PoliticsNation, Monday, September 30th, 2013
Read the transcript from the Monday show
September 30, 2013
Guest: Karen Bass; Jon Tester; Blake Ferenthold, Joan Walsh, TD Jakes
REV. AL SHARPTON, POLITICS NATION HOST: Well, so far, he`s -- in my
opinion, playing it well. The country is how -- the question is how the
country is going to be in terms of all of us within a few hours. And
that`s what we`re going to talk about tonight on Politics Nation. So
you`re right, it`s going to be a long night at the office, I`m here at DC,
Ed. And thanks a lot.
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR: You bet, Rev.
SHARPTON: And thanks to you for tuning in.
Tonight`s Lead. You can`t shut it down. With just six hours to go
until a government shutdown. President Obama rips Republicans for playing
games with people`s lives. All in the name of attacking ObamaCare, John
Boehner and his extremist Tea Party Republicans had their foot on the gas
and are recklessly threatening to drive the country off the cliff.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: One faction of one
party in one house of Congress in one branch of government doesn`t get to
shut down the entire government just to re-fight results of an election.
Keeping the people`s government open is not a concession to me. Keeping
vital services running and hundreds of thousands of Americans on the job is
not something you give to the other side. It`s our basic responsibility.
You don`t get to extract a ransom for doing your job, for doing what you`re
supposed to be doing anyway or just because there`s a law there that you
don`t like. Affordable care act is moving forward. That funding is
already in place. You can`t shut it down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Republicans can`t shut it down. It`s the law of the land.
So let`s be clear about what`s happening.
Every year Congress has to pass a budget to fund the government, to
keep it running. But Republicans don`t care about that. They are more
focused on scoring political points and raising cash. Republican Senator
Mike Lee is now actually fund raising off this fight and Congressman Paul
Ryan is using the shutdown to raise money with the RNC.
It`s outrageous. A shutdown is bad for America, but it`s good for
their bottom line? Tea party Senator Ted Cruz says he has no intention of
giving up his paycheck if there`s a shutdown, a shutdown he is causing.
But guess who will lose their paychecks? About 800,000 federal
workers will be furloughed without pay. Little kids could feel the pain
too. New funding grants for head start programs would get hit. Home
buyers and small businesses looking for federal loans, they will be out of
luck. And a critical food assistance program for women, infants, and
children, WIC could shut down.
These are real people who could get hurt starting at midnight tonight,
but Republicans don`t care. Right now on Capitol Hill, they are pushing
ahead with yet another plan to delay the health care law. It will fail.
And the American people will make sure that Republicans pay the price for
this outrage in Washington.
Joining me now is Congresswoman Karen Bass, Democrat from California
and Krystal Ball.
Thanks for being here.
KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC HOST, THE CYCLE: Thanks for having us, Rev.
REP. KAREN BASS (D), CALIFORNIA: Thanks for having us on.
SHARPTON: Congresswoman, will Republicans actually force a shutdown
at midnight tonight?
BASS: Well, I actually think they will. And I hadn`t thought this
before the last few times we`ve been through this, but right now they don`t
have anything else left in their playbook. So the idea that they would
have us vote on another bill tonight that they know very well is not going
to be even taken up in the Senate is doing nothing other than driving the
train right over the cliff and leading us into a shutdown. I don`t see any
other way out of this at this point in time.
Now, at any time, if they chose to put the Senate bill up, if they put
it up in the next five minutes, I guarantee you that it would pass and
there`s no need for this government shutdown.
SHARPTON: No need. If they put up the bill they have had an up and
down vote, they could avert this.
BASS: That`s absolutely right. And that`s what we should demand. We
should demand that they put up the Senate bill right now.
SHARPTON: Now, Krystal, I think that many people need to understand
that they refuse to put up the Senate bill which has passed the Senate and
have an up and down vote and it would pass. So they are literally choosing
not to do that to force a shutdown if in fact they failed to do so as they
say that they have.
And let me show you what the president says that who will be the ones
that suffer. He talked about the toll a shutdown will take. Listen to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Hundreds of thousands of these dedicated public servants who
stay on the job will do so without pay. And several hundred thousand more
will be immediately and indefinitely furloughed without pay. They are the
customers of every business in this country, and they would be hurt
greatly. And as a consequence we would all be hurt greatly should Congress
shut the government down. It would throw a wrench into the gears of our
economy at a time when those gears have gained some traction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: A wrench into the government, hundreds of thousands of
people suffering, federal employees that have nothing to do with the
Krystal, this is unthinkable.
BALL: That`s right. Federal employees, government employees, public
servants who Republicans have demonized over the years. And as usual,
Reverend, the people who will feel these cuts the hardest are the ones who
have the least voice and the least power in Washington. As you were
pointing out. Head start, people who are beneficiaries of WIC, those are
the folks whose cuts are going to fall -- the government shutdown is going
to fall the hardest upon.
And as Representative Bass was pointing out, you know, there is a lot
of focus on the tea party wing, there is a lot of focus on Ted Cruz,
rightly so. But there is one man right now who could avoid this whole
thing and that is speaker John Boehner. If he would bring a clean CR to
the floor right now, he is the person who directly bears the responsibility
for this government shutdown if we in fact, see one tonight, which
unfortunately looks very likely at this point.
SHARPTON: All Boehner has to do is call a vote. But list,
Congresswoman the rhetoric from Republicans about Obamacare saying it will
make us all unemployed, seriously? Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PETE SESSIONS (R), TEXAS: As we all become unemployed or move to
part-time work, we will see where this devastating law of a one size fits
all for everybody health care plan run by the government is not a wise way
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I mean, what is he talking about Congresswoman Bass?
BASS: Well, I mean, I think he is talking about complete nonsense.
First of all, the bill is not a one size fits all. There`s a variety of
options you can select from. But I really think that this is about
desperation time. My Republican colleagues are separate because they know
what`s going to happen. When a person who had diabetes or high blood
pressure finds out that they can now get health insurance with someone who
has had cancer and they`re going to be able to continue getting
chemotherapy because of the health cap. And now, with health care reform,
they can get that. They are desperate that if the people enroll in massive
numbers like I think they will, there will be no turning it back.
Why my Republican colleagues want to deny health care for the American
people, I have no idea. And there is absolutely no evidence to back up the
claim that people are losing their jobs. How can that be the case if
people haven`t even started to enroll?
And so, I think this is a desperate move. They also are moving in
this bill we would be voting on tonight to try to block health care for
their own staff and for members. And they`re calling it a subsidy when in
reality all it is, is the federal government like any very large employer
contributes to an employee`s health care plan.
They don`t want that to happen anymore. They`re calling it subsidies
and they are lying once again acting as though what is happening for their
own employees is something that is different and we`re getting preferential
SHARPTON: You know, Krystal, the politics of this is also, in my
opinion, makes no sense from what the Republicans are doing. Because in a
new poll, 69 percent of Americans said the Republicans in Congress are
acting like spoiled children.
BALL: Well, I think the American people are right. It`s obvious.
They are throwing a temper tantrum much like I`ve seen my 5-year-old do to
try to get their way. And it is not -- we are not even talking about a
majority of the Republican caucus here. We are talking about a minority of
one branch of the House of Representatives. It`s crazy.
And it`s not going to work because this time the president and the
Democrats have stayed strong together. They have stayed true to their
principles. And there is no way we are going to continue down the road of
crisis after crisis.
SHARPTON: You know, Congresswoman, Krystal said it`s not even all
Republicans. You have Republicans criticizing this shutdown strategy, just
in the last day or so. So, let me show you some.
Senator Susan Collins said it cannot possibly work.
Congressman Charlie Dent called it a fool`s errand.
These are Republicans.
Congressman Peter King says he`s tired of having Ted Cruz call all the
Congressman Devin Nunes attacked the tea party faction. They are all
giddy about a shutdown.
These are Republicans. They don`t even have their own part united on
BASS: Well, I mean, you know, the fundamental problem here is that
Boehner has never led his caucus. He has allowed a handful of his most
extreme members to lead his caucus. And he has been following behind him
Now, off the record, a number of my Republican colleagues have told me
that frankly they are embarrassed by this because it does amount to a
temper tantrum. It`s just the utmost irresponsible thing that I have seen
the tea party caucus within the Republican caucus do in the two and a half
years I`ve been here.
SHARPTON: Well, Speaker Boehner, if he called a vote he could really
do something that`s great for the country. We`ll see.
BASS: He needs to fall on the sword and do it.
SHARPTON: Or raise the sword and stand up for something.
BASS: There you go.
SHARPTON: Congresswoman Karen Bass and Krystal Ball, thank you for
your time tonight.
BALL: Thanks, Rev.
BASS: Thanks for having us on.
SHARPTON: Make sure you catch Krystal on "the Cycle" weekdays at 3:00
p.m. eastern right here on MSNBC.
Still ahead, Democrats accuse John Boehner of political cowardice.
Why won`t he stand up to the right win? I will ask the pea party member of
Plus, the Obama administration takes a big step to stop the GOP`s next
round of voter suppression. These Republicans won`t get away with it.
It`s news you need to hear.
And the one and only bishop T.D. Jakes is here. The outstanding
preacher and author is branching out and reaching a whole new audience.
And what`s on your mind? Got questions about health care, the
shutdown, or anything else? E-mail me. Friend or foe, I want to know.
"Reply Al" is ahead.
SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? We hope you will. Our facebook fans have been talking all
day about tonight`s potential government shutdown.
Vicky says people have short memories. Newt Gingrich tried this once.
It didn`t work then either.
What do you think about the possible shutdown?
Please vote in our poll. Just head over to facebook and search
"Politics Nation" and like us to join the conversation that keeps going
long after the show ends.
SHARPTON: We are back with breaking news.
The potential shutdown of the federal government at midnight tonight.
Right now House Republicans are gearing up for yet another vote to delay
Obamacare, an attempt to shift this debate back to the Senate.
But Democrats there are standing strong. On Friday, the Senate voted
54-44 not to protect the affordable care act. Earlier today, they voted
54-46 to preserve the law. In the face of GOP extremism, the Democrats are
showing a united front.
Joining me now is Senator Jon Tester, Democrat from Montana.
Thank you for being here tonight, Senator.
SEN. JON TESTER (D), MONTANA: It`s great to be here with you,
SHARPTON: Let me ask you, Senator, will Democrats stand firm against
the GOP`s attempts to kill Obamacare and shut down the government?
TESTER: Well, I think the big issue here, Al, is to make sure we have
a government that`s running and operating and that the lights are on.
The Republicans are going to try to continue to either defund or delay
the implementation of Obamacare. Why? Because then people won`t be able
to see all the benefits to it and they will be able to continue with their
stories about how it is not working. If it`s in place and it is working,
then, of course, a lot of those stories will have to go away because
reality will be different than the stories they tell.
So I think they have a political purpose for what they are doing. And
it`s more than just keeping the lights on in the government. I think it`s
very, very unfortunate. I think who folks from a red state like Montana
tell me is they want some certainty from Washington, D.C. They want folks
to be able to work together and get things done. We are surely not seeing
that on a continuing resolution.
SHARPTON: And isn`t that the point? You come from a red state, but
yet you`re standing up for what you feel is right for your constituents.
At the end of the day, Republican or Democrat, don`t people send people to
Washington to protect their interests and help them go forward and
something as basic as trying to make insurance available to all Americans,
why is this such a controversial thing particularly when it`s already the
TESTER: Well, maybe it`s because many of the folks here haven`t gone
without insurance like I have. There was a time early in my life where my
wife and I were starting a young family, went without insurance. It`s a
very, very scary thing. And the reason we went without it was we couldn`t
afford it. So, what`s the affordable care act going to do? It`s going to
do, as its title says, make health care more affordable.
And so, the quicker we could get it implemented -- and by the way, if
I had to say a negative thing about the affordable care act is that we
didn`t implement it fast enough. So, the quicker we can get it
implemented, the quicker folks can see the benefits. We have already
seeing some benefits like 26-year-old kids being able to stay on their
parents` policy, preexisting condition lifetime caps.
So, the quicker we can give (INAUDIBLE), everybody can see the
advantages and really help drive down the costs of health care which is
what this is doing, giving folks more choices in their health care
insurance provider, I think they will see the benefits of that and it will
move forward and people will accept it.
But as long as folks can stand up on the floor of the Senate or the
floor of the House or in a lot of these talk show programs and say things
that are not accurate, they continue to have merit. Let`s get the
affordable health care act, Obamacare implemented and then folks can take
advantage of it.
SHARPTON: You know, you got a wow out of me when you said how you and
your wife had gone through a stretch without insurance. Because at the end
of the day, people who have lived close to being uninsured or being
uninsured look and understand what we are talking about here. Millions of
people starting tomorrow can sign up to get health insurance which is only
securing their family. We are not talking about giving away something
unnecessary, basic health insurance.
TESTER: That`s exactly right. And this is not government health
care. This is giving folks more options to get insurance by. And getting
more competition in the market place and expanding pools, all the things
that people back here have talked about for a long, long time.
Well now, it`s going to come to fruition and a minority of the
Republicans are holding that up and defunding our government in the
process. It`s just a mistake, and hopefully common sense will prevail here
until it turns midnight. And we will get a consensus to move the
government forward and keep the lights on.
SHARPTON: Senator Jon Tester, thank you for your time tonight.
TESTER: Thank you, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Still ahead, John Boehner has the power to stop a shutdown.
If he stands up to the right wing of his own party. I will talk about that
with a tea party member of Congress.
Plus, my live interview with Bishop T.D. Jakes. The preacher and
best-selling author is bringing his message to a whole new audience. He
will reveal his big plans ahead. Stay with us.
SHARPTON: We are less than six hours away from the first government
shutdown in nearly 20 years. Can it be stopped? Especially if this is
what we`re hearing from some on the right.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SESSIONS: They want a government-run health care system!
REP. MARK MEADOWS (R), NORTH CAROLINA: We did not elect a dictator.
We elected a president.
REP. JOHN CULBERSON (R), TEXAS: We are in the house tonight
fulfilling our responsibility as adults.
REP. DANA ROHRABACHER (R), CALIFORNIA: If this government shuts down,
it`s because you have not accepted the compromise that Republicans have
reached out to you and offered.
SESSIONS: It`s time for us to stop it dead in its track.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The continuing Republican effort to stop the president`s
health care law, even if it means shutting down the federal government.
Why won`t they just give it a rest? I will ask a tea party member of
Congress who is opposed to the health care law. Our debate is next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Republicans have no
interest in shutting down the government. Shutting down the government, I
think, is irresponsible and I think it will end up costing the American
taxpayers more money than we are already spending.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Two years ago speaker John Boehner said a government
shutdown would hurt the American people. But now he is bringing us to the
brink again over the Republican obsession with derailing President Obama`s
health care law.
Meantime, ordinary Americans brace themselves for what would happen if
the government does shut down at midnight tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I guess this is where most people who are not
quite sure they`re going to have a paycheck.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It breaks my heart we won`t be able to pay our
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ninety percent of our businesses are probably even
more than that --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Business owner Joe Dibas (ph) says a
shutdown would devastate local shops.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No reason to come here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Several hundred child abuse investigators and
foster care workers could be impacted.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Another DHS program greatly impacted
would be food stamp services.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If the federal government does shutdown, yes,
SNAP benefits may cease.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: These are the very real consequences if the federal
government shuts down. But is there a way to stop that from happening?
Joining me now is Congressman Blake Ferenthold, Republican from Texas.
First of all, thank you for coming on the show, Congressman.
REP. BLAKE FARENTHOLD (R), TEXAS: Good to be with you, Reverend
SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you. Was Speaker Boehner right two years
ago? Is shutting down the government irresponsible?
FARENTHOLD: Listen, nobody says we want to shut down the government.
We sent three bills will upset by tonight, three bills over to the Senate
to keep it going. Speaker Boehner has been real clear. That`s not what we
are trying to do.
SHARPTON: Well, you`re saying, though, but, if you don`t vote for our
bills, if you don`t do what we say, then it`s going to shutdown. So, I
FARENTHOLD: Isn`t the other side saying the same thing?
SHARPTON: How do you hold the health care law -- which is a law --
hostage then say it`s not us, it`s you. That`s not any way that we govern,
FARENTHOLD: It certainly is. The founding fathers gave the House of
Representatives the power of the purse, the constitution says that all
funding bills have to start in the House of Representatives. We were given
that power by the founding fathers. We`re Congress. We make laws and we
change laws. That`s our job.
SHARPTON: But since the founding fathers, we`ve never had a
government shutdown over a law. Not one time. Can you cite one time we`ve
FARENTHOLD: We`ve shut the government down under a variety of
SHARPTON: Never about a law that was passed, Congressman.
FARENTHOLD: Again, we`re exercising our constitutional authority.
We`re getting away from the point. We`re not holding the government
hostage. Listen, we`ve agreed to fund everything but Obamacare. We`ve
even agreed to fund Obamacare if we`ll just put off the individual mandate
like we`ve put off for big businesses and the President`s millionaire
donors with corporate jets and all the labor unions. We want to give
working Americans the same opportunity --
SHARPTON: Did the president shut the government down to do that? Do
you acknowledge that this law was passed four years ago? You`ve
acknowledge that, right?
FARENTHOLD: Absolutely. That`s why I was elected --
SHARPTON: Do you acknowledge that the Supreme Court upheld the law?
SHARPTON: Do you acknowledge that you lost the election last year?
FARENTHOLD: I won the election. One of my top issues with my
SHARPTON: No, I`m talking about the national election where the
republican nominee Mr. Romney ran with your position, lost to President
Obama and this was a central issue in the campaign. You will acknowledge
he legitimately won that race, correct?
FARENTHOLD: I will tell you it was one of the issues, but there are
lots of reasons to vote for Mr. Obama other than the health care law and
lots of reasons to vote against Romney that didn`t involve health care.
There were dozens of issues. But I can tell you what I`m hearing from my
constituents in my town halls in Texas. This law is costing jobs and it`s
stifling our economy and it`s not good for America. I ran on it and I feel
like my mandate was to come up here to fight, to mitigate the damage that
this law is going to do to our economy, to our country and the working
SHARPTON: And I respect that, but you fight and you put up a law and
you change the law. You do not defund the law that has already been
passed, that you cannot change the law in the Senate. What you`re doing is
holding something hostage. That is not what you`re elected to do that
you`re really saying it`s my way or I`m going to make people suffer. Eight
hundred thousand federal employees can suffer. Let me ask you a question
that a lot of people that may lose or be furloughed tonight are asking.
Ted Cruz was asked this question about would he give up his paycheck while
you`re risking others on what you claim you have a mandate to do. Let me
show you what Ted Cruz said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: If outside of your control against your
wishes government shut down, will you give up on the questioner`s point,
your government paycheck?
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I will confess it is a question I have not
-- not given significant thought to, and so at least at the current time, I
have no intention to do so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I mean, how can somebody stand on principle but they
sacrifice others paychecks and not their own. Would you give up your
paycheck tonight at midnight, Congressman, if we go into a shutdown? Would
you say to the constituents that you`re talking for and about, I will put
my check on the line?
FARENTHOLD: Mr. Sharpton, I`ve already composed and written a letter
to the house administration telling them to withhold my paycheck in the
event of a lapse of appropriation.
SHARPTON: And will you call on Senator Cruz and other Republicans to
join you and not be phony about being like you are and stand up and put
their check down?
FARENTHOLD: Yes, sir. Ted, put your money where your mouth is.
SHARPTON: And other Republicans?
FARENTHOLD: And listen, it is -- I would consider it to be immoral to
take a paycheck when the people in the federal government were not.
Absolutely. Now, Reverend, I do want to point something out. In all of
the previous government shutdowns, the federal workers were eventually made
whole. They were paid their back pay. You hear all this gloom and doom
about folks not being able to make -- pay their mortgages and such. First
of all, I don`t think there`s going to be a government shutdown. And
second of all, if history is any indication, they will be made whole and
they will receive their back pay and they will basically be a paid
vacation. But we don`t want that to happen.
SHARPTON: But it will be a paid vacation for people, Congressman,
that may be able to get to whenever it is that they would get their back
pay if there`s a shutdown. People that live check to check, people that
can make it only because of their paycheck, that is not much comfort to
them if, in fact, you have a long shutdown. You`re saying you don`t think
there will be a shutdown. I hope you`re right. But if I was one waiting
on midnight tonight and we are six hours away, that doesn`t give me a lot
Right in your own district, Republicans are pushing for a
shutdown, but in your district, you -- your district, you. You have more
than 143,000 people who don`t have health insurance. That`s 20.5 percent
of your constituents. Health care exchanges open tomorrow. Regardless of
a shutdown, if you hear from an uninsured constituent and they ask for help
in signing up for the exchange, will you help them?
FARENTHOLD: Well, unfortunately in the event of a government
shutdown, I`m furloughing my case workers. So there will be nobody in my
office to do that. But let me tell you, what we`ve got to do is we`ve got
to make insurance affordable to folks. We`ve got to encourage business to
offer insurance. One of the biggest employers in the district I represent
is cutting their workers down to 30 hours. They`re dropping their health
insurance programs. And on the managers that they keep full-time, they`re
going to pay the fine on. That`s just dumping this on the federal
government getting rid of a perfectly good healthcare plan because of all
the government mandates associated with this.
SHARPTON: That`s exactly right. And though --
FARENTHOLD: It`s a train wreck!
SHARPTON: Those and other reasons why 20 percent of your district is
not insured. But that is why the president came with an act that passed to
try and deal with some of that. And you guys are blackmailing it saying we
are not going to pay for it unless you do it our way.
FARENTHOLD: No, sir.
SHARPTON: You can`t describe it any other way, Congressman.
FARENTHOLD: We are willing to come to the table to negotiate around
keeping the government open. We`ve sent two proposals by tonight a third
proposal to the Senate. They won`t even talk to us. The president won`t
even talk to us. Who`s holding who hostage? We`re trying to move forward.
SHARPTON: You`ve got a law that is already passed and upheld by the
Supreme Court. You`re saying we`re not going to fund the law unless you
delay it, unless you change it our way. We don`t have the votes to pass
this, but we will hold the purse strings in the Congress even though the
Senate`s not going to do this, even though members of our own party are
saying don`t do this. We are going to hold a ransom on paying government
FARENTHOLD: Listen, Reverend Sharpton. We`ve already, in our current
proposal that`s going to be voting on this evening, we`re funding it. All
we`re saying is delay the requirement that middle class working Americans
have to dig into their pocket and buy insurance that they don`t want or
they don`t need.
SHARPTON: All you`re saying is that we want you to delay what is
already law and we will only fund it if you don`t do it. Congressman, that
is blackmail. I don`t care how you cut it. But at least you`re going to
put your check up. And I`m going to be watching. I promise.
FARENTHOLD: Thank you, sir.
SHARPTON: Congressman Farenthold, thank you for your time tonight.
And I hope Ted Cruz heard your admonition.
FARENTHOLD: Thank you.
SHARPTON: I`d like to bring in now Joan Walsh. Joan, you heard
that. They just refused to quit.
JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: That was unbelievable. What a buffoon. I`m
sorry, Reverend Al, but to call it a paid vacation for federal workers.
They`re getting a paid vacation.
SHARPTON: A paid vacation. People living check to check.
WALSH: They are living check to check. And we are talking were the
Democrats able to do the right thing, get them to do the right thing and
fund the continuing resolution, this is funding in place -- keeping in
place the sequester cuts. So, you`ve got federal workers who have taken
furloughs, you`ve got head start kids who`ve been kicked off the program.
You`ve got the carnage that we`ve seen in our communities based on the
sequester. And the sequester becomes the permanent reality. So, that`s
considered a victory for the president?
And this is all the about the president at the end of the day,
Reverend Al. They just keep referring to Obamacare. They want to take it
away. That man, that congressman with Chris Matthews our friend last week
refused to say that the president was legitimately elected. He said he was
elected but he wouldn`t use the word legitimately. A few months ago he
said that they had the votes to impeach the president. So that is what
it`s about. Taking away his legacy, humiliating him and hurting people.
Because when these exchanges open, they are going to work.
SHARPTON: Well, when you deal with a member of Congress that acts
like a shutdown of the government is a paid vacation for people that are
going to be furloughed, how do you deal in the realm of reality with
somebody that has that attitude toward federal employees?
WALSH: They`re not in the realm of reality. And the only hope
now, we both know this, is that John Boehner has one of those take this job
and shove it moments. Because he is not the leader. He`s being led around
by the nose, by the likes of Blake Farenthold and Ted Cruz and the Texas
people. These guys represents 18 percent of the country in the House. And
they`re holding the entire country hostage.
And they`re holding John Boehner hostage. But you and I could play
clip after clip after clip of John Boehner saying this is not a good idea,
this hurts the country, Obamacare is the law of the land, the president got
re-elected. We could play those clips until the government is no longer
funded because they`re out there. He`s got to at some point -- doesn`t he
at some point have to have a moment where he says, this is not worth it.
I`m not the leaders, they`re the leaders and steps away.
SHARPTON: You know Washington very well, Joan. What does your gut
tell you about tonight? Are we going to have a shutdown?
WALSH: I think we`re going to have a shutdown. Because if the
speaker hasn`t had that moment yet, I don`t know what`s going to make him
have that moment. We can both pray that he wakes up and he lets a clean
resolution pass with democratic votes. That`s all we can hope for. That`s
where we are now. Because the president is not going to blink.
SHARPTON: These moderate Republicans could not influence this tonight
and get Boehner to stand up and have a remarkable profile encourage?
WALSH: So far you`ve only got a few and really speaking out. I
criticize Peter King, representative Congressman Peter King but I want to
give him a shout out. Because not that he wants -- but, you know, he has
said that this is wrong, there are few of them that are starting to speak
out. But it`s kind of shocking there are so few. I don`t know that
they`re going to have either the courage or the clout to get Speaker
Boehner to do this. I just don`t know.
SHARPTON: Well, Joan, thank you for your time tonight. And you said
let`s pray. That`s exactly what I`m going to do. Because my next guest,
he`s counseled three U.S. presidents and a congregation of more than 30,000
people. Now Bishop T.D. Jakes is reaching a brand new audience. He joins
me live next.
SHARPTON: Welcome back. My next guest is Bishop T.D. Jakes. He`s
the founder and senior pastor of one of the fastest growing churches in the
nation. Preaching to a congregation of more than 30,000 people, over the
years he`s counseled three U.S. presidents. Including President Obama and
former presidents Clinton and George W. Bush. With Washington seemingly
more divided than ever, it`s a fitting night to have him on the show.
Joining me now is the Bishop T.D. Jakes, best-selling author,
philanthropist, and senior pastor of the party`s house. He`s also the host
of a new BET talk show called "T.D. Jakes Present: Mind Body and Soul."
Thank you so much, Bishop, for coming on the show tonight.
T.D. JAKES, SENIOR PASTOR, THE POTTER`S HOUSE: Thank you, Rev, for
having me. I`m pleased to be here with you.
SHARPTON: Now, you have a huge congregation. What are some of the
problems you`re hearing in your community?
JAKES: Well, you know, we look to our government to represent us.
And I think some of their frustrations that people are having with Congress
in general is that you send people to Washington so that your voice can be
heard. You don`t really want to be punished by the people that you send
out too Washington.
SHARPTON: Yes. Now, you know, with this shutdown, you have been one
of the ministers that can minister to Republicans, Democrats. You don`t
get into partisan spats. What would your appeal be to those that are on
the hill tonight debating? What would your appeal be to them, Bishop?
JAKES: You know, my real concern is as we grapple about the
complexities of the economy and about Obamacare which has already been
passed as you`ve stated so eloquently, the thing that really frustrates me
that the people who are punished the most are the people who are unemployed
and the people who are under employed and in this case, the military and
their families and their children. And I`m just saying, in the profit of
bantering about this, let`s not use average Americans as a switch that we
hit with to impress our point upon the other. Because at the end of the
day, how can we teach our children that bullying is wrong if they see our
leadership at the highest level bullying in a way that we would not allow
children to act in school.
SHARPTON: You know, you have an extensive ministry. We`ve looked at
it, you were with us last year at National Action Network. Prison
ministry, dealing with gun violence. And you`ve tried to appeal to young
people to behave in a responsible way. And clearly as you`re saying, we
would expect the leaders of the country not to act like gang bangers.
JAKES: Yes. It`s a really scary thought for me. You know, for
years, we`ve been involve to our (INAUDIBLE) where we have worked to
rehabilitate people who have been incarcerated to reduced a rate of
recidivism and up nearly 10,000 people have effectively gone through our
programs down through the years. We are able to make a difference in that
regard. But it is important that we have government stand alongside
helping that we work together. And the polarization of this country
actually scares me to death. Systemically and the way that we process
information, it`s almost like we`re pitted against each other.
When we ought to be known for what we are for rather than what
we are against. And there are some issues that we need to drop our guns
and unite around so that we can move to more pressing issues that threaten
the very interior fiber of our country. There`s so much work to be done.
And when you start talking about gun violence and you start talking about
the turmoil in the inner city, it doesn`t always make the press, it doesn`t
always hit the headlines. But we love our children too.
SHARPTON: Now, we know you as the best-selling author, we know you
for your huge crusades and mega fests and all, but people need to know that
you have 59 ministries including literacy programs, AIDS outreach, homeless
outreach, male mentorship. And one of the nation`s largest fastest growing
prison ministries. So you have a ministry that meet people on the ground.
How do we deal with this problem of violence? We`re getting rid to deal in
Chicago. You`ve been dealing with this issue all over the country. How do
we change people`s minds and at the same time with these gun laws?
JAKES: You know, the problem is pervasive. And it`s not just amongst
the cases that we see on television that get the press` attention. A lot
of cases either young children, young boys, teenage boys. And I think we
have a family crisis, we have an issue with fatherhood in our community.
We certainly need to have a criminal justice system that is revamped that
meets the time that we are living in today more effectively. I don`t think
that there is a one-prong solution to the complexities that we`ve face
It`s the political issue, some of the laws need to be
readjusted. Everything that`s legal if not just. We`ve seen that over and
over again. And it is interesting that we need to approach it from a legal
perspective, but we also have a domestic problem and a community problem
and our churches and many other churches are working on it. Social
institutions, civic institutions, but faith based institutions can really
make a difference. And I made it my business and my (inaudible) to be
involved in our community.
SHARPTON: Now, you are branching out. I mean, you`ve already made
great strides in the film industry with some smashing successes. But now
this Sunday you start another way if it is possible for you to expand,
you`re doing it again. With going at a new audience with this show "Mind,
Body and Soul." Tell us bishop what it`s about and what you`re going to
JAKES: "Mind, Body, and Soul" is going to be a talk show, it`s a
weekly talk show. And it`s an opportunity, our church is not doing it. My
enterprise is doing this particular initiative. And it is an opportunity
for us to really be able to have a broader conversation. There are some
things and some people I want to talk to that don`t fit within the
appropriate topography of the church. But there are issues that deserve to
be taken all except for the issues we`re talking about tonight. And to be
able to do that, from the format of BET is something I`m very, very
And for me an opportunity -- we cannot withdraw from the culture
if we expect to change the culture. If you`re going to effect the culture,
you have to be engaged. Jesus said go unto all the world. And he doesn`t
necessarily mean by camel. This is an opportunity to go into all the
world`s system and to communicate and to say, we are in it, none of it but
still concerned about it, able to effect it, and able to speak to it. And
this is one of the way you want to do it "Mind, Body, and Soul."
SHARPTON: "Mind, Body and Soul," Bishop T.D. Jakes, you know, it`s
great to have you, as always, good to see you. Wish I was there in New
JAKES: I`m honored to be on your show.
SHARPTON: Don`t forget to catch this new show, it premieres this
Sunday 12:00 noon Eastern and Pacific on BET. Bishop T.D. Jakes, "Mind,
Body and Soul."
Up next, Attorney General Holder lays down the law, his tough words
today. And what they mean in the fight for voting rights. That`s next.
SHARPTON: Attorney General Eric Holder today announced the
Justice Department will sue the State of North Carolina over its harsh new
voter suppression bill. The Justice Department is challenging some of the
worst aspects of the North Carolina law. Including imposing a strict voter
I.D. requirement, eliminating same-day voter registration, and cutting
early voting by a week. This lawsuit along with a similar lawsuit in Texas
shows the Obama administration is serious about fighting new voter
suppression laws wherever they crop up.
SHARPTON: Finally tonight I want to talk about something that`s been
a huge part of my life for months now. It`s my book called "The Rejected
Stone." It`s a deeper look into my own story and my own revolution as a
person. I want to share my experiences and help people understand if you
want something, you can make it happen no matter what. You just have to go
out and do it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The title of the book "The Rejected Stone" came from
a biblical passage in St. Luke. And I thought about how my own evolution
and a lot of people that are now in place around the world as we know it,
President Obama, Michael Jackson, we all are rejected stones. We all are
people that if at the beginning of our lives and/or careers, people would
never expect to have an impact at all. And I think that it has become a
society where the former rejects have become the ones that have changed the
character. And I wanted to tell anecdotes of my story to tell the average
person I don`t care how people view you, if you accept yourself you can
make a difference.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Yes, we are a nation that has made a lot of change.
And we`ve changed it from having those that have been rejected becoming
leaders of the nation. And you can transform yourself. You may be like I
was, rejected in your family, rejected in your workplace. It`s time for
the rejected to embrace themselves. I tell how I learned it. I learned it
from people like President Obama and Michael Jackson and James Brown. I
tell personal stories of what I learned on my journey. Not so you would
understand me, but so you could understand yourself. It doesn`t matter
your race. We all need to stop feeling like we`re rejected. And make it
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
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