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PoliticsNation, Monday, March 18, 2013

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POLITICS NATION
March 18, 2013

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

Guests: Dana Milbank; Jan Schakowsky; Victoria Defrancesco Soto; Clarence Page, Lauren Ashburn, Ryan Grim, James Carville

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks, Chris. And thanks to
you for tuning in. I`m live tonight from Washington D.C.

Tonight`s lead, the GOP flawed top C (ph). In the fourth months since
the election, Republicans have tried everything to rebrand themselves.
They have been told to stop being the stupid party. They have conducted
polls. They have gone on retreats. And now, after all that self-
examination, the RNC is out with 100-page report on what went wrong in
2012. It`s been finding voters said the party is, quote, scary. That`s
just the tip of the iceberg.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REINCE PRIEBUS, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: But the
report notes that the way we communicate or principles isn`t resonating
widely enough. Focus groups described our party as narrow-minded, out of
touch, and, quote, "stuffy old men." The perception that we`re the party
of the rich unfortunately continues to grow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Scary, narrow-minded, out of touch, stuffy old men. I
think they`ve got it this time. The first step is admitting you have a
problem. So how do they plan on fixing this mess?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRIEBUS: We`re going to be setting up an RNC field office in the San
Francisco area for a more rational number of debates. So, no more August
conventions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: What? What? No more August conventions? Is Clint
Eastwood busy that month? How does that fix being scary and out of touch?
What about policy and principles?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRIEBUS: To be clear, our principles are sound.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Sound principles? There`s nothing sound about their
principles. In the speech, the word "immigration" or "gay" never came up.
Just look at the party platform. They are called stuffy old men, and their
platform is strictly anti-choice. They are called narrow-minded and the
platform is against gay marriage. They are called scary, and the platform
backs strict voting laws. This is a party that`s out of touch with
reality.

Joining me now is congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Democrats from
Illinois and Dana Milbank, columnist for the "Washington Post."

First, thank you both for coming on the show.

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

DANA MILBANK, POLITICAL COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Hello.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, let me start with you. This report does
signal a shift for the party on immigration, but how can they possibly say
their principles are sound?

SCHAKOWSKY: Well, there`s no way. They haven`t talked much about
principles. So, we are going to see some of their principles tomorrow when
they vote on a budget that`s going to change Medicare into a voucher
program, a dramatic cut in education, programs for children, Medicaid, the
health care program for poor people. And so, it`s hard to understand how
they retreat from being really scary. And of course, there`s not going to
be one penny of cuts to the wealthiest of Americans tomorrow. And so,
being the stuffy old men, I kind of translate that into rich and stuffy
old, old men, and their solutions are absolutely ridiculous.

I understand for young people they decided that they need to do more
celebrity concerts and events. I`m wondering who they`re going to get.
Maybe Clint Eastwood is really cool with the young people.

SHARPTON: I have a few ideas about that myself.

But Dana, before I give my ideas on their celebrity surrogates, you
know, how do you mess with Medicaid and Medicare and think you`re
countering the image of being scary? And then, I mean, former Bush
campaign strategist Matthew Dowd. He compared the CPAC gathering to a
Flintstones episode, listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MATTHEW DOWD, FORMER BUSH CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST: I actually thing that
a conservative message that is build for the 21st century would be a good
thing. CPAC to me reminds me of going through land before time. And it is
like when we go Flintstone after . And my view is like -

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you talking dinosaurs here?

DOWD: No. It`s like a bunch of dinosaurs, most of them like out
throw backs in time. It is like whose running for grand (INAUDIBLE).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And that`s from a former Bush strategist, Dana.

MILBANK: It is like (INAUDIBLE), but they don`t seem to be having
that Yabba Dabba do time. They seem rather depressed. I was at the event
this morning. And actually, the congresswoman had it right in her
description. They did say that they were unfortunately becoming the party
of the rich as well. That was -- they have the problem diagnosed properly
and it seems like they would like to point to just about anything else.
They will say, well, it`s technology. Well, it is the outreach. We just
need more surrogates to women, to these communities and they don`t seem to
be able to grasp.

Well, maybe it has something to do with the policies. This committee
actually said we`re not supposed to talk about policies. But, if you ever
want to win again, you are going to have to reach out to women, Latinos,
minority groups, young people and then Reince Priebus gets up there and
ignores it completely. Several others asked him about it afterwards. And
he said, well I`m not getting behind comprehensive immigration reform.

SHARPTON: Now, when you look at the fact that, congresswoman, the GOP
talks about change, but speaker Boehner says I`m not changing in terms of
same sex marriage. Hillary Clinton made headlines today coming out with
her statement, look at what speaker Boehner said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Can you imagine yourself in a situation
where you reversed your decision as Portman has, on gay marriage, if a
child of yours or someone you loved told you they were gay?

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Listen, I believe
that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. And I can`t imagine
that position would ever change.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, this at a time, congresswoman, where today a brand-new
poll comes out saying that support for gay marriage is at 58 percent, the
highest as ever been polled. So, they are running against the feelings of
the American public on this.

SCHAKOWSKY: Well, not only that, but there`s a definitely a
generational gap. And for young people, I`m sure that number is higher
than 58 percent. Young people are over the issue of same-sex marriage, and
are against homophobia. And so, if they`re serious about reaching out, to
young people, they are taking exactly the wrong path. And let me say one
other thing, their recommendation have really set off a civil war or
exacerbated a civil war within the Republican party the sort of the right
of the right wing is really against the recommendations that they have
made, which are all procedure and really have nothing to do with the
substance that has made them a party that`s in danger of being completely
obsolete.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, Dana, you touched on women and minorities.
The national review - "the National Journal," certainly not the national
review, "National Journal" has an article entitled the GOP keeps getting
whiter. It talks about Republican districts giving less diverse. And it
says, I`m quoting, "by drawing themselves into safe, lily-white
strongholds, have Republicans inadvertently boxed themselves into an
alternate universe that bears little resemblance to the rest of the
country?" So with all that gerrymandering it might have boxed themselves
in?

MILBANK: We`ve talked about this to some extent before. The
gerrymandering has protected the Republican House majority if you just went
based on how the popular one vote. Congresswoman Schakowsky and her
colleagues would be in the majority. So they`ve been able to manage to
preserve their advantage in the short term here. The problem is this does
set up a long-term problem because you can only hold up that firewall so
long. You have to give into the demographic changes that are occurring in
this country. That`s what this report was saying. It seems to me they`re
more moving around the chess pieces in trying to make the greatest
advantage of what they have at the moment.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, are there any Republicans on the hill that
get it? I mean, it`s hard to believe with this kind of assessment that
they themselves say their study gay, but then they almost are oblivious to
their findings when it comes to answers. Does anyone you know on the hill,
and on the other side on the aisle in Congress get it?

SCHAKOWSKY: There may be a few, but I think we are going to see in
the vote on the budget, on the Ryan budget that when it comes to actually
casting their vote and taking a stand on policy issues that really will be
meaningful to minorities or to young people or to women, they just step
right up in line. And I think it`s a suicidal approach. So, we have not
really seen any serious breakage from the line that the leaders are taking
and that you heard from John Boehner.

SHARPTON: Yes, well, it`s more you hear the more you can`t believe.

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and Dana Milbank, thank you both for your
time this evening.

SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you.

MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, President Obama makes a big statement about
his second term priorities and surprise, surprise, the right wing is going
nuts over it.

Plus, look out, Karl Rove. Here comes Sarah Palin. She`s throwing
red meat to the far right, and taking aim at the architect.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If these experts
who keep losing elections, you keep getting rehired, raking in millions,
the architects can head on back to -- they can head on back to the great
lone star state.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Also, the devil photo that everybody`s talking about. Does
he look familiar to you?

And my live interview with the raging Cajun. James Carville.

Big show tonight. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook? We hope you will. Today the nomination of Tom Perez to lead the
labor department had folks cheering, especially after Rush Limbaugh came
out against him.

Helen says it`s great to have a Latino in the office.

Joanna says if Rush is already bashing him, you know it was the right
choice.

We`ve got more on the right-wing attacks on Perez coming up. 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 keeping
goods long after the show ends.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: President Obama has made fairness and progressive causes
their centerpiece of his second term agenda. And he did it again today.
This morning, he nominated Thomas Perez to be the next labor secretary.
Perez is the head of the civil rights division at the justice department
and he is a peace advocate for boarding an immigration rights.

The president also marked women`s history month today, but talking
about the long fight for equal rights.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: A hundred years ago
this month, thousands of women were marching right outside this house,
demanding one of our most fundamental rights, the right to vote. A century
later, its rooms are full of accomplished well who have overcome
discrimination, shattered glass ceilings, and become outstanding role
models for all of our sons and daughters. All of you inspire me to make
sure that I`m doing everything that I can as president to carry on that
progress.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And he keeps that promise. Less than two weeks ago, the
president signed the new violence against women act into law. It`s part of
a broad progressive push we have seen in this second term. Four gun safety
bills have been sent to the Senate. A key Senate panel is said to be close
to a deal on immigration. And unemployment is down to 7.7 percent, its
lowest level in four years.

Since the GOP`s big loss, Republicans have spent a lot of times
looking backwards, but the president is moving the country ahead.

Joining me now is Victoria Defrancesco Soto, and Clarence Page.

Thank you both for being here.

CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Thank you.

VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO SOTO, NBC LATINO CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Clarence, second term presidents traditional have a small
window to work on the agenda. How do you think the president is moving on
his?

PAGE: Well, I think he is -- to be perfectly honest, Rev., I`ve said
for a while it`s kind of an ad hoc agenda. He got health care passed and
fixed the economy. He has the economy on the right track. The gun issue
was not a big deal with him in the beginning. Gay marriage was not a big
issue for them, but they have become centerpieces now of his legacy.
That`s the period he`s in at this point. And Republicans are cooperating
to the degree that they appeared to be disorganized enough that he appears
to be right on track.

SHARPTON: You know, on that point, in terms of the economy, Victoria,
the president talking about the budget last week, he said something that
the GOP just jumped all over. The president said, and I`m quoting him, "we
don`t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt," and the Republicans and
the right wing went bananas. But then Mr. Boehner and Ryan, of course,
agree with him. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: We do not have an immediate debt crisis, but we all know
that we have one looming.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: We do not have a
debt crisis right now, but we see it coming. We know it`s irrefutably
happening --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, they say the president shouldn`t have said it, now you
have Boehner and Ryan saying it. But, if both say we don`t have an
immediate crisis, why do we need immediate cuts to things like head start,
Victoria?

SOTO: Well, the other people who agree with President Obama are
millions and millions of Americans who say that the economy is the main
issue. And second to the economy, about 16 percent of Americans saying
that it is the deficit. And it goes back to the fundamental issue of
moderation. This is the Achilles` heel for the Republican party where
everything is just black and white. We are going to go in and we are going
to cut. And that is the only way to take care of deficits.

Whereas most folks, most Americans in the middle believe in
moderation. So, when we do our own taxes or finances, we sit down and
figure out, OK, how can we cut a little here, save a little there, increase
revenue? So the problem with the Republican party is they`re out of step
how most of us work on a day-to-day basis. And that`s something that the
president has been so good at reflecting in his bigger vision of deficit
reduction and the economy as a bigger issue.

SHARPTON: But Clarence, you still here Boehner say no new revenue,
yet the American people are saying new revenue. They are saying that we
don`t have an immediate crisis, but we need immediate cuts and we are going
to keep pounding that because why are we cutting head start and other
things immediately if there`s no immediate problem. A new Republican
leaning poll, Republican-leaning poll says just 16 percent of Americans
said the deficit and the debt with their top concerns, 38 percent said it
was the economy and jobs.

Now, my question to you, Clarence, Americans came of about jobs and
about the debt by a 2:1 margin, the GOP`s own polls shows this. I mean, do
they need a wake-up call here?

PAGE: I think they`re finally getting it. Well, actually they got it
in November. You know, you look at how the election came out. The Romney
campaign and the establishment of Republicans were shocked that they didn`t
win because all of their logic said hey, Obama is a fall failure. He`s got
to lose, and he didn`t. So they`re going through the polls which was Eric
Cantor`s group commission in that poll. You got Reince Priebus today
announcing a big report that they have come out with. And what they`re
finding is lo and behold, America is not as excited about debt and deficit.
We all care about paying our bills at home. But the government prints
money. The government sets the flow of money. And they have been
screaming that the sky is falling for so long and it hasn`t fallen that
folks don`t see that as being a crisis as much as their personal debt.

And so, this is what they are finally coming around for this in
saying, you know, we have to talk to Americans about their own pocketbook
bread and butters issues which by the way, was how Obama got reelected
because he was talking about those issues.

SHARPTON: Those issues.

Let me go to a social issue, Victoria. In May of last year, I believe
it was, the president came out in support of same-sex marriage and he
endorsed gay marriage. And the Supreme Court takes up the issue next week.
Now, a new poll shows public support for gay marriage has hit a new high,
58 percent of Americans believe same-sex marriage should be legal, only 36
percent say that it shouldn`t. Now, did the president help crystallize
public opinion that was evolving, just like he was, in your opinion,
Victoria?

SOTO: I do. And the other part of this is that I think the issue of
gay rights - gay civil rights is one that can be one of his legacy issues.
When historians look at, you know, what makes for a good legacy for a
second-term president, we want to go big. You don`t want to spread
yourself too thin and want to focus in on a couple things. And I think in
addition to immigration, gay civil rights is one of these.

So, the president by pushing forward the agenda, both at the national
level and being an advocate for gay rights at the state level, can make his
mark not just for the present, but also just for the history of this
nation.

SHARPTON: Talk about the history of this nation, Clarence, I want to
ask you this before we run out of time in this segment.

PAGE: I believe so much of this greatest nation.

SHARPTON: I wasn`t exactly putting it that way. But, tomorrow marks
the tenth year since the start of the Iraq war. One of President Obama`s
accomplishments is not discussed a lot. Is that he ended the war and
brought home the troops. A new poll shows that I think it is 53 it is, 53
percent of Americans viewed the Iraq war as a mistake. By the end of next
year, the president has promised at war in Afghanistan will be over. Now,
what could be bigger in terms of accomplishment than a president ending two
wars?

PAGE: Well, it would be a bigger problem for him, of course, if we
didn`t end those wars. The fact the he is ending him, it`s giving
Americans a big sigh of relief. Yes, there have been complaints on the
right about whether we`ve leave too soon or not. But you don`t see a big
movement saying oh, no. Let`s stay in Afghanistan. Let`s go back to Iraq.
That doesn`t happen.

These wars were a mistake. And I`m not gloating in saying, as a
Vietnam veteran, I was saying before we got in, that we shouldn`t go into
Iraq and I thoroughly alone. But everybody is kind of forgotten all of
that now. Main thing is how do we get out, how do we avoid this kind of
this in the future. So, let`s just hope we learned some lessons.

SHARPTON: Well, you won`t, but I will. I say we shouldn`t have gone
into Iraq in the beginning and I`m against further engagement in
Afghanistan, so I won`t be as humble as you.

Victoria Soto and Clarence Page, thank you both for your time.

PAGE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, Sarah Palin and Karl Rove at war, and it is getting
very personal.

Plus, Glenn Beck is at it again. What is he saying about this picture
that has everyone talking?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back with the tired old attack on President Obama.
That he`s just a big celebrity. Karl Rove`s super-PAC created a whole ad
making fun of the president for going on talk shows, and the right-wing
talkers ate it up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: He`s becoming Barack
Kardashian. I tell you that`s what`s been coming. He is becoming the male
Kim Kardashian with this stuff and it has been building. He is celebrity
of the United States. He is not the president.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This from a man obsessed with celebrity and the
redistribution of wealth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone more interested in hanging out with U2,
and fund-raising with George Clooney and performing with the roots on Jimmy
Fallon`s show.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Republican national committee chair Reince Priebus slammed
the president for slow jamming the news on the Fallon show, saying it
hardly seemed like official business. So I was surprised to hear him say
this today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRIEBUS: Go beyond traditional news media in promoting or message,
including pop culture news outlets. We have to stop divorcing ourselves
from the American culture, and maybe that might mean I could get an
invitation with the ladies of "the view."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So, he ripped the president for talk shows, and now he
wants to go on "the View"? And that`s not all.

He also wants to establish an RNC celebrity task force of
personalities in the entertainment industry to host events and says
Republican leaders should participate and actively prepare for enter views
with "the Daily Show," the Colbert Report," MTV and magazines such as
"People" and "US Weekly." Be careful what you wish for.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINT EASTWOOD, ACTOR: What do you want me to tell Romney? I can`t
tell him to do that. I can`t do that to himself. You`re absolutely crazy.

DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN, CEO, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: I don`t want to
bring up a very successful show called "the Apprentice."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, from sea -- oh from sea to shining sea. Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: What could possibly go wrong? Did the right thing we
wouldn`t notice the convenient change of heart about Hollywood?

Nice try. But we got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back with the Grand Old Party desperately seeking a
leader. Just before the autopsy this morning was the big party known as
CPAC. Here comes party powerhouse Jeb Bush.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FMR. GOV. JEB BUSH (R), FLORIDA: Driverless vehicles will flawlessly
move people and products across our highways, never getting lost, never
having accidents.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Snoozer. Well, what about the GOP`s savior Marco Rubio.
Is he ready to lead?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: We need action for example, to engage
in the global economy, through fair trade, but we also need to engage in
the world, if we`re living in a global economy, America must wise in how it
uses its influence.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Not exactly lighting up the crowd, but look out,
establishment. She`s back! Sarah Palin was greeted like a rock star when
she took the stage over the weekend. The conservative crowd loved it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: More background checks, being
the idea, Mr. President, should have started with yours.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Oh, Bloomberg`s not around, our big gulp is safe. We`re cool. It`s
just pop with low-cal ice cubes in it. I hope that`s OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So the half-term governor turned reality TV star turn FOX
News castoff is the life of the party. So, does the GOP have a problem?
You bet you.

Joining me now here on set, Lauren Ashburn and Ryan Grim. Lauren,
what does it say about the state of the GOP when Sarah Palin is getting
that reaction?

LAUREN ASHBURN, EDITOR IN CHIEF, THE DAILY DOWNLOAD: Well, Sarah
Palin livened up that crowd. As a person who spent a day sitting there
through all of those speeches, listening to Rubio and Ryan --

SHARPTON: That was yawning just --

ASHBURN: And all of the others. I mean, she comes on and bam, she
has got the crowd laughing. She has the crowd moving. You know, it seemed
like she was auditioning for a role on MSNBC, as much as she was bashing
other Republicans.

SHARPTON: Well, Ryan, did you think that it`s a lack of talent and
charisma that there`s no new ideas? I mean, why such a bland crew of
people at CPAC, many of whom we expect to be running in 2016?

RYAN GRIM, THE HUFFINGTON POST: It`s because Palin doesn`t care about
elections. The people who were being bland and boring are trying to
position themselves for 2016. And they know the rhetoric that fires up a
CPAC crowd dooms them in 2016.

SHARPTON: Oh, so you mean they`re bland on purpose?

GRIM: I think they`re blade on purpose. Palin doesn`t care. She
cares about the Palin brand. And so she`s going to say the stuff that all
the consultants and all the pollsters are telling them to stay away from,
because she knows it will fire up the crowd. That`s all she wants to do,
fire up the crowd.

SHARPTON: Now, Lauren, Palin among other things she went right after
Karl Rove. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALIN: If these experts, who keep losing election, and you keep
getting rehired raking in millions, if they feel that strong by about who
gets to run in this party, then she should buck up or stay in the truck.
Buck up and run. The architects can head on back to --

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

They can head on back to the great lone star state and put their name
on some ballot, though for their sake I hope they give themselves a
discount on their consulting services.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But I`ve got to give it to her, Karl Rove came right back
and responded. Watch this, Lauren.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KARL ROVE, POLITICAL CONSULTANT: I`m a volunteer. I don`t take a
dime from my work with American cross roads. I even pay my own travel
expenses out of my own pocket. Look, I appreciate her encouragement that I
ought to go home to Texas to run for office. I would have been enthused if
I run for office to have her support. I would say this though, I don`t
think I`m a particularly good candidate sort of a balding fat guy. And
second of all, I would say if I did run for office and win, I would serve
out my term. I wouldn`t leave office midterm.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Ooh. I would serve out my term. I mean, how big a problem
is this? The Tea Party superstar versus the guy that is supposed to get
people elected? How big a problem is this?

ASHBURN: I don`t think it is at all in this particular case. As Ryan
says, she doesn`t have anywhere to go. Look, she failed at her
governorship by quitting, right? She has lost her contract at FOX. She
now is making jokes with big gulps, and what is that? What where is she
going to go now? She has not taken her platform. She had a huge platform
in 2008.

And she hasn`t taken it seriously. She hasn`t come out with ideas and
put them to task, and to test within the party. So for her to bash Rove,
who is still in the party, trying to make things happen and things work,
really doesn`t seem to make a whole lot of difference.

SHARPTON: But Ryan, she is speaking to the soul of the party in terms
of that crowd that really has a load of pull in the primaries and will
determine who is in the general elections. And though I understand your
point before about there being purposely bland, they can`t get to the
general to claim moderate if they can`t get by the primaries, and she`s
speaking to a lot of the primary voters.

GRIM: That`s the problem. And a lot of these Republicans, I think
what they`re doing is they`re saying, look, there`s no point in me running
to the far right, even if it wins me the primary, because I`m going to
lose the general. So if people like Jeb Bush and Chris Christie are
saying, look, what I`m going to do is I`m going to try to win the primary
in a way that would allow me to win the general, or I`m going to lose
trying. Because what`s the point otherwise?

Sarah Palin, like I said, she doesn`t care. The more people like her
out there, you know, riling up the base, then the harder it is for
Republicans who are like Jeb Bush to become electable. But what it really
shows is the genius of Sarah Palin a couple years ago. She knew that her
time in the national spot light was fading, and so she quit, she cashed in,
and if she had served out her term as governor of Alaska, it would have
cost her millions.

ASHBURN: But right now, she`s sort of like those girls at the trade
shows they have, you know, standing around to get you to come into the
booths. You know, they look really nice and they`re talking really nice.
And they want you to come into the party, but they don`t really have
anything to do with the party.

SHARPTON: But she`s not being written off by all of the
conservatives, not just yet, anyway in terms of a comeback, you know,
Krauthammer says to political Charles Krauthammer, the conservative
columnist, "Her act as a political figure is possible if she applies
herself." Senator Ayotte says, she still has ability to ignite activists.
I`m sure it`s not the last we heard of her, that`s what Senator Ayotte
says. Newt Gingrich says, "She could run for the U.S. Senate, she could
sustain national impact. Are they afraid to bother with attacking her? Or
are they leaving the door open, because the door is stick cracked open?

ASHBURN: Sure, they`re leaving the door open, because this is a woman
who, among conservative women and conservatives in general has a very high
approval rating. This woman can still attract people to her. She has star
power, and if, as Krauthammer says, she does apply herself, she finds a
cause she would be very interested in, she could do some real leadership
activity within the party.

SHARPTON: Well, Lawrence Ashburn and Ryan Grim, I`m going to have to
leave it there. Thank you for your time tonight.

GRIM: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, what does Glenn Beck have to do with this picture?
And the one and only James Carville is here, live on how progressive values
can win long into the future action and he might have a thing or two to say
about Hillary. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Sometimes I reflect, you know,
is there something else I could do to make these guys -- I`m not talking
about leaders now, but maybe some of the House republican caucus members
not pain horns on my head.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: President Obama recently talking about how right-wingers
love to demonize him. Take a look at this picture, it shows the Satan
character from the miniseries "The Bible" on the history channel. And some
think the character has a striking resemblance to someone else. Glenn Beck
tweeted out -- anyone else think the devil in the bible Sunday on history
channel, looks exactly like that guy? That guy is how Beck refers to
President Obama.

Now, you can judge for yourself whether there`s a resemblance but
could it be a coincident? Drudge Report picked up devil in TV show "The
Bible" bears striking resemblance to Obama. The history channel released a
statement saying it`s unfortunate that anyone made this false connection.
The executive producers called it utter nonsense and said, false statements
such as these are just designed as foolish distraction.

Yes, it is a foolish distraction, it is nonsense, but people like
Glenn Beck seeing what they want to see. He tweeted for the media to relax
today. But there`s a track record. It`s all about demonizing the
president, and no conspiracy theory is too insane to get in the way of
reality. I was hoping we would put this nonsense behind us, but it might
be a cold day somewhere before that happens.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: I`m back with one of the biggest, loudest and smartest
voices of the left. James Carville, James Carville helped the comeback kid
Bill Clinton get into the White House in 1992, by reminding politicians
that it`s the economy, stupid. And ever since Carville has had his finger
on the pulse of democratic politics. With strategic and sometimes salty
advice for progressives, calling on Democrats to fight for what they know
is right.

Joining me now live from the great city of New Orleans is the man
himself, James Carville.

Thank you for being here, James.

JAMES CARVILLE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thank you for having me,
Reverend Al. I`m enjoying the show. A lot of smart insight I`ve heard so
far here. Great show you guys going tonight.

SHARPTON: Thank you. Let me ask you, Democrats wanted a progressive
agenda. Now, the President is making progress on guns, immigration, even
tax hikes for the rich, is a progressive message a winning message in
America in 2013?

CARVILLE: Let`s be clear here. Not just Democrats wanted that, the
Americans wanted that. We have an election and I`ll be vicious for front
and center. The election was decided decisively. It was almost four
points, 332 electoral votes. The Republicans are -- because their policies
were rejected, and democratic policies were embraced. So, let`s be
careful, this is not just a progressive agenda. This is an agenda that Al
Sharpton, James Carville agree, it is an agenda that most Americans who
voted agree on. So, we have the authority of an election behind us.

SHARPTON: Now, having the authority of the election, you set and you
helped to make Bill Clinton the last elected democratic president and he
was re-elected. You helped to make that happened. What would you say the
President needs to do with this, win now to his back, in terms of the
electorate? What should be doing more to push that agenda in your opinion?

CARVILLE: Well, I think he`s right to have immigration front and
center, I think he`s right to get some -- things on the side of his
magazine and background checks and things like that, that elected and
everybody agrees on. And of course, you know, Reverend Al, I`m a big
believer that the middle class is unduly suffered as a result of the
policies of the last administration.

And at some point -- and I understand, you know, we`re -- here, the
economy is fighting, coming back better than most countries, but the middle
classes still not coming back like it needs to. So, that`s one of the
areas that I hope the president is able to focus on. He`s had a lot on his
plate now, but that`s one of the things that we need to up our game on
here.

SHARPTON: Now, the Republicans came out with their autopsy today and
I called it something else to the beginning of the show but 2012 was a
disaster and here`s how the GOP`s own focus groups described the part.
Scary, narrow minded, out of touch, stuffy old men. I mean, do you have a
few choice phrases you`d like to describe the GOP?

CARVILLE: Well, I`ll let the focus group describe them but I mean,
I`ll take that to accurate. You know, what I found interesting Reverend Al
was that, what they`re trying to do now, and yes, it`s a big fight on their
party because they don`t -- they`re trying to change the rules of how they
pick a president, and also trying to change the rules is to how we pick a
president. You see, they don`t want those people at CPAC who like the
confederate flag to have any power -- picking their nominee.

They don`t want people like you and I, who don`t like the confederate
flag, to have as much power in picking a general action. So, what they`re
trying to do is they`re trying to marginalize them, saying we don`t want
these crazy people to vote in picking our president. We just want their
votes in November in the general election. So, now the Rand Paul people
are fighting back. The Rush Limbaugh people are fighting back.

They`re pushing against this report, because that`s what they`re
trying to do. We see at the same token, the legislate is in place like
Michigan and Pennsylvania and places like that are trying to marginalize
progressive voters by not counting their votes as much, so it`s really a
kind of a strange strategic thing they have got themselves caught betwixt
and between. I find it kind of almost amusing.

SHARPTON: I agree, let me ask you a question a little closer to home,
just between you and I.

CARVILLE: Just you and I. I understand. This is the kind of
pastor/parishioner privilege going on here.

SHARPTON: That`s correct.

CARVILLE: .just talking among ourselves.

SHARPTON: That`s correct. Is Hillary going to run?

CARVILLE: Well, let me put it this way. I have never heard a
democrat -- and I`ve been around the country a lot. Say two things, first,
I`ve never heard a democrat say, you know, I really miss Bush, and the
second thing I`ve never heard a democrat say, I hope Hillary doesn`t run.
I think that if she knew the amount of support that she has out there, and
I think most Democrats would like to see her run. I certainly hope so,
but, you know, if the power of me hoping, and I`m going to hold my breath
until she says she`s going to run.

I`m going to pull some kind of stuff because I really do want her to
run. But I think most people do, but you`ve got to give her a chance to
sort of recoup. She`s worked real hard for the president over the last
four years, and I`m sure that she`s -- it`s going to go through her mind,
she`s going to give it a lot of thought.

SHARPTON: Now, she came out today and formally endorsed same-sex
marriage. James Carville just reminded the country that she worked hard
for President Obama. It sounds to me like there may be some preparation
for you a run. If she ran, does that clear the field? Do you think that
no one would dare challenge her and she devastate shot against the
Republicans?

CARVILLE: Well, you know, no one would ever say that in politics.
And we`ve seen it too long, but I think she would be as formidable a front-
runner, she definitely go in as a frontrunner and I`ve never seen a
democratic frontrunner. This is very early, things could change. But at
this very earliest stage in the process, and I think David Plouffe, the
President`s tough guy said the same thing yesterday about what a formidable
front-runner she would be.

You know, that very often, we get a candidate that the party can unite
behind and enhance the real qualifications that -- Mrs. Clinton does.
Look, I`m unabashedly hoping that she runs but, you know, she`s a strong
woman. She`s going to make up her own mind. I guarantee you that.

SHARPTON: Who does the Republicans have that you could see that could
give her a race if she in fact runs and becomes a nominee? Who would be
the one that you would be concerned about if you were helping with her
campaign if there were to be one?

CARVILLE: Well, I don`t think anybody -- I think the Republicans have
a problem, Reverend Al, if you look in the last six elections, Democrats
have carried states carrying 242 electoral votes. If all we need to do is
carry those plus Florida, I think the Republicans are going to be hard-
pressed not to pick a candidate from Florida. That would either be former
Governor Jeb Bush, if he decides to run. That`s somewhat of a question
mark, you know Marco Rubio, who I think is coming across a little bit light
myself. This guy doesn`t seem to work very hard, but that`s my own
opinion.

He could get more seasoning after the election approaches. If they
don`t carry Florida. If we were in Florida, and we just do as the states
that we carried in the last six in a row, we`re going to win it. So, I --
I hope that they cede Florida to us because that would be the best news we
can have. But they have other problems getting from here to there. You
know, if you look at this CPAC thing, that this is a party that can`t even
agree on slavery. They`re always talking about rape. I mean, you know,
it`s pretty weird stuff going on there.

When you have a meeting like this, with all the reporters, and they`re
having a discussion about slavery, I mean, I don`t think that`s what they
were trying to get out to the voters, but that`s the way some people in the
party feel. And those people are going to be out, they`re going to be
trying to vote, they`re going to be trying to pick their nominee. I don`t
know if the powers to be are going to be able to shut these people up. And
Brother Limbaugh is not happy about attempts to marginalize him, and
neither is our friend Mr. Beck who you would just point now. They`re
trying to marginalize him over there, too.

SHARPTON: They`re making a lot of noise, and it`s music to yours
ears.

CARVILLE: Yes. It is, it is. We enjoy watching. We like this
spectacle. Thank you, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Thank you for your time tonight.

CARVILLE: Yes, sir. Thank you.

SHARPTON: We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Today, President Obama made a big announcement. Nominating
Justice Department Lawyer Tom Perez to be the next labor secretary.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Like so many Americans, Tom
knows what it`s like to climb the ladder of opportunity. But his story
reminds us of this country`s promise. That if you`re willing to work hard,
it doesn`t matter who you are, where you come from, what your last name is,
you can make it if you try. And Tom`s made protecting that promise for
everybody the cause of his life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I was at the White House today for the big announcement,
which sparked ugly reactions from the right.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: This guy`s name is Tom Perez, and
he may as well be Hugo Chavez. And that is not an exaggeration. Imagine
what would happen if Bush turned around and nominated the grand kliegle of
the Ku Klux Klan to a cabinet position where he would be deciding on
discrimination lawsuits. That is exactly what`s happened here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s incredibly offensive. And now we`re hearing GOP
senators vowing to block the Perez nomination. Why? Because Perez is a
champion for voting and minority rights? It was his office that fought to
block vote are ID in Texas. It was his office that fought to have voter ID
blocked in South Carolina. And it was his office that sued Sheriff Joe
Arpaio for discriminating against Latinos. Tomas Perez is a fighter for
civil rights and as Labor Secretary, he`ll stand up for the rights of the
working class.

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

END

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