'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Guests: Ron Carey, Van Jones, Dorian Warren, Jeanne Mansfield>

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: Republican presidential primary voters are
as confused as ever.


CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: Rick Perry has dropped dramatically. He`s been
second place --

ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS: According to a new poll --

TODD: Mitt Romney has regained his lead.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Every candidate has a but.

TODD: Anti-Romney vote is still a pretty powerful force.

CHRIS JANSING, NBC NEWS: Republicans keep looking over their
shoulders for someone better.

ROMNEY: If you don`t change your view, you`ll get fired.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Perry is a conservative that
worries me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of conservatives want to like Rick Perry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Social Security a Ponzi scheme.

you a heart.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re offended by him saying that, you know,
conservatives don`t have a heart.

ROMNEY: I probably chose a poor word to -- and it was inappropriate.


LIMBAUGH: Herman Cain is a conservative that worries me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He`s just at 17 percent, just below Rick Perry.

CAIN: Many African-Americans have been brain washed --

JANSING: Black voters have been brainwashed.

CAIN: Brainwashed and people not being open-mined.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You will see where Cain is next week.

LIMBAUGH: Bachmann is a conservative that worries me. Santorum --

husband`s headship of our home.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s incompatible --

LIMBAUGH: Wait, are you saying Christie is not a conservative? As
far as the Republican establishment`s concerned, yes.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Oh, please. Please, please,
stop --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Christie sucks all the air out --

ROMNEY: Every candidate has a but.

JON STEWART, COMEDIAN: He said no. And if I remember from my
freshman dorm orientation correctly-- no means no. So, back off.


O`DONNELL: As predicted here after his very first presidential debate
on MSNBC, Rick Perry`s support is falling and falling fast. A new FOX News
poll of Republican voters shows that Perry has handed his front-runner
status back to Mitt Romney, who is now in the lead with 23 percent of the
vote. Perry dropped 10 points to 19 percent of the vote.

And Herman Cain has replaced Michele Bachmann as the hopeless
candidacy that Republicans like best. Cain is now polling third at 17
percent, which is a gain of 11 points for him.

Michele Bachmann is the tragic figure in this poll, which shows her
settling into a tie for last place with Rick Santorum at 3 percent.

The Bachmann team need never again worry about how she might look on
magazine covers.

Her 15 minutes of presidential campaign fame may be over sooner than
anyone expected. Today`s "New York Post" reports that the cash crunch in
the Bachmann campaign is so bad that she might not even make it to the Iowa
caucuses. According to "The Post," Bachmann`s skeletal staff are holding
their collective breath until the deadline to disclose her fund-raising
report on October 15th. A computer vendor has called her campaign
headquarters threatening to shut down the power due to an outstanding bill.

The FOX News poll shows Newt Gingrich crawling into the middle with 11
percent, a gain of eight points. Ron Paul holding steadily at 6 percent.
While only 4 percent of Republicans feel inclined to vote for someone as
reasonable sounding as Jon Huntsman.

The political media and Republican billionaires who are ready to fund
him may be eager for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to run for
president but Republican voters can take him or leave him. Forty percent
say Chris Christie should run for president in 2012, but a solid 33 percent
say Christie should not run for president.

Mitt Romney tried out a new line to defend against the accurate charge
that he is a flip-flopper.


ROMNEY: In the private sector, if you don`t change your view when the
facts change, you`ll get fired for being stubborn and stupid, all right?
And so, as Winston Churchill said, when the facts change, I change too.
Madam, what do you do?


O`DONNELL: Meanwhile, Rick Perry unwisely tried to prove that he is
smarter than someone. Well, smarter than anyone isn`t a good thing for him
to try to prove. In this case, he tried to tell CNBC viewers that he, Rick
Perry, is smarter than Warren Buffett.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m curious about your thoughts on the Buffett
Rule and goes to the class warfare issue.

PERRY: Well, I think it gets right down to the real problem that
we`ve got in Washington, D.C., is an administration that is listening to
people who really don`t have an understanding about what`s going on there
in the real world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don`t think that Warren Buffett --

PERRY: I think Mister -- I think Mr. Buffett is a really intelligent
individual, but I can promise you, he doesn`t know what`s going on in
places that -- where the job creation is at a zero because of over-taxation
and overregulation.


O`DONNELL: And Herman Cain has bravely and irrelevantly ruled out
running on a ticket with Rick Perry.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN: Could you support Rick Perry if he were the

CAIN: Today, I could not support Rick Perry as the nominee for a host
of reasons. Him being soft on securing the border is one of the reasons.
I feel very strongly about the need to secure the border for real, the need
to enforce the laws that are already there. So, that`s where he and I have
a basic fundamental difference of opinion.


O`DONNELL: Realizing that the president`s poll numbers make his re-
election seem like an uphill battle at this point, the vice president
offered an important political reminder in a radio interview in Florida


knew who used to be the mayor of Boston back in the `70s and the press was
asking him legitimate questions and pointing out he was sagging in the
polls. And he looked at them and he said, look, don`t compare me to the
Almighty. Compare me to the alternative.

And that`s what`s going to happen. Right now, understandably, totally
legitimate, this is a referendum on Obama and Biden, the nature of the
state of the economy. It`s soon going to be a choice. It`s soon going to
be a choice.


O`DONNELL: That mayor the vice president was referring to, of course,
was as Bostonians know, Kevin White. He was Boston`s mayor for 16 years
and his day, he was on the Democratic Party`s short list for Joe Biden`s

Joining me now are Howard Fineman, editorial director for the
AOL/Huffington Post media group and MSNBC analyst, and Ron Carey, former
chief of staff to Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and former chairman of the
Minnesota Republican Party.

Thank you both for joining me tonight.



O`DONNEL: Ron Carey, I wanted to get your take on the status of the
Bachmann campaign at this point. Does that "New York Post" item today make
sense to you that she`s in trouble financially and may be running out of
gas soon?

CAREY: Well, Michele`s always had some difficulty raising money from
the major donors that can give up to $5,000 per campaign. The life blood
of her campaign is the small donor who writes $25, $50 checks, and she has
perhaps largest donor file of any conservative candidate, whether it be
Congress, Senate or any activist.

So, she has a wide spectrum of people to draw upon. The question is,
will they still give? Because are they going to write that $25 check if
they think her campaign is dead in the water?

I guess the next 30 to 60 days will show whether or not they still
believe enough in her campaign versus Herman Cain, Rick Santorum or
somebody else to make sure that their $25 check goes to her and not one of
the other candidates.

O`DONNELL: Ron, I just want to read something you wrote earlier in
the year of your experience working for Bachmann. You said, "The Bachmann
campaign and congressional offices I inherited were wildly out of control.
Stacks upon stacks of unopened contributions filled the campaign office
while thousands of communications from citizens waited for an answer. If
she is unable or unwilling to handle the basic duties of a campaign or
congressional office, how could she possibly manage the magnitude of the

What about managing the magnitude of a presidential campaign?

CAREY: Well, that is right up -- you`re exactly right there. I mean,
my point in writing that is that while she can serve as a member of
Congress, I spoke out because I didn`t feel she was up to the task of being
president of the United States. And as a conservative, be I feel we have a
responsibility to get behind a candidate that if elected, does have the
skill set required to handle the most difficult job in the world.

And I didn`t believe when I wrote that. I still don`t believe Michele
Bachmann is prepared to be president of the United States.

O`DONNELL: Howard, speaking of prepared to be president of the United
States, Herman Cain who has replaced Michele Bachmann as the unlikely
favorite among voters willing to vote for people who don`t have a chance to
become president, is he on track for the Bachmann trajectory here which is
surge up into 17 percent, 18 percent, around there, you know, run third,
maybe even run second in polling and then just flame out?

FINEMAN: Well, possibly, Lawrence, although I was astonished to hear
a top handler for one of the other top candidates tell me -- or, rather,
say to me in an e-mail various things that he thought made Herman Cain`s
record on the issue an impossible sell. In other words, Herman Cain has
gotten the attention of the other leading contenders to the point where
they`re actually looking at his record.


FINEMAN: Which is -- which is progress for Herman Cain.

O`DONNELL: That`s a big compliment to Herman Cain.

FINEMAN: That`s a big compliment. They said, you know, he voted for
TARP. Don`t forget he was pro-TARP. And let`s look at him on immigration
because he wants to give control to -- too much control to individual
states and so forth.

So, I think they`re taking notice of him. It`s hard not to with the
FOX News poll showing Herman Cain shooting up from 6 percent to, I think,
17 percent in their latest poll. There`s no question that he did a bang up
job down in Florida the other day.

And, you know, Florida really matters in the whole scheme of things.

O`DONNELL: Ron Carey, I`d like to get your conservative Republican
perspective on the Christie for president phenomenon that may or may not
turn out to be real. We know that Rush Limbaugh is very suspicious saying
that, you know, Christie isn`t really one of them. He isn`t really a ditto
head Limbaugh guy hard core conservative.

How do you think Christie would be received in this campaign?

CAREY: I think he would probably suffer the same fate of Rick Perry
where he may jump out there as the flavor of the month but once you start,
so to speak, peel the onion back and look at some of the different
positions, you`re going to find there are going to be issues where he may
not be in sync with all the conservatives across the country.

And one of things that the conservatives are looking for is they`re
looking for authenticity this election cycle and they`re looking to
somebody who has a consistent record. That`s what minute Romney`s biggest
challenge right now is his inconsistent record as a conservative, because
we`ve been burned before as conservatives.

Look at Richard Nixon, he`s the one who introduced wage and price
controls and went to China. And you look at George H.W. Bush where he
said, read my lips, no new taxes and then raised taxes. We have been
promised by candidates in the past that they would govern as conservatives,
only to do things liberals wouldn`t even try to do. So, that`s where --
you know, we are looking for someone who is authentic as a conservative
that we can trust.

That`s why I think you`re seeing there`s going to be a search for that
authentic conservative. Whether it be a Herman Cain or Rick Santorum - you
know, Michele Bachmann`s had her chance up to bat. Michele is very
authentic in her beliefs, but I think that`s where it comes down to, you
have to be authentic and you also have to be electable and ready to serve.
And really take somebody who can ring the bell in all three aspects. And
that`s what Republican conservative activists are looking for at this

Herman Cain is the person who is being tested right now. I think
Christie would face the same fate, though, as Perry where, you know, he
looks good on paper, then you start digging into it and you might find
flaws that would make people flee.

O`DONNELL: Howard, speaking of authenticity in Republican politics,
Mr. Donald Trump. The candidates have been making the pilgrimage to New
York to kiss the ring or whatever it is that Trump offers them to kiss in
his office. And it turns out in the FOX News poll, there`s some very
useful information that they should check before they, you know, make those
plane reservations to New York.

The FOX News poll says the Trump endorsement -- of the Trump
endorsement, 6 percent say they would be more likely to vote for a Trump
endorsed candidate. And 31 percent say that would make them less likely to
vote for that candidate.

So, it basically costs you 25 percent of the electorate if you go up
there and beg Donald for his attention.

FINEMAN: Well, a couple things, Lawrence. First of all, that 6
percent are all -- have all been on "The Apprentice," so that`s number one.

Number two, Donald Trump sort of stands in extreme form for a lot of
the kind of rich guy Republicans in and around the metropolitan New York
area who are pining away for Chris Christie. Chris Christie made his bones
as an anti-union guy in New Jersey, which takes some guts in New Jersey.

And when Christie went out to speak at the Ronald Reagan Library, he
whacks eloquently in his speech about how Ronald Reagan`s great moment was
the PATCO strike when he busted the air traffic controllers union. So,
that plays really well kind with the Union League Club in Manhattan and so
forth. But that`s not enough, as Ron was saying, for Christie.

I think in certain respects, if Christie gets in, which I don`t expect
him to do, he would be as much of a threat to Romney because a lot of
dissatisfaction among big money guys in New York is that they rightly are
skeptical whether Mitt Romney can really sell. I mean, Romney has been out
there for months and months, if not years and years. And the latest FOX
poll, he`s still only at 23 percent.

You talk to his people, they`re confident. They think Mitt Romney is
the kind of the tortoise in the race and people will kind of settle for
Romney. They`re kind of resigned to the fact that people aren`t really
excited about their candidate, but they think somehow they`ll muddle
through with them.

And, you know, there`s still a lot of people who both conservatives
and non-conservatives in the Republican Party who want some exciting
candidates. It`s -- partly it`s just that. Christie has got some charisma
and that`s what makes him attractive.

O`DONNELL: Thanks to Howard Fineman of MSNBC and "Huffington Post."
And thank you very much, Ron Carey, former chief of staff for Congresswoman
Bachmann for sharing your insights tonight on Republican voters` thinking.

FINEMAN: Thank you, Lawrence.

CAREY: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: President Obama got a glimmer of hope in the latest
unemployment numbers out today. Coming up next, Van Jones on what
Washington should be doing about jobs.

And later, we`ll have an exclusive interview with a witness of the
police brutality that broke out in New York this weekend during a peaceful
"occupy Wall Street" demonstration.


O`DONNELL: Coming up: some are calling it the progressive answer to
the Tea Party. It`s called Take Back the American Dream. It`s happening
next week in Washington. Van Jones, one of the leaders of that movement,
will join me next.

And Bill O`Reilly is back in the "Rewrite" tonight after last night
confirming a prediction that I made about him. And this time, we have
video of Jon Stewart just humiliating the poor guy.



JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I will buy everyone in here
a drink if, by the end of this year, there is not action on the jobs end.
Members of Congress have explaining to do when they go home for the end of
the year recess, if they`ve done nothing, nothing, to address the urgent
need to help our economy and create jobs.


O`DONNELL: That was White House Press Secretary Jay Carney placing a
friendly bet that Congress will take some action to improve the jobs
outlook in this country.

The job situation appeared to modestly improve today when the Labor
Department announced that last week, new claims for jobless benefits fell
sharply to a seasonally adjusted level of 391,000. That was a 37,000 drop
from the previous week and the lowest figure in nearly six months.

The mayor of New York, a former job creator himself and a former
Republican, who now operates politically as an independent, and happens to
be a billionaire, warned recently that there could be riots in the streets
if Washington doesn`t get serious about generating jobs.

"We have a lot of kids graduating college, can`t find jobs," Mayor
Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show. "That`s what happened in Cairo.
That`s what happened in Madrid. You don`t want those kids -- those kinds
of riots here." Mayor Bloomberg added, "The damage to a generation that
can`t find jobs will go on for many, many years."

Joining me now, former green jobs adviser to President Obama and
current co-founder and president of progressive organization Rebuild the
Dream, Van Jones.

Thanks for joining me tonight, Van.


O`DONNELL: Van, tell us what you`re doing next week in Washington and
tell us how you can somehow drive Washington to take the action on jobs
that Jay Carney was talking about.

JONES: Well, first of all, I think everybody should hold onto your
seats. October is going to be the turning point when it comes to the
progressive fight back. You can see it coming. When Warren Buffett comes
out and says, look, we`ve got to do something to raise taxes and do better
by America, and you`ve got these young kids who are going out there on Wall

You called it, you said, you got young people, they`re good kids,
graduated from college. Some of them have gone over there and fought wars
and come back and can`t find a job. There`s a generation of Americans
looking around saying, what is the American Dream going to look like for
me? They`re going to be standing up.

We are a part of something called the American Dream Movement. We`re
having a huge summit on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Come -- you can go
to rebuildthedream.com and find out more about it.

We are going to build a progressive counterbalance to the Tea Party.
Eighty percent of Americans agree with everything you say on this show but
we have no voice. We know that jobs are more important, and this phony,
made-up deficit stuff they talk about. We know that people who have done
well in America should do well by America and start paying America back in
the form of more fair taxes.

People who benefited from the bailouts and from the tax breaks should
start paying America back. They`re doing great.

Everybody else is suffering. That`s 80 percent of the majority.

We`re going to now have a voice.

You`re going to see an American fall, an American autumn, just like we
saw the Arab spring. You can see it right now with these young people on
Wall Street. Hold onto your hats. We`re going to have an October
offensive to take back the American Dream and to rescue America`s middle

O`DONNELL: Van, I want you to listen to what Chris Christie said at
the Reagan Library in California. This was a much praised speech across
the board. All the analysts are saying how great it is.

I thought it was filled with pernicious lies, particularly about
President Obama who he most insultingly called a bystander in the Oval
Office, which is just an outright lie. And we know that. You work there
and you know that.

JONES: Absolutely.

O`DONNELL: But here`s the section of the speech where Chris Christie
was talking about the people at the upper end of our income class, the
people who actually do have more that they can contribute both to this
society and to the revenue stream of the federal government.

Let`s listen about how Chris Christie characterized the president`s
view of these people. Let`s listen.

JONES: Outrageous. I`ve seen it.


CHRISTIE: President Obama prepares to divide our nation to achieve
re-election. This is not a leadership style. This is a re-election

Telling those who are scared and struggling that the only way their
lives can get better is to diminish the success of others. Trying to
cynically convince those who are suffering that the American economic pie
is no longer a growing one, that can provide more prosperity for all who
work hard, insisting that we must tax and take and demonize those who have
already achieved the American Dream.


O`DONNELL: Van, your reaction.

JONES: Well, you know, it`s horribly insulting what he`s saying.
First of all, we know that the American pie is growing. In fact, the
American pie is bigger this year than it was last year. The GNP is

It`s not that the pie isn`t growing. The pie is growing. The middle
class slice of the pie is getting smaller. The working class slice of the
pie is getting smaller as we have excessive hoarding at the top. And now,
we have these super banks and the super corporations sitting on all the
cash. They won`t re-circulate it to get the economy moving.

And so, you got to have action to be able to get the economy moving

Now, here`s the deal: people are acting like going back to the Clinton
era tax rates on the wealthy is some horrible sin, some crime against
humanity. How do we go back to the Clinton era when, in fact, that was one
of our most successful eras?

We have to be able to deal with the upkeep of the country. We got
bridges falling down, roads falling down, schools falling down.

We got kids coming home from wars with no jobs. We got good
Americans, 50-year-old white males who if they lose their job may never
work again. That`s wrong.

They should be teaching the young workers how to do a trade. Well, if
we were to pass the president`s jobs bill and start fixing the bridges,
fixing the roads, those men could get up off the coach, they could begin to
feed their families and teach the next generation.

That is not un-American. The middle class was built in this country.
It wasn`t a gift from the corporations. It didn`t fall out of the sky. It
was built brick by brick because we had tax fairness.

Look, our businesses do well in America because we set them up to
succeed. And we should. You can`t become a billionaire in Bangladesh very
easily. You can become a billionaire here because we give you the roads,
we give you the work force, we give you all those things.

And when you do badly, you shouldn`t pay us back. When you do well,
pay us back and pay fair taxes.

That`s not un-American, that`s fair.

O`DONNELL: Yes, Van, you`d never know listening to the Republicans
that all the president`s talking about is a 4 percentage point increase in
the top tax bracket.

Van Jones of the American Dream Movement -- thank you very much for
joining me tonight and good luck next week in Washington.

JONES: Thank you very much.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Herman Cain says African-Americans are
brainwashed into voting for Democrats. Political science professor Dorian
Warren, an expert on African-American voting joins me next.

And Bill O`Reilly has landed himself back in "The Rewrite" thanks to
Jon Stewart.

Stay with us.


O`DONNELL: In June, "Newsweek" reporter Lois Romano wrote that First
Lady Michelle Obama was known to take secret outings in the Washington
area, but has always eluded the press. Until now.

An Associated Press White House photographer caught this shot of the
First Lady at a Target store in nearby Alexandria, Virginia. She was
incognito with a hat and glasses. MSNBC has confirmed that her secret
service detail was with her at the time.

However, her communications director would not disclose what the First
Lady actually bought, only saying "it is not uncommon for the First Lady to
slip out to run an errand, eat at a local restaurant, or otherwise enjoy
the city outside the White House gates."

And who else -- where else would you go once you got outside those
White House gates? First stop, Target.

Coming up, some African-Americans have been expressing disagreements
with President Obama`s policy priorities lately. But Herman Cain believes
that African-American voters have been brainwashed to vote for President
Obama. That`s coming up.

Later, a witness to the police brutality that occurred at the Occupy
Wall Street protests joins me.


O`DONNELL: In tonight`s Spotlight, the African-American vote as
Herman Cain sees it.


been brainwashed into not being open-minded, not even considering a
conservative point of view. I have received some of that same vitriol,
simply because I`m running for the Republican nomination as a conservative.

So it`s just brainwashing and people not being open-minded, pure and

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: That`s a strong word to talk about your
fellow African-Americans. Brainwashed?

CAIN: For two-thirds of them, Wolf, that is the case.


O`DONNELL: In 2008, 95 percent of African-American voters voted for
the Democrat for president. In 2004, 88 percent of the African-American
vote voted for the Democrat for president. In 2000, 90 percent of the
African-American vote voted for the Democrat for president.

Herman Cain believes he could break the lock on African-American vote
if he became the Republican nominee for president.


CAIN: I do believe a third would vote for me, based upon my own
anecdotal feedback. Now they won`t be voting for me because I`m black.
They`ll be voting for me because of my policies and because of what I`m
offering to fix this economy.


O`DONNELL: Joining me now, Dorian Warren, assistant professor of
political science and public affairs at Columbia University, and fellow at
the Roosevelt Institute. Thanks for joining me tonight, professor.


O`DONNELL: OK, I know professors don`t like to go anecdotal. But
Herman just went anecdotal on us and said his anecdotal feel for the
community is he would get a third of the African-American vote. What`s
your gut tell you, Herman Cain versus Barack Obama?

WARREN: That`s a very disgusting pizza he would be delivering. It`s
absolutely false.

O`DONNELL: Is there some explanation other than brainwashing for
this, you know, hovering 90 and with President Obama going up above 90
percent African-American votes for the Democrat for president?

WARREN: Absolutely. I mean, first, it`s important to say that
insulting voters isn`t quite the winning strategy to win them over to your
platform. But more importantly, what we do know is that African-Americans
do vote for Democratic candidates on issues that they believe are important
to them.

African-American voters tend to be economically liberal, but socially
conservative. So he`s actually right. Black voters do agree with the
Republican party on some issues. But for them, economics trumps culture.
And arguably the opposite is true for many white working class voters.
Often culture and social issues trump their economic interests.

So on issue after issue -- let`s take the minimum wage, blacks are
highly supportive of the minimum wage. But when Herman Cain was head of
the National Restaurant Association, he led a campaign to prevent raising
the minimum wage under the Clinton administration.

He ran -- he led the campaign to prevent health care reform. So, on
those issues, African-Americans strongly disagree with him and the
Republican party.

O`DONNELL: The history of the African-American vote, if you go back
far enough, you will find that it lines up more closely with Republicans.
Then 1956, I guess, Eisenhower pulled in about 39 percent, which
Republicans haven`t been able to do since, because our politics change.

In the `50s, it was southern Democrats who were politically the worst
enemy of African-Americans in this country. So the Democrats had much more
of a struggle in those days on that front.

WARREN: Yes. But remember, Lawrence, starting with the Goldwater
campaign in 1964, the Republican party strategy to gaining power was to
demonize African-Americans and use the race card, so to speak, to recruit
white -- southern whites, especially, to their campaigns.

Remember, Trent Lott, former Senate majority leader, lost his job when
he was -- he made that comment to Strom Thurmond at his 100th birthday by
saying, see, if you had won the segregationist, Dixiecrat nomination --

O`DONNELL: Well, he left -- he said, if you won the presidency. He
left out that he was running as segregationist for the presidency.

WARREN: That`s right. But -- so Trent Lott says we wouldn`t have had
all those problems all these years. What problems is he referring to?

O`DONNELL: It`s very clear what that meant.

WARREN: That meant issues of racial justice and equal rights for

O`DONNELL: Where -- what about going forward? Would there be --
would there be a course correction that the Republican party could take?
Could there be some kind of compromises they could make with their current
orthodoxy to reach out to other voters?

WARREN: It would be very hard to believe that they would do that
right now. In fact, Herman Cain is worried about winning voters, winning
black voters. He should be worrying about if blacks can vote in the first

The Republican party is launching and coordinating a massive campaign
of voter suppression and voter disenfranchisement right now. So in Ohio,
for instance, there is a recent bill which changes the law, making --
shortening the early voting days in Ohio to prevent folks from being able
to go to the polls the Sunday or Saturday or Monday before election day,
which was the law just two months ago.

So, there`s a -- there is a campaign to actually disenfranchise
voters, which disproportionately affects black, that the GOP is running.
They would have to reverse that effort to try to suppress the vote if they
really were serious about winning over black voters.

O`DONNELL: That is the subject we`re going to dig into the next time
you come back. In any election cycle, there`s always the voter suppression
movement that emerges. We have to get into that on this election cycle.

Professor Dorian Warren of Columbia University, thank you very much
for joining me tonight.

WARREN: Thanks for having me, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: On Monday, we showed you video of police brutality against
peaceful protesters in the Occupy Wall Street demonstration. One of those
protesters will join me coming up.

Last night, Jon Stewart showed the emptiness of Bill O`Reilly`s
position on taxing the rich. That`s ahead in the Rewrite.


O`DONNELL: Bill O`Reilly has returned to tonight`s Rewrite because
last night he actually confirmed something I told you about him in this
space last week. First, recall this little O`Reilly-ism.


BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: If Barack Obama begins taxing me more
than 50 percent, which is very possible, I don`t know how much longer I`m
going to do this.


O`DONNELL: That was the threat welcomed around the world, that
O`Reilly would quit his job if his taxes go up. Now, President Obama
advocates raising taxes on Bill O`Reilly who, of course, is in the top tax
bracket, from the current top tax bracket of 35 percent to the old Clinton
top tax bracket of 39.6 percent.

That is the tax rate he is so fearful of now, 39.6 percent. O`Reilly
loses sleep over that one. That`s the number O`Reilly said could make him
quit his job.

In my first run through this absurdity, I pointed out that O`Reilly
got very, very, very rich in the `90s when he started his show on Fox News
and was paying the top Clinton tax rate that he now lives in fear of. That
led me to conclude what O`Reilly would do if his taxes go back up.


O`DONNELL: So, O`Reilly has actually already proven what he would do
if the top tax bracket goes back up to where it was under President
Clinton, 39.6 percent. O`Reilly would do "The O`Reilly Factor" every night
and get richer and richer and richer.


O`DONNELL: Last night, cross-examiner Jon Stewart was able to get
O`Reilly to admit that truth.


JON STEWART, "THE DAILY SHOW": Here`s what I want to ask you: you
were on your show the other night. And I watch you frequently. You say if
Obama raises your taxes to 50 percent, which you believe is possible, that
you may not do your show anymore.

O`REILLY: Right. I might take Colbert`s place.

STEWART: You know he`s faking it.

O`REILLY: Somebody has to.

STEWART: All right. What percentage of that threat is empty?

O`REILLY: All of it.

STEWART: You`re not going anywhere?

O`REILLY: No, no, no.

STEWART: This whole idea that somehow the tax burden would become so
onerous on us that we would just rather not -- rather not take home three
million dollars -- if we can`t get that 3.5 million, (EXPLETIVE DELETED)
it. Do you know what I mean? That`s crazy talk. And you know it.


O`DONNELL: In a part of the interview that appears only on "The Daily
Show" website, Jon Stewart manfully tried to get O`Reilly to admit the
utter absurdity of the Republican presidential candidates` positions on


STEWART: Every Republican candidate for president, the people that
want to be the tent posts for that party, were offered a choice on the
debate stage; 10 dollars of spending cuts for one dollar of revenue
increase in the form of taxes. Every single one of them said no.

Say right now that that is incredibly irresponsible, and you could
never support someone that`s that, if I may borrow the term, pin-headed?

O`REILLY: Look, I`m not going to generalize about anything.


O`DONNELL: O`Reilly`s not going to generalize about anything? The
man generalizes about everything in every part of his show every night.
And Jon Stewart`s not asking him to generalize. You`re watching O`Reilly
on the ropes now, knowing that Jon Stewart has him cornered and he`s just
trying to duck.


O`REILLY: I`m not going to generalize about anything. Herman Cain --

STEWART: That`s not general. That`s not general. That`s specific.
No, I`m telling you what he said.

O`REILLY: Unbelievable.

STEWART: Here`s the reality, the top one percent take in nearly 25
percent of income today.

O`REILLY: And pay how much of the tax, 30 percent of it.

STEWART: Top one percent control 40 percent of the wealth; 25 years
ago, it was 33 percent. Top one percent have had incomes rise 18 percent
over the last decade.

O`REILLY: So, we should shoot them.


O`DONNELL: That is what you call losing a debate. I mean, falling
flat on your face. We`re talking about taxing the top one percent of
income earners in this country. O`Reilly cannot defend his position on it.
So he has to pretend that Jon Stewart is advocating that we shoot the top
one percent of income earners in this country.

O`Reilly is in way over his head with Jon Stewart. He`s got
absolutely nothing. And he admits he has absolutely nothing. He turns
over that car. He gives you the best he has.


O`REILLY: So, we should shoot them. So, we should shoot them. So,
we should shoot them.


O`DONNELL: That`s it. That`s the best he has. Now, remember, Jon
Stewart did have a huge advantage here. He showed up with facts and he was
debating a guy who thinks this is one of the great unsolved mysteries of
the universe.


O`REILLY: How did the Moon get there? How did the Moon get there?
How did it get there? How did it get there? How did it get there? How
did the Sun get there? Can you explain that to me? How did it get here?
Come on, who put it there?


O`DONNELL: So, Jon Stewart ran rings around Bill O`Reilly. And then
gloriously spiked the ball in the end zone.


O`REILLY: So we should shoot them.

STEWART: I`m not saying we should shoot them. But we shouldn`t act
like returning to the tax rate of the `90s is class warfare on par with
Lennon and Marx. That`s what I`m saying.

You know what it is? I`m looking out for the folks.






O`DONNELL: That is a now familiar video, first posted on Youtube this
weekend, that shows the out of control police reaction to a peaceful
demonstration by the Occupy Wall Street movement. Those women who were
pepper sprayed have filed a complaint with the Civilian Complaint Review
Board. And their lawyer has reached out to this woman, Jeanne Mansfield,
seen her to the left of your screen, who witnessed the entire incident.

In an article for the "Boston Review," she wrote that the protesters
were not the only one shocked by police conduct. "One of the blue shirts,
tall and bald, stares in disbelief and says, `I can`t believe he just maced

She joins me now for her first television interview, Jeanne Mansfield,
finance manager at "the Boston Review." Thanks for joining me tonight,

JEANNE MANSFIELD, "THE BOSTON REVIEW": Yeah, thanks for having me.

O`DONNELL: Jeanne, you were visiting from Boston. And you weren`t
planning, necessarily, to be involved in this demonstration. According to
the article I read, you just kind of new it was over there and thought
you`d go take a look. Is that how you got into it?

MANSFIELD: Yep. That is it exactly.

O`DONNELL: What did you encounter? What did it feel like initially
in the crowd?

MANSFIELD: Initially joining up -- again, it was a surprise. We
meant to go down to Wall Street and we found a march. It was very
carnival-like. Everyone was chanting and carrying signs and beating drums
and blowing whistles. The cops were there, but they were definitely not
being too aggressive.

At first, it was definitely -- it seemed fun and it was a very really
large group of people. And they seemed to be having a good time.

O`DONNELL: And in your article, you write that when the police
started taking out the orange plastic nets that they were going to use for
crowd control, you say, "the light-heart carnival air begins to get very
heavy as it becomes clear that we are being corralled."

MANSFIELD: Yeah, that`s definitely what happened. The cops came at
us with the intent of -- it felt like we were cows, like he were being
corralled, literally pushed by these orange construction nets, wherever
they wanted us to go.

O`DONNELL: You make a distinction. I`ve made this distinction on the
program, that not all of the officers behaved in a violent way or in an out
of control way. In your piece, you note that a new group of police
officers arrives in white shirts. Did you know that the white shirts
indicated that they were commanders, that they were the high ranking

MANSFIELD: No. At first I thought maybe they were like either local
cops or from a different precinct or state cops or something. I didn`t
pick up immediately that it was rank.

O`DONNELL: You said this about the white shirts. You said, "these
guys are completely undiscerning in their aggression. If someone gets in
their way, they shove them head first into the nearest parked car, at which
point the officers are immediately surrounded by camera phones and shouts
of `shame, shame.`

We showed exactly some of that video of the white-shirt -- white-
shirted guy throwing someone right into the parked car. Specifically in
one case, because he had a video camera, and he was recording what they
were doing. Did the people shooting video realize that that very much
raised their risk of being arrested and beaten by the police?

MANSFIELD: I don`t think so. I think maybe in sheer numbers. I
remember when I was videotaping, the thought crossed my mind, maybe the
cops aren`t going to like me doing this. But because everyone had their
either camera phone or video camera, it was literally -- it felt like
safety in numbers. It was like, they`re not going to attack me because
everyone is filming.

O`DONNELL: You said that the blue shirts, which were the lower
ranking, the patrolmen, as they are called, that they were not as out of
control at all. And they weren`t behaving that way until the white shirts
showed up.

MANSFIELD: Yeah, I`d say that`s totally true. At first when they
started with the orange nets, they were still blue-shirted beat cops or
whatever they were. And they weren`t pushing people out of the way. They
weren`t being violent about it. They were definitely trying to corral us
still, but they weren`t being forceful in an undiscerning way.

O`DONNELL: What do you think -- could you detect the moment you
thought, OK, this -- this has turned? This is now a place where I don`t
want to be?

MANSFIELD: Definitely. I mean, it didn`t get to the point where I
was out of there until the pepper spray came out. But at the point when
you have people screaming and guys being thrown on the ground -- and the
forceful arrests right after we left Union Square was when, in my head, I
said, maybe I shouldn`t be here.

O`DONNELL: You were very close to the pepper spray. Did you get hit
by any of it?

MANSFIELD: Definitely. Just on my left side, I saw it coming I
guess, or maybe the screaming made me turn. I don`t think I turned in
reaction to the pepper spray. I was already turned and then just the off-
spray -- I don`t know if it was coming off their sprays because it was hit
so hard or if it was just the spray from the can. But it just got my left
side. I was about a foot and a half behind the girls.

O`DONNELL: It`s painful stuff. It`s intended to be painful stuff.

MANSFIELD: Definitely. Definitely. It is definitely no light
weapon. I feel like I`ve seen the other videos of the officer spraying
some other guy. It looks like he`s spraying a dog like away from the
table, as if he`s using it like water and it`s -- it`s very painful.

O`DONNELL: Jeanne Mansfield, thank you very much for joining us
tonight. Thank you very much for telling your story.

MANSFIELD: Yeah, thank you.

O`DONNELL: You can have THE LAST WORD online at our blog,
TheLastWord.MSNBC.com. You can follow my Tweets @Lawrence. "THE RACHEL
MADDOW SHOW" is up next. Good evening, Rachel.


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