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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

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Date: March 18, 2015
Guest: Jonathan Capehart, Karen Bass, Jim Arkedis, Mark Potok, Joe
Madison, Bill Press, Abby Huntsman, Jimmy Williams, Seema Iyer

Schultz. "Politics Nation" with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.

Good evening, Rev.

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

Lots of breaking news tonight, an alleged white supremacist reportedly
arrested in that shooting rage in Arizona and terrorist killing 19
independent people in an attack in Tunisia.

But we start here at home. President Obama calling out Republicans for
doubling down on trickledown economics. The president went to Cleveland
today, the sight of the GOP 2016 presidential convention to slam the new
budget unveiled by house Republicans.


just fail and braced Middle class economics. It is the opposite of middle
class economics. Doubles down or trickle down. Under the Republican
budget, millionaires and billionaires would get an average tax cut of
$50,000 per year. Translation, the average millionaire would take home as
much in tax cuts as an average American takes makes an entire year. You
can call cutting taxes for the top one percent while letting taxes rise for
working families in lot of things. What you can`t call it is a ticket to
the middle class. That you cannot do.


SHARPTON: The GOP budget cuts $5 trillion from programs like Medicaid and
food stamps. It repeals Obamacare and it even partially privatizes
Medicare. It`s not a budget. It`s a receipt for a disaster. And it would
hurt Americans in 100 different ways. By 2017, Republicans would cut head
start, early education for more than 157,000 children. They want to take
away half a million rides for seniors to doctors` offices, to the grocery
store and they would get rid of job training for four million people trying
to get a leg up. Today, President Obama said this is the wrong path for


OBAMA: The reality has rendered its judgment. Trickle-down economics does
not work and middle class economics does. And it was one thing for them to
argue against Obamacare before it was put in place. Every prediction they
made about it turned out to be wrong. So it`s working better than even I
expected. But it doesn`t matter. Evidence be damned.


SHARPTON: The president also called out Speaker Boehner for denying the
truth about the economic recovery.


OBAMA: He captured his party`s economic theories by critics mine with a
very simple question, where are the jobs, he say? Where are the jobs? I`m
sure there was a head line to be heard, more on the papers, where is the

Well, after 12 million new jobs, stock market has more than doubled;
deficits have been cut by two-thirds, health care employees at the lowest
rate in nearly 50 years, manufacturing industry coming back, auto industry
coming back, clean energy doubled. I`ve come to not only answer that
question but I want to return to the debate that is central to this


SHARPTON: Joining me now are Representative Karen Bass, a democrat from
California, and Jonathan Capehart from "the Washington Post."

Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Congresswoman, I have to ask you, how can Republicans keep a
straight face when they talk about this budget as a plan to the middle

BASS: Well, absolutely. I mean, I don`t know what middle class they are
talking about. But I think it is really interesting because there`s new
leadership on the house budget committee. And so what I think we`re seeing
is I think we`re seeing tom price be actually more conservative than Paul
Ryan was. And I think Paul Ryan was actually critical part of the budget,
the part on the defense appropriations. So it`s really interesting.

SHARPTON: You know, Jonathan, the president had trouble with the doom and
gloom predictions republicans made while he ran for re-election. Listen to


OBAMA: More Republicans in Congress weren`t our policies; our policies
would diminish on employment and diminish stock prices. Stock market has
doubled since I came into office. Another prediction my re-election would
spike prices to $6.60 a gallon. I don`t know how they came up with that
figure, 6.60. My opponent in that last election pledged that he could
bring down the unemployment rate to six percent by 2016, next year. At the
end of next year, it`s 5.5 now.


SHARPTON: Jonathan, why aren`t we seeing gas for $6.60?

CAPEHART: For a whole lot of reasons. Look, the Republican Party has
never been good trying to protect the results of economic policies of
democratic presidents. I remember Republicans making the same arguments
when President Clinton was in office and he wanted to raise taxes to try to
get the deficit under control and then what ended up happening by the end
of President Clinton`s term, there was a surplus, a huge surplus, something
that freaked out Washington because they`ve never seen it before.

And so, whenever Republicans say the -- predicted doom and gloom when it
comes to the budget, I always take it with a grand assault. But what we
saw there is a president in his last term but a president sitting on
incredible economic news, especially relative to what it was when he came
into office.

SHARPTON: Well, we`re talking about incredible news.

Congresswoman, look at this. It shows the deficit drop under President
Obama and it`s pretty significant by cutting the deficit, which is the
Republican`s number one priority. I mean, is this a made-up issue by the

BASS: Well, absolutely. And it always was a made-up issue. But, you
know, I was listening to you talk about it and just think about it,
remember, Obamacare was going to destroy the economy.


BASS: And what has happened, you know? Millions of people have health
coverage and it`s actually working and it is saving money and people are
doing much better. The doom and gloom, which they predicted, was to scare
people away from voting for the president, I think has obviously turned out
to be completely false.

SHARPTON: But budget differences, Jonathan, will help frame the 2016
debate, especially on income and equality. Listen to Jeb Bush talk about
minimum wage.


JEB BUSH, FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: We need to leave it to the private
sector. I`m mean, state minimum wages are fine. The federal government
shouldn`t be doing this. This is one of those poll-driven deals.
Politically, I`m sure it`s a great sound bite. But from an economic point
of view, this is not how we need to be successful.


SHARPTON: Leave the minimum wage to the private sector. I mean, how do
you fix income inequality with the same old ideas?

CAPEHART: You can`t. Leave minimum wage to the private sector, the
private sector, which is profit driven, which is squeeze as much profit out
of operations and everything, employee wages don`t factor into any of that.
And also, without a federal minimum wage or even raising it, what you`re
setting up is a patchwork system where people in California might get a
great minimum wage. But the folks in Nevada just over the border --

SHARPTON: Because you go state by state?


SHARPTON: Which is the whole thing, which it`s almost like the state by
state immigration, state by state on marriage equality, state by state on
minimum wage, but there`s no strong federal national government protecting
all Americans.

CAPEHART: Right. And it sort of makes hollow this concern all of a sudden
for income inequality for the middle class. You can`t -- you can`t reduce
income inequality and you can`t fight for the middle class if you do not
have a national strategy.

SHARPTON: But that`s the problem that we`ve got to encounter, those that
have always fought against these state by state kinds of things from
whatever the issue may be, Congresswoman. You`re an organizer. It also
make it is very difficult to organize because you`ve got to deal state by
state and that`s what they want to be able to do because if they can defeat
you with minimum wage in Wisconsin, well, then you might win in Montana and
on and on.

So there`s a strategy to this and I think people need to wake up and
understand, there`s a reason they don`t want a national minimum wage
because they keep running on us through tracks and the people suffer.

BASS: Well, absolutely. So whenever I hear the state`s rights argument,
to me, that`s an argument about not doing something.


BASS: But you know what, though, I mean, we are organizers and the
activists are out there in several states fighting for their governors to
expand Medicaid. So I do think it can backfire on them as well. We`re
watching millions of people getting covered all around the country and we
still have the governors that are resistant. And so, I think it takes a
movement, it takes the organizing to pressure to turn that around.

SHARPTON: And a determined movement, Jonathan, that keeps going. One
thing I give the right is that even in the face of obvious defeat and
obvious folly, they keep going. And I think that those have really wants
to represent the unspoken. We got to have that same determination.

CAPEHART: Right, same determination and same zeal.

SHARPTON: And discipline.

CAPEHART: And discipline. And the good thing in this fight, the folks
pushing for minimum wage pushing for the reduction of income inequality are
on the right side.

SHARPTON: That`s correct.

BASS: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman Karen Bass and Jonathan Capehart, thank you both
for your time tonight.


BASS: Thanks. Good to talk to both of you.

CAPEHART: You too, Karen.

SHARPTON: We`re following breaking news tonight out of Mesa, Arizona. A
suspect is in custody after allegedly going on a shooting spree killing one
and wounding six. Tonight, we`re learning about his neo-Nazi white
supremacist past.

And breaking news on the terror attack in Tunisia leaving at least 19 dead,
the manhunt is on. Who is behind it?

Also tonight, Loretta Lynch is prosecuting alleged terrorist today, but she
can`t get a confirmation vote? Why is it taking so long? Democrats are
responding. Please stay with us.


SHARPTON: We`re tracking breaking news, the massive manhunt after the
terror massacre in Tunisia. At least 21 dead including two attackers after
gunmen open fire in the country`s capital city today, shooting into crowds,
sending people scrambling for safety. Most of the victims, foreign
tourists. Some hunted down as they sought shelter in a museum. None were

Now, a heavy police presence in the street and a search for up to three
attackers who got away. No group has claimed responsibility yet. The
attack occurring just blocks from Tunisia`s parliament building. Officials
saying its possible parliament was the intended target. Tonight, the
investigation into the motive and who might be responsible for this ugly

Joining me now is Jim Arkedis, Truman fellow and former Pentagon
counterterrorism analyst.

Thank you for being here, Jim.


SHARPTON: Jim, what do you know about the attackers? Could they be linked
to or inspired by ISIS?

ARKEDIS: Well, right now we don`t know very much, unfortunately. There`s,
as you just said the second ago, there has been no claim of responsibility
whatsoever. And I would speculate and very important to caveat that this
is speculation, there is a group in Tunisia called Ansar al-Sharia (ph).
Their leader has had contact with ISIS.

And right now it could be the type of situation where ISIS is trying to
expand its reach across the region. We`ve seen cases in Libya where groups
who have tried to pledge allegiance to ISIS have, for example just a month
ago, conducted beheadings of 21 Christian Egyptians in Libya.

This could be -- and emphasis on could -- be the same type of situation
where there is a local group that has undertaken this attack almost as a
way to try and show ISIS that it`s worthy of being a local representation
of ISIS.

SHARPTON: Now, more fighters in Iraq and Syria have come from Tunisia than
any other country, 3,000, by some estimates. Is Tunisia a breeding ground
for terrorists?

ARKEDIS: Well, it`s important to realize that Islamic extremist and
terrorism has had a long history in Tunisia dating back almost 15 years.
There was a massive Al-Qaeda linked to (INAUDIBLE), the operative who
planned 9/11, attacking a synagogue on the tourist island of Jerba (ph),
just off the coast. There have been another series of attacks. These
Ansar al Sharia has launched an attack against the United States embassy in
2012. They have killed opposition political candidates in 2013.

And so, yes, there has been a lot of Tunisians who have traveled to Iraq
and Syria as part of this movement. In the wake of the revolution in 2012,
there`s been kind of a vacuum as Tunisia searches to assert itself and
establish a lot of Democratic institutions and security services to kind
of, you know, keep the country safe.

And so there`s been a vacuum where there`s been high unemployment, young
people looking for things to do. So, yes, it`s a fertile environment for
groups to travel and join ISIS and then maybe return home and sort of plot
from within Tunisia.

SHARPTON: Now, there are three still at large, three of the attackers.
How did they find them? How did they look for them, Jim?

ARKEDIS: That`s the million dollar question, unfortunately, Reverend Al.
Tunisia security services are very good for -- I was in Tunisia in 2013 and
2014. All up and down the avenue Bordeo which is sort of the Broadway of
Tunis. There is a heavy security presence. They will be going through all
of their contacts and all their known networks. The new government has
been very, very in tune to the security situation and we`ll be putting
force, of course, their maximum effort over the next few days.

SHARPTON: Jim Arkedis, thank you for your time tonight.

ARKEDIS: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Up next, an alleged white supremacist reportedly identified as
the gunman in that Arizona shooting rampage. New details on his hate-
filled past next.


SHARPTON: Breaking news from Mesa, Arizona, where a shooting spree today
left one dead and five wounded. The southern poverty law center put out
this photo of the alleged suspect, the Arizona republic identifies him as
Ryan Jerome. NBC has not confirmed his identity.

The southern poverty law center says he`s a known neo-Nazi white
supremacist. The shooting began around 9:00 a.m. this morning at a motel
room. The suspect then fled to an apartment complex. Police caught him
several miles from the shooting site covering him in what appeared to be a
white biological evidence suit.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The guy in the white jumpsuit, does he look like he`s


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He looks that way to me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He looks like he is custody there. I mean, they put
him in that suit there because they want to make sure that any biological
forensic evidence on his body is not lost as they transport him or it could
be that, you know, I don`t know what he was wearing at the time. But it
looks like that`s our suspect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Is that typical police protocol? I honestly have
never seen that before, Paul.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`d like to tell you that I don`t truly know.


SHARPTON: The breaking news tonight, a suspect with reported white
supremacist ties in custody in Mesa, Arizona and the question`s now
emerging about his past and motives.

Joining me now is Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law

Mark, what can you tell us about this suspect?

learned, in talking to retired Mesa detective who we know well, that, in
fact, this fellow was quite well-known on the scene. He is said to have
been a member of Hammer Stagnation (ph) which is a national group of racist
skinhead, the neo-Nazi skinheads and a very frightening one. As well, as
(INAUDIBLE) record and associate member, that is one notch before full
member of the Arian brotherhood, which again is notorious a prison gang
associated with really quite incredible levels of violence.

SHARPTON: Now Mark, do we know anything -- was there a targeted race or
type that he was trying to get with the shooting? Do we know anything at
all about the shootings?

POTOK: We really don`t. I mean, simply from the news accounts coming out
of Mesa, what it looks like is it began with some kind of argument and then
the guy went on a rampage. We do -- there is other evidence, I should
mention, of his white supremacist leanings. Like he has, for instance, on
his left temple, the numbers 88, or 8 and 8. The 8 stands for "h" and what
that is, is a shorthand for Hail Hitler. It is kind of neo-Nazi

SHARPTON: The eight stands for --


SHARPTON: So the eight stands for "h" which is Hail Hitler.

POTOK: That`s right, "hh" means Hail Hitler. Neo-Nazi in this country and
other countries as well, you know, very commonly sign their email 88 and
that sort of thing. So this is a very well-known signifier. He also had a
cross on his face to denote the white race.

SHARPTON: Now, how will law enforcement use his background and these
symbols to prosecute him?

POTOK: Well, I don`t know that they will at all. It may turn out this was
simply a personal dispute of some kind that erupted into a frenzy in which
he simply killed people all around him. If that`s the case, I don`t know
that his background as a white supremacist will be relevant.

However, if it`s charged as a hate crime, if he`s charged with killing
people because they were, say, black or Mexican, Latino, gay or whatever it
may have been, then they undoubtedly will at least try to bring his white
supremacist background into the case.

SHARPTON: So we don`t know yet whether he was targeting people based on
race. We do not know whether this was some planned or something that
erupted. But we do know that he has a background that is well known there
in Mesa as a white supremacist and even has markings to that effect. We
will certainly be following this story.

Mark Potok will be following this. And thank you for your time tonight.

POTOK: Reverend, thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, the GOP`s disrespect towards Loretta Lynch. Today,
furious Democrats spoke out against how the attorney general nominee is
being treated. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Loretta lynch is prosecuting a big terror case today. But
Republicans don`t think she deserves a vote to be our first attorney
general. Why has it been 130 days? Democrats are getting louder about
that today. That`s next.


SHARPTON: A major terror case today in Brooklyn, New York, a former air
force mechanic has pleaded not guilty to terror charges. He allegedly flew
to Turkey in January planning to cross the border into Syria and join ISIS.
It`s a crucial national security case and who`s in charge of it? U.S.
Attorney Loretta Lynch, the woman`s Senate republicans refuse to confirm to
be our next attorney general. The latest excuse, Senator McConnell says
the Senate is too busy fighting over an anti-choice provision to take a
vote on Miss Lynch`s confirmation. Today she was in Washington and Senator
Joe Manchin apologized for the delay.


SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D), WEST VIRGINIA: It`s just not fair. But it`s our
world, as you say, and we`ve got to make it a better world so we`re hoping
to get through this and I`m very sorry for that.


SHARPTON: It isn`t fair. It`s been 20 days since the Judiciary Committee
voted to approve Loretta Lynch and there`s still no full vote. That`s
longer than the wait time for the last five attorney generals combined.
And Illinois Senator Dick Durbin`s criticism went even further.


SEN. DICK DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS: Loretta Lynch, the first African-American
woman nominated to be attorney general is asked to sit in the back of the
bus when it comes to the Senate calendar. That is unfair. It`s unjust.
It is beneath the decorum and dignity of the United States Senate.


SHARPTON: It is beneath the dignity of the Senate. One hundred and thirty
days since she was first nominated, 20 days since she was passed out of
committee. It`s time for the Senate to vote.

Joining me now are Joe Madison and Bill Press. Thank you both for being

JOE MADISON, SIRIUS XM RADIO HOST: Hi, Reverend Al, good to see it.

SHARPTON: So Joe, Miss Lynch is good enough to prosecute terrorists but
not good enough to get a simple vote on the Senate floor?

MADISON: And she`s also very talented in the fact that most of the
prosecutions, if not all of them, against terrorists, she`s been very
successful. And let`s not stop with terrorists. She`s been very
successful against the mob. She`s been very successful against Wall
Street. She`s one of the most successful federal prosecutors in the United

SHARPTON: You know, Senator McConnell has completely botched this
confirmation and I want to remind everyone what he said back in November
when the republicans won the Senate. Listen to this, Bill.


the view that maybe there are some things that we can agree on to make
progress in the country. We`re going to function. This gridlock and
dysfunction can be ended.


SHARPTON: No more dysfunction? If he can`t handle scheduling
confirmations, what can he handle, Bill?

BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: First of all, let me just say, Reverend
Al, I think Loretta Lynch and she is as talented as Joe Madison outlined
there. I think she`s got two strikes against her. She`s a woman and she`s
black and the republicans don`t care about either one, just to be blunt
about it. But you know, Mitch McConnell, this is really the case study of
his failure as a leadership. He promised President Obama and the democrats
don`t push this in 2014, until 2015 where we`re in charge, and it will be
smooth, she`ll be treated fairly and quickly, broken promise, big lie
number one. Last week he said, she`ll get a vote this week. But where are
we? She`s not going to get a vote this week.

SHARPTON: And we hear some republicans like John McCain come out saying
that they`re not going to vote for. But look at the qualifications. None
of them have been able to attack her qualifications, her ethics, her
record, her talent, Joe.

MADISON: No. And that`s absolutely right. You know, the reality is that
this delay is really sneaky. And what they are hoping is that it gets --
the margin gets narrower and narrower and narrower. That`s really what
they are hoping. That`s why they are stalling on this one, Reverend

SHARPTON: And you know, Bill, it`s not just Loretta Lynch whose nomination
has been upheld. The Senate hasn`t confirmed any judicial nominees this
year. At this point in Bush`s seventh year in office, democrats had
confirmed 13 of his nominees. Can the GOP handle being the majority?

PRESS: Well, obviously they can`t. Again, Mitch McConnell promised, you
just played that clip, put us in charge, we`re going to show you how to
govern. Things are going to run smoothly. Reverend Al, first of all, she
is one of 16 judicial nominees that they have not acted on and there are no
vote scheduled so far and McConnell seems to think that the Senate can only
do one thing at a time, right? They do Keystone Pipeline.


PRESS: And then they do Department of Homeland Security. Now they have to
do and force to do. I mean, they can`t do two bills in one day or one
week? That`s crazy.

SHARPTON: And you know, Joe, I had to put this in. They had a very
contentious relationship with Attorney General Eric Holder. He had this to
say about the delay on the vote on Loretta Lynch.


ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Given the Senate`s scheduling and
delays and considering Loretta Lynch`s nomination for a vote, it`s almost
as if a republicans in Congress have discovered a new fondness for me. I`m
feeling love that I haven`t felt for some time and where was all of this
affection over the last six years, you know?


SHARPTON: I mean, are we missing the point, Joe? Maybe they have a secret
they want to keep Eric Holder? I can`t figure it out.

MADISON: That`s how mixed up they are. You know, your show like my show,
probably a day doesn`t go by that you get for or five new releases or
probably one of the busiest most effective departments in the United States
government and that`s the Department of Justice.


MADISON: They are prosecuting everything. And doing a superb job. Look,
when you don`t have judges, you don`t have an attorney, you know, you delay
the attorney general, we have work that has to be done in this country as
it relates to the judicial system and this is just terrible for the
country. And when former Mayor Giuliani says, look, confirm her, oh, man,
I mean, it is about time republicans wake up. And it wouldn`t take more
than, what? Fifteen minutes in the Senate to take those votes.

SHARPTON: They`ve been doing other things. But got to go. Joe Madison
and Bill Press, I`m going to stay on this. Thank you both for your time

BILL: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Straight ahead, Dick Cheney says President Obama and Attorney
General Holder are, quote, "playing the race card." Let`s see him back
that up.

Plus, it`s a legal battle that could change social media. Ashley Judd is
taking action against her online haters.

And President Obama`s March madness. Who is he picking this year and who
is on his side? It may surprise you. "Conversation Nation" is next.


SHARPTON: Time now for "Conversation Nation." Joining me tonight, MSNBC`s
Abby Huntsman, democratic strategist Jimmy Williams and host of "THE
DOCKET" on Shift MSNBC, Seema Iyer. Thanks to all of you for being here



SHARPTON: We start tonight with former Vice President Dick Cheney. In a
new interview with "Playboy Magazine," Cheney accuses the President and
Attorney General Eric Holder of using their race to deflect criticism
saying, quote, "I think they are playing the race card, in my view." To
say that we criticize or that I criticize Barack Obama or Eric Holder
because of race. I just think it`s obviously not true. It hasn`t got
anything to do with race.

Jimmy, Cheney says the President is playing the race card. Your reaction?

WILLIAMS: If the President is playing the race card, then that means the
republicans are playing the death card. If you want to be war mongers,
then you`re playing the death card. All day all along killing millions and
millions of people all across the globe. That`s what that is. And by the
way, I don`t think that is true. So, I also don`t think it`s true that
Barack Obama is playing the race card or Eric Holder is playing the race
card. I do believe that when the chief justice of the United States said
that racist been eradicate race, racial problems have been eradicated in
the United States when he struck down part of the voting right act, that in
fact we could say that there`s a problem with the race card which is not
recognizing that it still exists today.

SHARPTON: But my problem with it, Seema is, even when you quote, as Jimmy
just did.


SHARPTON: The Attorney General or the President, how is that deflecting
criticism on them? For the Attorney General to address a decision by the
Supreme Court is not deflecting criticism on him, he`s giving an analysis
of a Supreme Court decision.

IYER: Right. He`s going straight forward. And if anything, Obama has
been sometimes criticized for not talking about race enough.


IYER: And as an aside, I think that sometimes there`s nothing wrong with
playing the race card. I throw the Indian thing around as much as I can.
Help me or help my client. But in this specific instance, the race has
constantly been in the news because there are black people getting shot.

SHARPTON: But again, I`m trying to stay right on Cheney`s narrow in my
opinion, flawed statement. He didn`t say that here`s the race card to deal
with America. He said to deflect criticism on them so connect the dots.
Where is the statement that they said he said this because I`m black? He
criticized, me Cheney, because I`m black. Give me one example.

HUNTSMAN: Well, you can`t. It`s a ridiculous statement. And this is not
the first time that Cheney has said things that has caused people to sort
of scratch their head saying, where is this coming from?


HUNTSMAN: It`s not the first time. And I think it`s a problem that we
have in this country, as we can`t have a national pragmatic real
conversation about where the problems are because what Eric Holder and the
President have both done I think well is let the reports speak for itself.
They say, look, the officer was not charged. The problems lie in the
Police Department, not just in Ferguson but in other places around the
country. Let`s have that conversation.

SHARPTON: And I think that`s the problem, Jimmy, in this whole
conversation. They just throw stuff out there. I mean, they do it to all
of us, just throw stuff out there. And when you step back and say, wait a
minute, let`s us deal with your specific charge --


SHARPTON: -- what are you talking about specifically? They can`t answer
it. And that`s why I think we have to start slowing the conversation down
and say, well, give me an example of what you are talking about.

WILLIAMS: If you talk about race, you`re a racist.


WILLIAMS: If you don`t talk about race, you`re not a racist.

HUNTSMAN: But that`s the problem with this whole conversation. We can`t
get anywhere.

WILLIAMS: Then here`s the deal. I`m not going to stop -- as a son of the
south, I`m not going to stop talking about racism or misogyny or
homophobia. And the reason I`m going to is because it exists. If you give
me that utopian society where it does not exist, I will have nothing to
talk about.

SHARPTON: And I think Seema, I mean, you represent clients, head of civil
right organizations.

IYER: Right.

SHARPTON: A family calls us in.

IYER: Sure.

SHARPTON: I didn`t bring in race, they called me because they thought it
was about race.

IYER: Exactly. Exactly. It`s a circumstance. But I think what Abby
think is a really good point. And I`m so glad to hear it today because it
sounds like what you`re saying is, we`re talking about it and talking about
it but when are we going to talk about and actually do something in terms
of a production --

HUNTSMAN: Talking that leads to something.

WILLIAMS: Well then, let the Congress redo the body rights act.

IYER: I think it`s also because it`s such an emotional topic for all of us

SHARPTON: Well, I think --

WILLIAMS: It`s a moral topic.

SHARPTON: I think it`s also some of them that want to avoid the issue.
So, if you can create a small --

IYER: Right.

HUNTSMAN: But there has to be openness on both sides, too. Because when
you have folks that would normally reach out about this or speak out, more
passionately about this, you have to be open when they do change their
mind. Whether they`d say, you know what? Yes --

SHARPTON: You`ve got to be open --


SHARPTON: Let`s move on to Hollywood. Hollywood actor taking a bowl of
action against her cyber-bullies. Ashley Judd is firing back at Twitter
users who sent her sexually explicit tweets after tweeting her thoughts
about a college basketball game. The tweets are so lewd we can`t show them
on TV. On Monday, Judd broke the news to MSNBC`s Thomas Roberts saying she
would press charges against the online trolls. She also spoke to NBC`s
Craig Melvin.


ASHLEY JUDD, ACTRESS: The amount of gender violence that I experience is
absolutely extraordinary and a significant part of my day today will be
spent filing police reports at home about gender violence that`s directed
at me on social media.


SHARPTON: Judd`s action comes on the heels of former baseball player Kurt
Schilling going on the offense against cyber-bullies who went after his
daughter on Twitter. Seema, are we seeing a groundbreaking legal battle
brewing in the social media world?

IYER: The law actually recognized this type of crimes that occur on cyber-
venues. Okay. But with the Ashley Judd, what`s interesting is she keeps
saying I`m a victim of gender violence. So this could actually fit the
statute for a hate crime. So there is harassment, which like, of course,
of conduct type of argument and it could happen online, it could happen in
writing, it could happen on the phone. So there could be harassment
charges. Stalking is another one. But a hate crime, if you feel directed
at because of your gender and the actions point to -- because of your
gender or your race or sexual orientation, she may have a charge with that.

SHARPTON: Jimmy, I mean, this would set a new precedent because all of us
in public life has haters online.

HUNTSMAN: Especially Jimmy Williams, let me tell you.

WILLIAMS: I block trolls -- I was having a conversation with my friend
today about the number of trolls I blocked this weekend. It was almost
like a record for me. I`ve gotten death threats, I mean, I`ve gotten non-
serious death threats and I`ve gotten death threats from people with my
address saying they are going to lynch me.


WILLIAMS: Calling me, you know, out about my sexual orientation so I
forwarded them to the head of MSNBC security and I didn`t hear from them
again. It was actually a fabulous way of dealing with the problem. Not
everyone can do that.

SHARPTON: That`s right.

WILLIAMS: A teenage girl gets, you know, shamed on a social media venue
and kills herself and what Ashley Judd is doing, I think, is not only brave
but it sets a great example.

SHARPTON: It`s needed. I mean --

IYER: Oh, you`re so right.

SHARPTON: -- we all get insulted. I get threats all the time and I`ve been
stabbed before so it`s serious to me.

HUNTSMAN: But Jimmy`s point of young people -- the number three cause of
death for young adults is suicide.


HUNTSMAN: You realize just how bad it has gotten and Ashley Judd is
speaking for so many women. It`s really targeted a lot of the time at
women in such a sexual way.

IYER: Exactly.

HUNTSMAN: And I know the law is there but it still seems that there`s some
gray area in terms of what they can actually do to punish people.

SHARPTON: Well, we`re going to follow and see where this goes. Maybe she
open a door that will back bullies up. Because they are bullies.
Everybody stay with me. We`ll be right back with some great news for
Hillary Clinton. It`s her bad news for her GOP rivals.

Plus, the Obama brackets. Can you do better? That`s next.


SHARPTON: We`re back with our panel, Abby, Jimmy and Seema. They are all
still here. Next topic, it looks like the email controversy may not be
hurting Hillary Clinton and the polls. A new poll shows she`s leading all
of her potential republican challenges by double digits.

Abby, should the GOP candidates focused less on Hillary`s email server and
more on policy differences?

HUNTSMAN: You know, I was saying this right when the story broke. I was
like, I don`t understand what the big deal ISIS. I think there are some
real questions to be asked about maybe what was hidden or not and you think
about people in their local coffee shops around the country. Are they
really talking about Hillary Clinton using her e-mail or not using her e-
mail? So, I think, one, voters don`t really care about this story, I mean,
it`s not going to impact their vote. I think they care about the
qualifications. And two, if you`re a democrat, you have one or two
options. It`s either Hillary Clinton or one of the folks on the far right.
Because it`s clear no one is really going to run against her. She`s the
one candidate that they do have. So, I`m not surprised that these were the
numbers. Republicans, I think in time if they speak to a more positive
message, a more inclusive message, you`ll start to see their numbers go up.

SHARPTON: But isn`t that the problem, Jimmy, and I`ve learn that in my own
career that sometimes people inside of certain movements, political groups
or whatever, we get to arguing about things that the public really don`t

IYER: Right.

SHARPTON: And we`re really talking --

IYER: We`re talking to ourselves, Rev.

SHARPTON: And walk outside and people are not even at all listening Jimmy

WILLIAMS: Uplifting their lives and we`re not.

SHARPTON: And not affecting their lives, they don`t care.

WILLIAMS: That`s precisely it. But what it does affect people`s lives,
policy issues. Policy issues like equality. Policy issues like voting
rights, policy issues like civil rights, college tuition.


WILLIAMS: Jobs, et cetera, et cetera. And by the way, every one of those,
I can`t wait to see Hillary debate any of the -- running.

IYER: But I still think that email controversy did corroborate certain
things about Hillary. She`s deceptive.

WILLIAMS: But there`s a double standard.

IYER: She`s ruthless and she`s a political animal which is why I love her.
So, I loved her before and then I love her now.

WILLIAMS: So you acknowledge that there`s a double standard.

SHARPTON: I got to move on. Finally --

IYER: I don`t think that I care that there is.

SHARPTON: President Obama is fills out his March madness brackets.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: They are a number one seed. What kind of seed do you
think you were?

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Oh, I was definitely a third or
fourth seed but I was scrappy.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Kentucky/Notre Dame would be a great game. Hopefully
very high scoring if Notre dame can make shots.

OBAMA: I think Kentucky beats them. I`m not a pundit but I agree that
Arizona has the best chance to upset Kentucky. But I don`t think they
quite pull it off. I think Kentucky moves on.


SHARPTON: The President is all in for the Kentucky wildcats. And we have
some breaking news tonight. The President and Speaker Boehner agree on
something. Boehner is also picking Kentucky. He tweeted today the bracket
is complete. Looking forward to a great March Madness. Seema, is this
what we need to do to get something done in Washington? I mean, what do
you think?

IYER: I think so. And just for this segment, I actually consulted, you
know, I have a bookie, my bookie from Bay Ridge and he`s saying everybody
is going with Kentucky. This is not something surprising.

HUNTSMAN: That`s why I picked too.

IYER: Thirty four and 0 and then they will be 40 and zero. But my bookie
says to watch out for Wichita, which is number seven in their bracket and
they could go up against Kansas. So, and he calls, oh my bookie called
Obama a chalk eater, apparently a chalk eater, is someone who always goes
with the safe team.

HUNTSMAN: Jimmy, two unbelievable things, Boehner and Obama agree and
Seema is sitting up on my show quoting her book --

IYER: Every time I talk about sports, I have to talk about my bookie. You
know that, Rev?

SHARPTON: That`s why you got to watch us. There`s no telling what is
going to happen on this show. Abby, Jimmy and Seema, thank you for joining
us. I hope your bookie is watching. Be sure to watch Abby on "THE CYCLE"
weekdays at 3 p.m. right here on MSNBC. And catch Seema on "THE DOCKET,"
Tuesdays at 11:00 on "The Shift" on MSNBC. Did you bring your bookie?

When we come back, the white hot national spotlight on fraternities in
America. And why it matters.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, the white hot spotlight on fraternities in


(People chanting): There will never be a (bleep) SAE. There will never be
a (bleep) SAE. You can hang them from a tree but they`ll never sign with
me. There will never be a (bleep) SAE.


SHARPTON: Ten days ago, the country saw this video of Oklahoma students
from SAE. Today, the frat`s national executive director promised to


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The chant in the video is ugly, it`s demoralizing and
absolutely counter to the values of SAE. I want to be crystal clear, we
have a zero tolerance for our behavior for that sort of behavior. The
words are offensive and harmful and now we must begin a task of seeking
forgiveness and taking steps to ensure that this never happens again.


SHARPTON: It`s a good stuff. But this video has put on an alarming focus
on fraternities across the country. Today, Penn State fraternity members
could be facing criminal charges after learning about what law enforcement
say is a secret Facebook page with lewd photos of unconscious women. Today
at the University of Wisconsin, a fraternity was terminated after alleged
hazing for drinking excessively and food deprivation. Maybe some good can
come from the SAE video. An open conversation on the future of Greek life
at our schools. On what is acceptable and what is not. And what is no
longer acceptable is acting like what is happening in plain sight in some
of these fraternities are things that are not happening at all. We must
look into this, we must protect students, we must protect our society, that
would be a good result to an ugly situation.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.


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