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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 03/23/15

Guests: Anna Galland, Howard Dean, Dorian Warren, Sam Stein, Brian Sweany,Karen Desoto, Kenneth Shinozuka

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: And 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, great to have you back. LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Hey Rachel, you know, last week was anchor man Spring break for me -- MADDOW: Oh -- O`DONNELL: So -- and that was, of course, a news blackout, complete news blackout. Everything I know about the news is what I`ve just heard from you in the last minute -- MADDOW: It is a -- O`DONNELL: That`s all I know, I know nothing more than what you`ve just said in the last minute. MADDOW: Pretty much it`s all pope and firing squads, that`s pretty much all you need to know, Lawrence. O`DONNELL: OK, good, then I`m up to date. MADDOW: All right, good -- O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel -- MADDOW: Welcome back, man -- (LAUGHTER) O`DONNELL: Thank you. Well, Hillary Clinton spoke in Washington today and she sounded like the presidential candidate that "The Boston Globe" endorsed yesterday, Elizabeth Warren. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I`m running for president of the United States. (APPLAUSE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator Ted Cruz became the first candidate to enter the presidential race today. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This had the look and feel of a mega Church sermon. CRUZ: And I believe God isn`t done with America yet -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Strange combination of John Lennon and Barry Goldwater. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, he kept saying imagine, right? CRUZ: Imagine a simple flat tax. Imagine abolishing the IRS. Imagine a president who stands unapologetically with the nation of Israel. (APPLAUSE) (CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Imagine all the people -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Netanyahu has just apologized for remarks warning about Israeli Arabs going to the polls in droves. JOHN OLIVER, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: He should go on the road as Netanyahu Dini -- (LAUGHTER) What`s going to hold you? BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That trend of rhetoric was contrary to what is the best of Israel`s traditions. SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Get over your temper tantrum, Mr. President. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A group claiming allegiance to ISIS -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Posted on the internet, names, photos and home addresses of one hundred U.S. military. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Urge followers to do them harm. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But then again, contacted all one hundred, but offered no personal protection. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four months after "Rolling Stone" published its widely disputed article. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The alleged sexual assault to the University of Virginia -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today, police said they found no evidence that it was true and have suspended the investigation. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that doesn`t mean that something terrible did not happen. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The annual White House science fair. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oklahoma girl scouts showed off their inventor chops with a robot made of legos(ph). UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a prototype. OBAMA: It`s a prototype? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes -- OBAMA: The robots I see keep getting smarter every year. We are keeping an eye on that by the way. You`re on notice, Skynet. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, ACTOR & FORMER CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR: I`ll be back. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: "The Boston Globe" did something yesterday that it has never done before. "The Globe" endorsed the presidential candidate before that candidate has even announced that she is running. And despite the fact that, that potential candidate has insisted that she will not run. In an unprecedented lead editorial, "The Boston Globe" urged Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to run for president. And adding unprecedented to unprecedented, "The Globe" run three separate Op-ed columns urging Elizabeth Warren to run. Since 1960, when Boston`s local hero John F. Kennedy won the presidency, "The Boston Globe" has grown accustomed to covering a local boy and a presidential campaign; Teddy Kennedy in 1980, Michael Dukakis in 1988, John Kerry in 2004. "The Globe" never had to urge any of them to run for president. In an editorial entitled "Democrats need Elizabeth Warren`s voice in the 2016 presidential race, "The Globe" specified some policy differences between Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren. Unlike Clinton or any of the prospective Republican candidates, Warren has made closing the economic gaps in America her main political priority in a career that has included standing up for home owners, facing illegal foreclosures and calling for more bankruptcy protections. If she runs, it will ensure that those issues take their rightful place at the center of the national political debate." With that "Globe" editorial, no doubt in mind today in Washington at the Center for American Progress, Hillary Clinton sent this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: One of the biggest issues we face is income inequality, combined with wage stagnation, they really go hand-in-hand. It turns out that places where the fabric of community is strong, with a vibrant middle class, places that are more integrated across class, places with good schools, places with unions, places with religious organizations and civic organizations help people feel rooted. Part of a community, and then being able to pull together all of the aspects that play into upward mobility. So we need to think hard about what we`re going to do now that people are moving back into and staying in cities to make sure that our cities are not just places of economic prosperity and job creation on average, but do it in a way that lifts everybody up. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And tonight at an awards dinner for excellence in political reporting, Hillary Clinton decided who was the perfect audience to make jokes about her e-mail. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: I am all about new beginnings. (LAUGHTER) A new grandchild, another new hairstyle -- (LAUGHTER) A new e-mail account. (LAUGHTER) (APPLAUSE) Why not a new relationship with the press? So here goes, no more secrecy. No more zone of privacy. After all, what good did that do me? (LAUGHTER) But first of all, before I go any further, if you look under your chairs, you`ll find a simple nondisclosure agreement -- (LAUGHTER) My attorneys drew it up, old habits last. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now, one of the authors of the four "Boston Globe" pieces yesterday, urging Elizabeth Warren to run, the executive director of, Anna Galland. Also joining us on this set here in New York, Dorian Warren, professor of Columbia University and host of "Nerding Out". On shift by Msnbc, also with us, Howard Dean, former chairman of Democratic National Committee and Msnbc political analyst and Sam Stein, that guy who got the big get with President Obama on the -- Sam Stein, senior politics editor and White House correspondent of "The Huffington Post". Anna, tell us your case for Elizabeth Warren running. ANNA GALLAND, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MOVEON.ORG: So this moment was made for Elizabeth Warren, I think we all know that. We know that economic inequality is surging, it`s at the worst levels that it`s been in decades. And Elizabeth Warren has made her life`s work speaking out for the little guy, and standing up to -- and try special interest, standing up to Wall Street banks, standing up to billionaires and fighting for, you know, the regular American right to get by, to make a decent life for themselves. And so our case is really simple, we need Elizabeth Warren`s voice and message and track record in the Democratic presidential primary. We need it because it`s a powerful voice, it`s a powerful message, it speaks to one of the key issues of our moment. Because she`d be a formidable candidate, because she could win in the Democratic primary and because she could win in the general election. And because if she doesn`t run, we will not have the feisty, real deep debate that we need about where our country is heading and the policies that we need to embrace together, that`s where we need to go. Especially when it comes to economic inequality and especially when it comes to standing up to, you know, entrenched corporate special interest, that`s the case. And I think "The Boston Globe`s" Op-ed made the case powerfully well over the weekend, and both the fact of that Op-ed, the fact that the biggest paper in Senator Warren`s home state came out in that way and the substance of the case are just, you know, more momentum for this campaign. O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, it was really an extraordinary moment in the "Globe`s" history. They`ve had a lot of potential presidential candidates in their reading jurisdiction up there, obviously from JFK forward. And they were never moved by any of them to get out there and say, this candidate really needs to get in and run. What was your reaction to it? HOWARD DEAN, FORMER VERMONT GOVERNOR: Well, I think Elizabeth Warren does have. I mean I agree with almost everything Amy said, except for the end where she`s -- where she said they were not going to have a debate unless Elizabeth gets in. I think it`s pretty clear that Elizabeth is not going to get in. I also think Elizabeth Warren is saying exactly what needs to be said. So I agree with a lot of what she says, but I think Hillary Clinton is going to be the nominee and Hillary Clinton is going to win. And you -- and Hillary Clinton is already adopting some of Elizabeth`s message. The clip that you showed earlier, I think was very important. I think everybody is getting the message, people know how to read polls and they know how to listen to electorates and I think Hillary Clinton is not an exception to that. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Dorian Warren, the dramatist in me really doesn`t want to reach for this particular piece of paper on the table here. It is the statement from Elizabeth Warren`s press office. (LAUGHTER) The statement says, "as Senator Warren has said many times, she is not running for president." Party pooper Howard Dean there just said it for us. (LAUGHTER) But please, keep the speculation going for another couple of minutes before we have to go to a commercial. (LAUGHTER) The point every one of these four pieces makes, first point they make is, it will help Hillary Clinton if Elizabeth Warren runs for president. It will make her a better nominee if she`s going to be the nominee. DORIAN WARREN, PROFESSOR, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Yes, it will help Hillary Clinton, it will help the Democratic Party to have a competitive primary process. But let me say this, Lawrence, Senator Elizabeth Warren, no relation by the way, although maybe spiritually, she is already running. This is a shadow primary right now, and she has been vocal on these issues that Anna pointed out of income inequality, so that today, like the governor said, the clip you showed of Hillary Clinton at the Center for American Progress. If you didn`t show it to us and we just listened, you might have thought it was Senator Elizabeth Warren. She has already moved to the left to respond to the populism of Elizabeth Warren. So in some ways, she`s running, maybe she hasn`t declared -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- WARREN: It officially, she`s running on a shadow primary and already influencing the language, the rhetoric of former Secretary of State and soon-to-be presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. O`DONNELL: Since I know, one -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes -- GALLAND: Lawrence, could I -- O`DONNELL: Let me just get Sam in here for a second there, and I`ll come back to you -- GALLAND: Yes -- O`DONNELL: But Sam, there were a lot of overlaps in these four pieces, an editorial three Op-ed pieces, a lot of redundancy, eloquent though, I mean Anna`s was written in her style, Robert Kuttner`s was written in his. And the -- one of the picked points that Robert Kuttner makes, Robert Kuttner makes is that in the Democratic party, the heavily favored frontrunners have frequently stumbled and not done so well, and not been there at the end. And as Hillary Clinton showed -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes -- O`DONNELL: In 2008 against what was to become President Obama. SAM STEIN, SENIOR POLITICS EDITOR, THE HUFFINGTON POST: Yes, I mean Hillary Clinton is a personification of that. I`m going to guess at what Anna was trying to say there. Which is that -- O`DONNELL: No -- STEIN: The key word -- O`DONNELL: That`s not fair -- (LAUGHTER) (CROSSTALK) STEIN: I bet I can get it, I bet I can get it. The key word in the "Boston Globe" that we read at the top was to make this issue a "priority". Anyone can talk about the issue, certainly Hillary Clinton is talking -- I was actually at a conference a week ago where Ted Cruz was talking about two Americas. So the rhetoric is being adopted not just within the Democratic party but across ideological lines. The question is prioritizing the issue, and so that is what the draft movement effort is all about. That said, I`ve done -- I`ve done some reporting on this. It`s not monolithic within progressives that people want Elizabeth Warren to run. There are people who are worried that this draft Warren moving will actually marginalize her because the moment she steps in, she becomes more of a politician. She becomes someone who responds to political incentives as opposed to someone who is above the political fray. So it`s not -- it`s not so cut-and-dry that every progressive in the universe wants Elizabeth Warren to jump in the race. GALLAND: Yes, so -- STEIN: Some have great reservation -- GALLAND: Lawrence, if I could -- O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Anna -- GALLAND: If I could step in, since Sam did a beautiful job, I think of getting at some what I was going to say. STEIN: Thank you -- GALLAND: I think it`s important to note that Elizabeth Warren, being a credible threat to step into the race is what has allowed her to make her, you know, her issues are the center of the political debate. Not just for Democrats, but as Sam notes, but for Republicans as well, they`re embracing some of her rhetoric. They won`t match that rhetoric with policy proposals, but she is in -- she is defining the political debate that we`re having right now in part because she could step in. And what the "Boston Globe" Op-ed is saying -- MoveOn members around the country are saying, what our partners from the working families, party in New York, from Democracy, from America, and from 300,000-plus people who have signed a petition calling on her to get in the race. What we`re all saying is, you need to actually be in the fray to keep defining -- STEIN: Hey Anna -- GALLAND: The conversation that we`re having -- STEIN: Anna, what about -- GALLAND: To talk about -- STEIN: I mean the -- GALLAND: Economic inequality, not just now, well, there`s a credible threat, but for the next 18 months, we need her to be in the race making that case. STEIN: Anna, I have a quick question now. We`ve limited the conversation to just the domestic arena. If you run for president, you have to have a foreign policy too. And as far as I can tell, I don`t really know what her foreign policy is. Are you comfortable with -- GALLAND: But we`re not -- STEIN: This -- GALLAND: Going to have -- STEIN: Looking at her inequality? -- GALLAND: You know, we`re not going to have a debate about foreign policy, about climate change, about gun control -- STEIN: Sure -- GALLAND: About any of these vital issues that we need to be talking about and yes, having a fierce debate about -- we`re not going to be having a serious debate about that in the context of the Democratic presidential primary, if we don`t have a real contest there. STEIN: That`s true -- GALLAND: And so one of the very important -- STEIN: Yes -- GALLAND: Reasons the MoveOn members have voted overwhelmingly to get behind this effort to encourage Senator Warren to run. And why we`re seeing all this wind in our sails, this momentum from places like "The Boston Globe`s" Op-ed, is that she actually needs to get into the race to help create that space for that kind of genuine conversation. There`ll be plenty of time to ask her questions about where she stands on issues including foreign policy, if she gets in the race. But she have to do that to force that conversation to happen. O`DONNELL: So -- DEAN: I actually -- O`DONNELL: Go ahead Howard -- DEAN: I have to say that Anna and I -- I have to say that I think Elizabeth Warren has already carved off of that space. She`s performing an incredibly valuable function. I actually -- I honestly don`t believe if it matters if she runs or not, in terms of setting the -- setting the agenda, she has contributed a lot. The last thing I`d say about this is, I think we ought not to under sell Hillary Clinton. She is incredibly smart, and the great refreshing thing about her is that facts drive her decision-making. And the facts are that income inequalities is an enormous problem in this country, and nobody ought to run for president without being willing to address it. And I think -- STEIN: But she is addressing it -- but that`s the thing, governor, foreign policy is probably Clinton`s progressive weakness, right? I mean, if you were going to have a progressive challenger in Hillary Clinton, in 2008, it was precisely on foreign policy that you had it. O`DONNELL: We`re going to have to take a break there and to that foreign policy point, Hillary Clinton is actually the only candidate who is going to be in the race with foreign policy experience. None of the possible Republicans have any foreign policy experience. We`re going to break it there, Anna Galland, thank you very much for joining us on this. GALLAND: Thank you very much. O`DONNELL: Coming up, Ted Cruz, big surprise, made it official today, his long-shot candidacy for the presidency is now under way. And later, someone you know and love has or is going to have Alzheimer`s or some form of dementia at some point. An invention, a new invention could be very helpful to life with people who have that problem and that disease, and that invention was just done by a kid in high school, who -- oh, by the way, met the president today. He`s going to join us later. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Ted Cruz, who is from Canada and Texas went to Virginia today to announce his presidential candidacy and he managed to catch the attention of "The View." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was not born in America -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Canadian -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was born in Canada. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Couldn`t he run -- (LAUGHTER) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Could he run for president? (CHEERS) WHOOPI GOLDBERG, COMEDIENNE: I know he answered the report -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nice story, this could be the least of his problems. GOLDBERG: I`m a Ted Cruz birther. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes -- GOLDBERG: I want to see -- (CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They used to say other Republicans -- that him not being born in this country is the least of his problems, it`s insane! Insane! I love your darling, but with the birther and all of that stuff, they made it -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don`t know -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A huge issue -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where he was born -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He knows that -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I`ve never asked where -- I mean, listen, I think -- GOLDBERG: No, we -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I do not know that -- (CROSSTALK) I did not know that. GOLDBERG: Well, this came out, it has come up before, for this very reason, because, you know, he is one of the people who said, well, never, he should -- the president -- well, hon -- (LAUGHTER) You know. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whoopi wants to see your birth certificate. GOLDBERG: I do. I want to see your birth certificate. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: We will have more after this. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) CRUZ: I believe in you. I believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives rising up to reignite the promise of America. And that is why today I am announcing that I`m running for president of the United States. (CHEERS) (APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Today just for a moment, Ted Cruz became the most honest presidential candidate by becoming the first presidential candidate to actually admit that he is a presidential candidate. But today, he asked only for the votes of conservative Americans, which translates to only 38 percent of the electorate, which is just about exactly what he gets in a poll one-on-one with Hillary Clinton. No Republican candidate polls worse against Hillary Clinton than Ted Cruz does. But today he said nothing to try to appeal to swing voters. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CRUZ: Imagine in 2017, a new president, signing legislation repealing every word of Obamacare. Imagine repealing every word of common corps. Imagine a simple flat tax. Imagine abolishing the IRS. (CHEERS) (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, I`m going to steal Jonathan Arthur`s(ph) line that I heard him say earlier in the day on this network, "it was a combination of John Lennon and Barry Goldwater. (LAUGHTER) DEAN: It`s good line. It`s a good line. You know, I would never want to be -- I`d want to be careful about saying things like this, but if I had to choose somebody on the Republican side to run against, I think Ted Cruz would be my first choice. He is so polarizing, and his -- you know, he puts himself in a position where the majority of Americans can`t relate to him at all. So we`ll see, he is a good speaker, he gets people all cranked up. There`s nothing moderate or reasonable about him, and I think that`s a great -- a great candidate to have on the Republican side as far as the Democrats are concerned. O`DONNELL: We`re joined now by Brian Sweany, he is the editor in chief of "Texas Monthly", been following Ted Cruz for longer than any of us have. Brian, did we learn anything about Ted Cruz today in that announcement? He talked a lot about his family history, so it was new to some of us, but it`s not a new story in Texas, is it? BRIAN SWEANY, EDITOR IN CHIEF, TEXAS MONTHLY: I think that`s exactly right. But he was obviously trying to take literally center stage to define himself to the nation. There was part log cabin, part evangelical speech, part, an opportunity to find himself and where he will follow on that campaign. And as you`ve said, I think the key takeaway for me here was that this was something that was very narrowly tailored to the base, and the base which has served him so well now for so long isn`t interested in a candidate reaching out across the middle. They`re interested in a candidate who will carry their flag forward. O`DONNELL: Now, when he was running in Texas, did he have to make any adjustments in the general election when he was trying to appeal to the full state? Or is there enough -- the big hunk of conservative voters there he could just ignore anybody who wasn`t already with him? SWEANY: Well, there`s no really -- not really such a thing as a general election in Texas at this point. The Democratic party has been more -- been for a long time. The big fight that he had when he came in and announced in 2011 that he was going to make the race, he had about a 3 percent support. He was running against a long-term incumbent lieutenant governor who was wealthy and could self-finance and thought -- everyone thought that he would win in a walk. It was one of the more stunning upsets that we have seen in recent history in Texas, and I think Senator Cruz did that by knowing very precisely who his base was in Texas and making sure that his opponent, David Dewhurst did not get to the right of him. That is the formula that has worked in Texas where there is no real Democratic opposition. The question is what does this do for him in a national race along these lines? It may serve him well in the primary, I suspect not so much in the general. O`DONNELL: Now, just a few minutes ago on "Fox News", Ted Cruz did address that issue that the women of "The View" were talking about earlier today. Let`s listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CRUZ: I was born in Calgary, my parents -- as a legal matter, my mother is an American citizen by birth. And it`s been federal law for over two centuries that the child of an American citizen born abroad is a citizen by birth -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Otherwise -- CRUZ: A natural-born citizen. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Sam Stein, case closed. STEIN: Why did you give me the birth requirement, come on -- (LAUGHTER) Case closed, move on -- O`DONNELL: Well -- STEIN: That`s it -- O`DONNELL: Going back to John McCain`s candidacy, this question -- STEIN: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Came up during -- STEIN: Yes -- O`DONNELL: John McCain`s candidacy in a polite style, it wasn`t something -- STEIN: Yes -- O`DONNELL: That was very contemptuous, some scholars started to wonder, given that John McCain was born to two American-born parents abroad -- STEIN: Yes, he was not -- O`DONNELL: He was not -- STEIN: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Born in the United States while his father was in the Navy, what effect might that have? Did the scholars ever figure that out decisively in the McCain case? STEIN: I forget. (LAUGHTER) But I`m -- (CROSSTALK) Pretty sure they decided that it was OK, and I`m pretty sure that Ted Cruz will not get -- O`DONNELL: Well, I think -- STEIN: Picked up by the scholars -- O`DONNELL: What the scholars all agreed on is, Dorian Warren, it`s OK to come in second -- (LAUGHTER) In the campaign for president -- WARREN: Yes, that`s it -- O`DONNELL: If you know, you were born outside the United States. We`ll see what happens if Ted Cruz comes in first, then we`ll really dig into this. WARREN: I was going to actually -- STEIN: Well, actually -- WARREN: I was going to help Sam out there -- O`DONNELL: Go ahead -- WARREN: And we both been up since 6 a.m., so -- STEIN: Yes -- WARREN: Sam, the birth -- I want to see the birth certificate -- STEIN: From Ted Cruz -- DEAN: Oh, come on -- STEIN: I`m just making -- I`m just -- DEAN: Come on -- STEIN: Sticking that out now. O`DONNELL: But you know what? It`s a Canadian birth certificate -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, good -- O`DONNELL: But it does confer on him, he is right. He is a natural-born citizen. WARREN: There is -- O`DONNELL: So -- WARREN: An interesting -- we`ve been having a discussion about the base and Ted Cruz -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- WARREN: Speaking to his base, and if you watch that video you showed closely, you`ll see students in the audience -- by the way, they were mandated to attend. O`DONNELL: Yes -- WARREN: It wasn`t optional. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes -- WARREN: You`ll see students -- O`DONNELL: Right -- WARREN: In red T-shirts, those were Rand Paul T-shirts they were wearing in that audience. And then there`s a new social app -- well, it`s not new, but there`s a social app where you can post things anonymously on college campuses called -- I think it`s called Yik Yak. The commentary -- the critical commentary, the boredom of Ted Cruz, they`re making fun of him for the `imagine` lines, that was supposed to be his base. I`m not clear that was his base at the end of the day. There`s a lot of folks on the right who don`t like Ted Cruz, who would prefer someone like Rand Paul, especially the younger generation of conservatives. O`DONNELL: He got some big bursts of applause there, Howard Dean, especially when he talked about repairing the so-called presidential rift with Bibi Netanyahu. DEAN: Yes, you know, it wasn`t Liberty University, which is very conservative. Although interestingly enough, they have a Democratic mayor, at least they did here have the last time I was down there. Because the Liberty tells all their students they have to go out and vote for the Republican, and it`s a Republican area, but they got so -- the town`s people got so mad they elected a Democratic woman as mayor. Which is kind of an interesting -- so I think it is very interesting about the resistance in the audience. I noticed there were a bunch of people in there not clapping. Just to get technical on the birther issue, John McCain I think was born in the canal zone which -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- DEAN: At time -- WARREN: That`s right -- O`DONNELL: At that time that was in fact an American territory, not an American state. And this is a non issue, except everybody is going to have a lot of fun because the right wing has been so obsessed with where Obama was born, if we can travel this back, and Ted Cruz, we`re going to do it just for the fun of it. Even I doubt it will influence a single vote, but it sure will be a lot of fun on Jon Stewart. O`DONNELL: Sam Stein, I want to get to your interview with President Obama, what do you -- what do you think are the most important things that came out of it? STEIN: You know, everyone is focused on the international stuff, and rightfully so, it`s the news of the week. But he laid down a pretty, you know, firm line in the sand when it came to budget battles. I asked him point-blank if he would sign the government funding bill in October that did not alleviate sequestration, it means it absolutely not. So that means that if Congress can`t get its act together and just files a continuing resolution, the President is not going to sign it, and we could be heading to another government shutdown. It kind of got lost in the Netanyahu-Iran stuff, but you know, it pretends a really vicious, bitter, budget battle over this -- over this Summer. O`DONNELL: Well, let`s -- I want to show a piece of what the President did say to you about the situation that developed with Netanyahu and the situation with Israel. Let`s listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: We take him at his word when he said that it wouldn`t happen during his Prime-ministership. And so that`s why we`ve got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don`t see a chaotic situation in the region. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And of course, Sam, he`s speaking there about a possible two- state solution which -- STEIN: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Toward the end of the campaign, Bibi Netanyahu said never going to happen. STEIN: Yes, and Netanyahu obviously has backtracked. But the White House is operating under the assumption that the first statement is operable, not the second. The President was actually the most disappointed it seems from my vantage point, when the talk turned to Netanyahu`s comments about Arab voters showing up in droves. He called it essentially antithetical to Israeli democracy. And, now, we`ve seen today, Netanyahu basically apologizing, saying he regretted making those statements. I wonder if you can unring that bell from the vantage point of the administration though. O`DONNELL: Howard Dean, your reaction to -- HOWARD DEAN, FORMER CHAIRPERSON, DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Yes. I mean, that was typical Bibi, who`s a politician first, and a statesman, second. I mean, he took four votes away from the far-right party, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- from Naftali Bennett`s party. And that gave him the 30 votes that he needed to have a clear victory over Labor. That`s why he did it. He did it to appeal to the far right in Israeli politics, and it worked. (END VIDEO CLIP) The problem is, he now has to live with everything that he said, because most us think that was the true Bibi. And it`s going to have a huge effect, because I am waiting to see what happens in the U.N. Security Council the next time the United States is called on to be the only vote in favor of Bibi Netanyahu. It`s going to be a tough sell. O`DONNELL: Yes, but I think it`s going to -- the United States will cast that vote away the way it always has, I think. O`DONNELL: Brian Sweeney, thank you very much for joining us tonight from Texas. Howard Dean, Sam Stein, thank you for joining us. DEAN: Thank you. STEIN: Thanks, Lawrence. O`DONNELL: Coming up, police have suspended -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- their investigation into the UVA rape allegations that were reported in a "Rolling Stone" article. And another fraternity is accused of racist and sexist remarks, this time, in North Carolina. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) Charlottesville Police announced today the suspension of a police investigation into an alleged gang rape at a fraternity house on the University Campus in 2012. The rape was first described in "Rolling Stone" cover story last year but the magazine later apologized after discrepancies in the story were revealed. NBC`s Gabe Gutierrez has more. Gabe. GABE GUTIERREZ, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Lawrence, Charlottesville Police had been investigating this for months. The police chief now saying that he can`t rule out something happened, but it wasn`t what was described in that "Rolling Stone" article. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) (STUDENTS CHANTING) It was the story that rocked the University of Virginia. (STUDENTS CHANTING) And sparked a national conversation about sexual assault. Today, police said they found no evidence that it was true, and had suspended the investigation. TIMOTHY LONGO, CHARLOTTESVILLE POLICE CHIEF: That doesn`t mean that something terrible did not happen to Jackie. We are just not able to gather sufficient facts to conclude what that something may have been. GUTIERREZ: The lengthy "Rolling Stone" magazine article was published back in November. A woman the magazine called "Jackie," claimed she was gang- raped in 2012 by seven men at the Phi Kappa Psi house. Were you ever able to find the student, the fraternity member who allegedly orchestrated this attack. LONGO: No, we weren`t. GUTIERREZ: Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo says Jackie did not cooperate with the rape investigation. The shocking story initially led University officials to halt all Greek activities. But, soon, Jackie`s friends began to raise doubts. RYAN DUFFIN, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA STUDENT: She said that there were five men. The "Rolling Stone" article reported seven. GUTIERREZ: "Rolling Stone" apologized to its readers, saying there now appear discrepancies in Jackie`s account. On UVA campus, some students worry the discredited story will have a chilling effect on future sexual assault victims coming forward. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: These doors that we began to open for women to be able to speak out, perhaps are being slammed even hard -- GUTIERREZ: Tonight, Phi Kappa Psi is now exploring its legal options to address the extensive damage caused by "Rolling Stone." (END VIDEOTAPE) GUTIERREZ: For its part, "Rolling Stone" will only say that it expects an independent investigation into that article, conducted by Columbia University`s Journalism School, to be published within the next few weeks. Lawrence. O`DONNELL: Thanks, Gabe. We`re joined now by Karen Desoto, former defense attorney and prosecutor. She was a legal analyst for the "WEEKEND TODAY SHOW." Karen, what the police seem to be saying today, as one of the lessons of this, is go to the police early. KAREN DESOTO, FORMER DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, absolutely. I mean, I`ve tried various cases. And even when they`re timely, they`re very, very difficult, especially when you have fraternities and sororities, and you have to mix in alcohol and drugs. You don`t have a witness, so the DNA evidence is so crucial. So, the fact that you don`t go right away is a very difficult thing. But, you know, understandably, it`s a very violent, horrific thing that happens. And it`s humiliating and degrading. And that`s one of the things that you try and take into consideration when you`re a prosecutor. O`DONNELL: Dorian, you work at another campus, Columbia University, where -- that has had this issue develop in very serious ways, including, you know, cross currents of contention about -- is this accusation true and so forth. And one of the things you see in this is that students, women, at universities feel that the first protective shell around them is the university. And so, that is logically, in many instances, where they go first. The police are alien to them. It`s not something they know. It`s understandable that they would go first to the administration of the university. DORIAN WARREN, PROFESSOR, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: And yet, right now, Lawrence, there are over 100 universities that are being investigated around sexual assault charges by the Justice Department, ongoing investigations right now. And so, it raises a bigger question -- what is the role of the university in creating a safe campus climate for all of its students. I mean, you look at UVA and take sexual assault, and then Marquis Johnson, who, by the way, went to my high school in Chicago, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- and was brutalized by, not campus police, but another law enforcement agency. And, in this case, you don`t have campus police doing this investigation. You have Charlottesville Police, thereby raising a larger question -- what are campuses doing -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- or not doing to keep all of their students safe. Why aren`t they the first place of recourse for students who, in some way, feel violated. DESOTO: Well, that`s an easy answer. Because universities are -- it`s a business. And you want people to go to your school. And moms and dads don`t want their daughters to go to school where there`s a high rape incidence, right. So, you`re going to want to protect that. You`re going to want to, maybe, cover that up because you want students to go there. So, that`s part of the problem. I mean, are you going to have campus police. Are you going to report it. So, the policies and procedures that a lot of these universities are what is in question. I mean, are you going to be for the students or are you going to be for your image. And that is the huge problem here. O`DONNELL: Dorian, is it getting to the point where the universities may simply say, just take themselves out of this completely. And if a woman student knocks on the administration`s door saying, "I want to complain about a sexual assault," they just say, "Go to the police." WARREN: I hope that`s not the case. And, in fact, universities have a responsibility. When you think of the magnitude of student debt in this country and how much students and their parents are taking out in loans to provide a safe learning environment for students, it is unacceptable for universities to say, "We`re not responsible for creating a safe climate." DESOTO: I think they should go to the police. I absolutely think that if they do knock on the door, it should go to the police, it shouldn`t go to the university, because they`re the ones who are trained. They`re the ones who know how to do the rape kit. Let them go to the police. O`DONNELL: But some of these instances, Karen, obviously a lot of them, are not actual rape. And they might not necessarily cross a prosecutable criminal line. And so, that`s why -- that`s one of the other reasons why they`re at the -- DESOTO: Right. O`DONNELL: -- administration`s door, looking for protection. DESOTO: I`ve had cases where somebody grazed somebody with the intent to be sexual. That`s a criminal offense. So, even if you`re touching in a sexual manner, that`s a criminal offense. That goes to the prosecutor`s office. That goes to the police department. They`re the one who are trained. O`DONNELL: Karen Desoto, Dorian Warren, thank you very much for joining us tonight. WARREN: Thank you. O`DONNELL: Coming up, the racist remarks -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- that got a fraternity at North Carolina State suspended. And in the "Rewrite" tonight -- what did the governor of Maine say that has provoked, and I mean provoked, author, Stephen King, to demand an apology. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) A fraternity at North Carolina State University has been placed on interim. It is now being investigated after restaurant employees discovered a pledge book with racist, sexist remarks. Among the comments found in that pledge book was one note -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- that read, "That tree is so perfect for lynching." UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s a lot of overt racism. There`s pedophilia. There`s rape. There is a lot of slurs about trans women. There`s one about disabled -- people with disabilities. O`DONNELL: The fraternity, which is called Phi Kappa Phi -- or Phi -- something like that. I don`t know fraternity names. I don`t particularly care about them. That fraternity has a CEO, which is a surprise to me. I didn`t know fraternities have CEOs. And he issued the typical statement saying, "These statements are inconsistent with the values of Phi Kappa Phi and will not be tolerated." Apparently, they have been tolerated for some time. (END VIDEO CLIP) North Carolina State University has temporarily banned alcohol at most fraternity events after this fraternity discovery and other fraternity problems there. Up next, why Stephen King is demanding an apology from the governor of Maine and why he should get that apology. That`s next in the "Rewrite." (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JACK NICHOLSON, ACTOR: Are you concerned about me. SHELLEY DUVALL, ACTRESS: Of course, I am. NICHOLSON: Of course, you are. Have you ever thought about my responsibilities. DUVALL: Oh, Nick, what are you talking about. NICHOLSON: Have you ever had a single moment`s thought about my responsibilities. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: That was, of course, Jack Nicholson in Stanley Kubrick`s screen adaptation of Stephen Kings novel, "The Shining." Stephen King, obviously takes responsibilities very, very seriously, as his character Jack Torrance, just made very clear. And so, Maine native and lifelong resident of Maine, Stephen King was distressed to hear his name invoked by his governor, Paul LePage, in the governor`s campaign to eliminate the state income tax. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. PAUL LEPAGE (R), MAINE: Remember, who introduced the income tax here in Maine. Well, today, Former Governor Ken Curtis lives in Florida, where there is no income tax. Stephen King and Roxanne Quimby have moved away as well. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: That got this response the next day from Stephen King, in a statement released to a Bangor Radio station, a radio station that Stephen King owns. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) "Governor LePage is full of the stuff that makes the grass grow green. Tabby and I pay every cent of our Maine State income taxes and are glad to do it." "We feel, as Governor LePage apparently does not, that much is owed from those to whom much has been given. We see our taxes as a way of paying back the state that has given us so much." "State taxes pay for state services. There`s just no way around it. Governor LePage needs to remember, there ain`t no free lunch." (END VIDEO CLIP) That got no response from Governor LePage. And the next day, Stephen King tweeted, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) "Governor Paul LePage implied that I don`t pay my taxes. I do, every cent. I think he needs to man up and apologize." In an e-mail to the "Portland Press Herald," Stephen King said, "In 2013, my wife and I paid approximately $1.4 million in state taxes. As this is a matter of public record, I have no problem telling you that." "I would imagine 2014 was about the same but I do not have those figures. In addition, the King Foundation gives grants from $3 to 5 million annually, mostly in Maine. We consider this a very fair price for living in the most beautiful state in America." (END VIDEO CLIP) Still, there was no apology from Governor LePage. But the governor`s official printed version of his remarks rewrote the Stephen King reference out of existence. Stephen King`s sentence just disappeared. The governor`s spokesperson said, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- "We had to take Stephen King at his word. He said he pays income taxes in Maine, so we corrected the radio address." (END VIDEO CLIP) Now, as I said, Stephen King takes responsibilities very, very seriously. And so, correcting the radio address wasn`t good enough for him. He still wants an apology from the governor. Yesterday, Stephen King tweeted, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- "No apology from Governor LePage. Some guys are a lot better at dishing it out than taking it back." (END VIDEO CLIP) Maybe, Governor LePage is waiting for Stephen King to apologize for supporting the governor`s Democratic opponent in the last election, before he apologizes for not telling the truth about one of Maine`s biggest taxpayers. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) If someone you love has Alzheimer`s or Demention (ph) or Dementure (ph) or something like that, my next guest has something that can be very, very helpful. And he is a junior in high school. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: The robots, I see, keep getting smarter every year. We are keeping an eye on that, by the way. (LAUGHTER) You`re on notice, Skynet. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: President Obama hosted more than a hundred student scientists from across the country today at one of his favorite events, what is now the Fifth Annual White House Science Fair. Exhibits included robots, apps and plans to protect honeybees. One of the -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- participants is Kenneth Shinozuka, a 16-year-old junior at the Horace Mann School in the Bronx. After his grandfather developed Alzheimer`s, Kenneth developed a sensor called "Safe Wonder," that works with an app on your smart phone to help caretakers keep track of Alzheimer`s patients who might wander off, which is a big problem for people caring for the 5.2 million Americans who suffer from that condition. Kenneth`s device won the Science in Action Award at the 2014 Google Science Fair. (END VIDEO CLIP) Kenneth joins me now. Kenneth, you`re at the White House today, you met the President. KENNETH SHINOZUKA, INVENTED ALZHEIMER`S TRACKING GADGET: Yes. O`DONNELL: This is an astonishing invention that you had. And it`s all because, when you were a little boy -- I read today, you were about four years old and you were actually with your grandfather at Central Park, was it, and he kind of -- you realized, at a certain point, he`s lost. SHINOZUKA: Absolutely. So, we were walking in a park and my grandfather suddenly got lost and he didn`t remember the way to get back home. And it was one of the scariest moments I`ve ever experienced in my life. And it was also the first incident that -- O`DONNELL: Because you, at four, you didn`t know how to get -- SHINOZUKA: Exactly. O`DONNELL: So, there`s the two of you. SHINOZUKA: Right, right. And it was the first incident that informed us that my grandfather had Alzheimer`s. And, from thereon, it just got worse and worse. O`DONNELL: And when did you start working on this device. SHINOZUKA: I started working on it on the fall, the last fall. O`DONNELL: Was there a light bulb moment. Was there a moment, some second where something happens, you go, "Oh, what about this." SHINOZUKA: Yes. So, one night, I was looking at my grandfather and I saw him stepping out of the bed. And the moment his foot landed on the floor, I just had this sort of light bulb moment. I thought, why don`t I put a pressure sensor on the heel of his foot. And that could help the problem of wandering. O`DONNELL: Oh, that is so fantastic. So, what are your plans for this. Is there a way to make this commercially available to people. SHINOZUKA: That`s the next step, definitely. I`m hoping to commercialize the device and make it available to the people who need it, including caregivers and patients. O`DONNELL: You know, when I was a junior in high school, I was hoping to maybe get, like, my homework done. That was my biggest aspiration and, you know, maybe winning a baseball game or two. This is just amazing that you`ve come this far. And the Google prize, that comes with some real cash, doesn`t it. SHINOZUKA: Yes. The Scientific American Science in Action Award is accompanied by a $50,000 cash prize. O`DONNELL: And I read you`re using that to invest and to create a company to produce this device. SHINOZUKA: Yes, yes. I created a start-up last summer to commercialize the device and bring it to the people who need it. O`DONNELL: So, let me guess, you`re a junior and you`re going to be applying to college next year. SHINOZUKA: Yes. O`DONNELL: MIT? SHINOZUKA: Well, I`m looking into colleges that specialize in Neuroscience since that`s something that I definitely want to pursue in the future. O`DONNELL: So, what are the frontrunners for your applications. SHINOZUKA: Well, I`m definitely investigating two number of options. As you said, M.I.T. and Harvard do have very good Neuroscience programs. O`DONNELL: All right, well, we could be seeing you around Cambridge. There`s a very high chance of this. Kenneth, thank you very much for this. This is an amazing, -- SHINOZUKA: Thank you so much. O`DONNELL: -- great work. Your family is so lucky to have you do this. This is fantastic. SHINOZUKA: Thank you. O`DONNELL: Thanks for joining us. Chris Hayes is up next. END