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PoliticsNation, Tuesday, August 6, 2013

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POLITICS NATION
August 6, 2013
Guests: Cynthia Tucker; Alan Grayson; Lee Saunders, Nia-Malika Henderson,
Joe Madison, Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, Ari Melber

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Tonight`s lead, hey, Republicans,
let`s get ready to crumble! The GOP is going to cave when it comes to
health care. It`s not a matter of if, just when. Need an example? Today
President Obama visited Arizona. And just look who went to the airport to
greet him, Republican governor Jan Brewer. Look, she is all smiles. Gee,
isn`t that a big change from her last airport pickup.

Last year, Governor Brewer was waving her finger in the president`s
face. She was defiant. Back then, she was one of the health care law`s
strongest critics. That was then. This is now. Just listen to her sing
the praises of the law just last month.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. JAN BREWER (R), ARIZONA: In a few minutes, I will sign into law
legislation that extends cost-effective health care to hundreds of
thousands of Arizona`s working poor, our friends and our neighbors in need.
This legislation will protect Arizona`s hospitals. It will create
thousands of jobs, and it will save lives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: You heard the governor. It will save lives. It will
create jobs. Eight other Republican governors agree. They want the
president`s health care lawfully implemented in their states. The law is
here to stay. But that hasn`t stopped the far right from threatening to
shut down the government in order to defund the law. The tea party types
are so obsessed that they`re shouting down GOP lawmakers who don`t agree
with them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is what the tea party wants to know. Will
you vote with mike lee -- and meadows here, to defund Obama care, yes or
no?

REP. ROBERT PITTENGER (R), NORTH CAROLINA: You want the thoughtful
answer?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want yes or no.

PITTENGER: No. Do you think Harry Reid is going to pass that in the
Senate?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn`t matter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need to show the American people. We stand
for conservative values.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Shutting down the government is a conservative value? If
we do that, pay for our troops will be delayed. Is that a conservative
value? Pentagon workers will be furloughed. Is that a conservative value?
The party`s whole argument against this law is nonsense. But this comment
from congressman Yoho is a joke.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. TED YOHO (R), FLORIDA: I had an Indian doctor in our office the
other day, very dark skin with two non-dark skin people. And I said look
at him and they started laughing. And I said have you ever been to tanning
booth? And he said no, I don`t need. So therefore it is a racist tax and
I thought I might need to get to a sun tanning booth so that I can come out
and say I have been disenfranchised because I got taxed because of the
color of my skin.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: A tanning tax is racist. What is this, the jersey shore?
Hey congressman Snooki, I`m not laughing.

Joining me now is Congressman Alan Grayson, Democrat from Florida and
Cynthia Tucker, a Pulitzer-prize winning syndicated columnist.

Thank you both for your time and coming on the show tonight.

CYNTHIA TUCKER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Good to be here, Rev.

SHARPTON: Congressman Grayson, let me start with you. The health
care law is racist because of a tanning tax? I mean, is that all they have
got left?

REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: Well, it`s another weapon of mass
distraction. What this bill does is it extends health care to the 50
million people in this country who can`t see a doctor when they are sick
and it makes it affordable for everyone else. It does that through common
sense things like having standard contracts, like having a Web site that
you can go to so that you can pull your buying power with others, and so
on.

None of this should be controversial, but it is because the tea party,
Republicans are bent on making it that way by ignoring reality. All they
want to do, the fundamental principle the Republican party these days is
let`s make absolutely certain that poor people can`t get health care when
they`re sick. That`s what it`s come down to.

President Lincoln, one of the founders of the Republican Party said
that the principle involved here was equality for all. They want to make
sure that people who are sick can`t see a doctor. That`s how far they have
come down. Their principles are making the Republican Party the largest
suicide pact in history. I just hope they don`t bring us down with them.

SHARPTON: You know, Cynthia, Congressman Grayson talks about equality
and everyone else having a chance for health care. Former Senator Jim
DeMint argued today that we need to repeal health care for the little guy.
Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIM DEMINT, PRESIDENT, FORMER SOUTH CAROLINA SENATOR: It`s the little
guy, it`s the young people that are going to get hung with this thing and
lose their insurance. What we`re trying to do is sound the alarm,
encourage Americans to get engaged, and hopefully push their lawmakers of
all parties to stop this thing while we still can.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: How do you respond to that, Cynthia?

TUCKER: Well, you know, Reverend Al, their arguments change weekly.
When they don`t get traction with one argument when it`s shown to be
ridiculous, they quickly change to another ridiculous argument. I remember
when the law was being passed. They claimed that it was going to affect
old people, death panels. You remember?

SHARPTON: Right.

TUCKER: The elderly were supposed to be the one who were going to be
most harmed by the affordable care act. If it passed, for heaven`s sakes,
there would be death panels deciding whether grandma could get health care.

SHARPTON: Right.

TUCKER: Well, that has been shown to be absolutely absurd. So now
they claim that it will be the young who will be hung, as DeMint put it.
In fact, there are many young, healthy people who don`t work for big
corporations who cannot afford to get health care. And they may not b sick
today, but they don`t know when they`ll be sick. And Reverend Al, when I
was 27-years-old, I had to have surgery.

SHARPTON: Right.

TUCKER: I had not been sick. I didn`t expect to have to have
surgery. And I was in between health insurance policies because I was
starting a new job. And my health insurance didn`t pay for that surgery
because it was a so-called preexisting condition. With Obama care, 27-
year-olds no longer have to worry about that. If you get sick, your
insurance will have to cover you.

SHARPTON: And you know, Congressman, the fact is when you look at how it`s
beginning to work, even Republicans, I just showed several governors,
Republican, who now want the act. Jan Brewer, the governor of Arizona who
was waving her finger at the president`s face the last time she greeted him
on the tarmac is now praising the health care law and acting like the most
gracious hostess.

When you look at Massachusetts, it`s already -- it has universal
health coverage. Look how popular it is, 84 percent of people in that
state say they are satisfied with the health care coverage. This is
something that they are really going against the grain of where the
American public is headed.

GRAYSON: For sure. And there is already practical results that you
can point to. There are tens of millions of people who could not get
health coverage and could not get health care because they had preexisting
conditions. Now they can get that.

My wife is one of them. She had a stroke a few years ago. She
couldn`t get any sort of private individual health coverage before, and now
she can. That`s just one example. How about the youths that the senator
was so concerned about? Now up until the age of 26, they can remain on
their parents` policies.

Over and over again, what you see is that this bill has done a lot of
good in places that have cooperated. In California, health insurance
premiums down by approximately 20 percent. What happens is in places like
Florida, where the Republican majority in Tallahassee has dragged its feet,
you have these problems getting worse, not getting better. We have a
million people in Florida who are not going to get coverage under Obama
care simply because the Republican majority in Tallahassee wouldn`t go
along with it, even though it cost the state nothing for the next three
years.

According to a Harvard study, roughly one thousand people every year
will die because they don`t get this health coverage in Florida that the
government would be extending to them. And we don`t have to pay anything
extra for. There is going to be a lot of blood on their hands in
Tallahassee and God help them on judgment day.

SHARPTON: You know, Cynthia, the president is pushing very hard on
this. He called for the Republicans to end the gridlock for the sake of
the country. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And it won`t be easy.
But if we take just a few bold steps, and if Washington will just end the
gridlock, set aside the slash and burn partisanship, actually try to solve
problems instead of scoring political points, our economy will grow
stronger, a year from now, five years from now, ten years from now. And as
long as I`ve got the privilege to serve as your president, that`s what I`m
going to be fighting for.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He`s fighting. He is standing up. He is really charging
and bringing the fight to them.

TUCKER: Yes, he is. But, you know, Reverend Al, they are so consumed
with their hatred of Obama and everything he stands for that they would
rather hurt the country and hurt the many people who don`t have health
insurance than cooperate with the president in any way. But there will be
affordable health care for all Americans. It`s going to happen, no matter
how much they resist it. And there is a lesson from Medicare here.

You know, Ronald Reagan who is the Republican`s patron saint, went
around in the early `60s campaigning against Medicare. If it ever
happened, it would be the downfall of America. It was socialism. It was
the worst thing ever. And now beneficiaries of Medicare love it. And the
Republican Party, quite frankly, is afraid to stand against Medicare. Ten
years from now, there will be t same kind of --

SHARPTON: No doubt about it.

TUCKER: -- Obama care will be equally popular.

SHARPTON: No doubt about it.

Congressman Alan Grayson and Cynthia Tucker, thank you both for your
time this evening.

GRAYSON: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, 48 years ago today, the voting rights act was
signed into law. Today those rights are under attack.

Plus, remember Donald Trump`s birther madness? It`s back in a big way
with sitting members of congress going there. This summer, where is e
leadership?

And the right wing wants you to slap Hillary Clinton across the face.
This is how low they are going. You can smell the fear.

What is on your mind? Have a question, have a comment? E-mail me.
Friend or foe, I want to know. "Reply Al" is coming.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: A huge anniversary and the fight for voting rights, and a
call to remember that fight goes on today. I will talk live with Lee
Saunders, the president of AFSCME, the nation`s largest public employee
union. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Today marks a milestone in the fight for justice. Forty-
eight years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson signed the voting rights
act into law. The first steps toward getting rid of poll taxes, a literary
test, and voter suppression of the Jim Crow era.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LYNDON JOHNSON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Millions of
Americans are denied the right to vote because of their color. This law
will ensure them the right to vote. The heart of the act is plain.
Wherever by clear and objective standards states and counties are using
regulations, our laws are tests to deny the right to vote, then they will
be struck down. And I pledge you that we will not delay or we will not
hesitate, or we will not turn aside until Americans of every race and color
and origin in this country have the same right as all others to share in
the process of democracy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was there at the bill`s
signing. He was a driving force behind the law, applying pressure in
public and behind the scenes, as in this phone call with President Johnson
earlier that year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s so important to get Negroes registered to
vote in large numbers. It would be this coalition of the Negro vote and
the popular white vote that will really make the new south.

JOHNSON: That`s exactly right. We take the position that every
person born in this country when they reach a certain age, that he have a
right to vote. We want equality for all. And we can stand on that
principle.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Equality for all, the basic right to vote. This great
achievement is now under attack first by the Supreme Court, and now by
conservative politicians all across the old south.

In Florida, a new voter purge from the GOP governor. In Texas, a
harsh new voter id law announced just hours after the Supreme Court ruling.
And in North Carolina, a new voter suppression law that some call the worst
since the Jim Crow era.

Forty-eight years after the voting rights act, we cannot let Dr.
King`s dream die. We must stand and fight and march.

Joining me now is Lee Saunders, president of AFSCME, the nation`s
largest public employee union with some 1.6 million members.

Lee, it`s great to have you back on the show.

LEE SAUNDERS, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY AND
MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES: Great to be on the show, Al.

SHARPTON: You know, Lee, you were instrumental in getting out the
vote in 2012. Will these new GOP attacks on voting rights energize
minority voters?

SAUNDERS: Well, I think it will energize our member and working
families and people all over the country. We have to go back to the basics
and that those basics are grassroots organizing in our communities. We
have got to understand that our voting rights are under attack like never
before.

You mentioned North Carolina. You mentioned Florida. You mentioned
Texas. This will repeat itself in state after state after state where
people really want to see the right to vote diminished, where you have
voter IDs and where you have the early registration programs being either
decreased or stopped completely.

And it`s up to us, I think, to fight back. The labor movement with
our allies and partners across the country, we`ve got have a grassroots
campaign. But we have also have to go to Congress. And we have to lobby
Congress and we have to push Congress to do the right thing as far as
voting rights for all Americans. We need to be pushing universal voting
rights rather than trying to take voting rights away from people.

SHARPTON: No. And you and Martin Luther King III and I are going to
be doing a big march on that later this month. We will talk about that in
a minute. Talking about votes, though, today is the primary day in
Detroit. And your workers and members are under particular assault in this
emergency management, and now bankruptcy in Detroit. And Detroit is being
used as a symbol of attack by the right wing.

Let me show you -- let you hear Rush Limbaugh in an attack he has been
making when he was talking to FOX News about Detroit last week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: That town has been a Petri dish
of everything the Democratic Party stands for. Everything the Democratic
Party loves. Massive unions, massive pensions, pay people pensions and
health care long after they have stopped working. The math doesn`t add up.
You have massive welfare states where citizens are given things left and
right in order to buy their votes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Limbaugh on the right going right after the people`s
pensions, right after workers rights. It is a real wall with working class
people in Detroit.

SAUNDERS: It is. And I think that rush needs to be educated on the
right of issues.

Let`s deal with the facts. First of all, nobody is arguing about the
fact that Detroit is experiencing severe economic crisis right now. The
question is what you do about it. Folks have said that it`s the blame of
unions, public service workers in that city. They are being blamed for
crisis that exists right now. That`s the furthest thing from the truth.

Manufacturing jobs left that city 20, 25 years ago. The tax base
eroded. Government jobs have been eroded. Our members have sacrificed
like never before. We sacrifice in giving up pensions, 40 percent of our
pensions have been cut. We gave up wages, 10 percent of our wages in this
fiscal year have been cut. We have sacrificed. But we cannot be used as a
scapegoat.

Right now our pensioners, those who have served the city well and
worked 35 or 40 years and retired, they retire on $19,000 on average,
$19,000 a year. Now they are talking about under this bankruptcy
proceeding going after the $19,000 a year. That`s arsine. It`s crazy.
And what needs to be done is to have a strategy, not only in Detroit, but
other urban centers across this country are under severe crisis.

We have to have a strategy to deal with the urban crisis. We need
help and support from the federal government. We need help and support
from the states where urban centers are located. We have got to put minds
together to talk about this crisis.

If we are able, Al, if we are able to spend billions of dollars
overseas to rebuild countries, if we are able to help the automakers and
rebuild the auto industry, if we are willing to bail out wall street, which
we did, then it seems to me that we have got to deal with this urban crisis
that is on hand that deals with unemployment. That deals with this crisis
as far as attacking workers, attacking those who have retired. That`s
unacceptable in this country. And great minds have got to come together
and deal with these very serious choices.

SHARPTON: And many of those that voted to bail out Wall Street will
not bail out Detroit. Let me say this. At the end of the month when we
have the march on Washington, 50th anniversary for jobs and justice and
fairness, President Obama recently talked about the original march in `63
in an interview with "The New York Times" and he reminded people about that
march.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I always remind people, and in fact I have a copy of the
original program in my office framed that that was a march for jobs and
justice. When you think about the coalition that brought about civil
rights, it wasn`t just folks who believed in racial equality. It was
people who believed in working folks having a fair shot.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So August 24th when we all labor in civil rights and all of
us come together, this is really what happened 50 years ago. It was the
fight for jobs and civil rights.

SAUNDERS: It is so important that we come together on August 24th.
And I`m happy to be working with you and Martin Luther King III and other
labor unions and our allies and coalition partners.

We have got to make a statement. This should not be about
commemorating the 50th anniversary. This should be about recharging
ourselves and rededicating ourselves and recommitting ourselves to the
struggles that still confront working families across America. It`s about
voting rights. It`s about jobs. It`s about being treated fairly having
the ability to move into the middle class, having the wherewithal to put
bread on the table, send your kids to school. That`s what this march is
going to be all about. And that`s what we have got to continue in the
future.

This cannot be a one-day march. This has got to be the beginning of
community organizing, organizing our neighbors and our friends and our
family members in talking about the importance of involving ourselves, in
changing this country, in changing it for the better in 2014.

So this march really is just the beginning of what we need to do in
future days and months and years ahead.

SHARPTON: Well, we are going to be talking a lot about it in the next
couple of weeks.

Lee Saunders, thank you for your time tonight.

SAUNDERS: Thanks for having me, Al.

SHARPTON: Coming up, what did speaker Boehner give to President
Obama? It may surprise you.

Plus, how is this for rebranding, a right-wing group asking you to
slap Hillary Clinton in the face, classy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The Republican slap that must be called out. The
Republican group inviting people to slap Hillary Clinton in the face. We
are talking about that, coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back with Speaker Boehner`s birthday gift to
President Obama. No, it wasn`t compromise. It was a gift basket. That
included some of Speaker Boehner`s favorite things from his home state of
Ohio. Like Cincinnati`s famous graters ice cream, black raspberry chip,
and ribs from the Montgomery Inn, one of Boehner`s favorite restaurants.

I have to say a nice gesture from the speaker, especially because so
many of John Boehner`s House Republicans continue to promote the fringe
conspiracy that President Obama was not born in America. Just two days
ago, Congressman Ted Yoho of Florida said he is ready to co-sponsor a new
birth birther bill.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. TED YOHO (R), FLORIDA: I called Steve up. I says when I got
back, he says yes, we`re doing it. Would you want to get on that? I says,
yes.

(APPLAUSE)

And so back from there to here. Then I asked, and I`ll ask you guys.
Is that really where we should be spending our time?

(audience): No.

YOHO: Well, I`m going to check into that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He`s going to just check into that. And just last week,
watch how a republican congresswoman responds to this offensive comment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: What I need from you is to know what you can do,
you and your fellow noncommunist colleagues in the lower house, what you
can do to stop these communist tyrannical executive orders laid down by
this foreign-born American-hating communist despot. What can you do for
me? We need to know.

(APPLAUSE)

REP. MARTHA ROBY, ALABAMA SECOND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: So thank you
for your question. He said it loud enough that you all heard it. Look, I
can`t emphasize the oversight part of my job enough.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Republican Congresswoman Martha Roby smiled and laughed at
a voter describing the President as a, quote, foreign-born, America-hating
communist. And earlier this summer, republican Congressman Jeff Duncan
went there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Any chance the house may actually pursue Barack
Obama`s phony identification papers?

REP. JEFF DUNCAN (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Well, you know --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: How is the origin scandal, Congressman? That`s the
original scandal.

DUNCAN: People should have voted against him in November. And I`m
afraid that that wouldn`t get to the Supreme Court where it ought to get.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: But if we know -- if we know that they`re lying
about all of these other things, why not go back and say, well, maybe the
first scandal was a lie too.

DUNCAN: There you go. I`m all with you. Let`s go back and revisit
some of these things, because Americans have questions about not only the
IRS scandal, but also about the President`s validity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He`s got questions about the President`s validity. So
Speaker Boehner, forget the rips. Forget the ice cream. How about
denouncing the crazy talk? How about showing some leadership? That`s a
birthday gift for all Americans.

Joining me now are Nia-Malika Henderson and Joe Madison. Thanks for
coming on the show.

JOE MADISON, SIRIUS XM RADIO HOST: Thank you, Rev.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, THE WASHINGTON POST: Great to be here.

SHARPTON: Nia-Malika, the birthers are still out there and silence
from Speaker Boehner. Is this what is behind all this gridlock in
Washington?

HENDERSON: Well, you know, Speaker Boehner actually did speak out
when, for instance, Steve King said some things about Latino. So he did do
that. But I think the reality of what we see going on in some of these
town halls is these are primary voters. These are the voters who are going
to show up in 2014. These are the voters that are going to show up in
2016. So for those folks, those representatives who are there talking to
their constituents, hearing from their constituents, we very much see that
they are beholden to a very different strain of the Republican Party than
the strain of the Republican Party that is talking about rebranding.

They`re at least something like 54 percent. There was a poll out
recently that showed 54 percent of Republicans actually want Republicans to
be more conservative rather than doing the sort of outreach and sort of
broadening the base that you hear from folks at the RNC, for instance. So,
I mean, we`ve got a lot of competing interests out there. And Boehner can
only go so far in terms of curbing some of the remarks at these town halls,
and from his members in the house.

SHARPTON: But it`s not only town halls and members in the House, Joe.
A polling came out in January of this year showed republican voters still
in to this birther stuff. Sixty four percent of GOP voters said they
believe President Obama is hiding important information about his early
life and background. I mean, no wonder Republicans are afraid to
compromise.

MADISON: Well, yes. Because of that. You know, in a way, I hope
that they keep these polls going like that, because here is the poll that
you really ought to ask. And that is if it`s birther or employment, what
is more important? If it`s birther or immigration, what is more important?
If it`s birther or jobs, what`s more important? If it`s birther or if the
fighting terrorism, what is more important? And the only thing I would say
is that you`re absolutely right.

These are primary activists that come out to these town hall meetings.
But remember now, they think that they`ve got safe districts. And the
Republican Party didn`t win all the safe districts that they had put out
two years ago. So what it really takes, the battle will be at the ballot
box. And I know I repeat that over and over again. And Boehner is not
showing any leadership.

SHARPTON: Yes.

MADISON: Boehner acts like an adult. And this is the best analogy I
can come up with, who is enjoying watching the kids in the playpen.
Because that`s really all they`re doing.

SHARPTON: Yes.

MADISON: This is a Congress that votes 40 times to repeal Obamacare
because they don`t want everyone to know the benefits. But yet they would
rather introduce legislation. It`s like the guy who drove me over here
today. He said you`ve got to be kidding me, Madison. These folks are
still on this issue?

SHARPTON: Well, let me show you why there is no leadership as you
say. Nia-Malika, when Speaker Boehner had been asked to condemn birtherism
in the past, listen to his answer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID GREGORY, HOST, MEET THE PRESS: As the speaker of the house, as
a leader, do you not think it`s your responsibility to stand up to that
kind of ignorance?

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: David, it`s not my
job to tell the American people what to think.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, is this why Boehner and the Republicans won`t
compromise? Nia-Malika, because they -- if you tell people that the
President is not an American, then how do you have a climate to reach any
compromise on what Americans need?

HENDERSON: No, I think that`s exactly right. I mean, if that`s the
starting point, these sort of conspiracy theories, and essentially,
invalidating Obama as president, you can`t go very, very far in terms of
compromise, in terms of working with him, because then you sort of
delegitimize whatever work you`re doing. You know, I think Boehner has not
tried very hard to get the more raucous members of his caucus in check in
the House.

They are very much freelance artists at this point, trying to win in
those districts that are overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly conservative.
That`s the way that these maps were redrawn. And they don`t even have any
incentive to go and broaden the base of the party, because those aren`t the
people who are in their backyards. So, I mean, in some ways, they`re
shooting themselves in the foot.

MADISON: Absolutely.

HENDERSON: Because these aren`t people who could run for statewide
office for instance or Senate or governor. They`re very much trapped in
their own Congressional districts.

SHARPTON: Now Joe, the Republicans have ground law making to a halt
because the 113th Congress has signed just 22 bills.

MADISON: Yes.

SHARPTON: That`s on track to be the slowest pace in modern history.
And even FOX News anchors are grilling republican leaders about it. Chris
Wallace went after Eric Cantor on Sunday. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY": Congressman, rightly or
wrongly, none of these bills that you passed is going to become law. Your
own members say, they`re not going to pass the Senate. The President won`t
sign them. Let`s talk reality. You haven`t passed a farm bill. You have
only passed four of the 12 appropriations bills you`re supposed to pass.
We face a government shutdown and a debt limit in the fall. Again, is this
the best way to spend your time, passing bills that aren`t going to become
law, and an added question, with so much unfinished business, why not stick
around instead of taking a five-week vacation?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, this is a FOX News anchor going after them for
their lack of getting anything done.

MADISON: Because, Reverend Sharpton, what we`re finding out and what
they`re finding out is that as a professor from Cornell told me on my show,
it`s no longer them, it`s us. You know, I had a farmer from the Delta of
Mississippi. He said, I want to identify myself. I`m a white listener.
I`m a farmer, and I`m here to tell you we are so upset with the Republicans
for what they`re doing, trying to tie the food stamp into the farm bill.

SHARPTON: Yes.

MADISON: You had Bennie Thompson, who said as many of the members of
the caucus said for the first time in 20 years, they had to vote against
the farm bill. People are seeing that these individuals are going against
the best interests of their own party.

SHARPTON: There is no doubt about it. I`m going have to leave it
there, Joe.

MADISON: Yes. Adults will speak up, Al.

SHARPTON: Nia-Malika Henderson and Joe Madison, thank you for your
time tonight.

MADISON: Thank you.

HENDERSON: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, the GOP`s newest plan to go after Hillary
Clinton. We`ve seen this scary movie.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The GOP takes their fear of Hillary Clinton to a new low.
Now a republican group is inviting people to slap her in the face. That`s
next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The head of the Republican Party has a big job. His party
has lost the popular vote in five of the last six national elections. Only
19 percent approval the jobs Republicans are doing in Congress. And the
next generation of republican heroes can`t stop talking about shutting down
the government. So what is party chairman Reince Priebus worried about?
Movies. Yep, that`s where he is focusing his energy, complaining that NBC
is making a miniseries about Hillary Clinton.

And CNN is producing a documentary about her. Even though NBC news
has said it is completely independent of NBC Entertainment and has no
involvement in the project, the head of the RNC is sure these movies are
what`s bringing his party down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REINCE PRIEBUS, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Just about a
time that our party stands up and protects the party and our candidates
from networks that are not in the business of promoting our party. They`re
not in the business of promoting our candidates. They`re not in the
business of doing anything but promoting the Democratic Party. And I`m not
going to sit around and watch this happen anymore.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He`s not going to sit around and watch it happen. The
right wing loves complaining about movies. Remember when they were sure
"Zero Dark Thirty" was an election year scheme?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes, it`s coming out three weeks before the
election. And remember the Bin Laden raid was one of the biggest moments
in this administration`s history thus far.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: A Hollywood production team making a film called
"Zero Dark Thirty" about that Obama/Osama bin Laden raid in which they,
well, apparently glorify the President`s role.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Access to classified information for a movie that
is going to come out three weeks before the reelection?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Incredible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It`s funny. The right never seems to mind movies or series
that attack Democrats, like this special on the President in 2008.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: We`ll have exclusive information never
revealed before about his ties to controversial people and radical groups.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Obama definitely has something to hide.

HANNITY: Many believe it was during these formative college years
that his radical beliefs and relationships began.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We`re basically going to be in the throes of a
socialist revolution.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Republicans need to spend less time thinking about movies
and a little more time on fixing their party.

Joining me now is Victoria DeFrancesco Soto and Ari Melber. Thank you
both for being here.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC CO-HOST, "THE CYCLE": Thanks, Rev.

VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: You know, Ari, Priebus is putting all of his energy into
these movies. What should he focus on?

MELBER: Well, he could start with the jobs plan instead of worrying
about the motion pictures. I love the story, Rev, and I love the way you
set it up. Because there`s a problem here for them if they`re focusing on
movies and not reality. They`re worried that the movies are going to
depict reality about Hillary Clinton the way they don`t like. They need to
figure out how they want to deal with the Democrats in Congress, the jobs
and mortgage plan the President has been outlining this week. The other
thing about this is amazing.

You know, Sun Tzu famously said that the true warrior only fights
battles that he has already won. You have to pick good battles here. The
chairman is going to lose this battle. They did 20 debates last time with
every single television network. And if their standard is as you just
played, Rev, promoting our party, they only want news channels that are
promoting their party, they`re not going to have anybody but FOX to work
with.

SHARPTON: And you know, Victoria, the right wing is really getting
ugly in its attacks on Hillary Clinton. A republican SuperPac has a game
where you can slap Hillary Clinton in the face. Just look at this website.

I mean, Victoria, is this -- I mean is this how low they`re willing to
go and willing to sink?

SOTO: Reverend, this is just incredibly disrespectful. I mean,
politics is dirty, but this is really reached a new low. But more than
that, I think it`s interesting that the fury is misplaced. So we see this
web page of Hillary Clinton instead of attacking Hillary Clinton or
smacking her down, why don`t you turn inwards and get your house in order.
The Republican House is metaphorically on fire. But what they`re doing by
pointing out Hillary, whether it`s NBC, CNN, or the web page, they are
trying to distract away, where as the real danger is at 2016 for the
Republicans is shaping up a lot to look like 2012.

You have extreme elements like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul getting a lot of
attention. Ted Cruz just had an Iowa event. So we see it`s going to be
pumping up toward the train wreck that it with us in 2012. So look in.
Don`t worry about what the networks are doing. Don`t worry about the
movies. And get your house in order if you want to be viable at the
national level.

SHARPTON: Ari, your reaction though to this game of actually slapping
Mrs. Clinton.

MELBER: I think they have a real Hillary obsession. I think she
scares them. I think she scared them in every iteration. She scared them
when she was a first lady which is a position as you know we generally
don`t bring into political attacks. They had a terrible record on that.
She scared them as first lady, I mean, excuse me, secretary of state, which
is why Benghazi has never ended as a political dispute.

SHARPTON: Yes.

MELBER: And now of course she scares them as an independent person
who is reserving her right to potentially reenter the political arena.
They can`t slap that down so they can have fun with video games and films
and all of this carping. But I do think it makes them look like they can`t
deal with her ideas and with her record. And for a party that is out of
power of the presidency and looking at another potentially formidable
candidate, that`s not a good look for them.

SHARPTON: You know, Victoria, the real issue is that Republicans want
to avoid debates in general. Let`s listen to what Priebus said back in
March.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRIEBUS: I think we had way too many debates with our candidate
slicing and dicing each other. And I think they had to wait too long to
get to the convention. I would limit the debate to a reasonable amount. I
don`t know, maybe seven or eight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: You know, how much damage to the Republicans did these
debates do?

SOTO: Reverend, it`s a stage for the Republican Party during the
primary debates to showcase their fractured nature, their extremism. So if
you`re a strategist, a republican strategist that wants to get somebody
into the White House and wants to appeal to a more moderate constituency,
get those independent votes, you`re crossing your fingers, and you are
hoping that you can get down to as few debates as possible during the
primary season so that you can get away from the circus of the extreme
elements that we saw in 2012.

I mean, remember the gaffes of Rick Perry and the gaffes of Newt
Gingrich. You want to get away from that. Get the cameras away and focus
on the issues and focus on building up the moderate base. So Priebus, I
think he is baiting the networks to keep the movies going so he can
conveniently pull out.

SHARPTON: Yes. And maybe, Ari, that`s the point. If he can do that,
keep the battle going to the networks, pull out so only FOX News is where
you would see Republicans.

MELBER: Yeas, I mean, and that wouldn`t be a good strategy as you
were saying. They have lost four of five of the national votes when we
have had full presidential contests.

SHARPTON: Right.

MELBER: They did FOX, CNN, Bloomberg, CBS, NBC, "Washington Post,"
union leader, Facebook, National Journal. When it`s come to actually the
record rather than the talk, they found every platform under the sun. I
think they`ll do that next time and that`s why I think this is short
sighted.

SHARPTON: Victoria, Ari, thank you both for coming on the show and
please catch Ari on "The Cycle" weekdays at 3:00 p.m. Eastern right here on
MSNBC.

Friend or foe, I want to know. "Reply Al" is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s time for "Reply Al." Remember, friend or foe, I want
to know. Luther writes, why is Congress exempt from the effects of the
sequester? Luther, Congressional offices are getting hit with budget
reductions and furloughs, but Congressional salaries are not impacted. I`m
sure if Congressional salaries were impacted, we`d be having a much
different conversation in Washington about the sequester.

Joshua wants to know, "I`m curious, how does one advance in politics?
I`m a student in high school, and I really love helping people of diverse
backgrounds, cultures, and all walks of life."

Well, then, choose where you want to serve. It is in a local or
national office? Get in that district. Start working in that area, if
that`s your passion. Nothing succeeds than working in the area where your
passion is, and grow into serving. And people will vote for you if you
show the people you are worthy of the leadership. Follow your passion, and
your passions will never let you down.

Thank you 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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