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PoliticsNation, Friday, November 14th, 2014

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Date: November 14, 2014

Guest: Eleanor Holmes Norton; Joan Walsh; Ed Rendell

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

Tonight`s lead, the Republican threat machine goes into hyper drive over
immigration. Today, President Obama speaking at a news conference in Asia
says he is not backing down from taking executive action to prevent
millions from deportation.


to go ahead and at least give a vote to the Senate bill. They failed to do
so. And I indicated to speaker Boehner several months ago that if in fact
Congress failed to act, I would use all the lawful authority that I possess
to try make the system work better. And that`s going to happen. That is
going to happen before the end of the year.


SHARPTON: The president is moving forward and he is driving Republicans

Speaker Boehner is thinking about expanding his lawsuit against the
president to include actions over immigration. And the GOP shut down talk
is getting more explicit with the faction in the house seeking to block the
president`s decision by shutting down the government for an extended
period. And of course, we are hearing new impeachment calls.

Here`s Charles Krauthammer on FOX News.


constitution. The law has called for certain things. And if you suspend
it unilaterally, that is an assault on the constitutional system. This is
clearly illegal. I believe it is an impeachable offense.


SHARPTON: And today, the GOP congressman leading the shutdown charge Matt
Salmon said he agrees with Krauthammer.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Do you think if the president went and active
alone, this would be an impeachable offense?

REP. MATT SALMON (R), ARIZONA: Well, Charles Krauthammer was asked that
same question, I think, just recently on one of the news programs. And I
have to agree with him. Of course, it would be.


SHARPTON: The GOP response to a plan keeping millions of immigrant
families together is to threaten a lawsuit, a government shut down and
impeachment. But the president is not backing down.


OBAMA: That`s going to happen before the end of the year.


SHARPTON: It`s going to happen and the Republican threats won`t stop it.

Joining me now are former Pennsylvania governor, Ed Rendell and Joan Walsh
from Thank you both for joining me.



SHARPTON: Governor, are these Republican threats supposed to scare the
president or do they really mean it?

RENDELL: I think as part of the Republican party really means it. You
know, Mitch McConnell has said no government shutdown, no failure to raise
the debt limit. But he can only control if he can control the Senate
caucus, he can control the house.

I think are some of the House who would want to shut the government down,
who would want to impeach the president and they are crazy. And for the
purpose of tonight`s discussion, I`m not the former governor. I`m the
former district attorney. And let me tell you why, Rev.

Because as district attorney, you have the right to decide what cases are
prosecuted and cases are not prosecuted. I did that all the time. When I
became D.A., I said no more prosecution of sodomy between two consoling
adults. And we just stopped prosecuting those cases.

If the president said I am not deporting anybody anymore, then, he might be
in dereliction of his duty under the constitution. But he is not saying
that. He says we are going to emphasize deportation of criminals out of
repeat offenders who come in this country illegally more than once.

SHARPTON: Which is his prerogative to do it as president.

RENDELL: Which is his prerogative. He can say to the justice, Rev., these
are the ones that I want to emphasize, deportation. These other people I
don`t want to deport. He has the legal right just as a prosecutor has the
legal right to decline prosecution on a certain category of cases. So they
are all went and I hope they do try to impeach the president. I hope they
do try to shut down the government because to show the American people,
will remind them what they forgot on election day that these people can`t
govern and that they are whacked out.

SHARPTON: Joan, you are writing about this. I mean, are they serious with
the impeachment talk and shut down talk?

WALSH: I think they are serious. I don`t think there is any such thing as
an empty threat when you are dealing with the Republican party right now.
You know, Mitch McConnell can make the promises he want to make. But he
really doesn`t control a faction of his caucus. He certainly doesn`t
control the house. So I don`t think these are empty threats we can
dismiss. Certainly, the lawsuit is not an empty threat even though it`s an
empty lawsuit.

And it just strikes me, Rev. There is actually something that the House
and the Senate could do right now. Speaker Boehner could bring the Senate
bill for a vote or they could get to work on some of them what they call
the piecemeal immigration reform idea they have, They can supersede what
the president does.

He said if they take action, he won`t. And if they take action, he will
undo what he has done if it is something he would reason. But they are not
doing anything. Instead, they are just going on TV and talking about
impeachment and government shut down.

SHARPTON: Governor, here`s what the GOP congressman leading the shut down
charge, Matt Salmon, said today.


SALMON: He is breaking the constitution. When I started this about a week
ago, everybody was all paranoid and scared, you know, about entering into
this kind of, you know, dooms day scenario with the president and now
everything changed. The wins is at our backs.


SHARPTON: Now, you have already addressed your opinion of whether he is
breaking the constitution, but he says the wind is to their back? I mean,
are they delusional, governor?

RENDELL: I think they are. And again, the voters, the independent voters
and some of who are Democrats and even some progressive Republicans, they
forgot how delusional they are. This is the Republican party. It`s the
Republican party on steroids, but it is the Republican party. It is the
faction that the Republicans can`t control. It has becoming the dominant
faction of the Republican party. And the voters should understand that.

WALSH: Joan, you know, some GOP lawmakers, I might add, are speaking out
against the shut down talk. Listen to this.


SEN. GEORGE WICKER (R), MISSISSIPPI: We are not going to have government
shutdowns. We are not going to have any threats of impeachment.

SEN.-ELECT CORY GARDNER (R), COLORADO: No, absolutely not. There is no
time, place, or purpose of a government shut down or default. That is
simply ridiculous.


SHARPTON: Is this the start of a GOP civil war, Joan?

WALSH: I think there is going to be. I think there is an ongoing civil
war, you know. I think that there is Ted Cruz against Mitch McConnell
already. Now, Ted Cruz is going to get some allies. It looks likes maybe
Cory Gardner is not going to be that ally to him. But you know, I think
that they are warring over this already, reverend Al.

And it just strikes me like listening to that language, the wind is at our
backs. They believe that the wind is at their backs, the American people
support this. It`s ridiculous. They will overreach. It`s inevitable,
though, overreach. And they are just obsessed with this president.

They have a budget they want to pass. I don`t like it. It is the Ryan
budget. But they have a lot of work that they could do this. A lot of
stuff they could be working on. but instead, they are tied up in knots and
even Boehner is going along talking about this lawsuit because they just
can`t take their eyes off this president and what he is going to do next.

SHARPTON: But what bothers me, Governor, is at the heart of this issue are
real people. I mean, real people that would be torn apart, families will
be torn apart by deportation. Here`s some reaction from people in those
families to the president`s plan.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: At 16, Nazareth Ramos is a high school senior
taking college courses and wants to study engineering.

NAZARETH RAMOS, 16-YEAR-OLD: I feel very blessed that I may able to live
here. And I think every day that I have my parents and my dad has always
said he feels like this is his country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Isabel (INAUDIBLE) doesn`t take any time for
granted with her kids. Whether eating dinner or taking them to school,
feared her time with her kids could be limited.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s very, very happy, happy.


SHARPTON: I mean, is this really the fight Republicans want to fight where
you are dealing with millions of people and families that would be torn
apart and not be able to contain their family structure, Governor?

RENDELL: Well, of course not. I mean, the Republicans talk about family
values all the time. And this is at the core of keeping families together.
And the Republicans are obviously not concerned about family values in this
case, only in some cases.

But, this is the core of their problem. It`s going to be viewed by the
average American as something that makes sense. Of course, if the child is
an American citizen, we want the child to be able to stay with his or her
families. That`s the basic. The president is also going to raise the cap
on the number of visas that we granted to high tech immigrants who come
into the high tech industry. That`s something that the chamber and all of
the business community wants. Are the Republicans going to sue about that?
I don`t think so.

SHARPTON: All right, governor Ed Rendell and Joan Walsh, thank you for
your time tonight. Have a good weekend.

WALSH: Thanks, Rev.

RENDELL: You too, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, explosive new details about the security failures
that let an intruder into the White House. We will tell you what one
officer accidentally did when she tried to pull out her gun.

Plus, you got to see what GOP voters are saying about their leaders and
working with President Obama.

Also, Al Roker`s Al Sharpton moment from late in the Rokerthon. We will
tell you what he said.

And there is somebody else trying to break the Internet. You will never
guess who. But it`s ahead in conversation nation.


SHARPTON: Social media has been on fire about the new secret service
report revealing how a man got inside the White House.

Michael posted, all those involved that didn`t do their jobs, should be
fired. There was no excuse for their failure.

Gloria wrote. This is a serious job, If you cannot do it right, don`t
accept it.

Coming up, we have more on the report.

But first, keep the conversation going on our facebook page or tweet us


SHARPTON: How did it happen? How could someone jump the White House fence
and get inside the White House? A new report from the department of
homeland security reveals staffing issues, poor training, and
communications problems.

Back in September Omar Gonzalez jumped the fence and ran deep into the
White House armed with a knife. He was only tackled because an off duty
secret service agent just happened to be there.

It all happened minutes after the president and his daughters left on
marine one. It outlined numerous mistakes made by agents. One agent who
was supposed to be guarding the north lawn with a security guard was
instead in his van making personal phone calls without his earpiece in. He
also left his two-way radio in his locker.

Another officer who was stationed inside the doors Gonzalez entered
attempted to draw her baton but accidentally grabbed her flashlight

Also, emergency response team members did not immediately enter the mansion
because they were unfamiliar with the layout of the White House.

Joining me now is congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, senior member of the
House oversight committee.

Congresswoman, thank you for being here this evening.


SHARPTON: What`s your reaction to the report?

NORTON: Well, Reverend Al, after the hearings, I was convinced that the
secret service needed a thorough review. And by the ways, it never had an
investigation in more than 100 years since then formed. And I thought that
I heard enough to say top to bottom, we need to look at every part of the
secret service.

SHARPTON: The secret service has never -- They have never had an
investigation since it was formed.

NORTON: Never had an investigation. That may be part of the problem.

I think that there must have been the assumption that if these are the
people who guard the White House and the president, we know they must be
doing something right. That goes to show you must always have thorough
investigation every few years.

And what we found here is that it was much worse than it seems. Reverend
Al, Gonzalez had appeared at the White House with a hatchet before. They
knew him well. They saw him there that night. You would have thought they
would have laser beam virtually on his back. And yet, he jumps the fence
and they may, it`s almost by, a checklist every conceivable mistake. The
only thing that went right is they finally brought him down before he got

So, the lesson from one night is that if all of these mistakes could be
made in one night, we have to assume that the secret service is in need of
discipline, is in need of resources, has lost -- has lost its way.

Now, I say that, Reverend Al, while remember, I was at this hearing. I
have the greatest respect for the men and women of the secret service. I
am talking about the structure and the management of this elite corps. We
have got to take a deep dive into it. So the next thing that should happen
is the outside investigation starting at ground zero in going all the way
up to see how can we make the secret service?

SHARPTON: No. And I -- join you in respecting their service. But what
about the secret service men that was in his van on his cell phone on a
personal call with his earphone out of his ear?

NORTON: Yes. What that does it say about supervision oversight and
discipline. When you begin to relax discipline an oversight, that`s what
you get. Remember, this job is not particularly interesting most of the
time. So you are not doing anything most of the time. How do you -- how
do you make sure that people are alert for anything that will happen?
Well, nobody was minding the store.

SHARPTON: Well, let me read from the report. It says there was a series
of secret service blunders the day of the incident including one assumption
they had about security. The report says emergency response team officers
was surprised that Gonzalez was able to get through the bushes prior to
that evening. The officer believed the bushes were too thick to be
passable. They thought bushes would keep an intruder away from the White
House? They thought?

NORTON: You know, when you hear things like that, you know that the secret
service has not been doing the kinds of inspection of the White House
grounds that should come with the territory. Show us the bushes where
there. How thick were they? Will you show them how thick they were. And
he also shown then that all it takes is one fast man and he can make it
into the White House.

My concern after the hearing, Reverend Al, was that suppose there have been
failings of trained jumpers, after the president and the White house, were
would these people have been?


NORTON: Now, I think that once this happens, people are on all kinds of
alerts. They don`t want to be caught this way. But I hope we will
understand that we can`t let it lie there. We have got to find out what
went wrong with this organization. Whether what has going right and how to
really fix it top to bottom.

SHARPTON: Well, it is very serious issue and we will stay on top of this.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, thank you so much for your time this

NORTON: Always a pleasure, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, a new poll on how they would rather beat President
Obama rather than get something done.

And this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE). So they sent me instead.


SHARPTON: Rokerthon is over. He set the record. But what grade will he
get from us. That mention of me earned him extra credit. Next.


ANNOUNCER: It`s time now for Reverend Al`s weekly report card.

SHARPTON: Let`s get right to it. Earlier this week, Bruce Springsteen
performed a concert for vets, singing the classic Vietnam era song
"fortunate son." All about issues of class and the draft.


SHARPTON: But the right wing jumped right on him, calling him tone-deaf.
And then came this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Bruce Springsteen headlines an antiwar sign on
veteran`s day in front of our vets.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So much for HBO`s concert pro-baler (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nobody had the brains to stop and say you guys might
want to pick a different song.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How can Bruce Springsteen couldn`t find a song that was
not derogatory to military.


SHARPTON: Normally I would flunk these guys, but tonight, they get a D-
plus for not doing their homework. They don`t get the song. But I know
what you are thinking. Why not an F?

We are grading on a curve because our next grade is on Bright Bad news.
They made headlines when one of their headlines incorrectly identified
President Obama`s attorney general pick as Clinton`s whitewater lawyer.
That was a different Loretta Lynch entirely. Bright Bad gets a big old F
for their fat check failed. An easy grade for me tonight.

And finally, Roker-a-thon. NBC`s own Al Roker attempted the Guinness world
record for continuous weather forecasting going 34 straight and it was

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three, two, one. Let the Rokerthon begin. Here we go.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are watching all that cold air coming across the
great lakes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Your friend are already in bed so they send me

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is how I do the weather, do the weather, do the

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three, two, one.


SHARPTON: Great job, Al. Around hour 22 last night, Mr. Roker had a wacky


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have the Guinness witnesses who are keeping strict
track. I thought about putting a bald wing on Al Sharpton having -- can
come in and replace me just to spell me for awhile, but they would have
noticed that. Maybe, maybe not. Would you notice if I substituted Al
Sharpton for me?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. I thought it was worth a shot.


SHARPTON: I`m honored you thought of me, Al. But you didn`t need my help.
You made it 34 hours without using me as a body double. And you raised
over $80,000 to support our troops. Way to go, Al. This one was easy.
You get an A-plus.

Wait. You know what, make that an A++. Thanks to all of our students this

ANNOUNCER: That`s tonight`s edition of Reverend Al`s weekly report card.


SHARPTON: Welcome back to Obama derangement lotto. It`s the GOP`s
favorite game. And tonight, they have three big prizes in their fight with
the President over immigration reform. Impeachment, of course. A
government shut down and a lawsuit. It`s cookie. Pick three. So, let`s
get to it and play derangement lotto. Here we go.

Impeachment. And tonight`s pick is impeachment, of course. Just what
they`ve always wanted. The right is been after impeachment from the start
of the Obama presidency and every year since.


MICHAEL SAVAGE, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it is time to start talking
about impeachment.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: That would be, in other words, an
impeachable offense.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: When are we impeaching him and getting him out of the

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Well, I`ll tell you, I`ll tell you,
I agree, I agree.

MARK LEVIN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: You know what this would be in the past
years, and I don`t mean to be controversial, these would be impeachable

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: This is an impeachable offense. This
is in direct violation of the oath of office.



SHARPTON: Those clips were from every year President Obama has been in
office. And a big part of the problem is the GOP base. A new poll shows
66 percent of republican voters think party leaders should stand up to the
President. Only 32 percent think they should work with him. Numbers like
that are a losing proposition for the GOP.

Joining me now are Joe Madison and Bill Press, thank you both for being



SHARPTON: Joe, do GOP lawmakers really think they hit the jackpot with all
these talk of impeachment and lawsuits?

MADISON: Well, they may think that they hit the jackpot, but like a lot of
winners, they usually go broke because they don`t know how to handle the
money. And that`s probably what`s going to happen here. Look, the reality
is that you need 67 votes in the Senate. I believe to even fine, to
impeach the actual conviction. That`s not going to happen. The reality is
that this is just they`re huffing and puffing, and the reality is, if they
can`t impeach, then they will shut the government down. That`s probably
and that barrel too. You know, this is crazy talk and the sad thing is
probably most of their supporters don`t even -- well, let me put it this
way. Every sound bite you had, not one could tell you what is the
impeachable offense? Spell it out. Because you have a president who is
constitutional lawyer, number one, and you know, he`s lawyered it up with
all kinds of constitutional lawyers who tell him he has the right to do

SHARPTON: Bill, despite republican obstruction, the New York Times report,
President Obama is eager to get to work. Quote, "Mr. Obama has flexed his
muscles on immigration, climate change and the internet." Aides said, Mr.
Obama seems energized. Senior officials described him as impatient to
reclaim the presidential megaphone."

PRESS: I have to tell you, Reverend Al. Yes, this is the President Obama
I love to see. It`s sort of, you know, damn the torpedoes, meaning damn
all the threats from John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, you know, we`re
going to fight him, we`re going to sue him, we`re going to impeach him.
President Obama said, damn the torpedoes straight ahead. And I think this
is the President Obama that the American people want to see. Coming out
for net neutrality day which is good for all Americans. Coming out for
climate change and making a deal with China on anything is historic. And
then next week, we`re going to see a very bold move on the executive order
on immigration. He`s going to get things done and he`s not going to sit
around waiting for these republicans to get their act together. Because
you know as well as I, republicans, they don`t want to compromise. Because
they don`t want government to work and they don`t want President Obama to
succeed at anything.


SHARPTON: You know, Joe, some big achievements have come from executive
orders by presidents in the past.

MADISON: That`s right.

SHARPTON: To give you a couple of examples, Abraham Lincoln signed the
emancipation proclamation. FDR implemented a key program on the new deal.
And Truman desegregated the armed forces. Could this immigration action
fall into that category of big accomplishments?

MADISON: Oh, it falls right into the category with the first one. The
emancipation proclamation. This is the civil rights movement for the
Latino Hispanic community. What he is doing is he is giving the future to
Hispanic young people like you featured in the show today. This is their
civil rights movement. And we as African-Americans, we as white Americans,
we as Americans should understand exactly what this is all about. He is
going to be on the right side of history and if they impeach him, not a
fact, you know, you might as well have impeached Eisenhower, Reagan, you
know, and every president --

SHARPTON: Bush, Clinton.

MADISON: Yes. I mean, because they all -- and the thing that is
frustrating, I almost lose my train of thought. Because this is so crazy.
You can`t even logically figure it out.

SHARPTON: Well, it`s not logical. You are not losing anything.

MADISON: Thank you.

SHARPTON: But let me go to you, Bill, on this. A top republican
congressman is already linking President Obama`s action on immigration to
the Loretta Lynch confirmation hearings to be attorney general. Listen to


REP. TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: But we have the Senate. Advice and
consent specifically with this new attorney general ask U.S. Attorney
Lynch, what are the limits of discretion? What laws does he actually have
to enforce?


SHARPTON: So, they don`t have anything on her credentials and
qualifications. They will try to link her into the immigration debate and
have a backdoor debate on the immigration executive action if it were to

PRESS: Well, first of all, I did sort of echoing what Joe said earlier.
President Obama is a lot smarter lawyer than Trey Gowdy will ever be. And
he has got smarter lawyers around him. They know what they are doing on
this immigration thing. They are definitely on solid ground and God knows
President Obama has given John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, the Senate did
pass the bill but he`s given John Boehner enough time on immigration. He
is not going to wait around anymore, he`s not going to give them anymore
time. And linking this to Loretta Lynch. It`s just disgusting. It`s one
more -- it`s not what the American people want. These republicans don`t
get it. They want him to move forward. She is one of the most qualified
people ever nominated to be attorney general of the United States and they
want to make it a political football.


PRESS: I think it`s going to backfire on them every now --

SHARPTON: I`m going to have to hold it there. Joe Madison and Bill Press,
thank you for your time tonight.

PRESS: All right. Thank you, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Have a great weekend both of you.

MADISON: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, what does the GOP base really want from John Boehner
and Mitch McConnell? Also, did you hear what former President Bush said
about President Obama? And the Navy SEAL who says, he killed Bin Laden
defends his decision to go public. It`s all ahead in "Conversation


SHARPTON: We are back with "Conversation Nation." Joining us tonight,
HuffPost Live host Alyona Minkovski. Democratic strategist Jimmy Williams.
And The Grio`s Zerlina Maxwell. Thank you all for being here tonight.


SHARPTON: I want to start on that number we talked about earlier. Please
put that up again. Sixty six percent of republicans would rather stop
President Obama than compromise. Two-thirds want to stop President Obama.
And that`s a problem. Jimmy, your reaction. Does this stop the illusion
that the GOP is changed?

WILLIAMS: Same as it ever was. They`re never going to change. Here`s the
deal. The deal is the first day that Barack Obama became president of the
United States when he was sworn it, they sat in the U.S. capital funded by
taxpayer dollars and they say, we will going to defeat this guy. They
lost. And so, what happened? Now, here we are again. And Mitch McConnell
who`s now become the majority leader. John Boehner who continues to be the
speaker. Their number one goal. Their number one goal, not their number
two or three, their number one goal is to stop his presidency at every
single turn. If anybody thinks there is anything beyond that, this is a
singular vision. Nothing more and nothing less. They don`t like him, they
don`t want him to be president. They failed so they will destroy his
credibility and his legacy. And I`m sorry to say that. Because I actually
like a lot of republicans, but that is their focus.


ALYONA MINKOVSKI, HUFFPOST LIVE HOST: Well, I think what these polls are
showing us too, that it`s actually the republican base and the voters that
are okay with that. So, they (audio gap) on some platform of
bipartisanship and conciliation. We knew that this is going to be the
case. And if anything --

SHARPTON: If they did, they didn`t win.

MINKOVSKI: I think, yes, exactly. But it also shows you why republicans
are afraid of their base and why democrats don`t really have all that much
respect for theirs.


SHARPTON: Zerlina?

MAXWELL: Well, this is the moment in which elected republicans need to
grow up and take responsibility for the fact that they are in elected
office and have a responsibility to work with the president to govern the
country. You can no longer, you know, be in charge of the house and not in
charge of the Senate and say, well, we are not in charge and we can`t pass
bills and so, we`re just going to block and muck up the system. They
actually have to take responsibility of governing the country. Because
there are so many problems that we`re not building with. All the while
they ever trying to block everything and blame the President for the
dysfunction in Congress.

SHARPTON: Does this affect independence, Jimmy, does he turn them off
independent voters?

WILLIAMS: Both parties are losing people. Republicans are losing more
than democrats. But both parties are losing people left and right
literally -- right? More Americans now identifies and anything to do with
our party, we have more than the republicans they have left. But it`s
almost as if the American people -- listen, if 30 something percent showed
up in the last election, that tells you everything that you need to know.
And by the way, back to your earlier question, you ask if they`re running,
if they want to do something with Obama. What is the boogie man in every
single race (audio gap)?


MINKOVSKI: Well, you know, what we`re seeing here is, and I have a
presentation that people are frustrated and they feel like politicians
aren`t going to be fixing the system, and that`s why they don`t come out to

SHARPTON: All right. Let me go to the next hot topic here, the debate.
Because it`s been on the agenda all week. Robert O`Neill, the former Navy
SEAL who says, he killed Bin Laden revealed himself this week. But former
SEALs are furious he broke cold for speaking publicly. One even saying, he
needs to be prosecuted. O`Neill responded to that this morning on the
"Today Show."


ROBERT O`NEILL, FORMER NAVY SEAL: One of the things that we -- freedom,
and a lot of this freedom is free speech and free opinion. And I hope they
don`t think I did the wrong thing, I hope that they see I`m doing it for
the right reasons. And, you know, the reason is this platform helping 9/11
families and also helping vets.


SHARPTON: Zerlina, he`s an American hero, but should he be punished?

MAXWELL: I mean, I think certainly the people that, you know, make sure
that the confidential information doesn`t get out to the public. They will
determine whether or not he should be punished under the military law. You
know, I don`t think personally that he should be punished. I think that,
I`m surprised it took us this long for us to know exactly who shot the kill


WILLIAMS: Thank you for doing what you did. Do me a favor. Shut the hell
up. Okay, it`s that simple. Because he is a part of a sacred elite team.
I went to the citadel which is a military college. There are elite parts
of the citadel that never talk about anything that they do. I was not part
of them, but I can tell you this. I would never betray that trust. Again,
I thank him for what he did. I just wish he would shut up about it. I
really do. And by the way, this idea of helping the 9/11 families, the
minute that Osama bin Laden was killed, they had peace. I assume they had
peace. So, let`s be done with it.

SHARPTON: But Alyona, we see generals and other military leaders writing
books and making money. Why not see it?

MINKOVSKI: Exactly. We see such a double standard and those with the
officials who are not punished for speaking out and I`m not surprised
despite the fact that this is against the ethos of what it is to be a Navy
SEAL. You also, you have books coming out, you have movies, you have video
games that all glorify being a part of the SEAL. And so, you know, I`m not
surprised that someone wants to capitalize on that.

MAXWELL: Right. You already had the movie with an Oscar, right?


WILLIAMS: But look at people like Stanley McChrystal. He spoke out, he
didn`t think he was, but he did in Rolling Stone. Right? He got fired.
And so I expect our military leaders to do what they are supposed to do.
And then what I want them to do is to do it and go away gracefully.

MINKOVSKI: Okay, and McChrystal got fired because he was speaking ill of
the commander in chief.


WILLIAMS: Correct.

SHARPTON: This SEAL has not done that.

WILLIAMS: No, he`s not done that. But his colleagues, his teammates, his
SEAL mates if you will have a very big problem with this. If the majority
of his comrades have a problem with this, I would suggest to you that it is
a problem of what he`s done.

SHARPTON: But isn`t there difference Zerlina in speaking out against the
commander in chief and doing, even making money and in you being punished.
You might say that it`s distasteful.


SHARPTON: You disagree. I wouldn`t do it. But punishing?

WILLIAMS: Well, I don`t believe we should punish him, no.

SHARPTON: Zerlina?

MAXWELL: I guess, we all agree that he shouldn`t be punished.



MINKOVSKI: Enough with the punishment. Too much punishment.

MAXWELL: He is telling the American people something that I think we do
need to know.

SHARPTON: All right. Coming up, everyone, please stay with me. George W.
Bush on President Obama. It`s a surprise. And is this art imitating life?
The Metropolitan Museum of Art gets in on the Kardashian craze. Next.


SHARPTON: We are back with our panel. Alyona, Jimmy and Zerlina. Let`s
talk about former President George W. Bush and why I think he should be
commended. The former president is on a big media tour promoting his new
book about his father. Since he left office, he has refused to criticize
President Obama. Last night he was asked why. Here was his response.


FMR. PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH, UNITED STATES: I don`t think it`s good for the
country to have a former president undermine a current president. I think
it`s bad for the presidency for that matter.


SHARPTON: Zerlina, your reaction? Surprised.

MAXWELL: Well, I was surprised, but my first reaction was, I wish he had
told Dick Cheney that, Vice President Dick Cheney who all along has been
undermining the President by criticizing him unfairly from the beginning.
And yes, I do agree with him that it does undermine the office of the
presidency. It would have been nice if he had come out when, I don`t know,
when they were questioning his birth certificate at that moment. Maybe
then, he could have come out and said this and we wouldn`t have had, you
know, five years of nonsense.


WILLIAMS: Yes, I have to concur with that. I mean, listen, Dick Cheney is
the gift that keeps on giving to us. Republicans, except for the crazy
crazies, they are offended by what he is doing. By the way, Dana Perino,
we can go down the line. I mean, there is a litany, there is a cadre
former Bush staffers that want to do nothing but beat the living hell out
of the guy that`s currently sitting in the White House. And I want to
think forward. The question becomes, whomever the next president is, I
don`t know who that`s going to be, hope it`s Hillary Clinton. Then, I hope
that Barack Obama does something remarkably interesting like George Bush.
Fade off into the distance and become very statesman-like.

SHARPTON: But Alyona, I mean, he has Bush, this is, he has stayed above
the fray.

MINKOVSKI: He has stayed above the fray. It`s interesting because if
anyone I think has the right to criticize a president who is in office,
someone who has been in those shoes before.

SHARPTON: And one who was criticized but this president.



But I also think it shows us that maybe George W. Bush has a little bit of
self-awareness which is something that Dick Cheney does not. And he know
that if he goes around, he starts pointing the finger and criticizing it,
the Obama administration, people are going to point out that he is the one
that started it.

WILLIAMS: There is also the point that his father lost to the guy that he,
you know, he came after. And they have a fantastic relationship and I
think that goes a long way in the Bush family. That`s a nice, nice thing
to say by the way.

SHARPTON: Well, we will see how far it goes in the family if it`s Jeb
against Hillary.



SHARPTON: But finally tonight, breaking the internet. Kim Kardashian`s
cover seen around the world has the world talking and tweeting all week.
And now the Metropolitan Museum of Art is getting in on the fun. The
museum tweeting, "Here at the Met, we have artworks that can break the
internet too." And you see this photo of this ancient statue. Can you see
a resemblance? Well, you be the judge of that. Okay, panel, what do you
think of this? Zerlina, is this art imitating life?

MAXWELL: Well, I don`t know if that art is imitating life. I don`t know
that obviously, everyone wants to capitalize on what Kim Kardashian and his
family have done well. Which is create a moment in which the media is all
focused on what they are doing, whether it`s taking naked pictures, you
know, walking around which is, you know, the majority of the pictures that
I see of her. And I think that, you know, certainly I want to know a
little bit about sort of her business strategy. I`m growing a little bit
tired of just seeing her naked all the time, not that there is anything
wrong with that, just, I want to hear her talk more. I want to hear her
thoughts on things.

MINKOVSKI: A lot of other people though take naked pictures and have that
be on magazine covers or magazine spreads and don`t get the whole talking.
I`m sure Kim Kardashian is doing something right. And I think, you know,
how many people are really going to view these days?

SHARPTON: But Jimmy, the Met, I mean, this is the elite ultra and they are
imitating Kardashian. What is that say?

WILLIAMS: I would suggest that the Stagi (ph) Met is doing something
beyond the Kardashians. I would suggest that the Stagi Met is going back -
- I watched last night the monuments men and the movie about how they went
in and got all back all the artwork and the sculptures, et cetera, that
Hitler had taken and the Madonna was one of the big things, and easy to
get. I mean, her breasts are exposed. And I`m thinking to myself, you
know, Michelangelo and Da Vinci, Botticelli, et cetera, all these great
artists. These things they did were all naked. The Met has done this but
stuck in the middle we have the Kardashians. And --

SHARPTON: It`s interesting to me that Kim is really historical art.

WILLIAMS: No, I would suggest she`s a hysterical art.

SHARPTON: Imitating that.

WILLIAMS: I would suggest she`s hysterical. And she is imitating nothing
in life.

MINKOVSKI: But unless it shows that the -- doesn`t take himself too

WILLIAMS: I think it`s great if the Met did it.

MINKOVSKI: They were trying to attract more people.

MAXWELL: I like that the --


WILLIAMS: I`ll tell you this, the next time I`m here, I`m going to the Met
but I`m not going to see the Kardashian.

MINKOVSKI: You have a point. How much art is based on the human body?

WILLIAMS: Right. Sure.

SHARPTON: I think we picked up a lot more people liking them on twitter.

WILLIAMS: That`s right.

SHARPTON: Alyona, Jimmy and Zerlina, thank you for your time. Have a
great weekend.

WILLIAMS: Thank you, Rev.

MAXWELL: Thank you.

MINKOVSKI: Thank you.

SHARPTON: We will be back with a big moment for the Affordable Care Act.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, putting politics above people`s health. Just
days after taking control of Congress, republicans are plotting a new
attack plan for ObamaCare. They are just itching to investigate everything
they can about a law they hate. And some GOP leaders are openly debating
whether it`s even a good thing to help low income Americans get health


GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: Why is more people on Medicaid a good
thing? I would rather find a way particularly for able-bodied adults
without children. I`d like to find a way to get them into the workforce to
transition them from government dependence to true independence. I think
ideologically that`s a much better approach not just as a conservative, but
as an American. You have more people live the American dream if they are
not dependent on the government.


SHARPTON: No health care is the American dream? Living in fear of getting
sick without insurance? That`s not right. In fact it`s sick. Earlier
this week, we had a guest share his personal account of how ObamaCare saved
his life and how he hates to see lawmakers attack the law for political


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Well, it really saddens me because obviously, you know,
we are the -- what 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.


SHARPTON: What should be important is giving people peace of mind.
Tomorrow kicks off the second enrollment period for ObamaCare. Another
chance to get covered under the law. Go to for more
information. The White House says, it expects nine to 10 million to be
enrolled. It is really what makes America work, is when we give a chance,
an opportunity for everyone. They are not beggars, they are not people
trying to bet the system. Some of them hardworking people that just need a
way to take care of the health insurance for their families. To be a
patriot, you cannot just love the country, you have to love the people in
the country.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. Have a great weekend. "HARDBALL"
starts right now.


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