Lawrence O’Donnell has honed his program to be one of the more difficult venues for a right-wing politician to attend, and tonight solidified that reputation. Inviting Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Graves over to discuss the hurdles of the current budget crisis, O’Donnell repeatedly asked Rep. Graves about his opposition to funding Planned Parenthood, before finally dramatically concluding Rep. Graves “should be ashamed of yourself.”
O’Donnell began the interview on a contentious note, asking after a brief introduction whether Rep. Graves was “one of the voices in the meetings with [Speaker] John Boehner shouting ‘shut it down, shut it down!'” Rep. Graves, appearing confused, replied that he “didn’t know of anyone shouting” or “recall that at conference meeting,” affirming that the Republicans are “unified.”
O’Donnell then kept the focus of the debate on Planned Parenthood for most of the interview, asking Rep. Graves whether he would vote for a bill that did not completely defund the organization. “If there is wasteful spending, I will not support it,” he replied, though this was not a clear enough answer for O’Donnell. He finally pushed the Congressman to assert that, yes, “Planned Parenthood is absolutely wasteful spending,” and that he “had not intentions of voting to fund Planned Parenthood, and I don’t think the American people want us to fund Planned Parenthood.” Getting this far, O’Donnell made the debate a zero-sum game: “you are willing to stop payment for the troops in order to stop any funding for Planned Parenthood if it comes to that?” he asked.” “You are the only one that can tie Planned Parenthood to defending our nation,” Rep. Graves replied, somewhat surprised.
The point seemed to have agitated both parties significantly, as it triggered a bit of barely-intelligible crosstalk until, above both voices, O’Donnell could be heard telling Rep. Graves he “should be ashamed of himself” and his “insane bill.” Despite the degeneration of the discussion, however, it ended amicably enough, Rep. Graves inviting himself back on the show in the future.
The debate via MSNBC below:
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