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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Read the transcript to the Tuesday show

Guests: Gloria Allred, Goldie Taylor, Richard Wolffe, Rep. Debbie Wasserman

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: Let he who is without sin cast the first
stone. That`s your cue, Herman Cain.



REPORTER: Tell us what really happened. This is your chance.

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I wanted to make sure that I
didn`t miss any points. I have never acted inappropriately with anyone,

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC ANCHOR: Woman accuses Cain of groping.

LIN WOOD, CAIN`S ATTORNEY: A story that is so inherently improbable
on its face.

CYNTHIA TUCKER, POLITICAL COLUMNIST: If he denies that this happened,
then he`s calling her a liar.

CAIN: They simply didn`t happen. I don`t even know who this woman

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That had better be true.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, "HARDBALL" HOST: Calling her a troubled woman.

CAIN: The Democrat machine in America has brought forth a troubled

DAVID GREGORY, NBC NEWS: He`s accusing the Democratic machine.

SHARPTON: The Democratic machine.

GREGORY: He doesn`t have any facts to back that up.

CAIN: Some people don`t want to see Herman Cain get the Republican

Democratic Party I know would love for Herman Cain to be the nominee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Republican field is still in so much turmoil.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You saw today that Mitt Romney came out.


the charges.


lot of surprises.

DAVID LETTERMAN, COMEDIAN: Top ten signs now this is taking its toll
on Herman Cain.

CAIN: Ain`t going to happen.

LETTERMAN: Give rambling, drunken speech. I`m sorry, that was Rick

And --


O`DONNELL: At a five flag press conference, Herman Cain called every
one of his accusers a liar tonight.


CAIN: I have never acted inappropriately with anyone, period.


O`DONNELL: He said that at a press conference where he was introduced
by a criminal lawyer. He is the only presidential candidate to be
introduced in a press conference this year by his criminal lawyer. It
turns out Cain didn`t need a lawyer with the largely ineffectual press
corps that did not ask him what it -- he said he did not remember Sharon
Bialek, whether it was possible, they didn`t ask him whether it was
possible though he didn`t remember her, that he might have once had dinner
alone with her.

They didn`t ask him whether it was possible that she was once alone
with him in his car, whether it was customary for happily married Herman
Cain to have one-on-one dinners with women when he was a Washington
lobbyist. He was not asked whether this man is a liar.


National Restaurant Association when Herman Cain was the head of it. And
I`ll tell you, I was actually around a couple of times when this happened
and it just -- anyone who was involved with the restaurant association at
the time knew that this was going to come up.

At the time, she was a very lower level staffer. I think she was
maybe two years out of college. And this all occurred at a restaurant in
Crystal City. Everybody was very aware of it.

And so it is -- it was only a matter of time because so many people
were aware of what took place. So many people were aware of her situation
and the fact that she left after this. If she does go on the air and talk
about it, I think it will be the end of this campaign.


O`DONNELL: Herman Cain was not asked whether he was fired from the
National Restaurant Association as a result of multiple sexual harassment
complaints against him, and the multiple witnesses thereof as just
described by Republican consultant Chris Wilson.

He was asked the juvenile question of whether he would take a lie
detector test to which he gave the juvenile answer of "yes and no."


CAIN: I absolutely would, but I`m not going to do that unless I have
a good reason to do that.


O`DONNELL: After last week blaming the Rick Perry campaign for
getting this whole controversy started, tonight, Herman Cain fingered a new


CAIN: These anonymous allegations are false and now the Democrat
machine in America has brought forth a troubled woman to make false


O`DONNELL: Joining me now, the lawyer who brought that woman forth,
Gloria Allred. We`re also joined by MSNBC and contributor and
author of "Who`s Afraid of Post-Blackness," Toure.

Thank you both for joining me tonight.

Gloria, you were all over the press conference, not specifically by
name, but Herman Cain`s lawyer went right at you, right at the outset.

a Democratic machine? I`m only 5`2" and a lawyer. In my older years, I
don`t have that kind of power. I don`t know what a Democratic machine is.

I have attacked Democrats who have committed injustices against women.
Perhaps he didn`t remember about a month or two ago when I was in New York
and did a news conference with my client against Congressman Anthony
Weiner, Democrat, because he has sent her sexual texts and my client said
he should resign and I supported her and he did resign the next day.

So, this is just nonsense to try to say that. Actually, let me put it
more strongly. It`s a bold-faced lie that the Democratic machine is behind
that. Nobody tells me what to do. Anybody who knows that realizes that.

O`DONNELL: It`s a good thing you weren`t at that press conference
today. The reporters I think did mostly a terrible job. There were a
couple of good questions. "The New York Times" had a good question. But
they didn`t go in for the precision we need at this point.

What did you hear there today you would like to contest?

ALLRED: Well, I mean, he just was all over the place. You know,
forget the lie detector for this one.

O`DONNELL: There ain`t going to be a lie detector, we know that.

ALLRED: Here`s what I think he should do. You know what I think? I
think that the United States Senate or could be the House of
Representatives should explore whether the laws against sexual harassment
need to be strengthened and in their pursuit of examining what kind of
legislation might be needed, they should subpoena witnesses like Herman
Cain, right before the committee, let him testify under oath, under penalty
of perjury, let him be asked specific questions that you, Lawrence
O`Donnell, very rightly said he should be asked and more.

I want to know every allegation that was ever made against him in his
employment history that involved sexual harassment. I want to know
specifically what these allegations were, what his response was, what every
investigation of every employer showed, and what the result was and how
much money was paid.

And then let`s see what his answers are. I`d be willing to have my
client go -- she`d be willing to testify under oath. And my guess,
although I haven`t talked to the other women, is that they`d be willing to
do that as well.

O`DONNELL: Well, I don`t want to live in a country where the United
States Senate subpoenas presidential candidates to testify under oath about
anything, but it would be nice to find out more about this. Do you have
another step planned at this stage?

ALLRED: Well, we don`t.

O`DONNELL: Joint press conference with other complainants?

ALLRED: We`re open to that.

O`DONNELL: Have you had contact with the other lawyers?

ALLRED: No. But recently on another network, about an hour or two
ago, the lawyer for one of the alleged victims, Joel Bennett, that`s what
he would like to do or his client would prefer to do. I said I`d
definitely recommend it to my client, not having a chance to talk to her
yet about it. I see no reason why she wouldn`t want to do it. She`s
wanted to help to inspire and empower other women to come forward if that
was their choice to do so. So, I think it`s a good idea.

O`DONNELL: So, there`s no legal action for her to take, right? The
statute of limitations is gone on whatever you might call that incident
that happened in the car?

ALLRED: Right. She has no intention of filing a claim or lawsuit.
As I said, she could have sold her story, instead of holding a news
conference and basically telling anyone, without, you know, receiving any
monetary reimbursement for that or compensation. And, but she decided that
she wanted to let everybody know that she was there to tell the truth.

And, yes, you know, she`s got financial challenges, like millions of
Americans do in this economy. But, no, she wasn`t going to sell her story
because she wanted people to know that she was there to be a voice for

O`DONNELL: Toure, we`re down to what Ed Schultz called earlier this
evening a he said/they said which really just puts us in kind of a
credibility contest. How do you think the credibility contest is going so

TOURE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I mean, this is not a settled issue
for anyone, really not for me. Although I hate to say where there`s smoke
there`s fire. There`s a lot of smoke here. The thing that leapt out at
me, if you try to inhabit Herman Cain`s mind, he`s in the middle --

O`DONNELL: Don`t. Don`t even try.

TOURE: But he`s in the middle of the biggest mission of his life and
he`s succeeding at a certain level right now. And yet these women,
multiple women and this man are coming in saying, you sexually harassed
people -- which is a horrible thing to be accused of if you are a man who
doesn`t do that, who has respect for women. As he says he does.

This is a horribly embarrassing, horrifying thing that you would never
want anybody to say about you.

So where`s the indignation? Right? He doesn`t seem angry that this
false charge is being hurled at him. He seems kind of cavalier about it,
right? I mean, a very light tone to it rather than the anger, right, that
I would expect from somebody. How dare you say this about me? That we are
succeeding in this incredibly important mission and you`re saying what?

And so, that leads me to say, I wonder if you really believe in your
heart of hearts that you didn`t do anything.

O`DONNELL: We`re also joined now by Goldie Taylor from Atlanta,
Herman Cain`s hometown. She`s a contributor for, which is part
of NBC News.

Thanks for joining us, Goldie.

GOLDIE TAYLOR, THEGRIO.COM: Thanks for having me, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Goldie, what did you make of it? It really does at this
point come down to he said/they said. I`m not sure what more guidance
we`re going to get on sorting our way through this.

TAYLOR: And I think it`s more than just a he said/she said. It`s a
he said and she said back then.

These aren`t brand new issues. These women filed claims. Some of
them did. Some of them received settlements back then.

These women did not come forward on their own. They were dragged
kicking and screaming out of anonymity to come forth with, you know, what
were, you know, over a decade-old charges.

And the woman who came out with Gloria Allred in her press conference,
you know, sure, she might have financial challenges. But I would assert
that, you know, the 40 percent of women who are sexually harassed in the
restaurant industry every year that they, too, might have financial
charges. That doesn`t mean that they are not, you know, sexually harassed.
It doesn`t speak to their credibility in any way.

So I think that today`s press conference was an absolute farce. I
think standing in front of the American flag -- or four or five of them as
it were -- to trump at how patriotic you are, I think is actually
unpatriotic to run a campaign like this and distract the American people
from the issues that are most important to us -- unemployment, health care,
foreign policy issues. We have troops abroad.

And, you know, we`re off of that conversation because we`re dealing
with Herman Cain and his mess.

O`DONNELL: Goldie, do you think it would be appropriate in tomorrow
night`s debate on CNBC for Herman Cain to be asked about this? Or is this
-- should that be left as a policy discussion and Herman Cain dealt with in
effect one-on-one by the media?

TAYLOR: I think this is a policy discussion. If he`s president of
the United States, then he is commander in chief of one of the largest
workforces we have in this country. A workforce in which women live, work
and play inside that White House and inside of other government agencies.
And so, it`s up to him to set that kind of standard.

And so, I think it`s a very real issue. It speaks to the policies
that he`s going to have about equality in the workforce, equality in the
home, equality at the ballot box and everywhere else around this country.

And so, I think it`s a relevant issue. This press conference he held
today, he should have had it two weeks ago when the first charges came out.
He should have taken them absolutely seriously at the time.

But we`ve gone far from malfeasance of running a campaign, to an
absolute tragedy. It`s a tragedy when we can`t talk about the issues that
really confront this country because we are stuck on talking about the
proclivities of a guy from a decade ago who`s sucking up air time to sell
more books.

O`DONNELL: Gloria Allred, quickly, before we go, if you could get one
question to Maria Bartiromo to ask Herman Cain tomorrow, what would that

ALLRED: When will you answer all of the specific questions about how
many times you have made sexual advances to women, and why you think they
think they are improper?

O`DONNELL: Gloria Allred, thank you very much for your time tonight.

Goldie and Toure, stand by. We`re going to be back with more of this.

And later, Herman Cain`s rivals in the presidential primary are
finally commenting on the sexual harassment controversy. Richard Wolffe
joins me to discuss their reactions.

And it was election day around the country today and all eyes are on
Ohio and Mississippi, where big voter issues, controversial measures on the
ballot are being decided. Each could have a big impact in our politics.

In Ohio, voters there turned back Governor Kasich`s plan to limit
collective bargaining rights for unionized public employees by a
significant margin. Democratic National Committee chairwoman,
Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz will join me.



JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN: The latest cast from "Dancing with the
Stars," Herman Cain is here with us tonight. Oh, wait, I`m sorry -- that`s
a joke from next year.

And dreamy Taylor Lautner is here was.

The man who could potentially have control of our nuclear arsenal will
be on after the werewolf from "Twilight."

Our building was surrounded by Twi-hards and Cainiacs all day. We
have members from team Jacob here with us. We have the team Herman crew is





CAIN: I cannot say that it is a conspiracy. We do not have
definitive, factual proof. We can only look at some coincidences to
suggest it, that maybe someone is deliberately behind this. When we step
back and look at the fact that there`s no facts, no factual evidence to
back these up, we can only infer that someone is trying to basically wreck
my character.


O`DONNELL: That was Herman Cain tonight on who might be behind all
those sexual harassment revelations. After several news organizations
published her name, one of the woman who settled a sexual harassment
complaint against Herman Cain with the National Restaurant Association
agreed to be interviewed by "The New York Times."

Karen Kraushaar, a registered Republican and spokeswoman at the United
States Department of Treasury, told "The New York Times," "These
allegations can be considered together as a body of evidence."

Cain responded to that "New York Times" report tonight.


CAIN: To the best of my recollection, since you mentioned that
particular name, that is the one that I recall that filed a complaint, but
it was found to be baseless. I can only recall one thing that I was aware
of that was called sexual harassment. One day in my office at the National
Restaurant Association, I was standing next to Ms. Kraushaar and I gestured
standing near her like this, you`re the same height as my wife.

Other things that might have been in the accusations I`m not even
aware of, I don`t remember.


O`DONNELL: After Cain spoke, Kraushaar`s attorney spoke with MSNBC`s
Al Sharpton.


JOEL BENNETT, KRAUSHAAR`S ATTORNEY: The incidents happened and my
client stands by the written complaint that she filed. My client is
planning to come forward. We plan to contact the other women and try to
have a joint press conference where the women will air their specific


O`DONNELL: The attorney, Joel Bennett, specifically contradicted what
Herman Cain had just said in his press conference.


SHARPTON: He said that there was not a settlement but an agreement.
You`re saying it was, in fact, a settlement which meant that her leaving
and the payment was based on the accusation that was you and your client`s
understanding. It was not based on just some employment agreement.

BENNETT: That is correct.

SHARPTON: So, then what you`re saying is totally the opposite of what
was represented by Mr. Cain at his press conference?

BENNETT: That is correct.


O`DONNELL: We`re back with Goldie Taylor, who is a contributor for, which is for part of NBC News. Also, MSNBC and
contributor and author of "Who`s Afraid of Post-Blackness," Toure.

Thank you both for staying with me.

Goldie, there`s nothing like watching Al Sharpton working as a
prosecutor. I got to say, he did a better job of clarifying what was going
on here than what happened in that press conference today.

What about where we go from here, Goldie? Can you imagine that Herman
Cain`s going to be able to continue to keep moving forward in the
Republican campaign without addressing this more?

TAYLOR: You know, I think first things first. I`ve said weeks ago
there was not a chance -- you could bet it on my life -- that Herman Cain
was not going to be the Republican nominee. That is -- that could not be
more true now than even then it was then. So, that`s the first thing.

But the second thing is, his supporters are going to contribute to
send him $5, $10, $50, whatever it takes to keep him in this race. And
Herman Cain is not a guy who will back down from a fight no matter how much
the odds are stacked against him. And so, he`ll stay in the race.

But, you know, as I`ve said on Twitter, this is an absolute train
wreck. You know, he ought to step aside -- he ought to step aside now so
we can get focused on the more important issues we have facing our country
today. Unfortunately, it doesn`t sound like he`s going to do that.

But I`ve got a message for Herman Cain tonight: if you`re looking to
be president, it ain`t going to happen.

O`DONNELL: Toure, the Republicans have to start giving him this
message eventually, because eventually this starts to make the entire
Republican field look like more of a circus than they`ve looked like so

TOURE: As opposed to when? It`s looked like a circus consistently
for several years now, but -- I mean, I can`t go any further without
pointing out that it`s yet another blond white woman who`s accusing him of
doing and saying things that are inappropriate. The instinctual fear in
America of black men being sexually inappropriate or aggressive or
dominating with white women is very, very deep.

And when is this going to start to come out? People start to feel
this on a deep level. This is wrong. He keeps going after our women. We
don`t like this. That is going to definitely have a problem.

But, look, the GOP knows if this had happened earlier, maybe it sinks
him right away. But this is the last stop before Romney-ville. After we
get off the Cain train, we are stuck with Mitt Romney, we are marrying him,
we are going all the way to the nomination with him.

So, there are so many GOPers who don`t want to go the distance. I
don`t want to get married to Mitt Romney.

So, they`re going to stick it out with Herman Cain as long as they
humanly can.

O`DONNELL: Goldie, do you think it makes any difference, the race of
the complainants involved in this?

TAYLOR: Actually I don`t. I think it`s a factor -- I think it`s a
factor that people will consider. But at the end of the day, it doesn`t
matter if these women were white, black, green or purple, if hay had brown
hair, blond hair, or green hair. It really doesn`t matter.

Inappropriate behavior is inappropriate behavior on behalf of, you
know, any person in a public square, in a corporate square like that. I
think it`s just unfortunate that anybody would purportedly conduct
themselves this way and then turn around and say, I don`t even remember
them or they were people who didn`t do their jobs, they did bad jobs, so
that`s why they were separated from the company. I think that`s probably
the most unfortunate part of this is how they come out and lambasted these

I saw an e-mail today from the Cain campaign -- oh yesterday -- from
the Cain campaign, lambasting, you know, accuser number four.

You know, it`s just really, really unfortunate how the right wing has
turned on these women rather than to listen to, you know, their charges,
their allegations and then judge them really on their face.

I don`t think the facts have come out on this. I think at some point
they really will. But, you know, people, like Rush Limbaugh, they`ve got
to lay off of the children of these accusers. They`re not fair game.
Never have been, never will be.

O`DONNELL: Yes, Limbaugh`s gone all the way to talking about their
children. It is beyond what I could even predicted he would have done.

Goldie Taylor and Toure, thank you very much, both of you, for joining
me tonight.

TOURE: Thank you.

TAYLOR: Thanks for having us.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Mitt Romney gave his opinion about the Herman
Cain allegations earlier today. Richard Wolffe will join me to update us
on how many times Romney has changed his mind since then.

And, Michele Bachmann has gotten the Family Research Council back in
tonight`s "Rewrite."


O`DONNELL: Coming up, Mitt Romney ventures in opinion about the
allegations against Herman Cain. So does Newt Gingrich. But Michele
Bachmann refuses to go there. And Rick Perry, of course, has no idea what
to think.

And in Mississippi tonight, they`re counting the votes on whether a
fertilized egg should be considered a person, with about half of the votes
counted so far, 59 percent of voters are rejecting that measure. DNC
chairperson, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz joins me.


O`DONNELL: We have breaking news from Mississippi. According to the
Associated Press the ballot measure there to call a fertilized egg a person
has been defeated. It has been defeated. That call being made officially
by the Associated Press at this hour in Mississippi.

And now, on the eve of tomorrow`s cNBC Republican presidential debate
in Michigan, all of the Republican presidential candidates have commented
to ABC News on the troubles of Herman Cain, with the exception of Mr. Live
and Let Live himself, libertarian Ron Paul, who won`t even say what Michele
Bachmann had to say about it.


nothing to contribute to that discussion.


O`DONNELL: Rick Perry, finding life in his new glass house
discomforting, could not bring himself to throw stones.


business and haven`t paid a lot of attention.


O`DONNELL: Then there`s the Romney, Santorum approach of letting
Bible thumping Christian conservatives know that they know this stuff is
this disturbing, troubling.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Any time there`s an accuser
that comes forward with charges of this nature, you recognize this is a
very serious matter. And it should be taken seriously. This woman`s
charges are particularly disturbing and they`re serious.

are very troubling, but these are things -- you know, they`re allegations.
Herman has his opportunity to tell his side of the story. And the American
public can make a decision.


O`DONNELL: And then there are Newt Gingrich`s words of wisdom,
learned through hard and bitter experience.


and it better be accurate, because if it`s not accurate, they won`t survive
24 hours.


O`DONNELL: And finally, there`s the Huntsman angle, which smartly
recognizes that hopeless candidates like Herman Cain need not observe any
of the rules that govern candidates who are actually trying to win.


Herman Cain can deal with it however Herman Cain chooses to deal with it.


O`DONNELL: Joining me now, MSNBC analyst Richard Wolffe. Thanks for
joining me tonight, Richard.


O`DONNELL: Richard, it feels to me like Huntsman has this called just
about right. Herman Cain can deal with this any way he wants. He`s not
going to be a nominee. He`s not going to be a vice presidential selection.
He has no future beyond this candidacy as long as it lasts.

WOLFFE: Yeah, I was waiting for the Kurt Cobain reference. But
actually, you know, there is a bigger issue there for all of these
candidates. Herman Cain is not going to get out. He made that very clear.
He`s going to be on stage with these people.

Where has the president lost significant support over the last few
years? It`s among women voters, suburban women voters, especially newly
single suburban women voters, just the kind of people -- if you`re a
marketing guy, you`d say the archetype was just the kind of accuser who`s
gone up against Herman Cain so far.

So when you hear Mitt Romney say those things, he`s not trying to pile
on to get the votes that Cain has got. He`s trying to say to those women
voters who are going to be key for the general election, we are OK; we`re
acceptable as a party. How do you square that pitch to women voters with
being on stage with a guy like Herman Cain?

O`DONNELL: Herman Cain did try to respond to Mitt Romney tonight in
his press conference. Romney saying these accusations are disturbing.
Let`s listen to how Cain responded to that.


CAIN: I find the accusations disturbing, but false. I don`t believe
Governor Romney was saying that he thought I was guilty of any of these
accusations. I believe what he was saying, because I know Mitt Romney and
his integrity, that he was referring to the fact that it`s disturbing that
these accusations that are not factually based are disturbing to this


O`DONNELL: Richard, do you expect this to find its way into the
Republican debate tomorrow night?

WOLFFE: Yes. I mean, it would be -- you know, you can get your
journalist license revoked for not actually referring to the big piece of
news in the Republican field. And also questioning whether Herman Cain is
actually delusional here. Not just delusional because he thinks he`s going
to be president or even delusional because he`s reinterpreting the English
language, but he`s clearly making a pitch to be the running mate for Mitt

Who is he trying to fool? You cannot be that nice when you`re in this
kind of trouble. So you want to see that kind of probed and pushed a
little bit more. What`s his game here?

O`DONNELL: He doesn`t have just other candidates and possibly debate
inquisitors to be concerned about. We have a statement tonight from
Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. She told CNN, "if, in fact,
there is substance to the claim, if that`s the case, I think that his
opportunity as a nominee are gone. It takes incredible courage for an
individual to come forward, as this latest -- as this one woman has. So it
does cause me to wonder exactly what is out there. I am concerned."

That surely is not the last Republican woman to speak about this.

WOLFFE: Certainly not. For a start, it reminds us there are
extremely respectable, credible Republican women politicians out there.
The field is not limited by Michele Bachmann. And you have to put Lisa
Murkowski alongside someone like Tony Perkins. Completely the other side
of the spectrum on the Republican side, who says if this is a pattern of
behavior, it`s extremely difficult to get over.

And it will be a real problem for Herman Cain. Both ends of the party
are saying the same thing. Of course, whether it gets through to Herman
Cain is another question.

O`DONNELL: It seems that Rick Perry is the candidate who should be
staying up late at night trying to figure out how to use this to his favor,
the disabling of the Cain campaign. Is there some way for Rick Perry to
leap frog over Herman Cain and get into that second position, get back up
into that top tier?

WOLFFE: Well, there`s easily enough time for the anti-Romney position
to be filled. Whether it`s Newt Gingrich or Rick Perry, don`t count him
out. He has lots of money.

In this multi-candidate field, even if Herman Cain loses only half of
his support out of all of this, say 10 percent still sticks with him, well,
10 percent to Rick Perry`s numbers puts him right up there with Mitt Romney
and the race goes on and on and on.

So yes, the difficult thing is how do you coax those voters away
without looking like you`re piling on? Clearly Rick Santorum does not have
the solution here.

O`DONNELL: Richard Wolffe, whose book is now out in paperback,
"Revival." thank you very much for joining us tonight, Richard.

WOLFFE: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: A quick programming note. We will have a special post-
debate show tomorrow night on THE LAST WORD. Michael Moore will be among
our guests reacting to the latest Republican debate.

After the break, Michele Bachmann takes a swipe at Mitt Romney,
calling him a frugal socialist, which he is compared to Michele Bachmann,
who has benefited more from socialism than any other Republican candidate.

And there is breaking news. We`re following Mississippi voters have
rejected an amendment that would have effectively banned abortions in the
state by declaring that life begins at the moment of conception. Debbie
Wasserman Schultz joins me coming up.


O`DONNELL: We have breaking news tonight in important election
results we`re following. In Maine, voters repealed a law passed last year
by the Republican legislature that required voters to enroll at least two
days before an election. They restored a four-decade policy of allowing
registrations as late as election day.

And in Ohio, voters repealed the law limiting collective bargaining
for 350,000 unionized public employees. That law went even further than a
similar law in Wisconsin.

And the latest attack on abortion is defeated. I repeat, it`s
defeated in Mississippi. Debbie Wasserman Schultz joins me.


O`DONNELL: In tonight`s Rewrite, another episode of We`re All
Socialists Now. The guest star of tonight`s episode is Michele Bachmann,
who gave a speech yesterday to the Family Research Council.

Yes, the same Family Research Council that was in last night`s Rewrite
for giving an award to the most famous deadbeat dad in America, Congressman
Joe Walsh, for his, quote, "unwavering support of the family," end quote.

Just not his family. That gave me all the excuse I needed to go on
and on about the Family Research Council`s obsession with gay sex,
including gay soldier sex. But there will be none of that tonight.

If you want to hear the Family Research Council`s sweaty talk about
gay soldier sex, you`ll just have to go to our website to watch last
night`s Rewrite.

Bachmann`s speech was an unusual one for the Family Research Council
to have to sit through, because it did not contain a single sentence about
gay sex. It had much more to say about socialism.


BACHMANN: Socialism is a principle that I will reject. And I will
work to eradicate socialism all across the United States government. But
unfortunately for too many Republicans, they also aspire to be frugal

And the reason President Obama and some Republicans can get behind
socialized medicine is because they share the same core political
philosophy about the purpose of government.

We can`t preserve liberty if the choice a year from now is between a
frugal socialist and an out of control socialist.


O`DONNELL: The out of control socialist is, of course, President
Obama. The frugal socialist Michele Bachmann is aiming at is Willard M.
Romney. And I am here to thank her for at least admitting Republicans are
socialists, too. And that all they`re arguing about is how much more
frugal Republican socialism is compared to the Democrats` version of

Of course, Bachmann doesn`t think that all Republicans are socialists.
She definitely thinks Romney`s a socialist. There`s no doubt that`s who
she was aiming at with that clever little phrase that`s sure to be echoed
in the Republican campaign, frugal socialist.

Of course, Romney doesn`t think he`s a frugal socialist. No
Republican thinks he or she is a socialist, including Michele Bachmann.
But as I`ve pointed out here many times before, we are all in favor of some
amount of socialism. And we are all in favor of some amount of capitalism.

The socialism deniers pretend they hate all forms of socialism, but
they don`t. They always find some government interference in the
marketplace that they support. They all say they support purely
socialistic programs like Social Security and Medicare. And they all
support the most sacred form of American socialism, farm socialism.

It`s hard to get more socialistic than the government controlling
prices in the marketplace. And Michele Bachmann has thanked the out of
control socialist President Obama for doing exactly that. Well, actually
she couldn`t bring herself to thank the president directly, so she thanked
his secretary of agriculture, Tom Vilsack, in a letter writing, quote,
"your efforts to stabilize prices through direct government purchasing of
pork and dairy products are very much welcomed."

Farm socialism is personal for Michele Bachmann. The Bachmanns have a
family farm that has received over a quarter of a million dollars in direct
cash from the federal government, a pure socialist transfer of your tax
dollars from the Department of Agriculture to the Bachmann family.

No one else in the presidential race has personally benefited more
from American socialism than Michele Bachmann. Frugal socialists may be an
appropriate description of Mitt Romney. But if there`s an out of control
socialist in the race, it`s Michele Bachmann.


O`DONNELL: It is election night 2011. Here are the results of the
most hotly contested issues as called by the Associated Press at this hour.
In Ohio, on Issue 2, a referendum on the bill signed into law in March by
Republican Governor John Kasich, that limits collective bargaining rights
for public workers, that law was rejected overwhelmingly by voters. With
71 percent of precincts reporting, the vote is currently 39 percent for the
law and 61 percent against that law.

Also in Ohio, on Issue 3, to amend the state Constitution to make it
illegal to impose an individual mandate for health care coverage, that
amendment was approved overwhelmingly by voters. With 65 percent of
precincts reporting, the vote is currently 66 percent in favor and 33
percent against.

In Mississippi, on Initiative 26 to amend the state Constitution to
define personhood as a human being from the moment of fertilization, an
effective ban on abortion in the state, that initiative was defeated. With
58 percent of precincts reporting, the vote is currently 57 percent against
and 43 percent in favor.

And in the two gubernatorial races today, Mississippi Lieutenant
Governor Phil Bryant, a Republican who strongly supported the personhood
amendment, easily won the race to succeed Governor Haley Barbour.

And in Kentucky, Governor Steve Beshear, a Democrat, easily won a
second term.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman
of the Democratic National Committee. Thank you for joining me tonight,

tonight, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: I first of all want to go to the result in Mississippi and
the reproductive rights of women, this very clear attempt to present a
direct attack on Roe v. Wade, being soundly defeated in Mississippi. Was
that something you expected tonight?

SCHULTZ: Well, in Mississippi, the success tonight for people who
care about preserving women`s access to health care, that was an incredible
victory. To have that victory in Mississippi sends a strong message across
this country that women in this country want to make sure that they get to
decide about how much access to health care they have.

They want to be able to make sure that they can have these rights of
reproductive choice. They don`t want the government telling them that they
can`t get access to infertility treatments, that they might be allowed to
die in a hospital, even if they have an ectopic pregnancy.

That`s how far and extreme the personhood initiative is. And for it
to be rejected in a conservative state like Mississippi sends a very clear
signal to proponents of the personhood initiatives all across this country
that they need to stay out of the personal lives of women and make sure
that women can continue to make their own health care decisions.

O`DONNELL: It seems like a wake-up call for Republicans in
particular, like Haley Barbour, who was briefly undecided about this and
ended up voting for it. You had the feeling that he just, you know, had
his finger in the wind and was voting where he thought he had to. But here
are voters saying to Republicans on this extremist kind of stuff, you`ve
gone way too far.

SCHULTZ: Well, when even the outgoing governor of Mississippi says
that the personhood amendment gave him pause because of its far reaching
effect and his concern that it, perhaps, went much further than he was even
comfortable with, that tells you that if a conservative Republican was
giving pause, that this is a totally out of step extreme measure, that goes
much further into the personal lives of women in this country than anyone
is comfortable with.

It`s clear that voters across this country, whether it`s in a
conservative state like Mississippi or in more progressive states, they
want to make sure that the government stays out of their personal life.

O`DONNELL: Let`s go to the crucial state of Ohio. This is going to
be the crucial state in the presidential election next year. They went in
two different directions on the big issues on the ballot there. Voting pro
union, in effect pro union rights, with one stroke, and then voting against
a key element of the Democrats and President Obama`s health care reform on
another vote, a vote against having an individual mandate in Ohio.

How do you interpret those results?

SCHULTZ: Well, the passage of the repeal law, repealing SB-5 in Ohio
today was a tremendous victory for middle class and working families, who
overwhelmingly sent a message to Governor John Kasich that he massively
overreached, that it was absolutely inappropriate. And they rejected his
attempt to go after public employees, to go after working men and women who
simply want to be able to negotiate for better wages, make sure that they
can negotiate for health care coverage that is the kind and quality that
every working family deserves.

And the clear overwhelming rejection of Governor Kasich`s overreach
tonight sends a message to all extreme Republicans, particularly Tea Party
Republicans, who have championed the absolute decimation of workers`
rights, whether Wisconsin or Ohio or other states. This is where it has to
stop and now we need to focus on creating jobs and getting this economy
turned around.

We have to focus on moving the economy forward and working together.
I hope Republicans and their extremist Tea Party friends get the message
tonight that from these results, because they`ve been overwhelming all
across the country.

O`DONNELL: Didn`t the -- those same Ohio voters deliver statistically
as big a rebuke to the idea of an individual mandate in health care, which
is in the president`s bill that has been signed into law, that he signed
into law, the Democrats` bill that you passed in Congress? By the way, it
was a mandate that President Obama, when he was a candidate, campaigned
against in the Democratic primary. He was not in favor of that then.

SCHULTZ: Lawrence, I think the more important news tonight on -- on
the Affordable Care Act is that D.C. Court of Appeals, written by a very
conservative judge, overwhelmingly upheld as constitutional the Affordable
Care Act. And the D.C. Court of Appeals is a significant court, one of the
most significant courts in the country.

And to have the conservative judge write the majority opinion
upholding that law as constitutional, that sends a clearer message as to
the likelihood of success when this -- when that legislation gets to the
Supreme Court and they answer the question of whether a mandate is
constitutional overall.

O`DONNELL: And notwithstanding this vote tonight, if the Supreme
Court rules the individual mandate to be constitutional and appropriate in
law, that will override whatever was voted on tonight in Ohio?

SCHULTZ: Exactly. I mean, the federal law will -- if it establishes
that at the end of the day, the Supreme Court says that the Affordable Care
Act is Constitutional, then that will apply in every state in the country.

O`DONNELL: Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the DNC,
thank you very much for joining me tonight.

SCHULTZ: Thank you for having me, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: A reminder, tomorrow we will have live reaction
immediately following the Republican presidential debate. Michael Moore
will be among my guests.

I`ll also talk with Jack Abramoff tomorrow about his new book, in
which he details how as a Republican lobbyist, he basically owned
Republican members of Congress.

Tomorrow on THE LAST WORD -- that`s all going to be on THE LAST WORD
tomorrow. A special live election night edition of THE ED SHOW is up next.


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