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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Read the transcript to the Thursday show

October 24, 2013
Guest: Leticia Van De Putte; Sarah Slamen; Steve Latourette

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Republicans used to be very forgiving
about glitches in government programs. You know government programs like
the war in Iraq, or the rollout of Medicare Part D under President Bush.
But that was then -- and President Obama is now.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congress gets its first chance to ask the tough

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s heated congressional hearings.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Grab your pitchfork.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On the problems with the health care Web site.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Once again here we have, my Republican colleagues
trying to scare everybody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have no privacy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is a system that failed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Look at how bad Obamacare is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It all appears part of a Republican strategy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: First, it was go pass the law, repeal the law.
Delay the law. Now they use the hearings to pick it apart.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This thing may not be ready.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have no privacy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We might want a delay until we can get it right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it the beginning further of problems?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Weeks of glitches, errors, and failures.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Or is this is Medicare Part D?

GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT: Any time Washington pass is a new
law, some times transition period can be interesting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A lot of Republicans on the committee were also
on the committee with the Medicare Part D rollout.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are just getting started here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Obama is trying to get back on course.

immigration reform.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The immigration reform push.

OBAMA: Good for our economy. We should do it this year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there a chance, something anything could happen
before the end of this year?

OBAMA: That does not actually get done.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They just shut down the government.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The shut down was so magnificent, run
beautifully. I`m so proud of these Republicans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That clash just hasn`t resolved itself.

OBAMA: This is Washington after all. I just leave this is the right
thing to do.


O`DONNELL: Today, contractors for the federal Web site of Affordable
Care Act testified about the problems the Web site has been plagued with.

But one Republican Representative Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania could not
have been more sympathetic.


REP. TIM MURPHY (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Any time something is new, there
is going to be some glitches. All of us when our children were new, well
we knew as parents we didn`t exactly know everything we were doing. And we
had a foul up or two. But we persevered and our children turned out well.
Even no matter what one does --


O`DONNELL: No, no, no. Wait. Wait. Wait. Nope.


MURPHY: But as we were sign up, 27 million seen seniors at the rate
sometimes approaching --


O`DONNELL: No, no, no. Some one in the control room who I promise
will be fired by the next commercial break pressed the wrong button once
again. That was Representative Murphy in 2006 when he was defending the
technical problems with the launch of Medicare Part D, which, of course,
Republican President Bush proposed and signed into law without paying for
it, and which, of course, Republican Representative Tim Murphy voted for.

Now, here is Republican Representative Tim Murphy today, being
perfectly consistent and defending the startup of Affordable Care Act. I
mean what choice does he possibly have, because he said that thing before,
when it was a new Republican health care program?

He said, quote, "Any time something is new, there is going to be some
glitches." He is going to lead with that again today, right? I mean, he`s
got to.


MURPHY: We were promised a Web site where people could easily compare
plans and costs, $500 million later we find the American public had been
dumped with the ultimate cash for clunkers. Except they had pay the cash
and still got the clunker.

Congress should press pause on the tech surge and figure out what went
wrong first before throwing good money after bad and forcing the public to
use a broken site.

In addition to explaining why this disaster happened, we want an
explanation on how this system will be fixed, what it will cost, how long
it will take.

After footing the bill, the American people deserve something that
works or start over.


O`DONNELL: Wow. What happened to that guy? I like the younger
version of that guy.

Let`s look at him. Here he is again. Just 7 years ago, defending a
Republican president`s new health care program and make everyone understand
when you try something new like this, as he said, there is going to be
glitches. Here he is, 2006, four months after the launch.


MURPHY: No matter what one does in life, when it`s something new and
learning the ropes of it, it`s going to take a little adjustment. But as
we were signing up, 27 million seniors, at a rate sometimes approaching
400,000 people a week, the system wasn`t always perfectly for all of them,
and they were a few glitches particularly for some folks who were due

But the point is, HHS, or the Medicare responded. Put extra people on
board, worked out some of the glitches.


O`DONNELL: Today, Tim Murphy, and all the other Republicans on the
committee who had no intention of giving President Obama four months to
work out the glitches in his new health care program -- some Democrats
though -- have not forgotten what their Republican friend had to say back
in 2006.


REP. DIANA DEGETTE (D), COLORADO: I was on this committee in 2006,
when Medicare Part D was implemented during the Bush administration. Let`s
not forget what a mess it was. And the significant problem seniors had
with registering for the new benefit.

But I also want to remind my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle,
that the difficulties passed and were soon forgotten amid the success of
Part D.


O`DONNELL: At the White House today, Jay Carney said the
administration expected glitches in the rollout but didn`t expect anything
like this.


now for some time, we knew and -- and said prior to October 1st, that there
would be some -- glitches or hiccups or problems with the rollout of a
large scale complex Web site like What we did not know was
that we would encounter the kind of and scale of problem that we have seen.
And that`s unacceptable.

What we -- what we learned upon launch is that the problems with the
site were greater than we expected, anticipated, significantly. And
significant work needed to be done to fix the problems that. And that`s
what is happening. We are still only 3 1/2 weeks into a 6-month process.
The teams in place are making progress every day.


O`DONNELL: Well, Alex Wagner, you cannot, don`t try it -- you cannot
accuse the Republicans of pulling out their old 2006 talking points on new
health care programs.

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC ANCHOR: Did you ever think there would be a time
we wished for old Republican talking points, Lawrence?

O`DONNELL: Yes, this is that day. It has come.

WAGNER: This is the time. You said earlier what happened to that
guy? What happened to that party?

I mean, under previous Republican presidents, the GOP supported the
individual mandate, immigration reform, they believed in climate change.
They passed farm bills -- I mean, that party is gone. But what we saw
today in Congress was hypocrisy that is breathtaking in its shamelessness.

And it makes me sort of think, if only Barack Obama and Joe Biden,
this Halloween, found a George W. Bush mask and a Dick Cheney mask, maybe
we could resolve all of these problems because Republicans would finally
give things a chance to succeed.

O`DONNELL: Ari Melber, I am where the Republicans were in 2006 on
this thing. I`m giving them time. I don`t know how big this problem is.
It could be big. It could disappear quickly. No idea.

I mean, that`s why you give these things time.

ARI MELBER, THE CYCLE: Yes, I think Alex hit on something key here,
which is, we are not talking about just campaigning where hypocrisy is
something the public expects. They want up there today and they said they
were here to oversee this program.

That`s not what they did. They are undermining it. That`s what this
is about. We know that from all of the voluminous record, from trying to
shut the government down to stop the program, to repealing it. That is
what is frustrating abut this. People who actually care about it are
having a different conversation which is not, oh, day one wasn`t perfect.
So this whole thing -- must be useless.

But rather, what can we actually do with the oversight process, and
the technical improvements that most web sites go through because most
things don`t launch perfectly on day one -- what can we do to build that

The other point here that helps the Republicans in the short term
politics but won`t long term because they overplay it is: broken Web site,
easy attack. Something you and I have discussed you reported on
extensively. The fact that the Supreme Court create aid bad a bailout, so
they could get away from supplying poor care with Medicaid, Medicare --
harder, takes a while to reference it, right?


MELBER: Broken Web site, an easy attack. But long term, they don`t
have any credibility on this issue.

O`DONNELL: Let`s -- of course, if there is an investigation going on.
Darrell Issa wants a part of it. His name came up at the hearing today,
let`s listen to this.


Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, wrote a letter
which was publicly released, accusing the White House of injecting politics
into the decision about the Web site. According to Chairman Issa`s press
release, the White House made, quote, "the political decision to mask the
sticker shock of Obamacare to the American people." It`s a very serious
allegation for the chairman of an oversight committee off to make such a
callus accusation.

Based on the meeting with your company last week, Mr. Issa`s letter,
wrote that, quote, "evidence is mounting that political considerations
motivated this decision. Do you have any knowledge of any White House role
in specific decisions relating to the Web site?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not to my knowledge.

BUTTERFIELD: Are you aware of any political intervention by this
White House relating to your work on



O`DONNELL: Alex Wagner, Darrell Issa, there he goes again. They
haven`t figured out how to do a letter or a press release there that
doesn`t prejudice whatever it is that they`re about to look into.

WAGNER: Yes, it`s like the Pink Panther of the GOP strikes again.
It`s amazing -- surprisingly Darrell Issa is hitting this thing hoping that
candy -- the pinata, hoping candy will rain down onto the floor. I think
if Democrats play this right, and I think there is a play to be made here.
It is to really focus on the legitimate shortcomings and problems, and,
quote-unquote, "glitches" and investigate how to fix them, because that
will really take the wind out of the sails of the GOP.

What they`re doing right now is so crass, is so craven, and is so
transparently political on the right-hand side of the aisle, which is to
undermine and unwind this thing. They don`t really care about fixing it.
If Democrats can actually make a concerted effort to fix it and to ask the
questions that need to be answered, the GOP has no ground left to stand on.

O`DONNELL: Yes, Ari, that`s what I liked about Jay Carney`s
presentation today. That sounded like a serious representative of a
serious administration, that knows they have a serious problem that they`re
treating seriously. Just a very straight, clear, thing that he was trying
to deliver that message, you know, we take this very seriously.

MELBER: Yes, I think they do. They have announced initiatives
including holding daily briefings at HHS level to work on this. And what
do they haven return? Yes, the scorched earth campaign or the idea that
health and human services secretary should resign over week one of the Web

I mean, this is the party that is supposed to be good with business.
You wouldn`t manage your portfolio this way, right. That would be day
trading you. You`d want to look at the longer trend lines.

Now, it is true if in a year or two from now, people have no ability
to get in and access the exchanges, that would be very concerning. But as
we know from the Massachusetts example and other states, the higher
enrollments come later as deadlines come up. And, ironically, of course,
the administration has been more than willing, talk about Issa`s political
allegations, the administration`s actually have been willing to move some
deadlines, because it`s the right thing to do, even though to the casual
observer, they`ll say -- well, wait a minute, what about the people who
want to delay this to kill it?

But I take that as a sign that they`re putting the practice of
governing above any short term bumper sticker.

O`DONNELL: Alex Wagner, what is your sense of how much time the
administration has on this before they need to be able to show some real

WAGNER: I mean, I just have -- I know they are doing daily briefings
on progress in terms of fixing the glitches and I`m reminded of the BP oil
spill which lasted for so long, Lawrence, every day that went by, it sort
of -- pardon the pun -- "drilled down into the American administration"
just how bad things were.

I think they have a couple of weeks. I really mean when I say a
couple, closer to two or three than five or six. It sounds like progress
being made. But, again, I think -- you know, a bit of transparency and
asking the right questions will help their case in all of this.

O`DONNELL: Alex Wagner and Ari Melber, thank you both for joining me

WAGNER: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up -- Republicans have been trying to win over
young voters since Karl Rove was a young voter. We will show you Karl Rove
40 years ago when he was unrecognizable under all that hair, and tell you
what Republicans new strategy is for young voters. Hint: Obamacare, of

And the Texas attorney general says Texas needs a crazy new voter ID
law to stop voter fraud, but his own statistics show there really is no
voter fraud in Texas.

And in the "Rewrite", exactly one Republican senator traveled up the
road to New Jersey from Washington to campaign against Cory Booker. And
now, Senator-elect Cory Booker says he wants to work with that Republican
senator. Will Cory Booker and Rand Paul become the Senate`s Batman and
Robin, fighting against the war on drugs? And yes, Rand Paul would
definitely be Robin.


O`DONNELL: Herman Cain was at one time the front-runner for the 2012
Republican presidential nomination. Something Republicans would like to
forget. Well, now, he has a new job as an associate pastor, of course, at
a church in Atlanta. And he`s found some one to blame for his failure to
be president of the United States: the media and the devil.

Herman Cain told editor of "Real Clear Religion" that media did not do
their due diligence to discredit women who accused him of sexual misconduct
and he believes the devil actually orchestrated all of those allegations.
No word from him on why God didn`t lend him a hand in his battle with the

Up next -- Republicans think the failure of Affordable Care Act Web
site can actually help them get young voters. We`ll talk to young voters.
It`s next!


O`DONNELL: Republicans have been trying to win young voters for a
long time.

In 1972, during the Nixon re-election campaign, Dan Rather interviewed
Republican National Committee college director -- a very, very young,
almost unrecognizable Karl Rove.


DAN RATHER, REPORTER: From the basement of party headquarters, the
operation aimed at embarrassing pundit whose say Nixon does ant pale to

KARL ROVE, FORMER GOP COLLEGE DIRECTOR: First, voter registration the
most important function we are undertaking now. You can`t get a 35-year-
old to teach the Republican Party how to get to young people. You just
can`t rely upon it. Young people have got to reach other young people.
That`s what we are seeking to do.


O`DONNELL: So cute.

Republican presidential candidates have won the youth vote in past
elections. But Democrats have been winning young voters in every
presidential election since 1992. In 2008, Barack Obama set a regard by
winning 66 percent of the young vote, the highest percentage ever.

But according to "The National Journal," Republicans have a new
strategy for going after the youth vote. What if millennials hate
Obamacare? Republicans need young voters so they`re searching for a way to
exploit the ACA rollout debacle. It`s an argument resting on an assumption
about young people, even if they possess an overall liberal bent, youths
reserve enough skepticism for big government and big institutions,
generally, to make them receptive to the GOP`s message, the heart of fiscal
conservative they hope lies inside every millennial.

Joining me now, my favorite millenials, Steve Kornacki, host of
MSNBC`s "UP" on Saturday/Sunday morning, and a former director of Global
Youth Issues for the State Department, Ronan Farrow, who is also now with

Steve, trying to look into your hearts to see if I see that fiscal

STEVE KORNACKI, UP: I got to make a confession, though, I looked up
before the show. The actual definition 1982 or later. I am not a

RONAN FARROW, MSNBC: We have one millennial.


FARROW: Just stay quiet for the rest.

O`DONNELL: Ronan, what do you make of that appeal?

FARROW: You know, I think it`s a canard for both parties to some
extent. You know, yes, Obama any youth lead is down versus where he was in
2008. But so are his overall numbers.

The fact is that this attempt to capitalize on youth skepticism for
party specific gain has a long history of failure. You didn`t have to look
far back. Look at the reactions to the NSA leaks, where there was
tremendous anti-government sentiment, where the numbers tracked directly to
age with young people extraordinarily skeptical and very pro-leak. And no
Republican or any one was able to capitalize on that and turn it to
political gains.

O`DONNELL: OK. Let`s look at video from last night`s "Daily Show"
which shows another problem Republicans have with the youth vote. Here is
a Republican official in North Carolina talking about their new voter ID


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s going to happen with this law, the process
is going to have more integrity. Right here in this Buncombe County,
there`s always one or two that voted twice a year.

REPORTER: One or 2 million people?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, one or two people.

REPORTER: And that`s one or two out of how many?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s just one or two out of 60,000.

REPORTER: So statistically, there is enough voter fraud to sway zero

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s not the point.


O`DONNELL: Steve, which young people? I think you are close enough
to millenials, to give me an assessment, how many young people want to be
on that guy`s side?

KORNACKI: That, I will tell you what? The longer term. Want to look
at. Since I am from the older generation here. Speak further in the past.

But you can see that the pattern of history is that voter behavior,
sort of political science of this is voter behavior tends to get locked in
around the time people are 18, late teens early 20s.

So, you had a whole generation.

O`DONNELL: Like toothpaste selection. Choose your toothpaste.


KORNACKI: Created a generation of Democrats.

These are people like 55 years old now. You know, Reagan, 1984, they
are the products of that. So, problem for the Republicans is not lose
young voters now, the prospect of losing this generation, two generations
for elections to come.

One of the smartest things Republicans have said, came out of the
Republican reflection on the 2012 elections they looked at 2012. They
looked at that youth voter, you know massacre. They said, that there are
cultural issues that are gateway issues to youth voters today, an issue
like gay marriage. The Republican Party has taken an inflexible position
on it, at a base line level, alienates young voters.

They won`t listen to anything else. They won`t listen to Affordable
Care Act, Obamacare, any of the tax message, because they say culturally,
this is not a party. Not a party we want to be a part of. And I think
until the Republican Party addresses that at a base line level, you can`t
get into talking about Obamacare.

FARROW: That is exactly right, you make an interesting point about
young people that grew up with Reagan in power. What the Republican Party
is up against right now is a generation of young people that grew up with
George W. Bush in power, and witnessed wedge issues for them, being in the
view of a lot of young people laid waste to.

A lot of the more liberal social policy related issues they think of
their childhood as an era in which the Republican Party was out of touch
with them.

O`DONNELL: So, Steve, to this point of where this issue they think
Obamacare is the way to get the youth vote. If that is on the list if you
could some how get it on the list of ways of drawing the youth vote, what
number would it be? If, if same-sex marriage is up here some where, where
does that come in? Like 20?

KORNACKI: Here is the other thing about that. Look, let`s say the
Republican case on Obamacare, it is going to be this great big disaster.
OK, fine, let`s say it doesn`t work. That`s a problem with every
demographic group for the Democrats. But if it`s not a clear cut disaster
-- if this thing works on some level, becomes the approximately see we sort
of, you know, sort of the future.

The least likely group to be alienated are young voters because --
first of all, if you are up to age 26, you are on your parents` policy.
It`s the person, talk to anybody under 30, and I asked them, what do you
know about Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, the first thing, I know if I
am 25, 24 years old, I can be on my parents` policy. You`re talking about,
you know, Republicans, Obama failed because the unemployment rate is high
among young people. Well, this is something that`s going to help
especially unemployed young people who have a lot of college debt, who
can`t afford health insurance, don`t have jobs, this is something providing
a benefit for them.

The Republican complaint about Obamacare is really a message that is
geared more towards middle age, middle-class people. Your taxes are going
to be higher. You are paying for moochers. That`s the message.

It`s not geared for young people who will benefit.

FARROW: You mentioned unemployment, and when I say this is a canard
for Democrats as well, if they allow this issue to distract them from the
much more important in my view, and the numbers bear this out, messaging on
unemployment, and that`s the problem for the Democratic Party.

The latest numbers came in in the wake of the shutdown, the shut down
already eroded confidence in the government. And on top of that, we`re at
11 percent now for those youth figures. Unemployment-wise. That is a
genuine problem they will not roll with in the way they will the technical

O`DONNELL: Steve, the LAST WORD goes to the millennial, right?

KORNACKI: Yes, I`m generation X.

O`DONNELL: Old Steve Kornacki, and young Ronan Farrow -- thank you
both very much.

FARROW: Thank you, sir.

KORNACKI: Good to see you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up: what do Cory Booker and Rand Paul have in
common? They hate the war on drugs. That`s in the "Rewrite."

But, first, Texas Republicans are pretending the state has the a voter
fraud problem. And their solution is to make it harder for women to vote.
That`s next.



SANDRA WATTS, TEXAS JUDGE: My driver`s license which I have had for
52 years has my maiden name as my middle name. And my every other valid
legal document I have has my birth middle name which is Lee. So it was not
identical, and the election official told me it had to be identical.

I was surprised that what I had done for 49 years was not sufficient
to vote at this time.


O`DONNELL: That was Texas Judge Sandra Watts whose photo ID was
challenged in her own courthouse on Monday due to the new voter ID law in
Texas. The election officials there know her. But still, they forced
Judge Watts to sign an affidavit attesting that she is who they already
knew her to be, in order for her to cast a vote.

In the spotlight tonight, Texas versus women voters. Supporters of
the new voter I.D. law in Texas tried to defend it on the basis that it
will stop voter fraud. Voter fraud that is virtually nonexistent. One
defender of the law is Texas Republican attorney general Greg Abbott who
will most likely run against Democrat Wendy Davis for governor next year.

Attorney general Abbott says in Texas evidence of voter fraud abounds.
But the "Dallas Morning News" proved that to be untrue by reporting that
Abbott has pursued 66 people on charges of voting irregularities since
2004. Only four cases involved someone illegally casting a ballot at a
polling place where a picture ID would have prevented it. Judge Watts
doubts that she would be able to vote if election officials in her own
courthouse didn`t know who she is.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My (INAUDIBLE) name is Mathisen. My voter`s
registration -- I mean, my legal name is Sandra Lee. Sandra Mathisen, is
that substantially the same? An election official in a different county
may decide it is not. Then I will be given the opportunity to go to
provisional ballot which in effect says I must show up six days later with
this appropriate I.D. And then, even if I follow procedures on the ballot,
under Section D, that section, bottom line is it may not count.


O`DONNELL: Joining me now, Texas state senator, Leticia Van De Putte
and return to the "Last Word" Sarah Slamen, a Democratic activist in Texas
who is currently campaigning for Wendy Davis.

Senator, I have to ask you, do you know if you have the right I.D.s
for voting in your state?

If it has to be exact, according to interpretation of many of the election
judges then, I think I will probably be one of the women that will be
forced to sign an affidavit.

Bu you know, my colleague, Wendy Davis, on the night that this voter
ID bill was passed, we tried several different amendments. And luckily, we
were able to convince our Republican colleagues at least to do one. And
that is to allow women to sign an affidavit if it is substantially similar.

But what we have found, since we are in early voting for the November
cycle, is that just today in San Antonio, a retired principal who had been
voting for 42 years, was required to sign an affidavit.

This is really an undue burden on women. I mean, why on earth would
my Republican leadership, either they`re afraid of women voters or they are
afraid of women voting.

O`DONNELL: Sarah Slamen, first of all, welcome back to the show.

But, I mean, we just heard here is a senator who is not sure. We have
a law that leaves the senator unsure whether she has the correct
credentials at this moment for voting.

mother is included in women who will most likely be challenged by poll
workers this election season. Her voter registration includes her first
name which she doesn`t go by. It also includes her maiden name. The idea
of my 63-year-old mother who has been voting in Texas since 1974, are being
challenged or forced to sign affidavit infuriates me.

Unfortunately in Texas, especially Houston Texas, we have been dealing
this brand of voter intimidation for quite a while. I you remember in
2010, the king street patriots, the true the vote, conservative voter
intimidation group started here in Houston.

O`DONNELL: Senator, I have to go back to you on this. I mean,
clearly you are going to vote. You are determined. You will know how to
exercise your rights and get through the process. But there are other
women out there in Texas tonight who are sitting there, unsure that they
have the correct credentials for voting. They don`t have all of the time
in the world to vote. Perhaps on Election Day, 20 minutes from their work
and family lives to do this. If they run into this kind of trouble, many
of them will not be able to pursue full remedies.

VAN DE PUTTE: That`s why the voter ID bill in the first place, was
very, very foolish. There are no instances, really. I mean, millions of
votes cast for people that may have cast a ballot in person that
impersonates someone else. But for women who chose to take their husband`s
names, like I did, proudly, to take Van De Putte from my maiden name San
Miguel. I don`t think my documents match up. And I will have to sign an

What`s important is for lady to remember. Go vote. Make sure that
you sign that affidavit. And if you can`t, you please sign that
provisional ballot. It is important for you not to leave that voting site
until you vote. That`s the message we want to get out is, please go vote.
Please make sure that you do this. Don`t let the Republican leadership
that has been so misguided deter you from exercising your constitutional
right to vote.

O`DONNELL: Sarah Slamen, you are helping with the Wendy Davis
campaign. And it makes me wonder when it com to it, under this law, will,
will there have to be a part of the campaign be a voter education for women
about exactly what they have to go through in casting their votes?

SLAMEN: Absolutely. You know, this year in Texas, we have been
blessed with battleground Texas. And a huge part of their, you know, phase
one initiate has been registering voters and then this I.D. education we
have been talking about.

This is especially important for all the young new, you know, young
millennial voters that you were just talking about in the previous segment.
Hispanics in Texas are two times as likely not to have a driver`s license
and student IDs will also not be accepted. So, if the student has a
concealed, you know, carry license they can vote. But with their student
id, they will not be able to. That`s not something the average college
student who probably has voted as many times will know.

So, I think, you know, the Wendy Davis campaign, battleground Texas,
league of women voters, these are going to be really central to the voting
education that sadly unnecessary. You know, as you referenced and the
senator referenced, our attorney general, Greg Abbott can`t seem to find a
factual legal brief. There has been ten instances of voter ID fraud in ten
years He consistently references absentee ballot fraud.

We are talking I.D. fraud. So, you know, this is just another example
of failed state leadership. And I hope that every citizen in Texas makes
use of these organizations that I just mentioned, battleground Texas,
league of women voters, reach out to the folks. They will help you learn
how to vote.

O`DONNELL: Texas state Senator Leticia Van De Putte and Ms. Sarah
Slamen, thank you both very much for joining me tonight.

VAN DE PUTTE: Thank you.

SLAMEN: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Rand Paul and Cory Booker share a passion about one thing,
ending America`s longest and most wasteful war, the war on drugs. That`s
coming up in "the rewrite."


O`DONNELL: The crazy billionaire who poured millions into the failed
presidential bids of Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney in 2012 has a suggestion
for how to negotiate with Iran over nuclear issues, drop a nuclear weapon
on Iran, of course. During an event at New York Yeshiva University this
week Sheldon Adelson answered a question about supporting negotiations with
Iran about this --


SHELDON ADELSON, BUSINESSMAN: What do you mean support negotiations?
What are we going to negotiate about? What would I say as, listen. You
see that desert out there? I want to show you something. You pick up your
cell phone and you call somewhere in Nebraska and you say, OK, let it go.
So, there is an atomic weapons goes over ballistic missiles in the middle
of the desert that doesn`t hurt a soul. Maybe a couple of rattlesnakes and
scorpions or whatever. And then you say, see the next one is in the middle
of Tehran. So, we mean business.


O`DONNELL: Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney actually had to spend hours
listening to that guy to get money out of him.

Next in "the rewrite," Cory Booker, Rand Paul, and I actually agree on



MAYOR CORY BOOKER, NEWARK, NEW JERSEY: We have seen so much of our
national treasure being spent in the drug war and now we just in my opinion
have turned human life into incarceration, trapping into poverty. I`m not
saying that people don`t need to take personal responsibility for their
lawlessness. What I have seen in Newark is that there is a massive trap in
this drug war. And it is not just a trap for the individuals being
arrested, it is a trap for taxpayers, communities and towns.


O`DONNELL: New jersey senator-elect Cory Booker wants to rewrite the
war on drugs out of existence and to do that he is ready to work with
someone who campaigned against him.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: There is 15,000 people out of work in
Newark. One in three people in Newark are living in poverty. And Cory
Booker has got an imaginary friend.


O`DONNELL: Tea party loser, Steve Lonegan, could not get another
Republican senator to come to New Jersey to campaign against Cory Booker
whose ultimate victory in the Senate race was never in doubt. The only
other recognizable Republican Lonegan could lure to New Jersey was that
champion of lost causes, Sarah Palin.

And after he won, the first thing that senator-elect Cory Booker said,
about the only Republican senator who came to New Jersey to campaign
against him was quote "I want to work with him."

That`s right, Cory Booker wants to work with Rand Paul and here is
why. Seven minutes after ridiculing Cory Booker in that speech you just
saw, Rand Paul said this.


PAUL: African-Americans are being denied the wrote by driver`s
license. You know what they`re denied the right to vote, they`re being put
in prison as felons for non-violent drug runs and kept there, and for the
rest of their live, it ruins their lives. I`m saying if your white kid or
black kid or brown kid using drugs, It is not a good idea. But I`m saying
a youthful mistake should not keep you out of the marketplace able to get a
job should not prevent the right to vote for the rest of your life when you
didn`t hurt anybody but yourself.


O`DONNELL: Did you hear that. Rand Paul got applause from a
Republican audience for complaining about what the war on drugs has done to
the incarceration rate of the young African-American men. And if Cory
Booker had been there he would have led the applause.


BOOKER: We`re not making our nation safer, with this assault on the
drug war, we`re not making our state less addictive to substances. And we
need to change, I believe, radically change the national conversation and
begin to talk about drugs, especially drugs like pot in a different way.


O`DONNELL: Rand Paul is one of the precious few Washington
politicians who has already been participating in that national
conversation. Here he is, seven months ago.


PAUL: We also don`t want to put people in jail who make a mistake.
There are a lot of young people who do this, and then later in their 20s
they grow up and get married and they quit doing things like this. I don`t
want to put them in jail and ruin their lives.

Look. The last two presidents could conceivably have been put in jail
for their drug use. And I really think, you know, look what would have
happened. It would have ruined their lives. They got lucky. But a lot of
poor kids , particularly in the inner city, don`t get lucky. They don`t
have good attorneys and they go to jail for these things. And I think it
is a big mistake.


O`DONNELL: And here is Senator Rand Paul in September.


PAUL: If I told you that one out of three African-American males is
forbidden by law from voting, you might think I was talking about Jim Crow
50 years ago. Yet today a third of African-American males are still
prevented from voting because of the war on drugs.


O`DONNELL: Cory Booker believes the place to begin the war on the war
on drugs, legislatively is eliminating the mandatory minimum sentencing
laws that are imprisoning young men for minor drug crime and he intend to
push it, the politically smart way, as a way of cutting government

Rand Paul responded to Cory Booker`s public declaration that he wants
to work with him by issuing a statement saying Senator Paul would be
pleased to work with any member who believes that mandatory minimum
sentencing is unnecessary. He looks forward to Senator Booker`s assistance
on this important issue.

Cory Booker has called the war on drugs quote "big, overgrown
government at its worst." Mass incarceration is very, very expensive. And
cutting government spending is Rand Paul`s top priority. It is supposed to
be the top priority of all Republicans.

If Rand Paul, one of the most conservative members of the Senate,
teams up on this issue with Cory Booker, the Senate`s newest liberal, we`re
going to find out how many Republican senators are really opposed to big,
overgrown government at its worst.


O`DONNELL: The adults in the Republican party are ready to challenge
tea party candidates and quote "beat the snot out of them.` The Republican
who said that, Steve Latourette joins me next.



the end of this nation if we don`t change it. We are witnessing the end of
the western Christian empire and if we don`t do something, and I mean do it
fast, and send some real fighters, some real fighters, not politicians,
real fighters to Washington, we`re going to lose this nation as we know it.


O`DONNELL: That was tea party candidate for Congress, Dean Young of
Alabama, running for an open seat the Republicans have held for decades.
To win it he will have to beat a former state senator endorsed by two of
the former members of the house who held that seat that he is running for.
Burn is the establishment Republican in the race and there is good news for
establishment Republicans in a "National Journal" report today which says,
establishment Republicans are preparing to attack ultraconservative
ideologues across red America. Hopefully, we will go into eight to ten
races and beat the snot out of them said former representative Steve
Latourette of Ohio whose now political group, defending main street aims to
raise $8 million to fend off tea party challenges against mainstream
Republican incumbents. We will be very aggressive and we are going to get
in their faces.

Joining me now, former congressman Steve Latourette of Ohio who`ve is now
going to get mine face.

Steve, I guess, you know, I was going to begin by saying what took so
long? Because this tea party phenomenon has been going on for a few years
now. But it seems like it took a couple election cycles, the whole
Christine O`Donnell cycle, all that, those phenomenon where you lost Senate
seats because of it, to get this kind of, calling it "establishment
opposition" going?

were slow off to the dance. And you know, we were obeying what Ronald
Reagan used to call the 11th commandment. We weren`t speaking of ill of
other Republicans. But we were getting our lunch handed to us. And well-
financed groups were coming in really taking it to Senate right
Republicans. And it is almost like a Salem witch-hunt, you know, where,
there is a litmus test, are you a witch? Not a witch? Good Republican?
Bad Republican? And as you correctly point out, the only witch that has
been nominated was in Delaware against the center right candidate Mike
Castle and we saw how that worked out.

O`DONNELL: Right. What should, what would you say to Democrats that
they should hope for in this fight? Because a lot of Democrats were very,
very happy to see the Christine O`Donnell nomination, see a bunch of tea
party nominations because that`s the way they won the Senate seats and what
do you say about that?

LATOURETTE: What I say about that is if Democrats are reveling in the
disarray that the Republican party find itself in at the moment, that
they`re mistaken. My belief is the country works best when you have two
strong political parties who advance coherent, cogent arguments and the
people can pick between the two of them. And God forbid, you should have
to work with one another off to find the common ground and the solution.

So, Democrats who think that they like to have all the levers of power
and run it their own way. That doesn`t always work so well. And if you
have a weak sister party as the Democrats were in the 70s and then, into
the early 80s, and now the Republicans are in 2013, I don`t think it is
good for the country.

O`DONNELL: An extra ordinary report in "the Washington Post" this
week about the predicament, Senator Mike Lee, freshman, find hem self in
Utah now among this own supporters. He is facing a revolt in the state.
They said Spencer Wick, who is the national finance chairman for Mitt
Romney in 2012 said business leaders that I talk to, many of whom supported
him would never support his re-election and in fact will work against him,
myself included.

Steve, this is starting to feel, you know with you on one side, one
part of the country, this thing going on in Utah, it is starting to feel
like a real movement in the Republican party, much the way the tea party
was a rising movement?

LATOURETTE: Well, yes. I don`t know if it will get to the ferocity.
But the fact of the matter is, it is in Utah, it is in Michigan where a
couple tea party elected representatives are now being challenged by
business people. If you go up to Alaska for God`s sakes, you have two
Senate right candidates running in that Senate seat. It is in South

And you know, people in business that, that, are interested in
government, and are Republicans by and large. When you have a public
opinion survey that says more Americans are in favor of head lice than,
than House Republicans, we got to do something. We want our party back.
And -- I think you are going to see a lot of people step up to the plate in
these midterm elections and try to get our party back.

O`DONNELL: Well, the alternative Steve, trying to appeal to the pro
head lice voter, I suppose.

LATOURETTE: They have a very strong lobby, very strong lobby,

O`DONNELL: Steve, there is a clock ticking on this, it seems. I`ve
mean, with all of the polling we are seeing now, unless something changes
in the news and politics, as many things will, surely between now and the
congressional election. Republicans are going to be under a lot of
pressure in this next congressional election.

LATOURETTE: Well, they are. But I will tell you after redistricting
in 2010, the saving Grace for House Republicans are that the districts are
configured in such a way it would all most take a miracle for Democrats to
regain the majority in that chamber. But you know what? They would have
given you a thousand to one in Las Vegas before the government shut down.
You probably would have to scratch to get 50:1 today. So, it is something
we have to pay attention to. And if we don`t include people that don`t
historically vote for us, we got a problem.

O`DONNELL: Republican Steve Latourette, gets tonight`s "Last Word."

Thanks, Steve.

LATOURETTE: Good to be with you.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.


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