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PoliticsNation, Thursday, March 20th, 2014

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POLITICS NATION
March 20, 2014

Guests: John Wisniewski, Gwen Moore, Greg Feith, Tom Casey, Jim Cavanaugh,
Jay Rollins, Alicia Reece, Chaka Fattah

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you
for tuning in. I`m live tonight from Cincinnati, Ohio. And a little later
we`ll be talking about protecting our voting rights.

But we begin with tonight`s lead. Republicans need a health care reality
check-up. With just 11 days left to enroll, President Obama and his team
are racing to get more people covered. Today he visited with Ellen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELLEN DEGENERES, TV HOST: While I have you, I think it`s only fair we
should talk about Obamacare and that rhymed.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, you know, we`ve got
about two weeks left until March 31st for people to sign up. If you don`t
have health insurance right now, you should go on healthcare.gov and
especially all the moms out there who may have young people, 26, 27, don`t
have health insurance but they think they`re invincible and nothing is ever
going to happen to them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The president making his case directly to mothers in America.
He also said the law is bigger than the politics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: People will be pleasantly surprise surprised. I`ve got a lot of
folks who write me letters saying I didn`t vote for you and I`m pretty
skeptical about Obamacare and I heard about the problems on the Web site,
but when I actually signed up it turns out I`m saving $100 or $200 or I`m
getting health insurance for the first time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The affordable care act is already making a difference in
people`s lives and when Republicans get out of Washington, they can`t avoid
that fact. They see it for themselves. Remember Scott Brown, the senator
Republicans hoped would help them kill Obamacare when he was elected in
2010? Well, he failed then. But he`s talking about running for office
again. And he`s still attacking the law.

In a meeting with a Republican state senator Brown called Obamacare a,
quote, "monstrosity." But the state senator in that meeting said the law
was saving him money. He called it a financial lifesaver. His wife even
said, quote, "thank God for Obamacare." And that`s from a Republican
family. Not exactly the monstrosity Scott Brown thought it was. But year
after year after year after year we hear the same old talking points from
the GOP.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I think it`s important for
us to lay the ground work before we begin to repeal this monstrosity and
replace it with common sense reforms.

This bill ought to be repealed and replaced.

That`s why we have voted over 30 times to repeal it, defund it, replace it.

We want to repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient center health care.

That`s why we need to repeal this law and replace it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Speaker Boehner and the gang needs to face facts. Five million
people signed up for the exchanges. Those five million people don`t want
this law repealed or replaced. With the deadline approaching, Republicans
are going to have to start facing the facts.

Joining me now Congressman Chaka Fattah, Democrat of Pennsylvania and
MSNBC`s Krystal Ball.

Thank you both for being here.

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

REP. CHAKA FATTAH (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Good to be with you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Congressman, five million covered and still counting. Don`t
Republicans need to find some new talking points.

FATTAH: Well, the truth is, you know, if you look at the count, they had
the majority in the house and the Senate and President Bush for six years
they did zero on health care except veto the children`s health care bill.

President Obama signed children`s health care and then passed the
affordable care act. Millions are being covered, not just the five million
in the exchange. Millions of more on Medicaid, millions of children under
the children`s health care program. Health care is going to be a big part
of the legacy of this president. It`s taken us almost 100 years to be in a
position where anyone in our country no matter what their circumstances can
have health care coverage. And President Obama has done it and we still
need to run through the tape.

We have 11 million days. We`re at five million in the private exchanges.
We can get even bigger numbers, over 700,000 people visited the Web site
over the weekend. We got more work to do. People need to go to
healthcare.gov, Rev., and claim the victory.

SHARPTON: You know, Krystal, when the congressman talks about some on the
right and some of the pundants have criticized the president`s outreach.
One said pundant President Lincoln wouldn`t have talked to the star of hang
over. Today, President Obama responded to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: First of all, if you read back on Lincoln, he loved telling the
occasional bawdy joke and being out among regular folks. One of the
hardest thing about being president is being in this bubble that`s
artificial and unless you make a conscious effort, you start sounding like
some Washington stiff.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And, you know, this outreach outside the bubble is working.
Last night healthcare.gov tweeted 895,000 visits to healthcare.gov and
200,000 calls to call centers yesterday. Biggest call rush since December.
Twelve days to get covered now. Are right wing criticizing this kind of
outreach because it works, Krystal?

BALL: Well, they`re criticizing the outreach because they criticize
everything that this president does, And you`re absolutely right. He`s
reaching the folks who need to be reached. The folks that are harder to
find right now. Young voters, young citizens are more difficult to reach
via traditional television. They`re more difficult to reach by a phone,
via mail. You have to go where they are. And this idea of what Abraham
Lincoln may or may not have done is absolutely absurd. In fact, I think
the fact that the president can laugh and make a joke and not take himself
too seriously is what a lot of folks really appreciate about him. That
he`s not so big that he can`t do an awkward segment and poke fun at himself
and really make an important point in the process.

And let`s remember, he`s not going on these television shows, he`s not
doing all of this outreach just for some political point. He`s doing it
because it`s really important that these young folks get insurance coverage
because it`s good for them. Not because he wants to score political points
against Republicans. This is a good and important message and I`m really
glad to see him out there talking to folks and meeting them where they are.

SHARPTON: You know, Congressman, when you listen to that, I think about
Paul Ryan. He was asked about the health care law at a recent town hall
earlier this week and he had a funny excuse for all of those anti-Obamacare
votes. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: ACA, One thing I want
to say, we didn`t have 51 votes to repeal it altogether 51 times. I think
that`s sort of like this urban legend that we said let`s repeal it and it`s
like we repeal the whole law. There were many pieces of this law that we
went after separately.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So Congressman, is it just urban legend or is it just me that
feels that the Republicans have done everything they could to gut
Obamacare?

FATTAH: Well, they not only have tried everything in the book, they tried
to step outside of that. I mean, it`s almost as if they are standing in
the doorway, you know? Saying never ever, right?

The problem is the public is not listening. People are signing up in the
millions. Five million already. I think, you know, we`re pretty clear up
through six million and we want to make that mad dash to the end because
this is about making sure that everyone gets covered and the Republicans
made a decision early on rather than to contribute and build a bipartisan
law they were going to standout side and try to stop it. They couldn`t
stop the strategy. He got the bill passed and then they tried to stop
implementation and they couldn`t do that. Now they`re on the sideline
complaining and five million people rushed right by them to sign up.

BALL: Yes.

SHARPTON: Talk about that rush to the end, Krystal, the White House work
with a number of athletes to tweet about the health care law today, Carmela
Anthony, Dewayne Wade and Kevin Durant were just some of those involved.
They have a combined 15 million twitter followers. How effective is that
at getting the word out?

BALL: I think they have been very smart on this piece. And look, we were
all disappointed with the initial roll out of the Web site. But this part
of knowing who they needed to talk to, knowing how to reach them, that is
the part that the Obama administration is really excellent on and they`re
able to draw on the tools they needed to use in the campaign and who they
need to target, where they are, what sorts of media do they consume. This
they do really well.

And to your earlier point, Rev., you know, the Republicans are increasingly
going to have a hard time because the landscape has shifted. They can no
longer say get rid of it. It`s awful, it`s an abomination because the
reality has changed. People now see that they, their friends, their
neighbors, their children can benefit from this law. So it`s not going to
be good enough anymore to say repeal. They have to have an alternative at
the least that is better and so far they have nothing to offer.

SHARPTON: Well, the reality has changed five million people and still
counting.

BALL: That`s right.

SHARPTON: And we are still seeing people tweeting and generating
enthusiasm. It looks like this is really, really going to help millions of
Americans.

Congressman Chaka Fattah, Krystal ball, thank you both for your time
tonight.

BALL: Thanks, Rev.

FATTAH: Thank you for your leadership, Rev.

SHARPTON: Thank you.

And be sure to watch Krystal on "the cycle" weekdays at 3:00 p.m. eastern
right here on MSNBC.

Coming up, at this moment, a desperate search is on in the Southern Indian
Ocean. Is this debris from the missing Malaysian plane or not? And if it
did go down the ocean, the question is still, why? Why was it so far off
course? And what is the FBI finding on the pilot`s home simulator?

Plus, Paul Ryan confronted over his inner cities remark. The heated
exchange you have to see.

And why is Senator Rand Paul talking about President Obama and race in a
speech about the NSA? Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Coming up, why is Rand Paul talking about spying and our first
African American president?

But first, Paul Ryan gets confronted on his inner cities comment. We`re
going live to Wisconsin, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Tonight there`s new backlash to Paul Ryan`s war on the poor.
The congressman is still trying to explain away the offensive comments
blaming poverty on a culture of men not working in inner cities.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN: We have got this tail spin of culture in our inner cities in
particular of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking
about working or learning the value and the culture of work. So there`s a
real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Ryan later said those comments were inarticulate but, he never
actually apologized for it and now at town halls back home, voters in his
own district are calling him out for it. Check out what this man said to
Ryan in a powerful confrontation caught on tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You said that statement was inarticulate. Well, I
don`t believe that. You said what you meant, fine. The bottom line is
this, that statement was not true. I`m going to point it out to you why it
wasn`t true. --

So number one, there is nothing whatsoever about race in my comments at
all. It had nothing to do with race. Race has nothing to do with this.
This is about getting people to work.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Tonight is clear, a lot of people aren`t buying what Congressman
Ryan is selling, including some of his own constituents.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Democrat from Wisconsin.

Thanks for being here congresswoman.

REP. GWEN MOORE (D), WISCONSIN: Thank you for having me Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: You signed a letter to Ryan from the congressional black caucus,
It says your comments were highly offensive and you invite him to one of
your caucus meetings based on what he said in that town hall. Do you have
more questions for Congressman Ryan?

MOORE: Well, just let me say this, Reverend Al. He says that it was very
inarticulate. It is very, very difficult for him to say that there weren`t
racial overtones when particularly as we have pointed out to him he
referenced Charles Murray and we all know Charles Murray is basically --
has blatantly said that black people are inferior. His reference to the
inner city males is definitely a proxy for black men.

But having said that, the congressional black caucus wants to treat this as
an opportunity to look at the culture that has prevented black men from
working. I mean, you talked about it earlier in your earlier segment, the
lack of affordable health care. The lack of transportation has haunted
many black men in terms of finding jobs. The lack of adequate educational
opportunity where you`re not just compiling these worthless certificates
but you`re getting the education and job training that will provide you
with job opportunity. And of course we cannot ignore the culture of
bigotry, discrimination and racism that has prevented African Americans
from getting jobs. And certainly can`t discount the -- everything from an
uneven criminal justice system that targets black men and other sort of
culture problems that lie outside of the character of black men.

And I -- we are inviting Congressman Ryan to challenge his own assumptions
about the character of black men. Let`s have a jobs program like the 10-
20-30 jobs program that was articulated an designed by representative
Cliver (ph) that would provide real opportunities to poor men and women
living in urban and rural areas. Democrats and Republicans all over the
country.

SHARPTON: Yes. Let me go back to this town hall because here`s more of
the exchange related to the GOP`s makers versus takers rhetoric. Listen to
this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody work. You got here in a car or a truck or
something. Somebody from the inner city helped make that.

RYAN: Sometimes when you`re in radio you try to take a bunch of ideas and
collapse it into a bunch of sentences and you oversimplify and it can be
misinterpreted. That`s what happened here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, it`s oversimplified yet he had time to mention Charles
Murray and others. Your response to that statement?

MOORE: Well, I can tell you that Representative Ryan has been sitting at
the tables of the very powerful and wealthy for many, many years. He`s
still a very young man. And so we, as members of the congressional black
caucus, again, we`re going to see this as an opportunity to take someone
who is a very powerful member of Congress, the chairman of the budget
committee, may soon be the either ranking member or chairman of the ways
and means committee and get him to challenge his assumptions and to look at
the problems of inner city men as something other than poor character.

But, you know, so that when he puts a budget together and does not want to
provide a jobs program for example, his colleagues will not vote for a jobs
program that the president has continued to offer. We want to take him up
on this challenge and say will black men work if they`re given the
opportunity.

SHARPTON: Well, we`ll be watching Congresswoman.

Congresswoman Gwen Moore, thanks for your time tonight.

MOORE: Thank you too, reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, the new daylight search for that possible debris
from Malaysia flight 370. What could it tell us about what happened inside
the cockpit?

But first, Senator Rand Paul makes a big claim about President Obama and
falls right into tonight`s got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Why is senator rand Paul saying this about our first black
president? Here`s the Kentucky Republican in a New York times interview.

Quote, "the first African-American president ought to be a little more
conscious of the fact of what has happened with the abuses of domestic
spying. Martin Luther King was spied upon. Civil rights leaders were
spied upon. Muhammad Ali was spied upon. Anti-war protestors were spied
upon."

Is rand Paul really bringing race into a conversation about the NSA? And
he doubled down in a speech at UC Berkeley last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: I find it ironic that the first African-American president has
without compunction allowed this vast exercise of raw power by the NSA.
Certainly J. Edgar Hoover`s spying on Martin Luther King and others in the
civil rights movement should give us all pause.

You find it ironic senator Paul? Let`s clear up a few things. First,
President Obama knows full well the history of U.S. spying on civil rights
leaders. He mentioned Dr. King specifically when he announced reforms to
the NSA earlier this year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: During the course of our review I often reminded myself that I
wouldn`t be where I am today were it not for the courage of dissidents like
Dr. King who were spied upon by their own government.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Secondly, who is Rand Paul to make this point? A cynical use of
race from some on the right. When the president talked about being
sensitive to issue of race, like he said after the Trayvon Martin verdict,
the right attacks him for it. But it`s interchangeable. They attack him
for not talking about issues of race too. And when Rand Paul talks about
being conscious of race when it comes to spying, what about Condoleezza
Rice? She works for President Bush known for surveillance of U.S. citizens
and where does he get off talking about race in civil rights at all. This
is a man that once said he would have modified the civil rights act if he
had been a senator at the time.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW: You said it should have
been allowed to stay segregated. Sir, just yes or no.

PAUL: What I think would happen -- what I`m saying is I don`t believe in
any discrimination. There`s ten different titles to the civil rights act
and nine out of ten deal with public institutions I`m in favor of one deal
with private institutions and I had been around I would have tried to
modify that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s inexcusable. And so are his latest comments.

Senator Paul, did you think we wouldn`t notice you have no credibility on
this one? This is nowhere close to a nice try. But we got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST, "POLITICS NATION": Just a short time ago the
search resumed for missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. Military search
planes from the U.S., Australia and New Zealand have joined a merchant ship
in the Indian Ocean. It comes after satellite imagery showed two possible
objects that could be debris from the missing jet. The large of pieces is
about 79 feet across. The other is smaller, about 16 feet across. Could
either be wreckage or is it another false lead?

Like cargo from a passing ship. If it is the missing 777, it would be
right near the search zone that investigators identified as one area where
the plane could have landed. That`s almost 1500 miles from Perth,
Australia. It would also be about as far south as the plane could have
travelled before running out of fuel. One thing is for sure, this is one
of the most isolated places in the world. The ocean is as deep as three
miles in places. Waves can get as high as 32 feet and add to one more
problem, the planes black box.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Time is slipping away. They`ve got only 17 days until
the batteries on those underwater locating pingers run out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now are Greg Feith, a former NTSB investigator and
Jay Rollins a retired American airlines captain and former U.S. Naval
aviator. Greg, let me start with you. What do authorities consider this
credible lead?

GREG FEITH, FORMER NTSB INVESTIGATOR: It`s hard to tell Reverend only
because the prime minister said this is a credible lead but we`re not
really sure what makes it credible. Based on the satellite photo, it
doesn`t have the resolution that we would have expected to be able to make
any kind of determination whether this debris came from an airplane or as
you said before, is just some cargo that has fallen off of a ship somewhere
at some point in time.

SHARPTON: Jay, same question to you.

JAY ROLLINS, RETIRED AIRLINE CAPTAIN: Well, unfortunately, I`m worried
that this is going to turn out a lot like the satellite photos that we got
from China. I`m hoping that isn`t the case. I know these families are in
desperate straits to get answers and hopefully this is the real thing. I
will say this much Reverend Al that yesterday I said that the mechanical
possibilities were remote, if this indeed turns out to be the aircraft,
then I will have another possibility as to what could have happened.

SHARPTON: All right. Now, Jay let me ask you this, one of the
investigators who lead the search for the missing flight was a little
worried by the size of this debris. It`s nearly 80 feet long. Could a
piece that big have survived a crash?

ROLLINS: Well a piece that big certainly could have survived the crash.
Many times there are large parts of the wing that will survive but what`s
worrisome is that the wing certainly would be towards the surface because
it would be full of air. If the aircraft had run out of fuel, then the
fuel tanks that are located in the wings, if they were still intact, would
then continue to allow the wings to float towards the surface. But it`s a
big question mark whether they would be above the surface. So generally
speaking, only smaller parts, seat cushions and things like that can be
expected to float. Such a large object, I would be surprised. But let`s
see.

SHARPTON: Greg, what kind of clues can a piece of debris give
investigators?

FEITH: If this turns out to be debris from the aircraft, it depends on
what these pieces are and where they came from. If it`s a wing, we may be
able to tell whether this was a high speed impact, high energy impact or a
low energy impact such as if somebody was trying to land the airplane at a
slower speed. We just won`t know until we actually see these parts because
they`re going to have different signatures. We know that this airplane was
at least 35,000 feet or probably the majority if not all of the flight and
then of course, if it did run out of fuel, it`s coming down. Now, who was
guiding it? Was it a human guiding the airplane down or was it the auto
pilot trying to maintain altitude after it lost thrust and the airplane had
just settled into basically a descending speed and descended into the
water? We won`t know until we look at the wreckage.

SHARPTON: You know, Jay, as a former naval aviator, talk about how
difficult this mission is for the pilots conducting this search.

ROLLINS: It`s a vast amount of water. The pilots have to start from
Australia and it`s approximately 1500 miles out there. So you`re looking
at a flight of three or four hours just to get on site. Then the aircraft
has to do its grid search and then climb back out and fly back for another
three or four hours. So it doesn`t leave a lot of time to actually search
the area once the aircraft arrive. On the other hand, I know ships are in
route and they`ll be able to do a more thorough but slower search.

SHARPTON: You know, Greg, the ocean is as deep as three miles in some
places. Will they even be able to hear the signal from the black box even
if they`re on top of it?

FEITH: That`s a good question. It all depends on what assets they`re
using to listen for the pingers. If they have a surface based ship that`s
dragging basically a side scan sonar, they could, in fact, if they get
close enough to the main wreckage and especially one of the two cockpit
data recorder boxes, they could possibly hear the audible ping from either
one of those boxes or both but that assumes that those boxes are in a
position of either being upright so the signal isn`t attenuated and not
buried upside down in the mud or covered up by wreckage. But if that`s the
case, then yes you would have to be literally on top of the wreckage or on
top of that box to hear it.

SHARPTON: Let`s talk about the black box. What can they learn from the
black box? I mean, what could they -- what kind of information could they
get?

FEITH: The fact is, is that with the cockpit voice recorder it`s a two
hour recording device and unfortunately, if the recorder was allowed to
continue to roll, then of course the first two, three, four hours of events
are gone because the system would have overridden those previous events and
we would only capture the last two hours of flight. If it was a solo
pilot, we may not hear anything on the cockpit voice recorder except noise
in the cockpit. Possibly some audible warnings and that kind of thing.

That may or may not shed light on what was happening in the cockpit in the
latter stages of the flight. The key here probably is going to be the
flight data recorder. It`s a 25 hour event recorder. It records the
artifacts of the -- basically the entire flight. We`ll know what
direction, what control inputs were made. What pattern was flown and while
it doesn`t sound like much, we may be able to build a story line as to
maybe what the intent of the pilot or pilots who were operating the
airplane, you know, what the intent was during the course of the flight.

SHARPTON: Well, we`re going to keep, really, on top of this story. Greg
Feith, thank you for your time tonight and Jay Rollins, please stay with
us.

ROLLINS: I will.

SHARPTON: Coming up, if the debris in the Indian Ocean is from the missing
plane, the question is still why. Why did it end up there? And later, we
will be talking on a much lighter note. President Obama on the record with
Ellen on her Oscar selfie. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The frantic and desperate search is on in the southern Indian
Ocean. Is this debris from the missing Malaysia plane? And if the plane
did go down in the ocean, the question is still why? Why was it so far off
course? The last known contact with the plane was somewhere between
Malaysia and Vietnam and the potential debris was found 1500 miles
southwest of Perth. Why did it drop off of radar? Why was there silence
from the pilots? Let`s bring in our panel.

Tom Casey is a flight instructor and former commercial pilot. Jim
Cavanaugh is an NBC law enforcement analyst and back with us is Jay
Rollins, retired American Airlines captain. Thanks to all of you for being
here.

ROLLINS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Now, to breaking news today could narrow this investigation.
We, again, don`t know if these images are debris from the missing jet. But
if it is confirmed, the question remains, were the pilots involved? Let`s
go around starting with Tom. In light of the news, what`s your take on the
pilot?

TOM CASEY, FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR: Well, we never heard a mayday, Rev and the
first thing a pilot would do besides maintaining control of the airplane in
handling the situation would be to notify the air traffic control facility
that there was a problem. We never heard that. The plane either executed
a divert flight plan or the heading select was moved to a course that would
take it to the west of its way point position or its course to China.

Beyond that, the debris or the focus now which seems to be very narrow and
very intense is based on a satellite imagine of debris that is probably in
line -- it is in line with the fuel -- the limit of the plane to fuel
exhaustion, to the point of fuel exhaustion. But you know, this is like
flying from New York to Denver to look for skiers in the Rocky Mountains.
It`s an incredibly difficult and challenging investigation and time is the
enemy of an investigation of this sort.

SHARPTON: Jim, what do you think?

JIM CAVANAUGH, NBC LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Well, Rev, on the spotting of
the debris in the Australian waters there, I think it`s, you know, it could
be a break in the case but, you know, like in these cases, it`s
heartbreaking too because if it is then you have lost all of these souls.
I think the U.S. Intelligence Community has probably communicated with the
Australian intelligence community to let them feel they`re pretty sure this
is something significant or they wouldn`t let the prime minister go out and
I doubt that the photographs that we have seen are really the same
resolution that they have seen. So, I think they`ve probably got a good
indication. But there`s a lot of floats down there as well so it`s not a
sure thing. But, you know, they have to check it out. Like Tom said.
It`s far away. Ships are slow. Weather is bad down there. It`s still
going to be tough.

SHARPTON: Jay, where are you on this if, in fact, it is the debris?

ROLLINS: Well, there is a theory out there that puts forth a benign
mechanical explanation for this. It isn`t perfect but it goes something
like this. The aircraft on takeoff might have had damage to the nose tire
or the nose wheel assembly such that a fire was started just as it took off
and as the gear was retracted into the wheel well. If that were the case,
that area would begin to overheat and not far away and up above is the
avionics hole. And so the story goes that the smoke from this smoldering
tire could have gone into that avionics heated it up and caused all of this
cascading failure of transponders, radios, and then came up into the
aircraft itself including the cockpit.

They wouldn`t have discovered that necessarily until they were into the
flight. And at that point, the pilots would have had to quickly get on
their oxygen masks, attempt to get on goggles, deal with this fire and put
in -- attempt to make a turn. The cockpit could quickly become engulfed in
black smoke and everything could get haywire at that point. At some point,
the aircraft would have had to have been turned to the south and then the
auto pilot took over as everyone on board perished and it became a ghost
flight.

SHARPTON: All right. Well, let me ask another question. Is everyone --
this is a question everyone is still talking about. If the plane went down
in this area, is foul play still likely? The question to Jim, in light of
this news, do you think it was terrorism?

CAVANAUGH: Well, we would run this case Reverend Al, and you`re thinking
the right way. But we would run this case on two parallel tracks. And
this is the way the investigators are going to look at it. I`m sure the
FBI. They have done it many times in NTSB. You run parallel tracks. And
so you`re looking at these things that Jay is bringing up here, the
suggestion of a tire fire. But look, I have investigated fires and arsons
for almost four decades. And I can tell you rubber fires are thick, black,
choking smoke and there`s no way that a rubber fire if it`s noticed in the
cockpit is not going to -- immediately you`re going to think it`s an
emergency.

So I would be thinking about Tom`s comment there as well which I think is
very -- it means a lot to me if I was an investigator on that then why
wouldn`t you use the radio and call a mayday. So, you have a little going
each way. And that`s why you keep your accidental track going and your
terrorist track going. There`s things that can go either way. Let me just
say this quickly Rev, what happens is, people, they jumble the facts and
what I work from is the foundation of facts because people say the last
radio call from the cockpit was at 1:19, contact with the cockpit is 1:19.
That`s not correct.

The last radio contact with the cockpit was at 1:30 with the Japanese Air.
People say, the transponder was turned off at 1:21. That`s not correct.
The transponder signal was lost at 1:21. We don`t know how it went off.
So, you go to the foundation of facts. You composite your theories just
like Tom and J.R. and that`s smart. That`s what we do in the command post
by the way. We can do that. We extrapolate from fact. And then we always
return to the foundation to see where we are.

SHARPTON: Jay, quickly, do you think terrorism is still possible here?

ROLLINS: Oh, it`s absolutely still possible. Especially if this turns out
to not be the aircraft. If it is the aircraft, then it becomes more
difficult to explain why would terrorists would want to fly six hours due
south where there`s very little to get attention with.

SHARPTON: All right. Tom, 30 seconds, your take.

CASEY: I think the theory of a fire is strenuous. Because the aircraft
flew on and on and on. And remember Swiss Air? They had a fire, they
crashed. They did get a mayday signal out. They stayed in the air too
long. They should have brought it down right away. I do think that there
was an intervention. There was a human hands made this plane go where it
went. Whether it was an intervention or a -- we don`t know, the facts are
just out there yet. We can`t speculate behind the fact that the plane is
missing.

SHARPTON: Yes. Tom Casey, Jay Cavanaugh, Jay Rollins, thank you all for
your time. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: When President Obama went on the Ellen DeGeneres show today, you
just knew they were going to talk about the selfie. This photo taken on
Oscar night, set a record for the most re-tweets. Beat the old record, a
photo of President Obama hugging the First Lady after winning reelection.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELLEN DEGENERES, TV HOST: I don`t know if you know this but I was aiming
to break your record of
retweets. But I apologize for doing it, but I broke your re-tweet record.

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I heard about that. I thought it
was a pretty cheap stunt, myself. Getting a bunch of celebrities in the
background, you feeding them pizza.

DEGENERES: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Pizza is a powerful bribe but the President might get the record
back. After all, he does have three more years.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: There`s a problem with voting here in Ohio. And his name is
John Husted, the Republican secretary of state is doing everything he can
to suppress the vote in this critical swing state. He just got rid of
souls to the polls early voting on Sundays. He also got rid of early
voting on weekday evenings. Making it harder for folks to vote after work.
Republicans in Ohio have lost a war on voting, but Democrats are fighting
back. And that`s why I`m here tonight to support calls for a voter`s bill
of rights.

Joining me now is Ohio state representative Alicia Reece who is leading the
effort to add this voter bill of rights to the state`s constitution.
Thanks for being here.

STATE REP. ALICIA REECE (D), OHIO: Thank you. And thank you for being
here at ground zero as it relates to voting rights. And as you`ve
indicated, we have a secretary of state that has to go. And that`s why
we`re happy to have Senator Nina Turner running in that race. At the same
time, we`re fighting to make voting rights permanent to put it in the
constitution. So, we have a --

SHARPTON: Let me ask you this, Representative. Let me ask you this. Last
week, John Husted said, quote, "voting in Ohio is easy." What`s your
response to that?

REECE: Voting in Ohio was easy after the Bush debacle when there was a
bipartisan group that put early voting, allowed voting on Sunday, a
provisional ballots. But what happens was, African-American students,
seniors, low income families came out in record numbers and voted for
President Barack Obama. And now all of a sudden, they want to take away
those early vote days, they want to stop souls in the polls which was the
largest day for African-Americans voting in the state of Ohio. They want
to make it harder. And they want to have it harder for you to have certain
types of I.D.s in order to vote. So, that`s why we`ve got to have it in
the constitution. So, we can take away the political gain --

SHARPTON: So, let me get this right, Representative. After President
Obama got this record vote, this is when they started changing the laws?
This had nothing to do with any fraud?

REECE: Oh, no. They had nothing to do with fraud. They had voter
intimidation billboards that they strategically placed in African-American
communities. We have judicial race that took two years at a million
dollars in lawsuit in order for a juvenile judge Tracie Hunter to be
seated. They have been on the attack to stop African-Americans low income
families and college students and seniors from voting, they want to make it
more difficult because too many people came out to vote and President
Barack Obama was elected president.

SHARPTON: So, if you want to put in the state constitution, the right the
vote, that is what kicks off tonight.

REECE: Absolutely. Putting voting rights as a fundamental rights in the
Ohio constitution. It starts in Ohio. But we want this to go all across
the country. And they`re already lined up at word of deliverance tonight
to see you as we kick off and get over 385,000 petitions to put this on the
ballot. We can do it. We can fight back and then this thing, the average
person. Everyday person will have a say on their voting rights, they put
it on the constitution, so it`s permanent.

SHARPTON: All right. State Representative Alicia Reece, thanks for your
time tonight. And voting rights will be a big part of this year`s
convention for my civil rights group, the National Action Network. It
futures the special guest for President Obama himself, with speakers
included Attorney General Eric Holder, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, that`s April 9th through the 12th in New
York City. Go to our website at NationalActionNetwork.net for more
information. Voting should be a right for all citizens, of all parties,
and all races. And we`re going to make sure that all of us as Americans
fight to protect that right.

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.
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