updated 9/27/2013 4:44:02 PM ET 2013-09-27T20:44:02


POLITICS NATION
September 26, 2013

Guest: Donna Edwards; Sheldon Whitehouse; Goldie Taylor, Jamal Simmons,
Richard Wolffe, Corrine Brown, Faith Gay

REV. AL SHARPTON, POLITICS NATION HOST: Good evening Ed.

And thanks to you for turning in. Tonight`s Lead President Obama`s
got you covered with Republicans threatening a government shutdown over the
health care law. The President is taking a stand and setting the record
straight just five days before people starts signing up for ObamaCare. The
President went to Maryland and told a roaring crowd what the law is really
all about.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you couldn`t afford
coverage for your child because he had asthma, he is covered. If you
couldn`t afford coverage because you were told heartburn was a preexisting
condition, you are covered. If you`re one of the 45 million Americans with
a mental illness, you are covered. If you are a young adult or
entrepreneur striking out on your own, you are covered. If you`re a young
couple who previously had insurance that didn`t include maternity benefits
and now suddenly you need some maternity benefits, you are covered. If you
lose your job and your health care with it, you are covered.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He has got you covered. That`s what this law`s all about.
And the president called out Republicans who would rather shut down the
government than let the law take effect.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Some have threatened a government shutdown if they can`t shut
down this law. Others have actually threatened an economic shutdown by
refusing to pay America`s bills if they can`t delay the law. That`s not
going to happen as long as I`m president. The affordable care act is here
to stay.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The health care law is here to stay. And that`s what the
American people want. A new poll from the "New York Times" shows 80
percent of Americans say it is not acceptable to threaten a government
shutdown. And 60 percent say that debt ceiling debate should be separate
from Obamacare.

It`s the law. It`s not a bargaining chip. And the president says it
won`t be long before Republicans change their tune about all of this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Here is a prediction for you. A few years from now when
people are using this to get coverage and everybody`s feeling pretty good
about all the choices in competition that they have got, there are going to
be a whole bunch of folk who say, yes, no, I always thought this provision
was excellent. I voted for that thing. You watch. It will not be called
Obamacare.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: They will probably want to call it Boehner care or
McConnell care or maybe even Cruz care. But for now, the crowd there in
Maryland have a pretty good idea of what this fight is really about.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I mean, think about it. If it was as bad as the said it was
going to be, then they could just go ahead and let it happen and then
everybody would hate it so much and then everybody vote to repeal it and
that would be the end of it. So what is it that they are so scared about?

CROWD: You.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s the truth of this whole thing. Republicans are
scared of this president and they are scared that this law will work.

Joining me now are Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Democrat of Maryland
and David Corn.

Thank you both for being here tonight.

REP. DONNA EDWARDS (D), MARYLAND: Thank you.

DAVID CORN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Good to be with you.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, you were with the president today. In fact,
you spoke to the crowd before him. Do you think the American people are
starting to learn the truth about this law?

EDWARDS: They are. And I will tell you one thing, I was just
listening to this now and I felt as electrified as I did when I was there
listening to the president. He spoke in plain language. He made it really
clear. And I have to tell you, for Republicans want to defund, they want
to shutdown the government, they want to, you know, not pay America`s bills
and the president said bring that on because the American people aren`t
buying it.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, David, the president was really selling this
today in Maryland. We are just days away from people can start signing up
for health insurance under this law on this coming Tuesday. And the
president said that people will really like what they see. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I promise you if you go on the Web site and it turns out you
are going to save $100, $200, $300 on your insurance or you`ll be able to
buy for the first time, even if you didn`t vote for me, I will bet you`ll
sign up for that health care plan.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Even if you didn`t vote for him, David, you will sign up
for a cheaper health plan, David. Is that going to be the key here?
People who were opposed to the law will start seeing the benefits.

CORN: Let me say this Reverend. I think the Republicans are right in
that right now the public opinion poll shows that most people don`t like
the law or aren`t sure about it and certainly not keyed into the benefits
when you call it Obama care and you talk about it in one big gulp. So this
is the Republicans` really last chance to win this fight in terms of
rhetoric. They have done a great job of never saying die. They`re like
those Japanese soldiers in the end of World War II in the Ireland (ph).
And the Irelands (ph) say don`t give up the war. Don`t think it is over
even when the bill passes.

The president has been in the disadvantage. The bill passed, came
well. He had other things he had to do. He had to keep run the government
and move onto other priorities. While the people or funding the campaign
against this kept the campaign going. And I think by and large, most
Americans what they have heard about Obamacare up to now is probably more
negative than positive.

But finally, you know, in the next few months, next year or so, people
have more and more data points sometimes affecting their own life, they can
use to make a more informed judgment of the law. I think that`s what a lot
of Republicans don`t want to see happen, or as Ted Cruz and others say,
Americans will become addicted to good policies to health care. They don`t
want American people addicted to health care because then they won`t vote
against it down the road.

SHARPTON: You know, the other thing that struck me also today,
Congresswoman, was the president got personal when he was talking about
this. You were there, but it really struck me when I was watching the
tape. Listen to this where he got very personal about this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I remembered my mom worrying about how she was going to deal
with her finances when she got very sick. I remember the fear Michelle and
I felt when Sasha was a few months old and she got meningitis and we raced
to the hospital and they had to give her a spinal tap. And we didn`t know
what was wrong and we were terrified. Never felt so scared or helpless in
all of my life, but we were fortunate enough to have good health insurance.
And I remember looking around that emergency room and thinking what about
the parents who are not that lucky?

In the wealthiest nation on earth, no one should go broke just because
they get sick.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, isn`t this really something that every
American just about knows someone in their family, someone they know and
care about that has struggled with health insurance and health issues.

EDWARDS: I think so. And I think with the president sharing both the
story of his mother and their experience as parents with their daughter,
that all of our families are touched by someone who doesn`t have health
insurance, doesn`t have adequate health insurance, and is worried about
their health care. And the president spoke to that today in a personal
way. But he also said, you know what? Change is here. And we are going
to fix that. And for 480,000 Marylanders who are without health insurance,
beginning on October 1st, they can start signing up. And then come January
1st, they won`t have those worries and those fears again. If they are
parents, seniors, you know, if they are working people, they won`t have
those worries again.

SHARPTON: Now David, I want to go back to something what you said
about how the Republicans are right now because there has ban such negative
spin and there has been all this money spent promoting against Obamacare,
so the public has a view of that based on all of this negativism. But
they`re afraid as it goes forward.

And when you look at what this bill does, 56 percent of people without
insurance, 56 percent would be able to get insurance for less than $100 a
month. Now, the president said that Republicans afraid of this law to
succeed, and you in so many words said the same thing. I mean, look at
what Ted Cruz himself said about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: On January one, the exchanges kick in and
the subsidies kick in. Once those kick in, it is going to prove almost
impossible to undo Obamacare. The administration`s plan is very simple.
Get everyone addicted to the sugar so that Obamacare remains a permanent
feature of our society.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So once it kicks in, they want you addicted to a permanent
sugar. Now, David, where I`m from sugar`s sweet, so he is admitting the
sweetness if it starts so they got to stop it now.

CORN: Wait a second. Sugar`s bad for you, OK? Kids out there
watching, sugar is not good for you. But just take a step back and just
look at what he is actually saying. He has been very confessional here.
He is saying we don`t want Americans addicted to a health care policy plan
that may actually work. As Obama said earlier today, if this doesn`t work,
if this goes down in flames, there will be no problems politically getting
rid of it in the next couple of years. May take an election cycle or two.
But if Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid didn`t work for a majority of
Americans, we would have reason out and voted it out. But those programs
all worked to made a better society.

What, you know, Ted Cruz and others have this libertarian point of
view, they don`t want this to succeed. It`s not their fear it won`t. They
actually don`t want it to succeed. And in 21 hours, what did Ted Cruz tell
us about how to insure those who don`t get insurance? Basically nothing.
Dr. Seuss has told us more about health care policy than Ted Cruz. So this
is the Alamo (ph) for these guys. And they don`t want the government being
involved even in a market-oriented way and delivering this policy. They
don`t want it to work.

SHARPTON: They don`t want it to work. And when you think about what
they don`t want to work is insuring people that need health insurance, it
is absolutely unbelievable that these are elected leaders in our country.

EDWARDS: This is their last stand. And the fact is we are not going
to allow them to shut down the government. And we are not going to allow
them to say that the United States won`t pay its bills and meet the full
faith and credit of our good name. And we are not going to do it over
health care. What we are going to do is we`re going to get all Americans
health care starting October 1st, they are going to sign up January 1st.
There is nothing that Republicans are going to be able to do about this.

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

Congresswoman Donna Edwards and David Corn, thank you both for your
time.

CORN: Sure thing.

EDWARDS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, four days away from a government shutdown. And
today Speaker Boehner shows again he doesn`t have the guts to stand up to
the tea party.

And President Obama came out and hammered the billionaire right
wingers bank rolling this shameful anti-Obamacare ad. You don`t want to
miss this.

And how is this justice in America? This Florida woman is serving 20
years in jail for a warning shot that hit a wall, yet, others go free.
Today a major development in the case. Her lawyer joins us live.

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: John Boehner shows that the tea party is still running the
show in Washington. Where is the political courage? That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The federal government will shut down in just over 100
hours unless Republicans stop playing games and stop playing games with
Obamacare.

Today, Speaker John Boehner made it clear he`s still letting the tea
party run the show. Here`s what he said about the simplest path to
avoiding a shutdown.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: In light of bringing this debt limit bill
to the floor, will you now accept a clean CR from the Senate with a
government shutdown?

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I do not see that
happening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I do not see that happening. Republicans are still playing
games. In fact, they are about to make things even worse. They are
working on a new plan to raise the debt limit next month that includes a
laundry list of the worst right wing ideas from the last few years. A plan
that shows they still don`t accept they lost the election.

Joining me now is Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat from Rhode
Island. He serves on the health committee playing a pivotal re in writing
and implementing the affordable care act.

Thanks for joining me, Senator.

SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D), RHODE ISLAND: Good to be with you,
Reverend.

SHARPTON: The next critical month on government shutdown is tomorrow.
So where do things stand right now? In your opinion, let me just ask you
frankly, will Republicans shut down the government?

WHITEHOUSE: It looks that way. It looks as if we are going to send
back to the house tomorrow, a clean continuing resolution that will allow
the government to continue to operate. And despite the failure of its
first effort that the speaker is going to send back another continuing
resolution with a bunch of Republican platform stuff attached to it. And
just the time it takes us to turn that around might very well put us into
the shutdown mode.

So, at this point, we are doing everything we can. We have had a
little delay here. It appears a couple of senators have wanted to postpone
the vote until tomorrow so they can organize a bigger audience for their
antics. And that takes some of the critical time away that we need to
avoid the shutdown. But they don`t seem to care about that. They are more
interested in the audience and in the antics than in the effect on
Americans.

SHARPTON: So while they`re setting up these theatrics, precious time
is being wasted. And we may because millions of Americans would ha an
opportunity to be insured, we may shut down government meaning veterans and
others would be directly affected because they want to stop this bill that
for the first time in decades gives an opportunity to billions of Americans
to be insured that didn`t have that option just a little while ago.

WHITEHOUSE: Yes. And help seniors who are in the doughnut hole to
the tune of $1,000 each and helps families with 26-year-olds or with kids
with pre-existing conditions. On and on goes the litany of good things
that Obamacare has already brought. And now, they are facing the biggest
good thing. And as you said, Al, they are not terrified that it`s not
going to work. They are terrified that it is going to work.

SHARPTON: Now, Senator, the other thing that adds insult to injury is
the GOP bill to raise the debt limit. We are told that it includes a one-
year delay Obamacare, Keystone Pipeline, Paul Ryan`s tax plan, more
offshore drilling, more greenhouse gases.

I mean, many folks have pointed out that this is essentially Mitt
Romney`s economic plan. I mean, don`t Republicans realize they lost the
election?

WHITEHOUSE: I have heard is that they tried to put essentially the
entire Republican platform that failed at the ballot in the presidential
election and stuff it onto the debt limit and when they try to do that,
they still couldn`t get their caucus agreed. So they are in a complete
state of turmoil over on the house side. And the speaker is contributing
to that turmoil by refusing to exert any discipline over the right-wing tea
party extremists who at this point are pulling our country off the economic
cliff.

SHARPTON: Well, we will be watching this one. And as I said, Mr.
Boehner is showing no guts. I don`t know if we should call him the
speaker. Maybe the whisper because it seems like he is afraid to speak out
and use his gavel for anything.

Senator Whitehouse, thanks for your time tonight.

WHITEHOUSE: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, President Obama calls the billionaires out
behind that creepy uncle Sam ad.

Plus, big news tonight. A major breakthrough in the case we have been
following. The woman who became a symbol of the injustice of Stand Your
Ground laws. Her lawyer will join us live.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: President Obama`s hammering Republicans for all their
Obamacare lies. And today, he went right after the conservative
billionaires behind those creepy Uncle Sam ads. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Hey, Republicans. You want this Obama care fight? Well,
guess what, you got it.

Today, President Obama hammered away at the far right fear mongers.
He was unleashed. He was tough. And he went right after their distortions
and lies, cutting them down with a remarkable display of sarcasm.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: They have made such a big political issue out of this trying
to scare everybody with lies about death panels and killing granny. One of
the biggest newspapers in the country recently published an editorial, I
thought was pretty good. They said the Republicans in Congress are
poisoning Obamacare then trying to claim it`s sick. One more that I have
heard, I like this one. We have to, and I`m quoting here, we have to
repeal this failure before it literally kills women, kills children, kills
senior citizens. Now, I have to say that one was from six months ago. I
just want to point out we still have women. We still have children. We
still have senior citizens. All this would be funny if it wasn`t so crazy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Yes, it would be funny if it wasn`t so crazy. Then he
called the right wing billionaire Koch brothers to the cockpit, destroying
them for shameful anti-Obama care ad that they are bank rolling.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Some of the Tea Partiers
biggest donors, some of the wealthiest men in America are funding a cynical
ad campaign trying to convince young people not to buy health care at all.
I mean, think about it. These are billionaires several times over, you
know they`ve got good health care. But they are actually spending money on
television trying to convince young people that if you`ve got the choice
between getting Affordable health care or going without health care, you
should choose not having any health care. Now, do you think if you get
sick or you get hurt and you get stuck with a massive bill these same
folks, they`re going to help you out?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He was talking about this ad with the creepy looking Uncle
Sam. It captures everything that`s wrong with the attacks on Obamacare and
this president. Never has a president been so undermined with personal
attacks. But he`s showing he`s bigger than that and he is bigger than
that. And this law, that will help millions of lives is here to stay.

Joining me now, Goldie Taylor and Jamal Simmons. Thank you both for
being here.

JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Good evening.

GOLDIE TAYLOR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Goldie, if Republicans wanted a fight with this president
over Obamacare, they sure got one today, didn`t they?

TAYLOR: They certainly did. You know, I was sort of half watching
the television set when the president walked up to the podium. And when I
heard him light into the GOP in this way today, I said gosh, where has that
guy been? I was certainly glad to see him today. I`ve got a friend of
mine who lost his job a couple years ago and lost his health care. Could
not afford the cobra payments. And got really, you know, tragically sick.
Wound up having to file bankruptcy. And the next job opportunity that was
afforded to him, he did not get because he didn`t have the credit rating
that the company who was hiring him wanted him to have.

SHARPTON: Wow!

TAYLOR: And so, there`s sort of a catch 22 here that people are
literally locked into their jobs because they`re afraid of getting sick or
they have an existing illness that won`t be covered if they move to another
plan. Obamacare solves that. I think that`s a real issue here. And that
we find that one in four Americans are literally locked into their jobs
because they can`t afford the gap in health care coverage.

SHARPTON: Now, Jamal, FOX News has often resorted to scare tactics
when it comes to the new health law. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: Looks like Obamacare is already
descending into chaos.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: New evidence to suggest the so-called
Obamacare death panels are in fact alive and well.

SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Of course there are death panels
and there are now some broken promises are hitting those who need
healthcare the most.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Sticking it to the seniors --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So today the President called out FOX News directly for
spreading misinformation. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: If you`ve talked to somebody who said, well, I don`t know, I
was watching FOX News and they said this was horrible.

(LAUGHTER)

And you can say, you know what? Don`t take my word for it, go on the
website, see for yourself what the prices are, see for yourself what the
choices are, then make up your own mind. That`s all I`m asking. Make up
your own mind.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He went directly at them, Jamal.

SIMMONS: He did go directly at them. Barack Obama is at his best
when he`s campaigning. And that`s what he`s doing right now. He knows
he`s got to get millions of Americans to sign up starting on October 1st,
go to the website and start to sign up for this health care plan. What
they also know is that although some people say they were against the plan,
some people were for it, 69 percent of people according to the Kaiser
study, 69 percent of people whether they are for or against it want it to
work. You remember the saying from back in the `90s around affirmative
action, let`s mend it, don`t end it.

SHARPTON: Right.

SIMMONS: That`s where people are when it comes to his healthcare
plan. They don`t want to get rid of it, they don`t want to defund it, they
want to fix it. And if the Republicans were smart, they would find a way
to try to fix some of the problems that they think exist and then make that
work. Because that`s where most of their voters are.

SHARPTON: Now, Goldie, you know, I remember last year republican
state lawmaker in New Hampshire compared Obamacare to the fugitive slave
act of 1850. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STATE REP. BILL O`BRIEN (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE: What is Obamacare? It is
a law as destructive to personal and individual liberty as a fugitive slave
act of 1850 that allowed slave owners to come to new Hampshire and use the
federal courts to take them back to federal slave states.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Well, the president mocked that comparison today. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: You had a state representative somewhere say that it`s as
destructive to personal and individual liberty as the fugitive slave act.
Think about that. Affordable health care is worse than a law that lets
slave owners get their runaway slaves back. I mean, these are quotes. I`m
not making this stuff up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Goldie, he was really on fire today.

TAYLOR: He was on fire. You know, those kinds of remarks like the
state rep in New Hampshire put out are simply -- they simply take your
breath away. As did Ted Cruz when he was on the floor of the Senate the
other night, you know, comparing this legislative process to the Nazis. I
mean, that kind of thing, that kind of rhetoric really sort of debases this
entire argument. What you`ve got to understand is Republicans are spending
their time, their energy, and their money in breaking down this law the
best way they can. What they ought to be doing is spending that money on
public health information, on showing people how to use this program to
their best, to the best for their family.

To help them get the kind of access to affordable and quality care
that every family richly deserves. That`s where their emphasis ought to
lie. Instead, they are squarely aimed at targeting this president and the,
you know, landmark piece of legislation that he was able to get through
with, you know, legislative action that was approved by the Supreme Court
and that he was re-elected based upon. You know, what they haven`t seen is
that meat really is greasy.

SHARPTON: And the fact is at that, you know, at the end of the day,
as long as I can remember, we have wanted to see some kind of measure
passed that would give healthcare insurance to millions of Americans that
could not get it, could not afford it, could not protect their families.
And what bothers me whether it`s this president or whomever is that you
finally get there. It may not be perfect, but it`s more than we ever had
and it will take care of millions of people. And you`re going to use all
of these distortions, outright lies, and even threaten to shut the
government down rather than millions of people who never were insured,
never had the opportunity, never had the security of their families and you
would go to this degree just because of some brinkmanship and some
politics?

This is what`s so disgusting to me. Back in the `90s when the
Clintons tried to do healthcare, it doesn`t matter to me what president it
is, what matters to me is I know the feeling growing up of not having the
security of if you get sick, you don`t know whether you can afford to even
try to get well. And to put people in that kind of risk and to live with
that kind of insecurity, you`d say I`d rather close the government down
than take care of those people. Those people need to be opposed and they
need to be opposed aggressively.

Goldie Taylor and Jamal Simmons, thank you for your time tonight.

SIMMONS: Amen.

TAYLOR: Thank you.

SHARPTON: On a day when President Obama`s hammering home his message,
it`s only fitting to be joined by Richard Wolffe who just published his new
book about the 2012 campaign titled "The Message: The Reselling of
President Obama."

Richard, today was a reminder that this president can be extremely
effective at selling his ideas, wasn`t it?

RICHARD WOLFFE, AUTHOR "THE MESSAGE": He was on fire as Goldie said.
But he was also hitting something that`s really important. One thing, he`s
obviously taken a lot of beatings over the last few weeks on various
things. But here he was at his strength when the Republicans think they`ve
got him on the run. And, you know, the message isn`t just about selling
something. It`s about having a purpose. And his speech today hit on
taking the fight to the Republicans.

SHARPTON: Right.

WOLFFE: But also talking about healthcare in a way that people
understand. One of the problems with Obamacare is this big spoiling thing,
he put it in real terms about the economy. You mentioned it. Healthcare
as many people is worrying, not just because it`s about your health, but
it`s because whether you can afford it or not. And we haven`t had that
clarity from this president about the economy, about healthcare for some
time. This is what he had to dig out of the election where the bad economy
turning around with a very focused message and that`s what we saw today.

SHARPTON: Well, Jamal said, he`s at his best campaigning and the book
"The Message" is about his campaigning, and when he`s campaigning he brings
the message down so the average voter can understand it. One of the things
that I think that the opposition to Obamacare as it`s called has taken
advantage of is it`s so voluminous that no one understood it. But the more
he crystallizes the points in his voter friendly style, or campaign style,
which your book very effectively talks about how he dealt with 2012.
People would say wait a minute. That`s what we want. Wait a minute,
what`s wrong with that? The clearer it becomes, the harder it is for his
opposition.

WOLFFE: Remember, the last election was fought on the economy. The
economy is a big sprawling thing.

SHARPTON: Right.

WOLFFE: Taxes are a big scary thing.

SHARPTON: Right.

WOLFFE: They figured a way to run not against Mitt Romney but against
the whole economy talking about getting a fair shot and a fair shake. I
think you saw some of that clarity today from the president. But he`s got
to talk about the economy. What he was re-elected for. As long as he`s
talking about the debt ceiling and about, you know, one piece of continuing
budget resolutions, it`s not going to work for him. This stuff today is
pocketbook politics. And that`s what he does well.

SHARPTON: You know, one part of your book that I thought about that
gave a lot of thought, you write something about the President and his team
accomplished. We`ll read a quote to you from the book.

WOLFFE: Sure.

SHARPTON: "On one measure of change, Obama`s record matched his
lifelong ambitions and the vision he mapped out in 2007 and 2008.
Participation. For the first time ever, the rate of African-American
turnout surpassed white turnout at almost two-thirds and the jump was
especially high among black women."

WOLFFE: Yes, you know, I first started talking to him way back, 2007,
2008 traveling around. And I asked him what does change mean to you?
You`re campaigning about change. What does it mean? And the first twenty
minutes of his answer was about participation. Was about getting people,
new people into politics, into voting. That`s what 2012 was about. And I
do think that that`s something he really takes very seriously as a matter
of pride. Very striking this time around. Republicans were diluting
themselves because they did not believe infrequent voters especially
African-Americans would show up in greater numbers than 2008.

SHARPTON: They didn`t even believe they`d show up in the same
numbers.

WOLFFE: No.

SHARPTON: What I think they did foolishly and I think they`re doing
it with Obamacare is they came after the African-American vote with various
voter suppression schemes. Voter I.D. law changing, early voting changing.
They ignited a turnout and an anger that may not have been there had they
not tried to overdo it.

WOLFFE: And I think they`re overdoing it now telling people not to
participate in healthcare. Remember, health care right now is about
participation. About signing people up. These ads, these crazy ads,
people don`t understand out Obamacare and what policies they have. But
these ads they can see are overreached. And if you tell people, no, you
should not get healthcare, they`re going to say, what are you talking
about?

SHARPTON: Right.

WOLFFE: If they are setting this president the challenge of signing
people up, we know that`s something this president can do.

SHARPTON: They do not understand every article of Obamacare. They do
understand the emergency room being their doctor and this gets them out of
that.

WOLFFE: Right.

SHARPTON: Great book Richard Wolffe, really is. Thank you for your
time. And again, his new book is called "The Message: The Reselling of
President Obama."

Ahead, will there be justice for Marissa Alexander? It`s a case that
sparked national outrage. Twenty years for firing a warning shot. Today
big news. Her lawyer joins us live coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Developing news tonight about George Zimmerman. We learned
late today that he was stopped by police for a traffic stop back on August
19th, issued a warning for driving with too much tint on his windows. You
can see the dash cam video here. It`s the third time Mr. Zimmerman has
been pulled over since he was acquitted of murdering Trayvon Martin back in
July. He was also involved in a domestic incident with his estranged wife
Shellie and her father earlier this month. Shellie appeared on the "Today
Show" this morning to talk about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHELLIE ZIMMERMAN, WIFE OF GEORGE ZIMMERMAN: I don`t know what he`s
capable of. This person that I`m married to, that I`m divorcing.

MATT LAUER, HOST, "TODAY SHOW": So, you now doubt his innocence at
least the fact that he was acting in self-defense on the night that Trayvon
Martin was killed?

ZIMMERMAN: I think anyone would doubt that innocence, because I don`t
know the person that I`ve been married to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: She thinks anyone would doubt his innocence. I`ll let
those words stand alone.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back with a developing story in a case we`ve been
following out of Florida. Marissa Alexander is serving 20 years for a
warning shot. She said her husband who had a history of domestic violence
was assaulting her and fired a shot that hit the ceiling. No one was hurt,
but she was sent to prison for 20 years. For trying to defend herself.
How is this justice in America? But today, a Florida appeals court is
ordering a new trial.

Joining me now is Marissa Alexander`s attorney Faith Gay and Florida
Congresswoman Corrine Brown who`s been fighting to get Marissa a second
chance. That`s why in Florida, they call her a fighting Congresswoman
Corrine Brown.

Thank you both for being here. Let me start with you, Faith. First
of all, what was Marissa`s reaction when she got the news today?

FAITH GAY, MARISSA ALEXANDER`S ATTORNEY: She was ecstatic as we all
were. And she was grateful to all of her supporters and she`s looking
forward to seeing her family and her three children again soon.

SHARPTON: Three children. Now, she was sentenced to 20 years and was
not allowed to use stand your ground which we all know and have dealt with
a lot here on this show with the Zimmerman case. But this was not the
reason she got a new trial. Why was she given a new trial?

GAY: Because she had been forced to prove her own innocence in this
case. And in this country we always make sure that if the government
accuses you of a crime, the government has to prove what it said has
happened. And in this case, the government flipped the burden of proof and
forced her to prove she was assaulted by her violent ex-husband.

SHARPTON: Now, Congresswoman Brown, you really have been fighting
this case as well as Trayvon Martin and other cases. As I know a lot of
folk in Jacksonville, you are the fighter. But the appeals court ruled
today the jury instructions were wrong. Quote, "We reject her contention
that the trial court erred in declining to grant her immunity from
prosecution under Florida`s stand your ground law, but we remand for a new
trial because the jury instructions on self-defense were erroneous."

And, you know, this is interesting to me, this is exactly what some
argued in the Zimmerman case that it was not clear that they did not have
to prove that Trayvon Martin was defending himself. It seems like this
whole self-defense and charging of the juries in Florida becomes very
interesting.

REP. CORRINE BROWN (D), FLORIDA: Interesting is not the word. But
let me just say we are very excited that she will get an opportunity for a
new trial. But I am hoping that we can get a little mercy. She has been
in jail for three years. She`s not spent any time with her baby. And keep
in mind, when this incident occurred, she -- the baby was eight days old.

SHARPTON: Wow.

BROWN: When she was six months pregnant, he beat her and put her in
the hospital. No one can understand how you could fire a warning shot and
get 20 years. The day that it happened, there was a restraining order
against him. So if this isn`t stand your ground, we need a redefinition of
what is stand your ground and of course --

SHARPTON: You know, Attorney Gay, the little baby, restraining order,
and she did not shoot anybody. Warning shot into the ceiling, no one hurt.
And she gets 20 years. A man killed in the same state and the guy walks
acquitted.

GAY: Well, there`s a couple of things to talk about, the stand your
ground which you talked about a lot. There`s also this mandatory minimums
which are, you know, something that need to be thought about politically.
But on top of that, it`s not just a new trial she`s getting. She`s getting
a trial with a proper burden on the state, not her. It`s a big deal.

SHARPTON: Right. Now, you Congresswoman Brown, had confronted the
prosecutor saying that this was unjust and this was unfair. Now that we`re
dealing with the burden shifted back, can we not only see some justice for
Marissa Alexander, but some defining as you state about stand your ground
and about these sentencing requirements that Attorney Gay just referred to.

BROWN: Well, first of all, when it comes to Miss Alexander, I am
hoping that the prosecutor and the community will come together and heal
and drop all charges so she can be home at thanksgiving with her family.
That`s the first thing. But stand your ground needs if nothing else it
needs to be amended. Because it is clearly a problem in how it`s used in
certain cases depending on who the plaintiff. Secondly, the judges need
more discretion in these cases. I mean, 20 years, no prior, masters degree
with a job. I don`t understand that.

SHARPTON: Now, Attorney Gay, you heard the congresswoman. She`d like
to see her get out by thanksgiving. Are you going to make an application
for a bail pending this new trial?

GAY: Well, first of all, I say amen to having no new trial anywhere.
I think she`s served enough, she`s been in jail for a long time. And as
you point out, no one was hurt, she had a good record, she was an
upstanding citizen. It should be over. But in terms of what --

SHARPTON: And the prosecutor can agree to not retry this.

GAY: Absolutely. Complete within the prosecutor`s discretion.

SHARPTON: All right.

GAY: But in terms of where we`re going next, we`re going to make a
bail application. There are changed circumstances here. She`s no longer a
convicted felon facing 20 years. She`s someone who`s accused of a crime
where no one was hurt.

SHARPTON: Of shooting the ceiling.

GAY: Right. And she`s been in for awhile. She`s paid a lot for this
already.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, knowing you, I`m sure you`ll be convening
the community down to make the appeal that this prosecutor and interest of
justice not retry this.

BROWN: Absolutely. The ministers, the community is already coming
together. They are going to petition and they`re asking people to call in,
petition the state attorney and say she served enough time. Let`s come
together and let the community heal.

SHARPTON: Fighting Congresswoman Corrine Brown and Attorney Faith Gay
whose a fighter herself, thank you both for your time tonight.

We`ll be right back to remember a civil rights icon.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: And finally tonight I say good-bye to a civil rights icon
and a dear friend. Evelyn Lowery has passed, wife of civil rights leader
Reverend Joseph Lowery has passed. Evelyn and Joseph were together nearly
70 years. She was by his side for some of the most pivotal moments of the
civil rights movement. Evelyn was also a trail blazer in her own right.
She founded the Women`s Inc, Sister Group of the Southern Leadership
Conference, focused on the rights of women, children, and families.

Evelyn Lowery was 88 years old. I`ve been involved in civil rights
since my pre-teen years. I`ve met a lot of people who have come and gone.
Most who have come of recognition and have reached fame like Evelyn and
Joseph Lowery maybe begin to act more celebrity than activist, but Evelyn
Lowery never was any more than a humble civil rights activist. Never
looked for limelight, kept marching, kept striving. I saw her just a few
weeks ago at the 50th anniversary march that Martin III and I organized and
her and her husband came and we honored them.

She never stopped pushing for us to keep fighting for the people and
not to confuse a celebrity with an activist. She was what personified
activism and a real American woman that we all can respect. We`ll miss
her. Evelyn, may you rest in peace.

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.
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