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PoliticsNation, Monday, May 5, 2014

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May 5, 2014

Guests: Angela Rye, Margie Omero, Jim McDermott, Adam Smith

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Tonight`s lead, history in the making.
History in the making. Today, we learned the numbers of Americans without
health insurance has fallen to its lowest level since pollsters started
tracking it six years ago. The news comes after years of talking about the
uninsured in this country.


millions of Americans go to work without any health insurance at all.
Something the workers in no other advanced country in the world do.

with the uninsured. There sure is.

the only advanced democracy on earth, the only wealthy nation that allows
such hardship for millions of its people. There are now more than 30
million American citizens who cannot get coverage.


SHARPTON: President Obama has made health care the signature issue of his
presidency. And sometimes the day-to-day battles in Washington make it
hard to see through the fog, but his fight is literally changing history.

Gallup has tracked the rate of uninsured Americans since 2008. Last month
13.4 percent of dulls didn`t have health insurance. That`s down from 18
percent in September. Meaning the number of people without insurance has
steadily fallen since the health care law went into effect. In fact, the
polls showed we currently have the lowest rate of uninsured Americans since
January 2008. That`s when Gallup began asking this question. It`s a major
turnaround. But Republicans refuse to admit it. Just check out this
brand-new ad from an Iowa Senate candidate.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tony will take aims at wasteful spending and once she
sets her eyes on Obamacare, Joanie is going to unload. One more thing.
Joanie doesn`t miss much.


SHARPTON: Yet, she wants to shoot up the law that`s helping millions of
people get covered. And that wasn`t even the most extreme attack we saw
about the health care law today. A Tennessee state senator compared it to
the holocaust writing, quote, "Democrats bragging about the number of
mandatory sign-ups for Obamacare is like Germans bragging about the number
of mandatory sign-ups for train rides for Jews in the `40s."

An elected official says getting health care is like being sent to a
concentration camp? It`s incredibly offensive. And it should be
unbelievable. But since the day the president signed this law, he`s been
politically targeted. The opponents of this law came out in force, using
ugly language and making all kinds of noise. But if you cleared that away,
you will see our country is changing and you see that today, we`re still in
the early stages. But this law is creating a fundamental transformation in
this country.

Do Republicans really want to run against this? They`re happy to let
seniors pay more for prescriptions, happy to kick young people off their
parents` health plans, happy to take away protections for people with pre-
existing conditions? So I`m happy to tell them on a day where you can see
all the progress we`ve made, this law is here to stay.

Joining me now is Washington Congressman Jim McDermott, also a former U.S.
Navy psychiatrist, and "the Washington Post`s" Jonathan Capehart.

Thank you for being here.



SHARPTON: Congressman, it really is an historic date. I mean, the lowest
rate of uninsured Americans since they`ve been keeping track. You have
been a big supporter. What`s your reaction today?

MCDERMOTT: Well, I can`t tell you how pleased I am that we have some
figures to prove what all of us knew was happening. We knew that when the
people got an opportunity, they would take it. And they have taken it
gradually. They`re picking it up faster and faster. And it`s going to
spread across the country, Rev.

It has only started at this point. We have some states that are still
resisting it. They won`t sign people up in Medicaid. They don`t have an
exchange in their state. They`re trying to blame everything on -- anything
bad that happens, they blame it on Obamacare.

But the truth is, it`s working. And it`s driving the Republicans crazy.
Because they can`t figure out -- they`ve got themselves stuck to this tar
baby of trying to take it down, and they`re going to go into the election
with their arms wrapped around the very same thing they said they didn`t

SHARPTON: You know, Jonathan, Republicans are still on the mission to
smear this law. Just last week, a house committee put out a press release
saying that they surveyed insurance companies and found only 67 percent of
health care enrollees had paid their first month`s premium. But Paul
Krugman write in today`s "New York Times," his column. He wrote quote "the
survey was rigged. It asked insurers how many enrollees had paid their
first premium. It ignored the fact that the first premium wasn`t even due
for the millions of people who has signed up for the insurance at the March
15th. And the fact that the survey was so transparently rigged is a
smoking gun, proving the attacks on Obamacare aren`t just bogus, they`re
deliberately bogus."

Jonathan, I mean, deliberately bogus he said, is that the best a GOP can do
in your opinion?

CAPEHART: Well, it seems like it is. They are so invested in failure.
From the very beginning. And it`s rooted in denying the president --
denying this president, President Obama, any kind of success.

When the Tea Party blew up in 2010 with the protests at the capitol, people
against the affordable care act, those town hall meeting where is you saw
members of Congress being pelted with questions from an anxious public
because they didn`t know what Congress was talking about, and
unfortunately, Congress was sent out during recess with no bill, with no
actual legislation to quell and calm the fears. Well, here we are --

SHARPTON: And having to do all kinds of double talks and triple takes and
all of that.

CAPEHART: Right. But here`s what`s happening now. Between the Gallup
survey, between the hard and fast numbers of eight million people signing
up. All right, of these things that we are talking about are hard and fast
numbers that Democrats for sure can go back to their districts and say this
is working. This is not a failure. Don`t be fooled by these people still
trying to say that this isn`t working.

And you know, quite frankly, I think we`re going to see maybe more than a
few Republicans who will go back in their district during reelection to try
to take credit for some of the things that the affordable care act does.

SHARPTON: We have seen examples of trying to have it both ways.

You know, Congressman, when the level of Americans without insurance was
falling to the lowest level, one Republican congressman said more people
were uninsured. Listen to this.


REP. TIM HUIELSKAMP (R), KANSAS: It`s hard to get accurate numbers, it`s
hard to get accurate numbers on anything whether it`s USDA or HHS and those
kinds of things. But the numbers we see today, is that, as I understand
them, and we believe that there are more people uninsured today in Kansas
than there were before the president`s health care went into effect. And I
thought the goal was to bring more people into insurance.


SHARPTON: Now, "The Washington Post" fact checker gave them that claim
four Pinocchios. And today, they said it was the most popular fact check
of the month, Congressman. I mean, how much longer can they get away with
this kind of stuff?

MCDERMOTT: They are going to keep going right to the election. Because
they are running a propaganda campaign to terrorize people and make people
believe that what the president has done is they are not going to give that
up. Because if they do give it up and admit that the president has done a
good thing, that the Democrats have done a good thing, they will lose

There are people in California who are telling their family in Alabama and
Tennessee and some of these places where they refuse to do anything, hey,
we`ve got a good thing going out here. And pretty soon, that information
is going to change the way people vote in some of these state where is
their representatives have been against it from the very first and are not
ever hampered by the facts. They will say anything to destroy this

SHARPTON: And they will go to great lengths. I mean, I showed the ad,
Jonathan, of the woman shooting the bill. The state candidate that is --
and compare it to the holocaust. I mean, this extremism has got to
backfire on them at some point?

CAPEHART: Well, it won`t backfire on them now because they`re running in
primaries. They`re trying to get the votes of the party faithful. These
kinds of messages, shooting at a bill that, the candidate in Iowa has no
power whatsoever to dismantle. That plays well with the Republican party
primary voter. Once they get into the general election is where the
problem will come in. And reality should set in. No one person, as we`ve
seen, over more than 50 votes, no one -- this law is here. It`s not going

And even if they could get the votes in both the House and the Senate to
abolish the affordable care act, there`s a president in the oval office who
will refuse to sign it.

SHARPTON: And Congressman, what I ask, and I almost know it`s a rhetorical
question, but I have to ask you, where are the adult Republicans that would
stand up and denounce this kind of extremism in light of this historic
number that has come out now and in light of the fact that millions of
people are being helped.

MCDERMOTT: That`s biggest problem we have is that the modern Republicans
are hiding. They are afraid to come out for fear the Tea Party will come
after them in this election. They`re absolutely petrified that they will
alienate them and not win the nomination, and then be defeated in the
general because people won`t believe in them. It`s -- I`ve never seen such
a sad sight as a moderate Republican.

SHARPTON: Sad, very sad.

Congressman Jim McDermott and Jonathan Capehart, thank you both for your
time tonight.

Coming up, how desperate are they getting? The Benghazi obsession goes to
a select committee. But are Democrats ready to boycott? It`s being called
a, quote, "waste of time.`

Plus, the fight between the party establishment and the Tea Party
extremists heats up. What happens when Rand Paul stumps for a guy who once
compared taxes to both the holocaust and apartheid.

And from Speaker Boehner to Eric Cantor to Chris Christie, the comedian in
chief roasted them all at the White House Correspondents Dinner.

Plus, the punch line you didn`t hear. Please stay with us.


believe it or not for the speaker of the house as well. These days the
house Republicans actually give John Boehner a harder time than they give
me. Which means orange really is the new black.



SHARPTON: So what do you do if you`re a Republican without a real agenda
for the country? Well, if you are John Boehner, you doubled down on
Benghazi. And now, there is talk of a Democratic boycott. That`s next.


SHARPTON: The GOP is out of steam so they`re revving up the scandal
machine. Six months before the midterm, Speaker Boehner is in full attack
and distract mode.

Today, he announced that Congressman Trey Gowdy would lead a new committee
that`s launching yet another Benghazi investigation.

Democrats will vote against forming that committee later next week. They
may even boycott the panel entirely, refuse to participate because the
GOP`s witch hunt is so out of control.

Congressional committees, seven of them, have already looked into Benghazi.
They`ve held 13 congressional hearings, the administration has shared over
25,000 pages of documents. The Pentagon estimated the cost of the
investigations is already in the millions of dollars.

But the right wings want more. More than 1,100 FOX News programs have
mentioned Benghazi in the past year and in recent days the rhetoric on the
right has only gotten uglier.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re paying the price for the incompetence and quite
frankly, the criminal negligence of this administration.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is the biggest cover-up since Watergate. This
dereliction of duty as commander-in-chief demands your impeachment.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: How is this different than Watergate?
Let`s talk about this. Let`s see four Americans weren`t abandoned to be
murdered in Watergate. Both covered up the same way. Watergate leads to
the president resigning. White house staffers in jail. What`s different
in Benghazi?


AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: The GOP is lost. They`re out of ideas on jobs,
health care, immigration. And all they`ve got left are phony scandals.

Joining me now is Congressman Adam Smith, ranking Democrat on the House
Armed Services Committee.

REP. ADAM SMITH (D), WASHINGTON: Thank you for being here, Congressman,

Thank you, Reverend. It is good to be here.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you. Do you think Democrats will end up boycotting
this new Benghazi committee?

SMITH: That would be my recommendation. I mean, obviously it`s a
leadership call ultimately. But there is nothing new to be found here. In
fact, chairman, the Republican chairman on the House on services today said
that the military clearly did everything they could in this instance to
save the lives of Americans. That after all this investigation, there`s
nothing to be found. It`s still a bit of a mystery what the scandal is
here exactly. Obviously, a tragedy for America that his happened. That
there is not a shred of evidence.

SHARPTON: So your recommendation, you are the ranking member of the House
Armed Services Committee, your recommendation would be that Democrats
should boycott this new committee?

SMITH: Yes. They`ve already done, as you`ve listed them, like seven
different committees. So.

SHARPTON: Now Congressman, leading this new committee is Trey Gowdy. He`s
often accused the president and the attorney general of refusing to follow
the law. Listen to this.


REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The chief law enforcement official
for this country is on the eve of being held in contempt of Congress
because he refuses to follow the law.

Since we`re a nation of law, it would be nice to have a chief executive and
an AG that took that responsibility seriously.

You know, Mr. President, you want to run roughshod over the constitution,
we have the power of the purse, we`re not going to fund your pet projects.


SHARPTON: Now, this is the guy that`s going to lead the new committee and
investigate, Congressman? He seems a little extreme himself.

SMITH: Or bias perhaps. Now, I mean, look. it doesn`t really matter at
this point what Republican they would put in charge on the committee. I
mean, they have been so transparently partisan on this issue which I think
is a shame. I think oversight is the responsibility of Congress.

And absolutely. The second this happened, Congress had a responsibility to
look into it, figure out what happened and figured out how we can prevent
it in the future. Unfortunately, the Republicans did not take that
oversight responsibility seriously. Instead, they took it as a political
opportunity which undermines the credibility of the institution of
Congress. They didn`t exercise their oversight responsibly. They did it
as a complete partisan act, attack dog exercise. It is shameful.

SHARPTON: Now Congressman, you talked about the partisan hostility. But
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has been leading the charge on Benghazi.
But listen very careful to what he said this weekend.


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Anybody who plays politics with
Benghazi is going to get burned. So if we`re playing politics for
Benghazi, then we`ll get burned.


SHARPTON: If, I mean, really? Are those words going to come back to haunt

SMITH: Well, I think the thing is I got to ask the question, what are they
looking for? I mean. And I`m sorry to dive in the policy for a second in
this issue, but the real issue on this is what happened in Benghazi sort of
reflects the evolving Al Qaeda ideology.

What the president and President Bush did too, was they aggressively went
after Al Qaeda senior leadership. That`s what ultimately led up to the
killing of bin Laden and, even more importantly, to the dismantling of that
central organization that had attacked us on 9/11 and also the embassies in
Africa and the USS Cole in Yemen, you know. And the president has rightly
said, you know, they`ve been very aggressive about disrupting that

The entire Republican argument is that Benghazi goes against that and
that`s why they didn`t want to admit it. But number one, the president
admitted it was a terrorist attack. Number two, this really points up what
has grown up out of Al Qaeda, which a whole bunch of like-minded groups.

And there are threats. We got to learn about that threat. But nothing the
president said contradicted that reality. Republicans are stuck in the
world that doesn`t actually exist. I mean, it would really be beneficial
to do the investigation, to learn more about the various terrorist
organizations that are active in Libya, in Mali and elsewhere and figure
out how best to confront those I the same successful way that we confronted
Al Qaeda senior leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Al Qaeda in Yemen,
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, between Yemen and Somalia, that`s what
the president said he was successful at and he was.

Now we have this other threat to figure out how to confront. I would like
to talk about that instead of obsessing over talking points and who changed
what message the day after this happened.

SHARPTON: Particularly after you -- particularly after this has been
investigated over and over again, but we will be watching and we`ll cover
what they do this week.

Congressman Adam Smith, I`m going to have to leave it there, but thank you
for your time tonight.

Still ahead, the joke is on the GOP. We have the president`s funniest and
toughest jokes from this weekend.

Also, Rand Paul embraces one of the most extreme candidates in America
today. It could prove the difference in a key vote. Just hours away.

But first, you know Republicans are in trouble when Rick Santorum is the
voice of reason in the party. Got you is next.


SHARPTON: Americans of all political stripes agree on raising the minimum
wage. Ninety three percent of Democrats, 69 percent of independents, and
52 percent of Republicans support an increase. But Republicans in
Congress, they`re having trouble seeing the light. Some have even
suggested abolishing the minimum wage all together.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If there`s to be a minimum wage, may theory is if
Oklahomans want a minimum wage, we ought to the it. I don`t believe there
ought to be a national minimum wage.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you favor abolishing the minimum wage?

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: I think that we need to look at all
of the factors that go into job creation, and I think that`s something that
obviously Congress would have to take a look at.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I want people to make as much as they can.
I don`t think the minimum wage law works.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you do not believe in the concept of the minimum

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You would abolish the minimum wage?



SHARPTON: But one person on the right, one, has decided it`s time for
straight talk on the minimum wage issue. And it`s not who you would
expect. Former presidential candidate Rick Sanatorium, he`s not exactly
the poster child for fairness. He once said, quote, I have no problem with
income inequality. But today, even he could see the writing on the wall.


If the Republicans want to go out and say we`re against the minimum wage,
then go out and make the argument to the American public and 80-some
percent of the American the public who believe we should have a minimum
wage. But that is the argument -- they`re making argument about why we
should not have any increase. Let`s not make this argument that, you know,
we`re for the blue collar guy but we are against any minimum wage increase
ever. It just makes no sense.


SHARPTON: It makes no sense. For once, I agree with them. Did
Republicans think we didn`t notice that when Rick Santorum is the one
making sense. they`re the ones in trouble?

Nice try, but he got you.


SHARPTON: There`s a battle raging in the GOP between the party
establishment and Tea Party extremists and it`s playing out in North
Carolina, the site of a major republican primary tomorrow. Tea Partiers
like Senator Rand Paul have been pushing for this man, Greg Brannon. Need
to have a sense of how far out he is, here`s what he said last year about
food stamps.


GREG BRANNON (R-NC), SENATE CANDIDATE: The government is now keeping
itself in power by giving these goodies away. The answer is the Department
of Agriculture should go away at the federal level. Now, 80 percent of the
farm bill was food stamps. It enslaves people. What you want to do, it`s
crazy, but it`s true. Teach people to fish instead of giving them fish.
You`re actually a slavery to them.


SHARPTON: Food stamps aren`t the only thing he`s compared to slavery. In
fact, that`s one of his favorite analogies. He`s also compared the
Affordable Care Act to slavery, as well as abortion, bipartisanship and
compromise, as if that weren`t enough, he co-sponsored a rally with a
southern secessionist group during this Senate run. He`s also referred to
Senator Jesse Helms as a, quote, "modern hero." And in a 2012 radio
interview, he compared taxes, both to the holocaust and apartheid.


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

BRANNON: Bingo. When did this central planning work bill? It`s called
the holocaust, it`s called the Soviet Union, it`s called, you know,
apartheid. Central planning does not work. But America`s version of it is



SHARPTON: The holocaust, apartheid, that`s vile. And if this is what the
far right think of the future of the GOP should be like, then the whole
party`s got problems.

Joining me now are Jimmy Williams and Angela Rye. Thank you both for come
on the show tonight.



SHARPTON: Jimmy, let me go to you first. What does it say about the GOP
that a major player like Rand Paul could be backing these kinds of views?

WILLIAMS: Well, Rand Paul has already said that he thinks a part of the
civil rights act in 1964 is unconstitutional. So, I don`t know why anybody
would be surprised by the fact that he would then go down to North Carolina
where the civil rights act of 1964 actually did good work and he would go
to a candidate and endorse candidate who says things like we don`t need an
army, air force, marines, or navy, we just need state militias. And the
state militias, the people in the state militias should have nuclear
weapons because they should have the right to keep and bear arms. That`s
what he said. I`m not making that up. I can`t make that up.

And so Rand Paul is making a nuisance of himself to the GOP establishment
every single time he goes and does one of these things. This guy sadly is
not going to win in the primary tomorrow. He`s going to lose probably.
Not by match, but he`s going to lose. And the State Speaker of the House
Thom Tillis is going to prevail. But it would be very good for us and it
would be very, very good for Kay Hagen if she had a crazy guy like this who
would actually, you know, prevail but I don`t think that`s going to happen.

SHARPTON: But let` say Angela, he loses. Rand Paul is still standing with
this guy. Rand Paul is still one of the leading contenders for the GOP
nomination and has no problem standing with a guy that represents now --
I`m not talking about 20 years ago -- now, these kinds of views. In fact,
beside the beliefs that I`ve already mentioned, Brandon also believes the
Second Amendment extends to owning a nuclear weapon. Thinks states can
nullify laws. Oh, and he doesn`t believe in public schools, either,
Angela. And here`s what Brannon said about President Obama back in 2010.
Listen to this.


BRANNON: We`re clear what he believes in. He believes in a socialist
government. He plays class warfare. Please read Karl Marx`s communist
manifesto, his 10 plains of a socialist government. All 10 of them are law
in our land today.


SHARPTON: Now this guy may be history tomorrow, but the fact that Rand
Paul would go in there to campaign for him and stay with him is not going
away tomorrow, nor should it. Angela.

RYE: Sure, Rev. I think there`s first, one big problem that we need to
address and that is why are these folks so eager to jump into a state
Senate race. Of course, it is a very -- it`s going to be very competitive
and it`s a major race, but why would you throw your name behind, and you
haven`t fully vetted them. I think that`s a large problem for the GOP.
This guy has actually jumped ahead and surged in the polls this week,
according to a public policy poll.

Brannon is now eight points higher than he was last week. If Tillis, the
speaker as Jimmy just mentioned, if he can`t clear 40 percent, they`re in a
run-off July 15. So, it will be a problem closer to the 2016 election for
Rand Paul. I think that`s quite an issue. And the other thing Rev, you
talked about the likening to slavery and we know we`ve seen it over and
over again, even for some black GOPers like Allen West and Ben Carson, I
don`t understand why this Tom Foolery wasn`t addressed in the GOP autopsy
report. You would think that they would start using some other terms for
the policies they don`t like.

SHARPTON: Now, Jimmy, before campaigning for this Tea Party candidate
Brannon, Paul, Senator Rand Paul invited Rupert Murdoch to the Kentucky
Derby this weekend.

WILLIAMS: Right. Right.

SHARPTON: And, of course, Murdoch was his guest. That sends all kinds of
signals and messages. And both Murdoch and Paul are too savvy to not know
they were not sending messages and signals. How do you read this, Jimmy?

WILLIAMS: I mean, that was one of the most politically calculated things
I`ve ever seen. And frankly probably not a bad idea. But what it
basically says to Mike Huckabee and Scott Walker and Chris Christie, et
cetera, et cetera. I`ve got the wealthiest, most powerful news person in
the entire world behind me, here with me right here at the Kentucky Derby.
In my backyard, in my front yard, right? That`s a very big deal. But you
better be careful. If you lay down with dogs sometimes you get fleas.
Right? I hate to use that old analogy.

And so, if I`m Rupert Murdoch, I need to be very, very careful about that.
If Rand Paul continues to endorse crazy -- and I don`t even mean right wing
people, Reverend Al, I mean so far to the right that you can`t even see
them in the right.


WILLIAMS: These kinds of people, if he continues to do that and Rand Paul
implode what does that say about Rupert Murdoch? That`s the bad party
here. He`s sitting around with a guy who I don`t frankly think is actually
even electable in this country. You can`t say you can`t get black people
to vote for you when you say the civil rights act is unconstitutional. I`m
sorry. They`re just not going to do that.

RYE: Some white people either.

WILLIAMS: Yes, right.

SHARPTON: Well, good. Angela jump in. You`re right, a lot of whites
won`t for you. And a lot of whites marched and lost their lives fighting
for the civil rights act 50 years ago. Let`s not forget -- Goodman, Chaney
and Schwerner. I mean, this is an affront to a lot of people.

RYE: Sure.

SHARPTON: I would venture to say most Americans now -- Angela.

RYE: Absolutely. I think, you know, going back to this North Carolina
race, one thing that I think Democrats are really going to have to pay
attention to as they get closer to the general is that the fact that there
is a drop-off voter problem. However, if there`s some way that folks can
look at Tillis` record and see all of the bills he`s introduced while in
the North Carolina state legislature, you will see that there`s no
competition at all. This voter ID bills, this gun legislation. All of
this things. They should be no contest. And tomorrow, I hope he does end
up in a runoff so that Rand Paul and this guy Brannon, we`ll see just how
crazy they are for the policies they see through.

SHARPTON: I`ve got to leave it there. Jimmy Williams and Angela Rye,
thank you both for your time this evening.

RYE: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, President Obama roasts the GOP over the weekend.
Nobody was safe from his zingers. But did he also make some news? Next.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Let`s face it, FOX. You`ll miss me
when I`m gone. It will be harder to convince the American people that
Hillary was born in Kenya.



SHARPTON: It`s a 100-year-old tradition and this weekend`s White House
Correspondents` Dinner was a huge party in Washington. It was a night for
politicians to come together with journalists and Hollywood stars and it
became a night of laughs and fun. Over the years, President Obama has
become really good at his comical delivery. And this year, the zingers
played out more like a roast. He went after Republicans hard and didn`t
hold that.


OBAMA: Just yesterday, I read a heartbreaking record. A Virginia man who
has been stuck in the same part-time job for years, no respect from his
boss. No chance to get ahead. I really wish Eric Cantor would stop
writing me.


You can just pick up the phone, Eric.



SHARPTON: And he couldn`t help but have some fun with New Jersey Governor
Chris Christie.


OBAMA: Washington seems more dysfunctional than ever. Gridlock has gotten
so bad in this town, you have to wonder, what did we do to piss off Chris
Christie so bad?



SHARPTON: And for all their attacks on him, the President took a few jabs
at FOX News.


OBAMA: I got a lot of grief on cable news for promoting ObamaCare to young
people on between two ferns. But that`s what young people like to watch.
And to be fair, I am not the first person on television between two potted
plants. The Koch Brothers bought a table here tonight. But as usual, they
used the shadowy right wing organization as a front. Hello, FOX News.



SHARPTON: But the biggest laugh of the night came after this.


OBAMA: And I`m feeling sorry, believe it or not, for the speakers of the
house as well. These days, the House Republicans actually give John
Boehner a harder time than they give me. Which means, orange really is the
new black.



SHARPTON: That was a great line. The comedian in chief did it again. But
is there something real behind the jokes? Or did he actually make some
real news at the Mike?

Joining me now are Margie Omero and Krystal Ball. Thank you both for being
here tonight.


KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC HOST, "THE CYCLE": Good evening, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Krystal, you were there Saturday. I saw you there Saturday
night, what did you think of the President`s performance?

BALL: He`s so good at this. I mean he`s a hard act to follow actually
because his comedic timing is so strong.


BALL: I was impressed most. There was a joke that he delivered and the
punch line was supposed to be a picture that was supposed to come up on the
screen and then, it didn`t.


BALL: And then he`s so comfortable that he`s able to make a joke even out
of that mishap and sort of roll with it. But there were some pretty hard
punches thrown at the Republicans. He had a line in there about how maybe
the Affordable Care Act could give Mitch McConnell a pulse. Which is a
pretty tough jab.


BALL: And I think it does show a little bit of a real frustration that
he`s feeling with them at this point and the fact that he doesn`t really
have any expectation that things are going to change a whole lot or that
they`re going to be willing to work with him anyway.

SHARPTON: No. And you know, Margie, the fact that the President had a
great one-liner about what will happen once he leaves the oval office,
watch this.


OBAMA: Let`s face it, FOX. You`ll miss me when I`m gone. It will be
harder to convince the American people that Hillary was born in Kenya.


SHARPTON: Margie, that was funny, but some pundits are trying to say, is
he predicting or endorsing Hillary to be his successor?

OMERO: No, I don`t think so. Look, he`s making a joke that, I mean, the
Hillary references are part of what people expect to hear.


OMERO: I think the real piece of that joke is mocking the incredibly
personal attacks he`s endured about residency and where he was born for
years. And it always gets a laugh jokes he makes about Kenya because it
just underscores how ridiculous these attacks have been. On top of it,
what I personally like when I see a celebrity or someone in power, and
said, they seem like they don`t take themselves too seriously. And the
President sometimes can seem pretty serious. When he does this standup
act, he has an air of not really taking it all very seriously, even
something as personal as where is the President born attacks.

SHARPTON: And I agree, when I was sitting there, I didn`t get the sense
Krystal that he was endorsing Hillary. In fact, he made some fun on the
Hillary Clinton/Joe Biden rivalry as we get closer to 2016. Watch this.


OBAMA: It`s a long time between now and 2016 and anything can happen. You
may have heard the other day Hillary had to dodge a flying shoe at a press


I love that picture.


SHARPTON: That was pretty funny.

BALL: That was really funny. And I mean, I do think it sort of speaks to
the fact that the President is very comfortable with Joe Biden.


BALL: You get the sense that they`re buddies and that Biden can take a
joke. He also featured in this video with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, at the
beginning --


BALL: Sort of veep take-off that was very funny. But I will say, there
were some really harsh lines from Joel McHale, the comedian that came after
the President and the fact that the President is making jokes about the
inevitability of Hillary Clinton. Probably didn`t feel too great for Joe

SHARPTON: Well, Joel McHale called me the skinny man at MSNBC. It`s all
right with me.

BALL: It`s not bad. I don`t mind that.

SHARPTON: That wasn`t harsh at all. You know, but Margie, Krystal talked
about the glitch. Let me show you. There was one technical glitch with
one of his jokes. Watch this.


OBAMA: George W. Bush took up painting after he left office which inspired
me to take up my own artistic sign. I`m sure we`ve got a shot of this.
Maybe not. The joke doesn`t work without the slide. Oh, well. Assume
that it was funny.


SHARPTON: That was the one glitch. That`s the picture that didn`t come
off. The first lady was supposed to be holding up what the President would
have allegedly have done. I don`t think so. But that was the joke that we
missed sitting there that night, Marge.

OMERO: That`s a good one. Look, again, it sort of -- I mean, that`s a
joke that I think makes him look good and makes former President Bush looks
good. That`s a softer joke. That`s not one of the more roast type of
jokes that he made. But I think by and large, most of the joke he made
really -- he really nail them. I mean, I thought he did a really great
job. It`s hard to really criticize his performance. He`s very slow and
the way he doesn`t really laugh at his own jokes I think kind of adds to
the drama. He did a great job.

SHARPTON: Yes. And he also joked on himself. Watch this, Krystal.


OBAMA: After my stellar 2013, what could I possibly talk about?


We rolled out That could have gone better. In 2008, my
slogan was yes, we can. In 2013, my slogan was control-alt-delete.


SHARPTON: And he had fun, you know, with himself. And I think that is
good. But there was a lot of harsh barbs thrown at Chris Christie by both
he and McHale. Does that going over the top sometimes backfire and end up
helping Christie as a sympathetic figure? Or because there are so many
angles here, it doesn`t.

BALL: I mean, you know, it`s hard as a comedian to find exactly where the
line is, right, and where you go too far. I thought the President`s jokes
were in good taste. He`s good at walking right up to that line.


BALL: Joe McHale, some of the fat jokes, I mean, it`s not really even
creative at this point. I thought the bridge gate stuff he did was funny
and it was like sort of off the moment and off the site guys, but I don`t
know that it makes Christie all that more sympathetic. I think people are
looking at the culture that he`s created and the questions around bridge
gate in a pretty tough way, but I did think some of the jokes from Joel
were a bit too far.

SHARPTON: Margie Omero, Krystal Ball, thank you both for your time

BALL: Thanks, Rev.

OMERO: Thank you.

SHARPTON: And watch Krystal on "THE CYCLE," weekdays at 3 p.m. Eastern
right here on MSNBC.

Coming up, the hockey player who scored a game-winning goal and took the
bold stand against hate. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: We`re back with a disturbing story from Nigeria that hasn`t
gotten the attention they deserves. Three weeks ago, a terrorist group
called the Boko Haram abducted 276 girls from their boarding school.
They`re now allegedly being sold as brides to militants for $12. In this
chilling new video, the group`s purported leader says, he`ll sell the girls
to prevent them from getting an education. Heartbroken parents are
demanding action, and the world is finally listening. Rallies were held
all over the world this weekend. President Obama has offered American aid,
and today a call to action from the Senate floor.


SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D), MINNESOTA: We cannot close our eyes to the clear
evidence of barbarity unfolding before us in Nigeria. This is happening
right now and these girls in Nigeria need our help. Now is the time to


SHARPTON: Now is the time to act. We need to stop this human tragedy and
bring back those girls now.


SHARPTON: Sports can often show us the best in people, but sometimes it
shows us the worst. Last week, a great moment. Montreal Canadiens play a
P.K. Subban scored a dramatic game-winning goal in double overtime to beat
the Boston Bruins in a playoff game. But it was followed by very bad one,
racist tweets Ford in. The n-word was trending on twitter in Boston
because of the goal. One tweet read, Subban is an n-word, everyone knows
that. Another said what stupid n-word doesn`t belong in hockey. #Whites
only. But the player responded and it was all class.


P.K. SUBBAN, CANADIENS MONTREAL: It`s completely unfair for anybody to
point a finger at the organization or the fan base. They have passionate
fans here, great fan base. Since I`ve been in the league, it`s been
awesome. I`ve come to Boston many times. My family has come here. It`s
been great. What people may say on twitter and social media is not a
reflection by any means of the league or the Boston Bruins. So, whoever
that is, they`ll get dealt with, but it`s completely separate from this
league or the Boston Bruins Organization.


SHARPTON: Rise above it. I remember that was a young guy used to answer
every attack, every criticism. As I got older, I`ve understood if you show
your best face and your true self, that`s answer enough to haters, critics
and those envious and jealous.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton, "HARDBALL" starts right now.


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