updated 10/3/2013 5:02:48 PM ET 2013-10-03T21:02:48

POLITICS NATION
October 1, 2013

Guest: Michelle Cottle; Chaka Fattah, Patricia Murphy, Jonathan Capehart,
Dana Milbank, Joe Madison

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed, and thank you for
handing it over and thanks to you for tuning in.

It`s a historic day. Millions of Americans starting to sign up for
insurance under President Obama`s health care law. It`s a transformative
moment for America. And we`ll be talking about it a lot in the show
tonight. But we begin with the government shutdown.

For the first time in 17 years, Republicans forced the federal
government to shut down because they refuse to pass a budget that funded
Obamacare. Taking a stand to try to deny millions of people`s insurance.

Last night, a GOP lawmaker explained to me why he is not worried about
federal workers losing their paychecks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If history is any indication, they will be made
whole and will receive their back pay and it will basically be a paid
vacation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Republicans think a shutdown is a paid vacation. No big
deal. Few days off to relax. Easy for them to say. Members of Congress
are still getting paid. These GOP lawmakers are pocketing their six figure
salaries but taking away money from hard working people all across the
country.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: The 3,000 Johnson Space Center
employees are among the federal workers that were sent home from work this
morning because of the shutdown.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It was devastating.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: What`s next for you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Try to make some money on the side, cut some grass
or bar tend or whatever.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Furloughs earlier in the summer took
$1300 away from their paychecks and forced big cuts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They don`t lose pay. We do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s right. Regular people do lose. Eight hundred
thousand federal workers have been furloughed. No funding for the women,
infants, and children nutritional program has stopped. And the department
for veterans could soon run out of benefits. That`s just part of what`s
happening today.

This shutdown is no vacation. It`s a cold dose of reality. It shows
just how extreme and out of touch the Republican party really is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Republicans in the
House of Representatives refuse to fund the government unless we defunded
or dismantled the Affordable Care Act. They have shut down the government
over an ideological crusade to deny affordable health insurance to millions
of Americans. In other words, they demanded ransom just for doing their
job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Republicans are demanding ransom for doing their job. And
the American people don`t like being held hostage. A new poll shows 72
percent are against shutting down government over the health care law, 72
percent. That`s why House Republicans are already back tracking with votes
tonight trying to fund the government on a piecemeal basis. It`s
ridiculous.

Now Republicans just want to pay for the things they like? This idea
will fail too. Republicans can`t avoid the truth. They have shut down the
government over Obamacare and the American people know it.

Joining me now is Congressman Chaka Fattah, Democrat of Pennsylvania
and Michelle Cottle.

Thank you both for being here.

REP. CHAKA FATTAH (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Thank you.

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

SHARPTON: Congressman, let me go to you first. Three-quarters of the
country is opposed to the Republican shutdown. How long can they drag this
out?

FATTAH: Well, if we get a Democratic president and Republican
Congress, we seem to get shutdowns. But when people look at the Clinton
years, they don`t think about shutdowns. They think about the 25 million
new jobs. And when they look back at the Obama years, they are going to
think about tens of millions of people being able to have to access to
health care. We can`t be intimidated to equivocating on this issue. There
can be no retreat on the Affordable Care Act. There won`t be any retreat.
I told your viewers a few weeks back that the president was not going to
compromise on this issue then, we won`t. And what they have done now is
taken the entire government hostage.

SHARPTON: For how long if there`s no retreat, how long can they keep
in this inflexible position of a shutdown where already 72 percent of the
public is against them. As long as the president doesn`t retreat, how long
can they hold out like this?

FATTAH: I don`t believe that they can hold out for long. In fact, as
you mentioned on the front edge of your program, they already are offering
up opportunities to roll back some of these freezes. But we`re not going
to go for that. The Democratic position both in the House and the Senate
and at the White House is that we are not going for a piecemeal approach.
That what we want to have is an operation of the government on the basis of
the Republican budget number.

We are willing to agree to their number for a period of a few week so
that we can negotiate a budget for the new year. But we are not willing to
have as part of that negotiations any retreat on Obama`s health care
program or on the debt ceiling.

So, it`s not that the president won`t negotiate. We will negotiate a
budget, but we are not going to negotiate about the country defrauding on
its credit and we are not going to retreat one inch for what you see today
which is millions of Americans for the first time having access to
affordable health care.

SHARPTON: And we`re not going to see the president or the Democrats
piecemeal.

Michelle, the president said he`s not going to sign it. They won`t
sign anything that is not involving all that we should see from his
perspective.

COTTLE: Look, he has made very clear that at this point, negotiating
with a gun to his head, so to speak, is not in the plan. I mean, what you
have is every few months we are doing this. And I think, you know, one of
the things that people have been talking about is unless there was a very
fast resolution to this shutdown, would it just go forward until the debt
ceiling resolution has to occur. And if not then, you know, one of the
things that Republicans have tried is to say they want to go to conference
committee, but with just the temporary continuing resolution as opposed to
a big budget deal which means we are doing this again in several weeks.
So, I think Obama is trying t make clear that it`s kind of government by
crisis, you know, funding just a few weeks at a time is unacceptable and in
that case, he really can`t negotiate.

SHARPTON: Congressman Fattah, you heard a Republican refer to the
shutdown as a paid vacation on my program last night. But here`s what the
president said about people forced to miss work.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Hundreds of thousands of civilian workers, many still on the
job, many forced to stay home aren`t being paid. Even if they have
families to support and local businesses that rely on them. And we know
that the longer this shutdown continues, the worse the effects will be.
More families will hurt, more businesses will be harmed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The president says more families will be hurt. Isn`t this
the message the American people want to hear about how it affects ordinary
people, families, not this brinkmanship on Capitol Hill, Congressman?

FATTAH: Well, Reverend, families with people who have children
suffering from cancer were turned away from clinical trials that they are
participating in that had to be shutdown at the national institute of
health today. This is not just government workers and whether they are
going to pay or not. These are people that come into work that make a
difference every day. Whether the national weather service, whether the
INH, rather in homeland security, or in our law enforcement agencies.
These are people who they didn`t go into government service to make a lot
of money. They went in to government service to provide services to the
public, and they are dedicated.

This issue, you know, we heard the speaker at one point, say he would
never negotiate with the president anymore. We heard Cantor when he walked
out of the -- majority leader Cantor when he walked out of the budget
negotiations on the grand bargain and you showed this a few years ago, when
he said the president we don`t need. We need to work out a deal between
the House and the Senate and the president either signs or vetoes.

This is not a debate between the House Republicans and the president.
They have to pass something in the House that the Senate is willing to pass
in order for the president to be able to sign or veto it. And what they
have been unwilling to do is hear the Senate majority. When it said that
the only thing they are willing to negotiate on the budget are budget
related matters. They are not willing to see any retreat on affordable
care.

SHARPTON: You know, Michelle, well, let me ask you, are the moderate
Republicans cracking? I was going to say it appears to me there seems to
be some cracking there, but do you think that some of the moderate
Republicans are cracking? Check this out, which is why I`m asking the
question.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I know this is hurting employment in our area,
it`s hurting our country. I guess the question is do those who think that,
you know, a shutdown of a seven or eight or nine days, does that advance
for cause? If your answer`s yes, then go down that path. My conclusion is
it doesn`t.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He says it is hurting real people. I mean, what do you
start to see some of the moderates openly and publicly trying to back away
from this kind of hard line position taken by some of the extremists in
their party?

COTTLE: Look, there has been a huge chunk of the Republican party
that has been extremely eager to avoid this shutdown. You have had
strategists going up to the hill, you have had people kind of doing --
putting polls out there to shore up the message this is a bad thing for the
party to do. You`ve had John McCain out there, you`ve had Congressman
Peter King out there saying we have been through this. This is a terrible
idea. So, you know, it`s going to be interesting to see where that
pressure leads. But you have had it for awhile now, and it`s going to get
more intense as this goes on.

SHARPTON: Congressman Chaka Fattah and Michelle Cottle, thank you
both for your time tonight.

FATTAH: Thank you for having me.

COTTLE: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, more from the president on his historic day.
The first full day of the new health care law.

Plus turns out failing miserably puts you in the record books. We
congratulate speaker Boehner "Politics Nation" style.

And as 800,000 Americans suffer, Eric Cantor is playing with
photography. Why this picture`s worth a thousand words?

And comparing Obamacare to slavery and crack cocaine? More on their
ugly coded rhetoric.

And friend or foe, I want to know. E-mail me. "Reply Al" is ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? We hope you will. Today our facebook community was excited
about the launch of the Affordable Care Act`s insurance exchanges.

Brittany writes I am now insured through Obamacare.

That`s great, Brittany, congratulations.

Nancy says I really think the reason why the Republicans are fighting
so hard to get rid of Obamacare is the fact that people can register to
vote when they sign up for the insurance.

Interesting point, Nancy.

We like to know what you think. Just head over to facebook and search
"Politics Nation" and like us to join the conversation that keeps going
long after the show ends.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Eighteen hours and counting. That`s how long the federal
government has been closed thanks to the Republican temper tantrum over
Obamacare. The last time Republicans recklessly forced a shutdown was 17
years ago. And this was the cover of "the New York Daily News." The
headline reads "cry baby" with a cartoon picture of the speaker of the
House Newt Gingrich.

And here`s "the Daily News" today. Take a look at this, America. You
can read the headline for yourself. You can see the blood on speaker
Boehner`s hands.

Today, we learned this Congress has a 10 percent approval rating, the
lowest approval of all time. So congratulations, speaker Boehner.
Congratulations on leading the worst Congress of all time.

Joining me now is Richard Wolffe, MSNBC.com executive editor and
author of the new book titled "the message: the reselling of President
Obama."

Richard, thanks for being here.

RICHARD WOLFFE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, MSNBC.COM: Thanks for having me,
Rev.

SHARPTON: Now, we know how it turned out for Newt. How will the
showdown affect speaker Boehner and this Congress?

WOLFFE: Well, it`s going to be worse, actually. I mean, look, we can
try to project out how the elections are going here, but we have got to
take this back a few years to what the Republicans decided to do about the
tea party. They could have said, hey, let`s leave it like the Ross Perot
guys, and some third party that will die out on its own.

Instead, they took them on board. And now, the fear of the tea party
is driving the whole Republican agenda which means they cannot break free
from them. They are actually giving life to this tea party movement, and
that is destroying their brand. They will be not trusted with deficits,
with finance, all things they say they`re strong on for generations to
come.

SHARPTON: Now, let me show you this picture. I`m showing you this
picture, it sums up this Republican House. As America suffers, Eric
Cantor, the number two guy in the House tweeted this picture of the House
Republicans sitting at an empty table. And he wrote sneeringly, we sit
ready to negotiate with the Senate.

WOLFFE: It`s a stunt.

SHARPTON: Really.

WOLFFE: I mean, who in their right mind thinks the president, the
chief executive of the federal government, wants it to be closed? This is
what the Republicans are trying to say right now. They stand ready to keep
the government open. And somehow, some reason this president wants to shut
the whole thing down. It makes no sense to people who aren`t paying
attention. Never mind to be who are not paying attention, you know, that`s
a joke.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, I mentioned to you the 1995 shutdown. And I
want you to listen to Congressman John Boehner just before Christmas in
1995. Listen to this, Richard.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Quite frankly, we
believe it`s time for the president to get serious about balancing this
budget. We have been making a list and checking it twice. And we think
that the president deserves only one thing for this Christmas because he
has not done his work. And that is a little coal to put in the president`s
box this year.

That`s charcoal. It`s as close as we could get today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, that was just before Christmas `95, the last shutdown.
And look at the fallout of what happened. President Clinton won reelection
in `96, the next year. Democrats gained seats in the House both in `96 and
`98, and finally, Gingrich resigned as speaker after Republican losses. So
it didn`t work too well when Mr. Boehner was doing stunts in `95.

WOLFFE: It didn`t. And remember, compared to today, Gingrich had a
better relationship with the man he tried to impeach than Boehner has now
with the president of the United States. So it`s even worse now. They are
playing an even worse hand. We could talk about the next election and the
one after that. But this is as bad for Republicans on the economy, on debt
and deficits, as it was for Democrats when you look back at the Vietnam
era.

For generations, they won`t trusted with foreign policy, Republicans
are looking at the same thing right now. And at the moment they are
saying, this is not just a vacation. We are cutting spending. They are
increasing the cost by closing down the government at this point.
Everybody knows that in Washington. They are pretending that somehow they
are saving money.

SHARPTON: Well, (INAUDIBLE) because this week`s 69 percent of the
Americans said Republicans in Congress are acting like spoiled children.

WOLFFE: Yes. That`s what they call hurting the brand. You know, in
what sense is that a party ready for government. If you were elected, you
want to be looking like you are ready for government. That`s why every
serious contender in 2016, even people like Rand Paul saying enough. Let`s
get back to work.

SHARPTON: And no one, no matter what your politics wants spoiled
children running the government.

WOLFFE: It`s not a great bumper sticker.

SHARPTON: No, it is not. And it`s not a good way for your brand, as
you said.

Richard Wolffe, thanks for your time tonight.

WOLFFE: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, open for business. Obamacare is here. It`s
working, and it`s driving Republicans crazy. We will debug the GOP`s new
myth about the law.

Plus, Rush Limbaugh and his cronies on the right, they sink to a new
low. You won`t believe what they`re saying about people signing up for
health care. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: When this exchange is up and running, millions of people will
get tax breaks to help them afford coverage, which represents the largest
middle class tax cut for health care in history. That`s what this reform
is about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: President Obama on the day he signed the Affordable Care
Act into law. Talking about a pivotal process in this country that begins
today, right now.

Right now as we speak, millions of uninsured Americans are signing up
for health care coverage, many of them for the first time in their lives.
It has been an exciting day, a great day, and Republicans can`t stand it.

We will talk about that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: For weeks the GOP has been saying they are shutting down
the government to crush the health care law, kill it dead in its tracks.
Only that hasn`t happened. Has it, Mr. President?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Because of its funding sources, it`s not impacted by a
government shutdown. Even though the government is closed, a big part of
the Affordable Care Act is now open for business.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Hear that, Senator Cruz? Is that loud enough for you,
Speaker Boehner? The Affordable Care Act is open for business. For a
hundred years, U.S. presidents have tried to bring health care to all
Americans and today that dream became a reality, a reality for people like
Leslie Boyd whose son died from lack of coverage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LESLIE BOYD, SON DIED BECAUSE OD LACK OF COVERAGE: This is my son
Mike Dan Forth (ph). He can`t be here today a birth defect, this
preexisting condition, he couldn`t get insurance because of it. And
without insurance, he couldn`t get the annual colonoscopies he needed
because he was so vulnerable to colon cancer. I actually saw written on
his medical record patient needs a colonoscopy but cannot afford it. That
was what was thought of his life. By the time they be anything for him,
his cancer was stage three. They took my child from me. That`s the worst
thing that can happen to anybody, you know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: These stories are what today is really all about. But you
wouldn`t know it because of the GOP. Today they delighted in reports that
there were snags in the rollout. Sure there were glitches, but that`s
because demand were so high. More than a million people had visited the
federal health ca site by 7:00 a.m. New York state reported two million
visits. Illinois had more than 62,000. I call that demand. I call that
hunger for affordable coverage. The real glitch in Washington is one
party`s desire to rob millions of coverage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I know it`s strange that one
party would make keeping people uninsured the center piece of their agenda,
but that apparently is what it is. And of course what`s stranger still is
that shutting down our government doesn`t accomplish their stated goal.
The Affordable Care Act is a law that passed the House, it passed the
Senate, the Supreme Court ruled it constitutional, it was a central issue
in last year` election. It is settled and it is her to stay.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The law is here to stay. And this country`s a better place
because of it. Joining me now are Patricia Murphy and Jonathan Capehart.
Thank you both for coming on the show tonight.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, THE WASHINGTON POST: Thanks, Rev.

PATRICIA MURPHY, CITIZEN JANE POLITICS: Hi.

SHARPTON: Jonathan, let me start with you. It`s a historic day. Now
that the law is in motion, how difficult is it for Republicans to argue
that this law is the bogeyman?

(LAUGHTER)

CAPEHART: Well, Rev, I think every day that folks have an opportunity
to actually not just talk about in theory but in actuality go to the
exchanges in their respective states and go through the process and go
about securing for themselves insurance, it`s one more day that the
Republicans lose the argument. Remember, they were fighting tooth and nail
up until today to try to get Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, defunded,
delayed, or repealed. And now that October 1st has come, it`s going to be
infinitely more difficult as the days go on.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, Patricia, today the President met with some
of the people who are really benefiting from the law. Listen to one of the
stories he told.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Trinace Edwards was laid off from her job a year ago today,
six months ago, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She couldn`t afford
insurance on the individual market so she hasn`t received treatment yet.
Her daughter, Lemace (ph), a student at the University of Maryland is
considering dropping out of school to help pay her mom`s bills. Starting
today thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Trinace can get covered without
forcing her daughter to give up on her dreams.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: At the end of the day Patricia, this is what the
Republicans in Congress are trying to stop. Issues and stories like this
from being dealt within remedy.

MURPHY: Well, it`s going to be very difficult, I think, to stop these
stories from coming forward. Because there are right now 50 million
Americans without access to health insurance. And of those, about seven
million of those are children. And so every congressman in their district
has uninsured constituents, people who are undoubtedly going to them and
saying I need health insurance. And now as of today they have access to
that health insurance. You know, obviously there are going to be glitches.
We`re going to have to wait and see how easy it is for people not only to
enroll but then to be able see a doctor.

It`s a very long-term situation, but just the fact that this huge
number of Americans have this anxiety out of their lives now is just a
major victory for this president. And there`s going to be no way for
republican lawmakers to say to those people, no you don`t feel better. No,
you still have anxiety about this. If they`re able to get insurance the
way this law promises they will, that will totally, that will radically
alter the lives of millions of Americans. And there is no political
argument to change that reality.

SHARPTON: You know, Jonathan, both Patricia and I have mentioned the
glitches that the Republicans are making a lot of noise about, but the
President addressed that with a very interesting analogy today. Listen to
this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: A couple of weeks ago, Apple rolled out a new mobile operating
system. And within days they found a glitch. So they fixed it. I don`t
remember anybody suggesting Apple should stop selling iPhones or iPads. Or
threatening to shutdown the company if they didn`t. That`s not how we do
things in America.

SHARPTON: Interesting analogy, Jonathan.

CAPEHART: No, and it`s a perfect analogy. Look, the Republicans and
especially now, the ones crowing about the glitches, clearly these are
folks who are applauding failure. They`re applauding failure of a website
to keep up with demand. As you said at the beginning of this segment,
sites were crashing around the country not particularly because they didn`t
work but because they couldn`t handle the demand of the American people
looking for affordable health care. And why we continue to -- why people
continue to laud folks who applaud failure, quite frankly, it`s beyond me.

SHARPTON: You know, Patricia, the House Republicans really don`t seem
to get it. In terms of the message of affordable health care and people`s
desire. They held 46 votes to repeal or replace the law. The latest came
in the first hour of the government shutdown. I mean, what about this
keeps missing them that beside the partisan banking forward, there`s a real
need here for some Americans.

MURPHY: Well, there`s an enormous need here for these Americans. And
I think the biggest problem, the biggest political problem for Republicans
is they have not put forth any alternative. There is not a good idea
coming out of the republican caucus that Americans could say, oh, you`re
right, that is a better way for me as an uninsured American to get
insurance. There are no ideas on the right. And that`s why this has
fallen so flat. One key thing to watch among the republican caucus is that
they are also standing in the way of changing the law to make improvements
to it.

The administration has asked Republicans to help them make some
improvements particularly for union members and a democratic Congress
member told me Republicans have mounted a religious war against this bill.
We can`t go back and make fixes that we were planning to make before
Republicans came in and stopped it. So, that will be a story going
forward. Very interesting to watch. But I think so far so good for the
administration and people without insurance. It`s a big day.

SHARPTON: You know, the rhetoric we`re hearing, we`ve heard before.
In the case of Medicare, we heard a lot of this rhetoric from even one
named Ronald Reagan, Jonathan. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This was simply an excuse to bring about what they
wanted all the time, socialized medicine.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: They want socialized medicine.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: From here it`s a short step to all the rest of
socialism.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We can continue down the path towards European
socialism.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He will wait for the government to tell him where
he will go to work and what he would do.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The government telling you what you must do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: This is rhetoric that Reagan used that he ended up later
working along with Medicare and even some on the right say improving it.
We`ve heard almost verbatim these lines before.

CAPEHART: Well, right. Because -- and you don`t hear them anymore on
Medicare, because, well, people like it. It`s working. And that, again,
goes back to why I think Republicans have been trying tooth and nail to try
to defund, delay or repeal, derail Obamacare. Because they know once it`s
up and running in full, people will like it. And you know, back to the
glitches and things, we`re in day one of the final stages of the full
implementation of this law. We`re looking at a multi-year, maybe even
multi-decade effort to work out the kinks, work out the issues. And you
can only work out if you actually let the program run. And, again, the
longer it runs, the less and less Republicans have any kind of criticism
against it. The American people will not listen to them.

SHARPTON: Well, you know, I`ve got another more recent example of why
I think the Republicans are concerned. Patricia, I don`t have to go back
to Medicare. Massachusetts. They implemented a similar law for health
care in 2006. "The Washington Post" that day said, quote, "concern began
to emerge." People even called it, quote, "a reckless gamble." But now
seven years later, 97 percent of the state is covered, and 84 percent of
residents are satisfied. That is what they`re afraid of. Once you
implement it, people are going to do it and they`re going to like it and
it`s going to work. That`s their fear.

MURPHY: Well, and they`ve been very clear that they did not want
these exchanges to open. And they did not want to let the government to
continue to operate. Because the exchanges would open today, the problem
with their tactic so far is that the government is closed, the exchanges
are open. And I think that we`re seeing a lot. A number of Republicans
saying, who is in charge here and who came up with this idea?

And I think even there are moderate Republicans who would like to move
forward on this plan. Their side has not come up with any good ideas. If
I were Republicans and I thought it was going to be terrible, I would have
just let it open, blow up on itself if it was going to be so terrible. But
to Jonathan`s point, once people particularly when you have that anxiety
taken out of your life, you cannot get insurance for your children and now
you can, it`s very difficult for a politician to come in and tell you that
they`re going to make that go away.

SHARPTON: That`s exactly right.

MURPHY: So, it`s very difficult.

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

CAPEHART: Quick point, who was the governor who implemented that 2006
Massachusetts healthcare law?

SHARPTON: His name was Mitt Romney.

CAPEHART: Mitt Romney.

SHARPTON: Romney care in Massachusetts. Patricia Murphy and Jonathan
Capehart, thank you for your time this evening.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Rev.

MURPHY: Thank you.

SHARPTON: And if you have any questions about the new law, you can go
to www.healthcare.gov.

Coming up, they managed to compare Obamacare to food stamps, the drug
ecstasy, crack, and slavery. Their ugly coded language is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The desperation from the right wing has been remarkable to
watch. They`ve compared the new healthcare law to communism, to terrorism,
to slavery, and now this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O`REILLY, FOX HOST, "THE O`REILLY FACTOR": Correct me if I`m
wrong, if they sign up to the exchange, then they`ll have it. So it`s
getting them out of the house or the crack house or wherever they are to
get it to sign up. But if they sign up, they have it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The crack house? Millions of uninsured including millions
of American children, but they must be crack heads? Really? And it`s not
just one out of touch TV personality saying it. Congresswoman Michele
Bachmann says quote, "President Obama can`t wait to get Americans addicted
to crack cocaine of dependency on more government health care."

Addicted to crack cocaine, comparing healthcare opportunity to getting
hooked on crack cocaine. Let`s remember this comes from the same esteemed
member of Congress who once said that Obamacare, quote, "literally kills
people." But the nastiness doesn`t end there. Here`s Rush Limbaugh today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: School kids, I found out, still
going to get breakfast, lunch, snack, ecstasy, whatever else they get. All
of the welfare checks and all of the food stamp cards are still usable.
They have not been shut down. Everybody in Obama`s base depending on
government is going to have a fine day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So what`s with all this coded language? Food stamps,
drugs, slavery. Is this really about the healthcare bill? Or is it about
something more personal? And ugly.

Joining me now is Dana Milbank and Joe Madison. Thank you both for
your time.

DANA MILBANK, THE WASHINGTON POST: Hi, Reverend.

JOE MADISON, SIRIUS XM RADIO HOST: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Joe, this is a pattern now, so what`s behind this talk?

MADISON: Let me tell you, they just can`t stand the fact that they`ve
got a very start, intelligent black man that has outthought them, out
campaigned them, beat them twice without any controversy. The nerve, the
absolute nerve to use crack cocaine, something that destroyed individuals,
destroyed families, practically destroyed communities, to compare it to
something that heals people, that brings families together, that allows
them to save money, allows them to be well is absolutely absurd. And fat
ass Rush Limbaugh really has some nerve. Here is a man that even talked
his maid into stealing drugs from her husband so that he could have a high.
So, I mean, let`s call it what it is. These people simply have lost their
freaking minds. They just can`t handle it.

SHARPTON: Dana, when you hear people comparing government dependency
to drug use and slavery, I mean, what are the implications of dog whistle
politics in this fight over healthcare?

MILBANK: Well, I think that last bit about losing their freaking
minds has a lot to do with it, certainly in Michele Bachmann`s case. So,
if there`s a defense for her, it`s that she says all kinds of crazy things
about all kinds of topics. Now, there`s two things going on here. There
is without question an element among conservatives who just have a very
personal whether it`s racially tinged antipathy towards this president.
There`s also a larger group of Republicans who really can`t stand
Obamacare. So, I think none of us can really get into it and say, you
know, how many in each camp and what`s going on here.

SHARPTON: Yes.

MILBANK: Clearly there`s an element of sensitivity that they may have
crossed the line. Because, you know, just in the last few minutes, they
were out there promoting legislation to try to fund the District of
Columbia. So that has elements of it in there too.

SHARPTON: Now, Joe, I want to raise this to you. There`s a
Republican National Committee man in Arizona who mocked the Obama
administration`s decision to delay certain parts of the Affordable Care Act
in a Facebook post. Here`s the quote on the Facebook post. Some people
wonder why I cannot figure out why I believe Obama is shucking and jiving
on Obamacare. Now, he isn`t the first republican to use that term. Sarah
Palin and Rush Limbaugh used it. Before I get your thoughts, Joe, I went
to the dictionary because a lot of people may not know like you and I know
what shucking and jiving comes from or what it means.

The dictionary of American slang says about shucking and jiving, it`s
black slaves sang and shouted gleefully during corn-shucking season and
this behavior along with lying and teasing became part of the protective
and evasive behavior normally adopted towards white people in traditional
race relations. That`s the definition.

MADISON: Boy, you are too smart for television, Al. I`m telling you.

(LAUGHTER)

You broke it down. Like my grandfather used to say, put it where the
goats can`t get it right to the root of it. That`s an old country term
just like shucking and jiving is an old country term. So, here you have
these folks who primarily liven and these lily white congressional
districts for the most part, and then they`re trying to use black
vernacular to try to sound like they`re hip and that somehow Obama is just
too black to be president of the United States.

Look, I`m about calling it like it is and speaking plainly about this.
But, you know, the reality is, you know, and they also said crack cocaine.
Now, wait a minute. Didn`t you just say in the last segment 97 percent of
Massachusetts residents have what amounts to Obamacare. They just called
it Romney-care. So that means that they`re crack addicts. It also means
since Congress passed the law, House of Representatives are crack at
addicts, the Senate are crack addicts, and the Supreme Court that voted it
was constitutional.

SHARPTON: And folks in the general election last year.

MADISON: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Then I don`t want to get too far away from this ugly coded
dog whistle politics, because a 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 the fugitive
slave act of 1850 that allowed slave owners to come to New Hampshire and
seize African-Americans and use the federal court courts to take them back
to federal slave states.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, I mean, you know, last week even the president mocked
that comparison. Listen to this.

(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 healthcare is worse than the 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: Dana, I mean, it`s so outrageous the president addressed
it. But all coded language.

MILBANK: Yes. And you know, I think we`ve left out when Ted Cruz was
in his 21-hour bladder buster on the Senate floor.

SHARPTON: Right.

MILBANK: He was basically suggesting that he was on the side of the
union fighting the confederacy and its entire slavery.

SHARPTON: Yes, he did.

MILBANK: So at least he`s taking the right side of the whole thing.
But look, we can`t --

SHARPTON: Well, at least he`s saying that. I`ve got to go. We`re
going to stay on it. And we`re going to be watching the language. Just
keep up, Joe and Dana, thank you for being here. Keep watching POLITICS
NATION. Keep watching us. I promise you we won`t be shucking or jiving
here. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Republicans have come up with a brand new talking point for
why they`ve been so obsessed with Obamacare. Here`s Senator Rand Paul
earlier today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: We haven`t have a big debate about
Obamacare really since it pass in Congress.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s their new excuse? There`s been no debate on
Obamacare? No debate in the three and a half years since President Obama
signed the law? No debate inside the Supreme Court? Really? Did we all
just imagine this?

That`s right. The Supreme Court had this debate. And upheld the
healthcare law. The presidential candidates had this debate on the
campaign trail too.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It`s Obamacare.
We`re going to repeal it and replace it.

OBAMA: Don`t worry, Obamacare covers pre-existing conditions.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Here is how you repeal Obamacare.

OBAMA: We passed Obamacare. And it was the right thing to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The candidates even debated the issue during the actual
presidential debates.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Number one, I get rid of is Obamacare.

OBAMA: I have become fond of this term Obamacare.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The fact that Obamacare was a central issue during the
presidential race. And on election night, the American people spoke loud
and clear. President Obama won the debate. So did Senator Rand Paul think
we wouldn`t notice his selective memory on Obamacare? Nice try, but
remember this, we got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: What the House Republicans are doing in forcing the
government shutdown is really wrong. I fully respect their fighting for
what they believe in, but they need to know when to quit. There was an
election and they lost. My new book is called "The Rejected Stone" and in
it, I talk about the need to move on when it`s time to move on. Here`s a
clip explaining that chapter.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The need to know when to quit it is about we all have a
purpose in life. We all have a mark we want to make. And you`ve got to
know when you`ve made that mark, you`ve got to know when center stage is
over for you. And now you go head to the wings to protect your legacy. If
you stay too long, you can undo the good you have done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: See, in this country we`ve all had to deal with levels of
rejection whether you are uninsured, whether you were black, whether you
were Latino, whether you were gay. My book talks about how we transform
society for the rejected. But also personally we`ve been rejected in our
families, in our friends, in our workplace. I went through rejection to
talk about it. It will be out of week from today. We`ll talk more about
the book as the week goes on. "The Rejected Stone." It`s a new day. You
don`t have to live rejected.

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

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

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