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PoliticsNation, Thursday, March 7th, 2013

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POLITICS NATION
March 7, 2013

Guests: Stephen Barton; Carolyn Murray; Angela Rye; Nia-Malika Henderson, Jeremy Bird, Michael Keegan, David Brock


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

Tonight`s lead, news flash for Republicans. The president is not the
bogeyman. He is not a king. He is not a socialist. He doesn`t have
horns. In fact, he is actually a really nice guy who invites people over
to his house for lunch. He is the kind of guy who picks up the tab at
dinner. And, now, maybe, just maybe, Republicans are getting that through
their heads.

Earlier today, Paul Ryan dropped by the White House for lunch with the
president. He thanked the president for the frank discussion. It came on
the heels of last night`s dinner with 12 GOP senators. And, by all
accounts, they had a great time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RON JOHNSON (R), WISCONSIN: It was very open, honest and sincere
during the discussion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: What did you talk about?

JOHNSON: And he seemed very sincere in trying to get engage in the
process.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look. It was very constructive. It seemed
perfectly normal to have a group of folks talking about the biggest issue
our nation faces. It was a very sincere and open conversation.

SEN. PAT TOOMEY (R), PENNSYLVANIA: It was very candid. It was
cordial but also substantive. It really was.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Senator, how did the meeting go?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Just fine. Fine. Great. Wonderful.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: A big thumbs up from McCain? What is the last time anyone
seen him look that happy? The meeting was wonderful, genuine, honest.
Maybe that is why senator McConnell was not invited. Turns out, he has
been hiding the truth from his own party.

NBC News reports that after the meeting, one senator told us that he
learned for the first time the actual cuts that the president has put on
the table. Leadership hadn`t shared that last with them before. So
apparently, McConnell just forgot to mention to other Republicans that the
president was willing to compromise. No wonder the president id bypassing
Republican leaders to get something done. But, don`t tell speaker Boehner.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I don`t feel like the
president is going around me. I think it`s a sign, a hopeful sign.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Let`s hear it for some hope. What a change in tone. Way
to open the door to compromise. What? Oh, wait. I`m being told that we
got out of the video too soon. Let`s play the last bit. I`m sure it`s
great.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: But if the president continues to insist on tax hikes, I
don`t think we`re going to get very far.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: No new taxes. Read my lips. I think we see why speaker
Boehner and his friend McConnell are dining alone.

Joining me now are Angela Rye and Nia-Malika Henderson.

Thank you both for coming on the show tonight.

Angela, let me start with you. Is the GOP leadership the real problem
here?

ANGELA RYE, FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS:
Absolutely. Reverend Al, when you look at what has happened from last
night until even this morning, you saw the GOP leave dinner with President
Obama and some of them went straight to the Senate floor and the tone even
changed then.

Then, this morning, you have senator McCain and senator Graham almost
berating Rand Paul for his action on this floor related to the filibuster
the night before. So, I think that you`re seeing a real shift. You`re
seeing speaker Boehner saying that he is the hopeful and he is looking
forward to this. That this is the same guy that was, you know, struggling
with the term compromise.

So, I don`t think that it`s on the president at all. All he is doing
is simply shifting his strategy to constantly galvanize the American public
and their votes to a strategy that includes galvanizing those votes on the
house and Senate floors.

SHARPTON: Now, Nia-Malika, Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader in the
House. When she was asked this morning whether the president was to blame
for the fail in which the grand bargain. Let me show you her respond.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NANCY REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: He has tried so hard
to listen to accommodate to their respectful of their point of view. No.
I mean, I think this is why we didn`t reach a grand bargain. I think we
are going to need grand bargain because the speaker of the house walked
away from an agreement that he and the president had arrived at probably
because he couldn`t sell it to his own caucus. And I don`t care what
anybody else says about that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So clearly, Ms. Pelosi, Congressman Pelosi shares the view,
I hoping with is that Boehner and McConnell may be part of the problem and
the failure here. Given that, are you optimistic that some can
breakthrough and go around the leadership? Or are you still saying that
we`ve got to deal with the realities of gridlock in Washington?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well,
I think both, and in some way, that was out there last night stalking those
senators after they came out of that two-hour meeting, and they were
praising the president. They were optimistic that there would be more
meetings like this going forward. They saw it as an ice breaker, a way to
talk to the president in a sort of semi-social way and to exchange ideas.
Mostly they talk about fiscal issues, but they did touch on immigration and
gun control.

And I think this does represent a real strategy shift all the way on
the part of the White House. They have gone to this outside strategy
trying to galvanize people around the sequestration. That didn`t really
work. The sequestration went forward and, so, now, he is doing something
that he hasn`t done very well in his presidency. And that is reached out
to the other side.

SHARPTON: I think it`s clear it`s a new strategy. But will it work?

HENDERSON: I think it will work because there is -- and you hear so
much about this common sense caucus, right? And if you look at the people
who were at that meeting yesterday, those 12 folks, two of them are not up
for re-election. And they poignantly talked about that in the hard choices
that they will face when it comes to perhaps raising taxes. And some of
those people were part of the grand bargain on the Senate side in 2011,
July of 2011 and agreed to a bargain that was grander than what was
scuttled on the house side. So, I think it is something of a new day, not
only in terms of the tone from Republicans and how they`re talking about
the president, but, also, in terms of the president`s strategy.

SHARPTON: Now, Angela, you have worked the hill and you have been
involved in some of the behind-the-scenes as well as out front stuff. Part
of the thing that I think has to be factored in, with some interest E.J.
Dionne wrote in "the Washington Post." He is saying that even lawmakers
are tired of this dysfunction and that`s why we may get a deal. Let me
read a quote from his article. He says the strongest reason for hope
arises from one of the most basic human responses, exhaustion. And I think
he may have hit something. Because from some of my conversation with
members of Congress and the Senate, they are frankly getting tired of a lot
of this back and forth.

RYE: Sure, Reverend. Now, you are seeing folks not only expressing
their exhaustion, but some of them retiring. They are saying, you know,
part of this grade lock hasn`t been this bad for years. And as a result,
they are saying, you know what, if we are not going to be able to reach any
agreement to make sure that we are covering the American people and looking
out for their best interest, we are not going to be here.

So, actually, the president`s naming, I know, Nia-Malika just
mentioned it, but the common sense caucus, there is no better strategy than
that. Common sense pulls very well with the American people. I hope
organizing for action takes hold of that and asked people are they
committed to being a part of the common sense caucus, whether they vote on
the floor or not. I think it`s a brilliant strategy and it is way to
galvanize people towards forward movement. I mean, it`s a really, really
good strong point that the president made with the common sense caucus.

SHARPTON: Well, Nia-Malika, if you -- let`s use Paul Ryan. Let`s
use him as a measure. He is saying now that savings that from the
affordable care act, he says this is how he wants to balance the budget
through President Obama`s policies. Savings in war spending, increase
revenue from new tax hikes on the wealthy. This is Paul Ryan.

Now, if you look at what he`s saying here and you compare it to what
he was saying when he was running on the Romney ticket, then he would claim
President Obama was raiding Medicare to pay for health care. He claim war
savings what phantom savings, he said raising taxes would hurt economic
growth. So, he is clearly compromising now based on what he was saying
less than a year ago when he was the vice presidential candidate on a
Romney ticket. If that is a measure, we may be moving towards something
here.

HENDERSON: You know, I think that`s right. But I do think that Paul
Ryan`s budget that he`s going to release next week, is pretty similar to
the budget that you saw lots of Republicans run away from. Mitt Romney
even ran away from much of the plans there which would vouch rise Medicare,
really cut anti-poverty programs and Medicaid. And he has been having
trouble selling it to his own caucus.

I reached out to Republicans. I said isn`t this more of what we`ve
already seen? Is it deja vu all over again and again and again. And he
says it`s the closest thing to a big idea that was the Republicans have
right now. And it wouldn`t make sense necessarily for them to back down.
So that`s why you see, I think, Paul Ryan largely doubling down on what
we`ve already seen.

But I don`t know that Paul Ryan is necessarily a part of what could
happen in the house. If you`ve seen over these last couple of weeks,
they`ve been able to break that rule, get a minority of Republicans to vote
with a block of Democrats and really push some important measures through.

So I don`t know. I think that the president respects Ryan`s
intellect. He has got a big brain. Although, that I`m not necessarily
sure that he s going to be part of the grand bargain that we might see
going forward.

SHARPTON: All right, we will keep watching this, of course.

Angela Rye and Nia-Malika Henderson. Thank you both for your time
this evening.

HENDERSON: Thank you.

RYE: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Ahead, a big day in the fight for gun safety. But we will
talk live to an activist fighting for change.

And more of Bill O`Reilly`s war on the facts. You`ve got to see this
one.

Plus, Hillary may run on May 9th. Who knows. But news tonight that
is sure to make her smile.

You`re watching "Politics Nation." Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

A new poll out today shows Hillary Clinton vesting potential GOP
rivals in a 2016 match-up and the "Politics Nation" facebook fans are all
over this one.

Mary says Hillary would sweep the nation.

Susan says if Hillary runs, Hillary wins.

William says I wouldn`t be surprised if she won by a landslide.

Coming up, we will talk to a man behind President Obama`s landslide
win.

But, first, we want to hear what you think. 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)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They deserve a vote.
Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote.
The families of Aurora deserve a vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: They do deserve a vote. And, today, we saw the first vote
since -- first vote on gun safety since the massacre at Sandy Hook
elementary school. This morning, a key Senate panel approved a bill to
crackdown on people who buy guns and sell them to people who are not
allowed to have them. The next stop is a vote in the full Senate. Part of
the bill is named for Hadiya Pendleton, the honor student who was gunned
down in Chicago after attending the president`s inauguration. President
Obama talked about her today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: You`ll remember I told the story about a shooting in March in
the inauguration parade. And just a few months later, had been gunned down
about a mile away from my house. So, I urged the Senate to give that bill
a vote. I urge the House to follow suit and I urge congress to move on
other areas that have support of the American people from requiring
universal back ground checks to getting assault weapons off our streets.
Because we need to stop the flow of illegal guns to criminals and because
Hadiya`s families and too many other families really do deserve a vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Today`s vote was a pivotal, it was a pivotal first step.
But there`s much more work to do. Much more work still needed and still
need voters on background checks. Voters in the Senate and the house. We
also need to deal with weapons, high capacity magazines and school
security.

Today, just one Republican votes yesterday on the gun trafficking
bill. All the rest voted no. That has to change. Over 2500 people have
been shot and killed since Newtown, 172 of those were under the age of 18.
All of those people and their families deserve action on gun safety.

Joining me now is Carolyn Murray, a gun control activist from Chicago.
She was a guest at the state of the union last month. Her son, Justin, was
fatally shot in November of this past year. And Stephen Barton, outreach
and policy associate for mayors against illegal guns. Steven is a survivor
of the Aurora, Colorado mass shooting last July. He was shot in the face
and neck. His body riddled with 25 shotgun pellets.

Thank you both for joining me tonight.

STEPHEN BARTON, OUTREACH AND POLICY ASSOCIATE FOR MAYOR AGAINST
ILLEGAL GUNS: Thank you.

CAROLYN MURRAY, GUN CONTROL ACTIVIST: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Carolyn, let me start with you. This is the first big step
in getting real gun law legislation passed. What does this new news today
mean to you?

MURRAY: It`s only saying that there`s so much more work that needs to
be done. And the calls to the awareness of gun control in this country is
necessary.

SHARPTON: Now, John, you are a survivor as well as you -- Steven, I`m
sorry. You were a survivor as well as you work with the mayor`s against
illegal guns?

BURTON: Right.

SHARPTON: And when I hear Carolyn talk about more work to be done,
Senator John Cornyn, let`s go there, first. He claimed that store
purchasing isn`t a big deal. It is not a big deal. Watch what he had to
say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R), TEXAS: My concern is that this built is a
solution in search of a problem. Straw purchasing for purpose of directing
guns to people who cannot legally attain them is already a crime.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: A solution in search of a problem. Let me show you how big
a deal a problem really is.

When you look at the fact that over 30 percent of tracking, of
trafficked guns from straw purchases, background check records are
destroyed within 24 hours on these guns that have been trafficked.

BARTON: Right.

SHARPTON: Ad if they are caught, they only get 0-5 years of jail
time. That`s a big deal, 30 percent. Guns are being bought legally and
making their way into the hands of criminals. I think that you`ve got to
say that`s a major problem.

BARTON: Absolutely. I mean, I would encourage the senator to spend
five minutes on any one of the streets of any one of our cities and to see
how wig of a problem this is. You know, 0-5 years is a joke in terms of
the sentence for a crime that`s as serious as this one. Look at columbine.
That`s how the shooters of columbine got their guns. Someone bought them
on their behalf because they were not been able to buy another one. So,
you know, this is a serious problem. And it costs lives every single day
across this country.

SHARPTON: Now, you were a victim last year in Aurora, Colorado. How
are you doing, first of all?

BARTON: Very well, thank you.

SHARPTON: And you are now committed to make sure this doesn`t happen
again to others. The circumstances that could have been avoided if they
had been stripped to gun legislation in your opinion around your
circumstances or what?

BARTON: I assume they feel strongly about the high capacity magazine
ban. For example, the shooting in Aurora had a hundred round drone
magazine. And thankfully, you know, mercifully, that magazine jammed. He
would hit an air 15 equipped by using it in. If that gun hadn`t jammed, I
honestly don`t believe I`d be here talking to you here today.

SHARPTON: Wow. And they are getting weak, I`m afraid in the Senate
on magazines, so, we got to deal with this.

Let me go back to you, Carolyn. You lost your son and you have
committed your life to making sure, Carolyn that other mothers don`t face
what you face. You have to stay in union. You have been around trying to
raise this issue.

When you see the support from background checks from gun violence
itself, very high, 88 percent of registered voters are nationwide, 85
percent of gun owners. And get this, 83 percent of Republicans support
universal back ground check. So many voters are behind the measure. It
seems criminal that it`s not addressed in congress.

MURRAY: You would think that would be a basic right that has been
misuse and obviously abuse when we see the record number is homicide in the
Chicago land area. So, to say that it`s not necessary, bills of this
nature are not necessary, is not being very fair to a mother like myself,
who has buried their son. What rights did my son have when he was shot
down in the street?

SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you, and I know it`s very fresh. It just
happened last November. But, first of all, how are you doing? And I know
you`ll never be the same. But how are you dealing with this? And can you
share with us what happened with your son?

MURRAY: Basically, my son was returning from California. It was a
surprise visit to the family because my other son, Nat, was coming back
from the air force the next day. We had planned to have a family gathering
that following week. And, within four hours of my son getting off the
plane, he was gunned down in front of his grandmother`s house. It has the
sorrow and the pain of my son`s murder has only strengthened my cause which
I had been working on since 2006.

As my community knows, the week after I buried my son in December, I
organized a gun buyback program in my town. And we collected close to 50
guns for our community. I`ve been doing this work, but to be affected by
this cause just leaves me speechless. But it shows me how necessary to
have a gun control bill be passed in this nation.

SHARPTON: Well, Carolyn and Stephen, I thank you both for being on
the show. And more importantly, I thank you for your work. I thank God
that you are here to do the work. And I have hope people around the
country listen to people not on the beltway, but mothers, like Carolyn, who
has had to bury their son. And victims that have had to survive
unspeakable acts, like Stephen.

This is what this is all about. This is not able lobbyists and
manufacturers. It`s not even about politicians. It`s about real people
being safe.

Thanks for your time. We will be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Right wing smear specialist James O`Keefe became a
conservative hero after making misleading videos about the community
organizing group Acorn. O`Keefe claims the video showed Acorn employees
advising him how to run a prostitution ring. But an independent
investigator later found nothing illegal at all. But O`Keefe ruined a good
organization that did a lot of good work for people had to pay for it until
now.

Juan Carlos Vera was a former San Diego Acorn employee who was e was
fired because of the tape. He sued O`Keefe back in 2010 for bridge of
privacy saying the conversation was supposed to be confidential. And big
news tonight, O`Keefe is paying up.

We spoke with Vera`s attorney today and O`Keefe has agreed to pay for
$100,000. Last summer, a judge ruled Vera had a case. He had a case to
make because he quote "reasonably believed that the conversation was
private because it was held in his office with no one else present and he
believed no one else was listening in on his conversation." O`Keefe misled
him to remain confidential by posing as a client seeking services from
Acorn and asking whether their conversation was confidential.

Vera also contacted police about O`Keefe right after the meeting. But
in truth, O`Keefe for, he left that part out. And as part of the
settlement, O`Keefe states that he was unaware of Vera`s claim to have
notified a police officer of the incident.

I think that`s supposed to be an apology. It`s not a very good one.
But did James O`Keefe thinks we would notice his finally being forced to
admit he was wrong? Nice try, but we got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Are you ready for President Hillary Clinton? In a brand
new poll, she beats everyone, leading Chris Christie by eight nationally.
She has a 16-point lead over GOP water boy Marco Rubio. And Paul Ryan is
down 12 to her. But how about the state of Texas? A recent poll of Texas
voters has Hillary winning, beating Rubio, Christie, even their own
Governor Rick Perry, by eight points.

The republican chair of Texas says if she`s the nominee, I would say
that this is a lean republican state. But not a solid republican state.
And a grass root movement is already in action trying to turn Texas from
red to blue. He`s being spearheaded by this guy. He`s Jeremy Bird and
he`s known simply as the field general. The man at the heart of President
Obama`s campaign revolutionary grassroots machine.

He organized the ground game never seen before in campaign history,
getting millions of volunteers and voters to turn out for President Obama.

Joining me now is Jeremy Bird, a battleground Texas and the national
field director of the President`s 2012 campaign. Jeremy, it`s great to
have you with us.

JEREMY BIRD, OBAMA 2012 NATIONAL FIELD DIRECTOR: Reverend, it`s great
to be on your show. Thanks for having me today.

SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you. There are real signs that Texas could
turn blue. But what are the biggest challenges in your effort?

BIRD: Well, you`re absolutely right, Reverend. I mean, there are
huge signs that Texas could become a battle ground state in the near
future. And the reason is, if you look at the state, what we`re seeing is
in all the previous elections, most recent elections is, only about half of
the voters, the eligible voters in Texas are actually turning out to vote.

And if we can actually increase that, both increase the size of the
electorate with the registration program and then actually increase turnout
with folks turning out, we could turn Texas into a battleground state where
the entire nation will be looking at it. Anybody that wants to become our
commander in chief has to go through Texas.

SHARPTON: Now, it`s no doubt the electorate is changing in Texas.

BIRD: That`s right.

SHARPTON: When you look at the fact that the projections of new
voters in Texas for 2016. Hundred eighty five thousand new white voters,
900,000 new Hispanic voters. But one of the biggest challenges in Texas is
giving the large populations of Hispanic voters to the polls. For example,
"The New York Times" wrote, the biggest problem in voter participation,
only about half of the eligible Hispanic voters show up nationwide. In
Texas, just 4.1 million Hispanics are registered to vote. And only about
half of them make it to the voting booth. How are you going to rally these
voters?

BIRD: Yes, I mean, that`s right, Reverend. If you look at 2008,
according to the numbers that we`ve run, about 54 percent of those Latino
voters in Texas who are eligible to vote, actually were registered and only
about 35 percent turned out. If you look at other states though,
battleground states organizers were on the ground for several years. You
look at a place like Florida, you look at Colorado, you look at Nevada
where those turn out rates have actually gone up in 2008 and 2012.

The way that we did that was by running a grassroots campaign. Going
to every single voter and talking to them early about how important these
elections are. Why they matter on their lives. Putting a voter
registration form in front of their faces to have them sign that, making
sure that we had a digital program now that`s sophisticated that`s reached
out to people.

So, our philosophy is we go where voters are, we talked them out the
importance of participating in the democratic process. When we do that, we
see increased participation rates. We`ve seen it in battleground states as
those numbers have risen and we want to see it the same thing happen in
Texas.

SHARPTON: Now, what was is it about your grassroots effort that the
one you`re spending for the President, that most resonated with voters.

BIRD: I think it`s that we went to people, we listen to them and we
engaged them in the process. You know, for too long, campaigns have gone
to African-American community, to Latino community, to young voters. In
October of an election year, he said we`re looking for your vote. We went
there a long time out. And we talked to folks, we hired organizers from
the community.

They`ve built real relationships in that community. And I think when
you do that, when you invest in a grassroots ground game, they`ll invest in
people, they`ll turn out to vote and register in higher numbers. And
that`s exactly what we plan to do in Texas and all across the country
moving forward.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, two days after that victory that you were a
part of, something that was very unusual happened. Let me show you
something that you happened to be in the room when this occurred.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: The work that I`m doing is
approved. And I`m really proud of that. I`m really proud.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, Jeremy, you were in the room when that happened and I
understand the President went around and hugged everybody in the room.
What was your reaction and the reaction of others when the President stood
there talking about he was proud of you guys and started actually shedding
tears?

BIRD: Yes, I mean, it was an incredibly moving -- well, probably one
of the best moments, you know, I`ve had in politics. I mean, we had our
leader there and the President of the United States talking to his staff,
to his organizers, to his volunteers and how important they were to his
effort to become commander in chief and to get back to the White House and
continue to push forward and to move this country forward. And to just see
the emotion that he brought to that, it really meant a lot to all of us.

And, you know, back to your point earlier about organizers and people
on the ground who are doing this work, to get that kind of recognition and
to realize how important it was in the future of this country. It meant a
lot to me. It was an incredibly emotional moment and one that I`ll never
forget.

SHARPTON: No, it had to be a great moment. And I can tell you, as an
older guy, usually, when I`m in the room with a candidate after an election
year and he`s crying, it`s because he lost. Jeremy, good luck to you.
Thank you for being on the show and keep us posted on your Texas plan.
Thank you for your time.

BIRD: All right. Thank you. Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Ahead, an inspiring and empowering day in the fight for
women`s rights today. And Bill O`Reilly just won`t stop ignoring facts.
Karl Rove meltdown the skewed post to cook job numbers. We go inside the
echo chamber.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: A major victory today for women`s rights. President Obama
signed an updated version of the violence against women at which provides
clinical protections to women suffering from domestic violence. Before
signing the bill, the President talk to a pact and voice just crowd a
victim`s advocates. Ceremony was move from the White House to the interior
department to accommodate all the advocates who fought so hard to make
today possible.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: This day your advocates. The day the survivors. This is your
victory.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I love you.

OBAMA: I love you back.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

And this victory shows that when the American people make their voices
heard, Washington listens.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Republicans dragged their feet for months renewing -- on
renewing the violence against women`s act. They were against adding
protections for Native Americans, women, immigrants and LGBT community.
But President Obama says, its passage now is a good sign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: The re-authorizing the violence against women`s act is
something I called for in my State of the Union Address. And when I see
how quick it got done, I`m -- I`m feeling --

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

It makes me feel optimistic.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I`m feeling optimistic, too.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Bill O`Reilly is apologizing for losing control on live TV.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: 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.

ALAN COLMES, FOX NEWS POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That`s not true.

O`REILLY: Yes, it is.

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

Holt it, hold it. Now I`m getting teed off at you. Give me one damn
program he`s said --

COLMES: He has cut entitlements.

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

COLMES: Why are you yelling?

O`REILLY: Because you are lying.

COLMES: I am not lying.

O`REILLY: You are lying here.

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

O`REILLY: No, you are lying.

COLMES: I`m not lying.

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

You don`t like the President. You don`t like what he is doing. But
don`t sit there and call me a liar.

O`REILLY: I am.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He now says he`s sorry for using the word liar. But he`s
still fighting his war against the facts.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`REILLY: Specifics.

KIRSTEN POWERS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: I`m giving you specifics.
What you said last night was the President did not propose anything. The
President proposed this to the Republicans. The Republicans circulated
this plan. They knew about the plan.

O`REILLY: OK.
POWERS: There was also chained CPI in there which I know you are not
too simple to know about chain CPI. So the point is the President has
proposed to these.
O`REILLY: No he hasn`t. He has proposed generalities.
POWERS: You are a hundred percent wrong.

O`REILLY: You`re a hundred percent wrong and we`ll let the folks
decide. Now, let me make my case.

(CROSSTALK)

POWERS: No the posting government Web site, WhiteHouse.gov and see
very specific right here

(CROSSTALK)

O`REILLY: OK.

POWERS: Broken down the specific cuts.

O`REILLY: Powers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Welcome to the right wing echo chamber where they refused
to believe facts. It`s not just about O`Reilly from Karl Rove`s election
meltdown to skewed polls to cooked job numbers. Republicans just can`t
handle the facts. But, every now and again, Bill O`Reilly others meet up
with the facts and it`s fun to watch.

Joining me now is Michael Keegan, president of People for the American
Way. And David Brock, founder of Media Matters. Thank you both for being
here tonight.

MICHAEL KEEGAN, PRES. PEOPLE FOR THE AMERICAN WAY: Thanks for having
us.

DAVID BROCK, FOUNDER, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Michael, are Republicans allergic to the facts? I mean,
how do you explain it?

KEEGAN: I think the basic problem is that if you don`t have the
facts to back up your ideology, you`ve got to make them up. I mean, if you
cover so well last year, you have to make up voter fraud, in order to stop
people from voting.

SHARPTON: Right.

KEEGAN: If you want to pass restrictions on reproductive freedom,
you`ve got to make it look like you can`t get pregnant from rape. And if
you want to pass no legislation on climate change, you have to make up
facts that there is no climate change.

SHARPTON: So, David, their opinions are not based on the facts
leading them to a conclusion, and then an opinion. They start with an
opinion rather than building an argument whether it`s factual or not to
justify a conclusion that they`ve already came to?

BROCK: Yes, I think that`s true. And I think there are a couple of
dynamics at work. When it seems that they`re in denial when they`re
confronted with the facts, as it showed with O`Reilly. I think one is that
this phony outrage and the misinformation is kind of a business model for a
show like O`Reilly`s and for a lot of the right wing media. And so if
they`re confronted with the truth, this media machine starts to collapse.

I think that`s part of it. I also think, you know, having been in the
right wing myself, there`s a kind of paranoid world view in the right wing
that the mainstream media is just liberal propaganda. And, of course,
that`s false. But it justifies, in their minds, their own propaganda
attacks.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, talking about the business model, you
probably won`t be surprised Michael, but Rush Limbaugh came out today
defending O`Reilly. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Obama is not cutting anything.
Obama is not cutting entitlements. There are no $2.50 cents in cuts for
every new dollar in taxes. None of that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So, you know, is this how it works? They just deny the
facts? I mean, this is how they changed the discussion on climate change
and things that affect everybody. They just change the facts around.

KEEGAN: Yes, let`s look at the facts here. Obama has done $1.8
trillion in spending cuts versus $600 billion in revenue increases to three
to one difference. He`s made cuts in a deficit. If you -- those are the
facts. And the only way you can refute those is by making up your own
facts and or getting louder or angrier as Bill O`Reilly did in the segment.

SHARPTON: But that`s the point, David. For anyone that wants to see,
go to WhiteHouse.gov and there is a sheet for anybody, I mean, lawmakers,
anybody to see, what the government, under the President and what the
President is proposing. How do they get away with just out right acting
like things don`t exist -- that are not only in existence, but are
documented in public?

BROCK: Well, absolutely. You know, this talking point that the
President has no specific cuts proposed, has really been bouncing around
conservative media for weeks now, as we`ve been able to document. So they
live in their own bubble. And they`re listening to their own media. You
know, and as you noted in your intro, this isn`t just confined to Bill
O`Reilly or FOX News.

We saw and the lead up to the election that there was really a mass
delusion in the Republican Party that Mitt Romney was going to win because
they were consuming their own media. We also see in the last week or so,
you know, conservative billionaires and republican political operatives
backing some of these web sites like Breitbart and like the Daily Caller
and the free beacon that are kind of laundering sort of partisan political
smut under the notion that this is news.

And we saw that the smear campaign against Senator Menendez completely
collapsed this week when it was shown that those allegations were false.
And we still don`t know who was behind that dirty trick.

SHARPTON: Yes, well, and when you look at now even conservatives,
Michael, like Erick Erickson who is a conservative blogger, he`s blasting
conservatives for knowing the facts. Let me quote him. He says the echo
in the chamber has gotten so loud, it is not well-understood outside the
echo chamber in the mainstream press and in the public. It translates only
of anger and noise, neither of which are conducive to the art of
persuasion.

KEEGAN: Exactly. And I think 2012 was a referendum on reality. It
used to work for them to be able to create their own bubble. You`d had 51
percent of the voters who could be fool by FOX News and by the right wing.

SHARPTON: Right.

KEEGAN: And that`s now changed. It`s now a lot more reality-based
and we saw in 2012 what happens when people are informed, they can express
their views and it`s based on facts and reality and they vote accordingly.

SHARPTON: You know, David, when you were talking about how they felt
they were going to win in these skewed polls, I couldn`t help but think
about Stephen Colbert and how he had explained it. Let me show you
something he did with the polls.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The point is, the polls showing Romney behind have
to be wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We have a bunch of polls. Gallup Pew and the CNN
which either over-sampled Democrats or at least in the case of CNN,
appeared to grossly underestimate the percentage of independents.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It`s really lousy sampling in these polls, I don`t
believe them because I think the sampling is probably skewed.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It is clear that many of these polls are
oversampling.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The polls are skewed.

STUART VARNEY, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: Look, I don`t believe them.
Look, you can go through all the scientific gobblety gook you like, I don`t
believe them.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes, they`re basing this all on scientific gobblety
gook.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I think Colbert made the point, don`t you, David?

BROCK: Oh, I definitely do. You know, and that you`re point on web
sites like red states, you are starting to see some of the conservatives
with a little bit more of an intellectual bent starting to come out and
express reservations about what Colbert was just parodying there. And so,
you are starting to see some questioning of this. Because look, some of
this right-wing media is clearly is disadvantaging the Republicans. You
remember the phony claim back in the fall that jeep was taking American
jobs to China.

SHARPTON: Yes.

BROCK: Well, that came straight out of places in the right wing media
and was repeated by Mitt Romney and really hurt him in Ohio. Rand Paul
picked up this hoax story that Senator Hagel had ties to a group called
friends of Hamas that didn`t exist.

SHARPTON: Right.

BROCK: And so there`s a real embarrassment factor here, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Well, if it`s hurting them, let them keep it up, I guess.
Michael Keegan, David Brock, thank you both for being here tonight.

BROCK: Thank you very much.

SHARPTON: As Wall Street booms, the American people are calling for
fairness today. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`ve heard a lot of talk this week about Wall Street.
Stocks are soaring. The Dow`s breaking records. Corporate profits are
gang busters. That`s all fine. But it`s time. It`s past time to focus on
the middle class and the working class. It`s time to get real when it
comes to raising the minimum wage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Working folks shouldn`t have to wait year after year for the
minimum wage to go up while CEO pays have never been higher. So, here`s an
idea that Governor Romney and I actually agreed on last year. Let`s tie
the minimum wage to the cost of living so it finally becomes a wage you can
live on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: A new Gallup poll shows 71 percent want to raise the
minimum wage. Even 54 percent of conservatives agree with the idea. They
know the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour is just not fair. Under
current law, a single parent with one child earns $14,500 a year. That`s
below the poverty line. That`s got to change.

This week, Democrats on Capitol Hill introduced the fair minimum wage
act of 2013, raising it just over $10 an hour with increases linked to the
cost of living. That`s a start, Republicans. Let`s get it done. We must
do what is fair for all Americans, not just rich 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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