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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, May 8th, 2014

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POLITICS NATION
May 8, 2014

Guests: Bernie Sanders


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

Tonight`s lead, politicizing tragedy. That`s what`s happening right now,
in this hour. House Republicans are expected to vote on forming another
Benghazi committee. You are looking live at the House floor where they`ll
vote for a brand-new GOP-led panel to investigate the 2012 attack. And if
you`re getting a bad case of deja vu, you`re not alone. Because we`ve been
down this Benghazi road before.

Seven committees investigated, including Chairman Issa`s committee. There
have been 13 congressional hearings, including that high profile hearing
with Hillary Clinton. Twenty five thousand pages of documents have been
produced to investigators. The Pentagon says the cost of providing
information is now in the millions of dollars. And yet amazingly, any
moment now we`ll get another committee charged with leading a Benghazi
investigation. Because this isn`t a search for answers. It`s a political
stunt and it is wrong.

This was a tragedy. Four Americans lives were lost, yet Americans are
playing politics with it. Some in the Republican party playing this kind
of politics. Some are even fundraising off of it. The national Republican
congressional committee is sticking with its call for donations from so-
called Benghazi watchdogs. Today speaker Boehner was asked about that.
Are you ready to see some real leadership? Roll the tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LUKE RUSSERT, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Speaker Boehner, four Americans died
in Benghazi. Should the NRCC fundraise off your efforts with the select
committee?

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Our focus is on getting
the answer to those families who lost their loved ones. Period.

RUSSETT: But should the NRCC, they`re fundraising off of it right now.

BOEHNER: Our focus is getting the truth for these four families and for
the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Dodging the question. Amazing. The correct answer is no, they
should not be fundraising tragedy. But they just can`t help themselves
because this is the Hail Mary play for Republicans.

Over on FOX, they`re treating it like the super bowl with around the clock
coverage repeating the same attacks on the White House over and over and
over.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where was President Obama that day and that night?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Also very troubling is -- and people have been trying
to get an answer for this for 20 months. Where was the president the night
of the attacks?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They leased a photo after the killing of bin Laden
pretty quickly from the situation room, but we don`t have any photos from
the other night, September 11, 2012.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Where is President Obama? Why isn`t there is a photo? Yes,
there is a photo. Here it is. President Obama in the White House on the
night of September 11. It`s been available for more than a year. Just one
of the many Republican questions about Benghazi that have already been
answered. But to the GOP, this isn`t about getting ABCs. It`s about
politics.

Joining me now are MSNBC`s Krystal Ball and "Washington Post" Dana Milbank.
His latest article is about the GOP congressman Trey Gowdy in-charge of
this new Benghazi show trial.

Thanks for -- both of you being here with me.

DANA MILBANK, POLITICAL COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Hi, Reverend.

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC HOST, THE CYCLE: Thanks for having us, Rev.

SHARPTON: Krystal, let me go to you first. I mean, haven`t we seen this
show many times before?

BALL: We have seen it a lot of times before. But it never seems to be
enough. And I think actually, this is an instance where the Republican
leadership, some of the Republican leadership have realizes that to
continue down this path of politicizing a tragedy is a dangerous game and
not ultimately a political winner for them. It makes people feel, because
they are, treating this event in a very callous way, especially with the
new fundraising teams off of Benghazi.

But, you know, they ginned up their base so much on this issue that now the
base is driving the bus. The base is continuing to say we want more
investigations. We need more, we want more documents. We need more time,
more hearings. So finally John Boehner has essentially given into the base
to give them what they want with the select committee.

SHARPTON: You know, just a few moments ago, Dana, Speaker Boehner was on
the house floor, swearing this has nothing to do with politics. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: This doesn`t need to be, shouldn`t be, and will not be a partisan
process. Four Americans died at the hands of terrorists in a well
coordinated assault. And we will not take any short cuts to the truth
accountability for justice. Now, we will allow any side shows that
distract us from those goals.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, this is the same speaker who earlier today refused to say
the GOP shouldn`t fundraise off of Benghazi, Dana.

MILBANK: It is even worse than that, Reverend, Al. the NRCC is a creation
of the House Republican leadership. Boehner is essentially in charge of
it. It`s like you saying you don`t really have any comments on what they
say on "Politics Nation." That`s not how this works.

This is the guy in-charge. And if they are doing fund-raising off of it,
as they very clearly are, then he has a very simple way to put a stop to
it. You have Trey Gowdy who is going to lead the show trial out there
saying he doesn`t approve, he`s never raised a penny off of this. And then
we find out, in fact, he has spoken out Benghazi at fundraisers.

The very fact that they`ve chosen Trey Gowdy in his second term rather than
some more experienced legislators here. The very fact that this panel has
no more authorities than the previous seven panels had to investigate it,
it means, the only possibility is just going to be more of the same. So,
it sort of answers its own question as to what the motive is here.

SHARPTON: On the side of your screen, they are now voting. That is the
vote going down now authorizing this new Benghazi investigation --
investigated committee.

You know, the fact is, Krystal, the Republicans have referred to this, this
whole investigation as a trial. I mean, some Republicans have actually
used the language. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP, STEVE KING (R), IOWA: We need to triad this thing really in the
public eye. And we need to have witnesses under oath, in a single setting.

REP. TREY GOWDY (R-SC), CHAIRMAN, BENGHAZI SELECT COMMITTEE: If the
administration is slow walking document precaution, I can`t end a trial
simply because the defense won`t cooperate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, the second person there that we showed, Krystal is, of
course, Trey Gowdy himself, who is leading the committee and he`s calling
this a trial.

BALL: Yes. They made it pretty clear what they`re all about here. And
even in that fundraising e-mail and on that fundraising Web site, they made
it clear that they were going after President Obama and secretary of state
Hillary Clinton.

This is all about a show trial, trying to get what they say as a conviction
of the president and the former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. You
know, they`ve never really genuinely wanted answer, wanted to move forward
in a productive way. It was all about back in 2012 when Mitt Romney was
running and the president was up for reelection. It was all about trying
to tarnish this president. It`s still all about trying to tarnish this
president.

And I just want to make it clear, there`s no one out there. There is no
Democrat out there saying that, you know, this was OK what happened and if
there aren`t lessons to be learned and there aren`t things that we should
take from this horrible tragedy to try to move forward in a better way.

But what we`re objecting to is the politicization of such a horrific event
and the attempt to score cheap political points and the continued use of
these committees that are supposed to be a real tool for getting at the
truth of this matter and other matters. These are used as just sort of the
political trials. It`s corrosive not just in this instance, it`s actually
corrosive to trust in government`s ability to do fair investigations at
all.

SHARPTON: Let me show (ph) you right there. Because Dana, that is a point
that has to be considered. "Politico" has broke news tonight that
Democrats are meeting tonight to decide tomorrow whether to boycott or
participate with this committee.

Quote "minority leader Nancy Pelosi was initiating leaning toward a boycott
of the committee. Senior Democratic sources say she is not considering
appointing some lawmakers to the panel."

So if this is considered by them a trial, if this is a Hail Mary on
display, just a circus to try and smear the administration, the Democrats
have to decide do they participate or do they boycott and what is better to
present to the public? The truth of what we`re looking at here is no more
really than political theatre?

MILBANK: Well, of course, it is theater. And I understand the urge of
somebody, you know, not to want to be a part on it. But you know, there is
-- there are very strong points to be made here. So they really ought to
have somebody out there making the points. Making the points that this
panel seems not to be at interest in what cause the problem in the first
place or why we haven`t caught the guys responsible for this. But we`re
all obsessed over talking points from a TV show.

The point needs to be made that it was house Republicans who exposed the
very fact that this was a CIA facility. And 15 people who have been
cooperating with the United States since the Benghazi attacks in Libya have
been bill kilned. Maybe that`s because of the loose lips of the house
Republican investigators.

There`s lots of serious questions to be asked. So yes, I would like to see
somebody get into the face of Trey Gowdy and holding him to account.

SHARPTON: Boycott or go? Quickly, Krystal, what do you say if you were a
Democrat speaking tonight.

BALL: You know, I agree with Dana and understand that in things to say, we
are not going to legitimize this thing by participating at all. But we
have seen, for example, Congressman Elijah Cummings when he`s been able to
confront Darrell Issa and some of the irresponsible hearings and questions
that Issa has raised, I think it is incredibly valuable and important to
have those voices there.

SHARPTON: Krystal Ball, Dana Milbank, thank you for your time tonight.

And be sure to catch Krystal on "the Cycle" weekdays t 3:00 p.m. eastern
right here on MSNBC.

Coming up, President Obama speaks out on GOP obstruction and we`ve got some
surprising news in the fight for fairness today.

And what does the titanic have to do with the affordable care act.
Nothing. But senator McCain is trying to connect the two anyway.

Plus, Senator Ted Cruz, ugly talk. We`ll tell you what he`s saying now
about President Obama. It`s truly amazing. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Still ahead, what does the affordable care act have to do with
the titanic? Absolutely nothing. But that`s not stopping the GOP from
trying to connect the two. That`s ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Ever wonder who the GOP represents? How can they be against
what the country wants?

This is Fred DeLuca. He`s the CEO of Subway, the largest restaurant chain
in the world. And in an interview with CNBC, he said something surprising
on minimum wage hikes.

Quote, "over the years, I`ve seen so many of these wage increases, I think
it`s normal. It won`t have a negative impact hopefully, and that`s what I
tell my workers, the people who come to work deserve to be paid properly
and there`s no excuse."

This is great to hear. Good for him. And he`s joined by 63 percent of
millionaires who say increasing the minimum wage would help reduce
inequality. And that`s what`s so strange about what`s going on with the
right. On issue after issue, the Republican party is against what the
majority of the country wants.

Sixty nine percent of Americans want to raise the minimum wage, 74 percent
saying we should expand Medicaid. And a majority of 52 percent want to
extend jobless benefits. So who is the GOP representing and what do they
stand for?

Joining me now are Goldie Taylor Richard Wolffe. Thank you both for being
here.

RICHARD WOLFFE, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, MSNBC.COM: Thanks, Reverend.

GOLDIE TAYLOR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Richard, the CEO of Subway wants a minimum wage hike and so does
the majority of America. What are policymakers doing? I mean, what are
they going to say about this?

WOLFFE: You know, Reverend, we`ve seen this debate bubbling over for many
years now. You do have people who are extremely wealthy. Sometimes
they`re democratic donors. There are plenty of the one percent who also
support Democratic policies and agenda.

You know, the idea that the one percent is only interested in their self-
interest is not actually true for Democrats just as it isn`t for
Republicans. The thing you have to ask for Republicans is why would they
be on the wrong side of something that polls 69 percent against them which
is the minimum wage?

You know, president at this point in the cycle doesn`t have much to
campaign on. And you`re already hearing President Obama say look at where
we are on the minimum wage. They are handing this one to him. Doesn`t
make any sense in the polls. It doesn`t even make sense for the one
percent who should be backing the Republicans right now.

SHARPTON: You`re right. But Goldie, I want to go back to the CNBC
millionaire survey.

Sixty four percent, this is nearly two-thirds support higher taxes on the
wealthy as a way to narrow the wealth gap. This is 64 percent of
millionaires. We`re not saying nearly two-thirds of millionaires. They
supported as a way of closing or dealing with the inequality gap in this
country. I mean, this is unbelievable.

TAYLOR: Well, you know, reverend, I have never believed that, you know,
Republicans don`t represent millionaires, they simply represent some
millionaires. They represent those whose margins (ph) maybe too soft and
those people who want to take advantage of others in terms of keeping
minimum wages, you know, artificially low.

And so, I just don`t know that this poll, you know, departs from where my
thinking really was on this kind of thing. What DeLuca and others who are
on the quick serve restaurant business understand is that if you pay your
employees, your associates a living wage, something that they can put food
on the table, something they can pay their rent with, something they can
put gas in the car with, they`re going to come to work, they`re going to be
more productive, they`re going to invest more in their daily lives and
their own education, they`re going to stay with you long.

The CEO of Costco is one of those people who believes and understands what
it means to pay a meaningful wage and what it means long term in terms of
the health of the business.

SHARPTON: And, you know, they`re going to spend money. It`s good for the
economy, Richard. So I could understand millionaires say, what is the
problem here? Because their businesses would have people out in the
communities and neighborhood, wherever, spending money. They have more
money to spend.

WOLFFE: And that is exactly the Henry Ford`s argument, right? You want to
have people buying your own products.

You know, it is interesting, one thing the Clintons understood in support
of Walmart back in Arkansas was that cheaper goods were actually great for
people at the lower end of the scale. If only Walmart itself lived up to
that and actually paid its workers a living wage as well, all too many
people working in some of these places, and they are like the places like
Costco, but they are not getting the kind of wages that will allow them to
be good consumers, too.

If this economy is going to grow with sustainable jobs, you`ve got to
increase the middle class. You cannot just have a working class that is
supporting people at the higher end. That doesn`t grow for the people at
the higher end, it doesn`t grow the middle class.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, despite the widespread support even for
millionaires, the right just can`t get behind the idea of a fair wage hike,
Goldie. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Instead of focusing on this sort of defeatist mentality
where we`ve got to up the minimum wage. Why don`t we focus on creating
better paying jobs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t believe there ought to be a national minimum
wage. That is my position.

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

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: So you do not believe in the concept of
the minimum wage?

SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R), TENNESSEE: That`s correct.

sanders: You would abolish the minimum wage?

ALEXANDER: Correct.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Will you support or seek to block increasing minimum
wage?

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: It`s bad economics,
Andrew.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Bad economics, defeatist attitude. Don`t want to have a minimum
wage at all. I mean, who are they speaking for?

TAYLOR: Well, they certainly aren`t speaking for working class people.
The minimum wage like many of other smart regulations around business are
the embodiment of what our American values are. How we want to treat our
workers. It says an awful lot about how we want to treat families, about
how e want to invest in communities.

And so, that minimum wage, that lowest rung in the pole, speaks to how much
we value the individual and all of their earnest work. And so to say that
there should not be a minimum wage means that you`re OK with an employer
coming to market and offering $3 or $2.50 an hour if they can find an
employee who will take it. And so, that means that you willing to allow
wages to be depressed in the name of creation of more jobs at un-meaningful
wages. In the name of soaring corporate profits, which by the way at this
moment, are at higher in any other point in this American history?

And is it creating jobs? No. It isn`t creating jobs. In fact, we`ve seen
that our economy has stagnated and had a slower pace of growth, had it not
been for the idea that they wouldn`t pass even the American jobs act.

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

Goldie Taylor, Richard Wolffe, thank you both for your time tonight.

WOLFFE: Thanks, Reverend.

TAYLOR: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Senator John McCain, the titanic and some anti-
Obamacare talking points that have gone completely overboard.

Plus, we have some developing news in the fight for voting rights tonight.
It`s a big loss for voter id and a big win for people power. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Big news tonight in the fight of voting rights. Pennsylvania`s
Republican governor Tom Corbett announced he won`t pursue and appeal of
court decision overturning the state`s voter ID law.

Governor Corbett signed the law in 2012. Pennsylvania`s voter ID law was
one of the strictest in the nation. The law was temporarily blocked by a
court before the 2012 election and was most recently struck down in
January.

Last week, that judge decided he would not revisit the opinion. And today,
Governor Corbett backed down. This is a huge victory for people like
Vivian Applewhite, the 93-year-old woman who couldn`t and didn`t have the
documents to get a voter ID. She later was given an ID, but others may not
have been so lucky. This is why we fight and we`ll keep on fighting.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Open your eyes

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m flying. Jack.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: What in the world does the titanic have to do with health care?
Just ask Senator John McCain. Here he was today at a hearing for Sylvia
Matthews Burwell, President Obama`s nominee to lead the department of
health and human services.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I advised her against taking a leadership
position at HHS. After all, who would recommend their friend take over as
captain of the titanic after it hit the iceberg.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Senator, you might be a little seasick or just in denial. The
affordable care act is working. And the bogus GOP talking points on the
law are dying.

Yesterday, we even held a funeral for all of the fact talking points. But
today they came back to life in that hearing. Going to the Web site,
you`ve got to love it. But more than eight million people have signed up
on the exchanges. Slamming the Web site just doesn`t make sense anymore.
And today, they brought out this old favorite.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. PAT ROBERT (R), KANSAS: The board is supposed to be made up of 15
elected advisers who decide which treatments of Medicare coverage should be
reformed, I would say terminated. If confirmed, will you activate the
Medicare reform or again what I would call rationing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Death panels are alive again. But this claim that an advisory
board will ration care, it`s 100 percent bogus. The health care law
explicitly states that the board is forbidden from submitting any
recommendations to ration health care. But they weren`t finished reviving
the old talking pointing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TIM SCOTT (R). SOUTH CAROLINA: Fuzzy math that seems to be a part of
Obamacare.

ALEXANDER: I would think it would good for the department to advise who
buys the premiums.

SEN. MIKE ENZI (R), WYOMING: On April 30th, the House energy and commerce
committee reported that only 67 percent of the enrollees had paid their
first premiums by April 15.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: A House committee did report only 67 percent of enrollees paid
their premiums. The only problem is, it wasn`t true. Just yesterday a
group of insurers told the same committee that most enrollees have paid
their premiums, between 80 percent to 90 percent of them.

So forget that titanic talk. The law is working. But rehashing these lame
talking points, that`s just like rearranging the deck chairs on a sinking
ship.

Joining me now is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders who was in that hearing
today.

Senator, what was it like hearing your colleagues bring back old talking
points today?

SANDERS: Well, Al. It just makes you realized how desperate the
Republicans are in terms of health care. They have nothing to offer.

Under Bush for eight years, they have nothing significant to say about
expanding health insurance to the other insured. And in recent years, all
they could do is talk about the problems of the affordable care act.

They are very, very upset that we now have over eight million people
getting their insurance as a result of the affordable care act through the
exchanges. They are very upset that young people now are getting insurance
on their parents programs and they`re equally upset that millions more
people are now getting Medicaid through the affordable care act.

The real issue is, to my mind, how could it be that Republican governors
all over this country are denying health insurance to their people who
desperately need it, even though the federal government is picking up 100
percent of the cost. Bottom line, these guys have nothing say.

SHARPTON: You know, senator, it is almost unreal. They were talking about
people that are upset that people have health insurance. And governors, as
you say, blocking health insurance for their own state citizens when 100
percent of it is paid by the federal government.

But the good news is that Democrats are starting to stand up. Because
today we saw going on the offensive was North Carolina`s Kay Hagan in that
hearing today. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. KAY HAGAN (D), NORTH CAROLINA: Last year in North Carolina, our state
legislature and governor decided against expanding the state`s Medicaid
program. And as a result, about 500,000 people who would have qualified
for coverage on Medicaid are now not able to do so. These are some of the
most vulnerable citizens in our society who will continue to seek care in
emergency rooms and then will leave chronic conditions unmanaged.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So Senator, I mean, she`s in a tough race back in North
Carolina. Politically, is this a good issue for her?

SANDERS: I believe it is. You know, Al, forget the politics for a moment.
What does it mean that if I make $25,000 a year in North Carolina, if I
have an illness, if I have no health insurance. I can`t get to see a
doctor. I can`t go to a hospital without going bankrupt. And I think that
every one of those citizens in North Carolina and throughout this country
who are now entitled to health care and are not getting it, I would stand
up and say to the governor how come you are not allowing me to get the
health insurance the federal government is allowing you to have. I think
it is a huge political issue.

SHARPTON: Yes. You know, another GOP talking point was that the law was
unaffordable. But a brand-new analysis shows the law helped bring down
health care spending by $900 billion. I mean, another talking point on the
fuel, Senator?

SANDERS: Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, health care costs in America
are still much too expensive. No question about that. But what experts
now tell us is a result of the affordable care act, we are beginning to
slow the growth of health care costs and that is extremely important.

Look, Al, at the end of the day, if you don`t believe that people are
entitled to health care, if you want to cut Medicaid drastically, if you
want to end Medicare as we know it, and if you have legislation which is
now working and you`re a Republican, you`ve got a problem.

You` got a political problem, you`ve got a public policy problem. And
these guys, in my view, are in trouble as a result of that.

SHARPTON: You know we mentioned that insurers said in the House hearing
yesterday that most people have paid their premiums, the "New York Times"
also reports quote "Insurers appearing before the panel of the energy and
commerce committee testified that the law had not led to a government
takeover of their industry. So if the business people say wasn`t the
government takeover, I mean, isn`t that another dead talking point,
Senator?

SANDERS: I think it is. Well, I have to tell you, Al, as you well know, I
happen to believe that Medicare is a very successful program. I believe in
a single player of Medicare for all. The president does not. The
affordable care act is not a government takeover of health care. Far from
it.

SHARPTON: No. And I`m glad you said that. Because many of us, I included
one single payer plan, they act as though this is some far left progressive
notion when it really is not. It certainly helps millions of people. But
to act like he`s going over the deep end left is just absolutely not true.

SANDERS: Al, you know that the fundamentals of the affordable care act
were developed in Republican think tanks as an opposition approach to a
single payer approach. And the first state to implement something like the
affordable care act was that kind in to the state of Massachusetts under
Mitt Romney, that well known communist revolution.

SHARPTON: Senator Bernie Sanders, thank you for your time tonight.

SANDERS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Breaking news. Moments ago, the Republican-controlled house
passed that measure creating a new Benghazi committee. The vote was on
along strict party lines. Tomorrow House Democrats will huddle on whether
to boycott the committee. We`ll be watching this.

Up next, Ted Cruz has said some pretty out there things about President
Obama. But you won`t believe what he`s saying now.

Plus, the growing outcry to bring back nearly 300 Nigerian girls still
missing after being kidnapped by terrorists. We have news tonight from the
secretary of state.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLENN BECK, RADIO SHOW HOST: These are impeachable offenses. The things
that are going on in our country are impeachable offenses. This is
dangerous, impeachable stuff that we`re talking about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That was Glenn Beck just yesterday talking about the president`s
impeachable offenses. And he`s not the only one. Next week, an anti-Obama
group called operation American spring plans to hold a rally to quote "rid
Washington, D.C. of tyrants."

And you remember world net daily, right? The web site that thinks
President Obama is a gay king and Muslim? Well, forget impeachment.
They`re talking about trying the president for serial treason.

And here`s where it gets scary. It`s not just Glenn Beck. It`s not just
the fringe. It`s senator Ted Cruz who just made an impassioned case about
the president`s lawlessness, even comparing him to a king.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I actually think the breadth of the lawlessness
in the aggregate is all the more disturbing that it is not one example or
two examples or three examples. The declaration of independents, I believe
had 28 particulars. That king George had committed against the rights of
English men. Well, this particular report lists 76 examples of lawlessness
and abuse of power.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Seventy six acts of lawlessness and worse than King George? But
this crazy talk wasn`t done there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUZ: Now, how exactly do we go to Putin and say you need to be bound by
rule of law when simultaneously our government is saying never mind the
laws that our Congress passed. We`re going to dig regard them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s absurd. But Senator Cruz`s speech was awful obscenely
disrespectful.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

When you have a president who can pick and choose which laws to follow and
which laws to ignore, then you no longer have a president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We do have a president. You might not agree with him, you might
not like him, but he won an election. He has a mandate, and all this bogus
talk of impeachment is nothing more than just that -- talk.

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

JOE MADISON, HOST, MORNINGS WITH MADISON: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

SHARPTON: Joe, let me start with you. Why does the right keep going back
to this argument that the president is lawless?

MADISON: Because they`re priming the pump for the November election. And
I hate to say I`ve told everyone so, but I`ll say it. I`ve told you so.

This is the argument that they`re going to use. They`re going to use their
talk show personalities on the right. They`re going to use FOX. These are
now the talking points. And they`re going to try to use this to hope that
they can take over the Senate.

The only thing really keeping this impeachment from going forward quite
honestly is the democratic control of the Senate. And that is why, the
strategy has to be massive get out the vote, voter registration get out the
vote effort. That`s the strategy that has to be in place in target states.

SHARPTON: Now, Jimmy, Senator Cruz even argued that the president`s
overreach should be acknowledged as a nonpartisan issue. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUZ: Listen, I recognize there`s a poisonous, even toxic atmosphere in
Washington where everything gets viewed through a partisan lens, through
the battles of one team versus another, one side versus another. But this
shouldn`t be partisan.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: This shouldn`t be partisan, Jimmy? And yet all they`re doing it
is in a partisan way?

JIMMY WILLIAMS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Yes. This is the same guy -- this is
the guy that was trained at the foot of his father who said that Barack
Obama should go back to Kenya.

So OK, I got it, I understand the apple doesn`t fall very far from the
tree. But here`s the sad reality of Ted Cruz. He`s an empty suit. Ted
Cruz has yet to -- if he`s just issued a report card and said that Barack
Obama, there`s 76 things that Barack Obama`s done that are impeachable
offenses, which Glenn Beck says they are, then where are the articles of
impeachment?

They don`t exist because he hasn`t introduced them. And why he hasn`t
introduce them? Because he wouldn`t dare do that because Mitch McConnell
may have to scurry back from Kentucky where he`s about to lose and actually
tell one of his old caucus members, don`t introduce impeachment articles.
We won`t lose the Senate if we will not get the Senate if you do. He`s an
empty suit. He is a political Schizophrenia. And he has absolutely zero
desire to lead, to legislate, or to do anything except be a mouthpiece for
the far right.

And by the way, that`s fine. That`s OK that he wants to do that, but do
using the United States Senate at his problem to do it from, that`s
disgraceful and in my opinion, un-American.

SHARPTON: Well, let me push right there. Push back a little on that.
Because Joe, he is also out with a big report outlining President Obama`s
abuse of power. He did outline that. And some of the examples are
outright outlandish.

One abuse of power cited says that quote "President Obama told NASA
administrator to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world." Another
abuse is that he shut down an Amish farm for selling fresh un-pasteurized
milk across state lines. I mean, this isn`t the onion. This is in an
actual report, Joe.

MADISON: And I`m going to push back, too, on this. I`m going to tell you
why.

Remember, impeachment is an indictment. And that`s what will happen in the
House of Representatives. Then the trial takes place in the Senate.

And here`s the other thing. They don`t have to be reasonable. They don`t
even have to be impeachable offenses. This is what they are trying to do.
They are trying to destroy this man`s legacy, even if they`re not
successful in the trial. They can say yes, the first African-American
elected president of the United States, but guess what? We impeached him.
And that`s what this is about. That`s the hidden hand, and nobody wants to
say this, but I`m going to say it. They want to ruin Barack Obama`s legacy
and they`ll use any false charges that they can. But if they get the -- if
they get control of the House and the Senate, then it will be political and
that impeachment vote will be along political lines. It won`t be a fair
trial, you can count on that.

SHARPTON: Well, let me go to this. You know, the right keeps arguing,
Jimmy, that the president is a king, that he`s a dictator, but also that
he`s weak. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: We have a weak and indecisive
president that invites (INAUDIBLE).

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: And the president`s path is
smothering the American dream here at home and projecting weakness abroad.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: The president doesn`t understand that a
weak America leads to instability.

CRUZ: A critical reason for Putin`s aggression has been President Obama`s
weakness. Number one, don`t demonstrate weakness for five years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now let me get this straight, Jimmy here. The president is
weak. He`s weaker than Putin. But didn`t we just hear Cruz say the
president is the worst tyrant then Putin? So I mean, which way are we
going here? He`s either a worse tyrant or he`s too weak. I mean, you said
schizophrenia. I mean, this is absolutely crazy. They have contradictory
talking points about the very same subject.

WILLIAMS: Well, I`m accusing at the Ted Cruz of having political
schizophrenia. I think Ted Cruz must and Michel Bachmann, because they are
so -- they`re such logical candidates to say some sort of thing, that the
president must be, I guess, politically bipolar. I don`t know.

What I can tell you is this. Osama bin Laden is dead. He`s dead. Gadhafi,
gone. I mean, we could go through an entire list of this thing. And we
could have an entire show. We can have three hours of the things that
Barack Obama has done right.

But it doesn`t matter, Reverend Al, it doesn`t matter. Because no matter
what Barack Obama does, until the day he leaves -- in fact, even the week
after the leaves, it doesn`t matter. It won`t be good enough for them.

Nothing he can do will ever be good enough for them. Here`s the
difference, five million more Americans voted for Barack Obama in the last
election than they did for Mitt Romney and he won. They can`t handle it.

SHARPTON: That`s about right. Joe Madison, Jimmy Williams, thank you both
for your time this evening.

WILLIAMS: Great. Thank you.

MADISON: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

SHARPTON: Coming up, inside the effort to bring home those missing
Nigerian schoolgirls. We`re hearing from the parents tonight, why we must
not give up hope.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s the end of an era and the start of a new one.

One of America`s greatest historic magazines, "Jet" magazine announced
they`ll transition to an online publication next month. "Jet" has been an
influential force in the black community for over six decades. First
gaining widespread attention for their coverage of the murder of a 14-year-
old in 1955.

"Jet" was the first magazine to publish photos of Tills` mutilated body.
Those photos sparked outrage across the country and brought new attention
to the civil rights movement.

The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King appeared on its cover dozens of times.
And President Obama has had his share of "Jet" covers, too. I`ve been
featured in "Jet" magazine and I`m proud to have been a part of its rich
history.

We all look forward to reading "Jet" online for many years to come.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Finally tonight, nearly 300 Nigerian girls are still missing
after being kidnapped by the terrorist group Boko Haram. It`s been three
week since they were abducted from their boarding school.

Today, U.S. intelligence officials say they think the girls have been
separated. Today, grieving parents of the missing girls visited the school
where the kidnapping happened. A reverend who spoke to up with of the
victim`s fathers described the pain.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is better that you know that the child is dead. But
when the child is alive and in the hands of people who you know can kill,
people who you know can rape.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Today, secretary of state John Kerry says they are going to do
everything they can.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: Our interagency team is hitting the ground
in Nigeria now and they are going to be working in concert with President
Goodluck Jonathan`s government to do everything that we possibly can to
return these girls to their families and their communities. We are also
going to do everything possible to counter the menace of Boko Haram.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Just this evening, the legendary civil rights hero congressman
John Lewis added his support, tweeting out this photo with the message my
heart aches for these young girls.

This is a civil rights issue. The world took too long to begin their
response, but they have responded. We cannot ignore growing terrorism in
Africa. We cannot ignore trafficking anywhere around the world.

This is the 21st century. This is unbelievable that this is happening in
2014.

And a program note, please join us tomorrow for a special edition of
"Politics Nation" growing hope, live from the sweet auburn festival in
downtown Atlanta. We`ll look at ways we can all give back to our
communities and improve the lives of people around us. We hope to see you
there.

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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