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PoliticsNation, Thursday, June 5th, 2014

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POLITICS NATION
June 5, 2014

Guest: Joe Conason, Benjy Sarlin, Angela Rye, Faith Jenkins, Eric Guster

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR, THE ED SHOW: That`s "the ED Show." I`m Ed
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, no apologies. President Obama stands up to the GOP scandal
machine and gives his strongest defense yet for bringing sergeant Bowe
Bergdahl home. The president said time is running out and America doesn`t
turn its back on any of its captured soldiers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We had a prisoner of war
whose health had deteriorated and we were deeply concerned about. And we
saw an opportunity and we seized it. And I make no apologies for that.

I make absolutely no apologies for making sure that we get back a young man
to his parents and that the American people understand that this is
somebody`s child. And that we don`t condition whether or not we make the
effort to try to get them back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: "The New York Times" reports that in a video shot several months
ago, Bergdahl looked weak and dazed. It was so bad officials, quote, "grew
increasingly worried that sergeant Bowe Bergdahl`s life might be in
jeopardy."

That video habit been made public. And many facts we rain unknown. The
military will investigate. But many Republicans aren`t waiting for
answers. They`re all set on scandal mania all over again. And leading the
charge is the Benghazi brigade, John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly
Ayotte. They`ve worn out their phony Benghazi talking points so now
they`ve moved on to Bergdahl.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: The exchange of five hard core, hardest of
the hard core Al Qaeda/Taliban will pose a threat to the United States.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Let me tell you what we did to
our own national security. We compromised it.

SEN. KELLY AYOTTE (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE: The conditions upon which these five
detainees were -- will be held is a troubling aspect of this whole thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: They managed to get in lock step, despite twisting like a
pretzel to get there.

In recent months, senators McCain and Ayotte both said they supported
efforts to recover senator Bergdahl. But now they claim they didn`t want
him to be saved this way. And Senator Graham is connecting Bergdahl`s
release to Benghazi.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRAHAM: The video, I want it released. They`re talking about two videos
of sergeant Bergdahl. I want the videos released. I`m tired. I want the
videos released around the compound in Benghazi. Why won`t they show you
the video. There was no protest outside the compound.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: This is dishonest rhetoric from the same scandal mongering
Republicans who have done it before. They`ll do anything to score
political points. They`ll even try to turn the release of an American POW
into a scandal.

Joining me now is "Washington Post" Dana Milbank. His latest article is
from Bergdahl to Benghazi, Republicans fire up the scandal machine. And
MSNBC`s Krystal Ball.

Thank you both for being here.

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

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

SHARPTON: Krystal, the Benghazi brigade is back. I mean, is there any
doubt that for all of them, this is all about politics?

BALL: Absolutely. I mean, if you have any doubt, all you have to look at
is their prior statements. And John McCain, in particular here, I mean,
not only that he say we should support efforts to bring back Bergdahl, but
he is specifically back in February, told Anderson Cooper that we should
consider a prisoner swap, which is exactly what we did.

Now, I`m not saying this was an easy call, right? This was messy. It is a
difficult choice to make. But the way that they turned right on a dime, as
soon as the president did the exact thing that they`ve themselves were
calling for tells you everything you need to know about these folks.

SHARPTON: And you`re right. Where none of us are saying, I`m not, that is
an easy call. But consistency and hypocrisy needs to be dealt with.

BALL: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: You know, Dana, in your article, you also mock the GOP`s attempt
to link Bergdahl with Benghazi. Quote "don`t forget that Bergdahl and
Benghazi both begin with the letter B. And although Afghanistan is in Asia
and Libya is in Africa, both continents begin with the letter A."

I mean, have you sent this tip sheet into Senator Graham? Maybe it could
improve his talking points.

MILBANK: Yes. Reverend, I suspect he`ll be using those the next time he`s
before the microphone. Of course, the real similarity between the two is
they both occurred during the administration of President Obama which is
why they`re so exercised about this in the first place.

You know, it`s a perfectly legitimate policy debate to have to say was this
a good idea? Was this not a good idea? That`s an argument about strategy
and politics. But what they`re doing instead is trying to turn this into a
scandal. Meaning, that there was some sort of malfeasance and wrong doing
or criminality here.

And I think it`s particularly absurd to try to draw parallels to an
entirely different situation that occurred in Libya a couple of years ago.
And I think that is the element that`s particularly dishonest here. It`s
perfectly legitimate for John McCain. Even though he softened his earlier
position.

BALL: He`s evolved.

MILBANK: Yes, he has evolved. You are allowed to evolve. But let`s not
come out and say this is a scandal and this administration is in violation
of the constitution. They can complain that this administration didn`t
alert Congress as it was supposed to. That`s another legitimate thing to
say. But that doesn`t mean it`s a scandal.

SHARPTON: Krystal, Lindsey Graham is talking about impeachment. He has
actually brought the word up. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRAHAM: It`s going impossible for them to flow prisoners out of Gitmo now
without just a huge backlash. There will be people on our side are calling
for his impeachment if he did that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: You know, it`s only a matter of time, they are the party is that
calls for impeachment. And just two weeks ago, Senator Kelly Ayotte
released about her ongoing efforts to quote "urge the department of defense
to do all it can to find senator Bowe Bergdahl, sergeant Bowe Bergdahl and
bring him home safely."

This is her statement just a couple of weeks ago.

BALL: Yes. Suddenly they`re singing a very different tune. And I think
Dana brings up such a good point. Because the reason that they have to
turn this into is scandal is because if it`s just a debate about whether or
not it was the right decision, right? Whether it was worth the tradeoff of
five for one. Well, that`s not something you can investigate. Right?
That`s not something you can call the president up on charges of
impeachment over. That`s not something you can continue to stretch up and
stretch out and ask, well, we just have more questions and more questions
and more questions as they have with Benghazi. So they have to turn it
into a scandal so they can have investigation after investigation. They
can continue talking about it and they can continue to feed their base on
the kind of rhetoric that their base wants because the bottom line here is
the Republicans have little of substance to offer their base or anyone
else. So they feed themselves and they get energy from these fake
scandals.

SHARPTON: Yes. But you know, Dana, talking about Senator Ayotte`s
statements two weeks ago, now she`s attacking the move. And her office
told "Politics Nation" that an opposition of the deal should have been
obvious from the start. Quote, "she has consistently led opposition to the
administration`s efforts to transfer any high-risk detainees out of
Guantanamo."

But the only option to get sergeant Bergdahl was a prisoner trade. There
was no military option on this discussion. So was Senator Ayotte just
playing politics two weeks ago or is that what she`s doing now?

MILBANK: Well, I think in Senator`s Ayotte`s view, this whole mission had
a fatal flaw and that is, it was undertaken by Obama administration. So
the idea is he will be opposed regardless of what he did.

Now, let`s suppose he wound down the operation in Afghanistan and left this
guy behind, then they would be saying ah-ha! It actually is just like
Benghazi, they left these guys behind. Or suppose he just, you know,
decided to do a Dick Cheney and just pursue the war there until they found
this guy dead or alive. That really would have worked out well for the
United States.

So the president was damned no matter what direction he was going to take
on this. And I think you see a lot of opportunism in saying well, it`s a
convenient way to say they disagree now.

SHARPTON: But that is point, if it`s President Barack Obama no matter what
they`re going to find a way to rip it and they are going to find a way to
oppose it no matter what.

Dana, opportunism and Obama both start with "o."

MILBANK: There`s a pattern here.

SHARPTON: There is a pattern here.

BALL: We need an investigation.

SHARPTON: But you know, interesting, Krystal, retired general Stanley
McChrystal is a critic of the deal to rescue Sergeant Bergdahl today.
Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STANLEY MCCHRYSTAL, RETIRED GENERAL: We don`t leave Americans behind.
That`s unequivocal. Anyone who serves has a responsibility to the people
they serve with, but also we as a nation have a responsibility to those who
serve. We`ve got a service member for whom we`re responsible, the answer
is pretty clear.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, we`re adults. Come in the room like general McChrystal
and say things like this, will this end this kind of back and forward?

BALL: I think the American people are going to move on from this. I think
they`re glad that Sergeant Bergdahl is home and understand the difficult
choice that was made. The Republican-based will hold on to it, however.
And I just -- one last point and general McChrystal was alluding to this.

The conversation over whether or not Bowe Bergdahl deserted, I think, has
no place here. We don`t pick and choose which soldiers we are going to
make sure we retrieve, right? We can answer those questions through an
investigation. Those questions will be answered. But we don`t leave
anyone behind. We don`t question their actions. We don`t say we liked
them, we didn`t like them so we not going to go after them. We bring them
back, that`s what we do, that`s our values.

SHARPTON: And if you go into a pick and choose, who does the picking and
choosing, Dana? If the president says I decide this one is worth going
after no, I decide this one is not, then you are talking about an imperial
presidency.

MILBANK: That`s a good point, Rev. And I should point out that Sharpton
and smart both start with the letter "s."

SHARPTON: You know, I always liked you, too, Dana.

Dana Milbank and Krystal Ball, thanks for your time tonight.

BALL: Thanks, Rev.

MILBANK: Thanks, Rev.

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

Coming up, there`s a new outbreak of Obama derangement syndrome on the far
right. Tonight, Doctor Sharpton has the diagnosis and the cure.

Plus, Democrats go on the attack for 2014 starting with the gun toning hard
cash fading Republican in Iowa. Is she really their hope for taking back
the Senate?

Plus Justin Bieber and the n-word controversy. What should he do now for
making up the use of this racial slur as a younger teenager? I`ll weigh in
tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Justin Bieber using the n-word is one of the most talked about
stories of the day. Two videos have emerged in the last week showing
Justin Bieber using the n-word repeatedly has a teenager. He`s apologized
for his comments, saying he didn`t understand the power of those words or
how hurtful it could be.

We want to know, do you accept his apology for using the n-word as a
teenager? Yes? No? Or maybe. But he should do more to address the
issue. The poll is live on our facebook page and on twitter. So vote now.
And be sure to leave a comment. We`ll have your answers later in the show.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I`m never surprised by controversies whipped up in Washington.
Right? That`s par for the course.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The president is never surprised, but I bet he`s disappointed by
the latest attack on the right. On Saturday, sergeant Bowe Bergdahl`s
father spoke briefly in Arabic and Pashto, thinking that after years of not
hearing English, his son might have trouble understanding him. But over at
FOX News, they are pushing a different theory.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: So exactly, what message was he trying to
sent here. But what he sent on Sunday and what he sent in the Rose Garden,
why lead is suggesting that he was declaring the Muslim victory call and
then the president smiles when he does it as soon as he hears. He calls it
the war cry of Allah.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The president smiles when he hears the quote, war cry of Allah?

Former congressman Alan West jumped on this conspiracy posting on his Web
site quote "by uttering these words on the grounds of the White House,
Bergdahl the father sanctified the White House and claimed it for Islam.
There`s no question but Potus knows this."

And if there was any question what they`re implying, right wing radio show
host Brian Fisher laid it all out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN FISHER, RADIO SHOW HOST: When the father of Bowe Bergdahl started
praising Allah in the Rose Garden, speaking in Arabic, giving thanks to
Allah, President Obama`s face lit up like a Christmas tree. (INAUDIBLE).
Everybody in D.C. believes that secretly he is a Muslim and when President
Obama does stuff like this, it starts making that explanation easier and
easier to believe.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The President is a secret Muslim. It`s downright ugly. And
proof that some on the right are just chomping at the bit to revive these
ugly smears.

Joining me now are Joe Madison and Joe Conason.

Thank you both for being here.

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

JOE CONASON, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF AT THE NATIONAL MEMO: Pleasure, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Joe Conason, I can understand why people disagree with the
president`s policies, but suggesting he`s a Muslim and sympathizing with
terrorists, I mean, isn`t something out of bounds?

CONASON: Not anymore, Rev. I mean, this has been a theme that they`ve
pursued with this president from almost from beginning, the secret Muslim.
Do you remember the Madrasa that he supposedly went to? CNN went to that
supposed Madrasa and then exposed it as just a regular school.

But they will decide, and they left that. They forget about that. That
was over, so they moved on to the next thing. It will never stop. The
reason is he won reelection. He defeated them. It was the same thing with
Clinton and I wrote about that.

Yes. So, they don`t like to lose. They don`t like to lose, I will say, to
an African-American Democrat especially. Or as they used to say about
Clinton, the first black president. I mean, there`s a whole range of
reasons why they cannot accept him. And when I say that, I`m talking about
a minority of Americans obviously, but very loud. They have FOX News.
They have a whole host of a huge media machine and they will never stop
with this. Muslim is the convenient slur to use against him.

Now, what you have to wonder about in this case is, why wouldn`t they want
to discuss this on the merits. The reason is, on the one side, you have
the Pentagon, right? The department of defense, generals, the military
code of conduct, all of which were carry -- you know, were support what the
president as commander-in-chief did in this case.

On the other side, you have, you know, FOX News, Alan West, I mean, a bunch
of crazies who are saying he shouldn`t have done this. But you know, we
have procedures. We have due process in this country. And we have values
and one of them is, don`t leave a soldier in the battlefield.

SHARPTON: Don`t leave a soldier in the battlefield, Joe Madison. How do
you view with these smears now being revived when we are dealing with some
fundamental? You don`t leave a soldier in the battlefield.

MADISON: Do you think that we would have ever, any of us here would have
ever, anyone listening would have r seen the day when we would actually
hear that a red blooded American young man is worthless than five Taliban?
Because that`s what they`re really saying.

I never thought I would live to see that day happen. And yet here is
exactly what we have. The reality is you heard a second rate talk show
personality tell you that everybody in Washington, D.C. secretly believes
that President Obama is a Muslim when he declared that Jesus Christ is his
lord and savior. He`s married in a Christian church. He attends service
on Easter across the street at St. John (INAUDIBLE) church. And by the
way, this building behind me is what in Washington, D.C.? And I can tell
you, there are literally hundreds of thousands of people who know he is
what he says he is.

And by the way, reality is, there are a lot of Muslims who serve this
country, love this country and thank God that, you know, that these few
people that we`re talking about. But I tell you one thing, and I said this
again, and you said it in the last segment, and I said this on your show,
this is about impeachment. And they really don`t care whether they find
him guilty or not. They want to taint his legacy.

SHARPTON: Let`s stay right there. Because Joe Conason, you wrote about
Clinton on this, probably as well or better than anyone. And when Barack
Obama as president took bin Laden out, he took away their military attacks
from the Republicans. Now they` been trying to do anything they can to re-
grab or to be able to grab again the military attacks on the president so
they are using this and then take this to impeachment. You saw the same
trend with Bill Clinton.

CONASON: Yes. And you know, I have to say, I`ve been predicting they were
going to impeach Barack Obama from before the reelection. I said f he is
reelected, they will -- there will be a group in the house that would seek
to impeach him. And certainly, if they get control of the senate this
fall, they will pursue it. There is no question about it.

Joe Madison is correct. This is an attempt to taint his legacy. They will
never be able to convict him of anything because he hasn`t done anything
wrong. But they still will attempt to smear his legacy.

SHARPTON: You know, Joe, the hypocrisy here is just so blatant. When you
look at Ayotte and especially McCain who have said go and get Bergdahl, we
even discussed trading prisoners of war. Now they`ve done 180 degrees
turn. I mean, it is blatant hypocrisy. .

MADISON: And we have seen what, President, and we saw former President
Bush, I think it was some 500 prisoners that he let loose in Gitmo.

But you know, the biggest hypocrite of all, the biggest hypocrite of all
and I worked with him at a local radio situation here was Oliver North.

SHARPTON: Yes.

MADISON: It was absolutely amazing to see Oliver North weigh in on this
controversy. Now, hypocrisy was him standing up in a marine uniform
testifying when, in fact, what he did, he wasn`t even in the marines at the
time. He did it as a civilian.

SHARPTON: It`s amazing. But you know, Joe Conason, it also is a striking
to me when you look at the fact that they are really implying, we should
leave someone to die, not giving any kind of investigation, not having any
due process, we decided that he was a deserter, or worse, leave him there
and let him die.

CONASON: Well, I said earlier today, that they`ve organized themselves
into a kind of media lynch mob against Bowe Bergdahl. And I reiterate that
now. That we have in this country, if you`re a libertarian, a liberal, a
conservative, whatever you are, you are supposed to believe, we all
supposed to believe in due process of law. We are all supposed to believe
in the presumption of innocents. Bill Krystal and the rest of the right
wing mop that`s howling about how we should have left him there, that`s a
complete violation of the most basic American principle. These are people
who claim to believe in the constitution. They`re the constitutionalists.
No, they are not. They`re violating the spirit and letter of the
constitution right now.

MADISON: They`re nihilists.

SHARPTON: I`m going to have to leave it there. Thank you, Joe and Joe.

Joe Madison and Joe Conason, thank you for your time tonight.

MADISON: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

Still ahead, the Justin Bieber n-word controversy. What`s his
responsibility for making this right?

And the tea partier who may wreck the Republican`s big party this year.
That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)

SHARPTON: That`s right, "night court" is back with a real live version
playing out in Mississippi. It involves tea party Senate candidate Chris
McDaniel.

Police are investigating why three of his supporters were found locked in a
courthouse overnight until nearly 4:00 in the morning. The same courthouse
where primary ballots were kept following Tuesday`s primary election.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: According to Haines (ph) county election
commission, (INAUDIBLE) the three came into the building by a door in the
back that was left open by accident. She says she doesn`t know what they
were doing there and doesn`t buy their story.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it`s rather strange someone would be out
around 1:00 in the morning wanting to observe the electoral process.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It is rather strange, isn`t it? Especially since one of those
people was McDaniel`s campaign coalition coordinator Scott Bruster (ph).

And even though it sure looks fishy, the McDaniel campaign says it cans
explain the whole thing. Saying, quote, "Our campaign sent people to
obtain the outstanding numbers and observe the count. They entered the
courthouse through an open door after being directed by uniformed
personnel."

Too bad the sheriff`s office says that alibi, quote, "is a fabrication of
total misrepresentation of fact." Oh, oh. No wonder Democrats are on the
offensive in the state. And that`s a story line we`re seeing play out all
over the country. More on that, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: For months, Republicans have been yammering about winning back
the Senate. Well, Democrats have news for them, not so fast. In race
after race, they`re pushing back hard against the GOP. Like in Iowa, for
example. Republican Joni Ernst became famous with this ad --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STATE SEN. JONI ERNST (R), IOWA: I`m Joni Ernst. I grew up castrating
hogs on an Iowa farm. So when I get to Washington I`ll know how to cut
pork. Washington is full of big spenders. Let`s make them squeal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: She`s squealing all right, because her democratic opponent just
went live with this ad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We`ve all heard the one about pigs squealing, but when
Joni Ernst had the chance to do something in Iowa, we didn`t hear a peep.
She backed measures to actually increase spending.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And that`s not all, in Michigan, the republican candidate there
has been touting her humble upbringings in a trailer park, but a democratic
opponent is offering up the full story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: She grew up in a trailer park and motel owned by her
grandparents. Terri Lynn Land worked her way up.

But that`s not the whole story. Years later, Terri Lynn Land bought that
property and evicted the 170 families living there. One hundred seventy
families told to get out.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: In race after race, Democrats are exposing the other side`s real
record. The GOP thought it could moonwalk into the Senate this year. Too
bad voters might be telling them to take a hike come November.

Joining me now is Benjy Sarlin, political reporter for MSNBC. His article
today is titled Democratic Party draws blood early in key Senate races.
And democratic strategist Angela Rye, thank you both for come on the show
tonight.

ANGELA RYE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thanks, Rev.

BENJY SARLIN, MSNBC.COM POLITICAL REPORTER: Thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: Benjy, Republicans have been measuring the drapes in the Senate,
but it`s not going as planned, is it?

SARLIN: Well, they definitely have a superior map to Democrats. There`s a
lot of Democrats playing defense and like to talk about how all these
fundamentals are so great for them. Obama`s approval rating is so low in a
lot of these states. But at the end of the day, it is a collection of
individual races. And a lot of these races, democratic candidates have
been working very hard and spending a lot of money very early to make sure
that the other candidate looks as bad as possible as early as possible.
They don`t want them to get any footing at all. And what we`ve seen in
some of the early polling is that it`s catching them a little off-guard.

In Michigan for example, Terry Lynn Land was leading a lot of polls a
couple of months ago. Then after this barrage of negative attacks from
Gary Peters, she`s behind in every poll they`ve taken recently. And not
only that, some of the polls find that she`s becoming personally unpopular.
So the story about humble beginnings that you alluded to there no longer
seems to be resonating the way it was before. We`ve seen this in a number
of other races. So, while the fundamentals in many ways still favor
Republicans, they still have to actually close the deal. And in some of
these dirty street fight races, they might not just have the toughness to
get through them.

SHARPTON: You know, Angela, in Arkansas, for example, democrat Mark Pryor
has been hitting all his opponent`s support for far right economic issues.
Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I`ve been married to the same wonderful man for 37
years and we have two great kids. Retirement is just around the corner for
us. That`s why I was so concerned when I read Congressman Cotton voted to
change Medicare into a voucher system.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, add to that is the fact that the Democrats in that state
are trying to get an initiative raising the minimum wage on the ballot.
Now how important will this focus on economic issues be in getting
Democrats out to vote, Angela?

RYE: I think it`s immensely important. In part because it demonstrates
the hypocritical nature of the candidates that the GOP continues to put on
the ballot all over this country, with the message that they`re sending
loud and clear is that we can talk that talk but we`re not about that life.
And that life in this instance is about fair wages, ensuring that women are
paid on par with their male counterparts, and ensuring that people
regardless of their racial background and in part regardless of their
experience have access to job opportunities. And that is not the message
that the GOP send either on the hill nor is it what they send as was stated
earlier in these individual races. That is not the record that they
demonstrate. And it`s certainly not the message either.

SHARPTON: You know, Benjy, I know that in your article today that the
democratic strategy, and let me quote directly from the article, it says,
"To the extent that there`s been a unifying theme to the democratic
offense, it`s been the ongoing effort to portray republican hopefuls as
irreconcilably captured by their party`s right flank. The rise of the Tea
party has pushed republican candidates into near uniform positions on most
partisan issues." Elaborate.

SARLIN: You`re absolutely right. And Arkansas which you just mentioned is
an excellent example. Now come Cotton is someone who came into the House
during that kind of Tea Party wave around 2010 and as such, as someone who
is a rising republican star, he`s pretty much voted with the conservative
side all the way through. So now when it comes to an election like the
Senate election, the general election, he doesn`t have a lot to show his
independence. He`s pretty much sided with the right on everything. And
Democrats are really using that to their advantage against him. Not just
on issues like the Ryan budget, but on issues that affect the state. For
example, the farm bill, which is very important, agriculture, Arkansas.

SHARPTON: Right.

SARLIN: He sided with the Tea Party and opposing it because it was too
generous with food stamps. They`re hitting him very hard over that.

SHARPTON: Now, Angela, you know, there`s a big reason why control of the
Senate is so important. Senator Ted Cruz crystallize that even himself
when he said, quote, "To successfully impeach a president, you need the
votes in the U.S. Senate." This is a clear statement and one that could
also energize a democratic vote.

RYE: It absolutely could and it should. Because their intentions have
been clear from the midterms coming into these midterms to the 2012,
they`ve been talking about impeaching this president since the first term.
We know that Mitch McConnell said -- had every intention to ensure that
this president would be a one-term president. While their wishes did not
come true, and perhaps their nightmares did, Democrats have to ensure that
they`re not only going to the polls but they`re going to the polls in
numbers. This is a different day and age, Rev. We are post McCutchen from
the Supreme Court and post Citizens United, it`s not just the votes that
count, it`s the dollars as well. And that is why you`re seeing Democrats
in all of these different states hit so hard so early with these
advertisements.

SHARPTON: Benjy Sarlin and Angela Rye, thank you both for your time
tonight.

RYE: Thanks so much, Rev.

SARLIN: Thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, tonight`s justice files. Did a judge get off easy
after putting a rapist in jail for just 30 days? And should a pair of 12-
year-old girls be tried as adults in the Gory Slenderman knife attacks.
Also this --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I said sit down. If you want to fight, let`s go out
back and I`ll just beat your (bleep).

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: A judge and a lawyer literally get into a fistfight. That`s
next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s time for "The Justice Files." Joining me now criminal
defense Attorney Eric Guster and former prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst
Faith Jenkins. Thank you both for being here.

FAITH JENKINS, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Thank you.

ERIC GUSTER, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Let`s start in Montana where the ruling handed down against a
judge. Judge G. Todd Baugh, sent a former high schoolteacher to jail for
only 31 days for raping a 14-year-old student. That victim killed herself
before the trial. Judge Baugh said, the victim was, quote, "As much in
control of the situation as the teacher." And that she was, quote, "older
than her chronological age." Now, the Supreme Court has given Judge Baugh
a public reprimand and a 31-day suspension, one day for each day he gave
the rapist.

Faith, does this suspension go far enough? Or is it a slap on the wrist?

JENKINS: Oh, it`s a slap on the wrist. He should not be a judge. He does
not have the discretion to be a judge. Based on everything you just said
about him, his reasoning is completely warped. And unfortunately, it
reflects a view in our society about people and their views on rape. He
didn`t think that this was a real rape. And he talked about why in the
circumstances around that. And unfortunately, he continues to perpetuate a
stereotype of blaming the victim. It`s the victim`s fault. It`s the
woman`s fault. And it`s the woman`s responsibility not to be raped and
when she is, she`s to blame.

SHARPTON: And when the courts come back and only reprimand them with 31
days a day upholding this perception. Or is there some merit to the
judge`s finding?

GUSTER: Well, they`re not necessarily upholding this perception. However
Reverend Al, when you have cases like this, and situations like this, they
have to look at what the sentencing guidelines may have called for in this
particular case. If he was within the sentencing guidelines, then he may
not have done something wrong. He should not have said what he said about
the rape, however, he may have not done anything wrong in the eyes of the
laws or the rules.

SHARPTON: What sentencing guidelines would give you 31 days for rape?

JENKINS: Well, actually, he came back and said that he made a mistake and
he apologized for that and that man is going to be resentenced because he
said that when he made the ruling that he did not act ethically. And
that`s what you have to look at with our judges. When you look at judges
and they sit in court, people may have these views in our society, but you
don`t expect a judge, a person who`s supposed to have a discretion and
supposed to sit above all of these stereotypes and to be able to rule in
fairness and in equity when they`re dealing with people, you don`t expect
them to be able to perpetuate the stereotype that you hear other people
talking about.

SHARPTON: If you`re looking at the legal definition of rape or actual real
life of rape, what does the appearance or nonappearance of the victim have
to do with the crime?

GUSTER: This is a statutory rape case based upon age and that`s what the
problem is in this particular issue. Now, rape is rape from my perspective
and the way everyone should believe it. However, some people don`t view
statutory rape as serious as a forcible rape. Although rape is rape and it
should be sentenced.

SHARPTON: All right. Now to a disturbing story. We`re not going to get
agreement there. Disturbing story -- out of Wisconsin. Two girls tried
for trying to stab their friend to death to please a mythical monster from
the internet. The suspects are only 12 years old so MSNBC will not
identify them. The two suspects invited the victim to a sleepover, then
stabbed her 19 times. She`s now in stable condition with injuries to major
organs. One suspect told the police that Slenderman, a fictional internet
character, both girls apparently thought was real demanded they kill to
show their dedication to him. One lawyer says his client is mentally ill
and should be hospitalized. But both girls are being charged as adults.
With first degree attempted murder.

Eric, this is a disturbing story. Two girls trying to kill their friend,
but they should be tried as adults. Should they or should they not?

GUSTER: They should be tried as juveniles. When a case like this comes up
Reverend Al, this is a prime case for rehabilitation. That`s what juvenile
court is for. To rehabilitate the offender. Just like the defense lawyer
asks for a mental evaluation which is clearly an issue, these girls, these
children thought that Slenderman told them to kill someone. That shows
that they don`t have the capacity to actually think clearly and that there
still juveniles.

SHARPTON: Faith?

JENKINS: When you tried 12-year-olds as adult, in case like this. First
of all, this is a state where if you`re 10 and older and you`re charged
with attempted murder or murder, you are placed into the adult system.
They`re not saying that these 12-year-olds are actually adults. They`re
saying that they don`t believe that juvenile jurisdiction will do this case
justice. Because under the juvenile system, these girls will be released
at a -- and I think in this case as 25, the prosecutors don`t know if they
will be rehabilitated between now when they`re 12 years old and perhaps
when they`re 25 years old. If you`re in the adult system, they can
incarcerate them longer, they can seek rehabilitation now.

And when you look at the seriousness of this crime and the level of
premeditation and planning, and I always said as a prosecutor when I get
stabbing cases, there`s something very vicious about a person who can stab
someone repeatedly, see the blood, see the pain and keep going and even one
of the girls said that she didn`t really feel any remorse allegedly.

GUSTER: And that`s where mental evaluation comes into place. For someone
to do this, something must be mentally wrong with them. This is not
normal. And that`s why I think they should consider that.

SHARPTON: This is a gruesome case. We`ll certainly be following this one.
Finally we turn to Florida. And a scene of a courtroom brawl between a
county judge and a public defender over whether a defendant should waive
his right to a speedy trial.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You know, if I had a rock, I would throw it at you right
now. Stop pissing me off. Just sit down. I`ll take care of it. I don`t
need your help.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You know, what, I`m the public defender, I have a right
to be here and I have a right to stand and represent my client.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I said sit down. If you want to fight, let`s go out
back and I`ll just beat your (bleep).

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Let`s go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: They literally took it outside. Into a hallway with no cameras,
but you can hear the sounds of the fight.

(Screaming)

Two deputies broke it out. Faith, have you ever heard of anything like
this?

JENKINS: No, and I have judges, they get very upset with attorneys and
they`ve exchanged worst, but I`ve never seen it taken to this level in
court where they`re actually exchanging fists. I mean, this judge was
completely inappropriate. You cannot tell an attorney you`re going to beat
their you know what, and then get off the bench and actually do it and
follow up on it.

SHARPTON: Eric, what`s the craziest thing you`ve seen in court?

GUSTER: Well, I`ve seen something nut, a challenge to a fight, but we have
a judge in our jurisdiction who doesn`t want you to have preliminary
hearings. I`ve had that judge on the record to tell me I should not have a
preliminary hearing for my client and that`s why I go and I fight for
justice.

SHARPTON: But you don`t fight in the hallway?

GUSTER: I won`t fight in the hallway. No, I won`t. But sometimes judges
abuse their leadership, they abuse their positions. And this is a clear
case where he did.

SHARPTON: It`s amazing. Eric Guster and Faith Jenkins, I`ve seen a lot of
courtrooms. But I have never seen the hallway brawl. Thank you both for
your time tonight.

JENKINS: Thank you.

GUSTER: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, Justin Bieber and the n-word. He`s apologized, but
is this the end of the story? Your pole results and my thoughts are next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: And now it`s time for our question of the day. Do you accept
Justin Bieber`s apology for using the n-word as a teenager? Twenty eight
percent of POLITICS NATION says yes, 50 percent say no and 21 percent say
maybe but he needs to do more to address the issue.

Susan says, "This a "Maya Angelou" moment when someone shows you who they
are, believe them the first time. Kanye says, I say to Justin, think
before you speak and you will be fine. It takes a big heart to accept an
apology as such. But why not?" Thanks to all who voted. You can join the
conversation by heading to our Facebook page and give your two cents.
Please let us know your opinion. And I`ll tell you what I think about this
issue. Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Finally tonight, Justin Bieber and those n-word videos that came
out this week. Here`s what we`re talking about, in the first video a 15-
year-old Bieber says, "Why are black people afraid of chain saws?" He goes
on to answer n-word, n-word, n-word. Bieber apologized for it. But then
yesterday, TMZ posted a second video that shows Bieber using the n-word
again, this time when he was 14. In this video, Bieber uses the n-word in
a parody of one of his own songs and jokes about joining the KKK.

Again, Bieber apologized saying, quote, "I just hope that the next 14-year-
old kid who doesn`t understand the power of these words does not make the
same mistakes I made years ago. Once again, I am sorry for all those I`ve
let down and offended."

I commend Bieber for his swift apologies but I do condemn his use of the
word. I do not condemn him as a person because we all grow. But I condemn
his words because of the culture equality it creates. This is another
teachable moment. No one, no one should use the n-word. It has no place
anywhere in our culture. Not in sports, and not in music. I`ve been
speaking out against the n-word for years including its use in music.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Some of this stuff has to be challenged. I mean -- I said we
have to bury the n-word. Some of my friends got mad, we can`t bury the n-
word. I said it`s bad, we`ve all used it, but it gives a wrong self-
definition. Wrong self image. We cannot let our children grow thinking
that they`re nothing. Because once you adjust to being nothing, people can
do anything to you because you accept that you`re nothing in the first
place.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The use of the n-word is nothing to be excused. All of us have
said things that we regret, but then we should correct it and stand for one
standard. Every ethnic group and sexual orientation in this country, you
cannot say certain words and you shouldn`t because it`s hate speech. We
can`t have one group that there`s no bad word for, we must have standards
for everyone or not have standards for anyone.

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.
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