PoliticsNation, Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
Read the transcript from the Wednesday show
September 25, 2013
Guests: Barbara Boxer, Tim Huelskamp, Karen Finney>
REV. AL SHARPTON, HOST: Great, thank you, Ed. And thanks to you for
tuning in. I`m live tonight from Chicago. Tonight`s lead GOP cracked up.
Ted Cruz`s 21 hour anti-Obamacare clown show ends today. And then, an
amazing thing happen on that same Senate floor of, a clash between the old
and the new Republican Party. The truth broke out, courtesy of Senator
John McCain who`s no friend of President Obama.
McCain message to Ted Cruz and other radical right wings when it comes
to Obamacare, get over it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: We`ve fought as hard as we could in a
fair and honest manner, and we lost. And we lost -- one of the reasons is,
because we were in the minority. Elections have consequences. People
spoke. They spoke, much to my dismay, but they spoke. And they reelected
the president of the United States. All of us should respect the outcome
of the elections which reflects the will of the people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: We lost. The people spoke. John McCain unloaded on Cruz
with the truth, the truth that was missing during Cruz`s overnight circus
act where he rambled on about Dr. Seuss and Star Wars and Nazis and he
spread epic miss truths about Obamacare.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Millions of people are asking for
accountability, for responsibility, for truth from their elected officials.
For truth about how Obamacare is failing the men and women of America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Wrong. Here is a fact. Today, an important new report
shows for 95 percent of uninsured Americans, Obamacare will cost much less
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: The impact for young people right now that Obamacare is having
is absolutely devastating.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: He`s wrong. Here is a fact. If you`re 27-years-old,
making $25 a year you`ll be able to buy insurance for $83 a month, less
than many cell phone bills.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: All across this country, Americans are suffering because of
Obamacare. Obamacare isn`t working.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Wrong. Here is another fact. In Texas, Ted Cruz`s home
state, here is what a family of four earning $50,000 will pay for
insurance, $57 per month. I`m guessing that`s less than the price of Ted
Cruz`s famous ostrich-skinned cowboy boots.
I will tell you what`s sick, Ted Cruz`s entire act was to strip away
health care from 30 million Americans. But it doesn`t matter to him.
After the circus act, Cruz got into a BMW and took off. And then he
reported directly to the leader of the Republican party, Rush Limbaugh,
going on his radio show for 30 minutes. Why? Because it`s all about him.
All about attention. All about how much FOX News camera time you can get.
But rude awakening for senator Cruz. John McCain had it right today.
The Senate voted unanimously to move ahead with its vote today. Hey,
Republicans, the people spoke. You lost. It`s over.
Joining me now are Joy Reid and Abby Huntsman. Thank you both for
being here tonight.
JOY REID, MANAGING EDITOR, THE GRIO/MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you.
ABBY HUNTSMAN, MSNBC HOST, THE CYCLE: Thanks, Rev.
SHARPTON: Joy, extraordinary moment today. John McCain speaking for
a lot of fellow Republicans saying we lost today.
REID: No. And Rev, you are absolutely right. And it`s interesting,
because John McCain has in his history in politics pandered to the very
right wing that he is now criticizing. So, he has had that in his history.
Let`s just be honest about it. He is the guy who put Sarah Palin on the
That said, John McCain has the tendency to break out in what you may
call truthiness every so often. And he does like he has get tired and
weary of the showman in the party who don`t come in and actually do the
work in the Senate. And I think that he speaks for a lot of Republicans
that have been frustrated with what sure does look like a lot of
showboating by Ted Cruz who without a lot of substance.
The reality is, this battle was fought from 2009 through 2010. It was
a long, ugly debate over whether to pass the affordable care act. There
were town halls all over the country in the summer of 2009, a very ugly,
lot of wrangling, it passed. Then the Supreme Court ratified it as
This fight is old, and it`s over, and what Republicans fear is that
once the affordable care act is actually implemented, they won`t be able to
get rid of it, because people will like it.
SHARPTON: You know, Abby, the other thing that was very interesting
was right after Cruz finished his speech, he immediately went on radio with
Rush Limbaugh, and I mean, it was a love fest. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: There`s a lot of appreciation
and a lot of love for what you`re doing out there.
CRUZ: Well, Rush, thank so much. Thank you for that encouragement.
LIMBAUGH: Senator, are you afraid of me? Because Brit Hume and
others at FOX News say that you are afraid of me and others on talk radio.
CRUZ: You know, with all respect, I respect you, Rush. But listen, I
would be surprised if you and I disagree on many issues at all. But the
reason is not that there`s any fear involved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I mean, it buys well, it would have been Rush out there on
the Senate floor, Abby?
HUNTSMAN: You know, Ted Cruz is much smarter than people give him
credit for. He is not a Sarah Palin as many people have compared him to.
He knows exactly where the money is coming from. And he is sitting there
laughing, taking it, you know, to the bank or rather the Iowa caucuses
where he says, I know exactly what I`m doing. And now I`m thinking longer
term. That`s exactly what he said he would do, by the way, when he ran for
Senate back in 2012. And he is thinking, you know, my longer term
aspirations, I`m doing exactly what I need to do.
And if you look at the recent polling, there is a large number of
support within the Republicans, Republican party, specifically, the tea
party wing of the party. It`s pretty much unanimous support for this
fight. About 60 percent of non-tea party Republicans support this
Republican house bill which has defunding Obamacare included.
So, you know, he steps away from this. As you know, this is exactly
where I need to be. I am proving to my constituents that I am the last man
standing. I am now crowned king of this movement that does have a large
amount of support within part of the party. And that`s going to, that`s
really going to help him come primary season 2016. No doubt about it.
SHARPTON: Now Joy, let`s look at the big picture here. We learned
today that 56 percent of uninsured Americans will be able to buy insurance
for less than a hundred dollars a month. Now this is what Ted Cruz is
against? He is against Americans getting insurance?
REID: Well, and Rev, ironically, he comes from Texas, which is one of
the states with the highest rate of the uninsured. But this is really
about an ideology. If you try to dig in -- I get lots of e-mails from tea
partiers who are angry about I have written or said, who tried to explain
their opposition to this, and they have, first of all, a lot of falsehoods.
They think this is free. You`re giving freebies to people. But as you
just saw, you actually, this is insurance you pay for and it`s just very
inexpensive for people who can`t afford insurance.
I think the ideological problem at people like Ted Cruz and the people
who follow him and Rush Limbaugh have what the idea the affordable care
act, is that they just don`t believe that government should provide
anything in the way of assistance to those in need. They believe that the
rich are better than us. They believe that the rich are more moral than we
are. and that if you are poor or you are underprivileged, it`s because you
are somehow less moral, you are not as good of a person. And you don`t
deserve into society shouldn`t help you. You should throw yourself on the
mercy of the church. That is the underlined beliefs system. It is
(inaudible) version of conservatism that is really taken hold at the base
of the Republican party.
And look, Ted Cruz sees an under serve market. He feels that the
(inaudible) wing is under serve so he, like Rush Limbaugh is serving them.
And that is it. He is just speaking to this group of people and the donors
who have funded them.
SHARPTON: You know, Abby, you mentioned Sarah Palin, that he`s no
Sarah Palin. But Sarah Palin is one of the few people defending Cruz. In
fact, she says those that are criticizing him don`t realize he`s creating a
whole new political party. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: People talk about
maybe a need for a third party. I dare say we already have a third party.
We have got the liberal Democrats. We have got the GOP machine. And then
we have got the good guys. That`s the third party. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee,
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: So we have got a third party? What can that mean in the
midterm elections and in the `16 presidential election if, in fact, Palin
and Cruz, are the third party?
HUNTSMAN: You know, I don`t often agree with Sarah Palin. But I
agree with her on that point, not the way she described the three parties,
but the reality is there are two parties within the Republican party. So I
think she`s actually right on there. You`re going to see that play out in
the 2016, probably 2014 and 2016 elections.
Well, look. This is great for Cruz as to where it was saying he is
really speaking to his constituency. This is going to help him down the
road. It`s good for Democrats, but it is bad for Republicans, because it`s
further evidence of this deep divide that continues it seems to get deeper
and deeper. And I don`t know how it`s going to end. There`s going to be
either a divorce or they are going to lose another big election.
Something`s going to have to happen here.
But ultimately, it hurts the American people because this really
limits anything getting done in Congress. And that, to me at the end of
the day is the saddest part of this whole thing.
SHARPTON: But I think, Joy, that what is sad to me as well, Abby and
I agree. At the end of the at that day, Ted Cruz`s profile is raised. His
standing, if that`s what he wants as a major player in the Republican
internal war, but we are talking being about people`s health care in
jeopardy. We are talking about possibly the government shutting down which
interferes with a lot of people that depend on government. Anywhere in
this, the people are being trampled while others are positioning for their
own personal political career.
REID: Yes. And in a lot of cases the people who need these programs
the most are the very people whose oppose them on ideological grounds.
People who are, you know, not well off but who are not necessarily the
minorities that some of the people in the states assume are the only people
getting the benefit.
But look, at the end of the day, Rush Limbaugh, these guys, Ted Cruz,
they don`t care. They don`t care about that. Ted Cruz cares about one
thing. As you keep saying, Rev, the head of the Republican party right now
is essentially Rush Limbaugh. The entertainment wing of the Republican
party, the entertainment industrial complex owns the party. Somebody has
to become the political titular leader of that party. The race is on just
like who`s that going to be? Right now Ted Cruz is winning the race.
SHARPTON: Joy reed, Abby Huntsman, thank you both for your time
HUNTSMAN: Thanks you.
REID: Thank you.
SHARPTON: And catch Abby on "the Cycle," weekdays at 3:00 p.m. right
here on MSNBC.
Coming up, a Republican is calling Cruz`s sideshow governmental
terrorism. But we are now five days away from a government shut down, and
it might be a reality. We will talk live to Senator Barbara Boxer.
How do Republicans try to justify their attacks on health care and the
poor? I will talk live to a Republican Congress.
Ant tape you need to see. Florida`s attorney general apologizes this
for canceling a planned execution to host a fund-raiser.
What`s on your mind tonight? E-mail me. Friend or foe, I want to
know. "Reply Al" is ahead.
SHARPTON: Now that the Ted Cruz circus is over what will the senators
who do real work do next? I will talk live with California Senator Barbara
Boxer. That`s next.
SHARPTON: Ted Cruz`s 21 hour circus act is over. But the real pain
might be beginning. We are now five days away from the government shutting
down, five days away from real Americans losing paychecks. Fellow
Republican Peter King said it best calling Cruz`s action a quote " form of
Joining me now is Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat from California.
Thank you for being here tonight.
SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you so much, Reverend Al.
SHARPTON: Senator Boxer, we are five days away from a government
shutdown. And as I said, Republicans are really going after Ted Cruz, one
calling it governmental terrorism. What are you hearing about his tactics?
BOXER: He is very controversial. Because it seems to many of his
colleagues and to, I would say most, that he is just grandstanding, and he
is playing politics, and he is using the floor of the United States senate
that a lot of us really have such great pride in to propel himself into
being the Rush Limbaugh candidate for president as was discussed before.
And we have a lot of work to do. And the last time they played around
with the debt ceiling and they played around with the government shut down,
taxpayers lost a bundle, billions of dollars. People lost paychecks.
Contractors were disrupted. Businesses, labor, Social Security recipients,
veterans. It goes on and on. The pain that will be felt. And I think a
lot of people believe that he doesn`t care a whit about any of that.
And, you know, the definition of insanity or one of the definitions of
insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different
outcome. Whether it comes to Obamacare, they have tried 42 times. We are
going to stop them from defunding it. And when it comes to a government
shutdown, that`s pain. We don`t want to do that again.
SHARPTON: Now you know, Senator, when he compared not fighting
Obamacare to those that wouldn`t fight the Nazis in Nazi Germany, I mean, I
understand politics. I understand passion, but to compare not fighting a
health care policy with not fighting Nazism?
BOXER: Well, it`s so offensive, and I`m so pleased that John McCain
called him on it. But, you know, Ted Cruz is loose. He is loose with his
words. And he`s done this before. And I said once before he was using
McCarthy tactics when he was trying to defeat Chuck Hagel who became our
secretary of defense, and a Republican at that. And these are the same
type of tactics, making these comparisons, throwing around these words of
heinous people and comparing your colleagues to that. It`s shocking. And
frankly, if this is what the Republican party, the future looks like, I`m
very fearful for the grand old party.
SHARPTON: Let me ask you something, Senator, about something you have
proposed. You propose legislation to prevent members of Congress from
getting paid during a government shutdown and we get e-mails about that all
the time. Why is it so important?
BOXER: Well, again, if you`re going to stand there and inflict pain
on others, you better get some pain yourself. It`s very complicated
because in the constitution it says that we cannot change our pay, but we
would suffer from being paid later. But I`m trying to inflict a little bit
of pain on those who would not pay our bills, who would shut down the
government. I think it`s the right thing to do. I don`t know whether I
will be able to get that done, but let`s hope that the Republican party
comes to its senses.
I think John Boehner has to make a very important decision. I know
John very well. Is he going to be the speaker of the house and go to all
the members of the house and resolve this, or is he just going to go to his
caucus, in which case the future just looks very, very bleak. And he`s got
to make that decision.
Do you have any Republicans on board with supporting your legislation
of stopping the paychecks for the Senate and House members if there`s a
government shut down?
BOXER: Not yet, but I think they would vote for it. Not yet, but I
think they would vote for it.
SHARPTON: Now, you know, not all Republicans criticize Cruz publicly.
Take a look at what some other senators said during his speech.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: And that`s what I think the senator from
Texas has started. Hopefully a rebellion against coercion, a rebellion
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This effort will become absolutely unstoppable.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I appreciate you and I`m going to support you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to thank you for being truly senatorial and
basically doing what senators do.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: Is this issue not at the end of the day
about us fighting on behalf of everyday people who have no voice in this
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: So let me just ask you, because we`re out of time, Senator.
Will there be a shut down in your judgment?
BOXER: 50/50. I hope not. And Ted Cruz is hurting the people. And
everyone who supports him, hurting the people who need so much to have
SHARPTON: Senator Barbara Boxer, thank you for your time tonight.
SHARPTON: Still ahead. How can Republicans possibly defend their
attacks on health care and food stamps. I will talk about it with a tea
party member of congress.
Plus a GOP official who delayed an execution so she could attend a
fundraiser is finally speaking out. You will want to see this one.
Stay with us.
SHARPTON: President Obama has been making the case for health care.
But what`s the Republican case against it? What`s the Republican argument
for taking food stamps away from the poor? My live debate with GOP
Congressman Tim Huelskamp next.
SHARPTON: Republicans in Congress have made it clear exactly what
their agenda is, with votes to roll back health care and food stamp
benefits for millions of Americans. Why are they doing this? It causes
real pain to real Americans. For example, the food stamps bill would cut
and gut $39 billion from the program over the next ten years. If became
law, it would cause nearly four million Americans to lose benefits next
Let`s remember who actually received these benefits. Seventy-six
percent are children, seniors or disabled people, 58 percent have jobs, and
82 percent worked the year before or after they received food stamps.
This is not abstract policy. It`s about people. Whether or not
millions of Americans will be able to afford health care and put food on
Joining me now is Congressman Tim Huelskamp, Republican from Kansas.
Firs, thank you, Congressman, for coming on the show tonight.
CONGRESSMAN TIM HUELSKAMP (R), KANSAS: Reverend, thank you for having
SHARPTON: So congressman, is it your view that millions of people on
food stamps don`t deserve government help?
HUELSKAMP: According to the USDA, there are $3.5 million able-bodied
adults who are receiving food stamps who don`t have to do anything. What
the Republican plan would be is pretty simple. It matches what Bill
Clinton`s plan would be and says if you`re an able-bodied adult with no
dependent, you got actually go out and look for work, do job training, or
you do some volunteer work in order to qualify for food stamps. That seems
like a reasonable requirement to me and most Americans.
SHARPTON: Well 58 percent of them are working and over 80 percent of
them worked within a year of them getting food stamps. So there`s not a
problem with them working or having work or seeking to continue to work.
The problem is that you`re putting mandates on them or you`re taking the
food stamps off the table where you`re almost penalizing people for not
being able to get jobs that are not there in some cases.
HUELSKAMP: Well, that`s not true. They have to at least look for
work. There`s some places, pick a blue states where it`s hard to find a
job. In my state of Kansas that is not difficult to find a job. But can
you also do some job training. This is very similar to what Bill Clinton
required when he signed welfare reform in 1996. I think most Americans
agreed, there`s a lot of people who need food stamps in today`s economy,
but then there are some folks, again able-bodied adults that have no
children at home, nobody take care of, they`re not disabled. All we`re
saying, Reverend is they go out and look for work and do some job training
instead of just sitting there and receiving food stamps. Again, this was
good enough for 1996 for Bill Clinton and I agree with them today.
SHARPTON: Well, I`m going to ask you if you agree with Bill Clinton
on health-care. But before I go there, you have no problem that your
family benefits from the government, they got farm subsidies from 1995 to
2011, your brother`s farm received $1.6 million in federal fund subsidies
from `95 to 2009. Your parents` farm received $1.1 million in federal fund
subsidies. How can you justify cutting food stamps from people that need
it but give farm subsidies to people that you don`t require to go out and
HUELSKAMP: Well, I didn`t receive those subsidies Al that you do
mention. But in the rest of the farm bill we actually do make reductions
to direct payments that are actually entirely eliminated in the republican
bill. That`s what we sent over the Senate and I think they`ve done much of
the same things. So we`ve taken those reductions. But, again, when you
have 47 million Americans on food stamps, there are three to four million
Americans that are adults according to the USDA receiving food stamps who
can work and now they are doing absolutely nothing to receive them. I
don`t think that`s compassion. I think that`s actually doing them a
SHARPTON: In your bill that you`re sending over to the Senate, those
that will get farm subsidies reduced or not, what are you require they have
to do to continue to get farm subsidies?
HUELSKAMP: Direct payments are entirely eliminated. And most of
those payments you`ve identified, those are direct payments that will go
away under the House and the Senate farm bill. What we`re suggesting is
that out of 47 million Americans. That number has grown significantly
under President Obama. That number will be reduced. Hopefully the economy
will start growing again. But again, if you`re able-bodied. Let`s say
you`re a 35 year old man doing nothing. I think you ought to go out and
look for a job.
SHARPTON: What about the children, Congressman? Let me show you.
There are children.
HUELSKAMP: They are impacted, Reverend Al.
SHARPTON: Seventy six percent of people --
HUELSKAMP: I know. We`re talking about four million adults out of
the 47 million total folks on this. We believe won`t take a single calorie
off the plate of kids but it will make some adults who are laying around,
make them go to work, you know? Jason the surfer, he shouldn`t be getting
SHARPTON: So, you`re saying, no kids will be hurt by your food stamps
HUELSKAMP: From what we know from the USDA, no, but there is one
category, it`s called categorical LG building (ph) where folks that don`t
qualify automatically receive food stamps. I believe that if you make too
much money you shouldn`t be receiving food stamps. That`s part of the
savings as well. Again, this is very similar to what Bill Clinton signed
in 1996 in the welfare reform. We applied that to food stamps, just as
they do the temporary aid the needy families, it makes sense, I think we
need to encourage people to work rather than paying them not to work.
SHARPTON: I think we should encourage people to work and I think we
should encourage people to have jobs, but let me -- and the Congress, they
have a job`s bill --
HUELSKAMP: In this economy, it`s very difficult to find a job.
SHARPTON: Well, people need jobs. I think if you have infrastructure
and things that the Republicans are blocking in the house they would have
jobs. And for the record Congressman --
SHARPTON: For the record, I disagreed with Mr. Clinton in `96, just
like I disagree with you now, but I agree with him on health-care. How do
you oppose the Affordable Care Act when your district has 89,000 people
without any health insurance, 13.8 percent of your district has no
insurance? What is your specific plan to help your constituents in your
district on health-care?
HUELSKAMP: Well, it starts with trial lawyers and going through those
higher costs in health-care because of all these new unneeded duplication
going in health-care because of lawsuits. This legislation, this law does
nothing to deal with that cost. I hear that from the hospitals. My
doctor, my nurses. My PAs. Take your pick, Reverend Al. This bill does
nothing with the basic underlies costs of health-care.
Indeed, I just saw a report today, if you`re a 40 year old male in
Kansas, you`re going to have a 138 percent increase in the cost of your
premium. I don`t know how that`s helping lower cost. They`re going up not
down. And when the president stands up there and continues to say that
they`re going down, you know, Reverend Al, that`s not true, we would call
that a lie in Kansas. I probably shouldn`t say that on the air here
SHARPTON: Well, let me give you facts, let me tell you how much
they`re paying Kansas for health-care under the Affordable Care Act. A
family of four with an annual income of $50,000 would pay only $133 a
month. A 27 year old individual with a $25,000 annual income would pay
only $104 a month. Why would you be opposed to that, Congressman?
HUELSKAMP: Yes. I`d like to see those figures. I know the
Department of Health and Human Services released selective statistics. We
haven`t seen those. We haven`t provided those two in our office. And I
just visited with blue cross and blue shield last week.
SHARPTON: But I came from the Department of Human Services.
HUELSKAMP: What`s that?
SHARPTON: That did come from the Department of Health and Human
HUELSKAMP: Well, they`re not coming from the insurance companies that
have to issue those policies. But at the end of the day, this is probably
where we disagree, I don`t think Washington can run the health-care system
better than Kansans can. And this bill, one thing that really bothers me
aside from all the issues about the cost is that most folks in Washington,
members of Congress included and our staff and Kathleen Sebelius and every
cabinet agency and any federal employee, they don`t see any changes under
They don`t have to put up with all the new higher prices and the cost.
It`s just everybody outside of Washington. What I believe is, if it`s good
enough for all of America Al, it should be good enough for the President of
the United States. He wouldn`t be under the exchange. He won`t pick that.
He won`t do that. Neither will Kathleen Sebelius.
SHARPTON: Let me ask you a question and if you`re going to make that
point. Does Kansas or the United States Congress pay your health-care?
HUELSKAMP: Oh the U.S. taxpayers pay a part of it just like every
other federal employee.
SHARPTON: Under the U.S. Congress, you don`t have the state of Kansas
dealing with your health care. So if it`s good enough for you, why isn`t
it good enough for everybody else in Kansas?
HUELSKAMP: Well, I agree with you completely. Put everybody on the
federal employee health-care plan. But what this bill does is --
SHARPTON: You said you don`t want the federal government running
HUELSKAMP: No. Give them the same option, give them the same
choices, every member of Congress has. But you know, what, if the
President is going to mandate Obamacare for Kansans, why doesn`t he sign up
for the DC exchange, Al.
SHARPTON: Under the Affordable Care Act, you do have options. What
you don`t have is the option of --
HUELSKAMP: But the President will not live under it. Kathleen
Sebelius will not sign up for the Obamacare exchange. Where I come from in
Kansas you have to lead by example. Why don`t you experiment first on
federal employees? Have them limit, live under the Obamacare exchanges,
not the rest of America. The labor unions starting to complain now, they
don`t want Obamacare and they help this thing out.
SHARPTON: Under the way you do it, 89,000 people in your district
have no insurance. It hasn`t worked that way. That`s why you need a new
way. Congressman Tim Huelskamp, always appreciate you coming on this show.
You do come on. Thank you and have a great evening.
HUELSKAMP: Thank you. You bet.
SHARPTON: Now I want to bring in Karen Finney. Karen.
KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC HOST, "DISRUPT": Yes.
SHARPTON: The congressman doesn`t believe that the federal government
can run health-care, but then he said, they can run it for him and members
SHARPTON: And that we should have options. And there are options in
the Affordable Care Act. It guarantees you have an options.
FINNEY: Well, and don`t forget, they`re seem perfectly happy to run
health-care decisions for women. I mean, they have no problems telling us
what medicines we can take and what medical procedures we can and can`t
have, so that whole argument just doesn`t stand up.
SHARPTON: No, it doesn`t but it also stand up when you`re talking
about the fact that in his own district you have like 13.8 percent of his
district uninsured. So if the Kansas way was working or any of these every
other one these two party congressmen talk about their states, if the state
plan that I`ve been in for some time we`re working, then why don`t, why are
there so many people uninsured in their districts?
FINNEY: Well, that`s exactly right. And as you, you know, saw in
this interview that you just did, they`re not offering an alternative. The
alternative is to just do away with Obamacare rather than spending the time
voting 41, 42 times, you know, to repeal a law that is already in place,
that you know, a pointless exercise. Why weren`t people like the
congressman spending their time trying to say, how do we fix this? How do
we make this a little better? How do we make sure that the exchange in
Kansas really serves the Kansans?
SHARPTON: Now, it`s also very interesting to me that he`s against the
government giving people food stamp, even though many of them are children,
and seniors and disabled. But then when I asked about his own family
getting farm subsidies, oh, that wasn`t me. That was my family.
FINNEY: Oh, yes.
SHARPTON: And in the next bill we`re going to reduce that. Well,
reduce it to what to what? And are you requiring they do anything to earn
something when they get millions of dollars.
SHARPTON: And notice he didn`t deny he was getting, he just said,
it`s not me, you know, it`s only my parents or my brother. I mean, this
kind of trying to have it both ways. Government shouldn`t help people but
government can subsidize people with millions of dollars.
FINNEY: Well, but remember, this goes to the same argument that we
saw during the presidential campaign about the 40 percent, about the makers
and the takers, and so you know, so much of the rhetoric that we`ve heard
from the conservatives, from the Republicans about snap and other programs
like it really depend on who you believe is or is not deserving. And you
know, you made the point to him over and over again. We`re talking about
like one percent of fraud. I believe the snap program fraud is at the
lowest ever as you pointed out, and you know, conservatives used to day,
they`re all about waste fraud and abuse.
We heard a lot about that last week when they talked about the snap
program. If you`re going to go look for waste, fraud and abuse, how about
let`s take a look at some of the places where there`s real waste fraud and
abuse like when we look at our defense spending. Look at how much money we
miss spend on contractors, you know, just between the Iraq and Afghanistan
wars. So, I mean, if that was really what you were trying to do, I don`t
think you start by taking food off the table for children.
SHARPTON: Karen Finney, stay with us. We`ll have more on this GOP`s
futile attempt to stop Obamacare, next.
Still ahead, green eggs and a really big ham. What Ted Cruz`s Dr.
Seuss stunt reveals about him and his party. My story for him is next.
SHARPTON: OK, kids. Gather round the TV. It`s time for Reverend
Al`s story time. This one`s inspired by Senator Ted Cruz who decided to
read a classic Dr. Seuss bedtime story to his kids on the floor last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Do you like green eggs and ham?
I do not like them Sam I am, I do not like green eggs and ham. Would
you like them here or there? I would not like them here or there, I would
not like them anywhere. I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like
them, Sam I am.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Ah, the classic green eggs and ham. I`m sure his kids
loved it. But then he tried to apply the story to the Obamacare debate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CRUZ: Three-and-a-half years ago, President Obama and Senate
Democrats told the American people just try Obamacare. Just try it. And
I`ll tell you the difference with green eggs and ham is when Americans
tried it, they discovered they did not like green eggs and ham, and they
did not like Obamacare either. They did not like Obamacare in a box with a
FOX in a house or with a mouse.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Oh, Senator how can you be so wrong? You went to Harvard,
but apparently, you never learned your Dr. Seuss. But lucky for you, it`s
story time. Cue the music.
I do not like them, Sam I am. I do not like green eggs and ham.
Would you like them here or there? I would not like them here or there. I
would not like them anywhere. I do like them green eggs and ham. I do not
like them Sam I am. So, kids and Senator Cruz, it`s clear he doesn`t like
green eggs and ham. Hmm. That sounds just like the far right`s hatred of
Obamacare. Let`s continue.
Not on a train, not in a tree, not in a car, Sam, let me be. I would
not, could not, in a box. I could not, would not with a fox. I will not
eat them to with a mouse. I will not eat them in a house. I will not eat
them here or there. I will not eat them anywhere. I do not like them, Sam
I am. Sound familiar? The character sounds just like the Republicans. I
would not, could not support Obamacare. Not here or there or anywhere.
Back to the story. You do not like them so you say. Try them, try
them and you may. Try them and you may, I say. Try them. I believe
that`s President Obama saying try Obamacare. Say, I like green eggs and
ham. I do. I like them, Sam I am. In the end, he likes green eggs and
ham. So Senator Cruz, this story does apply to Obamacare debate, but you
got it all wrong. You were told to try it and never did, did you think we
wouldn`t notice your green eggs and sham? Karen Finney is back with us.
She`s our resident Dr. Seuss expert.
FINNEY: That`s right.
SHARPTON: Karen, the Republicans won`t even try green eggs and ham.
FINNEY: They won`t but you know what, Rev, you`re so right. I think
we have a new refrain for the Republicans. Because they would not, could
not, do not like just about anything coming out of the president. So,
ideas at all. But you know, like you said. Just try it. You might like
it, right? And for those who have tried it, they love it. For people who
have pre-existing conditions, for people who want their children on their
health insurance until they`re 26. I mean, there are millions of people in
this country who have tried it. Maybe Ted Cruz should go talk to one or
two of them.
SHARPTON: And at least get to the end of his Dr. Seuss story.
Because they even serve green eggs in Washington, Karen.
FINNEY: Yes they do. There is a place on Capitol Hill called Bulger
Cafe (ph), they served green eggs and ham. And I`m going to tell you,
Reverend. It`s delicious. So, he should go try it.
SHARPTON: Well, I think that it is on an a serious note though, I
think for him to stay up all night and the distortions that he`s given for
a plan that would help so many people and then we see a congressman with no
plan but yet can stand up there over and over again on something that is
really needed that their constituents needs, that`s why we`re going to keep
talking about it. Americans deserve to be able to insure their family and
Karen Finney, thank you for your time tonight.
FINNEY: Thanks, Rev.
SHARPTON: And watch "Disrupt" with Karen Finney weekends at 4:00 p.m.
right here on MSNBC.
Coming up, we will show you Florida`s attorney general apologizing for
canceling an execution for a fundraiser, it`s amazing.
SHARPTON: Can you imagine a state official postponing an execution to
host a fundraiser? No way could that happen. Right? Well, it did happen
in Florida. Two weeks ago, we told you how Florida`s Attorney General Pam
Bondi persuaded Florida Governor Rick Scott to re-schedule an execution to
attend a fund-raiser. No matter what you think of the debt penalty. Re-
scheduling an execution is just crazy. Today, two weeks later, Pam Bondi
finally met the press and said sorry.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PAM BONDI, FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL: I should not have requested the
execution be moved. I should not have moved it. I`m sorry. And it will
not happen again. Next question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: OK. Then, it won`t happen again. Next question. So
that`s the end, right? Well, reporters sure didn`t think so.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Back to the execution. How was this communicated?
Because I`ve asked for records and I haven`t seen anything, so was it
BONDI: We`re getting you those, but through staff.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: So, through staff? Did your staff know the reason?
Or did they.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: They knew the reason for why the change.
BONDI: Yes. Yes. Absolutely. I was wrong. I`m sorry. It will not
STAFFER: I can answer questions you have regarding staff.
BONDI: Next question.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Next question. I think you said that already. But those
reporters weren`t done yet. I think they wanted more.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Are you concerned that the handling of this
situation has hurt your image as somebody who speaks up for crime victims?
BONDI: Steve, I made a mistake. I`m sorry. It won`t happen again.
I asked that the killer`s date be changed. And he was given 20 more days.
And it won`t happen again. I`m sorry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Yes, she should be sorry, she`s sorry, very sorry.
SHARPTON: It`s time for "Reply Al." Remember, friend or foe, I want
Mary writes, "I`m the mother of a 26 year old male. And like most
young men, he doesn`t feel that he needs health insurance. However,
earlier this month, he had to be rushed to the ER. He spent three days in
the hospital and now has a hospital bill for more than $13,000. I`m going
to make sure that he signs up for health-care on October 1st."
Well, Mary, and her situation is like so many. Most young people feel
they`re invincible, feel it doesn`t apply to them. But now is the time to
especially encourage young people to sign up. And now they can sign up
because of the Affordable Care Act and be part of their parents` plan.
This is the best deal young America ever had, but it won`t work if we don`t
make sure young America signs up like Mary`s doing with her son.
Donald writes, "Reverend Al, the Republicans are like the kid who`s
losing at checkers and overturns the checkerboard right in the middle of
the game and storms off in a tantrum."
Well, that`s exactly what it`s like because even as John McCain said
today, you lost. We had an election. You lost. You had a vote in the
House and the Senate on the Affordable Care Act, you lost. You even went
to the Supreme Court. You lost. Now you`re going to have a tantrum and
close down government. Don`t pay bills. Make innocent people that depend
on their government checks, including veterans suffer because you can`t
stand losing, because you`re not mature enough to understand that we`re in
a democratic republican in a democratic republic. When you lose, you lose.
We close tonight with some history.
This week in 1957, President Eisenhower sent federal troops to Little
Rock, Arkansas to force local officials to allow nine black students to
enroll in school. The Supreme Court had struck down segregation three
years earlier, but state and local officials refused to obey the order.
The Arkansas governor even called in the state`s National Guard to stop the
little rock nine. That`s when Eisenhower stepped in. The federal troops
came in, and the students safely enrolled. It was a clear sign that
state`s rights could not be used as a pretext to take away people`s
And even the day, inversions that are not as serious or graphic as
segregation but in areas where individuals` rights are being now pushed
back by those that believe in a strong federal government, national
government to protect them and wants states to now have say, that is why
those of us that come in the tradition of Little Rock Nine and the
tradition of Dr. King must always beware when in anyway shape or form go
back to states deciding on individual rights. Because then when will we
draw the line? Once we recertify and re-sanctify state`s rights, we begin
to erode the national government and the protection of individuals` rights.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
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