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Tuesday, Oct. 5th, 2010

Read the transcript to the Tuesday show

Guests: Michael Steele, Howard Dean, Christopher Barron, Scott Ashjian

LAWRENCE O‘DONNELL, HOST:  Rachel, you have never failed us.

Thanks, Rachel.

MADDOW:  Huh?

O‘DONNELL:  As the first congressional election during his party chairmanship approaches, Michael Steele is dancing as fast as he can, trying to charm independent voters and Tea Partiers while never losing sight of his real master and paycheck provider, the Republican National Committee.

But how can he attract independents with a senator who says unmarried women should not be allowed to teach in public schools and candidates who want to abolish the minimum wage and masturbation?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(MUSIC)

LINDA MCMAHON ®, CONNECTICUT SENATE CANDIDATE:  I would consider reducing the minimum wage.  That‘s a lie.  You know that‘s a lie.  I never said it.

O‘DONNELL (voice-over):  Except when she said it to an anti-minimum wage special interest group that had just endorsed her.  Now, the Tea Party is forcing Republicans to choose sides.  They can join the anti-establishment chaos—

MICHAEL STEELE, RNC CHAIRMAN:  We‘re working together.  We have a common interest, a common goal.

KARL ROVE, FORMER BUSH AIDE:  I don‘t like being called the establishment.  I‘m helping raise $50 million, $3 million of which we‘ve already spent on behalf of Sharron Angle in Nevada.

O‘DONNELL:  Campaign for Tea Party approval—

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA:  That‘s why I fought and voted against the Bush Wall Street bailout, the failed Pelosi trillion-dollar stimulus, and Obama‘s government takeover of health care.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN ®, ARIZONA:  Complete the dang fence.

O‘DONNELL:  Or be wiped out.

NARRATOR:  You lost, Lisa.  And it‘s time you respect that this Senate seat doesn‘t belong to you.

SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI ®, ALASKA:  I am now conceding the race for the Republican nomination.

O‘DONNELL:  Tea Party activists are now trying to sound reasonable but—

CARL PALADINO ®, NEW YORK GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE:  I‘ll take you out, buddy.

BEN QUAYLE ®, ARIZONA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE:  Barack Obama is the worst president in history.

PAUL LEPAGE ®, MAINE GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE:  Governor LePage tells Obama to go to hell.

O‘DONNELL:  Republicans are caught in the middle, trying to defend candidates they previously opposed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So, there should not be a federal minimum wage?

JOE MILLER ®, ALASKA SENATE CANDIDATE:  There should not be.

RAND PAUL ®, KENTUCKY SENATE CANDIDATE:  I don‘t like the idea of telling private business owners—I abhor racism.  I think it‘s a bad decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant.  But at the same time, I do believe in private ownership.

SHARRON ANGLE ®, NEVADA SENATE CANDIDATE:  We really have spoiled our citizenry and said you don‘t want the jobs that are available.

CHRISTINE O‘DONNELL ®, DELAWARE SENATE CANDIDATE:  He already knows what pleases him and he can please himself, then why am I in the picture?

Evolution is a myth and even Darwin himself -

BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN:  Evolution is a myth?  Have you ever looked at a monkey?

C. O‘DONNELL:  I was dabbling into every other kind of religion before I became a Christian.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You‘re a witch.

O‘DONNELL:  Or try to remake them with just 27 days until the election.

C. O‘DONNELL:  I‘m not a witch.  I‘m Christine O‘Donnell.  I‘m you.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, “HARDBALL” HOST:  The Tea Party or the Halloween party?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O‘DONNELL:  Good evening from New York.  I‘m Lawrence O‘Donnell.

As the Republican Party continues to try to gloss over its tensions with the constantly embarrassing Tea Party candidates it has been forced to embrace, Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele now says the two parties are actually locked hand in hand.  Tired of what he calls nit-picking and back fighting, Steele is trying to unify Republicans, Tea Partiers and independent with one target in mind: Nancy Pelosi.

He has taken his message on the road in a “Fire Pelosi” bus tour. 

But who‘s really driving that bus?  And does it make a difference?

I spoke with Michael Steele earlier today while his bus was stopped in Los Angeles.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

O‘DONNELL:  Michael Steele, thanks for joining us.

STEELE:  Great to be with you, Lawrence.  How‘s it going, man?

O‘DONNELL:  All right.  Now, you‘ve said that the Republican Party and the Tea Party are locked hand in hand.  That‘s your phrase.  And you have a Republican—

STEELE:  Yes.

O‘DONNELL:  -- nominee for Senate in Alaska who says the minimum wage is unconstitutional.  So, is that now your position, Republican Party position, that the minimum wage is unconstitutional?

STEELE:  What I—what I meant by that phrase is I think around the issues that we‘re fighting over this November and the debate that the nation has had about jobs and the economy, we‘re working together.  We have a common interest, a common goal, to put a fiscal discipline in place.

Every candidate comes to the table with their own particular set of issues that they want to speak to the people of their state or their district about.  That‘s what they‘re allowed to do.  It doesn‘t necessarily translate that that‘s the position of every Republican in the United States.

I know a lot of folks on the left in particular want to make that leap of faith for them, but it doesn‘t translate that way.  The reality of it is, the Tea Party is an organic movement out there of citizens who are concerned about the direction the nation is going.  Republicans of all stripes are also concerned.

So, I wanted to make it very clear that with respect to those common interests on those issues, let‘s work together and let‘s move forward together to defeat what we think is an aggressive agenda by government to take control of businesses and the affairs of individuals.

O‘DONNELL:  So, Michael, do you want to make a Republican Party commitment to minimum wage workers that you absolutely will not consider repealing or reducing the minimum wage?

STEELE:  Nice try, Lawrence.  I don‘t do policy.  I do political.  So, you need to talk to our legislative leadership and ask them what their position is going to be on the minimum wage.

O‘DONNELL:  So, do you think it‘s a good idea?  Do you think it‘s good politics to reduce the minimum wage?

STEELE:  It doesn‘t—it doesn‘t matter to me what I think.  What matters is that the effort we put on the ground to help our candidates win this November.  They‘re taking their messages directly to the people, the people are responding and they‘ll get the final say on November 2nd at the ballot box.

O‘DONNELL:  And, by the way, what is the minimum wage, Michael?

STEELE:  You really like the minimum wage, don‘t you?

(CROSSTALK)

STEELE:  I want to talk about a lot more things besides one issue, Lawrence.

O‘DONNELL:  I have a minimum wage job once and I have trouble living on that.

STEELE:  Lawrence, the country is hemorrhaging—but, look, Lawrence, we‘re losing jobs right now.

O‘DONNELL:  It‘s OK to say you don‘t know.  If you don‘t care about minimum wage—

(CROSSTALK)

STEELE:  Look, I know, look—look, Lawrence, stop the trap playing here.

O‘DONNELL:  OK.

STEELE:  The reality of it is, that is—that is not—that is not the paramount, most paramount issue that voters out there are facing.  When you‘ve lost your job, whether you know what the minimum wage is or not, is not relevant.  You‘re trying to get the job back.  And that‘s—that‘s the debate the nation has been engaged in for over the last year.  That‘s the reality that people are facing right now every single day.

The administration has failed to create jobs, close to 3 million jobs have been lost.  And this canard that, you know, we have saved or created, you know, X number of jobs is a joke.  The reality of it is: the unemployment rate of this nation is 9.7 percent.  The reality of it is that a significant number of people here in California and across (AUDIO BREAK) are looking for jobs.

So, the debate that candidates need to have with the people of this country and with—amongst themselves is what are we going to do to stimulate job growth?  What are we going to do to empower small business owners?  And that‘s the nature of the debate.

Whether the minimum wage is $7, $10 or whatever it happens to be in whatever part of the country you live in, the fact is, if you don‘t have a job, that number is irrelevant until you get one.

O‘DONNELL:  Well, the minimum wage is not $7 or $10.

But let‘s move on to jobs.  You have said, Michael—

STEELE:  All right.  That will be your headline.  That will be your headline, Lawrence.  Steele doesn‘t know the minimum wage.

O‘DONNELL:  Let‘s try to make some more headlines.

STEELE:  Yes, go ahead.

O‘DONNELL:  Here—I‘m going to quote you on this.  You said about jobs, quoting you, “You and I know that in the history of mankind and womankind, government—federal, state or local—has never created one job.”  So, Michael—

STEELE:  Yes.

O‘DONNELL:  -- are you saying that when my father was working as a Boston cop, are you telling me that he was lying to me, that he didn‘t have a job?  He was actually unemployed?

STEELE:  No, no, not exact—that‘s not exactly what I meant when I said that.  And I think it‘s been very clear what I mean by that.  The federal government—you know, yes, having a government job is great.  It‘s a great opportunity.  I know a lot of people, I‘ve had government jobs in the past.

(CROSSTALK)

O‘DONNELL:  So, you actually—you actually had a job -- 

STEELE:  Wait a minute.

O‘DONNELL:  -- you‘ve had a job created by government?  So you no longer hold to that that government has not created one job.

STEELE:  Wait a minute.  Lawrence, Lawrence, Lawrence, the fact that

the fact that—the fact that the government creates a program and that people administer the program and there are people that get a job from that, that‘s a whole separate piece from what this economy is about.  Our job creation in this country is not based around federal government employment.  Our job creation in this country is based around small business owners.

      

And it is the mindset that you‘re now putting on the table that is what the problem is in this country right now.  I don‘t think that the American people want to hinge their future to a government program or a job created through a government program that could go away overnight.  We‘re looking at long-term sustainable growth in the employment sector that is only best provided by small business owners.

I‘ve been a small business owner.  I‘ve also had a government job.  I prefer being a small business owner because I have greater control, I have greater opportunity, and I can expand that opportunity for others who want to build for their future and well beyond the limitations that come with a particular government contract or a particular government program that that job is housed under.

(CROSSTALK)

STEELE:  My mother had a private sector job for 45 years and—in the private sector.  That‘s the kind of long-term sustainable job growth that we‘re trying to create for this country.

O‘DONNELL:  Well, David Petraeus has had a government job for going on to what, 30 years now, since West Point.  So—and, you know—

STEELE:  All right.  Yes.  That‘s it, Lawrence.

O‘DONNELL:  Do you maintain that the government does in no way stimulate creation of private sector jobs?

STEELE:  The government stimulates a lot of things, Lawrence, but it‘s how they stimulate it.  The government could create the pathway for access to the marketplace through regulation, through tax policy or it could not.  And what we‘ve seen through the tax policy and regulatory policies that have clamped down on the willingness and the risk-taking that small businesses are willing to make.

There‘s a reason why a small business owner is not going into the market and hiring.  There‘s a reason why his customers are not buying.

So, that‘s where the government can step in and say, let‘s create an environment, let‘s stimulate through lowering tax rates, let‘s stimulate by lessening the regulatory burden, by creating a pathway so those small business owners feel that they can take that risk—

O‘DONNELL:  Well, how do you explain Michael—

STEELE:  -- without the heavy burden of government on their backs.

O‘DONNELL:  How do you explain this recession, given that it started while all the Bush tax rates were in place?  And by the way, all the Bush tax rates are still in place.

STEELE:  Well, look, Lawrence, I mean—

(CROSSTALK)

O‘DONNELL:  So how could we possibly have this recession if we‘re living under a Republican tax regime right now?

STEELE:  I know you love hanging everything on the Bush tax rates as that, you know, some boogeyman for the economy.  But when you have all that spending, when you have increased spending, you negate the effect of those tax rates, those lower tax rates.  You dampen that stimulation.

That‘s why Republicans, we‘ve learned from those mistakes in the past.  And that‘s why you see Republicans out around the country now arguing for—if you want these rates to have the intended effect where it stimulates your investment in the economy, then we‘ve got to look at how we spend money and how we put that money into the marketplace and what the government does with that money.  And I think that‘s something you‘ve seeing with the Promise to America that—the Pledge to America that Kevin McCarthy and the other Republican leadership put out there and talking about under the Republican leadership.  This is how we want to make sure that we have long-term sustainable growth.

You can‘t go down the road where you—where you have, you know, lower tax rates and increased spending.  We have a spending problem in this country.  That creates the debt and the deficit.

And, you know, the fact that the Obama administration and the failure of this Congress to go and deal with the Bush tax cuts again is a testimony to the reality that even Democrats realize that those tax rates benefit the people of this country and to let them fail or let them, you know, go away is a tax increase at a time when we don‘t need it.

O‘DONNELL:  Michael, I want to get you to the pledge to America.  That‘s one of the things you‘re selling on your bus tour.  The Republican Pledge to America written by House Republicans.

On the health care sector, their first item is repeal Obamacare, repeal the Democratic health care bill.  Their second item is: reinstate most of the Democratic health care bill.  They say, “We will expand state high risk pools, reinsurance programs and reduce the cost of coverage.  We will make it illegal for an insurance company to deny coverage to someone with prior coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition, eliminate annual lifetime spending caps and prevent insurers from dropping your coverage just because you get sick.”

Talk about demonizing health insurance companies.  So, Michael, your Republican idea on health care after repealing the Obama plan is to impose a massive regulatory, socialistic regulatory regime on the health care sector in order to prevent insurance companies from doing business the way they want to in a free enterprise system.  When did that become a Republican idea?

STEELE:  You‘re a funny man, Lawrence.  You really are.

O‘DONNELL:  It‘s a funny document.  The document is very funny. 

It‘s so self-contradictory.

STEELE:  Well, you need—again, I don‘t get to do the policy.  I don‘t get to make those decisions.  I think the Republican leadership has made very clear what their intentions are and where they intend to do through the promise—the Pledge to America, the commitment that they make.

We‘ve been very clear for over two years now that the health care regime that this administration has put in place that‘s been backed by Nancy Pelosi—whom by the way, we want to fire if you haven‘t gotten the message yet, Harry Reid who we want to retire—that leadership has failed to listen to the American people.

How do you have a health care debate and you not even put tort reform in the mix?  How do you have a health care debate when you want to demonize one sector of the health care industry while you ignore other sectors of the health care industry?

The reality of it is, the Republican leadership wants to come back to this issue.  We want to deconstruct the mammoth bureaucratic government heavy regulatory process that—have you seen the map of what this new legislation is going to create, the various agencies and components of it?

We want to streamline this thing to make that relationship between the doctor and the patient the most sacrosanct it can be and allow them to make those decisions and not Barack Obama, Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi.

O‘DONNELL:  Michael—

STEELE:  So any issues you have, Lawrence, with the pledge and what that document says on health care, take it up with the leadership.

O‘DONNELL:  OK.  Michael, final question, can‘t let you leave without talking about everyone‘s favorite Senate candidate Christine O‘Donnell.  She has—

STEELE:  OK.

O‘DONNELL:  She has said—and you are, as you said, you know, locked in with the Tea Party.  Christine O‘Donnell has said that China has, quote, “a carefully thought out and strategic plan to take over America.”  She claims to have classified—

STEELE:  OK.

O‘DONNELL:  -- information about China and she says, quote, “I wish I wasn‘t privy to some of the classified information that I am privy to.”

Do you agree with Christine O‘Donnell?  Do you wish she wasn‘t privy to classified information?

I mean, America would be safer if she was not privy to classified information, wouldn‘t it?

STEELE:  Christine O‘Donnell is a fantastic candidate for us, for the United States Senate.  I can‘t wait to call her a senator.

O‘DONNELL:  Michael, you know she‘s lying about the classified information, right?  I mean, reassure the country.

(CROSSTALK)

STEELE:  I don‘t.  Do you know—do you know that, Lawrence?

O‘DONNELL:  She‘s lying about it.  She doesn‘t have any classified information.  Don‘t worry.

STEELE:  Do you know that, Lawrence?  Do you know that?  Do you know that?

O‘DONNELL:  Is it legal for her to have classified information?

STEELE:  Wait a minute.  No, no, no.  Let me ask the question.  Do you know that for sure?

O‘DONNELL:  I know to absolute certainly.

(CROSSTALK)

O‘DONNELL:  I know to a certainty she is lying.

STEELE:  Produce your evidence and invite me back on the program and talk about it.

O‘DONNELL:  She is absolutely lying.

STEELE:  OK.

O‘DONNELL:  Michael Steele, chairman of the RNC—

STEELE:  All right.

O‘DONNELL:  -- defender of the Tea Party, thank you very much for taking the time today, Michael.

STEELE:  All right, man, take care of yourself.

O‘DONNELL:  Thank you.

STEELE:  All righty.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

O‘DONNELL:  Former Governor Howard Dean has been watching the Michael Steele interview with me here in the studio.  He will weigh in after a break.

And later, Senator Jim DeMint is finding yet another way to make Alvin Greene continue to look like the better choice in the South Carolina Senate race.  The senator says gays and single women shouldn‘t be allowed to teach in public schools.  That has one group that used to stand by DeMint saying, “No mas.”

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O‘DONNELL:  Is the forced marriage of the Republican Party and the Tea Party going as well as Michael Steele would have us believe?  And what happens to the happy couple after the election?  Governor Howard Dean joins me.

And later, Senator Jim DeMint wants to keep single women and gays out of our classrooms.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O‘DONNELL:  In 2005, Howard Dean staged an outside the Beltway grassroots campaign to become the head of the Democratic National Committee, an organization that liberal Netroots activists felt was plagued by inertia and self-serving D.C. insiders.

Now, Republican insiders, like Michael Steele, are trying to co-opt an outside the Beltway movement, the Tea Party, that threatens their control of conservative voters.

Joining me now to discuss how Michael Steele is managing the merger of the Republican Party and the Tea Party is former governor of Vermont, Howard Dean.

Governor Dean, I don‘t know where to begin with the Michael Steele interview.  You have good days and bad days as the chairman of the party, don‘t you?

HOWARD DEAN, FORMER DNC CHAIRMAN:  Well, yes, he won‘t be on MSNBC, I don‘t think, voluntarily, for quite some time after that interview.

Look, he‘s got an impossible job.  It‘s really, really tough to try to do what he‘s doing, and he has to defend some things that are indefensible.  The minimum wage polls up in the 80 percent in terms of people who are in favor.  It‘s fairness issue.  Eighty percent, including most Republicans, believe there ought to be a minimum wage.

Now, the Republicans are taking a position at least by some of their candidates and Steele won‘t defend it, that there should be no minimum wage.

O‘DONNELL:  Basic preparedness in the job.  As soon as you‘ve got a Republican Senate candidate in Alaska who‘s saying the minimum wage is unconstitutional, we should abolish the minimum wage, your—the chairman of that party, if you don‘t know the minimum wage, someone working for you has to tell you that minute, minimum wage is $7.25.  Be ready because it‘s going to come up somewhere sometime.

How can they be running a party where they‘re sending a guy like this out there completely ill-equipped to talk publicly about what‘s going on?

DEAN:  Michael is not running that party.  That party is being run, again, by Karl Rove and others, who are raising millions of millions of dollars outside the party, not channeling it to the party, precisely because of this problem.

O‘DONNELL:  Party contributions are actually down compared to Democratic Party contributions.  But they‘ve got this outside operation—

DEAN:  The Chamber of Commerce which has essentially become a finance arm of the Republican Party and they‘ve got these John Roberts special PACs that he‘s now allowed by deciding that corporations are the same as people.  And that gives the Republicans a big financial advantage.  But the party, of course, the Democratic Party, is far ahead of the Republican in fundraising.

O‘DONNELL:  We‘ve got discussions on this program about the divisions within the Democratic Party.  The dissatisfied Obama supporter that has—that the president‘s been addressing in effect on his college campus tour saying, you know, buck up, stick with me.

How does that dissent, dissatisfaction within the Democratic Party compare to what you see happening with the Tea Party faction and the establishment Republican Party?

DEAN:  Well, what I say to the Democrats, look, we‘re entitled to our differences on policy issues with the president and everybody else.  But this is the fourth quarter.  Now, it‘s time to put all that stuff aside and otherwise, you see what we‘re going to get.

Look at the Tea Party.  How would you like to have the Tea Party running the United States of America?  There are some people who would like that.  I think we‘d be in an awful lot of trouble.

I think—that‘s why I think—I believe—and I know I‘m the minority opinion—that Democrats will hold on to both the House and the Senate.  The reason I think so is because at the end of the day, it‘s going to be incredibly hard for them to vote for people like Carl Paladino and Christine O‘Donnell.

O‘DONNELL:  I mean, haven‘t the fact (ph) the Republicans done everything wrong that they could do wrong in the run-up to this election in terms of ending up with nominees like Christine O‘Donnell, like Carl Paladino, that are actually scaring people?

DEAN:  You know, it‘s an interesting thing.  The Republicans, actually, are incredibly good on opposition because they‘re so ideological and they have a good, simple disciplined message.  Unfortunately, those exact traits make them terrible at governing as we saw for eight years when President Bush was in office.

But what they‘ve done is essentially created a monster.  Their rhetoric has been so uncompromising, so inaccurate, so ludicrous, that they have created—they‘ve given permission for this wing of the Republican Party, which is now—this is a Tea Party group, to say outrageous things.  And for the mainstream voter, it is frightening to see that.

Nobody—I mean, how can you seriously vote for candidate for the

United States Senate who thinks that she has a message from the Chinese

that they‘re going to attack America at any moment now?  I mean, it‘s just

or was a witch or whatever?  How can you run an ad starting off with the words “I‘m not a witch”?

      

I mean, really and truly, this is not compatible—I mean, maybe people don‘t care who they elect for the Senate.  Some folks are so far angry at the government, they don‘t think it makes any difference.  But I think it does make a difference.

O‘DONNELL:  This will be a test of the—you know, do I really care about my vote?

The—Rahm Emanuel leaving the White House.  He was a target of a lot of progressives‘ angst and dissatisfaction with the deal-making in the White House, especially on the health care bill, deals with pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies.  They felt he kind of gave up too much, too soon in the compromising processes of legislation.

With Rahm Emanuel out of there, do you think it‘s an opportunity for the White House to reset in a way that will be more appealing to the progressive side of the party?

DEAN:  There will be two things that change.  One is that Pete Rouse is still an insider, but he‘s a very good guy.  He gets what has to be done.  He is not about being in the headlines and I don‘t think he would say some of the things that Rahm said that just make people mad.

It doesn‘t do good to make people mad, to say things about them that are demeaning.  You need everybody to make the whole thing work.  And Rouse is too much of an inside pro to not let that happen.

So, I think that is going to be—that‘s going to have a big effect.  The other thing is, I think, that the working conditions in the White House will improve.  I think the morale inside the White House will improve, especially for the young people.

O‘DONNELL:  In the closing month of this campaign, what do you think is going to stimulate the Democratic base more, the fear of the Paladinos, the Christine O‘Donnells, the crazy candidates that have erupted on the Democratic side, or an enthusiasm that Barack Obama can stimulate by getting out there and doing that campaign-style event that he did in Wisconsin last week?

DEAN:  Well, he‘s doing the campaign-style event.  That‘s what he has to do.  We can‘t win without the president.

The president, whether he likes it or not, is the spokesman for the Democratic Party, the leader of the Democratic Party.  If he keeps doing what he‘s doing, that helps a lot.  But it is absolutely true that the Republicans have succeeded in mobilizing the Democratic base.  That‘s something you never want to do if you can possibly help it is to mobilize the other guys.  The Republicans have succeeded in doing that because of the Tea Party.

O‘DONNELL:  Governor Howard Dean, former chair of the Democratic National Committee—thanks for joining us tonight.

DEAN:  Thanks for having me on.

O‘DONNELL:  Senator Jim DeMint tries to elect candidates across the country under the mantle of limited government, while opposing a policy that would require government tracking of the sex lives of unmarried women.

And in tonight‘s rewrite, Republican billionaire candidate Carl Paladino explains why he loves forwarding racist e-mails.  “It‘s simple,” he says, “I‘m human.”

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O‘DONNELL:  Breaking news.  There was an interruption in the middle of the presidential speech tonight.  No, not a heckler.  A problem with the prop department. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Especially it fields like science and technology, engineering and math.  We cannot sustain—oops.  Was that my—oh, goodness.  That‘s all right.  All of you know who I am.

But I‘m sure there‘s somebody back there that‘s really nervous right now.  They‘re sweating bullets back there right now. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O‘DONNELL:  The Seal of the Office of the President was picked up after the president was off stage. 

Senator Jim Demint, apparently jealous of all the attention Christine O‘Donnell gets for saying nutty things, now says gays and single women should not be teachers.  We‘ll talk to one Republican who says the idea isn‘t just crazy, it‘s calculated. 

And later, Sharron Angle was caught on tape saying Republicans do not mean what they say, which might be her first honest statement since she became the Republican nominee for Senate in Nevada.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O‘DONNELL:  During their very long workdays and nights, the staff of the United States Senate spends some of their occasional idle time swapping crazy senator stories.  Those stories are usually about men and women working under intense public pressure, often in advanced stages of sleep deprivation, who say or do something they shouldn‘t have.  The stories are always about backstage moments in the cloakroom, private moments on senator-only elevators.  Never anything the public knows about. 

In public, the senators are alert, careful and reliably boring.  Then there‘s Jim Demint.  He does his crazy publicly.  And you don‘t have to be a Senate insider to hear about it.  According to South Carolina‘s “Spartanburg Herald Journal.” at a church rally on Friday, Demint said “if someone is openly homosexual, they shouldn‘t be teaching in the classroom.  And he holds the same position on an unmarried women who‘s sleeping with her boyfriend.  She shouldn‘t be in the classroom.” 

Senator Demint is apparently still considering whether unmarried men who are sleeping with their girlfriends should be allowed in the classroom.  Needless to say, Demint has made it hard out there for a gay Republican. 

In our spotlight tonight, Christopher Barron, the chairman of GO Proud, an organization representing gay conservatives and their allies. 

Chris Barron, you have supported Jim Demint up to now.  This is the final straw for you.  Why have you supported him up to now?  And why does this end it for you? 

CHRISTOPHER BARRON, GO PROUD CHAIRMAN:  Well, what we‘ve done is we‘ve supported Senator Demint‘s work on issues that are critical to us, issues like Social Security reform, free market health care reform, tax reform, you know, and the size and scope of government issues.  The reason why this is it for us and, quite honestly, should be for anyone in the conservative movement, is because these comments are not only outrageous and bizarre, they‘re morally reprehensible. 

And I think that Senator Demint has, you know, given up the ability to lead on any of the issues that conservatives care about. 

O‘DONNELL:  And, you know—silly question—how would he propose policing what single women are doing in their sex lives?  And presumably—

I‘m sure if he thought about it one more day, he would include single men who are sleeping with their girlfriends as people who should not be allowed in the classroom. 

BARRON:  Actually, the interesting thing is I‘m not sure he would, because he originally made comments like this in 2004.  Then apologized for them, said he was sorry he made them.  Then came out on Friday and apparently, in typical Washington politician fashion, said I apologized, but didn‘t really mean it, and what I really mean is what I said originally, which gays shouldn‘t be allowed to teach and sexually active unmarried women shouldn‘t be able to teach. 

O‘DONNELL:  Isn‘t it is a more difficult fit for gay fiscal conservatives who want to vote Republican to stay in that fold when the Tea Party is moving in, and polling indicates that the Tea Party is overlapping heavily with the Christian right?  Doesn‘t this become all the more uncomfortable as evidenced by your break with Jim Demint now? 

BARRON:  No, actually, I would disagree and I would disagree strongly.  And here‘s why: one, the Tea Party movement has been laser focused on economic issues and on the size and scope of government.  They‘ve not been focused on social issues.  In fact, prominent social conservatives like Tony Perkins and Mike Huckabee have complained over the last two years about the lack of the Tea Party‘s focus on social issues. 

I think what Jim Demint did by coming out and talking about this, what others have started to do is the if you can‘t beat them, join them.  They‘ve been unable to get the Tea Party—to stop the Tea Party‘s momentum.  And so now they want to co-opt the Tea Party‘s message.  Because the bottom line is—is that the movement itself, the energy in the conservative movement is around the Tea Party, which is about limiting the size and scope of government. 

I mean, Jim Demint calls himself a limited government conservative.  Yet his idea of a limited government is one large enough to be policing the sex lives of our public school teachers.  I mean, the idea is completely and totally insane.  And it completely flies in the face of what the Tea Party movement stands for. 

O‘DONNELL:  Do you think you‘re going to get a chance to vote for, on the Republican ticket for president next time, a candidate who does not pander to this wing of the Republican party? 

BARRON:  Look, I think that we‘re going to have a lot of great candidates in 2012.  And I think that what‘s important is that every one of these candidates—look, everybody wants to be known as the darling of the Tea Party movement right now.  Every one of these candidates who wants to be known as the darling of the Tea Party movement should understand what this movement is about. 

This movement is about reducing the size and scope of the federal government.  This movement is not about gay marriage.  This movement isn‘t about, you know, gay teachers or sexually active unmarried women teachers.  It‘s not about any of these social issues.  And so they run down these rabbit holes at their own risk. 

O‘DONNELL:  Christopher Barron, chairman of GO Proud, thanks for joining us tonight. 

BARRON:  Thank you. 

O‘DONNELL:  Carl Paladino is taking a page from the political playbook of Christine O‘Donnell and trying to say who hasn‘t e-mailed racist stuff around to their friends?  He gets tonight‘s rewrite. 

And Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian‘s refusal to step out of the way for Sharron Angle instead led someone else to lose his job.  The revolutionaries are fighting, ahead on THE LAST WORD.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O‘DONNELL:  Time for tonight‘s Rewrite.  Mental health professionals are having a very hard time figuring out who the nuttiest Tea Party candidate is.  Mental health amateurs like Karl Rove have suggested that Christine “no relation” O‘Donnell is the nuttiest by virtue of her previous devotion to witchcraft and trying to fit into all religions. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTINE O‘DONNELL ®, CANDIDATE FOR SENATE IN DELAWARE:  I was dabbling into every other kind of religion before I became a Christian. 

BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN:  You were a witch. 

C. O‘DONNELL:  I was.  I was.. 

MAHER:  You were. 

C. O‘DONNELL:  I was dabbling in witchcraft. 

MAHER:  Right. 

C. O‘DONNELL:  I dabbled in Buddhism.  And I would have become a Hare Krishna, but I didn‘t want to become a vegetarian. 

KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR:  There are just a lot of nutty things she‘s been saying that just simply don‘t add up. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O‘DONNELL:  And that‘s before we get to her position on intra-personal sex.  But New York‘s Republican Tea Party candidate for governor, crazy billionaire Carl Paladino, rushed to the front of the nutty line last week with an outburst that made him if not the nuttiest Tea Partier, definitely the most dangerous.  I mean physically dangerous. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Fred, that‘s it. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Stay away from me.

(CROSS TALK)

CARL PALADINO ®, CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK:  You send another goon to my daughter‘s house and I‘ll take you out, buddy. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You‘re going to take me out?  How are you going to do that? 

PALADINO:  Watch. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O‘DONNELL:  Though Paladino considers none of what he said to “New York Post” reporter Fred Dicker a joke, he does believe he‘s the funniest Tea Party candidate by virtue of his long history of playfully forwarding the hysterically funny e-mails he gets every day from his hysterically funny friends. 

The network has asked me to warn you that if you have ever been offended by anything, you will be offended by what is to follow.  I ask registered New York voters to not turn away no matter what you see.  Our participatory democracy confers on you the responsibility to evaluate this material and the man who loves it. 

Mr. Paladino‘s mass e-mails were obtained by WNYMedia.net.  This one was sent in October of 2009.  The e-mail was titled, “White House Ball.” 

One year earlier, he sent a video called “Obama Inauguration Rehearsal.”  It‘s no longer online, but you can see by this screen grab it was, in fact, video of a tribal dance in Africa. 

Another e-mail featured this picture of a group of black men running from a plane.  We‘ve blurred the racial slur in the text, but you can and should assume the worst. 

Paladino is also fond of sending mass e-mails of people having sex, which indicates he has a severely underdeveloped sense of discretion for a politician.  At least one of his favorite sex videos, which the network believes will disturb your sleep tonight if we show even a second of it, co-stars a woman and a horse.  Paladino was asked about this earlier today by Allen Combs and here‘s what he had to say. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALADINO:  I apologize to anyone that was offended by what I did.  I‘m human.  I never made out to be anything other than that.  I‘m your regular guy from Buffalo, New York. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O‘DONNELL:  Carl, I know regular guys from Buffalo, New York.  One of my best friends, Jim Cane, is a regular guy from Buffalo, New York.  And let me tell you, you are no Jim Cane. 

Here‘s what you should have said: “I apologize to anyone who was offended by what I did.  I‘m sub-human.  I never made out to be anything other than that.  I‘m just a deeply disturbed guy from Buffalo, New York, who has had to recently admit to having a secret 10-year-old daughter outside of my troubled marriage, and see my funny e-mails shown to people who just don‘t get the joke.  All because I am humbly offering to serve as governor.” 

Thirty two percent of New York voters are currently failing the intelligence test that the gubernatorial campaign has given them.  Yes, they are still planning to vote for Carl Paladino.  Now, let‘s stipulate that none of us—none of us could survive public scrutiny of every e-mail we‘ve ever sent or received.  But when you have staked your campaign on, quote, “cleaning up Albany,” shouldn‘t you take care of your inbox first? 

Sharron Angle‘s push to get her Tea Party opponent out of the race has led to one departure, but not who she was hoping.  Up next, the Tea Party fight in Nevada with candidate Scott Ashjian.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

O‘DONNELL:  We are used to fights within the Democratic party, fights within the Republican party, and now we have, much sooner than expected in its maturation curve, fights within the Tea Party.  On Sunday, leaked audio tapes revealed Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle met with Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian to get him to drop out of the race. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARRON ANGLE ®, CANDIDATE FOR SENATE IN NEVADA:  Now, anything I can deliver personally, I‘m glad to.  What would you—

SCOTT ASHJIAN, TEA PARTY CANDIDATE FOR SENATE IN NEVADA:  I‘m not looking for anything other than a public apology. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O‘DONNELL:  Angle offered no apology for the attacks leveled at Mr.

Ashjian.  Instead, she offered to hook him up with Jim Demint. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANGLE:  That‘s really all I can offer to you is whatever juice I have, you have as well.  You want to see Demint?  I have juice with him.  I go to Washington, D.C. and I say I want to see Jim Demint; he‘s right there for me.  I say I want to see Tom Coburn, he‘s right there for me.  I want to see Mitch McConnell, he‘s there. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O‘DONNELL:  But Mr. Ashjian is about as eager to hang with Senate Republicans as Michael Moore is.  He told Angle exactly what he thinks of them.  And he actually sounded a bit like Michael Moore. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ASHJIAN:  I think that in Nevada there is an opportunity to not go against your core principles, not join the system, and, as you said, take a stand.  But how effective can you be with thieves?  There‘s no honor among thieves. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O‘DONNELL:  Nevada Tea Party candidate for Senate Scott Ashjian joins us now.  Scott, why did you make this tape? 

ASHJIAN:  You know, originally I made the tape to—I‘ve been in several meetings.  The reporters, the press, they lie and distort after the meeting.  And they spin it according to how they wanted.  The tape was never meant to be released.  It was for my personal use. 

The night before I received a phone call from a Washington, D.C.  attorney, Cleta Mitchell (ph), asking me in an abrupt way to get off of the ticket because Sharron couldn‘t win with—if I was on the ticket.  I obviously wasn‘t interested in that.  It was a heated discussion between her and I.  And I hung up on her.  And she went on tilt, apparently leaving voice mails on the wrong number, not very bright, which made their way to local TV guy Jon Rolston. 

As expected, the meeting got spun in the wrong way.  I was on vacation with my family in Denver.  I got called by Rolston asking if I had heard the voicemails that were put out.  I said I didn‘t know anything about them.  And he proceeded to tell me what was on them, told me what was in the paper.  So I asked my campaign manager to go over to my house and deliver a small tape recorder to John Rolston and said have at it.  Knock yourself out. 

O‘DONNELL:  All right.  So you released them in self-defense.  Let‘s listen to Angle‘s true feelings about the Republicans she has now embraced. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANGLE:  The republicans have lost their standard.  They‘ve lost their principles.  They have never really gone along with lower taxes and less government. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O‘DONNELL:  Scott, what is happening to the Tea Party?  If there is an idealistic base of the Tea Party, can it merge with the Republican party? 

ASHJIAN:  The Nevada Tea Party, we are the only official Tea Party on the ballot.  And I know that—

O‘DONNELL:  Can I stop you right there for a second?  Can you explain to me the difference between the Tea Party and the Tea Party Express? 

ASHJIAN:  The Tea Party express has been—funded Sharron Angle from the beginning.  The co-founder was actually kicked out for racial slurs. 

They‘re out of California.  That‘s been my biggest complaint from the

beginning, is we have Washington, D.C. and we have Californians affecting -

literally, the California Tea Party put Sharron Angle in the Senate race. 

           

The Republicans here ran 12 or 13 people on the ticket, splitting the vote.  Hence, they got the weakest candidate, because the Tea Party Express came in and funded her with several hundred thousand dollars, took out ads against me. 

I‘ve been sued three times to try to get off the ballot.  I‘ve won all three of those lawsuits.  We are on the ballot.  We are the only official Tea Party.  When you say like Paladino in New York—he‘s a Republican.  If they have an R or a D behind their name, they‘re not a Tea Partier.  They‘re a politician.  They‘re a Republican or they‘re a Democrat.  The system is corrupt and they‘re corrupt. 

O‘DONNELL:  Scott Ashjian, thanks for your perspective from inside the Nevada Tea Party. 

ASHJIAN:  Thank you.  I wish you luck on your show. 

O‘DONNELL:  OK.  That‘s THE LAST WORD for tonight.  You can have THE LAST WORD by following us on our blog or on Facebook or Twitter.  “COUNTDOWN” is up next. 

END   

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Guests: Michael Steele, Howard Dean, Christopher Barron, Scott Ashjian

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST:  Rachel, you have never failed us.

      

       Thanks, Rachel.

      

       MADDOW:  Huh?

      

       O`DONNELL:  As the first congressional election during his party

chairmanship approaches, Michael Steele is dancing as fast as he can,

trying to charm independent voters and Tea Partiers while never losing

sight of his real master and paycheck provider, the Republican National

Committee.

      

       But how can he attract independents with a senator who says

unmarried women should not be allowed to teach in public schools and

candidates who want to abolish the minimum wage and masturbation?

      

       (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

      

       (MUSIC)

      

       LINDA MCMAHON (R), CONNECTICUT SENATE CANDIDATE:  I would consider

reducing the minimum wage.  That`s a lie.  You know that`s a lie.  I never

said it.

      

       O`DONNELL (voice-over):  Except when she said it to an anti-minimum

wage special interest group that had just endorsed her.  Now, the Tea Party

is forcing Republicans to choose sides.  They can join the anti-

establishment chaos --

      

       MICHAEL STEELE, RNC CHAIRMAN:  We`re working together.  We have a

common interest, a common goal.

      

       KARL ROVE, FORMER BUSH AIDE:  I don`t like being called the

establishment.  I`m helping raise $50 million, $3 million of which we`ve

already spent on behalf of Sharron Angle in Nevada.

      

       O`DONNELL:  Campaign for Tea Party approval --

      

       REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA:  That`s why I fought and voted

against the Bush Wall Street bailout, the failed Pelosi trillion-dollar

stimulus, and Obama`s government takeover of health care.

      

       SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA:  Complete the dang fence.

      

       O`DONNELL:  Or be wiped out.

      

       NARRATOR:  You lost, Lisa.  And it`s time you respect that this

Senate seat doesn`t belong to you.

      

       SEN. LISA MURKOWSKI (R), ALASKA:  I am now conceding the race for

the Republican nomination.

      

       O`DONNELL:  Tea Party activists are now trying to sound reasonable

but --

      

       CARL PALADINO (R), NEW YORK GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE:  I`ll take you

out, buddy.

      

       BEN QUAYLE (R), ARIZONA CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE:  Barack Obama is

the worst president in history.

      

       PAUL LEPAGE (R), MAINE GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE:  Governor LePage

tells Obama to go to hell.

      

       O`DONNELL:  Republicans are caught in the middle, trying to defend

candidates they previously opposed.

      

       UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So, there should not be a federal minimum wage?

      

       JOE MILLER (R), ALASKA SENATE CANDIDATE:  There should not be.

      

       RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY SENATE CANDIDATE:  I don`t like the idea of

telling private business owners -- I abhor racism.  I think it`s a bad

decision to exclude anybody from your restaurant.  But at the same time, I

do believe in private ownership.

      

       SHARRON ANGLE (R), NEVADA SENATE CANDIDATE:  We really have spoiled

our citizenry and said you don`t want the jobs that are available.

      

       CHRISTINE O`DONNELL (R), DELAWARE SENATE CANDIDATE:  He already

knows what pleases him and he can please himself, then why am I in the

picture?

      

       Evolution is a myth and even Darwin himself -

      

       BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN:  Evolution is a myth?  Have you ever looked at

a monkey?

      

       C. O`DONNELL:  I was dabbling into every other kind of religion

before I became a Christian.

      

       UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You`re a witch.

      

       O`DONNELL:  Or try to remake them with just 27 days until the

election.

      

       C. O`DONNELL:  I`m not a witch.  I`m Christine O`Donnell.  I`m you.

      

       CHRIS MATTHEWS, "HARDBALL" HOST:  The Tea Party or the Halloween

party?

      

       (END VIDEOTAPE)

      

       O`DONNELL:  Good evening from New York.  I`m Lawrence O`Donnell.

      

       As the Republican Party continues to try to gloss over its tensions

with the constantly embarrassing Tea Party candidates it has been forced to

embrace, Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele now says the two parties

are actually locked hand in hand.  Tired of what he calls nit-picking and

back fighting, Steele is trying to unify Republicans, Tea Partiers and

independent with one target in mind: Nancy Pelosi.

      

       He has taken his message on the road in a "Fire Pelosi" bus tour. 

But who`s really driving that bus?  And does it make a difference?

      

       I spoke with Michael Steele earlier today while his bus was stopped

in Los Angeles.

      

       (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

      

       O`DONNELL:  Michael Steele, thanks for joining us.

      

       STEELE:  Great to be with you, Lawrence.  How`s it going, man?

      

       O`DONNELL:  All right.  Now, you`ve said that the Republican Party

and the Tea Party are locked hand in hand.  That`s your phrase.  And you

have a Republican --

      

       STEELE:  Yes.

      

       O`DONNELL:  -- nominee for Senate in Alaska who says the minimum

wage is unconstitutional.  So, is that now your position, Republican Party

position, that the minimum wage is unconstitutional?

      

       STEELE:  What I -- what I meant by that phrase is I think around the

issues that we`re fighting over this November and the debate that the

nation has had about jobs and the economy, we`re working together.  We have

a common interest, a common goal, to put a fiscal discipline in place.

      

       Every candidate comes to the table with their own particular set of

issues that they want to speak to the people of their state or their

district about.  That`s what they`re allowed to do.  It doesn`t necessarily

translate that that`s the position of every Republican in the United

States.

      

       I know a lot of folks on the left in particular want to make that

leap of faith for them, but it doesn`t translate that way.  The reality of

it is, the Tea Party is an organic movement out there of citizens who are

concerned about the direction the nation is going.  Republicans of all

stripes are also concerned.

      

       So, I wanted to make it very clear that with respect to those common

interests on those issues, let`s work together and let`s move forward

together to defeat what we think is an aggressive agenda by government to

take control of businesses and the affairs of individuals.

      

       O`DONNELL:  So, Michael, do you want to make a Republican Party

commitment to minimum wage workers that you absolutely will not consider

repealing or reducing the minimum wage?

      

       STEELE:  Nice try, Lawrence.  I don`t do policy.  I do political. 

So, you need to talk to our legislative leadership and ask them what their

position is going to be on the minimum wage.

      

       O`DONNELL:  So, do you think it`s a good idea?  Do you think it`s

good politics to reduce the minimum wage?

      

       STEELE:  It doesn`t -- it doesn`t matter to me what I think.  What

matters is that the effort we put on the ground to help our candidates win

this November.  They`re taking their messages directly to the people, the

people are responding and they`ll get the final say on November 2nd at the

ballot box.

      

       O`DONNELL:  And, by the way, what is the minimum wage, Michael?

      

       STEELE:  You really like the minimum wage, don`t you?

      

       (CROSSTALK)

      

       STEELE:  I want to talk about a lot more things besides one issue,

Lawrence.

      

       O`DONNELL:  I have a minimum wage job once and I have trouble living

on that.

      

       STEELE:  Lawrence, the country is hemorrhaging -- but, look,

Lawrence, we`re losing jobs right now.

      

       O`DONNELL:  It`s OK to say you don`t know.  If you don`t care about

minimum wage --

      

       (CROSSTALK)

      

       STEELE:  Look, I know, look -- look, Lawrence, stop the trap playing

here.

      

       O`DONNELL:  OK.

      

       STEELE:  The reality of it is, that is -- that is not -- that is not

the paramount, most paramount issue that voters out there are facing.  When

you`ve lost your job, whether you know what the minimum wage is or not, is

not relevant.  You`re trying to get the job back.  And that`s -- that`s the

debate the nation has been engaged in for over the last year.  That`s the

reality that people are facing right now every single day.

      

       The administration has failed to create jobs, close to 3 million

jobs have been lost.  And this canard that, you know, we have saved or

created, you know, X number of jobs is a joke.  The reality of it is: the

unemployment rate of this nation is 9.7 percent.  The reality of it is that

a significant number of people here in California and across (AUDIO BREAK)

are looking for jobs.

      

       So, the debate that candidates need to have with the people of this

country and with -- amongst themselves is what are we going to do to

stimulate job growth?  What are we going to do to empower small business

owners?  And that`s the nature of the debate.

      

       Whether the minimum wage is $7, $10 or whatever it happens to be in

whatever part of the country you live in, the fact is, if you don`t have a

job, that number is irrelevant until you get one.

      

       O`DONNELL:  Well, the minimum wage is not $7 or $10.

      

       But let`s move on to jobs.  You have said, Michael --

      

       STEELE:  All right.  That will be your headline.  That will be your

headline, Lawrence.  Steele doesn`t know the minimum wage.

      

       O`DONNELL:  Let`s try to make some more headlines.

      

       STEELE:  Yes, go ahead.

      

       O`DONNELL:  Here -- I`m going to quote you on this.  You said about

jobs, quoting you, "You and I know that in the history of mankind and

womankind, government -- federal, state or local -- has never created one

job."  So, Michael --

      

       STEELE:  Yes.

      

       O`DONNELL:  -- are you saying that when my father was working as a

Boston cop, are you telling me that he was lying to me, that he didn`t have

a job?  He was actually unemployed?

      

       STEELE:  No, no, not exact -- that`s not exactly what I meant when I

said that.  And I think it`s been very clear what I mean by that.  The

federal government -- you know, yes, having a government job is great. 

It`s a great opportunity.  I know a lot of people, I`ve had government jobs

in the past.

      

       (CROSSTALK)

      

       O`DONNELL:  So, you actually -- you actually had a job -- 

      

       STEELE:  Wait a minute.

      

       O`DONNELL:  -- you`ve had a job created by government?  So you no

longer hold to that that government has not created one job.

      

       STEELE:  Wait a minute.  Lawrence, Lawrence, Lawrence, the fact that

-- the fact that -- the fact that the government creates a program and that

people administer the program and there are people that get a job from

that, that`s a whole separate piece from what this economy is about.  Our

job creation in this country is not based around federal government

employment.  Our job creation in this country is based around small

business owners.

      

       And it is the mindset that you`re now putting on the table that is

what the problem is in this country right now.  I don`t think that the

American people want to hinge their future to a government program or a job

created through a government program that could go away overnight.  We`re

looking at long-term sustainable growth in the employment sector that is

only best provided by small business owners.

      

       I`ve been a small business owner.  I`ve also had a government job. 

I prefer being a small business owner because I have greater control, I

have greater opportunity, and I can expand that opportunity for others who

want to build for their future and well beyond the limitations that come

with a particular government contract or a particular government program

that that job is housed under.

      

       (CROSSTALK)

      

       STEELE:  My mother had a private sector job for 45 years and -- in

the private sector.  That`s the kind of long-term sustainable job growth

that we`re trying to create for this country.

      

       O`DONNELL:  Well, David Petraeus has had a government job for going

on to what, 30 years now, since West Point.  So -- and, you know --

      

       STEELE:  All right.  Yes.  That`s it, Lawrence.

      

       O`DONNELL:  Do you maintain that the government does in no way

stimulate creation of private sector jobs?

      

       STEELE:  The government stimulates a lot of things, Lawrence, but

it`s how they stimulate it.  The government could create the pathway for

access to the marketplace through regulation, through tax policy or it

could not.  And what we`ve seen through the tax policy and regulatory

policies that have clamped down on the willingness and the risk-taking that

small businesses are willing to make.

      

       There`s a reason why a small business owner is not going into the

market and hiring.  There`s a reason why his customers are not buying.

      

       So, that`s where the government can step in and say, let`s create an

environment, let`s stimulate through lowering tax rates, let`s stimulate by

lessening the regulatory burden, by creating a pathway so those small

business owners feel that they can take that risk --

      

       O`DONNELL:  Well, how do you explain Michael --

      

       STEELE:  -- without the heavy burden of government on their backs.

      

       O`DONNELL:  How do you explain this recession, given that it started

while all the Bush tax rates were in place?  And by the way, all the Bush

tax rates are still in place.

      

       STEELE:  Well, look, Lawrence, I mean --

      

       (CROSSTALK)

      

       O`DONNELL:  So how could we possibly have this recession if we`re

living under a Republican tax regime right now?

      

       STEELE:  I know you love hanging everything on the Bush tax rates as

that, you know, some boogeyman for the economy.  But when you have all that

spending, when you have increased spending, you negate the effect of those

tax rates, those lower tax rates.  You dampen that stimulation.

      

       That`s why Republicans, we`ve learned from those mistakes in the

past.  And that`s why you see Republicans out around the country now

arguing for -- if you want these rates to have the intended effect where it

stimulates your investment in the economy, then we`ve got to look at how we

spend money and how we put that money into the marketplace and what the

government does with that money.  And I think that`s something you`ve

seeing with the Promise to America that -- the Pledge to America that Kevin

McCarthy and the other Republican leadership put out there and talking

about under the Republican leadership.  This is how we want to make sure

that we have long-term sustainable growth.

      

       You can`t go down the road where you -- where you have, you know,

lower tax rates and increased spending.  We have a spending problem in this

country.  That creates the debt and the deficit.

      

       And, you know, the fact that the Obama administration and the

failure of this Congress to go and deal with the Bush tax cuts again is a

testimony to the reality that even Democrats realize that those tax rates

benefit the people of this country and to let them fail or let them, you

know, go away is a tax increase at a time when we don`t need it.

      

       O`DONNELL:  Michael, I want to get you to the pledge to America. 

That`s one of the things you`re selling on your bus tour.  The Republican

Pledge to America written by House Republicans.

      

       On the health care sector, their first item is repeal Obamacare,

repeal the Democratic health care bill.  Their second item is: reinstate

most of the Democratic health care bill.  They say, "We will expand state

high risk pools, reinsurance programs and reduce the cost of coverage.  We

will make it illegal for an insurance company to deny coverage to someone

with prior coverage on the basis of a pre-existing condition, eliminate

annual lifetime spending caps and prevent insurers from dropping your

coverage just because you get sick."

      

       Talk about demonizing health insurance companies.  So, Michael, your

Republican idea on health care after repealing the Obama plan is to impose

a massive regulatory, socialistic regulatory regime on the health care

sector in order to prevent insurance companies from doing business the way

they want to in a free enterprise system.  When did that become a

Republican idea?

      

       STEELE:  You`re a funny man, Lawrence.  You really are.

      

       O`DONNELL:  It`s a funny document.  The document is very funny. 

It`s so self-contradictory.

      

       STEELE:  Well, you need -- again, I don`t get to do the policy.  I

don`t get to make those decisions.  I think the Republican leadership has

made very clear what their intentions are and where they intend to do

through the promise -- the Pledge to America, the commitment that they

make.

      

       We`ve been very clear for over two years now that the health care

regime that this administration has put in place that`s been backed by

Nancy Pelosi -- whom by the way, we want to fire if you haven`t gotten the

message yet, Harry Reid who we want to retire -- that leadership has failed

to listen to the American people.

      

       How do you have a health care debate and you not even put tort

reform in the mix?  How do you have a health care debate when you want to

demonize one sector of the health care industry while you ignore other

sectors of the health care industry?

      

       The reality of it is, the Republican leadership wants to come back

to this issue.  We want to deconstruct the mammoth bureaucratic government

heavy regulatory process that -- have you seen the map of what this new

legislation is going to create, the various agencies and components of it?

      

       We want to streamline this thing to make that relationship between

the doctor and the patient the most sacrosanct it can be and allow them to

make those decisions and not Barack Obama, Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi.

      

       O`DONNELL:  Michael --

      

       STEELE:  So any issues you have, Lawrence, with the pledge and what

that document says on health care, take it up with the leadership.

      

       O`DONNELL:  OK.  Michael, final question, can`t let you leave

without talking about everyone`s favorite Senate candidate Christine

O`Donnell.  She has --

      

       STEELE:  OK.

      

       O`DONNELL:  She has said -- and you are, as you said, you know,

locked in with the Tea Party.  Christine O`Donnell has said that China has,

quote, "a carefully thought out and strategic plan to take over America." 

She claims to have classified --

      

       STEELE:  OK.

      

       O`DONNELL:  -- information about China and she says, quote, "I wish

I wasn`t privy to some of the classified information that I am privy to."

      

       Do you agree with Christine O`Donnell?  Do you wish she wasn`t privy

to classified information?

      

       I mean, America would be safer if she was not privy to classified

information, wouldn`t it?

      

       STEELE:  Christine O`Donnell is a fantastic candidate for us, for

the United States Senate.  I can`t wait to call her a senator.

      

       O`DONNELL:  Michael, you know she`s lying about the classified

information, right?  I mean, reassure the country.

      

       (CROSSTALK)

      

       STEELE:  I don`t.  Do you know -- do you know that, Lawrence?

      

       O`DONNELL:  She`s lying about it.  She doesn`t have any classified

information.  Don`t worry.

      

       STEELE:  Do you know that, Lawrence?  Do you know that?  Do you know

that?

      

       O`DONNELL:  Is it legal for her to have classified information?

      

       STEELE:  Wait a minute.  No, no, no.  Let me ask the question.  Do

you know that for sure?

      

       O`DONNELL:  I know to absolute certainly.

      

       (CROSSTALK)

      

       O`DONNELL:  I know to a certainty she is lying.

      

       STEELE:  Produce your evidence and invite me back on the program and

talk about it.

      

       O`DONNELL:  She is absolutely lying.

      

       STEELE:  OK.

      

       O`DONNELL:  Michael Steele, chairman of the RNC --

      

       STEELE:  All right.

      

       O`DONNELL:  -- defender of the Tea Party, thank you very much for

taking the time today, Michael.

      

       STEELE:  All right, man, take care of yourself.

      

       O`DONNELL:  Thank you.

      

       STEELE:  All righty.

      

       (END VIDEOTAPE)

      

       O`DONNELL:  Former Governor Howard Dean has been watching the

Michael Steele interview with me here in the studio.  He will weigh in

after a break.

      

       And later, Senator Jim DeMint is finding yet another way to make

Alvin Greene continue to look like the better choice in the South Carolina

Senate race.  The senator says gays and single women shouldn`t be allowed

to teach in public schools.  That has one group that used to stand by

DeMint saying, "No mas."

      

       (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

      

       O`DONNELL:  Is the forced marriage of the Republican Party and the

Tea Party going as well as Michael Steele would have us believe?  And what

happens to the happy couple after the election?  Governor Howard Dean joins

me.

      

       And later, Senator Jim DeMint wants to keep single women and gays

out of our classrooms.

      

       (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

      

       O`DONNELL:  In 2005, Howard Dean staged an outside the Beltway

grassroots campaign to become the head of the Democratic National

Committee, an organization that liberal Netroots activists felt was plagued

by inertia and self-serving D.C. insiders.

      

       Now, Republican insiders, like Michael Steele, are trying to co-opt

an outside the Beltway movement, the Tea Party, that threatens their

control of conservative voters.

      

       Joining me now to discuss how Michael Steele is managing the merger

of the Republican Party and the Tea Party is former governor of Vermont,

Howard Dean.

      

       Governor Dean, I don`t know where to begin with the Michael Steele

interview.  You have good days and bad days as the chairman of the party,

don`t you?

      

       HOWARD DEAN, FORMER DNC CHAIRMAN:  Well, yes, he won`t be on MSNBC,

I don`t think, voluntarily, for quite some time after that interview.

      

       Look, he`s got an impossible job.  It`s really, really tough to try

to do what he`s doing, and he has to defend some things that are

indefensible.  The minimum wage polls up in the 80 percent in terms of

people who are in favor.  It`s fairness issue.  Eighty percent, including

most Republicans, believe there ought to be a minimum wage.

      

       Now, the Republicans are taking a position at least by some of their

candidates and Steele won`t defend it, that there should be no minimum

wage.

      

       O`DONNELL:  Basic preparedness in the job.  As soon as you`ve got a

Republican Senate candidate in Alaska who`s saying the minimum wage is

unconstitutional, we should abolish the minimum wage, your -- the chairman

of that party, if you don`t know the minimum wage, someone working for you

has to tell you that minute, minimum wage is $7.25.  Be ready because it`s

going to come up somewhere sometime.

      

       How can they be running a party where they`re sending a guy like

this out there completely ill-equipped to talk publicly about what`s going

on?

      

       DEAN:  Michael is not running that party.  That party is being run,

again, by Karl Rove and others, who are raising millions of millions of

dollars outside the party, not channeling it to the party, precisely

because of this problem.

      

       O`DONNELL:  Party contributions are actually down compared to

Democratic Party contributions.  But they`ve got this outside operation --

      

       DEAN:  The Chamber of Commerce which has essentially become a

finance arm of the Republican Party and they`ve got these John Roberts

special PACs that he`s now allowed by deciding that corporations are the

same as people.  And that gives the Republicans a big financial advantage. 

But the party, of course, the Democratic Party, is far ahead of the

Republican in fundraising.

      

       O`DONNELL:  We`ve got discussions on this program about the

divisions within the Democratic Party.  The dissatisfied Obama supporter

that has -- that the president`s been addressing in effect on his college

campus tour saying, you know, buck up, stick with me.

      

       How does that dissent, dissatisfaction within the Democratic Party

compare to what you see happening with the Tea Party faction and the

establishment Republican Party?

      

       DEAN:  Well, what I say to the Democrats, look, we`re entitled to

our differences on policy issues with the president and everybody else. 

But this is the fourth quarter.  Now, it`s time to put all that stuff aside

and otherwise, you see what we`re going to get.

      

       Look at the Tea Party.  How would you like to have the Tea Party

running the United States of America?  There are some people who would like

that.  I think we`d be in an awful lot of trouble.

      

       I think -- that`s why I think -- I believe -- and I know I`m the

minority opinion -- that Democrats will hold on to both the House and the

Senate.  The reason I think so is because at the end of the day, it`s going

to be incredibly hard for them to vote for people like Carl Paladino and

Christine O`Donnell.

      

       O`DONNELL:  I mean, haven`t the fact (ph) the Republicans done

everything wrong that they could do wrong in the run-up to this election in

terms of ending up with nominees like Christine O`Donnell, like Carl

Paladino, that are actually scaring people?

      

       DEAN:  You know, it`s an interesting thing.  The Republicans,

actually, are incredibly good on opposition because they`re so ideological

and they have a good, simple disciplined message.  Unfortunately, those

exact traits make them terrible at governing as we saw for eight years when

President Bush was in office.

      

       But what they`ve done is essentially created a monster.  Their

rhetoric has been so uncompromising, so inaccurate, so ludicrous, that they

have created -- they`ve given permission for this wing of the Republican

Party, which is now -- this is a Tea Party group, to say outrageous things. 

And for the mainstream voter, it is frightening to see that.

      

       Nobody -- I mean, how can you seriously vote for candidate for the

United States Senate who thinks that she has a message from the Chinese

that they`re going to attack America at any moment now?  I mean, it`s just

-- or was a witch or whatever?  How can you run an ad starting off with the

words "I`m not a witch"?

      

       I mean, really and truly, this is not compatible -- I mean, maybe

people don`t care who they elect for the Senate.  Some folks are so far

angry at the government, they don`t think it makes any difference.  But I

think it does make a difference.

      

       O`DONNELL:  This will be a test of the -- you know, do I really care

about my vote?

      

       The -- Rahm Emanuel leaving the White House.  He was a target of a

lot of progressives` angst and dissatisfaction with the deal-making in the

White House, especially on the health care bill, deals with pharmaceutical

companies, health insurance companies.  They felt he kind of gave up too

much, too soon in the compromising processes of legislation.

      

       With Rahm Emanuel out of there, do you think it`s an opportunity for

the White House to reset in a way that will be more appealing to the

progressive side of the party?

      

       DEAN:  There will be two things that change.  One is that Pete Rouse

is still an insider, but he`s a very good guy.  He gets what has to be

done.  He is not about being in the headlines and I don`t think he would

say some of the things that Rahm said that just make people mad.

      

       It doesn`t do good to make people mad, to say things about them that

are demeaning.  You need everybody to make the whole thing work.  And Rouse

is too much of an inside pro to not let that happen.

      

       So, I think that is going to be -- that`s going to have a big

effect.  The other thing is, I think, that the working conditions in the

White House will improve.  I think the morale inside the White House will

improve, especially for the young people.

      

       O`DONNELL:  In the closing month of this campaign, what do you think

is going to stimulate the Democratic base more, the fear of the Paladinos,

the Christine O`Donnells, the crazy candidates that have erupted on the

Democratic side, or an enthusiasm that Barack Obama can stimulate by

getting out there and doing that campaign-style event that he did in

Wisconsin last week?

      

       DEAN:  Well, he`s doing the campaign-style event.  That`s what he

has to do.  We can`t win without the president.

      

       The president, whether he likes it or not, is the spokesman for the

Democratic Party, the leader of the Democratic Party.  If he keeps doing

what he`s doing, that helps a lot.  But it is absolutely true that the

Republicans have succeeded in mobilizing the Democratic base.  That`s

something you never want to do if you can possibly help it is to mobilize

the other guys.  The Republicans have succeeded in doing that because of

the Tea Party.

      

       O`DONNELL:  Governor Howard Dean, former chair of the Democratic

National Committee -- thanks for joining us tonight.

      

       DEAN:  Thanks for having me on.

      

       O`DONNELL:  Senator Jim DeMint tries to elect candidates across the

country under the mantle of limited government, while opposing a policy

that would require government tracking of the sex lives of unmarried women.

      

       And in tonight`s rewrite, Republican billionaire candidate Carl

Paladino explains why he loves forwarding racist e-mails.  "It`s simple,"

he says, "I`m human."

      

                (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

                O`DONNELL:  Breaking news.  There was an interruption in the middle of

the presidential speech tonight.  No, not a heckler.  A problem with the

prop department. 

                (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

               

                BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Especially it fields

like science and technology, engineering and math.  We cannot sustain --

oops.  Was that my -- oh, goodness.  That`s all right.  All of you know who

I am.

               

                But I`m sure there`s somebody back there that`s really nervous right

now.  They`re sweating bullets back there right now. 

                (END VIDEO CLIP)

               

                O`DONNELL:  The Seal of the Office of the President was picked up

after the president was off stage. 

               

                Senator Jim Demint, apparently jealous of all the attention Christine

O`Donnell gets for saying nutty things, now says gays and single women

should not be teachers.  We`ll talk to one Republican who says the idea

isn`t just crazy, it`s calculated. 

               

                And later, Sharron Angle was caught on tape saying Republicans do not

mean what they say, which might be her first honest statement since she

became the Republican nominee for Senate in Nevada.

               

                (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

               

                O`DONNELL:  During their very long workdays and nights, the staff of

the United States Senate spends some of their occasional idle time swapping

crazy senator stories.  Those stories are usually about men and women

working under intense public pressure, often in advanced stages of sleep

deprivation, who say or do something they shouldn`t have.  The stories are

always about backstage moments in the cloakroom, private moments on

senator-only elevators.  Never anything the public knows about. 

               

                In public, the senators are alert, careful and reliably boring.  Then

there`s Jim Demint.  He does his crazy publicly.  And you don`t have to be

a Senate insider to hear about it.  According to South Carolina`s

"Spartanburg Herald Journal." at a church rally on Friday, Demint said "if

someone is openly homosexual, they shouldn`t be teaching in the classroom. 

And he holds the same position on an unmarried women who`s sleeping with

her boyfriend.  She shouldn`t be in the classroom." 

               

                Senator Demint is apparently still considering whether unmarried men

who are sleeping with their girlfriends should be allowed in the classroom. 

Needless to say, Demint has made it hard out there for a gay Republican. 

               

                In our spotlight tonight, Christopher Barron, the chairman of GO

Proud, an organization representing gay conservatives and their allies. 

               

                Chris Barron, you have supported Jim Demint up to now.  This is the

final straw for you.  Why have you supported him up to now?  And why does

this end it for you? 

                CHRISTOPHER BARRON, GO PROUD CHAIRMAN:  Well, what we`ve done is we`ve

supported Senator Demint`s work on issues that are critical to us, issues

like Social Security reform, free market health care reform, tax reform,

you know, and the size and scope of government issues.  The reason why this

is it for us and, quite honestly, should be for anyone in the conservative

movement, is because these comments are not only outrageous and bizarre,

they`re morally reprehensible. 

               

                And I think that Senator Demint has, you know, given up the ability to

lead on any of the issues that conservatives care about. 

                O`DONNELL:  And, you know -- silly question -- how would he propose

policing what single women are doing in their sex lives?  And presumably --

I`m sure if he thought about it one more day, he would include single men

who are sleeping with their girlfriends as people who should not be allowed

in the classroom. 

                BARRON:  Actually, the interesting thing is I`m not sure he would,

because he originally made comments like this in 2004.  Then apologized for

them, said he was sorry he made them.  Then came out on Friday and

apparently, in typical Washington politician fashion, said I apologized,

but didn`t really mean it, and what I really mean is what I said

originally, which gays shouldn`t be allowed to teach and sexually active

unmarried women shouldn`t be able to teach. 

                O`DONNELL:  Isn`t it is a more difficult fit for gay fiscal

conservatives who want to vote Republican to stay in that fold when the Tea

Party is moving in, and polling indicates that the Tea Party is overlapping

heavily with the Christian right?  Doesn`t this become all the more

uncomfortable as evidenced by your break with Jim Demint now? 

                BARRON:  No, actually, I would disagree and I would disagree strongly. 

And here`s why: one, the Tea Party movement has been laser focused on

economic issues and on the size and scope of government.  They`ve not been

focused on social issues.  In fact, prominent social conservatives like

Tony Perkins and Mike Huckabee have complained over the last two years

about the lack of the Tea Party`s focus on social issues. 

               

                I think what Jim Demint did by coming out and talking about this, what

others have started to do is the if you can`t beat them, join them.

They`ve been unable to get the Tea Party -- to stop the Tea Party`s

momentum.  And so now they want to co-opt the Tea Party`s message.  Because

the bottom line is -- is that the movement itself, the energy in the

conservative movement is around the Tea Party, which is about limiting the

size and scope of government. 

               

                I mean, Jim Demint calls himself a limited government conservative. 

Yet his idea of a limited government is one large enough to be policing the

sex lives of our public school teachers.  I mean, the idea is completely

and totally insane.  And it completely flies in the face of what the Tea

Party movement stands for. 

                O`DONNELL:  Do you think you`re going to get a chance to vote for, on

the Republican ticket for president next time, a candidate who does not

pander to this wing of the Republican party? 

                BARRON:  Look, I think that we`re going to have a lot of great

candidates in 2012.  And I think that what`s important is that every one of

these candidates -- look, everybody wants to be known as the darling of the

Tea Party movement right now.  Every one of these candidates who wants to

be known as the darling of the Tea Party movement should understand what

this movement is about. 

               

                This movement is about reducing the size and scope of the federal

government.  This movement is not about gay marriage.  This movement isn`t

about, you know, gay teachers or sexually active unmarried women teachers. 

It`s not about any of these social issues.  And so they run down these

rabbit holes at their own risk. 

                O`DONNELL:  Christopher Barron, chairman of GO Proud, thanks for

joining us tonight. 

                BARRON:  Thank you. 

                O`DONNELL:  Carl Paladino is taking a page from the political playbook

of Christine O`Donnell and trying to say who hasn`t e-mailed racist stuff

around to their friends?  He gets tonight`s rewrite. 

               

                And Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian`s refusal to step out of the way

for Sharron Angle instead led someone else to lose his job.  The

revolutionaries are fighting, ahead on THE LAST WORD.

               

                (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

               

                O`DONNELL:  Time for tonight`s Rewrite.  Mental health professionals

are having a very hard time figuring out who the nuttiest Tea Party

candidate is.  Mental health amateurs like Karl Rove have suggested that

Christine "no relation" O`Donnell is the nuttiest by virtue of her previous

devotion to witchcraft and trying to fit into all religions. 

                (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

               

                CHRISTINE O`DONNELL (R), CANDIDATE FOR SENATE IN DELAWARE:  I was

dabbling into every other kind of religion before I became a Christian. 

                BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN:  You were a witch. 

                C. O`DONNELL:  I was.  I was.. 

                MAHER:  You were. 

                C. O`DONNELL:  I was dabbling in witchcraft. 

                MAHER:  Right. 

                C. O`DONNELL:  I dabbled in Buddhism.  And I would have become a Hare

Krishna, but I didn`t want to become a vegetarian. 

                KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR:  There are just a lot of nutty things

she`s been saying that just simply don`t add up. 

                (END VIDEO CLIP)

               

                O`DONNELL:  And that`s before we get to her position on intra-personal

sex.  But New York`s Republican Tea Party candidate for governor, crazy

billionaire Carl Paladino, rushed to the front of the nutty line last week

with an outburst that made him if not the nuttiest Tea Partier, definitely

the most dangerous.  I mean physically dangerous. 

                (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

               

                UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Fred, that`s it. 

                UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Stay away from me.

               

                (CROSS TALK)

               

                CARL PALADINO (R), CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK:  You send

another goon to my daughter`s house and I`ll take you out, buddy. 

                UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You`re going to take me out?  How are you going to

do that? 

                PALADINO:  Watch. 

                (END VIDEO CLIP)

               

                O`DONNELL:  Though Paladino considers none of what he said to "New

York Post" reporter Fred Dicker a joke, he does believe he`s the funniest

Tea Party candidate by virtue of his long history of playfully forwarding

the hysterically funny e-mails he gets every day from his hysterically

funny friends. 

               

                The network has asked me to warn you that if you have ever been

offended by anything, you will be offended by what is to follow.  I ask

registered New York voters to not turn away no matter what you see.  Our

participatory democracy confers on you the responsibility to evaluate this

material and the man who loves it. 

               

                Mr. Paladino`s mass e-mails were obtained by WNYMedia.net.  This one

was sent in October of 2009.  The e-mail was titled, "White House Ball." 

               

                One year earlier, he sent a video called "Obama Inauguration

Rehearsal."  It`s no longer online, but you can see by this screen grab it

was, in fact, video of a tribal dance in Africa. 

               

                Another e-mail featured this picture of a group of black men running

from a plane.  We`ve blurred the racial slur in the text, but you can and

should assume the worst. 

               

                Paladino is also fond of sending mass e-mails of people having sex,

which indicates he has a severely underdeveloped sense of discretion for a

politician.  At least one of his favorite sex videos, which the network

believes will disturb your sleep tonight if we show even a second of it,

co-stars a woman and a horse.  Paladino was asked about this earlier today

by Allen Combs and here`s what he had to say. 

                (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

               

                PALADINO:  I apologize to anyone that was offended by what I did.  I`m

human.  I never made out to be anything other than that.  I`m your regular

guy from Buffalo, New York. 

                (END VIDEO CLIP)

               

                O`DONNELL:  Carl, I know regular guys from Buffalo, New York.  One of

my best friends, Jim Cane, is a regular guy from Buffalo, New York.  And

let me tell you, you are no Jim Cane. 

               

                Here`s what you should have said: "I apologize to anyone who was

offended by what I did.  I`m sub-human.  I never made out to be anything

other than that.  I`m just a deeply disturbed guy from Buffalo, New York,

who has had to recently admit to having a secret 10-year-old daughter

outside of my troubled marriage, and see my funny e-mails shown to people

who just don`t get the joke.  All because I am humbly offering to serve as

governor." 

               

                Thirty two percent of New York voters are currently failing the

intelligence test that the gubernatorial campaign has given them.  Yes,

they are still planning to vote for Carl Paladino.  Now, let`s stipulate

that none of us -- none of us could survive public scrutiny of every e-mail

we`ve ever sent or received.  But when you have staked your campaign on,

quote, "cleaning up Albany," shouldn`t you take care of your inbox first? 

                Sharron Angle`s push to get her Tea Party opponent out of the race has

led to one departure, but not who she was hoping.  Up next, the Tea Party

fight in Nevada with candidate Scott Ashjian.

               

                (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

               

                O`DONNELL:  We are used to fights within the Democratic party, fights

within the Republican party, and now we have, much sooner than expected in

its maturation curve, fights within the Tea Party.  On Sunday, leaked audio

tapes revealed Nevada Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle met with

Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian to get him to drop out of the race. 

                (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

               

                SHARRON ANGLE (R), CANDIDATE FOR SENATE IN NEVADA:  Now, anything I

can deliver personally, I`m glad to.  What would you --

                SCOTT ASHJIAN, TEA PARTY CANDIDATE FOR SENATE IN NEVADA:  I`m not

looking for anything other than a public apology. 

                (END VIDEO CLIP)

               

                O`DONNELL:  Angle offered no apology for the attacks leveled at Mr.

Ashjian.  Instead, she offered to hook him up with Jim Demint. 

                (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

               

                ANGLE:  That`s really all I can offer to you is whatever juice I have,

you have as well.  You want to see Demint?  I have juice with him.  I go to

Washington, D.C. and I say I want to see Jim Demint; he`s right there for

me.  I say I want to see Tom Coburn, he`s right there for me.  I want to

see Mitch McConnell, he`s there. 

                (END VIDEO CLIP)

               

                O`DONNELL:  But Mr. Ashjian is about as eager to hang with Senate

Republicans as Michael Moore is.  He told Angle exactly what he thinks of

them.  And he actually sounded a bit like Michael Moore. 

                (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

               

                ASHJIAN:  I think that in Nevada there is an opportunity to not go

against your core principles, not join the system, and, as you said, take a

stand.  But how effective can you be with thieves?  There`s no honor among

thieves. 

                (END VIDEO CLIP)

               

                O`DONNELL:  Nevada Tea Party candidate for Senate Scott Ashjian joins

us now.  Scott, why did you make this tape? 

                ASHJIAN:  You know, originally I made the tape to -- I`ve been in

several meetings.  The reporters, the press, they lie and distort after the

meeting.  And they spin it according to how they wanted.  The tape was

never meant to be released.  It was for my personal use. 

               

                The night before I received a phone call from a Washington, D.C.

attorney, Cleta Mitchell (ph), asking me in an abrupt way to get off of the

ticket because Sharron couldn`t win with -- if I was on the ticket.  I

obviously wasn`t interested in that.  It was a heated discussion between

her and I.  And I hung up on her.  And she went on tilt, apparently leaving

voice mails on the wrong number, not very bright, which made their way to

local TV guy Jon Rolston. 

               

                As expected, the meeting got spun in the wrong way.  I was on vacation

with my family in Denver.  I got called by Rolston asking if I had heard

the voicemails that were put out.  I said I didn`t know anything about

them.  And he proceeded to tell me what was on them, told me what was in

the paper.  So I asked my campaign manager to go over to my house and

deliver a small tape recorder to John Rolston and said have at it.  Knock

yourself out. 

                O`DONNELL:  All right.  So you released them in self-defense.  Let`s

listen to Angle`s true feelings about the Republicans she has now embraced. 

                (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

               

                ANGLE:  The republicans have lost their standard.  They`ve lost their

principles.  They have never really gone along with lower taxes and less

government. 

                (END VIDEO CLIP)

               

                O`DONNELL:  Scott, what is happening to the Tea Party?  If there is an

idealistic base of the Tea Party, can it merge with the Republican party? 

                ASHJIAN:  The Nevada Tea Party, we are the only official Tea Party on

the ballot.  And I know that --

                O`DONNELL:  Can I stop you right there for a second?  Can you explain

to me the difference between the Tea Party and the Tea Party Express? 

                ASHJIAN:  The Tea Party express has been -- funded Sharron Angle from

the beginning.  The co-founder was actually kicked out for racial slurs. 

They`re out of California.  That`s been my biggest complaint from the

beginning, is we have Washington, D.C. and we have Californians affecting -

- literally, the California Tea Party put Sharron Angle in the Senate race. 

               

                The Republicans here ran 12 or 13 people on the ticket, splitting the

vote.  Hence, they got the weakest candidate, because the Tea Party Express

came in and funded her with several hundred thousand dollars, took out ads

against me. 

               

                I`ve been sued three times to try to get off the ballot.  I`ve won all

three of those lawsuits.  We are on the ballot.  We are the only official

Tea Party.  When you say like Paladino in New York -- he`s a Republican. 

If they have an R or a D behind their name, they`re not a Tea Partier. 

They`re a politician.  They`re a Republican or they`re a Democrat.  The

system is corrupt and they`re corrupt. 

                O`DONNELL:  Scott Ashjian, thanks for your perspective from inside the

Nevada Tea Party. 

                ASHJIAN:  Thank you.  I wish you luck on your show. 

                O`DONNELL:  OK.  That`s THE LAST WORD for tonight.  You can have THE

LAST WORD by following us on our blog or on Facebook or Twitter. 

"COUNTDOWN" is up next. 

END   

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