The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 03/30/15

Lynn Sweet, Dafna Linzer, Jonathan Capehart, Josh Barro, Garrett Epps, George Takei, Stuart Milk

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: For us tonight, we`ll see you again tomorrow, now –
astounding how close it is to the real thing, but that spot, just outside
Boston may be the only place in America where you can see with your own
eyes what a functioning Senate would be like.

That does it for us tonight, we`ll see you again tomorrow, now it`s time
for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Rachel, you know, I`ve always
wanted my own replica of the United States Senate chamber.


No, seriously, in Hollywood I actually tried to – I built a small corner
of it for a TV show for a drama series and we tried to trick-shoot it to
pretend it was the whole thing.

I`m telling you, movie companies, TV shows, they`re going to want to use
Ted Kennedy`s Senate there in Dorchester.

MADDOW: I was already thinking about ways that you could use it for like
creepy, murder, mystery feeder things –


MADDOW: You know what I mean?

O`DONNELL: Going to – it`s going to be fine, its way into the movie soon.

MADDOW: Indeed, thanks man –

O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel. Well, tonight, Indiana Governor Mike Pence is
following up his weekend defense of his state`s new religious freedom law
with an Op-ed in the “Wall Street Journal” in which he says the law –
these are his words, has been grossly misconstrued.

George Takei, Stuart Milk and others will join me to discuss that
controversial new law and the boycott that Indiana is facing as a result of

And Mitt Romney`s newest opponent is not a politician. Former heavyweight
Champion Evander Holyfield will join us to talk about his upcoming – this
is real, his upcoming boxing match with Mitt Romney.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Guards opened fire at an SUV as it came rushing towards
a security gate at Fort Meade, Maryland.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two men dressed in women`s clothing and wearing women`s
wigs attempted to drive the SUV into the NSA.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Report gunshot wounds, possible traumatic arrest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One suspect was killed, the other remains in critical

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is no evidence of the incident was related to

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: New details about the co-pilot accused of
deliberately crashing Germanwings Flight 9525.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A prosecutor in Germany revealing Andreas Lubitz had
been treated for suicidal thoughts in the past.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That was several years before he got his pilot`s

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, we`re not going to change the law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Indiana`s so-called religious freedom law –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That critics say discriminates against gay citizens.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Companies like Apple, Angie`s List, Starbucks have
come out and said that this is a dangerous law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ll be able to tell which stores are supporting the
new law because they`ll have these helpful little signs.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Comedian Trevor Noah has been chosen to take the place
of Jon Stewart on “The Daily Show” –

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Noah was born in South Africa and appeared on the
show a few times.

TREVOR NOAH, COMEDIAN: I just flew in, and boy, are my arms tired. I`ve
been holding my arms like this since I got here, yes –


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Political high rollers, they`re assembled to dedicate
the new Edward Kennedy Institute for the Senate.

alive like Ted Kennedy.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: It`s gotten harder to find people enjoy a
good fight as much as Ted did.


OBAMA: And we all remember the times this American family has challenged
us to ask what we can do to dream and say why not? To seek a cause that
endures and sail against the wind in its pursuit.


O`DONNELL: We have breaking news from Indiana tonight as the boycott and
criticism of that state`s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act grows.

The state`s Republican Governor Mike Pence has just published an Op-ed in
the “Wall Street Journal” in which he strongly supports the law and insists
that it is not intended to allow discrimination against any one.

The Op-ed is a follow-up to his widely criticized appearance on television
Sunday morning. George Stephanopoulos tried to get Mike Pence to explain
the intent of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that was signed on

But George Stephanopoulos got nothing but general political talking points
from the governor about that new law.

Then George Stephanopoulos tried to knock the governor off his talking
points by narrowing the interview with yes or no questions.


GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, TELEVISION HOST: So this is a yes or no question.
Is Advance America right when they say a florist in Indiana can now refuse
to serve a gay couple without fear of punishment?

GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), INDIANA: Well, let me explain to you, the purpose of
this bill is to empower and has been for more than 20 years, George –

STEPHANOPOULOS: And so, yes or no? If a florist in Indiana refuses to
serve a gay couple at their wedding, is that legal now in Indiana?

PENCE: George, this is – this is where this debate has gone with
misinformation and frankly –

STEPHANOPOULOS: It`s just a question sir, yes or no? –

PENCE: Sir, well, there`s been shameless rhetoric about my state and about
this law and about its intention all over the internet –

STEPHANOPOULOS: That was one of your supporters who was talking about the
bill right there. It said it would protect a Christian florist who –
against any kind of punishment. Is that true or not?

PENCE: George, look, the issue here is, you know, is tolerance a two-way
street or not?

STEPHANOPOULOS: Final question, final yes or no question, governor, do you
think it should be legal in the state of the Indiana to discriminate
against gays or lesbians?

PENCE: George –

STEPHANOPOULOS: It`s a yes or no question –

PENCE: Hoosier – come on, Hoosiers don`t believe in discrimination.


O`DONNELL: Joining me now is Dafna Linzer, Msnbc digital managing editor,
George Barro with the “New York Times”, Jonathan Capehart, an opinion
writer for the “Washington Post” and Garrett Epps, a contributing editor to
“The Atlantic” and law professor at the University of Baltimore.

So Dafna, Hoosiers –


I mean you couldn`t get a simple yes or no to very simple questions.

Tonight with the “Wall Street Journal” Op-ed, it`s a double down, it`s a
double down to a readership there that`s all about big business, and big
business is not happy with Indiana.

I mean that`s just the way it is. And the thing is, you know, he wrote in
the op-ed tonight, if I walked into a restaurant and the restaurant was
refusing to serve a gay couple, I would walk out.

That has nothing to do with the law. The law isn`t about what he would do
as a customer, the law is what happen – what would happen to that couple.

That couple would probably walk out too, because what happened to them
would be legal.

O`DONNELL: Jonathan Capehart –


O`DONNELL: Politicians stay on their talking points especially when
they`re running for office. Who is a very candidate-feel to that interview
yesterday, a very talking points candidate-feel which makes me wonder, was
that some form of candidate appearance?

Is this a guy who`s taken seriously other people talking about him,
possibly running for president?

Is this someone who is trying to get himself positioned correctly for vice
presidential nomination and does this kind of – signing this kind of law
help in that?

CAPEHART: You know, I hadn`t even thought about that, Lawrence. I mean,
he – to me, that whole – and I`m glad you showed that entire clip,
because that read to me like a man caught in a vice, a man on the run.

If you can`t answer yes or no, whether Indiana would condone discrimination
which he says apparently in this Op-ed that he doesn`t or he wouldn`t –
why can`t you say yes or no?

And so, I mean, from your political strategist point, I think you might be
right, that would play well with the Republican party base, the
conservative base.

But just on a – on a human level, it`s rather craving. And on the
restaurant piece, I mean it`s interesting he mentions that.

Because radio show in Indianapolis late last week, because the “Kyle and
Rachel Show” in Indianapolis, they had a guy call in, calling himself Ryan,
who talked about how he actively discriminated against a gay couple that
came into his restaurant for something to eat.

And rather than say, I don`t want to serve you, he just told them that
there was a problem with the fan over the burner and so that they – and so
they`re not serving anymore food.

Would Mike Pence have walked out then?


CAPEHART: Would he have even known? No.

O`DONNELL: This “Wall Street Journal” Op-ed piece tonight, in which he
just – you know, I would – I would love to read you the substantive part
of this, but it is again, it`s just these talking point paragraph after
talking-point paragraph.

He says “I want to make clear to Hoosiers and to every American that
despite what critics, many in the national media have asserted, the law is
not a license to discriminate.”

He says “Indians legislations is about affording citizens full protection
under Indiana law.” Josh Barro, what is the – to understand what Mike
Pence is up to.

What is the right frame to view him in?

JOSH BARRO, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I thought there was one very interesting
substantive thing towards the end of the Op-ed. Where he`s talking about
how the court will interpret the Indiana law.

And when he was being asked on Sunday, does this law allow a florist to
discriminate? He really should have said I don`t know, because that`s the
correct answer to the question.

The law says, you know, the government can`t burden your sincere religious
belief unless it`s pursuing and compelling interest subs, the courts to
figure out what a compelling interest is.

He says in the Op-ed that preventing discrimination is obviously a
compelling interest and the courts would rule that way.

Now, if that`s really what he believes, and that`s really what he wants of
the law to say, it should be very easy for the legislature to come back and
amend the law and he can sign something that says that this law cannot
supersede a civil rights law or a civil rights ordinance.

Now remember, there`s no law against discriminating against gays for
Indiana, but they`re all local law ordinances including in Indianapolis.

If they clarify that, I think this controversy would largely go away. But
the thing is, a lot of the people who are supporting this law want their
bills exceptions for those civil rights law.

As they care about exactly that situation with the florist. So if he
believes what he says in the “Wall Street Journal” Op-ed, he should be able
to push that through, but I think he`ll face trouble in his own party if he
tries to do that.

That`s the thing I think we want to watch in this next week.

O`DONNELL: Garrett Epps, one of the interesting things in the “Wall Street
Journal” article is the anecdote he gives of someone using the Religious
Freedom law was a federal court case.

In which he – talking to us about a federal court outcome for native
American who – kindergarten student who wanted to have long hair, and the
federal law allowed him to do it.

Take us through this Indiana law and what is – how it is different from
the federal law that Bill Clinton signed into law that I think only three
senators voted against at the time.

And how is it different from some of the other state laws like this?

think the Governor Pence says this simply mirrors federal law, and that is
flatly untrue.

This law is quite in-authored in very significant ways from the Religious
Freedom Restoration Act that was passed in 1993.

The first way is that it explicitly says that a for-profit business, and as
near as I can tell, any for-profit business can now assert a religious,
free exercise rights under this law, which was not in the 1993 law that had
to be read into it by the Supreme Court.

And not as broadly as is in the Indiana law. And the other thing is that,
it says that this religious freedom defense can be asserted in a private
lawsuit between two individuals.

Which is not the case with the federal law and most of the state RFRAs say
that it can`t be.

And finally, the point I`d like to make since you mentioned Texas, is that
Texas` Religious Freedom Restoration Act has a final section; section 10011
that says this chapter does not establish or eliminate a defense to an
action under a civil rights law.

So if that is in fact not the purpose of the Indiana law, all they have to
do is enact that section. What I`m saying is that Indiana just flunked a
civil rights test that Texas passed.


O`DONNELL: But Garrett – but Garrett Epps, that was – it seems that,
that was very conscious. That in fact there are people supporting this one
that wanted those specific additional elements and that`s actually what
they`re cheering about in this law.

EPPS: I think that`s right. I think this law was very carefully reverse-
engineered to try to deal with what they see as threats to the ability of
businesses to discriminate against – on the basis of sexual orientation.

And remember, it`s not just – it`s not just public – it`s not just public
accommodations, it`s employment, it`s housing.

O`DONNELL: And quickly Garrett, before we go, final legal question, why do
you need a state law if there is already a federal law?

EPPS: Well, the federal law doesn`t apply to the states. The Supreme
Court decided that in a case called city of Bernie versus florist.

So each state has passed its own law, the laws are quite different, and
this one is the most clearly pointed at discrimination of any of the ones
I`ve read.

O`DONNELL: Garrett Epps, thank you very much for your guidance tonight,
really appreciate that.

Coming up, George Takei and Stuart Milk will join us live for an exclusive
interview, they have personal messages for the governor of Indiana.

And former Maryland Governor Martin O`Malley sounds more and more like a
candidate for president, but is he ready to take on Hillary Clinton in
Democratic primaries?


O`DONNELL: The co-pilot who deliberately crashed Germanwings Flight 9525
in the French Alps had been treated for suicidal tendencies before
receiving his pilot`s license.

That according to the office with the public prosecutor in Dusseldorf,
Germany. The prosecutor said Andreas Lubitz had seen doctors just before
the crash and in recent years.

But there was no record of anymore suicidal tendencies or aggression, still
evidence from his apartment shows he tried to hide his medical condition
from the airline.

Investigators are now examining reports that condition was Bipolar disorder
or manic depression.

Up next, George Takei and Stuart Milk join me to discuss Indiana`s new law.



STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes or no, should it be legal to discriminate against gays
and lesbians?

PENCE: George, you`re following the mantra of the last week online, and
you`re trying to make this issue about something else.


O`DONNELL: Joining me now for an exclusive interview are gay rights
activist actor George Takei and Stuart Milk, the president of the Harvey
Milk Foundation.

George, to my astonishment yesterday, we had a governor on national
television who could not answer the question, should it be legal to
discriminate against gays and lesbians? There was no answer to that

GEORGE TAKEI, ACTOR & GAY RIGHTS ACTIVIST: It was an awkward performance,
wasn`t it? But he did give one very clear answer when George Stephanopoulos
asked, will you sign a law that would protect gays and lesbians from
discrimination? He said directly, no, explicitly, no. He said it`s not on
my agenda. So I think that exposed the purpose of the so-called Religious
Freedom Restoration Act.

This is something that we went through last year in Arizona. The very same
bill, same idea, veiled by the idea of religious freedom, but there was
such pressure put on Arizona by both the corporations as well as
individuals, and that`s what`s happening in Indiana right now.

That the governor of Arizona last year, Jan Brewer, vetoed it. Governor
Pence acted very quickly on this, because the people that were pushing this
bill were the very same people that were trying to add an amendment to the
Indiana State constitution banning marriage equality.

And so, you know, we see it right through it. And that religious veil is
quite transparent. It was a very clear effort to discriminate against gays
and lesbians.

O`DONNELL: Well, Governor Pence maybe took to the “Wall Street Journal”
for his Op-ed piece because he`s getting a lot of corporate backlash over

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, Angie`s List CEO is out there, and I want to read
the latest tweet we`ve just picked up on this, and this goes into the
boycott category, the economic boycott of Indiana.

It`s from “Parks and Rec” star Nick Offerman who just tweeted, “congrats
Governor Pence, we are canceling Indiana`s Summer of 69 tour for May 16th.”

That`s a tour that he`s been doing, “I will play Indiana University this
Wednesday and donate my money to Hillary Clinton.”

Stuart Milk, the boycott factor is – may be something that the governor
wasn`t anticipating.

FOUNDATION: No, I don`t think the governor actually, Lawrence, anticipated
very much.

I mean what he did as George was saying, he packaged hate, he packaged
discrimination, he put it into a box and he labeled that box religious

And we are – we, meaning the civil society of the United States has seen
through that. Now corporations have a responsibility to their employees.

And they are embracing inclusiveness, they`re embracing diversity, and they
would be remiss if they sent employees to a state like Indiana where a
same-sex couples could go into a restaurant and be denied service possibly
in front of their children.

So what is happening is, you`ve seen someone who`s retrenched himself into
his position, it`s a losing position, it`s antiquated, it`s outdated, it`s
simply hateful and it`s mean-spirited.

And I think you – we`re seeing not only civil society but corporations and
even communities of faith saying, you know, we`re not going to go
backwards, we have moved forward as a society.

We`re not going to allow Governor Pence and a legislature in a state move
us backwards from a time that we have long ago left behind.

O`DONNELL: The – I just want to point out, it`s not just the left and
liberals who are rising up against this.

It`s – as I said, the CEO of Angie`s List is a Republican who supported
Pence in the past elections, has donated $150,000 in 2012.

He told “Nbc News”, “I`m a Republican, I`ve been active in state politics.
The legislature has completely turned a deaf ear to the business community,
to most of the Republican party. It`s extraordinary.”

And so George, you are not alone in this. This goes across party lines,
the objections to this.

TAKEI: Yes, and it is really the people of Indiana that should be leading
the opposition to this law. And I just got an early peek at the
“Indystar`s” editorial for tomorrow.

And they are strongly urging the governor, Governor Pence to rescind the
Religious Freedom Act or to add a bill protecting LGBT people.

So the opposition is coming very strongly from the Republicans of Indiana
as well as corporate leaders in Indiana. So I am very hopeful that we will
see a good resolution to this.

And I have many friends in Indiana, and they have written me, and they are
outraged and embarrassed by the behavior of their legislature and their

And certainly that performance that we saw on “Abc” with George
Stephanopoulos was a very awkward performance. And the people of Indiana
are leading the charge on this.

O`DONNELL: The president of the NCAA is worried about this and how it`s
affecting final four games in Indianapolis this weekend.

Charles Barkley has written, “as long as anti-gay legislation exists in any
state, I strongly believe big events such as the final four and Super Bowl
should not be held in those states` cities.”

Stuart Milk, this boycott energy does not seem to be something that`s going
to disappear quickly.

MILK: No, I don`t think it`s going to disappear. And to be honest with
you, the more that the proponents for this law are speaking, we`re hearing
things like, well, people can – who are discriminated against in a
business can go to court.

So we`re going to set up tribunals where people who`ve already been
embarrassed, who`ve been kicked out of businesses because they`re LGBT
would be going to these tribunals.

I mean this is archaic. And I think that what we`re seeing is a ground
swell of support that says that this is enough.

We`re not going to – we`re not going to allow civil liberties and justice
be put aside anymore in the name of religious liberty.

O`DONNELL: George Takei and Stuart Milk, thank you, go ahead –

TAKEI: And this is very personal –

O`DONNELL: George, your final word, George, go ahead.

TAKEI: Well, this is very personal to us because as I said, we have
friends in Indiana, particularly in Indianapolis.

And if my husband Brad and I go there and try to check in at a hotel or a
restaurant or lunch counter, we would – we could be refused.

And at a lunch counter, that brings back – another echo from history. And
there was a time when they could have refused service to me because I`m a
racial minority.

Maybe not Brad, but now we are married, and we`re a couple, and we could be
refused service on the basis of that. So it`s an Indiana law, but it
affects all Americans.

O`DONNELL: George Takei and Stuart Milk, thank you both very much for
joining me tonight.

MILK: Thank you, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Up next, does Hillary Clinton finally have a challenger for the
Democratic presidential nomination?



presidency of the United States is not some crown to be passed between two

It is an awesome and sacred trust, and to be earned and exercised on behalf
of the American –


O`MALLEY: People.


O`DONNELL: On Friday, Hillary Clinton`s lawyer revealed that the private
server that she used for her e-mail while Secretary of State was wiped
clean at Secretary Clinton`s instructions.

So there is now, according to her lawyer, no trace of e-mails from that
period left on that server. The only e-mails that survive are the ones
that Secretary Clinton decided to deliver to the State Department.

On Sunday, former Maryland Governor Martin O`Malley sounded like he wanted
to challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for president,
but was reduced to almost stuttering when asked a very simple and very
predictable question about foreign policy.

What is the greatest danger facing the United States?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s the most important one? What`s the greatest

FORMER GOV. MARTIN O`MALLEY (D), MARYLAND: The greatest danger that we
face right now on a consistent basis, in terms of man-made threats is
nuclear Iran. And related to that, extremist violence.

I don`t think you can separate the two.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Lynn Sweet, Washington Bureau Chief for the
“Chicago Sun Times.” Lynn, if you`re running for the Democratic
nomination, you`re going to be running against the Former Secretary of


When that question comes up, that`s your test. You`ve got to sound quick
and sharp, and like you know the world and know what you`re talking about.

And, frankly, he should have used that as a pivot to talk about the ongoing
nuclear negotiations with Iran, if that`s what he thinks is the most
important thing, and take the opportunity then to show off a little bit
about what he knows, or suggest what his approach would be, different from
what either the administration is doing or what he would perceive Hillary
Clinton to be doing.

O`DONNELL: Jonathan Capehart, is Martin O`Malley a serious challenger. I
don`t know what to think after yesterday.



O`DONNELL: OK. Thank you. We can move on.


CAPEHART: No, no, no. Let me explain. I mean, he is the former governor
of Maryland. I don`t mean to say that he`s not a serious person, not a
serious politician, not a serious candidate.

But he`s running against a former secretary of state, former senator from
New York, former first lady of the United States, former first lady of
Arkansas, who led an education revamp in that state, a lawyer in her own

She`s formidable, which is why Martin O`Malley is the only person out there
who`s making noises about possibly running. No one else –

SWEET: Well, there is one other.

CAPEHART: Who, who –

SWEET: If I may –

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Lynn.

SWEET: – If I may – you know you know, let`s not discount Senator Bernie
Sanders who, I know, is running –


– hold on, I`m going to make a point. Wait, I`m going to make a point
though. And if he runs, probably as a Democrat.

The point is, at least, he has a very carved out niche area that he wants
to talk about, reasons he would run. And he has ideas that he would

He could use therefore, what I mean, a presidential run, even if it was
fruitless to advance some of the things that he cares about.

What I don`t see in O`Malley, who has been traveling around for a long time
now, to try and whip some primary interests, it`s I don`t see what is there
is there.

What is he about different from anyone or what is the message or messages
he wants.

CAPEHART: OK, I`ll grant you that one.

O`DONNELL: The center of the political world today was in Boston,
specifically, Dorchester where the friends of Ted Kennedy gathered at the
opening of the Edward –


– M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate at the Kennedy
Library, which includes a full-scale replica of the United States Senate
Chamber and of Ted Kennedy`s Senate office.

The President was there, the vice president was there, current and former
senators from both parties were there. But one very –


– prominent former senator, who used to serve on Ted Kennedy`s committee
was not there. Hillary Clinton`s relationship with Ted Kennedy was never
the same after this moment in the presidential campaign of 2008.


FORMER SEN. TED KENNEDY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: He will be a president who
refuses to be trapped in the patterns of the past. He is a leader, who
sees the world clearly, without being cynical.

He is a fighter, who cares passionately about the causes he believes in,
without demonizing those who hold a different view.


He is tough-minded, but he also has an uncommon capacity to appeal to the
better angels of our nature. I`m proud to stand with him here today and
offer my help, offer my voice, offer my energy, my commitment to make
Barack Obama the next president of the United States.



O`DONNELL: Dafna, can there be any doubt that if Ted Kennedy had chosen
the other frontrunner for the Democratic nomination on that day, that she
would have been there in Dorchester today.

that`s exactly the kind of moment that she`s hoping she doesn`t have the
second time around if she runs.

O`DONNELL: And Josh Barro, is there an identifiable Obama-Kennedy, we
might say, a faction that was in Dorchester today, and a Clinton faction in
the Democratic Party now. Is there any actual separation between the two.

Democratic Party is more united than ever. The thing is, if you`re going
to take on a frontrunner like Hillary Clinton, you don`t just need an
argument for yourself, you need an argument against Hillary.

Obama had that. It was that Hillary had gotten the Iraq war wrong.


It was the big framing issue in that campaign that he took her on with.
O`Malley – it can`t be her husband was president, which is basically the
objection he`s raising there.

We`re not seeing any particular fight that O`Malley is going to taking to
Hillary explaining why she`s wrong for the Democratic Party.


The other thing that`s weird to me about these conversations, as we talk
about this primary and whether Hillary is vulnerable, well, sort of acting
like black voters don`t exist.

Barack Obama had two main elements to his coalition. He had people sort of
on the progressive left, in the vein of people who support Elizabeth
Warren, –


– a mostly but not exclusively white group of voters. And then he had
really solid support from black voters.

So, even if you came up with some theory of why somebody in the Bernie
Sanders space, the Elizabeth Warren space would be able to energize people


– around Wall Street closeness with Democrats, including the Clintons or
whatever. Nobody has explained how you then put the second half of that
coalition together.

Win South Carolina, with a big majority with black voters. That is why
Hillary Clinton cannot lose this primary.

O`DONNELL: All right, we`re going to take a break here and we`re going to
be back with – you`re going to take notes now – the 13 words that you can


– never say when talking about Hillary Clinton.



Forty-three years ago, George Carlin introduced his most famous standup
comedy bit, “The Seven Words You Can`t Say on TV.” And 43 years later, I
still can`t say any of those seven words on TV.

And we now have 13 new words that no one can say –


– on TV or in print when talking about Hillary Clinton. A group calling
themselves “Hillary Clinton`s Super Volunteers” have taken to Twitter to
warn the news media the 13 words, when associated with Hillary Clinton, are

Dafna, I`m not sure if I can read these.


I wonder if maybe – all right, here`s what I`ll do – I will read them and
I – we`re going to go between Dafna and Lynn and you`re going to tell me
whether they`re sexist.


So, Dafna, the first word is “polarizing.”

LINZER: Totally, totally sexist.


O`DONNELL: OK, so I`ll never say that again about – but I can say it
about any male candidate, right.


O`DONNELL: OK, Lynn Sweet, “calculating.”

SWEET: Well, I don`t want to be strident and abrasive when I answer.


So, I have to be careful.

O`DONNELL: Yes, I got you.

SWEET: So, I`m going to be very soft when I say, I don`t think that`s


SWEET: I think that`s OK.

O`DONNELL: All right. I`m going to rattle through the rest of them at my
peril. I`m going to say them on TV but I`ll never say them again –
“disingenuous,” “insincere,” “ambitious,” “inevitable,” “entitled,”
“overconfident,” “secretive,” “will do anything to win,” “represents the
past,” “out of touch,” “tone-deaf.”

I think I`ve said every one of those words about Mitt Romney.



And I now – Josh, I got to take it back.


O`DONNELL: “The New York Times” was warned directly –


O`DONNELL: – by these people about don`t say these words.

BARRO: Yes, our reporter, Amy Chozick, received –


BARRO: – received that warning. I think this is mostly nonsense.
There`s one little bit of it that I actually want to defend, which is the
“ambitious” thing. Hillary Clinton obviously –

O`DONNELL: Every politician –

BARRO: Exactly.

O`DONNELL: – is wildly ambitious.

BARRO: Exactly. But women politicians get called on it a lot more than
male politicians do. Hillary is not unique in having decided when she was
three years old that she was going to be president.


It was John McCain`s line that everybody in the Senate desperately wants
the presidency and the only cure is embalming fluid. So, I think, it`s –
you know, it`s fine to point out that Hillary Clinton is ambitious because
Hillary Clinton, obviously, is enormously –


– ambitious. But I do think it is true that she gets called on it more as
a woman than she would if she were a man.

SWEET: Well, I think –

O`DONNELL: Let me get the never-ambitious, Jonathan Capehart, in here.


On the 13 words – so, what`s your reaction to the 13 words, Jonathan.

CAPEHART: You know, I`m glad to hear everyone say that a lot of those
words aren`t sexist. There is one on there that – well, two, that make me

And Josh touched on one – “ambitious,” when applied to a woman –


– because it`s always sneering. And then the other one is “will do
anything to win,” which, to me, reads “conniving” and a few other words, –


– again, which, you know, rather sneering.

SWEET: Actually, it could mean something else, Jonathan. Actually, I
mean, if you`re going there.

CAPEHART: Well, yes, that`s what I`m alluding to.

SWEET: I thought that`s what you`re talking about.

CAPEHART: Yes, exactly.

O`DONNELL: But, you know, the “will do anything” –

SWEET: Which would be wrong, definitely wrong.

CAPEHART: Yes, that would be wrong.

O`DONNELL: – “will do anything to win” has applied to more men both in
politics and the world, generally, than maybe any one of these phrases.

I mean, Nixon broke into the other team`s, you know, campaign headquarters.


SWEET: Yes, I think the main thing here is to kind of watch –

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Lynn.

SWEET: I think, the point here is that, and this could be instructive to
all of us who write about politics, is that maybe we could try to stay away
from cliches.

I mean, I think, mostly, this 13 word thing is nonsense. But to take the
larger point, you know, this is our responsibility as journalists, is to
maybe try and write with more precision as to what the situation is rather
than just gloss over with these probably overused characterizations, and
explain what it is we`re trying to say.

Not that, “Well, she`s ambitious.” What happened. What`s the situation.
That`s maybe what we should be paying attention to.

O`DONNELL: Dafna, is this the kind of thing that the campaign gets under
control once there`s officially a campaign. Because, right now, there`s no
one else really out there speaking for Hillary Clinton.

LINZER: Well, that`s the thing. I mean, now, everybody`s kind of jumping
in, saying they represent her.

O`DONNELL: Because the campaign would never issue this stuff.

LINZER: Right. Never. And, I mean, they don`t want to be, you know, out
there with a group that wants to police speech, that wants to be editing
reporters, wants to be sending notes to “The New York Times” or any other
publication, about what they should and shouldn`t say in their reporting.

I don`t think that`s the kind of campaign they want to run. But, at the
moment, we`re at a place where anybody feels free to kind of come out and
say they represent her, they`re her super volunteers.

And I think, you know, that`s going to give her a lot of plus.


But that will change if she decides to run.

O`DONNELL: And, Lynn, if they start throwing around the word, “sexist” for
anybody –


– using one of these –


– words, what happens when something really sexist gets said about Hillary
Clinton. I mean, will that line have been devalued by that time.

SWEET: No, I don`t think so, because you`ll know it when you hear it if
something really happens. There`s just too many voices that will amplify
that one, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Yes. And, Josh, what about getting the campaign started and
underway. What`s the timing. What are we waiting for.

BARRO: Well, I mean, what I`ve been hearing and not – you know, this is
mostly speculation, is that we`re ending the first fundraising quarter
right now.

You want to start at the beginning of a fundraising quarter because if you
announce on March 20th –

O`DONNELL: Josh, can I just break in here for a second. We have breaking,
unsurprising Ted Cruz news.

Ted Cruz issued the statement tonight, supporting Governor Mike Pence`s
effort to –


– defend religious liberty and protect against the government, forcing
individuals to violate their deeply-held beliefs.

I think I can probably guess this word-for-word but I`ll read it instead –
“I want to commend Governor Mike Pence for his support of religious
freedom, especially in the face of fierce opposition.”

“There was a time, not too long ago, when defending religious liberty
enjoyed strong bipartisan support. Alas, today, we are facing a concerted
assault on the First Amendment, on right of every American to seek out and
worship God according to the dictates of his or her conscience.”

“Governor Pence is holding the line to protect religious in the Hoosier
State. Indiana is giving voice to millions of courageous conservatives
across this country who are deeply concerned about the ongoing attacks upon
our personal liberties.”

“I`m proud to stand with Mike, and I urge Americans to do the same.”

Jonathan Capehart, he did not say, “I urge other Republican candidates for
president to do the same.” And it shouldn`t be surprising that he beat Jeb
Bush and some of those slower-footed guys on this.

CAPEHART: Yes, not surprising with the speed with which he put out this
statement, not surprising that he stands with Mike, not surprising at all.

I mean, this is the same guy who shut down the government over a goal that
was impossible. Everyone saw it, Democrat or Republican.

Anyone with a pulse could see that his gamut would not work. And so, the
idea that he would stand with a governor, who signed into law a bill that
would make it possible for people to discriminate against others because of
who they love, is – I mean, it`s unconscionable and reprehensible.


O`DONNELL: Jonathan Capehart, Lynn Sweet, Dafna Linzer, Josh Barro, thank
you all very much for joining us tonight.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Lawrence.

SWEET: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Coming up – Evander Holyfield will be here to talk about his
next big boxing match. And it really is a boxing match with Mitt Romney.


It was another emotional day in the courtroom today as the prosecution
rested its case in the Boston Marathon Bombing Trial. NBC`s Justice
Correspondent, Pete Williams, was in the courtroom. Pete.

defense lawyers are hoping to show that the major steps in preparing for
the bombing were taken by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev`s older brother, Tamerlan.

They now are presenting their case as the government brought its case to an
emotional close.


(voice-over): The government ended its case on the human toll of the
second marathon bomb blast, an emotional finish on the youngest bombing
victim, eight-year-old, Martin Richard.

Several jurors wept as the medical examiner explained how the bomb ripped
through his 69-pound body. He`d been watching the race with his family,
leaning on the railing along the marathon route.

The FBI says, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev placed a pressure cooker bomb, loaded with
nails and BBs, just a few feet away from where Martin Richard was standing.

The medical examiner said the blast drove six nails, 20 BBs, and other
pieces of the bomb into the boy`s body. His mother and father were in
court as photos of their son`s fatal injuries were shown to the jury.

Earlier, a doctor detailed how the same blast killed Chinese graduate
student, Lingzi Lu, with one piece of the bomb driven clear through her

And the FBI gave new details of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev`s movements that day,
referring to surveillance video that shows him, seen here at the top of the
screen, walking away from the bomb he planted, a mere 10 seconds before it
went off.

Still unclear is whether Tsarnaev himself will testify in his own defense.
Many legal experts say that`s doubtful, too risky, putting the focus of the
entire defense on his courtroom demeanor.

DAVID HOOSE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: A guy like Tsarnaev, he gets on the stand,
if he smirks, if he looks the wrong way, it`s all done.

WILLIAMS: Defense lawyers say, all the major steps in preparing for the
bombing, including buying the components, were taken by his older brother,

(on camera): It appears the defense will take only a few days to present
its case. So, that means, the jury could begin deliberating later this
week, in just a few days, if the verdict is guilty, as it almost certainly
will be.

Then the same jury will hear another trial on the penalty – life without
parole or death. Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thanks, Pete. We`ll be right back.


The “Indianapolis Star” is giving us an early look at tomorrow`s –


– front page of that newspaper, “Fix This Now,” front page headline
editorial about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

It says, “We are at a critical moment in Indiana`s history. Much is at
stake, our image, our reputation as a state that embraces people of diverse
backgrounds and makes them feel welcome.”

“All of this is at risk because of a new law, the Religious Freedom
Restoration Act, that no matter its original intent, already has done
enormous harm to our state and, potentially, our economic future.”

And that is just the first couple of sentences. Up next, –


– Barack Obama, turned out to be Mitt Romney`s worst nightmare, has second
worst nightmare. Evander Holyfield will join me next.



honey, I`m about to go on the “Jimmy Fallon Show,” so I`ll call you back
when I`m done, OK? Bye.

All right, Mitt, one last look before show time.

JIMMY FALLON, NBC HOST: Looking good, Mitt man. By the way, I`ve got to
ask, are we still scheduled to box Evander Holyfield. I mean, what are we

ROMNEY: Don`t worry, it`s all in good fun. It`s for charity. What`s the
worst that could happen.

FALLON: That`s true. I guess, it won`t be the first time we lose to a
black guy.


ROMNEY: Touche.


O`DONNELL: Mitt Romney really will be fighting boxing legend, Evander
Holyfield, at a black tie charity event to raise money for Charity Vision,
which pays for medical equipment clinics and eye surgeries in some of the
poorest nations around the world.

Joining me now, the man who has reached down deep and found the courage to
step into the boxing ring with Willard Mitt Romney, Former Heavyweight
Champion of the World, Evander Holyfield.

That was the most exciting introduction I`ve ever done. I felt I was just
announcing a heavyweight fight.

So, look, you`re – when`s the last time you threw a punch in the ring.


O`DONNELL: Oh, so only four years ago. So, is it fair to say you are, at
the moment, four years out of shape on this whole thing.

HOLYFIELD: Now, I wouldn`t say that.


HOLYFIELD: I just hadn`t punched nobody in four years.

O`DONNELL: Now, does it – does it matter to you, when you`re in the
right, if you like the guy, does that affect the way you fight.

HOLYFIELD: No, no. I mean, you know, I`m professional. It`s a job. You
know, I have to do my job.

O`DONNELL: You know, because everything I`ve heard about Mitt Romney,
everybody who meets him, everybody who`s around him, says, personally, just
nicest guy in the world.

And so, you`re saying that you`ll be able to hang with him before the
fight, be charmed by him, it won`t make any difference in the ring.

HOLYFIELD: No. You know, this should be great for both of us. Because,
you know, he`s a good guy, I`m a good guy, you know. What could happen.

O`DONNELL: Your histories are a little different, your personal histories.
You`ve got a new documentary out called, “Champs.”

And I want to show the audience a piece of this. Just a little hint at how
– about the different backgrounds between you and Mitt Romney.


HOLYFIELD: I`m the youngest of nine in my family. As you can see, I`m
black. Oh, boy, black, yes. And came from, you know, people called it,
“The Ghetto.”

My mother didn`t read. My father didn`t read. And so, you know, they were
hardworkers. And that was my beginning.

O`DONNELL: So, Champ, it sounds like the only thing you have in common
with Mitt Romney is you want to raise money for this charity, which sounds
like a great thing.

HOLYFIELD: It is. It is a great thing. And that`s the part of it, you
know. It`s the inside, you know.

We both have something in common. We like helping people.

O`DONNELL: All right, well, go easy on him, OK. We`re all rooting for
Mitt Romney to survive this thing.

HOLYFIELD: He will. He will.


O`DONNELL: All right, we`re going to – I guess, we`re going to have to
trust you on that. Evander Holyfield.

The fight is May 15th. The documentary that you must see is “Champs.”
It`s now in theaters. It`s available on iTunes.

Champ, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

HOLYFIELD: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.


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