Skip navigation

PoliticsNation, Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Read the transcript from the Tuesday show

  Most Popular
Most viewed

POLITICS NATION
November 11, 2014

Guest: Jamal Simmons; Ed Rendell; Jason Johnson; Michelle Cottle, Midwin
Charles, Lisa Bloom, Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani, Chris Witherspoon, Faith
Jenkins

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

Tonight`s lead, while Republicans complain about America`s problems, the
president gets to work with fixing them. And you see it with everything
from Ebola and health care, to immigration and our veterans.

Today America is Ebola-free. The last U.S. Ebola patient was released from
the hospital this morning praising the government protocols that caught the
disease early.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. CRAIG SPENCER, EBOLA SURVIVOR: I am a living example of how those
protocols work, and of how early detection is critical to both surviving
Ebola and ensuring that it is not transmitted to others.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Despite weeks of fear mongering, we didn`t hear much today from
Republicans about this. If you didn`t know any better, you`d think they
only cared about Ebola when it could help them win an election.

Also on this veterans day, we`re seeing long-standing problems at the VA
finally getting addressed. After President Obama signed a historic bill to
overhaul the department, taking aim at issues that date back decades.

We`ve seen this pattern before. Republicans grab headlines by freaking out
about America`s problems, but then skip town and leave the president to
clean up the mess. He talked about his record on that this weekend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have great confidence in
the American people, and I have great confidence in this administration
being able to work through and eventually solve problems.

We`ve handled Ebola well. But -- and then folks aren`t talking about it as
much now, but there was a period of time where people were anxious. You`ll
recall just a year in office when there was a big hole in the middle of the
gulf, spewing out oil. And we went through a month that was real tough.
Nobody talks about it now because we actually had a really effective
response against the worst environmental disaster in American history. But
when you solve the problem, sometimes the cameras have gone away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: For years, Republicans have used fear mongering and grit lock as
a substitute for governing. And their agenda in the new Congress doesn`t
look much better.

"Politico" reports Republicans are planning to turn Loretta Lynch`s hearing
for attorney general into a political fight over immigration reform. And
"The New York Times" says they`re vowing to gut the EPA and climate-change
rules. It`s almost like some Republicans in Washington want to create more
problems, rather than try to fix them.

Joining me now, former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell and Jamal Simmons.
Thank you both for being here.

JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thank you, Rev., for having us.

SHARPTON: So, governor, it seems like the sky is always falling for
Republicans. Is that how they`re going to govern in the new Congress too,
through gridlock and fear mongering?

ED RENDELL (D), FORMER GOVERNOR, PENNSYLVANIA: Well, we discussed this
when I was on the show a couple days after the election, Rev. And if they
do it, they`ll pay the price for doing it. One of the oldest sayings is,
be careful what you wish for.

Well, they`re now in control, and the American people are watching to see
whether they`ll attempt to govern and get things done, or whether they`ll
do what they`ve done the last three, four years, politics as usual, try to
do nothing but destroy the president.

And the Lynch nomination is a perfect example. I remember, and it wasn`t
that many years ago, when we looked at Supreme Court nominees, cabinet
nominees, we looked at them for their talent and ability, that was the only
issue. Talent, ability, and integrity, and if they had that, whether we
agree with them or disagree with them, we confirmed.

Do you know, Rev., that Antonin Scalia was confirmed by the Senate, 100-0.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the other side was confirmed 97-3. That wasn`t that
long ago. And we`ve evolved into just a terrible, terrible state where the
Republican party wants to make everything a fight over the president.

They don`t want to govern. They want to fight, they want to destroy. And
if they do that for the next two years, I predict they`ll get a terrible
thumping in 2016.

SHARPTON: They`re even talking about impeachment, you know. Jamal, today,
yet another GOP congressman is throwing the I word around, impeachment,
over executive action the president might take on immigration. Listen to
this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JEFF MILLER (R), FLORIDA: I believe that he`s trying to force the
Republicans into a fight that we don`t need to get into right now, and
that`s the impeachment fight.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So the president wants to be impeached? I mean, is that the new
Republican answer after years of inaction on immigration, Jamal?

SIMMONS: You know, absolutely not, Rev. I mean, the reality is, the
president is keenly aware he has two years left to be in office. He knows
who the people are who he got elected to take care of. He knows what he`s
trying to do for the country. And he wants to use every day of those two
years to get something done. If the Congress is going to cooperate, then
God love them and they can work together and they can pull some things off.
If not, he`ll use the power that he has.

You know, like you, Rev., I was out on Election Day in some of these
places. And I met people who are out of work. And that`s what they were
talking about. How can they get more income, more jobs, get their families
back in shape? And the Republicans want to play games, they can do that
all they want to. That`s not going to help the American people.

SHARPTON: You know, I noticed another pattern, governor, the right-wing
pundits and politicians have described challenges confronting the president
as his, quote, "Katrina." Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: What has been worse, the Bush
administration response to Katrina or the Obama administration response to
Ebola?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In your view, is the gulf spill Obama`s Katrina?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, it very well could be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is President Obama`s Katrina. If he`s down there
with pictures of children in jail cells.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, Ebola, the oil spill, the immigrant kids at the border,
but then they get awfully quiet when these issues start getting resolved,
governor.

RENDELL: Absolutely. And in fairness, Rev., often the administration
doesn`t do a very good job at the beginning. We don`t message very well at
the beginning. But you`re absolutely right, if you look at the three
things that we talked about, the oil spill, there`s been tremendous
progress in the gulf, tremendous reparations for the financial damage that
it was done, tremendous preventative measures put in place.

Ebola, as you said at the top of the show, we are Ebola-free because of the
protocols of the CDC and the administration put forward. So you`re
absolutely right, when the problems are solved, they`re nowhere to be seen.
They don`t give credit, they don`t say, we were wrong. Katrina was a
disaster and it was a disaster for people. All of those crises that they
talked about were resolved in a very positive way.

SHARPTON: You know, the president says, Jamal, that the criticism and
second-guessing from the right doesn`t really bother him. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: What is relevant, we have the chance to help that person every
single day, and we do. And sometimes you`re going to get fanfare for it,
and sometimes you`re not. But I still consider this the best job on earth,
and I`m going to try to squeeze every last ounce of possibility and the
ability to do good out of this job in these next two years.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Like you just said, he has two years left. It seems, Jamal,
like the president is more focused on getting things done than playing in
the political theater that some of the pundits want to see.

SIMMONS: Absolutely, Rev. And as Governor Rendell just said, you know, it
sometimes publicly they`re a little slow off the mark. And so, we don`t
know what they`re up to for a few days, and that can get people frustrated.

But then over time, what we find out is that they put a very good system in
place, they handle the problems that need to get dealt with and they
actually tend to solve the problems in ways that are good for the American
people.

What I`d like to see and the president mentioned this in the remarks the
other day in an interview, is that now he realizes, you can`t just do the
right thing. You can`t just build the best operation. You`ve got to also
communicate to people what you`re doing so they understand how important
and how successful you are. So the more they do that, I think that will
help embolden his truth.

I`m not worried about the Republicans. They`ll hate as long as he`s there.
they will keep throwing shade at them. I care about making sure that the
people who voted for the president, who support him, understand what he`s
up to, they feel emboldened and they know he`s working on their behalf.

SHARPTON: You know, Governor, the house GOP has refused to take up the
Senate immigration bill for the last 502 days. Here are some of the
president`s achievements since that time. We can have different opinions,
but we can`t have different facts.

7.1 million people signed up for health care on the exchanges, 3.3 million
private sector jobs have been added, and the stock market has continued to
rise. The Dow is up 17 percent. These are facts.

RENDELL: There`s no question about it. And again, facts that are
conveniently ignored. I`ll give you a perfect example. Do you remember,
Rev., when the Republicans went crazy because the Obama administration
wasn`t dealing with ISIS, that he wasn`t moving fast enough. And then all
of a sudden the president announces he had built a coalition that for the
first time, had Arab nations willing to fly missions and drop bombs on
other Muslims. No one thought that type of coalition could be put
together. And since then, there hasn`t been a peep from anybody, not a
peep from anybody.

SHARPTON: That`s very, very obvious what`s going on. Governor Ed Rendell
and Jamal Simmons, I`m out of time. Thank you for your time.

SIMMONS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, reaction to our emotional interview with a man who
says his life was saved by Obamacare. What do Republicans say to him as
they push for repeal?

Also, a bombshell report on Joan Rivers` death has her daughter outraged.
Will there be criminal charges?

And the model at the center of the plus-size controversy for Calvin Klein
is now speaking out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think that Calvin Klein has done something that`s
really ground-breaking, which is, they released this campaign with what
some would say is a normal size model, size 10, I am a size 10.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The debate is ahead. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: "Politics Nation" had a big social media reaction to our
emotional interview last night with David Tedrow, who says Obamacare saved
his life.

Rodi wrote, good for him, good luck, David.

Tom posted, it has saved my life too. I would be dead if it wasn`t for
Obamacare.

Roger wrote, thank you for speaking out. Bless you, sir.

Coming up, more on why we need to put people over politics. Yet the GOP is
ready to repeal the law, again.

And please keep the comments coming on our facebook page, or tweet us
@politicsnation.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Since the midterm elections Republicans have revived their
crusade to repeal the affordable care act. Now conservative groups are
pressing Mitch McConnell to repeal the law with a budget move that would
only require 51 votes, avoiding a democratic filibuster.

President Obama would immediately veto a repeal, but Republicans still want
to do it. And that`s not all. Senator Marco Rubio and congressman Paul
Ryan are reportedly putting together the GOP alternative to the health care
law.

That`s right. Paul Ryan, who wanted to take an axe to the safety net, has
his eye on health care. What could go wrong? But here`s the thing
Republicans find so easy to ignore. The law is helping millions of people.
Real, hard-working Americans, who otherwise would have gone without care.

Last night I spoke to one of those people. David Tedrow`s insurance
company ended his plan while he was struggling with liver disease. He says
Obamacare saved his life, and he can`t stand to see lawmakers using the law
for political gain.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID TEDROW, SAYS SAVED HIS LIFE BY OBAMACARE: Well, it really saddens
me, because obviously, you know, what`s happened to the moral compass in
this country? You know, we need to be concerned about people and their
lives. And that`s not happening. It doesn`t seem to be important.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We need to be concerned about all the Davids across the country
and forget about new gimmicky ways to repeal a law that`s working.

Joining me now is Jason Johnson and Michelle Cottle, thank you both for
being here.

MICHELLE COTTLE, WASHINGTON REPORTER, THE DAILY BEAST, NEWSWEEK: Thanks,
Rev.

JASON JOHNSON, POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR: Glad to be here, Rev.

SHARPTON: Michelle, do Republicans have any answer for people like David
Tedrow about what happens if they repeal Obamacare?

COTTLE: Well, look, what they talk about is the same thing they`ve been
talking about. They like to call Obamacare a job killer. They like to
talk about the people whose policies were canceled because they didn`t meet
the standards of Obamacare. They are concerned about the successes of
Obamacare, because the more people that get signed up, the more successful
it is, the harder it is to repeal.

So, you know, your interview on the show last night is exactly the kind of
thing that makes them very nervous and makes them push even harder to
repeal.

SHARPTON: You know, Jason, I want to play another part of the interview
that I did last night with David Tedrow. He`d written a column in "the
Washington Post" about his experience, and I asked him about the comments
it received. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEDROW: A lot of them have been very positive. A lot of them have really,
really frightened me. Again, it`s back to, you know, where is the moral
compass of this country. People have actually said I should have died.

SHARPTON: Wow.

TEDROW: That there, you know, the money that went to save me should have
been better spent or should have reduced their taxes. And I`m just shocked
by that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Jason, what do you make of this ugliness?

JOHNSON: It doesn`t surprise me. There`s a segment in this country that
hates anything remotely associated with Barack Obama. The man could cure
cancer, clean the oceans and take care of your kids before dinner every
night and people would still say he was an evil Muslim communist dead set
on destroying the country.

But I think there`s a key issue here, Rev. And you know this is somebody
who is out there in the streets, talking to people every day. This is a
problem. And the Republicans didn`t have a plan. They had the Bush
administration and coupled with the plan. They had the Reagan
administration that coupled with the plan, they had the Reagan
administration he coupled with a plan. Obama has actually tried to do
something to fix our health care crisis and the Republicans have never
really had an alternative plan, but they want to attack his.

SHARPTON: You know, Michelle, "The New York Times" reported this week that
business leaders are pretty happy with Republicans, but they don`t want
them to change the health care law.

Quote, "for one thing, many of the insurance exchanges are finally working
well. And businesses have adapted to the new landscape. Even more
important, added demand from the newly insured is likely to increase
profits in sectors like hospitals, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices.
One banker even added, anything regarding the affordable care act is going
to be a stretch."

Are Republicans really going to do something that big business doesn`t
want, Michelle?

COTTLE: Look, the Republicans have to make a good show of this. A lot of
them were elected by motivating the base with promises of repeal. But you
know, I`ve talked to some Republican lobbyists recently and they call this
a show vote. They`ll get up there, they will vote to repeal, or they will,
you know, work whatever games they want to do.

And then it will come down to very targeted efforts to do things like
reform the medical device tax, or kind of rifle shot very narrow issues.
It`s not going to be a case of getting rid of it wholesale. It`s just not
going to happen.

SHARPTON: But isn`t that possibly, Jason, going to backfire? I mean, a
new estimate from the department of health and human services suggests
between nine to 9.9 million people will sign up on these exchanges by the
end of this year. What do Republicans say to these nine million people if
they lose their health care?

JOHNSON: They`re going to say too late, you already voted for us. Because
that`s basically what they`re gambling on here. They want to do this big
show vote, as you said, and make President Obama veto it.

But I think privately, and even publicly, a lot of Republicans out there in
Ohio, in Kentucky, they don`t want to see the affordable care act repealed.
They don`t want the Supreme Court to gut it next year, because they
recognize that people, even though they don`t necessarily like the name,
people are enjoying the expanded Medicare, they are enjoying the fact that
pre-existing conditions aren`t keeping them off. And this would be chaos,
absolute chaos financially and at a human rights level if this bill were to
be repealed.

SHARPTON: You know, this quote is really making the rounds, Michelle,
today. Senator Ted Cruz said net neutrality, a policy he doesn`t like, is
Obamacare for the internet. And Cruz isn`t the only one to use this
phrase. Mitch McConnell once called Dodd-Frank Obamacare for banks. And
Congressman Jack Kingston said common care standards is Obamacare for
education. So Obamacare has become shorthand for anything they don`t like?

COTTLE: I guess it`s a switch from Katrina or all o these things going to
be (INAUDIBLE). Now, it`s everything is Obamacare for X. You know, this
is the way the base gets riled up. Obamacare has become something
completely political, and the way to get people`s, you know, hit their gut
level reaction is to call something Obamacare.

But as you note, it`s very popular with a lot of people. A lot of people
are signing up on these exchanges. And the longer it is around, the harder
it is to take that entitlement away from people. Which is something Ted
Cruz, to his credit, warned of last year when they were in the frenzy to
keep this from happening.

SHARPTON: But Jason, when you see people like David Tedrow, who we had on
the show last night, that are being helped by this, I mean, people over
politics will always outrun the clock?

JOHNSON: Well, definitely. And I think what is key about David about his
story, is that he is someone who did get dropped from his doctor and ended
up with a better deal. And I think that`s the other part of the story
that`s not being discussed. Does the affordable care act work for
everybody? No, it doesn`t work for everybody. But the vast majority of
people participating are getting a benefit from it.

Taking that benefit away is not going to help business. Walmart is behind
the affordable care act, because big business doesn`t want to subsidize
their employees anymore. There are so many different levels that this
policy is working at. And the Republicans just don`t care. They just want
to score points.

SHARPTON: Jason Johnson and Michelle Cottle, thank you both for your time
tonight.

COTTLE: Thanks, Rev.

JOHNSON: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, stunning new details about the death of Joan
Rivers, killed by the same drug that killed Michael Jackson. It`s in
tonight`s justice file.

Also the GOP unveils a new plan to attack Hillary and it`s a doozy. Stay
with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Tonight, some bombshell revelations about the death of Joan
Rivers. Will there be criminal charges?

Also, when is a billion-dollar divorce settlement considered too small?
Your justice files are next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s time for the Justice Files. Joining me now are Lisa Bloom,
attorney and legal analyst for Avvo.com and trial attorney and legal
analyst Midwin Charles. Thank you for being here.

MIDWIN CHARLES, LEGAL ANALYST: Thank you.

LISA BLOOM, AVVO.COM LEGAL ANALYST: Thank you.

SHARPTON: We start with a bombshell report on Joan Rivers` death, and what
happened inside that medical clinic. Rivers went to Yorkville endoscopy
for a throat procedure when something went wrong. She stopped breathing,
went into cardiac arrest and died a week later. A new report from the
Department of Human Health and Services reveals big mistakes, everything
from not getting Joan`s consent, to a doctor taking a cell phone photo that
could have contributed to the comedian`s death. Quote, "The physicians in
charge of care of Rivers failed to identify deteriorating vital signs and
provide timely intervention during the procedures." Lawyers for Rivers`
daughter Melissa say, she is, quote, "Outraged by the misconduct and
mismanagement now shown to have occurred before, during, and after the
procedure." Yorkville endoscopy responded saying, in part, "In response to
the statement of deficiencies, Yorkville`s immediately submitted and
implemented a plan of correction that addressed all issues raised." So
what happens next? What might civil charges look like? And will we see
criminal charges? Lisa, let`s start there. Criminal charges?

BLOOM: Absolutely. I mean, this is really a scathing federal
investigation report. You get the picture that Joan Rivers is lying there,
losing her life, oxygen not going to her brain. A doctor is taking a cell
phone picture of her, instead of doing what doctors are supposed to be
doing, monitoring her vital signs, monitoring her medication. They didn`t
even get informed consent for all of the procedures that were performed on
her. So, to me, this all adds up to gross negligence and I certainly
expect the criminal justice charges would be forth coming.

SHARPTON: Midwin, I see you nodding your head.

CHARLES: Lisa`s right. In addition to criminal justice charges clearly
there`s going to be, I see here, a civil lawsuit, a wrongful death suit,
which is usually when the person who is surviving steps into the shoes of
the person who has died and sues for negligence. I think this is one of
those classic cases. It`s unfortunate, but this is a case that I can see
is going to be successful. It`s going to be very easy to prove that there
was gross negligence here and proper protocol was not followed with respect
to the care that Joan Rivers received.

SHARPTON: Lisa, what kind of timeline would we be looking at for criminal
charges?

BLOOM: Well, that`s up to the prosecutor. Right? As we`ve seen another
cases. Sometimes prosecutors do the right thing. Sometimes they don`t.
You know, here we have a very beloved figure, Joan Rivers, who lost her
life as what is now clear negligence on the part of the medical
professionals. You know, if it was just one of these items or two of these
items, they might look the other way, but there`s now a mountain of
evidence indicating that this clinic really botched the job. So I would
expect, I would hope the prosecutors behind closed doors are looking
through all of the evidence and that charges would be coming soon.

SHARPTON: You know, Midwin, Lisa says a mountain of evidence. I mentioned
some of the mistakes the clinic made from that report, including Rivers did
not give informed consent for all the procedures performed on her. Rivers`
personal doctor was allowed to perform a procedure on her, even though she
didn`t have privileges at the clinic. And the doctor performing the
endoscopy took a cell phone photo of Rivers while she was sedated. I mean,
that doctor is no longer practicing in the clinic, but how will these
issues factor into a civil suit, let`s say?

CHARLES: Well, I think they would be very clear. Joan Rivers` patient
rights were clearly violated here. Whenever a patient goes under the
knife, or undergoes any sort of procedure, that patient has the right to
make the ultimate decision with respect to what exactly will the procedure
be? You cannot go under the knife and then all of a sudden change the type
of procedure that the patient thought they were going to get. Nor can you
sort of disrespect that patient while they are under and take photographs
of that patient on the sort of whim that perhaps that`s what she wanted.
No, there must be informed consent and you don`t have that here. So I
think should there be a civil suit, that`s one of the claims that they can
put in the suit, in addition to wrongful death, a violation of her rights
as a patient.

SHARPTON: You know, you were here last time, Lisa. You mentioned -- you
reminded me really of the Michael Jackson case, which also involved the
Propofol and the HHS investigation. You still stand by that I think after
this report, I`m sure.

BLOOM: Yes. Isn`t it sad that we`ve lost two major American celebrities
to this medication Propofol, allegedly being mishandled while they were
sedated. You know, after the Michael Jackson case which we all know about
and there was a huge trial about it, I mean I would argue, if I were
representing Melissa Rivers in this wrongful death cases and we do a lot of
wrongful death cases in my law firm, you know, this gives heightened
knowledge to all medical professionals that Propofol is a very dangerous
substance, that you should at the minimum have an anesthesiologist on hand
who knows what`s going on. With an 81-year-old like Joan Rivers, this
should have been done in a hospital. You just line up all of the medical
standards and show how they failed to meet them. I think this is a very
strong case.

SHARPTON: All right. Let`s go to a billion-dollar divorces. You heard
that right. Billion with a B. Oil tycoon Harold Hamm is the CEO of
continental resources and the country`s 24th richest man, worth over $18
billion. And after 26 years of marriage, his wife filed for divorce,
claiming he was cheating. They never signed a prenup and a judge ruled
Hamm must pay his ex-wife $995.5 million. Hamm`s attorney said her ruling
was quote, "fair." But legal team is reportedly evaluating options.
Midwin, what do you think? Did she deserve more money in the divorce?

CHARLES: Well, legally, a divorcing spouse is entitled to live the sort of
lifestyle that they had while they were married. And I tell my clients
this all the time. First of all, before you even decide to get married,
get a prenup. You know, it`s very, very difficult afterwards to sort of
walk back and pedal. Now the marital estate here is worth about $17
billion. Okay, just let that sink in.

SHARPTON: Right.

CHARLES: Seventeen billion dollars. So she`s walking away with $995
million. And it`s my understanding that her attorneys actually wanted some
of the shares of continental that he owns. He owns about 68 percent of
continental shares. And when this news broke out, the shares went down by
1.6 percent by the way which I think she`s incredibly interesting but I
think that she is getting what the law requires. It seems like a lot of
money for you and I, you know, regular folk, but this is what the law
requires --

SHARPTON: Because that was the lifestyle --

CHARLES: -- when it comes to divorce law.

SHARPTON: Because of the divorce law and the lifestyle, does it satisfy
that, Lisa?

BLOOM: She should get half. It doesn`t` matter what the total number is.
I`m going to disagree with my beloved friend Midwin on this one point. Not
everybody should have a prenup. The wealthy party should have a prenup.
The other party doesn`t want the prenup because it`s going to hurt her --
and it`s usually a her -- in the long run. So, if he made, let`s say, ten
billion dollars during the course of a marriage, she`s entitled to half,
why? Because the law recognizes reality that marriage is a partnership.
That people who have the supportive spouse at home, guess what? They do
better in the workplace, they do better financially. He was an intelligent
business man, he could have had a prenup. He didn`t have one. She`s
entitled to half. It`s doesn`t matter if the gross number is one billion,
five billion, I say, give her half.

SHARPTON: Lisa Bloom and Midwin Charles, thank you both for your time this
evening.

CHARLES: You`re welcome.

BLOOM: Thanks, Rev.

Coming up, the Republican Party new attack on Hillary Clinton. Bill
Clinton weighs in on possibly being the first husband on the "Ellen Show."

And the Calvin Klein model at the center of that plus-size controversy
speaks out. "Conversation Nation," next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back now with "Conversation Nation." Joining me tonight,
HuffPost Live host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani, TheGrio`s Chris
Witherspoon, and host of "Judge Faith," Attorney Faith Jenkins. Thank you
all for being here.

CHRIS WITHERSPOON, THEGRIO: Thank you.

FAITH JENKINS, ATTORNEY: Thanks, Rev.

CAROLINE MODARRESSY-TEHRANI, HUFFPOST LIVE HOST: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: We start with the democrat who is fast becoming the hyperfocus
of GOP target of attacks. Hillary Clinton and how The Hill is reporting
the Republican National Committee is on the offense again. The RNC has
sent out an e-mail titled "High-Flying Hillary," hitting her for a travel
expenses for election-year campaign events. In an attempt to make the
potential 2016 contender appear out of touch with voters. So, Caroline,
what`s behind all these attacks on her health, her age, and her political
influence? Is the GOP scared?

MODARRESSY-TEHRANI: Yes, they are. They`re terrified. And I tell you
why, it`s ironic when the GOP start talking about money. This is also the
party that stands very much for citizens united. If they want to talk
about too much money in politics, by the by the we have $4 billion midterm
elections, then they might want to look at their own back door. And think,
hang on, I don`t -- before Citizens United for a ton of money in politics,
and then, you know, talk down to Hillary and criticize her spending. Quite
frankly, I think they`re terrified and this is a kind of pathetic attack,
actually.

SHARPTON: Chris, is this just player-hating on big public figures?

WITHERSPOON: Oh, totally player-hating. I mean, come on. They`re the
Clintons. They`re American royalty. I don`t want to see them flying on a
domestic delta flight. I mean, they were flying on Air Force One for eight
years. How do you go from that to not spending on private jets and kind of
having the luxurious travel, you know, experience? So, I`m not mad about
their spending.

JENKINS: Yes. There shouldn`t be a controversy.

WITHERSPOON: No.

JENKINS: Because they have to travel with their secret service detail.
Former first lady, former president of the United States. So, it`s no
surprise that they`re traveling be a private jet. And that they have to
travel with the entourage that they have to travel with, by nature of their
history and who they are and the safety issues and concerns. So this is a
non-issue. This is the way things are going to be when you have been the
leader of the free world.

MODARRESSY-TEHRANI: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: Well, I remember before you got your new show --

(LAUGHTER)

But I mean, the fact of the matter is that, are we in for seeing this for
the next two years? I mean, she hasn`t even said she`s running yet, but
assuming she runs, are we going to see a lot of this?

MODARRESSY-TEHRANI: Yes, we are. I mean, I hate to be the bearer of bad
news, but I think this is what it`s going to be like. Because they don`t
really have any real ammunition. I mean, they don`t criticizing her
policies, not that she`s espoused, you know, many clear ones yet. But
they`re not doing that. They`re criticizing her travel, her age. I mean,
for goodness sake, if you want to criticize her, at least get some damn
facts.

WITHERSPOON: Ooh, man!

(LAUGHTER)

SHARPTON: You know, Chris -- you know, former President Clinton was on
Ellen`s Show today --

WITHERSPOON: I saw that.

SHARPTON: And she tried to find out from him. It was really funny, let me
show you this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FMR. PRES. BILL CLINTON (D), UNITED STATES: I do want to say something
seriously, but I don`t know what Hillary`s going to do. That`s true. If I
did, I wouldn`t tell you, but I don`t know.

ELLEN DEGENERES, HOST, "THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW": I`m just saying, if you
only had one, if you could only -- I`m just -- if you could only pick one,
because like I can`t afford to give you both.

CLINTON: If I pick that one, it would be best for the country. If I did
that, then Hillary would start taking me up to total strangers and saying,
have you met my first husband? It`s not a decision for me to make.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He came back pretty good on that one.

JENKINS: Yes. Well, I mean, he`s Bill Clinton. He`s charming. He`s
always going to work the audience and work the crowd. And I saw that
interview today and I thought that he was really funny. And he knows the
right answers to give.

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

WITHERSPOON: -- when he pointed and said, that would be best for the
country.

MODARRESSY-TEHRANI: I`m just saying.

JENKINS: I`m just saying. Right.

WITHERSPOON: I`m just saying. Yes.

SHARPTON: But I think Ellen could have afforded two of those.

WITHERSPOON: Oh, she`s hilarious.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now to that plus-size model controversy that`s trending online
today. We told you last night how the new face of Calvin Klein perfectly
fit campaign is sparking controversy. The model who is a size 10, referred
to herself as a, quote, "bigger girl," and it`s led to a massive social
media debate on body image, and whether she should be considered a plus-
size model. Today she spoke out on the "Today" show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I think that Calvin Klein has done something that`s
really ground-breaking, which is, they released this campaign, with what
some would say is a normal size model, a size 10, I am a size 10. And we
don`t -- size 10 girls, there`s not a lot of spots for us to fit in in the
fashion industry. And they released this campaign with me right alongside
all of the other girls of varying shapes and sizes and didn`t make a fuss
about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Is this a ground-breaking move on the part of the fashion
industry, or is it just lip service?

JENKINS: Well, I think if they have promoted her, if Calvin Klein had
promoted her as a plus-size model, perhaps it would have been lip service
because she would be the only person they`re putting out there like that.
But what Calvin Klein did which is why, I don`t understand why this is so
controversial. They just hired her to be part of an ad campaign. They
didn`t say, we`re hiring you because you`re larger, because you`re plus-
sized. They hired her because they said they wanted to show, in this
campaign, and what they were trying to promote the diversity of their
clothing that people from all different shapes and sizes can wear it.
Isn`t that what we want Calvin Klein to do? Isn`t that when we want other
designers to do?

SHARPTON: Chris, you`re the cultural trend-setting expert. What does this
mean?

WITHERSPOON: I mean, I love the term that she used. I think he said she
was in between being like -- like a European runway model and in between
being a kind of overweight. She looks great. I think she looks amazing.
And this is the statement that I think Calvin Klein sending out to young
girls, to women of all sizes across the country. That you don`t have to be
a size two to be high fashion. And most of the entertainment, if you look
around, curves are in right now. So she`s like really the prototype of
what`s hot right now in my opinion.

MODARRESSY-TEHRANI: It`s just a double-edged sword because I think, you
know --

SHARPTON: You let him say that curves are in --

MODARRESSY-TEHRANI: I know, listen, listen --

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: Be careful.

MODARRESSY-TEHRANI: If somebody there is representing some curves, you
know, amen to that brother, because absolutely, I think that`s fine. But
it`s just so difficult this, you know, particular story because it`s a
double-edge sword. On the one hand, yes, I thought it would be a great
size. But it`s great, Calvin Klein didn`t make a big show of this. They
just put her out there and like hey, this is a model, this is a campaign
and this is the way it is. And this should be, quote-unquote, "normal."
The fact that the industry though supports a size 10 is a quote, bigger
girl, that`s not the model`s problem. That is a real industry issue. And
I think that that is a thing that doesn`t go away. So yes, well done
Calvin Klein, for putting out this model, well done and not making a big
fanfare of it. Now, we`ve all got to get to work. Now, it`s going to say,
actually, this means to be the norm. And please don`t attach a bigger
label when we`re putting out a beautiful woman. She`s just a beautiful
woman.

JENKINS: And I always say, you should never strive to look like women in
the magazines, because they don`t look like that themselves with all the
airbrushing and everything that happens.

SHARPTON: And by the way, judge, I object, Chris got the amen.

(LAUGHTER)

More ahead with our panel. If you won over $10 million in the lottery,
would you keep plowing driveways? This man says, yes. Also, they fought
for America. America needs to fight for them. On Veterans Day, honoring
our troops with jobs and opportunity.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back with the panel, Caroline, Chris, and Faith, what
would you do if you won the lottery? Joe, meet the Minnesota retiree won
$11.7 million in the lottery, but instead of blowing town to some tropical
paradise, Joe plans to continue plowing his neighbors` driveways this
winter. Something he`d promised to do before he hit the jackpot.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It`s been fine. We bought another house, bought a motor
home. Besides that, it`s been a little difficult with trying to figure out
what to do with the money.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Racked up on his Chevy pickup, nearly 300,000 miles.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I bought it used. No, I`m not going to buy a new plow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Chris, would you show up to work the next day?

WITHERSPOON: I`d be on the first plane smoking to Puerto Rico, somewhere
in the Caribbean. Okay, let`s be real. But I do get where he`s coming
from. I`m from Ohio and we get feet of snow, and plowing snow is like a
rite of passage, you know, like a sport amongst men. So I kind of get why
he`s still there, but I don`t get it. I guess I don`t get it.

JENKINS: I will show up. Because there are a lot of people, they do their
jobs, not for the money, but because they love what they do. If you`re
lucky.

WITHERSPOON: Yes.

JENKINS: And he`s obviously a very lucky individual, he won the lottery.
So I would.

MODARRESSY-TEHRANI: What a wonderful man. And he`s such a community
spirit. I love what he`s doing. I also feel like, you can`t really give
up your job for $12 million. Because in this day and age, apparently it
doesn`t go that far anymore.

WITHERSPOON: I have an idea. If you have $12 million, why not hire
somebody to plow the snow for you and you go on a plane to Puerto Rico.

JENKINS: He`s not doing it because of work.

WITHERSPOON: That`s true.

JENKINS: He`s doing it because he loves --

MODARRESSY-TEHRANI: And I like that he`s serving his community. I think
that`s really nice. I think we should take some sort of, you know,
community spirits before thanksgiving and before the polar vortex.

JENKINS: And, you know, most lottery winners, there`s studies about this,
most lottery winners who win millions of dollars go broke.

SHARPTON: Yes, they do.

JENKINS: Because they don`t know, they change everything about their
lives, they go broke, lose all the money.

SHARPTON: So this shows that he`s still level-headed and sober as well and
proper handling of his finances.

JENKINS: Right. Well, he said they purchased a new home, him and his wife
also purchased a new motor home, they`re made purchases, but this is
someone who said, I like my life, I like what I do, and he just wants to
continue doing that.

SHARPTON: Shouldn`t money enhance the life you live, rather than change
the life you live?

MODARRESSY-TEHRANI: I think that`s a good point. I wish say though. I
think he can probably stamp up and buy himself a new plow and a new truck.
If he wants to do that, I think he should --

SHARPTON: Well, 300,000 miles is a lot of money.

WITHERSPOON: If he doesn`t know what to do with the money, he probably can
call us and I can help him spend that money.

SHARPTON: The Grio.

(LAUGHTER)

Chris, Caroline and Faith, thank you for your time tonight.

We`ll be right back with the real way to honor our vets on this Veterans
Day. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We close tonight remembering our veterans and the need to fight
for them when they come back home. Today NPR host Michelle Norris tweeted
out this photo. Showing black World War II vets in Birmingham, Alabama,
turned away as they tried to register to vote. They fought for freedom
overseas, but were denied those same freedom back here at home. Their
plight highlighted a basic injustice in the country and led to change. Now
we`re facing a new problem for vets from Iraq and Afghanistan, coming home
to a crisis of opportunity. Last year the average unemployment rate for
these vets were nine percent. Nearly two percent higher than the jobless
rate for non-veterans. This needs to change. The First Lady talked about
that when announcing a new jobs program for veterans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY: The fact that any of you are worrying
about where your next paycheck is going to come from, or struggling to put
food on the table, that should be appalling to all of us as Americans.
There are still far too many hurdles out there for our veterans, and we`re
going to keep working until each and every one of you has a job, and not
just any job, but a good job. A job you can raise a family on. Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Our vets need jobs, opportunity, and a fair shot, just like all
Americans across the country. There are ways to help. You can reach out
to the groups on the screen, but we also need politicians in Washington to
fight for vets every day. Not just on Veterans Day. In this very
polarized and partisan climate, there should be one thing we can all unite
around as Americans, and that`s the support of our vets. We may not agree
on all the wars, but they didn`t set the policy. They fought to protect
all of us, we should fight to make sure that they`re protected and that
opportunities are available to them as they made themselves available for
us.

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

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