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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Read the transcript to the Thursday show

January 31, 2013

Guests: Gov. Deval Patrick, Victoria Defrancesco Soto, Steve Schmidt

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: What was the most important
question asked today at Chuck Hagel`s confirmation hearing for secretary
defense? It was not about an external threats. It was about an internal
threat. The military is out of control, rape crisis and the military`s
cruel determination to protect rapist in their ranks. The invisible war
within the military remained invisible to most of the senators in today`s
confirmation hearing.


of heat within his own party.


KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC HOST, THE CYCLE: Chuck Hagel wants to run the

TODD: To become the next secretary of defense.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Chuck Hagel in the hot seat.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Put tense back and forth --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gear up for a gold old fashioned grilling.

SEN. CHUCK HAGEL (R), NEBRASKA: I will explain why I made those

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I want to know if you were right or

Will you please answer the question.

HAGEL: If you would like me to explain.

MCCAIN: I would actually like an answer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The back and forth between McCain was striking.

TOM CRUISE, ACTOR: I want the truth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can`t handle the truth.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hagel faces questions from the 26 panel.

HAGEL: I will forward the questions.

JOY-ANN REID, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Would he be able to fully
implement don`t ask don`t tell.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Balance the budget --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And also the issue of sexual assault

HAGEL: Sexual assault in the military.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now estimated at 19,000 a year.

HAGEL: There is always take care of our people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The battle of over gun control moves to capitol

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want to create the fear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gun fear that driven by fear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They tended to only speak of women.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A woman trying to defend her children.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The young woman defending her babies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Women who needed to defend themselves.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t where in any mothers that want a 20-
round clip in their home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want to create the fear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trying to inject fear --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They can be a situation.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An assault weapon --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: where a mother runs out of bullets.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Becomes a defense a weapons.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Six bullets may not be enough.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is all fear based.


O`DONNELL: At the Senate confirmation hearing today for Chuck Hagel
as secretary of defense, most senators thought this was the big question.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Troubling statements that he has made about

SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: Refused to sign the letter
supporting Israel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Israel our relationship with Israel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think the nation of Israel has committed
war crimes?


O`DONNELL: John McCain thought this was the big question.


MCCAIN: Did you disagree on President Obama on his decision for the
surge in Afghanistan?


O`DONNELL: But in fact this is the most pressing question facing the
new secretary of defense.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When we hear report that is there are upwards of
19,000 sexual assaults in the military against women it is unacceptable. I
would need a strong commitment from you that you will treat our military
families and look after them in the way that you would look after your own.

assaults the devil is the military I don`t know if you have seen an
excellent documentary called "the in visible war."


BLUMENTHAL: I would ask that your commitment, not only to the
prosecution and holding accountable, people who are involved in this
criminal conduct, but also to the victim.

HAGEL: Absolutely, I will commit to that.


O`DONNELL: Yes, sexual assault in the military is the single most
important issue facing the secretary of defense. The secretary of defense
has no absolutely voice on his country`s policy on Israel. Every minute
spent on that subject today in that hearing was a complete waste of time.
And there is absolutely no disagreement within the American government on
this country`s policy towards Israel. All Democrats in the Senate disagree
with all Republicans on Israel. And they always have. There never has
been a disagreement. There will never be. Trying to find such a
difference is a ludicrous exercise.

Even on military deployment issues and military budgets, the secretary
of defense is merely one of the many voices the president will hear when
the president makes decisions above our tactical military choices in
Afghanistan and elsewhere.

But, the defense secretary does have jurisdiction over personnel with
defense secretary does have sole jurisdiction over how to handle what is
now an absolutely out-of-control crime wave in the United States military
for thousands of American soldiers, the military has become a rape club.

According to the defense department`s own statistics, there were
19,300 sexual assaults in the military in 2010 alone. This rape crisis in
the American military has come to light thanks not to any action taken by
those senators or the defense department, but thanks to the academy award
nominated documentary "the in visible war" that you heard senator
Blumenthal mentioned to Chuck Hagel.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If a man gets accused of rape is a set up. The
woman is lying.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I could choose to report it. But, if I was, you
know, if they found out what I was saying wasn`t to be truthful, then I
would reduce in rank.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Even with the rape kit and everything and my
friend catching him rape me, they still don`t believe me.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ve reported it two different times to my squad
leader and he told me that there is nothing he can do about because I
didn`t have any proof.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They actually did charge me with adultery. I
wasn`t married, he was.


O`DONNELL: You heard Chuck Hagel say, that he has seen this
documentary. Current secretary of defense Leon Panetta saw that academy
award nominated film in April of last year, two days after that, he changed
the Pentagon policy and announced that rape accusations will be moved out
of the direct line of command that has been so successful of suppressing
these investigations and that each branch of the arms services will now
have a special unit for sexual assault victims.

This is something the secretary of defense actually has the power to
do, the power to do it on his own authority. But most senators have no
interest in that. In this rape crisis in the American military and they
wasted their time today talking about policy questions that have nothing to
do with being secretary of defense.

Joining me now is MSNBC`s Alex Wagner and the "Washington Post`s"
Eugene Robinson.

Alex, I can think of no more important concern for a secretary of
defense than the safety of his troops. And in our military today, as this
documentary absolutely proves, women are actually putting their lives at
risk simply by enlisting. And we have to sit there today and watch the
senators wander all over the place on all these irrelevant questions about
policies that have nothing to do with being secretary of defense when they
have this crime crisis right in front of them.

WAGNER: Well, I mean, I think that the reasons for that are two-fold.
One is, issues relating to women, violence perpetrated against women have
been systematically ignored and in particular by the Congress of recent
years. Let`s keep in mind the violence against women act has not been
renewed. Let`s keep in mind that plenty of Republican folks running for
Congress from the Republican side had a robust and totally untethered to
reality, a conversation about rape that had nothing to do with actual rape
or protecting women.

So, in some way, it is sort of understandable, I guess, or its other
piece with ignoring issues pertaining women and their health.

At the same time, Lawrence, I think we all know the Chuck Hagel
confirmation hearing wasn`t at all about Chuck Hagel nor wasn`t about
defense policy. It was a chance for Republicans today in the senate
foreign relations committee to litigate their gripes with the Obama

And so, they asked him (INAUDIBLE) questions that really have nothing
to do with his purview that aren`t really questions that need to be
answered vis-a-vis defense. But, they were got you questions. There are
ways for republicans to score points in front of a prominent person from
the administration.

O`DONNELL: I just want to go back to this documentary one more time.
Because I did a segment last year and I`ve never known of a documentary to
be brought to the secretary of defense and then actually change policy on
the basis of it. I just want to take one more look at annulment of
documentary that is about - something that happened literally within
walking distance of those Senate office buildings at the marine barracks in
Washington D.C. Let`s watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: One of the first things I was told when I
checked in was don`t wear any makeup because the marines will think you
want to sleep with them. And I thought, that was just ridiculous.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The atmosphere of the bad at marine barracks
Washington was horrible. People asked me what sexual favors did I perform
to get my orders there?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was a senior officer in my command who --
the first time he spoke to me, he said female marines here are nothing but
objects for the marines to (bleep).


O`DONNELL: Eugene, there is nothing less satisfying most of the time
than a United States Senate hearing. Since they wonder off, they
frequently in situations like this, have evidence like this right under
their noses and they wander off into their talking points agendas and today
was a classic example of that.

was. And your point is well taken. Why not ask about something that the
secretary of defense can actually do something about. And this is
something the secretary defense can and must do something about obviously.
There is an issue this culture of machismo and impunity and sexual violence
in the military is not something that was cured by one order from Leon
Panetta or even from his vigilance over the last couple of years have has
got to be more. And when one wonders if Hagel has thought a lot about this
issue and I would love to hear more questions about it.

O`DONNELL: Well, the good news is he says he has seen the documentary
and that is first place you start in traffic or what to do here.

Marco Rubio has announced, of course, that he will vote against Chuck
Hagel and every single reason he cites has nothing to do with being
secretary of defense. He has got policy toward Cuba in here. He has
support for Israel in here. And he also has defense budgets which by the
way are controlled by the United States Senate and the House of

Alex Wagner, this is a free one for Rubio since he is moving out in a
non-right wing direction on immigration reform. He has to find every spot
he can to go with the reactionaries and this looks like a spot he found.

WAGNER: Sure. I mean, this is a litmus test for 2016, right? so,
Rubio comes out on stage in a bipartisan D.C. chain with Chuck Schumer and
hasn`t been answered that or counters that with an appearance on Rush
Limbaugh`s radio show. For every step forward, there must be two steps
backwards. I mean, that is part and parcel of the modern Republican party.

The other thing I would ad, Lawrence, and I think the question with
this scandal in the military which you call, I think appropriately a
culture of rape within the institution is the broader issue we have on hand
in modern American society which is institutional failure and our believe
as citizens that institutions can in fact police themselves as this point.

I mean, keep in mind, sexual violence in the military has been going
on since the tail hook scandal on the early `90s. They set up an office in
2005 to deal with sexual assaults and prevention of rape. That obviously
has not been successful or in any way effective effort.

So, the question is when you look at the catholic church, when you
look at the military, can these institutions police themselves? Is there
enough of a culture, of a sort of a gut check and honesty and transparency
within institution that have been around so very long? And we are a
culture of secrecy almost is very pervasive.

O`DONNELL: Eugene, imagine Republican senators at the confirmation
for the head of health and human services who have found that there is some
kind of corrupt practice being covered up in terms of Medicare payments or
something like that. I mean, just imagine the outrage.

ROBINSON: The outrage. You know, the pounding the table and they
would be shocked.

You know, on the question of the military policing itself. One thing
that the Senate is supposed to do and the house is provide oversight. They
are supposed to be looking at exactly this sort of thing but they seem
uninterested. And of course, not only that. Even the extraneous - the
things not within his purview, they were asking about what kind of the
wrong things. I mean, there is a war going on in Afghanistan, 60,000
troops are in there as much about that. Al-Qaeda is rampant in parts of
North African and ask a lot about that. It was all political basically.

O`DONNELL: Alex Wagner, Eugene Robinson, thank you both very much for
joining me tonight.

WAGNER: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the lies the defenders of massacre weapons tell
about women and guns. Joy Reid will join me on that.

And Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick is here for his first
national television interview since he appointed William Cowell to be the
next senator for Massachusetts. We will find out why the governor did not
follow my advice to appoint Barney Frank. O`Donnell versus Patrick is
coming up.

And in the rewrite tonight, the emergency room doctor who treated the
victims of the massacre of Sandy Hook elementary school.


O`DONNELL: There was a lot of crazy testimonies in yesterday`s gun
control hearing in the senate about women and guns. And just how important
it is for women to be able to have assault weapons in high capacity
magazines. Joy Reid will join me on that one coming up.

And Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick is here for his first
national interview since choosing the next Massachusetts senator which
means it is his first national interview since he broke my heart. He
didn`t pick my choice. Let`s see if the governor can win me back.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They can be a situation for a mother runs out of
bullets because of something we do here. Six bullets in the hands of a
woman trying to defend her children may not be enough.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An assault weapon in the hands of a young woman
defending her babies in her home becomes a defense weapon. And the peace
of mind that a woman has as she is facing three, four, five violent
attackers or intruders in her home with her children screaming in the
background, the peace of mind knowing that she has a scary looking gun
gives her more courage when she is fighting hardened violent criminals.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And therein lies the problem with having to defend
assault weapons because if you go out and try to defend assault weapons
then you end up looking like a jackass.


O`DONNELL: Jack ass Lindsey Graham had to imagine a situation in
which a woman and her children are killed because the mother ran out of
bullets. He had to imagine it because he could not find no such case in
reality where six bullet weren`t enough.

And as you saw on this program last night, Gayle Trotter`s wild
imaginings about the assault weapons toting mom with her children screaming
in the background was completely fictional. She and Lindsey Graham and
every other worshiper of assault weapon in his at capacity magazine at
yesterday`s Senate hearing could not come up with a single case, not one
case, of a mother or father or an one else successfully defending
themselves against violent criminals using an assault weapon of high
capacity magazine, not one case. But there was an important point made
about women and mother`s and guns in that hearing yesterday and it came
from one of the vices of sanity at the witness table.


when females are killed it is more likely over 50 percent of the time to be
by a spouse or household member. A gun un in a home where there is a
history of domestic violence, statistics show that there is a 500 percent
increase or chance that that person will be victimized by gun violence.


O`DONNELL: Among those women killed by a household member with a gun
she bought herself and kept in her home was the mother of the young man who
massacred these six women and 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary school
in Newtown, Connecticut.

Joining me now is Joy Reid, managing editor for the Grio and an MSNBC

Joy, one of the anecdotes that was thrown around a lot at yesterday`s
hearing was about Sara McKinley who defended herself and her baby with her
gun. And of course, Ms. Trotter who testified about that used that
prepared testimony in her opening remarks, had no idea what kind of gun she
used. Let`s listen to that moment where we discovered that with the
senator of the White House.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Miss Trotter, quick question. Sara McKinley, in
defending her home, used a Remington 870 express 12-gauge shotgun that
would not be banned under the statue correct?

GAYLE TROTTER, ATTORNEY: I don`t remember what type of weapon she

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trust me that is what it was. And it would not be
banned under that statue. So, it doesn`t - I think it proves the point
that with ordinary firearms not 100 magazine peculiar types of artifacts
people are quite capable of defending themselves.


O`DONNELL: Joy Reid, we saw Gayle Trotter, the most under prepared
witness I ever seen in the senate hearing and Wayne Lapierre and all of
those people, they came there to testify about something that wasn`t being
considered. They came there not to testify about why people need assault
weapons and magazines. That`s what the committee is trying to figure out.
They came there to defend all uses of guns everywhere and that is not being

JOY-ANN REID, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, exactly. And that is -
there, in lies the problem. You have the gun lobbyists essentially writing
almost cinematic scenarios of horror, in which you would theoretically need
to have an assault weapon to defend yourself. But the real world cases
they talk about, just as you got out last night when you interviewed Ms.
Trotter aren`t even about assault weapons.

When you hear assault weapons used and you see them in the news, it is
because there is a mass murder using them, not in mother defending her
kits. And one other point about the McKinley case. Miss McKinley was
defending herself against two intruders, one of whom had knife, the other
one of whom fled when he heard the gunshot. She shot that assailant once
and before she did she called 911 and asked the 911 operator if it OK for
me to shoot this person and was told I can`t tell you what to do, but
defend yourself. That wasn`t the scenario of someone shooting back at her
and her being the Peruvian good guy with the gun. That was the case where
she used disproportion the force appropriately without an assault weapon.

O`DONNELL: And Joy, we actually have some real breaking news about
Sara McKinley here tonight. Our staff reached her by phone today to talk
about this. And to talk about the situation that is now being considered
by the senate, which is of course assault weapons, what about assault

Now, Sara McKinley made it clear to us, she doesn`t want to see
anymore gun control. She is not in favor of the new legislation. But said
this to us about assault weapons. This woman who found herself defending
herself with a gun her life came to that point where she had to do it. Has
she - what does she think of assault weapons? She said personally, I have
no use for one, and don`t own one.

And Joy, that is her feeling after suffering one of these attacks in
real life herself.

REID: That is right. The idea that you need 100 rounds to stop a guy
with a knife is absurd on its face. And even gun owners and supports of
the second amendment right were again, as you mentioned, as mentioned last
night, it was mentioned in the hearing. None of this is an issue in an
assault weapons ban. This is a gun that this particular woman didn`t need
to defend herself.

And by the way, the other part of that story that isn`t told,
Lawrence, is that once she shot that assailant, there is a judicial
process. Now, she ultimately wasn`t prosecuted. But there are real world
consequences to using a gun to defend yourself.

And I brought today with me the case, very quickly, of Marissa
Alexander we reported on the Grio. This was a woman who used her gun
because she was in fear of her life from a husband which is the most likely
scenario when a woman is threaten and she fired over his head because she
feared he was going to beat her up as he done before. She is facing 20
years in prison for that. That is usually what happen happens when a woman
uses a gun.

O`DONNELL: Joy Reid, thank very much for joining us tonight.

REID: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up what an emergency room doctor has to say to the
lobbyists for the NRA. That`s in the rewrite.

And a last word exclusive, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick`s
first national interview since for some reason he chose to ignore my advice
about who to choose to appoint to the United States Senate.

Deval Patrick will join me. It is coming up.


O`DONNELL: My next guest is the governor of Massachusetts Deval
Patrick who ignored my advice about who to appoint to the United Senate I
kept telling him day after day, week after week and he - you know what, I
should calm down about this. I`m not ready to interview the governor about
why he completely ignored every word I had to say about who he should
appoint to the Senate. So let`s -- I think what we should do here -- I
think we should take a break. I will calm down.

We`ll come back with Governor Deval Patrick.


O`DONNELL: OK, I think I can do this. In the Spotlight tonight, Mr.
Cowan goes to Washington. Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts bravely
-- or was it recklessly -- ignored the unsolicited advice of outside
agitators like me who kept telling him that he should appoint the Honorable
Barney Frank to be the temporary senator to fill John Kerry`s Senate seat
until Massachusetts can elect a new senator on June 25th.

Governor Patrick announced his choice yesterday, William Cowan, who
has served the governor has his chief of staff and chief counsel. Mr.
Cowan, known as Mo, is a married father of two young children, and
according to my many sources on this subject in Boston, Mo Cowan is a
really good guy who is also wicked smart.


O`DONNELL: Joining me now for an exclusive interview, the governor of
Massachusetts, Deval Patrick. Thanks for joining me tonight, governor.

GOV. DEVAL PATRICK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: I`m glad to be with you,
Lawrence. Thank you for having me.

O`DONNELL: Governor, as you know, I have said on this program, in
this past month, that you are the greatest governor not just in America --
the greatest governor in the world of all-time.

PATRICK: Oh my goodness. I feel there is a but coming.

O`DONNELL: There is a little bit of a but coming here. That was when
I was urging you to appoint Barney Frank to the Senate. You know,
governor, this is the first time a Massachusetts governor has rejected my
advice. It is also the very first time that I have given advice to a
Massachusetts governor. So I`m only zero for one.

But now do your best to convince me, based on this choice of the new
Senator Cowan, that you are indeed still the greatest governor in the

PATRICK: Well, I don`t know if I can quite make that mark. But I
thank you for the --


O`DONNELL: Let`s hear that case.

PATRICK: I thank you very much for the encouragement. First of all,
what is not to like about Barney Frank, one of the best congressman I think
the country has ever seen? And he has served us so well here in
Massachusetts. And he was one of a number of folks on a long and deep list
of talent. Mo Cowan is someone I know well, who was intimately involved
with the issues that we`ve been working on here in Massachusetts, having
been my chief of staff for the last two years, and my chief legal council
before that.

He is a well respected public citizen in that old fashioned sense,
Lawrence, people who come and go from public life and public issues when
they have something to contribute, uncommonly wise and thoughtful and
always well prepared.

And to the extent I`m a good governor, it has been on account of a lot
having to do with Mo Cowan`s contribution. So I think he is going to be a
great steward of the interests of the people of the Commonwealth for the
next few months, until the main event, which is the special election, when
the people fill that seat.

O`DONNELL: Governor, I was working in the Senate for Senator Moynihan
when he made two historic appointments as U.S. attorneys, the first female
U.S. attorney in the southern district of New York, first African-American
U.S. attorney in New York State, in the eastern district. And those were
choice made for the best qualified people for those jobs at the time.

But I do remember -- I will never forget the senator feeling history
in his hands in making those choices and those appointments. Did you feel
that as you were approaching this, having that opportunity to appoint an
African-American to the United States Senate?

PATRICK: Well, I certainly thought about it. It wasn`t obviously the
only factor in my decision. It wasn`t even the central factor in my

But I do think that it is incumbent on all of us in positions with
opportunities like the one I have to consider the fact that we are a much,
much more richly diversion community and commonwealth and country, and that
there is talent in every American community. And so having opportunities
to expose that talent like this is a great thing and an opportunity I was
glad to seize.

Now I want to listen to something that your lieutenant governor said
yesterday about Senator Designate Cowan. Let`s listen to this.


LT. GOV. TIM MURRAY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: He`s cool. Tom Brady, George
Clooney, James Bond and the president have nothing on Mo.


O`DONNELL: Governor.

PATRICK: It`s true. It`s true.

O`DONNELL: He`s that cool? He`s really that cool?

PATRICK: He`s really that cool. I hope you will have him on some
time soon.

O`DONNELL: I`m begging him to come on. Yes, absolutely.

PATRICK: You know what`s a shame, is that we are only going to get
this short period of Mo Cowan on the national stage, and indeed in public
life. He, like me in two years, is going back into the private sector.
And that is something he has promised his wife and family.

But as I say, he is a true public citizen in the sense that he really
does feel that sense of service and that sense of active citizenship. And
I think we`ll see that that will motivate his best work in this time in the

O`DONNELL: OK, governor, now this is just you and me talking here.


O`DONNELL: As you know, I`ve worked in the Senate for about eight
years and chief of staff of two Senate committees, you know, heavy Senate
experience. I`m from Dorchester.

PATRICK: Wicked good.

O`DONNELL: And I did, for a few hours, express an interest in this
seat myself. Just tell me the truth. Where was I on the short list?

PATRICK: Let me just say that had you not been on the short list, I
probably would not have come on your show. It`s very, very hard for me to
look you in the virtual eye this way and compliment you as I do, and to
feel as strongly about your qualifications as I do.

But I hope you understand, other opportunities I`m sure will come for
you, if you just continue to work hard.

O`DONNELL: I will do my best. I would have had to move in with my
brother Kevin to establish the residence thing. And he`s a Republican. So
that would have been very messy. So I think this is actually working out
quite well for everyone involved.

And listen, if Senator Cowan -- if Senate Cowan can really be half as
cool as the coolest governor in the world, the governor of Massachusetts,
he will be -- he really will be the coolest senator, because that is a low
bar. Coolest senator is a very low bar.

PATRICK: I`m called a lot of things. Cool is not one of them,
Lawrence. Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Governor Patrick, thank you very much for joining us
tonight. I understand the process you went through. And thank you for
considering all of the public advice that you got about this. And I
completely respect your decision making process.

PATRICK: Thank you so much. Be well.

O`DONNELL: Thanks, governor.

PATRICK: Take care.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Republicans attacking Marco Rubio for
supporting immigration reform. Some Republicans still believe they should
just give up on the Latino vote.

And in the Rewrite tonight, the emergency room doctor who was in
charge of treating the victims of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary


O`DONNELL: Have you ever seen a doctor cry in a hospital emergency
room? I haven`t. I`ve seen my share of crying in E.R.s and done a bit of
it myself, but I`ve never seen a doctor cry.

You are about to see a doctor who did 20 years in the E.R., as he put
it, never broke a tear until December 14th when he was in charge of the
E.R. that was suddenly overwhelmed by the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary
School in Newtown, Connecticut.

In tonight`s Rewrite, more testimony that should have been heard at
the Senate hearing yesterday in Washington and ammunition control. Last
night, the Connecticut`s legislature`s Bipartisan Task Force on Gun
Violence and Prevention and Children`s Safety held it`s final hearing at
Newtown High School.

Dr. William Begg made this plea.


DR. WILLIAM BEGG, NEWTOWN E.R. DOCTOR: Thank you. My name is Bill
Begg. What is my inspiration for coming tonight? I`m a parent of three
Newtown students. I`m a grammar school track coach. I`m the president of
the medical staff here at Danbury Hospital. I`m with the newly group of
United Physicians of Newtown that formed in response to the December 14th

I`m the EMS medical director for Newtown and this region. And I`m an
E.R. doctor that was on shift December 14th.

What is my goal in the next two and a half minutes? My goal is to
somehow convince you legislators that gun control measures that you
hopefully will enact will make a difference. The gun lobby hasn`t allowed
a lot of research, so I had to go overseas for research.

In Dunblane, Scotland in `96 --


BEGG: In Dunblane, Scotland in `96, 29 first graders were shot, their
teacher, and then the gunman shot himself. Just a few years before in
England, a 27-year-old with two semiautomatic rifles shot 31 people,
killing 16 of them. And he killed his mother and he killed himself.

What did those legislators do? They, over a 10 year period, between
`88 and `96 -- I guess that`s eight years -- they enacted real legislation.
Did the legislation make a different right away? Actually it didn`t. Not
only didn`t it make a difference, there was actually a bump in gun

But do where do they stand in 2010? In the U.S., since 1996, we have
had over 20 mass murders. Great Britain has had one. OK, in 2010, the
United States had about 32,000 gun deaths. Great Britain, 155.

Gun legislation takes a while to come to fruition, but it works. If
you actually own a gun and it is in your home, because you are waiting for
that person to show up that`s going to terrorize your house, let me give
you some stats. You have 25 times -- not percent -- 25 times more chance
you are going to get killed from your own gun or your wife or your spouse
or your kids -- 25 times more chance you are going to die from your own gun
than you getting killed from that intruder.

States that do have gun control do actually have a lower chance of
violence for their citizens.

In summary, what I`m asking for is you consider a stronger assault
bans -- assault weapons ban, elimination of the sale of automatic and
semiautomatic weapons, restriction on the size of the magazine clips,
number of rounds, extend background checks, and also please let us do some
gun research that is real.

From the mental health side --


BEGG: -- what galls me is the same folk that is are saying, well, I
get it, we want to balance the budget -- the same people that are saying
let`s -- let`s -- let`s take care of guns or allow guns to be out there are
the same ones that are saying let`s focus on mental health. Yet those are
the same ones that are saying let`s cut services. And what are the first
services to be cut? Mental health.

So I`m not even asking you to add mental health services. I`m just
asking you, please don`t cut anymore. Allow me as a medical doctor, when I
see a patient or when my colleagues see a patient, when I educate them on
the affects of alcohol or tobacco, safe sex, motor vehicle accidents, can I
please talk to them about the risks of gun violence? Please?


BEGG: I want to recognize the -- you know, 20 years in the E.R.,
never broke a tear. But this has affected me. I want to recognize the
valiant efforts of then Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corp. Even though Mike
Collins and I disagree, I respect him immensely And Lori Violet (ph) and
the rest of the Newtown EMS, thank you so much for your services.

To the families --


BEGG: To the families, on behalf of the E.R., we tried our best. We
tried our best. And to you lawmakers, my mom and dad were both Connecticut
state representatives. I asked mom -- I said, mom, why won`t they make a
change? Why do you think? They said, well, you know, they have their
party lines and they have their lobbies and they have their -- they may be
not senior.

I said, do you think this one time they will make the -- they`ll make
the right decision. And you know, she said yeah, I think this one time.
So I`m asking you, please, make the right decision on behalf of Newtown,
and Connecticut and the United States.

Thank you.




GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: Identity politics is corrosive to
the great American melting pot. And we must reject it. The first step in
getting the voters to like us is to demonstrate that we like them.


O`DONNELL: That was Republican Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, one
week ago today, pleading with his party to, as he said so famously, stop
being the stupid party. Note to the governor, your party is not listening.
In an editorial yesterday slamming comprehensive immigration reform, the
conservative "National Review" says "Republican immigration reformers with
an eye to political reality should begin by appreciating that Latinos are a
Democratic constituency. They did not vote for Mitt Romney. They did not
vote for John McCain. They did not vote for George W. Bush. And in the
election before that, they did not vote for George W. Bush again."

The editors of the "National Review" think they know why Republicans
are losing the Latino vote. "Take away the Spanish surname and Latino
voters look a great deal like many other Democratic constituencies. Low
income households, headed by single mothers and dependent upon some form of
welfare are not looking for an excuse to join forces with Paul Ryan and Pat

Joining me now, MSNBC and NBC Latino contributor Victoria Defrancesco
Soto, and Steve Schmidt, former senior adviser to the McCain 2008
presidential campaign, and an MSNBC political analyst.

Victoria, I would love to get your reaction to that picture of the
Latino voter as described by the "National Review."

just incomplete disagreement with their assessment of how the Republican
party has reached out to Latinos. Yes, Romney and McCain did poorly with
Latinos. But because they did a 180 in terms of reaching out this
electorate. And George W. Bush, in my opinion, did rather well with
Latinos. He grew from low 30s in 2000 up to over 40 percent in 2004.

And if you look at his years as governor here in Texas, Governor Bush
did very well with Latinos.

OK, Latinos will never been an overwhelming Democratic -- I`m sorry,
Republican constituency. But we do have at least 30 percent of Latinos who
are independents. And so for Republicans to just give up on that
percentage of independents to me is puzzling.

O`DONNELL: That is the point, isn`t it, Steve. John Kerry got 53
percent of the Latino vote. President Obama got 71 percent of the Latino
vote. At minimum, the question for Republicans is how much do you want to
lose the Latino vote by.

of the Latino vote. We were having conversations in the White House in
2005 about the day that we would get to 50 percent of the vote. It is just
a remarkable statement.

I do think that piece airs some legitimate conservative issues around
immigration reform on the security side, for example. But the
stigmatization of the fastest growing demographic group in the country, I
just don`t understand it. Why would you ever paint in such a broad brush
the demographic that is one of the largest net contributors to the U.S.

It is fundamentally part of the problem in the Republican party, is
that we hear the word Latino, like the hammer hitting the knee, there is a
reflex to that it is some dependant class of moochers, as opposed to
doctors and lawyers.

And they are as much a part of the fabric of the American community as
any other immigrant group that has come before, has the same hopes and
aspirations. And for the Republican party to almost purposely alienate
that with the intemperance of the rhetoric, ignoring the successes of Brian
Sandoval in Nevada or Susanna Martinez in New Mexico, states we used to win
in presidential elections, I just don`t understand it.

It is almost boggling of the mind. It is hard to comprehend the --
that perspective. Why would you do that?

O`DONNELL: And Victoria, when Republicans lose the women`s vote, they
don`t put out similar statements going, you know, we`re never going to win

DEFRANCESCO SOTO: It`s almost, in reading this editorial, that they
have thrown up their hands. And the other troubling piece about -- about
this article was their misinterpretation of the 1986 immigration reform,
where they claim that it was a failure because the border was not enforced.
It was a failure because they didn`t address the demand.

People kept coming over because employers kept giving jobs to
undocumented folks. And they also make the comparison between amnesty in
1986 and amnesty today. We`re talking about two very different processes.
In 1986, if you were undocumented and (inaudible) went through, you could
go and apply for long-term residency. And then within five years, you
could get citizenship and pay a 135 dollar application fee.

What we`re talking about today is something completely different,
where you have to get in the back of the line. You have to pay taxes. We
don`t know what types of fines they are going to have to pay. There`s talk
of 2,000, 5,000. So it`s two completely different talks here of amnesty.

O`DONNELL: And Steve, Ann Coulter is on the "National Review" side.
She said "some Republicans seem determined to create more Democratic
voters. That would be the primary result of Senator Marco Rubio`s so-
called amnesty plan." She calls it an amnesty plan.

Steve, who is going to win this argument in the Republican party?. Or
will the -- do the Democrats even need -- in order to pas legislation, they
don`t need all the Republicans? They just need some.

SCHMIDT: No, it should be fascinating to watch. Into the storm goes
Marco Rubio. We are going to find out a lot about his ability to mount a
presidential campaign in the context of his ability to weather this storm,
to be able to convince Republicans, to able to evangelize his cause here.
If you can`t rally people to a great cause, then that`s a deficit going
into a presidential campaign.

And Marco Rubio goes into the storm now with conservatives and
Republicans about to have a critically important debate about the future of
our party.

O`DONNELL: Victoria Defrancesco Soto and Steve Schmidt, thank you
both for joining me tonight


SCHMIDT: Good to be here.

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


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