Skip navigation

PoliticsNation, Monday, April 9, 2012

Read the transcript from the Monday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed

Guests: Ken Padowitz; Star Jones; Kendall Coffey; Natalie Jackson, Michael
Eric Dyson, Nia-Malika Henderson, Judith Browne-Dianis


REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Welcome to "Politics Nation." I`m
Al Sharpton.

We have a packed show ahead including bad news for Willard Romney, the
right wing still trying to make voter fraud into a real issue. And the
passing of Mike Wallace, a great journalist who profiled me. He was tough
but fair. We`ll get to all of that.

But we start tonight with a major development in the Trayvon Martin
case. Florida`s special prosecutor, Angela Corey, says she will not bring
the case before a grand jury. The grand jury is supposed to meet for the
first time tomorrow. Corey`s office releasing a statement today saying in
part, quote, "from the moment she was assigned, Ms. Corey, noted that she
may not need a grand jury," end of quote.

Folks, this is big news. Let`s be very clear. There`s now just one
person in the world with the power to arrest George Zimmerman and that`s
Angela Corey. The world is watching and waiting for her decision. Since
this news broke today, the questions have been swirling. What does it
mean? Will there be an arrest? What if there is no arrest?

Joining me now, one of the attorneys for the Martin family, attorney
Natalie Jackson. Ms. Jackson, thank you for your time tonight.

NATALIE JACKSON, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: Thank you, sir.

SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you first. What is your response to
today`s announcement from the special prosecutor?

JACKSON: As lawyers, we have to advice our clients, so this didn`t
come as a surprise to us. We always knew Angela Corey would have three
options. One of the options was to utilize the April 10th grand jury.
Another option was to make an arrest and charge George Zimmerman herself,
or to do nothing and not charge him. So, we have to explain that to our
client. So we knew that she could exercise any of those options at any
time.

SHARPTON: Now, what did Trayvon`s parents say when they heard this
today?

JACKSON: I haven`t talked to them. Ben has talked to them, once
again, they weren`t surprised. They were prepared for this.

SHARPTON: All right. Now, let me ask you --

JACKSON: Now, I have to tell you, sir. That they`re still cautiously
optimistic this is a good thing that Angela Corey will charge George
Zimmerman with this crime.

SHARPTON: Yes. Cautiously optimistic is the operating word. Let me
ask you some questions attorney Jackson just on law because you are a
lawyer, --

JACKSON: Yes, sir.

SHARPTON: And a good one at that. The attorneys for Zimmerman were
on the "Today show" and Hal Uhrig said - well, he called - he talked about
a rush to judgment. I want to ask you about the question on the law of
what he stated. Let me show you what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HAL UHRIG, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S DEFENSE ATTORNEY: We heard one of the
attorneys for the family said they should arrest him and let him prove in
court he is innocent. It doesn`t work that way in this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: You know, but he said earlier in the tape something about
that you can`t make an arrest if there is a claim of self-defense according
to Florida law. Is that true?

JACKSON: You know, these lawyers have said a lot of things that are
not true. And I will tell you, it`s preposterous to think that you can`t
make an arrest because someone says self-defense. That`s not a true
statement. And that is where when you kill a child, and the child has
skittles and iced tea and you have a nine millimeter gun, the place to
argue self-defense is a courtroom. So I don`t understand what this lawyer
is talking about.

SHARPTON: So there is nothing by law, because you know I have
advocates and others have that there should be an arrest. There is nothing
by law that would prevent the police from arresting Mr. Zimmerman based on
the statute as quoted this morning on the "Today show"?

JACKSON: No, there is now. And in fact, all you have to do is look
at the people that have been arrested and had to go to court and prove
self-defense under this law. So, what he said was a contra decision even
to what we know to be true of the people that go to court and defend
themselves under this law. They are arrested to go to court.

SHARPTON: Let me show you something else, attorney Jackson and he
says. When he was asked about whether Zimmerman is remorseful about what
happened. This is his response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UHRIG: He is remorseful for the unintended sequences of what happened
out of this incident. I believe that everything he did was justified, but
he is distraught over the fact that a life was taken.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: How do you respond to that?

JACKSON: Well, the first thing that I heard from George Zimmerman`s
camp was a statement from Joe Oliver. And his statement says that was
George Zimmerman, he was naively thought this would blow over. And the
police in this case, the Sanford police department gave him that
indication.

But the thing is, you know, I can`t tell you how George Zimmerman
feels. I know that these parents lost a child, and they lost a child
because George Zimmerman made a decision to confront their unarmed innocent
child with a nine millimeter gun and shoot him in the chest.

SHARPTON: Now, when you look at the fact that the other attorney,
Craig Sonner, says that Zimmerman is told not to follow Martin on the 911
tape. That it was misinterpreted -- let me show what he says and then I
want to go to the tape. But let me show you what Sonner said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRAIG SONNER, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S ATTORNEY: They said you don`t need
to do that, and then the tape later shows that he said OK. How they came
face to face I think that will come out in the investigation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, and the tape clearly says this, let me play the actual
tape for you and the viewers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

911 MALE DISPATCHER: Are you following him?

GEORGE ZIMMERMAN, TRAYVON MARTIN`S SHOOTER: Yes.

911 MALE DISPATCHER: OK, we don`t need you to do that.

ZIMMERMAN: OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, it`s not some time later, he says OK right away. And
then interestingly enough, Sonner say it`s will come out in the
investigation. Well, if it did not come out as clear as we are think or we
lead to believe that night, then how did they not arrest him? I mean, you
can`t have it both ways. That is going to come out in the investigation
but then you say, you should not arrest anybody.

I mean, clearly, from the phone logs that had been put out by you and
Mr. Crump and others, and the timing on the tape and the timing of the
shooting, I don`t know how much time is there for a lot of other things
that happened and they claim will come out in the investigation. I just
don`t know.

JACKSON: Well, I will tell you, sir. In this case, this family has
the patience of Joe. As attorney Crump said, when he first was called by
the family, he told them you don`t need me, they`re going to arrest George
Zimmerman. It didn`t happen.

Then when attorney Crump demanded the 911 tapes, and he 911 tapes
eventually came out, they were worse than we thought them would be.

SHARPTON: Right.

JACKSON: We thought surely there would be an arrest. Just from
George Zimmerman`s own words. Surely, that has not happened. Then, we
investigated and we see that Trayvon was on the phone during the time all
this happened. Surely, now we have an ear witness that can tell you what
happened, surly there would be an arrest.

SHARPTON: All right.

JACKSON: There was not. This is why Angela Corey must do the right
thing and bring this case to justice so that George Zimmerman can argue his
self-defense claim in court where it belongs. It belongs in front of a
jury.

SHARPTON: All right. Thank you, attorney Natalie Jackson and thank
you for joining us tonight.

Joining me now from Florida, two of the best lawyers in the state,
Kendall Coffey is a former federal prosecutor, and former U.S. attorney.
And Ken Padowitz is a former prosecutor, now at the law firm of Karmin,
Adler and Padowitz. Thank you for time tonight.

Ken Padowitz, let me start with you. What does today`s announcement
from Angela Corey mean to you?

KEN PADOWITZ, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, I don`t know the lotto numbers
for this weekend, and my crystal ball is presently out of commission. But,
I can tell that in my experience, she`s telegraphing to the nation, that
she`s going to charge Mr. Zimmerman. And 95 percent of cases in Florida
are charged by a loan prosecutor, not by a grand jury. And so this is
basically the same as all the other case that`s all of the state attorneys
in Florida get. She`s indicating she doesn`t need to go to the grand jury
because the grand jury`s only required for first-degree murder cases.

SHARPTON: All right. So she`s -- 95 percent of the cases are charged
without a grand jury. So you think that`s a signal that she`s going to
make a charge?

PADOWITZ: I think that she`s is signaling in this kind of case with
this much media scrutiny, with this many people that recognize that the
police made mistakes in the beginning of this case, to not bring it to a
grand jury, she is signaling that she is taking this on herself and that
she`s going to end up charging Mr. Zimmerman with some crime.

Now, this is my opinion. She, obviously, is going to make the final
decision what`s going on here, but to me with my experience as a lawyers
for 25 years, she is going to end up charging Mr. Zimmerman in my opinion.

SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you Kendall Coffey. One, do you agree with
that? And second, if you do, when do you think she will make her decision
and make a move?

KENDALL COFFEY, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: I don`t think it`s as strong of
a signal as Ken is suggesting. What I think it means, clearly, is that she
is not looking for cover. If she were, the view that she`s not going to
bring charges, she certainly would be hearing from one in her kitchen
cabinet, hey, if you`re not going to bring charges here, wouldn`t it make
sense to let the grand jury decide to do what could obviously be the most
controversial and criticized decision of your career.

So, in the sense I think it`s a somewhat hopeful sign from the
standpoint of the Martin family, but certainly not definitive. And what it
means more than anything is she is taking ownership of this decision.
She`s not looking for cover. She is not running for cover.

In terms of timing, unless there are some really important forensics
that are out in a lab somewhere, and quanticle (ph) or somewhere that they
are still waiting on, I think she has all of the information she needs, and
I expect charges to be decided one way or the other this week.

SHARPTON: What do you think, Ken, this week we`ll hear one way or
another?

PADOWITZ: I agree with what Mr. Coffey said concerning it`s not
definitive. But, I don`t think she has to make the decision this week.
It`s possible but I think she has time to make the decision to thoughtfully
and go through the evidence. The speedy trial rule was running.

In my opinion, he was placed under arrest by the police, handcuffed,
driven down to the police department and marched through the halls in
handcuffs, so the speedy trial rule is running which means that she has to
make a decision, charge him, and bring him to trial within 175 days.

SHARPTON: Right.

PADOWITZ: Unless, he weighs speedy trial with the continuants. So it
might be this week, it could be sometime this month. We are going to have
to wait and see.

SHARPTON: Let me go back to you, Kendall. Craig Sonner, Zimmerman`s
attorney, on the "Today show" says today, Sanford PD made the right
decision, let me play that for you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SONNER: People jumped to conclusions, wrongful conclusions I believe.
And I think once the investigation comes out, I think the country will see
why the Sanford police department made the decision they did at that time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, when he says that they made the right decision, when
you have a case of probable cause that many of us feel and have said should
have lead to an arrest, Zimmerman was armed, Trayvon was unarmed, Zimmerman
was pursuing Trayvon, Zimmerman was not brought to the hospital for
injuries -- I mean on the law how does Sonner make a legal argument that
the PD there in Sanford was bound not to arrest Mr. Zimmerman?

COFFEY: Well, to me, the frame rush to judgment crystallizes very
meaningfully, not with respect to some of the discussion since that time,
but why the police department would so quickly conclude this is open and
shut, self-defense, we can`t prove it, we won`t start doing the relentless
investigation, look under every rock behind every blade of grass to see if
in fact we are going to accept a very self-serving account for George
Zimmerman. And the face of the fact that he was - had armed, the other guy
didn`t. He was told to stand back, he didn`t, and he clearly was the
pursuer here.

So, the facts as we know them, and there are many, many that we do
not, certainly suggest that when that were not lead investigator thought
there was enough there for a probable cause arrest, that maybe he just knew
what he was talking about.

Now again, reverend, we all know that there are things that we don`t
know.

SHARPTON: Right.

COFFEY: And probably, only Angela Corey knows. But based on what we
know was known now night, there seems to be an enough for a probable cause
arrest or the minimum to keep going much more intensely in an investigation
that seemed like it got called off by the Sanford PD department before it
really got started.

SHARPTON: All right Kendall Coffey and Ken Padowitz, thank you for
your time tonight.

Ahead, we are going inside the courtroom, what would a Zimmerman trial
look like? The tapes, the calls, and the evidence? The one and only Star
Jones is here to answer all of those pressing legal questions.

Plus, the only voter fraud out there is coming from the right. A
right-wing trickster pretends to be Eric Holder. Really, folks, this is
getting sad and kind of funny.

And new numbers just in show Willard has some big time likeability
problems but overall is ready to spin means.

You are watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Big news today in the Trayvon Martin Florida`s special
prosecutor will not bring the case before the grand jury. Star Jones is
here live to help us investigate that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back on "Politics Nation" with today`s crucial
development in the Trayvon Martin case. The special prosecutor announced
today she will not refer the case to a grand jury. She will make the
decision on how to proceed with this case. Does this suggest she`s likely
to bring charges against George Zimmerman? And if so what would the case
against him look like?

Joining me now is Star Jones, a former New York homicide prosecutor,
TV personality and co-host of "today`s professionals" on NBC`s "Today
Show." She has been following the Trayvon Martin story, and I`m please she
brought her legal expertise back to "Politics Nation."

Star, let me first asked you. What your decision is to this decision
about state attorney Angela Corey ruling out a grand jury.

STAR JONES, LEGAL ANALYST: You know, I wasn`t surprised. A real
prosecutor would take it on, would say this is where the buck stops. You
know, I actually thought to myself a of joke, that`s why we get the big
bucks even though we don`t get the free bucket. I thought, if you`re
really standing for justice and you have taken that oath of office, to be a
prosecutor in that state, within the law there, you should take on that
responsibility, you don`t pass it off to the grand jury. Also there were
some things that gave us some indications. They have not empanel a jury.
They have not send out the jury questionnaires. They have not set out the
mailings hat we get people in. So, you kind a knew it was going in that
direction.

SHARPTON: Now, Star. Let`s turn to what would the prosecutors` case
would look like if - and I`m saying if, she was to bring charges and go to
trial? First the 911 tapes?

JONES: You know. First, I want to caution the audience right now.
What we`re talking about is information that has come out in the media.
And I won`t allow people to call it evidence. Because it doesn`t become
evidence in until one, it`s a fact that has some sort of back up, and two,
that a court of law allows to be introduced into the trial if we get to
that point. So we`re talking, in theory, based on information that we have
from media reports, right?

SHARPTON: All right. But by theory that we have - that the public
knows.

JONES: Right.

SHARPTON: Because we don`t know what we don`t know.

JONES: Exactly.

SHARPTON: The 911 calls we know in theory are there, and they will
try to introduce -- we have two 911 calls.

JONES: Now 911 calls are always used in a courtroom, that`s not
something that`s so surprising. So, I would expect that you will see the
911 calls in the courtroom. And there are multiple 911 calls. And so, you
will be able to compare and contrast and they try to put together a time
line based on the 911 calls. So I think the prosecution would definitely
use it.

SHARPTON: Now, if they`re allowed in, and I played the two 911 tapes,
then we play on, and tell me if you were prosecuting the case how you would
try to use this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ZIMMERMAN: These (bleep), they always get away.

911 MALE DISPATCHER: Are you following him?

ZIMMERMAN: Yes.

911 MALE DISPATCHER: OK, we don`t need you to do that.

ZIMMERMAN: OK.

911 FEMALE DISPATCHER: Do you think he`s yelling help?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE CALLER: Yes.

911 FEMALE DISPATCHER: OK, what is your --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE CALLER: Just -- there`s gunshots.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, you have one, where Zimmerman is talking to the
dispatcher, and he is told that we don`t need you to follow him, almost
immediately says OK. Then you have another where you have someone in the
neighborhood, in the gated community calling, and you hear the screaming in
the background, and you hear a gunshot, and you jumped in the studio when
you heard it again, how would you use these in trial?

JONES: Well, the first one obviously, I would want Zimmerman on the
witness stand, so that would be a prosecutors dream. The second one is a
little more interesting. We have had a couple people reporting, experts,
that they have listened to the audio and done the comparison test, and that
in their expertise, it`s not Mr. Zimmerman, the proposed defendant.

I would be curious to find out if the there were any recordings of
Trayvon Martin`s voice. Does his mom have any voice mails left. So, we
know he was talking to his girl having a good time. Did he ever leave a
voice mail for her that they can -- use? It`s so much better not only to
be able to say that`s not Mr. Zimmerman, but to able to have an expert say
that is Trayvon.

SHARPTON: Now, there is the physical evidence in the case. We have
seen the surveillance video of Zimmerman at the police station a half hour
after the shooting, but also a video of the interview with the police
afterward that is not been made public yet. There is also potentially
evidence from Zimmerman`s clothing that night, and from Trayvon`s autopsy
which has always not been made public.

Star, how could prosecutors use any of this evidence at trial?

JONES: This is some of the most powerful evidence depending on what
its showing. And will show one way or the other, but, this is the evidence
that one, if it was collected correctly. I have been involved either in
prosecuting cases or commenting in - reporting on cases where the forensics
can be contaminated based simply on the investigators themselves and the
investigation they conduct.

So, if one established that it was not a tainted investigation.
Assuming that it is not tainted, then you have good forensics, you got the
paragraphs of Mr. Zimmerman. You got that wonderful interrogation tape in
theory so that the prosecutor has the ability to examine what he said when
he said it. If his story is consistent, has it changed overtime, did it
change during those multiple hours that they were doing the investigation?

All of that is wonderful for cross-examination purposes. And it
certainly would be admitted into evidence if the prosecution wanted to use
that videotape.

Now, curious enough, if the defense wanted to use the videotape for
the statements, and I`m talking the proposed interrogation tape, then the
defendant will not get to use it because it`s a self-serving statement.
The defense would have less opportunity. Now, they could use if they
wanted to show something physically what he looked like, if there is
photographs as I said with measurements of alleged wounds on Mr. Zimmerman,
everybody would have the opportunity to use that.

SHARPTON: Now, let`s talk about witnesses. The police will play a
roll, but we could also hear from neighbors, and 911 calls, the funeral
director who said Trayvon`s body showed no sign of struggle, and Trayvon`s
girlfriend who was on the phone with him moments before his death.

JONES: Let`s take them one by one.

Let`s start with the funeral director. The funeral director is almost
like a pathologist would be allowed to testify as to the condition of the
body when it came to him.

SHARPTON: Right.

JONES: And so, he would be allowed to testify what he saw. I`m not
sure if he would be qualified as an expert, I`m sure the defense would have
a problem with that, but he might be qualified as an expert because that`s
really what he did.

SHARPTON: Right.

JONES: And we know that he has already said publicly that there were
no marks. That he had to use his expertise to cover up. That`s really
powerful evidence.

Let`s talk about this young lady on the telephone. I understand that
the prosecutor has finally interviewed her, and I was glad to know her
mother was there. This will be very trying on this girl as we go through
this process.

She would become the voice of Trayvon Martin in that courtroom. She
is the person who had him on the telephone. And if she can bring the
emotion of his fear at that time, I think she will speak for the dead. And
it`s very rare that you have the opportunity to do that.

There will be some hearsay issues. Whether or not she should be able
to get it in. The prosecution will have lots of theories on the hearsay
exceptions. One of them could be use as maybe at dying declaration if
there indication that Trayvon knew he was dying or was close to great
physical bodily injury, that could lead to death, I think there are some
arguments to be made for that.

You know, we talked about Robert Zimmerman, the father, as a potential
witness. I don`t know if he would be able to testify because everything he
says is hearsay. There are some theories that you could get over it in
terms of an exception to the hearsay rule, excited utterances, spontaneous
conversation, however, from what he has described, it seemed like his son
was just having a conversation him about the incident and that would
definitely be hearsay.

SHARPTON: Star Jones, thank you for coming on the show tonight.

JONES: You got it.

SHARPTON: Still ahead. Since did - since when did it become all
right for a United States senator to call the president of the United
States stupid? What happened to respecting the office, senator? The
strange and ugly talk coming from the right wing. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: How did one republican senator spend part of his Easter
weekend? Calling President Obama stupid. When did that become OK? We`ll
talk about it next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Welcome back to POLITICS NATION. Well, it`s all coming
together for the Republican Party. Looks like they found their nominee.
The man who will guide them to victory in 2012. The candidate who will
rally the base. The leader who will lay out their conservative vision for
the country. Mitt Romney is their ticket to the White House. Well, maybe
they should hold the music for a second. I mean, we`re talking about this
Mitt Romney.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: There is one issue on which I will never back down,
never cut a deal, never compromise. Cat spaying. It is simply the right
thing to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Unfortunately with our schedules, Ann and I don`t
get to nearly as many cockfights as we would like.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: In all honesty, I can`t remember a time when
dungeons and dragons wasn`t an important part of my life.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We don`t believe you.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: OK. All right. I`ve always thought that if I had
to develop a chronic disease, I hoped it would be adult onset diabetes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Willard, it`s just writes itself, but since this is their
likely candidate, how do they plan on winning? DNC Chair Wasserman Schultz
has it figured out.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: What is really bothersome to me, Candy, is that
it almost seems like my republican colleagues in Congress and Mitt Romney
are rooting for economic failure.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Root for failure. That`s the platform of the Republican
Party these days. Instead of offering solutions to get people back to
work, they`re celebrating a struggling economy instead of helping the
uninsured, they work to repeal healthcare. Instead of dealing with big
banks, they chip away at financial reform. This is a party of no
solutions. And when you have a candidate who is literally a joke with no
platform to speak of, what do you do? If you are the GOP, you throw money
at the problem. Karl Rove`s American crossroads is looking to pump more
than $200 million into ads aims at the President. Starting later this
month, 200 million. Here is some advice, money can`t buy love, it also
can`t buy a winning candidate.

Joining me now is Michael Eric Dyson, MSNBC political analyst and
Georgetown University professor, and Nia-Malika Henderson, a national
reporter for the "Washington Post." Thank you both for being here.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, REPORTER, "WASHINGTON POST": Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Professor Dyson, let me start with you, can the GOP simply
throw money at this problem?

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Reverend Sharpton.
It`s clear that the Super PAC is the manifestation of what President Obama
warned us against with the citizen`s united decision at the Supreme Court
that all kind of unregulated capital could flow in of the coffers of this
Super PACs. And that they can affect the election. And no, they can`t
secure support and buy, if you will. The votes of people, but they can
have such an incredibly powerful influence by you know, going negative, by
attack ads on the President, that they begin so unduly have an impact upon
the political outcome here. And as a result of that, their bad news
regardless of whether or not they can directly buy a vote, they can
suddenly depress. They can pollute the atmosphere of politics with all of
the diatribes that we`ve heard, especially in the assaults against
President Obama.

SHARPTON: Now Nia-Malika, the GOP is starting to fall behind Romney,
but instead of supporting their candidate, they seem to be more focused on
tearing down the President, listen.

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He is far and away the
most likely republican nominee, and if he does get to 1144 delegates, I`ll
support him, I`ll do everything I can this fall to help him beat Obama.
And this is the most important election in some ways since 1860. Barack
Obama is a genuine radical.

SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: There can still be a bit of
shake up, but the numbers are what the numbers are, and yes, he does seems
to be obviously the frontrunner and, you know, I have been of the mind-set
that anybody but Obama --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Not a lot of enthusiasm for Romney, more let`s go after the
President.

HENDERSON: Right, and Barack Obama, President Obama is going to be
the great unifier that Romney has not been able to be. So far, he`s going
to be -- unify the party of the dis-thankful President Obama. Unify
Republicans and that is certainly what this Super PAC will go after. They
very well know that the President, even though some people might not like
his policies, they actually like him. He has a pretty high favorability.
People like that he`s a good father. People got use to seeing him in their
living room. So, that`s what they`re going to chip away at, and really
undermine this idea of the President is a competent capable leader. So,
that`s what they`re going to be sitting there time on. And what you have
seen in this primary so far is that that has worked. That is the way that
Romney has very much to run his campaign. He`s had this very wealthy
allies who really torn down, his opponents, starting with Newt Gingrich,
then Rick Santorum, Rick Perry. All of these guys have really fallen by
the way side and fallen victim to this millions and millions of dollars of
Super PAC negative campaign ads. So you`ll see that operate in the general
where as Romney will try to make the case himself for his shot at the White
House.

SHARPTON: Now, Dr. Dyson, we have seen some very ugly over the top
attacks on this President in particular. Over the weekend, a member of the
Senate, Chuck Grassley who`s been in the Senate for over 30 years sent this
tweet out. Constituents ask why I am not outraged at President Obama`s
attack on the Supreme Court independence. It`s because American people are
not stupid as this ex-professor of constitutional law. Calling the
President stupid?

DYSON: It`s utterly ridiculous. It`s disrespectful. If you will,
kinds of dog whistle racism. It`s an attack on Obama to make him again
appear as if he is some other person from another planet. And to call him
ignorant or in this case stupid, when the man is manifestly intelligent,
even those who have opposed him in the past have recognized his fundamental
decency and his high quality of intellect. So to call him stupid is to get
base and to get involved in mudslinging politics that again are rooted in
some of the most vicious instincts in American politics. And Reverend
Sharpton, to me, this is un-American. You know, the right wing has always
trying to define something as un-American and people are not part of the
mainstream. They have also revived the birther conflict, they`ve also
talked about his own relationship to the Supreme Court and so on and so
forth in calling him a bully. These again are cold words that we all get.
This man is highly intelligent, highly competent, capable as Nia-Malika
Henderson said, of unifying the nation, and he`s going to unify the
Republican Party in the negative, but they don`t have a positive
contribution to make by standing behind their man. So this is all that
Senator Grassley and the rest of them can do is attack our guy sort to
speak, not support, you know, their guy.

SHARPTON: Now Nia-Malika, you have also a Missouri republican, also
said she has doubts about the President Obama`s birth certificate, we`re
going back to birth, listen.

REP. VICKY HARTZLER (R), MISSOURI: I have a lot of doubts about that,
but I don`t know. I haven`t seen it, I`m in the same place you are, and
you read this, read that. But I don`t understand why he didn`t show that
right away. I mean, if someone asked for my birth certificate, I could go
get it, take it out, and show it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, she since walked back those comments, but she said it
and she walked it back after being challenged. I`m playing it to ask you
Nia-Malika, is this how they`re going to try to run against this President?
Make him different not like the rest of us Americans? Is that the kind of
ugly strategy they`re going to try to roll out in your opinion?

HENDERSON: Well, I think you do hear hints of this from different
corners of the party in covering, Rick Santorum, he has a line in his some
speech where he says, Obama is a likable guy, he just doesn`t really
understand America. And when he says Obama is a likable guy, you hear
people in the audience sort of boo. So there is this undercurrent of
trying to make Obama seem different.

SHARPTON: Right.

HENDERSON: Trying to make him seem outside of the American
mainstream. I think the challenge for Romney, where that certainly gins up
the base, doesn`t do much for him in trying to attract independents. So, I
think the challenge for him is going to be really separating himself from
that. Because I think from Democrats, you`ll going to see them try to
paint the Republicans themselves as radicals and ask people who are trying
to paint this President as outside the mainstream, and it just doesn`t --
to Republicans favor at all.

SHARPTON: Professor Dyson and Nia-Malika Henderson. Thank you both
for your time this evening.

DYSON: Thank you, sir.

HENDERSON: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, the only voting fraud I can see is coming from the
right wing tricksters. The fraud about voting fraud, coming up. And
remembering the legendary Mike Wallace. I was in the hot seat with him a
couple times, my reflections on facing off with the legendary journalist,
stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back with a news flash. There is voter fraud to
report tonight. Only as coming from, you guessed it, the right. Here is
undercover video from a right-wing trickster last week in Washington, D.C.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Do you have an Eric Holder? (bleep)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Northwest.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Let`s see.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Holder?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: H-O-L-T-E-R or D-E?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: H-O-L-D-E-R. That`s the name.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I do.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Northwest, that`s the address?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: OK. Please sign your name there.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Actually, I forgot my ID.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That`s all right, you don`t need it.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I left it in the car.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: As long as you`re here, you`re on our list and
that`s what you say you are, you`re OK.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I would feel more comfortable if I just had my IDs.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Sure, go back.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I`ll be back faster than you can say furious.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We`re not going anywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: All right. Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Really. This is what they got? I think it`s kind of
funny, and listen to the worker.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: As long as you`re here, you`re on our list, and
that`s who you say you are, you`re OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Yes, the worker followed procedure. If you`re not who you
say you are is illegal. So what are they trying to prove? They should
just listen to lawmakers who came on this show?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

How are you giving an improved way of voting when there was nothing
wrong? You securing what? There was no fraud.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We have accountability. We`re not going to wait
for fraud.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The only way you can be certain of that is to have
a photo to make sure that that`s the person.

SHARPTON: You have had three cases. You don`t have a lot of people
coming to you saying, the --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So, they can`t point to any widespread fraud. Since 1997,
there has been 311 cases of voter fraud, 311 out of 593 million votes cast.
That`s a rate of 0.0005 percent. In Washington, D.C., there has been zero
cases of voter fraud in the last 12 years, zero. You have a better chance
of being struck by lightning winning in the academy award and giving birth
to quintuplets. The Justice Department responded saying, about the only
time I get concrete evidence of voter fraud is when someone pulls a stunt
like this. Here is the bottom-line, they will do anything to suppress five
million voters. That`s why we marched and that`s why we won`t give up the
fight.

Joining me now is Judith Browne-Dianis, co-director of the Advancement
Project. Thanks for being here tonight, Judith.

JUDITH BROWNE-DIANIS, CO-DIRECTOR, ADVANCEMENT PROJECT: Thank you for
having me.

SHARPTON: What`s your take on this undercover video?

DIANIS: You know, they can`t find voter fraud in real elections. The
Bush administration looked for five years to investigate and find voter
fraud and they couldn`t find any voter fraud. So these right wing
tricksters had to go out and create their own attempts at voter fraud. And
trying to impersonate the attorney general really should open them up to
charges for committing voter fraud themselves.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, from the undercover video that we saw, the
worker actually approved, the poll worker is doing his job. I mean, at the
end of the day, they disprove what they`re saying.

DIANIS: That`s right. That`s right. I mean, you know, they disprove
it, they don`t allow him to vote, so he didn`t get to commit the
impersonation that he tried to do.

SHARPTON: Let me show people what happened. With that he was
actually stopped from the go. Let me play this for you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Do the best you can.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: So if I just do the best I can, I can vote, you`ll
give me a ballot?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes. Of course.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: OK. If my signature doesn`t match like any sort of
official signature, do you compare?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That`s a special ballot.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Do you compare it to any other signature?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Just take it back there, yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: She`ll handle it for you.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I don`t have my ID.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes, take it back there. Special ballot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Special ballot, which means they have to verify a
signature, they`ll handle it. So they disproved their point.

DIANIS: That`s right, and what`s important to understand here is that
the real voter fraud is this kind of attempt at trickery. The real voter
fraud is trying to steal elections like we saw in 2000 in Florida, right?
A Secretary of State that set it up so that they could stop the recount.
In 2004, a Secretary of State in Ohio who decided that any registration
that wasn`t on hard paper should be thrown out. In 2008, using foreclosure
lists. The trickery that goes on, trying to tell African-Americans they
can`t vote on Tuesday, they should vote on Thursday. That`s the real voter
fraud. And that`s what is happening here. That they can`t find the voter
impersonation, that they said, so they try to make it up, but at the end of
the day, the ones stealing elections are the ones who are committing this
other kind of voting fraud including suppressing the vote of five million
voters who won`t have voter ID when it comes to this election.

SHARPTON: And we see that the Attorney General has come on and said
he is strongly going to fight for voting rights. Let me show a statement
by the Attorney General.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Today we cannot and we must not
take the right to vote for granted. Nor can we short the sacred
responsibility that has fallen upon our shoulders. We must remain every
vigilant in safeguarding our most basic and important right. Too many
reason actions have the potential to reverse the progress that defines us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Judith Browne-Dianis. Thanks for your time tonight.

DIANIS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: A quick note, Attorney General Eric Holder will be joining
us this week in National Actions Network`s annual convention in Washington,
D.C. I`m honored that the Attorney General will give the opening address
Wednesday morning. Please go to nationalactionnetwork.net for more
information on the entire convention. We`ll be right back with my thoughts
on the legendary newsman Mike Wallace. I got the "60 Minutes" treatment
from him a couple of times. I`ll talk about that, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Welcome back, I close tonight with some thoughts on the
legendary broadcaster Mike Wallace who passed away Saturday night at the
age of 93. One of the scariest calls you can get in this public life is to
be told Mike Wallace is on the phone for you. And it happened to me twice.
I was on the hot seat with Wallace on a couple of occasions. First in
1993.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE WALLACE, 1918-2012: That`s what you really want? You want to be
somebody real bad.

SHARPTON: I don`t think there is anything wrong with that. New
Yorkers have seen it all and you have to be dramatic enough in New York to
get your point heard and you don`t have to compete with that in other
cities.

WALLACE: So, what you have done is shaped your personality you think,
your hair, your voice, your attitude, your jogging suit for your audience,
which is basically a black audience.

SHARPTON: Well, if you were raised by James Brown, Jessie Jackson,
Don King, you will be very much like Al Sharpton.

WALLACE: And the question is, the tactics that you have used in the
past, the change that seem to take place perhaps on that hospital bed and
where you`re heading from here.

SHARPTON: I think sometimes you do things to get attention. You do
things to get through the crowd to center stage. The real challenge is
when you get to center stage, do you have something to say?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Mike Wallace was famous for his tough questions, I knew it
firsthand.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: How do you think people perceive Al Sharpton? And when I
say people, I mean black and white.

SHARPTON: In the black community, you have several different views.
You`ve got those that support me. You`ve got the element that feel I
exaggerate situations. Wait for something to happen and rush in, and that
I exacerbate tensions. In the white community, you`ve got the same
feeling.

WALLACE: In other words, on both sides, black and white, you agree
that there are those who say, Al Sharpton is a blabber mouth, too
flamboyant, an agitator, a racist, a race baiter, right?

SHARPTON: Oh, yes.

WALLACE: All of those things.

SHARPTON: Right.

WALLACE: And that`s the price you pay or that`s the price you want to
pay.

SHARPTON: That`s the price you pay.

WALLACE: Price you pay for what?

SHARPTON: That`s the price you pay for being someone that gets
involved in a high profile fight for things you believe in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So, Mike Wallace was tough, but I found him fair. Both
profiles he did on me, I had no idea what would happen. I think he was
fair. My critics thinks he was favorable. This past week, when Mike
Wallace died, and another journalist I had respect for, a local reporter in
New York Gale Nova (ph) dies, those two men earned the respect of even
those that sat on the other side from them. Why? Because they were fair,
they were thorough, they told the story as they saw it, not as they came in
a preconceived way. It will be a long time before we see people rise to
that legendary level again. But one way to get there is don`t come in and
try to shape the story. Tell the story. Tell it hard, hit hard, prod
hard, go after whoever it is you`re after, but then let the truth speak for
itself and let the lies expose themselves. That`s why everyone stopped to
think about Mike Wallace. Because you knew when he said, forgive me for
asking, that he really did mean forgive him.

Thanks for watching, I`m Al Sharpton, "HARDBALL" starts right now.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2012 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Transcription Copyright 2012 ASC LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is
granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not
reproduce or redistribute the material except for user`s personal or
internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall
user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may
infringe upon MSNBC and ASC LLC`s copyright or other proprietary rights or
interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of
litigation.>





Sponsored links

Resource guide