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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

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POLITICS NATION
February 27, 2013

Guests: John Lewis; Ryan Haygood; Edward Flynn, Richard Wolffe, Angela Rye, Cynthia Tucker


REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks, Chris. And thanks to you
for tuning in. I`m live tonight from Washington, D.C., where I was inside
the Supreme Court for the arguments today.

Tonight`s lead, supreme showdown. Today, the court heard the most
serious challenge to the voting rights act of 1965. And in the middle of
this legal drama, with major constitutional questions at stake,
conservative justice Antonin Scalia made a statement that cut through
everything else.

Scalia said the law represents a quote "perpetuation of racial
entitlement." Sitting in the court, those words were shocking. A Supreme
Court justice of the United States saying the voting rights act is a
perpetuation of racial entitlement.

Lyndon Johnson signed the law in 1965 to prevent racial
discrimination, to stop the poll taxes, literacy tax and violence rampant
across Jim Crowe south. Section five of the law requires nine states,
mostly in the south, to get federal permission before changing their voting
procedures. This provision has stopped unfair voting changes like
districts redrawn to minimize the vote of African-Americans.

Recently, it`s been used to block photo id laws in South Carolina and
Texas and cutbacks in early voting in Florida. Yet, in 2009, chief justice
Roberts wrote quote, "things have changed in the south."

Yes, things have changed. But, clearly not enough. Just this past
fall we saw new voter id laws and voting lines that were far too long. The
voting rights act works and it`s been renewed by Congress again and again
by overwhelming margins. Pulitzer-prize a winning Supreme Court reporter
Linda Greenhouse writes that if the court strikes down this part of the
voting rights act, it would be, quote, "a truly radical move, a march off a
cliff of the court`s own making." Something that is unprecedented.

Racial entitlement? That`s offensive justice Scalia got it totally
backwards. And now, he is threatening to send the country backwards as
well.

Joining me now, live from the White House is Congressman John Lewis,
Democrat from Georgia, a civil rights icon whose beating at the bridge in
Alabama in 1965 helped to bring about the voting rights act.

Congressman, thank you for being here tonight.

REP. JOHN LEWIS (D), GEORGIA: Thank you very much, Reverend Al, for
having me here tonight. I`m so pleased to be here after being in the
chamber of the Supreme Court today and going over to see the statue of Rosa
Parks unveiled. It`s almost too much. I couldn`t believe what I heard
today in the chambers by Justice Scalia.

SHARPTON: It is unbelievable. You were sitting there. As one who
got beaten on that bridge and watched what you watched, to hear voting
rights referred to as a racial entitlement, I mean, how do you react to
that? What were you thinking?

LEWIS: It was unreal, unbelievable, almost shocking for a member of
the court to use that language. I can see politicians and even members of
Congress, but it is just appalling to me. It is a front to all of what the
civil rights movements do it for, what people die for, what people bled for
and those of us who marched across that bridge 48 years ago, we didn`t
march for some racial entitlement. We wanted to open up the political
process and let all the people come in. And it didn`t matter whether they
were black or white, Latino, Asia-American or Native American.

SHARPTON: The voting rights act was put before Congress after you and
Reverend Jose Williams who is represented Dr. King were beat on that bridge
in 1965 that was now known in history as bloody Sunday. And it was to
protect the rights of African-Americans and then all Americans right to
vote section five meant and in districts that had the historic pattern of
discrimination couldn`t make changes without preclearance. How is that an
entitlement? I thought African-Americans were citizens? For us to have
the right to vote protected is some kind of an entitlement program?

LEWIS: The right to vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most
powerful nonviolent instrument that we have in a democratic society. And
if the courts come to that point where they declare this section, section
five of the voting rights unconstitutional, it will be a dagger in the
heart of the democratic hostess. It will be a dagger in the whole process
to open up our democracy and let all of our people come in.

SHARPTON: One of the things that you have done every year is bring
all of us some of us that were too young to be there in `65, some of us
were there and we go across that bridge with you as we will this Sunday.
And I might add everyone from the vice president to, I understand, Eric
Cantor said to come, you bring Republicans, Democrats, white, blacks, there
were whites that marched with you in `65.

Do you think that the language we heard today will sit well with the
American people no matter what their racial background and no matter what
their political background? Don`t most Americans agree we need the voter`s
right protected?

LEWIS: I think a great majority of people in our country believe,
truly believe that all of us have the right that our right to vote to cast
an open and free vote to be protected by the law of the land.

SHARPTON: Now, let`s bring in Ryan Haygood of the NAACP legal and
educational fund who helped make the argument against Shelby County`s claim
at the Supreme Court today.

Let me ask you Mr. Haygood, the statement I read from Miss Greenhouse
of "The New York Times," that this would be an unprecedented power grab for
the Supreme Court to actually interfere with the will of the people.

Congress made the voting rights act, renewed it several times
including in 2006. For them to interfere with it would be unprecedented in
terms of how the legal community is set up and the legal system is set up
in this system, is that correct?

RYAN HAYGOOD, NAACP LEGAL AND EDUCATIONAL FUND: That`s absolutely
right, Reverend Sharpton. Here`s what we are going to be even emphasis
with the Supreme Court`s own president. Over four decades, four times the
Supreme Court has upheld section five in the voting rights act against
constitutional challenges.

Section five is recognized as a crowning achievement for the civil
rights movement and has gone a tremendous distance in recognizing that
racial discrimination in those places covered by section five is of a
different character than in those non-covered jurisdiction. It`s more
intense, it is more persistent and it is more adapted. And section five is
a strong medicine, a strong remedy to a strong type of discrimination
that`s persisted over time.

And so, the Supreme Court has recognized the progress that have been
made under section five with the voting rights act and tremendous gains we
have seen have been part and partial of section five`s important of work.

But, hat the court recognized today , even in oral argument, is that
though, there`s been progress, they are still persisting discrimination.
And the question that was a very salient moment in the oral argument when
justice briar asked the question of the lawyer representing Alabama, he
said I think we, the court, have consensus around two points, one, we have
traveled a tremendous distance in seeking to eradicate discrimination
voting. But two, we noticed that voting discrimination still persist.

And then, Reverend Sharpton, Justice Briar posted this question to the
Alabama lawyer. Who then can address the racial discrimination? Is it
you? And the lawyer for Alabama put his hands up, no, it`s not me. And
the Congress in 2006 met that question, Reverend Sharpton.

Congress conducted 21 hearings over ten months, heard from 90
witnesses both for and against re-authorizing section five, established a
15,000-page record. And what Congress recognized is that in the
jurisdictions covered by section five, more than 1,000 proposed
discriminatory changes were blocked in the last re-authorization period.

SHARPTON: But see, I think the point is and the congressman has been
out there, we marched, we did all kinds of efforts all over this country
last year when they were changing voter ID laws, photo ID laws, all of a
sudden, the photo ID we always had was no longer good enough. They were
changing early voting days. They were changing being able to vote on
Sunday. If they change section v now, they make it unconstitutional, then,
any of these districts all over this country, but particularly those in the
path of discrimination can do whatever they want and there is no stopping
it. The attorney general, no one can stop them.

This isn`t a front. We had a 102-year-old woman at the state of the
union address as a guest of the president of the United States who stood in
line two hours to use and utilize her vote. You are telling people like
that those lines are going to be there forever and longer. We are
discouraging voters. This is absolutely unthinkable.

HAYGOOD: Reverend Sharpton, to your point, what highlights the
continuing essentiality of the voting rights act, no place that is doing
some most important work that the court has to be mindful of the real
people that are protected by the protections in the places racial
discrimination persisted over time.

Alabama, it must occur to your voters as very odd, that Alabama is the
place that is bringing this constitutional challenge to section five and
Shelby County in particular. And very recent time, in 2008, the city
Calera, situated in Shelby County, discriminatory redistricting plan, but
the department of justice rejected it because it eliminated the city`s sole
African-American district by reducing the black population from 79 percent
to 29 percent. But, just as department rejected that change and the city,
nevertheless, held an election in which the African-American voter - city
councilman lost his seat because of section five, the city was required to
redraw like thorough families and hold another election in which the
African-American candidate was restored to this --

SHARPTON: Which is an example of why we say we have come a long way,
Congressman Lewis. But we still have a long way to go. No one has seen it
more than you. You were the youngest member of the leading organizations
in 50 years ago at the march on Washington. You seen us literally go from
the back of the bus to the White House. But, you are here today saying we
have a distance to go and we still need voter rights protection.
Congressman Lewis?

LEWIS: Yes, Al, I agree. We have come a distance. We have made
progress, but we are not there yet. We still have a great distance to go.
We hear the type of discussion that took place today, the question raised
by one member of the court. And when you travel through many parts of
America and see people standing in unmovable lines, saying it`s so hard and
difficult for people to cast a vote, we still need section five. It is the
heart and soul of the voting act of 1965. And we cannot stop now and we
will not stop now and we will not go back.

SHARPTON: Congressman John Lewis and Ryan Haygood, thank you for your
time tonight.

And let me say this. If it sounds like I`m passionate and emotional
about it and that it`s personal to me, it is. My mother, who raised me, by
herself as a single parent couldn`t vote in her native dope in Alabama
until she was 39 years old. She was able to vote because of the voting
rights act. My daughters who are in their 20s may have to use different ID
than I did because of others that have come with new forms of voter
suppression.

To have one generation denied the right to vote and a generation
behind me now threatened with new forms of voter suppression is personal to
me. And I`m not looking for an entitlement. I`m a citizen. And I should
be protected and treated like any other citizen. I don`t need an
entitlement to do what Americans should be able to do every day.

We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We are back with real progress to report on the push for
gun safety. Vice president Biden kept the pressure on telling the nation`s
attorney generals no more excuses. New York mayor Michael Bloomberg met
with the vice president a day after the mayor`s gun safety cabinet won a
primary in Chicago. An action on Capitol Hill with the major Senate
hearing on the assault weapons ban. Emotions ran high for Neil Heslin, the
father of a little boy killed inside Sandy Hook elementary school.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEIL HESLIN, FATHER OF NEWTOWN VICTIM: Jesse was so like of my wife.
He was the only family I had left. It`s hard for me to be here today to
talk about my deceased son. I have to. I`m his voice. I`m not here for
the sympathy and a pat on the back as many people stated in the town of
Newtown. I`m here to speak up for my son. There`s many changes that have
to happen to make a change effective. Mental health issues, better
background checks, bans on these weapons, bans on high capacity magazines.
They all have to come together and work effectively. Common sense tells
you that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Common sense tells you that. Also, at the Senate hearing,
a Milwaukee police chief brought a powerful message for banning assault
weapons.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

EDWARD FLYNN, CHIEF, MILWAUKEE POLICE DEPARTMENT: How many people
have to get murdered in a mass murder for it to be enough? Now I have been
wrong time after time after time. I`m a grandpa. I have little kids at
home. Is 20 babies enough to say these implements should not be easily
distributed. That`s what we`re asking for. When was that gun bought?

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Chief Edward Flynn joins me now.

Chief, thank you for being here tonight.

FLYNN: Thank you for having me.

SHARPTON: You had a heated exchange with Senator Lindsey Graham over
background checks. Let`s show that to our viewers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: How many cases have you made
for somebody violating a background check.

FLYNN: We don`t make those cases, senator. We have priorities. We
make gun cases. We make 2,000 gun cases a year, senator. That`s our
priority. We are not in a paper chase. We are trying to prevent the wrong
people buying guns. That`s why we do background checks. If you think I`m
going to do a paper chase, then you think I`m trying to misuse my
resources.

GRAHAM: I`m just trying to ask you a question about how the law works
today. He has made no cases, you have made no cases because you say it is
really not within your belly weight. How many cases have you had turned
over from the U.S. attorney to prosecute at the state level that you know
of?

FLYNN: We all know the answers to these questions. They are self-
answering. We don`t chase papers, we chase armed criminals.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: You really wouldn`t back down of Senator Graham. But you
seem very committed and passionate about this, why?

FLYNN: You can`t be a career police officer and work in an urban
jurisdiction and not be passionate about it. I mean, every year in
America, there is a slow motion mass murder occurring in our cities. There
are individual tragedies such as Newtown and Aurora. And there are daily
tragedies of deaths in the city. And these deaths are overwhelmingly
committed with semiautomatic weapons, many of them with high capacity
magazines and some of them assault rifles. And a country that is unwilling
to do anything about that doesn`t care about itself citizens. So, I don`t
believe that.

And I found it extraordinarily frustrating as I sat there. Every one
of them said oh, we respect your work. You know, we are so sorry about the
tragedy in Newtown, but by the way, we are not going to do anything about
it. Well, that is unacceptable. And you can`t help but become a little
agitated when somebody engages in a piece of (INAUDIBLE) and says look over
here, nobody prosecuted these people for filling out their paperwork wrong.
No, but we have locked up thousands of gun offenders. And he paper work
that was done prevented hundreds of thousands of more from getting guns
illegally.

So, the background checks worked. The purpose of the background check
isn`t to create cases, the purpose of background checks is to prevent guns
falling into the hands of criminals. And on that basis, they have
succeeded.

SHARPTON: You know, chief, in a recent poll, overwhelmingly,
Americans support universal background checks, 92 percent. Then, when you
look at a new NBC poll - an NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll, in fact, it
shows the majority of Americans support stricter gun laws. More strict, 61
percent, less trick only four percent, keep as is, 34 percent.

Why do you think you are getting some of this political resistance
like you saw today on Capitol Hill when the overwhelming majority of
Americans are saying, would you say stricter gun laws and background
checks, universal background checks. What could be so controversial about
that?

FLYNN: Well, I think, if we are going to be intellectually honest, I
think we have to recognized that the real issue here is not the second
amendment, it`s commerce. A lot of people make a lot of money selling a
lot of expensive weapons to people. They spent a lot of time making
afraid.

Now, the bill is proposed by senator Feinstein, specifically exempts
over 2500 different kinds of weapons from the bills of provisions. There
are thousands of weapons available to sportsmen and hunters and people who
are concerned about self-defense.

And trust me, I honor the desire for people whose defend themselves.
There are neighborhoods that are being jury and law-abiding people do feel
the need to have something to protect their home or something to protect
their person.

And there are many, many weapons available to do that. The issue here
is, what is our willingness as a society to regulate implements of
destruction whose only purpose is to kill large numbers of human beings as
rapidly and efficiently as possible.

Don`t tell me the Brady Bill didn`t work. The guns used in Newtown
were purchased after the Brady Bill expired. So, don`t tell me that.
Don`t tell those grieving parents, you care about their child and then
leave the hearing before they even testify. That`s what happened. I think
that`s disgraceful.

Stop fronting foreign industry and start caring about the lives of
your constituents.

SHARPTON: New York mayor Michael Bloomberg met today with the vice
president at the White House. And here is what he said after the meeting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), NEW YORK: I walk away pleased,
optimistic. I`m not under any delusion this is a slam dunk or that it is
already in the bag, if you will. I think it is something that the time is
coming and if not now, it will be later. The difference is there`s going
to be a lot more people murdered between now and later. And when you think
about it in that context, there isn`t any time to waste.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He said that he is optimistic, he has some hope. Are you
optimistic after today?

FLYNN: You have to remain optimistic if you are going to stay in
police work for a career. You have to hope sooner or later the system can
work. The question before us is straightly straight forward. Do we have
the political will and capacity to come up with a provision that will keep
people safe from military assault weapons?

It`s not a hard problem to solve. It`s been solved before. It worked
for ten years, for ten years during Brady. Crimes committed with assault
rifles decreased by 66 percent. We can do this if the will is there. And
I got to believe those congressmen can listen to those parents.

SHARPTON: Well, you stood up strong today. Didn`t waiver at all.
And I`m really honored to have you on the show tonight.

Chief Edward Flynn, thank you so much for joining us and thank you for
the way you are standing up for the people in this country.

FLYNN: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, with their brand in free fall, are Republicans
finally ready to take on Rush Limbaugh?

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: What happens when a congressman goes after Sean Hannity?
This.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: Quite frankly, you are the worst
excuse for a journalist I have ever seen.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I am what? I can`t hear you.

ELLISON: You heard me.

HANNITY: I did, no. Say again. I didn`t hear you.

ELLISON: I heard you - I mean, what you just displayed was not
journalism. It was yellow journalism, it wasn`t anything close to trying
to tell the American people what`s really going on and I mean, it`s just
shocking.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It sure got hot under the studio lights. The epic
takedown, that is coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Hear that sound? It`s the GOP cracking. House Republicans
have caved on the violence against women`s act. Tomorrow, they are
expected to pass it. The bill provides programs for domestic violence
investigations and prosecutions. Resources like the national domestic
violence hot line and it offers much needed funding for domestic violence
shelters. Who could be against this? Republicans were.

For months. They blocked it, every chance they could. Time and
again, we talked to Senator Boxer about the GOPs refusal to take up the
legislation. But now they are cracking. After a year of fighting against
women`s rights, after a year of mocking their war on women.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The Republicans have a war on caterpillars.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: This straw man, straw women, this war on women
that supposedly the GOP is waging.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This is plank on the
so-called war on women. Give me a break.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So much for the fake outrage. And remember this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Quite frankly, Chuck Hagel
is out of the mainstream of thinking.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I think it will be a lot of tough questions of
Senator Hagel.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: It is very difficult to imagine a
circumstance in which I could support his confirmation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Soak it in, Senator. The Secretary of Defense Hagel
reporting for his first day on the job. Need another example? Mr.
"Complete the Danged Fence" McCain and his buddy Senator Graham met with
the President on immigration reform yesterday. McCain said the President,
quote, "Understands what we are dealing with."

Graham called it one of the best meetings I have ever had with the
President. This isn`t candid camera. That`s Senator McCain and Graham.
And no GOP reversal has been more dramatic than health care.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: We are not going to implement Obamacare
for them. We are not going to expand Medicaid.

SHARPTON: That`s Mr. Scott, one of the eight GOP governors have
signed on to the President`s Medicaid expansion. The key part of this
health care will be implemented those states. This is progress. It hasn`t
been easy. At times, it`s been downright messy. But you better believe,
it`s progress. It`s a win.

Joining me now is Richard Wolffe and Angela Rye. Thank you both for
coming on the show tonight.

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC COMMENTATOR: Thanks, Reverend.

ANGELA RYE, PRINCIPAL, IMPACT STRATEGIES: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Richard, it`s a hard slog but Republicans do seem to
crumble on a bunch of these issues. What`s going on?

WOLFFE: Well, they are picking fights they cannot win, right? They
are picking fights about defense secretary who is always going to have
enough votes. Yes, they mess around with him. But he was always going to
get confirmed. It`s a bit like the sequester. They`re going to have to
cave. The pressure is just too intense watching this stuff unfold.

And yet Medicaid dollars, I mean, really, are you going to have
governors even with the Supreme Court saying, yes, you have a choice.
Governors are going to turn down dollars that will make them more popular
with their own voters. They are not picking smart fights here. And that
leads to a bigger question. Will they ever break out of what Bobby Jindal
had called the stupid party? That`s the thing they are facing right now.

SHARPTON: Angela, you work The Hill. You know it better than most
people in this town. And you were there in 2010 when the Tea Party
movement was at its height and had a lot of strength. Salon says that not
only do the Republicans seem to be caving, but the Tea Party itself seems
to have fizzled. Let me read the quote.

It says, "Who are the names that come to mind when you think of
leaders of the Tea Party movement? Maybe Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Jim
DeMint, Ron Paul and Michele Bachmann. You could add to that a handful
list of handful other congressmen, especially outspoken representative
Steve King, Allen West and Joe Walsh. And then you realize that every
single one of them either lost their job or abandoned being a voice of the
movement." An interesting statement.

RYE: Absolutely. I think when you look at the Tea Party politics and
what was happening in 2010, both on The Hill and even for the president,
the president just won this election, 2008. All of a sudden the Tea Party
rises. Folks are angry. They want to, you know, take their country back.
There`s all of this very visceral hyper partisan rhetoric on that we can`t
relate to in any way shape or form.

And now, you see the evolution of the Tea Party. There`s more scary
policies. We saw this election season with people saying all kind of
things like Donald Trump, he wanted to see a revolution. You know, Glenn
Beck just more recently said, that people are hired into the government, so
they can be taught how to be racist. We see these things unfold in all
kinds of ways. They are not representative of what the American people at
large think, feel or vote for.

SHARPTON: Why do they fight though if they`re given later?

RYE: I don`t know. When you look at what`s happening today, I mean,
the fiscal cliff was the first battle where, you know, Speaker Boehner had
to say forget the hassle rule. And then after that, you have them speaking
out against immigration. You say, McCain having the defense, the President
and policies that make sense on immigration reform. They`re going to have
to do what make the most sense for the country, and not just these
ideological conservative districts that they have drawn for themselves to
redistricting.

SHARPTON: You know, Richard, day after day, another poll shows just
how badly the GOP brand has become. A pew poll says 62 percent think the
GOP is out of touch with the American people. Fifty two percent, 52 now
think is that the GOP is too extreme.

WOLFFE: Right. I want to put another point of comparison here. Yes,
the polls are really striking. In a way, maybe it`s not surprising
straight after they just won an election. But it might be more surprising
to do a comparison between where President Bush was at this point of his
second term and where President Obama is. Because President Bush did not
have a honeymoon.

By the time he actually got inaugurated the second time, he was
already having rebellions in his own party. His big signature thing in the
start of his second term was reforming Social Security, privatizing Social
Security.

SHARPTON: Right.

WOLFFE: It failed. You are looking at the President now, President
Obama with a real shot of getting comprehensive immigration reform where
his party is holding together with him, not splitting away as Republicans
did with President Bush. And you know, Democrats at that point of 2005
were on a track to a big win in 2006. Looking at things now, I know it`s
early. But Republicans do not seem to be on that track for the next
election, 2014.

SHARPTON: You know, when you look at the fact that the polls that
conducted the poll I just quoted to Richard, Angela, yesterday`s NBC News
poll to be specific with the Wall Street Journal, he says, quote, "The
Republican Party is pretty much in need of a major makeover. The
Republicans don`t need a silver lining, they need a whole new playbook."

Now, even though that may be something you and I would say sounds
right, look at the title messages that keep failing and just listen to who
the GOP has invited to speak at this year`s big conservative conference.
Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: You can actually see Russia from
land here in Alaska.

MITT ROMNEY, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Corporations are people,
my friend. We can raise taxes -- of course they are. Everything
corporations earn goes to people.

GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: Three agencies of government when I get
there that are gone. Commerce, education and the -- what`s the third one
there? Let`s see --

REP. ALLEN WEST (R), FLORIDA: I believe there`s about 78 to 81
members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I don`t want to make people`s lives better by
giving them somebody else`s money.

PALIN: You bet you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: These are the -- this is the lineup. These are the key
speakers for their conference. I mean, so how do they ever rebrand when
they have the same old, tired line and those that give those lines as their
key people out front?

RYE: They won`t. They absolutely won`t. You have Governor Christie
who is in New Jersey in a blue state with a 78 percent approval rating.

SHARPTON: Right.

RYE: If you can`t beat them, you join them Rev. And there not doing
that.

SHARPTON: And he`s very conservative.

RYE: They are -- it`s boycotts policies across the board. Whether
it`s in Congress, they`re going to boycott the President, they want to see
a sequester happen. Even though only 25 percent of the country knows what
a sequester is. You can`t continue boycott politics to get anything done.

SHARPTON: Richard Wolffe and Angela Rye, thanks for your time this
evening.

RYE: Thanks, Rev.

WOLFFE: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Every now and again, the right wingers meet their
kryptonite, true. True, and it happened last night inside the right wing
echo chamber, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Republicans are stuck in a right wing bubble that keeps
reality on the outside. Once in awhile, the truth slips in. That`s what
happened when democratic Congressman Keith Ellison squared off last night
against FOX`s Sean Hannity who was claiming that the President was just
scaring the public over budget cuts. The result was a smack down for the
ages.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELLISON: Quite frankly you are the worse excuse for a journalist I`ve
ever seen.

HANNITY: I am the what? I can`t hear you.

ELLISON: You heard me.

HANNITY: I did not. Say it again. I didn`t hear you.

ELLISON: I heard you, I mean, what you just displayed was not
journalism, it was yellow journalism, it wasn`t anything close to trying to
tell the American people what`s really going on and I mean, it`s just
shocking. The President was honest, what the President said was dead on
accurate and for you to say the President is to blame here is ridiculous.
I was there August, 2011 when the Republicans, your party, which you
shamelessly --

HANNITY: I`m not a republican, let me correct the record.

ELLISON: You are nothing, but a republican.

HANNITY: No, no, sir.

ELLISON: Yes, you are. Yes, you are.

HANNITY: Sir, sir, I`m a registered --

ELLISON: You are. Well --

HANNITY: Congressman, I am not a registered republican, I`m a
registered conservative.

ELLISON: You are a shill for the Republican Party.

HANNITY: I`m a registered conservative, sir.

ELLISON: You alibi them constantly. In the spirit of
bipartisanship, let`s find a dialogue, I want to ask you this.

ELLISON: I thought you`re a republican.

HANNITY: I`m a registered conservative. Sir, you want to make a
thousand dollar bet, I`m a registered conservative, you want to make a
$10,000 bet?

ELLISON: I don`t bet, I don`t bet.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: What is it the Republicans and the $10,000 bets? The truth
is, they can`t handle the truth.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: I have given you plenty of time to rant Congressman.

ELLISON: We`ll let you get a word in, go ahead.

HANNITY: Oh, you`re so nice to give me a word on my own program.

ELLISON: OK. I changed my mind.

HANNITY: Let me ask you a question --

ELLISON: Let`s close loopholes.

HANNITY: Oh my gosh!

ELLISON: .on large corporations. Let`s say that yachts and jets
should not be something that you can write off. Let`s say that Exxon Mobil
and Chevron should not get a tax rebate and a subsidy. Let`s start there.
Let`s say that the people who earn, who get to pay less.

HANNITY: All right. Congressman, you`re ranting really well. Can I
ask you a question?

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

Here`s a simple question.

ELLISON: If you don`t like what I`m saying Sean -- and I`m not
backing down to you.

HANNITY: Here`s my question. Is it immoral -- is it immoral --

ELLISON: You are immoral.

HANNITY: I`m immoral?

ELLISON: Yes.

HANNITY: What did I do that`s immoral? I didn`t do anything that`s
immoral.

ELLISON: You say things that aren`t true.

HANNITY: Give me one example, sir.

ELLISON: Well, to try to say that it is, that it is the President`s
fault and he is to blame is wrong and it`s a lie it`s not true.

HANNITY: It`s not his fault that we have 16 trillion in debt?

ELLISON: It`s not.

HANNITY: He didn`t add $6 trillion to the debt since he`s been
president?

ELLISON: No, no.

HANNITY: He did add six trillion to debt since he`s been president.

ELLISON: What about the other 10? Let`s talk about the other 10.

HANNITY: All right. Congressman you`re waste of time. I`m moving on
because our audience deserves better. Thank you for being with us. I`m
trying to give you a fair shot.

ELLISON: No, you didn`t.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Looks to me like someone`s bubble just got burst.

Joining me now is Cynthia Tucker. Cynthia, is that what happens when
the truth blows up the right wing`s echo chamber?

CYNTHIA TUCKER, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA: You know, Reverend Al, the
simple fact of the matter is that the congressman was absolutely right when
he said that FOX News isn`t journalism. It isn`t. It`s propaganda. It is
propaganda perhaps masquerading as journalism. Perhaps, their based of
viewers understand it to be journalism but it isn`t. You know you can
dismiss Keith Allison as a partisan. He`s a democrat.

But the simple fact of the matter is there had been several highly
respected studies that is show that viewers of FOX News are less well
informed. They know less. They are more misinformed than people who get
their news from any other source. In fact, one study said that FOX viewers
are less informed than people who don`t watch any news at all. So, the
congressman was absolutely right. It isn`t journalism.

SHARPTON: Now, when you look at the fact that a lot of people who
are conservative and republican are dealing with this kind of hysteria, Joe
Scarborough, "Morning Joe," last Tuesday ripping GOP for being stuck in
their own little media world. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE SCARBOROUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: For conservatives that think
they have to stay in their own little media world, since Rush Limbaugh went
on the air and became a national figure, Republicans have lost five out of
the last six presidential elections in the popular vote. Since FOX News
went on the air in 1996, Republicans have lost four out of five.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And that`s what I really want to deal with. It may make
them feel good in the echo chamber and to say things that they feel they
all agree with, but they can`t win. They have lost the relevance of their
party. And I think that`s the point that Scarborough and a growing list of
conservative Republicans are saying. Is this has ridded them ineffective?

TUCKER: Absolutely. Every now and then the truth smacks them right
upside the head. As happened to Karl Rove when he was on FOX News on
election night, sitting there simply refusing to believe that Obama was
winning re-election. And so, it hasn`t served their party well at all to
have a continuing steady diet of things that absolutely are not true.
Another example is that several conservative outlets kept repeating that
Chuck Hagel would not be confirmed.

He was going down to defeat. So undoubtedly some of them were stunned
when he was confirmed fairly easily. No, it isn`t serving the Republican
Party or its voters very well to have them served a steady diet of things
that are simply factually untrue. And people like Joe Scarborough and
David Frum and a few others are trying to get them to come to their senses.
Wake up. We need to have, live in a reality based universe.

SHARPTON: Now, when you look at the fact that the President himself
said last month that FOX and Rush are helping to create gridlock in
Washington is not only hurting the party, it`s hurting the country. Look
what the President said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: It says, if a republican
member of Congress is not punished on FOX or by Rush Limbaugh for working
with a democrat on a bill or common interest, then you`ll see more of them
doing it. I mean, isn`t that the real problem that he`s raising there? Is
that republican politicians are controlled by far right talkers who care
more about ratings than they do about the people and about the progress for
the country?

TUCKER: Absolutely. I mean republican members of Congress have had
to apologize to Rush Limbaugh for daring to say something, you know, utter
a bit of tepid criticism of him. They live in utter fear of the man. They
live in utter fear of being called out by Bill O`Reilly or Sean Hannity on
FOX News. And it is not at all good for the country when they are more
afraid of Rush Limbaugh than they are afraid of doing the wrong thing for
the people who sent them to Washington.

SHARPTON: Cynthia, I`m going to have to leave it there. Cynthia
Tucker, thanks for your time tonight.

TUCKER: Good to be here, Rev.

SHARPTON: The Supreme Court and the ghost of the civil rights
movement. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: At the Supreme Court today, the voices of those who died
for the right to vote echoed through their chamber. Viola Gregg Liuzzo,
the Detroit housewife who worked for voting rights. She was murdered by
the Ku Klux Klan after she participated in the march on Selma.

Herbert Lee, a chartered member of the Mississippi NAACP who
registered black voters until he was shot and killed by a state
legislature. James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner,
arrested after tirelessly working to register blacks to vote in
Mississippi, only to be released into the hands of the Ku Klux Klan who
murdered them.

We must never forget them this sacrifices and we never could. Their
actions brought about the voting rights act. Two thousand six, Chief
Justice Roberts said things have changed in the south. And of course it
has. But has it changed enough? Of course not. In last year alone, 37
states introduced voter ID laws that suppressed voters. We have seen
massive voting lines, hundreds of thousands lost their right to vote. We
cannot deny the sacrifice of those who died to get this nation where it is
today.

The legacy of Viola Gregg Liuzzo of Herbert Lee, of James Earl Chaney,
Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner. The price they paid was too high.
The pain cut too deep. We suffer too much to go part of the way on the
journey. We cannot stop until we arrive at full citizenship with full
protection under the law for everyone and we must not let anyone turn us
around until that is achieved. All Americans.

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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