IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Read the transcript to the Thursday show

January 10, 2013

Guests: Mark McKinnon, Eugene Robinson, Adam Green

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: The National Rifle Association met its
worst nightmare today and his name is Joe Biden.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are here today to talk about American values.


NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER: I want to thank the National
Rifle Association.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They do a terrific job.

GINGRICH: For the work that you do.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got a problem in this country.

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, "THE COLBERT REPORT": We have the craziest people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Too much weaponry in all the wrong hands.

complicated issue.

TAMRON HALL, MSNBC HOST, "NEWSNATION": Vice President Joe Biden --

BIDEN: But there are also thing that is we know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He has a lot of friends in the Senate. He has a lot
of friends on the Hill.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The vice president`s task force powwow in this
afternoon`s meeting which will include the NRA.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The NRA is against to a very particular strategy.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Not to give an inch of ground.

WAGNER: There is no room for compromise.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are here today to talk about American values.

HALL: We have another school shooting in Taft, California, at the same
moment the NRA is at the White House.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: NRA members and gun owners themselves want change.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is simple, more guns are not the answer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No one hunts with an assault rifle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are here today to talk about American values.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Newtown tragedy, Tucson and the movie theater

CANTOR: Is part of what sets America apart from the rest of the world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need leaders who are thinking about the next

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wayne Lappiere called for armed guards in schools.

BIDEN: This is nuts.

WAYNE LAPIERRE, NRA: If it`s crazy, then, call me crazy.

COLBERT: You sir, are (EXPLETIVE DELETED) in the head.



O`DONNELL: As Vice President Joe Biden was conducting a meeting at the
White House today, a 16-year-old student at Taft High School in California
was shot when a student walked into the school with the shotgun and started
firing. A teacher was also injured. The shooter is now in custody. The
vice president announced today that he plans to deliver the task force`s
recommendations due to president on Tuesday.

Today, he indicated what some of them might be.


BIDEN: There is a surprising -- so far, a surprising recurrence of
suggestions that we have universal background checks not just close the gun
show loop but total universal background checks including private sales.
There is a -- I have never quite heard as much talk about the need to do
something about high-capacity magazines. The whole question of the ability
of any federal agency to do any research on the issue of gun violence.


O`DONNELL: Of course, all of those items were rejected today by the
National Rifle Association when James J. Baker met with the vice president
and other gun owners groups. And afterwards today`s meeting, the NRA
released this statement.

We were disappointed with how little this meeting have to do with keeping
our children and how much it had to do with the agenda to attack the second
amendment while climbing the no policy proposals would be pre-judge. This
task force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful
firearms owners. We will not allow law abiding gun owners to be blamed for
the acts of criminals and madman. Instead, we will not take our
commitments and meaningful contributions to members of Congress of both
parties who are interest in having an honest conversation about what works
and what does not.

Former Republican campaign strategist Mark McKinnon wrote this at "The
Daily News":

"As a Republican, I think it`s yet another instance where the party by
refusing to recognize reality is going to end up looking like the stupid
that fails to adapt and involve to changing circumstance in our society on
issues where the physics are moving irrevocably forward, like immigration,
gay rights and guns. The Republican Party continues to look backward and
backward. And backward is a sure path to irrelevance."

Mark McKinnon joining us tonight from Texas, did you think there is any
chance of Congressional Republicans getting the message that you are trying
to deliver to them now?

MARK MCKINNON, CONTRIBUTOR, "DAILY BEAST": Well, I would sure hope so. I
mean, it seems so obvious and there are so many common sense options here.
Some of which were outlined by the vice president that have nothing to
would not impact in anyway anybody`s right to hunt or use a rifle or gun
and recreational capacity or defend themselves. Nobody is attacking the
second amendment. There are simply some common sense ideas to make our
society safer for children and families and schools and all the rest of us.

My point is that politically, it is a smart thing for the Republicans to do
some step forward with a plan. Some plan, something respond with an
agenda, whatever it may be, and I think the notion of universal background
checks and limiting high capacity magazines is certainly makes sense as a
start for a Republican agenda. That is not too much. And yet the NRA is
clearly complicit with the gun industrial complex. I mean, they are
interested in the future of the Republican Party. They are interested more
of gun sales.

They are not interested in the safety f our communities. They are
interested in gun sales. So, I think that is pretty clear. And the notion
that they can`t even respond to tighter background checks, for god sakes,
that doesn`t make any sense at all. I think it is becoming clearer and
clearer that they are the ones with the agenda. It is not the
administration has an agenda to take away your - our second amendments
right. It is ridiculous. I think they are creating a climate of fear
simply as a means of fostering profits for guns.

O`DONNELL: Alex Wagner, Eric Erickson, and Rush Limbaugh, I saw, Mark,
coming on this one. Let`s listen to what Rush had to say about it.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: He is right about something here, he
said, mark the date, it isn`t going to be long before moderate Republicans
start going on television to push the notion that guns are hurting
Republicans with independent voters and women just like abortion, just like
the pro livers are hurting independents, Republicans with independents,
just like immigration, the moderate, spineless linguini-spined Republicans,
it isn`t going to be long as this controversy heats up. You now, they


O`DONNELL: Alex Wagner, Rush predicts and we deliver. He said there would
be moderate Republicans start going on television to push the notion of
guns are hurting republicans and here we have Mark McKinnon. It sounds
like there is going to be relentless push back on the perfect sense that
Mark McKinnon is talking it and they seem to be ignoring that, of course,
Mark and other moderate Republicans were right all along during this
presidential campaign about the way they should be targeted.

WAGNER: That was polling bias, right?.

Lawrence, that was all polling bias and they kept the voters home and that
is why Mitt Romney lost. Yes. This is Rush is sort of over compensating
for what is a very, very faulty and increasingly emotional argument. I
mean, the polling is there. It is not a mystery. It is not polling bias.
A vast majority of Americans support stricter gun laws. That number has
increased in a number of polls by margin of 15 to 18 percent. It is an
undeniable reality.

And you cannot tell me, that, suburban swing voters, women voters, in Ohio,
in North Carolina and Colorado are going to look at way left here and his
suggestion that you have guns in school and say yes, that is a good idea.
And I want to send my child to that school.

O`DONNELL: Support for the NRA has dropped significantly in Pulse since
the day went up here. I got up and spoke about that. I want to listen to
what Governor Andrew Cuomo said yesterday in a state of his state address.

Mark, obviously, Cuomo, thinking very seriously trying to position himself
for presidential campaign in 2016. Listen to what he said yesterday.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: We are on a seven-point agenda. Number
one, enact the toughest assault weapon ban in the nation period. New York
state led the way on guns once before. The Sullivan`s law in 1911 which
was the first in the nation gun control law, a model law that required a
permit for possession of a handgun. New York was the first and still on
the books. New York led the way then let`s pass safe and fair legislation
and lead the way once again in saving lives.



O`DONNELL: Mark, there is a governor who hopes to be in contention for the
presidential nomination. Democratic sides saying that his number one issue
is to enact the toughest assault weapons ban in the nation. Is it
conceivable to you that in the next presidential campaign we could have
Democrats in primary as arguing who is toughest on guns, Republicans and
primaries are going who wants to allow the craziest kinds of assault
weapons to the most people?

MCKINNON: Certainly, it seems to be heading that direction. You know, I
have a simple question for Rush Limbaugh and for other and for Wayne
LaPierre, which is OK, you can keep trying to trying to change the subject
and talk about attacking the second amendment. But why do you not support
100 percent background checks. What is the answer to that? And why is
supporting a 100 percent background checks and assault on the second
amendment. And then, why do you support high capacity magazines which are
simply not needed for any recreation any honey, any normal activity. Those
two things, just those two.

My question is directly to Rush Limbaugh, why not support a 100 percent
background checks and why is that an attack on the second amendment? I
love to get an answer on that.

O`DONNELL: They are not going to have an answer for Mark. Are they, Alex?
And that is why they keep trying to go back to this attack the second
amendment which is not anyone`s agenda.

WAGNER: Not anyone`s agenda and I would argue that the reading of the
second amendment was totally faulty and a historical. But this comes down
to a question of the Republican Party and what kind of identity it wants to
have moving forward on a host of issues whether its women`s health or
immigration or guns. Do you want to be the party of Rush Limbaugh and Alex
Jones? Do you want to be the party that except drudged pictures of Hitler
and Stalin when you are talking about gun control? Do you want to be the
party of fanatics and sex or do you want to be a modern party that speaks
to America?

These are questions that Republicans have to answer of writ large in the
next year.

O`DONNELL: Mark, quickly before we go. Is it your sense from the
Republican side that as much as the Democrats do believe in what they are
trying to do here, policy wise, the ones who are trying to move on
ammunition control and the sort of this, that they also are recognizing
that this is helping Democrats politically to kind of force Republicans
into a reactionary crazy position on these issues?

MCKINNON: You know, Lawrence, I have been really surprised. I mean, this
is an issue where I thought there would be some really rational response
from a larger segment or Republican Party to point. This is one of those
issues where they just drop the bridges, go right to the NRA talking
points, who are argue. And you know, so I have been disappointed at the
lack of response where I think Alex is exactly right. I mean, I just think
this is one where the country is moving and society is moving and evolving
and adapting and the Republican party seems content to just keep going
after a smaller demographic and not realizing that yes, sure, you want to
hold on to the base but the base is shrinking and if you ever want to head
toward a majority, you got to expand that and you do that by moving forward
on exactly the kind of issues that Alex was outlining.

O`DONNELL: Mark McKinnon, thanks for doing that article and thank you very
much for joining us tonight.

And Alex Wagner, as always. Thank you for joining us.

WAGNER: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Joe Biden has all but said he is going to run for
president in 2016. And Ezra Klein says you should take that very, very
seriously. Ezra will join me next.

And later, momentum is building rapidly for Barney Frank for Senate.

And in the rewrite tonight, another episode of the politics of religion.
The pastor who was forced to withdraw today from participation in the
presidential inauguration because he said homosexuality is a sin which of
course, is exactly what the Bible teaches. That very same Bible that
President Obama will holding when he takes the oath of office.

Now, if you can`t have an anti-gay preacher at the inauguration, why can
you use and anti-gay holy book as a prop at the inauguration? Riddle me


O`DONNELL: So, as many of you by now know the pastor who was supposed to
give the benediction at the inauguration now won`t be because he did what a
politically correct pastor must never ever do, he actually quoted the

So, you see, the Bible can be present at the inauguration but anyone who
quotes the passage that the president doesn`t believes cannot be president.
And oh, by the way, we have never had a president who believes everything
in the Bible. And we are supposed to have separation of church and state.
So what is the Bible doing at the inauguration anyway. That is coming up I
the rewrite.



MALE REPORTER: Any prediction for tonight?

BIDEN: I`m feeling pretty good.

MALE REPORTER: Last time you are going to vote for yourself, do you think?

BIDEN: No, I don`t think so.


O`DONNELL: Well, as Vice President Joe Biden on Election Day in November
saying as clearly as he possibly could on that day, that is going to run
for office again. And of course, the office that will be open for him to
run for again is his boss` job, President of the United States.

Since the election, Vice President Joe Biden has taken a front and center
role leading the gun violence task force and negotiating the fiscal cliff
deal with Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, as Ezra Klein points out
in his new column, Biden`s success in negotiating with McConnell might be
partly attributable to the fact that Republican parties loading of Obama.

But it is also attribute to the fact that Republicans like Biden and feels
he treats them fairly. Does anyone down there know how to make a deal?
McConnell drawl when he called Biden to resolve the fiscal cliff. It was a
rhetorical question to which both men knew the answer, Biden.

But if Biden wants to be on the 2016 ticket, leading it, first he will have
to beat Hillary Clinton. In a new PPP poll, 57 percent said they would
like to see Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential candidate in
2016, just 16 percent said the same about Joe Biden.

Joining me now, MSNBC Ezra`s Klein and Karen Finney.

Ezra, the Joe Biden that we have seen emerged is exactly who I expected
when he was chosen as President Obama`s vice president because as robust as
he can be publicly, in the room, in the governing situation, I have seen
him be concise, effective, very clear on what objectives are, very clear on
what was possible and that seems to be the role he is playing inside the
White House.

this call was born out of the increasing feel ahead of the public image of
Biden, the public image that I bought into sort of this goofy player. He
makes these hilarious jokes. We play clips of him telling people they are
going to spread their legs to get frisked at the Senate was really
(INAUDIBLE) by this incredibly effective inside operator. And he was not -
and the irony of Biden to make it at the column a little bit, is that when
he ran with President Obama or that point of candidate Obama for president,
that idea of the Obama candidacy was to get Washington past it`s
polarization as bitterness and its partisan warfare.

We needed something new. We needed that a new kind of politics. That new
king of has lead to many successes, not least among them the affordable
care act. It has not led to less partisanship. This has been a very
partisan era. And the irony is that the one part of the Obama
administration that has been a bright spot in cutting deals and getting a
working relationship with the Republicans is Joe Biden`s resolutely old
school Senate drenched back slapping back room dealing. In a funny way, it
that old kind of politics that is actually worked in this new bitter
partisan polarized era.

O`DONNELL: Karen Finney, it looks like we are headed for a Biden versus
Clinton presidential primary in 2016 and maybe Andrew Cuomo and possibly
others. But it looks like Joe Biden and Hillary are going to be in there.

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I don`t even know if I can bear to
start thinking about 2016 after what we just went though. But you know, if
anything is possible is what I would say at this point.

You know, here is the thing about Joe Biden, to Ezra`s point, Joe Biden has
street credit. I mean, think about when he went to the NAACP last year
during the election. He felt he was natural. He knew what he was talking
about. He had credibility with the audience. He was able to, not only
talk about accomplishment, but he was able to talk about the things that
mattered to the audience.

That is part of what Joe Biden so uniquely, I think has brought to this
White House. And he is a serious politics. Don`t forget, he was, you
know, he is also an instrumental part of the foreign policy team.

So, maybe it will be Hillary Clinton, Andrew Cuomo, Joe Biden, maybe they
will all three get in the room sometime, you know, down the road and say OK
you go. We`ll see.

O`DONNELL: We were showing video of the joy with which Joe Biden
approaches one of his ceremonial functions of swearing in of new Senators.
Let`s actually eve`s drop on some of what he had to say during those


BIDEN: I don`t want a handshake, mom. Good to see you. Hey mom. How are
you? Good to see you. I`m Joe Biden. Come on, mom. Take a chance ruin
your reputation here. Would you take a picture of this quickly.

Guys, other than my mother, this is the finest lady I have known. Look, in
my house, there are simple. There is mothers and then something else and
something else and then there are mothers.

O`DONNELL: Ezra, every day is Mother`s Day with Joe Biden.

KLEIN: Watching Joe Biden work is a joyous experience. And this is
something that people around him talk a little bit about. But we are
talking about Hillary Clinton a moment ago. There is a real feeling that
Hillary Clinton is politically, at this moment, in a class by herself. If
she runs, she will be it is believed to be a juggernaut in the Democratic
primary, but it is not considered by a lot of people a done deal that she
runs. Biden, when he does bring it and people talked about this is we have
had, we will by 2016 and I agree with Karen, it kind of chills me to the
bone a bit to talk about that. And it is more a gimmick to try to talk
about how effective Biden has been and then who will run.

But by 2016 there have been eight years of sort of Obama`s cool, collected,
reasonable, recent policy oriented presidency and that is exactly what the
country wanted in 2008 after kind of eight years of shoot from the hip by,
you know, going into a financial crisis presidency that we had with Bush.
By that time, Biden might be a refreshingly different kind of politics.
People might be ready from something that feels a little bit more personal
and un-shock and a little calmer than the sort of neither was for Obama`s
incredibly in control in methodical nature that helped launch him to the
presidency in 2008.

O`DONNELL: I want to listen to something that Andrew Cuomo said yesterday
in the state of the state address because in that set of state address he
said things that could lay the ground work for him having to run against
Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton. His number one issue was assault weapons
control possibly in response to Joe Biden`s position now in the White House
trying to get something down there. And he also talked about women`s
issues. Let`s listen to that.


CUOMO: Maybe it`s a man`s world. But it is not a man`s world in New York.
Not anymore. We are going to pass this women`s equality act. We are going
to change the life for my daughters and your daughters and your sisters and
your nieces and your wife and your significant other and every person in
this room. Every person in this room. And we are going to do it this


O`DONNELL: And Karen, he may also try to prevent a woman Hillary Clinton
from becoming the first woman president while he is at it.

FINNEY: Well, although my take on it is that, he is, you know, he is a
smart man. He figures hey, we don`t know what Hillary is going to do. We
don`t know what Joe Biden is going to do. I`m just going to keep, you
know, planning my seat and doing what I need to do to make sure I`m a
viable option in 2016. Because don`t forget, also, last year, we saw him
do some incredible things with regard to gay rights. So, he has been kind
of planting these seeds all along, clearly and as he face them in 2016.
Also, he happens to be doing the right things which is, you know, great as
it is, so. But I think this is a savvy politician just preparing himself,
just in case he ends up being the guy.

O`DONNELL: Ezra Klein and Karen Finney, thank you for speculating with me

KLEIN: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up. The controversy over the president`s nominations
for his new Cabinet including the non-controversial nomination that
Republicans are trying to make controversial.

And we will have the latest in the Barney Frank for Senate campaign.

And a pastor gets in trouble for doing his job, quoting the Bible. The
trouble is he quoted one of the parts of the Bible that President Obama and
no same person one believes. So that pastor had to withdraw today from
participation in inauguration. The pastor you want for parts of the Bible
and everything the pastor said about those lines in the Bible is actually

That is in the rewrite.


O`DONNELL: Democratic president once again sends a Republican in the
Senate for confirmation as Defense Secretary and of course, Republicans
object that is coming up.

And then later, more people are making the case for Barney Frank to be the
appointed interim Senator from Massachusetts.

And in the rewrite tonight, another really fun episode of the politics of
religion and this one will include a little gay sex just a little by which
of course I mean it will include the ridiculous stuff that the Bible sex
about gay sex. That is coming up.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you filibuster?

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: We`ll intend to be aggressive in
challenging his nomination. And we will see how that goes in the days


O`DONNELL: No, Republican Senator Jeff Sessions is not talking about
President Obama`s controversial nomination of Chuck Hagel to be Secretary
of Defense. He is talking about what should be one of the least
controversial presidential nominations of all-time, because it is the
nomination of a most fully qualified and always mild mannered Jack Lew to
be Secretary of the Treasury.

There is not even one slightly controversial episode in Jack Lew`s entire
life history, both personal and professional. But Senator Jeff Sessions,
who is not even a member of the committee that will very definitely vote to
confirm Jack Lew, is trying to make his confirmation controversial, perhaps
because, among other things, Jeff Sessions still hasn`t gotten over the
fact that the Senate Judiciary Committee voted against his nomination to be
a federal judge in 1986.

In the Spotlight tonight, the president`s new Cabinet. Joy Reid, the Jack
Lew thing, it doesn`t get less controversial than this. You know, poor
little Jeff Sessions is not going to get to ask him any questions in the
confirmation hearing, because he ain`t on the committee. This whole thing
is just going to go right past Jeff Sessions.

JOY REID, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, this is like confirmation theater.
Like now they`re figuring out that what`s really wrong with all these
nominees is, darn it, they had the temerity to be nominated by Barack
Obama. They have the Obama stain on them. How dare they be anywhere near

The most controversial thing about Jack Lew is his weird signature.
There`s nothing even remotely controversial about this.

O`DONNELL: Right. He will have to offer a new penmanship sample to the
Finance Committee in order to get confirmed. Eugene Robinson, you have
seen a lot this confirmation stuff over the years. Take us through what is
going to happen with Hagel, which is a trickier thing. Here you have this
Republican nominated as Secretary of Defense, something that Bill Clinton
did, a Republican. And Republicans are going no, we don`t like this guy.

EUGENE ROBINSON, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Right, right, his former
Republican colleagues in the Senate. I think what is going to happen is a
lot of noise, a lot of complaining. But ultimately, I believe he will get
through, simply because he`s qualified and he`s the president`s pick.

And I think you have heard not a whole lot of softening, but at least a
little bit of softening in the last few days. And I just can`t imagine
that there`s going to be an actual rejection. But they are going to make a
lot of noise, especially on issues involving Israel.

O`DONNELL: Can we just get something straight about the Secretary of
Defense? He doesn`t make policy. He doesn`t make foreign policy.

ROBINSON: Not in the least.

O`DONNELL: And you have these nuts complaining about what they think Chuck
Hagel might think about Israel, which the president of the United States is
never going to ask Chuck Hagel about.

REID: Exactly. What the Defense Secretary does is implement the President
of the United States` defense policy.

O`DONNELL: His orders. Hey Mr. Secretary, get us out of Iraq. Hey Mr.
Secretary -- yeah.

REID: They are acting like it would be the Defense Secretary who would
decide that we were going to go to war with Iran or not, when that is not
true. Their problem is with Barack Obama. With all these nominees, it
comes down to the same thing. Their problem is they can`t accept that this
man beat his Republican opponent twice in a row and that he gets to make
these choices. They want to make the choices for him.

O`DONNELL: Gene, there is nothing funnier in American politics than
pretending than there is anything more than one degree of difference on any
issue involving Israel between the two parties or between any two
politicians in Washington ever.

ROBINSON: Right. There is no difference. Let us state for the record
that Israeli officials have said that security cooperation has never been
closer between the United States and Israel than under Barack Obama. The
policy is exactly the same.

Recall, though, that everybody on the Hill is raising money all the time.
And if they think they can perhaps raise a few more dollars by beating up
on the president or trying to beat up on the president, then they will do

O`DONNELL: Now Rush Limbaugh actually has a half interesting point to make
about the Hagel nomination. Let`s listen to that now.


LIMBAUGH: Obama is going to do it. Obama is going to be the first
Democrat to actually cut the defense budget. I shouldn`t say cut,
dismantle the military. This is more than cutting the budget. That`s not
the right way to put it. He wants to dismantle the military, just like
Western Europe did theirs.

So get a Republican Defense Secretary to preside over not defense cuts --
that`s crucial to understand the distinction. These are not defense cuts.
I mean, they are, but that`s not -- the result of the cuts is the
dismantling of the military in order to pay for a growing welfare state.


O`DONNELL: So Joy, inside that madness, there is an interesting point,
which is, if you are going to be doing defense cuts, it is helpful to a
Democratic president to have a Republican Defense Secretary justifying and
presenting those cuts to Congress, and one who himself is a war veteran and
a combat hero.

REID: Exactly. Somebody who is going to be popular with the enlisted men
and women, with the troops, because he`s one of them. So he has a
credibility with the men and women who are members of the armed forces when
he`s presenting these ideas.

And you know what? Limbaugh is right. There are going to be cuts to the
military. But we may want to remind Rush that his party is the one who
also voted for and caused us to have the sequester, which, in and of
itself, has draconian cuts to the military. His party was part and parcel
of that.

O`DONNELL: So Gene, if you are a Republican senator and you want to do the
bidding of some defense contractors who are pouring money into your
campaign, you don`t want to go up against Chuck Hagel arguing for the need
for the defense -- for the spending on your particular project, that he, in
his own experience in combat and his own experience as a senator and then
as Defense Secretary, believes is unnecessary. You don`t want that
argument with Chuck Hagel.

ROBINSON: No, you don`t Chuck Hagel, in part, because he might actually do
it. But let`s put what Rush said in perspective. These are cuts. And
actually, they will be cuts, I boldly predict, that will still leave the
United States spending more than like the rest of the world combined on
defense. It will still leave the United States with no rival in terms of
global defense apparatus and capabilities. So that is just ludicrous,

O`DONNELL: Eugene Robinson and Joy Reid, thank you very much for joining
me tonight.

REID: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the latest on the Barney Frank for Senate campaign,
the campaign that we`re running right here on this show.

And in the Rewrite tonight, another Bible study session. Got the Bible
right here. The Bible doesn`t actually use the word homosexual. But some
anti-gay churches have actually rewritten their Bibles to include the word
homosexual as something that God specifically condemns, which is crazy,
because the Bible is wicket anti-gay in its original form. And quoting the
anti-gay passages of the Bible was all a pastor had to do to get himself
knocked out of the Inauguration ceremony for President Obama.


O`DONNELL: In tonight`s episode of the politics of religion, the Bible
strikes again. It turns out there is no better way for a pastor to get
kicked out of the inauguration ceremony, no better way to do that than
quoting the Bible. That is what Louis Giglio of Passion City Church in
Atlanta did to get knocked out of this year`s inauguration. His
participation was announced at 9:00 am on Tuesday by the Presidential
Inaugural Committee.

It took all of a day for something to surface in Giglio`s sermonizing past
that made him persona non grata at the swearing in of a president who is in
favor of gay rights, including marriage equality. Josh Israel, senior
investigative reporter for Think Progress, posted yesterday that forced
Giglio to withdraw today.

With it, Josh posted a transcript of a 15-year-old sermon that emphasized
Giglio`s, quote, "rabidly anti-LGBT views," including this tidbit about the
gay rights movement.


LOUIS GIGLIO, PASSION CITY CHURCH: That movement is not a benevolent
movement. But it is a movement to seize, by any means necessary, the
feeling and the mood of the day, to the point where the homosexual
lifestyle becomes accepted as a norm in our society, and is given full
standing as any other lifestyle, as it relates to family.


O`DONNELL: Of course Giglio is wrong about the gay rights movement, but
only actually half wrong. He says the movement is not a benevolent
movement, and that is simply not true. It is a movement filled with and
about benevolence.

But the rest of what he says is actually true. It is a movement to seize,
by any means necessary, the feelings and the mood of the day to the point
where the homosexual lifestyle becomes accepted as a norm in our society,
and is given full standing as any other lifestyle as it relates to family.

The by any means necessary bit is a little rhetorically over the top. But
yes, we do want to create the feeling that the gay lifestyle is an
acceptable norm in our society, and is given full standing as any other
lifestyle. That is exactly -- exactly what the gay rights movement wants,
and what it has been successfully on its way to achieving for years now.

Here is some more of what Giglio got caught saying that got him kicked out
of the inauguration.


GIGLIO: If you look at the counsel of the word of God, Old Testament, New
Testament, you come quickly to the conclusion that homosexuality is not an
alternate lifestyle. Homosexuality is not just a sexual preference.
Homosexuality is not gay. But homosexuality is sin. It is sin in the eyes
of God. And it is sin according to the word of God.


O`DONNELL: And there you have a classic Washington gaff. Now I know some
of you are saying, no, no, no, that is a way worse than a gaff. That is a
terrible and hurtful and hateful thing to say. But this program uses the
definition of Washington gaff written by the brilliant Michael Kinsley
nearly 30 years ago. The Kinsley definition of a Washington gaff is not
when someone lies, but when someone tells the truth.

And the truth is that homosexuality is a sin in the Bible. In his sermon,
Giglio quotes Leviticus chapter 18, verse 22. "You shall not lie with a
male as one lies with a female. It is an abomination."

Giglio also cited the New Testament, First Corinthians, chapter six, verses
nine and 10, which presents a list of immoral behaviors.


GIGLIO: And right in the mist of that passage, right in the midst of that
book, it says `and those who are homosexual.` It is clear.


O`DONNELL: Now, I heard that and I didn`t think the word homosexual
appeared in the Bible. And so I checked it today. Where he says the word
homosexual, the Bible actually uses the word effeminate. Now it turns out
there are some very new versions of the Bible that do use the word
homosexual now instead of effeminate. So the Bible, which is supposed to
be the unchangeable word of God, hasn`t been absolutely unchangeable by
haters of gay people who were unsatisfied that God never chose the word
homosexual to specifically condemn homosexuals.

Poor Addy Weisenat (ph), the spokesperson for the Presidential Inaugural
Committee, was forced to put out this utterly ridiculous statement today:
"we were not aware of Pastor Giglio`s past comments at the time of his
selection. And they don`t reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and
diversity of our country at this inaugural. As we now work to select
someone to deliver the benediction, we will ensure their beliefs reflect
this administration`s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all
Americans." And not the Bible`s.

In other words, we will ensure that whoever delivers the benediction
rejects the same parts of the Bible that President Obama rejects, and most
Democrats reject, even though every word of the Bible is the word of God.

As I`ve pointed out in many previous are episodes of the politics of
religion, no one accepts all of the teaching of the Bible. No one. There
are no literal followers of the word of God as presented in the Bible left
on Earth. If there were any, they would have to be burning people at the
stake all day every day.

For example, the Bible orders that prostitutes be burned at the stake. The
Bible orders that the penalty for adultery is death. The Bible orders that
the penalty for not observing the Sabbath is death. The Bible has more
death penalties in it than Texas law. And there is no Bible thumping
church in the world that follows the word of God on all of those death
penalties. Not one.

Still the president, following one of our most absurdest traditions in the
government that invented the separation of church and state, will put his
hand on this book, filled with things he does not believe, filled with
things that no one in the United States of America believes, and with his
hand on this book, he will recite the oath of office. And his hand on this
book is actually supposed to make you believe that he really believes what
he is saying in the oath of office, even though the book is filled with
things that you and he do not believe.

Now wouldn`t it be better if the president`s hand was on the shoulder of
one of his daughters, suggesting that he was honoring the oath of office as
much as he honors Sasha and Malia?

This time, as it was last time, for the first time in history, the book
will be held by a First Lady who is a descendant of slaves. But the holy
book she will be holding does not contain one word of God condemning
slavery, not one word. But that same book, which spends hundreds and
hundreds of pages condemning all sorts of things and couldn`t find one
sentence in here to condemn slavery, does indeed manage to find the space
repeatedly to condemn gay people, as the now banished Louis Giglio says it

And as the First Lady is holding that book for the president, sitting
somewhere near them will be a pastor who the Inauguration Committee will
make sure is much more adept at hiding what that book actually says than
Louis Giglio was.



REP. BARNEY FRANK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: These next three months are going to
be about as important a set of three months as we`ve had maybe since the
New Deal, because we`ve compressed these things in there. And that is why
I volunteered.


O`DONNELL: That was Barney Frank on this program last night after I
announced him to be the next appointed senator from Massachusetts,
temporary appointment the governor will make while the state prepares for a
special election, when John Kerry becomes Secretary of State.

Barney Frank has the support of Massachusetts new junior Senator Elizabeth
Warren, who will soon be the senior senator.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Congressman Frank understands
the workings of the financial markets in ways that are just unmatched by
anyone. If he is appointed to be a senator, I have no doubt that he will
be extraordinary.


O`DONNELL: The extraordinary Barney Frank also has the support of the
state`s biggest newspaper, "the Boston Globe," and liberal groups,
including the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, who helped propel
Elizabeth Warren into the Senate.

They are asking members to sign an online petition urging Deval Patrick to
appoint Barney Frank. Joining me now, Progressive Change Campaign
Committee co-founder Adam Green.

Adam, why did you jump into this as an organization? And why Barney Frank?

one of our heroes, made a really important promise during the campaign,
which was not to support any bill that cuts Social Security, Medicare or
Medicaid benefits. And she needs a strong, knowledgeable, progressive ally
as a partner in the Senate.

As you said last night on your show, Barney Frank is that person. He will
draw that line in the sand. He will be a fighter. But it must be said,
Lawrence, that last night you actually kicked off a phenomenon right here.
When you uttered the words, our petition was a
couple hours old. We had about 2,000 signatures from the good people of

In the 24 hours since, since we put the video of you from last night on the
petition site, since hundreds, if not thousands of people talked about that
on Twitter, and since we emailed the video of you to our members, I`m proud
to announce that at, we now have over 20,000
signatures urging Governor Patrick to appoint this man to the Senate.

O`DONNELL: Adam, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee is a very
effective force, particularly in Elizabeth Warren`s campaign. The governor
has to take notice of what you are doing.

GREEN: Well, we are absolutely committed to ensuring that Governor Patrick
has two strong, bold progressives representing his state. We will be there
in the upcoming election. And he needs to know that bold progressives
across Massachusetts and the country are depending on him to make the right
choice. And that`s why so many people are going to,
to let him know their opinion.

O`DONNELL: Barney -- what is it again, Adam, one more time?

GREEN: Yes. We have the Lawrence O`Donnell bump right there.

O`DONNELL: Everybody`s got to go there. Adam Green gets tonight`s LAST
WORD, which is Thanks, Adam.

GREEN: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: "THE ED SHOW" is up next.


Copyright 2013 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>