updated 2/24/2014 10:26:58 AM ET 2014-02-24T15:26:58

POLITICS NATION
February 21, 2014

Guest: Ron Davis; John Phillips, Goldie Taylor, Ryan Grim, Angela Rye,
Jimmy Williams

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thank you, Ari, and hi to you. And
thanks to you for tuning in. I`m live tonight from Houston, Texas.

Tonight`s lead, growing calls to end stand your ground. The top prosecutor
in the Michael Dunn case now says the law needs to go. The top police
officer in the Dunn investigation now says the law should be fixed. And
Americans all across the country are demanding an end to this unjust law.

It`s been nearly a week since the Dunn jury revealed that it was unable to
reach a verdict in the shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. The
mistrial shocked millions of Americans and put a new focus on issues of
stand your ground and self-defense.

Through it all, the parents of Jordan Davis have impressed with their
composure, dignity, and Grace in the midst of tragedy. And at the heart of
this trial is the 17-year-old son they lost. He is no longer with us. But
Jordan Davis has become the symbol of the rallying cry for all those
fighting against this injustice.

Joining me now is Jordan Davis` father, Ron Davis, along with the family
lawyer John Phillips.

Thank you both for being here tonight.

JOHN PHILLIPS, DAVIS FAMILY LAWYER: Thank you.

RON DAVIS, JORDAN DAVIS` FATHER: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: First, Ron, let me give my condolences for your loss. And let
me ask you, it`s been almost a week since the verdict. How are you and the
family doing?

DAVIS: We`re still in a fighting mood. We want a retrial as soon as
possible. And I`ve been in contact with the prosecutors, and they agreed
that a retrial will happen as soon as possible, as soon as we get a chance
to get with the judge and we do want justice for Jordan.

SHARPTON: Now, right now they have said a retrial for May. And you seem
to be ready to go through it. What do you hope the prosecutors may do
that? Anything differently? Do you want them to talk more about Jordan as
a person?

DAVIS: Yes, I want them to talk more about Jordan as a person. The only
picture that the jury saw of Jordan was an ID picture, which is very
generic. I would like to see the picture showing on your show. This is
Jordan Davis when he is with his friends, his father, his family, that`s
Jordan Davis. You know, he talked a lot about Michael Dunn and how calm a
guy he was and all of that. And so, they were trying to get a connection
with the jury with Michael Dunn. But nobody put a connection with Jordan
Davis, you know, and he is the victim in all of this.

SHARPTON: Now, John, as a lawyer, what do you hope to see from the
prosecutors in the next trial? And are you going to be in touch with the
prosecutors in giving your views from the family?

PHILLIPS: Absolutely. We`re going to be a little more vocal this time.
You know, the prosecutor tried a good case if the law was fair. If the law
was equal and jurors viewed a white businessman and a young black teen on
the same wavelength. But the scales are a little bit tipped against the
young black teen, you know, the thug. It`s OK to be a little bit afraid, a
little bit of apprehensive in America of the young black teen, except it`s
really not.

The thug here is a white businessman named Michael Dunn and it`s not fair.
And so we`ve got to do a little bit more, the prosecutors have to do a
little bit more to rebalance that and show what a good kid Jordan was and
what a terrible neighbor and friend and ex-husband Michael Dunn was. And
we just got to find a way to see that done.

SHARPTON: Now two jurors have spoken out since the verdict. Here is part
of what they said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Everybody is making this a white and black thing.
And it`s not. In our decision-making process, nobody brought up not one
race. Never. It was never brought up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sitting in that room, it was never presented that
way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Ron, what is your reaction to that? And what is your reaction
to that, John?

DAVIS: Well, the -- I think it`s juror number 8, the young lady, she said
it wasn`t a black and white thing and nobody discussed that in the room.
And I don`t see how you could not discuss it with within 30 seconds of
getting to the gas station, Michael Dunn said I hate that thug music, and
all of the sudden because somebody was listening to rap, it became thug
music, whether it was a person, it was a thug or was a person that went to
church every day, you know. So right there they just started it was an
American person so that is an American.

Also, the juror, she, you know, she connected a little bit with Dunn but
she, you know, does she understand, you know, what it is to have children?
I mean, I don`t believe she had children. I don`t believe she understood a
father or a mother`s love for their child because she doesn`t have children
from what I was told. And she looks to be maybe 21 and she hasn`t
experienced things on this earth that other people have experienced. So
maybe that`s her summary, you know, that everything was all right with
Michael Dunn.

But at the same time, she actually showed that it was guilty for attempted
murder of the boy. So if you want to show a guilty for attempted murder,
also she said she was leaning toward guilty and second-degree murder for my
son. So you can`t say the guy was a good guy or whatever when you think
that he had a second degree attempted murder guilty charge that you would
have given Michael Dunn.

SHARPTON: Now, John, you just mentioned race and the difference. Do you
think the jury didn`t discuss race, because it was never brought up in the
trial and the prosecutors never raised it?

PHILLIPS: Just because you don`t mention it, just because it`s the
unspoken elephant in the room doesn`t mean that it`s not in the jurors`
subconscious. And to say, I agree with Ron on this issue, you know, when
you ask African-Americans about the talk, and this is a young lady that has
never had to have a talk with a black teen, it`s about life preservation.
In white America, the talk is about the birds and the bees and pro
creation. And that says all you need to hear about where America is when
white America is having a different serious talk than black America.

SHARPTON: You know, the jury never heard phone calls that Dunn made from
prison. Here is part of one call.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL DUNN, SHOT AND KILLED JORDAN DAVIS: She found some You Tube videos
of these guys, and they`re all gangster rappers. You know, because when
the police said that these guys didn`t have a record, I was like you know,
I wonder if they`re just flying under the radar.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.

DUNN: Because they were bad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, he never knew these guys, but he sees them in moments and
all of the sudden he knows they`re bad and that they comes up with they`re
gangster rappers. I mean, do you think the prosecutor should fight to use
these calls in a new trial, Ron?

DAVIS: Absolutely, you know. And there is also letters that were written
in prison where he says that 90 percent of the blacks in here are idiots,
and we should take a gun and shoot all of them.

These things are inflammatory, yet they`re true. They`re his truth. And
so, even though they maybe though they may be inflammatory to the
community, they`re his truth. And because it`s his truth, we need to have
that displayed in front of a jury so they understand how bad this guy was
and how good Jordan was.

They need to go ahead and put some things in there about Jordan Davis.
They didn`t even want the prosecutor to mention what a good kid Jordan
Davis was. The police officers that went on and had Michael Dunn and
interviewed him for the first time, they mentioned that this kid never was
arrested. He was a good kid. Well, they didn`t want to mention that also
in court. So we want them to mention that in court, that Jordan was a good
kid.

SHARPTON: Now, John, how could these calls change the next trial? How
could it make a difference?

PHILLIPS: You know, there is still a delicate balance with character
evidence. The law is very protective of not trying character. But here I
think these calls and the jailhouse letters and what the neighbor had to
say about Dunn has needs to creep in. It needs to come in to the fullest
extent possible because the jurors are already misbalancing character.
They`re letting Dunn`s father`s neighbors testify that he is a peaceful
guy. This shows he is not peaceful, especially to black people, you know.
He is not peaceful at all if he is calling the people in prison with him
monsters and animals that we need to eradicate. It`s the insanity of
Michael Dunn that needs to be exposed here.

SHARPTON: Now Ron, both jurors had a message for you. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would say I am sorry, of course. Nothing will
bring back their son. I hope that they feel that we didn`t do them a
disservice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I tried to fight for his son. We -- everyone that
felt he was guilty, we fought, and we fought and we fought.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: What is your response to that?

DAVIS: The first juror, she, you know, when I was called into the witness
stand it was unprecedented that the defense attorney didn`t even let the
prosecutor know that they were going to call me to the stand. He ambushed
me and brought me to the stand as a grieving father, he didn`t care, as
someone who has lost their son that was gunned down by his client, he
didn`t care. And he basically said go to the stand and testify.

But you know what? He couldn`t break me down because of the fact that the
truth, no matter when you asked me for the truth is going to be the truth.
And so that witness, that jury when she saw me, she was in tears because of
the way he called me to the witness stand.

The other juror, I understand that she tried to do the best that she could,
and I don`t have in fault with that I just want her to take a moment to
realize that the prosecutor, John Guy, the last thing he said to her and to
the other jurors, just look at common sense, you know. Sometimes you can
just look at the facts and common sense will bear the facts out. And they
keep looking at that jury instruction which is stand your ground. And
stand your ground is so confusing to the jury and for every citizen in the
state of Florida, we need to rewrite stand your ground. Because that`s the
last thing you hear from the judge is a stand your ground instruction.

SHARPTON: Now, I know that you have become very involved in stand your
ground, notwithstanding the particulars of this case. Many of us have been
involved with that. I know you have stayed in touch with Trayvon Martin`s
family. What are you and the mother intend to do around the stand your
ground law?

DAVIS: Well, we went to the House of Representatives in Tallahassee to get
it repealed. Allen Williams, representative Allen Williams repealed it,
but they connected to it the castle doctrine so they will not repeal it.
The next step is to have it rewritten. Because it`s not clear, you know.
It`s so much gray area in it. So we intend to go down to Tallahassee, and
maybe we can come to something where we can have shoulder to shoulder,
Reverend Sharpton. Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, maybe they can come
with us. I would like to really get together with all the leaders and go
down to Tallahassee while they`re in session and demand that stand your
ground be rewritten.

SHARPTON: Now, I want to ask you this question. You said you want to meet
Michael Dunn in prison. What would you want to say to him?

DAVIS: I would like him to know, because right now he`s not remorseful.
And I can`t forgive anything that he did until I see some remorse. I want
to sit across from him and let him know he killed a good kid. He killed a
child. He killed a 17-year-old that will always forever remain 17. He
shot a bullet through his lungs. It traveled and tore aorta. He was
choking on his own blood. And when I have a picture in my mind of my son
choking on his own blood, unable to speak, and knowing he is a second way
from death, it breaks my heart. My heart is full. And I want him to know
that. And I want to try to change his mind to understand that he didn`t
just shoot some animal on the street. He shot my son. He shot everybody`s
son. He shot America`s son. This 17-year-olds that have a life to live.
And for him to snuff it out, just because of loud music is a tragedy.

SHARPTON: What would you want the world to know about Jordan as a father?
What would the characteristics of Jordan that you want us all to know?

DAVIS: That Jordan was playful, like most 17-year-olds. They like to go
to the mall and talk to girls in the mall like most 17-year-olds. They
like to play ball. He played basketball with his friends. I like him to
know that he had aspirations to be in the military, either the air force
like my brother, either in the marines like his cousin. He also liked to
go to the beach. He was an excellent swimmer. We turned our back to the
waves and we always had a contest who could stand up under the waves when
they hit you in the back. I want you to know he is not only an African-
American kid, but he is an American kid. And we should be respectful for
all our kids, no matter what the race is. And I want everybody out there
to know that you cannot keep this up with shooting these kids. Because
after a while, they`re going to turn on all the adults because it`s up to
us to make laws to protect them.

SHARPTON: Ron Davis and John Phillips, I thank you both for your time
tonight.

And Ron, again, our sincere condolences for your loss. And we all will
continue to raise about stand your ground and this law and what it means.
You certainly can depend that I`m going to stay out there in the field for
that, because I feel that way. Thank you so much.

PHILLIPS: Thank you for all you do. Safe travels back.

DAVIS: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton. Thank you very much.

SHARPTON: We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Tonight dramatic new calls to end stand your ground. The law
confused the Michael Dunn jury, and now the prosecutor is speaking out.

Plus, Ted Nugent`s outrageous non-apology for calling the president a
subhuman mongrel. You`ll want to hear this.

All that, plus the first lady on the tonight show, with some very special
guests. Big show tonight. Stay with us.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVIS: Maybe we could come to something where we can have shoulder the
shoulder, Reverend Sharpton, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, maybe come
with us. I would like get together with all the leaders, go down to
Tallahassee while they`re in session and demand that stand your ground be
rewritten.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: There are growing calls to repeal stand your ground laws.
Jordan Davis` mother talks about it in a new op-ed in "USA Today," writing,
quote, "the blame lies with the culture that emboldened Dunn to pull a
loaded gun from his glove compartment, and a law that encourages
unnecessary violence. Florida`s stand your ground law is the reason my son
is dead."

And today the sheriff of Jacksonville, who had previously supported stand
your ground also said it should change. Quote, "I think there is some
tweaking to the stand your ground law needed. If it`s a safe retreat and
it doesn`t place you in any more danger, I think that`s always the best
response."

And Angela Corey, the state attorney who prosecuted both George Zimmerman
and Michael Dunn agrees.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANGELA COREY, FLORIDA STATE ATTORNEY: I believe prosecutors and the
sheriff`s association are in favor of the former laws that we had on
justifiable use of deadly force. And we do believe that before someone
should engage in a physical altercation, or especially an altercation where
deadly force is used, we do believe there should be a duty to retreat.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I believe this law needs to be repealed.

Joining me now, former prosecutor Faith Jenkins and Florida criminal
defense lawyer Ken Padowitz. Thank you both for being here.

FAITH JENKINS, FORMER CRIMINAL PROSECUTOR: Thank you.

KEN PADOWITZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ken, you`ve been on both sides of the stand your ground law.
But you think it`s a bad law. Explain why.

PADOWITZ: Well, absolutely. I`m a former homicide prosecutor. I was a
prosecutor for 16 years here in Florida. And now I`ve been a defense
attorney for the last 12 years or so. And I use it for my clients. If my
client needs me to use this law to try to win for the defense, of course I
use the law.

But it`s a bad law for citizens of the state of Florida. Me and my family
are citizens here, and I fear for my children with this law on the books.
You know, I have to commend the sheriff of Jacksonville. He is from a very
conservative area, and he has the backbone now to realize the law he once
supported, this stand your ground law, it really should be tweaked, as he
said. And interestingly, the tweaking that he wants to do is have the law
say that you have a duty to retreat if you can retreat safely.

Well, that`s the original self-defense law in Florida. So it doesn`t need
to be tweak. It needs to be repealed. This law is not good for anyone.
It`s one of the few laws that I`ve ever seen that actually promotes
violence as opposed to doing just the opposite, which is what most laws are
on the books for. So I`m against this law. And I think it`s a horrible
law for law enforcement and for the citizens of the state of Florida.

SHARPTON: And Faith, it`s not only the state of Florida, as Ken said, it`s
now in 22 other states. This is a national problem. One of the jurors
have said in this trial that a major moment was when Dunn`s lawyer told
them to read the self-defense law. Watch what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Check page 25. Start with page 25.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Page 25 reads "the use of deadly force is
justifiable if Michael Dunn reasonably believes that the force is necessary
to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And we took a poll. There were two of us undecided.
Two for was justified, and the rest were not justified.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Why were the others so convinced that Dunn was
guilty?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We all believed that there was another way out,
another option.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: She thought there was another way. But stand your ground means
you don`t have to look for another way, right, Faith?

JENKINS: Right. And in the mind of this juror, that defies logic, right?
Because don`t we want people to take another way out besides violence if
they can? Don`t we want people to be held responsible if they initiate a
confrontation? Why should you be able to initiate a confrontation and then
use stand your ground to get out of using deadly force when you used deadly
force? Why it is that someone who flees the scene of a crime and doesn`t
report a crime to the police, a shooting to the police, why is he able to
then use stand your ground? Shouldn`t you forfeit that right to use stand
your ground when you take actions that show consciousness of guilt?

It just defies logic. And it gives people the reason and the opportunity
to manufacture fear that is not there, because they`re able to come in to
court and say I reasonably feared for my life. When the fear is not
reasonable, because they are not in life threatening situations.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, to support that, Ken, what I think a lot of
people in this debate is missing, and I have clearly said that I`m against
the law. I think it should be repealed and have participated in moves to
try to get legislators to do so.

But in both of these very well-known cases, what everyone refuses to deal
with is that in both cases, neither one of the victims was threatening.
There were no guns. Trayvon martin was unarmed. And there has been no gun
found in the Jordan Davis case. These are two cases in point where the
threats that they thought were reasonable were wrong.

PADOWITZ: Exactly. And that`s what is wrong with the law. It gives too
much power to the individual like these shooters, like Mr. Dunn to take the
law into his own hands, to take life into his own hands and grab that gun
out of the glove compartment box, as opposed to simply moving his car away
if he could do so reasonably, without placing himself in fear.

You know, Rev., I`ve got to say, just to reiterate one more time, the law
the way it was before this stand your ground law allowed for self-defense
and allowed for you to stay at a scene and defend yourself if by leaving
you would place yourself in danger. So you always had the right to defend
yourself, and there was no need for the change in the law that the NRA
pushed in putting down these stand your ground laws in all these states.

SHARPTON: Faith, in a jailhouse phone call, Michael Dunn referred to
himself as the victim. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DUNN: You know, I was thinking about that today. I`m the (bleep) victim
here. I was the one who was victimized. I mean, I don`t know how else to
cut it. Like they attacked me. I`m the victim.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Right.

DUNN: I`m the victor, but I was the victim too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Is it stand your ground laws that encourages people, a shooter
to think that he is the victim?

JENKINS: Well, one, it encourages you to kill the other person that is on
the other side of your gun, because if they`re not around to tell their
story, we`re seeing some ridiculous stories being crafted as a result and
put forth in trial. And we expect jurors to be able to cipher through what
is true and what is not when the other person isn`t there to tell their
side of the story.

Second, I think that Mr. Dunn`s claim of victimhood really personifies the
privilege that we saw him assert in this trial. He decides who plays their
music and how loud it is. He decided on the scene that it was self-
defense, and that`s why he drove away. He decided what law enforcement he
wanted to call and report this crime. So all along the way, he didn`t act
like a criminal. He acted like someone who is used to having privilege.

SHARPTON: Faith Jenkins and Ken Padowitz, thank you so much for your time.

JENKINS: Thank you.

PADOWITZ: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, why I`m giving Rand Paul a lot of credit tonight.
Yes, you heard that right.

Plus, Eric Cantor`s memo to the house GOP revealed. What he is saying
about President Obama`s executive orders. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: NBC news obtained a memo that Eric Cantor sent to members of the
house GOP conference. He is talking about president Obama`s executive
orders. And get ready for more repeal Obamacare votes. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Need an idea of how just out of step Republicans are when it
comes to a living minimum wage? Just look at this quote. A top GOP leader
once said I`ll commit suicide before I vote on a clean minimum wage bill.
Suicide. Who was it? Congressman John Boehner. Back in 1996, before he
was the Speaker of the House, the top Republican in Congress once said he
would rather kill himself than give working class Americans a raise.
That`s appalling. But it`s the type of callousness we`ve come to expect
from some of the right. They oppose the minimum wage, to welfare, to food
stamps, to any measure that would help Americans struggling to get by.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: We don`t want to turn the safety net into a
hammock that lulls able-bodied people into lives of complacency.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We need to make sure our government programs encourage
work, not dependence.

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Really poor children in
really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around
them who works.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: People on food stamps aren`t lazy or lulled into dependency.
Just this week Facebook purchased the company WhatsApp for $19 billion.
And the man behind that company lived on food stamps when he was growing
up. The experience shaped him so much so that he signed the paperwork for
the Facebook deal on the door of his old welfare office. Need another
example? Here is one. Speed skater Emily Scott competed in the Olympics
this week. She once was on food stamps. Is she lazy? Of course not.

What`s actually lazy is the thinking of these right wingers who believe the
poor people need to be demonized. GOP officials like John Boehner need to
get to work and do what is right for the American people.

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

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

GOLDIE TAYLOR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Goldie, the Speaker of the House once said he would rather
commit suicide than raise the minimum wage. That what Americans want right
now?

TAYLOR: Well, it certainly isn`t what America wants right now. And it
certainly shouldn`t be what Speaker Boehner wants right now. What we
should want is a social safety net for the least of these, for those people
living on the margins. What we should want is for meaningful, smart
regulation on business, and that includes regulating a minimum wage that
becomes a living wage. You know, I think Michele Bachmann said that, you
know, those that do not work, neither shall they eat. I think she wants
them not to work and not eat.

You know, there are companies like Wal-Mart out there paying people at, you
know, minimum wage levels. And then we the taxpayers are picking up the
dime for those companies. We`re subsidizing them with food stamps, with
Medicaid, with programs, with other things that are really helping these
families to subsist. So they`re working a 40-hour workweek, and still not
being able to feed their children on their own. And I think that is a
moral dilemma for this country. And it`s something that we have got to
figure out and figure out quickly.

SHARPTON: Ryan, you know, NBC obtained a memo that Majority Leader Cantor
sent to House Republicans. It says, quote, "President Obama has provided
new clarity as to what constitutes an imperial presidency. The House will
consider a number of bills to restore the balance of power created by our
founders." It also outlines new efforts to repeal ObamaCare. I mean, do
you really think that`s a winning agenda for 2014?

GRIM: Well, that depends on a winning agenda for whom. I mean, you know,
these are directed at very conservative districts. You know, these fit in
with a narrative about the president that has existed I think since before
he was president. You know, they have been warning that he was going to
become a dictator. He came from nowhere, possibly even Kenya to become
this dictator Obama. You know, right away they were saying that his
appointees were czars, even though they had really very little power, you
know, inside the White House or to actually implement much. So, this is
just part of that. So they`re going to pass a bunch of messaging bills
that are intended for the kind of conservative wing of the conservative
party here. And that`s what this amounts to.

SHARPTON: You know, it amazes me because the GOP is opposed to raising the
minimum wage, Goldie. But it`s really bad politics, you would think.
Because Democrats ran on the minimum wage increase in 2006. And they
gained 30 seats.

TAYLOR: You know, it really is very bad politics. Because when you look
at the deepest of red districts across this country, some of them are also
the poorest districts in this country. And so these are districts where
people are really fighting to survive, hope and make it. These are people
who are, you know, running out of their unemployment benefits because this
Congress failed to extend them. These are people who are working at
minimum wage, you know, at big companies and still not bringing home
meaningful benefits so that they can support their families. And so it`s
really ironic that, you know, districts in Kentucky, districts in Alabama,
districts in Mississippi, some of the red estates in this union have some
of the most poor people living in those district, and their very
representatives are asking them to vote against their very own interests.

And so, I think at the end of the day, this may very well backfire when it
comes time for these midterms because these are real people losing
unemployment benefits. These are real people who are really subsisting at
this very low minimum wage and can`t live, you know, on the 40-hour
workweek that they have been given. And so I really think that Republicans
really need to take a really hard look at the constituencies and what they
need in terms of this economic pathway, in terms of, you know, their
ability to reach out and grasp this American dream. They need to take a
really hard look at that. Because people are going to vote with their
pocketbooks when they walk into the voting booth.

SHARPTON: Ryan, you know, a lot has been said this week about the new CBO
report. And the GOP is touting that different things that was observed
about the minimum wage. But it actually says, the CBO report, that it
would cost the nation about 500,000 jobs. But it would also increase
earnings for 16.5 million workers, and it would lift 900,000 people out of
poverty. They seem to lead the raising people out of poverty and raising
workers` earnings out of their scenario when they review this report.

GRIM: Right. And on top of that, the CBO very strangely is a bit out of
the economic consensus there. They were far to the right on the
conservative direction on how many jobs this would cost. And you have to
understand what they mean by costing a job too. What they mean is that
people would leave certain jobs. And they might not be filled. But the
CBO also assumes that those people would then later find higher paying
jobs. So overall, and including the stats that you read, even the CBO
reports that tilts far in the conservative direction says that this policy
benefits millions of people.

SHARPTON: A little selective reading there.

GRIM: Sure it is.

SHARPTON: Goldie Taylor and Ryan Grim, thanks for your time this evening.
And have a great weekend.

GRIM: You too.

TAYLOR: Happy Friday, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, the GOP`s Ted Nugent problem is just getting worse.
You got to hear what he said today as his attempt to apologize.

Also, the power of late night TV. The first lady goes beyond the beltway
to make a big pitch. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s been a great first week for Jimmy Fallon hosting "The
Tonight Show." Last night First Lady Michelle Obama made an appearance,
and she had a little fun promoting her "Let`s Move Campaign," an initiative
for kids` health with a spoof of a teen show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILL SMITH, COMEDIAN: What`s your favorite event?

MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY: Well, I enjoy the mall, but one of my
favorites is figure skating.

JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": Me too! Same person. Triple hand
hug.

Ew, ew. Eh, eh, eh.

(LAUGHTER)

Wow, Michelle, you`re pretty strong. You could totally be in the Olympics.

MICHELLE OBAMA: Well, thank you, Sara. I do try to exercise every day.

SMITH: Really? Because I think exercise is Eow.

MICHELLE OBAMA: Exercise is not Eow.

(LAUGHTER)

SHARPTON: It got laughs. And for the First Lady, it got a message across
to a younger audience. Over the years, political figures from both parties
have increasingly turned to late night TV.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, ACTOR: This is why I`m going to run for governor of
the State of California.

FALLON: And the president knows his stuff, y`all. That`s why call him the
potus, which means person on top -- what is it?

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: What is it? Jimmy, potus stands
for president of the United States. He`s the potus with the most top.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

FMR. PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH (R), UNITED STATES: I do take painting. It`s
change my life. And I brought a painting for you.

JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": You did?

BUSH: Yes.

LENO: Did you paint that? Look at that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: No matter the political party, it`s always fun to see a
different side of our politicians. The question, does it move the needle,
and does it have real impact.

Joining me now, Angela Rye and Jimmy Williams. Thanks for coming on the
show tonight.

ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Thanks, Rev.

JIMMY WILLIAMS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Angela, there is a reason the First Lady and politicians do
these talk shows. Do you think it has real impact?

RYE: It`s got tremendous impact, Rev. I would like to believe that
everyone watches MSNBC all day long like some of us, but that`s not
necessarily the case. Sometimes people utilize other mediums. They watch
"Good Morning America," they watch the "Today" show and they watch the late
night shows. And that`s where a lot of folks get their news. They also
get their laughs. So it`s a great medium. There are a tremendous number
of viewers. It`s an excellent way to communicate your message with normal
everyday Americans.

SHARPTON: What do you think, Jimmy.

WILLIAMS: I think, listen, doing these shows, it`s very humanizing. I
mean, you know, I think that most Americans think that most politicians are
out of touch with them. They don`t understand what they`re going through
in their everyday lives. And so to see the First Lady or John McCain or
former President Bush on a late night show like that, it absolutely
humanizes them and it puts them literally into their living room, into
their bedrooms. And that`s a good thing, unless they really, really whiff
if. And if they do that, well, that`s their problem, so.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, Angela, the First Lady last night talked about
her daughters, Sasha and Malia. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA: You know, it`s really interesting. My kids, they`re 15
and 12, and they want nothing to do with us.

FALLON: Really?

MICHELLE OBAMA: I am so serious. I mean, Malia is like, God, dad, please,
just don`t come to my school. Just keep your SWAT Team.

FALLON: Are they driving?

MICHELLE OBAMA: You know, Malia will be. She`s going to turn 16 this
summer. Ladies and gentlemen in D.C., watch out. Malia Obama on the road.

FALLON: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: You know, how important are these shows in terms of humanizing
political figures, really showing their personalities and family life and
human side, Angela?

RYE: Well, I think Jimmy just touched on this too. I mean, it absolutely
is humanizing to have regular teenagers, even in the White House. I`m
sure, you know, some of the other channels would put out all types of
propaganda about how they have the cars driving them around and secret
service. And they`re teenagers that don`t want anything to do with that
life, regardless of how cool some other Americans may think it is, they do
not. They think it`s eow. So there you have it.

SHARPTON: Yes. You know, an adviser who worked on the President`s
campaign compared the political impact of Jimmy Fallon`s show with the
impact of other late night shows. Quote, "The type of stuff Fallon does
from a political strategist point of view will be a lot more helpful. When
Obama slow jammed with Fallon, he was talking about student loans. He got
his message across. That was more effective than going on a talk show."
You know, to be clear, that`s something that could help Democrats or
Republican politicians alike, isn`t it, Jimmy?

WILLIAMS: Yes, I think that`s right. And I don`t know who that was that
said that. But it`s all about relatability. Remember, we just had a
campaign. Mitt Romney versus Barack Obama. And then they just released
the -- I wrote a column about how Mitt Romney just couldn`t relate to at
least 50.1 percent of the American people. When you do these kinds of
things, if you have that connection, like right now, someone is connecting
with me or with you or with Angela, then they`re going to listen to what we
say with a more open ear. But if they go on one of these shows and they
have virtually nothing in common with someone, that`s also going to come
across. So I think it helps both political parties, and it could also hurt
both political parties. It purely depends on who is actually on the
receiving end of the interview, frankly.

RYE: And the slow jam, the news clip, Rev, just as an example, YouTube
views, over eight million YouTube views.

WILLIAMS: Right, right. Exactly. Yes.

SHARPTON: But the president has been attacked for doing it. But yet both
parties do it. Angela?

RYE: Well, he can`t help it, Rev, if he is a little bit cooler than the
rest of the other candidates. The president and the First Lady have a
tremendous ability to relate to people. Perhaps it`s, you know, the way
that they have approached politics as everyday human beings. They want
their kids to grow up just like everyone else. They have some really cool
artists that come into the White House when they`re not working. You know,
very busily on managing their careers and using initiatives that everyday
Americans again can relate to, "Let`s Move, Let`s Exercise." A lot of
folks struggle with trying to figure out how to eat healthy and how to work
out with their schedules. So they have humanized the political process at
large.

SHARPTON: But you know, Jimmy, Jimmy Fallon has taken over "The Tonight
Show." He has a famous talent for impersonations, including political
impersonations. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FALLON: We`re here tonight to nominate a president. And I`ve got one in
mind. Of course I`m talking about me, Bill Clinton, JK.

(LAUGHTER)

Hi. I`m Michele Bachmann. And despite recent financial problems that
forced me to let most of my staff go, I`m still in the race to be your next
president.

(LAUGHTER)

This is Mitt Romney. This week`s rant son people who listen to their disc
man too soft. Blast that disc man. Blast that walkman. Crank up that LL
Cool Beans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, these kinds of impressions, Jimmy, can help or hurt a
politician.

WILLIAMS: Well, listen, what Fallon is doing is he is channeling exactly
what most Americans think. OK. I mean, that Michele Bachmann parody was
just spot-on. And frankly, I can`t find -- I bet you if I polled all of my
Republican friends and said hey, the Fallon parody of Michele Bachmann was
that on that bill, like oh my God, it`s completely her. The point here is
if that if Fallon can go and do these kinds of things, then he reaches out
to a larger audience.

And I`m glad that he has taken the reins here. I`m not saying it because
it`s MSNBC. I`m saying it because, I`m a 40 something guy. He is I think
a 40 something guy. I can relate to him more. And so our generation, the
genics -- folks, we can see that. But now, I will probably stay up later
to watch Jimmy Fallon. That`s a good thing.

SHARPTON: Yes. And now, I understand why more people stop me and say they
saw me on "Saturday Night Live" with Ken Washington and on Politics Nation
with Angela Rye.

RYE: Wow, Rev, is that a burn?

SHARPTON: Angela Rye, Jimmy Williams, thank you both for your time
tonight. Have a great weekend.

RYE: Thank you, Rev.

WILLIAMS: Thanks. You too.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Ted Nugent apologizes for calling President Obama a
subhuman mongrel, but it`s one of the worst apologies I`ve ever heard.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Ted Nugent said some of the most vile things you can imagine
about President Obama. And then he was embraced by some powerful leaders
in the GOP. But some Republicans are speaking out. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Tonight some Republicans are finally coming forward to denounce
Ted Nugent, even as he himself issues the worst kind of phony apology. The
controversy exploded this week when the Republican candidate for governor
in Texas invited Nugent to campaign with him. Despite these recent
comments about the president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TED NUGENT, ROCK MUSICIAN: A Chicago communist-raised, communist-educated,
communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel like the ACORN community organizer
gangster Barack Hussein Obama.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That kind of talk has no place in our political debate, and no
elected official should associate himself with those views. Some
Republicans said it was just Ted being Ted. But others did the right
thing. Senator Rand Paul tweeted, quote, "Ted Nugent`s derogatory
description of the president, President Obama is offensive and has no place
in politics. He should apologize."

Senator John McCain said, quote, "That kind of language really doesn`t have
any place in our political dialogue. It harms the Republican Party. He is
the president of the United States. I believe we should treat him
respectfully."

They`re right. And I applaud them for coming forward. But as for Ted
Nugent himself, here is what he offered today as his apology.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NUGENT: I do apologize, not necessarily to the President, but on behalf of
much better men than myself, I apologize for using the street fighter
terminology of subhuman mongrel instead of just using more understandable
language such as violator of his oath to the constitution, the liar that he
is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Liar? Violator of the constitution? Really? Later in the
interview, the radio host asked again if Nugent was directly apologizing to
the president. And he did grudgingly say, "yes." So now I hope more
Republicans will realize that this kind of vicious extremism is not good
for their party. It`s certainly not good for the country. As I`ve grown
and seen things down through the years, I realized you can be passionate,
and you may be given to emotional reactions, but when you say vile things
and you keep saying them, people start thinking you`re not just being
passionate, that maybe you`re really a vile person. And vile people should
not be in the company of people that want to lead this country.

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

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