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The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Transcript 3/21/2016

Guests: John Wagner


Date: March 21, 2016 Guest: John Wagner

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Trump will not come up with a nickname that will stick to Elizabeth Warren, but it looks like she is determined to make the label "loser" stick to Donald Trump.

Stay with us there`s more tonight on this special two hour edition of THE LAST WORD. We will go live to Bernie Sanders speech in Arizona at any minute. Our second hours starts right now.


HILLARY CLINTON(D) , PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Tomorrow`s a big day right here in Arizona.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We think we have a chance to pick up a whole lot of delegates.

CROWD: We want you.

CLINTON: I want you to want me.

SANDERS: Bernie Sanders, nice guy, he combs his hair really well. But he cannot win a general election.

CLINTON: The stakes in this election just keep getting higher and higher.

SANDERS: Not only are we beating Trump badly in state polls, we`re doing much better against Trump than is Hillary Clinton.

CLINTON: Come out and vote. And let`s have the future we deserve in America.

SANDERS: We are part of the political revolution.


O`DONNELL: Here`s a live look at Bernie Sanders` event in Flagstaff, Arizona. We`re expecting Senator Sanders to be on the stage and speak to supporters at any moment. We`ll bring you that live when it happens.

Voters in three states will be going to the polls tomorrow for primaries and caucuses. That includes Arizona. Democrats will be voting there. As well as in Utah, and Idaho. Republicans are holding contests in Arizona and Utah. Idaho Republicans voted earlier this month, giving Ted Cruz a win in that primary. Today, Bernie Sanders had events in all three of those states, where Democrats are voting tomorrow. Earlier today, he was in Boise, Idaho, and then Salt Lake, before this event tonight in Flagstaff. While speaking earlier today, Bernie Sanders made a point to repeatedly go after Donald Trump.


SANDERS: When you talk about somebody line Donald Trump, what you have to recognize is much of what he says is simply not true. He lies a lot. Donald Trump is a pathological liar and the American people understand that.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now by phone from that Sanders` event in Flagstaff, Arizona, is "The Washington Post`s" John Wagner. John, Bernie Sanders skipping the big candidate event in Washington today at AIPAC, and instead staying out on the campaign trail. Is that a sign of confidence or is that a sign of nervousness about these outcomes?

JOHN WAGNER, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST (via telephone): Well perhaps both. You know, he is really depending on the Western States to turn the calendar around for them. He wanted and decided to stay out here rather than head back to Washington. And today he hit all three states with the voting on Tuesday, and as you said, he`s in Flagstaff now, and has probably a couple hundred thousand people. He`s really used the day to try to touch base with people who will actually be casting ballots tomorrow.

O`DONNELL: John Wagner, thank you very much for joining us from that location. Really appreciate it.

WAGNER: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: We`re joined now here in the studio by Josh Barro, a senior editor and business insider and MSNBC contributor, also back with us, Jonathan Alter, and Maria Teresa Kumar, President and CEO of Voter Latino, is a MSNBC contributor. Maria Teresa, I want to get your reaction to Bernie Sanders staying out on the trail, working to the last minute in Arizona. But the Senator has just stepped up to the microphone. And unless you have two fast words to unless you have two fast words to say. No, we`ll just go straight --


O`DONNELL: OK. That explains a lot. That explains a lot. There is a big Latino turnout that he may be fighting for out there, isn`t there, Maria?

KUMAR: And it`s a generational one, so if he can get the young people basically to go out for him, they will influence their families in a big way.

O`DONNELL: All right. Let`s listen to what the Senator has to say.


SANDERS: Loud and boisterous crowd. I love it. Thank you all very much for coming out. Let me begin by thanking the Harrison Beloit Band. Casandra Bison. Our state director, Jose Miranda, and let me thank also Arthur Babbitt for that vigorous introduction.

When we began this campaign about 10 month`s ago, we were 70 points behind Hillary Clinton, 70 points. CBS poll, just came out this afternoon, we are five points out. In other words, we are making some progress. We have now won nine state primaries and caucuses. It was just announced this afternoon or this morning that we won Democrats abroad. And tomorrow, if we have a large voter turnout, if all of you and your uncles and your aunts and your moms and your dads and your kids and your brothers and your sisters and all of your friends and your co-workers, if everybody comes out to vote, we`re going to win here in Arizona.

And tomorrow we think we have an excellent chance, a strong opportunity to win in Idaho, to win in Utah. And let me tell you what momentum is about. Just two days ago, most amazing, there was a poll in the Utah newspapers. Utah is one of the most conservative states in America. It has not voted for a Democratic candidate for president in 50 years. This is what the polls said two days ago -- Sanders beats Trump by 11 points.

There was a poll that just came out a few hours ago from CNN. Now, one of the charges that our opponents levy at us is they say, "Well, Bernie`s a nice guy, combs his hair fantastically. But you know, you know, Bernie just can`t win a general election against the Republicans, just can`t do it." Now, polls are polls. They go up, they go down, we take them with a grain of salt. But this poll is very consistent with many other polls. Let me read you some numbers. Nationally -- this is a CNN poll -- Hillary Clinton does well against Donald Trump. She beats him 53-41, 12 points. We beat him by 20 points. Same poll -- Hillary Clinton loses to John Kasich by six points, she loses. We beat Kasich by six points. Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz are in a tie, 48-48. We beat Cruz by 13 points.

All of us know that we have got to do everything we can to make certain that a Republican does not occupy the White House next year. I believe objectively speaking there is no question but you are looking at the strongest Democratic candidate to defeat the Republicans. And it is not just polls. There`s something more important, and you are demonstrating it here tonight. Democrats win when millions of people are excited and hopeful for the future and are prepared to get engaged in the political process. That`s when Democrats win. Republicans win when people are demoralized, when the voter turnout is low, and when the billionaires buy elections.

I don`t think any fair-minded person would disagree with the assertion that our campaign has the energy, has the momentum, and can bring out large numbers of people. Now, our campaign is doing as well as it is, it has momentum and the energy for on very simple reason, we are doing something very unusual in contemporary American politics, we are telling the truth.

Now, the truth is not always pleasant. That is true for our personal lives, it is true for politics. But just as in the case with our personal lives, it is imperative that we have the courage to look at reality as it is. If we simply push it under the rug and ignore it, as media often does, we will not effectively address our problems. And that is what this campaign is doing.

Number one, when we look at the many crises facing this country, at the top of my list is the fact that we have a corrupt campaign finance system that is undermining American democracy. Democracy is not a complicated idea. What democracy means -- you got a vote, and you got a vote and you got a vote, majority wins. Democracy does not mean billionaires buying elections. Democracy does not mean the Koch brothers and a handful of other billionaires spending $900 million in this campaign cycle, $900 million to elect candidates who represent the wealthy and the powerful. That is not democracy, that is oligarchy and we have got to disrupt it.

Too many people have fought and died to defend democracy. We are not going to allow this country to become an oligarchic society. But it is not just big money buying elections. What we are seeing all over this country are cowardly, Republican governors trying to suppress the vote. Now, we have in this country, sadly, one of the lowest voter turnouts of any major country on earth. Our job should be to increase voter turnout, not decrease voter turnout.

Republican governors in a dozen different ways are trying to make it harder for poor people, for old people, for young people, for people of color to vote. That is a disgrace. That is unacceptable, and if I am elected president of the United States, trust me, trust me, our Department Of Justice will take on these Republican governors. What American democracy is about is anybody over the age of 18 who`s a citizen of this country has the right to vote, end of discussion. And I say to those cowardly Republican governors, if you don`t have the guts to participate in a free and fair and Democratic election, get out of politics, get another job. What this campaign is about is revitalizing American democracy, making sure that every American knows that in a democracy, he and she are powerful people, if they exercise that power.

But our campaign is not just about ending a corrupt campaign finance system, it is about ending a rigged economy. Let me tell you what a rigged economy is, because the television news and the radio guys and the newspapers are not going to tell you, so let me have the honor of telling you. What a rigged economy is, is that today, believe it or not, the top 0.1 percent now owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. What a rigged economy is about is the wealthiest 20 people owning more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans, half our population.

Now, let me give you another example of what a rigged economy is about. The wealthiest family in the United States is the Walton family that owns Walmart. The Walton family pays wages to its Walmart employees that are so low that many of those workers are forced to go on Medicaid, food stamps, and subsidized housing. And you know whose taxes pay for those food stamps and Medicaid? You do. So, you have the absurd situation where working families who are struggling are paying taxes to subsidize the business of the wealthiest family in America. That is crazy.

So, I say to the Walton family, get off of welfare, pay your workers a living wage. And here`s what else a rigged economy is about. In the last 30 years, we have seen a massive explosion of technology. Almost all workers are producing more than workers used to. And yet, despite that, in my state of Vermont, and here in Arizona, we`ve got all over this country millions of people working longer hours for lower wages. We have people working not one job but two jobs. We have people who are working three jobs. We have moms working. We`ve got dads working. We`ve got kids working. Turns out that as Americans, we work the longest hours of any people in the industrialized world.

And yet, after all of that work, when mom and dad are out working and not paying enough attention to the kids, after all of that, 58 percent of all new income generated today goes to the top one percent. Are you guys ready for a radical idea? Together, we are going to create an economy that works for all of us, not just the one percent. But it`s not just a corrupt campaign finance system, it is not just a rigged economy, it is a broken criminal justice system.

Now, what this campaign is about is asking the American people to think outside of the box, not accept the status quo as the reality that we have to continue. We are the wealthiest country in the history of the world. You tell me why we should be having more people in jail than any other country on earth. And the people in jail are disproportionately African- American, Latino and Native Americans.

And let me tell you some of the reasons why we have more people in jail today. It`s not discussed at all. Youth unemployment is off the charts. For high school graduates who are white, youth unemployment, 33 percent, Latino 36 percent, African-American 51 percent. Are you ready for another radical idea? Together for our young people, we`re going to invest in education and jobs, not jails and incarceration.

And when we talk about a broken criminal justice system, all of us are tired of seeing the videos on television of unarmed people, often minorities, being shot and killed by police officers. Now, I was a mayor for eight years. I worked with police departments all over my state and police officers all over the country. The truth is, the vast majority of police officers are honest, hard-working and have a very difficult job. But when a police officer, like any other public official, breaks the law, that officer must be held accountable. We have got to demilitarize local police departments. We have got to create police departments that reflect the diversity of the communities they serve. We have got to rethink the failed war on drugs.

Today, and over the last 30 years, millions of Americans have police records for possession of marijuana. And a police record is not a joke when you`re out applying for a job. Lives are ruined. Kids can`t get jobs, then they do bad things to get income, and they end up in jail. In my view, right now we have under the federal controlled substance act at the schedule one level is marijuana, right alongside heroin. Now, people and scientists argue about the pluses and minuses of marijuana, but all of you know marijuana is not heroin. And that is why I have introduced legislation to take marijuana out of the federal controlled substance act.

States -- as you all know, it is a decision of the states to decide whether to legalize marijuana or not, but in my view, the federal government should not make it a federal crime. When we talk about drugs in my state of Vermont, in neighboring New Hampshire, all over this country, we have an epidemic of heroin addiction and opiate addiction. Every day people are dying from overdoses. In my view, when we talk about drug addiction and substance abuse, we must consider it a health issue, not a criminal issue.

We need a revolution in mental health care in America. When people need help, if they are addicted or if they are facing mental crises, they should be able to get the care when they need it, not six months from now. This campaign is doing well because we are listening to the American people, not wealthy campaign contributors.


O`DONNELL: That`s Bernie Sanders in Flagstaff, Arizona, final speech before voting starts there tomorrow morning. We`re joined once again by MSNBC`s Kasie Hunt, who has been following Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail. Kasie, he`s now into the familiar area of his speech that he`s been giving quite effectively in all of his trips around the country, but he began with some very positive polling news for his campaign that seemed to give him some new energy.

KASIE HUNT, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: That`s right, Lawrence. These new polls showing him, especially nationally, you know, with the closing with Hillary Clinton, and that, of course, is the kind of thing that you don`t want to say that he sounds like Donald Trump, but it is something that he can use sometimes in a way. He`s been talking in previous speeches quite a bit about our NBC news/"Wall Street Journal" poll in a positive way.

So, again, this is something that gives them a way to push forward, especially for their grassroots supporters. And you can`t overestimate how much they pay attention to what their supporters are saying, whether it`s on social media, Twitter, Facebook in particular, et cetera, and how they`re giving money. That`s the thing that they care the most about, and they`re very sensitive to criticism from those supporters. And so, keeping them engaged is kind of an ongoing exercise. And new polling information is one way that they convince those people that they`re still really in this, and they really feel a siege mentality is maybe a little bit too much of a description, but it`s not unlike that when it comes to mainstream media coverage.

They feel like reporters are very much engaged in a narrative that Sanders should drop out, he`s at a point where he should let the Democratic Party unify. They feel like a lot of people take Hillary Clinton`s line in that regard. We saw some more of that from her surrogates over the course of the last 48 hours, essentially, saying Sanders should find a way to bow out gracefully. And their challenge is making sure that this community of people that are so engaged and focused on Sanders` campaign continue to push it on social media and continue primarily to donate money and show up at these rallies. Because these millions of these dollars that these small donations are adding up to are at the end of the day what`s allowing him to keep going, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa Kumar, Bernie Sanders took to the stage just when you were in mid-thought at the beginning there about why he would want to be in Arizona tonight for this closing speech. And he certainly, as I say, had some very good polling news to report to his audience at the beginning, but what do you see that Sanders` campaign potential is in Arizona?

KUMAR: Arizona`s a ground zero of the immigration debate in this country. If we can`t forget, in 2010, Jan Brewer basically took the gloves off and went very heavily after the Latino community and created a blueprint that was then basically dispersed to that 22 states. The hidden gem of the Bernie Sanders campaign is that he has Erica and Diola, who`s perhaps one of the best known undocumented dreamers of the country, who is from Arizona. This is her home state. She is beloved locally. She knows exactly what it means to grassroots organize. To appreciate her stamina, she was able to go to Twitter and Facebook and basically appeal the community to stop her mother`s deportation by physically stopping an I.C.E. bus in the middle of everything. This is a young lady that knows how it works, and that`s one of the reasons why he feels that he has an opportunity, because he is so highly networked. Let`s not forget, he also has a Representative Grijalva, who is well respected within the Latino community in Arizona.

O`DONNELL: Josh Barro, the polls that he began with, some of the CNN numbers I was hearing about for the first time, because I`ve been sitting out here doing TV tonight, so I didn`t get them. "The New York Times"/CBS poll I saw earlier today was, I thought, you know, pretty good news, enough for Bernie Sanders, gave him a 15-point lead in the one-on-one matchup with Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton`s ten-point lead. Here in the CNN poll, it gives Bernie Sanders a 20-point lead over Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton`s 12-point lead over Donald Trump.

JOSH BARRO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: You know, Bernie Sanders loves to wave these polls around. He`s kind of second only to Donald Trump in terms of his enjoyment of talking about the polls, but the thing is, Bernie Sanders has never been attacked in a sustained way from the right, and that is absolutely what will happen in a general election --

O`DONNELL: Can I - just hold on a second. I hear this every time. Can someone tell me why this isn`t a positive? Which is to say, he does not have a career that you`re -- if he`s your nominee, he`s not someone who`s been a punching bag for over 20 years. Why isn`t that a good thing?

BARRO: Because the material is all there, and when people start punching, his poll numbers will go down. The ads will say he wants huge, new tax increases on the middle class, which is true. The ads will say he wants to take away your health care plan and give you a government-designed health care plan, which is true. And those ideas have a big constituency. He does very well in a Democratic primary, but we`ve seen for the last eight years what the politics of health care are in America. And when you start explain to the vast majority of Americans who do have health insurance and are happy with their health insurance that Bernie Sanders wants to change all of that again and impose a lot of big, new taxes in order to make that possible, it`s going to be very damaging to him. And I think the instinct of establishment Democrats who do not want to run another campaign about whether the government should play a bigger role in the health insurance system, they have the right instinct. And these polls reflect that nobody`s out there running those ads because Republicans would prefer to run against Bernie Sanders. Now that said, he --

KUMAR: I think that`s right --

O`DONNELL: Go ahead, Maria.

KUMAR: Well, I think that`s right. And I actually think for a lot of moderate Republicans right now that are very afraid of Trump, if it`s Bernie Sanders against Trump, they would hold their nose and basically vote for Trump just because they`re afraid of a lot of Bernie Sanders` policies, whereas if it`s Hillary Clinton against Trump, they recognize that she`s very friendly to business. They actually feel more comfortable with someone like Hillary Clinton running the White House, and you may actually see some people that are independent or Republican, moderate Republicans, actually voting for her against a vote against Trump.

JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC ANALYST: There is also, Lawrence, there is an awful lot in Bernie Sanders` background which just has not been aired to this point because there`s been no reason for a big food fight inside the Democratic Party. For instance, he was a fringe party candidate for many years in Vermont. And the fringe parties he was associated with had horrible ideas, like solidarity with the Iranian revolution. Now, maybe, you know, maybe at the time, they held our hostages. Now, maybe Sanders himself might be a little hard to link to all of those really noxious views that were held by those fringe parties, but we`d spend a lot of the summer and fall talking about that, if he was the nominee. Mathematically, it`s very, very hard for him to be the nominee, so really we`re arguing over nothing at this point.

O`DONNELL: I have to say, I think if Bernie Sanders is the nominee, these polls tell me he would have no trouble beating Donald Trump, absolutely no trouble beating Donald Trump. He also does better against Ted Cruz than Hillary Clinton does, and he does better against John Kasich -- Hillary Clinton loses to John Kasich in these polls, and that`s theoretical, because that`s an extremely unlikely match. But there`s some real character strength in the Sanders candidacy that these polls pick up, because these polls aren`t really about issues. Like you say, they haven`t gotten to those kinds of issues.

ALTER: But maybe Warren might address that if she were to go on the ticket, as you indicated earlier. And this is a huge thing --

O`DONNELL: Let me get one thing. Kasie Hunt, a last word from your perspective about how Bernie Sanders is closing his campaign day today.

HUNT: Look, Lawrence, I think the reality is this is very mathematically difficult for Bernie Sanders. But if Hillary Clinton does end up as the nominee and so does Donald Trump, if she wants to beat him, she`s going to have to figure out a way to capture the excitement that`s on display at these Bernie Sanders rallies. These are the people who care about voting Democratic. These are the people who are showing up. These are young people. They are the energy in the Democratic Party right now.

And if she can`t figure out a way to make sure that they`re excited to show up for her, it`s not going to go well for her in November, and I think that`s the challenge they`re grappling with right now.

O`DONNELL: Yes, Kasie Hunt, thank you. We`re going to take a quick break right here. Coming up, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, big speeches today at AIPAC. More big speeches than we might even have time to cover. We`ll stay -- keep a camera at that Bernie Sanders event, too. We will go back there if things develop there.


O`DONNELL: In her speech today at AIPAC, Hillary Clinton went after Donald Trump without ever mentioning his name.


CLINTON: Candidates for president who think the United States can outsource Middle East security to dictators or that America no longer has vital national interests at stake in this region are dangerously wrong. It would be a serious mistake for the United States to abandon our responsibilities or cede the mantle of leadership for global peace and security to anyone else. All of this work -- defending Israel`s legitimacy, expanding security and economic ties, taking our alliance to the next level -- depends on electing a president with a deep, personal commitment to Israel`s future as a secure, Democratic, Jewish state, and to America`s responsibilities as a global leader.

Tonight you`ll hear from candidates with very different visions of American leadership in the region and around the world. You`ll get a glimpse of a potential U.S. Foreign policy that would insult our allies, not engage them, and embolden our adversaries, not defeat them. We need steady hands, not a president who says he`s neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday, and who knows what on Wednesday, because everything`s negotiable.

Well, my friends, Israel`s security is nonnegotiable. Now, in a democracy, we`re going to have differences, but what Americans are hearing on the campaign trail this year is something else entirely -- encouraging violence, playing coy with white supremacists, calling for 12 million immigrants to be rounded up and deported, demanding we turn away refugees because of their religion, and proposing a ban on all Muslims entering the United States. Now, we`ve had dark chapters in our history before. We remember the nearly 1,000 Jews aboard the "St. Louis" who were refused entry in 1939 and sent back to Europe. But America should be better than this, and I believe it`s our responsibility as citizens to say so. If you see bigotry, oppose it. If you see violence, condemn it. If you see a bully, stand up to him.

So, my friends, let us never be neutral or silent in the face of bigotry. Together, let`s defend the shared values that already make America and Israel great.


O`DONNELL: Up next, Donald Trump`s speech to that same audience at AIPAC. Stay with us for this special extra hour of THE LAST WORD.


O`DONNELL: Earlier tonight, Donald Trump gave a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Public Affair`s conference in Washington. Here`s some of what he said.


TRUMP: But I didn`t come here tonight to pander to you about Israel. That`s what politicians do, all talk, no action, believe me. I came here to speak to you about where I stand on the future of American relations with our strategic ally, our unbreakable friendship and our cultural brother, the only democracy in the Middle East, the State of Israel.

My number one priority is to dismantle the disastrous deal with Iran. Thank you. Thank you. I have been in business a long time. I know deal making, and let me tell you, this deal is catastrophic for America, for Israel, and for the whole of the Middle East. The United Nations is not a friend of democracy, it`s not a friend to freedom, it`s not a friend even to the United States of America, where as you know, it has its home. And it surely is not a friend to Israel.

With President Obama in his final year -- yeah. He may be the worst thing to ever happen to Israel, believe me. Believe me. And you know it. And you know it better than anybody. So, with the president in his final year, discussions have been swirling about an attempt to bring a Security Council resolution on terms of an eventual agreement between Israel and Palestine. Let me be clear, an agreement imposed by the United Nations would be a total and complete disaster. We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem. And we will send a clear signal that there is no daylight between America and our most reliable ally, the State of Israel.


O`DONNELL: Back with us, Maria Teresa Kumar, Josh Barro and Jonathan Alter. I want to play one more piece of this, where he actually says he knows more about the Iran deal than anybody. And listen to the audience reaction to that.


TRUMP: I`ve studied this issue in great detail, I would say, actually, greater, by far, than anybody else.


Believe me. Oh, believe me. And it`s a bad deal.


O`DONNELL: Maria Teresa, there he is in a room where 15,000 people know more about the Iran deal than he does, and they actually laughed at him when he said that.

KUMAR: Right. Well, I think the problem right now we`re having is that we have a reality TV star as a front-runner for the Republican party who has never been able to actually provide us with nuance policy prescription. You basically do that and juxtapose Hillary Clinton, who is not only able to talk about nuance, but also talk about the personal relationship she has with Israel, with Israeli leaders, and also is basically telling the Jewish community, saying we actually have to tone down the temperature, because what this individual is sparking is actual hate. And we`ve already lived that history before.

O`DONNELL: John Alter, he refuted everything he has said in the presidential debates about Israel and about he`s the guy who can make the deal because he`ll be kind of neutral. He said, you know, that he absolutely is not a bit neutral on this, totally in lockstep with Israel all the way.

ALTER: I mean, he went in saying he wasn`t going to pander, and then it was a pander fest. You know, he said that he was the marshal of the Israel day parade because everybody else was afraid to be the marshal. When he says "believe me," that`s when you know he`s lying.

O`DONNELL: Or when he says "to tell the truth," that he`s also lying then.

ALTER: When he talked about, legitimately said that the Palestinians educate hate, and that`s true, they do that and it`s something that needs more attention, but that`s what he`s doing in our election right now. You know, he should talk about educating hate. And Jewish voters know that hate begets hate, and that`s why they aren`t voting for him. A few idiots gave him a standing ovation, but overall, mark my words, he will get very, very few Jewish votes.

O`DONNELL: Josh, when you compare it to Hillary Clinton`s speech, which was kind of specific and thoughtful, he was -- Trump was getting applause for the most simplistic sort of greeting card slogans you could imagine.

BARRO: Yeah. No, it was fun watching the speech in that Trump gave it from a prepared text, which he almost no one does, but then you can compare the prepared text against what he actually said and see what the things were that Donald Trump felt so compelled to insert, he had to say them even though they weren`t in the prompter, so he add the discussion of his polls.

There is a reference to "The Art of the Deal" as one of the best business books of all time. Then he has to go on and say, "I like to say it`s the bestselling," which it isn`t. And so, with the prepared text, they like stripped some of the lines out and then he needs to stick them back in. But I think when you say applauding the simplistic stuff, a lot of the applause came after the insertions that were not in the prepared text. The stuff Donald Trump does that`s just weird, boastful, rambling full of lies is connecting with a lot of voters, and a lot of his connections is just mood affiliation. He`s angry about what they`re angry about. I don`t know why that couldn`t at AIPAC like it`s worked everywhere else. Now of course he said contradictory things before, but that`s again true for all sorts of groups and voters, some of which he`s doing very good with.

O`DONNELL: I think those voters know just how serious the job the presidency is. They might have had fun tonight, but that`s as far as it goes. We`re going to take a quick break, everyone is going to stay with us. Coming up, how Elizabeth Warren went after Donald Trump today and how we know that it really bothered him.


O`DONNELL: Elizabeth Warren finally stepped into the presidential campaign today, her first deliberate step into the campaign. It was not an endorsement, it was a declaration of war against Donald Trump.

We`ll be right back with more about that.


We know Donald Trump likes to give his opponents demeaning nicknames. Here`s one he tried out today for Senator Elizabeth Warren.


Who`s that, the Indian? You mean the Indian?


O`DONNELL: Now, he said that about Senator Warren because in her ancestry, there is a small fraction of Cherokee. We`re back with the panel, Josh Barro, Jonathan Alter, Maria Teresa Kumar. And Maria Teresa, he was asked about Elizabeth Warren because she attacked him so viciously and effectively today on Twitter, repeatedly calling him a loser for various business enterprises, but in a kind of call to the troops, saying don`t count on him being a loser in this campaign for the presidency. It`s really time to go to work to stop him.

KUMAR: Well, and I think basically, she was, as you were saying earlier, I think she`s actually trying to see if the V.P. candidacy actually fits her. Look, at the end of the day, Bernie Sanders has all of a sudden galvanized a whole group of new voters, a whole generation of millennials, and they are not sure if they actually will consolidate behind Hillary Clinton. They may actually consolidate after Elizabeth Warren. She is one of the few people that actually talks about the corruption on Wall Street, she talks about the need to make sure that we`re giving people that are working a fair shot. She basically brings up her upbringing every chance she gets about being a blue-collar worker. She actually has that legitimacy that I would say very few other candidates out there have when it comes to consolidating that Bernie Sanders base.

O`DONNELL: So, Washington wakes up to a "Washington Post" story reporting that the Clinton campaign doesn`t want Hillary to get down in the mud with Donald Trump if she`s the nominee. And bang. By noontime, we`re getting this really, you know, vice presidential candidate-style attack on the possible Republican nominee.

ALTER: I think that`s exactly the way it should be. You don`t have your nominee --


ALTER: -- getting down in the muck. But what`s happened now is we have in the age of Twitter, you don`t have to be the vice presidential candidate. You can be the tweet veep, you know? The tweep. And you can keep the attack going and be a hatchet man or hatchet woman all year long, and that`s what`s necessary for Trump, is that people have amnesia. They forget this long list of crazy things he`s said and done. And if Elizabeth Warren is in the fray, this could be a very big day in this campaign, because it means she will hold him accountable all the way to November, and it will drive him crazy. And I think we`ll look back, whether she`s on the ticket or not, and say this was critical.

O`DONNELL: But Josh, what she did today is what you`re going to want the vice presidential nominee to do.

BARRO: It is, but I don`t think Elizabeth Warren wants to be vice president.

O`DONNELL: Are you crazy? Do you understand what her job is now? Because doing nothing all day long --

ALTER: LBJ took --

O`DONNELL: Tell me a senator who`s ever turned it down.

BARRO: Look, if Elizabeth Warren wanted to be president, she`d be running for president right now and she would be winning the Democratic nomination --


ALTER: No. She didn`t want to hurt Hillary.

BARRO: Didn`t want to hurt Hillary, right.

O`DONNELL: Who then would then want to be president and not run. Let`s let Josh finish. Go ahead, Josh.

BARRO: I honestly believe if Elizabeth Warren wanted to be president, she would be running right now because she would have stood an excellent chance of winning it. And so all I can conclude is that she wants to be a progressive leader in the party. She has a specific set of issues, especially related to Wall Street that she wants to be a leader on, and I think she thinks she could do that better either as a member of Senate or maybe she`d want to be Secretary of the Treasury. But if she wanted to be president, she would be running for it. If she doesn`t want to be president, I don`t know why she would want to be vice president --

KUMAR: I think she`s looking at --

BARRO: Does not want to rip the Democratic Party apart last year --

O`DONNELL: Josh, there`s no Senator who doesn`t want to be president, first of all. Let`s just -- I mean, Maria Teresa, go ahead.

KUMAR: I think what Jonathan`s saying is absolutely right. I think she basically bowed out because she didn`t want to be the one that basically went toe-to-toe with Hillary Clinton. But now she`s seeing that Bernie Sanders out of nowhere has basically risen and taken a lot of basically her stump speech, what she has been basically talking about, the need for addressing the increased inequality and saying, wait a second, this guy actually consolidated his base and the talking points I`ve been talking about for the last six years. I think actually think that right now she`s scratching her head, saying how do I get back into the mix? Because we have someone that came out of nowhere, Bernie Sanders, and consolidated the base that she`s been talking to for a long time.

And John Alter, I mean look, when you have a gigantic prohibitive front- runner like Hillary Clinton was in the polling at the beginning of this thing, plenty of people who want to be president look at that and go, hmm, not this time, I don`t think I can pull that off.

ALTER: Right. Even if they`re like Elizabeth Warren, who didn`t have a great relationship with Hillary because of some differences over the bankruptcy bill, but she didn`t want to hurt the Democratic party. Now she has a chance to make sure that Trump doesn`t become president because of Twitter. This is what`s so interesting, is that she can get in this campaign as if she were on the ticket and hold his feet to the fire.

O`DONNELL: I want to give the last word to Josh because he disagrees with me on warren for VP.

BARRO: I don`t think Elizabeth Warren is a timid person, and I don`t think she would have looked at this race and said "I don`t think I can win it, and therefore I won`t."

O`DONNELL: The polls said she was going to lose badly, just like they said Bernie didn`t have a chance.

BARRO: She would have known she could have raised a ton of money like he had. She`ll would have given her a run for her money and believe Elizabeth Warren believes she would have done it.

O`DONNELL: We could go on and on about this. I think we will on some other night. Thank you very much to our panel, Josh Barro, Jonathan Alter, Maria Teresa Kumar. Thank you all for joining us tonight. A reminder our Tuesday night election coverage kicks off during Rachael`s show. Right kind of in the middle of Rachael`s show tomorrow.