The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 10/06/15
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC: That does it for us tonight, Rachel will be back
here tomorrow night, and now, it is time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence
O`Donnell, good evening, Lawrence.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Good evening, Steve. I have an
answer to your question, is it possible? And it`s actually the answer that
I give to that question most of the time no matter how the question is
The answer is yes, it is possible.
KORNACKI: That means I successfully hedged.
O`DONNELL: There you go, it is possible. Thank you, Steve.
O`DONNELL: Well, when he talks about his job, Marco Rubio sounds like a
character from “Veep”.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT WALSH, ACTOR: Please, don`t make me go to work today, I`ll fake my
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That was Matt Walsh who will join us later. And after you hear
Marco Rubio`s excuse for having the worst attendance record in the United
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator Marco Rubio is gaining some momentum.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s now tied for third with Carly Fiorina behind
Donald Trump and Ben Carson.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He has sort of calm, measured way of speaking.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG, ACTRESS & TELEVISION PERSONALITY: Do you ever yell?
BEN CARSON, AUTHOR & RETIRED NEUROSURGEON: Oh, no.
CHUCK TODD, MODERATOR, MEET THE PRESS: With that new found popularity,
certainly, you get a big target on your back. Since announcing his
presidential bid, Marco Rubio has missed 42 percent of his Senate votes.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: The majority of the job of being a senator
is not walking onto the Senate floor –
CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC: You don`t think it`s important to show up and vote?
RUBIO: And lifting your finger on a noncontroversial issue.
MATTHEWS: You get paid to do it. You took an oath to do it and now you
say sticking my little finger up in the air is how I vote.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump has apparently sent you some kind of a gag
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A care package of Trump ice natural spring water
RUBIO: Apparently, the water is very high quality water, top notch water
that he sent –
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The shot at Marco Rubio and his now infamous reach
for the water episode.
DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT, THE TRUMP ORGANIZATIONS & FOUNDER,
TRUMP ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: He grabbed a thing of water, a container of
water and starts drinking, and I tell them, I said, that`s one I`ve never
RUBIO: Yes, I drink water, so what?
MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Trump
recognizes and sees Marco gaining momentum.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What he`s trying to do is get under the senator`s
TRUMP: Let me ask you –
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Grateful for the gift.
TRUMP: Well, that`s good, I like him, too.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: How long does it take to fall in love? Here`s Marco Rubio`s
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: I`ve been there four and a half years, I`m in the 40, so, I`ve been
there long enough to know it`s broken, but not so long that I`ve fallen in
love with it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Doesn`t love it, that`s the United States Senate he`s talking
about. He has one of the most sought-after jobs on the planet.
One of the most sought-after jobs in history. Daniel Webster`s old job,
United States senator, Henry Clay, John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy. It is a
dream come true for almost everyone who`s ever had that job, but not Marco
Just like everyone else, who`s a senator today, Marco Rubio had to spend
years begging for money, massive amounts of money, tens of millions of
dollars to then finance a grueling campaign, and in his case, a grueling
campaign in a very large state.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: God bless you, thank you and God bless America, thank you very
Thank you, thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Why did he do all that? Just for that? So that he could bask in
the applause of his campaign victory speech?
We now know that Marco Rubio did not spend years begging people for money
to finance his Senate campaign so that he could get to Washington and do
the work that he loves, representing the 20 million people of the state of
He doesn`t love that work, he just told us that today. But he had already
made that very clear, just made it really clear how much he doesn`t love
that work, because he is the United States senator with the worst
attendance record in the United States Senate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Twenty nine percent of the time over the last year, you
were not in attendance when votes were taken in the Senate –
RUBIO: Yes –
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I know you`d say you`re running for president, but
your record before that wasn`t great either.
Are you placing your own personal ambitions above your responsibilities to
your constituents down in –
RUBIO: No, in fact –
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Florida? –
RUBIO: The majority of the job of being a senator is not walking onto the
Senate floor and lifting your finger on a noncontroversial issue and saying
which way you`re going to vote.
The majority of the work of the senator is to constituent service, to
committee work and that continues forward on a –
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Tell that to Bernie Sanders who is now the frontrunner for the
Democratic nomination in New Hampshire and is running second nationally.
Has much more national voter support than Marco Rubio probably ever will.
Bernie Sanders has missed only nine votes this year. That is about average
for the senators who are not running for president.
Bernie Sanders has missed 4 percent of Senate votes while running for
president and Marco Rubio has missed 29 percent. Something Jeb Bush has
Buried in the middle of a Jeb Bush Op-ed in the “Des Moines Register” today
is this new Bush proposal: “I will fight for a new law to cut the pay of
lawmakers who refuse to show up for work.
If they skip votes or miss hearings, they should have their paychecks
docked – that`s what happens in the private sector.”
It is now very clear that if it becomes necessary, the Jeb Bush Super PAC
will bombard Marco Rubio with attack ads about having the worst attendance
record in the United States Senate.
And that may become necessary soon. Marco Rubio is moving up in the polls
and is now in a statistical tie with Jeb Bush in New Hampshire.
Still running behind Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina, but Rubio is the
second most improved candidate in that poll with Fiorina, the most improved
And in an “Nbc News” national poll, Marco Rubio is ahead of Jeb Bush at 11
percent to Jeb Bush`s 7 percent.
The frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination has taken notice
of Marco Rubio`s rise in the polls and wants to remind people of Rubio`s
most memorable weak moment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: In the short time that I`ve been here in Washington, nothing has
frustrated me more than false choices like the one the president laid out
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Here`s Donald Trump on “Fox News” tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS: Marco Rubio, you sent him a little care package of
water and a towel.
TRUMP: It was just –
BAIER: For fun.
TRUMP: You know, I think he`s a nice guy, honestly. I think he`s a nice
guy. You have to understand, he`s very weak on immigration, very weak.
And the water was just a little joke because he was making a response to
the President of the United States on live television – and I`m watching
and I said well, what just happened?
He grabbed a thing of water; a container of water and starts drinking it.
And I tell them, I said, that`s one I`ve never seen before. So we were just
doing it –
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Sam Stein, senior politics editor and White
House correspondent at the “Huffington Post”, he`s also an Msnbc analyst.
Maria Teresa Kumar, president of Voto Latino and host of “CHANGING AMERICA”
on shift by Msnbc, and David Frum, senior editor for “The Atlantic”.
David, from the Republican perspective, what do you make of this rise in
the polls of Marco Rubio?
DAVID FRUM, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: It`s a bookend to the biggest
story of them all, which is the shrinkage of Jeb Bush. And that`s
something we`re all going to be months and months explaining.
The votes that were going to go to Jeb have to go somewhere. There is a
leadership crack in the Republican Party, it`s different from the protest
track, which attracts voters to Donald Trump and Ben Carson and Carly
And Marco Rubio is very successfully elbowing his way to the front of the
O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa, his big weakness up to now, anyway, has been that
he was in favor of immigration reform before he was against immigration
And this was actually his own immigration reform bill that he turned
MARIA TERESA KUMAR, PRESIDENT, VOTO LATINO: Right, and I think that`s what
he`s trying to play it both ways.
And I think that one of the things that to caution Marco Rubio is that
while he`s rising in the polls, he has to be very careful at how close he
gets to Donald Trump.
Look, Ben Carson can go away tomorrow and he`s not going to go by himself
into the sunset. Donald Trump, he`ll go, but he`ll take somebody down.
And if Marco Rubio is not careful, it could be very well be him.
O`DONNELL: All right, well, we`re going to get your explanation of how Ben
Carson is going to go into the sunset in the next segment which is about
Ben Carson`s latest strange string of comments.
But Sam Stein –
SAM STEIN, SENIOR POLITICS EDITOR & WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, HUFFINGTON
POST: Yes –
O`DONNELL: Jeb Bush was the frontrunner and stood quietly by, in effect,
as Donald Trump surged past him.
We were kind of wondering when is the Trump – is the Bush campaign, the
Bush Super PAC going to take some action against Trump.
Some advertising, something, and now we`re seeing this Marco Rubio move
past Jeb Bush in some of these polls.
And the most we have now is a line inside an Op-ed piece in Iowa about, you
know, basically about senators who miss votes, I wonder who that is.
STEIN: Yes, tough to figure that one out. He also mentioned – Jeb also
mentioned the same point in a speech tonight I`m told from our reporter.
And I guess it`s a dig – I remember, I mean, seems pretty clear to be a
dig at Rubio. I`m not sure how effective it will be.
I think the context here is that, in the 2014 campaigns, Republicans in
various senate races viciously attacked Democratic senators for missing
votes, for missing critical committee hearings, for being absentee
lawmakers in effect.
And the line worked fairly well. And so if you`re looking at it from Jeb`s
perspective, maybe you can duplicate the magic.
I just don`t necessarily think that someone is going to go into the voting
booth and say, you know, what?
I really like Rubio, I think he`s young and dynamic, I like his positions,
I think he`s the future of the party, but damn, he missed that vote on, you
know, this obscure tax bill that could have affected a business down the
street – I just don`t think that`s necessarily how it`s going to work.
But that`s it, I – we`re months out. I mean, there`s plenty of attacks to
be had, there`s a lot of money to be spent, so I doubt, this is the end, it
will be all of it.
O`DONNELL: Donald Trump is now revising and extending his remarks on his
future as a candidate. He said to Chuck Todd, if things don`t go well and
if the polls don`t look good, he will drop out.
And now he`s saying he`s in it to win it. Let`s listen to that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I`m not getting out of the race. I`m here, I`m here to stay, I`m
going to win it and we`re going to make America great again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: So, David Frum, it sounds like someone on the campaign gave him
the index card that all the other candidates don`t have to be handed to say
exactly those words.
FRUM: He is – it does sound like he is not saying anymore the first thing
that pops into his head, and he`s not always responding with remarks by
going on attack.
So he`s becoming more like a normal person.
I think we need to take – we need to take seriously that the three
candidates who`ve never been elected to anything remain weeks and weeks
later the choices of a majority of Republican primary voters.
Man, I think –
STEIN: Yes –
FRUM: The story here is not what about Trump, what about Fiorina, what
about Carson. The story is the giant mutiny that is going on inside the
Republican Party against its established and predictable leadership.
Well, there`s – what the Republicans seem to be saying is, maybe it`s
Trump, maybe it`s Carson, we`re not sure, we know it`s not these guys over
here. They are dead to us.
O`DONNELL: And Maria Teresa, the challenge though that Trump and Ben
Carson have is that – it is that it`s very hard for voters to actually
imagine them as presidents.
KUMAR: Exactly. And I think that`s – and that was what I was referencing
before, is that, they are – we know that they`re not seriously – serious
candidates at the end of the day.
So it`s a matter of how they go down and who do they take with them. And I
actually do think that Trump, if folks aren`t careful, he could take down
Jeb Bush very easily, he could take down Marco Rubio very easily.
It`s curious to me that Kasich is somewhat in the wings watching and
seeing, but he has the same resume without the political baggage that Bush
And I think that as even before, you`re actually going so see a lot of –
you`re going to see a lot of the Republican establishment, start popping up
their own candidates, the establishment candidates.
Whether it`s Bush or whether it`s Rubio because they realize that at the
end of the day, they want to win the White House and neither Ben Carson or
Trump has that possibility.
O`DONNELL: And Sam Stein, every day, it`s looking more and more like John
Kasich is the new Scott Walker.
STEIN: Well, I think he does have baggage to be honest, which is the
Medicaid expansion in Ohio. And that is incredibly costly for a party –
O`DONNELL: Yes –
STEIN: That really abhors Obamacare. But to earlier point about being
unable to imagine these outsiders being president, you guys really can`t
imagine Trump being president?
I imagine it all the time.
I`m not telling you it`s a great thing, but I do imagine it.
O`DONNELL: But the point is that –
STEIN: To follow that –
O`DONNELL: We`re done imagining –
FRUM: Maybe Donald Trump won`t – maybe Donald Trump won`t be president.
But if you compare – I think, the way to think about this – the way I
think about it, is you compare this field of protest candidates with the
not-Romneys of 2012.
STEIN: Yes –
FRUM: That whatever you say about – whatever else you say about Trump,
Carson and Fiorina, these are much more accomplished people, much more
important people than the Michele Bachmanns and the Herman Cains and the
Rick Santorums of yester-year.
That the protest is not only bigger, but it`s finding voices that are more
credible, more effective, much more savvy than the protest candidates last
If what happened last time was Romney won by running unopposed in effect,
that is not –
STEIN: But there`s –
FRUM: Happening this time. This time the establishment –
KUMAR: But you`re going to actually – but you`re going to actually argue
that this is – but you`re going to actually argue that these three
candidates that you`re mentioning are basically built by the party
Because how long can their base hear that you don`t want a candidate part
of the Washington machine, you want an outsider before you actually have
three viable candidates and then you`re in jeopardy.
Because there`s no way that if you do the math, they could ever win the
STEIN: I would also add that, the big difference between 2012 and now is
that the Senate is now controlled by Republicans.
And Republicans in 2014 laid out a whole series of promises that in reality
would never be achieved such as the repeal of Obamacare.
And the party base having been told that this fantasy political movement
could come to fruition is now being incredibly agitated at their own
leadership from failing to achieve that.
And so, that`s why you see a sustained protest movement that David –
FRUM: Yes –
STEIN: Is talking about, is because they`re just upset with their
FRUM: Let me put –
STEIN: OK –
FRUM: Without the difference –
O`DONNELL: Go ahead David –
FRUM: Twenty-twelve. Which is in 2012, we were two years into the
recovery, and so maybe it wasn`t so shocking that the average family hadn`t
caught up to where it was in 2007.
But now it`s five years of recovery and the average family still has not
caught up –
KUMAR: That`s right –
FRUM: To where it was in 2007.
O`DONNELL: All right, we`re going to have to leave it there for tonight,
David Frum, thank you very much –
FRUM: Thank you –
O`DONNELL: For joining us. Coming up, in THE LAST WORD exclusive, a
former Republican Congressman who restricted gun violence research when he
was in Congress now says that he regrets that.
He will join us. And later, a distinguished visitor from the White House,
“Hbo`s” fictional White House Matt Walsh from “Veep” will join us.
O`DONNELL: New report says Hillary Clinton`s campaign is doing opposition
research on Joe Biden.
“New York Magazine” says, “according to a source close to the Clinton
campaign, a team of opposition researchers working on behalf of Clinton is
currently digging through Biden`s long record in office to develop attack
The report says the research effort started about a month ago and is being
conducted by operatives at Correct the Record; the pro Hillary Super PAC
founded by David Brock who began his career doing opposition research on
There is no stranger circle of life in Washington than David Brock`s own
life. Up next, how is Ben Carson basically in a statistical tie for first
place in some of these polls with Donald Trump?
BARTIROMO: Nothing brings out the magical thinking of Republican
presidential candidates more than guns do. And Ben Carson does more
magical thinking than anyone else in the campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And this morning, you said that you`d be very
comfortable if kindergarten teachers had guns in the classroom. Why do you
think that`s a good idea?
CARSON: Not all kindergarten teachers. I said people who are trained –
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK –
CARSON: And understand all the implications, and you obviously are not
just going to have a weapon sitting on a kindergarten teacher`s desk. And
I know that`s –
JOY BEHAR, COMEDIAN: Where would the weapon be?
CARSON: It would be secured in a place where kids could not get to it.
BEHAR: So, then –
If a gunman comes in –
If a gunman – if a gunman comes in with an AK-45 or an AR-15, how fast can
that teacher go to the locked drawer and get that gun?
CARSON: Well, I want that teacher trained –
BEHAR: You want that teacher trained?
CARSON: I want that teacher trained in diversionary tactics and whatever
needs to be done in order to get there. And I want there to be other
people in that school who also know how –
BEHAR: Why do we want –
CARSON: To get to that gun –
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now, David Corn, the Washington Bureau Chief for
“Mother Jones” and Msnbc political analyst, and back with us, Sam Stein and
Maria Teresa Kumar.
David Corn, the Republicans better hope that Joy Behar is not a moderator
at their next debate.
DAVID CORN, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, MOTHER JONES: Well, particularly if
Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina and Donald Trump dominate the conversation.
You know, Ben Carson really has been the under the radar candidate and I
don`t mean in a Lindsey Graham-George Pataki sort of way.
O`DONNELL: Yes –
CORN: You know, he`s gone to the top – he`s gone to the top of the pack
by not getting a lot of media, working in conservative media, social
And this is a guy who, you know, he`s very well known for being against
evolution, believing that the devil actually is behind evolution.
He`s a creationist, argues it and debates it all the time. He also
endorsed a book saying that Marxists have infiltrated every echelon of U.S.
society including PTAs.
And now he makes these statements about guns and other things. Earlier
today, he also said that if he was in a mass shooting situation like
Oregon, he would lead a charge and he wouldn`t cooperate the way he
apparently thinks people – victims there did so.
So, for whatever reason, you know, 10 percent, 15 percent, 20 percent,
maybe 25 percent of the Republican base are drawn to this guy, his gentle
way, but his social conservative values.
And his sort of fundamental, very extreme view of the world, although he
delivers it in a very gentle, forgiving manner.
I mean, he talked at my kid`s school on his rags to riches story and my
daughter just loved what he had to say about that.
So, he`s very appealing personally, and he has his very fundamental
forthright views and he`s found his audience.
O`DONNELL: That thing he said about he would – he would go after the
shooter himself has been interpreted by some people over the course of the
day to be finding fault with the people in Oregon who did not do that.
Some people did, let`s remember, heroic people went after him without guns.
He was asked about that by Megyn Kelly tonight on “Fox News”. Let`s listen
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CARSON: Of course, you know, if everybody attacks that gunman, he`s not
going to be able to kill everybody. But if you sit there and let him shoot
you one by one, you`re all going to be dead.
MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS: In a time of great stress like that, one might not
know exactly what to do, and to judge them, to sound like you`re judging
CARSON: Not judging them at all, but you know, these incidents continue to
occur. I doubt that this will be the last one.
I want to plant the seed in people`s minds so that if this happens again,
you know, they don`t all get killed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa, you are going to explain to us how this candidacy
is going to fade away. And remember, right now, in the “Nbc” poll –
national poll, Donald Trump 21, Ben Carson 20.
That`s basically a tie for first place.
KUMAR: Right, well, one – we`re just in the beginning of the 2016 race,
two, polls are away for the media to be able to identify who should
actually be on the stage when you have close to 13 candidates now-plus
But it doesn`t talk about the infrastructure that the person needs in order
to win and it doesn`t talk about how much money is in the war chest.
And that`s what I`m saying, when you look at Ben Carson and he`s talking
about guns, the majority of Republicans actually believe that we need to
relook at the gun situation, recognizing that it`s much more than the
person holding the gun.
But that we need to actually have – find solutions and we actually have to
have policy changes. Something simple as even background checks.
So, my case for Ben Carson going down the – going into the sunset is more
that, he doesn`t have – he doesn`t have the base, he doesn`t have the war
chest and at the end of the day, I think folks are angry with the
But they also don`t want to be known as folks that are supporting Trump.
And so they`re signaling to the establishment that things better change,
otherwise, they may just stay home.
O`DONNELL: But Sam Stein, the $20 million that he does have is enough to
run the kind of campaign I think Carson probably expected to run which was
a very cheap campaign.
STEIN: Yes, and David hit sort of the nail on the head, which is that he`s
been basically – he`s basically gotten to this point by doing things on a
And by making speeches in conservative circles, social conservative
circles, doing events, and really keeping his head down.
There is some of the internet advertising that he can pick up here and
there, but by and large it`s not a very expensive operation. I just want
to go back a little bit to what he said about people running at the
shooter, if I may.
You know, first of all, in a case like Sandy Hook, for instance, we`re
talking about someone who shot up first graders.
I don`t know if we should be in the business of training first graders to
go run at a homicidal maniac with a gun, but maybe that`s the reality that
Dr. Carson wants to live in.
But secondly, the vast majority of gun violence in this country doesn`t
take place in places like schools or movie theaters where there are huge
crowds that could ambush the shooter.
Most of the mass shootings takes place in homes where someone knows their
victims and goes back killing them. A lot of them take place that are not
mass shooting where there is no chance to ambush your shooter.
So, to focus in on this one specific remedy to gun violence, it seems like
a total sort of disingenuous way to enter this debate. And yes, it is
insensitive to the people who were in Oregon at that community college.
O`DONNELL: And – but David Corn, what Ben Carson was saying was, he
doesn`t expect the first graders or the kindergarten students to go after
He expects the teacher to do it with a gun that the teacher has locked up
somewhere so that it is safe. And as Joy Baher pointed out, how does the
teacher do that when someone enters the room with an assault weapon.
How does the teacher make the move to get the gun?
CORN: You know, I mean, I don`t know if we want to put all teachers
through Navy SEAL training, although it might help in some classroom
But you know, the thing is, if you look at other nations, other nations
that may be somewhat like us like Canada, and they don`t have situations
where their kindergarten teachers have to be trained in firearm usage in
order to protect their kids.
So, I mean, that`s really, you know, not the situation – he`s talking
about more guns in more places.
We know there was a terrible story that came out about a 12-year-old who
shot an 11-year-old because there was a gun in his house and he didn`t like
the fact that the 11-year-old neighbor wouldn`t let him see puppies.
More guns lead to more shooting from both good and bad guys.
O`DONNELL: Sam Stein and Maria Teresa Kumar, thank you both for joining us
STEIN: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Thank you.
KUMAR: Take care, man.
O`DONNELL: Up next, the former Republican Congressman who wishes Congress
would change the law that he authored, he has big regrets about what he did
on gun policy in America.
This is a LAST WORD exclusive coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We spent over a trillion-
dollars and passed countless laws and devote entire agencies to preventing
terrorist attacks on our soil and rightfully so. And yet, we have a
Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we
could potentially reduce gun deaths. How can that be?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: The centers for disease control and
preventions was severely stripped on how it conducts research to gun
violence because of legislation passed by Congress in 1996. That
legislation stripped the agency of its funding for gun violence research.
Congressman Jay Dickey of Arkansas, a Republican, who led the push to strip
that funding said this at that time.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY DICKEY (R), FORMER ARKANSAS REPRESENTATIVE: This is an issue of
federally funded political advocacy. We have here an attempt by the CDC
through the MCIPC, a disease control agency of the federal government to
bring about gun control advocacy all over the United States. Rather than
calling violence a disease and guns as a germ, these people should be
looking at the other root causes of crime.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now in an exclusive interview is former congressman
Congressman Dickey, you`ve changed your mind about this. Why have you
changed your mind and what is your view now?
DICKEY: I`m not so sure I`ve changed my mind. What I`m regretting is that
we didn`t go forward and stop the funding of the gun control agenda and
start anew, a different investigation or research into gun violence. It`s
a difference in gun violence and gun control. What we found is that the
CDC was conducting a promotion of gun control and that`s not what was
intended when the appropriations were passed.
O`DONNELL: What is the research you would like to see?
DICKEY: Well, what I`m driving at is the fact that we have on our highways
little barricades, little fences that have stopped head-on collisions in an
enormous percentage. I mean, somewhere somehow the scientists were given
the job of finding a way to stop head-on collisions and they did it with a
little fence. And it took back the same amount of time as probably
defending could have been going on with CDC. But if we can get to the
point where we are trying to stop gun violence and not promote gun control,
then I think we might could get it done and start again, that which never
should have been stopped.
O`DONNELL: So there have been some technological developments like the
smart gun, the gun that won`t fire unless it has the right fingerprint on
it, that sort of technology. Is that the kind of thing you would like to
see studied and advanced?
DICKEY: That`s the problem with my proposal, or any proposal that I`m a
part of. And that is that I don`t know what can be done. But I know this.
That when the highway industry tried to say we want to stop head-on
collisions, they didn`t say let`s get rid of the car. They didn`t say
we`re not going to have any more trucks on the road, and that way we can
eliminate head-on collisions. We can find the solution without touching
guns. I believe, excuse me, without touching the second amendment rights
that we have.
O`DONNELL: Former congressman Jay Dickey, thank you very much for joining
Coming up, Hillary Clinton gave a gift, an actual gift to every Republican
presidential candidate. That`s coming up.
O`DONNELL: The U.S. and Russia have agreed to meet to discuss how to
prevent conflicts between their war planes as they fly over Syria.
Tensions have been escalating over Russian airstrikes that support Syrian
president Bashar al-Assad`s regime.
Today, NATO warned Russia over what it calls unacceptable air space
violations into Turkey. Two Russia war planes trespassed into Turkish air
space over the weekend. Russian was planes have been launching airstrikes
into Syria since last week. The kremlin claims the strikes are attacking
Joining us now, Adrian Karatnycky, senior fellow for the Atlantic Counsel.
And David Corn is back with us.
David Corn, it is an amazing time for the United States to be arguing
really with anyone about what their war planes are doing in the skies, its
U.S. war planes that bond doctors without borders in Afghanistan.
DAVID CORN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I can only imagine how that story has
been played in Russia and other countries as well. Tragic, tragic event
and the way the U.S. military has handled it the past few days, denying,
shifting blame to the Afghans and finally fessing up it`s not been one of
its brighter moments. And it`s horrendous that, you know, doctors without
borders have to retreat from that position and maybe other positions as
And that, of course, was in Afghanistan where we have more of a binary
situation. You know, the U.S. and Afghan force against the Taliban shift
over to Syria and Iraq where you have multiple, it is a multi-facetted
civil war within a regional conflict. But now it`s becoming, you know,
global with the U.S. and Russia both committing airstrikes in different
portions of the theatre.
O`DONNELL: And Adrian Karatnycky, how is it playing in Russia, especially
with the backdrop of the American bombing accident in Afghanistan?
ADRIAN KARATNYCKY, SENIOR FELLOW, THE ATLANTIC COUNSEL: Well, I haven`t
seen the evening news in Russia today, but the reporting over the last
couple of days have been pretty triumphant. It was, you know, a lot of
footage of the Russian sorties, a lot of, you know, emphasis on how Russia
is a major power and playing an important role in fighting terrorism. So
it really is a propaganda exercise, as much as a geopolitical move by
Putin. He`s always looking for great theatre with which to maintain the
support of the Russian people.
O`DONNELL: And David, we`ve seen in “the New York Times” and other, you
know, running maps of Syria and showing where the U.S. strikes are going,
where the Russian strikes are going, indicating that the U.S. strikes are
hitting, you know, being directed towards ISIS targets and the Russian
strikes are being directed towards the opponents of the Assad regime.
The problem I have with all of that is, it always turns out after the fact
that what we think we were doing with air campaigns and what we think we
were targets turns out to be not so clear after the fact.
CORN: And that may well be hear too in terms of, you know, getting a grip
on. We are the moderate opposition forces that we say we are supporting
and how close are they to the non-moderate opposition forces and can you
bomb ISIS without getting others involve? And, of course, having civilian
and collateral damages?
It`s very difficult. And my fear is that the U.S. – and I feel Russia and
everybody else, too, doesn`t have enough good intelligence, enough
understanding of what`s happening on the ground to always use air power
O`DONNELL: And Marco Rubio has said that he believes - and he was by the
way among Republican candidates who is the one who predicted these Russian
intervention in Syria at that second presidential debate. And he is now
said that he believes that the Putin plan is to try to destroy all of the
rebels that they can with the airstrikes so that they can then claim every
other bomb they drop at that point is always going to be on ISIS.
Adrian, is there – what is the Putin logic? What is the Putin logic to
what his game plan is there?
KARATNYCKY: Well, I think Putin is trying to change the balance of forces
in that area under the cover of a campaign against ISIS. Domestically,
he`s trying to show that he is a major player. So he has really two aims.
One is the propaganda aim and the other is the changing of the balance of
Keep in mind, this is the only place outside of the former soviet bloc
where Russia has a military presence, a military base, the only place in
the world. And this is also the first time since the end of the Soviet
Union that the Soviet Union has conducted that Russia has conducted a
military operation outside of the former Soviet Union. It`s meddled and
supported wars all over on its border inside the former soviet space, but
this is the first major commitment.
And now I think if you look at what Putin is setting himself up for, I
mean, it is murky, as David said, he`s setting himself up for another place
where there`s a lot of murkiness, because in Ukraine, there`s a bit of a
deadlock. The, you know, the fighting has ground down to a halt because of
a rough equivalence among the forces. He`s now going to be increasingly
committed to this theatre. So I think he is planning a more high-risk
game, but I think his main aim is really to show Russia is a great power
and that the second aim is really to back Assad and to change the balance
O`DONNELL: Adrian Karatnycky and David Corn, thank you both for joining us
Coming up, what Hillary Clinton said to each Republican candidate. She
gave them a gift that they probably did not need.
And later, the most beleaguered press secretary in Washington history,
“Veep`s” Matt Walsh will join us.
O`DONNELL: The Obama justice department made history today with the
announcement of the largest one-time release of inmates from federal
prisoners. Over 6,000 prisoners will be released at the end of the month
in an effort to roll back excessive penalties and relieve overcrowding in
California Governor Jerry Brown is attempting to address the same issues.
Governor Brown sent a letter to the state` senate announcing that he would
veto nine bill. That letter said each of these bills creates a new crime,
usually by finding a novel way to characterize and criminalize combat that
is already proscribed. That multiplication and particularization and
criminal behavior creates increasing complexity without commensurate
Over the last several decades, California`s criminal code has grown to more
than 5,000 separate provisions covering almost every conceivable form of
human behavior. During the same period, our jail and prison populations
have exploded. Before we keep going down this road, I think we should
pause and reflect on how our system of criminal justice could be made more
humane, more just and more cost effective.
That was California Governor Jerry Brown. We`ll be right back.
O`DONNELL: Hillary Clinton has sent a gift to all the Republican
presidential candidates. It`s actually something they probably already
have in their opposition research file. It is a copy of her book “Hard
Choices.” She sent it with a letter saying I understand that you and your
fellow Republican candidates for president were questioning my record of
accomplishments at your last debate. So I thought you might enjoy reading
my book “Hard Choices” from working to restore America`s standing in the
world to bringing crippling sanctions to Iran to negotiating a cease-fire
in Gaza. Please enjoy all 590 pages of my time as secretary of state.
With 15 candidates in the race, you have got enough people for a book club.
Tonight, NBC asked the Republican front-runner what he thought about the
book. And Donald Trump`s answer was don`t know, didn`t open the mail.
Up next, Matt Walsh, (INAUDIBLE). If Matt, you are a press secretary
character in “Veep,” when he writes his memoir, it will be entitled what?
Do you want to wait for the commercial to think up that title?
MATT WALSH, STAR, VEEP: The man behind the curtain.
O`DONNELL: There you go.
WALSH: The man behind the curtain.
O`DONNELL: All right. We are going to be right back, Matt Walsh.
O`DONNELL: There is no more difficult and thankless job in Washington than
White House press secretary Matt Walsh proves every week, ten weeks a year,
on the Emmy award winning HBO series “Veep.”
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One fact, there are three kinds of syrup, (INAUDIBLE),
maple and buttermilk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Buttermilk is not a syrup.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, mam. What if she said this?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is aching for some baking?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. I can`t prep anymore, alright. I might vomit on
- Mike, this task is giving me emotion sickness.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. I need you to just to follow me and patch.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was first used as a truth serum by the
Czechoslovakian state police.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How is that fun?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Matt Walsh is one of the founding members along with Amy Polar
of the upright citizens brigade. And he is the director, co-writer and co-
star of the new improvised comedy film “a better you” about the alternative
therapy business right here in Hollywood.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wake up, wake up, wake up, wake up!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How long has she been in here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s time to pay.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is she?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn`t matter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you just standing under there?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a very, very short session.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think you needed much more. So just make it
out to Dr. Rod knight. Excellent work today.
O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Allison Janney. Oh, I`m sorry. When I think
fictional White House press secretary, I just see –
WALSH: She was the best.
O`DONNELL: I now see two people. I see Allison Janney and Matt Walsh.
Matt, the show, fantastic. Sweeping the Emmys. Just now becoming a habit
with “Veep.” That must have been a fun night.
WALSH: Well, we never swept before. But yes, Tony and Julia has one
O`DONNELL: That`s what I call swiping. More than one.
WALSH: But the writers got it and the show got it. The show has been
nominated a few times so it was really surprising and exciting.
O`DONNELL: You know, I had a top secret – don`t tell anybody about this.
Don`t tell any of the cast. I had a couple of hours in the writer`s room
of “Veep” a couple of months ago as they were developing this new season.
And you know, I got in the rhythm. I came up with a couple of suggestions.
O`DONNELL: Well, you know, kill off Mike was my big suggestion. But I had
to leave early so I don`t know whether they`re going with that or not.
WALSH: He could go zombie. I would go killing Mike if he could still be
zombie press secretary.
O`DONNELL: Because, you know, that`s the trick in drama is kill someone
WALSH: “Game of Thrones.”
O`DONNELL: You guys live forever in comedy.
WALSH: Yes. But people don`t get killed off in comedy series, that`s
O`DONNELL: They can`t find the humor in that for some reason.
WALSH: Do you have think of good comedy where somebody got killed. They
usually come back as a ghost. If they get killed, they`ll come back as a
O`DONNELL: No. I feel like we just did a little resume padding here.
WALSH: What do you mean?
O`DONNELL: Because, you know, your new movie “a better you” which is a
complete Matt Walsh production in every way, we snack in co-writer of an
improvised comedy film. Come on now, improvised, co-written.
There was a structured outline of about 60 to 65 scenes, and then Brian and
I, the co-star, wrote the scenes out. And there was two or three
paragraphs beneath. So the story that we created. But yes, the dialogue
was completely improvised by the actors. And I would direct them and give
O`DONNELL: And that`s basically the Larry David method (INAUDIBLE).
WALSH: Larry David and Christopher guest movies. He did it on “spinal
O`DONNELL: And so, it is really – there`s no dialogue. It is just a
WALSH: Yes. There`s suggested joke, occasionally you are filling like
suggest a joke. And then we`ll have pages of jokes on the day that we`ll
pitch. But generally, it`s just a summation of what`s at stake
emotionally, what`s the funny situation that we can mine for comic laughs,
you know, comic laughs, chat.
O`DONNELL: And when you`re improvising it, when do you know that it`s
worked or that it`s working. I mean, if you have written the script. You
thought about it has gotten laughs in a room, and you know, you thought
about the laugh and now you`re seeing it on the set and it seems to be
working. But now you`re doing it live for the very first time.
WALSH: Well, you cast people to effect. Like you cast funny people in the
big roles. So you`re sort of guaranteeing that you`re going to have funny
dialogue. And you hopefully created a funny scenario inside of each scene
like a woman who comes in to someone else`s session and he ask to wrap up
that session, the clip that you just saw. Hopefully, it`s funny because
it`s very unprofessional. So you try to focus the comedy and improv around
that awkwardness. So you try to construct comic premises without giving
O`DONNELL: So we began with the “Veep” that tonight thought it was real.
It was Marco Rubio saying, the Senate, don`t love it. Doesn`t love the
WALSH: That says I (INAUDIBLE).
WALSH: You can`t say that because you work for everybody. And you`ve got
say this is the best of my life.
O`DONNELL: There is no one in “Veep” likes his or her job. And in
Washington, everybody wants a better job except the president.
O`DONNELL: On “Veep” the president doesn`t like the job.
WALSH: Yes, it`s true. Nobody is happy, whatever. You can`t say that.
You can`t publicly put your foot in your mouth like that. So it`s
O`DONNELL: Yes. So if Rubio ever finds himself in Celine`s position, he
may not love it.
WALSH: No, he wouldn`t be able to handle it either. She doesn`t handle it
well quite frankly. She`s a terrible president. She is. She is God-awful
O`DONNELL: When is Mike going to come out in the briefing and just admit
WALSH: I think Mike is more likely to take on the media who keep hammering
issues that aren`t important to their agenda. I think he`s more likely to
lash out at them. I don`t think he`ll ever sell Celine out or throw her
under the bus. He is definitely a soldier.
O`DONNELL: All right. I wish you had a teleprompter so you can do this
instead of me. But I`m going to it. A Better you - you can do it.
O`DONNELL: Go ahead.
WALSH: “A Better You” comes out in select theaters and on DOD (ph) October
O`DONNELL: Matt Walsh, thank you.
WALSH: You`re very welcome.
O`DONNELL: And tomorrow night, Matt Walsh and I will be at home watching
“Blood Lions” - 10pm on MNSBC. It`s about these horrible situations of
hunters going over to Africa to get their trophy lions.
Matt Walsh, thank you very much.
Chris Hayes is up next.
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.