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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 09/03/15

Guests: Dan Savage, Eugene Robinson, Matt Lewis, Maria Teresa Kumar,Michael McCann

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. LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST, THE LAST WORD: Donald Trump pledges allegiance to the Republican Party and other Republican candidates pledge allegiance to the Kentucky County Clerk who believes the Supreme Court of the United States has no power over her. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stunning news, frankly, out of the federal courthouse here in Ashland, Kentucky. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the Kentucky clerk who defied the Supreme Court now in custody. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because he really had no choice but to find her in contempt. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s divided Republican candidates running for president. SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: No, I think it`s absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their religious liberty. SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Those of us in public line have to administer the law to every American as the law is written. MIKE HUCKABEE, FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: The Supreme Court is not the supreme branch and it certainly is not the supreme being. DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN & PRESIDENT, THE TRUMP ORGANIZATIONS & FOUNDER, TRUMP ENTERTAINMENT RESORTS: I have signed the pledge. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes! UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He pledges allegiance to the GOP. TRUMP: And the conservative principles for which it stands. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is not binding, there`s nothing about this that this is binding. TRUMP: Oh, I see no circumstances under which I would tear up that pledge. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess it`s been such an enjoyable off season. (LAUGHTER) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A federal judge has thrown out Tom Brady`s four-game suspension. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just a great feeling all around New England right now. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We knew he didn`t do anything. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congratulations to Tom. TRUMP: Well, I`m -- Tom Brady is a very good friend of mine. I just spoke to him a little while ago, he is so thrilled -- (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Here`s what the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination had to say today about the most important political and governing story of the day. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I don`t know enough about it to comment on it. Was she jailed? I really don`t know much about it. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: That was after federal Judge David Bunning, who was appointed to the court by President George W. Bush found Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis in contempt of court for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same- sex couples. Judge Bunning sent Kim Davis directly to jail from the courtroom. Kentucky`s junior Senator Republican Presidential candidate Rand Paul said this: (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) PAUL: I think it`s absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their religious liberty. And even those on the other side of the issue, those who want to support a new definition for marriage, I think it sets their movement back because it`s seen now as that the federal government is going to come in with bully force. And here, even with police power and incarcerate people who disagree or who still believe in the traditional notion of marriage. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee tweeted: "Kim Davis in federal custody removes all doubts about the criminalization of Christianity in this country. We must defend religious liberty." Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said: "I stand with Kim Davis, unequivocally, I stand with every American that the Obama administration is trying to force to choose between honoring his or her faith or complying with a lawless court decision." Republican presidential candidate Lindsey Graham said this on Msnbc. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) GRAHAM: This Supreme Court case is binding on her actions as a public official in Kentucky. I sympathize with her religious beliefs. But she`s a public official and those of us in public life have to administer the law to every American as the law is written. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted: "marriage equality is the law of the land. Officials should be held to their duty to uphold the law. End of story." Joining us now is Dan Savage, a columnist and host of the -- of the Savage Lovecast, Eugene Robinson, Msnbc political analyst and opinion writer for "The Washington Post". Also with us, Matt Lewis, senior contributor for "The Daily Caller" and a columnist for "The Week". Dan Savage, it seems like Lindsey Graham is the only Republican presidential candidate who actually got this right today. DAN SAVAGE, COLUMNIST & HOST, SAVAGE LOVECAST: It does seem that way. The judge who jailed the Kim Davis earlier today is now under protection, has bodyguards I`ve heard. I just read online the kind of rhetoric that Mike Huckabee is throwing around and others on the Republican side is really dangerous. Just as the kind of rhetoric Donald Trump has been throwing around has proved to be dangerous. People have been assaulted. Christianity is not been criminalized, people are not being thrown into jail for their personal beliefs. This is a contempt of court case. That`s it, period. The end. And it`s all going according to plan, frankly, if I may go on for a second. The panel all along, they knew they had no case. Kim Davis and her terrible hack, bigoted, theocratic lawyers of the Liberty Counsel knew where this would go and it would go here and she would lose in the end. And that has always been the plan. It`s about raising money, it`s about Kim Davis profiting from her bigotry and frankly, her hypocrisy and -- Liberty Counsel using this stunt, this grandstanding to rake in thousands and thousands of dollars of donations, so they can continue to pay their president and their staffers. O`DONNELL: Eugene Robinson, one of the things the judge said about -- instead of doing a fine than sending her to jail was that, he felt that a fine might not inhibit her at all. There might be enough financial resources for her in the kind of support that Dan is talking about to just pay a fine. EUGENE ROBINSON, COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: Yes, and there would have been, I`m sure. I mean, I think Dan is right on this. The only reason she would have taken this as far is because they knew that she would be held in contempt of court and knew that ultimately, she would have to go to jail. It just has to have been planned out. There is no legal ground to stand on here. She`s a public official and she has to enforce the law equally. That`s her duty and it has nothing to do with anything she privately believes. It`s her job. She doesn`t have to be clerk of that -- of that - - of that county. She can do something else where she doesn`t have to sign gay marriage certificates if she doesn`t want to, but if she can do that job, she`s got to do it for everybody. O`DONNELL: And Matt Lewis, a little statistical perspective here, this is not the first Supreme Court decision that has been defied in various jurisdictions around the country. We have exactly three counties in the United States that are trying to defy this. That`s three out of 3,143 counties. So this is almost not quite, 1,000th of 1 percent where this resistance occurs. And so, the good news is, look at how much compliance there actually is out there. And that means every single county in Mississippi, every county in Alabama, every county in states where you would -- other states where you might expect this kind of resistance to pop up. MATT LEWIS, SENIOR CONTRIBUTOR, THE DAILY CALLER: Yes, look, I think that`s a very good point, you put it in perspective. I think the vast majority of conservatives and elected officials who are conservatives believe in the rule of law. I mean, I`ll be honest, I mean, I personally don`t think that a cake baker should be compelled to violate their rights of conscience. I`m very worried that someday pastors and preachers might be forced, compelled to conduct gay marriages against their rights of conscience. But that`s a difference -- SAVAGE: I have to jump in -- LEWIS: That`s -- SAVAGE: That is never going to happen -- LEWIS: No, let me finish, but that`s a different story than somebody who is elected and is bound to follow the constitution. And if -- look, if this lady doesn`t like doing her job, I think she ought to resign. That`s her option. But she can`t -- SAVAGE: And I -- LEWIS: Just unilaterally decide not to follow the law. SAVAGE: And I agree with you there if I may jump in. But it`s not a different story that preachers may one day be thrown in jail for refusing to perform same-sex marriages. That`s a different piece of demagoguery and frankly, BS. Right now, in this country, preachers routinely and regularly refuse to perform marriage ceremonies between heterosexual couples when they don`t approve of an interfaith marriage and they don`t think that heterosexual couple is sufficiently religious. And there has never been a case where someone has been thrown in jail for refusing to perform an opposite sex wedding. And it`s just complete crap, frankly. LEWIS: No, I can -- I can -- (CROSSTALK) SAVAGE: There can be a future where people -- preachers are thrown in jail for refusing to perform same-sex marriages when it has never happened. (CROSSTALK) LEWIS: We get, you know -- (CROSSTALK) We could get into this, I`m sure it`s -- I`m sure that Lawrence doesn`t want to get into that debate, but, I will just agree -- O`DONNELL: Well -- (CROSSTALK) SAVAGE: Yes, you`re like -- you`re taking away from here because you`re going to lose that debate -- O`DONNELL: No -- LEWIS: OK, do you -- I mean, do you want to have -- do you want to have that debate, I`ll let it up to Lawrence. O`DONNELL: Well, let`s just -- let`s just say if we have more room, but -- because I want to get a few more things in here about Kentucky. But do feel free to take this where you want to. I want to mention Casey Davis who`s one of the other resistant clerks in Kentucky. He was on this program last night, we spoke to him today about -- is he willing to go to jail over this? And he said, "yes, it`s apparent that`s where we`re at right now with all of this, exercising your first amendment right is now a jailable offense." I want to listen to what Casey Davis said on this program last night. This is -- this is the thinking that is guiding these clerks right now. Let`s listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CASEY DAVIS, CLERK: It`s simply a deeply-held religious belief that I -- that I have, that I don`t believe that I can put my name on a marriage license as a same-sex marriage license and be able to -- be able to sleep with that. The law of nature supersedes anything that man puts on paper. This lifestyle is against the law of nature and I believe that one day, one day, that we will all understand just how against God`s law that it is as well. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Eugene Robinson, the judge tried to explain today to Kim Davis that he, too, has deeply felt religious beliefs but those cannot be used in forming his legal opinions on the bench. ROBINSON: Indeed they cannot. I mean, it`s fine, believe whatever you want to believe. But if you`re a public official and that`s your job and you either do your job or you resign. It`s cut and dry. There`s just the kind of not a legal basis to stand on - - to stand on here, and you know, so maybe he could go to jail, too. O`DONNELL: And Dan, back to that point that you were working on there with Matt. The Huckabee position, not that it is necessarily one of the controlling positions out there in the public mind. But the Huckabee position is, that this is not just a slippery slope. It`s a cliff and the next thing is forcing churches and forcing ministers to perform same-sex weddings and all sorts of invasions like that. SAVAGE: Not going to happen, period, the end. I think a better example -- conservatives like Huckabee would be, how would you feel if a Quaker County clerk because sincerely held religious belief. A pacifist refused to issue gun permits or gun licenses to anyone in that county because that clerk, privately, personally, religiously, didn`t believe anyone in that county should have access to a gun. Shouldn`t be able to exercise their second amendment rights at all. And Huckabee, God, gun, grits and gravy Mike Huckabee, would be the fastest out of the gate to condemn that or to suggest that, that county clerk should resign their position. This is just demagoguery and flimflam and right-wing Christians like Mike Huckabee demanding special rights and carve-outs for them to exercise their private religious beliefs over other Americans. And to cite them as a trump card when denying other Americans their right to their private beliefs and then their public -- their rights; including their right to wed. It`s just complete theocratic garbage, frankly. O`DONNELL: To go back to the clerk`s legal beliefs which are fascinating. Because it`s hard to figure out where they come from. SAVAGE: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Casey Davis who was on this program last night and was able to talk to us today said -- his reaction to what happened today. He said, "I think it`s wrong, it`s absolutely wrong. I`m in support of her that she was going to jail" -- Kim Davis. And he said, "the governor should never have let this happen and he could stop it right now." And here`s what the governor said today, which I can`t fathom what Casey Davis is thinking when he says the governor could stop it. Governor issued a statement saying, "Judge Bunning`s decision today speaks for itself. He said this is obviously the correct legal process", and he ended his statement by saying, "I have no legal authority to relieve them of their statutory duty by executive order." And Matt Lewis, do you have any notion of where these novel, legal theories are coming from that these clerks, these three clerks out of over 3,000 have decided to use as guidance? LEWIS: Well, I think there`s a couple of things at play here. There`s been the notion of nullification that has been around in recent years and going back to, I guess Calhoun, the notion that you can simply ignore -- the state could ignore something that the federal government or the Supreme Court does. I think that`s a bogus argument, so, I don`t buy into that. But some -- that`s been something that has been circulated among some circles on the right. There`s also the notion of civil disobedience. But look, again, first of all, civil disobedience tend to be things that people as individuals, not people who work for the government engage in. And there`s also a penalty. You know, there`s a reason there`s a letter from a Birmingham jail. It`s because you -- when you exercise civil disobedience, you are -- you pay a price for that. And so, I mean, look, let me also just -- I would -- I would say this about Huckabee and you know, he started off playing the Lindsey Graham quote. The one reason that Lindsey Graham is the one politician who really sounds -- that makes sense here is because he has no chance of winning, right? (LAUGHTER) So, if he can talk the way that I can -- O`DONNELL: I just -- that`s -- LEWIS: I have nothing to lose and neither does he. (CROSSTALK) SAVAGE: What does that say about the GOP base? O`DONNELL: OK, Dan Savage, that will be the quick -- ROBINSON: Well, yes -- O`DONNELL: Last word that I was just going to ask you for. Dan Savage, thank you very much for joining us for this segment. Thanks very much. Coming up, Donald Trump surrenders his independence to the Republican Party and Elizabeth Warren was asked a couple of questions about her future here in Boston this week. And she gave some new answers. And today, Boston might as well have renamed itself Brady town. You should have been here when the Patriots- conquering hero conquered the NFL in court. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Donald Trump said today that he thinks Rick Perry should drop out of the Republican presidential primary race which led to this question on "Fox News". (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you want to make news today on the real story? Is Donald Trump right? Are you getting out of the race? RICK PERRY, FORMER TEXAS GOVERNOR: You know, a broken clock is right once a day, so, you know, the bottom line is I`m still here and I`m still working. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And Rand Paul says Donald Trump capitulated to the Republican Party today, that`s next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I don`t want to do a third party run, I think it would be a hard thing to do. I want to run as the Republican nominee. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you sign that pledge? TRUMP: We`ll be making announcements on different things over the next couple of weeks. We`re going to make a decision very soon and I think a lot of people are going to be very happy. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: And then today Donald Trump said this: (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: The best way for the Republicans to win is if I win the nomination and go directly against whoever they happen to put up. And for that reason, I have signed the pledge. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes! (APPLAUSE) So, I will be totally pledging my allegiance to the Republican Party and the conservative principles for which it stand and we will go out and we will fight hard and we will win. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Since Donald Trump has publicly changed his mind about so many things, so many times, he was, of course, asked if he would change his mind about pledging not to run as an independent against the Republican nominee. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: I have no intention of changing my mind. I see no circumstances under which I would tear up that pledge. Question was, what did I get for signing the pledge? Absolutely nothing, other than the assurance that I would be treated fairly. And I`ve seen that over the last two months, but they really have been very fair. I think the thing that changed is the fact that I went to number one place very quickly after I signed and after I -- in this building notified everybody that I`d be running for president. So, I think the biggest thing is that I went early to number one and the RNC has treated me with great respect. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Jeb bush then tweeted a hand-written reply to Donald Trump: "voted Republican since 1972", signed Jeb Bush. This morning, Jeb Bush once again complained about how Donald Trump seems to get away with not providing specifics for his policy positions. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEB BUSH, FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: I think Donald Trump is trying to insult his way to the presidency. It`s not going to work. He`s out to get everybody. He doesn`t have a set of plans. If he had to actually do the traditional thing, which is, here`s my policy as it relates to immigration, his policy is not serious. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Joining the discussion now, Maria Teresa Kumar, president of Voto Latino and host of "CHANGING AMERICA" by shift on Msnbc. Eugene Robinson, Matt Lewis, of course still with us. So, Rand Paul tweeted, "I`m glad to see real Donald Trump capitulated and changed course after our debate." Maria Teresa, Donald Trump, capitulated according to Rand Paul. MARIA TERESA KUMAR, PRESIDENT, VOTO LATINO: No, if anything, I think he has the Republican Party right now wrapped around his little finger doing exactly what he wants. And that is, all Trump news, that`s leaning up to the -- with the RNC even capitulating to him. And this is a real concern, Lawrence, is the fact that last year the GOP came out with the -- the RNC came out with an autopsy of what it should be doing with the party. And one was that, it should be trying to figure out how to galvanize women and how to galvanize Latino voters and how to galvanize millennials. Trump represents none of that. So, I would actually encourage the RNC to go back and read the report. O`DONNELL: And the latest of Monmouth poll; it`s a national poll, shows Trump at the top with his highest number and that yet, he`s at 30. It`s up four points and that -- from the last one and the last one was taken before the debate. So, the debate had only a four-point effect on the Trump number. The big beneficiary in the debate that you see in this poll would be Ben Carson who`s in there at number two, the biggest move up. Jeb Bush down at eight. But Matt Lewis, Jeb Bush continues to hold on to the position in the polls that most people consider the leader of the people who they can actually envision being on the ticket. LEWIS: Yes, and that and, you know, 25 cents will buy him a bag of potato chips. (LAUGHTER) O`DONNELL: Great -- LEWIS: Great, yes -- O`DONNELL: Yes, so far, yes. LEWIS: My sense is that Jeb is doing the Lord`s work. I think he is -- it goes against his personality to take the fight to Trump, but I think he is taking the fight to Trump. And I think he is -- there is, you know, gradually going to maybe wear him down a little bit, and then I think someone else will emerge, whether it`s a Marco Rubio or a Ted Cruz and sort of benefit. So, Jeb Bush is basically jumping on, you know, the grenade, so to speak. So, I think that Jeb might be doing the party a favor here, but sacrificing himself. Because he`s not naturally good at picking fights with Donald Trump. O`DONNELL: Yes, well, who is? The president of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce had a private meeting with Donald Trump where he discovered a character I think Gene Robinson knows to some extent, the private version of Donald Trump. Let`s listen to this. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAVIER PALOMAREZ, PRESIDENT, HISPANIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: The Donald that I met with for an hour and a half was quite different. This Donald did not interrupt me. He was not bombastic. He listened more than he talked. He was willing to hear my point of view. We disagreed on a few things. We disagreed on the wall, of course. We disagreed on the mass deportation of millions of people, according to the conversation he and I had, the media has mischaracterized him. That there is much more to see. And so, I think that that`s part of the reason that we are excited over the fact that Donald has agreed to come, sit with me, October the 8th in Washington for a 90-minute Q and A session. Where -- and he`ll be given an opportunity to explain himself a bit more clearly. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Gene Robinson, that`s going to be a fascinating 90 minutes. But I think as we all know, there is almost always a significant difference between the on-stage version -- ROBINSON: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Of any politician and the backstage version. ROBINSON: There certainly is. I actually spoke with Mr. Trump today shortly before he made his announcement. I thought I saw on the wires that he was -- he was going to sign the pledge. And I just e-mailed, you know, doesn`t this take away some of your anti- politician street cred? He`s gotten where he is by not obeying the rules, and here he is obeying the rules. He was on the phone very quickly and we had a bit of a conversation. I learned two things about this move specifically. Number one, I think he`s done the math about an independent candidacy. And you know, how difficult and expensive it is to get on the ballot in 50 states and then at the end, what do you have? You have the chance to get pummeled by the Republicans and the Democrats in a general election. If you do extraordinarily well, you win a few electoral votes. The best you can hope to do with, is throw it to the house of Representatives where you would have no chance of winning anyhow. So, he`s done all that math. The other -- the other thing is, Donald Trump at this point -- at least in my impression firmly believes he can win the Republican nomination. So, it`s not these -- you know, just that he`s been an insurgent force for some other reason. He firmly believes he can win this. LEWIS: Can I -- can I make a point, too, here? I think it was symbolic that Reince Priebus went to New York to have Donald Trump sign this pledge. I`m reminded -- this will sound crazy, I`m reminded of Napoleon summoning the pope -- (LAUGHTER) O`DONNELL: Yes, it sounds crazy -- LEWIS: To Paris -- O`DONNELL: Yes, you`re right -- KUMAR: Fantastic -- (LAUGHTER) Fantastic -- O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa, I want to get back to this October 8th event, the 90-minute interview -- KUMAR: Yes -- O`DONNELL: With Javier Palomarez, what are you -- KUMAR: Yes -- O`DONNELL: Expecting from that? KUMAR: Well, Javier, actually, he and ran into each other and he told me that he was having a sit-down meeting with Donald. And he was what -- it was Donald Trump, and he was basically telling me what should he do. Well, my big thing is, you have to engage with the other side to get a better sense of what folks are thinking. I think I`m very much about engagement. I do shake my head though because I am concerned that what we don`t want is to make a -- to give Donald Trump a platform where he`s not being authentic and actually speaking the truth. I think we -- we can`t say that the media is spinning him when he was very clear what he was thinking when he was talking about the Latino community and the work that we do. He is down in the polls in the Latino community by negative 51 percent, Lawrence -- that`s a feat. I don`t think I`ve ever seen a poll that low for anyone historically. And we all know that at the end of the day, the only way you get to the White House is through the Latino vote. So, I think it`s going to be very difficult for him to come out from out of that hole. O`DONNELL: We have a new spending report showing what the ad buys are from the various campaigns. And team Kasich is at the top of it. This includes campaign spending as well as pack spending on behalf of the candidate. It`s focused on New Hampshire which I`ll tell you, when you`re watching Boston TV as I am here. The Kasich ads are all over the place. It`s -- he`s only -- he`s spent 3.7 million so far. Donald Trump has spent nothing. Absolutely nothing on advertising, Eugene Robinson, and -- ROBINSON: Yes -- KUMAR: He doesn`t need to -- ROBINSON: And why would he, Lawrence? Would he, Lawrence? O`DONNELL: He -- yes -- KUMAR: Yes! ROBINSON: Why would he spend a dime on advertising? Here we are, talking about Donald Trump. Here we are every day talking about Donald Trump. He gets more free media than you could possibly buy. So, no, I mean, he may not have to buy an ad this whole campaign. O`DONNELL: Yes, and he does make these little, online, you know, things for free that then most of the news programs then show which function the same way as paid advertising because the whole concept is put out there. The complaint, though, that he has nothing to say about policy -- let`s listen quickly to what he has said about Obamacare today. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP: We`re going to get rid of Obamacare and come up with something that`s much better and much less expensive. We`re going to get rid of it. We`re going to repeal it. It`s going to be out. It should have been out a long time ago, it should never happen. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa, what more specificity could you possibly ask for? KUMAR: I don`t know, details. Tell that to the -- to the millions of American families that no longer have to file bankruptcy because now they have healthcare. Come on, Donald, you`re the one -- you`re a business guy, you know that this is all nonsense. O`DONNELL: All right, everyone, stay with us, when we come back, what`s going on with Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden? Elizabeth Warren had something to say about that. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST OF "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELL" SHOW: Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke with Boston Globe Reporter Joshua Miller yesterday as part of the political happy hour series at Suffolk University in Boston. Senator Warren talked about a lot of things including her recent private meeting with Joe Biden. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOSHUA MILLER, BOSTON GLOBE REPORTER: You met with Joe Biden the weekend before last? ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS SENIOR SENATOR: I did. MILLER: How did that meeting come about and what did you talk about? SEN. WARREN: He called. And -- (LAUGHING) MILLER: He called you personally. SEN. WARREN: He did. He did. Actually, he called me twice. Called me once, called me twice and -- and invited me down. We had lunch and we talked about policy. We talked about what is happening to America`s middle class. We talked about the direction that this country has been going in. We talked about the capture of this country by those who have got money and power. It was good, long rambling policy conversation just like they ought to be. MILLER: What did you have for lunch? SEN. WARREN: It was a chopped salad thing. I was never entirely sure what it was. (CROWD LAUGHING) MILLER: Was there any talk with the vice president of a joint ticket even jokingly? SEN. MILLER: It was -- it was a long conversation. (CROWD LAUGHING) MILLER: OK. OK. Do you plan to meet with him again? SEN. MILLER: Look, I meet with anybody who wants to talk about policy and might be able to help out here. I have met with Secretary Clinton. I meet, of course, with Bernie Sanders on the floor of the United States Senate multiple times and other places; and with Vice President Biden and with Martin O`Malley. So, this is important stuff. And, it is -- It is a lot more important than just politics. We have to make change. America`s great middle class is in real trouble. And, it takes as many people as we can pulling in the same direction to make the kinds of changes we are going to need to make. MILLER: There is a lot of chat now about a Vice President Elizabeth Warren. So, I want to ask you a question this way. Will you pledge to serve out your full six-year U.S. senate term? (LAUGHING) SEN. WARREN: So, I love my job. I truly love this job. And, it is all I am thinking about. And, you just cannot put a different thought in my head. I am thinking about my job at the United States Senate. I just told you, look at all the things I get to do. I get to get out there and wrestle with agencies and I get to get out there and talk about big issues, and I get to get out there and fight for legislation, the kinds of things the people of the commonwealth of Massachusetts sent me to do. MILLER: Do you plan on endorsing a democrat for president before the nominating commission. SEN. WARREN: You mean opposed to a republican? MILLER: Plan on endorsing one of the -- SEN.WARREN: Oh, Josh! Man, what did you have at happy hour before I got in here? (LAUGHING) MILLER: Do you plan in endorsing a democrat before the nominee convention? SEN. WARREN: Yes, I imagine. Yes. MILLER: Do you think you will endorse Hillary Clinton, or Martin O`Malley or Joe Biden. SEN. WARREN: Yes -- Look, right now that is not where we are. But, yes, I imagine that is what I will do. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: OK. So, if you are keeping score at home, the answer to the question, "Did she talk to Joe Biden about running for vice president?" I am not sure what she said. We are going to have to replay that part when we come back. More on Biden and Warren, next. (MUSIC PLAYING) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MILLER: Was there any talk with the vice president of a joint ticket, even jokingly? SEN. WARREN: It was a long conversation. MILLER: OK. (LAUGHING) MILLER: OK. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Gene Robinson, it would have been so easy to just say no if it is true that they never discussed that -- EUGENE ROBINSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: What did you find unclear about that, Lawrence? I thought it was crystal clear. It was a long conversation. She did not say no. We can infer, if we like, that the answer is yes, but we do not know that. So, we just do not know, right? Obviously, they spent a long time talking about something over what might or might not have been chopped salad. O`DONNELL: I find Senator Warren to be an extremely careful speaker in those situations. So, Maria Teresa, it fascinates me that she just could not bring herself to simply say no, but we did not discuss that. MARIA TERESA KUMAR, VOTO LATINO PRESIDENT AND MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: That is what I thought was fascinating, is that Elizabeth Warren and coy usually do not go together. In this case she was very coy and playful. And, that is one of the rare times where I have actually seen her do that. Even more so than when she is on the Jon Stewart show. So, that was interesting. O`DONNELL: Well, I will not replay her long answer to the question of, "Will you serve out your term?" But, trust me there was no answer in that. There was a lot of talk about how much she loves -- KUMAR: She is lawyering us. O`DONNELL: Yes. How much she loves being a center, all of that. KUMAR: She is lawyering us. O`DONNELL: But, she does know how to answer the question. Here is her answer. In 2013 to "The Boston Globe ," I -- quote, "I pledge to serve out my term," end quote. So, Matt, that is what she sounds like when she wants to answer a question. MATT LEWIS, THE WEEK: Yes. Well, you know what? I mean you played the clip earlier and then just that excerpt there, but she -- somebody, said playful. I mean that is what she was -- O`DONNELL: Yes. LEWIS: I think she was incredibly charming. O`DONNELL: Yes. LEWIS: Incredibly funny and you juxtapose that to Hillary Clinton and it is a star contrast. I mean to me that was a takeaway. Elizabeth Warren is incredibly likable and funny and the presumptive nominee is the opposite of that. O`DONNELL: Yes. This is a great point. I mean I think she is the best stage performing politician on the democratic side, Gene, by far. I mean President Obama is the only one, you know, close. He is better, but this is the next great one. ROBINSON: Yes -- No. I, absolutely agree. And, she has a way -- you know, when she starts talking about her issues, she has a way of telegraphing a passion. She transmits it. She got the "It" that successful politicians have. You know, the question is now, she is not -- she is not part of a youth movement, right? She is in her 60s. And, so, frankly, the time for her to move would be now if she is going to move. O`DONNELL: Anyone younger than Bernie Sanders is part of a youth movement. And, it turns out, Bernie is part of a youth movement if you look at his audience. I want to listen to something that Joe Biden said. Now, we all remember that Team Clinton let it be known how much mileage she flew as secretary of state. In fact, I think we all have it memorized that she flew 956,733 miles as secretary of state. Keep that in mind when you listen to Joe Biden talking about his mileage. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JOE BIDEN, (D) CURRENT VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: I have traveled as of today, 992,894 miles with the president. I met with virtually every major leader in the world. I know these guys. I know them better than anybody in the administration because I have been hanging around so long. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa, that is the vice president in Florida this morning. And, that mileage reference is so kind of specific to the Clinton mileage thing. KUMAR: Well, that and I love his follow-ups. It was like I know them better than anybody. O`DONNELL: Yes. KUMAR: All right. O`DONNELL: Yes. KUMAR: That is toe to toe. But, what I found interesting is the places he is choosing to go. Community colleges are, actually, the number one place where Latinos are. So, I can bet you money that TeleMundo and Univision are covering this in every single household right now in the country -- in Latino households are watching and saying, he gets education. He gets my kids. So, I find those two things really fascinating. O`DONNELL: Matt Lewis, what are republicans rooting for? I mean we know that democrats have been rooting for Donald Trump to continue to dominate the republican side. They would love to see him get the nomination. What are republicans rooting for here, professional republicans when they look over at the democratic fields? Do they want Joe Biden to get in? LEWIS: They want Bernie Sanders, I think. No -- Look. I do not know what the root -- Be careful what you root for, right? The democrats wanted Reagan in `80, you know. Give us that actor. He will be easy. O`DONNELL: That is right. Yes. LEWIS: So, I think be careful what you root for. You know, the one sort of advantage about having this huge field on the republican side is that Hillary does not know who to go after and republicans have had the benefit of sort of, you know, knowing. It is going to be Hillary. But, now, that is starting to look a little more dubious. So, I think the republicans have their hands full. Look, you know, a lot of people think Joe Biden is a joke. They make fun of him, all of his gaffes. You know, he said that Obama is clean and articulate. But, you know what? Joe Biden is likable. And, if you watch the debate he had with Paul Ryan in 2012, he can throw elbows, too. O`DONNELL: There is a new Reuters poll, which asked democrats around the country in a national poll this question about Hillary Clinton and their second choice. The question was phrased this way. "If polling indicated that Hillary Clinton would lose to a republic candidate for president in the 2016 election, who would you then support in the democratic primary?" And, there is Joe Biden at the top of that one 40.4 percent say they go to Biden. 28 percent would go to Bernie Sanders, 26 percent presumably stick with Hillary Clinton. And , Gene Robinson, that is the kind of internal polling question that the Biden team must be staring at closely these days. ROBINSON: Yes. They must be looking at that. They are also looking at the questions about Hillary Clinton`s e-mails, trying to figure out where that heads and where it is likely to go. And -- But, I think the most important thing they are looking at is what -- you know, what Vice President Biden said on the call the other day, which he is looking inside. He is looking internally to see if he has the fire, if he has the desire, the emotional fortitude left after his recent tragedy to throw his hat in the ring again and do all that is required of a presidential candidate. I think that in the end is the most important factor. O`DONNELL: And, Maria Teresa, one of the things they are going to wondering about on the Biden team is, this is somebody with an over 40-year record that could be relevant in a campaign. And, they have got to be wondering how far back is relevant? Will they be running only on the last eight years? Will they be reaching all the way back? Will some campaigns be reaching all the way back to his involvement in say the Anita Hill hearings? You know, just how much of Biden record do they have to defend? KUMAR: Look, I think that this is politics. You go as far as you can find. It is not e-mails. You can go back to the carbon copies in this case. And, I think that Biden is weighing that very much so. But, also when you start talking about what happened during the Anita Hill hearings, I think the majority of Americans are going to understand that we were talking about a very different time, that he was trying to thread a very different needle then. And, folks would understand that. I think if you were going to look more closely, though, one of the comments that he said, if anything in support or against women. Is he going to have more gaffes in the matter that he did when he was talking and referring to President Obama? Those are the things that folks are really going to be looking for. O`DONNELL: Well, HBO is currently in production, I think at the moment -- KUMAR: That is right. O`DONNELL: -- on a movie about the Anita Hill hearing. So, that is not one that team Biden would be looking forward to at this point. Eugene Robinson, Maria Teresa Kumar and Matt Lewis, thank you all for joining me tonight. Really appreciate it. Coming up, which presidential candidate actually talked to Tom Brady today? Hint. The one who bragged about having his phone number. (MUSIC PLAYING) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: If you are running for president and you are going to be on the ballot in the New Hampshire primary, which is in New England, there is only one issue you should be talking about today, and no presidential candidate understands that better than the current frontrunner for the republican presidential nomination. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, Tom Brady is a very good friend of mine. He is a great guy. For those of you that do not know him, he is a very honorable guy, and an honest guy and a truly great athlete. He is really a very good friend of mine. And, I just spoke to him a little while ago. He is so thrilled and so happy. Tom Brady, I think what they have done is terrible. And, he has been exonerated, as I understand it, because I just heard about it, but I am very happy for Tom. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Up next, the question no one in New England wants to hear today. Was Tom Brady vindicated or did he get off on a technicality? (MUSIC PLAYING) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: Three democratic senators, Cory Booker, Heidi Huddcamp (ph) and Mark Warner, all announced their support of the nuclear deal with Iran today. Seven democrats remained undecided. Up next, this town, Boston, went crazy today when Tom Brady got off the hook in federal court. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) O`DONNELL: To be here in Boston today was to be in an alternate universe in which as of 9:15 A.M., nothing else in the world mattered once a federal judge decided that Tom Brady should not be suspended for four games. If you were searching local Boston T.V. stations for the campaign commercials aimed at New Hampshire voters, like I was, you were out of luck. Because all the local Boston T.V. stations stayed with the Brady story for what seemed like hours and hours without a commercial break. Electronic billboards shouting simply, "Yes!" or "Vindicated!" started flashing around the city. The news that came an hour later that the NFL would appeal the judge`s decision was largely ignored here in Boston, as were the actual details of the judge`s opinion. And, joining us now is Michael McCann, legal analyst for "Sports Illustrated" and a professor at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Professor McCann, take us through what the judge actually decided today and does it amount to Tom Brady really being vindicated? MICHAEL MCCANN, LEGAL ANALYST FOR "SPORTS ILLUSTRATED" AND A PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE SCHOOL OF LAW: Well, Lawrence, what the judge decided today was that the NFL is processed for investigating and punishing Tom Brady was in violation of the law. That it is really about the process that the NFL used as opposed to the alleged evidence against Tom Brady. So, in that respect, it does not vindicate Tom Brady, per se, but in the course of really sharply criticizing the way the league did not provide Tom Brady adequate notice as to which policies he was being punished under. Also questions of availability of witness, availability of evidence. Clearly -- although, it was a decision about process, Lawrence, the judge very much criticized the lack of case, you could say, that the NFL had against Tom Brady. O`DONNELL: And, this has all comes out of a union agreement, which is being adjudicated. What does the union agreement allow in effect for the NFL commissioner to do? And, one of the things that I saw in the judge`s opinion was that there was no precedent, for example, for this particular punishment. How did the NFL arrived at this particular punishment? And, in the material, he was furnished the judge could not really find any specific rationale for how they arrived at the four-game suspension. MCCANN: Yes, that is right. So, it is true that there is a league document that was negotiated with the players, the collective bargaining agreement. And, the wording of the agreement certainly suggests that Roger Goodell has massive authority, massive discretion. But, that does not mean he has complete discretion, and the judge highlighted that. There is something called the law of the shop, which is the idea that there has to be consistency and fairness in arbitration awards. Here the judge said, I do not understand why Tom Brady was punished four games. There is no rule that corresponds to that. There is no underlying policy. There are questions about the manner in which he was judged. The judge really looked at this and said, "I get that you have a lot of authority, but that does not mean you can do anything you want," and that ultimately hurt the NFL. O`DONNELL: All right. Let the fans speak. Let us listen to some fans` reaction today. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE FAN: I honestly believe that the NFL loses money when the patriots do well because other teams are not interested in their teams, because we just dominate them. Plain and simple. (END VIDEO CLIP) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE FAN: There is always going to be, you know, critics and skeptics out there. And, you know, the hard of it as a fan, I am like -- I do not even listen to it. I do not care. I do not get offended. People are going to say what they want to say. (END VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE FAN: I do not think it is going to do anything at all. I think we are all going to forget about this and it might be a little blip or something like that. But, at the end of the day, you know, four Super Bowl rings, all the yards, all the statistics, and all the great stories up here. That is what is just going to carry on. (END VIDEO CLIP) O`DONNELL: Michael McCann, the lawyers certainly are not going to forget about this. MCCANN: No. Not at all. Especially, Lawrence, because there is going to be an appeal, an appeal that could go on for perhaps up to a year. The lawyers will not forget about it and the next time a player is punished, the lawyers are not going to forget about it. They are going to say, we just beat the NFL with Tom Brady. And, I should add with some other players before him. There is no way the lawyers are going to forget about this anytime soon. O`DONNELL: Michael McCann gets tonight`s last word. Thank you, Michael. Chris Hayes is up next. END