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PoliticsNation, Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

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POLITICS NATION
February 26, 2013
Guests: Bobby Scott; Abby Huntsman, Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, Sybrina
Fulton, Tracy Martin, Benjamin Crump


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

Tonight`s lead, the GOP losing it. We`re just three days away from massive
budget cuts designed to be so brutal that even far-right Republicans would
see the light in compromise. Instead, it looks like the pressure is
getting to speaker Boehner.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We have moved a bill in
the house twice. We should not have to move a third bill before the Senate
gets off their ass and begins to do something.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Wow. Talk about leading from behind. But Boehner`s potty mouth
can`t hide the incoherence of the GOP position when it comes to these
budget cuts. Boehner himself says the cuts will hurt the economy and
threaten thousands of jobs.

But Tom Price says the cuts are need to get this economy rolling again.

On defense, Eric Cantor warns these cuts will harm national security.

But wait. Tom Cole says fiscal questions trump defense.

And when it comes to compromise, Lindsey Graham says he`s willing to raise
revenue.

But Boehner already slammed that door shut. The revenue debate is now
closed, he says. Republicans can`t get their stories straight. They`re a
joke. It would be laughable if it weren`t hundreds of thousands of jobs on
the line.

Today, President Obama went to a shipyard in Virginia, the state`s largest
industrial employer, to point out how crippling these budget cuts would be
to our military, our safety net, and our economy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All told, the sequester
could cost tens of thousands of jobs right here in Virginia. But it
doesn`t just stop there. If the sequester goes into effect, more than
2,000 college students would lose their financial aid. Early education
like head start and early start would be eliminated for nearly a thousand
children and around 18,000 fewer Virginians will get the skills and
training they need to find a job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: These cuts are a disaster for Virginia and they`re a disaster
for every state in the country. The president is trying to pull America
together. But Republicans are falling apart.

Joining me now is Congressman Bobby Scott, Democrat from Virginia who
traveled with the president today and Richard Wolffe.

Congressman, help me out. Does the Republican position on these cuts make
any sense at all to people in their district?

REP. BOBBY SCOTT (D), VIRGINIA: Well, first of all, it depends on which
decision -- which position you`re talking about. But the fact is the idea
the sequester should go into effect is absurd. You have $1.2 trillion
worth of cuts over ten years that would be inflicted on the budget.

In our area of Virginia, the impact of job loss would be about the same
impact as the 2008 recession, devastating impact on jobs. The idea that we
need this to grow the economy is ridiculous. This will destroy the economy
of Hampton Rhodes.

But the fact is that the across-the-board mindless cuts of $1.2 trillion
will have to inflict pain. And there really is no alternative. You cannot
have -- well, let`s have some surgical deliberate cuts. That doesn`t help.
The number $1.2 trillion is so huge that you will have nationwide between
700,000 and two million jobs lost.

If you did this strategically, you may save those jobs, but the problem is
700,000 and two million other people would lose their jobs. The fact is
you can`t cut the budget $1.2 trillion and not inflict damage and havoc on
the economy and with government services. That`s why --

SHARPTON: You know, congressman, what I keep trying to get people to
understand and said in the introduction is, it was designed to be so
damaging and painful that we never get here. I mean, I don`t understand
how people would not understand that it`s painful. It was designed to be
so painful that we`d never do it. No one imagined they would actually do
it.

SCOTT: Well, it was designed to be painful, designed to have us come up
with $1.2 trillion in alternative cuts. The problem is you can`t do $1.2
trillion in alternative cuts. You haven`t seen a list of cuts that amounts
to $1.2 trillion that anyone would want to be associated with. You can`t
do a list. So, I mean, the idea that if you want $1.2 trillion in deficit
reduction, you have to have revenues. You cannot do $1.2 trillion. And
that`s why no one has come up with a list.

SHARPTON: That`s exactly right.

Every -- the only thing you`ve seen when they talk about they passed a
bill, all they did was come up with a little funding to try to delay it for
a little while. Come up with, you know, $100 billion, but not $1.2
trillion. You can`t just do it without going seriously into Medicare and
Social Security. And let`s put this in perspective --

SHARPTON: Let me get Richard in this a minute, Congressman. Because he is
making a very important point. They keep saying that the president doesn`t
have a plan. He has outlined a plan. They may not like the plan, but let
me show you the president`s plan and let me get you to respond.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: All we`re asking is that
they close loopholes for the well-off and the well-connected for hedge fund
managers or all confidence, or corporate jet owners who are all doing very
well and don`t need these tax loopholes so we can avoid laying off workers
or kicking kids off head start or reducing financial aid for college
students. I don`t think that`s too much to ask. I do not think that is
partisan. The majority of the American people agree with me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I don`t think it`s too much to ask either. And I don`t see
what`s complicated about it, Richard.

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: And remember that the president
just won this debate both in an election and in the debate about the Bush
tax cuts. So Republicans are on very weak ground here. They also know it.
That`s why their messaging is all over the place.

You know, is this good for the economy? Is it bad for national security?
That`s a party that is struggling. They are out there doing polling and
focus grouping right now. I mean, they need to throw up a Web site that
you saw on the podium because no one is buying the message. And there`s no
consistency - there is no consistency because they cannot agree as a party.

Remember, these defense cuts were supposed to be so bad, Republicans would
stop them from letting them happen. And they have now shifted from even
where they were a year ago. They are all over the map. Their messaging is
wrong and the president`s message just on this piece of it had just worked.

SHARPTON: Now, congressman, while the president explains what`s at stake
to Americans, Cantor is out saying the Republicans not only Cantor, but
Republicans have come up with a new complaint. I want you to listen to
this and respond.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ERIC CANTOR (R), HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: The president ought to really
stop campaigning and come to the table and work with us.

BOEHNER: He`s far more interested in holy campaign rallies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The president seems more interested in doing his
campaign-style rallies. And now, we need the president to stop
campaigning.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So you were traveling with him today. Let me get this right.
To bring the case to the American people on how it will affect their lives
and how they will have the brunt of the pain if this, in fact, goes into
effect is wrong. There`s something wrong with that, congressman?

SCOTT: No. And it just averts attention from arithmetic reality of where
we are. We can afford to get out of this mess. I mean, we have had
January 1st we passed almost $4 trillion in tax cuts. We are looking for
just over $1 trillion in deficit reduction. Obviously, my position was we
should have passed maybe about two -- don`t pass any of the tax cuts, take
care of the sequester and other problems, have a jobs bill. You would be
much better off.

But having passed $4 trillion, now, we have to find a trillion dollars
worth of deficit reduction. The president`s plan is very -- it`s on his
Web site, on the White House Web site. It includes significant revenues.
Unfortunately, it also includes cuts in Social Security and Medicare.

Now, remember, all of these cuts we are talking about now are there only
because we passed the tax cut in January.

SHARPTON: That`s exactly right.

SCOTT: And we`re trying to pay off -- we`re trying to pay off the tax
cuts. Now, so the money`s there. This isn`t a situation like Greece that
just doesn`t have the money to fix the problem.

SHARPTON: No, the money`s there. Richard, let me say this as we have to
go. What bothers me is how it affects working class people and poor
people. Six hundred thousand women and children lose nutrition aid,
125,000 families lose housing aid, 70,000 kids lose head start, 25,000
fewer cancer screenings. On and on. I mean, these are real live people
who can`t afford to take the brunt to protect loopholes for yachts and
private planes.

WOLFFE: My criticism is honestly if there`s a criticism of the White
House, the ships are not nearly as important as the kids, right? They are
at a naval shipyard. I understand that security is a big thing. It`s big
thing in Virginia, big - the Republican politics. But, the items you just
mentioned, that`s what the president needs to be talking about. He needs
to be out there with families that are going to suffer because of this.

SHARPTON: And really going to suffer.

Congressman Bobby Scott, Richard Wolffe, thank you both for your time
tonight.

Last night we reported these budget cuts would also shut down the airport
in Paul Ryan`s hometown in Wisconsin. Well, it turns out the cuts would
just shut down the tower, not the airport itself. Although, the airport
director says it would still make an impact and create a slowdown in
traffic. So it turns out Mr. Ryan may be able to fly home after all.

And hey, that`s a good thing. He can explain to voters why he`s refusing
to stop cuts in his home state that could cost 120 teachers and aides to
lose their jobs, kick 900 kids off head start programs, and cut $653,000
for meals to seniors.

One more thing, while Mr. Ryan may consider an airport without a working
tower to be officially open, it would definitely be closed for me.

Ahead, the right wing is at war with Chris Christie and he just put fuel on
that fire. Big news today.

And the banks` worst nightmare is getting worse. Elizabeth Warren took on
the banks in a big way today.

And Bill O`Reilly`s in denial, so he`s going back to the makers and takers
line.

Big show coming up tonight. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on facebook
yet? We hope you will.

Today, everyone was remembering Trayvon Martin who was killed one year ago
today.

April says we love and miss you, Trayvon. You will never be forgotten.

Felicia says I am wearing my Hoodie today.

And Ebony says I`ve lost a son myself to violence, so I can empathize with
how horrible his parents are feeling today.

Coming up later in the show, we will talk to Trayvon`s parents about how
they`re coping one year later.

We want to hear your thoughts too. 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)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: These cuts are wrong. They are not smart. They are not fair.
They are a self-inflicted wound that doesn`t have to happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: President Obama today making a key point. These automatic
budget cuts don`t have to be automatic. Republicans have manufactured this
crisis by not making a deal when they had a chance.

In the summer of 2011, President Obama and speaker Boehner were this close
to a grand bargain that included both cuts and revenues. But then Boehner
walked away. Now we know why.

In an explosive new article by New Yorkers Ryan Lizza, majority leader Eric
Cantor told me it was a fair assessment that he talked Boehner out of
accepting the Obama deal. Cantor said he told Boehner that it would be
better instead to take the issues of taxes and spending to the voters and
have it out with Democrats in the election.

OK. I get it. So Republicans wanted the 2012 election to decide the
debate over cuts and revenue. Well, guess what, it did. President Obama
won. They lost. Americans want fairness. But Republicans like Eric
Cantor are now ignoring the lessons of the election. They are talking like
it never happened. Just check out what Bill O`Reilly said on his show last
night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: The country`s changing quickly into an
entitlement society. It`s not so much that apathetic Americans are
embracing the tenants of the left. It is just that they are selfish and
they want money for nothing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Americans are selfish. They want money for nothing. This is
straight out of Mitt Romney`s 47 percent tape. Republicans haven`t learned
a thing.

Joining me now is journalist who just won an award of breaking the story of
Romney`s 47 percent tape, David Corn, Washington bureau chief for Mother
Jones.

David, whether it`s Bill O`Reilly on 47 percent or Eric Cantor on taxes and
spending, why can`t Republicans accept they have lost the election?

DAVID CORN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I think they accept they have lost
the election. And I think they want to blame everybody except themselves.
You know, Mitt Romney after the campaign was over said the problem was that
Obama just gave too many gifts to the you know who. It was basically
another version of the 47 percent. And Paul Ryan talked about the urban
voting areas. They were just too difficult for them.

So, I mean, they are sort of stuck in amber like fossils. They have these
ideas about, you know, the rove government and about taxation and
everything else. And sometimes they are conflicting such as our ideas
about deficit reduction but also doing nothing about tax loopholes. And
they just can`t get out of this hole that they`re in. I think part of that
is just intellectual rigidity. Another part of it is that they are tied to
a base that has just gone so far to the right whether it is the tea party
based on libertarian economic notions or on social issues like immigration,
gay rights, and guns. So they`re just totally pinned down and they just
can`t find a way forward yet.

SHARPTON: But we know what`s so appalling and confusing at the same time.
Take for example, Bill O`Reilly last night. He claimed that President
Obama encourages victims who want to be paid. Listen to him say what he
said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`REILLY: There`ve always been people who see themselves as victims and
want to be paid for their perceived suffering. We`ve always had that.
Now, those people are in a comfort zone because their victimization isn`t
being challenged. It`s being encouraged by the Obama administration.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, why can`t they get out of this takers and makers and 47
percent thing? I mean, what is that all about?

CORN: I have to say, I don`t even know what he`s talking about. They used
to talk about welfare queens. We know what that was code for. But, at
least of us, OK, people on welfare. When he talks about these folks is he
talking about people on Medicaid -- or Medicare or Social Security? I just
don`t know what he`s talking about. That`s what`s kind of bizarre here.
These are very high flying abstract concepts that maybe struck a chord with
what`s left of their base, but it`s not really ever explained. And I think
it`s very isolating for them.

SHARPTON: Yes, very. And when you look at the effect of the Republican
Party, 62 percent say the GOP is out of touch with the American people and
they wonder why. I mean, it`s appalling. And as you say, it is so
sweepingly unspecific that everybody`s got to say what are you talking
about me?

But let me tell you how much of a joke they`re becoming. And I mean
literally a national joke. Just check out one of the categories on last
night`s episode of jeopardy. Last night.

CORN: OK.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here are the categories for you. Funny things people
say. A bunch of stuff, hopefully really, and a binder full of women.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A binder full of women for 400.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She`s the 111th justice of the Supreme Court. Keith?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who is Sonia Sotomayor?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, when you have jeopardy mocking Mitt Romney about the
binder full of women from a presidential debate, once you`ve lost Alex,
you`ve lost America, David. I mean.

CORN: Of course let`s look at the president`s state of the union speech.
One of the key things he talked about was universal preschool for kids.
You and I know how essential it is to get kids on the right path to
education from an early age on. This is so that they won`t grow up and
have to rely on entitlements.

SHARPTON: Well, those are the kinds of things at jeopardy. I will have to
leave it there.

CORN: OK. Those are the things that Republicans don`t support, and that`s
what I don`t get.

SHARPTON: David Corn, thanks for joining me tonight.

CORN: Sure thing.

SHARPTON: Ahead, what a difference 12 days make. I`m introducing John
McCain to John McCain.

And Elizabeth Warren does it again. Who is she grilling on fairness today?

And the GOP war against Chris Christie just got worse. Oh, I`m sure this
will end well.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Today, we saw an end to one of the most embarrassing, shameful
examples of Republican misbehavior in recent political history.

Late this afternoon the Senate finally voted to confirm President Obama`s
nominee for defense secretary Chuck Hagel. It was a vote long overdue.
For weeks Republicans had attacked Hagel`s policies, his competence, and
even his patriotism.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Our concerns pertain to the quality of your
professional judgment.

SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: Isn`t it interesting that Iran supports
Chuck Hagel`s nomination to be secretary of defense.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: It may be that he spoke at radical or extreme
groups or anti-Israel groups and accepted compensation. We don`t know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s right. They didn`t know if Hagel accepted money from
extreme groups. Because he didn`t. The attacks from the right were
especially poisonous because they were so personal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCAIN: There`s a lot of ill will towards senator Hagel because when he
was a Republican he attacked President Bush mercilessly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It was all about a grudge. John McCain and other Republicans
didn`t like Hagel because he opposed the Iraq war and made President Bush
look bad. They even took the unprecedented step of filibustering Hagel
nearly two weeks ago. Something that had never happened to a defense
nominee before.

But today, 18 Republicans voted to end the filibuster, 14 of them changed
their votes from earlier this month including Senator John McCain. So what
changed in two weeks? Nothing. What did Republicans accomplish? Nothing.
And what did Republicans like John McCain reveal about themselves?
Everything. Did McCain and his pals think we`d forget their childish,
venomous attack on the president`s team?

Nice try. But we got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)







(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The GOP war against Chris Christie just got worse. In a major
budget address before a joint session of the New Jersey legislature today,
Christie announced that he`s supporting the President`s Medicaid expansion.
He`s now the eighth Republican governor to do so.

Given Christie`s 74 percent approval rating, you`d think the GOP would be
taking notes from this guy. Praising him, right? Wrong. Conservatives
have decided not to invite the most popular Republican in the country to
their big annual conference. His invitation seems to be lost in the mail.
Gee, I wonder why?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSERY: The President is great. I spoke to
him three times yesterday. The President has been all over this. He
deserves great credit. The President has been outstanding in this. And so
have the folks at FEMA. I cannot thank the president enough for his
personal concern and compassion for our state and for the people of our
state.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And if that didn`t do it, then this one probably did.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: There`s only one group to blame for the continued suffering of
these innocent victims. The house majority and their Speaker John Boehner.
They did so with callous indifference to the suffering of the people of my
state. Shame on you. Shame on Congress.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Shame on you. But surely Republicans aren`t that petty. They`d
never start a war with Christie just because he worked with the President
to rebuild his state from the destruction of a hurricane, Hurricane Sandy,
right?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: That wasn`t just sort of an accident, I don`t think.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: No. When you look at all the people that were there and
you say where is Chris Christie, it`s probably not an accident. The anger
of the former presidential candidate and the certain amount of the house
leadership.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Maybe that explains why the GOP just can`t seem to turn their
brand around. A brand new NBC poll shows 46 percent of the country still
views the GOP negatively. And just 29 percent think of the Republican
Party positively. So the latest rebranding move is to start a war with
Chris Christie? What could possibly go wrong?

Joining me now is Abby Huntsman and Victoria DeFrancesco Soto. Thank you
both for coming on.

VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO SOTO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks for having us.

ABBY HUNTSMAN, HOST AND PRODUCER, "HUFFPOST LIVE": Thanks for having us.

SHARPTON: Abby, let me start with you. The party is at war with Chris
Christie. Does that make any sense to you at all?

HUNTSMAN: This is a perfect example of why Republicans lost this time
around. I mean, they`re too insulate. They`re thinking too small. If you
don`t fit within this perfect box, they want nothing to do with you. I
talk to folks that were in the meeting when they decided to not have Chris
Christie speak. The exact reason is that he befriended the president two
weeks before the election. That just shows how small minded this group is.
In fact, I would take it as a compliment if I was Christie.

SHARPTON: They actually said this I understand while you were in the room?

HUNTSMAN: No, I talked to people that were in the room. And said that the
reason they made this decision was because of the fact that you stated
before. Simply because he befriended the president. He snubbed Romney
during Hurricane Sandy. Two weeks before the election. That`s, you know,
the main reason that they said don`t come speak. That`s how small minded
this group is. But you have to remember that the CPAC is different than
the Republican Party.

SHARPTON: Right.

HUNTSMAN: You know, they`re two different things. When you look at the
folks speaking this time, there are a lot of personalities from yesterday.
They are the agenda from yesterday.

SHARPTON: Let me show who is speaking at CPAC. You have a whole list of
people that are speaking and clearly when you look at the speakers list,
you see Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, and Allen West,
Wayne Lapierre. I don`t see Chris Christie and I don`t see your dad.

HUNTSMAN: I don`t see my dad. Certainly no forward thinkers in that
group that you just showed. And that`s frightening for a lot of people
within the Republican Party to see a group like this. That`s not the
future of the GOP.

SHARPTON: Now, when you look at the fact, Victoria, Joe Scarborough who
hosts "Morning Joe" here, he and I don`t agree on much. But he came after
conservatives for snubbing Christie. Take a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST, "MORNING JOE": Underlines just how out of
touch some elements of the conservative movements are. It underlines just
how little they care about actually electoral victories. They have a
coalition now that cares about talk radio ratings. And they understand you
have to say extreme things to get those talk radio ratings. It`s about
resentment and hating Democrats and hating -- of course that`s not how you
win. Apparently these days being a Republican is not about winning.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So, I mean, what is happening to this party? How can they
survive when you even have people to the right like Joe Scarborough saying
it`s not about winning taking shot. Tell me how we can deal Victoria with
this party? I`m looking at the bigger picture of what is going on with
this party that it seems that it can`t get back on track.

SOTO: Reverend, in nature we know that elephants are mostly blind. So
it`s interesting to see the same trade with CPAC elephants. That they are
blind to the issue of electability. And the Chris Christie episode in
particular speaks to the blindness not just of alienating moderate
Republicans, but really of alienating independents. Because Chris Christie
is emblematic of the American independent voter.

A poll came out last week that shows that 40 percent of Americans identify
as independents. So for most folks it`s not about being Republican or
democrat, it`s about being a middle of the road, it`s about being an
independent. And in 2009, for his gubernatorial race, 60 percent of
independents in New Jersey voted for Chris Christie. This is the guy that
can get independents vote for him.

Just as Barack Obama had independents vote for him in 2008 to a lesser
extent in 2012. But still in order to win national elections, that the
Republican Party wants to remain competitive and quite frankly survive at
the national level, they need to bring in independents. We`re never going
to get Democrats to vote for Republicans, but we need those middle of the
road folks is the strategy they should be thinking about.

SHARPTON: Now, and I think that`s a very important point. Because when
you see how extreme they are and how they`re really chasing independents
away, I mean, let`s face it, Abby. Chris Christie is still a very
conservative person. I mean, when you look at his record, he`s anti-
choice, he vetoed equal pay legislation, vetoed minimum wage increase.

Yet he approved a record $1.6 billion in corporate tax breaks. He also
vetoed same-sex marriage and praised the Ryan budget. This is not a
progressive at all. And they shun him. How do they ever expect to appeal
to independents?

HUNTSMAN: I would argue my dad was the same sort of situation. He was
actually very conservative on a lot of issues. But they tend to ignore
that. If you step out of this box that they want you to fit in, then they
just want to shoe you away. But I think some great points have been made.
Republican Party is not going to win unless you appeal to independents.

Chris Christie is somehow that has reached across the aisle, he can bring a
lot of people into the tent. He`s exactly what the Republican Party needs
right now, so to shoe someone like that away, Republicans are not going to
be --

SHARPTON: Who is still basically conservative?

HUNTSMAN: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: And your dad -- I was reading the front page of something.

HUNTSMAN: "The New York Times."

SHARPTON: I thought it was the national review. And your dad came out on
a very strong stand in terms of same-sex marriage.

HUNTSMAN: But you know, he made a conservative argument for gay marriage.

SHARPTON: Right.

HUNTSMAN: Not only the fact that we have to evolve on gay marriage but
he`s saying look, as Republicans we have long talked about long-term
relationships. About a strong family unit. We should be leading the
charge on gay marriage. We`re not doing that today. I`m proud of my dad
for doing that.

SHARPTON: You don`t want big government other than on what you want big
government for. And a new NBC poll out, I want to rush this in Victoria
before I run out of time. It says that Americans are backing Democrats on
the issues on who they trust to look out for middle class. Democrats hold
a 22 percent advantage. They lead by 18 points on Medicare, 16 points on
health care, 15 points on gun violence, 14 on Social Security. Brand new
poll is not good for the Republicans in terms of the issues they stand for.

SOTO: Because what we see is the Democratic Party is talking about the
more tangible issues. The day-to-day issues. Yes, for example, gay
marriage is a big ideological issue that we see the Republican Party
dividing itself upon. But really at the end of the day, even if you are
conservative on that issue, you care about the medical coverage you`re
going to get and whether or not your state is going to be covered by
Medicaid.

SHARPTON: So, for example, with New Jersey, Chris Christie making that
decision for coverage is going to affect people day-to-day. And that`s why
people support him and that`s why people support the Democratic Party.

SHARPTON: Abby Huntsman and Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, thanks for your
time this evening.

HUNTSMAN: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, one year ago tonight a young man by the name of
Trayvon Martin was shot and killed. Trayvon`s parents join me ahead on
their struggle and fighting for change.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Why is it great to have Elizabeth Warren in the Senate? When
she ran for the Senate, she said she`d be a fighter for Main Street. She
vowed to level the playing field. And now that she`s a senator, she wasted
no time going right after the banks at her first banking committee hearing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: So the question I`m really
asking is can you identify when you last took the Wall Street banks to
trial? Anyone else want to tell me about the last time you took a Wall
Street bank to trial? I`m really concerned that Too Big to Fail has become
too big for trial. That just seems wrong to me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And today she continued her fight against Too Big to Fail.
Banks grilling Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on fairness. It was
classic Warren.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WARREN: When are we going to get rid of Too Big to Fail? These big
financial institutions are getting cheaper borrowing to the tune of $83
billion in a single year. Eighty three billion dollars. That $83 billion
subsidy, does it worry you?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Of course. I think this is very important. I would
very much like to have the confidence that we could close down a large
institution without causing damage to the rest of the economy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: This is big. Those banks may be thinking twice about taking
those risks. Another reason it`s great to have Senator Warren`s voice
there in the Senate.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: A year ago tonight a light rain fell in the Central Florida town
of Sanford. As a young man walked back home from a 7-11 store. His name
was Trayvon Martin. He was 17-years-old. And he was headed home to watch
the NBA all star game on TV. In his hands he carried an iced tea and a
package of skittles. The rest, of course, is tragedy. Trayvon Martin was
shot and killed steps from his destination and what happened that night
soon became national news.

And it sparked a massive debate over Florida`s controversial stand your
ground law. But for Trayvon`s parents, it`s been a year of grieving and of
searching for answers. And it`s also been a year of action. They`ve
become advocates for change and not just against the stand your ground law.
They started the justice for Trayvon foundation calling for peaceful
conflict resolution. And in a time of mourning, they`ve reached out to
other parents who`s lost a child to gun violence.

Joining me now are Trayvon Martin`s parents Sybrina Fulton and Tracy
Martin, and their attorney. Benjamin Crump. Thank you all for being here
tonight.

TRACY MARTIN, FATHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: Thank you very much.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, ATTORNEY: Thank you.

SYBRINA FULTON, MOTHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Sybrina, Tracy, let me ask you. Each of you tell us what it`s
been like for you this year. I know this is a difficult night, but how has
this year been for you?

FULTON: This year has been very difficult. We`ve met a lot of nice
people, but I don`t think it measures up to the loss that we have endured.
Like I said before, we`ve lost loved ones in our family, but it`s just a
certain level of pain when you lose a child. And when you lose a child to
sudden death because of senseless gun violence.

MARTIN: Yes, it`s definitely been a somber year. It`s been a sad year.
It`s been a year that I won`t soon forget. And in the wake of the tragic
loss of our son, we`re just trying to stay -- we`re just trying to uphold
our son`s legacy by turning a negative into a positive. And I think that`s
what keeps us going. The more we keep his name going, the more we keep his
legacy going, the stronger we become as parents of a lost child.

SHARPTON: Now, tell us about the foundation. Because one of the things
that has most impressed me, I`ve worked with a lot of civil rights cases
and violence cases. You`ve been determined to make this a positive. Tell
us about the foundation.

FULTON: Some of the things we do is mentor youth. We want to teach youth
about their rights as teenagers, about their rights regarding profiling.
So that`s one of the things we do. We also created a scholarship program
to help them further their education once they pass high school. And they
would like to pursue a higher education. Also we are trying to revise and,
you know, make revisions to the stand your ground law.

SHARPTON: Right.

FULTON: And also -- we`re also working on a Trayvon Martin amendment. And
what that amendment says is that you cannot be the aggressor. You cannot
chase somebody, follow them, pursue them, shoot and kill them and they say,
I was standing my ground.

SHARPTON: Why is it important to you, Tracy, the foundation?

MARTIN: Well, the foundation, it has a variation of important aspects.
We`ve adopted a slogan. S.A.M.E. SAME. Which is Scholarship, Advocacy,
Mentor, and Education. And it`s very important that people know that is
not just for our community. It`s for people in general.

SHARPTON: Everybody.

MARTIN: Everybody. And that`s why it`s so important that people
understand that we`re not here just for the African-American community.
We`re here for all communities.

SHARPTON: And all communities have rallied with you. I`m going to you
Attorney Crump. I want to ask one thing of both of you as parents. A year
later, what do you want people to remember about Trayvon?

FULTON: I want people to remember that he was an average teenager, that he
had a family that loved him. He had friends that loved him. He had school
mates that loved him. And that he was a loving kid. He was really a
loving kid.

MARTIN: And as far as I want people to remember him, I just want people to
remember the genuineness of him. The good that he had in him. The things
that he did to touch other people`s lives. The smiles that he put on
people`s faces. A lot of people ask me how have I learned -- how have I
dealt with the grieving process, and my response is, you know, knowing
Trayvon, Trayvon wouldn`t want me to grieve. So I just want, you know that
I want everybody to remember him for the goodness that he had in him.

SHARPTON: Attorney Crump, when we first got involved, it was about making
the judicial system work. Starting the process. We`re in the process now.
As the attorney for the family, is the process working?

CRUMP: Yes. Reverend Sharpton, I am happy to say tonight because of the
advocacy of Tracy and Sybrina, there were no new stand your ground laws
enacted in any state in America this year. And remember, last year this
time nobody knew about stand your ground. And because they refused to
remain silent because of shows like POLITICS NATION, everybody knows stand
your ground is a bad law that says you can pursue, shoot a kid in the
heart, and not get arrested. You can go home and sleep in your bed at
night. And that`s not allowed.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you this, and I`ll let you go. And I appreciate you
doing this on a night that`s so heavy for you. What can you say? You`ve
had support from all over the country and even internationally. What would
you say to other parents who`ve lost their children to violence?

FULTON: I would just tell them that we need to stand together. Because
the numbers is what really counts. There are people that have lost kids in
Newtown and Jacksonville and Chicago and even Miami. People are hurting.
So that, you know, it really needed something that really needs to be done.
But I would just tell them to remain prayed up, to think about the good
times that they have with their minors, with their kids, with their
children. Just remember the good times. And that right there will take
them to the next day.

SHARPTON: Tracy?

MARTIN: Yes. I would recommend that they hold on to God first and
foremost. Keep God close and near to your heart. And just think about the
positive things that you and your child shared together. The incident in
Newtown, the incident in Jacksonville. Those are very tragic incidents.
And I`ve spoken with Ron Davis, Jordan Davis` father. And me and him, we
have a bond together.

And just talking to another father coming from a father to father aspect on
a lost loved one, we share a lot of things. And it`s just to be in that
situation, to be able to give a little guidance just to let them know at
the end of the day it`s going to be all right, it makes you feel good.

SHARPTON: Sybrina Fulton, Tracy Martin, Attorney Ben Crump. Thank you for
being here and help all of us to remember your son. Lawyer Crump, we thank
you for your commitment. And let me say this. I remember when I first got
the call about this case and didn`t know about it. And we went to Florida.
I went on the day my mother died. Because I felt that we should make sure
that this kind of situation should not be handled in the back room of a
police station. It should be in a court of law.

And this family and every family deserves that day in court. So does Mr.
Zimmerman. Justice must not be in any way averted. And that`s what --
cause for. I`m very glad a year later with all the rallies and all of the
gatherings, not one brick has been thrown. No damage has been done. Tracy
and Sybrina have set an example that in order to fight for what you feel is
right, you must internalize and be right. And that`s why Trayvon`s name
means so much to so many. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREA)

SHARPTON: Tomorrow will be a day to remember. Rosa Parks, the mother of
the civil rights movement who refused to give up her seat on a segregated
bus in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955 will get her spot among other giants of
American history. Tomorrow a statue of parks will be unveiled in the
original House of Representatives known as statutory hall.

Her statue will sit near the statue of Dr. Martin Luther King and many
others. It`s a great honor. And I applaud both Democrats and Republicans
for it. But at the same hour tomorrow just across the street at the
Supreme Court, the voting rights act faces its greatest challenge. These
challenges threatens everything that Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King
stood for.

In the last year, voter ID laws have been pushed all over the country in 37
states. We`ve seen billboards in minority communities that threaten and
scare away voters. We`ve seen blocking of voter registration drives.
Scaling back on early voting and massive lines. And we`ve heard Desiline
Victor story, the 102-year-old Florida voter who stood in lines for hours
to cast her ballot.

So, on a day we honor the mother of civil rights, let`s remember what we`re
honoring. We cannot go back now. We`ve made too much progress to turn
back the clocks. Tomorrow as we honor one that stood up, let`s stand up
and hold up what she stood for at the Supreme Court.

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






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