PoliticsNation, Thursday, July 10th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
July 10, 2014
Guest: Joy Reid, Dana Milbank, Lisa Bloom, Michelle Suskauer
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: He`ll see the tour and get Beyonce
and Jay-Z to certify what he`s doing. So the reality is the President is
in the fix. The right wing is attacking him but obviously, he`s in serious
(INAUDIBLE) Zerlina Maxwell, thank you so much.
That`s "the Ed Show." I`m Michael Eric Dyson, in for Ed Schultz.
"Politics Nation" with the Reverend Al Sharpton starts now.
Good evening, Rev.
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Dr. Dyson. And welcome
to the show.
Let me give you breaking news. We have with just learned that the talk of
suing President Obama that we have heard from speaker John Boehner for
weeks, he has now unveiled the legislation and is going forward, going to
the Congress to get the authorization to move forward. He has explicitly
pointed out in this lawsuit that he wants the Congress to authorize that he
can initiate and move forward. He is specifically going after the
President in terms of the employer`s mandate.
Let me bring in our guests to let`s deal with this breaking news. From the
"Washington Post," Jonathan Capehart -- Jonathan?
JONATHAN CAPEHART, OPINION WRITER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Hi, Rev.
SHARPTON: How do you respond to the breaking news? We -- as I talk, we
are getting details about exactly how the litigation is going to be focused
and what exactly speaker Boehner is seeking. We have known for weeks that
they have talked about this lawsuit, but it is just now really in the last
hour where we have learned what they explicitly are targeting and asking
that the Congress allow him to initiate.
CAPEHART: Well, we have been wondering for quite a while now what speaker
Boehner was going to use or to cite as examples of the President over
running his authority as President. Zeroing in on the President`s waving
of the employer mandate under the affordable care act is something that`s
really been a burr under the saddle of Republicans.
And you know, there are some folks on the left there who were also who were
also a little upset by that. But what this says to, to my mind, rev., is
I`m trying to grapple with what happened here within the last 15 minutes.
One, by focusing on the employer mandate of the affordable care act. This
gives the Republicans yet another opportunity to try to strike at something
that`s at the heart of Obamacare. We have seen more than 50 votes in the
House of Representatives trying to repeal the President`s signature --
legislation, the health care legislation, failing every time. This is yet
another instance when Republicans will try to strike a blow against the
health care law.
SHARPTON: I think it`s important we stress because let`s be very clear
here as we look at this breaking news that they have voted 54 times in the
house to repeal Obamacare, 54 times. This is just an extension. This is
another attempt to try to undermine the affordable care act. This time
talking about going in as a lawsuit.
CAPEHART: And now, Rev., the second thing to keep in mind here and I have
been talking with Professor Lawrence Tribe of Harvard, talking about
whether this lawsuit would be frivolous or not. One of the things he had
me focus on was the issue of standing. With the House of Representatives,
with the speaker, would Congress have standing to bring this lawsuit
against the President?
And now that we know exactly what speaker Boehner is using, the President
waving the employer mandate of the affordable care act, and I`m still
waiting to hear back from the professor Tribe on this particular point now
that we have the specifics. But what he told me earlier today was that
when the House of Representatives went to the Supreme Court to argue in
favor of the defense of marriage act, they were able to have standing
because DOMA was an act of Congress that the President decided not to
defend anymore because they deemed it -- he and the attorney general
decided that DOMA was unconstitutional.
Because it was an act of congress, if I`m reading what Professor Tribe said
to me today, if I`m reading that right, Congress had standing because it
was an act of Congress they were trying to defend. And from what I have
read from the little bit I have been able to read because, again, this is
breaking news within the last 15, 20 minutes. But what I have been able to
read is what speaker Boehner is using as his example of Presidential
SHARPTON: Not able to establish standing. He`s using that in order to
CAPEHART: Right. Because it`s an act of Congress.
SHARPTON: Right. The question is whether there is standing and it has
been called a stunt.
Let`s bring in Karen Finney who is also there in Washington.
Karen, today "Politico" reports that hard line house conservatives are
backing this lawsuit. Quote, "in interviews with a half dozen house
conservatives, there was nearly universal support for suing Obama for what
they see as executive overreach. " This is "Politico."
Now, they are chomping at the bit for a lawsuit. At what point, if ever
will they realize it`s not a political winner for them, Karen?
KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I don`t think they are going to. And I
think part of the reason that we had this document come out just in the
last 15, 20 minutes is I think that there is a desire on Boehner`s part to
keep the momentum going. Because, you know, "politico" also reported that
some of the most conservative members of the House, some are the ones who
usually are giving him a lot of guff were actually very pleased with this
So it seems to me that what they are trying to do is to keep the momentum
going on this. I don`t think they recognize that it is a loser. And I
think they actually even believe even if they don`t end up having standing
that`s a winner for them. I think a lot of people would say if they are
deemed not to have standing. I was listening to you talk about it, that
that`s still also a winner for them.
SHARPTON: Now, Jonathan, you know the President today used a movie
reference to call out the GOP`s inaction. Because I mean, this is -- this
to me, is obnoxious, 54 votes. Now you`re going to go and play let`s
initiate litigation. All of this while millions of people are being
insured that never had insurance. Listen to the reference the President
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There is a great movie
called "the Departed," a little violent for kids, but there is a scene in
the movie where Mark Wahlberg, they are on a stakeout and somehow they lose
the guy they are tracking and Wahlberg`s upset, yelling and the guy says,
well, who are you? And Wahlberg says, I`m the guy doing my job. You must
be the other guy. Sometimes I feel like saying to these guys. I`m the guy
doing my job. You must be the other guy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I`m the guy doing my job. You must be the other guy.
And when you look at that, Jonathan, he`s dealing with let`s have $3.7
million to deal with the humanitarian crisis at the border. They go back
to playing stunts in Washington with a lawsuit. He says let`s deal with
Obamacare. They go to start the scandals that they make up as they go with
Darrell Issa and others.
They are the ones not doing a job and the American people, in my opinion,
are getting very, very clear on who is the guy doing his job and who is the
guys that are not their job.
CAPEHART: Well, a couple of things, Rev.
One, I`m a big fan of the movie, "Departed." I have seen it several times
and I can guarantee you that the language was a whole lot saltier than what
the President quoted from the movie.
But the second thing is we have to keep in mind something here that this is
setting up a split screen are situation where the American people, you are
absolutely right, they are frustrated that nothing is getting done. And
the Republican are providing the president with a clear opportunity to say
as he did in the clip. I am working to solve the immigration crisis on the
border. I am trying to get Americans back to work. I`m trying to expand
the economy from the middle out. I`m trying to do all these things and yet
you have Republicans on the hill who are pursuing Benghazi, a special
investigation, who are suing me for doing my job because they are not doing
And the other thing to latch onto something that Karen was talking about in
her answer. You know, this might be a winner for Republicans in the short
term. And certainly for speaker Boehner to keep his ruckus (ph) caucus in
line when it comes to, you know, punishing the President. That at what
point -- at some point they are going to realize that this lawsuit against
the President is not going to punish the President. He most likely won`t
even be in office by the time he gets -- by the time a court even hears it.
What they are going to do is say, we want to punish the President now while
he`s in office. And the way to do that is impeachment.
SHARPTON: But Karen, before --
FINNEY: Thanks, Reverend.
SHARPTON: But Karen, the Speaker Boehner said today that the suit was
about the President making up laws as they go.
SHARPTON: So whether or not they can try and punish him now or whether he
is out of office, I think they think he`s a perfect political punching bag
to try to score points with their base. Watch with what speaker Boehner
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: See, every President does executive orders. What we are talking
about here are places where the President is basically rewriting law to
make it fit his own needs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Now, I mean, they are the ones that tried to repeal Obamacare
over and over again. The Supreme Court has found it constitutional. Yet,
they keep going back over and over again to the same broken record.
FINNEY: Right. And here is why. I think this is an important point. I
think we shouldn`t right get too excited about the idea that this nay
backfire on the Republicans. Because the only way, having gone through
this in 2005, 2006, midterms, when we came up with the culture of
corruption and sort of was able to make that an actual voting issue, the
only way Americans, because a lot of what goes on in Washington, it is a
blur for most people, right? And there are larger feeling is they are
fighting, nothing is getting done. Who`s worrying about me.
The only way that this will resonate, particularly in the context of the
midterm election is if you connect this and here`s what`s not getting done
for you. People -- you know, at some point they expect Congress and the
President are fighting. But it`s when you say, you know, they are going to
spend $3 million or however this is going to be on a lawsuit. And you know
what, that means we are not going to get to be able to get a highway bill
done or whatever it is.
Like the point is, you really got to drive it home for people. And the
members of Congress, the Democratic members of Congress are going to have
to be the ones to do this. It can`t just be the President. They have to
be willing to talk about Republican incompetence, their inability to get
anything done, but also the consequences for individual Americans for all
of this mihigoss (ph) that the Republicans are pulling.
SHARPTON: But I want us, Jonathan, to really be focused. I`m in Memphis
SHARPTON: And I want us to be focused. People around the country need to
understand this is the most unproductive, do nothing Congress in the
history of this country. And here they come again today with another
stunt, talking about a lawsuit. A Congress that will not do thinking in
terms of legislation. Zero in terms of jobs, in terms of even covered
benefits. In terms of dealing with our veterans. The most do nothing
Congress of all time and now they want to initiate a lawsuit, Jonathan?.
CAPEHART: Yes. I`m going to basically answer your question, Reverend. I
mean, yes. You can just imagine people sitting at home around the dinner
table coming home from their second job trying to grab something to eat
before they go out for the third job, trying to keep their families
together and making sure their kids are, you know, in school, and doing all
the things that we are told to do to be good productive citizens. And yet,
there are 535 people in Washington who go to Washington every week and
SHARPTON: You know --
CAPEHART: Yes, reverend?
SHARPTON: I was going to let you finish your point. Go ahead.
CAPEHART: So with the American people sitting home and watching what`s
happening in Washington and basically what`s not happening in Washington, I
think will feed the frustration. But as I look at what`s happening with
the lawsuit and look at what`s happening with a special committee on
Benghazi, all the things that Congressman Darrell Issa is doing with his
committee, these are all scandals. These are all controversies that have
nothing to do really with the everyday lives of the American people.
And at some point, you have to realize that what speaker Boehner and all
these folks are doing, they are placating the far right Republican base,
rather than doing what the vast middle of the country wants them to dos
which is solve the problems of the American people.
SHARPTON: It is even deeper than that, Karen. They are not only not doing
what the vast amount of the American people want, when you look at the fact
that they are talking about the employer mandate, the vice President of the
national retail federation said when the Obama administration delayed the
employer mandate which is what we now know this evening is where they are
trying to zero in on this so-called lawsuit, this is what the vice
President of the national retail federation said.
The administration should receive a gold medal for recognizing the enormous
complexities of the affordable care act, and its ability and flexibility in
working with retailers and others in crafting these much-needed and common
sense reforms and revisions.
SHARPTON: I mean, this is the vice President of the national retail
federation. And they are suing the President for it when his position is
they should get a gold medal?
So what, is the President and them if this ever moved anywhere, they bring
in retailers to defend them in court? I mean, this is such a waste of time
in playing games with the American people.
FINNEY: It is. And again, I think it is going to appear, you know, as a
travesty when they do that. I wouldn`t be surprised if some of the
business community actually starts to say, you know, come on, guys, this is
not where we want you spending our time. But I think the problem, again,
is going to be we have to connect it back to the American people that this
do nothing -- and I actually call it incompetence. I think this shows
Republicans can`t lead. They haven`t been able to get anything done
because instead, they want to obstruct everything. And as you say, I mean,
when you see a group of retailers sitting up there, you know, in a hearing,
I mean, that`s absurd.
FINNEY: but I think, again, we have to connect it to the American people
about how it impacts their daily lives and remind them, here are the things
we want done, by the way, that would help your life.
SHARPTON: I`m going to have are to leave it there.
Karen Finney and Jonathan Capehart, thank you very much for being with us
CAPEHART: Thanks, rev.
SHARPTON: We`re going to continue up next with more breaking news on this
lawsuit and how Republicans who have Obamacare like it.
That and a lot more. A big show tonight. I`m live in Memphis, Tennessee.
We`ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: You hear some of them. Sue them! Impeach him! Really?
OBAMA: I`ve got a better idea. Do something!
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: That`s President Obama as we look at this breaking news that
speaker John Boehner has come out now and outlined how he will ask the
Congress to allow him to initiate a lawsuit against the President.
More on that and a lot more after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The affordable care act has given millions of families peace of
mind. They won`t go broke because they get sick.
Let`s embrace the patriotism that says it`s a good thing when our fellow
citizens have health care. It`s not a bad thing. That`s not a bad thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: That`s President Obama speaking as we are now dealing with this
breaking news that speaker John Boehner has released the details of what he
intends to try and get authorization to initiate a lawsuit against the
President around the affordable care act and we now know where they will
try to narrow down in this lawsuit that many have called a stunt.
Getting reaction, let me go now to Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.
Congresswoman, thank you, first of all, for being on the show tonight.
REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: Thank you, Reverend Al.
Your response to the speaker taking the next step toward this lawsuit.
SCHAKOWSKY: Here`s my prediction. I think this is going to backfire.
When people understand this is going to be a taxpayer-funded lawsuit that
is unlikely to go anywhere, the courts have usually just said, please take
your lawsuit and leave in cases like this, I think they are going to say,
wait a minute, don`t undermine the affordable care act because we have new
information today that the vast majority of Americans who have signed up
really like it. Even 74 percent of Republicans who signed up think it`s
great, 87 percent of people who have Medicaid are happy customers.
And so, I think they are really barking up the wrong tree and that the
American people are say, really? This is what you are going to do with our
money and our time, Republicans? I don`t think this is a good plan for
SHARPTON: Congresswoman, again, 54 votes against Obamacare.
SHARPTON: Fifty four votes and in light of all the challenges around jobs,
around benefits, immigration having an emergency of humanitarian crisis
proportions, you`re going to now come back, Mr. Boehner and ask to initiate
a lawsuit that 54 times you couldn`t repeal Obamacare? I mean, this is
SCHAKOWSKY: you know, just looking at the affordable care act, we are
finding that 9.5 million people, not counting people who stayed on their
parents` policies, 9.5 million have signed up and 60 percent of those are
people 35 and under which of course they predicted that that wouldn`t
happen and the Koch brothers are doing all kinds of festivals to try and
get young people to stay away. None of the tactics are working. The only
thing working is Obamacare.
SHARPTON: Now, do you feel that that the fact that we are seeing the
Republicans deal with a lawsuit and even some of pushing around the "I"
word, impeach lt. Is this the politics of desperation or are these people
so far to the right they have lost touch with reality?
SCHAKOWSKY: I think they have definitely have lost their way. They are so
disconnected from ordinary people who are so happy to be liberated from
being denied insurance because they have a pre-existing condition. People
who want to be able to get the care that they need at an affordable price
to not be bound by these insurance companies, who deny them.
I think that the American people are sick of it. They are ready for the
Republicans, the majority in the House of Representatives to actually do
something. As the President said, do something. Pass a bill. You know,
stop all of this nonsense of obstruction and finally he said, you know, so
sue me. And I think that`s where the American people are, too. Forget
SHARPTON: See, the reason I say you maybe haven`t lost reality of being
able to deal with reality, a new poll shows that 74 percent of Republicans,
Republicans, Congresswoman, who signed up under Obamacare are satisfied
with their new insurance coverage. I mean, they are not even dealing with
their own party membership.
SCHAKOWSKY: So I don`t really know where they`re going. I think this is,
you mentioned the word desperation. They are flailing around, looking for
an issue to pin on Barack Obama and the Democrats. They would be much
better off if they dealt with issues like raising the minimum wage, funding
infrastructure that would actually to create jobs in our country, extending
unemployment insurance benefits, all of these are pole tested, too. And we
find that people in this country are wanting things that are going to put
them back to work and make their economic situation much better. Instead
of lawsuits, 54 votes to repeal Obamacare, wasting time, wasting taxpayers`
money on silly, made up scandals. It`s really getting tiring. And I think
most people feel that way.
SHARPTON: Minority leader Nancy Pelosi called just released a statement
calling it an abdication of their responsibility.
And if you look at that in light of the fact and that says 74 percent of
Republicans who signed up for Obamacare are satisfied. Look at the report
from the commonwealth fund. It shows in state that expanded Medicaid, the
uninsured rate among low income Americans dropped from 28 percent to 17
percent. That`s 11 points. But in states that refused to expand Medicaid,
the insurance rate only fell two percent.
I mean, so those that have gone in with Obamacare, those that have expanded
Medicaid and worked with this program, look at the huge benefit to
uninsured Americans. And look at those who didn`t have the same benefit in
other state and they want to sue, Congresswoman?
SCHAKOWSKY: You know, and I said it. If they were looking for a lawsuit
there ought to be something called congressional malpractice. And the
majority in the house should be sued for absolutely abdicating their work
and not doing what the American people really need. That`s what we are
sent here for. And many of us are just itching to get back to real
business, the business of the American people.
And you`re right. I mean, we see that the American people are growing in
satisfaction because they are getting the health care they need, either
Medicaid or they are getting it through the health insurance on the
exchanges and they are ready now to do something that`s really going to
make a difference in their lives. And these Republicans are doing
ridiculous things that have nothing to do with where our people immediate
SHARPTON: Well, you`re right to be mad. You are right to be angry. And a
lot of Americans are angry with you.
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, thank you for your time tonight.
SCHAKOWSKY: Appreciate it.
SHARPTON: Coming up, Governor Rick Perry meets with President Obama and
then runs to FOX News. Why Perry proves Republicans aren`t serious about
working for the border crisis and work together for the border crisis.
New developments also in the hot car death case. A toxicology report is
revealed from police. And why is the mom hiring an attorney? Stay with
SHARPTON: President Obama said he enjoyed the meeting with Governor Perry
saying they agree on the border crisis. What did Perry do next? He ran to
FOX News. That`s next.
SHARPTON: Everything is bigger in Texas. Including the hypocrisy. And no
one shows that more than Governor Rick Perry. Today Governor Perry is
visiting the U.S./Mexico border where there is a humanitarian crisis. More
than 52,000 unaccompanied children crossed the border since October.
President Obama discussed the issue with Governor Perry last night saying
he enjoyed the meeting and made the point they basically agree on the
border crisis but he stressed the need to work across the aisle.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: The challenge is, is Congress
prepared to act to put the resources in place to get this done. Another
way of putting it and I said this directly to governor, are folks more
interest in politics or they are more interested in solving the problem.
If they are interested in solving the problem then this can be solved. If
the preference is for politics, then it won`t be solved.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Last night President Obama said he wanted to focus on policy
solutions to the immigration crisis. So how did Governor Perry respond to
that? He ran to FOX News.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: It is a humanitarian crisis. And that, I will
suggest, is the reason the President needs to come to the border to see it
himself. I think about the criticism that George W. Bush received when he
didn`t go to New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina. This is now different. I
don`t know whether he`s inept or there is something else going on. What I
haven`t seen out of this president are actions that make me think he
understands what`s going on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: He wants the President to take unilateral actions? When does he
do that? They call him a dictator when he does. An imperial president, a
king. And let`s not forget this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: And I had to remind him, I`m getting sued right now by Mr. Boehner
apparently for going ahead and acting instead of going through Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The President says he`s open to putting more National Guard
troops on the border. But if Governor Perry really wanted more troops, he
could have pushed his fellow Republicans to pass the immigration bill last
year. Because guess what. It called for National Guard units and
personnel to be assigned. Such operations would have been covered and
missions, as many as necessary to secure the southern border. If
Republicans had done the right thing on immigration, Governor Perry would
have what he wanted. But all Republicans really want is to take cheap
shots at the president.
Joining me now, Joy Reid and Dana Milbank. Thank you both for being here.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST, "THE REID REPORT": Thanks, Rev.
DANA MILBANK, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Hi, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Joy, first the president is a dictator. Now he`s not doing
enough on his own. I mean, which is it?
REID: Yes, you know, what? It`s always both, right? Because the
President asked the question, do Republicans want to solve the problem or
do they just the issue, do they want the politics? It`s clear that it`s
the latter. I mean, you have to keep in mind that Rick Perry would very
much like to run for president. He needs to get back some of his -- from
having committed the apostasy of giving, you know, nonresident, I guess you
could say undocumented citizens access to the universities in Texas.
So now he`s doing all of these photo ops, the same things that they want
the President to do in order to get right with the republican base. So,
he`s calling for things like deploy the National Guard. Well, he`s the
commander in chief of the Texas National Guard. If he really wants the
National Guard, he should just go ahead and call them up. They can be
deployed up to 60 days by their state commander in chief, namely Rick
Perry. Just do that. If he wants the president to call the National Guard
he would have to cooperate and get his Texas delegation and members of
Congress to cooperate.
Because it turns out the President can`t just be a dictator, quote-unquote
and call out the National Guard. Congress has to authorize that. So,
which Congress is going to authorize that? You mean, the one suing
President Obama? Because anything they did to help would look like it`s
helping President Obama. So, they are not going to do that either. So,
you can`t have the National Guard unless Congress does what they never want
to do which is cooperate with the president.
SHARPTON: But, Dana, you know, earlier this month Governor Perry said that
the Obama administration might be in on the immigration crisis. He was
pushed on that today. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATE BOLDUAN, CNN ANCHOR: You are suggesting there is some kind of
PERRY: No, but I`m suggesting that this administration and their words and
their actions or the lack thereof are part of the problem. I think you`re
putting the words of conspiracy in my mouth which I didn`t say.
BOLDUAN: No, you actually did say the word, I hate to be conspiratorial
but I mean, how do you move that many people --
PERRY: And I hate to be conspiratorial. I hate to be conspiratorial. I
did not say I was.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I`m not conspiratorial. I`m just peddling conspiracies. I
mean, what`s going on here, Dana?
MILBANK: I mean, that`s a good one. Now, as Joy pointed out, Rick Perry
unsuccessfully ran for president. And his most famous contribution during
that campaign was when he said "Oops" on the national stage during a
debate. And he`s been practicing the politics of oops ever since. I mean,
it was only a week or two ago that he was equating homosexuality to
alcoholism. So in this case, he`s saying, right, the answer here is to
send -- reinforce border secure, make the border secure.
The problem is not an unsecure border, these people are coming across and
turning themselves in. This isn`t about border security. And they`re
saying the problem is lawless Obama. He`s not going to deport the
dreamers. Those are people who were before 2007. The real here problem,
if anything, is that this president is forced to enforce a law that passed
a unanimously by Congress in 2008 and signed by George W. Bush that says if
these people come from Guatemala and Honduras and Salvador you cannot
return them right away. The reason we have this is because this president
actually follow s the law. He`s not lawless.
SHARPTON: Yes. You know, Joy, you also have a huge amount of hypocrisy
for Speaker Boehner. Listen to what he said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The National Guard is
uniquely qualified to address these types of humanitarian crises and
utilizing their expertise would free up border agents to focus on their job
of securing the border. Now the President said yesterday he`d consider
doing that, only if he gets more money with no strings attached. In other
words, he won`t do it for the kids. It`s all about politics.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: You know, if Boehner brought the immigration bill to a vote Joy,
we wouldn`t have more -- we`d already have more National Guard troops. I
mean, how can he accuse the president of making this about politics? He
didn`t bring the vote.
REID: Well, you know, Rev, Speaker Boehner is acting like the National
Guard are in like a toy soldier box and the President any time he want can
just take him out and fling him at the border. The Congress of the United
States. He can do that tomorrow. If John Boehner wants the National
Guard, then he should go ahead and authorize it as it required by the
constitution and the law. He should authorize the National Guard
deployment. Because that`s how you do a federalize National Guard
The Guard is a state based entity. It`s Rick Perry`s job or it`s
Congress`s job. The President can go along with it. Sure. But Boehner
would have to actually do something and the problem for Republicans is that
they don`t want to actually do anything because they are afraid it might
help President Obama. So, therefore, they just want to keep complaining
about it but not actually have to do anything.
SHARPTON: What about helping the American people? I mean, Dana, they`re
attacking the President for not visiting the border in person? Take Texas
Senator John Cornyn. He says, quote, "Texans do not need a lecture from a
man who refuses to even see the crisis firsthand." But back when the
president visited border in 2011, Cornyn spokesman said what Senator Cornyn
is looking for President Obama cannot deliver with another speech or photo
op. And that`s presidential leadership. So, they criticize whether he
goes to the border or not.
MILBANK: Yes. Imagine that. See. I sort of wonder if the President
shouldn`t have just gone to the border to deny Senator Cornyn and Senator
Cruz and Rick Perry the ability to have this talking point. But here is
where they hold Katrina analogy breaks down. President Bush wasn`t in
trouble in Katrina because he did the flyover and didn`t land there. He
was in trouble because the response was disastrous.
MILBANK: So, this President has been responding in a full-floated way to
this. Amassing the resources of the United States government which means
the actual physically where he is or not. Look, he`s going to get abused
by Rick Perry and the others wherever he goes. The important thing is to
get the response right.
SHARPTON: You`re absolutely right, Dana. I was in Katrina. The response
was inadequate. They went in denial and he said, brownie, you`re doing a
good job when he did land. That was what happened in Katrina. Dana
Milbank and Joy Reid, thank you for your time tonight.
REID: Thanks, Rev.
MILBANK: Thank you, Reverend.
SHARPTON: And Joy, before you go you have a special piece tomorrow in your
show ahead of the one year anniversary of George Zimmerman verdict. Tell
us about it.
REID: Yes, indeed, Rev. We are going to be looking at one year past that
verdict that was, really it was traumatizing to so much of the African-
American community and sparked a renewed conversation once again about race
and the role of young black man in this society. And we are going to be
talking about that one year anniversary, what it means, and we will also be
talking to you, Rev. So, looking forward to having you on at 2:00. And
it`s a really important discussion that we`re going to continue tomorrow.
SHARPTON: Well, that`s tomorrow at 2:00 on the Reid report. We`ll be
looking forward to it.
REID: Thanks, Rev.
SHARPTON: Thank you, Joy. We`ll be right back.
SHARPTON: We are learning more about how a 22-month-old boy died in a
sweltering hot car last month. Police released Cooper Harris`s toxicology
report showing there were no traces of sedatives or medication in the
toddler`s system. Investigators say the test confirmed his death was heat-
related. And today, Cooper`s mother hired her own defense attorney.
Joining me now are Lisa Bloom and Michelle Suskauer. Lisa, the mother has
now gotten a lawyer. Though she hasn`t been charged with any crime.
What`s your reaction?
LISA BLOOM, LEGAL ANALYST, AVVO.COM: Well, anybody who is the subject of
police scrutiny, as she is, should get a lawyer. Many of my clients are
people who haven`t done anything wrong who are under suspicion for one
reason or another. So, there is nothing wrong with her doing that. It`s
the right thing for her to do. I mean, the issue I think for most of us
watching the case is whether she`s involved in the murder or not. She had
a lot of suspicious behavior that required some explaining. She hasn`t had
any expressions of concern about what happened to her baby. All of her
expressions of concern have been for her husband. So, yes, they are
looking closely at her. And she should have counsel at this point.
SHARPTON: Michelle, you know the big news aside from the mother hiring a
lawyer is People Magazine spoke to a friend of the mother Leanna Harris who
told them, quote, "Leanna told me that she wanted an even number of kids so
each kid could have someone to play with." But somewhere along the line,
plans changed and the friend says I think it was in May when she told me
that now is not the time for more kids. I didn`t press her to find out
what had changed. How might lawyers use their friends in a case and what`s
your reaction to her hiring a lawyer, Michelle?
MICHELLE SUSKAUER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, just in terms, I totally agree
with Lisa. In terms of -- she should have hired a lawyer already. I think
she`s a little bit behind the eight ball. She`s under tremendous scrutiny
and law enforcements has been watching her, listening to her, and talking
to everyone she`s been talking to. So she`s definitely the focus. We may
see charges down the line, I`m not sure. But that was a very, very wise
move. In terms of friends, certainly friends are what people are going to
be speaking to. In terms of that particular story in People Magazine, I
don`t know whether that really means anything or not.
It could have just meant that they are having some troubles in their
marriage or it could be a variety of different things. So, I don`t know
whether that -- I don`t really put a lot of stock in that. But I think
certainly going to friends if you are going to be defending her and saying,
this is someone who is a good mother, a loving mother, a good wife, et
cetera, that`s very helpful. And of course on the flip side, going to the
prosecution saying that, you know, the type of bizarre behavior and maybe
things that she did that would not going to be helpful to her potentially
if there will going to be charges filed. So, I think both sides will going
to be utilizing friends, co-workers, family.
SHARPTON: Yes. You know, last February a post that was believed to be
Harris. Wrote a description of his life that looks nothing like the
picture of the sexting dad we are starting to see. Back in February of
2013 he wrote, "I am now in my dream job. I have a beautiful six-month-old
son and love going to work every day. I couldn`t be happier." I mean,
Lisa, how could things change so much in a year?
BLOOM: Things can change a lot in a year. A baby is a big deal in
someone`s life. And I think we have to face the reality of Justin Harris`s
text messages and his internet searches especially about how long it takes
a child to die in a hot car. So, he seems to have gone from someone who
was a loving father who was very happy about having a baby to somebody who
wanted to have a child-free life, another one of his searches.
SHARPTON: Michelle, do you agree with Lisa?
SUSKAUER: You know, I do. But, again, taking the other side certainly his
defense lawyers are going to be looking at, you know, anything else that
was going on. And, you know, in terms of using friends and family.
Talking about the fact that he was a loving father. I think that that`s
significant. And again, this is some damaging information about the
sexting, especially that day, about the conversations with other women.
But that doesn`t mean that he intentionally committed murder and that`s
what the defense is going to have to work with. But he`s not making it
easy on his defense team. I`ll tell you that.
SHARPTON: All right. I`m going to have to leave it there. Lisa Bloom and
Michelle Suskauer, thank you both for your time tonight.
SUSKAUER: Thank you, Rev.
BLOOM: My pleasure.
SHARPTON: Still ahead, more on today`s breaking news. Speaker Boehner
unveiling his plans to sue President Obama over the health care law.
SHARPTON: House Republicans are suing President Obama for delaying part of
his health care law. But that delay is something they themselves voted for
just last year. Two hundred and twenty nine Republicans voted to delay the
employer mandate. But now they are suing President Obama for doing the
same thing? It`s outrageous and it`s wrong. My parting thoughts on that
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: You hear some of them. Sue him! Impeach him!
I have a better idea. Do something.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: That`s President Obama earlier today telling Republicans to do
something and in breaking news tonight House Speaker John Boehner unveils
legislation to authorize a lawsuit against the President. Asking Congress
for the authority to, quote, "Initiate litigation for actions by the
President inconsistent with his duties under the constitution of the United
For delaying a mandate that they already voted many of the Republicans.
You cans always judge public officials or those of us in public life by
what is the goal, is the goal helping the American people achieve health
insurance or is the goal partisan bickering? Come on, Speaker Boehner,
let`s take care of the American people. Enough with the stunts.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
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