updated 1/29/2013 9:54:58 AM ET 2013-01-29T14:54:58

POLITICS NATION
January 28, 2013

Guests: Nia-Malika Henderson, Michelle Cottle, Joe Madison, Margie Omero


REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks, Chris. And thanks to you
for tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, for repeat`s sake. Did you hear the big news? The
GOP wants a Republican renewal. Get to the route of their grand problem.
So let`s see what they`re offering. What`s the take from their hero, Paul
Ryan?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I decided to
not comment between the election and the inauguration because I wanted to
see what kind of president we are looking at here. And all of the
statements and all of the comments leave me to believe that he`s thinking
more of a political conquest than a political compromise.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Pity party. Table for one, please. The GOP is stuck on
this one. The President Obama is trying to destroy the GOP. Trying to
shove them into the dust pan of history. Here`s a hint. President Obama
doesn`t need to do that. Republicans are doing it just fine all by
themselves.

For all their bluster about change, GOP leaders insist on no overall
at all is need. One GOP official everyone says quote "we don`t need a new
pair of shoes, we just need to shine our shoes."

Shine their shoes? That`s not good enough. Republicans need to try
walking in someone else`s shoes for a change because for all of their talk
about outreach to women, the RNC just approved a resolution calling on
Congress to defund planned parenthood with no objections.

And while support for women`s rights to choose is at an all-time high,
here`s what speaker Boehner says is his fundamental goal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: With all the
mistakes, it`s becoming more and more important for us to share the truth
with our young people and encourage them to lock arms, speak out for life
and help make abortion a relic of the past. Let that be one of our most
fundamental goals this year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Meet the new GOP. It`s just like the old one. Wrong way Ryan
is still trying to make massive cuts to the safety net. But don`t call him
out on it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN: The president will bait us. He will portray us a cool and
unyielding. Just the other day, he said that Republicans are suspicious
about Social Security. He said that we have suspicions about feeding
hungry children, that we have suspicions about caring for the elderly. We
won`t play the villain in his morality plays.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Won`t play the villain? The GOP has been typecast for
their role by their own policies, attacking Social Security, going after
food stamps. If this is the GOP idea of change, then they can keep it.

Joining me now is Ed Rendell and Michael Steele.

Michael, let me start with you.

MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Hey,
Rev.

SHARPTON: For all the talk of Republican renewal, I`m not seeing much
substantive change from the GOP. Are you?

STEELE: No, I`m not. And, you know, I can`t take issue with much of
your leader in there because, you know, framing the argument begins with
galvanizing the base around some core ideas and principles that you are
going to use as the foundation for policy announcements and direction for
the country.

To be quite frank about it, I have not seen that occur. I mean, you
see right now, Reverend, on the issue of immigration, we`ve kind of put the
cart in front of the horse. And that, you know, we have got the leadership
saying one thing and the basis undermining that message by saying, well, we
don`t know what that means. So, this would more like amnesty versus, you
know, something else.

So, you know, I think that the general direction the party needs to
take is the first step back, assessed with the American people have said in
this past election. And then it`s come out with some broad principles
narrowly defined as you go along to tell you what the needs of a particular
community are. I just don`t see that happening yet.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you this, Michael. Republicans won 63 seats
under your championship in the midterm elections, in 2010. But last year,
they lost eight seats. What went wrong? What was the difference between
what happened under your leadership and under Mr. Priebus?

STEELE: I think a couple things. One, there was no coherent message.
You cannot in any given day, week or hour discern exactly what the GOP was
going to fight for on behalf of the American people and what they would do
once it would given the opportunity to win the White House or to expand in
the Senate.

Number two, in terms of reaching those core voters, there was no real
strategy or ground game. They had this beast-well program called ORCA.
They want to blame with all of that was Mitt Romney`s program. But the
RNC, well before you got into of having a presidential nominee should have
had its ground game in order reaching those many voters and galvanizing
around that message.

So, It was very clear what we were going to do in 2009 and 2010. Our
objective was to engage in health care and engage on big issues. You may
have disagreed on what you were saying. You and I have had those battles,
Reverend. But, the fact of the matter is, people knew what we stood for
and what we were fighting for.

SHARPTON: You don`t seem to impress Mr. Priebus as your successor
that took the mantle of such a great victory and turned it upside down.
You seem a little disappointed.

STEELE: I`m very disappointed. But I`m enlightened --

SHARPTON: You`re very disappoint in your successor? I just want to
be clear that I`m not misquoting you?

STEELE: No. Disappointed is just the tip of the iceberg of what I
am. But, you know, the fact of the matter is, you know, to hear them talk
about a 50-state strategy, my question is you`re talking about the strategy
that we employed in 2009 and 2010 or you are talking about something for
the different 50 states.

You know, you cannot make, re-make failure. It is what it is. And
what we`ve seen over the last two years is unmitigated failure.

SHARPTON: Well, governor Rendell, you heard Michael Steele say he was
very disappointed in his successor. I think he said the tip of the
iceberg. And you were shaking your head. If I was in church, I would have
thought you would have said amen.

ED RENDELL (D), FORMER GOVERNOR, PENNSYLVANIA: Well, Rev, I`m
stunned. I can`t disagree with anything that Michael said.

You know, the problem with Republicans right now is they believe all
they have to do is burnish the message. All they have to do is make the
message more effective. They`re dead wrong. It`s not the message. It`s
the underlying policy. They`re a party that`s totally adrift.

Within seven days after the presidential election, the Ohio
legislature, with Governor Casey`s blessing, passes a personhood amendment,
an amendment that`s voted down in the conservative state of Mississippi.

You`ve got Republicans unwilling to stand up and say even I`m for a
hundred percent of background checks for all gun sales. Even though that`s
what the American people desperately want. You have Reince Priebus saying
we`re going to change the way we count electoral votes. Well, that looks
political, looks crust, it looks evil. They don`t need to change the
message. They need to change the basic policy and direction of their
party. And they just don`t get it.

And just as a loyal Democrat, I`m glad Michael isn`t around. Michael
wouldn`t stand for this. Michael would be steering them in a very positive
direction instead of this negativism. We can`t win the general election to
change the rules by changing the way electoral votes are counted, but only
in the blue states.

SHARPTON: Well, Michael, do you think the way they are behaving now
and the way they`ve laid out this plan under Chairman Priebus, do you think
they can win in the midterm election or in `16 if they stay the course the
way they`ve laid it out now.

STEELE: I think it`s difficult, Reverend. When you look at the fact
that they picked up these 63 seats, Democrats had a 25 seats majority. We
lost eight seats. Even when you figure that, you know, redistricting was
in the favor of Republicans coming into this cycle. We still lose eight
seats.

So now, the Democrats need 17 seats. There`s a reason why Barack
Obama has transitioned his political operation into this non-profit
messaging operation to reinforce the direction he wants to go with the
country at the grassroots level to target those seats that they will need
to make Nancy Pelosi the next speaker of the House. I don`t see how and
where the Republican party beyond, you know, calling a committee meeting
here and there has been on the ground in neighborhoods doing the very
difficult, out-of-the-box work relating to voters.

And so, unless they do that, unless that message is really honed and
fine-tuned, it`s going to be very difficult, I think, to hold on as the
president`s momentum grows. We`ll see what happens in response to the
state of the union. We`ll see what happens in response to immigration and
other issues. But, right now, to your point, I think we`ve got a lot of
work to do and it starts with making sure that you have your base behind
the steps you want to take. You just can`t go out and say, oh, Obama is a
bad guy, follow us.

SHARPTON: Now, governor, talking about base behind, political says
the RNC meeting focused on broadening the appeal to minority voters. And
I`m quoting the article. Party big wigs discussed strategic partners with
blacks, Asians, Hispanics and women. There was talk about developing a
comfort factor so that minorities feel they are part of the process.

But there`s no substantive way that I saw that it was being proposed
or less-known or agreed upon that they were going to make a substantive
difference that would make people feel in those communities Asians, Latinos
or with the African-American discomfort factor, unless they think just
talking different is going to make us comfortable. But you`re saying the
same thing.

RENDELL: You`re absolutely right. I mean, take just two examples.
Number one, on guns. Minority voters, minority citizens feel the pain and
gun violence feel the pain more than anybody. They want something done.
If the Republicans stand up, they can forget about African American voters
and forget about most Latino voters.

Number two, on elections, this idea that we were going to change the
way we can electoral votes so that urban areas don`t have too much power.
Well, who lives in urban areas? African-Americans and Latinos. That
message is absolutely crystal career. The they`re not dumb. They get it.
They read it. They hear it. So, they`re on a destructive course. It
makes absolutely no sense. I can`t figure out -- all I can say is amen.

STEELE: Hey, Rev, on that last part, I think it`s critical. If
you`re trying to reach out to voters, which is a term I hate, by the way,
this is not about building relationships. This is about reaching out. I
don`t want to have a cocktail party and some finger food.

But, if you are talking about really connecting with those voters, if
they perceive your message to be racist, to be exclusionary and to be
disenfranchising their ability to participate in the system such as the
voting issue, then stop that message. Step back and recognized that mistake
corrected and move forward. And if voters vote to change the electoral
college disenfranchises them, you`re automatically putting yourself at a
disadvantage with those voters.

SHARPTON: Cocktail party, finger food. I wrote that down. I
wouldn`t use that.

Ed Rendell, Michael Steele, it`s been a pleasure having you tonight.

And Mr. Steele, thanks for your time.

STEELE: You got it, Rev.

SHARPTON: Ahead, a little something called Republican magic. Lose
Latinos voters in record numbers and watch how fast they`re willing to
compromise.

And could anyone have called this four years ago? President Obama,
secretary Clinton. We will go behind the interview everybody`s talking
about.

Plus, the president does something we`ve never thought possible.
Turns Rush and FOX Newsers into media experts. Big show coming up. Keep
it right here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Have you joined the politics nation conversation on
facebook yet, we hope you will.

The big talker today was President Obama and secretary Clinton`s first
joint interview together.

Maureen says they developed a mutual respect for each other and it
shows.

Shawn says I think they`ve learned a lot from each other and will
continue to be allies in the future.

Susan says it`s so nice when rivals can work together for the goods of
our country and to become friends. If only we had that in the House of
Representatives.

We have a lot more on the Obama-Clinton relationship coming up later
in the show.

But, first, we want you to share 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 ends.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: After years of failure, the GOP failure and gridlock,
immigration reform has abruptly become a bipartisan idea. Today, a group
of Democratic and Republican senators announced their proposal to create a
path to citizenship for America`s undocumented citizens. It`s a eureka
moment for these Republicans. Suddenly, they see the light.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: We cannot continue as a nation with
11 million people residing in the shadows. And we have to address the
issue. And it has to be done in a bipartisan fashion.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: We are dealing with 11 million human
beings who are here undocumented. The vast and enormous majority of whom
have come here in pursuit of what all of us have recognized as the American
dream. And that`s what we endeavor to move forward here on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We can`t let people decide in the shadows? They said they
should achieve the American dream? Sounds great. But, I can`t help but
wonder, what prompted this new and more compassionate conservatism. Maybe
it was the fact that Republicans had their clocks cleaned in the November
election. They lost Latino voters by a whopping 44 percent, 44 points.
And it`s a trend that`s been getting worse.

Since 2004, Latino supports for Republicans have gone in the wrong
direction, down 13 percent. Republicans now so desperate to win back
Latino voters, they may end up doing the right thing, whatever the reason.
If it`s real reform, it`s welcomed news.

Joining me now is Maria Teresa Kumar.

Maria, thanks for being here tonight.

MARIA TERESA KUMAR, PRESIDENT, CEO, VOTO LATINO: Thanks for having
me, Reverend.

SHARPTON: You know Maria, it`s quite a change of heart from the party
of self deportation and build the damn fence, right?

KUMAR: well, you know, I actually applaud the Republican party
because they realize that once you cast a vote, every vote is equalized.
And the vote in this case was the American Latino saying we need to change
the tone of immigration and we need to have comprehensive immigration
reform. And so, the fact that they exercise that vote, they`re actually
seeing their members of Congress, for good or bad, actually working on
their behalf. So, I actually applaud the Latino voter that came out and
now the Republican party is paying attention. That`s how democracy
supposed to work.

SHARPTON: Now, let`s look at the proposal. When we look at what the
Senate immigration group, bipartisan group plan calls for, tougher border
security. Requires registration with the government. Once those are in
place, wants those in place now. Then other parts will kick in. It would
then provide a path of citizenship for illegal immigrants in the country
now, all for new rules of children of immigrants and proposals new rules
for agriculture of high-tech workers. Do you think this is a good plan?
Does it go far enough?

KUMAR: I have to say I think everybody in the community is shocked
and pleads it includes a pathway to citizen ship. But, the devils are
going to be in the details because I think that we can all agree that
border security is an number one priority. The president has actually led
all presidents when it comes to border security. And actually, it`s been
under his watch as he increased the mass deportation.

So, it`s not for lack of want on the government side. It`s a matter
of recognizing how hard it is. But, we have to make sure that we one,
recognize that, at the same time is that we have to have a way to ensure
that people are 11 million undocumented is going to come out of the shadow
safely while simultaneously securing our border. Because they`re two
different sides of the equation. And we can`t do one without the other.

SHARPTON: Now, here`s a detail that could get devilish. When you
look at it, it says that the plan calls for a commission. To oversee that
border security suggesting, and I`m quoting from the plan, a commission
comprised of governors, attorney generals and community leaders living
along the southwest boarder to monitor the progress of securing our border.

Now, the keyboarder states, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, all have
Republican governors. Do we really want Jan Brewer and Rick Perry with
veto power over border security and the path to citizenship, Maria?

KUMAR: Well, I think you hit the nail on the head as you have such
heavily Republicans leaning in these states that are not necessarily
friendly to undocumented immigrants. Jan Brewer was basically the one that
is finding - the show me our papers legislation back two years ago.

But, I think the bigger problem is also how we`re not -- we`re being
disingenuous by not recognizing that right now, immigration from the border
is actually in that zero. And it has a large part to do because of the dip
in the economy and it also has a large part to ways the way we have been
treating immigrants.

Notice that how there is no border patrol or this commission does not
include the Canadian border. But, we do know that there is undocumented
folks crossing there and we have gun tracking and other things that we
don`t want necessarily coming through our border.

SHARPTON: No. They specifically say southwest, which sounds a little
profiling to me because you would think --.

KUMAR: What do you think? I think so.

SHARPTON: That`s the only place that there is immigrant coming in the
country. And I think that is not true.

Let me ask you this quickly. The president makes his big immigration
speech tomorrow in Las Vegas. Do you think that the bipartisan group came
out today trying to get ahead of the president`s big speech tomorrow?

KUMAR: They absolutely did. Because the Republicans don`t want to
feel like they`ve been left behind. So what they did is - and that was why
it`s interesting and important that they actually included a com
comprehensive immigration reform language of pathway to citizenship.
Because for a long time, that was not even on the table.

So, I think not only are they trying to preempt the president, but
they`re trying to show that they`re taking that leadership and that
initiative. Now, I think what will be in mind when you look at the
president speak tomorrow is how far to the left will he go from this
proposal.

SHARPTON: That`s my question. This could be a big step by the
president tomorrow that shifts the argument a total different way.

KUMAR: Exactly right. And so, the Republicans, I think, are leaving
themselves a sort of little wiggle room once the president announces what
his proposals ad his initiatives and his tenants are.

SHARPTON: All right, Maria Teresa Kumar, thanks for being here
tonight.

KUMAR: Thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: Coming up, from power rivals to power duo. The evolution
of the Obama-Clinton relationship.

And see you later, Sarah. Palin is out at FOX News. What it says
about the tea party movement ahead. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Republicans always accuse Democrats of stealing elections.
It`s the right wing`s favorite boogie man. They say Democrats are just
constantly committing voter fraud. Remember those billboards listing the
penalty for voter fraud. A wealthy right wing donor put them off last fall
in Ohio and Wisconsin to scare voters away from the polls?

We`re still hearing about voter fraud. BUT, What do you know, it`s
coming, yet again, from Republicans. A Las Vegas casino worker, Nevada
Republican Roxanne Rubin pled guilty to voter fraud twice. She will have
to pay the state about $2500 and do a 100 hours in community service.

So, why vote at two different polling stations? She was trying to
prove how easy it is to commit voter fraud. I guess her arrest means
things didn`t work out so well. Nevada secretary of state says if Ms.
Rubin is trying to demonstrate how easy it is to commit voter fraud, she
clearly failed and proved just the opposite.

Hey, Republicans, what happens in Vegas doesn`t stay in Vegas. The
right-wing voter fraud is a complete bust.

It`s not even a nice try. But we still got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: What a difference four years makes? Barack Obama and
Hillary Clinton were bitter rivals in the 2008 campaign. Who would have
predicted they`ve become allies. But after appointing Clinton`s secretary
of state, there was a surprising twist to this story. They genuinely
seemed to like each other. The evolution from power rivals to power duo
was on full display last night in a first-ever joint interview with "60
Minutes."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Despite our hard-fought
primary, we had such agreement on what needed to be done for our country.

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: It made for tough debates, by
the way.

CLINTON: It did.

OBAMA: Because we could never figure out what we were different on.

CLINTON: Yes, we worked at that pretty hard.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, THE WASHINGTON POST: What did he promise you?
Does he keep the promises?

CLINTON: It was going to be hard that, you know, welcome to hard
times.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: They definitely seem to get along great. What may have
started out as a marriage of political convenience appears to be something
warmer and more genuine. Let`s bring in Nia-Malika Henderson and Michelle
Cottle. Thanks for your time tonight.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, THE WASHINGTON POST: Thanks, Rev.

MICHELLE COTTLE, DAILY BEAST: Great to be here.

SHARPTON: Nia, it was really fascinating to watch. What was your
take away from me?

HENDERSON: That`s right. I mean, I remember covering this campaign
in 2008. And if you wanted a bad story about Hillary Clinton, you can go
to the Obama staffers. Because it was such a bitter rivalry. Seeing them
there was very much seeing this political power duo on stage. The
chemistry there, I thought, was real and genuine and they almost could
finish each other`s sentences at points.

SHARPTON: Yes.

HENDERSON: Very much, I think a great swan song for Hillary Clinton`s
four years, at state and also I think a great kickoff for her if she is
thinking about 2016. She is gone from saying no way. She`s ruled it out
to, last night, not really answering a question saying essentially that she
can`t predict the future. In the meantime, over these next four years,
we`ll be watching to see what she does. And certainly, Joe Biden will, as
well.

SHARPTON: Well, before we go there, Michelle, it was the President`s
idea to do this interview. Listen to his explaining why he wanted to do
this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KROFT: This is very improbable. I understand, Mr. President, this
was your idea. Why didn`t you want to do this together, a joint interview?

OBAMA: Well, the main thing is I just wanted to have a chance to
publicly say thank you. Because I think Hillary will go down as one of the
finest secretary of states we`ve had. It has been a great collaboration
over the last four years.

KROFT: There`s no political tea leaves to be read here?

CLINTON: We don`t have any tea. We`ve got some water here, the best
I can tell. But, you know, this has been just the most extraordinary
honor.

SHARPTON: Michelle, do you feel the President is just wanting to
thank her and wanting to put it out because he`s got all of this other
speculation going on? What do you think?

COTTLE: I don`t think politicians at this level will do anything just
because. There`s no question that this relationship has been really good
for both of them. And Obama is often criticized for not knowing how to
play the schmooze game or the thank you game or whatever. And I think this
was a good example of when he really wants to, he`s really shrewd. Now, of
course, they`ve had a good relationship build up, you can`t go through the
four years they`ve had and not kind of draw closer together when you`ve
been in that fox hole.

SHARPTON: Right.

COTTLE: But at the same time, this is good politics for both of them
going forward.

SHARPTON: Now, Nia-Malika, you mentioned staffs of one giving bad
information on the other. They kind of brought up that it took longer for
their staffs and their spouses to move beyond the campaign rivalry, listen
to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We both built some pretty thick skins. And, you know,
sometimes our staffs don`t go through that. So they are taking umbrage in
offense and they`re reading every blog and every tweet. And, you know, and
most of the time, you know, Hillary, I suspect, you know, handles this the
same way I do. You know, we kind of have a block, a screen from a lot of
the silliness that happens during presidential campaigns.

KROFT: What about the spouses? Is that an inverted question?

CLINTON: What I was going to say, Steve, is having been a spouse -- I
mean having been a candidate, I think spouses take it much harder?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Nia-Malika, more difficult for spouse and harder for
spouses?

HENDERSON: That`s right. Especially for spouses, I think we saw that
most noticeably on display in 2008 during that South Carolina primary when
Clinton sort of was playing the race card in the wake of Barack Obama`s
win. But we have seen over these last four years that Clinton has been one
of the biggest backers, Bill Clinton, one of the biggest backers of
President Obama. He gave that speech, that you know, sort of historic
speech of the DNC which was very well received.

SHARPTON: Yes.

HENDERSON: And so, at this point, all it seems to be forgiven. I
think one of the things, obviously, that has happened is that Hillary
Clinton has been very much insulated from politics over these last four
years, being in that A-political job as secretary of state and we`ll see if
she can maintain those high ratings.

I think it`s 70 percent or so. And it`s also good if you look at the
Obama coalition, she has very high ratings among those different blocks of
folks.

SHARPTON: Yes,

KROFT: Whether it`s Latinos, African-Americans and certainly women.
And she has this sort of aura around her I think that President Obama or
candidate Obama had in 2008 which is the sense that she is almost being
drafted into this. And so, we`ll see if this is something that she wants
to do.

SHARPTON: Well, Michelle, I mean, but you`ve got a long way to go.
You know, Steve Kroft who did the interview for "60 Minutes" raised the
question last night. And this is the response when he raised question to
the President. Is this an endorsement of Secretary Clinton? Listen to
this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KROFT: What`s the date of expiration on this endorsement?

CLINTON: Oh, Steve, you know.

KROFT: I have to ask that question. I mean, come on. You`re sitting
here together. Everybody in town is talking about it already. And this is
taking place.

OBAMA: You know, Steve, I`ve got to tell you. You guys are in the
press are incorrigible. And I was literally inaugurated four days ago.

KROFT: Right.

OBAMA: And you`re talking about, elections four years from now.

CLINTON: Yes. And I am, as you know, Steve, I`m the Secretary of
State, so I`m out of politics. And I`m forbidden from even hearing these
questions.

OBAMA: I mean, Michelle, you probably have to raise the question.
But he was only inaugurated a week ago today. I man, they act like he`s
not the president and has four years to serve.

COTTLE: Yes. It seems a little bit early to be writing him off as a
lame duck. But this is what we like to do. We can`t bear to have the
presidential season not going on. But both of those politicians are very
smooth. There`s no way they were going to let on too much. And, you know,
you`ve got to look at it in terms of finding the press a little bit
annoying and intrusive is one of the things they both share and always
have, so.

SHARPTON: I`m going to have to leave it there. Nia-Malika and
Michelle, thank you both for being here tonight.

COTTLE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Have a good evening.

HENDERSON: You, too.

SHARPTON: Coming up, President Obama says something to date that has
Rush Limbaugh thinking he`s Walter Cronkite. And the gun industry is
marketing assault weapons to kids. And they don`t think this is a problem.
My commentary is coming up. Keep it here.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Breaking news tonight, just moments ago, the Senate passed
a bill providing aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy. After weeks of delay
from House Republicans, the bill includes $50 billion of aid for storm
recovery. It now goes to President Obama to sign into law. The Senate
also defeated a republican amendment that sought to offset the Sandy aid
with spending cuts.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: President Obama is going right after the right wing media.
In a new interview, he talks about what stands in the way of getting things
done in Congress. Quote, "One of the biggest factors is going to be how
the media shapes debates. If a republican member of Congress is not
punished on FOX News or Rush Limbaugh for working with a democrat on a bill
of common interest, then you`ll see more of them doing it." Of course,
Rush just had to respond.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The mainstream media has ceased
doing what they are constitutionally charged with doing. One of the
reasons that FOX News and I stand out like sore thumbs here is because the
rest of the media is gone. The rest of the media is in a tank. The rest
of the media was long ago ceased doing their job.

Talk like this from the President has a chilling effect on free
speech.

This whole purpose is to eliminate the opposition. Only dictators
like Hugo Chavez do things like that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And then we`re handling it much better over at FOX.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I cannot believe that the majority
of Americans would believe that it`s OK not to follow the constitution. We
would create law based on the God of the bible and the Ten Commandments.
It`s pretty simple.

Well, first off, Nancy Pelosi is a ding bat.

If we were real domestic terrorists, President Obama would be wanting
to pal around with us.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: President Obama hasn`t been to church since he
took office? Well, how many Sundays have you been counting? Eleven
Sundays so far. Now, he`s saying we are not a Christian nation. So is
there a message being sent?

LIMBAUGH: In Obama`s America, a white kids now get beat up with the
black kids cheering, hey, right on, right on, right on. Radical. Left
wing Marxist, Socialism, Fascism, whatever you want to call it.

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: No longer does the President seek to
portray himself as a moderate. He is now an out-the-closet liberal.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: He wants to transform America into his
socialist Utopia.

LIMBAUGH: Twenty sixteen, waiting to happen, that is if Obama decides
to abnegate. Obama might not give up the crown. Just like Queen
Elizabeth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, these are examples of all of the things right wing has
said down through the years about the President. The President is doing
what all Republicans refuse to do by answering him. He`s stepping up to
Rush and FOX.

Joining me now is Joe Madison and Margie Omero. Thank you both for
joining me tonight.

JOE MADISON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

MARGIE OMERO, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Good evening, Reverend Sharpton.

SHARPTON: Joe, let me start with you. This is clearly a calculated
move by the President. Can he stop some of the right wing vile that is
coming his way?

MADISON: Well, of course he can. Because, again, he has the pulpit
of the White House. But, you know, Rush Limbaugh said the reason we stand
out like a sore thumb is because of ABC. No, the reason they stand out at
FOX and Limbaugh stands out is what Limbaugh said about women in combat.
Get a battalion of Amazon, wait until they have their menstrual period and
then you got a fighting force.

That`s why they stand out. The reason they stand out is because Sarah
Palin thinks that the Kodiak Island is the largest island in North America,
forget about Hawaii.

The reason they stand out is because she thinks that North Korea was
an ally of the United States. And so the President has started to do what
a lot of us have done and he understands that the voice of the Republican
Party that he defeated was Rush Limbaugh and FOX News and everybody knows
it.

SHARPTON: Well, Margie, when you look at the fact that they`ve had
such vile stuff to say about the President by his stepping up, is this
strategically going to create a climate for some moderate Republicans to
step up and try to not be intimidated by the Rush Limbaughs or the FOX
News.

OMERO: Well, I think the President in some interviews, he`s really
said there are lots of Republicans who want to come to the table, they want
to work with me, they want to have common sense ideas and have bills
passed. They want to reach bipartisan consensus. I think what you see is
because of the way districts have been gerrymandered, you have a lot of
Republicans not worrying about reaching regular swing voters, but just
trying to avoid primary challenges. You have some extremists who are
actually more worried about even more extremist folks coming to replace
them.

SHARPTON: Yes.

OMERO: And I think that`s pulled the entire conversation to the
right. And when it comes to Sarah Palin, the sad thing about Sarah Palin
is she could have really given a real voice to republican-leading women who
have been left behind by the Republican Party. But, instead, she`s joined
a dysfunctional, rhetorical family of Joe Walsh and Allen West and all of
them have been rejected.

SHARPTON: Now, Joe, Sarah Palin is no longer going to be a paid
contributor to FOX. And it was interesting because she came out in an
interview and she said on the one hand, "We can`t just preach to the choir.
The message of liberty and true hope must be understood by a larger
audience, which was a good statement for Sarah Palin. But then she went on
to say voices on the right like Mark Levin and Rush and the writers here at
Breitbart," and she was talking to the Breitbart people, "have come out
strongly against the go along to get along politician who wave the white
flag before the battle even begins."

So she just seems to not be able to help herself, battle, battle,
battle further and further to the extreme right.

MADISON: Yes. You know, Reverend, you stick your foot in your mouth,
open mouth, pull out foot, stick the other foot in your mouth. That`s
basically what you`ve got there. You know, they did the same thing to Mr.
9-9-9, remember? Herman Cain and he`s doing talk radio now.

SHARPTON: Yes.

MADISON: And the guy that he took over jumping because he
congratulated the President of the United States.

SHARPTON: Yes.

MADISON: You know, I mean, they can`t help themselves. So, Sarah
Palin, look, $15, I think they found out she was getting $15 a word over at
FOX. Fifteen dollars a word. And a 111 of those words were amen.

SHARPTON: Well, let me ask you, Margie, FOX News did respond to what
the President said. What Rush said, let me let you know what FOX News
said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He just wants a media pass. And FOX News is
challenging the President and his policies and that`s what the media is
supposed to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He`s an imperial president. And he has dictatorial
tendencies, he`s talking about silencing members of the media that he
doesn`t like.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It`s really bizarre. Especially if you love the
first amendment which he professes to do, it`s to say, you know, there are
quote, "institutional barriers." Do you know what that is? That`s a
debate on television between people who disagree.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean name-calling, belittling, saying expressions,
Margie, that are very much biased. That`s not exactly a debate or exactly
just having free-speech political comments.

OMERO: Yes, I mean, look. I think the President, when he says
"institutional barriers," he is not talking about restricting free speech
and I think it it`s very clear from all of his remarks and all of his
interviews. And I think there`s room for a lot of debate on all sides of
the issue. And I think there`s room for conservative voices and for
liberal and progressive voices. I think it`s important though to look at,
really what voters want. And voters want people to come together on a
variety of issues. They don`t want fighting, they don`t want bickering,
they don`t want gridlock and that was one of the real messages from the
election.

SHARPTON: All right. Margie Omero and Joe Madison, thanks for
joining us.

OMERO: Thank you.

MADISON: Thank you.

SHARPTON: We`ll be right back with the gun industry marketing
firearms to kids while children die in the streets. It`s shocking. That`s
next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Take a look at two images that show what the gun debate in
this country is all about. On the right is Shirley Chambers, a mother who
just lost her fourth child to gun violence in Chicago. On the Left is an
advertisement from "Junior Shooters Magazine," a publication that markets
guns to children. Make dad jealous says the ad for a 22 caliber pistol.
Improve your shooting skills without emptying dad`s wallet. It`s stunning.

This week in the New York Times exposed how the gun industry has given
tens of millions of dollars to groups that promote guns to kids. Junior`s
shooter`s magazine puts teenagers and children on the cover. It includes
articles that promote shooting. One article even said, quote, "Who knows,
maybe you`ll find a bushmaster AR-15 under your tree some frosty Christmas
morning."

The Bushmaster AR-15 under the Christmas tree. It`s not a tinker toy.
It`s not a Barbie doll. It`s a weapon of death. It`s the gun used in the
shootings in Newtown, Connecticut and Aurora Colorado. Today, President
Obama met with police officers from those towns at the White House.
Looking for a way forward on gun safety. He`s determined to make a change.

But the gun industry is just trying to protect his profits, even if it
means people die. And that brings me back to Shirley Chambers in Chicago.
All four of her children were killed by guns, including her daughter,
Latoya when she was just 15-years-old. Her grown son Rodney was killed on
Saturday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHIRLEY CHAMBERS, LOST FOUR CHILDREN TO GUN VIOLENCE: I`m just
devastated. I`m just devastated. I have lost this last child. We have to
step up and love and help each other through this because we can`t do it
alone. We have to help one another. I`ve been through this too many
times. I just can`t take it no more.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That is the voice lawmakers should be listening to, this
debate. They ought to be listening to people like that mother, not the
NRA, not the gun makers, not the right wing pundits. We should listen to a
mother who lost all four of her children, her son, Rodney, now joins the
list of more than 1300 people gunned down just since the Newtown massacre
last month. We must build a nation where people are valued more than
partisan politics.

Where flesh and blood means more than dollars and cents. We cannot
have a future in the country if we don`t have a future for those that live
around the country. It`s time for sane and sensible gun control. Women
like that mother should not have to suffer as she`s suffering.

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

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