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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 04/06/15

Guests: Josh Barro, Joshua Green, Phyllis Bennis, Eugene Volokh, JayFamiglietti

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST: "The Wild Things Are", he reads it every year - - for the record, there are no reports of any kids actually getting stung. President Obama read "Where the Wild Things Are", he reads it every year at the Easter Egg Roll, I have never before heard his rumpusing sound before. Rumpusing. It is a good thing the Easter Egg Roll is at the White House, has a feeling no member of Congress is quite as good at rumpusing as our current president of the United States. That does it for us tonight, we`ll see you again tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening Lawrence. LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST, THE LAST WORD: Good evening Rachel, great interview tonight with Secretary Moniz. MADDOW: Thank you very much, cheers. O`DONNELL: Nothing like having a nuclear scientist in the cabinet when you need one. (LAUGHTER) MADDOW: Exactly. O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel -- MADDOW: Thanks. O`DONNELL: Well, tonight, you`re going to see a public official beat up a newspaper like you`ve never seen that done before. And the newspaper that takes the beating this time is Rupert Murdoch`s "New York Post". But first, the Obama doctrine. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Intense lobbying from Israel`s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the Iran deal. BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER, ISRAEL: A dream deal for Iran and it`s a nightmare deal for the world. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Israeli government issued a list of specific requirements. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Israelis want to transform Iran from an enemy into sort of a peaceful state. That`s not going to happen. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This can backfire on him. I wish that he would contain himself. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: "Rolling Stone`s" official retraction of that bombshell UVA gang rape story -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After escaping(ph) independent review from the Columbia School of Journalism. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was the product of failed methodology. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As for the fraternity name to the story -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Intends to sue the "Rolling Stone" magazine. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) arguments in the Boston Marathon bombing trial. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The defense is arguing that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older brother is the one who masterminded all this. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Federal prosecutors allege that Tsarnaev wanted to "terrorize his country and punish America." UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The emotionally-charged case was handed off to the jury. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Jeb Bush is Hispanic. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He checked Hispanic on the 2009 voter form. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it`s a Freudian slip. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That might be trying too hard to appeal to the Latino community. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And the bottom line is, Jeb Bush is a white guy. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, Rand Paul is expected to officially jump into the 2016 race -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Promoted his big presidential announcement tomorrow with a two and a half minute video. SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: It`s time for a new president. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Almost felt like the "Hunger Games". UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am forever. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He is a different kind of Republican candidate, whether or not that difference is what enables him to win remains to be seen. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: President Obama said he welcomes a robust debate about the historic framework his administration has reached with Iran. When the President sat down with "New York Times" Columnist Tom Friedman for a 45-minute interview about a possible deal with Iran, he said this about congressional involvement. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are committed to finding a mechanism for appropriate Congressional involvement and oversight. My hope is, is that we can find something that allows Congress to express itself, but does not encroach on traditional presidential prerogatives and ensures that if in fact we get a good deal that we can go ahead and implement. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: This afternoon, the White House gave this reaction to the bill sponsored by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker that gives Congress 60 days to review the deal with Iran. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOSH EARNEST, PRESS SECRETARY, WHITE HOUSE: Senator Corker is somebody who has considered this issue in a very principled way, but you know, in this fashion, we have a pretty strong disagreement with him. Because in the mind of the President, it could potentially interfere with the ongoing negotiations that are slated to continue through June. It also could interfere with the ability of the United States to implement the agreement successfully, and it does interfere with a scope of responsibilities. It`s clear within the purview of the President of the United States. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Tonight, New York Senator Chuck Schumer who is in line to replace Harry Reid as the Democratic leader of the Senate gave this statement to "POLITICO". "This is a very serious issue that deserves careful consideration, and I expect it to have a classified briefing in the near future. I strongly believe Congress should have the right to disapprove any agreement and I support the Corker bill which would allow that to occur." Joining us now, Josh Barro, the "New York Times" reporter, an Msnbc contributor, also joining us Joshua Green, national correspondent for "Bloomberg Businessweek", and Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington. Josh Barro, how does the Schumer factor tonight complicate things for the President? JOSH BARRO, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, certainly, a negative event for the White House. Although, I would note that in order for Congress to actually prevent the implementation of this deal, there would have to be several steps that would be passed. That have to pass through the Senate, the President would presumably veto it, it would then have to get to a veto-proof majority which requires 13 Democratic votes in the Senate. But that just establishes the bill, then Congress would actually have to disapprove any agreement if they were going to stop. So you could have a substantial number of Democrats who line up in Congress and say Congress should have this power, then when faced with the actual terms of the agreement, they might not choose to exercise that option. Bob Corker himself has actually said that he believes this process strengthens the President`s hand in negotiations by demonstrating that Congress will have a role in approving any agreement that allows the President to say, well, gee, I can`t offer that up because my Congress will not agree to it. No, I don`t know if that`s correct analysis of it, but it does demonstrate the fact that mere passage of the Corker bill does not mean the death of an Iran deal. O`DONNELL: Joshua Green, looking at Chuck Schumer`s role in particular, since he is the kind of leader in-waiting now of the Democrats in the Senate, a very powerful position. He`s in very influential position that he is in with his caucus now. At that second stage, is it conceivable that he might be one who votes for the Corker bill, but then actually votes in the end to support -- JOSHUA GREEN, SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK: Yes - - O`DONNELL: The President? GREEN: I think that`s a distinct possibility. Look, I think what`s going on here is that Schumer to an extent is protecting his institutional prerogative. Congress does not want to be shunted to the side and not have a role in this. And so, in supporting the Corker bill, I think he`s supporting the general idea that, look, we in Congress need to have a say on this and we`re not going to be ignored. And you saw Obama allude to that in the interview with Tom Friedman, said, look, there`s going to be some way that Congress can express themselves. So I think the real tug-of-war here is on what that expression will entail, will be sort of a show vote to let them say whether they`re for or against, or will it genuinely be something that threatens Obama`s foreign policy? And I have a hard time believing that Schumer as the leader in-waiting is going to stand up, going to be the guy that wrecks one of Obama`s signature foreign policy initiatives. O`DONNELL: And Phyllis Bennis, we`re seeing the President in a -- in a very strong selling posture on this, going out there and doing these interviews. This is clearly his biggest agenda item now. What do you make of the President`s efforts so far? PHYLLIS BENNIS, JOURNALIST: I think that it`s crucially important, Lawrence, if we look at what`s going on beyond the posturing of Congress, beyond the claiming that Congress must be involved, et cetera. What we`re really dealing with here is the reality that if those people want to oppose this deal, this is the deal they can get. If they want to oppose it, what they`re supporting is the likelihood of war. That`s really the choice here. And whether this is about Schumer posturing for one position or another or Corker trying to make this a partisan issue, the bottom line is, they are choosing war over diplomacy. And it`s an outrage because among other things, it doesn`t come close to matching where public opinion is. Congress people say that they need to be involved because the American people should be involved. And yet, the American people are saying to the pollsters, 59 percent are saying we want diplomacy rather than the threat of war. Seventy percent of liberals and so-called moderates, and the Republicans and the conservatives are split 50/50 on it. So even the Republicans are not even close to the kind of real warmongering we`re hearing from the leadership of their party in the Congress. So I think -- GREEN: Well, I don`t think it`s fair to say that they`re warmongering. I mean, if you look at someone like Lindsey Graham, you`d be hard-pressed to find a bigger hawk than that -- even Graham has come out and said, look, we`re going to let this process play out until June. I think somebody else might have gotten a better deal, but there were avenues to be much more aggressive than the opposition has been by -- for instance, pushing the Corker-Menendez bill and trying to impose sanctions now and that hasn`t happened. So, I don`t think it`s accurate to say this is head-long rush for war. BENNIS: I don`t think it`s a rush to war in the sense that this is their - - this is what they`re claiming to choose. I`m saying there`s an objective reality that those who are against this deal are supporting the reality that the alternative is the possibility of war. BARRO: But I think -- BENNIS: That`s just -- BARRO: That`s what -- that`s what constrains Congress if the Corker bill becomes law. You are going to have Democrats like Schumer, like Tim Kaine who are faced with this choice. If they`re thinking about disapproving an Iran deal which again would effectively require a two-thirds vote because the President would be able to veto the disapproval. What -- GREEN: Yes -- BARRO: Would happen if they disapprove the deal? We have all of our partners on our side of the negotiations who are not likely to continue to sign onto the sanctions regime -- BENNIS: Right -- BARRO: If the deal is rejected. That would mean if you blow up the deal, the only option that would be left to contain Iran, which presumably will proceed to develop a nuclear bomb, given, you know, that they have nothing to gain anymore out of negotiations that aren`t working. The only option that would be left could be a military option. That I think will make Democrats in addition to the political reason that they have not to blow up the President`s signature achievement -- GREEN: And Josh, I think -- I think it`s also worth pointing out that Obama I think has a doable job here. The numbers Phyllis cited are accurate. The public does not want -- the last thing the public wants is another U.S.-led war in the Middle East. I think as the stakes of this negotiation become clear. And let`s remember, we have, you know, several months for this to play out. I think there`s a good chance that the American public does get behind the idea that we`d rather negotiate a deal, even an imperfect deal than sort of blow things up and possibly wind up on a course for war. O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to something the President -- BENNIS: The American people are already at that position. I think we have to be clear about that. That`s exactly where the American people are now. If Congress does not reflect in that American opinion. And -- O`DONNELL: OK -- BENNIS: I think in that context we`re going to see a situation where members of Congress are going to be spending the next week or two in their district, hearing from people, saying wait a minute, why are you even considering not supporting this process? This is not a treaty that the Senate has to approve, that isn`t valid until it`s approved by the Senate. The administration, like every administration passes or decides on international agreements all the time that don`t require senatorial approval. And this is one of them. So they`re not going to have the right under the constitution to make that decision. This isn`t a treaty between the U.S. and Iran, this is a multi-lateral agreement between a number of countries, similar to SOFA agreements similar to a lot of other kinds of agreements. But the bottom-line comes back to what is the alternative? Those who are against this version are supporting the possibility of war. O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to something the President said that`s going to be an "Npr" interview aired tomorrow about a new objection that Bibi Netanyahu raised after the framework was described publicly. Prime Minister Netanyahu said that he now demands that Iran recognize Israel`s right to exist as part of this deal. Let`s listen to what the President said about that. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: The notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons in a verifiable deal on Iran recognizing Israel is really akin to saying that we won`t sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms. And that is, I think a fundamental misjudgment. We want Iran not to have nuclear weapons, precisely because we can`t bank on the nature of the regime changing. That`s exactly why we don`t want to have nuclear weapons. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Phyllis, your reaction to that. BENNIS: Well, I think it`s a bit of a backward logic. I mean what President Obama says is certainly true in terms of what it would -- that it would scuttle the deal if that were proposed as an alternative requirement. That Iran has to recognize Israel. Recognize what, exactly? Israel has no borders. What borders are we recognizing? Is he going to say that -- is Netanyahu going to say that Iran must recognize Israel as "a Jewish State"? What -- you know, this is really -- O`DONNELL: Well, simply the right -- BENNIS: Up in the rhetorical level -- O`DONNELL: Simply the right to exist, so that seems -- BENNIS: In fact -- O`DONNELL: Like something they could express, right? -- BENNIS: You know -- O`DONNELL: In saying that they should be destroyed in what -- BENNIS: No, but I -- O`DONNELL: That they could -- BENNIS: Think that, that goes to the question, again, of a country that has no borders, that isn`t recognized by the -- most of the rest of the world in that form. So saying that is a way of saying there should not be an agreement at all. BARRO: You know -- O`DONNELL: All right, go ahead -- BARRO: I mean I think it`s an obvious poison pill Netanyahu is asking for. I mean Netanyahu has said repeatedly, you can`t trust the Iranians. So it`s not like if they said they recognize Israel, he will take that as a trustworthy statement that is useful for the protection of Israel. The only reason for Netanyahu to ask for that is that he doesn`t want the deal, he knows the Iranians won`t agree to that and if there were a condition of the deal would prevent a deal from being -- O`DONNELL: OK, we`re going to have to end the segment there, Phyllis Bennis, thank you very much for joining us tonight, really appreciate it -- BENNIS: Thank you -- O`DONNELL: Coming up, failure of journalism, that`s what an independent review called "Rolling Stone" magazine`s reporting on an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia. And now the fraternity at the center of that story says they want to take legal action against "Rolling Stone". And "New York Magazine" asked the question, "is Hillary Clinton any good at running for president?" (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Rutgers University is banning all 86 of its fraternities and sororities from having house parties for the remainder of the Spring semester in light of a number of alcohol-related incidents this year. Five unnamed Rutgers fraternities are currently facing campus discipline reviews for such incidents. The students are calling the ban "social probation." About 10 percent of Rutgers students are part of fraternities and sororities. Up next, a University of Virginia fraternity wants to sue "Rolling Stone" for what it calls reckless reporting. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STEVE COLL, JOURNALIST & DEAN, COLUMBIA JOURNALISM SCHOOL: This failure was not the subject where the sources fault as a matter of journalism. It was a -- it was the product of failed methodology and it was the collective fault of the reporter, the editor, the editor supervisor and the fact-checking department. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: "Rolling Stone" has officially retracted its November article by Sabrina Rubin Erdely about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia fraternity house after the release of the report that called the story a journalistic failure that was avoidable. The author of the "Rolling Stone" article Sabrina Erdely issued a statement saying "reading the Columbia account of the mistakes and misjudgment in my reporting was a brutal and humbling experience." The article entitled "The Rape on Campus" told us the story of a woman identified by the pseudonym Jackie who said she was gang-raped by a seven- man at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia in 2012. The veracity of Jackie`s story was quickly challenged by reports in "The Washington Post" and elsewhere. And "Rolling Stone" asked the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism to conduct an investigation into how the magazine got the story wrong. The authors of the twelve thousand-word report said that "Rolling Stone" failed to engage in basic journalistic practice by not reaching out to any of the people mentioned in the story, including Jackie`s friends to check facts. The report found that the reporter and the magazine`s editors surrendered basic journalistic techniques to the wishes of Jackie who asked them not to try to speak to any of the people who she said assaulted her and in effect to not try to check any of the facts she was alleging. Sabrina Erdely said in her statement, "in the case of Jackie and her account of her traumatic rape, I did not go far enough to verify her story. I allowed my personal concern for Jackie`s well-being, my fear of re- traumatizing her and my confidence in her credibility to take the place of more questioning and more facts. These are mistakes I will not make again." A statement released today by the University of Virginia chapter of Phi Kappa Psi says, "after 130 days of living under a cloud of suspicion as a result of reckless reporting by "Rolling Stone" magazine today. The Virginia Alpha chapter of Phi Kappa Psi announced plans to pursue all available legal action against the magazine." Joining us now is Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA and creator of the legal blog "The Volokh Conspiracy". Professor, what legal avenues are open to the fraternity? EUGENE VOLOKH, LAW PROFESSOR: Well, the fraternity can sue for defamation. And it`s possible also that the members of the fraternity can sue for damage to their own personal reputations. The fraternity`s case in some respect is easier. Organizations have reputations too, and they can say our reputation was wrongly tarnished as a result of "Rolling Stone`s" negligence. And if they can show specific proven losses, like, for example, contributions to them went down or some other financial losses to the fraternity, they should be able to recover that based on a showing that "Rolling Stone" was negligent and the Columbia report makes it pretty clear that it was negligent. The members of the fraternity are a little bit hard to recall, there`s this so-called Group Libel Doctrine which provides that if somebody says something about a small group of people, that reflect on each of them as an individual. But if it`s about a larger group, either very large, like all lawyers are crooks let`s say, well, that doesn`t reflect on any particular lawyer. What about the members of this fraternity? The claim goes use gang rape as an initiation ritual, does that reflect on each one in particular? Quite possibly, although the fraternities at the size where the law might go either way on that. So there could be lawsuits brought by either the fraternity or for damage to its reputation or by the individual members of the fraternity for damage to their own reputations. One thing that pretty clearly can`t happen is UVA, however much it has suffered as a result of this, can sue for damage to its reputation because it`s a government entity. It`s a public university, and governments entities aren`t allowed to sue for defamation. O`DONNELL: Josh Barro, the Columbia report wanted to make very clear that the subject of this story, Jackie, is not to blame for what "Rolling Stone" did. BARRO: Yes, and I think that`s correct. You know, some -- if you`re a reporter, sometimes people will come and tell you things, and sometimes those things will be wrong. It is your job to figure out whether the thing you`re hearing from your source is true or not. And you do that by contacting other people who were involved in the story. It doesn`t -- not limited to the person who was accused of this rape, although that is someone who should have been contacted. But you also had these three students who Jackie apparently described as having seen her shortly after what she alleged was an assault and that she had a conversation with them which once the story came to light, those three people said that`s not the conversation we had with her at all. There was no attempt by "Rolling Stone" to speak with those three people which would have shown them that the story that they have been told by Jackie was not reliable, it would have saved them from publishing the story. So I think it`s -- you know, in terms of who was responsible for the journalistic failure, it`s absolutely right that it was -- it should have been easy for "Rolling Stone" to figure out not to publish this account, even with Jackie telling them something that wasn`t true. O`DONNELL: Joshua Green, no one fired, no one losing their job at "Rolling Stone" at this point anyway. And there`s a possibility that, that`s a reaction to the possibility of a lawsuit. If they don`t fire anyone, then they have not implicitly admitted something that might have some legal standing in court. GREEN: You know, I can only assume that`s the reason for the lack of firings, because I mean, the report could not be more clear-cut that this was just outright journalistic malpractice, not just among the reporter but among the whole editorial chain. And what`s more -- report makes clear that the whole editorial process was flawed, that they had fact-checker. And `Rolling Stone" did have -- it did have its own fact-checker which a lot of magazines do not. But the fact-checker did not feel empowered to come and say, hey, I have major questions about the veracity of this piece and some of the things we`re reporting. So it`s hard to see how if you`re a "Rolling Stone" reader, you`re going to, you know, go forward, having any trust in anything that "Rolling Stone" magazine would publish from here on out. If you have the same people in charge whose judgment led to this colossal error. O`DONNELL: Well, a lot of their controversial work has held up in the past. And Professor Volokh, just before we go, is there anything, any legal reason why "Rolling Stone`s" lawyers might advise them not to fire anyone at this point? VOLOKH: You know, my sense is that whether they fire someone or not, it doesn`t -- won`t affect the legal analysis that much. You can imagine a firing playing badly for the jury because it`s an admission of error. On the other hand, you can imagine refusal to fire playing badly for the jury because the jury say, my God, these people are just not even at all contrite. I`m not sure that there was a legal reason for it, there may have been an institutional reason, maybe that they thought these people had done very good work in the past. Even in hospitals where there`s malpractice, I think, not every instance of malpractice leads to firing of somebody who`s been good enough or in fact who`s been very good perhaps in the past. So, I`m not sure there`s a legal reason really for that kind of decision. O`DONNELL: Professor Eugene Volokh, thanks for joining us tonight. Coming up, why the inevitability of Hillary versus Jeb just might not be so inevitable. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: So let`s talk. Let`s chat. Let`s start a dialogue about your ideas and mine. Because the conversation in Washington has been just a little one-sided lately, don`t you think? And we can all see how well that works. And while I can`t visit everyone`s living room, I can try. And with a little help from modern technology, I`ll be holding live online video chats this week starting Monday. So let the conversation begin, I have a feeling it`s going to be very interesting. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Yes, she does look a little younger, that`s because that was not Hillary Clinton announcing her campaign today, that was Hillary Clinton announcing her presidential campaign in 2007. She did not do the grand speech in the historic venue the way so many politicians have began their presidential campaigns including President Barack Obama. She announced online in a YouTube video, sitting in a living room. And living rooms are where Hillary Clinton might begin her next presidential campaign according to an "Associated Press" report. Friends and advisers have long said she is more at ease in small group settings and one-on-one conversations. And "Politico" is reporting, "a lease has been signed at a location for Clinton`s campaign headquarters, according to a source familiar with the deal." "Federal Election Commission rules state that a candidate has only 15 days between conducting campaign activities and filing the official 2016 paperwork. And the lease signing could start the clock on an official launch." (END VIDEO CLIP) A New York magazine piece asks the question, "Is Hillary -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- any good at running for president?" And points out that after two easy senatorial campaigns in New York State, -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- the one time that Hillary Clinton had to run a campaign against a strong candidate, she lost. That was, of course, the 2008 Presidential campaign. "The New York Times" reports, "Jeb Bush is looking less inevitable every day, as the Republican presidential nominee, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- for all the Republican bundlers who signed up to raise money for Mr. Bush. Others remain uncommitted or are hedging their bets by adding aiding more than one candidate." "It is a far cry, party officials, activists and donors said, from the early success of George W. Bush, Mr. Bush`s brother, in securing the 2000 Republican Presidential nomination." (END VIDEO CLIP) Joining us now is MSNBC`s Kasie Hunt. Kasie, the Clinton campaign leaking the possibilities that she`s going to do small venues and keep the campaign low to the ground, as they say, at the beginning. CASEY HUNT: That`s right, Lawrence. And, I think that that reflects something that both the Clinton teams -- the Clinton team learned over time. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) And it`s a lesson that the Obama team really found out in 2008, when they beat her, which was that, you know, she didn`t do well when she was inevitable. She did well, in their view, when her back was up against the wall. And so, at this point, she`s essentially the inevitable nominee. It`s not as though her staff can put her, you know, put her back up against the wall and make it difficult for her. So, they have to do everything they can to show that, this time, she doesn`t believe that this is something that she deserves, that she`s just waltzing into, but rather something that she has to prove. In situations that, ideally, they believe will highlight her personable strengths and give her the chance to connect with voters one-on-one, in a way that she wasn`t able to do in those big venues in 2008. O`DONNELL: Joshua Green, very long "New York Magazine" piece. But the one line that seemed to be really most powerful to me was the notion that, in the one campaign she was in, where she had a strong opponent, she lost. JOSHUA GREEN, SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, "BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK": Yes, and she didn`t just lose. I mean, she really blew it. In 2008, her line was, -- (END VIDEO CLIP) "I am the candidate that has the executive experience to get into the job, do the job on -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- day one." And she wound up not even been able to win the Democratic nomination. So, I certainly think that that ought to be a concern but more in the general election than in the Democratic primary. Because it doesn`t look like she`s going to have any real competition in the Democratic primary. And in its own, sort of perverse way, -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- I think that hurts her, too, because it robs her of the chance to sort of sharpen her fighting skills and win a series of victories against real - - (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- challengers that might get People excited about her candidacy. Instead, she`s going to have to do this weird kind of pantomime where she pretends that she`s not the inevitable nominee, when she really basically is. O`DONNELL: Now, let`s take a look at Jeb Bush`s voter registration form in 2009. It`s the mistake of the week in the -- (LAUGHTER) -- presidential campaign. He apparently checked "Hispanic" on that form, instead of the category right next to it which, I believe -- I can`t read it from here. I believe it`s "White Non-Hispanic," which would have been a little more accurate. Josh Barro, is there any -- is there any explanation of this that makes any sense, other than the guy made a mistake. JOSH BARRO, DOMESTIC CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES": No. (LAUGHTER) This is a non-story. O`DONNELL: Let`s just eliminate this one, all right. (LAUGHTER) BARRO: People have fun with this but, the thing is, no one has come up with a theory of what nefarious reason -- O`DONNELL: Right. BARRO: -- Jeb Bush would have had -- O`DONNELL: Right. BARRO: -- for pretending on his voter registration form to be Hispanic. There`s no way that he gains advantage by doing that. So, I think there`s no good -- other explanation other than it was just an honest error. O`DONNELL: Yes. The Florida Democratic Party tweeted this, which I think is relevant -- "Hey, Jeb Bush, did you know it`s a third degree felony to submit false information on your voter registration form." And, Kasie Hunt, it`s got to be kind of awkward for a guy, trying to get the nomination of the party that`s constantly trying to tighten voter registration laws around the country and creating penalties and things like that for false information. Now, if his defense, which I accept, is it was a mistake. HUNT: It seems, Lawrence, that that`s what this was. And I think that the way they`re treating it indicates that, you know, that`s certainly what they`re pushing forward. I thought, you know, the way they re-tweeted, his son, who is actually Hispanic, as the son of a Hispanic mother and, of course, Jeb Bush, saying, you know, "LOL, Dad." (LAUGHTER) "What a way to screw it up." O`DONNELL: Well, the next stage of the story is, someone else in Florida or any other state getting in trouble, -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- legal trouble of any kind, or registration trouble because of this kind of mistake. When we come back, Rand Paul made a big announcement -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- today about making a bigger announcement tomorrow. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: It`s time for a new way, a new set of ideas, a new leader, one you can trust, one who works for you and, above all, it`s time for a new president. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE) (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: That was part of the video Rand Paul tweeted today, announcing that, tomorrow, he will make an even bigger announcement than that video. Kasie Hunt, you are in Louisville. You`re going to be at that Rand Paul announcement tomorrow. How could he possibly top his announcement tomorrow. How could he -- how could he top what he did today. What could he possibly add to what he did today. HUNT: Well, we can`t know for certain, Lawrence, at this point. But, I will say, they are going to make their best effort to try. They are, currently, as we speak, setting up the ballroom at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville. They`ve invited 1,500 to 2,000 supporters, so a little bit of one upmanship with Senator Ted Cruz there, who, you know, of course, had a built-in crowd for his announcement at lunch. But they also have 180 reporters, media-credentialed to attend. So, it`s certainly going to be at least -- at least a big event. We`ll see if Paul performs where they feel like he needs to. O`DONNELL: Josh Green, the Paul family business of running for president apparently continues starting tomorrow. GREEN: Yes. And Rand Paul is going to be there. Although the word here I`m hearing from other reporters is he`s not going to be allowed to speak. Because Rand Paul, though he was a veteran presidential campaigner, never made it very far as a -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- polarizing figure. And what you saw from that video today that Rand released really was an effort, I think, to show that he has a broader appeal. Not only did he have Republicans and sort of Fox News anchors on there speaking his praises, but you saw Chris Matthews, you saw Jon Stewart from "The Daily Show." So, I think he`s going to try and project a broader appeal. O`DONNELL: He also, Josh Barro, had Newt Gingrich on this video, -- (END VIDEO CLIP) (LAUGHTER) -- praising him today. He has attacked Newt Gingrich as being, you know, an unreliable source in the past. But, you know, this is -- this is politics. The other important indicator, he`s changed his Twitter handle from "Senator" to "Doctor." BARRO: Right. O`DONNELL: So, that just proves it right there. He`s running for president. BARRO: Well, that makes sense. People have much more favorable opinions of medical doctors than they do elected officials. O`DONNELL: Yes. BARRO: But, yes, I mean, I think -- GREEN: He`s an ophthalmologist. BARRO: Right. (LAUGHTER) I think, broadly, -- HUNT: So, you trust your ophthalmologist more than you trust your senator? GREEN: Not to be president. BARRO: I trust my ophthalmologist more than I trust my senator, I think. Well, what are we -- is it about my eyes or -- (LAUGHTER) But, I think, you know, Rand Paul, what he`s going to try to do in this campaign is you want to keep all the people who work for Rand Paul and then add enough more, -- O`DONNELL: Yes. BARRO: -- sort of more normal people to be able to get to a plurality and win the nomination. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) And so, that, I think, it`s sort of -- he has this dance, not just with his father but with the whole campaign apparatus that was around his father. And that set of supporters keep their energy without having them scare off people who would have thought that Rand Paul was kind of crazy. And I think that`s going to be a difficult dance to do but it`s what he has to do. O`DONNELL: Marco Rubio is in the huge announcement business, too. He tweeted a huge announcement today. And it is this -- "I`m making a huge announcement -- (LAUGHTER) -- on Monday, April, 13th." Kasie Hunt, are you going to be there Monday, -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- April 13th. HUNT: That`s the plan at this point, Lawrence. But I`ve got to tell you, Senator Rubio has been a little bit of danger of being overshadowed by one Hillary Clinton who, as we know, is set to -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- announce almost any day now. So, hopefully, for him, or if you were on his team, you`d hope that she doesn`t pick Monday the 13th. O`DONNELL: But, Joshua Green, wouldn`t it be a huge -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- announcement on that day if Marco Rubio announces, "I am not running for president this time." GREEN: I think he would certainly grab headlines if that were the announcement. That is not the announcement I think most of us are anticipating from Marco Rubio though. O`DONNELL: All right, I`m betting 10 cents that he just might announce that he`s not running. There`s too many people in there already. GREEN: I`ll take that. O`DONNELL: All right, 10 cents right here everybody. (LAUGHTER) I may reduce it. I have to think about it. (LAUGHTER) Kasie Hunt, Joshua Green and Josh Barro, thank you all for joining me tonight. HUNT: Thanks, Lawrence. O`DONNELL: Up next in the "Rewrite," one of Rupert Murdoch`s newspapers gets smacked down -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- like you have never seen a newspaper gets smacked down before. And it was done on TV by one of the newspaper`s heroes. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) Time for tonight`s "Rewrite." Which of these newspapers is the oldest newspaper in New York. And which one is the new kid on the block. Now, I know this looks like the oldest newspaper. But this scrappy little thing is the oldest, continuously published daily newspaper in America. It is actually 50 years older than "The New York Times." The "New York Post" was founded by Alexander Hamilton in 1801. And the 21st Century "New York Post" is one that believes in heroes and villains, and is at it -- is at its dramatic best when one of his heroes is in a fight with one of its villains. And so, last week, the "New York Post" finally got a story that "The Post" has been waiting for since the beginning of Mayor de Blasio`s administration. One of "The Post`s" heroes, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, who was given his job by de Blasio, was in open warfare with Mayor de Blasio, who is, of course, one of "The Post`s" villains. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) The story made the front page with the headline, "Brass Bawls." "Bawl" meaning to shout or call out noisily and unrestrainedly, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The first line -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- of the story, "Top cop, Bill Bratton, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- has finally reached his breaking point with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio." And then, comes the dramatic in-the-room account of Bill Bratton reaching his breaking point. "Top cop, Bill Bratton, has finally reached his breaking point with Mayor de Blasio. The police commissioner exploded with rage during a meeting Monday over police staffing with Hissoner`s top deputy, vowing to go around the mayor, to get funding for a thousand more cops before storming out of City Hall." "The Post" has learned, "If I don`t get them from you, I`ll go to the City Council and get them." Bratton barked at First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris during the heated sit-down, sources said. But de Blasio`s right-hand man refused to back down during the discussion over the NYPD`s 2016 budget. "You don`t work for the City Council, you work for the mayor," Shorris sot back as Bratton walked off, sources said. (END VIDEO CLIP) None of the sources were named, none of their occupations were even hinted at, so us, "New York Post" readers, weren`t given any idea about hos the sources were in a position to describe the Police Commissioner exploding, word-for-word, in quotes. But, hey, we`re used to that. It was just another one of those behind-the- scenes local political stories in "The Post" that might or might not be true, or might or might not be partially true. But that wasn`t the end of the story. Because, the next day, in a facts- checking exercise, the likes of which I have never seen in the New York media or in politics anywhere, this happened -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BILL BRATTON, NYPD COMMISSIONER: As you know, I`m quite free to speak out when I think that a story is inappropriate, incorrect. And there`s one this morning that I think fits that description. Although since today is April 1st, I have to assume that this is an April Fool`s joke. And I`m referring to the "Brass Bawls" in the "New York Post" today. There`s not a single, single item in that story that is factual, not one. And if the writer of that piece, Larry Celona, who`s very well-known to all of you, who I`ve known for over 20 years, why he allowed his name to be attached to that story, I haven`t the faintest idea. He`s going to have to check out his sources because there is not a single factual item in that story. I did not meet with Mr. Shorris on Monday, we never argue. And if all of you who know Mr. Shorris, as well as myself, we just don`t engage with each other that way. We have not discussed, he and I, the issue of the potential increase of officers in this department. I can`t recall the last time we had a discussion on that issue. Staffs have been meeting on it, but we have not. So, again, it`s -- Alexander Hamilton, I think, would be embarrassed, the founder of that newspaper many years ago. And, again, I have to assume it`s an April Fool`s joke because it certainly is not a new story or news story that would qualify as one. So, with that, again, I usually don`t try to be this open correcting a story, but that one is so outrageously deficient in facts, it doesn`t even qualify as news. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: The "New York Post," of course, immediately asked the Columbia Journalism Review to write a report about its use of unnamed and possibly uninformed sources in that sorry. No, of course, they didn`t. The next day, they ran Bill Bratton`s denial of their story on page five, and included two of their unnamed sources saying, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- "I can`t believe he`s denying it," a source said. "The meeting happened as described," said a second source. (END VIDEO CLIP) So, it all comes down to the "New York Post" hero, Bill Bratton, versus a source and a second source. And in a truly tortured moment for the "New York Post," "The Post" is still siding with their two unnamed sources against one of the paper`s heroes. Alexander Hamilton would be confused. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) I spent the weekend in California, and I didn`t see any hint of a water shortage, not in Los Angeles anyway. Not one burnt out blades of grass. The lines at the car wash are as ever. Someone`s going to explain to me what`s going on there. That`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. JERRY BROWN (D), CALIFORNIA: This executive order is done under emergency power, and it has the force of law. It affects lawns, it affects people`s -- how long they stay in the shower, how businesses use water. In a drought of this magnitude, you have to change that behavior and you have to change it substantially. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: That`s the governor of California, who was explaining the state`s water shortage yesterday morning on ABC. I was driving around Los Angeles, looking for anything, just a hint of a water shortage, and I couldn`t find one. Joining me now to explain why that is is Senior Water Scientist at NASA`s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Professor of Earth System Science at U.C. Irvine, Jay . All right, straighten me out. Why -- JAY FAMIGLIETTI, SENIOR WATER SCIENTIST, NASA: Thank you. Thanks for the challenge. O`DONNELL: -- why do I walk down Wilshire Boulevards, looked at this long lines at the car wash, looked at lawns being watered. I see no effect in L.A. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) FAMIGLIETTI: That`s the Southern California way. It`s a fantasy land. I like to say, you know, all of Southern California is like Disneyland. And it`s water that made us into Disneyland. And that fantasy is rapidly drawing to a close. O`DONNELL: But why is it that there`s no effects of it in Los Angeles. Why has nothing happened there. FAMIGLIETTI: That`s an excellent question. I think it`s -- a lot of it is denial. And I think it`s a good thing that the -- I think the governor basically had to impose this executive order because we were not, as a population, not stepping up, not doing the voluntary conservation. So, I think we left him without a choice. O`DONNELL: Well, you know, I got rid of my front -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- lawn about -- I don`t know, eight, 10 years ago. I got rid of my back lawn a couple of years ago because I just couldn`t bear looking at these water systems, these irrigation systems -- FAMIGLIETTI: Right. O`DONNELL: -- in my neighborhood and everywhere, back then, before anyone was talking drought. But let`s get to this drought. This is a four-year drought. In the natural history of California, this is not an unusual thing, is it. FAMIGLIETTI: Right, right. It`s not -- I mean, we`ve had -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- long droughts before and we`ll have long droughts in the future. But, actually, this last three-year period was among the driest three-year periods in the history, in the recent history, and in the paleo-climate history. So, it`s been a very unusual three years. Plus, remember, population is much bigger now than it was the last time we had a drought or, of course, anytime in the paleo-climate record. O`DONNELL: Yes. And a drought is only a situation in which you don`t have as much water as you need. FAMIGLIETTI: That`s right. O`DONNELL: And California needs this extraordinary amount of water -- FAMIGLIETTI: We do. O`DONNELL: -- because we`ve converted all of this desert area -- FAMIGLIETTI: Right. O`DONNELL: -- into, not just some residential spots, but also agriculture. FAMIGLIETTI: That`s right. O`DONNELL: Don`t we have agriculture in land that is essentially desert. FAMIGLIETTI: We do. (END VIDEO CLIP) And it`s the groundwater that`s enabled that. And it`s the groundwater now that, I think, is most at risk -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- in the drought. We have no water in our -- we have no snow in the mountains. We have very little water in our reservoirs. And so, we are relying probably about 75 percent or more. Right now, our statewide water supply is coming from groundwater. And so, that`s what`s really fueled agriculture. And that is what is at risk right now. And it`s largely unprotected at this point in time. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And agriculture uses 80 percent of the water, so even if everyone -- FAMIGLIETTI: Right. O`DONNELL: -- does cut back on how long they`re in the shower or -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- how often they wash their car, that really can`t have much of an effect to when 80 percent of it is being consumed by farm. FAMIGLIETTI: Well, I think -- I think that -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- it`s important for all of us in California to work together to try to save water. At this point, you know, because the way that water is moved around in California, many of us are actually disconnected -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- from the larger transfers of water. So, it is important. So, many towns are relatively isolated. For example, the town that I live in has only four wells. That`s all the water we have. So, even though it`s just a small place, there`s not much agriculture going on at all. We still have to conserve water locally. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: I have some of the biggest culprits right here on my desk. I have a couple of hundred almonds, which is to say, a couple of hundred -- it`s worth 190 almonds. FAMIGLIETTI: Right. O`DONNELL: That`s 190 gallons of water. We`re learning things like this. Each almond costs a gallon of water to grow. FAMIGLIETTI: That`s amazing. And we have to become much more aware of how much water it takes. END