updated 12/12/2013 4:30:23 PM ET 2013-12-12T21:30:23

POLITICS NATION
December 11, 2013
Guest: Lloyd Doggett, Frank Pallone, Cynthia Tucker, Goldie Taylor,
Lawrence Kobilinsky

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


REV. AL SHARPTON, HOST: Good evening Ed and thanks to you for tuning
in. Tonight`s Lead, the Republican grinches who are stealing Christmas and
just over two weeks, 1.3 million long-term unemployed Americans stand to
lose their benefits unless Congress acts.

Time is running out. Families would take a brutal hit over the
holidays. But today, House Speaker John Boehner didn`t seem too worried
about this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Under what circumstances, if any, will you accept
an extension of unemployment benefits that run out at the end of the month
right around Christmas?

SEN. JOHN BOEHNER, (R-OH) HOUSE SPEAKER OF REPRESENTATIVES: Listen,
we`ve worked all -- we`ve worked all year to get our economy going again
and help produce better jobs and more wages.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He`s worked all year? So he`s taking a two-week vacation
instead of fighting for unemployed Americans? That`s his answer? That`s
his answer to 128,000 people in his home state of Ohio who will lose
benefits, just three days after Christmas? Sorry, Speaker Boehner, but
those reindeer won`t fly.

Today, Senate majority leader Harry Reid vowed to keep fighting to
extend jobless benefits. In the House, 166 Democrats sent a letter to
Speaker Boehner demanding he take action before the holiday break. And the
president used his latest weekly radio address to pressure Republicans to
do the right thing.

This fight won`t be easy. Just look at what`s happening with the new
budget deal. The far right is against it because it doesn`t cut enough.
The deal removes $63 billion of spending cuts and plays for programs like
head start, meals on wheels, groups like heritage foundation and freedom
works are denouncing the deal.

Over 30 House Republicans oppose it. Some Republican senators say it
is a non-startup. One even called it selling out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TOM COBURN (D) OKLAHOMA: I`m sure it`s the best Paul could get.
But it`s nothing anything I can support. He has led to make a compromise
that sells out what actually needs to be done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It`s selling out to fund programs that help children and
seniors? This far right ideology is what we`re up against. It`s the great
battle of our time. The fight against deepening income inequality, the
fight for fairness, for opportunity. And today, exactly two weeks before
Christmas, that fight is about helping millions of unemployed Americans.

Joining me now is Congressman Lloyd Doggett, Democrat from Texas and
the "Huffington Post" Ryan Grim.

RYAN GRIM, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, HUFFINGTON POST/MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:
Thank you both for being here.

REP. LLOYD DOGGETT (R), TEXAS: Rev., always good to be with you.

SHARPTON: Congressman, you`ve joined fellow Democrats in sending a
letter to Speaker Boehner demanding he extend unemployment benefits. What
will it take for Republicans to do the right thing here?

DOGGETT: It will take a new Congress, I think. You know, it`s
Christmastime, and like the rest of the year, these Republicans only
believe in stuffing the silk stockings. So, they defended the copper tax
breaks. They just ship more jobs overseas, but they wouldn`t reach out to
help a million plus families who lose extended unemployment benefits the
week of Christmas.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, Ryan, when you look at the fact that Senator
Rand Paul, Republican Senator Rand Paul said extending long term jobless
benefits does a disservice to the unemployed, listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I do support unemployment benefits for
the 26 weeks that they`re paid for. If you extend it beyond that, you do a
disservice to these workers. When you allow people to be on unemployment
insurance for 99 weeks you`re causing them to be part of this perpetual
unemployed group in our economy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But Ryan, in Senator Paul`s own home state of Kentucky,
about 53,000 people will lose benefits if Congress fails to act.

GRIM: Right. I mean, what he`s trying to do is couch a pretty brutal
policy any in compassionate terms, you know. It`s the entire kind of
ideology of the hammock, that if you, you know, spoil people they won`t go
out and get work.

But what`s really happening is, you know, this is an effort to keep
wages down, pure and simple. Because if you have a lot of people
unemployed, then people who do have jobs are less able to fight for raises.
You know, and they`re less able to push, you know, there`s less able to
make demands on their bosses. It`s much harder to organize a union,
because, you know, the boss can just fire people and bring them back. You
know, a century ago, it was called the reserve army, these millions of
people who were unemployed.

And so, you know, if people can choose between different jobs and they
can hold out a little bit longer then they can demand higher wages while
they`re looking for a job. But if they`re so desperate, you know, that
they can`t make their month`s rent, then you know, $8 an hour start to
sound OK. And that`s how you drive these wages down and that`s where you
get this inequality.

SHARPTON: But Congressman Doggett, with 53,000 people about to lose
their coverage, I mean, people like Rand Paul start to hear from their
constituents? Will there be political pressure coming from the
constituency base while we`re looking at this devastating thing for many
families?

DOGGETT: Well, one would certainly hope so, because the long-term
unemployed often face discrimination because they`re older, because they`ve
been unemployed for a long period of time. They need to be speaking out to
members of Congress.

The problem we have here, Reverend, though, is that the Republicans
are going to shut down the Congress and the house. They`ve had a lot of
shutdown experience this year. They`re going to shut down operations here
in the house the day after tomorrow, not responding to our concerns about
comprehensive immigration reform, about raising the minimum wage, about job
growth and certainly not about the unemployed. And we`re wrapping up the
year with a budget agreement that if only if you measure it by the
standards of this do-nothing Congress, can you say that it represents do-
little progress?

It`s a very modest agreement that may give us a little more
flexibility to meet our needs and education a social services, but overall
does not represent the progress that we really need.

SHARPTON: Talking about that budget deal, Ryan and Congressman
Doggett just commented on. Today, conservative senators blasted the new
budget deal for not cutting enough, they said. Listen as Republican
Senator John Barrasso.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R), WYOMING: I have a lot of concerns, because it
continues the Washington wasteful spending. Washington and this president
in particular are addicted to spending. This spends more than I would
like, rather than cut Washington wasteful spending.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, how do you respond to that, Ryan? This seeps
vehement by some of these right wing senators?

GRIM: Yes. And from their perspective, they really should slam this,
because this deal, cut by Paul Ryan is really a repudiation of the one
thing that the tea party has been pointing to as the most successful policy
that they`ve been able to implement, you know. So if, if their agenda,
given a chance, you know, to actually be played out, is being rejected even
by people like Paul Ryan, that doesn`t bode well for the future of what the
tea party wants to see Congress get done.

SHARPTON: But, you know, Congressman Doggett, we can all have
different opinions. We can`t have different facts. The fact of the matter
is a landmark study shows the impact of the safety net 50 years after
President John had announced this war on poverty.

In 1967, the poverty rate was 26 percent. Last year that was down to
16 percent. Millions lifted out of poverty, thanks to programs like food
stamps and unemployment benefits. We cannot argue the benefit of the
safety net programs that were put in place.

DOGGETT: Well, that`s absolutely right, Reverend. And the problem we
have here is that these Republicans, they think they`re entitled to their
own facts. And when reality differs with their ideology, they always let
their ideology control. When they shut down some of the government, they
shut down some of the growth we have had in our economy and creating more
jobs by not extending unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed.
They will cost American jobs as well as creating great hardship for so many
families beginning Christmas week.

It`s wrong. We need to repudiate it. We need to speak out against
it. The other concern that I have about the budget agreement is that it
does not reach the question of the full faith and credit of the United
States that will come up on the February 7th. Republican had us lurching
from crisis to crisis all year long, from last new year`s day right up
through the budget shutdown. We still have some uncertainties out there
for the future that will have to be addressed.

SHARPTON: Well, we will be staying on this and covering and watching
this every step of the way.

Texas Congressman Doggett and Ryan Grim, thank you both for your time
tonight.

DOGGETT: Thank you for demanding accountability. Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, right-wingers gang up on times person of the year.
What their attacks on the Pope are really all about.

Plus, new signs Obamacare is working. And the GOP attacks are getting
desperate and downright funny.

Also, 11 months after his death, new questions tonight in the
mysterious death of Georgia teenager Kendrick Johnson. Why were his organs
taken out and his body stuffed with newspaper?

And developing news tonight in the assault case against George
Zimmerman. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: A rally for justice in the mysterious death, Kendrick
Johnson, and a new call for justice from his heartbroken parents. Stay
with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Did you hear the right wing is really angry about time
magazine`s new person of the year? Just take a listen to them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: This is just pure Marxism.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really, very much in favor of the European social
model which is neo-socialism which fails its own people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s right. He came into office with lots of fan fair.
He promised to shake things up. And ever since then, the right wing has
blasted him. You think I`m talking about President Obama? Nope! I`m
talking about Pope Francis. The only person the right seems to hate as
much as President Obama these days. The right, they hate this guy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The embrace that has gone viral, melting hearts
around the word. Pope Francis laying his hands on a disfigured man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Francis is a simple man of the people from
carrying his own bags to paying his own bills. And now he`s taking up to
picking up the phone and calling people out of the blue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Colombian worker adopted by an Italian couple
decided his place was center stage with Francis. Those closest to him say
there`s nothing manufacture about the way Francis acts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Wow, no wonder they dislike him so much. He seems like a
real bad egg. Maybe this is what they have a problem with. The fact that
he`s attacked the idolatry of money, or that fact that he`s blasted
trickle-down economics. That is what makes the right so uncomfortable.
He`s putting poor people on the forefront of discussion. He`s not just
giving it lip service. He`s demanding hard action. And that`s the
conversation the right doesn`t want to have.

Joining me now is Abby Huntsman.

Abby, thank you for coming on the show tonight.

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

SHARPTON: How did the right get to a place where they`re blasting the
Pope over poverty?

HUNTSMAN: First of all, I couldn`t agree more with this pick. It`s
uplifting. It is positive, you know. This is a man --

SHARPTON: You`re talking about him being time person of the year.

HUNTSMAN: This is a man who has changed the tone, the perception and
even the focus, really, of one of the largest institutions in the world.
This is a man that really doesn`t like to obsessed with the small things
but focus on the big picture. And he does it with compassion.

You know, something I love most about him is he has this unique
ability to talk about really controversial issue, like abortion,
contraception, gay rights, in a way that makes people feel accepted and
makes people feel comfortable. That is something the Republican party is
still trying to figure out. You would think in a world we live in where
fewer people are actually attending church this man that resembles morals
and values, you would think that GOP would embrace him. That they would
actually applaud his efforts. So, I am actually astounded that you would
have any Republican push back on this man.

SHARPTON: But what makes even more egregious is the right wing used
as religion to justify their attacks on the poor. I mean, listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Self-reliance means, if anyone
will not work, neither should he eat.

REP. STEPHEN FINCHER (R), TENNESSEE: The role of citizens, of
Christians, of humanity is to take care of each other, but not for
Washington to steal money from those in the country and to give it to
others in the country.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.
So we have to be careful how we pick and choose verses out of the bible.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: One of the
primary tenets of catholic teaching is don`t keep people poor. Don`t make
people dependent on government of the.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, this is something you do not see throughout
history, the use of religion to really justify poverty or justify income
inequality. I mean, it`s really unheard of.

HUNTSMAN: But that`s the problem, that`s why the party we have seen
has moved so far to the right. Because in many ways it seems to be tied to
religion. And you know, Republicans need to find a way to speak
compassionately about the issue, about the poor, about women, about
minorities.

I mean, they are not other species. We are all people, and w want to
be treated like we`re people. I mean, look at Ronald Reagan for example
who pushed for the earned income tax, for example. He said that this was
the best pro growth, best pro familiarly approach that passed through
Congress. And you look at where we are today, it`s as if we`ve moved back.
We`re still looking at a seven percent unemployment rate. People are
struggling and they want to be talked to as if their leaders are actually
care about them.

SHARPTON: But that seems to be the contradiction. On the one hand,
you have the right wing and the Republicans who try to claim some close
proximity to religion. But then, you condemn the Pope, because the Pope
makes moral appeals about things like poverty and outcasts. You can`t have
it both ways, Abby.

HUNTSMAN: You can`t have both ways. You also can`t win elections
with a message like that. You know, I think they should actually will be
well served to learn from the Pope who has been able to speak about a
number of issues that Republicans care about in a way that makes people
feel part of the conversation and still comfortable.

I think the Republican party should listen to the Pope. I think that
it is in their worst interest to go against him because if you look at his
popularity, he is well liked around the world.

SHARPTON: But they don`t want to talk about poverty, Abby.

Abby Huntsman, thanks for your time this evening.

HUNTSMAN: Thank you.

SHARPTON: And be sure to catch Abby on "the Cycle" weekdays right
here at 3:00.

Still ahead, the real legacy of Nelson Mandela. His critics on the
right call him a communist. I`ll set the record straight tonight.

Plus, we`ll tell you why the GOP is waving the white flag when it
comes to repealing the health care law.

Also, we`ll reveal the lucky Republican who signed up for Obamacare
tonight. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back with the curious effort to undermine Nelson
Mandela`s life and legacy. Today in Pretoria, South Africa, thousands
filed past the late president`s casket as he lies in state. It`s the same
place where he was sworn in as president 19 years ago. The word has
praised Mandela`s life`s work.

But here in the U.S., some on the right have tried to tarnish his
memory by calling him names or by distorting his life. The question is why
do they feel compelled to do that? Last night, on his program, FOX host
Bill O`Reilly said I`d been unfair to him by playing part of what he said
about Nelson Mandela in the hours after his death. I think we were fair.
But here`s his full comment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: -- 95-years-old. Nelson Mandela,
I`ve spent some time in South Africa. He was a communist, this man. He
was a communist. All right. But he was a great man. What he did for his
people was stunning. The sacrifices that he made. He could have
repudiated and got out of that prison. He wouldn`t do it. He was a great
man, but he was a communist. So, but I would never attack Nelson Mandela.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I don`t think playing his great man comment changes the
context or the fact that on the night of Nelson Mandela`s death, Bill
O`Reilly called him a communist. Seems strange to me that O`Reilly thinks
a communist was a great man.

But the issue isn`t Bill O`Reilly. The issue is Mandela, the effort
to impugn him, to tarnish him. The facts show that Nelson Mandela was a
transformational force for democracy and democratic freedom.

In 1994, he propelled South Africa to the first free elections in
history, the first election where people of all races were allowed to vote.
I was there as an election observer, and I saw people waiting in line for
hours for the honor of exercising their new freedom to vote.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All across South Africa, polling stations were
swamped. Blacks voting for the first time waited for hours to make their
mark.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All my life and all my grandfathers and great-
grandfathers. We are making this mark for them today.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s the greatest moment of my life. I wouldn`t
miss it for anything.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Very happy today because I`ve been waiting t long
for this day to come.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: People voting freely and fairly because of Mandela. Is any
of that communism? Of course not. And the world economic forum in 1992,
Mandela had called for quote, "a private sector which would play a central
and critical role to ensure the creation of wealth and jobs. We would like
to create conditions for investors to invest."

That doesn`t sound very communist either. What about once he become
the democratically elected president of South Africa? "The New York Times"
reports, quote, "Mr. Mandela`s push toward free markets opened up his
country to become the fastest growing in Africa and eventually brought in
billions of dollars of investment from large companies outside the country.
Is any of that evidence that he was a communist? Of course not.

It`s absurd. Mandela believed deeply in human freedom, political
freedom., social freedom and check freedom. And it was that spirit of
humanity that President Obama talked about yesterday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It took a man like
Madiba to free not just the prisoner, but the jailer as well. To show that
you must trust others so that they must 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 hearts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Mandela did change hearts. But for some on the right, they
can`t just praise him. They have to balance praise with unfair efforts to
disparage him. Mandela was bigger than this. He changed the world for the
better. Can his critics on the right honestly say the same?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have beautiful children and a beautiful wife. I
want them to walk free in their own land.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not breaking any laws.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They want a war. We will give them war.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Alone, what can you do? Together we have power.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mandela. PG 13.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Since President Obama signed the health care law, the GOP`s
had one dream -- to repeal it. It`s what Mitt Romney ran on. It`s what
House Republicans voted to do more than 40 times. But guess what? It`s
not happening. The new NBC poll finds just 26 percent of Americans say the
health care law should be totally eliminated. Even with all of the rollout
problems, only a quarter of the country wants to repeal this law.
Republicans are crumbling. Just look at Wisconsin`s Senator Ron Johnson.

His 2010 campaign was all about repeal. But now, quote, "We`ve got to
start thinking about transitioning. How do you repeal, yes, you can get
rid of the law, but what do you do with what`s already there?" It`s over.
And the attacks against the law are just getting shrill. Here`s Illinois`
Congressman John Shimkus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN SHIMKUS (R), ILLINOIS: You cannot say as you have numerous
times that these preventative care services are quote-unquote free of
charge, can you?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: They are free to the consumer, yes sir.

SHIMKUS: There is no free lunch, madam secretary.

We`re just going to agree to disagree. It`s like talking to the
republic of Korea or something.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: You don`t like what you hear. So you say a cabinet
secretary is acting like North Korea? We`re seeing the same desperation
from senator shutdown. Ted Cruz`s new report on the health care law claims
define quote, "lawless acts and abusive view of federal power." And says,
the administration undermines the rule of law. They can`t handle it. But
more and more people are signing up for this law. And that includes
Republican lawmakers. That`s right. Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Mitch
McConnell were lucky enough to sign up. And guess who else plans to?
According to the Washington Post, Congressman Shimkus. That`s right.
Congressman, you`re covered? And North Korea didn`t have anything to do
with it.

Joining me now are Congressman Frank Pallone, democrat of New Jersey
and Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Cynthia Tucker.

Congressman, let me start with you. You were in that hearing when the
Congressman Shimkus said to, while talking to Secretary Sebelius it was
like talking to North Korea. I mean, are they running out of arguments
against this law?

REP. FRANK PALLONE (D), NEW JERSEY: They clearly are. I mean, they
just keep using words like the world is going to collapse and all this
absurd rhetoric. I mean, obviously in that case, you know, you pay a
premium. You buy health insurance. The question is, what do you get for
it? I mean, obviously we all pay for the health insurance. But the point
is that preventive care is not charged for. And we`re encouraging people
to go to a doctor and be able to see a doctor without any additional cost
for an annual wellness visit. And there`s no charge. So, I mean, that`s
the point. And she was saying it, and he doesn`t like to hear it because
he`s living in Mars or some other planet and doesn`t understand that this
is actually a good bill that`s providing good benefits for an affordable
price.

SHARPTON: Now Cynthia, the new numbers out today about how many
people have enrolled in the health care plan. Nearly 365,000 signed up
through federal or state exchanges in October or November, and more than
803,000 were found eligible for Medicaid or chip. That`s more than 1.1
million people. And the demand is even higher. 1.9 million have applied
on the site but haven`t picked plans. And all together more than 39
million people have visited federal and state sites. What do you make of
these numbers, Cynthia?

CYNTHIA TUCKER, PULITZER-PRIZE WINNING COLUMNIST: What it tells us,
Reverend Al is that the Affordable Care Act addressed a serious problem in
America. And that is that there was so many people who desperately needed
health insurance but couldn`t afford to pay for it. In all of the
obstruction and all of the rhetoric that Republicans have thrown up against
the law, they have refused to acknowledge that basic reality. That there
were many Americans sick but couldn`t pay to go to the doctor. That one of
the biggest causes of bankruptcy in America is soaring health care costs.
People get in a crisis and were forced to pay exorbitant expenses for
medical care. The Affordable Care Act addresses that. And once that
option was available, people are now flocking to it.

SHARPTON: Yes.

TUCKER: You know, Reverend Al, ObamaCare is going to work. And
that`s what Republicans were afraid of all along.

SHARPTON: You know, congressman, there are real people who are
getting help because of this law. I mean, look at this. Here`s just a few
of them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Fifty-one year old Keith Stiles says he got his
plan on the New York Exchange and is delighted. A subsidized policy, lower
costs, more coverage.

KEITH STILES, GOT HIS PLAN ON THE NEW YORK EXCHANGE: Eighty six
dollar 86 a month, and the coverage is incredible.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Nicola is looking forward to being covered.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I`ll be able to get my eyes done, blood pressure,
physicals. It`s going to change my life.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We struggle to pay insurance.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Couldn`t sign up for the Affordable Care Act, then
found out he could receive a tax credit of more than $800 a month for his
family`s premium.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, what can Republicans say to these people,
Congressman? Real people?

PALLONE: They just keep saying the same old thing. I had one
Republican at one of the hearings come up and say, well, my constituents
was paying $60 and wanted to keep their skeletal policy. I said, what does
the policy include? He said it doesn`t include hospitalization. I said
who`s going to want an insurance policy that doesn`t include
hospitalization. The point is you`re getting good benefits for this
package at a good price. This often subsidized depending upon your income.
This is not a catastrophic policy. This is, you know, good benefits, just
like you get with a basic blue cross, blue shield plan. It`s not like
people aren`t going to have hospitalization, aren`t going to be able to go
to a doctor. They get good coverage. And that`s why it`s working.

SHARPTON: You know, in October, you`ve been the champion of the
health care all along fighting Republican noise, I want to play something
that you said at a hearing back in October.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Once again, here we have with my Republican
colleagues trying to scare everybody.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Will the gentleman yield?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: No, I will not yield to this monkey court or
whatever this --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This is not a monkey court.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Say whatever you want, I`m not yielding.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You are trying to scare people so they don`t apply
and so therefore the legislation gets delayed or the Affordable Care Act
gets defunded or repealed. That`s all it is, hoping people won`t apply.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, that was in October. Has the tone changed any,
Congressman since then?

PALLONE: Oh, definitely. I mean, first of all as you know, the
website for the most part works now so more people are able to sign up.
And I think that`s the key. Now that the website works people realize when
they go on it that they can get an affordable policy that covers, you know,
almost everything that they need. And that`s the difference. I mean, once
they start realizing that all this Republican rhetoric is just going to
meaningless. But Reverend Al, they keep at it. I mean, the hearing today
they tried to, you know, Shimkus was trying to shut up the secretary when
she was trying to answer the questions. So, you know, the monkey court
continues.

SHARPTON: Cynthia, you`re in Georgia. It`s a very hot topic there.
What is going on? What is being said and done there?

TUCKER: Well, you know, Georgia is one of the states where a
Republican governor and Republican legislature have refused to expand
Medicaid. Despite the fact that the federal government will pay the vast
majority of the cost and so many working poor people in here in Georgia
desperately need the coverage. But one of the things that`s happening now
in Georgia is that hospital administrators are cranking up the pressure on
the governor. And these are hospital administrators who are not liberals,
they`re good conservatives, but their hospitals need that money. They need
that Medicaid expansion. And they are beginning to speak out to say it is
foolish, governor deal for you to just for political reasons, to deny
Georgians the Medicaid expansion.

SHARPTON: Well, I mean, it`s a big issue. And as these things begin
to work, the pressure is going to mount. I`m going to leave it there for
now. We`ll be all over this clearly as we move forward. Congressman Frank
Pallone and Cynthia Tucker. Thank you both for your time tonight.

PALLONE: Thank you.

TUCKER: Good to be here, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, developing news tonight on the George
Zimmerman assault case. Prosecutors have made a big decision.

And 11 months ago, this teenager died under mysterious circumstances.
Tonight, new questions about the funeral home. Why were his organs removed
from his body? That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Now to that teen murder mystery in Georgia. Eleven months
ago today, 17-year-old Clinton Johnson was found dead inside a rolled up
wrestling mat at his high school gym, surveillance video captures Kendrick
walking into the gym and never coming out. His death was ruled an
accident, but his family always believed he was murdered. In June,
Kendrick`s body was exhumed for a second autopsy. It showed all of
Kendrick`s inner organs, including his brain were missing. His body was
stuffed with newspaper.

Now his family is filing a complaint, demanding an investigation into
the funeral home and alleging a cover up. Quote, "It is our belief that
Mr. Harrington, the funeral home director at best misled us as to the
condition of our son`s body or at worse is responsible for the removal and
destruction of his organs. And thus, desecration of our son`s body. Today
there was a rally at Georgia`s state capital. Kendrick`s parents and
others demanding answers.

KENNETH JOHNSON, KENDRICK`S FATHER: As you all know, his organs was
missing. So I want the justice system to tell me, how is it that all of
that going on with this body, someone`s not charged with something? Who
killed KJ? Who killed KJ? Who killed KJ?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now is MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor who was
at the rally today. And Lawrence Kobilinsky, a forensic scientist and
chairman at the Science Department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Thank you both for being here.

GOLDIE TAYLOR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

LAWRENCE KOBILINSKY, FORENSIC SCIENTIST: Pleasure.

SHARPTON: Goldie, you were there today. A lot of questions about
this funeral director. What did the parents say today?

TAYLOR: I think the parents are simply looking for the truth
surrounding the death of their son. I don`t know that they believe that
the missing organs have or do not have anything to do with how Kendrick
died, but it certainly presents yet another barrier in finding the truth in
this matter. And so, to go back and to do a second autopsy, to do a
coroner`s inquest, certainly, having all of his organ, having the entire
body there in tact would be something that is preferable if you`re going to
be an examiner, but at the end of the day, no one knows whether or not this
particular funeral director was working in concert with the GBI or not in
concert with the GBI or whether there were some extraneous issue.

SHARPTON: Yes.

TAYLOR: What we do know is that this body was mishandled in a number
of ways and the missing organs is just one of them.

SHARPTON: Well, you know, there are two issue here, you have the
first issue of, he was found in a rolled up gym mat, Lawrence and they say
that was an accidental death. And I remember early in the case I went down
and spoke at a rally there saying this made no sense and still with the
parents. But now you have the second issue of now that the body`s been
exhumed we find that all of his organs, including his brain, has been
removed from the body and stuffed with newspaper. I mean, in your
experience as an expert in these areas, does that make sense?

KOBILINSKY: It really doesn`t. Obviously, in an autopsy, you`re
going to examine all the organs. And after all that is finished, the
organs are usually placed into a plastic bag. The bag is put back in the
body, the body`s sewed up and then brought to the funeral parlor. So, some
place either at the GBI, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, were at the
funeral parlor, somebody got rid of the organs. And we don`t know who it
is. But more importantly, what they found in that second autopsy was the
actual cause of death. It`s interesting. The EMS came. They found a
bruise on the right jaw. The first autopsy revealed nothing.

They did say there was some abrasions on the fourth digit of the left
hand, blunt trauma, but they never said anything about the bruising on the
right side of the jaw. The second autopsy actually found not only bruising
on the right jaw, but the carotid body was split and hemorrhaged from blunt
trauma, the probable cause of death. So, it makes no sense for somebody to
climb up on a mat.

SHARPTON: But the funeral director says that the organs were
destroyed by the prosecutor and that in the natural cause of their
investigation.

KOBILINSKY: The prosecutor meaning the person who did the autopsy.
GBI.

SHARPTON: Right.

KOBILINSKY: But something must have happened to the organs.

SHARPTON: Right.

KOBILINSKY: Everybody is going to blame everybody else, but it`s
really not clear. And forensic scientists are going to answer that
question.

SHARPTON: Well, this is why many in the civil rights community,
Goldie, have been rallying for months. I know Martin Luther King III, my
friend was there today among others saying, wait a minute, first you don`t
deal with the fact, with the cause of death. And now you have told the
family, first of all, January of 2013, the funeral director never told the
parents the organs were missing. Then in June after the second autopsy
when he was confronted by the father, the funeral director says one or two
organs might be missing. Then in October in a letter to the Johnson family
lawyer he says organs have been destroyed and discarded before the body was
sent back to Valdosta. That`s why everyone`s outraged, Goldie.

TAYLOR: Everyone is outraged because many questions including where
are the organs have been asked. Many questions like, why were his nails
cut back to the quick. Many questions have been asked about, you know, the
condition of the crime scene or the scene of death have been asked, so many
questions have been asked but none have been answered. For instance, we
went for a hearing sometime ago and asked that the surveillance tape from
the gym be released.

SHARPTON: Right.

TAYLOR: Nineteen hundred hours of tape from four different camera
pointed at every angle of that gym. But upon review, there was not a
segment of tape that showed Kendrick Johnson climbing into that mat on his
own volition. In fact, it showed nothing surrounding his entry into that
mat. And so that simply leads many more questions and whether or not this
death was by accident or whether it was by, you know, some foul play.
These parents deserve to know the truth.

SHARPTON: Absolutely.

TAYLOR: And I just feel like the people in Lawrence County are in
some way impeding that.

SHARPTON: And that`s all everyone is saying. Lawrence, what would
you like to know? Given your expertise, what are the questions that are
screaming out that you need to be answered?

KOBILINSKY: What`s screaming out is why did they miss that very
important finding of the blunt trauma to the right side of the mandible and
the carotid body? That was -- the first autopsy. If you don`t have any
trauma to the body, then maybe you could say positional asphyxia. But once
you know that there`s been blunt trauma, that`s the most likely cause of
death. Who killed this young fellow? That`s the question.

SHARPTON: And I think that that is all the parents and certainly all
of the conversations I`ve had and the leaders down there, all they are
asking, Goldie, is we want the truth. And we want to know exactly what
happened.

TAYLOR: That`s exactly right. I had interviews with the parents here
in Atlanta and the family attorneys, one of which has been practicing law
on Georgia for decades.

SHARPTON: Yes, Attorney King and -- are now part of the legal team,
yes.

TAYLOR: Absolutely. And they`ve brought a force to bear. And so we
have gathered political forces from every corner of the state. And so, you
have state representatives and senators on Capitol Hill today. You had
members of the media, Jeff Johnson and I were there today, and so we were
there calling for the truth whatever, let the facts fall where they may.

SHARPTON: Absolutely. And we`re going to keep on this case. And
we`re going to keep asking those questions. Thank you Lawrence Kobilinsky
--

KOBILINSKY: Pleasure.

SHARPTON: As well as Goldie Taylor for your time tonight.

TAYLOR: Thanks for following this, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Ahead, developing news about George Zimmerman. Prosecutors
have made a big decision tonight. And it`s assault case. Also, inside Air
Force One. What former President George W. Bush revealed on his trip with
President Obama. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: No charges. A dramatic development tonight in the George
Zimmerman domestic violence case. A state attorney in Florida announced
today, he will not file charges against George Zimmerman who was arrested
and charged in a domestic incident last month. After his girlfriend left a
frantic 911 call claiming Zimmerman had pointed a gun at her, which
Zimmerman denied. But yesterday we reported she changed her story.

In her sworn affidavit saying Zimmerman, quote, "Never pointed a gun
at or toward my face in a threatening manner." Also saying, quote, "I want
to be with George," and quote, "I do not want George Zimmerman charged."
And tonight, after reviewing the affidavit, the state attorney said
conflicting statements and lack of evidence or witnesses were the reasons
for dropping the case. Zimmerman`s attorney just spoke to NBC legal
analyst Lisa Bloom. She asked why George barricaded himself inside the
house.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JAYNE WEINTRAUB, GEORGE ZIMMERMAN`S ATTORNEY: Well, he did it before
they arrived. He did it because he wanted to separate himself from
Samantha, as he said on the 911 tape. And he locked himself in the house
so that he would be separated and there would be no misunderstanding as to
where everybody was.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: No charges, the big news. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Finally tonight, a rare look inside Air Force One. White
House photographer Pete Souza caught some remarkable moments with President
Obama and former President George W. Bush on the flight to South Africa.
This photo shows the current and past president all smiles shortly after
boarding. In this one, President Obama and President Bush waiting for
dinner. You can also see the first ladies sitting across from each other.
Here`s President Bush showing off photos of his paintings to the First Lady
and others.

And if you`re a president of the United States, you`re in a rare
fraternity. These two disagree on just about every single policy.
President Obama ran his 2008 campaign on the undoing of the Bush legacy.
But this shows you can disagree without being disagreeable, a lesson for
many in public life. Today, a lesson Nelson Mandela personified.

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

T
END

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