The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 06/02/15

Barney Frank, Norman Ornstein, Steve Kornacki, Caitlin Huey-Burns, Ben Wikler, Jesse Ehrenfeld, Judd Taback, Jordan Schultz

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: 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, welcome back –

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Good evening – good evening
Rachel. I wasn`t working last night, but I did see your show and what you
had to say about Beau Biden and Joe Biden last time was really beautiful.

Really –


O`DONNELL: Important.

MADDOW: Thank you my friend, that`s very nice of you to say, thanks.

O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel –

MADDOW: Thanks.

O`DONNELL: And cheers. Well, we have new polls for the Democrats and the
Republicans running for president. But first, the junior senator from
Kentucky caused a lot of trouble for the senior senator from Kentucky


for Edward Snowden. A resounding victory for Edward Snowden.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Senate passed the Freedom Act –

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which ends the bulk collection of phone data.

JIMMY FALLON, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: They decided to not monitor our
phone calls when they realized that no one has made a phone call in seven


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The politics of fear came out in full force.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitch McConnell played a game of chicken with Rand
Paul, Rand Paul called his bluff.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Some of them I think secretly want there to
be an attack on the United States so they can blame it on me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think Rand Paul made a terrible mistake.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dare to declare war on his party`s Fox –

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: I`m not sure why you`re blaming hawks in the – in
the party because I was one of them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know you`re on the right track when everybody is
after you.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R) ARIZONA: I run for president twice, but I would never
stoop to something like this.

JON STEWART, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: You`d only stoop to something
like this.


JEB BUSH, FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: This isn`t tiddlywinks we`re playing –

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Republican 2016 field heads to the sassiest place
on the earth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re calling it the Economic Policy Summit, what it
really is a cattle call.

BUSH: No, we got 75 people running I think, last time I check.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Offering the sort of red meat issues that conservative
voters want to hear.

RICK PERRY, FORMER TEXAS GOVERNOR: We need to repeal Obamacare, I trust
your state, not Washington D.C.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: You might also learn that there are four
Ronald Reagan and there are four Americans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lindsey Graham the favorite son now is running in South

STEWART: I say there`s little hope we`ll survive the Summer.



O`DONNELL: Tonight, President Obama signed the USA Freedom Act which
continues most of the provisions of the Patriot Act, but does not include
the bulk data collection of telephone records that had been operating under
the authority of the now expired Patriot Act.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to preserve all of the
elements of the Patriot Act, but in the end had to settle for passing the
identical version of the USA Freedom Act that was passed by the house
representatives last week.

Ted Cruz voted for the USA Freedom Act, the other presidential candidates
in the Senate, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio voted against it. At the end of
today`s debate, Senator McConnell said this.


MCCONNELL: As the “Associated Press” declared today, the end of section
215 program is a quote – this is the headline in the “Ap” today, “a
resounding victory for Edward Snowden”. “A resounding victory for Edward

It is also a resounding victory for those who currently plotted against our


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, former Congressman and Msnbc contributor Barney
Frank, author of “Frank: A Life in Politics”, and congressional scholar
Norm Ornstein, author of “It`s Even Worse Than It Looks”.

And look, Barney Frank, if you were still in the house, how would you have
voted on this?

BARNEY FRANK, FORMER CONGRESSMAN: Well, I did not study the revised bill
fully. I – should know that I voted against the original Patriot Act.

We actually in the judiciary committee back then, under the leadership of a
guy named Jim Sensenbrenner who is generally conservative, put together a
bill that was very much – support of liberals and conservatives and we
sent it to the floor of the house, it was unanimous.

And then Dick Cheney thought it wasn`t tough enough and it did not do
enough to be intrusive. And he got the house Republican leadership to
change it, so I then voted against that bill.

I certainly agree with getting rid of the metadata, the collection by the
federal government of every phone call made by everybody. Among other
things, by the way, what do they do with that?

The notion that there`s anything rational they can do with it, it seems to
me a little bit hard. But the notion again that the federal government
should have every phone call ever made by anybody, a record of it, yes,
that`s pretty intrusive.

So, I can`t tell you exactly how I would have voted on the bill that
passed. I did vote against the original one and I would have voted for
something that improved it.

O`DONNELL: Norm Ornstein, the no votes in the Senate were interesting
today because they were for different reasons, many of them.

You had Rand Paul voting no because he`s opposed to anything in any of the
bills, he doesn`t want us to have any form of the Patriot Act to continue.

And then there is Rubio voting no because he wanted all of the Patriot Act
to continue, so he wouldn`t vote for this partial version.

NORMAN ORNSTEIN, POLITICAL SCIENTIST: And, of course, what we have here,
Lawrence, is the headache and the multiple headaches that Mitch McConnell
faces with four presidential candidates now in his own party in the Senate.

Who have their own ideas and in both cases they were defying McConnell,
basically. And that was true as well on the amendments that he tried to
offer to strengthen the act today.

And, you know, as you watch McConnell on the floor saying that this is a
great victory for Edward Snowden and for our enemies and the terrorists out

It also has to be remembered that this bill passed by overwhelming
bipartisan margins in the very conservative house of Representatives and
was accepted by the administration and the intelligence community as
something that they could live with.

So –

FRANK: You know –

ORNSTEIN: McConnell basically is getting hit from both ends and all ends
and especially his own state colleague whom he has endorsed for president.

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Barney.

FRANK: Can I make an important point here? Because this is really an
opportunity for Norm Ornstein.


He wrote that book and you quoted, it`s even worse than you think about –


FRANK: Essentially the Republicans, he`s not ready for the sequel, it`s
even worse than it was when I told you it was worse than you think.


O`DONNELL: That`s right –

ORNSTEIN: Actually, the next one is run for your lives.

O`DONNELL: But Norm, talk about –



FRANK: Runs for president.



O`DONNELL: Norm, talk about this population of senators running for
president and what that does to a majority leader`s life in the Senate.
This is a much bigger number than usual.

ORNSTEIN: It certainly is, and remember that McConnell`s margin with his
own party is razor thin to begin with.

For the things that don`t have a filibuster where he needs just the 51
Republican votes, if he is trying to jam something through and that will
include looking to the future or reconciliation bill, for example.

If you`ve got four of your colleagues who take you below that number
running for president, much of the time they are going to be, as Lindsey
Graham was today absent without leave, they`re going to be off raising
money, doing debates, campaigning in different places.

And worse, they`re going to be like Rand Paul which is thwarting you at
every turn, even if it alienates all the rest of your colleagues in your
own party because he has other objectives.

And let`s face it, Lawrence, the primary and caucus electorate for the
Republican Party is even to the right of the Republicans in the House of
Representatives not to mention the Senate.

And remember one other thing, which is that McConnell is also trying to
protect people like Mark Kirk and Pat Toomey who are going to be up next
year in very blue states.

So, he can`t verge that far to the right. This presidential campaign is an
enormous series of –

FRANK: And –

ORNSTEIN: Ongoing headaches for McConnell –

FRANK: And there`s an additional fact here, I cannot remember a more
incompetent performance by a majority leader than McConnell to be totally
frustrated in his – which is, and I think he does not understand the role.

Look, when you take leadership in a legislative body, you`re making a
tradeoff. You are increasing your authority and your power in general.

But you are no longer a free acting individual, you do have to take into
account the views of your membership. I felt that when I became chairman
of the House Financial Services Committee.

What McConnell tried to do here was to use the power of the majority
leadership to force through a view that he holds, that`s very much a
minority view in the body he`s leading.

And the result was a disaster. And that is a fundamental misunderstanding
of the role of leadership in a legislative body. Yes, you have more
authority, and you actually get to say more than you did as a member.

But there were limits, and you cannot take a minority view that –


FRANK: You hold that`s in contradiction to what the great majority wants,
and then as the majority leader force that too, that`s why we had this
terrible mix up.



ORNSTEIN: As you can – Barney is exactly right on that front –

O`DONNELL: Let me –


O`DONNELL: Let me just add – let me just add –


O`DONNELL: This Norm, and react to this possible element of it. Sometimes
the leader knows where he wants to end up, but he can`t take a straight
route to it.

Because he has to offer other people along the way votes on certain things,
and then he has to – he has to make the end point look like a victory for
more people than it`s a victory for.

And so, is it possible that Mitch McConnell could have gotten this very
same result earlier in this process or did he have to go through all this
in order to end up where they ended up today?

ORNSTEIN: Well, you`re certainly right that you sometimes have to take a
roundabout route to get your colleagues to go along.

Let`s face it, that`s what John Boehner has done as speaker, a kind of
passive aggressive route to finally reach a point where people will get
along with you.

But McConnell did not have to take it to this extent and to this level.
And the fact is, he wasn`t just pitted against Rand Paul, he was pitted
against a whole lot of his own colleagues and he played the kind of game.

I think in the end, you know, he offered a bunch of amendments, if any of
those amendments had passed, it would have left the Patriot Act in limbo
for another week or so which he did not want.

So, maybe in the end, that was a kind of –

FRANK: Can I – can I –


ORNSTEIN: Pure victory for him –

O`DONNELL: But that goes to –

FRANK: Lawrence –

O`DONNELL: My point –

FRANK: Lawrence –

O`DONNELL: Barney, let me just have this for you and then go ahead. It
goes to my point that McConnell knew those amendments weren`t going to

So the way I was watching him, it didn`t look to me like he was really
trying to get those amendments to pass, but he just had to go through this
play to end up where he is. Go ahead, Barney –

FRANK: So that – Lawrence, that`s true as of today`s amendment, but I
think you are giving him too much credit. This was his – he did not want
to see this amendment.

He wanted metadata. That was – he wasn`t trying to get here –

O`DONNELL: Right, yes –

FRANK: We are at a place that he didn`t want to get to, he did try to
salvage it today. The only thing I do want to add though, and I – when
you said that the meta couldn`t take the straight route, at first I thought
you were talking about Denny Hastert.


O`DONNELL: I thought you might. Barney, one more thing before we go,
about McConnell. I get your point about legislative leadership.

And I – and I completely, generally agree with it, but what about – is
there something to be said for seeing a majority leader, which is very
rare, going out there and saying this is what I think.

I as a senator believe this very –

FRANK: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Strongly and I strongly believe we should go in this direction?
And by the way, as a leader, be willing to suffer that loss if that`s what


O`DONNELL: It comes to?

FRANK: Yes, if that`s what you – that`s not just what he did. It`s
legitimate for the leader to say, look, I am going to argue for this
position, but he used his leadership control over the agenda –

O`DONNELL: Right, yes –

FRANK: To not –


FRANK: Having a fair fight. What he should have done, and I – given the
depth of his conviction, he should have said, OK, I am going to bring this
bill up and I am then going to offer this amendment which I believe in.

But he didn`t do that, he tried to use the coercive powers of the leader to
keep it off the floor so that he would win, not because he could get a
majority in the roll call, but because he would threaten them with a
disaster of the bill.

People said he tried to block the Senate – they called this bluff.

ORNSTEIN: Lawrence, let me make one last point here –

O`DONNELL: Go ahead Norm –

ORNSTEIN: Which is, you know, McConnell, when he was in the minority, used
every trick and basically bent the norms of the Senate with filibusters in
the ways that it never been used before to try and block everything.

Then he becomes majority leader, says I`m going to go back to the regular
order. And now, he`s getting thwarted, but not by Democrats, by his own

O`DONNELL: Norm Ornstein gets the last word on this strategy tonight. We
could go on and on about this one, Barney is going to stick with us when we
come back.

Coming up, we have new poll numbers that are going to change the way the
race looks for both Democrats and Republicans in the presidential race.
That`s coming up.


O`DONNELL: Police abuse of citizens can be very expensive, very expensive
to taxpayers. Taxpayers in the Detroit suburb of Inkster will soon face a
one-time tax to help the city pay a settlement to a man beaten by a police
officer during a traffic stop.

Last week, Floyd Dent settled his lawsuit with the city of Inkster for $1.4
million for this attack caught on video. But the city doesn`t have that
kind of money.

Michigan state law allows a one-time tax to cover that kind of judgment
without voter approval. That tax will go on Summer property tax bills and
will come to an average of $178 for each property owner.

Up next, Jeb Bush loses the top spot in the Republican presidential



BUSH: If I run, if I`m a candidate, and that decision is going to be
forthcoming real soon. My intention is to run on my record and my ideas
and run to try to win the presidency.

I know the only way one wins in a two-person race is to get to 50 percent.
And I know in order to get to 50 percent, you can`t tear down the 40
percent or the 35 percent, it`s just that simple.


O`DONNELL: A new poll shows that Jeb Bush might never get the chance to
run in that two-person race against a Democrat.

In a “Washington Post”, “Abc News” poll, Jeb Bush is one point behind both
Rand Paul and Scott Walker.

In that poll, Jeb Bush is tied with Marco Rubio. But the top four in that
poll are actually so close that it is – it is at least a four-way tie for
first place within the margin of error of that poll.

A “Cnn”-ORC poll released today shows Jeb Bush once again one-point behind
the front-runner, who this time is Marco Rubio, but that too is close
enough for at least a two-way tie for first place in that poll.

Hillary Clinton continues to lead every Republican candidate when matched
against them one-on-one. In “The Washington Post” poll, she leads Jeb Bush
by three points in the “Cnn” poll, she leads Jeb Bush by eight points.

The Republican who polls closest to Hillary Clinton is Rand Paul who trails
Hillary Clinton by only one point. Joining us now is Steve Kornacki, the
host of Msnbc`s “UP WITH STEVE KORNACKI”.

Steve is in Orlando where Jeb Bush and six other Republicans, potential
presidential candidates spoke at an economic summit hosted by Governor Rick

Also joining us, Caitlin Huey-Burns, a political reporter for
“RealClearPolitics”, and also back with us, former Congressman Barney

Steve Kornacki, down in Florida today, you know, I have – this part of the
discussion is so tricky at the moment.

These so-called potential candidates because Jeb Bush, once again, actually
in his comments doing that thing of pretending he hasn`t yet decided that
he is running for president.

So that he can, you know, legally raise all that money on the outside of
the campaign and without being accused of coordinating. But in that parade
down there of candidates, who was best received in that group in Florida?

STEVE KORNACKI, POLITICAL WRITER: Well, I`ll tell you, to be honest, I
think it was Jeb Bush today. But that comes with a couple of big catches.

I mean, obviously, this is Bush`s home state, not only that, if you look at
what this crowd was today, this was an event organized by Rick Scott, the
Republican governor here.

The audience was by invitation only from the governor, these were his
financial supporters from the business community in Florida.

So these are people that Jeb Bush is the former governor of Florida, he has
very close relationship, they go back, you know, a number of years, maybe
decades in some cases.

The other big catch though is, Marco Rubio wasn`t there in person today
because of the Patriot Act stuff that was happening back in Washington.

Marco Rubio only spoke by video, so you didn`t get him working the room,
getting that sort of, you know, interpersonal warmth going that maybe Bush

And you know, the other thing is, even if Bush did do well in this room
today, and even if Florida still looks like a pretty promising venue for

I mean, there`s some question about whether Bush or Rubio would have a leg
up here, but we can agree that Bush and Rubio together are light years
ahead of the other candidates in Florida right now.

But even, you know, that being the case, the bigger problem for Bush is
getting to Florida.

When you start to look at how the map sets up, how the calendar sets up for
next year in the Republican primaries, I mean, you could start right away
and say he`s got huge problems right away in Iowa; the caucus state.

All of the activists in the caucuses, right now he`s running and I`ve seen
polls that have him in seventh place in Iowa. You can look at New
Hampshire and New Hampshire looks a little better for Bush.

But now, you know, he is running in the high teens in New Hampshire. You
get to Nevada, the Bush people hoped to turn Nevada into a primary, a much
bigger electorate.

That was their plan, that plan blew up yesterday because the legislature in
Nevada wouldn`t go along with it. It`s going to stay a caucus state.

That`s not good news for Bush. South Carolina, Marco Rubio has made big
inroads there, Lindsey Graham running as a favorite son, he will probably
eat into Jeb Bush`s support in South Carolina.

So, if you`re Jeb Bush and you can`t put some wings on the board in those
first four contests, forget it, you`re not getting the Florida.

O`DONNELL: All right, Caitlin, there`s – these polls are always reported
to have a front-runner, even when –


O`DONNELL: There`s a one-point lead which we are always told there`s a
margin of error, one point means nothing.

But you know, in a way these things are reported, Jeb Bush has to suffer
that when he falls back one point behind the front-runner.

Suddenly he`s not the front-runner, that spreads into the crowd, it spreads
into the talk of the crowd that Steve was with today.

And there`s only so much of this that Bush can survive. He`s got to stay
up there, doesn`t he?

HUEY-BURNS: Oh, sure, because there are so many candidates running,
because it`s a wide open race, that`s a big factor.

So, if you`re Jeb Bush and you`re falling behind other candidates, look at
that and see an opportunity to move forward.

So, I think throughout this debate, you are going to see a lot of – kind
of fire throwing, a lot of people trying to get up because it is such a big
open race.

O`DONNELL: Barney Frank, they have their message ready on taxes. Marco
Rubio participated via satellite today in the Florida event.

I`m going to give you a sample now of what these guys had to say about
taxes. We`ll talk about it after we hear it.


PERRY: Lower that corporate tax rate and you will see a powerful message
sent across the world.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I`ll lower the corporate tax rate, so that
it`s competitive with the rest of the developed world.

GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: Best thing we can do is just get the
government out of the way. Whether it`s lower taxes –

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Bring a corporate rate down to 25

BUSH: We have to fix one of the most convoluted complex tax codes by
lowering rates.


O`DONNELL: Barney Frank, if they gave you a minute on that stage after
that, what would you have told that audience?

FRANK: That we have enormous needs in this country that have to be
addressed, and reducing the revenue is not a way to do it.

I keep reading about the people in Texas and the insistence they have now
that we send them some federal money.

Do they think the federal money falls down like the rain that they`re
worried about? We have Lindsey Graham who wants to increase – they`re all
for increasing American military expenditure in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now, logically, if you reduce taxes and you increase that kind of spending,
then Social Security and Medicare which are otherwise quite sound fiscally
if we do it right, they`re in serious trouble.

So, this kneejerk – oh, let`s cut taxes, let`s cut taxes, it will – and
by the way, they`re not talking about cutting taxes for working people.

They`re not talking about cutting the Social Security payroll tax which has
a very regressive impact. They`re talking about cutting taxes at the high-
end while they are also – and lets be very clear.

When John Boehner complained about having to raise the debt, I pointed out
that John Boehner voted to put on more of that debt on the – on the rolls
than I did.

I didn`t vote for the Iraq war, I didn`t vote for a lot of these other
things, so the inconsistency between talking about reducing government
revenue and talking about substantial increases and expenditures of the
highest kind.

I hope there will be more conversation about that during this campaign.

O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Jeb Bush said about immigration reform,
and listen carefully because this is really quick.


BUSH: We need immigration reform for crying out loud. A broken
immigration system puts drains on our economy.


O`DONNELL: Steve Kornacki, how did that work with that audience?

KORNACKI: Again, in this particular audience, again, you`re talking about
a room of business leaders here I think, in a lot of cases may not – the
immigration may not be as pressing an issue to them in terms of opposing as
it is to the broader Republican base.

And I think that gets into one of the problems that Jeb Bush has here. And
that is, he has to be – you look at the poll there, you showed them, at 11
percent nationally.

There was another one the other day that had him at 10 percent, just by
contrast when his brother, when George W. Bush was running for president in
the primaries back in 2000, that was another crowded Republican field.

That is a path to the nomination that when this campaign began, the Jeb
Bush people thought they could emulate in a lot of ways how George W. Bush
navigated his way to the front of that pack.

Well, at this point in that race, he was at that 40 percent or 50 percent
in the Republican polls, he was 30 points ahead of his nearest rivals.

And the rivals at this point were starting to really drop out of the race
in that cycle. That`s not happening this time, and if you look at an issue
like immigration, it gives Bush a very limited room to get away from where
the pace is.

O`DONNELL: And that will be the last word on the Republicans tonight.
Steve Kornacki, thank you very much for joining us.

Coming up, those people trying to draft Elizabeth Warren to run for
president are now starting to think they have to look for another


O`DONNELL: Run, Warren, run. The campaign to push Senator Elizabeth
Warren into the 2016 presidential race is shutting down.

Today in “POLITICO”, organizers from and Democracy for America
said, “we worked to amplify her voice wherever and whenever possible by
raising the possibility of a Warren run for the presidency.

We elevated the significance of her words and actions.”

Joining us now is Ben Wikler, the Washington director of Ben,
how did it come to this? How did you – why did you guys surrender?

surrender, I would say that it`s a long shot for anyone who run for

And we knew, when we started, that this was not someone playing coy.
Elizabeth Warren is not someone who has –


– dreamed of being president all her life. What we also knew is that she
rises to big fights, and we wanted to make the case to her that there`s a
hunger for progressive fighters.

There are enormous battles to be won on behalf of regular people against
the special interests that are rigging the game. Now, we didn`t get our

We obviously wish we had. But we do feel like we`ve moved the debate, the
millions of Americans who want these issues debated, who want inequality in
a system where the special interests and corporate money has too much
power, who want those issues talked about.

Everyone who`s been involved in that fight has won, because those are now
front and center across the Democratic field. Even Republicans are
starting to pay lip service to issues like inequality.


And that, to us, is a significant step forward.

O`DONNELL: Barney Frank, I think you have a candidate that you`d like to
talk Ben into supporting.

just say, I was on “MORNING JOE” on this network yesterday with Bill
Crystal, who was doing everything he could to promote Bernie Sanders.

The transparency of that was very clear. They don`t want Hillary Clinton
to be the nominee because they think she`s very tough.

I do not understand where the criticism comes from of her, I think, on
domestic issues. You know, as Paul Krugman documented, one of our best
writers on public policy, Hillary Clinton was to the left of Barack Obama
in 2008, I think, on healthcare.


When President Obama signed the bill that we weakened the Financial Reform
bill somewhat – not in a huge way but I wish he hadn`t done that, although
it was Republican pressure that forced him into what he felt – Hillary
Clinton spoke right out and said she was against it.

You know, she was an original supporter of a broader healthcare bill.
Look, I wish that somebody who had a set of permanent positions, for
instance, like mine, could get elected president.

And if I thought that maybe I would have run, although I think Jim would
have not really enjoyed being the first man, but –


WIKLER: Congressman –

FRANK: – I want to elect somebody. And when Billy Crystal, on behalf of
the Republicans, starts undermining Hillary Clinton –

WIKLER: Sir, sir Congressman, you know –

FRANK: – I think that`s a good message.

WIKLER: Mr. Crystal is making the case for Bernie, obviously, as a way of
attacking Mrs. Clinton. But if you look at the “Run, Warren, Run”
campaign, what you`re hearing, not as an anti-Clinton campaign but a pro-
progressive fighter campaign.

And, frankly, Secretary Clinton and all the candidates have a chance to
move into that exact space. And I think we`re hearing it more and more.

FRANK: Well, not as much as –

WIKLER: And whenever Secretary Clinton or the other candidates go to bat
for the middle class against special interests, they get more ready, they
get stronger.

That is good for the party. I think that`s the debate that we need to have
because the more we talk about these issues, the stronger we are.

what`s interesting, too, is that you`re seeing kind of this primary within
the primary.

Elizabeth Warren has forced this debate, I think. But she`s having more of
an impact in the Senate, we`ve seen so far.


HUEY-BURNS: We`ve seen Bernie Sanders and Martin O`Malley competing for a
lane within the Democratic Party. And then they have to face Clinton.

So, I think there`s a little primary within the primary there.

O`DONNELL: Barney, what do you see –

FRANK: I would have –

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Barney, go ahead.

FRANK: This notion that, until “Moveon” talked about running Elizabeth
Warren – by the way, Elizabeth Warren, I believe, is much more sensible
than her supporters.

And this notion – I have to say this – the notion that you amplify her
voice – no, Elizabeth Warren`s voice was amplified when she helped us pass
Consumer Financial Protection.

And, in fact, she correctly understood that, to the extent that she was
seen as someone maneuvering for the presidency, her voice would have been
diminished. The media would have been – started criticizing her.

The purity of her concern for issues has been one of her strengths. And
she understood better than others that seeming to be toying with the
presidency would have diminish her influence, I believe, rather than
strengthening it.

As far as the issues are concerned, yes, we have been there for a while.
And I`m glad to hear that this is not an attack on anybody.

I do think there was an effort, frankly, –


– for people to claim more credit than is necessarily the case. And,
again, I want to stress, we have a serious problem in November with money.

We are going to be outspent significantly by all that Republican money. I
don`t understand why some of my friends on the left think that we should do
to ourselves this year what the Republicans did four years ago, weaken who
will be the nominee.

I want to save our money. And if people have a specific issue that they
want to push, I`d like to hear it. I believe that –

WIKLER: Congressman Frank, you know –

FRANK: – we have, in fact, been there for some time.

WIKLER: You know, Congressman Frank, first of all, I agree with you that
Senator Warren`s voice is extraordinarily powerful, and that her
authenticity and her focus on issues is the source of her strength.

I think what the millions of people, who have cheered Senator
Warren on when she goes to bat against corruption and abuses of –

FRANK: Looks like you`re changing the terms of the discussion. I`m not
talking about cheering her on. I`m talking about saying that she should
run for president.

WIKLER: A run for president does not suggest that she is – we`re just
toying with the possibility.

It suggests that what we want to see is Warren and action that`s more like
Warren. That`s what we want to see in our candidates. And that shows
candidates that there is a path to victory.

What we`re seeing in this primary is energy. And energy is what wins

FRANK: Stop. You`re being disingenuous. You were not saying we cheer her
on. You were saying she should run for president.

That was a disservice to her, a disservice to her winning in November.

WIKLER: But saying that she should run for president is not saying that
she`s being coy.

FRANK: You`re now changing – you`re changing –

WIKLER: It`s absolutely authentic. We are –

FRANK: You`re changing what you`re saying.

WIKLER: We want her to run for president because we love her authenticity.
And what we`re looking for from all the candidates is that same kind of
fighting spirit and energy.

That`s how you win elections. And that`s what –

FRANK: I know that.

WIKLER: – gets people out on the streets.

FRANK: No, you don`t win elections by weakening your own side. And when
you say, “Oh, we were just cheering her on,” that`s not true.

There was a serious effort to get her to run for president, which would not
have been good for her.

And Lawrence was right. You did collapse that effort. I`m glad you did.
It was a mistaken effort in the first place.

Cheering Elizabeth on, saying she`s doing the right thing, –

WIKLER: I don`t think that – I don`t think that any of the Democrats are
any weaker today because of “Run, Warren, Run.”

I think Democrats are in a stronger position because Democratic issues,
issues of inequality and middle class opportunity –

FRANK: No, you are again –

WIKLER: – have been talked about for the last six months. If this had
only been the Republicans jocking for position, then we would have been
talking on TV about tax cuts day in and day out. Instead, –

FRANK: No, that is simply –

WIKLER: – there`s actually been discussion on our side of the aisle.
Now, there`s actually going to be a primary and our candidates can make
their case.

FRANK: You`re just filibustering now.

WIKLER: And it won`t look like a case loss where a candidate –

FRANK: That is simply not the case.

WIKLER: – swings to the right side of the aisle every single moment.

FRANK: No Democrats were talking about tax –

WIKLER: We`re talking much better situation.

FRANK: The Democrats were not talking about tax cuts though. Remember,
Barack Obama –

WIKLER: No, I`m saying Republicans are talking about taxes all the time.

FRANK: Excuse me, please stop filibustering. The Democrats were, in fact,
pushing hard, with Hillary Clinton support, Barack Obama support, for
raising taxes on people.

And, again, you are trying to confuse two things – being enthusiastic
about Elizabeth Warren, very important. Saying she should run for
president, it was a bad mistake and I`m glad you dropped the idea.

O`DONNELL: OK, let me – let me get a last word from Caitlin before we go
to the break. Caitlin, go ahead.

HUEY-BURNS: I do think that Democrats should welcome this primary because
you have all of these Republicans on the other side that, you know, up to
18 of them almost, going directly after Hillary Clinton.

So, if they`re going to spend the next several months fighting among each
other but also directly attacking her. So, I think Democrats are seeing
this as an open – a first open race in a long time.

If they can help prepare her for that general election and get her ready
after this long nominating fight, I think they could consider that a kind
of success.

O`DONNELL: That will have to be THE LAST WORD on it tonight. Ben Wikler,
Caitlin Huey-Burns and Barney Frank, thank you all for joining us tonight.
Thank you.

WIKLER: Thank you so much for having us.

HUEY-BURNS: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Up next, a Republican –


– and his partner will share their message for marriage equality.

And, later, the President of FIFA announces his resignation as a major
investigation closes in on him.



This month, the Supreme Court will decide whether to require all states to
allow same-sex marriage. One of the states that could be affected by that
decision is Tennessee, where a ban on same-sex marriage was approved by
voters in 2006.

The group, “Freedom to Marry” created a new ad featuring a Tennessee
Republican who wants to marry his partner. Television stations in
Nashville, Memphis and Chattanooga, Tennessee are running that ad.

But the NBC affiliate, WRCB in Chattanooga refused to run the ad, saying it
was, quote, “very controversial.”

In a statement, the TV station told us here at THE LAST WORD, “We review
all commercials before airing them. In this case, we decided to not accept
ads for gay marriage or against gay marriage.”

Here is that ad –


I`m a doctor and I`m a solider.

As a military physician, I take care of other people`s loved ones who are
wounded in combat. But here at home, I`m fighting a different fight.

Because I`m gay, I`m not allowed to marry my partner here in Tennessee
where we live. I was able to stand up and put my life on the line for the
freedom that we all enjoy, yet I don`t have the freedom to marry my
partner, Judd.

Support the “Freedom to Marry.” Because freedom means freedom for


Joining us now for an exclusive interview, Dr. Jerry Ehrenfeld, U.S. Navy
veteran, and his partner, Judd Taback, an administrative judge for the
state of Tennessee.

EHRENFELD: Good evening.

O`DONNELL: So, judge, what do you think is going to happen in the Supreme

in our favor. I can tell you that, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: And, Jesse, what made you do this ad. What gave you the idea
for that.

EHRENFELD: Well, we certainly want the freedom to marry, to marry each
other, to make a lifetime commitment to one another, to stand up in front
of our family and our friends, and have the –


– opportunity to do that here in our home state of Tennessee, where we`ve
created a life for ourselves, surrounded by our friends in our community.

And we`re hopeful that the Supreme Court will certainly come out in our
favor. And it`s that desire to stand up on this –


– issue that led us to decide to make the ad when “Freedom to Marry”
called us and asked if we`d be willing to be featured in it.

O`DONNELL: Well, you`re living in a state where a 2014 poll by the Public
Religion Research Institute finds that support for marriage equality in
Tennessee – supporting it is 39 percent, and opposing it is 55 percent.

But, Judd, that`s a change in those numbers over time. And that`s more
support than there was in Tennessee at the time they took that vote in

TABACK: Yes, and we hope that trend continues and that people are more in
our favor today. However, we do – I do believe that this issue should be
decided by the Supreme Court and should not be left up to the people to
decide who I get to marry and who you get to marry, Lawrence.


EHRENFELD: I mean, Lawrence, you wouldn`t want someone telling you and you
wouldn`t want people in your state voting on whether you could get married
or not, would you?

O`DONNELL: No. And, Jesse, –


– what has been the reaction to the ad in Tennessee.

EHRENFELD: It`s actually been overwhelmingly positive. I was in the
operating room yesterday, taking care of patients and one of our
housekeepers came up to me and said, “Doc, great job with the ad.”

We`ve gotten a lot of positive comments from friends, from phone calls from
all over the country really.


And, you know, I think, when we made this ad, you know, we were hoping that
it would start some conversations in our community. We never expected the
kind of attention that we`d get because of the decision that was made by
this TV station.


And, certainly, you know, we`re just delighted that this conversation is
happening. And, like I said, the response has been pretty positive

O`DONNELL: And, Judd, what about for you. What has been the response to
you personally in people`s comments.

TABACK: It`s been pretty much the same, very positive, mostly from family
and friends. And, yes, everyone seems pretty excited about it.

O`DONNELL: And, Jesse, it may well be that, pretty soon, marriage equality
is legal in Tennessee through the Supreme Court. And is this ad intended
to, in effect, kind of soften up that opposition to what might become the
law in Tennessee very soon.

EHRENFELD: Well, certainly, you know, the Supreme Court is going to rule.
They`ve probably already made their decision, probably in the writing phase
right now.

And our hope was really that our neighbors, our community members, my
patients, people that we interact with when we`re at the grocery store,
could hear our story, hear about the love that we have for each other, so
that we can have that conversation here across the state of Tennessee.

And, you know, you`re right to point out that people`s hearts and minds are
changing on this issue. And I think that`s because there`s so much more
conversation about what it means.

And, certainly, for Judd and I, we certainly want to have the protections
that are offered by being legally married. You know, I just got back from
Afghanistan about six weeks ago.

One of the things that was really –


– on my mind when I was there was that if I got hurt or something happened
to Judd, you know, we would have the same protections for emergency leave,
to be able to come back and be with each other that married couples have.

And there are all sorts of other benefits, veterans benefits, Social
Security benefits, that we can`t access today –


– because we can`t get legally married here in Tennessee. And so, we`re
hoping that the Supreme Court rules in our favor and that we`ll be able to
get up and say “I do” together.

O`DONNELL: Jesse and Judd, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
And I`m glad we got to run your ad in full here. Thank you very much.


EHRENFELD: Thank you, Lawrence. We really appreciate it.

TABACK: Thank you, Lawrence. Have a good night.

O`DONNELL: Thank you. We`ll be right back.


As my Twitter followers already know, I am wearing a color tonight that I
have never worn before, never ever. Right there in the tie, that stripe –
orange, an orange stripe.

And I`m wearing orange for Hadiya.


Hadiya Pendleton would have been celebrating her 18th birthday today. But
on January 29th, 2013, just one week after she marched in President Obama`s
second inaugural parade, Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed in Chicago.

Today is National Gun –


– Violence Awareness Day in honor of Hadiya`s birthday. The “Wear Orange”


– campaign was inspired by Hadiya`s friends and classmates in Chicago, who
began wearing orange, the color worn by hunters in the woods to make sure
that no one shoots them.

Today, President Obama tweeted, “People across the country are wearing
orange to stand up against gun violence.” Nancy Pelosi led some members of
the House of Representatives in wearing orange today.

The entire New York Mets baseball team wore orange today, as did Sarah
Silverman and many other supporters.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 1: I`m wearing orange for Hadiya.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 2: I`m wearing orange for Hadiya.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 3: I wear orange so that no other parents have to lose
a child.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE 1: I`m wearing orange because I`m a grandparent who
cares about the future of his grandchildren.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 4: I wear orange for my sister, Nina, and for the
countless others who are killed by gun violence every day.

FAMILY MEMBERS: We wear orange because gun violence affects the whole

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 5: I`m wearing orange for my son, Noah.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 6: I wear orange because I lost my 14-year-old son who
got killed because of gun violence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE 2: I wear orange because gun violence is going to
continue if good people continue to do nothing.



The United States has World Cup win tonight. The Attorney General of the
United States is leading a criminal investigation that has forced the
president of the organization that runs the World Cup of soccer to resign.

That`s next.


Four days after he was reelected president of the scandal-plagued
organization that runs World Cup Soccer, Sepp Blatter announced his
resignation today.


SEPP BLATTER, FORMER FIFA PRESIDENT: (Speaking in different language)

TEXT: Although the members of FIFA have reelected me as president, this
mandate does not seem to be supported by everybody in the world of

This is why I will call an extraordinary congress, to be held as soon as
possible, and a new president will be elected to follow me.


O`DONNELL: “The New York Times” is reporting tonight that Sepp Blatter is
now the focus of a federal corruption investigation that has already led to
the indictments of 14 FIFA officials and marketing executives.



JOHN OLIVER, HBO HOST: It`s America. It`s driving this investigation and
actually finds something to indict him.

I don`t think you understand how much that would mean to everyone on
Earth. If the Dutch somehow found a reason to extradite and lock up Donald
Trump, you would think –


– “Holy (bleep), the Dutch are awesome.”


“The Dutch are (bleep). What a country.”


That is what`s on the table for you, America.



O`DONNELL: Joining us now, “Huffington Post” Sports Columnist Jordan
Schultz. Jordan, is the world of soccer grateful to the United States

And you know what though, I also pointed the fact that this doesn`t change

There still has to be transparency and leadership. But this has the right
step and the direction you needed to see if you`re FIFA, if you`re the

Remember, America, if Qatar had not got the World Cup in 2022, would have
received it. And that brings us to tell you, Lawrence, just how corrupt
things were.

You`re talking about a country, 300,000 people, no athletic tradition, no
soccer tradition, no stadiums to speak of. They`re estimating –

O`DONNELL: A hundred and forty degrees, as John Oliver pointed out, yes.

SCHULTZ: Yes. 120 and 140 in the summer. And they`re estimating that
4,000 workers will die in Qatar as a result, so this was a –

O`DONNELL: During the building of the –

SCHULTZ: Right. And this is a big step but it`s not necessarily the only
thing that needs to happen.

O`DONNELL: This thing has to be moving at very high speed. I mean, here`s
this guy, four days ago, getting himself reelected for life.

Four days later, his world has changed enough in that time. He goes, “OK,
I quit.”


SCHULTZ: Yes. Now, 17 years. This was his fifth term, something he said
he would never do five terms, Lawrence.

But he talked about, you know, being like the ultimate bad guy in sports.
This is the most important and, arguably, the most, I would say, meaningful
position in all sports, certainly the most influential, and way more than
Roger Goodell in the NFL.


And you know we`ve talked about him at length on this program, so I look at
Sepp Blatter, he finally realized everybody, I mean, everybody, not even
soccer fans only but everybody seems like, “You know what, this guy needed
to go.”

And he finally got the hint.

O`DONNELL: So, now, who takes over this thing and –

SCHULTZ: I think it`s – I think it`s going to be Prince Ali who got 73
votes. It`s interesting, Jeff Webb, who would have been, two weeks ago –
if Sepp Blatter had stepped down two weeks ago before the term, before
winning the election, the president probably would have taken over.

But he was arrested, one the big indictments. He was arrested. And so, I
figure it`s going to be Prince Ali who had bowed out of the race.

And I think here`s a guy that brings some moral leadership and, certainly,
transparency in the position but –

O`DONNELL: Oh, yes, princes, they`re great on moral leadership.


O`DONNELL: Middle Eastern princes, they`ve always been wonderful with


O`DONNELL: So, clearly, Blatter had to figure out – some of these people
that they`ve arrested, they`re going to crack in sentence.

SCHULTZ: Absolutely.

O`DONNELL: And they`re obviously – their way out of jail, basically, is
to give me up.

SCHULTZ: Yes. And I think that`s something he`s certainly worried about.
You`re talking about back rooms, Lawrence, like, in terms of getting Qatar
`22, there`s a story out that – it has been reported that, literally, they
were in a hotel room in Africa where they were giving a million-and-a-half-
dollar bribes to voters.

And there`s not a lot of votes, so every vote really matters to get Qatar
to get the World Cup in 2022. That doesn`t even include Russia, which is
next in three years, which apparently has a lot of – a lot of issues as

So, this is just the beginning but it`s a big step in the right direction.
Soccer was not – it wasn`t being affordable to the world anymore.

And one of the big things with FIFA, they were taking the money and they
were pocketing it. They were not making fields, and that was another big

O`DONNELL: Jordan Schultz, thanks for joining us tonight.

SCHULTZ: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.


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