Skip navigation

PoliticsNation, Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Read the transcript from the Tuesday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed

POLITICS NATION
September 16, 2014

Guest: Randal Hill, Nicholas Burns, Bill Rhoden, Joe Madison, David Brock,
Jess McIntosh, Angela Rye



ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR, THE ED SHOW: That`s "THE ED SHOW." I`m Ed
Schultz. POLITICS NATION with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.

Good evening, Rev.

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

Breaking news of the NFL scandal surrounding two of its biggest stars.
Moments ago, Anheuser-Busch, the leading sponsor of the last five super
bowls released this statement.

Quote "we are disappointed and increasingly concerned by the recent
incidents that have overshadowed this NFL season. We are not yet satisfied
with the league`s handling of behaviors that so clearly go against our own
company culture and moral code. We have shared our concerns and
expectations with the league."

And late today, another major sponsor, Campbell Soup said it`s told league
officials, quote "we expect the NFL to take appropriate action."

Meantime, Ray Rice has until 11:59 p.m., just six hours from now, to appeal
his indefinite suspension. It could be a direct challenge to NFL
commissioner Roger Goodell. Goodell says Rice gave him a quote "starkly
different version" of what happened in the elevator that night than what
the surveillance tape shows. But a source close to Rice told NBC`s Pete
Alexander that Rice claims he did tell the commissioner that he punched his
then fiancee.

And if that weren`t enough, the NFL today is also dealing with new fall-out
involving Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson, whose lawyer today is denying
accusation of a second report of child abuse related to another child.
It`s another challenge for a league trying to contain the damage from
multiple scandals.

Joining me now is Randal Hill, a seven-year NFL veteran, Lisa Bloom,
attorney and legal analyst at avo.com and Bill Rhoden, sports columnist for
the "New York Times." Thank you all for being here.

LISA BLOOM, LEGAL ANALYST, AVO.COM: Thank you, Rev.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: Moments ago, the NFL responded to Anheuser-Busch saying quote,
"we understand, we are taking action and there will be much more to come."
Bill, the sponsors are speaking out tonight. What does this mean for
Goodell and the league?

WILLIAM RHODEN, SPORT COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, I think that, you
know, what the sponsors are telling, there`s no gun to your head, but the
gun is on the table. The big news, they did not pull out. I read the
statement, saying, where do they say they pull out?

What they`re saying is everything but we`re going to hang around. But what
it is, basically, they`re aiming directly at Goodell. But notice, nobody
is pulling out. This is a multibillion dollar business, and they`ll say,
we`d rather have the commissioner out or we are going to pull out. So it
is a very, very interesting nuance.

SHARPTON: What does it mean? You played Randal for many years. What is
the impact of just this statement?

RANDAL HILL, NFL VETERAN PLAYER: Well, the impact, you know, steps are
going to hurt if these sponsors are going to pull out. But again, you
know, I have been on your show many times. And as I always say, let the
investigation take place, let all the evidence, you know, show before
anyone pulls out, before anyone makes a knee-jerk reaction to this
particular scandal.

SHARPTON: You know, bill, I want to go back to something you said before
going to Lisa. Anheuser-Busch is a major, major NFL sponsor. Between 2008
and 2013, it spent $149 million sponsoring super bowls, more than any other
sponsor. And in 2011, it signed a $1.2 billion deal, making bud light the
league`s official beer. How much influence does a sponsor like that have
on the NFL?

RHODEN: Reverend, this is huge. That`s why I`m saying, Goodell is, he is
feeling heat. This time last week, he probably was anesthetized. He`s
feeling a whole lot of heat. Because what they`re telling, at least, I
think listen, y`all better get it together. If that means this guy has got
to go, he`s got to go. And I think that him going this time last week, was
a really distant -- but now with Anheuser-Busch basically telling the NFL,
listen, we got too many female --

SHARPTON: And Campbell soup. And because they did have to release it
publicly. So that`s saying --

RHODEN: You`ve been involved in these kinds of -- this kind of economics.
The national football league is not going anywhere. Who`s going to go?
The commissioner.

SHARPTON: Now Lisa, let me go to the legal side of this. NBC sports
reports that Ray Rice will ask NFL commissioner Goodell to recuse himself
from the appeal. Quote "apart from Goodell already having prejudged the
question of whether Rice told the team and the league the truth regarding
what happened in that elevator.

Goodell will be a witness whose version of the events and other key
questions will have to be considered by the hearing officer for accuracy
and credibility. Lisa, what do you think happens here and how strong a
case does Ray Rice have?

BLOOM: Well, first of all, when corporate America is saying, you`ve fallen
below their moral code, NFL, you should realize that you have a problem.
As to Goodell, withdrawing himself from the investigation, that`s probably
a good idea. He`s at the top of the food chain, though. Ultimately,
everybody is accountable to him. I don`t know how far that`s going to go.

I think there needs to be a top to bottom investigation. So far I`m not
persuaded that`s going to happen, that it is happening. I`m not persuaded
that the people who are running this investigation are really serious about
it.

And Adrian Peterson is still playing, right? I mean, yes, we don`t want to
prejudge anything, but we know we have a 4-year-old child with injuries on
his genitals from Adrian Peterson whooping him. I don`t think that`s
acceptable to anyone and there`s photographic evidence. Why isn`t he at
least suspended at this point?

SHARPTON: Well, but Lisa originally, Rice had two-game suspension, then
six, now it`s indefinite. Does he have a strong case, or any case at all
if there is an impartial or free person investigating this from a legal
standpoint?

BLOOM: Ray Rice has no case at all to be reinstated. That`s absurd.
We`ve all seen the video of him punching out his then fiancee, of reacting
in a very cold and calm manner after he punched her out, dragging her out,
you know, kicking her feet out of the way. There`s absolutely no grounds
where I can see of why he should be reinstated. I mean, he is just a
horrible scourge on the NFL at this point.

SHARPTON: Bill, let me ask you something, how do you think players have
been treated?

RHODEN: There are a couple of problems. There`s a big problem. But one
problem is that, based on emails I`ve gotten, a lot of people have turned
this into the demonization of the black athlete sort of thing, you know. I
mean, people have jumped from this to and look how they`re spending their
money and that kind of stuff. So, listen, this is about Ray Rice, this is
about domestic abuse, this is not about black man. But then what Goodell
does, he goes and hires four women --

SHARPTON: Right.

RHODEN: -- four women to throw money at, I know he would do that, but not
one of them was a black woman or a brown woman. He has four white women to
handle this abuse problem, which number one, affects black and brown women
the most. But a, you`ve got a young black woman who was beaten and a black
athlete. And that`s what you do is not to then hire four women who are not
black to deal with this.

So all along, and it just keeps getting tone deaf after tone deaf after
tone deaf. And what I realize is that Goodell and the NFL have just become
anesthetized to insensitivity. That they just really don`t understand how
they`ve continued to mishandle this problem.

SHARPTON: Randal, what are you hearing from ex-players? What`s going
around the athletic world and even those who are no longer active players?
What`s the word going around?

HILL: Most of the former players are questioning, wondering if the NFL is
overstepping their boundaries, as to, you know, should, you know, something
that happens outside the field, or outside stadium walls, should it come to
play inside the stadium walls?

For example, I had a former player come up to me the other day and he said,
if a doctor committed these types of crime and/or alleged crimes, would
they not be allowed to practice anymore? And those are also people who you
look up in the community too. So, you know, where does this line stop? I
don`t know. I`m not the type of person to be able to make that judgment.

But again, you know, just sit back, I know everyone has seen the videos of
Ray Rice in the elevator and the situation with Adrian Peterson, with the
child abuse, which I`ve done those types of cases before. But again, you
know, let it come out, let all the evidence show, and let the NFL, you
know, guide itself as to what needs to be done.

BLOOM: The difference is, these are public figures.

HILL: Yes, so is a doctor.

BLOOM: If I may make my point --

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: Let her make her point.

BLOOM: They can`t do things that will bring disrepute on their employer,
if it`s a TV network, if it is a music company, or in this case, the NFL.

RHODEN: If you see, Randal, with all due respect, if we happen to get copy
of a video of a doctor butchering a patient and millions and millions of
people see it and the patient dies, something like that, you know, because
everybody saw it, his career is history. And unfortunately, or fortunately
actually, we all saw Ray Rice who everybody says is a good guy, but all we
know is what we saw and he brutalized a woman. So in this case, it`s a
tough case --

SHARPTON: Let me have Randal have the last word on this.

HILL: You`re absolutely right, but let`s compare apples to apples and
oranges to oranges. First of all I got to say Ray Rice is dead wrong. And
I`m a current federal agent and dormer state law enforcement officer. He`s
dead wrong. But let`s compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. If
a doctor actually went out and committed domestic abuse, you know, he`s a
public figure too. Would he be not able to practice anymore? And that`s
just a question I`m asking.

SHARPTON: If he was in a hospital, he may be discharged and a doctor can`t
leverage being a doctor into getting multimillion dollar endorsements.
It`s not apples to apples. That`s apples and oranges. They use their
public notoriety to make millions of dollars. That public notoriety also
comes with responsibility.

Randal Hill, Lisa Bloom and Bill Rhoden, thank you all for your time
tonight.

Coming up, a top general is making headlines for talking about boots on the
ground against ISIS. The American people don`t want that, neither does the
president. So what`s this all about?

Also, right-wingers think they have a new Benghazi bombshell, but it turns
out to be just another dud.

Plus, President Obama`s big new fight to save thousands of lives in Africa.

And dating tips from the head of the GOP, Rush Limbaugh.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: How many of you guys in our own
experience with women have learned that "no" means "yes," if you know how
to spot it?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: "No" means "yes"? No wonder Republicans have problems with
women voters. Big show tonight, stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: President Obama took major action today to address the deadly
Ebola outbreak that is raging in west Africa. Ebola has already killed
2,400 people in west Africa, and more than 5,000 are infected.

The president announced he`s sending 3,000 U.S. military personnel to
Africa, amid fears the outbreak could spiral out of control.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In west Africa, Ebola is now
an epidemic of the likes we have not seen before. It`s spiraling out of
control. It is getting worse. It`s spreading faster and exponentially.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He also addressed the urgency with which the world must step up
and act.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We have to act fast. We can`t Doddle on this one. We have to move
with force. This epidemic is going to get worse before it gets better, but
right now, the world still has an opportunity to save countless lives.
Right now the world has the responsibility to act, to step up and to do
more.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The plan is to set up a military command center, help build new
treatment facilities and train thousands of health care workers. Will
today`s actions will help save lives and we`ll be praying for the victims
and their families.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Will U.S. combat troops be sent to fight the terrorist group
ISIS on the ground in Iraq and Syria? In a Senate hearing today the
chairman of the joint chiefs of staff Martin Dempsey said it was a
possibility.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEN. MARTIN DEMPSEY, CHAIRMAN, JOINTS CHIEF OF STAFF: My view at this
point is that this coalition is the appropriate way forward. I believe
that will prove true. But if it fails to be true, and if there are threats
to the United States, then I, of course, would go back to the president and
make a recommendation that may include the use of U.S. military ground
forces.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: General Dempsey says he`d consider recommending ground troops
even though he doesn`t think they`re necessary now. The general also asked
if the president had ruled out sending in the ground troops.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DEMPSEY: Well, at this point, his stated policy is that we will not have
U.S. ground forces in direct combat. So, yes, he has told me to come back
to him on a case by case basis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The president doesn`t want more U.S. troops in combat, and
neither do the American people. One poll found 61 percent opposed to
sending ground troops to Iraq and Syria, 61 percent of Americans don`t
agree on anything. But they agreed they don`t want to be bogged down again
in Iraq. And it was a sentiment on full display today with protests inside
that Senate hearing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Would you please leave the room now? We`re
asking you nicely. We`re asking you nicely.

(INAUDIBLE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: After more than a decade of war, the American people want to
make sure we look before we leap back into the Mid East.

Joining me now is Nicholas Burn, former U.S. ambassador to NATO, now a
professor at Harvard university. Thanks for being here.

NICHOLAS BURN, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO NATO: Thank you, Reverend
Sharpton.

SHARPTON: Ambassador, the general said he`d consider making a
recommendation for ground troops, but we`re not there yet, are we?

BURNS: I don`t think so, not by a long mile. I think the president`s
clear preference here is that we`ll continue the American airstrikes. But
the ground forces will be the Peshmerga and Kurdish, hopefully a
revitalized and restructured Iraqi army that performs better than it did
this summer.

And also, and this is a gamble, trying to find moderate Syrian rebel groups
who can fight ISIS where ISIS has its base and Syria itself. But given the
president`s very consistent record going back to 2004, 2005, and 2006, when
he was in the senate, much less the presidency, the president`s been
consistent. He doesn`t think we should be fighting major land wars in the
Middle East.

And as you said, in your introduction, Congress and the American public
firmly agree with President Obama. So I think it is unlikely that the
president will get there. I think as I saw General Dempsey`s comments is
only if there is insufficient local ground forces and only if there`s a
direct threat to the United States, which you really can`t say right now
there is, that he might recommend something different. So I do think
President Obama is going to be very tough minded on this issue.

SHARPTON: Now, the president is calling congressional leaders on both
sides of the aisle today to discuss the training of Syrian rebels. The
house is expected to vote on that plan tomorrow. Here`s what Speaker
Boehner says about it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The president`s request is
to train, a vetted free Syrian army to fight ISIL in Syria. And I frankly
think the president`s request is a sound one. I think there`s a lot more
that we need to be doing, but there`s no reason for us not to do what the
president has asked us to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Syria is a complicated situation, but we must at the same time
deal with the fact that the plan to train and arm Syrian opposition, is it
the best option?

BURNS: Well, I think that it`s good to see there`s common ground between
Speaker Boehner and President Obama on this particular issue. I think that
what we need to have and where the president is heading, we need an Iraq-
Syria strategy. We cannot be successful in containing or eventually
defeating ISIS in Iraq if we don`t undercut ISIS in Syria.

So the president is right, in my judgment. We have to train and equip
those moderate Syrian rebel forces who can then contest for power with is
in Syria with ISIS and the Syrian government. We should have done that
three or four years ago. But it`s good to do it now. I think it makes a
sensible policy for the United States. I support what the president is
trying to do.

SHARPTON: Now, General Dempsey also said, Ambassador, that there really is
no military solution. Does that mean that diplomacy is an important part
of this?

BURNS: I think diplomacy is important right now, because what we have to
do is create an Arab coalition with Europeans and north Americans to try to
defeat ISIS. You need Turkey, and Turkey`s allowing foreign fighters to go
across its border into Iraq. You need Turkey to dry up the ability of ISIS
to export its oil on the black market into Turkey. You need Qatar to stop
funding some of these groups. You need Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the
united Arab Emirates to make sure their own citizens, wealthy individuals,
are not funding ISIS. So the diplomatic piece of this is very important.
It combines with the military piece for a joint strategy. I think it`s
interesting, the words that the administration is using. Are we trying to
contain ISIS or defeat it? They`re very different propositions requiring
different responses.

SHARPTON: Ambassador Nicholas Burns, thanks so much for your time tonight.

BURNS: Thank you very much.

SHARPTON: Coming up, they`re back and focusing on Benghazi. But tonight
their new so-called bombshell is a dud.

And in a midterm election where women are the critical vote, rush Limbaugh
is talking about whether "no" means "yes." what could possibly go wrong?

And switching gears, Lupita Nyong`O is with Elmo. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Move over Todd Akin, step aside Richard Murdoch, the GOP has a
new poster child for all its problems with women voters. It is Florida
congressman Steve Sutherland who got in hot water for holding a men-only
fund-raiser. The invitation read quote "good men sitting around,
discussing and solving political and social problems over fine food and
drink date back to the 12th century with king Arthur`s table."

King Arthur and the 12th century? Not exactly a forward-looking invite.
But wait, there`s more. Quote "tell the missus not to wait up because the
after dinner whiskey and cigars will be smooth and the issues to discuss
are many."

I can just picture the scene. But tell the missus not to wait up, that`s a
little insensitive. When his democratic opponent Gwen Graham called him
out, something on his response was even more baffling.

Quote "I live with five women. That`s all I`m saying. I live with five
women. Listen, has Gwen Graham ever been to a lingerie shower? Ask her
how many men were there."

A lingerie shower? That`s how he justifies his all-male fundraiser. This
election cycle, the Republicans are having a major problem attracting
female voters. We`ll be talking about that ahead. But we`re not letting
Southerland off the hook that easy. Nice try, but we "Got You."

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: On the eve of the first hearing of the Benghazi select
committee, the right claims they have a brand new bombshell. In the
interview with the Daily Signal, a former State Department official claims
Hillary Clinton`s aides were involved in scrubbing documents before they
were handed over for the investigation. Right-wingers pounced on the news
and were outraged.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: A bombshell development, they say, in the Benghazi
terror attack investigation. Some wonder if this could be a smoking gun of
a potential cover-up.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This is really serious, this is a cover-up.

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS HOST: It`s a potential game-changer involving former
Secretary of State`s Hillary Clinton`s top aides.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: A bombshell report involving former Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Exclusive information coming your way on this
bombshell.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Yet another big Benghazi bombshell.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: A bombshell! But back on planet reality, turns out this
bombshell is a dud. Media Matters reports Republicans admit they knew
about these supposedly bombshell allegations last year. And then even
bothered to include in their report. So where did this fake game-changer
come from, and why is it gaining right-wing steam now? Right before the
big hearing. Here`s how it works. An article is posted on the Daily
Signal, a news outlet for the conservative think-tank the Heritage
Foundation, now headed by Tea Party Leader Jim DeMint, and which gets a big
buck from the Koch Brothers.

It`s picked up by the "New York Post" and amplified by FOX News, where
hosted in a view conservative lawmakers calling for more hearings. Which
of course creates more fodder for right-wing blogs. It`s a vicious cycle
with no bombshell, no smoking gun, just more news for right-wing media.
And a waste of time and money for the rest of us.

Joining me now are Joe Madison and David Brock, founder of Media Matters
and author of "The Benghazi Hoax," thank you both for being here.

DAVID BROCK, AUTHOR, "THE BENGHAZI HOAX": Thank you.

SHARPTON: David, are there any bombshells here?

BROCK: Absolutely not. You know, the republicans have been trying to find
a scandal here for years and failing. And today they tried again and they
also failed. Now the facts are that the State Department`s appointed
accountability review board did an independent investigation, it was
exhausted, and let`s not forget, they were critical of the State
Department. So this makes no sense. The State Department itself says,
it`s impossible that the access was denied by the ARB. And so this is
totally without merit. And the source as you mentioned Mr. Maxwell has
said some of these things before.

They were not taken with seriousness by republican investigators. He`s
given media interviews where he`s never said this. And so suddenly on the
night the eve before the election, he comes out with this. He`s a grieved
former employee and let`s not forget, the reporter here Sheryl Attkisson is
a Benghazi truther, she left CBS for as you said, the right-wing heritage
foundation, so we need to consider the source.

SHARPTON: Now, Joe, FOX News evening shows broadcast nearly 1,100 segments
on Benghazi 20 months following the attack, that`s an average of 13
segments per week. And this was a perfect platform for the GOP. The study
also shows 97 percent of all Congressional and administration interviews on
Benghazi were with republicans. Joe.

JOE MADISON, SIRIUS XM RADIO HOST: And what this basically says is that
they have this big mega phone and here`s the other thing you have to
understand. FOX does this and then what happens is that conservative talk
radio then doubles down on it. So then you have the national people, again
like Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and others, and then you have the second-
stringers, the people on the local level, who then by Wednesday, Thursday,
Friday, they`re simply parroting what they`ve heard.

But, you know, Media Matters has really done us a favor. And also I`ve got
to give credit to the democrats because they also have put together and I
hope people go to it, a website where they`re locating a questions already
asked and answered.

SHARPTON: Yes.

MADISON: And that`s going to put, quite honestly, the republicans on the
spot. We`ve heard these questions before. We`ve gotten answers to this.
And as you`ve said, it`s a big waste of time and money, particularly when
we`re dealing with ISIS and what`s going on in the Middle East now.

SHARPTON: Let me go in to that a minute David, because today Congressman
Elijah Cummings, the ranking member of the Benghazi Select Committee. He
talked about the new hearings that start tomorrow. Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: We don`t want to be going over things
that have been asked and answered in this time of austerity. We don`t want
to be wasting taxpayers` dollars. We`ve had, again, all of these
investigations. We`ll let you draw your own conclusions with regard to
political motivation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Is there any other conclusions to draw? Any? Other than that
this is political?

BROCK: Absolutely not. You know, where most of us see tragedy, the
republicans saw partisan political opportunity. They think this issue
works for them. To gin up their right wing base in the midterms, to try to
tarnish Secretary Clinton because they`re afraid they may face her in 2016.
So the reality is, this entire thing is political. There were nine
Congressional investigations, this is the tenth and not one of the
republican conspiracy theories has been substantiated at all. The issue
has been settled.

SHARPTON: But, Joe, this could last all the way to the Iowa caucuses in
2016, if we`re talking about Hillary?

MADISON: Well, that`s what they`re hoping will be the case. I think as
they pointed out, their most immediate issue is to try to gin up their base
for this November, which is why I don`t think we should be fooled. And
people need to go to that website, they need to pay close attention to
these hearings. It`s really going to be a big waste of time and money.
But, you know what, I think independence and democrats get the message. We
know what`s happening, and FOX is going to do what FOX does, and
conservative talk radio is going to do what they do. And it`s just a
matter of getting out the vote. And that will end all of this, quite
honestly.

SHARPTON: You know, Elizabeth Hasselbeck tweeted something really
incredible really this afternoon. It says, quote, "Imagine if everyone
that asked for transparency in the NFL demanded that same transparency in
our government, #Benghazi, #IRS. I mean, David, a FOX News host has
finally done the impossible, connecting the NFL domestic violence
controversy to Benghazi.

BROCK: Yes, well, you know, all sorts of conspiracies have been hatched.
We put them out at Media Matters, but the truth is, no one`s going to
believe that. Secretary Clinton was fully transparent every step of the
way and whatever the republicans want to say this week to attack her, the
reality is, she did more to get to the bottom of this and to fix the
problems than any of them ever will.

SHARPTON: Joe Madison, David Brock, thank you both for your time. I`m
going to leave it there.

BROCK: Thank you.

MADISON: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, you`ve got to hear what the head of the GOP Rush
Limbaugh, is saying about women. And about whether "no" means "no."

Also, has Rihanna been punished for being a victim of domestic abuse? A
lot of people talking about her song getting cut from Thursday night
football.

Also an inspiring message from a Hollywood star on Sesame Street.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Remember that wave republicans kept talking about the one that`s
going to sweep the democrats away in the mid-term elections? Well, tonight
"The Washington Post" is reporting democrats now have a 51 percent chance
of keeping control of the Senate. This is a big deal. After all the
expectation that the democrats political fortunes were in more serious
trouble, it could come down to turn-out. But today we`re learning
republicans are headed toward a big turn-out edge in the mid-terms. So
getting out the vote is key. For minority voters, as we`ve talked about.

But tonight, a major focus on women. Democrats are banking on single women
to help them win the Senate, and republicans could be helping motivate
women for democrats. Yesterday Senate republicans blocked a vote on the
paycheck fairness act, in a vote of 52-40. It`s the fourth time since 2012
that republicans voted against strengthening equal pay for women. And
while republicans in toss-up states like North Carolina and Colorado have
suddenly supported a woman`s right over the counter birth control, they`re
getting called out for not being truthful.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Just when insurance is finally covering the cost of
prescription birth control, Thom Tillis says no. Women should pay this
$600 a year. His plan lets insurance companies off the hook and cost North
Carolina families more. Look closer and you`ll see that Thom Tillis isn`t
being honest with us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So it`s a sprint to the finish and women could decide who
controls the Senate. What could possibly go wrong for republicans?

Joining me now is Jess McIntosh and Angela Rye, thank you both for being
here.

ANGELA RYE, IMPACT STRATEGIES: Thank you.

JESS MCINTOSH, EMILY`S LIST: Great to be here.

SHARPTON: Jess, how key are women voters this year, especially with polls
showing democrats have a real shot at keeping the Senate?

MCINTOSH: Women voters are the key to everything this year. At Emily`s
List, we`ve done significant polling into segments of the electorate who
maybe drop off in your typical mid-term election. And what we`ve found is
that women`s issues are the number one motivator for these women. And by
women`s issues, I`m talking about access to birth control and abortion yes,
but I`m also talking about raising minimum wage, ending gender description
in pay, paid sick leave. We`re talking about issues of economic
opportunity. Census data came out today showing that the wage gap between
men and women for the same work has increased by an entire cent over the
last year. So now women makes 78 cents on every ounce dollar. And of
course if you`re an African-American or Latino woman, that number is even
lower. Woman know these are real issues and they`re paying attention to
them in November, republicans have very little to offer.

SHARPTON: Yes. Well, you know Angela, economic issues are women`s issues.
Democrats need to get single women out to vote, but it`s going to be a
struggle. The "New York Times" reports, many single women do not vote,
especially in non-presidential election years, while voting declines across
groups in midterm contests, the drop-off is steepest for minorities and
unmarried women. The result is a turn-out that is older, whiter, and more
conservative than in presidential years. Now, in at least four open for
grab Senate races in Alaska, Colorado, Iowa and North Carolina, the women
vote could decide which way the races go. Angela, how do democrats rally
women to get out and vote in this climate?

RYE: I think by being honest on the issues. At this point, we know that
the GOP`s autopsy report is just that, it`s dead. And they are dead wrong
on so many of these issues, there`s no way they can argue their way out of
them, finesse it into a different message because the policies are just
backwards, dated and old and no one is willing to support those. So, at
this point, democrats have to be clear about their agenda, not only on
economics, but they`re talking about this culture wars at this point. That
is everything, Rev, from voter suppression issues to affirmative action
issues to wage disparity issues, to these issues now about over-the-counter
birth control. And the fact that that is going to be again an economics
issue, after the Affordable Care Act, the only type of health care
republicans want to support -- which is an expensive care act. And we just
have to continue to argue the justice of a democratic agenda and why it is
again, the big-tent party.

SHARPTON: Just ahead of the party, Rush Limbaugh is really not helping
republicans` case. Listen to what he said today about how one of the
country`s largest public universities is trying to stop sexual assaults on
its campus.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: At Ohio State University to avoid
being guilty of sexual assault or sexual violence, you and your partner now
have to agree on the reason why you are making out or having sex. Agreeing
on the why takes all the romance out of everything. It takes all the
seduction. The consent must be freely given, and the absence of "no" does
not mean "yes." How many of you guys in our own experience with women have
learned that "no" means "yes," if you know how to spot it?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: "No" means "yes," if you know how to spot it? I mean, is this
the kind of talk that republicans think will help them, Jess?

MCINTOSH: The idea that Rush Limbaugh knows how to spot anything in a
woman`s brain is completely insane. The man`s a relic. And we could feel
sad for him, or we could laugh at him, if he didn`t have an audience of
millions of people who were hearing this hate speech. I mean, the man`s
perpetuating a crisis of sexual assault in America. I think Congress is
taking real good steps to address it on college campuses and in the
military. I think colleges are doing the right thing. We`re seeing a
really thoughtful discussion around the NFL. But Rush Limbaugh raising
with this sort of cretinous idea about what seduction is, and I think you
know, it`s beyond time that his advertisers stop associating with him and
that he lost the audience that he has.

SHARPTON: Angela, you know, you mentioned the health insurance, and this
was more bad news for republicans. A new study shows that ObamaCare is
helping those who need health insurance the most. The CDC study shows
lower income Americans are becoming insured at a great rate than non-poor
Americans as a result of the coverage expansion in the Affordable Care Act.
Now just look at how the number of uninsured poor and near-poor children
has plummeted. Angela, republicans have been so oppose to the Affordable
Care Act, this has got to hurt them, doesn`t it?

RYE: And absolutely it hurts them, Rev. Again, we know there have been
over 50 votes in the House of Representatives to repeal ObamaCare. So
today instead of them celebrating this very clear victory, they`re trying
to repackage the message. So, the businesses today from Reince Priebus and
others is, well, business have to cut jobs. Well, we disproved that a long
time ago. That businesses may have been saying they were cutting jobs
because of ObamaCare, but that`s not the real reason. They were using that
as an excuse and as a political talking point. So again, people are
playing politics with Americans` ability to afford health care.

For their ability to have life and death more abundantly in this country.
There`s no reason for this again to be a partisan issue. This is about the
healthy sustainability of all Americans regardless of the party
affiliation, their race or age. We also saw a substantial increase with
young adults from 19 to 26.

SHARPTON: Yes.

RYE: Again, that part of the community that the president wanted to ensure
weren`t dropped off their parents` insurance when they were in college.
There are great strategy being made and I wish they could put partisan
politics aside to celebrate that.

SHARPTON: Just quickly as -- why do female voters have a problem with GOP
politics? A recent GOP commission poll shows that female voters say the
Republican Party is, quote, "intolerant, lacking in compassion, and stuck
in the past."

MCINTOSH: So hard to believe.

SHARPTON: And the republicans` own poll show 49 percent of women nearly
half viewed republicans unfavorably.

MCINTOSH: They`re not honestly giving us a ton to think better of them on.
I mean, the policy agenda is terrible. The candidates are terrible. And
it`s regularly punctuated by Rush Limbaugh "no" means "yes," or Steve
Southerland`s lingerie party.

SHARPTON: Right.

MCINTOSH: I mean, this is a party that knows how to talk to women, it`s a
party that knows that it doesn`t know how to talk to women but it can`t
figure out how to fix that in the next 49 days.

SHARPTON: All right. I`m going to have to leave it there. Jess McIntosh
and Angela Rye, Angela talking about live life more abundantly. She`d been
to church.

RYE: Hey, yes.

SHARPTON: Thank you for your time tonight.

RYE: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Rihanna is making big headlines today. It all has to
do with football, music, and network television. That`s next.

Plus, an Oscar winner and Elmo team up to send a great message to kids.
Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Rihanna is making headlines today. She`s slamming CBS for its
decision to cancel her hit song "Run this Town" from their Thursday night
football coverage. CBS dropped the song from the NFL season opener last
week, in the wake of the Ray Rice scandal. You might remember Rihanna
suffered from domestic violence at the hands of her ex-boyfriend Chris
Brown in 2009. Reports said, CBS planned to bring the song back this week.
But today, Rihanna sent this tweet. "CBS, you pulled my song last week,
now you want to slide it back in this Thursday. No! (bleep) you. Y`all
are sad for penalizing me for this."

CBS responded by dropping Rihanna for the rest of the season. So what do
you think? Is Rihanna being penalized for being a victim of domestic
abuse? Our social media was on fire today with this debate. Let us know
what you think. Please head to our Facebook page. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We end tonight by talking about a Hollywood star, a puppet, and
feeling comfortable in your own skin. Lupita Nyong`o won our hearts with
the release of "12 Years a Slave" last year, her role in that film earned
her an academy award. But in April, Lupita was put on the cover of
"People" magazine`s most beautiful issue. But she didn`t always feel this
way. At an Essence Magazine event last year, she spoke in emotional terms
about not feeling beautiful in the past.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LUPITA NYONG`O, ACTRESS: I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I
put on the TV and only saw pale skin. I got teased and taunted about my
night-shaded skin, and my one prayer to god, the miracle worker, was that I
would wake up lighter-skinned.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But, of course, Lupita is perfect just the way she is, and she
just went on Sesame Street to share with children that message of self-
acceptance and self-empowerment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NYONG`O: Skin can also help you touch and that`s the thing I love most
about skin, Elmo.

ELMO: What`s that?

NYONG`O: Skin comes in lots of beautiful shades and colors.

ELMO: Oh, look at that. My skin is a beautiful red. You know what Ms.
Lupita?

NYONG`O: What`s that Elmo?

ELMO: I love my skin.

NYONG`O: Me too. I love my skin.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Beautiful shades and colors. Teaching children to embrace
themselves, to love who they are, and not have any complexes because of
external, small-minded people. Couldn`t be a better message that Lupita
and Elmo gave. If you embrace yourself young, you`ll grow up and be what
you need to be in life.

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.
END

<Copy: Content and programming copyright 2014 MSNBC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Transcription Copyright 2014 ASC LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is
granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not
reproduce or redistribute the material except for user`s personal or
internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall
user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may
infringe upon MSNBC and ASC LLC`s copyright or other proprietary rights or
interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of
litigation.>






Sponsored links

Resource guide