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PoliticsNation, Tuesday, August 13, 2013

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August 13, 2013
Guests: Nia-Malika Henderson; Gregory Meeks; Barbara Arnwine, Maria Teresa
Kumar, Jonathan Capehart, David Cohen, Chaka Fattah


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If Holder and Obama want to investigate a police
department, why don`t they look at Chicago?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This single act alone is enough to cause it to go
in another direction. It`s another step closer to making New York City
like Detroit.


REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: We have heard this kind of talk
before. But America is a different country. Voters are rejecting 40 years
of GOP scare tactics. Voters are support t Obama administration`s move to
end severe mandatory sentences for low-level nonviolent drug offenders. Of
course, over at FOX, they don`t get it.


BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: They`re not pot smokers. They`re not
pill poppers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait a second, 50 percent. But the thing, what if
the kid has a drug problem?

O`REILLY: Then you get the kid to rehab or lock him in the basement
or do what you have to do. That`s what parents do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Who thinks that one of these elderly people, who
have been in prison for a mandatory minim, sentence that they`re going to
get out and they`re not going to be on public assistance? Of course they


SHARPTON: So we should keep people in prison to keep them off public
aid? We should just lock up people with drug problems.

This kind of demonizing and fear mongering is really nothing new for
the right. It goes all the way back to President Richard Nixon.


public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to
fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new all-out


SHARPTON: This so-called war on drugs was ramped up under President
Reagan. Prison populations exploded. Republicans vilified Democrats by
labeling them soft on crime like with the notorious Willie Horton ads
against Michael Dukakis.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His revolving door systems gave furloughs to
prisoners not eligible for parole.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One was Willie Horton, who murdered a boy in a
robbery, stabbing him 19 times.


SHARPTON: This right-wing prison agenda led directly to
discriminatory programs like Stop and Frisk and Stand Your Ground and three
strikes you`re out. But the tide is turning, and now Americans want real

Joining me now is congressman from New York Gregory Meeks, a Democrat
representing the Borough of Queens and Barbara Arnwine, president of the
lawyers committee for civil rights.

Thank you both for joining me.


REP. GREGORY MEEKS (D), NEW YORK: Good to be here.

SHARPTON: Congressman, America spent a trillion dollars, a trillion
on this war on drugs since 1971. We spent $33,000 a year on high security
inmates, but only $10,000 on students. Aren`t these priorities that
Americans are rejecting now that they are not seeing a return for spending
three times more for locking up people and lifting up children?

MEEKS: Absolutely. They are seeing that it`s bringing down America.
Likewise, you see that America is not able to compete with other countries
because our talent, we are locking them up, spending all the money on jails
and not putting money in schools to educate them so that they are able to
take the jobs that we`re creating right here in America, the good high-tech
jobs if we train them. We use the same amount of money that we use to lock
up folks, to educate folks, then we will see we will start moving up in the
world again and educating and putting people to work. And that`s what
America wants because they understand it helps us when folks are working
and not in jail.

SHARPTON: Now, Barbara, yesterday a federal judge ruled that Stop and
Frisk in New York was unconstitutional. And in fact was profiling, and
said the city leaders was turning a blind eye. Of course, over across town
at FOX, they went berserk. They didn`t waste any time attacking the
ruling. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have people who live in these so-called bad,
poor neighborhoods that Mayor Bloomberg was talking about there that
they`re actually against the judge`s decision.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The judge should move into bed sty or up in some
of the difficult areas of Staten Island where this has made -- this has
saved lives, this policy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stopping and frisking anyone that they feel is
suspicious, and they`re doing it. It doesn`t matter if you`re White,
Black, Latino, you`re going to get stop and frisked if they have a
suspicion. It`s not profiling if that`s the case.

LOU DOBBS, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: The so-called stop and frisk measure,
which is not only a law enforcement measure, but also tactic. But also an
anti-terrorism tactic.


SHARPTON: Now, Barbara, are they thinking that people are
hallucinating? That`s the people that have come out and said it`s
profiling, the people that live in Bed-Stuy and parts of Staten Island.
That`s who has been our marches and rallies saying this, and the judge is
saying this.

And what kills me is when they say, well, that`s where the crime is.
Well, how do they explain in areas where it is overwhelmingly White, the
people that are stopped most are blacks? They don`t live in that
neighborhood. They`re not doing the crimes. This is racial profiling.
This a federal judge says unconstitutional. I thought they supported the
constitution and with the court`s find.

ARNWINE: Yes. And what was so important about Judge Scheindlin`s
ruling is that she says very clearly that you cannot violate the fourth
amendment by just stopping people for these vague crazy reasons, such as
furtive movements.


ARNWINE: Or saying that you thought that people were in a high crime
area, you know.

All of these really bad reasons that were used, that weren`t based
upon any constitutional principle, a reasonable suspicion. And it was
very, very important that the judge talked about the poor training, the
poor supervision, the poor discipline of police officers and the fact that
they were in fact encourage to engage in these policies of racially
profiling African-Americans and Latinos.

And what is really important is this also ties into attorney general
Holder`s speech yesterday where he is now calling on, you know, these new
policies to stop, you know, charging people for these minor offenses
because what we`re doing is we`re overcrowding our jails. We are feeding
the prison industrial complex, and we are not really stopping crime.


SHARPTON: And we are overcrowding jails with people for minor
offenses while people are that are guilty of other offenses don`t have
mandatory time. So, if they`re so concerned, Congressman, about the people
in Bed-Stuy where I grew up and other places, then why aren`t they
concerned enough to say that a woman that I showed last night shouldn`t be
doing a dozen years for a $30 buy of marijuana and murderers and rapists
don`t have mandatory time. They can`t talk out of both sides of their

MEEKS: Look, you`re absolutely right, Rev. I used to be a
prosecutor. What drove me out of being a prosecutor is when you took away
the discretion of prosecutors as well as judges to make decisions based
upon the facts. And I think what the American people are saying now,
because they see these horrendous kinds of cases where people because of
three strikes and you`re out, or because of the mandatory minimums are
going to jail for a long period of time when they should not have gone for
that period of time.

And so, they want the proper justice for the proper people. And
clearly, it`s gone way aboveboard, and now the American people are starting
to have their voice. Twenty-five percent of the entire prison population
in the world is here in the United States of America.

SHARPTON: Now, Barbara, when you go to Stop and Frisk, the thing that
bothers me, and nobody fights crime more than we have. I have done gun
buybacks with this police commissioner. We have people who stay out on the
streets all weekend in our group, occupying corners. But when you take
good kids and criminalize them, have I two plaintiffs on last night. One
has been stopped over ten times. One five to ten times. The humiliation,
the kind of bitterness you build in good kids should be a consideration of
this mayor.

Watch these kids I had on last night.


coming from 14 years old and being stopped numerous times for no apparent
reason, you know, it`s almost as if kind of social conditioning that Stop
has Frisk has become in our communities, and it`s very damaging.

harming the NYPD`s ability to work with the community to fight crime.

SHARPTON: We didn`t beat the city. We`re trying to beat back
dividing the city.

We are the city. And we got to work with them.


SHARPTON: See, Barbara. I mean, yes, I get it. We got to get the
hardened criminals. But don`t they understand how it tears at our hearts,
kids and young men that are doing the right thing, working, trying to build
a family, that are constantly humiliated? They don`t have the pause even
with this to stop and say wait a minute, we cannot do this to innocent

ARNWINE: Well, it`s what I call, you know, this whole thing about
being, you know, a precarious American where you get de-Americanized by
these policies that suddenly say, you`re Black. So you`re not entitled to,
you know, the full constitutional protections under the 4th and 14th
amendment. I think that`s what is beautiful about what the judge has done
here is that she is focused on the humanity of all people and said that the
constitution applies to all people, that you can`t have these race-based
programs, and you can`t stigmatize people. You can`t limit their ability
to move freely in society to exercise their full rights as Americans just
because of their race, just because you think that they`re a member of a
group that commits a lot of crime.

All of these crazy, you know, what I call self-fulfilling prophesies
that really limit the ability of African-Americans and Latinos to
participate fully in our society. So this is a great ruling. I think it`s
one of the most important rulings in the criminal justice and racial
justice area in years.

SHARPTON: I think it is.

Congressman, I know the CBC, Congressional Black Caucus, and others
will be back, and attorney general in moving forward on these things of
changing. What we`re not trying to do is stop fighting crime. We want to
fight the criminals and not fight those that are innocent.

MEEKS: Absolutely. And there is a whole plan that we have been
working together with. And we are going to be going around the nation with
Congressman Danny Davis and Bobby Rush out of Chicago. They had a meeting
in Chicago already. They are looking to take that from city to city so
that we can address those issues and work with the attorney general to make
sure that the criminal, the real criminal goes behind bars, but those that,
you know, just innocent and have been in there for a long period of time
for nonviolent drug offenses, they should not be there.

SHARPTON: We must all unite against criminals, but we cannot have
innocent young men grow up afraid of the cops and the robbers.
Congressman Meeks and Barbara Arnwine, thank you both for your time.

ARNWINE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, the chaos behind closed doors. How house leaders
don`t want to shut down, but are too chicken to say it.

And Hillary Clinton speaks out on voting rights, as Anthony Weiner
speaks out on her potential 2016 run. Does Hillary have a, Anthony Weiner


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Do you know what her role in Hillary`s
2016 campaign is going to be?



WEINER: I`m not telling you.


SHARPTON: And Bill O`Reilly says food stamps are encouraging
parasites to take as much as they want. I`m bringing out some facts on him
to snack on.

Also, what is on your mind? E-mail me. Friend or foe, I want to
know. "Reply Al" is ahead.


SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? Today our facebook family is talking about the North
Carolina voter suppression law that the governor just signed.

Monea says I think the policies they are trying to enforce are going
to backfire on them.

Richard says sensible-minded people of the United States must stand up
and stop this assault.

You`re right.

And Attorney General Eric Holder is in the news today on voting
rights. More on that coming up later.

But first, we want to hear what you think too. 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: Hey, did you all know today is a holiday? Really. It is.
But it`s not one to celebrate.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today is mock Obama day. We will be mocking Obama
all day today because that`s what we do in America.


SHARPTON: That`s what we don America? No, that`s what some on the
far right do to divide. Mock America day -- mock Obama day became a top
trending term on twitter today. This is the problem facing today`s
Republican Party. It`s not just Glenn Beck. It`s serious, because GOP
leaders are scared to denounce this kind of mentality, and it has a real
effect on policy.

Today, the conservative national review reported top house Republicans
are quietly pushing back against the tea party`s government shutdown plan
over Obamacare. They know it would be political suicide, and is causing
chaos behind closed doors.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who gets blamed? Does anybody think that
Americans are going to escape blamed for our troops not being paid, our
prison guards not being paid, our border patrol not getting paid? Let`s
not kid ourselves. We will be blamed. This is the one strategy, that the
one tactic that might be able to guarantee that the Democrats pick up seats
in the Congress in 2014.


SHARPTON: It`s a party without a plan, without an idea, without a
message. The result is chaos.

Joining me now are Abby Huntsman, co-host of "the Cycle" here on
MSNBC, and Nia-Malika Henderson from "the Washington Post."

Thank you for coming on the show.

to be here.

ABBY HUNTSMAN, MSNBC HOST, THE CYCLE: Thanks very having us.

SHARPTON: Abby, mock Obama day? Maybe it`s a joke to the far right,
but isn`t this the mentality that is hurting the party?

HUNTSMAN: No, you`re absolutely right. And this lack of leadership
goes without even saying. It`s one thing if you want to mock a certain
issue or a policy. If you don`t agree with Obama care, go ahead and write.
That`s what democracy is all about.

This is below that. This is a personal attack. It also sets the tone
for the upcoming generation this name-calling is OK. It is not just name-
calling, but the president of the United States. What happened to
respecting our political leaders? I think that`s gone. And when you have
folks that have a microphone like Glenn Beck, it`s a sad time when you see
him actually promoting this type of language.

SHARPTON: But why aren`t the more stable and the more adult-minded
Republican leaders denouncing this?

HUNTSMAN: I think you are seeing it more and more. And you`re going
to continue to see. You even have Mitt Romney who is the nominee, just
nine months ago recently come out and say look, guys, we need to stop
voting for the umpteenth time to fund Obama care.


HUNTSMAN: Fourth. This is not getting us anywhere. We need to start
putting forward ideas. And I think after this break whenever it does end,
I think you`re going to start seeing some pushback from folks in the party
which ultimately needs to happen.

SHARPTON: You know, Nia-Malika, you have all kind of pundits like
Sean Hannity helping to really drive this shutdown the government fever.
Watch this.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I almost view it as a last stand. I
know there are political calibrations, calculations that some have to make.
I just want -- I want people of principle that aren`t making political
calculations, maybe it hurts in the long run, and if I does, I`m sorry. I
just -- it seems that this is the hill to die on.


SHARPTON: I mean, how much of this is a problem for the leadership
when you have people that can impact their base, they`re saying well, let`s
die on this hill?

HENDERSON: Yes. Well, you have seen from Representative Boehner and
Representative Cantor real closed door heart to heart sessions with the
members of their party who were dead set on shutting down the government,
basically make this argument that it`s not practical. There is no upside
for the Republican party, and they are trying to recalibrate what is a real
push to try to shut down the government. And it looks like there has been
a decision that they`re moving away from that idea and trying to figure out
what is next.

Is it a matter of, you know, the whole idea originally was repeal and
replace. Is it a matter of Republicans coming up with different and better
ideas around health care? Or is it a situation where they slowly try to
chip away at the implementation of Obama care and put hurdles in the way
for the implementation.

But it does look like Boehner is the kind of leader where he lets, you
know, certain members of his party kind of vent. I don`t think he is very
much concerned with what Hannity says or Limbaugh says, but he is certainly
concerned with what the members say. But it looks like they have gotten
all of the fuming off of their chest, and that they`re going in different
directions avoiding a shutdown.

SHARPTON: The members and their constituents, many of them listen to
these talkers. But then you are getting some, like going to your point,
Abby, you have at a town hall Congressman Tom Cole who is a Republican
publicly denounced the shutdown plan.

Watch this.


REP. TOM COLE (R), OKLAHOMA: My instinct is, you won`t win that
fight. It won`t be popular. Never polls popular. And, you know, what do
you tell people you`re inconveniencing? Most of the people you know, that
argue this standpoint are not thinking why would you shut down the national
weather center that just saved a whole lot of lives in central Oklahoma by
giving 16 minutes of warning instead of two? Why would you put 15,000
families -- that`s families, out of work at Tinker Air Force Base? They`re
performing important national events.


SHARPTON: I mean, can this kind of talk put the tea party monster
away, political monster?

HUNTSMAN: I think Malika is exactly right when she says more than
anything this is a venting session from many of the Republicans that are
talking about shutting down the government, because ultimately it is a
disaster. And if you were to ask them, if you were to pin many of the
folks down there promoting this idea of shutting down the government, they
would probably also tell you that this is a disaster.

It is political talking points for them. It`s theatrics. But
ultimately, it hurts them politically, because they at the end of the day
they don`t have a lot of political leverage left to stand on. So, I think
you have Republicans out there saying hey, guys, let`s use the debt
ceiling. Let`s come to the table. Let`s start putting forth ideas so we
can win on something else.

SHARPTON: Talking about splits in the Republican party, you know,
Nia-Malika, the queen of the tea party crowd, Sarah Palin, is attacking
Chris Christie. I mean, such division. I just get excited. Let me show


people look at him as oh, man, he is a governor who goes rogue. No, you
know, he`s got a shtick going there where he`s got a You Tube videographer
following him around in these setup situations sometimes so he can be seen
as perhaps a little bit avant-garde and going rogues on things. But no,
Chris Christie is for government and his record proves that.


SHARPTON: I mean, you couldn`t make this up. So now, you have Palin,
the queen of the tea party going after Christie, probably the most viable
at this point in the polls to give a big -- at least a respected
presidential run against the democrat in 2016.

HENDERSON: Yes, that`s right. I think he is certainly the Republican
that Democrats are most afraid of come 2016. In Palin`s words there, we
get a preview of 2016. Should Rand Paul decide to run, he is considering a
run. Should Chris Christie decide to run? Ted Cruz, you are going to very
much see that split. And it will be played out I think very, very early in
that Iowa contest, in Iowa caucuses, because those are folks who are very
much tea party, very much evangelicals. So Chris Christie, I think the
interesting thing will be to see what Chris Christie does to mollify the
sort of right side of his party, the far right side of his party.

HUNTSMAN: I don`t think he`ll speak to Sarah Palin. I think if
anything this really hurts Rand Paul, because what he does need to
establish is some sort of credibility among the establishment of the party,
and just among general voters to prove that he has what it takes to
actually be someone who is taken seriously in 2016.

HENDERSON: Yes, but I think in those primaries, it is tea party types
that really show up. And that`s the energy of the party. You saw Mitt
Romney tangling with those real fired up primary voters.

SHARPTON: And Palin can energize those tea parties.

HENDERSON: Yes, definitely.

SHARPTON: And get them all fired up.

HENDERSON: Definitely.

SHARPTON: And that will end up giving you a marginal candidate on the
Republican side.

HUNTSMAN: You know, I love this idea, though, that Chris Christie is
this bigger government guy. Because if you look at the states that have
actually taken federal aid versus what they have given to the federal
government, Kentucky is very high on that list. New jersey is at the very
bottom of that list.

HENDERSON: Yes. Chris Christie made that very point in his fight
with Rand Paul and Rand Paul slapped him back and called him the king of

SHARPTON: We need them to keep it going. You know Sarah Palin, tell
her to call me. She can come on any time.

HUNTSMAN: I will do my best, Reverend, I will do my best.

SHARPTON: Abby Huntsman, Nia-Malika Henderson, thank you for your
time tonight.

HENDERSON: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Be sure to catch Abby on "the cycle" at 3:00 p.m. eastern
right here on MSNBC.

Coming up, Anthony Weiner is talking about Hillary Clinton`s 2016
campaign, one little problem. She hasn`t announced anything.

But first, Bill O`Reilly`s ugly war on food stamps. Why he says the
Obama administration is encouraging parasites to come out. He will chew on
some of the fax. Next.


SHARPTON: Bill O`Reilly has gone back to one of his favorite talking
points, attacking the poor. Here is his latest rant about people on food


BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: The Obama administration is encouraging
parasites to come out and, you know, take as much as they can with no
remorse. And this is how a country declines. This is how we become a weak


SHARPTON: Parasites. The poor are parasites. We`ve heard these
kinds of attacks before, welfare queen, the 47 percent, makers versus
takers. FOX News is peddling this garbage in a new one-hour documentary
called the great food stamp binge, featuring some of the right`s favorite
myths about the poor.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The government has reached in to American
neighborhoods and says, it`s OK to be dependent.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Shouldn`t there be at least some stigma?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: When the safety net becomes a hammock.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The reality is that American poor people are not
malnourished. They in fact eat too much food.


SHARPTON: The poor eat too much food? That`s ridiculous. And
offensive. The average food stamp benefit is just $4.50 cents a day, just
1.50 per meal. Is that too much food? Maybe these right wingers think the
poor don`t deserve $1.50 a meal. FOX News has it all wrong. But here are
some facts. Seventy six percent of households receiving food stamps
include children, seniors, and disabled people. Thirty five percent are
white. Twenty three percent are black, and 15 percent are Hispanic.

These people aren`t parasites. They`re Americans trying to feed their
families and make ends meet. Did O`Reilly and the gang at FOX think we
would ignore their poor logic? Nice try, but we got you.


SHARPTON: Will she or won`t she? It`s the question everyone is
asking about a possible Hillary Clinton 2016 run. She is leaving the Obama
administration. Hillary Clinton`s been quiet about her future ever since,
but she stepped up her public appearances, taking a bigger role in the
Clinton foundation. And last night she strongly condemned voter
suppression laws.


sweeping effort across our country to obstruct new obstacles to voting.
Often undercover of addressing a phantom epidemic of election fraud. Now
not every obstacle is related to race, but anyone who says that racial
discrimination is no longer a problem in American elections must not be
paying attention.


SHARPTON: So she certainly looks and sounds like someone ready to
run, but she hasn`t revealed her future plans. Enter Anthony Weiner, the
scandal-plagued candidate for New York City mayor is married to one of
Clinton`s closest aides, Huma Abedin is considered like a daughter to the
Clintons. Bill Clinton officiated their wedding. But I doubt Mrs. Clinton
wants Anthony Weiner making news about her 2016 plans. Like he did last


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Do you know what her role in Hillary`s 2016
campaign is going to be?


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What will it be?

WEINER: I`m not telling you.


SHARPTON: The primary in the mayor`s race is less than a month away.
But I can`t help to believe that Mrs. Clinton wants it over even sooner.

Joining me now are Maria Teresa Kumar and Jonathan Capehart. Thank
you both for being here tonight.



SHARPTON: Now Anthony Weiner denied today that he was confirming Mrs.
Clinton`s 2016 run. But Jonathan, do you think he broke news?

CAPEHART: Well, to my ear, it certainly sounded like he broke news.
The question from what sounded like Ben Smith of Buzz Feed was very clear.
Do you know your wife`s role in Hillary`s 2016 campaign? There is only one
campaign we`re talking about. There is only one presidential election that
is coming up. And Anthony Weiner definitively said yes, and then refused
to say what that role would be. So, I think by technical standards --

SHARPTON: By saying yes it`s like confirming there is in fact a

CAPEHART: Well, that what it sounded like to me. But, you know, I
haven`t heard anything from the Clinton camp whether they even regard
Anthony Weiner or anything that he says particularly when it comes to her,
whether they take any of that seriously.

SHARPTON: Now the political reporter last month that the Clinton camp
says, they`re done with him, and in fact they`re not involved with this
campaign at all, do you think this even further causes tension, Jonathan?

CAPEHART: Absolutely. Look. I think they would love, one, for
September 10th, the date of the primary to come sooner rather than later.
They wish he wasn`t even in the race, because he`s a distraction.
Remember, senator -- former Secretary Clinton, you know, she has left the
administration. She is working on a book. As we know now, she is giving
speeches around the country. All part of a plan of some sort, certainly,
for her reemergence on the public stage. But if and when she decides to
run for president in 2016, having Anthony Weiner as part of the baggage
that she is going to have to deal with is just I think one bag too many.

SHARPTON: Now, talking about she is giving speeches. Maria Teresa,
she spoke last night, and she addressed specific voter suppression issues.
Take a listen.


CLINTON: Legislators in North Carolina have pushed through a bill
that reads like the greatest hits of voter suppression. The Attorney
General of South Carolina justified a harsh new voter ID law by declaring
that and I quote, "We know for a fact that the identities of many dead
people have been used for fraudulent voting." A claim soundly rejected by
a subsequent state investigation. Florida is restarting a purge of the
voter roles that even with better lists is likely to disproportionately
affect minority voters and bring back memories of the 2000 election.


SHARPTON: I mean, weighing in on North Carolina, South Carolina,
Florida, I mean, Maria Teresa, does this sound like someone gearing up for
a campaign?

KUMAR: This is someone who knows that every single state is going to
be a close one, and those demographics that she is talking about are
basically highly contested states, and the voter suppression laws there are
very real. And it directly impacts her base. African-Americans,
millennials, women. Do you know, Reverend, and I`m sure you do, 34 percent
of all eligible voting women don`t have the right legal certification,
don`t have the right legal names, documents showing their real late names.

So, even her fundamental base is in danger. And when you`re looking
at voter purging, when you`re looking at North Carolina law, these sweeping
laws are going to affect whether or not she can turn out her base which is
the new merging --

SHARPTON: Thirty four percent of women don`t have what?

KUMAR: Don`t have the proper identification that bears their legal
name. And that could be because they have divorce and had to change their
legal documentation or they got married and haven`t changed their

SHARPTON: Which means that voter ID would eliminate many if not all
of those voters if it was --

KUMAR: Hillary voters.

SHARPTON: Particular states.

KUMAR: Exactly. Hillary voters.


KUMAR: So, it`s a big deal.

SHARPTON: Now, Jonathan, looking at let`s say for the sake of this
discussion, that Mrs. Clinton is going to run. For example, a recent poll
found 77 percent of New York Democrats have an unfavorable view of Weiner,
77 percent. How far away from Weiner do you think the Clintons want to
stay if they`re getting ready to run again?

CAPEHART: About a thousand miles. Maybe a few light years. Look, I
think by the time 2016 comes and by the time Hillary Clinton decides
whether she is going to jump in the race, Anthony Weiner will have long
been in the rear view mirror. Certainly New York political history, but
also on the political landscape, he`ll be that nettling nuisance that
she`ll have to answer, because of the fact that Weiner is married to
someone very -- to someone very close to her. But you know, you said
something -- I think it was you, Rev, who said something at the beginning
of the segment after showing the clip of Secretary Clinton speaking at the
ABA yesterday. You know, you ask is this the speech of a potential
candidate for president?


CAPEHART: And I take it a step further. You know, what Hillary
Clinton is doing is she is speaking as a leader. Whether Hillary Clinton
runs for president or not in 2016, the ground that she is taking right now
is that of a leader, of someone who knows her place in her party and in
American political history.

SHARPTON: She is addressing an important issue. But I have to say
this, Maria Teresa, and I`m out of time. But we can`t just talk about
Hillary because it has been reported by "The New York Times" that Vice
President Joe Biden is going to be the keynote speaker at a big Iowa
fundraiser next month. So it`s a lot of 2016 possibilities going around.

KUMAR: Possibilities. I mean, wouldn`t you have wanted to be in that
conversation with Hillary and Biden with that breakfast that they two weeks
ago? What was that about? Clearly she probably nodded to him saying I`m
rung. He`s like, I might be too. So, it will be interesting. He is
definitely putting out feelers.

SHARPTON: Well, Maria Teresa Kumar and Jonathan Capehart, thank you
both for your time tonight.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Rev.

KUMAR: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: President Obama talks about the digital divide of growing
inequality and access to information. We`ll look at how some are making
the internet available to everyone.


SHARPTON: Up next, there is a major divide in this country that
affects everything from education to jobs. But there is something we can
do about it. I`ll explain, next.



PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: In country where we expect
free Wifi with our coffee, why shouldn`t we have it in our schools, right?


These are the tools that our children deserve. There is no reason why
we can`t do all this.


SHARPTON: As Americans, we`ve come to expect internet access wherever
we go. It`s become an absolutely vital tool, not just for our kids, but
for everyone. Yet despite this access isn`t available to everyone, and the
gap is striking. Nationwide, only 40 percent of households below the
poverty line have broad band access at home. Compare that to 93 percent of
households with incomes above $75,000 a year that have access to the web.
Now why does that matter? Because that gap extends further than just the
internet. It`s often the difference in finding a job, excelling in school,
even just getting by in day to day life.

Joining me now is David Cohen, executive vice president of Comcast,
the nation`s largest internet provider to residential customers, and
Congressman Chaka Fattah, democrat from Pennsylvania. He has been a leader
in the fight to expand internet access since before Facebook and twitter
even existed. Thank you both for coming on the show tonight.

DAVID COHEN, EXECUTIVE VP, COMCAST: Thank you, Reverend. Good to be
with you.

SHARPTON: David, let me go to you first. I know you well.
Obviously, Comcast is the parent company of MSNBC. But I wanted to talk to
you about what we`ve talked about in private, because it really bothers me
that in many communities that we`re telling kids to get an education, that
we`re telling people to access the things that will help them. They are
not getting internet access. What is Comcast doing about it?

COHEN: Well, first of all, the statistic you gave is absolutely
right. I`ll give you another one which you can add to your panoply, which
is that more than 70 percent of white households in America have internet
access at home, and fewer than 50 percent of African-American households
have access to the internet at home.


COHEN: So this is not only this digital divide is not only income-
based, it is also race-based. And, you know, for America, which is the
richest nation on earth, the most technologically advanced nation on earth,
the most powerful nation on earth, tolerating that type of a digital divide
should be unacceptable to everyone in this country. What we`re doing at
Comcast about it is a program called internet essentials. You and I have
talked about it before. Congressman Fattah is well aware of the program.

He has been a staunch supporter in Washington and in Philadelphia.
And what we`re doing is very simple. If you have a child living in your
household who is eligible to participate in the national school lunch
program, you can participate in this program, and you get internet access
for $9.95 a month. You get the option to buy a fully internet capable
computer subsidized by Comcast at less than $150.

And you get access to a full suite of digital literacy materials in
print, online, and in person. And we have trained in the first 22 months
of this program over 20,000 people, students, kids, and their parents and
families into how to use the internet and what the internet is useful for.

SHARPTON: Now Congressman, this class and race divide is something
that you and I are very concerned about. We cannot tell people they can
make it if we cannot democratize internet access, congressman.

REP. CHAKA FATTAH (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, you know, we had a web-
based education commission that I helped lead in the Congress with Senator
Kerry. And this digital divide really prohibits our young people from
being able to take advantage of all of the thousands of courses now being
offered online for free by our greatest universities. They can`t go after
that. There are jobs that only accept applications online. So internet is

And I was there when that was announced in a great community center in
North Philadelphia, the Comcast center, and now it`s in its second year.
It`s almost reached a million people, 900,000. But there is more to be
done. And I think that the deal here is for a price that is less than what
you might spend at McDonald`s for a meal, you can have internet access.
That`s the real point. And as we see other companies think about what do
about expanding access across the globe, you know, what this is focusing
on is right here in America.

SHARPTON: Well, cost is a big factor. Cost is a big factor.

FATTAH: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: But David, lots of reporting has been done on the digital
divide. But in addition to costs, people also feel as if the internet is a
completely different language. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Mary Campbell admits --

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: It`s a language I don`t know.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Technology has passed her by.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The people without internet either can`t afford
it or don`t know how to use it.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Not everyone grew up with computers. Not everyone
had computers in their households. And a lot of people have worked 20
years at a career and not had to use a computer in their daily activity.


SHARPTON: How do we deal with that, David?

COHEN: Right. Well, Reverend, it`s interesting. The research shows
that the number one barrier to broad band adoption is a whole bucket of
digital literacy-related issues. People don`t know what the internet is.
They don`t know how to use it. They don`t know the value of it. They
don`t appreciate the importance of it in the ways in which you have talked
about. And that`s why the digital literacy program that I outlined is such
an important part of this. But even more importantly, because we`re
reaching today on your program more people than we would have reached
through that digital literacy training, we need the help of the media and
elected officials and nonprofit organizations to bring the message of the
importance of the internet home.

And I want to underscore something. I mean, yes we focus this program
on the national school lunch program. As the Congress said, we`re
announcing today that we have now connected over 900,000 low-income
Americans to the internet. That`s equivalent to the entire population of
cities like -- of cities like Jacksonville, Florida, and San Francisco,
California. And we`re doing that to not only to equalize educational
opportunity, but also to equalize vocational opportunity, access to health
care, access to news and information. Eighty percent of the fortune 500
companies today only accept job applications online.

SHARPTON: Eighty percent. So meaning you can`t apply to those
companies unless you have access to the internet?

COHEN: You`ve got it. How about that for a barrier, a barrier to
employment, completely inadvertent, but also completely solvable as a
result of this program.

SHARPTON: David Cohen and Congressman Chaka Fattah, thank you both
for your time. And we`re going to monitor this program as it develops.

FATTAH: And Reverend, go on line and sign for health care too.
Thanks a lot.

SHARPTON: That`s true. That`s true. Thank you both for your time.

COHEN: Reverend, thanks for having us.

SHARPTON: Friend or foe, I want to know. "Reply Al" is coming. And
we`re talking about Eric Holder`s next move. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: It`s time for "Reply Al." Remember, friend or foe, I want
to know.

Pam says, "North Carolina is being destroyed by this North Carolina
general assembly. We`ve got to vote all these Republicans out."

Thanks for the e-mail, Pam. The best thing you can do to change the
radical voter ID law just signed is to fight it. Today Senator Hagan from
North Carolina called on Attorney General Eric Holder to review the voting
law. Don`t forget, the day the Supreme Court turned and said that section
four was unconstitutional, that day Texas changed the laws and the Attorney
General says we`re going in to Texas. We should say we join Hagan. We
want you, Mr. Holder, to go into North Carolina.

Jerry writes, "Why haven`t you mentioned anything about the three
blacks that beat a 13-year-old on a school bus? Just wondering."

Well, thanks for the question, Jerry. What Jerry is asking about is
this scene. Three teenagers beat up a sixth grader on the bus last month.
The boy was kicked and stomped about 23 times, suffered two black eyes,
bruising, and a broken hand. These three teens were arrested and appeared
in court today. Now I`ve heard had some tweets on this, and I heard some
folks at FOX saying, why hasn`t Sharpton gone down there and marched?

Because this young man was viciously beaten, it was wrong, but the
assailants were arrested. The reason I went to Sanford, Florida, was they
did not arrest George Zimmerman. The reason I went to Jena, Louisiana,
they didn`t arrest the people. You fight an injustice when the system
doesn`t work. The system worked here. These boys should face the law, but
so should others. And you can`t fight an injustice if the system is
working. Why would I think you guys know anything about fighting

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


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