The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 09/03/15

Dan Savage, Eugene Robinson, Matt Lewis, Maria Teresa Kumar, Michael McCann

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.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Donald Trump pledges allegiance
to the Republican Party and other Republican candidates pledge allegiance
to the Kentucky County Clerk who believes the Supreme Court of the United
States has no power over her.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stunning news, frankly, out of the federal courthouse
here in Ashland, Kentucky.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the Kentucky clerk who defied the Supreme Court now
in custody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because he really had no choice but to find her in

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s divided Republican candidates running for

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: No, I think it`s absurd to put someone in
jail for exercising their religious liberty.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Those of us in public line have
to administer the law to every American as the law is written.

supreme branch and it certainly is not the supreme being.

TRUMP ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: I have signed the pledge.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He pledges allegiance to the GOP.

TRUMP: And the conservative principles for which it stands.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not binding, there`s nothing about this that
this is binding.

TRUMP: Oh, I see no circumstances under which I would tear up that pledge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess it`s been such an enjoyable off season.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A federal judge has thrown out Tom Brady`s four-game

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just a great feeling all around New England right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We knew he didn`t do anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations to Tom.

TRUMP: Well, I`m – Tom Brady is a very good friend of mine. I just spoke
to him a little while ago, he is so thrilled –


O`DONNELL: Here`s what the frontrunner for the Republican presidential
nomination had to say today about the most important political and
governing story of the day.


TRUMP: I don`t know enough about it to comment on it. Was she jailed? I
really don`t know much about it.


O`DONNELL: That was after federal Judge David Bunning, who was appointed
to the court by President George W. Bush found Kentucky County Clerk Kim
Davis in contempt of court for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-
sex couples.

Judge Bunning sent Kim Davis directly to jail from the courtroom.
Kentucky`s junior Senator Republican Presidential candidate Rand Paul said


PAUL: I think it`s absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their
religious liberty. And even those on the other side of the issue, those
who want to support a new definition for marriage, I think it sets their
movement back because it`s seen now as that the federal government is going
to come in with bully force.

And here, even with police power and incarcerate people who disagree or who
still believe in the traditional notion of marriage.


O`DONNELL: Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee tweeted: “Kim
Davis in federal custody removes all doubts about the criminalization of
Christianity in this country.

We must defend religious liberty.” Republican presidential candidate Ted
Cruz said: “I stand with Kim Davis, unequivocally, I stand with every
American that the Obama administration is trying to force to choose between
honoring his or her faith or complying with a lawless court decision.”

Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham said this on Msnbc.


GRAHAM: This Supreme Court case is binding on her actions as a public
official in Kentucky. I sympathize with her religious beliefs.

But she`s a public official and those of us in public life have to
administer the law to every American as the law is written.


O`DONNELL: And presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted: “marriage
equality is the law of the land. Officials should be held to their duty to
uphold the law. End of story.”

Joining us now is Dan Savage, a columnist and host of the – of the Savage
Lovecast, Eugene Robinson, Msnbc political analyst and opinion writer for
“The Washington Post”.

Also with us, Matt Lewis, senior contributor for “The Daily Caller” and a
columnist for “The Week”. Dan Savage, it seems like Lindsey Graham is the
only Republican presidential candidate who actually got this right today.

judge who jailed the Kim Davis earlier today is now under protection, has
bodyguards I`ve heard.

I just read online the kind of rhetoric that Mike Huckabee is throwing
around and others on the Republican side is really dangerous.

Just as the kind of rhetoric Donald Trump has been throwing around has
proved to be dangerous. People have been assaulted.

Christianity is not been criminalized, people are not being thrown into
jail for their personal beliefs. This is a contempt of court case. That`s
it, period. The end.

And it`s all going according to plan, frankly, if I may go on for a second.
The panel all along, they knew they had no case.

Kim Davis and her terrible hack, bigoted, theocratic lawyers of the Liberty
Counsel knew where this would go and it would go here and she would lose in
the end.

And that has always been the plan. It`s about raising money, it`s about
Kim Davis profiting from her bigotry and frankly, her hypocrisy and –
Liberty Counsel using this stunt, this grandstanding to rake in thousands
and thousands of dollars of donations, so they can continue to pay their
president and their staffers.

O`DONNELL: Eugene Robinson, one of the things the judge said about –
instead of doing a fine than sending her to jail was that, he felt that a
fine might not inhibit her at all.

There might be enough financial resources for her in the kind of support
that Dan is talking about to just pay a fine.

been, I`m sure. I mean, I think Dan is right on this.

The only reason she would have taken this as far is because they knew that
she would be held in contempt of court and knew that ultimately, she would
have to go to jail.

It just has to have been planned out. There is no legal ground to stand on
here. She`s a public official and she has to enforce the law equally.

That`s her duty and it has nothing to do with anything she privately
believes. It`s her job. She doesn`t have to be clerk of that – of that -
- of that county.

She can do something else where she doesn`t have to sign gay marriage
certificates if she doesn`t want to, but if she can do that job, she`s got
to do it for everybody.

O`DONNELL: And Matt Lewis, a little statistical perspective here, this is
not the first Supreme Court decision that has been defied in various
jurisdictions around the country.

We have exactly three counties in the United States that are trying to defy
this. That`s three out of 3,143 counties. So this is almost not quite,
1,000th of 1 percent where this resistance occurs.

And so, the good news is, look at how much compliance there actually is out
there. And that means every single county in Mississippi, every county in
Alabama, every county in states where you would – other states where you
might expect this kind of resistance to pop up.

that`s a very good point, you put it in perspective.

I think the vast majority of conservatives and elected officials who are
conservatives believe in the rule of law.

I mean, I`ll be honest, I mean, I personally don`t think that a cake baker
should be compelled to violate their rights of conscience.

I`m very worried that someday pastors and preachers might be forced,
compelled to conduct gay marriages against their rights of conscience. But
that`s a difference –

SAVAGE: I have to jump in –

LEWIS: That`s –

SAVAGE: That is never going to happen –

LEWIS: No, let me finish, but that`s a different story than somebody who
is elected and is bound to follow the constitution. And if – look, if
this lady doesn`t like doing her job, I think she ought to resign.

That`s her option. But she can`t –


LEWIS: Just unilaterally decide not to follow the law.

SAVAGE: And I agree with you there if I may jump in. But it`s not a
different story that preachers may one day be thrown in jail for refusing
to perform same-sex marriages.

That`s a different piece of demagoguery and frankly, BS. Right now, in
this country, preachers routinely and regularly refuse to perform marriage
ceremonies between heterosexual couples when they don`t approve of an
interfaith marriage and they don`t think that heterosexual couple is
sufficiently religious.

And there has never been a case where someone has been thrown in jail for
refusing to perform an opposite sex wedding. And it`s just complete crap,

LEWIS: No, I can – I can –


SAVAGE: There can be a future where people – preachers are thrown in jail
for refusing to perform same-sex marriages when it has never happened.


LEWIS: We get, you know –


We could get into this, I`m sure it`s – I`m sure that Lawrence doesn`t
want to get into that debate, but, I will just agree –



SAVAGE: Yes, you`re like – you`re taking away from here because you`re
going to lose that debate –


LEWIS: OK, do you – I mean, do you want to have – do you want to have
that debate, I`ll let it up to Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Well, let`s just – let`s just say if we have more room, but –
because I want to get a few more things in here about Kentucky.

But do feel free to take this where you want to. I want to mention Casey
Davis who`s one of the other resistant clerks in Kentucky.

He was on this program last night, we spoke to him today about – is he
willing to go to jail over this? And he said, “yes, it`s apparent that`s
where we`re at right now with all of this, exercising your first amendment
right is now a jailable offense.”

I want to listen to what Casey Davis said on this program last night. This
is – this is the thinking that is guiding these clerks right now. Let`s
listen to this.


CASEY DAVIS, CLERK: It`s simply a deeply-held religious belief that I –
that I have, that I don`t believe that I can put my name on a marriage
license as a same-sex marriage license and be able to – be able to sleep
with that.

The law of nature supersedes anything that man puts on paper. This
lifestyle is against the law of nature and I believe that one day, one day,
that we will all understand just how against God`s law that it is as well.


O`DONNELL: Eugene Robinson, the judge tried to explain today to Kim Davis
that he, too, has deeply felt religious beliefs but those cannot be used in
forming his legal opinions on the bench.

ROBINSON: Indeed they cannot. I mean, it`s fine, believe whatever you
want to believe. But if you`re a public official and that`s your job and
you either do your job or you resign.

It`s cut and dry. There`s just the kind of not a legal basis to stand on -
- to stand on here, and you know, so maybe he could go to jail, too.

O`DONNELL: And Dan, back to that point that you were working on there with
Matt. The Huckabee position, not that it is necessarily one of the
controlling positions out there in the public mind.

But the Huckabee position is, that this is not just a slippery slope. It`s
a cliff and the next thing is forcing churches and forcing ministers to
perform same-sex weddings and all sorts of invasions like that.

SAVAGE: Not going to happen, period, the end. I think a better example –
conservatives like Huckabee would be, how would you feel if a Quaker County
clerk because sincerely held religious belief.

A pacifist refused to issue gun permits or gun licenses to anyone in that
county because that clerk, privately, personally, religiously, didn`t
believe anyone in that county should have access to a gun.

Shouldn`t be able to exercise their second amendment rights at all. And
Huckabee, God, gun, grits and gravy Mike Huckabee, would be the fastest out
of the gate to condemn that or to suggest that, that county clerk should
resign their position.

This is just demagoguery and flimflam and right-wing Christians like Mike
Huckabee demanding special rights and carve-outs for them to exercise their
private religious beliefs over other Americans.

And to cite them as a trump card when denying other Americans their right
to their private beliefs and then their public – their rights; including
their right to wed.

It`s just complete theocratic garbage, frankly.

O`DONNELL: To go back to the clerk`s legal beliefs which are fascinating.
Because it`s hard to figure out where they come from.


O`DONNELL: Casey Davis who was on this program last night and was able to
talk to us today said – his reaction to what happened today.

He said, “I think it`s wrong, it`s absolutely wrong. I`m in support of her
that she was going to jail” – Kim Davis. And he said, “the governor
should never have let this happen and he could stop it right now.”

And here`s what the governor said today, which I can`t fathom what Casey
Davis is thinking when he says the governor could stop it.

Governor issued a statement saying, “Judge Bunning`s decision today speaks
for itself. He said this is obviously the correct legal process”, and he
ended his statement by saying, “I have no legal authority to relieve them
of their statutory duty by executive order.”

And Matt Lewis, do you have any notion of where these novel, legal theories
are coming from that these clerks, these three clerks out of over 3,000
have decided to use as guidance?

LEWIS: Well, I think there`s a couple of things at play here. There`s
been the notion of nullification that has been around in recent years and
going back to, I guess Calhoun, the notion that you can simply ignore –
the state could ignore something that the federal government or the Supreme
Court does.

I think that`s a bogus argument, so, I don`t buy into that. But some –
that`s been something that has been circulated among some circles on the

There`s also the notion of civil disobedience. But look, again, first of
all, civil disobedience tend to be things that people as individuals, not
people who work for the government engage in.

And there`s also a penalty. You know, there`s a reason there`s a letter
from a Birmingham jail. It`s because you – when you exercise civil
disobedience, you are – you pay a price for that.

And so, I mean, look, let me also just – I would – I would say this about
Huckabee and you know, he started off playing the Lindsey Graham quote.

The one reason that Lindsey Graham is the one politician who really sounds
– that makes sense here is because he has no chance of winning, right?


So, if he can talk the way that I can –

O`DONNELL: I just – that`s –

LEWIS: I have nothing to lose and neither does he.


SAVAGE: What does that say about the GOP base?

O`DONNELL: OK, Dan Savage, that will be the quick –

ROBINSON: Well, yes –

O`DONNELL: Last word that I was just going to ask you for. Dan Savage,
thank you very much for joining us for this segment. Thanks very much.

Coming up, Donald Trump surrenders his independence to the Republican Party
and Elizabeth Warren was asked a couple of questions about her future here
in Boston this week.

And she gave some new answers. And today, Boston might as well have
renamed itself Brady town. You should have been here when the Patriots-
conquering hero conquered the NFL in court.


O`DONNELL: Donald Trump said today that he thinks Rick Perry should drop
out of the Republican presidential primary race which led to this question
on “Fox News”.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you want to make news today on the real story? Is
Donald Trump right? Are you getting out of the race?

RICK PERRY, FORMER TEXAS GOVERNOR: You know, a broken clock is right once
a day, so, you know, the bottom line is I`m still here and I`m still


O`DONNELL: And Rand Paul says Donald Trump capitulated to the Republican
Party today, that`s next.



TRUMP: I don`t want to do a third party run, I think it would be a hard
thing to do. I want to run as the Republican nominee.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you sign that pledge?

TRUMP: We`ll be making announcements on different things over the next
couple of weeks. We`re going to make a decision very soon and I think a
lot of people are going to be very happy.


O`DONNELL: And then today Donald Trump said this:


TRUMP: The best way for the Republicans to win is if I win the nomination
and go directly against whoever they happen to put up.

And for that reason, I have signed the pledge.



So, I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and
the conservative principles for which it stand and we will go out and we
will fight hard and we will win.


O`DONNELL: Since Donald Trump has publicly changed his mind about so many
things, so many times, he was, of course, asked if he would change his mind
about pledging not to run as an independent against the Republican nominee.


TRUMP: I have no intention of changing my mind. I see no circumstances
under which I would tear up that pledge. Question was, what did I get for
signing the pledge?

Absolutely nothing, other than the assurance that I would be treated
fairly. And I`ve seen that over the last two months, but they really have
been very fair.

I think the thing that changed is the fact that I went to number one place
very quickly after I signed and after I – in this building notified
everybody that I`d be running for president.

So, I think the biggest thing is that I went early to number one and the
RNC has treated me with great respect.


O`DONNELL: Jeb bush then tweeted a hand-written reply to Donald Trump:
“voted Republican since 1972”, signed Jeb Bush.

This morning, Jeb Bush once again complained about how Donald Trump seems
to get away with not providing specifics for his policy positions.


JEB BUSH, FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: I think Donald Trump is trying to
insult his way to the presidency. It`s not going to work.

He`s out to get everybody. He doesn`t have a set of plans. If he had to
actually do the traditional thing, which is, here`s my policy as it relates
to immigration, his policy is not serious.


O`DONNELL: Joining the discussion now, Maria Teresa Kumar, president of
Voto Latino and host of “CHANGING AMERICA” by shift on Msnbc.

Eugene Robinson, Matt Lewis, of course still with us. So, Rand Paul
tweeted, “I`m glad to see real Donald Trump capitulated and changed course
after our debate.”

Maria Teresa, Donald Trump, capitulated according to Rand Paul.

has the Republican Party right now wrapped around his little finger doing
exactly what he wants.

And that is, all Trump news, that`s leaning up to the – with the RNC even
capitulating to him. And this is a real concern, Lawrence, is the fact
that last year the GOP came out with the – the RNC came out with an
autopsy of what it should be doing with the party.

And one was that, it should be trying to figure out how to galvanize women
and how to galvanize Latino voters and how to galvanize millennials.

Trump represents none of that. So, I would actually encourage the RNC to
go back and read the report.

O`DONNELL: And the latest of Monmouth poll; it`s a national poll, shows
Trump at the top with his highest number and that yet, he`s at 30.

It`s up four points and that – from the last one and the last one was
taken before the debate. So, the debate had only a four-point effect on
the Trump number.

The big beneficiary in the debate that you see in this poll would be Ben
Carson who`s in there at number two, the biggest move up.

Jeb Bush down at eight. But Matt Lewis, Jeb Bush continues to hold on to
the position in the polls that most people consider the leader of the
people who they can actually envision being on the ticket.

LEWIS: Yes, and that and, you know, 25 cents will buy him a bag of potato


O`DONNELL: Great –

LEWIS: Great, yes –

O`DONNELL: Yes, so far, yes.

LEWIS: My sense is that Jeb is doing the Lord`s work. I think he is – it
goes against his personality to take the fight to Trump, but I think he is
taking the fight to Trump.

And I think he is – there is, you know, gradually going to maybe wear him
down a little bit, and then I think someone else will emerge, whether it`s
a Marco Rubio or a Ted Cruz and sort of benefit.

So, Jeb Bush is basically jumping on, you know, the grenade, so to speak.
So, I think that Jeb might be doing the party a favor here, but sacrificing

Because he`s not naturally good at picking fights with Donald Trump.

O`DONNELL: Yes, well, who is? The president of the Hispanic Chamber of
Commerce had a private meeting with Donald Trump where he discovered a
character I think Gene Robinson knows to some extent, the private version
of Donald Trump.

Let`s listen to this.


I met with for an hour and a half was quite different. This Donald did not
interrupt me. He was not bombastic.

He listened more than he talked. He was willing to hear my point of view.
We disagreed on a few things. We disagreed on the wall, of course.

We disagreed on the mass deportation of millions of people, according to
the conversation he and I had, the media has mischaracterized him.

That there is much more to see. And so, I think that that`s part of the
reason that we are excited over the fact that Donald has agreed to come,
sit with me, October the 8th in Washington for a 90-minute Q and A session.

Where – and he`ll be given an opportunity to explain himself a bit more


O`DONNELL: Gene Robinson, that`s going to be a fascinating 90 minutes.
But I think as we all know, there is almost always a significant difference
between the on-stage version –


O`DONNELL: Of any politician and the backstage version.

ROBINSON: There certainly is. I actually spoke with Mr. Trump today
shortly before he made his announcement. I thought I saw on the wires that
he was – he was going to sign the pledge.

And I just e-mailed, you know, doesn`t this take away some of your anti-
politician street cred? He`s gotten where he is by not obeying the rules,
and here he is obeying the rules.

He was on the phone very quickly and we had a bit of a conversation. I
learned two things about this move specifically. Number one, I think he`s
done the math about an independent candidacy.

And you know, how difficult and expensive it is to get on the ballot in 50
states and then at the end, what do you have? You have the chance to get
pummeled by the Republicans and the Democrats in a general election.

If you do extraordinarily well, you win a few electoral votes. The best
you can hope to do with, is throw it to the house of Representatives where
you would have no chance of winning anyhow.

So, he`s done all that math. The other – the other thing is, Donald Trump
at this point – at least in my impression firmly believes he can win the
Republican nomination.

So, it`s not these – you know, just that he`s been an insurgent force for
some other reason. He firmly believes he can win this.

LEWIS: Can I – can I make a point, too, here? I think it was symbolic
that Reince Priebus went to New York to have Donald Trump sign this pledge.

I`m reminded – this will sound crazy, I`m reminded of Napoleon summoning
the pope –


O`DONNELL: Yes, it sounds crazy –

LEWIS: To Paris –

O`DONNELL: Yes, you`re right –

KUMAR: Fantastic –


Fantastic –

O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa, I want to get back to this October 8th event, the
90-minute interview –

KUMAR: Yes –

O`DONNELL: With Javier Palomarez, what are you –

KUMAR: Yes –

O`DONNELL: Expecting from that?

KUMAR: Well, Javier, actually, he and ran into each other and he told me
that he was having a sit-down meeting with Donald. And he was what – it
was Donald Trump, and he was basically telling me what should he do.

Well, my big thing is, you have to engage with the other side to get a
better sense of what folks are thinking. I think I`m very much about

I do shake my head though because I am concerned that what we don`t want is
to make a – to give Donald Trump a platform where he`s not being authentic
and actually speaking the truth.

I think we – we can`t say that the media is spinning him when he was very
clear what he was thinking when he was talking about the Latino community
and the work that we do.

He is down in the polls in the Latino community by negative 51 percent,
Lawrence – that`s a feat. I don`t think I`ve ever seen a poll that low
for anyone historically.

And we all know that at the end of the day, the only way you get to the
White House is through the Latino vote. So, I think it`s going to be very
difficult for him to come out from out of that hole.

O`DONNELL: We have a new spending report showing what the ad buys are from
the various campaigns. And team Kasich is at the top of it.

This includes campaign spending as well as pack spending on behalf of the
candidate. It`s focused on New Hampshire which I`ll tell you, when you`re
watching Boston TV as I am here.

The Kasich ads are all over the place. It`s – he`s only – he`s spent 3.7
million so far. Donald Trump has spent nothing. Absolutely nothing on
advertising, Eugene Robinson, and –


KUMAR: He doesn`t need to –

ROBINSON: And why would he, Lawrence? Would he, Lawrence?

O`DONNELL: He – yes –


ROBINSON: Why would he spend a dime on advertising? Here we are, talking
about Donald Trump. Here we are every day talking about Donald Trump.

He gets more free media than you could possibly buy. So, no, I mean, he
may not have to buy an ad this whole campaign.

O`DONNELL: Yes, and he does make these little, online, you know, things
for free that then most of the news programs then show which function the
same way as paid advertising because the whole concept is put out there.

The complaint, though, that he has nothing to say about policy – let`s
listen quickly to what he has said about Obamacare today.


TRUMP: We`re going to get rid of Obamacare and come up with something
that`s much better and much less expensive. We`re going to get rid of it.

We`re going to repeal it. It`s going to be out. It should have been out a
long time ago, it should never happen.


O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa, what more specificity could you possibly ask for?

KUMAR: I don`t know, details. Tell that to the – to the millions of
American families that no longer have to file bankruptcy because now they
have healthcare.

Come on, Donald, you`re the one – you`re a business guy, you know that
this is all nonsense.

O`DONNELL: All right, everyone, stay with us, when we come back, what`s
going on with Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden? Elizabeth Warren had
something to say about that.


SHOW: Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke with Boston Globe Reporter Joshua
Miller yesterday as part of the political happy hour series at Suffolk
University in Boston. Senator Warren talked about a lot of things
including her recent private meeting with Joe Biden.


JOSHUA MILLER, BOSTON GLOBE REPORTER: You met with Joe Biden the weekend
before last?


MILLER: How did that meeting come about and what did you talk about?

SEN. WARREN: He called. And –


MILLER: He called you personally.

SEN. WARREN: He did. He did. Actually, he called me twice. Called me
once, called me twice and – and invited me down. We had lunch and we
talked about policy. We talked about what is happening to America`s middle
class. We talked about the direction that this country has been going in.
We talked about the capture of this country by those who have got money and
power. It was good, long rambling policy conversation just like they ought
to be.

MILLER: What did you have for lunch?

SEN. WARREN: It was a chopped salad thing. I was never entirely sure what
it was.


MILLER: Was there any talk with the vice president of a joint ticket even

SEN. MILLER: It was – it was a long conversation.


MILLER: OK. OK. Do you plan to meet with him again?

SEN. MILLER: Look, I meet with anybody who wants to talk about policy and
might be able to help out here. I have met with Secretary Clinton. I
meet, of course, with Bernie Sanders on the floor of the United States
Senate multiple times and other places; and with Vice President Biden and
with Martin O`Malley.

So, this is important stuff. And, it is – It is a lot more important than
just politics. We have to make change. America`s great middle class is in
real trouble. And, it takes as many people as we can pulling in the same
direction to make the kinds of changes we are going to need to make.

MILLER: There is a lot of chat now about a Vice President Elizabeth
Warren. So, I want to ask you a question this way. Will you pledge to
serve out your full six-year U.S. senate term?


SEN. WARREN: So, I love my job. I truly love this job. And, it is all I
am thinking about. And, you just cannot put a different thought in my
head. I am thinking about my job at the United States Senate. I just told
you, look at all the things I get to do.

I get to get out there and wrestle with agencies and I get to get out there
and talk about big issues, and I get to get out there and fight for
legislation, the kinds of things the people of the commonwealth of
Massachusetts sent me to do.

MILLER: Do you plan on endorsing a democrat for president before the
nominating commission.

SEN. WARREN: You mean opposed to a republican?

MILLER: Plan on endorsing one of the –

SEN.WARREN: Oh, Josh! Man, what did you have at happy hour before I got
in here?


MILLER: Do you plan in endorsing a democrat before the nominee convention?

SEN. WARREN: Yes, I imagine. Yes.

MILLER: Do you think you will endorse Hillary Clinton, or Martin O`Malley
or Joe Biden.

SEN. WARREN: Yes – Look, right now that is not where we are. But, yes, I
imagine that is what I will do.


O`DONNELL: OK. So, if you are keeping score at home, the answer to the
question, “Did she talk to Joe Biden about running for vice president?” I
am not sure what she said. We are going to have to replay that part when
we come back. More on Biden and Warren, next.




MILLER: Was there any talk with the vice president of a joint ticket, even

SEN. WARREN: It was a long conversation.





O`DONNELL: Gene Robinson, it would have been so easy to just say no if it
is true that they never discussed that –

EUGENE ROBINSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: What did you find unclear about
that, Lawrence? I thought it was crystal clear. It was a long
conversation. She did not say no. We can infer, if we like, that the
answer is yes, but we do not know that. So, we just do not know, right?
Obviously, they spent a long time talking about something over what might
or might not have been chopped salad.

O`DONNELL: I find Senator Warren to be an extremely careful speaker in
those situations. So, Maria Teresa, it fascinates me that she just could
not bring herself to simply say no, but we did not discuss that.

what I thought was fascinating, is that Elizabeth Warren and coy usually do
not go together. In this case she was very coy and playful. And, that is
one of the rare times where I have actually seen her do that. Even more so
than when she is on the Jon Stewart show. So, that was interesting.

O`DONNELL: Well, I will not replay her long answer to the question of,
“Will you serve out your term?” But, trust me there was no answer in that.
There was a lot of talk about how much she loves –

KUMAR: She is lawyering us.

O`DONNELL: Yes. How much she loves being a center, all of that.

KUMAR: She is lawyering us.

O`DONNELL: But, she does know how to answer the question. Here is her
answer. In 2013 to “The Boston Globe ,” I – quote, “I pledge to serve out
my term,” end quote. So, Matt, that is what she sounds like when she wants
to answer a question.

MATT LEWIS, THE WEEK: Yes. Well, you know what? I mean you played the
clip earlier and then just that excerpt there, but she – somebody, said
playful. I mean that is what she was –


LEWIS: I think she was incredibly charming.


LEWIS: Incredibly funny and you juxtapose that to Hillary Clinton and it
is a star contrast. I mean to me that was a takeaway. Elizabeth Warren is
incredibly likable and funny and the presumptive nominee is the opposite of

O`DONNELL: Yes. This is a great point. I mean I think she is the best
stage performing politician on the democratic side, Gene, by far. I mean
President Obama is the only one, you know, close. He is better, but this
is the next great one.

ROBINSON: Yes – No. I, absolutely agree. And, she has a way – you
know, when she starts talking about her issues, she has a way of
telegraphing a passion. She transmits it. She got the “It” that
successful politicians have. You know, the question is now, she is not –
she is not part of a youth movement, right? She is in her 60s. And, so,
frankly, the time for her to move would be now if she is going to move.

O`DONNELL: Anyone younger than Bernie Sanders is part of a youth movement.
And, it turns out, Bernie is part of a youth movement if you look at his
audience. I want to listen to something that Joe Biden said.

Now, we all remember that Team Clinton let it be known how much mileage she
flew as secretary of state. In fact, I think we all have it memorized that
she flew 956,733 miles as secretary of state. Keep that in mind when you
listen to Joe Biden talking about his mileage.


have traveled as of today, 992,894 miles with the president. I met with
virtually every major leader in the world. I know these guys. I know them
better than anybody in the administration because I have been hanging
around so long.


O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa, that is the vice president in Florida this
morning. And, that mileage reference is so kind of specific to the Clinton
mileage thing.

KUMAR: Well, that and I love his follow-ups. It was like I know them
better than anybody.


KUMAR: All right.


KUMAR: That is toe to toe. But, what I found interesting is the places he
is choosing to go. Community colleges are, actually, the number one place
where Latinos are. So, I can bet you money that TeleMundo and Univision
are covering this in every single household right now in the country – in
Latino households are watching and saying, he gets education. He gets my
kids. So, I find those two things really fascinating.

O`DONNELL: Matt Lewis, what are republicans rooting for? I mean we know
that democrats have been rooting for Donald Trump to continue to dominate
the republican side. They would love to see him get the nomination. What
are republicans rooting for here, professional republicans when they look
over at the democratic fields? Do they want Joe Biden to get in?

LEWIS: They want Bernie Sanders, I think. No – Look. I do not know what
the root – Be careful what you root for, right? The democrats wanted
Reagan in `80, you know. Give us that actor. He will be easy.

O`DONNELL: That is right. Yes.

LEWIS: So, I think be careful what you root for. You know, the one sort
of advantage about having this huge field on the republican side is that
Hillary does not know who to go after and republicans have had the benefit
of sort of, you know, knowing. It is going to be Hillary.

But, now, that is starting to look a little more dubious. So, I think the
republicans have their hands full. Look, you know, a lot of people think
Joe Biden is a joke. They make fun of him, all of his gaffes.

You know, he said that Obama is clean and articulate. But, you know what?
Joe Biden is likable. And, if you watch the debate he had with Paul Ryan
in 2012, he can throw elbows, too.

O`DONNELL: There is a new Reuters poll, which asked democrats around the
country in a national poll this question about Hillary Clinton and their
second choice. The question was phrased this way. “If polling indicated
that Hillary Clinton would lose to a republic candidate for president in
the 2016 election, who would you then support in the democratic primary?”

And, there is Joe Biden at the top of that one 40.4 percent say they go to
Biden. 28 percent would go to Bernie Sanders, 26 percent presumably stick
with Hillary Clinton. And , Gene Robinson, that is the kind of internal
polling question that the Biden team must be staring at closely these days.

ROBINSON: Yes. They must be looking at that. They are also looking at
the questions about Hillary Clinton`s e-mails, trying to figure out where
that heads and where it is likely to go. And – But, I think the most
important thing they are looking at is what – you know, what Vice
President Biden said on the call the other day, which he is looking inside.

He is looking internally to see if he has the fire, if he has the desire,
the emotional fortitude left after his recent tragedy to throw his hat in
the ring again and do all that is required of a presidential candidate. I
think that in the end is the most important factor.

O`DONNELL: And, Maria Teresa, one of the things they are going to
wondering about on the Biden team is, this is somebody with an over 40-year
record that could be relevant in a campaign. And, they have got to be
wondering how far back is relevant?

Will they be running only on the last eight years? Will they be reaching
all the way back? Will some campaigns be reaching all the way back to his
involvement in say the Anita Hill hearings? You know, just how much of
Biden record do they have to defend?

KUMAR: Look, I think that this is politics. You go as far as you can
find. It is not e-mails. You can go back to the carbon copies in this
case. And, I think that Biden is weighing that very much so.

But, also when you start talking about what happened during the Anita Hill
hearings, I think the majority of Americans are going to understand that we
were talking about a very different time, that he was trying to thread a
very different needle then.

And, folks would understand that. I think if you were going to look more
closely, though, one of the comments that he said, if anything in support
or against women. Is he going to have more gaffes in the matter that he
did when he was talking and referring to President Obama? Those are the
things that folks are really going to be looking for.

O`DONNELL: Well, HBO is currently in production, I think at the moment –

KUMAR: That is right.

O`DONNELL: – on a movie about the Anita Hill hearing. So, that is not
one that team Biden would be looking forward to at this point. Eugene
Robinson, Maria Teresa Kumar and Matt Lewis, thank you all for joining me
tonight. Really appreciate it.

Coming up, which presidential candidate actually talked to Tom Brady today?
Hint. The one who bragged about having his phone number.



O`DONNELL: If you are running for president and you are going to be on the
ballot in the New Hampshire primary, which is in New England, there is only
one issue you should be talking about today, and no presidential candidate
understands that better than the current frontrunner for the republican
presidential nomination.


DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, Tom Brady is a very good
friend of mine. He is a great guy. For those of you that do not know him,
he is a very honorable guy, and an honest guy and a truly great athlete.
He is really a very good friend of mine.

And, I just spoke to him a little while ago. He is so thrilled and so
happy. Tom Brady, I think what they have done is terrible. And, he has
been exonerated, as I understand it, because I just heard about it, but I
am very happy for Tom.


O`DONNELL: Up next, the question no one in New England wants to hear
today. Was Tom Brady vindicated or did he get off on a technicality?



O`DONNELL: Three democratic senators, Cory Booker, Heidi Huddcamp (ph) and
Mark Warner, all announced their support of the nuclear deal with Iran
today. Seven democrats remained undecided.

Up next, this town, Boston, went crazy today when Tom Brady got off the
hook in federal court.


O`DONNELL: To be here in Boston today was to be in an alternate universe
in which as of 9:15 A.M., nothing else in the world mattered once a federal
judge decided that Tom Brady should not be suspended for four games.

If you were searching local Boston T.V. stations for the campaign
commercials aimed at New Hampshire voters, like I was, you were out of
luck. Because all the local Boston T.V. stations stayed with the Brady
story for what seemed like hours and hours without a commercial break.

Electronic billboards shouting simply, “Yes!” or “Vindicated!” started
flashing around the city. The news that came an hour later that the NFL
would appeal the judge`s decision was largely ignored here in Boston, as
were the actual details of the judge`s opinion.

And, joining us now is Michael McCann, legal analyst for “Sports
Illustrated” and a professor at the University of New Hampshire School of
Law. Professor McCann, take us through what the judge actually decided
today and does it amount to Tom Brady really being vindicated?

judge decided today was that the NFL is processed for investigating and
punishing Tom Brady was in violation of the law. That it is really about
the process that the NFL used as opposed to the alleged evidence against
Tom Brady.

So, in that respect, it does not vindicate Tom Brady, per se, but in the
course of really sharply criticizing the way the league did not provide Tom
Brady adequate notice as to which policies he was being punished under.

Also questions of availability of witness, availability of evidence.
Clearly – although, it was a decision about process, Lawrence, the judge
very much criticized the lack of case, you could say, that the NFL had
against Tom Brady.

O`DONNELL: And, this has all comes out of a union agreement, which is
being adjudicated. What does the union agreement allow in effect for the
NFL commissioner to do? And, one of the things that I saw in the judge`s
opinion was that there was no precedent, for example, for this particular

How did the NFL arrived at this particular punishment? And, in the
material, he was furnished the judge could not really find any specific
rationale for how they arrived at the four-game suspension.

MCCANN: Yes, that is right. So, it is true that there is a league
document that was negotiated with the players, the collective bargaining
agreement. And, the wording of the agreement certainly suggests that Roger
Goodell has massive authority, massive discretion. But, that does not mean
he has complete discretion, and the judge highlighted that.

There is something called the law of the shop, which is the idea that there
has to be consistency and fairness in arbitration awards. Here the judge
said, I do not understand why Tom Brady was punished four games. There is
no rule that corresponds to that. There is no underlying policy.

There are questions about the manner in which he was judged. The judge
really looked at this and said, “I get that you have a lot of authority,
but that does not mean you can do anything you want,” and that ultimately
hurt the NFL.

O`DONNELL: All right. Let the fans speak. Let us listen to some fans`
reaction today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE FAN: I honestly believe that the NFL loses money when
the patriots do well because other teams are not interested in their teams,
because we just dominate them. Plain and simple.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE FAN: There is always going to be, you know, critics
and skeptics out there. And, you know, the hard of it as a fan, I am like
– I do not even listen to it. I do not care. I do not get offended.
People are going to say what they want to say.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE FAN: I do not think it is going to do anything at all.
I think we are all going to forget about this and it might be a little blip
or something like that. But, at the end of the day, you know, four Super
Bowl rings, all the yards, all the statistics, and all the great stories up
here. That is what is just going to carry on.

O`DONNELL: Michael McCann, the lawyers certainly are not going to forget
about this.

MCCANN: No. Not at all. Especially, Lawrence, because there is going to
be an appeal, an appeal that could go on for perhaps up to a year. The
lawyers will not forget about it and the next time a player is punished,
the lawyers are not going to forget about it.

They are going to say, we just beat the NFL with Tom Brady. And, I should
add with some other players before him. There is no way the lawyers are
going to forget about this anytime soon.

O`DONNELL: Michael McCann gets tonight`s last word. Thank you, Michael.
Chris Hayes is up next.


Copyright 2015 CQ-Roll Call, Inc. All materials herein are protected by
United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,
transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written
permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,
copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>