PoliticsNation, Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
Read the transcript from the Wednesday show
January 16, 2013
Guests: Jim Moran; Keith Ellison, Wes Moore, Nia-Malika Henderson, Patricia Murphy, Joe Madison
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks, Chris. And thanks to you
for tuning in.
Tonight`s lead, a day of history on gun safety. And an ugly reaction
from the right wing. Today, President Obama proposed the boldest, most
sweeping changes in gun laws since the assassinations of Martin Luther King
and Robert Kennedy. Twenty three executive actions now signed and are
called for a new law that would include universal background checks and a
ban on assault weapons and high- capacity ammunitions.
It`s common sense. It`s a new chance for all Americans to come
together. But already, we`re hearing the same old hysterical voices on the
Senator Marco Rubio saying the president is abusing his power.
The governor of Mississippi claiming the president is anti-
constitutional and vowing to pass a state law overriding the White House.
Rush Limbaugh, accusing the president of using kids as human shields.
But the lowest of the low was that video put out by the NRA dragging
the president`s children into the debate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are the president`s kids more important than
yours? And why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools
when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The NRA really can`t understand why the president`s
children received protection? The White House called that video repugnant
and cowardly. It also as horribly told. The NRA just doesn`t understand
how the tragedy at Sandy Hook changed America.
Today, on Capitol Hill, the school superintendent moved people to
tears as she talked about the terrible moments after the shooting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JANET ROBINSON, SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT, NEWTON, CONNECTICUT: The true
horror of the assault began to become apparent as parents came running,
crying to the satin looking for their children. As we released children to
their parents, we began to realize we didn`t have enough children. There
were parents without children.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Parents without children. That`s what we`re talking about.
And that`s why the president took bold, decisive action today. But there`s
a big fight ahead. Congress must act and the president knows that won`t
happen unless we all act first.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This will not happen
unless the American people demand it. If parents and teachers, police
officers and pastors, if hunters and sportsman, if responsible gun owners,
if Americans of every background stand up and say enough, we suffered too
much pain and cared too much about our children to allow this to continue,
then change will come. That`s what it`s going to take.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Change will come, but only if we, the people, make it
happen. We, the people of Newtown, Connecticut. We, the people of
Chicago, of Aurora, of Tucson, of Columbine. This change starts today.
Joining me now is Congressman Jim Moran, Democrat from Virginia and
Joan Walsh, editor at large of salon.com and an MSNBC political analyst.
She has a new article out today about that NRA video.
Thanks for coming on the show.
JOAN WALSH, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, SALON.COM: Thanks, Reverend Al.
REP. JIM MORAN (D), VIRGINIA: Good to be with you.
SHARPTON: Congressman, let me go to you first. Is the Congress ready
to take action and override the NRA?
MORAN: If this is going to happen, it`s going to happen from the
bottom up. But, that`s what a democracy is all about. And that`s why we
elect a president to lead. And this president showed us again why those of
us who worked so hard to get them elected are so proud of his leadership.
A president is elected to show the courage that others won`t. To
stand up to people who intimidate others. You know, to stand, to face down
the bullies in our society so as to protect the innocent and the
MORAN: Now, you said must come from the bottom up, Congressman, what
do you mean by that?
MORAN: Well, what I mean is there are 300 of my colleagues in the
house who have and a rating from the NRA. I think most of them are,
frankly, intimidated by the NRA because they know that the NRA responds not
so much to its membership, but to the manufacturers, the people who pay the
And the reason they`re intimidated is that the NRA has shown that it
will spend unlimited amounts of money in their district, whether to defeat
them in a primary or a general election, it will come from the outside and
they will send out what oftentimes is salacious campaign material
undermining their credibility, their decency as a human being. They will
resort to any tactics, the same kind of tactics we see in the ad against
the president using against the president`s own children. That`s what the
NRA does. And that`s why so many members of congress, frankly, are
intimidated by the NRA, in my view.
SHARPTON: But Joan, we look at the president proposals, gun control
proposals, universal background checks, high capacity magazine limit.
Assault weapons ban, strengthening penalties for gun trafficking. All of
these, every poll shows the overwhelming majority of the American people
are with. Is it really a political risk for members of Congress to say
this time we`ve got to go not only with what is right, not only with what
our heart tells us is the safest for our families, but even public opinion
is with us. Where is the political downside if you don`t care about
WALSH: Well, I really appreciate Congressman (INAUDIBLE) because he
is really describing accurately what the situation has been until recently,
Reverend Al. They have been formidable. And they defeated people. People
do live in fear or have lived in fear of them. However, they`ve been
really ineffective in the last few cycles, particularly in 2012.
You know, I was in Wisconsin for a while. I`m not in a swing state,
but I`ve spent some time in Wisconsin and just seeing with scrolls of ads
about the president and about Tammy Baldwin, I was really quite fearful and
they lost horribly in Wisconsin. The president won and so that Tammy
Baldwin. And we saw that across the country. So, it maybe that the fever
is breaking. It maybe that this is a kind of dingdong, the witch is dead
And certainly, with that horrible ad that they released last night,
you really see the effects of living in the fever swamp of anti-Obama
hatred and paranoia. Because they believed that it is acceptable to aim at
his daughters. They don`t understand the protectiveness and love that
American people have for Sasha and Malia. They think they can just call
him, you know, liberal, hypocrite and, you know, (INAUDIBLE) is still out
vice president. And that kind of reaction carries the day.
It really doesn`t anymore. But they`re not done yet. So I think
congressman Moran is right to talk about the past. The present might be
changing and the future is certainly going any different.
SHARPTON: Well, I think one of the things that is changing the
president, I watched today as the president talked about Gracie McDonald.
A 7-year-old who was killed in Newtown. Her parents were sitting there in
the front as the president made the announcement today. And the president
talked about meeting them. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Chris, her father, gave me one of her paintings. And I hung
it in my private study just off the oval office. And every time I look at
that painting, I think about Grace. And I think about the life that she
lived and the life that lay ahead of her. And, most of all, I think about
how when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act
now, for Grace.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: See, I think Newtown and I think the reaction of these
kids, really, is what will energize a bottom-up movement, as you referred
to, congressman. But even beyond that, when I look at the fact that the
president came with some executive orders today that he doesn`t need
Congress for. He`s strengthened background checks, new tracking on guns
used in crimes, new research on gun violence. National safe gun ownership
campaign. These he did with executive orders that he does not have to
depend on your colleagues, Congressman Moran.
MORAN: That`s right. And he`s absolutely right to do those things.
And I trust that he`s going to, you know, to push the previous various (ph)
of resistance as far as he can. He`s committed to this.
I do worry. I`d love to think Joan is right. Clearly, we had a very
successful election in November. I worry a bit, though, about 2014 when we
don`t have the president at the top of the ticket. We have a
disproportionately higher number of older white guys and, frankly, being
one of those types, we`re the most insecure component of our society. As
far as I`m concerned, we`re much the problem with these kinds of things.
But, you know, we can overcome this. This is a democracy. And he`s
going to -- I think he`s going to mobilize his base. He`s going to ask
everyone who worked so hard to get him elected now to pass the legislation
that is most important for our children and our future and given the fact
that he is as committed as he is, you know, it`s entirely possible that
democracy will succeed, that we`ll get this kind of legislation through or
at least to feed a sufficient number of members who have shown the fact
that they`re intimidated by the NRA. So, you know, I can`t say I`m
optimistic but I`m hopeful, certainly.
Well, let me say this, Joan. I think also, a lot of it is the
ugliness that we are seeing from the other side. I think that, clearly,
the over-reaching, the over-stepping and the insensitivity has, frankly,
offended and insulted a lot of Americans.
WALSH: Absolutely, Reverend Al. And I just want to say to
congressman Moran, there are a lot of terrific older white guys out there.
You`re one of them. The vice president is another one. You know, we`ll be
there for you. And I think every time we talk, Reverend Al, I know that
practically every show you`re going to bring up how important it is for
people to turn up in 2014 the way they did in 2012 because it`s true. When
we have the electorate that turned out in November our issues win because,
as you said before on gun violence, on everything, the American people are
with us. We`ve just got to get the turnout there.
SHARPTON: Everybody`s got to come out.
WALSH: Everybody`s got to vote. And that`s really true on this
SHARPTON: I`m going to have to leave it there, Congressman Jim Moran
and Joan Walsh, thank you both for your time tonight.
WALSH: Thank you.
MORAN: Thank you, Al.
SHARPTON: Coming up, the NRA`s offensive video. Could it be the
tipping point in the gun debate? We`ll talk with Congressman Keith Ellison
Plus, the GOP`S big plan to fix the party. They`re holding classes on
how to talk to women and minorities. I`m not kidding.
And as the president gears up for his inauguration, new details today
about his first term. Behind the scenes, the key moments, the big
surprises. We`re peeling back the curtains in the oval office. You`ll
want to hear this.
You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.
SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? We hope you will. The president`s gun safety announcement
was the big topic of the day.
Kari says the majority of Americans want a bit more gun regulation and
I`m glad our president hears our voices.
Richard says now Congress needs to act.
"Politics Nation" fans also sounded off on the NRA`s new controversial
Jeffrey says this crosses the line.
Belinda says the NRA is the reason why we can`t have a reasonable
discussion about guns in this country.
We`ll tell you more about that ad next. But, first, we want to hear
your thoughts. Please, head over to facebook and search "Politics Nation"
and like us to join the conversation that keeps going long after the show
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: There will be pundits and politicians and special interests
lobbyists publicly warning of tyrannical all on an assault on liberty. Not
because that`s true, but because they want to gin up fear or higher ratings
or revenue for themselves.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Ginning up fear for higher ratings or revenue. That`s the
NRA playbook. But where are the boundaries? With its new ad, it seems the
NRA knows no boundaries.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are the president`s kids more important than
yours? Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our
schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their school?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Dragging the president`s daughters into the fight. This is
beyond the line. The NRA clearly doesn`t even know where the line is. The
ad comes a day after a new shooting video game was released for 12-year-
olds. It`s listed as an official NRA-licensed product. The NRA has not
confirmed or denied the game is theirs. How can any of the NRA people look
at themselves in the mirror at night?
Joining me now is Congressman Keith Ellison, Democrat from Minnesota.
He`s co-chairman of the progressive caucus.
Thank you for coming on the show tonight, congressman.
REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: Yes, sir, Reverend Sharpton, good
to be with you.
SHARPTON: Now, this ad congressman from the NRA, what needs to be
done about this?
ELLISON: Well, I want them to show it because I think the more
American people see it, the more offended they will be by it. They will
know that this is a group of unscrupulous people who know no low point.
And I think that the public will continue to turn against them as it has
I mean, the bottom line is the NRA doesn`t really represent gun
owners. It does not represent gun owners. It represents gun
manufacturers. And they don`t want to have any reasonable restrictions on
guns because every clip, every high-capacity clip that`s sold, perhaps one
of their people are selling it.
Every accessory, every gun, every ar-15, Bushmaster, one of their
people are selling it. And so, they`re in the business of supporting
people who traffic in-depth. And so they don`t want to prevent that or
they don`t want anyone to even curtail that.
SHARPTON: So, this is not about they`re protecting people that feel
they need to engage in self defense for their families or about hunters?
You`re saying this is the reason why everything has to stay the way it is
and nothing can be negotiated. Is it really working for the guys that are
making the money, the manufacturers and any of the products that are
threatened, in many ways, threaten their profits. This has nothing to do
with regular people. Even the gun owners are victimized here?
ELLISON: Right, if you`re a gun owner, you`re in no jeopardy of
losing your gun or having it taken away. But if you make a lot of money
selling high-capacity clips, then you might have a problem. This is why
they are fighting back so fiercely. I mean, it is important to understand
that vast numbers of American people, including gun owners, are in favor of
gun safety prevention. It`s only these lunatics who don`t want to have any
limits on anything.
And if you notice, Al, whenever they promote a solution, armed guards
in every school in America, it always circles back to them having more guns
out there, selling more guns. If there were armed guards in every school,
they`d have more armed guards buying guns, there would be greater sales for
SHARPTON: And more bullets and the government would have to pay the
money for it. We would be buying it.
ELLISON: Right. So, it all ends up back in their pocket. That is
why that is the only solution they will ever tolerate. And that pursuit of
more and more and more. That`s who they are. That`s what they are all
SHARPTON: But the vile thing of going and using the president`s
daughters, I mean, there`s always you and I have been in political public
protest life for a long time. But you don`t do this. It`s as low and vile
as you can get. You hear people saying we`re not going to obey the law. I
mean, we are going back to states` rights now where they`re trying to
nullify federal law. We`re not going to listen to a presidential executive
ELLISON: Well, when was the last two times you heard that? One,
during a civil war and two, during the fight to end segregation. So, I
mean, this is the psychology of the people we`re talking about. They
don`t, you know, they put their guns before the best interest of people.
And, but let me just tell you, Al, they have got - they have not going
down as far down as they`re going to go. Because the fact is they`re
really just getting started. You will see, as the president has already
indicated, just an avalanche of fear and negativity that`s go going to be
coming from them. Because they`re going to fight to keep that money train
choo chooing down the line.
SHARPTON: Well, I don`t doubt that at all. And you know, we searched
high and low and we could only find one person, and he`s a former speech
writer for George W. Bush that even denounced it. One person under the
Republican leadership, the shame is they`re doing this in the silence of
real leadership being shown by those Republicans that would say wait a
minute, some things are above and beyond what is decent.
ELLISON: I think Scarborough said it wrong, didn`t he?
SHARPTON: Yes. But Scarborough is not a leader in the party. I
think you are citing Scarborough has, in my opinion, gone out there and
shown some courage in this, but --
SHARPTON: He is not in choir on this. He is singing solo.
ELLISON: Well, I hope some moderate Republicans like him, will join
with other folks who want same sensible gun violence prevention measure. I
mean, law enforcement, gun owners, moderate Republicans, other folks who,
you know, really are putting people first, I think we are the overwhelming
majority. But we`ve got to keep our eye on the ball. Just like you say
all of the time, Rev. You cannot go sleep on these people because as soon
as you do, they`re going to push their agenda.
SHARPTON: And it`s a way, way out -- way, way out agenda. Any time
you have Keith Ellison and Al Sharpton praising Joe Scarborough, you know
how far they`ve gone.
Congressman Keith Ellison, thank you for joining us.
ELLISON: Thank you, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Coming up, the house Republicans are packing up the car and
heading out for a little road trip. A time for a little bonding, a little
planning. But, it`s really a road to nowhere. We`ll explain.
And the impeachment caucus is growing. Outrage over executive orders
have the right wingers calling for impeachment. We`ll introduce them to
This is "Politics Nation," only on MSNBC.
SHARPTON: OK, I have a serious question. What is it with the GOP and
pizza? This deep dish connection is getting weird. Here`s how it all
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
SHARPTON: Herman Cain, perhaps the best-known pizza man in the GOP.
The god father of god fathers. But the cheesy trend has taken off. There
were Sarah Palin and Donald Trump`s pizza summit here in New York. And
House Republicans Farad (ph) to give pizza considered a vegetable in school
lunches because nothing says veggies like a meat lover`s pie.
And this guy, Papa John`s founder John Schroder (ph) became a right
wing favorite after his cheesy complaints about the health care law. Papa
John even held a fundraiser for Mitt Romney and he couldn`t believe the
house that pizza built.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What a welcome. What
a place this is. Who could have imagined pizza could build this, you know
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Who could have imagined that pizza built that? But here`s
something else that`s tough to imagine.
At a time when the GOP brand is at an all-time low, guess where they
turned? To pizza. House Republicans at their annual retreat today and the
CEO of Dominos is giving a presentation.
The speech is titled, "Turning it around." You really can`t make this
stuff up. The Republican Party in crisis, so they look to domino pizza man
for answers? Can they do it in 30 minutes or less? How about a nice piece
of humble pie? More on that in the GOP retreat, next.
SHARPTON: Hear ye, hear ye, the 2013 House Republican Retreat has
officially commenced in ye old Williamsburg, Virginia. It is most fitting
and proper that the grand old party would congregate near this colonial
hamlet where people walked the streets in garb from 1776 is perfect because
their whole agenda feels like it`s 200 years old. And the town almost
looks like a Tea Party rally. They must feel right at home.
Republicans will partake in seminars to help chart their party`s
future, delving into questions that plagued the GOP in modern times like
what happened? And where are we now? Who speaks for the middle class?
And they`ll study species unknown to Republicans in a seminar titled
successful communications with minorities and women. Minorities and women?
No strange and frightening creatures.
I hear many of them voted in the past election. The goal of this GOP
retreat is apparently to bring the party together. But it turns out that
on everything from debt ceiling to Sandy relief, they`re just cracking up.
Joining me now is retired U.S. army captain Wes Moore. He`s author of
the book, "The Other Wes Moore." And Nia-Malika Henderson, political
reporter for The Washington Post. Thanks to both of you for being here
WES MOORE, AUTHOR, "THE OTHER WES MOORE": Thanks, Rev.
NIA-MALIKA-HENDERSON, THE WASHINGTON POST: Great to be here.
SHARPTON: Nia, isn`t it going to take more than a few classes at a
two-day retreat to fix what`s wrong with the GOP?
HENDERSON: I think that`s probably right. I mean, if you just look
back at what has happened so far not only in the 2012 election, but in this
last fiscal cliff deal, we know that there`s a lot of distension in
Boehner`s ranks. And so, here we are trying to figure out a way forward.
There`s a lot of disagreement about spending cuts, about what they want to
Is it debt ceiling? Is it sequestration? Is it the continuing
resolution later in March? So, I mean, they could probably use that bell
to call them to order there but it`s hard to even think that they could
find a path. You`ve got on the one hand, a lot of distension in the ranks
there. But, also, just public opinion seems to be stacked against them.
They`re on the wrong side of so many issues.
They seem to be wanting to plot a course right in the near term. But
I think on the other hand, if you look at what democrats are doing, they`re
trying to chart a course that looks more like where America is more
broadly. Of course it would put them in good standing for 2014 and 2016.
So, I think Republicans have a lot of challenges ahead.
SHARPTON: Now, Wes, when we look at the fact that they seem to be
going further and further away. And this retreat I think cannot in two
days bring them back. I mean, they have always had birthers. But now,
they have default denials. I mean, this is getting crazy. Political
reports that many Republicans scoff at the idea of a debt ceiling disaster.
And it reads, let me read this to you, to these conservatives, hitting
the debt ceiling is no Armageddon and the idea of default is just a scare
tactic. And they claim not to be frightened. I mean, we could have
different opinions, but we can`t have different facts. The debt ceiling is
not there now?
MOORE: Even if you don`t want to listen to the president, like,
listen to Fitch and Moody`s and all the rating agencies.
MOORE: .who say that this is not an economic issue. This is a
political crisis that the United States is going through right now. And
the thing about this, Rev, is that this is a policy without a constituency.
Because who backs this? Who backs the idea to say basically, we`re going
to spend and spend and spend. And then by the way, when the bills come up,
we`re not going to pay for it, unless we debate how we`re going to spend in
MOORE: This is not a debate. These are bills that we`ve already
wrapped up that we`ve then have to pay. If you want to have a larger
conversation about spending, then we can have a larger conversation about
spending and the president is more than willing to engage in that. But
these are two separate issues. And the moment we confuse them and the
moment we conflate them is when we start really damaging the long term
prospects of where this country can be economically.
SHARPTON: But Nia-Malika, in fairness, there have been, at least in
this area, some prominent Republicans who are starting to point out that
this is a little too far in the speak up here. Senator Murkowski of Alaska
says, "If you incur an obligation, you have the responsibility to pay for
that. And that`s very responsible. "
And a spokeswoman relayed this message from Senator Susan Collins of
Maine saying, quote, "the debt ceiling is going to have to be raised."
Even the Koch Brothers don`t want Republicans to allow debt default. The
president of Americans for Prosperity says, they`re advising members of
Congress. We`re saying, calibrate your message, focus on overspending
instead of long-term debt. Focusing on the debt ceiling makes the
messaging more difficult."
So we`re starting to see some kind of responsible leadership. Because
this is just going too far.
HENDERSON: And Newt Gingrich agrees all with that sentiment, as well.
I think what you`re going to see is more folks, you know, a chamber of
commerce Republicans, folks from the business community I think are really
going to start speaking up as this debt ceiling starts to loom closer in
the middle of February.
When it really reaches its limit, I think you`ll going to have some
pressure from those sorts of Republicans, the corporate community really
bearing down on the House GOP to get something done. So I think that`s one
of the things that`s going to happen.
It could be that they delay these spending cuts in talking about them
either around the sequestration or around the time when they have to renew
the continuing resolution to fund the government. I think in some ways,
Republicans all in a good territory, this is what they`ve been talking
about, spending cuts. But coupling it with the debt ceiling just seems to
be a non-starter.
SHARPTON: It`s just a non-starter and a nonsensical notion. But let
me come back to you for one quick second, Wes. It`s gotten so bad, I mean,
it`s gotten so out of hand until they want to change the brand now. So,
Tea Partiers are trying to actually change their name because the brand has
gotten so bad.
Salon reports that the South Florida Tea Party has announced that it
will change its name to the National Liberty Federation citing concerns
about the branding and negative associations with the term Tea Party.
MOORE: Well, you know, it`s funny. Actually, they do have a branding
problem. But changing the name ain`t fixing it. The branding problem
comes back to the policies that you cannot separate from whether you call
it one name or whether you call it another name, whether you have one face
in charge or another face in charge or whether that face looks different
from the people who were in charge before.
You have to fundamentally address the policies that are in place. And
as of right now, the only thing they`re looking at are obstructionists.
And the American people voted against that. And they will take notice if
they notice that every single major debate that comes up, if the president
says the sky is blue, that someone says no, it is not, it is red. That is
very notable for the American people.
SHARPTON: All right, and we`ll have to leave it there. Nia-Malika
Henderson and Wes Moore, thank you for your time tonight.
MOORE: Thank you.
HENDERSON: Thank you, Rev.
SHARPTON: Coming up, you know the president must be doing pretty
well. Some of the GOP are calling for his impeachment. Hey, Republicans,
don`t you get it? He`s just not that into you. That`s next. This is
POLITICS NATION on MSNBC.
SHARPTON: I`d like to show everyone a number. Here it is. Fifty
five. That`s President Obama`s approval rating heading into his second
term. It`s the highest it`s been since November, 2009, aside from the
killing of Bin Laden. Need another? How about 19. That`s the approval
rating of Congress, matching its lowest point in any polls conducted by The
Washington Post since 1975.
Those are two numbers we need to keep in mind heading into President
Obama`s second inauguration on Monday. Yes, there`s a lot on his agenda
this term. But let`s remember. He would withstood this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR: You are not allowed to be a president if
you`re not born in this country. He may not have been born in this
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: But it`s not an American
administration. It is a European, socialist administration.
JOHN SUNUNU, MITT ROMNEY SUPPORTER: What people saw last night, I
think, was a president that revealed his incompetence, how lazy and
detached he is.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The president was denied and dehumanized. Labeled a Kenyan
and a Muslim. One Looney Web site even called him a Muslim gay Kenyan.
That actually happened. But despite all the derangement, he`s come up on
top and he`s ready for the second term fights.
Joining me now is Patricia Murphy, editor of Citizen Jane Politics and
contributor for The Daily Beast. And Joe Madison, nationally syndicated
radio host of Sirius XM`s, the power.
JOE MADISON, SIRIUS XM RADIO HOST: How are you?
SHARPTON: Thank you both for joining me tonight.
PATRICIA MURPHY, EDITOR, CITIZEN JANE POLITICS: Thank you.
MADISON: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.
SHARPTON: Joe, resilience is a good word to describe President Obama.
What can we expect from him and what will he face in his second time
MADISON: I think what we can expect from him is the type of thinking
that he does. You`ve been in meetings, I`ve been in meetings with him.
While the rest of Washington is playing checkers, move-by-move, you know, I
get the impression that President Obama plays chess. He is a long-range
thinker, which is why members of Congress can`t keep up with him.
He`s thinking far ahead of them and that`s why they are far behind.
Now, what can you expect? You can expect that they`re simply going to do
the same thing. Now, let`s take for example, I think down in, I believe it
was North Carolina, a Tea Party had a conference or a convention. One of
the best-selling memorabilias was a t-shirt that depicted the president,
once again, as a witch doctor.
MADISON: I was on -- I was in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I was on a show
with a conservative talk show host who said that the president was going to
use one of the executive orders to undo the second amendment. I`m sitting
there thinking to myself how can you do that? Not only is it not logical
and now what are you finding? Now they`re not talking about not birther.
MADISON: Now they`re not talking about him being a Muslim. Now
they`re saying we`re going to impeach him and no one has said what the
SHARPTON: Let`s zero in to that in a minute, Patricia.
MADISON: All right.
SHARPTON: Patricia, the impeachment caucus is growing. Right wingers
outrage over his executive actions on gun control, so the numbers are
growing. Take a listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. STEVE STOCKMAN (R), TEXAS: We want all tools available to use
including that impeachment.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Indeed, if he tried to override the second
amendment in anyway, I believe it would be an impeachable offense.
REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R), TEXAS: He`s already abused the law enough
times that it`s just been staggering. The American Revolution was all
about fighting such a monarchy.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He continues, could that build up to make a case
for possible impeachment?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: All options should be on the table.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Patricia, how is impeachment even in this conversation?
When we`re talking about a president using executive orders which is the
executive powerful president to do Bush`s done it. And I mean, what is
even remotely impeachable about this?
MURPHY: Well, there`s nothing impeachable about this, which is why
these voices calling for his impeachment are just further narrowing the
appeal to the Republican Party. And in your introduction, you said that
despite of the craziness of the election, the President went, I would say
that because of all of the craziness on the right, that is why the
This whole block of moderate, independent voters just looking for a
side that`s going to solve their problems and really deal with the
seriousness of the problems with serious solutions, the Republicans did not
put that forward in any way in 2012, and that`s why the president got
reelected. And when he`s starting now to take on issues, big issues, he`s
not playing small ball. He`s going after taxes, gun control, immigration,
all issues that Democrats have really not had the courage to take on.
SHARPTON: He`s going with a very good hand. When you look at the
polls, 90 percent of Democrats approve of them. Fifty four percent of
independence approved. But just 17 percent of Republicans do. But,
really, given these numbers, Joe, he can go around some of these far right
wingers. Because he has enough support to pursue with his agenda without
caving into them.
MADISON: And he also has, and don`t forget this, and they eluded to
it today, that election apparatus, which he now doesn`t have to use to get
elected because he`ll never run for public office, again, I assume. But he
can now use it for public opinion. I know what you`re going to be doing
tomorrow on your radio show, I know what I`m going to be doing on my radio
And that is, we`re going to be using our apparatus to get this gun
control measures through and put the pressure on the United States
Congress. And I think we`ll be very successful at that. But his apparatus
is in place. And that`s something that the United States Congress doesn`t
SHARPTON: And, Patricia, not only his apparatus, but the fact that
he`s been able to succumb and to even rise above and go and advance and
thrive has given him a lot of confidence. When you look at the New York
Times interview of President Obama`s advices about the first term, Valerie
Jarrett has this to say about getting health reform passed after Scott
Brown`s victory. Listen to this.
Phil Schiliro said, "Mr. President, unless you`re feeling lucky, I
don`t know what the third way is. So, the President gets up from his chair
and he walks over and he looks out the window. And he says, Phil, where
are you? Phil says, I`m in the Oval Office. He goes, where`s my name?
Phil says, President Obama. He goes, of course I`m feeling lucky."
I mean, when you step back and think about it Patricia, what he`s done
and how unlikely it was and how unlikely it is, how do you tell him what
can`t be done?
MURPHY: Well, you know, you have to take all of that together and
then also, look at what happened in the last election. Not only did he
come in with 51 percent of the vote, he also increased his majorities in
the House and Senate in that matter. So, he`s able to take what was
rhetoric on the campaign trail, he`s going to be able to take that through
to actually getting some of these things passed.
And, really, you`ve seen in his demeanor, really, since the election,
he is so confident and then you see those Washington Post polls that show
the reason for his confidence more than twice as many Americans believe in
him than believe in the house republican majority that`s trying to stop
him. So, you really don`t even need to believe in him. You just need to
know the math.
SHARPTON: I will have to leave it there. Patricia Murphy and Joe
Madison, thank you for your time this evening.
MADISON: Thank you.
MURPHY: Thank you.
SHARPTON: We`ll be right back.
SHARPTON: I want to close tonight by talking about two children.
One, on the left. Seven-year-old Heaven Sutton. On the right, six-year-
old Noah Pozner.
In June, Heaven was selling candy outside her family`s home in
Chicago. When she was fatally shot in the back by a stray bullet.
In December, Noah was in his first grade classroom at Sandy Hook
Elementary School, when he was killed by a deranged gunman. Today,
President Obama said it`s time for all of us to stop these tragedies.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: We have to examine ourselves
and our hurts. And asks ourselves what is important. This will not happen
unless the American people demand it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: All of us must work to stop the gun violence that`s taking
a terrible toll on our kids. In Chicago, where Heaven Sutton lived, 63
children died as the city`s murder rate hit 532 last year. Since 1979,
more than 116,000 children and teenagers have been killed by guns.
In over 40 years as a civil rights activist, I`ve met and consoled far
too many mothers and fathers whose children were taken too soon. Today, I
was at the White House where I met grieving parents from Newtown. In
August, I delivered the eulogy for four-year-old Lloyd Morgan, Jr. who was
killed by a stray bullet in Bronx, New York at a playground.
At the time, I said I was angry and that we should not have gotten to
this. I said it`s time to take responsibility for making sure our babies
grow up. We cannot keep pointing fingers. We need to join hands and we
need to come together from inner city to suburbs. We need to come together
cross-party, racial and religious lines. We need to protect our children.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
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