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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 06/02/15

Guests: Barney Frank, Norman Ornstein, Steve Kornacki, Caitlin Huey-Burns,Ben Wikler, Jesse Ehrenfeld, Judd Taback, Jordan Schultz

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: That does it for us tonight, we`ll see you again tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening Lawrence, welcome back -- LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Good evening -- good evening Rachel. I wasn`t working last night, but I did see your show and what you had to say about Beau Biden and Joe Biden last time was really beautiful. Really -- MADDOW: Oh -- O`DONNELL: Important. MADDOW: Thank you my friend, that`s very nice of you to say, thanks. O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel -- MADDOW: Thanks. O`DONNELL: And cheers. Well, we have new polls for the Democrats and the Republicans running for president. But first, the junior senator from Kentucky caused a lot of trouble for the senior senator from Kentucky today. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MAJORITY LEADER, SENATE: A resounding victory for Edward Snowden. A resounding victory for Edward Snowden. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Senate passed the Freedom Act -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Which ends the bulk collection of phone data. JIMMY FALLON, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: They decided to not monitor our phone calls when they realized that no one has made a phone call in seven years. (LAUGHTER) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The politics of fear came out in full force. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitch McConnell played a game of chicken with Rand Paul, Rand Paul called his bluff. SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Some of them I think secretly want there to be an attack on the United States so they can blame it on me. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think Rand Paul made a terrible mistake. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Dare to declare war on his party`s Fox -- SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS: I`m not sure why you`re blaming hawks in the -- in the party because I was one of them. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know you`re on the right track when everybody is after you. SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R) ARIZONA: I run for president twice, but I would never stoop to something like this. JON STEWART, COMEDIAN & TELEVISION HOST: You`d only stoop to something like this. (LAUGHTER) JEB BUSH, FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: This isn`t tiddlywinks we`re playing -- UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The Republican 2016 field heads to the sassiest place on the earth. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They`re calling it the Economic Policy Summit, what it really is a cattle call. BUSH: No, we got 75 people running I think, last time I check. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Offering the sort of red meat issues that conservative voters want to hear. RICK PERRY, FORMER TEXAS GOVERNOR: We need to repeal Obamacare, I trust your state, not Washington D.C. GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: You might also learn that there are four Ronald Reagan and there are four Americans. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lindsey Graham the favorite son now is running in South Carolina. STEWART: I say there`s little hope we`ll survive the Summer. (LAUGHTER) (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Tonight, President Obama signed the USA Freedom Act which continues most of the provisions of the Patriot Act, but does not include the bulk data collection of telephone records that had been operating under the authority of the now expired Patriot Act. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to preserve all of the elements of the Patriot Act, but in the end had to settle for passing the identical version of the USA Freedom Act that was passed by the house representatives last week. Ted Cruz voted for the USA Freedom Act, the other presidential candidates in the Senate, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio voted against it. At the end of today`s debate, Senator McConnell said this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MCCONNELL: As the "Associated Press" declared today, the end of section 215 program is a quote -- this is the headline in the "Ap" today, "a resounding victory for Edward Snowden". "A resounding victory for Edward Snowden." It is also a resounding victory for those who currently plotted against our homeland. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now, former Congressman and Msnbc contributor Barney Frank, author of "Frank: A Life in Politics", and congressional scholar Norm Ornstein, author of "It`s Even Worse Than It Looks". And look, Barney Frank, if you were still in the house, how would you have voted on this? BARNEY FRANK, FORMER CONGRESSMAN: Well, I did not study the revised bill fully. I -- should know that I voted against the original Patriot Act. We actually in the judiciary committee back then, under the leadership of a guy named Jim Sensenbrenner who is generally conservative, put together a bill that was very much -- support of liberals and conservatives and we sent it to the floor of the house, it was unanimous. And then Dick Cheney thought it wasn`t tough enough and it did not do enough to be intrusive. And he got the house Republican leadership to change it, so I then voted against that bill. I certainly agree with getting rid of the metadata, the collection by the federal government of every phone call made by everybody. Among other things, by the way, what do they do with that? The notion that there`s anything rational they can do with it, it seems to me a little bit hard. But the notion again that the federal government should have every phone call ever made by anybody, a record of it, yes, that`s pretty intrusive. So, I can`t tell you exactly how I would have voted on the bill that passed. I did vote against the original one and I would have voted for something that improved it. O`DONNELL: Norm Ornstein, the no votes in the Senate were interesting today because they were for different reasons, many of them. You had Rand Paul voting no because he`s opposed to anything in any of the bills, he doesn`t want us to have any form of the Patriot Act to continue. And then there is Rubio voting no because he wanted all of the Patriot Act to continue, so he wouldn`t vote for this partial version. NORMAN ORNSTEIN, POLITICAL SCIENTIST: And, of course, what we have here, Lawrence, is the headache and the multiple headaches that Mitch McConnell faces with four presidential candidates now in his own party in the Senate. Who have their own ideas and in both cases they were defying McConnell, basically. And that was true as well on the amendments that he tried to offer to strengthen the act today. And, you know, as you watch McConnell on the floor saying that this is a great victory for Edward Snowden and for our enemies and the terrorists out there. It also has to be remembered that this bill passed by overwhelming bipartisan margins in the very conservative house of Representatives and was accepted by the administration and the intelligence community as something that they could live with. So -- FRANK: You know -- ORNSTEIN: McConnell basically is getting hit from both ends and all ends and especially his own state colleague whom he has endorsed for president. O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Barney. FRANK: Can I make an important point here? Because this is really an opportunity for Norm Ornstein. (LAUGHTER) He wrote that book and you quoted, it`s even worse than you think about -- ORNSTEIN: Yes -- FRANK: Essentially the Republicans, he`s not ready for the sequel, it`s even worse than it was when I told you it was worse than you think. (LAUGHTER) O`DONNELL: That`s right -- ORNSTEIN: Actually, the next one is run for your lives. O`DONNELL: But Norm, talk about -- FRANK: No -- O`DONNELL: This -- FRANK: Runs for president. O`DONNELL: Talk -- ORNSTEIN: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Norm, talk about this population of senators running for president and what that does to a majority leader`s life in the Senate. This is a much bigger number than usual. ORNSTEIN: It certainly is, and remember that McConnell`s margin with his own party is razor thin to begin with. For the things that don`t have a filibuster where he needs just the 51 Republican votes, if he is trying to jam something through and that will include looking to the future or reconciliation bill, for example. If you`ve got four of your colleagues who take you below that number running for president, much of the time they are going to be, as Lindsey Graham was today absent without leave, they`re going to be off raising money, doing debates, campaigning in different places. And worse, they`re going to be like Rand Paul which is thwarting you at every turn, even if it alienates all the rest of your colleagues in your own party because he has other objectives. And let`s face it, Lawrence, the primary and caucus electorate for the Republican Party is even to the right of the Republicans in the House of Representatives not to mention the Senate. And remember one other thing, which is that McConnell is also trying to protect people like Mark Kirk and Pat Toomey who are going to be up next year in very blue states. So, he can`t verge that far to the right. This presidential campaign is an enormous series of -- FRANK: And -- ORNSTEIN: Ongoing headaches for McConnell -- FRANK: And there`s an additional fact here, I cannot remember a more incompetent performance by a majority leader than McConnell to be totally frustrated in his -- which is, and I think he does not understand the role. Look, when you take leadership in a legislative body, you`re making a tradeoff. You are increasing your authority and your power in general. But you are no longer a free acting individual, you do have to take into account the views of your membership. I felt that when I became chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. What McConnell tried to do here was to use the power of the majority leadership to force through a view that he holds, that`s very much a minority view in the body he`s leading. And the result was a disaster. And that is a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of leadership in a legislative body. Yes, you have more authority, and you actually get to say more than you did as a member. But there were limits, and you cannot take a minority view that -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- FRANK: You hold that`s in contradiction to what the great majority wants, and then as the majority leader force that too, that`s why we had this terrible mix up. O`DONNELL: But -- (CROSSTALK) ORNSTEIN: As you can -- Barney is exactly right on that front -- O`DONNELL: Let me -- ORNSTEIN: And -- O`DONNELL: Let me just add -- let me just add -- ORNSTEIN: Yes -- O`DONNELL: This Norm, and react to this possible element of it. Sometimes the leader knows where he wants to end up, but he can`t take a straight route to it. Because he has to offer other people along the way votes on certain things, and then he has to -- he has to make the end point look like a victory for more people than it`s a victory for. And so, is it possible that Mitch McConnell could have gotten this very same result earlier in this process or did he have to go through all this in order to end up where they ended up today? ORNSTEIN: Well, you`re certainly right that you sometimes have to take a roundabout route to get your colleagues to go along. Let`s face it, that`s what John Boehner has done as speaker, a kind of passive aggressive route to finally reach a point where people will get along with you. But McConnell did not have to take it to this extent and to this level. And the fact is, he wasn`t just pitted against Rand Paul, he was pitted against a whole lot of his own colleagues and he played the kind of game. I think in the end, you know, he offered a bunch of amendments, if any of those amendments had passed, it would have left the Patriot Act in limbo for another week or so which he did not want. So, maybe in the end, that was a kind of -- FRANK: Can I -- can I -- (CROSSTALK) ORNSTEIN: Pure victory for him -- O`DONNELL: But that goes to -- FRANK: Lawrence -- O`DONNELL: My point -- FRANK: Lawrence -- O`DONNELL: Barney, let me just have this for you and then go ahead. It goes to my point that McConnell knew those amendments weren`t going to pass. So the way I was watching him, it didn`t look to me like he was really trying to get those amendments to pass, but he just had to go through this play to end up where he is. Go ahead, Barney -- FRANK: So that -- Lawrence, that`s true as of today`s amendment, but I think you are giving him too much credit. This was his -- he did not want to see this amendment. He wanted metadata. That was -- he wasn`t trying to get here -- O`DONNELL: Right, yes -- FRANK: We are at a place that he didn`t want to get to, he did try to salvage it today. The only thing I do want to add though, and I -- when you said that the meta couldn`t take the straight route, at first I thought you were talking about Denny Hastert. (LAUGHTER) O`DONNELL: I thought you might. Barney, one more thing before we go, about McConnell. I get your point about legislative leadership. And I -- and I completely, generally agree with it, but what about -- is there something to be said for seeing a majority leader, which is very rare, going out there and saying this is what I think. I as a senator believe this very -- FRANK: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Strongly and I strongly believe we should go in this direction? And by the way, as a leader, be willing to suffer that loss if that`s what -- FRANK: No -- O`DONNELL: It comes to? FRANK: Yes, if that`s what you -- that`s not just what he did. It`s legitimate for the leader to say, look, I am going to argue for this position, but he used his leadership control over the agenda -- O`DONNELL: Right, yes -- FRANK: To not -- O`DONNELL: Yes -- FRANK: Having a fair fight. What he should have done, and I -- given the depth of his conviction, he should have said, OK, I am going to bring this bill up and I am then going to offer this amendment which I believe in. But he didn`t do that, he tried to use the coercive powers of the leader to keep it off the floor so that he would win, not because he could get a majority in the roll call, but because he would threaten them with a disaster of the bill. People said he tried to block the Senate -- they called this bluff. ORNSTEIN: Lawrence, let me make one last point here -- O`DONNELL: Go ahead Norm -- ORNSTEIN: Which is, you know, McConnell, when he was in the minority, used every trick and basically bent the norms of the Senate with filibusters in the ways that it never been used before to try and block everything. Then he becomes majority leader, says I`m going to go back to the regular order. And now, he`s getting thwarted, but not by Democrats, by his own party. O`DONNELL: Norm Ornstein gets the last word on this strategy tonight. We could go on and on about this one, Barney is going to stick with us when we come back. Coming up, we have new poll numbers that are going to change the way the race looks for both Democrats and Republicans in the presidential race. That`s coming up. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Police abuse of citizens can be very expensive, very expensive to taxpayers. Taxpayers in the Detroit suburb of Inkster will soon face a one-time tax to help the city pay a settlement to a man beaten by a police officer during a traffic stop. Last week, Floyd Dent settled his lawsuit with the city of Inkster for $1.4 million for this attack caught on video. But the city doesn`t have that kind of money. Michigan state law allows a one-time tax to cover that kind of judgment without voter approval. That tax will go on Summer property tax bills and will come to an average of $178 for each property owner. Up next, Jeb Bush loses the top spot in the Republican presidential polling. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BUSH: If I run, if I`m a candidate, and that decision is going to be forthcoming real soon. My intention is to run on my record and my ideas and run to try to win the presidency. I know the only way one wins in a two-person race is to get to 50 percent. And I know in order to get to 50 percent, you can`t tear down the 40 percent or the 35 percent, it`s just that simple. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: A new poll shows that Jeb Bush might never get the chance to run in that two-person race against a Democrat. In a "Washington Post", "Abc News" poll, Jeb Bush is one point behind both Rand Paul and Scott Walker. In that poll, Jeb Bush is tied with Marco Rubio. But the top four in that poll are actually so close that it is -- it is at least a four-way tie for first place within the margin of error of that poll. A "Cnn"-ORC poll released today shows Jeb Bush once again one-point behind the front-runner, who this time is Marco Rubio, but that too is close enough for at least a two-way tie for first place in that poll. Hillary Clinton continues to lead every Republican candidate when matched against them one-on-one. In "The Washington Post" poll, she leads Jeb Bush by three points in the "Cnn" poll, she leads Jeb Bush by eight points. The Republican who polls closest to Hillary Clinton is Rand Paul who trails Hillary Clinton by only one point. Joining us now is Steve Kornacki, the host of Msnbc`s "UP WITH STEVE KORNACKI". Steve is in Orlando where Jeb Bush and six other Republicans, potential presidential candidates spoke at an economic summit hosted by Governor Rick Scott. Also joining us, Caitlin Huey-Burns, a political reporter for "RealClearPolitics", and also back with us, former Congressman Barney Frank. Steve Kornacki, down in Florida today, you know, I have -- this part of the discussion is so tricky at the moment. These so-called potential candidates because Jeb Bush, once again, actually in his comments doing that thing of pretending he hasn`t yet decided that he is running for president. So that he can, you know, legally raise all that money on the outside of the campaign and without being accused of coordinating. But in that parade down there of candidates, who was best received in that group in Florida? STEVE KORNACKI, POLITICAL WRITER: Well, I`ll tell you, to be honest, I think it was Jeb Bush today. But that comes with a couple of big catches. I mean, obviously, this is Bush`s home state, not only that, if you look at what this crowd was today, this was an event organized by Rick Scott, the Republican governor here. The audience was by invitation only from the governor, these were his financial supporters from the business community in Florida. So these are people that Jeb Bush is the former governor of Florida, he has very close relationship, they go back, you know, a number of years, maybe decades in some cases. The other big catch though is, Marco Rubio wasn`t there in person today because of the Patriot Act stuff that was happening back in Washington. Marco Rubio only spoke by video, so you didn`t get him working the room, getting that sort of, you know, interpersonal warmth going that maybe Bush did. And you know, the other thing is, even if Bush did do well in this room today, and even if Florida still looks like a pretty promising venue for Bush. I mean, there`s some question about whether Bush or Rubio would have a leg up here, but we can agree that Bush and Rubio together are light years ahead of the other candidates in Florida right now. But even, you know, that being the case, the bigger problem for Bush is getting to Florida. When you start to look at how the map sets up, how the calendar sets up for next year in the Republican primaries, I mean, you could start right away and say he`s got huge problems right away in Iowa; the caucus state. All of the activists in the caucuses, right now he`s running and I`ve seen polls that have him in seventh place in Iowa. You can look at New Hampshire and New Hampshire looks a little better for Bush. But now, you know, he is running in the high teens in New Hampshire. You get to Nevada, the Bush people hoped to turn Nevada into a primary, a much bigger electorate. That was their plan, that plan blew up yesterday because the legislature in Nevada wouldn`t go along with it. It`s going to stay a caucus state. That`s not good news for Bush. South Carolina, Marco Rubio has made big inroads there, Lindsey Graham running as a favorite son, he will probably eat into Jeb Bush`s support in South Carolina. So, if you`re Jeb Bush and you can`t put some wings on the board in those first four contests, forget it, you`re not getting the Florida. O`DONNELL: All right, Caitlin, there`s -- these polls are always reported to have a front-runner, even when -- CAITLIN HUEY-BURNS, POLITICAL REPORTER, REALCLEARPOLITICS: Yes -- O`DONNELL: There`s a one-point lead which we are always told there`s a margin of error, one point means nothing. But you know, in a way these things are reported, Jeb Bush has to suffer that when he falls back one point behind the front-runner. Suddenly he`s not the front-runner, that spreads into the crowd, it spreads into the talk of the crowd that Steve was with today. And there`s only so much of this that Bush can survive. He`s got to stay up there, doesn`t he? HUEY-BURNS: Oh, sure, because there are so many candidates running, because it`s a wide open race, that`s a big factor. So, if you`re Jeb Bush and you`re falling behind other candidates, look at that and see an opportunity to move forward. So, I think throughout this debate, you are going to see a lot of -- kind of fire throwing, a lot of people trying to get up because it is such a big open race. O`DONNELL: Barney Frank, they have their message ready on taxes. Marco Rubio participated via satellite today in the Florida event. I`m going to give you a sample now of what these guys had to say about taxes. We`ll talk about it after we hear it. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PERRY: Lower that corporate tax rate and you will see a powerful message sent across the world. SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I`ll lower the corporate tax rate, so that it`s competitive with the rest of the developed world. GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: Best thing we can do is just get the government out of the way. Whether it`s lower taxes -- GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Bring a corporate rate down to 25 percent. BUSH: We have to fix one of the most convoluted complex tax codes by lowering rates. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Barney Frank, if they gave you a minute on that stage after that, what would you have told that audience? FRANK: That we have enormous needs in this country that have to be addressed, and reducing the revenue is not a way to do it. I keep reading about the people in Texas and the insistence they have now that we send them some federal money. Do they think the federal money falls down like the rain that they`re worried about? We have Lindsey Graham who wants to increase -- they`re all for increasing American military expenditure in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, logically, if you reduce taxes and you increase that kind of spending, then Social Security and Medicare which are otherwise quite sound fiscally if we do it right, they`re in serious trouble. So, this kneejerk -- oh, let`s cut taxes, let`s cut taxes, it will -- and by the way, they`re not talking about cutting taxes for working people. They`re not talking about cutting the Social Security payroll tax which has a very regressive impact. They`re talking about cutting taxes at the high- end while they are also -- and lets be very clear. When John Boehner complained about having to raise the debt, I pointed out that John Boehner voted to put on more of that debt on the -- on the rolls than I did. I didn`t vote for the Iraq war, I didn`t vote for a lot of these other things, so the inconsistency between talking about reducing government revenue and talking about substantial increases and expenditures of the highest kind. I hope there will be more conversation about that during this campaign. O`DONNELL: Let`s listen to what Jeb Bush said about immigration reform, and listen carefully because this is really quick. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BUSH: We need immigration reform for crying out loud. A broken immigration system puts drains on our economy. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Steve Kornacki, how did that work with that audience? KORNACKI: Again, in this particular audience, again, you`re talking about a room of business leaders here I think, in a lot of cases may not -- the immigration may not be as pressing an issue to them in terms of opposing as it is to the broader Republican base. And I think that gets into one of the problems that Jeb Bush has here. And that is, he has to be -- you look at the poll there, you showed them, at 11 percent nationally. There was another one the other day that had him at 10 percent, just by contrast when his brother, when George W. Bush was running for president in the primaries back in 2000, that was another crowded Republican field. That is a path to the nomination that when this campaign began, the Jeb Bush people thought they could emulate in a lot of ways how George W. Bush navigated his way to the front of that pack. Well, at this point in that race, he was at that 40 percent or 50 percent in the Republican polls, he was 30 points ahead of his nearest rivals. And the rivals at this point were starting to really drop out of the race in that cycle. That`s not happening this time, and if you look at an issue like immigration, it gives Bush a very limited room to get away from where the pace is. O`DONNELL: And that will be the last word on the Republicans tonight. Steve Kornacki, thank you very much for joining us. Coming up, those people trying to draft Elizabeth Warren to run for president are now starting to think they have to look for another candidate. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Run, Warren, run. The campaign to push Senator Elizabeth Warren into the 2016 presidential race is shutting down. Today in "POLITICO", organizers from and Democracy for America said, "we worked to amplify her voice wherever and whenever possible by raising the possibility of a Warren run for the presidency. We elevated the significance of her words and actions." Joining us now is Ben Wikler, the Washington director of Ben, how did it come to this? How did you -- why did you guys surrender? BEN WIKLER, WASHINGTON DIRECTOR, MOVEON.ORG: Well, I wouldn`t call this surrender, I would say that it`s a long shot for anyone who run for president. And we knew, when we started, that this was not someone playing coy. Elizabeth Warren is not someone who has -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- dreamed of being president all her life. What we also knew is that she rises to big fights, and we wanted to make the case to her that there`s a hunger for progressive fighters. There are enormous battles to be won on behalf of regular people against the special interests that are rigging the game. Now, we didn`t get our candidate. We obviously wish we had. But we do feel like we`ve moved the debate, the millions of Americans who want these issues debated, who want inequality in a system where the special interests and corporate money has too much power, who want those issues talked about. Everyone who`s been involved in that fight has won, because those are now front and center across the Democratic field. Even Republicans are starting to pay lip service to issues like inequality. (END VIDEO CLIP) And that, to us, is a significant step forward. O`DONNELL: Barney Frank, I think you have a candidate that you`d like to talk Ben into supporting. BARNEY FRANK, FORMER MEMBER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: Well, let me just say, I was on "MORNING JOE" on this network yesterday with Bill Crystal, who was doing everything he could to promote Bernie Sanders. The transparency of that was very clear. They don`t want Hillary Clinton to be the nominee because they think she`s very tough. I do not understand where the criticism comes from of her, I think, on domestic issues. You know, as Paul Krugman documented, one of our best writers on public policy, Hillary Clinton was to the left of Barack Obama in 2008, I think, on healthcare. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) When President Obama signed the bill that we weakened the Financial Reform bill somewhat -- not in a huge way but I wish he hadn`t done that, although it was Republican pressure that forced him into what he felt -- Hillary Clinton spoke right out and said she was against it. You know, she was an original supporter of a broader healthcare bill. Look, I wish that somebody who had a set of permanent positions, for instance, like mine, could get elected president. And if I thought that maybe I would have run, although I think Jim would have not really enjoyed being the first man, but -- (END VIDEO CLIP) WIKLER: Congressman -- FRANK: -- I want to elect somebody. And when Billy Crystal, on behalf of the Republicans, starts undermining Hillary Clinton -- WIKLER: Sir, sir Congressman, you know -- FRANK: -- I think that`s a good message. WIKLER: Mr. Crystal is making the case for Bernie, obviously, as a way of attacking Mrs. Clinton. But if you look at the "Run, Warren, Run" campaign, what you`re hearing, not as an anti-Clinton campaign but a pro- progressive fighter campaign. And, frankly, Secretary Clinton and all the candidates have a chance to move into that exact space. And I think we`re hearing it more and more. FRANK: Well, not as much as -- WIKLER: And whenever Secretary Clinton or the other candidates go to bat for the middle class against special interests, they get more ready, they get stronger. That is good for the party. I think that`s the debate that we need to have because the more we talk about these issues, the stronger we are. CAITLIN HUEY-BURNS, POLITICAL REPORTER, REALCLEARPOLITICS: I think, too -- what`s interesting, too, is that you`re seeing kind of this primary within the primary. Elizabeth Warren has forced this debate, I think. But she`s having more of an impact in the Senate, we`ve seen so far. O`DONNELL: Yes. HUEY-BURNS: We`ve seen Bernie Sanders and Martin O`Malley competing for a lane within the Democratic Party. And then they have to face Clinton. So, I think there`s a little primary within the primary there. O`DONNELL: Barney, what do you see -- FRANK: I would have -- O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Barney, go ahead. FRANK: This notion that, until "Moveon" talked about running Elizabeth Warren -- by the way, Elizabeth Warren, I believe, is much more sensible than her supporters. And this notion -- I have to say this -- the notion that you amplify her voice -- no, Elizabeth Warren`s voice was amplified when she helped us pass Consumer Financial Protection. And, in fact, she correctly understood that, to the extent that she was seen as someone maneuvering for the presidency, her voice would have been diminished. The media would have been -- started criticizing her. The purity of her concern for issues has been one of her strengths. And she understood better than others that seeming to be toying with the presidency would have diminish her influence, I believe, rather than strengthening it. As far as the issues are concerned, yes, we have been there for a while. And I`m glad to hear that this is not an attack on anybody. I do think there was an effort, frankly, -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- for people to claim more credit than is necessarily the case. And, again, I want to stress, we have a serious problem in November with money. We are going to be outspent significantly by all that Republican money. I don`t understand why some of my friends on the left think that we should do to ourselves this year what the Republicans did four years ago, weaken who will be the nominee. I want to save our money. And if people have a specific issue that they want to push, I`d like to hear it. I believe that -- WIKLER: Congressman Frank, you know -- FRANK: -- we have, in fact, been there for some time. WIKLER: You know, Congressman Frank, first of all, I agree with you that Senator Warren`s voice is extraordinarily powerful, and that her authenticity and her focus on issues is the source of her strength. I think what the millions of people, who have cheered Senator Warren on when she goes to bat against corruption and abuses of -- FRANK: Looks like you`re changing the terms of the discussion. I`m not talking about cheering her on. I`m talking about saying that she should run for president. WIKLER: A run for president does not suggest that she is -- we`re just toying with the possibility. It suggests that what we want to see is Warren and action that`s more like Warren. That`s what we want to see in our candidates. And that shows candidates that there is a path to victory. What we`re seeing in this primary is energy. And energy is what wins elections. FRANK: Stop. You`re being disingenuous. You were not saying we cheer her on. You were saying she should run for president. That was a disservice to her, a disservice to her winning in November. WIKLER: But saying that she should run for president is not saying that she`s being coy. FRANK: You`re now changing -- you`re changing -- WIKLER: It`s absolutely authentic. We are -- FRANK: You`re changing what you`re saying. WIKLER: We want her to run for president because we love her authenticity. And what we`re looking for from all the candidates is that same kind of fighting spirit and energy. That`s how you win elections. And that`s what -- FRANK: I know that. WIKLER: -- gets people out on the streets. FRANK: No, you don`t win elections by weakening your own side. And when you say, "Oh, we were just cheering her on," that`s not true. There was a serious effort to get her to run for president, which would not have been good for her. And Lawrence was right. You did collapse that effort. I`m glad you did. It was a mistaken effort in the first place. Cheering Elizabeth on, saying she`s doing the right thing, -- WIKLER: I don`t think that -- I don`t think that any of the Democrats are any weaker today because of "Run, Warren, Run." I think Democrats are in a stronger position because Democratic issues, issues of inequality and middle class opportunity -- FRANK: No, you are again -- WIKLER: -- have been talked about for the last six months. If this had only been the Republicans jocking for position, then we would have been talking on TV about tax cuts day in and day out. Instead, -- FRANK: No, that is simply -- WIKLER: -- there`s actually been discussion on our side of the aisle. Now, there`s actually going to be a primary and our candidates can make their case. FRANK: You`re just filibustering now. WIKLER: And it won`t look like a case loss where a candidate -- FRANK: That is simply not the case. WIKLER: -- swings to the right side of the aisle every single moment. FRANK: No Democrats were talking about tax -- WIKLER: We`re talking much better situation. FRANK: The Democrats were not talking about tax cuts though. Remember, Barack Obama -- WIKLER: No, I`m saying Republicans are talking about taxes all the time. FRANK: Excuse me, please stop filibustering. The Democrats were, in fact, pushing hard, with Hillary Clinton support, Barack Obama support, for raising taxes on people. And, again, you are trying to confuse two things -- being enthusiastic about Elizabeth Warren, very important. Saying she should run for president, it was a bad mistake and I`m glad you dropped the idea. O`DONNELL: OK, let me -- let me get a last word from Caitlin before we go to the break. Caitlin, go ahead. HUEY-BURNS: I do think that Democrats should welcome this primary because you have all of these Republicans on the other side that, you know, up to 18 of them almost, going directly after Hillary Clinton. So, if they`re going to spend the next several months fighting among each other but also directly attacking her. So, I think Democrats are seeing this as an open -- a first open race in a long time. If they can help prepare her for that general election and get her ready after this long nominating fight, I think they could consider that a kind of success. O`DONNELL: That will have to be THE LAST WORD on it tonight. Ben Wikler, Caitlin Huey-Burns and Barney Frank, thank you all for joining us tonight. Thank you. WIKLER: Thank you so much for having us. HUEY-BURNS: Thank you. O`DONNELL: Up next, a Republican -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- and his partner will share their message for marriage equality. And, later, the President of FIFA announces his resignation as a major investigation closes in on him. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIALS BREAK) This month, the Supreme Court will decide whether to require all states to allow same-sex marriage. One of the states that could be affected by that decision is Tennessee, where a ban on same-sex marriage was approved by voters in 2006. The group, "Freedom to Marry" created a new ad featuring a Tennessee Republican who wants to marry his partner. Television stations in Nashville, Memphis and Chattanooga, Tennessee are running that ad. But the NBC affiliate, WRCB in Chattanooga refused to run the ad, saying it was, quote, "very controversial." In a statement, the TV station told us here at THE LAST WORD, "We review all commercials before airing them. In this case, we decided to not accept ads for gay marriage or against gay marriage." Here is that ad -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JESSE EHRENFELD, GAY MILITARY PHYSICIAN: Jesse Ehrenfeld. I`m Republican, I`m a doctor and I`m a solider. As a military physician, I take care of other people`s loved ones who are wounded in combat. But here at home, I`m fighting a different fight. Because I`m gay, I`m not allowed to marry my partner here in Tennessee where we live. I was able to stand up and put my life on the line for the freedom that we all enjoy, yet I don`t have the freedom to marry my partner, Judd. Support the "Freedom to Marry." Because freedom means freedom for everyone. (END VIDEO CLIP) Joining us now for an exclusive interview, Dr. Jerry Ehrenfeld, U.S. Navy veteran, and his partner, Judd Taback, an administrative judge for the state of Tennessee. EHRENFELD: Good evening. O`DONNELL: So, judge, what do you think is going to happen in the Supreme Court. JUDD TABACK, ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE, TENNESSEE: Well, I hope that they vote in our favor. I can tell you that, Lawrence. O`DONNELL: And, Jesse, what made you do this ad. What gave you the idea for that. EHRENFELD: Well, we certainly want the freedom to marry, to marry each other, to make a lifetime commitment to one another, to stand up in front of our family and our friends, and have the -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- opportunity to do that here in our home state of Tennessee, where we`ve created a life for ourselves, surrounded by our friends in our community. And we`re hopeful that the Supreme Court will certainly come out in our favor. And it`s that desire to stand up on this -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- issue that led us to decide to make the ad when "Freedom to Marry" called us and asked if we`d be willing to be featured in it. O`DONNELL: Well, you`re living in a state where a 2014 poll by the Public Religion Research Institute finds that support for marriage equality in Tennessee -- supporting it is 39 percent, and opposing it is 55 percent. But, Judd, that`s a change in those numbers over time. And that`s more support than there was in Tennessee at the time they took that vote in 2006. TABACK: Yes, and we hope that trend continues and that people are more in our favor today. However, we do -- I do believe that this issue should be decided by the Supreme Court and should not be left up to the people to decide who I get to marry and who you get to marry, Lawrence. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) EHRENFELD: I mean, Lawrence, you wouldn`t want someone telling you and you wouldn`t want people in your state voting on whether you could get married or not, would you? O`DONNELL: No. And, Jesse, -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- what has been the reaction to the ad in Tennessee. EHRENFELD: It`s actually been overwhelmingly positive. I was in the operating room yesterday, taking care of patients and one of our housekeepers came up to me and said, "Doc, great job with the ad." We`ve gotten a lot of positive comments from friends, from phone calls from all over the country really. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) And, you know, I think, when we made this ad, you know, we were hoping that it would start some conversations in our community. We never expected the kind of attention that we`d get because of the decision that was made by this TV station. (END VIDEO CLIP) And, certainly, you know, we`re just delighted that this conversation is happening. And, like I said, the response has been pretty positive overall. O`DONNELL: And, Judd, what about for you. What has been the response to you personally in people`s comments. TABACK: It`s been pretty much the same, very positive, mostly from family and friends. And, yes, everyone seems pretty excited about it. O`DONNELL: And, Jesse, it may well be that, pretty soon, marriage equality is legal in Tennessee through the Supreme Court. And is this ad intended to, in effect, kind of soften up that opposition to what might become the law in Tennessee very soon. EHRENFELD: Well, certainly, you know, the Supreme Court is going to rule. They`ve probably already made their decision, probably in the writing phase right now. And our hope was really that our neighbors, our community members, my patients, people that we interact with when we`re at the grocery store, could hear our story, hear about the love that we have for each other, so that we can have that conversation here across the state of Tennessee. And, you know, you`re right to point out that people`s hearts and minds are changing on this issue. And I think that`s because there`s so much more conversation about what it means. And, certainly, for Judd and I, we certainly want to have the protections that are offered by being legally married. You know, I just got back from Afghanistan about six weeks ago. One of the things that was really -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- on my mind when I was there was that if I got hurt or something happened to Judd, you know, we would have the same protections for emergency leave, to be able to come back and be with each other that married couples have. And there are all sorts of other benefits, veterans benefits, Social Security benefits, that we can`t access today -- (END VIDEO CLIP) -- because we can`t get legally married here in Tennessee. And so, we`re hoping that the Supreme Court rules in our favor and that we`ll be able to get up and say "I do" together. O`DONNELL: Jesse and Judd, thank you very much for joining us tonight. And I`m glad we got to run your ad in full here. Thank you very much. (LAUGHTER) EHRENFELD: Thank you, Lawrence. We really appreciate it. TABACK: Thank you, Lawrence. Have a good night. O`DONNELL: Thank you. We`ll be right back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) As my Twitter followers already know, I am wearing a color tonight that I have never worn before, never ever. Right there in the tie, that stripe -- orange, an orange stripe. And I`m wearing orange for Hadiya. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) Hadiya Pendleton would have been celebrating her 18th birthday today. But on January 29th, 2013, just one week after she marched in President Obama`s second inaugural parade, Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed in Chicago. Today is National Gun -- (END VIDEO CLIP0 -- Violence Awareness Day in honor of Hadiya`s birthday. The "Wear Orange" -- (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) -- campaign was inspired by Hadiya`s friends and classmates in Chicago, who began wearing orange, the color worn by hunters in the woods to make sure that no one shoots them. Today, President Obama tweeted, "People across the country are wearing orange to stand up against gun violence." Nancy Pelosi led some members of the House of Representatives in wearing orange today. The entire New York Mets baseball team wore orange today, as did Sarah Silverman and many other supporters. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 1: I`m wearing orange for Hadiya. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 2: I`m wearing orange for Hadiya. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 3: I wear orange so that no other parents have to lose a child. UNIDENTIFIED MALE 1: I`m wearing orange because I`m a grandparent who cares about the future of his grandchildren. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 4: I wear orange for my sister, Nina, and for the countless others who are killed by gun violence every day. FAMILY MEMBERS: We wear orange because gun violence affects the whole family. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 5: I`m wearing orange for my son, Noah. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE 6: I wear orange because I lost my 14-year-old son who got killed because of gun violence. UNIDENTIFIED MALE 2: I wear orange because gun violence is going to continue if good people continue to do nothing. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) The United States has World Cup win tonight. The Attorney General of the United States is leading a criminal investigation that has forced the president of the organization that runs the World Cup of soccer to resign. That`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) Four days after he was reelected president of the scandal-plagued organization that runs World Cup Soccer, Sepp Blatter announced his resignation today. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEPP BLATTER, FORMER FIFA PRESIDENT: (Speaking in different language) TEXT: Although the members of FIFA have reelected me as president, this mandate does not seem to be supported by everybody in the world of football. This is why I will call an extraordinary congress, to be held as soon as possible, and a new president will be elected to follow me. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: "The New York Times" is reporting tonight that Sepp Blatter is now the focus of a federal corruption investigation that has already led to the indictments of 14 FIFA officials and marketing executives. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (APPLAUSE) JOHN OLIVER, HBO HOST: It`s America. It`s driving this investigation and actually finds something to indict him. I don`t think you understand how much that would mean to everyone on Earth. If the Dutch somehow found a reason to extradite and lock up Donald Trump, you would think -- (LAUGHTER) -- "Holy (bleep), the Dutch are awesome." (LAUGHTER) "The Dutch are (bleep). What a country." (LAUGHTER) That is what`s on the table for you, America. (LAUGHTER) (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now, "Huffington Post" Sports Columnist Jordan Schultz. Jordan, is the world of soccer grateful to the United States today. JORDAN SCHULTZ, SPORTS COLUMNIST, HUFFINGTON POST: Absolutely, Lawrence. And you know what though, I also pointed the fact that this doesn`t change everything. There still has to be transparency and leadership. But this has the right step and the direction you needed to see if you`re FIFA, if you`re the Americans. Remember, America, if Qatar had not got the World Cup in 2022, would have received it. And that brings us to tell you, Lawrence, just how corrupt things were. You`re talking about a country, 300,000 people, no athletic tradition, no soccer tradition, no stadiums to speak of. They`re estimating -- O`DONNELL: A hundred and forty degrees, as John Oliver pointed out, yes. SCHULTZ: Yes. 120 and 140 in the summer. And they`re estimating that 4,000 workers will die in Qatar as a result, so this was a -- O`DONNELL: During the building of the -- SCHULTZ: Right. And this is a big step but it`s not necessarily the only thing that needs to happen. O`DONNELL: This thing has to be moving at very high speed. I mean, here`s this guy, four days ago, getting himself reelected for life. Four days later, his world has changed enough in that time. He goes, "OK, I quit." (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SCHULTZ: Yes. Now, 17 years. This was his fifth term, something he said he would never do five terms, Lawrence. But he talked about, you know, being like the ultimate bad guy in sports. This is the most important and, arguably, the most, I would say, meaningful position in all sports, certainly the most influential, and way more than Roger Goodell in the NFL. (END VIDEO CLIP) And you know we`ve talked about him at length on this program, so I look at Sepp Blatter, he finally realized everybody, I mean, everybody, not even soccer fans only but everybody seems like, "You know what, this guy needed to go." And he finally got the hint. O`DONNELL: So, now, who takes over this thing and -- SCHULTZ: I think it`s -- I think it`s going to be Prince Ali who got 73 votes. It`s interesting, Jeff Webb, who would have been, two weeks ago -- if Sepp Blatter had stepped down two weeks ago before the term, before winning the election, the president probably would have taken over. But he was arrested, one the big indictments. He was arrested. And so, I figure it`s going to be Prince Ali who had bowed out of the race. And I think here`s a guy that brings some moral leadership and, certainly, transparency in the position but -- O`DONNELL: Oh, yes, princes, they`re great on moral leadership. SCHULTZ: Yes. O`DONNELL: Middle Eastern princes, they`ve always been wonderful with that. SCHULTZ: Yes. O`DONNELL: So, clearly, Blatter had to figure out -- some of these people that they`ve arrested, they`re going to crack in sentence. SCHULTZ: Absolutely. O`DONNELL: And they`re obviously -- their way out of jail, basically, is to give me up. SCHULTZ: Yes. And I think that`s something he`s certainly worried about. You`re talking about back rooms, Lawrence, like, in terms of getting Qatar `22, there`s a story out that -- it has been reported that, literally, they were in a hotel room in Africa where they were giving a million-and-a-half- dollar bribes to voters. And there`s not a lot of votes, so every vote really matters to get Qatar to get the World Cup in 2022. That doesn`t even include Russia, which is next in three years, which apparently has a lot of -- a lot of issues as well. So, this is just the beginning but it`s a big step in the right direction. Soccer was not -- it wasn`t being affordable to the world anymore. And one of the big things with FIFA, they were taking the money and they were pocketing it. They were not making fields, and that was another big issue. O`DONNELL: Jordan Schultz, thanks for joining us tonight. SCHULTZ: Thank you. O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next. END