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PoliticsNation, Friday, April 11th, 2014

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POLITICS NATION
April 11, 2014

Guests: Gwen Moore, Joe Madison, Bill Press, Michelle Suskauer, Faith
Jenkins

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR, THE ED SHOW: That`s "the Ed Show." I`m Ed
Schultz. "Politics Nation" with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.

Good evening, Rev.

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you
for tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, President Obama`s passionate fight for rights. Just a
short time ago, the president spoke before my civil rights group, the
National Action Network in an emotional forceful address. He called out
Republicans who are waging a war on voting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have to say, there have
been some of these officials who have been passing these laws have been
more blunt. They say this is going to be good for the Republican Party.
Some of them have not been shy about saying they`re doing this for partisan
reasons.

Now, it is wrong, President Johnson said, deadly wrong, to deny any of your
fellow Americans the right to vote in this country. It`s wrong to change
our election rules just because of politics. It`s wrong to make citizens
wait five, six, seven hours just to vote. It`s wrong to make a senior
citizen who no longer has a driver`s license jump through hoops and have to
pay money just to exercise the rights she has cherished for a lifetime.

America did not stand up and did not march and did not sacrifice to gain
the right to vote for themselves and others only to see it denied to their
kids and their grandchildren. We`ve got the tot pay attention to this.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We have got to pay attention to this. Because what we`re seeing
is a brazen assault on voting rights. Already this year, lawmakers in 19
the states have introduced bills to scale back voting rights. In key swing
states like Ohio, like Wisconsin, like Colorado. And too many people have
marched and fought and died to simply let that happen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Yes, I`ve been on this earth for 52 years, and so to see the
progress we`ve made is to see my own life and the progression that`s
happened. You think about brown versus board of education and the civil
rights act and voting rights act and freedom summer. And with those
anniversaries, we have new reason to remember those who made it possible
for us to be here. Like the three civil rights workers in Mississippi, two
white, one black who were murdered 50 years ago as they tried to help their
fellow citizens register to vote.

James Cheney and Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner believed to strongly
that change was possible they were willing to lay down their lives for it.
The least you can do is take them up on the gift that they have given you.
Go out there and vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We need to protect that change that others fought so hard to
secure. The president drove home the point that we need to act ourselves
and he made that point with a nod to my civil rights organization.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We can`t treat these new barriers as an excuse not to participate.
We can`t use cynicism as an excuse not to participate. Some I hear people
said well, we haven`t gotten everything we need. You know, we still have
poverty, we still have problems.

Of course. These things didn`t happen overnight. When I was down in
Texas, everybody was celebrating the day that the civil rights law was
finally passed. Remember, there were decades in which people sacrificed
and worked hard.

Change doesn`t happen overnight, but it happens, as long as we don`t
purposefully give our power away. Every obstacle put in our path should
remind us of the power in our hands each time we hold that lever or filled
in that oval or touch that screen. We just have to harness that power. We
got to create a national network committed to taking action. We can call
it the National Action Network.

So I want you to go out there and redouble your efforts, register more
voters. Help more folks to get their rights. Get those souls to the
polls. If they don`t let you do it on Sunday, then do it on Tuesday
instead.

I know it is better going to the polls on Sunday because you go to church,
you get a meal got the bus waiting for you. I understand, but you can do
that without that if we have to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The president also poked fun at how outlandish some of these
voter id requirements are.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: In other places, folks may learn without a document like a passport
or a birth certificate, they can`t register. About 60 percent of Americans
don`t have a passport. Just because you don`t have the money to travel
abroad doesn`t mean you shouldn`t be able to vote here at home.

And just to be clear, I know where my birth certificate is, but a lot of
people don`t. A lot of people don`t. I think it`s still up on a Web site
somewhere.

You remember that? That was crazy. That was some crazy stuff. I haven`t
thought about that in a while.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He`s right. Those birther attacks back then were just as
ridiculous as the attacks on voting that we`re seeing today. It`s time to
stand up and make our voices heard. It`s time to take action.

Joining me now Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Democrat from Wisconsin and "the
Washington Post`s" E.J. Dionne.

Thank you both for coming on the show tonight.

E.J. DIONNE, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Good to be here, Reverend.

REP. GWEN MOORE (D), WISCONSIN: It is great being here.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, you`ve seen this voter suppression in our own
state. How do we fight back?

MOORE: Listen, Rev., it sounds like you guys had a wonderful time with the
president and I was just chuckling to hear him really deliver the words so
humorously. But it is not funny. We have been on the battleground here,
under siege for two years with Governor Scott Walker.

We have a Supreme Court case, a state Supreme Court case, and a federal
case that`s on appeal. And Governor Scott Walker has said that if they
don`t reverse their ruling that these voting right I.D. were
unconstitutional, that he would, in fact, call the legislature back in a
special session to tweak his voter id law because as far as he was
concerned, it was the most pressing issue in the state.

SHARPTON: Wow.

MOORE: And that is a direct quote. Not health care, because he didn`t
take the Medicaid funding, not high unemployment or, you know, hunger among
children. But getting his voter ID law in place before November.

SHARPTON: Now E.J., when you hear that, the most pressing thing in the
state, and you hear the president today talking about how some intentional
will are trying to do something to hurt the vote for partisan reasons, for
example, Republicans saying they want to attract voters, all while
restricting the right to vote. Take a listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This has not been led by
both parties. It`s been led by the Republican party. And in fairness,
it`s not just Democrats who are concerned. You have one Republican state
legislator point out, and I`m quoting here, making it more difficult for
people to vote is not a good sign for a party who want to attract more
people.

I don`t want folks changing the rules to try to restrict people`s access to
the ballot. And I think responsible people, regardless of your party
affiliation should agree with that. If your strategy depends on having
fewer people show up to vote, that`s not a sign of strength. That`s a sign
of weakness.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So E.J., he says it`s a sign of weakness. It seemed today that
he`s all-in, in fighting for what many of us have been raising in his own
justice department has been raising on these methods of voter suppression.

DIONNE: I think he was all in on two respects, one is on the issue of
fighting these law, but the other is he was all in making a case that you
cannot allow these efforts to suppress your vote to keep you from voting.
He said as long as we don`t purposefully give our power away. He said if
they don`t let you vote on Sunday, do it on Tuesday.

Now, looking at the Wisconsin case, maybe this is the most pressing issue
to governor Walker because it`s the most pressing issue to his re-election.
But I have not seen an election in my lifetime where there was so much
focus on turning out voters this early. I think Democrats are very aware
that they lost in 2010 in part because their voters dependent show up.

And I think what President Obama was doing is something that happened in
2012 which is when somebody threatens a right that you treasure, you make
absolutely sure you could exercise it. I stood line for about two and a
half hours in early voting in Maryland which is not a swing state, because
people were so determined to exercise their right to vote in 2012.

SHARPTON: And that is what a lot of people are saying, Congresswoman
Moore, because as the president said today, they keep making false claims
of voter fraud in order to justify these new laws. And I think people need
to understand, we`re not against following the law, but to change the law
on false claims is what many of us are saying wait a minute, this is a
situation that is unnecessary. It`s a solution looking for a problem
rather than problem in need of a solution. The president pointed it out
this way. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Out of 197 million votes cast for federal election between 2002 and
2005, only 40 voters out of 197 million were indicted for fraud. Now for
those of you who are math majors, as a percentage that is 0.002 percent.
That`s not a lot.

So, let`s be clear. The real voter fraud is people who try to deny our
rights by making bogus arguments for voter fraud.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The real voter fraud is those making arguments is their voter
fraud in Wisconsin, Congresswoman, to the degree that governor state. This
is the most important thing he wants this session?

MOORE: It is the most pressing problem. Of course not, Reverend Al. And,
in fact, I have lost count of the numbers of legislative initiatives that
they have put in law on a daily basis to stop us from voting. Not just
ending weekend -- much of the weekend voting in soles to polls, but
shortening the hours in which we can vote, guaranteeing that there will be
long lines if we turn out in Milwaukee.

But to your point, your question earlier, Reverend Sharpton, what can we
do? I am so grateful to you and the National Action Network and groups
like that who have remained vigilant because getting on the ground,
educating people, letting them know that billionaires are spending millions
of dollars to suppress their quote, that they are as powerful as these
people if they band together, because an old African proverb said, Rev.,
together, the ants eat the elephant.

SHARPTON: Well, let me ask you this, E.J., because as we fight for this,
we`re not telling people how to vote. We`re protecting their vote. Let me
read this quote to you. It says, and I`m reading a quote, "for this nation
to remain true to its principles, we cannot allow any American vote to be
denied, diluted or defiled. The right to vote is the crown jewel of
American liberties, and we will not see its luster diminished."

The quote came, E.J., from president Ronald Reagan. And it was true when
Reagan said it then and it`s true when you have those who claim his name
that are doing things that would dilute that vote, to use his term.

DIONNE: Well, that`s right. And I think it was -- it`s very disturbing
when you look at what the U.S. Supreme Court has been doing. On the one
hand, the Supreme Court has said, and justice Roberts had similar language
about how the right to participate in the electoral process is the greatest
right, but he used that quote justify lifting more restrictions on how much
money very is rich people can give in the campaign.

So the court is all in on expanding the power of wealthy Americans. But
when it came time to rule on the voting rights act, they threw out section
4 of the voting rights act. So you have this pincher movement that is not
at all true to those words of Ronald Reagan. You know, empower the very
wealthy as much as you can and diminish the protections that we fought for
back in 1965, diminish those protections so that all Americans can actually
cast a ballot. And that`s what we`re up against.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, the fight in the courts, the fight in the
streets, the president also says while we`re fighting, we`ve got to be
prepared to vote no matter what. We cannot allow the impediments to be in
any way aided and abetted by our not voting ourselves.

MOORE: That`s absolutely right. I think you have seen a lot of civic
engagement amongst civic groups, like the league of women voters, the
NAACP, the National Action Network, our churches, who have been at the
forefront of trying to make sure that their parishioners can vote so that
they get these id`s and keep them from having excuses.

And literally, it brought tears to my eyes at the polls here in Milwaukee
to see younger people allowing disabled and elderly people to get in front
of them and skip them in lean to vote. And seeing elderly people saying
hey, I`m not going anywhere. I brought my lunch. And you know, people
distributing water to folks in line so that they stay in line.

I think that this is a time where banding together and being prepared for
the worst will pay off. I`ve got a really good feeling as E.J. said, you
know, that we haven`t seen this much preparation for a November election on
an off year out this far in a long time. And so, I think that there`s a
mighty battle coming.

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

Congresswoman Gwen Moore and E.J. Dionne, thank you for your time this
evening. Have a great weekend.

DIONNE: You too, Reverend.

MOORE: And thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, ding, ding, ding. It`s scandal mania in the GOP.
All the big names spent the week battling it out to see who had the
kookiest anti-Obama conspiracy theory.

And 7.5 million people enrolled. But there`s a new reason they`re whining
about repealing the health care law.

And buckle up. Scott Brown is getting back in his truck and he`s trying to
New Hampshire for a Senate run. But he might need a GPS to get there.

And plus, he broke the color barrier in baseball and became an American
hero why tonight, yes, tonight is a night to celebrate Jackie Robinson.
Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: In sports when a losing team is still talking trash, the winner
can just point up and say scoreboard. Well, here`s the scoreboard on
health care. 7.5 million enrolled and counting. We`ll talk about what
that means and why Republicans are still talking repeal next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: As millions of Americans start benefitting from the affordable
care act, president Obama announced today health and human services
secondary Kathleen Sebelius will step down. No question the rollout of the
health care Web site was rocky. But secretary Sebelius leaves with the law
working, 7.5 million enrolled.

President Obama will nominate his budget director, Sylvia Matthews Burwell
to take over. So Republicans should welcome a change, right? Well,
Congressman Fred Upton say, quote, "Secretary Sebelius may be finished in
her roll oversea seeing the law, but our efforts to get the answers in
relief for the American people will continue. "

Get answers? What answers?

Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss saying quote "in my recent dealings with
Ms. Burwell, I`ve had concerns about her willingness to ignore the clear
intent of Congress and texts of duly enacted laws."

There they go with that lawless line again. And of course, senator
shutdown joined the party.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I think Burwell presents an ideal opportunity to
examine the failures that were Obamacare. And four years ago, minds could
have differed over whether this might work. Today, seeing the disaster,
seeing the train wreck that is Obamacare, in my view, it`s the essence of
pragmatism to acknowledge this thing isn`t working. We need a start over.
We need to repeal every word of it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: 7.5 million people enrolled and they`re still talking repeal?
Good luck with that one.

Joining me now, David Corn and Angela Rye. Thank you both for being here.

ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Thank you, Rev.

DAVID CORN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I`m sorry I`m laughing. But you
know, this gets kind of more and more absurd by the day.

SHARPTON: Yes. Well you know, David, confronting the new health secretary
is another excuse to talk about repeal now.

CORN: Well, yes. That was a woman, Sylvia Matthews Burwell, who I knew
years ago in the Clinton administration. She was one of the most competent
people you`ll ever come across and she got confirmed in her present job on
a 96-0 vote, 96-0.

I wouldn`t be surprised if we get into a situation where the Republicans
start bullying each other and, you know, other than John McCain and a
handful she doesn`t get very many Republican votes because they`re going to
use this again to fight Obamacare.

But it`s not just 7.5 million people who signed up on the exchanges, there
are millions of Americans who are getting health care through, you know,
the expansion of Medicaid. There are tens of millions who are getting it
now because the preexisting condition, you know, exemption has been wiped
out.

There are millions are getting it because they`re staying longer on their
parents. So you`re really talking about tens of millions, maybe even up to
hundreds of millions of Americans who got benefits out of this. And you
know, if they want to say what`s wrong, let them match those numbers.

SHARPTON: You know, Angela, the head of Republican party had another funny
attack on the president`s pick to lead the health and human services
department. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Sylvia Burwell who was named today
to replace Kathleen Sebelius as the new health and humans services
secretary is the person who ordered the World War II memorial barricaded
during the government shutdown last year and was responsible for an event
there being cancelled.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, Sylvia Matthews Burwell led the budget office. I mean, she
wasn`t responsible for the government shutdown. But we will hear on this,
Angela?

RYE: Well, Rev., I don`t really know. We can`t ever predict the rest is
going to do. I`m having a hard time even getting this side out. The point
is, the government shutdown was orchestrated by a protest party called the
GOP. They have to comply with whatever results from the shutdown and that
is exactly what she did.

They even mentioned earlier that she was confirmed earlier to the OMB post,
96-0. And now, it is unfortunate that they are going to play politics on
this by with this nomination. It is going to be tough for her and to
probably get the 51 votes necessary just because of how they needed to play
the politics out of the senator states not cheering the fact.

There are so many myths about Obamacare and is really going to take --
folks are going to have to take the time to share the anecdote, the
personal testimonies and success stories of what Obamacare is really meant
to them.

And until those things really start picking up attraction, it is going to
be a tough political pride because they are not willing to tell the truth
for Ted Cruz to go on air earlier and say, you know, the train wreck that
is Obamacare after millions of peoples have enrolled, is a disaster in of
itself.

SHARPTON: You know, David, in my National Action Network today, the
president also hammer the Republicans who are refusing to expand Medicaid
in their states. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: It means continuing to extend the right of the affordable health
care for every American in every state because we got some states that
aren`t doing the right thing. We have states who just have a political
spike are leaving millions of people uninsured that could be getting health
insurance right now. No good reason for it. If you ask them, what is the
explanation, they can`t really tell you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Is this the next real health care front, David?

CORN: I think it is something that, you know, Obama wants to push for you.
One of Kathleen Sebelius` accomplishments, you know, we all point out when
the along with the Web site and how she had to come back from that and, you
know, get the people enrolled.

But one of her real good accomplishments is really working with, I don`t
know, six, seven, eight Republican governors who weren`t interested in
taking advantage of Obamacare to expand Medicaid in their states and she
and her colleagues worked with those governors to come up with flexible
regulations so they could, you know, be satisfied and these program could
be expanded to include hundreds of thousands of people in the states.

So really, you know, she worked hard on this. I mean, the president
obviously, as he indicated at your event today, sees this as a serious
front to continue pushing on. And I mean, I don`t know if Obamacare will
ever be relieved of the political debate that surrounds it, but at some
point down the road, people in those states may look around at other
states, whether they`re Republican led or not and see what`s happening
there and say you know what, we could use this in our state where we don`t
have enough people covered.

SHARPTON: Quickly, Angela, Democrats have to fight this out in the
midterms.

RYE: Absolutely. And I think that Democrats will be ahead of the game.
Because right now, things are looking real happy for the Dems. I think it
will be a clear victory for them.

SHARPTON: David Corn and Angela Rye, thank you both for your time. Have a
good weekend.

RYE: Thanks, Rev.

CORN: You too.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, who needs facts when you have the right wing
scandal machine? What`s really behind the desperate attempts to find a
scandal, any scandal from the Obama administration.

But first, quick, somebody tell Scott Brown which state he`s in. That`s
tonight`s got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Who will be crowned the GOP conspiracy theory king? It was a
week of scandal mania running wild in the GOP. A real all-star team of
fake scandal mongering. We`re getting into the ring, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s scandal mania in the GOP. This week, just about every
right winger jumped into the ring. Peddling ugly conspiracy theories and
trotting out their favorite phony scandals. Here`s Congressman Louie
Gohmert, resurrecting his favorite scandal at a hearing with Attorney
General Eric Holder.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R), TEXAS: So we`ve been trying to get to the bottom
of "Fast and Furious."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: "Fast and Furious?" Why stop there. For Congressman Darrell
Issa, it`s all about the IRS.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I am hoping, begging and pleading with the House
leadership to put new eyes on Benghazi before it`s too late.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: No evidence? No problem. He`ll keep digging. And if that
doesn`t work out, then there`s always Benghazi. Right Senator Graham?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: The committee has been trying to the
bottom of IRS targeting. The American people rightfully don`t trust the
IRS to tell them what really happened.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Oh, that was Darrell Issa, Issa, Graham, Benghazi, IRS, they
come to fast, you have to watch out. Because these IRS, Benghazi, "Fast
and Furious." Speaker Boehner, let`s put him on the spot. What`s his
number one phony scandal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), OHIO: 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 truth about Benghazi.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: All of the above. Should have seen it coming. Republicans
don`t have an agenda for the country. All they have left are these fact-
free, phony scandals that they hope will distract the American people. But
it won`t work.

Joining me now are Joe Madison and Bill Press, thank you for being here.

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

BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Reverend Al, good to see you.

SHARPTON: Joe, it`s amazing, the more these phony scandals get debunked,
the more the right wing pushes them. What`s going on here? What`s going
on?

MADISON: Let`s stick with the boxing them. All three of us are old enough
to remember rope-a-dope, right? You know, this is what this is. Rope-a-
dope man. They keep punching, punching, punching. And then to keep with
the boxing metaphor, all we have to do is to let them punch themselves out,
because quite honestly, all they`re doing is spending millions of dollars,
so they`re wasting taxpayers` money. Two, they`re diverting people`s
attention from Ryan`s budget, which most Americans, once they get a whiff
of that budget knows that the average person is in trouble working man in
this country. And then we just need to come back with a left hook and
finish these folks off and set in November.

SHARPTON: You know, Bill, I want you to listen what Senator Ted Cruz said
this week about President Obama and Attorney General Holder. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: The pattern of lawlessness is breathtaking. We
have never seen a president of the United States who so consistently
ignores the law and, in fact, brazenly defies the law. Among other things,
Congress should impeach Eric Holder because Eric Holder is defying Congress
and defying rule of law.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, the President is brazenly defying the law, the Attorney
General Eric Holder defying Congress and the law. I mean, it`s almost
surreal how they go all the way to bizarre land to try to make their
political points.

PRESS: There are no limits, Reverend Al, to what they will say about this
administration. Every time I hear that lawlessness is a new talking point,
right, among the Republican right. And yet I`ve never heard them give one
example of one law that the President is refusing to enforce or is
breaking. That`s same thing with Eric Holder. They keep talking about
ObamaCare, I think we have to remind them that the Affordable Care Act is
the law. It is the law of the land, it was signed into the law four years
ago. If anybody is breaking the law, it`s these republican governors who
refuse to go along with the expansion of Medicare.

But you know, on the scandal point, Reverend Al, I`ve just got to say, I`m
a talk show host. I love a good scandal. It lights up the phones. None
of these scandals are real. They are all phony scandals and just show
hearings that Darrell Issa keeps holding on the same subjects. Even
Charles Krauthammer, conservative columnist said, get off Benghazi, you`re
beating it to death.

SHARPTON: You know, Joe, on Tea Party nation is running on its website,
headline, how did Barack Obama win re-election in 2012? The article claims
there were over one million double votes in 2012. And it says Democrats
are not winning elections, they`re stealing them. One, first of all, there
was a million that was double the president won by a lot more than two
million votes, but aside from that being bizarre, on one level they accept
the voters that gave them the majority of the House, but they`re fraudulent
when the voters -- it`s the same voters!

MADISON: Same polling place. The same ballot. I mean, we`re running out
of time. Do we need to say more?

SHARPTON: Yes.

MADISON: I mean, that`s the stupidity of it. That`s why I say let them
keep punching. And let them keep punching and all we have to do, like at
the National Action Network conference, you just come back with the facts.
And then people go back home and they start telling the truth and
eventually they`ll punch themselves out.

SHARPTON: Bill, I think that when you look at the fact that they have made
unprecedented attacks and personal in nature on this President and this
Attorney General, I think most Americans see what this venom is all about.

PRESS: Well, except for those who watch FOX News, Reverend Al, I have to
say. And I think that`s their soul audience. In fact, I think Darrell
Issa might as well be on the payroll of Roger Ailes. He`s just keeping
these hearings going so "FOX & FRIENDS" has something to talk about in the
morning. I think it`s as simple as that. That`s their audience and they
keep running the same stuff over and over and over again and those people
who watch it are dumb enough to believe it.

SHARPTON: Joe Madison and Bill Press, thanks for your time tonight. Have
a great weekend.

MADISON: And you, too, Rev.

PRESS: All right, Reverend Al, thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, new evidence released takes us inside the Florida Movie
Theatre where a man was shot dead.

Plus, the mother accused of trying to kill her children gets charges
reduced. The Politics Nation justice files, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s time for "The Justice Files." The big criminal justice
story making headlines today. Joining me now, criminal defense Attorney
Michelle Suskauer and former prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst Faith
Jenkins. Thank you both for being here.

FAITH JENKINS, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Thank you.

SHARPTON: We start in Florida. With new evidence being released in the
so-called popcorn defense case. It was January 13, a Monday night when
this man, Chad Oulson a navy veteran went to the movies with his wife
Nicole. He had a confrontation inside the theater with this 71-year-old
man, Curtis Reeves, a retired police officer. Started out as an argument
over text messaging, Reeves was irritated because Oulson was texting his
daughter during the previews. And it ended with Oulson dying from a single
bullet to his chest. Reeves says, he shot in self-defense and interviewed
with police, he claims Oulson attacked him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CURTIS REEVES, SHOT CHAD OULSON: He hit me with his fist or something. I
think he had his cell phone in his hand. When he turned away from me, I
looked down, and his cell phone was laying at my feet. So, I think that`s
what he hit me in the face with.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But this surveillance video released shows what happened moments
before the shooting. Reeves gets up complain to the manager about Oulson`s
texting. When he returns to the seat, Reeves allegedly asks Oulson if he`s
still texting. And that`s when things turn deadly. You can see what
appears to be Oulson tossing a popcorn box at Reeves. Then Reeves grabs
his gun and shoots. The shooting was caught on tape. Reeves faces second
degree murder charges. And just this week, prosecutors release photographs
from inside the theatre.

Faith, the defense is that Reeves was hit with a cell phone. The witnesses
say they saw him throw popcorn. Does this new evidence hurt or help
Reeves` case?

JENKINS: So, there`s now a photo of the cell phone at the feet of where
Reeves was sitting in the movie theater. I think it helps him. Stand your
ground, self-defense law, not only applies when a person is in fear of
death or great bodily harm but when they`re also in fear of a forcible
felony against them. And when you`re 65 years and older in Florida, the
law affords you additional protections if you were in fear of being
assaulted for example, by a cell phone, someone throwing a cell phone at
you.

That could be deemed a forcible felony. So stand your ground may be
validly applied here which may bring us back to why it`s so problematic.
When you look at this tape, this looks like someone needed to use deadly
force to defend themselves. And now we`ve had three cases, Zimmerman, Dunn
and now this case where three people have initiated confrontations and used
their guns to kill people because they are backed by a law that encourages
and to take their law into their own hands.

SHARPTON: Michelle, do you agree? Does this help or hurt the defense?

MICHELLE SUSKAUER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I don`t know whether it helps or
hurts. It`s really going to depend on those jurors who are going to be
listening to this confrontation that took place really over a period of
seconds. Whether there was a cell phone or popcorn, it was whether his
fear was reasonable or not for him to use self defense and use deadly force
to defend himself. So whether there was a cell phone -- and look, the
State Attorney`s office could possibly say, cell phone was thrown. I don`t
think they`re going to.

The cell phone could have dropped on the ground after he was shot. We
don`t really know. But it`s a question of whether or not this was
reasonable here. And there`s a lot of witnesses here that I don`t think
are going to help Reeves, including his wife. So I don`t know whether this
new evidence, whether these photographs are going to help or hurt or
whether it`s really going to make a difference at all.

SHARPTON: All right. You know how I feel about the stand your ground law.
This is crazy. Cell phone for deadly force. Let`s go to another big case
in Florida. It involves a mother accused of trying to kill her three
children. We learned this week that Ebony Wilkerson, the pregnant mother
who drove her three children into the Atlantic Ocean last month will be
charged with attempted second degree murder. She was originally arrested
on attempted first degree murder charges. The lesser charge from
prosecutors mean, they don`t believe Wilkerson`s actions were premeditated.

Last month, Wilkerson drove a minivan carrying her three children into the
ocean in Daytona Beach, Florida, telling police she was trying to escape an
abusive husband. Thankfully some hero bystanders rushed to save the
children. Wilkerson is now receiving mental health treatment and prenatal
care at a medical center. But the question now is, should she be charged
with anything? Should she be in jail or in a mental institution getting
help? Michelle, what do you think?

SUSKAUER: Well, you know, clearly there are issues here in terms of any
mental health. And I don`t know what her prior mental health history is,
but when they originally charged her with first degree murder, they
completely overcharged. It was a knee jerk typical prosecutor reaction of
first degree murder, which they were never going to be able to prove. So,
if they go ahead and pursue this which is second degree, they don`t have to
show intent, just like you said. They have to show evidence of a depraved
mind. And an act that was imminently dangerous. They may be able to prove
that if she`s not going to be able to contest that with some sort of mental
health defense, insanity. So, you know, I think this is a tough case here,
but you know, prosecutors certainly shouldn`t have charged first degree.
Second degree is more appropriate.

SHARPTON: Faith, quickly, should they charge her with anything at all? Or
are they moving in the right direction?

JENKINS: I think this may not be the last time you hear about prosecutor
reducing charges in this case. They`re obviously looking at some serious
mental issues here. I think they will continue to, and if this is a case
where Ebony could not tell the difference between right and wrong, she
should not be criminally prosecuted and she should get treatment.

SHARPTON: Michelle Suskauer and Faith Jenkins, thank you both for your
time tonight.

JENKINS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, Scott Brown has a new state and an old message. It
puts him in tonight`s gotcha. Plus, what we learned today from the man who
changed baseball and America forever. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Bit news out of New Hampshire this week. Republican Scott Brown
officially kicked off his U.S. Senate run.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. SCOTT BROWN (R), MASSACHUSETTS: I thank the people of Massachusetts
for electing me as your next United States senator!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Oh, I`m sorry. That`s the wrong tape. That`s from his 2010
Senate race in Massachusetts. Here`s the right tape. Brown last night
launching another Senate run in New Hampshire, starting with this ad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Scott Brown has almost 300,000 miles on this truck.
Over the last few weeks it`s taken him all across New Hampshire, listening,
learning.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Wait a second. That looks familiar. Haven`t I seen that
somewhere before?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BROWN: My name is Scott Brown and I`m running for the United States
Senate. This is my truck. I put a lot of miles on it during this
campaign. Wherever I go, people tell me they`re concerned about the path
our country is on. It`s time for a new direction.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He loved that old truck so much that he used it to basically
make the same ad he ran in his first race he ran in Massachusetts. The
website Mediate pointed out the similarities, both ads feature Brown and
they feature him in his favorite pickup truck. Hope he got the new plates
done for the new state. Those signs even look identical. They`re classic
New England. Scott Brown might want to get a GPS for that old truck of his
so he knows which state to campaign in this time around. Senator Brown,
did you think we wouldn`t notice your state of confusion? Nice try. But
we got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Finally tonight, we remember a shining achievement in sports and
civil rights. Nothing is more American than baseball. But once upon a
time, baseball like everything else in American life was completely shut
off to African-American players. That is until 67 years ago tonight.
Jackie Robinson broke baseball`s color barrier along and changed the nation
along the way. This is an amazing photograph of Jackie Robinson on April
11th, 1947, his first day in a Brooklyn Dodger uniform. He`s in the dugout
at Ebbets Field. Here he is signing the contract. Four days later, he
would actually step on to that field and make history. And he did it in
the face of death threats, racial slurs. He was spat on, cursed at. In
1972 in an interview, he described what it was like to play in one city.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: When you went to Philadelphia the early years, you
couldn`t stay in the same hotel, you had to find your own accommodations.
And then there was Ben Chapman and some of the other fellows who were
really the worst kinds of guys that we ran into. The kind of taunts that
they yelled out were vicious and uncalled for.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But he responded with silence. He refused to respond to the
violence, choosing instead to fight back with his play on the field. And
it all started on this night 67 years ago. When you think of what the
people like Jackie Robinson took to advance us 67 years ago, we can take
what we need to take to keep that advance going. Advancing the dream
today.

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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