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Transcript: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 5/4/22

Guests: Madeleine Dean, Michele Bratcher Goodwin, Beto O`Rourke, Tim Ryan


Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA) is interviewed. The chief justice has ordered an investigation of the leak of draft abortion opinion but there is no one working in the marshal`s office at the Supreme Court who knows how to investigate a leak. When the Supreme Court does officially reverse Roe v. Wade, probably at the end of June, Texas is one of 13 states with trigger laws designed to impose an immediate ban on all abortions in the state. The big winner in Ohio last night was not Donald Trump`s candidate who was rejected by two-thirds of Republican voters.


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Well, Ali, I am having an unusual feeling for me. And that is that I am more outraged tonight, then I was last night, and last night, I was more outrage than I was on Monday night, because the longer I live with this opinion, the worse it feels. The more I study it, the worse it gets.

It is a draft opinion, Ali. So, we know that there will be things that change because it is a draft opinion. I believe, after this program tonight, Samuel Alito, and as clerks, tomorrow, are going to change one particular citation, in this opinion, that I will quote, coming up here.

And that is, of a person, who Samuel Alito quotes, approvingly, a person who believed in witchcraft, and witches, and believed witches should be prosecuted and put to death.

Samuel Alito quotes that person as a legal authority on abortion, a guide - - a moral guide, for all of us. I do not believe that that person will end up in the final draft of this thing, and what they say here tonight.

ALI VELSHI, MSNBC HOST: That is going to be interesting to watch, Lawrence.

Thank you, my friend. Good to see you. And have yourself a great, and always informative show.

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Ali.


O`DONNELL: Well, you know, nobody has done more for Christianity, nobody has done more for religion of all types than me.

Those insane words are not mine. That is the latest burst of verbal dementia from Donald Trump in an interview today with the Christian Broadcasting Network.

Now, I have known since my Catholic school days that that is blasphemy. And the six Catholics on the Supreme Court know that`s blasphemy. Donald Trump thinks he has done more for Christianity than Jesus Christ.

Donald Trump is an educated, in all things. And so, he does not know who Christianity is named after. And so, it is ironic to put it mildly, that three of the Supreme Court justices, appointed by the only blasphemous president in history are leaning heavily on their religion, as they willfully for the first time in American history, revoke a constitutional right.

In the draft Supreme Court opinion that will live in infamy, Samuel Alito says, on page one, the Constitution makes no mention of abortion. The Constitution, also, makes no mention of the right to travel. The government has never granted us the right to travel. Yet, we have always had it.

Roe versus Wade links the right to abortion services, to the right to privacy, which we, also, assumed that we have, but the Constitution does not mention a right to privacy, and Samuel Alito, and the majority of the Supreme Court, don`t believe that you have a right to privacy. They believe that they have a right to privacy. It was the first time, in its history, has ordered an investigation of the very worst thing that has ever happened to the Supreme Court. The court`s privacy has been invaded.

The chief justice calls the violation of the court`s privacy, quote, egregious breach of trust. And that`s how the Supreme Court feels when they lose their privacy, it`s egregious for them. But they don`t care how you feel when they take your privacy away. The private deliberations of the Supreme Court have been invaded by the leak of the Alito first draft of the revocation of a constitutional right. Samuel Alito says that a right to abortion services is not, quote, deeply rooted in this nation`s history.


Women on the Supreme Court are not deeply rooted in this nation`s history. Nowhere does the Constitution say that women can serve on the Supreme Court. Nowhere does the constitution say that Black people can serve on the Supreme Court.

The Founders thought only white men should ever serve on the Supreme Court. The Founders were the original proponents of affirmative action exclusively for white men. The Founders deeply and fervently believed in carrying out the mass murder of as many members of the native tribes of this continent and enslaving as many Black people as was necessary for white men to reign supreme in this land. That is deeply rooted in this nation`s history.

If you are using "deeply rooted in this nation`s history" as the basis for what you think is right and just and you are lost. You are morally lost. Samuel Alito reaches back to legal writings in 17th century England to show that the right to abortion services is not deeply rooted in our history. He cites Sir Edward Cook, writing in 1644 that abortion is a crime.

In 1644, in England, they were still having witch trials ending in the execution of the convicted witches, and Sir Edward Cook helped English law define which is when he rewrote English law in 1604 to make it even more cruel in witchcraft trials. He wrote a witch is a person who hath conference with the devil to consult with him or to do some act.

So, Samuel Alito is quoting approvingly the 1644 judgment on abortion of an English aristocrat who said a witch is a person who has conference with the devil. Samuel Alito is reaching back four centuries to use Sir Edward Cook, as a moral authority on abortion, a man who believed in witches and believed they were working with the devil and believed that witches should be murdered by the state and he helped make sure that they were murdered by the state in England.

Samuel Alito needs to talk to the clerk working for him who found that reference to Sir Edward Cook and get that erased from his draft opinion. We were executing witches in this country as late as 1692. Men and women were given the death penalty in this country for being witches, mostly women, of course.

Dorothy Good was four years old when she was accused of being a witch in Massachusetts. So when you`re justifying outlawing abortion because people conducting which trials also believed abortion should be against the law, you are morally lost. That is what the twisted reasoning of Samuel Alito has delivered to us in the first Supreme Court opinion in history, revoking a constitutional right.

For most presidents, the only thing they get to do that outlasts their presidency is appoint Supreme Court justices. Clarence Thomas who serves on the Supreme Court is the only enduring thing from the presidency of George H.W. Bush. A vote for George H.W. Bush for president in 1988 has turned out to be a vote to revoke a constitutional right.

His son, George W. Bush, created the Department of Homeland Security, which endures and began wars that he could not complete but his most enduring legacy is now the delivery of Samuel Alito to the United States Supreme Court, the first Supreme Court justice to write an opinion revoking a constitutional right.

Donald Trump did something that no one term president has ever done before. He appointed three Supreme Court justices the last president to appoint three Supreme Court justices was Ronald Reagan, and it took him eight years to do it. Donald Trump, the president least capable in our history of evaluating candidates for the United States Supreme Court, got to appoint three of them, and all three of them are voting to revoke a constitutional right. Seventy percent of the country is opposed to what the Supreme Court is doing. In a democracy, this could never happen, but we do not live in a democracy because of the Electoral College and the United States Senate.

The only way the Alito opinion can get a majority vote in the Supreme Court now is thanks to the Electoral College installing two Republican presidents who came in second with the voters.


Al Gore got more votes than George W. Bush, but George W. Bush got the presidency, thanks to the Electoral College.

Donald Trump came in second with the voters by a wide margin but was installed in the presidency by the Electoral College. Democrats in the United States Senate represent far more people than Republicans represent, but both parties have the same number of seats in the United States Senate because of the profoundly anti-democratic formula that each state gets two senators. The 44 million people of California get two senators and the 1.6 million people of the Dakotas get four.

That is not democracy. That can never be democracy and so 70 percent of the country is living tonight under the anguish and the weight of minority rule. Seventy percent of the country is losing a constitutional right against their will. Seventy percent of the country has had that constitutional right for their entire lives but for Samuel Alito, that is not deeply rooted in this nation`s history.

There is one president in our history who was impeached twice and never won a majority vote in a presidential election and he got to appoint the same number of justices as Ronald Reagan who won 49 states in his re-election campaign. There is one president in our history who provoked serious public discussions of using the 25th amendment to remove him from office and he got to appoint three Supreme Court justices. The first public discussion of the 25th Amendment with Donald Trump that I`m aware of to remove him from office was on this program, in the first month of the Trump presidency, and we now know that in the last month of the Trump presidency in the last days of the Trump presidency, there were serious discussions about removing Donald Trump using the 25th Amendment and those discussions were taking place among congressional leadership in both parties.

Kevin McCarthy, the leader of the House Republicans, participated in discussions about removing Donald Trump using the 25th amendment after the January 6th attack on the Capitol. Today, the authors of the new book titled "This Will Not Pass" released audio tape of Kevin McCarthy in a meeting with House Republican leadership discussing the possible impeachment of Donald Trump and the possibility of removing him from office using the 25th amendment.


REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): Yeah, but what the president did is atrocious and totally wrong. From the stand point, we`re 12 days away. I mean the one point I make with Biden -- if you have an impeachment and you`re stuck in the Senate, he needs Cabinet members, he`s got secretary of defense, he`s got a lot of things he has to have moving. And if you think from a perspective, you put everything else away, this country is very, very divided.

I do think the impeachment divides the nation further and continues the fight even greater. That`s why I want to reach out to Biden. I wanted the president to meet with Biden but that`s not going to happen. I want to see about us meeting with Biden, sitting down, make a smooth transition to show that and continue to keep those statements going. So hopefully, I know he`s got to talk to Pelosi, then he`s going to -- hopefully he calls me today and see if we could start that process. I think that would be beneficial to his presidency, too.

REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-Z): Excuse me. Sorry, I think they`re getting (INAUDIBLE) Kevin, of getting them not to move on impeachment.

MCCARTHY: I`m trying. I`m trying to do it, not from a basis of Republicans, just basis of, hey, it`s not healthy for the nation. You know that. That`s a conversation I want to have with Biden himself. I mean -- I used to do breakfast with Biden when he was VP up at his house there. I think he would do that. I think he would get all that.

JOHN LEGANSKI, HOUSE REPUBLICAN MINORITY LEADER FLOOR DIRECTOR: You know, I think the options that have been cited by the Democrats so far are the 25th Amendment, which is not exactly an elegant solution here.

MCCARTHY: That takes too long too, it could go back to the House, right?

LEGANSKI: Yeah, correct. If the president were to submit a letter over ruling the cabinet and the vice president, two-thirds vote in the House and Senate to overrule the president, so it`s kind of an armful.

Obviously, impeachment has been discussed. And then, I mean, I think they want him to resign, which I don`t see happening either. But members are talking about it and we`ll keep you posted on what we`re hearing.


O`DONNELL: The president they are talking about got to appoint three Supreme Court justices after coming in second with the voters and after Mitch McConnell defied the constitution and refused to bring President Obama`s last Supreme Court nominee to a vote in the Senate, so that Donald Trump could choose one of the names on Mitch McConnell`s list to fill the seat on the Supreme Court that the Constitution said should have been filled by President Obama.


Such is the constitutional treachery of Republican minority rule in the 21st century which is well on its way to being deeply rooted in this country`s history.

Leading off our discussion tonight is Democratic Congressman Madeleine Dean of Pennsylvania. She`s a member of the House Judiciary Committee and was an impeachment manager in the second impeachment trial of Donald Trump.

And, Congresswoman Dean, I know that uh as days go by this opinion takes on even more vivid shape in our minds and I want to get your reaction to it as of tonight.

REP. MADELEINE DEAN (D-PA): Thank you for having me, and I feel very similar to you that with the hours that go by and more I read the opinion, and the more I contemplate where it could take this country, my outrage, my horror grows.

I was just with my daughter-in-law and my granddaughter just visiting them because they just popped back home from a very short vacation. And for me, a woman of my age who enjoyed the rights of privacy about my own health care choices for my family, I look into the eyes of my daughter-in-law, I have outrage and horror.

She has sadness, outrage and horror. She can`t believe what this country might do to her, to her choices around her family decisions and around, of course, my granddaughter`s decisions. I have three granddaughters. So I`m horrified is where I am.

O`DONNELL: Obviously, the two areas that control who sits on the Supreme Court, the presidency and the United States Senate. We have Senate races coming up this year. It seems more than ever that in a Senate campaign, the importance of being one of the people who votes to confirm Supreme Court justices has never been a clearer campaign issue.

DEAN: Absolutely and I`m thinking of two races. I`m thinking of the race in Pennsylvania, the Senator Toomey seat that is up. We have three very qualified Democrats running in the primary that will come up on May the 17th. They will uphold a woman`s right to provide for her own decisions around her health care in the privacy of a doctor`s office in the privacy of her home, and we, of course, have those on the other side who won`t.

And I also think of the Ohio race and Tim Ryan, my colleague, who just won the primary, Democratic primary. We need to make sure that Tim Ryan and whoever our Democratic nominee are become U.S. senators to make sure that a woman`s right is protected. You know, I wanted to mention one line that stood out to me and it echoes something you said in your opening remarks.

Justice Alito writes Roe was egregiously wrong from the start in this draft opinion. Interesting to me and I bet even more interesting to you, egregiously wrong from the start is how Mr. Justice, now Justice Alito, put himself forward egregiously wrong when he testified before the Senate and the American people about what he would do about Roe. He misled the U.S. Senate, he misled the American people, and now, he`s a sitting justice who could rip away the protections uh that women enjoy in this country, the privacy to make our own private health care decisions.

O`DONNELL: The fact that Alito in this confirmation hearing did not say it -- that it was egregiously wrong from the start, when you say egregiously wrong from the start, he was there at the start. He`s been studying this from the start. And so, this was not an opinion he would have arrived at now.

Does it feel to you uh as if these nominees committed perjury especially Alito who now says it was egregiously wrong from the start, and said in his confirmation hearing that well, it`s -- it is precedent, it is Supreme Court precedent. He didn`t say anything else about it.

DEAN: I`m a lawyer but I think I`m not qualified to say whether or not it`s perjury, but it is extraordinarily clearly misleading. And, of course, it`s not just Justice Alito. Take a look at Amy Coney Barrett. Take a look at Kavanaugh.


Take a look at others who it looks like we`ll sign on to this opinion.

I remember I was a very young lawyer, Lawrence, when Robert Work was nominated and I remember how galvanized we were against Robert Bork and I think it was you last night who played some of the tapes from his hearing. He was honest. He told the Senate what he believed and how he felt about abortion.

And as you pointed out, didn`t these next nominees learn not to ever reveal the truth of what they really thought. So, is it perjury? I`ll leave that for the experts. Did they extraordinarily egregiously mislead the Senate and the United States citizenry? You bet.

O`DONNELL: Congresswoman Madeleine Dean, thank you very much for starting off our discussion tonight.

DEAN: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

And coming up, Dahlia Lithwick says that the Supreme Court has already lost its legitimacy. Dahlia Lithwick and Professor Michele Bratcher Goodwin joins us, next.



O`DONNELL: At first I was shocked and horrified that a first draft opinion of the Supreme Court leaked while the opinion was still a work in progress was out there and was actually in my hands. Walking down to this studio, I couldn`t quite believe it. But by the end of the first day of studying the opinion, I began to think that all first drafts of Supreme Court opinions should be made public just as they are in legislation.

Imagine if we never got to know what was in any pending legislation in Congress until the president signed it into law. That`s what the Supreme Court wants us to do the Supreme Court wants us to know absolutely nothing about what they are thinking and how they are arriving at writing and rewriting the law of the land in doing their work.

Under what Jack Schaefer calls in a brilliant column in political quote the magic fairy dust that envelops the court, the chief justice has ordered an investigation of the leak and our next guest, Dahlia Lithwick points out that there is no one working in the marshal`s office at the Supreme Court who knows how to investigate a leak. That`s not what they do there. Dahlia Lithwick also writes that the current majority of the Supreme Court is, quote, a majority that ought to know it stole its way into a majority but again refuses to even feign self-moderation in face of that fact.

Joining our discussion now, Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor and legal correspondent for "Slate" and host of the podcast "Amicus". She is an MSNBC analyst.

Also with us, Michele Bratcher Goodwin, chancellor`s professor of law at the university of California, Irvine.

And, Dahlia, let me begin with you and you`ve taught me ever -- you -- I always learn something whenever I read what you have to say about anything and now I`ve discovered that, yeah, the Supreme Court has a marshal`s office but they`re kind of glorified ushers and they just kind of keep an eye on protesters outside and have absolutely no idea how to investigate this leak.

DAHLIA LITHWICK, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: That`s right, Lawrence. They do a very, very good job of being marshals at the court, but when the chief justice tasked them with tracking down the leaker, it just -- for those of us who kind of think about what the marshals do, this is so vastly outside the scope of their investigatory powers, that it feels a little tiny bit like a month ago when we learned that Ginni Thomas, Clarence Thomas`s wife, was texting with Mark Meadows about setting aside the election results from the 2020 election, the marshal`s office could have been I guess tasked with investigating that.

They weren`t but they might have done just about as well on that as this and it kind of goes to your larger point, which is the court is a land where rules and norms and ethics and scrutiny go to die, and we`ve allowed that. We`ve acceded to that for a long, long time and we`re still living under that right now.

O`DONNELL: Professor Goodwin, you know, I -- a week ago or actually Monday during the day at any point if you`d asked me should Supreme Court deliberations be secret, I would have said, of course, yes. And I would have said that the way a Catholic school boy answers questions to the nuns about the catechism. It`s just something I grew up with. It`s -- my father was a cop who went to law school nights and became a lawyer and revered the Supreme Court, taught me to revere the Supreme Court. I revered all of its practices, never questioning them.

But now, sitting here with this draft opinion, I feel like I`m sitting here with a draft of legislation kind of like what a committee votes on before it goes to the Senate floor and people get to see that and they get to see how it changes as it moves along and they understand that process.


And now I`m kind of thinking, yeah, let`s bring cameras into the Supreme Court chamber while we`re having arguments. But I would also like to be let in on all of the deliberations.

MICHELE BRATCHER GOODWIN, LAW PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA - IRVINE: Well, you know, it`s not just an appearance like a Catholic schoolboy. It`s also like a law school student. And I would say that there are important reasons for justices to be able to deliberate in private.

And there are reasons in which we would not want to chill the speech of justices and for both those that would be in the majority and the dissent, to fine-tune their argument.

That said, I agree with Dahlia, which is that what we have seen is an un- mooring of ethics, within the United States Supreme Court. And the justices themselves, not having to follow the rules that other lawyers would have to in terms of ethics and even lower court judges.

And this is quite disturbing. And it`s disturbing in relation to Justice Thomas, in the relationship with his wife and her involvement with January 6th and that ongoing investigation. And it raises significant questions even now about ethics in the court.

O`DONNELL: Dahlia, now that the opinion is open sourced. People like me can check that Justice Alito is quoting a guy who in England in 1644 thought abortion was murder. But he also thought witches should be murdered by the state.

And that becomes kind of a questionable citation, once you open it up to everyone to take a look at. And so I am expecting that more than a few phrases might be changed in this opinion when it takes final form.

DAHLIA LITHWICK, MSNBC LAW AND POLITICS ANALYST: I mean I think what you just asked, Lawrence, goes to why was this leaked? In some sense it was leaked because it is such an extreme maximalist opinion that we almost shudder to look at it now. Because it`s the contempt for Justice Blackman who authored Roe; the contempt for Justices Kennedy and O`Connor and Souter who wrote the plurality opinion in Casey.

I mean this is dripping with contempt for justices who sat on the court for Republican appointees who time and time again, given the chance to knock down Roe said no, we have a higher obligation.

And so I think you`re right, there are a lot of citations in this to a lot of questionable sources. But in some sense, what really hurts, is watching. If this is how the sausage is made, if this was the first bid, the first crack at it just taking a big, big swing at Roe and Casey, this is ugly. It`s really ugly and frankly, I wish I had never seen it because I don`t want to believe that justices talk like Alex Jones, and they talk like Rush Limbaugh.

O`DONNELL: Professor Goodwin, apparently beneath Justice Alito`s contempt, somewhere beneath it because he can`t even see them, and doesn`t appear to know that they exist. Are the 12 year old girls, in these states where abortion is going to be illegal very soon, who are raped and become pregnant, raped by a family member become pregnant at age 12. And Justice Alito is saying they should be forced as children to have children. And it doesn`t seem to be something that he is even slightly concerned about.

GOODWIN: Well Justice Alito doesn`t even recognize them. They are rendered invisible in this draft opinion. And yet there is such a significant feature in the very modern contemporary anti abortion law, such as the Mississippi law which is the foundation for this (INAUDIBLE) draft opinion. You search through the opinion, and the justices leave out any kind of engagement whatsoever on the fact that Mississippi, Texas, and these other states provide no exception for women who have been raped, for girls who have suffered through incest.

And to your point, Dahlia, and also yours Lawrence, is that the sources that Justice Alito cites are individuals who believed in the laws of coverture. That women should be the property of their husbands, including the sexual property of their husbands.

It was based on this that we had marital rape as being not actionable in the United States such that men could be exempted from criminal punishment for the rape of their wives and exempted from civil punishment for the rape of their daughters. And these are the people that are signaled to and cited in this opinion.

O`DONNELL: Professor Michele Bratcher Goodwin and Dahlia Lithwick, thank you both very much for joining our discussion tonight.

GOODWIN: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

And coming up, Texas is the biggest state that has a trigger law ready to ban all abortions as soon as the Supreme Court ruling is official in a few weeks. Texas Democratic candidate for Governor O`Rourke joins us next.



O`DONNELL: When the Supreme Court does officially reverse Roe v. Wade, probably at the end of June, Texas is one of 13 states with trigger laws designed to impose an immediate ban on all abortions in the state. The Republican governor of Texas Greg Abbott wants to force 12-year-old girls who are raped to give birth to children while they are still children.


O`DONNELL: Here is what Texas Democratic candidate for governor Beto O`Rourke said yesterday.


BETO O`ROURKE (D), TEXAS GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Unlike Greg Abbott, we`re not going to wage a war on the women of the state of Texas and try to tell them what they can or cannot do with their bodies or their health care or their (INAUDIBLE).

As governor, we`re going to make sure that everyone makes their decision going forward each and every single time.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Beto O`Rourke former Democratic congressman representing El Paso Texas. He is now running for governor of Texas.

You said yesterday, that you can`t let this happen. What can you do as governor, given that these laws are already in place in Texas?

O`ROURKE: Texas is a place where so much of this started as you know. This laboratory for extremism when it comes to voter suppression, when it comes to things like permit-less carry. And now ending the right to privacy, the right to abortion starting from conception.

But Texas is also the place where we can overcome this, fight it and defeat it. We`ve got to win this race for governor. That`s essential. And then we`ve got to use that power to return power back to the people of Texas.

Importantly, the women in the girls, as you pointed, out who are under attack right now. The governor of the state of Texas has extraordinary power. We`ve seen that used for evil purposes by the current Governor Greg Abbott. We could use it for good.

And I know that there is actually bipartisan support on the part of voters across the state of Texas. Only 30 percent agree with this abortion ban that our current governor signed into law. The majority of us -- Democrats, independents, Republicans -- want something better. That pressure, a public sentiment here in Texas on those legislators -- Democrat, Republican alike with a Democratic governor who`s going to restore the right to choose and for every woman to make her own decisions about her own body, her own health care, her own future. That`s the way forward.

But we`ve got to win. This is about power, Lawrence. It`s not about life on the part of Greg Abbott. This is about power and control over women.

And on our part, it`s about winning political power and returning that power back to the people of Texas. That`s why it`s so important that we win this race. We`re so grateful for the people who are joining us.

In fact, we`re asking Texans of good conscience to meet us in Houston this Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at Discovery Green to rally for this right. And then to commit ourselves to doing the work necessary to win this election.

O`DONNELL: As soon as the Supreme Court officially releases its opinion on this, Texas immediately goes back 50 years, abortion completely illegal in the state of Texas. That`s going to leave some 13-year-old girls, some teenage girls who are rape victims or otherwise in trouble with a pregnancy, not knowing what to do, not knowing where to go.

But some -- if those girls are going to get abortion services, someone`s going to have to get them out of the state of Texas. Is anyone working on that?

O`ROURKE: There are a lot of people who are working on this right now in Texas especially for those who otherwise would not have the resources to be able to make their own decisions and to address the circumstances they might find themselves in especially in these most egregious and violent cases where women and girls have been raped in some cases by members of their own family.

To be clear, there is no exception in this Texas trigger law for incest or for rape, no exception whatsoever. But one thing I want everyone to remember is that not only can we overcome this, not only is it possible. We`ve done this before in the state of Texas against tougher odds.

You know, Jane Roe, of Roe v. Wade, was a Texan. So was Sara Weddington (ph) and Linda Coffee (ph) who successfully argued her case before the Supreme Court and rendered that decision in 1973.

All of that came from Texas following a period where it was illegal and criminalized here in this very state.

So we know that power is within us right now. We`re going to do what it takes because no cavalry`s riding to the rescue here in the state of Texas. This one`s on us.

But a majority of us want to do the right thing. And you`ll see that majority show up to November. But to make sure we`re going to knock on their doors and we`re asking people to sign up, to volunteer, to get after it. That`s the only way we overcome it, by winning political power and incredibly important races like this one here in Texas.

O`DONNELL: Democratic nominee for governor of Texas, Beto O`Rourke, thank you very much for joining our discussion tonight.

O`ROURKE: Thank you, Lawrence.


O`DONNELL: Coming up the pundits once again are wrong. The big winner in Ohio last night was not Donald Trump`s candidate who was rejected by two- thirds of Republican voters. The big winner in Ohio last night was the biggest vote-getter, Congressman Tim Ryan who won the Democratic primary for Senate with 70 percent of the vote. Tim Ryan joins us next.



O`DONNELL: Pundits obsessed with the Trump effect are mostly wrong about what happened in Ohio last night. The Senate candidate who got the most votes in Ohio last night is the one who the pundits are completely ignoring. Democrat Tim Ryan won 70 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary for Senate.

Donald Trump`s endorsed candidate for Senate in the Republican primary, was able to get only 32 percent. That means, that more than two-thirds of the Republican voters in Ohio yesterday voted against Donald Trump`s choice for the United States Senate.

In his first day as Ohio`s Democratic nominee for Senate, Congressman Tim Ryan released a new ad about something that his opponent J.D. Vance is calling: an amazing victory. The loss of a constitutional right.


J.D. VANCE (R), REPUBLICAN SENATORIAL NOMINEE: I brought you all here for a big announcement. And I guess it`s time that I actually get on to making the announcement part.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: J.D. Vance wants to eliminate abortion. No exceptions for rape or incest. Vance says rape is inconvenient. Now he`s calling the Supreme Court opinion an amazing victory.

VANCE: And that`s why I`m running to be your next U.S. Senator for the state of Ohio.


O`DONNELL: Joining us now, Congressman Tim Ryan, Democratic nominee for the United States Senate in Ohio. Thank you very much for joining us tonight. Congratulations on the big win last night. How does it feel to be ignored by the national media? Because the word Trump is associated with the other guy?

REP. TIM RYAN (D-OH), SENATORIAL NOMINEE: We got them right where we want them, Lawrence. We got them right where we want them. You know, we`re excited about the race. It`s got a lot of momentum.

And I think you`re right, you made the point that J.D. Vance got a third of the vote and a moderate Matt Owen (ph) got a quarter of the vote and he was completely anti Trump. And he was saying that the election was legit and those voters are going to come and vote for me. So we`re excited about the prospects.

O`DONNELL: So what does the -- what does it mean for Ohio? If Ohio puts another Republican senator in the Senate voting to confirm these justices who want to remove constitutional rights as we are seeing happen now.

RYAN: Well, if you take this particular issue of abortion and repealing -- and getting rid of Roe v. Wade, Ohio has some of the most extreme abortion laws in the entire country. So all of those examples that you gave to me -- this is an issue of freedom, t basic fundamental value, that we cherish here in the United States. The freedom -- economic freedom of course, to make sure that people have money in their pockets and time off, and time for vacation, and time for family and really to pursue happiness.

But also a freedom for a woman to make these decisions on her own. So that in and of itself is something that`s very, very important. But then to have potentially a senator who would say this is just inconvenient if you were raped, or if there was incest, it`s just inconvenient. I think there`s a lot of people that are very, very concerned in Ohio of how this plays out for working class women.

Working class women who want to plan the size of their family. Working class women who want to determine when they get pregnant, or deal with complexities of pregnancies themselves with their doctor. And it`s very, very concerning.

O`DONNELL: I know that the best critics of the Senate are members of the House because you get to watch the Senate make their mistakes across the campus. But you have watched these Senate confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court. And you`ve watch what we now know to be nominees simply not telling the truth to the committee about what they actually think.

And in this case, these nominees, not telling the truth to the committee about what they actually think about a constitutional right that they are now revoking. What can you do about that in the Senate confirmation process?

RYAN: Well, it`s a level of cynicism that we have rarely seen. You know, lying, knowing and understanding that at some point when you get the opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade you`re not fulfilling your duty.

And I think this is a long line of, you know, Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, and what we saw on January 6th. This is all just a big game to them. And that`s why these races are so important, Lawrence, that, you know, we have to win these seats because these people are trying to undermine democracy.

You know J.D. Vance for example. This guy says that America is a joke. You know, well who is the joke on, J.D.? Is it on us? Is it on the working class people? Who runs for Senate and says America is a joke -- a country that`s been very, very good to him. That`s going to get him in office, and try to use power.

These guys are takers. These guys want power.


RYAN: And then they want to punish people. They want to punish businesses that don`t agree with their culture wars. They want to punish women who heaven forbid they think for themselves or make these decisions on their own.

So there`s a lot of people very, very concerned. So the key is going to be to get good people in office. And if people are concerned, about what J.D. Vance may do, please go to to help us out with this campaign and be a part of stopping this very dark movement that`s happening in the United States today.

O`DONNELL: Congressman Tim Ryan, thank you very much for joining us tonight.

RYAN: Thanks, Lawrence, for that.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

Tonight`s LAST WORD is next.



REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA): The president bears responsibility for Wednesday`s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.


MCCARTHY: These facts require immediate action for President Trump. Accept his share of responsibility, quell the brewing unrest. And ensure President Elect Biden is able to successfully begin his term.


O`DONNELL: Kevin McCarthy once again gets tonight`s LAST WORD.