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PoliticsNation, Friday, May 2nd, 2014

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POLITICS NATION
May 2, 2014

Guests: Bill Press, Joe Madison, Angela Rye, Chuck Nice

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Right now, right now. Good evening, Ed.
And thanks to you for tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, President Obama is creating jobs and Republicans can`t
handle it. The new jobs report today shows the unemployment rate has now
dropped to 6.3 percent. That`s the lowest since September 2008 when the
economy was plunging into the Bush recession. And for third straight
month, the economy added over 200,000 jobs.

We`ve still got a long way to go. But make no mistake, we are coming back.
For years, the right wing called President Obama a socialist, a communist,
a Marxist. And Speaker Boehner has been on a one man propaganda mission
trotting out the exact similar talking point over and over and over again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Where are the jobs?

Where are the jobs? Where are the jobs? Where are the jobs? Where are
the jobs?

The American people are continuing to ask the question, where are the jobs?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Where are the jobs? It`s ridiculous. Here are the jobs.
Before President Obama came into office, the city was bleeding private
sector jobs. The private sector has now added jobs for 50 straight months.
Today President Obama says he`s going to keep fighting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There`s plenty more that
Congress should be doing from raising the minimum wage to creating good
construction jobs to rebuilding America. And I want to work with them
wherever I can. But I keep acting on my own wherever I must to make sure
every American who works hard has a chance to get ahead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But conservatives are still not ready to face reality. Here`s
what the head of the Republican Party said today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The regime claims that 280,000 jobs
were created in April. Now, nobody would suggest that the regime is
cooking the books in the run-up to the midterm election. They would never
do that. Except that we know they did do that before the 2012 elections.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: What Rush Limbaugh knows could fit in a thimble. Here`s the
truth. The economy is getting better and President Obama is creating jobs.
Republicans should get onboard or get out of the way.

Joining me now are Melissa Harris-Perry and Jared Bernstein. Thank you
both for being here.

MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC ANCHOR, MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY SHOW: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: Melissa, how do Republicans explain all these jobs being created
by our socialist president?

HARRIS-PERRY: Look, the -- what we have seen in this Republican Party,
they are impervious to data. They simply don`t need to update their
talking point in any way based on the reality of evidence. So we see this
also in how they behave about Obamacare, right? Consistently calling it a
failure, even though the affordable care act has extended coverage now to
more than eight million people. So similarly around --

SHARPTON: Right. And counting.

HARRIS-PERRY: And counting, right. As a starting point, right? So it is
similar on the jobs front where they can simply keep asking the question,
where are the jobs, despite the fact that there is a clear answer. It`s as
though they`ve become deaf when that answer is provided.

SHARPTON: You know, Jared, the House majority leader, Eric Cantor
responded to today`s jobs report, quote "we can`t just sit back and cross
our fingers every month."

What`s he talking about? Fifty straight months we saw jobs created. I
mean, what`s he talking about sit back and cross our fingers?

JARED BERNSTEIN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I mean, in fact they`ve kind of
sat back and done everything they can to actually slow the rate of job
growth. The president back years ago offered numerous ideas to help
accelerate the face of job growth doing some of the things he mentioned in
that clip you earlier, one of which I think is still extremely important,
which is to invest in our public infrastructure.

You and Melissa are absolutely right about the other side being in
impervious to data, but actually went a little further than that. You
heard Rush Limbaugh there trying to cast aspersions on the bureau of labor
statistics cooking the books and even saying that in fact, it has been
shown that they did.

That -- I want to just make sure every viewer knows that`s absolutely,
unconditionally, totally false. And how he can say that with a straight
face? Well, I guess I don`t know. I can`t even put myself in that
position. But you know, it is one thing to be impervious to data, and then
you go and attack the actual folks who collect the data. It`s just silly.

SHARPTON: Well, it`s clear what`s what they do. But when you look at the
facts, Melissa. This is a job of the state and local public sector jobs
since right before the Bush recession. Let`s look at this.

It shows a loss of over 600,000 jobs since August of 2008. In recent
months, these jobs have slowly started to come back. But Republicans are
still obsessed with cutting public sector budgets.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. And this goes really to Jared`s point about the
Limbaugh`s sought (ph) that actually in that moment attacks the information
gathering space. Because the danger there isn`t just a part of endanger.
It is a gander about understanding how our economy works and where our jobs
exist.

So you can see from the job that you have shown. Clear, strong powerful
growth in the private sector during the entire Obama administration. But
at the same time, you see the decline in local and state jobs. Those are
largely in states governed by Republican governors and local areas in
addition to the U.S. Congress.

And so, part of why people don`t always feels that increase in the private
sector job is because of these slashing budgets occurring under Republican
governors and in part on the Republican house which then takes away those
public sector jobs and you don`t get a sense of the robust economic
recovery.

SHARPTON: You know, let`s compare Jared, the Obama and Bush presidencies
when it comes to private sector jobs.

President Obama has created 5.6 million jobs so far. President Bush lost
646,000 jobs. The Bush trickle down tax cuts for the rich agenda didn`t
work. So why are Republicans still pushing it?

BERNSTEIN: I mean, a lot of this has to do with what we call end points
that is President Bush left office amidst what is a very deep recession.
And President Obama, as you correctly pointed out, many, many nights over
is presiding over an expansion that is very clearly showing up in job
growth.

And again, as I`ve said, and the president says, we could and we should be
doing better, but for policies that I think have pushed the other way. And
I can think of no better example of exactly the wrong kinds of policies in
a situation like this, than this trickle down idea. The idea that you cut
taxes at the very top in order to enrich folks who, by the way, are the
ones doing the best anyway, and somehow their economic activity will
trickle down to everyone else.

In fact, what we`ve seen is that much of the growth in income, we`ve been
talking about jobs, much of the growth in income really has done an end-run
around the middle class. And this trickle down stuff has been shown to be
a failure many times over.

HARRIS-PERRY: That`s part of why the president is pushing this increase in
the minimum wage which you`ve been talking about, right? Is this very idea
that because so many of these jobs were not created with the kinds of jobs
we remember from the `40s and `50s and `60s, you know, with all the good
benefits, those jobs that come from government often, part of what the
president and the Democratic Party is now doing is saying we`ve got to
raise that floor in order to make that wage --

SHARPTON: That`s my point. Because we see an increase for 50 straight
months in the private sector jobs. Not in the public sector, because they
keep blocking infrastructure, jobs bill, anything that the public would
want -- the public sector would be able to link into or weigh into to see
job development. And they`re the ones that have stopped that..

HARRIS-PERRY: Absolutely.

BERNSTEIN: And we should remember many of those jobs in the public sector
are quite good public sector jobs. I`m not disparaging jobs in the low
wage sector. They are important too. But we`re talking about teachers,
we`re talking about folks who are in blue collar maintenance --

SHARPTON: First responders.

BERNSTEIN: Yes, exactly. These are decent jobs for middle class folks.

SHARPTON: No. And I think we`ve got to be very clear that despite them
handcuffing the public sector, any proposal, infrastructure, as I said,
jobs, building, all of that. The president was able for 50 months to get
it in the private sector. Supposed that they were hindering him in the
public sector, that 6.3 percent of unemployment would be much lower.

HARRIS-PERRY: That`s right. And people would feel it more, right? There
would be more of a sense of that robustness. Again, when they keep saying
that the economy is bad, that there aren`t jobs, part of what that does is,
you know, decrease consumer confidence. That decreases spending. It
matters what is we say about this. We are in an improving economy/

SHARPTON: And they know it. They know it.

Melissa Harris-Perry and Jared Bernstein, thank you both for your time.
Have a great weekend.

BERNSTEIN: Thank you. You too.

SHARPTON: And make sure you catch Melissa Harris-Perry weekends at 10:00
a.m. eastern, right here on MSNBC.

Coming up, remember when the health care law was going to be a jobs killer?
We`ll look at how the GOP`s favorite talking point is going the way of
death panels.

Plus, Republicans jump the shark with their ridiculous scandal mania.
You`ve got to hear what they`re trying to do now, to secretary of state
John Kerry.

And just in time for tomorrow White House correspondent dinner, we`ll look
at how President Obama uses humor to take his critics down a bit.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: No one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to have rest
than the Donald. And that`s because he can finally get back to focusing on
the issues that matter, like did we fake the moon landing? What really
happened in Roswell? And where are biggie and Tupac?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It was the GOP`s favorite talking point. Obamacare is a job
killer. Well, it turns out that the only thing that`s dead is that talking
point. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Republicans have spent four years saying anything to attack
President Obama`s health care law. But remember their favorite line. They
called it a job killer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: In my opinion, Obamacare is the biggest job killer we have in
America today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s also a job killer.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: Putting a chilling
effect on job creation.

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

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obamacare is crushing our economy. It`s killing jobs.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: The number one job killer in the
United States, do you know what it is? Obamacare.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So now that the affordable care act is in full swing, it must be
killing jobs, left and right. Except that`s not what we`re seeing. The
new labor report shows the U.S. gained 288,000 last month, putting down
employment rate its lowest level since September 2008. In fact, we have
seen 50 straight months of private sector job growth, 50 months.

And guess what? When that trend started? Guess when? March of 2010, the
month the affordable care act passed. So if the law is such a job killer,
why did we see such a turnaround, beginning the month it passed? And why
are there more jobs in the health care industry?

Last month, we saw more than 18,000 new health care jobs with nearly 64,000
more this year. The health care law is working and more Americans are
working now, too, because of it.

Joining me now are E.J. Dionne and former governor Ed Rendell. Thank you
both for being here.

E.J. DIONNE, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: God to be with you.

ED RENDELL (D), FORMER GOVERNOR, PENNSYLVANIA: Our pleasure.

SHARPTON: So E.J., health care as a job killer, are you sad to say goodbye
to that talking point?

DIONNE: Well, I think the only people whose jobs are being killed by
Obamacare are the people who write anti-Obamacare talking points. I mean,
they`ve got to go back and figure out something else. I guess that`s why
they`re talking so much about Benghazi.

I mean, this law was never going to be a job killer, but not only that.
There are elements of this law that are -- have started to pour millions of
dollars into the states. A lot of us talk about the Medicaid expansion
primarily because it`s going to get lower income Americans health
insurance, and that`s a good thing.

But the -- but getting those folks health insurance actually is very good
for local hospitals, particularly community hospitals, particularly
hospitals that serve low become people. So there are a lot of net pluses
in Obamacare. And in any event, it was never going to bring down the
economy the way they said. But I`m not sure that`s going to stop them from
their investment in the job killer world. I think they`re just addicted to
it.

SHARPTON: You know, governor, we learned this week, enrollment in health
care exchanges was even higher than expected in seven states with
competitive Senate races. You know, and some Democrats are using the
numbers to go on the offensive.

Louisiana`s Mary Landrieu said quote "I will not allow private health
coverage to be taken away from these 102,000 heart working Louisianans. We
are not going back to a time when many of them were one health emergency
away from financial ruin." A red state Democrat touting health care
enrollment. Have we turned a corner here, Governor?

RENDELL: Well, we have. And just to quickly support E.J.`s point, in
Pennsylvania, if the governor accepted a Medicaid expansion, that alone
would bring $1.2 billion new dollars to Pennsylvania and it would bring
$110 million to Pennsylvania hospitals.

But to your point, Rev., there`s no question that this is turning around.
In North Carolina, for example, where Kay Hagan is under attack for
Obamacare. Well, 328,000 North Carolinians signed up for the affordable
care act, 328,000. That`s an awesome amount, almost 200 percent more than
the original projections by the administration. So, are you going to
campaign against Obamacare when a third of a million people in your state
have already signed up? And that that`s covering their families as well.

So, I think it is turning around dramatically. It is going to be a tough
argument for the Republicans to keep beating up on Obamacare. And
particularly the other side of the coin is they keep saying they want to
repeal and replace, but they won`t tell us what they want to replaced it
with.

SHARPTON: There is no plane.

But E.J., Isn`t that a tough spot to take away health care from tens of
thousands of people?

DIONNE: It absolutely is. And I think all of us -- a lot of us were
saying all along, once this took effect, it was just going to be very hard
for them to get rid of it just as it was impossible to repeal Medicare and
it`s impossible to repeal Social Security.

And I think to governor Rendell`s point on this turnaround, in all of these
states, all of these seven state, you are running ahead of projections on
the number of people who are going to get health care. And the reason the
Republicans can`t come up with an alternative is because every time they
try to do all the popular things that Obamacare does, they want to be able
to say we`re not going to take that away from you, they end up with a bill
that looks an awful lot like Obamacare. So they have to start all over
again. There are only many ways to do this right.

SHARPTON: Now you know, Governor, you mentioned about they have no plan.
A new article today about the House GOP health care alternative show that
they really still have no plan. One congressman says they need to get
behind a comprehensive bill. Kathy McMorris Rogers says they`re still
working on it. And the article says it will be easier if the legislation
is treated as a broad agenda to be tackled after the midterm election.

So even if they come up with a plan, they might not even try to vote on
this, this year. Doesn`t that show you that this really is not serious?

RENDELL: Of course, it is not serious. And here are two problems. The
problem that E.J. just cited that they don`t want to get rid of the popular
things like the extra money for a prescription drugs for seniors saying
that you can`t be disqualified for health care for preexisting illnesses.
Getting rid of the yearly and lifetime caps on the amount of money an
insurance company has to pay off if you get sick.

And the problem for them and its insurmountable problem, Rev., is they are
against the man that their biggest point that what is they started with.
Well, without the mandate, we can`t get enough young, healthy people into
the mix to cover the costs of eliminating the insurance company`s ability
to disqualify you for a preexisting illness, to pay for the prescription
drug for the seniors. So you need the mandate. You need the healthy
people in the plan do it so there is no feasible plan where they can keep
the good stuff from Obamacare and get rid of the mandate. It just doesn`t
add up, as president Clinton said. It doesn`t add up.

SHARPTON: And there is no plan and there is no talking point I have for
them.

E.J. Dionne and Governor Ed Rendell, thank you both for your time tonight.
Have a great weekend.

DIONNE: You, too, Reverend.

RENDELL: You too, Rev.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, who needs facts when you have Darrell Issa. He`s
taking the GOP scandal machine to a new low.

Plus, we`ll look at President Obama`s secret weapon, humor. It`s how he
knocks down the laughable attacks from his critics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Some folks still don`t think I spend enough time of congress. Why
don`t you get a drink with Mitch McConnell they ask. Really? Why don`t
you get a drink with Mitch McConnell.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Three years ago, millions of Americans turned on the TV to watch
President Obama deliver the news they had been hoping to here for years.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that
the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden,
the leader of AL Qaeda and a terrorist who is responsible for the murder of
thousands of innocent men, women and children.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Osama bin Laden was dead in a daring raid ordered by the
commanding chief. Republicans couldn`t handle the news. They tried to
down play it, they tried to give credit to President Bush, but the news
combined with the disaster in Iraq, destroyed the Republicans` perceived
advantage on national security issues. And that`s why the right wing has
been so eager to exploit the tragedy in Benghazi. They`re desperate to
attack the president on national security. And that desperation has sunk
to a new low. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Republicans in Congress don`t have a positive agenda for the
country so they`re going negative on Benghazi. Today Congressman Darrell
Issa issued a subpoena for Secretary of State John Kerry to testify about
Benghazi. One democrat called the subpoena shockingly disrespectful. They
didn`t invite Kerry. They didn`t give him the courtesy of the heads-up.
They didn`t even check his schedule to see if he could attend the hearing
they`re planning, which he can`t since he`ll be in Mexico that day. But
it`s all for the right wing base.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: It is following a track, I think, very similar to
Watergate.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You do anything you can to pry this Stalinists
administration open. I mean, it`s just Orwellian.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Do not miss Bret Baier`s special tonight about Benghazi.
White House cover-up reveal.

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: The Obama administration completely derelict
in the Benghazi terror attack and was dishonest in the aftermath. And the
National Press doesn`t give a damn?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: To me, the equivalent of what was discovered with the
Nixon tapes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It`s Watergate, it`s Orwellian? They can`t give enough of this
fake scandal. We`ve seen this phony scandal machine before. ACORN,
Solyndra, Fast and Furious, the IRS, Republicans don`t have a real agenda,
so they`re desperate to gin up a scandal, any scandal. Because they don`t
have a positive agenda.

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

BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Hi, Reverend Al.

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

SHARPTON: Joe, do Republicans really think the American people don`t know
what`s going on here?

MADISON: That`s what they think, but they think incorrectly. And to add
to the -- what you`ve said, this Congress led by Republicans, particularly
in the House of Representatives supported in the Senate if I`m not
mistaken, they have passed fewer legislative bills. Then in other words,
make law than any Congress since World War II. Or the beginning of World
War II. It is the most unproductive United States Congress quite honestly
in modern history, if not in the history of United States.

SHARPTON: You know, Bill, today, those big news, the President held a
Joint Press Conference with the chancellor of Germany. Big news, big news
for everyone except FOX. They cut away from it. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: All right, we were waiting for others to ask questions.
We know that the next question that`s coming up is from a German reporter.
We are not anticipating that that would be about the situation with
Benghazi, which is breaking news since the President has been talking
really. So really, if in fact, somebody throws him a question on this
topic, we`ll go back to that joint news conference.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MADISON: Gee wiz. Amazing.

SHARPTON: I mean, over at FOX, there`s literally only one thing to talk
about, Benghazi.

PRESS: Well, first of all, I was at that news conference today, Reverend
Al. There was some very important stuff that came out of there about
Ukraine, about the possibility of new sanctions. And I thought very, very
important Angela Merkel herself raised the issue of NSA and how they`ve got
some real differences with the United States in how we protect the rights
of individual citizens while fighting terrorism. Very important stuff.
But FOX News was upset because President Obama did not adopt the FOX News
agenda and no reporter asked a question about Benghazi.

And I`ll tell you what, because any reporter with any real sense knows that
Benghazi is a phony scandal and it has been from the very beginning.
Remember, let me just say real quickly, September 11, 2001, 3,000 people
killed. Republicans and Democrats got together and let`s the guy that hit
us. September 11, 2012 before we even knew that Chris Stevens, ambassador
was killed, while the attack was still going on, Mitt Romney blamed it on
President Obama and the Republicans have been using it as a political
football ever since.

SHARPTON: You know, Joe, Congressman Darrell Issa threw around some wild
accusations against the Obama administration yesterday. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. DARRELL ISSA (D-CA), OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE: It is disturbing and
perhaps criminal in violation of any reasonable transparency or historic
precedent at least since Richard Milhous Nixon.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And if you remember, he once said in the beginning that this was
the most corrupt president, then he took it back. But I mean, they have
gone really wild with a lot of their statements.

MADISON: And one of the things that FOX News did, and I found this out,
too, is the next speaker is, of course, the ranking member, Elijah
Cummings. Well, guess what? They didn`t cover what Elijah Cummings had to
say, which was counter, of course, to what the chair had to say. So, they
did the same thing at the Congressional hearing that they did at the news
conference. And so we see that the game here that is being played. But
also, Reverend Al, so he said this is a smoking gun and maybe illegal, I
ask what is the crime, the only crime we`ve seen is one e-mail that has
some talking points in it for a member of the administration who is going
on the Sunday morning talk shows.

SHARPTON: No, I mean, well, they`ve taken these e-mail and distorted it.
Because again, what are they accusing someone of doing based on this e-
mail? There`s no -- there and Bill, what do you think of this notion of
subpoenaing Secretary of State John Kerry, who is not even the secretary of
state at the time. He was in the Senate with them.

Well, they`re there in the Congress but he was in the Senate and to do it
without even the courtesy, this is the Secretary of State to call and say,
can we arrange for you to cover for our permit.

PRESS: It just shows that Darrell Issa is totally irresponsible. First of
all, he`s accomplished nothing as chair of the House Oversight Committee
compared to Henry Waxman. But you`re right, the first thing you do is you
invite someone to testify. If they refuse over and over and over again,
you might use the subpoena power. They never even -- they never called
Secretary Kerry`s office. I would also like to ask Darrell Issa, does he
remember who was secretary of state when Benghazi happen? It wasn`t John
Kerry. He was in anywhere close. And you know, the other thing Reverend
Al is, how many hearings? I tried to find out today, how many hearings
Darrell Issa has held on Benghazi. They can`t even tell you.

SHARPTON: Yes.

PRESS: They`ve lost count.

SHARPTON: No, but I think that a lot of it is, the undermining, they want
to undermine this President in terms of foreign affairs, because of the Bin
Laden anniversary, reminding you of that, and because of their failed Iraq
war that ended up being on flawed to false is premises. So, they`re
desperate to try to make something that`s just not there.

MADISON: I predict that John Kerry is going to clean Issa`s clock when he
comes. I guarantee you that. They have picked on the wrong guy. He knows
how that Senate works. He`s going to clean their clock. You watch and
see. And number two, I also think and I`ll say this again and every chance
I get, they`re priming the pump for impeachment. That`s what they`re
doing.

SHARPTON: Joe, I have to leave it there. Joe Madison and Bill Press,
thank you both for your time tonight.

PRESS: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Have a great weekend.

MADISON: You too, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, you won`t believe what Republicans are up to this
weekend in the land of Scott Walker. And if you think some of these GOP
attacks are laughable, you`re in good company. So does the president. How
he uses humor to take down his critics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Tomorrow night is one of the biggest nights in Washington, the
White House Correspondents` Dinner. It`s the time for President Obama to
test out a few jokes and to poke some fun at some of his critics. As he
once did at the birther king himself, Donald Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No one is happier, no one is
prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than The Donald. And
that`s because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that
matter, like did we fake the moon landing?

(LAUGHTER)

What really happened in Roswell and where are Biggie and Tupac. Obviously
we all know about your credentials and breadth of experience. For example,
just recently, in an episode of "Celebrity Apprentice" at the steak house,
the men`s cooking team did not impress the judges from Omaha steaks. And
there was a lot of blame to go around. But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that
the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately you didn`t
blame Lil Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey.

(LAUGHTER)

And these are the kinds of decisions that would keep me up at night.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Somehow I don`t think that Donald found that too funny. Up
next, more on how the President has used laughter against some of his
biggest critics.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Tomorrow night is one of the biggest events in Washington, D.C.
is the annual White House Correspondents` Dinner. It`s become a night for
Hollywood and D.C. elite to mix and mingle. But the tradition has evolved
into something else, too. An opportunity for President Obama to show off
his comedic chops. And as "The Daily Beast" points out, this night has
given him an opportunity to poke fun at his critics and their laughable
attacks, like the birther crowd.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Tonight for the first time, I am releasing my official birth video.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Now, I warn you no one has seen this footage in 50 years. Not even me.
But let`s take a look.

(Lion King playing)

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That was a good one. But how about this one about the GOP`s
failed outreach effort?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I know Republicans are still sorting out what happened in 2012, but
one thing that they all agree on is they need to do a better job reaching
out to minorities. And look, call me self-centered, but I can think of one
minority they can start with. Hello.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Each year, the President has been able to expose those on the
other side of the aisle for their obstructionism, their failed economic
policies even their conspiracy theories.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Michelle Bachmann is here though, I understand, and she`s thinking
about running for president, which is weird because I hear she was born in
Canada. Yes, Michelle, this is how it starts.

Of course, the deficit is a serious issue. That`s why Paul Ryan couldn`t
be here tonight. His budget has no room for laughter. Some folks still
don`t think I spend enough time with Congress. Why don`t you get a drink
with Mitch McConnell, they ask. Really? Why don`t you get a drink with
Mitch McConnell?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: If the last couple of years were just a warm-up act, I can`t
wait to see what he has in store for the GOP tomorrow night.

Joining me now, are Chuck Nice and Angela Rye, thank you both for being on
the show tonight.

CHUCK NICE, COMEDIAN: It`s a pleasure.

ANGELA RYE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Chuck, you`re a comedian.

NICE: Yes.

SHARPTON: Is laughter the best way to take down some of these critics?

NICE: Oh, absolutely. You know, when you speak around the truth instead
of directly to it, you allow the truth to speak for itself. And that`s
what President Obama does with the White House Correspondents` Dinner. He
speaks around the truth and he takes the ridiculousness of the other side`s
views and lets it be -- they become the joke. So he`s making the joke and
making them a joke at the same time. Which has a delicious irony to it.

SHARPTON: Angela, you`ve been to a lot of these events, and you`ve been
around Washington. What is the effect of using humor, what is the effect
on opponents and what is the effect on the public watching?

RYE: Well, I think the public gets to see the only thing that`s really
changed here, is the tone. Right? This is what is on some of their
airwaves every single day, only they`re saying it with a straight face. So
when they hear it from the President, they think oh, this is kind of
ridiculous that even the folks in the audience are lessen because these are
their facts, these are things that they put out every single day and it`s
just unreal. I think the greatest thing about it is, you get to watch
folks laughing, and maybe some folks like the Donald don`t think it`s funny
at all and still others are grimacing because there`s that wonderful
painkiller smile to sober them.

SHARPTON: You know, Chris, I mentioned the President has been able to
expose just how absurd some of the conspiracy theories of the right wing
are. Look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: These days, I look in the mirror and I have to admit, I`m not the
strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be. You remember a few
months ago, my administration put out a photograph of me going skeet
shooting at Camp David. Do you remember that? Quite a number of people
insisted that this has been photoshopped. But tonight, I have something
to confess, you were right. Guys, can we see show them the actual photo?

(LAUGHTER)

I`m also hard at work on plans for the Obama library. And some have
suggested that we put it in my birthplace, but I would rather keep it in
the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, he`s just -- and his timing --

NICE: Timing. As a comedian, let me say, if he repeats this performance
this year, he will be the best that ever did it. Now, I know that there
will be detractors that would say the reason he`s so good is because he`s
just distracting us from Benghazi. You know? But the truth of the matter
is nobody is better at -- he`s got the swag. He`s got the timing. He
knows how to wait to let the joke unfurl. And that`s what makes him so
much funnier than any other President that`s done this.

SHARPTON: Angela, I`ve seen a few. I`ve got to say Obama is probably the
top of the list that I`ve seen. But Bill Clinton was good. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I wish I could be here more, but I really think Bill
has everything under control.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Wait, wait, wait!

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The President`s schedule just as busy as ever. He`s
just doing different things.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: This is when the First Lady was running for the U.S. Senate and
he had nothing to do, he was on his way out. Of the White House. It was
pretty funny. But President Obama has a biting kind of pointed humor with
great timing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NICE: Absolutely. And, you know, the great thing about Obama is that last
year, if you remember, from the start, he walked out to a rap song fresh
off of an electoral victory that was pretty convincing, and the song was
all I do is win, win, win no matter what. And you know that there was a
certain section of his detractors that were going wait a minute, this
Muslim Kenyan socialist actually listens so rap music, too? I`m sorry, but
that`s the straw that broke the camel`s I want my country back.

SHARPTON: You know, Angela, is there a right way or wrong way to tell a
joke at one of these. Because I`ll never forget when George Bush -- well,
let me play for you when he did as a joke that really fell flat, even
caused some hushes in the room.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE BUSH, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: Ladies and gentlemen, I present a
White House election year album. Those weapons of mass destruction got to
be somewhere. Nope, no weapons over there.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, that for some of the people in the room was like, are we
really joking about this?

RYE: Right, there are some jokes that clearly border or just squarely fall
into tacky. And unfortunately, we lost a lot of lives and spent a lot of
this country`s money on a war based on weapons of mass destruction that did
not exist. So he had the material there just like the President has the
material, but the difference is, this is him creating a debacle, not the
President falling victim to something because they think he`s going to walk
out to all I do is win because he does have Jay-Z on his iPod that`s
totally different. And I think that the President has a great way of
exercising judgment, whether it`s for serious matters or for funny matters.

And I think he`s going to do a great job whether it`s making fun of himself
and the selfie he took earlier this year or teasing them about the IRS and
Benghazi scandals not because lives were lost but because of the way in
which they`ve gone about it. We`ve lost health care and ObamaCare now it`s
time for us to get back to the real scandals. So, I think they will watch
him do a lot of that tomorrow.

SHARPTON: Chuck, how do you tell? You`re a comedian? How do you tell the
difference of what is working, what is not, what is appropriate, what is
not.

NICE: Well, you know, you feel it in the room. I mean, you know, we`re
very social creatures and the room takes on a collective consciousness.
And you feel that ripple like, you know, when Bush said that, the problem
is that we -- that was really serious. And we didn`t find weapons of mass
destruction and we started a war over it.

SHARPTON: Right.

NICE: You know? When Obama says, why don`t you have a drink with Mitch
McConnell, what comes to your mind is the awesome good time that it would
be to have a drink with Mitch McConnell.

RYE: Or not.

SHARPTON: That was a Chuck Nice special. Chuck Nice and Angela Rye, thank
you for your time.

RYE: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Have a great weekend to both of you.

NICE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Some Republicans in Wisconsin have weekend plans that are a
joke. But not funny at all. I`ll explain, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s a big spring weekend coming up and there`s lots going on
all over the country. As we talked about tomorrow night, the who`s who of
Hollywood and Washington will gather at the White House Correspondents`
Dinner. And tomorrow also the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby. In the
NBA playoffs, the L.A. Clippers will try to end their rough week by winning
their series against the warriors. It`s a big weekend in Wisconsin, too.
The state`s GOP Convention kicks off tomorrow and the top item on the
agenda, a vote on secession.

That`s right, the state GOP will vote on whether they endorse Wisconsin`s
right under extreme circumstances to secede from the union. Extreme
circumstances. The whole idea is extreme. But its supporters don`t seem
to think it`s a big deal. One Wisconsin republican wrote on his blog,
quote, "Secession is as American as apple pie." As American as apple pie?
Secession is what southerners used to try and preserve slavery with. It`s
what started the civil war. Only a small fraction of the Wisconsin GOP is
actually supporting this absurd proposal. But the fact that it`s even up
for discussion is outrageous and silly. What gets me is the people that
always come up with this say, they`re the real patriots. They really love
the country that they`re trying to divide and split. Strange love.

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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