MSNBC's O'Donnell: Romney 'Dishonorable,' But Anti-War Protesters 'Honorable'

On Wednesday's The Last Word on MSNBC, host Lawrence O'Donnell used a recent commencement speech delivered by Mitt Romney to slam the former GOP presidential candidate as taking the "most dishonorable posture that was possible for an able-bodied man of Mitt Romney's age" for refusing to serve in the Vietnam War while supporting the existence of the draft.

But the MSNBC host also called it "honorable service" for young people to protest against the Vietnam War while refusing to serve. O'Donnell:

Refusing to serve in that war was not dishonorable. In fact, young men under pressure from their draft boards who refused to serve in that war did the honorable service of helping to bring that war to an end through their protests. But supporting that war and supporting the draft that sent young men to their deaths in Vietnam, which Mitt Romney did, supporting those two things -- the war and the draft -- and then refusing to serve in that war was the most dishonorable posture that was possible for an able-bodied man of Mitt Romney's age.

Below is a complete transcript of the segment from the Wednesday, May 1, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC:

LAWRENCE O'DONNELL: On Saturday, Mitt Romney -- you remember him -- gave the commencement address at Southern Virginia University where 92 percent of the student body are Mormons. Mitt fondly remembered his days as a young man serving as a Mormon missionary in France.

MITT ROMNEY, AT COMMENCEMENT: Almost every return missionary says that those were the most difficult years of his life, and they were also the best years of his life. Or her life. Now, think about that. It may sound like a paradox. But it actually follows, one from the other. Mission years are the best years in part because they are the hardest years. When you are living to the fullest, beyond yourself, beyond comfort, life is most full and exhilerating.

O'DONNELL: Here are the Mormon men who don't say their mission years were the most difficult years of their lives. They're the Mormon men of Mitt Romney's age -- and there are not very many of them -- who served their church as missionaries and who did not -- like Mitt Romney -- avoid service in the Vietnam War.

Refusing to serve in that war was not dishonorable. In fact, young men under pressure from their draft boards who refused to serve in that war did the honorable service of helping to bring that war to an end through their protests. But supporting that war and supporting the draft that sent young men to their deaths in Vietnam, which Mitt Romney did, supporting those two things -- the war and the draft -- and then refusing to serve in that war was the most dishonorable posture that was possible for an able-bodied man of Mitt Romney's age.

So, yeah, for a rich kid like Mitt who didn't go to Vietnam, his missionary time in France was for him and him alone the best of times and the worst of times.