The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 03/23/15

Anna Galland, Howard Dean, Dorian Warren, Sam Stein, Brian Sweany, Karen Desoto, Kenneth Shinozuka

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: And that does it for us tonight, we will see you
again tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell,
good evening Lawrence, great to have you back.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Hey Rachel, you know, last week
was anchor man Spring break for me –


O`DONNELL: So – and that was, of course, a news blackout, complete news
blackout. Everything I know about the news is what I`ve just heard from
you in the last minute –

MADDOW: It is a –

O`DONNELL: That`s all I know, I know nothing more than what you`ve just
said in the last minute.

MADDOW: Pretty much it`s all pope and firing squads, that`s pretty much
all you need to know, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: OK, good, then I`m up to date.

MADDOW: All right, good –

O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel –

MADDOW: Welcome back, man –


O`DONNELL: Thank you. Well, Hillary Clinton spoke in Washington today and
she sounded like the presidential candidate that “The Boston Globe”
endorsed yesterday, Elizabeth Warren.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I`m running for president of the United States.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Ted Cruz became the first candidate to enter
the presidential race today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This had the look and feel of a mega Church sermon.

CRUZ: And I believe God isn`t done with America yet –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Strange combination of John Lennon and Barry Goldwater.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, he kept saying imagine, right?

CRUZ: Imagine a simple flat tax. Imagine abolishing the IRS. Imagine a
president who stands unapologetically with the nation of Israel.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Imagine all the people –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Netanyahu has just apologized for remarks warning about
Israeli Arabs going to the polls in droves.

JOHN OLIVER, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: He should go on the road as
Netanyahu Dini –


What`s going to hold you?

contrary to what is the best of Israel`s traditions.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Get over your temper tantrum, Mr.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A group claiming allegiance to ISIS –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Posted on the internet, names, photos and home
addresses of one hundred U.S. military.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Urge followers to do them harm.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But then again, contacted all one hundred, but offered
no personal protection.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four months after “Rolling Stone” published its widely
disputed article.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The alleged sexual assault to the University of
Virginia –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today, police said they found no evidence that it was
true and have suspended the investigation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that doesn`t mean that something terrible did not

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The annual White House science fair.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oklahoma girl scouts showed off their inventor chops
with a robot made of legos(ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a prototype.

OBAMA: It`s a prototype?


OBAMA: The robots I see keep getting smarter every year. We are keeping
an eye on that by the way. You`re on notice, Skynet.



O`DONNELL: “The Boston Globe” did something yesterday that it has never
done before. “The Globe” endorsed the presidential candidate before that
candidate has even announced that she is running.

And despite the fact that, that potential candidate has insisted that she
will not run. In an unprecedented lead editorial, “The Boston Globe” urged
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to run for president.

And adding unprecedented to unprecedented, “The Globe” run three separate
Op-ed columns urging Elizabeth Warren to run.

Since 1960, when Boston`s local hero John F. Kennedy won the presidency,
“The Boston Globe” has grown accustomed to covering a local boy and a
presidential campaign; Teddy Kennedy in 1980, Michael Dukakis in 1988, John
Kerry in 2004.

“The Globe” never had to urge any of them to run for president. In an
editorial entitled “Democrats need Elizabeth Warren`s voice in the 2016
presidential race, “The Globe” specified some policy differences between
Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren.

Unlike Clinton or any of the prospective Republican candidates, Warren has
made closing the economic gaps in America her main political priority in a
career that has included standing up for home owners, facing illegal
foreclosures and calling for more bankruptcy protections.

If she runs, it will ensure that those issues take their rightful place at
the center of the national political debate.”

With that “Globe” editorial, no doubt in mind today in Washington at the
Center for American Progress, Hillary Clinton sent this.


face is income inequality, combined with wage stagnation, they really go

It turns out that places where the fabric of community is strong, with a
vibrant middle class, places that are more integrated across class, places
with good schools, places with unions, places with religious organizations
and civic organizations help people feel rooted.

Part of a community, and then being able to pull together all of the
aspects that play into upward mobility.

So we need to think hard about what we`re going to do now that people are
moving back into and staying in cities to make sure that our cities are not
just places of economic prosperity and job creation on average, but do it
in a way that lifts everybody up.


O`DONNELL: And tonight at an awards dinner for excellence in political
reporting, Hillary Clinton decided who was the perfect audience to make
jokes about her e-mail.


CLINTON: I am all about new beginnings.


A new grandchild, another new hairstyle –


A new e-mail account.



Why not a new relationship with the press? So here goes, no more secrecy.
No more zone of privacy. After all, what good did that do me?


But first of all, before I go any further, if you look under your chairs,
you`ll find a simple nondisclosure agreement –


My attorneys drew it up, old habits last.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, one of the authors of the four “Boston Globe”
pieces yesterday, urging Elizabeth Warren to run, the executive director of, Anna Galland.

Also joining us on this set here in New York, Dorian Warren, professor of
Columbia University and host of “Nerding Out”.

On shift by Msnbc, also with us, Howard Dean, former chairman of Democratic
National Committee and Msnbc political analyst and Sam Stein, that guy who
got the big get with President Obama on the – Sam Stein, senior politics
editor and White House correspondent of “The Huffington Post”.

Anna, tell us your case for Elizabeth Warren running.

Elizabeth Warren, I think we all know that. We know that economic
inequality is surging, it`s at the worst levels that it`s been in decades.

And Elizabeth Warren has made her life`s work speaking out for the little
guy, and standing up to – and try special interest, standing up to Wall
Street banks, standing up to billionaires and fighting for, you know, the
regular American right to get by, to make a decent life for themselves.

And so our case is really simple, we need Elizabeth Warren`s voice and
message and track record in the Democratic presidential primary.

We need it because it`s a powerful voice, it`s a powerful message, it
speaks to one of the key issues of our moment.

Because she`d be a formidable candidate, because she could win in the
Democratic primary and because she could win in the general election.

And because if she doesn`t run, we will not have the feisty, real deep
debate that we need about where our country is heading and the policies
that we need to embrace together, that`s where we need to go.

Especially when it comes to economic inequality and especially when it
comes to standing up to, you know, entrenched corporate special interest,
that`s the case.

And I think “The Boston Globe`s” Op-ed made the case powerfully well over
the weekend, and both the fact of that Op-ed, the fact that the biggest
paper in Senator Warren`s home state came out in that way and the substance
of the case are just, you know, more momentum for this campaign.

O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, it was really an extraordinary moment in the
“Globe`s” history. They`ve had a lot of potential presidential candidates
in their reading jurisdiction up there, obviously from JFK forward.

And they were never moved by any of them to get out there and say, this
candidate really needs to get in and run. What was your reaction to it?

HOWARD DEAN, FORMER VERMONT GOVERNOR: Well, I think Elizabeth Warren does
have. I mean I agree with almost everything Amy said, except for the end
where she`s – where she said they were not going to have a debate unless
Elizabeth gets in.

I think it`s pretty clear that Elizabeth is not going to get in. I also
think Elizabeth Warren is saying exactly what needs to be said.

So I agree with a lot of what she says, but I think Hillary Clinton is
going to be the nominee and Hillary Clinton is going to win. And you –
and Hillary Clinton is already adopting some of Elizabeth`s message.

The clip that you showed earlier, I think was very important. I think
everybody is getting the message, people know how to read polls and they
know how to listen to electorates and I think Hillary Clinton is not an
exception to that.


O`DONNELL: Dorian Warren, the dramatist in me really doesn`t want to reach
for this particular piece of paper on the table here. It is the statement
from Elizabeth Warren`s press office.


The statement says, “as Senator Warren has said many times, she is not
running for president.” Party pooper Howard Dean there just said it for


But please, keep the speculation going for another couple of minutes before
we have to go to a commercial.


The point every one of these four pieces makes, first point they make is,
it will help Hillary Clinton if Elizabeth Warren runs for president.

It will make her a better nominee if she`s going to be the nominee.

Clinton, it will help the Democratic Party to have a competitive primary

But let me say this, Lawrence, Senator Elizabeth Warren, no relation by the
way, although maybe spiritually, she is already running.

This is a shadow primary right now, and she has been vocal on these issues
that Anna pointed out of income inequality, so that today, like the
governor said, the clip you showed of Hillary Clinton at the Center for
American Progress.

If you didn`t show it to us and we just listened, you might have thought it
was Senator Elizabeth Warren.

She has already moved to the left to respond to the populism of Elizabeth
Warren. So in some ways, she`s running, maybe she hasn`t declared –


WARREN: It officially, she`s running on a shadow primary and already
influencing the language, the rhetoric of former Secretary of State and
soon-to-be presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

O`DONNELL: Since I know, one –


GALLAND: Lawrence, could I –

O`DONNELL: Let me just get Sam in here for a second there, and I`ll come
back to you –


O`DONNELL: But Sam, there were a lot of overlaps in these four pieces, an
editorial three Op-ed pieces, a lot of redundancy, eloquent though, I mean
Anna`s was written in her style, Robert Kuttner`s was written in his.

And the – one of the picked points that Robert Kuttner makes, Robert
Kuttner makes is that in the Democratic party, the heavily favored
frontrunners have frequently stumbled and not done so well, and not been
there at the end.

And as Hillary Clinton showed –


O`DONNELL: In 2008 against what was to become President Obama.

Hillary Clinton is a personification of that. I`m going to guess at what
Anna was trying to say there.

Which is that –


STEIN: The key word –

O`DONNELL: That`s not fair –



STEIN: I bet I can get it, I bet I can get it. The key word in the
“Boston Globe” that we read at the top was to make this issue a “priority”.

Anyone can talk about the issue, certainly Hillary Clinton is talking – I
was actually at a conference a week ago where Ted Cruz was talking about
two Americas.

So the rhetoric is being adopted not just within the Democratic party but
across ideological lines. The question is prioritizing the issue, and so
that is what the draft movement effort is all about.

That said, I`ve done – I`ve done some reporting on this. It`s not
monolithic within progressives that people want Elizabeth Warren to run.

There are people who are worried that this draft Warren moving will
actually marginalize her because the moment she steps in, she becomes more
of a politician.

She becomes someone who responds to political incentives as opposed to
someone who is above the political fray.

So it`s not – it`s not so cut-and-dry that every progressive in the
universe wants Elizabeth Warren to jump in the race.

GALLAND: Yes, so –

STEIN: Some have great reservation –

GALLAND: Lawrence, if I could –

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Anna –

GALLAND: If I could step in, since Sam did a beautiful job, I think of
getting at some what I was going to say.

STEIN: Thank you –

GALLAND: I think it`s important to note that Elizabeth Warren, being a
credible threat to step into the race is what has allowed her to make her,
you know, her issues are the center of the political debate.

Not just for Democrats, but as Sam notes, but for Republicans as well,
they`re embracing some of her rhetoric.

They won`t match that rhetoric with policy proposals, but she is in – she
is defining the political debate that we`re having right now in part
because she could step in.

And what the “Boston Globe” Op-ed is saying – MoveOn members around the
country are saying, what our partners from the working families, party in
New York, from Democracy, from America, and from 300,000-plus people who
have signed a petition calling on her to get in the race.

What we`re all saying is, you need to actually be in the fray to keep
defining –

STEIN: Hey Anna –

GALLAND: The conversation that we`re having –

STEIN: Anna, what about –

GALLAND: To talk about –

STEIN: I mean the –

GALLAND: Economic inequality, not just now, well, there`s a credible
threat, but for the next 18 months, we need her to be in the race making
that case.

STEIN: Anna, I have a quick question now. We`ve limited the conversation
to just the domestic arena. If you run for president, you have to have a
foreign policy too.

And as far as I can tell, I don`t really know what her foreign policy is.
Are you comfortable with –

GALLAND: But we`re not –

STEIN: This –

GALLAND: Going to have –

STEIN: Looking at her inequality? –

GALLAND: You know, we`re not going to have a debate about foreign policy,
about climate change, about gun control –

STEIN: Sure –

GALLAND: About any of these vital issues that we need to be talking about
and yes, having a fierce debate about – we`re not going to be having a
serious debate about that in the context of the Democratic presidential
primary, if we don`t have a real contest there.

STEIN: That`s true –

GALLAND: And so one of the very important –

STEIN: Yes –

GALLAND: Reasons the MoveOn members have voted overwhelmingly to get
behind this effort to encourage Senator Warren to run.

And why we`re seeing all this wind in our sails, this momentum from places
like “The Boston Globe`s” Op-ed, is that she actually needs to get into the
race to help create that space for that kind of genuine conversation.

There`ll be plenty of time to ask her questions about where she stands on
issues including foreign policy, if she gets in the race.

But she have to do that to force that conversation to happen.


DEAN: I actually –

O`DONNELL: Go ahead Howard –

DEAN: I have to say that Anna and I – I have to say that I think
Elizabeth Warren has already carved off of that space. She`s performing an
incredibly valuable function.

I actually – I honestly don`t believe if it matters if she runs or not, in
terms of setting the – setting the agenda, she has contributed a lot. The
last thing I`d say about this is, I think we ought not to under sell
Hillary Clinton.

She is incredibly smart, and the great refreshing thing about her is that
facts drive her decision-making.

And the facts are that income inequalities is an enormous problem in this
country, and nobody ought to run for president without being willing to
address it.

And I think –

STEIN: But she is addressing it – but that`s the thing, governor, foreign
policy is probably Clinton`s progressive weakness, right?

I mean, if you were going to have a progressive challenger in Hillary
Clinton, in 2008, it was precisely on foreign policy that you had it.

O`DONNELL: We`re going to have to take a break there and to that foreign
policy point, Hillary Clinton is actually the only candidate who is going
to be in the race with foreign policy experience.

None of the possible Republicans have any foreign policy experience. We`re
going to break it there, Anna Galland, thank you very much for joining us
on this.

GALLAND: Thank you very much.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, Ted Cruz, big surprise, made it official today, his
long-shot candidacy for the presidency is now under way.

And later, someone you know and love has or is going to have Alzheimer`s or
some form of dementia at some point.

An invention, a new invention could be very helpful to life with people who
have that problem and that disease, and that invention was just done by a
kid in high school, who – oh, by the way, met the president today.

He`s going to join us later.


O`DONNELL: Ted Cruz, who is from Canada and Texas went to Virginia today
to announce his presidential candidacy and he managed to catch the
attention of “The View.”


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was not born in America –


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was born in Canada.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Couldn`t he run –



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could he run for president?


WHOOPI GOLDBERG, COMEDIENNE: I know he answered the report –

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nice story, this could be the least of his problems.

GOLDBERG: I`m a Ted Cruz birther.


GOLDBERG: I want to see –


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They used to say other Republicans – that him not
being born in this country is the least of his problems, it`s insane!

Insane! I love your darling, but with the birther and all of that stuff,
they made it –



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where he was born –


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I`ve never asked where – I mean, listen, I think

GOLDBERG: No, we –

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do not know that –


I did not know that.

GOLDBERG: Well, this came out, it has come up before, for this very
reason, because, you know, he is one of the people who said, well, never,
he should – the president – well, hon –


You know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whoopi wants to see your birth certificate.

GOLDBERG: I do. I want to see your birth certificate.


O`DONNELL: We will have more after this.


CRUZ: I believe in you. I believe in the power of millions of courageous
conservatives rising up to reignite the promise of America.

And that is why today I am announcing that I`m running for president of the
United States.




O`DONNELL: Today just for a moment, Ted Cruz became the most honest
presidential candidate by becoming the first presidential candidate to
actually admit that he is a presidential candidate.

But today, he asked only for the votes of conservative Americans, which
translates to only 38 percent of the electorate, which is just about
exactly what he gets in a poll one-on-one with Hillary Clinton.

No Republican candidate polls worse against Hillary Clinton than Ted Cruz
does. But today he said nothing to try to appeal to swing voters.


CRUZ: Imagine in 2017, a new president, signing legislation repealing
every word of Obamacare. Imagine repealing every word of common corps.

Imagine a simple flat tax. Imagine abolishing the IRS.



O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, I`m going to steal Jonathan Arthur`s(ph) line that
I heard him say earlier in the day on this network, “it was a combination
of John Lennon and Barry Goldwater.


DEAN: It`s good line. It`s a good line. You know, I would never want to
be – I`d want to be careful about saying things like this, but if I had to
choose somebody on the Republican side to run against, I think Ted Cruz
would be my first choice.

He is so polarizing, and his – you know, he puts himself in a position
where the majority of Americans can`t relate to him at all. So we`ll see,
he is a good speaker, he gets people all cranked up.

There`s nothing moderate or reasonable about him, and I think that`s a
great – a great candidate to have on the Republican side as far as the
Democrats are concerned.

O`DONNELL: We`re joined now by Brian Sweany, he is the editor in chief of
“Texas Monthly”, been following Ted Cruz for longer than any of us have.

Brian, did we learn anything about Ted Cruz today in that announcement? He
talked a lot about his family history, so it was new to some of us, but
it`s not a new story in Texas, is it?

right. But he was obviously trying to take literally center stage to
define himself to the nation.

There was part log cabin, part evangelical speech, part, an opportunity to
find himself and where he will follow on that campaign.

And as you`ve said, I think the key takeaway for me here was that this was
something that was very narrowly tailored to the base, and the base which
has served him so well now for so long isn`t interested in a candidate
reaching out across the middle.

They`re interested in a candidate who will carry their flag forward.

O`DONNELL: Now, when he was running in Texas, did he have to make any
adjustments in the general election when he was trying to appeal to the
full state?

Or is there enough – the big hunk of conservative voters there he could
just ignore anybody who wasn`t already with him?

SWEANY: Well, there`s no really – not really such a thing as a general
election in Texas at this point. The Democratic party has been more –
been for a long time.

The big fight that he had when he came in and announced in 2011 that he was
going to make the race, he had about a 3 percent support.

He was running against a long-term incumbent lieutenant governor who was
wealthy and could self-finance and thought – everyone thought that he
would win in a walk.

It was one of the more stunning upsets that we have seen in recent history
in Texas, and I think Senator Cruz did that by knowing very precisely who
his base was in Texas and making sure that his opponent, David Dewhurst did
not get to the right of him.

That is the formula that has worked in Texas where there is no real
Democratic opposition. The question is what does this do for him in a
national race along these lines?

It may serve him well in the primary, I suspect not so much in the general.

O`DONNELL: Now, just a few minutes ago on “Fox News”, Ted Cruz did address
that issue that the women of “The View” were talking about earlier today.
Let`s listen to this.


CRUZ: I was born in Calgary, my parents – as a legal matter, my mother is
an American citizen by birth.

And it`s been federal law for over two centuries that the child of an
American citizen born abroad is a citizen by birth –


CRUZ: A natural-born citizen.


O`DONNELL: Sam Stein, case closed.

STEIN: Why did you give me the birth requirement, come on –


Case closed, move on –


STEIN: That`s it –

O`DONNELL: Going back to John McCain`s candidacy, this question –

STEIN: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Came up during –

STEIN: Yes –

O`DONNELL: John McCain`s candidacy in a polite style, it wasn`t something

STEIN: Yes –

O`DONNELL: That was very contemptuous, some scholars started to wonder,
given that John McCain was born to two American-born parents abroad –

STEIN: Yes, he was not –

O`DONNELL: He was not –

STEIN: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Born in the United States while his father was in the Navy,
what effect might that have? Did the scholars ever figure that out
decisively in the McCain case?

STEIN: I forget.


But I`m –


Pretty sure they decided that it was OK, and I`m pretty sure that Ted Cruz
will not get –

O`DONNELL: Well, I think –

STEIN: Picked up by the scholars –

O`DONNELL: What the scholars all agreed on is, Dorian Warren, it`s OK to
come in second –


In the campaign for president –

WARREN: Yes, that`s it –

O`DONNELL: If you know, you were born outside the United States. We`ll
see what happens if Ted Cruz comes in first, then we`ll really dig into

WARREN: I was going to actually –

STEIN: Well, actually –

WARREN: I was going to help Sam out there –

O`DONNELL: Go ahead –

WARREN: And we both been up since 6 a.m., so –

STEIN: Yes –

WARREN: Sam, the birth – I want to see the birth certificate –

STEIN: From Ted Cruz –

DEAN: Oh, come on –

STEIN: I`m just making – I`m just –

DEAN: Come on –

STEIN: Sticking that out now.

O`DONNELL: But you know what? It`s a Canadian birth certificate –


O`DONNELL: But it does confer on him, he is right. He is a natural-born

WARREN: There is –


WARREN: An interesting – we`ve been having a discussion about the base
and Ted Cruz –


WARREN: Speaking to his base, and if you watch that video you showed
closely, you`ll see students in the audience – by the way, they were
mandated to attend.


WARREN: It wasn`t optional.


WARREN: You`ll see students –

O`DONNELL: Right –

WARREN: In red T-shirts, those were Rand Paul T-shirts they were wearing
in that audience. And then there`s a new social app – well, it`s not new,
but there`s a social app where you can post things anonymously on college
campuses called – I think it`s called Yik Yak.

The commentary – the critical commentary, the boredom of Ted Cruz, they`re
making fun of him for the `imagine` lines, that was supposed to be his

I`m not clear that was his base at the end of the day. There`s a lot of
folks on the right who don`t like Ted Cruz, who would prefer someone like
Rand Paul, especially the younger generation of conservatives.

O`DONNELL: He got some big bursts of applause there, Howard Dean,
especially when he talked about repairing the so-called presidential rift
with Bibi Netanyahu.

DEAN: Yes, you know, it wasn`t Liberty University, which is very
conservative. Although interestingly enough, they have a Democratic mayor,
at least they did here have the last time I was down there.

Because the Liberty tells all their students they have to go out and vote
for the Republican, and it`s a Republican area, but they got so – the
town`s people got so mad they elected a Democratic woman as mayor.

Which is kind of an interesting – so I think it is very interesting about
the resistance in the audience. I noticed there were a bunch of people in
there not clapping.

Just to get technical on the birther issue, John McCain I think was born in
the canal zone which –


DEAN: At time –

WARREN: That`s right –

O`DONNELL: At that time that was in fact an American territory, not an
American state. And this is a non issue, except everybody is going to have
a lot of fun because the right wing has been so obsessed with where Obama
was born, if we can travel this back, and Ted Cruz, we`re going to do it
just for the fun of it.

Even I doubt it will influence a single vote, but it sure will be a lot of
fun on Jon Stewart.

O`DONNELL: Sam Stein, I want to get to your interview with President
Obama, what do you – what do you think are the most important things that
came out of it?

STEIN: You know, everyone is focused on the international stuff, and
rightfully so, it`s the news of the week. But he laid down a pretty, you
know, firm line in the sand when it came to budget battles.

I asked him point-blank if he would sign the government funding bill in
October that did not alleviate sequestration, it means it absolutely not.

So that means that if Congress can`t get its act together and just files a
continuing resolution, the President is not going to sign it, and we could
be heading to another government shutdown.

It kind of got lost in the Netanyahu-Iran stuff, but you know, it pretends
a really vicious, bitter, budget battle over this – over this Summer.

O`DONNELL: Well, let`s – I want to show a piece of what the President did
say to you about the situation that developed with Netanyahu and the
situation with Israel.

Let`s listen to this.


OBAMA: We take him at his word when he said that it wouldn`t happen during
his Prime-ministership.

And so that`s why we`ve got to evaluate what other options are available to
make sure that we don`t see a chaotic situation in the region.


O`DONNELL: And of course, Sam, he`s speaking there about a possible two-
state solution which –

STEIN: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Toward the end of the campaign, Bibi Netanyahu said never going
to happen.

STEIN: Yes, and Netanyahu obviously has backtracked. But the White House
is operating under the assumption that the first statement is operable, not
the second.

The President was actually the most disappointed it seems from my vantage
point, when the talk turned to Netanyahu`s comments about Arab voters
showing up in droves.

He called it essentially antithetical to Israeli democracy. And, now,
we`ve seen today, Netanyahu basically apologizing, saying he regretted
making those statements. I wonder if you can unring that bell from the
vantage point of the administration though.

O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, your reaction to –

mean, that was typical Bibi, who`s a politician first, and a statesman,
second. I mean, he took four votes away from the far-right party, –


– from Naftali Bennett`s party. And that gave him the 30 votes that he
needed to have a clear victory over Labor. That`s why he did it.

He did it to appeal to the far right in Israeli politics, and it worked.


The problem is, he now has to live with everything that he said, because
most us think that was the true Bibi.

And it`s going to have a huge effect, because I am waiting to see what
happens in the U.N. Security Council the next time the United States is
called on to be the only vote in favor of Bibi Netanyahu. It`s going to be
a tough sell.

O`DONNELL: Yes, but I think it`s going to – the United States will cast
that vote away the way it always has, I think.

O`DONNELL: Brian Sweeney, thank you very much for joining us tonight from
Texas. Howard Dean, Sam Stein, thank you for joining us.

DEAN: Thank you.

STEIN: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, police have suspended –


– their investigation into the UVA rape allegations that were reported in
a “Rolling Stone” article.

And another fraternity is accused of racist and sexist remarks, this time,
in North Carolina.



Charlottesville Police announced today the suspension of a police
investigation into an alleged gang rape at a fraternity house on the
University Campus in 2012.

The rape was first described in “Rolling Stone” cover story last year but
the magazine later apologized after discrepancies in the story were
revealed. NBC`s Gabe Gutierrez has more. Gabe.

GABE GUTIERREZ, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Lawrence, Charlottesville Police
had been investigating this for months. The police chief now saying that
he can`t rule out something happened, but it wasn`t what was described in
that “Rolling Stone” article.



It was the story that rocked the University of Virginia.


And sparked a national conversation about sexual assault. Today, police
said they found no evidence that it was true, and had suspended the

something terrible did not happen to Jackie. We are just not able to
gather sufficient facts to conclude what that something may have been.

GUTIERREZ: The lengthy “Rolling Stone” magazine article was published back
in November. A woman the magazine called “Jackie,” claimed she was gang-
raped in 2012 by seven men at the Phi Kappa Psi house.

Were you ever able to find the student, the fraternity member who allegedly
orchestrated this attack.

LONGO: No, we weren`t.

GUTIERREZ: Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo says Jackie did not
cooperate with the rape investigation. The shocking story initially led
University officials to halt all Greek activities.

But, soon, Jackie`s friends began to raise doubts.

men. The “Rolling Stone” article reported seven.

GUTIERREZ: “Rolling Stone” apologized to its readers, saying there now
appear discrepancies in Jackie`s account. On UVA campus, some students
worry the discredited story will have a chilling effect on future sexual
assault victims coming forward.

began to open for women to be able to speak out, perhaps are being slammed
even hard –

GUTIERREZ: Tonight, Phi Kappa Psi is now exploring its legal options to
address the extensive damage caused by “Rolling Stone.”


GUTIERREZ: For its part, “Rolling Stone” will only say that it expects an
independent investigation into that article, conducted by Columbia
University`s Journalism School, to be published within the next few weeks.

O`DONNELL: Thanks, Gabe. We`re joined now by Karen Desoto, former defense
attorney and prosecutor. She was a legal analyst for the “WEEKEND TODAY

Karen, what the police seem to be saying today, as one of the lessons of
this, is go to the police early.

tried various cases. And even when they`re timely, they`re very, very
difficult, especially when you have fraternities and sororities, and you
have to mix in alcohol and drugs.

You don`t have a witness, so the DNA evidence is so crucial. So, the fact
that you don`t go right away is a very difficult thing.

But, you know, understandably, it`s a very violent, horrific thing that
happens. And it`s humiliating and degrading.

And that`s one of the things that you try and take into consideration when
you`re a prosecutor.

O`DONNELL: Dorian, you work at another campus, Columbia University, where
– that has had this issue develop in very serious ways, including, you
know, cross currents of contention about – is this accusation true and so

And one of the things you see in this is that students, women, at
universities feel that the first protective shell around them is the

And so, that is logically, in many instances, where they go first. The
police are alien to them. It`s not something they know.

It`s understandable that they would go first to the administration of the

Lawrence, there are over 100 universities that are being investigated
around sexual assault charges by the Justice Department, ongoing
investigations right now.

And so, it raises a bigger question – what is the role of the university
in creating a safe campus climate for all of its students. I mean, you
look at UVA and take sexual assault, and then Marquis Johnson, who, by the
way, went to my high school in Chicago, –


– and was brutalized by, not campus police, but another law enforcement
agency. And, in this case, you don`t have campus police doing this

You have Charlottesville Police, thereby raising a larger question – what
are campuses doing –


– or not doing to keep all of their students safe. Why aren`t they the
first place of recourse for students who, in some way, feel violated.

DESOTO: Well, that`s an easy answer. Because universities are – it`s a
business. And you want people to go to your school.

And moms and dads don`t want their daughters to go to school where there`s
a high rape incidence, right. So, you`re going to want to protect that.

You`re going to want to, maybe, cover that up because you want students to
go there. So, that`s part of the problem.

I mean, are you going to have campus police. Are you going to report it.
So, the policies and procedures that a lot of these universities are what
is in question.

I mean, are you going to be for the students or are you going to be for
your image. And that is the huge problem here.

O`DONNELL: Dorian, is it getting to the point where the universities may
simply say, just take themselves out of this completely. And if a woman
student knocks on the administration`s door saying, “I want to complain
about a sexual assault,” they just say, “Go to the police.”

WARREN: I hope that`s not the case. And, in fact, universities have a
responsibility. When you think of the magnitude of student debt in this
country and how much students and their parents are taking out in loans to
provide a safe learning environment for students, it is unacceptable for
universities to say, “We`re not responsible for creating a safe climate.”

DESOTO: I think they should go to the police. I absolutely think that if
they do knock on the door, it should go to the police, it shouldn`t go to
the university, because they`re the ones who are trained.

They`re the ones who know how to do the rape kit. Let them go to the

O`DONNELL: But some of these instances, Karen, obviously a lot of them,
are not actual rape. And they might not necessarily cross a prosecutable
criminal line.

And so, that`s why – that`s one of the other reasons why they`re at the –

DESOTO: Right.

O`DONNELL: – administration`s door, looking for protection.

DESOTO: I`ve had cases where somebody grazed somebody with the intent to
be sexual. That`s a criminal offense.

So, even if you`re touching in a sexual manner, that`s a criminal offense.
That goes to the prosecutor`s office.

That goes to the police department. They`re the one who are trained.

O`DONNELL: Karen Desoto, Dorian Warren, thank you very much for joining us

WARREN: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up, the racist remarks –


– that got a fraternity at North Carolina State suspended. And in the
“Rewrite” tonight – what did the governor of Maine say that has provoked,
and I mean provoked, author, Stephen King, to demand an apology.



A fraternity at North Carolina State University has been placed on interim.
It is now being investigated after restaurant employees discovered a pledge
book with racist, sexist remarks.

Among the comments found in that pledge book was one note –


– that read, “That tree is so perfect for lynching.”

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s a lot of overt racism. There`s pedophilia.
There`s rape.

There is a lot of slurs about trans women. There`s one about disabled –
people with disabilities.

O`DONNELL: The fraternity, which is called Phi Kappa Phi – or Phi –
something like that. I don`t know fraternity names. I don`t particularly
care about them.

That fraternity has a CEO, which is a surprise to me. I didn`t know
fraternities have CEOs. And he issued the typical statement saying, “These
statements are inconsistent with the values of Phi Kappa Phi and will not
be tolerated.”

Apparently, they have been tolerated for some time.


North Carolina State University has temporarily banned alcohol at most
fraternity events after this fraternity discovery and other fraternity
problems there.

Up next, why Stephen King is demanding an apology from the governor of
Maine and why he should get that apology. That`s next in the “Rewrite.”



JACK NICHOLSON, ACTOR: Are you concerned about me.


NICHOLSON: Of course, you are. Have you ever thought about my

DUVALL: Oh, Nick, what are you talking about.

NICHOLSON: Have you ever had a single moment`s thought about my


O`DONNELL: That was, of course, Jack Nicholson in Stanley Kubrick`s screen
adaptation of Stephen Kings novel, “The Shining.” Stephen King, obviously
takes responsibilities very, very seriously, as his character Jack
Torrance, just made very clear.

And so, Maine native and lifelong resident of Maine, Stephen King was
distressed to hear his name invoked by his governor, Paul LePage, in the
governor`s campaign to eliminate the state income tax.


GOV. PAUL LEPAGE (R), MAINE: Remember, who introduced the income tax here
in Maine. Well, today, Former Governor Ken Curtis lives in Florida, where
there is no income tax.

Stephen King and Roxanne Quimby have moved away as well.


O`DONNELL: That got this response the next day from Stephen King, in a
statement released to a Bangor Radio station, a radio station that Stephen
King owns.


“Governor LePage is full of the stuff that makes the grass grow green.
Tabby and I pay every cent of our Maine State income taxes and are glad to
do it.”

“We feel, as Governor LePage apparently does not, that much is owed from
those to whom much has been given. We see our taxes as a way of paying
back the state that has given us so much.”

“State taxes pay for state services. There`s just no way around it.
Governor LePage needs to remember, there ain`t no free lunch.”


That got no response from Governor LePage. And the next day, Stephen King
tweeted, –


“Governor Paul LePage implied that I don`t pay my taxes. I do, every cent.
I think he needs to man up and apologize.”

In an e-mail to the “Portland Press Herald,” Stephen King said, “In 2013,
my wife and I paid approximately $1.4 million in state taxes. As this is a
matter of public record, I have no problem telling you that.”

“I would imagine 2014 was about the same but I do not have those figures.
In addition, the King Foundation gives grants from $3 to 5 million
annually, mostly in Maine. We consider this a very fair price for living
in the most beautiful state in America.”


Still, there was no apology from Governor LePage. But the governor`s
official printed version of his remarks rewrote the Stephen King reference
out of existence.

Stephen King`s sentence just disappeared. The governor`s spokesperson
said, –


– “We had to take Stephen King at his word. He said he pays income taxes
in Maine, so we corrected the radio address.”


Now, as I said, Stephen King takes responsibilities very, very seriously.
And so, correcting the radio address wasn`t good enough for him.

He still wants an apology from the governor. Yesterday, Stephen King
tweeted, –


– “No apology from Governor LePage. Some guys are a lot better at dishing
it out than taking it back.”


Maybe, Governor LePage is waiting for Stephen King to apologize for
supporting the governor`s Democratic opponent in the last election, before
he apologizes for not telling the truth about one of Maine`s biggest


If someone you love has Alzheimer`s or Demention (ph) or Dementure (ph) or
something like that, my next guest has something that can be very, very
helpful. And he is a junior in high school.



BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: The robots, I see, keep getting
smarter every year. We are keeping an eye on that, by the way.


You`re on notice, Skynet.


O`DONNELL: President Obama hosted more than a hundred student scientists
from across the country today at one of his favorite events, what is now
the Fifth Annual White House Science Fair.

Exhibits included robots, apps and plans to protect honeybees. One of the


– participants is Kenneth Shinozuka, a 16-year-old junior at the Horace
Mann School in the Bronx.

After his grandfather developed Alzheimer`s, Kenneth developed a sensor
called “Safe Wonder,” that works with an app on your smart phone to help
caretakers keep track of Alzheimer`s patients who might wander off, which
is a big problem for people caring for the 5.2 million Americans who suffer
from that condition.

Kenneth`s device won the Science in Action Award at the 2014 Google Science


Kenneth joins me now. Kenneth, you`re at the White House today, you met
the President.


O`DONNELL: This is an astonishing invention that you had. And it`s all
because, when you were a little boy – I read today, you were about four
years old and you were actually with your grandfather at Central Park, was
it, and he kind of – you realized, at a certain point, he`s lost.

SHINOZUKA: Absolutely. So, we were walking in a park and my grandfather
suddenly got lost and he didn`t remember the way to get back home.

And it was one of the scariest moments I`ve ever experienced in my life.
And it was also the first incident that –

O`DONNELL: Because you, at four, you didn`t know how to get –


O`DONNELL: So, there`s the two of you.

SHINOZUKA: Right, right. And it was the first incident that informed us
that my grandfather had Alzheimer`s. And, from thereon, it just got worse
and worse.

O`DONNELL: And when did you start working on this device.

SHINOZUKA: I started working on it on the fall, the last fall.

O`DONNELL: Was there a light bulb moment. Was there a moment, some second
where something happens, you go, “Oh, what about this.”

SHINOZUKA: Yes. So, one night, I was looking at my grandfather and I saw
him stepping out of the bed. And the moment his foot landed on the floor,
I just had this sort of light bulb moment.

I thought, why don`t I put a pressure sensor on the heel of his foot. And
that could help the problem of wandering.

O`DONNELL: Oh, that is so fantastic. So, what are your plans for this.
Is there a way to make this commercially available to people.

SHINOZUKA: That`s the next step, definitely. I`m hoping to commercialize
the device and make it available to the people who need it, including
caregivers and patients.

O`DONNELL: You know, when I was a junior in high school, I was hoping to
maybe get, like, my homework done. That was my biggest aspiration and, you
know, maybe winning a baseball game or two.

This is just amazing that you`ve come this far. And the Google prize, that
comes with some real cash, doesn`t it.

SHINOZUKA: Yes. The Scientific American Science in Action Award is
accompanied by a $50,000 cash prize.

O`DONNELL: And I read you`re using that to invest and to create a company
to produce this device.

SHINOZUKA: Yes, yes. I created a start-up last summer to commercialize
the device and bring it to the people who need it.

O`DONNELL: So, let me guess, you`re a junior and you`re going to be
applying to college next year.



SHINOZUKA: Well, I`m looking into colleges that specialize in Neuroscience
since that`s something that I definitely want to pursue in the future.

O`DONNELL: So, what are the frontrunners for your applications.

SHINOZUKA: Well, I`m definitely investigating two number of
options. As you said, M.I.T. and Harvard do have very good Neuroscience

O`DONNELL: All right, well, we could be seeing you around Cambridge.
There`s a very high chance of this.

Kenneth, thank you very much for this. This is an amazing, –

SHINOZUKA: Thank you so much.

O`DONNELL: – great work. Your family is so lucky to have you do this.
This is fantastic.

SHINOZUKA: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thanks for joining us. Chris Hayes is up next.


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