THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
November 18, 2013
Guest: Howard Dean, Steve LaTourette, Nia-Malika Henderson, Jonathan Cohn
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you serious?
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: 911 police, fire and medical.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need police right now.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK, what is your address?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re breaking stuff in my house.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Ma`am, ma`am? What`s going on?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is in my house breaking all of my (EXPLETIVE
DELETED) stuff because I asked him to leave. He has his freaking gun,
breaking all of my stuff right now.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, this is not --
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m doing this again? You just broke my glass table.
You just broke my sunglasses, and you put your gun in my freaking face.
And told me to get the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) out because this is not your
house. No, get out of here.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. What is your name? OK. Where is his
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He just put it down.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK, and this is --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. Get out of my house. Do not push me out of my
house. Please get out of my house.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Calm down.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No, you`re going to -- are you serious right now?
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: I`m sorry --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you (EXPLETIVE DELETED) kidding me? He just
pushed me out of my house and locked me out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC ANCHOR: And then when police officers arrived on
the scene, George Zimmerman decided to call 911 himself.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. What`s going on there?
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, ARRESTED BY POLICE: My girlfriend has, for lack of a
better word, gone crazy on me.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Your girlfriend?
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK, where is she now?
ZIMMERMAN: Outside with the police.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. The police is -- is already there and so
why are you calling? What happened?
ZIMMERMAN: I just want everyone to know the truth.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. The officers can speak with you on the
scene. Have you already spoken with them?
ZIMMERMAN: No. They are pretty upset, I think.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: The officers are upset?
ZIMMERMAN: Yes, they are banging on the door and the window.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Are you going to be able to speak with them?
ZIMMERMAN: I don`t have anything to say.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. Hold on one moment. I`m getting the
information to the officer.
Were there any weapons involved?
ZIMMERMAN: I don`t have a weapon, she has weapons in her house.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: She has weapons in the house? OK.
ZIMMERMAN: Yes. It`s her house. She`s got a 9 mm. I mean, I have my
firearms. She was throwing my stuff out and one of the bags was one of my
firearms. I never pulled a firearm, I never displayed it. When I was
packing it, I`m sure she saw it. I mean, we keep it next to the bed.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. Is her weapon put up?
ZIMMERMAN: I have no idea. It is hers.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: What about your weapon?
ZIMMERMAN: It is in a bag, locked.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. Are they still knocking on the door?
ZIMMERMAN: No. I just wanted to leave. She told me that it was better.
She is pregnant with our child and she told me it was better if she raised
the child on her own. I said fine.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK.
ZIMMERMAN: I said, are you sure this is what you`re going to do? She said
yes. As soon as I start packing up my stuff to leave, she just completely
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: When you say she changed, what did she do?
ZIMMERMAN: At first she was letting me pack my stuff so that I could go --
you know, we could go our own ways amicably. When she changed she just
started smashing stuff, taking stuff that belonged to me, throwing it
outside, throwing it out of her room, throwing it all over the house. She
broke a glass table because she threw something on it. I don`t even know
if it was mine or hers, whatever it was. She got mad that I guess I told
her that I would be willing to leave.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK.
ZIMMERMAN: I guess she thought I was going to argue with her. But she`s
pregnant. I`m not going to put her through that kind of stress.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. Is she still outside with the officers
ZIMMERMAN: I don`t know, ma`am, I`m inside.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: You`re inside?
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. And you`re still not willing to go out and
speak with the officers?
ZIMMERMAN: No, I mean I can have -- you know, I can talk to one of the
officers, but I don`t want to go outside, and, you know, just going to do
the same they did before.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me now MSNBC`s is Joy Reid and Lisa Bloom, MSNBC legal
analyst and author of the upcoming book "Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story
of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We are Doomed to Repeat It."
Joy Reid, your reaction to hearing George Zimmerman once again on 911 tape?
JOY REID, MSNBC ANCHOR: Yes. And actually that`s the first time I`m
hearing it all the way through as well. And it`s really fascinating how
George Zimmerman clearly, how much he clearly understands the law and
attempts to shape events in this 911 call.
I mean this is a man whose best friend was a former Seminole County
sheriff, who took classes, criminal justice, who intended to become a
police officer, whose father is a magistrate judge retired from Virginia.
So he understands the elements that he needs to establish in order to make
himself the innocent party and make the other person the guilty party.
Then he called it in, he even admitted to the 911 operator the reason he
called, there is no emergency. The emergency is now being taken care of
outside. He actually pushed her outside, according to the officer`s
report, and barricaded the door. The reason the police are outside instead
of inside is that he barricaded, he put various things in front of the door
so that the police couldn`t get in.
And then he composes himself and in that very calm, almost serene just
voice goes on to lay out the case against the now alleged victim.
O`DONNELL: Lisa Bloom, the victim told the police anyway that, as the
police have said, the victim has disclosed to us that she is not pregnant.
So that pregnant element of the story, there is a true or false there, we
can`t say which one is true right now. One of the interesting things in
there is the glass table. George Zimmerman heard her tell the -- say that
he broke the glass table. She says that on her 911 call. So he, in the
middle of his 911 call, says very calmly she just broke the glass table,
knowing that that`s one of the evidentiary elements there.
And as Joy says, he wasn`t calling to -- 911 to get help. He said on the
call, I want my story out there, basically. I want to tell the truth
knowing that this tape would come out.
LISA BLOOM, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: That`s right. Look, George Zimmerman has
known since 2005 that the best defense is a good offense. That`s why when
his fiance in 2005 chose to get a restraining order against him, guess
what, he got a restraining order against her. In the Trayvon Martin case,
which is why we all know about him, he claimed that Trayvon Martin attacked
him and he`s the victim.
And now today he says no, she`s the one that`s crazy, she`s the one that`s
pregnant, that`s -- ascertain about whether that is true or not. She was
coming after me, and I`m just the guy who once again is a victim. And it`s
amazing how everybody in the world seems to be conspiring against Zimmerman
including his estranged wife and his girlfriend. Two people who you
wouldn`t expect to be conspiring together.
But they both have very similar stories. Shelly Zimmerman just two months
ago telling a story very, very similar to this one.
And you know what, Lawrence, you`re right about the 911 call. That`s
supposed to be for emergencies. He knows that 911 immediately gets
released to the media. And so he calls 911 as a P.R. move to set the
record straight while the police are outside banging on the door and the
911 operator says, just go talk to them, they`re right outside, but his
story isn`t going to get out that way so he didn`t proceed that way.
O`DONNELL: Yes. She says, why are you calling me, he says, I want to get
my story out.
Now the -- there`s more tape here to play of Samantha Scheibe. We`ve
played George Zimmerman in full because I didn`t want to edit any of that.
I found it fascinating. And the glass table thing. Only one of them can
be telling the truth.
O`DONNELL: If it is not George Zimmerman telling the truth, that is the
voice of George Zimmerman in a cold, calm lie, and that is a voice and a
tone we`ve heard from him before.
Let`s listen to Samantha Scheibe saying that he knows how to play this
game. Let`s listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: I want you to step away from the door, OK? I
don`t want you anywhere near him. I know you`re frustrated.
SCHEIBE: He knows how to do this.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK. OK.
SCHEIBE: He knows how to play this game.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joy, he certainly does know how to play the game. And I want
to get to more tape from her because he seems to be talking about oh, just
one gun. There is just one gun and it`s in my bag and I`ll -- let`s listen
to what she says about George Zimmerman`s guns on her 911 call.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: So what kind of gun did he have?
SCHEIBE: He has -- the gun that he just smashed all my stuff with the Kel-
Tec, the shotgun.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: It`s a shotgun or is it a handgun?
SCHEIBE: It`s a shotgun.
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: Does he have it with him now?
SCHEIBE: He has all of his guns inside. He unloaded the shotgun and his
AR. But he took that to smash my table and smash my sunglasses and smash
whatever the hell else. He`s smashing it there right now while I`m
UNIDENTIFIED 911 OPERATOR: OK So he has a shotgun and AR-15?
SCHEIBE: Yes. And two handguns.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: George Zimmerman is ready for anything.
REID: Yes. He`s got all his guns, and according to the police report, was
filed by the officer on duty, he took the butt of the shotgun and used it
to smash the glass coffee table. In addition the other elements that are
in the arrest report, was that he actually cocked one of the two shotguns,
either the AR-15 or the other shotgun. Cocked it so that she could hear,
put it in his bag, then retrieved it from the bag.
At one point she said I`m going to call 911 and at least according to the
police report, what she told, what Miss Scheibe told police, he then
pointed the gun at her and said, are you sure you want to do that?
Now keep in mind that Miss Scheibe was actually on the scene. She was
outside in the car during the September incident that George Zimmerman had
with his wife Shelly. She was the woman in the car while he supposedly at
least initially, according to Shelly Zimmerman, brandished a gun and
threatened her. And in both these cases, these are not his house, but he
is the one who winds up inside pushing out whoever it is that`s there or
telling them they have to go.
In this case, this is Miss Scheibe`s house. He ends up locking her out and
barricading himself in.
O`DONNELL: Lisa Bloom, two things. If this behavior, if this particular
instance, had predated the Trayvon Martin case, would any of this have made
its way into evidence. And if it -- even if it didn`t make its way into
evidence, given everything you know about the Trayvon Martin case and the
way George Zimmerman responded in the Trayvon Martin case, how does this
help inform us about what happened with Martin?
BLOOM: Well, first it probably would not have come in unless it was very
close in time, unless they could establish a relationship, because a
defendant has to be convicted of the facts in a particular case, and not
based on some other incident. That`s really not the Florida court. But
the bigger question is George Zimmerman`s anger management, his propensity
to take guns out inappropriately and to use guns when he`s angry, when he`s
upset with someone.
I mean, I`m convinced after thoroughly reviewing the Zimmerman trial where
he`s accused of killing Trayvon Martin that it was not self-defense. That
he was clearly lying about many incidents in that story. And he was angry.
He was upset. You could hear that before he killed Trayvon Martin. He
could hear that after he killed Trayvon Martin. And these stories all have
the same common thread.
That he gets angry. That he loses control. That he uses the gun as a
reflection of himself when he`s angry. I mean, this is very disturbing and
the most disturbing thing is that he still has a legal right as we speak to
have all of these guns including the AR-15 assault weapon unless the state
attorney gets that taken away tomorrow. Just outright removed from him
tomorrow, he could get out, he can still have his guns concealed on his
person, in his car, in his home. I mean, that`s the law in the state of
O`DONNELL: And he just doesn`t -- he doesn`t just use the gun as a prop in
argument or confrontation, he aims the gun at people.
REID: Yes. And let`s not forget this is somebody who have actually shot a
gun and taken a human life. And I think really probably what`s the most
disturb when you sort of put all the elements together is the fact that
yes, clearly there was anger and rage that took place in this incident but
once George Zimmerman picks up the phone and calls 911, this kind of
natural calm. I mean, this is not the way you expect someone to behave
when there`s been an incident involved that`s both violent and involves
And again, this is someone who, when his firearms were just held by the
police for a certain period of time, activists, NRA activists and pro-gun
activist actually went out and raised $12,000 to make sure that he got that
gun. This is somebody who went and took pictures of himself at the Kel-Tec
manufacturing plant, smiling, buying the same brand of gun that was used in
the Martin case.
There`s something going on here. And the two women in this case, Mrs.
Zimmerman, who is now divorced from George Zimmerman, and this young woman.
The difference between the two, Shelly Zimmerman chose not to press charges
which is why George Zimmerman didn`t even have the opportunity to have his
guns taken away after that incident in September.
O`DONNELL: But Shelly Zimmerman did go on television after that and say,
in effect, that she was married to the man, and it turns out she does not
understand him or know who he is at all, and then we just heard the
girlfriend say, on the 911 tape, he knows how to do this. He knows how to
play this game.
Lisa Bloom and Joy Reid, thank you very much for joining me tonight.
BLOOM: Thank you.
REID: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, the amazing political story in Louisiana about how
"Duck Dynasty" beat Eric Cantor and Bobby Jindal.
And there is feud inside the Cheney family over marriage equality?
And in the "Rewrite," another episode of bad cop and worse cop. The
reckless use of deadly force in New Mexico on a car filled with unarmed
mother and her unarmed five children.
You`ve seen this videotape. What you might not know about this videotape
is it`s almost 30 years ago that the United States Supreme Court made it
unconstitutional to fire at fleeing suspects. That`s just in TV shows, not
in real life. Not constitutional anyway. That`s in the "Rewrite" tonight.
O`DONNELL: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford continues to deliver apologies and
threats. He had to apologize today for knocking down a city council member
during a meeting in which he was stripped of budget, staff, and much of his
authority. Before the council vote to cut his authority the mayor actually
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAYOR ROB FORD, TORONTO: This, folks, reminds me of when I was watching
with my brother when Saddam attacked Kuwait. And President Bush said I
warn you, I warn you, I warn you, do not.
Well, folks, if you think American style politics is nasty, you guys have
just attacked Kuwait and you will never --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Please --
FORD: You will never see something that you have -- mark my words,
friends, this is going to be outright war in the next election, and I`m
going to do everything in my power.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mayor Ford, your time is up.
FORD: Everything in my power to beat you guys.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The major of Kuwait speaks.
Up next, "Duck Dynasty" wins in a congressional election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIE ROBERTSON, "DUCK DYNASTY: Hey, this is Jeff. If you love America
and you live in Louisiana, you need to vote for Vance this Saturday.
Because I sure as heck not lying.
VANCE MCALLISTER (R), LOUISIANA CONGRESSMAN-ELECT: I`m Vance McAllister.
I`m not a politician but I approve this message.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: The "Duck Dynasty"-backed Republican candidate won the special
election to the U.S. House of Representatives from Louisiana on Saturday
and in the process defeated the candidate from the Republican establishment
and he did it by running to the left of the Republican establishment
Louisiana businessman Vance McAllister is in favor of the expansion of
Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, an expansion that Louisiana
Republican Governor Bobby Jindal refuses to accept. Bobby Jindal and House
Majority Leader Eric Cantor backed the loser in this race for Congress,
Republican State Senator Neil Riser. Dissatisfaction with the Republican
establishment outside of Washington was also expressed by Wisconsin
Governor Scott Walker this weekend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: I think it`s got to be an outsider. I
think both the presidential and the vice presidential nominee should either
be a former or current governor. People who`ve done successful things in
their states, have taken on big reforms, who are ready to move America
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So that rules out Marco Rubio, it rules our Ted
Cruz, it rules our Rand Paul?
WALKER: All good guys but it`s got to be somebody who is viewed as being
exceptionally removed from Washington.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Your criteria also would rule our Paul Ryan.
WALKER: Yes, and I love Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan -- if he had a fan club I`d
be the president of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining me now, a former Democratic National Committee chairman
and Vermont Governor Howard Dean and former Republican congressman from
Ohio, Steve LaTourette.
Howard Dean, in that Louisiana House race it turned out running in favor of
the expansion of Medicaid was a winning idea for a Republican candidate.
HOWARD DEAN, FORMER VERMONT GOVERNOR: Well, first of all, let`s dismiss
Scott Walker as an outsider. He took so much money from the Koch brothers
that he couldn`t possibly be an outsider. This -- I`m going to be very
interested on what Steve says about the Louisiana race. One thing that did
make -- first of all, taking the Medicaid money is just plain sanity.
There`s -- you know, Ohio governor is a conservative Republican, took the
This is -- it`s nuts not to do it. And these -- just people are looking at
these guys who are taking it, these Republicans are saying, look, let`s
look at the balance sheet and what it does. But I think it`s fascinating
because Democrats are allowed to vote in the Republican primary if they
wish to in Louisiana as they are here in -- in Vermont. They are also
allowed to do that in Alabama.
And I`m wondering, I`d love to hear Steve`s opinion of whether he thinks
that made a difference or what this is about because I`m no expert on
O`DONNELL: Steve, go ahead. The -- but particularly, the expansion of
Medicaid, which violates the congressional Republican dictates on this,
does that surprise you that he would win on -- with that being almost the
only distinguishing feature between these two Republican candidates?
STEVE LATOURETTE, FORMER REPUBLICAN OHIO CONGRESSMAN: Well, no, it doesn`t
surprise me. And I don`t think he ran to Senator Riser`s left. I would
prefer to say he ran to center of the Republican Party if that`s OK with
And the fact of the matter is, I mean, John Kasich is for expansion, Chris
Christie is for expansion. Scott Walker is for expansion of Medicaid. So
that -- I don`t think that made the difference. What -- we`ve had a pretty
good couple of elections in the center of the Republican Party. If you put
the Alabama Second race, where retiring member Jo Bonner, again it was the
non-Tea Party candidate, Mr. Byrne, Senator Byrne that won, not the that
said that the President wasn`t born in the United States.
And if you look at this race, I would say it was "Duck Dynasty" versus
swamp people and the swamp people came up short. The -- Mr. McAllister,
although he says he`s in favor of the expansion of Medicaid, I think the
defining difference is he`s not on the repeal the Affordable Care Act
bandwagon that the Tea Party has hitched its horse to. He has said, look,
there is good things, there`s bad things. We ought to get rid of the bad
things and reinforce the good things. That`s what most level headed
Republicans are saying.
O`DONNELL: Yes. And Howard Dean, he also says -- Vince McAllister, the
winning candidate, said that you cannot repeal Obamacare as long as
President Obama is in office, as long as the Democrats control the Senate.
In other words he recognized the fundamental political arithmetic of this,
which so many Republicans don`t recognize.
DEAN: Yes. And I do think that is an interesting thing in a Louisiana
primary, which is a pretty conservative place. He does appear to be
somebody, and I have never met him nor his opponent, of course, but he does
appear to be somebody who is realistic and that has unfortunately been
absent on the far right of the Republican Party.
It sounded to me like he wants to do what is right for his constituents.
Louisiana is one of the poorer states in the country. And what -- what`s
right is his people, a lot of his people are going to get health insurance
from Obamacare, which is, after all, a Heritage Foundation authored plan.
This is not a crazy left-wing plan. So I think -- it`s just fascinating to
see what this guy is going be like when he gets to Congress.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to more of why the "Duck Dynasty" gang got behind
the man swung by his victory party.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Supporters spent Saturday night celebrating including
"Duck Dynasty" star Willie Robertson.
ROBERTSON: I got flower early in the working. I walked out of the woods a
while ago and I said, gees, I`m going by there. I had to find this place.
He`s just a regular guy, you know, and I like that. I like that, you know,
he`s from here. He`s a Christian, a military guy. So -- you know, he`s my
kind of guy.
MCALLISTER: I`m going to bring no strings attached is what I`m going to
bring. Every decision will be what`s best for the Fifth District, not
what`s best for anybody else.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Steve LaTourette, let`s combine these two elements here and
consider the Republican presidential nomination and the Republican race.
Do you agree with Scott Walker that it needs to be someone from outside of
Washington? And obviously it needs to be someone who can get the "Duck
LATOURETTE: Well, I think it needs to be somebody who`s confident and is
electable. And I -- I really don`t care whether the person is inside or
outside of Washington. But they need to represent the entire country or
have a desire to represent the entire country, not just the reddest of red
states below the Mason Dixon line. And we have to get away from this sort
of the dogma that`s now going on, recapture the center of American
I mean, if you think about it, I know Governor Dean has a different opinion
but things aren`t going so well today for the Affordable Care Act. And so
there`s a clear path forward for Republicans if they stop, like, snatching
defeat out of the jaws of victory.
O`DONNELL: Governor Howard Dean and Steve LaTourette, thank you both for
joining me tonight.
LATOURETTE: Thank you.
DEAN: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, the Cheney family will not be spending Christmas
together. Liz Cheney is feuding with her sister over marriage equality.
And in the "Rewrite," it is time to once again rewrite America`s
understanding of police use of deadly force. We`re going to show you that
shocking video from New Mexico. A police officer firing at a minivan with
an unarmed family, five kids and a mother, in that van.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Your daughter, Liz Cheney, said she was not
pro-gay marriage and your other daughter, Mary Cheney, of course, is pro
gay marriage. Is this causing tension in the family?
DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, if it did,
I wouldn`t talk about it. That`s a family matter. My view is on the
subject that well known.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right now we`re talking about Liz Cheney and the Cheney
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Liz Cheney.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dick Cheney`s daughter, Liz.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: That remark by senate candidate Liz Cheney.
WALLACE: Some of your conservative critics say you have flipped positions
on some issues to try to attract Wyoming voters that you didn`t previous
hold. You now say that you oppose same sex marriage, but they point out
that in 2009, you opposed a constitutional amendment and they point out
that you supported the state department offering benefits, the same sex
partner. They say that`s a flip.
LIZ CHENEY, WYOMING SENATORIAL CANDIDATE: It`s not. And I standby both of
WALLACE: They say that`s a flip.
L. CHENEY: I don`t believe in amending the constitution on this issue. I
do believe this is an issue that is going to left up to the state. I do
believe in the tradition definition of marriage.
WALLACE: Your sister, Mary, who is married to a woman, put out this post.
She said for the record, I love my sister, you, but she is dead wrong on
the issue of marriage.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Liz said publically my sister and I disagree
on gay marriage. I`m not for gay marriage despite the fact that my sister,
Mary, is married.
L. CHENEY: I love Mary very much. I love her family very much. This is
just an issue on which we disagree.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It got uglier from there. Her wife, Heather, post
saying Liz Cheney supported us at our wedding and said she was happy for us
and proud and now she is turning on us for cynical political reasons.
L. CHENEY: This is just an issue on which we disagree.
O`DONNELL: In the spotlight tonight, the Cheney family feud.
Joining me now, Nia-Malika Henderson, political reporter for "the
Nia, it seems inevitable that Liz Cheney trying to run to the right of Mike
Enzi in Wyoming, would run straight into this conflict with her sister over
NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: That`s
right. I mean. there is not a lot of room left to the right of Mike Enzi.
Here is a guy who has a plus ratings from all of the big conservative
groups. So, what they have done, a lot of Mike Enzi`s allies out there is
that they have run these ads featuring Liz Cheney on MSNBC, essentially
coming out in support of these benefits.
Listen, I am so against same sex marriage that I don`t even agree with my
own sister`s choice to marry a woman. So there, you have it. I think one
of the things about this race is that if you look at the chatter that we
have seen in Washington in the beltway over this, it isn`t really playing
I was looking at some of the Web site there, at the top news sites and this
story barely made the top ten list of stories, you know, on some of these
web sites out there and a lot of the stories out there were three or four
sentences. So, I don`t think with those Wyoming voters who know Mike Enzi
very well that that is going to make a difference in this race where you
already see that Liz Cheney is far ,far behind.
O`DONNELL: Mary Cheney has told the "New York Times" that said she will
not be spending Christmas with Liz Cheney as the full family tradition, and
that thanksgiving, by the way, is going to be at, I think, if I read it
correctly, at Mary Cheney`s home in Virginia. But that is to say, with
vice president Cheney and that side of the family.
O`DONNELL: So, I want to go to what Dick Cheney said back in 2009 where he
very clearly said that he -- that any form of valid, you know, authorized
relationship among gay people is fine with him. Let`s listen to what he
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
D. CHENEY: I think, you know, freedom means freedom for everyone. I think
people ought to free and any kind of union they wish, any kind of
arrangement they wish.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Nia, that sounds like the libertarian streak in Dick Cheney and
the father of a lesbian daughter married to a woman.
HENDERSON: That`s right. And, you know, you hear this from a lot of tea
party folks that what is it the government`s place to decide who can get
married and you hear a lot of libertarians making that case arguing for
saying sex marriage. Some conservatives even now arguing that you know,
it`s a family values issue that same sex folks should be able to get
But I think one of the issues is that you had this family, Mary Cheney, of
course, wrote to get George Bush and her father re-elected in 2004. Of
course, we know that George Bush really wanted that federal marriage
amendment. Cheney didn`t want it. And Mary, in some ways, grappled with
that, privately thought about leaving that campaign. Never did. But the
party, of course, is in a different place.
You did have these gay Republicans who were in the closet, in a lot of
ways, about how they felt. It was like they lived their private lives one
way and publicly said a different thing. And now, I think the party is
different. It`s not exactly where the country is, but it is slowly, I
think, catching up with where the rest of the country is in terms of gay
marriage. In Wyoming, of course, this issue, Mike Enzi and Liz Cheney are
on the same side of this issue being against same sex marriage.
O`DONNELL: The conflicted parents, vice president and Mrs. Cheney, issued
this statement today, tilting clearly towards candidate Liz.
This is an issue that we have dealt with privately for many years. Pained
to see it become public. They say Liz has always believed in the
traditional definition of marriage. Get that one right in there and then
compassion is called for. Even when there is disagreement about such a
fundamental matter and Liz`s many kindnesses shouldn`t be used to distort
That statement seems clearly aimed at their daughter, Mary, and her wife.
HENDERSON: Yes. And very much aimed at assuring up Liz Cheney in this
race. I mean, if you`re Liz Cheney it`s hard to believe that she actually
believes she has a chance to win this race give than she is down 50 points
in the pole. People like Mike Enzi in Wyoming. There is no reason that
they feel like someone needs to take his place. So, it could be that she
is thinking that, you know, six years from now she could put herself in a
position to win that race.
O`DONNELL: Wow, six years from now. That`s some another six years without
Christmas family get togethers.
Nia-Malika Henderson, thank you very much for joining us.
HENDERSON: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up in the rewrite tonight, that video that man of you
have seen from New Mexico of that police officer firing at a minivan as it
is fleeing, that has been against the law according to the United States
Supreme Court for almost 30 years now. That`s next in the rewrite.
O`DONNELL: Today, the New Mexico state police refused to give us a copy of
their rule on police use of deadly force. You will see why next in the
O`DONNELL: In tonight`s episode of bad cop worse cop, we have two New
Mexico state police officers. The first officer you are about to see on
video is Tony DeTavis who stops a woman for doing 71 miles an hour in a 55
mile an hour zone near Taos, New Mexico on a road where like all roads in
New Mexico. No one drives 55 miles an hour. You will see officer DeTavis
viciously endanger the kids in the car and you will see him do this out of
nothing but rage.
And then when a back-up officer named Elias Montoya arrives, you will see
who the big, big lawbreaker is in this scene when he violates the law and
the constitution by firing his gun at an unarmed mother and her children on
vacation in a minivan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- 71 back there in a 55.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER (voice-over): Oriana Farrell and the state
police officer are arguing over a ticket just south of Taos. But as the
cop walks off, Farrell does the opposite, pulling away instead. So he
pulls her over again. The officer isn`t too happy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of the vehicle right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: You can see the officer try to pull her out
while the five kids inside scream. Her 14-year-old son gets out but thinks
again when the officer pulls his taser, the struggle continues.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are facing charges already.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I didn`t run away. Do you see my children? I`m
trying to take them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Finally she agrees to get out and talk but the
conversation doesn`t last long.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Turn around and face your vehicle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Farrell and the cop struggle as she tries to
get back into the van. While that happens, the 14-year-old gets out again
and this time he rushes the officer trying to defend his mom. After short
tussle, the boy runs back into the minivan. The officer tries to get him
out while back-up arrives.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Open the door. Open the door.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Farrell starts to drive off while another
officer fires at the minivan full of kids as young as six. Farrell then
takes them on a four-minute high speed chase into Taos and cutting in the
wrong way traffic before eventually pulling over and giving up in front of
a hotel. Her 14-year-old son is arrested and so is she.
O`DONNELL: What you just saw was a completely unconstitutional use of
deadly force. I wrote the book on this in 1983, documenting police abuse
of deadly force, a problem that most Americans were not yet aware of. But
the Black America was painfully aware of since Black people have always
been disproportionately the victims of the most egregious crimes committed
by police in their abuse of deadly force.
Now, most police officers use deadly force correctly, which means they
never use it. They never even have to think about using it. Well over 90
percent of police officers never have a legitimate occasion to draw their
guns in their entire careers. Well over 90 percent of police officers have
never fired their guns on duty and have never had shots fired at them and
never heard shots fired.
Police work is not as dangerous as Hollywood would have you believe.
Several other occupations such as agriculture have higher on the job death
rates than police work. But Hollywood isn`t about to start making movies
about brave death-defying farmers.
Officer Montoya who you see firing his gun at the minivan has obviously
taken his guidance on the use of his gun from TV cop shows instead of the
United States Supreme Court which in 1985, two years after my book came
out, said it was unconstitutional for police officers to use deadly force
against unarmed fleeing felony suspects.
I had been urging that change in law since my first public words on the
subject in a 1979 "New York Times" op-ed piece. But on the street,
policing has never been done by the rule book and policing the police is
usually not done by the rule book either.
Officer Montoya wrote in his police report that he wasn`t shooting at the
mother behind the wheel or her five children. He said he was aiming quote
"at the left rear tire in an attempt to immobilize the vehicle."
Most enlightened police departments do not allow the use of warning shots
of any kind or the mythical practice of firing at tires to stop vehicles.
Most bullets fired by police missed most of the time. They miss their
target. Whatever they are aiming at, most of their bullets.
Police bullets fired at moving targets are virtually guaranteed to miss the
target which means they all will ricochet off of pavement in unpredictable
directions or in this case they were just as likely to miss that tire, if
that`s what he was really aiming at, and hit one of the children in the
It may be that Officer Montoya was aiming at the tire and it may be that
Officer Montoya was advised to say that by someone who understand the law
better than Officer Montoya. The woman driving the minivan has been
charged with abuse of a child. She is being blamed for putting her
children in the line of fire of out of control police officers. She is
also charged with aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer and she is
charged with possession of drug paraphernalia for two marijuana pipes found
in that minivan.
Her 14-year-old son who rushed to her assistance and interfered with her
arrest, as I know I would have done when I was 14-years-old, if that were
my mother out there, he faces charges of battery of an officer for that
little game of tag that you saw him playing with a well armed heavily armed
officer DeTavis who was obviously never in any danger at the hands of that
Officer DeTavis who did abuse all of the charge in that minivan by
needlessly and dangerously recklessly breaking the window and Officer
Montoya, who fired recklessly three bullets at a van filled with five kids
and their mother, those who officers have been charged with nothing.
O`DONNELL: There is good news and bad news for the implementation of the
affordable care act. That`s next.
O`DONNELL: Brad Camp is a small business owner in Washington state who got
a cancellation notice in September from his health insurance company. He
went to the Washington state`s run exchange and for close to the same
premium he had been paying, he got a better health insurance policy that
allowed him to keep the same doctors and he qualified for a subsidy to help
pay the premiums under the affordable care act.
Howard (INAUDIBLE) owns a small business in Lexington, Kentucky where he
pays half the cost of his eight employees` insurance. Mr. (INAUDIBLE)
employees are now saving five percent to 40 percent each on new health
insurance plans with better benefits thanks to the affordable care act.
The lower cost of health insurance allows Mr. (INAUDIBLE) to provide
additional employee benefits now including vision and dental plans while
still saving about 50 percent compared to the old plan they were on.
In Connecticut, thanks to the affordable care act and master some, will
save $8,000 next year in health insurance premiums or monthly premiums are
being cut from $965 to $313. Each of these stories was told in an op-ed
piece in today`s "Washington Post" written by a governors of Washington,
Kentucky and Connecticut who say the affordable care act is working because
quote "elected leaders have decided to put people not politics first."
Also, this weekend`s "Washington Post" was a report that the White House is
now hoping that the federal exchange web site healthcare.gov will work for
80 percent of its users by the end of this month.
Joining me now is Jonathan Cohn, senior editor for the "New Republic."
Jonathan, I think there could be dueling anecdotes going back and forth
about good stories about the affordable care act and then negative stories
about it. But I do think it was important to read those stories that the
governors supplied because we are just not hearing those kinds stories.
But I want you to go to this 80 percent target, first of all and put that
in perspective for us, That seems like a low bar for the administration to
set for itself.
JONATHAN COHN, SENIOR EDITOR, THE NEW REPUBLIC: Well, it does seem like a
low bar. But, keep two things in mind. First of all, a vast improvement
over what we have seen so far. And second, and I think this is the point
if you listen to Jay Carney today at the White House he made, is that, you
know, there is always going to be some people who aren`t going to go
through the Web site. Maybe they don`t like to use computers. Maybe they
have very complicated situations, you know, have these families with
multiple people and maybe there is people with different immigration status
or their income fluctuates or there are an extended family with foster
These are going to be very complicated cases. And you have to expect that
in most of these, you know, they are going to have to deal with the human
being, they are going to have to get on the phone with a call center, go in
person to one of these navigators or some kind of broker.
So, it is fair to expect that there always going to be some percentage who
were never going to use the Web site. And of course, that has b the
experience in Massachusetts. That has been the experienced within
Medicare, the drug benefit as well.
O`DONNELL: Jonathan, I`m not one that believes in governing by anecdote
either positive or negative, but how do we find perspective in this ongoing
story about the implementation of the affordable care act?
COHN: You know, it`s really hard, right? Because we`re hearing all of
these stories. They come up through the media, stories that people who are
getting these cancellation notices. These people are scared. And if you
dig in to these stories, you know, there are some people who they are going
to be left with choices. They may have to pay more for their insurance
next year or, you know, they won`t have the same doctor network.
Buy you know, you need to be careful with the stories and you need to be
careful and know the full context of them. Because in general, you`re
going to find a lot of these people, the policies they had, they were
really lousy policies. They didn`t even like them. Most people who are
buying insurance on their own, they don`t hold on to their insurance very
And then there is the fact that you mentioned which is that, you know, yes,
insurance -- the sticker price of insurance gets more expensive under
Obamacare, but then you have these subsidies. You know, sometimes, they
are worth thousands of dollars a year to people. And so, you have all
kinds of stories of people who are actually going to save money. And you
know, it`s hard to get specific numbers on this. But most experts I spoken
to said, you know, if you look at the people who are buying insurance on
their own, more of them are going to end up paying less next year than who
And so, you know, you just need to look at the whole picture and understand
what is really going on in every story.
O`DONNELL: And we have to leave it here for tonight.
Jonathan Cohn gets tonight`s last word. Thanks, Jonathan.
COHN: Thanks for having me.
O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST, ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES: Good evening from New
York. I`m Chris Hayes.
And we begin tonight with a win for President Obama and the uninsured in
the unlikeliest of places. While Republicans grow more convinced by the
day that fighting Obamacare is their ticket to political renaissance, a
surprise victory for health reform in Louisiana this weekend could be a
cautionary tale for anti-Obamacare crusaders.
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