updated 7/30/2014 3:19:03 PM ET 2014-07-30T19:19:03

POLITICS NATION
July 29, 2014

Guest: Joe Madison, Bill Press, Carmen St. George, Hakkem Jeffries

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks for tuning in. I`m live
tonight in Atlanta.

Tonight`s lead, Republicans pretending to do their job right before they go
on vacation. Just two days before a month-long break, house Republicans
are spinning their wheels with new ways of not dealing with the crisis on
the border. In a fast-moving day in Washington, Speaker Boehner first
unveiled the plan guaranteed to go nowhere. And then one Senate Democrat,
they shouldn`t even try to pass real solutions on immigration reform. It
is all too little too late.

Three weeks ago, President Obama proposed $3.7 billion in emergency funding
to tackle the immigration crisis. Speaker Boehner`s plan today came to
$659 million, less than a fifth of the White House proposal. And he`s not
even sure he can pass it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I think there is
sufficient support in the House to move this bill. We`ve got more work to
do though.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s right. Speaker Boehner is still working on the votes.
He`s got two days to convince these folks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN FLEMING (R), LOUISIANA: I don`t see any purpose spending a lot
of money to allow the president to continue these malicious activities with
our immigration laws.

REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: Giving him the permission slip to do it to the
destruction of the rule of law in the United States constitution.

REP. MO BROOKS (R), ALABAMA: The president supports these surges in
illegal alien children and other illegal aliens coming to our country
again. Because he sees this as the equivalent of a Democratic Party voter
registration drive.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: A democratic voter registration drive? That`s the excuse? The
attacks are absurd, but the ticking clock is real. Here`s the house
calendar for the rest of the year. In two days, the house starts the
August recess, a month-long break.

But look at the calendar after that, only two working days in October, only
27 days scheduled after July for the entire year. When exactly are they
planning on taking real action? That`s why the news today from the White
House is so significant.

President Obama is reportedly considering a move to grant work permits to
millions of immigrants in this country illegally. It`s just what he ended
at last month when he warned the GOP he wouldn`t wait for them to do their
jobs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I will continue to
push house Republicans to drop the excuses as an act. And I hope their
constituents will, too. America cannot wait forever for them to act.
That`s why today I`m beginning a new effort to fix as much of the
immigration system as I can on my own without Congress.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now are Nia-Malika Henderson and Richard Wolffe.

Thank you for being here.

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

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, POLITICAL REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Good to be
here.

SHARPTON: Richard, how desperate are Republicans to make it look like they
are acting on immigration reform before they go on vacation?

WOLFFE: I don`t think they are desperate at all. I mean, if you were
desperate about it and if you lived up to the rhetoric that what would they
were saying a couple of weeks back, that this was hurricane Katrina for
this president, you wouldn`t come back with a number as low as Speaker
Boehner came back today.

So, I don`t think they`re desperate. I think they are going through the
motions. And for the base because they have a base strategy for the mid-
term election, accusing the president of some nefarious conspiracy to bring
illegals into the country, that`s is good enough.

SHARPTON: You know, Nia-Malika, the playing to the base is based only on
the strategy of the opposition is not going to be able to bring people out
on the opposing side. So you say and do anything to play to the base.

For example, GOP congressman Steve King came up with a new justification
for not addressing the immigration crisis. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KING: By the way, you know, how many actually are dying in their home
countries? Yes, there`s violence down there and aside from Honduras though
there is no place down there that is more dangerous than Detroit. And
we`re not giving people from Detroit asylum to go to, say, Iowa if they
want because this is America, of course. But we should put this in
perspective. The only place down there more dangerous than Detroit is
Honduras.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So that`s the reason not to address a humanitarian crisis,
because it`s not more dangerous than Detroit other than Honduras, Nia-
Malika?

HENDERSON: Yes. I don`t know how to respond to that, but I will say this.
I think the immigration crisis, the border crisis, has focused the
country`s attention on immigration reform like nothing else had. I think
if you flashback to 12012, the thought was after that election, that
Republicans would be forced to do something when they look at demographics
and their chances in terms of winning a national election.

But in many ways, this is giving the president room to enact what he calls
a year of action. He talked about the (INAUDIBLE) strategy. So I think in
the coming weeks, we`ll see some action from this president. And I also
think what we`ll see him able to rally the democratic base around here.
You have around this issue. You have the president now talking sort of
almost taunting Republicans saying so sue me if you want for doing my job.
And I think we`ll see him take some pretty massive steps around immigration
reform.

In particular states, it will matter, I think. Especially that Obama
coalition that was crucial in 2012. I think overall Latino voters won`t be
a huge part of this election, either from three to seven percent depending
on how you slice the numbers whether you are looking at house or Senate
races. But I think you will see the president`s actions are rallying the
democratic base.

SHARPTON: You know, Richard, let`s put into perspective what the GOP`s
gridlock has achieved. The current Congress has enacted just 142 laws on
pace for a record low. And confidence in Congress has fallen to seven
percent, another record low. Are Republicans now setting themselves up to
get hammered for failing to act on immigration at all in August?

WOLFFE: I don`t think they see a down side in doing nothing. They can
say, look, we are the only check and balance on this tyrannical president
who is clearly not acting in any constitutional authority. And that works
for the base. Of course, it doesn`t work for the rising demographic in
this country of Latino voters. It doesn`t work for swing voters,
infrequent voters.

They are banking that they are not going to show up and they don`t have to
run a national election. They only care of the overall low approval
rating. They only care about their own particular race. And that`s how
myopic the whole Republican Party is gotten wide. They are looking at 2016
saying what have we got to play here on the national battlefield as opposed
to the house districts?

SHARPTON: So, Nia-Malika, the inaction, the gridlock we are seeing the
Republicans, in Richard`s view, and I`m asking yours, is that as long as
they don`t see a political downside in their districts and house members
are in many gerrymandered districts, they could care less about the
gridlock or the inaction.

HENDERSON: You know, I think they are looking at a very different map,
right? I mean, we sort of look at the map and you look at nationally and
you see the rising number of Latinos becoming eligible to vote. But as you
said, they look at very different maps. And there are just not a lot of
Latinos in the districts.

Again it`s something like three percent, maybe five percent here, seven
percent here, depending on if you are looking at the Senate or the house
races. But they just don`t look at the same constituency. Also they have
a very different approach to this issue.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, Richard. Senator Jeff Sessions is a Republican.
He`s attacking President Obama for considering executive action to get work
for immigrants here illegally that I brought up earlier. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: Such calculated action strains the
constitutional structure of our republic. Congressional action this week
to bar unilateral imperial action by the president is surely the best
course to head off what could be a constitutional crisis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So let me get this right. Republicans block immigration reform
and then attack the president for saying he will take action on his own.

WOLFFE: Right. You wonder if this is the same party that was saying how
great Putin was for taking action and being a strong leader in Russia.

Yes, look. They are clearly setting the predicate for what currently the
house Republican leadership is saying is preposterous democratic scare
tactics about impeachment. When you say there is a constitutional crisis
in the making, when you say these are imperial powers, you are putting down
the framework, convincing people that impeachment is the only thing out
there. When the president does take actions that White House sources are
saying they will, then I think you are looking at a very, very tough
confrontation there between the two sides of the U.S. government.

SHARPTON: Nia-malika, I`m out of time, but I want to read a quote about
immigration without telling you for a moment who said it. The quote is "I
believe in the idea of amnesty for those who put down roots and lived here.
Even though some time back they may have entered illegally." Do you know
who said that?

HENDERSON: Gingrich?

SHARPTON: President Ronald Reagan.

HENDERSON: Reagan, OK.

SHARPTON: Ronald Reagan in 1984. I mean, how did the GOP fall so far on
this issue that they make Ronald Reagan looks like a moderate, Nia-Malika?

HENDERSON: Yes. I think, you know, it`s been some time since when even
had a Republican party -- I mean, people like John McCain, very much for
immigration reform. Marco Rubio is early of last year also sounded that
same framework in terms of amnesty. But it`s a different party, different
circumstance now in 2014.

SHARPTON: Nia-Malika Henderson and Richard Wolffe, I am going to have to
leave it there. Thank you for your time tonight.

WOLFFE: Thank you, Reverend.

HENDERSON: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, how Republicans are gearing up to go on vacation,
leaving behind over one million workers earning minimum wage.

Plus, congratulations to Speaker Boehner. He said something today that
goes down in the hall of fame for absurd GOP lines.

And the Ranisha McBride murder trial got heated today. Is the defense
trying to smear the victim? Please stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: So many on the right have attacked Obama for his response to the
crisis in Ukraine and it`s wrong. Late this afternoon, President Obama
announced harsh new sanctions on the Russian energy, arms and finance
sectors. He also delivered a strong message to president Putin.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: If Russia continues on the current path, the cost on Russia will
continue to grow. And today it is a reminder that the United States means
what it says.

Today, Russia is once again isolating itself from the international
community, setting back decades of genuine progress. It doesn`t have to
come to this. It didn`t have to come to this. It does not have to be this
way. This is a choice that Russia and president Putin in particular has
made.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: This is a complicated issue and the president is getting it
done. The partisan bickering needs to end.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The mad scramble is on. Speaker Boehner`s do-nothing Congress
is getting ready to flee town Friday. But they will leave behind some real
unfinished business -- the minimum wage.

The president and Democrats have been pushing for it to raise it. But
Republicans won`t budge. To highlight just how hard it is, some Democratic
politicians are trying to live on the minimum wage, $77 a week. It`s
called the live the wage challenge. And lawmakers are reporting it hasn`t
been easy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When you are living on $77 a week which is what we
are doing, the members of Congress that are living the wage, you have to
consider every single penny.

REP. TIM RYAN (D), OHIO: My wife is doing it with me. So we have $154 to
live for a week, including food transportation and entertainment, coffee
going up 30 percent, cheese and milk going up 20 percent, eggs going up 20
percent. These are staples of the American diet. And if you are living on
minimum wage you see no increase.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Of course, this is just one week for lawmakers. But it`s a
reality for 1.6 million Americans every day.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Barry makes minimum wage and says he barely
has enough money to survive. He says working seven hours won`t even fill
his gas tank.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s hard when you are making that wage. It feels
discouraging.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Asia works three minimum wage jobs.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I dreamed about going to school, going to college,
everything. Right now I feel stuck.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are not leaving. We are not asking for handouts.
We are working as hard as we can just to keep our heads above water. We
are starting to drown out here.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Why can`t we come together on this? Republicans attack the
working poor for being lazy, and they accused them of getting accuse them
of getting handouts, of being takers. But the ad is simple. Give people a
living wage. I would like to see some of the Republicans take the live the
wage challenge. Maybe we`d see some action.

Joining me now is congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat from New York.

Thank you for being here.

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D), NEW YORK: Thanks for having me, Rev.

SHARPTON: Well there is absolutely no Congressman, so many Americans are
working full-time jobs and they are living in poverty. Why should
Republicans be against this?

JEFFRIES: Well, there is absolutely no legitimate basis for Republicans to
oppose any increase in the minimum wage, but House Republicans are more
concern with providing tax rates to the wealthy and to the well-off and
doing the bidding of their corporate sponsor and that`s unfortunate because
at a moment in American history right now where corporate profits are way
up. You`ve got the stock market that`s way up. CEO compensation is way
up. But middle class wages have remained stagnant. And there are
Americans working hard every day, 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year yet
they are living in poverty at the end of the day because $7.25 per hour is
inadequate to support a family and to live a descent way.

SHARPTON: You know, the Democrats are showing how hard it is with photos
posted on twitter from this week so far. You know, former governor Ted
Strickland could barely afford a lunch from McDonald`s. And at one point,
he had celery sticks for dinner.

Congressman Tim Ryan showed exactly what just $77 a week to feed your
family or to feed yourself really looks like. And this is what it`s like
for working poor people every day. They are not takers. How can Democrats
make this a political liability for the GOP?

JEFFRIES: Well, this is just another example of the house Republicans
failing to be able to effectively govern. They failed to lift the minimum
wage, they failed provide unemployment insurance, they failed to create
jobs. You know, they failed to do the things that are necessary to put
America back to work and to make sure those Americans who are working hard
can actually earn a living and provide for their families.

We are going to go back home throughout our districts during the August
recess and we are going to continue to make the case for the democratic
agenda which would involve a minimum wage increase to $10.10 per hour were
there to be a change in governance in January.

This is an issue that really defines who we are as Americans. Are we going
to be about progress for the many or are we going to be about prosperity
for the few. That unfortunately that is the Republican agenda. And we are
going to continue to work hard to change that approach to governing so we
can do what`s in the best interest of the people and give America a raise.

SHARPTON: But Congressman, if you`re working full-time in America, you
shouldn`t be living in poverty. But that`s not the case, I mean, look at
this. The annual salary for a minimum wage worker is just over $15,000 a
year. The federal poverty level for two people, $650 more than the minimum
wage. And that`s if you are a two-person family, Congressman.

JEFFRIES: You know, 50 years ago Lyndon Johnson came to the floor of the
house and lost the war on poverty that gave us a significant number of
programs to help lift Americans out of poverty.

But today, the House Republicans have launched a war on working families.
It should not be the case as you point out, reverend Sharpton, that you
have an individual who is working hard, doing the right thing according to
the American work ethic and yet at the end of the day, at the end of the
year falls below the federal poverty line.

That`s why this is an issue we are committed to changing as part of our
middle class jump start agenda because we are going to be there for the
middle class and all the Americans who aspire to be part of the middle
class who are currently stuck in $7.25 per hour jobs.

SHARPTON: Well, it is a big issue for us. We are going to stay on it.

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, thank you for your time tonight.

JEFFRIES: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, a dramatic day in the trial over the shooting death
of Ranisha McBride. Why are defense digging to her past.

Also speaker Boehner tells a whopper about impeachment that you`ve got to
see to believe. But first we`ll play another edition of GOP blaming game.
Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Welcome back to tonight`s edition of the GOP blaming game
featuring Mississippi`s dapper and dashing Republican governor Phil Bryan.

In his spare time, the governor enjoys walks on the beach and bashing the
affordable care act.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t let anyone tell you Obamacare is the law of the
land.

This system we call Obamacare that we now see will be a train wreck. And I
don`t want the name of Mississippi can blazoned across the train when it
leaves the tracks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I think our contestant could use a little dose of reality. A
recent study show Mississippi`s uninsured rate has gone up to 21 percent.
That`s the second highest in the country.

Now, you may think this is a strike against our Magnolia State suitor. But
Governor Bryant is blaming, you guessed it, President Obama. Saying,
quote, if statistics show that the ill-conceived and so-called Affordable
Care Act is resulting in higher rates of uninsured people in Mississippi, I
would say that`s yet another example of a broken promise from Barack Obama.
Now that`s a whopper because Governor Bryant is the one who made the
problem worse by refusing to expand Medicaid that would have covered nearly
140,000 folks in his state.

Did Governor Bryant think we wouldn`t notice? This is the latest blame
game we have seen. Nice try, but we gotcha. And that`s tonight`s edition
of the GOP blaming game.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Republicans say a lot of ridiculous things about impeachment.
But today we heard a new one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE SPEAKER: We have no plans to impeach the
president. We have no future plans. Listen, it`s all a scam started by
Democrats at the White House.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Oh, it`s a scam all right. But started by Democrats?
Absolutely not. It started on right wing talk radio. Just weeks after
President Obama took office in 2009.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I think it is time to start talking about impeachment.
Somebody`s got to get this guy under control. He`s out of control.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s where this started. Five years ago. By 2010 republican
lawmakers had started picking it up. And it eventually became one of their
favorite talking points.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Whether or not this is an
impeachable offense would be one the Congress would have to make that
determination over.

REP. KERRY BENTIVOLIO (R), MICHIGAN: Tell me how I can impeach the
President of the United States.

REP. STEVE STOCKMAN (R), TEXAS: We want all tools available to use
including impeachment.

REP. BLAKE FARENTHOLD (R), TEXAS: If we were to impeach the President
tomorrow, you could probably get the votes in the House of Representatives.

SEN. JIM INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: People may be using the I-word before too
long.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: OK, I-word meaning impeachment?

INHOFE: Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: None of those guys are Democrats. And they were all talking
about impeachment. But now conservatives are trying to rewrite that
history.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Do you think anybody in Washington in
the GOP is serious about impeachment? Do you think one person?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: No.

BECK: Have you spoken to one person? Not one. So who wants it? The
president does.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yes.

BECK: Because then she`ll be able to say, I demand justice.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: No one in the GOP is serious about impeachment. No one wants it
but the president? Mr. Beck, have you seen this man?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK: I personally am calling to impeach the President of the United
States. This is impeachable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Glenn Beck was for it before he was against it. And it was the
same story today on FOX News.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: To your point about impeachment. Only Democrats are
talking about it. Republicans, conservatives not talking about it. Only
Democrats to gin up the base before November.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But guess what they were chatting about on the same couch last
month.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Andy McCarthy, a friend of this program have a new book
out --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He said the president should be impeached for this.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That`s what he says. It`s crimes and misdemeanors in my
view is a very, very valid argument that people and I are start talking
about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Republicans might regret stirring up all that impeachment talk
but the tape doesn`t lie.

Joining me now are Joe Madison and Bill Press. Thank you both for being
here.

BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Hi, Reverend Al.

JOE MADISON, SIRIUS XM RADIO HOST: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Joe, what is Speaker Boehner trying to do by claiming Democrats
started the impeachment talk?

MADISON: It`s called transference. And they are very good at it. As a
matter of fact in that same clip, Glenn Beck said that the Democrats
brought up President Obama`s race before he became president. And they
also were the ones who brought up birtherism. So, I guess they forgot
about Donald Trump and all the other people who, in fact, mentioned
birtherism.

What`s happened here is that they can`t control this base that they have.
And they know, the smart Republicans know that if they -- this impeachment
talk continues you are not only going to wake up the African-American
community. You will going to wake up women, you will going to wake up
Hispanics, you`ll going to wake up low income workers. And you will
possibly not only be able to take over the Senate, but you could change the
arithmetic in the house and the smart Democrats know it. But the reality
is they can control the people that you just played in the tapes.

SHARPTON: You know, bill. The reason some Republicans are backpedalling
from the impeachment talk is because it`s helping Democrats raise money.

PRESS: Right.

SHARPTON: You know, the campaign arm of the House Democrats has received
$2.1 million in online donations since Thursday. That`s the most in a
four-day period in this whole campaign cycle. I mean, does this reaction
make Republicans nervous, Bill?

PRESS: Well, of course it does. You know, Reverend Al, I keep thinking
about Harry Truman. Remember the great thing he said? If they stop
telling lies about me, I`ll stop telling the truth about them.

SHARPTON: Wow.

PRESS: So, I think that really fits. I saw Congressman Steve Israel last
night, who is head of the DCCC. He had the biggest smile on his face. He
told me this impeachment talk is the best thing that`s ever happened to
democratic efforts to win back the House and to hold onto the Senate. And
you know, here is what gets me. Of course Democrats get alarmed when they
hear this talk. It makes them want to write a check. But there is one way
to stop that flow of money -- is for Republicans to stop talking about
impeachment. That`s why John Boehner is nuts. If Republicans weren`t
talking about it, Democrats couldn`t raise money on it. It`s as simple as
that.

SHARPTON: You know, but, Joe, you know, Sarah Palin isn`t backing away
from her calls for impeachment. She was asked today if Senate Democrats
would be on board. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHAEL MEDVED, SYNDICATED RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Do you really believe
that that is even vaguely possible? And which Democrats would you be
targeting to try to persuade them to join a vote to remove the president?

SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Amen. I absolutely passionately
believe that it is possible. Who are these Democrats? You`ve got to know
that there are still Reagan Democrats and blue dog Democrats who will
stiffen their spines and do the right thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: She thinks Democrats will try to oust the president. I mean, is
this going way beyond wishful thinking, Joe?

MADISON: No, she`s been smoking something, obviously. Maybe spending too
much time in Colorado. I mean, I`m just telling you this is the most
absurd thing that she has said. But you know, look. I mean, this is
crazy. And here is the best thing we can do. And as a matter of fact,
let`s go back to Boehner. In your first hit on Boehner, and he says it`s
off the table. Then he should have told his number three man, his number
three man who went on television and said it`s not off the table. Now, how
embarrassing?

That`s right. How embarrassing it is that your leader tells you it`s off
the table and then you go on television, and say it`s not. He has no
control over this. So, here`s the deal. People, you register, you vote.
It`s not just about raising money. But the reality is this is where you
now make sure they can`t do it. You go out, register and vote. That will
take care of all this discussion we are having.

PRESS: Reverend Al. Let me make this one other quick point. I don`t want
to let Boehner off the hook. I don`t think we should have easily. Because
what he says, he`s trying to have it both ways.

MADISON: Yes.

SHARPTON: Right.

PRESS: He says, oh, no, no. I`m clean. I`m not for that impeachment. I
want to sue the president instead. Listen, suing the president is just as
bad. In fact, I think it`s worse because it`s a cheap substitute but it`s
the same purpose, to stir up the base. It`s a chance for them to raise
money by taking on President Obama. So, don`t let Boehner off the hook on
this.

SHARPTON: Now, Joe, besides impeachment it gets even uglier. We know the
Rights love to talk about state laws and nullification. Check out this
video that Daily Beast are covered by Iowa Senate candidate Ernst.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JONI ERNST (R), IOWA SENATE CANDIDATE: You know we have talked about this
at the state legislature before nullification. But, bottom line is, as
U.S. Senator, why should we be passing laws that the states are considering
nullifying. So, bottom-line, no, we should not be passing laws as federal
legislators, as senators or congressmen that the states would consider
nullifying. Bottom-line.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, Joe. She thinks they can nullify -- the states can
nullify federal law. I mean, this is Joni Ernst, the republican candidate
for Senate in Iowa. What do you say to that?

MADISON: Well, Martin Luther King, Jr., must be turning over in his grave
to hear the word of nullification coming out in the mouth. People are
still fighting the civil war. And, you know, I bet you most of the people
in their base really don`t understand what the term "nullification" means.

SHARPTON: Right.

MADISON: I bet you, they really don`t understand it. And so, the reality
is these are folks who are fighting the civil war and once again this is
all based on their dislike for President Obama. The reality is, the more
they keep talking, the more I think people, independents, and Democrats.
But here is the bottom-line with me. As we talk about being progressives,
they are not conservatives because conservatives will want to conserve the
constitution. These are regressive. They want to roll it back.

SHARPTON: And radical regressive --

MADISON: And radical regressive, that`s right.

SHARPTON: I am going to have to leave it there. Bill Press, thank you so
much. Joe Madison, it`s always good to have you.

PRESS: We`ve got it, thanks very much.

SHARPTON: Thank you both for your time tonight.

MADISON: God bless.

SHARPTON: Coming up, a dramatic day in the Renisha McBride murder trial.
What did the shooter say moments after killing the 19-year-old? And ten
years ago tonight, John Kerry accepted the democratic nomination for
president. And it began a new era in political smearing. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Was it self-defense or murder? It was day four of the
prosecution`s case in the murder trial of Renisha McBride. Last November,
19-year-old Renisha was showing up on Theodore Wafer`s porch, drunk and
unarmed after crashing her car. Wafer shot and killed her saying he was
scared for his life. He`s now charged with second degree murder and
manslaughter. Today the prosecution came close to resting their case,
calling Wafer`s actions a necessary unjustified and unreasonable. But the
real drama came before the jury are came in when once again the defense
appeared to be putting the victim on trial.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHERYL CARPENTER, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: We heard that in evidence, why now
can`t I bring in the evidence of Renisha`s cell phone pictures which show
she steals drugs, marijuana specifically?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And for the second time this week the defense asked for
Renisha`s online screen name to be admitted as evidence.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CARPENTER: I think if the screen name for Renisha McBride on twitter is
very important. Her screen name is young and thugging. Social media is
probably the most accurate form of reputation evidence. Even if the
defendant doesn`t know about the decedent`s reputation. Even if they are
unaware of it is admissible in furtherance to prove that the victim was a
probable aggressor.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Again the judge refused to allow the photos or the screen name
into evidence. But it`s become a pattern for the defense attacking the
victim`s character. What it comes down to is this. Will the jury believe
he acted in self-defense?

Joining me now, criminal defense Attorney Carmen St. George and former
prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst Faith Jenkins. Thank you both for being
here.

FAITH JENKINS, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Thanks, rev.

CARMEN ST. GEORGE, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Faith, two days of testimony this week. And two times the
defense has asked for evidence that makes the victim look like a criminal
in this case. Does it surprise you?

JENKINS: No, it doesn`t surprise me at all. In fact, I expected it has
happened in this case like we have seen in other cases in the recent past.
And the judge is making the right ruling by not letting it in. If the
defense attorneys can make the person who is dead look like a criminal, it
is easier for them to justify the actions of the person that`s on trial.
And so they want to go against the prosecutor`s argument here that Renisha
McBride was looking for help. They are saying it defies credibility in
this case. She wasn`t looking for help. Because look at her past.

Look at things she`s been engaged in. Who is Renisha McBride really?
She`s a criminal. Of course she wasn`t looking for help. Even if she was
in a car accident she was there to rob him. Even though she didn`t have a
weapon she was there to break in the house. Even though she was beating on
the front door of that home she had nefarious intent. She was trying to
get in there and rob him. That`s what the defense attorneys want these
jurors to believe.

SHARPTON: Carmen, but whatever her background is or is not, Wafer didn`t
know that when she was knocking on his door. So, how is that material to
the particular case that we are dealing with here?

GEORGE: Rev, as a defense attorney you have to argue in this particular
case that this is self-defense. And the reason it is self-defense is
because he was afraid for his life. So he has to articulate what that fear
was based on. He`s able to say that he heard knocking on the front door,
he heard knocking on the side door. This is giving the jury the
perspective that this is violent. And these character traits that the
defense attorney is trying to advance are to prove that she was, in fact,
the aggressor.

And, you know, what`s become important is the screen door. Because the
police essentially tampered with that evidence. They took that screen door
from its position, they lined it up to a position where it wasn`t instead
of leaving the crime scene as it was. And the defense attorney can now say
look at the facts.

SHARPTON: But Carmen, when she was knocking on the door, how does that
tell him her screen name?

JENKINS: Right.

SHARPTON: How does it tell him whether or not she had ever smoked
marijuana?

GEORGE: She didn`t yell out --

SHARPTON: We are dealing with self-defense. In his mind, if he was
defending himself against things he didn`t know, how is that a defense?

GEORGE: Because you are proving it from what`s in his mind? What is he
hearing? What is he seeing?

SHARPTON: How could it be in his mind Faith if he didn`t know it?

JENKINS: That`s right. He didn`t know it. She wasn`t banging in the door
saying, let me in, my screen name is young thugging so that means, I`m
going to rob you. If he`s in eminent fear for his life in that moment,
that`s the evidence. That is the crucial moment. He doesn`t know Renisha
McBride, he doesn`t know what her screen name is, he doesn`t know if she
smokes marijuana or not. So, those things are not relevant to in that
moment when he says he`s in imminent fear of his life.

SHARPTON: Carmen, go ahead.

GEORGE: Yes. Rev, you see -- the juries have already heard . She`s on
marijuana and she`s drunk. We`ve heard it in the prosecution witness and
now he`s coupling up that evidence with severe banging on your door. Who
is knocking on your door in the middle of the night, but somebody who is an
aggressor? Somebody who is threatening.

JENKINS: Or someone who had a car accident and needs help. Or someone
who had a car accident and needs help.

GEORGE: Oh, come on! At 4:30 in the morning?

SHARPTON: Well, the other major headline. Let me read this. Other major
headline out of today was about the defense different stories. The
prosecutor hit that today. Listen to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ATHINA SIRINGAS, PROSECUTOR: From the beginning he said, oh, this gun
discharged, this gun went off accidentally. That`s his defense to the
police from day one.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Objection, your honor.

SIRINGAS: OK. So, that`s what he`s talking about. So, we formulate our
defense. All of the sudden Johnny-come-lately self-defense. You know,
he`s crawling on the floor. All these things that the defense has created
in the middle of this trial that`s inconsistent with all of the evidence
that the jury ones stated all the evidence that the jury will know is the
truth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, today we also heard from the ballistic experts, you
remember, Wafer told police moments after he shot Renisha that the gun
discharged. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SGT. SHAWN KOLONICH, MICHIGAN STATE POLICE FIREARMS EXPERT: The only I was
able to make this gun fire is by taking it off safe and pulling the
trigger.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You`re concluding that the gun doesn`t go off unless
that trigger is pulled.

KOLONICH: That is my conclusion, yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, today, there was a ballistics expert saying that`s how the
gun went off. That ballistics expert testified that Wafer`s explanation at
the scene didn`t add up.

JENKINS: Mm-hmm. That`s a challenge.

SHARPTON: Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SGT. RORY MCMANMON, DEARBORN HEIGHTS POLICE DEPARTMENT: What happened
here?

THEODORE WAFER, RENISHA MCBRIDE`S SHOOTER: A consistent knocking on the
door. I`m trying to look through the windows but every time I look through
the windows and the door it`s banging somewhere else. So I open up the
door kind of like who is this and the gun discharged. I didn`t know there
was a round in there. I don`t get it. Who`s knocking on your door at 4:30
in the morning? Bang, bang, bang, somebody wanting in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So, that`s what Wafer told police that night, the night right
after Renisha was killed. The expert said today not true, Carmen.

GEORGE: Well, look, that Mossberg 500 is very difficult to accidentally
fire. They are based for people to have them as weapons in their home to
protect themselves against an intruder. And so, that`s a challenge that
the defense really has to own up to and deal with. Because the fact that
he`s initially claiming it just went off or whether or not it had bullets
or whether or not he knew about it, that, I think, can be dealt with. But
the accidental discharge of this weapon is a little bit difficult. I think
he`s better off arguing that it was self-defense and he shot her once
which, you know, are the facts. And when that he called the police
initially, he was calm only because he was scared. And he didn`t know how
else to portray it. We can sit here in hindsight and trying to examine a
particular person`s response but the facts are --

SHARPTON: Or we can do something --

GEORGE: That she showed up on his stoop uninvited in the middle of the
night, is banging on the side door, is banging on the front door. And this
man now is in fear of his life in Detroit.

JENKINS: Well, if I`m a prosecutor --

SHARPTON: Or we could do something very different. We could just tell the
truth from the beginning.

JENKINS: Exactly. Because if I was the prosecutor I want to know which is
the truth, what you told the police that night or what you are telling the
jury now?

SHARPTON: And we`ll see what the jury decides and we`ll see what the truth
is then or now. And I`m sure their expert witnesses will be on as well
that may have a different take on this. Carmen St. George and Faith
Jenkins, thank you both for your time.

JENKINS: Thank you.

GEORGE: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, ten years after the swift boat attacks on John
Kerry, what have Democrats learned about fighting right wing smears?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back with a pause from the political battles of the day.
A time to rest, relax and recharge. That`s right. It`s time for the
POLITICS NATION summer break. At number three, it`s the house republicans
running out of Washington. No, that`s a cross country solar car race
ending in Minneapolis. Congrats to the winning team from the University of
Michigan.

For number two, we go to Moscow and the walking dead coming to life.
That`s Moscow`s first zombie walk. Looks like fun. And at number one,
football meets "Dancing with the Stars." Broncos quarterback Peyton
Manning showed off his moves at training camp. Mm-hmm, looks like Peyton
may have taken few lessons from President Obama. And that`s today`s summer
break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KERRY, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I`m John Kerry and I`m reporting for
duty.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That was Senator John Kerry accepting the democratic nomination
for president exactly ten years ago tonight. Kerry was a war hero, earned
three purple hearts for his service in Vietnam. He later spoke out against
the war and promised to bring that experience to the White House as
commander-in-chief. What conservatives did next was shameful. They
launched a swift boat ad smearing his war record, trying to drag him down
into the mud. A few years later, they tried it again against another
democratic nominee, but it hasn`t worked. You can keep trying to smear and
lie, but after a while truth crush to earth will rise again.

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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