PoliticsNation, Thursday, October 10th, 2013
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
October 10, 2013
Guest: Karen Bass; Keith Ellison, Jamal Simmons, Margie Omero, Tom
Perriello, Goldie Taylor
REV. AL SHARPTON, POLITICS NATION: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to
you for tuning in.
Tonight`s Lead Breaking News. Republicans in retreat. New signs that
President Obama is forcing the GOP to back down in this crisis. Today,
House Republicans buckled on their threat to send the nation into default
offering to raise the debt limit for another six weeks.
Now, this is a key concession, an obvious sign of GOP weakness. And
it`s the plan that John Boehner and the other GOP leaders just presented to
the president in talks at the White House.
Boehner left the meeting moments ago, but there`s one big catch in his
plan. It doesn`t reopen the government. The government will still be shut
down. What is this? Ground hog day? John Boehner sees his shadow and we
get six more weeks of shutdown? This is not what the American people want.
They want answers. But Republicans are literally running away from the
questions. Look what happened when one Republican lawmaker was is asked a
very simple question.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Hi, Congressman, would you be willing to
support a vote on a clean CR to keep the government open? Congressman?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Republicans can`t run away from this. People are hurting.
All across this country. Here`s what Republicans are trying not to see.
They`re trying to ignore this on their local news back home.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Area veterans are beginning to feel the
effects of the government shutdown.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really have enough guilt with the PTSD and
things I`m not over there and someone else is there in my place. And now
I`m not being appreciated for what I have done here. And it`s just -- it`s
real hard for me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Schools across the nation send a report
at the end of each month to the state to receive reimbursement checks for
students that received free and reduced lunches. With the feds shutdown,
those checks have stopped coming putting some schools in a bind.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think the students should have to pay
because we have some legislators that simply are fighting like children.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Day nine of the government shutdown and more
people in our area have been left without food.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A child this age will never understand anything
like that anything about what`s going on, anything about a reason why he
just can`t get any milk.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: A mother down to one can of formula.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know my kids get tired of seeing my cry, but
sometimes that`s the only thing you can do. You can`t make it magically
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Under Boehner`s new plan, we would get six more weeks of
this kind of pain. At least we could have another huge crisis right in
front in time and in front of the thanksgiving holiday. Is that what
Americans want? To have their economy collapse just in time for turkey
The bottom line is this. We got some good news today. Republicans a
crumbling. The bad news is, they`re not all the way there, yet.
Joining me now are Congresswoman Karen Bass and Krystal ball.
Thank you both for coming on the show.
KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC HOST, THE CYCLE: Thanks for having us, Reverend.
REP. KAREN BASS (D), CALIFORNIA: Thanks for having us on.
SHARPTON: Congresswoman, what do you think of this new GOP offer?
Should we just let the government stay shut down while budget talks go on?
BASS: Well, I think the good news is that they have backed away. They
have become realistic and recognized that we are not going to deny health
care for the American public. And so, we do see a crack in their strategy.
And I think that`s positive.
On the other hand, they`re talking about raising the debt ceiling.
It`s not a clean raise of the debt ceiling because they want to take power
away from the treasury department to use extraordinary means in order to
And in addition, you know there is a bill they could put on the floor
in the next hour that we could open the government back up. And we need to
do all of that. But, you know, I do have to be encouraged that they`re
taking some steps forward. We need to keep them moving in the right
SHARPTON: Well, you know, Krystal, they are cracking the door if not
opening the door, but if I`m a federal employee that is on furlough, I want
the door open. I want the government restored.
But today, Krystal, in a brand new NBC news poll with "the Wall Street
Journal," it says it shows that 63 percent of Americans believe refusing to
raise the debt ceiling would be a real and serious problem. I mean, when
they are seeing almost two-thirds of the country according to this
NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll see this as serious, it`s no wonder that
they changed a little of their position going in to see the president.
BALL: Especially when the debt ceiling is such a poor name for it.
People hear debt ceiling and think if we didn`t raise that, and we would
spend less money, we have less debt. When that`s not it at all. It`s
actually being able to pay for the bills we already racked up. So when you
see this level of interest from the American people, this many people
seeing that it`s a real and serious problem, I think that moves the needle.
I think the fact that GOP popularity has dropped to record low levels, I
think that moves the needle.
And I also think we saw finally for the first time this week the
market getting very nervous about the possibility of default. And
Republicans still, you know, very entrenched with the business community.
I think seeing those jitters and contemplating the possibility of actually
going over the cliff maybe made them pull back to some semblance of a
SHARPTON: Now, you`ve got -- with all of this going forward, you
still have the Republicans trying to make this point about the debt and the
running -- well, let me show you one dramatic demonstration.
GOP Senator Tom Coburn, he used a prop, an oversized credit card, fake
credit card, that would be Congresswoman, to make a point about cutting
spending. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TOM COBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: This one shows the debt that we have
as October. It shows this expires in 10/13. Should we get another one or
rip this one up? I think we ought to rip it up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: But aren`t they really, Congresswoman, talking about
ripping up our economy?
BASS: Well, I think they absolutely are. They have already damaged
the economy. And just like Krystal said, this is about paying bills for
things we have already spent money on. You know, I feel saddened that my
Republican colleagues don`t get the message. You can walk around the
capitol and the people that are protecting us, the people that are still
working here are not being paid. So I`m glad they are paying attention to
the polls, but they need to pay attention to the fact children are not
being fed with WIC and other programs. That`s what needs to move the
But Krystal, you know, what is annoying to many people is they keep
changing their reasons for the shutdown. First it was Obamacare. Then it
was about spending then one GOP lawmaker said it was about dignity. Before
turning around and saying it was about, quote, "something I don`t know
what." I mean, and speaker Boehner says it`s about everything or maybe
nothing. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: That`s a conversation
we`re going to have with the president today. And I don`t want to put
anything on the table. I don`t want to take anything off the table.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I mean, what is that mean? You have shut down the
government, 800,000 federal employees. You don`t want to put anything on
the table, you don`t want to put anything off the table. I mean, what is
BALL: They have completely lost the thread of whatever this was about
to begin with. And the Congressman who said, you know, I don`t know what
this is about. We have to get something. I think he was being the most
honest here. At this point, they want something to save face with their
base. And actually it`s important we don`t give them that. Because if
they have some face saving measure, that`s going to encourage them to take
the government hostage again in the future. And that is what at heart this
is about. We have to end this cycle of sliding from crisis to crisis. We
have to show them that this is not in their benefit and it is certainly not
to the benefit of the American people.
SHARPTON: Congresswoman, what are you hearing about your Republican
colleagues? I mean, are you getting any information about what`s going on
in the Republican caucus? Because we are getting reports there was quite a
contentious meeting today of Republicans.
BASS: Well actually, I mean, I have been talking to my colleagues on
the other side of the aisle all along. And you know, a number of them are
embarrassed. They know that they are looking bad. I mean, if you think
about it, everything that Krystal just described sounds like a children`s
temper tantrum. And that we have to make sure they behave properly the
I mean, you know, I do think that a number of them feel -- because
they have said, they have been on record saying, over 20 of them had said
that they would vote for a clean continuing resolution today. That is what
needs to go on the table right now.
So I`m just hoping that after their meeting with the president that
they will walk out and they will realize that it`s just not enough to say
we are going to raise the debt ceiling and not open up the government.
We need to do it both and then after the government is open, after the
debt ceiling is raised, then we sit down and talk about whatever it is they
want to talk about.
SHARPTON: But the practical question that I want to raise, because
this is just practical. If you can talk while you delayed the debt
ceiling, why can`t you talk when the government is open? It just doesn`t
make practical sense, Krystal.
BALL: Yes. I think the idea from John Boehner is that he could get
the tea party part of his caucus to go along with a short-term extension if
he gave them a continuation of a government shutdown. Now, that should
tell you something. That it is a bonus, that it is a gift to them to keep
t government shutdown is an unbelievable situation. And what I`m really
afraid of -- remember, when we initially had the sequester, everyone
thought this would be too awful for anyone to contemplate. It would be too
awful to keep in place.
I`m afraid we`re in a place where the government shutdown is going to
become the new normal. That these far right Republican congressmen are not
going to feel enough heat to reopen the government. So it is up to, as
Congressman Bass was indicating, is up to those moderate Republicans who
are embarrassed, who see that we need to reopen the government, they have
to show some courage. That is the only way around this.
SHARPTON: They have to step up.
Congresswoman, Mr. Boehner left the White House, walked past the bank
of microphones, said nothing. Just arrived back at his office walking past
the microphones. Said nothing. I don`t think he got what he wanted from
the president. I mean, all of a sudden he has political laryngitis?
BASS: Right. Exactly. You know, I guess he went in and expected the
president to say, you know, whatever you want we are there. But maybe he
will go back and meet with his caucus.
I suspect that what he heard from the president was debt ceiling
clean, open up the government, and then we talk. That`s my guess. And I
think that`s what we need to do. Like I said, you walk around the capitol
and you see people who are protecting us who are not even being paid. If
they miss their paycheck and they are late on their mortgage, do you think
the banks are going to forgive them? This is our responsibility here to do
our job and that`s what they need to do.
SHARPTON: Well, thank you both for being here.
And it sounds like they`re starting to move. We have got to keep the
heat on and the pressure on. They are moving, not nearly enough, but they
are not where they were. If the American public keeps pushing, maybe we
can see some light at the end of this tunnel. And hopefully it won`t be
the train coming our way.
Congresswoman Karen Bass and Krystal Ball, thank you for your time
BALL: Thanks, Rev.
BASS: Thanks so much.
SHARPTON: And catch Krystal on "the Cycle" weekdays at 3:00 eastern
right here on MSNBC.
Coming up, the man pulling the defund Obamacare strings from behind
the curtain is coming out. Why former Senator Jim DeMint is speaker
Boehner`s boss. Congressman Keith Ellison is on that next.
The shutdown has proven to be the unmitigated disaster for the GOP.
We have brand new numbers on the results and those results are amazing.
And who is really running this party? Something remarkable is about
to happen. We will explain.
And friend or foe, I want to know. E-mail me. "Reply Al" is ahead.
SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? We hope you will. Ten days into the shutdown, our facebook
fans are fed up with the Republican Boehner.
Ken says the worst Congress in the history of all congresses.
Jack says, the Republicans don`t care about the common person.
Coming up, we have got a brand new poll showing just h devastating the
shutdown is for the GOP brand. But first we want to hear what you think.
Please head over to facebook and search "Politics Nation" and like us to
join the conversation that keeps going long after the show ends.
SHARPTON: Breaking news. "The New York Times" reporting President
Obama has rejected the Republican plan to extend the debt ceiling without
reopening the government. He told the Republicans at a meeting at the
White House no. Speaker John Boehner arrived back at Capitol Hill just
moments ago after that White House meeting. Boehner did not speak to
Joining me now is Congressman Keith Ellison, Democrat from Minnesota.
He is co-chairman of the progressive caucus.
Thanks for being here, Congressman.
REP, KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: Thank you. Thank you, Reverend.
Good to see you as always.
SHARPTON: Good to see you. What do you make of this news? They made
this offer to the president of extending the debt ceiling while they talked
through budget stuff. But keeping the government closed. "New York Times"
is reporting now the president said no to that offer.
ELLISON: I think the president`s right to hang tough. I mean, we had
had a shutdown -- the shutdown rally today in the pouring rain, but still
we had about 500 people come on out. And people would come to the
microphone talking about the inability to pay for groceries. A man who`s a
single dad says he may have to go to a homeless shelter with his son. And
a young mom says she`s struggling and they don`t know where they`re going
to get their rent because they`re a two-income family and the family
depends on her income. She works for the census bureau.
So, this cynical move where they listen to what Wall Street needs and
ignore the needs of hard working public employees every day is not
acceptable. I think the president is right.
SHARPTON: We understand, Congressman, that at the Republican caucus
meeting today, that some Republicans actually called for a clean vote. And
that the vote would in turn open up the government if that vote was taken
or would take place. And again, there has been resistance by Boehner and
others. But that some Republicans in the meeting actually called for the
ELLISON: Well, you know, there are reasonable Republicans. They
still exist and God bless them. I hope they keep on getting more vocal. I
can tell you one thing. If you`re a moderate Republican in America today,
you must be feeling silenced and shut out of the conversation.
The fact is, you know Reverend Al that Eisenhower was a Republican, he
wasn`t like these people. Even Nixon wasn`t like these people. Even Bob
Dole says he didn`t recognize these people. I mean, Reagan raised the debt
ceiling 18 times. And so, this crew that`s in Congress now is something we
have never seen before. Maybe not since the 1850s or something. These
guys are outrageous.
SHARPTON: Now Eric Cantor had said the meetings were useful and they
will keep going into the night. What do you make of that?
ELLISON: I think that`s a good sign. We should keep talking. But at
the end of the day, the Republican caucus says they`ve got to stop playing
games and open up the government and pay America`s debt. That`s a simple
request. The fact is, as Democrats, we are not saying we will vote to open
up the government if they do this or if they stop doing that. We are
saying, we are here to open up the government. And they need so say the
Look. If they want to talk about the affordable care act, no problem.
They won`t get 100 percent of what they want, but we can certainly discuss
it. There are things that maybe both sides can agree on. But they are
saying unless it`s all our way on the Affordable Care Act, unless you deny
people health care, we are going to shut down the government and keep it
shut down until you capitulate to what we want.
And the leader of the band, you know, Ted Cruz, his state Texas has
more uninsured people than any other state. It`s really a scandal that a
man with the most uninsured people in his state is leading the band to stop
people from getting insured. That is so wrong.
SHARPTON: This is a president that seems resolute. It seems he`s not
looking for some kind of compromise at the expense of people. You had said
today that you had a rally -- you participated in a rally against the
shutdown. People are suffering. This is real pain.
ELLISON: It is real pain. As a matter of fact, I was proud to see
leaders of several labor unions, but also just regular citizens. You know,
I was proud to see members of Congress standing there in the pouring down
rain in solidarity with these folks. And we stayed out there a long time
because people are really desperate.
But you know, I think it`s important for us to realize that this shut
down wasn`t an accident. They were been bragging about it for more than
two years. And now it`s here. I`m not sure that the people who are
playing it out, the people who caused the shutdown will be the people who
reopen the government. But somebody needs to reopen it. And I`m prepared
to vote yes on a clean continuing resolution right now. It needs to be --
SHARPTON: Go ahead.
ELLISON: I was going to say, but it needs to be game free, simple, do
your job. You don`t get extra stuff for doing your job.
SHARPTON: Now, it seems to me with all of the pressure that is being
put to bear with the poll numbers showing how overwhelmingly the American
public are rejecting it, they are weakening. They`re now talking about
extending the debt limit. We saw yesterday the Koch brothers come out with
a letter who were part of the group that were originally planning and
talking about stopping Obamacare even if it meant government shutdown. It
seems if the pressure continues and that the public continues to stand up,
that we are beginning to see some cracks in the Republican armor.
ELLISON: Well, you know, here`s the thing.
SHARPTON: Or at least the far right wing armor, I should say.
ELLISON: All I want is my friends in the Republican caucus to do
what`s right. I mean, many of them, about 24, have said we should reopen
the government no strings attached. And we are hoping they will do that.
But they have got to find a way to break ranks with the tea party. They
have got to find a way to recapture their own voice.
Look. You know, a lot of people don`t know this. My dad was a
moderate Republican. He`s proud he went to college on the G.I. bill, but
you know, he voted for Nixon. And he thought -- but the bottom line is, he
doesn`t recognize these people. You know, he is like wait a minute,
they`re going to wreck the government just because poor people are getting
some health care? And it`s important to note, Al, these folks have never
wanted to extend health care to poor folks. Didn`t like Medicaid. Didn`t
like Medicare. Didn`t like Social Security. And they would love to tear
it all away.
SHARPTON: Now, we are getting more details from "The New York Times"
reporting on that hour and a half meeting with President Obama and the
Republican leadership. And they are saying the president rejected the
offer to extend the conversation to extend the debt limit while they had
the conversations about the budget with the government remaining closed.
He would not accept their proposal as long as the government remained
closed. But both sides, both the Republicans and the Democrats see this as
the first breaking in the GOP armor.
ELLISON: Well, I hope so. You know, like I said, I don`t see this in
terms of a win. You know, Reverend Al, you don`t do this but some folks in
the press see politics like it`s some sort of athletic contest. It`s not.
It`s real life. And so, I don`t think talking this in terms of winning and
losing. The only real losers are the American people and the federal
employees going without their pay.
So, I`m hoping -- I`m appealing to Republicans of goods conscience to
stop this and do what`s right. You know, the fact is that it`s wrong and
the poll numbers are showing that it`s wrong. American people are
rejecting it. And they are losing independents. But let`s skip the
election and skip the polls. Let`s talk about what`s right for the
American people. And I think that if some Republicans step out and help us
open up the government, you know, people will remember who are courage in
people`s time of need and who turned their backs.
SHARPTON: Congressman Keith Ellison, thank you for your time tonight.
ELLISON: Thank you, sir.
SHARPTON: They must reopen the government, we`re being told the
president said. Ahead, more details on the breaking news. President Obama
rejecting speaker Boehner`s offers and brand new polls show a historic
disaster is in the making for the GOP. Stay with us.
SHARPTON: The president says no to a Republican deal unless they end
the government shutdown. But a deal may actually be in sight. We`ll
SHARPTON: We`re back with more on tonight`s breaking news. "The New
York Times" reports President Obama has rejected the GOP offer to extend
the debt ceiling, but keep the government shutdown. Here`s House Majority
Leader Eric Cantor speaking just moments ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), MAJORITY LEADER: Our very useful meeting, it
was clarifying I think both sides as to where we are and the takeaway from
the meeting was our teams are going to be talking further tonight. We`ll
have more discussion. We`ll come back to have more discussion. The
president said that he would go and consult with the administration folks
and hopefully we can see a way forward after that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Wow. Cantor seems like he wants a deal. It`s no wonder
GOP leaders now seem more open to a deal. Because the polls show they`re
in big trouble. A brand new NBC poll released just moments ago revealed
just how disastrous this shutdown has been for the GOP. The poll shows
that just 24 percent of Americans have a positive view of the Republican
Party. Twenty four percent. That`s their worst rating ever in this poll.
The Tea Party is doing even worse. Just 21 percent have a positive view of
them. That`s also their worst rating ever. If -- this is a historic
collapse. An epic rejection of a party by the American people. Seventy
percent of voters now disapprove of what Republicans in Congress are doing.
So do they get it? Nope.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CANTOR: We have seen now for ten days a government shutdown. It`s
not what we asked for. It is what was the result of the two parties not
being able to sit down and talk.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: It`s the result of two parties? No, not two parties. Just
one. A majority of Americans, 53 percent, blame the Congressional
Republicans for the shutdown. Only 31 percent blame the president. These
are cold, hard numbers. And the numbers don`t lie. The American people
have had had enough.
Joining me now are Jamal Simmons and Margie Omero. Thank you both for
coming on the show tonight.
JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thank you.
MARGIE OMERO, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Good evening, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Jamal, let me try this different. The shutdown is killing
the GOP, isn`t it?
SIMMONS: Yes. Listen, we saw this happen in the 1990s. The
Republicans tried this, it didn`t work out very well for them. A lot of
people weren`t believers. They weren`t around. They weren`t paying
attention. You know, a lot of these members of Congress were doctors and
insurance salesmen and lawyers and school teachers. And whatever they were
doing before they ran for Congress, they weren`t even -- legislature. So,
they don`t really understand how politics works. And at the end of the day
you`ve got to be willing to cut a deal. And now you see in the New York
Times, the business people in the Republican Party feel like they`re being
left out and they don`t even get to have a say. And they know that if we
don`t raise a debt limit, we`re going to kill the national economy.
SHARPTON: But Margie, we`ve seen they come back with a proposal to
extend conversations to extend the debt limit as long as they`re having
conversations on the budget. Yet keep the government shutdown. I mean,
they just don`t get it, do they?
OMERO: No. They`re in a fantasy world where what they`re doing a
popular and is considered to be good for the economy. Neither of those
things are true. The NBC poll is consistent with what Gallup is showing.
Historic low approval rating for Republicans in Congress. Gallup also
showed that the number one concern right now is government dysfunction more
than the economy, more than jobs. Then this is really a disgrace. The
business community as Jamal said, they don`t think that this is a good
idea, so what is the point exactly? If it`s unpopular and people who work
in the markets and business leaders don`t think it`s a good idea, then why
are we having this exercise? Why are we in this fight? It`s completely
SHARPTON: But Jamal, let me go back to trying something a little
different. Let`s pretend a minute you were a Republican strategist and you
were over there today, tonight right now and you were going to advise Mr.
Speaker Boehner and Cantor. What would you tell them to do given the
standing with the public and given the fact they`ve got this hard right Tea
Parties that they have to deal with. How would you advise them how to deal
in the middle of this?
SIMMONS: Rev, the debate right now is not between Democrats and
Republicans, it`s not between Liberals and Conservatives. The debate right
now is between rational Republicans who understand how the world works and
the irrational radical Republicans. They are in a coalition that has
people in it who are against government. So how do you govern with people
who are against government? My advice would be to Speaker Boehner, listen,
find 30 or 40 Republican who agree with you. You only really need about
30. Get the Democrats, get Nancy Pelosi in a room. And let`s just go
ahead cut a deal. You decide you`re going to do two or three really
important things over the next year. Tax reform, immigration reform. Your
speakership is going to be over, but you`ll probably be a national hero.
But you`ve got to decide to cut the cord with this crazy people who are in
OMERO: I think Jamal would be a great Republican strategist.
SHARPTON: Margie, let me bring the polls back in, Margie. When you
look at -- these are brand new polls hot off the press NBC polls. The GOP
is getting even more blame for this shutdown than the one back in `95.
Fifty three percent blame the GOP now. Back in `95, 43 percent blamed the
GOP. The public is much more worried about this shutdown than they were in
the mid-90s. Today, 73 percent say the shutdown is extremely or quite
serious. In `95, only 57 percent said the same thing. So the 1990s
shutdown was a disaster for the GOP if you look at the elections after it.
This one looks even worse, Margie.
OMERO: Yes. It`s clearly a mistake. I haven`t seen a single
solitary poll that shows more people blaming the president than blaming
Republicans in Congress. Ted Cruz tried to show off a poll of his own to
make some case and even his poll showed that Republicans had more blame.
So it`s unquestionable that they`re taking -- look. We`re all losers as
the congressman said in the segment before. And the president`s going to
take a hit on this. But ultimately Republicans are the ones seen as not
getting the sense of urgency for all the people that are affected, not
getting a sense of urgency for our economy. And thinking of this is a game
as brinksmanship, as a political partisan game opposed to something where
there`s a lot of stake where we`re talking about actual real lives and food
and medicine at stake.
SHARPTON: You know, Jamal, Democrats --
SIMMONS: I know somebody sitting right now over at the White House
who is floating credit card bills and hoping this is going to be done by
the first of the month so they can pay their rent. This is having real
impacts on real federal workers.
SHARPTON: And that`s the real problem that they have. The politics
of it is also very interesting because Democrats have already started
campaigning on this. A progressive group has released a new TV ad in GOP
districts attacking lawmakers for supporting the shutdown. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Sean Duffy joins Tea Party Republicans in Congress
and shutdown our government putting hundreds of thousands of Americans out
of work. Slashing head start for thousands of kids, putting benefits for
seniors at risk, denying cancer treatments for kids, and halting food
inspections. Economists say Sean Duffy`s Tea Party shutdown could weaken
the economy and devastate middle class families.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Now, we`re heading into the 2014 midterm elections. Polls
are saying 39 percent would prefer a republican-controlled Congress. Forty
seven percent would prefer democratic-controlled Congress, Jamal. They are
heading into the midterm elections beginning to take a real political
beating on this.
SIMMONS: Yes. And I`ll let Margie hop in here, too, because at the
end of the day -- what we know what happened last time is that the way the
Republicans have redistricted these districts, even though the majority of
Americans voted for Democrats when there was a Congress last time,
Republicans still won the majority. So, what we`ve got to know is even
though we`ve got these numbers, they`ve finally got this built-in safe zone
that these Republican radicals are sitting in so they`re not afraid of
numbers like this.
SHARPTON: Margie, quickly. All right. Well, let me move on. I`m
out of time. Jamal Simmons, Margie Omero, thank you both for your time.
SIMMONS: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Still ahead, why is Michele Bachmann talking about
impeachment and thuggery? Who runs the Republican Party? Something is
happening tomorrow that reveals the answer. That`s next.
SHARPTON: Right now 30 to 40 hardliner House Republicans are
responsible for the government shutdown. People like Congressman Steve
Stockman. You remember him. He`s the congressman who invited a hateful
rodeo clown in a President Obama mask to perform in his home state. Then
there are others like Paul Broun. He`s on the House Science Committee, but
he thinks the whole climate change thing, quote, "is a hoax." And let`s
not forget Michele Bachmann. She`s been pushing the shutdown from the
start. Here`s what she`s saying about the president.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: We can have an impeachment
hearing in the House and in my mind the president has committed impeachable
offenses. People aren`t going to take the thuggery of this president much
longer. You are not a dictator.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Yes, these are the folks demanding a shut down. They`re
calling for impeachment, they think climate change is a hoax. They think
racist rodeo clowns are heroes. But who put these wacky ideas in their
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: This is an artist, a very brave
artist believe it or not, rodeo clowns.
Today I declare myself officially a rodeo clown.
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The undeniable global warming is
undeniably caused by human beings. It is a hoax. All of that. I don`t
know how else to say it.
MARK LEVIN, HOST, "THE MARK LEVIN SHOW": You know what these would be
in past years? And I don`t mean to be controversial, these would be
SHARPTON: Yep. The right wing media calls the shots. So if you want
to know who`s really to blame for this shutdown, it`s the real bosses of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: I don`t think they should give in at
all. And if that means that they`re going to sit this out for a month or
two months or however long the president wants to be arrogant and not talk
to anybody, then sit it out.
LIMBAUGH: The Republicans never say no. They whole party ought to be
obstructing, the whole party ought to be saying no to everything in Obama`s
BECK: Bring it on. Bring it on. Shut it down. I`m all for it.
SHARPTON: Sound familiar?
Joining me now are former Democratic congressman from Virginia Tom
Perriello, he`s now president and CEO at the Center for American Progress
Action Fund. And MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor. Thank you both for
coming on the show tonight.
GOLDIE TAYLOR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you.
REP. TOM PERRIELLO (D), VIRGINIA: Thank you for having us.
SHARPTON: Congressman, let me start with you. You served with some
of these congressmen. Are they just parodying whatever the right wing
talkers are saying?
PERRIELLO: Well, obviously you have a range, you have public servants
serving in the House and the Republican sides who take their job very
seriously. And I think these new devastating poll numbers for the
Republicans about the shutdown help empower the more moderate and
reasonable voices that are left in the Republican Party. Because it shows
that those voices in the right wing media and the more extreme side of
their caucus were simply wrong that this was a good idea.
It`s been terrible for them politically, and it`s also we`re already
seeing terrible for the economy and particularly the families caught in the
middle. So there are good people in the caucus, they just haven`t
necessarily have the guts to step up particularly on the House side. I
think the new polling numbers and other aspects of this should empower them
to step up a little more and show some courage.
SHARPTON: I want to go back to the polling, but let me ask you this,
Goldie. Tomorrow the right wing Values Voter Summit kicks off. It look
who the opening speakers are. The people who spearheaded the shutdown.
Senator Mike Lee, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Rand Paul, Congresswoman
Michele Bachmann. And would you look at who they`re sharing the stage
with? The other main speakers. Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Jim DeMint the new
honcho of the Heritage Foundation and founder of the far right wacky
website World Net Daily. That`s the site that calls the president a gay
TAYLOR: It absolutely is. You know, with these kinds of values, you
got to wonder who these people really are. You know, it seems to me that
bullies really control the campfire here. And what has to happen is that
some of these people have got to be dismissed from the circle. There is a
silent majority, I believe, of moderate Republicans around this country.
They typically identify themselves as independents.
Until that group of people comes together and coalesces as a group and
decides to primary some of these Tea Party Republicans, that decides if
they want to purge their party of some of these very extremist voices, then
you know, we`re going to have some of the same old rhetoric time and time
again and we`re going to lose this inherent strength of a strong two-party
SHARPTON: Congressman, the polls you referred to the polls, this new
poll out is absolutely devastating. Do you think the polls and the impact
of the polls is something that moderate Republicans can finally find if not
the guts as people looking at what`s going on in the country, at least the
political courage for their own skin on the good of their party to stand up
and say, wait a minute, look at these polls. We can`t let this go any
PERRIELLO: I think you saw a bit of a breaking point today not just
let`s say, the moderate voices but even some of the more Machiavellian
voices in the Republican Party understanding that this was a path to a very
losing place for them. You saw that in the offer of at least moving the
debt limit. I think you see the president saying we`ve got to get the
government open. It`s important for the economy. It`s the right thing to
do. So I think you saw such a change of tone including how people like Mr.
Cantor spoke after the meeting with was much more of saying hey, maybe
we`re on the path to a deal here.
And again, we got to remember there`s a very human cost, there`s a
very macroeconomic cost here behind the politics. But unfortunately,
politics is driving things up there and the fact that the Ted Cruz approach
is costing the Republican Party so dearly is probably what`s empowering,
again, those who want to get this thing done with and move forward.
SHARPTON: Goldie, we heard all of this after last year`s election
about rebranding and changing the party. They`re down to 24 percent in
favorability. Twenty four percent. What happened to the rebranding,
TAYLOR: You know, well, I think that they believed that if you did
not change some of these guiding, so-called principles then you could reach
some of these audiences black and brown people, LGBT community that are
non-traditional Republican voters. That if you didn`t change these guiding
principles, you can still reach with the so-called conservative values.
That turned out not to be true. They doubled down. They put a pot size in
the middle of the table and said, we`re going to go with our values, we`re
going to go with some of these exclusionary practices.
And what`s really panned out for them is lower approval meetings
among, you know, who they call the American people. Well, the American
people are speaking and they`re calling this kind of thing, shutting down
the government, you know, refusing to raise the debt limit, you know,
snatching food away from children by cutting snap. They`re calling that
dead wrong. And that`s why you`re seeing some of the kind of rebuke that
the Republican Party is getting today.
SHARPTON: Congressman, but there`s no two ways about it. These guys
are crumbling on the right. They`re coming back in now certainly nowhere
near as much as they need to in terms of reopening the government. But
they`re coming in talking about extending the debt limit. These guys are
making moves that two days ago, they said they would never make. What
affect do those polls have and what will make them finally come to their
PERRIELLO: Well, I think you see this certainly in how the
Congressional debate is playing out. I think it`s probably costing them
the governor`s race in the commonwealth of Virginia where McAuliffe has run
a great campaign in a strong position and Ken Cuccinelli represents that
more extreme wing of the party. But you also have to remember that we are
actually talking right now about a budget resolution at the level of 988
which is the Republican level. So at the same time that there`s lots to be
excited about in the future if you look at the opinions of millennials in
the way this conversation is going.
On the other hand, we are still discussing not just budget control act
but sequester levels of funding. And these have real impacts on the
economy. So, certainly I think the Republicans see the political trends
are going against them particularly the more extreme wing of their party.
But we have real policy issues with real implications for families that
aren`t yet going in the kind of progressive direction that many want.
SHARPTON: I`m going to have to leave it there, Congressman. Thank
you both. Former Congressman Tom Perriello and Goldie Taylor. Thanks for
your time. And let me say, the White House says, they had released a
statement saying, the President had a good meeting today but they will keep
talking. We`ll be right back.
SHARPTON: Tonight another key result from our brand new NBC poll
showing the GOP plan to derail ObamaCare has totally backfired. The poll
shows that approval of President Obama`s healthcare law has gone up seven
percent since the Republicans shutdown the government. The Republicans
thought a shutdown would cripple Obamacare. Instead, it`s crippling their
own party. And healthcare coverage for millions of Americans is just
SHARPTON: Finally tonight, President Obama is staying on message. No
deal yet on the shutdown, but he`s holding firm in the standoff. In my new
book "The Rejected Stone," I write about shaping your own brand and not
allowing the world to shape it for you. I`m really excited for my new
book. If you`d like to read an excerpt, please go over to our Facebook
page. Facebook.com/POLITICSNATION and find details about my next book
signing in New York City this Saturday.
I will be at my civil rights organization`s headquarters. The
National Action Network`s House of Justice on 145th Street in Harlem. I
hope to see you all there, 9:00 a.m. to noon at 145th and Lennox. You will
see in the book I wrote about President Obama and my relationship. Here`s
a man, grew up rejected by his father as me and others. But it gave him
the resolve to stand up and not blink against pressure. When you come from
being a reject and identify your purpose, you can change things.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton, "HARDBALL" starts right now.
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST, "HARDBALL": Bitter tea. Let`s play HARDBALL.
Good evening. I`m Chris Matthews in Los Angeles out here for the
tonight show. Let me start tonight with this. Tonight, the sky is falling
on the Republican hard-liners. They threatened to bring down not just the
Affordable Care Act, not just the American government itself but this
country`s economic position in the world. Well, face with this tsunami a
bad poll numbers especially for Ted Cruz, his unfavorables have doubled as
more people discovered him and his tactics, the fewer they like what
But it`s the whole party that`s taking a beating tonight. People
don`t like having their government held captive, don`t like their economy
being threatened and guess what. They now like the president`s health care
plan a lot more.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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