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Guest: Representative Chris Van Hollen

By The Last Word, The Last Word - August 15, 2012

THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE O`DONNELLAugust 15, 2012

Guests: Chris Van Hollen, Wendell Potter, David Cay Johnston, Sam Stein

LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, HOST: And on this day in 2012, American politics came to this. The most important political interview of the day was done on "Entertainment Tonight."

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS: The Romney campaign is going on offense now, on Medicare.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The president`s cuts --

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Seven hundred sixteen billion dollars.

ROMNEY: -- $716 billion.

RYAN: -- from the Medicare program to pay for Obamacare.

TODD: They leave out the fact that they`re for the same cuts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The campaign of big ideas has degenerated into sniping attacks.

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: The issue of tax returns.

TODD: The tax return issue.

ANN ROMNEY, MITT ROMNEY`S WIFE: The more we release, the more we get attacked.

ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS: Ann Romney --

ANN ROMNEY: There`s going to be no more tax releases.

MITCHELL: No more tax releases, period. Will that put an end to it?

MITT ROMNEY: John Kerry never released the returns of his wife.

TERESA HEINZ KERRY: You said something I didn`t say. Now, shove it.

MITT ROMNEY: Mr. President, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to Chicago.

TODD: Here we go again.

ROMNEY: This is what an angry and desperate presidency looks like.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Getting downright nasty.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: Cotillion of nastiness.

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC HOST: The strategy of demonization.

MITT ROMNEY: His campaign and his surrogates have made wild and reckless accusations.

MATTHEWS: Is this the same Mitt Romney who eviscerated his primary opponents?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People don`t like whiners in campaigns.

MITT ROMNEY: The president`s campaign is all about division and attack and hatred.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People don`t like whiners in campaign.

MITT ROMNEY: This ain`t the bean bag.

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