'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
Read the transcript to the Wednesday show
THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
July 2, 2014
Guest: Howard Dean, Alor Calderon, Dahlia Lithwick
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: I wanted you to, Rachel. Rachel,
your Rand Paul interview remains the best and most important Rand Paul
interview. You can have that time. No problem.
RACHEL MADDOW, TRMS HOST: Thank you very much. I`m sorry. I look
(ph) back to you, sir. Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Thanks, Rachel. Thank you.
The First Amendment confers upon all Americans the right and the
ability to shame ourselves. Shame our families, shame our towns, shame our
country. And about 50 people in California chose to do exactly that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As this nation of immigrants gets ready to
celebrate the Fourth of July --
PROTESTER: Go home!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Border boiling point.
PROTESTER: Go back. Go back home!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The crisis involving the surge of thousands of
undocumented immigrant children and their parents crossing the border
PROTESTER: They`re not born here. They need to go back to Mexico.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A hundred forty undocumented immigrants,
including several children, were bussed into the southern California town.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hundreds of protesters blocked three bus loads of
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These people who refused to let them in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Preventing them from reaching a border patrol
processing station in Murrieta.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Protesters whose message was clear -- we don`t
want you here.
PROTESTER: Go home!
CROWD: USA! USA!
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s heartbreaking to see this, coming from the
land of opportunity.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Police and immigration officials then had to
scramble to reroute the buses to San Diego.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The fact that there has been nothing done about
dealing with the broken system, that seems unfortunate and will be
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just in time for Independence Day, a raging
battle over just whose country this really is.
O`DONNELL: Borders are not permanent, but people with short memories
think they are. Borders are not sacred. They are not God-given. Borders
are temporary, legal lines on a map, usually imaginary lines on the Earth,
because most borders do not have fences.
When people with United States citizenship stand their ground in
places like California to try to push back people arriving here across our
southern border, many of them probably don`t know that they are standing on
ground that once was Mexico. They are in a state whose name probably none
of them understand.
I spent the day here in California today asking how the state got its
name. I didn`t know. What does the word California mean? No one knew,
including people educated from kindergarten to college in California.
California is the name of a mythical island in a 16th century Spanish
novel, ruled by the mythical queen Calafia, and her warrior women, quote,
"of vigorous bodies with strong and ardent hearts."
The kinds of women who are now walking across Central America and
Mexico into the southern United States with their children. The kinds of
women who are on those buses with their children in Murrieta, 2,409 miles
from the Statue of Liberty. Those women of strong and ardent hearts and
their children saw no welcoming beacon like the Statue of Liberty in
Murrieta, California. Instead, they saw people who believe that the land
that they were on is theirs, and only theirs, and it`s always been only
There was no evidence of any of the local Native American tribes being
part of the protest group that stopped those buses. Everyone who stopped
those buses has been a beneficiary of first, the theft of those lands from
their original Native American settlers. And then the seizure of those
same lands from Mexico as a prize of war.
And the town those people have taken their stand in was named for a
Spaniard, Ezekiel Murrieta, who bought 52,000 acres there before he went
back to Spain to get married.
History is full of examples of countries seizing very large tracks of
land on their borders that then create so-called border problems for a very
long time, some of them very violent problems in some parts of the world.
California was a forbidding place for Americans to get to before it
was a state, and it was a difficult enough place to live in that Americans
did not want to. California couldn`t actually qualify for statehood until
it had a population of at least 60,000 United States citizens living there,
a number that was just impossible for California to attract.
And then gold was discovered in California, the California that used
to be Mexico. And the rest is history. Some of it is ugly history. Some
of that history we saw on display here yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PROTESTER: Go back! Go back! Go back! Go back! Go back home! Go
back to Honduras! Go back to El Salvador! Go back to Guatemala! Go back!
CROWD: USA! USA! USA!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me now former governor of Vermont, Howard Dean,
the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Steve Schmidt, a
Republican strategist and MSNBC political analyst, and Alor Calderon, the
chair of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium and the program director
of the Employee Rights Center.
Mr. Calderon, I want to get your reaction to what you saw happen in
ALOR CALDERON, SAN DIEGO IMMIGRANT RIGHTS CONSORTIUM: Thanks for the
invitation to the program.
And it`s shocking, you know, it`s been called many names. It`s
shameful, as you said. It definitely is featuring part of our culture that
a lot of us that live here in San Diego, that care for, you know,
humanitarian issues and values, we don`t like to see happening in our
O`DONNELL: I want to play something quite striking that was on Chris
Hayes` show a couple hours earlier on this network. Enrique Morones who
was there told Chris this. Let`s listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ENRIQUE MORONES: As the buses approached, as the buses approached the
border patrol facility in Murrieta, the Murrieta police almost encouraged
the protesters to stand in front of the bus, because the streets were
cleared. The buses could have easily driven in. All of a sudden, they
stopped in front of the protesters? That doesn`t make any sense.
So, then, one guy comes out and screams at the bus and the kids. So,
they see that nothing is happening. More people joined. Then the media
joined. So, there were about 40 or 50 people there, half media, half
protesters, and the Murrieta police are just standing there.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Steve Schmidt, there`s local indicators that the mayor was
-- it`s not easy to characterize right here, so I`m going to be very
careful. Let`s just say it was very active in alerting people as to when
these buses would be arriving in his town. So, there seemed to be some
local political support of what was going on out there.
And as we know, the Democratic Party stands opposed to those things we
saw going on out there. And is this something that , going forward, will
we reach a point in this kind of demonstration where some national --
Republicans with national standing will be forced to take a stand against
this kind of thing?
STEVE SCHMIDT, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Look, Lawrence, when you look
at the history of these type of issues. There have always been politicians
in both parties to have emerged to exploit the divisions that exists, that
have, you know, sought to benefit politically from deepening and widening
Obviously, when you look 59 these images, they`re shock. No human
being should treat other human beings like that, particularly women and
children who were on the buses.
But one thing I would say is that -- and I hear you on the opening, on
the hi historical issues that you raise, but, look, we are a sovereign
nation. A sovereign nation has the right to secure its borders, to allow
who comes in the country. And you know, the notion that we`re going to
have a entirely open border and anybody can come across at any time, I
would disagree with.
But that being said, we have a broken immigration system and the
result of that broken immigration system and total failures of the
politicians in Washington, particularly any party, to do anything about it,
is what`s driving this. And I think it`s going to get worse before it gets
O`DONNELL: Governor Dean, what went through your mind watching that
HOWARD DEAN, FORMER DNC CHAIRMAN: Well, first, nice to have you back.
I haven`t been on since you returned.
O`DONNELL: Thank you very much.
DEAN: Great to have you back.
Secondly, you know, I actually was asked about this earlier in the
day. I think probably the Hispanic population is lost to Republicans for a
generation. I think this is sort of the national Wilsonization (ph) of the
Republican Party. And I think it`s a disaster.
It`s a disaster for moral reasons. But it`s also a disaster because
whether it`s fair or not, these folks are going to get -- the people who
did this are going to get a line in the minds of most Latinos with the Tea
Party. And I think it`s too bad. I think it`s too bad we have this.
I do agree with Steve that a lot of this is the fault of people who
won`t do anything about this in Washington. Look, this is not -- does not
have to be a partisan issue. George Bush had a decent immigration policy,
which these people who are just mobbing -- yelling and screaming in the
street probably wouldn`t agree with.
We do have to enforce our borders. I agree with that. We also have
to have a reasonable immigration policy. We don`t have one, and it is -- I
think the Republicans keep struggling with this, and I don`t get it,
because they know they can`t win without the Hispanic vote and this is not
the way to do that.
O`DONNELL: Mr. Calderon, everyone talks about enforcing the borders,
the president does and certainly politicians on both sides always talk
about that. What we were watching in those buses was the enforcement of
the borders. Those people were in the custody of the border patrol at that
And so, tell us what you think the next step is for those people on
the buses. What happens to them?
CALDERON: And if I may, I want to answer that question. But I think
it`s -- you know, I really respect Mr. Dean`s opinion on this, but the real
issue here is this is not an immigration crisis. It`s a humanitarian
You probably have heard that people across the border have been
talking about this issue about unaccompanied minors now for three or four
years. And it`s something that got more out of control, because we`re
dealing with this as an immigration issue, and not, as we should, as a
The U.S. can be such a powerful ally, such a strong force for good and
show of strength in the world when they deal with humanitarian issues. To
think of this as a problem of the border, is to not understand who is
coming across the border and why are they coming across the border.
This is not a unique issue for the United States. This is a worldwide
phenomena. People leave countries from time to time because they are not
stable, because they need support that they`re not getting from the
international community. Therefore, they seek shelter somewhere else.
And the real question becomes, when a daughter, when a mother asks for
help, do we extend a hand or do we victimize that person, do we insult them
by showing them the door again? So, what I would say this is a
humanitarian crisis. We need FEMA, we need the other agencies. We need
the Red Cross. We need the larger civil society to understand this is a
human cris, not an immigration crisis.
And just to follow up with your question, the next step is for them to
get processed and for there to be due process, talking about enforcing the
law, having a process to which each one of those people are coming here
seeking our help as refugees, seeking our help, go through our process and
get placed in the proper places.
O`DONNELL: Steve Schmidt, I think Mr. Calderon correctly frames this
as a humanitarian crisis. Do our politics any longer have any room for a
humanitarian crisis, to be regarded as a humanitarian crisis?
SCHMIDT: It is a humanitarian crisis for sure. I think that there
are people of good will in both parties. I think what`s more jarring about
the ugliness of those images are the American flags that are carried there.
It`s an image enough to make you want to cry when you see it, because it`s
so opposite of the values of the country.
That being said, though, Lawrence, I think it`s important to
understand that what is causing this to some degree is the message that`s
being heard in Guatemala and other Central American countries, that if you
come to the United States, you`re going to be able to cross the border.
You`ll have a short detention. Then you`ll be able to have access to the
country and you`re going to be provided a check, sustenance, living by the
government of the United States. Of course, it`s a very powerful incentive
to travel north.
And so, we have a fundamentally broken immigration system that`s the
fault of politicians in both parties in Washington that is driving the
demand for people to come across the border here and is creating the
O`DONNELL: Governor Dean, this is however you phrase it, an
emergency. Those people on the buses are living an emergency. What`s
going on down there is an emergency.
What emergency measures would you want to see the government take at
DEAN: Well, first of all, we have a ton of people who have come
across the border who are not supposed to be here. Some of them are not
going to be able to send back because their countries are too violent and
they are essentially refugees. We`ve got to sort out who is a refugee and
who is here for the economic reasons.
All we have to do is follow the law that was signed by George Bush in
2008. And that`s, I think, that is what we`re in the process of doing.
What we really have to do, however, is help some of these countries
get into better shape, which means supporting law enforcement efforts,
getting rid of corruption. And some countries have done a decent job, and
a lot of them haven`t. These people are mostly coming from countries in
Central America that are -- whose governments have fallen apart and they`re
being subjected to terrible violence.
And that`s exactly why they`re coming. Plus, they heard all these
things that aren`t true.
They don`t get a check when they get here, that`s just not true.
O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, Steve Schmidt, Alor Calderon, I wish we had
more time. Thank you all very much for joining me tonight.
DEAN: Thank you.
SCHMIDT: Good to be with you, Lawrence.
CALDERON: Thank you. Thanks so much.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, should Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg retire so
that President Obama can fill her seat?
And the newly clean and sober mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, answered
some very difficult questions today.
And Joy Reid is with us to discuss FOX News` obsession with Beyonce.
O`DONNELL: Iranian television producers apparently thought the ABC
Comedy Martin family is perfect for Iranian audiences, so they stole it.
Just completely, unauthorized remake. And they basically just shot the
show, frame for frame with exactly the same stories and characters, except
for one little detail.
Here is the side by side comparison made by an Iranian fan who
illegally downloaded the American modern family. Mitchell on the right is
announcing that he and his partner Cameron have adopted a baby. And on the
left you see the Iranian version announcing the adoption of a baby with his
wife, of course.
No gay characters allowed in the Iran version. So, in Iran, modern
family just isn`t quite that modern.
Up next, the question of when should a Supreme Court justice retire,
and that pressure is on 81-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUTH BADER GINSBURG, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: I think one should stay
as long as she can do the job full steam.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Sounds perfectly reasonable, but that is one of the
reasons Republicans have controlled the Supreme Court for decades. The
last Democratic president who had a chance to nominate a chief justice of
the Supreme Court was Lyndon Johnson in 1968. And he made a mess of it.
President Johnson, who has so often been the mythologized as the
master of the Senate, watched his nominee for chief justice get blocked by
a filibuster in the Senate. Johnson didn`t have enough time left in his
presidency to nominate a chief who could get confirmed. And so, the next
chief justice, the vacancy that opened up for a Democratic President Lyndon
Johnson was then filled by Richard Nixon. Thus, beginning 45 years of
conservative chief justices.
With good health, the current conservative chief should be there
another 25 years. Republican justices have been much more successful in
handing off their seats to Republican nominees than Democrats have been.
David Leonhardt pointed this out in "The New York Times" saying the
six most conservative justices based on their voting patterns to have
retired in the last 50 years, all left the bench under a Republican
president. By contrast, only one of the six most liberal justices has
departed when a Democrat was president.
He wrote that in the recent times article, which considered the
arguments pro and con on whether Ruth Bader Ginsburg should resign her seat
on a court in time for President Obama to replace her.
Justice Ginsburg`s public opinion on this question is quite simple.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GINSBURG: The number one question is, can you do the job? Can you
think as well, can you write with the same fluency? And at my age, you
take it year by year. I`m OK this year.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me now is Dahlia Lithwick, Supreme Court
correspondent for "Slate."
A lot of people get nervous when the best kind of health answer she
can give is, I`m OK this year.
DAHLIA LITHWICK, SLATE: I think if she were to say, here is my really
deep political thought about how I can rejigger the entire court to swing
to the left, people would be more nervous. So she did exactly what Supreme
Court justices do when asked that question, which is to say this is not
something we think about.
Now, Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice John Paul Steven has said,
it`s perfectly appropriate to think about who`s going to replace you when
you plan your retirement, but I don`t think asking her while she`s sitting
on the court, why won`t you step aside for someone younger so that Obama
can replace them, is going to get an answer that is going to satisfy
O`DONNELL: No, of course not. And I think you would never get a hint
of a justice resigning until they resign normally. And so, that`s why I
think this discussion proceeds with the acknowledgement that we don`t
really know what her private thoughts are. That`s why I prefer to them as
her public comments.
But let`s listen to what John Paul Stevens said about this very point.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN PAUL STEVENS, RETIRED SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: My decision was not
made for any political reason whatsoever. It was my concern about my own
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think it`s something that justices should
take into account?
STEVENS: I think so. I think it`s certainly naturally -- it`s an
appropriate thing to think about your successor. You`re interested in the
job and in the kind of work that`s done. You have to have an interest in
who is going to fill your shoes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, if Justice Ginsburg came to you and asked your
STEVENS: I`d say she doesn`t need my advice, she really doesn`t.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very wise.
STEVENS: It`s interesting, because she did ask my advice when she
became the senior associate justice. Basically I gave her that same
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Dahlia, they`re a lot more chatty when they retired.
What do you think is -- if you see it clearly, what do you think is
the right strategic decision for Justice Ginsburg to make at this point?
LITHWICK: I think it`s so hard, Lawrence. Because in your intro when
you talked about the colossal screw-up of LBJ, what we forget is the power
none of us have is clairvoyance. So, you can try to be strategic, but I
don`t think he knew that Fortas was going to be a disaster.
By the same token, and I think that`s something strange that thinking
that Ginsburg isn`t (a), aware that she`s 81. And (b), aware that Obama
may not get re-elected. She knows these things, and I think it`s also
worth saying this is the woman who is the head of the women`s rights
division at the ACLU, created the entire strategic architecture for equal
rights as we know it. She`s not lacking in strategic thinking. I think
she just doesn`t want to share it with us.
O`DONNELL: Well, I -- you know, one thing I wonder about is would you
get a real replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg through the senate with the
way President Obama stands with the senate now? That`s one issue. You
might not be able to get someone who is, quote, "as good" as Ruth Bader
Ginsburg from the liberal perspective.
And the other thing is, the next president, as we sit here tonight, if
you`re playing the odds, is very likely to be Hillary Clinton, based on
what we know about all the possibilities of running for president as of
right now. And to the risk factor that Justice Ginsburg is playing with
seems to me, if you`re doing political risk factoring, to be quite minimal
at this point.
LITHWICK: I agree. I think I really want to go back to your first
point, which is in the same week that Justice Ginsburg wrote a uniquely
Ginsburg-ish dissent in the Hobby Lobby case, someone that no one else I
think could have written, we`re not going to get another former ACLU lawyer
confirmed at the court. We`ll be lucky to get a moderate confirmed at the
And so, it seems to me that a bird in the hand in this case is worth
an awful lot, and that Ginsburg represents I think an end of a real era at
the court. And I think she`s also speaking in this fulsome, gorgeous voice
representing that which some of the justices don`t see anymore. So, it
seems to me that this notion that we need to push her aside based on this
contingency plan, let her be. She`s doing a great job.
O`DONNELL: Well, you know, my vote is for her to hang in there and to
actually handle it the way she`s handling it, which is as long as she feels
up to it.
And I guess my full disclosure here must include that I worked for a
United States senator two helped push her nomination forward to Bill
Clinton. He urged her as one of the possibilities for that job.
And, Dahlia, this is interesting, during her Senate confirmation
hearings, she actually hung out in my office at the Senate Finance
Committee during breaks and before the hearings, because it was the closest
safe room for her to the hearing where she had to go into for the big
performance every day.
So I have a particular fondness for this judge staying on the bench
for as long as she wants.
Dahlia Lithwick, thank you. They must be in your ear saying don`t say
another word, we`re way into overtime here. Is that what they say?
OK. Dahlia, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
LITHWICK: Thanks for having me.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, we are moving on. Target takes a stand against
O`DONNELL: In the spotlight tonight, Target gives in to common sense.
Today, the Target Corporation became the latest in a growing list of
businesses that have asked customers not to bring guns into their stores,
even if the law allows it. Why did Target have to publicly ask people to
use that simple common sense?
Because of this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(voice-over): Open carry groups like Open Carry Texas have inspired
some people to go shopping with semiautomatic rifles slung over their
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: After pressure from gun safety groups and long after
Chipotle and Starbucks took action on this issue, Target finally
acknowledged the obvious, allowing semiautomatic rifles in their stores is
a very bad idea. A statement from the Target interim CEO says, in part,
"Our approach has always been to follow local laws and of course, we`ll
continue to do so. But starting today, we`ll respectfully request that
guests not bring firearms to Target, even in communities where it is
permitted by law. This is a complicated issue but it boils down to a
simple belief bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at
odds with the family friendly shopping and work experience we strive to
Joining me now is Jamie Adams, the Texas chapter leader Moms Demand
Action for Gun Sense in America.
Jamie, this is a big win for your team. You`ve been working on this
for a while. Where do you go from here?
JAMIE ADAMS, MOMS DEMAND ACTION: Well, you know, today we`re really
thankful that Target responded quickly to the call of nearly 400,000
Americans, and asked their customers to no longer bring guns into their
stores. You know moms were really horrified to find out that there were
customers were bringing in loaded rifles on to the same aisles where we
were shopping for diapers and baby toys.
But we`re glad that Target joined other organizations such as
Starbucks and Facebook, Chipotle and Chili`s in recognizing, you know, the
power that moms are in terms of, you know, they`re just a true political
force and as consumer group. There`s a lot of power there. But they
recognize you can still support the second amendment and also provide a
safe shopping or eating environment for your customers.
That`s positive safety changes made by one of America`s largest
retailers is proof, we feel, of the power of the voices of women and moms
and we`re going to harness that power going forward. You know we`re not
longer going to let our legislators -- we will not stand idly by as our
legislators just continue to sit and do nothing about gun violence
prevention. Gun violence kills eight children and teens every day in this
country. And moms are fed up. And we`re going to the polls and vote on
gun violence prevention and we`re going to make an impact.
O`DONNELL: Jamie, the 400,000 people you mentioned who Target was
responding to, those were signatures obtained by you. It wasn`t just
400,000 people spontaneously gathered. You had to do the work of getting
that response and delivering that to Target and letting them see it. I
have say, for Target, the most important thing that Target does from my
perspective on this is, as I understand it, they don`t sell guns.
ADAMS: That is correct. You know, in states like Texas and other
states, there are -- we don`t have comprehensive background checks in
place. And so, in order to carry rifles such as the ones being carried
through the stores -- the aisles in Target, no training is required, no
licensing is required. So from our perspective, you know, it was just --
it`s a danger. So as moms, we don`t want to put our kids in that
environment. Our kids have active shooter drills in school. We don`t want
them diving down in Target. So we`re glad they made this decision.
O`DONNELL: Jamie Adams, congratulations on succeeding with your
campaign with Target and thanks very much for joining us tonight.
ADAMS: Thank you for having me on.
O`DONNELL: In the Rewrite tonight, after two months in rehab, Toronto
Mayor Rob Ford took questions from reporters today, and every question was
a tough one.
We`ll show you the video.
O`DONNELL: And now for the good news.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(voice-over): Only4RM tweeted this recently, "Lawrence, for your good
news file, the FDA approves the ReWalk exoskeleton allowing paralyzed
people to walk again."
The ReWalk system allows people with certain spinal cord injuries and
paralysis below the waist to walk using leg braces with motion sensors
crutches and a little help with an assistant. The trial studies showed
that the device achieved not just the miracle of putting people on their
feet again, but they regained health benefits like muscle strength,
stamina, and no surprise here, their moods improve.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The Rewrite is next with Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR ROB FORD, TORONTO, CANADA: I`m ashamed, embarrassed, and
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That was Toronto Mayor Rob Ford as we have never seen him
before. On Monday, when he emerged from two months of drug and alcohol
rehab in Canada, he frustrated the Toronto media that day by not taking
Today, the mayor did take some questions, and they were not easy.
CBC`s Dwight Drummond began by showing the mayor an infamous picture of rob
ford with a crack pipe.
DWIGHT DRUMMOND, CBC NEWS REPORTER: Can you talk about what`s going
on in this picture? Is this catalyst that sent you to rehab?
FORD: That`s why I went to rehab. I have a disease for a number of
years. And I was ruining my life. My health was in jeopardy. My job as a
mayor. It was very hard to do.
DRUMMOND: What`s happening here? I mean, we can guess what`s
happening, but can you tell us what`s happening here in this picture, is it
what it looks like?
FORD: Exactly what it looks like.
DRUMMOND: Is that a crack pipe?
FORD: Yes, it is.
DRUMMOND: And what was happening?
FORD: I was smoking crack.
O`DONNELL: And the questions did not get any easier.
DRUMMOND: You blamed a lot of your mistakes on being in a drunken
stupor. And some people would say when you take alcohol, it actually
lessens your inhibitions that it actually takes down that filter, and you
say what you really believe.
You said some really hurtful, degrading things about people of color,
about gay people, members of the LGBT community, Italians, about Jews. If
those things aren`t in your heart, why are they coming out of your mouth
with such frequency?
FORD: When you have a disease that I realized that I have, I can`t
even imagine using that terminology.
DRUMMOND: But you have, many times. It`s on tape.
FORD: I don`t deny that. I think that goes along with having this
disease. It`s a chronic medical condition that I never understood. And
you do things, you say things that just aren`t you. I take full
responsibility, Dwight, I take full responsibility of what I`ve said and
what I`ve done. All I can do is apologize and deal with this disease.
This is an everyday battle that I`m going to have to deal with for the rest
of my life. It`s the beginning of a long, long journey. And I`m going to
battle this disease until the day I die.
DRUMMOND: So you`re not a racist or homophobic, it was all just
FORD: None whatsoever.
DRUMMOND: This is one of the inclusive cities which has a successful
word world pride, how can you be a leader of this city with those things on
FORD: When you have this disease, you say and do things that aren`t
DRUMMOND: You`ve apologized before, though, and you said it`s over
before. You had your come to Jesus moment. But then more videos, more
everything else comes out. Why should we believe you at this point after
all that`s happened? Why should we believe you that now you`ve finally
changed that you hit rock bottom and this is it? If you`ve been doing the
job of the city council all these years and taking drugs and getting away
FORD: You say I`ve lied to people and I`ve not lied before?
DRUMMOND: You said that. You admitted that.
FORD: The person I was lying to the most was myself. And until I
realized that I had this disease, you can never, ever try to cover up.
FORD: You`re absolutely right. You`re absolutely right.
DRUMMOND: Now, the other question, this question came in through e-
mails and through Twitters from our audience and from viewers.
They want to know if now you will finally speak to investigators about
some of these people, and you`re the chief magistrate, right? You`re the
mayor of this town. How can you not cooperate with police investigations
and speak to them about some of these people you`ve been associated with
that are known criminals?
FORD: Well, again, regardless of my alcoholism and my substance abuse
problem, this is handled through my lawyer, Dennis Morris. I think anybody
in my position would get legal advice, and that`s exactly what I`ve done.
So I think obviously it`s before the courts.
DRUMMOND: But can you see why somebody as a member of the public
would expect the mayor to speak to investigators, if sequestered, can you
FORD: Absolutely. But if your lawyer says do not, you listen to your
lawyer. And I have the top criminal lawyer in Canada. So I think Mr.
Morris would be the best person to address that.
O`DONNELL: The mayor was asked about a woman he apparently met at
Green Stone, the rehab facility and allowed to use his car. While the
mayor was still in rehab, the woman was arrested and charged with drunk
driving while she was driving the mayor`s car.
FORD: She`s a resident at Green Stone and I cannot get into any
information about any confidential information, about any resident.
DRUMMOND: You can`t tell us that you gave her the keys? It`s nothing
to do with her rehab. Did you give her the keys? Did she take the vehicle
without your knowledge?
DRUMMOND: She took it without your knowledge?
FORD: I gave her the keys. But again, if you`re asking question
about this individual, what happened to Green Stone, this is all
DRUMMOND: Was she making a liquor run? Or hide it --
FORD: Again, I think --
DRUMMOND: Was she there when you gave her the keys? Do you have
O`DONNELL: The mayor`s one day at a time recovery results seemed to
guide him throughout this interview, which ended this way.
DRUMMOND: We`re getting the wrap sign. And I know you have other
interviews to do today.
If evidence comes forth that you have fallen off the wagon, everything
you saying to me today about your sickness, about your getting evidences
surfaces after this that you have fallen off the wagon, will you resign
then? Will you go away and get the help that you need?
FORD: But wait, I know I didn`t drink yesterday. I know haven`t
drink today. I`m taking it one day at a time.
DRUMMOND: No guarantees that we might not be talking about this next
FORD: I did not drink yesterday and I haven`t drink today. And I
take one day at a time.
DRUMMOND: Will you step away though, will you resign?
FORD: I`m going to repeat myself again. Again, I didn`t drink
yesterday. I haven`t drink today. And with this disease, you must take it
one day at a time. And that`s exactly what I`ve learned, and that`s
exactly what I`m doing.
O`DONNELL: Last night in the Rewrite, I told you about the FOX News
guy who during a recent conversation about the hobby lobby decision
identified what he and he alone thinks is an important new voting block.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Having access to contraception is not in the
constitution. She`s dead wrong about that. And Hillary Clinton, I`m not
surprised. This is her bread and butter. This is how is going to try to
win the White House. This is what she going to. She needs the single
lady`s votes, I call them the Beyonce voters, the single ladies. Obama
won, the single ladies by 76 percent last time and they made up a quarter
of the electorate. They depend on government because they`re not depending
on their husbands. They need things and contraception, health care, and
they love to talk about equal pay.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That`s right. The Beyonce voters. Even though Beyonce is
married, the FOX News guy refers to unmarried women voters as Beyonce
voters because of Beyonce`s six-year-old hit song entitled "Single ladies."
And according to the FOX News guy, Beyonce voters represent one of the only
two types of victim that vote in this country. Those types are, women who
depend on their husbands for contraception and health care. And women who
depend on their government for contraception and health care.
And this claim was disputed by none of the women on that FOX News
panel. Now, maybe this FOX News guy has Beyonce on the brain because he
often appears on O`Reilly Factor, a place where Beyonce is credited with a
lot more on just how unmarried woman vote.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMES O`REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST (voice-over): She puts out a new album
with a video that glorifies the sex at the back of limousine. Teenage girls
look up to Beyonce, particularly girls of color, she`s an idol to them.
(on camera): I`m saying, why on earth would this woman do that? My
chief complaint is for adults I couldn`t care less. But she knows -- this
woman knows that young girls getting pregnant in the African-American
community now, it`s about 70 percent out of wedlock. She knows and doesn`t
seem to care.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me now is the host of MSNBC`s, "The Reid Report,"
Joy Reid , this is a serious subject. No chuckling. Joy, go ahead,
the floor is yours. I could waste our time and frame a question, but just
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST, THE REID REPORT: Well I mean last night,
Lawrence, I think you did the right thing by playing, actually, the lyrics
to one of Beyonce`s more popular hits in which she talks all the women who
are independent and which she talks about the shoes I`m wearing, I bought
it. And start with the fact that Beyonce made about $115 million last
year, that she and her husband, Jay-Z, have a net worth of something like
$900 million. So she can afford to buy her own contraception.
There`s they have been an issue with Beyonce depending on her husband
or anybody else. I mean, this is a woman who should be a conservative
dream come true. She is married. They got married, she and Jay-Z. Then
they had their daughter. Everybody who is Beyonce fan knows that she`s a
married mom. And her album, which they`re so deriding, is about, you know,
women still having an active hot sex life with their husband, because she
wrote half the thing about Jay-Z.
So I`m really not sure I understand the objection to Beyonce. She
seems to me to be living up to the conservatives say they want.
O`DONNELL: And it was kind of stunning to watch that panel on FOX
News where the FOX News guy identifies only two kinds of women who exist in
America, those who are dependent on their husbands and unmarried women, all
of whom are dependent on government.
REID: Yes. And it`s incredible that they`re doing this around the
hobby lobby decision which is about women who work. Women who have a job.
And women who supposedly have benefits. It`s not a question of whether or
not women who work for hobby lobby want Uncle Sam, or Uncle Sugar as
Republicans flag to refer to him, to give them contraceptives. It`s about
whether their earned benefit which they earned as part of their salary,
should be then dictated and micromanaged by their boss. Meaning that you
have the eye benefit, but your boss doesn`t like that particular type of
glasses that really you shouldn`t have those, because those aren`t right
for you, dear. And it`s this idea that women have no agency and that built
in and wonder why they have problems with women?
O`DONNELL: Joy Reid, you can watch Joy Reid`s "Reid Report" everyday
at 2 p.m. Eastern. Joy Reid gets the night`s Last Word.
Thank you, Joy.
REID: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.
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