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PoliticsNation, Monday, May 19th 2014

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May 19, 2014

Guest: Alexandra Jaffe

Schultz. "Politics Nation" with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.

Good evening, Rev.

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

Tonight`s lead, the truth behind the GOP smear machine. Republicans are
pounding their ugly assault on Hillary Clinton to try and cover up their
own bankrupt agenda.

Today, here`s what Americans actually care about. A new Gallup polls show
that 20 percent say jobs and unemployment is the top issue, 19 percent say
its dissatisfaction with government and congress, 17 percent say it`s the
economy in general.

So what are the Republicans doing to help? Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
They have no positive agenda for the nation, now or in 2016. So instead,
conservatives are in full mud-slinging mode. Still focusing all their
energy on Hillary Clinton`s brain.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If someone undergoes -- has a terrible concussion and
undergoes six months of treatment and there`s a blood clot near the brain,
the whole thing needs to be laid out and explained.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What decisions were made during those six months?
There`s a whole bunch to speculate and talk about. This is a serious issue
and I think the health of Hillary should be focused on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any presidential candidate or vice presidential
candidate is going to have to answer questions about their health.


SHARPTON: It`s an attack and distract frenzy. All so they don`t have to
deal with real issues, now or in 2016.


is going to make her rethink whether she should actually run for president,
by the way, I don`t think she will, but if she has another month like she
just had, given the month she just had, I actually doubt very much whether
she actually will run for president in 2016.


SHARPTON: Oops! Priebus just let the cat out the bag. They`re launching
all these ugly attacks to try and scare Clinton from running. Dr. Karl
Rove has a similar diagnosis.


KARL ROVE, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I`m not questioning her health. What I`m
questioning is whether or not it`s a done deal that she`s running. And she
would not be human if she were not -- if she did not take this into
consideration. She`ll be 69 at the time of the 2016 election. If she gets
elected and serves two terms she`ll be 77.


SHARPTON: After the last election, Karl Rove should really get out of the
prediction business.

Whether Mrs. Clinton decides to run for president or not, it won`t change
this fundamental fact about the GOP. The GOP, they seem to care more about
personal attacks and phony scandals than about the issues that matter to
the American people.

Joining me now are MSNBC`s Krystal Ball and`s Joan Walsh. Her
latest article is called Karl Rove digs himself deeper. How former GOP
savior became damaged goods.

Thank you both for being here tonight.

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

SHARPTON: Krystal, did Priebus and Karl Rove slip up and tell the truth?
Are all these attacks of Hillary Clinton just an attempts to scare her from
the race?

BALL: I think it`s a little bit of that. I think they`re trying to remind
her just how awful the scrutiny is when you`re in the media spotlight, when
you`re under the microscope.

I mean, during the Obama administration, the Republicans actually used the
Clintons as a foil for Obama. They used them to say, you know, these are
the good Democrats that we could work with, unlike this Kenyan, Muslim
socialist, whatever else they want to call him. And now, they`re starting
to turn the ship around and go back to demonizing Hillary which is like a
natural stance for them.

But the other piece I think about that I think that they`re doing here is
Republicans are very dispirited about 2016 because Hillary is so
formidable. She`s so far ahead in the polls.

SHARPTON: And they have a weak bench.

BALL: They have a weak bench and so, they`re trying to convince themselves
that she`s not going to run. That she has some brain problem that`s going
to make her unable to deliver the goods, ultimately. It`s their best hope
so they`re sort of clinging to it.

SHARPTON: You know, Joan, Karl Rove, let me quote Walsh to Walsh. Here`s
what you wrote about Karl Rove and his attack on Hillary.

Quote, "he knows the GOP has no logical route back to the White House
except to hobble its ablest Democratic rivals, so this is a sacrificial
mission by Rove. He`ll try to take down Clinton, even if he goes down with

Now, that`s a very interesting statement. I mean, just how ugly do you
think Karl Rove is willing to get?

JOAN WALSH, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, SALON.COM: I think pretty ugly, you know?
And I think, it is interesting. Now, he`s backtracked a little bit. Now
he`s not asking questions. He said this weekend I`m not asking questions.
I`m not suggesting she`s hiding anything. I`m just concern. I`m
expressing human concern about another human being. That`s so not true.

The day he did this, the day that he launched this attack, he went through
this whole conspiracy theory and ended with we need to know what`s up with
that. So he moves around, he changes stories based on what`s selling and
what`s not selling. But he`s also, I think, taken some real hits and he`s
showing he`s willing to do that, because his party, they moved away from
things they used to believe in, right? They used to routinely -- not
routinely, but they would raise the minimum wage, they used to believe in
infrastructure for both job creation and for --

SHARPTON: There are some things they would just do.

WALSH: You know, there are some things that were bipartisan that they
would do.

SHARPTON: Just a matter of government.

WALSH: And they don`t do those things anymore. So they have nothing to
tell the American people. They have no story. They have no way to address
the concerns that you opened our hour with. And so it`s just smear her and
hope for the best.

SHARPTON: You know, Krystal, Karl Rove says he has no regrets, though,
about questioning Hillary Clinton`s health. Watch this.



ROVE: No, no. Look, my point is this. She`s a human being. You would
not a be human and not have a serious brain injury like this was and take
it into consideration if you`re thinking about going and doing what she
might do.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: So this was concern for her?

ROVE: Yes, look.


ROVE: Yes, I`m concerned as one human being for another. But I`m more
concerned about people saying, you know, she`s in. This is a done deal.
I`m not so certain.


SHARPTON: You know, even the folks over there at FOX find it laughable
that Karl Rove would have, quote, "concern for Hillary Clinton," Krystal.

BALL: Yes. Well, I`m sure Hillary is really grateful that Karl Rove is
looking out for her and her well being.

I mean, and this is the goal here, right? He puts this narrative out there
about, well, maybe she`s too old and maybe her health isn`t good enough.
And even as he sort of stands back and says I`m raising the concern as a
human being. I`m not even really asking questions. Even as he`s doing
that, people are talking about it. And it`s being raised as a legitimate

SHARPTON: And that`s the point.

BALL: And that is the exact point. And doesn`t have to get elected to
anything. So, he doesn`t care if people hate him for doing it.

SHARPTON: But you know, what amazes me is they even go further. Lynne
Cheney, she`s still pushing the theory that the Clintons were somehow
behind the Monica Lewinsky recent "Vanity Fair" article, Joan. Listen to


paying the Clintons a large compliment. I was saying how clever they are
politically. And that it seemed to me, if you had something that might
come up during the campaign, that would be damaging, it was very smart to
get it out of the way early. So that`s my case, Chris, and I`m staying
with it.


SHARPTON: You know, the Clintons are really lucky they have her
complimenting them and Cheney. And they have Karl Rove concerned about
them. All of this care they`re giving them.

WALSH: The milk of giving kindness is just overflowing when it comes to
Hillary Clinton. I`m so impressed. But, you know, what`s also
interesting, Karl Rove gave an interview to conservative radio host, Hue
Hewitt. And Hue Hewitt`s hold take on this was, I`m concerned about you,
Karl. And have dastardly Democrats set you up to get you out of this race,
to take you up television, to get Rove.

He actually asking these questions. And it just shows that thing they do
again and again, when they are down, when they are in trouble, play the
victim and blame those terrible Democrats.

SHARPTON: But the problem is this, they`re starting to believe it. And
part of the problem, Krystal, is they are incredibly polarized and divided
within the party itself.

BALL: Right.

SHARPTON: I mean, majorities of Republican voters support immigration
reform, background checks on gun sales and raising the minimum wage. The
Republicans in Congress are blocking all of those things. Is the only
thing that conservatives agree on is don`t -- that they don`t like Hillary
Clinton and they really don`t like President Obama? Is that the substitute
for unifying agenda?

BALL: Pretty much. I mean, essentially what the Republican Party has been
running on and has been fuelled by is emotion. Right? Anger, fear,
hatred. And so, they`ll use these conspiracy theories, they`ll use sort of
coded language. They will raise issue that are just asking questions about
in order to stoke those emotions. Because the other parts of the their
platform that should be substantive, the economic pieces in particular are
completely bankrupt and have essentially been exposed.

SHARPTON: Unemployment insurance still isn`t extended. They`re talking

BALL: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: Krystal Ball, Joan Walsh, thank you both for your time tonight.

BALL: Thank, Reverend.

Be sure to catch Krystal on "the Cycle" weekdays at 3:00 p.m. eastern right
here on MSNBC.

Coming up, this Mississippi political blogger arrested for allegedly
sneaking into a hospital and taking a picture of Senator Cochran`s sick
wife. Now there are all kinds of questions about the senator`s challenger.
Did the McDaniels campaign know about this ugly hit job?

Plus, remember crazy Uncle Sam, those ads that tried to scare young people
away from getting health coverage? Well, he`s back. And he`s apparently a
very big spender.

And can you be too rich to jail? How does this wealthy man avoid jail time
after his seven Dui conviction? You be the judge, ahead.


SHARPTON: It`s one of the weirdest political stories I have ever heard of.
A blogger arrested for sneaking into Senator Cochran`s wife nursing home
room. Did anyone else know about this? We have some late breaking news
from the McDaniel campaign next.


SHARPTON: Politics can get ugly, but a Republican Senate primary in
Mississippi has gotten downright dirty and bizarre. At the center of this
mystery, a conservative senator Thad Cochran and his very conservative tea
party challenger Chris McDaniel.

Senator Cochran`s wife has lived at a nursing home for over a decade,
suffering from dementia. And this weekend, a conservative blogger named
Clayton Kelly was arrested, accused of sneaking into her nursing home and
photographing this bedridden woman. Her photo was then posted online as
part of an anti-Cochran/pro-McDaniel video that was being called a hit

The story is bad enough. But a new voice mail is raising more questions,
specifically what did the McDaniel campaign know? At about 7:45 on
Saturday morning, Chris McDaniel`s campaign manager state senator Melanie
Sojourner left this message for Cochran`s campaign manager.


upset about it, and we just felt like he needed to have a personal phone
call, certainly with you, but he really wanted to have one with senator
Cochran if that could be at all possible.


SHARPTON: Chris is very upset. But how did he know? The story wasn`t
reported on the clarion ledger Web site until 9:24 a.m. And at 9:47 a.m.,
McDaniel`s spokesman said he knew nothing about the arrest or the news.
Even McDaniel`s himself told a reporter that morning that he had no idea
about the story, saying, quote, "I don`t guess I had been awake long enough
to see what`s happened."

He also said the man in custody doesn`t ring a bell. But here`s a photo
that Kelly posted of himself with McDaniel on facebook. That man, he says,
doesn`t ring a bell. The McDaniels campaign said they would never in a
million year condone Kelly`s action, but is there more to the story? The
investigation is on in Mississippi.

Joining me now is Alexandra Jaffe, a reporter for "the Hill."

Alexandra, thanks for come on the show tonight.


SHARPTON: Now, you were at an event with McDaniel when the news broke.
When you asked him about it, what was his reaction?

JAFFE: He did seem visibly surprised. He seemed like he hadn`t heard the
news. He definitely hadn`t seen the report. I actually broke about 9:30
and I was reading it on my phone watching him talking to supporters and I
confronted him with it. So, you know, I`m reasonably sure that he hadn`t
seen the news. But of course, that was contradicted by Sojourner`s voice

SHARPTON: Now, so you were there at 9:30. He seemed surprised. Said he
had no knowledge of it. Yet McDaniel`s campaign manager, who left the
voice mail was actually at that same event with McDaniel. Doesn`t that
make it even more odd that McDaniels didn`t know anything about the news
when the campaign manager who had left that voice mail two hours before was
standing right there at the event?

JAFFE: Right. Well, what the McDaniel campaign has said happened was she
kind of briefed him very bare bones. Gave him just a notice that this was
going on and they need to call the Cochran campaign before she did end up
calling him. And they gave him a fuller briefing later in the day.

So, they have told me that, you know, when I confronted him with these
details, it was a little bit muddy and he wasn`t really sure what had gone
down and perhaps didn`t draw the connection between what he was told
earlier and the story I confronted him with. It is hard to say sort of
wacky window. And he`s been standing by that series of events.

SHARPTON: So when she left the message at 7:45 that he was upset about
what had happened and wanted to talk to Cochran, they`re saying he really
didn`t know what had happened.

JAFFE: They`re saying he dependent know the full kind of grasp of the

SHARPTON: So what did he want to talk to him about if he didn`t know what
had happened.

JAFFE: Well, that`s the question. I mean, the impression that I got is
that is she gave him a notice that she had to call the Cochran campaign
about an issue but didn`t really give all the details. And so, that`s why
when I confronted him with those details, he seemed like he hadn`t learned
about the situation.

SHARPTON: Breitbart is saying that they knew about this picture of
Cochran`s wife for weeks now. What can you tell us about that?

JAFFE: Right. They came up with these new e-mails that Melanie Sojourner
actually, the day that this video went online. That was April 26th. And
she blasted out, you know, campaign staffers saying how can we get this
taken down, this is appalling? We don`t want this going on in the

So, it`s clear that Melanie had known about this for weeks. The question
is, you know, did she confront Senator McDaniel with this? What else, you
know, did she know going forward. And those are actually questions that
Cochran`s campaign has raised.

SHARPTON: Now, there`s another part of the voice mail that`s getting
attention. Take a listen.


SOJOURNER: We don`t know this guy. We have no idea who he is. He`s been
arrested by the Madison police. It`s one of the most despicable things I
have ever heard of.


SHARPTON: We have no idea who he is. Except later in the same message,
she says this, listen to this.


SOJOURNER: There was some stuff several months ago where this guy was
doing some insane stuff online. We found out about it, Chris and I
immediately sent a bunch of volunteers to try to find who was the source of
just a lot of ugly rumors and nasty staff and we wanted it squashed.


SHARPTON: I mean, what do you make of this contradiction? We don`t know
the guy, we don`t know who it is. Then in the very same message, we know
the guy did some strange stuff online a while back. I mean, what do you
make of this contradiction?

JAFFE: Right. The impression that I got was he`s very kind of prolific in
the conservative activist class. He`s well known among those folks but not
at all affiliated with the campaign, not friend with any campaign
volunteers, hasn`t volunteer for the campaigned himself. So they did see
the blog. It did tried to get it taking down, but didn`t know the man
directly and had never worked with him.

SHARPTON: Alexandra Jaffe, thanks for your time this evening.

JAFFE: Thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, too rich to jail? Why did a wealthy man get
sentenced to just work release for his seventh dui? Seven!

After leading police on a high speed chase in a Ferrari nonetheless.

Also he`s back. Why is creepy Uncle Sam still trying to make it rain on
health care? Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Former vice president Dick Cheney is at it again. He`s calling
President Obama weak over his response to the standoff between Russia and


developed over the years of the Obama administration, I think, a sense on
the part of others that we have a weak government. He`s demonstrated
repeatedly, I think, that he, in fact, can be pushed around, if you will,
by the Putins. And I don`t think Mr. Putin has any hesitation at all from
the standpoint of the American president of changing his course of action.
I think he`s taking advantage of this opportunity when he thinks we have a
weak president to try to restore some of the old Soviet Union.


SHARPTON: Anyone else think it is funny getting foreign policy expertise
from Dick Cheney? I seem to remember president Putin doing something
similar back in 2008. When George Bush and Dick Cheney were in the White


WALLACE: The fact is that when you were in the White House, Russia invaded
the former soviet republic of Georgia and took over two provinces. So
Putin felt he could take you guys on, too.

CHENEY: Well, he obviously did at the time. These were two breakaway
provinces that did not any longer want to be part of Georgia. What we did
at the time was, I think, a more robust response. We flew in a brigade of
Georgian soldiers that had been involved supporting our efforts in Iraq.
Flew them back in Georgia to try to try to provide some support there as
well sent U.S. ships back into the black seas and provided various kinds of


SHARPTON: Sending Georgian troops fighting for the U.S. in Iraq back home?
Providing supplies? That was a more robust response?

Karl Rove made similar allegations recently. But "Politifacts` said they
were mainly false.

So how successful was this so-called robust response? Take a look at this
map. This was what Russia and Georgia looked like back in 2008 before two
provinces decided they wanted to declare independence. But in 2008, Russia
stepped in to help those two territories secede from Georgia. And today,
20 percent of Georgia`s territory is under Russian military occupation.

So there it is. There`s what the Bush/Cheney robust response brought
about. Did Dick Cheney think we wouldn`t notice that he erased Georgia
from his mind? Nice try, but we got you.


SHARPTON: Tonight, there`s new outrage over another man some say was too
rich to jail. A wealthy businessman with a Ferrari and seven DUIs. Back
in December, Shaun Goodman was drunk and leading police on a high speed
chase in a Ferrari, like this one. Running red lights and hopping curbs in
downtown Olympia, Washington. Along for the ride was a terrified passenger
who had accepted a ride from Goodman at a local bar. Police say, Goodman
refused to let him out, so the passenger had to dive out of the Ferrari as
it slowed at an intersection. He then called 911.


HENRY GRIFFIN, CALLED 911: I got a ride from this guy and he`s in a
Ferrari, and he sped away from the cops and he took a sharp corner and I
jumped out of the car. I`m calling because I`m scared. He smoked them,
man. I mean, he went so fast. I just kept begging him, please, please, I
have a son.


SHARPTON: Goodman kept going, slam into a house and two other cars before
the police were able to catch up and arrest him. Goodman pleaded guilty to
the DUI. Under Washington law, a blood alcohol level above 0.15 with two
to three previous offenses requires a mandatory minimum sentence of jail
time of 120 days. Goodman`s blood alcohol level was 0.16, over twice the
legal limit. And he had six previous DUIs. But he received only one year
of work release. Meaning he`s free to go to work all day, only spending
nights and weekends in jail. Local residents were outraged, gathering
outside the courthouse on Friday to protest the sentence 37. And now that
passenger who had to dive out of the Ferrari is speaking out, saying
Goodman is getting special treatment because he`s rich.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I have never felt the actual feeling of hey, you`re
probably going to die.

There are people that are less fortunate that get the shaft more, you know
what I mean? And I just think that that`s wrong.


SHARPTON: Joining me now, Carmen St. Georgia, criminal defense attorney
and former prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst Faith Jenkins. Thank you
both for being here.



SHARPTON: Faith, seven DUIs? A high speed chase in a Ferrari and all he
gets is work release? How do you explain that?

JENKINS: Right. You know, it`s almost unexplainable. Because as bad as
it is to drive drunk, this case is really about the worst kind of drunk
driver, the repeat offender. Right? This is his seventh conviction for
driving drunk. So that means that the fines that he`s been fined to
before, the rehabilitation programs, the taking away his driver`s license
and suspending it, none of those things have worked. And now you have an
individual who is putting other people`s lives at risk because nothing has
worked and he still continues to drive under the influence.

SHARPTON: Six times. I mean, when you look at the fact Carmen that this
guy`s record, I mean, did he deserve any leniency? Even the prosecutor was
defending this sentence. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: In fact, he was given a maximum sentence for DUI, it`s
364 days in jail. Couldn`t give anymore than that. And it would be an
incentive for him to adopt a stable and sober lifetime at this point in


SHARPTON: But he was given work release for 364 days. Not jail. He goes
to work, he only goes to jail on weekends and at night. And he had six
previous times that he had been arrested and dealt with for DWI. How much
incentive are you going to give him?

GEORGIA: Well, on its face, it appears problematic. Because of the
priors. But you have to look at the fact that the prosecutor in this case
is going along with this sentence so there`s something within the facts of
this case that differentiate it. So I would parlay it to money is no
measure of a person. And we all have to accept our consequences for our
choices in what we say and what we do.


GEORGIA: And in this particular case, they believe and the prosecution
included, that as much as may we want to debate it here, emotionally feel
that this is bothersome, the prosecution agreed with the sentence to put
him in a rehab type of process at this particular point. In hopes that in
the future, this person who has been negatively affected because of
economics will prove to be different as we move forward.

SHARPTON: Yes. But you know what got to me, Faith, and I see you ran up
out of the seat, but the judge even let him go to the Super Bowl.


SHARPTON: I mean, Goodman made headline in January when the judge allowed
him to attend the Super Bowl. His lawyer argued that this was quote, "A
once in a lifetime opportunity to see his hometown team play in the Super
Bowl." Now, what incentive is that?

JENKINS: Well, the question is, what is specific about this individual,
why is he catching so many breaks in the system, right? Because really
when you look at 120 days mandatory minimum for this crime, the only way
that can be set aside, if it would have a significant impact on the
physical and mental well being of the individual. So, the judge is saying,
him going to prison for taking him away from his business and out of the
community for a certain length of time would really have a physical and
mental impact on him in a negative way. But what I`m saying is, we don`t
see that type of argument for poor defendants.


JENKINS: We don`t see that type of argument for black and brown
defendants. It`s now repeatedly successfully used for white, wealthy
defendants to get out of going to prison.

SHARPTON: And I think that`s the problem, Carmen. Because we had this
outrage, Ethan Couch who comes from a wealthy family, killed four people in
drunk driving, joy ride. He got ten years probation, no jail time. Robert
H. Richards IV, du Pont heir, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting his own
daughter and he also only got probation and no jail time. Seven DUIs,
running around in a Ferrari like this and you get work release? There`s
nowhere you can show me, because we`re looking and we`ll find something,
that poor people get seven DUIs and the prosecutor him say, oh, it`s all
right. And by the way, it`s a once in a lifetime thing for them to go to
the Super Bowl. Let them go.

GEORGE: Look, let me put it to you this way. What about the indigent
defendant, the disadvantaged youth who comes to court and the judge says,
you know what? In this particular case I`m going to sentence this child or
young adult leniently. More leniently because of the fact that he grew up
in this indigent household. Well, then let`s hope that that`s a better
future moving forward for that child. This has passed muster in court.

SHARPTON: On his seventh offense?

GEORGE: Well, this particular case -- nobody is saying that they approve
of this.

SHARPTON: And the Super Bowl.

GEORGE: Washington is certainly different than New York. And if I were
the judge sitting on this case, there`s no way that I would permit a
defendant in this position to leave the state for this reason.

JENKINS: Because at some point, it`s not about the leniency, it`s about
protecting the rest of us.

GEORGE: Absolutely.

JENKINS: People who don`t need to be on the street with this man who`s
driving. A first or second offense for DUI, yes. Prosecute those cases in
Manhattan. You focus on rehabilitation. Getting someone into a program.
They obviously have a drinking problem. However, four, five, six, seven
times down the road? We don`t want you to kill someone. This is someone
who has no control, does not need to be on the street. And we need to be
protected from this individual.

SHARPTON: Including the guy that was in the car with him and the fact he
had a house and two other cars. I mean, what about those people that were
impacted and their protections and their rights.

GEORGE: There`s no doubt that emotionally this brothers us. The question
is whether the affluenza disease should be used in court as a defense.
It`s past muster. I mean, you could parlay it to a woman who uses the
emotional abuse defense with the husband or a situation where a defendant
comes forward and says, these are mine -- these is my situations which I
have faced that causes me to put this forth as a defense for you to
consider in my sentencing.

JENKINS: It`s another example of the -- disparities.


JENKINS: And we`ve talked about this before. When it comes to race, when
it comes to money. There are disparities in our system. And this is
another egregious example of it.

SHARPTON: I`m going to have to leave it there. Great discussion. We`re
going to keep following this one as well. Carmen St. George and Faith
Jenkins, thank you both for your time tonight.

JENKINS: Thank you.

GEORGE: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, creepy Uncle Sam is back and he`s spending big.
Hundreds of millions spent on losing. We`ll explain.

And 60 years after separate but equal was banned, First Lady Michelle Obama
gets very personal talking about her past and how far we`ve come. Stay
with us.


SHARPTON: I have some scary news tonight. He`s back. That`s right,
creepy Uncle Sam who tried to convince young voters to opt out of the
President`s health care law is back with a new video. But creepy Uncle Sam
has run out of ideas because the new video is about an old issue. The
problem with

Oh, he`s making it rain all right, but the rain is coming down on the GOP`s
repeal parade. Because ads like this haven`t worked. A recent poll showed
that 61 percent of Americans think we should keep the law as is or improve
it to make it work even better. And that`s despite an avalanche of
negative attack ads. Since the law passed in 2010, GOP groups have spent
$418 million in negative TV ads. That includes 880,000 separate ads
attacking the law. But all those ads, all those republican dollars have
failed. The law is working. It`s helping millions of Americans, and
there`s nothing that creepy Uncle Sam can do about it.

Joining me now is Anne Filipic from the group Enroll America, which worked
to sign up people for health care. And democratic strategist Margie Omero.
Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: And how did you help get eight million people signed up for
health care despite creepy Uncle Sam and $400 million in negative ads?

FILIPIC: Well, Reverend, I think it really comes back to this. That when
it comes to the issue of health care for their families, Americans are not
interested in politics and the misinformation that`s coming along with
those sorts of ads. They`re interested in the facts. And the really
powerful thing, and I think that tells a lot about the future of the
Affordable Care Act, is the more people have the facts, the more interested
they are. And what we saw is that at the end of the day, in this first
enrollment period, over 12.8 million Americans gained access to coverage
through the marketplace, through Medicaid and through chip. And that
number is rising day by day. So at the end of the day, ads like that, they
aren`t working because Americans are taking steps to enroll.

SHARPTON: Is creepy Uncle Sam a symbol of the GOP`s failure to stop this?
And come with propaganda?

FILIPIC: Well, I think it comes back to what we`ve seen over and over
again from opponents of the law. And that is about spreading
misinformation, not really an interest in giving people the facts about
what this means to them. But what we`re seeing now is that millions of
people are gaining coverage. That conversation is starting to shift. And
this is not a conversation where scare tactics work the same because people
are starting to hear the stories of their friends and neighbors who have
gotten coverage, who are going to the doctor, and are really starting to
see the benefits of having that coverage.

SHARPTON: Marge, on the Affordable Care Act, since 2010, negative ads as I
said, $418 million. Positive ads, $27 million. That`s 15 to one advantage
for folks trying to tear down this law. How many cancer screenings and
senior medications could all of that money have paid for, Marge?

OMERO: Right. You`re exactly right. There`s a huge opportunity cost
here. And when people see how much money and how much effort and how much
negativity has gone into this republican campaign to repeal ObamaCare,
which is not something that people want, as you noted, it`s going to make
people even more disgusted with politics, even more disgusted with a lot of
these republican tactics. Think if all that money had been spent on trying
to reach out to people who have been felt left behind by the Republican
Party. If you want to just focus on the political spending.

Think if they had been trying to spend that money on outreach for people
who hadn`t voted republican for a long time. Instead spending that money
to do something that people don`t want. But they`re just playing a
political game. They`re just trying to beat the clock. They know that as
more people, as I`m saying, as more people get enrolled, experience health
care, tell their friends as I continues to rise, it`s going to be harder
and harder to make this political case. And so that`s why you`re seeing
this kinds of ads.

SHARPTON: You know, Governor Bobby Jindal wrote an op-ed piece for FOX
News saying, quote, "yes, we can still repeal ObamaCare. He writes the
country that won two world wars and put a man on the moon cannot, it is
believed repeal a disastrous public policy? Says who? Why not? I mean,
for Republicans, Marge, repealing the law is really equivalent to putting a
man on the moon?

OMERO: I know. Right. It`s hardly a scientific feat, right? It`s just a
political distraction. And it`s something that a lot of folks who would
have opposed the Obama administration no matter what, this is what they`re
focusing on. And if we didn`t have this repeal effort, there would be
something else. It`s clearly not working for them.


SHARPTON: Yesterday on "Meet the Press," Dr. Ben Carson was on. And he
ended up trying to defend his comment comparing health care law to slavery.
Listen to this.


recognize what I said worst things since slavery. Then say that it was
slavery. People who are well read and particularly --

DAVID GREGORY, HOST, "MEET THE PRESS": You said it is slavery in a way
because it is making us all subservient to the government.

CARSON: Right, and I said in a way. In a way anything is slavery that
robs you of your ability to control your own life.


SHARPTON: How is this robbing us of our ability to control our lives?
Isn`t it giving people new options in their life?

FILIPIC: Well, and I think you`re exactly right. And if you talk to one
of those 12.8 million Americans who have gained access to coverage, and we
do this every day. We hear their stories. We hear the fact that now
they`re not lying awake at night worried that a broken bone is going to
lead to bankruptcy. They don`t have to fear, you know, sending their kids
to basketball practice, worried they might get hurt. And they have to go
to the ER. There`s such empowerment and relief that comes from having
health coverage. And these are the stories we hear every single day. But
again, there are lots of people out there who are still opposing this law,
opposing the implementation, and that`s why groups like Enroll America need
to continue to roll up our sleeves and get people the facts about what`s
available to them.

SHARPTON: Marge, the conversation is changing, Ann says, and it`s changing
because it is working for millions of Americans, I think, is what she says.
Is the conversation changing among the media pundits?

OMERO: Yes. You know, I wish sometimes that folks in Washington were
smart as voters out across America. And you have a lot of people across
America as Anne mentioned who need health care. They don`t see it as a
political football. They see it as something they need for their families
to survive.


OMERO: And they began confused because it was new to everybody, and now
are getting some more experience with it. Here in Washington, we`ve
divided ourselves into camps and there`s not a lot of movement there.
We`re in our counts and it`s unfortunate that the political dialogue has
hardened as much as it has.

SHARPTON: Anne Filipic and Margie Omero, thank you both for your time

OMERO: Thank you.

FILIPIC: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, a paralyzed former football star stuns a crowd with
an amazing story of struggle and success. Also, the First Lady`s powerful
vision of a New America. How far we`ve come and how far we have to go.
You`ll want to hear this. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: We`re back with the lesson encouraged that can`t be thought in a
classroom. Paralyzed former Rutgers football star Eric LeGrand took the
stage on Sunday to address the school`s class of 2014. He gave an
emotional speech in front of 35,000 people, reminding students and parents
alike that anything is possible.


able to do this, wouldn`t be able to do that, but I`m doing so many other
different things now. I`m living a normal life. I`m moving my shoulders,
and I`m moving myself. Don`t ever let somebody tell you, you can`t do
something. Don`t ever let anybody tell you can`t do something. If you put
your mind to something, anything is truly possible in this world.


SHARPTON: LeGrand was paralyzed from the neck down while making a tackle
in a Rutgers game back in 2010. He`s become a motivational speaker, using
his own story to inspire others. Our congratulations to Aaron LeGgrand and
all of the class of 2014. Remember to never give up hope.


SHARPTON: Sixty years after the Supreme Court outlawed separate but equal
schools, First Lady Michelle Obama is making progress. And marking
progress at the same time. Over the weekend, she returned to the city
where the Brown versus Board of Education was born. Topeka, Kansas. But
she also warned that 60 years later, schools are becoming more segregated.


MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY: See, many districts in this country have
actually pulled back on efforts to integrate their schools. And many
communities have become less diverse as folks have moved from cities to
suburbs. So today by some measures, our schools are as segregated as they
were back when Dr. King gave his final speech and as a result, many young
people in America are going to school largely with kids who look just like
them. And too often, those schools aren`t equal, especially ones attended
by students of color which too often lag behind. With crumbling classrooms
and less experienced teachers.


SHARPTON: But then she talked about her hope for the future. And
remembered the progress she`s seen, the progress she`s lived growing up in
Chicago during the struggle to integrate. And she talked in very personal
terms about what she does when she gets discouraged.


OBAMA: As a little girl who went to segregated schools in Chicago and felt
the sting of discrimination, I think about my husband`s grandparents, white
folks born and raised right here in Kansas, product themselves of
segregation. Good, honest people who helped raise their biracial grandson,
ignoring those who would criticize that child`s very existence. And then I
think about how that child grew up to be the president of the United States
and how today --


-- that little girl from Chicago is helping to raise her granddaughters in
the White House.


SHARPTON: Her point was about moving forward to a better future. And that
is the point. Yes, there are many challenges ahead. Yes, their
disappointment, but think about how we got this far. By not accepting the
disappointment and keep moving ahead.

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


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