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PoliticsNation, Monday, July 29th, 2013

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July 29, 2013
Guests: Emanuel Cleaver; Faith Jenkins; Marcia Clark, Maria Teresa Kumar,
Clarence Page, Joy Reid, David Brock

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Today the president of the United
States called civil leaders to the White House to say are you ready to
fight. I was there in that meeting, and I saw firsthand how the president
is determined to hit back against right-wing efforts to block the vote in
the wake of the Supreme Court`s decision to gut the voting rights act.

Since that ruling, Republicans have gone on a rampage with states all
across the south running wild to restrict voting. That includes North
Carolina, where any moment now, the Republican governor is expected to sign
into law the worst attack on voting rights since the Jim Crowe era.

This is outrageous. This is exactly the kind of blatant attempt to
suppress the vote that the Obama administration has promised to fight


ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: This is the department`s first
action to protect voting rights following the Shelby county decision. But
it will not be our last. My colleagues and I are determined to use every
tool at our disposal to stand against discrimination wherever it is found.


SHARPTON: The president and the attorney general are calling on all
of us to wake up, get up, and get active. This is about the fundamental
right of our democracy. Fifty years after the march on Washington, we must
not, we will not let them turn back the clock.

In the meeting today, Latino leaders, Asian leaders, African-American
leaders, women sat together with the president and the attorney general.
Not for one segment, but for all Americans right to vote to be protected.
It is something Americans can and must unite around. And it should be
bipartisan, because it gives everyone the protection of their voting

Joining me now is Democratic Congressman Emanuel Cleaver from
Missouri, Joan Walsh, editor at large for

Thank you both for being here.


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

SHARPTON: Congressman, let me start with you. Are these Republicans
in other states, because they`re not just southern states changing these
laws, now on notice now that the Obama administration is not going to let
them get away with taking away our right to vote?

CLEAVER: Absolutely. This is a socio political abomination to mix
theology with some contemporary psychology language. But what they need to
understand is that the president is not backing up. As he said two days
ago, he doesn`t have to run for election again. And he realizes that one
of the worst things that could happen under anyone`s administration is to
remain silent when there is a very overt attempt to push people away from
the ballot box.

This is a democracy. And we should be doing everything we can to
encourage people to vote. And I am so proud and pleased that the president
is standing up and saying this is where I stand, and bringing the civil
rights community together as he did is saying to them I`m standing with
you. And that`s going to also empower the march on Washington.

SHARPTON: No doubt about it. And the march with Martin Luther King
III and all of us would be around this voting, this right to vote.

Joan, I think that it is very interesting that we hear the right wing
talk about responsibility should be taught in minority communities, Black,
Latino communities. Isn`t one of the most responsible things a family can
do is vote and participate in the affairs of their city, county, state, and
national government? So, how do you on one hand tell people to be
responsible, and on the other hand put impediments in their way to exercise
their civic duty of voting.

WALSH: Well, it`s ridiculous, Reverend Al, and you have called it
out, as you should, the notion that the cause of racism personal
irresponsibility is ridiculous. And, you know, if you want to talk about
irresponsibility, I would say the governor of North Carolina is rather
irresponsible because it seemed at least a couple days ago that he hadn`t
even read this bill that he was pledging to sign.


WALSH: He said something about there is plenty of opportunities for
voter registration online. No, you can`t register to vote online. Several
other sections of the bill, he didn`t even seem to know about. I mean,
this bill is terrible for African-Americans, but it`s also terrible for
young people. They do away with -- you can`t preregister if you`re 17-
years-old. And they are also getting rid of a state law that required high
schools to educate and try to get out the vote and try to tell kids to

This is -- it is the design, it is targeting every single element of
the Obama coalition. We know why, and it`s great that the president and
the attorney general are using section 3. Section 4 is gone, but section 3
is there. And it lets them do this case by case and challenge this. I
hope the next state they go into is North Carolina when he signs that bill.

SHARPTON: Talking about North Carolina, Congressman. The Republican
governor, Pat McCrory as Joan stated, says he will sign the bill. But when
he was asked about the ban on preregistering teenagers, this is all
teenagers of any race, he said, quote, this is a direct quote, though, "I
don`t know enough. I`m sorry. I haven`t seen that part of the bill."

Now, he is about to sign the worst attack on voting rights, and he
hasn`t read the bill, Congressman?

CLEAVER: He`s going down in history in a ball of ignorance for a
sitting governor to pledge to sign a piece of legislation that he has not
read is absolutely arsine. And what I think we`re going to do is -- and he
doesn`t realize it, but he is helping his party lose votes because every
time they come up with these voter ID laws, more and more minorities and
women and young people are becoming angry. And this is going to be a
backlash against him and all of those who are pushing to keep people away
from the ballot.

In South Carolina, they stopped already souls to the poles because
they don`t want people to vote in the United States of America.

SHARPTON: Now, Joan, so people will understand how egregious this
legislation is in North Carolina, this voter id bill in North Carolina is
called the most radical in the country. It imposes a strict voter id
requirement, eliminates same-day voter registration, cuts early voting by a
week, stops the extension of polling hours, even if there is long line even
if the lines are long, they`re going to cut the voting time. It increases
the number of poll watcher, and it bans preregistration for 16 and 17-year-

And I might add so people are not confused, we`re not opposed to voter
ID. We`re opposed the new voter ID. We always have used ID. Why are
there new voter Id requirements that they know many people don`t have?

WALSH: Right.

SHARPTON: When there has been no evidence at all of widespread fraud
of id the way it is. Why are you fixing a problem that doesn`t exist and
causing a worse problem?

WALSH: No, Rev., you`re right. I mean, since 2000, there have been
22 cases of voter fraud in North Carolina. That`s not 22 a year. That`s
22 total in 13 years. This is not a problem. We know it`s not a problem.
Doing another form of id that is not aloud, student IDs. So, even if you
have you are voting there, you are going to school there, you have your
picture idea, no, that`s not good enough, because we want to make this
harder for young people. So, they know what they`re doing.

You know, the only positive thing I can say is that about Republicans
right now is that representative James Sensenbrenner who was the sponsor of
the 2007 reauthorization of the voting rights act, he came up today and he
supports attorney general Holder in what he is doing using section 3, and
says it`s absolutely valid and it`s what he should be doing. And I think
that`s a great thing, and I really want to thank him.

SHARPTON: Now Congressman Cleaver, your colleague, Joe Barton, a
Republican congressman, he says the house won`t pass an update to the
voting rights act. But as stated by Joan, Congressman Sensenbrenner, who
is a Republican, and John Lewis also sounded optimistic when I talked to
him last month. Let me play this for you.


REP. JOHN LEWIS, (D), GEORGIA: We are coming together, both Democrats
and Republicans on the house side, and they will do the same thing on the
Senate side. And we`re going to pass another voting rights act. We have
come too far, made too much progress to go back now. And we cannot go
back, and we will not go back.


SHARPTON: Will there be other Republicans like Congressman
Sensenbrenner that will step forward and join the coalition of Americans
protecting Americans` right to vote or is Barton right? Are there enough
right-wingers to stop this house? What do you think? You are there, a
major senior member of the house.

CLEAVER: Well, I think Congressman Sensenbrenner is no liberal.
That`s important for everybody to understand. But he also is an American
who believes that everybody should have equal access to the ballot box.
And he has committed himself to working with John Lewis and others. There
are other Republicans who are interested. Frankly, I think that Mr. Cantor
is very likely going to be someone who is going to step up to the plate.
He went down to Selma, Alabama, a year ago with John Lewis.


CLEAVER: As you and I have done before, he walked across the Edmund
Pettus Bridge. He understands what people went through. So, I`m not sure
that Congressman Barton from Texas is, you know, in tune with what is going

I also think that people need to understand, and I think that`s what
the president and the attorney general are doing. They are saying this is
the department of justice, not the department of just us. And so, we are
going to see, I think, the president, the attorney general moving along
with Mr. Sensenbrenner and John Lewis and other Republicans to put this law
back on the books.

SHARPTON: Well, I think that Mr. -- Congressman Sensenbrenner is the
right kind of conservative. Let`s conserve Americans` right to vote, and
we`ll be following this every step of the way.

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver and Joan Walsh, thank you for your time.

WALSH: Thanks for having me here.

CLEAVER: Good to be with you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, president Obama`s vowing to fight income inequality
in America, and he is not holding back against the Republicans. Wait until
you hear what he is saying. And it might be the most fascinating
political partnership today. Not Bill and Hillary, Barack and Hillary.
Inside their White House lunch meeting today.

And I had my own unplanned meeting today with Hillary. More on that

Plus, the Limbaugh-Hannity vision for America might be suffering a big

And what`s on your mind? Send me a question or comment. E-mail me.
Friend or foe, I want to know. "Reply Al" is coming.


SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation facebook
yet? We hope you will.

Today, many of our facebook fans were talking about this photo. Yes,
that`s me and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton after we ran into
each other on a flight today. We were both headed to meetings at the White
House. She had lunch with President Obama and that`s got a lot of folks
talking about their partnership. More on that coming up.

But first, I 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.


SHARPTON: The American people are sick and tired of the GOP`s skewed
priorities and so is President Obama. In a recent "New York Times"
interview, the president ripped Republicans for putting politics above
people, and for trying to block progress on everything from jobs to
inequality to health care.


I take that you don`t have some folks in Congress who say that I`m usurping
my authority. Some of those folks think I usurp my authority by having the
gall to win the presidency. And I don`t think that`s a secret. But
ultimately, I`m not concerned about their opinions.


SHARPTON: He is not concerned about Republican opinion. He is doing
what ask right for all Americans, not just the rich. A new study from
Oxford University shows 79 percent of Americans will face economic security
at some point in their lives, 79 percent. That includes people facing at
least a year without a job, reliance on government aid and income near the
poverty line. This kind of economic injustice is why fast food workers in
several cities, including New York and Chicago have started strikes today,
calling for higher wages.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m still completely broke, even with living
with my mother. Imagine all of my fellow workers who are trying to support
families on the same wage as I get. It`s completely impossible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In a multibillion industry where they are making
record profits, literally billions and billions of profits in recovering
from the recession and the workers on the bottom are make poverty wages.


SHARPTON: It`s time for action. President Obama wants to level the
playing field for workers all across America. Republicans need to get on
board or get out of the way.

Joining me now is Jared Bernstein, former chief economist for vice
president Biden.

Jared, thanks for being here.


SHARPTON: So 79 percent of Americans face economic insecurity at some
point in their lives. But Republicans don`t think we should do anything to
address it?

BERNSTEIN: Right. I mean, if you think of kind of the way we often
set this up talking about the top one percent and the bottom 99, this is
telling you that 80 percent of people face some kind of difficulty in the
economy that has got to be very familiar to anyone within the sound of my
voice, whether we`re talking about unemployment, underemployment.

We also talk about the unemployment rate, 7.6 percent. The
underemployment rate is over 14 percent, and that includes 8 million people
who are called involuntary part timers. They can`t find the hours of work
they need and of course that hurts their family budgets.

SHARPTON: Now given that context, the president addressed in his
interview focusing on expanding opportunity and equality. Listen to this
and tell me your response.


OBAMA: America has always worked better when everybody has a chance
to succeed. And if that`s not what Washington`s talking about, then we
will be missing the boat.


SHARPTON: And Jared, to show you how graphic it is before you
respond, the average CEO`s salary is $12.3 million while the average
worker`s salary is $34,645, according to the AFL-CIO. I mean, this is what
the president is talking about. This is unbelievable. CEOs making over
$12 million a year, and workers making $34,000?

BERNSTEIN: So, I was just crunching some of these numbers before I
came over here today. You know, the stock market, if you adjust it for
inflation is up 60 percent over the recovery, over the period where the GDP
has been growing. But the typical family`s income is down about 4.5
percent. So there is that inequality dynamic that the president has,
thankfully, has really been hammering on lately.

And I think one of the things that he is getting at that is critically
important, and by the way, has policy solutions is this idea that when
inequality gets to the kind of point that you and I are discussing, it
begins to block the opportunity of people that is we`ve never been a
country that insists on equal outcomes for everyone, but we`ve often talked
about the importance of equal opportunities.

SHARPTON: Correct.

BERNSTEIN: When inequality is creating barriers, then, you want to
start to think about higher minimum wage, you want to think about preschool
for low income kids. Of course, Republican obstructionism is blocking all
of the above.

SHARPTON: Now, when you also look at the fact that the GOP`s budget
Republicans backed automatic budget cuts that literally cost up to 1.6
million jobs next year. I mean, how can Republicans continue this
obsession, really, with cuts when the evidence shows it`s killing jobs.

BERNSTEIN: Yes, and not just the evidence here, but this austerity
experiment, the idea that if you cut government spending, you will lead to
more economic growth has been obviously a dismal failure in Europe as well,
where they have actually kicked back into recession in the Eurozone.

Now, look, I mean, when you`re talking about job creation and spending
cuts, the congressional budget office -- we`re not talking about some
radical left wing group here. The congressional budget office the other
day said if we canceled sequestration, these automatic budget cuts that the
president has been calling to place, if we cancel that, we would have
900,000 more jobs by the end of next year.

SHARPTON: Nine hundred thousand?

BERNSTEIN: That sounds to me like a deal most people hearing my voice
right now would take.

SHARPTON: Now, there is also the obsession with trying to stop Obama
care, or to double down as Ted Cruz is doubling down today to defund Obama
care. Let me show you what cruise had to say.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I think Congress ought to stand together
and defund Obama care in its entirety we can successfully defund Obama care
on September 30th. We have launched a national petition,
Defend the constitution and don`t fund Obamacare. That`s how we`re going
to win the fight on defunding Obama care.


SHARPTON: They want to defund Obama care which provides insurance
health care for so many Americans that didn`t have it. They want to
continue sequestration that costs jobs, as you just quoted what it would
mean in terms of net jobs.


SHARPTON: I mean, I don`t get what it is other than they`re putting
partisan over people.

BERNSTEIN: No question about it. I mean, this idea of defunding
Obama care has become an obsessive mantra. I mean, listening to him, he
sounds kind of possessed in a way that is a little scary. So look, I mean,
one of the thing we`re talking about here is the middle class squeeze. One
way you help middle class people get out of that squeeze is to lower the
costs that they have to pay for health care. Now, if you look at the early
implementation results from Obama care, that is the cost of insurance
premiums in these exchanges, they`re coming in, the president said this
himself today, 20, 30, 50 percent in New York city, lower than the current

So to me, that sounds like a great win for the middle class, a program
that actually helps sort of unclench that family budget by loosening up on
the cost of health care premiums.

SHARPTON: I think that it is critical that the American people have
jobs, the American people have health.

BERNSTEIN: Affordable health care.

SHARPTON: Affordable health care. And there has to be common ground
that we can achieve this across-party lines.

Jared Bernstein, thanks for your time tonight.

BERNSTEIN: My pleasure.

SHARPTON: Coming up, a potential setback for rush Limbaugh and his
ugly vision of America. It could be a big win for President Obama. And
power lunch, Hillary Clinton at the White House. We will go inside one of
the most fascinating political partnerships all time. And I`ll tell you
about my unplanned meeting with Hillary today. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: From bitter rivals to close personal friends, it was a
power lunch for President Obama and Hillary Clinton at the White House
today. The fascinating political partnership really started back in 2008
when she endorsed him after a tough primary battle.


me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me. Now, when I
started this race, I intended to win back the White House and make sure we
have a president who puts our country back on the path to peace,
prosperity, and progress. And that`s exactly what we`re going to do by
ensuring that Barack Obama walks through the doors of oval office on
January 20th, 2009.


SHARPTON: So five years later, a lot has changed. We go inside their
lunch, next.


SHARPTON: We`re back on POLITICS NATION with a little story. I had
an unplanned meeting this morning, on my trip down to D.C. this morning,
look who I bumped into it. It was former Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton. We had a great little chat, but it was Hillary`s planned meeting
at the White House that had everyone talking today.

This afternoon, she joined the President for lunch. The two dined on
grilled chicken pasta and salad. The White House called the meeting
chiefly social, and said it`s largely friendship that is on the agenda for
the lunch today. So it`s not a working lunch as much as it is an
opportunity for the two to get a chance to catch up. No matter what the
reason, their relationship has been fascinating. They have gone from
bitter rivals on the trail to partners in his administration.

She served as his top diplomat and becoming the President`s words, a
strong friend. But whenever these two get together, the question always
is, what`s next.

Joining me now are Teresa -- Maria Teresa Kumar and Clarence Page.
Thank you both for coming on the show tonight.



SHARPTON: And let me say when I say a nice chat on the plane, we
talked about voter rights. Mrs. Clinton is very concerned about voter
rights as she always has been. She was my senator and I can say in that
area. She is very consistent, and we chatted about that before the flight
attendant made me sit down.


KUMAR: And I think that the fact that it`s so important for her is
that she is looking into 2016 and if all these voting right, the backlash
against voting rights at the state level take place, she is going to have a
serious problem.

SHARPTON: Well, I think whether she runs or not, I think she and the
President recognize this is a serious problem for voters. But Clarence,
let me ask you. You`re Chicago.

PAGE: We know about voting in Chicago.

KUMAR: Do you.

PAGE: Early and often, yes.

SHARPTON: I wasn`t going to bring that up but --

PAGE: That was my first undercover assignment way back in the `70s.
We`ll talk about that later.

SHARPTON: Let me go to the relationship of the President and Mrs.
Clinton. They were rivals, and now they`re friends. How does that develop
in your opinion, and is that real?

PAGE: Well, they say in politics, no permanent friends, no permanent
enemies, just permanent interests.


PAGE: And we see here now that well, Barack Obama when he invited
Hillary Clinton to be his secretary of state, that was a very important
olive branch right there, including her in the administration. And she has
been a very valuable cabinet member. And now while they may put out the
public word this was just a little, you know, get together to say hi, none
of us believes that. We all honestly are wondering just how deep into
planning ahead for 2016 are they, because he as the incumbent, his
endorsements can be very important. His support if she gets the nomination
will be very important.

SHARPTON: Now Maria, five years ago, would you have guessed that this
kind of lunch would happen?

KUMAR: Would you?

SHARPTON: But what do you think, is it working in the trenches
together that has brought them closer?

KUMAR: I think that basically the fact that they did their exit
interview on a live "60 Minutes" tape, you actually saw that they had
mutual admiration and respect for each other. And I think what Clarence is
saying that they`re absolutely putting, laying the groundwork. What they
don`t want to do is that if Hillary runs tomorrow, what they don`t want to
do is a repeat of what happens with Al Gore and President Clinton, where
Gore decided that what he was going to do was not build off the Clinton
legacy, he was going to run completely off to left field, and that left him

SHARPTON: A lot of people felt he could have won.

KUMAR: He could have won had he basically endorsed --

SHARPTON: He did win. I mean --

KUMAR: Right.

PAGE: That`s right.

KUMAR: But had he endorsed the Clinton platform, it would have been
much more of a solid one, let`s say. But what is happening now is that
both Obama realizes that in order to continue building the legacy of the
policies that he has built, he needs to make sure that Clinton is on board,
and Clinton needs to make sure that he can generate that base, the young
new base that hasn`t historically come out for elections, that if she just
threatens that his base comes on board. So it`s a symbiotic relationship,

SHARPTON: But it`s not only the two of them, Clarence, there is the
other person, Bill Clinton.

PAGE: Oh, yes.

SHARPTON: And there was a lot of bitterness by many in the `08
election. But then he has proven to be very instrumental to the Obama
administration. Let me show you some of the things he`s said and done.
This is him, for example, at the DNC last September.


BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: I want to nominate a man who`s
cool on the outside.


But who burns for America on the inside.


A man who believes with no doubt that we can build a new American
dream economy driven by innovation and creativity, by education, and yes,
by cooperation. And by the way, after last night, I want a man who had the
good sense to marry Michelle Obama.


SHARPTON: Now, Clarence, he did a great speech for the president at
the DNC, campaigned all over the country for him. Has the fact that Bill
has been all in, Hillary a real team player, and a good if not great
secretary of state, some of us say great, has this really built a
relationship in your opinion that goes even beyond mutual or shared

PAGE: I`m so glad you ran that clip. Wasn`t that the first time
you`ve seen somebody who gave a better speech than the nominee did? I
mean, he sold Obama better than Obama sold Obama. Bill Clinton is a master
politician and a master political consultant. If I was going to be running
for president, I`d want him to be on my side, giving consultation and
advice. He`s certainly someone who does not believe in permanent
antipathy. Because we saw him go hot and cold on Obama all the way through
the primary.


PAGE: And he got very hot. One thing that surprised me was, it took
Obama so long to go and ask Bill Clinton to speak at the democratic
convention, because his speech was key.

SHARPTON: Now Maria, when you look at the fact that they`ve had this
great working relationship, the Clintons went all in, the other thing that
could unite them is that both the President and Mrs. Clinton has been the
object of some of the most venomous attacks from the right that any two
people have ever had to endure. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: How can she get a concussion when she has been
ducking everything? This is what I don`t understand.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We`re now calling this the immaculate concussion.
Because nobody --



UNIDENTIFIED MAN: When you don`t want to go to a meeting or a
conference or an event, you have a diplomatic illness.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: And Hillary has severe Benghazi

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes, I`ve been doing a lot of work on that,
investigating it. She is the first reported the case, and it`s a very,
very severe one.

HANNITY: Very, very severe. Let`s see the medical report on that.


SHARPTON: Now, I mean, she`s been attacked almost as viciously as he
has. And sometime common enemies bring people even closer together,
especially when they`re facing such vile attack.

KUMAR: Well, and I think actually, this is some of the nicer stuff
the right has said about her, quite frankly. And if anything I think that
come -- there is very few families in America that can actually identify
with being that of the presidency. And there is a sort of collegialness
that actually happens, and that happens as a result. And the fact that
they both have basically raised children in front of the, you know, in
front of the cameras at the White House, and that they`ve been able to
protect them so beautifully, I think there are common bonds that happens
when someone resides in the White House and they`ve been able to do it.
But it has been built on mutual respect, because it didn`t start out that

SHARPTON: Right. And now, they`re already running attacks on Mrs.
Clinton. They`ve even formed a website. So they`re
gearing up. But I just got this in and that is very interesting to me. We
just learned that Mrs. Clinton and Joe Biden are having breakfast in the
morning. What do you make of that, Clarence?


PAGE: I`d love to be a fly on the wall there, because Joe Biden may
run for president again too. I think this is probably realistically his
last chance if he is going to do it. If I were him, I wouldn`t, because I
think the momentum now for Hillary Clinton is building up.

SHARPTON: You wouldn`t run or you wouldn`t have breakfast?

PAGE: I wouldn`t run against Hillary Clinton. I think she has been
able to -- well, you know, there is a lot of repressed support for her. A
lot of folks, especially a lot of women were out to push for Hillary
Clinton, and then Barack Obama came along.


PAGE: And well, going into the details of what happened, but the fact
is both Obama supporters and Clinton supporters want to pull together now
and go for Hillary. If she decides not to run for some reason, there is no
obvious front-runner. Joe Biden would be the only one. But Joe Biden has
got his weaknesses too.

SHARPTON: You think it`s a political breakfast in the morning?

KUMAR: I think so. I think it`s basically trying to gauge where he
is and making sure that he is on board if she chooses to run. But I also
think that if you see the transformation of Biden, he has actually been
much more careful, in the way he speaks. He has also been courting
different constituencies from the LGBT to the Latino in a very, very big
way. And he`s starting to talk a lot of the talk that you would see in
presidency. So, I think they both probably going to test each other. And
I think she again, she is holding court today with the President, trying to
make sure that their legacies are uniting and basically making sure that
Biden is on board if she decides to run.

SHARPTON: Well, in that little chat, I didn`t ask her if she is
running. But I can say she looks great.


She looks like she`s got a pep in her step. Let`s put that it way.
Maria Teresa Kumar, and Clarence Page, thanks to both you have for your
time this evening.

KUMAR: Thank you, Rev.

PAGE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, news is breaking inside the right-wing radio
bubble, and it could mean a big win for President Obama`s vision of


SHARPTON: A potential setback for Rush Limbaugh and his ugly vision
of America, next.


SHARPTON: We`re back with news from inside the right wing talk radio
bubble. It`s the talk that pollutes the political conversation and
undermines the President`s agenda. But the President might be closer to
winning the fight for ideas in this country. Political reports Cumulus
Media, the second biggest broadcaster in the country plans to drop Limbaugh
and Hannity, meaning they would be off the air in 40 major markets. This
news comes after more than a year of tension between Limbaugh and the
Cumulus CEO who said his comments had cost the company millions, presumably
for talking like this.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: What does it say about the
college coed Susan Fluke who goes before a Congressional committee and
essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make
her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute.

In Obama`s America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids
cheering yay, right on, right on, right on, right on. Has the CDC ever
published a story about the dangers of catching diseases when you sleep
with illegal aliens? It has gotten so bad, they had to send Moochelle out
there in a Lady Gaga type getup. She went shopping at Target.


SHARPTON: And Sean Hannity is just as focused on attacking President


HANNITY: I`m not for secession, but I understand why people might be.
If you ask the question, why not just ask show us the certificate. You`re
a birther. You`re a birther, that`s what you are. It`s not been my number
one issue, but I`ve been following it, and I`ve been saying why are all
these people that just asked to see it, why are they crucified and beaten
up and smeared and besmirched the way they are? Four more years of Obama
will end America, the country we love as we know it.


SHARPTON: We`ve seen this ugliness go from the airwaves to the halls
of Congress. And we`ve seen lawmakers on the right refuse to denounce this
kind of talk. So what would a radio shake-up mean for the President`s
vision? And could the extremism fever break as a result of this?

Joining me now is Joy Reid, managing editor of, and David
Brock, founder of Media Matters for America, thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Now, Joy, Rush denied the report today, and Hannity doesn`t
seem concerned. And we want to be clear. This could be just a negotiating
tactic in a business sense. But how big of an impact would it be in the
political world if it were to happen, Joy?

REID: Well, I mean, you know, for Rush Limbaugh, it would mean losing
some of the major market, including his original flagship market WABC in
New York, which obviously would reduce his viability in terms of
advertising. And the big problem for Limbaugh has been that his
advertising has taken a huge hit since those Sandra Fluke comments, and
Hannity as a result as well. They are not popular with advertisers who
don`t want to hear from women and from younger people who don`t like that
kind of talk.

And by the way, Limbaugh`s audience is essentially older. They`re not
in that prime younger demographic. They`re really older. They`re more
rural. They`re not as attractive to advertisers anyway. So I think just
as a matter of course, this kind of radio is sort of aging out market wise.
But it`s also reflective of the GOP. Limbaugh`s base is very similar to
the republican base.


REID: So if his popularity is declining, and his viability is
declining, I think it says bad things about a republican party that is more
and more enthrall to him.

SHARPTON: You know, David, the right wing talkers, they undermine
just every policy the President comes with. Listen to this.


LIMBAUGH: There is going to be a big push by conservatives to use
this as an opportunity to defund Obamacare.

HANNITY: Either you Republicans get off your backside and stand as a
bold contrast to Obamacare and make a courageous stand, or get out of the

LIMBAUGH: The Democratic Party does not want anybody to have a photo
ID because that would have a very negative impact on cheating.

HANNITY: That means that we`ve got cheating going on in our

LIMBAUGH: Obama monkeying the numbers here, jimmying around with
things in an election year.

HANNITY: I don`t know what tomorrow`s job numbers are going to be. I
have no doubt they`ll cook the books.


SHARPTON: So David, they fight the President on voting, on jobs, on
Obamacare. If they had a smaller audience reach, what will that mean for
the bigger picture and policy? And do you think that this Cumulus deal may
really fall apart?

BROCK: Well, yes. So I think the lesson here is that hate has
consequences. That for Limbaugh`s particular brand of just really horrible
racism, sexism, homophobia, and frankly, the unremitting opposition to
President Obama, as Joy mentioned, the business model has collapsed. We do
expect that he is going to lose these top 40 markets.

SHARPTON: You do expect it?

BROCK: We do. He will have a smaller footprint. I think it`s an
epic failure for Limbaugh. But I also think in a certain way it`s bad for
the GOP. Limbaugh is a reflection of their extremism. He is kind of like
the id of the conservative movement. He has been rejected culturally, now
being rejected in the market. And I think it portends a political
rejection. He has been a really important figure going all the way back to
1994 when he was largely credited with helping to bring in the Gingrich
Congress, which was referred to as the Limbaugh Congress.

And you`ll remember, on the day that President Obama was inaugurated,
he was kind of the architect of the republican strategy for these past
years, saying I hope he fails. So this is -- this is a defeat for
Limbaugh. It`s a victory for progressives in the sense that it`s a victory
for everybody who believes in civil discourse.

SHARPTON: You know, Joy, some of it I think is just people being
turned off by how venomous some of it is. I mean, when you listen to the
President`s recent speech on race, listen to the attack from Hannity.


HANNITY: You know, now the President is saying Trayvon could have
been me 35 years ago. Oh, that`s -- this is a particularly helpful
comment. Is that the President`s admitting that I guess because, what, he
was part of the Choom gang and he smoked pot and he did a little blow, I`m
not sure how to interpret that because we know that Trayvon had been
smoking pot that night. I`m not sure what that means.


SHARPTON: And then you have Anthony Weiner, who is running for mayor
in New York. He has been in the news lately for another twitter scandal.
But Limbaugh takes vicious attacks at his wife. Listen to this.


LIMBAUGH: Huma is a Muslim. In that regard, Weiner ought to be able
to get away with anything. Women, Muslim women don`t have any power,
right? Muslim women are beheaded, stoned, whatever if they drive, have
affairs. In certain countries, Muslim women if they`re raped are killed.
It`s their fault.


SHARPTON: So it`s not just attack a politician, attack his wife and
attack a religion. It`s not just say you disagree with the president. You
demonize and denigrate a dead young man and accuse the President of being
in a gang smoking pot, and you distort the story with the young man that
died, saying he was smoking reefer that day, which no one said that was the
case. I mean, it`s just not enough to oppose. You`ve got to get ugly and
personal and venomous.

REID: Yes, absolutely. You would think that Limbaugh would be a
little more circumspect given his, what, four marriages and the issues with
buying and selling pills out of a cigar box, and he was calling it the
cabbage, remember that? When he was like running around buying elicit
pills. But anyway, that aside, the reality is Rush Limbaugh and Sean
Hannity and guys on the right, in 2008, essentially told the Republican
Party you messed up. You were too soft. The way that John McCain ran for
president against Barack Obama was not vicious enough.


REID: They didn`t go after things like Jeremiah Wright. They didn`t
go after things like Bill Ayers. And they essentially told the Republican
Party give us control. Put us in the driver`s seat and we`ll show you how
you can win. In 2012, Mitt Romney did listen to them. The Republican
Party did listen to them. They were essentially as David Brock said the
architects of the current republican strategy for supposedly how to win.

And all they`re doing is turning off women, young people, minorities.
They`re turning them off in droves, and they`re driving people away, not
just from the Republican Party, but from conservatism itself. So if the
party wants to keep listening to these guys, they have a problem. So they
might want to just listen to Cumulus. If Cumulus is backing away, that is
a market response to a product that is no longer marketable and selling.

SHARPTON: You bet that Cumulus drops them, David?

BROCK: Yes, I think he is going to lose these stations for sure. The
head of the Republican Party has just gotten his head chopped off.

SHARPTON: Joy Reid, David Brock, thanks for your time tonight.

REID: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, how can everybody help fight for change? "Reply Al"
is next.


SHARPTON: It`s time for "Reply Al." Keep sending me all those
questions. Friend or foe, I want to know.

Jelani writes, "What is one action that you think the average citizen
can undertake to help change the policy behind the stand your ground law
and its implications in the system of justice?"

Three things, Jelani. One, if you`re in Florida or a stand your
ground state, make sure you register to vote and register those around you.
Let your legislator know if they do not vote to repeal that law, you will
not be voting for them. Two, attend rallies around the country and
gatherings around the country like we did over 100 cities just Saturday
before last around the stand your ground laws. And we`ll be raising it to
march on Washington, August 24th in Washington.

Three, support those dream defenders, those courageous young people
sitting in Governor Rick Scott`s office in Florida saying they`re going to
stay there until the law is repealed. Those young people deserves
everyone`s support around the country. They`re doing what is best in the
nonviolent tradition of American protests.

Well, I`ve got to go. Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton.
"HARDBALL" starts right now.


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