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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Monday, August 3rd, 2015

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Date: August 3, 2015
Guest: Howard Dean, Robert Costa, Annie Linskey, Sarah Clements

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: I don`t think anybody really cares --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No explanation, Bon Jovi --



MADDOW: I don`t think anybody really cares which New Jersey singer the
state`s governor likes more. I do think people might care that he would
pick that as something to lie about overtly.

Governor Christie, in a blind taste test, you and your wife chose Jon Bon
Jovi, that is a decision you are going to have to live with. We have the

That does it for us tonight, we will see you again tomorrow, now it`s time
for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: So Rachel, back to machine gun bacon --

MADDOW: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Would we have machine gun bacon in this campaign, were it not
for Donald Trump turning all those guys into now TV reality stars?

MADDOW: I want to say yes, I want to say that the arc of the moral
universe bends toward machine gun bacon and we just get there by 2016, but
like it`s -- you know, it`s a counter factual, I don`t know.

O`DONNELL: He`s making them do crazy things.

MADDOW: That`s true.


O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel.

MADDOW: Thanks Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Well, if this week`s Republican presidential debate is anything
like this week`s Sunday political talk shows, Donald Trump is going to have
a very easy time.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who`s in and who`s out with three days to go until
the first Republican debate? The man who tops the leader board is trying to
lower expectations.

TRUMP ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: I have never debated before, I`m not a

I`m not a debater, I don`t -- I`ve never debated before, I`ve never been on
a stage debating. You know, these guys debate every night of their life,
that`s all they do, is debate.

But the fact is I`m not a debater and they are, we`ll see what happens, who

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump is leading the pack.

TRUMP: Everybody loves me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That means we`d see Donald Trump right in the center
surrounded by Scott Walker and Jeb Bush to his left and right.

CHRISTIE: So, I think to be on the stage Thursday night in the top ten is
an important first step.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Only the ten candidates who rank highest in an average
of the five most recent national polls will qualify for the debate.

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: We`ll see what happens, I`d like to be there,
we`ll just have to wait and see how all these polls work out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re right on the cut line. How important is that
for you at 5:00 or 9:00 on Thursday?


KASICH: I`m not really worried about what`s happening here in August.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everything is fine, 14 Republican presidential hopefuls
are going to try to woo the crowd tonight.

JEB BUSH, FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: I think I have the leadership skills
based on my record --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At the voters first forum in New Hampshire.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Ronald Reagan and Tip O`Neill
saved Social Security by working together after they had a drink, maybe we
need to drink more in Washington.


O`DONNELL: Tomorrow, the lineup of ten candidates for the first televised
Republican presidential debate will be decided on the basis of five recent
national polls.

"Fox News" has not disclosed which five recent national polls they will use
to determine that lineup. Three new national polls today show Donald
Trump leading the Republican field.

The new "Nbc News", "Wall Street Journal" poll released tonight with a
margin of error of 6.2 percent shows Donald Trump at 19, Scott Walker at
15, Jeb Bush at 14, Ben Carson at 10, Ted Cruz at 9, Mike Huckabee, Rand
Paul at 6, Marco Rubio at 5, Chris Christie, Rick Perry and John Kasich all
with 3.

A new "Fox News" poll released tonight with a margin of error of 4 percent
shows Donald Trump at 26, Jeb Bush at 15, Scott Walker, 9, Ben Carson 7,
Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee tied at 6.

Marco Rubio and Rand Paul tied at 5 and Chris Christie and John Kasich at 3
percent. Three percent seems to be the cut off for the first ten in this
line up.

And a new Monmouth University poll released today on a margin of error of
4.8 percent shows Donald Trump at 26 percent, Jeb Bush at 12 percent, Scott
Walker at 11 percent, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee at 6, Ben Carson at 5.

Chris Christie, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio at 4 and John Kasich squeezing in
there at 3 percent. Most of the Republican presidential candidates
participated in a candidates forum in New Hampshire tonight, but not
frontrunner Donald Trump.

The conservative newspaper, the "Union Leader" was a sponsor of the forum,
and today the executive editor of that newspaper explained why Donald Trump
refused to attend.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump sent a letter to the publisher, he was
upset there was a tongue-in-cheek editorial in the "Union Leader",
basically calling Donald Trump a hero.

It was sarcastic and it came after Donald Trump said John -- Senator John
McCain was not a war hero.

So Mr. Trump sent a letter to the publisher signed Donald, saying that
he`s a businessman and he`s got a billion dollars worth of money and his
instinct -- he built this business using his instinct.

And that his instinct tells him he`s not going to get the endorsement of
Joe McQuade, and so he`s out.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Joy Reid, Msnbc national correspondent, Howard
Dean, former Vermont governor and former Democratic National Committee

Also with us, Robert Costa, "Washington Post" national political reporter.
Howard Dean, as New Hampshire`s neighboring governor, you`ve been there

What is the importance of the "Union Leader" in this Republican primary?

HOWARD DEAN, FORMER VERMONT GOVERNOR: I think the "Union Leader" matters
some. It always has.

O`DONNELL: But will Donald Trump --

DEAN: We`re on the Republican side --

O`DONNELL: Some way make it --

DEAN: Yes, it doesn`t mean --

O`DONNELL: Look, can Trump make it irrelevant?

DEAN: He might. In a -- in a race with ten candidates, many of whom are
unknown, it helps if they endorse one of the ten candidates that nobody`s
ever heard of.

For somebody like Jeb Bush or Donald Trump, it probably doesn`t make any
difference is my guess.

O`DONNELL: The Sunday shows were easy work for Donald Trump this weekend
because there`s that thing where he won`t necessarily accept the frame of a
question or answer a question within any sort of limited time.

And so you watch the host trying to corral him. But too many of the
questions were about, you know, Donald, what do you think of the polls
instead of --

DEAN: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Anything actually substantive. But Jonathan Karl asked a very
good question and a relevant question that produced a truly shocking
answer, and I want to play that now.


about something you tweeted last year. You said of Barack Obama, sadly,
because President Obama has done such a poor job as president, you won`t
see another black president for generations.

What did you mean by that? I understand your critique, but why do you say
that means we won`t see another black president for generations?

TRUMP: Because I think that he has set a very poor standard. I think that
he has set a very low bar, and I think it`s a shame for the African-
American people.

And by the way, he has done nothing for African-Americans. You look at
what`s gone on with their income levels, you look at what`s gone on with
their youth, I thought that he would be a great cheerleader for this

I thought he`d do a fabulous job for the African-American citizens of this
country. He has done nothing. They are worse now than just about ever.


O`DONNELL: Joy Reid?

JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, first of all, I`m
sure that black America appreciates Donald Trump caring so much about what
happens to the African-American community.

But redding to his answer if you listen to it is the premise that I think
really explains Donald Trump and explains the people who like Donald Trump.

What Donald Trump thinks being a successful African-American president
means is being a cheerleader for this country.

And he is upset that Barack Obama has not somehow ingratiated himself with
the kind of people who think that Barack Obama ought to show his birth
certificate with some great humility.

Perhaps Barack Obama should have been more differential to the big business
people like Donald Trump who have lots of money.

Perhaps, he should have been more ingratiating toward the kind of people
who think Mexican migrants are all a bunch of rapists.

Perhaps he should have been the kind of African-American politician who
would fit in more to the Republican primary.

This idea that black politicians err when they stepped out of what someone
like Donald Trump believes their box is.

And what Barack Obama did to step out of that box was to govern and to
govern very forthrightly and to actually succeed and to constantly defeat

That enrages the kind of people who like Donald Trump.

O`DONNELL: Robert Costa, Jonathan Karl wrestled with him, but as we saw in
all of his answers on Sunday, he just kept running and used up the clock
and Jonathan Karl moved on to another subject.

So he never got the follow up in there, the kind of logic -- logical
question which is -- so, if an African-American president does what you
think is a bad job, America won`t elect another African-American president.

What about a white president doing a bad job and why would America ever
elect a white president after, say, Richard Nixon or others who have been
judged by significant portions of the population to have done a bad job?

ROBERT COSTA, THE WASHINGTON POST: It`s a great follow-up, I`m sure if he
comes on the show you can ask him that. But this is -- this fascinating
thing about watching Trump on Sunday is race.

The Republican Party, they don`t want to be talking about race and to hear
Charleston, unrest across the country, immigration. Most of the
presidential contenders want to shy away from that issue if it`s not
talking about border security.

Trump, he welcomes these discussions. And he -- as you say, ask him a
question, he`ll give you a confident answer and he`ll ramble on.

O`DONNELL: And Howard Dean, he will confidently march straight into a
racist answer and plays with the confidence that he will outmaneuver the
follow-up question.

He will push this past the point where he knows Jonathan Karl is going to
go to another agenda item.

And by the way, Robert, he is -- he does have an open invitation to be on
this program, where he knows he`ll get follow-up questions and you know,
and it`s late at night for him, so I`m not expecting him anytime soon.

DEAN: You know, the focus groups that were done and that we talked about
on "MORNING JOE" a couple of -- I guess was last week, they`re just
extraordinary. This guy has got staying power and you know, I of course --


O`DONNELL: The focus groups --

DEAN: Ridiculous --

O`DONNELL: Of Trump supporters --

DEAN: That`s right, that`s right --

O`DONNELL: And we -- remember, you know, one fourth of Republican voters
is one fourth of one third --

DEAN: Oh, I --

O`DONNELL: Of the voters, this is a tiny group --

DEAN: The point I`m trying to make though is he could actually win the
nomination. I never thought I would say that, ever. I mean I think this
guy is a buffoon.

But he -- if you look at the supporters that he has, they are, the vote --
quote that just blew me away was somebody saying, he`s one of us.

This guy is a billion dollars, he flies around on planes, he says
ridiculous things, this guy is one of us.

REID: But --

O`DONNELL: But there`s still a majority of Republicans --


DEAN: I think he`s not going to win the -- he`s not going to be president
but I actually think that I underestimated his staying power with that wing
of the Republican Party which is incredibly resentful.

The exact wing that all the Washington Republicans are desperately trying
to put back in the box so they can win a national election, especially with
young people.


REID: But I mean, if you think about it though, I think that -- if we
didn`t see the Trump phenomenon coming, it`s only because we haven`t been
paying attention to who the Republican base really is as opposed to who
particularly in the beltway we want Republicans --

O`DONNELL: Right --

REID: To be. We want them to be the people who revere John McCain. We
want the base to be the kind of people who would never think to put Sarah
Palin one heartbeat away from the battening(ph).

But they love Sarah Palin, the Palinites(ph), the Trump people are the same
people. Ben Carson has been an august personage in the black community for

He`s been a renowned neurosurgeon for decades. He only became a viable
Republican politician when he slugged President Obama to his face at a
prayer breakfast.

When he became that nasty version of Ben Carson, somehow he was great, now
he`s third place in many of these polls. If you look at what the base has
wanted, it hasn`t changed a lot.

It`s Sarah Palin and Donald Trump -- is just a male version of her --

O`DONNELL: Well --

REID: Singing message --

DEAN: Yes, I thought --

REID: You know --

DEAN: I think, yes --

REID: Awkward in --


O`DONNELL: Go ahead Robert, go ahead Robert.

COSTA: This debate is going to be the test for Trump. So, the most people
watching Trump doing this campaign, they see the Trump from the Trump tower

The one who uses the word rapist when talking about immigrants. But when
you talk to Trump`s advisors, I`ve been checking in with them today, they
say watch for Trump to maybe hold back.

To say to the Republican primary base, I am actually electable. I think
Governor Dean is right, the base is paying attention to this debate.

Is Trump for real or is this a Summer fling? They`re going to look for the
cue, especially with his demeanor.

O`DONNELL: Well, let`s just remember on Summer flings he still hasn`t
reached the Herman Cain level --

COSTA: Yes --

O`DONNELL: In the polls of --

COSTA: Yes --

O`DONNELL: Four years ago. Now, Howard Dean, here is a counter point to
what you were just saying about the Trump winning the nomination, it`s the
"New York Times" headline today.

Jeb Bush`s camp sees an upside to Donald Trump surge in the GOP. I just
want to read this line from it, "privately, Mr. Bush`s top strategists who
have become increasingly fixated on halting Mr. Walker believe that Mr.
Trump is nothing short of a Godsend.

That is because Mr. Trump is drawing support from voters, blue collar, less
educated, more conservative who are unlikely to ever support Mr. Bush but
are essential to Mr. Walker`s --

DEAN: I think that --

O`DONNELL: Candidacy." So there is the establishment candidate Bush
saying thank God, literally --

DEAN: Well --

O`DONNELL: That Trump is in the race --


DEAN: I actually think it helps Bush more than that. Here is what it
does. It allows somebody in the Republican Party to look like a grownup
and presidential.

That somebody isn`t going to be Scott Walker and --

O`DONNELL: Yes, Bush is the only one who not --


DEAN: Is not going to beat Marco Rubio --


That`s exactly right --

O`DONNELL: Thinking and stuff --

REID: Right --

DEAN: And so, this is about all for the soul of the Republican Party.
They -- look, this started in 1968 when Nixon made the southern strategy
deal with the southern race, this pulled him out of the Democratic Party
and put him in the Republican Party.

COSTA: But --

DEAN: He`s a big guy, you know, and the Republican, smart Republican
people know with the new generation, the new demographics of America, they
cannot win the presidency.

Jeb Bush knows that. I agree with his advisors, I think not only does he
push all the oxygen out of the air for people like Scott Walker, but he
also makes Jeb Bush look presidential and that`s important.

O`DONNELL: All right, we`ll be --

COSTA: Some of the --

O`DONNELL: Robert, you`re going to finish your thought after the break,
we`re going to come back with more on this.

Coming up, Republican candidates -- are for president are actually asked
some specific policy questions tonight in New Hampshire in front of a live

And later, a dramatic scene of Beau Biden, knowing he had very limited time
left in his life and urging his father Joe Biden to run for president.

And Amy Schumer and her cousin Senator Chuck Schumer talk guns and safety
after a shooting during a screening of Amy Schumer`s movie in Louisiana.

The woman who encouraged Amy Schumer to speak up will join us.


O`DONNELL: The nation`s oldest daily college newspaper endorsed Donald
Trump for president. The "Harvard Crimson" linked Donald Trump for
president to Franklin Delano Roosevelt as only the "Crimson" could.

Saying, "the creative methods and avenues through which Trump has created
jobs would likely make former "Crimson" editor-in-chief Franklin D.
Roosevelt smile."

The editors of the "Crimson" actually brought their cherished "Harvard
Crimson`s" president`s chair all the way down to New York to Donald Trump`s

He is sitting in that chair in this photograph gleefully accepting the
endorsement of the "Crimson`s" surrounded by members of the Crimson`s
editorial board.

But a close reading of the absurd editorial and a close look at the
neckties, most of those editors are wearing -- reveals that this is yet
another prank by the "Harvard Lampoon" against the "Harvard Crimson".

Pranks that the "Lampoon" has been carrying out for over a 100 years now,
it turns out that once again, members of the "Lampoon" apparently stole the
"Harvard Crimson`s" president`s chair.

Which is actually held down by chains in the Crimson`s office in order to
prevent the "Lampoon" from stealing it yet again.

Once Trump land realized they had been duped by the oldest humor magazine
in the country, Donald Trump`s attack lawyer did his standard intimidation
routine with the "Lampoon".

And today, the Trump campaign released a statement saying, "the students
who perpetrated this are fraudsters and liars, but frankly it was a waste
of only a few minutes of Mr. Trump`s time and Mr. Trump attended the great
Wharton School of Finance, a school that has more important things to do."

Up next, Republican candidates for president were forced to answer some
policy questions in New Hampshire tonight and of course Donald Trump didn`t
show up.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should Planned Parenthood receive federal tax fair

the character, the moral character of our nation. It`s not about whether
you`re pro choice or pro life.

BEN CARSON, NEUROSURGEON: Absolutely they should not fund Planned

GEORGE PATAKI, FORMER NEW YORK GOVERNOR: Planned Parenthood has a horrific
disregard for basic human life, and I think they should be defunded.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: We had to be here to vote to defund Planned
Parenthood and I hope very much that we see Republican leadership actually
lead the fight to get it done and we stop funding Planned Parenthood.


O`DONNELL: That was the easiest question for the candidates` forum in
Manchester, New Hampshire tonight. Joining us now is Annie Linskey,
national political reporter for "The Boston Globe".

Annie, that forum was very peculiar tonight, they had two rounds, they had
all -- they had 14 of the candidates up there and they would each get on
there for three minutes and then come back about -- felt like an hour later
for a minute and a half.

How do you think that played in New Hampshire?

know, the audience certainly seems to be enjoying parts of it, but from the
listeners at home, I mean, it was just so awkward.

Particularly these candidates sort of getting up, shuffling off the stage,
shuffling back on the stage, and then the candidates, they`re going to
first roll, kind of talking to each other and chatting a little bit.

Exchanging glances, I mean, it just was a very awkward format. And you`ve
got to think that Republican leaders watching this on TV are also thinking,
my goodness.

I mean, you know, even ten seems like an awful lot to be on the stage which
we`re going to see later next --

O`DONNELL: All right --

LINSKEY: Week. So, I don`t know, it is -- also you just -- it`s very hard
to just remember what anybody, and they give an impression, how sad
because, you know, you sort of have, you`re introduced to them and then
they`re off the stage shuffling away and somebody else is being announced
in coming on.

So, it was unusual.

O`DONNELL: And then there are a couple of little moments of lightning like
when Lindsey Graham reminded us all that he was a prosecutor in the
impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Let`s listen to this.


GRAHAM: As to the Clintons, I`ve been dealing with this crowd for 20
years. I`m fluent in Clinton-speak, you want me to translate Jack?

When he says -- Bill says, I didn`t have sex with that woman, he did. When
she says, I`ll tell you about building a pipeline when I get to be
president, means she won`t.

And when she tells us, trust me, you`ve got all the e-mails that you need,
we haven`t even scratched the surface.


O`DONNELL: So, Joy Reid, now Lindsey Graham provides a 20-year frame --


For the Hillary Clinton e-mail story.

REID: I guess, except that people like Bill Clinton, like voters in
general, I`m not sure that, that is the way to sort of make himself stand
out. And I understand his dilemma, he`s really at the bottom of most of
these polls.

He needs to somehow make a name for himself, there was another piece of it
where he, you know, went after the President for not being willing to
essentially put ground troops on the ground and make war against ISIS.

I just feel like the arguments for these other candidates, they don`t work
-- absent someone to rebut them on some give-and-take, and so that just
sounded like a history lesson that was -- I hate to say, but was boring.

O`DONNELL: Robert Costa, the audience was forbidden from actually having
demonstrative reactions in anyway, clapping or anything like that.

So we don`t know how that comment played with the audience. But is that
something that works or will work in this Republican primary for Lindsey
Graham to go back 20 years to Bill Clinton`s scandal material?

COSTA: Perhaps, I mean, when you look at Senator Graham, Carly Fiorina,
some of the candidates who are in the lower tier of the polling, they keep
testing out these lines about Secretary Clinton because they think that`s
the way to the top.

Get a clever line, get in the newspaper lead, try your best to get some
attention. We`ll have to see, I was more struck by those Planned
Parenthood comments.

And this is a party that wants to avoid the culture war, yet they are in
lock-step in opposition to Planned Parenthood. You see the right now
revived on the social conservative issues.

And most interesting is that Donald Trump, he says he is pro life, but he
used to be pro choice, and he also was not really becoming a cultural
warrior in the same way many of his rivals are.

O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, this Lindsey Graham moment really struck me that
they -- Lindsey Graham believes that Hillary Clinton should bear the burden
of every credibility moment or every credibility stress that Bill Clinton
has ever gone through.

DEAN: Here is the thing that I think is going to be very interesting if
Annie is still on, it would be great to hear what she has to say about it.

O`DONNELL: She is here.

DEAN: New Hampshire --

LINSKEY: Oh, yes --

DEAN: New Hampshire is a state that voted for Bill Clinton twice for
president --


DEAN: Of the United States. New Hampshire is a state that`s pro choice.
And I understand that these guys are catering to the far right of the
Republican Party.

But these guys need New Hampshire, it`s a really important swing state in
the Fall, and I`d love to know what Annie thinks about those kinds of

I don`t think I`d make those kinds of answers in these -- in New Hampshire
if I thought I wanted to win New Hampshire in the Fall -- Annie?

LINSKEY: Yes, I know, I think that`s a great point, but it gets to just a
different dynamic that`s going on this year, which is it doesn`t seem like
it really is about New Hampshire and Iowa.

I mean the debate situation has made this into a national race for
Republicans. So, they need to be doing well in the national polls and they
need to be playing to their base.

And quite frankly, whoever wins New Hampshire really might not be the
person who -- you know, New Hampshire is not playing the same role that it
used to play.

And that`s something that you actually heard the debate moderator mention
over and over again, this sort of thankfulness that some people had shown
up to the debate and that people were there and they`re sort of welcoming
to New Hampshire.

But I think that it`s very clear that this -- and the race is just entirely
different than it has been in previous years and therefore kind of hard to
make that comparison.

DEAN: The other thing that just amaze me was George Pataki giving that
answer. George Pataki was a pro-choice governor of New York for 12 years.

He has no chance whatsoever in this race unless he can distinguish himself
from the other candidates, and he certainly didn`t do that in his first
moment on the stage.

O`DONNELL: Joy Reid, the -- Lindsey Graham said of course we need more
troops on the ground in Iraq that when Jeb Bush was faced with the question
of troops on the ground, he was very hesitant.

He stumbled quite a bit, and it was fascinating because he has to know that
the boots on the ground question and hypothetical about what would provoke
him to order boots on the ground are going to come up again and again.

They want to see what distinguishes his decision-making from his brother`s
on that question.

REID: Yes, and Jeb Bush, this is going to be his eternal burden, he has
two burdens. One is to get some credibility and some excitement among the
base of the -- of his party.

And the second one is to find some big picture distinction that he can from
both his father and his brother, both of whom for different reasons are
wildly unpopular just basically as presidents but also with the Republican
base that they both angered the base for different reasons.

At one point, he sort of did a spirited defense of his dad, saying you
know, my dad is a great man, et cetera.

But on the questions of Iraq, I have not yet seen a really sharp
distinction with George W. Bush, and unless Jeb Bush can find some way to
make it clear that he would not repeat that foreign policy, let alone
repeat it in Iran.

I think that, that neocon sort of ghost will continue to haunt his

O`DONNELL: Robert Costa, there was a moment where Jeb Bush was asked about
his brother and his father as president, and he said, well, you know, you
don`t agree with everyone in your family about everything in essence.

And he actually mentioned that he disagreed with his brother on something,
but he never said what it was.

Is there any strategy in the -- in the Bush campaign where they`re thinking
maybe we should pick out one thing, any one thing where we can identify
where Jeb disagrees with George W.

COSTA: We haven`t seen it so far, it`s really more about temperament,
about presentation. When it comes to George W. Bush, you see Bush,
especially with donors talking about his brother.

He knows his brother is still seen as a favorable person and a hero to many
in the GOP, and when it comes to the way he approaches politics,
pragmatism, that`s really a citation and an illusion to his father.

O`DONNELL: Annie Linskey, I was in Boston over the weekend, I was seeing
all the television advertising that you`re getting bombarded with already
in Boston because they have to buy Boston media for the southern New
Hampshire market.

LINSKEY: Right --

O`DONNELL: Is there any sense from the media campaigns at this point which
one of them are most effective in television advertising?

LINSKEY: I think it`s hard to know right now. I mean, the only real
measure is going to be the polls. And you know, you have -- a competitor
of "Fox News" had a poll that just came out showing Jeb in second place and
that`s sort of where he`s been.

So, I think you know, it`s just -- it`s also -- it`s August, so I think
it`s a little -- a little early to make that gauge.

But you know, certainly, these guys need to figure out how to -- how to
stand out, particularly the guys who are -- who are sort of needling at the
bottom there.

And you saw them trying today -- like I really thought that Lindsey Graham
actually probably had the best night of everyone.

I mean, he had a moment to be very serious and policy-minded and show off
his foreign policy experience which is something the donor class really
cares about.

And then he also kind of showed his lighter-hearted side and showed that,
you know, he was kind of having some fun up there, which you know, not
everybody seemed to be having.

O`DONNELL: All right, quick break here, Robert Costa, thank you very much
for joining us tonight. Coming up next, the Joe Biden presidential
campaign, it`s starting to sound serious.


O`DONNELL: Yesterday morning that I have reported in "New York Times"
column that Beau Biden tried to get his father to promise to run for
president weeks before Beau Biden died in May.

The column contained direct quotes from Beau Biden and the vice president
in a private conversation. When Beau realized he was not going to make it,
he asked his father if he had a minute to sit down and talk. "Of course,
honey," the vice president replied.

At the table, Beau told his dad, he was worried about him. "My kid is
dying," an anguished Joe Biden thought to himself, and he is making sure I
am OK. "Dad, I know you do not give a damn about money," Beau told him,
dismissing the idea that his dad would take some sort of cushy job after
the vice president to cash in.

Beau was losing his nouns and the right side of his face was partially
paralyzed, but he had a mission. He tried to make his father promise to
run, arguing that the White House should not revert to the Clintons and
that the country would be better off with Biden values.

We are back here with panel. Annie Linskey, in Mourning Dad`s column, any
close reading of it indicates that there is only one possible source for
the two people in this conversation when the lines are in quotations marks.
That reads like a direct conversation with Joe Biden about that very
personal moment.

LINSKEY It definitely does read that way. You know, or somebody who is
extraordinarily close to the family, like Joe Biden`s sister, who has run a
number, all of his campaigns in the past. But, yes. her source on this --
you know everybody has been writing about this idea. Could Biden run?
Will Biden run?

Because everybody has been talking about it all summer in this town. And,
she is certainly come the closest to putting out what the argument would be
if he does run. I mean, my goodness, that was -- it was certainly a
powerful column that had reverb rations well into today, and I think this

O`DONNELL: Let us listen to how White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest
addressed the rumors of Joe Biden running today.


said publicly is that a possible campaign for the presidency is something
that he is considering. And, he anticipated that he would make a decision
by the end of the summer. And, so obviously, we are in the first week of
August, and we are getting closer to the end of the summer, but we are not
there yet.


O`DONNELL: Joy Reid, this is starting to sound interesting.

REID: Yes, it is. And, I have to say and I have to confess to really
liking Joe Biden. I think he is one of the most likeable, relatable, just
imminently good-guy politician that I have observed politically. I do not
know the man personally, but he really does have some kind of an `X` factor
that makes him just a relatable, likable guy.

O`DONNELL: It is not just senators who voted against him every day in the
senate were, really liked him.

REID: Yes, and he fits the model of sort of the senator turned president,
right? That sort of the model of somebody who is steeped in the senate,
who understands the deal making, who has made a lot of friends across the
aisle in his own party and just knows the Washington so well.

I never understood why he would not want to run. He would not want to make
history. There would not be anything history making about him as such as
the first woman or first African-American president.

But he is the guy who has been the partner to Barack Obama. And, if you
are a Barack Obama supporter, there is no one that is currently in the
field, who is more likely to continue the legacy of the current president
than Joe Biden.

O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, the two big reasons not to run for Joe Biden, and
I think we can all agree he would like to run, if there was room. One, is
this prohibitive lead by Hillary Clinton in the polls. Huge lead. She is
at 55 percent. Bernie sanders is at 17 percent.

And when Joe Biden Is included in these polls, there he is at 13 percent.
Now, that is without Joe Biden Doing a day of campaigning. So, he, I am
sure believes he could change that. The other inhibitor for Joe Biden is,
I am sure he does not want to stand in the way of history and the
possibility of the first woman president.

DEAN: Here is the problem. Hillary Clinton is a special case. The so-
called millennials. I call them the first global generation. First of
all, they do not care about politics that much. And, second of all, they
are not democrats.

They flocked to Barack Obama`s campaign because they wanted change of the
first president of their generation in a sense the way Jack Kennedy was the
first president in my generation. He was always my father`s age. Joe
Biden has none of that. He is a good guy.

People like him a lot in Washington. Washington does not elect presidents.
And, that is why he is third in the polls, and he is not going to get any
better than third in the polls. He is going to have to raise a ton of
money, but he did not get in the top tier of candidates either at the first
two times he ran.

It is not going to happen again. He does want to be president. He is very
ambitious. He has been a very solid vice president. He may get in. If he
does, I do not think he is going to come in first or second.

O`DONNELL: The big thing that has people nervous about Hillary Clinton
within the Democratic Party, Annie Linskey, is this latest polling that
indicates 57 percent saying, they do not think this is Quinnipiac. 57
percent saying, they do not think that Hillary Clinton is honest and

To put that in perspective about how controlling that question is for
presidential elections. In 1992, Bill Clinton was thought to not be honest
by 54 percent, and he won the presidency with that number. No one else has
had a number anywhere close that and won the presidency.

LINSKEY: Yes. Well, I mean, this is why, in many respects, you know, for
Biden to run this time, he is such a clear contrast, not so much policy
wise to Hillary Clinton but style wise. I mean he is trustworthy. He does
come across as authentic. He has these moments that are off of the talking

And, Hillary Clinton does not. I mean her strengths lie in other areas.
And, so you would have, you know, a very clear contrast in candidates and
styles in a time when Americans are thirsting for this authenticity. I
mean you see it on the republican side with Donald Trump doing so well.

There is no other real explanation other than the thirst for getting off of
the talking points. And, you will see it with Bernie Sanders, and there is
just unbelievable enthusiasms for him. And, it is a little less identity
politics right now.

But, about, you know, I want somebody who is going to answer a question or
is going to answer a question or is going to, you know, provide some sort
of notion of humanity that is enjoyed that seems to be missing from some of
the other front runners, whether it is on the republican side and the
democratic side. There is only one other person to really make a
comparison to. But he does have this strange little moment here where his
strengths or weaknesses would play, you know -- provide a very clear

O`DONNELL: The back stage drama intention on this is getting intense.
Another "New York Times" report has Steve Ricchetti, who is Joe Biden`s
chief of staff and was a very loyal soldier in the Clinton White House
working for President Clinton and did a great job for President Clinton.

He was seen by Hillary people having lunch with a big democratic donor and
former ambassador and the donor had to publicly deny that they were talking
about any of this stuff.

REID: Yes. I mean, I think it is -- I think they are friends and people
are making too much of it or people are still open to an alternative. And,
I think Annie really did hit on something in what she just said, which is
they did some sort of a joyless campaign right now. It is sort of a slog.

And, I think that people do want to see somebody run who has some kind of
spirit, you know? And, I think that there is, even in the donor class, a
hunger for, is there someone else? A question. They assume it is going to
be Hillary, but they say, "You know, is there someone else?"

DEAN: My problem is, I do not think -- I think only Hillary Clinton can
turn on that first global generation. They want change.

O`DONNELL: Bernie Sanders is turning out these big crowds of exactly who
you are talking about.

DEAN: He is --


DEAN: That is true. But, I actually think he is somewhat limited by the
fact he has to run against the first woman president. And, that is what
really turning -- One of the reasons I supported Hillary very, very early
was because she was the only candidate at the time Bernie was not in the
race who turned on the younger generation. It was all about the first
woman president.

And, you cannot take that away and you cannot change it. I see Joe Biden
as a good guy, a total inside the belt way candidate, who is not going to
turn on the on the electorate.

O`DONNELL: All right. We will leave it there for tonight. Annie Linskey,
Howard Dean and Joy Reid, thank you all for joining me tonight.

LINSKEY: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the Schumer cousins, Amy, the writer, comedian,
actress and Chuck, the senator, both speak out together on gun laws. And,
new details in the investigation in the killing of Sam DuBose by a police
officer in Cincinnati.




TENSING: What is that bottle on the floor there?

DUBOSE: Oh, that is a bottle of air freshener.

TENSING: Bottle of what?

DUBOSE: You can smell it. It is air freshener.

TENSING: OK. You have a license on you?


O`DONNELL: The Hamilton County Coroner`s office has confirmed that Sam
Dubose was not lying about that bottle labeled gin a minute before Officer
Ray Tensing shot and killed him. The Coroner`s statement released today
says, "According to testing performed, it has determined the substance is
negative for alcohol. Compounds presumptively identified are common in
fragrances such as air fresheners and perfumes.

Further testing continues on all other items submitted. No other results
will be reported until all findings are complete." The county coroner
released preliminary autopsy findings on Friday that show Sam DuBose died
of a single gunshot wound to the head.

Up next, what Amy Schumer and he cousin, Senator Chuck Schumer, had to say
about gun violence today.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE ANNOUNCER: Finally, ask yourself why you insist on
having sex for fun.

AMY SCHUMER, ACTRESS/COMEDIAN: No refills? I have to go through all this
again next month?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE SPEAKER: Yep. Remember, that is your right.


O`DONNELL: That was from Amy Schumer`s brilliant comedy central show
"Inside Amy Schumer." Today, Amy Schumer joined with her cousin, New York
Senator Chuck Schumer, and call for laws to strengthen the gun background
check system and to provide more funding for mentally ill.

Amy Schumer`s push for gun safety legislation comes less than two weeks
after a man opened fire in a movie theater in Louisiana during a showing of
Amy Schumer`s new movie.


AMY SCHUMER: For me, the pain I share with so many other Americans on the
issue of gun violence was made extremely personal to me on Thursday, July
23rd, when -- I am not even going to say his name, when this -- he sat down
for my movie, "Trainwreck", at the grand theater in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Two lives were tragically lost and others injured. And, I have thought
about these victims each day since the tragedy. Jillian Johnson who was an
artistic force in Louisiana. She was 33. She was a mother, a daughter, a
sister and a wonderful wife. She was an artist. I think we would have
been friends.

And Mayci Breaux who was just 21. She planned on marrying her high school
sweetheart. She was an honor student at Louisiana State University in
Eunice, where she was studying to become a radiology technician. She was
kind and she loved her family very much and she always made time for them.

When I heard about this news, I was completely devastated, and I just
wanted to just go down to Louisiana -- and then I was angry. My heart goes
out to Jillian and the Mayci, to the survivors, to the survivors, to the
families and everyone who is tied to this tragic, senseless and horrifying
actions of this man, who should not have been able to put his hands on a
gun in the first place.

I am not sure why this man chose my movie to end these two beautiful lives
and injure nine others, but it was very personal for me. Anyone who knows
me, knows that I love Louisiana. It is my favorite state. Whenever I have
a couple days off, I go down there, because I love the people there. They
are the coolest, strongest people I have ever met.

And, the thought of this community being, being turned around and upside
down by this just sickens me. The critics scoff and say there is though
way to stop crazy people from doing crazy things, but they are wrong.
There is a way to stop them. Preventing dangerous people from getting guns
is very possible.

We common sense solutions. We can toughen background checks and stop the
sale of firearms to folks who have a violent history or history of mental
illness. We can invest more in treating mental illness instead of slashing
funding. These are not extreme ideas.


O`DONNELL: Our next guest is the woman who urged Amy Schumer to speak up
about gun violence.


O`DONNELL: You just heard Amy Schumer say she is not sure why her movie
was chosen for our most recent movie theater massacre. Our next guest has
an idea about why it might have been Amy Schumer`s movie. That is next.




AMY SCHUMER: These are my first public comments on the issue of gun
violence, but I can promise you they will not be my last.


O`DONNELL: Amy Schumer gave her first statement on the Louisiana movie
theater shooting just hours after it happened, tweeting "My heart is broken
and all my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Louisiana."

A week after the shooting, Sarah Clements, a gun violence prevention
advocate, whose mother survived the Sandy Hook shooting wrote this in an
open letter to Amy Schumer. "I know deep down that the tweet you sent
after the shooting was not all that you got and we need your voice in this
movement. We need your help."

This weekend, Amy Schumer responded to that letter tweeting in part, "Do
not worry, I am on it. You will see." Joining us now, Sarah Clements who
wrote that open letter to Amy Schumer. Sarah, what was your reaction when
you got a reply from Amy Schumer?

complete shock by her response. She answered my letter in less than 12
hours, seriously, overnight. And, I was just so grateful for the words
that she had to say.

She -- it was very clear to me in that initial l tweet, in her response to
me that she really meant that she did care about Jillian and Mayci and the
other victims and that she was in fact on it like she said.

O`DONNELL: Yes. On it and we heard from her in a big way today. Let us
listen to more of what she had to say today.



AMY SCHUMER: I got about a million e-mails from friends telling me it
could have been any movie, and I am trying to believe that, but I am not
sure. I think the idea of women`s equality making anyone upset is not
something I will ever understand.

I think women are always in a great threat of violence, just statistically.
But, I know personally that I am someone, and the people I am closed to,
who -- when these sort of things happen, we mourn, and then we get angry,
and it will just make us fight harder and rise up and rally together to
fight against this kind of violence and any other kind of aggression that
comes toward us.


O`DONNELL: Sarah, in your letter, you offered a reason, a possible reason
why possibly Amy Schumer`s movie was chosen. What is that?

CLEMENTS: I am definitely not in a place to speculate the motive of the
shooter, but I did say in my letter, like you mentioned, and as Amy implied
in her press conference today that women are disproportionately impacted by
gun violence in America.

An average of five women a day are murdered by a gun in this country, and,
you know, we are, like I said in my letter, women are the ones that, the
mothers that have lost children, the daughters that have lost mothers.

We, like Amy said, we get sad, but we get angry. And women are not afraid
to take the reins and to stand up against gun violence in our communities.
And, that is exactly what is happening now.

And, we could not be more grateful to Amy Schumer for standing up as well.
And, you know, in this movement, we often say that it is a marathon, not a
Sprint and we are looking forward to running the distance with Amy.

O`DONNELL: Sarah Clemens, gets tonight`s last word. Thank you, Sarah.

CLEMENTS: Thank you for having me.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.


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