Skip navigation

PoliticsNation, Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Read the transcript from the Thursday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed

POLITICS NATION
April 4, 2013

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

Guests: Linda Coleman; Irin Carmon, Ryan Grim, Angela Rye, Martin Luther
King III


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

Tonight`s lead, what is going on with Republicans and women? RNC
chair Reince Priebus just gave us his rebranding plan. He wanted to be
more inclusive and welcoming to downgrade all social issues that drove so
many voters away. So how is he doing it? By launching a full scale attack
on Planned Parenthood.

In an op-ed published in the right-wing blog, he attacked the media
and Planned Parenthood worker after she was asked a misleading question
about babies born after botched abortions. He claims that, quote "voters
must ask the pressing questions. Do these Democrats also believe a newborn
has no rights? Do they endorse infanticide?

Democrats as baby murderers? From the head of the rebranding
Republican Party? Wow. This is a strange way to broaden the Republican
appeal. And have you seen what the Republican Party, the newly rebranded
Republican party? Have you seen what they are doing in the states to
women`s rights?

In Alabama, the Republican legislature just passed regulations on
abortion clinics that will further curtail the right to choose. Abortion
rights` activists in Alabama took to the streets to protest the law that
should shut all five remaining clinics down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LINDA COLEMAN (D), STATE SENATE, ALABAMA: They say we want government
out of our personal affairs. I don`t know if there`s anything more
personal than my body. I have a real issue with the majority of the Senate
and the house members being male wanting to dictate what we as females are
going to have to abide by when it comes down to my personal body.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Abortion is legal. It`s the law of the land. Unless you
live in a state where you can`t get one. So how is that for change? How
is that for being inclusive and welcoming? Time to go back to the drawing
board.

Joining me now is Alabama state senator, Linda Coleman, who we just
saw at that protest and Irin from salon.com.

Thank you for both being here tonight.

IRIN CARMON, SALON.COM: Thank you.

COLEMAN: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Senator Coleman, let me start with you. The governor is
expected to sigh this bill that could shot all the clinic in your state.
What`s your response and how are you going to fight back since clearly you
were at the protest making a strong statement?

COLEMAN: Al, I think it`s a sad day for the state of Alabama. You
know, we are celebrating 50 years of success and momentum with the civil
rights act and Alabama has come a long way from standing in the door as far
as barriers to a whole lot of things and depressing people and
disenfranchising people. This is another barrier. But it is a barrier to
women of denying our rights and that`s what civil rights was all about.
It`s about opening the doors. It was about diversity and accepting people
who were different. It was about access.

And what this bill does and just goes to the governor now that he will
probably sign is further deny women rights, hard-earned rights that they
have had to choose, in particular, about the regulation of their body and
their health. We are not going to take this lying down.

In the state of Alabama, we have about 12.5 percent population for
women elected to the house and the Senate total. There are five women out
of 35 in the Senate. We have -- if pushed to really encourage more women
to run because the decision is not going to change.

SHARPTON: Yes.

COLEMAN: The climate is not going to change until we get more women
in the statehouse.

SHARPTON: Irin, you know, she`s right. Regardless of how I would
feel personally or you, it`s a question of people having the right over
their own decisions and their own body. But this is not just an Alabama
problem.

In Kansas, they are pushing a radical personhood bill that would
define life as beginning at conception. In Missouri, a bill was introduced
saying doctors can deny emergency contraception to rape victims. In
Arkansas, they just passed a law banning abortion at 12 weeks. And in
North Dakota, the state approved a ban on abortion as early as six weeks.
It`s the strictest abortion law in the nation. This is state by state all
over the country, while the Republicans are talking about rebranding.

CARMON: Well, we are going to have a situation in some states, women
are in doubt with full humanity and the right to make decisions to
themselves about their health and their bodies. And other states in which
it`s going to become ever more difficult and there`s lots of ways in which
this is a civil rights issue. It`s right for a woman to have autonomy over
her body and it also the fact that what happens when you drive clinics out
of business and put lots of regulations on who does that fall on? That
falls on the women with the least means, the least access and least ability
to travel. Unfortunately, low income and women you have color.

So, when these legislatures, very small groups of very motivated
republicans who are angry and who would like to just impose their will
through state legislatures in the state house, when they exact their will
on women`s rights to decision making, the people who suffer are really the
people who cannot just drive to another state.

SHARPTON: Now senator Coleman, let me go back to the Alabama
legislation for many because it represents what we are seeing all over the
country, where they are trying to twist this in Alabama. State rep. Mary
Sue McClurkin, McClurkin who sponsored the Alabama bill in the House, she
said it was all about protecting women. Now, you made the strong statement
about nothing more intrusive than dealing with the woman`s body. While she
says, and I`m quoting "this truly is a women`s rights bill. It protects
the right of a woman having an abortion to have it in a safe and healthy
environment."

Senator, this is about protecting women`s rights?

COLEMAN: It`s about denying women`s rights. It`s about denying
access. The bill as a whole, if you read it, it really has nothing to do
with safety when it comes down to the health of women. Most of those
regulations are in there and it`s an attempt to close down all of the
clinics that deal with abortions of reproductive rights. And so, if you
look at that bill and read it for yourself, a lot of it deals with
(INAUDIBLE) and those types of safety, tending to try to reclassify,
reproductive centers as ambulatory centers, which they are not.

And so, when I try to offer amendments that particularly dealt with
the safety of women or grandfathering those clinics that are now inspected
every year, and come out in the glowing report to give them time to correct
-- not necessarily correct but to come into compliance with these new
regulations, they voted that down because they wanted this to be
implemented very quickly so that they can go ahead and close the door to
those clinics.

SHARPTON: And they are using things, Irin, like widening the hallways
and the doctor has to have an association with a hospital and then telling
hospitals that don`t take any abortion doctors. So it`s really a trap. I
mean, they are setting traps and they are doing it, as I said in other
states, in different ways saying results. And now, you have
unconstitutional and unenforceable near total criminal bans on abortion.
And the states are trying to circumvent the Supreme Court by attacking on a
state level. How do you fight this, Irin?

CARMON: Well, I think it`s really important to note that abortion is
safe and legal and it is safe when it is legal. So when you drive clinics
out of business, which is the intent of these laws, the end effect is that
women become desperate and women who don`t have other options could resort
to unsafe means. So, it`s really important to point out the fact that in
fact abortion is more safer than giving birth. And that there are lots of
great practitioners out there providing women access to necessary services.
And when you drive them out of business you lead women to desperate straits
and that`s not what we want to see.

SHARPTON: You know, senator, aside from the fact that as I said
earlier, regardless of one`s personal beliefs, people have to fight for
everyone`s right and people have the right to deal with their own choices.

But aside from that, the politics of this is striking to me. You`re
an elected official. Doesn`t the Republicans get that women voted in huge
numbers against them last year because they are denying women`s rights? I
mean, when you look at the results of the last election, a few months ago
in November and they vote of women, this is -- and I`m talking nationally
here. This is state by state like they are either in denial or so hostile
that they don`t care how women politically respond to be denied their
rights.

COLEMAN: Well, this is an issue that cuts across boundaries as far as
political parties. We had at that rally not only Democratic women but
Republican women as well speaking against this bill. It`s about a
disenfranchisement on women and denying women of choice. So, when it comes
down to making those kinds of decisions that affect a woman and a woman`s
health, if you look at that in Alabama, the majority of the decisions are
being made by men who dominate the state legislature. In Alabama, women
make up over 66 percent of the voting population yet the laws that impact
and affect our access to health or regulation of our body is being made
primarily by men and it shocked me -- it shouldn`t be a shock, but in
Alabama, in the state legislature in the senate, there are no Republican
women.

And so, I`m there debating against the man in trying to explain to him
about how a woman`s body is psychological and emotional reaction to this
and to think that she is going through, he has no clue because her cannot
relate to it. But again, it is about denying a woman`s choice to be able
to regulate her own body and make those kinds of decisions. And when you
close what still like Planned Parenthood, you deny women further excess to
other medical screening. And also, the options of having counseling about
whether you want to take that fetus to full birth, the whole nine months or
whether you want to terminate. So, it is not just about the abortion.

SHARPTON: Irin, when you look at this, in light of the chairman of
the RNC Priebus saying let`s rebrand after his autopsy report, how far does
the state efforts like Alabama and the other states I mentioned, how far
does that throw them back and can impact the midterm elections that they
keep going in this direction in a state by state basis, the Republican
party I`m talking about?

CARMON: Well, I think the Republican party is overplaying its hand.
I mean, you saw last year that people stood up to defend Planned Parenthood
and now he`s going out and trashing it.

SHARPTON: He wrote the op-ed himself.

CARMON: Yes. And he is trying to change the subject basically. He
wants to talk about practically nonexistent issues about later abortions
which are very rare. He wants to try to stigmatized women who have
abortions and all of that is just are trying to change from the fact that
they don`t want contraception to be covered. They don`t women to have
access to health care. And those are the issues that people really
responded to last year, was the contempt that was behind these attitudes.
And I have seen nothing to suggest that they have changed that contempt
that underlies a lot of these positions.

SHARPTON: No, the real contentment, almost arrogant.

State senator Linda Coleman and Irin Carmon, thank you both got your
time this evening.

CARMON: Thank you.

COLEMAN: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, on the road again. President Obama`s new plan for
taking back the house so Nancy Pelosi can be boss again.

Plus, the Texas murder mystery. Who is behind the murders of two
prosecutors? Is a white supremacist group leaked? We are live in Texas
tonight.

And the most important story of the day, 45 years after his death, we
honor Martin Luther King, Junior. His son, Martin Luther King III, joins
us live.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet?

Today, people share their thoughts and memories of Doctor Martin
Luther King Jr. on the 45th anniversary of his assassination.

Nicole says, his spirit still lives on in our world today.

Bryan says, I try to honor him in how I vote and by confronting
discrimination and bias and hatred.

Anne says, I`m still praying that someday his dream comes true.

Coming up later in the show, I will talk to Doctor King`s son about
how we are fighting and honoring his father`s dream.

But first we want you to share what your thoughts are and your
memories of Dr. King. 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)

SHARPTON: The state of Texas is on alert. Investigators are trying
to figure out who was behind the murder of two prosecutors killed within
two months. Today, nearly 2,000 people attended the memorial service for
the latest victims killed over the weekend, Kaufman county district
attorney Mike McLelland and his loving wife Cynthia, shot and murdered in
their own home last Saturday. Governor Rick Perry paid tribute to their
lives today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS GOVERNOR: People choose this line of work
do so because they believe in making a better difference, making a better
community, a safer community. I`ve often said that a life given to public
service is a life well-lived and Mike and Cynthia gave their all in the
service of their community.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: At a press conference with local and federal investigation
officials, governor Perry announced the reward for convictions have been
raised to $200,000. Officials say the investigation continues and is too
early to say who is responsible. Authorities have no hard leads, only
theories. They are investigating ties to a Mexican cartel and a local gang
and looking at former employees. They are also investigating this group,
the Aryan brotherhood of Texas, a white supremacist gang know as one of the
most violent prison gangs in the country. They killed more Americans than
any other domestic extremists group since 2000.

Joining me now from Kaufman county, Texas, is NBC news correspondent
Gabe Gutierrez.

Gabe, thanks for being here tonight.

GABE GUTIERREZ, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good to be here, Al.

SHARPTON: Do authorities think there could be a connection with the
Texas Aryan brotherhood? What are they saying?

GUTIERREZ: As we have been reporting, Al, sources tell NBC News that
right now that there is no clear suspect. But as you mention, they are
investigating several theories at this point and our sources are
downplaying but not dismissing the connection with the Aryan brotherhood of
Texas.

They are also looking in to the possibility that it could be the work
of the cartel. But there are also down playing that. Well, the
investigators are now focusing on and closely looking at local cases that
the D.A.`s office may have prosecuted and they are looking into whether
this may have been the work of a lone Wolf, possibly with a grudge. But
again, authorities are saying very little publicly about the case and the
Aryan brotherhood of Texas did get some attention earlier in the week.
But, again, authorities so far have said they have found no direct link to
the Aryan brotherhood of Texas. Speculations has started because --

SHARPTON: Gabe, why did they even go down that lane in the first
place? Why would the Aryan brotherhood even be suspected to possibly be
involved? I mean, tell us why.

GUTIERREZ: Well, that is a very good question, Al. And what happened
is back in December, the Texas department of public safety have put out a
statewide bulletin warning that the Aryan brotherhood of Texas was planning
retaliation against public officials in the state. That is because short
time before that, indictments have come down in Houston that it took --
taken out part of the Aryan brotherhood of Texas as a leadership.

So then, fast forward to this year, when the assistant district
attorney Mark Hasse was killed two months ago, there was a suspicion that
the Aryan brotherhood of Texas may have been involved in that case.

But again, authorities won`t able to pinned it on the group then. A
little while after that murder in an interview, D.A. mike McClelland said
that the county, the Kaufman county had put dents in the Aryan brotherhood
of Texas here, although he didn`t link the Aryan brotherhood of Texas to
that murder either.

So, there are a lot of questions here. One of the reasons that theory
is being dispelled is no one can quite figure out why Kaufman county would
be targeted by the Aryan brotherhood of Texas when other counties, other
prosecutors had bigger roles than this, Al.

SHARPTON: Yes.

Well, today, governor Perry was asked if the authorities know of a
connection between the prosecutors` murders and here`s what he had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Are these two cases connected? Have
you been given any information about that?

PERRY: I do not have any indication or information. Again, I think
it`s a bit premature as we`re in the early stages of this investigation
with Mike and Cynthia`s death relative to Mr. Hasse`s.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, when he -- governor Perry is responding to two cases,
he`s talking about McClelland, the district attorney and he is talking
about the assistant be district attorney Hasse who was killed early. And
he is saying there is no direct evidence yet, saying these two cases are
connected. But, again, you are saying that the authorities are not
officially saying that they are disconnecting yet or not connected. Is
that right?

GUTIERREZ: Right. And, Al, what governor Perry was saying was
basically a repetition of what we`ve been hearing from local and federal
authorities, that these murders have not officials been linked yet, there`s
not been any physical evidence to link them.

Hasse was reportedly killed with a revolver whereas McClelland was
killed with an assault weapon. But, the fact is it, you know, would be
quite a coincidence two public officials, two prosecutors killed within two
months. And today, when they were rolling out the increase to this reward,
both cases are listed up together. It is up $200,000 reward for any
information that can lead to either of these two cases. So again, they
have not been officially connected just yet. But, if you talk to people
her in Kaufman county, many residents feel it would be quite a coincidence.

SHARPTON: All right. Well, Gabe Gutierrez, thank you for your time.
You are doing good work down there. And we will stay on this story. Thank
you.

GUTIERREZ: Thank you, Al.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Nancy Pelosi with the speaker`s gavel?
President Obama wants to see that again. We will tell you how he is taking
action.

Plus, the growing outrage over a college coach caught on tape abusing
players. You will not believe what some right-wing talkers are saying.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: There`s a new trend in the Republican party and it`s not
pretty. Comparing same-sex marriage to bestiality, leave it to the far
right Texas congressmen Louie Gohmert to find a way to include it in a
conversation about how capacity gun clips.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R), TEXAS: When I pointed out, well, once you
make it ten, then why would you draw the line at ten? What`s wrong with
nine or eleven? And the problem is, once you drop that limit, it`s kind of
like marriage when you say it`s not a man and a woman anymore then why not
have three men and one woman or four women and one man and or why not, you
know, somebody has a love for an animal?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Why would you ever make that leap? I mean, it`s so
ridiculous, it`s almost funny. Actually, here`s funny.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, THE COLBERT REPORT: He`s right. Once you
start putting limits on magazine size, where does it stop? 9, 11? Then,
some other staff he said blah, blah, blah, orgy in the barn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is it with you people and the animal (bleep)?
I don`t understand how your mind always go there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But they still haven`t figured out that comments like this
make them the stupid party because it isn`t just Gohmert. Just listen to
what Newt Gingrich said when someone made the same argument to him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When is it going to be, I want to marry a dog or
I want to marry a cow. That makes as much sense what they are saying is
doing something like that.

NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, I think that
you have some people -- remember, we`ve now had a whole two generations of
teachers who explained to us we should not render moral judgment, after all
it`s all situation ethics, who are we to decide, et cetera, and that`s been
a major problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Gingrich didn`t correct her, ignored the comparison
completely. Back in 2008, Mike Huckabee also compared homosexuality to
bestiality and Rick Santorum became notorious for comparing same-sex
marriage to a, quote, "Man on dog," back in 2003. In fact, this is
practically a right wing talking point.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. BENJAMIN CARSON, DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF PEDIATRIC NEUROSURGERY AT
JOHN HOPKINS HOSPITAL: No group, be they gays, be the NAMBLA, the people
who believe in bestiality, it doesn`t matter what they are, they don`t get
to change the definition.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Definitions of family, what
constitutes family is now wide open and pretty soon you`re going to be able
to marry your dog.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: But if we take biblical standards away in
homosexuality, what about the other? And about bestiality?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: If they allow the gays to marry, then anybody could
have gotten married. You could have married a duck.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: These days, Bill O`Reilly has come around to the argument
of marriage equality but did the rest of the right think we wouldn`t point
out they still need to denounce these offensive comments? Nice try, but
we`ve got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The President hit the campaign trail yesterday to raise
money for the 2014 midterm elections. And you`ll never believe what
happened. The RNC attacked him for it. They put out a new ad accusing him
of cozying up to the wealthy for big money. That`s right, the same guy
they accused of being a socialist is too cozy with big money but of course
the right has never been able to get their story straight with this
president. Is he a thug or is he weak? These guys haven`t made up their
minds.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It`s a bad way to start off looking like you`re,
you know, some kind of political thug at the White House.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I see a weak president and he`s
literally being run over because the world sees him as weak.

LIMBAUGH: He`s a street thug. He`s a community organizer. That`s
what you are. You`re a street thug.

GINGRICH: President Obama is a president so weak that he makes Jimmy
Carter look strong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Funny. I don`t know too many weak thugs. And then there`s
the question of if he`s acting like a king or if he just doesn`t lead at
all.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I`m afraid that President Obama may have this king
complex sort of developing.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), OHIO: You need a president who will lead and
the president is not leading.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Obama overplayed his hand and he thinks somebody
made him king.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: The President isn`t leading.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He isn`t leading. No, wait, he`s a king. The GOP has
thrown everything they can at this president, even when it doesn`t make
sense. But here`s a little secret. It`s not working. The President is
sitting on a 57 percent approval rating. That`s pretty much exactly what
it was the last time we checked last year. And the same as it was the year
before. So, maybe the GOP should lay off the attacks. After all, they are
not working and they really don`t make much sense.

Joining me now are Ryan Grim and Angela Rye. Thank you both for
coming on this show.

ANGELA RYE, FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS:
Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Angela, let me start with you. Why is it that the right
wing seems all over the place really in attacking this president?

RYE: Well, Rev, I think you can attest to the fact that the right
wing is really all over the place on more than just where they are with the
president. We can`t seem to have them align on gun control, on
immigration, on women`s rights, on reproductive rights, on gay marriage.
You can go down a laundry list of things even including outreach to people
of color.

Right now, you have an representative that says, it`s OK. I`m sorry
that I called Latinos wetbacks but that was OK back in my day even all over
the place in their overall messaging. So there`s no reason -- there`s no
question as to why they are all over the place without the president.

SHARPTON: Ryan, last night at a fundraiser, the President told the
crowd, quote, "I would be dishonest if I didn`t say that it would be a
whole lot easier to govern if I had Nancy Pelosi as speaker." Clearly he`s
now scheduled that he`s going out to help the Democrats win, back the house
in the midterm elections next year. The Republicans are already bizarre as
I`ve shown some examples. I suppose by this time next year they`ll be
outright delirious if he`s on the road trying to win the House back.

RYAN GRIM, THE HUFFINGTON POST: Sure. I mean, they hate when he goes
out on the campaign trail for any purpose. When he ran for re-election,
they were consistently criticizing him for campaigning while, you know,
there was whatever manufactured crisis was going on in Washington at the
time, whether it`s debt ceiling or sequester. You know, whatever was
happening, it`s a presidential election.

You know, he`s going to campaign. And then when he would go out and
campaign on different issues where he`s pushing legislation, whether it`s
guns or immigration, whatever -- Mitch McConnell will come out and complain
that that he`s out campaigning, he should come back and lead. So, you
know, they don`t like when he gets out in the country at all but it, you
know, it shouldn`t be a kind of radical statement to say that, yes, it
would be easier for him to govern if Democrats controlled Congress and the
only way that he`s really going to get to put into place the final pieces
of whatever he wants his legacy to be is if Democrats control Congress in
the last two years.

SHARPTON: Now, Angela, we`re seeing that he`s scheduled more events
than he did midterm in his first term in 2009 and 2010. Does that indicate
that he thinks he can win back the House with the Democrats and do you
think he can win the House for the Democrats?

RYE: Rev, there`s no question about it. I think the President has
always been very deliberate on who he endorses. They are, you know, for
sure winners. And I think that the fact that he`s saying, OK, there are 17
seats maybe that we`ve had to pick up. If I get on the campaign trail now,
do eight of it now, we can start making sure that folks know what it means
to have a cooperative Congress. And so this really is less about political
stunts. It`s more about what makes really good sense to make sure we move
the agenda forward.

SHARPTON: Ryan, when you look the fact that he has reached out to the
Republicans, you had to have repeatedly snubbed them, top GOP leaders turn
down an invitation to attend the screening of "Lincoln," with Steven
Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis. Speaker Boehner has turned down an invite
to every state dinner. Boehner also refused to have his picture taken with
the president at last year`s holiday party and the House GOP rebuffed the
President`s request to address a Joint Session of Congress asking him to
pick another days.

So no matter what he has done, no matter what way she extended himself
or tried to reach out, they tried to snub him, they tried to call him
names, even if it contradicted another name they called him. I mean, this
is an exercise in political absurdity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRIM: Right. He`s hoping and, you know, what he said in his -- at
the fund-raiser is that he hopes that they will back off of that absurdity,
at least on issues relating to immigration and gun control that they`ll see
it in their best interest to go along with immigration reform. Hopefully,
he thinks he can get something done on that. And there are a lot of
Republicans who would like to see something done on gun control, you know,
for the simple reason that they`ve kind of gone out on a limb now and if
something doesn`t get done, they might get primaried back at home.

So there are some interesting incentives lined-up that Obama alluded
to where you might see immigration and gun control legislation get done.
But you`re right, on everything else, you know, they only want to watch a
film with the guy.

SHARPTON: But Angela, when Ryan talks about they might get primaried,
it appears that the House Tea Party caucus is on the outs. I mean, Slate
reports that added height, the caucus had 620 members. But ten of them
lost their 2012 elections. Today the membership page for the caucus is
defunct. The caucus hasn`t met since July of 2012. Will this make it
easier for the President to get things done with the Republicans with the
weakening of the Tea Party?

RYE: Well, I think with or without the Tea Party, he`s got a better
shot. The Tea Party originated in 2010 when folks stared that very toxic
rhetoric about let`s take our country back. Nobody has time for that
anymore. That is not a policy or position that moves any type of solution
forward. So, I think that with or without the Tea Party, that kind of
rhetoric is not going to work anymore and we don`t have much to worry about
whether the Tea Party is here or not.

SHARPTON: You know, Ryan, there`s an expression that you say don`t
talk about it, be about it. And one of the things a lot of people took
note is that when the President announced that he would take a five percent
pay cut to show solidarity with federal workers hit by the automatic budget
cuts and "The Washington Post" says, it might be a strong political move.

Let me quote "The Washington Post." "By taking a volunteer cut in his
own pay, no matter the size or amount, President Obama is forcing the
sequester back into the news and back to the top of people`s minds at least
for a day or two."

GRIM: Right. But I think it could backfire, though, because you
know, what the President wants the sequester to be repealed. You know, he
thinks that these cuts are too draconian and to blunt across the board.
And by taking his own pay cut it sort of implies, hey, look, we`re all
going to take these cuts. We`re all going to -- it sort of implants the
sequester as almost -- it`s not something that is going to be repealed.

SHARPTON: Angela, you`re nodding your head. You don`t agree with
that?

RYE: I don`t agree with that. Because it wasn`t just the President,
it was Attorney General Holder, it was also Secretary Hagel, it was also
Secretary Kerry. So, I think that what they are saying is, these are tough
but we don`t want the hardworking Americans that are in these regular
government jobs to be suffering the most from the sequester.

SHARPTON: What it has not been is any Republicans. I want to see
when they are going to say, they`re going to take a cut since they caused
the cuts. Don`t talk about it. Be about it.

RYE: In fairness.

SHARPTON: I mean, Angela, you quote Jay-Z. Ryan Grim and Angela Rye,
thank you for your time this evening.

GRIM: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Ahead, First Lady Michelle Obama carries out a five-year
tradition today.

Plus, the shocking tape of a college basketball coach abusing players.
Why I`m calling a personal foul on some right wingers tonight.

And 45 years ago tonight, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.
His son joins us on how the dream lives on. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Today, an Obama White House tradition continued. Michelle
Obama that is. The planting of the official kitchen garden. For the fifth
straight year, First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed school children from
across the nation to the South Lawn and Mrs. Obama was there as the first
mom.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY: How are you guys doing?

(children): Good.

MICHELLE OBAMA: Is it a little chilly?

(children): Yes.

MICHELLE OBAMA: Where are your jackets? I`m going to be the mother.
Where are your jackets? All right. So we`re going to put you to work but
you know what to do here, right? Are you ready to plant? All right.
Let`s get going.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Mrs. Obama and the students planted lettuce, spinach,
wheat, and many other healthy foods, all of which will be served at the
White House. The garden is another part of the First Lady`s Let`s Move
campaign. Her initiative to promote healthy eating and lifestyle choices
that is so important in a country with soaring obesity rates. Sounds good
to me.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s the caught on tape moment that has outraged the
country. Rutgers University men`s basketball Coach Mike Rice fired after
this video surfaced on ESPN. You can see the coach abusing his players,
screaming, throwing balls, grabbing these young men and verbally abusing
them with slurs.

(INAUDIBLE)

(BLEEP)

So the coach is gone and today the assistant coach quit but the
questions are just starting. The video was given to Rutgers officials last
fall.

The university president was told about it and didn`t look at it until
this week. Why? These are kids, young men playing college sports at a
state university, a taxpayer-funded university. We can all agree, this is
wrong, right? Well, not everyone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This is an example of our culture in free fall and
I`m saying because he got fired, not because of what he did. Look, there`s
no question he should never use gay slurs, that`s against all rules. But
I`m not sure that`s what got him fired. I think going after one of the
kids is what got him fired. Listen, it`s time to toughen up. I talk about
the wussification of America, wussification of American man, this is it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: What? The wussification of American man. But I`m sure it
was just one right wing talker with a crazy opinion like that. Right?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HANNITY: And I`m watching this and I`m thinking, all right, I don`t
like it. He kicked one player there. But on the other hand, you know
what? I kind of like old fashion discipline on the other hand. I mean, to
become that politically incorrect? These are adults say and they don`t
want to play with that team, they can leave. Maybe we need a little more
discipline in society and then we turned out to be a bunch of wimp for the
rest of our lives. I turned out OK.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Well, that`s highly debatable. What is not debatable is
this kind of abuse has no place at our universities or anywhere. Come on
guys, this is an easy call. It`s a personal foul. Get your heads in the
game.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Forty five years ago tonight, we lost one of the world`s
greatest fighters for justice. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the
movement that has ushered in a new era of civil rights for African-
Americans and all Americans, beginning with the Montgomery bus boycott in
1955, the 1963 march on Washington where he delivered his "I Have a Dream"
speech and the 1965 march for voting rights in Selma, Alabama.

More than four decades later, the legacy of Dr. King`s work is all
around us. Most notably in the White House. And his son is carrying on
his work. Today, Martin Luther King III marched side by side with some of
the sanitation workers his father was supporting when he was killed. They
killed the dreamer but they will never kill the dream.

Joining me now, Dr. King`s eldest son, Martin Luther King III.
Martin, thank you for being here tonight.

MARTIN LUTHER KING III, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: And thank you for being in town to help us to mark your
father -- this day that your father gave his life for us. You were in
Memphis this morning visiting the striking garbage workers. Ironically,
your father was there 45 years ago for the same union ASCME. Did you think
about that and the irony of that 45 years later, they are striking again
and you are there as the one holding your father`s legacy?

KING: Well, I certainly did. In fact, more than anything else I
thought about it would be wonderful to come together and say, we`ve made
these great strides but the tragedy is we`re still in a struggle for
working families all across America and Memphis and across America. It`s
very sad that people that were put in office, public officials, elected
officials who could not have been there had it not been for what dad and
his team did are the ones who is standing in the way now, along with --
certainly the same old players corporate interests, you know, we can and we
must do better.

SHARPTON: When you say elected officials talking about some black
elected officials who would not have been in office, had it not been for
that --

KING: That`s it exactly.

SHARPTON: And the issue is, it`s not black or white, it`s right or
wrong and whether black elected officials along, we`ve got to go up against
them too.

KING: That`s right. Again, this issue -- now, of course, it was a
heavy experience for me. Because dad`s life was lost. I lost a father and
my mom lost her husband. But the fact is, he stood up for injustice and
righteousness and truth and today 45 years now at this point we should be
further ahead.

SHARPTON: Right. Now, one of the things that we`re dealing with is
not only further ahead but even fighting to sustain what he was able to
achieve for us. You`re in town to be with me and National Action Network
tonight and our speaker is the Attorney General of the United States, Eric
Holder. He was on already a show today talking about voter rights as he`s
going to speak a tribute to your father tonight at our convention. Listen
to what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: You know, people, Dr. King,
others died, sacrificed so that everybody would have the right to vote.
The 1965 voting rights act is the signature achievement I think of the
civil rights movement and I am bound and determined not to let that be
unraveled while I am attorney general.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: You and I were in the courtroom when they argued the voting
rights act this session a couple of weeks ago to court. If they don`t
return it, we`re going to have to fight just like your father did in `65.

KING: You know, that`s another -- it should be a frustration for
everybody. Voting should be easier. It should be access for everybody.
It`s tragic that section five of the preclearance for vision is now being
talked about to be removed from the law of the land base on the spring
court and that means we`ll have to go back and petition Congress.

SHARPTON: Let me say this. I know you`re all over the world, you`re
trying to keep the peace initiatives of your mother and father, you`re
trying to keep the nonviolent movement going with new energy. But this was
your father and you and your wife has his only grandchild. I remember when
they opened the Martin Luther King memorial in Washington last year, you
brought your daughter, you and Andrea your wife alone, and she said
something that was so touching to you and your wife that I never forgot. I
want people to understand, this is Dr. King`s grandchild. What did she
say? What happened that morning?

KING: Well, they asked -- the question was, how would you respond to
this memorial? And I say, well it characterized it this way. My daughter,
when we first got to -- very first for her seeing the memorial, she said
it, 3-years-old, I`m not going to cry. I said, what did she say? As I sad
that she said it again, I`m not going to cry and then she looked up at the
memorial and said, this is awesome. Now I`m saying -- you know, I would
have looked at it and say, yes, that`s nice. Run around.

SHARPTON: Three-years-old.

KING: Three-years-old.

SHARPTON: She never saw her grandfather.

KING: My daughter is really feeling what this memorial represents.

SHARPTON: And I think --

KING: It`s the same thing that happened to I and Andrea when we first
came, we were crying and we were saying, oh mom, this is going to be
awesome. This is going to be awesome. She said the same thing.

SHARPTON: It`s a hero to us, he`s a figure to us, he`s your dad, he
is her grand dad. This is real. He gave it all up for America and the
world to be better. We remember that tonight and we continue it. Martin,
thank you and thank your family for your sacrifice.

KING: Thank you for what you do every day, Rev.

SHARPTON: 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