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PoliticsNation, Friday, June 6th, 2014

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June 6, 2014

Guest: Eric Boehlert, Ed Rendell, Susan Milligan, Allison Samuels

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks to you for tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, the GOP`s rush to judgment. Republicans don`t care about
the facts of sergeant Bergdahl`s capture and release. They only care about
their pet talking points. But the reality is a lot more complicated.

Today, "The New York Times" reported that two times, twice prior to
Bergdahl`s capture by the Taliban, he had wandered away from assigned
areas, including once from a training range in California. These past
incidents raise big questions about his 2009 disappearance. Whether
Bergdahl was, quote, "a deserter who simply slipped away for a short
adventure and was then captured is one of the many mysteries the military
is investigating."

We don`t have the details yet. But many Republicans have now stopped even
pretending they care about the facts. Senator John McCain is a leading
critic of the release. He said the administration`s briefing this week
failed to sway him.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I learned nothing in this briefing nor did
I expect to learn anything in the briefing. I can`t comment on what went
on there, except that I didn`t learn anything I didn`t already know which
is true.


SHARPTON: He learned nothing from the briefing? Maybe that`s because he
didn`t listen to it.

"The Huffington Post" reports quote "Senator John McCain stayed long enough
to ask a question but he walked out shortly after shouting at an official
over an unsatisfactory answer."

What a surprise he didn`t learn anything. He was too busy shouting. And
look, there`s GOP senator Saxby Chambliss, just like Senator McCain racing
out of the briefing before it ended. Moments later he popped up on FOX


In fact, the briefing is still going on, but I don`t see how anybody can
walk out of there with any kind of comfortable feeling that the
administration from a notification standpoint, and I emphasize that, did
what they should have done.


SHARPTON: That`s ridiculous. The senator skips out of the briefing so he
can complain about the briefing on FOX News? We`ve seen GOP lawmakers
admit outright they don`t care about getting all the facts.


REP. AARON SCHOCK (R), ILLINOIS: I don`t need to know more of the story.
The guy deserted his post. His bad behavior does not need to be rewarded.
And quite frankly, I don`t need to know more information about whether his
health might have been in jeopardy or not.


SHARPTON: He doesn`t need to know more of this story. This is callous,
reckless and it lays bare the true Republican motive here, smear first, ask
questions later or not at all, even if it means going after an American
prisoner of war.

Joining me now are E.J. Dionne and Ryan Grim. Thank you both for being


Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: E.J., Is the GOP strategy on Bergdahl to go on the attack
without worrying about the facts?

DIONNE: Well, that`s certainly what the Congressman Schocks suggests. I
don`t need to know anymore. I tell you what bothers me most about this
whole thing. If people who serve, soldiers who were on the ground with him
have -- are unhappy about what he did or angry about what he did, and that
he should be held accountable for that, they have every right to say that.
They were there and we can see what happens.

What really is, I think, indecent is for people safe in their offices or in
their studios here to condemn a man who volunteered to serve for his
country before he even has a chance to come back and tell his side of the

It seems to me that he volunteered to serve in our military, and the least
we owe him is a chance to talk about what happened before you go out there
and condemn a guy on the basis of limited information.

SHARPTON: You know, Ryan, GOP congressman Duncan Hunter is using Bergdahl
to launch ugly attacks, even on secretary of state John Kerry. John Kerry
is now a man who was wounded in battle and received three purple hearts.
Listen to what Congressman Duncan Hunter said about this man.


REP. DUNCAN HUNTER (R), CALIFORNIA: As John Kerry threw the medals over
the White House fence and turned his back on all of his Vietnam brothers
and sisters, that`s what Bergdahl did. Bergdahl walked away from his men
and he left them in a bad spot.


SHARPTON: I mean, it`s an ugly attack, Ryan. But here`s what makes it
even worse. Back in 2009, 22 lawmakers sent a letter to FOX saying that
calling Bergdahl a deserter was beyond the pale. They demanded an apology.
And it was signed by Congressman Duncan Hunter who`s now attacking Bergdahl
and Secretary Kerry. I mean, do Republicans like Duncan Hunter really
think they can get away with this kind of hypocrisy?

GRIM: What you`re highlights here is I think, you know, at once the most
enlightening and also the scariest aspect of this. It shows the immense
overwhelming power that FOX News and drudge has over not just Republican
members of Congress, as you showed, all those people flipped, but over just
rank and file Republicans, grassroots Republicans across the country.

You know, for the last several years, you know, many of them have been
petitioning the White House, do anything you can to get this man freed.
And for years, it has been reported that if there was a swap, it would be
these five Taliban prisoners for Bergdahl. And so many Republicans were on
twitter signing petitions, demanding that he be released.

The minute that it becomes clear that the new line, the new FOX News drudge
Republican line is that Obama made a mistake by doing this and he is a
traitor that ought to be impeached, all of a sudden you see these
grassroots Republicans who aren`t being paid to do this change their minds.
In other words, you`re watching the manufacturing of a will, you know, the
will of people is almost for sale here. It`s just been such a stunning
thing to watch.

SHARPTON: And talking about changing positions, E.J., "The New York Times"
is going after Senator McCain for criticizing the prison trade after saying
that he would support it.

Quote, "the instant the Obama administration actually made that trade, Mr.
McCain, as he is so often in the past, switched positions for maximum
political advantage."

This hypocrisy now pervades the Republican Party. Now, E.J., listen to
senator McCain as to what he was saying in February and compare to what
he`s saying now.


MCCAIN: This idea is for an exchange of prisoners for our American
fighting men. I would be inclined to support such a thing depending on a
lot of the details.

This decision to bring sergeant Bergdahl home, and we applaud that he is
home, is ill founded, it is a mistake.


SHARPTON: I mean, it`s the kind of sharp reversal we`re seeing all over
the GOP, isn`t it, E.J.?

DIONNE: Well, I have to say, I find it particularly disappointing in John
McCain. I disagree with him on a lot of stuff, but I admire him. I mean,
he was a POW himself for five and a half years. He`s known to be
frustrated with President Obama`s policy in Afghanistan.

I just think it`s really unfortunate that having said a, he is now saying
z. And you know, I would like to see him explain it more. But more
generally, you saw a kind of lock step thing happen. You had a lot of
Republicans put up tweets immediately after the announcement that sergeant
Bergdahl was freed saying this is a great thing. And then they turned
around and they took the tweets down when the talking points changed.

It`s really stunning. And you know perfectly well that if sergeant
Bergdahl had died, God forbid, in captivity, the same people would be
condemning President Obama for not getting sergeant Bergdahl out. It`s a
terrible thing when it comes to this in foreign policy. It sends a bad
signal to our allies and our enemies that we can`t get by with each other
on a matter of this sort.

SHARPTON: Yes. You know, Ryan, it seems no matter what, they`re going to
go after this president no matter what he does, no matter what the results
are. For example, Congressman Steve Stockman is using the prisoner tried
as an excuse to launch vile attacks. I mean really vile attacks on the
president. Listen to this.


REP. STEVE STOCKMAN (R), TEXAS: This guy, the president, apparently has a
grudge against the military and the American people. He let go five
terrorists on to the United States, this propensity to fall again and again
on the side of terrorists. The pattern is there that he has sympathies to
traditional American values.


SHARPTON: I mean, to say this is over the top is an understatement.

GRIM: Right. That`s exactly right. You know, covering politics in
Washington, you can get cynical at times. But this one really pierced the
veil. I mean, this one takes it to an entirely new level. I don`t really
understand how people with children can go out and attack this soldier`s
father? Say that he`s a bad father for studying his captors. And before
we`ve even heard from the guy, start questioning the decision to bring him

You know, this is an American soldier. This is somebody who volunteered to
serve the country. We don`t hold administrative hearings and kind of weigh
the worthiness of a soldier before we go out and rescue them. The
principle is that you don`t leave anybody behind. There are no exceptions
to that. And I think in their heart of hearts, you know, they know that,
yet they`re on TV, you know, and they`re saying it anyway, which is just --
it`s a reality disheartening and sad chapter I think in our politics.

SHARPTON: It`s simply unbelievable. It`s almost inconceivable, because
what are we saying to our military men? You have to qualify now for the
country to go rescue you if you`re held captive. You have to prove
yourself to be loyal to the policies or something? I mean, what are we are
saying to our people in the military. It`s unprincipled. It`s

E.J. Dionne, Ryan, I`m going to have to leave it there. Thanks for your
time tonight. Both of you have a good weekend.

DIONNE: You, too, Rev.

GRIM: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, they distort. You decide. The right wing is trying
to smear sergeant Bergdahl as a terrorist. But you won`t believe what the
attacks are based on.

And also, who`s better on jobs, President Obama or President Bush? It`s
the GOP`s dirty little secret they don`t want to talk about.

Also, Senator Michelle Obama, how does that sound to you? New buzz today
about what she might be doing after the White House.

Big show tonight. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: There`s lots of new speculation today about first lady Michelle
Obama and the possibility she could run for senator in 2016. It`s an
interesting idea. The first lady has certainly proven herself on the
campaign trail. But if she ever runs, the attacks from the right would
likely get even nastier than they already are.

So what do you think? Will Michelle Obama ever run for office? Yes, no or
too soon to tell. 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.


SHARPTON: It is clear tonight, we don`t have all the facts about Sergeant
Bergdahl. But that`s the military is investigating. But that hasn`t stops
the right from doing its best to drag his name through the mud, their
latest attack calling him a jihadist.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: FOX News obtained secret documents showing Sergeant
Bowe Bergdahl declared jihad in 2010 while in captivity.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A dark side of Bowe Bergdahl`s time in captivity, a
conversion to Islam, a declaration of jihad and more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He also described himself as (INAUDIBLE), converted to
Islam, refer to himself as a warrior to Islam.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: During this broadcast, we will investigate whether
the White House knew about his alleged conversion to Islam and his
declaration that he was now a Jihadi.


SHARPTON: One FOX host went so far as to ask, quote, "did we trade five
Islamic warriors for one Islamic warrior?"

The whole thing stems from this FOX News report which claims secret
documents show Bergdahl declared jihad in captivity. Those documents come
from a spy agency called the Eclipse Group which even FOX owned report
acknowledges is a shadowy private firm.

The FOX report goes on to say "The New York Times" described this group`s
work as an amalgam of fact, rumor, analysis, and uncorroborated reports.

So FOX admits the information comes from a shadowy spy firm that traffics
and rumors are non-corroborated reports and then they`re repeating it

The man behind the firm is named Duane Dewey Clarridge. He`s a former
senior operations officer for the CIA who was indicted for lying to
Congress in the Iran contra scandal and later pardoned by the first
President Bush. In 2010, Clarridge lost the contract with the defense
department then spent $50,000 of his own money to keep up his rogue`s
spying operation on Bergdahl.

Getting information from Clarridge would be like getting expertise from
Oliver North, the other guy at the center of Iran contra. That`s right,
Clarridge and North are still buddy. And "The New York Times" said
Clarridge often shares his intelligence with Ollie North, now a FOX News

We don`t know what Bergdahl said or was coerced into saying while he was in
captivity. But spearing him based on information from to a guy best known
for lying to Congress? That`s a real scandal.

Joining me now is Eric Boehlert, senior fellow at Media Matters.

Thanks for being here tonight, Eric.


SHARPTON: You track this stuff. You`re used to seeing attacks on
politicians. But going after a soldier, is this unusual even for FOX?

BOEHLERT: Nothing is unusual for FOX anymore, right? So I don`t think
anyone when the story broke over the weekend thought we would be where we
are now, trashing a prisoner of war from a red state, trashing his family,
trashing the town.

But this is the end -- this is the goal line FOX wanted to get to. He`s a
traitor and a jihadist. So, the beginning of the week was well, he wasn`t
really a good guy. He might have been a deserter, et cetera. But they
really wanted to get, he was a terrorist. He was a terrorist sympathizer.

So basically this report is dumpster diving. It is what it is. No other
news organization will touch this. But they have their narrative, and as
you showed, now they just repeat it. The bubble has been sealed within FOX
News within the right wing noise machine. This is now fact and this is now
what everyone assumes is the narrative. And so, that`s what they spent the
weekend doing, turning him into a terrorist.

SHARPTON: You know, the group that they got this so-called information,
these documents from, in 2011 "The New York Times" did a profile of Duane
Dewet Clarridge, FOX`s source, its latest source. The Times says quote
"from pool side near his home at San Diego, he still runs a network of
spies." And the "the Times" say much of his intelligence appears to be
based on rumors from talk at village bizarre are rehashes of press reports.

So this is a guy running a spy agency from his swimming pool and some of
his dispatchers are based raced on rumors from bazaars? I mean, shouldn`t
they take this stuff from a huge grain of salt?

BOEHLERT: Yes, a huge grain of salt. But again, you know, Ryan and E.J.
were talking about how this informs the whole FOX viewers. And on my
twitter feed, I`m being told these are government documents. You know,
that`s what people on FOX News think. They think these are Pentagon
documents, they think these are CIA documents. Because again, the
repetition, the repetition, secret documents, they don`t realize -- again,
this is like dumpster diving. So you just go out, and scoop everything up
and you create the narrative that you want to create.

SHARPTON: You know, the right always claim, they were our big defenders of
the military. But listen to what one FOX host said about Bergdahl today.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It seems he`s like, you know, he is pretty lucky that
he was brought home the way he was. Because if the Special Forces had
found him and encountered him and they were looking for him, he would have
come home either in a body bag or come home and got straight to jail. But
now, what we see is his family at the White House. He`s being celebrated
as a hero.


SHARPTON: Come home in a body bag?

BOEHLERT: That`s not we were talking about. They were going to go kill
him? I mean, anyone in the military who thinks you`re going to find a
prisoner of war and then you are going to kill him? I mean, again, this is
where we are. You can watch the decline in common decency from Monday to
Friday. It`s been a downward spiral every day. They are completely out of
control. There`s no common sense. Empathy was thrown out the window days
ago for this family that spent five years not knowing if their son was


SHARPTON: Let me tell you how right you are. Not only are they going
after Bergdahl, listen to what they`ve been saying about his father.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Really? He said he was growing his beard because his
son was in captivity. Well, your son is out now. So if you really no
longer want to look like a member of the Taliban, you don`t have to look
like a member of the Taliban. Are you out of razors?

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Yes. The reason I said that Robert
Bergdahl looked like a Muslim is that he looks like a Muslim.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: But what he said on Sunday and what he said
in the Rose Garden, while it`s suggesting that he was declaring a 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.


SHARPTON: I mean, what`s that all about, the father?

BOEHLERT: Yes. Utter contempt for the father who spent five years trying
to find a way to communicate with the captors of his son. You know,
described as a devout Christian, home schooled his kids. UPS bus driver
from Idaho. It`s like it`s almost an experiment.

Let`s find the most unlikely target we can find, a prisoner of war from the
reddest state of America, let`s see if we can turn our viewers in to hate
him and his family.

SHARPTON: I mean, even if you believe the worst about the soldier himself,
which there`s no --

BOEHLERT: You bring him hone and you --

SHARPTON: But what did his father do? His father and mother are grieving,
waiting for their son, I mean.

Eric Boehlert, thanks for your time tonight. Have a great weekend.

Still ahead, the real reason that Republicans are whipping up phony
scandals. Here`s a hint. It has a lot to do with today`s positive jobs

Also, would the first lady ever run for the Senate? Lots are talking about
her plans for 2016. Your poll results are ahead.

But first, it`s Mitch versus Mitch. The GOP leader is back in tonight`s
got you.


SHARPTON: There was a huge bipartisan show of support in the senate on
Thursday for the women who will now oversee the president`s health care
law. Senators voted overwhelmingly to approve Sylvia Matthews Burwell as
the new health and human services secretary. It wasn`t even close. The
vote was 78-17.

And before the vote, Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the
floor to talk about her qualifications.


Burwell is a smart and skilled public servant.


SHARPTON: Skilled and smart, so that must have meant he voted for her,
right? Wrong.


MCCONNELL: Her embrace for Obamacare calls for policy judgment into
question. The senate shouldn`t be focusing on a new captain for the
titanic. It should be focused on steering away from the iceberg. So I
will be voting against this nominee because I think we need to focus on
repealing and replacing this law.


SHARPTON: So he voted against her confirmation because he thinks the
affordable care act needs to be replaced? He`s not even pretending he`s
not an obstructionist anymore. Not to mention, last year McConnell voted
to confirm Burwell as the head of the president`s budget office.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator is voting in the affirmative. Manchin,
McCain, McConnell.


SHARPTON: So just 14 months ago, McConnell thought she was a great choice
to oversee one agency, but now that she`s in charge of the affordable care
act, she gets a no vote?

Did the senator think we wouldn`t notice that it`s Mitch versus Mitch all
over again?

Nice try, but we got you.


SHARPTON: The right is obsessed with finding a scandal. Any scandal in
the Obama administration. But what`s behind it? Maybe it has something to
do with this.

Before President Obama came into office, the economy was bleeding private
sector jobs. The private sector has now added jobs for 51 straight months.
That`s tied for the longest streak on record. A historic run. Despite
these numbers, month after month, Speaker Boehner is always trotting out
the exact same talking point. He says it over and over and over again.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), OHIO: Where are the jobs?

Where are the jobs?

Where are the jobs?

Where are the jobs? Where are the jobs? Where are the jobs?

The American people are continuing to ask the question, where are the jobs?


SHARPTON: Where are the jobs? I`m sick of hearing it, Speaker Boehner.
They`re right here, in this country. But wait, wasn`t the President`s
health care law supposed to be a job killer?


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

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It`s also a job killer.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: Putting a chilling effect on job creation.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It`s become such a job killer in our economy.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Obamacare is the biggest job killer this

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


SHARPTON: Yes, the jobs are still here and so is the Affordable Care Act.
The law they`ve derided is saving lives. At least 17.2 million people have
already gotten covered under the Affordable Care Act. And that means that
the numbers of uninsured is at a new low point. Those are the facts. And
that is what all the GOP scandal mongering is about. The President is
saving lives and jobs. Republicans are just trying to save their political

Joining me now are Governor Ed Rendell and Susan Milligan. Thank you both
for coming on the show tonight.



SHARPTON: Governor Rendell, I mean, don`t Americans really care more about
having a job and having health care than all these phony scandals?

RENDELL: Absolutely. I think people are sick and tired of Congress
looking and investigating all these trumped up scandals, when they haven`t
done anything. You know, the interesting part about the statistics you
just gave Rev is in the last 12 months, as you know, we`ve created 2.4
billion private sector jobs and even public sector jobs are starting to
grow back a little. But think what we would have done, had the Congress
passed the President`s jobs bill back in August in 201 1. Just on
infrastructure alone, we would have added a million jobs to that 2.4
million. So they`ve been obstructionists. The job growth has been
incredible despite the fact that they haven`t given the President what we
need as a country to create more jobs.

SHARPTON: That`s very important. They`ve been able to create these jobs
against obstructionism, against a steep hill to climb unnecessarily, by the
way, that has been put by the GOP. And Susan, when you look at the facts,
let`s compare Obama to Bush presidencies when it comes to private sector
jobs. President Obama has created 5.9 million jobs so far. President Bush
lost 646,000. I mean, we can have different opinions. But those are the

MILLIGAN: Yes. And, you know, there seems to be a sort of pavlovian
response on the partisans and Republicans on the hill where, for example,
if the unemployment rate goes down they`ll say, well, that`s just because
people have become discouraged and they aren`t looking for jobs anymore.
And if the unemployment rate goes up, they say look, the unemployment rate
went up. I think part of it is, you know, because this recovery has been
slow and painful and the recession was so painful. So a lot of people
really don`t feel that things are as good as they are. And they are
getting better, but I mean, what`s going on here is that, I think, there
are some people who would like to basically erase this presidency and
history is always some sort of an -- and don`t want to give this President
any credit for anything that`s going well at all.

And secondly, they`re looking at some very competitive Senate races this
fall. And they`re going to -- if they win these races, it will be by
nationalizing them and tying some of these democratic candidates in swing
states to a president who is unpopular in those states. You know, whereas
these candidates are trying to run more local campaigns. So, I think
that`s what`s going on here with both the jobs numbers and with ObamaCare.

SHARPTON: And let me be clear, I`m the last person to act like we ought to
be satisfied and we then should have more. But what I`m saying is we are
making a lot more progress and to your point, Governor, we could be doing a
lot more if we could get infrastructure through minimum wage and other
things. In fact, let`s look at the politics of it. A new poll shows what
the most important issues are to voters. Forty percent say, the economy.
That`s followed by health care, the deficit, the environment, and then gun
policy. Where`s Benghazi on the so-called IRS scandal on this list,

RENDELL: It`s not even existent. The people are interested in things that
affect their lives. Not these endless investigations. And by the way, it
was wrong when we did it during the Bush administration. When Democrats
did it. People want Washington to address the things that are crucial to
their lives. And you said it best, Rev. Right now, jobs and health care.
And the President is succeeding on both of those fronts. Just think, 17
million people are now covered by health care who weren`t before.

The lowest percentage of uninsured Americans in history. I mean, this is
sensational progress. And I`m going to make a prediction. For those
people who run -- and Susan said they`re trying to nationalize it and they
are, because the president may be unpopular. But if you run against the
Affordable Care Act, if you`re Scott Walker in Wisconsin, you`re going to
have to explain to 300, 400,000 Wisconsinites why they don`t have
healthcare because you didn`t take the Medicaid expansion.

And that`s going to happen everywhere. Everywhere. And they`re going to
have to explain why they turned their back on giving health care to people.
And the only reason they did it, they say, well, in ten years it will cost
the states money. It`s free right now in the states for the first three
years. There`s no excuse except politics. And they`re going to pay the
price in November. That`s my prediction.

SHARPTON: Well, let me put something else on the table. Susan, unlike the
economy, let`s look at this, as a whole, state and local jobs have barely
recovered from the recession. Now, this comes as Republicans continue to
attack public sector jobs.

MILLIGAN: Right. And that`s a big part of it. And that`s one of the
reasons that sector has suffered. I believe manufacturing went up a little
bit. And construction went up a little bit. And, you know, yes, if there
were more public investment in infrastructure and in education and a lot of
other things, those jobs would be coming back as well. But also talk about
what the governor said. I think we also need to look at Kentucky where the
President might not be popular, but their health care exchange is going
very, very well. I think it`s one in 10 Kentuckians have signed up for
Kynect, whatever they call it. So, it`s an awkward situation for the
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell because he wants to run against ObamaCare
but I don`t know how comfortable he`s going to fell telling those
Kentuckyians that they should be taken off that plan.

SHARPTON: Governor Rendell, Susan Milligan, thank you both for your time
tonight. Have a great weekend.

RENDELL: You too, Rev.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, the results of your poll, of your poll results on
the first lady. Will she ever run for political office? Also Rush
Limbaugh in the game. Loves to compare the health care law to Hitler and
the Nazis. Well, today 70 years after D-Day, it`s time for a little
history lesson.


SHARPTON: Now it`s time for our question of the day. Will Michelle Obama
run for office some day? We`re taking your predictions. Thirty three
percent of POLITICS NATION says, yes, she will. Thirty six percent said
no, she won`t. And 32 percent said, it`s too soon to tell. Dominique
says, if she does, she`ll win. Brandon says, I get the feeling no she
won`t. But if she does, she would be a fine candidate. Jerry says never
say never. Well, thanks to all who voted. You can join the conversation
by heading to our Facebook page to make your own predictions. Next up,
we`ll reveal what`s driving the buzz about a possible run.


SHARPTON: Barack Obama may be in his last term as president, but now
there`s buzz about another Obama taking office. The internet is full of
speculation today about whether First Lady Michelle Obama is headed for the
Senate. It`s all based on a Reuters column saying she would be the
democrat`s best hope for winning the GOP`s Illinois Senate seat. A poll
from 2012 shows that Michelle Obama has a 51 to 40 percent edge over
republican Mark Kirk in the Illinois Senate race. And while the First Lady
has consistently said she`s not interested, she`s certainly shown she has a
passion for public service.


MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY: What the Affordable Care Act provides and
can provide for so many families out there is peace of mind.

My husband is fighting as hard as he can and engaging as many people as he
can to pass common sense reforms to protect our children from gun violence.
The fact is today the average child watches thousands of food
advertisements each year. And 86 percent of these ads are for products
loaded with sugar, fat or salt. Parents have the right to expect their
kids will get decent food in our schools. And we all have a right to
expect that our hard-earned taxpayer dollars won`t be spent on junk foods
for our kids.


SHARPTON: She`s a powerful force on the campaign trail and in the public
eye. Maybe that`s why the right can`t seem to stop attacking her.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Taking the nanny state to the new level.
Michelle Obama is suggesting what you should feed your children.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: This is Michelle, she knows better
than anybody else about healthy foods because she has a garden.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Why would you want to raise your own kids when Michelle
Obama will do it for you? In fact, she`ll do it at gun point.

LIMBAUGH: She is a hypocrite. Leaders are supposed to be leaders. If
we`re supposed to go out and eat nothing, if we`re supposed to eat roots
and berries and tree bark, and so show us how. Dare I say this, it doesn`t
look like Michelle Obama follows her own nutritionary, dietary advice.


SHARPTON: Nobody can predict the future, but one thing is for sure, if she
did decide to run, she would be a tough candidate to beat.

Joining me now is Allison Samuels, journalist and author of the book "What
Would Michelle Do?" So Allison, I`ve got to ask, what would she do?

this a couple of years ago when the Obama`s first got into the White House,
I would say no, Michelle wouldn`t run for office. But at this point, I
think there`s a possibility that she would run for office. I think that
she sees what her impact has been. She sees how people, you know, sort of
cling to her. They love what she has to say. People are really impacted
by her speech. They`re impacted by the words that she has for them, her
wisdom, her smarts. I think she really galvanizes people.

Her words resonate with people. She really has a way where people sort of
respond to the things that she sort of -- her preaching, her words about
sort of healthy eating, everything that she`s brought to the White House
since she`s been there with Barack. I think people have responded to and
responded to well. But I think if she did want to go out and run for
office, I think the response would be amazing. I think she`s been
surprised by her popularity. In many ways, she`s more popular than he is.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, I`ve been around her, and I`ve never heard her
say anything but that she`s definitely not interested in running.


SHARPTON: But as you say, her impact is undeniable, she can`t ignore that.
The girls are getting older and soon they will not be there. You never
know. And when you look at the fact that it`s not only in the state of
Illinois where she`s popular, nationally, her favorability has remained
steady and high at 66 percent. That`s very high there, Allison.

SAMUELS: It is very high. And I think one of those reasons is, again,
because she`s kept it real. I think people feel like she`s someone that
they can go to, they can speak to. That she hasn`t changed in all the
years that she`s been in the White House and that she understands their
needs. She understands what they`re going through. And that has not
altered since she`s gotten there. So, I think if she were to run, the
Republicans have a lot to worry about. I`m not saying that she will, but I
think since she`s been in the White House, she`s seen all the pushback her
husband has gotten.

All the pushback she`s gotten. And I think that`s frustrated her, I think
that`s angered her. And I think she would like to do something to change
that. And I think she seen how politics works out from the inside out.
And I think she feels like she could make a bigger impact in many ways
being on the inside once her husband gets out of the White House.

SHARPTON: You know, when I asked if the First Lady would run for office,
one person who knows her very well had this answer. Watch.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I would say where did you take my
wife? Because I`m sure there would have been an alien body snatching going
on. One thing I can promise you is Michelle will not run for office.


SHARPTON: I mean, he ought to know. But maybe she`ll change her mind?

SAMUELS: You know, again, I would say no, certainly eight years ago I
would have said no, I don`t think that`s her personally whatsoever. I
think she`s very frustrated by the whole process of it. I think she
doesn`t like the wholes, sort of kiss-up part of it. But I also think she
wants to have an impact. I think she wants her legacy to continue and I
think that`s what she`s thinking about. How does she continue to have an
impact on this country and on sort of the people in this country and I
think she`ll have to make that decision.

SHARPTON: And she`s very committed, but she`s also, as you say, keeps it
real. You know, even though she`s passionate about her causes, the First
Lady also doesn`t take herself too seriously. I mean, watch this.


MICHELLE OBAMA: This is my mid life crisis, the bangs.


I couldn`t get a sports car. They won`t let me bungee jump. So instead I
cut my bangs.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I work out every day.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Yes, sure you do. I do, too.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Do you want to arm wrestle?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I don`t really work out.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Yes, I didn`t think so.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You can take it from me. Eating the right foods can
help make you a better athlete.


SHARPTON: I mean, is this why she connects with people?

SAMUELS: Yes. It`s definitely why she is, she`s very funny, she`s very
sort of welcoming. She enjoys to laugh. She enjoys having a good time.
And I think that is what people like to see in their First Lady, they like
to see someone who`s just like them. And I think in many way, Michelle is
just like everyone else. And that`s what you want to see in your office,
your elected official. You want someone who you can go and have dinner
with. Who you can enjoy laugh with. And Michelle is that person. But
she`s also very smart, she`s very savvy.

SHARPTON: No doubt.

SAMUELS: And I`d love to see that in an elected official.

SHARPTON: Well, I can say this, I have no idea what she`ll do. And again,
when I`ve been around there, she has clearly said, that`s now what she`s
doing. But I`m a New Yorker. I saw one First Lady come here and run for
the Senate. And now they`re talking about she may run for president again.
So, I never say never. Allison Samuels, thank you for your time tonight.
And have a great weekend.

SAMUELS: Thank you, you, too.

SHARPTON: For years, the right has compared the President`s policies to
the Nazis and Hitler. Today, we`re reminded why that attack is beneath all
of us.


SHARPTON: Since the President took office five years ago, we`ve heard
people on the far right use one consistent historical analogy to attack him
and his policies. Watch.


GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: If we don`t stop this right now, we will
be remembered as the most evil nation in the history of the world. We will
dwarf what Germany did. There wouldn`t be a Jew alive on the planet today
if Hitler had this technology.

LIMBAUGH: Adolf Hitler like Barack Obama also ruled by dictate.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Amnesty for illegal aliens via Hitler-like executive

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This is more Gestapo style collection of data on
individual citizens have no clue that this is happening.


SHARPTON: The Gestapo, the Nazis, Adolf Hitler. But a day like today
reminds us what those words are really about. In France today, the men and
women who served this country in World War II were honored on the 70th
anniversary of D-Day. Veterans who put their lives on the line fighting to
liberate Europe went back to the beach where the allied invasion began.
They were held as heroes.


OBAMA: Whatever the world makes you cynical, stop and think of these men.
Whenever you lose hope, stop and think of these men. These men waged war
so that we might know peace. They sacrificed so that we might be free.
They fought in hopes of a day when we`d no longer need to fight. We are
grateful to them. Someday, future generations where there are 70 or 700
years hence, will gather at places like this to honor them. And to say
that these were generations of men and women who proved once again that the
United States of America is and will remain the greatest force for freedom
the world has ever known. America`s claim, our commitment to liberty, our
claim to equality, our claim to freedom and to the inherent dignity of
every human being, that claim is written in the blood on these beaches.
And it will endure for eternity.


SHARPTON: Troops shed their blood on those beaches, fighting the real
Nazis, not made-up ObamaCare Nazis. Days like today ensure we`ll never
forget the real life atrocities of World War II. The countless sacrifices
that were made, the millions of lives that were lost. And the heinous
crimes committed by Hitler and the Nazis. So when we hear pundits invoke
that history to try to score some cheap political points, we know it`s all
an insult to those who fought and died on those beaches. And it diminishes
the service of soldiers we all honor today. Happy D-Day to them. God
bless the memory to those we`ve lost.

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


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