PoliticsNation, Thursday, September 19th, 2013
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
September 19, 2013
Guest: Bernie Sanders; Doug Collins, Jamal Simmons, Joe Madison, Joy Reid
AL SHARPTON, POLITICS NATION HOST: Good evening, Ed.
And Breaking News -- Republicans are on the verge of taking $40
billion from our food stamp program. They`re about to vote on a bill that
would slash the program over the next 10 years, 4 million Americans will
lose benefits next year. We`ll have full coverage of the vote and hear
from Senator Bernie Sanders ahead.
But we begin with tonight`s Lead. The Republican Party is at war with
itself. And the biggest casualty could be the American people. Today, Tea
Party, Senator Ted Cruz raised the stage to a dangerous new level promising
a filibuster against ObamaCare in order to advance his far right agenda.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: I will do everything necessary and anything possible to defund
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A filibuster?
CRUZ: Yes. And anything else any procedural means necessary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: There you have it. Eleven days from a possible government
shutdown, Senator Cruz has decided to play Russian roulette with the
nation`s economy, all in the name of derailing the new health law that will
The dangerous game playing comes amid a growing battle between
Republicans in the House and Republicans in the Senate. It started last
night after Cruz released a statement admitting the Democratic majority in
the Senate wouldn`t vote to defund Obamacare. Quote, "at that point House
Republicans must stand firm, hold their ground, and continue to listen to
the American people."
Tea party lawmakers in the House erupted. Congressman Sean Duffy
accused Cruz of waving the white flag and surrendering. Congressman Tim
Griffin said Senate Republicans are good at getting facebook likes and town
halls and not much else. Do something.
And senior Republican aide said Ted Cruz came here to throw bombs and
fund raise off of attacks on fellow Republicans. He is a joke plain and
And today, Speaker John Boehner sent a sharp message to Ted Cruz over
in the Senate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Guess what? We are
having a fight over here. We are going to win the fight over here. It`s
time for them to pick up the mantel and get the job done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Republicans are running a dangerous race against each other
trying to see who can go farthest to the right. They are willing to shut
down the government and maybe even send the nation into default.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: This is playing
with fire. Legislative arsonists are at work when they start using the
debt limit for their own agenda. Not lifting the debt limit is unleashing
a torrent, a river of no return. It is beyond cataclysmic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: It`s a disaster in the making. These Republican arsonists
seem willing to burn down the government and our economy in order to
satisfy the extreme right wing of their party.
Joining me now is Krystal Ball and Goldie Taylor. Thanks for coming
on the show.
KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC HOST, THE CYCLE: Thanks for having us, Rev.
GOLDIE TAYLOR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks for having us.
SHARPTON: Krystal, this is spilling over to hurt the rest of the
country. What`s going on here?
BALL: Well, what`s going on here unfortunately is the further to the
right you get to the right in the party, the more of a hero you would be
come, the more of a celebrity, the more your face is on TV and the more of
quote-unquote "leader of the party" that you look like. I mean, that is
really the conundrum here.
Ted Cruz who is destroying his own party, who is putting his own
colleagues on the right side of the aisle in a very difficult position, and
meanwhile is jeopardizing the American economy, he`s become a celebrity.
He is being talked about for 2016. So his own very narrow political
ambition is served by these kinds of incredibly dangerous shenanigans. And
that is why he is doing it.
SHARPTON: But Goldie, even Karl Rove, Karl Rove now, he warned
Republicans against shutting down the government over Obamacare. The
headline of his article calls their strategy self-defeating and in the
article I quote, "it is an ill-conceived tactic and Republicans should
reject it." This is Karl Rove talking about his own party.
TAYLOR: You know, you`re right. But Karl Rove is a bully without a
pulpit and no congregation.
SHARPTON: And in choir.
TAYLOR: -- And no choir to back him up. You know, I have got to
agree with Krystal here that Ted Cruz is out for his own political
ambitions. He is consolidating a base behind him to walk into 2016.
That`s what this is about. This is naked ambition.
To say you`re going to shut down the government, you`re going to burn
down this government and then toss the gas can at the White House as if
they are to blame, you know, as something that is unconscionable. They are
going to take this to the wall. And so to think that Boehner is running
the House, he`s not running the House. Rand Paul is running the House.
Ted Cruz has him bent over a love right now. And so, I think that is where
the real issue is, is that they don`t have the power that they are supposed
to have. Ted Cruz`s caucus, as I call it, has moved forward with this ACA.
And they are going to wind up shutting down this government.
SHARPTON: You know, Krystal, Goldie raises a point that really to add
insult to injury. They have been talking all day to GOP trying to blame
this on the White House. Blame this on the president for the shutdown. I
mean, listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope that the president and Harry Reid care more
about the American people and keeping government open as we do than their
stubborn political pride.
CRUZ: Why is President Obama threatening to shut down the federal
government to deny those same waivers to hard working American families?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shutdowns are bad. Shutdowns are not worth it.
This law is not worth causing a shutdown over.
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: This is about a president who wants 100
percent of Obamacare or he`s going to shut the government down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Now, Krystal, maybe I missed something. But Obamacare, the
formal name the affordable health care act, passed the Congress.
SHARPTON: It was a central part of the presidential campaign last
year that they lost. They brought it into court and the Supreme Court
which leans to the right in my judgment found that it is constitutional.
They lost that vote. You lost in the judicial branch. You lost a general
election. You lost in the Congress. For the president to say fund what is
the law is now for them to say we will not pay the nation`s debts unless
you take the funding from Obamacare which is the law and they turn around
and say he`s shutting the government down.
SHARPTON: I mean, this is political insanity.
BALL: I mean, if you didn`t laugh, you would cry because it is
absolutely insane. And fortunately, the American people are smarter than
this. Because this is not the first time that the Republican minority has
taken the country hostage in order to throw a tantrum and try to get their
way. And sadly it is not likely to be the last especially since we see
just down the road after the fight, looming past that one.
And I just want to highlight the fact that there`s a lot of focus
rightly so on Ted Cruz and Rand Paul and the far right of the party. But
really ultimately, the blame lies with John Boehner because he could choose
right now to work with the Democratic Party in the House, to pass a
continuing resolution that was more centrist, the Democrats could support,
and that some of his own caucus could support. But he has decided to side
with the Rand Paul`s and the Ted Cruz`s of the world and so, we end up at
this impasse. It`s time for him to be courageous and actually do something
that`s good for t country for once.
SHARPTON: Well, let me show you how courageous he is and what his
idea of doing something good for the country is. He got downright ugly
today, Goldie. John Boehner attacked the president for refusing to
consider not paying the nation`s bills. But listen to the ugly rhetoric
John Boehner came out with today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: While the president is happy to negotiate with Vladimir
Putin, he won`t engage with the Congress on a plan to deal with the
deficits that threaten our economy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: So Goldie, here he is saying the president would deal with
Mr. Putin over chemical weapons that are killing people and as a threat to
us, but that he won`t deal with legislators who ought to respect the fact
that there`s been a law passed and an election held and a Supreme Court
decision. I mean, that is as backwards and ugly as I think I`ve heard in a
TAYLOR: You know, I have to agree with you. But Vladimir Putin at
least runs his country. You know, Speaker Boehner does not run his House.
And so I think that to say that Speaker Boehner -- this is a guy that
walked away from negotiations with the president a number of times. This
is the guy who cut a deal with the president, took it back to the caucus
and they vetoed it. So, he could not negotiate in good faith.
And so, to put it on this president, you know, to say that he didn`t
come together with Speaker Boehner, time and time again, I think they had
even played gulf, in try to come to terms on things like the continue
resolutions, on things like the debt ceiling, on things like ACA, even
talking about items like immigration.
You know, it is -- again, unconscionable that he would stand there and
tell that boldfaced lie that his president has not reached out to him time
and time again. He simply did not have his own party backing him up. He
could not make a deal on behalf of the Republicans in the House.
SHARPTON: Reached out to him and made deals and he had to break the
deals. You`re absolutely right. But don`t worry, Krystal, because the
president himself came out swinging and he made some very strong statements
to let people know he`s not backing down. He actually said they`re trying
to extort him. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You have never seen in
the history of the United States the debt ceiling or the threat of not
raising the debt ceiling being used to extort a president or a governing
party and then trying to force issues that have nothing to do with the
budget and nothing to do with the debt.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Extortion is exactly what it is, Krystal.
BALL: It`s exactly right. And what`s really scary here and what the
president was pointing to is that you have a minority of the Republican
Party which controls one-third of the government, just the House of
Representatives that are able to have all of this power. And again, it is
John Boehner. It rests squarely on his shoulders. He is the one that is
enabling this sort of behavior.
SHARPTON: Krystal Ball, Goldie Taylor, thank you for your time
BALL: Thanks, Rev.
TAYLOR: Thank you.
SHARPTON: And be sure to catch Krystal on "the Cycle," weekdays at
3:00 p.m. eastern right here on MSNBC.
Coming up, breaking news. Eric Cantor and the House Republicans just
voted to slash $39 billion from food stamps. But we can stop it from
becoming a reality.
Plus, much more on the shutdown showdown. The kamikaze tea party
mission is causing chaos inside the party. I will interview a Republican
And America, meet desperation. Let this just soak in for a second.
Who are the right wingers behind these creepy and misleading anti-Obamacare
Also, friend or foe, I want to know. E-mail me. "Reply Al" is ahead.
SHARPTON: Breaking news.
House Republicans just voted to slash $39 billion from our food stamp
program over the next ten years. The vote was close. 217-210. But four
million Americans could lose benefits next year. We will talk live to
Senator Bernie Sanders about this next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On this vote, the yeas are 217, the nays are 210.
The bill has passed without objection. The motion to reconsider is lay up
on the table.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: We`re back with more on tonight`s breaking news.
The Republican House just voted to gut $39 billion from our food stamp
program over the next ten years. If it became law, it would cost four
million Americans to lose benefits next year. In the richest country in
the world, this is the definition of shameful.
Joining me now is Senator Bernie Sanders, independent from Vermont.
Senator, what happens next? I mean, how do we stop these horrible
cuts from going into effect?
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Well, we do what the American
people want us to do, Al. What the Republicans are doing is fighting for
tax breaks for billionaires, for the one out of four corporations in
America that pay nothing in taxes, and they going to war against working
families, against kids, against the elderly and the children. And our job
has got to be to expose what right wing extremism is which 85 percent of
the American people disagree with and put these people on the defensive.
You are right. At a time when the richest people in this country are
becoming richer and the middle class is disappearing, it is beyond shameful
to cut food programs, nutrition programs for people in need to allow people
in this country to go hungry.
SHARPTON: It`s shameful. It is shameful. But now it goes to the
Senate to you and your colleagues. The Senate is not going to let them get
away with this, are they?
SANDERS: Not if I have anything to say about it, no. The issue is
right now is to protect the most vulnerable people in this country and at
the same time to bring in more revenue from the one out of four
corporations that doesn`t pay a nickel in taxes and from the wealthiest
people in this country. But in the United States of America, we cannot go
to war against people who are struggling to keep their heads above water.
SHARPTON: Now, listen to some of the ways the right justified these
cuts in the fight today or the debate in the House over this. I want you
to hear some of the debate and t arguments they raised.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ANDY HARRIS (R), MARYLAND: Republicans aren`t trying to take
food out of baby`s mouths or make our seniors go hungry. Don`t believe the
scare tactics from my colleagues who oppose the bill. This is a common
sense reform that cuts waste, fraud, and abuse leaving more money for the
Americans who truly need help in time of need.
REP. TOM MCCLINTOCK (R), CALIFORNIA: It doesn`t cut people off from
food stamps. What it does is simply ask that they either work, look for
work, or train for work, of while they`re receiving those benefits.
REP. PETE SESSIONS (R), TEXAS: You have to make sure that you`re a
part of trying to go and better your life, not using the food stamp program
as an alternative to the hard work which will help you and perhaps your
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I mean, it`s outrageous. They want to act like they`re
doing the best thing for people who are trying to make ends meet, 58
percent of them in household where can work, they are working. They are
people that just cannot make ends meet most of them seniors and children.
And they sit there and admonish them like they`re just receiving food
stamps which is barely enough for anyone to even survive on when you go on
that kind of food diet as some members of Congress had. They act like
people are doing this out of some irresponsibility rather than responding
to their circumstances.
SANDERS: Look Al, as you mentioned, 85 percent of the people on food
stamps are children. They are parents, they are people with disabilities,
they are senior citizens. And when these guys say they`re not cutting
nutrition programs for senior citizens, that`s an absolute lie. As a
result of sequestration, for example, one of the cuts has been that the
meals on wheels program, you know what that is. That`s the program that
delivers food to the most vulnerable people in America, thousands of those
people are off the program. We continue sequestration, more will be.
Look. What this is about is right wing extremism. And their job is
to protect the wealthy and the powerful at the expense of working families
and low income people. And the greed and the shameful actions that they
are proposing are just are unacceptable to the American people. We have
got to rally the American people and come up with a very, very different
set of positions.
SHARPTON: No doubt about it. And Senator Bernie Sanders, we will be
watching this as this heads to the Senate to you and your colleagues.
Senator Sanders, thank you for your time tonight.
SANDERS: My pleasure.
SHARPTON: Coming up, one day ahead of Speaker Boehner`s Obamacare
vote, I want to know how they can defend this. I will be joined for a live
debate by a House Republican.
And how is behind these creepy new anti-Obamacare ads? Is playing off
fears and is full of lies. We will expose the billionaires backing it
SHARPTON: Shutting down the government? That`s what America faces in
11 days. And it`s ripping apart the GOP. I will talk with a House
SHARPTON: Tomorrow, House Republicans will cast a vote making clear
their threat to the country. Defund Obamacare or we`ll shut down the
government. It`s a horrible idea, and more and more Republicans admit it.
GOP Senator Bob Corker calls it quote, "a tactic that will fail and
weaken our position."
Senator Richard Burr said it was one of the dumbest ideas I`ve heard
Congressman Tom Cole calls it a temper tantrum.
And Karl Rove calls it a self-defeating, and it`s ill conceived.
Joining me now is Congressman Doug Collins, Republican from Georgia.
A close sponsor of the bill to defund Obamacare as part of any plan to fund
Thanks for joining me, Congressman.
REP. DOUG COLLINS (R), GEORGIA: Good evening, Al. Good to be with
SHARPTON: Now, why do you think you`re right and these other
Republicans are wrong?
COLLINS: Well, I`m new up here. But I ran on a campaign of
understanding and listening to the American people over this health care
issue. And one of the things since I`ve gotten up here, Al, I will be
honest with you. I sat back and listened to the Democrats. I have
listened to my friends across, Al, and I called this a train wreck, they
call it a mistake. They call it not ready for primetime. They just went
on and on about how this law is not ready to be. Even the president has
put it off from the business mandate and putting things together.
This is not ready for the American people. So the Republicans are not
shutting down the government. They were friendly, fully funding the
government through our CR except we`re saying we`re not ready to impose
this on the American people. We`re protecting the American people from
funding the government who are also protecting them from a law who
Democrats who admit is not ready.
SHARPTON: Wait a minute. You said you listen to the American people.
The American people voted when this was an election issue last year. Were
you listening then? The Congress voted and made it law. Were you
listening then? The Supreme Court said that it was constitutional. Were
you listening then? You`re a congressman. You are deciding that a law
that was passed, that was certified by the Supreme Court, you can decide
not to fund?
COLLINS: Well, I think it`s interesting that you would make all those
assessments and then you have the President of the United States taking
black letter law in a day which one part of the healthcare law was suppose
to take place and deciding that, well, that`s not really what the law
meant. I`m going to delay that for a year because I didn`t like the
consequences of it. Al, you can`t have it both ways. You can`t say that
Republicans are not listening to the American people when by the way if you
look at the polls recently, most are coming around to the conclusion that
this is not good idea for the American people. And then you can`t have
both sides when you`ve got the administration putting --
SHARPTON: Congressman, you and I both know you can have polls in your
district, and the elections were there. And the President delaying part of
the enactment has nothing to do with you and your colleagues saying you
will not fund what is law. If we allow members of Congress to decide,
they`re going to take a law and stop the funding, you can nullify any law
you choose. That`s not the bases of a democracy, Congressman.
COLLINS: Well, it is the bases of democracy when you read article
one, Al. In fact, that`s where the understanding is the Congress controls
the purse strings. The Congress decides and what is to be funded from this
government. And there have been plenty of examples over time in which
things there have been things that are not funded. From Yakamalin (ph) to
many others, in which the Congress decides what this is. This is not about
a debate on anything else except Congress doing its role reflecting the
respective views that we have about this law and fully funding the
Do not let your viewers to not be mistaken. We are truly funding the
government. We are simply saying, on the advance of others in the
Democratic Party who said this law is not ready for primetime. We`re
saying, we`ll protecting you from both and that`s what we`re doing.
SHARPTON: The Congress is saying that we will shut the government
down, the Republicans, if we have to fund Obamacare. You`re not just
saying you don`t want to fund it. You`re saying, you`re going to do this
or we`re going to shut the government down. The President is not saying
that. Republicans that I just criticized are not saying that, you guys are
saying, you don`t want to fund it. You`re saying my way or we`re going to
shut the whole government down.
COLLINS: Now Al, we just got to disagree here. The President is the
one that brought up the Republicans are willing to shut the government
down. Harry Reid said he`s not going to negotiate. Republicans want to
shut the government down. At this point in time we`re the only ones that
have put forward a plan that actually funds the government that defunds
Obamacare. But to the point, if you want to put a face on shutting down of
this government, then you look to Harry Reid. You look to those in the
Senate. You look to the president. They are the ones that have been
threatening this --
SHARPTON: Congressman, let me ask you a question. All right. Fair.
Now let me ask you a direct question. If, in fact, the United States
Congress has to go forward with Obamacare which is law, the Affordable
Health Care Act, would you therefore say that you would not vote to
shutdown the funding for the rest of the government, or are you saying in
this bill that if any of this is funding the Affordable Health Care Act
that you will not go forward in paying the country`s bill and paying the
funds that are available for the rest of what the budget is at this point?
COLLINS: I will say exactly what I`ve been saying all along in this
interview and before this interview. We are putting forward a bill that
funds the government and in the house right now we`re funding the
government, we`re taking care of the American people and protecting them
from which something --
SHARPTON: As long as health care is not in. As long as health care
is not in.
COLLINS: We`re putting that bill forward. We`re sending it to the
Senate. Now it`s time for the Senate to act on this.
SHARPTON: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Whoa, whoa, whoa, sir --
COLLINS: You asked a question. I`m answering the question.
SHARPTON: You`re doing that as long as healthcare is not in it, is
COLLINS: At this point that is the bill that we`re putting forward,
SHARPTON: Which is shutting down the government if you don`t have
your on way.
COLLINS: But There are two sides to this equation though. There`s
the House and the Senate. We`re putting forward a bill that funds the
government, fully funds the government. No -- of shutdown, it`s now time
for the Senate to decide. And if Harry Reid and the rest want to stand in
the way, then that`s their choice.
SHARPTON: Fully fund the government if it does not include the
healthcare bill. You said you`re a new congressman. You just got there.
In your district, sir, 147,725 people, 21 percent of your district doesn`t
have health insurance. How can you say to your constituents that with this
bill can be insured with pre-existing conditions, can have their kids on
until they`re 26 years old. Nothing has been done in advance to help them.
Here you have a bill that would help them. How do you go home and tell
them you`re doing the right thing?
COLLINS: Well, I`ll be happy to take you to the ninth district
origin. You go give those statistics. And when they realize that not all
of those would going to be covered by healthcare then they can ask you the
questions, where is our health care. This bill does not fully take all the
uninsured off the rolls. And in the ninth district of Georgia, it is by
four, and pouring against this bill. Everywhere I go people are nervous,
they`re uncertain and they do not understand why the government is forcing
them to do this in their healthcare. I have a daughter --
SHARPTON: What people don`t understand, Congressman, is how we pass
laws the Supreme Court upholds and you guys come in and say we`re not going
to fund it and even worse, if money goes there, we`ll shut the whole
government down. We thought we lived in a democracy with a balance of
powers between three branches of government. We didn`t think the Supreme
Court, the Congress, and the voters could be told we`re going to tell you
all take a hike, we`ll shut it all down if we don`t have our way. Come on,
Congressman. That`s not what this country is supposed to be about.
COLLINS: Hi, Al. Just a reminder. This is not a democracy. This is
SHARPTON: Oh, this is not a democracy.
COLLINS: It`s a republic, Al. Look at the constitution. We`re
reflecting the people of the ninth district. And again, I just want to
make one thing very clear. And I enjoy having this conversation with you.
SHARPTON: And I enjoy it too because I really hope the people in the
ninth district know in the next election that they should not vote thinking
this is democracy. That Doug Collins said this is not a democracy. I`ll
even send you the clip so you can play it in your next campaign.
COLLINS: Well, you don`t have to worry about that. The ninth
district of Georgia knows where I stand, they know where the Republicans
stand -- that is that we`re going to protect them from a bad law and we`re
going to fund the government. If the Democrats want to play politics or
you want to discuss things that may or may not happen, then that`s fine.
But we`re doing the people`s business. We`re doing exactly what we`re
supposed to be doing.
SHARPTON: In a republic. Congressman Doug Collins, thank you very
much for your time.
COLLINS: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Now, let`s bring in Jamal Simmons. Jamal, we`re not a
JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Apparently we are not a
SHARPTON: I`m beginning to understand now how they`re so hard. And
clearly we are a republic but we are supposed to be a democracy.
SIMMONS: That`s right. One person, one vote I think is a fundamental
tenant of our national ethos.
SHARPTON: It`s amazing if we gone further. I don`t know what else he
would have been there. But I think the inflexibility and the arrogance of
this position and face of it going through so many different branches of
government, the Supreme Court said it`s constitutional. You can`t just
turn around and say we`re going to shut the whole government down if we
can`t have our way on this law.
SIMMONS: The Supreme Court says constitutional. The President ran on
this in 2008, he ran on it again in 2012. The American people --
SHARPTON: And Romney ran against him against this bill.
SIMMONS: Romney ran against him. And the Senate, we have a
democratic control of the Senate again. So I think that the Republicans
are completely out of their league. Let`s stay focused also on the real
life people here. You talk about the number of people in the congressman`s
district. I had breakfast this morning with a group of people, a woman sat
up at breakfast today with a 13-year-old son with a pre-existing disease.
For the rest of his life he may not be able to get healthcare if this bill
doesn`t past, if this doesn`t go funded.
SIMMONS: She`s very concerned about that. You`ve got people 28 years
old who are working part-time jobs trying to keep themselves afloat. They
need healthcare. What happens when they show up at the doctor`s office and
they don`t have healthcare or get in a car accident, they don`t have
healthcare, they spend the rest of their lives pay off a big bill.
SHARPTON: But one has to say that there`s got to be other motives.
Like trying to embarrass or stop this president. Because for them to be so
entrenched that we will not pay the other bills of this government if we
have to fund something that is already been passed, it`s unthinkable.
SIMMONS: It is unthinkable. Here`s the reality. The reality is, we
have to pay these bills. These are bills that coming. These are bills
that have already been racked up. That`s like you calling your credit card
company, one of us calling our credit card company and saying, oh, yes,
yes, forget about the stuff that we`ve already paid for. We don`t want to
do that anymore. You just can`t do that. And as a government, as a big
country like the United States, everybody in the world knows the full faith
and credit of the United States is supposed to be behind what we say as a
government and the bills we rack up.
SHARPTON: Jamal Simmons, thank you for your time tonight.
SIMMONS: Thank you, sir.
SHARPTON: And the secret right wing money machine is out with these
new fear mongering ads attacking Obamacare. We`ll show you just how low
SHARPTON: And now we turn to the story that literally stopped me in
my tracks this morning. With just 11 days to go until President Obama`s
healthcare law goes into effect, the right wing is getting desperate. How
desperate? This desperate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I see you chose to sign up for Obamacare.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Yes. It`s actually my first time here.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Well, here we are then. Change into a gown and
the doctor will see you soon.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: If you`re wondering, yes, you did just see that. A right
wing group using this ad to scare young people away from the law. It might
be the creepiest ad I`ve ever seen. Never pictured Uncle Sam like this.
And he`s not just terrorizing young women.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I see you`re new to Obamacare as well.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes. I saw the ads and I figured why not.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Take your pants off.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: These ads are completely dishonorable and dishonest. The
Affordable Care Act does not in any way get between patients and their
doctors. Nothing in the law will get in the way of a physical exam. This
is ugly fear mongering and it`s dangerous. So who`s behind this? A
Virginia-based group bank rolled by the Koch Brothers. Remember them?
They`re the billionaires who called the 2012 elections the mother of all
They backed a secret fund that ended up being the second largest donor
to conservative caucuses last year. They hold secret planning conventions
at resorts to help write laws and funnel money to Tea Party groups all
across the country. And now these guys are telling college kids not to get
health insurance. It`s despicable.
Joining me now is Joe Madison. Thanks for being here tonight.
JOE MADISON, SIRIUS XM RADIO HOST: Thank you, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Joe, have you ever seen fear mongering like this ads?
MADISON: Look. They have either made Uncle Sam a gynecologist or a
MADISON: I mean, this is really what it boils down to. This is what
they`ve done. And the reality is that young women should know that you can
go in and get mammograms, no out of pocket expense, you can get the kind of
preventive care. Young men, as one who has gone through prostate cancer,
you can get this with no out of pocket expense. These are things to
prevent people from getting sick or to at least detect how sick they might
be. This creepy is beyond the words. And I`m surprised that even general
managers of TV stations would even think about running this.
SHARPTON: But they are. And let me tell you something. You know, in
case you weren`t scared enough already, here`s some more on the Koch
Brother who are funding this. They pledged to spend $60 million personally
to defeat President Obama. They host semi-annual conventions with rich
donors and guests like Paul Ryan and Senator Ted Cruz. They also try to
influence politics locally donating to state level candidates and ballot
measures. And their pet causes include attacking healthcare laws, denying
climate change, and fighting Wall Street reform.
MADISON: And it`s not working. I just came back from Detroit. The
day that I arrived in Detroit on Monday, guess what the governor did. He
signed into law a Medicare and it`s 700,000 people who will now benefit
from Obamacare. And most important of all as you know we`ve got to
convince young people and mothers should be convincing their daughters and
their sons that you need to be signing up on October 1 or some time
SHARPTON: Let`s bring in Joy Reid. Joy, the reason these ads are
geared towards young people and it`s misinformation, just outright
distortions and lies is because a lot of young people need to sign up
October 1st and going forward. And this is directly targeted at keeping
young people from signing up by scaring them with misinformation.
JOY REID, GRIO.COM MANAGING EDITOR: Well, scaring them with
misinformation but doing it in probably the stupidest way that I`ve ever
seen done by advertising. First of all, how committed are you when you`re
a billionaire and only spending $750,000 on an ad campaign. That is
nothing. That is almost zero spending. So, I don`t know how much even
they believe in this. Second of all, the young people that you see in that
ads with this creepy Uncle Sam, are they trying to make people hate Uncle
REID: First of all, those two young people, they looked under 26.
They don`t have to sign up for anything. They`re on their parents`
insurance until they`re 26. It`s 27-year-olds and up that need to sign up
for the exchanges. And what is somebody who`s 27 doing? Probably working,
probably out in the -- trying to move out of their parent`s house. And the
idea that you`re going to convince them that they --
SHARPTON: I think the point is that they`re targeting and it shows
that there is nothing that some of these groups won`t do to try and stop
something that would help millions of Americans. I think would really stop
me in my track is that these people seem to have no boundaries. And why
are you this desperate on something that clearly will help so many people.
REID: Well, the reason that they`re this desperate Rev is because the
worst nightmare for people like the Koch Brothers and their adherence
would be for younger people to sign up for the Affordable Care Act, get
health coverage, and like having health coverage. Meaning they get sick,
then can go to a doctor. Because that is Armageddon for them. Because
then those people are going to like the law in their 40s and in their 50s
and in their 60s and you`ll going to have this big generation of younger
people who will be out of reach to this right wing that wants to take us
back to the 19th century. Because they will just like people love
Medicare, they will like having their Obamacare insurance and it will be
impossible to take it away from them.
SHARPTON: And see, Joe, I think that that`s the point. I just had a
congressman on that was debating me. They are afraid that once this starts
going into effect, I believe this is their fear, and the benefits of there,
even those that they have misled and those that they have fooled would
start saying what`s wrong with this, this is good. The same happened, I`m
told, with Social Security and other things in the safety net.
MADISON: The G.I. bill?
MADISON: I mean, all of that. You`re absolutely right. Our social
contract. Is this the congressman who said we don`t live in a democracy.
SHARPTON: Right. We don`t live in democracy.
MADISON: We don`t understand the democratic process.
SHARPTON: Not a democratic --
MADISON: But the reality is the reason they are desperate and
desperation and creepy are the words. But you know, this is Halloween
time. But the reality is that people are going to like it. They`re
already liking it. Seniors are already liking it because of prescription
refunds. People are getting rebate checks back from insurance companies.
People already like it, and they know that once this gets established,
you`re absolutely right. They`re not going to want to go back. These
folks are not conservatives. The Koch Brothers are regressive. And let me
tell you something. For someone to be libertarian and conservative and
talk about staying out of bedrooms, we ought to get government out of our
bedrooms. Now you got them looking up some woman`s crotch.
SHARPTON: Uncle Sam.
MADISON: Of all. He`s either a gynecologist or a pervert.
SHARPTON: But how could you disrespect the country like that? Thank
you for being here tonight, Joe Madison, Joy Reid. Thank you for your time
as always. And we should note we reached out to the Koch Brothers to join
us. They directed us to the group they support which put out these Uncle
Coming up, we`ll introduce you to Congressman Phil Gingrey who`s
whining about his six-figure salary. That`s next.
SHARPTON: Big news tonight. We have a new member of the complainer
caucus. Congratulations to Georgia Congressman Phil Gingrey. The National
Review reports he was in a closed door meeting whining about how Capitol
Hill aides can go lobby and make $500,000 a year. Then said quote, "I`m
stuck here making $172,000 a year." Oh, boohoo, boohoo. Stuck making a
measly $172,000? Actually, he makes $174,000 a year. But who`s counting?
Poor little congressman. And does he know that`s over three times the
median income in the United States? Oh, and I forgot one small detail.
His net worth is reportedly at least $3 million. And Maddow (ph) blogs
Steve Benen shows he`s in a long line of complainers. Like then
Congressman Denny Rehberg in 2011.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DENNY REHBERG, FORMER MONTANA CONGRESSMAN: We`re struggling like
everyone else with the economy.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What`s your net worth?
REHBERG: I am land rich and cash poor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Struggling? He was worth over $56 million at the time.
Then there`s Congressman Paul Gosar a few weeks later.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL GOSAR (R), ARIZONA: In the last election, I was labeled a
millionaire. Seriously, I ain`t wealthy. I have my own house. I wouldn`t
do it again. I own my building. I have a dental practice. I live just
like the rest of you folks. It`s all on paper. It`s not in cash.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: All on paper? What about the $174,000 he makes in
Congress? And Congressman Sean Duffy was singing the same tune.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. SEAN DUFFY (R), WISCONSIN: I got one paycheck. So I struggle to
meet my bills right now. Would it be easier for me if I get more
paychecks? Maybe. But at this point, I`m not living high on the hog.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Do they realize how hard people have it? And how fortunate
they are? I guess not. Because just moments ago Congressman Gingrey voted
to cut food stamps. That definitely puts him in the complainer caucus.
Congressman, did you think we wouldn`t notice your crocodile tears? Nice
try but take this one to the bank. Because we got you.
SHARPTON: It`s time for "Reply Al." Remember friend or foe, I want
to know. Margaret writes, "Dear Rev, we need to ask the GOP why they are
not against the biggest handouts ever. Yes, the subsidies given to the oil
Absolutely. Because if they were against those subsidies, then at
least they`d be consistent. But giving subsidies to oil companies is
responsible to help people that need help in this country that have done
the right thing but can`t make ends meet. That`s a handout. And that is
something undesirable. I don`t agree with that.
Fernando says, "Why are you so biased about Rush Limbaugh and FOX
I`m not biased at all, Fernando. I just believe in letting people see
what they say and dealing with it. They call people names, they say
outrageous things, and it`s time they get called out on it. You know, I
don`t hunt, but I have friends that hunt that tell me that a lot of hunters
like to go rabbit hunting. Rabbits and bear hunting. Because rabbits run
from them and they shoot them in the behinds. This is what these guys have
been doing in the political debate. They`ve been intimidating and bullying
people. And I don`t run because rabbit hunting ain`t fun when the rabbit
got the gun. They`ve been shooting at us. It`s time for some of us to
stand up and shoot back some truth.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
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