updated 9/18/2013 12:27:03 PM ET 2013-09-18T16:27:03

POLITICS NATION
September 17, 2013

Guest: Jim McDermott; Michelle Cottle; Marcia Fudge; Mick Mulvaney, Dana
Milbank, David Dinkins

AL SHARPTON, POLITICS NATION HOST: Thank you Ed. Good to see you.

And thanks to you for tuning in. Tonight`s Lead, the Kamikaze Party.
The Tea Party fuel GOP is on a mission threatening to push the nation
headfirst of the economic cliff.

They`re vowing to shut the government down over the new health care
law even though it will help millions of Americans. Somehow these
Republican are so reckless that today the conservative Wall Street Journal
want the tea partiers to stop with their planning, "Kamikaze missions
rarely turn out well, least of all for the pilots." This ruthless plot
comes five years to the week that a financial meltdown almost triggered a
second great depression. Now President Obama has a stern message for
lawmakers bent on manufacturing a new crisis.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We cleared away the
rubble from the financial crisis and we have begun to lay a new foundation
for economic growth and prosperity. The idea of reversing that progress
because of an unwillingness to compromise or because of some ideological
agenda is the height of irresponsibility. After all that we have been
through the past five years, after all the work, Americans like those
standing behind me have done to come back from the depths of a crisis, are
some of these folks really so beholden to one extreme wing of their party
that they`re willing to tank the entire economy just because they can`t get
their way on this issue? Are they really willing to hurt people just to
score political pots?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The answer, Mr. President, is yes. And that`s the ugly
reality of today`s right wing Republican party. They are willing to hurt
people to score political points. No action on a jobs bill, massive cuts
to food stamps, giveaways to the rich, attacking the poor. All at a time
of record inequality.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Even though our businesses are creating new jobs and have
broken record profits, the top one percent of Americans took home 20
percent of the nation`s income last year, while the average worker isn`t
seeing a raise at all. In fact, that understates the problem. Most of the
gains have gone to the top one-tenth of one percent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, it`s time to focus on the 99 percent. We have come
too far to let these kamikaze threats send the economy crashing down again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Let`s stop the threats. Let`s stop the political
posturing. Let`s keep our government open. Let`s pay our bills on time.
Let`s pass a budget. Let`s work together to do what the American people
sent us here to do. Create jobs, grow our economy, expand opportunity.
That`s what we need to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That is what we need to do. No more threats, no more
brinkmanship, just get something done for the people.

Joining me now are Congressman Jim McDermott, Democrat from Washington
State and Michelle Cottle.

Thank you both for being here.

REP. JIM MCDERMOTT (D), WASHINGTON: Good to be here.

MICHELLE COTTLE, WASHINGTON REPORTER, THE DAILY BEAST, NEWSWEEK:
Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Congressman, today even "the Wall Street Journal," the
conservative "Wall Street Journal" is warning Republicans against shutting
down the government. I mean, what are you hearing? Is Speaker Boehner
listening to the journal or to the tea party at this point?

MCDERMOTT: At this point, I think Speaker Boehner has lost all touch
with reality. He is really cottoning over to the tea bag folks and they
are just running over the cliff. They are like (INAUDIBLE). And they
cannot stop themselves and it`s hard to find anybody on that side making
any sense.

They have promised us inflation, they have promised a collapse of the
economy. All of these things have not happened despite their best efforts
to destroy the president` plan for recovery.

SHARPTON: But what is the reason for this, Congressman? I mean, is
this good politics? What is the incentive for them doing this? Something
so dangerous in terms how it will impact the American population and
American public.

MCDERMOTT: It`s all politics, Al. They don`t want the president to
succeed at anything. The worst succeeding would be if Obamacare worked
because they know that the American people want that, and they need it, and
they are afraid the president`s going to get it to them in spite of their
best efforts.

I expect them to roll out another attempt to undo Obamacare between
now and the first of October. They can`t help themselves. They are really
out of control.

SHARPTON: Michelle, the personal politics of some of them on the far
right, does this hurt them when we hear "the Wall Street Journal" say
kamikaze, does that mean a kamikaze on their political career or kamikaze
for their party and for the nation in general?

COTTLE: Well, it`s kind of split. You have a certain segment of the
house Republican conference that was basically elected to stop Obamacare.
And they are in very safe districts. They were basically sent to
Washington to do whatever they need to do to tank this. And they will
probably be fine.

But the party as a whole has a problem here. And even talking to
Republican pollsters, they have been doing surveys on this sort of thing
and they are very nervous. You know, I talked to somebody who was going to
go up to the hill and basically spread his findings this was going to be a
disaster for them. It was the one thing, he said that could turn Obamacare
from a win to the Republican party to an absolute loser.

SHARPTON: Now, the president has been very tough warning Republicans
on this shutdown. Listen to this, Congressman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: You have some Republicans in the House of Representatives who
are promising to shut down the government at the end of this month if they
can`t shut down the affordable care act. I cannot remember a time when one
faction of one party promises economic chaos if it can`t get 100 percent of
what it wants.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Congressman, what happens if they do this? I mean, can
they get away with this?

MCDERMOTT: Al, these people who are talking about shutting the
government down are so ignorant of what the government is all about and
what it does for people. They don`t understand the daily chaos that they`
going to create for their own people. Their own people are going to turn
against them when they can`t come to Washington and go to the national
parks or they can`t get in the aerospace museum or they can`t get an export
certificate or they can`t get 1,001 pieces of paper that come out of the
government that make the society function.

When you stop the government, you are stopping everybody`s life. With
the sequester, they have been killing medical research. They have been
slowing it down, turning it off all over the country. They don`t
understand what the long-term effects of that are. And unfortunately they
are just ignorant. That`s the only word for them.

SHARPTON: Now, Michelle, what is very, very alarming to me is the
language of all of this. Lawmakers for both parties voted to bail out Wall
Street, but many on the right attacked the idea of helping out regular
Americans. I mean, suddenly all of a sudden it`s a giveaway when the
government helps regular Americans. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Self-reliance means if anyone
will not work, neither should he eat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To the giveaways, the reckless spending --

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Get government
out of the business of fostering dependency.

RICK SANTORUM (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Free markets. Not
government dependency.

REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: It`s cradle to grave
government support.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Expanding the dependency class in America.

RYAN: We don`t want to turn this (INAUDIBLE) able body people to buy
and depending (INAUDIBLE).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, five years ago this week, the banks started getting
money from the government. And so, when banks and major companies who in
many cases did things that caused their problems gets money from the
government, it`s a bailout. It`s a handout when regular Americans get
money. This language of division and this class distinction is very
troubling and to me un-American.

COTTLE: Well, you do see a certain segment of the Republican party
that does really kind of believe in that makers versus takers division.
And whatever you`re doing to help the makers, you know, the big companies,
the job producers, whatever, is OK because that`s going to spur the economy
in general.

You know, there`s a political wing of the party that really kind of
gets behind that. But as a broad based message, it`s more problematic. I
mean, a lot of people just, you know, turned on Mitt Romney with that whole
47 percent thing and said, huh? What are you talking about?

SHARPTON: Congressman, Rush Limbaugh responded after the president
mentioned yesterday that the economy shrank by eight percent in the months
after the 2008 financial crash. Listen to Rush.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Now, I don`t know about the
economy shrinking by an annual rate of more than eight percent. That
folks, we wouldn`t be talking recession. If that were happening, if that
had been happening, I mean, that -- there`s no way. Annual rate of more
than eight percent? That my God. We would have had soup kitchens, soup
lines. There`s just no way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But that eight percent figure, Congressman, the president
didn`t just pull it out of thin air. It`s from the bureau of economic
analysis. It`s a fact. The way -- I mean, they`re in denial. The way
they`re trying to win the argument is by creating their own facts. And you
can`t make up your own facts, Congressman.

MCDERMOTT: That`s the thing that`s most troublesome here. They can
say anything on television and nobody corrects them, but the facts are that
people see is the economy is gradually recovering in spite of all their
efforts to stop the president.

The president had the bailout bill back in 2008. And we -- most of
that money went to the top of the banks. It didn`t go to the people. And
the fact is that the economy is recovering in spite of the efforts of the
right wing to take him down. They simply don`t want him to come out of
this in one piece. They are going to do everything. And it is not going
to work. It`s not going to work. They will close it down maybe for a day
or two, but they will be right back up because they don`t want to lose the
bond rating.

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

Congressman McDermott and Michelle Cottle, thank you both for your
time.

COTTLE: Thank you, Rev.

MCDERMOTT: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, more on the house GOP`s kamikaze mission. Why
would they do it? We will talk to tea party Congressman Mick Mulvaney and
try to get some answers from him.

And Eric Cantor and the GOP set to gut food stamps this Thursday. And
we are learning just how they will do it.

Plus, the right wing is now attacking water, yes, I`m not kidding,
America. Why Rush Limbaugh slamming Michelle Obama`s drink water campaign.

Also what`s on your mind? 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 facebook fans had a hard time swallowing the conservatives`
attack on first lady Michelle Obama`s campaign to promote drinking water.

Gossy says anything the Obamas do good or bad, someone will always
criticize them especially the far right.

You`re right, Gossy.

Gary says no more water for Republicans. I hear she loves oxygen even
more. Hold your breath, Republicans.

And Mimi says their comments just show how bottom of the barrel their
constant nitpicking has sunk.

Coming up, we will show you where they`re saying -- what they`re
saying is so absurd. It`s downright funny.

But first, come on over and share your thoughts. Please head over to
facebook and search "Politics Nation" and like us to join the conversation
that keeps going long after the show ends.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: This Thursday, day after tomorrow, all Americans of good
will needs to watch what happens in the House of Representatives in
Washington. Because on this Thursday, they will vote on a bill that would
cut food stamps by $39 billion over the next decade. It would affect 3.8
million people. They would lose their food stamp benefits next year.
About one in seven Americans, included in that is 17 million children.
That`s the amount of children who rely on the SNAP benefits to keep
themselves fed. That will be voted on this Thursday. And we all need to
watch. And we all need to see who says yea and who says nay.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, Democrat from Ohio.

Thank you for being here.

REP. MARCIA FUDGE (D), OHIO: Thank you, Reverend Al. It`s my
pleasure to be here.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, your colleagues across the aisle want to
take food away from the most vulnerable among us. I mean, today you led a
press conference on this issue. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ROSA DELAURO (D), CONNECTICUT: The house Republican leadership
continues to make attacking food stamps and other nutrition efforts a top
priority.

FUDGE: It is dishonest for them to suggest that people are not in
need. It is dishonest to say to them that people want a handout.

REP. JAMES MCGOVERN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: The Republicans are coming
forward with a bill to punish poor people. It was just cooked up in the
majority leaders` office as some sort of heritage foundation fever dream.

REP. NANCY REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: I don`t
understand why we are even considering taking up a bill that so undermines
who we are as a nation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So you were part of leading Democrats to condemn this GOP
bill. What amazes me, Congresswoman, is people don`t eat Republican or
democrat. People eat because it is a necessity to human life. And the
overwhelming majority of people on food stamps need this little help to put
food on the table including seniors and children.

FUDGE: Listen, Reverend. People do not understand that about 46
percent of all of the people on food stamps are children under the age of
18. Another 16 percent are senior citizens. So you have the bulk of the
people who are getting food stamps are either children, the seniors, then
you have to add in the disabled. So they`re talking about a very small
number of people in this Cantor bill who they want to attack.

They not only want to cut $40 billion from food stamps. They want to
say that every person who is an ex-felon can never receive food stamps.
They want so say that everyone who received food stamps should be drug
tested. This bill is really designed to kill the farm bill. This is the
Cantor bill and they want to kill the farm bill. There is no rational
reason for them attacking poor people and children the way they have.

And the other thing they have not said, Reverend, is that, you know,
when we had the recovery act, there was an additional billions of dollars
put into food stamps. Now, that is going to expire. So on November 1st,
people are already going to take a cut. This cut would be on top of the
cut that our Republican colleagues want to pass.

SHARPTON: Now, when you look at this because I want to drill down on
what you said. When we look at who actually gets food stamps, 76 percent
of households that receive food stamps include children, seniors, or
disabled people, 76 percent, over three-quarters. In households where an
adult is able to work, 58 percent of them work while receiving food stamps.
And 82 percent work the year before or the year after they receive food
stamps.

So these are not just irresponsible people laying around on the
government. I think some of your colleagues did an experiment last year
where they actually went on food stamp budget and could hardly do it. So
we`re not talking about people who are just lounging around having a lavish
time. We are talking about people that can barely get by even on the food
stamp allotment and we`re talking about taking that from them?

FUDGE: Listen, Reverend. I was one of the people who took the food
stamp challenge. It was the worst and most unhealthy eating week I have
ever had in my life. Additionally, I think people sometimes forget as well
there`s one group of people we never talk about, Veterans.

We know how many unemployed veterans we have in this country. On any
given day, 13 percent of all of our veterans are homeless which means they
are hungry. These are people who not only people who not only just want
help, they deserve it. And this country needs to step up and do what is
right for our own people. And so, I just think that this is all designed
to just hurt all the people who they believe are unworthy.

SHARPTON: I`m going to have to leave it there, but thank you for
coming on.

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, thank you for your time tonight.

FUDGE: Thank you for having me. My pleasure.

SHARPTON: The right wing is all wet with their latest attacks on the
first lady. That`s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Shutting down the government? That`s the threat from some
House Republicans. The question is, are they kidding? That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: In two weeks, the last major piece of President Obama`s
health care law takes effect. Given access to insurance to millions of
Americans. But some Republicans say they`re willing to shut down the
government to delay the law. The question is why. Why would some
Republicans try to shut down the government in order to stop millions of
people from getting health care.

Joining me now is Congressman Mick Mulvaney, Republican from South
Carolina. He has been pushing to defund Obamacare as part of any plan to
avoid a government shutdown.

Congressman, thanks for being here.

REP. MICK MULVANEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Reverend, thanks very much
for having me back. It`s been a long time.

SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you, Congressman. Today, "The Wall Street
Journal," a conservative paper, wrote an editorial calling a government
shutdown a quote, "kamikaze mission for the GOP" saying quote, "kamikaze
missions rarely turn out well, least of all for the pilots." Are you on a
kamikaze mission, Congressman?

MULVANEY: Absolutely not. We are here to try and have a discussion
about Obamacare. There`s not anybody who -- very few people here are
actually pursuing a government shutdown. We are trying to have a
discussion about Obamacare. We don`t think it`s going to do all the
wonderful things you said in the intro. In fact, we think it`s going to
kick people off of their insurance. We think it is going to prevent people
from going to the same doctor. We think it`s going to raise prices. Now
is the time to have that discussion. I know a lot of folks want to cast us
as wanting to shut the government down, but nothing can be further from the
truth.

SHARPTON: So, let me ask you this then. Would you, if that
discussion as you say, October 1st, whereas we get into Obamacare, if that
discussion has not stopped the funding, would you vote or would you support
a shutdown?

MULVANEY: Well, I think it`s a fair question to ask of us. It`s also
a fair question to ask Reverend of the Senate and of the President. Would
they shut the government down if we gave them enough funding for every
single part of the government but for Obamacare? If we passed a bill in
the House that funded everything, had agreed upon levels, levels we`ve
agreed to, the Senate`s agreed to, the president agreed to, everything
except the new health care law, would they shut the government down over
that?

And if that`s the case, why? Everybody admits it`s not ready. The
President has said, it`s not ready. Unions have said, it`s not ready.
Liberal newspapers have said it`s not ready. Why would they be interested
in shutting down the government just to keep the funding --

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: First of all, the Obamacare is the law. It passed the
Congress and it was upheld by the Supreme Court. So why would a group of
you decide that you`re going to take something out that has become law, say
we`re going to fund everything else and even though the Supreme Court has
held us up, we`re going to hold this out. The question again is, are you
willing to shut the government down on the basis of funding or not funding
Obamacare?

MULVANEY: Reverend, did you ask the president that same question?

SHARPTON: The president is not my guest tonight. You are,
congressman. I`ll be glad to ask him. Would you Congressman --

(CROSSTALK)

Would you vote to shut the government down if Obamacare was going to
be funded?

MULVANEY: I would be looking forward to voting to keep every single
part of the federal government open except Obamacare.

SHARPTON: So, if you therefore failed to defund Obamacare, you would
shut it down. Now, let me show you something that the senator from your
own state of South Carolina Lindsey Graham said on the consequences of
doing that. Watch this.

He says as much as I want to get rid of Obamacare, I`m not going to
deny Social Security payments to our seniors or funding to our military.
So he, answering the same kind of question, said different from you. He`s
not willing to shut the government down because he`s caring about the
Social Security of seniors and he cares about our military.

MULVANEY: And so do I. And I assume the president does as well. So
if we pass something out of the House that funds everything except
Obamacare, is President Obama willing to not pay Social Security and not
pay the troops so that he can have funding for a program that he admits is
not ready and has unilaterally changed even though as you said a second
ago, it was the law of the land, was upheld by the Supreme Court. So, I
think there`s two sides of the coin, Rev. It`s time to have the
discussion. The big difficulty here and I hope you agree is that the
President has not been willing to engage in any kind of conversation about
compromise. You`ve heard him say it many times before, he`s not going to
compromise on the debt ceiling. Where is the compromise right now?

SHARPTON: But Congressman, let me bring you to one -- couple of
things that is missing in this discussion.

MULVANEY: Sure.

SHARPTON: One, there was an election. People voted. The president
was elected. Y`all ran against Obamacare, you lost. Second, there was a
vote in Congress. It won. Third, there was a vote in the Supreme Court.
It was upheld. You`re saying in effect that it doesn`t matter what
elections say, it doesn`t matter what the Congress votes, it doesn`t even
matter what the Supreme Court upholds, if we don`t like it we`re going to
take it out, let you do everything else, but we are going to stop the law?
This is not the kind of government the American people want or fought for.

MULVANEY: Reverend, if I had unilaterally delayed the implementation
of Obamacare as to corporations, you would likely be excoriating me for
doing something that is illegal. It`s exactly what the president has done.
So, I hear what you`re saying about elections and the Supreme Court, and
that`s all true. But the point of the matter is, the president has already
opened the door to delay or defund parts of this bill. He took the first
step to do that. Our point is that there are more parts of this bill that
are not ready than just the parts dealing with the employer mandate.

And we`re not alone on this. There are a lot of groups or union
friends are saying, this law is not ready. Liberal newspapers are saying
this law is ready. Republican governors are saying, it`s not ready. The
gentleman who helped write it in the Senate says, it`s going to be a train
wreck. We have to think there`s some common ground here where we can come
together and say, look, the bill is not ready. There`s no reason to keep
spending money on it right now when it`s not ready. Let`s pay Social
Security, let`s pay the troops, let`s keep the government open and focus on
ways to fix this bill, repeal this bill, delay this bill while the rest of
the government --

SHARPTON: But you can`t govern by taking out what you don`t like
what`s already had been voted on and has become law.

MULVANEY: The president did.

SHARPTON: We could say that about any number of things. Once you
start governing Congressman by saying, I don`t this is ready, I don`t agree
with that even though it passes, you`re going to lead to a breakdown in
governing. But let me bring this a little home. Your district in South
Carolina, 98,142 people, 15 percent of the district that you represent are
constituents without health insurance. What`s your specific plan to help
your constituents get health care if they can`t use Obamacare?

MULVANEY: Yes. It`s one of the things I think Republicans have not
done a very good job of talking about for the last two years. I`m not sure
why. I think I know why we didn`t do it during the presidential election
because we nominated somebody who wasn`t able to talk about these things,
but Republicans have offered a plan that allows how to deal with pre-
existing conditions, how to transfer -- not lose your health insurance when
you lose your jobs, take it across state lines. We haven`t done a very
good job of that. The ideas are here.

Congressman Tom Price, a doctor from Georgia has taken lead on that.
We`re hoping to talk about it. My leadership takes it more. Because there
are other ways to fix this. I tell you this, Reverend Al. I employ 15
people in my offices in Washington and back in South Carolina. Many of
them will not have health care after Obamacare goes into play. There will
be winners and there will be losers in this bill. And that`s the kind of
conversation we`re trying to have now as part of this.

SHARPTON: So you`re trying to have a conversation while there`s a law
that many of your own constituents will be able to get health care, but you
say hold on, just don`t go anywhere, suffer a little while because we were
bad at having this conversation while the president went and did something
about it.

MULVANEY: A lot of those people that you mentioned might get health
insurance through their employer if the mandate went into effect on January
21st, but the president unilaterally delayed that. How is what we`re
trying to do any different than that? The president identified a part of
the law --

SHARPTON: Because you`re threatening to close the government down if
you don`t get your way. Let me ask you this, then, Congressman.

MULVANEY: Yes, sir.

SHARPTON: Do you have health insurance coverage as a congressman?

MULVANEY: I absolutely do, yes, sir.

SHARPTON: So you don`t have a problem with big government insuring
you?

MULVANEY: Actually, I`m one of the people who may well lose my
insurance after the beginning of the year. It may be so expensive for me
and since I don`t qualify for any subsidies, it actually might be in my
family`s best interest to go without health insurance.

SHARPTON: But that would be your choice based on your family`s
interests. But you`re not opposed to government taking care of you and
members of Congress, why are you opposed to government helping the millions
of people that have health care needs like pre-existing conditions like
those that are up to 26 years old on their parents` insurance. I mean, why
not give them the same option on what`s better for their families that you
have for you and your family?

MULVANEY: Reverend, there are a lot of 25-30-year-old young people in
this country who chose not to have insurance before Obamacare. They choose
not to have insurance now. But this law is making them do that. Making
them have that coverage. They`re taking away that particular choice. So,
again, there`s two sides to every coin on this. We are simply trying to
have this discussion on how this is really going to impact people.

SHARPTON: Well, that`s why we`re having this discussion. I give you
credit for coming. And I`m going to have to leave it there. We`ll
continue this. And I agree with you finally, there are two sides to every
coin. There`s the insured and there`s the uninsured. Congressman
Mulvaney, always good to have you here. Thank you for your time.

MULVANEY: Thanks again.

SHARPTON: Now, let me bring in Dana Milbank from "The Washington
Post." Dana, does any of what he`s saying sound logical to you?

DANA MILBANK, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, it`s logical if you consider
where Mick Mulvaney is coming from. I mean you mentioned that 15 percent
of people in his constituents who don`t have health insurance. He`s not
necessarily concerned about those. Because those aren`t the people
returning him to office. He`s got a safe republican seat. People are
demanding that he stick it to Obama, that he repeal Obamacare. The only
danger to Mick Mulvaney is he doesn`t go far enough on the president,
taking on Obamacare and he gets a primary challenge. So, he is doing what
is perfectly logical for him in a selfish way.

MULVANEY: But what about what`s logical for the constituents that
need healthcare? I mean, we`re talking about seniors, we`re talking about
kids, we`re talking about people that really need this beyond the politics
of the matter.

MILBANK: Well, of course. And what`s better for the country as a
whole. Now, there`s the relatively small band of House Republicans. But
enough of them to say that Speaker Boehner look, we`re not going to go
along with this. Unless we are allowed to take Obamacare funding out of
this. His problem is really with Speaker Boehner more than with President
Obama. Because look, Mick Mulvaney is not going to suffer politically.
The Republican Party is going to suffer mightily. I think we can take off
the table the whole notion the will succeed in removing Obamacare.

Nobody`s going to lose healthcare coverage because the Republicans
have succeeded in getting rid of Obamacare. It`s not going to happen. The
only question is do they shut down the government in the process? And, you
know, Mick Mulvaney may not suffer politically from that, but the
Republicans are going to get clobbered for that.

SHARPTON: And that`s why the Wall Street Journal says, it is a
kamikaze mission may not be individually but it would be for a party. And
to say that well, just let us take Obamacare out and fund everything else,
that can`t happen.

MILBANK: Well, it`s a back door way of saying look, we don`t have the
votes to repeal Obamacare. We can`t do it the proper way, so we`re going
to kind of sneak in here, it`s almost like a hostage situation.

SHARPTON: Right.

MILBANK: Saying we`re going to bring the whole thing down unless you
take out this piece we don`t like. But that is fundamentally undemocratic.
And that`s why the House Republicans would certainly be blamed in that
catastrophic situation were they to actually shutdown the government. And
it will be, you know, politically more than that party can withstand.

SHARPTON: Btu that was the point I made to him. You can`t govern
like that. You cannot pass laws, have laws upheld and you decide after
that I`m going to put this aside or I`m going to shutdown the whole
government. That`s anarchy.

MILBANK: You`re right, you can do it. But if that`s the way we`re
going to govern, then it`s not going to happen at all. I think John
Boehner realizes that. I think Eric Cantor realizes that. The question
is, can they get 30 or so Republicans who are like Mick Mulvaney to get in
line. They`ve been able to do that the last couple of years. But this
maybe the final showdown.

SHARPTON: Well, we`re going to keep on this issue. Dana Milbank,
thanks for your time.

MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, if you`ve ever wondered if they attack the first
family for everything, we`ve got your proof tonight. They`re going after
water.

But first, former New York City Mayor David Dinkins is speaking out on
Rudy Giuliani. Wait until you hear what he has to say. Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: New York City voters will choose their first new mayor in
12 years this fall. But it`s been 24 years since New Yorkers elected their
last democratic mayor. David Dinkins. Dinkins was also the city`s first
and only African-American mayor. And work tirelessly to turn around a city
in crisis.

Joining me now is former New York City Mayor David Dinkins. His new
book "A Mayor`s Life: Governing New York Gorgeous Mosaic." Thank you for
being on tonight, Mr. Mayor.

DAVID DINKINS, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: It`s good to see you.

SHARPTON: Good to see you. Let me ask you before getting into both,
you endorsed Bill Thompson for mayor this year.

DINKINS: I did, indeed. I endorsed him this year and I endorsed him
against Mike Bloomberg last time.

SHARPTON: Yes, you did. And he`s conceded. Are you going to support
Bill de Blasio?

DINKINS: Oh, absolutely. I talked to Bill de Blasio awhile ago
today, and as you probably know, he and his wife both worked in our
administration.

SHARPTON: Yes.

DINKINS: His wife was one of my speech writers. Made me sound
intelligent.

(LAUGHTER)

SHARPTON: A lot of people around the country see New York as a great
liberal city. We have not had a democrat elected since you were elected in
1989. Why do you think that is?

DINKINS: I don`t know. I think that we should have prevailed in `93.

SHARPTON: Right. Well, you lost to Rudy Giuliani. And I`m quoting
you here that he was the kind of man who went for the jugular. And the
campaign became exceedingly vicious. His underlying message was clear for
all to see. The city is in terrible financial straits. Do you really want
a black man presiding over it at this time of trouble? And I remember it,
as you know I was in that campaign. That was his blatant message.

DINKINS: Well, that`s true. And Rudy was a tough customer. He
frankly is not a nice guy.

SHARPTON: While you were mayor, Rudy Giuliani led a protest of police
in front of city hall. You talk about it in the book where you stood by
the protest when drunk policemen were using the "n" word, turned over cars.
No one ever talks about that.

DINKINS: You`re right. And I`m pleased that you observed that.
Because so many people seem not to notice. As a matter of fact, even today
as Bill de Blasio gears up to run, at least some writers suggests that we
got to be careful lest we return to the days of Dinkins. Truth is we had
an awful lot of crime during Ed Koch`s period. And we saw crime go down
huge numbers while I was mayor.

SHARPTON: The decline of crime with community policing under your
tenure as mayor, the slide that they`re taking credit for started under
Dave Dinkins and community policing that you instituted. You hired more
police, didn`t you?

DINKINS: I did. And I was very pleased that we were successful.

SHARPTON: Nelson Mandela, I have to ask you this.

DINKINS: Oh.

SHARPTON: How -- what did it mean to you with the host of Nelson
Mandela coming to the country?

DINKINS: Well, I have Bill Lynch to thank for that. Because Bill was
insistent that we could get Nelson Mandela to come to New York.

SHARPTON: After he got out of jail.

DINKINS: After he got out of jail.

SHARPTON: Yes.

DINKINS: And he might well have gone to Washington, D.C., the
nation`s capital. Could have gone to Atlanta. A lot of places. But he
did come to New York because Bill worked hard at that. And he stayed with
us in Gracie Mansion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: For decades we waited for this day. We never
doubted it would come. Your leadership transcended the walls and the
separation of Robben Island. No prison could keep you.

NELSON MANDELA, FORMER SOUTH AFRICA: The immense support which we in
our struggle against racial oppression have received from here is indeed a
source of strength and great hope on our part.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DINKINS: It was one of the proudest moments of my life just being in
his company. And every year I send him a note on his birthday. His
birthday is in July, as is mine. And I say happy birthday, Madiba, when
you`ll be 109, I`ll be 100 and we`ll met and have a drink.

SHARPTON: Wow! Age of Obama. Are you hopeful?

DINKINS: I am. I am. Although I can`t help but notice that this
great man who`s done so many wonderful things and it seems sometimes that
they pick at him every chance they get. And that saddens me a little. But
he`s a young man.

SHARPTON: All right. The book is "A Mayor`s Life: Governing New
York`s Gorgeous Mosaic." And it`s the iconic political figure. David,
thank you.

DINKINS: Before we leave though, would you give me the name of your -
-

SHARPTON: There`s the guy that told me Dave Dinkins used to buy a
suits here but now he buys from a richer guy. Thank you, Mayor Dinkins.

DINKINS: Thank you, Al.

SHARPTON: Coming up, water world. Rush attacks the First Lady`s
drink of campaign. But he`s the one who`s all wet. Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL MAHER, STAND-UP COMEDIAN: I saw in the news that Michelle Obama
has a new program -- you know, she tried to get the kids to eat better and
the Republicans were against that. They were. No, they came out against
that. And now she wants people to hydrate more. She says drink -- I`m not
kidding. Drink more water. I think this is a test to see if the
Republicans will come out --

(LAUGHTER)

Against water. That`s not water. That`s socialism juice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Socialism juice. Good one, Bill. That`s funny. But would
you believe it`s becoming a reality. As Bill Maher mentioned, Michelle
Obama is making a splash with her new drink up campaign. Encouraging
Americans to drink more water. For healthier lifestyle.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY: Water is the best and easiest choice we
can make to feel energized, focused, healthy, and refreshed. You are what
you drink. And when you drink water, you`re at your best.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So who could possibly be against this? You guessed it.
This guy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Now let me find this Michelle
Obama story, because I`ve had this sound bite sitting here. Michelle Obama
demanding everybody drink water.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Oh, yes. She`s demanding that you, Rush Limbaugh, must
drink water. She`s simply saying drinking water is a healthy option. But
to the head of the Republican Party, it`s another scary power grab.
Forcing all Americans to drink that H2O.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH: All this is is folks is just more command and control. And
there is politics to this. Because you`ve got big soda pushing this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Oh, yes. She commands and controls you to get healthy.
It`s the same conspiracy theories we`ve been hearing from the right about
the First Lady`s nutrition initiatives for years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH: Nutritionist at large, Michelle Obama is urging, demanding
advocating, requiring what everybody can and can`t eat. She`s demanding
everybody eat card board and tofu.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Taking the nanny state to the new level.
Michelle Obama is suggesting what you should feed your children.

SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: What she`s telling us is she
cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their
own families in what we should eat.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: They mock, but the First Lady`s let`s move campaign is
working. The CDC recently reported for the first time in decades childhood
obesity rates are falling in many states. And specifically points to let`s
move as a contributing factor. But we did find one prominent conservative
who`s refusing drink the Rush Limbaugh anti-water Kool-aid. This guy.

Oh, yes. Senator hydration Marco Rubio loves his water. In fact, I
think the First Lady found a new spokesperson. But Rush, did you think
we`d ignore your ice cold hypocrisy? Nice try, but drink this one on me
because we got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s time for Reply Al. Remember, friend or foe I want to
know. Joseph writes, "Why won`t someone in the GOP party call out Ted Cruz
on his helms statement?" What Joseph is talking about how Ted Cruz said,
we need a 100 more Jesse Helms in the U.S. Senate. Jesse Helms was a
senator for North Carolina whose whole career was around his support of
segregation, around of a part time South Africa, around voting against
civil rights act, on and on and on. We`re not talking about one or two
statements that he might have made 30 years ago and asked for forgiveness.
His whole career was that.

So why would Cruz say we need a hundred more and more importantly
Joseph is right, why won`t responsible Republicans repudiate it like they
did when we saw Strom Thurmond being praised? That would be the right
thing to do on the right.

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

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

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