Skip navigation

PoliticsNation, Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Read the transcript from the Tuesday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed

POLITICS NATION
August 20, 2013

Guests: Ilyse Hogue, Cynthia Tucker, Ryan Grim, Goldie Taylor, Victoria DeFrancesco Soto

AL SHARPTON, HOST, "POLITICS NATION": Thanks, Chris. And thanks to
you for tuning in.

Tonight`s "Lead," Republicans are masters of delusion. This summer
the GOP planned to storm the country, rally the base, whip the country into
a frenzy to support repealing the health care law.

Well, so much for that. The party has gotten so deluded that some are
suggesting the president, President Obama, will defund health care himself.
Just listen to former Senator Jim DeMint at a town hall yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator DeMint, what`s the point of voting to
defund Obamacare when we know that President Obama won`t sign it?

JIM DEMINT, FORMER SENATOR:: Well, we don`t know that, do we?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We don`t know? We don`t know if the president will de-fund
his signature achievement? We also don`t know if he`s having Donald Trump
and Rush Limbaugh over for potluck dinner tonight. We just don`t know
that, do we?

Meanwhile, over at FOX News, folks are absolutely giddy over what
they`re sure is the imminent demise of health care.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Quarter past the hour. Great to be with you.
President Obama`s health care law, running into more trouble by the day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A new controversy surrounding Obamacare ahead of
the massive health care overhaul law.

STATE SEN. TIM SCOTT (R), NORTH CAROLINA: I think this is one of the
obvious signs that Obamacare is doomed to fail.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Doomed to fail. Huh? Here are the facts. The federal
government originally estimated that seven million people would sign up for
insurance exchanges all across the country. But a new study shows that
actually, 8.5 million people plan to sign up. And that`s from just 19
states. It is working. And now three more key red states are closer to
signing on to a key provision of the law. And as for all those GOP town
halls, you know the ones where the crowds were supposed to be chanting kill
the bill, kill the bill? Let`s just say they have gone a little off
script.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would you oppose the ACA at every turn, it was
passed by the congress, passed by the Senate, signed by the president of
the United States, upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States and
reaffirmed by the re-election of the president of the United States who won
your district. Why would you oppose something that is helping you now, it
will bend the cost curve in the future. Why? Why, congressman, why?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Why, congressman, why? The law is working. It will help
millions of Americans. That`s why this seems a little farfetched.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Senator DeMint, what`s the point of voting to
defund Obamacare when we know that President Obama won`t sign it.

DEMINT: We don`t know that, do we?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: You might not know but the rest of us do.

Joining me now, Richard Wolffe and Nia-Malika Henderson. Thank you
both for coming on the show tonight.

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Thanks, Rev.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Great
to be with you.

SHARPTON: Richard, let me start with you. Are Republicans living in
a fantasy land? I mean, do they actually think the president will kill the
signature achievement of his presidency?

WOLFFE: No. They don`t. And they also understand very well that
when this goes into full effect, it is going to be impossible to roll it
back because there are just too many popular provisions.

Now, they may also think genuinely that this is going to crush the
entire budget position of the United States. But they know that this kind
of thing, these, what they call entitlements, what the rest of us think of
as a basic human right. Those things are actually popular and it is very
hard to pull them back after they come in. And that`s exactly why they
have tried so hard to stop it from going into effect. They also know that
this has failed at this point. They don`t have another script. There is
no other play book for trying to whip people up. And what we saw with the
recovery act, we saw with the stimulus is that they`re very happy to take
the dollars but pretend like they`ve opposed it. So this kind of double
face game that they have been playing on the stimulus, they`ll do it again
on health care for sure.

SHARPTON: But Nia-Malika, you know, former Senator Jim DeMint told
NPR that those Republicans that refuse to stand up to the president on
health care need to be replaced. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEMINT: I`m not as interested in the political futures of folks who
think they might lose a showdown with the president.

I think he knows that Republicans are afraid and if they are, they
need to be replaced.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So are right wingers now looking to repeal and replace
Republicans?

HENDERSON: Well, it certainly could be the scenario. I think one of
the things you have seen so far this summer was that there was a real fear
of town halls. There is only weren`t as many town halls as there were in
2009, around health care and you had the feeling this time, either
Republicans were afraid of the sort of back and forth that you showed
before with people saying that they wanted Obamacare or they were afraid
that they have to figure out a position in terms of whether or not they
were going to try to defund it.

I think the conventional wisdom in the Senate where Jim DeMint used to
be has been that this is a real political loser. That you know, sort of
threatening to shut down the government isn`t the right way to go. You had
folks like Newt Gingrich, for instance, say even this talk of defunding
isn`t smart. He led through it in 1984. And that Republicans would be in
a better position if they had solutions themselves to Obamacare and the
implementation. And you see that from some of the Republican governors,
folks like Rick Snyder in Michigan, folks like Corbett in Pennsylvania say,
you know, trying to figure out whether or not they are going to take
Medicaid money. And if they do, whether or not they want to see some
tweaks and most of them do.

So, I think you`re having a real situation where this grand plan, and
it was really from a very small caucus in the Republicans to defund
Obamacare and tie it to the budget negotiations. It just hasn`t worked.

SHARPTON: And then, something elsewhere you`re seeing a little
tension in the Republican caucus, or inside the Republican circles. More
and more, Richard, Republicans are coming out against shutting down the
government over health care.

Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shutting down a government is a suicidal political
tactic.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t look at that as very courageous. Most of
us see through it and realize that these people are really just taking
themselves out of the debate. I think it is a silly effort.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it is the dumbest idea I`ve ever heard of.
As long as Barack Obama is president, the affordable care act is going to
be law.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let`s not kid ourselves. We`ll be blamed. This
is the one strategy, the one tactic that might be able to guarantee that
the Democrats pick up seats in the Congress in 2014.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So clearly, there is no unity among those far right wingers
to get the whole party to go behind this. Let`s shut the government down
to defund Obamacare, Richard.

WOLFFE: There is unity but none of them were members of the house
Republican leadership. And that is where you want to see the grownups and
the sanity come in for effect here. We can enjoy the show but actually,
the show last time was deeply damaging. Standard and Poor`s downgraded
American credit because politicians, elected officials were prepared to
deal and seriously consider the idea of default.

So, we want to see those voices come out before we all say, hey, you
know, when Republicans have seen the light on this one. Just remember,
just to pick of Nia`s point, the Republican version of health care reform
is Obamacare. The Obamacare was the Republican idea that came out of
Hillary care, out of the Clinton efforts. It is Romney care. This is the
Republican play book. That`s why they are struggling here to come up with
an alternative. Because this is the market based approach to health care
reform. The only other option is this crazy talk of shutting down the
government or default all over again.

SHARPTON: Well, they have other crazy talk, Nia-Malika. Because Karl
Rove`s crossroads GPS, has launched a new ad making the bizarre claim,
listen to this, that because Obamacare protects 30 hour a week workers, it
is destroying jobs. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 40-hour workweek has always been the life
blood of the American middle class. The dignity of a full-time job that
puts food on the table and pays the bills. But now our jobs and wages are
threatened because Obamacare redefined a full time job as just 30 hours per
week.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, that`s a little out there, Nia-Malika.

HENDERSON: Well, I think you have seen some movement in terms of jobs
and hourly wages, in terms of how many hours employees g because of
Obamacare. You do have employers cutting hours so that they don`t have to
be included under the Obamacare laws. But I think the option there is that
those folks who might have to cut back on their hours, according to
employers, they can get health care. And some of these states, like
California, for instance, this health care could be five, $10 a month. All
of this is being worked out at the state level.

I think actually this argument about health care and tying it to the
economy is probably a better argument than this idea that somehow the
government is forcing people to pay. Because of, you know, at the heart of
this, as Richard said, is this idea about personal responsibility, right?
I think if you look at all of the analysis of it. I mean, eventually, this
sort of makes sense in terms of the economy and lowering the amount people
have to pay should they get sick and it starts to, you know, affect the way
people, you know, approach health care and participate in the system.

SHARPTON: But Richard, bottom line is, when health care goes into
full effect and starts working, then what will the Republicans do?

WOLFFE: Right.

You know, there is no end game if you follow through with this
crossroads ad. What Republicans should be doing is going into this
legislation, because it is flawed. It has things that are wrong in it.
They should go in and fix it. And they cannot fix it because they cannot
have a normal rational conversation about it because apparently it drives
them crazy.

HENDERSON: I think that`s the question. Whether or not that happens.
Whether or not we`ll see that in the fall. Will Republican conservatives
coming to, you know, the table and figuring out how to fix some of these
flaws in health care.

SHARPTON: We`ll see or we won`t see.

Richard Wolffe and Nia Malika Henderson. Thank you for your time this
evening.

HENDERSON: Thank you.

WOLFFE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, an offensive new comment on a man who gutted the
voting rights act and tried to kill Obamacare. Supreme court Justice
Scalia, I`ll respond tonight.

Plus, Ted Cruz. Canadian by birth, extremist by choice. He is
renouncing his Canadian citizenship and exposing the GOP address hi
hypocrisy.

And we will introduce you to the newest member of the first family. I
guess the president changed his mind on this. Remember what he said on
election night?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Sasha and Malia, I`m so
proud of you guys but I will say that for now, one dog is probably enough.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Also, what`s on your mine? E-mail me. Friend or foe, I
want to know. "Reply Al" is ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Today, our fans had a lot to say about Republican governor Paul LePage
from Maine who reportedly said that President Obama hates white people. At
a fund-raiser last week, he said this. Allegedly. Today LePage is denying
that he said that even though two Republican lawmakers confirmed it to a
local paper.

Anita said, actually I`m glad guys like him say things like that.
Help shine the light on their motives, their arcane thinking and just how
poorly informed and out of touch they really are.

And Dan says, of course, he has the right to his opinion. But it
doesn`t may not that his opinion is right.

We want to hear what you think about this one too. Please head over
to facebook and search "Politics Nation" and like us to join the
conversation that keeps going long after the show end.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: One year ago this week, an obscure Republican congressman,
named Todd Akin introduced the phrase legitimate rape into the national
conversation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. TODD AKIN (R), MISSOURI: It seems to me, first of all, from what
I understand from doctors, that`s really rare. If it is a legitimate rape,
the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The comment, legitimate rape, exposed the right wing`s
extreme views on women`s rights. And ended Mr. Akin`s career. But somehow
Republicans just could help themselves. They kept weighing in on this
topic.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think even when life begins in that horrible
situation of rape, that it is something that god intended to happen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: God intended it to happen. Comments like that crushed
Republicans in 2012. The RNC`s autopsy of the loss said Republicans
shouldn`t start using language that address as concerns that are on women`s
minds in order to let them know we are fighting for them.

So how has that been working out for them? Take a look at what
Republicans have been saying in the months since.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: We don`t want a
country where abortion is simply outlawed. We want a country where it
isn`t even considered.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did America get so mediocre?

GOV. PHIL BRYANT (R), MISSISSIPPI: You know, I think parents, both
parents started working. And the mom is in the workplace.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Equity laws to ensure that women are treated
fairly in the workplace.

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: I think more important than
that, it is making certain that women are recognized by those companies.
That is what women want. They don`t want the decisions made in Washington.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Actually, I think women are fine with decisions made in
Washington if those decisions protect their rights. One year after the
legitimate uranium debacle, Republicans are still a party without a clue.

Joining me now, Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Thanks for being here, Elise.

ILYSE HOGUE, PRESIDENT, NARAL PRO-CHOICE AMERICA: Thank you for
having me, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Has the right learned anything since Todd Akin crashed and
burned last year?

HOGUE: I mean, I think the evidence is clear that they have not.
This is such a problem for the party that they sent their house GOP members
to a training about not talking about rape. And yet what we`re saying is
the problem is not in what they say, it is in what they believe. And that
has had disastrous effects at the state legislature this year. Seventy
percent of abortion restrictions passed this year have no exemption for
rape. Think about that.

You`ve got a woman in the most vulnerable point in her entire life.
She`s just experienced the unimaginable. And she has got men telling her
what she can and cannot could as she moves forward through this trauma. It
is unconscionable and it is not in line with where most of the country is.
Most of the country overwhelmingly supports exceptions for rape, regardless
of where they stand on the abortion issue itself.

SHARPTON: You know, new abortion restrictions enacted this year heard
victims of sexual assault. The vast majority, 71 percent of new abortion
restrictions enacted in the first half of 2013, don`t include an kind of
exception for pregnancy that`s result from rape. These restrictions force
a woman who has been raped to carry a rapist` baby to term, be denied
insurance coverage for an abortion, be forced to undergo an invasive
ultrasound, and even listen to the fetal heartbeat. How is this any
different from Todd Akin`s dismissive comments last year, Ilyse?

HOGUE: Well, we`re not. What we are seeing this is a pervasive
disease throughout the party. And instead of trying to rout it out and
absolutely understand what women need in terms of policy that support us,
not just these horrible times, but what about when we want to become
parents. The party is not there for us either.

There is no real equal pay. There is no paid sick days to take care
of our children. So you know, this going to be, it is a problem for them.
It has been a problem for them. We`re seeing it in the diving poll numbers
of Senator McCrory in North Carolina because of the restrictive bill he
just signed on abortion. And I think it will continue to hound them until
they understand, this isn`t about window dressing. It is actually about
substantively meeting women where we need to be met in today`s America.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, let me take out a little journey on my map
on what the right wingers are doing on women`s health rights. Some of the
laws attacking women health rights in 2013.

Virginia, it requires abortion clinics meet strict hospital building
codes. Alabama requires admitting privileges for doctors. Arkansas, 12-
week abortion ban. North Dakota, six-week abortion ban, strictest on the
nation, by the way. Kansas has a person hood bill that would criminalize
abortion, stem cell research, and even certain forms of contraception.
Republicans claim there is no war on women but GOP lawmakers are trying to
roll back abortion rights all over the country, Ilyse.

HOGUE: Absolutely. We`re seeing an unprecedented assault at the
state level. This is where they think they can chip away at the rights.
But it is important, Reverend Al, that your viewers understand, that we
just fought hard and won for the rape exception for service women had a
have been experiencing terrible sexual assault in the military. And this
is a rate that peace corps volunteers don`t even enjoy now.

So, the rights assaults on women at the state level has terrible
effects, agency it resonates up the food chain. And we`ve got to make sure
that our entire elected officials understand that we are women who should
be trusted to make our own decisions with our families, our doctors and our
Gods. That is not to be legislated by some politician who is currying
favor with an extreme base.

SHARPTON: Ilyse Hogue, thank you so much for your time tonight.

HOGUE: Thank you, reverend.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, Justice Scalia`s offensive comments about
inventing minorities. It says a lot about him and about the right wing`s
dead end mind set.

Plus, Ted Cruz wants to renounce his Canadian citizenship. I say what
is the big hurry? They might love you up north. Think it over. Stay with
us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Tea party darling, Ted Cruz, just hit a speed bump on his
road to renouncing his Canadian citizenship. Turns out the whole process
could take up to eight months and it means, we`ll hear a whole lot more of
the GOP birthers exposing the hypocrisy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ted that Cruz, born in Canada. Is he eligible to
the president of the United States?

DONALD TRUMP, CHAIRMAN, CEO, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: If he was born in
Canada, perhaps not. But I`m not sure where he was born.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was definitely born in Canada.

TRUMP: Ok. Well, then you will have to ask him that question, but
perhaps not.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ted Cruz`s mother was an American citizen. He was
an American.

TRUMP: It will be ironed out. I don`t know the circumstances. I
heard somebody told me he was born in Canada. That`s really his thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Ted Cruz, Canada, and the right wing`s birther hypocrisy.
That`s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: An offensive new attack on minority rights from the man who
gutted the voting rights act and tried to strike down Obamacare. Supreme
Court Justice Antonin Scalia condemned the court`s ruling that favored same
sex marriage saying, quote, "It is not up to the courts to invent new
minorities that get special protections."

Invent new minorities? It`s unbelievable. Gay people didn`t suddenly
pop into existence when President Obama took office. He didn`t just wave
his magic minority wand and decide to create a new group for right wingers
for attack this kind of talk in an assault on all minorities. It is the
same logic that leads Scalia to dismiss voting rights as a racial
entitlement.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTONIN SCALIA, SUPREME COURT JUSTICE: Whenever is deciding, adopts
racial entitlements, it is very difficult to get out of them through normal
political processes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Racial entitlements. Special protections. Special
treatment. Inventing minorities. This is the warped view of a Supreme
Court justice of the United States. And far too many politicians and
pundits on the right.

Joining me now, Cynthia Tucker and Ryan Grim. Thank you both for
coming on the show tonight.

RYAN GRIM, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you.

CYNTHIA TUCKER, CYNTHIA TUCKER, THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION:
Good to be here, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Cynthia, Justice Scalia isn`t just one more right wing
popping off. He is on the Supreme Court. Isn`t he supposed to be above
this kind of talk?

TUCKER: I certainly thought so, Rev. You know, as much nonsense as
we hear from a lot of republican politicians in Congress, I find it far
more disturbing when it comes from a member of the Supreme Court. He is
trusted with interpreting what is our most sacred civic document. The U.S.
constitution. It is a document admired the world over because it enshrines
protections for all Americans regardless of race or creed or color or
religion. And, you know, Supreme Court justices have always been
political.

SHARPTON: Yes.

TUCKER: But it used to be that they tried not to be so overtly
political. It used to be that they tried not to let their biases show in
public. But Scalia lets it all hang out there and I find it very
disturbing.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, Ryan, when did equal rights get to be a
special protection?

GRIM: When Scalia was opposed to those particular rights, you know,
that`s exactly when Scalia pretends to be this pure jurist who has this
originalist theory and he is going to apply his judicial theory to the law
as it comes forward. But that`s not at all what he does. He is a pure
partisan political operator. And he will shift his supposed philosophy to
fit whatever outcome he wants. The clip you played is perfect. Where he
said the normal political process won`t get rid of the voting rights act.
He said it. He said it is too popular so Congress will never get rid of
it. He said it in open argument. Therefore, the Supreme Court had to act.
All the rest of the time, he says, oh, Congress has to act if they want to
protect gays, they have to act. If they want to protect African-Americans,
Congress has to act.

SHARPTON: Send them back to Congress.

GRIM: Right. But when Congress is doing the opposite of what he
wants, well, then, Scalia is going to act.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, talking about voting rights, and minority
voting rights, Cynthia, the head of the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh
says, it is absurd to think minority voting rights are being threatened.
Listen to him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The idea here that there is
still some effort out there to deny minorities the right to vote. If
anything there is an effort to count their votes more than once. If
anything there is an effort to get people not even qualified to vote, to
vote. The idea that there is an effort to squash minority voting is
absurd. It is just the exact opposite. Everybody is pandering to them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So Rush thinks it is pandering to protect voting rights for
minorities, Cynthia.

TUCKER: To even allow black and brown people to vote, apparently,
seems to offend his sensibilities. Look, you know, it is absolutely clear
that the Republicans have waged an all-out war on the voting rights of
black and brown people. Even some of their politicians and strategists are
now admitting that`s what all of these voter ID laws are about.

SHARPTON: Right.

TUCKER: That is what shortening voting, the days you can vote is all
about will.

GRIM: Yes. Early voting.

TUCKER: One of the republican politicians in Pennsylvania admitted to
a group that the voter ID law that they passed there, he hoped was going to
allow Mitt Romney to win Pennsylvania. It didn`t work but he was open
about what the intention was. If you can shave off a few black voters, a
few brown voters, either keep them from being able to register, make
elderly people who have never driven a car show a driver`s license. Make
black folk in Florida stand in lane for ten hours to vote. Maybe they`ll
give up and go home and Republicans can win. That is what these new laws
are all about.

SHARPTON: You know Ryan, over the past year, new code words have
taken over the right wing vocabulary. Phrases like, special protections.
Special treatment. The 47 percent. Makers versus takers, free stuff. I
mean, what do these buzz words tell with you about the mindset of the right
wing? I mean, what`s going on here, Ryan?

GRIM: And Rush revealed a little bit of it I think accidentally in
the clip that you just played. He said that there is an effort to get
people who aren`t qualified to vote. To vote. But Rush, tell us, who do
you think is qualified to vote?

SHARPTON: Right.

GRIM: We know what he`s talking about and he put forward an argument
there that has really been made in main stream since the `50s and `60s. I
mean, that`s pretty aggressive to say that some people just simply aren`t
qualified to vote.

SHARPTON: And who sets the qualifications? I mean, what is that
supposed to mean? If you`re a citizen and above a certain age, you`re
qualified. What is he talking about?

GRIM: Well, that`s a good question. You know, in the `60s, they
resorted to literacy tests.

SHARPTON: Right.

GRIM: That would be carried out by a guy who could just determine
that you had failed it. Whether or not you had passed it or not. So, you
know, who is the person that is deeming you qualified to vote? So what is
going on here? I mean, you know, conservatives for a long time. They
want, they`ve been defending the status quo. And so if you`re a party that
represents a, you know, predominantly privileged upper class white
electorate, then you know, this is the position that`s going to help you.
But it`s not going to get them to 50 percent anymore.

SHARPTON: No. And it is certainly going against, trending the other
way in terms of words going politically. But Cynthia, you know, what kind
of strikes me is that they are always preaching about responsibility. And
people ought to do the right thing and be civically engaged. Yet they want
all these impediments on voting. Isn`t it inconsistent to preach to us
about preaching in minority communities to be responsible, but we`re going
to make it as difficult as we can for you to vote and be civically engaged
in your community?

TUCKER: Absolutely. But you know, there isn`t a lot of intellectual
consistency in these arguments as Ryan just pointed out about Scalia.
Scalia said, well, let Congress do it. But, you know, Congress did re-up
the voting rights act which he then voted to gut. The simple fact of the
matter, I think, is black and brown Americans have shown the Republican
Party how committed we are to voting.

That franchise was dear as you know, Reverend Al. People died over
our right to vote. So they have put barrier and barrier and barrier in
place and it looks like in 2012, that there might even be a backlash. It
is possible that so many black people voted in Florida, you know, more
black people voted in 2012 than voted in 2008.

SHARPTON: That`s right.

TUCKER: We improved our voting percentage. So, it may be that they
are putting up so many barriers that they have created a backlash. And
black and brown people have said, I don`t care how many barriers you put
up. We will stand in line as long as it takes. We`re going to exercise
our right to vote.

SHARPTON: Cynthia Tucker and Ryan Grim, thank you both for your time
tonight.

GRIM: Pleasure.

SHARPTON: Still ahead -- a bit of a hiccup for Tea Party darling Ted
Cruz and his bid to renounce his Canadian citizenship. But firs the newest
member of the Obama family. We`ll introduce you to Bo`s new playmate,
Sunny. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Sasha and Malia, I love you
both more than you can imagine and you have earned the new puppy that`s
coming with us to the White House.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: President Obama on his first election night promising a dog
to his daughters. They got Bo. A Portuguese water dog that was a gift
from Senator Ted Kennedy. Both quickly became part of the family.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I finally got a friend. Portuguese water dogs. They like
tomatoes. Michelle`s garden is in danger.

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: Bo is a sweetheart.

This is exactly what he does at home.

OBAMA: He is just a wonderful dog.

MICHELLE OBAMA: He is awesome. He is an awesome dog. And I love him
dearly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But did Bo get lonely? Did he need a little doggie friend
on this past election night? The President seemed to rule it out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Sasha and Malia, I am so proud of you guys but I will say that
for now, one dog is probably enough.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But sometimes even the President of the United States isn`t
a boss in his own house. So last night, the First Lady introduced Sunny
Obama to the world. Look how cute she is. Now Bo has someone to play
with. Look at them run around. Look how happy they look. Sunny is 14
months old. She was born in Michigan and now is living at 1600
Pennsylvania Avenue. It`s always nice to share some happy news in the dog
days of August. So welcome to the White House, Sunny!

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back with more on the continuing saga of Ted Cruz.
Canadian by birth, extremist by choice. The senator released his Canadian
birth certificate this weekend. Starting talk over whether he is eligible
to run for president. Since his mother was American, experts agree,
Senator Cruz was a U.S. senator from birth and eligible to run. But like
any politician, he is really upset about all the attention.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: A reporter asked for a copy of my birth
certificate so we said sure and gave it to him. I mean, I will admit, I
feigned the tizzy in the media a little bit amusing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But he didn`t find it so amusing when a Texas newspaper
revealed that he is still a Canadian citizen. Senator Cruz said, quote, "I
will renounce any Canadian citizenship. Nothing against Canada but I`m an
American by birth and as a U.S. senator, I believe I should be only an
American."

Now Senator, this is a big decision. Don`t rush it. Maybe instead of
running for president, you should run for Canada`s parliament. With your
manners, I think you`ll fit right in.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This devious and deceitful behavior and doesn`t pay
any attention for the consequences to any Canadian!

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Of the member of parliament -- (yelling)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And if Senator Cruz moves to Canada, he won`t have to worry
about defunding the government. Canada already has universal health care.

Joining me now are Goldie Taylor and Victoria DeFrancesco Soto. Thank
you both for being here.

GOLDIE TAYLOR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Rev.

VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO SOTO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks for having us.

SHARPTON: Goldie, it turns out, it may take Senator Cruz eight months
to officially stop being Canadian. Is there anything we can do in the next
eight months to convince him to move up north?

TAYLOR: You know, I thought that it was quite curious to me. I
certainly had never heard of it. But in his case, he was born to an
American mother on Canadian soil and to a father who was at that time a
Cuban citizen. And so at birth, he had three citizenships. One in
America, one at Canada, and one in Cuba. You know, according to the Cuban
constitution, we were so lucky that he chose us.

And so, you know, I just think that a lot of this is silly season. I
think that he is right. That he does have to renounce both citizenships in
Canada and of course in Cuba, if that becomes a question as well. Because
that`s the United States senator and as someone who we think will probably
run for president, he should have one allegiance and that`s to the United
States.

SHARPTON: Well, let me ask you, Victoria. Texas Congressman Steve
Stockman, he wants a Congressional investigation into President Obama`s
birth certificate. And eligibility. On Senator Cruz, he says, quote, "He
is a good friend of mine and a great guy. I don`t question Cruz. Ted came
right out and said, here`s the documentation."

Now, so when there is a fringe conspiracy, it deserves a Congressional
investigation. But when someone actually wasn`t born in this country, it`s
fine because he is a great guy.

SOTO: Well, that`s pretty slim criteria. If you`re his friend, then
we don`t have to dig any deeper. But it is interesting because we are
actually talking about apples and oranges when we`re talking about the
birther movement with President Obama and with Ted Cruz. Because with Ted
Cruz, there is a question of whether people who are not born on American
soil should be able to run for president. We saw it with 2008 and John
McCain.

But with President Obama, it is not a question of whether he should
run because of American soil, being born on it or not. But the validity of
his birth certificate. Really the authorization of President Obama. So
while on the surface, they look like similar issues, we`re really talking
about how the Republican Party pushes away President Obama, putting him in
-- is just another person.

SHARPTON: No, you`re right. And you know, some on the right are
actually accusing the left, Goldie, of being birthers. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Murphy, are you a left wing birther?
If people now question Ted Cruz`s birth certificate. He has produced it.
Is that racial? Do you see any issue here? Because it seems to me the
Left -- they`re flirting with birtherism.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, flirting with birtherism, Goldie.

TAYLOR: Yes. I think nothing could be further from the truth. I
mean, at the end of the day, the kind of racial animus that informed the
birther movement that moved against President Obama was something that we
had never seen before in this country. They called him by his full name.
Barack Hussein Obama, almost derisively as if his middle name should mean
something wrong with him.

Well, Ted Cruz has a full name, it`s Rafael Edward Cruz and no one
calls him by that full name in a derisive way to, you know, point to the
idea that he comes partially from Cuban descent. No one does that. And
that is really the difference here. That there was a legal question about
Ted Cruz`s birth. That question has been answered and people ought to move
on. The fact of the matter is, people like Stockwood and others still
haven`t moved on from the question that has been asked and settled about
President Obama.

SHARPTON: And we are not flirting with birtherism. We are talking
about hypocrisy.

TAYLOR: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: They should not get confused. And we`re talking about a
man who has made a career pandering to the far right. Listen to what he
said when he was asked last night about impeaching President Obama. Watch
what Cruz said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUZ: It`s a good question and I`ll tell you the simplest answer to
successful impeach a president, you need to vote in the U.S. Senate, and
with Harry Reid and the Democrats, controlling the Senate, it can`t
succeed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The only reason not to impeach the President is because it
wouldn`t get through the Senate? I mean, can Senator Cruz really be
surprised at that extremism on the right when he says things like that,
Victoria?

SOTO: You know, I`m really not surprised. Because what we`re seeing
with Senator Cruz in setting up his path for the presidency is a lot like
what he did with his Senate path. Which is curtailing his comments to that
select fringe of the Republican Party. Because he knows that that group
can be riled up by such conservatism. And also, that they vote. So he`s
going out there and he`s setting the groundwork four years in advance.

The thing about Ted Cruz though that you have to watch out for, as he
very hard worker. He likes the free publicity. He says the extreme things
but he also gets out there and presses the flesh and will touch those
people personally like did he here in Texas. He will go out to the small
towns, to the little rinky dinge organizations and bring them into his
camp.

SHARPTON: But Goldie, hard worker presses the flesh, but he is a Tea
Party darling. Are we to read a from this that the Tea Party is out of
control and they`re even starting to bite back on one of their own when we
hear this birther stuff from them?

TAYLOR: You know, I don`t know that Ted Cruz is going to be a very
strong candidate in this GOP primary. He is going to play very well with
the Tea Party. He`s going to play very well with the far right wing. With
the pro-life movement. With those people who are really looking for
smaller government. He`s going to play really well with those people had a
don`t want comprehensive immigration reform. People who want to build a
bigger fence.

So, he`s going to play very well with that crowd and at the end of the
day, he`s going to push some other people like, say, Governor Chris
Christie to the right. In order to catch up with him. And so I think he
is a credible candidate from that perspective. But in order to win this
White House, not just this GOP primary but in order to win this White
House, he`s going to have to re-announce some of those very extreme views
the same way he is renouncing Canada.

SHARPTON: Goldie Taylor, Victoria Soto, thank you both for your time.

SOTO: Thanks, Rev.

TAYLOR: Thank, you.

SHARPTON: 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. Scott wants to know, I am a republican who is in favor of
Obamacare. How do I get my co-workers off my back? Very simple. Tell
your co-workers, Scott, that you believe that people with preexisting
conditions should be able to get insurance. That you have friends and
people in your neighborhood that need to be able to cover their children
until they`re 26. That Obamacare is not about what party you remember off.
It is about the nation that you live in and believe in.

Stan says, "As an old white guy. Why should I be concerned that young
black men are being profiled by police?" Well, Stan I`ll tell you why.
One, it`s illegal, it is unconstitutional and it`s immoral. Think of it
was reversed and the profile was old white guys like you. Do you think
that it would be right if we were silent? If you were unfairly
criminalized just because you fit a certain racial and age designation?

And secondly, if someone is a criminal mind, all they have to do is
sent people into your neighborhood that could harm your family or introduce
your community drugs that didn`t fit the profile. If you`re smart enough
to know the profile is, a real criminal just doesn`t meet the profile and
can do all kinds of crime.

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

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

<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2013 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Transcription Copyright 2013 ASC LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is
granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not
reproduce or redistribute the material except for user`s personal or
internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall
user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may
infringe upon MSNBC and ASC LLC`s copyright or other proprietary rights or
interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of
litigation.>



Sponsored links

Resource guide