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PoliticsNation, Thursday, April 10th, 2014

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POLITICS NATION
April 10, 2014

Guests: Bernie Sanders, Krystal Ball, Jamal Simmons, Lucia McBath, Sybrina
Fulton, Benjamin Crump

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks to you for tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, fighting to protect our civil rights. Today, President
Obama gave a major speech, mocking the 50th anniversary of the civil rights
act, talking about how far we`ve come and the work we still have to do.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are here today because we
know we cannot be complacent. For history travels not only forwards,
history can travel backwards. History can travel sideways. And securing
the gains of this country has made requires the vigilance of its citizens.
Our rights, our freedoms, they are not given. They must be won.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Make no mistake, civil rights and voting rights are under attack
today. And we see that in the vicious personal attacks on the man
responsible for protecting those rights, the U.S. attorney general.

Here`s what attorney general Holder said this week at the convention of my
civil rights group, the national action network.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: The last five years having defined by
significant strides and by lasting reforms, even in the face, even in the
face of unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly and divisive adversity. . If you
don`t believe that, you look at the way -- forget about me, forget about
me. You look at the way the attorney general of the United States was
treated yesterday by a house committee. Have nothing to do with me. What
attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment? What
president has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The answer, of course, is that no president or attorney general
has been treated this way. And today, the right wing media is proving the
point. One site accused the attorney general of, quote, "playing the race
card." FOX News accused him of playing the victim and whining about how
he`s treated. And that was just the start.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: He is not an effective law enforcement
agent. He is a politician masquerading as one. You`re failing as an
attorney general. It`s embarrassing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They rewrite certain laws and the constitution be
dammed.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Eric Holder is a coward, crying
about it. It`s not about me, the way they treated the attorney general.
There`s never been an attorney general treated that way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: All this mockery and disrespect is ugly and offensive, and it`s
coming from members of Congress also.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bigger issue which is, is Eric Holder, is he
willing to defend the civil rights of all Americans? Or just those he
favors.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The attorney general only defends the civil rights of those he
favors? What exactly is the congressman implying? But the attorney
general says he will continue to fight for voting rights even if it sparks
outrage on the right.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HOLDER: Protecting the right to vote, the action that truly makes our
nation an exceptional one will continue to be a priority for this
administration, for this department of justice, for this president, and for
this attorney general.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Fifty years after the civil rights act, the fight continues,
despite these vicious attacks. The fight continues even with the right
wing attacks.

Joining me now are Karen Finney and Dana Milbank, thank you both for
joining me.

DANA MILBANK, POLITICAL COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Hi, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Karen, Rush Limbaugh mocking the attorney general of the United
States and a lawmaker implying he favors certain people. Aren`t they
really just proving the point Eric holder was making?

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC HOST, DISRUPT: Well, of course they are. And don`t
forget, you`ve had a Republican Senate candidate in Iowa suggest that the
reason Congress isn`t pursuing impeachment against the president is because
of his race.

I didn`t hear any of those men come forward and say anything about that
either. So yes, I think they`re proving the point. And look, I mean, I
think Eric Holder said something that has been on the minds of a lot of
people for a number of years, and he finally just said it out loud what a
lot of people have been thinking.

SHARPTON: You know, Dana, today, reporters asked Speaker Boehner about the
perception that race plays a part in these right wing attacks. Here`s his
response.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: There`s no issue of race
here. The frustration is that the American people have not been told the
truth about what happened at the IRS. The American people have not been
told the truth about what happened in Fast and Furious. The administration
has not told the American people the truth about Benghazi.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So all of these personal attacks we`re seeing, all of these ugly
statements are because of the Obama administration`s phony scandals?

MILBANK: Well, Reverend, it is true that attorneys general have been
lightening rods for a long time. I mean, think about Janet Reno and John
Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzalez and now we have this with Eric Holder here, but
it has gotten worse in each case. And now it has reached this fever pitch.

So we have to ask ourselves, why has this occurred here? And to pair phase
Louie Gohmert, I don`t want to cast aspersions on anybody`s asparagus here,
but we have to ask the questions. Nobody know what is going on any
individual`s mind or heart at any given time. But it`s been a couple of
years since Holder was held in contempt by this Congress. Now they`re
going to go after Lois Lerner from the IRS. But you have to ask, why is he
being singled out and it`s a fair question.

SHARPTON: No. But even before we get to Lerner, which is another point
and I would argue against them, let me go gook you on this one, Karen, even
before we get there, let`s not forget the attacks on Reno, yes. The
attacks on Ashcroft, yes. But it`s unprecedented on this attorney general.

In American history, Congress has never cited, never cited a sitting
attorney general for contempt until Eric Holder, which Dana just said. Not
one time.

FINNEY: And the thing is actually, Rev., if you go back and watch one of
the exchanges, there`s another one with Gohmert, there is one with Issa
where, you know, talk about you lie to the president. I mean, the level of
disdain and disrespect to their faces, very publicly, that is not something
we saw with Janet Reno, that`s not something I would argue we saw with
Alberto Gonzalez.

I mean, certainly, there have been -- there`s been a tension, and I think
that`s a fair comment, but the level of just how personal these things have
become, I think that`s why the question is being raised. And again, it`s
happened a number of times. It`s not like this is the first time this has
happened.

SHARPTON: And you know, Dana, it`s a history of personal attacks and the
threats of impeachment. Listen so this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Start the rattles of impeachment on Eric Holder? I
think you`ll get to that point.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You either lied or you were grossly incompetent in your
actions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Further, Mr. Attorney general, you`re well known in
this town for not reading memos.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think he`s smart, Holder?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have not been impressed with his intelligence, no.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s not, you know, somebody saying hey, let`s impeach
Holder. This is a request coming from our constituents all around our
country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He`s not smart, he doesn`t read, cries of impeachment, the first
contempt citation ever. And we have seen this before, no. But through it
all, they maintain in my opinion, their eyes focused on their goals.
They`ve operated with impeccable, unflappable dignity, and they`ve not
played into it. And now they don`t even want it mentioned on the right?

MILBANK: Yes. Well, here is interesting though experiment. Let`s compare
Holder to Kathleen Sebelius, who presided over Obamacare which is the thing
that is most antagonized the right and the Republicans over all these
years.

You`re not seeing calls for her impeachment. You`re not seeing the same
level of personal vitriol. So I think that`s why, again, it`s fair to ask
the question and let every individual say why is it they have that
particular antipathy towards this attorney general, towards this president.
And why not say towards Kathleen Sebelius, who they`re obviously much more
at odds with?

SHARPTON: Well, and I think, Karen, let`s not forget there is, in my
opinion, a strategic reason that they`re going after Holder is he`s on the
line dealing with voting rights, which a lot of them want to, in my
opinion, suppress the vote.

I think that this is the man what is holding his finger in the dike,
protecting the rights of voters and that`s why I think a lot of the venom
is going against him. And for that matter, those that are not in
government like me that want to fight and protect voting rights because
they need that not to be interfered with in their plans for this midterm
election, Karen.

FINNEY: I think that`s exactly right, Reverend. I agree with you. I
mean, I think, and the other vitriol against Eric Holder actually goes back
to his time in the Clinton administration, I think, for similar reasons.
Again, because he is such a staunch defender of civil rights and he is
essentially one of the few people standing between a complete collapse of
our voting rights, frankly, and what the Republican agenda would do in
terms of all of the things what we`ve seen all across this country.

So I think you are right and I think there`s absolutely something personal
to it, you know. But also, let`s not forget these fake scandals as you
pointed out. I mean, each one of those cases, their theories have been
disproven. Time and time again. I mean, literally, Darrell Issa was
trying to suggest that the president of the United States of America
foaming to violence in Mexico that resulted in American border control
officer being killed so that he could get support for new gun control laws.
That is insane and just undignified to the office of the presidency and the
attorney general of the United States of America.

SHARPTON: I`m going to have to leave it there.

Karen Finney and Dana Milbank, thank you both for your time tonight.

And be sure to watch "Disrupt" with Karen Finney, weekends at 4:00 p.m.
eastern right here on MSNBC.

Coming up, new photos from inside the Florida movie theatre where a man was
shot dead over popcorn. It has a controversial stand your ground law back
in the headlines.

Tonight, my exclusive interviews with the mothers of Trayvon Martin and
Jordan Davis, who are turning tragedy into action.

Also the shame of the Ryan budget. Republicans just voted to gut the
safety net and give tax cuts to millionaires. Senator Bernie Sanders joins
me.

And later, big news on this guy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT, HOST, THE COLBERT REPORT: The grim reaper. That`s right,
the angel of death clearly he is popular with the GOP base this year. He`s
got all the qualifications they`re looking for. He`s old and bone white.
He`s backing a weapon. He`s got an incredible war record, and believe me,
no one wants to get rid of Obamacare more than this guy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Stephen Colbert is taking over for David Letterman. And the
reaction from the right was laugh out loud funny today.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Today House Republicans voted for a budget that shreds programs
for low income Americans. How is that acceptable? President Obama
responded to this radical ideology today. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Today, President Obama threw down gauntlet for those who want
the gut the safety net. He challenged critics of programs like Medicare
and Medicaid and he rejected the cynics who think the government is the
root of all evil.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: As was true 50 years ago, there are those who dismiss the great
society as a failed experiment and an encroachment on liberty. Who argue
that government has become the true source of all that ails us and that
poverty is due to the moral failings of those who suffer from it. I reject
such thinking. Not just because Medicare -- not just because Medicare and
Medicaid have lifted millions from suffering, not just because the poverty
rate in this nation would be far worse without food stamps and head start
and all the great society programs that survive to this day. We believe
that together we can build an America that is more fair, more equal, and
more free than the one we inherited.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That speech, that forceful defense of families stood in direct
contrast to a scene that played out just hours earlier in Washington. The
house GOP voted almost unanimously to pass the devastating Ryan budget
plan.

Two hundred and nineteen Republicans drew their support behind a plan that
would cripple the poor, 69 percent of all the budget cuts target programs
for low income Americans. It fundamentally transforms the Medicare program
into a voucher program, repeals the affordable care act, and takes the ax
to food stamps. Why? To pay for massive tax break for the rich. It`s a
budget that Republicans should be ashamed of. It`s not worthy of their
party, much less this country.

Joining me now, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Thanks for coming on the show tonight, Senator.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: My pleasure.

SHARPTON: Aren`t the Republicans trying to roll back 50 years of progress
with this Ryan budget?

SANDERS: Al, the problem with the Ryan budget is it is so vulgar, so
obscene, so out of touch with what the American people want and need that
it is literally hard to believe. It is hard to believe.

The richest people in this country are doing phenomenally well. The Ryan
budget substantially lowers taxes for millionaires and billionaires.
Working families and low income people are struggling. The Ryan budget
makes savage cuts in nutrition programs, in education, and in health care.
It does exactly the opposite of what the American people need and what the
American people want. And as you indicated, this is a continuation of the
war against the middle class and working families that the Republican Party
has been mounting and work for for a number of years now.

SHARPTON: When you say it`s hard to believe, when you look at the fact
that the budget stands in direct opposition to what Americans want, 77
percent of Americans oppose reducing Medicare benefits, 70 percent oppose
food stamp cuts, 65 percent support raising taxes on the rich. I mean,
this is in opposition to what Americans say they want to see happen.

SANDERS: That`s absolutely right. So why do they do this? Well, the
answer is the American people don`t want to see the end of Medicare as we
know it. They don`t want to see horrendous cuts in Medicare or in
nutrition programs or in a time when kids can`t afford to go to college,
major cuts in federal aid to college students so they can afford to go to
school.

Why are the Republicans doing it? And the answer is pretty simple. The
American people don`t want it, but the Koch brother and the other
billionaires do want it. And with what this whole business is about is
catering to the needs of the wealthy and the powerful so you can solicit
more and more campaign contributions and win elections.

SHARPTON: As you say, the super rich, because there`s huge tax breaks in
this for the wealthy.

SANDERS: Al, the average millionaire will get a $200,000 a year reduction
in taxes at a time when the wealthiest people are doing phenomenally well.
At a time when we are spending almost as much as the rest of the world on
the military, on the defense.

This Ryan budget substantially increases funding for the Pentagon. If you
go out, as you`ve just indicated you recollect quite appropriately, if you
go out and ask the American people what they want, this budget does exactly
the opposite. The American people think the wealthy and large corporations
should pay more in taxes.

The Ryan budget cuts taxes for the rich and large corporations. The
American people think we should increase funding for education to make
college affordable. The Ryan budget cuts funding to make college
affordable. What they are doing is catering to the needs of wealthy and
the powerful and they`re really continuing this war against the middle
class and working families.

SHARPTON: And what`s very noteworthy here is just about every Republican
in the house voted for this budget. In fact, the only opposition seemed
those that felt it wasn`t harsh or extreme enough.

SANDERS: That`s right. And it is just unbelievable how far out of touch
they are from the realities facing working families in this country. And
how indebted they are to the millionaires and billionaires in multinational
corporations.

I really hope the American people study this budget. And it is hard for me
to believe how any ordinary citizen concerned about the future of his or
her country could support and vote in November for any candidate who voted
for this Ryan budget.

SHARPTON: Senator Bernie Sanders, thanks for your time this evening.

SANDERS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, more signs the affordable care act is working, a
major announcement today.

And Stephen Colbert is taking over for David Letterman. But wait until you
hear what some on the right are saying about it. It will make you laugh.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: For Republican, the success of the health care act must be a bit
of pill to swallow. In fact, the new cover of the "New Yorker" magazine
shows President Obama spoon-feeding a dose of Medicine to Mitch McConnell,
Ted Cruz, and other GOP lawmakers. But many Republicans still can`t accept
that this law is here to stay. What`s wrong with them?

Dr. Sharpton is back with his diagnosis next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Today, more signs the affordable care act is working.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: Last week, we
announced that 7.1 million Americans have signed up for private insurance
through the marketplace. As of this week, 400,000 additional Americans
have signed up. And we expect that number to continue to grow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Seven-and-a-half million people have signed up on the exchanges.
But Republicans continue launching the same old tired attacks with the same
old attackers. Do you remember Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown? He was
elected in 2010, promising to stop the health care law. Didn`t work out so
well. And he lost his seat two years later. But tonight, Brown will
announce he`s running for Senate in New Hampshire.

The Associated Press reports he plans to save, quote, "Along with our money
and our health plans for a lot of us, it feels like we`re losing our
liberty to ObamaCare. Forces us to make a choice -- live free or log on.
And here in New Hampshire, we choose freedom. Live free or log on? But
it`s funny. Senator Brown thinks the health care law makes us lose our
liberty. Back in 2012, a reporter asked if Senator Brown used the law to
add his adult daughter to his health insurance. He said, of course I do.
Of course? The law didn`t cost him any liberty. Would his family have
benefited from it, they didn`t lose their liberty. And guess who Senator
Brown voted on Romney-care, the model for the national health care law.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: State senator, were you involved in then Governor Mitt
Romney`s moves to establish state care, it was called state care, but to
broaden health care coverage for all in Massachusetts?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Well, yes. I voted on it. It was a bipartisan effort.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Guess what? No one in Massachusetts lost liberty. It worked.
And it saved lives. It`s the same story now. Good luck to Republicans
running on that.

Joining me now are Jamal Simmons and Krystal Ball. Thank you both for
being here.

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

JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thanks for having us.

SHARPTON: Krystal, how does having Affordable Health Care cost people
liberty? I mean, what am I missing?

BALL: I never understood this line. Like you`re really going to fight for
people to have the liberty to be uninsured? Like, is that what we`re
looking for here? And I think Senator Brown, he was successful back in
2010 when he ran against the Affordable Care Act. That was a much
different time. That was before the Affordable Care Act was law. That was
before people really understood the way that they could benefit from it.
That was before 7.5 million people had signed up. So he`s trying to run on
these same old cliche, tired buzz words that people are increasingly
realizing don`t match up with the reality of what this law is, what it
does, and the way that it benefits them and their family. Even Senator
Scott Brown`s family.

SHARPTON: You know, Jamal, Republicans are trying to play politics with
the health care law.

SIMMONS: No!

SHARPTON: But they`re playing politics with people`s lives. Because we
mentioned this story last night, the Orlando Weekly. They write about the
perils of Florida`s refusal to expand Medicaid. And it`s about a young
woman, Charlene Dill who fell in the Medicaid gap and passed away last
month after struggling to pay for her medications. A friend of Charlene`s
recently shared her story. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: She worked really hard to provide for her kids. She
did baby-sitting, cleaned houses, collected cans and sold vacuum cleaners,
whatever it took. But Charlene had health problems. She could not afford
her medications, she could not afford to see a doctor. She didn`t make
enough to qualify for a subsidy to get ObamaCare. My best friend died
because she didn`t have the medical share she needed because Florida, my
state, and I`m a fifth generation Floridian decided not to take the money
that would have helped her.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, how do Republicans run against that?

SIMMONS: I don`t know that they can. There is a -- not just health care
here. There`s the fact that you have this woman who`s working so many
jobs. She paid $9,000 a year, with two children. And you expect Americans
to live on that? So Republicans aren`t just standing in the way of health
care, they`re standing in the way of minimum wage hike for this woman,
they`re standing in the way of people having access to the very basic
things that people need to survive.

And I argue Reverend, this isn`t just about health care. This is a stand-
in. This opposition to ObamaCare that is a stand-in for a smaller group of
Americans who are getting older, they`re less diverse, they`re less happy
with Barack Obama being in the White House, and they are looking for code
words to say they`re not happy being governed in the current American
dynamic.

SHARPTON: You know, Krystal, let`s get back to Scott Brown for a minute
and his attacking the health care law and then benefiting from it. He`s
not the only one. The billionaire Koch Brothers are pouring money into the
ads attacking the law, but the Associated Press reports, Koch industries
received 1.4 million in subsidies from a program created by the Affordable
Care Act. I mean, we keep hearing these stories of hypocrisy when it comes
to this law.

BALL: Absolutely. And this is the prime example, I mean, the Koch
Brothers have funded this group that have been spending millions berating
Democrats in swing states and really demonizing the Affordable Care Act.
And they`ve been doing that all along. It`s no wonder that the public has
been confused about what`s in the law and who`s going to benefit from it.
But I want to go back to the story of the young woman that you highlighted
who literally died --

SHARPTON: Right.

BALL: Literally died because her state wanted to play politics on health
care. They wanted to make this about Obama rather than their own citizens.
And I just -- I don`t know how you defend that. I remember back in 2012
campaign, there was this very damaging ads against Mitt Romney where a
worker described building a stage and then going up on -- and then he was
fired by the people who went up on the stage and he said it felt like he
was building his own coffin. In this situation, you have real identifiable
people dying. Citizens in your own community who are dying because people
want to play politics rather than do what`s best for their citizens. It`s
to me absolutely unconscionable and I just can`t even imagine how they can
justify it.

SHARPTON: You know, Jamal, Florida Governor Rick Scott, his political
committee has been running adds claiming 300,000 people have lost their
health care plans because of the ACA. It`s not true. At all. But watch
what happen when reporters confronted him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: But it`s not, Governor.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: But 300,000 people didn`t lose their insurance?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Well, if you look at what we saw last fall --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That was true last fall. But they didn`t really lose
it.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: If you look around the state, ObamaCare has had an
impact on, you know, a lot of people`s plans. They`re losing their doctors
and they`re losing their plans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, it`s just not true, Jamal. But he says the ad is
accurate. What do you make of this?

SIMMONS: They`ve got talking points, not facts. And so they`re going
around trying to encourage their voters to show up and they`re trying to
discourage everyone else. The problem is, though, a lot of people are
paying attention to this. I think there are a lot of people in America who
are probably not very political who don`t think about the world in partisan
terms but they hear these facts, these ideas being thrown around that are
not factual, people not telling them truth. They`re not able to get their
access to health care and they are wondering, how can they vote for people
to do that. I think they`re in danger of having a reverse effect that
really smacks the Republicans in the face if they keep this up.

SHARPTON: We`re getting some breaking news. Moments ago, we learned that
Kathleen Sebelius is resigning as secretary of Health and Human Services.
She`s been the object of controversy since the botched rollout of the
health care website. Of course, the numbers have turned around since then
with 7.5 million enrolled in the exchanges. She`s done a lot of good in
her job.

Krystal Ball, Jamal Simmons, thank you both for your time tonight.

BALL: Thanks, Reverend.

SIMMONS: And be sure by the way to catch Krystal on "THE CYCLE," weekdays
at 3 p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC. Still ahead, stopping the epidemic
of gun violence in America. I`ll talk to two courageous woman, the mothers
of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis.

Plus, President Obama`s very personal comments today about the legacy of
the civil rights movement. And why Republicans are freaking out over
today`s big news about Stephen Colbert. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: New evidence released today takes us inside the Florida movie
theatre where a man was shot dead after an argument in January. Curtis
Reeves claims he shot Chad Oulson`s self defense, the weapon, popcorn.
Witnesses say, Oulson threw a box of popcorn at Reeves and he responded
with deadly force. Today, prosecutors released photograph from inside the
theatre. They showed the bullet shell casing on the floor. There`s the
photo of Reeves` gun and his retired captain`s badge from the Tampa Police
Department. And here`s the so-called weapon.

The so-called deadly threat Reeves was reacting to. The bag of popcorn
Oulson threw at him. Yet another example of why the controversial stand
your ground law needs to be repealed. It allows people to use deadly force
if they just feel threatened. The controversy exploded two years ago when
17-year-old Trayvon Martin was killed walking home. And more recently,
Jordan Davis, another 17-year-old was killed sitting in a car listening to
music. And now, their courageous mothers are fighting back, turning their
personal grief into activism and a push for justice.

Joining me now is Jordan Davis` mother Lucia McBath and Trayvon Martin`s
mother Sybrina Fulton as well as Martin family Attorney Benjamin Crump.
Thank you all for being here.

LUCIA MCBATH, MOTHER OF JORDAN DAVIS: Thank you.

SYBRINA FULTON, MOTHER OF TRAYVON MARTIN: Thanks for having us.

BENJAMIN CRUMP, MARTIN FAMILY ATTORNEY: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Sybrina, what are you doing to fight this law?

FULTON: What I`m doing is making people more aware of this law and how
dangerous this law is and how this law does not benefit anyone, especially
the victim. So, I have been traveling the country and have been speaking
out against stand your ground and racial profiling and profiling in
general, because people need to be aware of what`s going on in order for us
to make any type of change.

SHARPTON: Lucia, you know, in September, the original sponsor of Florida`s
stand your ground law, State Representative Dennis Baxley defended the law.
Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STATE REP. DENNIS BAXLEY (R), OCALA, FLORIDA: I`m very pleased with the
protections that our self defense statue provides. I think most people in
Florida are with us, according to what we see. And the results are
favorable overall.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He said most people in Florida agree with him. I was with you
and Sybrina at a march in Florida. A lot of people there was against it.
How do you respond to him?

MCBATH: I definitely say that he -- I have definite misgivings about that
statement there. We know that even within the state of Florida justifiable
homicide have been gone up over 200 percent since the inaction of the stand
your ground law. Across the country, justifiable homicide have gone up.
So that`s a misnomer. This law does not protect. In fact, it`s just
bringing on more increased criminal behavior due to the stand your ground
laws.

SHARPTON: And it`s spreading nationally, Sybrina. You`re at National
Action Network Convention, both of you. And they`re 25 states now with the
stand your ground law.

FULTON: That`s awful. I think people are not paying attention to what`s
going on until it hits their front door. A lot of people are being
blindsided by what`s going on in exactly what the law means. So they think
that this law is going to protect and benefit them when it`s not, as a
victim.

SHARPTON: Now Attorney Crump in Florida, the state where it all began, the
Senate just approved a so-called warning shot bill. A move to expand the
controversial stand your ground law. The bill was inspired by Marissa
Alexander who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing a shot near
her estranged husband. Supporters claim it would fix the mandatory and
harsh 10 to 20 life sentencing, but critics say it encourages people to
fire weapons. It`s headed to the Governor`s desk but he hasn`t signed it
yet. What would you say to him? Attorney Crump?

CRUMP: That we are going to expand a bad law is not the answer. When you
think about this warning shot, it`s a knee jerk reaction and we can`t just
be reactionary. We`ve got to think things through. Because isn`t it
foreseeable when you read this law, they say a warning shot, you won`t be
tried for attempted murder or murder. Can`t we already force somebody
who`s going to shoot somebody and say that was my warning shot? And now
we`ve got not only stand your ground, but now we`ve got a warning shot
defense. This is a slippery slope, Reverend Al and this is not good for
America.

SHARPTON: What are you hearing? As you talk about this from legislators,
is there any hope and support that you see in the legislators themselves?

MCBATH: I`m talking to the legislators across the country, they`re trying
to basically come up with plans of action right now. And I think most of
them are wanting to really work more upon the state level, not just the
federal level at work, in conjunction with the states to devise strategies
and plans to combat what`s happening in the states collectively.

SHARPTON: Sybrina, have you traveled a lot and have you met a lot of
supporters on your position? Because you`ve been all over the country and
become a symbol of this fight against this law.

FULTON: I just want to say publicly that a lot of people under the
impression that it`s just African-Americans that`s against this law. This
stand your ground law speaks to volumes of people, it does not seek a color
particularly, because you have a lot of other denominations, other colors,
others, you know, whites, blacks, Hispanics, everybody is opposed to this
law. Because they know one day they may be the victim and they may need
this particular law to be against them and it`s not working for them.

SHARPTON: The popcorn case as I mentioned is not a black kiss, Attorney
Crump. And as an attorney, you`re in this fight too. What`s it been like?

CRUMP: It`s been an uphill battle. But Reverend Al, you asked a question
where our chances -- those women, those families showing America that this
is real. People somehow think this is abstract, that this law doesn`t
affect them. It doesn`t until it comes to your doorstep and it`s your
child. So, Tracy and Sybrina, Ron and Lucia, their sons were real people.
Their sons were gone. Nobody is going to be held accountable. We have
legalized murder.

SHARPTON: You know, Lucia, you could have gone on with your life, you
could have mourned and moved on. Why are you out here dealing with
something like this and crusading and spending all the time you can on the
road doing this?

MCBATH: Because I know that ultimately the justice for Trayvon, the
justice for Jordan, the justice for everyone that has been affected by
senseless gun violence, I know that the true justice comes when we changed
the laws. Changing the laws will make the difference for everyone that no
one will be able to hide behind their criminal behavior and justify
shooting first, asking questions later.

SHARPTON: And you formed a foundation, Sybrina. You and Tracy are working
night and day. I mean, it seems real, real personal to you.

FULTON: Well, the one thing that is real, is that, you know, when I think
about the cases and what`s happened, it was about Trayvon wearing a hoodie,
it was about Trayvon walking home from the store. It was about Jordan
listening to loud music. It was about this guy in the movies eating
popcorn. Those things, it makes a big difference to us who are on the
other side, and who`s on the side of the victim. Because it affects us a
lot more than people really realize that this has changed our lives
forever.

So, we could have just been negative people and being depressed and just do
nothing about it, or we can decide to do something about it. And this
organization, such as the National Action Network that helps supports us to
get things done. And that`s why it`s so important that we create the
Trayvon Martin foundation, so that we can try to make a difference, so we
can try to make a change, so we can try to help other families that are
hurting, that are victims of senseless gun violence.

SHARPTON: And we have it there, Sybrina Fulton, Lucia McBath, and Benjamin
Crump, thank you both for your time and the important work you`re doing all
over the country. And remember the convention for my civil rights group,
the National Action Network is happening now. We`re talking about
everything from criminal justice, social justice, economic equality,
education and many other issues that runs through Saturday right here in
New York. The President will be speaking tomorrow.

Coming up, President Obama gets personal, reflecting on the progress in
America. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Big news today in the entertainment industry. CBS announced
that Stephen Colbert will take over for David Letterman at the late show
next year. Colbert of course is known for his political satire show "The
Colbert Report." I`ve been honored to appear on the Colbert report a few
times.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: You don`t have higher education.

SHARPTON: No.

COLBERT: Your education in your streets my friend, education in your
church, why can`t we just give that to children and forget about the books?
Isn`t there a sort of tyranny?

(LAUGHTER)

Isn`t there a tyranny in this country that everything has got to be out of
the book and you have to do what the teacher says? Why not just let these
kids fly, be free?

SHARPTON: See, this is exhibit a why we need education for kids.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

COLBERT: Thank you. Thank you very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It`s always good times when Stephen Colbert is around and his
late night competitors even tweeted their congrats. Jimmy Kimmel said a
finer or funnier man, I do not know. And NBC`s own Jimmy Fallon tweeted, I
would like to welcome the great Stephen Colbert to network late night, and
also congratulate him on his new name, Jimmy Colbert. But not everyone had
such kind words for Mr. Colbert today. Right wing blog Breitbart called
him, quote, "A divisive and rabid left winger and said his selection is all
about the left holding on to the culture." And then the GOP boss showed
his sense of humor.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The CBS has just declared war on the
heartland of America. There is a -- and here`s the -- no longer is comedy
going to be a covert assault on traditional American values, conservatives.
Now it`s just wide out in the open.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: War on the heartland of America. Ha! Great one, Rush. Is he
trying to make a move to late night with that joke? Did the right wing
think we wouldn`t notice they could use a laugh or two? Nice try, but the
joke is on them. We got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Our rights, our freedoms, they are
not given. They must be one. They must be nurtured through struggle and
discipline and persistence and faith.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: President Obama today saying we must be vigilant in our
protecting of our freedoms. Fifty years after President Johnson signed the
civil rights act into law, President Obama spoke in very personal terms
about all the gains we`ve made, and responded to those who have criticized
Johnson`s vision of America.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I reject such cynicism because I have lived out the promise of
LBJ`s efforts. Because Michelle has lived out the legacy of those efforts.
Because my daughters have lived out the legacy of those efforts, because I
and millions of my generation were in a position to take the baton that he
handed to us. That`s why I`m standing here today because of those efforts,
because of that legacy.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We should remember LBJ`s legacy, but we should also see how that
legacy is under attack. Already this year, lawmakers in 19 states have
introduced bills to scale back voting rights. There are nearly six million
Americans who cannot vote due to current or past felony convictions. Our
prisons are overcrowded and our schools are underfunded. Workers rights
are being ruled back. The safety net is under attack. Those are the civil
rights battles of today. But just as those that fought the battles of the
`60s, that faced lunch counters that blacks couldn`t eat and faced those
efforts to stop them from voting, they looked them in the eye and sang, we
shall overcome. And they did. And we must overcome now with the same
discipline, the same commitment, the same perseverance and we shall
overcome.

Thanks 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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