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PoliticsNation, Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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December 10, 2013


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

Tonight`s Lead, Republican hypocrisy on the world stage. Today, leaders
from around the world gathered to honor Nelson Mandela, but instead of
celebrating the man, many Republicans focused their attention on something

This handshake between President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro set
the Right Wing off. Senator John McCain led the charge.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Should he not have done it?

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) ARIZONA: Of course not. Why should you shake hands
with somebody who`s keeping Americans in prison? I mean, what`s the point?
Neville Chamberlain shook hands with Hitler.


SHARPTON: Oh, really, Senator McCain? It`s almost like you`ve never
shaken hands with any questionable world leaders. Wait. What`s that on
the screen? Oh, right. That`s you shaking hands with the brutal Libyan
dictator Muammar Gadhafi. That looks like you even bowed to him too. And
what`s this? That`s right. You even tweeted about the experience. Late
evening with Colonel Gadhafi at his ranch in Libya. Interesting meeting
with an interesting man.

That is interesting. Now, isn`t it? But back to what you were saying,
Senator McCain?


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: It just gives Raul some propaganda that
continue to prop up his dictatorial brutal regime.


SHARPTON: Was it propaganda when President George W. Bush talked oil
prices when strolling hand in hand with the Saudi leader? Gee. They seem
pretty chummy. Or how about the time Donald Rumsfeld extended a big old
hand of friendship to Iraq Saddam Hussein? That`s a nice, firm hand shake
right there.

But this is about more than GOP hypocrisy and the party`s real leader let
it out of the bag today.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Now, there are a lot of people
trying to say ah-ha, see, it just proves Obama is a socialist. We don`t
need him shaking Raul Castro`s hand in all this. We already know he
admires this guys, envies their power.


SHARPTON: That`s what it`s about. That`s what this is about. This whole
charade is about painting our president as a socialist, as the other, as
someone who pals around with terrorists. And what makes those attacks so
ugly is that today was about something much bigger. It was about
celebrating a life that was above that pettiness.


free not just the prisoner but the jailer as well to show that you must
trust others so that they may trust you, to teach that reconciliation is
not a matter of ignoring a cruel past, but a means of confronting it with
inclusion and generosity and truth. He changed laws, but he also changed


SHARPTON: Mandela spent 27 years in prison, but was big enough to seat his
jailers in the front row of his inauguration. Today was about remembering
a great man. An that`s what makes today`s attacks on the president seem so

Joining me now are Richard Wolffe and Goldie Taylor.

Thank you both for coming on the show tonight.


SHARPTON: Richard, let me start with you. On a day when we`re honoring a
man like Mandela, don`t these attacks seem particularly small?

WOLFFE: Well, Reverend, they do seem totally small, but there`s something
worse than that. Even if you don`t want to respect the message of Mandela
and what he represents to that, the president talked about him today.
There`s a fundamental misunderstanding, I think, for someone who is
supposed to be serious like John McCain about America`s national security.

We shook hands, presidents, great presidents of this country shook hands
with even more brutal dictators for the Soviet Union. FDR was a friend of
Joe Stalin. That was kind of useful when -- Ronald Reagan, John McCain`s
personal hero, shook hands with successive dictators from the Soviet Union.
And America was strong enough to negotiate with its (INAUDIBLE) at the
time. So, it`s wrong on national security. It`s wrong when it comes to
Mandela`s legacy.

SHARPTON: Well, you know, Goldie, President Obama today, he actually
called out repressive leaders for not tolerating descent. Listen to this.


OBAMA: There are too many people who happily embrace Madiba`s legacy of
racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that
would challenge poverty and growing inequality. There are too many leaders
who claim solidarity with Madiba`s struggle for freedom but do not tolerate
descent from their own people.


SHARPTON: So, I mean, he was really calling out leaders and calling on the
values and the principles that Mandela stood for, which is the exact
opposite of what they were trying to miscast him shaking hands with people
that they may question.

GOLDIE TAYLOR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, that`s right, Reverend.
Everything about how this president has reported himself in recent days
surrounding the death of Nelson Mandela is in deep stride with the spirit
of Nelson Mandela.

You know, in terms of embracing your enemy with a handshake, in terms of
calling them out on a world stage on a soccer field that, you know, that
filled with 95,000 people with the entire world watching, with him calling
out these rogue nations for their human rights abuses.

And so, this was in step with the spirit of Madiba. I think the president
did the right thing. But to say that we are surprised somehow that the
right wing would step up and make cat calls about the handshake while, you
know, pushing aside their history of hand shaking, their history of bowing,
you know, their history of being in uncommon company with people that we
don`t happen to get along with at the time. You know, that kind of
hypocrisy, really, is par for course for some of them.

SHARPTON: You know, Richard, McCain went as far as I played talking about
chamberlain shaking hands with Hitler. I mean, this kind of stuff
particularly on a day like this but particularly when the record is clear
McCain and others shook hands with people they questioned. And that most
Americans questioned is ridiculous. And, you know, Limbaugh, the head of
the party, he said that handshake was really a distraction from something
else. Listen to this.


LIMBAUGH: But the drive byes, folks, are literally having orgasms over
Obama shaking the hand of Raul Castro. Let`s go to the audio sound bite to
illustrate. Again, this is exactly how -- this is not news. They want it
to be news. And do anything to distract anybody from Obamacare.


SHARPTON: Obamacare. So, we`re distracting from Obamacare. This is not
news. This is a distraction. I mean, this man sets the tone for the
Republican Party and has the unmitigated gall to say that.

WOLFFE: Yes. It`s unreal. But what on earth does he think the
distraction was? Was it the gathering of world leaders at a historic
figure over the last hundred years? I mean, Mandela is one of the rarest
of creatures that you can actually say, no, he was a legend. He was a
living legend who set a completely different track, not just for his
country, but for the world`s leaders.

How can that be a distraction? It is -- I don`t know who he`s trying to
fool other than his own audience, of course. But the worrying thing is he
is given credence by the party`s nominal leaders. And then following his
lead on this. This is not the first time people have said such and such a
news event is a distraction from Obamacare. So, I do think Republicans
have to, at least, symbolically break from Rush Limbaugh from this rhetoric
and say, you know, Mandela`s funeral was a legitimate world event. And
seeing the American president celebrated at that world event was good for
this country.


And Goldie, that`s the point. The point is not only the absurdity of what
Limbaugh says, it`s that no matter how absurd he gets, they pay homage to
him. They let him set the tone. He has become their voice. And I think
that that is what`s troubling when you hear him say something like he said

TAYLOR: You know, I think what`s most troubling to me is that once again
Republicans have missed a moment. Yes, they`ve send Rand Paul into Detroit
in an effort to reach out to African-Americans, but when a key global
iconic figure who happens to be of African descent passes away of 95 after
giving 48 years of his life to human rights that the Republican right wing
cannot stand up and say amen, that this was a good and righteous man, that
they would make these kinds of denigrating remarks about him and then our
president when he steps on the world stage to celebrate Mandela.

And so, this Republican Party continues to miss moment after moment after
moment and then they wonder why their tent is getting smaller and why they
can`t attract African-Americans to their party in any meaningful numbers.

SHARPTON: But Richard, I want to also want to be clear, there`s a history
to Republicans doing this. They`ve done this before. They`ve done it as
often as they could. Let me show you some of what they`ve said about
President Obama allegedly bowing to these kinds of leaders before.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This president seems quite willing to embrace weakness
as a position for the United States. I mean, the bowing and scraping that
we see.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: American leaders do not bow to leaders of other
countries and that`s a deep bow, too.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you make of bow gate?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not appropriate for the American president to bow
to a foreign --.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You see him with the premier of China and he`s bowing
and his eyes are down. There`s something wrong here.

LIMBAUGH: Obama envies these monarchs. Obama wants to be bowed to some

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yet they bow to the emperor of Japan. I just don`t get
it. But again --

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: And I`d argue they`re bowing at the altar
of socialism.


SHARPTON: Bowing at the altar of socialism. Bow gate. Bowing and
scraping was a term used. I mean, they jump on this all the time.

WOLFFE: Well, clearly this president and how proud he is of being
president and of this country. But, you know, and even if you despise the
president, you should look back at the record of, say, Karl Rove`s former
boss. Was America stronger when it invaded Iraq and earned the rejection
of many of its own allies around the world?

You don`t have to, you know, refuse to bow to say that you are weaker in
the world. We had a foreign policy that weakened America`s position in the
world. Are we stronger that we have a president who is respected around
the world who maintains these formalities. I mean, let the record speak
for itself.

SHARPTON: But especially, since you mentioned the record, when the record
has the Republican leaders they respect doing all of that. I mean, was it
Lyndon Johnson that went to China and dealt with Mao? Oh, that was Nixon.
Was he a Maoist? I mean --

Richard Wolffe and Goldie Taylor, thank you for your time this evening.

WOLFFE: Thank you.

TAYLOR: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, President Obama saves the auto industry. The
bailout is now one for the history books. So will Republicans admit they
were wrong?

Plus, remember the offensive Obama rodeo clown? Well, his biggest booster
in Congress is now running for higher office and running his party right
off a cliff.

Also, a stunning twist in the case against the assault case against George
Zimmerman. Why did his girlfriend change her story? Big show tonight.
Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Breaking news tonight in Washington. GOP Congressman Paul Ryan
and Democratic Senator Pat Murray are announcing a federal budget deal.
Let`s listen.

resolutions. This also shows that we can work together to get our
government functioning at its very basic levels. That, we think, is a step
in the right direction. That, we think, gives us some confidence. That
brings some normalcy back to our government.

I want to take a moment to thank Senator Murray. She`s a tough negotiator.
She`s fought hard for her principles every step of the way. And I want to
commend her for her work. All of the summary documents and legislation
will be texted or will place upon our budget websites by the end of the
night. With that, I`d like to offer Senator Murray.


Well, for far too long here in Washington, D.C., compromise has been
considered a dirty word, especially when it comes to the federal budget.
Over the past few years, we have lurched from crisis to crisis and from one
cliff to the next. And when one countdown clock was stopped, it wasn`t
long before the next was started. That uncertainly was devastating to our
fragile economic recovery. The constant crisis cost us billions of dollars
in lost growth and jobs. And our sequestration cuts were forcing our
families and communities to pay the price.

So I am very proud to stand here today with Chairman Ryan to announce we
have broken through the partisanship and the gridlock and reached a
bipartisan budget compromise that will prevent a government shutdown in

Our deal puts jobs and economic growth first by rolling back
sequestration`s harmful cuts to education and medical research and
infrastructure investments and defense jobs for the next two years. Now, I
know there were some people who thought these cuts should continue, but I`m
glad that we increased these key domestic investments and that we averted
the next round of scheduled cuts to military programs, bases, and defense
jobs in our country.

This deal builds on the $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction we have done
since 2011 and continues the precedent that we set in the fiscal cliff deal
that sequestration shouldn`t be replaced with spending cuts alone. This
bipartisan deal will help millions of Americans who are wondering if they
were going to keep paying the price for D.C. dysfunction.

From the workers at our military bases and construction projects who were
furloughed or laid off, to the kids who lost spots in head start programs,
to the seniors wondering if they were going to have meals on wheels, on to
the families praying for halted medical research programs to get back to
work on a cure and so much more.

Because of this deal, the budget process can now stop lurching from crisis
to crisis. By setting bipartisan spending levels for the next two years,
this deal allows congressional committees to proceed under regular order
and to give government agencies and the companies that do business with
them the certainty they need to hire workers and make investments.

This isn`t the plan I would have written on my own, I`m pretty sure
chairman Ryan wouldn`t have written it on his own. And there are obviously
differences between our parties when it comes to budget priorities.

I was disappointed we weren`t able to close even a single corporate tax
loophole. I know many Republicans had hoped this would be an opportunity
to make some of the changes to Medicare and Social Security they`ve
advocated for.

But Congressman Ryan have set aside our differences. We`ve made some
compromises and we`ve worked together to get something done. Now, this
deal doesn`t solve every issue in front of Congress. We made a conscience
decision as Chairman Ryan said in the few short weeks we`ve had to focus on
where we can agree and not get bogged down in larger issues that while
important are not going to get solved right now.

But we need to acknowledge that our nation has serious long-term fiscal and
economic challenges this deal doesn`t address and our budget process has
been broken. Many people believe that Congress is broken. We have spent
years scrambling to fix artificial crises while our debt piles up and the
middle class families have depended on for generations continues t crumble.
We have budget deficits that have improved but they have not disappeared.

We know we need comprehensive tax reform. We need comprehensive
immigration reform. There is a lot more for Congress to do. So this deal
doesn`t solve all of our problems. But I think it is an important step in
helping to heal some of the wounds here in Congress to rebuild some trust
and to show that we can do something without a crisis right around the
corner and demonstrate the value in making our government work for the
people we represent.

So when all this is done, I am very proud to stand with Chairman Ryan or
anyone else who wants to work on this bipartisan foundation to continue
addressing our nation`s challenges. Nothing is easy here, but I know the
American people expect nothing less.

I want to take a minute to especially thank Chairman Ryan. He and I do
have some major differences. We cheer for a different football team.
Clearly. We catch different fish. We have some differences on policies.
But we agree our country needs some certainty and they need to show that we
can work together. And I`ve been very proud to work with him.

I also want to thank Congressman Van Hollen who`s worked for hard to help
make sure this deal reflects what he cares about. And everyone who`s been
involved on the committee has been working very hard with us to get to this
deal. So, I`m hopeful now that we can get this bipartisan deal through the
House and then the Senate and get home in time for the holidays that I
think everybody deserves this year.

RYAN: Questions?

say folks who are realizing the agreement compromise (INAUDIBLE).

RYAN: Well, look. As a conservative, I think this is a step in the right
direction. What am I getting out of this? I`m getting more deficit
reduction. So, the deficit will go down more by passing this than if we
did nothing. That`s point number one.

Point number two, there are no tax increases here.

Point number three, we`re finally starting to deal with autopilot spending.
That mandatory spending that has not been addressed by Congress for years.

But this isn`t easy. This is the first divided budget agreement since
1986. The reason we haven`t done a budget agreement when both Houses were
controlled by other parties and say this is because it`s not easy to do.
So we know we`re not going to get everything we want and she`s not going to
get everything she wants.


RYAN: I think conservatives should vote for it. I expect we are going to
have a healthy vote in the House Republican caucus. I think we will pass
this through the House. And we`re going to go first given our schedules.
We will post this on our Web site today this evening and we intend to bring
it to the house floor later on this week. I have every reason to expect
great support from our caucus because we are keeping our principles.

The key here is nobody had to sacrifice their core principles. Our
principles are, don`t raise taxes, reduce the deficit. We also have a lot
of concerns members about defense. The next hit from the sequester was
going to hit solely on the military starting in January. A lot of our
members were concerned. So, what we`re doing here is providing for some
sequester relief for 2014 and for 2015. And we`re dealing with more
permanent reforms on the auto-pilot side of the spending ledger and excess
of the sequester relief which results in net deficit reduction. That to me
is good deal to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: To what extent does this represent the
agreement between the two of you versus the agreement that you know you can
get through both chambers? (INAUDIBLE).

MURRAY: Well, I can tell you that I`ve been in close contact with my
leadership and a number of members since we`ve worked through this issue.
I expect that Chairman Ryan and my job will be the same as we leave here
tonight which is to talk to everybody about our deal and to work to get the
votes. I`m confident that we won`t have 100 percent of the Senate or 100
percent of the house. This is a bipartisan deal. We have both had to move
to get to where we are today.

But I think what the American people ought to know is that this Congress
can work, that people can come up together from very different corners and
find common ground and bring some certainty back to our jobs and our
economy. That is what we have continually focused on.

RYAN: To your specific question, we have done this with our leadership
team who is in support of this. I`ve consulted with every chairman who is
jurisdiction is involved in this because this spends, as you can imagine,
lots of different committee chairman. So this has been a participatory
process. This has been a process where in the house we have consulted with
numerous colleagues to get their ideas, to get their input, their feedback
and support. And that`s why I`m very confident about where we stand in the

SHARPTON: Joining me now are Jared Bernstein and Dana Milbank.

Dana, a deal. Can they sell this deal?

can, Reverend. It`s not clear that Paul Ryan can sell it to a majority of
his caucus, but it appears that they`re going to be willing to take it to
the floor anyway and pass to a Democratic votes if they have to.

It`s something to celebrate and that is certainly beats a government
shutdown. It`s not something to celebrate as they basically put aside all
the big deals. Doing something about tax reform, doing something about
entitlement. And just said OK, what`s a small thing we can agree on in the
short-term? So, government isn`t completely broken, but neither did it
actually address the big problem.

SHARPTON: But they do need to sell it, Dana. They do need Democratic
votes to even get this out of the house.

MILBANK: Definitely are going to need Democratic votes. And I expect
Democrats will be an easier sell for this because they`re replacing some of
the sequester, not all of it. They didn`t get that far. But the cuts
aren`t going to be quite as deep as they otherwise would have been. So, I
think Democrats are going to say it`s better than we had otherwise even
though we don`t like it.

SHARPTON: It`s a narrow deal, Jared. Because you`re dealing with it does
reduce the sequester by $65 billion. But nobody got what they wanted on
the entitlements. Loopholes were not on the table with the Democrats. I
mean, break this deal down in terms of what it means, Jared.

JARED BERNSTEIN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, first of all, one of the things
that`s going to bring a bunch of house Republicans to the table and may
make this lift a little bit easier than we think is something Paul Ryan
referenced there which is the deal enables them to stave off another $20
billion in cuts to the defense side of the budget. That is because of a
kind of peculiarity of the way sequestration works.

In 2014 the defense spending caps were going to have to come down another
$20 billion. And there are a lot of Republicans in both houses that didn`t
like that. As you both mentioned, we`re talking about $65 billion less in
spending cuts under sequestration. So the spending caps go up that much.

Now, interestingly, there`s another 20 or so billion above that that
they`re going to apply to deficit reduction. The thing about Paul Ryan
saying there`s no taxes involved, no tax increases, well there are these
fee increases, right? So, it`s a little squirrely. There`s going to be
included aviation fees. There`s going to be higher contributions for
federal workers to their pensions. So, yes, you can call those fees. For
a lot of people, those are going to look a bit like taxes. So I think
that`s kind of the basic breakdown of the two-year deal.

I actually, by the way, I like the fact that there`s going to be less
fiscal head winds on the economy in 2014 and 2015. Many Democrats would
have liked to see extended unemployment insurance in there. That wasn`t in
the bill.

SHARPTON: Let me bring back in Richard Wolffe.

Richard, how do they get the votes on this? And are they trying to prove
after such a non-productive Congress, one of the northeast non-productive
congresses in history, that they can make something work? Because I
noticed Senator Murray particularly made the point that they made the
compromise government could work.

WOLFFE: If government can work means they can avoid a shutdown and pass a
basic budget, then, I guess we should be celebrating them doing the basic
part of their job. You know, great. We`re going to avoid the crises, the
self-imposed crises we`ve had the last couple years. That is, I suppose,
good news.

Paul Ryan goes on his long journey of remaking himself compared to where he
was with his first budget proposals. But for Democrats, there have got to
be serious concerns here about the failure to extend unemployment
insurance. And those benefits is not a small thing. The idea that this is
going to be broken off into a separate negotiation that stands any chance
of getting through is a pipe dream.

SHARPTON: All right. Well, we`re going to be watching it. They do have
to sell it. This is not a done deal.

Thank you to all of my guests. We`ll be right back.


SHARPTON: Tonight I`d like to introduce you to one member of Congress who
thinks today`s Republican Party is too liberal. Meet Texas Congressman
Steve Stockman. He`s just announced he`s running against Senator John
Cornyn in the Republican primary. A move that could drag the GOP even
further to the right. Mr. Stockman is one of the top birthers in Congress.
He says he`s always questioned President Obama`s birth certificate. And
he`s been throwing around the "I" word. Impeachment.


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


SHARPTON: He`s so convinced that impeachment is a good idea, he bought up
hundreds of copies of the world net daily book "Impeachable Offenses: The
Case for Removing Barack Obama from Office." And then he gave a copy to
every member of Congress. When there was a national uproar over this rodeo
clown wearing a mask of President Obama, Congressman Stockman invited him
to perform in Texas. And Stockman brought this guy, Ted Nugent, as one of
his guests to the State of the Union.

With that kind of record, Stockman`s more likely to inspire punch lines
than win a Senate seat. But primaries like this push Republicans to more
and more extreme positions. And that`s no joke.

Joining me now are Victoria DeFrancesco Soto and Dana Milbank. Thank you
both for being here.



SHARPTON: So, Dana, a birther, impeacher who loves the rodeo clowns, is
that what a Republicans are these days?

MILBANK: Yes. He should be a shoe in for the nomination, don`t you think?
You know, I`m sure in Steve Stockman`s head he`s saying, well, the more
extreme you can be, the more the primary voters are going to like it. And
I wonder if he`s in for a surprise here. Because maybe this even goes too
far. You know, you got to remember, this is his second time in Congress.
He was actually a street vagrant earlier in his life. And he sends out all
these bizarre tweets. I think some, even these conservative groups like
the club for growth say, look, we`re not on board with this guy.

The ones who are usually launching these primary challenges. And I just
wonder if there may be the beginnings of the Republican establishment
pushing back against these kind of characters saying you guys are dragging
us down. John Cornyn is the second most conservative Republican in the
Senate. And Stockman calls him a liberal.

SHARPTON: But Victoria, you`re in Texas. He`s got quite a following down
there in Texas, doesn`t he?

SOTO: He absolutely does. We know who Steve Stockman is. But -- because
everything in life is relative. I remember the days when we still had Kay
Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn was a conservative senator. And now he`s
being pegged as the liberal senator. You know, but, Steve Stockman even
though he is well known is going to have some problems. Because he`s not
Ted Cruz. Ted Cruz came into an open Senate seat. He also had the
calendar on his side. He had a lot of time to run because of all the
missteps with the redistricting. And so, he is not Ted Cruz.

He is not going to be able to win that seat. John Cornyn has it in check.
And the other thing that Steve Stockman is going to do is he and I agree
with Dana here, is going to mobilize the moderate chamber of commerce
Republicans. They`re not going to sit on their hands and just let him be.
They are going to stand behind John Cornyn. So it`s going to be an
interesting show, but John Cornyn will be here for awhile.

SHARPTON: Well, the interesting thing, you talked Dana, about his tweets.
He sent a letter out to his supporters today really going after John
Cornyn. The letter says, quote, "Dear patriot, you are in a fox hole
fighting to save our constitutional republic. And the last thing you need
is a Republican bayonet in your back. But that`s what liberal John Cornyn
has been doing to you every day." This is a letter he sent out.

Now, let me show you how liberal John Cornyn is. He`s got an "A" rating
from the National Rifle Association, 100 percent score from the National
Right to Life Committee, and a 94 percent from the Koch-backed group
Americans for Prosperity. I mean, doesn`t sound too liberal to me, Dana.

MILBANK: No. I mean, this is the problem. When you`ve purged all the
moderates, not to mention, Liberals out of the Republican Party, well then
do you start to purge the Republicans and now they`re down to the second
most conservative Republican in the Senate. I guess if they purge the
first most conservatives then they completed the mission. Steve Stockman,
I think he`s confusing crazy for ideology. And, you know, he says things
like Chlamydia is more popular than ObamaCare. He says that if fetuses
were armed, there wouldn`t be abortion.

This is the sort of thing that people used to even the Republican Party
when he was back in 1995 said this guy`s nuts. We don`t want anything to
do with it. He`s actually become the mainstream among a certain sector of
House Republicans who take him seriously. I have some faith in the voters
even in Republican primaries in Texas that say they don`t want this guy
representing them.

SHARPTON: But Victoria, here`s an example of the extremism in the
Republican Party. Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks on the health care law.
Listen to this.


REP. MO BROOKS (R), ALABAMA: The Democrats right now, they crave something
that will distract public attention from the calamity known as ObamaCare.
The Democrats, they need a shutdown. They need something dramatic, perhaps
a war, something. That will deflect public attention from how bad this
socialized medicine system is.


SHARPTON: Democrats want a war to distract from the socialized health care
law. I mean, how Republicans can say something so irresponsible, Victoria.
And will all of this extremism come home to roost in 2014 in the midterm

SOTO: My hunch is that it will. And we saw a little glimmer of that in
the election in Alabama where a moderate Republican was able to beat out
the more extreme Tea Party candidate. It might take awhile to see
nationwide, but I do think that the Tea Party doesn`t have the strength
that it did previously. That being said, it is going to be interesting to
see how John Cornyn plays this out. Because keep in mind, this is the
first Tea Party election he has ever run. And last election he had was
2008. So my fear is that we`re going to see some ugly rhetoric. But
eventually maybe we`re going to see some moderation in 2014 and maybe in

SHARPTON: You know, Senator Cornyn is one of seven Republican senators
facing primary challenges. Won`t the GOP`s Tea Party problem continue to
grow until they beat it back once and for all, Dana?

MILBANK: Yes. Now, the question is, how do you do that? So, you`re
right. You`ve got Cornyn. You`ve got McConnell the Senate leader in some
difficulty there. You`ve got Thad Cochran down in Mississippi. And the
Republican Senatorial Committee is actually getting involved heavily
spending money in these primaries to fight off these guys. And that`s
money that should be spend from their point of view fighting off the

So they`re really suffering as a result of this. But I think the incumbent
lawmakers have begun to realize the establishment Chamber of Commerce folks
have begun to realize that this is hurting them in the long run. They`re
going to have to draw that line in the stand. Maybe they can do that in
2014. But I mean, every time you sort to say the Tea Party is done with,
they come back and surprise you. I don`t think Stockman is the guy, but
the Tea Party is far from dead.

SHARPTON: Well, we will wait and see, because I promise you we`ll be
watching. Victoria Soto and Dana Milbank, thank you both for your time

MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.

SOTO: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Up next, a bombshell surprise from George Zimmerman`s
girlfriend. What it means for the assault case against him.

Plus an update on the police officer who fired at a minivan filled with
children. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: We`re back with a major development in the George Zimmerman
domestic violence case. It was nearly one month ago George Zimmerman was
arrested and charged with felony aggravated assault, domestic battery,
violence, and criminal mischief. After this frantic 911 call from his


DISPATCHER: What`s going on?

all my (bleep) because I asked him to leave. He has a freaking gun
breaking all of my stuff right now. No, this is not --


SCHEIBE: I`m doing this again? You just broke my glass table. You just
broke my sunglasses and you put your gun in my freaking face and told me to
get the (bleep) out because this is not your house. No, get out of here.


SHARPTON: After that, Zimmerman made his own 911 call denying her


DISPATCHER: Were there any weapons involved?

in the house.

DISPATCHER: Weapons in the house, OK.

ZIMMERMAN: Yes. It`s her house. She`s got a 9-millimeter. I mean, I
have my firearm. She was throwing my stuff out and one of the bags was one
of my firearms. I never pulled a firearm. I never displayed it. When I
was packing it, I`m sure she saw it. I mean, we keep it next to the bed.


SHARPTON: But a local Orlando reporter revealed Zimmerman`s girlfriend
told him she was afraid of George and felt threatened. But now she`s
changing her story. Zimmerman`s lawyer filed a motion to allow contact
with the alleged victim with the motion came a signed affidavit from the
girlfriend. She says, quote, "George never pointed a gun at or toward my
face in a threatening manner." She says, quote, "I want to be with
George." And she says, "I do not want George Zimmerman charged." But with
her affidavit, there are lots of questions. New questions, all kinds of
new questions.

So joining me now, NBC News legal analyst Lisa Bloom and former Prosecutor
Faith Jenkins. Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Lisa, she says she may have misspoken about certain facts in her
statement to police, but we all heard that 911 call. What do you think is
going on here?

BLOOM: Well, who do you want to believe? Samantha Scheibe when she was in
the moment where she called the police and she was saying what was
happening right at that moment, or Samantha Scheibe weeks later when she`s
had time to reflect. Perhaps reflect on the fact that she doesn`t want to
be in the middle of this high-profile legal battle. Obviously she has
feelings for George Zimmerman. She was his girlfriend for four months.
They were living together. Those feelings don`t just go away when there is
a domestic violence incident if indeed there was one.

So, I mean, this is complicated. Domestic violence cases which I practice
every day in my law practice are complicated. And a victim recanting is
one of the most common things. It`s very frustrating. It`s agonizing to
all of us who practice in that area of the law. But it`s very, very
common. And now it`s happened in this case.

SHARPTON: Now, can the case go forward even though she`s recanted, Faith?

JENKINS: That`s going to be the ultimate question for prosecutors. As
prosecutors, we`re told early on in domestic violence cases what do you do
if the alleged victim decides not to cooperate, not to go forward. That`s
why early on when you`re planning your case, you get as much evidence as
you can. You get as many statements as you can so that if she`s no longer
cooperative, you can have some objective evidence.

So, the question they`ll ask themselves now, can we prove this case without
her? Or are we going to prove her as a hostile witness and call her
anyway? But right now they`re looking at the evidence to see if they can
go forward. Because in most cases, domestic violence victims often in
cases they don`t want to continue with the case.

SHARPTON: So this is not unusual.

JENKINS: It`s not unusual.

SHARPTON: Now, Lisa, in the affidavit she says, quote, "I contacted
George`s attorney to ask is there way that the stay away order can be
lifted so that we can talk and be together. I`m not afraid of George in
any manner and I want to be with him." But the national coalition to
prevent domestic violence says, Zimmerman`s lawyers` conduct was not
appropriate and worries she was manipulated or coerced into recanting.
What do you say to that, Lisa?

BLOOM: Well, you know, based on what we know right now, I have to
respectfully disagree with the national coalition. Because what Jayne
Weintraub who is a very respected criminal defense attorney in that
jurisdiction says under oath is that Samantha Scheibe reached out to her,
that she contacted her. And frankly, even if Jayne Weintraub had reached
out to Samantha Scheibe, there`s nothing wrong with that. I reach out to
witnesses every day in my law practice to try to get to the statements, to
try to get to the truth, to try to help my client.

So, I don`t see any manipulation. I know I don`t see that. It`s possible
that happened, but I think that`s purely speculative at this point. I
think the balls in Samantha Scheibe`s court. She`s the one who made these
allegations. By the way, lying to police is a misdemeanor in Florida. She
basically admits that that`s what she`s done. So, she now has some legal
jeopardy, very reminiscent of Shellie Zimmerman who was convicted of

SHARPTON: But isn`t it also true that her lawyer could have done this if
this was her feeling and try to protect her at the same time, Faith?

JENKINS: Well, she could. And I always hear people say, well, oh, can you
prosecute the alleged victim now for lying to the police? And in theory,
yes, you could. In reality, I rarely see that happen. Prosecutors don`t
want to go after people who they think are victims of domestic violence.
Look at her history at this point. She says that George Zimmerman pointed
a gun at her. She said prior to that he strangled her at some point. And
she`s dating a man who she knows killed a 17-year-old. This is a woman who
probably needs more help than anything. Then he`s trying to put her
through the system and prosecute her.

SHARPTON: Lisa, least he`s had run ins with the law since Trayvon Martin.
July 28th, warned for speeding in Texas. September 3rd, speeding ticket in
Florida. September 9th, detained after a domestic incident in Florida.
November 18th, arrested after disturbance call in Florida. He keeps
getting in trouble.

BLOOM: Yes. I think it seems pretty clear to most of us watching that
George Zimmerman`s worst enemy is George Zimmerman. Yet in case after
case, he`s been the Teflon defendant. No charges stick. I suspect this is
the first step of some legal maneuvering on his attorney`s part that`s
going to end up with the case being dismissed against him for domestic
violence. But I think we all know this is not the end of the story for
George Zimmerman. There`s just too many people accusing him of too much
irresponsibility especially with guns.

SHARPTON: Lisa Bloom and Faith Jenkins, thank you both for your time

BLOOM: Thanks, Rev.

JENKINS: Thanks, Rev. Al.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, news tonight about the officer who fired at a
minivan full of kids.

Also, President Obama`s powerful and personal speech today at Nelson
Mandela`s memorial. Stay with us.


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


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Please! Please! Please! Please!


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

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Open the door! Open the door!




SHARPTON: The police officer that shot said he was aiming at the rear tire
to stop the van. And now we`ve learned that Officer Elias Montoya has been
fired. Police did not give specifics. And there`s 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 Nelson Mandela memorial in South Africa.
President Obama was there with former presidents Clinton, Bush, and Carter.
Along with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. And when the
president rose to speak, what an ovation.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: President Barack Obama.




SHARPTON: The president praised Mandela`s moral vision and courage. But
said the great leader`s work is unfinished.


OBAMA: We know that like South Africa, the United States had to overcome
centuries of racial subjugation. As was true here, it took the sacrifice
of countless people known and unknown to see the dawn of a new day.
Michelle and I are beneficiaries of that struggle.

But in America and in South Africa and in countries all around the globe,
we cannot allow our progress to cloud the fact that our work is not yet
done. And so we, too, must act on behalf of justice. We, too, must act on
behalf of peace.


SHARPTON: Mandela inspired countless people around the world including
President Obama who spoke from the heart in personal terms.


OBAMA: It woke me up to my responsibilities to others and to myself and it
sent me on an improbable journey that finds me here today. And while I
will always fall short of Madiba`s example, he makes me want to be a better
man. He speaks to what`s best inside us.


SHARPTON: He speaks to what`s best inside us. Nelson Mandela is one of
those rare people that does not plot their life based on some career goals.
There was no way when he stood up for his country and went to jail
sentenced to life that he would know at his funeral, 90 heads of states
would be there. You can`t plan that career. You can only lose yourself in
a bigger cause.

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


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