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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 04/20/15

Guests: Mary Koch, Jack Young, Marq Claxton, Dan Smolen, Steve Latourette,Dave Wedge

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: That does it for us tonight, we will see you again tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening Lawrence. LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Good evening Rachel, thank you. MADDOW: Thanks. O`DONNELL: Well, it`s 420, and the majority of Americans support the use of recreational marijuana according to a new "Cbs News" poll, 53 percent in favor. That is the highest percentage supporting legalization since "Cbs News" began asking that question in polls in 1979. And of course tonight, we have more video of police abuse, abuse of use of force, but we also have the exact opposite. Video of the most heroic kind of police restraint. An officer who refused to shoot a murder suspect when that suspect actually was asking him to shoot. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (PROTESTING) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Protests are taking place over the death of Freddie Gray. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He died a week after he was arrested. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, get up, you! UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The family`s lawyer says the man`s spine had been partially severed in police custody. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has called for an independent review of the incident -- MAYOR STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND: We can`t just depend on the police looking at the police, and we don`t depend on that. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is defending the training of Reserve Deputy Robert Bates. STANLEY GLANZ, SHERIFF, TULSA COUNTY: I know that he has received a lot of training -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Attorneys for the family of Eric Harris say that the documents released so far do not prove that he was adequately trained. JOHN OLIVER, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: To power-phrased Danny Glover, a 73-year-old man is literally too old for this -- (LAUGHTER) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, we`re back into the political season. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hillary Clinton is back. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Campaigning in New Hampshire today. HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: The Republicans seem to be talking only about me. SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: When Hillary Clinton travels, there`s going to need to be two planes, one for her and her entourage, and one for her baggage. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Unlike Mrs. Clinton, I know that flying is an activity, not an accomplishment. SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Hillary Clinton is going to raise $2.5 billion, that`s a lot of Chipotle, my friends. (LAUGHTER) CLINTON: Now I don`t know what they talk about, if I wanted to raise -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Marco Rubio says being gay, is it a choice? But Marco Rubio also says -- RUBIO: Marriage should be between one man and one woman. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has stale old -- ideas. (LAUGHTER) (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Tonight, six Baltimore city police officers are suspended after a 25-year-old Baltimore man died from a spinal injury that was apparently sustained during an arrest. Part of what happened was captured on cellphone video and released by lawyers for the victim. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (SCREAMING) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sure, the guy was acting, they tased him -- like that. Man, I`ve been recording this -- I`ve been recording it. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get in -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where is mummy, you? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`ve been recording it, what car they come out of? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He on a bike -- yes, right there, him, right there, you on a bike. (SCREAMING) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got it, don`t worry about it. Don`t worry about it, don`t worry about it. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get in the back, (INAUDIBLE) -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, they need to tase you like that, you wonder why he can`t use his legs. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: According to the autopsy report released today, Freddie Gray suffered a spinal cord injury that resulted in his death after a week in a coma. The lawyer for Freddie Gray`s family said, Freddie Gray`s spine was 80 percent severed at his neck. Today, protestors gathered for a third day outside of western district police station. Here is Baltimore`s city mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RAWLINGS-BLAKE: This is a very tensed time for Baltimore City, and I understand the community`s frustration. I understand it because I`m frustrated. I`m angry that we are here again. That we have had to tell another mother that their child is dead. I`m frustrated that not only that we`re here, but we don`t have all of the answers. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Here is Deputy Police Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez at that same press conference where the mayor spoke. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JERRY RODRIGUEZ, DEPUTY POLICE COMMISSIONER, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND: I know that when Mr. Gray was placed inside that van, he was able to talk, he was upset, and when Mr. Gray was taken out of that van, he could not talk and he could not breathe. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Mary Koch, one of the lawyers for Freddie Gray`s family, also joining us Jack Young, president of the Baltimore City Council, and Marq Claxton, the director of the Black Law Enforcement Alliance. Mary Koch, what questions do you wish were answered at that press conference today that were not? MARY KOCH, LAWYER: One of the first questions I would have wanted answered is why was Freddie Gray arrested? Because there really is no answer to why Freddie Gray was arrested. I`ve read the application for statement of charges, it gives no real information. It actually amounts to what I would call and refer to in my days at the prosecutor`s office when I would get things like this from police officers as felony running. I mean, the man, there is no indication that he did anything wrong. And then the other question I have is, is that he was being loaded literally into the wagon and he was not being belligerent at all. As a matter of fact, he was crying out in pain and it`s clear from that video he could not use his legs. Why didn`t someone stop right then and there and have the compassion and the wherewithal to call for medical help immediately. So what happened in that van was not answered either, but those questions weren`t answered at all. Where is the knife that they say they -- was recovered? It says in the application for statement of charges that, knife was recovered by the police officers, that`s their reason why he was arrested, because he had the knife. Of course, the knife comes after they`ve already "apprehended" Mr. Gray. So where is that knife? Why didn`t Deputy Commissioner Rodriguez bring that knife to show the members of the community what exactly it was that the officers found. And we`re talking about -- and I`d like an explanation of how it was they actually found that. So those are some of the questions that you -- that you have initially. And then, you know, just the idea that people think that somehow it`s not OK for a young man to run. How did they even know that he was running from the police? I mean all the questions that haven`t been answered, all the questions about the training of these police officers, how they conduct their investigations, how they determine whether or not there is reasonable suspicion. Or how whether or not there`s probable cause and the fact that they need to learn that you don`t apprehend someone and then try to look for some reason to justify that apprehension. O`DONNELL: City Council President, Young, last year, you wrote an Op-ed piece calling for a Justice Department investigation of your Police Department, your Baltimore Police Department. You saw problems with it then. Do you have confidence that this investigation underway now will be conducted properly now that it has the mayor`s attention? JACK YOUNG, PRESIDENT, BALTIMORE CITY COUNCIL: I think that it will be conducted properly. But I want it conducted a full civil rights investigation of the entire police department because of these allegations of police brutality and people being shot and murdered at the hands of some police officers. Now, I want to make it clear, the whole police department should not be indicted for a few bad apples. But when we find those bad apples, they should be punished to the fullest extent of law. And I think a complete investigation -- a civil rights investigation of the Baltimore City Police Department is in order. And I also think that we should have independent investigation outside of the Baltimore City Police Department. O`DONNELL: Marq Claxton, with your experience in the NYPD as an officer, what is it you think you`re watching in that video? MARQ CLAXTON, DIRECTOR, BLACK LAW ENFORCEMENT ALLIANCE: Well, the video -- I mean, speaks for itself. I mean there was some sort of interaction and there was what should have been a pretty routine prisoner transport situation itself. So what`s on the video is not really in question. What is in question is, what happened once Mr. Gray was in the -- in the transport vehicle itself and the time that it took between being placed in the vehicle, who interacted with Mr. Gray, who conducted an investigation or interrogation of Mr. Gray, what occurred within that period of time that he was inside the transport vehicle. And they had to call for EMS to come and render life-saving aid at that point. So, I mean there are huge questions, all of the questions that the attorney presented, they are valid questions. What is painful and disturbing and unfortunately has become routine throughout the nation when you have these type of incidents is that these investigations take -- YOUNG: Well, my -- CLAXTON: Painfully long. They are protracted and unnecessarily so, it does not take two weeks to engage and conduct interviews -- (CROSSTALK) YOUNG: Well, I said -- I said earlier that -- I didn`t want to cut him off, but I said earlier that I`m concerned about what happened once he got into the police van also. Because they said he was talking, he was, you know, hollering about, you know, he wanted to get some help. So my question is, when they left the scene and start traveling with the police van, what happened between that time? They -- understand they stopped -- CLAXTON: And let me just say this and -- YOUNG: It is a medical information -- CLAXTON: And what I`m saying is -- O`DONNELL: Go ahead Marq -- CLAXTON: And Mr. President, what I`m saying -- O`DONNELL: Go ahead Marq -- CLAXTON: What I`m saying exactly is that at this point or some point really close, like maybe tomorrow, there should be a more open and honest transparent explanation about some of the major details and some basic details that the -- KOCH: Well -- CLAXTON: Attorney raised, and other people have raised, et cetera. I mean, you can`t pretend -- KOCH: Well, there is certainly -- CLAXTON: You can`t hide behind as -- O`DONNELL: Go ahead -- CLAXTON: I`m sorry -- KOCH: The problem -- O`DONNELL: Go ahead Mary Koch, go ahead -- KOCH: It`s OK, I agree that the problem -- obviously the problem is what happened. Everybody wants to know what happened inside that van. Because you know, we all know the condition of Mr. Gray when he was taken out of that van. We all want to know that. But I still want to back up for a minute and say, why would you transport someone who is obviously in pain? If you look at the video he cannot -- CLAXTON: That`s correct -- KOCH: Use his legs, he cannot go into the van unassisted, he is not in any way -- he`s not yelling -- I mean often times we`ve seen video with people who are using profanity with the police, being belligerent, arguing about the fact that they`ve been arrested. That`s not what this young man was doing. This young man was crying out in pain and it was obvious he could not use his legs. Why was he even placed in the van in the first place? And then I have to back it up -- CLAXTON: And no -- KOCH: And say, but why was he even arrested? Why was he even apprehended? I mean that is the first question -- CLAXTON: And those are the questions -- KOCH: That has to be asked -- O`DONNELL: And Marq Claxton -- CLAXTON: And those are the questions and quite honestly -- O`DONNELL: Would you say in your experience as an officer that the only reason they would have put him in that van instead of call for an ambulance is they just didn`t believe he was injured. They just believed he was kind of faking this screaming thing? CLAXTON: And that -- YOUNG: Well, it was -- (CROSSTALK) CLAXTON: Could be the possibility in their minds -- YOUNG: The way -- the way -- CLAXTON: But it -- YOUNG: But the way that he was screaming, I doubt that they had to know he was hurt. O`DONNELL: Yes -- YOUNG: Because from what I heard, he was screaming pretty, you know, loud that something was wrong. Even when they were taking him to the van, he was crying out -- KOCH: Well -- YOUNG: In pain. KOCH: And you know what I think is really interesting, when you hear the - - you hear the gentleman who is actually videotaping and he says -- he talks about that Mr. Gray was tased. That the police officers tased him and they saw him tased. Now, Deputy Commissioner Rodriguez said there is no indications of any kinds of marks on autopsy. Which I assume would include any markings from having been tased because it would burn -- YOUNG: Well, I didn`t hear anything about him being tased? KOCH: But -- YOUNG: I didn`t -- KOCH: I just heard that from the -- from the person on the street -- YOUNG: OK, well, I couldn`t hear that -- KOCH: So, the bottom line is -- CLAXTON: And there -- KOCH: Something was wrong that they should have recognized -- CLAXTON: And there lies the -- and there lies the situation -- KOCH: OK, we`re going to have to -- CLAXTON: And there lies the point that I -- O`DONNELL: We`re going to have to leave it there for tonight, Marq Claxton, Jack Young, Mary Koch, thank you all very much for joining me tonight, I really appreciate it. We will be coming back to this story, thank you very much. Coming up, the Tulsa County Sheriff holds a press conference to try to answer questions about his friend who shot and killed Eric Harris. And an Ohio police officer stands his ground and he refuses to shoot a suspect. The entire thing was caught on video, the suspect was asking him to shoot him. That looked like a case where the suspect wanted suicide by cop. Also tonight, it looks like we have a glimpse into who the Koch Brothers have chosen as their candidate for president of the United States. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Today, the Michigan police officer who beat a man after a traffic stop was charged with mistreatment of a prisoner and assault with intent to do great bodily harm. Officer William Melendez is seen in this dash cam video placing 57-year-old Floyd Dent in a headlock and punching him in the head 16 times. The Wayne County prosecutor said today that a drug possession charge against Floyd Dent will be dropped, there are no charges left against Floyd Dent. Video of excessive use of force like that seems to have been flooding American television this year, but we now have a truly heroic example of restraint on the use of force by officer Jesse Kidder in New Richmond, Ohio. In the video, you are about to see captured on officer Kidder`s body cam, a murder suspect approaches officer Kidder in the dark and repeatedly asks the officer to shoot him. Officer Kidder had been warned that the suspect might be armed, but officer Kidder remarkably keeps his cool in the face of danger. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JESSE KIDDER, POLICE OFFICER: Get your hands up! Get your hands up! Get your hands up right now! UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shoot me, shoot me -- KIDDER: Stop! stop right there! UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shoot me -- KIDDER: I don`t want to shoot you, man -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shoot me, man, shoot me -- KIDDER: I don`t want to shoot you -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shoot me, man, I said shoot -- KIDDER: Stay right there (INAUDIBLE), don`t do it, man, shoot you, shoot you -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is right here, you ain`t (INAUDIBLE), Shoot me! Shoot me! Shoot me! Shoot me (INAUDIBLE) -- shoot me (INAUDIBLE) -- KIDDER: No, man, I`m not going to do it -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shoot me, shoot me, shoot me -- KIDDER: (INAUDIBLE) -- shoot you, backup! Get down on the ground! -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All cars -- all cars be advised, subject is running, subject is running. KIDDER: Keep your hands out, keep your hands out if you want to get shot, do you understand that? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes sir. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: The camera that captured that heroic police work was not issued by the police department, it was a gift from officer Kidder`s family. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GLANZ: I know that he has received a lot of training, and that`s documented, and he has those documents. And I believe they were released by his lawyer. I just know that Mr. Bates has been to the range several times and is qualified and that`s documented. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: That was Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz today at a news conference insisting that 73-year-old volunteer Sheriff`s Deputy Robert Bates was properly trained to work as a volunteer deputy. But Sheriff Glanz could not confirm that Robert Bates was trained to use the 357 Smith & Wesson that he says he confused with his taser when he shot and killed Eric Harris. The "Tulsa World" reports that the 357 revolver was not on the approved list of firearms deputies can carry on duty. Three years of firearms qualifications from Mr. Bates records and most of the records of his officer field training are missing. Over the weekend, attorneys for Robert Bates released 65 pages of documents, they insist show that Robert Bates received the necessary training. Last week, "Tulsa World" reported, according to multiple anonymous sources that Mr. Bates training records had been falsified. Today, Sheriff Glanz was asked about that. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there an investigation into these allegations of falsified records that you guys actively investigating? GLANZ: No, we are not. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You were through the -- (CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, why -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Prior to -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Given the magnitude and the power of those kinds of allegations, why wouldn`t you be looking -- GLANZ: Apparently, they don`t want to talk to me, but they`re welcome to, they can go to the FBI and talk to them. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Robert Bates gave his first public account of how he mistakenly used his gun instead of his taser in an interview with Matt Lauer on "The Today Show". (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MATT LAUER, JOURNALIST: Would you do me a favor, would you stand up for me for one second and show me, where on your body when you are in your uniform you keep your taser and where you keep your weapon? Your revolver. Can you stand up and show me? ROBERT BATES, RESERVE DEPUTY SHERIFF, TULSA, OKLAHOMA: Sure, you bet. My taser is right here on the front tucked in a protective vest, my gun itself is on my side, normally to the rear. LAUER: And people are going to look at that, Mr. Bates, there to say, how could you make this mistake? How could you think you were going for your taser on your chest tucked into that vest and accidentally pull your weapon? BATES: Well, let me say, this has happened a number of times around the country. I have read about it in the past, I thought to myself after reading several cases, I don`t understand how this can happen. You must believe me, it can happen to anyone. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Dan Smolen, the attorney for the family of Eric Harris and back with us is Marq Claxton, former NYPD detective. Dan Smolen, what was your reaction to hearing Mr. Bates describe where those two weapons were to Matt Lauer. DAN SMOLEN, ATTORNEY: Well, I mean, you can see the picture of the taser in a still frame from the video, and I think it`s much higher even than Mr. Bates` referencing in that interview with Matt Lauer. It`s a bright yellow taser that`s up high here, and based on what I know of the shooting that day, Mr. Bates walked from his vehicle again over to where Mr. Harris was and shot him. He didn`t pull his weapon. O`DONNELL: Let`s listen -- let`s listen to what Sheriff Glanz said today about his friend and how he made that mistake with his taser and his gun. And I warn you, listen to this very carefully because I have trouble making sense of it no matter how many times I listen to it. Let`s listen to what the Sheriff said. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GLANZ: Bob didn`t mistake a gun for a taser, he mistaken having a gun in his hand and thought it was the taser. He didn`t transition from a gun to a taser. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Marq Claxton, I hope you`re going to explain to me what I just heard. CLAXTON: My eyes are rolling around in my head. I mean it`s really amazing to me -- I mean, let`s be clear about something. That gentleman had no business being even in a position to commit this, you know -- to commit this killing of this individual. He should not have been in close proximity with a firearm with professional police officers. We have to be mindful, we`re talking about public safety. Public safety and we can`t just give this to anyone who`s had "some training" or similar training or likes the police or has a title of reserve or auxiliary, anything else. The perfection policing requires certain professional standards, there is extensive training, there is tactical training. There is a whole examination process, perhaps psychological interviews. Not everyone who wants to be the police should be treated as if they are the police, regardless if their friend is the sheriff or not. And the explanations coming forth are extremely troubling and detrimental to the wellbeing of professional law enforcement. It`s inexcusable and the sheriff really should be ashamed of himself. O`DONNELL: In addition to everything else you just mentioned, Marq, there are also mandatory retirement ages. And NYPD is ten years younger than Robert Bates -- CLAXTON: Sure -- O`DONNELL: Is the maximum age. I want to -- sure, hear one part of this news conference today that explains actually just how friendly the sheriff is with his friend, Bob, as he just described him, including taking vacation trips together to the Bahamas. Let`s listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Allegations of you and some other members of the sheriff`s office taking trips to the Bahamas, things of that sort paid for by Robert Bates, is that true? GLANZ: No, let me say, part of it is true, yes. But I paid for part of it because I went too. And it was -- wasn`t just Bates that went with me, it -- or I went with him. The undersheriff was there along with another reserve. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: So Dan Smolen, Robert Bates supervisor, his ultimate supervisor here, the sheriff, he`s paid for vacations to the Bahamas for him. SMOLEN: Absolutely and what I`m furious about is, not only the Bahamas, but how many times have they been to Bates` home in Florida? How many times have they been to Bates` home in Colorado together? How many times have the members of the violent crimes task force traveled with Mr. Bates? And that`s the exact issue that we`re dealing with here. You`ve got a guy out there that`s got no training, they`ve been unable to establish anywhere close to the necessary training. And it leads one to believe the only reason he is out there is because he`s providing vacations and weapons and vehicles and money to this violent crimes task force. O`DONNELL: Dan Smolen and Marq Claxton, thank you both for joining me tonight on this, thank you -- SMOLEN: Thank you, Lawrence. CLAXTON: Thank you, Lawrence. O`DONNELL: Coming up, the "New York Times" reports that the Koch Brothers seemed to have picked their candidate for president. And Hillary Clinton says she is ready for Republican attacks against her. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: People want three things. They want a new, fresh face, particularly if we`re going to support or we`re going to take on Hillary Clinton. They want someone from outside of Washington who`s got big, bold ideas. And most important, they want someone who`s got a proven track record, not just talk to someone who`s fought and won for the hardworking taxpayers. I think, out of anyone who`s thinking about running, we`re the only one that can say yes to all three of those. (END VIDEO CLIP) LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: The Koch brothers just might agree in Manhattan today, at a closed fundraiser for the New York State Republican Party, "The New York Times" reports the two attendees said David Koch indicated Scott Walker should be the nominee. The Koch brothers have already committed to spend nearly a billion dollars to their political organizations in the next two years to put a Republican in the White House, who they are clearly hoping is Scott Walker. "The Times" reports that -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- "at today`s fundraiser, Mr. Koch suggested that the political organizations they oversee, which include Americans for Prosperity, The Grassroots Organization and Freedom Partners, a donor trade group with an affiliated super PAC, would not intervene in the Republican primary process on behalf a single candidate." "But according to two attendees who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely describe the remarks, Mr. Koch indicated that the Koch Family might personally offer financial support to Mr. Walker." (END VIDEO CLIP) Tonight, David Koch released this statement -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- "While I think Governor Walker is terrific, I am not endorsing or supporting any candidate for president at this point." (END VIDEO CLIP) Joining us now, Kasie Hunt, MSNBC Political Reporter, Charlie Cook, Editor of "The Cook Political Report" and a political analyst for the "National Journal" and NBC News, and Former Ohio Republican Congressman, Steve Latourette. First of all, Casey Hunt, are you lost. (LAUGHTER) This is New York City. KASIE HUNT, MSNBC POLITICAL REPORTER: I wandered into your studio. O`DONNELL: You`re sitting -- this is not New Hampshire, this is not Iowa. HUNT: I don`t think New York is officially on the campaign trail. (LAUGHTER) O`DONNELL: No. Charlie Cook, is New York in doubt in the presidential primaries. CHARLIE COOK, NBC NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: No. But I`m no sure that was the -- that`s not "The York Times" story I read three minutes ago. (LAUGHTER) But it said that he would be -- he predicted that Scott Walker would be the nominee, and it was a little fuzzier, I think, than that. O`DONNELL: Well, what strikes me, Charlie, is it`s -- it`s great to say, "I`m not endorsing anyone." But I do think this guy should be -- (LAUGHTER) -- the winner. You know, in my country, that`s what an endorsement sounds like. COOK: Well, I`m not sure. That`s how I read it but, anyway, that`s OK. O`DONNELL: Right. Steve Latourette, Scott Walker does seem to be the new darling. I mean, if -- STEVE LATOURETTE, FORMER OHIO CONGRESSMAN: Right. O`DONNELL: -- if everyone`s going to get their 30 days or whatever it was that last time around -- everyone seemed to get at least 30 days as the new darling, he is certainly it. Do you think he can sustain it. LATOURETTE: Well, the interesting thing to me, and Charlie is the expert on this, but this is the first time that I can remember a Republican field -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- this broad, where everybody`s trying to be the guy that represents something. So, you`ve got Rubio, who wants to be the foreign policy guy. You`ve got Cruz, who wants to be non-Obama. You`ve got Bush who was the Senate right guy. And I think there`s one more lane that`s available. And I don`t know if Scott Walker can maintain it or not. And that one lane belongs to a governor, who`s going to come in and say, "I`m outside Washington, I`ve got fresh ideas, I`ve got good ideas." And, until a little while ago, there were five of them -- Jindal, Walker, Christie, Mike Hansen, and my governor, John Kasich. And, I think, you`ll see one of them come out of that pack. But I don`t think that the field is going to sustain more than one of them. And, you know, Scott Walker -- everybody had a flirtation with Scott Walker earlier out of Rush Limbaugh and that bunch. And that seemed to have faded. So, we`ll see. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: The question of the day has become, for Republican candidates, "Would you attend a gay wedding." Let`s see how Scott Walker handled that with you, Kasie. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HUNT: Would you attend a gay wedding. WALKER: Well, in terms of -- that`s a -- certainly a personal issue for a family member. So, that night, our family -- we`ve had a family member who`s had a reception. I haven`t been to a wedding. But when -- that`s true, even though my position on marriage is still that is defined between a man and a woman, that supports the Constitution of the state, and for someone I love, we`ve been to a reception. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: So, Kasie, it sounds like a yes. HUNT: It does sound like yes. Although he seemed to make a distinction there between a wedding ceremony and a wedding reception. I don`t know if that`s a thing -- O`DONNELL: Yes, ceremonies are generally more boring. (LAUGHTER) And so, he is willing to go to the reception. HUNT: He wants to go have fun, I would think. No, but, you know, I think -- look, I think to a certain extent, there`s a little bit of a generational divide in the Republican field on this, right. I mean -- O`DONNELL: Rubio is a yes. HUNT: Right. O`DONNELL: He was the first one to get it. HUNT: And, Ted Cruz, of course, I guess, is in that younger generation. But he`s somebody who`s, so far, has punted on this question. O`DONNELL: Yes. He`s a maybe at this point. HUNT: Yes. O`DONNELL: He said something like, "The situation hasn`t presented itself." HUNT: Right. "It`s never been something I`ve had to make a decision about." Rick Santorum, on the other hand, said, "You know what, this is something I`m opposed to." But it`s amazing how fast this issue has gone from something Republicans once used as a cultural wedge. I mean, no Democrat, no major Democratic candidate in the 2008 race supported legalizing gay marriage. And, now, it`s something that`s becoming a difficult question for the Republican field. It`s astonishing. And for young people, the latest NBC poll shows 74 percent of Americans, 18 to 35, support legalizing gay marriage. That`s an overwhelming number. O`DONNELL: Charlie Cook, if the campaign teams are just sitting there studying polls to try to get their answers to these questions, is there a polling that indicates what the winning answer is to that question of "Would you attend a gay wedding," -- winning question for the Republican nomination. COOK: I think the winning way is to avoid the question. (LAUGHTER) I mean, just fuzz it up. I mean, the thing is, -- HUNT: Charlie, you`re making my job so difficult here. (LAUGHTER) COOK: It depends on which Republican part. Look, if you`re a Rick Santorum, a Mike Huckabee, a Bobby Jindal, running in that lane, of course, you can`t say you would do it. But for the sort of more secular Republican Party, you know, we`re looking at numbers at 40 percent in the last NBC "Wall Street Journal" poll, that`s 43 percent in CBS, 42 in CNN of Republicans support same-sex marriage. This number is moving so rapidly. But this is not a subject Republican presidential candidates are trying to go out and talk about. I mean, when you stick a microphone in their face, they`ve got to say something, or maybe not. But this is not something that they`re trying to talk about. And as Kasie said -- Kasie said that this issue has changed so fast just in four years. And that, by four years from now, eight years from now, this is going to be a non-issue even on the Republican side. O`DONNELL: Steve Latourette, if this question chases the Republican election, isn`t the answer there much more important than it is now. LATOURETTE: Well, I think it`s important than the Republican primary because there`s a certain part of the Republican electorate that isn`t going to like the answer that seems to be the right answer. And that is, of course, they would. I mean, it`s kind of a silly question. The question is "Would you attend," and not "How do you feel about gay marriage." I mean, that`s really the question. And I think the Republican nominee has to be where the public is on this issue. O`DONNELL: In defense of Kasie Hunt`s question, I suggested that everyone be asked that question in the campaign. (LAUGHTER) And, in my view, there are no silly questions. There are just silly answers. And I think we`re going to continue to get some. We`re going to take a break here. When we come back, we have breaking news about what could actually -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- be the collapse of the Chris Christie campaign for president before it officially starts. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) We have breaking news about the Republican presidential campaign. Robert Costa is reporting in the "Washington Post" at this -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- hour that Chris Christie`s 2009 chairman of his gubernatorial campaign is now backing former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in Jeb Bush`s presidential campaign. New Jersey State Senator Joseph Kyrilllos has also made a $10,000 contribution to Bush`s Political Action Committee. Kasie Hunt, this is sounding like there isn`t even going to be a Christie announcement at this point. HUNT: Well, look, I wouldn`t count him out just yet. O`DONNELL: Well, I counted him out over a year ago -- (LAUGHTER) -- as soon as he had that press conference about the bridge. HUNT: I mean, we`re still waiting on whether or not there are going to be indictments. If there are indictments in this Bridgegate case, I think all bets are off the table. I will say, I was up in New Hampshire this weekend. He`s mounting a sort of town-to-town town hall strategy in New Hampshire that, years, in some ways, what John McCain did, that ultimately won him that primary. Yes And I do think that Christie has enough raw political skills that that could potentially work out. But I do think that this is a sign that the Bush strategy is working. They`ve set out, from the beginning, to be the team that was sucking up all of the money, all of the support. And this is really a signal from the Bush campaign to the Christie campaign that, "You know what, we are making some progress here." And it should be a warning sign to him. O`DONNELL: Steve Latourette, it sounds like a signal to all the campaigns, not just the Christie campaign. LATOURETTE: Yes, it does. And I think that that`s the Bush strategy. It`s a good one. I just want to correct, I misspoke. I thought Kasie`s question was brilliant, by the way. O`DONNELL: Yes. (LAUGHTER) HUNT: Thank you. O`DONNELL: That`s what I thought you meant to say. (LAUGHTER) LATOURETTE: Well, yes, I did. You know, you misspeak and that happens but -- (END VIDEO CLIP) HUNT: In fairness, I wasn`t the first person to ask the question, so -- LATOURETTE: The fact of the matter is that I wouldn`t count anybody out at this moment of time. I sat in a room with John McCain`s team. There were like six of us at that time and he only had a couple hundred thousand dollars in the bank. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) And he thought he was toast. And he wound up being he nominee. So, you never know. But I do think that the Bush strategy, the same one his brother used in 2000, is effective. And I think it`s going to begin to move people to the sidelines. O`DONNELL: Charlie Cook, if Chris -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- Christie tries to keep the dream alive, do you see any place for him in this field. COOK: I really don`t. To me, early on, you had the Republican establishment, this sort of legacy Republican Party desperately wanting Jeb Bush to run. And up through September, October, up until pretty much Thanksgiving, it really looked like Bush was not -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- going to run. And that`s when you started seeing this ground swell for Chris Christie build up. It was someone looking for a sort of center-right but not right-right candidate. The day it started looking like -- right after Thanksgiving, it was starting to look like Jeb Bush was going to run, that was the end of the -- to me, that was like the end for Chris Christie. I mean, the bridge stuff is, to me, that`s sort of -- unless he`s indicted, it`s beside the point. (END VIDEO CLIP) But all the air has been out of his sails for a couple of months now. And, you know, to me, if there is a competitor for Jeb Bush in that sort of center-right space, it`s more likely to be -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- Marco Rubio than Chris Christie. O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to Hillary Clinton today at a round table. (END VIDEO CLIP) She went to a factory store that makes furniture for schools -- for elementary schools. Let`s listen to what she had to say there. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: I`m just thinking that, you know, you have this equipment here. If you could get some kind of grantor, other support from either local government, state government, even the community college or the college and, you know, you could have a program at night. I mean, you know, if somebody were to come in and basically say, "We`re going to designate Whitney Brothers as one of our training facilities." And your expert employees would get some kind of wage bump because you`d be the instructors. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Kasie Hunt, I was counting on all of those things to be just incredibly boring. But I watched every minute of this one on C-SPAN today. And when we got there, what was fascinating to me is it actually looked like this was a live, spontaneous moment of her getting this idea in this exchange with these people. It actually looked like, "Hey, wait a minute, this discussion might actually turn productive." HUNT: I think so. And I think that`s exactly their goal. I think you`re hearing it, too. And she talks to reporters at some length. She`s bringing up ideas that we haven`t necessarily heard from there. She mentioned substance abuse in particular. And this is something that Joe mentioned -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- earlier today. He was talking about how it`s such a huge problem in West Virginia. And I think that`s something we hadn`t heard her talk about before but it`s something we`ve heard about. O`DONNELL: But it`s the people raising the question. HUNT: Right. O`DONNELL: It was the people there who raised the question. (END VIDEO CLIP) Charlie Cook, she does seem to be getting smoother and more relaxed at these round tables. COOK: Yes. I think her campaign seems to be trying to do everything exactly -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- the opposite of how they did it last time. And, so far, I think it looks pretty impressive. I think the rollout -- I think the rollout was solid. And, you know, the question is, to me, this thing is not going to be about Benghazi or e-mails or the foundation or any of this stuff. It`s does she seem to be relevant to the future. Does she seem to have new ideas. You know, does she seem -- you know, presidential elections are about the future, not about the past. Midterm elections are about the past. And so, to me, if she`s striking these kinds of chords, that`s good for her. And these other -- these other things, they`re not -- you know, I don`t think they`re going to be that big -- a big a deal with swing voters or certainly not in the Democratic primary. O`DONNELL: Steve Latourette, quickly before we go, the Republicans seem to be -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- competing with each other about who can attack her the hardest. Is there a danger of overkill there. LATOURETTE: Well, sure, there is. You know, as a husband and a father of daughters, I`m really proud that the lead candidate of one of the parties happens to be a woman. I wish she was a Republican woman but I`m happy that it`s a woman. And you do -- you can do overkill and you can overplay your hand. And I think that they should come up with the ideas that Charlie is talking about. This should be a campaign of -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- who`s got the best idea to take the country forward. And they should point out why it`s them and not Hillary Clinton. O`DONNELL: Steve Latourette gets the last word on -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- presidential politics tonight. Kasie Hunt, Charlie Cook, thank you all for joining me tonight. HUNT: Thanks, Lawrence. COOK: Thank you. O`DONNELL: Coming up, deadly results -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- for nearly a thousand Libyan migrants fleeing the Islamic State as a ship capsizes on the way to Europe. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) The "Associated Press" is reporting tonight that Italian authorities have arrested the captain and one crew member of the boat that capsized off the coast of Libya on Sunday. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) Hundreds of migrants from the Middle East and Northern Africa are feared dead. And the accident has put a spotlight on a growing humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean. NBC`s Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel has more on two different disasters in the region. (END VIDEO CLIP) (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) RICHARD ENGEL, NBC CHIEF FOREIGN CORREPONDENT (voice-over): As the first bodies recovered off Libya`s coast were brought ashore in Malta, disaster struck again. Further east, a ship packed with Syrian refugees ran aground off the Greek island of Rhodes. At least three were killed, but more than 90 rescued, many dragged from the surf, close to shore. Those lost off Libya this weekend had no such luck. Their ship sank in deep water, at night, miles from shore. Only a few dozen survivors have been found, a tiny fraction of the 950, one survivor claims, were on board. Survivors say, when this cargo ship approached, many thought they were being rescued and rushed to one side to be seen. Their boat capsized, reportedly, with hundreds locked below. Just last week, 400 migrants drowned when their ship capsized off Libya. Why so many now? Conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Libya and across Sub-Saharan Africa are pushing people to escape economic and political hardship. Many are running for their lives. ADRIAN EDWARDS, SPOKESMAN, UNHCR: People fleeing in desperation aren`t fleeing out of choice. They`re fleeing because their lives depend on them finding safety. ENGEL: And with Libya in chaos, its coast has become a springboard for migrants desperate to escape to Europe, thousands of them. This past week alone, some 1,500 have died trying, equal to the number who perished on the Titanic. (END VIDEOTAPE) O`DONNELL: That was NBC`s Richard Engel. Coming up, should Boston Marathon bomber, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, get the death penalty. Some victims of the bombing say no. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) An MSNBC programming note -- tomorrow, Chris Matthews will be interesting President Obama at 7:00 p.m. on "HARDBALL." Right here -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- on MSNBC, President Obama plays hard ball. Up next, the 119th Boston Marathon was today. And the penalty phase of the Boston Marathon Bombing Trial begins tomorrow. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) Today was the second running of the Boston Marathon since -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- the bombing attack on the race in 2013. Other 30,000 people participated in the 119th Boston Marathon, including the female wheelchair race winner, Tatyana McFadden, who raced on Team MR8, a team of participants, who included the actor, Sean Astin. They all ran in memory of eight-year-old, Martin Richard, who was killed in the bombing. After the race, Tatyana McFadden gave Martin Richard`s father, Bill Richard, her Golden Winner`s wreath. Tomorrow, the penalty phase is set -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- to begin in the trial of convicted Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The same jury -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- that found Tsarnaev guilty on all 30 counts will return to the federal courthouse in Boston to decide whether he should get the death penalty. "The Boston Globe" published an appeal by Martin Richard`s parents, asking the prosecutor drop the death penalty option. They wrote, "We know that the government has its reasons for seeking the death penalty. But the continued pursuit of that punishment could bring years of appeals and prolong reliving the most painful day of our lives." "We hope our two remaining children do not have to grow up with the lingering painful reminder of what the defendant took from them, which years of appeals would undoubtedly bring." Joining us now is Dave Wedge, -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- a former investigative reporter for the "Boston Herald," and a co-author of the book, "Boston Strong." Dave, it was quite a day there today, with a lot of remarkable things, including Rebekah Gregory, who ran the last 3 1/2 miles. She was a bombing victim there. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) What else was part of the emotion of today. DAVE WEDGE, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, "BOSTON HERALD": Well, the marathon`s always an emotional day, Lawrence, you know. You`re from Boston, I`m sure you`ve seen it many times. But since the bombings, last year was incredibly emotional. This year was about moving on but we also have the backdrop of the trial. So, the emotion is high anyway. But, as you said, Rebekah Gregory -- there`s another survivor, Roseann Sdoia, who lost a leg in the bombing. She ran the last half mile. There were several survivors that ran for the first time today. Another woman named Michelle L`Heureux from Maine, was severely injured at Marathon Sports, was never a runner before, wasn`t able to run last year because she was still recuperating. And, today, she ran the race, the entire thing, with her fiance, who she was there watching run that day. So, it was an incredibly emotional day in Boston. O`DONNELL: And, Dave, this question of the death penalty has become the question of the day -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- in Boston. I want to quote another victim of the bombing, Mark Fucarile, who said to "The Boston Globe," -- "I think there are pros and cons -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- about both a life sentence and a death sentence. My thoughts change constantly, they really do." And then he said, "I don`t really want to comment on it." (END VIDEO CLIP) Is that something you found with victims of the bombing, that they`re not particularly ready to comment on that death penalty. WEDGE: Yes, I think, absolutely. I think there`s a lot of moral struggle here. I mean, look, Massachusetts is not a death penalty state for a reason. It`s something that people here struggle with. It`s not a clear-cut issue, even in a case as egregious as this. I mean, if there was one person that deserves the death penalty in this country, it`s certainly Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. There`s no doubt about his guilt. His defense team admitted his guilt. Yet, these people here, even the Richard Family -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- who suffered so tragically from that day, they don`t want to see the death penalty. (END VIDEO CLIP) And, you know, the other couple, Patrick Downes and Jessica Kensky, made a similar plea to "The Boston Globe." So, there`s a lot of -- lot of folks there that are wrestling with it, for sure. O`DONNELL: Well, we`ll be watching it. Dave Wedge, thank you very much for joining us. I really appreciate it.. WEDGE: Thank you. O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next. END