PoliticsNation, Tuesday, March 17th, 2015
Read the transcript from the Tuesday show
Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: March 17, 2015
Guest: E.J. Dionne, Ed Rendell, Emanuel Cleaver, Areva Martin, Faith
Jenkins, Angela Rye, Jason Johnson, Liz Plank
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks to you for tuning in.
We start with breaking news. The polls in Israel are close and the Prime
Minister Netanyahu is fighting for his political life. Right now, the
votes are being counted. The results could echo across the world stage.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)
SHARPTON: Supporters of Netanyahu today hoping for a win. But he`s facing
a major challenge from the center left, forcing him to pull out all the
stops, including a last-minute appeal to the far right. Coming out again
the Palestinian state, and posting a warning on facebook today that Arabs
are voting in droves. The outcome isn`t clear, but what is clear is this
could have a far-reaching impact, a far-reaching political impact here at
home, and expos the GOP shenanigans on foreign policy.
Exactly two weeks ago today, Netanyahu was in the middle of a controversy
after Speaker Boehner broke with protocol and invited him to address
Congress. He attacked the president`s Iran policy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: This is a bad deal. It`s a
very bad deal. We`re better off without it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The speech sparked a backlash in Israel and laid bare the
disrespect that the Republicans have for President Obama. And then came
that open letter to Iran, signed by 47 Republican senators.
The "New York Daily News" famously calling them traitors. That`s why this
election matters. It`s about America`s relationship with Israel, a great
ally in a dangerous region. The GOP shenanigans have turned this into a
very serious matter indeed.
Joining me is former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell and "the Washington
Post" E.J. Dionne. Thank you for being here tonight.
E.J. DIONNE, THE WASHINGTON POST: Good to be with you, Reverend.
ED RENDELL, FORMER PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR: Our pleasure, Rev.
SHARPTON: Governor, two weeks ago to that day, Netanyahu spoke to
Congress, how much did that raise the stakes in today`s election in Israel?
RENDELL: Well, it race stakes and hurt him. In the short run, Republicans
show that its expectations for seats taken went down. Hi has turned to the
right in the last wing days of the campaign saying that he wasn`t in favor
of two states, not in favor of a Palestinian state appears to have helped
him with the far right base with the Israeli electorate. Because it looks
now in the exit polls that it`s dead even at 27 seats each, or maybe 28 to
27 seat lead for Netanyahu.
But all that means is obviously but you need 60 seats to form a government.
It means both parties are going to have to deal with the collateral parties
and try to put a coalition together, or put a coalition together among
themselves. So it appears that Netanyahu`s appeal to the right worked in
the waning days of the campaign, but he was hurt by coming to the U.S. and
talking to the Congress.
SHARPTON: So E.J., give me your analysis. Did it help him in terms of the
Republicans helping them try to embarrass the president, but hurt him at
home? And he had to go back to a fear right position, which may not be in
the interests of the United States and others in terms of saying no
Palestinian state. Did he have to go there to try to save himself?
DIONNE: Yes. And I think it`s because at the least his address to
Congress didn`t help him. And I think it may have hurt him in a couple
ways, which is why he had to go in the direction he did. It hurt him
number one, because a lot of Israeli voters were not voting on security
issues. They kept saying housing and affordable and economic questions.
The other thing is there are Israelis sensitive to American opinion. They
know the United States is an important ally.
And what he did in the end is, in a way, he cannibalized the votes of the
other right-wing parties. He did come up. But this is not a shift to the
right in the Israeli electoral. It`s just that some of the smaller right-
wing parties gave up seats to push Netanyahu um.
And what it looks like tonight at the moment if the exit pops turn out to
be right is that a center card in Israel, the Kulanu party led by
(INAUDIBLE) who is a former Likud person formerly of Prime Minister
Netanyahu`s party, but really doesn`t like Mr. Netanyahu at all which is
why he split away, he may hold the balance of power. So if the seats shake
out the way they look right now, a couple center parties are going to
decide whether Benjamin Netanyahu survives or whether we have a new
government in Israel.
SHARPTON: And again, the exit polls say it is too close to call.
Now Governor, one thing that did happen after the speech is that both he
and President Obama said the U.S.-Israeli relationship is above politics.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NETANYAHU: I no-no matter which side of the aisle you sit, you stand with
Israel. The remarkable alliance between Israel and the United States is
always been above politics, it must always remain above politics.
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is the U.S.-Israeli
relationship that extends beyond parties and has to do with the unbreakable
bond we kneel and our commitment to Israeli security.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Now, they both said the right thing, governor, but how much did
he coming here at the invitation of Speaker Boehner without informing
President Obama, how much did it add to the tension in the relationship
between the administration the President Obama and Netanyahu?
RENDELL: There is no question it added a great. And the Prime Minister
Netanyahu`s words belie his actions. His actions were very partisan. He
chose to September the invitation of the Republican Congress, to address
that Congress without the approval of the democratic president, and that`s
unprecedented. It is unprecedented in American history.
So he chose Netanyahu to inject partisanship into the relationship. And
again, I think the relationship is strong enough that it will sustain
itself over that. But it was a bad idea for him to come. He suffered
repercussions at the polls, and I think E.J. is right, all they did was
cannibalize the far right-wing parties and manage to pull seats from them.
That`s why he bounced back a little bit and went from 22 projected seats to
27 or 28 tonight, slightly ahead of the opposition, but not enough to come
close to forming a government.
SHARPTON: Now E.J., the American public also rejected the GOP`s invitation
of Netanyahu, and it rejected its letter to Iran. Just 30 percent said it
was, and 18 percent said the her to Iran helped U.S. efforts. Is the GOP
damaging itself with these maneuvers, E.J.?
DIONNE: I think that chart on the screen answers your question, Reverend.
Yes, I think it really has. And it`s been striking to me, and I must say
heartening that quite a lot of conservative Republicans have come out and
said that Iran letter was a bad idea. And the invitation to Prime Minister
Netanyahu from Speaker Boehner really seemed to be turning Israel into a
partisan and ideological issue. The fact of the matter is the American
alliance has been based not just on what conservatives and Republicans
think, but liberals and Democrats have been among Israel`s strongest
And if you turn this into an ideological issue in the United States, that
is not good for Israel, and this letter, which just undercuts the president
in the middle of a negotiation, we could easily say what Republicans would
say about that if it had been a democratic letter about a Republican
SHARPTON: But governor, despite that, despite the polls, despite the logic
of what E.J. is laying out, Senator Ted Cruz was on this station this
morning saying he would sign it all over again. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I would sign it, and as John Hancock said, I
would sign it in large print, so the ayatollah wouldn`t need his reading
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I mean, there`s always been extremists like Ted Cruz, Governor,
but where are the adults in the GOP?
RENDELL: First, let me say that`s why Ted Cruz is my choice for the
Republican nomination for president.
DIONNE: Is that an endorsement, Governor?
RENDELL: Absolutely, except it will hurt him. But secondly, the adults as
usual don`t have the guts to confront the very slimmest of the slim right-
wing base who thought that letter was a good idea. As E.J. said we`ve
heard from conservative Republicans.
Look, the "New York Daily News" is no friend of President Obama, and they
disagree on the Iran deal. But they were the ones that put that startling
headline on the front page of their paper, traitors. So you don`t have to
be for the Iran deal to realize what the Republicans said was shameful.
They are proving they cannot govern. They said they were going to govern.
They have governed irresponsibly. They need to be replaced.
SHARPTON: All right. Well, we are going to be watching throughout the
program the returns from Israel, and be covering that and the implications
for the United States.
E.J. Dionne, and Ed Rendell, thank you for your time tonight.
DIONNE: Great to be with you.
RENDELL: Our pleasure, rev.
SHARPTON: Look out America, House Republicans have a new plan to help the
poor. And it`s even worse than what they`ve tried to do before.
Plus the GOP comes up with a ridiculous new excuse for blocking Loretta
Also, should Al Gore run for president? Lots of people are talking about
And why did Paris Hilton`s brother get a sweetheart deal to keep him out of
jail? That`s ahead on tonight`s " justice file."
SHARPTON: Breaks news tonight, Republican Congressman Aaron Schock is
resigning from Congress. The 33-year-old representative from Illinois
served six years in Congress and was seen as a rising star in the party.
But in recent weeks, there were growing questions regarding his spending
habits. Six weeks ago, we learned about his lavish spending when "the
Washington Post" reported Schock spend $40,000 to turn his office in to
"Downton Abbey" replica. We also learned he used taxpayer funds to pay for
Katy Perry tickets, concert tickets, and a trip to New York.
BuzzFeed just released a report alleging Schocks spent $5000 on a mock
presidential lector. In as statement today, Schock says the constant
questions proved to great of a distraction, and made it too difficult for
him to serve the people. His resignation is effective Mar 31st.
We`ll be right back.
SHARPTON: It`s a new trend we`ve seen on the right, talking about
positive, income inequality and the middle class. We heard it from speaker
Boehner, all the way to Paul Ryan. Well, today House Republicans unveiled
their ten-year budget plan. And what`s their master plan to attack these
issues? Slashing and gutting $5.5 trillion in spending. Their grand idea
to fight for the poor and middle class is to repeal the affordable care
act, take away health insurance, and their timing couldn`t be better.
New numbers show because of the law, more than 16 million Americans have
gone coverage. Under the law, the uninsured rate has plummeted 35 percent,
so what else is in this grand plan? To gut the federal food stamp program.
They want to take food stamps away from families trying to put food on the
table and those food stamps help the economy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. STEVE SCALISE (R), HOUSE MAJORITY WHIP: Our budget is our vision for
how to get the country back on track, how to address the big problems at
Washington is facing, and it stands in stark contrast to the vision that
the president has laid out not only in his policies, but also in his budget
and the contrast couldn`t be clearer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I agree, the contrast couldn`t be clearer. They want to get the
safety net, and the president is trying to build the middle class. This
was a statement of political philosophy today. We know what they truly
believe, and it isn`t pretty.
Joining me now is Representative Emanuel Cleaver. Thank you for being
REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D), MISSOURI: Good to be with you.
SHARPTON: Congressman, they talk about changing, then we see a budget
gutting health care and food stamps, what`s your reaction?
CLEAVER: Well, this budget that will be released next Tuesday is a
combination of every bad idea that they`ve had over the last ten years. It
would be like Dracula, the return of Dracula, the return of the return of
Dracula, plus Godzilla, Wolfman and Freddy Krueger all in one movie.
That`s what you get with this budget.
And the weird thing is that it does further damage to many of the
constituents that we all represent, including Republicans. And even the
greater tragedy is they would take money from the affordable care act and
take those 16 million people plus that you mentioned, reverend, away from
health care, and then not have any other supportive services for them when
they don`t have health care, like having proper nutritional diet, because
the SNAP program has continued to be sliced apart, millions of Americans,
most of them elderly and children will continue to suffer. This is crazy.
SHARPTON: That`s who benefits from these programs. I mean, this is crazy,
congressman. Let`s talk about the plan to gut food stamps. It would cut
roughly $15 billion from food stamp program over ten years, or roughly 15
percent at current spending levels. In the federal entitlement program, as
we know it. I mean, would this be the end of food stamps if they got
CLEAVER: Yes, this would end food stamps and also create a kind of society
that we have not seen since the 1930s, because when you`re talking about
older people, we`re talking about people`s grandmothers, many of them,
perhaps the majority of them are Republicans, they are Democrats, they are
black, they are white, they are brown.
And what I think people need to understand is there are a lot of people in
this country who bought into a lie, probably millions, that this is a
wasteful program. The truth of the matter is 92 percent of the money,
according to the government accounting office, goes for the people who need
the service. On top of that, the fraud component based on GEO study is one
cent on the dollar. You can`t get that from church spending, from the
Vatican, from the most purified sources in the world.
SHARPTON: What the president talked about the Republican plan today.
Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: It`s not a budget that reflects the future. It`s not a budget that
reflects growth. It`s not a budget that`s going to help ensure that
middle-class families are able to maintain the security and stability, and
people trying to get in will have the rungs on the ladder.
I`ll keep my four-leaf clover in my pocket and see if the speaker and Mitch
McConnell and others are interested in having that conversation.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I think the president`s going to need more than a four-leaf
clover. What do you think, Congressman?
CLEAVER: Yes, he`s going to need more than that. He`s going to need his
veto pen. And the tragedy here is that, and maybe he`ll use a green pen,
but here`s what we need to think about. The people at home, the base who
believes they can actually repeal the affordable care act and start over,
start over incidentally with things we don`t know about, and they have
never offer anything as a substitute. But they would somehow repeal the
affordable care act, 16 million people would lose insurance. The insurance
companies, the insurance companies would just almost collapse in this
country, and --
SHARPTON: That`s right.
CLEAVER: The reality is that the president is going to veto it, and the
people at home they`re trying to appeal to probably don`t understand that.
SHARPTON: Let me, congressman, since I have you here, I have to ask you
something. You are from the great state of Missouri. I need to ask about
the comments from the lieutenant governor there, Peter Kinder. He was
asked if there was more racism in the justice department than there was in
the town of Ferguson and its police department. Listen to his answer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PETER KINDER, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, MISSOURI: There is more racism in the
justice departments than there are in any -- yes, than anywhere I see in
the St. Louis area. We are making progress. We`ve come an enormous way in
50 years. That`s not to say we still don`t have more to do, but it is the
left, it is the Eric Holder and Obama left and their minions who are
obsessed with race while the rest of us are moving beyond them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I mean, my question, and he is the lieutenant governor of your
state, is where is this racism in the justice department that`s somebody
that is more in Ferguson or in Missouri. I mean, what is he talking about?
CLEAVER: That is a very, very unfortunate that our lieutenant governor
chose to use these words that are very divisive. I`m not sure about the
racism that he`s talking about in the department of justice, so I think
what we all ought to hope he will do, including myself, is he will expos
this racism. He ought to call it out. And once he points it out, I can
tell you that I will be one of the first to condemn it and criticize all of
this racism in the justice department.
SHARPTON: But he needs to document it.
CLEAVER: That`s right.
SHARPTON: I won`t say a word, just lay it out. But I think all of this
reckless stuff. We have always called -- you, I and others -- we have
heard serious allegations, let`s go for the facts. And even if it came in
ways we didn`t like, we did not protest it, we moved on to whatever other
options were there to move on.
CLEAVER: That`s right.
SHARPTON: But all of this name-calling and minions, and all that, document
what you`re saying. If there`s racism in the jut department? Where? Who?
What is the allegation? Let`s look into it, lieutenant governor.
CLEAVER: That`s where I am. And I hope maybe the committee on government
reform will look for the racism, and I think they could bring the
lieutenant governor here as a witness. And we need to wipe this stuff out.
And if someone out there at the department of justice, well, let`s clean it
up, and the lieutenant governor ought to lead us in this great crusade.
SHARPTON: And we`ve invited him on the show to come any day he wants this
week. He can again do all the talking. We just want the facts, not just
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, thank you for your time tonight.
CLEAVER: Good to be with you, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Straight ahead, a dramatic day of testimony in the Boston bomber
trial. Will the suspect take the stand himself?
Plus, maybe you didn`t see this one coming, but should Al Gore run for
president? There`s talk about it today.
Why are we still waiting 129 days for Loretta Lynch`s vote? Today more
Republicans are blocking her, and it`s insane. Please stay with us.
SHARPTON: Straight ahead, Speaker Boehner asked Hillary Clinton to turn
over her email server. Will he ask for Jeb Bush`s too?
Plus after that fence jumper got inside the White House, the secret service
is asking for a replica White House for training.
And there`s a growing number of Republicans trying to block Loretta Lynch.
What is this nonsense all about? Please stay with us.
SHARPTON: Time now for "The Justice Files." With me tonight is legal
analyst Areva Martin and former prosecutor and host of "Judge Faith" Faith
Jenkins. Thank for being here.
FAITH JENKINS, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Thanks, Rev.
AREVA MARTIN, LEGAL ANALYST: Thanks, Reverend.
SHARPTON: First we go to Boston for the trial of the accused Boston bomber
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Today jurors heard from the owner of the boat where
Dzhokhar was captured after the four day manhunt. He testified that after
spending the day under lockdown, he checked on his boat, noticed blood, and
then saw Dzhokhar lying in it at the bottom of his boat. Jurors visited
the boat yesterday. And today they saw pictures of carvings in the boat
that said stop killing our innocent people, and we will stop. Later a high
school friend of Dzhokhar`s took the stand and admitted lending the gun
that Tsarnaev brothers used -- allegedly used to kill a police officer.
Prosecutors are expected to wrap up their case in the next few days.
Faith, you know, the defense is not being very aggressive so far, but will
that change? Will they have Tsarnaev take the stand?
JENKINS: Well, remember in the very beginning of this trial when the
defense attorney gave his opening statement, he looked right at the jurors,
right at his client and he said three words -- it was him. He conceded at
the very beginning that this young man was involved in helping his older
brother carry out these bombings. And so, what he`s doing is he`s not
trying to prove his client`s innocence. He`s trying to say that it was the
older brother that masterminded at these bombings, and the younger brother
was simply influenced by him, he was brainwashed by his younger brother.
So, that`s why he`s been taking sort of a backseat letting the prosecutors
proved their case, letting them do their job, because he`s admitting his
client was definitely there, he was definitely involved. And they`ve been
sailing through the witnesses the past six days. The prosecutors have put
on 51 witnesses. Now will Tsarnaev take the witness stand? That is a good
question, Rev. I don`t think at the end of the day he will. During the
testimony part of this face. I think he will be convicted. And I think in
the sentencing phase, there is a good chance that he might.
SHARPTON: Areva, what are the benefits of putting him on the stand and
what are the risks?
MARTIN: You know, he`s got to personalize himself. He`s got to convince
these jurors that he should not be put to get. But the case is not about
guilt or innocence in terms of as Faith said whether he did it, that`s
already been conceded. Now it`s about saving his life. So, in order for
the jurors to, you know, determine that he deserves the death penalty, they
have to see him as his monster. And that`s what the prosecution has been
doing, painting him as a monster. The defense`s job, though, is to paint a
different story, as a young kid who was so influenced by his brother, that
he wasn`t making the decisions. But these a risky strategy for the defense
because of those scribblings that you talked about in the boat. They don`t
appear to be of someone who is remorseful, who is sorry for the acts that
have been committed. So, it`s a very risky strategy for the defense to put
them on. Because he may not tell the story of a brainwashed little
SHARPTON: Now, Faith, Dzhokhar`s friends Steven Silver (ph) testified
about lending him a gun, but the defense also tried to use this testimony
to humanize Dzhokhar. The defense asked -- you were shod that Dzhokhar
could do something like that? His friend said -- yes. He also said --
I`ve never seen him violent. The defense asked -- he was kindhearted? And
the friend said, yes, he was. What are they trying to do here?
JENKINS: Well, without him taking the witness stand, they`re trying to
show a different side of him. Because the prosecutors have done a great
job right now demonstrating the carnage, and the death and the destruction
that him and his brother caused. So right now they can get other witnesses
on the witness stand without putting him on the witness stand and somehow
gain sympathy from these jurors, and that`s what they would like to do.
Because at the end they are trying to spare his life. They know that he`s
going to be convicted, but a victory for them has a very different meaning
in this case. A victory for them is him not being sentenced to death.
SHARPTON: All right. Next up, a plea deal for hotel heir Conrad Hilton.
He was facing up to 20 years in prison for a midflight meltdown. Last
July, where he allegedly fought with the flight crew, threatened to kill
crew members, and referred to other passengers as, quote, "peasants." But
today he pled guilty to one misdemeanor assault charge, and prosecutors
have agreed to recommend probation. It`s got a lot of people asking, is
this another case of affluenza. A different justice system for the rich.
Here`s comedian Bill Maher on the Hilton case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL MAHER, STAND-UP COMEDIAN: You kind of make you think, why can`t we
book this kid on a Malaysian Airline? Before you say, but Bill, every kid
that inherits money, doesn`t become an entitle jerk. Let me give you two
names -- Donald Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Areva, probation for this crime? Would a regular person get
MARTIN: Well, I just read about a case where a man did something very
similar to this defendant, and he got one year and a day in prison for the
same acts. And you know, back in 2007, we were talking about Paris Hilton
and her meltdown, and the special treatment she got right here in Los
Angeles County, you know, when she was let out of the jail, when others who
would have committed the same crime were treated differently. So, we can`t
help but, you know, point to a lot of situations where celebrities, and
people who are of, you know, high net worth get treated in our criminal
justice system, better than, at the prosecution stage, at the sentencing
stage, and even once they get into custody. You know, things are different
for them. They`re treated very different and I think this case is an
example of that.
JENKINS: What`s so amazing is obviously they`re looking to give him
another chance. Right. Let`s not sent him to jail because we read about
what he did on the airplane, it`s outrageous. And he can`t be tolerated.
He put the safety of everyone on that plane at risk with his behavior.
SHARPTON: In the air.
JENKINS: In the air.
SHARPTON: I mean, you and I fly a lot.
JENKINS: Right. And so, it really can`t be tolerated. And so, instead of
sending a message, they give him a slap on the wrist. And so once again
we`re asking the question, is it really about what you did? Or is it about
who you are? Because clearly they`re trying to give him a second chance.
And when I look at cases like this, this is a young man who said, every
chance in the world, all the opportunities in the world. There`s no excuse
for him to behave like this.
SHARPTON: Well, my thing is, if you`re going to give him a second chance,
you should give everybody a second chance.
SHARPTON: If you`re going to be hard on some. Because what happened was
so egregious and put people at risk, then you should do that for him, too.
SHARPTON: Areva Martin and Faith Jenkins, thank you both for your time
JENKINS: Thank you.
MARTIN: Thanks, Rev.
SHARPTON: Still 129 days and counting for Loretta Lynch. Republicans have
cooked up a brand-new excuse for not voting on her for attorney general.
Also republicans want to take a little peek at Hillary Clinton`s e-mail
server. And why are people talking about Al Gore running for president?
"Conversation Nation" is next.
SHARPTON: Time now for "Conversation Nation." Joining me tonight
political strategist Angela Rye, political analyst Jason Johnson, and
Mic.com`s Liz Plank.
Thank you all for a being here tonight.
LIZ PLANK, MIC.COM: Thanks, Rev.
JASON JOHNSON, POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR: Glad to be here, Rev.
ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Thank you, Rev.
SHARPTON: We start with the new GOP attack on Hillary Clinton. Speaker
John Boehner is demanding she turn over her e-mail server in the name of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The American people
deserve all the facts about what happened in Benghazi. That`s why it`s so
important for Secretary Clinton to turn over her personal server to a
neutral third party. That`s the fairest way to make sure that we have all
the documents that belong to the public and ultimately all the facts.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Republicans are desperately hoping the e-mail controversy will
hurt Clinton, but there`s not much evidence of that in the polls. Fifty
seven percent said they would be proud to have Hillary as president. So,
Jason, is the public already turning out the GOP`s e-mail-Gazi scandal?
JOHNSON: Anytime I hear the word "Benghazi" I just go to sleep. No one
cares. Okay? The public doesn`t care. The only people who care are the
republicans. Because, they`re going to find that there`s some secret e-
mails between Hillary Clinton and al-Qaeda that she wanted people to
actually die. There`s nothing to be found. I think it`s perfectly
legitimate to ask a public official to turn over any sort of communication
they engaged in while in office. I agree with John Boehner on that, but
for Benghazi`s purposes, it`s not going to go anywhere.
SHARPTON: But Angela, isn`t this more about there some legitimate
questions of transparency, but in many cases in the past, they have overrun
the runway here and they have gone way beyond the import that they could
have just left out there and had Mrs. Clinton have to deal with and maybe
even stumble on?
RYE: Well, I think there are a couple of things here. One is Benghazi is
not a scandal anymore. We all saw Secretary Clinton testify before the
committee just exasperated at the point of I don`t know what else to do.
It`s horrible that someone who was representing the United States interests
lost his life as well as the other folks representing and protecting that
particular embassy who is losing their lives. So, it`s a horrible
situation. The issue is at this point, when you`re talking about
transparency, what else do they want from her? She turned over these e-
mails. She had a server in her home. It`s not like she`s never been
subject to attacks and faux scandals before. She experienced this in the
White House when she was First Lady. They experienced it when Bill Clinton
was governor of Arkansas. I mean, what else do you really want? I think
at this point maybe Speaker Boehner and Trey Gowdy can say, all right,
well, let`s do a dare. Let us turn over our personal e-mails as well. And
I`m sure --
SHARPTON: Or, Liz, turn over Jeb Bush`s. I mean, Jeb Bush had a personal
server. I mean, is you`re going to yell transparency which is fine, we all
agree with that. But let`s do it for everybody, Liz.
PLANK: Absolutely. I mean, if we`re going to pester Hillary Clinton, we
should pester Jeb Bush, we should pester even Scott Walker. I mean, these
are people -- I mean, Jeb Bush asked his constituents to e-mail him to his
private e-mail. And so, what`s not being talked about there? Why aren`t
those scandals as sexy as the Clinton one? We`d love to have scandals when
it comes to the Clintons. And to me there`s just -- if I was the
Republican Party, I would draw attention to other things which I think are
much more valid criticisms. I mean, Andrea Mitchell ask the question at
the press conference, the famous email, press conference about the fact
that the Clinton Foundation is taking funnels from Saudi Arabia and, you
know, these dictatorships that are very anti-women.
SHARPTON: They`re not even raising issues like that.
SHARPTON: All right. Let`s move on. Next, should Al Gore run for
president again? It`s been nearly 15 years since Gore lost his bid for the
presidency, but some folks think it might be time to throw his hat back
into the ring. "The New York Times" has just published a profile of the
new optimism of Al Gore, touting his successful push on the environment.
And over at Vox, they have come up with a list of reasons why Gore should
run, including his ability to fundraise.
Angela, what do you think? Should Al Gore consider a second run?
RYE: Rev, I don`t think that Al Gore should consider a second run. Part
of it is because, just like I feel so deeply about the Seahawks` loss, I am
still bleeding from that loss at the Supreme Court level about Al Gore`s
last run. And what`s interesting to me and I have to bring up is kind of
the woman question here. So, when it comes to Hillary, right? She`s too
old and washed up to run, but now we can bring back Al Gore, that`s very
interesting to me. The same exact term, you know the same exact
administration we`re talking about. But Rev, since it is St. Patrick`s Day
and it looks like at least both of us are feeling lucky, maybe there`s
another Al we should consider running for president.
SHARPTON: It would actually be his third time running, and Jason, not that
I want to get into it with Angela, but the Seahawks messed up at the line.
RYE: Don`t do that, Rev. I`m still hurt.
JOHNSON: It was a great defensive play. It was a great defensive play.
SHARPTON: There`s a difference. They won the game and they took it back.
RYE: Come on, Rev.
SHARPTON: You brought it up, Angela. Jason, should Al Gore run again?
JOHNSON: Look, I`ll make it really simple for you. Al Gore should run
again, I do not need anymore 90s flashbacks, no Seinfeld, no cross colors.
Let us get some candidate whose actually served in office, sometime in the
last 46 years, I personally would prefer that we actually help people who
have dealt with the problems of today rather than candidates who are
talking about the problems that they handled 20 years ago.
PLANK: I mean, I totally have to agree. I mean, I think it shows that
there are anxieties on the democratic side right now about the presidential
election, especially with this scandal of Hillary. But my reaction was
that like Al Gore, really? Like okay, he`s vegan and like works with Apple
and Google, so maybe young people would be interested in him, but I just
think there`s so many fresh faces they can pick from.
SHARPTON: Well, "Saturday Night Live" would love for Gore to run again.
SHARPTON: But everyone, stay with me. When we come back, more republicans
come out against Loretta Lynch. Why? There`s no good reason for it.
We`ll talk about that next.
SHARPTON: We`re back with our panel, Angela, Jason and Liz. Let`s turn to
Loretta Lynch. She`s been waiting 129 days for a vote to be confirmed as
attorney general. In fact, she was passed out of committee 19 days ago,
but still hasn`t had a vote on the Senate floor. That`s a longer period of
time than the previous five nominees combined. There`s no excuse for this
delay. Lynch graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. The
Senate overwhelmingly approved her as a U.S. attorney twice. So what`s the
problem now? Well, senator McConnell`s new excuse is that he`s delaying a
vote until republicans push through anti-choice restrictions they tacked
to a bill to help stop human trafficking. Angela, what do you make of this
RYE: Well, it`s a very sorry excuse. And the reality of this is, anytime
you attack a poison pill like an anti-abortion provision on a human
trafficking bill, which is always supposed to be a bipartisan measure
easily passed, you`re going to have problems. They just went through this.
This is deja vu for us. They just went through this with DHS funding.
They`re not going to win on this. They`re going to look silly. So, this
is much more of this same we`re seeing house tactics taken to what`s
supposed to be the upper chamber and it`s an epic fail.
PLANK: Look, I mean, this is low even for the republicans. I`m actually
speechless. The fact that they would tack on, you know, pro-life abortion-
filled language, about sex trafficking victims is just disgusting. And I
think it`s not just disgusting to us sitting here right now. It`s
disgusting to voters. And the fact that they would use that thing to delay
the nomination of Loretta Lynch just shows where they stand. I mean, they
just have no respect for women, they have no respect for people who will
actually benefit from them actually governing, which they`re not doing.
JOHNSON: You know that the republicans and Senate are crazy when Rudy
Giuliani is actually out campaigning for Loretta Lynch. Okay? I mean,
Giuliani has said that this should actually happen. As much as he
disagrees with President Obama, he has actually been an advocate for
Loretta Lynch. This is dysfunctional government. And the Republicans need
to let it go, let her get confirmed and move on to later battles. Because
the more they waste time, the less successful that their entire Senate hold
will be before 2016.
SHARPTON: And there has been no objection, there`s been no allegation.
JOHNSON: Right. Exactly.
SHARPTON: They made up things in my opinion on Holder, they made things up
here and I mean, St. Juliani`s (ph) I mean, to broke clock is right twice a
JOHNSON: Right. Exactly. Exactly.
SHARPTON: I mean, this is incredible.
SHARPTON: Liz, there`s no reason to not hold the vote.
PLANK: I`m totally agree with you. And I shocked that they`re doing this.
And they`re pulling this kind of stuff again and again and again. And
again, I mean, the whole mix of it is just a story line out of hell. I
mean, again for voters who are watching this occur, who already, you know,
feel like government is not being productive. We`re not getting bills pass
to find this nomination go on for over 100 days.
SHARPTON: But Angela, you have more -- and I`m out of time, but you have
more republicans coming out, saying they`re going to vote against her with
no reason at all.
RYE: It`s not based on her qualifications whatsoever. And I think the
best line for this is what Attorney General Holder said -- the longer you
wait, the longer you are you`re stuck with me, with whom you held in
contempt of Congress in the House. So they just better remember that
SHARPTON: Angela, Jason and Liz. Thank you for your time tonight.
PLANK: Thanks, Rev.
JOHNSON: Thank you.
RYE: Thanks, Rev.
SHARPTON: We`ll be back with some young people who are spending their
spring break in Ferguson to make a difference.
SHARPTON: For a lot of people, Ferguson, Missouri has become a symbol of
what`s wrong with our criminal justice system. But now some young people
want to turn Ferguson into a reminder of what`s right, with the new
generation of Americans. Right now hundreds of college students are
heading to Ferguson for an alternative spring break, helping the community
rebuild and heal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I decided to come, because I think that we`ve been
receiving a lot of information from the media and a lot of nuances about,
you know, what`s happening here that aren`t particularly true.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Blake Stoner is among the group of spring breaker. His
arrival here is the continuation of a family tradition. Hi grandfather was
a freedom rider in the `60s.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He`s like let`s stop talking about what we did, let`s
start about what we need to do.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The present of the students helped lifts morale. You
know, people see young folks walking around, registering people to vote,
doing beautification projects, you know, just even talking with them.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The Ferguson spring break is part of a five-week program
launched by local activists and leaders, trying to move the town forward in
a positive direction. Students are registering voters, tutoring younger
kids, organizing food drives, cleaning up the community, and helping out
local businesses hurt by the unrest. These young people are working to
make a difference. They`re not tearing anything down. They`re working to
build something up. It is right. It is appropriate when people call for
justice, that all of us come and make sure that justice gets a hearing and
the spotlight is on, but it`s also just as right to stay there, and
rebuild, reconnect and be constructive.
And these young people are doing the right thing and it ought to be given
attention as well. It`s not about just showing what`s wrong, it`s also
showing what`s right at the same time. We must continue to deal with the
Justice Department report and bring justice to Ferguson, but we must
rebuild and concentrate on the people in Ferguson at the same time, and
these young students are showing the way, and I applaud them.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
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