updated 10/7/2013 11:55:28 AM ET 2013-10-07T15:55:28

POLITICS NATION
October 4, 2013

Guest: Clarence Page, John Mica, Bill Keating, Michael Cardoza, Seema
Iyer

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Yes, that`s North Carolina Republican
George Holding taking a quick snooze. He looks nice and cozy up there.
Just goes to show the Republicans who caused this shutdown are really
earning their pay. Just ask North Dakota`s Kevin Cramer who was asked if
he would give up his pay during the shutdown.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. KEVIN CRAMER (R), NORTH DAKOTA: I`m working to earn the salary that
the people pay me to do the job. I don`t get into those sorts of stunty
things and I`m not going to do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Sure. Republicans got 800,000 federal workers furloughed. But
you wouldn`t want to do anything stunty. And Nebraska`s Lee Terry was even
more clear. When asked if he would keep his pay, he said dang straight.

But what about giving back pay to furloughed government workers once the
shutdown is over? One of the biggest culprits behind this mess, Ted Cruz,
refused to answer that question.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: The people who are missing, who are AWOL are the
Democrats.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Should they retroactively be paid or not?

CRUZ: That`s what is happening. Every government shutdown that has ever
happened. But the Democrats are refusing to compromise.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Yes or no, do you support retroactive back
pay?

CRUZ: I support the House working cooperatively to resolve this, to fund
the government, and at the same time to prevent the enormous harm Obamacare
has inflicting on millions of Americans.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Is this a yes, no, or a maybe?

CRUZ: I`m not answering your question because look, I know you want to ask
that hypothetical and you`re entitled to ask it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It`s not a hypothetical to the people who aren`t getting paid.
But that non-answer wasn`t as bad as the way fellow Texan Randy Neugebauer
treated a park ranger this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. RANDY NEUGEBAUER (R), TEXAS: How do you look at them and how do you
deny them access? I don`t get that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s difficult.

NEUGEBAUER: Well, it should be difficult.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is difficult, I`m sorry, sir.

NEUGEBAUER: Park services should be ashamed of themselves.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not ashamed.

NEUGEBAUER: You should be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People who aren`t passing a budget.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It doesn`t cost people money to come here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This woman is doing her job just like me. I`m a 30-
year federal veteran and I`m out of work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The reason you are -- is Mr. Reid --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, because the government won`t do its job and pass a
budget.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s right. He thinks the park ranger should be ashamed that
she has to block people from a memorial that Republicans closed down.
That`s got me to thinking. The starting pay for a park ranger job is just
$45,000 a year. While members of Congress earn $174,000 a year. All
right, the park ranger is the one who should be ashamed, all you can say to
them is that they can be ashamed? Enough is enough, 73 percent of
Americans say the top priority in Congress should be getting the government
running again. That`s why Republicans are frantically pushing bills to
fund certain government programs, but not others. It`s (INAUDIBLE).

Republicans are still holding the U.S. government hostage. Do they really
think the American people would be satisfied that they`re releasing a few
hostages at a time?

Joining me now Dana Milbank and Clarence Page.

Thank you for being here.

DANA MILBANK, POLITICAL COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Good to see you,
Reverend.

CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, COLUMNIST: Thanks.

SHARPTON: Dana, I know we only caught one Republican congressman sleeping
on the job, but doesn`t it seem like they all are?

MILBANK: I think that`s the larger issue here, and you could forgive
anybody going to sleep while Louie Gohmert is giving one of his stem
winders on t floor. But the real problem is Republicans have gotten
themselves into a box. And you saw on your clip there with Ted Cruz, he
wants to keep this being about Obamacare.

Look, this isn`t about Obamacare anymore. It`s about how the government
got shut down. And the polls are showing no surprise the Republicans are
being blamed for that. The problem is they don`t really have a way out
other than doing these sorts of silly bills to open one thing at a time.
You know, it is like, you know, who is going to be allowed into the
lifeboat. And it only shows the parts of the government that these guys
don`t actually care about.

The problem is they don`t really have a way out of this now. But maybe if
they close their eyes and rest for a few minutes, they will come up with
one.

SHARPTON: You know, Clarence, we have seen a lot of ugliness toward
federal workers this week. I mean, just listen to what FOX Business news
host Stuart Varney said about workers getting back pay.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think the federal workers when this ends are
deserving of their back pay or not?

STUART VARNEY, FOX BUSINESS NEWS HOST: That is a loaded question, isn`t
it? You want my opinion? This is President Obama`s shutdown. He is
responsible for shutting this thing down. He`s taken an entirely political
decision here. No. I don`t think they should get their back pay, frankly.
I really don`t. I want to punish these people. Sorry to say that. That`s
what I want to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He wants to punish federal workers. But this situation is
hurting people all across the country. Look at these headlines in San
Francisco. Some get paid, some don`t. In Gainesville, Florida, head start
programs are ending. In Arkansas, veterans worried about getting their
disability benefits.

Clarence, do conservatives care that all these people are getting punished?

PAGE: Well Stuart Varney gives conservatives a bad name. There is no
question about it. This is not new. He not only goes after people who are
on welfare and getting unemployment benefits, but he goes after government
workers. People who are full-time hard working Americans. And he just
shows utter contempt for them saying they are living off our backs and blah
blah blah. Who delivers his mail, I wonder. You know what I mean? It`s
just bizarre.

But you know, it`s the most brazen example of catering to a small minority
of grumps out there who respond enough to build up his viewership ratings.
But it`s damaging to the country and to the Republican Party. Frankly,
they don`t really know what to do with all this mess.

SHARPTON: And really talking to themselves, I mean, because maybe they`re
not getting out of Washington enough to understand the real pain it`s
causing.

And Dana, Republicans are beginning to understand, it seems, how unpopular
this is. Because today Eric Cantor laid out some of the piecemeal funding
bills that they voted on today or will vote on tomorrow. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: Today, we are going to
vote to open FEMA and the national weather service as we witness a growing
storm in the gulf. And we`re also going to vote to provide nutrition
services for women and children in poverty. We plan to also later next
week open up head start.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, this is a complete joke. Republicans have voted to cut all
of these programs in the past.

Dana, it seems a little funny that Eric Cantor is all of a sudden concerned
about head start. Doesn`t it seem a little strange to you?

MILBANK: Well, the reduce budget from earlier this year already eliminated
57,000 head start positions and another 19,000 under the shutdown. So, he
wants to go back to his already reduced level.

I think what you`re seeing here is the original list of those programs they
wanted to save, they Are saying yes, let`s have the monuments, the tourist
attractions open, let`s pay the troops, let`s take care of the veterans.
Nothing about poor pregnant women and children, head start, the centers for
disease control.

Basically, the whole idea was to protect those preferred parts of the
government. Not the ones that say regulate or rein in business with any
regulatory thing. Certainly, no bills to keep the IRS functioning. So,
look, I think that`s the best they can do to try to change the subject of
them all. They don`t have to get out of Washington to see how ridiculous
this sounds. You know, this Stuart Varney, want to punish the capitol
police officers who were doing their job yesterday without pay. Do they
deserve to be punished too?

SHARPTON: Now, Clarence, the president today, President Obama visited a
lunch spot giving a discount to federal employees that this particular
spot, what it does. And he talked about the Republican position. Let`s
listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When it comes to
negotiations, I have said I`m happy to have negotiations with the
Republicans and Speaker Boehner on a whole range of issues. But we can`t
do it with a gun held to the head of the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Is this message the Republicans are holding the country hostage,
is it getting through to the average American, Clarence?

PAGE: It may not get through as much as it might, because so many of these
functions are being cut back are invisible. It`s only like when you go to
certain government websites like I did the day I find the websites closed
down or you go to a monument that is closed down. And that`s why the
Republicans are using the World War II memorial, for example, as a great
photo op because visuals make a difference out there. People will see
that. They won`t see the head start clinic or the veterans for that matter
whose applications aren`t being processed for V.A. benefits, et cetera.
And that`s -- Dana`s right. I mean, the Republicans are losing the image
war here. And they are not sure what to do next. That`s why they pull
these stunts.

SHARPTON: You know, Dana, quickly, "the Daily Beast" reported that the
chair of the National Republican Congressional committee told a group of
donors what the shutdown is really all about and I`m quoting him. He says
listen, we have to do this because of the tea party. If we don`t, these
guys are going to get primaried and they are going to lose their primary.
Now, the Republicans dispute the quote, but the reporter stands by it.

Is this what the shutdown is about, Dana, appeasing the right wing base?

MILBANK: Well, you know, what they say a gaffe in Washington is when you
accidentally speak the truth. And that`s, I mean, it`s no secret, that`s
exactly what`s going on. You have got 60 die hard tea party members in the
Republican Party, and the rest of the Republicans are terrified of being
primaried by them.

SHARPTON: All right. Well, Dana Milbank and Clarence Page, thank you both
for your time night.

MILBANK: Thank you.

PAGE: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, the impact of the shutdown. This father can`t get a
cancer treatment that could save his life. Tonight the congressman who
took on his fight is here.

And what about this even about -- we`ll talk about this even more. Why are
they doing this? We`ll try and get some answers when Republican
congressman John Michael joins me.

Plus ,what would you do? An SUV driver is swarmed by a group of
motorcyclists that later beat him. But should he also face charges for
running over one of the bikers? Wait until you hear what one lawyer is
saying.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Many Republicans say the shutdown is no big deal. Try telling
that to the father of three battling cancer who can`t get a potential life-
saving drug. The congressman who fought for him and got something done is
next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We are back with more on the pain being felt all over the
country because of the Republican shutdown. Millions of federal workers
are not getting pay checks. Veterans won`t see benefits, head start
programs are shutting down, food programs for women infants and children
are being disrupted. But perhaps the saddest reality of this manufactured
crisis is what`s happening with cancer patients in need. For them, this
shutdown is literally life or death.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: (INAUDIBLE) signed up with the NIH to try a
promising new drug. She was expecting approval this week but now has to
wait for the shutdown to be other.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you`re given a terminal diagnosis, each month
counts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: The clinical trial, Mattie (ph), now cannot
be approved by the FDA because the FDA has been shut down with the rest of
the Federal government.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Time is of the essence. Our patients are often sick.
They are symptomatic. They can`t wait for an unknown amount of time to
hope that the shutdown will end and their particular trials is going to
become avail.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For Mattie (ph), this is truly life or death. This
isn`t a game. This isn`t pushing one ideology over another. This is my
baby`s life.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: This is just not right.

Last night we told you about Leo Finn, the father of three from Cape Cod.
He`s not able to get access to a last-chance treatment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LEO FINN, CANCER PATIENT: This could be the miracle drug. You know? This
could be the one that, you know, saved me, that I was going to be able to
walk my daughter down the aisle. I`m just mad that the government can walk
away from people and we don`t matter. And this is what it seems.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Tonight we have a silver lining. Some good news about Mr. Finn,
and it was all thanks to my next guest.

Joining me now is Congressman Bill Keating, Democrat from Massachusetts,
who made this life-saving treatment possible in the midst of a showdown and
shutdown.

Congressman, thank you for being here tonight and for your remarkable work
on this.

REP. BILL KEATING (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Thank you, reverend.

SHARPTON: Let me show you this headline today. National institutes of
health Web site to open, enabling patients to again enter trials. This is
directly thanks to what you did. What prompted you, first of all, to
intervene?

KEATING: Well, he is a remarkable man, Leo Finn, who is a generous man and
ironically had been working for fund raising for cancer and other civic
events long before he knew would be inflicted. He got that bad news and he
has met it had on taking the treatments, trying to be there. And
unfortunately, after the latest bout of chemotherapy, he was told nothing
else would work. But they wanted to try a cancer drug that was working on
other patients. So the trial is approved and the financing was approved
and the date was set, just days away. And he got the message from his
doctor that because of the government shutdown, they would have to stop,
and they couldn`t give him that treatment that day. And when we found out
about that, I talked to Leo and I tried to find out exactly what the
problem was. He gave me permission to talk to his doctors. We talked to
his doctors. Then we started going through the federal system.

And Reverend, I`ll tell you that in the midst of all the shutdowns, we had
federal employees after hours through the night on the phone trying to help
us get to the bottom of what this administrative problem was. And they
found out that Leo Finn who is in administrative limbo was -- because of
the trials already being done, the funding, there was a group of people
already to go that had nothing to do with the funding but because of the
shutdown were still being stopped from their treatment. And they made
sudden changes to rectify this. And Leo and other people are now back
getting that treatment.

But it is, again, it shows people working together. The people in my
office that worked after-hours, the people in the federal government that
worked the after-hours because we`re doing all we can for this one person.
Unfortunately, there are others.

SHARPTON: Let me say this, Congressman, and I think it is very applaudable
what your staff and the other government employees have done. What bothers
me, what distresses me is how it seems as though some of your Republican
colleagues just don`t care and don`t see the life-threatening, life-
changing in a negative way things that they`re putting many Americans
through that have nothing to do with the politics of the moment.

KEATING: Yes. This isn`t about politics. This is about people. And, you
know, besides the people dealing with these illnesses, 800,000 furloughed
workers. There`s a crisis in each of these families. We don`t know what
they are. We don`t know how it`s affecting their lives. And now, the
people that deal with these government agencies are affected as well. And
there`s no need of it, because I will tell you right now, Reverend, right
now in the House of Representatives there are a majority of representatives
that will vote right now to open up government if they`re being denied that
vote.

SHARPTON: If Boehner called a vote, the majority would vote right now?

KEATING: That`s right. And they would vote to open up government right
now.

SHARPTON: You know, it`s amazing when you look at the national institute
of health estimating about 200 people registered for their clinical trials
every day, 30 of those are children, 10 of those kids are cancer patients.
When you`re looking at these kinds of facts, how do you sit down and play
politics? But thank God for people like you, Congressman.

KEATING: One more thing, Reverend, if I could ask you and ask your
audience, there`s a courageous man fighting this battle. I would ask all
the people listening to keep him in their prayers.

SHARPTON: Leo Finn. We definitely will keep him in our prayers. And
we`re thankful that you have helped him to the degree that you have.

Congressman Bill Keating, great work. And thanks for coming on the show.

KEATING: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, is this shutdown fight really about the affordable
care act anymore? I`m hoping to get some answers from a Republican
congressman next.

And what would y do? The road rage tape everyone is talking about. What
our next guest says might surprise you.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Why are Republicans shutting down the government? What do they
want? We try to get some answers when I interview Republican Congressman
John Michael next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Day four of the government shutdown and a lot of Americans are
wondering what`s it all about. Republicans says it was about Obamacare.
But now Obamacare is here, it`s happening. So why is the government shut
down? It`s confusing.

Here`s what one GOP lawmaker told reporters earlier this week.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Is the CR fight really about the affordable
care act anymore, or is it about getting Reid to the table?

REP. MARK MEADOWS (R), NORTH CAROLINA: I was on the house floor today.
This fight has now become about veterans and about National Guard folks
that perhaps -- reservists not getting paid. That`s where the fight is
today. Obamacare is mandatory spending. It`s going on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And here`s what another Republican lawmaker said about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Is this still about Obamacare?

REP. MARLIN STUTZMAN (R), INDIANA: No, it`s not. It`s about dignity. We
are not going to be disrespected and so that`s where we`re at today. Where
we have to get something out of this, and I don`t know what that even is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Why is the government shut down? It`s an important question.
And we`re all trying to get some answers.

Joining me now is Congressman John Mica, Republican from Florida who has
voted repeatedly to delay or defund Obamacare in order to fund the
government.

Congressman, thanks for joining me.

REP. JOHN MICA (R), FLORIDA: Thank you for the invitation to come
back, Al.

SHARPTON: Now, help me out here. Help me understand the GOP
position. Why is the government shut down right now?

MICA: Well, first of all, we have to fund the government for the
whole year that we`re in started on the first of October, and we`ve had
disagreements about the funding of various programs including Obamacare.
The problem is we have increased our deficit spending the first year of the
Obama administration, they spent $1.5 trillion more than we took in. We`re
now within the next two weeks about to have to raise the debt limit from
$17 trillion to $18 trillion. And with that possibility of default, you
have funding for this year, you have parts of Obamacare we`d like to see
altered, and then you have the long-term indebtedness all colliding at this
cross roads.

SHARPTON: But you`ve got the deficit falling at a greater rate now
than it has in decades. So, the deficit rate has actually gotten a lot
better.

MICA: That`s only happened, Al, since the Republicans gained control
of one-half of one-third of the government two years ago. The spending
went unchecked for the fit four years when the Democrats controlled the
House, the Senate, and the White House. It was the biggest increase in
spending in the history of government.

SHARPTON: OK, but I guess when George Bush was in control of the
White House and it blew out of proportion, you don`t want to count that.
But what does Obamacare have to do with the deficit? I mean, you could cut
the deficit from anywhere. Specifically you and your colleagues went after
Obamacare. Why?

MICA: Well, first of all, let`s go back to the deficit a second.
When George Bush left and Obama took over, there was $9 billion in deficit.
Most of Bush`s deficit was spent when the country was attacked on September
11th and rebuilding our military and also the decline in revenue. So that
was $9 billion. We`re at $17 billion. We`re going to $18 billion. That`s
almost a double, it will double in five years going on six years of this
administration. OK, the second part of that is --

SHARPTON: Congressman, I could tell you the surplus that Bill Clinton
--

MICA: Do you want me to answer the second part?

SHARPTON: Yes, I will, but since you wanted to deviate. Bill Clinton
left us with a surplus, so you really don`t want to talk about that.

(CROSSTALK)

MICA: Wait. OK, Al. Let`s go back to left us with a surplus. When
he came in, the last shutdown was with Republicans. But he negotiated with
Republicans. And yes, you had a republican --

SHARPTON: He was negotiating over a budget congressman. He
negotiated over a budget. It was not a law. You`re taking a law, you`re
taking a law, not a budget.

MICA: We balanced the budget within two years. By `97 right up until
the terrorist attacks of 2002. So it was a republican -- that`s a great
example. A republican House and Senate dealing with a democrat president.
I said I voted to impeach Bill Clinton and he worked with us. This is a
president that won`t talk to us.

SHARPTON: You`re very knowledgeable, Congressman. You`re very
knowledgeable.

MICA: He brings people down to the White House and he refuses to
negotiate.

SHARPTON: Fine. Then let me ask you a question. When in the history
of this country have we ever had a shutdown over a law?

MICA: We`ve had shutdowns over a law and spending.

SHARPTON: When?

MICA: I was here in `95.

SHARPTON: That was not over a law. I said over a law. You repeated
the question. Now answer it.

MICA: How do you think we pass --

SHARPTON: When have we ever had a shutdown -- when have we ever had a
shutdown over a law?

MICA: The issue in `95 just as the issue is today. But it`s much,
much worse today. The issue is over spending.

SHARPTON: No, the issue was not over a law. This is over a law. It
was said that you do not want to fund an existing law that was passed by
the House and the Senate that was upheld by the Supreme Court. You cannot
compare that to `95 or any other law.

(CROSSTALK)

MICA: -- we were told we`ll pass it and once it passes you`ll know
what`s in it. Now we know what`s in it. The president has actually
changed the law --

SHARPTON: Congressman, has -- are you denying it`s the law?

MICA: It`s changed about 17 times. Some of those in contravention
with the law that was passed. We`ve asked for some modification --

SHARPTON: Congressman --

MICA: A lot of us didn`t like it.

SHARPTON: Are you denying that the Affordable Care Act is the law.

MICA: But we`ve agreed to compromise and give an exemption --

SHARPTON: You don`t have a compromise a law. Are you negotiating --

MICA: -- For businesses. Even the unions are crying for reform in
this law that passed.

SHARPTON: All of that you and I know. Let`s cut the side talk,
Congressman. Is this a law or not? Is this a law?

MICA: It is a law. And Congress changes the law.

SHARPTON: All right.

MICA: And that`s what we need to do.

SHARPTON: We can have different opinions. We have different facts.
The fact is it`s a law. Now, tell me when in the history of this country
have we ever shutdown the government over a law?

MICA: There have been 17 instances in which we had shutdowns.

SHARPTON: And none of them over a law.

MICA: And they were all over a law because you have to pass a law to
fund a government. It`s a very basic part of our government.

SHARPTON: No, that is a spending issue. That is not saying that we
want to stop as we want to stop the Affordable Care Act.

MICA: We`re also spending a record amount on the biggest government
program ever instituted which is Obamacare. And there`s nothing wrong with
helping people with health care. My family at times did not have health
care. I think we should provide it. I think there are some good things
that we should keep. Pre-existing conditions, some of the younger people
including them, we should do some of the exchanges but open it up to
competition. Look at the prices people who don`t have money can`t afford
getting on Obamacare.

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: Absolutely. Can I say this to you congressman? In all
due respect, the debate is over. They passed the law.

MICA: No.

SHARPTON: You`re talking about what you would go with or not go with.
You`re acting like this is not the law. It`s immaterial what you think
now. The law was passed.

MICA: -- Responsible, accountable law, those for health care and also
--

SHARPTON: So if you can do that to this law, what stops you from
doing that to any law? Why don`t you just say we`re going to take this law
despite the fact it was passed and we`re going to decide even though we
lost it, we`re going to decide that we`re going to play with that? You are
breaking down the government. You change laws. You don`t defund laws.

MICA: And circumstances change. Why did the president change it 17
times? He signed seven bills already to change Obamacare. The Democrats
themselves said it was a train wreck. And you see it working now.

SHARPTON: Congressman, let`s talk like we`re both mature men.

MICA: Let`s work together.

SHARPTON: No, no, no, no, no, no. We can`t work together.

MICA: We can work together. But you have to come and negotiate.

SHARPTON: The fact is you change laws by proposing -- you propose,
Congressman --

MICA: -- the Senate didn`t come back until Monday at 2:00. Would you
like a job like that?

SHARPTON: You don`t want to talk about that. But let me get one
thing clear. You change laws by proposing changes and you vote and you get
it passed and the president signs it. You do not change laws by defunding
by taking a minority of the House and blocking funding on a law.

MICA: One, two, three times we sent over compromises --

SHARPTON: Have you proposed a health care law? Have you proposed a
health care law?

MICA: -- concessions to try to keep this thing moving. But when they
won`t negotiate, when they won`t come to work. You know, the president
someone just told me has done 146 days of golf game versus Bush 28 days
during eight years.

SHARPTON: Congressman, Congressman, Congressman. Again, your facts
are wrong.

(CROSSTALK)

Bush had 879 days of vacation. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait
a minute. Wait a minute. Whoa whoa whoa. Whoa whoa whoa. This is not
going to be -- you`re not going to do this. You`re not going to do this on
this show. Bush had 879 days of vacation and just said that President
Obama should take more days of golfing. You like to over talk the runway
and distract. Let me bring you to your district. Let`s go back to your
district.

Yes, you go back to facts, all right. The fact this George Bush had
879 days of vacation and just said, the president ought to play more golf.
And he (audio gap) that were playing golf when the government was shut down
over something that was already --

MICA: OK.

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: That`s a fact. Let me give you some more facts. Here`s a
local news report on the shutdown effecting preschoolers in your home
district. You like facts? This is your home district. Watch this.

MICA: Go ahead.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: If lawmakers in Washington don`t act soon,
hundreds of central Florida preschoolers will pay the price.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Destiny`s one of the three-year-olds who loves to
learn.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: What`s that you`re making?

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Cookies.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Cookies.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: But because leaders in Washington dragged their
feet and shutdown the government, Destiny`s Head Start school could
shutdown too. The head start program Volusia County provides services for
625 children and their families.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: They still have a job, but come Friday our
teachers will be out of a job, our students will be out of a place to
learn.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: What do you say to the parents of those preschoolers,
Congressman, in your district?

MICA: First of all, we have some good preschool programs, some of
head start is excellent and some of it needs to be contented a lot of it
needs to be shutdown and privatized. Kids particularly from the minorities
are not given the opportunity and their performance levels are not high
enough. I`ve work to try to get people with the highest level of degrees
to work with our kids that have the highest level of problems and come from
the most disadvantaged home. So, I know Volusia County head start
programs, the good ones and the bad ones, for half the money we could put
them in private -- many private schools for $9,200 we`re spending on a head
start student, I could send them to the very best private institutions in
Central Florida and they come out much better. And that`s one of the
things you as an African-American leader should be promoting is improving
the educational opportunities for our minorities who are getting shafted by
these government programs. Come on, Al. Get with it.

SHARPTON: Congressman, are you in denial? You`ve shut the government
down. You`re talking like the government is up. You`re talking about what
you would do or not do. You`ve shut the whole government down!

MICA: No, Al --

SHARPTON: You get with it!

MICA: We were voting a few minutes ago --

SHARPTON: Congressman John Mica, thank you for your time tonight. I
mean, you`re in denial. You`re in denial. You shut the government down.
We`ll be right back. We`ll be right back.

MICA: Thanks Al, good to be with you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Now to that wild road rage incident caught on tape that is
sparking national debate. The big question, what would you do? A group of
motorcyclists surrounded an SUV in New York City. Smashed the window to
the vehicle and then assaulted the driver in front of his wife and the two-
year-old daughter. Today, police say that they have identified the prime
suspect in the attack and say he`s expected to turn himself into
authorities soon. There`s no doubt the incident is disturbing. But the
events leading up to it have many asking questions.

Earlier, helmet camera video shows about 20 bikers driving alongside
the range rover. One of the motorcyclists slows down leading the SUV to
bump the back of his bike. Seconds later, the group comes to a complete
stand still surrounding the SUV at the point -- at that point police say
some of the bikers began damaging the range rover. Then this happens. The
SUV takes off running over one of the men. Police say the vehicle broke
both his legs and caused spinal injuries that may leave him paralyzed.

After taking off, the cyclists have chased the driver at one point
pulling open his door. They later caught up with him in traffic, breaking
in his window and then beating him after the video cuts out. Nothing
justifies beating the driver. But the two flash point moments are sparking
one big debate. Should the driver of the SUV shoulder any blame? And what
would you do?

Joining me now are two people on opposite sides of the debate.
Michael Cardoza, a defense attorney in favor of the cyclist and Seema Iyer,
a former prosecutor in favor of the SUV driver. Thank you both for coming
on the show.

SEEMA IYER, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Let`s get to this debate. Michael, was the driver
justified in speeding off after injuring that biker?

MICHAEL CARDOZA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, I`ve got to tell you,
Reverend, I think the first thing we have to look at is what happened
before they got to that point where the SUV bumped the motorcycle. They`re
driving down the highway, obviously. Something must have happened, because
this motorcycle driver Chris Cruise pulls in front and you can see him in
the video looking at the driver of the SUV. Obviously something must have
gone on. Was there a highway salute down the road where, you know, he got
in a little confrontation? Were there words exchanged? Then they get to
that point where the car stops.

And more words were exchanged. People start to surround the SUV.
Some say they started to attack the car, slash tires. Is that true? Right
now we don`t know that to be true. But what strikes me is that when Mr.
Lien, the driver of the SUV, feels threatened and he obviously has the
right, the complete right to defend his family and take himself out of that
situation if he feels his life is in danger. But should he have not done
it a little more slowly? Why does he speed off the way that he does? Had
he started to move very slowly --

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

SHARPTON: Wait a minute, Michael. Does anything justify --

CARDOZA: Go ahead.

IYER: Absolutely Mr. Cardoza and I very well know there is something
called the emergency doctrine in civil law. So, at that moment in time --

CARDOZA: We`re talking criminal though.

SHARPTON: Just let her finish.

CARDOZA: He was acting in an instant spontaneous movement directed to
him by that emergency situation. He was in imminent fear not just for
himself, Rev, for his wife and for his two-year-old baby so his actions
were completely justified.

SHARPTON: Now, go ahead, Michael.

CARDOZA: Go ahead. Well, you know, it`s difficult for all of us to
sit back, to say I`m in favor of the motorcyclist isn`t exactly true. What
I`m saying is let`s take a better look at this. Let`s take a slow look at
this. If, in fact, his life wasn`t in danger and God knows hindsight is
always 20/20 like I say. Wouldn`t it be easier for him to start moving
slowly? Remember, he`s in an SUV. A 2,000 pound car. Start moving it
slowly. If they start pounding on the windows, bring a weapon out --

SHARPTON: But is the standard, Michael --

CARDOZA: Then it`s justified. Then it`s justified.

SHARPTON: Is it standard, though, if he felt his life was in danger,
therefore he could do whatever he wants to do including harming other
people?

CARDOZA: Well, if his life is in danger, yes. But remember, the
young man that was injured and God knows he`s no stranger to the criminal
law, but he have his back turn.

IYER: That`s putting it lightly.

CARDOZA: .according to everything that I`ve red. So, off this guy
goes. How about a little more slowly. He starts to move out, so he starts
to bump him over the way.

IYER: A little more slowly? This was a gang mentality.

SHARPTON: Go ahead, Seema.

IYER: There were 23 motorcyclists surrounding him and his child.
And we know from the video that a later point in time, one of the cyclists
even ripped off the door. So how can you say that he should have moved
slowly?

CARDOZA: That`s at a later time.

IYER: Giving them time to attack him, his wife, and his child. Are
you kidding me with this?

CARDOZA: No. I`m not kidding you. And you have the same hubris a
lot of district attorneys have. And that`s all. He`s guilty of this. It
is fair. Let`s take a step back. Let`s find out what really happened
here. Let`s take it slowly.

IYER: Well, that`s the beauty of YouTube. We know what happened.
It`s on video.

CARDOZA: If he`s in danger, then get out of there.

IYER: He did. He got out of there at that very moment.

CARDOZA: Very quickly and he ran over a man and turned him into a
paraplegic.

SHARPTON: Wait minute. Hold it. Let me play this to you. The biker
who was run over by the SUV has hired an attorney, Gloria Allred. His name
is Edwin Mieses. Here`s what she said at the press conference earlier
today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLORIA ALLRED, CELEBRITY LAWYER: When he saw the driver`s range
rover stopped on the road, he pulled his bike over to the side and he
walked over to where the accident had occurred to see what had happened.
And then he tried to encourage people to move on and keep riding. He was
attempting to diffuse the situation. He turned his back to the SUV to
start walking back to his own bike. It was then with his back to the SUV
and as he was in-front of it that he was run over and crushed.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So Seema, if he had his back to the SUV and he was trying
to help the driver, does that show he was an innocent bystander?

IYER: Absolutely not. Whatever Ms. Allred with all respect is saying
is consistent with the party line. That the cyclists were trying to aid
each other or that the cyclists were trying to diffuse the situation. But
that`s not the truth. That is not what happened.

CARDOZA: Whoa, whoa, whoa. What do you mean that`s not the truth?
Were you there?

IYER: I saw the video.

CARDOZA: You don`t know what the truth is. That`s what I mean -- no.
You can`t see him walking away. I defy you to show me in the video what
exactly happened. It`s at best what? Twenty five yards away? So you say
oh, no. Now you might be right, and underscore the word you might be
right. But let`s dig into the facts. Let the police, let the prosecutors
talk to all the witnesses and find out exactly what happened.

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

CARDOZA: Just as I know that`s the truth.

SHARPTON: Michael, Seema.

CARDOZA: Yes.

SHARPTON: Thank you. A great debate. Thank you both for being
here. We will continue to watch this as the investigation goes forward.
We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Is there any way Americans can draw a positive lesson from
the horrific mess the Republicans have created in Washington. I`ll talk
about that, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Finally tonight, with no end in sight this shutdown shows
me we have some flawed leaders in Congress. A shutdown of the government
to overturn a law? Incredible. In my new book "The Rejected Stone," I
write about learning from flawed leaders. Imitating the good, eliminating
the bad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Learning from flawed leaders is where I talk about how
growing up a single parent household, I emulated and learned from other
men. Some who became very well known. But I also had to learn that if you
imitate and emulate people, you have to eliminate where they were weak and
where they made missteps. And sometimes you can make heroes out of people
to where you act like their mistakes were all right. They`re not all
right. So you`ve got to learn to emulate the strengths in people, but
eliminate the weaknesses in people. And I share some of that in the book
of some of the things I learned good and bad from some very well known
people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I`m really excited about the book. And if you`d like to
read an excerpt from "The Rejected Stone," please go to our Facebook page.
Facebook.com/politicsnation. On the page, you can read parts of the book,
and you can also find details about the book signing I`ll be doing in New
York City next week. It will be this coming Tuesday, October 8th. That`s
the day the book comes out. I will be at Barnes & Noble on Fifth Avenue at
12 noon. That`s 45th street on Fifth Avenue. I`m looking forward to
seeing all the POLITICS NATION there with me that day. No leader is
perfect.

None of us are perfect as citizens. But we must not hide behind our
imperfections. We must always seek to perfect and correct where we`re
flawed. The key to life -- and I talk about it in this book -- is being
honest enough to say this is flawed and this I right and stand for what`s
right. And transform yourself and transform in society. So we don`t have
a society of rejects, but a society that is built toward what a fair and
just. That`s what the book is all about. That`s what life is all about.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. Have a great weekend.
"HARDBALL" starts right now.

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BE UPDATED.
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