Skip navigation

'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Read the transcript to the Wednesday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed

Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
Date: November 19, 2014

Guest: Robert Costa, Henry Fernandez, Chris Hazard, Anita Freeman, Jim
Tilmon


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Rachel, I just have one question. Does
Nick always wear a t-shirt under his t-shirt?

RACHEL MADDOW, "TRMS" HOST: He is a very tidy man. He`s very tidy and I
don`t think I can speak for him beyond that.

O`DONNELL: Ok, so it`s not just because you`re a family show, and you
didn`t want a moment where Nick might reveal his upper nakedness.

MADDOW: I`ll have him text you about it later.

O`DONNELL: OK, all right.

MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.

Buffalo, New York, is used to snowstorm, but the people there are now
shocked by the six feet of snow that is burying their area. At least one
body has been found buried in the snow.

And today would have been Brittany Maynard`s 30th birthday, and her family
released a new video that she made before she died.

But first, President Obama is finally ready to announce how he will use
executive action to provide work permits to millions of undocumented
immigrants.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Outrage has owned the day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Republicans seem to be gearing up for war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John Boehner referring to emperor Obama.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ted Cruz is calling him a monarch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get a grip.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They all say that the president is overstepping his
authority.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Steps that I can take to
start fixing our broken immigration system.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He does not want to go down as the deporter-in-chief.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president seems to be fed up.

OBAMA: Washington has allowed the problem to fester for too long.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doing what he has to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Creating a very big political firestorm.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Why couldn`t he wait to see what this new
Congress does?

SEN. HARRY REID (R), NEVADA: We`ve given them time, 510 days to be exact.

JOSH EARNEST, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president has decided it`s
time to move forward.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For a lame duck, President Obama sure is ruffling a
whole lot of feathers.

GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: It`s the audacity of a power grab.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: It`s the height of arrogance.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stop making threats and respect the Constitution.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get a grip.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Many of those Tea Party types are saying
shut down the government.

JON STEWART, COMEDIAN: You don`t govern through executive order. You
govern through shut downs and impeachment.

WALKER: I think the Congress, that they could reform it (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Friends of lawsuits.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ready your lawyers.

WALKER: The president doesn`t get to make it up himself.

STEWART: He should be working with Congress to do nothing together.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O`DONNELL: We`re now less than 24 hours away from the official beginning
of the immigration showdown.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Hi, everybody. Tomorrow night, I`m going to be announcing hire
from the White House some steps that I can take to start fixing our broken
immigration system. What I`m going to be laying is the things that I can
do with my lawful authority as president to make the system better, even as
I work with Congress to encourage them to get a bipartisan comprehensive
bill that can solve the entire problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: President Obama`s announcement tomorrow night could allow work
permits to be issued to almost half of the 11 million undocumented
immigrants in the country today.

Republican outrage continues to mount.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

OBAMA: This is something I struggled with throughout my presidency. The
problem is that I`m the president of the United States. I`m not the
emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.
And Congress right now has not changed what I consider to be a broken
immigration system.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: So, he was telling people a year ago,
hey, chill. I`m not an emperor. I can`t do it.

What he didn`t say was, I don`t care about any of that. The only thing
that`s stopping me is an election coming up. And when the election is
over, that`s when I`ll do it. I`m not going to do that before that because
I`ll hurt my party and maybe me. He should have just told them to be
patient until wait until after the election because he doesn`t believe he`s
not an emperor. He is an emperor and he`s going to prove it whenever he
does this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: The spoken for the Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner
said, "If Emperor Obama ignores the American people and announces an
amnesty plan that he himself has said over and over again extends his
constitutional authority, he will cement his legacy of lawlessness and ruin
the chances for congressional action on this issue and many others."

In an op-ed for "Politico", Ted Cruz said, "It is lawless, it is
unconstitutional, he is defiant and angry at the American people. If we
acts by executive diktat, President Obama will not be acting as president.
He will be acting as a monarch."

Ted Cruz then gave Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell his marching
orders, "If the president announces" -- let`s see. "If the president
announces executive amnesty, the new Senate majority leader who takes over
in January should announce that the 114th Congress will not confirm a
single nominee, executive or judicial, outside of vital national security
positions, so long as the illegal amnesty persists. Additionally, the new
Congress should exercise the power of the purse bypassing individual
appropriations bills authorizing critical functions of government and
attaching riders to strip the authority from the president to grant
amnesty."

Tonight, President Obama invited eight Democratic senators and 11
Democratic House members to dinner to discuss his immigration plan. When
asked why Republicans were not invited, White House Press Secretary Josh
Earnest said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EARNEST: Sadly, if it were only dinner that was required to get
Republicans to act in bipartisan fashion, then we would have passed
bipartisan compromise immigration reform legislation quite some time ago.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now, Robert Costa, national political reporter for
"The Washington Post", and Henry Fernandez, a senior fellow at the Center
for American Progress.

Henry Fernandez, what is your understanding of the president`s legal
authority that you expect him to cite tomorrow night?

HENRY FERNANDEZ, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: Well, it will be
interesting to see what the president says. He certainly has very broad
legal authority, Lawrence. This is something that`s been done by a number
of presidents, certainly all 11 presidents going back to Eisenhower have
used executive action on immigration.

So, he has broad legal authority. He -- under the theory of prosecutorial
discretion, which all executive officers have, and he can move aggressively
to create legal opportunities for millions of people who are currently
undocumented.

We`re currently deporting 1,000 people a day. This is something that has
to stop. It`s tearing families apart. Unfortunately, Congress hasn`t
acted. Actually the Senate did act, but the House hasn`t acted.

And so, he`s taking steps that he has clear legal authority to do so. And
we look forward to this being a bold move by the president to make a real
difference for families that are is really suffering.

O`DONNELL: Robert Costa, I haven`t heard a Democrat able to cite -- an
elected Democrat in Washington able to cite the legal authority for the
president. I did have an immigration law expert on here showing some of
the legal authority the president has, but I also have not heard a single
Republican cite what they believe is the legal basis for their objection.

What is their legal citation, Robert, that says the president does not have
authority to do this?

ROBERT COSTA, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, there are a lot of lawyers in
congress, but it`s really not a legal nit-pick argument they`re making.
It`s a broad constitutional one. They think the president is operating,
creating law without constitutional authority. He`s doing it around
Congress and that`s irritated them. It`s infuriated them.

O`DONNELL: But, Robert, the 1986 immigration reform law, the legal
precedent established first by John Lennon in his legal case and others
have shown that there is this prosecutorial discretion, there is this power
that the president, through the attorney general has about deferred action.
There are these citations that I can offer that I`ve learned on this show
from the legal experts.

I haven`t heard one word from Republicans other than unconstitutional. But
when you stand in front of the Supreme Court and you say unconstitutional,
you have got to cite statutes and precedents that indicate it`s
unconstitutional.

COSTA: Well, one thing to watch, Lawrence, is what I`m hearing from allies
of McConnell and Speaker Boehner is that they`re going to use the courts.
They`re not really sure of the arguments to use, so they`re going to have a
lawsuit against the president, sue the administration.

O`DONNELL: But, Henry Fernandez, the other reaction here, I mean, Ted Cruz
has an interesting inconsistency in his statement. He says it`s completely
unconstitutional, it`s lawless and then his final line is, they should
attach riders to certain bills, quote, "to strip the authority from the
president to grant amnesty."

So, in his final line, he has granted to the president the authority. This
is Harvard law school student Ted Cruz.

But other thing they can do, I mean, if they really believe the authority
isn`t there, they can immediately in January pass legislation that
specifies that the authority is not there and specifically remove this kind
of prosecutorial discretion, which does now exist in the law.

FERNANDEZ: Well, I think they certainly have a problem in that. They
probably wouldn`t get that through the Senate and then beyond that, it
would be vetoed by the president.

O`DONNELL: Right, that`s the big challenge here.

FERNANDEZ: But they could also take -- they could also take a more serious
step which is they could pass comprehensive immigration reform. I think
it`s pretty clear that if the Senate bill was given an up or down vote now
in the House, it would pass.

COSTA: It`s never going to happen.

FERNANDEZ: I don`t disagree that that`s not going to happen. My point is
simply that here, we have a situation where the House has created this
problem, and to say it`s unconstitutional is really, I think, pushing the
bounds of just serious discussion. We actually had the federal society,
which is kind of the hallmark of conservative lawyerdom had a conference
last week, and they brought together a series of conservative lawyers to
talk about just this issue. And they all agreed that he had broad
discretion to do exactly this.

O`DONNELL: Robert Costa, your last word on this. Go ahead.

COSTA: Well, I would just say the Republicans are in a difficult position
right now. They`re not sure if they`re going to be able to have their
agenda they want early in the year, tax reform, trade agreements. They`re
boxed into now a fight over government funding.

And Ted Cruz talking about holding up nominations, using a series of
spending bills puts the leadership in a tough position.

O`DONNELL: Yes, completely changes -- potentially completely changes
whatever their agenda was going to be.

Thank you, Robert Costa and Henry Fernandez. Thank you very much both for
joining me tonight.

FERNANDEZ: Thank you, Lawrence. Thank you.

O`DONNELL: At the Republican Governors Association today, Wisconsin
Governor Scott Walker and Texas Governor Rick Perry suggested the pocket of
suing President Obama over his immigration executive order.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALKER: I wouldn`t push a shutdown. I think you go to court.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You would go to the court? You wouldn`t do this
legislatively?

WALKER: I`d go to the courts because I think there`s a pretty compelling
argument.

GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: Greg Abbott, who is new -- incoming governor
of Texas, who, by the way, is going to be just a fabulous governor, his job
description over the last six years when he was asked, what do you do? He
said, I go to the office, I sue Obama, and I go home.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you think Texas will have the authority to challenge
the implementation of this executive order?

PERRY: I do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now, MSNBC political correspondent Kasie Hunt, who
is at today`s Republican governors meeting.

Kasie, I want to show Republican Governor John Kasich`s reaction, which is
completely different to everything we`ve heard from Republicans today.
Let`s listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: The issue of citizenship, I`ve heard lots of
voices on it. And I`m not closed to it. You know why? Because everybody
in this country has to feel as though they have an opportunity.

Everybody -- I mean, I know what they did. I know they jumped the line. I
don`t like it. There`s a lot of people who have gone through legally who
have not jumped the line who are bitter about this.

But at the end of the day, it may be necessary. I`m open to it, I will
tell you that. I`m open to it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Kasie Hunt, can a Republican governor at that meeting get away
with saying "I`m open to it"?

KASIE HUNT, MSNBC POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: At this meeting Lawrence, sure.
Now, if he wants to run for president in 2016, I`m not sure it would
survive the gauntlet of the Republican primary.

I mean, Kasich`s answer was really striking because it was so different
from every other Republican governor who was on the stage. You know, I
interviewed three of them today, Mike Pence from Indiana, Bobby Jindal from
Louisiana, and Scott Walker from Wisconsin, and I pressed all of them after
they discussed their opposition to this executive order on what they would
do with the millions of people who are here illegally.

There`s something that has to be done and they all do acknowledge that this
is a problem, but they can`t come up with a policy prescription. All they
say is, we need to secure the border. And I think, you know, as we look
made to 2016, that`s really going to be the tough spot that some of these
potential candidates are in.

Chris Christie was also asked today whether or not he would overturn this
executive order if he were to get elected president. He refused to answer,
because he said it was a hypothetical.

But I think the first person that you might ask about this subject on the
Republican side is actually Mitt Romney. And he learned the hard way about
what the primary process can do on this issue to set you up badly for the
general election.

O`DONNELL: Kasie, did anyone explain to Chris Christie that every question
asked of a presidential candidate is a hypothetical?

HUNT: I`m not sure that will get you far with Governor Christie. But I
will say he was pressed on multiple occasions. I asked him one question,
Dan Balz of "The Washington Post" asked him several, he wouldn`t say
whether or not he was supportive of a path to legalization. Again, he says
that`s something that would only come if he were to declare his candidacy.

That said, he`s still the sitting governor of New Jersey.

O`DONNELL: Kasie Hunt, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

HUNT: Thanks, Lawrence. Good to see you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the woman who had this wall of snow come into her
house will join me to talk about the intense deadly winter snow that`s
buried homes and cars in Upstate New York.

And drones have been spotted by commercial airline pilots near New York`s
Kennedy Airport flight path. This is a very dangerous situation for anyone
landing, taking off at JFK.

And in the "Rewrite" tonight, I have once again found a perfectly
legitimate, contemporary, news of the day reason to run what could be my
favorite political sound bite of all time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT: Fool me once, shame on -- shame on you.
Fool me -- you can`t get fooled again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: I promise you, it is going to be completely justified. That
video has actually earned its place in tonight`s "Rewrite." This is not
just a gratuitous reach back to try to pull it into the show. You be the
judge. Stick around for the "Rewrite".

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: And now for the bad news. The world is headed for a chocolate
shortage. People are now consuming 70,000 more tons of cocoa annually than
are being produced. And by 2020, the deficit will grow to 1 million tons
per year. Demand for chocolate is growing in Asia and there`s more of a
demand for dark chocolate, of course, which takes more cocoa to make than
milk chocolate. Ghana and Ivory Coast produced the majority of the world`s
cocoa, but they are suffering through dry weather and some crops have been
hit by a fungus outbreak.

So, you know, it looks like we`re just going to have to share.

Up next, I just got off a phone from a friend of mine in Buffalo. That
deadly snowstorm is beyond anything people up there have ever seen before.
The storm just won`t stop. It`s going t obe next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Early this morning, a 46-year-old man was found dead buried
under snow in an automobile 20 miles east of Buffalo. A state of emergency
remains in effect tonight in western New York where a massive storm left
parts of Buffalo buried under nearly sick feet of snow.

The National Weather Service says the next round of lake-effect snow is
passing through Upstate New York tonight, possibly bringing an additional
two feet of snow to Erie County by tomorrow evening. Right now, members of
the National Guard are coordinating with local and state officials to help
with the response. There have been seven deaths related to the storm.

Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo said all occupants of passenger vehicles stuck
on the New York state throughway have been evacuated. And he urged people
to stay indoors.

Major snowstorms are, of course, common in Buffalo, but these last two days
have left people there shocked.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNDIENTIFIED MALE: I saw Buffalo, West Seneca, it`s slammed. They got
three to four feet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: To come down this fast in this short of time, it`s
nothing like I`ve seen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s happened before, but never this deep.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This was kind of crazy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four feet of snow is insane. I mean --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In one day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In one day or a day and a half.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But to not even be technically called a blizzard. It
wasn`t even a blizzard.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve seen lake-effect snow but it`s rare how it set
up, just stood there and said, hey, here you go, western New York, enjoy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Joining me now from Cheektowaga, New York, is NBC News
correspondent Sarah Dallof.

Sarah, do we have any idea how many people are trapped in their homes at
this point?

SARAH DALLOF, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, good evening, Lawrence.

We don`t have an exact number, but we can illustrate to you just how this
is happening and how many people are trapped inside their homes.

I`m actually standing several feet above a side street, a neighborhood
street where you can see these homes just feet of snow backed on the roof.
Just a few minutes ago, we met two people with groceries in their hands.
They were taking food to their elderly aunt who was stranded inside her
home. She has no way of getting in or getting out. In fact, the only
people who can access this road who are not on foot are snowmobilers.

Take a look at this speed limit sign behind me. That will give you just an
idea of just how deep this snow on this street is. And then you come down,
you walk down several feet here and now you are actually on the roads.
This gives you an idea of why authorities are cautioning people to stay
indoors and stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary.

They`re describing this as a three-part storm. Part one was that huge up
to six feet of snowstorm in the area. Now we`re moving into phase two.
That`s up to two feet of snow overnight. Phase three, they say, is going
to come over the weekend when the temperatures warm and we have potential
flooding.

So, people here dealing with a long week, Lawrence, of inclement weather, a
long week of dangerous conditions for them.

O`DONNELL: We`re joined now by Chris Hazard. She is on -- joining us by
phone from her resident.

And, Chris, we`re showing what appears to be your front door where, I
guess, the door opened and your house filled with snow. Tell us about
that.

CHRIS HAZARD, RESIDENT (via telephone): That`s actually my backdoor. The
French doors that have you see, the snow fell off the roof and joined the
six feet of snow on the ground and the door just couldn`t take the
pressure. They just blew right in.

O`DONNELL: Are you trapped in the house now, or can you get out?

HAZARD: We do have access to get out on to, you know -- we`re fully
surrounded by feet of snow, but if we were to open the garage door, we
would be able to crawl out.

O`DONNELL: And are you aware, have you been in contact with your neighbors
by phone? How many people in your neighborhood are in your situation?

HAZARD: It`s all around us. The firefighters that came actually had to
walk a couple blocks in the 60s.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are we clear?

O`DONNELL: What do you need now besides warm weather to warm what`s
outside and snow removal?

HAZARD: Just to make sure everyone is safe. It`s very dangerous. .

O`DONNELL: And, Chris, I understand today is your four-year wedding
anniversary. I think you`re going to remember this one for a long time.

HAZARD: Oh, absolutely.

O`DONNELL: And how many people are staying in the house with you Chris?

HAZARD: Myself, my husband, we have five children here as well as three of
the children`s friends.

O`DONNELL: And you`re warm enough and you have enough food?

HAZARD: Oh, yes.

O`DONNELL: All right. Great to hear from you, Chris Hazard. Hang in
there, the snow will eventually go away.

And Sarah Dallof, also, thank you very much.

Thank you both for joining me tonight.

Coming up, Brittany Maynard would have been 30 today if she hadn`t chosen
to end her life weeks before cancer would have ended her life. A message
she wanted me to save until today is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: In the spotlight tonight, Brittany Maynard, she would have
turned 30 today. And to mark her birthday, the Brittany Maynard Fund
released this new video.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRITTANY MAYNARD: I hope for the sake of other American citizens, all
these people that I`m speaking to that I`ve never met, that I`ll never
meet, that this choice be extended to you. That this right that we
mobilize, that we localize, that we start to talk about it.

I decided to share my story because I felt like this issue of death with
dignity is misunderstood by many people in our community and culture. And
I really wanted people to understand that.

As I went through the process of being approved for death with dignity that
I felt very valued by my physicians here and very protected. There`s no
way I could have possibly been coerced into this.

It`s not a fear-based choice. It`s a logic-based choice. And coming to
realize how much our culture fears death and shuns death and how much of
the medical community almost -- on the patient side, like it feels as
though they view death as a failure, which I understand, except for not
when you`re dealing with terminally ill patients because by definition they
are dying.

If I can play even the smallest part in helping to reduce fear or
misunderstanding, then it`s worth speaking up for.

ANITA FREEMAN, ASSISTED SUICIDE ADVOCATE: We`ve got to have death with
dignity. She wanted it, and anyone that`s watching this, contact your
assemblyman. Contact your politicians who vote on this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know my family will continue to carry this torch
along for me, that they`ll believe in the importance of what I`m doing.

If there`s one message to come away with from everything that I`ve been
through, it is no matter what life kind of presents you with is never be
afraid to use your own voice. And even if you are uncertain, even if your
voice is shaking, ask the questions you want to ask, speak up for yourself,
advocate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: Since Brittany Maynard`s first video,
legislatures in Pennsylvania have introduced a Death with Dignity bill and
last week in New Jersey, the Death with Dignity Act passed in the state
assembly.

The issue has also recently been debated in Connecticut, Massachusetts,
Maine and New Hampshire, and according to the group Compassionate and
Choices, legislators in nearly a dozen states will introduce legislation
next year.

Joining me now is Anita Freeman who you just saw featured in that video.

Anita, I know that your sister Elizabeth died of stage four cancer and you
now volunteer with Compassion and Choices. It seems that Brittany`s
message has gotten out there, and there has been a -- this seems to be some
real political movement now thanks to Brittany.

FREEMAN: Absolutely. If it wasn`t for Brittany, this message would not
have gone national. And now, because of her, and other people`s stories,
we`re able to keep the momentum going. We have got to somehow get our
lawmakers in California where I live to give us this freedom, to give us
this ability to choose what happens to us when we`re terminal. We`re of
sound mind.

We want that choice to go to sleep peacefully with our families surrounding
us and not have to endure the nightmare my sister had to endure, that I
stood and watched helplessly. And we got no help when the morphine
wouldn`t work and Fentanyl patches, and anything that we tried to get her
some comfort from the agonizing pain. It just didn`t work. And we had to
endure that.

O`DONNELL: Anita, it`s interesting to me looking at the map of the states
that approved this, only five approved it in the -- at the level that
Oregon does, but Montana, Washington and Oregon. It`s an interesting
cluster in the northwest where this has -- this notion has taken hold. And
it seems to me when you stare at that map, you know, California really with
the momentum coming out of Brittany`s so visible choice, that there really
should be some movement on this in California.

FREEMAN: You have a very strong Catholic base here in California. It`s a
very high Latino population and they seem to go with the Catholic religion.
And as I`m sure you know, the Vatican has disapproved of what Brittany did
and has called it reprehensible, which is -- that is a crime in my opinion.
Because until you`ve experienced and been in a room with a loved one that
is enduring just unbearable pain, it is the only humane thing to do, is to
let them choose if that`s what they want, to go to sleep peacefully.

So why in California, we as a very liberal state, have not enacted it?
Well, we`re going to change that. We are putting together, and I am very
active, in trying to get it in front of the mayors and get something done
here.

O`DONNELL: Anita Freeman, I`m very sorry for you loss and I really
appreciate you joining us tonight.

FREEMAN: You bet. Anytime.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

Coming up next, "The Rewrite."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: An Iowa man arrested near the White House today, had a rifle,
ammunition and a knife in his car. 41-year-old R.J. Kapheim approached a
Secret Service officer and told him, quote, "Someone in Iowa told him to
drive to the White House." His behavior led them to search his car. He`s
been charged with having an unregistered firearm.

The acting director of the Secret Service Joseph Clancy testified to
Congress today about security at the White House and he said the agency is
considering a new fence. Clancy also spoke exclusively with NBC News Kelly
O`Donnell.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLY O`DONNELL, NBC NEWS: Do you think there`s a morale problem that is
making the president more vulnerable?

JOSEPH CLANCY, ACTING DIRECTOR, SECRET SERVICE: It`s been noted in some
previous reports that we have a morale problem, but we are, again, working
very diligently to correct that. There`s no excuse for us having a poor
morale. We`ve got great people and we`re going to -- we`re going to let
them shine.

K. O`DONNELL: So the president still is vulnerable?

CLANCY: No, he`s not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Coming up in the "Rewrite," Rick Perry will tell you how he is
just like Bill Clinton. And I`ll tell you why there`s really no one quite
like Rick Perry.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: It`s three agencies of government when I get
there that are gone. Commerce, education and the -- what`s the third one
there? Let`s see.

(LAUGHTER)

RON PAUL, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Five.

PERRY: Five. OK. So Commerce, Education and the --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: EPA?

PERRY: EPA, there you go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: Rick Perry is very busy rewriting his image from the candidate
who couldn`t think straight to what his image was before he opened his
mouth as a presidential candidate. It might be hard to remember this now
but before Rick Perry was a declared candidate for president in 2011, there
were many Democrats, Republicans and political analysts, not me among them,
who believed that once the Texas governor became a presidential candidate,
he would crush Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and the crowded clown car of
candidates then running for the Republican presidential nomination.

Rick Perry failed to do that because of a peculiar weakness for a three-
term governor. He was unable to speak or think in public, and make the
slightest bit of sense. It seemed like one of those low information voters
-- you know, the kind of voter Jonathan Gruber talks about -- had made his
way to a presidential debate microphone. It was almost as painful for us
to watch as it was for Rick Perry to live through.

He`s gearing up now for his second and probably final presidential campaign
and his first move was to try to look smarter and more thoughtful by
relying on an old trick that actors and mafia members on trial have been
using for years. He got himself -- here they are -- some eyeglasses.

Now he still doesn`t look like Professor Perry, but OK. It`s a start.
Rick Perry`s public confidence in his ability to rewrite his image comes
not from his new eyeglasses but from a very successful Democratic Party
politician.

This is what Rick Perry told "The Washington Post" about his image as a
failed, incompetent presidential candidate.

"It`s always there, just as Bill Clinton`s 1988 convention speech is always
there."

What he means, of course, is you know whenever you hear the name Bill
Clinton, the first thing you think of is his 1988 convention speech four
years before he ran for president? Oh, that`s not what you think of
whenever you hear the name of Bill Clinton? Well, here is Bill Clinton`s
1988 convention speech.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Look, if we ever get to the point
where our parents don`t prefer their children`s future to their present,
we`ve had it and don`t you ever forget it. Michael Dukakis will never,
never, never forget it. In closing --

(APPLAUSE)

I want you to remember, I want you to remember.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: It is wicked odd for a Democratic governor to get booed at a
Democratic convention. But Bill Clinton managed to do it, not because of
the content of his speech, but because it was so horribly boring and most
importantly so unbearably long. The delegates were actually trying to boo
him off the stage because they couldn`t take it anymore.

Bill Clinton wisely figured out exactly what he had to do next. He had to
publicly confess his sin and beg the king of the popular culture side of
American politics for forgiveness. And so he did that on Johnny Carson`s
"Tonight Show."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: I wanted so badly to make Michael Dukakis look great and I
succeeded beyond my wildest expectations.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COSTELLO: There was Bill Clinton doing the most important thing you could
possibly do on "The Tonight Show," making Johnny laugh. How boring could
Bill Clinton be if he could make Johnny laugh? When Bill Clinton made
Johnny laugh, that was the moment that Democrats and Republicans should
have been on notice that this is a political performer who is a force to be
reckoned with, because he can go on stage and do the most difficult in
politics -- openly deal with a mistake he`s made and be completely engaging
with the audience while he`s doing it.

And understanding popular culture, as Bill Clinton did, he knew exactly
where he had to go to perform that little trick. He knew exactly who he
had to make laugh. And he did. Johnny laughed. Problem solved.

Rick Perry has a much bigger problem than bill Clinton did back then. Bill
Clinton`s sin was he was a politician who had made exactly one high-profile
boring speech in a world where most politician speeches are mostly boring.

Rick Perry would be lucky if his problem was he had been too boring as a
presidential candidate. There was nothing boring about Rick Perry`s
candidacy. He was the king of unintentional comedy in the last
presidential campaign.

Bill Clinton`s challenge in 1988 was to become less boring and more
entertaining. But not more entertaining than Johnny Carson, just more
entertaining than other politicians, which is a very, very low bar.

Rick Perry`s challenge is to rewrite his image from class clown to Rhodes
scholar which Bill Clinton actually was. But there is hope for Rick Perry.
When you consider just how smart you have to sound to get a presidential
nomination.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Ten thousand bucks?
$10,000 bet?

I love this country. I should love this state. This feels good being back
in Michigan. You know, the trees are the right height. I like being able
to fire people that provide services to me. Corporations are people, my
friend. Any old girlfriends here? Have to be careful. Anne is not here
today. Don`t tell. Who let the dogs out? Who? Who?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: And there is hope for Rick Perry when you consider just how
smart the last governor elected president actually sounded.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: There`s an old saying in Tennessee,
I know it`s in Texas, probably in Tennessee, that says fool me once, shame
on -- shame on you. Fool me -- can`t get fooled again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: It might be something in the water in the Texas governor`s
mansion.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Bob Marley`s estate has licensed the singer`s name and likeness
to create, what else, a special blend of marijuana. Marley`s widow and
children have agreed to market a brand of pot called Marley Natural, which
will be grown from heirloom Jamaican cannabis strains that Marley once
smoked.

As "Rolling Stone" put it, Bob Marley could become the Marlboro man of
marijuana.

Up next, drones have been found dangerously flying near JFK airport. I`m
flying out of Newark and LaGuardia from now on. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O`DONNELL: Three pilots in the past week have reported unmanned drones
flying too close to their commercial airliners as they landed at New York
City`s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

NBC News confirmed that this afternoon the pilot of JetBlue Flight 842 from
Savannah reported a drone flying at 400 feet as the plane was approaching
the JFK. On Sunday, the pilot of Virgin Atlantic Flight 9 from London
reported a drone flying at 3,000 feet around the airport. A minute later,
the pilot of Delta Flight 838 from San Diego said a drone was flying too
close to the aircraft`s left wing.

The Federal Aviation Authority and the FBI are investigating those
incidents. Yesterday the National Transportation Safety Board ruled that
drones are considered aircraft and are therefore subject to FAA flight
regulations. There are laws prohibiting the use of drones in restricted
air space or at public events, but there is still no overall set of FAA
regulations pertaining to drones.

The use of commercial drones is also prohibited by the FAA. But the
government can make exceptions, like they did in September when they
granted six production companies permission to use drones for filming.

In 2012, Congress directed the FAA to safely integrate drones of all sizes
into U.S. skies by fall of 2015. The FAA is not expected to meet that
deadline.

Joining me now is former commercial pilot Jim Tilmon.

Jim, I`m scared. They`ve got me scared. I fly in and out of JFK a lot. I
know birds can bring down an aircraft. Can a drone bring down an aircraft?

JIM TILMON, AVIATION EXPERT: You bet it can. How would you like to have
that machine flying in and close to your aircraft and get sucked into an
engine?

O`DONNELL: And that -- and, Jim, that`s how it happened. Right? The
birds get sucked into the engine and that`s what brought down the plane
that Sully landed on the Hudson River, with the birds.

TILMON: That`s correct. The entrance to this kind of event into
commercial aviation skies has me scared, too.

O`DONNELL: And so what would you -- when you hear reports like this of
three drone reports out of JFK recently, a couple of them within minutes of
each other, you have options in New York City. There`s three airports
here. There`s three ways to fly out of here. And I`m telling you, as of
now, Jim, I just don`t want to go up to JFK.

TILMON: It doesn`t make any difference because I don`t think that
boundaries of one airport over another are going to govern the activity of
people on the ground who are irresponsible.

Let`s face it, you know, drones are here to stay. We`re not going to get
rid of them tomorrow. But we have to find a way to control them, educate
the public and understand just how dangerous this can be for people
untrained and using equipment they don`t really understand and flying in
areas that they have no experience in, is just a real dangerous situation.
And somebody may get hurt.

O`DONNELL: Well, airports have spent years figuring out how to minimize,
reduce or eliminate the bird problem in and around airports including in
some airports having for years just, you know, people with rifles out there
literally, you know, shooting them down. What can you imagine can be done
given what we now know to try to control these things?

TILMON: I fully expect that the authorities are going to come down very
hard on anybody that violates the safety. And we`re talking about just
common sense. Anything that becomes careless and negligent and
undisciplined in the use of an aircraft, any kind of aircraft, particularly
something like that, that could be flying at an altitude that could very
dangerously affect air traffic.

O`DONNELL: Jim, let`s assume for the moment the most, you know, so-called
innocent explanation is these are recreationalists, these are people out
there kind of fooling around. There`s another possibility with this kind
of technology. Terrorists could be out there very deliberately trying to
take down an aircraft at JFK. And if they are determined to do that with
this technology, it seems from the pilot reports we`re getting now, there
really isn`t anything that`s stopping them.

TILMON: There isn`t. And that`s scary. And it definitely is very, very
scary. Because, you know, the thing is the technology has gone far beyond
the regulations now. We have laws. I mean, you fly those in the vicinity
of the airport and the vicinity of commercial, or even general aviation
aircraft, and you`re violating a law. You can be penalized very heavily
for it.

O`DONNELL: Jim Tilmon --

TILMON: God forbid it, we have something to happen that would really be a
tragedy.

O`DONNELL: Yes.

TILMON: That would change everything.

O`DONNELL: It would.

Jim Tilmon, thank you very, very much for joining me tonight.

Chris Hayes is up next.

END

<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2014 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Copyright 2014 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>




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


Sponsored links

Resource guide