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

'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Monday, October 14th, 2013

Read the transcript to the Monday show

October 14, 2013
Guest: Ezra Klein, Mark Patterson, Steve Schmidt, E.J. Dionne, Dorian


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Boehner could end this thing tomorrow.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Do we really want to compromise
John Boehner as leader of the House?

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC HOST, "NOW": I don`t know. Yes? Maybe?

SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: Look, we`re in a bad place.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fight was about defunding Obamacare. We won

CORKER: All of us now are talking about spending.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Won that? The Republicans are going to have to admit
they lost this crazy fight.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: How do you tell you`re losing in
American politics?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sarah Palin was at Senator Ted Cruz`s side.

O`DONNELL: Sarah Palin is standing right beside you.

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Is this any way that a commander
in chief would show his respect?

O`DONNELL: That`s how you tell you`re losing in this game.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s talk about the crazy caucus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Tea Party Republicans. Isolated and nihilistic

REP. STEVE KING (R), NEW YORK: Ted Cruz is going to try to do this again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People carrying confederate flags. Calling President
Obama a Muslim.

LARRY KLAYMAN, FREEDOM WATCH: The president who bows down to Allah.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Total anarchy and chaos.

pain on the American people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We`ve become detached from Hubble telescope.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, this is awkward but government is shut down.

OBAMA: This whole shutdown has been completely unnecessary.


O`DONNELL: On day 14 of the federal government shutdown, with just three
days until the United States is projected the debt ceiling, it looked to
the world as if Congress did nothing today. It looked like the United
States Senate accomplished nothing today. But in fact the Senate confirmed
two more women to federal judgeships by a vote of 90 to nothing.

The Senate confirmed Madeleine Haikala as a U.S. district judge in northern
Alabama and by unanimous consent, that is by without even bothering to have
a roll call vote. The Senate confirmed Andrea Wood as a U.S. district
judge in the northern district of Illinois.

And the Senate did this. Because Majority leader Harry Reid has a better
working relationship with minority leader Mitch McConnell than is commonly
understood or reported. Mitch McConnell had to work behind the scenes for
weeks with Harry Reid to quietly bring those two confirmations to the
Senate floor and to deftly submit them to a vote without provoking any
crazy objections or filibusters from Ted Cruz or anyone else.

And it is not easy to do that. And Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell do it
all the time and do it virtually invisibly. And while they were at it, the
other thing they tried to do today is save the country from going into
default and reopen the government.


REID: We`ve made tremendous progress. We are not there yet. But everyone
needs to be patient. We will have no more votes tonight. And we hope with
good fortune and the support of all of you recognizing how hard this is for
everybody, that perhaps tomorrow would be a bright day. We`re not there
yet. We hope it will be.

MCCONNELL: Let me echo the remarks of the majority leader. We`ve had a
good day. Had a good day yesterday, had another good day today. I think
it`s safe to say we`ve made substantial progress and we look forward to
making more progress in the near future.


O`DONNELL: Reid-McConnell agreement would reportedly fund the federal
government at current spending levels through January 15 raise the debt
ceiling through the first week of February. It reportedly could include a
delay in a $63 per person insurance fee on work provided insurance plans in
the health care law as well as income verification measures for people
seeking subsidies under the new health care law.

The Senate Republicans are scheduled to meet at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow. The
House Republicans will have their weekly 9:00 a.m. meeting as scheduled.

This afternoon President Obama volunteered at food pantry, beside
furloughed federal workers and use the opportunity to sound the large one
again about default.


OBAMA: This week we`ll be entering into the third week of the government
shutdown that was completely unnecessary. There are going to be defenses
with the parties. There are going to be differences in terms of budget
priorities. But we don`t need to inflict pain on the American people or
risk the possibility that America`s full faith and credit is damaged just
because one side is not getting its way.

And, you know, not only is it untenable for us to continue this shutdown,
this week. If we don`t start making some real progress both in the House
and the Senate, and if Republicans are not willing to set aside some of
their differences in order to do what`s right for the country, we stand a
good chance of defaulting.


O`DONNELL: And the president gave his view of the state of play in


OBAMA: I think that there is -- there`s been some progress on the Senate
side with Republicans recognizing it`s not tenable, it`s not smart, it`s
not good for the American people to let America default. I think House
Republicans continue to think that somehow they can extract concessions by
keeping the government shut down or by threatening default. And my hope is
that a spirit of cooperation would move us forward.


O`DONNELL: Joining me now, NBC News Capitol Hill correspondent Luke
Russert, the "Washington Post" Ezra Klein and MSNBC analyst, and Mark
Patterson, former chief of staff of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

And Luke Russert, state of play as of this very moment, 10:06 p.m.?

LUKE RUSSERT, NBC NEWS CAPITOL HILL: Well, the state of play, Lawrence, is
that more likely than not we`ll see the official unveiling of this deal
that you mentioned in your opening tomorrow and possibly if everyone agreed
by unanimous consent the Senate could possibly hit the floor tomorrow, more
likely than not, Wednesday. And part of that is intentional because it
leaves John Boehner less time to try and bring up a different bill on the
House floor, really trying to jam the U.S. House of Representatives.

However, from where we stand right now, from conversations I`ve had, House
Republicans are already limited this deal from what they`ve heard about it
because they don`t feel it does enough to address the president`s health
care law. So in theory, the conversations within the House Republican
conference is Thursday really the drop dead deadline? Could we try and
negotiate to get to something better that does more to the health care law
that wouldn`t necessarily leave us just having to pass the Senate`s bill?

Now obviously folks like John Boehner and Eric Cantor, Lawrence, would
react to what the market does, and if the market totally tanks come
Thursday because the House is sitting on this Senate bill, perhaps that
would spur them to act more quickly but you`re starting to hear then the
House Republican ranks that maybe not Thursday as the worst day. Maybe we
could go into the weekend to try and get a better deal.

It`s a fascinating dynamic. But from where we stand right now, we always
knew the House Republican conference is not going like this because it
didn`t go after the president`s health care law enough. Anything it
constructed, enough of a concession for the debt limit. But they might
want to be playing this out, this game further.

We`ve all gone along being it Thursday with the drop dead deadline there is
some folks right there who may drag this on further and the leadership
might not necessarily have control of it, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Ezra Klein, what`s your analysis of the moving parts of the
deal as it is being currently described?

EZRA KLEIN, WASHINGTON POST: The fundamental change in trying to make a
deal is they`re taking a process that began as an argument over Obamacare.
Right? It began with Ted Cruz and other Republican trying to change
Obamacare. And they`re trying to make it an argument over sequestration.
The entire timing architecture of the deal is actually pretty important.
Why? The Susan Collins deal fell apart over the weekend. The timing of a
deal is that the government is funded through January 15th but the debt
ceiling is raised until after that.

Until, I believe, it`s February 9th. And the reason they chose January
15th is that`s the day when the next set of the 2014 sequester cuts begin.
And so what Democrats want to do, what they believe they can do is because
Republicans have gotten so badly beaten on this particular shutdown, today
in the "Washington Post"/ABC News poll, their disapproval is up to 74

Because they`re gone so badly beaten, they`re not going to want to have
another shutdown. And that`s going to mean they`re going to be more eager
Democrats hope to cut a deal and so they`re going to create this budget
negotiation process that I think is going to end in mid December. And the
hope is that they can use that to replace or change or somehow modify
sequestration before the next set of 2014 cuts take effect on January 15th
because Democrats really hate that.

O`DONNELL: Mark Patterson, I have so many questions for you tonight.
Having worked in the Treasury and watched the way these calculations are
made about when will we hit the debt ceiling exactly even if we use of our
tricks. What would you say to House Republicans who are saying tonight, do
we really hit some dramatic point on Thursday?

there is a lot of misunderstanding about that date, Lawrence. And the
important thing to know is that the 17th is the day after which Treasury
can no longer guarantee that it -- they can make all payments.

The Treasury secretary did not say he has no cash left on that day. In
fact he`s estimated he`ll have $30 billion. And since we`ve had a
shutdown, maybe he`ll have a little more than that. But this is kind of
like the idea of driving up with your car on empty, about to go through the
desert and passing the last gas station intentional and saying, you know,
I`ll take my chances, maybe there will be another gas station down the road
somewhere in the desert.


OK. That`s what`s going pass the 17th was about. You might be able to go
farther. You just might because cash does come in over the transfer
everyday of the Treasury, but you just don`t know how far you can make it.

O`DONNELL: Luke Russert, when you talked to members up there, what is your
sense of how many are just playing disbelieving of everything that comes
out of the Treasury about this sort of thing?

RUSSERT: I think there is a caucus of about 30 or so that we refer to as
the suicide caucus, the Cruz caucus, and having many different variations
of what their name is. But they sincerely believe that with U.S. could
default, the U.S. would be fine. And remember, Ted Yoho even said it might
be a good thing for the U.S. to default. It would help us get our House in
order, quote-unquote.

And Lawrence, going back to when I covered this story in 2011 when we had
this showdown the last time. One other things that`s fascinating is when
that 2010 class came in there were dozens upon dozens of Republicans who
were elected who had never held elected office before. It was their first
time really at the public trough at any capacity. And the lack of a
fundamental understanding of basic economic principles was to me this is a
-- as a cover photo at the time, quite alarming as someone who had just
taken the One Econ class in their life.

And that mindset is not necessarily, totally dissipated as we march towards
this deadline on Thursday. And I think that`s something that the
leadership really fears is that when this deal possibly comes over, you
will have this group saying we can keep fighting. We can keep fighting.
We can keep fighting.

What I am really interested to see, though, and we`ve talked about this on
your show before, is Wall Street starting to speak up. At what point do
they say, hey, we will not fund you at all. The Democrats become now the
party of financial stability if you continue to do this. Because this
gambit they can run on Thursday might be the thing that forces that.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to Bill O`Reilly talking about one small piece of
the Affordable Care Act that might be in the deal that Harry Reid is
working on.


BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: No Obamacare on the table in any way,
shape or form, right?

apparently in this agreement that the labor unions didn`t like. It`s
called a re-insurance tax. And that would be their postponed or cancelled


O`REILLY: So there is a little thing (INAUDIBLE) thing that the union
don`t like? But all the -- all of the chaos about funding Obamacare,
that`s all gone?


O`DONNELL: Ezra Klein, how would you explain this provision, this re-
insurance provision to Bill O`Reilly in simple terms and quickly?

KLEIN: It is small. So what you`re doing is you`re putting a tax,
essentially it`s going to become a tax on insurance companies and you`re
using it to refund money to the insurance companies who end up as sicker
folks, and the reason you`re doing that is because you need to create an
incentive in the system for insurers not to find some subtle way of getting
only the healthy people and leaving the sick people.

What you do then is basically you just find a way punishing them but the
way you fund that up front is this re-insurance tax as you need funding for
your one. They`re delaying that. I`m not exactly sure if they`re just
going to make the money up out of the deficit or some other pay-for. It`s
not a huge deal for the law. It would be a big deal if you cancelled re-
insurance all together but basically it`s just the way of making sure
insurers don`t have a big incentive to only take healthy people.

O`DONNELL: Mark Patterson, quickly before you go. I want to draw now on
your Senate experience when you were working in the Democratic leader`s
office in the Senate and you would have been there tonight if you`re still
on that staff, working with Mitch McConnell staff on trying to put this
together. Describe for us what you think is going on in those offices
tonight and what you expect to see tomorrow.

PATTERSON: Well, they`re trying to hash out the last details of the
provision Ezra just described. But I think what they`re probably most
focused on is the procedural hoops they may need to go through in order to
get this thing over to the House. And if they have determined opposition
on the part of Cruz or anybody else, you can easily take four days before
you can get a bill through the Senate because there is a filibuster
opportunity on the motion to proceed and a filibuster opportunity on the

So what they`ll be doing is trying to talk all the members of the
Republican caucus out of pulling those shenanigans in order to get this
bill over the House, give the House a chance to pass it by Thursday.

O`DONNELL: Luke Russert, Ezra Klein and Mark Patterson, thank you all for
joining me tonight.

PATTERSON: Thank you.

RUSSERT: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Ted Cruz is ripping the Republican Party apart now
with the help of Sarah Palin.

And in the "Rewrite" tonight, why the owner of the Washington football team
is now presenting himself as the George Wallace of the NFL.

And at Fenway Park in Boston this week it`s not all about winning. It`s
also about lifting the city`s spirits after the Boston marathon bombing.
We will bring you a very deeply moving rendition of the national anthem at
Fenway Park. That`s coming up.


O`DONNELL: Grand Canyon National Park reopened this weekend after the
state of Arizona agreed to pay to keep the park open during the federal
government shutdown. This is only the second time the park had ever been
closed since becoming a national park in 1919. But the price to keep it
open is much less than the price of actually keeping it closed to the state
and to the nearby towns.

The superintendent of the park knows exactly how much it costs.


park alone over a million a day in terms of gross revenues in what was
lost. (INAUDIBLE) over a million. The river operators, I think, lost
$900,000 in the first 11 days. So it was a financial and economic disaster
for all of us.


O`DONNELL: Up next, what Ted Cruz and the Tea Party are costing the
Republican Party.



SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Our military, our vets, our --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re an idiot.


O`DONNELL: How do you tell you`re losing in American politics? Sarah
Palin is standing right beside you. That`s the position Ted Cruz found
himself in this weekend. Cruz and Sarah Palin rallied outside the World
War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. protesting the closure of war memorials
due to the government shut down. The same government shutdown that Ted
Cruz helped happen.


PALIN: You look around, though, and you see these barricades and you have
to ask yourself, is this any way that a commander in chief would show his
respect, his gratitude to our military? We will not be timid in calling
out any who would use our military, our vets as pawns in a political game.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Our veterans should be above politics. Enough


O`DONNELL: Today yet another poll finds Americans disapproving of the way
the Republicans have dealt with the budget negotiations. Only 21 percent
of Americans approve of the way Republicans are handling negotiations, 74
percent disapprove, for Democrats 33 percent approve while 63 percent
approve, and for the president 42 percent approve and 53 percent

Joining me now is Steve Schmidt, a senior advisor for the McCain-Palin
campaign in `08 and an MSNBC political analyst, and E.J. Dionne,
"Washington Post" columnist and an MSNBC contributor.

Steve, we have a winner in the value voters summit presidential straw poll.
This weekend Ted Cruz ran away with it at 42 percent. Ben Carson, 14
percent, tied with Rick Santorum. Rand Paul way, way, way down at 6
percent. Marco Rubio at 5 percent. And of course the -- at this time four
years ago, the winner was Mike Huckabee who as I recall did not even run
for president.

So, Steve, his act is working in that corner of the party.

STEVE SCHMIDT, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: There is no question that it`s
working in that corner of the party. And if you look at this disaster,
political disaster that has -- that has unfolded over the last 11 days it
may be a precursor to the great issue that confronts the Republican Party
in 2016.

Is it possible for the party to abandon its tradition of nominating the
most electable conservative. And to go down the path of someone like Ted
Cruz. And then we will see in the course of 2016 election a rejection by
the American people of Ted Cruz and the Republican Party, the likes that we
haven`t since 1964.

But unlike Barry Goldwater`s candidacy, it will not be the root of a
conservative resurgence that takes place sometimes later. We will have a
profoundly negative impact on the Republican Party for a generation to

O`DONNELL: John McCain asked the Republican Party the basic question about
Ted Cruz this weekend. Let`s listen to what he had to say.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Ted Cruz is entitled to his views and he is
very articulate, he`s very intelligent. Look, I respect Senator Cruz. He
didn`t make any bones about what he was going to do when he came to
Washington. The question is, should we follow that leadership or should we
go in other directions and coalesce the majority of the American people?


O`DONNELL: E.J. Dionne, as you know, whenever a senator says I respect
senator so and so, the negative comes right after that. And so there`s
John McCain saying we shouldn`t be following Ted Cruz`s leadership.

E.J. DIONNE, JR., THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, you know, my favorite
McCainism lately came today where he was looking at all these awful polls
the Republicans have and in that light but cutting way of his, he said,
we`re living the dream.


It`s amazing. And I think today`s "Washington Post" poll included a fact
that I think is really important to Republicans, which is this shutdown
lost Republicans half of their own party. According to "Post"/ABC, only 49
percent of Republicans approve this shutdown, 47 percent disapprove.
Whereas Democrats were basically united behind both their members of
Congress and President Obama.

When you`re throwing away half of your party, that ought to send you a
message and following your own far right, the people at that rally there
who are not people who are going to win a general election. If you follow
them down a path like this, you`re going to get into a lot of trouble. And
so there ought to be a real soul searching of the party at the end of all
this if they`re not to avoid that future that Steve suggested with a
blowout in 2016.

O`DONNELL: I want to listen to someone else who spoke from that same
microphone that Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz were handing back a forth. Let`s
listen to what Freedom Watch founder Larry Klayman had to say.


LARRY KLAYMAN, FOUNDER, FREEDOM WATCH: I call upon all of you to wage a
second American non-violent revolution to use civil disobedience and to
demand that this president leave town. To get out. To put the -- to put
the Quran down, to get above his knees and to figuratively come out with
his hands out -- up.


O`DONNELL: Steve Schmidt, in fairness to Cruz, I believe this was after he
had left so I don`t think he actually heard that. But he`s appearing in a
group that invites this kind of speech.

SCHMIDT: Well, Larry Klayman is disgraceful. What he said yesterday was a
disgrace. And Ted Cruz, despite the political disastrous path he has led
the Republican Party down, he is a sitting United States senator. He has
an absolute obligation in my view having been at that rally to repudiate
that hate speech very directly and very clearly.

That is extremist talk. It has no place in American politics, in the
discussions even though they`re lively that we had back and forth between
the parties. It should be repudiated. It is disgusting stuff.

And, you know, to your last point, Lawrence, you know, Peter King at the
presage with Senator McCain said, and this is a very important question for
Republicans to ponder, which is, how is it that a United States senator who
has been there for eight months was able to take the entire United States
Senate and the entirety of the Republican conference with a few exceptions
in the House down this politically disastrous path.

And I think it`s high time as this ends or potentially gets worse as we
move to a default Republican Party has got to wake up, take a look in the
mirror and has to do some soul searching on the backend of this.

O`DONNELL: E.J., Peter King, as Steve mentioned, has been extraordinary in
this. He calls Ted Cruz a fraud publicly more than once. I have never --
I don`t know, E.J., if you remember anything quite like this within a party
of this kind of attacking by a House member of a Senator or the other way
around. And it`s just been astonishing to me what Peter King has said.
Makes perfect sense to me what he`s saying. But normally there are
inhibitions about that sort of thing.

DIONNE: Well, I remember some of this but it always happened in the
Democratic Party. I mean there are these Republican Party seems to be
imitating some of the more (INAUDIBLE) aspects of Democrats from, say, 20,
25 years ago. But what`s really striking is that if the correction that
Steve Schmidt I think rightly suggests to Republicans that`s going to
happen, you`re going to need a lot more of the non-right wing Republicans.

I`m not even talking about moderates. I`m just talking about non-right
wingers to speak up. They have been incredibly timid inside the House of
Representatives. Pete King stood out and also Charlie Dent because they
were two of the only people willing to say hold on, this is a really bad
strategy. And I think a lot of these folk are just so afraid of primaries
even if they could win them that they just hang back and are silent.

And they cannot let themselves get intimidated anymore because they`ve
gotten an abject lesson of the cost of what happens when you don`t stand up
and say, this is dumb.

O`DONNELL: Steve Schmidt and E.J. Dionne, thank you both for joining me

SCHMIDT: Great to be with you.

DIONNE: Hey, good to be with you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the Tea Party wants you to know that when they yell
racist chants about President Obama and call him a Muslim just as they were
doing yesterday, it`s not that they`re racist. They just want a white


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: In the spotlight tonight, the Obama
haters. A protest at the closed World War II memorial Sunday, tea partier
and founder of Freedom Watch as you just heard in the last segment, Larry
Klayman knew exactly how to please that crowd.


LARRY KLAYMAN, FOUNDER, FREEDOM WATCH: We are now "ruled" quote-unquote by
a president who bows down to Allah. I call upon all of you to wage a
second American non-violent revolution to use civil disobedience and to
demand that this president leave town, get out, to put the Koran down, get
up off his knees and to figure and simply come up with his hands up.


O`DONNELL: Joining me now is Karen Finney, host of MSNBC`s weekend show
"Disrupt" and Dorian Warren, associate professor of political science and
public affairs at Columbia University.

Karen Finney, your reaction to what we just heard?

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC HOST, DISRUPT: I mean, it was absolutely disgusting.
But you know, Lawrence, here is the problem. Many of us have been saying
for a very long now that this kind of racism and become and this kind of
open blatant disrespect for this president has become far too common place,
frankly, since he became president. I mean, that is just but one example.
But it was obviously, a very extreme example, but we have heard this. And
why hasn`t anyone on the Republican side just kind of someone to what your
folks said the last time that they were saying. Where were the people to
stand up and say you know what? You`re going too far. This is wrong.
This is, you know, and there is a level of acceptable racism against
Muslim. That is part of what he was, you know, spewing because as Collin
Powell has said, so what if he is Muslim? He is a Christian. But even if
he was, why would that be a bad thing?

O`DONNELL: Dorian, we had a statement from Ted Cruz, which I have
misplaced, which we might be able to put up on the screen. But he
basically said about Larry Klayman`s statement. He did not denounce it.
He just said it`s unfortunate that the media is distracted by, you know,
these other speakers at this event instead of me. He did not denounce it
in anyway.

surprising, Lawrence, because Ted Cruz is not speaking to this network. He
is speaking to another network which has a lot of viewers that agree with
that racial resentment. This is a news to rest. We have plenty now of
social science studies that show that racial resentment is a key motivator
of tea party supporters.

But what Larry Klayman actually looked like to me is the paranoid style in
American politics. The classic essay by Richard (INAUDIBLE). He is
exhibiting that paranoid style of this conspiracy and President Obama, he
epitomizes that conspiracy of taking over whether he is Muslim or Black or
a communist or socialist. We have seen this story before. It is not a new
story. It is just re-emerge in a new form. And also it happens to be in
the case of the first African-American. So, it`s partly racial resentment
and it is partly the paranoid style that we have seen many times before.

O`DONNELL: All right. The control room is going to pop up Ted Cruz`s
statement on screen and someone with better eyes than I can read. That
there we are.

It`s unfortunate the media has allowed one person`s misguided actions to
distract from the real purpose for countless veterans to rally in D.C., to
urge their government to fund veterans which Senator Cruz continues
fighting for. So there is your denunciation from Ted Cruz.

So Karen, there is your denunciation from Ted Cruz.

FINNEY: Yes. What a coward is all I can say to that man. Two levels,
one, one of the things that we learned today is that there were parts of
the people who were part of the million veterans march group who had
nothing to do with the tea partiers, who felt like they kind of came in and
took over van. I think we will learn more in the days ahead, but, you

So, for Sarah Palin to get up there and talk about using veterans as a
prop, I mean, give me a break. And not to mention that, you know, Ted
Cruz, I mean, he knows exactly what he is saying. He knows exactly what to
say to stoke this base. He wants that. Sarah Palin wing of the party
because he believes that that is his power within the Republican Party and
the way you keep those people happy is you keep throwing out the red meat.

O`DONNELL: Now, I want to listen to Republican congressman from Virginia,
Scott because this, Karen, is what you say when you really disapprove of
what Klayman said. Let`s listen to this Republican.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I repudiated. It doesn`t reflect my own personal
values. My 90-year-old father, right now, (INAUDIBLE), a World War II
veteran, he is (INAUDIBLE), he is listening right now, and he raised me to
say it`s always the president, the president of the United States. We
respect the office and that type of language is harmful to our country and
it`s what`s pulling us apart. Look, civility is not weakness.


O`DONNELL: Dorian, Ted Cruz, I don`t think, is ever going to talk about
someone who gets applause at tea party events like that. He has never
going to repudiate anyone who gets applaud.

WARREN: Ted Cruz is a very smart man. This is a guy who went to Harvard,
not that that means everything. But he is not a damn guy. He is the head
of the neo-confederate kamikaze caucus of the Senate. So, he is not going
repudiate any kind of racial resentment expressed. That is his base. And
he has a strategy here to ride that base possibly to the White House in his
mind. So, of course, he`s not going to repudiate that. And in fact, he is
going to do his best to stalk it up. It`s successful politics for him.

O`DONNELL: Karen, there is more of what`s going on. We have been
wondering and Dorian has research on this. But a lot of us have been
wondering what is this energy of besides the policy energy, because every
movement has a policy whatever it, you know, end of Vietnam War or whatever
it is from the left. But then there is also other energies that go into it
besides the policy. We have been wondering what is behind all of this.
And there has been plenty of reason to suspect racial animosity and we`re
getting more and more of the evidence of that from these kinds of events.

FINNEY: Well, absolutely. And it`s fear. I mean, you know, to some
degree, I look at that image of Klayman from yesterday and it makes me
think of some of the very infamous images from the 1960s when people were -
- when African-Americans were just trying to register to vote. I mean, it
was that kind of hatred, that kind of tender bus. And I think, you know,
this is something that has unfortunate but a long time coming. I think to
some degree having an African-American president had, I think, it has
pushed us as a country to have to deal with it faster. Then maybe we ready
for it, Lord knows. We should have been ready a long time ago.

We are becoming a majority minority country. And that is terrifying to
some people in this country. That is why you hear that language of taking
our country back. From who? Going back to the old days. What? What day?
Days of slavery? Days when women couldn`t vote? I mean, that is all very
specific code language that we have been hearing. And it is all fear-base
and it is all meant to keep these people fearful and keep us divided as a

O`DONNELL: Karen Finney and Dorian Warren, I actually have more pieces of
video. I just -- I don`t want to play it. I mean, I wanted to use enough
to get this conversation going but I am conflicted about how much light we
shine on this horrible thing. But you know, it is a poison that we got to
be aware of.

FINNEY: Well, but I think, you know, I mean, these people knew what they
were doing. I mean, that confederate flag not only has a racial intension,
but also it represents a time in this country when we were divided. That`s
what they are doing.

O`DONNELL: Karen Finney and Dorian Warren, thank you both very much.

WARREN: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the continuing disgrace that is Washington D.C.`s
NFL franchise and the moving way that the Boston Red Sox and major league
baseball found to honor the victims of the Boston marathon bombing. That
is coming up.


O`DONNELL: The name of the Washington football team in the NFL is going to
be changed. The owner of the team doesn`t know that yet because he doesn`t
know that the weight of history is going to crush him in this struggle.
That`s next in the "rewrite."



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Washington playing Dallas here tonight, it seems like
an appropriate time to acknowledge the ongoing controversy about the name -


O`DONNELL: The name of the Washington football team that needs to be
rewritten immediately, if not sooner. If basic human decency was part of
the governance of professional football, the name would have been changed
40 years ago at least. That`s what the board of trustees of Dartmouth
College ended the use of Native American imagery by Dartmouth`s football

You had to have slept through the 1960s civil rights movement which
literally changed the American language describing African-Americans and
Native Americans in order to think that the name of the Washington football
team was harmless by 1974.

At the beginning of the 1960s, for most Americans, it was perfectly
acceptable to refer to African-Americans with slurs that speakers thought
were harmless. The changes in racial labeling in this country then were
quick and for many disoriented, the phrase colored people gave way to Negro
which gave way to black which then led to African-American. All in the
space of a few years and it was never acceptable to go backwards. It was
never acceptable to go back to the slurs even the once polite word Negro
became extinct because of it was a word imposed on black people by white

That is one way to judge the propriety of racial terminology. Who came up
with it and when did they start using it? The name of the Washington
football team was invented by white guys in 1933 when the team was then
located in Boston. We don`t have notes from the naming session so we don`t
know what else the owner vetoed. Boston white skins? I doubt that made
the list even though the team was very, very white. So, what were the
chances that the white guys in Boston in 1933 would come up with a racist
term when thinking of people of different races? The chances were 100

Bob Costas offers an interesting thought experiment about the Washington
football team name.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ask yourself what the equivalent would be if directed
towards African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians or members of any other ethnic


O`DONNELL: The Washington blacks skins? The Washington brown skins? The
Washington yellow skins?

Now we know no o actually has yellow skin but accuracy has never been part
of racial slurs. Native Americans don`t have red skins. The NFL
commissioner, Roger Goodell says the team`s name stands for strength,
courage, pride, and respect.

The qualifications for NFL commissioner include taking pleasure in cozying
it up to goofy billionaires who have more money than they know what to do
with them so they go out and buy football teams and being willing to lie at
every turn for the goofy billionaire owners of the football teams including
helping to cover up by whatever means necessary. The extent of the brain
damage inflicted on the players in the so called game of professional

And so, the NFL commissioner`s job these days includes lying about the
Washington teams name stands for because Dan Schneider, the owner of the
Washington team wants the NFL commissioner to do the lie for him.

Schneider actually did sleep through much of the 1960 when he was just an
infant and a toddler napping the day away. He was born in 1964. And so,
when Dartmouth changed the nickname of its football team, Dan Schneider was
only 10-years-old. He had no personal memories of the civil rights
movement. He was just a 10-year-old, understandably completely ignorant of
the painful evolution of racial labeling in this country.

And now, at age 48, he remains just as ignorant. And so, he has said we
will never change the name of the team. We will never change the name.
It`s that simple. Never. You can use caps. Dan Schneider is now the
Gorge Wallace of the NFL.


GEORGE WALLACE: When I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow and
segregation forever.


That was George Wallace the year before Dan Schneider was born, just a
couple of months after saying segregation now, segregation tomorrow and
segregation forever, Alabama governor George Wallace stood in the doorway
of the University of Alabama trying to prevent two students from becoming
the first African-Americans to register at the University of Alabama. And
in that moment, the inevitable force of history overwhelmed George Wallace.
Pushed him aside and the University of Alabama was integrated. The same
thing will happen to Dan Schneider. The force of history will crush him
and the name of his football team will be changed. And here is how easy it
is to change that name.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A number of teams mostly in the college ranks have
change their names in response to objections. The Stanford cardinal and
the Dartmouth big green were each once the Indians. The St. John`s red men
had become the Red Storm and the Miami of Ohio red skins, that`s right red
skins, are now the red hawks.


O`DONNELL: That`s how easy it is to change the name but Dan Schneider says

On a radio program this morning, Bob Costas asked a question that Dan
Schneider should be forced to answer.


BOB COSTAS, RADIO HOST: Or put it on these terms. If you were to walk
into a gathering of Native Americans if you are on a reservation or
happened to come across a family of Native Americans in a restaurant and
you began conversing with them, would you feel come portable referring to
them as red skins?


O`DONNELL: The goofy billionaire owner of the Dallas cowboys, Jerry Jones,
thinks he has the perfect defense for Dan Schneider. Jones said it would
be a real mistake to think that Dan who is Jewish has a lack of sensitivity
regarding somebody`s feelings. I promise you that.

Well then, I have this question for Dan Schneider. What are your favorite
nicknames for Jews that non-Jews have come up with? And if you think, as
the rest of us do, that those nicknames for Jews are utterly reprehensible,
what gives you the right to use and try to profit by a nickname invented by
the same kind of people who came up with all of those nicknames that we
hate and condemn?


O`DONNELL: 7-year-old Jane Richard who lost her leg in the Boston marathon
bombing sang the national anthem at Fenway Park. We will show you that


O`DONNELL: It`s been six months since the Boston marathon bombing and no
family has suffered more on that day than the Richard family of Dorchester.
8-year-old Martin Richard was killed, 7-year-old Jane Richard lost her leg
and their mother was seriously injured. As he Richard family and the city
of Boston continue to recover from the bombing, the Boston Red Sox who were
in the play offs all week are helping to lift everyone`s spirits and not
just by winning.

Ann Thompson has the story.


ANNE THOMPSON, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): On Sunday, when the
patriots --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brady to the end zone! With a touchdown!

THOMPSON: And the red sox.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hard hit into right. Back at the wall!

THOMPSON: Staged improbable come backs that today have the whole sports
world talking. A little girl made a comeback of her own. 7-year-old Jane
Richard walked Fen way Perkin field to lead St. Anne`s church youth choir
in singing the national anthem before game two of the American league
championship series.

Jane is now part of one of Boston`s best days after surviving one of the
worst nights.

On April 15th, Jane and her family stood on Boylston Street watching the
finish of the Boston marathon just feet away from where the deadly bomb was
planned. The explosion killed her 8-year-old brother Martin, left her
mother, Denise, with a head injury and sight in one eye. Her dad, Bill,
suffered shrapnel wounds, burns and hearing loss, and Jane, lost her left

In the Red Sox first home game after the bombing, David Ortiz, Big Poppy to
Red Sox nation, rallied a shattered but defiant crowd.

Last night, they put the big man and the little girl in the spotlight
again. With the bases full, Ortiz unloaded hitting a grand slam home run
to tie the game. Even one of Boston`s finest couldn`t help himself. And
Jane Richard stood on her prosthetic leg, lifted her voice claiming this,
the home of the brave.

Anne Thompson, NBC news, New York.


O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes 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.>