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PoliticsNation, Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

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POLITICS NATION
May 28, 2013

Guests: Zachary Carter; Ken Padowitz; Benjamin Crump, Bob Shrum, Richard Wolffe, Patricia Murphy, Jonathan Capehart


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

Tonight`s lead, major developments in the murder case against George
Zimmerman, the man accused of killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty and claims he shot Martin in self-defense.

Today, with less than two weeks to go until the trial, a judge made
several rulings against the Zimmerman defense team. The defense wanted to
include photos and documents that some say were designed to paint Trayvon
Martin in a negative light, including pictures of gold capped teeth and
alleged drug use.

Today, the judge ruled that none of that could be brought up in the
opening statements. Though she did leave the door open for the defense to
bring this material back during the trial if it could prove relevance.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The state is seeking to prohibit the defense from
making any reference to the fact that Trayvon Martin had at any time been
suspended from school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That will not be mentioned at all without a
prior ruling of the court.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any communications or evidence that Trayvon Martin
had used marijuana in the past, we are asking the court to exclude that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Previously used marijuana, the state`s motion
will be granted that will not come in.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are asking the court to prohibit the defendants
from making any reference or suggesting that Trayvon Martin prior to this
date had ever been in a fight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My ruling is it will not be mentioned in opening
statement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The judge also denied the defense request to delay the
trial and sequester the jury pool. A final pretrial hearing next week will
address a key piece of evidence, 911 calls made during the shooting. The
prosecution expert is expected to say that Trayvon Martin can be heard
screaming on the tape. Those rulings today could have a huge impact on the
trial that will be starting June 10th.

Joining me now is Ken Padowitz, a former homicide prosecutor and
Zachary Carter, former U.S. attorney for the eastern district of New York.

Ken, how will the judge`s ruling today about Trayvon Martin`s past
affect the trial?

KEN PADOWITZ, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, this was a defense smack down
today. I mean, they lost on all the major points that they were trying to
argue before this judge. And rightfully so, this was an intelligent judge
who knows the law in Florida very well. And this is going to hamper the
defense in trying to portray the victim as the aggressor.

The victim as having, you know, this tendency to fight and all the
other pieces of evidence that were really not going to be admitted by this
court that I had predicted. And clearly the judge followed the law and he
is not allowing it. So, it`s going to be a very helpful ruling by this
court for the prosecution. And I`m sure that the prosecution is very happy
with the results of today`s hearing.

SHARPTON: Zachary Carter, you predicted as well that the judge would
probably rule out a lot of the evidence against Mr. Zimmerman. But when
she leaves the door open about relevance, what exactly does that mean?

ZACHARY CARTER, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: What it means is that you can`t
perfectly predict what`s going to happen at trial. You don`t know what the
testimony is going to be from the witnesses. And it`s possible that
someone, the prosecution in examining its witnesses, could ask a question
that provokes -- elicits a response that opens the door. I mean, for
instance, there could be a witness who, notwithstanding all the preparation
that you do, may say something that signals that Trayvon Martin was -- had
a reputation for being peaceful or nonviolent. And that that -- it may
cause the judge to reconsider whether or not evidence that she had
initially thought should be excluded should possibly be included. So
that`s -- but I don`t expect that the prosecution will be anything but
careful in guarding against that sort of thing coming in.

SHARPTON: And preparing its witnesses.

CARTER: Correct.

SHARPTON: Now, Ken, you also would have to say that some people
believe that the defense knew they would not allow this, but wanted to
poison the public by putting this out because it has been all over the
place now and potentially jurors may have seen this anyway, even if it`s
not introduced at trial?

PADOWITZ: Well, that`s true, Reverend. I firmly believe that there
was no reason in the world, even under what`s called reciprocal discovery
where the defense has to present all the evidence that they intend in good
faith to put into evidence during the trial.

The defense attorney is very smart here. He had to know that under
the rules of Florida evidence code that those specific instances of conduct
of Trayvon Martin, those photographs, those fight videos, none of those
things were going to be admissible. And then so, therefore, if he knew
that, someone would surprise that the only possible reason for the defense
to put in that evidence was an attempt to poison the jury pool.

I don`t see any other way that the defense in this case could possibly
think in good faith that that evidence comes into this trial. And so,
there is no other reason in my mind.

SHARPTON: But, Zach, as we look at that and the potential of
poisoning the jury pool, it seems very interesting that we are not hearing
a lot about Zimmerman`s past because all that we have heard about Trayvon,
be it true or not, and he is not alive to defend himself, he was never
accused of a crime. He was never arrested.

Zimmerman has been arrested. In the July 2005 he was arrested for
resisting an officer with violence which could be relevant being that he
was alleged to have disobeyed an officer`s admonition on the phone when he
told him don`t pursue the, in this case, victim, Trayvon. And in August of
2005, his ex-fiance filed for a restraining order, alleging domestic
violence.

So, it seems strange that here we have you, one, talking about
marijuana use and a gold tooth. And you have two arrests, both around one
disobeying and officer, another around a question of violence, and the
public`s not hearing about that.

CARTER: Again, but as Ken pointed out, the judge, who obviously is a
smart and competent and experienced jurist, would not permit any evidence
to be admitted with respect or as at least initially signals she`s not
going to admit evidence about Trayvon Martin`s character.

And similarly, I would expect that it is unlikely that any evidence of
prior offenses on the part of Mr. Zimmerman, that she would regard as more
prejudicial than probative, it`s unlikely that she will admit those as
well.

SHARPTON: Could you make an argument, you were a prosecutor for many
years, could you make an argument that if he was arrested for resisting an
officer with violence, that that is a basis to discuss whether or not he
obeyed or didn`t obey the person on the 911 call that told him don`t pursue
Trayvon Martin when he called in?

CARTER: Well, I`ve worn two hats in my past. As a prosecutor, I
could make that argument. As a judge, I wouldn`t buy it.

SHARPTON: All right. All right. I`ll leave it with your two
answers. Judge, prosecutor, Zach Carter.

Now, let me go back to you on this, Ken. The defense had asked that
the entire jury pool be sequestered because he didn`t want them infected
watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK O`MARA, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S ATTORNEY: The request that is
inherent in my motion is that we keep them completely limited. That the
media, I don`t want to recount everything. I know you`ve read the motion.
We do everything possible to keep this jury from infection. I don`t want
it to affect my client`s right to a fair trial.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, it would seem to me the jury may have already been
infected by all that he`s released on Trayvon Martin last week, Ken.

PADOWITZ: Well, it`s true. You know, this day and age people watch
the news. They watch computers. They look at news reports from, on
twitter and everywhere else. So, yes, they are infected with this
information. But you know what? We do have one of the best, you know,
court systems in the world. Justice does prevail here more than anywhere
else.

And jurors are intelligent. They actually will focus on the evidence
in court and render a true verdict based on the law and the evidence. So,
I have faith that it`s going to work out that justice is going to prevail
and that this jury is going to remain focused on the evidence that`s
presented to them in court.

SHARPTON: Now, Zach, the prosecution argued for a gag order against
the defense team. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are at the eve of trial. There`s been all
kinds of publicity on this case throughout. But now we`re trying to
prejudice the potential jurors. Now jurors are -- if they hadn`t already,
focusing in on this case, especially since they`ve gotten a summons. There
has been a release in commentary about evidence which I will submit is
improper. But -- so I would argue that the gag order should be granted at
this time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The judge denied the gag order. So how do these public
comments from the Zimmerman defense team affect the jury pool since they
can continue talking to the public?

CARTER: Well, jurors are human. And it`s very difficult to unmake up
your mind once you`ve heard information. So the wider process, that is the
process by which jurors are examined individually about their beliefs and
possible biases and prejudices, is going to be absolutely critical.

And among the topics that I hope the judge is not squeamish about
focusing in on is racial prejudice. Because the attorneys need to be and
the court needs to be asking searching questions about the attitudes of the
individual jurors and whether or not they can be fair and impartial in
making a judgment on a case in which race may be an issue.

SHARPTON: Well, I`m going to have to leave it there.

Ken Padowitz and Zachary Carter, thanks for your time tonight.

And full disclosure, in civil court, George Zimmerman has sued NBC
Universal for defamation. And the company has strongly denied his
allegations.

Ahead, much more on today`s crucial hearing in the George Zimmerman
murder case. We will talk live with the lawyer for the Trayvon Martin
family, Benjamin Crump.

Plus, reunited, and it feels so good. President Obama and governor
Christie are back on the jersey shore and making the case for good
government after disaster.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We help each other as
Americans through the bad times. And we sure make the most of the good
times. A friend of mine from here once put it pretty well. Down the
shore, everything is all right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Plus, you won`t believe what the GOP`s birther king Donald
Trump is spending his money on now.

And got a question for me? E-mail it. Askrev@MSNBC.com, friend or
foe, I want to know.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook, yet? We hope you will. Today, President Obama and Chris
Christie`s bipartisan boardwalk visit was the hot topic.

Bonnie says, I wish some more of the GOP would take a stand for
working together so we can get some things done.

Diane says, these alliances should make us all happy.

Ann says, hey, Republicans in Washington, look and learn.

Good idea.

Coming up, we have got more on that boardwalk stroll, including a
bipartisan high-five.

But first, we want to hear what you think. Please head over to
facebook and search "Politics Nation" and like us to join the conversation
that keeps going long after the show ends.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

O`MARA: I`m very happy that the court has given both sides the
indication that they need to be cautious in how they present the case. The
idea of actually trying this case in the six or seven minutes that happened
that night, which is what I mentioned to the judge, is what we`ve been
arguing for all along.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That was the lawyer for George Zimmerman, Mark O`Mara,
talking about today`s critical hearing in the murder case against his
client.

Today, the judge ruled that a host of material related to Trayvon
Martin`s past will not be allowed at trial, at least initially. The
defense team for Mr. Zimmerman had released those photos and texts last
week before today`s hearing.

Joining me now is the lawyer for Trayvon Martin`s family, Benjamin
Crump.

Ben, thanks for being here.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN`S FAMILY LAWYER: Thank you for having me,
Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: What`s the family`s reaction to the judge`s ruling today?

CRUMP: Reverend Al, Sybrina (ph) Fulton and her mother were present
in court today. And they had prayed all day that the judge would see
through this as the rule of law would have and that she wouldn`t delay the
trial. They strongly want to get this matter before the court so they can
have their day in court.

SHARPTON: Now, let me play to you something for you to respond to, a
reporter actually asked Zimmerman`s lawyer, Mr. O`Mara, about some of your
criticism today. Look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: The Martin family, rather, their
attorneys say that all of this stuff is inadmissible and that it was
intended just to, you know, pollute the jury pool or sway public opinion.
What`s your response to that? They`ve said that numerous times.

O`MARA: The public opinion was swayed by false presentation of this
case from the very beginning. The defense have nothing to do with that and
actually they are stating their much to do with it. But the Martin family
through handling has presented a picture of who Trayvon was and who George
was that is wholly inaccurate. This evidence sort of shows that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Your reaction to that, attorney Crump? That they put an
inaccurate image of who Trayvon was out from the family to the public?

CRUMP: You know, we have to remember that everything Mark O`Mara says
and the defense lawyers is just their opinion, their allegation. For
instance, last week they put all these texts and these photos out, Reverend
Al. And we were shocked, really, when we saw the media run and say it was
new evidence, it was evidence. It wasn`t evidence. It was information he
put out.

Now, we have been doing this a long time. Whenever we say something,
they never call it evidence. They say, attorney Crump alleged or attorney
Crump said. But it`s a different stand, it seemed like, when they put
stuff out against Trayvon Martin.

And when you think about what his family said at the beginning, and
you were there, Reverend Al, they simply said, you killed our unarmed son.
You should be held accountable. And that was the big thing that they kept
saying. We want a trial. And you face the evidence against you so the
jury can decide. If the evidence is there, you`ll be held accountable.
And I don`t know what he`s trying to say these grieving parents presented
some false narrative. They were just simply saying, you can`t not be
arrested when you kill my child.

SHARPTON: But I don`t understand even changing the premise. Because
if you have an unarmed young man and there is a killing of that unarmed
young man, the only thing that is, in my opinion, that is relevant, as the
judge said, is what made your client feel that he had to use deadly force
at the moment. It has nothing to do with his past. Just like, as I said
in the earlier segment, Zimmerman has a past of two arrests. Trayvon was
never arrested.

The question I what happened that night. And, I mean, I do not
understand where O`Mara`s going with this. We`ve invited him on the show.
I don`t know where he`s trying to go with this. As if someone has to
qualify not to get shot. I mean, is that the defense?

CRUMP: You know, the whole thing is, as I`ve said before, this
stereotypical mentality of justifying and killing Trayvon Martin because
the way he looked or the way he talked. That`s not allowed. And you can`t
try to put up pictures of him with a gold teeth or any of this other
nonsense and say, oh, he`s justified in doing what you did, George
Zimmerman. That`s not allowed.

Trayvon Martin did not have a gun. Trayvon Martin did not get out of
his vehicle and chase anyone. Trayvon Martin did not shoot and kill
anyone. So it is unbelievable that they will say Trayvon Martin texts, the
fact that he smoked marijuana, anything like that would be relevant as to
George Zimmerman`s guilt or innocence.

SHARPTON: Benjamin Crump, I`m going to have to leave it there. Thank
you for your time tonight.

CRUMP: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

And a program note. The attorney for George Zimmerman, Mark O`Mara,
is scheduled to appear on this show Thursday night. I hope we have a very
frank, candid and respectful conversation.

Still ahead, President Obama and governor Christie are together again
checking up on Sandy relief efforts, and driving Republicans nuts.

But first, why did the election team for a top Republican governor
initially stand with an accused white supremacist? That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Last week we told you about this guy. His name is Roan
Garcia-Quintana. He`s a big tea party activist in South Carolina, and he
was appointed by governor Nikki Haley to work on her re-election committee.
And he also has ties to the council of conservative citizens.

The Southern Poverty Law center says, Garcia-Quintana is a lifetime
member and a board member of the council of conservative citizens, which
they classify as a white nationalist hate group.

Haley`s big appointment sounded like this in 2009.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We, in the south will rise again. It`s already
rising. I feel it rising. Our politically correctness has allowed
immigrants today to come and expect them to continue their culture. We`re
not a multicultural society, ladies and gentlemen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We are not a multicultural society, ladies and gentlemen.
He responded to the controversy saying, is it racist to be proud of your
own heritage? Is it racist to want to keep your own heritage pure?

Racist is when you hate somebody so much that you want to destroy
them. But over the weekend, the Haley team fully backed him. Tin Pearson,
a Haley campaign adviser, even linked the IRS controversy to the attention
about his past. Quote "the IRS thinks conservatives should be targeted for
abuse, but governor Haley does not."

But today we learned he`s gone. The Haley team saying they were
unaware of some of his statements that he`s made in the past. Really? Did
they think we wouldn`t notice their support even after he was linked to a
white nationalist hate group? Did they think we wouldn`t see them compare
an investigation into his bigoted past to an investigation into the IRS?

Nice try. But we got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Seven months ago, just days before the presidential
election, America witnessed the political odd couple of all political odd
couples. It was President Obama and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
embracing on a trip to New Jersey to tour Sandy destruction. The president
even hooked the governor up with his idol, Bruce Springsteen. The right
wing was furious at Christie. They bashed him. Romney campaign insiders
said they were frustrated. Some talkers called him names. But he really
didn`t seem to care.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: The president has been
outstanding. I appreciate that type of leadership. I cannot thank the
president enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and
for the people of our state.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Well, today, seven months later, the political odd couple
was reunited. Governor Christie warmly welcomed President Obama back to
New Jersey to see how the state`s coming back from Sandy, and they had a
great day. They walked the boardwalk at Point Pleasant Beach, listening to
the boss blaring from loud speakers as they played arcade games.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: That`s because he`s running
for office!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: They had a great time during the football toss. And they
walked the boardwalk. And the president even won a teddy bear. But when
it was time to get serious, Governor Christie made it clear yet again,
there`s no place for politics in the wake of a disaster.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: Everybody came together. Republicans, Democrats,
Independents. We all came together because New Jersey is more important
and our citizens lives are more important than any kind of politics at all.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

So now on behalf of the people of state of New Jersey, it is my
privilege to introduce the President of the United States of America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It was his privilege to introduce the president. They
don`t agree with each other on policies. But this isn`t about politics.
It`s about putting politics aside to work together and make this country
stronger. I`m sure the right wingers have a situation today.

Joining me now, Bob Shrum and Richard Wolffe. Thank you both for
being here tonight.

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Glad to be here.

SHARPTON: Bob, how is this latest meeting between the president and
Governor Christie going to go over with Republicans?

SHRUM: There`s going to be problems with a lot of Republicans. Look,
the real news here I think is that Christie`s decided he`s not going to be
Romney. He`s not going to change who he is, he`s not going to give up what
he believes to try to get the nomination. That`s going to be a real test
for the Republican Party. Not just because of this embrace of the
president. But because while Christie`s very conservative, he`s not -- he
doesn`t check every single ideological box.

For example, he favors civil partnerships for same-sex couples. He
favors some strong forms of gun control. Says New Jersey has the toughest
gun control laws in the nation. He`s expanded Medicaid under Obamacare.
Now, he`s going to get asked about all of that in a debate in Iowa standing
on that stage. And I`m not sure it`s going to go over very well with those
republican voters, even if he is the only republican right now in the polls
who gives Hillary Clinton a real race.

SHARPTON: You know, Richard, I disagree with Governor Christie on
probably most everything. I`m trying to remember something we agree on
other than when it comes to relief, we should put politics aside. I`ve
even had demonstrations against some of his policies in terms of union
activity and things that I considered wrong. But when you look at a Jan
Brewer in Arizona that made sure she stuck her finger in the president`s
face, you have to give him credit that he acted in the best interest of his
state.

And I don`t think those of us on the other side of the political
spectrum must be as inflexible as they are to not give credit when credit
is due. He`s right about this, in my opinion. The relief efforts are more
important than insulting or even showing out political and policy
disagreements on every issue.

RICHARD WOLFFE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, MSNBC.COM: He is right about that.
And he`s also right to understand that if you`re going to get re-elected in
New Jersey as a republican, you have to be able to reach out to
independents and some Democrats. And that was what was threatening about
President Obama. That`s why Mitch McConnell wanted to obstruct everything
and show him, show the world, that the president was somehow extreme, out
of the mainstream, and that Republicans couldn`t work with him. Because as
soon as you can claim that bipartisan mantle, then you become a real threat
to the ideological purity of where the Republicans are right now.

So, if Republicans want to be pure, they can stay out of the majority
and they can stay out of the presidency for a long time to come. If they
want to get electable, they`re going to have to look at what Chris
Christie`s doing and what President Obama has done and say there are spaces
where we can work together and surely disaster relief is one of them.

SHARPTON: You know, Bob, wouldn`t it have been more of a nonissue if
the Republicans did not start attacking Christie? If they just said, oh,
yes, all of us should unite for the storm victims of Sandy? I think it was
their having this public, you know, temper tantrum on Christie that helped
make this a bigger story than it may have been.

SHRUM: Yes. They can`t help themselves. I mean, this spontaneously
rose up. I think the Romney campaign actually tried to tamp it down at the
time, although they were mad inside. But there`s so much dislike for the
president, it`s so intense in the Republican Party, that when Christie did
his job people got angry at him. It broke out. Look, you look at those
pictures of him today. He`s thinner. He`s conceivably a guy who could win
for the Republicans.

But Bob Dole said over the weekend that he couldn`t make it in today`s
Republican Party. He said Ronald Reagan couldn`t make it in today`s
Republican Party. We all forget, Reagan did immigration reform. Ted
Kennedy saved social security with Tip O`Neill. So, the real question is
whether or not, and this is the test for the Republicans. If this guy runs
in 2016, and I think he`s going to run, are Republicans concerned about
winning as Richard said a minute ago? Or are they -- and electing a guy
who`s mostly conservative. Or are they concerned about making the purist
ideological point?

SHARPTON: Well, let`s not get carried away making him a winner in
2016.

SHRUM: I said he could be a winner.

SHARPTON: We`ll talk about that, next.

SHRUM: What I`m talking about is people suffering going through a
disaster like Sandy, like Oklahoma, and where public figures and
politicians put that aside. I`m not about to say he`s a winner. And I`m
not about to say that he`s worthy of that in terms of his policies. But I
think the president put it right when he says that Americans want to come
together around these kinds of crises, Richard.

WOLFFE: Right. And look, Republicans were opposed to Chris Christie
for getting close to Obama. But they were also opposed to Sandy relief
because of budget arguments and offset questions. We did not see that in
other parts of the country.

SHARPTON: Right.

WOLFFE: We didn`t just see it in Oklahoma. I do think Republicans
have to think about who they are speaking to. And how they view these
people on the ground. Are they pawns in some greater political game, or
are they actual people, American citizens, voters, if you like, who need
help? And, you know, if you`re elected to government to be re-elected,
then you would just treat this as another chapter in a long dispute about
ideology. And if you`re elected to government to do something to help
people, then you would do what these two men are doing right now.

SHARPTON: And, you know, during the whole dispute last year, Bob,
Christie even took on the Republicans in Congress about that very issue
about he was concerned about the people in his state. They were in crisis.
Let me show you what he said, get your response, Bob.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTIE: There`s only one group to blame for the continued suffering
of these innocent victims. The house majority and their speaker, John
Boehner. Americans are tired of the palace intrigue and political
partisanship of this Congress which places one-upsmanship ahead of the
lives of the citizens who sent these people to Washington, D.C., in the
first place. Shame on you. Shame on Congress.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Shame on you. I mean, it was an unequivocal attack on
members of his own party that was hurting his state.

SHRUM: Look, he`s a very unusual politician. I mean, that degree of
candor, that bluntness, that authenticity, is what makes him so appealing
to people. And I think he did care about the people in his state. What
was he supposed to do when the hurricane hit? Somehow or other tell the
president not to come? Tell the federal government not to help? Or when
the president came, treat him with disrespect? That would have been very
bad for the state, would have been very bad for Christie, by the way. But
he did the right thing.

That doesn`t mean the Republicans won`t punish him for it. Look, I
don`t want him to win. I`m where you are. Because I think he`s too
conservative. But he is the one republican right now who looks like he
could be formidable in 2016, and I don`t think that`s going to matter in
those republican primaries.

SHARPTON: Well, I don`t think they`ll matter either. And we`ll wait
and see. But I`m no fan of Mr. Christie. But I like the fact that we can
rise above the differences when we have a crisis. That`s what crises do.
Bob Shrum, Richard Wolffe, thank you both for your time tonight.

WOLFFE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, news from Donald Trump confirms Bob Dole`s admission
that the GOP should be closed for repairs.

And 50 years after the march on Washington, we`re dangerously close to
regressing. Why we must continue to fight, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: This year marks the 50th anniversary of the great march on
Washington for jobs and freedom. It was where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. And thanks to Dr. King`s
unyielding work, and the work of others before and after him, we`ve seen
real change in the struggle for civil rights. History made with our first
African-American president, but now, 50 years after the march on
Washington, we`re dangerously close to regressing on some of the most
fundamental advancements in our society.

The support Supreme Court is ready to rule on an affirmative action
case that will impact the admission practices of schools throughout the
country. Our education system is leaving minority and poor students
behind. And today we`re seeing red flags. The headline in the "New York
Times" today reads, "Racial diversity efforts ebb for elite careers." The
"Times" says that only a little more than one percent of the nation`s
fortune 500 companies have black chief executives.

At the nation`s biggest companies, only about 3.2 percent of senior
executive positions are held by African-Americans. About five percent of
physicians and dentists are black. Just three percent of American
architects are black. The generation of Dr. King fought for change. It`s
our turn to make sure it continues. This August around the 50th
anniversary, some of us will be rallying and marching. Not as a
commemoration but as a continuation. We are not there yet. We must make
it equal across the board. Not just symbolic.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The world of politics is unpredictable, but it`s still hard
to believe this actually happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR: If I run and if I win, this country will
be respected again.

All I want to do is see this guy`s birth certificate.

I don`t want to bring up a very successful show called "The
Apprentice." Perhaps it`s going to say "Hawaii." Perhaps it`s going to
say "Kenya."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s right. Donald Trump waged a birther theme campaign
for president, and the Republican Party took him seriously. At one point,
he led in the polls. He even shared a stage with the republican nominee
for president. But this side show is in the rear-view mirror, right? It`s
over, right? Think again. Trump`s lawyer told us and told "U.S. News &
World Report" that Trump spent $1 million on electoral research back in
2011.

And that research, quote, "remains relevant and useful should he elect
to run in 2016." And he sure isn`t keeping a low profile. Trump walked
out to big cheers at the CPAC convention just two months ago. And has
speeches at a dozen republican events in the months ahead. If the Donald
is a leading figure in the GOP, that proves the point of former republican
presidential candidate made this weekend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What do you think of your party, of the Republicans
today?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I think they ought to put a sign on the national
committee doors that says, "closed for repairs."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Closed for repairs. And at this rate, it will take a long
time to reopen. Joining me now, Patricia Murphy and Jonathan Capehart.
Thank you both for being here.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, THE WASHINGTON POST: Thanks, Rev.

PATRICIA MURPHY, CITIZEN JANE POLITICS: Thanks for having us.

SHARPTON: Patricia, Bob Dole says, the GOP should be closed for
repairs. What do you say after hearing this Donald Trump news?

MURPHY: I think you could hear the collective groan from what GOP
establishment that there is. The concept, the thought of Donald Trump
running for president again, just makes their hearts break even more, if
that`s possible. And for Republicans today, really all you need is a mouth
and a wallet to run for president. Unfortunately for Republicans, Donald
Trump has a huge mouth and a huge wallet and he thinks he`s a republican.
And because there is no -- there is no leadership within the GOP, there are
no gray beards, there are no wise men, there is not an establishment to
step in and say, go away.

We have real candidates. It just speaks to the disarray in the
Republican Party that anybody who raises their hand can be taken seriously
right now. They will have more serious candidates, obviously. But this is
really the last thing they need is this crazy side show on top of the show
that they`ve got going on right now.

SHARPTON: Jonathan, your reaction to what Dole said and to the
prospect of a possible Trump 2016 race?

CAPEHART: Well, it just shows that the Republican Party is in deep
trouble. Look, you know, there are -- there are -- there is a Republican
Party establishment. It`s Speaker Boehner. It`s Senate Minority Leader
Mitch McConnell. Senator Lindsey Graham. Senator John McCain. The
problem is, they`re not exerting any leadership. What we`ve seen happen is
that what was once thought of as a -- a fringe part of the far right of the
Republican Party has become the mainstream of the Republican Party. Simply
because folks turned out at party conventions in Utah, I believe, and
knocked out office long serving Senator Bob Bennett, who is a conservative.

Dyed in the wool. You couldn`t get more conservative back than he.
And he lost at the primary level. That was a shot across the bow that was
a -- I should say a chilling moment for republican leaders. Suddenly this
far right fringe was suddenly the mainstream, the life blood of the party.
And they saw a lot of their colleagues being knocked over, defeated, at the
polls. Either in the primaries or in the general election. Until the
grown-ups in the party take a stand and say we`re taking our -- we`re
taking our party back and we`re no longer interested in politics, but in
governing, that you know, "Closed for Repair" sign might as well be out of
business.

SHARPTON: Patricia, you know, Republicans love to talk about Ronald
Reagan. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Well, I -- I really liked and knew a little bit Ronald Reagan.
And I really liked him.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Obama didn`t learn the lesson from Reagan.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: And Ronald Reagan wasn`t the president, but the
governor of California.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It`s time for us to revive Reagan`s law.

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I am, in fact, the
legitimate heir of the Reagan movement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But Bob Dole says that he doubts that Ronald Reagan would
be welcome in today`s GOP. He said he`d have a tough time. Listen to
this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Could people like Bob Dole, even Ronald Reagan,
could you make it in today`s Republican Party?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I doubt it. Reagan couldn`t have made it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Reagan couldn`t have made it. Yet they all tout Reagan.

MURPHY: I agree with Bob Dole. I don`t think Reagan could have made
it. It`s not because Reagan was not a conservative. He was a
conservative. But he also was willing to compromise. And compromising is
something that is -- of the far right of this Republican Party. Ronald
Reagan wanted tax cuts. He fought for tax cuts. But when it came to tax
reform in 1986, he compromised with Tip O`Neill, compromise -- and got the
deal done that he wanted. It was the deal he needed to make to really go
forward with his principles.

It wasn`t a perfect deal. It wasn`t everything he wanted. But it was
the best deal he could get and he wanted to govern and deliver something
for the country. That doesn`t happen today. Republicans cannot compromise
now. There is no compromise. There is a budget impasse right now going on
between -- actually not Democrats and Republicans, but long serving
Republicans and new Republicans just about going forward with the budget
debate. Not even with the budget itself. And I think that is an example
that this is a party that will not let its leaders compromise if it`s not
within their -- within their principles. And Reagan wouldn`t make it. He
wouldn`t. He compromised.

SHARPTON: But, you know, while side shows like Trump in the news, you
know, while they dominate the news, the GOP ignores serious problems like
the automatic budget cuts. You know, we`ve learned that teachers at Fort
Bragg in North Carolina are actually going to be furloughed for up to five
days starting in August. These things get lost with these side shows.
Jonathan, where are the Republicans` priorities?

CAPEHART: Well, remember when we were talking about the fiscal cliff
and sequester, particularly sequester. There were people on Capitol Hill,
Republicans, who said if the sequester happens, actually that`s a good
thing. Because we need to get our budget house in order. For a lot of --
for a lot of Republicans, these cuts, these furloughs, are not a bad thing.
They -- you know, they think that if this is what it takes to get things
back in order, to stop the deficit spending and things, so be it.

But the problem will come in as more and more of the real life impacts
of the sequester start affecting more and more people. You would hope and
you would think that, you know, the Republicans on Capitol Hill will, you
know, at least do something, as Patricia was saying, they won`t even go to
debate on the budget. At some point, like I said before, and as Patricia
was alluding to before, at one point, at some point, politics has to give
way to governing.

SHARPTON: Patricia Murphy, Jonathan Capehart, thank you both for your
time.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Rev.

MURPHY: Thank you.

SHARPTON: GOP blocking equality for everyone. And dancing, yes,
dancing. It`s time to ask Rev. Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s time to ask Rev. Remember, friend or foe, I want to
know. Dwayne asks, "How is the country supposed to move forward if the
republican agenda is to block everything?"

Well, the answer is, it is difficult to move forward. Which is why we
must register vote mobilize and start now to get obstructionists out of the
way. Whether they`re republican or democrat. Obstructionists, people that
are just committed to stop things. We must stop them. And the midterm
election gives us an opportunity to do that.

Roy asks, "How is it that you`ve come to believe that same-sex
marriage is all right when all your theological training has taught you
otherwise?"

Because, Roy, we don`t live in a theocracy. We live in a democracy.
And theology has nothing to do with people`s right. People have the right
to not believe in what I believe in or you believe in or what anyone else
believe in. And I have a right not to believe in what others believe in.

If I`m empowered or you`re empowered, then our theology becomes law,
then that means if someone else comes into power, they can do that to us.
That`s why when we get married, you can get married by the church as a
sacred ceremony or by the courts or justice of the peace as civil. You
divorce, you don`t go to the church. When you have child support you don`t
go to the church. People have the right to a civil decision. Whether you
or I agree with it or not. And I fight to protect that right.

One final e-mail. Donna asks, "Reverend Al, when are you going to
dance again on your show? I loved it. I can`t wait."

Well, Donna, that`s a great question. You must have been watching
last December when this happened.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I`ve got a mean James Brown. Hit it, guys. Get up, get on
it, get up, get on it, get on the --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, I`m not going to -- I`m not going to do that too
often. But I`ll tell you what, I notice every once in a while "Saturday
Night Live" does these little skit on me and Keenan. Write Keenan and say,
"Why don`t you try and cut a step like Reverend Al?" I want to see if
Keenan can move like I move. Since he tries to crack jokes on me. What`s
wrong, Keenan? Afraid you need to work off a few pounds first?

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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