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PoliticsNation, Friday, April 18th, 2014

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April 18, 2014

Guest: Angela Rye , Bill Press, Joe Madison, Ken Padowitz, Faith Jenkins

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Happy Easter to you and the families.
Same to you, Ed. Thanks to you for tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, the GOP`s health care hangover. Today, Republicans woke up
after the day of historic news about the president`s health care law. But
they`re still struggling to wake up to reality. Eight million people have
signed up for the plans on the exchanges and now, comes the denial.

Speaker Boehner said the president is obscuring the full impact of the law.
The third ranking Republican in the house said quote "Republicans cannot
and will not accept this law." And on the right wing airwaves,
conservatives are in full spin mode.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All those companies breaking down employees to part-
time work so they don`t have to deal with these onerous regulations from

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The rapidly escalating cost to the taxpayer of
Obamacare suggests that it will raise the deficit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Despite all their attempts at spin, the law is still
under water in public opinion.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: This system is little with errors and
destined for failure ultimately.


SHARPTON: Destined for failure? I guess eight million people getting
health care is a failure. But maybe this shouldn`t be a surprise, because
this party has spent five years attacking the law. For five years, we`ve
seen lies, fear mongering and paranoia.

In 2009, then Senator Jim DeMint said the health law could be the
president`s waterloo, that it would break this president. It didn`t. We
saw tea party rallies attacking the president for socialism.

In 2010, there were massive tea party protests as a final vote in the house


CROWD: Kill the bill! Kill the bill! Kill the bill!


SHARPTON: Democrats on their way to vote for allegedly heckled and spat
on. Then it became law. And in came the scare tactics. Remember the
death panels?


SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Making our health care premiums
enormously unsustainably more expensive with death panels to boot.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Let`s repeal this failure before it
literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens.


SHARPTON: Well, that literally never happened. Then they moved to a new
talking point. It would kill jobs.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: In my opinion, Obamacare
is the biggest job killer we have in America today.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: It`s become such a job killer our

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Obamacare is the biggest job killer this


SHARPTON: And the economy keeps adding jobs. So then they warned the law
would kill itself, collapse under its own weight.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The law is so massive, burdensome, bureaucratic and
confusing that it`s collapsing under its own weight.

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: The collapse of Obamacare is happening
before our own eyes.

say this. I think this law is going to collapse you should its own weight.


SHARPTON: It didn`t collapse. It exceeded expectations. But when your
party`s soul focus is destroy a law, there`s no wonder they`re in denial
today. This is a political hangover that will be tough to shake.

Joining me now are E.J. Dionne and Melissa Harris-Perry. Thank you both
for being on the show tonight.



SHARPTON: Melissa, five year, an election, a Supreme Court decision and
now the proof that it works. Why can`t Republicans just accept reality and
move on?

HARRIS-PERRY: Well, first of all, you have to respect just the extent to
which they stick to message, right? So there is some value in that in
politics. And in fact, I think that`s part of what`s going on here. If
you ask Republicans what have you accomplished the past five years? The
answer is, we have fought Obamacare.

And because that can be their answer, they then don`t have to answer, well,
we pass this legislation or we have done this. It`s a little bit of a
smoke and mirrors. We`re going to be over here looking like we`re doing a
lot. And the thing we`re doing is actively working against a law, as you
point out, is being implemented, working well at this point. And then that
keeps us from having to be accountable for anything else on the other side.

SHARPTON: You know, and maybe I`m sure I`m a little older than you
Melissa, at one point, it sound like a brilliant talking about. Another
point it sounds like the old records you used to play, you scratch the
record and it keeps staying there because it`s scratched. It`s like a
scratched record like they just can`t move on.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. But if they have a gerrymandered district where this
particular message works in those districts and what they are thinking is
2014. Now, it is short versus medium versus long term gain. It may
actually be quite effective for them in 2014 midterms. It may be much less
effective for them going into a presidential election year.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, Ted Cruz, E.J., responded to the new enrollment
numbers with a tweet. Quote "the repeal debate is far from over.

DIONNE: Well, he didn`t make any argument in there. He just said I`m
going to keep saying the same stuff like the record. I think the one thing
the Republicans have done is by sticking to all these talking points is
it`s still been a really long slog for the law to come out from under a
negative rating. There are signs that a couple of polls that showed it
finding positively and obviously, there was the unfortunate rollout.

But I think it was the turning point this week and you really saw it in the
way the president was talking. There was a kind of looked in a really good
mood. We should all see him in those news conferences.

Secondly, he was really aggressive. And instead of just saying defending
the law, he called out the governors, mostly Republicans who have not
expanded Medicaid, who are keeping five million people off.

And I think on the Republican side, you have some Republicans on the
ballot, particularly in Senate races where it`s biggest electorates than
just gerrymandered districts. They`re having a really hard time finding
their footing because some of them are not giving straight answers about
whether they to expand Medicaid in their states or whether they want to
take that coverage away.

So you may -- you may have seen a turn on the Republican side in their
uncertainty, even if a lot of the public talk is still the same anti-
Obamacare stuff.

SHARPTON: That calling now on the Republicans, Melissa, the president was
very forthright. Watch this.


repeal efforts come at a cost. The 50 or so votes Republicans have taken
to repeal this law could have been 50 votes to create jobs by investing in
things like infrastructure or innovation. The point is the repeal debate
is and should be over.

I recognize that their party is going through, you know, the stages of
grief, right? Anger and denial and all that stuff and we`re not at
acceptance yet. It seems as if this is the primary agenda item in the
Republican political platform. I`m still puzzled why they`ve made this
their soul agenda item when it comes to our politics. It`s curious.


SHARPTON: Their soul agenda item. But the acceptance part, we`re not
there. I thought it was an appropriate way of explaining it.

HARRIS-PERRY: He really has been in, as E.J. says in a good mood. We
certainly saw it in his conversation not about something that was positive,
but in the forthright in some of these conversations about voting rights at
the convention. So, we see a president who going into what would be the
last midterm of his presidency, never facing another election himself, does
have this sense of let me explained to you what my legacy is, right? Let
me be really clear about this.

But that said, I do think that the key element, rather than taking a
victory lap, even though he certainly deserves one here. As E.J. was
pointing out about these Republican governors who are keeping millions of
their own constituents from having that Medicaid coverage, because it is
expansion of Medicaid that covers that gap between these folks who are kind
of available for the ACA versus the poorest of the poor.

SHARPTON: E.J., when you look at the fact that this week right before the
numbers came out, the right wingers were already accusing the White House
of cooking the books. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think it means anything. They`re cooking the
books on this.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: With millions of Obama care applicants
appearing out of thin hair in the last few days, Kathleen Sebelius is
fighting off allegations that they`re cooking the books.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The real question is when have they
not lied about Obamacare.

NEWT GINGRICH, CNN HOST, CROSSFIRE: You know, they said they had seven
million start-ups. now, does anybody believe that, OK? Just
impossibility. It`s actually impossible.


SHARPTON: I mean, they just broke things out there. No evidence, not even
the hint of evidence, and they find out that they were even underestimating
the real number, which was eight million. This was leading up to the

SHARPTON: Well, Mr. Trump wasn`t even sure that the president`s birth
certificate was right. They said that the polls were cooked about the 2012
election and that Mitt Romney was going to win. So I don`t think this
should surprise us that they`re doing this again. Because it is bad news
for them. That the number is so big. And it`s actually bigger when you
count the people who signed up on Medicaid and some other folks who have
gotten coverage.

But the other thing the president did that was talked about the victory
lap, he actually already said democrats have to make their transition. It
was like a three steps. Democrats -- you know, Obamacare works.
Republicans were obsessed. Democrats embraced it but then turned to jobs.
And I think what he`s trying to do is put the argument and say all they
want to talk about is Obamacare. What I want to talk about is how you get
the economy growing and pull people up from the bottom. And I think that`s
where the Democrats can actually start winning in this election. They
can`t just stick on Obamacare.

SHARPTON: Got to leave it there. E.J. Dionne and Melissa Harris-Perry,
thank you. Have a great holiday weekend.

DIONNE: Happy Easter.

SHARPTON: And do what E.J. and I do and most smart people. Catch Melissa
Harris-Perry weekends at 10:00 a.m. eastern right here on MSNBC.

Coming up, going on offense. They wanted a fight on health care and
they`re about to get one.

And a Republican senate candidate attacks the victims of hurricane Katrina
and is part of an ugly trend.

Plus, 14 years ago, a man was sentenced for armed robbery with a BB gun. A
clerical error kept him free. He`s turned his life around and become a
father of four. Should he still be jailed?

And Toronto Mayor Rob Ford makes it official. He`s running for reelection
and might be running into a few more cameras.

Big show ahead tonight. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: President Obama says it`s time for Democrats to go on the
offensive when it comes to health care. Republicans claim they wanted a
fight. Well, they`re about to get one. That`s next.


SHARPTON: With eight million people now enrolled in health care exchanges,
the president has a clear message -- it`s working. And yesterday, he gave
Democrats a blueprint for how to campaign this fall. Embrace the
affordable care act. Don`t run from it.


OBAMA: I think the Democrats should forcefully defend and be proud of the
fact that millions of people like the woman I just described, who I saw in
Pennsylvania yesterday, we`re helping because of something we did. I think
there is a strong, good, right story to tell.


SHARPTON: Be proud. It`s helping millions of people. And more and more
Democrats are taking the president`s advice.

In Alaska, a group supporting Democratic Senator Mark Begich is proudly
running this ad.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was lucky. I beat cancer. But the insurance
companies still denied me health insurance just because of my preexisting
condition. I now have health insurance again because of Mark Begich.
Because he fought the insurance companies so that we no longer have to.


SHARPTON: And in Kentucky, Democrats are hitting Republicans for opposing
state exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act. They are now over
370,000 people in Kentucky who have insurance, thanks to Obamacare. It`s
cut the uninsured rate in the state by 42 percent and Democrats see that as
a winning attack.

Here is a new radio ad talking to GOP lawmakers for as vote to repeal the
health care law.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When I learned congressman Andy Barr voted 19 times
to stop health reform? I was disappointed. Kentucky Kynect provides
health care to Kentucky who had no insurance. But Barr along with
McConnell voted to end Kynect and let insurance companies drop coverage,
deny care and charge women more.


SHARPTON: That`s the message for November. It`s been four years since the
Affordable Care Act has passed and now is the time for Democrats to stand
up and be proud of what they`ve established.

Joining me now are former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell and Angela Rye.

Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Governor, let me ask you to put on your other hat. How were
chair of the DNC. You got the Democrats in political races. How should
they talk about Obamacare in 2014?

RENDELL: Well, they should talk about it as the success that it is. It
isn`t perfect. It does still need some change but on balance it`s been a
tremendous plus for the American people.

Rev., I want to correct you on one thing. We would just have added eight
million people in the world of health care. If you count the Medicaid
expansion, there are about 4.5 million people who got the Medicaid
expansion, so really it`s 12.5 million Americans who have been put on
health care.

So that`s a point we should hammer home. And we should talk about the
benefits of the act and say do you want to go back? Do you want to repeal
it and go back to a time when you were sick and had a pre-existing illness
you couldn`t get health care? When as a senior, there was no way to help
with your prescription drug coverage?

If you had a son or daughter who is living at home with you, they couldn`t
be covered under your health care plan. If you are a lifetime caps on how
much money you could spend. And yearly caps on how much money you could
spend, the insurance companies imposed those. If you want to go back to
that, of course not. All these guys want to do is repeal it and leave you
uncovered again. And take 12.5 million people off of health care. I think
that`s a winning attack.

SHARPTON: Angela, let me go to you on this one. A Republican congressman
was confronted at a town hall just this week. And a constituent was asking
with the GOP health care plan was. Check out this video from Think


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`ve attempted to repeal it approximately 50 times.
Had zero votes on a replacement. So my question is why do you think it`s
so good to deny seniors on part d to make them pay more about $4,000 more
for medicine and people with preexisting conditions, deny insurance, have
26-year-olds having a harder time getting insurance because they can`t get
on their parents. Why do you think those are good ideas?

REP. DENNIS ROSS (R), FLORIDA: I don`t. And let me tell you, I think one
of the most unfortunate things that my party did the last three years was
not offer an alternative to health care.


SHARPTON: Angela, a lot of Republicans going to be confronted by this kind
of questioning during the midterm is where`s your plan? Why didn`t you
come with something as a party?

RYE: I think that has to be our greatest hope. Not to mention this guy
really fumbled this town hall, Rev. But it really is important that, to
Governor Rendell`s point, we focused on this excess. The fact that even
for me as a law school student, my second year, having to get kicked off of
my mom`s insurance plan and scrambling during finals to figure out what`s
next, there are other students that are similarly situated that won`t have
that struggle.

The anecdotes are the best way for us to reach everyday Americans about the
successes of Obamacare. So the members of Congress who are running for
reelection, absolutely have to do that, including those who may be fearful
based on the fact that they`re running statewide, including Senator
Landrieu and others.

So it`s very, very important that we continue to tout the successes and
realize the milestones that they covered. Over 8.1 million people, to
Governor Rendell`s point, the fact that there are additional four million
on Medicaid. It`s very, very important to understand the impact that
access to health care has for all Americans. And it`s a great victory lap,
not only for the president, but that it can be during the 2014 midterms.

SHARPTON: Governor, I want to go back to the other point. You know, the
president spoke about Republican-led states that refuse to expand Medicaid.
Listen to this.


OBAMA: This does frustrate me. States that have chosen not to expand
Medicaid for no other reason than political spite. You have five million
people who could have health insurance now at no cost to these states, zero
cost to these states other than ideological reasons, they have chosen not
to provide health insurance for their citizens. That`s wrong. It should
stop. Those folks should be able to get health insurance like everybody


SHARPTON: Now, governor, the White House says that by 2016, 5.7 million
people will be uninsured because 24 states have not expanded Medicaid. How
can Republicans continue to ignore the uninsured people in their own
states, Governor?

RENDELL: On the moral issue, they can`t. But politically, think about it
if you`re running against Kay Landrieu -- I mean, Mary Landrieu in
Louisiana or Kay Hagan in North Carolina. Those governors have refused
Medicaid expansion. You are the Republican candidate for senate. What do
you say about that? Do you say it`s a good thing that those people don`t
get health care?

In Pennsylvania, our governor did not join the expansion and there are
600,000 Pennsylvanians without health care. But additionally, Rev., it`s
1.2 billion of federal money that would come into the Pennsylvania economy
that we`ve turned down. And $110 million to Pennsylvania hospitals that
they`re not getting. What could the Republican candidate say?

Or in Arkansas, you are running against Mark Pryor, do you want Obamacare
to be repealed so that the people who are on Medicaid because the Arkansas
governor expanded that they`re going to be kicked off? The people on the
exchanges will be kicked off? What does Mitch McConnell say about those
370,000 Kentuckians that are on the most successful state exchange in the
country, thanks to the leadership of Governor Brasheer. Does Mitch
McConnell say repeal Obamacare and kick those people off? It`s a devil`s
choice for them.

SHARPTON: Governor Ed Rendell and Angela Rye, I`m going to have to leave
it there. Thank you both for your time tonight. Have a great holiday

RYE: You, too. Thanks, Rev.

RENDELL: You too Rev.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, should a man be sent to prison 14 years after his
crime if he`s turned his life around with a job and a family? That`s
tonight`s "justice file."

Also, Republican candidate compares taxes to apartheid. It`s unbelievable.
And it`s part of a disturbing pattern.

But first, Rand Paul is once again playing fast and loose with the facts.
I guess old habits die hard. But he`s up in tonight`s "got you."


SHARPTON: Rand Paul is ready for his close up. The republican senator is
getting ready to audition for the White House and he`s been practicing his


PAUL: The president keeps offering you free stuff, but you`re still in
poverty. You`re not getting any better.

We`re in a terrible recession. We`re still barely grow, if growing at all,
you get free stuff, but you never get out of poverty.


SHARPTON: The safety net is just free stuff? That tired it old dialogue
won`t win him any Oscars. I think he needs to rehearse a little more.


PAUL: When was the last time in our country we created millions of jobs?
It was under Ronald Reagan.


SHARPTON: The last time we created millions of jobs was under Reagan?
Senator Paul, I think you messed up your line there because that`s just not
true. Under President Obama, 5.4 million private sector jobs have been
added to the economy. Compare that to over 600,000 lost under President
Bush. That was a box office bomb.

And what happens when we compare the whole cast of the presidents since
1980? Democratic presidents created 26.2 million private sector jobs.
While Republican presidents only created 15.6 million. That`s a
blockbuster difference.

Did Senator Paul really think he would win any awards with this lame
performance? Nice try, but exit state right because we got you.



I`m nothing you heard. I`m you.


SHARPTON: I`m not a witch. Remember that? In 2010, the GOP vowed to win
the Senate. The only problem, the American people weren`t too excited by
candidates like Christine "I`m not a witch" O`Donnell. And this year,
expect more of the same. The GOP`s 2014 Senate candidates are more extreme
than ever. Like North Carolina Tea Party candidate Greg Brannon. He`s
compared taxes to the holocaust and apartheid.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: How did we possibly get along without income tax?

planning worked, Bill? It`s called holocaust. It`s called Soviet Union.
It`s called apartheid. Central planning does not work but America`s
version of it is better?



SHARPTON: The holocaust? Apartheid? That`s vile. But he`s just one in a
long line of Republican candidates who have embraced offensive views. Like
the Mississippi candidates who criticized victims of Katrina, calling them
welfare dependent citizens. And then there are the candidates vying for
Georgia`s Senate seat. Here is what one leading candidate once said about
the health care law.


REP. PAUL BROUN (R), GEORGIA: If ObamaCare passes, that free insurance
card that`s in people`s pockets is going to be as worthless as the
confederate dollar after the war between the states, the great war of
Yankee aggression.


SHARPTON: Health care is like the war on Yankee aggression? And its GOP
rival in the race is no better. Just listen to what he said about
President Obama`s push to energize minority voters.


REP. PHIL GINGREY (R), GEORGIA: I guess you always have some prejudices
exist in the minds and hearts of certain individuals. But, you know, to
use it as a political tool get out the base I think is sad. To use it to
try to create divisiveness or one race against the other. I`m sick of all
of that. And I think the American people are, too.


SHARPTON: He`s the one being -- but here`s the thing, the poll showed this
extreme candidates are hurting the GOP. In every Senate race except
Louisiana and West Virginia, Democrats are tied on leading in the polls.
Extremism didn`t work in 2010 and it won`t work in 2014 either.

Joining me now are Bill Press and Joe Madison, thank you both for coming on
the show tonight.



SHARPTON: Joe, let me start with you. Is this who the party really wants
representing them? Candidates comparing taxes to apartheid?

MADISON: Yes. That`s exactly the answer to that, comparing it to
apartheid. Apartheid are apartheid, it rhymes with hate was in fact, based
on racial domination and oppression. Everyone knows that. And it was a
Republican Party, if you remember, Reverend Sharpton, that under Ronald
Reagan I think that had something called constructive engagement.


MADISON: They actually support it the apartheid regime. And you and I
both know what happened in New Orleans when those people were stuck in the
superdome. And folks were -- lives, people died. They couldn`t get their
medicine. Folks has -- they were displaced, they were sent to cities far
away. You know, this is extreme. And how insulting to the memories of
those who died in the holocaust to compare taxes to the holocaust? I mean,
yes, these are their candidates. These are the people that they`ve put out
there. And I just hope they pay the price.

SHARPTON: You know, Bill, Greg Bannon, the Senate candidate, Brannon, I
should pronounce his name correctly, that Senate candidate who compared
taxes to apartheid has also called Jesse Helms a quote, "modern hero."

PRESS: Well, the other thing I noticed is, he`s been endorsed by Rand
Paul. You just talked about Rand Paul.


PRESS: I mean, so any idea that the Republican Party is moving away from
these guys is simply wrong. I mean, two points, I guess, Reverend Al. One
is, I think these people are their own worst enemy. You pointed out what
happened in 2010. Look what happened last time with Todd Akin. The more
exposure these people have, particularly for a statewide race, for the U.S.
Senate races, the more harm they do to themselves and the more they help
the Democrats.

And, you know, secondly the more I see these guys, and I hope this Paul
Broun wins that primary in Georgia because the more I see these guys, they
do not represent in any way the American people. They`re far, far too
extreme. They`ve taken their Republican Party`s so far out of the
mainstream. The more I see of them, the better I feel about the Democrats`
chances of holding on to the Senate this year.

SHARPTON: You know, Joe, as Bill just said, figures on the far right have
not been shy about backing candidates like Brannon. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I want us to make history, so we write history. That`s
what I`m looking at.

GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I could tongue kiss you. If you have
money, donate. If you have time, donate.


SHARPTON: You know, I don`t know about the tongue kissing, but Bill just
said that Rand Paul has endorsed Brannon. He is a guy who said Jesse Helms
is a modern hero.

MADISON: Yes, and remember, he also had the -- Jesse Helms, my goodness.
Jesse Helms who went after Harvey Gant with one of the most racist ads in
the history of senatorial politics. If we all remember that. And most
people don`t. I think that`s really what they`re playing to. The fact
that a lot of young voters, new voters. They were just kids. They don`t
remember this history. And that`s why we have to keep talking about it.
But listen with a third ear, politician once told me, "read with a third
eye and listen with a third ear."

When you hear a candidate talk about Yankee aggression, I mean, that`s
civil war talk. I mean, that`s what folks talk about during the civil war.
So, I`m like Bill. Maybe the best thing for these folks to do, just let
them keep talking but Politico really showed folks what -- who pays for all
of this -- these talk radios. Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, these folks
wouldn`t exist without Tea Party financing.

SHARPTON: I see you shaking your head anxiously there, Bill.

PRESS: No, I just want to add. Joe is absolutely right. It was revealed
by Politico Mackenzie Weinger wrote this piece, that Glenn Beck and Sean
Hannity and Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin and these guys, they are getting
paid millions of dollars, millions of dollars of advertising going to these
talk shows to have these yahoos on their show. And it`s the Koch Brothers
through Freedom Works and Americans for Prosperity who are paying these
right wing talk show hosts to feature these extreme Tea Party people.
That`s why they do so well in the primaries. So, you know, we`ve just got
to know where there is all coming from.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, I want to go back to something you referred to,
Joe. In the mid 2000s, Mississippi`s Chris McDaniel wrote blogs posting,
criticizing the poor people affected by Katrina. And as you say, some of
us were down there.


SHARPTON: Calling these people, calling them, quote, "the welfare
dependent citizens of New Orleans." And saying that people of all races
ignored common sense and waited for the great federal father to save them.

Now, when McDaniel was asked if he still held beliefs like this, his
campaign said, quote, "the liberal press clearly loves to attack
conservatives of all types." When Chris got into the race, he knew they
would throw mud. Throw mud? This is his statement, his blog.

MADISON: And remember Brownie, you`re doing a good job. Remember flying
over and not landing but watching and being criticized? I remember being
there and talking to a lady who watched her mother die --


MADISON: -- inside that superdome because folk couldn`t get out. They
weren`t waiting. There was no way for people to get out.

SHARPTON: People of means. I want the -- with Franklin Graham and both of
us are our way opposite side. These people were not welfare dependents
waiting on the federal father. I mean, this is absolutely absurd.

PRES: They were fighting for their lives, Reverend Al, in the greatest
breakdown of this federal government that we have seen in our lives. That
statement reminds me of Mike Huckabee, there`s another one, thinking of
running again. Uncle Sugar, he calls it. Any program to help the poor or
to help the middle class, they`re against. Any tax break for the
wealthiest of Americans, go right ahead. That`s what the government is all

SHARPTON: Bill Press, Joe Madison, I`m going to have to leave it there.
Thanks for your time. Have a great Hollywood weekend.

PRESS: Thanks, Reverend Al.

MADISON: Have a blessed Easter.

SHARPTON: Coming up, this single mother loses her kids after leaving them
on a car to go on a job interview. Today we find out she was not homeless.
Should she get her kids back? And a clerical error kept this man out of
jail for 13 years. He`s lived a crime free life, become a husband and a
father of four. Should he be jailed now? The justice files is next.


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



SHARPTON: We started in Missouri tonight and a case that`s getting
national attention. Cornelius Mike Anderson was sentenced to 13 years in
prison in 2000 for armed robbery. After taking money from a Burger King
manager who was making a bank deposit. He had a BB gun on him. But he was
never jailed because of a clerical error.

Over the last 14 years, Anderson lived a normal crime-free life. He became
a master carpenter, a business owner, a husband and a father of four. In
July of last year, he and his youngest daughter were sleeping at home when
a SWAT Team busted in and arrested him in front of his children. He is now
nine months into his sentence and the state wants him to serve his original
time, 13 years. His wife is now pleading for his release.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: It`s just very hard and I miss my husband very, very
much. My kids miss their father.


SHARPTON: Anderson recently spoke out saying he never ran from the law.


like a fugitive. Because a fugitive is someone running from the law. I
never ran from the law. I was there. The system failed. They did say I
was incarcerated and I wasn`t. And for them to say that I`ve been in their
computer at Fulton for 13 years, so that means that I`ve been there for 13


SHARPTON: This week, Anderson`s lawyer formally asked Missouri`s governor
for clemency, saying Anderson is a beloved father, Faith, this is a
complicated case. Should Mike Anderson served 13 years behind bars?

JENKINS: No, I don`t think that he should. And I think 13 years from the
very beginning was a pretty excessive sentence. He was 21, 22 years old.
And he did not have a felony record. And then he committed this armed
robbery and then -- for 13 years. But here, this case is really a case
study on how we have completely abandoned the idea of resocialization and
rehabilitation in our prison system. And that we solely focus on
retribution and isolating people from our society.

Because when you look at this, I mean, look at what we want to do, this is
someone who has lived a life the past 13 years, law abiding citizen. He
didn`t run, he didn`t hide. And now we want to take him away from his
family, take him away from his community. He has a small business, he
contributes to the community. And put him in prison. The solution here,
what they`re suggesting would do more harm than good for everyone in the

SHARPTON: Ken, he didn`t run. He had appealed the case. His lawyer said
wait until they notify you. They never notify them. And then they come
all these years later with a SWAT team. Even the guy that was robbed said
he shouldn`t have to do time. What do you say?

PADOWITZ: Well, you know, I was a prosecutor for 16 years and I put a lot
of people in prison and behind bars. But, you know, what? Sometimes we
need to take punishment and make that secondary and put society first. And
in this case, through no fault of his own, this man rehabilitated himself
during that 13-year mistake that the state make and that basically showing
that he can be a member of society, raise a family, do good in his
community, pay his taxes. He should be given a break. Fake this right.
The state should not incarcerate this man now. They made an error, not
through any fault of this man and he`s shown that he`s rehabilitated.
Society should come first, punishment should be secondary here. He had
this hanging over his head for 13 years. That`s punishment enough. He
should be allowed to walk free out of that jail.

SHARPTON: Now to the growing support for a grief stricken Arizona mother
who had her children taken away from her. This is the tearful mug shot of
35-year-old Shanesha Taylor. The single mother was arrested last month and
charged with felony shield abuse. She allegedly left her two kids, a two-
year-old and a two-month-old in the car when she went on a job interview.
She spent 11 days in jail before being released on bail. But her children
are still in the custody of child protective services.

This week, a petition signed by 12,000 people from all over the country was
dropped off by the county attorney`s office. The petition asks that the
charges be dropped. An online fundraiser has collected over $100,000. But
today, we learned that she may have not been unemployed or homeless. The
Maricopa County prosecutor is saying, quote, "She actually had part-time
employment, so she was employed and she actually had a residence listed so
she wasn`t really homeless." She faces up to seven years in prison.
Faith, should the charges be dropped?

JENKINS: Well, I saw the report that you`re referring to. And first, just
because someone provides an address does not mean they actually have a
place to live.


JENKINS: And the last time I checked --

SHARPTON: He just said it was listed. Didn`t say that she --

JENKINS: Exactly. And the last time I checked, you know, having a part-
time job is probably not sustainable to raise two children. So again, I`m
not going to disparage this woman for trying to interview for a job. Now,
what she did was wrong. You can`t leave two young children in a car by
themselves. But it`s about intent and the circumstances now and what we
can do going forward. This is a woman that obviously needs support. A
criminal record and going through the system is not going to help her. It
is going to hurt her and basically undermine the very thing that she`s
trying to do which is work and provide supports for her children. The same
people criticizing her for what she did in this case would be criticizing
her if she didn`t work and were on welfare.

SHARPTON: Ken, you know, I agree that the -- if she was destitute is not
the issue. She had a car so we knew she had something. The question is
whether she had enough and did she needs this job and even though Faith is
saying what she did is wrong, what would you do, would you drop the
charges, Ken?

PADOWITZ: Well, you know, the police should be commended for making the
arrest. Because leaving children, young children in a hot car can cause a


PADOWITZ: And I actually had to represent individuals where people and
children died. So it`s good that she`s into the system now. However, I
also again agree with Faith that even though now she`s in the system, she
can get the health that she needs. She can get the parenting skill that
she obviously lacks by learning not to leave her children in the car. And
I think we need to have some sympathy for her plight that she`s trying to
get a job and support her family and get that extra money so that she can
be a productive member of society and be supporting of her children. Yet,
at the same time, she obviously has to learn that that behavior cannot be
tolerated and her children cannot be put at risk. So again, proper
training for her, but criminal charges, I don`t think really should be
seriously considered to be dropped in this case, based on the circumstances
that surround her situation.

SHARPTON: All right. We`re going to continue following both of these
stories. Ken and Faith agreeing on both cases tonight. It must be Easter.
Thank you both for your time.

JENKINS: Thank you.

PADOWITZ: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford just gave a big gift to late night
comedians. Stay with us.


JIMMY FALLON, STAND-UP COMEDIAN: Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto, he`s just
out of control. I just love this guy. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. This guy,
Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto, I love this guy. Everyone loves the guy.
Ford has even offered a sneak peek at some of the posters for an upcoming
campaign. And we have an exclusive. First we have, Yes We Canada.


Great footage.


SHARPTON: Jimmy Fallon and the late night comedians love embattled Toronto
Mayor Rob Ford. And they can get ready for more of Mayor Ford. He`s
running for re-election. Officially kicking off his campaign last night.


MAYOR ROB FORD, TORONTO: On November 27, the people of Toronto, you folks,
you folks will continue the most open, honest, fair, hard-working mayor
that this city has ever seen.


SHARPTON: So here we go again, the late night comedians are looking for
more of this.



FORD: Excuse me, guys.


SHARPTON: This is going to be fun to watch.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, people over politics. Eight million Americans
have signed up for health care. But there`s a long way to go. Today a
sobering reminder of why we need health care reform. Think Progress
highlights a new study showing the rich are living longer while the poor
are not. This is not about which party is right. We all should agree that
we want everyone in America to live long and prosperous lives. The debate
should be how to do it not whether we should be.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. Have a great holiday weekend.
"HARDBALL" starts right now.


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