The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 07/01/15

Guests: Charles Cook, Eugene Joseph Dionne, Austan Goolsbee, WilliamPierce, Marielena Hincapie

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC: Feel deterred? -- They`ve got clamp on, detachable, pencil-point steel spikes that go like this, at an angle. They sit at a slight five degree angle just like that. Do you feel deterred? I have never been more proud of our props folks. That mock-up that we guess that -- with the White House fence would look like -- looks pretty much exactly like the real thing! That doesn`t even solve the real thing spot on. Also makes me feel better about this. Utter vindication for commissioning our really quite expensive welded full-scale mock-up of the White House fence. Yes, not of a single regret. Totally nailed it! That does it for us tonight, we`ll see you again tomorrow, now it`s time for THE LAST WORD with Lawrence O`Donnell, good evening, Lawrence. LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Rachel, I have been thinking, maybe I need a fence in front of my house. Could you come up with some sketches, I`ll drop by your desk tomorrow. MADDOW: If you need a 19-inch long fence, I got just the thing at a very good price. O`DONNELL: All right, I`m coming by tomorrow. MADDOW: Thanks Lawrence -- O`DONNELL: Thanks Rachel. Well, we have shocking political news tonight, today, a Republican actually decided not to run for president. And after a winning week last week, President Obama is pushing for more wins this week. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Washington is kind of a crazy place. ARI MELBER, MSNBC: President Obama went to Tennessee to hail the Affordable Care Act. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going to celebrate the fact that the Affordable Care Act is here to stay. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will give millions of people a private health insurance. It`s good for private health insurers at least their bottom line. OBAMA: I`m feeling pretty good about how healthcare is going. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are fights ahead of us -- SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Forcing that failed law on millions of Americans. OBAMA: We don`t have to be imprisoned by the past. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reestablishing full diplomatic relations with Cuba. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s been such a big deal. OBAMA: Reestablish diplomatic relations with the Republic of Cuba. JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: That`s leadership, and I appreciate that leadership. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: GOP candidates that have lashed out today -- OBAMA: I oppose it, I think it`s a bad decision and we don`t have to be imprisoned by the past. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A brand new poll out today finding Christie lagging behind eight other candidates. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump in second place tied with Ben Carson -- UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At number two behind Jeb Bush -- DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT, TRUMP ORGANIZATIONS & FOUNDER, TRUMP ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: I think Bush is an unhappy person. OBAMA: And we don`t have to be imprisoned by the past. TRUMP: Msnbc, nobody watches it, it`s a total disaster. REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER, UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES: As they say in Texas, he`s cute. OBAMA: Unfortunately -- (CROSSTALK) I`ve got to go to work. (CROSSTALK) I am not allowed to have fun. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can we have hugs? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can we hug? OBAMA: But I -- we can have a group hug. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: After the Supreme Court has made it very clear to Republican politicians that Obamacare is here to stay, President Obama began campaigning today to expand Obamacare to 6.9 million people in the 21 states that have not accepted the Medicaid expansion in Obamacare. The President went to Tennessee today where a Republican governor who wants to expand Medicaid has been blocked by the Republican legislature. Two hundred and ninety two thousand people in Tennessee who currently have no health insurance would be eligible for Obamacare with that Medicaid expansion. Many Tennesseans who had written to the President to thank him for Obamacare were in attendance at today`s event. President Obama actually gave one of them a ride. He stopped his motorcade at the home of breast cancer survivor Kelly Bryant to give her a lift to that event. Where Kelly Bryant then introduced the President who said this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: I`m feeling pretty good about how healthcare is going. The thing I`ve never lost sight of though, is that this is about people. This is not about politics, it`s not about Washington. It`s about families and loved ones and the struggle and the fear that comes about when you have a serious illness. It is unfortunate that getting this thing done got so political. Washington is kind of a crazy place, but that doesn`t mean every place has got to be crazy. (LAUGHTER) (APPLAUSE) So, you know, I`d like to see -- I`d like to see some good sense spring forth from the great state of Tennessee. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining us now, "Nbc News" political analyst and editor and publisher of "The Cook Political Report" Charlie Cook. Also with us "Washington Post" columnist and Msnbc political analyst E.J. Dionne and the former chair of the Council of Economic Advisors for President Obama, Austan Goolsbee. Charlie Cook, where the politics of Obamacare stand now there in the states? With the President going out to these states, almost all of them with Republican governors. Are Republican governors now at the point where they`re looking at this Medicaid expansion and looking at the polls and finding a new way to go with this? CHARLES COOK, EDITOR & PUBLISHER, THE COOK POLITICAL REPORT & POLITICAL ANALYST, NBC NEWS: I think that all the Republican governors that are inclined to go along with expanding Medicaid largely have. And you know, the thing is, we have three kinds of states in this country. We have red states, blue states and purple states in between. And for the red states, the Republican governors in red states, they don`t -- I mean, you know, I frankly don`t see many, if any of them switching. The people -- those like John Kasich in Ohio in purple state, some of them have. And you know, made a decision what was best for the state. But I don`t think when you look at a law that`s got roughly -- the new Kaiser poll that came out today, was the -- favorable was what? Forty three and unfavorable forty. You look at a red state and you know, these -- those numbers are upside down. And so, I don`t see many red state Republican governors switching. You know, I really don`t. O`DONNELL: And E.J. Dionne, the President is going to continue to push, and he said the other day that there`s -- that he`s just going to continue through every day of his presidency to push for any little bit of progress they can find anywhere. He`s also in effect been pushing this issue into the presidential campaign. EUGENE JOSEPH DIONNE, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Oh, that`s absolutely right. And I think to voters this is an easy -- to the broader- like for it, this is a much easier sell than it is to Republican legislators. I mean, Tennessee is an interesting case where you have a governor who looks at this, says, all these people will get health insurance, all this federal money would come to our hospitals. And hospitals really don`t like it when their states don`t take this money because that money gets to them. But you got Republican legislators who are looking at possible primaries from their right, just like in Washington. Where as a country as a whole, the numbers on Obamacare have improved over time, I suspect they will keep improving. And I think most people are going to say why in the world aren`t we insuring those 6.9 million people? So, yes, I think it will be very much part of the campaign and the Republicans are going to make it that way because some of them are going to keep bashing Obamacare in the primary and -- AUSTAN GOOLSBEE, ECONOMIST: I think -- DIONNE: I hope -- GOOLSBEE: This -- DIONNE: John Kasich gets out and defends why he took the Medicare expansion in Ohio. O`DONNELL: Austan Goolsbee -- GOOLSBEE: You know -- O`DONNELL: Go ahead. GOOLSBEE: Lawrence, I think this is going to be the last presidential election in which anybody actively criticizes Obamacare. I think the Republicans made a huge strategic error early on by pitching their ride to the notion that it was going to be a catastrophe and the rollout seemed like it was a big problem. And they convinced themselves because the website wasn`t working for the first 30 days that America was going to hate it. I think it`s going to turn into Social Security, Medicare and a number of the other big American programs where by 2020, you`re not going to hear boo from Republicans about how they were against it or want to get rid of it. O`DONNELL: Charlie Cook, what`s your reaction to what Austan just said about how this is going to poll in the future? COOK: Well, I mean, I -- 20 years, 10, 20, 30 years from now, I can see whatever shape this is in, yes, I could -- I think it`s -- I mean, I think it`s going to get acceptance more or less over time. And I don`t necessarily disagree with Austan about, that this maybe the last presidential election. This is a first or second-tier issue. But that doesn`t make it popular with Republican primary voters as E.J. said or Republican legislators or governors. I mean, if the numbers are 43 favorable, 40 unfavorable nationally, what do you think it is in Tennessee? You know, 30, 25 favorable, you know, 35 maybe. You know, this is -- these states are very different and the easy ones for Republicans to do are already done, I think -- O`DONNELL: But what the President brought to Tennessee was a free program. That right now, this Medicaid expansion is free to the states. And I want to listen to what he said today because I can see this two ways, I can see it as the policy that he is pushing and he really is. But if you look at it as an element in the presidential campaign, that`s the part that I think it`s interesting about this for presidential politics, the way he is forcing this issue on the campaign. Let`s listen to what he said today in Tennessee. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA: My general rule is I have no pride of authorship here. I just want to make sure Kelly has got health insurance, I want to make sure Thelma(ph) has got health insurance, and I want to make sure that gentleman gets health insurance. And if there is a better way of doing it, let me know, OK? I didn`t mind stealing ideas from Mitt Romney. (LAUGHTER) But the bottom line is what works? What works? And if Republican legislators have better ideas, you know, they should -- they should present them. But they have to be -- they have to be realistic. They have to be - - they have to be meaningful. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: E.J. Dionne, he seems to be running in effect a co-campaign for the Democratic presidential candidate by challenging Republicans, saying what works? Saying, he stole the idea from Mitt Romney and just demanding something from the Republicans. DIONNE: Right, well, first of all, it`s hard to get a more conservative approach to insuring a lot more people than this one. Because it is based on the Massachusetts plan which was about getting private health insurance to people who didn`t have it except for the Medicaid expansion. And what he was saying on the Medicaid expansion was really interesting because there aren`t states that have taken the federal Medicaid money and Washington has let them structure their own program a little differently. They did this down in Arkansas. I think it`s an invitation to some Republicans to say, look, if you want to rejigger this a little, make it look a little different than Obamacare or a little more to your liking, go right ahead and we may approve it because our main concern is getting people health insurance. So, I personally hope for the uninsured, some of the Republicans take them up on that and try to tweak it in a way -- GOOLSBEE: I mean, think of the exact -- (CROSSTALK) DIONNE: That they take the money. GOOLSBEE: I think the dynamic -- what`s going to play out in 2016 is -- Charlie in right, in red states are not going to take it in and most of the people are against it. But in 2016, the Democrats, whoever is the nominee are going to put Republicans on their heels by pressing them. They`re going to go to the purple states where they haven`t taken Medicaid money and they`re going to say, here is 250,000 people who do not have health insurance and you would have it if you would elect the Democrats. And I think the Republicans are going to be in a tough spot when that happens. O`DONNELL: All right, let`s take a break here, coming up, Bernie Sanders just finished speaking to a huge crowd in Wisconsin tonight. But according to a new poll of Democratic presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders has lost the number two spot to someone who is not yet running. And companies continue to dump Trump while the Republican Party seems stuck with him. And Nancy Pelosi says Elizabeth Warren does not speak for the Democrat Party. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Breaking news, a Republican has decided not to run for president. Congressman Peter King has publicly considered running for president this year and like most Republican candidates for president found very little encouragement to run. And so today, Peter King passed the political intelligence test that so many other politicians have failed this year. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: I`ve decided not to run, it was a great experience, I would love to have the opportunity to run, to go all the way. I think I can more than compete with any of those that are in there, but the reality is, as far as money, the fact that I do have a full-time job now on the intelligence and Homeland Security committees, it`s just not in the cards. And I don`t want to be taking up other people`s time, I don`t want to be -- you have 19, 20, candidates, whatever it`s going to be. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: See, Republicans, that`s how you do it. I decided not to run. You know, being governor of Louisiana is a full-time job, being governor of Jersey is a full-time job. That line always works and always has, that`s all you have to say. All right, coming up, we have more breaking news as major golf groups release a statement about disassociating from Donald Trump. And up next, Bernie Sanders is now running third, third in a poll of Democratic presidential candidates and someone who is not yet running has moved in to second place suddenly. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Hillary Clinton`s campaign has done what the Clintons do best, they have raised more money than any other presidential campaign in history for the first financial reporting period of the campaign which ended Tuesday night. The Clinton campaign says they are still counting the money but they say they have raised at least $45 million, which breaks the previous record of $41.9 million held by the Obama re-election campaign. Senator Bernie Sanders is running a distant second in fundraising among Democratic candidates. A few weeks ago, Senator Sanders campaign reported raising $8.5 million, but as of tonight, they have not yet released their final tally for the first quarter. But it is not Bernie Sanders who is now in second place behind Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. In the latest "Cnn"/ORC national poll, Hillary Clinton has a commanding lead with 57 percent of the vote in that poll with Vice President Joe Biden coming in second at 16 percent and Bernie Sanders is third with 14 percent. Joining our panel now is William Pierce, the Executive Director of Draft Biden. William, let`s get full disclosure out of the way. First, somehow I have the feeling that you have worked for Joe Biden. WILLIAM PIERCE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, DRAFT BIDEN: Yes, I did work for the Vice President before on -- (INAUDIBLE) 2008 and `12. But basically, I am not supporting him for that, I`m supporting him because myself I`m an army veteran, I deployed over to Iraq and Afghanistan and the vice president`s commitment to the military and education is very important to me. O`DONNELL: And so, what is the Draft Biden Group doing? How are you going to draft Biden? PIERCE: Well, since March we started out in a -- in a living room in March and since then we have grown exponentially. We now have organizers and staff on the ground in Iowa and New Hampshire and we`re actually going beyond down to South Carolina as well. We have volunteers and supporters throughout the whole entire country and the lessons we once -- we have collected over 100,000 signatures of supporters on a website draft Biden 2016. And the most amazing thing about it is that Americans are supporting the Vice President for numerous different reasons. Like I said myself, I`m supporting him for his military as well as his educational. We have some people that are supporting him because of degree, he`s been a great advocate for GOP tea rights, I`m coming out early on, on that. All because of his support for Obamacare which we saw a really great success for last week. O`DONNELL: And so what -- what are you hearing from the Vice President about running for president? PIERCE: Well, I have -- like -- since we have Super PAC, we can`t coordinate and communicate, but I`d like to say that we have not seen or (INAUDIBLE) from the Vice President not to do what we`re doing, like what happened with ready for -- ready for Warren. Basically, we`ve -- what we haven`t seen though, lot of supporters throughout the whole entire country who had supported him in the past or who are now current new supporters. They`re coming out over work and they are supporting him. The past two weeks have been great and even earlier today you just had a bunch of Obama major donors come out and say they`re ready for a Biden candidacy. You have major donors who are coming out and saying they are ready for a Biden candidacy and that`s just really great as well. O`DONNELL: Charlie Cook, our polling expert at the table. Give us your reading of this poll, Hillary Clinton at 57 percent, Joe Biden without campaigning a day, without saying a word about it at 16 percent, Bernie Sanders pulling in huge crowd but running at only 14 percent. COOK: Well, I don`t put a whole lot into this because to me, you take a poll and you don`t ask Biden`s name, and then the next time you add Biden`s name to it, it looks like a surge, but it`s not surge, you`re just asking a different question with Biden in. I mean, I -- you know, I don`t think that -- I don`t think drafts work, I don`t think Vice President Biden, I think he`d love to be president, I think he`d love to run. But I think he looks at the reality that he will be 74 years old, November 2016, and someone at 74 or 75 Bernie Sanders will be, he`s not going to be winning any party`s presidential nomination. That`s just not going to happen. I mean, Hillary Clinton will be 69, same age Ronald Reagan was when he was elected in 1980, that`s pretty much -- I`m not saying she is too old to run or win, but that`s pretty much the upper end of the range. Somebody five, six years older than she is, you know, is, you know, I don`t think is a realistic candidate for the presidency. I don`t think Biden is going to run. O`DONNELL: Austan Goolsbee, is 70 the new 60? GOOLSBEE: Yes, probably. (LAUGHTER) You know, I love the Vice President, personally, he`s a wonderful guy, you`re never going to find somebody better than the Vice President. I think Hillary Clinton is extremely formidable candidate and I don`t think any Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, I don`t think they`re going to be the nominee. I believe it`s going to be Hillary Clinton, I think she`s going to be the President. O`DONNELL: And E.J. Dionne, we see her ability to raise money basically beat what an incumbent president did last time around at this point in the reporting. DIONNE: Right, I mean, that`s exactly what impressed me. And when, you know, Joe Biden, just to go back to that, looks at those numbers as a realist and 57-16, 16 is not a high number. He is well loved in the Democratic Party, particularly in Iowa, he`s got a lot of friends there. But he is as well known as Hillary Clinton and I think he looks at that number and that will not encourage him. In terms of Bernie`s -- in terms of Clinton, it might actually be useful if Joe Biden did get into this race, because Clinton has a lot of financial support, a lot of political support. She needs to gin up some of the enthusiasm numbers in these polls. And I think if you did have a Biden, Bernie Sanders, Clinton race, people would cover it a lot more. There would be more excitement about it, and that might paradoxically help Clinton in the end, because my hunch is that in the end, she would win that race. It wouldn`t be divisive, but it would be very interesting. O`DONNELL: Well, Bernie Sanders might be giving Hillary Clinton and us all the excitement we need, let`s listen to what he said in Madison, Wisconsin, tonight. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), VERMONT: I am more than aware that my opponents will be able to outspend us. They have billionaire backers, they have Super PACs, they have a lot of millionaire friends. At the end of the day, they may have the money, but we have the people and when the people stand together we can win. (CHEERS) Thank you all very much. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Austan Goolsbee, you know Hillary Clinton, how do you expect her to counter Bernie Sanders in this campaign. GOOLSBEE: I don`t totally know. I mean, at the beginning of a primary campaign, I think it`s fair to say, let every flower bloom. You know, Bernie Sanders is having a moment with his group. I don`t think that the Clinton campaign is taking it for granted. I think they`re open to a race. It strikes me a bit like 1980 Ronald Reagan with Republicans. He was the strongest candidate, but he wasn`t driving everybody else out of the race. He was kind of open to the -- to the challenge of ideas. So, I think Hillary Clinton has got a long-standing record on let`s call them middle- class issues and I think that`s going to be the center of the -- of the primary. O`DONNELL: Final question on this to William Pierce before we take a break. William, why hasn`t Joe Biden come out and just said, I`m not running for president, I`m not going to run for president. PIERCE: Because Lawrence, I think the door is still open. One key thing to note is that, in a recent poll, over 53 percent of Americans in -- who probably going to vote in this election said that they want -- they want more candidates in the race. And that`s something to be -- that we have to consider as well. In some - - we`re just waiting for the Vice President. O`DONNELL: William Pierce, thank you very much for joining us tonight, joining the panel. Up next, Jeb Bush finally takes on Donald Trump in Spanish. And we have more Trump breaking news tonight, major golf groups are now separating from the Trump organization and their golf courses. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: We have breaking Trump news at this hour. Tonight, more organizations are criticizing Donald Trump. This time, it`s four golf organizations, the PGA Tour, LPGA, PGA of America and the USGA released this joint statement. "In response to Mr. Trump`s comments about the golf industry knowing he is right in regards to his recent statements about Mexican immigrants, we feel compelled to clarify that those remarks do not reflect the views of our organizations. While the LPGA, PGA of America, PGA Tour and USGA do not usually comment on presidential politics. Mr. Trump`s comments are inconsistent with our strong commitment to an inclusive and welcoming environment in the game of golf." Trump apparently on a -- on a golf channel interview had said that the golf organizations all agree with him. Every Republican now running for president, except Jeb Bush is watching political comedian Donald Trump race ahead of them in the polls and say this about them. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: And then I hear from the press constantly, can you imagine how sad it is that Donald Trump is in second place and he`s going to take the place of some third rate governor? (LAUGHTER) They don`t say the third rate -- or some third rate senator, or some other person that lost every election they`ve been in except maybe one. But they go, can you imagine, isn`t it sad, Donald Trump? Who`s done more than me? (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Republican voters apparently think Jeb Bush has done more than Donald Trump. So Jeb Bush remains in first place in a national CNN poll with 19 percent. Donald Trump gets 12 percent. Mike Huckabee gets 8 percent. Ben Carson and Rand Paul tied at 7 percent. Marco Rubio and Scott Walker tied at 6 percent. Rick Perry is at 4 percent. Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, and Rick Santorum are all at 3 percent. After just two weeks of presidential campaigning, Trump`s businesses are collapsing around him. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: They are sending people that have lots of problems and they are bringing those problems with us. They are bringing drugs. They are bringing crime. They are rapists and some, I assume, are good people. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And that statement is why those businesses are collapsing around him. First Univision dropped Trump`s beauty pageants then MSNBC`s parent company NBC dropped Trump`s beauty pageants and severed all business ties with Trump. After that, Trump`s good friend, Bill O`Reilly, offered Trump a chance to revise his remarks. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Would you take any of that back or rephrase any of it if you could? TRUMP: No, because it`s totally accurate. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And then today, Macy`s dumped Trump`s merchandise from their stores and issued this statement. "We are disappointed and distressed by recent remarks about immigrants from Mexico. In light of statements made by Donald Trump which are inconsistent with Macy`s values, we have decided to discontinue our business relationship with Mr. Trump and will phase out the Trump Men`s Wear collection, which has been sold at Macy`s since 2004." Donald Trump of course tried to pretend that it was his idea, issuing a statement that said, "I have decided to terminate my relationship with Macy`s because of the pressure being put on them by outside sources." Trump then rushed to the network where his words are never doubted to explain what no other presidential candidate has ever had to explain -- why a major department store dropped his clothing line? (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: They were folding like a bunch of bandits and frankly I said, let`s just sort of end it. I said that to them last night. So I think it`s sort of a mutual thing but maybe I sort of gave them the out. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining our panel now, Marielena Hincapie, the executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. Marielena, your reaction to the way this swell of objection has hit Trump and all of these business organizations responding to this. MARIELENA HINCAPIE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE NATIONAL IMMIGRATION LAW CENTER: Thanks, Lawrence. Yes, we are very happy with the response and really applaud Univision, NBC, Macy`s, the golf association and everyone who is speaking up to really denounce this not only racist but really dangerous comments that Donald Trump has made. I mean, let`s just think back a few weeks ago with the Charleston massacre. The comments made by the alleged murderer were very similar to what Donald Trump has said. So that level of rhetoric is not only racist and offensive but it leads to creating a violent culture in our country and at this day and age, I think not only are Latinos and immigrants but everybody in the United States, a growing number of people including corporations are saying we cannot tolerate this level of racism and offensive in our nature, in particular from a supposed candidate to the United States presidency. O`DONNELL: You know, I never thought I was going to be mentioning George Pataki`s name in any coverage of the -- of presidential campaign but he`s found a way. He is the Republican candidate for president who has attacked Trump most directly. He said today, he tweeted, "I reject Donald Trump`s comments and call on GOP candidates for president to join me in denouncing them. He included Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul there. And then what we did see today was Jeb Bush responding to Trump and doing so in Spanish to a Spanish-speaking reporter and what he said in Spanish was, "Trump spends his life fighting with people." Bush said-- and he says, "He doesn`t represent the values of the Republican Party. EJ Dionne, I have been wondering for a while when and how Jeb Bush was going to say something about Donald Trump, who attacks Jeb Bush every single day and is running second in the polls. That`s our first response from Jeb Bush. DIONNE: The first thing I want to say is when a Republican candidate loses the golfers, he`s in really big trouble. (LAUGHTER) DIONNE: I mean, President Obama aside, I always thought that was a pretty Republican constituency. And I have been waiting for Bush to do this, too. I mean, first of all, let`s look at these polls. Bush has an endurance in these polls like no one else so far. He`s managed to stay around 18 to 20 percent. He`s behind in Iowa. He`s not doing that well in Iowa, but he has kind of held on after a very rough period. And here`s a guy who has said you`ve got to be willing to lose a primary in order to win the election. And the issue -- one of the issues that was going to be his calling card was immigration and a whole attitude toward Latinos. His brother, President Bush, won something like 40 percent of the Latino vote because he welcomed it. He welcomed Latinos to the United States, said they were good citizens. And Trump`s comments are so outrageous that you would think some other Republicans would take the opportunity to take him on. If Trump is getting all of this news coverage, they can get some, too, by denouncing something that ought to be easy to denounce. (CROSSTALK) O`DONNELL: Go ahead. GOOLSBEE: Lawrence, you know, I would have to say -- O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Austan. GOOLSBEE: You see Donald Trump kind of espousing things that no reasonable candidate would say publicly. But he is taking second in these polls because he is scratching a certain itch in the Republican electorate that nobody else is scratching. But just as there are some itches that you do not want to scratch in public, so is Trump. In this case it`s why the Republican establishment is kind of apoplectic. They don`t want him out saying these things in the debates, giving the -- conveying the message the Republican Party has a large component of people who kind of agree with this, that even though the candidates are going to publicly say they disagree with him, there is a group of people who like what he`s saying and they are supporting that. O`DONNELL: And Charlie Cook, interesting thing. This CNN poll. This was taken after he has said all these things about rapists coming over the border. And so I was actually a little surprised that he didn`t pop higher in that poll because he was already running at, like, 11 percent in New Hampshire. And it seems to me that anyone who was looking -- really was eager to hear that kind of thing about the people coming over the border, were going to rush to Trump, but he didn`t get much in the polls from this. COOK: No, Lawrence, give the Republicans a little credit here. The thing is, look, I have never met Donald Trump but my guess is he doesn`t -- he doesn`t think he`s going to win the Republican nomination. And this is kind of a lark, and to be honest, for a lot of those 12 percenters some of them probably agree with him. But (INAUDIBLE) it`s just kind of a lark. And in fact this is his due. If Donald Trump is at 12 percent or more in January, then than means something. But right now, before the debates even start, it`s kind of a throwaway, a fun thing for somebody to do. But I`m not getting real torn up about this. O`DONNELL: But, Marielena, if Donald Trump is sitting at 12 percent months from now, that means he`s never going to go above 12 percent. And so that represents -- you know, that`s how much the Republican Party that would represent. And going forward, what do you -- what do you want to hear from Republican candidates? Was what George Pataki said today what you`d like to hear from more of them? HINCAPIE: Absolutely. I think, you know, frankly Bush should definitely be trying to distinguish himself and each of them should. They really I think as Austan said. What Trump is saying probably is something that some of them agree with, and if they don`t agree with that then they need to actually call him out, and frankly should be calling on him to drop out of the race. O`DONNELL: All right. We cannot leave the political comedian Trump segment without what is my favorite statement that he said today. This is in the Macy`s -- his written statement about the Macy`s deal. And remember now, this is the guy who says all of his deals are great deals. He makes the best deals. He`s the toughest negotiator in the world. He gets everything he wants in every deal, right? OK. So he said this about the Macy`s deal today. "I have never been happy about the fact that the ties and shirts are made in China, and should I start a new product line somewhere in the future I would insist that they are made in America." Austan Goolsbee, how did he fail to get that in his deal with Macy`s? I don`t get it. GOOLSBEE: Yes. There`s a -- I don`t know if you`ve seen the picture going around Twitter that`s got Donald Trump Collection and it says "Made in Mexico" on the -- on the label. So, you know, if you start actually probing the details on Trump, he`s going to fall apart. But it`s good humor for a while. He will fall apart. O`DONNELL: Marielena Hincapie, thank you very much for joining us tonight. HINCAPIE: Thank you, Lawrence. Up next, why Nancy Pelosi says Elizabeth Warren does not speak for the Democratic Party. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Nancy Pelosi eventually followed Elizabeth Warren`s lead in opposing President Obama`s Pacific trade deal. But Leader Pelosi and Senator Warren don`t agree on everything. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOHN HARWOOD, CNBC: The president is nearing the end of his term but he`s starting to get more and more criticism from Democrats. Elizabeth Warren went after Mary Jo White, the president`s choice to head the SEC. Do you think that is piling on, scoring political points at the president`s expense? Do you agree with her on that? REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), MINORITY LEADER: No. But I mean, I`m not into what her -- her case is there. People will express themselves the way they do. That doesn`t mean they are speaking for the party. And I hear the people - - HARWOOD: Some on the left think this administration has been too soft on Wall Street. The administration has been too close with financial industry. Do you agree with that? PELOSI: The financial industry doesn`t agree with that. There may be a couple of people who say that. But that is not the consensus in that party. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Up next, Republican presidential candidates attack President Obama for his historic announcement today. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A year ago it might have seemed impossible that the United States would once again be raising our flag, the stars and stripes, over an embassy in Havana. This is what change looks like. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Rand Paul is the only Republican presidential candidate who agrees with President Obama on reopening relationships with Cuba. Chris Christie spoke for most of the other candidates today when he said this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, the president is dead wrong. What he`s doing is dead wrong. He`s giving away the ability to have an economic relationship and a political relationship with the United States to a dictatorial regime that has done nothing, nothing to reform itself. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Jeb Bush said in a statement, "As Americans prepare to celebrate the anniversary of our freedom from tyranny and commit anew to the democratic principles on which our national was founded. It is no small irony hat President Obama prepares to open an embassy in Havana, further legitimizing the brutal Castro regime." And Ted Cruz tweeted, "It`s unacceptable and a slap in the face of a close ally that the United States will have an embassy in Havana before one in Jerusalem." We`re back with the panel here. I want to look at the polling on this question and a Republican who seemed to be way behind the curb on it, 2014 poll, of Florida voters, Florida voters, 63 percent support normalizing relations with Cuba, 30 percent oppose. Charlie Cook, what`s left of this as a presidential campaign issue? It used to be something that Democrats and Republicans were afraid to go near in Florida. COOK: Well, I mean, the percentage that are just hard lined, anti-Castro, anti-Cuba, it`s getting smaller and smaller. It is largely concentrated in the Republican Party. It`s largely concentrated in certain areas, you know, within the Republican Party like -- south Florida, New Jersey, that sort of thing. But to me, the real question is about Congress. Can -- will Congress be able to -- will this Republican Congress be able to reverse what President Obama is doing? No, I don`t think so. But can he affirmatively get an embargo lifted from this Congress or maybe the next one? Probably not, so I think whatever he tries to -- whatever the president can get away with through executive measures, he will. And what he needs to depend on for Congress isn`t going to happen. And public opinion is going to matter. O`DONNELL: And EJ Dionne, he`s going to have overcome a filibuster threat by Ted Cruz issued today on confirming any ambassador to Cuba and it seems like in terms of the presidential campaign this puts the Republicans in one of those mid 20th century positions. One of these 50-year-old positions when the rest of the country concede -- a big majority of the rest of the country, majority of Florida voters, in favor of going forward in President Obama`s direction. DIONNE: Well, this issue actually splits the Republican Party. It also by the way splits the Cuban community. I think this policy was given freedom when President Obama won the Cuban vote in Florida. Younger Cuban Americans do not feel the same way about this as older Cuban Americans who are the folks that people like Governor Bush and former Governor Bush and Senator Rubio respond to. And because so much of the business community favors opening relations with Cuba, and business likes to trade with everybody, there are some Republicans in the Senate who might -- who I think will support President Obama and will support naming an ambassador. I don`t know if there are enough to get 60 votes but it will be yet another Ted Cruz filibuster. There`s got to be the word filibuster in one of his campaign ads. O`DONNELL: And Austan Goolsbee, it seems to me that the refusal to open relations with Cuba is a failure of confidence in capitalism. We have seen how more capitalism in China, more capitalism in former communist countries has changed those places irreversibly in the direction of being more open and more capitalistic, in fact. GOOLSBEE: I think that`s a great point. I mean, what you saw today are leading Republicans, literally getting up and making the argument that well, we shouldn`t give up the sanctions because they`re going to start working in the 57th year. O`DONNELL: Yes. Yes. GOOLSBEE: You know, it`s just --it`s completely crazy. It reminds -- my grandmother when she was alive, if you were sick, if you had any problem, Caster oil was the solution. And this thing -- I just think mid 20th century is being generous. This is just such a throwback. I just don`t even think this is on the radar screen of most people. O`DONNELL: All right. Quick break. When we come back more about Cuba and Republicans with real White House experience who agree with the president on this. They`re going to be causing a problem for those Republican presidential candidates. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: If you`ve been on a White House tour, you may have seen this sign. Well, not anymore. (LAUGHTER) (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) B. OBAMA: In January of 1961, the year I was born, when President Eisenhower announced the termination of our relations with Cuba, he said it is my hope and my conviction that it is in the not-too-distant future it will be possible for the historic friendship between us once again to find its reflection in normal relations of every sort. Well, it took a while but I believe that time has come. And a better future lies ahead. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: George W. Bush`s Commerce secretary, Carol Gutierrez, a Cuban exile, recently wrote an op-ed in the "New York Times" entitled "A Republican Case for Obama`s Cuba Policy." He said, "As secretary of Commerce in the administration of George W. Bush I saw it firsthand that our private sector could be the best ambassador for American values such as the power of free enterprise to raise living standards and the importance of being free to work where one chooses. Some of my fellow Cuban Americans insist that continuing to squeeze Cuba economically will help the Cuban people because it will lead to democracy. I wonder if the Cubans who have to stand in line for the most basic necessities for hours in the hot Havana sun feel that this approach is helpful to them?" Austan Goolsbee, you also have Cabinet members from Reagan`s administration in favor of this. The economic argument is going to come from Republicans in favor of this. GOOLSBEE: I think that`s right. Look, I think this is going to end up being so genuinely either popular or just accepted that I don`t think you`re going to end up hearing a whole lot about it from the Republican candidates. As you pointed out, as Secretary Gutierrez points out, the strongest argument against communism is just the fact that capitalism works, that Airbnb is starting to open up people`s houses so people can go and visit and stay there. Once you start seeing that you can earn income as a small business, the desire of the people in Cuba to live under a communist regime is going to evaporate very quickly. O`DONNELL: EJ Dionne, but these Republican presidential candidates are clinging to the 50-year-old rhetoric here. DIONNE: I think some Republican is going to find his way to the following position which I think would work politically. It might even be constructive which is to accept the fact that we need a new Cuba policy. To accept the fact that creating diplomatic relations with Cuba makes sense. We have diplomatic relations with all sorts of dictatorships in the world. And where they should hit the president is say he`s not pushing hard enough on getting the Cuban government to free political prisoners. He`s not pushing hard enough on human rights. And that way they can accept the reality that this is where things are going to be and ought to be but then criticize him and -- before looking and say, let`s speed up this process that we want to happen to bring freedom to Cuba. O`DONNELL: Charlie, what about within a Republican primary in Florida? How would the issue play then? COOK: Well, I mean, I think they`re all going to say the same thing so there is no contrast, so it won`t be -- it won`t be much of a debate. I mean, this is one of those issues where a very small number of people feel very intensely about it. And most Americans sort of don`t care that much or think, you know, it would be kind of fun to go to Havana. That sort of thing. But, you know, there`s no percentage in any Republican candidate coming out in favor of the president`s proposal. I mean, that would be suicide but -- O`DONNELL: Well, Rand Paul has essentially done that. He`s in basic agreement with the president on it. EJ Dionne, it`s not the only way he departs from the rest of his colleagues. DIONNE: Rand Paul is basically a libertarian. He`s a noninterventionist and he loves foreign policy to be about trade and economics. O`DONNELL: Charlie Cook, EJ Dionne and Austan Goolsbee, thank you all for joining me tonight. Really appreciate it. DIONNE: Good to be with you. O`DONNELL: Chris Hayes is up next. END