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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Read the transcript to the Thursday show

July 10, 2014

Guest: EJ Dionne, Ramin Setoodeh

MADDOW: According to President Richard Nixon, none of the smart girls
swear because it removes something from them. So Richard Nixon is good
with the gays, even if they do suck all the vitality out of society. He`s
good with drunken men swearing, but if there`s one thing that Richard Nixon
cannot abide --


NIXON: You show me a girl that swears and I`ll show you an awful
unattractive person.


MADDOW: That judgment of humanity from Richard Nixon of all people that is
definitely the best new thing in the world today. Damn it.

Now it`s time for "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL." Thanks for
being with us.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: On his way back from Texas today, the
president finally found out why John Boehner wants to sue him.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Front and center on Capitol Hill.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fight over immigration and the border.

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER: This isn`t about politics. It
isn`t about anything like that.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: It`s all about politics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This has gone the way which everything goes in D.C.
these days which is to politics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president has asked for more than $3 billion to
address this problem.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We should drop everything until we absolutely address

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Republicans who have been for it years agitated for
more money for border security.

BOEHNER: I can tell you this, we`re not giving the president a blank

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they`re saying no.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why not support it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because if he`s for it, they`re against it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John Boehner is suing the president.

BOEHNER: When is he going to take responsibility for something?

PELOSI: They`re not effective legislators so they`re changing the subject.

Republicans in Congress have blocked or voted down every serious idea.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president is pointing the fingers squarely at

OBAMA: They said no to fixing our broken immigration system.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Urging Republicans not to play politics with this
emergency funding bill.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Telling them to get on the ball.

OBAMA: I feel like saying to these guys, I`m the guy doing my job, you
must be the other guy.

MARK WAHLBERG, ACTOR: I`m a guy who does his job. You must be the other


O`DONNELL: It was day two in Texas for President Obama, and Texas Governor
Rick Perry took a boat tour of the border in Mission, Texas. Today, his
fellow Republican House Speaker John Boehner was in Washington where he
said this about the emergency funding President Obama has requested to deal
with the problems that Rick Perry was seeing today.


BOEHNER: I can tell you this, though, we`re not giving the president a
blank check.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Mr. Speaker, do you agree with Senator Lindsey
Graham who said yesterday if Republicans do not go ahead and approve this
funding, we`re going to get blamed for perpetrating the problem? Do you
think you have to approve this funding?

BOEHNER: Listen, this is a problem of the president`s own making. He`s
been president for five and a half years. When is he going to take
responsibility for something?


O`DONNELL: If that`s not a call for executive action, I don`t know what
is. In Austin, Texas, the president said this about the job that John
Boehner has been doing.


OBAMA: When folks say they`re frustrated with Congress, let`s be clear
about what the problem is. I`m just telling the truth now. I don`t have
to run for office again, so I can just -- you know? Let it rip.

They said no to fixing our broken immigration system that we know would
strengthen our borders and our businesses and help families.

The best thing you can say about this Congress, the Republicans in
Congress, and particularly the House of Representatives, the best thing you
can say for them this year is that so far they have not shut down the
government or threatened to have America welch on our obligations. And
ruin our credit rating.

That`s the best you can say. But of course, it`s only July so who knows
what they may cook up.


O`DONNELL: We now know exactly why John Boehner wants to sue the
president. John Boehner`s office released a statement tonight saying,
"We`re releasing a draft resolution that will authorize the House to file
suit over the way President Obama unilaterally changed the employer mandate
in 2013. The president changed the health care law without a vote of
Congress, effectively creating his own law by literally waiving the
employer mandate and the penalties for failing to comply with it. That`s
not the way our system of government was designed to work. No president
should have the power to make laws on his or her own."

Hours before the lawsuit details were released, President Obama said that
Republicans want to sue him for just doing his job.


OBAMA: You hear some of them. Sue him, impeach him. Really?


Really? For what? You`re going to sue me -- for doing my job? OK. I
mean, think about that. You know, use taxpayer money to sue me for doing
my job, while you don`t do your job.


There`s a great movie called "The Departed." A little violent for kids but
there`s a scene in the movie where Mark Wahlberg -- yes, they`re on a
stakeout and somehow the guy loses the guy that they`re tracking, and
Wahlberg is all upset and yelling at the guy. The guy looks up and says,
well, who are you? And Wahlberg says, I`m the guy doing my job, you must
be the other guy.


Sometimes I feel like saying to these guys, I`m the guy doing my job. You
must be the other guy.


O`DONNELL: And of course, William Monahan wrote those words that Mark
Wahlberg said.

So, Alex, what`s your favorite line from "The Departed"?


ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC ANCHOR, NOW: Really like my movie to -- can I use
another Mark Wahlberg line?

O`DONNELL: Anything you want.

WAGNER: I actually don`t have any Mark Wahlberg lines to recall.

O`DONNELL: They are actually William Monahan lines.


WAGNER: Yes. Right. Yes. Deliver --

O`DONNELL: The actors don`t ever make up the words.

WAGNER: Deliver.

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC ANCHOR, "ALL IN": My world is falling apart.

WAGNER: It`s actually great to watch that whole segment because you have
Boehner in his faux indignation talking about people not bearing the
responsibility of office when he`s done precisely that. And then you have
the president who sees this ruse for what it is, a political stunt, and
knows actually at the end of the day it`s going to be very good for

I mean, there is -- I don`t understand how this works out for John Boehner
inside his party. I don`t understand how this works out for Republicans
who want to take Democratic seats. I see how it works out for Democrats,

O`DONNELL: Well, it was a rough moment for Boehner where he`s presented
with a Republican statement from Lindsey Graham saying, you know, look, if
you`re serious, you`re going to have to do what the president is asking for
or something like it. And Boehner, instead of being able to address that
first, just has to raise his voice and kind of power through it in a
relevant kind.

HAYES: Well, because I think the strategy here is not do anything, block


HAYES: Not shut down the government or threaten a faux crisis, but if
you`re doing that, if you`re not threatening default and you`re not
shutting down the government, there`s this -- this pressure that builds up
in the base, right? And that pressure needs to go somewhere.


HAYES: In previous iterations of this Congress it went into the shutdown.
It went into threatening default. He`s got no pressure valve for them
right now. So it starts to build up until there`s people talking
impeachments. You`ve got to let some pressure out. And that`s what the
lawsuit is. Right? But the problem with the lawsuit is, it satisfies no
one. Right?


HAYES: It makes people look like -- you look like you`re obstructing and
to your base, it`s like, we`re going to nail him on waiving the fees on the
enforcement of the employer mandate for a year? It`s like that doesn`t
satisfy everyone.

O`DONNELL: We`re going to nail him on doing something we want him to do.

HAYES: That we voted to do. That we voted for him to do.

O`DONNELL: Yes. We wanted this.

WAGNER: And also we`re not going to nail him on the thing we`re really
riled up about, which is immigration.

HAYES: Exactly. It`s so weirdly off message.

WAGNER: And we`re also -- he`s not even delivering the sort of impeachment
red meat.


WAGNER: And already Eric Erickson is like, this is political theater.
John Boehner doesn`t have the testicular fortitude -- pardon my French,
gentlemen -- to take this where it needs to go. I don`t know who this is

O`DONNELL: Well about this -- John Boehner seems to be getting credit by
some kind of cooler heads in Washington for going forward with this lawsuit
idea as a way of not going forward or not allowing to go forward with any

HAYES: Right.

O`DONNELL: Do you really get credit for not trying to impeach President
Obama and coming up with some alternative thing that probably isn`t going
to go anywhere?

HAYES: It`s also -- it`s just a bizarre thing to be doing at this point.
I mean, first of all there`s no disagreement on the policy merits. I think
they chose this particular venue because they thought this was the thing
that had the best chance legally. And for all they know -- for all I know
it might. I am actually --

O`DONNELL: It`s a very interesting technical case.

HAYES: Yes, exactly. It`s an interesting technical case on the merits of


WAGNER: Well, it doesn`t stand.

HAYES: But let`s remember, it doesn`t -- it does not emanate from the
merits. Right?


HAYES: There was a room in which people had a big, like, whiteboard and
they were writing down different things, like fast and furious. Can we get

WAGNER: Yes. That room was the page of the "Wall Street Journal" where
Boehner was like it could be on a number of things, this lawsuit.

HAYES: Yes. Right. Right.


WAGNER: It might be the EPA or --

HAYES: So they decided the lawsuit before --


WAGNER: They literally crowd sourced the lawsuit.

O`DONNELL: Yes. That sounded this.

WAGNER: And they`re like, is it EPA regulations? Is it No Child Left
Behind? We`re going to go with the ACA.

O`DONNELL: John McCain has come out with a plan today in response to the
president`s plan. There`s at least one significant piece of overlap, which
costs money that McCain is going to have to come up with, and that is
increase the number of immigration judges to hear cases and create a
separate immigration docket to hear cases of juveniles. That`s a real
spending item.

He also wants to get a lot more ankle bracelets on some of these people to
make sure they come back for their hearing dates. There`s a little bit of
money on that. The rest of it doesn`t look like it`s very cost intensive.

But Chris, this is the kind of overlap where legislation, successful
legislation used to begin.

HAYES: Yes. Well, I would not be surprised.

O`DONNELL: Republicans tried here, Democrats start there and you end up

HAYES: I think there is -- Boehner`s reaction to that question from Graham
and you have Mario Diaz-Balart in the House today talking about fellow
Republicans need to move on this. Jeff Flake in the Senate. I mean, there
is pressure. There is absolutely political pressure for them to not block
this. So I think you`re going to see the contours of a compromise.

Two questions. Does it do anything? Right? Does it actually address the
problem? Because as soon as Congress starts talking about immigration,
usually I`m like, you know, it`s a nightmare. Particularly when you`ve got
the, you know, running around the border pretending that we`re being
innovated by like Guatemalan toddlers.

You know what I mean? That this is some big -- this is some huge security
threat. It`s like, let`s all just remember what this is. Now let me say
this. McCain is right about the immigration judges thing. And that
actually to me is the Venn diagram of Congress.


HAYES: There`s a huge backlog. We should have more judges processing
these asylum and we shouldn`t just short circuit and deny them a claim on
asylum when our laws say they can.

O`DONNELL: Well, McCain has actually got something on that, that goes a
step beyond anything the president`s proposal includes, which is Boehner
says increase the number of refugee visas by 5,000 for each of El Salvador,
Honduras and Ecuador. Now that`s an act of kindness that doesn`t exist yet
in the president`s program but I`m sure he embraces.

WAGNER: Well, I agree with you. I think this is the contours of
compromise. The area where I think both parties need to be really careful
is that 2008 trafficking bill signed into law under George Bush. Because
both parties have a liability when it comes to voters and specifically
Hispanic voters when it`s like, OK, we`re going to speed deportation.


WAGNER: That this will solve our problem but it does not solve the
fundamental problem of these children coming across seeking humanitarian

O`DONNELL: And this is a tricky spot because this is a thing -- number one
on McCain`s list is amend that trafficking.


WAGNER: Right. And I think that`s where your adulthood life.

O`DONNELL: And amend it to what?

HAYES: Right.

WAGNER: And that is where there`s overlap and I think there are some
Democrats in Congress saying wait a second, that`s actually not a great
thing for these kids. To say nothing of the visual of putting a Guatemalan
toddler in an ankle bracelet and what that does for the Republican Party or
any party that have --

HAYES: Let`s also remember when Boehner is talking about whether, you
know, this is a problem with the president`s creation, that 2008 law, which
creates the entitlement to due process for these kids, right? That decree,
the passes they`re going through. It passed on a voice vote in the House.


HAYES: It was so uncontroversial.

WAGNER: Right.

HAYES: They didn`t take a roll call, OK? So this idea that like
tyrannical President Obama with his deferred action, like, this is a
classic example of like everything in Washington is bipartisan. And we
say, oh, it`s great, it passed bipartisan, and sometimes that doesn`t mean
it`s good legislation.

O`DONNELL: Yes. And to go back to Boehner where -- because this is where
it`s going to get stuck if it gets stuck, right? It looks like there`s
already movement in the Senate, you have McCain --


O`DONNELL: Like people moving toward the president already. Boehner
clearly, if you were to read that press conference today, would like to do
the standard thing, which is called nothing in the House of
Representatives. Right?

WAGNER: Right. Yes.

O`DONNELL: And so what he ended up saying there was basically the
president should use some kind of executive action --


WAGNER: Take it off quickly.

O`DONNELL: -- while I want to sue him for not coming to us for everything
he wants to do.

WAGNER: And that maybe explains the timing on this lawsuit. Right? We`re
not going to be -- we`re not going to be able to really Tetris this with
the immigration thing, so let`s distract debate that`s riled up and
thirsting for blood with this lawsuit on the ACA, a totally unrelated
topic. We know --


HAYES: To create the stage --

WAGNER: Fifty-one times we repealed it, create chaos there and to your
point the valve is released.

O`DONNELL: But -- so what is our best guess about what the House of
Representatives ends up doing, assuming the Senate is able to move?

HAYES: They will -- their cost will be punitive measures. Right? The way
that the conservative base understands immigration is it`s a threat, as an
invasion. Right?


HAYES: And so the way that they`re going to get their -- you know, pound
of flesh on this is going to be whether it`s National Guard deployment or
increasing guns at the border, or whatever it is. It`s going to be some in
kind of punitive border securing way that they can turn around to their
base and say we got this at the border.


WAGNER: Like the $30 billion that`s actually in the Senate bill.

HAYES: That`s sitting there in the Senate bill.

O`DONNELL: But can it include any spending? I mean, can this House --


O`DONNELL: -- vote for any number of increase in judges or Border Patrol


WAGNER: Well, they`re not -- I`ll say this, Speaker Boehner is not doing
himself any favors by saying we`re not handing the president a blank check.


WAGNER: Once you have said that, it is very hard to walk back. Your bases
hear that and they`re like --


O`DONNELL: I read that to mean we`re not giving the president any money
whatsoever to use down there.

HAYES: I read that to mean a man who doesn`t understand the meaning of a
blank check. The president asked for a specific amount of money, which is
by definition not a blank check.

O`DONNELL: And that money is assigned to a particular purpose already.

WAGNER: Yes. It`s clear that he doesn`t actually understand it.

O`DONNELL: But we`re going to see more of that kind of press conference
with Boehner as this goes on because as long as they stay in the do nothing
mode, as long as the Senate starts moving toward the president, all the
pressure becomes on Boehner.

HAYES: Yes. Look --


WAGNER: (INAUDIBLE) of indignation.

O`DONNELL: Do you believe Boehner will cave to something?

HAYES: Yes, the House will vote for some amount of money and it`ll have
some ugly things attached to it but, yes. I mean I just don`t see --
they`ve backed themselves into a corner. They pumped this scandal, they
pumped this hysteria. If you look at conservative media, it is everywhere.

WAGNER: Something needs to be done.

HAYES: People with disease are flooding into the country.


HAYES: So they can`t -- they`ve created a crisis that needs to be
responded to. They cannot now not do anything.

O`DONNELL: All right. Well, I have been unable to predict the House of

HAYES: Yes, I mean, who knows?


O`DONNELL: So I ain`t going --

HAYES: That`s worth as much as I`m charging you.

WAGNER: And what`s why Chris gets the last word.

O`DONNELL: Thank you very much for joining me on my first week back here
in the great studio.

WAGNER: Welcome back.

O`DONNELL: Great to have you back. Chris Hayes, 8:00 p.m. weeknights here
on MSNBC. Alex Wagner, 4:00 p.m. weekdays here on MSNBC. Thank you very
much for doing overtime with me tonight.

WAGNER: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Ann Coulter has some surprising advice for
Republicans on the Mississippi Senate campaign.

And the Senate has a new bipartisan team. Cory Booker and Rand Paul.

And later, in O`Donnell news, Rosie O`Donnell is going back on "The View."
Yes , Chris Hayes, I know you`re dying for this story. We got it for you.
And that means that the political discussions on that show will definitely
be stronger and maybe a bit louder. Rosie`s back.


O`DONNELL: Rosie O`Donnell isn`t the only big comeback news tonight. Todd
Akin is back, too. And he is trying to explain exactly what he meant when
he said women who are raped have a way of shutting down their bodies to
prevent pregnancy.

Todd Akin`s rewrite of Todd Akin is in tonight`s "Rewrite."



ANN COULTER, CONSERVATIVE AUTHOR: Well, I`ll put it in a nutshell, if you
don`t run, Chris Christie and Romney will be the nominee.


O`DONNELL: I know what you`re thinking, this show will use any excuse to
run that Ann Coulter video, and you`re right. But tonight, we have a
perfectly good excuse, now that Ann Coulter is giving Republicans campaign
advice again. She wrote an op-ed piece for a Mississippi newspaper, "The
Jackson Clarion-Ledger" telling him Chris McDaniel supporters to stop what
they`re doing right now.

Quote, "Chris McDaniel, candidate for the U.S. Senate for Mississippi lost
the Republican runoff to incumbent Senator Thad Cochran last month and now
he is being led down a primrose path to political oblivion. Hoping for yet
a third primary vote McDaniel`s crew is going to prevent him from having
any political career ever again. They don`t care that they`re gambling
with the Republican majority in the Senate or destroying McDaniel`s future
prospects which could come soon, Cochran isn`t getting any younger.

"As the nation goes -- as the nation goes up in smoke they act as if the
future of the country is nothing compared to their color war at summer

Joining me now is MSNBC political analyst and columnist for "The Washington
Post" EJ Dion. He`s also -- was on the ground in Jackson, Mississippi, for
the GOP primary last month.

EJ, take a deep breath if you have to. I believe we have both just heard
Ann Coulter actually say something reasonable about what`s going on in

EJ DIONNE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you know, she even said to
McDaniel that some of his supporters were clowns and nuts.


DIONNE: So I -- what would she say if you said that? Not that you care
very much. But I think the most damaging thing I can say about Ann Coulter
is that she is clearly nothing but an establishment Republican. She is
basically saying McDaniel should drop out for the good of the party.

Imagine what Ted Cruz is going to say about her. But the thing -- the
other thing that struck me about this piece is she does share something in
common with Chris McDaniel, which is she has this whole section on people
who stole elections, and she likes to say elections were stolen when they

I was really struck, she went way back to 2002, John Thune, who later got
elected, against Tim Johnson and says he stole it on the Indian
Reservations. I actually covered that race. The Indian Reservations
always support -- report late. They always give a big margin to the
Democrats. So maybe she figured McDaniel could relate to it if she said
another election was stolen when it wasn`t.

O`DONNELL: Well, yes, the point she was making was in that list of
elections that she was citing was, the people who lost in these stolen
elections, as she called them, they did not contest that election. They
didn`t fight it out the way McDaniel is and then they went on to successful
political careers because they didn`t sour voters in their states by
fighting beyond the point where they could succeed.

DIONNE: Right. And her example number one was good old Richard Nixon.


DIONNE: Who could have complained about stolen votes in Illinois and
Texas. It`s still not clear to me he would have won, but -- he had a case
to make and he didn`t make it. And --

O`DONNELL: And eight years later became president.

DIONNE: Correct.


DIONNE: The problem for McDaniel now is I think it`s a little too late to
suddenly be gracious.

O`DONNELL: Yes. Exactly.

DIONNE: I mean, this has escalated to such a degree that, A, I don`t see
how he backs out of these charges, and B, I doubt the party would feel very
good about him even if he did start get up one morning and say oh, never

O`DONNELL: Yes, and Ann Coulter describes, as you said, the -- some of the
McDaniel supporters as being clowns and nuts and says that a lot of them
are in a paranoid frenzy. And I`ve got to believe that Ann Coulter
recognizes a paranoid frenzy when she sees one.

DIONNE: I was really struck. This issue of self-awareness did come to
mind when I read that. But I guess she`s -- she has some expertise, so she
has a right to write about it.

O`DONNELL: She did have math that you just can`t argue here, which I think
every, you know, cool headed analyst of this election sees it the same way.
She said Cochran won the runoff by -- by 7,667 votes, according to a
certified vote counted out this week. McDaniel`s partisans don`t just have
to prove that more than 7,000 ineligible voters went to the polls but also
that they all voted for Cochran, not McDaniel.

Good luck with that. You just -- that`s not going to be provable, EJ.

DIONNE: No. I think they -- if this were like a 500-vote margin or
something like that, and there are certainly some people who violated the
rules by voting in the Democratic primary and then voting in the Republican
runoff. But it`s just hard to believe that you have enough of those people
to make up a 7,000 vote margin.

And again, I -- you`ve got to go back to this. There`s something really
distressing about the right wing going after African-Americans for actually
casting ballots. I mean, I guess you can say there are equal opportunity
about it. Usually they go after them for casting ballots for Democrats.
This time they`re going after those voters forecasting ballots for a
Republican they don`t like.

O`DONNELL: Yes. EJ Dionne, thank you very much for joining me tonight.

DIONNE: Good to belie with you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

Coming up, Cory Booker and Rand Paul are reviving a couple of old Senate
traditions. Bipartisanship and friendship.



SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I just remember the first time I really met
you, you were tweeting and it was in the green room of like NBC in New York
and couldn`t get a word in edge wise because he was busy tweeting somebody,
you know, the whole time.

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D), NEW JERSEY: I was, hey, check it out, I`m in the
green room with Rand Paul.



O`DONNELL: In the spotlight tonight, the Senate`s new bipartisan team.


BOOKER: We have a serious, serious crisis in this country that we`re only
4 percent to 5 percent of the globe`s population where we incarcerate 25
percent of the globe`s prison population.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is an issue where I think both parties can come
together and work on.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: You served your term. You should get a
second chance. Cory and I both have great ideas for it.

BOOKER: I`m proud to sit next to Rand Paul right now. We sat down and
said, what can we agree on? Let`s put in the bill and let`s fight for it
and push it forward. And by the way, I believe in the power of the free

Maybe you could become a Republican.


BOOKER: Well, I do have to say that I`ve long since recognized the great
American holiday festivus. And I happen to see that Rand Paul was lifting
his grievances, which is one of the elements of festivus. One of them is I
didn`t tweet him enough.

PAUL: I`m just wondering if we can get a reality show. Cheers.


O`DONNELL: Joy Reid, they could get a reality show. That`s a five-minute
deal to make.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST, THE REID REPORT: There you do. I would watch that.
I mean, look, it`s interesting. This is a Bromance kind of made in heaven.
Right there, both getting something out of it. Rand Paul wants to show
that he can appeal to African-Americans. He keeps going into African-
American spaces and trying to bond with people to show that he`s sort of a
new kind of Republican.

And Cory Booker has a history of creating these Bromances with Republicans.
He did the same thing with Chris Christie. They would do these sorts of
funny videos and it annoyed to high heaven a lot of his more liberal
supporters. But this is not the first time Cory Booker has strayed into
that bipartisan territory.

O`DONNELL: And they have come together for an enormously important issue,
giving people a second chance in this country.

REID: Yes. And you know what? So Rand Paul as sort of the libertarian
standard bearer right now. He is kind of the most prominent libertarian
guy out there. Libertarians happen to agree with liberals on the issue of
massive incarceration. It happens to be one of the few places, let drug
policy and incarceration are the place where ducktail.

And Rand Paul I think is very wisely fully exploiting that by making that a
signature issue for him. This is the way Rand Paul gets somewhat to the
left of the Republican Party, appeals to younger moderates, to younger
potentially Democrats. This is part of his strategy of being the broadest
based candidate. And also, it is not sincere because it is something he
has been talking about a long time. And there`s some questionable things
about Rand Paul, in his view of the civil rights, et cetera. But on this
issue, he comes across as authentic because it is authentic libertarian.

O`DONNELL: I mean, this is not a challenge for senators, because they do
this all the time. They take each other one issue at a time. And you
never really become a senator`s enemy or you never really become as
permanent friend, because you`re always sometimes cooperating on this
issue, opposed to each other on others.

It`s very difficult, I have notice, for voters to do that. They tend to
want to make things easier than that, just go I hate Rand Paul or I hate
Cory Booker and that is it. And so, voters are much more reluctant to
watch senators work individually with another senator who they don`t like
over something that that voter might even want.

REID: Yes. It`s one of the insincerities of the public. When they give
their opinion to polls who they say what I want is bipartisanship, what I
want is will work together (INAUDIBLE). That`s not what they want.

Because as soon as their senator or somebody they are a fan of start to do
it, people tend to get very upset. Remember Teddy Kennedy caught a lot of
heat for working with George W. Bush across the aisle on education. If one
people steal the test, no job left behind.

So the actual act of bipartisanship can be tricky. John McCain and Hillary
Clinton, famously got along very well in the Senate. She may even still
pay for that for having those friends across the aisle. So functionally,
it can be dicey, but I think for both of these guys who want a national
profile, it`s definitely a way to particularly get, let`s say, the media
and other people on their side and give themselves sorts of a bigger

O`DONNELL: But each one of them, and it seems to me Rand Paul is taking
the bigger here. Each one of them takes a risk with their own bases by
moving towards each other. And for someone who has hopes in a Republican
presidential primary, being -- even this seems to be caught doing business
with any Democrat now is a dangerous thing.

REID: Yes. It`s more dangerous for Republicans. That new Pew poll that
talked about political polarization found that Republicans were
significantly more likely to say that Democrats are a threat to the
republic than Democrats were to say that about Republicans. And it found
that Democrats are people who lean Democratic or independent are much more
likely to genuinely say I want to see bipartisanship whereas Republicans
are a lot more dug in. They`re a lot more in a sort of defensive crouch
and say they don`t want even the appearance of even looking nicely at
President Obama, let alone a democratic senator.

So it is dangerous for Rand Paul. But his whole strategy is kind of
dangerous. He`s sort of setting himself on his own thing that I`m -- he is
both for evangelicals as well as business folks. He`s anti-war, but at the
same time he`s saying he`s a Reagan Republican. So, all of his whole
strategy is risky, but it`s also the most interesting strategy.

O`DONNELL: Yes. It is the most interesting to watch.

Joy, you`re doing something special on your program tomorrow. What is

REID: Yes, indeed. So the one-year anniversary of the verdict in the
Trayvon Martin case is coming up on Sunday. So tomorrow, we are going to
look at kind of how that -- .

O`DONNELL: At 2:00 p.m.

REID: At 2:00 p.m. on MSNBC. I got to get my promo in rhyme. Yes, so
2:00 p.m. we are going to talk about just sort of how that one-year
anniversary has shaped the culture, has shaped our understanding of the
law. And also has shaped people`s attitude towards how important it is to
serve on a jury. That`s been one of the biggest impacts. We had a little
clip of Sybrina Fulton who is the mother of Trayvon Martin. She is one of
the frequently interviewed and I believe we do have that.

O`DONNELL: Great. Let`s look at that.


SYBRINA FULTON, TRAYVON MARTI`S MOTHER: I think we`re moving into the
right direction. People are really fed up with burying children, burying
even young children, and our young ladies. It`s a whole generation that
we`re losing. And so that has becomes important, and that has no color.
We need to save all children, not just a certain group of children, all
children need to be saved. So we`ll have that generation.


REID: You know, and they become activists, both the parents. They started
this foundation. They`ve thrown themselves in it. it has become Sybrina
Fulton`s full time work. And you know, they`re trying to make the best out
of their pain.

O`DONNELL: And talk about what it feels like to talk to her a year later.
What is your sense of where she is emotionally now?

REID: You know, it`s interesting. The difference between talking with
Sybrina Fulton and talking with Tracy, Tracy is very passionate. He is
very much able to still talk about Trayvon, the father.

But Sybrina Fulton is still very read as a very difficult for her to open
up about her son. You can still sort of see the pain. And as a mother
talking to her, it can be difficult for me to do, because you can still,
that pain is a lot more palpable with her. So that is what we`ll do
tomorrow. We are going to have interviews with the two of them as well as
other principals in the case.

There`s also something else important I wanted to get to while I`m here,
Lawrence. Because having you back at 30 rock is a great thing. We`re very
happy about it. And so, I decided in the fine west in tradition --

O`DONNELL: Are you going to surprise me with something?

REID: I`m just going to welcome you back with food, because that`s the way
we roll in tradition. So from the team of the "Reid Report," we have
brought you -- this shouldn`t do product placement. I`ll turn it this way
so they don`t get free advertising.

O`DONNELL: We don`t want them to know which bakery very close to --.

REID: Macaroons, my friend. I understand you like them. So these are for
you. Welcome back to 30 rock.

O`DONNELL: You know, my staff told you that I liked those because my staff
likes those.

REID: Sure key. And you know what, it just so happens, there`s enough for
your entire staff.

O`DONNELL: Fantastic! Thank you very much.

REID: Thank you very much, Lawrence. Great to have you back on the mother

O`DONNELL: I will be watching the Joy Reid`s Special Report tomorrow at
2:00 p.m.

Thank you, Joy, very much.

REID: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: And coming up in the rewrite, Todd Akin will try and largely
fail to rewrite Todd Akin.


O`DONNELL: And now for the good news.

In October, Oklahoma farmer Kevin Whitney dropped his iphone into his grain
silo and disappeared into 280,000 grounds of grain. Of course, Kevin never
expected to see it again, but he got his iphone back nine months later
after the iphone traveled with the grain from Oklahoma down the Arkansas
and Mississippi rivers to Louisiana, and then went by ship to Japan where a
worker found the phone inside the grain shipment. That`s when Kevin got a
phone call asking, did you lose a cell phone? The iphone was shipped back
without a scratch, and most importantly, Kevin got the pictures of his
daughter`s wedding right back in his hands.

The rewrite is next.


O`DONNELL: In the rewrite tonight, Todd Akin has written a book. Yes,
that Todd Akin.


the rapist and not attacking the child.

the Missouri senate race into chaos.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: The Republican Part now has a Todd Akin

WAGNER: With incendiary comments about rape and abortion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: So-called legitimate rape?


AKIN: If it`s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that
whole thing down.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC ANCHOR, HARDBALL: This right wing assault on women.

WAGNER: A lot is happening today.

MATTHEWS: This caveman view of the sexes.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Biologically stupid.


OBAMA: Rape is rape.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This created a huge problem for the Romney campaign.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Paul Ryan is being forced to defend his own

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s no daylight between Paul Ryan`s views and
Todd Akin`s views.


O`DONNELL: In his book unapologetically entitled "Firing Back, taking on
the party bosses and media elite to protect our faith and freedom," Todd
Akin tells the story of how he got into a lot of political trouble from
Democrats and Republicans for his comment about legitimate rape and
pregnancy. But he does not apologize for those comments, even though he
did quickly produce a campaign ad apologizing for those comments at the


AKIN: I`m Todd Akin, and I approve this message.

Rape is an evil act. I used the wrong words in the wrong way and for that
I apologize. As the father of two daughters, I want tough justice for
predators. I have a compassions and heart for the victims of sexual
assault. I pray for them. The fact is, rape can lead to pregnancy. The
truth is, rape has many victims. The mistake I made was in the words I
said, not in the heart I hold. I ask for your forgiveness.


O`DONNELL: As the title of his book "firing back" indicates, Todd Akin has
had it with apologizing. The only thing he now wants to rewrite about his
comments about pregnancy and legitimate rape is his apology.

In the book, he says by asking the public at large for forgiveness, I was
validating the willful misinterpretation of what I had said.

OK, let`s listen one more time to what Todd Akin actually said about rape
and pregnancy in its full context.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: What about in the case of rape? Should it
will legal or not?

AKIN: Well, you know, people always want to try to make that as one of
those things how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical
question. It seems to me first of all, from what I understand from
doctors, that`s really rare. If it`s a legitimate rape, the female bold
has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let`s assume that maybe
that didn`t work or something. You know, I think there should be some
punishment, but the punishment ought to be in the rapist and not attacking
the child.


O`DONNELL: So you heard it, what Todd Akin said is, if it`s a legitimate
rape, the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down, meaning ways
to try to shut down fertilization and pregnancy, which is, of course,
simply not true.

The only thing that could do that is an emergency contraceptive and Todd
Akin is opposed to the use of those contraceptives in all cases. The
question Todd Akin was answering, and this is important, was why is he
opposed to abortion in cases of rape? And the important part of his
answer, the first part of his answer is his belief that the female body has
ways to try to prevent fertilization from rape.

Rape and incest are the most difficult things or opponents of all abortions
to discuss, because they know that their opposition to abortion in case of
rape and incest sounds unreasonable to most people. And so, there was Todd
Akin trying to make his opposition to abortion in cases of rape sound
reasonable, sound like no big deal, because you know, you don`t really need
abortion in cases of rape because --


AKIN: The female body has ways to shut that whole thing down.


O`DONNELL: That`s Todd Akin not having the public courage of his
conviction on rape and abortion. That`s Todd Akin refusing to bear the
full burden of his opposition to abortion in cases of rape. That`s Todd
Akin unable to bring himself to tell women, yes, you must have the baby if
you are raped.

And so instead, Todd Akin told people, don`t worry, if you`re raped, you
probably won`t get pregnant. Now, that sure makes opposing abortion in
cases of rape a lot easier. And it must be what many silent opponents of
abortion in cases of rape actually believe.

But opposition to abortion in cases of rape is mainstream Republican dogma.
That position has been consistently represented on the Republican
presidential ticket, the Todd Akin position. And it will be the position
of most Republican candidates for president in 2016.

But they won`t try to tell the voters` fairy tales about rape and
pregnancy. Instead, they will do what Republican candidates always do when
it comes to rape and abortion. They will try to never talk about it
because they know that only 20 percent of voters agree with them that
abortion should always be illegal.

And unlike Todd Akin, they know there is nothing, absolutely nothing they
can say to 80 percent of the voters to make a fair opposition to abortion
in the cases of rape ever sounded reasonable or humane.


O`DONNELL: Big O`Donnell news tonight, about the most famous O`Donnell
since red Hugh. Rosie O`Donnell is going back to "the View". Now, what is
that going to do to the politics of that show? That`s coming up.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you believe I think our troops are terrorists?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t think that you --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you believe that, yes or no?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Excuse me, let me speak.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re doing to double speak. It`s just a yes or a

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t believe that you believe troops are
terrorists. I`ve said that before. But when you say something like
650,000 Iraqis are dead, we invaded them -- let me finish. I am all about


O`DONNELL: Rosy is back, and Elisabeth is not happy.


ELISABETH HASSELBECK, HOST, THE VIEW: What is ruin a vacation more than to
hear any news like this? I know Rosy very well. We worked quite closely.
Talk about not securing the border. Here comes to "the View," the very
woman who spit in the face of our military and in the face of her own
network, and really in the face of a person who stood by her and had
civilized debates for the time that she was there.


O`DONNELL: On "the View" this morning, Whoopi Goldberg, the only woman
currently on "the View" who will returned to the show next season, tried to
calm the audience after all the turmoil they have witnessed since Barbara
Walters` graceful exit from the show.


WHOOPI GOLDBERG, HOST, THE VIEW: You know there`s a lot of speculation
about a lot of stuff going on here. Yes, I`m here. We don`t know who`s
coming in. But I will tell you this, the respect that I have for the
people who work here will not change. I will do my best to respect the
audience, to make sure that we bring you "the View" that Barbara Walters
wanted you to have, which is women talking about issues. We are not little
kids. We are grown-ass women.



O`DONNELL: And after Whoopi said that this morning, ABC confirmed that
Rosie O`Donnell will be one of the grown women sitting beside Whoopi next

Joining me now is the senior editor for "Variety," Ramin Setoodeh. Ramin,
you just told me on commercial, you know everything about Rosie O`Donnell.


O`DONNELL: Tell me how I`m related to Rosie O`Donnell. Because I know if
we dug back, you know, hundreds of years, we would find the birth
certificate. All the O`Donnell s are related, if you back far enough. But
we`ve never done that. So we don`t know.

She was -- she was the biggest ratings hit that "the View" ever had.
Didn`t she set the record for ratings on that show?

SETOODEH: I think there`s one season that was slightly better, but when
she came on, it went up by about 20 percent. She was a huge draw.

O`DONNELL: So this is a coup for ABC to get her back.

SETOODEH: This is a genius move for ABC. She`s going to make the hot
topics extremely hot. She, you know, that was a very controversial clip
that you played. She`s also very funny. People grew up with her on the
"Rosie O`Donnell show." And now a lot of those viewers are moms themselves
watching TV. This is going to be great. "The View" is going to be on the
news every single day.

O`DONNELL: One of the things that you see in that clip is a woman who has
a strong view and real authority for pushing her politics when she feels
compelled to do so, which by the way, I mean, most of the time she
exercises restatement about that in her public discussions, but when it
comes up, she really knows how to prosecute her case.

SETOODEH: And that`s the point of the show. I mean, Barbara Walters
started this show as a place for women to get together and talk about their
points of view. And I think this season, one of the reasons why the
ratings slid a little with Jenny McCarthy and Gerri Shepherd and the other
panel is that they haven`t really had different points of view. And I
think with Rosie coming back and the other panelists that they`re trying to
find, they`re trying to make the show a little more heated and a little
more political. And there is another election coming up. So I think all
of this is good for the show.

O`DONNELL: Yes. So I mean, it is just pointing to a more political view.

Joy Behar was kind of shocked at the way Elisabeth Hasselbeck welcomed, if
you can call it that, we cannot call it that, Rosie back to the show.
Let`s listen to what Joy had to say.


JOY BEHAR, HOST, THE VIEW: I felt that that was kind of below the belt, to
say that she spits in the face of the military. I would like Elisabeth to
explain herself, really. What is she mean by that? And isn`t it kind of a
nasty thing to say about somebody who basically is a good person? She said
she spits in the face of the military? That`s a dangerous thing to say
about somebody. It`s say I hate (INAUDIBLE) and she should explain it.


O`DONNELL: You know, there`s also something here that Elisabeth doesn`t
understand about her stardom, if we can call it that. Rosie made her a
star. It`s by getting in those fights with Rosie on "the View" that let
her emerge as a character in that show in a way that she wouldn`t have
without that.

SETOODEH: Right. And Elisabeth had been on "the View" before Rosie. She
was on "the View." But certainly, when Elisabeth and Rosie fought on "the
View," that was the headline on every evening news segment and you know,
entertainment (INAUDIBLE). Everyone was covering their fights and every
sort of back and forth that they had on the show. So absolutely, Elisabeth
grew in popularity, if you want to call it that because of Rosie.

O`DONNELL: Now, what`s going on at that show? Are they`re just wiping out
everybody except Whoopi. I mean, they`ve got a lot of chairs.

SETOODEH: It has been around for a long time. They`re entering the 18th
season, and I think there aren`t very many talk shows that make it that
long. It is the runners -- longest running talk show. I think they`re
just trying to make it fresh and they now have two really good panelists.
So they are looking for I think two or three more. Sometimes the show has
four, sometimes has five. We don`t know how many they are going to hire.

O`DONNELL: Ramin Setoodeh gets tonight`s "Last Word." Thank you very much
for joining us.

SETOODEH: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.


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