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PoliticsNation, Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

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September 9, 2014

Guest: Jackie Speier, Jonathan Capehart, Joe Madison, Bill Press, Patricia
Bynes, Terence Moore, Midwin Charles

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

Tonight`s lead, the president`s plan of action. Just minutes ago,
President Obama completed a meeting with the congressional leadership to
detail his strategy to destroy the terrorist group ISIS.

The meeting comes a day before the president`s primetime White House
address to the nation. The key questions now are, what`s the scale of
military action being planned? How long will the mission last? What role
will Congress have? And how will Republicans respond to president Obama?

Earlier today, before meeting with the president, House Speaker John
Boehner dodged the question of troops on the ground.


from the president today is a strategy that goes after ISIS and destroys

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Are you opposed to ground troops, or is that
an option?

BOEHNER: I am looking for a strategy from the president that takes on this
terrorist threat and defeats it.


SHARPTON: But we did get some hints about the GOP`s directions from others
in the party. Today, House Republicans met with the architect of the
disastrous Bush era Middle East policy, former vice president Dick Cheney.

"The Los Angeles Times" says Cheney, quote, "gave a pep talk to House
Republicans on Tuesday, highlighting the value of a hawkish national

Also today, a telling comment from a GOP Republican congressman who
supports a vote in Congress to authorize military action. But he says
other Republicans don`t. Quote, "Republicans don`t want to change
anything. We like the path we`re on now. We can denounce it if it goes
bad, and praise it if it goes well, and ask what took him so long."

It is rare Republicans are that honest about their blame Obama first
approach. But it`s a reminder, the country doesn`t need more politics
right now. We need good policy. Tomorrow night, Americans will hear
President Obama`s policy in a primetime address to the nation.

Joining me now, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Democrat of California, who
serves on the House Armed Services Committee and "The Washington Post`s"
Jonathan Capehart. Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Congresswoman, let me go to you first. What do you hope to hear
from the president tomorrow night?

SPEIER: I want to hear a strategy from the president. I want to hear that
he is committed to having the Congress take a vote on this action in both
Iraq and if he does take steps to engage in Syria. And I also want to make
sure that we know that there is a threat to the U.S. homeland. We`ve got
to make that very clear, so that we can engage in a manner that makes
sense. We also need to make sure --

SHARPTON: So if there`s a threat to you, it`s very clear that there is a
threat to the U.S. homeland and authorization by Congress seems to be
important to you.

SPEIER: And finally, a coalition of support for engagement by many of the
countries in the Arab league, and sharing the burden, the costs of these
engagements are very expensive. And there`s lots of reserves in many of
the Arab countries that are actually in harm`s way with ISIL as well.

SHARPTON: Jonathan, what message will the president be sending tomorrow
night to the American people, and that matter, to ISIS?

CAPEHART: Well, Rev., for one thing we know about the president is he
knows he`s leading a war weary nation. Even though there`s a poll out that
shows that 90 percent of the American people are very, very concerned about
some kind of threat from ISIS.

But the president, I think, as the congresswoman laid out, he`s got to tell
the American people, what`s going on. He has to do so in very sort of --
in a candid manner. He has to tell them -- he has to tell the American
people what`s at stake, why the United States is getting involved now in
this effort, in another Middle East effort when a year ago this time, the
president decided not to take action when Syria used chemical weapons
against its own people, when the United States opted not to take any kind
of serious action in other places around the Middle East. He`s got to also
show, as the congresswoman just said, that the United States is not going
about this alone. And that`s something that the president has always made


CAPEHART: That if any action takes place, it`s going to be not just the
United States, but the United States in concert with countries in the
region who also have something at stake in the fight against ISIS.

SHARPTON: It comes back to what you said, Congresswoman. How important --
let me ask you to elaborate. How important that whatever is done is done
in concert with other nations, other allies?

SPEIER: I think it`s a very high priority. I cannot imagine that we would
support the president going it alone. We have learned a horrible lesson in
Iraq, and its cost us so many lives, so much money, so much incredible
perspective, in terms of how we`re perceived by countries in the region. I
mean, they don`t like what they see when the United States invades Iraq.
When they say they have a red line and that red line moves.

They don`t have a sense that we`re there for the long run. And I think if
we`re going to be there for the long run, whatever it is, we`ve got to do
it in conjunction with other Arab states.

SHARPTON: Jonathan, "the Washington Post" talked to GOP congressman Peter
King after the meeting with the former vice president Dick Cheney. And
quote, "I asked if he saw any irony in Cheney coming to talk to Republicans
about next steps in Iraq. King said firmly, no, because most of us think
we did the right thing in Iraq."

I mean, is that really the view among Republicans in Congress that Bush-
Cheney did the right thing in Iraq, Jonathan?

CAPEHART: I think this current crop of Republicans on the hill, they
probably do agree with vice president Cheney, that what they did was the
right thing in Iraq. But then there are a whole lot of other people within
the Republican party and across the country, no matter their political
affiliation, who believe that the war in Iraq was wrong, that we shouldn`t
have done it. And that the reason why the president -- one of the reasons
the president is giving the speech tomorrow night at 9:00 is because of
that war in Iraq and the tempest that was unleashed by the toppling of
Saddam Hussein.

SHARPTON: Now, let me go back to you, Congresswoman. Because Ted Cruz
said America should go it alone against ISIS rather than seek a coalition.
Listen to that.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: In order that this action be done right, it must
be led by the United States unfettered by other nations` rules of
engagement that might impede our effective action. Achieving some pre-
ordained number of countries in a coalition is not a strategy.


SHARPTON: How do you respond to that, Congresswoman?

SPEIER: Well, you know, Ted Cruz is a walking time bomb. And I think
we`ve seen it over and over again in Congress where he is, you know,
capable of saying and doing anything, bringing this country to its knees
with the shutdown last year. It doesn`t surprise me that he`s trying to
make headlines. And as we all know, he`s probably running for the

But I think it`s really important, Reverend Al, to appreciate that there
are so many foreign fighters that have come in to support ISIL, some 10,
12,000 of them, some even from the United States.

So the interest of the American people is to know that whatever we do here
is going to have some permanent results. And my big fear is that, we
didn`t even think about ISIL a year ago. When we talked about Syria, it
was one of a number of opposition groups, wasn`t seen as anything of
significant significance. This year, they`re a barbaric institution that
we`re very concerned about.

What`s the next home-grown institution that`s going to come out of the
Middle East? Do we need to be concerned about Boko Haram? I mean, there
are so many of these groups that are jihadist of nature and have their eyes
set on doing great harm to the United States, and to countries in the
region. So I think we`ve got to be very careful as we move forward.

SHARPTON: All right, I`m going to have to leave it there. We will
certainly be seeing you tomorrow night. The primetime speech to the nation
by the president from the White House. Congresswoman Jackie Speier,
Jonathan Capehart, I thank you both for your time tonight.

SPEIER: Thank you.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, breaking news, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell just
broke his silence on the Ray Rice beating tape. What did he see and when
did he see it?

Plus, after a five-week vacation, Speaker Boehner`s Republican House is
back to work. And by work, I mean, Benghazi obsession.

And exactly one month after Michael Brown`s killing, we`re seeing action in
Ferguson to Washington and some big changes under way. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Republicans promise a fair and impartial investigation with
their new Benghazi committee. But you won`t believe what a member of that
committee is saying about the president. That`s next.


SHARPTON: After five weeks summer vacation, House Republicans are finally
back doing what they do best, spinning their wheels on Benghazi. The
Benghazi select committee holds its first hearing on it. Republicans plan
to focus on the state department and review of the attack. In other words,
they`re going to investigate the investigation. It`s ridiculous. And
Republicans are getting egged on by the scandal machine over at FOX.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think the Obama administration is hiding
anything about Benghazi?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Tonight FOX News uncovers the Benghazi smoking gun.

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Governor, do you think a Benghazi cover-up
is still going on?


SHARPTON: And now some Republicans in Congress have stopped even
pretending to be impartial in this? GOP congressman Lynn Westmoreland just
told a crowd of donors, that, quote, "I think our enemy stands on 1600
Pennsylvania avenue."

This is outrageous! This is outrageous talk for a member of Congress to
make. And what`s worse, he was chosen by Speaker Boehner to serve on the
Benghazi committee.

Congressman Westmoreland has no place on this panel. He should be removed
immediately. And Republicans need to stop talking about the enemy in the
White House and start talking about issues that actually matter to the
American people.

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



SHARPTON: Joe, how can a congressman who calls President Obama the enemy
be allowed to serve on a committee investigating the administration?

MADISON: I don`t know if the answer to that question other than the fact
that the speaker of the House, once again, caters to this tea party crowd
that try to rev up the base quite honestly has already revved up.

The reality is that here we are trying to pull together a united coalition
of members of Congress. The president met with both parties, the
leaderships of both parties, a major speech tomorrow, and once again, the
most outrageous thing that the American people should remember come
November is the months and the millions and millions of dollars that were
spent on this investigation. Now, you want to talk about a waste of
taxpayers` money, this is a waste.


You know, Bill, in an interview this summer, the chairman of the Benghazi
committee, Trey Gowdy, he said, quote, "there`s this notion out there, as
some of my colleagues have said, that this will be a circus, a kangaroo
court. I don`t want to be a part of that."

Now you have a guy on the panel who calls President Obama our enemy.
Doesn`t that show what a kangaroo court this really is, Bill?

PRESS: No, absolutely. First of all, I think it shows something else.
This is funny, they ran out of gas on Obamacare, Reverend Al, right? So
now they have to come back to Benghazi. They ran out of gas on Benghazi a
long time ago. They just don`t know it.

But let me tell you, Trey Gowdy would not have taken this job if he had not
agreed to make it a one-sided, go after Obama, and go after Hillary Clinton
circus. That`s all that it is. There`s no blood left in this turnip.

SHARPTON: But, Bill, they promised a fair investigation.

PRESS: Yes, yes, right. Sure. And you know what, remember, John Boehner
said, if you elect us and put us in charge of the House, we promise you
we`ll do something about jobs. They haven`t had one jobs bill in the last
three years. (INAUDIBLE) some of these people. And I want to pick up on
what Joe said. They ought to be sued for malpractice.

Look, they have no time for a hearing on -- even on ISIS. They have no
time for a hearing on minimum wage. No time for a hearing on jobs or
anything else. But they have time for one more hearing on Benghazi, and
they`ve already held over 15 hearings on Benghazi.

SHARPTON: Now, here`s what Republican lawmakers said about the lawyer.
You know, FOX has been obsessed. Let me explain this -- the contents of
this. They`ve been obsessed with yet another book on Benghazi. They
created a full one-hour documentary about it. They`re hyping it as, quote,
"a smoking gun." Now, here`s what a lawmaker said about some of the claims
this lawyer made in the book on FOX News. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The lawyers asked that none of their testimony be
released until after their book was out and being sold. And so this is so
horribly unfortunate. I think you have lawyers who have a financial
interest in this, certainly making allegations that are far from true. The
only way people buy the book is with some inflammatory comments. These are
attorneys with a financial stake in this and it`s unfortunate.


SHARPTON: Now, that`s Hal Rogers, the chairman of the House Intelligence
Committee. This is Hal Rogers, the one of the Republican leaders, chair of
the House Intelligence Committee, Joe. I mean, how many Benghazi
conspiracy theories have got to bite the dust before right-wingers give it
up and quit exploiting their own base to sell books and the like?

MADISON: Well, you said the House Intelligence Committee and that`s an
oxymoron when it comes to these guys, to be quite honest. They can come up
with conspiracy theories abound. Anyone can come up with the conspiracy
theory. You know we all do talk radio. One of the things we always have
to guard against is caller after caller after caller who comes up with
conspiracy theories.

Once again, Bill is absolutely right. This is nothing more than an attempt
to try and go On the Record to deal with Hillary Clinton, and that`s what
you`re going to see. You`re going to see people profiling in front of the
camera, and then it`s going to be used in the 2016 election. And then it`s
going to be used to try to rev up the base for this upcoming election in 55

Again, here`s what people can do to stop this. And that is get out,
register to vote. That one million campaign, one million new votes. If we
start registering to vote -- let me tell you something, I believe that
Boehner would pull the plug on this, because he would see that this thing
would create a situation that would put the House in jeopardy and certainly
the Senate.

SHARPTON: You know, Bill, at the same time, these guys, the Republicans,
don`t seem to care about the threat of the midterm, about the voting. They
just seem to be full steam ahead. They are so obsessed with trying to
humiliate and embarrass this president that they just seem to not even see
that they`re humiliating the American public.

PRESS: I also don`t see, I believe Reverend Al, I don`t think that they
think that Benghazi really is -- there`s nothing left there, not even for
their base on Benghazi. They have beat this horse to death. And it`s
worth pointing out, there has been an investigation by Admiral Mullen and
Ambassador Thomas Pickering, which looked into this very charge and
repudiated it, number one. Number two, Mike Rogers the chair ever the
intelligence committee, had a hearing and he investigated this allegation
in the book that the head officer over there told them to stand down and
not rescue ambassador Stevens. And he said it`s absolutely untrue.

So this dog don`t hunt anymore. Not even for their base. They`re wasting
their time and they`re wasting our money.

SHARPTON: Are they trying to get a two-shooter here, Joe? They keep going
with Benghazi because they want to take a shot at the president, which I
agree with Bill, is no longer has any kind of real fire power. And they
also want to try to get a shot at Hillary Clinton?


MADISON: Absolutely. It`s both. I mean, they have done everything since
this president has been elected, from the first day he was inaugurated in
January, making a pledge that we won`t do anything to help this president.
To everything from him being a Muslim, not born in this country. They have
shot everything at this president. I bet you that this will turn out to be
an absolute non-story because after tomorrow`s speech and the concern that
we have about ISIS, I guarantee you that probably the media won`t pay any

And let me also say something, though. I`m very pleased with the Democrats
that are going to be there. Because you`ve got some very strong, outspoken
individuals who, I think, will call it like it is. And it will be
interesting to see how they position themselves, because -- and I think
that`s who we should really pay attention to. Because I think they will
expose this committee for what it is.

SHARPTON: Well, we are going to definitely be on it. I`m going to have to
leave it there. Joe Madison and Bill Press, thank you for your time

PRESS: Thank you, Reverend, Al.

MADISON: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, the NFL commissioner is breaking his silence about
the Ray Rice beating tape. What does he say about when he first saw it?
That`s coming up.

Also exactly one month after the Michael Brown shooting, a real moment of
progress for the people of Ferguson. We`ll tell you what`s happening and
why it`s just beginning.

And the First Lady`s rallying cry ahead of the midterm elections.


get everyone you know out to vote this November. That`s what`s at stake in
these elections, the kind of country we want to leave for our kids and our


SHARPTON: But, you`ve got to hear how one Republican lawmaker responded to
the First Lady`s visit. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: With Election Day right around the corner, First Lady Michelle
Obama is hitting the campaign trail. She spoke at a voter registration
rally in Georgia yesterday, reminding folks there just how important this
election is.


M. OBAMA: The stakes this year couldn`t be higher, because if we don`t
show up at the polls this November, if we don`t elect leaders in Congress
and here in Georgia who will put people first instead of just fighting for
special interests, then we know exactly what will happen. We will see more
folks interfering in women`s private decisions about our health care.
We`ll see more folks denying that climate change even exists. We`ll see
more votes against equal pay and immigration reform and raising the minimum
wage for hard working folks.


SHARPTON: The stakes couldn`t be higher. And the solution, register to


M. OBAMA: You need to get registered, and then you need to vote. And then
you need to get everyone you know, everyone you know, to vote to. Everyone
you know! Bring folks from your family, the neighborhood, the church.
Don`t leave anyone behind. That`s how we did it before.


SHARPTON: Getting out the vote is key in this election. But one
Republican state senator in Georgia wasn`t too happy over with the First
Lady`s visit to the peach state. He wrote an e-mail, quote, "Michelle
Obama comes to town and Chicago politics comes to DeKalb. Now we are to
have Sunday voting at South DeKalb mall just prior to the election. This
location is dominated by African-American shoppers and it is near several
large African-American mega churches. We will try to eliminate this
election law loophole in January."

Early voting is a loophole? He doesn`t want folks voting near African-
American churches or where blacks tend to go shopping. What is he so
worried about? That maybe these residents will actually, I don`t know,
vote? Voting rights in Georgia are already under assault. State
Republicans have cut 24 early voting days from the calendar. And we`re
seeing this kind of pattern all across the country. Did Republicans think
we`d ignore this blatant attack on voting rights? Nice try. But we


SHARPTON: It`s been one month since the Michael Brown shooting, and calls
for change are coming from Ferguson to Washington. In less than two hours,
the Ferguson town council will meet for the first time since the shooting,
and they`re promising changes to their law enforcement practices. They
promise to introduce reforms to their court system, create a citizens
review board to help guide the police department, and reduce or eliminate
some fines for failure to appear in court. All of it in response to a town
whose deep racial problems were exposed after the shooting, revealing a
town profiting from poverty, and a police force that`s under civil rights
investigation from the Justice Department for traffic stops, searches, and


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: If you know your rights and you try to what the police
say smart off at them, they basically lock you up, and they hold you for 24
hours for no reason, and then they just let you go.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The police stop, to degrade and to humiliate. It`s not
to help. protect and serve. It`s to degrade and humiliate. My grandson is
a victim of the Ferguson police.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I can`t even ride down the street without feeling this
close to my car in all situations. They just feel like they can get away
with it. And to me --

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: They are getting away with it.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: For the longest time my community has been over policed.
The statistics don`t lie.


SHARPTON: And the reverberations also being felt in Washington. Today we
saw a Senate hearing on the militarization of local police departments.
It`s in response to the military-style force seen in Ferguson and across
the country. Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill called the hearing, saying
protesters were being treated, like, quote, "Enemy combatants." But this
was not partisan, Senator Tom Coburn said he has heartburn over this
problem. And that the response post 9/11, quote, "seems to be an

Senator Rand Paul called it, quote, "crazy out of control." I have said
this tragedy needs to produce a movement, a movement for the long haul,
that turns chance into change and demonstration into legislation. Today,
one month since the shooting, we`re seeing the first signs of action from
Ferguson to Washington. It`s a start. It`s a meaningful conversation
that`s sparking toward meaningful change.

Joining me now is Patricia Bynes, a Democratic congresswoman from Ferguson
Township. Thank you for being here tonight.

me, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Committeewoman, let me ask you, what do you want to hear come
out of this meeting tonight?

BYNES: Well, you know, one, I want it to be packed. I want to see a lot
of the emotion that I have seen and heard for the past month. I want it
funneled into a much more productive environment. And I want the community
to feel empowered. This is the first steps that they need to take and
start engaging with their local government here in Ferguson. So I want to
see a packed house. And I want to see them raise their concerns. Often
times in our community, we speak amongst ourselves, but we don`t
necessarily bring the issues to the people who can make a difference and
that is the elected officials. And I want them to feel very comfortable in
bringing those concerns. And I want them to ask questions. So the
conversations that we`ve had during the protests, you know, on the corners,
I want them to bring them to the people that needed to hear it the most.

SHARPTON: And we still have a lot of work to do because also today, the
parents Michael Brown had a press conference, their lawyer Attorney Gray
and Reverend Lee and others saying that they want to see this officer
arrested. A month later, he has not been arrested. So as we deal with the
changes, you still have this case and what`s going to happen in terms of
the calls for justice for Michael Brown from his parents.

BYNES: Yes, yes. The cries are loud. And it`s not just coming from his
family. They`re coming from the community. Many people feel we`re a month
into this and he`s still not arrested. And that`s a real concern for the
community. So while we are seeing some political activity move forward.
At least you have a grand hearing under way, people would like to see him
move forward, but that`s where we have to start explaining what the process
is and some of these things take time. So there`s a lot of education going
on out here by myself, by other elected officials out here, by other
informed community people and this is where we`re coming in, stepping in
and explaining things to people.

SHARPTON: Now, today in the hearing in Washington, Democratic and
Republican senators talked about how out of control the problem of police
militarization has become. Watch this.


SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL (D), MISSOURI: The number of MRAPs in the possession
of local police and sheriffs is now far higher than the MRAPs in possession
of our country`s national guard. I question whether state and local law
enforcement agencies need this kind of equipment. And certainly, whether
they need it more than our state`s National Guard.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: The militarization of police is something
that`s gotten so far out of control.

SEN. TOM COBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: I think we need to have a good hearing. We
need to re-center where we are.


SHARPTON: You know, there`s a lot of equipment already in local law
enforcement hands. How can the Senate help turn this around, this problem
around, committeewoman?

BYNES: Well, clearly, you know, at the federal level, they`re in charge of
a lot of these federal grants. And I`m glad to know that -- because this
was my feeling. This is not a partisan issue. I was glad to see Democrats
and Republicans both outraged by what they saw, and seeing a need to really
rein this in. So, by looking, and the oversight that`s needed for the
federal programs that`s funding this, start questioning the policies, and
is this the best use of those moneys and those grants going to their
cities? I was very scared when I found out that St. Louis was considered a
small city, only getting a small portion of the money as compared to
largest cities like New York and L.A. So, I don`t even know what they
might have.

SHARPTON: It looked like a lot of stuff out there and a lot of us that
were out there those nights. Committeewoman Patricia Bynes, we thank you
for your time. We`ll be watching this one month and we still have not seen
the case move forward. We`re going to see what happens tonight in terms of
community reforms.

BYNES: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, breaking news. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell just
broke his silence on the Ray Rice beating tape. Did anyone in the NFL see
the beating video before yesterday? That`s next.


SHARPTON: We`re back with breaking news. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
is breaking his silence. What did he know and when did he know it? A day
after this violent video was released from TMZ Sports, showing NFL star Ray
Rice punching his then fiancee inside an Atlantic City elevator. The
commissioner has come under a fire storm of questions surrounding what the
NFL saw, and when they saw it. The commissioner just spoke to CBS News,
and he was asked when he first learned about this videotape.


ROGER GOODELL, NFL COMMISSIONER: Yesterday morning. I got into the office
and our staff had come to me and said there`s new evidence, there`s a video
that you need to see. And I watched it then.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Did you know that a second tape existed?

GOODELL: Well, we had not seen any videotape of what occurred in the
elevator. We assumed that there was a video. We asked for video, but we
were never granted that opportunity.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: So, did anyone in the NFL see the second videotape
before Monday?



GOODELL: No one in the NFL, to my knowledge, and I`ve been asked that same
question, and the answer to that is no.


SHARPTON: The commissioner was then asked if he dropped the ball on this.


GOODELL: Well, we certainly didn`t know what was on the tape. But we`ve
been very open and honest and I have also, from two weeks ago, when I
acknowledged that we didn`t get this right. That`s my responsibility. And
I`m accountable for that.


SHARPTON: But many are still asking, could they have tried harder to get
the video?

Joining me now are sport journalist Terence Moore and former prosecutor and
current trial Attorney Midwin Charles. Thank you both for being here



SHARPTON: Terrence, what`s your reaction to the commissioner?

MOORE: Well, I`m not violent. Because I`ll tell you something, Revered
Al. I`ve covered the NFL since the late 1970s. And I want to tell you,
whether you talk about the NFL in general or these teams in particular,
they have better investigators as a whole than CIA. OK? Right here in
Atlanta, Georgia, where I`m based, the Atlanta Falcons, under Arthur Blank,
his head security guy is a former secret service agent. So what does that
tell you? If they wanted to find out what was there, they could have found
out. That`s number one.

Here`s the other thing that`s even bigger than that. This is pretty much
on the record that Ray Rice himself told the Baltimore Ravens exactly what
took place in that elevator. This is from day one. He also told them that
he punched his fiancee. So if the Ravens knew that, that means that the
NFL knew that. So for them to say, we didn`t see the video, they have an
eyewitness account from one of the guy, the person who was right there, who
was guilty of this thing, saying that he did these things. This is

SHARPTON: Midwin, the commissioner said they were open and honest. Do you
buy it?

CHARLES: I don`t buy it. Listen, you don`t ask, you don`t get. And the
NFL at this point clearly could have done more --

SHARPTON: What could they have done? You`re the lawyer here. What could
they have done?

CHARLES: Well, if you look at the statement, it was very specific and
targeted. The statement said, well, we asked the police and we didn`t get
anything. But the statement doesn`t say whether they asked Ray Rice`s
attorney, did they ask the hotel, did they ask the prosecutor? Remember,
Ray Rice was indicted with third-degree assault, you know, with respect to
what`s happened on this tape.


CHARLES: So logically, if anyone views the first tape where he`s dragging
this woman out of the elevator, the logical conclusion is well, hey, let`s
find out what happened in the elevator, did she pass out drunk, did he hit
her? And just as your previous guest said, he said, Ray Rice had already
said that he hit her in the elevator --

SHARPTON: So you`re suggesting that the commissioner and the NFL did not
try hard enough to get this tape?

CHARLES: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. They could have done so much

SHARPTON: They only suspended Rice for two games after the initial video
was released. Yesterday he was suspended indefinitely. Should the tape
have been even more -- should it have been that much of a difference?

MOORE: No. But let me tell you what`s going on here. The NFL is the
hottest commodity in the world when it comes to sports. And Forbes
magazine announced earlier this year that the average NFL team is worth
$1.5 billion, with a b. The Baltimore Ravens, one of the top teams in the
NFL. A lot of people think they might go to the Super Bowl. Ray Rice, one
of the top stars in the NFL. You put all this together, and it smells
cover-up. They didn`t want to hurt one of their entities. And remember,
now, Roger Goodell, when he became the commissioner, one of the first
things he said was, I`m all about protecting the shield.

Now, the way that came across where he wanted to come across, is that if
anybody does something detrimental to the league, then we`ll going to take
care of that person and that`s part of it. But the other part of it is, we
don`t want anything that`s going to taint the NFL. And this is a classic
example of this. Because again, commonsense tells you, as soon as you see
him dragging his fiancee out of the elevator, that this guy has got to go
for a long time.

SHARPTON: But at the same time, Midwin, we understand business, we
understand protecting the shield as commissioner. But what message are we
sending to kids in America if we`re saying that respect for women,
domestic violence, things like that, are tossed to the side, or even the
serious inquiry about that is tossed to the side in the name of money and
protecting the shield? What`s the message?

CHARLES: Well, it`s a horrible message. It sends the message that this is
okay. Let me just throw some statistics out to you. According to the
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1.3 million are abused
annually by someone they know. Eighty five percent of domestic violence
victims are women. And often times, it is someone that they know. So this
is a very serious problem. This is a huge problem in America, and the NFL
clearly must deal with it. They need to acknowledge the fact that it`s
serious. Kids love football, and the message that they`re getting, this is

SHARPTON: Let me go back to you, Terrence. Because veteran reporters like
Peter King and others, wrote what was on the tape. They had sources that
told them what was on the tape. He tweeted today, I`m incredulous if the
NFL didn`t see the video, they didn`t try harder to. Can`t help but think
they didn`t want to. I mean, how can reporters find out what was on the
tape and had written about it weeks ago, and the NFL didn`t get the tape or
even go and find out what they were reading, if in fact that was on the

MOORE: Because the NFL knew exactly what was going on here. They cannot
get off the hook. And I`ll tell you one thing. A lot of people are saying
that Roger Goodell has got to go. That`s not going to happen. Because
Roger Goodell is hired by the owners. If the owners get rid of Roger
Goodell, again, which is not going to happen. They`re basically telling on
themselves in a lot of ways. Because, again, this is a bottom-line league.
Okay. They know that people love the NFL so much. They just want to see
the product on the field. And I`ll tell you something else. Contrary to
what people are saying, I would not be surprised if Ray Rice shows up again
in the National Football League, 27, in his prime. If you can play, they
don`t care.

SHARPTON: All right. Terence Moore and Midwin Charles, I want to thank
you both for your time. Let me tell you something, to me, this is not
about Roger Goodell. It`s not about the NFL. It`s not even about Ray
Rice. It`s about what values and what we`re going to represent as a
nation. I have two daughters. The issue is bigger than all of that. And
we should not lose sight of that as we deal with this issue. This is not
about taking sides. This is about upholding what this society should stand
for. We`ll be right back.


SHARPTON: Here`s an image that`s been lighting up our social media
accounts all day. Take a look at this picture from inside the Oval Office.
A departing secret service agent and his wife were meeting with President
Obama. But over on the couch, you can see the kid is clearly not
impressed. Their son is face planting into that couch. You got to love
it. We asked you to caption his thoughts online.

Here`s some of our favorite responses. Barbara said, "Mom and dad, can we
go now?" Maria wrote, "Just so tired and this couch is so soft." Charleen
posted, "The president must use a lot of febreze." We love when you
comment. So keep it coming on our Facebook page and twitter,


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, we mark two decades of progress against
domestic violence. But we also look at how far we have to go. Today, Vice
President Joe Biden celebrated the 20th anniversary of the violence against
women act, which he wrote when he was still a senator. The law
strengthened protections for victims and toughened penalties against
offenders. The vice president called it the most meaningful thing he`s
ever done. But he also said, there`s more work to do.


VICE PRES. JOE BIDEN (D), UNITED STATES: Somehow we get to a point where
we think we passed this law and now we`re finished. We`re not even close
to being finished. We`re not going to succeed until America embraces the
notion, my father`s notion, that under no circumstance does a man ever have
a right to raise a hand to a woman, other than in self-defense. Under no
circumstance. That no means no.


SHARPTON: The vice president clearly passionate on the issue that affects
all of us. And earlier today in an interview with MSNBC`s Tamron Hall, he
spoke specifically about the Ray Rice situation.


BIDEN: So you know the first reason the NFL responded in my view, there`s
so many women fans in this billion dollar industry. So all of a sudden
they said, wait a minute, he got suspended for a couple games? Whoa.
That`s not enough. Then they got a little more sensitized. Then it was
longer. And then when the video was out there and saw how brutal it was,
the Ravens did the right thing, fired him immediately. Now, you can argue
they should have done it sooner. They didn`t want it. Whatever the reason
is, it`s happening.


SHARPTON: As I mentioned earlier, I`m the proud father of two daughters.
Just as President Obama is. And what I saw on that Ray Rice tape is deeply
troubling. There were those that will argue all kinds of things. I`ve
even heard people say, people shouldn`t provoke you. There`s no excuse for
what we saw in that tape. People cannot provoke to bring out of you what`s
not in you. And we need to deal with this kind of venom and disregard and
disrespect for women. And we need to punish it adequately, but not excuse
it and not find excuses.

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


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