PoliticsNation, Friday, April 10th, 2015
Read the transcript from the Friday show
Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: April 10, 2015
Guest: Ed Rendell, Annie Karni, Emanuel Cleaver, Liz Plank, Jason Johnson,
Victoria Defrancesco Soto
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR, THE ED SHOW: That`s "the Ed Show." I`m Ed
Schultz. "Politics Nation" with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.
Good evening, Rev.
REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you for
We start with developing news. The big announcement. In less than 48
hours Hillary Clinton is expected to launch her campaign for president.
There`s been a lot of hints dropped all along the way.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: Well, hello, Iowa. I`m back!
Now, I`m obviously thinking about all kinds of decisions.
All in good time. All in good time.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Sources close to the campaign tell NBC News Clinton will
announce as early as Sunday with a video message on social media followed
by small scale campaign stops next week starting in Iowa.
Clinton publishing a new final chapter to her book today writing about the
impact of becoming a grandmother. Quote, "rather than make me want to slow
down, it has spurred me to speed up." She`ll enter the race as the clear
front-runner for the democratic nomination, no doubt about it. And
Republicans know it.
At the NRA`s big convention today, she immediately became a central focus
for attacks from the GOP2016 hopefuls.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: I think all of us are what Hillary
Clinton once called the vast right-wing conspiracy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got a president, people like Hillary Clinton, who
seem to think that you measure success in government by how many people are
dependent on the government.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s the liberal progressive world view of Barack Obama
and Hillary Clinton and Eric Holder and all the other people who want to
take the guns out of the hands of the good guys.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: We knew the GOP attacks would come, but what`s interesting is
how this will play out with Democrats. Some progressives like Elizabeth
Warren remain noncommittal and former governor Martin O`Malley, a potential
democratic candidate, isn`t pulling punches.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARTIN O`MALLEY, FORMER GOVERNOR, MARYLAND: Look, I think the presidency
is not a crown to be passed back and forth between two families. It is a
sacred trust to be earned and exercised on behalf of the people of our
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: It`s a big moment. Hillary Clinton trying to make history and
it officially starts this weekend.
Joining me now is Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American
Progress. She served as policy director for Hillary Clinton`s 2008
presidential campaign. Former Pennsylvania governor and DNC chair Ed
Rendell, and Jonathan Capehart of "the Washington Post."
Thank you all for being here.
JONATHAN CAPEHART, THE WASHINGTON POST: Thanks, Rev.
NEERA TANDEN, PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: Great to be with
SHARPTON: Neera, you were there in 2008. As Clinton`s 2016 campaign gets
under way, what are your thoughts?
TANDEN: Look, I think that over the next few weeks she`s really going to
be listening to people about her concern, sharing her concerns about the
country. I think we were most successful in the past when Hillary was able
to really hear from people. This is something she has done throughout her
career. She did it in New York as a Senate candidate as a senator. She
really wants to hear from the American people about what their anxieties
are, what their hopes are for the future and show them that she has a
vision for moving the country forward. There are new challenges today and
they call for new ideas and new leadership. And she is going to hear from
the American people about those issues.
SHARPTON: When you say new ideas, new leadership, you are referring to new
as opposed to the president, are you referring the nee as opposed to the
Clinton years? What do you mean new ideas and new leadership?
TANDEN: I mean that these are new times. It`s not the 1990s. It`s not
2008. You know, we shouldn`t be re-litigating the issues of the past. I`m
saying that hilly has core values people know about but the country is in a
different place than it`s been in the past, and she`ll have to lay out her
views on this issue. I presume she`s not running for the third term of
Barack Obama or Bill Clinton. She`s running as her own candidate, a person
who cares about the country`s direction and will have ideas around those.
SHARPTON: Governor Rendell, a video on social media followed by a small-
scale campaign in Iowa instead of a big rollout, that is interesting, but
isn`t Neera right? Won`t she have to talk about things that were not on
the table in 2008, like the trade agreements, like climate change, like
police misconduct, we haven`t heard her on what`s going on in Charleston,
won`t she have to deal with what`s going on today to show that she can, in
fact, be president?
ED RENDELL, FORMER GOVERNOR, PENNSYLVANIA: Of course, Rev. There`s no
question about that. I think most of all in the video that she`s going to
release on Sunday it`s important for her to layout a vision, a vision of
things that she wants to do. I want to change the way Washington operates,
the gridlock, I think I can bring us together and find common ground. I
want to do something about income inequality, that means starting off by
raising the minimum wage. I want to do something about investing in
America to keep us strong, investing in our infrastructure, our research
and development and most of all our education for our children.
She has got to lay out that vision and that vision is different from 2008
in some ways, but still the same. And she can do it and she`s done it
before. And Neera`s right, she became a great candidate in 2008 by the end
when she won all those primaries because she let it rip, she became
herself, she talked about what she believed in.
You know, voters may not be so sophisticated but they`re smart and
intuitive. They can tell when they`re listening to the real deal as
opposed to something scripted. By the time Hillary reached Ohio, and Texas
and Pennsylvania, she was speaking from the heart and she was terrific.
SHARPTON: Jonathan, do you thing that Hillary Clinton has learned some
lesson from 2008, the fact that it was late in the campaign when her
authenticity started coming out and when the governor says she has to lay
out a vision, how specific does she have to be. She did tweet yesterday
about Charleston but it was general. Saying we can do better, more reform.
But what does that mean? The devil`s in the details. Or does she have to
be that specific yet?
CAPEHART: Well, I don`t think she has to be that specific just yet. I
mean, she is -- by Sunday she`ll be the only declared democrat in the race.
There are two declared Republicans in the race. We`re what, 19 months away
from an actual Election Day. I think by going and talking in small venues
to people in Iowa and presumably New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, the
early states, the early primary states on the democratic calendar, that
through those events and through those questions and answers we`ll start to
hear and start to hear from her about what she thinks on things or thinks
about things facing the country.
We`ll get to see what Neera was talking about, her vision for the future
because, as Neera says, this is correct. She`s not running for a third
term of Barack Obama. She`s not running for a third term of Bill Clinton.
And if that`s the route she ends up going down, that`s not going to be a
winner for her.
People are looking to the future. And I think one of the other lessons --
two lessons I think she`ll probably have learned from 2008, one to take
nothing for granted. Nothing is inevitable. And two, to absolutely play
up the historic nature of her candidacy being the first woman president is
something that the country should be looking forward to and she should not
only run as being the first woman president but giving people a reason to
elect her their first woman president.
SHARPTON: No. We`re definitely going to be talking a lot about that
Neera, let me ask you this. The "Times" reported back in December that
Hillary met with Elizabeth Warren seeking her, quote, "favor.` Here`s what
Elizabeth Warren said to me when I spoke to her on this show not too long
ago. Listen to this.
(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: How important will it be for Hillary Clinton to rally
progressives like Elizabeth Warren, Neera?
TANDEN: Look, I think it`s important for her to rally, you know, the broad
swath of the Democratic Party and more and more Americans. And you know,
having worked for Hillary, I know her record on these issues. You know, we
talked about the -- we talked about the 2007/2008 campaign. Hillary came
out for regulating derivatives in November of 2007. She went to Wall
Street to discuss Wall Street and really criticize Wall Street`s role in
the coming crash and the big challenges we were facing. And truthfully, if
you look at how she ran her campaign at the end, where she was a champion
for the middle class, people were struggling, she really talked about how,
you know, she was getting back up after taking some blows, but it wasn`t
anything compared to what the American people were going through who were
struggling at that time and who have been struggling.
So I think that listening to folks, getting in people`s living rooms, we`re
going to see -- she`s going to see how the American people are feeling
today, what are their struggles, what is frustrating them. But we`re going
to see not only how she is a champion but has been a champion fighting for
a minimum wage increase is not new for her. That`s something she`s been
talking about for a long time and a champion throughout her career.
Talking about the role that, you know, we have in rising inequality, wage
stagnation. These are issues that are not new to her.
SHARPTON: But Governor, I think recounting her record is one thing. But
will she be able to rally progressives with just recounting her record?
RENDELL: Well, she should point out - Neera is right she should note that
she is taking difficult progressive stands in the past. But no, she can`t
just recite her record. She has got to talk about issues that are
confronting the country now, and she will. And she will more than satisfy
If you listen to the Republicans right, Rev., you just heard a little bit
of it in the excerpt she played, they`re already casting her as this
progressive way-out liberal. So they know her record. Hillary`s got to do
a balancing act like all candidates do.
But look, she`s got a good record. She is going to talk about those
issues. Minimum wage should be right off the bat, something that should be
job one, job one not just for the Hillary Clinton campaign but for America.
Every American who has got any decency knows that we can`t keep people at
the wage level they are today. Hillary is going to champion that just as
she has in the past.
SHARPTON: Jonathan, is she ready for the Republican or right-wing attacks,
the benghazis, the e-mails, on and on and on? It`s going to be clearly
their angle to go after what all they have and then some.
CAPEHART: Sure, absolutely. She`s ready for it. And you know what, Rev.,
she`s been fighting them for 20 years. So this really isn`t anything they
can throw at her that she can`t anticipate and that she can`t handle.
SHARPTON: Neera Tanden, former governor Ed Rendell and Jonathan Capehart,
thank you for your time tonight.
CAPEHART: Thanks, Rev.
SHARPTON: To all of you, have a good weekend.
RENDELL: You too, Rev.
SHARPTON: Straight ahead, how will this campaign be different from her
Plus there`s already speculation about how could be Hillary`s running mate.
Housing and urban development secretary Julian Castro is being mentioned.
He responds ahead.
And an internal criminal investigation on the use of excessive force is
under way in California. San Bernardino police caught beating a man in
Please stay with us.
SHARPTON: Still ahead, how will this Clinton campaign be different than
the last one? And what will Bill Clinton`s role be in the upcoming
Plus what is going on in this picture with Joe Biden? Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Although we weren`t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass
ceiling this time, thanks to you, it`s got about 18 million cracks in it.
And the light is shining through like never before filling us all with the
hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: And that next time is now. It`s been seven years since that
famous concession speech, a direct call to women around the country talking
about the 18 million cracks in that glass ceiling. But she never ran that
campaign on being a groundbreaker.
This 2016 campaign is reportedly going to be different. She`s ready to
stand out as a female candidate. And in the run-up to her announcement
we`ve seen a direct connection with women at appearances all over, from a
United Nations conference on women`s empowerment, to a Silicon Valley
women`s leadership conference. It`s been very clear, women are front and
center. Here she is last month at an event for Emily`s list.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: When women participate in politics, the effects ripple out far
and wide. We`re not just standing up for women but for all people and for
our families, our communities, our country and, indeed, the kind of world
we want for our children.
Don`t you want to see more women running for school boards who will fight
for better schools for our kids? Don`t you want to see more women running
for mayor and governor who will put our families first? And I suppose it`s
only fair to say don`t you some day want to see a woman president of the
United States of America?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Joining me now are Democratic strategist Margie Omero and the
"Huffington Post`s" Laura Bassett.
Thank you both for being here tonight.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Good evening, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Margie, how important is it that Hillary is embracing running as
a female candidate this time around?
MARGIE OMERO, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I think it`s important to
separate out putting a finger on I`m the female candidate, vote for me
because I`m a woman candidate and demonstrating through the policies she
supported for decades, not just starting Sunday, that would help women,
that would help women in all various stages of their life and all various
And I think she`s able to do both. And I think that`s why you see her
benefiting from a gender gap across the board, not just with Democrats but
also with Republicans and independents because I think women see not just
that they want to support a woman candidate but that Hillary Clinton
specifically and women candidates more broadly really understand what it`s
like to be a woman in America right now.
SHARPTON: Laura, in most of her speeches she`s made recently, she`s been
outspoken in a push for women`s issues. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CLINTON: Bringing women and girls off the margins and into the mainstream
of every profession as well as every community and every country has to be
our mission now. I know there are still some people who roll their eyes
when I or others say that women`s issues are America`s issues, but they`re
just going to have to get used to it.
And as women, let`s do more to help all women lead on and succeed. There`s
a special spot in hell for women who don`t help other women. So what you
do does not have to be big and dramatic. You don`t have to run for office.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: You know, Laura, is this message going to resonate with men as
well as women?
LAURA BASSETT, HUFFINGTON POST: I think it will. You know, Hillary is
really capitalizing on a moment right now. 2008, it doesn`t feel like that
long ago, but it really was a different world in terms of the media
landscape. So much has happened since then.
The so-called Republican war on women, for instance. The attacks on
abortion access, on birth control, Todd Akins` rape comment, Rush
Limbaugh`s slut comment, all these things sort of precipitated this new
feminism 2.0, a sort of rebirth of feminism and talking about women`s
issues. And celebrities have made it cool, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Lena
Dunham, all embracing feminism. Patricia (INAUDIBLE) talking at the Oscars
about equal pay.
I think there`s - it is really a new moment right now. There is more women
anchors, there is more women reporters reporting on women`s issues and I
think men have been really supportive of the cause as well. And so, I
think while Hillary couldn`t necessarily embrace some of those things back
in 2008 even if she may have supported them back then, now is the time to
talk about them because now is the time that men and women want to hear
about them and are ready to talk about them.
SHARPTON: You know, let`s look at where many of the GOP potential
contenders stand on women`s issues, Margie. On a woman`s reproductive
rights, they`re all against the right to choose. On pay equality, they`re
all opposed to any legislation mandating equal pay. And paid sick leave,
none of them support it.
Laura, is this coming to a campaign -- is this going to be part, Margie, of
a campaign ad near you?
OMERO: Absolutely. Look -- and these issues have been important to voters
well before they`ve been coming up in recent pop culture references and in
campaigns. I`ve seen for a long, long time gender pay equity work well
with women and be a strong message with men, not alienating. And even in
very conservative areas of the country, you see men who say, well, of
course we should -- mammograms should be part of insurance. Why wouldn`t
they be? Of course we should have mandatory maternity care coverage.
So these are not controversial with the voter even if they`ve somehow
become controversial in Washington. And I think you`re going to have a lot
of folks on the right, Republican candidates, trying to figure out how to
talk about this and struggling. Whether or not it sounds like they`re
waging war or whether or not it sounds like they`re simply tone deaf, we
are going to have to wait and see. But Hillary Clinton, you know, she went
to Beijing 20 years ago and said women`s rights are human rights. I mean,
these, you know, this is not a new subject area for her.
SHARPTON: Let me ask you this quickly, Laura, does a primary hurt or help
Hillary Clinton if O`Malley runs and catches fire or Bernie Sanders or if
an Elizabeth Warren changes her mind? Does a primary help or hurt her?
BASSETT: I think it absolutely helps her. I think that nobody wants to
see Hillary Clinton coronation right now. They want to see her fight for
the Democratic nomination. I think she is prepared to fight for it. And
the Republicans are all having to fight for it. They have a really crowded
field. And they have to run the gauntlet of having to go through these
debates and getting attacks by all these people. And Hillary shouldn`t
just sail right through because by the time she gets into a debate with a
Republican, she`s not going to be prepared. So I think the more people who
are kind of nipping at her heels the better for her.
SHARPTON: Margie Omera and Laura Bassett, thank you for your time. Have a
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Coming up, the disturbing police beating caught on tape in
California. The FBI has now launched an investigation to determine whether
civil rights were violated.
And days after losing her son in a police shooting, the mother of Walter
Scott meets the man who witnessed his death. We`ll have that emotional
moment coming up.
SHARPTON: Now to North Charleston, South Carolina and an emotional
meeting. The bystander who recorded the deadly shooting of Walter Scott on
his cell phone met the Scott family. And my colleague Craig Melvin was
CRAIG MELVIN, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: This is Santana. This is Feine
JUDY SCOTT, WALTER SCOTT`S MOTHER: Thank you, God, thank you, Lord.
Bless him, God. Thank you, God. Thank you. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you God. Thank God.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Does this put you at peace?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gloria.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know how this would have turned out with the
video. I just want to thank you. I just - I don`t know how I much I could
thank you more. I`m appreciative. I`m grateful. I`m so glad that you had
enough courage to turn that video in so from the bottom of my heart I
wanted to really thank you for doing that.
FEIDIN SANTANA, VIDEOTAPE THE SHOOTING: For myself as a person and for
them, you know, as a family I`m sure that they would look for justice also.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: What an emotional scene that was. And we`re live in North
Charleston with some breaks news on the investigation next.
SHARPTON: Breaking news out of South Carolina. We`re learning the
passenger who was in the car with Walter Scott when he was stopped has
spoken to investigators. We`re also learning of a second dash cam video
that captured part of the encounter. We`re working to get that video.
Joining me now from North Charleston is MSNBC`s national correspondent
Trymaine Lee. Thank you for being here.
TRYMAINE LEE, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Thank you.
SHARPTON: So, Trymaine, what do we know about this second passenger?
LEE: We don`t know much at all. The one thing we do know that he`s been
adamant about not being identified. And until today, until later this
afternoon we didn`t know if he`d talked to investigators or not. But
what`s critical here is when you watch the dash cam video released
yesterday, there`s a moment in which Walter Scott steps out of his vehicle
and Officer Slager demands that he hops back in his car. Then 20 seconds
later he hops up out of the car and runs.
The only person that might have any insight into what was going through
Walter Scott`s mind, why he decided to run, is Walter Scott and that
individual who was in the vehicle. Now again the South Carolina Law
Enforcement Division has not come out and given any details about the
meeting or what this passenger may or may not have said, but now one piece
of the mystery is solved at least from a law enforcement perspective, that
they have spoken with that second individual.
SHARPTON: Second dash cam video we`re working to get it. What can you
tell us about that, Trymaine?
LEE: That`s still a work in progress. And we have to imagine until we
discover otherwise that this video does not capture the final moments of
his death. So we have a gap here. We have that first dash cam video, and
then we have the video recorded by the witness on his cell phone. We`re
not sure if this second dash cam video does anything at all in the way of
exposing anything about that gap between the dash cam video and that
witness` cell phone video.
SHARPTON: We`re being told though that the witness with the cell phone
video is not on this tape.
LEE: Okay. So that would mean -- that would have to mean that the second
dash cam video was further away, closer to the scene of where the car was
actually stopped. And so, there`s still that gap. So, it`s unclear at
this point what that second dash cam video may show of that gap between the
first dash cam video and the witness` cell phone.
SHARPTON: What`s the reaction on the ground after this second cell phone
video has been released?
LEE: Not much yet, right now I`ve been talking to folks --
SHARPTON: I`m talking about the dash cam video from yesterday, by the way,
but go ahead.
LEE: I got you. I mean, it doesn`t do much in terms of the folks here on
the ground are organizing around Walter Scott`s death, because for them the
important video is the one that shows him being shot down by the officer.
And so there hasn`t been much made about the dash cam video. It`s more
about what they saw with their own eyewitness. And so, even right now
behind us at North Charleston City Hall, dozens are gathering for a
candlelight vigil. Last night, a bunch of folks, went to the city council
meeting and demanded and answer within 24 hours if they could get a sit-
down with the mayor and the city council to demand among other things a
civilian review board to kind of keep their eyes on the Police Department.
They also want to tonight train folks on how to shoot video. They do have
something called a do shoot campaign, meaning whenever you see anyone being
pulled over or arrested by the police you pull out your cell phone and you
shoot it. Look as many have said without this video, where would we be?
SHARPTON: Now, we showed the emotional meeting between the family and the
young man who shot the video on his cell phone. And I talked earlier this
morning with one of the brothers, Anthony, who was upset with some
erroneous reports that I wasn`t welcome there, which is not true. And I
have not talked to him since. I will over the weekend. Do you know
anything about the state of the family in terms of where their heads are
after that meeting and, of course, on the eve of the funeral tomorrow?
LEE: You know, this is a very emotional time for the family for so many
obvious reasons. Now, for people who are watching this network and for
reporters covering every little detail but for that family, I think we have
to remember that their brother, their son was killed, and his killer is now
facing murder charges. And so as we get steps closer to that funeral which
will certainly be one measure of closure in one sense, the closure for the
family may never come as they continue to mourn the death of their son and
SHARPTON: Well, I think that the nation is praying for the strength of
that family as I told the brother today at National Action Network closing
day which is the only reason I won`t be in South Carolina tomorrow, we have
to close the convention. We`ll certainly be praying and remembering this
family. Trymaine Lee, thank you for your time tonight. We`ll be right
SHARPTON: National convention keynote speeches have a way of drawing
attention to a party`s rising stars. Remember a certain Illinois state
senator`s speech to the DNC in 2004? That wasn`t the last we heard from
Barack Obama. In 2012 it was -- it was Julian Castro`s turn. The
democratic mayor of San Antonio galvanized the entire crowd in Charlotte by
telling his story, an American story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JULIAN CASTRO, HUD SECRETARY: My grandmother never owned a house. She
cleaned other people`s houses so she could afford to rent her own. But she
saw her daughter become the first in her family to graduate from college.
And my mother fought hard for civil rights so that instead of a mop, I
could hold this microphone.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Last year President Obama appointed Julian Castro to his cabinet
as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He`s tackling what he calls
an affordable housing crisis and working on new jobs programs for lower
income workers and there`s been all kinds of speculation Castro could be
Hillary Clinton`s pick for vice president. Earlier this week, before the
Hillary news came out about her campaign, I spoke with him about that. But
I started by asking about HUD, what he`s doing to tackle that affordable
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CASTRO: Many Americans have the American dream of finding a good place to
call home, home ownership or at least an affordable rental, but so many
Americans today have a challenge in terms of affordability. In fact, the
last analysis that we did about a year ago showed that there are 7.7
million Americans who are of modest means who are not on any kind of
government housing assistance right now that are paying at least 50 percent
of their monthly income in rent or live in substandard housing or both. So
the question is how can we make that American dream more real?
SHARPTON: Now, tell me a little bit about the new jobs program. How is it
designed to work? And what kind of success is it having so far?
CASTRO: This program is called Jobs Plus and the idea is that we`re not
just in the housing business. We really ought to be in the lift you up,
help lift you up so that you don`t need our housing business. What we
really want is to spark opportunity in the lives of people who live in
public and subsidized housing, so jobs plus is basically an initiative to
connect folks who live in public housing to the information and the
resources that they need to get effective job training and to get a decent
job so that they can provide for themselves and their families and
ultimately get up and out to the kind of life and success that they want to
SHARPTON: Why is housing still a civil rights issue today?
CASTRO: It`s a civil rights issue because so much of being able to have
success in our country and just generally is based on having a good place
to call home. And what we see impoverished communities whether it`s big
urban areas or in smaller communities is that so many folks who have
traditionally been shut out of opportunity in the past continue to face
significant barriers because they can`t get affordable housing and so to
the extent that we address housing affordability, we also create a platform
so that we can build on that and create success in their lives in
education, in employment and ensure that really they can come fully into
the fold of opportunity in the United States. It all starts with having a
good decent safe place to call home.
SHARPTON: Okay. Let`s switch gears. There`s been a lot of talk about
what office you might hold next, perhaps a run for the White House with
Hillary Clinton, something or like being on the ticket. I mean, any big
announcement you want to make here on POLITICS NATION?
CASTRO: I don`t want to make any big announcement today, though thank you
for asking. You know, I have found that in life if you do a great job with
what is in front of you, that that opens up other opportunities ahead. And
so I don`t know what the next few years is going to hold for me personally,
but I can tell you that in these nine months that I`ve been here at HUD, I
get a big kick out of knowing that the work that we`re doing is helping a
whole bunch of folks out there in our country have greater opportunity in
their lives because I feel like I`ve been very blessed in my own life to go
through the public schools and to reach my dreams of becoming a
professional and getting involved in public service, and I love seeing that
in the lives of other people. So I`m trying to do a great job with what I
have in front of me here at HUD, and I think that that will take care of
SHARPTON: Well, you`re doing a great job for sure, Secretary of Housing
and Urban Development.
CASTRO: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Julian Castro. And thank you for being one of our speakers at
the National Action Network Convention this week.
CASTRO: It was a pleasure to do that. Thank you.
SHARPTON: Thank you, thank you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Straight ahead, we`re learning more about Hillary Clinton`s rollout plans
and a go small strategy. Is it the right call?
And we have some breaking news on that police beating caught on tape in San
Bernardino, California. The FBI is launching an investigation to determine
whether civil rights were violated.
SHARPTON: Time now for "Conversation Nation." Joining me tonight is
Mic.com`s Liz Plank. Political Science Professor at Harlem College Jason
Johnson and MSNBC contributor Victoria Defrancesco Soto. Thank you all for
being here tonight.
LIZ PLANK, MIC.COM: Thanks, Rev.
JASON JOHNSON, POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR: Glad to be here.
VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO SOTO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thanks, Rev.
SHARPTON: We start with news that Hillary Clinton will launch her campaign
as early as Sunday. "The Washington Post" reporting her approach will be
to think small and to focus on one on one and small group encounters in
Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada saying advisers think,
quote, "The go-slow, go-small strategy plays to her strengths allowing her
to meet voters in intimate settings where her humor, humility and policy
expertise can show through." But is this the right approach? NBC`s First
Read said there`s a risk to this go-small strategy. It lacks a message.
Victoria, is this a possible strategy that is risky?
SOTO: I disagree with first read. Here we need to go slow and steady.
She`s so far ahead of everybody else. At least 40 points in the democratic
primary field. What she needs to do now is connect with voters. She
doesn`t need a big splashy campaign. If you`re Martin O`Malley maybe
that`s what you need. But she needs to get into those setting and show
that emotional side, that humility that we`ve been talking about. Because
quite frankly, there have been some issues with Hillary Clinton being seen
as a little steal, maybe a little rough. But if she can get one on one
with folks, I think this is going to be the strategy. Because look, she
already has name recognition, she already has money. Now it`s about making
that connection and the message can be whittled down further as we go into
the coming months. We still have about 500 days left to the presidential
SHARPTON: Jason, isn`t it a lot of campaigning media, how does the media
focus in if there`s just a series of small encounters? There`s not a lot
of drama in that.
JOHNSON: Oh, there will be people there who want to watch. And let`s --
look, I`m going to go through all the political speech here and be honest
about what`s going on. Lots of people think Hillary Clinton isn`t warm,
they don`t think she`s friendly. And you can`t humanize yourself if people
have watched you for 20 years. She`s going to these small places because
she doesn`t answer questions very well. Because she doesn`t want to be
under a lot of press scrutiny. Because Hillary Clinton has never had never
had the charm, the connection or the empathy of Barack Obama, Bill Clinton
or even George Bush. So, this is a way of avoiding the press for a while
at least until the heat gets too big when we get to the primary season.
SHARPTON: Liz, will it work?
PLANK: Yes, I mean, they have to be. This is not her first rodeo. She
ran before and she made some mistakes and she`s learning from them and
she`s not going to make them again. And that`s what gives her an edge.
Like she`s done this before. And in 2008 retail politics helped President
Obama get elected. It helped him become the candidate for the Democratic
Party. And actually, we`ve seen Rand Paul, you know, and Ted Cruz make
these big grand announcements and that didn`t really work well especially
when you think about young voters. If you look at social media, Yik Yak,
the anonymous twitter platform. A lot of the comments are like best Ted
talk ever. A lot of young people don`t really resonate with that kind of
message. So, I think she`s smart to do it smaller this time.
SHARPTON: So, what does Hillary`s news mean for Joe Biden? Will this end
speculation of a possible run for president for himself? The draft Biden
movement is out with a campaign, a new one, that Biden is in the headlines
for something else. Michael Bloomberg`s daughter posted this picture of
Biden with her son saying, quote, "What`s a boy to do when the vice
president steals your pacifier?" Jason, we`ll talk politics in a moment,
but how great is that picture?
JOHNSON: I think the picture is awesome. It`s why I want Joe Biden to
run. He has to run. He is so much fun. There will be a picture like this
of him every week at car washes, at pep rallies, kissing babies.
JOHNSON: Taking their candy. It will be great.
SHARPTON: Liz, does he end this? Does this stop the draft Biden, they`ve
come up with a new ad, does this take the air out of that bloom?
PLANK: Well, you know, there are so many pictures out there. The Uncle
Joe photos. And I think this is particularly one that`s probably more
funny than sort of creepy. I think there`s been some that have made people
feel uncomfortable, especially in his relations to women. Again, we
weren`t there in those moments, but some of those photos out there are, you
know, want to make you look twice. So, I think -- sure, he`s authentic,
he`s goofy, he`s funny, the guy you want to go and have a beer with, but
I`m not sure he`s someone you want to vote for. I think he`s going to
have to work against that image.
SHARPTON: What do you think? Does he have a chance or now that Hillary
comes Victoria, it`s all over and just ride out your vice presidency.
SOTO: Well, first of all, I think it was courageous to take that pacifier
from the baby.
And that`s something I would never do. Look, what does he have to lose if
he runs? He gets some more publicity. He can get bigger speaking fees,
some more books. You know, he has nothing to lose in going forward. And
he loves politics. He loves the spotlight. This is fun for him. So if I
were a betting woman, I would say Joe Biden throws his hat into the race.
SHARPTON: All right. As one of the most beloved and reviled crazes of the
21st Century. The selfie. From the Clintons` group shot with Jimmy Kimmel
to Ellen`s epic Oscar selfie to even the president of the United States in
on the selfie stick action. But one potential 2016 hopeful is coming out
with a bold and new party platform. Ben Carson is calling for people to
abandon the selfie, imploring people to, quote, "please stop," in saying
selfies wreak of, quote, "obvious narcissism." Jason. Can you get behind
JOHNSON: I don`t know what he`s doing. First of all, he`s a medical
doctor. He`s not a psychiatrist. I don`t need his psychological
SHARPTON: But is it narcissism?
JOHNSON: No, it`s not. And it seems like he`s running for grumpy next-
door neighbor. I don`t understand why he`s confusing on this. Confusing
ISIS and Ferguson voters and protesters. He just obviously Ben Carson
doesn`t know what he`s doing. He has new clue what he`s doing.
SHARPTON: Well, I`m out of time but Liz, Victoria, you can go and take a
selfie with me during the break. Thank you all for your time. Have a
great weekend. We`ll be right back.
SHARPTON: An FBI investigation is now under way for possible civil rights
violations in California. After a brutal police beating was caught on tape
by a KNBC chopper showing San Bernardino County police catch an identity
theft suspect after a wild chase on horseback.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Here we go. Here`s the deputy chasing him. Deputy
fell down. Oh, you shot him with a taser? Here we go, here we go.
Suspect being tased. Suspect being tased.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Officers then kick and punch the suspect on the ground, with his
hands behind his back. KNBC counted as many as 11 officers surround the
man kicking him 17 times, punching him 37 times and striking him with a
baton four times. The man did not move for 45 minutes. He had no medical
attention after the two men had beat him. The suspect, a 30-year-old first
led police on a vehicle pursuit before abandoning it for a stolen horse.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHERIFF JOHN MCMAHON, SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY POLICE: Well, obviously it`s
disturbing. I`m not sure if there was a struggle going on with the
suspect. It appears there was in the early parts of the video. What
happens afterwards, I`m not sure of. But we will investigate it
thoroughly, and if there`s any misconduct on behalf or part of our deputy
sheriffs we`ll deal with that appropriately.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: That video came out after the cell phone video dominated
headlines all week showing Walter Scott shot and killed by an officer in
South Carolina with his back turned running away. We simply can`t rely on
citizens with video cameras. We must have national legislation, we must
have Justice Department oversight. We cannot depend that someone will be
around with a video to assure justice. Justice should be something that we
can expect even when it`s not on camera.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. Have a great weekend. "HARDBALL"
starts right now.
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