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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

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Date: July 1, 2015
Guest: Charles Cook, Eugene Joseph Dionne, Austan Goolsbee, William
Pierce, Marielena Hincapie

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Feel deterred? -- They`ve got clamp on, detachable,
pencil-point steel spikes that go like this, at an angle. They sit at a
slight five degree angle just like that.

Do you feel deterred? I have never been more proud of our props folks.
That mock-up that we guess that -- with the White House fence would look
like -- looks pretty much exactly like the real thing!

That doesn`t even solve the real thing spot on. Also makes me feel better
about this. Utter vindication for commissioning our really quite expensive
welded full-scale mock-up of the White House fence.

Yes, not of a single regret. Totally nailed it! That does it for us
tonight, we`ll see you again tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with
Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening, Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Rachel, I have been thinking,
maybe I need a fence in front of my house. Could you come up with some
sketches, I`ll drop by your desk tomorrow.

MADDOW: If you need a 19-inch long fence, I got just the thing at a very
good price.

O`DONNELL: All right, I`m coming by tomorrow.

MADDOW: Thanks Lawrence --

O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel. Well, we have shocking political news tonight,
today, a Republican actually decided not to run for president. And after a
winning week last week, President Obama is pushing for more wins this week.


crazy place.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC: President Obama went to Tennessee to hail the
Affordable Care Act.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going to celebrate the fact that the Affordable Care
Act is here to stay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will give millions of people a private health
insurance. It`s good for private health insurers at least their bottom

OBAMA: I`m feeling pretty good about how healthcare is going.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are fights ahead of us --

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Forcing that failed law on millions of

OBAMA: We don`t have to be imprisoned by the past.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reestablishing full diplomatic relations with Cuba.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s been such a big deal.

OBAMA: Reestablish diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cuba.

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: That`s leadership, and I appreciate that

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: GOP candidates that have lashed out today --

OBAMA: I oppose it, I think it`s a bad decision and we don`t have to be
imprisoned by the past.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A brand new poll out today finding Christie lagging
behind eight other candidates.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump in second place tied with Ben Carson --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At number two behind Jeb Bush --

ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: I think Bush is an unhappy person.

OBAMA: And we don`t have to be imprisoned by the past.

TRUMP: Msnbc, nobody watches it, it`s a total disaster.

REPRESENTATIVES: As they say in Texas, he`s cute.

OBAMA: Unfortunately --


I`ve got to go to work.


I am not allowed to have fun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can we have hugs?


OBAMA: But I -- we can have a group hug.


O`DONNELL: After the Supreme Court has made it very clear to Republican
politicians that Obamacare is here to stay, President Obama began
campaigning today to expand Obamacare to 6.9 million people in the 21
states that have not accepted the Medicaid expansion in Obamacare.

The President went to Tennessee today where a Republican governor who wants
to expand Medicaid has been blocked by the Republican legislature.

Two hundred and ninety two thousand people in Tennessee who currently have
no health insurance would be eligible for Obamacare with that Medicaid

Many Tennesseans who had written to the President to thank him for
Obamacare were in attendance at today`s event. President Obama actually
gave one of them a ride.

He stopped his motorcade at the home of breast cancer survivor Kelly Bryant
to give her a lift to that event. Where Kelly Bryant then introduced the
President who said this.


OBAMA: I`m feeling pretty good about how healthcare is going. The thing
I`ve never lost sight of though, is that this is about people.

This is not about politics, it`s not about Washington. It`s about families
and loved ones and the struggle and the fear that comes about when you have
a serious illness.

It is unfortunate that getting this thing done got so political.
Washington is kind of a crazy place, but that doesn`t mean every place has
got to be crazy.



So, you know, I`d like to see -- I`d like to see some good sense spring
forth from the great state of Tennessee.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, "Nbc News" political analyst and editor and
publisher of "The Cook Political Report" Charlie Cook.

Also with us "Washington Post" columnist and Msnbc political analyst E.J.
Dionne and the former chair of the Council of Economic Advisors for
President Obama, Austan Goolsbee.

Charlie Cook, where the politics of Obamacare stand now there in the
states? With the President going out to these states, almost all of them
with Republican governors.

Are Republican governors now at the point where they`re looking at this
Medicaid expansion and looking at the polls and finding a new way to go
with this?

ANALYST, NBC NEWS: I think that all the Republican governors that are
inclined to go along with expanding Medicaid largely have. And you know,
the thing is, we have three kinds of states in this country.

We have red states, blue states and purple states in between. And for the
red states, the Republican governors in red states, they don`t -- I mean,
you know, I frankly don`t see many, if any of them switching.

The people -- those like John Kasich in Ohio in purple state, some of them
have. And you know, made a decision what was best for the state.

But I don`t think when you look at a law that`s got roughly -- the new
Kaiser poll that came out today, was the -- favorable was what? Forty three
and unfavorable forty.

You look at a red state and you know, these -- those numbers are upside
down. And so, I don`t see many red state Republican governors switching.
You know, I really don`t.

O`DONNELL: And E.J. Dionne, the President is going to continue to push,
and he said the other day that there`s -- that he`s just going to continue
through every day of his presidency to push for any little bit of progress
they can find anywhere.

He`s also in effect been pushing this issue into the presidential campaign.

absolutely right. And I think to voters this is an easy -- to the broader-
like for it, this is a much easier sell than it is to Republican

I mean, Tennessee is an interesting case where you have a governor who
looks at this, says, all these people will get health insurance, all this
federal money would come to our hospitals.

And hospitals really don`t like it when their states don`t take this money
because that money gets to them.

But you got Republican legislators who are looking at possible primaries
from their right, just like in Washington.

Where as a country as a whole, the numbers on Obamacare have improved over
time, I suspect they will keep improving.

And I think most people are going to say why in the world aren`t we
insuring those 6.9 million people?

So, yes, I think it will be very much part of the campaign and the
Republicans are going to make it that way because some of them are going to
keep bashing Obamacare in the primary and --


DIONNE: I hope --


DIONNE: John Kasich gets out and defends why he took the Medicare
expansion in Ohio.

O`DONNELL: Austan Goolsbee --

GOOLSBEE: You know --

O`DONNELL: Go ahead.

GOOLSBEE: Lawrence, I think this is going to be the last presidential
election in which anybody actively criticizes Obamacare.

I think the Republicans made a huge strategic error early on by pitching
their ride to the notion that it was going to be a catastrophe and the
rollout seemed like it was a big problem.

And they convinced themselves because the website wasn`t working for the
first 30 days that America was going to hate it.

I think it`s going to turn into Social Security, Medicare and a number of
the other big American programs where by 2020, you`re not going to hear boo
from Republicans about how they were against it or want to get rid of it.

O`DONNELL: Charlie Cook, what`s your reaction to what Austan just said
about how this is going to poll in the future?

COOK: Well, I mean, I -- 20 years, 10, 20, 30 years from now, I can see
whatever shape this is in, yes, I could -- I think it`s -- I mean, I think
it`s going to get acceptance more or less over time.

And I don`t necessarily disagree with Austan about, that this maybe the
last presidential election. This is a first or second-tier issue.

But that doesn`t make it popular with Republican primary voters as E.J.
said or Republican legislators or governors.

I mean, if the numbers are 43 favorable, 40 unfavorable nationally, what do
you think it is in Tennessee?

You know, 30, 25 favorable, you know, 35 maybe. You know, this is -- these
states are very different and the easy ones for Republicans to do are
already done, I think --

O`DONNELL: But what the President brought to Tennessee was a free program.
That right now, this Medicaid expansion is free to the states.

And I want to listen to what he said today because I can see this two ways,
I can see it as the policy that he is pushing and he really is.

But if you look at it as an element in the presidential campaign, that`s
the part that I think it`s interesting about this for presidential
politics, the way he is forcing this issue on the campaign.

Let`s listen to what he said today in Tennessee.


OBAMA: My general rule is I have no pride of authorship here. I just want
to make sure Kelly has got health insurance, I want to make sure Thelma(ph)
has got health insurance, and I want to make sure that gentleman gets
health insurance.

And if there is a better way of doing it, let me know, OK? I didn`t mind
stealing ideas from Mitt Romney.


But the bottom line is what works? What works? And if Republican
legislators have better ideas, you know, they should -- they should present
them. But they have to be -- they have to be realistic. They have to be -
- they have to be meaningful.


O`DONNELL: E.J. Dionne, he seems to be running in effect a co-campaign for
the Democratic presidential candidate by challenging Republicans, saying
what works?

Saying, he stole the idea from Mitt Romney and just demanding something
from the Republicans.

DIONNE: Right, well, first of all, it`s hard to get a more conservative
approach to insuring a lot more people than this one.

Because it is based on the Massachusetts plan which was about getting
private health insurance to people who didn`t have it except for the
Medicaid expansion.

And what he was saying on the Medicaid expansion was really interesting
because there aren`t states that have taken the federal Medicaid money and
Washington has let them structure their own program a little differently.

They did this down in Arkansas. I think it`s an invitation to some
Republicans to say, look, if you want to rejigger this a little, make it
look a little different than Obamacare or a little more to your liking, go
right ahead and we may approve it because our main concern is getting
people health insurance.

So, I personally hope for the uninsured, some of the Republicans take them
up on that and try to tweak it in a way --

GOOLSBEE: I mean, think of the exact --


DIONNE: That they take the money.

GOOLSBEE: I think the dynamic -- what`s going to play out in 2016 is --
Charlie in right, in red states are not going to take it in and most of the
people are against it.

But in 2016, the Democrats, whoever is the nominee are going to put
Republicans on their heels by pressing them.

They`re going to go to the purple states where they haven`t taken Medicaid
money and they`re going to say, here is 250,000 people who do not have
health insurance and you would have it if you would elect the Democrats.

And I think the Republicans are going to be in a tough spot when that

O`DONNELL: All right, let`s take a break here, coming up, Bernie Sanders
just finished speaking to a huge crowd in Wisconsin tonight.

But according to a new poll of Democratic presidential candidates, Bernie
Sanders has lost the number two spot to someone who is not yet running.

And companies continue to dump Trump while the Republican Party seems stuck
with him. And Nancy Pelosi says Elizabeth Warren does not speak for the
Democrat Party.


O`DONNELL: Breaking news, a Republican has decided not to run for
president. Congressman Peter King has publicly considered running for
president this year and like most Republican candidates for president found
very little encouragement to run.

And so today, Peter King passed the political intelligence test that so
many other politicians have failed this year.


REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: I`ve decided not to run, it was a great
experience, I would love to have the opportunity to run, to go all the way.

I think I can more than compete with any of those that are in there, but
the reality is, as far as money, the fact that I do have a full-time job
now on the intelligence and Homeland Security committees, it`s just not in
the cards.

And I don`t want to be taking up other people`s time, I don`t want to be --
you have 19, 20, candidates, whatever it`s going to be.


O`DONNELL: See, Republicans, that`s how you do it. I decided not to run.
You know, being governor of Louisiana is a full-time job, being governor
of Jersey is a full-time job.

That line always works and always has, that`s all you have to say. All
right, coming up, we have more breaking news as major golf groups release a
statement about disassociating from Donald Trump.

And up next, Bernie Sanders is now running third, third in a poll of
Democratic presidential candidates and someone who is not yet running has
moved in to second place suddenly.


O`DONNELL: Hillary Clinton`s campaign has done what the Clintons do best,
they have raised more money than any other presidential campaign in history
for the first financial reporting period of the campaign which ended
Tuesday night.

The Clinton campaign says they are still counting the money but they say
they have raised at least $45 million, which breaks the previous record of
$41.9 million held by the Obama re-election campaign.

Senator Bernie Sanders is running a distant second in fundraising among
Democratic candidates. A few weeks ago, Senator Sanders campaign reported
raising $8.5 million, but as of tonight, they have not yet released their
final tally for the first quarter.

But it is not Bernie Sanders who is now in second place behind Hillary
Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In the latest "Cnn"/ORC national poll, Hillary Clinton has a commanding
lead with 57 percent of the vote in that poll with Vice President Joe Biden
coming in second at 16 percent and Bernie Sanders is third with 14 percent.

Joining our panel now is William Pierce, the Executive Director of Draft
Biden. William, let`s get full disclosure out of the way. First, somehow
I have the feeling that you have worked for Joe Biden.

Vice President before on -- (INAUDIBLE) 2008 and `12.

But basically, I am not supporting him for that, I`m supporting him because
myself I`m an army veteran, I deployed over to Iraq and Afghanistan and the
vice president`s commitment to the military and education is very important
to me.

O`DONNELL: And so, what is the Draft Biden Group doing? How are you going
to draft Biden?

PIERCE: Well, since March we started out in a -- in a living room in March
and since then we have grown exponentially.

We now have organizers and staff on the ground in Iowa and New Hampshire
and we`re actually going beyond down to South Carolina as well.

We have volunteers and supporters throughout the whole entire country and
the lessons we once -- we have collected over 100,000 signatures of
supporters on a website draft Biden 2016.

And the most amazing thing about it is that Americans are supporting the
Vice President for numerous different reasons. Like I said myself, I`m
supporting him for his military as well as his educational.

We have some people that are supporting him because of degree, he`s been a
great advocate for GOP tea rights, I`m coming out early on, on that.

All because of his support for Obamacare which we saw a really great
success for last week.

O`DONNELL: And so what -- what are you hearing from the Vice President
about running for president?

PIERCE: Well, I have -- like -- since we have Super PAC, we can`t
coordinate and communicate, but I`d like to say that we have not seen or
(INAUDIBLE) from the Vice President not to do what we`re doing, like what
happened with ready for -- ready for Warren.

Basically, we`ve -- what we haven`t seen though, lot of supporters
throughout the whole entire country who had supported him in the past or
who are now current new supporters.

They`re coming out over work and they are supporting him. The past two
weeks have been great and even earlier today you just had a bunch of Obama
major donors come out and say they`re ready for a Biden candidacy.

You have major donors who are coming out and saying they are ready for a
Biden candidacy and that`s just really great as well.

O`DONNELL: Charlie Cook, our polling expert at the table. Give us your
reading of this poll, Hillary Clinton at 57 percent, Joe Biden without
campaigning a day, without saying a word about it at 16 percent, Bernie
Sanders pulling in huge crowd but running at only 14 percent.

COOK: Well, I don`t put a whole lot into this because to me, you take a
poll and you don`t ask Biden`s name, and then the next time you add Biden`s
name to it, it looks like a surge, but it`s not surge, you`re just asking a
different question with Biden in.

I mean, I -- you know, I don`t think that -- I don`t think drafts work, I
don`t think Vice President Biden, I think he`d love to be president, I
think he`d love to run.

But I think he looks at the reality that he will be 74 years old, November
2016, and someone at 74 or 75 Bernie Sanders will be, he`s not going to be
winning any party`s presidential nomination.

That`s just not going to happen. I mean, Hillary Clinton will be 69, same
age Ronald Reagan was when he was elected in 1980, that`s pretty much --
I`m not saying she is too old to run or win, but that`s pretty much the
upper end of the range.

Somebody five, six years older than she is, you know, is, you know, I don`t
think is a realistic candidate for the presidency. I don`t think Biden is
going to run.

O`DONNELL: Austan Goolsbee, is 70 the new 60?

GOOLSBEE: Yes, probably.


You know, I love the Vice President, personally, he`s a wonderful guy,
you`re never going to find somebody better than the Vice President.

I think Hillary Clinton is extremely formidable candidate and I don`t think
any Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, I don`t think they`re going to be the

I believe it`s going to be Hillary Clinton, I think she`s going to be the

O`DONNELL: And E.J. Dionne, we see her ability to raise money basically
beat what an incumbent president did last time around at this point in the

DIONNE: Right, I mean, that`s exactly what impressed me. And when, you
know, Joe Biden, just to go back to that, looks at those numbers as a
realist and 57-16, 16 is not a high number.

He is well loved in the Democratic Party, particularly in Iowa, he`s got a
lot of friends there. But he is as well known as Hillary Clinton and I
think he looks at that number and that will not encourage him.

In terms of Bernie`s -- in terms of Clinton, it might actually be useful if
Joe Biden did get into this race, because Clinton has a lot of financial
support, a lot of political support.

She needs to gin up some of the enthusiasm numbers in these polls. And I
think if you did have a Biden, Bernie Sanders, Clinton race, people would
cover it a lot more.

There would be more excitement about it, and that might paradoxically help
Clinton in the end, because my hunch is that in the end, she would win that

It wouldn`t be divisive, but it would be very interesting.

O`DONNELL: Well, Bernie Sanders might be giving Hillary Clinton and us all
the excitement we need, let`s listen to what he said in Madison, Wisconsin,


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: I am more than aware that my opponents
will be able to outspend us. They have billionaire backers, they have
Super PACs, they have a lot of millionaire friends.

At the end of the day, they may have the money, but we have the people and
when the people stand together we can win.


Thank you all very much.


O`DONNELL: Austan Goolsbee, you know Hillary Clinton, how do you expect
her to counter Bernie Sanders in this campaign.

GOOLSBEE: I don`t totally know. I mean, at the beginning of a primary
campaign, I think it`s fair to say, let every flower bloom.

You know, Bernie Sanders is having a moment with his group. I don`t think
that the Clinton campaign is taking it for granted. I think they`re open
to a race.

It strikes me a bit like 1980 Ronald Reagan with Republicans. He was the
strongest candidate, but he wasn`t driving everybody else out of the race.

He was kind of open to the -- to the challenge of ideas. So, I think
Hillary Clinton has got a long-standing record on let`s call them middle-
class issues and I think that`s going to be the center of the -- of the

O`DONNELL: Final question on this to William Pierce before we take a
break. William, why hasn`t Joe Biden come out and just said, I`m not
running for president, I`m not going to run for president.

PIERCE: Because Lawrence, I think the door is still open. One key thing
to note is that, in a recent poll, over 53 percent of Americans in -- who
probably going to vote in this election said that they want -- they want
more candidates in the race.

And that`s something to be -- that we have to consider as well. In some -
- we`re just waiting for the Vice President.

O`DONNELL: William Pierce, thank you very much for joining us tonight,
joining the panel. Up next, Jeb Bush finally takes on Donald Trump in

And we have more Trump breaking news tonight, major golf groups are now
separating from the Trump organization and their golf courses.


O`DONNELL: We have breaking Trump news at this hour. Tonight, more
organizations are criticizing Donald Trump.

This time, it`s four golf organizations, the PGA Tour, LPGA, PGA of America
and the USGA released this joint statement.

"In response to Mr. Trump`s comments about the golf industry knowing he is
right in regards to his recent statements about Mexican immigrants, we feel
compelled to clarify that those remarks do not reflect the views of our

While the LPGA, PGA of America, PGA Tour and USGA do not usually comment on
presidential politics.

Mr. Trump`s comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an
inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf."

Trump apparently on a -- on a golf channel interview had said that the golf
organizations all agree with him.

Every Republican now running for president, except Jeb Bush is watching
political comedian Donald Trump race ahead of them in the polls and say
this about them.


TRUMP: And then I hear from the press constantly, can you imagine how sad
it is that Donald Trump is in second place and he`s going to take the place
of some third rate governor?


They don`t say the third rate -- or some third rate senator, or some other
person that lost every election they`ve been in except maybe one.

But they go, can you imagine, isn`t it sad, Donald Trump? Who`s done more
than me?


O`DONNELL: Republican voters apparently think Jeb Bush has done more than
Donald Trump. So Jeb Bush remains in first place in a national CNN poll
with 19 percent. Donald Trump gets 12 percent. Mike Huckabee gets 8
percent. Ben Carson and Rand Paul tied at 7 percent. Marco Rubio and
Scott Walker tied at 6 percent. Rick Perry is at 4 percent. Chris
Christie, Ted Cruz, and Rick Santorum are all at 3 percent.

After just two weeks of presidential campaigning, Trump`s businesses are
collapsing around him.


TRUMP: They are sending people that have lots of problems and they are
bringing those problems with us. They are bringing drugs. They are
bringing crime. They are rapists and some, I assume, are good people.


O`DONNELL: And that statement is why those businesses are collapsing
around him. First Univision dropped Trump`s beauty pageants then MSNBC`s
parent company NBC dropped Trump`s beauty pageants and severed all business
ties with Trump. After that, Trump`s good friend, Bill O`Reilly, offered
Trump a chance to revise his remarks.


BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Would you take any of that back or
rephrase any of it if you could?

TRUMP: No, because it`s totally accurate.


O`DONNELL: And then today, Macy`s dumped Trump`s merchandise from their
stores and issued this statement. "We are disappointed and distressed by
recent remarks about immigrants from Mexico. In light of statements made
by Donald Trump which are inconsistent with Macy`s values, we have decided
to discontinue our business relationship with Mr. Trump and will phase out
the Trump Men`s Wear collection, which has been sold at Macy`s since 2004."

Donald Trump of course tried to pretend that it was his idea, issuing a
statement that said, "I have decided to terminate my relationship with
Macy`s because of the pressure being put on them by outside sources."

Trump then rushed to the network where his words are never doubted to
explain what no other presidential candidate has ever had to explain -- why
a major department store dropped his clothing line?


TRUMP: They were folding like a bunch of bandits and frankly I said, let`s
just sort of end it. I said that to them last night. So I think it`s sort
of a mutual thing but maybe I sort of gave them the out.


O`DONNELL: Joining our panel now, Marielena Hincapie, the executive
director of the National Immigration Law Center.

Marielena, your reaction to the way this swell of objection has hit Trump
and all of these business organizations responding to this.

CENTER: Thanks, Lawrence. Yes, we are very happy with the response and
really applaud Univision, NBC, Macy`s, the golf association and everyone
who is speaking up to really denounce this not only racist but really
dangerous comments that Donald Trump has made.

I mean, let`s just think back a few weeks ago with the Charleston massacre.
The comments made by the alleged murderer were very similar to what Donald
Trump has said. So that level of rhetoric is not only racist and offensive
but it leads to creating a violent culture in our country and at this day
and age, I think not only are Latinos and immigrants but everybody in the
United States, a growing number of people including corporations are saying
we cannot tolerate this level of racism and offensive in our nature, in
particular from a supposed candidate to the United States presidency.

O`DONNELL: You know, I never thought I was going to be mentioning George
Pataki`s name in any coverage of the -- of presidential campaign but he`s
found a way. He is the Republican candidate for president who has attacked
Trump most directly. He said today, he tweeted, "I reject Donald Trump`s
comments and call on GOP candidates for president to join me in denouncing

He included Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul there. And then what we did
see today was Jeb Bush responding to Trump and doing so in Spanish to a
Spanish-speaking reporter and what he said in Spanish was, "Trump spends
his life fighting with people." Bush said-- and he says, "He doesn`t
represent the values of the Republican Party.

EJ Dionne, I have been wondering for a while when and how Jeb Bush was
going to say something about Donald Trump, who attacks Jeb Bush every
single day and is running second in the polls. That`s our first response
from Jeb Bush.

DIONNE: The first thing I want to say is when a Republican candidate loses
the golfers, he`s in really big trouble.


DIONNE: I mean, President Obama aside, I always thought that was a pretty
Republican constituency. And I have been waiting for Bush to do this, too.
I mean, first of all, let`s look at these polls. Bush has an endurance in
these polls like no one else so far. He`s managed to stay around 18 to 20
percent. He`s behind in Iowa. He`s not doing that well in Iowa, but he
has kind of held on after a very rough period.

And here`s a guy who has said you`ve got to be willing to lose a primary in
order to win the election. And the issue -- one of the issues that was
going to be his calling card was immigration and a whole attitude toward
Latinos. His brother, President Bush, won something like 40 percent of the
Latino vote because he welcomed it. He welcomed Latinos to the United
States, said they were good citizens.

And Trump`s comments are so outrageous that you would think some other
Republicans would take the opportunity to take him on. If Trump is getting
all of this news coverage, they can get some, too, by denouncing something
that ought to be easy to denounce.


O`DONNELL: Go ahead.

GOOLSBEE: Lawrence, you know, I would have to say --

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Austan.

GOOLSBEE: You see Donald Trump kind of espousing things that no reasonable
candidate would say publicly. But he is taking second in these polls
because he is scratching a certain itch in the Republican electorate that
nobody else is scratching. But just as there are some itches that you do
not want to scratch in public, so is Trump. In this case it`s why the
Republican establishment is kind of apoplectic.

They don`t want him out saying these things in the debates, giving the --
conveying the message the Republican Party has a large component of people
who kind of agree with this, that even though the candidates are going to
publicly say they disagree with him, there is a group of people who like
what he`s saying and they are supporting that.

O`DONNELL: And Charlie Cook, interesting thing. This CNN poll. This was
taken after he has said all these things about rapists coming over the
border. And so I was actually a little surprised that he didn`t pop higher
in that poll because he was already running at, like, 11 percent in New
Hampshire. And it seems to me that anyone who was looking -- really was
eager to hear that kind of thing about the people coming over the border,
were going to rush to Trump, but he didn`t get much in the polls from this.

COOK: No, Lawrence, give the Republicans a little credit here. The thing
is, look, I have never met Donald Trump but my guess is he doesn`t -- he
doesn`t think he`s going to win the Republican nomination. And this is
kind of a lark, and to be honest, for a lot of those 12 percenters some of
them probably agree with him. But (INAUDIBLE) it`s just kind of a lark.
And in fact this is his due. If Donald Trump is at 12 percent or more in
January, then than means something. But right now, before the debates even
start, it`s kind of a throwaway, a fun thing for somebody to do. But I`m
not getting real torn up about this.

O`DONNELL: But, Marielena, if Donald Trump is sitting at 12 percent months
from now, that means he`s never going to go above 12 percent. And so that
represents -- you know, that`s how much the Republican Party that would

And going forward, what do you -- what do you want to hear from Republican
candidates? Was what George Pataki said today what you`d like to hear from
more of them?

HINCAPIE: Absolutely. I think, you know, frankly Bush should definitely
be trying to distinguish himself and each of them should. They really I
think as Austan said. What Trump is saying probably is something that some
of them agree with, and if they don`t agree with that then they need to
actually call him out, and frankly should be calling on him to drop out of
the race.

O`DONNELL: All right. We cannot leave the political comedian Trump
segment without what is my favorite statement that he said today. This is
in the Macy`s -- his written statement about the Macy`s deal. And remember
now, this is the guy who says all of his deals are great deals. He makes
the best deals. He`s the toughest negotiator in the world. He gets
everything he wants in every deal, right? OK.

So he said this about the Macy`s deal today. "I have never been happy
about the fact that the ties and shirts are made in China, and should I
start a new product line somewhere in the future I would insist that they
are made in America."

Austan Goolsbee, how did he fail to get that in his deal with Macy`s? I
don`t get it.

GOOLSBEE: Yes. There`s a -- I don`t know if you`ve seen the picture going
around Twitter that`s got Donald Trump Collection and it says "Made in
Mexico" on the -- on the label. So, you know, if you start actually
probing the details on Trump, he`s going to fall apart. But it`s good
humor for a while. He will fall apart.

O`DONNELL: Marielena Hincapie, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

HINCAPIE: Thank you, Lawrence.

Up next, why Nancy Pelosi says Elizabeth Warren does not speak for the
Democratic Party.


O`DONNELL: Nancy Pelosi eventually followed Elizabeth Warren`s lead in
opposing President Obama`s Pacific trade deal. But Leader Pelosi and
Senator Warren don`t agree on everything.


JOHN HARWOOD, CNBC: The president is nearing the end of his term but he`s
starting to get more and more criticism from Democrats. Elizabeth Warren
went after Mary Jo White, the president`s choice to head the SEC. Do you
think that is piling on, scoring political points at the president`s
expense? Do you agree with her on that?

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER: No. But I mean, I`m not into what
her -- her case is there. People will express themselves the way they do.
That doesn`t mean they are speaking for the party. And I hear the people -

HARWOOD: Some on the left think this administration has been too soft on
Wall Street. The administration has been too close with financial
industry. Do you agree with that?

PELOSI: The financial industry doesn`t agree with that. There may be a
couple of people who say that. But that is not the consensus in that


O`DONNELL: Up next, Republican presidential candidates attack President
Obama for his historic announcement today.



seemed impossible that the United States would once again be raising our
flag, the stars and stripes, over an embassy in Havana. This is what
change looks like.


O`DONNELL: Rand Paul is the only Republican presidential candidate who
agrees with President Obama on reopening relationships with Cuba. Chris
Christie spoke for most of the other candidates today when he said this.


dead wrong. What he`s doing is dead wrong. He`s giving away the ability
to have an economic relationship and a political relationship with the
United States to a dictatorial regime that has done nothing, nothing to
reform itself.


O`DONNELL: Jeb Bush said in a statement, "As Americans prepare to
celebrate the anniversary of our freedom from tyranny and commit anew to
the democratic principles on which our national was founded. It is no
small irony hat President Obama prepares to open an embassy in Havana,
further legitimizing the brutal Castro regime." And Ted Cruz tweeted,
"It`s unacceptable and a slap in the face of a close ally that the United
States will have an embassy in Havana before one in Jerusalem."

We`re back with the panel here. I want to look at the polling on this
question and a Republican who seemed to be way behind the curb on it, 2014
poll, of Florida voters, Florida voters, 63 percent support normalizing
relations with Cuba, 30 percent oppose.

Charlie Cook, what`s left of this as a presidential campaign issue? It
used to be something that Democrats and Republicans were afraid to go near
in Florida.

COOK: Well, I mean, the percentage that are just hard lined, anti-Castro,
anti-Cuba, it`s getting smaller and smaller. It is largely concentrated in
the Republican Party. It`s largely concentrated in certain areas, you
know, within the Republican Party like -- south Florida, New Jersey, that
sort of thing. But to me, the real question is about Congress.

Can -- will Congress be able to -- will this Republican Congress be able to
reverse what President Obama is doing? No, I don`t think so. But can he
affirmatively get an embargo lifted from this Congress or maybe the next
one? Probably not, so I think whatever he tries to -- whatever the
president can get away with through executive measures, he will. And what
he needs to depend on for Congress isn`t going to happen. And public
opinion is going to matter.

O`DONNELL: And EJ Dionne, he`s going to have overcome a filibuster threat
by Ted Cruz issued today on confirming any ambassador to Cuba and it seems
like in terms of the presidential campaign this puts the Republicans in one
of those mid 20th century positions. One of these 50-year-old positions
when the rest of the country concede -- a big majority of the rest of the
country, majority of Florida voters, in favor of going forward in President
Obama`s direction.

DIONNE: Well, this issue actually splits the Republican Party. It also by
the way splits the Cuban community. I think this policy was given freedom
when President Obama won the Cuban vote in Florida. Younger Cuban
Americans do not feel the same way about this as older Cuban Americans who
are the folks that people like Governor Bush and former Governor Bush and
Senator Rubio respond to.

And because so much of the business community favors opening relations with
Cuba, and business likes to trade with everybody, there are some
Republicans in the Senate who might -- who I think will support President
Obama and will support naming an ambassador. I don`t know if there are
enough to get 60 votes but it will be yet another Ted Cruz filibuster.
There`s got to be the word filibuster in one of his campaign ads.

O`DONNELL: And Austan Goolsbee, it seems to me that the refusal to open
relations with Cuba is a failure of confidence in capitalism. We have seen
how more capitalism in China, more capitalism in former communist countries
has changed those places irreversibly in the direction of being more open
and more capitalistic, in fact.

GOOLSBEE: I think that`s a great point. I mean, what you saw today are
leading Republicans, literally getting up and making the argument that
well, we shouldn`t give up the sanctions because they`re going to start
working in the 57th year.

O`DONNELL: Yes. Yes.

GOOLSBEE: You know, it`s just --it`s completely crazy. It reminds -- my
grandmother when she was alive, if you were sick, if you had any problem,
Caster oil was the solution. And this thing -- I just think mid 20th
century is being generous. This is just such a throwback. I just don`t
even think this is on the radar screen of most people.

O`DONNELL: All right. Quick break. When we come back more about Cuba and
Republicans with real White House experience who agree with the president
on this. They`re going to be causing a problem for those Republican
presidential candidates.



House tour, you may have seen this sign. Well, not anymore.





B. OBAMA: In January of 1961, the year I was born, when President
Eisenhower announced the termination of our relations with Cuba, he said it
is my hope and my conviction that it is in the not-too-distant future it
will be possible for the historic friendship between us once again to find
its reflection in normal relations of every sort. Well, it took a while
but I believe that time has come. And a better future lies ahead.


O`DONNELL: George W. Bush`s Commerce secretary, Carol Gutierrez, a Cuban
exile, recently wrote an op-ed in the "New York Times" entitled "A
Republican Case for Obama`s Cuba Policy." He said, "As secretary of
Commerce in the administration of George W. Bush I saw it firsthand that
our private sector could be the best ambassador for American values such as
the power of free enterprise to raise living standards and the importance
of being free to work where one chooses. Some of my fellow Cuban Americans
insist that continuing to squeeze Cuba economically will help the Cuban
people because it will lead to democracy. I wonder if the Cubans who have
to stand in line for the most basic necessities for hours in the hot Havana
sun feel that this approach is helpful to them?"

Austan Goolsbee, you also have Cabinet members from Reagan`s administration
in favor of this. The economic argument is going to come from Republicans
in favor of this.

GOOLSBEE: I think that`s right. Look, I think this is going to end up
being so genuinely either popular or just accepted that I don`t think
you`re going to end up hearing a whole lot about it from the Republican
candidates. As you pointed out, as Secretary Gutierrez points out, the
strongest argument against communism is just the fact that capitalism
works, that Airbnb is starting to open up people`s houses so people can go
and visit and stay there.

Once you start seeing that you can earn income as a small business, the
desire of the people in Cuba to live under a communist regime is going to
evaporate very quickly.

O`DONNELL: EJ Dionne, but these Republican presidential candidates are
clinging to the 50-year-old rhetoric here.

DIONNE: I think some Republican is going to find his way to the following
position which I think would work politically. It might even be
constructive which is to accept the fact that we need a new Cuba policy.
To accept the fact that creating diplomatic relations with Cuba makes
sense. We have diplomatic relations with all sorts of dictatorships in the
world. And where they should hit the president is say he`s not pushing
hard enough on getting the Cuban government to free political prisoners.
He`s not pushing hard enough on human rights.

And that way they can accept the reality that this is where things are
going to be and ought to be but then criticize him and -- before looking
and say, let`s speed up this process that we want to happen to bring
freedom to Cuba.

O`DONNELL: Charlie, what about within a Republican primary in Florida?
How would the issue play then?

COOK: Well, I mean, I think they`re all going to say the same thing so
there is no contrast, so it won`t be -- it won`t be much of a debate. I
mean, this is one of those issues where a very small number of people feel
very intensely about it. And most Americans sort of don`t care that much
or think, you know, it would be kind of fun to go to Havana. That sort of
thing. But, you know, there`s no percentage in any Republican candidate
coming out in favor of the president`s proposal. I mean, that would be
suicide but --

O`DONNELL: Well, Rand Paul has essentially done that. He`s in basic
agreement with the president on it.

EJ Dionne, it`s not the only way he departs from the rest of his

DIONNE: Rand Paul is basically a libertarian. He`s a noninterventionist
and he loves foreign policy to be about trade and economics.

O`DONNELL: Charlie Cook, EJ Dionne and Austan Goolsbee, thank you all for
joining me tonight. Really appreciate it.

DIONNE: Good to be with you.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.


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