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Msnbc Live at 6 p.m. ET, Friday April 29th, 2011

Read the transcript from the Friday 6 p.m. hour

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Guests: Alex Wagner, Bill Press, Linda Christman, Jesse Jackson

CENK UYGUR, HOST:  Good evening, everybody.  I‘m Cenk Uygur. 

I‘m going to be honest with you guys.  We had an internal discussion here about whether we should do any more Donald Trump stories, because, look, the guy is obviously a clown.  We get that, right?  But we decided we had to, not because of Trump, but because of the unbelievable reaction that he‘s been getting. 

Last night we showed you that he was leading among Republican presidential hopefuls in the latest poll.  He‘s leading.  What are we going to do, not cover the leading contender? 

All right.  We hope that doesn‘t last, but that is the current situation. 

Tonight, we have another great example of how enthusiastic the Republican faithful are about him.  What does it say about Republican voters that so many appear to be excited about a guy like this? 

Last night, Trump spoke to a gathering of GOP women‘s groups, and it was a packed house.  He proved, as usual, that he‘s willing to stoop as low as it takes to get the attention that he wants. 

Here he is, of course, bashing our leaders. 


DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR:  Our leaders are stupid.  They‘re stupid people. 


UYGUR:  Now, look, it‘s a simple low-class insult backed up by absolutely nothing.  And what happened?  The crowd goes wild.  And that‘s why Trump is doing all of this. 

He knows there‘s a part of the base that buys into it, just like they did with his birther talk.  So, egged on, he tried to go lower by using profanity over and over again last night and pretending to be a tough guy. 


TRUMP:  Saudi Arabia said, oh, let‘s raise the price, let‘s cut back production.  Can you believe it?  You‘re going to be paying $5 and $6 a gallon for gasoline pretty soon, and they want to go in and raise the price of oil because we have nobody in Washington that sits back and said, you‘re not going to raise that (EXPLETIVE DELETED) price.  You understand me? 



UYGUR:  And the crowd goes wild.  That was 10 solid seconds of applause. 

What are we going to do?  I mean, look at what he‘s saying.  Can you imagine somebody goes to China and says you‘re not going to f‘ing do this or that?  He‘s crazy, but they love it.  That‘s solid gold to the GOP base. 

Over and over again, he gave the people the red meat that they were craving. 


TRUMP:  You know what I did say on Libya?  I‘m interested in Libya if we keep the oil.  And everyone said, oh.  And some of the press said, oh my God, that‘s a sovereign nation.

Give me a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) break. 

We go to Afghanistan, we go to Iraq, we build a school, we build a road.  They blow up the road, they blows up the school.  We build another school, we build another road.  They blow them up.  We build again. 

In the meantime, we can‘t get a (EXPLETIVE DELETED) school built in Brooklyn. 


UYGUR:  What‘s with the F-bombs?  And look at the attitude.  I‘m going to bully Libya, I‘m going to bully Afghanistan, Iraq.  I‘ve got it covered.  I‘m so tough, I‘ll just curse at them. 

And how about China?  Oh, he‘s going to rip them apart. 


TRUMP:  Somebody said, “Well, what would you do?  What can you do?” 

It‘s so easy.  I would drop a 25 percent tax on China.  And, you know, I said to somebody that it‘s really the messenger. 

The messenger is important.  I could have one man say, we‘re going to tax you 25 percent, and I could say to another, listen, you (EXPLETIVE DELETED), we‘re going to tax you 25 percent. 


UYGUR:  What‘s he going to do, send the mob down there?  This guy is clown of the earth.  And another wild applause.  The crowd goes nuts. 

You‘ve got to give the man credit for something, though.  He knows his audience.  He might sound crazy to us, but what he knows and apparently we don‘t is that he‘s speaking at an asylum, and they love it. 

Joining me now, “Huffington Post” reporter and MSNBC analyst, Alex Wagner.  Also with me, Bill Press, host of “The Bill Press Show” on Sirius Radio. 

Bill, you know, we‘re stuck on this, you know, and damned if we do, damned if we don‘t.  If he‘s leading among the contenders, you‘ve got to cover the guy, right? 

BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Look, absolutely.  I spent an hour on it this morning on my radio show for the same reason.  But here‘s the deal, Cenk, and you just said it.

Look, he‘s crazy—right—he‘s a fake, he‘s a racist.  He‘ll say anything.  He‘s crude, as we just saw.  But he‘s still a political force. 

As you pointed out, that crowd loved him.  And this was a Republican women‘s crowd.

So the problem is, if the Republican primary were held today, Donald Trump would win.  And that‘s a problem for the GOP, because he can‘t win the general.  There‘s no doubt about it. 

UYGUR:  ex, you know, I know I‘m harsh, but what does it say about the Republican voters?  I mean, I‘m not being harsh out of nowhere.  They look crazy to me.  They get these ridiculous lines, and they‘re like, “Yes!  Absolutely!” 

ALEX WAGNER, “HUFFINGTON POST”:  Right.  “Clown of the earth,” I think that was probably the most apt description of Donald Trump I‘ve heard in a while. 

Look, Cenk, the Republican establishment is not happy about this.  I cannot tell you the number of e-mails I‘ve gotten from Speaker Boehner‘s office saying we really need to talk about gas prices and the economy.  And Paul Ryan is out there having town halls.  They do not want Donald Trump to be the mascot for the GOP. 

He is stoking extremism, isolationism.  And his ideas about going to give a middle finger to the Chinese are basically akin to walking into a bank, asking for a loan, and then pimp-slapping the teller.  I mean, it‘s insane nonsense.

And I think you‘re seeing a little bit behind the scenes from Karl Rove and GOP leadership.  They‘re trying to bring the conversation back to the things they care about.  But I think you‘re going to see more pressure in the coming days and weeks to get this guy out of the limelight. 

PRESS:  I think Alex is really on to something.  Behind-the-scenes pressure may be from Karl Rove, but the rest of them are afraid—the rest of the GOP leaders—they are afraid to speak out.  They ought to be throwing Trump under the bus right now, but they didn‘t do that to the Tea Partiers last year, they‘re not doing it to Trump this year, nor to Michele Bachmann. 

And so, the crazies, the clowns are taking over.  That‘s really a serious problem for the GOP.

UYGUR:  Well, I think that they might start reacting, but in the wrong way in a little while if this keeps up. 

Here, let me show you another clip that he talked about Saudi Arabia.  And you know, it‘s the usual tough guy stuff.  And then I want to see how these guys are going to react to that. 

Let‘s watch it first.


TRUMP:  Iran becomes a force like never before in history.  They then take over for Saudi Arabia, they go after Saudi Arabia, which, frankly, I would protect if they pay us, only if they pay us.  Otherwise, I‘m not interested. 


UYGUR:  All right.  But, Alex, since he is leading for the moment being, is there any chance that the Pawlentys, who are desperate for any attention and so sad and down in the polls wind up copying this, going, people seem to love this?  Is there any chance that the Republicans go in his direction rather than the opposite direction? 

WAGNER:  Well, I think you‘re going to—I mean, they inevitably have to tackle some of these issues.  I don‘t think that they‘re going to be saying we should have the Saudis paying us off, and that‘s just terrible and nonsense foreign policy.

But in terms of having to response to some of the stuff, you saw it with the birther question.  I mean, both Pawlenty and Romney had to tackle it.  It‘s the last thing they want to talk about. 

They‘re trying to position themselves as moderates and fiscal hawks.  But to the extent that he keeps—he sort of determines the terms of the conversation, it‘s—he‘s very powerful.  And I think the rest of the GOP field, it‘s very frustrating for them and it‘s very potentially dangerous. 

UYGUR:  All right.

Bill, I‘m trying to determine when all this comes to a stop, right?  Because at some point I think the Republicans are going to discover—the voters themselves—that he‘s given them red meat, et cetera, and they love it.  I don‘t think that‘s a bad strategy, that‘s probably the good strategy in that regard.

But they‘re going to realize he‘s full of it at some point.  I mean, I can give you a million examples, and we have.  But let me give you one more.  On Vietnam deferments, he got one in ‘64, ‘65, ‘66, ‘68, and a medical deferment in 1968 again. 

PRESS:  I know. 

UYGUR:  OK.  So that‘s five overall.  And by the way, he also lied about when and how he got the deferments.  He said he was in school, he wasn‘t in school. 

At some point, do Republican voters go, oh, I get it, he‘s also lying to us? 

PRESS:  He beats Cheney‘s record on deferments in the military, and that‘s pretty hard to do, Cenk, as you know.  But, you see, where this ends, I don‘t know. 

Here‘s the problem.  There‘s such a vacuum of serious candidates. 

They‘ve got 18 candidates.  They don‘t have anybody other than the crazies that the people really seem to like. 

Tim Pawlenty could not—it would be like asking him to cross-dress to talk like Donald Trump.  The same thing with Mitt Romney.  And they‘re so boring.

So, with no serious candidate, they do turn to the crazies—to Sarah Palin, to Michele Bachmann.  And I don‘t think it stops unless somebody else really big-time serious gets into this race. 

UYGUR:  Alex, let me run my John Edwards theory by you. 

WAGNER:  OK.  I‘m interested in this one. 

UYGUR:  All right.  So get ready for this.

You know how we had Clinton versus Obama?  Of course that was heating up.  But there was always like, hey, maybe we should go with Edwards.  And Edwards at the time was trying to appeal to the progressive base, right?  Later, he went on to do crazy things. 

WAGNER:  Or was doing them at the same time? 

UYGUR:  Well, he was doing them at the same exact time, of course.  We found out about it later. 

So, is it possible that Romney and Huckabee start getting into a Clinton/Obama kind of showdown and somebody gets desperate, a Pawlenty, Mitch—well, it won‘t be Mitch Daniels, but it could be anybody.  Certainly Bachmann.  Bachmann is already there—where they don‘t have the outright lies of Trump in terms of being a Republican or a Democrat and all the things that he‘s flip-flopped on, and they just go for the red meat part that seems to be working.  And then they‘ve got a shot.  They‘re in there, they‘re in the mix.

And, you know, the red meat, without the lying, from an actual Republican, maybe it works. 

WAGNER:  Well, I think the red meat is very tantalizing for an anemic party.  And you definitely see that‘s paid off for the GOP so far.

I mean, look, that‘s how they -- 2010, look at—but what hath that wrought?  And I think there‘s a real concern that, look, to win a national election, you have got to appeal to some Independents and moderates.  And once you‘ve staked your claim on these very far-right positions, it‘s very hard to rewind the tape.  I mean, especially in this media cycle where everything lives on indefinitely.

PRESS:  You know, I‘ve got to tell you, Cenk, if I were a Republican, seriously, I would be worried today with this reaction to Trump.  And you just touched on the problems.  Look at the issues.

He used to be pro-choice, right?  He used to be for single-payer.   He used to be for a surtax on the wealthy. 

So where does he stand on these things?  He‘s filed bankruptcy.  How many times?  He‘s got the Rudy Giuliani three-wife problem.  I mean, it goes on and on.

And they‘re looking at this guy zooming in the polls because he‘s throwing them red meat. 

I‘ll tell you what might get him in the end, is the F-bomb.  I‘m not sure—they‘ll tolerate racism, but I don‘t think they‘ll tolerate the F-bomb. 

UYGUR:  Hey, Alex, last question for you.  When is the point where they bury a real hatchet in his back?  Because I know—


WAGNER:  Right.  Where are the armed drones?  You‘ve got to think that somewhere, Eric Cantor, John Boehner and Paul Ryan are thinking, can we use armed drones against Americans?  I don‘t know. 

I think that time—we are fast approaching that time.  And I think the fact that he‘s still ahead in the polls by these margins is of serious concern to the GOP at this point.

PRESS:  Right.  Watch out for the Predator drone. 

WAGNER:  Exactly. 

PRESS:  Right.

No.  Because, Bill, he‘s running a Republican primary, if he runs.  He‘s not running a Democratic primary.  They‘ll rip his face off.  So it‘s just a matter of time. 

PRESS:  You know, as a Democrat, you‘ve got to say, come on, go Donald Trump.  As an American, I think you‘ve got to say, come on, this is an embarrassment. 


UYGUR:  All right.

“Huffington Post‘s” Alex Wagner, and Bill Press, of course.

Thank you so much, guys.  We really appreciate the conversation tonight. 

PRESS:  All right, Cenk.  Thanks.

WAGNER:  Thanks, Cenk. 

UYGUR:  All right.

Now, ahead, Trump isn‘t the only Republican making racist comments this week.  Jesse Jackson will be here to talk about the ugly innuendo coming out of the Republican Party from across the country. 

More blowback against Paul Ryan‘s radical budget plan as well.  The anger is rising, but new polls show that it‘s not just cathartic, but critical that people fight back against the plan. 

The woman who started the anti-Ryan revolution in Pennsylvania joins us live. 

And Speaker Boehner and the Republicans have a big oil problem.  How do they respond to the Democrats‘ call for a vote on subsidies?  Well, we have the answer for you. 


UYGUR:  The outrage that we have seen across the country this week has proven that a lot of people have no interest in Paul Ryan‘s budget plan.  And they‘re willing to go to the mat to preserve Medicare.  They‘re not going to let the GOP take away their rights without a fight. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Why, Congressman, why in the world did you ever vote for the Paul Ryan budget plan? 

REP. RICK CRAWFORD ®, ARKANSAS:  I‘d be happy to answer your question, but again, I would love to have a reasonable—

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What about me?  I‘m 14.  What am I going to do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Just tell the truth. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Your party has become the party of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Did you vote to eliminate Medicare as it is today? 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You voted yes.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  They‘re not creating jobs.  They haven‘t created any more jobs.  The more money they‘ve had, the less jobs they have created. 

They‘re not creating any jobs here.  They‘re taking them all overseas. 


CRAWFORD:  We‘re done. 



REP. CHRIS GIBSON ®, NEW YORK:  In a decade, the plan is going to be broke.  So, something needs to be done to save it.





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The audience numbered about 100, those who voted for Congressman Grimm slightly outnumbered those who didn‘t.  It‘s sometimes hard to tell that though when the audience started booing. 

REP. MICHAEL GRIMM ®, NEW YORK:  OK.   Get it out of your system. 



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Let me tell you what I want to know.  How did you vote on the federal tax breaks for big oil that was just passed in the House of Representatives? 

He laughs at us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You‘re a congressman!  Don‘t laugh at us! 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I want to know about the vouchers! 


UYGUR:  You know, so many of their questions were actually so good. 

They had real knowledge about the plan. 

They‘re saying, well, what about this part?  What about that part?  And the congressmen didn‘t like it.  And there was real outrage because people are finally seeing what‘s in the plan.

A new Kaiser Foundation poll found that 57 percent want “no reductions” in federal spending on Medicare, and 84 percent oppose requiring all seniors to pay higher Medicare premiums.  Now, look, that should mean that 84 percent are opposed to the Ryan plan, right?  Because that‘s exactly what it does. 

But what is most interesting about his poll is how much people don‘t know.  The plan Ryan‘s trying to pass off would actually transform Medicare into a system that would provide seniors with vouchers rather than direct payment for their medical bills.  But people don‘t know what this means, and that‘s a big problem. 

That same Kaiser poll found that only 30 percent are familiar with what the term “voucher” means, 36 percent have heard the term but are not sure what it means, and 32 percent have never even heard it at all.  Now, this affects how they view the plan overall, because so many people don‘t realize they wouldn‘t have guaranteed benefits anymore, that their vouchers would not increase with the price of health care.  So they would have less and less money to pay for their insurance. 

This is why people need to be vocal in town halls, because the public needs to know what‘s in the plan.  Once they do, they immediately hate it.  But until then, the GOP just spins it as simple deficit cutting.

But luckily, people like Linda Christman are leading the way and getting the word out.  She basically started this whole movement last week at a town hall held by a very surprised Pennsylvania congressman, Lou Barletta. 



the tax cuts that were given to the wealthy two percent and put it into Medicare. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I agree with her. 

And you know what?  Why don‘t you tell me to sit down?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  She‘s an American citizen. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Let him talk. 


UYGUR:  Joining me now is the woman you saw right there, Linda Christman.   She‘s president of the Carbon County Democrats for Change. 

So, Linda, first, let‘s discuss the question you were asking was.  There was a lot of shouting back and forth.  It‘s great to have you here today.  Really appreciate your time.

CHRISTMAN:  Thank you.

UYGUR:  But what were you trying to ask the congressman? 

CHRISTMAN:  Well, I think the thing that—I was very nervous at that meeting.  And the only reason I spoke out was because the congressman was assuring the group, hey, this isn‘t going to apply to you, it only applies to people that are 55 years and younger, which is not true in the first place.  And I wouldn‘t have spoken up at all, except I was mad. 

UYGUR:  And what were you mad about?  Was it just the Medicare?  Was it taxing the rich?  What got you worked up there? 

CHRISTMAN:  What got me worked up was that he was saying to this group of mostly seniors, hey, you can go home right now, you don‘t have to worry about this, this isn‘t going to impact you. 

First of all, that‘s not true.  There are at least two parts of the Ryan plan that would affect seniors right now.  That is, the changes to Medicaid. 

A lot of seniors depend on that to afford nursing home care.  And secondly, the Ryan plan would end the subsidies for those people that are in the doughnut hole.  So those two things would impact seniors.  And I care and I think other seniors care, Republicans and Democrats.  Both of us care about what happens to our kids. 

UYGUR:  So, Linda, you‘re a Democrat.  And now some people are saying, well, OK, that doesn‘t count, which is funny, because when the Republicans were going gangbusters after the Democratic congressmen over health care in the town hall meetings, that seemed to count just fine.  But they‘re saying that you‘re some sort of plant. 

What‘s your response to that? 

CHRISTMAN:  Well, Congressman Barletta represents a district that has a majority of Democrats, so the majority of the district is like me. 

Secondly, 17 percent of the district is seniors.  Most of the district is low income.  And we have the highest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania. 

The Ryan plan is not good for any of that.  It—you know, it doesn‘t help seniors, it doesn‘t help the low income, and it doesn‘t do a darn thing for jobs. 

UYGUR:  All right. 

Well, look, Linda, I don‘t know about anybody else, but I appreciate that you started this whole thing and that you spoke out.  And I think you spoke for a lot of people with that anger. 

And the thing that drives me crazy about it is they say, oh, we had to cut the Medicare.  So what?  So you can give more tax cuts to the rich, right?  You didn‘t have to do it to balance the budget.  He gives giant tax cuts to the rich, and for you and everybody else that pointed it out, I love it. 

So, Linda Christman, thank you for joining us tonight.  I really appreciate it.

CHRISTMAN:  Thank you for having me. 

UYGUR:  All right.  Absolutely.  You keep going. 

All right.  Now, Orrin Hatch‘s hypocrisy on the president‘s birth certificate is fantastic.  You‘re going to love it.

Now, would you believe us if we told you he was actively tried to get a foreign-born person elected president early?  That seems unbelievable, right?  Well, it‘s true.  And it‘s our “Con Job of the Day.” 

And it‘s not just Donald Trump.  Just this week more Republicans made racist comments.  You‘ve got to hear it to believe it, but the silence from the party leaders is deafening. 

Jesse Jackson joins me live on the GOP‘s race problem. 


UYGUR:  In our “Con Job of the Day,” we take a look at Utah Senator Orrin Hatch. 

He is now abandoning his earlier record to pander to the Tea Party.  After President Obama released his long-form birth certificate this week, Senator Hatch criticized the president for not explaining himself to the conspiracy theorists sooner, saying, “I wish President Obama had addressed this issue earlier and put this controversy behind us.” 

Now, can you imagine if a Democratic senator demanded that George Bush address the 9/11 conspiracy theories, that he proved that it was not an inside job?  Can you imagine how Republican senators would have reacted to that? 

Outrage, right?  But now Senator Hatch considers the birther movement so legitimate, that the president needs to defend himself as a natural born citizen.  Well, that‘s also interesting for a different reason.

Did you know that in 2004, Hatch pushed to amend the United States Constitution to let people born outside of the United States serve as president?  Back then, Hatch said this about naturalized citizen, quote, “no matter how great their sacrifice, leadership or love for our country, they remain ineligible to be a candidate for president.  Now, this amendment would remove this unfounded inequity.” 

Now, according to that logic, Hatch shouldn‘t care where the president was born, much less want him to address the birther issue, but Hatch isn‘t just backing away from the old record.  He‘s trying to pretend it never even existed.  Up until the few days ago, Hatch had the details of that old proposal on his Web site.  Now it‘s been deleted and old links to the page have been wiped out.  Since Hatch is vulnerable heading into campaign season, he doesn‘t want the Tea Party to know he once wanted to let immigrants serve as commander in chief. 

But now, you must be wondering, why was Orrin Hatch so obsessed about foreign born immigrants back then being allowed to serve as president?  That‘s because back then Arnold Schwarzenegger, the republican governor of California was popular and considered running for president.  So when it‘s a republican born outside of the country, well, that rocks, we should amend the constitution to let him.  But when it‘s a democrat and he‘s actually even born inside the country, well, he better show his papers.  And that‘s our con job of the day. 

All right.  Now, Rick Santorum may be the Republicans‘ most hilarious potential presidential candidate, but he also maybe the scariest with ugly talk and radical policies.  I think it‘s time to meet Rick Santorum, but if you‘re going to meet him our way.  That‘s coming up.   


UYGUR:  Over the last several days we‘ve shown you ample evidence of Donald Trump‘s race problems.  There were the birther claims, of course, there were relationships with the blacks, as he called them, and there were these comments that were obviously racially pinched.  


DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR:  I heard he was a terrible student, terrible.  He went to Occidental.  I heard he was a terrible student.  Not like, OK, I heard he was a bad student.  How does a bad student then go to Columbia and then go to Harvard?

You look at what‘s happening with gasoline prices, where he said he has no control over prices, which he does if he gets on the phone or gets off his basketball court.  


UYGUR:  Look, I want to take time out here to talk to you guys about why I care so much about those academic comments.  Do you get week why I‘m so concerned?  It‘s because, here‘s a guy who everything he could.  He got into Harvard Law School, he graduated magna cum laude.  He was the head of the Harvard Law Review.  That‘s the top position.  And it‘s still not good enough.  They question his accomplishments no matter how great they are because he‘s black.  They never question, and George Bush went to Harvard in Yale, and they didn‘t question that?  Are you kidding me?  I mean, come on.  I think a lot of African-Americans in this, we‘ll talk about Jesse Jackson about in a second, gets so frustrated.  What do we have to do to prove that we earned it?  That‘s why it‘s frustrating.  But it‘s not just Trump.  It‘s an issue that‘s popping all over the country for Republicans.  Trump‘s birther campaign just showed how widespread the sentiment is within the GOP.  Look at this, in the last year, 13 state legislatures have considered a variety of different birther measures.  That‘s Republicans all across the country actually trying to pass legislation based on this nonsense.  Now, think back to all those non denials and coded messages that republican leaders sent throughout the birther movement.  


UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  I‘ll take him at his word.  

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  I take him at his word.  

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN:  I take the president at his word.

SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR:  He‘s going to great lengths to make sure that it isn‘t shown.  And that‘s kind of a perplexing.  

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  Is somebody brings that up just engaging in crazy talk?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  Well, I don‘t think it‘s nice to call anyone crazy,


JOHN BOEHNER, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE:  It‘s not my job to tell the American people what to think.  


UYGUR:  At least those big name Republicans actually speak in code.  It‘s obvious what they‘re hinting at.  I don‘t know, I guess, I mean, I take him at his word that he was born here, although I‘m not saying he is.  But that‘s code.  Just about every day now, we‘ll getting new reports of Republicans state lawmakers who are not nearly a settle.  The latest is Oklahoma Republican Sally Kern.  Well, this she had to say about African-Americans. 

REP. SALLY KERN ®, OKLAHOMA:  I taught school for 20 years.  And I saw a lot of people of color who didn‘t want to work as hard, they wanted it given to them.  As a matter of fact, I had one student that said, I don‘t need to study, you know why?  The government is going to take care of me. 


UYGUR:  The NAACP is calling on Kern to resign, but Kern says, she simply misspoke.  How is that misspeaking?  Oh, I meant to me that when I said, to motto, no, you said they were lazy.  What did you mean? Of course the republican leadership in Oklahoma is refusing to reprimand her.  Meantime, Missouri Republican Steve Tilley was asked about a plan to prevent flooding in Cairo, Illinois, a heavily African-American town.   


UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  Would you rather have Missouri farmland—or Cairo under water?

REP. STEVE TILLEY (R-MO), HOUSE SPEAKER:  Cairo.  I‘ve been there. 

It‘s Cairo. 

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  Have you been to Cairo? 

TILLEY:  OK.  You know what I‘m saying then. 


UYGUR:  Yes.  The problem is I know exactly what you‘re saying.  Well, we‘re at it.  Let‘s not forget about Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, who was considered a potentially a viable republican presidential nominee.  Haley Barbour, that‘s a guy who last year had to backtrack after speaking up for a white supremacist group, the White Citizens‘ Council.  Now, that was probably, in his youth in Mississippi.  He also backtracked after initially refusing to condemn a license plate that honored one of the founders of the Ku Klux Klan.  So, does the GOP have ever race problem that goes beyond Donald Trump?  In the immortal words of Sarah Palin, you bet you. 

With me is the Reverend Jesse Jackson.  President of the Rainbow Push Coalition.  Reverend Jackson has condemned Donald Trump for using language that plays on racial fears.  Reverend Jackson, great to have you here tonight. 

REV. JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW PUSH COALITION:  Yes, this is a very despairing conversation.  America has focused on health security, need for job, educational access, and we‘re back downs in this gutter again polarizing people based on these unfounded fears.  And really, what‘s called the birther movement, Cenk should be called the illegitimacy movement, president‘s illegitimacy, he‘s a liar, we hope he fails.  He‘s not a Christian, he‘s not an American, not one of us.  This is a disgusting state of affairs.  

We have Baratunde—earlier in the week on this program.  He‘s a very popular African-American blogger and he said it harkened back to the old days when African-Americans would be asked for their papers before they voted, et cetera, et cetera.  And here‘s the guy who‘s the president of the United States and they‘re still asking for his papers.  Do you think that the rest of America gets how insulting that is to African-Americans?

JACKSON:  Well, I don‘t know, but should know the attempt by the state right is just to make the entire social justice movement illegitimate.  In other words, voting rights is not enough, you must have the voter‘s I.D.  For seniors who do not have the—fix income, they have a voter I.D.  amounts to a poll tax.  Students can‘t vote on campuses unless they have a voter I.D.  Women‘s right to self-determination, equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, a whole body of healing legislation now on the attack is being called illegitimate.  So this is really an illegitimacy movement.  

UYGUR:  Now, as we showed, it‘s not just Trump, you got Kern in Oklahoma, you‘ve got Tilley there in the clip that we showed.  You got Barbour.  Actually, let me show you one other.  Because people might not remember, you know, of course, you and I remember George Allen, and what he said when he was running for senator.  Let‘s watch that.  


GEORGE ALLEN, FORMER VIRGINIA SENATOR:  This fellow here over here with the yellow shirt, whatever his name is, he‘s with my opponent.  He‘s following us around everywhere.  


UYGUR:  So, is this a republican problem overall, Reverend Jackson?

JACKSON:  No, I think it‘s cultural.  I mean, no one party has a monopoly on racial fears and racial appeals, but I do know that we must come out of that gutter and learn to live together.  We must come out of that gutter and focus on what really ails America‘s need, put that—that teaches us to come through Georgia, and Tennessee and Alabama, when the violence hits us, lion and lamb, black and white lie together, should be one of the message in the—that we must in fact learn to however difficult, to live together and not go down to that level again ever.  I thought when President Barack was elected, it was midday in American history, a great midday, but now the darkness is encroaching up on the light. 

UYGUR:  And, you know, look, I think I‘m tougher on that than you are. 

Because we know what happened.  The Republicans chose a southern strategy. 

What was the southern strategy?  Let‘s try to get the white vote by, you

know, by picking on the African-Americans, and in fact, it worked for 40

years.  He doesn‘t admit it entirely of course what the strategy was, but

it‘s obvious.  So, and now why should we be surprised that most of the race

of course, not all the races have gathered in the Republican Party. 

They chose that strategy. 

JACKSON:  Well, they went to—Mississippi—have been killed, with the speech, we are back, that was clearly an appeal toward the black Jewish social justice forces of the ‘60s.  But now labor is under attack, this social justice programs equal employment opportunity is on the attack, voting is on the attack.  The states‘ rights agenda is now in full blossom, trying to undermine 50 years of social progress of our country.  An American president, President Obama does not deserve this kind of—caught an attack on his person.  He‘s a lawyer, he is illegitimate, he‘s illegal, he‘s not a Christian.  We‘ve never quite attacked a president this way before, ever.

UYGUR:  Right.  And attacking his policies is totally acceptable, obviously, I do it all the time, but attacking his personhood is a whole different ball game, and it‘s ugly.  Reverend Jesse Jackson of the Rainbow Push Coalition, thank you for joining us tonight.  We really appreciate your time.  

JACKSON:  Thank you, sir. 

UYGUR:  All right.  Now, Rick Santorum adds another low light to his resume.  And a speech full of hypocrisy, it‘s time for the latest installment of “Meet your Candidate.”

And Speaker Boehner can‘t break his love for big oil.  Guess what happened when Democrats challenged him to stand up against his oil bosses?  That‘s next.    


UYGUR:  And tonight‘s Rigged Game, oil companies are reporting absurd profits, and of course we still continue to subsidize them.  This week, Exxon Mobil reported first-quarter profit of $10.6 billion.  Now, just put that into perspective.  That works out to a profit of $4.9 million an hour.  That‘s amazing.  Yet we still give about $4 billion a year in tax breaks to those oil companies.  And just yesterday, John Boehner refused to hold a vote on these subsidies, because of course, they would embarrass the Republican Party because they keep voting in favor or the oil companies over and over again. 

Look, I think their whole party is corrupt.  And what‘s my evidence for that?  In their last vote, every single republican of the House voted to continue the most needless subsidies in history.  And they pretend to care about balancing the budget?  Please.  Now, I‘ll give you a funny example.  The Royal Wedding, everybody has heard about it, right?  It winds up costing a staggering $70 million.  But to give you a sense of how huge this tax breaks are for the oil companies, they could have had 57 royal weddings, and you just saw how gigantic that was, 57 of them.  I wouldn‘t recommend it, though.  That‘s a bad idea.  We shouldn‘t have pay that much -- to one of them.  But anyway, that‘s my opinion.  It‘s been 2,091 days since the last oil subsidy bill was sign into law by George W. Bush.  And we‘re going to keep on this story until these nonsensical giveaways are eliminated. 


UYGUR:  It‘s time for another installment of meet your potential 2012 GOP candidate.  Tonight we‘re featuring former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.  He‘s semi-committed to a run, having dipped his toes in the presidential pool by forming an exploratory committee.  That‘s how they do it.  Senator Santorum of course is an uphill battle because he only got three percent support in the latest NBC News poll.  And frankly, I‘m shocked it was that high.  But he‘s trying to fix that this week with a campaign blitz.  Nine events in six days, and three states, plus D.C.  Good luck with the D.C. vote.  Today, he checked the gun lobby off his list with a speech to the NRA.  But what Santorum history, he doesn‘t have much work to do to prove his social conservatives credentials.  But that doesn‘t mean he‘s not trying.  Yesterday, Santorum railed on Planned Parenthood.  


SEN. RICK SANTORUM ®, PENNSYLVANIA:  This is an organization that was founded on the—movement, founded on racism.  You can say well, it‘s not that anymore.  It‘s not far from where it was in my opinion.  A lot of evidence that the location of their clinics happened to be in places that were historically, places where there are high concentrations of minorities, for example, and that advertising is geared toward that. 


UYGUR:  Right.  It‘s not conservatives, but Planned Parenthood that‘s racist.  Yes, I got it.  Nice try.  But in fact, few are than one in ten abortion clinics are located in predominantly black neighborhoods.  So, as always, he wasn‘t even close to right.  Of course, that‘s not all Santorum has had to say on abortion.  


SANTORUM:  The reason Social Security is in big trouble, is we don‘t have enough workers to support the retirees.  Well, a third of all the young people in America are not in America today because of abortion.  Because one in three pregnancies end in abortion.


UYGUR:  Amazing how little sense that makes.  Then, they would also get Social Security later.  He didn‘t think about that part.  In addition to being radically ant-choice, Santorum planted his flag in the anti-gay camp back in 2003.  In an interview with the Associated Press, when he had this to say about same-sex marriage, quote, “in every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality.  That‘s not to pick on homosexuality, it‘s not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be.” 

Now, of course, he‘s never lived down that man on dog comment.  Santorum also blamed the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal on liberal media‘s zealous promotion of alternative lifestyles.  Yes, the liberal media made the priests do it.  Nice try.  Now that he‘s take this claim well into radical social conservative territory, Santorum tried to boost his foreign policy cred yesterday with a big speech.  Well, it wasn‘t quite, I can see Russia from my house level as Palin did of course, it was certainly no Gorbachev, tear down this wall, either.  He didn‘t even mention Afghanistan, America‘s longest war.  And when he was asked about it, here‘s what he came up with it. 


SANTORUM:  The narrative was sort of a looking forward type of speech, not really bogged down.  I mean, I did mention some of the current conflicts, but I did tried to paint, not to get bogged down in that and just really paint more of a larger vision of our overall policy. 


UYGUR:  He apparently didn‘t think he would get bogged down talking about Libya, though.  That was a cut-and-dried case of President Obama is a terrible leader.  


SANTORUM:  Decisive action against Gadhafi would have been the end of him, but that is not what we did.  Instead, the president delayed any comment for several days, then announced his support for expelling Gadhafi.  He then dithered by doing nothing to effectuate that policy.  


UYGUR:  But here‘s where it gets good.  When he was asked what he would do in Libya instead, listen to what he said. 


SANTORUM:  I don‘t have the information necessarily to make those kinds of judgments in a way that I would feel comfortable answering that question.  I think I would have to have a lot more Intel than it‘s available publicly as to what‘s going on in Libya, the nature of the—of the rebels and the conditions on the ground. 


UYGUR:  That is great.  So, he doesn‘t have enough Intel to make up his own mind, but he does have enough Intel to know that Obama is definitely wrong.  Lack of intelligence has been a problem for Santorum before.  In 2006, he held a press conference announcing that the U.S. has found WMDs in Iraq, opps, but Santorum‘s speech yesterday was about slamming Obama‘s foreign policies and he throw in to some good old fashioned fear mongering for good measure.  He called radical Islam a quote, existential threat that was extending its tentacles from Africa to American.  And he said, they‘re not just doing it through acts of terror. 


SANTORUM:  It‘s more including the non-violent efforts to insinuate Sharia Law in Western countries including our own.   


UYGUR:  Oh, no, not Sharia law.  But radical Islam has been long affair of Santorum in 2006, he was one of only two senators to vote against confirming Robert Gates as secretary of defense.  And he did it because Gates had the temerity to advocate talking to Iran and Syria as part of this solution to the Iraq war.  So, there‘s your primer on Rick Santorum, anti-gay, anti-choice, anti-Muslim.  And in his last election in 2006, the voters were anti-Santorum.  He lost to Bob Casey Jr. by 18 points, the worst loss for a republican senator in Pennsylvania.  And that was even after a last-ditch effort for victory by launching gathering storm tour, where he told people that the democratic victory would be a disaster for the future of the world.  And that didn‘t work, either, as he was a loser.  We‘ll be right back.               


UYGUR:  This weekend is the White House correspondents‘ dinner.  You know what that is?  That‘s basically the Oscar for politics.  Everybody here in Washington gets very excited by it, but Dana Milbank of “The Washington Post” explained something interesting today.  He said, the first event is at the offices of the American Gas Association, this for the White House reporters.  And then the next party is put together by the Motion Picture Association of America.  Let me ask you something.  You think the American Gas Association and all the other lobbyists are putting these parties together out of the goodness of their hearts? 

Go, we‘ll just butter up the reporters and the politicians just because we like to.  I don‘t think so.  Look, don‘t get me wrong.  It‘s not that I‘m not into it.  OK.  I would love to go to the White House correspondents today.  By the way, I joined here late, so I didn‘t even get in.  It‘s not because I don‘t want to go.  I would love to go, right?  I hear Sean Penn is going to be there.  It‘s going to be great.  There‘s an MSNBC party, I‘m going to go to it.  Last night, I got to hang out with the Rosario Dawson, look at that.  Who said, look at—but, no kidding, he said, good guy, he interviewed us.  He was, in fact, thanks to him, we‘ve got to take the picture.  Look, I love Rosario Dawson, one of my favorite actresses. 

So, don‘t get me wrong.  I‘m just as guilty as anybody else.  But here‘s the thing, right?  But here‘s the thing.  What we have to be careful about is that they‘re trying to seduce us.  Definitely not Rosario Dawson, the lobbyists, OK?  Now, Milbank is right.  Our job is to hold these guys accountable.  Whether it‘s a lobbyist, the politicians, et cetera.  And I know the famous quote about, you know, you‘ve got to be able to take their money and drink their liquor and still do legislation.  That‘s for politicians, but it‘s also for the press.  We shouldn‘t do any of those things, but if we do, we‘ve to be enormously careful not to fall in to that trap.  You‘ll know what what‘s succeeded if the American Gas Association stops having their party saying, we‘re wasting our time.  Those guys will hold us accountable, anyway.  But we‘re not there yet.  All right.  Thanks for watching, everybody.  HARDBALL is next. 

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