Skip navigation

PoliticsNation, Friday, March 29th, 2013

Read the transcript from the Friday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed

POLITICS NATION
March 29, 2013

Guests: Jerrold Nadler, Lou Dubose, Cynthia Tucker, Connie Chung

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

Tonight`s lead, they mean what they say. The GOP`s pretending to work
on minority outreach. They have literally held seminars on how to talk to
minority voters. They have even been given a list of words not to use
around Latino voters. Yet, dispute all that, here is what GOP congressman
Don Young told a local radio station.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DON YOUNG (R), ALASKA: My father had a ranch. We used to hire
50 to 60 wetbacks and to pick tomatoes, you know, it takes two people to
pick the same thing. It`s done by machine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s despicable rhetoric. The congressman has since
apologized. But not before the Republicans tripped over themselves to
condemn his remarks. They were all lined up condemning them.

Speaker Boehner says there`s no excuse and wants an immediate apology.

Congressman Cantor called the comments offensive and RNC chair Reince
Priebus in remarks emphatically do not represent the beliefs of the
Republican Party.

Now, I think it is great. They are blessed in Young for his comments.
But, the fact is, these kinds of ugliness keeps bubbling inside the party.
It`s Todd Akin`s legitimate rape comments. It`s audience members boarding
a gay soldier at a Republican debate. It`s Republicans cheering a person
dying from a lack of health insurance. And listen to the right-wing
talkers this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. BEN CARSON: Marriage is between a man and a woman. No group, be
the gays, be the NAMBLA, be the people who believe in bestiality, it
doesn`t matter what they are, they don`t get to change the definition.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What if someone`s that immigrate to this country
that lives in a country that allows multiple spouses?

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: If same sex fits the bill of the
contract, then everything fits the bill. And at some point who is to say
you cannot have sex with a child at some point?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: How about condemning that language? Today another reminder
the GOP has gone from the party of Lincoln to the party of Limbaugh.

Joining me now is congressman Jerrold Nadler, Democrat from New York
and Melissa Harris-Perry, host of "the Melissa Harris-Perry" show on MSNBC.

Thank you both for being here.

MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC ANCHOR, MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY SHOW:
Absolutely.

REP. JERROLD NADLER (D), NEW YORK: Pleasure.

SHARPTON: Congressman, as we showed, your Republican colleagues in
the house came out strong condemning and taking their shots at congressman
Young`s comments today. But we keep seeing this ugliness come out. Where
do you see this rebranding we keep hearing about?

NADLER: Well, they are trying but the problem is that it`s one thing
to change your rhetoric when you don`t change your beliefs and you don`t
change your practice and your rhetoric is hard to follow then because you
don`t remember it. You have to remember all the time, it`s like someone
who lies. Remember your lies so you don`t contradict it.

This is a party that is opposed to equal rights for guy people or
lesbians, it`s opposed to marriage rights. It`s pushing forth a budget
that would take -- literally take food out of the mouths of babes, to take
money away from women and children, to take money away from schools all to
give tax cuts to the rich, all to give tax cuts to the rich. It`s a party
that`s fundamentally hostile to everyone except a very small either
religious or well-to-do base.

SHARPTON: But they have covered the whole American groups in terms of
offensive language, in terms of what they say, Melissa. Isn`t this really
hypocritical that they are going to jump on young and some suspect because
they are trying to appear friendlier to the Latino community and not
condemn statements just as ugly or uglier by others that are affiliated or
leading in their party?

HARRIS-PERRY: I mean, I think this in part goes to the congressman`s
point that what we see here is the desire to change the rhetoric or to
change the symbolism, but not to change the substance that was underneath,
right?

And what that does at its core is it underestimates American voters,
particularly American voters in these groups, right? Because it assumes
that African-Americans, that Latinos, that women, that LGBT voters are
responding more to that style than they are to substance and that is --
that`s inherently, I think, problematic in terms of assuming what kind of
citizens we are as a people. It`s not just that Todd Akin says legitimate
rape. It`s that the Republican party takes a stance that restricts women
to reproductive right. It is not just the used of offensive tern about
Latino immigrant, it`s about the policy that actually breaks up Latino
families and sends people if they have different --

SHARPTON: The policy is consistent with the insult?

HARRIS-PERRY: Exactly.

NADLER: And when you talk about women`s rights, the war in women,
it`s not just the Republican party as opposed to reproductive rights. The
Republican party takes a position, we know better than you. We make the
decisions for you. Our religious conviction says that you should not --

SHARPTON: And follow us.

NADLER: Or that you must bear the child with the rapist. It`s not up
to you.

SHARPTON: Now, let me show you something that happened when you were
sitting there in congress. Watch this, congressman Nadler.

Now, Boehner, he was quick to condemn congressman Young. Today, he
took a different stance after congressman Wilson shouted "you lie" at the
president. John Boehner defends Joe Wilson. Listen to this.

Reporters pressed Boehner on whether he personally believed the shout
he heard - the shout heard round the country was inappropriate given the
setting, but the leader wouldn`t break from his script. Mr. Wilson summed
it up best when he said his behavior was inappropriate.

So now, he condemned Young outright, but it was just inappropriate
when a man sat in the congress. You were there that night, while the
president is making a state of the union address and said to the president
of the United States, you lie.

So do you understand why some of us are saying, wait a minute, is the
condemnation today of Young more about trying to appeal to a certain
segment and gratuitous? Because clearly you`ve had reason to really
condemn things that you never condemned.

NADLER: The condemnation of young today was purely political. It was
purely for political reasons and obviously so. But the Republican party
generally has not accepted the legitimacy of President Obama as president.
Whether that`s racist or partially racist is anybody`s conjecture. That
clearly has. That`s what the whole birtherism was all about. And that`s
why they have tolerance of somebody who yells out "you lie" to the
president of the United States. They would never tolerate that kind of
behavior if the president were Ronald Reagan or George Bush.

SHARPTON: Let`s deal with not only "you lie," Melissa, time and again
we have heard downright ugly rhetoric. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Really poor
children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have
nobody around them who works.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Are you saying that society should just let
him die?

REP. RON PAUL (R), TEXAS: No.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: I think the issue that you`re
referring to is the issue of anger babies.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you intend to circumvent the progress made for
gay and lesbian soldiers in the military.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So, I mean, this ugliness is so consistent and rampant
that, yes, I`m glad they condemned Young but you have to suspect, where has
this been through all of these kinds of insults. And, again, is it -- are
they angry at Young because they came out at an inopportune time since they
are trying to do the rebrand or is it a genuine trying to change the
ugliness that has become so rampant in the party?

HARRIS-PERRY: Well again, I mean, ugliness is part of that. But the
other thing is what we heard were things that were just false. The idea
that poor children live in a world where no one works? I mean, obviously
to live in poverty in this country is to deal with the kind of grinding
work that I think most middle class and wealthy people just have no idea
about, what it takes to just get your kid to school in the morning, what it
takes to get to a minimum wage job, what it takes to make the rent or to
keep your children from violence, that is work, right?

And we can go down each one of those moments in the idea that if you
don`t have health insurance, you ought to be allowed to die in a country
where we actually take health insurance from the most in need of it, right,
before the Obama care passed.

NADLER: And even when they don`t use that kind of terrible rhetoric,
the attitude of contempt for most Americans is there. When you hear the
rhetoric, for instance, or the opposition, even the more reason, to seeming
or sounding opposition to the affordable care act, my God, 30 million more
people have health insurance, we don`t have enough doctors. The
implication is, to hell with those 30 million people.

SHARPTON: You have a bill that would overturn the defense of marriage
act.

NADLER: Yes.

SHARPTON: As of last year, it had 157 democratic co-sponsors and just
three Republican co-sponsors. Where are your colleagues on the Republican
side?

NADLER: Well, I`m glad we got three Republicans at the very end of
last year. We are reintroducing that bill in the next few weeks and I hope
we`ll get more Republican co-sponsors. Until now, they`ve been completely
opposed.

Well obviously, Boehner has spent $3 million of taxpayer money
defending the DOMA lawsuit. It lost at the district court level, the
appellate court level that will lose its people and that with total waste
of $3 million of the taxpayer money to show contempt for people.

SHARPTON: Well, in their rebranding, let`s see how many Republicans
now get to join you because you know, they all watch "Politics Nation" so
they just got the message.

Congressman Jerrold Nadler and Melissa Harris-Perry, thank you for
coming on the show tonight.

And don`t forget to catch Melissa Harris-Perry, 10:00 a.m. eastern on
Saturdays and Sundays.

And one program night. This Sunday I will be on "Meet the Press"
talking about same-sex marriage and the implications of this week`s Supreme
Court hearings. Please check your local listings for time.

Ahead, elections meet consequences. The president pounding his
message of fairness in Florida today. This is what happens when you win.

Plus, Sarah Palin might need more than a big gulp after our latest
national embarrassment.

And Barbara Walters a trailblazer for women, is reportedly saying
good-bye to her legendary career.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OPRAH WINFREY, TV HOST: I don`t know that person.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Why is it making you cry?

WINFREY: Shoot. I wasn`t going to cry here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Another trailblazer for women is here life. Connie Chung
joins us.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Today, President Obama began rolling out his economic
vision for his second term. A major new jobs push ahead of what will be
his first budget since winning re-election. The first budget since winning
the argument about fairness and equality.

In Miami today, the president announced a new public works plan to
improve the nation`s highways, bridges, and ports, while putting people to
work.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You ask any CEO, where
would they rather locate their business and hire their workers? Are you
going to set up shop in a country that had got raggedy roads, runways that
are potholes, back-up supply chains, or are you going to see out high-speed
rare, Internet high-tech schools, new state of the art power grills, new
bridges, new tunnels, new ports that help you ship products made in America
to the rest of the world as fast as possible.

So what are we waiting for? There`s work to be done. The workers who
were ready to do it. Let`s prove to the world that there`s no better place
to do business than right here in the United States of America and let`s
get started rebuilding America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Rebuilding America. That should be job number one. It`s a
plan that Democrats and Republicans alike should support and it`s yet
another piece of the president`s agenda that`s falling into place.

This week, he took action on voting, ordering investigations into long
lines at polling stations. The president is also implementing his
executive actions on guns while promoting new gun bills, facing votes next
month. And he`s ramping up the pressure on lawmakers to move forward on
immigration reform. Elections matter. Elections have consequences. This
is the progressive agenda at work and it`s working.

Joining me now is former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell. Thank you
for joining me tonight.

ED RENDELL (D), FORMER GOVERNOR, PENNSYLVANIA: My pleasure, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you, governor, you know firsthand that
infrastructure means jobs. Why do Republicans refuse to get it?

RENDELL: Well, I think more and more Republicans are getting it. And
if they can put politics aside and care about job creation, they will
approve the president`s plan. I testified at the first hearing of the new
budget chairman Blue Shuster (ph) and testified for 2 1/2 hours. Most of
the Republicans, even guys who said they were part of the tea party, said
that we need to spend more money on the infrastructure.

So, I`m hopeful this part of the president`s agenda will work. And
Reverend, it does work. Pennsylvania got a million dollars for roads and
bridges in the original stimulus. We tracked every job it created. It
created 24,800 jobs and I put a half a billion dollars of state money into
bridge construction. And then in my last year at office, we were working
on 1400 bridges at one time. Pennsylvania had the lowest unemployment rate
of any industrial state. We were at 7.4. The national average was 9.2.
Infrastructure spending creates jobs, creates investment, works for
America.

SHARPTON: But when you look at the people that are suffering, when
you look at the level of unemployment around the country, it`s outrageous
they would be blocking something like this. And when the president goes
today and makes this appeal, the head of the Republican national committee,
Reince Priebus, he mocks the president`s public works plan. This is what
he says about the statement today.

President Obama`s jaunt to Miami is nothing more than a PR stunt. I
mean, people are suffering. He`s talking about real jobs and
infrastructure rebuilding that we need, governor, and they act like it`s a
PR stunt.

RENDELL: First of all, if President Obama found a cure to cancer, the
Republicans would say, well, he didn`t do anything for heart disease. I
mean, he can do nothing that pleases them.

But Mr. Priebus, who is not a smart guy, should contact Senator
Inhofe, Jim Inhofe from Oklahoma, a very conservative guy. He is the
ranking member of the public works committee. He says that infrastructure
spending is the second most important thing the government can do behind
defense. And if that`s Jim Inhofe saying it, Reince Priebus ought to shut
up.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, Governor, what is also, just so amazing, I
have to say it that way to me, while the president is laying out the jobs
plan, they are in the right-wing media, they are just obsessed with this
whole Planned Parenthood and White House tours. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The federal government is spending apparently
$350 million Planned Parenthood sex education plan.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is so shocking because remember this sequester,
it was all about we`re going to have to close the White House tours.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know how long they would keep the White House
tours going? Twenty years?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A hundred years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And by the way, Think Progress points out that it`s not
clear where this $350 million number came from or why Planned Parenthood
has anything to do with it. But the bigger point, governor, is they are
obsessed with these issues.

RENDELL: And they are. And they are obsessed with them at the loss
of real, relevant law-making. The number one the Republican said, our
number one priority is jobs, jobs, jobs, but they haven`t introduced
anything that would help create jobs and they have introduced all these
fluff measures on things not crucial to the economy.

They are just obsessed with the president, they are obsessed with
tearing him down and, good Lord, the country is in a recovery. It`s not
fast enough. It`s not creating enough jobs. We should care about the
American people first. I mean, it seems like we`re back at the old Mitch
McConnell stage where he said the most important thing on our agenda is
making sure Barack Obama is a one-term president. Now, they can`t do that
but it seems like the most important thing on their agenda is making sure
that Barack Obama doesn`t get anything done even if it would cause the
people of this country first.

SHARPTON: Well, it looks like he is moving ahead because the one
thing the president talked about today was his agenda as a whole and how
it`s coming together. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We are going to push on this issue each and every day and make
sure we get the middle class going on again. We are going to fix our
economy. We are going to fix our immigration system. We are going to make
sure that our young people are getting a great education. We are going to
prevent them from being victims of gun violence. We are going to make sure
that everybody in this court has a fair shot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Governor Rendell, he is moving ahead. Thanks for your time
tonight. Have a great weekend.

RENDELL: And Rev., it`s a great agenda. And you, too, and everybody,
Happy Easter.

SHARPTON: Ahead, read, writing victory. You won`t believe what`s
planned as the centerpiece of the new push for presidential library.

And surprising new details about what Sarah Palin is doing with all
that money she`s raising. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The right-wing media won`t stop reporting on the Obama
daughters` spring break. Breitbart.com first gave the specific location
for to the girls earlier this week. Then congressman Steve King went there
in an interview on automatic budget cuts.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: We have the president doing these things.
He sent the daughters to spring break in Mexico a year ago and that was at
our expense, too, and now to the (bleep) to one of the most expensive
places there, that is the wrong image to be coming out of the White House.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And Sean Hannity made sure to mention.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: So, we got Hawaii for the first
family. Then, we got Michelle and kids goes skiing and he goes to play golf
Tiger. Now, the girls are on spring break.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So what if they are on spring break. It is despicable and
careless.

From the start, the White House has asked news outlets not to report
on their children when they are not with their parents or there is no vital
news interest. Is the vacation by the news dances? Of course not. Yet
today, "the Weekly Standard" reports exactly where the Obama children are.
The headline reads, White House scrubs ski vacation report. And Breitbart
is at it again, the same headline.

This isn`t about controlling the media. This is about security. It`s
about privacy for minors. It`s about decently. It`s a long-standing
tradition. The media outlets do not report on the president`s minor
children when they are not attending an official or semi-official events.
These out lights, these outlets are disregarding honor, pushing it off as
real news.

It`s sleazy, it is reckless, and the organization should be ashamed.

Did you think we wouldn`t call you out for breaking this long-standing
media agreement?

Nice try, but we got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Next month, the George W. Bush presidential library opens
in Texas. That`s right. W. is opening his own library. But already we`re
seeing that the library is an attempt to rewrite history, to erase the
mistakes of the Bush/Cheney presidency. The National Journal says, it
support its hope it will be the thing that, quote, "Rehabilitates the 43rd
president`s image."

They journal says, the library signature exhibit is a 17-foot two-ton
twisted piece of steel from the world trade center. President Bush has a
history of using the imagery of 9/11 for his own gain. In 2004, 9/11
widows and firefighters were outraged when he read this political ad using
9/11 pictures.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FMR. PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH (R), UNITED STATES: I`m George W. Bush and
I approve this message.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Flag covers remains being pulled from Ground Zero and used
to promote a political candidate but if his library is any guide, it seems
that little has changed in how President Bush and his supporters are
prepared to use the images of 9/11.

Joining me now is Lou Dubose from the Washington Spectator. He`s also
the co-author of "Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush`s America." And
Cynthia Tucker, visiting professor of journalism at the University of
Georgia. Thank you both for being here.

LOU DUBOSE, AUTHOR, "BUSHWHACKED": Thank you, Reverend.

CYNTHIA TUCKER, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA: Good to be here, Rev.

SHARPTON: Lou, is the Bush library really an attempt to rescue the
Bush legacy?

DUBOSE: Reverend, it looks like a theme park as much as it is a
library. I mean, you have a freedom tower, you have plaza, you have
decision points library, you have the bull horn that he wishes that he used
to address the first responders after 9/11. You have Saddam Hussein`s
pistol, 9-millimeter Glock. It`s kind of a parenthesis around the, you
know, one of the greatest foreign policy blunders in our country`s history,
and they are pretty shameless about it as you suggested in your lead in.

SHARPTON: Now, Cynthia, you know, the Bush library also includes a
think tank that former President Bush calls, quote, "A results-oriented
institute that will have an effect on our country and we think on the
world. These programs highlight economic growth, human freedom, and
education reform."

Now, the guy who gave us no child left behind, the war in Iraq, and a
recession now wants to promote those same ideas, Cynthia?

TUCKER: I certainly hope not. Now, I hope the idea coming out of the
Bush library won`t have any effect on policy on Washington, D.C. I simply
cannot imagine how disastrous that would be. You know, it`s interesting,
it is astounding, actually, how much George W. Bush is trying to tie his
legacy to 9/11. What the American public remember about his legacy is the
disastrous invasion of Iraq, the budget busting that he did and economic
decline.

SHARPTON: Yes.

TUCKER: That`s his legacy. And unless he`s going to give us the
torture memos, I don`t think there`s a lot that we can learn from the Bush
library.

SHARPTON: Now Lou, it`s important for history that we get it right so
we don`t repeat the same mistakes. I mean, when you look at all of the
wrong assumptions that the Bush team made ahead of the Iraq war. Well, let
me show you something.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We don`t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom
cloud.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The Czechs alleged that Mohamed Atta, the lead
attacker, met in Prague with a senior Iraqi intelligence official five
months before the attack.

BUSH: The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently
sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, all of what I just showed ended up being lies. It`s
important for history`s sake, forget the partisan stuff. That we do not
get it wrong again and to teach these policies like they were right or to
sanitize them does not help the country move forward and not repeat this
kind of stuff.

DUBOSE: You know, I agree Reverend, I think the narrative, the
triumphalist narrative at this museum, at this presidential museum, it`s
sort of a Neocon rehash of all the terms that would use to lead the country
into war and one would expect a little bit of modesty from a president who
has presided over that sort of failure and also from a president who is,
you know, who is competing in the bottom of ten in terms of presidential
rankings that are done by legitimate historians. You know, the great Texas
historian J. Frank Dobie described the University of Texas power as a
permanent erection to an impotent administration, wonders what W. would
have to say about the Bush library.

SHARPTON: Well, Cynthia, let me say this, when he talks about, you
expect some humility, you would expect at least some kind of remorse or
apology, but Dick Cheney and Bush, when answering questions over the years
about whether they had any regrets, let me show you what they said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FMR. VICE PRES. DICK CHENEY (R), UNITED STATES: It was a war time
situation and it was more important to be successful than to be loved. If
I had to do it over again, I would do it in a minute.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: After 9/11, what would your biggest mistake be,
would you say, and what lessons have you learn from it?

BUSH: I`m sure something will pop into my head here in the midst of
this press conference, with all the pressure of trying to come up with an
answer, but it hadn`t yet. I don`t want to sound like I made no mistakes,
I`m confident I have.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, one, I have no regrets, the other one, I can`t
think of any mistakes. This is absolutely outrageous.

TUCKER: Nearly 5,000 Americans dead from the war in Iraq, tens of
thousands of Iraqis dead. And a sea of red ink in the federal budget. You
know, not repeating the mistakes of the Iraq war is very important but I
think we also need to remember that when Bush took office in 2000, there
was a balanced budget, the federal government was beginning to build a
surplus.

So every time I hear Republicans criticizing President Obama over the
budget and the deficit, I think you must be nuts because I remembered the
Bush years when he drove the country into a sea of red ink and for the guy
not to be able to think of any mistakes is incredible. That ought to be
the monument in the middle of the Bush library, that incredible sea of red
ink that he saddled this country with because he went to war and cut taxes
for the rich.

SHARPTON: And then on top of going to war, and during what he did
Lou, they ran and they emphasize the war in running for election. In 2002,
we learned about Karl Rove`s private power point presentation for the GOP
strategy midterm elections that year, it advised republican candidates to,
quote, "focus on war and economy." Even then the war on terror was part of
a political agenda.

DUBOSE: They can`t let it go, Reverend even to this day. I mean, the
idea of a freedom tower and the freedom plaza. Come on, this was a
colossal failure. You know, you go to the LBJ museum that`s here in
Austin, and you see the tragic balance between the civil rights movement
which was LBJ`s great achievement and the war in Vietnam which was his
failure and there`s nothing on the other side for Bush.

SHARPTON: Yes, and I think it`s that balance that I`m saying that is
so disturbing that it is not there and I think the lack of balance is the
lack of honesty and candor, Cynthia and Lou. It opens May 1st and to
borrow your term, Lou, I hope we`re not being Bushwhacked. Lou and Cynthia
--

DUBOSE: I hope so, too.

SHARPTON: Thank you for your time. Have a great weekend.

DUBOSE: Thank you, Reverend.

TUCKER: You, too.

SHARPTON: Ahead, the secrets of Sarah Palin. How she`s spending all
that money she`s raising.

Plus, Barbara Walters is a trailblazer for women. Connie Chung is
here on Walters`s groundbreaking career.

And the kid president gets a call from the real president. Why the
grownups in Washington should be listening?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: After a long hibernation, the Mama Grizzly is back. Sarah
Palin`s Political Action Committee has turned her latest speech into a new
fundraising ad and she`s come out swinging at consultants like her enemy
Karl Rove.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Don`t let the big consultants,
the big money men and the big bad media scare you off.

Now is the time to furlough the consultants and tune out the pollsters
and the focus groups home and toss the political scripts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The video scene you straight over to the Sarah PAC donation
page where they are just waiting to get your credit card info. And we
couldn`t help noticing that why the Mavericks slam consultants in public,
she sure spent a lot of money on them behind the scenes. For the 2012
campaign, Sarah PAC spent nearly $400,000 on political consultants, 300,000
on fundraising consultants, 62,000 on media consultants and 58,000 on
polling and research.

That`s a grand total of $850,000 for those terrible consultant types.
And how much did the Mama Grizzly actually donate to her little bear cubs
running for office? Less than $300,000. That`s right. She spent twice as
much on consultants as she did on candidates. Sarah Palin`s CPAC seems to
have money to burn but not a lot to spend on candidates. Does it seem
sometimes like her actions don`t support her words? You bet you.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: After 52 years in broadcasting, it`s expected that Barbara
Walters will retire next year. She`s been a trailblazer for women pushing
the cause of women forward just by the power of her example. We first met
Barbara Walters in 1962 as the co-host of the "Today" show. It was a male-
dominated industry when she came on the scene. She even suited up in the
iconic playboy Bunny Costume and took a shift at the fame New York City
playboy club.

In 1974, she became the first female co-anchor of any network evening
news. For 25 years she anchored and reported for ABC News. In 1997, she
created and began co-hosting "THE VIEW" and throughout her career she`s
interviewed everyone and anyone making news, world leaders, Hollywood
stars, athletes, and presidents. Her interview style redefined journalism.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARBARA WALTERS, ABC NEWS ANCHOR: Your newspapers, radio television,
motion pictures are unmistakable. No descent for opposition is allowed in
the public media.

Your English is good. Your English is better than you interpreter.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: He gets out of control, throwing, screaming.

WALTERS: Does he hit you?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: He shakes, he pushes, he swings.

WALTERS: What kind of a tree are you? Do you think you`re a tree?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I hope I`m not an elm with Dutch elm with disease
because then I`m withering. I think everybody would like to be an oak
tree. That`s very strong and very pretty.

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Came back on the campaign
trail and having this incredible opportunity to reconnect with the American
people in some ways the election was just sort of the icing on the cake but
being --

WALTERS: A lot of icing.

OBAMA: Yes.

WALTERS: Big cake.

What will you tell your children when you have them?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Mommy made a big mistake.

WALTERS: And that is the understatement of the year.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: If you were a newsmaker, you talked to Barbara.

Joining me now is Connie Chung, another TV trailblazer. She is the
second woman to anchor a network news program. Connie, it`s a pleasure and
honor to have you here tonight.

CONNIE CHUNG, JOURNALIST: I am so happy to be here but I refuse to
believe that Barbara is going to retire. If I have a vote, I`m going to
tell her not acceptable.

SHARPTON: I mean, it is almost hard to believe television without
Barbara Walters, I mean --

CHUNG: Exactly.

SHARPTON: You were her colleague. What kind of influence did she
have on your career?

CHUNG: A tremendous influence. I think it was back in 1970 when I
first met her and I was working for a local station in Washington, D.C. I
wanted to interview her. I can`t remember what the story was. It was
something like powerful women or whatever. And so, she said, meet me at
the White House south lawn and then I`ll go with you wherever you want to
go. And I hopped in her limousine, you know, and she stands there with her
assistant and started machine gun firing these things that they had to do
and I went, oh, my God.

You know, wow. She was just bigger than life to me. But then later,
as I began working more, she was like a mentor. She would -- if we were
competing for an interview or something, she`d write me a note afterwards,
if I happen to get it and say, great interview, it would say --

SHARPTON: What was it like while you were competing?

CHUNG: Oh, my God. I mean --

SHARPTON: She mentored you but you competed. How was it to compete
with Barbara Walters?

CHUNG: Yes, that`s the amazing thing about Barbara. We would be
extremely competitive with one another. And I knew that if Barbara was
going after that interview and I was, I was probably going to lose. I
mean, there was just no question in my mind I was up against the big
mountain, the big one. And it was so hard because she would develop these
personal relationships with people and make them feel so comfortable that
you just couldn`t fight it.

SHARPTON: Right.

CHUNG: And you would lose. But every once in a while when I did get
one, she was so incredible. She would mom me even though she wasn`t old
enough to be my mother. She would write me these notes and I would say,
gosh, I`m Barbara`s most favorite person and then I ran into Katie Couric
one time and she said, you know, I think I`m Barbara`s most favorite
person.

(LAUGHTER)

SHARPTON: So, was that part of the magic of Barbara Walters, she knew
how to make people feel big and feel --

CHUNG: And comfortable. Yes, very comfortable. She became your
friend. I mean, I was barbered one time.

SHARPTON: Barbered?

CHUNG: Yes. When we adopted a child -- by the way, before I get to
that, there are so many parallels between Barbara and me I just soon
discovered. Her father lost his -- I guess it was a nightclub. He was a
nightclub owner in New York, Lou Walters. And she became the bread winner
in her family. Well, my father had a heart attack and he stopped working
for the federal government. I became the bread winner.

So, that was the first thing. The second thing was, we both adopted
children and we both, you know, married nice Jewish boys. I think she had
two more marriages after that. But anyway, and then the last thing was
that we both co-anchored an evening news. She was the first and I was the
second with people who hated us. So it was -- we had such parallels and I
discovered that so we became so close because of the various experiences
that we had.

SHARPTON: How, if she made people feel comfortable and very
important, how did she deal with people that, as you say, hated her? How
did she deal with adversaries? Because it`s a very competitive business
and people hold grudges.

CHUNG: Well, sure. But I mean, I think that when I was Barbared, it
was after we adopted a child, I stayed home for two years and she started
calling me, faxing me, writing me, I was Barbared because she just
developed this correspondence and relationship with me. I had to say yes.
She was going to be the first interview, you know, for me. And I did. I
went on "THE VIEW" and that was the first interview.

She was very, very competitive when I finally went to ABC, the same
network that she was at. I was so scared because she was going to be right
there and she was there, Barbara Walters, I mean, Diane Sawyer was there.
So it was very scary.

SHARPTON: Now, she had a technique. She could make people cry. She
could get into them. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: It was so destructive. It was so destructive.

OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: I don`t know that person.

WALTERS: Why is it making you cry?

WINFREY: Shoot! I wasn`t going to cry here. It`s making me cry
because I`m thinking about how much I probably have never told her that.

WALTERS: You know, there are certain questions I ask you, like about
your father, and the tears come to your eyes.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I didn`t know it showed.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I made it after my father died, my passion, that I
was going to make that man proud of me until I die.

WINFREY: Tissue, please. I now need tissue.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, what was that, that she could really take people
there to that emotional place?

CHUNG: She becomes personable but not in an intrusive way. She
becomes your shrink. You`re on her couch. You`re revealing everything.
You`re opening your heart to her because she -- she`s sort of like a mother
confessor. I think everyone feels very comfortable and secure with her.
They want to pour forth their inner thoughts and she`s so understanding.
Believe me, she is. I mean, she is -- that`s the way she is.

SHARPTON: And she makes people feel like they are very important. I
mean --

CHUNG: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: Well, she will still be around for at least another year,
so.

CHUNG: Which is great. However, you know what? She could also
endure herself to every world leader. I mean, one of the best stories was
when Walter Cronkite.

SHARPTON: Right.

CHUNG: .the other icon, it`s Walter Cronkite and Barbara Walters --

SHARPTON: Right.

CHUNG: He thought he had an exclusive interview with Menachem Begin,
the prime minister of Israel and the president of Egypt Anwar al-Sadat. He
was on the plane with both of them. They were flying off because Menachem
Begin was going to speak before the Knesset with Sadat. Either one or the
other. Vice versa. They were flying off. He`s on the plane, he thinks
he`s got this exclusive joint interview. Barbara is on the tarmac going,
woo-hoo. Sadat sees her out of the window.

SHARPTON: Right.

CHUNG: .and says, Barbara, stop the plane. He stops the plane, she
gets on board and she`s there sitting with her buddies, you know, Sadat
and Begin and she writes a little note that says, will you do a joint
interview with me?

SHARPTON: Right.

CHUNG: She puts a box, yes, no, hands it to them so they don`t have
to say anything, and they go, yes. And Walter is livid for what he finds
out. Is she amazing?

SHARPTON: Amazing. Amazing. And it`s amazing having you here. It
was really a pleasure. And we`re going to be watching Barbara Walters for
another year. She does know how to make people feel big.

CHUNG: But she`s not retiring. I`m sorry.

SHARPTON: She can`t retire. Thank you for your time. Have a great
weekend.

CHUNG: Thank you.

SHARPTON: We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: That`s our show. Have a great weekend. Happy Easter.
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

<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2013 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Transcription Copyright 2013 ASC LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is
granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not
reproduce or redistribute the material except for user`s personal or
internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall
user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may
infringe upon MSNBC and ASC LLC`s copyright or other proprietary rights or
interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of
litigation.>


Sponsored links

Resource guide