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PoliticsNation, Monday, March 23rd, 2015

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Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: March 23, 2015
Guest: John Yarmuth, Margie O`Mara, Areva Martin, Lawrence Ross, John
Fugelsang, Zerlina Maxwell


ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR, THE ED SHOW: That`s "THE ED SHOW." I`m Ed
Schultz. POLITICS NATION with Reverend Al Sharpton starts now. Good
evening, Rev.

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you for
tuning in. We start with developing news, the fight over President Obama`s
historic health care law. Today Senator Ted Cruz launched his 2016 run by
launching a new attack on Obamacare.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Imagine in 2017 a new president signing
legislation repealing every word of Obamacare.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We`ll have more on Senator Cruz`s presidential bid coming up.
But his announcement today shows Republicans are still totally in denial
about the historic power of the affordable care act. Exactly five years
ago today, President Obama signed the bill into law.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Today, after all the votes
have been tallied, health insurance reform becomes law in the United States
of America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The law`s significance was clear from the start. Vice President
Biden summed it up as only he can.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)

SHARPTON: Five years later, the law is still a big deal. 16.4 million
Americans have been added to the health care rolls. The uninsured rate has
dropped by 35 percent. And costs are falling. Last year, health care
spending rose at the slowest pace in a half a century. It`s a mementos
shift, giving millions of families a basic security they never had before.
And five years later, the GOP hasn`t repealed it and they have no serious
plan to replace it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Committees are continuing
to work on that, and I`m sure we`re going to see one soon.

LUKE RUSSERT, NBC REPORTER: How soon?

BOEHNER: We`ll see one soon.

RUSSERT: Will it cover 16 million people?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Speaker, in your comment, you side that the --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And if you`re a Republican hoping to run for president, how do
you celebrate the five-year anniversary? If you`re Marco Rubio, you write
an article on FOXnews.com promising to provide an off-ramp from the
affordable care act replacing it with conservative solutions. Yes, well
good luck with that one.

In the meantime, 16 million Americans enjoy health care coverage that they
didn`t have before.

Joining me now is Congressman John Yarmuth, Democrat from Kentucky, and
Democratic Strategist Margie Omero. Thank you both for being here.

REP. JOHN YARMUTH (D), KENTUCKY: Sure.

MARGIE OMERO, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Good evening, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Congressman, the uninsured rate in your state fell by over 10
percent after the health care law was implemented. What have you heard
from voters?

YARMUTH: Well, actually, Al, it`s more than that. The insurance -- the
uninsured rate actually dropped in tons pollution dropped by 50 percent.
In my district in Louisville, we actually reduced the uninsured rate by 81
percent.

SHARPTON: Wow.

YARMUTH: Because we have 520,000 people in the commonwealth of Kentucky,
who previously uninsured, who are now insured. The deloit (ph) account --

SHARPTON: Let me stop you there, 51 statewide and 81 percent in your
district?

YARMUTH: Eighty-one percent in my district. We had the deloit (ph) firm
come in, the Beshear administration dead, and analyze and project what the
affordable care act would mean over the next six years. Forty thousand new
jobs they said, $30 billion impact on the economy and a positive $800
million impact on the state budget.

This is actually exceeded what the governor projected when he decided to
expand Medicaid and its form our own exchange, the connect exchange. So
it`s been an enormous success in Kentucky.

And Mitch McConnell and those people like Ted Cruz who say they want to
repeal Obamacare basically are saying they want to add $800 million to the
Kentucky deficit to take insurance away from 500,000 people in a state of
4.4 million, and you basically forego $30 billion worth of economic impact.

SHARPTON: Now, Congressman, just so we`re clear, and our viewers are
clear, you represent Louisville. You are on a state of Mitch McConnell,
the majority leader.

YARMUTH: Yes.

SHARPTON: Fifty percent drop in the uninsured, 81 percent in your
district, 40,000 jobs in Mitch McConnell`s state, and he`s still fighting
and talking about trying to repeal this law.

YARMUTH: It`s pretty bizarre. I know. And, you know, unfortunately, I
think a lot of this has to be because this is President Obama`s plan, and
President Obama is particularly unpopular in my state outside of my
district. But the reality on the ground, again, a half million people who
now have insurance who didn`t, people who are feeling much more secure
about their families. Even people who had insurance, they now don`t face
lifetime or annual caps so that a single accident or a serious disease
won`t bankrupt their families.

I mean, this is an enormous benefit for the people of the commonwealth of
Kentucky, and it`s crazy that Mitch McConnell who was able to get re-
elected after wanting to take all these benefits away from our citizens.

SHARPTON: Margie, Marco Rubio is out today with them, quote, "off-ramp,
from the affordable care act." When will the GOP realize they hit a dead
end with this stuff?

OMERO: Well, it`s hard to see how a lot of candidates are learning the
lesson. I mean, if you look at Ted Cruz, for example, he has been out
there. He`s been one of the most focal opponents of Obamacare from the
beginning. And -- but probably as a result, he`s been net unfavorable
since he`s been in the public eye, essentially. Since he`s been a national
figure, he`s been net unpopular in poll after poll. And I`m not sure that
really shows that Obamacare opposition is a mandate to then run for the
presidency.

Now, in the case of Marco Rubio, I think he`s at least trying to take into
account public sentiment. I mean, he does acknowledge, look, we have to
accept the reality that if health care changes as a result of king versus
Burwell, we need to provide some kind of healthcare, some kind of option
for the people who may lose care, and that does reflect public sentiment.
We may disagree with the specifics but it reflects public sentiment. The
Kaiser Family Foundation polling shows that even a majority of Republicans
want to see Congress take action if people in states around the country, I
think it`s about nine million people, lose care, even Republicans want to
see that happen.

So I think you`ll see more candidates, if they`re really taking the
temperature properly of the entire electorate, are really going to be able
to, you know, try and think that people want to see care continue, not
decrease.

SHARPTON: Well, Congressman, despite the fact that you and others have
given some concrete examples of the progress and of how this has benefited
people, let`s remember on this anniversary that it has had no shortage of
attacks and distortions. Let me show you the attacks from the right that
has ran together.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This law that is so massive, burdensome, bureaucratic
and confusing but it`s collapsing under its own weight.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let`s repeal this failure before it literally kills
women, kills children, kills senior citizens.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Making our health care premiums enormously
unsustainably more expensive with death panels to boot.

CRUZ: The Obamacare is the biggest job killer in this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, obviously we know it didn`t collapse, and there aren`t any
death panels and it`s also not a job killer. In fact --

YARMUTH: Definitely not a job killer.

SHARPTON: -- since affordable care act was signed into law, the economy
has added over 12 million jobs. Has the success of the law drained the
power out of these Republican attacks, Congressman?

YARMUTH: Well, a little bit, but unfortunately, we still have so many
people out there who, again, associate the affordable care act with an
unpopular president in many places, and they refuse to look at the facts.

What`s happened in my state, for instance, is across the river in Indiana,
Governor Mike Pence who refused to expand Medicaid has citizens who`ve seen
what`s going on across the river with their neighbors and friends, and so
he`s had to basically kind of circumvent the politician and say we want to
expand Medicaid without actually saying we`re expanding Medicaid, so he got
a waiver from the federal rules so he could accept the money and cover
several hundred thousand Indiana citizens.

So, again, when people are aware of what`s positive benefits there are in
areas that have embraced the affordable care act, they`re putting pressure
on their governors and their legislators to do something different. In
many states, unfortunately, like Texas and some others, that pressure isn`t
there.

SHARPTON: Now, you are, Margie, the political
consultant/operatist/strategist here on the opening segment. Explain to me
this. Every Republican mentioned as a potential 2016 candidate wants to
repeal the affordable care act, every one of them. It was a losing
strategy for the GOP in 2012. How do they feel it`s going to be a winning
strategy in 2016?

OMERO: Well, it may be a winning strategy in Republican primary
environments, and I think that`s what a lot of candidates are thinking
about. Once you start moving to -- once you start showing some support for
Obamacare in any form, or even just a less fervent opposition to Obamacare,
then you paint yourself as a moderate. And in the current climate being a
moderate in a Republican primary is not a path for success. Candidates who
are seen as being moderate are not doing as well in the Republican primary.

So I think that`s where this is coming from. Obviously, the president is
very unpopular with Republican primary voters. That`s just the nature of
our political environment right now. And obviously they`re primary voters.
So I think it`s just a reflection of that. When people are going to start
listening -- when people start listening to stories of their voters, of
their constituents saying, hey, I need help, that`s a different kind of
story than a Republican primary voter who said, look, I just want someone
who`s going to rail against the president.

I hope that we`re going to see some candidates try to have, as Jeb Bush has
called it, adult conversations about some of these. But even he is also in
opposition to Obamacare just like the rest of the field. So I think we
need to see more Republican candidates really taking a cue from where the
voters overall are, which is what polls show rather than just what they`re
hearing at, you know, conservative conferences.

SHARPTON: And show a concern -- and show concern for the American people.
I mean, we`re talking about over 16 million people and still counting that
really need this.

YARMUTH: Right.

SHARPTON: But Congressman John Yarmuth and Margie Omero, thank you for
your time tonight.

OMARA: Thank you.

YARMUTH: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, senator shutdown announces he`s running for
president. What it means for Republicans. And what it means for
Democrats.

Also, it made national headlines, accusations of gang rape at a UVA frat.
Today the police revealed their findings.

Plus, a new push for Elizabeth Warren to run for president.

And a pitch perfect response from Mo`ne Davis to a cyber bully on Twitter.
"Conversation Nation" is ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Canada, a tribute to our favorite Canadian-born presidential
candidate, Ted Cruz. Legal experts say Cruz is eligible to run as a
natural-born citizen, so what will his campaign look like? We are -- well,
we might see some more Dr. Seuss.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUZ: Do you like green eggs and ham? I do not like them, Sam, I am. I
do not like green eggs and ham.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And while most politicians go around hugging babies, Ted Cruz
scares babies.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUZ: The Obama-Clinton foreign policy of leading from behind. The whole
world`s on fire.

UNIDENTIFIED KID: The world`s on fire?

CRUZ: The world is on fire, yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now we`re having some fun with Senator Cruz, but there are some
serious questions today about how his campaign got started. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUZ: I believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives
rising up to reignite the promise of America. And that is why, today, I am
announcing that I`m running for president of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The GOP 2016 fight officially kicking off today. Texas Senator
Ted Cruz becoming the first candidate to announce a run for president, and
wasting no time revealing an agenda aimed at the base.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUZ: I want to ask each of you to imagine, imagine millions of courageous
conservatives all across America rising up together to say in unison, "we
demand our liberty." Imagine abolishing the IRS. Imagine in 2017 a new
president signing legislation repealing every word of Obamacare.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But it isn`t just what he said. It`s where he said it. Senator
Cruz spoke at Liberty University, which was founded in 1971 by
Televangelist Jerry Fallwell. It remains the center of the evangelical
political world. And in critical ways, his public actions track with
Senator Cruz`s vision. The school`s founder was called the leader of
America`s anti-gay industry. Senator Cruz said this month while other
Republicans are backing off the issue, he`ll make fighting same-sex
marriage a priority.

Liberty filed a lawsuit against the affordable care act the day it passed
five years ago today. Senator Cruz shut down the government over the law.

Liberty has a center for creation studies. And Senator Cruz is one of the
GOP`s leading climate change deniers.

But even with that record, Senator Cruz isn`t winning over every
Republican, even at Liberty. See the kids in the red shirts? Those shirts
say "I stand with Rand." Ted Cruz is the first out the gate, but he`s
still got a long way to go to win the base.

Joining me now is Victoria DeFrancesco Soto. Thanks for being here.

VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO SOTO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Victoria, you`re in Texas. What do you make of Senator Cruz
making his announcement to run for president at Liberty University in
Virginia instead of in his home state?

SOTO: Well, there`s a lot of symbolism. I would say the first big symbol,
Reverend, is that he`s reaching out to the youth, to college students. He
went to the university. And I think here we`re seeing him take a page out
of President Obama`s playbook. He knows that young people when they`re
mobilized, it can be hard to mobilize them. But when they are, can really
be a force to be reckoned with.

And secondly, obviously the evangelical movement. He wants to stake claim
to the evangelical movement here in the United States, he`s trying to get
Mike Huckabee out of the water, Santorum and make his space here.

Now, he didn`t announce in Texas, but Reverend, there are a ton of Texans
at Liberty University, so it was almost like he was doing it in Texas. He
had one foot in Texas. But what I think is so interesting is with Ted Cruz
announcing, all of the focus when it comes to Texas is going to be on him.

Rick Perry is going to announce pretty soon, I would bet, but he is going
to be in the shadow of Ted Cruz because he`s really going to embody that
Texas tea party mentality in the Republican Party.

SHARPTON: Let me go back to something you said about the evangelical vote,
because Senator Cruz made a serious pitch for the evangelical vote. Watch
this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CRUZ: Today, roughly half of born-again Christians aren`t voting. They`re
staying home. Imagine, instead, millions of people of faith all across
America coming out to the polls and voting our values.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, "Bloomberg" reports, quote, "the implicit promise to
evangelicals was that he`d give them something to vote for, in a way that
no GOP nominee had since George W. Bush, and none truly had since Ronald
Reagan."

Victoria, can Ted Cruz mobilize evangelical voters?

SOTO: I think he has as good a shot as anyone else in his party right now.
Not necessarily because of the substance of his ideology, because folks
like Huckabee and Santorum and Rand Paul does share some of that ideology.
But I say it`s more of that bluster, that dynamism. He is super
charismatic. I mean, love Ted Cruz or hate him, he is so passionate. If
you see him in person, he`s really capturing the audience`s attention.

So I think in that regard, we are going to see Ted Cruz take a stand. But,
you know, we also know that moderate chamber of commerce Republicans are
getting frustrated with that tea party movement that took over in 2010.

We saw in the 2014 midterm election the chamber of commerce Republicans
during the primaries that said, hey, hold on a minute, we are not going to
let you steer the ship, tea party, we`re going to take charge again. So I
think that battle between the chamber of commerce Republicans and the
evangelicals is going to be a hard fought one.

SHARPTON: Now, the polls right now show Ted Cruz way behind other
potential candidates. Like Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. So will his earlier
announcement give him a boost in the polls, a boost in fund-raising? And
even if he doesn`t make it, does he end up dragging the party to the far
right?

SOTO: You know, Revered, I think of Ted Cruz as a pace car, you know what,
in racing. You know that pace car that all the other cars follow. So Ted
Cruz has a very slim chance of making it out of the primary. But his role
in this is going to be that standard bearer of the right ideological
platform and he`s going to pull Jeb Bush and Scott Walker and Rand Paul and
anybody else further and further to the right which ultimately when we get
to the general election is going to be very difficult for them to take a
winning position.

SHARPTON: All right. Victoria Defrancesco Soto, thank you for your time
tonight.

SOTO: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, breaking news. It set off a national uproar, an
alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia. Today, police announce
what they found.

Plus, could Elizabeth Warren be persuaded to run for president? There`s a
new push. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Are you looking for a laugh? Then you`re going to love the
GOP`s new routine on climate change. It sounds like a bad joke. Florida
Republican Governor Rick Scott banning state officials from using the terms
"climate change" and "global warming." He says it`s not true. But at a
recent Florida Senate hearing, the banned looked to be alive and well, even
creating some accidental comedy. Check out the Scoot administration
official bending over backwards to avoid using the no-no words.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: A State hazard mitigation plan which is done
everybody five years, in the next reiteration of them will required to have
language to that effect.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What were those words, MR. Chairman? What were those
words you were using?

SCOTT: I used climate change. But I`m suggesting that maybe as a state we
use atmospheric redeployment. That might be something that the governor
can use --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Rick Scott`s climate change ban is literally a joke. The whole
committee is cracking up. But wait, it gets better.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCOTT: Will require that future versions of our mitigation plan will be
required to have language discussing that issue.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What issue is that?

SCOTT: The issue that you mentioned earlier regarding --

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m going to turn the chair back over.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: They`re rolling in the aisles. When you have to go to such
great lengths to deny reality, you end up doing some pretty silly things.
Like Senator Jim Inhofe, the new chair of the Science Committee, who
brought in a snowball on to the Senate floor last month to prove global
warming is a hoax.

Did these Republicans think we wouldn`t notice their climate change
contortions or turning them into a joke? Nice try, but I`ll have the last
laugh here because we got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Breaking news. Police in Charlottesville, Virginia, say there
is no evidence to back up a "Rolling Stones" story about an alleged gang
rape that rocked the University of Virginia. In that "Rolling Stone"
article a freshman student called Jackie claims she was brutally raped at a
frat house. The story made national headlines and put a new focus on
sexual assault on campus. But almost immediately, questions were raised
about the accuracy of the article, and late today, the police chief went
through Jackie`s claims one by one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIMOTHY LONGO, VA, CHARLOTTESVILLE POLICE CHIEF: It was during the course
of that meeting that she discloses the Phi Kappa Psi house as the location
of the September 28th, 2012, sexual assault. We were unable to find any
basis of fact to conclude that there was even an event on September the
28th, 2012, at that particular fraternity house. She said that when she
went home that night, her roommate who was a nursing student actually had
to help pick the glass particles from her face. And I will tell you that
that roommate was subsequently interviewed and she denies doing that. They
were aware that Jackie was to be going on a date that particular night with
a person identified as Haven Monahan. They had never met Haven Monahan.
We made numerous attempts to identify who haven Monahan is, to the extent
that Haven Monahan even exists.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Today`s report came after a five-month investigation by police,
but the student from the story, Jackie, told the "Washington Post" that she
stands by the account that she gave "Rolling Stone."

Joining me now are legal analysts, Areva Martin and Lawrence Ross, author
of "The Divine Nine: A History of African-American Fraternities." Thank
you both for being here.

AREVA MARTIN, LEGAL ANALYST: Thank you, Rev.

LAWRENCE ROSS, AUTHOR, "THE DIVINE NINE": Thanks for having us, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Areva, what`s your take on the police investigation?

MARTIN: Well, I think we have to accept the investigation. One of the
promising things about it was, though, that the police say they were not
closing their investigation. They`re just suspending it for now.
Obviously if this young woman has not come forth and told the truth about
this, this is a bad day for all rape victims because that means it will be
harder for those victims to be believed when they actually are raped. But
I think the importance of this story is it`s raised and continues to raise
the issue of sexual assaults on campus and causes us to have those much-
needed discussions about how men and women need to protect themselves.

SHARPTON: I want to get to that because there`s a bigger issue regardless
of what the final outcome of this case is. But as you said, the police
chief made sure to say the work on this case is not done yet. Listen to
the chief as he said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LONGO: This case is not closed. It`s not closed by any stretch of the
imagination. It`s suspended until such time as we are able to gather more
information or such time until someone comes forward and provides us with
more information. I`m not in a position where I can say based on all the
evidence we`ve developed that something terrible didn`t happen to that
young lady that night. All I can tell you is there is no substantive basis
to conclude what is described in that article happened that night.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, what would need to happen, Areva, for the police to pursue
this case again?

MARTIN: I think they need to have more witnesses come forward, Rev. I
think what the police are telling us is they haven`t been able to identify
some of the actual people that were identified by Jackie in the article.
And they need to be able to interview those witnesses to judge their
credibility and to be able to substantiate her story. We heard that the
roommate has denied picking glass out of her face. We also know that the
fraternity apparently did not have a party on the night that she alleges
that the rape occurred. But again, the police chief was there are clear in
saying he cannot conclude that something really bad did not happen to her
on that evening.

SHARPTON: Lawrence, the fraternity in question just put out a statement
saying, quote, "These false accusations have been extremely damaging to our
entire organization, but we can only begin to imagine the setback this must
have dealt to survivors of sexual assault. We hope that Rolling Stone`s
actions do not discourage any survivors from coming forward to seek the
justice they deserve." What do you think of their response, Lawrence?

ROSS: I think the response is pretty much on par. I mean, this is a
complicated issue because we have two different things. One, we have the
macro issue of talking about sexual assault within the fraternal system,
the fraternity system in particular. And we do as fraternity members, we
do know that we actually do have a problem. I mean, the facts are
quantifiable in terms of the number of sexual assaults that actually occur
within the fraternities. However, on a micro level, we don`t want to have
a situation to where sexual assault victims don`t come forward because they
actually have had a bad experience.

SHARPTON: Right.

ROSS: But we`re also mixing it up into the, another large areas that we
don`t want to condemn every fraternity member. And so this is a terrible
mix of we don`t know because the police continue to say that they`re still
keeping it open, so we don`t have all the information, but at the same
time, for those fraternity members on this particular campus, for these
particular men, they`ve been slurred and we don`t know whether or not the
slur has been true or whether or not it`s been false. But, again --

SHARPTON: But there`s a serious problem here. One in five women
experience rape during college according to the national institute of
justice. One in five. Not necessarily at frat houses, I might say, but
one in five. This is a serious problem. Are fraternities and colleges in
general doing enough to address this issue, Lawrence?

ROSS: Not at all. Not at all. I think every one of the entities are
dropping the ball. Universities don`t want to look at the fraternities or
handle the fraternities in such a way that actually allows them to be
liable. But actually, Title 9 is actually bringing them closer to having
responsibility for things like this. And those of us in fraternities and
in the fraternal system have to do a better job of teaching about sexual
assault. For example, at San Diego state, they have a program called frat
manners, fraternity men against negative environments and rape situations.
We have to get away for fraternity members, we have to get away from just
kind of like the old-fashioned chivalrous notion of just protection of
womanhood and the like and start teaching our men who come on campus with
the ideas of women, and ideas of sexual assault that may not actually be
well informed and start training them directly about what sexual assault
is, what are the conditions that come from sexual assault, and then being
brave enough to actually speak about it when it`s one of the fraternity
members who are actually perpetuating such an assault.

SHARPTON: Areva, let me ask you this quickly. The fraternities also said
-- this is a quote, "Phi Kappa Psi is now exploring its legal options to
address the extensive damage caused by Rolling Stone." What are the legal
options they`re talking about?

MARTIN: Well, they`re talking about defamation. We`ve heard "Rolling
Stone" actually admit that they did not try to contact the alleged
perpetrator when they wrote the story because Jackie asked them not to. So
I`m not surprised to hear that the fraternity is actually looking at some
kind of legal action. I also just want to say, Rev, states like California
have gone further and instead of relying on no means no, there`s a law now
that says yes means yes which means you have to have affirmative consent.
And I think that`s an important big step for college students to start
looking at because so many of them seem confused about what it means when a
woman says no to any kind of sexual encounter. So I think this case,
again, has such big implications.

Well, we`ll see where it goes. It has huge implication for a lot of
different factions that are connected and brought into this as both of you
have said. Areva Martin and Lawrence Ross, thank you both for your time
tonight.

ROSS: Thank you very much, rev.

MARTIN: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, "Conversation Nation." New calls for Elizabeth
Warren to run for president.

Rush Limbaugh gets some folks hopping mad with his new comments about
President Obama.

And pitching superstar Mo`ne Davis throws a curve ball with her response to
a cyber-bully. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Time for "Conversation Nation." Joining me tonight, MSNBC`s
Krystal Ball. Sirius XM radio host John Fugelsang. And Zerlina Maxwell
from "Essence." Thank you all for being here this evening.

ZERLINA MAXWELL, ESSENCE MAGAZINE: Thanks, Rev.

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC CO-HOST, "THE CYCLE": Thanks for having us, Rev.

SHARPTON: First up, should Elizabeth Warren run for the presidency in
2016? She`s repeatedly said she`s not. But now the editorial board of her
hometown paper "The Boston Globe" is calling on her to get into the race.
They write, "She should not shrink from the chance to set the course for
the Democratic Party or cede that task to Hillary Clinton without a fight.
Warren could enrich the political process for years to come." Just a few
weeks ago I asked Warren if she thought Hillary Clinton could fight for
progressive causes the way she has.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: A lot of progressives have questions about whether she`ll be a
progressive warrior. What would you say to them?

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: You know, I think that`s what we
got to see. I want to hear what she wants to run on and what she says she
wants to do. That`s what campaigns are supposed to be about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Krystal, why is there still all this 2016 buzz about Elizabeth
Warren?

BALL: I think it`s because she is the rarest of rare political talents who
actually passionately believes in what she is doing and is coming with the
courage of her convictions. And you know when she wakes up in the morning
and when she goes to bed at night, she is thinking about how we can help
restore the middle class in this country, and that`s the central issue for
2016. There is this desire even as we see the economy doing better on many
metrics, people are still not feeling like the American dream is where it
should be and that our middle class is thriving in the way that it should
be. So they look at Elizabeth Warren and see someone who has something to
say on the issue. Even if they may not end up wanting her to be president,
they want to hear what she can contribute to that debate.

SHARPTON: John?

JOHN FUGELSANG, SIRIUS XM RADIO HOST: I agree with Krystal. I think
Elizabeth -- in a culture where the media goes by personalities and not by
issues, she`s the only rock star either party is going to put out for this
nomination but in terms of the issue --

SHARPTON: So, you don`t consider Hillary a rock star?

FUGELSANG: No, I don`t. I think the election is Hillary`s to blow and
that could easily happen. But I do think that Mrs. Warren is the one
person of stature who stood up and said the game is rigged. She`s not
selling the American dream, she`s not selling opportunities. She`s stating
the facts and that someone has to get to work on it. And I do think that
her worst-case scenario, Rev, would be she loses, she gives a great
convention speech for Hillary, she`s still a rock star in the Senate and
maybe doesn`t get invited to the Clinton mafia barbecues in Chappaqua.
Worst case.

SHARPTON: Zerlina?

MAXWELL: I agree with him in terms of the personality. But actually on
the issues I would say that Hillary Clinton actually does have some strong
positions in terms of economic justice that she doesn`t necessarily get the
same amount of credit for. And so in terms of sort of the head-to-head
matchup, I don`t know that there`s a huge net gain to include Elizabeth
Warren in the debates unless it`s simply to push Hillary to the left.

(CROSSTALK)

I`m not saying that I don`t think that she should run, I don`t know that
there`s a huge upswing.

SHARPTON: I think the unknown and I`m going by when I ran in `04. The
unknown is on other issues where people stand because I`m not too sure that
I agree with John that on many issues, Mrs. Clinton is centrist, some she`s
more progressive, some she`s more right. There are a lot of issues I don`t
know where Elizabeth Warren is.

BALL: Well, there`s a lot of question marks still for Hillary Clinton as
well. Where will she stand on trade? Will she follow in her husband`s foo
footsteps with NAFTA?

SHARPTON: Right.

FUGELSANG: Will she at least acknowledge NAFTA didn`t work?

BALL: Right. Who is she going to appoint as secretary of the Treasury for
example? I mean, some of her --

SHARPTON: But Zerlina, where is Elizabeth Warren on police reform, on
Ferguson? I mean, there are a lot of issues here which we don`t know.

BALL: Which is why it`s great to have a primary debate and find out where
the candidates stand on the issue and have the opportunity to push and
pressure people to be --

SHARPTON: Well, they call it primary.

BALL: That`s why we have them.

SHARPTON: Next, to cyber-bullying. Thirteen-year-old baseball star, Mo`ne
Davis, is the latest victim of an online attack. On Friday, a college
baseball player tweeted a sexual slur about Mo`ne writing "Disney is making
a movie about Mo`ne Davis. What a joke. That blank got rocked by Nevada."

BALL: Wow!

SHARPTON: The public outrage over the tweet was overwhelming and even
though the player apologized, he was still kicked off his college team.
But today, Mo`ne asked his school to put him back on the team.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Everyone makes mistakes, and everyone deserves a
second chance, and I mean, it`s not -- I mean, I know he didn`t mean it in
that type of way, and I know a lot of people get tired of me, like, seeing
me on TV. I know right now he`s really hurt and I know how hard he worked
just to get to where he is right now. And so, I mean, it`s -- I mean, it`s
really hurt on my part, but I know he`s hurt even more.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Zerlina, what`s your reaction?

MAXWELL: I don`t think he`s hurt more. I don`t think he should be
reinstated on the team. I think there have to be consequences for
sexualizing someone that`s underage and that this young. I think that, the
problem for me is that often times, women, and women of color in particular
are forced to be the bigger person and turn the other cheek as we were
talking about earlier when they`re sexualized and undermine in this way.
Her talent is undeniable and she should not be objectified and sexualized
in this manner. It`s completely inappropriate.

SHARPTON: But John, it`s a big thing. I mean, I think at one level, you
know, and I`ve seen situations where you take a bigger step because of you.
I mean, I`ve done things because I wanted to test myself, could I be big?
But at another level, you also know it`s not going to matter to your
critics, and Mo`ne is doing what I think is honorable. Whether it means
anything or not. I hope it does.

FUGELSANG: It does. And she`s turning the other cheek. We do have free
speech. For grown-ups free speech comes with consequences.

SHARPTON: Right.

FUGELSANG: They may not be able to reinstate him. Because if you`re in
college, it depends on donor funds to help your college. Having this guy
on your team isn`t going to help in that regard. It`s a business. It`s
how it is. I`m more concerned about the non-celebrity girls who were
harassed on social media every day and don`t have a media forum to talk
about it.

SHARPTON: And don`t have anyone to really salute --

FUGELSANG: She`s a celebrity. First time.

BALL: That`s right. I mean, she set the example of how people should
treat one another with forgiveness. I agree with Zerlina and I don`t think
he should be reinstated but this is the model for how we do treat one
another, how we should be treating one another. And online, it is vicious
for girls like Mo`ne, for women like Ashley Judd.

SHARPTON: We should give her lot of credit for setting that standard.
Everybody, stay with me. We`ll be right back with the right`s new dog
whistle attacks on the President.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back with our panel, Krystal, John, and Zerlina. Our
final story tonight, Obama derangement gone wild. With the Iran nuclear
negotiations still under way, the far right is trotting out some old ugly
attacks against President Obama.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Obama is getting close to issuing his
own fatwahs such as executive amnesty.

LIZ CHENEY, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: We are aligning ourselves more with the
Iranians than with the Israelis in the Middle East.

FMR. GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE (R), ARKANSAS: He has such an extraordinary sense
of identity with sympathy for, many of the other Middle Eastern nations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: John, is this more of the same dog whistle politics we`ve been
hearing for six years?

FUGELSANG: Reverend Al, how many Muslims does a brother have to drone kill
before these guys let up on the Muslim talk? Of course, it`s all code
language, it`s all to assign him the other status. And it`s pretty
disgusting. In the case of Mike Huckabee whose philosophy seems to be
forgive us our trespasses as we preemptively invade those who trespass
against us. There`s two things that play here. One, yes --

SHARPTON: You referred --

FUGELSANG: Yes. Obama is a Muslim, we have to get that point across, even
though he doesn`t pray to Mecca, supports gay marriage. And secondly, war
with Iran is about to become a campaign theme for these guys --

SHARPTON: Yes.

FUGELSANG: We`re emboldened by what Netanyahu did.

SHARPTON: Yes, Krystal?

BALL: You know, it`s a lot easier to criticize than it is come up with a
plan of your own. And that has been the strategy for them from day one.
And I don`t know how they`re going to be able to make the transition now
that he`s in the latter years of his presidency.

SHARPTON: Yes.

BALL: They`ll going to have to figure out some new lines of attack and
come up with some plans of their own.

SHARPTON: Zerlina?

MAXWELL: Well, I`m just sick of calling it dog whistles. I think that we
should just start calling it people whistles. Because people can hear
them. When they`re talking about Obama, other Obama identifies with Middle
Eastern countries, I mean, I think that that is a -- goes beyond the dog
whistle.

FUGELSANG: This is Mike Huckabee who said he was anti-colonial. It`s like
so were the founding fathers, dude.

SHARPTON: I think that we had a revolution about that. Krystal, John,
Zerlina, thank you for your time.

FUGELSANG: Thank you.

MAXWELL: Thank you.

BALL: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Be sure to watch Krystal on "THE CYCLE" weekdays at 3:00 p.m.
right here on MSNBC.

We`ll be right back with an apology three decades in the making.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Finally tonight, an apology three decades in the making. For
over 30 years, Bob Jones III was president of Bob Jones University. A hub
of the evangelical conservative movement. In 1980, Jones made a shocking
statement calling for all homosexuals to be stoned to death. Now he`s
apologizing for those words saying, quote, "I take personal ownership of
this inflammatory rhetoric. These comments do not represent the belief of
my heart or the content of my preaching. I apologize." Jones says he`s
changed. Millions of other Americans have changed, too. Right now, same-
sex marriage is legal in 37 states, and support for gay rights is higher
than ever. More and more, people realize you can`t support equal rights
for some but not for others. Actress Kerry Washington talked about that at
this weekend`s GLAAD Awards.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KERRY WASHINGTON, ACTRESS: We can`t say that we believe in each other`s
fundamental humanity and then turn a blind eye to the reality of each
other`s existence. And the truth of each other`s hearts. We must be
allies, and as long as anyone, anywhere is being made to feel less human,
our very definition of humanity is at stake and we are all vulnerable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I`m glad to hear Bob Jones` apology. I remember years ago when
I came out in support of gay rights. I got a lot of flak from other
members of the clergy. I told them no one is asking you to change your
belief, you just don`t have the right to rob others of theirs.

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

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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