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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Wednesday, September 2013

September 25, 2013

Guests: Patricia Murphy, Caleb Lihn; Stacey Lihn; Omar Grant

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: What Ted Cruz pretended to do on the Senate
floor for 21 hours was fight the good fight to defund Obamacare. But what
he was really doing as everyone in the Senate knows -- what he was really
doing in his prearranged deal with Harry Reid, who allowed him to speak,
what Ted Cruz was really doing was offering his complete and total


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Most Americans could not give a flying

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Can`t stop, won`t stop.

CRUZ: Who cares?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ted Cruz needs to stop.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator Ted Cruz all for nothing talk-a-thon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fake filibustering.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess it`s all over but the shouting.

CRUZ: "Green Eggs and Ham" was my favorite book when I was a little

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really hasn`t really shouted.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Despite the 21-plus hours.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Senate voted in the past hour to move

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is no real end game here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The speech will do absolutely nothing.

CRUZ: I really do feel embarrassed by that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It will not defund the nation`s health care law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is just phony.

CRUZ: It`s a little bit like the World Wrestling Federation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is just pretend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This was the world`s longest presidential stump

SEN. MIKE LEE (R), UTAH: I hope one day to be granted the letter of
mark and reprisal --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cruz has been getting some backups.

LEE: -- so that I can become a pirate as a longed to be as a child.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You were the worst child I ever heard of.

LEE: I hope one day to be a pirate on the high seas.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you have heard of me.

LEE: You are invited to join me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cruz`s speech, which begun yesterday, referenced
everything hilariously beside the point from Nazis to Star Wars.

CRUZ: Nazi Germany. Ashton Kutcher. "Duck Dynasty". White Castle
burgers. Neville Chamberlain. The rebel alliance. "Green Eggs and Ham".
This Is life and death. Mike Lee, I am your father.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t think we learned anything.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think he thinks he is starring in a movie.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Has any one on Capitol Hill learned anything.

CRUZ: Absolutely not.


O`DONNELL: What you saw Ted Cruz do on the Senate floor yesterday
last night and this morning is surrender. It was total surrender.

But having very foolishly painted himself into a corner by pretending
it is possible to defund Obamacare, he had to find a way of surrendering
that didn`t look or sound like surrendering to the childish members of the
House of Representatives who foolishly thought he knew what he was doing
when we told them he would fight Obamacare in the Senate.

Experienced House Republicans, who know just a little bit about the
Senate, knew that Cruz was lying, all the Senate Republicans with the
possible exception of Cruz groupie Mike Lee knew that Cruz was lying.

Surrender in the Senate is normally a quicker and quieter affair than
Cruz`s meaningless long talk which was most certainly not a filibuster as
everyone knows. Ted Cruz`s 21-hour stunt was a nonstop admission he has no
tactic, no strategy, no way of winning, what he is pretending to fight for.

And as soon as he ended his ridiculous stunt at precisely the minute,
the minute hat he promised Harry Reid the day before that he would end his
ridiculous stunt, Republican Senator John McCain was granted time by the
Democratic majority leader to speak.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: The Affordable Care Act was on the
floor for 25 straight days, including weekends, between Thanksgiving and
Christmas of 2009. We fought as hard as we could in a fair and honest
manner. And we lost. And we lost. One of the reasons is because we were
in the minority.

And in democracies -- almost always -- the majority governs and passes

I would remind my colleagues that in the 2012 election, Obamacare as
it is called, and I will be more polite, the ACA, was a subject of that was
a major issue in the campaign. I campaigned all over America for two
months. Everywhere I could. And in every single campaign rally, I said
and we have to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Well, the people spoke. They spoke, much to my dismay, but they
spoke. And they re-elected the president of the United States.


O`DONNELL: For reasons that make sense only to Ted Cruz, Ted Cruz
then lined up to vote to proceed to the bill that he had just spent 21
hours trying to block. And then, he jumped on the phone with his biggest


CRUZ: The single biggest surprise in arriving to the Senate is the
defeatist attitude here. I mean, we don`t talk about how to win a fight.
There is no discussion about it. We talk, hey, let`s get a showboat so we
can go tell our constituents we are doing something.

But it, I promise you, Rush, if you had to sit through one Senate
lunch, you`d be in therapy for a month. I don`t know that you could -- as
bad as you might think it is -- and listen, these are good men and women, I
don`t -- I respect them. I like them. Many of these are my friends.

But they`ve been here a long time. And they`re beaten down. They
just -- they don`t believe we can win. They believe it can happen and the
answer the say on every issue is that we can`t do it. We can`t do it.

And, Washington, look in both parties, you have entrenched politician
whose have barely veiled contempt for the American people. I mean, they
their voters are gullible rubes.


O`DONNELL: No, it`s much harder to get Rush Limbaugh into therapy
than Ted Cruz thinks. Rush wouldn`t go into therapy for his drug

Joining me now, Steve Schmidt, a former McCain 2008 senior adviser;
David Axelrod, former senior advisor to President Obama; and Sam Stein,
political reporter for "The Huffington Post". All three are MSNBC

Steve, as you know, Republican senators on the floor are not normally
granted time to speak by the Democratic side. But it was Harry Reid who
reserved time for John McCain to deliver the lesson to Ted Cruz today.

People are saying now that the -- the bad blood between Cruz and
McCain is, is unfixable at this point. What`s your sense of it?

between Ted Cruz and a great many of his colleagues is unfixable. We have
never seen an instance in recent history at least, at least that I can
remember, where someone has arrived in the United States and performed in
the way that he has, the demagoguery, the stunts, the showboating.

What you see today is when he talks to Rush Limbaugh and he talks
about the rubes out there, I would argue a case of projection, because this
is a giant con that Ted Cruz, Rush Limbaugh, the conservative talk radio
hosts are all in on, trying to fire up the base of the party with regard to
something that is unachievable.

Look, David and I would disagree profoundly on Obamacare and
Affordable Care Act. I think it will be a disaster over the years ahead.
But the only way it will be repealed is if we elect the Republican
president, we have a Republican Congress, and that`s how you repeal it.

The stunt that he is doing has nothing to do with repealing anything,
has everything to do with positioning him for the 2016 presidential race.

O`DONNELL: David Axelrod, as soon as I heard yesterday Ted Cruz had
taken the floor, in, in this prearranged deal with Harry Reid, I knew that
what we were looking at was surrender. I knew heave couldn`t go out there
the way a lot of senators have in the past when they`re on certain
crusades. And admit as you come down to the vote that -- well, you know I
don`t hatch the votes. I`m going to try to bring this back up the next

And a lot will go out in a gentlemanly way. I know -- it was very
clear that he needed to go out with the big, bad exercise only Rush
Limbaugh would fall for.

of all, remember, last week, he ran afoul of his own movement in the House
Republicans by suggesting that the votes weren`t in there in the Senate to
defund Obamacare. So I think this was a bit of him seeking redemption from
his base.

And I wouldn`t underestimate, I don`t think it is just Rush who
probably was enthused about his performance. I think we -- we are -- we
are all a little bit smug because we read, read it for what it is. We have
seen this, this thing unfold over the last 24 hours.

But my sense is that, among this base, among the people he is trying
to appeal to this played, and I think Ted Cruz was well satisfied with his
21 hours. It is hilarious to hear him complain to Rush that all people in
Washington want to do is showboat after what he just pulled off.

But nonetheless, I think he, he was appealing to a base. It is a base
that is real in the Republican Party. And he is going to try and -- and go
after that, that base in 2016.

And the big, the big challenge for the Republican Party is -- will
that base pull the party over the cliff as it has in the past few cycles.

O`DONNELL: Now, let`s listen to senior senator from Texas who has
frequently been kind of intimidated by the junior Senator Ted Cruz into
agreeing with him. He didn`t agree with him on this one. Let`s listen to
John Cornyn.


SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R), TEXAS: To vote against cloture on the very bill
that we are for that came from the House that would defund Obamacare is a
little hard to explain. And it may well prompt the government shutdown
which I think benefits no one. And it could possibly damage our economy
which as I said earlier is fragile indeed.

Here is the ultimate irony: if we are to shut down the government,
because we refused to pass a continuing resolution to keep the government
operating, Obamacare still gets funded. That`s because it has mandatory
spending. In other words, automatic spending that even if the government
shut down, Obamacare still by and large gets funded.


O`DONNELL: Sam Stein, there is John Cornyn, who`s read a few too many
articles saying he is afraid of Ted Cruz going out there and dismantling
every aspect of Ted Cruz`s argument.

SAM STEIN, THE HUFFINGTON POST: Yes. Factually, he is right. There
is a congressional research service report, requested by another
conservative in the Senate, Tom Coburn, which showed very clearly that
Obamacare is based on mandatory spending. And mandatory spending does not
get turned off if you have a government shutdown.

So, to add further to evidence that this was just a giant show was the
fact that if they were to take to the logical degree that Ted Cruz promised
them to, it wouldn`t have done what he was pledging to do.

Let me add one thing to John McCain because to jump on David`s point
and Steve`s point, when John McCain came out there and mocked or slapped
down Ted Cruz for what he did, that almost helped Ted Cruz in a way. You
could see conservatives almost get gleeful about it, because they don`t
respect John McCain. They don`t think John McCain is a true conservative.

And when he was admonishing Ted Cruz for comparing people, his
opponents to Nazi sympathizers, you got a sense that conservatives were
angry with John McCain and not Ted Cruz. So, I agree with David and Steve.
I think this actually does benefit Ted Cruz politically in the long run.

O`DONNELL: David, exactly eight Republican senators went out there on
the floor to in any way associate themselves with Ted Cruz. And Rand Paul
was one of them, and Rand Paul asked him some difficult questions. Not all
the softball stuff the others were doing. And Rand Paul reportedly opposed
this Ted Cruz strategy in private Republican meetings.

So, let`s grant every one of those and say that all eight of those
senators are with Ted Cruz. So, so the Cruz wing of the Senate is 8
percent of the United States Senate.

AXELROD: Yes, what was interesting. By the way -- Rand Paul went on
FOX tonight I think. And -- and, kind of renounced the -- the strategy.
He did it gently. He did it carefully, but he did it pretty artfully. You
know, what he definitely was separating himself from Cruz.

But here is -- here is the disturbing reality if you are someone who
is worried about the Republican Party and the country, take Steve as an

You look at all the primary candidates running in 2014. And almost to
a person, candidates who are running in Senate primaries endorsed what Cruz
was doing. And I think they did that for the same reason that I think that
Cruz was happy with his performance, because there is an activist base in
the Republican Party, they`re overrepresented in Republican primaries, and
off year elections.

And they buy this. They`re the Rush Limbaugh Republicans. They`re
willing to follow this stuff right over the cliff.

O`DONNELL: Steve Schmidt, quickly before we go. What do you make of
Ted Cruz not being able this time to intimidate more Republican senators
into coming to his side during the show?

SCHMIDT: I think it is long overdue. Hopefully, this moment was the
bridge too far moment. And you will start to see leaders in the party
speak up against it, stop being cowed by the talk radio hosts out there and
take conservatism good name back.

By any objective measure, John Cornyn is a good conservative. He`s an
effective conservative. He`s a serious man. And, that he is being
attacked is betraying the conservative movement by these outside groups is
completely ludicrous.

And so, if you look at the reality that we`ve lost five U.S. Senate
seats over the last two cycles by nominating deeply flawed candidates
imposed on the party by low turnout primary voters who are very much in the
Ted Cruz wing of the -- of the party. We have paid a high political price
for it. I think increasingly for people who want to win the next
presidential election, you know, Limbaugh-ism, Cruz-ism is not the path to

And unless and until our elected leaders in the Republican Party stand
up against this idiocy, we`re going to have a very difficult time. And so,
I think you will increasingly see Republicans saying enough is enough with
this stuff.

AXELROD: Well, the next man up, Steve, is John Boehner. And the
question is whether he is going to be that Republican, whether he is going
to be that leader.

O`DONNELL: He is going to have to be.

Steve Schmidt, David Axelrod, and Sam Stein -- thank you all for
joining me tonight.

STEIN: Thanks, Lawrence.

AXELROD: Good to be with you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, we`re going to have more, the greatest hits of
the middle of the night filibuster. That`s where all the great stuff
happens. We have got it for you.

And we will have more on Ted Cruz`s motivation for his pretend

And hearing Obamacare attacked is really scaring some of the people
who love Obamacare. Like the family whose daughter has had three heart
surgeries, they will join us. And later, terrifying video from inside the
Navy Yard massacre last week, a survivor who refused to leave his co-worker
behind that day will join me.


O`DONNELL: President Obama has taken note of the biggest political
star in New York City, Dante de Blasio. Dante de Blasio met President
Obama last night at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in New York
City, where the president endorsed Dante`s dad, Democratic nominee for New
York City mayor, Bill de Blasio.

According to "The New York Times", President Obama said, "Dante has
the same hairdo as I had in 1978, although I have to confess my afro was
never that good. It was a little imbalanced." Everyone laughed of course.

Coming up -- the craziest and I mean craziest things said on the
Senate floor last night. I like filibusters so much that I even watched
the fake ones.



RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO HOST: Others have said that you`re just fund-
raising and you`re making it look like you`re doing something substantive,
but it`s just theater.

CRUZ: Well, you know, one of the approaches that those who want to
maintain the status quo, who want to maintain the status quo, who want to
make sure Obamacare stays funded, who want to avoid any risk, one of the
approaches they do is they try to make it all about people. They try to
make it all about personalities.


O`DONNELL: "Daily Beast" columnist Patricia Murphy`s newest piece,
"Ted Cruz`s fake fight against Obamacare is making millions", takes a
looking at the money Ted Cruz is raking in for conservative super PACs like
Senate Conservatives Fund and the Club for Growth. Both PACs spent
millions to get Ted Cruz elected, $1.3 million from the Senate Conservative
Funds, and $5.5 million for the Club for Growth.

Now, with Cruz`s help they`re getting their targeting Obamacare. The
Senate Conservatives Fund is behind this TV ad which you have seen showing
Ted Cruz.


CRUZ: The Constitution gives Congress the power of the purse. And we
need Congress to stand up and defund Obamacare now.


O`DONNELL: Joining me now -- oh, we`ve got a teleprompter that is
flying by. Let`s just go to the guest. The prompter is out of control.
There`s a lot of words in there, but we lost them all.

Joining me "Daily Beast" columnist, Patricia Murphy, and "Washington
Post" columnist, MSNBC political analyst, E.J. Dionne.

Patricia, this gives you much more time to talk and teach us.


O`DONNELL: I think what we stuck in the prompter, I was going to
cheat and steal stuff from your piece.

MURPHY: You got my name, I`m impressed.


So, Patricia, there is Rush Limbaugh asking is this a stunt? What is
your analysis about what is behind this scene on the Senate floor last
night, which clearly had absolutely no impact on the business of the

MURPHY: Well, my first analysis is that Ted Cruz had no choice but to
mount this filibuster because he has so alienated the House Republican
caucus by saying we don`t have the votes in the Senate, why don`t you guys
in the House stay strong? He got so much blowback from conservatives that
he really needed to do something. So that was the immediate situation for

But also he has spent the last month, month and a half, spending an
enormous amount of time cutting ads for the Senate Conservative Funds doing
robocalls, starring in mailers. He`s put an enormous time into the effort.
Those groups were instrumental in his election. Millions of dollars plowed
into his race. He was absolutely an underdog, that he had millions of
super PAC money come into the Texas race.

Those groups that helped him get elected now are helping him push this
movement forward. He is doing it from the inside of the Senate. They`re
doing it on the outside of the Senate. They are not only raising money for
themselves, crucially they`re building a list of potential donors, 1.5
million people have signed the petition that Cruz was pushing.

That is basically a war chest in waiting, whenever they want to flip
that switch, 2014, for any presidential race in 2016. They will flip that
switch. They`ve got the names. They`ve got the energy from the very upset
activists. I think their passion is genuine.

I think that Cruz and a number of Republicans have told me this, they
believe Cruz is doing that to basically profit off the outrage.

O`DONNELL: Haley Barbour doesn`t like the way some of the --
organizations operate because they don`t just try to elect Republicans they
attack Republicans.

Let`s listen to what Haley Barbour said about this.


voted to repeal Obamacare in one form or another about 40 times, since it
went into effect. Yet some of these groups like the Senate Conservative
Fund, Club for Growth, attack the same Republicans that voted against
Obamacare. But they attack them over tactics.

Well, they should have gone at it this way. The legislative strategy,
there is no excuse for making people think a conservative congressman who`s
got a 98 percent conservative voting record is a bad person because you
disagree with him on his tactics.


O`DONNELL: E.J. Dionne, the Democratic Party has to be grateful for
some of the choices that the groups are making?

E.J. DIONNE, WASHINGTON POST: Oh, absolutely. I just want to say by
the way, isn`t Ted Cruz the best thing that happened to political cable
since Sarah Palin? It`s really striking --

O`DONNELL: E.J., I actually, I actually fell asleep last night
watching C-Span 2 in the middle of the night, here Pacific Time. I am
watching until what was 5:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Some of the greatest stuff
C-Span has ever had. We`re going to show greatest hits later in the show.

DIONNE: You know, we don`t talk about work a day legislators. You
know, Jeff Merkley, Lamar Alexander. I just want to record that.

But Patricia`s good piece makes a good point. What we have created is
a kind of an ideological revolving fund where groups raise money, they
elect candidates on the right fringes. Those candidates create issues, and
that if members of Congress don`t go along, then they raise money off the
issues. And then they threaten more members just like Haley Barbour talked
about with primaries.

And it just keeps going like this. There is going to be an IPO for
these ideological revolving fund. And I do think in the long run, it is
damaging for the Republican Party, (a), because a lot of primaries aren`t
helpful, but, (b), they end up with candidates like Richard Mourdock and
all kinds of other people who lose elections.

But Patricia is right. I think the people who give money to these
groups feel very passionately and this machine just keeps that passion

O`DONNELL: Patricia, McKay Coppins on "BuzzFeed" makes this point
about Cruz compared to other Republicans. As of June 30th, the Cruz PAC,
the Jobs Growth and Freedom Fund, raised just $313,323 with $183,000 cash
on hand. According to (INAUDIBLE), that`s a far cry from the $1.8 Rubio`s
PAC has raised, and the $929,000 Rand Paul`s PAC has taken in.

But, Patricia, it seems to me that your point is these other
organizations send millions of dollars into the Cruz campaign. So, you
can`t really judge Cruz`s political wealth by the dollars he is personally
putting into his own PAC?

MURPHY: Well, what`s most important about leadership PACs is that
there is a limit to how much they can spend at the time they can $5,000 at
a time to other candidates. With the super PAC like the Senate
Conservative Action, that is unlimited donations.

And Club for Growth Action, unlimited donations. That`s when they
could give him $5.5 million, actually spent it on the race. They can`t
give it directly to a candidate. But they spent $5.5 million in his race

So, you could spend a lot of time raising $5,000 increments for these
other groups, or you could just dump $5.5 million into race. You get a lot
more bang for your buck. And what Republicans told me this week that just
has been so infuriated is that Cruz is raising money for this group that is
running ads against their fellow Republicans. They said, why don`t you run
it against Democrats, run it against Obama?

He is raising money against his own colleagues that is what has
Republicans so upset.

O`DONNELL: Patricia Murphy, great article, I learned a lot.

MURPHY: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Patricia Murphy and E.J. Dionne, thank you both for
joining me tonight.

DIONNE: Good to be with you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up -- as I promised -- the comedy gold from Ted
Cruz and his sidekick Mike Lee who actually said and I believe meant it,
that he wanted to be a pirate. That`s in the "Rewrite".


O`DONNELL: In the spotlight tonight, the benefits of Obamacare.

As the Obama administration prepares for the health care exchanges to
open for enrollment next week, the administration announced today that
premiums, health care premiums will actually be lower than anticipated in
those exchange.

According to report from the department of health and human services,
the premiums before tax credits and subsidies will be more than 16 percent
lower than projected over the last 24 hours. We have heard many things on
the Senate floor about Obamacare. Not very many of them true. But what
about the people who have benefited from Obamacare. Take for example 3-
year-old Zoe Lihn who suffers from a congenital heart defect. You might
remember her mom Stacey spoke a year ago at the Democratic National
Convention about how without Obamacare, Zoe`s life would be in jeopardy.


STACEY LIHN, HEALTH CARE ADVOCATE: Zoe`s third open heart surgery
will happen either next year o year or the year after. If Mitt Romney
becomes president, and Obamacare is repealed, there is a good chance she
will hit her lifetime cap. There is no way we can afford to pay for all of
the care she need to survive. When you have a sick child it is always in
the back of your mind, and sometimes in the front of your mind.


O`DONNELL: Joining me now are Stacy, Caleb, Emerson and Zoe Lynn.

Stacy, of course, president was reelected. Obamacare not repealed.
And Zoe just had the third operation you were talking about?

STACEY LIHN: She did. Just had her third open heart surgery August
13. As you can see she is sick weeks post-op and doing fabulous. Aren`t
you, Zoe?

O`DONNELL: Caleb, what would you look to say to senators like Ted
Cruz who just can go out there for hours talking about what they believe is
so un-American and just, he actually talks about Obamacare as being morally

CALEB LIHN, HEALTH CARE ADVOCATE: Well, I would take the converse
position that his partisan relationship that, you know, targeted toward
threatening and ultimately, you know, his goal, if you taking away or
repealing Obamacare is morally wrong.

I mean, to me, the access to health care and the care for, you know,
having for a condition that you are born with or no fault of your own,
having those rights take any way from you, to me, that is morally wrong. I
think that, Obamacare serves a purpose that is important. And you know, it
is really just infuriating to have him stand up there and spend his time on

O`DONNELL: Stacey, how is Zoe feeling and could you ask her to tell
us herself how she is feeling these days?

STACEY LIHN: Hey, Zoe, how are you feeling? Are you feeling good?
What did you have done a couple weeks ago? Do you remember? Where did we
go in Philadelphia?

CALEB LIHN: Why did you go to Philadelphia?

STACEY LIHN: Are you feeling good?

ZOE LIHN, 3-YEARS-OLD: Because I got my heart fixed.

STACEY LIHN: You got your heart fixed? Are you feeling better. She
is feeling great.

O`DONNELL: Yes, I, you know, I mean there is a 3-year-old who got her
heart fixed. We didn`t hear Stacey, we didn`t hear in, in over 20 hours on
the Senate floor, we dent hear a single Republican try to tell a story look

STACEY LIHN: Right. No, you certainly didn`t hear about Zoe. And
you didn`t hear about all the benefits that she is gaining from the
affordable care act. And we are just so pleased to have that benefit and
have that security and protection that Obamacare provide for Zoe for the
rest of her life.

O`DONNELL: Caleb, I noticed when Dick Durbin want out there and asked
questions of Ted Cruz about does he really want to get rid of the
preexisting conditions benefit in the -- and Cruz would say no. He would
say I would look to do that another way to virtually every good thing that
Dick Durbin raised about the bill, Ted Cruz and Republicans will say, no,
we think we can fix that a different way. Have you ever heard from the
Republican side something that sound like it might work for you.

CALEB LIHN: No, not at all. In fact I heard a lot of talk for a long
time, for many months about, you know, repeal and replace. But you know,
never got into the replace part. It has all been repeal, repeal, repeal.
And I don`t think they have been able to or will be able to articulate, an
operable solution that is an alternative to Obamacare. And that`s just it.
They, you know, they realized that there is good parts to it and they are
going to help people, people like Zoe and our family and they want to sort
of brush those to the side and cherry pick, one or two things they think
can be perceived as negative and focus on those. Use that to, you know
sort of carry on the misinformation campaign.

O`DONNELL: Stacey, I just want to point out to America you and the
kids are in Arizona right now. And so you are in that western time zone.
You are not keeping them up too much past their bedtime.


O`DONNELL: Stacy, Caleb, Emerson, Zoe, thank you all very much for
joining us tonight. Thank you.

CALEB LIHN: Thank you, Lawrence.

STACEY LIHN: Thank you. Say bye.



Coming up, new video from inside the Washington Navy yard shows the
murder moving through the building before he killed 12 people. A survivor
will join us.


O`DONNELL: Former President Bush supports marriage equality, at least
for one couple. The former president and first lady were actually official
witnesses at the wedding of Bonnie Clement and Helen Thortleson. The
couple took a picture as the former president signed their marriage
license. The same-sex marriage has been legal in Maine since December. A
spokesman for the former president said only that the Bushes were private
citizens attending a private ceremony for two friends.

The pen and teller of the United States Senate, the comedy team of Ted
Cruz and Mike Lee is next in "the rewrite."


O`DONNELL: At 2:40 a.m. eastern time, Utah senator Mike Lee rose on
the Senate floor and told the world this.


SEN. MIKE LEE (R), UTAH: I`m told the climatologists can prove there
is impact by the butterflies in south America on whether patterns in north
America. I don`t exactly know how. But you would have to get to a lot,
you have to make a lot of inferences before you got there.


O`DONNELL: There were a whole lot of inferences flying around the
Senate floor last night. But not a lot of senators helping Ted Cruz with
his fake filibuster. In a real filibuster, senators are allowed to yield
to other senators only for questions. That is the only way the
filibustering senator can maintain control of the Senate floor. And that`s
what Ted Cruz did last night in his pretend filibuster.

The questions in filibusters are almost always offered by friend who
are there to help the filibustering senator rest his voice by asking very,
very long-winded questions that don`t sound like questions at almost of the


LEE: Regardless of how long I might serve in the United States
Senate, I hope one day to be granted a letter of Mark and reprisal so I can
become a pirate as I long to be as a child.


O`DONNELL: There were only eight senators who wanted to be associated
with Ted Cruz`s fake filibuster. And at least one of those senators, Rand
Paul, reportedly tried to talk Cruz out of doing this meaningless stunt.
So Cruz was able to attract something resembling support from about eight
percent of the United States Senate. All the rest of the Republican
senators shunned him throughout his pretend filibuster. That left him on
his own for long stretches, and Ted Cruz demonstrated that he doesn`t know
enough about Obamacare to get him through the night.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: There are person whose have no money. And
you turn to the law. But the law is not a breast that fills itself with
milk, nor at the lactate veins of the law supplied with milk from a source
outside the society. You look right now at one of the most popular
television shows in the United States, "Duck Dynasty." This is a show
about a God-fearing family, a successful entrepreneurs who love guns, who
love to hunt, and who believe in the American dream. I`m a big fan of
eating white castle burgers.


O`DONNELL: Of course he is. No senator was more helpful to Ted Cruz
than his new groupie Mike Lee who once they cross the 3:00 a.m. mark,
started asking questions that were actually questions.


LEE: Senator Cruz, I would like to ask you. Do you know how long the
100 years war lasted? Can you tell me, Senator Cruz, where do Chinese
gooseberries come from? Do you know what color the black box is? Can you
tell me what part of the world the Panama hat comes from? The device known
as a camel`s hairbrush, do you know what it is made of?


O`DONNELL: Imagine, imagine how hard this was for Ted Cruz? Who
famously said when he was Harvard law school student, that he would not
study with anyone who had not graduated from Harvard college, Yale or
Princeton. Unfortunately for Ted Cruz, Mike Lee went to Brigham Young for
both college and law school.


CRUZ: Mike Lee, I am your father.


O`DONNELL: But lest you think Mike Lee`s ridiculous questions proved
Ted Cruz`s point about why he never wanted to study with anyone who went to
Brigham Young, consider Ted Cruz`s answers none of which were even like a
1/2 inch above Mike Lee`s intellectual level.


LEE: What color is a purple finch?

CRUZ: Again, I will yield for purpose of that question. To note a
purple finch, listen, like most husbands, I have a color pallet, about six
colors. I remember once, my wife asked me with regard to a tile that well
were redoing our bathroom. It was a white tile. She was long distance.
She said, what shade of white? I will note a question I was utterly
incapable of responding to. I wasn`t aware there were shades of white.
And my vocabulary does not cover such things. I finally dropped it in a
FedEx envelope I simply sent it to her. It is a white tile. I know
nothing beyond that.

But yes, your question, what color is a purple finch? I would tend to
think it would be purple. But I would think wrong if that were the case
because a purple finch is crimson red?


O`DONNELL: Is it any wonder that more Republican senators didn`t want
a piece of that action?


CRUZ: Chinese gooseberries actually come from New Zealand. In fact,
in my mind, I heard the music from "the shining" or not the shining, from
"psycho" in the shower scene.


O`DONNELL: Note to c-span. For the sound track of Ted Cruz`s
speeches please consider the music from "psycho."


O`DONNELL: The FBI released video showing the Navy yard mass murder
moving through the building. One of the people who escaped will join me.



die during the attack and accepted death as the inevitable consequence of
his actions.


O`DONNELL: Today, the FBI released new details and disturbing new
video of the Navy yard massacre of the gunman just moments before he went
on a shooting rampage. In the 30-second video we see the gunman arriving
at the Navy yard, driving his rental car into a parking garage. He then
walks through the front glass door of building 197 carrying a bag on his
left shoulder. We then see the gunman walking down a hallway carrying his
sawed-off shotgun looking into an office door and continuing down the

In the last 11 seconds of the video the gunman goes through another
set of doors and peers around a corner of a wall before heading down
another hallway. Over the next hour the gunman shot and killed 12 people,
wounded four others with this Remington 870 shotgun. The shotgun had
purple duct tape wrapped around it and messages etched into it including
"end to the torment," "not what you all say, "belter off this way," "my elf
weapon," which the FBI explained this way.


PARLAVE: At this point, I can confirm there are multiple indicators
that Alexis held a delusional belief that he was being controlled or
influenced by extremely low frequency or ELF, electromagnetic waves. An in
addition, a document retrieved from the electronic media stated, quote,
"ultra low frequency attack is what I have been subject to for the last
three months. And to be perfectly honest, that is what has driven me to


O`DONNELL: Joining me now is Omar Grant, a Washington Navy yard
contractor. He was in building 197 when the shooting started but was able
to escape and help a blind employee do the same.

Mr. Grant, what is it like for you to seep this video now of him
moving through the building and coming very closer to where you were?

OMAR GRANT, ESCAPE NAVY YARD SHOOTING: The first time I saw the video
earlier today I got to admit it was anger. Anger, I don`t know the time
line of this video. But it was, either he had already shot people that I
know, or was getting ready to shoot people that I know and I have known for
years. Just watching him walk through the same halls that I have walked
through, and doing what he is getting ready to do or has already done, it
was a lot of anger.

O`DONNELL: You helped, you didn`t just escape yourself, but you
helped a blind employee escape with you. And, did you have any encounters
with this man before he went on that rampage in the course of working

GRANT: No. I didn`t have any encounters with him. I am sure I had
seen him around because I am in IT and I get around the whole building.
Three people who work in the code that I support were killed by this gunman
and others wounded. You know, it`s strange that not only of all the
buildings at the Navy yard for him to shoot, start shooting in my building
on the floor that, that I support. And kill people that I know it`s every
time I see the video of him, walking around like he did, like I said right
now. I still have some anger toward him. And --

O`DONNELL: Do you have any sense of why if his movements were being
monitored on video that, that it seems no one was actually monitoring that
video as the it was coming in live?

GRANT: That would be a question best answered by the security force
there within the building. I had no access to anything, you know,
monitoring equipment like that. Although that particular shot right there,
looks like, it`s, looks like the same hallway in that door is like the one
that I left out of when I exited the building.

O`DONNELL: Wow. The -- your sense of safety in general when you
would enter the Navy yard complex. I assume you had hey high level of
safety going there?

GRANT: Yes, I had been going there for many years. And just like
many bases, it is like there is a since of feeling of, a feeling of safety
going to an establishment such as that. Just the fact that it is a
military installation and plus, there are armed guards, around, and the
other types of security that was on the base. Yes, you do feel safe.

O`DONNELL: How long did it take you to realize what was actually
happening. How was it communicated to you?

GRANT: Well, after I heard the first two shots I was in atrium near
the cafeteria. I didn`t want to believe that it was shots. And other
people who sit near the atrium area were leaning over and asking me from a
second, third, floor, is like what was that is not? Because you don`t want
to think it is gunshots. You know, we heard three more gunshots. And then
the alarm went off within the building. Then we all knew, exactly what it

O`DONNELL: Omar Grant, I`m very sorry for your experience that day.

And thank you very, very much for joining us tonight.

GRANT: Thank you very much.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.


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