Skip navigation

PoliticsNation, Friday, June 15, 2012

Read the transcript from the Friday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed

Guests: Keith Ellison; Jose Antonio Vargas; Jose Diaz-Balart; Raul Grijalva, Steve Kornacki, Richard Wolffe, Ben Jealous, George Gresham

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

Tonight`s lead, bold move. President Obama today broke the Republican
gridlock in Congress and helped hundreds of thousands of young people in a
major move. The president announced that this country will stop deporting
young immigrants who were brought here illegally as children.


shoes. Imagine you`ve done everything right your entire life. Studied
hard, worked hard, maybe even graduated top of your class only to suddenly
face the threat of deportation to a country that you know nothing about.
With a language you may not even speak.


SHARPTON: The president said this was just a temporary solution until
lawmakers stop blocking immigration reform. Acting now, he said, is a
question of compassion and of simply doing the right thing.


OBAMA: Effective immediately, the department of homeland security is
taking steps to lift the shadow of deportation from these young people.
Over the next few months, eligible individuals who do not present a risk to
national security or public safety will be able to request temporary relief
from deportation proceedings and apply for work r authorization.


SHARPTON: All across the country people gathered around TV sets to
watch the president make the announcement that would change so many lives.
In fact, the policy will affect up to 800,000 young people currently living
in the United States. It achieves some of the same goals as the dream act
that Republicans in Congress defeated in 2010. A bill that once had
bipartisan support.

Back in 2005 senators John McCain and Ted Kennedy introduced similar
legislation. A bill that was also supported by President Bush. But how
the Republican Party has changed. Today senator McCain called the
president`s announcement, quote, "a politically motivated power grab."

Senator Lindsey Graham said it was quote "possibly illegal." And
Arizona governor Jan Brewer called it "back door amnesty."

Mitt Romney criticized the president`s policy but failed to say what
he thinks about the actual issue.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is an important matter
that we have to find a long-term solution. But the president`s action
makes reaching a long-term solution more difficult.


SHARPTON: Not much of a response. He`s been a bit more direct about
it in the past.


ROMNEY: I`ve indicated I would veto the dream act if provisions
included in that act to say that people who are here illegally as they go
to school here long enough, get a degree here that they can become
permanent residents. I think that`s a mistake.


SHARPTON: Ultimately, today was not about politics. It was about
people. The president knows this is an issue that affects real people who
love America who consider themselves Americans. And in some cases who risk
their lives for America.

Joining me now is Arizona congressman Raul Grijalva, co-chair of the
Progressive Caucus and Telemundo anchor Jose Diaz-Balart.

Thanks, both of you for joining me tonight.

Let me start with you, Congressman. Your reaction, first of all to
today`s news.

REP. RAUL GRIJALVA (D), ARIZONA: Applaud the president. Courageous,
historic. And very needed at this time. To indicate to our nation as a
whole that this issue that has been such a divisive issue, that has been
promoted through hate and division, that these young people are our family
and the president`s order gives them the opportunity that they`ve earned.

I think it`s historic. I`m very proud of this president. I respect
his decision. He used political capital. And some say took a risk. But
this was humanitarian. It was necessary. And it`s good policy. And I`m
not only appreciative, very proud of this president.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you this before I go to Jose. You are in
probably the toughest state in terms of some of the worst immigration
policies from my perspective. I`ve marched out there with you and others.
How will this affect people in your district, your constituency there in

GRIJALVA: It lifts this pail of uncertainty, a doubt, great for
families and for these young people who tire of hearing maybe next year.
I`m glad the president has stepped in. There`s been nothing but
obstruction on the part of the Republican leadership in the house and the

And now, through the president`s direct action for Arizona, young
people that qualify, an opportunity and relief to them and their families.
It`s a good day for them. And it`s a good day because it`s a precedent.
We shouldn`t run away from immigration reform. We should do something
about it.

SHARPTON: Now Jose, the policy is 30-year-old or younger arrived in
the United States before age 16, lived in U.S. for five years. No criminal
record. High school diploma. In school or served in the military. Those
are the -- those who are eligible for this.

How widespread do you think this is? How important is this to a lot
of the immigrant communities around the country?

JOSE DIAZ-BALART, ANCHOR, TELEMUNDO: Reverend, this is huge. This is
huge. And you talked about 800,000 when you started the program. That`s
what officials both in the White House and NGOs believe would be the number
of young people that could be benefiting from this program in the short-
term. But the few Hispanic Center, for example, said today that it could
be as high as 1.4 million people that could be benefited from it.

I want to also, if I could Reverend, kind of separate the apples from
the oranges on this issue. This is not like the dream act in that the
dream act which both some Republicans and Democrats supported and some
Democrats opposed in the Senate when it went down in flames in the year
2010, that proposal would have given these people, these hundreds of
thousands of kids who know no other country but the United States of
America who were going to be deported to countries they`ve never been in
and speaking a language they don`t even possibly know, it would give them a
path to citizenship. That, the dream act would have been given them.

This, under no circumstances and the president was very clear in his
speech today, this is no way going to give these people anything but a
temporary reprieve from a separation of families that has in the past three
years included almost 1.5 million people in this country. It`s a two year
pause and possibly hopefully for these people an extension of that two year

But down the road, what`s needed is congressional action for
immigration reform if there is to be some road to citizenship.

SHARPTON: And I think you raising that point is very important.
Because I don`t know that people understand -- he`s not talking citizenship
here. But we are talking about people born and race in this country or
brought to this country very young that no, no other country don`t even
know the language that could be deported and dropped in the middle of
somewhere they are totally unfamiliar with. Can`t even speak the language.
And they`re told you`re illegal, you must go there. This just stops their
deportation. It does not give them citizenship.

GRIJALVA: Correct.

DIAZ-BALART: Absolutely. And our friend Congressman Grijalva can
tell you he represents a state, Arizona that has been the center of the
discussion for years now. Not only because of sb-1070 which the Supreme
Court is probably going to decide may be this Monday or next Monday the
constitutionality of the sb-1070.

But, you know, Arizona has been ground zero for immigration
discussions. And the fact is that the sb-1070s of the world in the United
States exist because of inaction both, by the executive and legislative
powers in Washington for far too many years.

SHARPTON: And we had that action today.

Now Congressman, let me say this. Right away of course the right wing
came back attacking. Rush Limbaugh and FOX News came out swinging on the
president`s policy. Watch this and give me your response, Congressman.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a president in re-election mode. Insert
whatever group here. This president has played everything he needs and
that is political.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: It`s panic city, for the left.
And that`s why Obama is out right now announcing amnesty for young illegal.
Catch, release, vote.

GOV. JAN BREWER (R), ARIZONA: I would imagine that people would be
making a big run for the border.


SHARPTON: Congressman, how do you respond to those criticisms?

GRIJALVA: Well, it`s the same criticisms. You know, this machine,
the extremists on the Republican side and their mouthpieces in the media
have beat on immigrants for two election cycles, that beat on these kids
for two election cycles and make them the cannon fodder for the rhetoric
and the hate and fear they spread in this nation.

Now, the president takes a courageous act saying it`s politics. I
find it ironic that Governor Brewer and Senator McCain are calling it
politics. When they will fight tooth and nail to prevent something like
the dream act from happening legislatively.

The hypocrisy is on the other end. What the president had to do was
necessary. He`s waited for this process to work. As long as we have
leadership that see immigrations, that see immigrants, as political cannon
fodder to be used in an election as opposed to fixing this broken
immigration system. There is nothing else the president could do. And
that`s why I`m proud of him because he had to take this action.

SHARPTON: Jose, let me ask you this quickly. They mention politics.
When you look at the politics of it, the Latino vote in the 2012 election.
The polls now have President Obama at 61 percent. Mitt Romney at 27
percent. Yet the other day Romney says we`re going to get by this
immigration thing, we`re going to win the Latino vote.

How does the day affect that? What is the politics of today?

DIAZ-BALART: I think they took the ground right from under the
Republican Party who had been taking baby steps to try and see if they
could mitigate the wave of support by generally speaking, the Hispanic
community at large.

You mentioned, Reverend, that NBC/"Wall Street Journal" Telemundo poll
which showed an overwhelming support for the president by most Latino
voters. And may I add the word voters because these kids that are here,
they were not born here could not vote under the president`s requirement
today they cannot vote. There is no path to citizenship. Let`s not
confuse magnesia from mercury. They`re two different things.

This is giving a stay of deportation for these kids that know no other
country by the United States. And an interesting aspect you need to talk
about. If you haven`t been caught by immigration in this country and
you`re illegal, you`re quiet.

Now, 60 days from now you will be able to come up from the shadow if
you qualify and say I am a dreamer and I can stay. That`s a big thing that
happened today.

SHARPTON: That`s huge. I`ve got to go. Jose, Congressman thank you
very much for your time. I got to go.

GRIJALVA: Thank you. Very much appreciated.

DIAZ-BALART: Thank you.

SHARPTON: And Jose, I don`t know where you thought the right wing
could be confusing. But we will talk about that next time.

Joining me now is Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio
Vargas. Last year he revealed he was undocumented in an emotional article
in "The New York Times" and he just wrote the cover story for the brand new
issue of "Time" magazine. He`s also the founder of Define American, a
movement to bring a voice to undocumented immigrants living in America.

Joe, what`s your reaction to the president`s huge decision today?

Washington, D.C. this is a great joyous day for many undocumented young
people in this country. And not only for us, but for the people who
support us. You know our teachers, our pastors. I`ve been referring to it
kind of as our underground railroad.

This is a big day for us. I mean, as you know, every year 65,000
undocumented people graduate from high school. You know, I did that. I
graduated from high school in 2000. And when you`re undocumented, you can
-- it`s hard to get to college because there`s no financial aid. But once
you do go to college, then what do you do when you have a degree? Like,
you know, you were just talking about the "Time" magazine cover, right?

SHARPTON: Correct.

VARGAS: We have people with biology degrees, engineering degrees,
wannabe doctors and lawyers. Instead they`re waiting on tables. They
can`t fully live their lives. Now they can. And to me, what`s interesting
about the policy today is how many times can you say that you have a
government policy that actually creates tax revenues. Right? So, now we
have new taxpayers. Don`t we need that right now in this economy?

SHARPTON: But Jose, let me -- help me get a sense to our viewers.
People were crying today as they were watching that. Like there was this
tremendous load lifted off of them. Like they were living in some kind of
a grip of fear that was relieved. Explain what people were going through.

VARGAS: Well, it`s interesting this question is coming from you. You
know, you`re -- you were there for the civil rights movement. For my
generation, this is a civil rights movement. And we`ve all been in this

I mean, I remember coming out last year in the "New York Times"
article and literally have people on facebook, on twitter just calling me
hey, brother, you know, like we`re in this together. Right?

There`s such a sense of community and a sense of fraternity and
sisterhood for the women in the community. And I think everybody felt just
generally happy for each other. And I think you saw that kind of emotion

For me at least, it was almost overwhelming just to be around people
like Gabby Pacheco, you know, who has been fighting for this since she was
in high school. It`s an incredible day. I mean, for me, and I`m a writer.
There aren`t even really words to describe it.

SHARPTON: Wow. Jose Antonio Vargas, who`s written the cover story in
this week`s "Time" magazine. Thank you for your time tonight.

VARGAS: Thank you so much for having me.

SHARPTON: Coming up, my thoughts on today`s shocking display of
disrespect. A right wing blogger heckling the president in the rose


OBAMA: It is the right thing to do. Excuse me, sir. It`s not time
for questions, sir. And the next time, I prefer you let me finish my
statements before you ask that question. Is this is the right thing to do
for the American people. I didn`t ask for an argument. I`m answering your


SHARPTON: This outrageous behavior has to stop. And it has to stop

Plus, Willard`s billionaire boys club. What the wealthy donors
backing his campaign really want?

And an award winning actor from the hit series "breaking bad" becomes
the latest victim of the so-called stop and frisk policy. It`s the new
racial profiling, and it`s spreading across the country unless we do
something about it.

You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: Billionaires are flooding the Romney campaign with cash.
But what do they want in return? Payback Romney style. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Welcome back to "Politics Nation."

It looks like senator McCain`s gone rogue. Guess he never got the
memo about not attacking hidden campaign money.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Much of Mr. Adelson`s casino profits
that go to him come from the casino in Macao.


MCCAIN: That says that obviously, maybe in around about way farm
money is coming into an American political campaign. We have to have a
limit on the flow of money and that corporations are not people.


SHARPTON: Hear that, Willard? Corporations aren`t people. And
billionaire donors like Sheldon Adelson, they`re not leveling the playing
field. They`re doing the opposite. Adelson has already given $10 million
to Romney`s super PAC and promises limitless support. He`s just one of
many betting big on Willard. And they all want something in return.

Like oil man Harold Hamm, Romney`s top energy advisor. He`s donated
nearly a million dollars already. And would you believe it? He supports
billions in tax breaks for the oil industry.

Then there`s New Balance CEO Jim Davis. He`s also pitched in a
million. His company is looking for a sneaker contract with the Pentagon.
Just goes to show big money comes at a price.

Joining me now is Congressman Keith Ellison, Democrat from Minnesota.
He`s pushing an amendment to get corporate money out of politics.

Congressman Allison, first thanks for being here tonight.

REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: Absolutely. Thanks, Al. Thank

SHARPTON: Now, billionaires are pumping a lot of money into this
election. But it seems like they`re looking for a return in the
investment. How dangerous is this?

ELLISON: This is absolutely fatal to democracy itself. As a matter
of fact, you know, if they can just purchase an election and then get
people in there who will do whatever they want, what it will mean is our
water will be unsafe to drink. It will mean that our carbon will be
released into our atmospheres. More oil spills because of course, one of
the things that these big oil guys hate is regulation.

And so, it will just mean a poorer world for all the rest of us. I
mean, it really is dangerous to our democracy. And we have got to do
something about it. That`s why we`ve got to have a constitutional
amendment that says money is not speech. Corporations are not people. And
money and democracy is not for sale.

And so, that`s why this week we`ve had this national campaign called
resolution week where municipalities all over the country are passing
resolutions telling Congress, hey, let`s get a constitutional amendment
that says that bars it`s the kind of expenditure.

SHARPTON: Now, Politico today had a major piece on the Koch Brothers.
And let me show you what it said. It says in their article, quote, "The
Koch Brothers political operation has increasingly come to resemble its own
political party." It also talks about the upcoming convention where quote,
"Many of the dozens of rich conservative invitees are expected to write
huge checks, potentially boosting the Kochs` 2012 spending plan beyond
their historic $395 million goal. How does that strike you?

ELLISON: Well, again, absolutely frightening. I mean, look at it
this way. Let`s go back to this.

Bernie Sanders and I have a bill that says we want to close all
corporate loopholes for the oil, gas, and coal industry. They get $110
billion now in subsidy. And so, what if they`re able to prevent the
election? You know, you could build drill, baby, drill. That`ll be on

We`ve got to step up. That`s why all of this country - so, today the
Minneapolis city council passed a resolution saying get big money out. St.
Paul was yesterday, Duluth was earlier this year. New York has done it.
L.A. has done it.

We need people, municipalities and elected officials and opinion
leaders of all of this country to say get big money out. You know, we need
to pass a constitutional amendment to put a stop to it. And we`ve got to
do it now.

SHARPTON: Congressman, they`re fighting back. Mitch McConnell for
example, blasted the Obama administration for pushing back on citizens
united. Listen.


Richard Nixon to find the last time you had a group of people both through
the campaign and through the power of the federal government really try to
harass and silence critics.


SHARPTON: Back to Richard Nixon silencing critics because you`re
against having unlimited money in the political process.

ELLISON: Is that the guy who said the top order of the Republican
Party ought to be to make Obama one term president? I mean, is he kidding?
I mean, I`ve never seen such astronomical hypocrisy in my life to hear him
saying stuff like that.

Look, the Obama administration was right and President Obama, himself,
was right when he said citizens` united is un-precedent, user patient of
the Democratic Process. And I`m glad he spoke out against it.

Municipalities across the city this week are speaking out against it.
Good groups out there like move to amend our fighting all over this country
to get the grass roots movement. We need a constitutional amendment and we
need it now.

SHARPTON: All right, Congressman. Thank you for being here. And
have a great weekend. Happy father`s day to you.

ELLISON: You too, my friend.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, Mitt Romney discovers the wonders of traveling
by bus. And throwing the working class under it.


SHARPTON: We`re back on POLITICS NATION with a bogus road trip. I
mean, really. Who among us actually believes Willard Romney has ever been
on a bus? But he was back where it all started in New Hampshire today to
kick off his six state bus tour of small-town America. He`s pretending to
care about all Americans.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Washington`s big government
agenda should not smother small town dreams. In the America we love, every
town counts. Every job counts. And every American counts. If there`s
ever been a President who has failed to give the middle class of America a
fair shot, it is Barack Obama.


SHARPTON: Every American counts? So why do the policies just favor
the rich? Plane flying over had it right when it read Romney`s every
millionaire counts tour. And really, how is it this guy is talking about
the middle class? The same guy who`s taking that bus to Wisconsin to hang
out with Governor Scott Walker the ultimate middle class destroyer. And
Congressman Paul Ryan whose destructive budget plan takes from the poor to
give to the rich. Willard, you should drive that bus back to reality.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Through government, we should
do together what we cannot do as well for ourselves. That`s how we built
this country. Together. It`s this vision that Democrats and Republicans
used to share that Mr. Romney and the current republican Congress have
rejected. In favor of a no holds barred, government is the enemy, market
is everything approach.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is Steve Kornacki, political columnist for and an MSNBC political analyst. And Richard Wolffe, an MSNBC
political analyst and he`s also author of "Revival: The Struggle for
Survival in the Obama White House." Thanks to both of you for being here


SHARPTON: Steve, let me start with you. How do you think the
American people will view this bus tour?

every town counts tour, and of course he`s skipping over whole states here.
Because the reality is, there`s a lot of these states, you know, in between
say, you know, Ohio and New Hampshire, but he`s just not going to be
competitive in his republican. But you know, that`s true for both sides.
They pick and choose their targets. But there is a little awkwardness too.
Because one of the states is going to be on this trip, you know, is Ohio.
And Ohio`s a state where actually the unemployment rate is doing a little
better than it is nationally.

Ohio has a republican governor who republican governor who I think
within that state would like to be taking credit for where the economy is.
In the entire theme of the Romney campaign, whether he`s in Ohio, he`s in
New Hampshire, Iowa or anywhere where he is, the economy is rotten, it`s
terrible, it`s not getting any better and you`ve got to blame Obama for it.
Well, there`s a little tension and we saw that this week. Because the
republican governor of Iowa which has one of the lowest unemployment rates
in the country came out and said, you know, basically cut it out Mitt. You
know, talk about the deficit. Don`t be talking about how hopeless things
are with jobs. Now, the governor of Ohio John Kasich hasn`t said that.
But it will certainly be awkward when Romney goes to a state like Ohio and
tries to push that.

SHARPTON: Let me push you on that point a little. Because if you
look at where he`s going, New Hampshire the unemployment rate is 5.0
percent. Pennsylvania 7.4. Ohio 7.3. Wisconsin 6.8. Iowa 5.1. And
Michigan where the unemployment rate is 8.5 percent. A little higher than
the national average. But the rest of them are lower than the national
average everywhere he`s going. And some of them were republican governor
that want to take credit for that going down. So, I don`t know if it`s bad
planning or just arrogance.

KORNACKI: Well, there`s -- yes. I mean, there`s the issue of the
republican governors there. And then the other question, OK, so these are
the swing states. We always talk about the swing states of the election.


KORNACKI: It`s very rare to have a circumstance where someone is
going to win the popular vote but lose the electoral vote. They usually
vote, they care of each other. It`s very hard for the economy in one swing
state to kind of override the national economy. But there are examples I
can think back, the 1988 electoral map. Bush versus Dukakis. It was a big
patch of red across the country. Three blue states -- three states turned
blue in the Upper Midwest. Because the economies were so rotten there at
the end of the Reagan years. It has to be dramatic like that I think. But
there are circumstances where that can be a factor.

SHARPTON: Now, Richard, he actually -- Romney actually told the New
Hampshire crowd that he was the candidate for fairness. Watch this.


ROMNEY: He said that everyone in America deserves a fair shot. No, I
could not agree more. I absolutely agree with him. He is not giving them
a fair shot. I will. I understand what it takes to get people to work
again. I will do that to help the American people from the richest to the
poorest and everybody in between.


SHARPTON: Now, to help everybody, let`s remember his record now.
He`s pro-Ryan plan which would cut $3.3 trillion to low income programs.
He wants tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. He would repeal the
affordable care act and would slash Social Security and Medicare. It
doesn`t sound like to me the candidate for fairness to take care of
everybody from the richest to the poorest and all in between.

WOLFFE: Well, he obviously means something different by fairness,
right? And Steve makes a very good point that you just said about the
unemployment rates. You know, this is a reactive style of campaigning.
He`s trying to take the President`s words in specific phrase here and throw
it back against him. But for all the pandering in Washington among
Democrats as well about the President`s messaging and are they trying to
say -- they`re trying to pretend there`s too much progress and moving
forward when people don`t feel that. Actually, Mitt Romney has a very
similar problem which you`ve just been describing. Things aren`t just
slightly better than the national average in a state like Ohio.

They`re better than they were four years ago, the Reagan question.
They`re better than they were in January of `09. So Mitt Romney has a
problem and talking down the economy because he seems out of touch. And if
you of `09. So, you know, Mitt Romney has a problem in talking down the
economy because he seems out of touch. And if you look at the latest
numbers from Gallup, there`s a very interesting number that frankly
overturns the conventional wisdom. When people are asked, how`s the
economy doing in your city, in your area, your local economy, the one you
know the best, 49 percent say, it`s either good or excellent. Now, if
people feel that the economy around them is either good or excellent, 49
percent of the country, then Mitt Romney`s main platform here, the idea
that he can create jobs, he can make the economy better. That`s got
nowhere to go. And that`s his problem on these kinds of talks.

SHARPTON: Well, it`s interesting you say that because Krugman, Paul
Krugman in "The New York Times" wrote that contrary to what Willard Romney
wants us to believe -- let me read you what Krugman said. He said, private
sector job growth has more or less matched the recoveries from the last two
recessions. The big difference this time is an unprecedented fall in
public employment which is about 1.4 million jobs less than it would be had
it not grown as fast as it did under President George W. Bush. It sure
looks like as if cutting government when the country is deeply depressed
hurts rather than helps the American people.

KORNACKI: Well, you know, I keep saying this. And there`s still no
good answer to it. If you say you know how to create jobs, then slashing
public sector jobs is not a great way to create jobs. You got to convince
people that cutting public sector jobs will actually somehow create jobs.
You may think there`s some kind of link somewhere down the road. Maybe
that`s a pure ideological belief that you have and it`s very sincere. But
still, you`re telling voters, I`m going to kick people out of work, in that
way, I`m going to create jobs, it just doesn`t make sense to anyone at
least not in the short time.

SHARPTON: Now, Steve, the fact is that the data shows from the
Department of Labor that unemployment rate would be one full point lower if
government jobs weren`t cut.

KORNACKI: Right. If they weren`t cut and if Obama had gotten through
the jobs proposal that he put in Congress last year. The Republicans sat
on their hands. And that`s something for Obama to go out there and
campaign on this year. He needs to say, you know, not only there is an
appreciation when you look at this. This sort of a unique situation, the
incumbent president, I can`t think of an example in recent history where
this far into the presidency, there`s a general recognition among voters
that the basic problem we have economically is primarily the responsibility
of the predecessor. Usually, that goes away to the administration. So,
there`s an awareness of how deep the hole is and who caused the hole to be
that deep. So, the question is, can Obama sort of continue to tell that
story, and look, this is what I inherited, this is who I inherited from,
and this is what I tried to do and this is what I`m up against. And I
think there might be something for him to work with. It`s not landslide
material. It`s never going to be but, you know.

SHARPTON: Maybe the people haven`t forgotten because they were the
ones at the bottom of the hole. And we know the last one we saw on our way
down. Steve Kornacki and Richard Wolffe, thanks for your time tonight.
Have a great weekend.

WOLFFE: You too.

KORNACKI: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Ahead, it`s a policing policy called stop and frisk. But
it`s got to stop. Now it`s happening in our cities and we`re taking

And a new low from the right wing today. Heckling the President in
the Rose Garden. Despicable. I`m calling on party leaders to lead ahead.


SHARPTON: Ahead, it`s the new racial profiling. Stop and frisk the
is happening in cities across this country. And we`re doing something
about it.


SHARPTON: We`re back on POLITICS NATION with the abuse of policing
policy known as stop question and frisk. It began in New York in 1994
under the Rudy Giuliani administration as a way to curb violent crimes.
Last year, police stopped more than 685, 000 people. Eighty seven percent
where Black and Latino. Nearly 90 percent were found innocent of any
crime. In fact, weapons were found in less than two percent of all the
stops. Even in predominantly white neighborhoods of the city, more than 70
percent of those stopped by police were Black and Latino. I`ve been
fighting for years to put an end to this. That`s why we`ll be marching
again this Sunday, Father`s Day. Our organization National Action Network
is honored to work with the NAACP and unions like SCIU to hold a silent
march to protest stop and frisk practices in New York and its formations
around the country.

Joining me now is Ben Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP. And
George Gresham, president of SEIU local 1199, the largest labor union in
the country. They`ll both be joining all of us at the march, on Sunday.
Thanks for being here tonight. Ben, let me start with you. You wrote a
piece in the "Huffington Post" this week calling stop and frisk a human
rights catastrophe. What did you mean by that?

BEN JEALOUS, PRES. AND CEO, NAACP: Look, go back to 1999 when you
were leading us to jail over the Diallo case. That year, we were also
outrage because that killing happened in the context of stop and frisk and
the -- unit. Giuliani did 80,000 that year and we thought it was crazy.
This year, they`re on pace to a hundred thousand stop and frisks.

SHARPTON: Ten times more.

JEALOUS: Ten times more. Ten times more. Bloomberg puts a kinder,
gentler face on what is a much more problematic situation. And inside of
that, you`ve got these young black kids growing up. Fourteen to 24-year-
old black boys and men. There`s more stop and frisks of them than there
are them in this town.

SHARPTON: You know, the number George of stops outnumber the amount
of people if you look at the data and you look at the population.

GEORGE GRESHAM, PRES. SEIU LOCAL 1199: If you look at the population.
It`s outrageous. And within our communities, young people 10, 12 years
old. They have this expression called, stop and frisk virgins where they
make fun of each other because they have not been stopped and frisked. And
know that inevitably that`s going to be the case. What kind of signal are
we sending to young kids that eight and ten years old, they`re look forward
to an entrance to -- as a rite of passage rather than education. This is
not what supposed to happen in a civilized society.

SHARPTON: Now, the mayor said -- George and I and some of us mad and
you have representatives there. And we`re going to keep talking. We`re
going to solve this. We have just doing something we`re doing it.

GRESHAM: That`s right.

SHARPTON: The mayor said that well, it`s in Black and Latino
communities because crime is higher there. But in white communities, 70
percent of the people stopped are Black and Latinos who don`t live there.
So it`s clearly a question of profiling. Greenwich village, eight percent
of the population Black and Latino.


SHARPTON: Seventy six percent of the stops. Tribeca, 10 percent of
the community, Black and Latino, 76 percent of the stops. The Upper East
Side, only nine percent is Black and Latino, 71 percent are the stops. So,
that doesn`t carry over. And when the mayor spoke in the church last
weekend, Brownsville about the program and how was it necessary. Let me
show you with some of the people in the street that was interviewed by NBC
News after the mayor`s speech in that community had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: A lot of times I ask them, you know, what`s the
reason for you stopping me. They don`t have an answer for me.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: They jump out on me on the regular. And if you
don`t have no ID, then they really want to harass you.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: When I do get stopped, I mean, it does make me feel
like I have no type of rights or anything like that.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The description of having a hoodie and just being a
black male walking in the street.


SHARPTON: Now, Ben, when you and I talked about this in Washington
and said, we wanted all of us to come together and George -- when we were
marching Selma to Montgomery. And it was because, we were also concerned
about police community relations. We almost had a boiling point because of
these continued confrontations and no one trying to bring sanity here.

JEALOUS: Now, look. You know, the mayor saying look, this makes us
safer. He brought down violent crime 29 percent in ten years. And in that
same ten years, it`s gone down by 37 percent on Baltimore, 49 percent in
Dallas, 56 percent in New Orleans, 59 percent in Los Angeles without this
program. So, you know, we don`t need this program to make us safe. It`s
just common sense. And you`re absolutely right. When people are stopped,
we`ve seen some kids say that they`ve been stopped 60 times before they
turned 18. We were in the green room talking to George`s chief of staff.
You know, I just met the very nice ballerina like niece, she`s been stopped
four times this year walking down the street.

GRESHAM: Yes, that`s right.

JEALOUS: And when you`re harassing people like that again and again,
it can be a very long summer. And this is how we bring piece towards --
look, let the cops protect us, you know, let us not, as you`ve said raise a
generation of children who fear the cops too. The cops and the robbers.

SHARPTON: And George, let me show you what the mayor said at the
church. And I want you to respond.



needs to be mended not ended. The reason police officers make stops in
Brownsville and East New York is not because of race, it is because of


SHARPTON: But if it`s not because of race, why are we the majority of
people stopped in white areas.

GRESHAM: It`s ridiculous to say that. It`s obvious that it is. And
when you look around and see how many people are guilty of any crime, it`s
ridiculous. It criminalizes our community. It`s very humiliating. It has
not improved the quality of life for people of color. Just the opposite.
If we had heard this was the story that was happening 25 years ago in
Johannesburg, South Africa, we would all be outraged. But this is 2012 and
we`re talking about New York City. This is not acceptable in the civilized

SHARPTON: Ben, we`re having it as a silent march. No speeches, no
rallying, no chanting. Our very presence, Blacks, Whites, Latinos, Asians,
Gays, Lesbians groups will come out, I think all of us standing together
was after church before we go to Father`s Day dinner. The kids have told
me that is Father`s Day for me. But that`s another show. Standing there,
I think it is the real statement is that it is not going to be noisy.
Thousands of people are silent march, 1917, the NAACP which you`re not a
president, did it around lynching. I believe it was the Vietnam and silent
march in the village. That`s going to be a statement. I think it`s a
unique way without competing chants and all of that. We just going to be
there. And it also says we really just want to bring peace and tranquility
to the city.

JEALOUS: You know, that`s exactly right. And the reason we did it in
1917 to call for a national movement to end lynch mob violence across this
country just like we`re doing this. A call for a national movement to end
racial profiling in this country. Is because when you are quiet, first of
all, people have to focus on the people, they will see folks coming from
church in their Sunday best. They will see all the diversity. That will
be a very powerful message. But also it sends a message that this is


JEALOUS: This is extremely serious. It could be more serious.

GRESHAM: That`s right.

JEALOUS: That`s why we do Selma marches so rarely. And that`s why it`s
important people join us, 2:00
110th street at 5th avenue. We step off at 3:00 but show up at 2:00 so we
can get.

SHARPTON: And it`s so serious we`re all going to be quiet.

JEALOUS: You and me both which is unheard of.

SHARPTON: On Sunday. Ben Jealous, George Gresham, thank you for your
time tonight. And see you on Sunday.

JEALOUS: Thank you.

GRESHAM: Thanks, Rev.


SHARPTON: We`ll be right back.


SHARPTON: Today, I saw something we rarely ever seen in the White
House. A right wing blogger began heckling the President of the United
States in the Rose Garden.


OBAMA: It is the right thing to do. Excuse me, sir. It`s not time
for questions, sir. And the answer to your question, sir -- and the next
time I prefer you let me finish my statements before you ask that question.
I didn`t ask for an argument. I`m answering your question. It is the
right thing to do for the American people. And here`s why.


SHARPTON: This is the kind of disrespect on a new level. We can
disagree, but have respect for the office. So, how did we get to this
point? It seems to be a never ending stream of derangement and disrespect
from the right. Just today, Newt Gingrich said this.


the values he represents and the amateurish incompetence he has proven are
a direct threat to the survival of America as we know it and defeating him
is a national patriotic duty.


SHARPTON: Defeating him is a national patriotic duty? From Joe
Wilson to the birthers to the Arizona`s finger waving governor, we see the
disrespect over and over. So, it seems totally OK for this reporter to
interrupt the President of the United States. We all have our opinions.
We don`t all have to always agree, but let`s have a conversation without
interruptions, name calling, or finger pointing. Thank you tonight for
being here. Have a great weekend. Happy Father`s Day to the fathers.

Thank you for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right


<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

Sponsored links

Resource guide