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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, May 7, 2014

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May 7, 2014

Guest: Jess McIntosh

Schultz. POLITICS NATION with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.

Good evening, Rev.

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

Tonight`s lead, extreme goes mainstream. That`s what we`re seeing today in
North Carolina, where house speaker Thom Tillis has won the GOP Senate
primary. He beat Greg Brannon, the tea party candidate champion by Rand
Paul. And Tillis` win is being considered a victory for the establishment
wing of the GOP. But saying Tillis is a moderate is like saying Rush
Limbaugh is a moderate. Just listen to Mr. Moderate in 2011.


find a way to divide and conquer the people who are on assistance. We have
to show respect for that woman who has cerebral palsy and had no choice in
her condition, that needs help, and that we should help. And we need to
get those folks to look down at these people, who choose to get into a
condition that makes them dependent on the government and say at some
point, you`re on your own. We may end up taking care of those babies, but
we`re not going to take care of you. And we`ve got to start having that
serious discussion.


SHARPTON: Divide and conquer those on public assistance.

This is who the establishment backed because others were too extreme. And
while he served as the house speaker, he helped transform North Carolina
into one of the most radical legislatures in the nation.

Tillis voted for the voter suppression law that many consider the worst in
the country. It includes a strict voter I.D. requirement, cut down early
voting days, and ended same-day voter registration. He voted to refuse the
Medicaid expansion, denying coverage to more than 300,000 people. He
pushed to cut unemployment benefits, denying aid to 170,000 workers. He
was key in pushing North Carolina`s tax reform plan, which included big tax
cuts for the rich, and actually ended up raising taxes on the poor. Yes,
this is winning for the so-called establishment.

And on social issues, he`s backed a number of antiabortion measures,
including a 24-hour waiting period and mandatory ultrasound. Any push for
a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Over the last year, thousands of North Carolinians have taken part in the
moral Monday protests, demonstrating against the laws passed while Thom
Tillis served as speaker of the house. This is how far the tea party has
dragged the Republican party. But maybe, just maybe, he woke up this
morning ready to change. Maybe.


minimum wage?

TILLIS: I believe that minimum wage decisions need to be made by the

TODD: Well, do you think it should be raised in North Carolina?

TILLIS: I think that`s a decision that the legislature needs to make.

TODD: You`re the speaker. Right, you`re the speaker. Would you make that

TILLIS: Instead of focusing on this sort of defeatist mentality where we
have to up the minimum wage, why don`t we focus on making better paying


SHARPTON: Raising the minimum wage is a defeatist mentality? This is the
so-called establishment candidate? Thom Tillis might have beaten a tea
party candidate in the North Carolina primary, but the tea party has
already won.

Joining me now, a former governor Ed Rendell and Jess McIntosh, thank you
both for being here.


JESS MCINTOSH, EMILY`S LIST: Thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: Governor, if Thom Tillis was moderate, who would be an

RENDELL: It`s hard to figure out, Rev.

You know, the interesting thing is, it`s true that we Democrats would have
been better off if some of the tea party candidates had won. If Brannon
had won, Kay Hagan would have definitely been reelected,.

But you`re making a very good point here, and, of course, Tillis makes it
himself on that tape. These so-called establishment moderates are not
moderate at all. They are very extreme. They are extreme in essentially
what they want to do, but their campaigns against the tea party forces them
to be more extreme. There was a debate with the tea party candidate and
Tillis was asked if he believed that there was any factual basis to climate
change and he said no. He doesn`t believe that there`s climate change. He
doesn`t believe that we`re challenged and that we`ve got to do something
about carbon and what`s happening to the world.

Now, I don`t know if he really believes that or if he said it just to
protect his right flank. So what`s happening is even when the tea party
loses, they are dragging the so-called main line candidates far to the
right, so Kay Hagan`s going to have a field day. It`s going to be a tough
race, but she`s got a lot of fodder here in just the stuff you just

SHARPTON: Jess, let me let you respond to the same question. If a guy
like Tillis is the mainstream candidate, the establishment candidate, who
are the extreme?

MCINTOSH: The extremists are the establishment. The establishment
Republicans couldn`t beat the tea party, so they became the tea party.

Thom Tillis won on a platform that is as extreme as any tea party candidate
running. The governor outlined a bunch of it, you outlined a bunch of it.
This is a guy that`s OK with defunding the department of education, doesn`t
believe in raising the minimum wage, thinks states ought to be able to ban
birth control, and that divide and conquer, but he thinks -- he want to
divide and conquer people on public assistance. I`m sorry, what?

SHARPTON: That`s incredible. Yes.

MCINTOSH: And divide and conquer is a strategy that has absolutely nothing
to do with helping North Carolina. That has everything to do with scoring
political wins for Thom Tillis.

SHARPTON: Absolutely.

MCINTOSH: And voters are going to see that.

SHARPTON: Absolutely. And you know what we see is Republicans like
Tillis, politicians that are way out of the mainstream, Governor.

In reality, 74 percent of Americans support the Medicaid expansion, 69
percent think we should raise the minimum wage, and 52 percent want to
extend jobless benefits. So when you talk about Kay Hagan having a field
day, one of the reasons she has an opportunity here in a difficult race is
because the majority of Americans just disagree with these moderate tea
party candidates are really going to run on.

RENDELL: There`s no question. You gave the two important statistics.
There are 382,000 North Carolinians who would benefit by taking the
Medicaid expansion. Tillis opposed that. There are another 180,000 North
Carolinians who would benefit by extending unemployment compensation.
That`s 560,000 people. If they all vote, good Lord, you know, that`s all
Kay Hagan would need to win.

But there`s something even worse and more insidious about it. If you
listen to what Tillis said on the tape, not only the divide and conquer
strategy, but the absolutely outrageous assumption that he made that there
are people who choose to be poor so that they can get food stamps and
welfare. That people actually make a decision to be in that condition.
They say to themselves, well, I don`t want to get a job that pays good
money. I`d rather get a little pittance on welfare and food stamps.

That`s a ridiculous statement to make about any human beings. People want
to work. They want the dignity of work. They want to earn decent money to
take care of their family. No one says, aha, I`m going to be poor so I can
get food stamps and be on welfare. It`s an idiotic suggestion.

SHARPTON: Very idiotic. But let me pick up on that, Jess, because we
heard Tillis on the tape talking about divide and conquer, as you pointed
out, but it seems like this has seeped into the this kind of rhetoric is
seeped into the ground water. Listen to that.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Supplemental nutritional assistance
program, the buy beer program with a government credit card.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Studies show that people who are on welfare are higher
users of drugs than people not on welfare.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lottery winners of multimillion dollar lottery winners
are getting food stamps.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of people are lazy and a lot of people are
becoming lazier.


SHARPTON: I mean, why has attacking people that need help become so
popular with the far right and acceptable to them?

MCINTOSH: Because it works so well for president Mitt Romney and the 47
percent. I don`t actually know. America doesn`t respond to this argument,
because they know that it`s not just offensive, it`s entirely untrue.

But I think that it exposes the kind of person that Thom Tillis is. He did
the same thing with minimum wage. It`s not defeatist to raise the minimum
wage. Everybody would like a job that pays higher than the minimum wage,
but we need to deal with people`s day-to-day realities, and that is what
Republicans are simply in capable of doing.

But that is what voters want. Voters want to vote for somebody who
understands what they go through and are legislating based on their
reality, and that is going to be the contrast. We see North Carolinians
turn out every Monday of Thom Tillis` really unpopular state legislature to
reject this divisive offensive agenda. And I think even though it`s a
midterm, we`re going to see voters turn out in November, too. Kay Hagan
has a fantastic record of fighting for women and families.

SHARPTON: You know, governor, former Florida governor Charlie Crist, he
talked yesterday about why he left the Republican party. I want you to
listen to this.


CHARLIE CRIST, FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: They are perceived now as being
anti-women, anti-immigrant, anti-minority, anti-gay, anti-education, anti-
environment. I couldn`t be consistent with myself and my core beliefs and
stay with a party that was so unfriendly towards the African-American
president. I`ll just go there.

You know, because I was a Republican and I saw the activists and what they
were doing, it was intolerable to me. As I told you before, my mother and
father taught my three sisters and me to treat everybody well. We`re all
children of God. And I saw how the party, some of them, were treating the
African-American president, and I couldn`t take it anymore.


SHARPTON: What do you make of that, Governor?

RENDELL: I think Charlie`s being very sincere, and it is true. I mean,
it`s unbelievable when you think about some of the attitudes, not all
Republicans, but on immigration reform, for example. Immigration reform,
we should have immigration reform a year ago. When the Senate passed
immigration reform, the house should have taken it up. If they want to
make changes, made them, but we should have had it.

But the attitudes of so many of the people in the party, not all again, but
so many, drive any reasonable person to conclude this is a party that
represents America anymore, and I think Charlie Crist came to that sincere
belief, you know. That`s why he decided to run as an independent when he
was running for the Senate. That`s why he became a Democrat.

There`s no question about it. I think he`s very sincere. I think he`s
right on target. Again, these are not all Republicans. There are still
some who have, you know, basic decency and want to treat all people well,
but the reigning movement it seems in the party is towards that type of

SHARPTON: I`m going to have to leave it there. Former governor Ed Rendell
and Jess McIntosh, thank you both for your time tonight.

MCINTOSH: Thanks, Rev.

RENDELL: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, this is how low they are going in their Benghazi
attacks. Republicans are now fundraising off of it, and you won`t believe
what Eric Cantor just said about it or didn`t say about it.

Plus, Republicans in Congress, right-wing pundits, and crazy uncles across
the country are mourning the loss of another GOP talking point on the
affordable care act. We look back on its life tonight.

And Monica Lewinsky breaks her silence and it sends the right wing into
Clinton conspiracy theory overload. There`s a big show ahead. Please,
stay with us.


SHARPTON: First lady Michelle Obama is doing her part to raise awareness
about those hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by terrorists. Today
she tweeted, "our prayers are with the missing Nigerian girls and their
families." And she tweeted a photo of herself holding up a sign that reads
"bring back our girls." Our prayers are with them tonight.


SHARPTON: The GOP scandal circus has officially come to town. The big
stunt tonight, House Republicans are voting on contempt charges for former
IRS official and that`s just the opening act.

Speaker Boehner`s main event is an upcoming vote to form a special
committee on Benghazi.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: This is all about getting
to the truth. There`s not going to be a side show. There`s not going to
be a circus. This is a serious investigation.


SHARPTON: Not a circus? He`s the ring master of this whole clown show.
Here`s what he said next.


BOEHNER: When is the administration going to tell the American people the
truth? They`ve not told them the truth about Benghazi. They`ve not told
the truth about the IRS. They`ve not told the truth about fast and


SHARPTON: It`s the three-ring circus of the GOP, Benghazi, IRS, fast and
furious. And yet they claim it`s not political.

On "Morning Joe" today, the head of the new Benghazi committee swore this
had nothing to do with politics.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you suggest your fellow Republicans while this
investigation`s going on they not use Benghazi for fundraising purposes?

will cite myself as an example. I have never sought to raise a single
penny on the backs of four murdered Americans.


SHARPTON: Of course, nobody should raise money off this tragedy, except
the GOP is doing exactly that.

Today the national Republican congressional committee sent an e-mail to
supporters saying quote "you can become a Benghazi watchdog right now.
Help fight liberals by donating today." Donate money and become a Benghazi
watchdog. Republicans are trying to pull off a big trick and claim this
isn`t political. It`s time to send out the clowns.

Joining me now is former Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy, the first
Iraq war vet elected to Congress. Thanks for being here.

PATRICK MURPHY, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Rev. Thanks for having me on.

SHARPTON: Congressman, the RNC also has a Benghazi fundraising Web site
that reads quote "Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama lied about the Benghazi
attacks to protect their political future. Join our fight to stop the
liberalized. Contribute to the GOP right now."

Are you offended the Republicans are raising money using their Benghazi

MURPHY: Rev., they have no shame whatsoever. They are exploiting the
death of four Americans. And my heart goes out to those four Americans and
their families. But to see them time and time again exploit this for
political purposes is so callous, so insensitive, I hope this backfires and
the American people wake up and see what`s really going on.

SHARPTON: You know, today majority leader Eric Cantor was asked about the
GOP fundraising off Benghazi. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. Gowdy has said that the party should not be
raising money off the issue of Benghazi. Do you agree? And if so, will
you urge the NRCC to stop?

discussion about the creation of the select committee and around the
politics of it versus the policy of it. And I know that, you know, there`s
much being hurled about right now. And I think it`s best for all of us in
these halls to focus on what the reason is for the creation of the


SHARPTON: He just sidestepped, Congressman, the whole issue. I mean, what
kind of leadership is that?

MURPHY: It`s a leadership that cares more about politics than getting to
the truth, and the truth of the matter is this, Rev., is that there`s been
two official investigations. One, by the state department, another one by
the Senate intelligence committee. Both have shown that this was an
attack, there was a failure of intelligence, but there was nothing, no
cover up, and there was no military response that could have been launched
in time to save those four Americans.

There`s also Darrell Issa, as you know, who has had the oversight
committee, which, by the way, Congressman Trey Gowdy serves on. They`ve
had 13 hearings, they`ve had 50 briefings, they`ve had 25,000 pages of
documents, and yet that`s not enough. You know, they don`t want to pass
the jobs bill, they don`t want to pass the infrastructure bill, they don`t
want to pass immigration. They want to play politics with the murder of
four Americans. It`s a disgrace.

SHARPTON: It is a disgrace. And you mention Congressman Darrell Issa,
he`s already gone on to the next scandal. Today, Issa threatened an EPA
official if he failed to produce certain documents. Listen to this.


intention to bring to this committee a contempt if that is not done. It is
clear that the president you work for and the administration you work for
has a delay and deny capability and plan and has since the beginning.
We`ve recently seen White House documents as to the false and misleading
statements after Benghazi.


SHARPTON: I mean, would they hold the whole Obama administration in
contempt if they could, Congressman?

MURPHY: They could -- they would if they could, Rev. But, you know, they
are just grasping at straws. And Darrell Issa specifically has struck out
on Benghazi, so he`s moving on to the IRS, he`s moving on. They keep
playing politics, instead of doing their jobs, Rev., instead of doing the
right thing, they continue to do the wrong thing in politics, and that`s
just -- that`s why they have such a low approval rating, frankly, and why
Americans are disgusted.

SHARPTON: Record low. Former Congressman Patrick Murphy, thank you for
your time tonight.

MURPHY: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, the new conspiracy theory about the Monica Lewinsky
article, and it`s a doozy.

But first, there`s nothing Republicans love more than a good health care
talking point, even when it`s not true. Tonight, another talking point is
dead. I promise you want to see this next.


SHARPTON: Dearly beloved, we`re gathered here today to mourn a sad loss,
the loss of another bogus GOP talking point on the affordable care act. It
was a good talking point, one that was strung around without regard for a
little something known as facts.

We`re here tonight to celebrate the life of the people are paying not their
premiums talking point. In a speech just last week, when house Republicans
claimed only 67 percent of enrollees had paid premiums, but tonight, it`s
dead. And this great talking point joins so many others that have perished
before our eyes. Like this one.


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

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: Why not delay all of the mandates in
Obamacare, which has become such a job killer in our economy?

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Obamacare is the number one job killer in

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


SHARPTON: Sorry, Congresswoman, but the job killer talking point turned to
dust, as millions of jobs have been created since the law passed. We also
remember this talking point tonight.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The exchanges don`t work, and you wind up going into
what they call sort of the insurance death spiral.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What did you call it, death spiral? Scary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obamacare is going towards a death spiral.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is that death spiral.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The death spiral.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s called an insurance death spiral.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: You get into what they call that death


SHARPTON: But that death spiral only happens if not enough young people
sign up. Twenty eight percent of enrollees are young and healthy.

And tonight wouldn`t be right unless we paid tribute to the original bogus
talking point.


SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Of course there are death panels
in there.

BACHMANN: It will be very unpleasant if the death panels go into effect.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Death panels, this is how they`re
going to manifest themselves.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: These so-called Obamacare death panels are,
in fact, alive and well.


SHARPTON: Actually, it`s not alive and well. The death panels talking
point met its own death.

But tonight, let us all remember what we`re here for as we take a look back
at the life of the not paying premiums talking point.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One-third of Obamacare enrollees have not paid.

companies, you`re looking anywhere from 20 percent to 50 percent of those
folks who haven`t made a premium payment yet, many are uninsured and
probably won`t make premium payments.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are a lot of deadbeats and free loaders who have
signed up but haven`t paid premiums yet.

HANNITY: We don`t know how many of these people paid. You can sign up all
you want, you don`t pay, you`re not a part of it. According to one state
exchange, in Maryland, 46 percent of enrollees have turned into Obamacare
deadbeats. They haven`t paid.


SHARPTON: Today, this talking point met its demise. A new report shows
most who signed up under health law have paid, 80 percent to 90 percent of
enrollees paid their bills on time. The not paying premiums talking point
is survived by right wing radio hosts, FOX News anchors, and millions of
conservative uncles at dinner tables across the country.

May it rest in peace, because we got you.


SHARPTON: The right wing has a new obsession. It`s the conspiracy theory
that they just can`t get enough of. You see, they are just positive that
the driving force behind Monica Lewinsky`s essay in "Vanity Fair" is none
other than the Clintons. Here`s Lynne Cheney, wife of former President
Dick Cheney.


LYNNE CHENEY, DICK CHENEY`S WIFE: I really wonder if this isn`t an effort
on the Clinton`s part to get that story out of the way. Would "Vanity
Fair" publish anything about Monica Lewinsky that Hillary Clinton didn`t
want in "Vanity Fair"?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s very interesting. I love this theory.


SHARPTON: I love this theory. Well, apparently so does everyone else at
Fox News. The morning team asks political timing better to get Lewinsky`s
story out of the way. And they weren`t the only ones.


STEVE DOOCY, HOST, "FOX AND FRIENDS": What`s curious, as well, is why is
"Vanity Fair" publishing this right now? The timing is curious, don`t you
think? We haven`t heard of Monica Lewinsky out of the blue until now.

certainly coming under question.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why now? There`s a lot of conspiracy theories
floating out on the timing of this article.

ERIC BOLLING, HOST, "THE FIVE": This is the time, just as Hillary`s about
to announce that she`s gonna run for president. Now the theory that I`m
hearing, this could be completely off base, is that -- to provide sympathy
for Hillary.

GRETCHEN CARLSON, FOX HOST: You`re saying that the Clintons would ask her
to go out and do this interview right now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, they are behind everything.


SHARPTON: Hear that? They are behind everything. The Clintons are behind
everything, and now the party boss is onboard with this theory.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, FOX HOST: No, it`s not a cat fight Monica versus Hillary.
Hillary is running Monica. That`s Lynne Cheney`s point. This is in
"Vanity Fair", not incidental or insignificant that it`s in "Vanity Fair".
that is a very highly approved publication for the elite left. It`s
designed to inoculate Mrs. Clinton.


SHARPTON: That`s a stretch, even for you, Rush. The right`s imagination
is running wild with one wild conspiracy theory.

Joining me now, Joy Reid and Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto. Thank you both
for coming on the show tonight.

Joy, let me start with you, "Vanity Fair" just acknowledged the theory that
the Clintons are behind the Lewinsky piece. Their only response was,
quote, "seriously?" So why is the right so convinced that this is a vast

JOY REID, HOST, "THE REID REPORT": Well, obviously, because the Clintons
have mind control. They have mind control over "Vanity Fair", a
publication in which they have no actual control. They have mind control
over Monica Lewinsky. And I would submit that if, in fact, the Clintons
are that powerful, that they can use just the power of their minds to make
"Vanity Fair" get Monica Lewinsky to write a piece that they happen to
publish just at the time when Hillary`s about to -- wait a minute. We
don`t know that Hillary Clinton is about to announce for president or when
or if she`s going to do it.

But if the Clintons are that all powerful, then Republicans shouldn`t even
run anyone against them, because if they`ve got that kind of psychological
power, no one can beat Hillary Clinton.

SHARPTON: Well, I mean -- and they had to borrow it from President Obama,
who also has that power --

REID: He does.

SHARPTON: -- apparently according to them. But you know, the right also,
Victoria, has tried to make the Lewinsky story about something else, the
Democrats` war on women. Take a listen to this.


LIMBAUGH: Hypocrisy from the people who claim they have all the tolerance
and all the love and all the compassion and it`s us, the conservatives,
waging this war on women.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: War on women? You bet. In the 1990s, the Clintons
pioneered it.


SHARPTON: I mean, war on women, the Democrats are not the one blocking
legislation for women to have the right to choose, or for that matter,
equal pay, Victoria.

of the day, Reverend, anything having to do with the Clintons is red meat
for the base. They`ll say war on women, then they`ll ignore it and they`ll
go to the meat of the issue of attacking the Democratic party and attacking
the Clintons.

And what I find so interesting and rather ironic about all this is that the
right is victimizing Monica Lewinsky and saying that she deserves sympathy,
which she does, but then why do they keep bringing her up and rubbing salt
in the wound? This woman wants to tell her story, get it out there for her
own sake and not keep having to relive it. But we see Rush Limbaugh, Fox
News, Rand Paul recently wanting to keep this an open wound for her.

SHARPTON: You know, Joy, Senator Rand Paul, who`s a leading candidate for
GOP nomination in 2016, he was arguing this same point months ago. Listen
to this.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): The Democrats, one of their big issues, is they
have concocted and says Republicans are committing a war on women.

I think really the media seems to have given President Clinton a pass on
this. He took advantage of a girl that was 20 years old and an intern in
his office.

For all these people who stand up for Bill Clinton and say he`s the
greatest thing since sliced bread, he was a serial philanderer.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And what do you think that has to do if Hillary
Clinton runs for president?

PAUL: You know, I`m not so sure. I mean, like I said, it`s hard to
separate them. And it`s not her fault.


REID: I`m so glad you played that clip, Rev, because that is the point.
The person who unprompted brought up Monica Lewinsky for no reason
apparently other than to --

SHARPTON: Had nothing to do with what they were discussing that --

REID: He did a complete non-sequitur, going from the potential for Hillary
Clinton to run for president, or maybe it was about Hillary Clinton and
Benghazi, he does this total non-sequitur a few months ago. He brings up
the affair between President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. And then in this
month`s long time lag, she does an interview in "Vanity Fair". Maybe he`s
the one with mind control over "Vanity Fair". Maybe it`s his fault that
she`s getting these interviews.

SHARPTON: I like that conspiracy theory.


You know, Veronica, anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist is very clearly
urging Republicans not to overreach on Lewinsky. He tells Buzzfeed, quote,
"This is the same trick the Clintons pulled on us back in `98. We were
distracted by this bright shiny object they handed out, which was Monica
Lewinsky. It`s a constant challenge, but it`s like in baseball, if they
throw out a bad pitch and you swing at it, then you`re an idiot."

So, either way he has a roundabout way, but still the Clintons setting the
whole thing up.

SOTO: It is, but I do agree with the fact that the Republicans should not
focus on this, Reverend. In the 1990s, the American public got over it.
Yes, this was a mistake on the part of two individuals, two adults, but you
know what, we have bigger fish to fry.

We have unemployment that is still high. We have communities that are
suffering. Why are we focusing on a story that`s 20 years old? And again,
this is a woman who`s trying to get past it. Hillary Clinton is not Bill
Clinton either, so I think this is what is so problematic.

SHARPTON: That -- that -- that --

SOTO: -- with the conflation.

SHARPTON: -- that`s what`s so crazy to me. If Hillary Clinton is a victim
if anything in this, what does this have to do with her? But everything`s
a conspiracy with this crowd, Joy. They thought that Chelsea Clinton
planned her pregnancy to help her mom and that Hillary had a shoe thrown at
her on purpose. I mean, listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I say staged, I mean, I have to believe she`s
pregnant if she says she`s pregnant. I don`t mean that they are making up
she`s pregnant, OK? But what -- what great timing! I mean, purely
accidental, purely an act of nature, purely just left up to God.

LIMBAUGH: I don`t know why anybody would be throwing a shoe at Hillary
unless maybe it`s an attempt to make the Benghazi people look like nuts and
lunatics and wackos, even if it has anything to do with that.


SHARPTON: You couldn`t make this up.

REID: You really couldn`t. I think what`s interesting, though, about it,
is that one thing that has not changed in more than 20 years is the utter
paranoia that the Clintons elicit in the right. This level of paranoia
that sees a web of conspiracies behind anything that they do or say is
still just as durable then as it is now.

And then there`s the irony, the projection of -- essentially the right is
like a chain e-mail. They all have the same talking points, whether it`s
on radio, whether it`s on television, whether it`s their members of
Congress, they all speak from a common playbook.

So they assume the Democrats are, too, right, that the "Vanity Fair"
wouldn`t on its own do anything that the Clintons didn`t tell them to do,
that the whispering in the ear that they actually do with each other,
partly through the person you showed, Grover Norquist, who pioneered this
Wednesday meeting where everybody gets on the same page. So I think they
assume that everybody operates that way because the right operates that

Well, in fact, the Clintons happen to be their own people. They happen not
to have magical powers. They are just two people who are in politics. And
I think the fear and almost paranoia about them is going to ultimately harm
the republicans. It will force them not to do smart strategy against them,
but to just go back to the `90s sort of madness.

SHARPTON: Joy Reid and Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, I`m gonna have to leave
it there. Thank you both for your time this evening.

And be sure to catch Joy on "THE REID REPORT" weekdays at two p.m. right
here on MSNBC.

Coming up, how can the NRA be against a smart gun that could save lives?
Chris Hayes went to Maryland to find out. And you need to hear his report.
He joins us ahead.

And the emotional MVP speech from NBA superstar Kevin Durant. It was a
touching tribute to his single mother. My warning, you`ll need the
Kleenex. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: We`re back with the fight to sell safer and smarter guns in this
country, guns the NRA doesn`t want you to own. They are called smart guns,
and they use a new technology that ensures it can only be fired by its

"ALL IN`s" Chris Hayes went into the field to explore the controversy and
show how these guns work.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My code is entered. It says it`s good. I hit enter.
Now I pick up the handgun, and it`s green. Green means I`m the authorized
user. Now I`m ready to fire.

CHRIS HAYES, HOST, "ALL IN" (voice-over): If the watch and gun are
separated by more than 10 inches after, say, a suspect wrestles it away
from a police officer, the gun stops working.

(on-camera): Putting the ammunition in. I can fire. I take the
wristwatch away. It is more than 10 inches. The grip tells me I cannot
fire. I pull the trigger. I get nothing. I return it here within 10
inches, pull the trigger. (gunshot)


SHARPTON: This technology could make it harder for people to accidentally
fire a gun, making them safer for law enforcement and gun owners alike.
But there`s been a fierce pushback from the right. Here`s more of Chris
Hayes`s reporting.


LARRY PRATT, CEO, GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA: Smart guns are dumb guns. The
technology is far from reliable. And anybody that`s going to put their
life on the line with a piece of unreliable technology is making a big

HAYES (voice-over): Larry Pratt is the CEO of Gun Owners of America, and
his organization, along with the National Rifle Association, have been
pushing hard to stop smart guns from reaching the market. They were
successful with the first store that tried to sell the smart gun, the Oak
Tree gun club outside Los Angeles.

PRATT: We were delighted at Gun Owners of America by the backlash.

HAYES: Things looked promising for the Armatix smart gun at first. James
Mitchell, Oak Tree`s extremely pro-gun owner, told the "Washington Post" he
would sell the gun, saying it could revolutionize the gun industry.

But soon, the shop`s Facebook page filled with messages like this one.
"You guys still in business? Not for long. Might have been a smart gun,
but it was a darn dumb business decision to try to pawn that crap off on
American gun owners."

So Oak Tree Gun Club reversed course, denying it had ever planned to sell
the smart gun, despite photographs showing the Armatixes for sale in a gun
cabinet at the store. It was a testament to the power of the gun rights
establishment, which argued that once a smart gun reaches the market, the
government is going to make smart guns mandatory and prevent people from
buying traditional firearms.


SHARPTON: This gun could save lives. But the opposition is powerful, and
they are doing everything they can to keep this safer gun out of American

Joining me now is the host of "All In", Chris Hayes. Thanks for being

HAYES: Great to be here.

SHARPTON: What surprised you the most about this smart gun issue during
the course of your reporting, Chris?

HAYES: It was the intensity and the venom and intimidation of a backlash.
I mean, it`s one thing to say, oh, we`re the NRA, or I`m a gun rights
person; I don`t like this law or I don`t like this policy.

That`s not what happened here. You`ve got someone in the private market, a
business owner, who says, "I want to sell this thing," and they are
absolutely inundated and deluged with the ugliest kind of bullying and
threats and intimidation.

I mean, we talked to one guy who was going to sell it in Maryland, a guy by
the name of Andy Reynolds. He was so under siege with death threat phone
calls, he slept in his store with his dog because he was scared someone was
going to burn the store down.

SHARPTON: This was as a result of him saying he would sell the gun?

HAYES: Word got out.

SHARPTON: The smart gun?

HAYES: Yes. It happened outside Los Angeles, Oak Tree. After the
backlash, the gun owner said, all right, fine, I`m not going to sell it.
Another guy said, "OK, I`ll sell it in Maryland." And it went through the
regulation in Maryland. It was approved by the regulation board there that
said you can sell this gun. He said I believe in this on principle.
People should be able to buy whatever gun they want.

Absolutely beluged (ph), phone calls, death threats, slept in his store the
night before until he made a recording basically saying, "OK, fine, I won`t
sell it."

So what you have is, it`s not just -- it`s more nefarious and ugly than the
NRA lobbying on Capitol Hill. It`s darker and deeper than that. You have
a campaign of intimidation outside the normal means of politics to get
people to stop them from selling an item.

SHARPTON: Why? What is the reason the right would even fight having a
safer gun that will save lives?

HAYES: There`s two reasons. One, there`s a New Jersey law from 2002 on
the books that was passed as a way of incentivizing smart gun research that
says once a gun is sold anywhere in the country, within three years, it`s
mandated as the only kind of gun to be sold in New Jersey. So if guns
rights activists point to that and they say, "Oh, this is the slippery
slope towards government mandates and government control."

Deeper than that, I honestly think gun manufacturers and the gun world
don`t want anything to change. They don`t want anyone to start mucking
with the technology. There is this total paranoia and fear about any
change in that world, any prying open to the possibility of development.

And it`s very similar, actually, someone said this on my show last night,
if you go back to the auto industry in the `50s, how they felt about seat
belts, how they felt about antilock brakes and air bags. They fought it
tooth and nail.

SHARPTON: Is there any kind of momentum or traction in support of this?

HAYES: I think there has been. I think you`ve seen a backlash to the


HAYES: I mean, after we`ve done our stories, you`ve seen the Facebook
page, for instance, of this gun owner in Maryland being flooded with folks
who are gun folks, right, gun people saying, "Hey, you were going to do the
right thing, and I`ll buy a gun from you, and I would be interested in
buying this gun."

I think they cannot play whack-a-mole for long. Eventually what`s going to
happen is there`s going to be someone who is able to successfully find this
gun, and there`s going to be iterative developments of what the gun, how it
works and what this technology, and I think once that cat`s out of the bag,
everything starts to change.

SHARPTON: Chris Hayes, thank you for being here tonight and for your
reporting on this important issue.

You be sure to watch "All In With Chris Hayes" at 8:00 p.m. Eastern right
here on MSNBC.

Still ahead, the emotional speech that everyone is talking about today. If
you have a mom, you`ll want to hear this.


SHARPTON: There`s been a lot of sports scandals over the last few months.
But last night, we saw a moment to be proud of in one of our athletes.

NBA superstar Kevin Durant gave a powerful speech accepting his MVP award
last night, saying his success is all about giving back to others.


KEVIN DURANT, MVP: Basketball is just a platform in order for me to
inspire people, and I realize that. My dream was to become a rec league
coach. That`s what I wanted to do. I wanted to stay home and help the
kids out and be a coach.


SHARPTON: Durant knows he`s a role model, and he acts like it. But the
most emotional part of his speech came when he talked about his role model,
his mom.


DURANT: A single parent with two boys by the time you were 21 years old.
Everybody told you we weren`t supposed to be here. We moved from apartment
to apartment by ourselves. One of the best memories I had is when we moved
into our first apartment, no bed, no furniture, and we just all sat in the
living room and just hugged each other, because that`s -- we thought we
made it.


SHARPTON: A single mom raising two boys. Durant said she made his success


DURANT: We weren`t supposed to be here. You made us believe, you kept us
off the street, put clothes on our backs, food on the table, when you
didn`t eat, you made sure we ate. You went to sleep hungry. You
sacrificed for us. You`re the real MVP.


SHARPTON: You`re the real MVP. We`ve seen single moms blamed for many
problems in our society, but they are not villains, and they are not
scapegoats. They are heroes. I know. A single mom raised me, and as I
listen to Durant, I thought about how this will be my third Mother`s Day
since my mother passed.

But I don`t need Mother`s Day once a year to remember what a single mother
did for me and what single mothers have done for others like Kevin Durant.
For us, every day is Mother`s Day, because we live the dreams that they
believed we would achieve.

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


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