The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 05/06/15

Guests: Richard Wolffe, David Frum, Anne Gearan, Henry Fernandez

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. You know, Chuck Schumer has been talking about a woman`s right to choose her own reproductive freedom for decades now. And in 90 seconds, his little cousin, Amy -- (LAUGHTER) Does something -- MADDOW: Oh, good -- O`DONNELL: So much more memorable than every word Chuck Schumer has ever said about it. MADDOW: That`s right, he can now just say like she said -- O`DONNELL: Like she said -- MADDOW: And we`ll all get it much more clearly -- O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel. MADDOW: Thanks Lawrence. O`DONNELL: Well, we have a busy night of breaking news. We`ll talk to a reporter who is following tonight`s tornado outbreak in the Midwest. Also in political news, we just got another Republican presidential candidate tonight, and Bill Clinton is now ready for Hillary Clinton to undo his crime bill. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Bill Clinton today saying it is cool if Hillary Clinton basically runs on a platform that unwinds huge pieces of his legacy. BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We have too many people in prison. Any policy that contributed to it should be changed. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a fairly dramatic confession. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hillary Clinton slams her Republican presidential rivals. HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Not a single Republican candidate is clearly and consistently supporting a path to citizenship. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A major shot across the bow for eventual GOP challengers. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE) -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re going to have to do a lot more than put a video in Spanish. JON STEWART, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: My name is what? My name is who? My name is wicky-wicky(ph) slim chances. (LAUGHTER) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mike Huckabee is back in Iowa today -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The show into this time is going to be the stand out from the crowd. (CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No covering Beyonce for you -- (CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sir Elton John. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He appeared before a Senate Appropriations hearing on global health programs. ELTON JOHN, MUSICIAN: This Congress indeed has the power to end AIDS. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He got personal when sharing a story about his friend, Ryan White. JOHN: I was a drug addict. I was a self-obsessed -- excuse me. (LAUGHTER) And Ryan White and his wonderful family turned my life around. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is a tornado emergency in the Oklahoma city area -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A multi vortex tornado was on the ground -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have two tornadoes. We have two tornadoes. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Homes have been damaged, downed trees and power lines -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are in for a very busy night. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: We have a new Republican candidate for president tonight. "Nbc News" has confirmed that former Republican Senator Rick Santorum will officially announce his candidacy on May 27th. Here is what Rick Santorum had to say on Fox News tonight. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) RICK SANTORUM, ATTORNEY & FORMER UNITED STATES SENATE: May 27th in Butler, Pennsylvania, which is where I grew up, is where we`re going to make our decision and announcement as to what the -- our plans are for 2016. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: In his first run for the presidency, Rick Santorum squeaked out a win in the Iowa caucuses and had his moment at the near the top of the polls for the Republican presidential nomination. No Republican presidential candidate was more effective or relentless at attacking the Republican front-runner than Rick Santorum was. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SANTORUM: Why would we put someone up who is uniquely -- pick any other Republican in the country! He is the worst Republican in the country. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now is David Frum, senior editor for "The Atlantic" magazine, Anne Gearan, political correspondent for "The Washington Post", and Richard Wolffe, executive editor of Msnbc.com. Richard Wolffe, Democrats have to be happy tonight to see that Rick Santorum who just banged away at Mitt Romney endlessly is going to jump in there and I`m not sure there`s any other role for him to play this time -- RICHARD WOLFFE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, MSNBC.COM: Well -- O`DONNELL: Than just banging away at a front-runner. WOLFFE: I think there`s going to be concern that with Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, two killer candidates who stand no chance of winning the nomination, but stand every chance of taking down a serious front-runner. But you don`t want them to cancel each other out, right? The one thing you don`t want as a Democrat is Rick Santorum to go for Mike Huckabee and the other way around. Because they are both in the same territory looking at the evangelical vote, looking out for a win in Iowa. But the two of them can be very effective in taking down at least two or three or four of what purports to be the front runners right now. O`DONNELL: David Frum, how is Rick Santorum regarded within the party? Did they remember those attacks on the guy who became their nominee and how much damage that did? DAVID FRUM, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: There are a lot of different parties, but the party that is in Congress, the party that writes the checks, they do remember. There`s a lot of affection for Mitt Romney and a lot of belief that he came close and might have done better with a more united party. And I think Rick Santorum is one of the few candidates who would have practically zero support in both the congressional party and the donor party. There`s also a larger problem, which is the Republicans are getting too much supply in the part of the party for which there is too little demand. What the country is really going to be ready for in 2016 is a culturally modern Republican who can deliver fiscal responsibility and manage healthcare in a way that doesn`t cast a lot of people out of their insurance. What it`s getting is this huge supply of social-cultural worriers, and that`s a real mismatch. And the risk is that somebody like Jeb Bush is going to have the most effective part of the political spectrum all to himself and will end up running more or less unopposed while all the social conservatives crowd jostle each other over on the right. O`DONNELL: Anne Gearan, that`s been kind of aversion of my theory about this, that the more of these guys who jump in there down there in the single digit range in the polls on the right wing of the party are all helpful to Jeb Bush ultimately. But this one has to worry Jeb Bush when they look at just how hard he hit at Mitt Romney. ANNE GEARAN, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, sure. I mean Santorum`s record of being a dragon slayer is something that`s got to be very worrisome to Jeb Bush. I mean at the moment, it`s probably worrisome to Scott Walker and a bunch of other people who -- you know, are -- would have been considered a month or two ago to be in the second-tier of the -- of the rankings. But, I mean, as you said in your introduction, it`s generally good news for Democrats. When, what are we up to now? Like 22 Republican candidates? I mean it`s -- you can`t keep them all straight. No one can keep them all straight. Republicans can`t keep them all straight. So, I mean, it`s a very confusing array on the Republican side, and, again, it`s very heavy on the tea party`s social conservative and of the spectrum. And that will whittle down, but in the meantime, it`s a whole lot of noise and it`s a whole lot of confusion that allows Hillary Clinton and to a lesser extent any Democratic challenger to her to really stand out on their side. O`DONNELL: Let`s take a look back at some of the rhetorical highlights of the Rick Santorum for president campaign in the first time around. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SANTORUM: One of the things I will talk about, that your president has talked about before, is that -- is that I think the dangers of contraception. I don`t want to make people`s lives better by giving them somebody else`s money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out earn the money. They say that people of faith have no role in the public square, you bet that makes you throw up. President Obama once said, he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: So Anne, the Clinton campaign is trying to figure out how to get Rick Santorum to start talking about the dangers of contraception again. (LAUGHTER) GEARAN: Yes, I`m sure they like nothing better. FRUM: You know, Lawrence -- GEARAN: Yes -- FRUM: Your PAC did not show and this is an important part of what made Santorum appealing. Is he was the one Republican last time who talked about something other than an agenda focused on entrepreneurs and business owners. He did that too. And that was a key part of his appeal. And the problem with Santorum was he joined an economically accessible message to a culturally inaccessible message. And the thing that has people like me, and maybe I`m not such a big group, banging my head is, is there some way to take what was economically inclusive about Rick Santorum and join it to something that is less socially exclusive. WOLFFE: Lawrence, it`s not a coincidence that Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, as much as we want to caricature them and pluck out this socially, culturally extreme quotes, both of them speak to economic populism. As David is pointing out, there`s a connection there at the heart of the Republican Party and this part of the Republican Party, between working culture and cultural conservatism. And we often don`t understand that in a Manhattan studio, Democrats clearly don`t understand that. But it`s also true that the Republican elite don`t understand that. You know, Jeb Bush cannot do what his brother did, which is go to South Carolina, speak in front of Bob Jones University, speak in front of Christian conservatives and also speak to that every man role. And that`s harder when you are the intellectual brother of that family as opposed to George W. Bush, the every man who could speak authentically as an evangelical as well. O`DONNELL: And Gearan, fast, any report in "The Washington Post" today about the Jeb Bush campaign? And the impatience that`s developing among some people about when are you going to announce inside report of Mike Murphy meeting with donors; Republican operative Mike Murphy meeting with donors, saying that he doesn`t want to be one of those presidents of August. Meaning one of these candidacies that floats up like Herman Cain, playing the short game. They`re playing the long game, they need a lot of money for the long game and that`s what they`re concentrating on now. GEARAN: Yes, I mean, it`s really interesting. I see some parallels here to what Hillary Clinton did last Fall and into the early months of this year when there was a lot of Democratic pressure on her to get in. Wait a minute, there`s so many Republicans running, they`re going to -- you know, you got to get in, you got to start answering this. And she had a similar view about playing the long game. I mean, Jeb Bush is not the front-runner by numbers in a lot of polls right now. But it`s a sort of a consensus view and it`s certainly a view in Hillary Clinton world -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- GEARAN: That he is -- if not the most viable, then among the most viable Republican candidates in the long haul. O`DONNELL: But he becomes -- GEARAN: So maybe he`s doing a smart thing here. O`DONNELL: David, go ahead -- FRUM: He is not doing a smart -- he is not doing a smart thing. The longer he is speaking to small rooms full of rich people, the more he is training himself to present a message for small rooms full of rich people. So with Jeb Bush, Jeb Bush is offering himself in effect as the most moderate Republican in the race. But what moderation means is that he treats Obamacare or use some kind of universal healthcare guarantee as the worst thing ever and immigration amnesty as the best thing ever. And those are the wrong polarities or somebody who wants to be -- speak for the Republican leading middle class. The Republican leading middle class is much more skeptical of immigration than Jeb Bush and much more desperate for some kind of healthcare solution than the Republican donor class is willing to offer. O`DONNELL: So Richard Wolffe, was Hillary Clinton`s reach on immigration where she says she wants to go further than President Obama. Was that something where strategically along with the policy objective of it strategically was a hope to kind of draw out Jeb Bush on this and maybe get him in trouble in his own party, either for flip-flopping or for -- you know, not condemning her? WOLFFE: We often like to project as soon as the Clintons -- this over watching strategic genius that they have -- well, five steps ahead of every possible opponent they could face. I do think -- and that may be true. But I do think in the first instance, what this does very clearly is prove some lefter sense of credentials to people who may have been disappointed, party faithful who are disappointed that President Obama didn`t go far enough. So, it`s a unique way to break with the President to say, I have more guts, I am more authentic and by the way, I need Latinos to go out and vote for me. And she had some considerable success of doing that at least in the Texas primaries back in 2008. So, it`s smart just on that basis. Does it also put Republicans in a bind? Yes, but pretty much every Democratic position on immigration reform puts Republicans in a bind. O`DONNELL: All right, we`re going to take a quick break here, coming up, Elton John and Rick Warren walk into a Senate hearing room. Now, I know that sounds like the beginning of a joke, but look at this. It actually happened today in the United States Senate. And next, some very good news from Baltimore tonight. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: And now for the good news, the really good news, news I`ve been hoping for, for a week now. CVS announced today that they will rebuild their store that was looted and burned last week in Baltimore. The company`s CEO Larry Merlo said, "as we watched the events unfold in Baltimore over the past week or so, our hearts turned from pain to the promise of what is ahead. Our purpose as a company is helping people on their path to better health. There is no better way that we can fulfill that purpose than to reopen our doors and get back to serving the community. It is simply the right thing to do." The right thing to do. That`s what good citizenship sounds like, good, corporate citizenship. But that`s not all CVS is doing. CVS Health Foundation made a $100,000 donation to the United Way of Central Maryland, Maryland Unites Fund and the Baltimore Community Foundation Fund for rebuilding Baltimore. CVS also paid its employees who were unable to work last week in Baltimore. Mr. Merlo said, "we are a 100 percent committed to serving our patients and customers in Baltimore." OK, now that sunscreen season is upon us, what do you say we all go out to CVS this week and load up on sunscreen or anything else you need. Because, you know, CVS has just about everything in there and let`s just show that we appreciate CVS` commitment to the people of Baltimore. But when I go to CVS, I`m still going to use my CVS ExtraCare card and get those big discounts. Coming up, there it is, there is my little CVS card. Coming up, Scott Walker versus Hillary Clinton. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: The last time Hillary Clinton run for president, she wasn`t exactly the leader on immigration reform that she is this time around. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) WOLF BLITZER, JOURNALIST: Do you support driver`s licenses for illegal immigrants? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. BLITZER: Senator Obama, yes or no? BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Yes. (APPLAUSE) BLITZER: Senator Clinton -- CLINTON: No. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Last night in Nevada, Hillary Clinton promised to go even further than President Obama has on immigration reform, including, if necessary, using executive action. And she said this about the Republican candidates. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: Make no mistakes, today, not a single Republican candidate announced or potential, is clearly and consistently supporting a path to citizenship. Not one. When they talk about legal status, that is code for second class status. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was the first Republican to react to Hillary Clinton`s statement last night, he tweeted this today. "Hillary Clinton`s full embrace of amnesty is unfair to hardworking Americans and immigrants who followed the law to achieve these rights. In 2013 interview of "POLITICO", Governor Walker said this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: At a minimum for people waiting to come into our country illegally -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right -- WALKER: We got to make sure that they get in first, that they get legal status first because they`ve been following the rules and playing by the rules. After that, if there`s a way to set up a process to let you -- you enable people to come in and have a legal pathway to do that -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes -- WALKER: That`s something we got to embrace. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And then the "Wall Street Journal" reported this from a March event in New Hampshire. "Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker told a private dinner of New Hampshire Republicans this month that he backed the idea of allowing undocumented immigrants to stay in the country and to eventually become eligible for citizenship position at odds with his previous public statements on the matter." And then a month after that, Scott Walker said this. (BEGIN AUDIO CLIP) WALKER: No amnesty -- if someone wants to be a citizen, they have to go back to their country of origin, get in line behind everybody else who`s been waiting. (END AUDIO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now is Henry Fernandez, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. So Mr. Fernandez, I guess there is -- there is just no doubt about Scott Walker`s position on this. HENRY FERNANDEZ, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: I have no idea what Scott Walker`s position is. But it`s kind of like the weather here in New England. If you don`t like it today, it will be different tomorrow. O`DONNELL: And David Frum, the last Republican to win the president -- to win the presidential election, George W. Bush, he won 26 percent of the nonwhite vote. After that John McCain won 19, Mitt Romney last time won 17, and the way the demographics have changed to what the numbers mean now is, if a Republican manages to get back up to George W. Bush`s level, that would now be a losing position. FRUM: Look, first, the nonwhite vote is made up of many different communities. And everyone who is like -- it is -- it is simply not true. It`s not true that immigration is the driver of the Republican difficulty with nonwhite Americans. Nonwhite Americans include both some of the most affluent people in America and some of the least white, at least affluent people in America. But what has been weighing the Republican party down with those communities is one cultural exclusion, emphasis on Christianity. A lot of Asian Americans don`t identify as Christians. And for Latinos in particular, they have very pressing healthcare needs, and Republicans have not had for Latino American citizens and legal residents have not had a powerful healthcare message. But to set -- but it is a trap for Republicans to get into a competition with Democrats as to who is going to offer the more generous amnesty to people who are present in the country illegally. Republicans need a clear line. They are against illegal immigration, they will enforce the law. After the law is convincingly enforced, then we`ll see about what is to be done with those hard cases that remain. But first, enforce the law and that is a clear line that voters can understand. O`DONNELL: Henry Fernandez -- FERNANDEZ: Yes, that`s just -- O`DONNELL: Go ahead -- FERNANDEZ: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Go ahead Henry -- FERNANDEZ: I just say that`s just not true. I mean if you look at what polling says or if you just use common sense, if you think that a Republican candidate is going to deport your aunt or your mother, you`re not going to support them. And that`s pretty much the problem for the Republican party on this issue. When we look at the polling where there is Bloomberg polling or it`s Latino decisions polling, this issue is right upfront for Latino voters, for Asian voters. And I don`t think that there is any question that Hillary Clinton laid out a very comprehensive, thoughtful, and detailed set of positions on immigration. That`s going to make a huge difference to voters and the two fastest growing parts of the electorate; Latino voters and Asian voters. So what was just said is simply untrue. O`DONNELL: I want to get to what Hillary Clinton is now saying about the crime bill that was passed in Bill Clinton`s second year of presidency which he happily signed into law. The -- an analysis of the Justice Policy Institute says that under President Bill Clinton, the number of prisoners under federal jurisdiction doubled and grew more than it did under the -- FRUM: Right -- O`DONNELL: Previous 12 years of Republican rule. Let`s listen to what Hillary Clinton said about that. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: When we talk about one and a half million missing African- American men, we are talking about missing husbands, missing fathers, missing brothers. They`re not there to look after their children or to bring home a paycheck and the consequences are profound. Without the mass incarceration that we currently practice, millions, fewer people would be living in poverty. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And so what did Bill Clinton say about that? Let`s listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON: The problem is, the way it was written and implemented is, we cast too wide a net and we had too many people in prison. I strongly support what she is doing and I think any policy that was adopted when I was president in federal law that contributed to it should be changed. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And Gearan, that`s about as gracefully as you can handle your wife running against a policy that you were a champion of. GEARAN: Absolutely. And it`s probably going to happen on a couple more issues, right? I mean, the criminal justice issues, there are -- there`s same-sex -- same-sex marriage. There are -- O`DONNELL: Right -- GEARAN: Immigration issues, there are a number of things where you`ve seen her start to articulate some policies that now are not only different than those laid out in the Clinton presidency 20 years ago, but beginning to be different from the Obama policies. And this is going to be a tension that -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- GEARAN: She continues to have going forward. How does she not only distinguish herself from the sitting president. But how does she show how she would do things differently than her husband and there are a whole lot of voters now who don`t even remember the first Clinton administration -- if there is a second one. But should she still tie to that and she has to show there -- yes, tension continuing in continuation. There`s some continuity there, but there are also going to be many differences. O`DONNELL: And Richard Wolffe -- FRUM: But this -- O`DONNELL: Go ahead -- FRUM: This is an announcement. Even -- O`DONNELL: Go ahead -- FRUM: Even more reckless than the -- this is even more reckless, the immigration announcement. You know, between 1990 and 2010, over 20 years, we have seen the steepest, fastest decline in crime probably ever recorded in social science. The Republic today suffers less crime than at any time since good statistics began in the 1970s, since any kind of statistics began in the 1920s and `30s than probably than any time since the founding of the Republic. It is the one of the greatest public policy successes of the past generation. Now, that gives you some scope for a little bit of tinkering. And if the idea is to say, let`s see if we can cautiously relax some of the laws, cautiously reduce prison populations, that`s a good thing this (INAUDIBLE) support for. But since you suggest this policy was anything other than a massive success than to save literally ten thousand lives a year, fewer -- (CROSSTALK) FERNANDEZ: No, this is -- FRUM: Ten thousand fewer people murdered -- FERNANDEZ: This is -- this is untrue -- FRUM: Than they were murdered -- FERNANDEZ: This is just untrue -- FRUM: In the beginning of the 1990s -- O`DONNELL: Go ahead Henry -- (CROSSTALK) FERNANDEZ: This is not -- FRUM: It`s the path -- FERNANDEZ: Exactly -- FRUM: We know how -- FERNANDEZ: This is just -- FRUM: Many people were murdered -- FERNANDEZ: No -- FRUM: Indicted -- FERNANDEZ: No, this is not -- FRUM: We know how many -- FERNANDEZ: True -- FRUM: Were murdered last -- FERNANDEZ: Well -- FRUM: Year -- O`DONNELL: Go ahead Henry -- FERNANDEZ: Right, and we also know -- O`DONNELL: Fernandez, go ahead -- FERNANDEZ: We also know that we`ve seen dramatic changes in the nature of policing. So we know that community policing had a huge impact. We also - - O`DONNELL: That`s true -- FERNANDEZ: Know -- we also know that we had major disinvestment in things like affordable higher education, we`ve had a number of things that have happened -- (CROSSTALK) FRUM: And how did that reduce the crime rate? -- FERNANDEZ: Made it much -- what -- well, listen, it made it much more difficult for poor families and working families to come up out of poverty. And the -- what we`re now seeing in places like Ferguson, Missouri, is this tension coming to ahead. And so any president or presidential candidate who does not look for ways to address this has a very serious problem and it is not fit, frankly, to be president. This is a serious problem for communities across this country, particularly for the African-American community. And it has an important -- (CROSSTALK) FRUM: What is true? What is true? -- FERNANDEZ: Impact on election -- FRUM: You -- FERNANDEZ: Because of -- FRUM: You`re -- FERNANDEZ: Who gets a vote -- FRUM: You`re mixing things that are true and things that are false. It makes it the -- it is certainly true. Prison was not the entire reason for the drop. More people in jail for longer, it was not the entire reason for the drop in crime. As you say, better policing helped, new technologies helped; better cameras, better ways of tracking bank robberies and car thefts. All of those things came together -- FERNANDEZ: But we also made things crimes -- FRUM: And we don`t know -- FERNANDEZ: Which weren`t -- FRUM: And we don`t -- FERNANDEZ: Crimes previously -- FRUM: We don`t know exactly -- FERNANDEZ: We made -- O`DONNELL: Right -- FERNANDEZ: Drugs -- O`DONNELL: Guys, I`m going to have to -- FERNANDEZ: We made drugs -- O`DONNELL: I`m going to have to -- FERNANDEZ: Crimes -- O`DONNELL: Break it up -- I`m going to have to break it up here, David Frum, we`ll continue this another night. FRUM: Right -- O`DONNELL: I just want to -- FRUM: Democrats don`t want to -- O`DONNELL: I just want to -- FRUM: Be saying that -- O`DONNELL: Throw into this -- FRUM: Criminals don`t belong in prison -- O`DONNELL: I just want to throw into this that, the legal system and penal policy is one of the minor factors in the crime rate, as most social scientists understand -- WOLFFE: That`s right. O`DONNELL: One of the biggest explainers of the 1990 change in crime rate was the great economy under Bill Clinton and the great decrease in unemployment that he had inherited when he came in there. That`s when -- (CROSSTALK) O`DONNELL: He got the biggest factor that has nothing to do with anything we`re talking about tonight. We`re out of time for this, we can`t finish it tonight, we`ll continue with Henry Fernandez, David Frum, Anne Gearan -- FRUM: Thank you Lawrence -- O`DONNELL: Richard Wolffe, thank you all very much for joining me tonight. GEARAN: Thank you. WOLFFE: Thank you. O`DONNELL: Coming up next, we will go live to the Midwest for the latest tornado outbreak there. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: It`s a dangerous and rapidly changing situation in the plains tonight. At least 20 tornadoes have been reported in at least three states, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. It`s been very tense evening in Oklahoma City area where the state emergency operation center was activated less than an hour ago. And this just in for the first time in Oklahoma City history, there has been a flash flood emergency declared there. The national weather service declared a tornado emergency earlier this evening. As the tornado outbreak hit the Oklahoma City metro area. Tornados bored down on the towns of Norman and Moore. The Will Rogers airport was evacuated not once but twice tonight and two major interstates were shut down because of debris on the roadway. Here is how NBC`s Oklahoma City affiliate covered the tornados tonight. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s on the ground, it`s on the ground, multi vortex. I`m going to have to go here in just a second because this thing is almost on top of me, putting out the satellite tornados, as well. Mike, back to you, I`ve got to go. MARC DILLARD, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: We have two tornados, we have two tornados they`ve got debris lifting out towards me, I`m passing now on 36. We got a lot of tree damage. I`ve got debris blowing in towards the tornado. This is going to be heading towards the water tower on the north side of Rock Creek Power Plant. Large power flashes. This is it Mike, coming to the ground right now. This is it. Folks, you`ve got to be ready for it. Mike, I`ve got trees coming down on me and power flashes. I`ve got to back out of here. I`ve got trees coming down on me. Back it out, Mike, back it out. O`DONNELL: Joiningg us now is weather channel meteorologist Alex Wilson. Alex, is the worst over? ALEX WILSON, METEOROLOGIST: Well, no, Lawrence, I think as far as the rain goes for Oklahoma City, no. And we still have active warnings, tornado warnings, in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas but the rain still continues to fall in Oklahoma City and Moore is on the way, these are the tornado watches that are still in play. So all the areas shaded in that red color. 39 reports of tornados, two funnel clouds, 37, I should say, tornado reports coming in today. Notice from Nebraska all the way down into Oklahoma, take a look at the six-hour rainfall. [22:35:00] Anywhere in that purple color, that purply-pink that`s at least four inches of rain in six hours. Some areas approaching eight inches of rain in six hours. So that`s why the national weather service has issued that flash flood emergency, meaning this is an especially dangerous situation. And we`ve already seen plenty of reports of flash flooding occurring around the Oklahoma City area. Some of those storms in northern Texas are going to work up into Oklahoma City through the overnight and tomorrow morning. So they`re going to see more rain. Tomorrow, a threat of isolated tornados as well as wind and hail all the way from Minnesota and Wisconsin down towards the Texas/Mexico border. So we are not done with the severe weather. Notice Oklahoma City there again. O`DONNELL: Thanks, Alex. Joining us now on the phone from Moore, Oklahoma, is associated press reporter Shawn Murphy. Shawn, Moore, Oklahoma has been through this before, what`s the situation there now? SHAWN MURPHY, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Well, the biggest situation here now is primarily the flooding. These storms brought with them heavy rains and once the tornados moved through the rain it`s flooded a lot of roadways, especially in this city, which is a suburb of Oklahoma City. People are just having to deal with mostly just flooded roadways, some are impassable. And but that`s about the worst of it right now. O`DONNELL: And is there a - is there any indication about how things were going to be tomorrow when everyone gets up and tries to get to work? MURPHY: Well, it looks like the heaviest damage reports were in the community of bridge creek, which is actually about 30 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. We definitely have reports there of homes and businesses that were heavily damaged and destroyed. That`s where our tornado actually touched down. There was debris in the inner state forcing the closure of two major interstates, downed power lines. Norman also suffered some damage with trees and lands down, damages some school there. And I think because it was so late, I`m not sure that a full assessment of the damage has been realized. O`DONNELL: Sean Murphy, thank you very much for joining us tonight. MURPHY: Thank you. O`DONNELL: Coming up. Mr. John goes to Washington. ANNOUNCER: You`re watching MSNBC. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Tonight, four police officers were honored in New York City and their actions after being attacked by a man with a hatchet last year who authorities believed was motivated by ISIS. One of the officers suffered a severe head wound and he thought he was going to be killed before his partners then killed the attacker. Tonight, the officers are speaking publicly for the first time. Jonathan Deans of MSNBC TV in New York has the story. KENNETH HEALY, OFFICER: I said I`m going to die, I`m going to die. JONATHAN DEANS, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Rookie Officers Kenneth Healy never saw the ax wielding terrorist in what the NYPD calls, a lone wolf terror attack. In October, Healy and three other officers were on routine patrol when a photographer asked them to pose for this photo. Out of the corner of his eye, Officer Joseph Meeker saw a figure closing in fast. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happens as you see the (shooter)? JOSEPH MEEKER, OFFICER: As I saw it I just put my arms up and I guess it hit off my forearm into the wall. I remember hearing that loud bang. And I look over and my partner is down that quick. DEANS: Twenty five year-old Healy had been hit in the back of the head, his skull shattered, his brain damaged, but he was still conscious. HEALY: I was just so confused. You know, one second you`re just taking a picture and the next, you know, I`m staring my skull on the floor. DEANS: Authorities said the attacker, Zale Thompson was self-radicalized, inspired by watching ISIS videos. HEALY: He started coming towards me and that`s when just training kicked in. DEANS: Officers Taylor Craft and Peter Rivera open fire killing Thompson. The entire incident lasted just six seconds. Healy was carried to a patrol car and rushed to a hospital. HEALY: I kept saying, don`t like to me, don`t like to me. How bad is it? How bad is it? They were like, it`s not that bad. DEANS: For a time, Healy was paralyzed and lost much of his vision, but after surgeries and rehab, he`s improving. HEALY: And now, I can count money, tie my shoes, put on my shirt and now a couple weeks ago, I ran a mile. DEANS: Healy knows he was targeted because of his uniform. HEALY: This is the threat police and law enforcement have to look out for. It`s sad, but it`s the world we live in right now. DEANS: That`s part of his reason his three partners say they`re back on the streets, hoping Healy will soon be with them. Jonathan Deans, NBC News, New York. O`DONNELL: Coming up, the two guys who kissed on camera at Dodgers stadium will be joining us. And next, Elton John testifies to congress, he testified in a deeply moving and informative way. But he also used a word we have never heard before in a congressional hearing. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Today, the most important words spoken in congress came from a man wearing pink sunglasses. ELTON JOHN, SINGER: Thank you very much. Mr. Chairman, Senator Leyh and members of the senate committee, thank you for the opportunity to let me testify this morning. It`s a very daunting task. O`DONNELL: It wasn`t Elton John`s first time testifying to a senate committee. Senator Ted Kennedy invited Elton John to speak to his senate health committee in support of continued funding for AIDS treatment worldwide. Today, Elton John reviewed how much progress we`ve made since then. JOHN: The first time I testified before congress 12 years ago, almost no one had access to antiretroviral medicine in Sub-Saharan Africa where the epidemic was most acute. People being infected and dying by the millions, even though we very literally have the drugs to save their lives in our hands. At that point, 12 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa had been orphaned by AIDS. African leaders had declared AIDS to be a state of emergency. Worldwide, more than 30 million people were HIV positive. The disease left nothing but despair, ruin and fear in its wake. I saw it with my own eyes as I traveled to the hardest hit regions on behalf of my foundation and our grantees. In those years, the epidemic was only escalating until, in a time of great need and urgency, a republican president and a bipartisan majority in the United States congress created PEPFAR, the Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Compassionate leaders from both sides of the aisle said to the international community, America can and American will lead the world in the global fight against AIDS. Today, thanks to the unprecedented actions of Congress, an HIV positive mother in South Africa can give birth to the a healthy HIV-free baby who can live - she can live to raise. Today, thanks to the generosity of the American people, 9.4 million men, women and children have access to life- saving antiretroviral treatments. Where there was once disdain, ruin and fear, there is now hope, life, laughter and love. Mr. Chairman, because of the actions of this congress, the cause of the AIDS epidemic was altered for all of humanity. Because the American people had the optimism, the ingenuity and the will to make a difference, the lives of millions of people half away around the world have been saved. O`DONNELL: In response to a question by Chairman Lindsey Graham, Elton John credited Ryan White with both straightening out Elton John`s life and convincing him to make AIDS relief his cause and create the Elton John AIDS foundation. Ryan White was a 13-year-old hemophiliac who in 1984 was diagnosed with AIDS apparently the result of a blood transfusion. Ryan White`s situation captured the attention of the country when he was banned to returning to school because parents of other students and school officials feared that he posed a health threat to other students. Even though doctors said there was absolutely no such risk. Ryan White`s doctors said he had six months to live when he was diagnosed, but he lived another five years and died in April 1990, one month before his high school graduation. A few months later, congress passed the Ryan White Care Act, C.A.R.E. stood for Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act. When Elton John remembered his time with Ryan White today, he used a word we`ve never heard before in a senate hearing. JOHN: It was Ryan White who pointed out to me that my life was completely disordered. I was a drug addict. I was self-obsessed asshole, excuse me. And Ryan White and his wonderful family turned my life around because he was a young boy who had AIDS. He was a hemophiliac, he was treated very badly by people who were ignorant and had knew better and he never got angry about it and he forgave. O`DONNELL: Elton John gave credit where credit is due today to a congress that is generally known for doing nothing. He said congress changed the course of the AIDS epidemic for all of humanity and in the final words of his prepared statement, Elton John reminded congress that there was still more to do and it`s within their power to do it. JOHN: Mr. Chairman, this is the most powerful legislative body in the world and this congress, indeed, has the power to end AIDS. You have the power to maintain America`s historic commitment to leading the global campaign against this disease. I`m here today to ask you to use that power. To seize this window of opportunity, to change the course of history. And one day soon, I hope to extend my thanks to you, to this congress, to the United States of America, not only for fighting this disease, but for ending it once and for all. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Follow up to our report on the tornados in Oklahoma, we have this now from the Grady County Oklahoma Sheriff`s Office. A Tiger Safari facility in Tuttle, Oklahoma, was damaged by the weather tonight and, according to the Grady County Sheriff`s Office, quote, live animals from the facility are on the loose. We don`t know exactly what animals, but it is a Tiger Safari facility in Tuttle, Oklahoma. Up next, two guys who kissed on camera at Dodgers stadium. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: In the summer of 2000, a lesbian couple was ejected from Dodgers stadium for engaging in a celebratory kiss after a home run. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They told us that if we came back, we would be arrested for trespassing. And we asked a friend of ours to go get our stuff. And it wasn`t hammed well. O`DONNELL: And then this weekend in Dodgers stadium, this happened. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One second left. Two shots. O`DONNELL: Joining us now is that couple, Steve Simone-Friedland and Rick Simone-Friedland. Steve and Rick, that was quite a moment and what did it feel like when you got the biggest applause of anybody on camera that night? STEVE SIMONE-FRIEDLAND, GUEST: Well, I thought it was great and we thought it might not go well because they asked us if we wanted to do it. And we had about a half inning to chicken out and then we decided to go for it. And instead of booing, they cheered and they were accepting and happy for us, so it was kind of awesome. RICK SIMONE-FRIEDLAND, GUEST: In the moment, it was so much fun that I don`t think I was really aware of what the crowd was really doing. And a little bit until after the fact. So... O`DONNELL: Now I`m just learning something I never knew. So this is not just random panning of the camera. They actually talked to you ahead of time and they say, is this cool if we do this shot? STEVE SIMONE-FRIEDLAND: Yes, I mean, right before. They were setting up in our section to talk to another couple. And this nice young lady said to us, asked if we were a couple and we said, yes. She said well, get ready to pucker up. Then we went - we said OK. O`DONNELL: So you didn`t have much time to think about it. But you did say, I just heard a quote of yours saying that, you know, you said to each other, this could go badly. This could not go well. RICK SIMONE-FRIEDLAND: Absolutely. O`DONNELL: So how much worry did you have about it versus how much enthusiasm? RICK SIMONE-FRIEDLAND: Listen, the enthusiasm always outweighs the worry. I mean, a much as you can be concerned about that kind of stuff. I mean, you know, that`s a great moment to have, to be able to be on a kiss camera because you know, it doesn`t happen every day for a couple like us. So to be able to do it, of course we`re going to do it. O`DONNELL: And so did you - did you feel your place in history, your place in baseball history emerging here? STEVE SIMONE-FRIEDLAND: Yes. You know what? To be honest, I didn`t really know at the time that it was that big of a deal. It sort of subsequently I sort of found out that it was historical. And listen, I am a huge Dodger fan from way back. So to be tied to the Dodgers in any kinds of way is just awesome for me, anyway. O`DONNELL: Yes. I had forgotten about that 2000 story. When I saw a clip on it and it took me back to it. I remember when that happened. Look, there was reason to be a little concerned about how this could turn out. STEVE SIMONE-FRIEDLAND: Well, we faced scarier things than giving each other a kiss. It`s something - you know, we`ve been together 19 years. So it`s... O`DONNELL: Now you guys, are you season ticket holders? Do you know everybody who is sitting around you there? STEVE SIMONE-FRIEDLAND: No. I`m not a season ticket holder. I hope to be one day. But no, but the truth of the matter is that people around us were thrilled. They were very happy. No one made a big deal about it. It was awesome. O`DONNELL: Steve and Rick Simone-Freidland, thank you both very much for joining us tonight. We really appreciate it. STEVE AND RICK SIMONE-FRIEDLAND: Thank you, Lawrence. O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next. END