The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 10/27/15

Matt Schlapp, Joy Reid, Austan Goolsbee, Maria Teresa Kumar, Paul Ryan, Stephen Benjamin, Marq Claxton

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: That does it for us tonight, we will see you again
tomorrow. Now, it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell. Good
evening Lawrence.

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Rachel, Denny Hastert`s fall from
grace may be the greatest one we have seen in recent memory. I can`t think
of anything worse that`s happened to him –

MADDOW: Yes, speaker of the house has been a little bit star-crossed –


MADDOW: In modern – in modern times. But his fall from grace, especially
after kind of a spotless record is Shakespearean –


MADDOW: In its dimensions –

O`DONNELL: It`s amazing.

MADDOW: Yes, thanks Lawrence –

O`DONNELL: Thank you very much, Rachel.

MADDOW: Thanks –

O`DONNELL: Well, Donald Trump went to Iowa tonight in a desperate – and I
mean desperate attempt to get his poll numbers up.

He actually asked his audience, not so much to vote for him but to simply,
please, get his poll numbers up. That`s how much he hates this being
number two thing.


GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: You know how crazy this election is?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ben Carson now leading the Republican field

TRUMP ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: What the hell are you people doing to me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m about had it with these people –

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s the fist time since July that Donald Trump has not

TRUMP: Iowa, will you get your numbers up, please?

KASICH: Give them hell, Donald! I am sick and tired of listening to this

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Comes ahead of tomorrow night`s big third Republican

JOHN FALLON, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: Well, we`re going to have fun
tomorrow night, it will take place in Colorado, which will get weird when
stoners see Ben Carson speak, they`re like – what`s he smoking? That`s –


KASICH: What has happened to the conservative movement?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tomorrow is going to be a make it or break it in many
ways for Jeb Bush.

JIMMY KIMMEL, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: Jeb is launching what he calls
the Jeb can fix it tour. Fix what? Fix the election because that might be
his only hope.


KASICH: What has happened to our party?


O`DONNELL: Donald Trump doesn`t get it.


TRUMP: I don`t get it. I`m going there actually today and I have, you
know, tremendous crowds and tremendous love in the room.

And, you know, we seem to have hit a chord, but some of these polls coming
out, I don`t quite get it.


O`DONNELL: Donald Trump rushed to Iowa today to undo the damage seen in
the latest polls there, all of which show him running second to Ben Carson.

But today, Donald Trump got much worse news in the first national poll
showing him trailing Ben Carson.

Ben Carson is at 26 percent, Donald Trump is at 22 percent, Marco Rubio is
at 8 percent, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, both at 7 percent.

The margin of error for this poll is a big one, it`s 6. And a new South
Carolina poll shows Donald Trump`s lead shrinking there.

Donald Trump is at 23 percent, Ben Carson right behind him at 19 percent.
Now, with the four-point margin of error in that poll, that means that they
might actually be tied there now.

Marco Rubio is at 9 percent in that South Carolina poll, Ted Cruz at 8
percent, Jeb Bush at 7 percent. In Iowa tonight, Donald Trump begged, I
mean, begged his audience to get his poll numbers up.

The rudest candidate in the campaign actually said please.


TRUMP: A little shake-up in Iowa, I don`t know what`s going on. We fell a
little behind in Iowa, and some people are saying, how can it be? Iowa,
will you get your numbers up, please?


Will you get these numbers up? By the way, before I forget, will you get
the numbers up, Iowa, please? This is ridiculous. I mean, what is my

In all fairness – in all fair – what? What is my competition? Do you
think these guys – I`m not going to say Carson –


I`m not going to say Rubio, who really is way down. I mean, I am second,
it`s not like terrible. But I don`t like being second, second is terrible
to me.

Iowa, what the hell are you people doing to me?


You know? I hate to say it, but the last long number of elections on the
Republican circuit, the person that won Iowa did not get the nomination.

Please do me a favor, let me win Iowa. I refuse to say, get your asses in
gear, I will not say that.


I will not say it. I will not say it because I don`t want to use anything
that`s even a little bit off. So, will you please do me a favor and work
with my people and go out on February 1st and vote and give us a victory?

Going to work harder in Iowa. I`m not leaving Iowa.


TRUMP: I`m not leaving Iowa.


Now, if I lose Iowa, I will never speak to you people again, that I can
tell you.



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

Austan Goolsbee, former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors for
President Obama, he`s currently a professor of economics at the University
of Chicago.

Joy Reid, Msnbc national correspondent. And joining us by phone, Matt
Schlapp, Chairman of the American Conservative Union and a former White
House Political Director for President Bush.

Matt Schlapp, so, no one apparently has told Jeb Bush that what he needs to
do is say to Iowa and New Hampshire voters, will you get these poll numbers
up, please?

That is apparently what you do when your poll numbers go down. Trump is
showing you how to get them up, just go and ask for it.

common strategy, just plead.

That –



SCHLAPP: Can often result in good things. You know, what`s interesting
about Donald Trump is, almost every political adviser tells their
candidate, please.

Please, for the love of God, don`t talk about polls. And of course, Donald
Trump talked about polls, poll after poll after poll when he was leading
all these polls.

And now when the news is not quite as rosy, you know, it`s hard to listen

O`DONNELL: Well, Joy Reid, what is he supposed to talk about, tax policy?
He doesn`t know anything –


O`DONNELL: Other than what are the latest polls? And, you know, he`d be
such a dream for a psychiatrist because he`s so transparent. You know –

REID: Yes –

O`DONNELL: It`s like you don`t have to ask him what he`s upset about today

REID: Yes –

O`DONNELL: It`s the polls.

REID: It`s on his Twitter feed –


REID: Like everything he seems to feel –


REID: Little there, Twitter feed.

O`DONNELL: Right –

REID: And it`s interesting, yes, because Donald Trump was the insult
candidate, right? Where, basically what he did was insult all the other
candidates for saying anything about him when he was on top.

And now that Ben Carson is on top, the trick for Donald Trump is that he
can`t attack Ben Carson because the two of them are really feeding from a
similar strain of outsider sort of desire for outsider candidates.

If you add up their poll numbers which everyone is number one and which
everyone is number two, they are combined at between 42 and 48, 49 percent
in the polls.

So, they`re sort of feeding from a similar bloodstream. The problem for
Donald Trump is that the 20 or so percent that is for Carson is a lot more
genuine to what Iowa primary caucus voters are really like – very

So, it`s a much more Ben Carson state than it is a Donald Trump state.

O`DONNELL: Well, speaking of the evangelicals, Donald Trump talked about
that tonight and he issued an ominous warning to the rest of the candidates
about the evangelical vote. Let`s listen to this.


TRUMP: I don`t want to skip Iowa. I think we`re going to do well. I
think we`re going to do great with the evangelicals.

I think a lot of things are going to come out over the next period of time
that are not going to be so good for opponents, honestly.

And I think I`m going to do great with the evangelicals.


O`DONNELL: Austan Goolsbee, I want to point out, he did use the word
honestly in that sentence, so it must be true.

This warning that something is going to come out that`s not good for the
opponents. What could that be?

know, the – who – he – I`m sure he would dream it up.

And like any bully, he`s got this ability –

MARIA TERESA KUMAR, PRESIDENT, VOTO LATINO: He`s probably trailed by two -

O`DONNELL: Target in on things that actually are weaknesses. You know, he
started the mantra that Jeb was low energy and then that led Jeb to try to
prove he wasn`t low energy and then he kind of shot himself in the foot.

I will give Don credit, he was a little self-deprecating there in a way in
his speeches and funny in a way that I hadn`t seen him before.

But I think it was a terrible mistake to really kind of go after Ben
Carson`s religion. Iowa is a state that`s notoriously difficult to poll
for, because the Iowa caucus is not really like a primary at all.

You got people going down there and you`re allowed to persuade each other
and try to get them on board with your candidate. And I think that was a
really bad error.

O`DONNELL: Yes, and Maria Teresa, it was such a gift to Carson because he
knew exactly how to play it. He knows what his religious audience wants to

He just said, he wouldn`t even dignify it with a comment.

KUMAR: Right, and I think that Donald Trump is actually basically falling
into the old Donald Trump where he`s talking way too much and the other
candidates are kind of like basically walking past him and saying OK, let`s
see how far you tumble.

And what`s interesting though is that, watching that piece that we just
saw, I can`t imagine any American voter sleeping soundly at night if he
were in the White House.

Knowing that he literally has a finger next to the red button at any
minute. Why would you – I mean, it`s just really hard to fathom.

I think it`s clearly that he is building crowds and momentum, but it`s
because people would just want to see his shtick.

They want to have access to this caricature show that he`s created for the
presidential bid. What you`re missing is basically, a real reality show
that he`s basically signed on the dotted line.

Instead he has the news media feeding exactly what folks would like to
aspire to be when it comes to a reality TV show for the presidential race.

O`DONNELL: And when these guys talk about policy, they get themselves in
even more trouble. Let`s listen to Ben Carson talking about Medicare with
Chuck Todd on Sunday.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Christie ever gets to the White House, we hope he
never gets close to it –


But if he does, the New Jersey bully says he`s coming to Colorado to make
you guys behave. I think he ought to keep his caucus back in New Jersey.


O`DONNELL: That – you know, Ben Carson doesn`t talk like that. That`s –
I don`t know who that was. So, anyway, Ben Carson is in favor – the
control room will get to these tapes whenever it feels like it.

But Joy, Ben Carson is talking about replacing Medicare, just getting rid
of it, letting people kind of fend for themselves in a much freer system.

Now that, of course, is the road to absolute total wipeout defeat.

REID: Yes, absolutely, because who are the most reliable voters? Older
people, retired people. And this is a medical doctor, essentially.

And remember, there are a lot of people in the medical establishment who do
not like the Medicare and Medicaid entitlements.

They feel they`re more cumbersome, it obviously would be better for their
bottom line if everybody was coming in with straight-ahead insurance or a
lot of billing issues and whether or not you can make as much money.

So, I think he`s speaking for many in the medical establishment by the way
who are very much against the Affordable Care Act, too.

But it is really not a smart strategy if you want actual voters. Because
senior citizens are so much – they`re so reliable in terms of voters, and
they really do vote to guard Medicare and Social Security, explicitly so.

O`DONNELL: And Austan Goolsbee, imagine a campaign, a general election
campaign with the Republican going into Florida saying, I just want to get
rid of Medicare and I have this other idea that it is not all that easy to
explain that I`m going to put in there in its place.

GOOLSBEE: Yes, I mean, it`s bonkers. The thing is, let`s be realistic.
The only reason that Ben Carson is number one in the polls in the
Republican primary is most of the Republican electorate has yet to know
anything that he has actually stand for.

They like that he is a nice man, he has a calm demeanor, a lot of
evangelicals like that he is religious, but as soon as you start finding
out what the people are actually for, that`s going to be extremely
unpopular among Republican voters.

They`re not for getting rid of Medicare –

SCHLAPP: Well, hey, Lawrence –

GOOLSBEE: And so –

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Matt –


Go ahead, Matt –

SCHLAPP: You know, the other thing – let`s just remember, let`s be candid
about this and the real clear politics average. Ben Carson has been
beating Hillary Clinton.

So, it isn`t just a Republican question, this is an American question. And
Americans are definitely opened to the concept of a different type of

Which is why on the Democratic side, you have this huge ground swell for
Bernie Sanders. And on the Republican side, in the latest poll that came
out in Iowa, 60 percent of Republican voters are saying, I want to try a
new type of candidate.

And I think there`s a lot to that in the American electorate.

O`DONNELL: All right, we`re going to have to take a break right there.
Matt Schlapp, thank you very much for joining us. Coming up, John Kasich
thinks that his Republican frontrunners are crazy.

And bankers for Bernie – that`s right. There are Wall Street investment
bankers who are supporting Bernie Sanders for president, and one of them
will join me.

And later, the Richland County sheriff and the mayor of Columbia, South
Carolina will join us to react to the latest in the investigation of an
officer`s action in that high school classroom.


O`DONNELL: In 2012, newly elected Kansas Republican Governor Sam Brownback
said on Msnbc that his tax cut plan or rather radical tax plan would be, “a
real live experiment of conservative economics.”

Today, a new poll found that 61 percent in Kansas called Brownback`s plan a
failure and only 7 percent said it was a success.

Governor Brownback`s approval rating is 18 percent in Kansas. Up next, the
Republican establishment candidates are all kind of angry now at who these
frontrunners are.



KASICH: Do you know how crazy this election is?


O`DONNELL: John Kasich, who`s tied for sixth in the latest national poll
of the Republican field is angry. He is very angry about who is running
first and second.

He`s had about all he can take of the Trump-Carson contest for who knows
less about government.


KASICH: Do you know how crazy this election is?


Let me tell you something. I`m about had it with these people.


And let me tell you why? We got one candidate that says that we ought to
abolish Medicaid and Medicare. You ever heard of anything so crazy as

Telling our people in this country who are seniors or about to be seniors
that we`re going to abolish Medicaid and Medicare?

We`ve got one person saying we ought to have a 10 percent flat tax that
will drive up the deficit in this country by trillions of dollars that my
daughters will spend the rest of their lives having to pay off.

You know, what I say to them is, why don`t we have no taxes, just get rid
of them all and then a chicken in every pot on top of it.

We got one guy that says we ought to take 10 million or 11 million people
and pick them up, where – I don`t know where we`re going to go – in their
homes? In their apartments?

We`re going to pick them up and we`re going to take them to the border and
scream at them to get out of our country? I mean, that`s just – that`s
just crazy.

That is just crazy. We got people proposing healthcare reform that`s going
to leave, I believe, millions of people without adequate health insurance.

What has happened to our party? What has happened to the conservative


O`DONNELL: Back with us, Maria Teresa Kumar, Austan Goolsbee and Joy Reid
– very good question, Joy, what has happened to the Republican Party?

REID: Well, my question is, where has John Kasich been, for like the last
30 years? He –


REID: Described each of those positions as being held by one guy apiece.
There`s an entire wing of his – of the base`s party that wants a flat tax
and he says so on right-wing talk radio every day.

As far as changing Medicare and Medicaid, there are 247 or so house
members, Republican members who voted every year for the Ryan budget which
would turn Medicare into a voucher, into a coupon, essentially.

And they voted for that year after year after year. Some of these ideas –
most of them have been swirling around the Republican base for years, if
not for decades.

It`s just that now each of them has a candidate to represent their views.

O`DONNELL: And Maria Teresa, as we`ve seen in this Republican primary
electorate, massive numbers of them, 50 percent maybe, firmly believe that
you should get rid of every undocumented person in this country, 11
million, whatever that number is, and you should spend every day trying.

You should never give up, no matter how many people tell you, it can`t be

KUMAR: Right. And so, what if you basically bankrupt Homeland Security
while you`re at it and you bankrupt our economy – big deal. No, but I
think what – Kasie is actually – he`s on to something.

He recognizes that he is speaking not only to the Republican base, but also
increasingly to the independents.

He is going and talking to folks and basically saying, look, I don`t have
the – I don`t have the baggage that Jeb Bush has.

I mean, one of the – my favorite lines was like, you know, he`s Vito
Corleone, basically saying, he`s like – I`m not that, I know how to
negotiate with the opposite party so that we could actually move steps

He`s going after every single candidate, making the case of I am, yes, an
establishment candidate, but at the same time, I know how to govern, I know
how to move forward.

And he`s also basically taking a shot over folks that basically want to
deport everybody, and he`s saying, look, whether you like it or not, we
need that Latino vote.

Today, you`ve had 12 Latino conservative organizations saying I am not
going to stand next to you as a GOP candidate if you keep basically
bringing down the baggage on the shoulders of American Latinos.

That`s a huge statement. These were not progressive organizations. These
are Republican GOP Latinos that were saying, we will not stand next to you.

Kasich is smart. He knows that the road to the White House is cobbling
together these different groups of conservative voters, and that he needs
in order to get to the White House.

O`DONNELL: And Austan Goolsbee, as far as being shocked about a 10 percent
flat tax, I think a trick question to Republicans tomorrow night would be,
what is the lowest possible income tax that we can have?

And it may be even ask, how many of them think we can run the government on
zero income tax? Ask for a show of hands on that, you might see ten go up.

GOOLSBEE: Look, I mean, they were against evolution, they –



GOOLSBEE: And I have no doubt they would say that.


GOOLSBEE: I mean, what you saw there from Kasich is exactly why you`ve
seen a massive fraction of centrist Republicans cease calling themselves
Republicans and start referring to themselves as independents.

And yet at the same time, it`s like that old “Saturday Night Live” skit
where everybody is getting off the airplane and they`re trying to say
something to the flight attendant, and the flight attendant just says bye-

As Kasie was saying that, he is killing his chances to get the nomination.
They don`t go to – he`s telling them, do you know how crazy people are to
propose these things?

To propose a 10 percent tax? Half the party is for that. So they don`t
consider it crazy.

O`DONNELL: Yes, Joy – I mean, the – what he`s saying is something he
should be saying in the back room with his team.

REID: Yes –

O`DONNELL: And then saying, given that the nuts out there believe this,
and I have to get their votes, what do I say?

REID: Yes –

O`DONNELL: You know, but that isn`t what you say.

REID: You`re right, because part of the revolution that produced Donald
Trump is really a revolt against the donor class and the establishment of
the party who says to them, not that explicitly.

But who says to the base of the party, you are wrong, if not crazy, to want
to deport everyone. And you assume that every Latino is an unlawful
migrant – if you want to deport them all, you are wrong and you are crazy
to want to abolish all entitlements.

Because in your mind, you think only black people use them. And being told
that they`re wrong and crazy to want these things –


REID: Is partly why –


REID: The base of the Republican Party is turning to people like Trump and

O`DONNELL: That`s where the energy comes from maybe. Maria Teresa, we
have this budget deal now in Washington.

And, of course, the three Republican senators running for President have
all said, they will not just vote against it, they will filibuster it, they
will try to filibuster it.

Which means that it will take a few more days because they`ll have to get
cloture to override these guys, which they will be able to do.

But tomorrow night on the debate stage, there`s going to have to be a
question about who among you supports this budget deal? And I wonder what
John Kasich is going to do in that situation.

KUMAR: Well, I think that he is actually had a – he`s governed. And he`s
– none of the – nobody else on that stage has really ever governed. And
he knows that he has to negotiate.

I think he`s going to have a tough time because he recognizes what`s at
stake. But he`s not like Ben Carson.

When Ben Carson – when he`s asked by Wolf Blitzer whether or not he was
going to increase the debt ceiling, he`s like, well, I`m not going to pay
my debts.

He didn`t realize that we actually had outstanding debts. So, there is
definitely a level of sophistication that`s missing by the majority of the
candidates of how to space a policy and how our government functions

And I think that Kasich is the one that could navigate that the best and
explain it in plain English and walk away as actually – he can actually
walk away as a presidential candidate.

Right now, none of them really seem like a presidential candidate.

O`DONNELL: All right, quick break here. Maria Teresa Kumar, thank you
very much for joining us tonight. Coming up, Bernie Sanders wants to take
on the banks.

He wants to break up the big banks, so all of the bankers have to be
against Bernie Sanders. They have to hate him, right? Well, there are
bankers for Bernie.

We will be joined by one of them. He`s coming up.


O`DONNELL: Well, it turns out, not everyone on Wall Street hates Bernie

We will be joined in a moment by one of the Wall Street players who has
contributed to the Sanders campaign – and oh, by the way, told “POLITICO”
that he didn`t vote for George W. Bush because he thought that George W.
Bush was, “a moron”. His word, not mine.

Today, two polls out of Iowa show Hillary Clinton leading by a wide margin.
A new Monmouth University poll of Iowa Democrats shows Hillary Clinton
leading Bernie Sanders by 41 points in a new Loras College poll of Iowa.

Democrats show Clinton leading Sanders by 38 points as recently as last
week. A Quinnipiac poll showed Clinton leading Sanders by just 11 points
in Iowa.

On the “Today Show” this morning, Bernie Sanders said this about his


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you acknowledge that Hillary Clinton has a
better chance of winning the general?

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: Absolutely not. The enthusiasm that we
are generating means that a lot of working class people and young people
who have given up on the political process are now coming out.

And they want a candidate to stand up to the big money interest and create
an economy that works for all of us and not just the 1 percent.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Paul Ryan – not that Paul Ryan. Paul Ryan who
is the managing partner at Hayfield Financial and a Wall Street supporter
of Bernie Sanders.

This was fascinating to read about in “POLITICO”. They kind of tracked you
people down through –


O`DONNELL: The contribution records. Tell us what it is about the Sanders
campaign that you think is positive.

RYAN: Well, I think economics. I`m not doing this as a lark or a joke,
even though, you know, I think everyone took the story as, you know, the 1
percent of Wall Street as it would like him.

I think he is a good guy. I think he`s good for the economics. I think he
is the 99 versus the 1 percent really matters? I think that`s important.

I think that he is also going to do a little fiscal spending, which I think
is good. And, then probably, I think he is going to clean up Wall Street,
which I think we would all benefit from. So, it is not just a narrow point
of view.

O`DONNELL: You said in the “Politico” story, you have said if you have
actually had a front row seat to this, you can see what is going on and it
is not a good trend. Money gets made in the dark and you cannot figure out
what is going on until there is a massive – and people can just read that
on the screen there. A massive “F” up. And, that is the story of what

RYAN: Yes. Well, I think I joined Wall Street in 1987. I went to
Barclay`s bank fresh out of college. I am from Buffalo, New York, not to
the manner born. And, I really, you know, was somewhat idealistic.
Probably, the worst place to be idealistic in the world.

But, you know, this is about capital formation, you know, for businesses.
And, maybe I watched “It is a Wonderful Life” one too many times as a kid.
But, that is what a banker is supposed to be. And, you know, there is a
public good and a useful function. And, in the ensuing history from 1987
till now, you watch what is changed.

It has become a speculative mess. The things that get rewarded have
nothing to do with capital formation that leads to jobs and all the things
that I thought was important when I took economics. That is where it is a
funny place to be idealistic, but that is where I am.

O`DONNELL: You said about Donald Trump. Trump is an old well known –
again, you are going to have to read the screen. Put this up. Do we have
it on the screen.


RYAN: Yes.

O`DONNELL: As an old well known head in the business. Tell us how Wall
Street regards Donald Trump.

RYAN: Well, first of all, I have to apologize to my mother who is staying
up late in Syracuse, New York. Mom, I am going to keep it clean. I am not
supposed to work blue here. But, Trump was in the real estate group at
Barclay`s bank.

And, there was old hands around the bank that just said we do not lend to
him. And, I was an impressionable analyst, I did not push it too hard.
But, he was not well regarded that I think if you look at – you know, if
you really look deep down in the inch of history.

I mean there is a spate of bankruptcies that chased him around. And, while
he may come out clean, other people get hurt. And, I think that actually
matters if you are in finance. You know, you really try to make all
constituencies happy. He seems to be doing OK for himself, though.

O`DONNELL: Are there any economic policies or any policies that you
disagree with Bernie Sanders on. I mean it is not easy to find a candidate
that you agree 100 percent.

RYAN: Absolutely. I think a lot of stuff, of course, has to get
simplified for the political process. This 99 percent versus the 1 percent
billionaires. I think it is , you know, simplified talk for the folks out.

I think it leads to sometimes that you need a sort of broad prescription.
You got to swing a meat cleaver to go make some changes. And sometimes
your phrases can be a tad impolitic.

And, I think that Bernie has to oversimplify. You know, it sells in
politics, for God`s sake. But yes, I cannot agree all of that, but I think
he is going to put it in the right direction. And, that is why I am behind

O`DONNELL: Austan Goolsbee, this is my first Wall Street player, who is a
Bernie supporter. I think you talked to a lot more people in this kind of
environment. Have you heard this kind of talk among bankers out there?

Sanders, no. But, that thoughtful – let us call it the thoughtful
internal critique on Wall Street. I think there is a bigger element of
that than most people on the outside are aware of. I think a lot of people

And especially in the wake of the financial crisis, just the acknowledgment
that you can be for regulatory oversight and setting up strong rules of the
road and that does not make you anti-business. I think that actually is a
more widely held view on Wall Street than people are aware.

O`DONNELL: And, Paul Ryan, going forward in this campaign, what would you
advise voters to listen to on these issues?

RYAN: I think that – just to dig deep, read a lot, understand, you know,
what is really – you know, being said. I would also look to who is paying
for stuff. Follow the money trail. I think they said that a long time ago
in “All The President`s Men.”

But, I would follow the money, because I look at someone like Hillary
Clinton. I look at the voters, who is giving them money and why. They do
not give that money and not expect something for it. And, I think at the
final analysis, that is what scares me about too many of these politicians.

This is very easy for Wall Street to pay. The sector that I work with,
Lawrence, are smaller businesses. They cannot afford political action
communities and I think their voices do not get heard.

And, I think that is why, you know, when I look at how Bernie`s campaign is
funding, that is deeply, deeply meaningful. And, I would look at that as
being probably as significant as anything.

O`DONNELL: Paul Ryan –

GOOLSBEE: One scary thing about that, Paul –

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Austan, quickly.

GOOLSBEE: The one scary thing about that is, it is becoming so much harder
to figure out where the money is coming from –

RYAN: Yes.

GOOLSBEE: – and where the money is going because of Citizens United, and
all of these Super Pacs.

O`DONNELL: Paul Ryan, the banker for Bernie and Austan Goolsbee, thank you
both for joining me tonight. I really appreciate it.

RYAN: You bet.

O`DONNELL: Coming up next, the sheriff in South Carolina where that
officer violently arrested a student in class will join us.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: After seeing the initial video, what were your
impressions? I mean, can you give us your impressions?

LEON LOTT, RICHLAND COUNTY SHERIFF: I want to throw up. I mean it just
makes you sick to your stomach when you see that initial video; but again,
that is a snapshot. As a professional, I have to look beyond just that one
first video and look at the total picture, and that is what we are doing.


O`DONNELL: That was Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott earlier today,
reacting to video of one of his officers slamming a 16-year-old girl to the
ground at spring valley high in Columbia, South Carolina, yesterday.


BEN FIELDS, SOUTH CAROLINA SHERIFF: Come on. I am going to get you up.
Put your hands behind your back. Give me your hands. Give me your hands.
Give me your hands. Give me your hands. Give me your hands.


O`DONNELL: Deputy Ben Fields is now suspended without pay pending an
internal investigation. Sheriff Leon Lott tells NBC News, he will announce
his decision on Deputy Ben Field`s future employment tomorrow.

Separate from that internal investigation, the FBI and the justice
department have also launched criminal investigations. The school district
has asked the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to conduct its own
independent investigation. Earlier today, the school board chairman called
the incident outrageous.


an outrageous exception to the culture, conduct and standards in which we
so strongly believe in, in this district. There is absolutely no place in
this district or any other district for that matter for what happened here
yesterday. Our tolerance for it is zero.


O`DONNELL: There are now three different students cell phone videos
showing what occurred in that classroom, including this video which appears
to show the student hitting the officer.


O`DONNELL (voice-over): I do not see where that is, where the video shows
the student hitting the officer. So, I am not sure if it shows that at
all. All right, here is what the sheriff had to say about that video.



SHERIFF LOTT: Now, what she does is not what I am looking at. What I am
looking at is what our school resource officer did. What was his actions?
What did he do? That is where I will make my determination based on that.

So, even though she was wrong for disturbing the class, even though she
refused to abide by the directions of the teacher, the school administrator
and then also to verbal commands of our deputy, I am looking at what our
deputy did.


O`DONNELL: The 16-year-old girl was arrested and charged with disturbing
school. Another student Niya Kenny was also arrested and charged with
disturbing school, after she said she had tried to stand up for her
classmate. Tonight, she spoke with MSNBC`s Chris Hayes.


Never have I ever seen anything like that. I have heard about him, so I
was not really surprised because I heard so much about him. He is known as
“Officer Slam” around our school. And, I have heard he has in the past
slammed pregnant women, teenage girls. He is known for slamming.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Richland County South Carolina Sheriff Leon
Lott. Joining us by phone. Sheriff, thank you very much for joining us
tonight. I really appreciate it.

SHERIFF LOTT (via phone): My pleasure.

O`DONNELL: Sheriff, have you heard that before, what we just heard from
that student who was in the room yesterday, that he is known as “Officer
Slam” around the school because he slams people?

SHERIFF LOTT (via phone): No, I have not heard that. I have heard some
students talk bad about him. I have also heard students that talk good
about him. It has been pretty well even on the comments from our students
and from parents.

But, again, those comments are not where I am going to base my decision on.
Our investigation is totally on his actions. Do they follow our proper
procedures. And, did he do the right thing that we are trained for him to
do. And, that is what I will look at.

Our investigation is just about complete. I will have the final results
tomorrow morning and make my decision based on what our training unit and
our internal investigators have discovered.

O`DONNELL: What are your reaction to the school board chairman saying that
there is absolutely no place in this district or any other district for
what happened there.

SHERIFF LOTT (via phone): Well, I agree with him. Well, I mean, my
initial reaction, I think you collated just a minute ago, is that it made
me stick to my stomach to see something like that. That is not what we
want to see in our schools.

That is not the type of incidents that we want to have. Our school
resource officer is there to be mentors and teachers and coaches and build
relationships with our students. You know, that is what I expect of them.

O`DONNELL: And, Sheriff Lott, what are the options available to you right
now in your decision about what to do with these officer?

SHERIFF LOTT (via phone): Well, it is a wide range from doing nothing to
determinating him. I mean, that is the range that I have. And, I will do
what is appropriate and what our investigations reveal, and we will take
appropriate action. And, our investigation just dealt with our internal

I have to ask the FBI and United States attorney`s office to come in and
for them to do the criminal investigation part. They have done that at my
request, so I felt like another agency that is respected and that is the
FBI should be the one to come in and conduct that investigation and they
agreed to it.

O`DONNELL: And, Sheriff, will any of those investigations have yielded –
will any of that material be available to you in making your decision
tomorrow morning?

SHERIFF LOTT: No, that is a completely independent investigation. That is
a criminal investigation. So, what they obtained on their investigation
will not have any impact. I am not even going to be looking at it.

I am looking at just what we get in our internal affairs investigation and
talking with our training unit, who is responsible for reviewing incidents
like this and see if the deputy followed our proper procedures and our
training. That is what I am looking at.

The FBI`s investigation deals with the criminal investigation. So, we are
cooperating with them. We will give them whatever information they desire.
But, that is something they are doing independent of us.

O`DONNELL: Sheriff Lott, just so I understand your day tomorrow, are you
going to be convening a meeting where internal affairs reports to you,
gives you a handwritten report or material after you consume that you will
then make a decision?

SHERIFF LOTT: That is correct. They will present – their report for me
and I will review and then make my decision and tell that – announce it at
that time.

O`DONNELL: Sheriff Leon Lott, thank you very much for joining us tonight.
I really appreciate it.

Coming up, the mayor of Columbia, South Carolina, will join us.




UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE STUDENT: He is a really good officer. And, sometimes
he can be like pretty mean, but he can also be a really nice officer. He
can also help kids out at the school.


O`DONNELL: We are joined by Mayor Stephen Benjamin of Columbia, South
Carolina. Also with us Marq Claxton, Director of the Black Law Enforcement
Alliance. He is in Columbia, South Carolina. And, back with us, MSNBC`s
Joy Reid. Mayor, what was your reaction when you first saw these videos?

same as almost any other public official, any parents, anyone who cares
about social justice and our children. I was outraged and I shared that.
I called the sheriff immediately and also our chief of police. Of course,
it is important for me to note, this officer does not work for the City of
Columbia Police Department.

But, I believe that we are all citizens of the world. Those of us who
represent people here in the midlands or quite frankly if you are in San
Francisco or New York ought to be concerned by this type of behavior. It
ought not to be tolerated.

O`DONNELL: And, Mr. Mayor, the head of the school board said that there
should a zero tolerance for this kind of police behavior in schools. Do
you agree with that?

MAYOR BENJAMIN: Obviously. Well, not just in schools. I mean, obviously,
we have to make sure that we create an environment where school resource
officers are obviously there to protect our children to make sure they
develop into responsible young adults. And, making sure the adolescent
behavior is not treated as if you are dealing with, you know, a criminal
act on the streets in any city in America.

You know, Lawrence, I work in law enforcement. I ran a large criminal
justice agency. I have been mayor of the city for 5 1/2 years. Just
earlier this month, we had a significant natural disaster. And, I worked
side by side with so many men and women, who were truly heroes. They run
towards danger when the rest of us are running in the opposite direction.

This is not representative of the men and women who wear the uniform in
Columbia, South Carolina. And, it is so important for people to understand
that you can have folks who work every day for 20, 30 years, depending our
cities, making sure that we can go to bed safe at night. And, one action
like this can erode that public trust. It is so important that we seek a
swift and transparent resolution to this issue. So important.

O`DONNELL: Let us listen to what Niya Kenny said tonight about what she
and the other students experienced when they were watching this.


KENNY: They were scared. They were scared. I was scared myself. But,
more than likely they were scared. I felt like the two grown men in the
class were also scared themselves, because who has ever seen anything like
that? That is not normal for someone to be handled like that, let alone a
16-year-old girl by a 300-pound man.


O`DONNELL: Marq Claxton, with your experience in that community, Columbia,
and law enforcement, your reaction to this?

case of excessive force being used. And, you know, what is really
confusing or troubling or agitated or aggravating the circumstances is some
confusing messaging that is going on between the sheriff`s department and
the public.

And, that is whether or not there is clear and convincing evidence enough
for him to take appropriate action even prior to some internal
investigation. And, it is very rare that you have a city official, a
sheriff that would actually make a federal case out of the situation such
as this.

I think it is obvious what should be done. I think Mayor Benjamin has been
clear about his perspective on it. And, I think, you know, a lot of times
process gets in the way of progress and really deteriorates the confidence
that many people have in law enforcement. And, in law enforcement, it does
overwhelmingly a great job.

O`DONNELL: Process is moving quickly on this one. The sheriff said, he is
going to decide tomorrow morning on what to do with this officer. We are
going to take a quick break here and we are going to be right back.



SHERIFF LOTT: Unfortunately, our legislature passed a lots of calls
disturbing students. If a student disturbed school, and that is a wide
range of activities disturbing schools, they can be arrested. And, I will
be one of the first ones to stand here and tell you it has been abused in
the past. It has been abused.

Because it is so wide ranging that if the phone goes off – If that teacher
determines that phone is disrupting that class, and that the student cannot
learn, she can have that student arrest for it. Should that happen? In my
opinion, no.


O`DONNELL: Back with us, the mayor of Columbia, South Carolina, Stephen
Benjamin. Also with us Marq Claxton and Joy Reid. Mr. Mayor, Joy Reid has
a question for you.

JOY REID, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: It is actually a bit of a compound
question, Mr. Mayor. First of all, to your knowledge, is the teacher who
called that SRO officer, to your knowledge, expected to report to class
tomorrow with those students? And, has there been any discussion about
whether or not he should address this with the students, either the teacher
or the administrator?

MAYOR BENJAMIN: Thank you, Joy. I did attend the press conference that
the school district held today, just as a parent here. I was interested in
hearing with what was said. That question was asked and, of course, they
have a significant number of regulations or rules that they have to follow
in which, to be honest with you, the question was not answered.

You know, it is – To have that one student step up and speak her mind and
stand up – I got to tell you, I think that was a bold move. A bold move
in something that we should be proud of. It is so important to recognize
we are citizens of the world and that when you see injustice happen, we
have to train our children.

I train my two girls. They are just 8 and 10, that when they see something
wrong happening, they have to speak up, stand up and speak out. I do not
know what is going to happen with the teacher or anyone else, who is
involved in the situation. But, again, I think that, you know, we got to
make sure we focus on a swift and transparent resolution to the issue.

O`DONNELL: But joy, if the mayor`s daughters were in this situation and
they spoke up, they would have gotten arrested –

REID: That is right.

O`DONNELL: – just like Niya did.

REID: Right. And, the disturbing schools law which was passed in South
Carolina in 1976 has actually been upheld. There was one student, who
challenged the law on free-speech grounds back in 2006, I believe it was,
and actually round up losing in the state Supreme Court. So, the laws have
been upheld.

There have been legislators, though, who have tried to do mitigating
legislation. Marlon Kimpson, a state senator actually got passed some
legislation to expunge the records of young people, many of whom are
winding up with criminal records based on things like, not listening to the
teacher. The disturbing school law can cover everything from being rude in
class, chewing gum in a way that disrupts the class, just minor, minor

O`DONNELL: Marq Claxton, the sheriff has said that it is legal for the
officer to have put his hands on the girl if he judged it necessary to
physically move her. But, he said it is all about exactly what he does.
He does not have unlimited right, physical right to try to control her like

CLAXTON: Yes. Most importantly, the police officer`s action has to be
reasonable. I think A lot of times the mistake is being made that, you
know, people just assumed the police officer can use that force or can use
that force without considering reason.

One thing is for sure, police officers can be relegated to the school

O`DONNELL: Mayor Stephen Benjamin, thank you very much for joining us
tonight. I really appreciate it.


O`DONNELL: Also, Marq Claxton, thank you. And, Joy Reid as always, thank
you for joining us.

REID: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next.


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