PoliticsNation, Friday, December 12th, 2014
Read the transcript from the Friday show
Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: December 12, 2014
Guest: Marq Claxton; E .J. Dionne; Joan Walsh, Kendall Coffey, Angela Rye,
Dana Milbank, Liz Plank
MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you all for your time
That`s "the Ed Show." I`m Michael Eric Dyson in for Ed Schultz. "Politics
Nation" with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.
Good evening, Rev.
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening Dr. Dyson and thanks to
you for tuning in.
Tonight`s lead, a warning shot from the left. Senator Elizabeth Warren and
progressives in Congress have put Republicans on notice. They`re not just
going to roll over for the new GOP majority. This week senator Elizabeth
Warren took a dramatic stand, pushing Democrats to fight against a budget
deal that included a big give-away to big banks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Here`s the bottom line. A vote
for this bill is a vote for future taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street. Who
do you work for, Wall Street or the American people? This fight isn`t
about conservatives or liberals. It`s not about Democrats or Republicans.
It`s about money. If big companies can deploy their armies of lobbyists
and warriors to get Congress to vote for special deals that benefit
themselves, we will simply confirm the view of the American people, that
the system is rigged. It is time for all of us to stand up and fight.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Lots of Democrats did stand up and fight. The bill passed the
house late last night, but Republicans were warned. They`re not going to
be able to jam their agenda down the throats of the American people. But
even though this bill contains some GOP proposals that were hard to
swallow, there were also a lot in it that Democrats need to pass. Funding
for early childhood education programs. Funding for climate action. And
it continues the work on the consumer financial protection bureau. Far
from perfect, but some good measures. That`s a point President Obama also
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There are a bunch of
provisions in this bill that I really do not like. On the other hand,
there are provisions in this bill, and the basic funding within this bill,
that allows us to make sure that we continue on the progress in providing
health insurance to all Americans, to make sure that we continue with our
efforts to combat climate change, that we`re able to expand early childhood
education. I think what the American people are very much are looking for
is some practical governance and the willingness to compromise and that`s
what this bill reflects.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: It was a compromise. And some predicted a much harsher budget
if the deal didn`t pass now. After all, Republicans control a lot of seats
now, but they`re going to control way more in January. That`s when the big
fights begin. Senator Warren will be at the center of them and Republicans
are still dismissing her. One time GOP lawmaker said, there are many
things I worry about in life. Elizabeth Warren is not one of them. Maybe
he should be.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WARREN: Who does Congress work for? Does it work for the millionaires,
the billionaires, the giant companies with their armies of lobbyists and
lawyers or does it work for all the people?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: It should work for the people. And Senator Warren won`t let
them forget it.
Joining me now are Joan Walsh and E.J. Dionne, that you both for being
JOAN WALSH, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, SALON.COM: Thanks, Rev.
E.J. DIONNE, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Good to be with you,
SHARPTON: E.J., is Elizabeth Warren going to be Mitch McConnell`s worst
DIONNE: WELL, I think she`ll be his worst nightmare and a lot of other
people`s worst nightmare. And when I hear the congressman Hensarling say,
that if you say I`m not worried about Elizabeth Warren, that probably means
you`re worried about Elizabeth Warren.
But I also think she`s going to occasionally interrupt President Obama`s
dreams when she thinks he`s making a deal with John Boehner or Mitch
McConnell that she doesn`t think it a good deal. And I think what happened
in this fight is that there were a lot of Democrats who said, we`ve already
given a lot on funding. We got some things here, we lost some things here.
They understood that President Obama wanted to lock in certain funding.
But when you had these two provisions here, one, the beginning of the
unraveling of the financial reform, and this campaign finance provision
that`s going to allow wealthy couples to give up to $3 million to the
parties over an election cycle, a lot of people said that these two things
are really worth bringing this bill down for. Chris Van Hollen said it`s
the only bill with the quid and the quo in it at the same time. And so, I
think Elizabeth Warren will call them like she sees them and occasionally
will make Democrats uncomfortable.
SHARPTON: Joan, will her presence in challenging some of what we`re seeing
as an opening shot in her challenging this bill, will she be a galvanizing
figure for progressives around the country and impact 2016?
WALSH: I think she definitely will. I mean, she`s already a hugely
galvanizing figure, Reverend Al. This protest, I don`t think would have
taken off without her. It got awfully close. And you know, I was glad to
see Speaker Pelosi join it. I understand the arguments for passing the
bill. There was something terrifying about perhaps triggering another
On the other hand, I was in the camp who said, I would love to spend a
couple days making Elizabeth Warren`s case, saying, who does Congress work
for, Wall Street or the American people? And letting -- and saying the
Republicans are the ones who will not vote for this bill unless this awful
provisions or these two awful provisions are in it.
That would have been fun for me. I understand democrat who is don`t agree
with me. But I think she`ll have a huge impact going forward.
Also, Senator Sherrod Brown is now the ranking member of the banking
committee. Now, we`re in the minority, but he can still raise a rock us.
So I think the progressive wing of this party is still rising and it`s
going to be very interesting.
SHARPTON: Now, you know, E.J., part of the appeal with Elizabeth Warren is
she really breaks things down, and you know, to be understandable. You
wrote earlier this year, quote, "Warren has been challenging conservative
presumptions embedded so deeply in our discourse that we barely notice
them. Where others equivocate she fights back with common sense. I mean,
should she be another secretary of explaining stuff? I mean, she gets it
where people on the ground understands it and relates to it.
DIONNE: I think she is another secretary of explaining stuff. I have
compared her, and I meant this as a compliment to Ronald Reagan. Because I
think Reagan was very good at explaining where conservatives were coming
from. He use plain clear language. She uses plain clear language. She
uses excellent examples. She tells stories. And at the end of an
Elizabeth Warren talk, you really understand why there are problems here,
what the conflict is about, and you end up, a lot of people end up wanting
to take her side.
SHARPTON: But Joan, it`s not just her style and her delivery. But what
I`m getting at is that it`s still and delivery on some progressive ideas
that galvanized a lot of people that will have real political impact both
in the Democratic Party and in the public discourse in American politics.
Because I think we`ve not seen of late that kind of progressive figure
pushing the conversation.
WALSH: Absolutely, Reverend Al. I think its style and content. It`s
delivery, but it`s also message. She tells a real important story about
the decline of the American dream. And she uses her own family story and
she makes it plain that those of us of a certain generation grew up and had
and really were taken care of in terms of getting an education. Government
action created the middle class. She explains that really well. And
progressives are looking for not just style but also policy in terms of,
how do we rebuild the middle class? How do we rebuild our ladders of
opportunity into the middle class for people. Those things have fallen
apart and Elizabeth Warren shows us how to rebuild them again. And part of
it is taking on Wall Street and the privileging of the financial sector
that has become sadly all too common in the Democratic Party as well.
SHARPTON: You know, E.J., there`s a real divide in the GOP with
conservatives angry at the spending bill, that it didn`t attack the
president`s executive action on immigration. They want to fight that again
DIONNE: No, and I think one of the reasons why I think a lot of people
wish the Democrats could have pushed a harder deal, is because Boehner was
in big trouble on this bill. He lost 67 of his own members. So he needed
a lot of Democrats --
SHARPTON: Because they wanted to deal with executive action.
SHARPTON: So Joan, when you listen at the fact -- listen to the response
some of them had last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, Obamacare is funded. Now Obama`s executive
amnesty is funded. We wanted an insisted on a vote that would allow us to
cut off all funding to implement or enforce his executive amnesty.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let us have a vote on defunding Obama`s amnesty.
REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: They wanted to have amnesty. They
were completely fine with amnesty.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: So they`re angry, but in the meantime, Joan, the president`s
executive action is moving forward. What does that mean for next year?
WALSH: Well, I think they`ll come back to it next year. But I think, you
know, one thing you saw, I think speaker Boehner is frankly tired of
appeasing that group of Republicans. I think it was a great way to say
goodbye to Michele Bachmann and, you know, send her away disappointed. But
I don`t think this battle is over. And so, you know, it will be very
interesting to see how things line up in January, when you have more
Republicans and arguably more conservative Republicans, although, I don`t
know that there`s anyone who is going to replace Michele Bachmann. I think
there are a few contenders.
But E.J., you know, one congressman, democratic congressman said to today,
quote, "the next 25 months are about President Obama`s legacy." How will
Democrats defend that legacy is the question.
DIONNE: I think on immigration, the Republicans don`t really mean what
they`re saying. If this leadership really believed that what he was doing
was so outrageous, they`d actually go with Michele Bachmann. They don`t
want to go there. They`re going to try to avoid that.
And I think over the coming months, where Democrats have to do is talk
simultaneously about what was done to restore this economy. We were on our
backs when Obama took office. And we`re starting to grow in a serious way,
but they also have to build on what was done to really start restoring
wages. And I think the way to preserve his legacy is to make sure we move
forward. And at the very least, if you can`t get much done, to show how
efforts to make things better are getting mocked by the other side.
SHARPTON: E.J. Dionne and Joan Walsh, thank you both for your time
tonight. Have a great weekend.
DIONNE: Good to be with you, Reverend.
WALSH: Thanks, Rev. You too.
SHARPTON: Coming up, developing news in the police shooting death of 12-
year-old Tamir Rice. The autopsy is out. So what does it reveal about the
Also, new details about the federal prosecution into the bridgegate
scandal. Could a fraud law be used to target former Christie aides?
Plus, new fall-out from the Hollywood hacking scandal and those nasty
emails about President Obama.
And the Pope`s big comments about whether dogs go to heaven. What do you
think? It`s part of "conversation nation."
SHARPTON: A new video of Beyonce is getting a lot of attention online.
She released it today on the one-year anniversary of her last album. And
in it, she opens up about love, parenthood, and what she believes.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BEYONCE, SINGER: I always consider myself a feminist. Although I was
always afraid of that word because people put so much on it. When
honestly, it`s very simple. It`s just a person that believes in equality
for men and women.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: It got a lot of attention. It got the attention of singer Katy
Perry. She tweeted. It was one of the most beautiful, vulnerable, real
things I have ever seen.
Fred posted on our facebook, very proud of her accomplishments through the
I am too, Fred. Keep the conversation going on our facebook page or tweet
SHARPTON: Breaking news tonight, we`ve just got the autopsy results from
the shooting death of Tamir Rice. The 12-year-old shot and killed by
Cleveland police last month while carrying a toy pellet gun. The 911
caller who reported Tamir warned police that the gun was probably not real.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s probably fake. But you know what? It`s scaring
the (bleep) out of me. He`s probably a juvenile, you know. I don`t know
if it`s real or not.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: But despite the warnings, Tamir was shot less than two seconds
after police arrived. The autopsy report shows Tamir died from a single
gunshot wound of the torso with injuries of a major vessel, intestines and
pelvis. The manner of death, ruled a homicide, the same manner of death on
Eric Garner`s autopsy report after he was killed from a police officer`s
chokehold from a police officer in July.
Homicide, the same manner of death marked on Michael Brown`s autopsy after
he was shot dead by Officer Darren Wilson in August. Homicide for John
Crawford, shot and killed by police in an Ohio Walmart for carrying around
a toy gun. Homicide for Akai Gurley, shot and killed by police in the
stairwell of his own building.
Five high profile cases of young black men, killed by police officers
across this country in the past five months, and three of the officers in
those cases have walked free, without charges brought against them.
Something must be done to stop this national crisis.
Joining me now, Marq Claxton, former New York City police officer and
director of black law enforcement alliance. Thank you for being here
MARQ CLAXTON, DIRECTOR, BLACK LAW ENFORCEMENT ALLIANCE: Thank you, Rev.
SHARPTON: Marq, you know, I`m in Washington because tomorrow I join five
of these high profile families and Trayvon Martin`s families to have a
rally and march around. Something must be done around policing and the
Congress must act. It`s going to be big. Have all these tragedies brought
us to a national tipping point with policing?
CLAXTON: We`re truly hoping so. And I think that you can`t discount the
level of activism that has occurred, most recently. But also, we just
can`t discount that which has been done historically. And I mean, you`ve
been very active and involved in that, in spearheading a lot of movement
towards reform. But complete and total justice reform, not just police
reform. So I think all of the energy now, really being brought to a head
and people energized throughout the nation, a diverse group, will have some
impact. It`s up to us and those involved in the activism and those
involved in the demonstration, and those involved in the demands to really
follow through with that.
SHARPTON: As will the rally tomorrow have some impact and will be very
diverse and of all the civil rights groups. But many of our progressive
groups and people of all ethnic groups. Very important, this is an
American problem. And we`ve already seen some concrete action.
This week, Congress passed the death in custody reporting act. It requires
law enforcement agencies to report data on individuals who died during
police stops or custody. So we`ll know the full extent of the problem.
And today Congressman Emanuel Cleaver introduced a bill that would require
police officers to wear body cameras. It would apply to all law
enforcement agencies receiving federal grants from the justice department.
So, Marq, don`t we need action from Congress to produce real, lasting
CLAXTON: Absolutely. Everybody in the pool on this one. It`s a situation
where, yes, you`re going to need technology. Yes, you will need some
regulation improvement. But until we begin to deal affirmatively with the
legislation, it won`t have the national impact that`s necessary for real
reform. And the system needs reform. The system is on some level, broken,
if you will. You know, some people may argue that point, but there`s a
desperate need for Congress, for legislators to really be engaged in this
and to listen to the wishes and the will and use common sense and apply it.
We have to push law enforcement back to a point where humanity matters,
where they recognize the humanity in others as they do themselves.
SHARPTON: And let me be clear that we are not anti-police, you and I. You
were a policeman for many years. You and I, the thousands that will march
with us in Washington, we are not anti-police. Most police are good, risk
their lives. But we are anti-having a situation where police cannot even
be questioned. And we need to break that system and stand with those
families. When you look in New York since 1999, there have been 179
fatalities involving police. Only three of those officers have even been
charged. Three out of the 179, only one convicted.
In Dallas, 81 police shootings of civilians between 2008 and 2012. Only
one indictment in those shootings. That`s why whites, blacks and others
are marching in Washington tomorrow because something must be done. That
data speaks to a broken system that is not good for America.
Marq Claxton, thank you for your time tonight.
SHARPTON: Have a good weekend.
CLAXTON: Thank you, Rev. You too.
SHARPTON: Straight ahead, more fall-out from the leaked Hollywood emails
about President Obama.
And I`m giving out my weekly report card. Will we see a J or a Z grade
tonight? That`s next.
ANNOUNCER: It`s time now for Reverend Al`s weekly report card.
SHARPTON: Let`s get right to it. This week the torture report dominated
headlines and so did Dick Cheney.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it`s a
terrible piece of work, basically it seems to me it`s deeply flawed.
BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: This report says it`s not successful.
CHENEY: The report is full of crap, excuse me. I said early yesterday and
let me use the real rule.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Excuse me, sir. This is a family show. But Cheney gets a V for
Vader, as in Darth. But before I get to all the emails and all the emails
coming, it`s not me making the comparison. He loves it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAY LENO, COMEDIAN: Hi, Mr. Vice president, it`s Jay Leno.
CHENEY: Jay, I`ll be right out. I`m brushing my teeth.
LENO: Yes. Hey, is this the suit you`ll be wearing tonight?
CHENEY: No, I thought I`d wear this, Jay.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: That`s just disturbing on so many levels.
Also on our report card, the royal couple. Will and Kate took the big
apple by storm this week. But we won`t forget the royal courtside meeting.
British royalty and Brooklyn royalty, Jay-Z and Beyonce hanging out with
Will and Kate at the Nets game. Will and Kate get a BK tonight, that`s
right, they`re officially Brooklyn approved. And that`s saying something,
coming from a Brooklyn guy like me.
Now to Harvard, the professor who went to war over $4 of Chinese food. Ben
Edelman was the talk of water coolers for the nasty emails he sent to a
restaurant manager when he was overcharged. He`s now apologized. But
turns out he`s done this before. He had a similar email exchanged with a
sushi restaurant over a dispute with his groupon. I just have one thing to
tell the professor.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know something? No soup for you!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: No soup and no sushi. Tonight the professor gets an old-school
And finally, Republican Senator Tom Coburn, he gave a powerful farewell
address to the Senate this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TOM COBURN (R), OKLAHOMA: To those of you through the years who I
have offended, I truly apologize.
We see ourselves today with a president that we need to be supporting and
praying for. Thank you to each of you for the privilege of having been
able to work for a better country for us all. I yield the floor.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Senator Coburn`s colleagues gave him a standing ovation.
Tonight he gets a C, but it`s not what you think. It`s C for classy. With
all the hostility here in Washington, it`s refreshing to hear a Republican
with kind words about the president.
Thank you for your service, Senator. We wish you well.
And thanks to all my students tonight. Class Dismissed.
ANNOUNCER: That`s tonight`s edition of Reverend Al`s weekly report card.
SHARPTON: Developing news on the George Washington Bridge scandal. For
almost a year, the federal investigation has been shrouded in mystery.
Today the "New York Times" has details, reporting that prosecutors may use
a fraud statute to bring charges against people linked to Governor
Christie. Quote, "They could argue that associates of Governor Chris
Christie used the bridge for a purpose other than its intended one." "The
Times" also reporting prosecutors are focused on whether claims of a
traffic study were part of a cover-up. But something prosecutors
apparently still don`t know, why was this e-mail sent?
Quote, "Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee." And who else knew
about the plan? Let`s be very clear. There have been no reports that
Governor Christie knew about the lane closings before they happened or that
he could face any charges. But there are still serious questions about
what happened, who role his aides played, and the big news tonight, fraud
charges may be coming.
Joining me now is former U.S. Attorney Kendall Coffey, thank you for being
KENDALL COFFEY, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: Thanks for having me, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Kendall, explain these fraud charges. What does this tell you?
COFFEY: Well, it`s a creative theory. Six-six-six is used in a number of
different corruption cases. But here they`re focusing on whether someone
in control of something like a bridge is intentionally mis-supplying it.
That is, using it for example, for personal or political purpose rather
than a governmental purpose. And that charging theory answers a question
many of us have been exploring, Reverend. We talked about it on the show.
What would be the federal charges that would be brought in this particular
case? Now we have an idea what it means. And that`s a terrifying thought
for the people who have been investigated. Because if the Feds are
serious, and an indictment follows to somebody, there are going to be a lot
of shock waves that follow from that.
SHARPTON: Now, how serious would fraud charges be?
COFFEY: Well, the statute has as much as ten years in prison. And it`s
somewhat creative in the sense that this hasn`t been typically used. What
they`re basically saying is that this bridge, instead of being used as a
path between two states, was being used as a path way for political
retribution and revenge. But I think it`s a viable theory. And keep in
mind, that once people hear the knock of feds on the door, they really
start to thinking about what they can do to save themselves. And saving
themselves usually means finding information that the feds think is
valuable, that aims at someone else.
SHARPTON: Now, "The Times" also reports that prosecutors also have
interviewed several local and union officials who were promised jobs or
benefits in exchange for endorsing Mr. Christie, suggesting that the
inquiry is looking into the use of Port Authority as an instrument for the
governor`s re-election campaign. What does that tell you, Kendall?
COFFEY: It tells us it`s a wide-ranging investigation. That they`re
looking at whether there was a cover-up in the allegation of this being a
routine traffic study. And I`ve got to tell you, as long as the feds are
looking behind every tree, under every rock, behind every blade of grass,
nobody`s out of the woods yet.
SHARPTON: Now, there`s been a lot of talk, Kendall, this year about
Governor Christie and recently a lot of talk about how he`s not a target,
or is not implicated in the investigation so far, but these charges, taking
him out of the immediate zone of danger here, these charges are serious,
COFFEY: They`re very serious charges.
SHARPTON: These are his top aides they`re talking about.
COFFEY: Very senior aides. Certainly there continues to be a view that
there was a culture in this office that created these kind of events.
That`s very different from saying the head of the office has a criminal
responsibility for this culture. But keep in mind that once, and if -- we
have to say if -- charges are announced against anybody, that`s usually not
the end of it. Because whoever is facing charges is going to have either
to face trial where the percentages of acquittal are very low in the
federal system, or face the music in the sense of coming clean, telling
everything they know, and trying to make the best deal they can with
SHARPTON: Well, "The Times" also says this could go well into 2015. We`ll
be watching. Kendall Coffey, thank you for your time tonight. Have a
COFFEY: Thanks, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Coming up, Elizabeth Warren`s moment. How her surge can help
protect President Obama`s legacy and stop the GOP agenda in its tracks.
Also, new reaction tonight to the Hollywood hacking scandal and those e-
mails about President Obama.
And do dogs go to heaven? The pope made some comments that has a lot of
people talking. "Conversation Nation" is next.
SHARPTON: Time now for "Conversation Nation." Joining me tonight,
political strategist Angela Rye, "The Washington Post" Dana Milbank, and
Mic.com`s Liz Plank. Thank you all for being here tonight.
ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Thanks, Rev.
ELIZABETH PLANK, MIC.COM: Thanks, Rev.
DANA MILBANK, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Hi, Reverend.
SHARPTON: We start with Elizabeth Warren`s moment. The senator is
electrifying the left this week with a fiery speeches, vowing to fight
against republicans rigging the game for Wall Street.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: This is a democracy, and the
American people didn`t elect us to stand up for Citigroup. They elected us
to stand up for all the people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Angela, she`s emerged as the voice of the left. How big of a
moment is this for her?
RYE: Well, I think it`s right along pace with everything else that
Elizabeth Warren has done. I think the one thing that`s been really
interesting about this debate over the last couple of days are the other
key players that have been involved. All women. I know a lot of folks
have been talking about Nancy Pelosi today, but there`s also another woman,
there`s the ranking member of financial services, none other than Maxine
Waters, Rev, who you know very well.
RYE: She is a person who brought this to the forefront for the democratic
caucus on the house side and has championed this and pushed it and pushed
it to the point of a meeting with White House`s chief of staff yesterday
evening. She also should take as much credit for this. But for 2016
purposes, it`s another great moment for Elizabeth Warren, and I think a
reason why progressives are eager for her to get on the ballot.
SHARPTON: And I must say, I agree with you on Maxine Waters. It was the
Waters-Pelosi move. But let me ask you, Dana, 300 former Obama campaign
workers have signed a petition, calling on Elizabeth Warren to run for
president. I mean, does that indicate something?
MILBANK: Well, you know what I think is happening here, Reverend? This is
sort of the beginning of the equivalent of a tea party on the left, that`s
really a populist movement that`s really gathering some steam now and I
think is only going to pick up from there. I think Elizabeth Warren is
going to wind up disappointing these people. She shows no indication that
she`s interested in or preparing to run for president. I`m not even sure
she`s aware of the power that she has. I was there at the event she had
yesterday with Maxine Waters, and she was raising her objections, not
saying she`s necessarily going to use procedural objections to bring down
the bill, but just her saying that nearly killed the thing in the House, by
pulling so many democrats away from it. She has enormous, awesome power.
Not clear that she`s going to use that in a presidential way, though.
SHARPTON: But Liz, if she does not run, and the left, or progressives are
galvanized, does that create a vacuum that someone else could step in, or
this only Liz Warren`s moment?
PLANK: No, absolutely. I think the energy that she`s bringing is
definitely beneficial to the Democratic Party, whether she runs or not.
And, you know, she`s been able to do so much for the party, you know,
making Congressional hearings go viral. That`s not something that a
politician has done very often. And for her, I think the challenge is
going to be the broadening, if she does decide to run, broadening her
topic. So, she`s very big on economic reform, she`s very big on Wall
Street. Can she be as big on foreign policy? Can she talk about ISIS in
the way that she can talk on Wall Street? If she does decides to run, that
is going to be what she`ll have to determine.
SHARPTON: Okay, also in politics, is Mitt Romney ready for a three-peat?
Romney associate says he`s more open to a 2016 run after sounding, quote,
"unimpressed with the emerging GOP field." Dana, are those binders full of
women coming back for round three?
MILBANK: I don`t know. You think maybe they could talk Bob Dole into
coming back and doing this instead. I think this is very self-serving of
Mitt Romney right now. In fact, the objection he raises to a Jeb Bush
candidacy is saying, well, Jeb Bush is too close to business. So I think
there may be a certain lack of self-awareness on Mitt Romney`s part here.
But, you know, he wants everybody to sort of beg him to, you know, wear the
white hat and come in and rescue the Republican Party. I think that`s the
kind of rescuing this party doesn`t need.
SHARPTON: Angela, I mean, should I call big bird and tell him to be
careful, watch out?
RYE: Hash tag you`re fired. Um, yes, I mean, not only big bird, but
everyone, the other 47 percent that Romney does has summarily dismissed in
his last presidential run. I don`t think that anyone is more ready for a
Romney run than himself. And I think that`s probably about it. If you
fail three times, that`s three strikes and you`re all the way out. Please
do not come back.
SHARPTON: All right. Liz, let`s go to more fall-out from those leaked
Hollywood e-mails and some awkward timing. In L.A. last night, the
premiere for Sony`s movie, "The Interview," was odd. No red carpet, no
photos, no interviews. It all came in the wake of e-mails joking about
President Obama and race. Sony executive Amy Pascal and power producer
Scott Rudin have both apologized for the e-mails. Angela, let me go to you
and I want you in on this, Liz. Is the controversy going to lead to any
real change in Hollywood? I said last night, I spoke to Miss Pascal after
attacking this statement. We`ve agreed to meet. I`m really not sure about
this apology, given the climate in Hollywood, in terms of the lack of
diversity. Will there be change?
RYE: Rev, I think that we have to take a step back and examine the facts
before us. Right. You`re here in D.C. right now, for a march because
there needs to be a paradigm shift in the way in which people of all racial
backgrounds are treated. It`s time to address equity and equality in all
of these spaces. And Hollywood is definitely one of them. As you know,
Reverend Jackson has been doing the Silicon Valley stuff because diversity
is a problem there too. None of these things will change by -- training or
diversity training or anything. They`re literally has to be a culture
shift in all of these spaces for real change to last. For "The Butler" and
Django jokes not to surface. People have to be in places where there are
people who don`t look like them and they have different experiences to
change the way in which they deal with people of other races.
SHARPTON: Liz, will this lead to real change?
PLANK: I would love to believe that. I don`t think so. I have to agree
with Angela. I mean, I think it`s interesting that an industry that`s
believed to be so progressive and sort of even demonized by republicans
sometimes are being too progressive is so backwards when it comes to
diversity, when it comes to race, when it comes to gender as well. A
couple of hours ago, we actually had a really interesting leak about inside
the hack, we have information about salaries. Within Sony, there`s a huge
gender gap between male and female employees and even amongst stars and
celebrities. There`s interesting information about Jennifer Lawrence
actually being paid less than her male counterparts in "American Hustle,"
even though she was a way bigger star. So they`re going to have a lot of
explaining to do.
SHARPTON: Please, everyone, stay with me. When we come back, aloha, Mr.
President. Will the presidential library land in Hawaii?
And Pope Francis, dogs, and heaven. They will all make sense. Next.
SHARPTON: We`re back with our panel, Angela, Dana, and Liz. Where will
President Obama`s presidential library be? It`s down to three cities. Two
universities in Chicago made the list. He lived there for more than 20
years. New York made the cut. He went to Columbia University. And
finally, the big underdog, Hawaii. He was born there. He vacations there,
and really, who wouldn`t want a library on the beach? This is what an
Obama presidential library, a presidential library in Hawaii might look
like. Liz, what do you think? A luau at a library?
PLANK: Oh my gosh! Just looking at that, makes me want to run away from
cold New York right now. I definitely vote for Hawaii. I mean, it
wouldn`t be the first presidential library on the beach in the history of
the world or the history of America. So, I definitely think we should be
make it a first and go with Hawaii. I would certainly go and visit it.
MILBANK: Well, Reverend, I think we need more research and that there
should be a fact-finding mission and I`m agreeing right now to go on it and
see just what kind of location they`re scouting out there.
RYE: Rev, you know I have to disagree with my lovely co-panelists here and
say that I think it belongs in the windy city, for lots of reasons. I
know, Dana, I`m sorry. But you can go on that fact-finding mission as
MILBANK: All right. Then you got a deal.
SHARPTON: Well, we`ll send Dana to Hawaii, and we`ll send you to the windy
MILBANK: Perfect, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Finally tonight, Pope Francis breaks from tradition. This week,
Pope Francis was comforting a little bit boy who just lost his dog. And he
said, quote, "one day we will see our animals again in the eternity of
Christ. Paradise is open to all of God`s creatures."
Liz, Pope Francis has a 78 percent approval rating in the U.S., does it go
to 100 now?
PLANK: I`m sure it does. And amongst dogs too hopefully. I mean, he`s
been such a champion when it comes to diversity, and now he`s extending
that even to the animal kingdom. So I`m a huge fan. I was a huge fan and
I`m a bigger fan even today.
SHARPTON: Well, Angela, you come out of a church background. How does
this go with your theology?
RYE: I think it`s fantastic unless he`s including roaches. Because he
said all God`s creatures. I don`t do roaches, Rev.
PLANK: And rats.
RYE: And rats.
SHARPTON: Dana, on a serious point though, conservatives may have a
problem with this or may argue this.
MILBANK: Yes, no, this has been --
SHARPTON: It wouldn`t be the first thing they`ve argued with this, by the
MILBANK: No. But this has been a long standing theological question here
and it is going to disturb some people. Because he does not just say cats
and dogs, he said all creatures. I don`t know if that includes roaches.
But, you know, think about that hamburger you`re eating tonight, you may
see it again.
SHARPTON: Well, leave it to Dana -- well, I`m a vegetarian, I won`t see
the hamburger because I didn`t see it. But I think it raises a serious
theological question, aside from the obvious attention that it generates.
And Liz, I happen to feel this pope is a lot more strategic than people
think. Because I think sometimes what it looks like he says spontaneously,
he does want to stir a re-thinking and a new discussion on things that have
long been put aside as just accepted.
PLANK: Absolutely. And I think that`s really going to be bringing in not
only young people, but even maybe children. I mean, the church is the
oldest institution. And it`s had trouble reaching millenials. It`s had
trouble reaching young people. And now we have a pope that`s on twitter.
We have a pope that, you know, makes these kinds of comments and wants to
stir some conversation, wants to stir debate. And I think that`s a good
SHARPTON: Well, the Pope is coming. Pope Francis is coming to the U.S. in
2015. A big event in Philadelphia and some other places. It`s going to be
big. Angela, Dana, and Liz, thank you for your time. And Dana a good luck
on your Hawaiian mission.
MILBANK: Thank you. I appreciate it, Rev.
SHARPTON: When we come back, the fight for justice and the growing
SHARPTON: Finally tonight, the fight for justice and concrete action.
Last night the daughter of Eric Garner, Erica Garner, held a vigil at the
exact place that her father died while being taken into police custody,
nearly five months ago.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC GARNER, DAUGHTER OF ERIC GARNER: He was a great man. He was my
father. He raised me. Pantaleo, all other officers, EMS workers, they
failed me. When I see them, I have asthma, and I`m scared. I`m scared
that one day I will say, I can`t breathe, and nobody won`t help me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Earlier in the day, we saw another dramatic display in
Washington. Dozens of black Congressional staff members staged a walk-out
on the steps of the capitol, and put their hands up to protest police
killings in America. This issue isn`t going away. In fact, the calls for
justice are getting louder. That`s why my civil rights organization, the
National Action Network, along with other civil rights groups, will lead a
justice for all march in Washington tomorrow. I`ll march with the families
of Eric Garner, Michael Brown Jr., Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice, and Trayvon
Martin. For more information go to our website at
NationalActionNetwork.net. Everyone should stand up, of all races. The
only way that wrong can persist, to paraphrase Dr. King is when good men
and women sit and do nothing. Thanks for waiting and thanks for watching
and thanks for being vigilant.
Thanks for watching the show tonight. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts
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