I mean, that`s it. I mean, that`s the only reason he couldn`t be
there.

AXELROD: He says that his daughter had a birthday party last night,
an 18th birthday party.

O`DONNELL: Yes, let`s give him Sunday night, David. Let`s give him
Sunday night. But to not participate --

AXELROD: No doubt --

O`DONNELL: But to not participate in everything else is --

AXELROD: No doubt about it.

Look, there`s no doubt that he is trying to wait out this storm and
he`s hoping that it will ultimately blow over, that when these myriad
investigations are done, there will be no arrows pointing at him and he can
move forward. But right now, he`s really pinned down by this story. And
there`s no doubt that had he appeared at these press conferences that he
would have handled some questions about the situation in New Jersey.

So, his plan is to just hunker down and like -- he`s dealt with storms
before. He`s hoping to deal with this one.

O`DONNELL: And other than Bobby Jindal, who seems to be in effect
taking over the RGA in this kind of situation, who else gets to benefit by
Christie being completely on the sidelines like this?

AXELROD: Well, look, I think there`s a void there. He had been
slowly becoming the sort of consensus candidate of the center right --
Republicans and others are going to look to fill that slot. Perhaps a Paul
Ryan. Maybe even a Jeb Bush. Maybe Marco Rubio tries to move in that
direction.

But there is a void to be filled, and people are going to look at
that. But again, if he gets a clean bill somehow through these
investigations, I would not -- and I know I`ve irritated people sometimes
on this air by saying it. I just don`t think you can count this guy out
until the verdict is in on these investigations, because he is a talented
performer and I don`t think he`s going to go away easily.

O`DONNELL: David, I think in his press conference in terms of a
Republican presidential primary because he said, this is a quote, which is
easy to remember, and will be in every ad against him, "I delegate enormous
authority to my cabinet and my staff." And in the very same press
conference, he said that that staff embarrassed and humiliated him.

You join those two statements together in your 30-second ad against
Chris Christie in any Republican primary and I don`t see how he gets
through a month of it.

AXELROD: Well, I think the problem is -- and 24s what the problem
with the whole story is, is that nobody really believes that he is someone
who idly delegates to his staff. He seems like a guy, and he`s always
presented himself as a guy who`s firmly in charge and running the show.

So, you can`t have it both ways. And he needs to have it one way in
order to explain how this could have happened without his knowledge. And
he needs to have it the other way, to be in line with the image that he
wants to present as a candidate for president.

So, I agree with you. I`m not suggesting he`s going to be the
nominee. But I`m just suggesting it`s a little early to count him out.
And partly it`s because of my own experience in politics, which is that the
conventional wisdom is generally wrong. So, I often bet against it just
because the record is what it is.

O`DONNELL: If you`ve been betting with David Axelrod in American
politics for the last few years, you`ve been winning a lot.

David Axelrod, thank you very much for joining me tonight.

AXELROD: Good to be with you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, George Takei will try to talk some sense to
Arizona`s Governor Jan Brewer. That is next. George is here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. JAN BREWER (R), ARIZONA: You know, the bill is in transmittal
and I don`t have to make a decision until next Friday. So I`ve got plenty
of time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on Saturday at the
National Governors Association meeting saying she doesn`t yet know whether
she will sign into law Arizona`s bill passed by the Arizona legislature
which would allow businesses to turn away customers for religious reasons.
In the spotlight tonight, Arizona Senate bill 1062.
Most of the attention to this bill is on how it could target the LGBT
community, but as the gay rights group, one community, points out, SB-1062
could affect almost anyone. A taxi driver could refuse to drive someone to
a synagogue because it goes against his religion. Women could be in danger
of losing jobs because in some religions they are not equal. Restaurateurs
could refuse to serve a Mormon family on the grounds that they disapprove
of their religion.

Last May, Jan Brewer vetoed a similar religious freedom bill as part of a
package of bills that she refused to sign until the state legislature
worked on expanding Medicaid through the affordable care act. This time
Jan Brewer`s decision may come down to football.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Governor Brewer, in the past the NFL has
made decisions about where they host the Super Bowl based on laws that are
passed in the state. Do you think it`s possible them they will decide next
year, pick to host the Super Bowl in your state if this law is still in
effect?

GOV. JAN BREWER (R), ARIZONA: I think you should address that issue to the
Super Bowl.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: I think you should address that issue to the Super Bowl. The
Super Bowl could not be reached for comment. But today the NFL released
this statement.

"Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness and prohibit
discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or
any other improper standard. We are following the issue in Arizona and
will continue to do so should the bill be signed into law, but will decline
further comment at this time."

And the Arizona Super Bowl host committee said a key part of its mission is
to quote "promote the economic vitality of Arizona. On that matter we have
heard loud and clear from our various stakeholders that adoption of this
legislation would not only run contrary to that goal but deal a significant
blow to the state`s economic growth potential. We do not support this
legislation."
Apple, American airlines, Marriott, and Republican Arizona senators McCain
and Jeff Flake have all urged Jan Brewer to veto the bill. Actor and
activist George Takei who owns a vacation home with his husband in Arizona
wrote thon his blog Friday. "If your governor Jan Brewer signs this
repugnant bill into law, make no mistake. We will not come. We will not
spend. And we will urge everyone we know from large corporations to small
families on vacation to boycott. Because you don`t deserve our dollars.
Not one red cent."

Joining me now, actor and gay rights activist George Takei and Arizona
State Representative Chad Campbell, who is the minority leader in the
House.

George, the amount of opposition to this since you wrote about it on
Friday. I remember reading what you wrote on Friday. I was reading it on
my phone, and I thought OK, that`s good, that`s George. I`d expect that
from George. And it felt like you were writing into what was then a pretty
quiet world on this subject. Here we are Monday, you`ve got enormous
support coming your way.

GEORGE TAKEI, ACTOR, GAY RIGHT ACTIVIST: We feel very strongly about this.
And it breaks our heart that both houses of the Arizona legislature passed
this. It is not a religious freedom bill at all. Ironically, their
religious freedom is being well protected by gays and lesbians in the
military. And the economic vitality of Arizona is being contributed to by
gays and lesbians.

The so-called religious freedom is just a cloak for prejudice. And they`re
trying to write their prejudice into civil law, which you can`t do and you
can`t write your religious faith values into civil law either because we
have many, many different religions. And as you said, the wise Republican
leadership now is expressing their opposition to it. But it`s these right-
wing religious extremists that seem to dominate in the legislature.

We have relatives and many, many friends, gay as well as straight, that we
love. And they are not represented by this bill. It is really a
disgraceful repugnant bill that is trying to hide under the cloak of
religious freedom.

O`DONNELL: Chad Campbell, since George started writing about this on
Friday, there have been some fascinating changes including some Republican
state senators who voted for the bill, they`re now against it. They`re
urging governor brewer to veto it. One of them, Steve Pierce, appeared on
Chris Hayes`s show a couple hours ago on this network. Let`s listen to
what he said. I want to come to you after this. Let`s listen to what
Steve pierce said about this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STATE SEN. STEVE PIERCE (R), ARIZONA: When I voted on it, I did not look
towards any kind of discrimination at all. I didn`t see that in there. As
the days went on after we voted, it was from constituents in the public and
the outcry from it. And you know, I`ve been listening to things all day
about the discrimination. There is none in my view, and I don`t -- if
there is, I`m totally against it. We made a mistake. And that`s about all
I can tell you, is we went the wrong way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: So Chad Campbell, you were there. Did you leave some things
unsaid in your opposition to this bill that could have convinced Steve
Pierce, things that he`s heard from George Takei and others since?

STATE REP. CHAD CAMPBELL (R), ARIZONA: No. I think anybody that knows me
knows that I don`t leave anything unsaid when I`m debating any bill on the
house floor. And I was very clear about the discriminatory practices
involved in this bill.

There`s no doubt about this bill. It`s an effort to be offering, or
legalizing I should say, state-sanctioned discrimination. And as George
pointed out, it`s a very heartbreaking bill for many of us that are
Arizonans. I`m a native of the state, been here my whole life, and it`s
been eight years, my time in the legislature, and that was probably one of
the worst votes I`ve had to make in terms of the severity of the bill.

And I do want to say to George`s call for boycott, though, there are
millions of Arizonans that oppose this bill. The business community has
come out against it. We have a wide range of people that are opposing this
bill. So don`t hold us all to the same standard, George, I beg you, for
that. And don`t think that we all are not open to everybody coming to our
state and spending money here and living here and enjoying themselves here
and raising a family here.

And you know, really I would make the offer to George, come out here and
let`s work together and change this state this year. It is an election
year. We can elect better people to the legislature because you`re right,
we have an extremist element that`s taken over the legislature. And let`s
get them out. And I`m committed to working with you, working with anybody
across the country to make that happen in Arizona.

TAKEI: We`re absolutely with you. We love Arizona. As I said, we know
many, many, many people. And Brad`s got relatives in Arizona. So yes,
we`d be happy to work with you to get rid of these -- that state senator
who claimed that they had no idea that it was involving bigotry.

How do people like that get elected in that office? We`ve got to correct
the process by which they get into office. He doesn`t belong in public
office.

O`DONNELL: George, what about Chad`s point about please don`t do a boycott
of his state? Please in fact come to Arizona and try to actively change
the situation while in Arizona?

TAKEI: That was at the heat of the moment, and it is a tactic, a strategy
to persuade Governor Brewer to reject -- veto that bill. We do mean it. I
mean, if she signs it, then we will withhold our economic and other
support. But we will be there supporting Senator Campbell`s effort to
restructure the legislature.

O`DONNELL: Chad, how powerful is the football business in Arizona?
Clearly they do not want this bill to be signed by the governor.

CAMPBELL: No. And it`s beyond just the football business. There`s been
several major corporations that have come out against this bill over the
past couple days. All of the major business organizations have come out
against it. You mentioned that our two senators, Flake and McCain, have
both opposed it.

So there is a broad range, a very diverse range of opposition to Senate
bill 1062 now. And we`re very hopeful that she will veto this bill this
year. She vetoed it last year, as you mentioned. So hopefully she`ll do
it again. And I hope she does it not just for economic reasons but for
moral reasons too.

We do not need to be sending a message to the rest of the country as a
state that we only want certain kind of people here, that we only want to
do business with certain kind of people. That is not what the majority of
Arizonans believe in this state. I know that in my heart. Like I said,
I`ve been here my whole life. And I know that this bill was only passed by
a very vocal minority. Not the majority of the state.

O`DONNELL: George Takei, we may see more Republican senators changing
their minds as you keep this up.

TAKEI: Good, good, good. I`ll be there supporting that.

O`DONNELL: Thank you very much for joining us tonight. George Takei and
Chad Campbell. Thank you both very much.

CAMPBELL: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Paul Ryan is in favor of cutting defense spending as
long as President Obama doesn`t say that he`s in favor of cutting defense
spending too. That`s in the "Rewrite."

And later, Bill Clinton is going to Kentucky tomorrow, and so Kentucky`s
junior Senator Rand Paul continued attacking him today.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: "Late Night with Seth Meyers" debuts tonight. They`re doing it
right up there like, I don`t know, about three or four flights up. And for
his first guests he went with a pair of politicians.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SETH MEYERS, HOST, LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS: You`ve been very open
about talking about 2016 and considering what you`re going to do. Where
are you in your thought process? What are you taking into account?

JOE BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, you know, I was
planning on making a major announcement tonight. But I decided tonight`s
your night.

MEYER: Thank you. Thank you.

(LAUGHTER)

BIDEN: So I hope you`ll invite me back.

MEYERS: Yes, absolutely. And Amy, your 2016 plans?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m going to run for president.

MEYERS: OK. Great.

The vice president of the United States. Joe Biden, everyone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Tonight`s quiz, who coined the phrase the military-industrial
complex? The answer is next in the "Rewrite."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In the councils of government we must guard against the
acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the
military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of
misplaced power exists and will persist.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That is the most important thing said by a president in his
farewell address since George Washington. President Eisenhower coined the
phrase "military-industrial complex" when he warned us against it gaining
more and more unwarranted influence in our politics and our government. It
took a former military man, a general like Eisenhower, to recognize that
threat and to have the political authority to speak out against it. And in
today`s politics only a combat veteran could make this announcement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHUCK HAGEL, DEFENSE SECRETARY: Today I`m announcing the key decisions
that I have recommended to the president for the defense department`s
fiscal year 2015 budget and beyond. These recommendations will adapt and
reshape our defense enterprise so that we can continue protecting this
nation`s security in an era of unprecedented uncertainty and change. As we
end our combat mission in Afghanistan, this will be the first budget to
fully reflect the transition DOD is making for after 13 years of war.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That was President Obama`s Republican secretary of defense,
Chuck Hagel, admitting that it is time to adapt and reshape the defense
department budget to address the real threats that we face now. The
defense cuts the Obama administration is proposing would still leave our
defense budget larger than Russia, China, and the United Kingdom combined.

Republican budget guru Paul Ryan said, "I`m proud of this agreement. It
reduces the deficit without raising taxes and it cuts spending in a smarter
way." Well, he didn`t say that today, when Chuck Hagel announced the
proposed budget cuts. He said it 76 days ago, when he fought for the
passage of the bipartisan budget act which he helped write with Democratic
Senator Patty Murray. It is commonly known as the Ryan-Murray agreement.

That agreement cut military spending to about 496 billion for fiscal year
2015. The Obama-Hagel defense cuts would not actually cut defense spending
quite as much as Paul Ryan`s budget. So what did Paul Ryan say today about
the Obama defense cuts? Did he say, hey, come on, Mr. President, you can
cut defense spending more than I did, you know, more than that, because I
Paul Ryan was able to do that. Or did he say, you know, as a Republican I
hate cutting defense spending and I`m glad the president found a way to cut
it less than I did? Or did he just decide if Obama`s for defense cuts then
I have to be against them?

Well, of course, you`ve guessed it by now. He did exactly what you`d
expect him to do. Paul Ryan said that the Obama defense cuts are
disappointing. But he wasn`t consistent. He didn`t say they`re
disappointing because the president doesn`t cut defense as much as I did.
Instead he said it`s disappointing that the president continues to use
these vital funds as bargaining chips for higher taxes and more domestic
spending.

Never mind that Chuck Hagel said nothing today about higher taxes or more
domestic spending. The secretary of defense was announcing an approach to
military spending that is designed to meet the threats he believes the
United States faces in the world today. And quite reasonably, he believes
that requires less military personnel and smaller budgets than it did when
we were fighting simultaneous wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So it turns out Paul Ryan was for defense cuts before he was against them.
Or Paul Ryan was for defense cuts until President Obama was for defense
cuts.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Bill Clinton is going to Kentucky tomorrow which means that the
junior senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul, is of course talking about bill
Clinton and interns and all sorts of old news. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: You know, it concerns me. I mean, the thing
is that I think workplace violence is a serious thing. Think about your
network. If the president of your network had relations with a 20-year-old
girl who was there from college, I think the president of your network
would be fired. We don`t accept that in the workplace. And so if that`s
what bill Clinton, you know, did multiple times, really they ought to be
concerned about being associated with him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: That is how Kentucky`s junior senator, Republican Rand Paul, is
defending Kentucky`s senior senator, Republican Mitch McConnell, against
the Clinton invasion. Bill Clinton is going to Kentucky tomorrow to
headline a fund-raiser for the Democratic candidate for Mitch McConnell `s
seat, Kentucky`s secretary of state Alison Grimes.

Bill Clinton carried the state in both of his presidential elections, which
was the last time a democrat won Kentucky`s eight electoral votes. Alison
Grimes is now running in a virtual tie with Mitch McConnell, with only one
point separating them in the latest poll of likely voters by Republican
pollster Wenzel strategies.

Joining me now is "Washington Post`s" E.J. Dionne, who remembers all this
stuff that Rand Paul is talking about.

But E.J., how much resonance does it have for Kentucky voters? And how old
do you have to be to remember all this stuff that rand Paul`s talking
about?

E.J. DIONNE, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: And also, I noticed he said
workplace violence. Whatever happened here, I`m not sure that`s the right
term for it. But you know what? I think Alison Grimes doesn`t care what
rand Paul says because Bill Clinton is about the most perfect surrogate.
And they`ve been involved, the Clintons, in her race even before the
beginning. Her dad, Jerry Lenergan, was an old pal of Bill Clinton. She
was at Clinton`s first inauguration as a 14-year-old.

And Clinton can do some very good things for her because if you look at the
map of both 92 and 96, Bill Clinton carried a whole lot of those counties
in eastern Kentucky. Those Appalachian counties that Barack Obama couldn`t
-- doesn`t have much support in.

And if you could put together the core Obama coalition of African-
Americans, college-educated middle-class, upper middle-class voters, and
then bring in the working-class whites that bill Clinton I think can still
appeal to and also Hillary Clinton, you`re getting very close to a majority
in Kentucky. So I think she`s going to ignore Rand Paul and say to Bill
Clinton, please come as often as you can and send your wife here too.

O`DONNELL: I want to look at what Matt Bevin -- talk about why Matt Bevin
isn`t getting more traction against Mitch McConnell with all the help he`s
getting from Ted Cruz and others in Washington. Let`s look at what Matt
Bevin`s problem is here. It could be Matt Bevin.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATT BEVIN (R), SENATORIAL CANDIDATE, KENTUCKY: I`m Matt Bevin, and I
approve this message.

Mitch McConnell betrayed conservatives to give Obama a blank check. Matt
Bevin opposes raising the national debt, period. The choice is clear.
Conservative Republican Matt Bevin for U.S. Senate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Now, E.J., that`s what went up as soon as Ted Cruz forced
Republicans to vote on the debt ceiling in a way that they didn`t have to
and forced Mitch McConnell to cast that vote. But I`ve got to say, if
Mitch McConnell is known for anything in Kentucky, it has to be opposition
to everything President Obama thinks about.

DIONNE: Right. But you know, with the Republican base, the right-wing
part of the Republican base that Bevin is trying to get, that kind of ad
works very well. The notion that he`ll never raise the debt ever, that
means he won`t be able to vote for any budget since we`re going to be in
deficit for a long time. It doesn`t matter to that part of the
constituency -- that part of the Republican party.

I think McConnell has enough going for him both because of how anti-Obama
he has been, and on the other side people who hate spending nonetheless
love all the money he`s brought to Kentucky. And that`s going to be his
calling card, ironically, is how much -- how many dollars he`s brought to
Kentucky from other taxpayers.

Let`s listen to Alison Grimes` defense against the Kentucky charge that
she`s just an Obama girl.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: National Republicans have cast you as Obama
girl and one of their national spokespeople referred to you as an empty
dress.

ALISON GRIMES (D), SENATORIAL CANDIDATE, KENTUCKY: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Do you think those are appropriate? How do
you respond to that?

GRIMES: Well, It`s about as accurate as DIONNE: being a Chippendale
dancer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: E.J., she knows how to give you a sound bite.

DIONNE: She`s good. And she`s also shown herself to be very tough when
McConnell went after her really strong when her campaign started. And she
hit right back with a great ad that had some of her family in it. Her dad
is a real -- could be a real tough guy in politics. So I think McConnell
has always been known for running take no prisoners campaigns, but I think
she is capable of giving him that kind of campaign right back.

O`DONNELL: Well, as of now she`s winning. According to that poll, an
incumbent in that kind of poll against a challenger is losing. Something`s
going to have to change in this race from McConnell to comeback.

E.J. Dionne, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

DIONNE: Good to be with you.

Chris Hayes is up next.

END

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