The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, Transcript 11/11/2016
Show: THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL
Date: November 11, 2016
Guest: Rick Wilson; Jonathan Allen; Debbie Dingell; Mark Thompson;
Catherine Rampell; Yamiche Alcindor
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: Democratic minority leader Chuck Schumer are
lobbying for congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, former Vermont
governor and former DNC chair Howard Dean has also expressed an interest.
There is one of other candidate that we know about, though, intriguing
candidate, not exactly a long shot mark, it is like a mid-range shot, but I
think a lot of people will be interested in this other potential bid for
Democratic Party chair. And on this show on Monday night, that person will
be here. And we will get that person`s announcement here live and a first
chance to do vetting of any sort in terms of how this person would change
the Democratic Party. Try to get it back into fighting shape. That
announcement, that interview will be happening here Monday night at 9:00.
Aren`t you curious as to who it is? Watch this space.
That does it for us tonight. We will see you again on Monday.
Now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell.
Good evening, Lawrence.
LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Rachel, so you have got to tell me who it
is, because later in the show we are going to have a discussion of, you
know, the campaign for the next DNC chair. And to be complete we got to
include every possibility.
MADDOW: It won`t be complete. You will have to revisit after my show on
Monday. My lips are sealed.
O`DONNELL: We will discuss the state of the race as of tonight, prior to
the next Rachel Maddow show which can change everything.
MADDOW: That`s right. Those are the right bets to hedge. Thanks my
O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.
Well, there has been a third night of protests in cities across the country
against the election of Donald Trump. This is a live shot of what`s
happening in Miami right now.
Today, Donald Trump began filling up his transition team with family
members, big donors and lobbyists. So much for draining the swamp. He
also began admitting that he is not going to do what he said he was going
to do as a candidate. And if you are surprised by that, you are what the
industry calls a low-information voter.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think I have to keep saying this just so I know it`s
real. But Donald Trump will be the next president.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is someone who was very, very clear and
declarative about his personality, his tendency, the way he thinks.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When it`s over, we respect the will of the American
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The talk of the day of course is the transition.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It can`t be.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It can`t be.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich and a general that seem
would ties to the two close to Russia.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST, ALL IN: Mike Pence is in as the head of Donald
Trump`s presidential transition. And Trump`s children are assuming many of
the leading roles.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Don Senior, if you`re trying to tone down the
whole dictator thing, maybe don`t give a cabinet position to your son, Kim
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m particularly appreciative of the way the president
handled the meeting at the White House.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All that was missing was Obama wearing the tee shirt
that said “I`m with stupid.”
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s right. Donald Trump visited President Obama in
the White House. But it got Trump really excited to do his favorite thing,
evict a black family from their home.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How can they pretended it is a normal trench for power?
Donald Trump is against everything Barack Obama`s stand for. This is like
batman handing the keys to the cave over to the joker.
O`DONNELL: Hillary Clinton got more votes than Donald Trump, but Donald
Trump will become the next president because of a political card trick on
December 19th when the Electoral College meets to override the will of the
voters of this country for the second time in 16 years. And Trump voters
should now be see that Donald Trump will become president because of tricks
that he played on them.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We need a special prosecutor to
look into Hillary Clinton. And we have to investigate the investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: If you are one of the Trump voters who voted for him, and just
fell in love with him, because he was going to “lock her up”, here is what
he said today when he was asked by the “Wall Street Journal” if he is going
to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton.
It`s not something I have given a lot of thought.
Trump supporters certainly have given it a lot of thought. They have given
it a lot of emotion, a lot of chanting. They boost a lot of Hillary for
prison tee shirts and more and worn them proudly. And now their hero says
it`s not something I have given and lot of thought.
And that`s not all he said today. Who can forget that the candidate who
knows absolutely nothing about health insurance had to say about President
Obama`s landmark health insurance law?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We have got to terminate. We have got to repeal Obamacare. We
have got to have great health care, this is a disaster. We are going to
repeal Obamacare and we are going to come up with something that`s so much
better and less expensive.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And today Donald Trump told the “Wall Street Journal,” either
Obamacare will be amended, never said that before, will amended or repealed
and replaced. And so now repealed and replaced just might be amended. The
Democrats have been trying to amend Obamacare to improve it since shortly
after they passed it. It`s very common to amend major legislation after
his past Social Security and Medicare have been amended dozens of times
since they were passed. Today, Donald Trump told “60 Minutes” there are
some things he likes about Obamacare.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me ask you about Obamacare, which you say you are
going to repeal and replace. When you replace it, are you going to make
sure that people with preconditions are still –?
TRUMP: Yes. Because it happens to be within of the strongest assets.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You are going to keep that.
TRUMP: Also with the children living with their parents for an extended
period. We are going to very much try to keep it. It adds cost, but it`s
very much something we are going to try and keep.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Obamacare allows people up to the age of 26 to be included on
their parents` health insurance, and they don`t have to be living in the
parents` home as Donald Trump mistakenly. And of course Obamacare does not
allow insurance companies to deny care to people with preexisting
conditions. And that`s sounds like the right thing to do. Even Donald
Trump thinks it is the right thing to do. It sounds humane. People with
preexisting conditions should be able to get health insurance.
What Donald Trump does not understand is that once he says he wants to
retain the part of Obamacare that allows people with pre- existing
conditions to get health insurance, then he is stuck with almost the all
the rest of Obamacare, because when you force insurance companies to sell
insurance to people with preexisting conditions, the insurance companies
will tell you that you then must force people to buy health insurance,
because a lot of people would not buy health insurance until they needed
it. They wouldn`t buy it until they had, in some cases, a preexisting
condition. And then for the insurance business, they will tell you that
would be like buying fire insurance on houses that are already on fire.
And once you order people to purchase health insurance, you have to do
something for people who cannot afford to purchase health insurance, like
maybe subsidize the cost of health insurance for those people. And once
the government is helping to pay for insurance policies, the government has
a right to be interested in what`s in that health insurance policy. The
government doesn`t want to be paying for bogus health insurance policies.
And so the government then dictates what is in those policies. And that is
the essence of Obamacare.
Obamacare is not complicated because the people writing it were stupid. It
is complicated because health insurance is complicated. And Donald Trump
is about to discover the Obamacare is the preexisting condition in our
government that Donald Trump will discover is easy to repeal but almost
impossible to replace. The only real alternatives to Obamacare are
nothing, just repealing it and not replacing it, or a Medicare-style
government health care program available to everyone, and that`s an idea to
the left of Obamacare. That is Bernie Sanders care. That is something
Donald Trump could never support, even though he once did support exactly
Donald Trump doesn`t know this, but the health care policy prescribed on
his campaign Web site does absolutely nothing for people with preexisting
conditions. Nothing. It just leaves them out in the cold like they were
before Obamacare. So when Donald Trump takes on his first day agenda item
of repealing and replacing Obamacare, he is going to discover what
governing really is. To govern is to choose, and the choices are never
Joining us now, Jonathan Allen, co-author of a book “HRC, book about
Hillary Clinton.” Also with us, Rick Wilson, a Republican strategist.
Rick Wilson, so Donald Trump just wants to take care of those people with
preexisting conditions, keep the kids on the policies until 26 and assumes
that is easily accomplished.
RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: You know, the magical thinking
surrounding a lot of Trump policies is about to come home to roost where it
is easy to say things like I`m going to replace it with something fabulous.
Now look, you may disagree with Obamacare as I did, but the thinking that
you can just wave a magic wand with no political or policy impacts and
just, so it replace it was something that his folks really bought into.
And Obamacare has caused you know, massive premium hikes for millions of
Americans, and they would love to see those premiums go down.
But the fact of the matter is, there`s no plan here, no legislative
solution here. And like most Trump promises you are going to see most
folks in Washington sort of shake their head and say how do you take this
machine apart? It is like everybody can take a car apart, not everybody
can put it back together gone.
O`DONNELL: Yes. Let`s listen to what Eric Cantor said about this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC CANTOR, FORMER HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: So there is going to be a test
here, because certainly repeal, the repeal bill is already out there, it`s
the one that President Obama vetoed. I think if they can pick it right
back up and pass it. But what needs to be attached to that is the replace
bill. He has his very broad commitment to the working people of this
country in the states that you mentioned. So if you take something away
from them, that is going to be a fall-down on his commitment. So that is
the general commitment that`s got.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: And Jonathan Allen, Donald Trump said to “60 Minutes”
interview, that he is going to replace it in the same bill. That this is
going to – it won`t be one-day gap. And so it`s, his plan is repeal and
replace or amend as he is saying today, but the house Republicans and the
Senate Republicans have never found anything, anything that they agree on
as any form of replacement.
JONATHAN ALLEN, JOURNALIST: Yes, Lawrence, you just gave an incredible
explanation of how the Obamacare bill works, like that as somebody who work
on the Senate finance committee. And as somebody who worked there, I know
you understand as I hope viewers will, that you can`t do a repeal and
replace bill with the one vehicle that Republicans have at their disposal
if Democrats don`t jump on board which is a reconciliation bill. It`s too
complicated to do through that process. There are a whole lot of rules
that prevent that from happening under one umbrella, called the bird rule.
So when you get in there technically, it is pretty much impossible to do
that through that one vehicle.
They would need Democratic support to do it. I think it`s going to be very
difficult to find that Democratic support. And it`s why you saw
Republicans in this current Congress, when they say President Obama a
repeal bill, it was a straight repeal bill because they weren`t able to
figure out, as you said, a way to replace it. He vetoed it. And now you
have got Donald Trump doing something you would maybe expected from Hillary
Clinton, triangulating between the congressional Republicans who just did
repeal and the current Obamacare law. You explained earlier I think very
beautifully how it doesn`t really work to just do those two provisions.
O`DONNELL: So Rick, Rick Wilson, what if the Republicans, what if Paul
Ryan, Mitch McConnell say, look, President Trump, here is what we`re going
to do. We are going to do the repeal just like you said, just like you
told your fans and you got the big cheers for, we are going to do the
repeal in week one. We will have it to you, you know, by Wednesday. And
then we will work on the replace. Just sign the repeal, and then we will
busily get to work on the replace, and we`ll have that to you by
Valentine`s Day. What does President Trump do?
WILSON; Well, look, I think the difficulty here is even if they have the
best intentions of replacing Obamacare with a viable market-based plan, you
are going to end up in a legislative and lobbying war in Washington, D.C.
that`s going to drag on, not for weeks or two days a week, but for months
and possibly longer. And no one has anticipated this. And there is a lot
of hand-waving about the Trump policy questions on this. But when these
guys have to sit down and grapple with it and then when all the interested
parties roll in, all the lobbying groups roll in, all the hospital chains
and all the patient groups roll in, this thing becomes a giant, sticky
mess. And I think it`s much more difficult to execute on this.
And look. Obamacare as you pointed out in your monologue was sort of built
as this interlocking set of policies. And you can`t really pull one or two
of them out and make the machine function easily. And while the house has
a lot of interesting market-based replacements, just selling insurance
across state lines and HAS is not going to get all the way home.
O`DONNELL: And Jonathan Allen, if you want to make a system like Obamacare
cheaper, there is one way to do it, and that is to ignore people with
preexisting conditions, to just say there is no order to cover people with
preexisting conditions. That`s one of the things that`s expensive in
Obamacare, and that`s the one thing, that`s the one thing that Donald Trump
says he wants to do.
ALLEN: Well, Donald Trump is smart enough to know that it is politically
untenable to promise people for the last several years that they can move
from insurance to insurance. That they can get on insurance and not be
denied care, not be denied the payment for the characteristic insurance
based on preexisting conditions and then yank that rug up from under them.
There are things in the affordable care act that were long overdue in terms
of taking care of our population and making sure that that safety net is
there for people who can`t afford health insurance and making sure they can
get things done preventively rather than at the back end where it is much
They can`t take those things away and not expect an extreme political
backlash along the lines of catastrophic care from the late 1980s where
Congress passed a plan. Elderly people hated it. And beat on Dan
(INAUDIBLE) car. And the Congress said to comeback and repeal it.
Jonathan Allen, Rick Wilson, thank you both for joining us. I really
ALLEN: Take care, Lawrence.
WILSON: Thanks, Lawrence.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, there are voters who backed President Obama who then
also voted for Donald Trump. Then there is a Democratic congresswoman in
Michigan who thinks she knows why. She saw this coming. She wrote an
extraordinary piece in the “Washington Post.” She will join us.
O`DONNELL: A shocking thing happened on 88,000 ballots in Michigan, a
state Hillary Clinton lost by 13,000 votes out of almost five million.
That story is next.
O`DONNELL: Something unusual happened in Michigan this week, a Republican
presidential candidate won in Michigan for the first time in 28 years.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ninety thousand Michiganders voted, voted for every
office and every ballot proposal on both sides of a ballot and refused to
vote for president. They couldn`t vote for Trump. They knew that was
wrong. But they were not going to participate in this, in what they saw as
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That had left them forgotten.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: In the final unofficial count in Michigan, the “Detroit Free
Press” reports that Hillary Clinton lost Michigan by 13,255 votes out of
4.8 million votes. In the “Washington Post,” Democratic congressman Debbie
Dingell says Democrats and the Clinton campaign ignored her when she tried
to warn them there was trouble in Michigan.
In an op-ed piece in the Post she writes, I was the crazy one. I predicted
Hillary Clinton was in trouble in Michigan during the Democratic primary.
I observed that Donald Trump could win the Republican nomination for
president and at rotary clubs, local chamber of commerce, union halls and
mosques. I noted that we could see a Trump presidency. That`s Debbie.
It`s hyperbole. She`s nuts. It`s now our reality.
Joining us now, Michigan Democratic congresswoman Debbie Dingell.
Congresswoman Dingell, thank you very for joining us tonight.
What happened? What happened with those 88,000 votes that Michael Moore
was describing where there was no vote for president.
REP. DEBBIE DINGELL (D), MICHIGAN: Lawrence, it`s good to see you tonight.
It`s a point that I kept making to people that we have a lot of working men
and women in this state that are worried about their jobs. They are not
asking for a lot. They just want to make a decent income. They want to
make enough to live in a safe neighborhood, to put food on their table, to
go to the doctor when they need to, to be able to afford the medicine and
educate their kids. And for too many they feel like it`s out of reach.
And the fact that President Obama saved the auto industry, he saved a
country, and that economy didn`t translate into them individually. And
when they went into the voting booth that is what I think drove many voters
here. That they wanted somebody who they thought was going to care about
them. They wanted to shake up the process. They were tired of partisan
bickering. They were tired of inaction in Washington. And while they
thought Donald Trump was crazy, they thought he would shake up the system,
and they ended up voting for him.
O`DONNELL: The auto bailout is fascinating that it did not and the
political benefit of it did not extend into this election. It certainly
helped President Obama in his reelection in Michigan, but it didn`t seem to
have any affect this time around. It did not - no rub up for Hillary
Clinton on that.
DINGELL: You know, I think people really underestimate how scared people
still remain after 2008. There is a psychological scar on people back
here. They are worried about, and not only do you have auto workers but
you got teamsters back here. There is a major issue with the central
pension fund. And their pensions are being cut by 60 and 70 percent. That
fear lives in people`s heart and souls. I`m worried about it. I am a GM
retiree and I`m not sure my pensions is going to be there. I think people
just really underestimate how much that fear is in them.
O`DONNELL: And when you talk about 2008, you mean the –
DINGELL: Economic crisis.
O`DONNELL: The economic crisis and recessions, the great recession.
O`DONNELL: Not the Obama election.
DINGELL: No, not the Obama election. I`m talking about the economic
recession that scared everybody in this country.
O`DONNELL: Was there something the Clinton campaign could have done in
DINGELL: You know, I`m not into firing squads. One of the reasons I`m
really saying this, what motivated me more to write this now, was look,
Hillary Clinton worked her heart and her soul out. And it was, you know,
the media, no offense to everybody there, but it is not like I didn`t say
it to everybody there, too. And you all laughed at me as much as anybody
did. It`s because we have to do some soul searching.
We have got to look at working men and women and what they care about and
what they are concerned about. And how do we continue our social justice
agenda. How do we continue to be the voice that needs us to be there for
them, but how do he make sure we`re looking out for all working men and
understanding the importance of economic issues.
O`DONNELL: There is certainly within the Trump vote, there are many votes,
including a racist vote, including a hating Muslim vote even – and the Ku
Klux Klan has now said our guy won. And so, in any analysis of that vote,
that seems to me to be the group that could not be reached in any way by a
Clinton campaign, but surely there is this other stratum that we are
talking about here, especially that 88,000 in your state who refused to
vote for Donald Trump but also did not vote for Hillary Clinton.
DINGELL: And I`m really glad that you said that because today somebody
reacted to my op-ed and said I`m standing up for racist voters in my
district. I am not standing up for them. IN anyway, and you are dead
right. You know, I have one of the largest Muslim populations in this
country. I will fight for them tooth and nail. And I will fight Donald
Trump if he targets anybody because of the nationality or religion.
People don`t realize how scared people are right now about living in
America. That`s what you see in demonstrations on the street. But those
voters who didn`t vote, the ones you just talked about, are quite frankly
voters that did vote for Donald Trump this time, voted for President Obama
last time. They are not racist. They want somebody who they believe is
going to help them have a future. Somebody who can just have a job. That
their pension will be there.
O`DONNELL: Quickly before you go, the prospects of repealing and replacing
Obamacare. We were talking about it earlier in the program. What do you
sense is going to happen with Donald Trump this, now that he has said he
wants to preserve health insurance for people with preexisting conditions?
DINGELL: You know, I laughed when I heard what he said today. If you
listen to any of the floor speeches of discussion I have done since being
there, I have always said the Republicans don`t want to repeal it. Nobody
wants to sell an American now that they can`t get insurance because of a
preexisting condition or now put a lifetime cap (INAUDIBLE) or let an
insurance company cancel their insurance because they are diagnosed with
cancer or diabetes.
So I think that the previous discussion was very real about we have, and
your observations were dead on. When you talk about what`s the cost going
to be? How are you going to pay for this? It`s much more complicated when
you start talking about the reality of this, but the American people want
the very core principles of what the affordable care act was. So we have
got to figure it out.
O`DONNELL: Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, thank you very much for joining
us. Really appreciate it.
DINGELL: Thank you.
O`DONNELL: Coming up, the transition team continues to work now that Chris
Christie has been kicked out of his job running the Trump transition team.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you want to see the court overturn Roe vs Wade?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, if we put another two
or perhaps three justices on, that is really what is going to be - that`s
will happen. And it will happen automatically in my opinion because I am
putting pro-life justices on the court. I will say this. It will go back
to the states and the states will then make a determination.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: It is possible that by the end of the Trump presidency, he
might be able to appoint a Supreme Court justice that tips the balance
against Roe vs Wade and overturns it. What else is possible within a Trump
presidency? It is within the power to speed up deportations. It is within
the president`s power to reverse Obama administration executive orders on
Here is what Donald Trump said today about his priorities.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We have a lot of priorities. A lot of real great priorities.
People will be very, very happy.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What are the top three?
TRUMP: Well, we have a lot. We are going to have, we are going to look
very strongly at immigration. We are going to look at the border. We are
going to look strongly on health care. And we are looking at jobs, big
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Catherine Rampell, an opinion columnist for the
“Washington Post,” Josh Barro senior editor for “Business Insider” and
MSNBC contributor and Yamiche Alcindor, national political reporter for the
“New York Times.”
Josh, big-league jobs, what?
JOSH BARRO, SENIOR EDITOR, BUSINESS INSIDER: Yes. Well, the first policy
issue that he mentioned in his acceptance speech on Wednesday night was
infrastructure which I thought was really interesting, because
infrastructure is a big priority for Democrats in Washington. It is
something that Republican leaders have said is not a priority of theirs.
So I think you are likely to see Donald Trump come in and push for a big
infrastructure bill, maybe even bigger than the one that Hillary Clinton
was seeking. And at the same time, to push through a really big tax cut
and maybe some stuff that makes it easier to extract oil and coal out of
the ground. These are policies that whatever their merits would be
economically stimulative and I think would actually create a lot of jobs.
So I think it is not crazy for him to say that job creation policy might
well be a top of his agenda.
O`DONNELL: And Yamiche, gigantic explosion in the deficit like we have
never seen before if you do the biggest, wildest tax cut we have ever seen,
which is the Trump tax cut now, and then if you do some big infrastructure
spending with that.
YAMICHE ALCINDOR, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Yes.
And I think the idea is that what`s interesting her that is kind of - he
will be doing stuff that`s more progressive in some ways than Hillary
Clinton was doing. And he has a mandate from the people who supported him
to really affect their lives quickly. I have talked to so many people in
rural Pennsylvania who said he told me there are going to be coal jobs.
And I believe that he is going to be able to give me the job that my
So I think her really needs to go in there and do that. But I think he is
going to quickly learn that all these numbers in the media is going to be
having, all these members of the deficit going higher and higher and higher
and that is where they are going to hurt him. So I think it is going to be
- but in some ways, this is why in such a remarkable presidency, because it
is going to have both a lot of kind of liberal agenda issues and
conservative ideals in it.
O`DONNELL: But Catherine, isn`t he just going to say, don`t worry about
the deficit, you know, the growth in the economy will make up for it.
CATHERINE RAMPELL, OPINION COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes, I have a
general rule of thumb that the more growth a candidate promises, the worst
his economic plan really is. Because it means that they are papering over
something really bad fiscally anyway. And this is what he has been doing
all along. He has promised four to six percent growth. I think even
greater than that at some point, because he knows that the numbers don`t
add up and he`s hoping people don`t notice.
O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to something Michael Moore said earlier tonight
talking with Chris Hayes, talking about these lobbyists influencing the
transition and what he expects in the early days of a Trump administration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MICHAEL MOORE, DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER: How about the first ten days,
seriously, Capitol Hill is going to look like a Marx brothers movie, where
there is just going to be within - who has got a bill, I got a bill,
another bill, all those in favor. You know, this is how it is going to go.
It is going to go like that. And we are all to the White House to sign,
and liberals are going to be like, whoa, wait a minute. Wait, that`s not
fair. You know. Yes. Get the game face on, everybody. Now. Because,
because this, they are definitely serious about this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: Josh, it`s not an impossible scenario.
BARRO: I think it`s partly true. I think for example, the Dodd-Frank bank
regulation. I think that`s likely to happen. It can go very quickly. On
the other hand, there are big priorities of Paul Ryan`s that Donald Trump
has shown no particular interested in. Paul Ryan has been out there saying
they are going to do Medicare reform which would fundamentally mean a
Medicare privatization in conjunction with Obamacare repeal and replace.
Donald Trump has expressed no interest in changing Medicare and cutting
Medicare benefits. He was elected by a coalition of old white people who
like Medicare. So I think some of those lobbyists, driven bills that come
out of Congress, Donald Trump will happily sign. But I think he is like to
I mean, Donald Trump did not come to Washington to do whatever Paul Ryan
told him to do. We have seen this through the campaign. He enjoys
humiliating Paul Ryan. He wasn`t a Republican until 2012. I think he has
no particular core attachment to conservative ideology. So I think when he
finds it politically convenient to sign bills the conservative send it, he
will do that. But if he wants to veto them, I think he will do that too.
O`DONNELL: All right. We will take a quick break and continue this. We
are going to talk about what the conservatives are hoping for in this new
O`DONNELL: “The Washington Post,” Garrison Keillor, made this prediction.
For the Trump voters. The disasters he will bring on this country will
fall more heavily on them than anyone else. The uneducated white males who
elected him are the vulnerable ones and they will not like what happens
O`DONNELL: Catherine Rampell, I want to pick up on what Josh was just
saying about Medicare. And yes, Donald Trump clearly opposed Social
Security and Medicare cuts in his campaign. However, he doesn`t know
really what Social Security or Medicare. He doesn`t know how they work.
He doesn`t know what they are. So when Paul Ryan presents him his reforms
for Medicare and doesn`t tell him that those are cuts, how is he going to
know that he is opposed to this?
RAMPELL: Well, I think even if he knows what is in the bill, it`s not
clear that he knows where he stands on anything. But I would say that the
white working class is more vulnerable on a number of other fronts, things
like what happens to Obamacare. Trump has expressed interest today in
preserving parts of it, but what about the Medicaid expansion? For example,
what about other things, other accomplishments of the Obama administration,
including a rule that requires that retirement advisers act in the best
interests of their clients. There has been reporting in the last couple of
days that the new incoming administration would be interested in getting
rid of that rule.
There are a number of fronts in which the Obama administration has enacted
policies that were in the interest of protecting consumers. The CFPD, for
example. Trump is interested in repealing Dodd-Frank. There will be a lot
of roll backs of those types of policies where attempted roll back that
would fall hardest on a number of Trump supporters who have placed their
faith in him.
O`DONNELL: And Yamiche, in everything that Catherine just mentioned,
Donald Trump and the Republicans will be going into a war with Elizabeth
Warren on a daily, hourly basis.
ALCINDOR: They will be going into war not only with Elizabeth Warren but I
think all the Democrats that are really trying to explain to people that
this is something that you can`t just pull off people`s health care. So he
is now already starting to face the fact that like when he said he was
going to repeal Obamacare, 20 million people, they are not all Democrats
that have that are on this health insurance. Are you going to then
basically tell your supporters, I`m going to take your health insurance
from you? Trust me, I`ll have it back to you in a couple years. That`s
not going to work.
And I think that the person that we have seen over this campaign is someone
who really wants to be loved, to wants to be someone. The fact that he can
even tweet about the protests that are going on, it`s getting under his
skin that American isn`t just rejoicing for him. Imagine inauguration day,
what that is going to be like. So no, he doesn`t want to go out there and
start telling people that I`m taking all the stuff way from you. And by
the way, trust me, believe me, I`ll be able to get back to you soon.
O`DONNELL: So Newt Gingrich is on the list of possible secretary of state.
And he said this yesterday about a foreign policy issue, the building of
the wall on the Mexican border. He said about Donald Trump, he will spend
a lot of time controlling the border. He may not spend very much time
trying to get Mexico to pay for it, but it was a great campaign device.
Josh Barro, I can`t wait to see the moment in Newt Gingrich`s Senate
confirmation hearing where that quote is read back to him.
BARRO: Well, I`m hoping Newt Gingrich is not ultimately going to be
appointed to a confirmable position. I guess we will see. I mean, look.
O`DONNELL: There is the background check. That`s a serious problem for
BARRO: Yes. I mean, the thing that Trump on his appeal was never
consistency on policy. And even his supporters often said that he was
being hyperbolic about one thing or another. I`m sure, there are a lot of
people expecting a real wall, but there are also a lot of people who voted
for him who weren`t expecting a real wall or who don`t care whether he
actually builds the wall.
I do think he will shift immigration policy in a way that makes it is more
difficult to come to and stay in the United States without legal
authorization. And I think to the extent that he delivers on that, there
are certain things he can do through executive action. There are some
things that the Republican Congress will probably send up to him, that he
can deliver on that promise even if there isn`t the wall. I think his
policy is likely to end up looking very similar to what Mitt Romney
promised for years ago where basically he would make it much harder for
people in the country without authorization to work and do other things you
want to do while you are here. And Mitt Romney famously said those people
would self-deport, which he got in trouble 2012. That was considered an
outrageous statement at the time compared to all the things Donald Trump
RAMPELL: I would add also that Donald Trump himself said that was a
terrible statement and that turned off a lot of voters.
BARRO: Donald Trump also said that the Republican Party needed to pass
comprehensive immigration reform to survive before he ran on this entire
immigration campaign. But that said, there are deliverables that he can
provide on immigration that are not the wall.
O`DONNELL: But Yamiche, if he doesn`t get the wall, if he gets a giant tax
cut and an infrastructure spending bill and nothing else that really
resembles what he was talking about, where are his voters at that point?
ALCINDOR: His voters are going to be deeply, they are going to be sorely
disappointed and he is going to have a real - I mean, even though it`s so
hard that you would think about this reelection, he promised some things
that – there are some things that are vague, right, like law and order or
I`m going to make you pay for making America great. Things like I`m going
to build a wall, things like I`m going to deport 11 million people, you
either did that or you didn`t. And people are going to say you promised me
you will what and then you didn`t give it to me. Now, there are people
that, of course, who say, yes, he was being symbolic. I haven`t
interviewed a Trump supporter who thought he is being symbolic when he said
that he is going to build the wall. Again, that is like it is either or it
is not in four years. So I think it`s going to be a problem if he doesn`t
really give the people what they wanted.
O`DONNELL: And we are going to go a break. We haven`t even talk about the
banning Muslims which he now refuses to even discuss.
We are going to be right back. And the question will be are the big
population centers of this country, places in New York and California,
living in a bubble or are the isolated rural communities of this country
living in a bubble? That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O`DONNELL: That was Donald Trump after winning the Nevada caucus in
February. Tuesday night, he won non-college educated white voters, 65 to
29 percent nationwide. Patrick (INAUDIBLE) wrote a piece for “Roll Call”
titled “I`m a coastal elite from the Midwest, the real bubble is rural
He writes, I`m from the Midwest and I love the Midwest but it`s not
representative of modern America. We cannot fetishizes it as real America.
It`s part of America, a great big, beautiful messy republic. But just a
part. Change has not been kind to the Midwest and rural America and rather
than embrace it, rural and white working class Americans are twisting and
turning, fighting it every step of the way. We will never return to the
days where a white man could barely graduate high school and walk on to a
factory floor at 18 and get a well-paying job for life.
Joining us now, Mark Thompson, host of “Make a Plan” on Sirius XM radio.
Mark, I spent some time the other night talking about Brooklyn and how
Brooklyn is the real America as so many areas of America are the real
America. But what the real America isn`t, is a non-inclusive, homogenous
population in an isolated area.
MARK THOMPSON, HOST, MAKE A PLAN: Yes. And I would agree. And I like
what Patrick has to say. People cannot hide behind the argument that they
were concerned about workers and the working class. They voted for
someone, as Patrick wrote, who was sued by the justice department for
discriminating against African-Americans, who has been saying racist,
xenophobic, Islamaphobic, misogynistic things throughout the campaign.
And I will be honest with you, Lawrence. I`m having a hard time
reconciling some of these. Some of these just doesn`t add up. I think
there`s a great deal of voter suppression out there. There are some
stories that have yet to be told and fully analyzed as to how African-
Americans were cross-checked, caged, denied voting opportunity because of
voter ID. We are hearing more of that. And it equals, those numbers
equals the margins by which Hillary Clinton lost.
He played a rhetorical thing with us. He said, it`s going to be rigged.
I`m not going to concede. And then we went high, so to speak, the
president and Hillary Clinton, well, he has got to accept the results no
matter. And so then, the Democrats get boxed in and have to concede,
probably sooner than they should, because some of these racists to me are
still very, very fishy. I respect Debbie Dingell. But what I cannot
reconcile, knowing what President Obama did for the auto industry, why
would people vote for Donald Trump and have to be reminded of that. That
just doesn`t quite make sense to me.
O`DONNELL: Yamiche, what`s your take on this bubble theory of America?
Like which one is the Bubble? Which one doesn`t recognize the existence of
ALCINDOR: I think that they both don`t recognize each other, if I really
think about this. I read this piece and thought, yes, it`s on the one
side. I interviewed a white supremacist, my first white supremacist I have
ever interviewed a couple of months of months ago and he kept saying the
word founding stock. And I couldn`t understand him. (INAUDIBLE) what is
founding stock? And he said, well you know, white people. Like I`m
talking about that America needs to back white people. So when people
think about Midwest, they think about that`s the founding stock. Now, of
course, that`s ridiculous. We stole away from native-Americans. We
brought African-American to have a bottom of both. So America was always
kind of a melting pot, forced or not. But I think that both of these
worlds don`t understand each other.
And there are I think some real people. Obviously, there is white
supremacy going on and there is that going on. But there is people who
really feel like their values are being challenged. They are evangelicals
who voted for Donald Trump knowing that they felt he was saying racist
things but that they felt that the country also was being very now very
mean to them, because they had these ideas about same-sex marriage and
other things that they feel like the world is changing so quickly. No one
is allowing them to catch their breath. That if they don`t want to, you
know, marry two people, they are now turned into bigots. And that is
something that we have to reconcile with ourselves.
So I think both of these parts of America don`t understand each other. And
I have spent a lot of time reporting in both parts of them, both in rural
Pennsylvania and living most of my life on the east coast. And people just
don`t understand each other. But I think that (INAUDIBLE) could still
saying that we can`t also overlook the fact that white supremacy and racism
and bigotry is also part of this. And that`s not just about where you
live, that is about just the way that you were raised. And that`s also
about sort of how you think of people who don`t look like you.
DONNELL: Catherine Rampell, what`s your take on this?
RAMPELL: I think the most peculiar part of this whole rural, urban divide
is that Donald Trump is the person who was able to exploit it most
effectively, right? I mean, he played up these fears about how our inner
cities, code word for black people presumably, our in cities are hellholes.
But this is a man who was born and raced in Queens. He is a big city
billionaire. He lives on Central Park. And yet, somehow, he is the man
who channeled the anxieties, the anti-elite anxieties of rural America.
And I just, I can`t quite wrap my head around it except to recognize that
he`s a very intuitive salesman.
DONNELL: All right. We are going to take a break here.
Yamiche Alcindor, thank you very much for joining us tonight. Really
Coming up, the leadership in the Democratic Party, there is a fight brewing
for that right now. We are going to talk about that.
DONNELL: Howard Dean wants his old job back. No, not governor of Vermont.
He wants to run the Democratic Party again, but he is not the only one.
DONNELL: There`s a battle now brewing over who will be the next chairman
of the Democratic National Committee. Today former DNC chairman Howard
Dean said he wants that job back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HOWARD DEAN, FORMER DNC CHAIRMAN: I am very interested in the chairmanship
of the DNC, not so much because I think I`m the only person who can fix it,
but I think we need a full-time chair. When I last came in, it was 2009,
we didn`t have the house, the Senate or the presidency. And when I left,
we had, excuse me, 2005, and when I left in 2009 we had the house, the
Senate and the presidency.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DONNELL: And support is growing for Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison
who said he will make an announcement about his decision on Monday. Bernie
Sanders and New York senator Chuck Schumer have already announced their
support for Congressman Ellison. And former democratic presidential
candidate, Martin O`Malley says that he is taking what he calls a hard look
at that job.
Our panel is back with us. And I just want to hear Keith Ellison`s case.
Let`s listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA (on the phone): The key here is got to
be a turnout-based, grassroots-based, Democratic Party that uses
relationship building one-to-one, not based on modeling, based on
relationships where we turn on during the off year, based on issue advocacy
so that people know that we care and, see, right now, it kind of feels like
we go to people when the big elections come up. We have to be a part of
people`s lives all the time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DONNELL: Mark Thompson, this looks like it`s going to be a pretty big menu
of choice here.
THOMPSON: It is. And you`re right. Momentum is building for Keith. I
like Keith a lot. I mean, and I know Keith. I think he would do a great
job. He represents not only his district very, very well. But he is
someone in touch with those who feel a little bit locked out and may feel
apathetic in time to time. Because with a devastating loss like this, you
have not to rebuild momentum. You got to rebuild morale. And that means
the Democratic base, including African-Americans, women, LGBTs, all people
of colors, Latinos, Muslims now, Keith`s a Muslim. I think he could do
that job very well.
DONNELL: Catherine, how big a power player in this is Bernie Sanders? How
much influence is he going to have?
RAMPELL: It feels like his influence will be growing over the party, just
because he made lots of arguments during the primary campaign that
establishment politics would no longer fly, that Hillary Clinton was
emblematic of the establishment politics and that the party needed to move
left. Many will read the result of this election as a confirmation of his
arguments. I`m not sure that I agree with all of his arguments, but
certainly, that is the perception of things. And that will probably
DONNELL: And Josh, surely someone in the Democratic Party will argue the
opposite that you have to kind of move to the middle. They always make
BARRO: Well, I don`t think it`s really the job of the chairman of the
Democratic National Committee to set policy. They are there to raise money
and organize. And I think the two things that Howard Dean has going for is
that he presided over the party at a time that it did quite well. And the
strategy and the message that he had at the time was about who the
Democrats needed to compete in all 50 states which is something that should
seem compelling right now at a time when Hillary Clinton won a popular vote
majority and yet failed to play in a lot of states for Democrats for play.
DONNELL: Josh Barro gets tonight`s and this week`s LAST WORD right there.
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