Skip navigation

PoliticsNation, Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Read the transcript from the Wednesday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed

POLITICS NATION
February 12, 2014

Guest: Angela Rye, Jared Bernstein, Karen Finney, Joe Madison


REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you
for tuning in. I`m live tonight from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Tonight`s lead, the jury has the case. Right now, 12 jurors in the loud
music murder trial are shut away in the jury room deliberating the fate of
47-year-old Michael Dunn charged with first degree murder. Seven months
after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the killing of unarmed Trayvon
Martin, the Dunn trial has re-ignited the debate over Florida`s
controversial stand your ground law.

This case began at this Jacksonville, Florida gas station in a night in
November 2012. Michael Dunn got into an argument over loud music with four
teenagers sitting inside a parked SUV. Dunn fired ten shots at the
vehicle. 17-year-old Jordan Davis was killed. Dunn says the killing was
in self-defense and that the teen threatened him with a gun.

This case centers on one question, will the jury believe Mr. Dunn was
really in fear? Today during the closing arguments the state repeatedly
focus on the fact that no gun was ever found.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIN WOLFSON, PROSECUTOR: On November 23, 2012 when this defendant shot
and killed Jordan Davis, there was no gun in that Durango. There was no
stick. There was no bat. There was no lead pipe. There was no gun. He
makes no mention of the firearm. There were no shots every fired at this
defendant. I think he said, well, there was one gun for them so he was
shooting at all of them. But as I stated earlier, there was no gun in that
Durango. It didn`t happen. There was no gun.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But the defense blamed the police for not finding the gun.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CORY STROLLA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Did the detectives close the plaza down?
No. Did they secure the scene? They secure the truck. Why didn`t you
bring canine and look the gun. They haven`t call article searchers where
canines are trained to find weapons. Why didn`t they search the plaza
where the SUV was? Never asked about the plaza, never asked about
underneath the cars in the plaza, never checked the Bushes, never checked
the dumpsters. But you know what the detective alleges that they did it?
Five days later.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: At the heart of the case is the stand your ground law that says
you can use deadly force if you feel threatened. The defense pointed out
it is the state`s responsibility to show Mr. Dunn was not in fear of his
life. The state has to prove it wasn`t self-defense.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STROLLA: A danger facing Michael Dunn need not have been actual, that the
appearance of danger must have been so real that a person under the same
circumstances would have believed that the danger could be avoided only
through the use of the force that he used.

Michael Dunn must actually believe that the danger was real. That`s the
standard. That`s our law. And whether you like the law or don`t like the
law, you have to use the law. And that blanket, that flag wraps around
this man until the state can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was
not self-defense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But with Jordan Davis`s parents sitting in the courtroom
prosecutors urged the jury one last time not to forget the victim in this
case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLFSON: He was shot when Leland Bronson was frantically pulling his best
friend away from this defendant, away from the gun that ultimately killed
him.

JOHN GUY, PROSECUTOR: Jordan Davis, Jordan Russell Davis, 17 forever as
they had done so many times the two young men were side by side. And
because of that defendant it was for the very last time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The jury was left with that final point, a jury in a court of
law is now deciding whether Michael Dunn should be held criminally
responsible for that death. If convicted Dunn could face life in prison.

Back with us tonight is former prosecutor Faith Jenkins and Florida
criminal defense lawyer, Ken Padowitz.

Ken, let me start with you. last night, you thought Michael Dunn was in
trouble. At the closing arguments today what do you think?

KEN PADOWITZ, FORMER PROSECUTOR: I think he still has a big problem. He
is in big trouble. And the reason is that it is kind of like a key. This
jury has the key to unlock the truth here. And the unlocking comes from
the mind of Mr. Dunn. When he gets into that car after firing ten shots
and he drives away and he says nothing to his fiancee. He says nothing
about a gun or seeing a gun or seeing a weapon.

And that right there, I believe, is the key for this jury to unlock what
was in the mind of Mr. Dunn and to show that he really wasn`t reasonably in
fear and not in fear and therefore he is guilty to one of the murder
charges, first degree murder or the lesser included crimes of second degree
murder or manslaughter.

SHARPTON: Faith, you hear in the summations or final arguments by the
defense, they played very heavily to the jury on the elements of the stand
your ground law and that he could act with deadly force if he had
reasonable fear. He absolutely said there was a gun but there has never
been a gun found. There has never been anyone to corroborate a gun outside
of Dunn himself and as just stated, his girlfriend said he never mentioned
a gun who road with him from the scene.

Is this enough in stand your ground for him to say this without
corroborating evidence at all that he had reason to be in this kind of
fear. Is it enough to just say I had that kind of fear?

FAITH JENKINS, FORMER CRIMINAL PROSECUTOR: Well, it is enough. He can say
and argue that he was in fear but the second step is it has to be
reasonable. The problem I think here is Strolla, his defense attorney, he
was really backed into a corner because Dunn got on the witness stand and
said adamantly, there was a gun. Not I think I saw a gun or I saw
something that looked like a gun. He said there was a gun. So, when
Strolla gave his closing arguments today, he had to go with that despite no
corroborating evidence, despite his fiancee being the best witness for the
state to say there was no gun because Dunn, surely as a reasonable person,
would have told his fiancee that there was a gun.

And then I think the state really step up to the play and hammered down why
this is pre-meditated first degree murder. Dunn didn`t say before he fired
those thing around don`t shoot. Don`t kill me. He said how dare you talk
to me like that. And then all the steps that he took, ten steps to get the
gun, unlock the glove compartment, un-holster it, fire it, aim it and how
direct and accurate he was at aiming at those kids bodies. He didn`t shoot
at the tires. He didn`t shoot up in the air. He shot directly where the
kids were sitting. They made a compelling case today for pre-meditated
first degree murder.

SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you this, Ken. The heart of this case is the
stand on your ground law. And during closing arguments, Dunn`s defense
attorney made that clear. He doubled down on him. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GUY: Michael Dunn was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked
in a place where he had the right to be, a public parking lot, asking for a
common courtesy, saying thank you, trying to tell the guy I said thank you.
He had no duty to intrigue and had the right to stand his ground and force
with force including deadly force.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That is a high standard, Ken, for them to prove.

PADOWITZ: Absolutely. And you know, when you don`t have the facts on your
side you have to go to the law. And this defense attorney did a very good
job, I believe, in representing his client. He focused on where they
through were inconsistencies in witnesses` testimonies which happens in
every case. You are going to have minor inconsistencies. He also focused
on the fact that there may have been a gun and that gun was, you know,
potentially discarded during the few minutes when the vehicle was away from
the scene of the shooting.

But the reality is the defense attorney has to go back to the stand your
ground law and hopefully argue to the jury that his client was merely
defending himself and standing the ground. The problem, again, when the
jury takes a look at the facts it is reasonable to expect everyone would
expect that he would say to his fiancee as he drove away after firing his
gun ten times and not calling 911 it would be reasonable to say to his
fianc‚e I saw a gun and that is why I fired. And he didn`t say that. So
the defense attorney can argue all he wants stand your ground. But if the
jury looks at the evidence common sense dictates there should be a
conviction in this trial.

SHARPTON: Now Faith, you could also call this the three-minute defense
case because a key argument from the defense was that the teen stashed a
gun somewhere when the SUV briefly left the gas station parking lot
immediately after the shooting. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STROLLA: That truck was gone for three minutes. There was no weapons
found in that truck in that three minutes. Where was that truck? It left
the scene. Did the three gentlemen in the cartel the police where they
stopped? Nope. Did they tell the police they got out of the car and
started getting stuff out of the back or staging stuff as was put on 911
that night? No.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Is it reasonable for the jury to say, well, there is some
reasonable doubt about the raising of the three minutes, Faith?

JENKINS: Well, they wanted to focus on the police investigation and how
poor it was because they didn`t accurately investigate the scene that
night. Well, the reason why is because Dunn fled the scene and never told
them about the allegation that a gun was pointed at him until the very next
day. So the police didn`t have the opportunity or even the mindset or the
wherewithal to know there would be a gun in that location allegedly.

And then, as you can see what the prosecutors did on rebuttal they flipped
those three minutes act and they said where was Dunn in those three
minutes? He left. He went to the hotel and had a pizza and walked the dog
and a rum and coke. Those kids fled because they were being fired upon and
then they came right back to the scene because they knew that is where they
could get help.

SHARPTON: Now, when you look at the fact that, Ken, the prosecution
hammered away at the words that Michael Dunn used to describe these teens,
words like gangster and thug, watch this and tell me the significance of
the prosecutor focusing on Dunn`s use of these terms.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GUY: Gangsters, that`s a telling word or label that he used to describe
the people, gangsters. Jordan Davis, 17-year-old high school student is a
gangster now because the music was up loud. Thugs. He said in his
interview, thugs waiting for the thugs to come back. Really? You have met
them now. It`s your call. Are any of them thugs or gangster?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So tell me the significance of the prosecutor continuing to
hammer away at the use of the term thug and gangster to the jury?

PADOWITZ: Well, Reverend, it is extremely significant. It shows that what
was in the mind of the defendant. He was angry. He was upset. He decided
to come judge, jury, executioner and went for the gun and started firing,
not once, not three time, but ten times as the vehicle attempted to leave
and pull away with the teenagers inside.

So, it shows ill will, spite, evil intent which is the basis for second
degree murderer and it also could be argued in the prosecution that it
shows why there was a motive for premeditation and first degree murder.
Motive is not an element of the crime of first degree murder. But every
jury wants to know what the motive was. Every jury want to be able to
piece together the story so that they can understand when they come back
with that verdict and make sure that it speaks justice. And so, they hear
clearly the words spoken by the defendant go to motive, go to ill will.
And so, they are very significant for the prosecutor.

SHARPTON: Well, the jury is deliberating right now. And we`ll be watching
this story closely as well as watch again, Florida in the stand your ground
law and like laws that is similar to stand your ground around different
states in this country.

Ken Padowitz, Faith Jenkins, thank you both for your time tonight.

JENKINS: Thank you.

PADOWITZ: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, was there a cover up? Developing news tonight in the
Christie bridge scandal.

Plus, new Obamacare numbers just in. And it`s a serious dose of reality
for Republicans and great news for the president.

And the right wing trend of comparing President Obama`s administration to
Nazi Germany.

And more ugly talk from the Republican leader.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: But you can`t impeach the first black
president no matter how corrupt or how lawless.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Big show ahead. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The Chris Christie bridge scandal. There is new evidence
tonight that investigators are focus on whether there was a cover up.
That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Developing news in the Christie bridge scandal. MSNBC has just
obtained copies of new subpoenas served this week confirming that
investigators are focused on a potential cover up and Bill Baroni. He is
Christie`s former number two at the port authority who resigned in December
as the scandal heated up. Right after the lane closures, he sent an e-mail
to another official saying, quote, "there can be no public discourse." And
in November he gave hours of testimony about how it was just a big traffic
study.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At all times during the week of the study the port
authority police department monitored traffic on the George Washington
bridge.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But that story has fallen apart and new subpoenas confirmed
lawmakers are focused on who knew what and when about his apparently false
testimony. Specifically, lawmakers are demanding quote "earlier versions
of comments on or changes of the edits to the statements read by William E.
Baroni during his testimony on November 25th, 2013." These subpoenas
reveal that Baroni`s claims about a traffic study lie at the heart of the
investigation.

Joining me now is Jonathan Capehart. Thank you for being here, Jonathan.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, OPINION WRITER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: This lies at the heart of the investigation. What do you make
of this development that investigators are now focusing on the cover up as
a central part of their inquiry?

CAPEHART: Well, keep in mind, you know, they tried to push forth this ruse
that there was a traffic study for the longest time. Remember governor
Christie spent a lot of time trying to bluster his way through the
controversy early on by saying look, it is a traffic study. I put the
cones out there myself. But now we have found out through the first
document dump from the first set of subpoenas that this traffic study was
fake.

And there were stories a few weeks ago, the times seems to speed along as
could have been last week. But it was a few weeks ago when, you know, we
learned that another Christie ally within the port authority had prepped
Bill Baroni for several days getting him ready for that testimony that you
just showed in that previous clip of Bill Baroni, very authoritatively,
talking about a traffic study that we now know is fake.

SHARPTON: Now, Jonathan, after testifying about his, quote, "traffic
study," Baroni text David Wildstein to find out what Christie officials in
the state capitol Trenton thought. He wrote, Trenton feedback? David
Wildstein responded, good. Baroni wrote just good? Wildstein assured him
no, they were very happy.

Now, why would Trenton be so concerned about his testimony about a traffic
study?

CAPEHART: That`s a very good question. And the other question is, who is
the they? The one thing to keep in mind throughout all of this, Governor
Christie was up for reelection. So clearly folks in Trenton -- and we know
through, again, through the first subpoena of documents that the governor`s
campaign staff, key people within his reelection campaign were also looped
in on some of these e-mails. So of course, Bill Baroni is wondering what
Trenton thought. One, because it is, you know, the governor`s people what
do they think. But I`m also certain that there are folks within the
reelection effort who also probably might have weighed in.

But, you know, again, we are still talking and we are still trying to
figure out how close does all of this come directly to Governor Christie
and so far it is not there. Because even by asking what does Trenton
think, is it the chief of staff, is it the communications director? We
don`t know exactly who Trenton is in that regard from Bill Baroni.

SHARPTON: Now Baroni resigned roughly three weeks after his testimony.
Here is what Governor Christie said at that time. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Senator Baroni offered his
resignation and I accepted it. BUT This was nothing that I hadn`t planned
already. He offered his resignation now and I accepted it because I
thought it was appropriate given the distraction that is going on.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So the governor is saying that Baroni and he wanted to change
before the scandal and then the bridge scandal sort of came along like it`s
some big coincidence.

CAPEHART: Yes. And a big coincidence that also happens to be a very
convenient excuse. Look, the governor clearly at that time and clearly now
doesn`t want to make it seem like a big deal that people within the
administration are leaving. But as we saw with, you know, his reaction to
the Bridgett Kelly e-mails that with each subsequent revelation as it gets
closer and closer to him, the harder it is going to be for the governor to
continue to claim that he had no knowledge whatsoever because it puts him
in this vice that we have talked about many, many times. Either he is a
master mind and knew about the things from the very beginning or is
completely clueless and doesn`t know what his staff is doing.

SHARPTON: Well, Jonathan Capehart, I`m going to have to leave it there.
Thank you for your time tonight.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, President Obama makes a big move on the minimum wage
and demolishes the few GOP talking points along the way.

Also some Obamacare news that Republicans may not want to hear.

And Rush Limbaugh is doubling down on a nutty new conspiracy theory about
the president. You will want to hear this one.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Remember when some of the right wingers were calling Obamacare
President Obama`s Katrina, his Iraq war, one even compared Obamacare to
terrorism. Well today, we have a little dose of reality for them, facts.

Today we learned more than one million Americans signed up for private
insurance under the new health care law in January, just in January,
surpassing expectations. That`s more than 3.3 million signups since
October 1st. This news comes today as we also learned the rate of
uninsured Americans is dropping. Can you believe it? Obamacare is the law
of the land. And let me look up. The sky isn`t falling

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Right now Republicans are sitting around in Congress trying to
figure out if hard working Americans deserve a living wage. Well,
President Obama`s not waiting around. He promised 2014 would be a year of
action and he means it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: While Congress decides what it is
going to do, and I hope this year and I am going to work this year and urge
this year that they actually pass a law, today I`m going to do what I can
to help raise working Americans` wages. So, today --

(APPLAUSE)

Today I`m issuing an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay
their employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 cents an hour.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Congress should raise the minimum wage for everyone. But for
now, the president is leading by example.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Let`s not forget not only is it good for the economy, it`s the
right thing to do. There is a simple moral principle at stake. If you
take responsibility and you work as hard as these folks work, you work full
time, you shouldn`t be living in poverty, not in America. We believe that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We do believe that. Right now the annual salary for a minimum
wage worker is just over $15,000 a year. That`s not enough to raise a
family. And despite what some Republicans say, many minimum wage workers
are supporting their families and they are struggling to do it. Raising
the minimum wage isn`t just good policy, it`s good politics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: A majority of Americans not just Democrats, not just independents
but Republicans, too, support raising the minimum wage. It`s the right
thing to do.

(APPLAUSE)

Let`s give Americans a raise right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It makes no sense for any politician to be against something so
popular and the President isn`t buying anymore excuses. Joining me now are
Angela Rye and Jared Bernstein. Thank you both for being here.

JARED BERNSTEIN, CENTER ON BUDGET AND POLICY PRIORITIES: Thank you.

ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Angela, can the President basically shame Republicans into doing
the right thing?

RYE: I don`t know. These folks have no shame, Rev. I don`t know that he
can shame them into doing much. What we do know is that he can continue to
use executive action and take things into his own hands. He mentioned the
fact that it is a moral imperative to continue to address this type of
income inequality. We know that one of the very first things that he did
was sign the Lilly Ledbetter act into law. So, this is something that is a
passion for the president. And he knows that income equality issue is
major and the rich continue to get rich while the poor get poorer.

SHARPTON: You know, Jared, I took note that you and some other economists
signed a statement that answers something that has concerned a lot of
people because Republicans always give the same reason for blocking minimum
wage. They claim it would kill jobs. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: It`s bad policy and it
will hurt the very people the president purports to help.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: If we increase the minimum wage a lot of people will
lose jobs.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The latest distraction now is raising the minimum wage
to $10 hour. What`s your thought on that?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You guys want to pay $20 for a hamburger at McDonald`s?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Isn`t it reasonable that somebody working full time, 40
hours a week should be able to live above the poverty line?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes. But of course the minimum wage is mostly an entry
level wage for young people. And the last thing we want to do is fewer
jobs for younger people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, Jared, you and hundreds of others of economists signed a
statement saying that you support raising the minimum wage and it says that
it is not a job killer. Now, we can have different opinions, but we cannot
have different facts. What is the fact about whether or not the minimum
wage kills jobs?

BERNSTEIN: Well, the fact which comes from very high quality research
which has taken extremely granular close looks at the impact of hundreds of
minimum wage increases both across time and across place have found that
the benefits of the increase far outweigh any cost and a crew directly to
low wage workers to by the way contrary to what Mitch McConnell said are
not just kids with entry level jobs. The average age of someone affected
by the proposal the president has put on the table, the national proposal
is 35 years old. The typical minimum wage worker brings home half of their
family`s earnings, their families depend on their earnings.

The share of low wage workers with some college education has gone, with
some college education has gone from something like 30 percent to closer to
50 percent. So, we are no longer talking about an entry level job for
kids. And by the way, anyone who is hearing my voice just knows that this
is true just by living and shopping and going to the kinds of stores and
restaurants where people earn living wage. The problem is that the
insulated folks in this bubble called Washington, D.C. are still the beck
and call of the industries who are trying to hold down their labor costs.
This is pure politics and not economics at this point.

SHARPTON: But talking about the politics of it, Angela. It is hard to
think something more popular than raising the minimum wage, 90 percent of
Democrats support it. Seventy one percent of independents support it.
Even 53 percent of Republicans support it. I mean, can Democrats use this
as a campaign issue this year in the midterm elections?

RYE: Well, they should, Rev, as well as the general concept of income
equality. We also know from polling data that the country overwhelmingly
supports this. We know that today Chris Christie said something that flies
in the face of that. So hopefully with bridge gate and then foot in mouth
gate, he will continue to end his 2016 hopes. But people have to remember
you have to elect people that represent your interests and don`t represent
just your hopes.

So, the elitist mentality that continues to kind of run the beltway and
hold what the President`s initiatives are hostage in Congress, that has to
go. So, I hope that Democrats do wise up and use this as a tool and say,
hey, the American dream should be accessible to everyone. Opportunity
isn`t something that just should be paid for. We need to give you access
first. Leveling the playing field is essential. And hopefully that can be
a part of the message for the 2014 midterms and for 2016.

SHARPTON: Before we go, Jared, I want to go back to policy for a minute.

BERNSTEIN: Sure.

SHARPTON: We went over politics with Angela. I want to go to your point
because the president also made the point that most minimum wage workers
are not teenagers, like you just said. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: They are not teenagers taking on their first job. They are adults.
Average age is 35 years old. A majority of lower wage jobs are held by
women. Many of them have children that they are supporting. These are
Americans who work full time, often to support a family. And if the
minimum wage had kept pace with our economic productivity they would
already be getting paid well over $10 an hour.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, I raise that because everywhere I go -- and I travel a lot
-- that is the people I see that working and that are not getting the raise
they need in the minimum wage. We talk about the average worker is 35
years old. Sixty four percent are women and 28 percent have children. We
are talking about adults, women taking care of families. How can
Republicans justify keeping their wages so low, Jared?

BERNSTEIN: Well, you know, where you stand in Washington depends on where
you sit. And I think what`s happening here is that the industry which is
contributing to the careers of the politicians who oppose this are clearly
not working off that set of facts that you just heard the president
articulate. But are thinking -- we have to do everything to suppress our
labor costs and boost our profitability. This is not about helping low
wage workers from the Republican side.

SHARPTON: All right. I`m going to have to leave it there. Angela Rye and
Jared Bernstein, thank you for your time tonight.

RYE: Thanks, Rev.

BERNSTEIN: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, the ugly trend coming from some on the right
comparing progressives to Nazi Germany. And tonight a spinning congressman
is using the Nazi comparison. That is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: There`s a growing new trend coming from some on the right. It
is a vicious talking point. If they don`t like something they compare it
to Nazi Germany. The latest example comes from Congressman Daniel Webster.
He compared the consumer protection bureau to the secret police in Nazi
Germany.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DANIEL WEBSTER (R), FLORIDA: This is more Gestapo-style collection of
data on individual citizens who have no clue that this is happening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Let me get this straight. An agency designed to help people is
like Hitler`s police force? Apparently FOX News contributor Ben Carson
agrees. He also thinks that Obama officials are, quote, "acting like
Gestapo." That is almost as ridiculous of the belief that progressives are
just like the Nazis.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Progressives didn`t care until all of
those Jews died. But it was because of the universities and the
progressives, this was their thing. They were all anti-Jewish just as much
as they are anti-Jewish now.

DR. BEN CARSON, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: One of the real goals of the second
progressive movement is to fundamentally change who we are. Most of those
people did not believe in what Hitler was doing but did they speak up? Did
they stand up for what they believed? They did not. And you saw what
happened. And if you believe that the same thing can`t happen again,
you`re very wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It`s all part of the larger talk that has been ramped up from
some on the right, that somehow this president is also dictator, just like
Hitler or Stalin.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: This is Stalinism. This is sheer
brazen lawlessness.

FMR. SEN. RICK SANTORUM (R), PENNSYLVANIA: And, uh, this is what tyrants
are made of.

BECK: He has all of the earmarks of a Marxist dictator. He does. He
doesn`t like anybody to challenge him.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I`m afraid that President Obama may have this king
complex sort of developing.

LIMBAUGH: Did you happen to see the size on those flags behind Obama?
Those flags are getting bigger and bigger and bigger every speech he makes.
You know that is what dictator do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The president is not a dictator. He`s not Stalin. And
progressives are not Nazis and lazy arguments like this aren`t getting us
anywhere.

Joining me now are Karen Finney and Joe Madison. Thank you both for coming
on the show tonight.

JOE MADISON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Thanks, Rev.

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC HOST, "DISRUPT": Thank you.

SHARPTON: Joe, why has this become a talking point from the right?

MADISON: Because they are stupid and they don`t tell you exactly anything
that backs them up. Look, to even put in the same sentence Nazi and
progressive is an oxymoron. Mimolar (ph), the great, the late Protestant
minister who said, they came for the Catholics, the Nazis, they came for
the labor union members, they came for Jews, they came from homosexuals.
Does this sound like progressives? And then, of course, he ended, and I`m
paraphrasing the great quote by saying then they came for me and there was
no one was left.

It is an oxymoron to suggest that Nazism and progressives are the same.
And I feel so sorry for Dr. Ben Carson because on one hand, there is one
side of his part of he`s a brilliant surgeon and then there`s another side
of his brain where he simply does not understand what he is saying. And
all he is doing is just saying these things to really appeal to the fringe
of the fringe.

SHARPTON: And he is a brilliant surgeon that I respect. I just vehemently
disagree with some of what he said. But you know, Karen, the comparisons
of this administration to Hitler and the Nazis have been previously seen on
posters at far right protests. You know, is this the kind of talk that is
now becoming more and more mainstream?

FINNEY: Well, I think they are trying to mainstream it, Rev. Because I
think, again, all of this hyperbolic rhetoric, because there`s all of this
kind of lawlessness rhetoric and there`s all these end of days rhetoric
about how, you know, health care is going to destroy the country and
destroy, everybody, you know, all of this very dramatic rhetoric is part of
their very consensus effort to undermine the legitimacy of this presidency
and undermine the legitimacy of the things that what we are fighting for.

I mean, the whole argument is so ridiculous. I mean, I was chuckling sort
of listening that anybody would be able to say any of that with a straight
face is just outrageous. You know, I mean, because -- we are talking about
health care for people. We are talking about making sure people make a
wage from which they can, you know, raise their family. I mean, that we
are talking about making sure that people don`t get screwed over by the
banks again. I mean, that`s what we are talking about.

SHARPTON: Joe, I mean, it`s really like lazy like they are just tired and
they just run down these kinds of vicious ugly things rather than deal with
policy or the results of policy.

MADISON: Right.

SHARPTON: I mean, for example, Rush Limbaugh argued that yesterday that
President Obama might not leave office in 2016 in order to further
implement health care law. I mean, bless his heart, listen to this.

(LAUGHTER)

RUSH: What evidence do we have that Obama is leaving? Well, Rush, I mean,
the constitution says that yes, and constitution also says he can`t do what
he is doing here. The text of ObamaCare specifically prohibits what Obama
is doing. So when you make jokes about Obama having to leave office in
2016, why?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, they are actually floating these things out here, Joe.

MADISON: Well, look, and then in the next breath they want to impeach him.
So they don`t think he is going to leave. And then they want to impeach
him. But let me tell you. To compare what Obama is doing to the Nazis is
an insult to those who survived that era. It is an absolute insult. And
they are the ones who ought to -- first of all, you cannot compare what
Nazi Germany did to people of that era to what is going on today. And so
if it wasn`t so stupid and crazy it is an absolute insult to those who
survived Nazi Germany.

SHARPTON: There`s no doubt about it.

FINNEY: Yes.

SHARPTON: There is no doubt about it. And you know, Karen, if the right
is not floating conspiracies, Joe mentioned impeachment. They are dealing
with the word of impeachment. You know, there are at least 15 members of
Congress that have floated out the idea of impeachment. What ironically
Karen, the leader of the Republican Party, Rush Limbaugh, he doesn`t think
the president can be impeached. Listen to his reasoning.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH: But you can`t impeach the first black president, no matter how
corrupt or how lawless. So what did Dr. King say, he dreams of the day
when we judge men by the content of their character instead of skin color.
And skin color is everything now. And it is acting as a paralyzing agent.

SHARPTON: I mean, Karen, I don`t even require much of response. I beg on
Rush to get some rest.

FINNEY: All I can say is that we`re relying on Rush Limbaugh tell us
anything about the constitution or race relations in this country then we
are in serious trouble.

SHARPTON: I think that concludes it right. But I think what I`m trying to
point out is this ugliness and viciousness. And the trivializing -- Nazi
Germany.

MADISON: Right.

SHARPTON: And Nazi Germany, they`re trivializing it and trying to make it
something else that it wasn`t as vicious and maniacal as it was is
insulting to not only the survivors but to all of us.

MADISON: That`s right.

FINNEY: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: Karen Finney, Joe Madison, thank you both for your time this
evening.

MADISON: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

FINNEY: Thanks.

SHARPTON: And be sure to watch "Disrupt" with Karen Finney weekends at
4:00 p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: In 2012, right wingers thought voter ID would help them win the
election, it didn`t. But now they`re trying again. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Finally tonight, the fight to protect voting rights. I`m here
in the Pennsylvania State Capital of Harrisburg, the epicenter of the
voting I.D. battle in 2012. That law has been struck down but the fight
continues in 2014. Already this year lawmakers in 19 states have
introduced bills to scale back voting rights. Just yesterday in Ohio, a
key panel approved a bill that would limit early voting, end same-day
registration and put new limits on absentee ballots.

These Republican lawmakers are trying to roll back voting laws put in place
after Ohio`s 2004 fiasco, where people waited as long as ten hours to vote.
You cannot stand up for the principles of democracy. You can`t praise Dr.
King, Mandela and others that champion one man one vote and do everything
you can to make it difficult for people to vote. You can`t have it both
ways. And we are going to make sure you don`t try.

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

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

<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2014 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Transcription Copyright 2014 ASC LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is
granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not
reproduce or redistribute the material except for user`s personal or
internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall
user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may
infringe upon MSNBC and ASC LLC`s copyright or other proprietary rights or
interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of
litigation.>






Sponsored links

Resource guide