Skip navigation

PoliticsNation, Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Read the transcript from the Wednesday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed

POLITICS NATION
November 6, 2013
Guest: Jim McDermott, Joy Reid, Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, Jim Fassel,
David Zirin


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

I`m live tonight from Washington DC. Tonight`s Lead Tea Party
rejection. For three years, Speaker Boehner has bowed down to Tea Party
extremist. The movement was fueled by a hateful far Right ideology where
leaders literally shutdown the government and held the country hostage.
But last night, voters sent a clear signal. It`s over.

In Virginia a bellwether for national politics, voters said no to the
tea party, to the tea party candidate for governor they said no, Ken
Cuccinelli. It was a close race with big parts of the state going for
Cuccinelli, but in the D.C. suburbs which makes up 18 percent of state`s
population, the Democrat Terry McAuliffe won by nearly 30 percent. The
voters in those more moderate areas didn`t want a governor obsessed with
social issues.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KEN CUCCINELLI, REPUBLICAN GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE IN VIRGINIA: The
ultimate goal, which is to make abortion disappear in America.

Homosexual acts are wrong and should not be accommodated in government
policy.

We have two lawsuits with the EPA I called the employment prevention
agency. You`re all exhaling CO2, let`s all annoy Lisa Jackson together.
Shall we? One, two, three.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That kind of ideology was rejected last night. A governor
who publicly attacks gay people, rejected who wants to be -- who wants to
get rid of abortion, even in the case of rape or incest, rejected. Twenty
percent of Virginia voters said abortion was their most important issue.
And of those, nearly 60 percent voted for McAuliffe.

But the Republican party hasn`t figured that out. Here`s the party`s
de facto leader today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Look at what they`re doing to
women with their policies. I mean they`re demeaning them. They`re turning
them into nothing but abortion machines.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Abortion machines? This kind of extremism doesn`t play
anymore.

In Alabama, voters rejected the birther tea partier Dean Young`s bid
for Congress.

In New York city, the most progressive mayor in the city`s history was
elected. And in New Jersey Republican Chris Christie won by running
against tea party obstruction and by downplaying his stance on social
issues. And after one of the most famous bipartisan hugs in political
history.

So, last night showed that when we fight the tea party we can beat
them. It`s a fight we have to keep up until next November. It`s the fight
to brake the tea party`s stranglehold on the House of Representatives. And
the entire country. And we now know if we fight them, we can win.

Joining me now are Karen Finney and Abby Huntsman.

Thank you both for being here.

ABBY HUNTSMAN, MSNBC HOST, THE CYCLE: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Karen, what is this Virginia race tell you about the future
of the tea party?

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC HOST, DISRUPT: I think what it tells us is that
not only, as you say, when we fight them can we win, but how important it
is that we pick the fight and that, because one of the things that Terry
did very well was he understood it was all about turnout.

SHARPTON: Right.

FINNEY: And too oftentimes I think the Democrat party takes African-
American, Latino, young voters, female voters for granted. And I thought
what he did was wise. He did not do that. And so, I think that to me is
the biggest message, yes, that you know, Cuccinelli`s extremism, hopefully
it means that women will stay motivated because of all -- we`ve seen so
many extreme measures all over the country. But the bottom line is, we
have -- the Democratic Party has to do the work.

SHARPTON: And even with all that he had to really fight to win. So
you`ve got to bring everybody out.

FINNEY: That`s right.

SHARPTON: You know, Abby, we heard Rush Limbaugh again and others
today not changing their tone at all. Dean Young, Ken Cuccinelli, all of
them didn`t really change their tone, listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEAN YOUNG, CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: The establishment Republicans
did everything they could. They poured all their money into it and they
barely, barely beat you guys. This is the first warning shot that goes out
across the nation that people in the United States are tired of where our
government`s going. And I thank God for all of you.

CUCCINELLI: Tonight, you sent a message to the president of the
United States that you believe that Virginia understands that Obamacare is
a failure and that you want to be in charge of your health care and not the
government.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, Abby, it seems like they`ve learned the wrong
lesson. You`re hearing warning shot, all kind of statements. Did they get
what the voters said last night?

HUNTSMAN: You know, I actually took a different response from the
outcome of the elections. It ended up being quite a nail-biter towards the
end of the night and much closer than you expected. And the response you
are seeing from Rush Limbaugh is exactly what I was expecting because here
you have the tea party Republican saying we almost won this election. We
had actually the card stock against us. We didn`t have nearly as much
money. We didn`t have the establishment backing us. We didn`t have folks
like the Clintons come out and stumping for us. Even Chris Christie
refused to go speak on their behalf.

We had the government shutdown which obviously wasn`t helpful for us.
And yet, we still got very, very close to winning. Had we had maybe a
little more time, maybe a week or two, and a little more money, we could
have won this thing. So, in fact, you know what, we are not going
anywhere. We`ve once again been wronged. We`ve once again been screwed.
And now, we are just more reenergized to keep touting our message.

So, I think what I was hoping, with maybe the two wings of the party,
you have obviously New Jersey, a more pragmatic conservative Republican to
won and the tea party in Virginia I thought maybe they would lose so badly,
that you know, the party would start to stand together. But what we have
seen from last night, I think that the divide is still going to remain.

SHARPTON: You know, I agree with you, even though I think that they
were defeated. I think they feel emboldened and I think that they, you
know, to almost win in Virginia as a conservative Republican is a real
defeat the way a come from. But I hope they do, I hope they are inspired
to keep this up.

But what is the divided party mean in this year`s election if they
won`t go away, Karen?

FINNEY: Well, it certainly means they`re not going away. But I guess
the question becomes as we saw in that Alabama runoff, is the chamber of
commerce, are the more moderate forces in the Republican party serious
about standing up to the tea party? I think that`s going to be the real
question.

I certainly hope, I would love to see moderates in Congress emboldened
because we have some big issues like the budget on the table. And they`ve
been so terrified of, you know, the tea partiers that I hope this gives
them a little bit of gum shun.

But clearly, the tea party, that`s part of their whole shtick, right,
like they just keep on going, a loss is a win. And I mean, you know, the
way they were talking about this about a year ago, about Cuccinelli, like
no problem, he`s going to win. He`s going to beat Terry. And they`re
flouting the fact they had Ted Cruz come in and now they`re like we didn`t
have anybody big come in. I mean, you know, you can always find an excuse
--

SHARPTON: I mean, they had their people come in.

FINNEY: That`s right. They do good spin though.

SHARPTON: In Virginia, but let me show you, get an example of what
I`m talking about, Abby, in terms of the Republican party. When you look
at the talkers and listen to what they had to say, they praised Cuccinelli.
Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Another one I think is Ken Cuccinelli.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cuccinelli is awesome. I agree.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obviously endorse your candidacy full-throatedly
(ph) and wholeheartedly.

(CROSSTALK)

LIMBAUGH: Cuccinelli is just, it would be fabulous.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: They love Cuccinelli who lost. He did better than expected
by some, but he lost. But the guy that won big last night as a Republican,
they can`t stand him. Chris Christie. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH: So Christie praises Obama. It`s a master-servant
relationship.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought Chris Christie was really good, and I
ignored a few things that kind of bothered me. But now I don`t like Chris
Christie.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As for Chris Christie, I will do everything I can
in my little way to make sure he`s not the nominee.

LIMBAUGH: I hope that he poses a real challenge to Hillary Clinton in
the democratic primary.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So, the one that won big last night, that man there, they
denounce, they denigrate the almost winner, the guy that will write the
book on could have, would have, should have is the guy that they embrace.

HUNTSMAN: I think they`re very concerned about Chris Christie. As
you said earlier, he`s been able the kind of downplay his stance on some of
the conservative issues. But some of them know exactly where he stands and
he`s frankly a little bit too moderate for them on many of these issues.

What we saw last night with Chris Christie was a breath of fresh air,
not only for me, but many Republicans, more establishment-minded, business-
minded conservatives that saw Christie actually able to win over some
minorities. He won over 50 percent of the Latino vote. Over 20 percent of
the African-American vote. I think over 50 percent of the Latino vote.

I think it shows that he`s a Republican that can attract these folks.
He has a broad message, one that would actually play very well in the
general election. And I think this should give reason for Democrats to be
concerned but also tea partiers who don`t like Chris Christie. And I think
you`re going to see effort from the tea party to try to hurt Christie along
the way. And I think it`s going to be fascinating to see the primaries
play out, because it`s not going to be easy for Chris Christie.

SHARPTON: No. Before we get too carried away, Chris Christie is a
conservative. Let`s not throw for the fact that contrast to the tea party.

FINNEY: That`s right.

SHARPTON: He looks a lot more moderate than he is. He has a very
conservative rank, Karen, a lot to answer for. But he spent the last year
ripping Republicans in Washington. And that included last night. Watch
this.

I don`t know if we have it. So let me go. Let me let you respond.
Because he has solid conservative record on many of these issues. I think
I have the tape I wanted to show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: There`s only one group to blame
for the continued suffering of these innocent victims. The house majority
and their speaker, John Boehner. Shame on you. Shame on Congress.

What we pay them to do when we send them o down there is to run the
government not shut it down. Maybe the folks in Washington, D.C. should
tune in to their TVs right now and see how it`s done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

FINNEY: Well, you`re right, Al. It`s very important to remember that
when it comes to women`s issues, when it comes to a number of economic
issues, I thought one of the most interesting --

SHARPTON: Gays.

FINNEY: Gays and lesbians, one of the most -- guns is another, I
mean, those core issues. But what he`s been able to do well is sort of de-
emphasize those issues when he needs to and emphasize them when he needs
to. But I think one of the most important things last night was remember
that minimum wage increase passed overwhelmingly and he had vetoed that.
So you do have a dynamic where people in his state -

SHARPTON: He was against the minimum wage. He`s been against a lot
of social issues, but he did attack the Republicans in terms of some of
their shenanigans down here in Washington.

FINNEY: He`s playing the outsider.

SHARPTON: He did work with the president. But a boat clock (ph) is
ride twice a day. But let`s not get carried away.

Thank you very much, Abby. And thank you, Karen, both you and Abby
Huntsman. Thank you both for being here.

And don`t forget to wash Abby on "the Cycle" weekdays at 3:00 eastern.
And Karen on "Disrupt with Karen Finney," weekends at 4:00 eastern.

Both are right here on MSNBC.

Ahead, the Koch brothers weren`t on the ballot, but they were big
losers in this election. The billionaires went up against the workers, and
the billionaires lost.

Plus, President Obama takes the health care fight right into Ted
Cruz`s back yard where Republicans have refused to help millions of people.
And the racially charged bullying scandal rocking pro football. We`ll talk
to the former head coach for the New York giants about what`s really
happening in the locker room.

Also, what`s on your mind? E-mail me. Friend or foe, I want to know.
"Reply Al" is ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The president just arrived in Texas where he`ll talk about
the importance of the Affordable Care Act. Texas, aft all is the state
with the highest percentage of uninsured Americans in the country. Coming
up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The Koch brothers weren`t on the ballot last night, but
they sure lost big. The right wing billionaires got a wakeup call after
voters rejected their extremist views in race after race.

In Virginia, the brothers Grimm funded groups that directly supported
Cuccinelli`s losing campaign for governor.

In Iowa, their favorite candidates lost in a small-town race that got
national attention.

And in Washington, the Koch brothers poured money into a Seattle
suburb in their failing effort to block an increase in the minimum wage.

Results so far show the wage increase is winning, a major victory for
working class Americans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SERGIO SALINAS, PRESIDENT: People finally are able to make ends meet
without having to work two or three jobs and a decent pay, decent benefits.
So it`s a victory not just for the workers at the` port but for the
community here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Let`s be clear what this is all about. This is about the
richest Americans trying to make life worst for the poorest. The Koch
brothers are worth $68 billion. But they want to block working class
people from making a penny more than the current minimum wage, $7.25 an
hour. It`s immoral and unfair. And the American people are saying no.

Joining me now is congressman Jim McDermott, Democrat from Washington.

Congressman, the Koch brothers thought they could buy this election.
But instead, the people voted for fairness. What`s your response?

REP. JIM MCDERMOTT (D), WASHINGTON: Well, you know, Al, sometimes
people get kind of depressed about the way the current country`s going, but
when you look at what happened in C-TECH (ph) Washington yesterday, you
have to be hopeful and optimistic about giving the power to the people.
The people`s initiative. They put it on the ballot. They voted for it.
And they gave it a $15 an hour pay, I mean that is about $6 more than our
standard hourly rate, which is about $9.15.

People understand that you can`t live on, even $9.15. You talk about
the national one at $7.75. But we have much higher than that, and you
can`t live on that and support a family. So you have people working two
and three jobs at the minimum wage, and they just can`t make their bills.
So this town took it upon themselves and said we`re going to fix that, and
they passed it and we`re going to see how it rolls out.

SHARPTON: You know, the Republicans, top Republicans I`m talking
about, Congressman, are completely opposed to raising member wage. Listen
to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I`ve been dealing
with the minimum wage issue for the last 28 years that I`ve been in
elective office. And when you raise the price of employment, guess what
happens. You get less of it.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: A minimum wage law, as good as it may
sound at the outset, it`s not the way to do it.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: I don`t think
raising the minimum wage, and history`s very clear about this, doesn`t
actually accomplish those goals.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, polls show raising the minimum wage is hugely popular.
Gallup found that 71 percent of Americans support it, including 75 percent
of moderates and even 54 percent of conservatives, Congressman. The
American people overwhelmingly support raising the minimum wage. Do you
think Republicans will change their minds?

MCDERMOTT: They`re going to have it changed by the people. You know,
Al, if you do the simple math, if you take $9 an hour or -- and multiply
that times 40 hours, you don`t have enough money to, at the end of the
month, you have about $1500. You can`t support a family of four or three,
or even two, on $1500 a month.

So, the people are just going to take it away from the elected
officials who sit on their hands. They are simply going to demand. And it
may be that it will go state by state. It may go city by city. But you
watch, it`s going to spread like wildfire across this country, because
people have now seen it can happen. Why don`t we try it. That`s what`s
going to go on.

SHARPTON: But you know what is politically grotesque is Koch brothers
worth $68 billion spending their money against poor people trying to make
$8 an hour? I mean, this is unbelievable. It is almost unthinkable.

MCDERMOTT: They want to cut the safety net to pieces. They don`t
want unemployment insurers. They don`t want minimum wage. They don`t want
Social Security. They don`t want affordable care for everyone. They
really think that Ayn Rand`s book about you are on your own and you got to
take on the world by yourself is the way, is the bible for them.

And there is no way that we can do it by ourselves. We have to do it
together. And the Koch brothers are the biggest obstacle to that, because
they simply spend their money everywhere, even down at the county and the
city level trying to defeat this stuff. They`re afraid for it to get
started.

SHARPTON: But the thing that big money can`t defeat is real, on the
ground activism. Real activism, real working, real grassroots organizing
will beat big money every time, Congressman, and that was shown in your
state last night on this minimum wage fight.

MCDERMOTT: Yes, the Seattle unions that were involved, the service
employee, SEIU, they went out and organized, and these are all people who
work at the airport. C-Tech is where the C-Tech airport is, the
Seattle/Tacoma airport of the and it`s the people o work in the hotels and
it is the people who work all around that town and they simply said this
has got to change. We have got to have a living wage.

SHARPTON: Congressman Jim McDermott, thank you for your time tonight.

MCDERMOTT: You`re welcome.

SHARPTON: Ahead, look out Ted Cruz, President Obama`s in your home
state right now. And he brought some Texas-sized facts with him.

Plus, the story that everyone`s talking, a NFL player caught bullying
and using the n word against his teammate. What did the coach know? We`ll
talk live to a former NFL coach.

But first, Mr. Moral authority, Senator David Vitter tried to get away
with some shenanigans. But we got him. Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: You remember David Vitter, right? The Republican senator
from Louisiana who was caught up in a big prostitution scandal? His phone
number was on the D.C. madam`s list. But today, Senator Vitter is still
trying to legislate from the moral high ground.

Earlier this week the employment, the employment nondiscrimination act
advanced in the Senate. The bill would protect gays from being fired due
to sexual orientation. And guess what, Senator Vitter was nowhere to be
found. But that won`t stop him from pushing for an anti-abortion amendment
to be tacked on to the bill. Can you believe the brass?

Actually, yes. Senator Vitter is joining a long tradition of
Republican lawmakers who make it their mission to attach anti-abortion
amendments to anything and everything like bills on motorcycle safety,
flood insurance, child care facilities nursing homes, even tanning beds.

This is some kind of club. But senator, if you want to be against a
law that would protect people from being fired for who they love, go right
ahead. I think you`re dead wrong, but you`re entitled to your opinion.
But don`t hide behind an amendment that has absolutely nothing to do with
this bill.

Did you think we wouldn`t notice your cowardly stance? This isn`t
even a nice try. It`s an ugly, underhanded try. So, welcome to this
infamous club. We got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: President Obama is taking the fight straight to Republicans
today, right in Ted Cruz`s back yard. Just moments ago the president
arrived for a speech on health care in Texas. A state that exhibit, that`s
exhibit for how ObamaCare can help people. Republicans there have been
trying to block the law, even though it has some of the worst health care
in America. Six million people in Texas lack insurance. The second
highest total in the nation. That`s 24 percent of the population, the
highest rate of uninsured in America. It includes 1.2 million children,
children, in the richest country in the word. Numbers like this are
unacceptable. And Texas voters know it. Even in this red state, 67
percent support the idea of letting states expand Medicaid. But Senator
Cruz and Governor Rick Perry have a different idea.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Saying they want health care do not realize
that expanding Medicaid will worsen the health care options for the most
vulnerable among us in Texas.

GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: Texas will not be held hostage by the
Obama administration`s attempt to force us into this fool`s errand.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Giving people health care will worsen their options? It`s
a fool`s errand? Easy for them to say. Senator Cruz gets coverage through
his wife, a $40,000 family plan courtesy of Goldman Sachs. And Governor
Perry qualifies to get state-financed health care for life. You heard
that, right? For life. This is the worst kind of hypocrisy. These
Republicans have the best health care money can buy, paid for by Wall
Street and by taxpayers, but they`re fighting to deny health care for
millions of others? It`s heartless. But the president is fighting back.

Joining me now are Joy Reid and Victoria DeFrancesco Soto. Thanks for
coming on the show.

JOY REID, THEGRIO.COM MANAGING EDITOR: Thanks, Rev.

VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO SOTO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Joy, Texas is the state that needs ObamaCare the most, yet
it`s where Republicans are fighting it the hardest. How does that make
sense?

REID: No, I mean, Reverend. And I think you said it perfectly. I
mean, what you`re seeing is for ideological reasons, the states that have
the highest levels of poverty, which happen to also be nine out of ten
that`s happen to be red states, states in the Deep South, places like
Mississippi, and Alabama, and Texas, that have extraordinary rates of
poverty, high numbers of the uninsured are for ideological reasons refusing
to take, and remember this is a 100 percent federally funded expansion of
Medicaid. There`s no money coming out of the pocket of the Texas state
legislative. They didn`t have to spend a dime.

The federal government is matching it 100 percent to provide health
care for the most vulnerable. And even if they don`t care about the poor
in their state, which their behavior demonstrated a real sort of immoral
stance that for ideological reasons we refuse to let please people have an
insurance card so they can go to the doctor even if they don`t care about
them. The hospital interest in states in the south, states like Florida,
states like Texas at a certain are going to have to demand this because
they are still treating these patients in the emergency room at the highest
possible cost. So it`s sort of the worst of both worlds.

SHARPTON: The president is about -- he`s just come out. He`s being
introduced now. He`s right there in Texas. You see him as he`s being
introduced right in Senator Cruz`s home state as he`s going to make the
case for the Affordable Care Act. President Obama you see there live in
Texas. Victoria, you know, we`ve heard Ted Cruz say expanding Medicaid
will worsen health care options for the most vulnerable. PolitiFact said
the statement a false rating. It said, the statement made no logical sense
and Cruz doesn`t have evidence to back up his point.

SOTO: The politics here are what matter, Reverend. You know, I`m
very happy that the president is in my home state, but strategically from
the point of view of how do we convince Texas with some Medicaid funding.
There is nothing worse that could have happen than the president coming
here, because it`s going to make Rick Perry further dig in his heels.
Because Rick Perry is running in 2016th. And he wants to use the ACA and
the rejection of Medicaid as an example. So, he`s running in the primary,
he can stand out as the most conservative candidate. And the argument that
the president is going to make trying to be reasonable that other
Republican governors are taking Medicaid I fear is only going to make him
throw a tantrum, and, again, further dig in his heels. So, you know, I
wish he would listen, but I know my governor, and he`s not.

SHARPTON: Well, you know, Joy, when we talk about the governor
digging in his heels. Let me go back to my opening. When you look at how
both Senator Cruz who has a $40,000 a year Goldman Sachs family plan
because of his wife and a state financed health care for life for the
governor, the hypocrisy is blatant here. For these two to be fighting this
to me is inexcusable.

REID: No, and it really sort of get to sort of a more fundamental
problem that we`re seeing on almost conservative side. On the one hand
they believe in a sort of social Darwinism so that if your wife works for
Goldman Sachs, you deserve to have health care because you can afford to
buy it. On the other hand, they believe in essentially state care for
people who are worried of the state health care system in a sense that they
worked for the government. So it`s OK if you work for the government,
remember, one of the biggest Tea Partiers, Dick Army also from Texas went
all the way to the Supreme Court to try to keep his blue chip health care
program paid for by us by the taxpayers for life.

SHARPTON: Right.

REID: He never wanted to let it go. So you have these conservative
politicians that are saying, I deserve to have health care either because I
am rich or because I am a ward of the government for which I work. But you
don`t deserve to have health care if you`re poor because there`s an immoral
judgment attacks to the idea that society would help the poor. And this is
across the board, whether they talk about food stamps, whether they talk
about health care, poor people don`t deserve to have the help of the state
because it`s something that should be provided by charity, they should
throw themselves up on the mercy of the church or throw themselves upon the
mercy of the emergency room. That is what they fundamentally believe. And
they`re going to go all the way to 2016 arguing that, because that`s what
their base believes too.

SHARPTON: But they believe it for everyone other than them. And you
know that the ugly rhetoric, looking at the bigger picture here Victoria,
the ugly rhetoric is getting worse. I mean Rush Limbaugh, he says
Democrats are trying to control people. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: They now control the way people
live because every aspect of living has a health care cost component to it,
they can deny treatment for unless you snap to and live the way they want
you to live. And they`re not content to let you live the way you want to
live. You`ve got to live the way that they demand you live.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, to help provide health care for uninsured people is
to control how they live? I mean, this is as absurd as you can get.

SOTO: Earlier in the show, were you talking about whether -- well,
earlier you were talking about whether Texas is going to move into a purple
category. And I think this rhetoric and just the fact that Texas is not
accepting the ACA, it`s going to push people toward that middle. For
example Latinos. Everybody has their focus on Latinos. They`re a rapidly
growing electorate here in Texas. Thirty seven percent of Latinos here in
Texas don`t have health insurance. They are desperate for this expansion.
So, when they see that the president is offering it to him and their state
isn`t taking it, and standing their ground with regards to hard core
Republican line, that`s going to push them and mobilize them, most
importantly, into turning out and voting in the democratic primaries and
eventually in the general election.

SHARPTON: Joy Reid and Victoria Soto, thanks for your time tonight.

SOTO: Thanks, Rev.

REID: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Up next, an NFL player caught on tape using the "n" word
against his own teammate. What did his coaches know? And did they promote
a culture of hazing?

Plus, a big win for progressives in New York. A new mayor who knows
that you get tough on crime by being smart on crime. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Now to a case of bullying that has everyone talking. But
instead of school aged children, it involves grown men. NFL football
players, in fact, Miami Dolphins player Richie Incognito was suspended
indefinitely by the team after claims of harassment emerged from Rookie
teammate Jonathan Martin. Incognito referred to Martin publicly and
privately as the big weirdo. He allegedly got Martin to pay $15,000 for a
trip to Las Vegas that he never made. The final straw came last week when
Martin`s fellow teammates pulled a prank on him in the cafeteria.

But the most shocking allegations relate to a threatening and racially
charged voice mail that Incognito left Martin, quote, "Hey, what`s up you
have "n" word piece of -- blank. I`m going to slap your -- blank -- mouth.
I`m going to slap your real mother across the face. Blank you, you`re
still a Rookie, I`ll kill you. Text messages with slurs were also sent.
But some even made reference to Incognito harming members of Martin`s
family. Last week the Dolphins announced that Martin had taken a leave of
absence. As for Richie Incognito, he`s speaking out on camera.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What do you have to say about the storm you`re in?

RICHIE INCOGNITO, MIAMI DOLPHINS: You know, I`m just trying to
weather the storm right now. And this will pass.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: There`s an allegation that you left these voice
mails on Jonathan Martin`s voice mail. What do you have to say about
those?

INCOGNITO: No comment right now. We`re just going to kind of weather
the storm and that`s it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But that storm might be bigger than we first thought. A
new report out today says that Dolphin coaches asked Incognito to toughen
up Martin. The NFL has launched an independent investigation into the
Dolphins` workplace.

Joining me now is former New York Giants coach Jim Fassel and David
Zirin, sports correspondent for The Nation. Thank you both for coming on
the show tonight.

DAVE ZIRIN, SPORTS WRITER, THE NATION: Thank you.

JIM FASSEL, FORMER NEW YORK GIANTS COACH: Good to be with you.

SHARPTON: Coach Fassel, you were the Giants` head coach for seven
years. As you hair this horrific story of bullying and racial slurs
unfold, does it surprise you?

FASSEL: It does. It shocks me actually, Al. It shocks me because as
a coach, all you want to do is build a culture on your team that we`re
family, I got your back, you got my back. Guys, I don`t care what your
race is, your religion is, when you step in this locker room, we are
brothers in arms. We are protecting each other. And anything that goes
away from that, you`re dividing the locker room. And you got no chance of
winning with a divided locker room. So I`m shocked at what I`m hearing
right now.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, moments ago, the Dolphins` coach refused to
comment on reports that coaches asked Incognito to toughen Martin up.
Listen to this coach Fassel.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I`ve got a question for you. Did you or any of the
coaches tell Incognito to toughen up Martin? And if you did, did it maybe
go unmonitored or get out of hand?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I think I mentioned earlier in my statement that
I`ll have no further comment at this time on anything pertaining to the NFL
review process.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now you`ve been in tough situations as a head coach. What
is do the lack of response tell you, Coach Fassel?

FASSEL: Might be lawyered up. I don`t know exactly. But I know, if
I was down there and they were asking me to find out this stuff, my first
question is who approved the signing of Richie Incognito. I want to know
who. He has had a history of this. This is not the first time. OK? I
know him, I`ve met him, he`s got a great personality. He`s a fun guy to
be around, but he`s got a dark side to him. That would be the first
question. The second question I`d want to know is which coach instructed
him to toughen him up? That`s not a player`s job. That`s not a player`s
job at all. Coaches handle those types of things. If I`ve got an issue
with a player, I`ll talk to him, but you don`t assign a player to go do
that. So, there are some questions that I would want to know right away.

SHARPTON: Now, have you ever had a situation that you needed to step
in to deal with hazing or any of this kind of bullying?

FASSEL: No, because I always laid the law down the whole team prior
to, that you know, there was going to be no dinners that cost $10,000. OK?
If you go to dinner, everybody order what they want. You ought to be able
to buy a nice dinner for 100 bucks, a nice dinner. There`s no hazing.
When we had the Rookie show that sometimes gets out of hand, I said guy,
it`s G-rated. OK? We`re going to have wives and family and kids and
everybody out there, there`s no foul language, I don`t want to hear any of
that stuff. It will be a fun night that we all get together. But you got
to lay the law down and I think one of the things that`s missing here, is
when I coached the Giants, I had Michael Strahan, I had Tiki Barber, I had
Kerick Collins (ph), I had you know, Jessie Armstead, and they were always
say to me, coach, I got your back. Anything goes wrong down here, we`ll
let you know.

SHARPTON: Now Dave Zirin, you wrote an article on this. You actually
spoke with the former NFL player who said, I`m quoting from the article,
"What about the bystanders who knew, watched and did nothing. If this was
happening they all knew, plus I would guess, some of the coaches as well as
others. Seems to me that there is a lack of moral courage and moral
clarity by many on that team." So is that the real problem here? Was
there a lack of courage from those surrounding people of the team?

ZIRIN: Absolutely. But it`s not just about the player surrounding
Richie Incognito. I thought Coach Fassel said it perfectly in that this is
determined from the coach. You know, one of the things that we need to
keep in mind is that in the NFL, contracts are not guaranteed. You are
there basically at the behest and at the pleasure of your coach and of your
general manager. So nothing is happening in this locker room that the
coach is not giving either tacit or explicit approval of. I`ve been
interviewing players all week about this thing. And even before the
allegations came out today about coaches saying that Incognito needed to
toughen up Martin and was instructed to do so, they all said the same
thing, which is this doesn`t happen without the coach giving the say so.

SHARPTON: Now the Dolphins` quarterback just a short time ago was
asked if he knew. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN TANNEHILL, MIAMI DOLPHINS QUARTERBACK: No one knew there was a
situation to be stopped. So it`s really tough for us to sit here and hear
all that when we have each other`s backs. And I wouldn`t have a problem
stopping a situation if it was occurring. Richie said, you know, John is
like my little brother. And I think that`s an accurate depiction. You
know? He gave him a hard time. He messed with him. But he was the first
one there to have his back in any situation. And, you know, it`s a big
surprise what`s going on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: You know, Dave, you`ve been very critical. But the
quarterback says he had no idea about the situation. Saying the two guys
were like brothers. What`s your response?

ZIRIN: This is very upsetting. I think what`s coming out of the
Miami Dolphins today, it`s almost like the solidarity of bullies. People
are coming out publicly to say, we stand with Richie Incognito. But
yesterday players were saying off the record that they didn`t want to go on
the record because Richie Incognito scared them too. So which it is? And
it really bothers me too, because one of the other things news that came
out today is that Jonathan Martin has checked himself into a mental health
clinic because of the strength of this whole thing. And look who the
players are siding with. Are they siding with their teammates who was in
the mental health clinic?

SHARPTON: Wow!

ZIRIN: The person who showed the real courage to me, the real quote-
unquote manhood to step up and break the code of silence and say what was
happening? Or are they siding with the guy who left the threatening voice
mails and dropped "n" bombs. Look who they are siding with. That is a
problem and that is a cultural problem in that locker room.

SHARPTON: Coach Fassel, NFL Hall of Famer Warren Sapp claimed today
that Incognito called him the "n" word once in a game in an attempt to make
him lose his cool. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Did you face Incognito?

WARREN SAPP, NFL HALL OF FAMER: Beat him up so many times it don`t
even make sense. One time he kicks me in a game and calls me the n word.
And I look at him and say, oh, you want me to punch you in the mouth, so
they kicked me up the game.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Wait, so he`s calling you the "n" word.

SAPP: Yes. So, he kicked me and called me that. I looked at him and
I said really? I said, that`s all you got?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Coach Fassel, did you ever have to deal with racial issues
inside your locker room?

FASSEL: Never. Never. I had, you know, that was always the
preventive measures when you draft them or sign them. I want to know
everything about them. OK? And then I was fortunate as a head coach. I
had the final say on the 53. Nobody could overrule me. If I didn`t like
the guy he`s out of here. And, you know, the problem we have in today`s
society, you know, the "n" word should never be around, OK? And some
people think well, I`m joking and I`m kidding. No. No. No. Leave it
alone. Get rid of it. The rappers, get rid of it. I mean, we`re putting
a younger society that says if I`m kidding it`s OK. No, it`s not OK.

SHARPTON: Well, you don`t have an argument from me. I think, though,
that David, we`re having a problem of honesty here.

ZIRIN: Yes, and I got to tell you sir, I interviewed today a
gentleman named Walter Beach (ph) who played in the 1960s with Jim Brown on
the Cleveland-Cavaliers.

SHARPTON: Right.

ZIRIN: Part of that generation of activist athletes of the `60s, and
he said even in the `60s, at the height of the African-American freedom
struggle he never heard white players say the "n" word. And I said to him
maybe that`s because there was an African-American freedom struggle but
nobody felt like that was OK and also I didn`t hurt that Jim brown was
standing next to them.

SHARPTON: No. I`m sure that inspired a little civility. Jim Fassel
and Dave Zirin, thank you both for being here this evening.

ZIRIN: Thank you.

FASSEL: Thank you. Good to be with you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, what message does Bill de Blasio`s win in New
York send to Willie Horton of the political world? Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: There`s a new mayor in New York, and he didn`t win fear
mongering on crime. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The mayor elect of New York, Bill de Blasio is calling for
a new more progressive city. He is sitting a new cost. Breaking with the
past that used racial profiling and stop and frisk as tools to terrorize
minority neighborhoods. All in the name of being tough on crime. For
decades, politicians have used scare tactics about crime to win elections.
The GOP candidate in this mayor`s race ran an ad warning that de Blasio
might send New York back to the bad old days. And, of course, the Willie
Horton ads from the 1988 presidential race preyed on white fears and black
stereotypes. Mayor elect de Blasio wants to put all that behind us. I`m
looking forward to a new mayor, a new city, a new way about talking about
crime. All across the country.

Finally, I am inviting all of you out in politics nation to my book
signing tonight here in Washington, D.C. It will be at the, I`ll be
talking about my book, my new book "The Rejected Stone" out at the Martin
Luther King Memorial library in a half hour, at about 7:30. That`s 901 G
Street Northwest on the fourth floor. I hope to see you all there. I hope
to see you there, and I hope to keep seeing victories like last night.

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

<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2013 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Transcription Copyright 2013 ASC LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is
granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not
reproduce or redistribute the material except for user`s personal or
internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall
user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may
infringe upon MSNBC and ASC LLC`s copyright or other proprietary rights or
interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of
litigation.>






Sponsored links

Resource guide