updated 10/17/2013 3:36:07 PM ET 2013-10-17T19:36:07

POLITICS NATION
October 16, 2013
Guest: Karen Bass; Barney Frank; Bernie Sanders, Jan Schakowsky, Jamal
Simmons, Abby Huntsman, Richard Wolffe

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

REV. AL SHARPTON, POLITICS NATION HOST: Good evening, Ed. And thanks
to you for tuning in.

Tonight`s Lead Breaking News, any moment now, the Senate will hold a
vote. A bill is being put up to end the government shutdown and avoid
default. It`s the beginning of a surrender by the Republican Party, a
victory for President Obama and for the American people.

The bill is on track to pass the Senate and make its way to the House
late tonight where it is expected to pass. Today, Speaker John Boehner
gave a little fist bump as he waves by reporters. But in a radio interview
earlier today, he said the GOP has lost.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We fought the good
fight. We just didn`t win. We fought the good fight. There`s just no
reason for our members to vote no today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Tonight`s bill funds the government through mid January.
It raises the debt limit through the beginning of February. Create a
bipartisan budget group, and it sets income verification for insurance
subsidies. But there are no major concessions on Obamacare. In other
words, Republicans got nothing. They shut down the government for 16 days,
kept 800,000 people from their jobs and drove us to the brink of default
for nothing. This was doomed from the start and Republicans finally
understand that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: It`s one of t more shameful chapters
that I have seen in the years that I have spent here in e Senate.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shutting down the government was not a smart
strategy.

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: This was a terrible mistake.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Shameful, terrible, not smart.

Today, even Rush Limbaugh admitted this went horribly wrong.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I was trying to think earlier
today if ever in my life I could remember any political, a major, any major
political party being so irrelevant. I have never seen it. What they`ve
ended up doing is creating one of the greatest political disasters I`ve
ever seen in my lifetime.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: You can see the incredible shrinking GOP in the polls.
Over the last year, the number of Americans with positive views of the GOP
has gotten smaller and smaller and smaller. The GOP`s approval rating has
now shrunk being to just 24 percent. The lowest on record. And today the
ringleader of this whole circus, Senator Ted Cruz threw in the towel.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I have no objections to this timing of this
vote. And the reason is simple, there`s nothing to be gained from delaying
this vote one day or two days.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: There was nothing to be gained from any of this.
Republicans have lost. But it`s a shame that the American people had to
suffer for them to realize.

Joining me now is Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Senator, good evening.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Good to be with you Al.

SHARPTON: You know, as we wait this morning on the floor, it never
had to get to this point, did it, senator?

SANDERS: No, it truly didn`t. And what the American people have
witnessed is right wing extremism in action. These guys lost the election,
and yet, what they have said is that, you know, we lost the election. We
lost seats in the Senate. We lost seats in the House. But we still want
to get our way in any case. We want to defund Obamacare. We want to deny
20 million Americans access to health insurance that they desperately need.

So we`re going to whole the entire government hostage, throw people
out of work, deny services to tens of millions of Americans. Should this
have happened? Of course it hasn`t. It here is any silver lining in this
whole thing, Al, it is the degree to which the American people can now
understand how dangerous this tea party right wing extremism is.

SHARPTON: Dangerous and they have failed, outright failed in their
strategy, Senator sanders.

SANDERS: They sure did. But Al, they lost a major political victory.
But let me tell you something that a lot of people don`t know. The budget
that will be past tonight, and I will vote for it because I don`t see any
alternative, it is a very bad budget. It is a sequestration budget which
will mean continued cuts in head start, in nutrition programs in meals on
wheels, in education. And what we have got to do as part of this budget
negotiation is to make sure that we do not, for the rest of the year,
balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, the children.

SHARPTON: Absolutely.

SANDERS: Working families, the sick, the wealthiest people in this
country are going to have to fess up, and we need the American people to
support that position.

SHARPTON: Absolutely. And that`s a fair point, and I`m with you on
that. But as of right now, Obamacare is basically intact. Is that not
correct, Senator?

SANDERS: That is absolutely right. You know, here`s what it started.
What they say it is the reason we`re holding the government hostage and the
reason we`re threatening not to pay nation`s bill is because Obamacare is
just so terrible. That was last week. Then they forget about that. The
reason we`re holding the government hostage and not paying our bills is
because we want to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. That was a
few days ago. And now, we are where we are today.

The bottom line here Al, in my view, is I hope people understand that
their opposition to Obamacare really is just the tip of the iceberg.

SHARPTON: Right.

SANDERS: If you look at what these guys, the Koch brothers and what
these guys really believe, they want to end sooner than later, Social
Security, they want to voucherize Medicare, massive cuts in Medicaid,
eviscerate the environmental protection agency. They want to move this
country Al to an (INAUDIBLE) form of society where a handful of
billionaires control the economic and political life of this country.

SHARPTON: And that`s where this fight is headed, is that not right
Senator Sanders? That`s the next fight where they`re going to move in
these other areas as we go and look at this bipartisan group. This battle
that has ended now with them being defeated does not mean this war is over.
We have other battles that they`re going to plan to resurface.

SANDERS: Al, when you have the Koch brothers who sit on $71 billion
while pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into the political process,
trust me, this battle has not ended. We have got a lot of work in front of
us. Our job is to bring the working people, the middle class of this
country together to stand up to the big money interests who want to repeal
every major piece of legislation passed in the last 80 years to protect
American Americans.

SHARPTON: Senator Bernie Sanders, thank you for your time tonight.

SANDERS: Thank you, Al.

SHARPTON: I`m joined now by Congresswoman Karen Bass, Democrat from
California.

Thank you, Congresswoman, for being here.

REP. KAREN BASS (D), CALIFORNIA: Thanks for having me on.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, is there any chance at all that we`ll see
one more round of resistance from the House Republicans before the night is
through?

BASS: Well, I don`t believe so. I mean, I think the message from
speaker Boehner is that he supports the Senate deal. And you`ve also heard
some of the most conservative Republicans say that they won`t stand in the
way. That they will allow their caucus to me forward and vote on this.
And so I don`t know how many Republican votes we`ll get, but I can tell you
that the Democratic caucus is united. And I do believe that this will pass
tonight.

SHARPTON: Now Congresswoman, this is a big victory. There`s no doubt
about it. But it also has incurred a tremendous cost to the American
people.

BASS: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: We`ve got an estimate today of the economic toll this
shutdown took on the U.S. economy. It has cost $24 billion, according to
Standard And Poor`s. $24 billion for the shutdown that achieved nothing.

BASS: Well, and the irony, of course, is that this is coming from the
party that says that they want to cut spending. That`s their mantra that
they say every day, but yet every day the government was shutdown it cost
taxpayers money.

And I tell you, it`s really has been something that is shameful and my
hope is, is that when tonight is over, I hope my Republican colleagues go
back to their districts and do some very serious soul-searching. Because
what took place over these last two weeks, if you think about what we`re
voting on tonight, there is no reason that this vote shouldn`t have taken
place more than two weeks ago.

SHARPTON: And it would have been absolutely the same vote, only we
would not have spent $24 billion and caused $800,000 federal workers to be
furloughed and not paid. I mean, it is -- it shows a deep-seated partisan
brinksmanship or hatred or both on the part of those who would do this and
think there`s something logical about this.

BASS: Well, and I think that Senator Sanders laid it out in terms of
what the ultimate objective is. You know, I mean, this is a philosophy of
the social Darwinism, the survival of the fittest. I mean, you know, if
you cut the programs that Senator Sanders was talking about, you really
will have pain and suffering on a lot of people. I mean, the idea that
part of this deal is appointing budget conferees, when I will tell you the
ranking member of the committee, Chris van Hollen, he has attempted to get
budget share Paul Ryan over ten occasions attempted to get them to a point,
budget conferees. And over the last couple weeks all we heard from them
was we want to just have a conversation, we want to go to budget
conference. Why now? We should have gone to budget conference at the
beginning of the year.

SHARPTON: Now when you look at the political cost that it has taken
from the Republicans, "Washington Post" poll, there`s widespread
disapproval of the Republicans handling of the shutdown. I mean, from all
circles. Disapproval from a majority of independents, of young people, of
seniors, of Democrats, of white voters, of African-American people, of
people making less than $50,000, of people making more t $100,000, people
in the northeast, in the Midwest, in the south and the west, even moderate
Republicans. The only groups that approve of this are conservative
Republicans.

BASS: Right. And you know, I think that part of the issue is that
some of my colleagues that came here when I came with the tea party in
2010, I think that they really didn`t understand what the government does.
And that it took a government shutdown for people to realize, that`s what
happens when the government is shut down. Gee, we`re not able to get
things done, that maybe it will increase an understanding as to why we need
the government. Because if you came here and you said that your mission is
to shrink government down to the size that it would fit in a bathtub, I
believe that was Grover Norquist`s slogan, then, you know, if that is the
case, then you understand that we need the government for our basic life,
basic quality of life. And hopefully somebody understands that now, I
hope.

SHARPTON: Well, Karen Bass, congresswoman from California, we`ll be
watching their vote. We`re going to stay on top of it. Great to speak
with you tonight.

BASS: Thanks for having me on.

SHARPTON: Coming up, using the polls, President Obama standing strong
and wins. Now there`s talk of a Democratic wave in 2014.

And delusion and denial inside the bubble. In the end, Ted Cruz and
his tea party followers get nothing in this standoff, except one massive
failure.

And if you can`t beat them, impeach them. They call for impeachment
on hatred, not policy.

Also friend or foe, I want to know. "Reply Al" is ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? We hope you will. Today everybody was talk being about the
action in Congress.

Alexander says the Republicans hate this country, but they also
sharpened my pencil. 2014, we will not forget.

Renee says thanking our president for not giving in to their demands.

She`s right. The president stood strong.

Coming up, we`ll talk about what he`ll take on next.

But first, we want to hear what you think too. Please head over to
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that keeps going long after the show ends.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back on a big news night. We`re awaiting a Senate
vote that would end the shutdown. And even after the Republican defeat on
this, their tea party leader is in denial.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Here we are reopening the government
after a lot of bruising, political warfare, and you got nothing for it.

CRUZ: Well, Dana, respectfully I disagree with the premise of that.
I think we have seen a remarkable thing happen. That was a remarkable
victory to see the House engage in a profile in courage.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: A profile in courage? That`s amazing.

Here`s what`s happening in the real world. Since the shutdown, NBC
found the GOP`s approval rate at 24 percent. That`s the lowest rating
ever. And how about the tea party? Another record low. Gallup also
looked at the Republican Party`s approval.

And do you see a trend? It`s another record low. Sarah Palin leading
rallies isn`t likely to turn it around. And someone marching around waving
a confederate flag won`t open the tents. And 16 days of this extremist
talk is not likely to win over the public.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s difficult.

NEUGEBAUER: Well, it shouldn`t be difficult.

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

NEUGEBAUER: The park service should be ashamed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not ashamed.

NEUGEBAUER: Well, you should be.

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN (R), TENNESSEE: People are probably going to
realize that they can live with a lot less government than what they
thought they need.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And they will receive their back pay and it will
basically be a paid vacation.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: We are really very energized
today. We are very strong. This is about the happiest I`ve seen members
in a long time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So much for the Republican rebranding. The first step is
admitting there is a problem.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUZ: That was a remarkable victory to see the House engage in a
profile in courage.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: If that was a victory, I wonder what he thinks defeat looks
like.

Joining me now is former congressman Barney Frank. Thank you for
being here.

BARNEY FRANK (D), FORMER MASSACHUSETTS CONGRESSMAN: Thank you, Al.

SHARPTON: Mr. Chairman, Ted Cruz is calling this a victory. What is
your response?

FRANK: Well, I think people should learn an important lesson here.
If you are driving in very difficult conditions, don`t rely on Cruz
control, you know. I`m told Ted Cruz is an intelligent man. If so, he`s
an intelligent man with a great defect of being out of touch with reality.

He, obviously, was defeated but he brought his party with him. I want
to stress, this was no accident. This is the logical inescapable result of
the collapse of responsible conservatism and their deference to this
extremism. And the one silver lining in this cloud is that this may give a
spine infusion to some of these Republicans who went along with something
that they knew was wrong substantively and wrong politically but lacked the
courage to take it on.

I will say this. And people just say well, we just put this off for a
couple months. I am convinced they will not try this again. That at this
point, the responsible Republicans, and there are many but they`re all in
hiding, won`t let it happen again.

SHARPTON: You know, congressman, Mr. Chairman, Republicans came under
blistering criticism on the opinion page of the right wing "Wall Street
Journal." They wrote today, quote, "they picked a goal they couldn`t
achieve in trying to defund Obamacare from one House of Congress. And then
they picked a means they couldn`t sustain politically. Republicans can
best help their cause now by getting this over with."

I mean, this is the "Wall Street Journal."

FRANK: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: Does this show how far right the party`s moved?

FRANK: Absolutely. We could be clear. The "Wall Street Journal" is
not opposed to the idea of extremism. But they are opposed to incompetent
extremism. And I guess, maybe, we could consider ourselves a little lucky.
If you`re going to have a party taken over by this extreme crew, it helps
that they are such bumbles (ph).

But again, we have a key issue now is whether or not the Republicans
can reassure their control. Can I say one other thing? Because this issue
is going to come up again on the debt limit. And wee to make sure that
this is formulated correctly. I am appalled at John Boehner acting as if
he`s doing me a favor or doing the president a favor by supporting an
increase in the debt limit. John Boehner voted to incur much more of that
debt than I did, Al. You know. He voted for the Iraq war, I didn`t. He
voted for the big Bush tax cuts, I didn`t. How does he presume to act as
if should we being responsible and paying for the debts that he incurred
much more than I did. It is somehow a favor to me.

SHARPTON: Yes, you`re right. And, you know, it has gone so extreme
that it is very hard to get a reality check, which is why we`re always glad
to talk to you. I mean, you know it`s bad when Pat Robertson is
criticizing the tea party.

Listen to what he had to say over the last two days.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAT ROBERTSON, AMERICAN MEDIA MOGUL: There comes a time that rebels
have to grow up and work to make the system successful. And unfortunately,
the tea party is not going along.

The Republicans have got to wave the white flag and say we fought a
good fight. Now it`s over. They cannot shut the government down and then
bring about a default. We can`t do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, even Pat Robertson saying it`s unreasonable. And
let`s reiterate the point you made. John Boehner and Republicans increased
the debt limits many times under George Bush when you were serving in
Congress and was a chair in congress. This is nothing that they have not
done other and over again.

FRANK: They did it over my objection. The Iraq war alone, trillions
of dollars. The Bush tax cuts. I would love to set my record next to John
Boehner`s or any of that Republican leadership. I`ll look like a very,
very prudent, fiscal conservative. But what we should advertise, when Pat
Robertson tells them this and the "Wall Street Journal" editorial tells
them this, some of the journals try to nippy (ph), all they did was win a
few more months. I think it`s very clear. There is an overwhelming
consensus. The Republicans won`t do this again. They saved some face by
saying it`s only for a few months, but there is no possibility that 24 is
going to recur.

I don`t think there would be a big deal. I think there would be. But
I would make one suggestion that I got to have some of the tea party
people, if they want to get (INAUDIBLE) joined in doing, let`s get out of
Afghanistan at the end of this year. Let`s not spend another year,
billions and billions more indefinitely. So, if they`re serious about
cutting back wasteful spending, containing the government from overreach,
because we can`t make Afghanistan into the society we want, let`s get
together and save many, many billions of dollars by phasing out Afghanistan
very quickly.

SHARPTON: Now Mr. Chairman, they seem inflexible, obstinate when it
comes to this president. In your judgment, what is it about this president
that makes them so inflexible? So ridge id, so crazy?

FRANK: Well, it`s a good point. You know, people talk about
bipartisanship. In September of 2008 when George Bush came to the Congress
and said look, as a result of these deregulation policies, he didn`t admit
it, but that was the cause. We have a terrible crisis. We need you to
help. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid instructed me to be cooperative.
(INAUDIBLE). We are important.

So, bipartisanship in America died on January 21st, 2009 when Obama
took over. I think they resent the fact, first of all that he`s a
Democrat. Secondly, they resent our successes. You know, in 2009 and `10
when we had a Democratic House and Senate, we put through a good tough
financial report, people are already seeing this fringes in the consumer
bureau. We got health care, we strengthened the remedies for people who
are suffering from wage discrimination and we repealed don`t ask/don`t
tell.

I think if Barack Obama had been less effective they might not have
minded so much. And then you have to also accept the fact that race is a
part of it. This notion about where he was born. It`s inconceivable that
there would be this degree of obsession on the part of some of his
political opponents with his birth if they were claiming it was really
Luxembourg and not Kenya. I mean, that`s really what is stake here.

SHARPTON: Well, Dodd-Frank was historic and we will always thank you
for that.

Former congressman Barney Frank, thank you for your time tonight.

FRANK: Thank you, Al.

SHARPTON: Coming up, President Obama`s winning strategy of force
started two years ago. Those amazing details are coming.

And should Democrats be thanking Ted Cruz? There`s talk of a
Democratic wave coming. Big news tonight, stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: President Obama refused to negotiate with political hostage
takers. They came. Now he`s talking tough about his agenda, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The Senate will soon vote to finally end the government
shutdown and avoid a government default. The House is scheduled to vote
late tonight.

The GOP failure shows President Obama meant when he said he would not
negotiate over the debt ceiling. In fact, the President made the decision
months ago. Two new accounts show that after the last debt limit crisis
the president was ready to fight back. The Washington Post reports quotes,
he knew that there would be another moment like this said a senior
administration official. He has thought a lot about what his role and
responsibility would be and that it is essential that he stare this down.
The "New York Times" also reported the president was done playing games.
Quote, "I`m not going through this again Mr. Obama said, the president then
told his staff to spread that word, even in your body language." And that
determination is exactly what we saw from the White House over the last 16
days.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Let me repeat -- I will not
negotiate over Congress`s responsibility to pay bills that`s already racked
up. You don`t negotiate by putting a gun to the other person`s head or
worst yet, putting a gun to the American`s people head. There will be no
negotiations over this. The American people are not pawns in some
political game.

We`re not going to pay a ransom for America paying its bills. That`s
something that should be non-negotiable and everybody should agree on that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But did the GOP take him seriously? Nope. When the
National Review asked Congressman Paul Ryan if he thought the president
would stand firm, he said, quote, "Oh, nobody believes that, nobody
believes that. I think most people believe he`s just posturing for now."
Well, I have a question for Mr. Ryan. Do you believe him now?

Joining me now is Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, democrat from
Illinois. And Jamal Simmons, thank you for coming on the show.
Congresswoman Schakowsky, the president stood firm against the GOP hostage
taken. What`s the mood like for the Democrats in the House today?

REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: Well, you know, Reverend Al, this
is the kind of day where we`re doing high-fives and certainly not clothing.
Because why we avoided the catastrophe, as you reported earlier, the
economy has lost about $24 billion.

SHARPTON: Right.

SCHAKOWSKY: Furloughed workers who already didn`t get a wage increase
for three years and were furloughed already for three days, they`re still
hurting and worrying about how they`re going to pay their bills and when
those checks are going to come. And so while we avoided catastrophe we
certainly haven`t been able yet to move the country forward. And there are
deadlines coming up that hopefully they`re not going to do this again, that
the Republicans won`t put us through this again. But in January and
February we`re going to see new deadlines.

SHARPTON: You know, Jamal, the president is moving forward. In an
interview yesterday he said of the shutdown quote, "the day after, I`m
going to be pushing to call a vote on immigration reform." So he seems
like he`s geared up, ready to go if this in fact holds tonight. And we`re
waiting to see if the Senate votes and congresswoman -- join House members
hopefully tonight in voting. If this ends tonight, he says he`s going to
go on to the next move and push for immigration reform.

JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: That`s right. This exactly the
right thing to do. You know, Rev, I`m a big fan of action movies. In
fact, this weekend, I saw Captain Phillips. And one of those things you
learned when you watch action movies like most of the American people do is
you don`t negotiate with hostage takers. So, a lot of us who are outside
of the government were very happy to hear that the president wasn`t going
to negotiate this time. And that they had learned that lesson and they are
ready to fight back and they did and the president won.

He deserves an extraordinary amount of credit for that. And I think
that the congresswoman is absolutely right. There are scores of people,
there are thousands of people who are waiting around for their checks so
they can pay their rents, their mortgages, their car notes and all sorts of
things. Now, already starting to hear about extraordinary measuring being
taken, but the next thing that`s going to happen is going to be hopefully
immigration reform and the rest of democratic agenda to get back focused on
the middle class and jobs and the things that people elected this
government to do. And hopefully now the rational Republicans, I don`t want
to call them moderates because now moderates and conservatives.

SHARPTON: Yes.

SIMMONS: These are rational, rational Republicans will do a deal with
the Democrats so we can get the government functioning.

SHARPTON: Now congresswoman, there are signs of trouble for the GOP
in 2014. Polls says 39 percent would prefer Republican controlled Congress
whereas 47 percent said they prefer a Democrat-controlled Congress. Now
that`s a significant gap. Has Ted Cruz done enough to hand the House back
to the Democrats in your judgment?

SCHAKOWSKY: Well, I think if the election were held today it`s very
likely that the Democrats would actually be in the majority. And, I think
if we are able now to proceed with the things the Americans really care
about, the positive agenda of creating jobs, of implementing the Affordable
Care Act so more people can have their health coverage that they need, then
I think there`s no question that we will be able to win. But I also think
that we are going to need to keep a ledger of just what was the real
expense of this shutdown and this brinksmanship when it comes to paying the
debts of our country. These were not cost free. And I think the kind of
expenses that are going to accrue are going to mount up as we go forward.
And that kind of recklessness and irresponsibility, I think will take its
toll in the November elections.

SHARPTON: You know, Jamal, even the right has began to get nervous.
A conservative blogger suggested that the Democrats will win back control
of the House next year. He tweeted, quote, "Speaker Pelosi part two
opening January 5th, 2015." Even the writer`s scared, Jamal.

SIMMONS: That`s right. They should be scared. And I`ll tell you
what, you know, we saw a story few days ago, that some of the people in the
Chamber of Commerce and some of the big business groups said that anybody
who votes against the debt ceiling increase stands in the way, they risk
getting a primary challenge, I would love to see the rational Republicans
and the business Republicans go after these Tea Party Republicans next
year. So even if a Democrat can`t beat them they at least get some people
back in Congress who are willing to focus on things like e-rate, and
they`re going to build out broadband connections to schools and libraries.
That`s kind of stuff that the American people want to see.

SHARPTON: You know, Congresswoman, at the end of the day, the
Affordable Care Act which they claim this was over is moving forward. I
mean, in just 12 states, plus the District of Columbia, there have been at
least 185,000 applications for the Affordable Care Act so far. And keep in
mind, a single application can represent an entire family.

SCHAKOWSKY: That`s right. And actually, the favorability of
ObamaCare has gone up during this period of the shutdown. And all the
hooting and hollering about getting rid of it. Clearly we need to get all
those glitches out and have it up and running. But we have seen the
tremendous interest that the American people have in that. And we`re going
to get cleared up. And we`re going to get it done. People are going to be
really happy by next November, that`s for sure, when the election happens.
And I think a lot sooner than that.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and Jamal Simmons. Thank you
both for your time tonight.

SIMMONS: Thank you.

SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up. Desperation from the right. More calls for
impeachment. Why it`s about hate, not policy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Republicans lost the battle, but surprise, surprise, now
they`re trying to win the blame game. Today Republican Congressman Daryl
Issa held a hearing to investigate the park servers for shutdown closures.
He blamed the head of the National Park servers and called for his
resignation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: Let me ask you a very simple
question. I started this hearing with, whose land is it? Is it your land?
Is it your government land? Or do you oversee the people`s land? And
please think before you answer.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It`s the people`s land.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Going after the park service director for the shutdown his
party started? That takes some brass. But luckily, House Democrats were
there to set the record straight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: What in the world are we doing
here? Stop this madness right now. People say Speaker Boehner is holding
our country hostage. And that is why the American people correctly blame
House Republicans for shutting down the government.

REP. PETER DEFAZIO (D), MARYLAND: Our National Park system is
surprisingly part of our national government, which you shut down, and I`m
going to demonstrate, if Republicans will look at me, I will show you who`s
responsible, right here. Here you are.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Take a hard look in that mirror, Congressman Issa. Your
party shamelessly used the World War II Memorial to score cheap political
points. Did you think we wouldn`t notice your grand standing? Nice try
but we got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We are waiting for the Senate to vote finally to end the
government shutdown and avoid a government default. The House is scheduled
to vote late tonight. While Republicans have lost this whole process, it
has made one thing clear. The GOP thinks if they can`t beat the president
they should just try and get rid of him, impeach him. This week, Sarah
Palin railed against Obama`s impeachable offenses. And so did a truly
great mind of the GOP.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R), TEXAS: If the president instructs the
treasury secretary, though the money is there to pay interest, if he
instructs him to default, I think we`re getting close to a high crime and
misdemeanor.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: You heard him. It would be a high crime and misdemeanor.
But let`s not forget the president`s other impeachable crimes. Since his
inauguration in 2009 Republicans have wanted to impeach him because he
really wasn`t born here. They`ve called for his impeachment over
immigration reform. Over the Defense of Marriage Act, over Fast and
Furious. They want an impeachment if he didn`t extend the Bush tax cuts,
because he made recess appointments, because of the Dream Act, because of
the war in Libya, because of gun control, because of quote, "all the czars"
he appointed. But that was first term stuff, right? I mean, in 2013,
who`s out spouting this garbage besides Sarah Palin and her right wing
party?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. STEVE STOCKMAN (R), TEXAS: We want all tools available to use,
including that impeachment.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: If he continues this, could that build up to make a
case for possible impeachment?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: All options are on the table.

REP. BLAKE FARENTHOLD (R), TEXAS: If we were to impeach the president
tomorrow, you could probably get the House of Representatives to do it.

SEN. JIM INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: People may be starting to use the I-
word before too long.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: OK. I-word, meaning impeachment.

INHOFE: Yes.

REP. KERRY BENTIVOLIO (R), MICHIGAN: I`ve had lawyers come in and
these are lawyers, PhD`s in history and I said, tell me how I can impeach
the president of the United States.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: To successfully impeach the president you
need the votes in the U.S. Senate with Harry Reid and the Democrats
controlling the Senate, it can`t succeed.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You have to establish the criteria that would
qualify for proceedings against the president. And that`s called
impeachment. Barack Obama is a personal friend of mine.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: This impeachment talk is deeper than disagreeing with
policy. It`s not about politics. It`s about hatred. They can`t beat him,
so they try to impeach him. But let`s look who`s still standing today.

Joining me now, Abby Huntsman and Richard Wolffe. Thank you both for
coming on the show tonight.

RICHARD WOLFFE, AUTHOR, "THE MESSAGE": Thank you, Reverend.

ABBY HUNTSMAN, MSNBC CO-HOST, "THE CYCLE": Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Abby, this needs your call for impeachment is almost a code
among anti-Obama extremist. What do you make of it?

HUNTSMAN: Well, he first of all has to do something to be
impeachable. Right? Is there a crime that he`s committed that we`re not
aware of? It`s amazing that they`re still using this rhetoric, that he`s
well into his second term as president. It`s not all surprising though, my
question is how are these individuals elect. We`re talking about elected
officials that are calling for him to be impeached. And some of which are
trying to get into office.

So my question is, you know, here we are with, you know, struggling
economy. We need to be talking about immigration, education, tax reform.
So many things that need to be discussed. And this is their agenda. This
is their idea of the future success of the GOP? And sadly, because the
party is so fragmented, so divided, so weak it`s these voices that are
dominating the narrative, otherwise Republicans wouldn`t even be talking
about it.

SHARPTON: Yes. Richard?

WOLFFE: Well, what`s remarkable is, you got to think, look, some of
these people should never have been elected office in the first place. I
don`t know what`s happening with Texas but Louie Gohmert really the whole
state, is a great state, but somebody voted for their guy. And it`s not
just one offense, it`s everything that comes out of his mouth. Look, but
there are other people, you know, we are talking about senators here who
get elected statewide who feel that they can pander to something.

SHARPTON: Yes.

WOLFFE: There are people who want to hear this stuff. They know that
this stuff is nonsense. I mean, even Ted Cruz knows there`s not the votes
there. How extreme does it have to be? And I do think as statewide
officials if not national speakers, they have to know that they are driving
their brand and their party into an unelectable place, even just pandering
to the stuff.

SHARPTON: But you know, there`s something deeper here, because I
mean, just two weeks after he took office they started talking about
impeachment.

HUNTSMAN: Right.

SHARPTON: And we keep hearing it over and over and over again, Abby.

HUNTSMAN: You hope, though, that today it`s some sort of a reflection
point for the Republican Party where they say, you know, where do we go
from here? How can we wrap our arms around the party once again and
actually strengthen it. Is this a moment where you say the Tea Party is
not going to hold the government hostage? Is this a moment where the
moderate tone might prevail. Or we can see this game of chicken just
continue as we, you know, hit another budget crisis just a few weeks from
now? I think this is a real moment for the Republican Party. And
Reverend, we talk about this all the time. No matter where you find
yourself on the political spectrum, we should all be hoping for a stronger
Republican Party, because that will make for a better democracy and it
makes more a more robust debate and it makes more compromise. And that`s
what the American people deserve.

SHARPTON: But, you know, when we look at this impeachment, it has
almost Richard become a badge of honor for the right. Texas Lieutenant
Governor David Dewhurst, he lost as a moderate Senate candidate to Ted Cruz
last year.

WOLFFE: Yes.

SHARPTON: Just this week he told Tea Partiers he wants to impeach
President Obama over Benghazi. Then you have Steve Stockman. The GOP
congressman, he plans to distribute a book about impeachment. He bought
435 copies of the World Net Daily book, impeachable offenses, the case for
removing Barack Obama from office and he plans to give a copy to every
member of the house.

WOLFFE: That`s one way to celebrate I guess. You know, here`s the
thing. We have seen in the past, in the recent pass. In the last few
weeks, how this extreme talk suddenly moves into the mainstream. And
before you know it, they`re too scared. And fear is what is ruling at
least the House Republicans right now. They`re too scared to say, boo,
this is not going to work. This is not going to fly. And we`ve got to
stop it. So what happens? They take one of these crazy ideas, they run
with it. And then they realize, gee, didn`t work and we look really
foolish. There is a danger that this kind of French talk about impeachment
moves to the heart of the Republican Party because there is no leadership,
there are no grown-ups to say that`s crazy. Stop it.

HUNTSMAN: I think that`s what rhetoric -- I think you`re exactly
right. I think when they feel threatened, when they feel like they don`t
have control, then they throw out this crazy right wing rhetoric, talking
about impeaching the president. I think that`s exactly the time when you
see this come out.

SHARPTON: But aren`t they intimidated by the loud voices, by the
radio talkers. By those that have been able to use the right wing media
from blog to FOX to radio that really have put them in a state of
intimidation? No, I`m talking about the moderate grownups in the
Republican Party?

HUNTSMAN: Right. And it`s sad because it`s really difficult for them
to have any sort of control. And you know, we know that there are these
wacko birds on both sides of the political aisle. But unfortunately
because the moderates don`t really have a lot of control, they are
dominating the narrative. And that becomes very, very dangerous. And
that`s what we`ve seen play out over the past few weeks. And that`s why I
think today, it`s a really important moment for the Republican Party, for
the future of the party, and for the future of this country and I hope that
they lean more towards a more moderate tone because I think that`s what
better for everybody.

SHARPTON: Richard, do you think today, the way it seems like it will
end? We`re waiting on the Senate vote, later House voted, if it goes as
planned. Do you think that some of the far right will lose their steam
since it`s going to be hard to make, to even spin this as a victory, or do
you think that they`re such believers it won`t even matter.

WOLFFE: I think they will say this is a real victory for them because
in spite of this temporary bump in the road, they are really the ones who
have set this country on the right track and they`ll come back and do it in
February. They need to understand that this is not an electable platform.
They`ll have to lose again to really get the lesson.

HUNTSMAN: I think you`re right. They`ll have to lose the House. And
I think that`s probably unlikely but they have to hit that rock bottom.

SHARPTON: Well, they set on the right track, $24 billion for nothing.
Abby Huntsman and Richard Wolffe, thank you for your time this evening.

HUNTSMAN: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Finally tonight, staying strong in the face of adversity.
Let`s remember this shutdown started because the extremists wanted to
defund ObamaCare. The president`s seen years of attacks on the healthcare
law but refused to back down. In my new book, "The Rejected Stone," I
write about digging deep to find your greatest gift at your lowest point.
I`m really excited for my new book. If you`d like to read an excerpt,
please go to our Facebook page. Facebook.com/POLITICSNATION and find
details about my next book signing in Atlanta Georgia tomorrow night. I`ll
be in Barnes & Noble in Atlanta. I hope to see you all there.

In the book, I talk about my interfacing with President Obama and
others that I`ve watched him deal with adversity. And I talk about how
adversity is a lesson in life. Shakespeare said the sweet use of
adversity. Adversity can make you stronger and more firm if you`re not
weak and one to run from standing up for what you believe in. Tonight
shows that.

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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