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MSNBC's O'Donnell 'In Awe of' Defeated Colorado Democrats' 'Heroism'

Media Research CenterOn Wednesday's The Last Word on MSNBC, host Lawrence O'Donnell declared himself to be "in awe of" the two Democratic state senators who lost recall elections in Colorado this week as the MSNBC host lauded as "legislative heroism" their votes in favor of gun control and praised them as "willing to lose their jobs to do the right thing."

Even though the National Rifle Association was on the winning side of the outcome, O'Donnell characterized the election as "the NRA versus the voters of Colorado."

As he began the interview State Senators Angela Giron and John Morse, the MSNBC host oozed:

I want to thank you both very, very much for being here tonight, because you represent something that I think has virtually disappeared from American politics, a legislator, at any level -- state, federal -- who is willing to take a vote, cast a vote that they know can cost them the job. That's just something we don't see anymore. It's a kind of legislative heroism that I think we should value.

The words "NRA V. THE PEOPLE" were also displayed on screen throughout the interview, first in large letters during O'Donnell's introducation, and then in smaller letters in the lower left quadrant of the screen for the rest of the segment.

At about 8:15 p.m., O'Donnell teased the segment:

Coming up, two state senators who were willing to lose their jobs to do the right thing. You don't see that very often in politics. In fact, you pretty much never see it. Those two senators who were driven out of office in Colorado by the NRA will join me next.

A bit later, he plugged again: "Up next, the NRA versus the voters of Colorado."

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Wednesday, September 11, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC:

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, BEFORE COMMERCIAL BREAK: Coming up, two state senators who were willing to lose their jobs to do the right thing. You don't see that very often in politics. In fact, you pretty much never see it. Those two senators who were driven out of office in Colorado by the NRA will join me next.

(...)

O'DONNELL, BEFORE COMMERCIAL BREAK: Up next, the NRA versus the voters of Colorado.

(...)

O'DONNELL: In the first recall elections in Colorado history yesterday, voters chose to recall two Democrats. State Senate President John Morris and State Senator Angela Giron. The National Rifle Association financed recall campaigns against both senators after they voted in favor of stricter gun laws, including requiring background checks for all gun purchases and banning ammunition magazines over 15 rounds.

The Senate president, John Morse, got 49 percent of the vote, but was recalled with 50.9 percent of the vote. Angela Giron was recalled by 56 percent of the voters.

[STATE SENATOR ANGELA GIRON (D-CO)]

[STATE SENATOR JOHN MORSE (D-CO)]

O'DONNELL: Joining me are Senators Angela Giron and John Morse.

I want to thank you both very, very much for being here tonight, because you represent something that I think has virtually disappeared from American politics, a legislator, at any level -- state, federal -- who is willing to take a vote, cast a vote that they know can cost them the job. That's just something we don't see anymore. It's a kind of legislative heroism that I think we should value.

And, Senator Giron, I know you said last night that you don't regret that vote. Tell us why.

[STATE SENATOR ANGELA GIRON (D-CO)]

O'DONNELL: Senator Morse, you did something that the career politicians would never do. Career politicians don't take risks like this, certainly, as senate leaders, leaders of legislative bodies do not take risks like this. They don't risk their own jobs.

I am sitting here tonight in awe of both of you, and I have to say especially your leadership in the Senate on this. Did you know as you were moving this through the Senate that this could cost you your job? And cost it in a recall?

[MORSE]

O'DONNELL: Angela Giron, what would you say to the career politicians out there in all 50 states who are afraid of exactly this kind of moment? They're afraid of having to face a life without elective office. What do you expect to find in your life after elective office?

[GIRON]

O'DONNELL: Senator Morse, what would you tell your colleagues is the lesson of this story?

[MORSE]

O'DONNELL: Angela Giron, when these issues came up and you knew you were going to have to vote on them, did you have any moments of thinking about maybe I should play this, safe, maybe there's a safer way for me to go?

[GIRON]

O'DONNELL: Senator Morris, Senator Giron, thank you very much for joining us tonight. And you have the admiration of believers in what you've done all over the country. Thank you very much.

-- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center.