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PoliticsNation, Friday, May 3rd, 2013

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POLITICS NATION
May 3, 2013

Guest: Emanuel Cleaver, E.J. Dionne, Maria Teresa Kumar, Sherri Shepherd


REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks, Chris, and thanks to you
for tuning in. I am live from Miami.

Tonight`s lead, worst socialist ever. The Republicans love to claim
the president is killing jobs, he hates the free market, he doesn`t
understand capitalism. So how do they explain this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We just hit 15,000 on the Dow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: April, nonfarm payrolls increased by 165,000 jobs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As you can see reading across the board, all 30 of
the Dow components.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The Dow is at 15,000 today. The first time ever. The
president had it right when he said he must be losing his socialist mojo.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: These days I look in
the mirror and I have to admit, I`m not the strapping young Muslim
socialist I used to be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He can say that again. Today`s new jobs report shows this
president is getting America back to work. The unemployment rate is down
again. It`s now at 7.5 percent. The lowest in four years. And we learned
today that February was the strongest single month for new jobs since 2005.
That`s eight years.

This chart of private sector jobs tells the story. The jobs market
was in free fall when President Bush left office but America has now had 38
straight months of private sector job growth under President Obama. The
country still has a long way to go. Millions of people are hurting every
day in every part of the country.

But we are making progress and to a great extent that`s despite the
effort by Republicans. They are slashing public sector jobs, from teachers
to police to pot rages. It`s still holding back and it`s still holding our
jobs in the public sector. And their response to today`s strong job
numbers was typical, attack Obama care.

Speaker Boehner says getting the economy going quote "means repealing
Obama care." And Eric Cantor is already promising yet another vote to
repeal Obama care. I guess he hopes the 40th time will be the charm.

Today`s numbers are a good sign and we must push -- all of us must
push to keep it going.

Joining me now, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, Democrat from Missouri,
and Jared Bernstein.

Thanks for coming on the show tonight.

JARED BERNSTEIN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Reverend.

REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D), MISSOURI: Good to be with you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Congressman, do you believe what some Republicans are
trying to slow walk policy to prevent a stronger recovery?

CLEAVER: Well, there`s no question that the Republicans, at least in
the house and perhaps in the Senate as well, have contributed significantly
to the legislative constipation that we are experiencing here in the United
States. If we had a balanced approach instead of the sequestration, we
would probably have a higher number than 16000 jobs that were created.

But you see, when you start cutting fire and police, as you mentioned
earlier, public sector, those are human beings. Those are Americans. And
when they lose their jobs, it stymies our growth. And so, we have got to
continue to make progress.

My fear, Reverend, is that the sequestration is going to eventually
hurt our chances of continuing to do what the president was taught to do
and that`s drop the unemployment number because later in the summer when
the defense industry begins to lay off, as they most certainly will, if you
have 50 percent cuts across the board, including defense, inevitably you
have to do something.

SHARPTON: You talked about the sequester. You have Republican
Congressman Mike Pompeo sent out this tweet today. He was addressing it to
Nancy Pelosi. Quote "still think I`m not on team America for thinking the
sequester was a home run. America did fine. We can survive spending."

But look at this report from this very same congressman`s own
district, the damage to a local head start program, it`s from this week in
his district.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tomorrow will be the last day of work here at
head start and some staff and the last day of school for some students.
But the sequester cuts passed down from congress take effect Wednesday,
eliminating at least 10 staff members and 74 students from child start
programming.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So Congressman, this is your colleague, Republican Congress
Pompeo home district that they are closing because of the sequester, they
are closing down head start. So at one level, we are gaining some private
sector job. In the public sector, we have a lot of our communities survive
and those programs affected by the sequester. We are hurting and they are
acting like it`s all right. He tweeted it to Nancy Pelosi today, we are
doing fine.

CLEAVER: We are not doing fine. We still have 13.2 African-American
unemployment. And right now the sequester is not balanced. Sure, we are
taking money out of the budget but at the same time there`s no new revenue
coming in. That`s a balanced approach, the president said he wanted it. I
think that`s what most Americans want, a balanced approach because if we
continue the sequester, all the economists are saying by fall we`re going
to feel the unemployment numbers pool down or pulled up rather and we do
have to do it.

As the president proposed a jobs program, it has not seen the light of
day. We need to have some kind of a jobs program and transportation bill
perhaps offering the greatest opportunity to provide jobs to the
unemployed.

SHARPTON: Jared, isn`t it true that without a jobs bill, without
increasing the public sector, segments of our country will not see
unemployment go down as the congressman said, African-American community,
Latino community, and even with the private sector jobs going up every
month, which is progress, we face headwinds there if we continue the
sequester and the Republican policies?

BERNSTEIN: There`s no question that the sequester and other fiscal
headwinds that are blowing against the economy are hurting in ways that you
can very clearly see in the public sector. You know, we lost 11,000
government jobs last month. I`m very much on board with the message that
you`ve been stressing that this was a positive jobs report, certainly a lot
better than last months.

But we are not growing bang busters by a long shot. We are doing OK.
We got moderate growth. The unemployment rate is coming down too slowly.
If we didn`t have these fiscal problems, these lousy fiscal policies that
are hurting programs like the one you showed just a second ago, the
unemployment rate would be below seven percent already.

And I would like that congressman to put down his Smartphone, stop
tweeting and explain to that kid why he or she is not going to having a
head start slot. You know, in Indiana, they are having lotteries,
lotteries, random lotteries to figure out which kids are going to kicked
out of head start. Explain to m how that builds the future.

SHARPTON: And that is the point. The point is that when we look at
real people hurting, here`s a kid can`t go to head start. I mean, these
are the same members of Congress that didn`t fight you, congressman
Cleaver, in trying to make sure that we can do what we have to do to make
sure the furloughs aren`t interrupt with (INAUDIBLE), but they couldn`t
consider seniors, they couldn`t consider youngsters and head start. I
mean, this is an atrocious, distorted view of where our priorities ought to
be in congress.

CLEAVER: Well, Americans ought to be livid. They ought to be angry.
They ought to be getting their pitchforks and marching on Washington. I
tell you why.

Members of Congress fly every week. I fly 1800 miles from Kansas,
Missouri to Washington and back each week. And so, the one thing that
members of congress said, they just were not going to allow us a sequester
is air traffic, because the lines were getting longer, people were just
going -- were going through security and the lines were stretching in
Washington all the way out of Reagan airport.

And so members of congress, at least on the Republican side, we`re not
going to experience this discomfort. We`re going to take that out of
sequestration. Well, how about head start? How about snap? How about
programs that adversely impact minority, the weak, the unemployed, the
women and you will never see a piece of that legislation come to the floor
of the house. It will not happen.

SHARPTON: Jared, Dodd Jones (ph) hitting record numbers, president
they say is a failure, he is suddenly a failed socialist.

BERNSTEIN: Yes. No. This is really ironic. I mean, basically, if
you look at who is doing really well right now, the president looks exactly
the opposite of a socialist. Corporate profitability is at an all-time
high. Stock market breaking records on a weekly basis. And in fact, if
you look at who benefits from an increasing stock market, it`s not just the
very rich. There are pension funds in there. But, very much
disproportionately the benefits of those capital gains going to the top of
the income scale.

Now, let`s look at the paycheck. If you look at the paycheck of the
average worker, it`s barely keeping pace with inflation. So, I think that
occupation is completely upside down. And while I`m happy to see the stock
market too well, I`m very unhappy to see the disconnect between corporate
profitability, the stock market, (INAUDIBLE), GDP growth and how a typical
worker is failing.

SHARPTON: Well, I`m glad to see the stock market do well but I`d be
even more happy if average people can go to their local market and buy
their groceries and not have to worry about whether they have a job next
week and some don`t have a job this week.

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver and Jared Bernstein, thank you for your
time tonight.

BERNSTEIN: Thank you, sir.

CLEAVER: Good to be with you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Up next, the right wing fringe takes a victory lap at the
NRA event in Houston. But not so fast. News today that the gun debate is
far from over.

Plus, you`ve seen her mix things up with the ladies of "the view," but
today Sherri Shepherd is joining the mix right here at "Politics Nation"
with a new message.

And remembering the godfather James Brown on what would have been his
80th birthday today. We will never forget him.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? We hope you will. Today, in honor of what would have been
James Brown`s 80th birthday reacts fans and share their favorite songs from
the godfather song.

Jay picked the Payback.

And Marie chose this is a man`s world.

And Janice said say it loud, I`m black and I`m proud.

Come to our facebook page and share your favorite songs and listen to
other great tunes we have collected today. Just 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: Houston, we have a problem. It is called the NRA.

Today in Houston, the NRA held its annual convention with a who`s who
list of the far right pundits and politicians in the country. In fact, the
NRA used a tasteless video to introduce Texas governor Rick Perry, complete
with the soundtrack and slow motion effects that showed him shooting an ar-
15, the same type of gun used at Newtown.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The governor, our good friend Rick Perry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s offensive. Glamorizing a weapon of murder. That`s
not what Americans want? At a town hall last night in Arizona, a woman who
used to work for Gabby Giffords and who was shot in the Tucson massacre
praised Senator Republican John McCain for his "yes" vote on background
checks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would like to thank you so much for the vote
on the Manchin/Toomey background checks.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s where Americans stand now on guns. That`s why the
far right is far from over, far from over is this fight against the far
right on this issue and that`s why President Obama is vowing to renew the
push the background checks.

Joining me now is Melissa Harris-Perry, host of "Melissa Harris-Perry"
on MSNBC.

Thank you for being here.

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

SHARPTON: Melissa, aren`t we seeing the disconnect now between the
NRA and these allies in Congress with the American people?

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, it`s kind of stunning. I mean, certainly at this
point it`s now officially puzzling. You know, you have to be able to
assume that you can predict congressional behavior, the actions of members
of the House of Representatives or of the Senate on a very simple equation.
If they think doing something will get them re-elected, then that is what
they will do. And if they think doing something will not get them
reelected, then, they choose not to do it.

It`s pretty simple. And so, we just have to kind of figure out what
kind of district is this person in and it`s less about ideology and more
about job preservation, their own job.

But, in this case, you repeatedly have people with these NRA -- pro
NRA fights against what seems to be the interest of the constituents.

SHARPTON: And that`s what is puzzling because now you`re seeing every
poll indicate -- I mean, I can`t remember something 90 percent of Americans
agreed on and yet they are going against that and then blatant examples,
let me give you one. This week, we saw this tragic story. A 5-year-old
boy who killed his 2-year-old baby sister with a gun marketed to kids as
"my first rifle." TV commercials selling that same rifle. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, where are you going?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To shoot my new cricket rifle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wish I had one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My first rifle, a moment you will never forget.
Girls and even mom would love the way they can pick one to their own taste.
Start your own tradition.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, you have 5-year-old boy with his first rifle, shoots
his 2-year-old baby sister accidentally. You have all of the tragedies
from Newtown to Chicago and Americans are saying we need to do something,
at least check to see if people have mental problems, terrorists. They
wouldn`t even do that. Stood in the face of Newtown families and Gabby
Giffords who in the senate gallery and voted against the background checks.
I mean, this is politically crazy, Melissa.

HARRIS-PERRY: Well, here`s the gut check for American voters. It is
clear that these Republican members of the House and Senate, and we will
assume Senators voted at this point, but clearly we see this happening in
the house. They believe that American voters in their district are more
willing to hold them accountable on supporting anything that the Obama
administration puts forward, that they are more likely to get pushed out of
office if they support anything that comes from the Obama administration
and from the Democrats. They are more worried about that than about the
idea that they will be voted out of office for supporting policies that put
guns, lethal weapons in the hands of children.

So, this is the gut check for American voters. Is that true? If you
are Republican, who nonetheless supports background checks, are you going
to hold your member of congress, your senator accountable, or are you going
to let it pass because our partisanship as so clearly divided us that we`re
willing to allow our children to die in the face of our partisanship?

SHARPTON: Well, the good news is last night President Obama vowed to
renew the push on background checks. Let me show what the president said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I said the day that the
legislation that had been proposed by Senators Manchin and Toomey in the
Senate, the day that failed to get 60 votes, that that was not the end.
This was the beginning. Things happen somewhat slowly in Washington. But,
this is just the first round. I believe that eventually, we are going to
get that doubled and I`m going to keep on trying.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I guess, it will require a people`s movement to keep the
pressure on and some political casualties at the polls next year,
(INAUDIBLE).

HARRIS-PERRY: Absolutely, the president has made it very clear, he is
going to continue to push on this. and the question is whether or not the
American people are going to have the president`s back, not so much because
he is the president, not because he is a Democrat, not for any of those
reasons, but because our children`s lives are on the line.

SHARPTON: Well, I think that is clear that that is exactly on the
line. And that is why we got to fight. We have no choice.

Melissa Harris-Perry, thanks for your time tonight. And be sure to
catch Melissa Harris-Perry on Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 a.m. eastern
time.

Still ahead, Sherri Sheppard brings the wisdom of "the view" to
"Politics Nation."

Plus, Bill O`Reilly had something to say about me and MSNBC. You
better believe I`m responding, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Bill O`Reilly is worried about a far left take over.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Running wild on may day.

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: More evidence to far left is out of
control in America. And yesterday in Seattle, thousands of looms took to
the streets.

Most everywhere in the U.S.A., the far left is running wild.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: What he`s trying to do is make all liberals to these
people, breaking the law in Seattle. As James Carville said, this doesn`t
represent the left. These are criminals. But then Mr. O`Reilly hits close
to home.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`REILLY: The far left, the in your face people, the MSNBC people, I
mean, they are starting to dominate the conversation now. They`re starting
to put forth these things --

JAMES CARVILLE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Look, I got view Rachel Maddow as
far left. I don`t view Joe Scarborough of make objective as far left
people. I mean, I just don`t.

O`REILLY: The crew is really pushing the envelope to the left. I
mean, that`s a pretty generous thing.

CARVILLE: Reverend Al, he`s a pretty liberal guy.

O`REILLY: Pretty liberal?

CARVILLE: Well, OK, he`s a liberal guy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Gee, thanks Bill. I will take the compliment.

But let`s get back to his big word, that the far left is gaining more
power in America. He is right. The left is gaining power. Progressives
are dominating the conversation now because we`re for fairness, for women`s
rights, for equality.

Bill, I think you should try leaning forward. But before you do, did
you think we wouldn`t call you out for your bogus spin? Nice try but we
got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Welcome back to "The Blaming Game." I`m your host,
Reverend Al Sharpton. It`s a simple game, Republicans have been playing
for years. Whatever the problem, blame Obama. Did you vote for budget
that created major flight delays? Blame Obama. Are you a pundit looking
for a scapegoat? Blame Obama. Are your constituents angry about your
actions in Washington? Blame Obama. Here`s a voter telling Congressman
Paul Ryan how budget cuts are hurting him at a town hall.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I`m on sequestration, I`m on furlough. I`ve
already lost $6,000 in pay. I`ve got 47 more hours in furlough to lose.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: Where do you work?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I work for the EPA of (INAUDIBLE). I`ve got
another 47 hours to lose. You`re taking away our pay. When it`s going to
stop? You`re picking on your own people, enough already.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Ryan gets caught out over federal budget cuts. So what
does he do? Play the blaming game.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN: This was something that the President had done through the
Budget Control Act. We didn`t like it so we passed two bills to replace
it. Twice.

I passed a bill in July and I passed a bill in December, saying
instead of this sequestration, here`s other areas of government to cut, to
pay for it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: This is something the President has done? Ryan voted for
the Budget Control Act and those replacement bills he`s touting. They put
things like food stamps on the chopping block to offset other cuts.
Congressman Ryan, you are responsible for those cuts but congratulations
are in order. He`s the winner of the blaming game this week.

Joining me now are E.J. Dionne and Maria Teresa Kumar. Thank you both
for being here.

MARIA TERESA KUMAR, VOTO LATINO: Thank you.

E.J. DIONNE, THE WASHINGTON POST: Good to see you.

SHARPTON: E.J. are these months later, is Congressman Ryan still
suffering from Romnesia?

DIONNE: I was hoping Maria Teresa and I could compete for $100,000 in
the blaming game but I guess I`m on the wrong set. You know, the
Republicans have been playing this game, I think with more success and we`d
like to admit. Because when they want to talk about how successfully they
are cutting government, then they say well, we are for the sequester, we
are not going to give in to Obama but when any particular thing comes up,
they say, well, he`s really the author of the sequester, even though Ryan
and almost all of the others voted for it.

So, it is a real game and they got to keep getting called on it. But
it does go back I think to a couple of errors Democrats ended up making.
They thought that with the steep defense cuts in this, the Republicans
would never let the sequester go into effect and that was a mistake. And I
think that also the administration kind of left the impression this was all
going to hit hard at the beginning. No, it wasn`t, but it`s really
debilitating and I think they need to recalibrate their strategy, just like
my Boston Celtics and your Brooklyn Nets did. But I think they can do it.

SHARPTON: Now, you know Maria Teresa, when you hear Ryan blame the
President for budget cuts now, but that`s not what he said back in 2011.
Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN: What conservatives like me have been fighting for for years are
statutory caps on spending, legal caps in law that says government agencies
cannot spend over a set amount of money and if they breach that amount
across the board, sequester comes in to cut that spending and you can`t
turn that off without a super majority vote. We got that in law.

SHARPTON: He said, Maria Teresa, we got that in law. Doesn`t sound
like he thought the sequester was so bad, does it Maria?

KUMAR: Well, I think the biggest problem with Paul Ryan is he doesn`t
like to own what he`s selling and he has to start owning what he`s selling
and stand by. Unfortunately what E.J. is saying was absolutely right. The
Republicans right now, while they are basically enjoying this time period,
everything that they are saying, basically saying whether it`s cutting in
food stamps, whether it`s the EPA, whether it`s the fact that we don`t have
furlough even during in the air traffic controllers.

What`s happening is that, a lot of the stuff isn`t sticking to them
and the more that we can actually talk about who is at fault for the
sequestration, the idea that people didn`t come together and say, this is
not going to be good for the American people and own up to it, that`s the
only way that we`re going to actually be able to get through this business.
But right now, the Republican Party, nothing is really sticking to them.
And so, they are going around acting like they didn`t know what happened
all of a sudden that we do have all of these furloughs.

SHARPTON: Well, E.J., the reason that I want to discuss this is
exactly that. Because you said that the sequester`s impact would not be
felt immediately but now people are beginning to feel it. Since it took a
minute, we need to remind people how we got sequester in the first place
because if the Republicans can play their blame game in the gap of time,
then people will think the wrong people are responsible for what has
happened and we were warned what happened.

DIONNE: Well, I think that`s absolutely right. I think one of the
things you need, is if you talk to local officials around the country, I
was talking to couple of weeks ago to the county executive in Erie County
around Buffalo. I mean, a lot of people are getting hurt in very concrete
ways. There are people being thrown off meals on wheels. There are people
being thrown out of head start. There are all kinds of cuts that are
really being felt by actual voters but it happens here and there and in
little pieces and no one has been pulling this together as a large story.

In many ways, local media outlets have done a better job of covering
the immediate impact of this. But also, I think we have to talk about the
effect on the larger economy. That jobs report today was positive but
imagine how much more positive it would have been if we didn`t have the
sequester dragging us down and if we extended the payroll tax cuts for
another year the way President Obama proposed. We`d be in really good
shape now.

KUMAR: With the jobs report --

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

SHARPTON: Go ahead, Maria.

KUMAR: That`s right. And with the jobs report, just as E.J. what
you`re pointing out, we may actually not feel the hopeful brunt of what`s
happening with the furloughs until another -- years, four months from now
too. So, that`s something else to keep in mind.

SHARPTON: No, and that`s the point. And what is so outrageous to me,
I mean, it really, really bothers me is when you talk about Meals on Wheels
and head start and seniors that need these Meals on Wheels programs, other
things like that, they act as though these are political props rather than
American people, Maria, that are really in need of these services.

KUMAR: Yes. I mean, Meals on Wheels is not a luxury. These are the
individuals that are basically at the bottom of the social ladder asking
for help and trying to make sure that we are providing a basic social
safety net so that these individuals can go ahead and excel in other ways.
And some more of the Republican Party has a dishonest conversation with the
American people of how the sequester came about.

The more I think that when it comes to the 2014 election, there`s
going to be real consequences and I think that`s one thing that is on the
asset of the Democrats but they are not weaving that story appropriately on
the national level. I think they may be doing so much more at the local
level as E.J. pointed out. But again, it`s important to know who is
responsible for this chicken game that they`ve been playing.

SHARPTON: E.J. Dionne and Maria Teresa Kumar, thank you for your
time.

DIONNE: Have a great weekend, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Ahead, "The View" Sherri Shepherd is here for some hot
topics. POLITICS NATION style.

What almost made her vote against President Obama? You`re going to
want to hear this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Supreme Court Justice Clarence has a little theory about
why President Obama was elected. It`s because the elites liked him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I`ve always thought there would be black coaches,
black heads of universities, maybe again as I`ve said, I`m naive but the
thing that I always knew that it would have to be a black president who was
approved by the elites, the media because anybody that they didn`t agree
with, they would take apart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Huh? So it was the elites and the media that lead to that
record turnout in 2008. And I suppose the elites in the media were also
responsible for the 65 million votes President Obama got in 2012, too?
Sorry Justice Thomas. That`s a verdict I don`t agree with.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Sherri Shepherd has entertained audiences for years when
hackamedic (ph) flair. She started her carrier as a comedian on the stand-
up circus. And in 2007, earned a seat at the table as a permanent co-host
on the day time talk show "The View." She also won over audiences on hit
TV shows like NBC`s "30 Rock."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Listen, Angie, I am sorry I lied but you`ve got
to give me another chance.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Excuse me, did you just try to control my body
with your white hand? Don`t make me contact Reverend Sharpton. I can`t
deal with you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Hmm, I never got that call. So, we know Sherri Shepherd
likes to have a good time and loves making people laugh for a living but
now she`s tackling a very serious topic, diabetes. In her new book, "Plan
D: How to Lose Weight and Beat Diabetes Even If You Don`t Have It."

Joining me now is Sherri Shepherd. Sherri, thanks for being here
tonight.

SHERRI SHEPHERD, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": Thank you for having me. You
look absolutely sexily amazing. Can you say to a reverend that you look
sexy?

SHARPTON: You said it and I`m not letting you take it back.

SHEPHERD: OK.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you. People know you as a very funny person on
"THE VIEW" but you struggle with diabetes and weight management for years.
Why did you go public with it?

SHEPHERD: You know, why? I`m always, from my days of doing stand-up
comedy, I`ve always been public and, you know, I just felt like, I`m
letting you know everything about me. There`s not too much you can come to
me and say, I`m going to blackmail you with because I`m very, very open.

But with diabetes, especially in the African-American community, and
the Latino community, it is like the fourth killer of African-Americans and
Latinos. And I have it and I`m very passionate about letting people know,
this is something that we have got to get under control because it`s
killing us.

SHARPTON: No doubt about it. You know, you said you were surrounded
by diabetes as a child. Let me read a quote.

SHEPHERD: OK.

SHARPTON: It says, "My community is like the diabetes hall of fame,
aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins. When I was a kid, I actually thought
limbs, toes, and feet just went away. My family was no different than a
lot of others in my predominantly African-American neighborhood. We kids
were always hearing the adults talk about this person down the street got
the sugar. It sounded harmless." I don`t know about that.

SHEPHERD: Yes.

SHARPTON: When did you realize that sugar wasn`t harmless and that
you were at risk?

SHEPHERD: I realized that sugar was not harmless when my mother
passed away at 41 years old from diabetic complications and I think a term
called "the sugar," you don`t take it serious because it sounds kind of
cute.

SHARPTON: Yes. Sugar is sweet.

SHEPHERD: Sugar is sweet, you know? And so when that uncle rolled up
to the table and got macaroni and cheese and he had one leg, you didn`t
think anything about it. You just got the sugar.

SHARPTON: Right. Now, it`s amazing. But you ignored your own
diagnosis for a while and then you say that you had an experience involving
your son that made you come to terms with this. Tell us about it.

SHEPHERD: Right. It wasn`t after my mother passed away that I
changed, it was after I got the diagnosis of diabetes. I went home and had
a big bowl of pasta, and then I remember I couldn`t sleep because my blood
sugar had spiked, I didn`t know that at the time. But now, it was my blood
sugar spiked, and then I got sleepy and I just had this vision of Jeffrey
my son at about five-years-old holding his teddy bear, he was in the dark
crying because he was trying to figure out where heaven was because
everybody was telling him that`s where mommy was.

SHARPTON: Wow!

SHEPHERD: And that vision of my son who was born at five-and-a-half
month, he has a pounds and ounces, he`s got a special needs, that vision is
what made me lift my head up and say, OK, lord, I`ve got it. I`ve got it.
I`ve got to change my life or I`m going to do to my son what my mother did
to me.

SHARPTON: I really, really admire you because it is culture. I have
friends that call me now, since I`ve lost a lot of weight, and have said,
are you all right? They never asked me that when I was obese. That`s when
I wasn`t all right.

SHEPHERD: Exactly. Yes, we eat so much, we think you must getting
sick if you lose weight. And that`s been, you know, we come from, like in
my family, we eat, we fry everything. I didn`t know what sauteing was
until I got diabetes.

SHARPTON: That`s right.

SHEPHERD: We don`t sauteing, we fry it and we would keep the grease
in the can in the middle of the stove and reuse the same grease.

SHARPTON: That`s right. I have to ask you about "The View" since I
have you here.

SHEPHERD: Yes.

SHARPTON: You all have a hot table. I mean --

SHEPHERD: We do.

SHARPTON: I mean, you got some everybody around, political
persuasion. I mean, how does that work for you?

SHEPHERD: You know, I love it. It`s been so challenging. My whole
mantra for my life is do it scared. So, anything that scares me, I say
yes. So, when Barbara Walters called and asked me to be a regular co-host,
I was scared to death because I came from a religion. I used to be a
Jehovah`s Witness. We invoked.

SHARPTON: Right.

SHEPHERD: So, we didn`t get invoke in politics. And I got put right
at the table in the middle of the politics. I didn`t vote until President
Obama ran. That was my very first time going into a voting booth.

SHARPTON: Now, what made you vote then?

SHEPHERD: You know, why? Because I was sitting at a table where I
had to learn about politics and I knew nothing about it. In order to talk
to these ladies about it, I had to learn about it. And I did one step at a
time. I figured, how does politics affect me and my son. That`s how I did
it. That`s how I learn about politics. So, I took my son in the voting
booth with me.

SHARPTON: Yes. I was going to ask you about --

SHEPHERD: Yes. He had a temper tantrum. We almost went republican.

(LAUGHTER)

But we made it through.

SHARPTON: You took him in and he watched you vote?

SHEPHERD: He watched me vote, yes, and I taught him, victory, we`ve
got it. Yes.

SHARPTON: Now, there are a lot of rumors around the show, Joy Behar
just now, she is leaving.

SHEPHERD: She is leaving, yes.

SHARPTON: Is Barbara living?

SHEPHERD: Not that I know of.

SHARPTON: So, all those rumors are not true?

SHEPHERD: She said if there`s anything that she needs to say, she
would say it on "THE VIEW," we have not heard anything.

SHARPTON: And what about Elizabeth.

SHEPHERD: Elizabeth, she`s still there. Do you know something -- I`m
I still there? Do I have a job?

SHARPTON: As of this morning, you do.

SHEPHERD: OK. All right. No, everybody is still there except for
Joy. Joy is the one who said, she`s leaving. She wants to do something
different.

SHARPTON: The President came and did the show a couple of times.

SHEPHERD: Yes.

SHARPTON: What was that like?

SHEPHERD: It was pretty awesome. You know, I`m very proud of him.
For my son, you know, when President Obama won, I went in my son`s room and
I cried because I said, it`s actually true. You actually could be
president of the United States, Jeffrey.

SHARPTON: And that is an awesome thing for a mother who could not say
that to me.

SHEPHERD: I could not say it. You know, you hear it but you don`t
believe it. And I -- Jeffrey out of school because I want to hear him get
a picture with the President and he had a meltdown, I wanted him to take
picture with the President. I said, if you don`t get in there and sit on
his lap --

SHARPTON: Let me show a little clip of you guys with the President.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, "THE FIVE": We`re happy to welcome the
President and the First Lady of the United States, Barack and Michelle
Obama.

We`re very happy that you`ve come on with us Mrs. Obama and brought
your date.

MICHELLE OBAMA, UNITED STATES FIRST LADY: I brought him with me. He
had a few minutes in his schedule.

OBAMA: You know, I told folks, I`m just supposed to be eye candy here
for you, guys.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And they are wonderful couple.

SHEPHERD: A wonderful couple. I still -- I still grin. I was
griming like a donkey the whole time. I was sitting on the show. I feel
very proud of this couple, you know, seeing someone that looks like me
because for so many years we had to see other people and it was just a
wonderful day when they came on the show.

SHARPTON: Well, I thought it was wonderful. I thought you all
handled it wonderful. But I`m very, very proud of you and "Plan D." And I
hope a lot of people -- because I`ve certainly got into that mentality. I
hope a lot of people read this book and change their thinking.

SHEPHERD: I just want people to know, if you`re pre-diabetic, don`t
be scared. If you follow the steps that I`ve outlined in this book, you
won`t come over to the side I`m on. And I just tell people, it`s a fund
read because I`m a fun person. You get to laugh. And then I broke in
diabetes down for people that can`t understand. It`s a go out and get it
and just don`t stay in a position of doing nothing and hiding.

SHARPTON: Sherri Shepherd, thanks for joining us tonight and good
luck with the book.

SHEPHERD: Thank you very much.

SHARPTON: All right. We`ll be right back to celebrate the birth and
legacy of my mentor, James Brown. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Today, we celebrate the birth of the godfather soul, the
late great James Brown would have been 80 years old today. There`s never
been anybody like James Brown. He practically invented that sound called
funk with heavy rhythm, the pounding drum beat, and the blare to -- he was
a relentless performer. During his prime, he thwart almost every day. His
worked ethic built on his roots of depression in South Carolina, he knew
the value of hard work.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAMES BROWN, (MAY, 1933-DECEMBER, 2006) MUSICIAN: As a boy I signed
shoes, I went to Colorado -- pick cotton and I can go out now and entertain
for an hour and make more than I can ever imagine.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What are you telling me? It hardly seems like
work?

BROWN: No, it seems like I can`t do enough. Any time someone buys a
ticket to see the show and doesn`t enjoy themselves, they`ve been cheated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: James Brown always pushed it to the limit, especially on
stage. His heart -- star earning him the additional titles of Mr.
Dynamite, Soul Brother Number One and, of course, the hardest working man
in show business.

(JAMES BROWN PERFORMANCE)

And whether on stage or off, Mr. Brown always cared deeply about the
lives of others. He organized yearly thanksgiving dinners for the needy
and Christmas drives, got involved in -- to raise awareness about third
world debt. He left part of his state to scholarship to young people
seeking to empower them for his message, of love, hope, and pride.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: And always say it loud that you`re proud.

(Singing): Say it loud, say it loud.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He had a profound impact on my life. I met him when I was
just 16 years old. He became my mentor and father figure. A few years
later, we were on soul train together.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We know that in the recording industry that they give a
gold record to those that achieve a million seller but we view your million
seller payback as a black record because it is -- and says, many of the
things that young blacks have tried to see and could not musically express.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: James Brown made me feel good. He left us too soon but we
will never forget him and the lessons of his life. On his birthday today,
my natural father`s birthday is the same day, by some coincidence or
providence. I think of a man who invested in me and many young people. He
taught me to stand up, be proud, be authentic. Don`t copy others but be
proud enough and courageous enough to make your own mark.

James Brown made a difference. Because of him, we have a better
world. Happy birthday, Godfather.

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

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

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