updated 2/7/2014 11:03:15 AM ET 2014-02-07T16:03:15

POLITICS NATION
February 6, 2014

Guests: Dan Malloy; Linda Sanchez, Richard Wolffe, Krystal Ball, Faith
Jenkins, Lisa Bloom

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

Tonight`s lead, if you`re out of work, you`re out of luck. That`s the
message Senate Republicans sent again today when they blocked a bill to
extend jobless benefits for long-term unemployed. That means they said no
to helping 1.7 million Americans who have lost jobs, people who need help
while they`re trying to get back on their feet. But why? Why would they
block this? Senate Republicans had an idea.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: It`s a very basic and simple decision by
the Republicans not to reward those they think are lazy, the unemployed in
this country.

SEN. JACK REED (D), RHODE ISLAND: Somewhat offensive to have these
Americans or this process labeled as somewhat immoral.

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: The Republican mythology that people are
lazy and unemployment insurance encourages them not to work just doesn`t
fit in 2014 America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, of course, that was the Senate Republicans responded by
Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer. So Republicans think the unemployed are
lazy, that somehow extending benefits would be immoral? It sounds crazy,
right? Not to everyone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PETE SESSIONS (R), TEXAS: I believe it is immoral for this country to
have as a policy extending long-term unemployments to people rather than us
working on creation of jobs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Well, that`s just one house Republican who says it`s immoral to
extend unemployment benefits. But do other Republicans really think people
who receive jobless benefits don`t care if they find work? Senator Paul,
take it away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: I`m not against having unemployment
insurance. I do think, though that the longer you have it, it does provide
some disincentive to work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Unemployment benefits don`t provide a disincentive to work.
They make sure that people who have lost their jobs don`t lose everything
else too. But it`s no mystery where Republicans get their talking points.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: What is unemployment insurance? It
is paying people not to work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You discourage the good behavior of work and capitalism
and you encourage the bad behavior of let`s not rush to get a job.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It encourages people to stay out of the workforce.
It`s like a paid vacation for people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: When you`re looking for work, it`s not like a paid vacation.
It`s a struggle. And today Senate Republicans made that struggle with no
end in sight.

Joining me now is Joy Reid. Thanks for being here tonight.

Joy, 1.7 million Americans cut off from unemployment benefits, a lot of
them live in states represented by these GOP senators. I mean, how could
they block this bill?

JOY REID, MANAGING EDITOR, THE GRIO/MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: You know, it is
really one of the things that sort of confounding from a political
standpoint, because it`s essentially arguing that the cutoff should come to
people by the definition of getting unemployment benefits, you have to be
looking for work you. Have you to check in with your state agency to
affirm that you are looking for work. And the second thing is, you can`t
get unemployment benefits if you, a, had a job, right?

SHARPTON: Right.

REID: And you can`t get unemployment benefits by quitting your job. You
can`t proactively walk away from a job.

SHARPTON: And get paid vacation.

REID: Exactly. You have to have lost your job through no fault of your
own you. You had to have been laid off or let go through no fault or
action of your own. You also can`t have been fired for cause and qualify
for unemployment benefits. So, these are people who literally have done
nothing wrong.

SHARPTON: And paid into unemployment. Some of this is their money.

REID: Some of this is their money. Because when they had that job,
exactly, they paid into the system. So you`re essentially saying that
these people -- you have to argue they have done nothing wrong and did
everything right. They paid into the system and now they are being told
sorry, you have been cut off and you`re lazy and you`re immoral. It`s
really cruel, but it also makes no sense because these people, also a lot
of them, were their own constituents, people who were voters, people who
had homes, people who were homeowners.

SHARPTON: But you know, what else is very striking to me? This used to
not be a partisan issue. For example, under President Bush, unemployment
benefits were extended five times. I mean, so, why has this changed, Joy?
Why all of the sudden is it a partisan thing when it was done five times
under the last president who was a Republican?

REID: Yes, because of Obama, right? Everything changes when Barack Obama
comes into the picture. Suddenly even long-held ideologies on the right
fall away and people reverse all of their positions. And you to also
question, you played one clip of Republican members saying we should be
about the business of creating jobs. But the problem is that the party
hasn`t come forward with a single policy that would create jobs and provide
employment for these people. So they`re saying, a, we`re not going help
you in terms of unemployment benefits, but b, we`re not going to pass a
single bill that would help you get a job.

SHARPTON: Joy Reid, thank you so much for being here with us tonight. And
we`re all excited about your new show. I understand you`ve got some big
news tonight, big news.

REID: Big unsurprising news. So we actually went out to the twitter
family and asked what do you think the name of the show should be? We`ve
been doing a lot of thinking what the name should be. And we decided to be
completely un-ironic and called it "the Reid Report." So that`s will be
the name of the show.

SHARPTON: The Reid Report.

REID: The Reid who has the name of the Twitter and a lot of people thought
it should be. So, we decide to go with it. "The Reid Report" will be the
name of the show.

SHARPTON: That`s right, "the Reid Report" premiers February 24th, a week
from Monday at 2:00 p.m. eastern right here on MSNBC. Joy, we can`t wait.

REID: Thanks, Rev. Appreciate it.

SHARPTON: All right.

Democrats are also fighting to raise the minimum wage because people who
are working full-time shouldn`t live in poverty. President Obama made that
case in the state of the union.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This will help families. It
will get businesses customers with more money to spend. It does not
involve any new bureaucratic program. So join the rest of the country.
Say yes. Give America a raise. Give them a raise.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And on the state level, the fight is heating up. Legislation to
raise minimum wage is in the works in 20 states. And in Connecticut, the
governor is pushing to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017,
which would be the highest in the nation.

Joining me now is that governor, Dan Malloy of Connecticut.

Governor, thanks for being with us.

GOV. DANIEL MALLOY (D), CONNECTICUT: Hey, Rev, it`s great to be with you.
And this is an important issue. The reality is in Connecticut we raise the
minimum wage 45 cents on January 1st. For a lot of people, that was the
first raise they had had in years. There is a reality we need to take
steps further. Well need to get to $10.10. We need to do it in a
reasonable amount of time. We are committed to doing that.

Listen, I want to lift people out of poverty. I mean, the idea that you
could work 40 hours a week and still only walk away with $404 doesn`t make
a whole lot of sense when we have baby-sitters and day laborers making that
amount of money already.

SHARPTON: Now, why is raising the minimum wage both in your state of
Connecticut, Governor, and nationwide, why does it make good economic sense
for the country?

MALLOY: Well, first of all, it`s good for families. I mean, listen, we
want to be good to families. We want families to work. We want them to
have decent housing. And we want them to have well educated kids. And how
do you do that on something less than $10.10 an hour? So that`s number
one.

Number two, we know that raising the funds that these folks have available,
it`s going to go right back into the economy. These are not folks who are
putting a lot of money away in stocks and bonds. They`re going to go out
and spend it at the grocery store. They`re going buy books for their kids.
They`re going to take care of a sick relative. This is money that goes
right back into our economy, but also lifts a family out of poverty.

If we do this in Connecticut, if we win this fight, we will take thousands,
tens of thousands of people from a wage that is currently less than the
poverty rate in the United States to something that is over the poverty
rate in the United States. This is what we should be doing as a nation.
No one should be working that many hours and still walk away with $404?

SHARPTON: Now, you know, governor, plenty of Republicans aren`t just
against raising the minimum wage, they don`t want it to exist at all.
Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you advocate getting rid of the minimum wage? Would
that create more jobs?

RON PAUL (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Absolutely. And it would
help the poor.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think for abolishing the minimum wage?

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Well, I think that we need to look
at all of the factors that go into job creation. And I think that`s
something that obviously Congress would have to take a look at.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I want people to make as much as they can.
I don`t think the minimum wage law works.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: So you do not believe in the concept of
the minimum wage?

SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R), TENNESSEE: That`s correct.

SANDERS: You would abolish the minimum wage?

ALEXANDER: Correct.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, how do you count they`re kind of talk, governor?

MALLOY: Well, let`s be honest, some of these people are not wrapped too
tight. The reality is, you know, we could repeal child labor laws. Would
that be good for employment as well? And by the way, we have at least one
governor, Republican governor of the United States who has advocated that
position. That`s almost sick.

The reality is if you really stand for American families, if you really
care about a burgeoning middle class, you would do things in Washington to
grow the economy. The Republicans have refused to do that. They have
refused to support employment. They have refused to fund public works
projects to build the kind of infrastructure that they rave about when they
travel to China or Europe and say how great the railroads are and how great
the roads are and how great the airports are, but they won`t fund those
projects in our country, which would put people back to work.

So, listen, we all have to do what we can in this world. We`re only on the
world for a limited amount of time. We have decided in Connecticut, and
have I asked the people of Connecticut to move with me, to make sure that
their neighbors, or the people that are caring for their parents or
grandparents, or the people that are serving them at a restaurant have a
decent wage, that they can raise their own families on.

As I said in my speech today, the state of the state address to the
legislature, which one of you would work for $404 a week and try to raise a
family?

SHARPTON: Governor Dan Malloy, I`m going to have to leave it there. And
that`s a great, great, great state of Connecticut speech today you gave.
Thank you for your time tonight.

MALLOY: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, the justice files are back. The case of the
affluenza teenager, too rich for jail.

Plus, the promoter of the George Zimmerman celebrity boxing match responds
to the outrage. And there is now a petition to put a stop to it.

And we have a response from that Republican congressman who refused to
condemn a voter who said this about the president --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obama, he`s not president as far as I`m concerned.
He should be executed as an enemy combatant, really.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We`ll tell you what he did and didn`t tell us about that moment.
Big show tonight. Stay tuned.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Up next, the GOP drops the ball on immigration reform. So who
is Speaker Boehner trying to pin the blame on? Who do you think? That`s
next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Today, a huge development and another unfortunate chapter in the
Republican blame game. After losing Hispanic votes by 44 percent in the
2012 election, Republicans said they finally supported immigration reform.
For months house Republicans have sworn up and down that they`re committed
to passing reform. Today, speaker John Boehner said forget all that talk.
Immigration reform isn`t happening, it`s dead. And guess who he blamed.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: He is feeding more
distrust about whether he is committed to the rule of law. Listen. There
is widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to
enforce our laws. And it`s going to be difficult to move any immigration
legislation until that changes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: There is doubt about whether the Obama administration will
enforce our laws? That`s why they`re killing immigration reform? Welcome
to the latest GOP talking point on immigration.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: The president`s got to
demonstrate, frankly, the country and the Congress can trust him in
implementing laws. Look what he has done with Obamacare. He has
selectively enforced that law.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Here is the issue
that all Republicans agree on. We don`t trust the president to enforce the
law.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: There are 11 million undocumented people in this country. The
Senate has already passed a reform bill. The president has called for
action. Republicans said they wanted to do something. Today they showed
they would rather insult the president.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, Democrat from California.
Thanks for being here.

REP. LINDA SANCHEZ (D), CALIFORNIA: Thanks for having me on your show.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, how can Republicans blame the president for their
own failure to get anything done on this issue?

SANCHEZ: Well, it`s a sad but frequent tactic that they use. They are in
disarray, and can`t exhibit leadership on an issue. And so, they turn
around and they blame the president. And it`s their own internal
shortcomings, because a majority of the American people support
comprehensive immigration reform, a majority of the members of Congress do.
And all we`re asking the speaker for is the opportunity to have a vote and
a debate, and he won`t give us even that.

SHARPTON: Now, there are millions of people who need this. I mean
families, children. We`re talking about something that is vital to people,
millions of people.

SANCHEZ: It tears at the very fabric of America because it tears families
apart. Many families have mixed status. And, you know, with deportations
as the families just come apart at the seams. There are many benefits that
immigrants give to this country. One of them is an economic infusion into
this country. In fact, it`s estimated that if we could pass comprehensive
immigration reform, it would inject $1.4 trillion into our economy over the
next 20 years, and reduce our deficit by about $850 billion. So there are
economic reasons.

There are other reasons as well. These people contribute to their
communities. They, you know, coach little league. They, you know, are
involved in their churches and, you know, they give back. And yet all of
the hard work that they do and all that they contribute to this country
falls on deaf ears. And I quite frankly find it no excuse for the speaker
not either having the leadership capability or the intestinal fortitude to
bring a vote to the floor, you know. I can`t find a reason why he would do
that on such a morally imperative issue.

SHARPTON: Well, let me, since you brought the speaker up, let me show you
my confusion on the speaker and theory on what may be going on with the
speaker. A week ago today, a week ago today, Speaker Boehner said it`s
time to deal with immigration. That it should not be a political football.
This is Boehner a week ago today. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: The day after the 2012 election, I said it was time for the
Congress and the president to deal with this very important issue. It`s
been turned into a political football. I think it`s unfair. So I think
it`s time to deal with it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, almost immediately, congresswoman, partiers from the tea
party, tea partiers warned Boehner to back away from reform. Here is just
one example from "Roll Call" magazine. Quote, "I think it should cost him
his speakership, Representative Raul Labrador of Idaho said, if Boehner
puts an immigration overall on the floor."

This was a direct threat from one of the tea partiers that it should cost
him his speakership. So we go from a week ago where he says that it
shouldn`t be a political football to today, oh, we can`t do anything
because we don`t trust the president will enforce the law. Do you think
maybe this is again Boehner blinking when the tea party raises their voice?

SANCHEZ: Well, certainly. And what he has to remember, and what the tea
party needs to remember is that they`ll ultimately pay at the ballot box,
because, you know, they`re trying to broaden their base, and yet they`re
not establishing trust within the Hispanic community and other immigrant
groups who, you know, not all are eligible to vote. But they have family
members that are eligible to vote. And I hope they pay for it at the
ballot box. I hope they see the overwhelming consensus in this country is
to pass immigration reform.

And, you know, they want to blame the president, but the blame lay squarely
within their caucus. And I just think it is criminal given that a majority
of members of this Congress support comprehensive immigration reform and
would pass a bill if we could get to it the floor. But the speaker seems
completely preoccupied with the tea party element of his caucus. What he
has to remember, he is the speaker of the House of Representatives, not
just the speaker of the Republican caucus and I think he forgets that.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, thank you so much for your time
tonight.

SANCHEZ: Thank you again for having me.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, the GOP lawmaker who refused to challenge a voter
who talked about executing president Obama. We have his response tonight
and you can judge it for yourself.

Also, too rich for jail, the so-called affluenza teenager sentenced to
rehab instead of jail. That`s in our justice file.

And your reaction to George Zimmerman`s so-called celebrity boxing match,
the criticism continues to grow. That`s coming up. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s time to stub out another way out there theory from the far
right wing. We tell you yesterday about the bold decision from CVS
pharmacy to stop selling cigarettes. It was a welcome move. But as the
folks at media matters point out and FOX News, it was just a prescription
to question the legality of the decision, and of course blame President
Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just wonder, is this President Obama now saying
that corporations are allowed to have values and express them?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is it OK legally, since you`re a lawyer, to restrict
tobacco availability in a private store like that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You want to pick up a pack of cigarettes with your
prescription? Don`t go to CVS, because the nation`s second largest drug
store chain is quit tobacco cold turkey soon. Did the Obama administration
play a role in that decision?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Behind all those right wing smoke and mirrors, it always comes
back to the Obama administration. Sure, the president, a former smoker
himself applauded the decision. So did many Americans, including me. I
think some of those folks at FOX News could use a nice dose of reality.
Maybe they can pick one up at CVS. Nice try, but we got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s been 48 hours since we first show you`d the video of a town
hall meeting with GOP congressman Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma. At the
event, one of the attendees had this to say about the president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Obama, he is not president, as far as I`m concerned.
He should be executed as an enemy combatant, really.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He should be executed. At the time the congressman said nothing
to condemn those ugly words. But now, after we contacted his office, the
congressman`s communications director has offered a response. It says,
quote, "A public figure cannot control what people say in open meetings. I
obviously did not condone and I do not approve of grossly inappropriate
language. It is outrageous that irresponsible parties would attribute
another person`s reckless remarks to me."

Yes, we agree that it is grossly inappropriate language, and I applaud the
congressman for saying so. Even if it took a while. But let`s be clear
about something else. No one attributed the remarks themselves to
Congressman Bridenstine, not once. And on the other point, how it is
obvious that he did not condone these remarks? After hearing the voter say
that, quote, "the President should be executed as an enemy combatant."
Take a listen to how he responded.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JIM BRIDENSTINE (R), OKLAHOMA: Look, everybody knows the lawlessness
of this president. He picks and chooses which laws he is going to enforce
or not enforce.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s his response? And from that it is certainly not obvious
that the congressman didn`t approve of the offensive language that preceded
it. But here is what is obvious. Congressman Bridenstine thought
declaring the President lawless was more important than challenging the
vile language. It`s also obvious that he found this other comment
hilarious.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Overwhelmingly change the Senate.

BRIDENSTINE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: So that we then can impeach the sob.

(LAUGHTER)

BRIDENSTINE: You know, you look so sweet.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Congressman, you heard the president called an sob, and you
cracked a joke. So, no, it is not at all obvious that you didn`t condone
this language. What is obvious is that thanks to this tape, you got
caught. And now we all, we all know about it.

Joining me now are Richard Wolffe and Krystal Ball. Thank you both for
coming on the show tonight.

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC CO-HOST, "THE CYCLE": Thanks for having us, Rev.

SHARPTON: Krystal, why would Congressman Bridenstine say he disapproves of
the talk in a statement to me, but not when the voter said it to his face?

BALL: I think you`d have to say that he is a coward. And if you listen to
the response in that room of calling the president an sob who should be
impeached, it was all cheers, it was all laughter. I mean, this is what
he, the congressman, and his colleagues in the House and Senate and his
friends on talk radio, this is what they have stoked and encouraged in the
base. And his silence to those voters says it all. They hear his silence,
they hear him in saying, well, we can all agree that the president is
lawless. And they think that their views are acceptable. They think that
he believes his views, and they feel totally entitled to continue saying
things exactly like that.

SHARPTON: I think what is concerning, Richard, is we`re talking about
elected congressmen.

BALL: Right.

SHARPTON: I mean, I`ve had in my own career to get to the point where you
would have to say no, I`m going to condemn it on the spot, even the callers
on radio shows. These are members of Congress that vote on laws that are
talking to their constituents where constituent can say we should execute
the president as an enemy combatant, and you just go on and talk about how
lawless he is and never respond?

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC.COM EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Right. The elected officials
are supposed to be leaders, they`re not followers. And all too often,
Republican officials in this Tea Party era have been led by this kind of
mob thinking. They really need to draw a line and say, look, I don`t agree
with you. It`s not appropriate language, but I believe he has been
lawless, or whatever he wants to do. You know, saying that it`s an obvious
thing what his opinions are is clearly not obvious to anyone in that room
that he objected to that. And that puts him at some vulnerability, right?
I`m sure, honestly, that the guy didn`t really agree. But he didn`t have
the courage to say this is not the kind of elected official I am. And we
need to take this conversation in another direction. That`s leadership.

SHARPTON: You know, Krystal, you talked about the impeachment statement
the other citizen had raised. And you know, we first heard the impeachment
talk March of 2009.

BALL: Right.

SHARPTON: You know, that was just seven weeks after he was inaugurated.
Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We`re very upset. We want this guy out. We want him
impeached, whatever.

MICHAEL SAVAGE, TALK SHOW HOST: What I don`t like is that this guy is
doing this by executive order one after another, and the American people
are sitting like a bunch of schmucks, watching a dictatorship emerge in
front of their eyes.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: That`s right. And you know, what --

SAVAGE: And I think it is time to start talking about impeachment.
Somebody has to get this guy under control, he`s out of control.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, the calls didn`t stop there. By July 2010, Representative
Bachmann asks if Obama had committed an impeachable offense and now at
least 15 sitting members of Congress have talked impeachment. So, this
impeachment thing has been going on almost since the beginning of his
presidency, the first term.

BALL: That`s right. And we just had -- you reported on this show about
the candidates for Senate in Georgia on the Republican side, three of whom
raised their hand and said yes, this president should be impeached. And
that`s what they`ve done from the beginning. They have attacked this
president as illegitimate, not even deserving of the office, not even
entitled to hold the office that he was elected to. So when you have your
elected representatives using that kind of a language, implying and
sometimes directly stating that he should be impeached, of course your
citizens are going to take to it that level.

They`re going think that that`s an acceptable place to go, and they`re
going to follow that even further, like this woman did, saying he should be
an enemy combatant, he should be executed. They handed the keys of their
party over to the fringe and the extremists, and now they`re too afraid to
take control back of their own party.

SHARPTON: And this kind of venom, I mean, you covered it, Richard. You
wrote one of the best books on the `08 campaign. And you saw this kind of
venom and hate.

WOLFFE: Sure.

SHARPTON: And it is being either stoked or excused with silence.

BALL: Right.

SHARPTON: But it is not being told that`s unacceptable. Let`s draw the
line.

WOLFFE: I still believe that there are credible, responsible people in the
Republican Party. What are they going to impeach him for? What is the
case here? Executive orders? That`s the case for impeachment? I mean,
for all of the heat and the passion, all of the vilification of President
Bush because of the war, because of the war that hundreds of thousands of
people dead based on cooked up intelligence, there wasn`t a discussion in
democratic ranks about impeachment.

SHARPTON: Right.

BALL: Let alone about his birth certificate.

WOLFFE: Yes, the Republicans have to get themselves back into the
mainstream. The responsible rational members of that party, the leaders of
that party have to say no more of this stuff. You`re hurting us being a
mainstream party.

SHARPTON: I`m glad you said it that way, because here is the problem,
there has been a huge spike,
Krystal, in a number of articles mentioning impeachment of the president.
Look at this line graph.

WOLFFE: Wow.

SHARPTON: It`s gone from under 100 a year to over a thousand. Now,
doesn`t this track how a fringe idea explodes and becomes more and more
mainstream? As Richard challenges them to get into the mainstream, they
are mainstreaming this fringe kind of suggestion.

BALL: That`s right. And it shows you how much the Tea Party is still in
control of that party. And every time they come up with one of these wild
conspiracy theories, it starts off on the blogs. It moves to talk radio.
And then before you know it, the elected officials, the people who are
supposed to be the leaders are parroting the same talking points that you
hear on talk radio.

SHARPTON: All right. Richard Wolffe and Krystal Ball, thank you both for
your time this evening.

BALL: Thanks for having us, Rev.

SHARPTON: And be sure to catch Krystal on "THE CYCLE" weekdays at 3:00
p.m. right here on MSNBC.

Still ahead, George Zimmerman`s promoter is speaking out as the outrage
over his celebrity boxing match continues to grow.

And justice files. How long will the influenza teen too rich for jail
actually have to stay in rehab?

And dramatic testimony in the murder trial of a man who killed a teenager
after a fight about loud music. Jurors source of violence video where you
can actually hear the gunshots.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(Gunshots)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Oh, my gosh, member is shooting. Somebody is shooting
out of their car.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s time for the POLITICS NATION justice files. Joining me now
is former prosecutor Faith Jenkins and Lisa Bloom, legal analyst for
Arvu.com, and author of "Suspicion Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon
Martin Injustice and Why we Continue to Repeat it." First up, opening
statements in the murder trial of Michael Dunn. He is the man who opened
fire on an SUV full of teenagers after an argument about loud music. One
of those teens, Jordan Davis, was killed. Dunn claims it was self-defense.
But today the prosecutor said it was murder.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN GUY, ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY: When that defendant opened fire,
Jordan Davis was sitting in his car seat with the door closed. With
nothing in his hands, and he was leaning over, away from the gunfire toward
Leland Bronson. Secondly, the words from that defendant`s own mouth at the
time of the shooting. Words of hate, words of intent, words that he can`t
now take back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Of course, the defense had a different version of events.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CORY STROLLA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: His words to Michael Dunn were I`m going
to (bleep) kill you. I should kill you right now. See, that`s what Mr.
Guy didn`t tell you the facts are going to come out prior to any gunshots
being fired. All because Michael Dunn asked for a common courtesy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Later the prosecution plays surveillance video where you can
hear the gunshots.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(Gunshots)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Oh, my gosh, somebody is shooting. Somebody is
shooting out of their car.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And the first witness called today offered some emotional
testimony about the aftermath of the shooting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREW WILLIAMS, WITNESS: I checked for a pulse. I didn`t feel one.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Did you ever see any signs of life in the young man
you had pulled out of that red car?

WILLIAMS: No, ma`am.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Did you ever hear him utter anything?

WILLIAMS: No, ma`am.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Could you tell whether or not he was even breathing
when you and the officer pulled him out of the car?

WILLIAMS: He had no pulse and he was not -- it did not look like he was
breathing.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Did you see any tears on any of those young men?

WILLIAMS: Yes, ma`am.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: On how many of them?

WILLIAMS: On all of them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Some powerful testimony. So Faith, it`s murder or self-defense.
What is the key for both sides in this trial?

FAITH JENKINS, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, after hearing the opening
statements of both sides today, you see exactly what they`re focused on.
The prosecutors already know that Dunn is going to put forward a self-
defense case. So they`re look at all the facts that undercut self-defense,
everything that happened that night that undercuts it. His comments before
he ever pulled out the gun about the kids listening to thug music, the fact
that there was no confrontation, no physical confrontation. Even George
Zimmerman needed a Band-Aid. At least, this guy -- there was no touching
whatsoever between these parties. And the fact that after he shot those
between eight and ten shots, look at what he did. He ran away. Innocent
people don`t run. And he is going to have to explain that in the trial.
And the defense, on the other hand, of course they`re going to focus on
Jordan Davis` behavior and the threats that they said he made and that
shotgun that Dunn said he saw.

SHARPTON: Well, but let me go to you on this. How did they get by? How
do they get by, Lisa, the erratic gunfire. One of the things that struck
me when you hear in the surveillance tape is there were shots and pauses
and shots. If you`re shooting in self-defense because your life was
threatened, why do you shoot and stop, wait a while and then start shooting
again?

LISA BLOOM, CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY: It`s such an excellent point, Reverend
Al. And we know in the law that premeditation can be formed in an instant.
In the moment it takes to reach over into your car and get that gun, you
can form premeditation. If he can go in his car and get the gun, why
couldn`t he go in his car and drive away from any perceived threat? I
mean, I think that`s a very important issue that needs to be explained to
this jury.

SHARPTON: Now, we obviously have whatever early views on this, Faith. But
we are dealing with the same prosecutor that lost the Trayvon Martin case.
Does that concern you?

JENKINS: It concerns me because some of the -- we didn`t see the voir dire
that took place, the jury selection process that took place. And I`m sure
that the jurors were asked about their exposure to these prosecutors and if
they watched any part of that trial. And if watching a part of that trial
would have any impact on this case. They also this time asked the jurors
about if the race of Jordan Davis would have any impact on them
deliberating the case, and they all say, no.

SHARPTON: Lisa, let you weigh in on this.

BLOOM: Well, you know, I just wrote a book that you mention at the
beginning of the section about what a terrible job the prosecution did in
the Trayvon Martin case. It was a winnable case. They had important
evidence right under their noses that they missed, they bungled, they
failed to argue, they failed to handle the racial aspect of the case at
all. And now we have the same prosecutors in a very similar case involving
an unarmed African-American 17-year-old boy and a white shooter who says he
was afraid.

So I certainly hope that they have learned from their mistakes, but I don`t
see any reason to believe that and I don`t understand why the state of
Florida would have given these two prosecutors who were a key part of the
team in the Trayvon Martin case, this case. I mean, I would like to hear
an explanation for that.

SHARPTON: Well, and we are going to read your book and find out why we all
may want to hear an explanation for that.

Next up, a judge sends the so-called affluenza teenager to rehab after
killing four people during a drunk driving accident. The case sparked
outrage when a defense witness claimed Ethan suffered from affluenza caused
by his wealthy parents coddling him into a sense of irresponsibility. And
last night, lawyers from both sides continued to spar over the term.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REGAN WYNN, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: It was ridiculous to think that we walked
into court and said oh, this is a rich white kid and she decided to
probate.

RICHARD ALPERT, PROSECUTOR: Really? Well, that`s ironic, because it`s his
expert that brought that before the courtroom.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So Lisa, there is no minimum time for how long he`ll have to be
in rehab. What is your reaction?

BLOOM: Well, this is clearly another sad example in our criminal justice
system where people are supposed to be treated equally. The wealthy white
defendant getting the kind of sentence that no African-American or poor
defendant would get. He killed four people. He is getting no jail time,
zero. He is getting only rehab, to be paid for by his parents. And
whether this is due to the silly affluenza defense or whether it`s just
part of the racial bias that we see every day in American courtrooms across
the country, I mean, this is clearly differential treatment. And I`m glad
that we`re at least highlighting it and talking about it and putting a
spotlight on it because it`s completely outrageous.

SHARPTON: And we don`t know, Faith, how long he is going to have to stay
in rehab, there is no minimum time. And last night when we covered it, the
judge had not given a ruling. A lot of people were tweeting me saying oh,
she is going to correct herself.

JENKINS: No.

SHARPTON: She didn`t.

JENKINS: No, she didn`t. When you`re a judge, you have to exercise good
judgment. Part of that good judgment is using your discretion, not just
looking at the defendant and who they are, but looking at the victims and
the people who were impacted, the people who were killed, the two other
individuals whose lives are forever changed because they were so seriously
injured. And juvenile justice, yes, it`s about rehabilitation, but it`s
also about deterring and punishing people. And this young man gets off
scot-free in this case.

SHARPTON: And you not only have, Lisa, four people that lost their lives,
you have two that were injured. One can barely talk. And it`s like their
lives mean nothing. We`re talking about the value of this young rich kid
seems to be more important than the value of four lost lives and two lives
that are permanently injured.

BLOOM: That`s right.

SHARPTON: Because he decided to drink too much and drive, something he had
been warned about before.

BLOOM: Well, that`s absolutely right. And, look, he is a juvenile. I
wouldn`t say he should be locked up for the rest of his life. But I`m just
saying treat everyone equally. And he is clearly getting preferential
treatment. You know, the problem is that people like this judge don`t
think there is any racial bias inherent in their decisions, but there is.
If you line them up, one to the other, and I talk about this again in my
book, there is no question that African-Americans get arrested, charged,
convicted, and much longer sentences for the same crimes as young white
people do like this young man and there is no question about it. When you
line up the sentences side by side. That`s the bigger issue in the case.
That`s much bigger than this one young man who we hope will get
rehabilitated and will go on to lead a productive life eventually.

SHARPTON: All right. That`s Lisa Bloom, the same Lisa Bloom that is in
her book. All of us have to help each other out. Faith Jenkins, thank you
both for your time tonight.

JENKINS: Thank you.

BLOOM: Still ahead, what the promoter is saying about George Zimmerman`s
so-called celebrity boxing match.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`ve seen a big response to the news about George Zimmerman and
his so-called celebrity boxing match against rapper DMX. There is now a
petition opposing the fight at WhiteHouse.Gov. Also today, the promoter
apologized for announcing the fight on the eve of what would have been
Trayvon Martin`s 19th birthday. Here on POLITICS NATION, the response from
our viewers have been overwhelming.

Derrick said, quote, "To even consider Zimmerman a celebrity is totally
disrespectful to Trayvon Martin." And David said, "I don`t care who he
fights. I know that I will not be watching it because the more ratings
they get, the bigger George Zimmerman`s paycheck is going to be." As I
said last night, George Zimmerman has the right to what he wants, just as
we all have a right not to watch him do it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: One of President Obama`s harshest critics is Congressman Louie
Gohmert, a Texas Republican who said some downright ugly stuff over the
last five years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This president, a proclaimed Christian, yet at the same
time his administration really has gone to war with Christianity.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This president, this administration has done more to
stir up racial tension and violence than any administration since the `60s.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This guy does not respect the constitution. He does not
abide by the constitution. And we`ve seen it repeatedly.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Pause. How would you feel if that kind of thing was said about
you? How would you respond? Well, today President Obama showed how he
responds. And look at that. He did it when he stood on the same stage
with Gohmert at the National Prayer Breakfast this morning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I, by the way, have always found
Louie to be unbelievably gracious every time I`ve seen him. Now, I don`t
watch TV. So --

(LAUGHTER)

But he is a good man and a great storyteller.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The president met that history of attacks with kind words and
some humor. And he went on to talk about what unites us all.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: So here we put aside labels of party and ideology and recall what
we are first, all children of a loving God, brothers and sisters called to
make his work our own. But in this work as Lincoln said, our concern
should not be whether God is on our side but whether we are on God`s side.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I found in my own growth and maturity that it is much more hard.
It`s much more difficult to not respond to ugliness in kind and to not
react when you`ve been viciously attacked, verbally or otherwise. But in
the end, I`ve also found that the adage is true when it says I am not what
you call me. I am what I respond to. Sometimes the response is a louder
statement.

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

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