updated 3/7/2013 10:29:28 AM ET 2013-03-07T15:29:28

POLITICS NATION
March 6, 2013

Guests: Jan Schakowsky, Valerie Jarrett, Cynthia Tucker, Joe Conasan

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

Last night, the largest active volcano in Europe erupted. Mt. Etna on the
east coast of Sicily, Italy, spud lava and hot ash for a thousand feet in
the sky. The blast was so powerful, it was visible from space. And nearly
a thousand miles away in Washington D.C., something else is blowing up.
The GOP`s relentless refusal to talk about compromise with President Obama.

Yes, you can see it right there. Wow. In just a few minutes, President
Obama will leave the White House for a dinner to talk policy and politics
with a group of Republican lawmakers. He will break bread with 11 GOP
Senators, talking about taxes and cuts and breaking gridlock in Washington.
And judging by the response, he has already getting, this could be the
start of something.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I`m encouraged by the president`s
out reach. I hope it bears fruit. There are other Senators who will be
giving their views to the president tonight. They will probably try to
talk sense into him and he`ll try to talk sense into us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Talking sense into the GOP? I like the sound of that. That`s
probably why two Republicans, in particular, won`t be attending. That`s
right. Senator McConnell, no soup for you. And Speaker Boehner, no merlot
for you, either.

Those two Republican leaders have proven they reject compromise. They have
shown they are beholden to the far right. Need an example? Just look at
the fit Speaker Boehner threw over the White House decision to stop tours
of the White House due to automatic budget cuts that Republicans allowed to
happen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The idea that we are going
to shut down tours at the White House during the Easter season when
Washington is overrun by visitors, it`s just silly. And I want to know
who`s being laid off at the White House? Is this what`s going on? All I
can say is the capitol is open to visitors. We welcome the American people
to come to their capitol. We have been preparing for the president`s
sequester for months.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Careful now. Stand back. John Boehner is out raged. Wouldn`t
you love it if he were just as out raged to the cuts we`re seeing to the
poor or the cuts to the vital women`s programs or, I don`t know, how about
750,000 jobs that will be lost if we don`t come together on a budget deal?
How about some outrage on that, Mr. Speaker?

And while he`s downright angry, Congressman Paul Ryan is practically
gleeful with the cuts the latest budget will make to the safety net. "The
New York Times" says, quote, "he`s likely to propose cuts to many programs
unaffected by the automatic reductions. Like food stamps, Medicaid, social
service block grants and farm subsidies. He would use those savings to
reduce some of the automatic cuts, including in the military."

Quiet a reverse Robin Hood. Steal from the poor and give to the Pentagon.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Democrat of Illinois and
Jared Bernstein, senior fellow at the Center for budget and policies
priorities.

Thank you for both being here tonight.

JARED BERNSTEIN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Rev.

REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman Schakowsky, let me go to you, first. Some
Senators may be open to compromise. But it seems the same old ways with
the House Republicans.

SCHAKOWSKY: There is such an incredible disconnect between the United
States Congress, the House, the Republican-led House and the rest of the
world. The real life, the real world that my constituents live in. And
everything single thing that they`re doing, the sequester, the continuing
resolution, the Ryan budget make income and equality much worse. Create,
as you pointed out, the loss of as many as 750,000 jobs. Give more tax
breaks, the Ryan budget ex-pot will give more tax breaks the wealthiest
Americans, turn Medicare into a voucher program, none of this, let me
underscore, none of this is necessary. This is a self-inflicted pain on
the majority of Americans, the middle class and the poor.

SHARPTON: Jared, when you look at the president going to dinner with them
tonight, reaching out, they always said he did reach out. He has always
reached out. He`s reaching out again. "New York Times` said this weekend,
the president`s new strategy in dealing with the GOP is quote "with few
avenues left for winning a comprehensive budget deal, President Obama has
begun reaching out to GOP Senators in a bid to isolate Republican leaders
in Congress and force a compromise."

Is this new strategy a result of what he learned his first four years in
office, in your opinion?

BERNSTEIN: I think so. I mean, I think that he learned from silting
across the table, negotiating in fairly old-school style, the idea that the
president deals with party leaders didn`t work for him because the party
leader, I`m thinking of Speaker Boehner in particular, he didn`t have his
troops behind him. So, he couldn`t get the yes.

But, let me underscore something the Congressman Schakowsky said about
this. I`m very glad they are trying to work towards compromise. It`s a
word that`s been lacking in Washington. We won`t move forward without it.
But look at what they`re talking about. You`re not telling me that these
folks are getting together to try to figure out how to bring the
unemployment rate down or to increase the rate of job growth. You`re
telling me they`re getting together to try to turn off sequester and
diffuse the latest fiscal time bomb.

Now, that`s good. That`s kind of let`s do less harm. But how about some
urgency around jobs, the economy, the things that the Congresswoman was
talking about.

SHARPTON: And then, when you look at the real suffering that people are
doing and we`re talking about the preserved loopholes for people`s private
jets and their private yachts, Congresswoman, it`s really amazing. But, at
the end of the day, though, you have to hope that you can get something
done if you really care about people not suffering. And Senator Graham,
who I`ve been no fan of, he did show some kind of willingness to cooperate.
Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRAHAM: I have publicly said that I`m willing to do more revenue if we can
really bend in entitlement curve. I`m just speaking for myself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, the reason why I am saying in, and again, I`m (INAUDIBLE)
by admitting I`ve been no fan of his on this show and other places. But,
for him to mention revenue, Congresswoman, is a big deal.

SCHAKOWSKY: You know, he mentioned revenue, but he also mentioned the real
prize that they are after. And that is Social Security and that - which
had nothing to do with the deficit, Medicare and Medicaid.

So, that`s where they really want to go. And to cut those programs, to cut
the benefits of those programs, is what they really want to do. And that
will cause enormous pain not just today, but for generations to come. And
I think that is a bad trade-off for us to be making.

SHARPTON: Now Jared, the president is not just at dinner tonight. There`s
a lot of reaching out going on. He is having dinner tonight. Next week,
he will address GOP House and Senate conferences and will join Republicans
for lunch. Also, he`s spoken with Congressman Paul Ryan regarding the
budget. So he`s very proactive in trying to break this gridlock and get
something done, which is a good thing if you`re one of those 750,000 people
that may lose their job. Or if you`re in one of the situations that we
talked about. At the end of the day, the robber meets the rope with the
American people not those that are lot in policy gridlock on the beltway or
in the beltway.

BERNSTEIN: Of course that`s right. And the president has consistently
argued for turning sequestration things off. That doesn`t mean he believes
there should be no spending cuts. In fact, the plan that he`s put forth
has been balanced between revenue increases on one side and spending cuts
on the other.

The thing that Republicans consistently refuse to remember is that thus
far, we have actually cut about 1.7 trillion in spending and raised about
$700 billion in taxes. So, we already have an imbalance there. We have
implemented, we say, we have legislated $2.30 of every spending cut for
every dollar of tax increases. So, the president is absolutely within his
rights to suggest more balanced, that`s got to be the way forward.

SHARPTON: Well, Congresswoman, the president has always said balance and
had said to those in his own party and those on the left and many of the
conversation that I have been in that I want to do things some of you may
disagree with. Look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It`s not as if Democrats are
not being asked to do anything either to compromise. I mean, there are
members of my party who violently disagree with the notion that we should
do anything on Medicare. And I`m willing to say to them, I disagree with
you because I want to preserve Medicare for the long haul. And we`re going
to have some tough politics within my party to get this done.

Both sides need to be willing to compromise.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So, when they say that he is not willing to compromise and that
he`s just inflexible and more and more and more, that`s really not true
even to the concern of some in the Democratic party.

SCHAKOWSKY: Of course, it`s not true because we already cut $716 billion
out of Medicare. And remember, the Republicans accused us of cutting
Medicare. And now, of course, they really want to cut more and more and
more.

We are willing to cut all the fat out of those programs to make them more
efficient. But when you start cutting benefits, you are talking about
taking life-saving health care away from seniors who make a median income
of $22,000 a year and are already paying 20 percent of their income out-of-
pocket for health care. We just have to be very careful about where we
make the cuts. But of course we are willing to sit down and discuss where
they can be made safely for the American people.

SHARPTON: Well, Congresswoman, I`m going to have to leave it there.
You`re right. We can cut the fat. It`s when they start trying to cut the
bone that bothers me.

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and Jared Bernstein, thank you for coming on
the show tonight.

BERNSTEIN: Thank you, Rev.

SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, President Obama ready to mark a major milestone in the
fight for equality. Valerie Jarrett, White House senior advisor joins us
live on a winning fight for women`s rights.

And Bill O`Reilly losing control.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Give me one damn program he`s sitting --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s called entitlements. What are you doing? Why do
you want to yell?

O`REILLY: Because you are lying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not lying.

O`REILLY: You are lying.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And ten years since the invasion of Iraq, Dick Cheney still has
no regrets.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I don`t
spend a lot of time thinking about my faults I guess would be the answer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We do. Many of them. And we`ll talk about it.

Big show coming up. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We know our economy is stronger when our wives, our mothers, our
daughters can live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace
and free from the fear of domestic violence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Tomorrow, the president will mark another milestone for women`s
rights. He will sign the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act. Into
law. It`s been a long time coming. Republicans blocked the law for almost
a year. Posing its expanded protections for groups in native America and
the LGBT community. The bill finally passed last week and even then most
Republicans were still saying no.

Hundred thirty eight Republicans in the House and 22 Republicans in the
Senate tried, but they failed to stop the Violence Against Women Act. The
president`s first act in office was to expand women`s rights with the Lily
Ledbetter act. And, tomorrow, he`ll make history, once again.

Joining me now is White House senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett. Nice to
have you here on the set tonight.

VALERIE JARRETT, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISOR: I`m delighted, this is my
first time on your set, Reverend Sharpton. So, I`m pretty happy to be
here.

SHARPTON: Well, we are honored to have you here and we will be around this
occasion.

JARRETT: An amazing occasion tomorrow will be.

SHARPTON: I know you worked very hard on this. And you believed on it.
And it really took leveled in it immediately to become law and to go to the
president`s desk. Tell me why anyone could be opposed to a Violence
Against Women Act.

JARRETT: It`s hard to imagine when you think that every day, three women
die as a result of domestic violence. Five women in the course -- one in
five women will be assaulted or raped in the course of their life. And
that number one in four for college-age women.

And so, with that kind of statistic, how on earth could we not move
forward. We have made a lot of progress since it was originally authored
by vice president Biden 19 years ago. It`s been reauthorized and
strengthened twice before. And this time, we said it should apply to all
people. And all people means all people. And so, we have resistance, but
ultimately it passed and tomorrow we will be surrounded by survivors and
advocates and stakeholders from around the country who did not give up.
And it is a testament to what happens when you don`t give up and you keep
pushing.

SHARPTON: And the act has worked. The 19 years has been into effect. We
can see tangible results from here.

JARRETT: Huge effects. If you think back, Reverend Sharpton to 19 years
ago, the police department were trained to recognize it. And so
oftentimes, acts of domestic violence were ignored and men were put right
back immediately out on the street if they were taken in to begin with.
Women didn`t have hotlines to call if they needed help. There were no
services available in terms of social services or shelters available.
Legal services were not available as we have now. So, the resources that
we have put together above in terms of human capital and financial capital
have made a dramatic difference. But we still have hard work to do.

SHARPTON: Now, I notice that you were able to have a strategy that appears
new by getting individual Senators and Congressman in the Republican on the
Republican side to vote with you. Is that a new strategy that the White
House is just not even arguing with the leadership and repealing directly?

JARRETT: Well, you know what, the president`s attitude is he will do
whatever it takes. So, we`re going to talk to the leadership as he met
with the leaders last Friday about the sequester. You mentioned this
evening, he`s having dinner with some of the members. We will talk to
whoever wants to come to the table and work with us in good faith. We`ve
had huge challenges in this country, Reverend Sharpton, as you know. But
there`s nothing that we can`t do with the American people behind us.

And so, I think what you saw with the Violence Against Women Act is women
and men all across the country saying come on now. This is something that
we have to do -- not just the president to do it as the president or he did
it as a father of two girls, as a husband, as a son recognizing the
importance of protecting all of our women around the country. And men, it
is important to point out that it protects them as well.

SHARPTON: Absolutely. And do you think when you see this, when he signs
this tomorrow, and you see as you mentioned that I had opened the show
talking about he has having dinner tonight, would this possibly lead to
compromise and breakthroughs and other areas? Clearly, we are worried
about the sequester.

JARRETT: Certainly we hope so. And we have already seen glimmers of light
around comprehensive immigration reform. I know you covered that often on
your show where there seems to be an awesome momentum which is really
encouraging. And so, we want to find those pathway where there common
ground and move forward. But so much of our agenda to invest in education
and early fall, as the president mentioned in the stat of the union,
attracting manufacturing jobs back to our country, infrastructure. That
ambitious agenda that`s a growth agenda that will position our companies to
be globally competitive in order to tackle that fully, we need to get our
fiscal house in order. So we`re going to move down parallel path and we
are going to find that common ground and the president, as you know, is
pretty to nation, he`s not about to give up now.

SHARPTON: Now, when you say fiscal house in order, that`s going to be a
balanced approach because as I was just talking with Congresswoman
Schakowsky, the president has said he`s dealing with some spending in some
of the things that some in his own party and some on my side of the
etiological side I get nervous about. But he is talking about a balanced
approach, but also that they have got to deal with revenue. And so, these
conversations could actually find common ground.

JARRETT: So far, we have cut $3 for every dollar of revenue. And the
president has been very clear that we can`t cut our way out of stock. It
has to be a balanced approach. He is not willing to balance our budget on
the backs of senior citizens or children with disabilities or the poor.

And so, we have to make sure that it is very balanced, so we can`t ask
everyone else to sacrifice without encouraging those at the top income to
sacrifice. And we think we can do this in a way where it will lead to
investment and growth. I`ve spent the last couple of days in New York
meeting with rangers, people from the business community. And they`re more
than willing to pay their fair share as long as they know that there are
also going to be entitlement reform and it is going to lead to strengthen
the economy.

And so, they took that message to the hill at the end of last year. And
unfortunately, many of them were met with deaf ears, but we`re just going
to keep at it. We are going to keep going. And that`s going to be what
positions our country for growth. Yesterday, the stock market hit an all-
time high.

We are on the right track. We just need to still do big things. And I am
confident that if we`re all working together and with the American people
behind us, we can still do big things in this country.

SHARPTON: Absolutely.

JARRETT: Imagine where we us four years ago when the president took
office. So, we are on the right track. We just need to still do big
things. And I`m confident that if we are all working together and with the
American people behind us, we can still do big things in this country.

SHARPTON: Well, if make the stock market hit an all-time high and
unemployment an all-time low, that`s the balance we need.

JARRETT: That`s the perfect balance You are absolutely right, Reverend
Sharpton.

SHARPTON: White House senior advisor, assistant to the president and I`m
sure a very proud American tomorrow when he picks up that pen and signs the
continuation of the Violence Against Women Act.

Valerie Jarrett, thank you for your time tonight.

JARRETT: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton. Pleasure to be here.

SHARPTON: Still ahead. No regrets? No joke. Dick Cheney is trying to
rewrite history. But he won`t get away with it.

And the truth behind Bill O`Reilly`s epic new freak out about President
Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t sit there and call me a liar.

O`REILLY: I am.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can have a disagreement without calling me a liar.
That`s not necessary.

O`REILLY: No, you`re lying. You are lying.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s the guest list everybody`s talking about, who is in and who
is out at the big conservative conference known as CPAC next week. Mr. 74
percent New Jersey governor Chris Christie, got snubbed. Not true for
birther king Donald Trump, he got an invite. It`s the latest sign
conservatives have absolutely no clue how to rebuild their tarnished brand.

Today, Newt Gingrich was critical, very critical, of the even event`s
organizers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don`t know what the
purpose of CPAC is anymore. The CPAC, at one time was sort of the militant
wing of the conservative movement. It was a place where Ronald Reagan gave
his famous speech about gold colors, not pale pastels. I don`t know what
CPAC is today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: A conservative leader and former presidential candidate saying
he doesn`t know what purpose the conference serves? But here`s my big
question. Who else will speak? Who are the organizers looking to help?
Who are they looking for guy dense? Who could it be?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: I don`t know what the purpose of CPAC is anymore. I`m going to
speak there on Saturday.

SHARPTON: That`s right. He doesn`t know what the purpose is or what it
stands for. But Newt wouldn`t miss his spot on the line-up. Did the right
wingers think we wouldn`t notice this little identity crisis?

Nice try, but we got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: He is one of the most powerful voices in the country and he`s
attacking President Obama. Quote, "Obama is the one who never worked a day
in his life. He never earned a penny that wasn`t public money. How many
fund-raisers does he attend and does he attend every week? How often does
he play basketball and golf? I wish I had that kind of time. He`s lazy,
but the media won`t report that."

That`s the president of FOX News calling the president of the United States
lazy. It is no wonder right-wingers go and challenge when they used FOX
airways for this stuff.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look, let me tell you what the big problem with this
president is, in my opinion. He is absolutely lazy and detached from his
job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Lazy and detached. And this also must have pleased the FOX
boss. This.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: I`m assuming there`s some rhythm to Barack Obama that the rest
of us don`t understand. Whether he needs large amounts of rest, whether he
needs to go play basketball for a while. I don`t really watch ESPN. I
never quite know what his rhythms are. I mean, he really is a lot like the
substitute referees in the sense that he he`s not a real president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The president is not a real president? It`s not reality. It`s
the same attitude that pushed the networks big star over the edge last
night, losing his mind when someone dared defend the president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`REILLY: He has to say here are the programs that are going to go down.
Here`s how we`re going to reform Medicare and Social Security. And the man
refuses to do it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s not true.

O`REILLY: Yes, it is.

(CROSSTALK)

O`REILLY: Hold it. Because I`m getting Ted off at you. Give me one damn
program --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s called entitlements.

O`REILLY: Not entitlements.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you doing? Why are you going to yell?

O`REILLY: Because you`re lying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not lying.

O`REILLY: You are lying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t just sit there and call me a liar.

O`REILLY: You`re lying.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t sit there and call me a liar.

O`REILLY: I am.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Of course the president has a plan. But you wouldn`t know it in
the right wing echo chamber. The bubble they hear it, I see it. And start
to believe it. And why not? Clearly, it`s all starts at the top.

Joining me now is Toure. Thank for being here.

You know, Toure, we`ve heard the term lazy about the president a lot. Now,
we see who also believes it. What do you make of the connection?

TOURE, MSNBC HOST, THE CYCLE: Well, I mean, you know, there`s so many ways
we could go here. This sort of lazy term is something we heard flung at us
as black people going back to slavery, which, of course, you know, we
perceive them as not guilty not wanting to work. Of course they didn`t
want to work. They were slaves.

SHARPTON: But they did work.

TOURE: They did work on tremendous amount, absolutely. But this is a
revolutionary thing that they are doing saying we are going to get out of
all of the work that you wanted to do. So then, this sort of stupid idea
follows us for centuries since then.

It`s this really this sort of disgusting, sort of accessing stereotypes,
red meat sort of dog whistle which they that they were doing to the
campaign. But, we knew that they were doing. You and the sort of dog was
-- on the FOX side of the aisle, they say yes, that`s right. This is what
we think of black people already. And, on our side, we are like what are
you talking about? On serious critique possible. And when you say that
he`s never worked a day in his life, what you`re saying is being a teacher,
because he`s a constitutional law professor for quite a while, that`s not
working?

SHARPTON: No. But before you do that, another subtle thing is lazy and
never earned anything other than public money which is almost like welfare.

TOURE: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: And then you ridicule he was a teacher. He was a lawyer. And
then he did community organizing, which has been ridiculed by the right.
Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I guess a small-town
mayor is sort of like a community organizer except that you have actual
responsibilities:

With all the vast nuclear experience that he acquired as a community
organizer.

GINGRICH: He sees the community organizers. It wasn`t boy scouts and girl
scouts. It was radicals supporters (INAUDIBLE).

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You can`t learn that as a
community organizer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, to ridicule community organizers, by the way, I wish we
had more community organizers in Chicago, given the violence right now.
But to ridicule public service, community organizers, is just
counterproductive to American life. And I`m being real nice about it. I`m
trying to not be like the big guy over at the echo chamber going crazy at
the show.

TOURE: No. I mean, you`re absolutely right. I mean, one thing you
noticed when you actually go into the echo chamber and listen to the things
that happened and sort of in that conservative media bubble, is that
there`s never any sort of any intellectual rigor or weight to things that
they`re saying.

They can say anything, throw any ball at Obama, and everybody just
applauds. I was listening to Michael Savage the other day, right? Just
because I was stuck in the car and there were no other radio stations
available.

SHARPTON: I don`t give stuff like that.

TOURE: And he kept saying that Obama belonged in jail. Now, and they say
this over and over and over. Now, never did anybody actually sail why he
belongs in jail and what law they have broken. But it just says that and
the people just cheer, yes, you`re talking to Obama.

SHARPTON: Let me bring this to some facts just so people understand. When
you look at the fact, the president, the present president, President
Obama, has taken fewer days in his first term than his predecessor did in a
shorter period of time.

President Obama has taken 84 days of vacation from the day he took office,
January 2009 to today. During a shorter period of time from January 2001
to just August of 2003, former president George W. Bush took 250 days off.
This is in a little over two years, he took 250 days. In four years, he`s
taken 85 days: and they say he`s lazy? I mean, what`s he doing playing
basketball? I mean, come on. This is clearly trying to throw some buzz
words out there.

TOURE: Absolutely. I see this sort of conservative media as Clint
Eastwood writ-large yelling at a chair, talking about critiques that aren`t
real, talking about an Obama that is imagined. He`s lazy. He`s never
worked hard in his life. None of these things are true. And there are
reasonable critiques of Obama that you can make, but they`re not making
them. They`re just making red meat, dog whistle critiques that don`t lead
you back to the White House, that don`t improve your brand. So, fine, spin
off into the right universe where there`s fewer and fewer constituents to
follow you and keep losing national. That`s fine with us.

SHARPTON: Toure, thanks for your time tonight.

And watch Toure on "the cycle" weekdays at 3:00 p.m. here, 3:00 p.m.
eastern that is, on MSNBC.

Ten years after the Iraq war, you will not believe what Dick Cheney is
saying about it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The fight for gun control takes courage. Nobody captures
special coverage more than Gabby Giffords. Her life nearly taken by an
assassin`s bullet just over two years ago outside that Tucson shopping
mall. Now, she`s become a fighter for gun safety. And, today, she and her
husband made an emotional return to the same parking lot where she nearly
lost her life. And it was a moving moment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gabby inspires me each and every day, every single day.
You know, often, when she heads off to therapy, one of the last things
she`ll say is --

GABBY GIFFORDS, FORMER REPRESENTATIVE: Fight, fight, fight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fight.

She reminds me each and every day to deny the acceptance of failure. Well,
Gabby has a message for not only Senator Flake and Senator McCain, but all
members of Congress.

GIFFORDS: Be bold. Be courageous. Please support background checks.
Thank you very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Be bold. Be courageous. She practices what she preaches.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHENEY: Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has
weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt that he is amazing to use
against her friends, against our allies and against us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And that`s how it all began. Dick Cheney misleading America
into the Iraq war. A costly, bloody, shamefully unnecessary war. Now, ten
years later, the former vice president is speaking out in a new
documentary. And Cheney hasn`t changed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: What do you consider your main fault?

CHENEY: My main fault. Well, I don`t spend a lot of time thinking about
my faults, I guess would be the answer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Well, the American people do spend time thinking about his
faults. They spent time thinking about what he said that got us into war.
A report out today shows clearly that the U.S. spent too much for that war,
$60 billion taxpayers` dollars spent on reconstruction efforts alone.
That`s $15 million a day over the past 10 years. That`s why this comment
is so shocking.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHENEY: This was a wartime situation. It was more important to be
successful than it was to be loved. If I had to do it over again, I`d do
it in a minute.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now, Cynthia Tucker and Joe Conason, editor in chief
of the national memo.com. Thanks for being here tonight.

CYNTHIA TUCKER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Good to be here, Rev.

JOE CONASON, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, THE NATIONAL MEMO: Good to be with you.

SHARPTON: Joe, let me start with you. You wrote books about the Bush-
Cheney White House. Despite all the evidence the country was misled, how
can Dick Cheney not think about any of his faults?

CONASON: Well, he must have always been very good at that, Rev., because
he has many faults. And the biggest fault is his inability to perceive
reality, I mean, apparently, or to express it correctly to the American
people. I mean, what is On the Record now but what they did in Iraq is so
devastatingly bad. You know, the 60 billion is a tiny fraction of what we
spent there. Economists like Joe Stiglus (ph), estimate that we spent $3
trillion on that war, $60 billion is two percent of that. Little enough
for the Iraqi people and it didn`t help them anyway.

SHARPTON: And he still thinks he`s right. I mean, 4,409 people dead.
American soldiers dead. 31,925 wounded. And he still think he`s right,
Joe.

SHARPTON: Well, the question I would like to ask him, and I`ve been able
to do that was, what do you think this war achieved? Because the only
beneficiary of this war, so far as I can tell, is Iran. Iran has gained
immeasurably from this war. We spent $3 trillion to make Iran more
powerful in the Middle East than they were before.

SHARPTON: Now, Cynthia, Cheney hammers at former secretary of state
Condoleezza Rice in the film about how position on whether to destroy a
nuclear reactor under construction in Syria in 2007. Listen to.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHENEY: I strongly recommended that we ought to take it out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cheney was just a voice alone saying we have to attack
and destroy this reactor.

CHENEY: And I thought it would sort of, again, reassert the kind of
authority and influence we had back in `03 when we took down Saddam Hussein
and eliminated Iraq as potential source of WMP, you know provide nuclear
technology.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, he attacks or makes the statement that former secretary
Rice was on the wrong side of all of these issues.

But, Cynthia, wasn`t going into Iraq at all on the wrong side of the issue
for him?

TUCKER: Devastatingly wrong. You know, I stand in awe of Dick Cheney.
And I don`t mean that in an admiring way. He`s a man with absolutely no
shame. He`s a man with absolutely no conscious who, even today, ten years
later, says everybody else was wrong and he was right.

And given the tremendous amount of influence he had in the White House, he
was running national security and foreign policy, effectively running the
president, George W. Bush, it`s a wonder we weren`t dragged into even more
wars.

It`s clear. He wanted to bomb Syria. Happily, by that time, Bush had
begun to give Condoleezza Rice a little more power and a little more
authority. And she said no to that madness. Try to imagine what desperate
shape the U.S. would be in now if we had gauged in -- engaged in, yet,
another war in the Middle East. It would have been awful.

SHARPTON: You know, Joe, when she, Cynthia, talks about what the influence
Cheney had in the White House, it was interesting. She wrote a scathing
piece today titled "repent Dick Cheney. And she responded by saying
they`re going to say you`re a misguided power monger, who, in a paranoid
spasm, led this nation into an unthinkable calamity. I mean, that`s a
line.

And then she goes on the right about how Cheney manipulated Bush to go into
Iraq, something Cynthia touched on. Marie Down writes quote Iraqi "He was
also goosing up "w"`s so, he would take advantage of him, to make his
insecurity to make his costly detour from Osama to Saddam and cherry pick
his fake face case of invading Iraq. He played on WW`s fear of being
lampooned as a whip as his father had been.

TUCKER: The point that makes that comment so interesting is that Cheney
was supposed to be the wise man who is going to help the inexperienced
Bush, who had no world experience, do what needed to be done as president.
He had been in a realist administration under Bush`s father, the first Bush
president. And, therefore, people thought oh, we can have some confidence
in this. Of course, the opposite was the case. The arrogance of Cheney
that is shown in that film clip and that we now see exposed is the same
arrogance that told him we don`t need to go to the United Nations. We can
deft the United Nations on Iraq, Syria. That is really bad state craft.
It is terrible. It has cost us untold amounts of treasure, blood and a big
part of our future.

SHARPTON: Do you think, Cynthia, that when people see this documentary, it
will only remind them of how insensitive and in denial the Bush
administration was, and, in particular, vice president Cheney?

TUCKER: Absolutely. You know, ten years, out, there have been a number of
conservatives who were cheer leaders for the war who have come out and
acknowledge that they were quite about this.

Some other conservatives, however, don`t want to think about. They want to
were wrong about this. Some other conservatives don`t want to think about
it. They want to act as if that period never took place. All that awful
stuff that happened under George W. Bush, they don`t want to think about.

But this documentary is going to force people to think about it once again.
And let me say one more thing about Cheney that I think is just
unforgivable. You know, Cheney never served in the military. He was a
draft dodger in Vietnam. He said he had other priorities. He managed to
get out of the war. But he didn`t have any hesitation about pushing other
people`s sons and daughters out on the front lines. And I just think
that`s absolutely unforgivable.

SHARPTON: I`m going to have to leave it there.

Cynthia Tucker and Joe Conasan, thanks for your time tonight.

CONASON: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Justice Scalia is not the only one with dubious views on the
voting rights act. He`s in bad company up on Capitol Hill. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Today marks a day in infamy in the history of the Supreme Court.
On March 6th, 1857, the court ruled against this man, dread Scott. The
court said people of African descent could not be U.S. citizens, even if
they were free and had no protection under the constitution.

It was one of the lowest points in the history of the Supreme Court. We`ve
spent 150 years trying to make sure every in this country has the same
rights under the law. But, now, a justice on that same court says the
voting rights act, a law passed to help undo the legacy of dread Scott, is
quote "a racial entitlement." We all know that efforts to restrict the
vote are well-under way.

In North Carolina, House Republicans are voting on a new voter id bill.

In Wisconsin, a new bill would limit the hours of a in-person absentee
balloting.

And in Florida, investigator have now, charges of voter against two
employees of a firm retires to the GOP.

That`s right, voter fraud is real. It`s just being committed by
Republicans. Yes, we need to continue to have laws that will protect
fairness and protect equal rights. Why do we need the government to do
these laws? Because it bad laws the government did that caused the problem
in the first place. Government must undo what government did.

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

END

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