PoliticsNation, Thursday, April 5, 2012
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
Guests: Lou Palumbo; Benjamin Crump; Ken Padowitz; Star Jones, Marcy Kaptur, Robert Reich, Cynthia Tucker
REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Welcome to "Politics Nation." I`m Al
Tonight`s lead in the Trayvon Martin case, the defense makes its case.
Five days to good until a grand jury is schedule to convened, and we`re
seeing a major push from the Zimmerman defense team.
George Zimmerman`s father speaking out on his first national interview
claiming his son was walking back to his car after the 911 operator told
him not to follow Trayvon. Here is what happens next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S FATHER: There was a sidewalk
that goes to his left, and Trayvon came from that area where the sidewalks
meet. He asked my son if he had a problem, and George said no, I don`t
have a problem. Trayvon said, well you do now. He punched him in the
face, broke his nose, knocked him on to the sidewalk, and got on him and
started beating him.
SEAN HANNITY, HOST, HANNITY: This is confirmed. He broke - that his
nose was broken, and is it true that he had lacerations to -- an injury to
the back of his head, sir?
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN: Yes, sir, he did.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: We still don`t know what happened that night. We know the
police report says Zimmerman was bleeding from the nose. And that he did
not need an ambulance that was on the scene. That Zimmerman defense team
is about to roll out a Zimmerman defense Web site and his new attorney
knows why the killing happened. He says it`s Trayvon`s fault.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HAL UHRIG, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S LAWYER: The reason that Trayvon Martin
is dead is not because he was black or because he wore a hoody or because
he was walking in the rain, it`s because that six foot three young man made
a terrible decision and bad judgment and he decided to smack somebody in
the face and break their nose.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Trayvon made a bad decision. He was walking home with a
bag of skittles and iced tea, and he was being followed, but Zimmerman`s
attorney was back in front of the cameras again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UHRIG: The people that have been protesting the one thing they all
have in common is they were not there. The only thing they have in common
is they`re making assumptions that are not based on fact. When all the
evidence comes out, it is going to be absolutely clear that if you apply
the law to what actually happened, and by the way, the forensic evidence
all supports Mr. Zimmerman`s version of what happened --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: When the evidence comes out, yes we need the evidence to
come out, not the no evidence acquittal from the Sanford police department
the night of the shooting.
Here`s the bottom line. It`s been 39 days that needs to be an arrest.
Let`s be very clear. We never said Zimmerman should have been convicted or
should be convicted. That would be wrong. But the police and the state`s
attorneys that night gave him an on-the-spot acquittal.
What could possibly justify letting this man go? Since day one, we
just asked for the police to arrest George Zimmerman and let the justice
system play out in due course.
Joining me now is Benjamin Crump, attorney for Trayvon Martin`s
family. Ben, thank you for being here tonight.
BENJAMIN CRUMP, TRAYVON MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: Thank you, Reverend
SHARPTON: What do you make of the comments by Mr. Zimmerman`s family
and this new attorney?
CRUMP: Well, as I stated before, they want to assert this "Stand Your
Ground" self-defense claim, but when you look at the objective facts,
Reverend Sharpton, it just doesn`t add up. And they want to make a lot of
assumptions that they want you to believe, but then they just want to
disregard the facts of the matter.
And the facts that all of this stuffs that Trayvon allegedly is saying
to George Zimmerman, we hear those 911 tapes, and we hear stuff that has
been said. We never hear any of the stuff that they suggest Trayvon had
But, more importantly we have a young lady on the phone when the
altercation first starts and she hears it. And if you believe George
Zimmerman`s version, then you have to believe that Trayvon Martin is
talking to this young lady on the phone, and also talking to Zimmerman.
And that just doesn`t make sense. Why are you taking to your girlfriend --
SHARPTON: With the young lady, the girlfriend you`re referring to,
you have the time log that tells what time he`s talking to her. So, it`s
not only that the young lady`s recollection, you have the actual time of
the phone logs, is that correct?
CRUMP: Absolutely. Those time logs -- and that`s a great point.
7:12 is when she makes the call to him. That call lasts four minutes. And
at 7:16, when the Sanford police department based on their police records,
say that they arrived at 7:17 and Trayvon Martin was dead on the ground.
We know that George Zimmerman called 911 at 7:11. So where is all this
time that they are saying he attacked him at the car. It just doesn`t add
SHARPTON: Now. Let me ask you something else that bothers me a
little bit Mr. Crump. It says that George Zimmerman`s father said last
night that the Sanford police department corroborates the majority of what
Zimmerman said happened that night. Am I right? He said that?
Now, we also just heard the new lawyer say that forensics also
corresponds. How do they know what the police reports say and what the
police findings are? And how did they know what forensic are? I mean, how
do they have access to what the police is saying and what forensics are if
there has been no charge and there has been no hanging over the evidence to
them. I mean, where are they getting this from?
CRUMP: You know, and that`s always been troubling to Trayvon Martin`s
parents, Tracy and Sybrina. The fact that Mr. Zimmerman and his family
seem to get the considerations of having these changes with the Sanford
police department, and the authorities and they have a state attorney,
Wolfinger, that did not even present a victim advocate to them. And they
were offended by that, especially when you think of Mr. Zimmerman`s father
saying, when she was asked a question, that -- do you think they went easy
because you were a retired judge. And he said I did not tell them, the
Sanford police department or the state attorney`s office that I was a
retired judge when I talked to them. And the question us is what are you
doing talking to them.
SHARPTON: And not only was he says that he was a retired judge, is it
not true that Zimmerman`s mother is a court clerk?
CRUMP: And that`s what we heard. I don`t know if she was a court
clerk at Sanford of Seminal County, but I understand that`s their
SHARPTON: So we have two people whose child they have been somewhere
connects with the court system, who are saying that they know what
forensics are, they know what police story is, yet the family of the
victim, because there is no question that Trayvon was the one killed that
night. You don`t know any of this evidence, is that correct?
CRUMP: We know none of it, and they continue to tell us they won`t
release any information or evidence because it`s a pending investigation
and because of things we have known in the past. The family has zero
confidence and anything that the Sanford police department has put on and
therefore, we ask the justice department to review everything. Because we
have serious misgivings about any conclusions they come to based on the
allegations that have happened in the past.
SHARPTON: Very interesting. Now, the victim`s family is told they
cannot tell them anything because it`s there`s ongoing investigation, but
the target of the investigations, parents at least his father, lawyer seem
to know everything, they do things different down there.
What else is interesting to me is what is reported in the police
report that`s gone public contradicts what Zimmerman as reporters are
saying. It was classified as a homicide negligent manslaughter by the
reporting officer. That`s how they classified the case. That`s clearly
not what the father was saying. Zimmerman was giving first aid in the back
of a police vehicle. Also, there is a car robbery, and Zimmerman complied
with all verbal commands from police.
The other thing that we`re hearing the father says is he is sure it
was his son calling for help that night on the 911 tape. We have two
experts and I believe another expert that the "Orlando Sentinel" had that
does not believed that that is in fact, George Zimmerman but that it was
someone else, let me play that for you quickly, attorney Crump.
CRUMP: Yes, sir.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERT ZIMMERMAN: When I first heard - first, I heard the Martin
family say that that was their son, and I thought well they`re grieving
family and maybe the tapes were not today good, but when I heard the actual
recording, me, any family and friends, everybody knows absolutely that`s
ED PRIMEAU, RECORDED EVIDENCE EXPERT: Here is my opinion, Reverend.
It`s not George Zimmerman because the voice is completely different.
TOM OWEN, FORENSIC EXPERT: It`s my opinion it`s not Mr. Zimmerman.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: So two experts say, two different experts, different
methods say sorry, they do not believe it was Mr. Zimmerman`s voice calling
CRUMP: And that`s what we have been saying, Reverend Sharpton.
Listen for yourself. Don`t take our word for it. Don`t take the parent`s
word for it. Listen with your own ears. Look at that video with your own
eyes, because it`s real telling when you start using your own senses, you
come to your own conclusions, it`s so important to note that his father
says he was getting his head banked against the concrete for over a minute,
but when you look at that video, they try to enhanced it and magnified and
you still trying to see the cuts they say are on his head to justify him
kill Trayvon Martin, and you ask yourself if it was that bad, why didn`t
they even put a band aid on it. Why didn`t he go to the hospital?
SHARPTON: Very interesting. We`re going to keep following, keep on
it, and I will keep saying there needs to be an arrest and a trial.
Attorney Benjamin Crump, thanks for being here tonight.
CRUMP: Thank you Reverend Sharpton for you r help.
SHARPTON: Let me turn to Lou Palumbo, a retired police investigator
and now director of the elite group, private security agency and Ken
Padowitz is a former homicide prosecutor from Florida.
Thanks to both for being here tonight.
Ken, the Zimmerman lawyer and father are out forcefully making their
case, and there is a Web site as well. What are they doing, and could it
suggest they`re preparing for long legal fights? Do you think they`re
afraid they will get arrested and charged and trying to get their story
out? I mean, what`s happening here?
KEN PADOWITZ, FORMER HOMICIDE PROSECUTOR: Reverend, in Florida, we
have the Florida bar that governors lawyers and their trial publicity. And
it`s a balance between a person`s right to a fair trial, and a person`s
right to dissemination of information, the first amendment. And we have to
be very careful. It shows like this and having the public discourse on
issues such as what is happen in this case are very important because they
could affect social policy.
But when a lawyer is connect specifically to the case such as a
defense lawyer or prosecutor, they fall under these Florida by rules, and
they have to be very, very careful they do not pre-tried their case in the
public. There is many, many reasons for this, but one of the reasons is
you could potentially prejudice people that could be perhaps be on a jury
pool in this particular case in Florida.
So, a defense attorney in this case, many people would say is acting
from desperation if they`re starting a Web site, and getting on TV, and
making a case prior to going to the room.
SHARPTON: Now. Let me ask you, Lou, you have Zimmerman`s attorney
telling NBC that Zimmerman shot Trayvon at close range, watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: In addition to the broken nose and the
lacerations that you suggest, if the police followed protocol, and you`re a
former police officer, they would have blood splatter on his shirt --
UHRIG: Not necessarily.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Depending on proximity. So, the question
is how close was George Zimmerman?
UHRIG: You are going to find that two of them were closely engaged.
It was a point-blank shot, but there is going to be evidence that the
police have, and they don`t do their investigation by sharing with you and
I and having a crowd vote on it, what they think about it is it goes on.
They`ll do an entire investigation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: First of all, how do you sure that they are in close range
and there`s no blood? Second of all, how does he know what police have but
did not share the investigation?
LOU PALUMBO, RETIRED POLICE OFFICER: There is another issue with
shooting someone at point-blank range and it has to do with residue from
the gunshot remaining on the body of the individual not only that was shot,
but the person who discharged the weapon and fired the shot. And they
should have tested him and taken his clothing.
The proximity of shooting, the shooting actually is very relevant
here. And it`s one of the things I have continuously addressed as far as
needs to be discussed or revealed. The angle of entry whether or not this
was a through and through wound. Things of this nature.
The thing that is always interesting is they`re still contending or
maintaining their position that he sustained a broken nose. A broken nose
would lend itself to profuse bleeding. It doesn`t appear to be a drop of
blood anywhere from any part of this incident on Zimmerman. And as far as
his attorney`s comments about Trayvon being the aggressor and that he was
defending himself, if we conceded that premise to him, saying Trayvon was
the aggressor, and Mr. Zimmerman was defending himself, we would not
I think what we`re talking about is the degree of defense. Are you
allowed to use deadly physical force, a handgun because you get into a
fight with someone? That`s really what we are talking about. The question
also comes up, if you were in a fight for physical altercation and you had
an opportunity to leave, to run from it for example, why wouldn`t that be
your choice as opposed to taking someone`s life?
SHARPTON: Well, let me also say, which is why we said from the
beginning, there is several pieces of evidence that will constitute
probable cause. Zimmerman was armed, Trayvon was not. Zimmerman was
pursuing Trayvon according to 911 tapes and Zimmerman was not brought to
the hospital for injuries.
I mean, there is no one saying including the police report that he had
a broken nose. They did not put him in an ambulance. I mean, it`s all
right there, Ken, and yet his lawyers and his father, very suspiciously are
claiming they have knowledge of what police have, that they should not have
if they have it. So they are either overstating the case, or there is
something strange about them having information the victims don`t have.
PADOWITZ: Well clearly, we want to see if the probable cause standard
had been met based on the evidence that was out there, and it appears
probable cause standard has been met. This is all going to have to be
hashed out all of its evidence in a trial, in front of a jury. Experts are
going to have to be called. Forensic experts, photographs, audio tapes,
witnesses, testimony. We can`t try this case in the public and the fact
that the defense attorney, the person specifically tied to this case that
will be tried, if there is, in fact, a charge, they should not be out there
on TV telling us, and pre-trying this case, because in fact the evidence is
going to appear in a courtroom and not on television.
SHARPTON: Lou, we`re going to have you -- Lou Palumbo, and Ken
Padowitz, thank you both.
And Mr. Palumbo, we definitely have the both of you back.
Ahead, there is a new report on what George Zimmerman might have said
on that 911 tape that could be critical, Star Jones is here to answer all
of the pressing legal questions.
Plus, the chairman of the Republican Party pretends there is no GOP
war on women, comparing it to a war on a hairy work-like insect. We can`t
make this stuff up.
And thug tactics, Carl Rove and Rush hit a new low on the president`s
comments about the Supreme Court.
You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.
SHARPTON: As investigators canvas the crime scene, legal questions
pile up, Star Jones is here to joins us next to talk about that.
SHARPTON: Welcome back to "Politics Nation." It`s been 39 days since
17-year-old Trayvon Martin lost his life. And the question surrounding the
mystery are still swirling.
What happened in the minutes leading up to the fatal shot? What are
investigators finding at the scene? And the question I`m still asking, why
was Zimmerman let go.
Joining me now is the one and only Star Jones, former New York City
homicide prosecutor, TV personality, and co-host of today`s professionals
on NBC`s "Today" show. She has been following the Trayvon Martin`s story
and joins us tonight with the legal perspective on the case.
It`s great to have you here, Star.
STAR JONES, LEGAL ANALYST: I`m glad to have you here, rev.
SHARPTON: If you were the lead prosecutor in the case, what kind of
evidence would you point to for a charge against George Zimmerman?
JONES: Just for the purposes of arrest, a prosecutor would look to
any physical piece of evidence, any witness, any eon witness, any injuries
that were on or were not on Mr. Zimmerman. We would look to the hands of
the victim - of Trayvon Martin. We would look for any empirical that would
suggest that Mr. Zimmerman had probably committed a crime. Not a specific
crime, a crime. That is really be the only standard that the police should
have been using that night.
SHARPTON: So, if he appeared to probably committed a crime, that`s
all you need?
JONES: That`s all you really need to make effectuate an arrest in a
SHARPTON: Now. When you hear that he says his nose was broken, the
father says yet there`s nothing written saying that. They turned an
ambulance back. All of that. Does this not, if you`re the prosecutor,
doesn`t that undermine a self-defense decision right on the spot by police?
JONES: Well, the fact that I`m even dealing with a self-defense issue
right on the spot tells me that something was a little awry. A suspect in
a situation that does not have injuries visible to me. If I don`t have
photographs of those injuries, if in fact he decides not to go with the
ambulance at the time an ambulance is provided for him. That`s all
empirical evidence that suggest to me that there was not an altercation,
and therefore additional investigation needs to be ongoing. And that`s
where I think the real breakdown in this case was.
The initial investigation at the scene. We have only seen what the
police had. We have only seen a preliminary report, and I have looked over
that report. It with a fine tooth comb. I was concerned that at 3:00 in
the morning, 3:07 I think it was, they had Trayvon martin`s name, address,
and phone number, except I didn`t get that -- but the family was not
notified that Trayvon Martin was dead and needed to be identified until
many, many, many hours later, almost 24 hours.
SHARPTON: And then held the body for three days.
JONES: So, I`m just questioning what were the police doing? As a
former New York City prosecutor, you know as we have walked into situations
where I put cases into the grand jury. Very serious, intense media
scrutiny cases. I put the crown highest case in to the grand jury here in
The questions that you`re going to be asked as a prosecutor,
especially when there is media attention, is whether or not this
defendant`s rights are being up hold -- upheld, excuse me. And whether or
not you`re representing the victim. You want to make sure due process
takes place, and by the same token, you want to be a victim`s advocate.
There`s a dead 17-year-old and at some point, I think someone should have
asked some deeper questions.
SHARPTON: Now. You have the 911 call, and some have questioned,
don`t know what he is saying, that he might have said a racial slur.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, ADMITS OF SHOOTING TRAYVON MARTIN: He`s down
towards the entrance of the neighborhood.
911 MALE DISPATCHER: OK, which entrance is that that he is heading
GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: The back entrance. (Bleep).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Its right in there, some think that when he says the back
entrance, some things that he used a racial slur.
SHARPTON: Now, someone comes out and say no, he didn`t use a racial
word, he used the term punks. But I think you ought to be careful with
expert because if he used the term punk, does that mean me had an opinion
of the person who he didn`t know, that he was calling a term that suggest
an aggressive disposition that would have led to an aggressive act. It
clearly, doesn`t sound like somebody who is just looking at somebody
JONES: The state of mind of the assailant is always relevant. So, if
Mr. Zimmerman`s state of mind was either that this is a black person and
I`m going to use a racial slur to categorize him then we got an issue in
the federal court.
SHARPTON: Hate crime.
JONES: And if his state of mind was that this is a person that looks
like a criminal, then all of the sudden, you have presumed this person was
up to no go. Mr. Martin has every right to walk down the street and not
speak to anyone. And I really want the public to understand this one
The police in the United States of America can`t force a person to
talk and identify themselves. We have the right to remain silent. So the
local neighborhood watch dude, certainly, does not have the right to stop
someone. This is not a part of South Africa. You do not have to walk
around with a pass in your hand, and I just would like you to put yourself
in the position of a 17-year-old young black man. A gentleman is following
you, who is older than you are. And has been following you for several
minutes. You`re talking to the young lady on the phone. We`re not sure
what Trayvon was thinking at that time. Whether he was going to be the one
that was going to be assaulted. Zimmerman may have been thinking that
Trayvon was committing a crime. For all we know, Trayvon was thinking that
Zimmerman was about to commit a crime. That`s the whole point of
presumptions and stereotyping.
SHARPTON: Only one person used deadly force.
JONES: And that`s the deal, no matter what you find, Trayvon Martin
had a telephone, some skittles, and some iced tea. And even if Trayvon
Martin punched Mr. Zimmerman in the face, and I`m not presuming that that
occurred, even if he did, the law does not allow you to use deadly physical
force unless you`re in the fear of a deadly physical force being used
against you or another or great moodily harm being done to you. That is
what the law requires.
SHARPTON: The funeral director that handled Trayvon`s body and this
is goes to something you said earlier, he has prepared his body. He tells
CBS News said he did not see any physical signs that Trayvon fought or
attacked Zimmerman. Look at this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE FUNERAL DIRECTOR: We could see no physical signs of
a scuffle or a fight. You know, the hands, I didn`t see any knuckles,
bruises or what have you and that is something we would cover up I think if
it would been there. I did not see any sign of any force on his face. The
story again does not make sense that he informs this type of scuffle or
fight and there was nothing that we could see.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: As a prosecutor -- and I got to go, would you feel that
that testimony of the person that handled Trayvon, would that be a serious
piece of evidence?
JONES: Absolutely. That is - that he gets to speak for the victim in
this situation. Because he will be an independent person who actually saw
Trayvon`s body subsequent to the time the police handled him. If he did
not have blood on his knuckles, scratches, bruises on his knuckles which I
have to assume the police photographed. I have never ever seen a homicide
case where there is a death of someone in the middle of the street that
they did not take forensic photographs. I`m curious to see if the police
at least followed that very basic rule.
SHARPTON: Star Jones, please come back, thanks for your time tonight.
Ahead, switching gears, the RNC chairman thinks the entire war on women is
all fiction and somehow caterpillars are involved. Yes, you heard that
right. That`s next.
SHARPTON: We`re back on POLITICS NATION with one of the most absurd
comments I ever heard. Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus
thinks the GOP war on women is all made up. Just listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIR: After Democrats said we had a war on
caterpillars, and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that
Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we`ve had problems with
caterpillars. I mean, the fact of the matter is, that it`s a fiction --
SHARPTON: First of all, caterpillars, really? That`s the best you
could do? Does seriously there`s no fiction here. Let`s get the facts.
Seven states pushed bills this year to push women to have ultrasounds
before they could have abortions. Thirteen pushed personhood bills but
then all abortions and band most forms of birth control. And let`s not
forget what their leading man says.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Of course you get rid of
Obama-care, that`s the easy one. But there`s others, Planned Parenthood,
we`re going to get rid of that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: But Republicans think there is no attack on women. Nice
try. But we got you.
SHARPTON: We`re back with some new signs that the President`s
economic agenda is working and the recovery is on the way. Just today,
weekly jobless claims fell to 357,000. That`s the lowest they have been in
four years. And Detroit is driving again too. U.S. auto sales were up
nearly 13 percent last month. In fact, the U.S. auto industry just had its
best quarter since 2008. People like Mitt Romney thought we should just
let Detroit go bankrupt, but President Obama knew better.
Joining me now is Robert Reich, the former labor secretary, and now an
economics professor at UC Berkeley, his author of the new book, "Beyond
Outrage: What Has Gone Wrong with our Economy and our Democracy, and How to
Fix Them." Also with me is a democratic Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, a
proud progressive from Ohio. Thanks to both of you for joining me tonight.
REP. MARCY KAPTUR (D), OHIO: Thank you, Reverend.
ROBERT REICH, AUTHOR, "BEYOND OUTRAGE": Thank you, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Secretary Reich, let me start with you. The economy is
getting better, yet Romney says, the President made it worse. What`s your
take on that?
REICH: It`s very difficult for Romney to continue to make that
argument. I mean, many Americans are still hurting, let`s be clear about
that. But the trajectory, the direction of the recovery is very clear, and
it`s very hard for Romney to say, well, it would have been a better
recovery if the President had done what I wanted him to do. I mean, the
Republicans said no to everything the President had wanted to do, including
a second stimulus, and the Republicans right now want to give a giant $4.6
trillion tax cut to the very rich, and at the same time, gut Social
Security, and Medicaid, and child nutrition and food stamps and everything
else that average working people and poor depend on. I mean, this is a
radical right wing regressive agenda that they are peddling, and it`s going
to be harder and harder to pedal it.
SHARPTON: Now, Congresswoman, the people themselves didn`t agree with
what Secretary Reich are saying, when you look at the fact that economic
confidence is up 32 points since August of 2011, and that`s the highest
level since 2008, the gallop, when we started daily tracking the economic
confidence, this has been those kinds of leaps up. So the confidence of
Americans correspond with Secretary Reich, that is got to be something that
should trouble Republicans, wouldn`t you think?
KAPTUR: Oh, I would think so. Especially someone like Governor
Romney who wanted to turn his back on the region of the country that he
grew up in. You take Michigan, you take Ohio, all the way from Cleveland
through the rains and dusky in Toledo. These are major automotive
manufacturing platforms for the world, as well as our country. And to say
that we shouldn`t have refinanced the automotive industry, that almost
sounds un-American to people who live in this region. And I`ll tell you,
the automotive companies are hiring. The major suppliers are hiring
engineering jobs. All of the automotive tooling jobs. This region of the
country is being lifted as we speak. I think Chrysler, Fiat sales, General
Motor sales, Ford sales are record highs compared to where we started in
2008 who ever thought that we would see this industry recover so quickly.
Now, we have to stay at the cutting edge of the global market become more
fuel efficient and believe me, those who work in auto manufacturing in this
part of America are dedicated to that task.
SHARPTON: Now, Secretary Reich, George Romney -- I`m sorry, Mitt
Romney. George was his father. Mitt Romney, he built his whole campaign,
or at least he projected he would, around economic issues, and now it seems
that he has the left but his endorsement of the Ryan plan. And the Ryan
plan is clearly bad for poor people. It would could cut $3.3 trillion in
low income programs like Medicaid, food stamps, Pell Grants, job training.
I mean, if you dealt with their plan, if you dealt with the economic plans,
the Republicans that Romney and Ryan are representing, what will this mean
for the average working class American?
REICH: Well, the average American would suffer dramatically,
Reverend. You know, Mitt Romney said that the Ryan plan is marvelous. He
used that word marvelous. I mean, this is a ringing endorsement. He has
gone on today and yesterday to say that it was a wonderful plan, but look
at what`s being cut are the guts of not only the safety nets that average
Americans and working Americans, and poor Americans depend on, but also all
of the other things. I mean, education, and roads, and bridges, and basic
research. I mean, there`s no way that the Ryan plan is not going to
substantially reduce the living standards of most Americans while at the
same time it gives the average millionaire a $150,000 tax break. I mean,
this is reverse Robin hood, social engineering if we have ever seen it in
this country, far out of the mainstream, in fact start even far out of what
Republicans have ever, before, in living memory tried to get away with.
SHARPTON: You know, what Secretary you`re right. The average tax
cuts is like $265,000 for millionaires. Only $751 for the middle class. I
REICH: I`ll tell you, let me give you one piece of data, Reverend.
SHARPTON: All right.
REICH: And that is that over 60 percent of the cuts are in programs
that the middle class, lower middle class and working class depend on.
SHARPTON: Congresswoman, President Obama continues to push for
fairness and the Buffet rule, let me show you this clip and get your
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARAK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: If you make more than a million
dollars annually, you should pay at least the same percentage of your
income taxes as middle class families do. I mean, if you will make under
$250,000 a year, like 98 percent of American families to, then your taxes
should not go up. And I intend to keep fighting for this kind of balance
and fairness until the other side starts listening. Because I believe this
is what the American people want. And by the way, I believe it`s the right
thing to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KAPTUR: The President is right. Those who have benefited
extraordinarily should not get any more tax cuts. My goodness, $150,000,
$250,000, billionaires, multi-millionaires. At least Warren Buffet has a
conscience. When average Americans are having trouble making ends meet,
when senior citizens can`t afford medicine, why should we have a Ryan-
Romney plan that basically says that we`re going to voucher out Medicare
and making it more expensive for every senior citizen in our country.
Those who have a great deal need to muster up to the plate here, and we
can`t afford more tax cuts for the one percent. We have to solve the
deficit problem. Warren Buffet has a conscience, I think he`s helping to
lead a conscience, business community in this country and I thank him very
much for his comments, every single person in this country knows that they
have to be part of the solution. But those who have so much shouldn`t be
expecting more from the public dole at this really critical time to balance
our accounts and to put us on a trajectory for robust job growth which
requires some restraint in the deficit. They`ll going to have to be part
of that solution.
SHARPTON: I got to leave it right there. Secretary Reich,
Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur. Thank you both for your time tonight.
REICH: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Still ahead. Karl Rove and Rush are saying some outrageous
things about the President. That`s next.
SHARPTON: Republicans were for activist judges before they were
against them, that`s next.
SHARPTON: This week, President Obama made a simple point. He said he
thought the Supreme Court should respect the will of Congress and uphold
the affordable care act. But now, Republicans are twisting his comment to
attack the health care law and using some vile language to do it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This is a bad way to start off. Looking like, you
know, you`re some kind of a political thug at the White House threatening
the Supreme Court.
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: This is what he`s arguing here.
It`s figuratively speaking here, Obama has put a bounty out on the Supreme
Court. Figuratively speaking, there is an answer to that. I don`t know if
it`s right, but there is an answer. He is a thug.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: When did it become OK to call the President of the United
States a quote, "thug"?
Joining me now is Cynthia Tucker, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist and
visiting professor of journalism at the University of Georgia. Thanks for
being here, Cynthia.
CYNTHIA TUCKER, PULITZER PRIZE WINNING COLUMNIST: Good to see you,
SHARPTON: Now Cynthia, is the President being a thug when he says the
Supreme Court shouldn`t let politics influence its decision?
TUCKER: Of course not. He never said anything that it was in the
slightest thuggish. He did not threaten the court in any way, he didn`t
try to intimidate the court. And let`s just for the sake of this
conversation, Rev, I`m not even going to address what Rush Limbaugh said,
since nobody is a bigger thug on the right than Rush Limbaugh, but I did
expect a little bit more of Karl Rove who had the nerve to call the
President a political thug. Let`s be clear about what the President said.
He first of all said, I fully expect that the Supreme Court will upheld the
law because it is constitutional. And then he went on to remind
conservatives that for years, they have been the ones complaining about
TUCKER: We don`t want a group of unelected judges overturning the
will of Congress. He pointed out that they have been saying that for years
and years. At least 40 years. And I don`t -- he said I expect the
justices to remember that. That`s what he said. No threats implied
suggestive, figurative, or otherwise.
SHARPTON: President George W. Bush in 2007 who Karl Rove was
affiliated with. He criticized activist judges. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FMR. PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH (R), UNITED STATES: Unfortunately, some
judges give into the temptation and make law instead of interpret it. Such
judicial lawlessness is a threat to our democracy and it needs to stop.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: So was that being thuggish?
TUCKER: If President Obama was being thuggish, then that remark was
equally thuggish. John McCain when the Supreme Court said that prisoners
held at Guantanamo should actually have the rights of due process,
President Bush made it clear he didn`t like the ruling, and grudgingly
said, we`ll abide but I don`t have to like it. John McCain when running
for President called it one of the worst decisions in the history of the
court. With that being thuggish, no conservatives said so at the time.
SHARPTON: Now, Attorney General Holder, the citation, he cited the
Supreme Court ruling in a letter today, and he talked about a federal court
should act cautiously, a ruling of unconstitutionality frustrates the
intent of elective representatives of the people. This is him responding
to a judge clarifying the President and the administration`s point. And I
think that`s just them explaining their point of view.
TUCKER: Of course it is, but let`s, on the subject of a little bit of
political thuggishness, let`s talk about what the 5th Circuit Court of
Appeals did, one judge in particular, he behaved in a very juvenile fashion
repeatedly calling the affordable care act, Obama-care. He ordered the
Obama administration to give him a three paged double spaced response.
SHARPTON: That`s right. I`m going to hold it right there, Cynthia.
That`s exactly what happened. Thank you for your time, we`ll certainly
going to have you back, and we`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Gentlemen, in this country, our courts are the
great levelers. In our courts, all men are created equal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Fifty years ago, the film "To Kill a Mocking Bird" came to
movie screens all across America. Putting issues of race and justice
before mass audience in a new way. The movie came out justice to civil
rights movement was bringing massive change to the country. That fall
James Meredith became the first African-American student at the University
of Mississippi. Braving death threats and riots in order to enroll. The
year before, hundreds of citizens joined the freedom rides across the south
risking their lives to fight Jim Crowe. And a year before that in 1960,
four black men sat down at a white`s only lunch counter in Greensboro,
North Carolina sparking the sit in movement against racial discrimination.
The book "To Kill a Mockingbird" was published that year.
He was written by a young woman named Harper Lee, she was actually the
descendant of Confederate Civil War General Robert E. Lee. Yet, her book
helped reshape America`s views on race and the Justice System.
Highlighting the dignity of an innocent black man accused of a crime he did
not commit and the courage of a white attorney who defends him. Tonight,
President Obama will honor that legacy with a special screening of that
film at the White House. The message of the movie and the book is as
relevant now as it was 50 years ago. We should learn from our past to plan
our future, and instruct our behavior and involvement in the present.
Thanks for watching, I`m Al Sharpton, "HARDBALL" starts now.
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