updated 2/25/2014 12:34:33 PM ET 2014-02-25T17:34:33

POLITICS NATION
February 24, 2014

Guesst: Kendall Coffey; Kionne McGhee; Anna Tovar, Joan Walsh, Krystal
Ball, Joe Madison, Dana Milbank

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Tonight`s lead, a new fight against
stand your ground. Lawmakers in Florida are now threatening to expand the
law. Just days after millions of Americans were stunned by the Michael
Dunn verdict. We`ve heard Dunn himself talk about the self-defense laws in
jailhouse recordings made after he was arrested for the death of Jordan
Davis. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL DUNN, SHOT AND KILLED JORDAN DAVIS: Between adrenaline, fear, and
muscle memory, I wasn`t doing a whole lot of thinking. It was a me or him
situation. And I wish I had a time machine I would have parked there.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It was me or him, says Michael Dunn. In that conversation, Dunn
seemed convinced that the self-defense laws were on his side.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DUNN: I have high confidence that it will work out. Even if it goes to
trial, once they all see the evidence, I`m not a monster. I mean, that`s
important to me that you know that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Maybe Dunn was confident that it would work out. Because of how
broadly the self-defense law protects the use of deadly force. At his
trial, the jury instructions read, quote, "the danger to Michael Dunn need
not have been actual, as long as he believed that the danger was real, and
that he had no duty to retreat."

So the danger didn`t have to be real. He only had to believe it was real.
And he had no obligation to retreat from this imaginary danger? What kind
of law is that? There are now 25 states with stand your ground laws on the
books. And now in Florida, the state where it all began, they`re actually
trying to expand it.

A house committee just approved a bill that would expand the law to include
the threat of force, not just the use of force itself. Supporters say the
bill could help someone like Marissa Alexander, who was imprisoned after
firing a warning shot in self-defense. But critics say it opens the door
to even more problems, with possibly more guns and more intimidation on our
streets.

Make no mistake. Well need to repeal this law. We need to fight it, not
expand it. The father of Jordan Davis talked about that when I spoke to
him on Friday.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RON DAVIS, JORDAN DAVIS` FATHER: 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. He killed a 17-year-old that will always forever remain
17. He shot a bullet through his lungs. It traveled and tore his 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 seconds
away from death, it break miss heart.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now is Florida State Representative Kionne McGhee,
who voted against the expansion of stand your ground law and former U.S.
attorney Kendall Coffey.

Thank you both for being here.

KENDALL COFFEY, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Thanks, Reverend Al.

STATE REP. KIONNE MCGHEE, FLORIDA: Thanks for having us.

SHARPTON: Representative, you`re a lawyer and former prosecutor. Why did
you vote against this new attempt to expand stand your ground?

MCGHEE: It`s a vague attempt, Reverend Al Sharpton. This is one of those
bills that on its face it looks like it`s there to help Marissa Alexander.
But when you really dove into the language of the bill, you realize the
bill is so vague, that it`s going to lead us down a slippery slope.

For instance, this bill, house bill 89 allows for us, or anybody to pull
out a firearm and fire into a home, a vehicle, a crowd. It doesn`t stop.
It doesn`t stop where anyone can use deadly force. It simply gives them
the authority and the immunity to use it.

SHARPTON: So you can fire into any of these places if you think you`re in
danger. It doesn`t have to be actual danger. If you feel you are
endangered.

MCGHEE: If you feel you are in danger based upon this particular language
you have a right to fire a gun into a home, into a vehicle, or into a
crowd. And the one thing about this bill, Reverend Sharpton, is this. If
you fire a weapon in this particular case, under this particular bill, if
the bullet hits someone else, the question is will the shooter be liable
for the person who was hit who was not the intend target.

SHARPTON: Right.

MCGHEE: The bill doesn`t even speak to that. So those are the
complications that this bill would lead to. Stand your ground has already
divided this entire country.

SHARPTON: Wow.

MCGHEE: Now, this particular bill here will take us down that road, down
that slippery road. And I feel there will be no return once this bill is
passed.

SHARPTON: Now, Kendall, four of Florida`s biggest newspapers have come out
against stand your ground. Saying the Florida law must be revise or
repealed. This is unprecedented in the state of Florida. What is your
reaction to this growing outcry against this bill?

I remember two years ago when many of us started raising objections, we
were considered raising something from the margins. Now you see the
mainstream is saying no, this is not a good bill.

COFFEY: Well, and you have to hope. We now have three high profile cases
in Florida that have dramatized the problems with this law. Of course, the
George Zimmerman case, the Marissa Alexander and now the case of Michael
Dunn. So, you have to hope that this growing momentum is going to mean
something and the legislature is going to feel they need to do more than
just tinker with it or proposition even expand it. But look at something
either to repeal it or to make it more acceptable.

And I want to focus on what the Jacksonville sheriff recently said, who was
right there, literally, his office was at the scene of the crime with
Michael Dunn. And he said we do have to do something about it. He changed
his mind. And I think he pointed a way to some kind of improvement, not
necessarily appeal, but flag is could make the law a lot more accessible.
Because right now, it is clearly a message to gun owners that if you can
come up with a story you feared for your life and you thought somebody had
a gun, you can literally get away with murder.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, Representative McGhee, there are many that are
concerned about this expansion law and want to see legislators do
something. Many of us are gathering there on March 10th to talk to the
legislature about our concerns.

But let me ask you, are you saying that there is no bill that is there to
really just repeal it? Because even the attorney general of the United
States, Eric Holder talked about the danger of stand your ground laws last
July. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: It`s time to question laws that
senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict
in our neighborhoods. We must stand our ground to ensure that our laws
reduce violence and take a hard look at laws that contribute to more
violence than they prevent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So even the attorney general is on record. How can the
legislature not hear the cry of people all over this country, and
particularly the people in their own state, in their own districts?

MCGHEE: Reverend, you have hit it squarely on its head. Our legislature
has pretty much said no to hearing it. Senator Chris Smith has really good
bills actually deal with this issue, that actually accomplish those same
concerns that our attorney general laid out.

The issue here is we`re creating a situation that it can only make things
worse. What is going to happen when you have a gentleman again at a movie
theater or at a gas station, and he internalized some sort of fear that he
has, a fear that he may have harbored with him all of his life, and all of
the sudden he feels now he is afraid. He pulls out this gun, and he fires.

Now, the question now is where does the firing stop? Because we now know
if you fire and you hit someone, stand your ground covers you. Now with
this bill, if you fire and you miss a person and you hit into the car or
you fire into the house are you covered? And what happens if this bullet
hits a kid? Are you covered? And that`s what we`re talking about.

The vagueness of this law can only create more complications. And we have
to do more. And you`ve been on the front line of this issue. And we know.
We know at the end of the day, when it is all said and done, this bill does
not make sense. If the country is already divided, then why would you tilt
more in favor of stand your ground? Why not allow for the country to
settle down, come to an understanding, come to a resolution on how we can
deal with this. There is no reason to actually expand stand your ground
when it`s already inside of one of the most highly debatable issues that
we`ve seen.

SHARPTON: You know, Kendall, the law is also applied unequally. And when
you look at the stand your ground states, look at this data. From 2005 to
2010, 36 percent of shooting deaths with a white perpetrator and a black
victim were found to be justifiable. Only three percent of shooting deaths
with a black perpetrator and a white victim were considered justifiable.
So it`s not even equally applied. You can`t even equally stand your
ground.

COFFEY: And I think that`s part of why the attorney general of the United
States thinks that the federal government needs to speak out on it, because
of these kind of statistical disparities, this kind of injustice. And just
to sort of give you a sense of how it`s going to explain to a jury.

Before stand your ground a jury was told if somebody is going to kill
somebody claiming self-defense, they have to have used every reasonable
means to avoid the danger. Now no such instruction to the contrary, stand
your ground. So what they`re really saying is you can go looking for
trouble. You don`t have to walk away. As I said before, if you come up
with a story about how you were afraid and how you thought you saw a gun,
you can kill somebody and you don`t have to walk away from trouble. But
you can walk out of the courtroom.

SHARPTON: State representative McGhee and Kendall Coffey, thank you both
for your time tonight.

COFFEY: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

MCGHEE: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Now coming up, outrage in Arizona. Why hasn`t Governor Brewer
vetoed a bill that would make it legal to discriminate? We`re live in
Phoenix ahead.

Plus, it was supposed to be a bipartisan event at the White House today,
but Bobby Jindal just couldn`t help himself.

And Ted Nugent follows his fake apology by comparing the Obama
administration to Nazi Germany. Why he is a problem for the GOP?

And is the NFL ready to penalize players for using the n-word? Stay with
us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Coming up, the pressure mounts in Arizona. A bill giving people
the right to discriminate is one signature away from being law. Today the
calls are growing louder for a veto. You cannot legalize discrimination.
We`re live in Arizona, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: America is changing. We`re becoming more diverse and more
tolerant. You see it everywhere, from courtrooms to basketball courts.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here it is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Number 46.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You hear the applause. A historic moment at staples
center as Jason Collins becomes the first openly gay athlete to play in any
of this country`s four major professional sports.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Jason Collins making history last night in Los Angeles, and it
isn`t just Jason Collins. Michael Sam, who is expected to be the first
openly gay player in the NFL, worked out with other top draft prospects
this weekend.

But while the vast majority of Americans are moving forward, some on the
right are trying to roll back the clock. In Arizona, Republicans in the
state legislature passed a bill that would let businesses refuse to serve
gay customers if they cite their religious beliefs. It would allow blatant
discrimination. And many are urging Governor Jan Brewer to veto the bill.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our governor needs to veto this legislation. It is bad
for Arizona.

CROWD: Veto this bill! Veto this bill! Veto this bill!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Today Arizona`s two Republican senators John McCain and Jeff
Flake have tweeted they`re hoping for a veto. But so far Governor Brewer
says she hasn`t made up her mind.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. JAN BREWER (R), ARIZONA: The bill is in transmittal, and I don`t have
to make a decision until next Friday. So I`ve got plenty of time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: This decision shouldn`t take Governor Brewer any time. It
should be a no-brainer. Just a few decades ago, civil rights activists
staged sit-ins at lunch counters across the country to protest restaurants
who refused to serve people because of the color of their skin at that
time. Today it`s a different kind of discrimination, but it`s still
discrimination.

Joining me now is Arizona state senator Anna Tovar, Democratic leader in
the Senate.

Senator, thank you for being here.

STATE SEN. ANNA TOVAR (D), ARIZONA: Thank you for having me, Reverend.

SHARPTON: The entire country is looking at Arizona right now. How could
lawmakers there justify this kind of discrimination?

TOVAR: You know, this is an extreme bill that Arizona does not want or
does not need. So it is very disappointing to see that the GOP has brought
forward such a bill that will have discrimination for all Arizonans. It
truly is a sad day in Arizona.

SHARPTON: Now, Senator Tovar, several Republican senators who voted for
the bill seem to be backtracking now. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sometimes we make a mistake and need to correct it, and
that`s what we`re doing right now, trying to correct an error.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s been bad pr for the state. It`s a mistake, and we
want to see the governor correct it with a veto.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: How do you respond to their backtracking on their own vote?

TOVAR: Well, I`m glad they`re taking a different position now. But you
know, the damage has been done to Arizona as far as, you know, what this
has caused us, negative publicity. We`re working our way back very hard,
and definitely Arizonans don`t need or want this bill. So we are urging
the governor to veto this bill as soon as she gets off the plane tomorrow
morning from D.C.

SHARPTON: Now, I`ve got to raise a huge question for Arizonans and for
everybody, for that matter. The Super Bowl is supposed to be in Arizona
next year. Now, it was also supposed to be there in 1993. I remember
this. It was moved because Arizona wouldn`t recognize Martin Luther King
Day.

Today, the NFL put out this statement saying they prohibit discrimination,
and, quote, "we are following the issue in Arizona and will continue to do
so. Should the bill be signed into law. But will decline further comment
at this time."

But Governor Brewer hasn`t wanted to talk about this. Let`s watch Governor
Brewer on this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Governor Brewer, in the past the NFL has
made decisions about where they host the Super Bowl based on laws that are
passed in the state. Do you think it`s possible them they will decide next
year, pick to host the Super Bowl in your state if this law is still in
effect?

BREWER: I think you should address that issue to the Super Bowl.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, Senator, how do you respond to that? And how could the
Super Bowl come there if this, in fact, is signed into law?

TOVAR: Well, this is a bill that would damage our economy way past the
Super Bowl. So I applaud the super bowl for taking such a position as
well. But, again, this is, you know, thousands of jobs are on the line and
people`s livelihoods are at stake. But most importantly, not only from an
economic perspective, but from a personal perspective as well. All
Arizonans deserve to be treated equally, and this bill does not do that.
This bill forces discrimination with all Arizonans.

SHARPTON: Now, we`ve seen several pieces of extreme legislation in Arizona
over the last few years. Right now we`re seeing this anti-gay bill, but in
2012, the governor signed a law to ban abortions after 20 weeks, which was
later overturned. In 2010, there was the papers, please, immigration law.
What is going on in your state, Senator?

TOVAR: Well we are working very hard, Reverend, as you know. You`ve
joined us on many occasions to fight for the right of all Arizonans to
prevent discrimination, whether it be the SB-1070, whether it be our Martin
Luther King Day. We are standing strong in Arizona. And Arizonans don`t
deserve this bill.

So we are rising up and asking the governor to swiftly veto this bill
tomorrow morning. There is no need for this bill in Arizona. And the
governor has a prime opportunity to show that Arizona is open for business
for all Arizonans and for everyone here to be treated equally.

So, again, we ask the governor to swiftly veto this bill tomorrow morning.
So Arizona can get on to its priorities and matters -- issues that really
matter here in the state of Arizona. This, again, an extremist bill that
Arizonans do not want.

SHARPTON: Well, we`ll be monitoring it. And I`m very curious as a
minister to know what kind of religion teaches people don`t serve people
food based on who they are and what they do in life.

Arizona state senator Anna Tovar, thank you for your time tonight.

TOVAR: Thank you so much.

SHARPTON: Coming up, it was supposed to be a bipartisan meeting at the
White House. But Bobby Jindal didn`t get the memo. Wait until you see how
one democrat responded.

Also, think the GOP`s Ted Nugent problem was over? Think again. He`s got
some new comments about Nazi Germany that should have Republican leaders
very worried. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: You know the age old contradiction, not in my backyard, I want
x, but not if it causes y, at least not in my backyard. Well meet,
ExxonMobil`s CEO Rex Tillerson, the man in-charge of the biggest natural
gas producer in the U.S. The oil executive who made his company literally
billions of dollars. And he is also the latest victim of not in my
backyard.

He is publicly supported fracking, the controversial drilling technique
used to extract natural gas and oil from deep in the earth. His company
even spent $2 million on a pro fracking ad campaign. But now "the Wall
Street Journal" reports Tillerson is joining a lawsuit to block this 160-
foot water tower being built to use for fracking purposes.

Excellent. So why the change of heart? I guess he is concerned about
contaminating the water supply. Or maybe he has seen the documentary
"Gasland."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jesus Christ!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s how contaminated the water was from fracking. Dangerous
chemicals setting that water on fire. But no, it`s not about the fracking.
So why is he changing his tune? The water tower is literally in
Tillerson`s backyard in Bartlesville, Texas. And his lawyer says his
primary concern is that his property value would be harmed, his $5 million
property.

So he supports fracking, as long as he is not personally impacted. Did he
think we wouldn`t notice this slick move is dripping with hypocrisy? Nice
try, but clean up this bill because we got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Today, President Obama met with the nation`s governors, and for
one fleeting moment, everything seemed to be going pretty well. The
President called for action on a series of popular items -- jobs,
education, access to health care. There seemed to be a good feeling about
working together. But right after the meeting, one Republican governor
just couldn`t help himself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: Yes, he did mention the minimum wage
repeatedly to us. So, what I worry about is that this president, the White
House seems to be waving the white flag of surrender after more than five
years now under this administration, the Obama economy is now the minimum
wage economy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Waving the white flag of surrender? Over minimum wage? Wait.
Wasn`t that same governor saying this just one day before?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JINDAL: As a party, we can`t just be the party of no. As a party, we`ve
got good solutions. Let`s increase domestic production of energy creating
hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs. The Republican Party should be
the party of growth and opportunity.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So he slams the party of -- one day and next day he slams the
president and says no to minimum wage increase. It was a remarkable about-
face, and it led to this testy exchange.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. DAN MALLOY (D), CONNECTICUT: Until a few moments ago, we were going
down a pretty cooperative road. You just heard what I think ended up being
probably the most partisan statement that we`ve had all weekend. I don`t
know what the heck was a reference to white flag when it comes to people
making $404 a week. I mean, that`s the most insane statement I`ve ever
heard.

JINDAL: I`d like to respond just quickly. If that was the most partisan
statement he`s heard all weekend, I want to make sure that he hears a more
partisan statement, which is I think we can also grow the economy more if
we would delay more of these ObamaCare mandates.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The Republican Party is broken, and even Republicans know it.
Now if they could just get out of their own way, we could see some real
action.

Joining me now are Krystal Ball and Joan Walsh. Thank you both for being
here tonight.

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

SHARPTON: Joan, when Governor Jindal attacked the GOP as the party of no,
was he thinking of Governor Jindal?

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: I think he might have been, Reverend Al. I mean,
this is the second time Bobby Jindal has done this. He either has the
instincts or the advisers to know that there is something wrong with his
party. It is broken.

SHARPTON: Right.

WALSH: And so, he came out and said, you know, we can`t be the party of
stupid and now we can`t be the party of no. But, you know, he is stuck on
no and he stuck on stupid. He can`t move away from the same damaging
really unpopular policies and he can`t move away from trashing the
president. So, after having a, you know, cordial go-round with this
president who really reach out and tried to emphasize areas that used to be
common ground. Universal pre-k used to be a kind of bipartisan idea,
raising the minimum wage the same thing. And he goes off after that and
becomes Mr. no once again.

SHARPTON: And you know, Krystal, when Jindal called the GOP the party of
no, you know, let`s remember all the things the Republicans have said no
to. Raising the minimum wage. Extending long-term unemployment benefits.
Expanding Medicaid in many states. Closing corporate tax loopholes. A
path to citizenship. The American jobs act, which economists say would add
-- would have added 1.9 million jobs. And new gun laws, and on and on and
on. They have been the party of no. Jindal was right about that on
Sunday.

BALL: Right. Right. Well, and he is very much in line with all of the
items that you just listed of them being the party of no about. So he is
right in step with the rest of the Republican Party. I mean, here is the
real problem for this party. Their economic philosophy has been totally
thoroughly discredited. We had a financial collapse because of their
economic philosophy. We have the highest heights of inequality because of
their economic philosophy. So he may realize that it`s not good for them
to be the party of stupid, that it`s not good for them to be the party of
no. But they have nowhere else to go because their entire economic theory
is totally debunked.

SHARPTON: But then why in these flashes when he talks about the party of
no and he has these apparent flashes of political sanity does he come back
like he does today and doubles down? For example, here is Republican
Congressman Devon Nunez, what he says about his own party`s agenda for the
rest of the year. Listen to this. Let me read it to you. He says, "It`s
over, it`s finished. In the House, we`ve got 30 guys who don`t want to
support anything, ever, unless it balances the budget next year."

WALSH: Well, they are. They`re stuck, Reverend Al. I mean, they know,
they know they have a lot of problems. One of their problems is their
reliance almost exclusively on white voters. So, periodically they say
we`ve got to get ourselves some different voters. But they can`t do
comprehensive immigration reform, even though there probably are the votes
for it because they`re afraid of a backlash. They know they need more
women voters, but they can`t loosen up. They can`t stop bashing women.
They can`t stop promoting more anti-choice policies because they`ve still
got to play to that culturally conservative base.

They want more young voters. Same thing, though. They`re tied to their
base and they will not give it up in order to reach out and venture out and
possibly grab new voters. So it`s easy for them to default at the end of
the day is just say no, disrespect the president, and hope that their
voters turn out as they often do in the midterms. And you know, this is
the thing. They`re right.

SHARPTON: That`s the question, Krystal, you know, in the midterms, as Joan
just said, will they pay for it in 2014, 2016, will they pay for it again?

BALL: Right. Well, I think in 2016 they will almost definitely pay for
it. In 2014, they`re still holding on to their success in 2010. That`s
why they think they don`t really have to reform, because they point back to
the conservative wave of 2010 on midterm election with low turnout.
They`re banking on 2014 looking like that again. And it`s up to Democrats
really to get their voters excited and get them out to the polls. Because
if it is another low turnout election, you are probably going to see
conservatives pick up seats in the House. And that will then keep them
from making the changes and reforming the party in the way that they really
need to.

WALSH: Right.

BALL: To be a true national governing party again.

SHARPTON: You know, Joan, the GOP keeps touting this CBO report that came
out last week about the minimum wage. And it says that it would cost the
nation about 500,000 jobs. But it would also increase earnings for 16.5
million workers.

WALSH: Right.

SHARPTON: And it would also lift 900,000 people out of poverty. Of
course, the Republicans don`t tout that. And the president, watch what he
was saying last week about the minimum wage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: This is not just the policy, it
also happens to be good politics. The reason that this is important is not
because everybody is going to be benefitting from heightened minimum wage.
The truth is that most working Americans make more than the minimum wage
already. But people I think instinctually understand the part of what this
country should be about is if you`re working hard and taking
responsibility, that you can get ahead and that you can look after your
family.

WALSH: Well, yes. And, you know, we`ve got to say -- I respect the CBO.
They do good work normally. But this report is an outlier. Most
economists agree that there is only a marginal, if any impact on the number
of job. So the report is controversial.

SHARPTON: And contradictory.

WALSH: And contradictory. There is contradictory stuff in it. But
overall, you know, we might have more jobs, Reverend Al, if we did away
with child labor laws. We might have more jobs. We would have more people
working if we just did away with Social Security, just work until you die.
You know, there are lots of things that might have more people in the
workforce. But their lives would be miserable. And we have fought battles
to advance the rights of workers and to raise that floor for people which
then raises everything for everybody else. So this is a battle worth
having. The people are on the president`s side, they`re the party of no
and they`re on the wrong side.

SHARPTON: Joan Walsh and Krystal Ball, thank you both for your time this
evening.

WALSH: Thank you, Rev.

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

Still ahead, the GOP`s Ted Nugent problem is just getting worse. Today he
is making Nazi comparisons.

And in the NFL ready to make a big statement penalizing for the n-word? It
has people talking. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Last week, it surfaced that rocker Ted Nugent called the
president a, quote, "subhuman mongrel." The remarks were vile, but the
problem was much bigger than Ted Nugent. It exposed a problem in the GOP.
A refusal to condemn this ugly talk. The Republican candidate for governor
in Texas had no problem campaigning with Nugent. Still others called it
just Ted being Ted. Eventually, some GOP leaders did the right thing.
People like senators Rand Paul and John McCain, both condemned the talk.
And I applaud them for it. But Ted Nugent himself, this was his mockery of
an apology.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TED NUGENT, ROCK MUSICIAN: 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: But why does Nugent`s apology matter? Well, apparently it was
good enough for the man at the center of Texas governor`s race Greg Abbott.
He released a statement saying, I believe Ted Nugent recognized his
language was wrong, and he rightfully apologized. This is not the kind of
language I would use or endorse in any way. It`s time to move beyond this.
It`s time to move beyond this? Let`s see how Mr. Nugent has moved on. In
this clip, flagged by Media Matters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NUGENT: There was an incrementalism to what happened in Germany and other
places historically where they came in slowly and they started, you know,
the power struggle between the different races and the power struggle
between different elements of society. I really believe that what we see
with the IRS can be compared accurately and historically to the early
maneuvers of people like jack-booted thugs like the brown shirts. I think
he really wants to destroy America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Comparing the Obama administration to Nazi Germany? That`s
disgraceful. But what is more disgraceful is the party`s coziness with
talk like this.

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

JOE MADISON, SIRIUS XM RADIO HOST: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

SHARPTON: Dana, what does the GOP`s tortured relationship with Ted Nugent
tell us about the party?

DANA MILBANK, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, look. Ted Nugent has just
stepped in it again. If he had any sense, he would be goose stepping his
way away from the cameras and out of the limelight at this point. In the
immediate sense, I think, really, the only damage here is to Abbott down in
Texas, because he is the one who is going to be on the ballot. He is the
one who is most closely identified here. The Nugent problem, I mean, look,
you can`t dismiss Nugent as one crazy person who is just going to sound off
about Nazis using Nazi terminology himself.

The problem is there are several people, several characters along the
fringes, not just Ted Nugent. It`s Steve King, it`s Michele Bachmann, it`s
Matt Bevin. There are a whole bunch of these character now, let`s
certainly stipulate that`s not the majority of conservatives in America or
Republicans. The problem is that when they`re trying to step away from
that image the party has, the trouble that it has with women, the trouble
that it has with minorities, the collection of these characters and the
slowness to disassociate themselves from these characters is what the
problem is.

SHARPTON: You know, Joe, both Governor Rick Perry and Senator Cruz were
asked if they would still campaign with Nugent. Take a listen to what they
said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: Ted and I have been on the stage together. He
is a proud and a strong defender of the constitution of the United States.
We`ve all said things that we would like to reel back in. I suggest to you
that this is probably one of those for him. And he does that, and I don`t
know.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Would you campaign with Ted Nugent?

PERRY: You know, I haven`t yet, and I`m going to avoid engaging in
hypotheticals.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Not strong denunciations, Joe.

MADISON: No, not at all. And the reality is that the strong defender of
the constitution is a draft-dodging rocker who didn`t dodge the draft
because he had ideological differences. He dodged the draft because he
wanted to continue to play rock `n roll. And even said that if he had been
drafted and gone to Vietnam, he would have shot his own men. Now this is
his own words. So this is not something new. But here what is really
going on. Ted Nugent is a train wreck for the Republican Party. There
might be a lot of trains that make it to the station, but what gets the
attention are these train wrecks. He is a train wreck.

SHARPTON: But he is not the whole point, Dana, because there is a lot of
extreme talk, even among lawmakers that are getting bolder in attacking the
president. Listen to Michele Bachmann, a congresswoman. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: The president`s legacy will be at
the establishment of lawlessness in the United States. From stem to stern,
this president has said the law doesn`t apply to me. Has he violated the
law? In my opinion, yes, the president of the United States has violated
the law. But we must have the support of the American people in order to
have impeachment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADISON: No, you don`t.

SHARPTON: I mean, Dana, impeachment? Lawless?

MILBANK: No.

SHARPTON: Well, I think we have gone maybe a week or two without mentions
of impeachment. So, I guess we can`t be terribly surprised that it`s come
back once again. Look, this talk, this has been a regular staple of the
conservatives rhetoric, the illegitimacy of this president. You know, the
talk itself I think isn`t the issue. The craziness isn`t necessarily the
issue. The problem for the conservatives and particularly for the
Republicans is that it is the policies that they`ve put in place is not
doing anything to help their cause.

MILBANK: So, if you just had Michele Bachmann and you just had Ted Nugent
out there, but you didn`t have the mass of the party, say, opposing a
minimum wage increase, an obsession with bringing up abortion legislation,
an absolute failure to address immigration legislation in the House, if you
didn`t have those things, you could say, well, these are one-off
characters. Everybody has their fringes. The problem is you have policies
that in the voters` minds can be conflated with the crazy things that some
people say.

SHARPTON: Yes, but Joe, this is just not crazy things. This is actual
policy. The idea the president is lawless has even become a party of part
of the GOP`s policy. Congressman Cantor, for example, sent a memo to the
House GOP saying, 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." This is
Cantor to GOP members of Congress. This is party policy.

MADISON: And by the way, the President hasn`t done anything that Ronald
Reagan didn`t do, that George Bush didn`t do, that other presidents haven`t
done. And if you notice, they never really give the American people any
examples of what constitutional laws he has broken. They always say he has
broken constitutional law.

SHARPTON: Right.

MADISON: Well, give us some examples. And let me also say something. If
he is a criminal, you don`t need the people`s support to prosecute him.
Impeach him. But they know darn well that if they do, that`s it. Now you
have seen a train wreck of the entire party. And they know it. So all
this is nothing more than rhetoric. And Ted Nugent needs to go back to
school, if he went to school in the first place. Because all anyone has to
do is watch the history channel or attend History 101 to know how he
described is the United States of America today and Nazi Germany 1930s is
absolutely absurd. Nazi Germany was about white supremacy, Aryan nation
supremacy. That was it. And I don`t think President Obama represents
Aryan nation supremacy.

SHARPTON: Joe Madison, Dana Milbank, I`m going to have to leave it there.
Thank you for your time this evening.

MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.

MADISON: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Ahead, banning the n-word in the NFL. Why this possible new
rule is creating controversy.

And it`s a big night for the queen of soul. The one and only Aretha
Franklin. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The legendary Aretha Franklin, singing at President Obama`s
first inauguration in 2009. She`s been one of my musical heroes for
decades. A trail blazer who merged soul, gospel, the blues, and rock `n
roll into a sound all her own. And it was my great honor to present her
award at this year`s BET honors show. A tribute to some living legends for
black history month. Other honorees included Smokey Robinson, Ice Cube,
and Motown Founder Berry Gordy. The show airs tonight on BET black history
month is a time to remember those who have gone before. But we should also
remember that some of those making history are still here and can still
bring down the House.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The NFL is on the verge of a groundbreaking. It`s expected to
pass a 15-yard penalty for using the n-word on the field. A second offense
would result in an ejection. The chairman of a group watching diversity in
the league said, quote, "We want this word to be policed from the parking
lot to the equipment room to the locker room. Secretaries, pr people,
whoever. We want it eliminated completely and we want it policed
everywhere."

We`ve heard the n-word used off the field. There was the bullying scandal
inside the Dolphins locker room. An investigation found the use of racial
slurs and other racially derogatory language. And last summer, Eagles
player Riley Cooper was caught on camera saying the n-word at a concert.
The critics say, talking trash is part of football, and this penalty would
be against freedom of speech. But here is what I say. The NFL is a place
of business, and anyone involved in the game must live by the same rules
every else does.

If we don`t take an unequivocal stand on the n-word, what happens when
openly gay athletes are mocked with the f-word on the field or players use
anti-Semitic or anti-Irish words? We must send a message that all
derogatory words are unacceptable. If the fans in the stands can`t talk
trash at their jobs, then NFL players need to understand that the stadium
is for the pleasure of the audience. It`s a work site for them. And they
should be responsible on their job like their fans are on their own.

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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