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PoliticsNation, Friday, December 6th, 2013

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December 6, 2013
Guest: Karen Bass; Randi Weingarten, Angela Rye, Ryan Grim, Karen Finney

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good evening Ed and thanks to you for
tuning in.

Tonight`s Lead, ObamaCare plus success equals one massive Right Wing freak
out. President Obama`s healthcare law is working. And many on the Right
just can`t handle it.

Here`s what I`m talking about.


FORMER SEN. RICK SANTORUM, R-PA.: Well, Nelson Mandela stand up against
the great injustice and it was only paying a huge price for that and that`s
the reason he is more in today because of that struggle that he perform but
you`re right. I mean, what he was advocating for was not necessarily that
the right answer, but he was fighting against some great injustice. And I
would make the argument that, you know, we have a great injustice going on
in this country with an ever-increasing size of government that is taking
over and controlling people`s lives. And Obamacare is front and center in


SHARPTON: Yes. He just compared fighting the health care law to fighting
apartheid. Rick Santorum doesn`t have to like the health care law, but
he`s a former U.S. senator. Does he really think it compares to
government-backed racial segregation.

But this is the ugliest we`ve seen from comparing the law that saves lives
to hurricane Katrina to saying the law was terrorizing the country. And
now senator shutdown is also freaking out.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: We were talking a few minutes ago about
Obamacare. And you mentioned it`s the law of the land. If it`s the law of
the land, the president shouldn`t keep ignoring the law. A president under
a constitutional system doesn`t have the ability to pick and choose which
laws to follow and that`s the same pattern you see in dictatorial society
where it says ignore the law, go with the power of the president instead of
the written law.


SHARPTON: The president`s a dictator. You know, they`re running out of
talking points when they turn to fear. And now creepy Uncle Sam is back.
The group backed by billionaires is again trying to scare young people from
buying insurance. So why the freak out? Because the law is working.

Twenty-seven thousand people enrolled in health care plans through the
federal Web site just on Tuesday, 56,000 signed up over three days and the
demand is even higher. More than 3.7 million people visited the site this
week. These are real people who are getting covered.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Helen (INAUDIBLE) signed up for the market
place Wednesday. She`s a single mom who`s self-employed and putting her
daughter through college.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: With my health conditions, diabetes, sleep apnea, high
blood pressure, this is a game changer.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Two hours online. I went through all of my
information and then I clicked the signup button, which I wasn`t happy
because of the price, but it didn`t sign up and I lost all my data and I
got to start all over again and finally got through.


SHARPTON: Wait a second. Who was that last guy? Oh, it`s Senator Rand
Paul. Even though he`s being cranky that it took a few tries, he`s signed
up for Obamacare. Senator Paul, you`re just like Speaker Boehner now.
Congrats. You`re both covered.

This law is helping more and more people and the right is getting more and
more desperate. I have to admit, it`s kind of fun to watch.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Karen Bass, Democrat from California and
former Pennsylvania governor, Ed Rendell.

Thank you both for being here.

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


SHARPTON: Congresswoman, comparing the right wing fight against Obamacare
to Nelson Mandela`s struggle against apartheid, I mean, what`s your

BASS: Well, I just think it`s absolutely shameful. I do think you`re
right in calling it a freak out because they seem to be all over the map.
And actually, if I was going to make a comparison, I would make the
opposite comparison because I think the struggle for justice which Nelson
Mandela led for so many years is similar and equal to the struggle for
health care as a right for people in the richest country in the world.

And so, the idea that they would make that comparison in the opposite wait
is just tragic. And I really think when the history books are written in
this time period, I think Republicans of the future are going to be quite
embarrassed and shame by the way the anti-health care campaign is shaping

SHARPTON: Now, governor, you were a Democratic elected governor. You were
a Democratic official. How would you assess this week`s signups, the
increased substantially, there seems to be a lot of interesting with a lot
of people going to the sites. how would you assess this now that we`re at
the end of the week?

RENDELL: I mean, it`s been a great week for the ACA, there`s no question
about it. The kinks appear to be out. We`re not quite sure about the back
end, but I think it looks pretty good. The kinks seem to be out of the
system. More and more people are being driven to it. More and more people
are signing up. And the sad part for the Republicans is, it`s only going
to get worse for them. It`s only going to get better.

As time goes on, as the kinks are totally smoothed out of the system,
people will find this bill, the 31 million that never had health care are
going to find that it`s like matter from heaven. And to other people
they`re going to find they`ve got better plans and they`ve got the freedom
to choose and they can compare and they can shop which we never had the
ability to do in America. Sao, I think it is going to be very successful,
more successful each month it passes. So the Republicans better find
another horse to ride, because they can`t ride this one.

SHARPTON: You know, and as the success seems to be more and more obvious
that it`s beginning to turn that corner toward success, Congresswoman, you
hear the arguments against the affordable care act and the opposition to
the president getting more and more shrill. We heard a lot of ugly talk
about health care from the right.

Georgia`s Republican insurance commissioner, for example, recently compared
people with pre-existing conditions to reckless drivers. Take a listen to


you have a wreck and it`s your fault. Well, a pre-existing condition would
be then you calling up your insurance agent and saying I`d like to get
collision insurance coverage on my car. And your insurance agent said,
well, you never had that before. Why would you want it now? You say,
well, I just had a wreck. It was my fault and I want the insurance company
to pay to repair my car. And that`s the exact same thing on pre-existing


SHARPTON: Now, since the video came out, the commissioner admitted it was
a bad analogy. But saying a cancer survivor, Congresswoman, getting
insured is the same as someone who wrecked their car and then tried to scam
an insurance company? I mean, is this what they think?

BASS: Well, you know what? Actually, as a former health care
professional, I think he needs to go see his doctor. Because frankly,
after you hit a certain age, everybody has a pre-existing condition. It`s
called hypertension, it`s called part of the aging process. And so,
really, it reflects either profound ignorance. It was a very silly

But you know what`s going on in California, Rev. California`s doing very,
very well. So the Republicans here have resorted to creating a fake Web
site that looks like the state Web site to trick people and to getting on a
Web site and hearing negative things, misinformation.

The fact that they would go to such lengths to prevent people from getting
health care is really quite tragic.

SHARPTON: But, you know, Governor, at least one Republican is admitting
the health care law is helping some people.

Virginia congressman Scott Rigell, quote, "it`s not in dispute that many
Americans lives are being disrupted in an important way by this law. It is
also true that some Americans lives have gotten better. Yes. And to not
acknowledge that is to deny reality."

You think we`ll hear more of this kind of admission, Governor?

RENDELL: I think as time goes on, especially Republicans who are in
anywhere close to a purple area or represent a blue area, they`re going to
have to come out and tell the truth.

And again, what`s shameful about it, the Congressman says and she is right,
what shameful about it is that there are Republicans rooting for people to
not get help, rooting for this law to fail. And it is true, the point that
was made by the Congresswoman earlier. We were the only developed nation
in this world that didn`t have health care as a right for its citizens.
The richest country in the world didn`t have health care as a right for its
citizens. And the Republicans are attacking this law which gives citizens
that right and they have no alternative.

It really is a shameful exercise. And they want this law to fail. And
they want people to be heard or not to get help. And it`s not all

SHARPTON: That is what`s critical, Congresswoman, what the governor just
said. They want the law to fail. But they don`t have a plan of their own.
I mean, "the Washington Post" reports, quote, "seven months after first
unveiling the kids first bill to fight cancer, Eric Cantor has scheduled a
floor vote on the measure. If it is that hard to unify the GOP around
fighting cancer in children, many Republican advisers fear that crafting a
full alternative to the health care bill will be impossible and merely lead
to more divisions."

They can`t unite around a plan.

BASS: Well, you know, and I`ve been in Congress now, I`m in my third year.
And the mantra when came in was repeal and replace. My third year, I have
yet to hear anything about a replacement and it`s because their core is
they don`t believe there should be health care coverage for everybody which
for a party that wants to be fiscal conservative is really ignorant because
it`s not that people don`t get care. It`s that people go to the emergency
room which is the most expensive type of health care there is.

I used to work in the emergency room. And I watch people die because they
had to wait until the last minute because they didn`t have coverage. And
at the end of the day, it cost society way more money. And so, it`s really
a contradiction with their own ideology.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman Karen Bass and former governor Ed Rendell, thank
you both for your time tonight.

BASS: Thanks for having us.

RENDELL: Our pleasure.

SHARPTON: Coming up, remember when they said Obamacare would destroy jobs?
New job numbers are out. And guess what, the sky is not falling.

Plus, GOP hypocrisy on Nelson Mandela. Now he`s their hero. You may think
we`ve forgotten, but we haven`t.

And President Obama responds to his critics. He`s unloading on the
Republican Congress. Wait until you hear why he says they should be

And we have a major development in that New Mexico police stop. News on
the officer caught shooting at the van carrying five children. Stay with



SHARPTON: Up next, the tried to say Obama care is a job killer. Well,
that Republican talking point got crushed today. That`s next.


SHARPTON: For years, right wingers have insisted the president`s health
care bill would kill jobs. It`s become one of their biggest talking


REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: The number one job killer in the
United States, do you know what it is? Obamacare.

GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: This will be the biggest job killer ever.

CRUZ: Obamacare is the number one job killer in America.

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Now we`re seeing a loss of full-time jobs.

CRUZ: Obamacare is the biggest job killer in this country.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Obamacare is like a wet
blanket over our economy.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY), MINORITY LEADER: Premiums are going up, jobs
are being lost.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: We`re losing jobs because of Obama care.
We`re losing a lot of jobs because of Obama care.


SHARPTON: Turns out they`re wrong. Really, really wrong.

Today, we learned the economy added 203,000 jobs in November. That means
403,000 jobs since the health care exchanges opened in October. The
unemployment rate is now down to seven percent. That`s the lowest in five
years, when the Bush recession was ravaging the economy.

That`s why today`s news is so important. Five years ago, this country was
on the brink of financial ruin. Between December 2007 and December 2008,
economic growth dropped by $143 million. Key stocks fell 33 percent and
the private sector shed 3.7 million jobs. We were in free fall. At the
end of the Bush years, the private sector was losing jobs month after
month, lending and leading to fears of depression.

But there wasn`t a depression. In fact, President Obama`s stimulus helped
jump start a recovery. We`ve now had 45 straight months of private sector
growth, a remarkable turnaround. Republicans were wrong about deregulation
under Bush, wrong about Obamacare, wrong about the stimulus, and today,
they are wrong about the minimum wage, unemployment benefits and cuts to
the safety net.

Joining me are Jared Bernstein and Randi Weingarten.

Thank you both for being here.


SHARPTON: Jared, I thought Obamacare was supposed to be a job killer.
What happened here?

BERNSTEIN: Well, I thought the way you put it was right. They`re going to
have to go for a new talking point. Not only did we add, as you mentioned,
203,000 jobs last month in November. But if you look over the past 11
months just over the year 2013, we`ve averaged about 190,000 jobs per
month. So the trend of the last couple of months has actually been a
lasting one.

The unemployment rate fell from 7.3 percent to seven percent. Now,
sometimes when we`ve talked about declining unemployment in recent months,
it`s been because people left the job market, but not in November. We had
people coming into the job market and finding jobs. Now, we`re not out of
the woods. Seven percent is too high an unemployment rate. I`m sure you
would agree with me. But we`re certainly headed in the right direction and
perhaps at a faster clip than we thought, completely inconsistent with
those talking points.

SHARPTON: No doubt about it.

But, you know, Randi, here`s a comparison of private sector jobs. Under
President Bush, we measured his first month in office. Under Bush the
private sector added 156,000 jobs. Under President Obama, he`s now added
3.86 million jobs. Now over this week, thousands of fast food workers in
over 100 cities staged a strike demanding an increase of the minimum wage
so we stay at the battle. Listen to what they were saying.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I deserve more respect, more money. I am tired of
living in poverty wage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s not right that we`ve got to live in poverty from
paycheck to paycheck and borrow from peter to pay off Paul.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Personally, I`ve been doing this for over 16 years.
I`ve raised my two kids working in fast food and it`s a struggle.


SHARPTON: Now, when you listen to those that marched around the country,
we are in a recovery but trying to deal with the jobs on the ground which
is why I showed the graph. You see people marching in a hundred cities

Here`s what Republican Congressman Joe Barton said this week about minimum
wage. Quote, "I think it`s outlived its usefulness. It may have been of
some value back in the great depression. I would vote to repeal the
minimum wage."

That`s what we`re dealing with, Randi.

-- I`ve seen and I`ve been in Washington now awhile, and it really is an
evidence-free zone. It doesn`t actually matter what the facts are. So
maybe, you know, now that the Pope has come out against trickledown against
austerity. Maybe some of these folks will listen to the Pope and to the

But at the end o the day, what we know from years of economic basic
economics and basic life is that if people have more money in their
pockets, if they had more money, they`re going to spend more money.
They`ll spend more money in a small business. They`ll spend more money on
their kids. They`ll spend more money maybe on a vacation. So the more
money that people have, the more money they`ll spend. So that`s how we
created the middle class in the first place. So it`s not just jobs, but
it`s good jobs.

And so, what you see with the fast food workers and what you see with a lot
of the parents of kids that come to our public schools is that if you`re
living paycheck to paycheck or if you need two or three jobs, just to put
on the table, you can`t do all the other things you need to do for your
family. So it just makes common sense. And now we actually have some
economic data.

Let me told you about retirees. Every pensioner, every dollar that a
pensioner gets means $2.40 more in economic impact in a community. So
raising the minimum wage is good for the person. It`s good for the
community. It`s good for shopkeepers. It`s good for their kids.

SHARPTON: It`s good for the economy.

WEINGARTEN: It`s good for the economy. It is good for the democracy. It
is good for creating middle class.

SHARPTON: Jared, is minimum wage good for the economy? You`re the
economist of the three of us.

BERNSTEIN: Sure. Very much so in the way that Randi was just mentioning.
Obviously, if you`re in the bottom, say, third of the income scale, the
folks who benefit from minimum wage increases, if they get a raise, if
their paycheck goes up a bit, sure. they`re going to spend it and we`re a
70 percent consumption economy. So, of course it helps in that regard.

But I wanted to add something to Randi`s analysis. It`s not just that
families will get more money and spend it on things they need. What we saw
in the 2000s, is that, they`ll spend more money even if they don`t have it
and they`ll do so through credit. And we have had these massive credit
bubbles that have proved to be not only unsustainable but deeply damaging
when they bust.

So, when the economy is growing, if all that growth concentrates at the
top, President Obama spoke about this eloquently on Wednesday this week.
Not only is it obviously bad for low income people, but it`s macro-
economically unsustainable because it generates these kinds of credit

SHARPTON: Let me ask you this, Randi. On Monday coming, you are helping
lead a national day of action on public education. Tell me about what
you`re doing.

WEINGARTEN: So, you know, just like we`re fighting income equality, we
have to fight education inequality. And that means the places that have
gotten hurt the most by austerity, by privatization, by attesting fixation.
They have come together. Parents, community-based organizations
particularly in low income neighborhoods with our union to say we need a
new direction. We need to reclaim the promise of public education with our
solutions for our schools. We need to fix, not close public schools. We
need to actually have a fixation on children, not on testing. We need wrap
around services to actually mitigate poverty. Pre-K, different pathways to

And so, what`s happening is it`s not just our union talking about it. It`s
in 60 cities over a hundred groups coming together to say let`s together
have this new direction to help all of our kids succeed.

SHARPTON: We`ll be watching it Monday.

WEINGARTEN: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Jared Bernstein, Randi Weingarten, have a great weekend. Thank
you both for your time tonight.

WEINGARTEN: Thank you.

BERNSTEIN: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, the right wing hypocrisy on Nelson Mandela is at epic
level. All of a sudden he`s they`re hero? We`ve got a history lesson

And Obama derangement syndrome, they attack him for anything and obstruct
on everything. But he`s fighting back in a big way. You`ll want to see


SHARPTON: This week Republicans have called the president, (INAUDIBLE), a
dictator. They`ve even thrown around talk of impeachment. But last night,
the president hit back. That`s next.


SHARPTON: For years now the GOP has been focused on tearing down this
president. So why should today be any different? During a speech in
Detroit this afternoon, Tea Party darling Senator Rand Paul said, quote,
"The president seems to think that he is a monarch." And he`s not the only
one spouting this nonsense this week.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: So, I think the president has decided Congress can`t
challenge me. They can`t control me. He will spend money if he decides
to, he`ll tax if he decides too, he`ll write regulations if he decides to,
and he will defy the constitution if he decides to. And we`re down to that
"I" word peace.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The president is a constitutional law scholar, he should
know this. But he`s grabbing as much power as he can.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It is a long list from this president. An uber-
president with no respect or little respect for the constitution itself,


SHARPTON: An uber-president? Really? The party responsible for giving us
the least productive Congress in history wants to blame this president.
That makes no sense. And during an interview with MSNBC`s Chris Matthews
last night, the president unloaded on the GOP.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: The big challenge we`ve got is
you`ve got a faction of the Republican Party that sees compromise as a
dirty word, that has moved so far to the right that it would be difficult
for Ronald Reagan to win the nomination for the Republican Party at this
point. They`ve got to be embarrassed because the truth of the matter is,
they`ve been in charge of the House of Representatives one branch of -- or
one chamber in one branch of government for a couple years now and they
just don`t have lot to show for it.


SHARPTON: Republicans should be embarrassed. The president knows we need
action, and so do most Americans. Sixty nine percent support increasing
the federal minimum wage. Sixty three percent favor creating a pathway to
citizenship. And 57 percent say, the growing income inequality is a bad
thing. Americans want action. They want sensible gun control. They want
Affordable Health Care. And on issue after issue, the GOP has the ability
to work with the president to get things done. It`s time for them to stop
playing games and get to work.

Joining me now are Angela Rye and Ryan Grim. Thank you both for coming on
the show tonight.


RYAN GRIM, THE HUFFINGTON POST: Thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: Angela, let me start with you. What do you make of the
president`s statement that the Republicans should be, quote, "embarrassed
by their tenure in Congress?"

RYE: Well, I hope he`s right. I hope there are many of them that are
actually embarrassed. They were elected to do a job, Rev, and that is to
pass legislation that would ultimately go to the senate or vice versa and
be signed into law by the president of the United States. Well, they`re
not hardly getting anything done. And as you mention, they are on track to
become the least predictive Congress in history. So how do you reconcile
that with the job that you`re setting out to do? You really can`t.

So the fact that they`re calling the president the uber-president all these
other things merely distracts from the fact that they are not doing what
they were elected to do. They`re not elected to keep a stalemate or to
ensure that the president is not successful or even accomplish. We`ve seen
with the Senate the fact that there are so many that they continue to
filibuster. That he`s not been able to appoint people in key conditions
and nevertheless he`s still been very successful.

SHARPTON: Now, Ryan, eventually these polls will take hold. They`re going
to have to do something eventually.

GRIM: Right. Well, you know, the House Republicans probably don`t think
they have to do anything in the short-term. And that`s how a lot of
members of Congress think. You know, they just want to get through that
day, through that week and hopefully get re-elected. But you know, you`re
right. Now, the party that holds the House of Representatives disagrees
with the American people on a host of issues. And in fact, during the last
election, you know, more people voted for democratic candidates than
Republican candidates in the House of Representatives. Just because of the
way that it`s structured, Republicans still control it. But you`re right.
That can only hold for so long.

SHARPTON: Now, Angela, the president also hit back at the fact that screw
ups get coverage while achievements don`t. Take a listen.


OBAMA: When we do things right, they don`t get a lot of attention. If we
do something that is perceived at least initially as a screw up, it will be
on the nightly news for a week. If in fact, we go in after Sandy or after
the tornadoes in Oklahoma or Missouri and we`re helping a lot of people
effectively and quickly and they`re getting what they need, nobody hears
about that.


SHARPTON: Is the problem that a lot of the things that are being done, the
achievements that are being reached, people just are not hearing enough
about it?

RYE: I do think that is in large part the issue. The other issue is that
people thrive and love scandal. There`s a TV show named after it now.


RYE: Yes. So whatever, you know, is garnering the most attention is
what`s negative. It`s something that salacious and juicy. So, people
don`t want to necessarily hear about accomplishments. The White House does
a very good job of touting how health care will make a difference in
communities of color and all these other things. Why the American jobs
like I said, everyone would have been considered, really would have
benefited so many of us, but you don`t hear about it because it`s not
salacious enough.

SHARPTON: Now, Ryan, in that light, the president`s critics have counted
him out repeatedly. I mean, look at the long list of things that were
supposed to take him down. The National Journal writes, it`s a dark time
for President Obama. His approval ratings are sliding as confidence wanes
and his competence and the government`s ability to do anything right. I`m
talking, of course, of the 2010 BP oil spill. Or perhaps Hurricane Sandy.
Or maybe the IRS controversy.

Disasters that seemed sure to doom the Obama administration, but they
suddenly didn`t. And all of these got widespread long coverage in terms of
a lot of plays particularly by the right on these issues. These were the
things that were going to bring the president down and people heard it over
and over and other again.

GRIM: Sure. And the president even seems more determined than perhaps
even a couple of years ago. You know, you saw it in his speech that he
gave the other day where he highlighted inequality and he challenged
Republicans to put their ideas forward. But he was isolating on what he
sees as the problem. Republicans. Whereas in the past he would use the
term Washington. You know, Washington this. Washington, that.


GRIM: Now he`s saying well, no, actually it`s not Washington. It`s
Republicans and particularly it`s House Republicans. And the president`s
in much more of a fighting mood which means that, you know, writing off the
rest of his presidency is going to be dangerous to people.

SHARPTON: So calling the Republicans out by name Angela, is going to be
something that could be interesting in 2014 midterm election if the
president goes directly at them and not Washington as a whole as he used to
say rhetorically.

RYE: Absolutely. At this point, the president is fighting for his legacy.
It`s not a re-election that he`s fighting for. It`s about cementing his
legacy and covering his accomplishments. ACA is major. And just like
Sydney Hoyer pointed out on the house floor the other day, you know, there
was the prescription drug deal that had just as many issues. So he`s
fighting for his legacy and he`s got to continue to do that.

SHARPTON: Angela Rye and Ryan Grim, thank you both for your time this
evening and have a great weekend.

GRIM: You too.

RYE: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Ahead, a big update to a story we brought you last month. A
police officer caught on tape shooting at a van carrying children.

And the right wing response to Nelson Mandela. Hypocrisy defined. We`re
breaking out the old tapes, next.


SHARPTON: Here in the U.S., praise for Nelson Mandela has been a
bipartisan affair. With tributes pouring in from both Democrats and
Republicans. But it wasn`t always that way. In the 1980s, President
Reagan labeled Mandela`s organization the African National Congress a
terrorist group. And he vetoed a bill calling for Mandela`s release from
prison and imposing sanctions against the apartheid regime in South Africa.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Archbishop Desmond Tutu reacted angrily today, the
President Reagan veto last night, of a bill that would have imposed tough
economic sanctions on South Africa. Tutu said, Mr. Reagan would be judged
harshly by history.


SHARPTON: Judged harshly by history. And he has been and so have members
of his party who sided with the apartheid regime. Twenty one Republicans
voted against that bill in the Senate. Seventy nine Republicans against
that bill in the House. Including Dick Cheney. In fact, then-Congressman
Cheney voted against sanctions for South Africa at least ten times. During
the `80s. But even years later he said he had no regrets.

When Cheney was running for vice president in 2000, he justified those
votes by saying, quote, "The African national Congress was then viewed as a
terrorist organization. I don`t have any problems at all with the vote I
cast 20 years ago." Back then Republicans like Dick Cheney and Ronald
Reagan were on the wrong side of history and on issue after issue today.
Immigration, gay rights, health care, inequality. Republicans are on the
wrong side of history once again.

Joining me now is Karen Finney. Thanks for being here tonight.

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC HOST, "DISRUPT": Good to be with you.

SHARPTON: Karen, this isn`t ancient history. As recently as 2003, the
right wing National Review Magazine was blasting Mandela for his, quote,
"vicious anti-Americanism. And his, quote, "Praise for terrorists." Do
these conservatives think we`ve just forgotten what they`ve said about
Mandela over the years?

FINNEY: And I think they`ve also just forgotten history. Because if I`m
not mistaken, President Mandela was talking about the Iraq war.


FINNEY: I mean, there was some substance to that and he was not alone in
some of the things that he, you know, was talking about at that time. But
as you said, now everybody wants to be on the right side of history. And
they don`t want to talk about the times when Gene Kirkpatrick at the U.N.
block, you know, effort after effort to try to bring sanctions.

SHARPTON: Now, it isn`t only in history. Last night, Rick Santorum
comparing the fight against apartheid with the fight against ObamaCare.
And when you see things like this and you look at what Nelson Mandela stood
for and how they just tried to use Mandela now on analogies that are
nowhere remotely alike. And then look at what Mandela`s political views
were. You mentioned Iraq, but he imposed economic inequality, opposed Iraq
war, criticized war on terror, supported labor union, supported anti-
poverty programs. These aren`t exactly views that are in line with the
current Republican Party.

FINNEY: No, they are not. And he also was a supporter if you look at the
constitution that was enacted with him, women`s rights, gay rights. I
mean, they definitely were not in line with him. But, you know, we have to
remember our history here as well that there was in 1995 an expose about
groups that were founded specifically to undermine the ANC and to try to,
you know, boost the image of South Africa here in the west. So in terms of
history when they -- you`ve got Bill O`Reilly saying, he was a communist.

SHARPTON: Yes. Last night. Let me show that. He said, about Nelson
Mandela last night on FOX.


BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: Ninety five years old, Nelson Mandela, I
spent some time in South Africa. He was a communist, this man. He was a
communist. All right?


FINNEY: But don`t you wonder where it was in South Africa? It wasn`t like
he was hanging out in Soweto, that Bill O`Reilly. I`m quite certain. I
mean, you know, and of course he doesn`t understand the complexity of what
the communist party in South Africa was at the time was versus the ANC to
very different groups. But they had a short-term similar goal.

SHARPTON: Well, let me show you what the head of the Republican Party,
Rush Limbaugh had to say.

FINNEY: Oh, yes.

SHARPTON: Or let me let you hear it.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Nelson Mandela has more in common or
had more in common with Clarence Thomas than he does with Barack Obama.
Mandela had much more in common with Clarence Thomas. And a lot of


SHARPTON: I`m not too good on Limbaugh lingo, so could you interpret?

FINNEY: Well, remember this is the same guy who was attacking the pope.
Right? This is the same guy who thinks he understands Christianity better
than the head of the Catholic Church. But Limbaugh, obviously, this is
part of the concerted effort to take down some of our greatest heroes. And
you know, Rev, I think about it this way going back to the Santorum
comment. If you think about what the word apartheid means.


FINNEY: Apartness. It was all about separating people and dividing
people. That`s what this Republican Party has been about for the last
several years.

SHARPTON: And castigating and denigrating and demonizing people. Because
on the very same station, the very same day that O`Reilly was calling Mr.
Mandela a communist last night, another FOX News personality said about
President Obama on the same network, now, just hours earlier, listen to


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: More class warfare, more radical wealth redistribution
because this is who he is. He is essentially a statist. He is a leftist
and essentially a socialist.


SHARPTON: Socialist, communist.


SHARPTON: So, I mean, this is almost like talking points and sound bites
that are being thrown around purposefully.

FINNEY: Of course. And well, and as you know, they said the same things
about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Right?


FINNEY: We can`t judge what the Obama presidency will be perceived 20
years from now. My suspicion is, people will look back and say that a man
who tried to make sure that children had health insurance, that people had
access to health care which is life changing. I don`t think they`re going
to say you know that`s a lot like slavery or that`s a lot like apartheid.
I don`t think that`s going to be the legend of Barack Obama that we

SHARPTON: But you know, I think that people don`t have a sense of how
controversial these struggles were and how you had to fight opposition. I
mean, I`ve been in the civil rights fight for the last several decades.
And I remember the beginnings of the fight against apartheid here.
Robinson and gray and others who were castigated and attacked for that.
And they were able to turn public opinion around. Having to fight people
like Dick Cheney and others who are now with these great eulogies on Nelson

FINNEY: That`s right. That`s exactly right. I think people forget that.
When people like you and Mary Francis Berry and others were in the
beginning of that fight, it was demonized and you were attacked for that.
And it was not a popular position. And so I think there`s a lot about the
history that people are sort guessing over. But Bill O`Reilly does that
all the time. You oversimplifies everything. So does Rush Limbaugh. They
don`t really care about what the facts are or what really matters. And
that is, that here was a man who stood for justice, stood for freedom,
stood for equality. We have a president who seems to -- I`m not saying
that he is Nelson Mandela, but he sure seems to be trying to accomplish
some of the same things.

SHARPTON: Karen Finney, well, he`s getting called some of the same names.
Karen Finney, thank you for your time tonight. Be sure to watch "DISRUPT"
with Karen Finney weekends at 4:00 p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC.

Ahead, a major development tonight in that New Mexico police stop where an
officer shot at a van carrying five children. That`s next.


SHARPTON: There`s a major development in that New Mexico traffic stop gone
wrong. We first brought you the story last month. A mother driving with
her five kids in a minivan was pulled over for speeding. She was asked to
wait, but she disobeyed and drove away. When she was again stopped, chaos




UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Get back! Get back!

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Get on the ground! Get on the ground! Get on the
ground! Get on the ground! Get on the ground! Get out right now! Get

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Get them out. Open the (bleep) door. Open the door!
Open the door!



SHARPTON: The police officer that shot said he was aiming at the rear
tire. Today we learned the officer Elias Montoya has been suspended with
pay as the investigation continues. There are still a lot of details we
don`t know about this case. But nothing justifies using deadly force on a
vehicle with five children inside. We`ll keep following this story.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, the world remembers Nelson Mandela. In South
Africa we saw both grief and celebration today mourning his loss but
rejoicing in his legacy. The death of this great man was the top story
across the globe.


President Obama will travel to South Africa next week to attend the
memorial service. There is no doubt Nelson Mandela was a great man. I was
honored to have been in his presence on a few occasions. But I tell you
what was striking to me as I studied Mandela and thought about him in the
last 24 hours. Is how he was not afraid to evolve, not afraid to grow?
Yes, he did 27 years in jail. He didn`t serve that time. He had that time
serve him. He studied, he strategized, he grew.

He came out a bigger man with a bigger vision than he went in. So did some
of the Afrikaners that helped to bring about the end of apartheid. Real
leaders don`t have their causes shrink to their size. Real leaders grow
and become bigger the causes that are bigger than them. That`s the legacy
of Nelson Mandela.

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


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