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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Monday, July 6th, 2015

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Date: July 6, 2015
Guest: Howard Dean, Wanda Bailey, Linda Greenhouse, Emily Bazelon, George

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Country was watching last night -- it`d be
every game of the 2014 World Series including game seven, it also beat the
prime time average of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

In other words, the whole country was watching last night.


Congratulations to Team USA, we`re actually hoping to have a few of the
players on the show later this week.

I know! 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, MSNBC HOST: Rachel, I guess it was the whole country
except me.


I -- everything I know about that game I just learned from you.

MADDOW: I will get under the equator and start running the opposite
direction of the world spinning, so you can go back in time and watch it --

O`DONNELL: All right --

MADDOW: It`s worth it --

O`DONNELL: I will do that --

MADDOW: Thanks Lawrence --

O`DONNELL: Thanks, Rachel --


Remember Todd Akin? He was very good at losing elections for Republicans.
Well, now the Republicans have a new Todd Akin.


JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: His views are way out of the
mainstream of what Republicans think.

RICK SANTORUM(R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don`t agree with his comments

RICK PERRY(R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He is going to have to defend those
remarks, I never will.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He has a colorful way of
speaking, it`s not the way I speak.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is turned into a must, any day focused on Donald
Trump is a bad day for the Republican Party.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It took him almost three weeks to say anything against
Donald Trump.

PERRY: I will stand up and say that those were offensive, which they were.

BUSH: He is doing this to inflame and to incite --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s made it harder to have a real conversation about
immigration reform --

SANTORUM: Does anybody really think that Donald Trump isn`t going to say
some outrageous things?

CRUZ: I salute Donald Trump for focusing on the need to address illegal

SANTORUM: But Donald Trump brings up a very important issue, which is the
issue of immigration.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If you want to win, Republicans have to do better
among Hispanic voters.

BUSH: Politically, we`re going to win when we`re hopeful and optimistic
and big and broad rather than -- you know -- just angry all the time.


O`DONNELL: The smartest conservative in Washington thinks Donald Trump is
the worst thing to happen to the Republican Party since Todd Akin. You
remember Todd Akin.


the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.


O`DONNELL: Todd Akin was the Republicans most responsible for keeping
Democrats in control of the Senate in 2012, as George Will sees it, Donald
Trump is now the new Todd Akin.


GEORGE WILL, JOURNALIST: If Donald Trump were a Democratic mole placed in
the Republican Party to disrupt things, how would his behavior be

I don`t think it would be. There`s all this loose talk, but there`s
something to it about the Republican brand -- picture him on stage in

He says something hideously inflammatory, which is all he knows how to say
and then what do the other nine people on stage do?

They ought to become complicit in what he said by their silence, or do they
all have to attack him? The debate gets hijacked, the process gets

And at the end of the day, he is a one-man Todd Akin.


O`DONNELL: This weekend, Jeb Bush started defending himself against
Trump`s attacks. He began by reminding Republicans that Donald Trump
wasn`t always one of them.


BUSH: No, look, this is -- this is a guy who was a Democrat for most of
the last decade, I don`t think he represents the Republican Party and is --
his views are way out of the mainstream of what Republicans think.

No one suggests that we shouldn`t control our borders. I mean, everybody
has a belief that we should control our borders.

But to make these extraordinarily ugly kind of comments is not reflective
of the Republican Party.

Trump is wrong on this. And just -- he is -- he is doing this -- I mean,
he`s not a stupid guy, so I don`t assume he`s like -- he thinks that every
Mexican crossing the border is a rapist.

I mean, so he is doing this to inflame and to incite and to give -- to draw
attention which is -- it seems to be his organizing principle of his


O`DONNELL: Donald Trump responded to Jeb in writing. "Jeb Bush once again
proves that he is out of touch with the American people, just like the
simple question he asked of Jeb on Iraq where it took him five days and
multiple answers to get it right.

He doesn`t understand anything about the border or border security. In
fact, Jeb believes illegal immigrants who break our laws when they cross
our border come out of love."

Joining us now, Eugene Robinson, Columnist for "The Washington Post" and an
MSNBC analyst, Maria Teresa Kumar, the President of Voto Latino and host of
"CHANGING AMERICA" on shift by MSNBC, and Howard Dean, former Vermont
governor and former Democratic National Committee chairman.

I want to look at that video of Jeb Bush just a couple of years ago talking
about people crossing the Mexican border illegally and how love factors
into that, what Trump was referring to.

So, let`s look at that and we can put it all together.


BUSH: I`m going to say this and it will be on tape and so be it. The way
I look at this is, someone who comes to our country because they couldn`t
come legally, they come to our country because their families -- you know,
a dad who loved their children was worried that their children didn`t have
food on the table.

And they, you know, wanted to make sure their family was intact. And they
cross the border because they had no other means to work to be able to
provide for their family.

Yes, they broke the law, but it`s not a felony. It`s kind of a -- it`s a -
- it`s an act of love. It`s an act of commitment to your family.

I honestly think that that is a different kind of crime that should be --
there should be a price paid, but it shouldn`t be -- it shouldn`t rile
people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for
their families.


O`DONNELL: It looks like the Republican Party is headed for a real debate
on this issue. The --


O`DONNELL: Difference between Jeb Bush and Donald Trump on this, Maria
Teresa, it couldn`t be more dramatic.

dramatic, but I think that first when -- look, when Jeb is saying that the
Republican Party is out -- is not the Trump party, that would be true
except for the fact that his polls are rising with what he -- with --
Trump`s poll numbers are rising with what he is saying.

So, that -- if anything, the Republican Party has a real problem and is
that they actually left the genie out of the bottle back with the tea party
back in 2008 and 2012.

And so they are a party that is trying to find their self-identification,
but they definitely have a group of individuals that just don`t want
immigration reform and they -- unfortunately they use hate, and Donald
Trump actually knows how to push that button.

O`DONNELL: And Howard Dean, the polls are certainly -- in Iowa any way,
the polls are with Trump on this in the Republican Party.

HOWARD DEAN, FORMER VERMONT GOVERNOR: Well, I think there is some truth to
that. I mean, the Republicans are trying desperately to make a transition,
sort of from this party that`s very angry and very hateful to a party that
actually has a constructive set of plans.

I think Jeb Bush to his credit is trying to help make that transition.
There is no electoral future in a party that is mostly based on getting
people really angry.

And Bush knows that, he is no dummy. And you see this changing all over
the place. This Confederate flag debate which we`ll talk about later, it`s
an incredible in the Senate where vote is -- in the South Carolina voting
37 to 3 to take down the Confederate flag.

That`s an unbelievable thing, so there`s a huge battle inside --


DEAN: The Republican Party and Donald Trump represents one wing and he`s
got plenty of support and Jeb Bush represents a different wing and who is
trying to make some gains.

O`DONNELL: And Gene, I don`t think we`re going to hear Jeb Bush talk about
this the way he was, felt free to talk about it a couple of years ago. I
don`t think that act of love statement is going to come up much more.

ROBINSON: Well, I don`t think he will use those words. But I do think --
what choice does he have up against what Trump is saying now?

I mean, Bush has come out and defied himself in opposition to that, and I
think he`s got to elaborate on that. And you know, you`ve got this kernel
of the -- of the Republican Party.

This group of people who are just implacable with immigration. Who agree
with everything Donald Trump says and just aren`t hearing it.

And then you`ve got the people who are with Jeb Bush who want to modernize
the party and modernize his position on immigration, who want to attract
Latino votes, who actually believe that it is an act of love or whatever.

And so you`ve got the rest of the party in the middle, and as you said, in
the info, it`s going to be a debate within the Republican Party, it`s going
to be very interesting.

O`DONNELL: Ugly moment this weekend, Maria Teresa, where Trump tweeted
that Jeb just is saying this because of his wife. And Jeb Bush`s wife, of
course, being from Mexico, that`s where they met.

And then he did the -- what Trump does with those tweets that he
reconsiders, there is the tweet --

KUMAR: Someone hacked me --

O`DONNELL: That he put -- that he put out there. And he doesn`t even
bother with the hacked thing, he just deleted that tweet as if the news
media wasn`t going to be able to grab a tweet he put up there for a while.

KUMAR: Well, it`s almost as if he actually doesn`t understand how the
internet works, right?


KUMAR: So, I mean, all you have to do is take a -- take a screen shot and
the world knows forever.


But let`s be serious, I think the fact that he -- Trump is actually onto
something. I think that the way Jeb talks about immigration, the way he
talks about Latinos, he understands the experience because of the personal
experience that he has with his family.

And the only person that should be really concerned with that is Hillary
Clinton. And what I mean by that is that, she is the one that is right now
touting the Latino vote, talking about immigration in all the right ways.

But if it`s a Jeb -- between Jeb and Hillary, it`s going to be an
incredibly difficult handoff to who is going to win the Latino vote.

O`DONNELL: Governor Dean, which brings us back to George Will`s point of,
if Donald Trump was a Democratic plant in the Republican campaign, it could
not be working better.

DEAN: Well, and Todd Akin as well. I mean that was a pretty aphorism, I
thought that Todd Akin is the role model, essentially for Donald Trump.

But you know, those people exist in the Republican Party and they exist in
great numbers in the various primaries, they`re very active. And this is -
- this is what this debate is all about.

I don`t think Jeb Bush has a lock on this nomination by any stretch of the
imagination because this wing of the party that Donald Trump represents is
very powerful, particularly in the early states.

In South Carolina, in Iowa, not so much in New Hampshire.

O`DONNELL: And what George Will said about Trump is setting the terms of
the debate --


O`DONNELL: Day-by-day is true --

ROBINSON: Indeed --

O`DONNELL: Obviously, he is doing it now. And George Pataki found one way
to get attention is to disagree with Trump and disagree with him
vehemently, which he did.

Let`s listen to what Ted Cruz says about Trump.


CRUZ: I salute Donald Trump for focusing on the need to address illegal
immigration. The Washington cartel doesn`t want to address that.

The Washington cartel doesn`t believe we need to secure the borders. The
Washington cartel supports amnesty, and I think amnesty is wrong, and I
salute Donald Trump for focusing on it.

He has a colorful way of speaking, it`s not the way I speak, but I`m not
going to engage in the media`s game of throwing rocks and attacking other
Republicans, I`m just not going to do it.


O`DONNELL: Gene, he`s just going to say I salute Donald Trump as much as
he can. I think --

ROBINSON: All right --

O`DONNELL: My guess is the calculation there is, Trump has a relatively
short life at this, but Trump supporters are going to be there --

ROBINSON: Exactly --

O`DONNELL: When this is --


O`DONNELL: Over --

KUMAR: Exactly --


O`DONNELL: And Ted Cruz --

ROBINSON: Who is going to --

O`DONNELL: Wants a relationship --

ROBINSON: Right --

O`DONNELL: With those voters --

ROBINSON: Exactly, and he feels that if he can`t just trash Donald Trump
because --


ROBINSON: That would make him lose credibility and lose any sort of
attraction for those people. But what is the Washington cartel?


I -- just that I`ve lived there for years, I don`t know --

KUMAR: I think --

ROBINSON: About the cartel --

KUMAR: I think that the American voters wish that they were a cartel,
things would actually --


KUMAR: Get better in Washington, that`s for recalls, right? --


O`DONNELL: Yes, we`re going to have to take a break here, coming up, Mike
Huckabee thinks the very worst thing that ever happened to marriage is

And the South Carolina Senate voted today to remove the Confederate flag
from the statehouse grounds. The granddaughter of the late Senator Strom
Thurmond will join us.

And Bernie Sanders turned up another huge crowd tonight and the Clinton
campaign admits they really are worried about Bernie.


O`DONNELL: On Friday, JetBlue became the first American airline to fly the
route between New York City and Havana, Cuba, in the last 50 years since
relations were normalized in December.

The airline now has a weekly charter flight from JFK to Havana which cannot
be booked through JetBlue, it can only be booked through Cuba Travel

Up next, the GOP`s mixed messages on so many issues.


O`DONNELL: "The Washington Post" reports that when likely Republican
presidential candidate Scott Walker said the Supreme Court decision on
marriage equality was a grave mistake, it was a hard day for the Walker

The "Post" quotes Scott Walker`s wife saying, "That was a hard one. Our
sons were disappointed and I was torn.

I have children who are very passionate in favor of same-sex marriage and
Scott was on his side very passionate.

It`s hard for me because I have a cousin who I love dearly, she is like a
sister to me, who is married to a woman, her partner of 18 years.

Scott Walker`s son Alex was the best man at the wedding of those two women
last year." Yesterday in Mike Huckabee`s latest attack on the Supreme
Court`s marriage equality ruling, he blamed it all on love.


MIKE HUCKABEE, FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: One of the mistakes we`ve even
heard over the course of the same-sex marriage debate is that marriage is
all about just love and feeling and sentimentality.

And regardless, heterosexual marriage is largely in trouble today because
people see it as a selfish means of pleasing self rather than a committed
relationship in which the focus is upon meeting the needs of the partner.

And that sense of selfishness and the redefinition of love as to something
that is purely sentimental and emotional has been destructive.


O`DONNELL: Ted Cruz doesn`t see what love`s got to do with it, he just
wants to talk about the constitution.


CRUZ: The narrative that`s told in the media is a narrative that suggests
somehow that Christians are intolerant when really it`s the extreme left
who is persecuting Christians --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think that gays are born that way?

CRUZ: Look, it`s not a question --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, yes, but I --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s important one because you hate something that
you can`t change --

CRUZ: And --


CRUZ: Can I ask you --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would you be discriminating? --

CRUZ: Can I ask you a question Harvey? --


CRUZ: Look, we did this interview to talk about my new book, "A Time for
Truth" --


CRUZ: And --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to ask you that --

CRUZ: And one of the things I am amazed at is the media, with all respect,
is obsessed with sex. It`s the only thing you want to --


CRUZ: Talk about --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But wants to start to talking about this --

CRUZ: No, actually, you raised the topic, and why is it that --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ve been talking about this, I think you`re being
mean to this --

CRUZ: I have been talking about the constitution for over 30 years.


O`DONNELL: You get that Gene, Ted Cruz`s book`s title is "A Time for
Truth", OK, that`s what the --


O`DONNELL: That`s what that interview --


O`DONNELL: Is all about --


O`DONNELL: Make sure -- make sure that title is in there.

ROBINSON: Whatever.

O`DONNELL: But you know --

KUMAR: Yes, right --

O`DONNELL: We`re talking about, you know, Trump alienating general
election --


O`DONNELL: Viewers with these --


O`DONNELL: Crazy messages, and then Mike Huckabee comes along --

ROBINSON: Right --

O`DONNELL: And castigates America for getting marriage all mixed up with
this thing called love.

ROBINSON: See, but Mike Huckabee and Tina Turner, what`s love got --


ROBINSON: To do with it --


ROBINSON: Right? And --


KUMAR: That`s the only time --



KUMAR: Will ever (INAUDIBLE) together.

ROBINSON: Yes, actually tried to pass what he said, it was really
ridiculous and convoluted thing he was trying to express. And he got
himself all tangled up.

He just doesn`t like gay marriage. He should just come out and say, I just
don`t like it, it`s icky or -- so whatever he thinks about it, because this

KUMAR: I mean he kind of backed those -- wife got --


KUMAR: Point, right? --

ROBINSON: No, this convoluted talk about how people who love now are not
committed to supporting the partner -- and so this is very -- why? How?

O`DONNELL: Well, let me -- I want to play something that Rick Santorum
said yesterday about this, because I think it actually does help focus why
Huckabee zeroed in on love. Let`s listen to Santorum on "Face the Nation".


SANTORUM: Marriage is no longer about kids, it`s simply about adults. And
I think that now that the United States is still the moral leader of the
world, that we`ve now disconnected marriage from children.

I think that has profound consequences, it`s not just for America, but for
the world.


O`DONNELL: And there we have it, Maria Teresa, he`s stuck in that crazy
notion about marriage being for kids which you can`t explain when couples
who can`t have kids get married, even though no matter how hard they try --

KUMAR: Well --

O`DONNELL: Or when, you know, people over 50 get married to each other and
they can`t have kids. And so --

ROBINSON: Couples practice --

KUMAR: Right --

ROBINSON: Contraception --

KUMAR: No, but they`re actually -- they were actually recognizing that the
majority of Americans minus immigrants are not having children even though
they`re married, right?

So this idea that he actually doesn`t understand what`s happening, not only
within our borders but globally as well, right?


KUMAR: And I think --

O`DONNELL: Right, but see, I think --

ROBINSON: This is about --


I think what Huckabee did -- Governor --

KUMAR: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Dean, I think what Huckabee did was recognize that you cannot
win this thing, this point about marriage being for kids because it`s so
demonstrably isn`t for people of a certain age and so forth.

And so Huckabee finds himself going after the real villain here which is
love. He has to also discount love because the Supreme Court felt that
love actually is an important factor here.

DEAN: These guys are floundering like crazy --


They are very conservative. They`re really conservative, they`re unhappy
with this, there -- you know, they never had to accept gay people and the
equal rights under the law.

And their huge problem as Scott Walker`s family shows is, this is an issue
that is the core of getting to people who are under 30 or under 35.

The young people were the essence of the Obama coalition. The Republicans
cannot touch them as long as they are perceived to be discriminating
against anybody, especially gays.

Most young people think that gay rights is the civil rights issue of their
time, and they vote accordingly.

And they will not throw their friends, especially their gay friends under
the bus for any other argument, including economic arguments.

So these -- the Republicans are in big trouble on this one because they`ve
got to figure out a way to put the car in reverse and they just keep
digging themselves a bigger hole.

O`DONNELL: Well, let`s listen to what Chris Christie said about it, at
least he focused on the Supreme Court.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: If we have those kind of justices and
more of them, we would not have had the same-sex marriage decision that we
had last week and we wouldn`t have had the Obamacare decision.

So, if the Christie type of judges had been on that court in the majority,
we would have won those cases in the Supreme Court rather than lost them.


O`DONNELL: Well, we will never have the --


O`DONNELL: Christie kind of judges domestically --

ROBINSON: I think exactly --

O`DONNELL: In the court unfortunately --

DEAN: The interesting question about -- does that --


DEAN: Does that mean Chris Christie would not have appointed Kennedy or
John Roberts to the court? I don`t think so.

O`DONNELL: It means he just would have appointed all Scalias. Gene,
that`s the answer they always give, is you know --



O`DONNELL: Republican candidates always say --

ROBINSON: Right --

O`DONNELL: Oh, I would like someone like --

ROBINSON: Right --

O`DONNELL: Scalia on the court.

ROBINSON: Yes, right, well, you know, find me the Republican who can
guarantee that a Supreme Court appointee will always vote the way --

O`DONNELL: Right --

ROBINSON: He wants. I mean, it hasn`t happened, you know, go back to Earl
Warren -- nor does it happen with -- for Democratic presidents that their
justices always vote the way that -- I mean --

KUMAR: Yes, but I think that what --

ROBINSON: That`s the point of --

KUMAR: But I think what was --

ROBINSON: The Supreme Court --

KUMAR: Actually unsettling coming out from Christie with the fact that he
basically pulled the curtain behind for the Republican -- for the American
people and said you know what?

We actually have to negotiate for these. So, I promise in Jersey, I
promise that the Chief Justice in trade for three of mine, that actually is
unsettling and it reminds too many people of Bridgegate.

So I think that he`s actually not putting -- he`s not positioning himself
back to being an honest broker but more of back-pedaling places where
people actually don`t find seemly in this current political time right.

O`DONNELL: All right, a quick break here, coming up, the historic vote in
South Carolina State Senate to remove the Confederate flag from statehouse

And later, a shift in party affiliation for American voters toward


O`DONNELL: For seven hours today, the South Carolina Senate formally
debated removing the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds.

Here is Republican Chip Campsen from Charleston speaking about the
parishioners at Mother Emanuel AME Church.


SEN. CHIP CAMPSEN (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: They expressed even charity to the
-- to the murderer of their family member during a bond hearing.
Forgiveness and even charity and concern for their souls.

Amazing people.


CAMPSEN: Utterly amazing. As a member of the Senate, from the town where
that occurred, I could not let that go without a response.

If they can be peacemakers in those dire circumstances, the circumstances
of the worst possible circumstances that any human being can encounter.

If they can be peacemakers in the midst of that, I determine I can be a
peacemaker when it comes to a flag flying on our statehouse grounds.


O`DONNELL: But some members of the Senate were unmoved. Republican Harvey
Peeler who voted against removing the flag from the top of the capitol 15
years ago voted against removing it from the statehouse grounds today.


SEN. HARVEY PEELER (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: To remove the flag from the
statehouse grounds and thinking it would change history would be like
removing a tattoo from the corpse of a loved one and thinking that that
would change the loved one`s obituary.

That won`t change history.


O`DONNELL: The final vote was 37 in favor of removing the flag, three
opposed. We`re joined now by phone, by Wanda Bailey, she is the
granddaughter of the late Senator Strom Thurmond.

Back with us, of course, Eugene Robinson who is a South Carolina native.
Wanda Bailey, I wanted to get your reaction to this vote today, your half
brother in the Senate, Senator Paul Thurmond had spoken very passionately
about the need to remove this flag.

What was your reaction to the vote today?

excited, and I will say this, in addition to the excitement today, and I
always say hopefully a third time is a charm, is that I am proud of Paul

I thought he did an outstanding job, it was profound, and I think he led in
that position to do in the state what was very important.

So you know, I am so grateful and I am just, you know, ecstatic about
everything that`s transpired in light of what happened. Unfortunately,
nine lives were taken. The accused killer use the flags.

I, personally, that served as a congruent for the hate and anger he felt
for blacks. You know, this all looks like a malicious plan of attack that
allow him -- he thought was going to do some harm or incite a riot when in
fact it did not, because the Charlestonians assembled at the scene of the
shooting and began singing praise and to denounce his evil act. So I am

We have proven that we can take the high road. We have shown love, peace,
hope and unity, regardless of happened. And, the unthinkable that had
occurred was the families of the victims that voiced their heartfelt act of
compassion to forgive the accused killer.

I mean such an act of mercy, I mean it is just incredible. So, hopefully
tomorrow will be a defining moment that I think South Carolina needs to
take the lead in, because where everything began with slavery. You had the
Jim Crow Laws. I think it is time that South Carolina takes the lead to
create a defining moment in this country that I think will have a great
improvement to what needs to transpire.

Because as you know, I always believe that racism has always been like an
elephant in the room. And, people do not know how to deal with it or they
just choose to ignore it. So, I think all of this is going to, the outcome
of this will prove to be something good for everyone in this country.

O`DONNELL: Gene Robinson, we heard it from Senator Campsen in what he
just said, that the reaction of forgiveness, by the member of the church,
by the members of the families of the victims, had such a profound effect.
It seemed as, though, it was virtually the same as them going over to that
flagpole and taking the flag down themselves. That seems to be what
actually brought --

ROBINSON: Yes. You know, I was in South Carolina for the Reverend
Clementa Pinckney`s funeral. And, yes, the parents and those relatives at
the court -- at the hearing, where they expressed forgiveness had a
profound effect on the city of Charleston and on the state of South

And, what you heard from the senator, I just hear from so many people in
different context in Charleston. It was a shock. It was a moment that I
think South Carolina will long remember, you know. I have lots of
questions. I grew up in South Carolin.


ROBINSON: So, you know, and there are lot of things, that if the spirit
continues, people can work on, right? Because there are, you know, Voter
I.D. Laws that serve to disenfranchise African-Americans. And, you know,
there are lots of other piece of legislation that I think it would be great
for the state to work on, but the flag has a symbol and flags are
important. Flags denote allegiance. And that is, that flag went up, as we
have pointed out in the show in 1961, not in 1861.


ROBINSON: And, it was put up as sort of a middle finger toward the federal
government and its efforts to desegregate schools and public accommodations
and everything else in the south and Jim Crow. So, that is what the flag
meant. And, to take it down, again, it is a tragedy as Senator Thurmond`s
granddaughter said too, that it took nine lives to get to this point, but
that was an incredible moment, that moment of forgiveness.

O`DONNELL: I want to listen to something that Strom Thurmond`s son Paul
Thurmond, State Senator Paul Thurmond, said on the senate floor there,
shortly after the massacre. He talked about wondering what his purpose
was, working there in the senate, following in his father`s footsteps in
effect in politics. Let us listen to this.


wondered, what is my purpose here in the senate. I have asked God to guide
me and to strengthen me. And, I have prayed that I will be able to make a
difference for this state.

I have prayed that I will leave this place better for the future
generations. I am proud to take a stand and no longer be silent. I am
proud to be on the right side of history, regarding the removal of this
symbol of racism and bigotry from the state house.


O`DONNELL: Wanda Bailey, I can tell you, we all watched your brother`s
speech with awe. Here was Strom Thurmond who was a staunch segregationist.
Here is his son, the only child of his to follow him in politics, giving
this speech, which was against all of the segregationist rhetoric that
Strom Thurmond had delivered for decades and decades.

What was your personal reaction to it, and tell us a little bit more about
your brother Paul and what it was like the first time you met him when it
became, it was no longer a secret that Strom Thurmond had you, a child with
your mother?

BAILEY: Well, actually Paul Thurmond, believe it or not, is my uncle.

O`DONNELL: Oh, uncle, OK.

BAILEY: He is my mother`s brother.


BAILEY: Just for clarification. But I will tell you, I will reiterate and
say this again. I am proud of Paul Thurmond coming forward. That was a
moment for him. When he talked about his forefathers and the legacy of,
you know, the victims that had sickened him, I think -- you know, it is an
interesting thing.

I think the reality hit a lot of white Americans. I think what happened in
Charleston, whatever ill feelings they may have had in the past, you know,
with the loss of nine lives, I think it really changed a lot of things.

And, you know, the, when you talk about, and I think it was mentioned by
Mr. Robinson about the flag itself being symbol, I always define that as an
inflammatory iconic symbol that continues to promote the hatred and mayhem;
but, again, I am proud of Paul. I have met Paul.

We talked two months ago, prior to the massacre. And, he mentioned some
very interesting -- we had a very interesting conversation as a matter of
fact. So, this was something that was intended for him to have happen.
Again, he needed to take the role. He needed to take the leading role to
do what he was able to speak to.

And, I thought he did an excellent job. So I -- again, I, you know, I
cannot say enough that I think it was important that he take that step to
make a difference. And another point I would like to express is that,
there are a lot of call centers out there that are in a dilemma, and I
think he is helping them make the decision to step forward to do what is
right, and that is to help change America.

O`DONNELL: Wanda Bailey, the granddaughter of the late Senator Strom
Thurmond, and the niece of State Senator Paul Thurmond. Thank you very
much for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.

BAILEY: You are welcome. Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you. We are going to take a quick break. Coming up,
Bernie Sanders, once again, needs to find a bigger place.


O`DONNELL: And, now for the good news. One afternoon last week, Rhode
Island police got a call about a possible jumper on the Sakonnet Bridge
that connects a Aquidneck Island with the mainland. Aquidneck is so big it
does not feel like an island. The city of Newport is at the southern end
of the island. And, the town of Portsmouth is at the north end, where the
Sakonnet bridge is.

Portsmouth Police Officer, Patrick O`Neill, who has lived his whole life on
Aquidneck Island rushed to the scene. And there on the bridges`s bike
path, he spotted a man leaning over the rail. Officer O`Neill said he knew
the man, quote, "From previous contact." Meaning, of course, previous
police contact.

Patrick O`Neill told the Portsmouth Times, "As I got closer to him, I could
see he had a noose around his neck, and I said, `Are you OK?` And, he said
he was not OK." Patrick O`Neill knew what to do. "`It happened very
quick,` he said. I went over and was able to put my arms around him and
pull him back. He did not struggle."

The Portsmouth Times reports a worker from the Rhode Island Island Turnpike
and bridge authority cut the noose from man`s neck. And, the Portsmouth
Fire Department brought the man to Newport Hospital for evaluation.

"He went willingly," said Officer O`Neill. "He acknowledged he needed to
talk to somebody about what was going on in his life." Portsmouth Police
Officer Patrick O`Neill, local hero, American Hero.


O`DONNELL: More Americans aligned with democrats than republicans,
according to a new Gallup Poll from the last three quarters. Americans
have been, almost, equally split between the two parties.

But, today, 30 percent say they identify as democrats, and 16 percent of
independents say they lean toward the Democratic Party, while 25 percent
identify as republicans and 16 percent of Independence say they lean

For an example of democrats` rising popularity, look no further than the
crowds at Bernie Sanders` events. Tonight, Bernie Sanders` campaign had to
once again find a larger space to accommodate the thousands in Portland,
Maine who wanted to hear him speak. According to the Bangor Daily News,
the Civic Center staff estimates that close to 9,000 people were there


asked me, they say, "Well, you know, Bernie, why are so many people coming
out to your events?" And the answer is, I think, pretty obvious.


From Maine to California, we have friends in Alaska and Hawaii as well.
The American people understand that establishment politics and
establishment economics is not working for the middle class!



O`DONNELL: Today on "Morning Joe," A Clinton spokesperson was asked if the
Clinton campaign is worried about Bernie Sanders.


worried about him, sure. He is a force. He is going to be -- He will be a
serious force for the campaign, and we think that, that probably -- I do
not think that will, you know, diminish.


O`DONNELL: And the "New York Times" headline today said, "Hillary
Clinton`s team is wary of Bernie Sanders finds up footing in Iowa to which
Bernie Sanders responded.


SEN. SANDERS: Well, they should be wary of it. We are doing very, very
well. We have had meetings all over the state of Iowa. The turnout has
been great. We are now focusing on how you win the rather complicated
caucus process in Iowa. We are getting support from trade unionists. We
are getting support from students. We are getting support all across the
spectrum and I am feeling very good.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, John Nichols, Washington Correspondent for "The
Nation," whose interview with Bernie Sanders is the cover story for this
week`s issue of "The Nation."

John, you did not just interview Bernie. You are Bernie enthusiast. You
introduced him at one of those giant Bernie events recently. What are
those crowds like? What is your sense of them? And, what is it that you
think they are looking for in this candidate?

good question. And, yes, I have introduced Bernie Sanders many times over
many years, and one of the things that has always struck me is that he has
always been able to attract a crowd.

This is not necessarily a new phenomenon, but it is one that is getting a
lot more attention, and I think that the attention causes the crowds to
grow. More people come. There is more media attention to it. And, there
is an intensity to it, Lawrence. I am powerfully struck by it. I have
seen a lot of rallies in my time and a lot of politics, and I have
definitely seen intense moments politically.

But, here it is interesting, because there is not a lot of bells and
whistles. There is not, you know, musicians and rock stars and celebrities
coming out before. It is pretty much just Bernie Sanders. And, when he
gets up there, it is a very serious speech, not a lot of jokes. Not a lot
of, you know, big soliloquies.

And people seem to want that. I think that we may be entering into a very
serious moment in our politics where people recognize that some big choices
need to be made, and they get very enthusiastic about somebody who is
serious with them.

O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, you have been watching Bernie Sanders longer than
any of us as a Vermonter. In the middle of John Nichols` interview with
Bernie Sanders, there is a long part on socialism and on Bernie being a

And, it reminds me of that 1988 moment when Michael Dukakis tried to deny
he was a liberal because of course democrats must always runaway from that
word liberal. It can never get stuck to it. And, here is Bernie Sanders
embracing the term socialism, the fact that he is a socialist. He says it
more than once in the article.

And then does something that no other candidate would ever do. He actually
points to other countries and how he believes other countries do things
better than we do, including Scandinavian socialist countries. How has
that worked in Vermont? Has Bernie managed to educate Vermonters to the
essential truth that we are all socialists now?

HOWAR DEAN, FORMER VERMONT GOVERNOR: I do not think he has managed to
educate people about socialism so much as to say who he is. And, that is a
very powerful and very attractive quality for a politician to have. Most
politicians are afraid. They do not dare say this. They poll driven.

I doubt Bernie Sanders has ever taken up an issue and given a speech in his
life based on some poll that one of his people did. So, that is what --
standing up for who you are is an unbelievably attractive quality.

It is why we have same-sex marriage today, because the gay community stood
up in 1968 and said who they were and stopped -- and started coming out of
the shadows.

So, being a social is really -- it is just a name. Nobody really knows
what a socialist is, except for people in academia. And Bernie just said,
"Yeah, I am one, so what?" This is exactly like the candidate we have for
governors who is accused of being gay, and he said, "Yeah, I am, so what?"
End of story.


O`DONNELL: Gene Robinson, the, news week did a cover so many years ago, I
cannot remember., saying we are all socialists now, you know? Medicare is
a socialist program. Social Security is a socialist program. No
politicians advocate the abolition of social security. Therefore, they
embrace socialism at some level. Bernoe much more than others, but he is
not afraid of that word.

ROBINSON: No. It is hard, as you have said it, it is a word. Right?


ROBINSON: Until he embraces the word. He uses the word. You are correct,
that we have many socialist programs that are now ingrained in our
government. And, so that is, that is the way it is. I mean, and I think
Howard Dean is absolutely, right. The authenticity, the lack of hype, the
fact that Bernie Sanders may not know what a focus group is.


He just does not care.


ROBINSON: Yes. I think that is attractive, and it is attractive to a lot
of younger voters, but not just younger voters. I do not think that crowd
was just young people.


KUMAR: So, I think there is something that John was saying --

NICHOLS: If I could throw in one thing in here.

O`DONNELL: One second.

KUMAR: I think there is something, John, that you were saying earlier that
is very - I think that at the core, American people can sniff when someone
is being authentic or not. And, that is often times when you get turned on
to a politician. In this case, he is raw. He is completely raw.

You know that he is not in bed with any corporate interests. He knows that
he is multi-generational. He is speaking to a generation that remembered
when government worked and he also speaking to a generation that heard
those when government worked.

So, I think that he is actually bringing two generations together and
saying, "Look, this is something that we can be great again, because we
once were." And people, actually, believe him for a change.

O`DONNELL: John Nichols, can I ask you to hold that thought? --

NICHOLS: If I could throw one thing in --

O`DONNELL: John, can I ask you to hold that thought. We are going to take
a quick break and come right back.


O`DONNELL: The editorial board of the "New York Times" is playing catch up
with the "Last Word" once again. They have come out with the notion that a
woman should join Alexander Hamilton on the next $10 bill.

They do not think a woman should do that. That is the treasury
department`s proposal. They believe that a woman should replace Andrew
Jackson on the 20, something we have said here for quite a while.

And, the "New York Times" suggests the possibilities are Harriet Tubman,
the abolitionist, Ida B. Wells, the suffragist, Rosa Parks, Civil Rights
hero, Eleanor Roosevelt, the activist first lady diplomat.

And of course "Last Word" favorite, Francis Perkins, the first woman
appointed to the cabinet. The woman who gave us Social Security, Medicare
and so many other programs that derived from Social Security, including
Obamacare. Quick break, we will be right back.



SEN. SANDERS: The taxpayers of this country bailed out the illegal
behavior on Wall Street. It is Wall Street`s time to help the middle class
of this country!



O`DONNELL: John Nichols, you were trying to get a word in about Bernie
Sanders as we went to the break.

NICHOLS: Well, not to push it too far, but I was so interested in the good
comments being made by the other folks. And, as you brought up the word
socialism, one of the things I asked Bernie Sanders about in the interview
was the word itself, and why he identifies so comfortably, why he uses it.

And one of the things that he pointed out is that for so long democrats
have runaway from words like liberal and progressive. And, when you say
who you are, when you are blunt about it, it is much harder to accuse you
of being something. And, I think that is one of the things that has worked
for sanders in this race.

It does not mean that everybody who is showing up for these rallies
identifies as a socialist or a social democrat. What it means is that, I
think a lot of folks want to get beyond throwing a label at somebody and
get to the core issues.

And, frankly, if you talk about the democratic party at this point, and
awful lot of the base of the democratic party at this point wants a much
more progressive, much more populist message, whether it comes from Bernie
Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, but they want it. And, I think that is part
of what has really connected here.

O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, we have frequently now, I guess, seen insurgencies
on the left of the Democratic Party and presidential primary campaigning,
but that is not who the nominee usually ends up being.

DEAN: Well, that is true with both parties. They tend to nominate the
more centrist people, because at the end of the day, I think people want
somebody they think can win and that can beat the republicans.

My own demise was really caused by my own lack of organization both as a
candidate and some of the problems in the campaign, but I think the pattern
held true. John Kerry was the safe choice, so the voters thought, and that
is who got the nomination.

So, there is many, many miles to go in this campaign and anybody who would
count out Hillary Clinton right now would be a fool. But, it is going to
be an interesting campaign.

O`DONNELL: Eugene Robinson, Maria Teresa Kumar, Howard Dean and John
Nichols, thank you all very much for joining us tonight. Chris Hayes is
up next.


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