PoliticsNation, Monday, April 13th, 2015
Read the transcript from the Monday show
Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: April 13, 2015
Guest: Dana Milbank, Jess McIntosh, Marlon Kimpson, Dorian Warren, Alyona
REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you for
tuning in. We start with breaking news on the fight for 2016.
Marco Rubio, minutes away from his big announcement and Hillary Clinton
driving to Iowa as her campaign gets underway.
These are live pictures from inside Miami`s Freedom Tower where Senator
Rubio is about to take the stage. The Florida senator was all smiles
earlier today after a run-through of the speech. This fight, heating up.
Rubio will become the third Republican to officially jump in. And it comes
one day after Hillary Clinton`s announcement. Today she`s been posting
photos from her road trip as she drives to her first campaign stop.
Clinton`s trip has become a media sensation with guessing games about her
exact location. But we know she`s supposed to arrive in Iowa sometime
Joining me now is Dana Milbank from the "Washington Post," Jess McIntosh
from Emily`s List and MSNBC contributor Victoria DeFrancesco Soto.
But we start with MSNBC`s Kasie Hunt on the phone from inside the hall
where Rubio is about to speak.
Kasie, what can we expect from him tonight?
KASIE HUNT, MSNBC POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT (via phone): Yes. Hi, Reverend.
Well, we`re expecting him to give a pretty brief speech here. It`s going
to focus on this idea that he offered the New American Century. They`re
very focused on this idea that he is a fresh young face. I think that you
can probably expect him to go after Hillary Clinton but in a veiled sort of
way. I would be surprised to hear him mention Hillary Clinton by name.
But that`s what all these aides are talking about behind the scenes.
They`re talking about the contrast, that that works great.
And now obviously the timing of this announcement has gotten a little bit
stepped on by Hillary Clinton`s announcement and trip to Iowa, but at this
appointment they say that (INAUDIBLE) for them a contrast and that this is
the point when Americans are first starting to really tune in to 2016 and
they`re going to be the Republican candidate to get that chance to give the
counter punch there.
SHARPTON: How does the room feel? What is the energy like in the room?
HUNT: There`s a lot of energy in the room right. It`s pretty packed.
We`re inside the Freedom Tower which of course this iconic building in
Miami. It used to house an assistance center for Cuban immigrants and
refugees from Castro`s Cuba. So, you know, the Rubio campaign picked that
The crowd here is anxiously awaiting Rubio, who we expect to take the stage
pretty much right on time at about 6:03 p.m. That of course gives them
plenty of time to get a sound bite into the nightly newscast tonight.
SHARPTON: Dana, how does Marco Rubio begin positioning himself in a
crowded GOP field? Dana?
DANA MILBANK, WASHINGTON POST: Sorry, Reverend. I didn`t know you were
speaking to me there.
Well, look, I mean, all of these things are -- all of these announcements
are basically trying to create attention and generate a spirit when really
there`s no news to be created here. So he wants to get attention, he can
come in there riding a unicycle and juggling and squirting one of those
horns if he wants to. But there`s really -- what he needs to do is
distinguish himself from the rest of the field. And the problem is,
there`s very few ways for him to distinguish himself.
SHARPTON: I`m going to hold you there, Dana, because now senator Rubio is
taking the stage. Let`s listen in.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: After months of deliberation and prayer
about the future of our country, I have come here tonight to make an
announcement on how I can best serve her.
I chose to make this announcement at the Freedom Tower because it is truly
a symbol of our nations identity as a land of opportunity, and I am more
competent than ever that despite our troubles we have it within our power
to make our time another American Century.
In this very room five decades ago, tens of thousands of Cuban exiles began
their new lives in America. Their story is part of the larger story of the
American miracle. How, united by a common faith and their God-given right
to go as far as their talent and work would take them. A collection of
immigrants and exiles, of former slaves and refugees together built the
freest and most prosperous nation every.
You see for almost all of human history power and wealth belonged only to a
select few. Most people who have ever lived were trapped by the
circumstances of their birth. Destined to live the life their parents had.
But America`s different because here we are the children and grandchildren
of people who refused to accept this.
RUBIO: Both of my parents were born to poor families in Cuba. After his
mother died my father had to go work when he was nine years old. My mother
was one of seven girls raised by a disabled father who struggled to provide
for his family.
When they were young my parents had big dreams for themselves, but because
they were born into -- but because they were not born into wealth or power,
their future was destined to be defined by their past. And so in 1956 they
came here to America, to the one place on earth where the aspirations of
people like them could be more than just dreams.
Here in America, my father became a bartender, my mother a cashier, a maid,
a K-Mart stock clerk. They never made it big, but they were successful.
Two immigrants with little money or education found stable jobs, owned a
home, retired with security and gave all four of their children a life
better than their own. My parents achieved what came to be known as the
American dream. The problem is now too many Americans are starting to
doubt whether achieving that dream is still possible. Hardworking families
that are living paycheck to paycheck, one unexpected event away from
disaster, young Americans unable to start a career or a business or a
family because they owe thousands of dollars in student loans for degrees
that did not even lead to jobs, and small business owners who are left to
struggle under the weight of more taxes, more regulation and more
government. Why is this happening in a country that for over two centuries
has been defined by equality of opportunity? It`s because while our people
and our economy are pushing the boundaries of the 21st century, too many of
our leaders and their ideas are stuck in the 20th century.
RUBIO: They`re busy looking backwards. So they do not see how jobs and
prosperity today depend on our ability to complete -- compete in a global
economy. And so our leaders put us at a disadvantage by taxing and
borrowing and regulating like it was 1999.
They look for solutions in yesterday, so they do not see the good-paying
modern jobs require different skills and more education than in the past.
So they blindly support an outdated higher education system that is too
expensive and too inaccessible to those who need it most.
And they have forgotten. They have forgotten when America fails to lead,
global chaos inevitably follows.
RUBIO: And so they appease our enemies. They betray our allies and they
weaken our military.
RUBIO: Now look. At the turn of the 19th century a generation of
Americans harnessed the power of the industrial age. And they transformed
this country into the leading economy in the world. And the 20th century
became the American century.
Well, now the time has come for our generation to lead the way toward a new
RUBIO: If we reform our tax code and reduce regulations and control
spending and modernize our immigration laws and repeal and replace
Obamacare. If we do these things.
If we do these things, if we do these things the American people will
create millions of better-paying modern jobs.
AUDIENCE: That`s right.
RUBIO: If we create a 21st century of higher education that provides
working Americans the chance to require the skills they need, that no
longer graduates students with mountains of debt and degrees that do not
lead to jobs.
And that graduates more students from high school ready to work...
RUBIO: then our people will be prepared to seize their opportunities in
this new economy.
RUBIO: If we remember -- if we remember that the family, not the
government, is the most important institution in our society.
RUBIO: If we remember that all human life deserves protection of our laws.
RUBIO: And if we remember that all parents deserve to choose the education
that`s right for their children, then we will have a strong people, and
RUBIO: And if America once again accepts the mantle of global leadership.
RUBIO: By abandoning this administrations dangerous concessions to Iran
and its hostility to Israel.
RUBIO: By reversing the hallowing out of our military, by giving our men
and women in uniform the resources, the care and the gratitude that they
RUBIO: By no long being passive in the face of Chinese and Russian
aggression, and by ending the near total disregard for the erosion of
democracy and human rights around the world, especially Cuba, Venezuela,
RUBIO: Then, if we did these thing, then our nation would be safer, our
world more stable, and our people more prosperous.
RUBIO: This -- these are the things that we must do. But this selection
is not just about what laws we`re going to pass. This selection is a
generational choice about what kind of country we will be.
Now, just yesterday, a leader from yesterday began a campaign for president
by promising to take us back to yesterday. Yesterday is over.
RUBIO: And we`re never going back. You see, we American are proud of our
history, but our country has always been about the future, and before us
now is the opportunity to author the greatest chapter yet in the amazing
story of America, but we can`t do that by going back to the leaders and
ideas of the past.
We must change the decisions we are making by changing the people who are
RUBIO: And so, that is why tonight, grounded by the lessons of our
history, but inspired by the promise of our future, I announce my candidacy
for President of the United States.
RUBIO: I know my candidacy might seem improbable to some watching from
abroad. After all, in many countries the highest office in the land is
reserved for the rich and the powerful, but I live in an exceptional
country. I live in an exceptional country where even the son of a
bartender and a maid can have the same dreams.
RUBIO: I live in an exceptional country where the son of a bartender and a
maid can have the same dreams, and the same future as those who`ve come
from power and privilege.
RUBIO: I recognize -- I recognize the challenges of this campaign, and I
recognize the demands of this office that I seek, but in this endeavor, as
in all things, I find comfort in the ancient command -- be strong and
courageous. Do not tremble or be dismayed for the Lord your God is with
you wherever you go.
RUBIO: I`ve heard -- I`ve heard some suggest that I should step aside and
wait my turn.
AUDIENCE: No. It`s your turn.
RUBIO: But I cannot. Because I believe our very identity as an
exceptional nation is at stake, and I can make a difference as president.
RUBIO: I`m humbled by the realization that America doesn`t owe me
anything. But I have a debt to America I must try to repay. This isn`t
just the country where I was born. America`s literally the place that
changed my family`s history.
RUBIO: I regret that my father did not live to see this day in person.
AUDIENCE: He`s watching.
RUBIO: They used to tell me all the time -- he used to tell us all the
time, (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
RUBIO: That means in this country you will achieve all the things we never
RUBIO: Now on the days when I`m tired or discouraged, I remember the
sounds of his keys jingling at the front door of our home, well past
midnight, as he returned from another long day at work. When I was younger
I didn`t fully appreciate all he did for us. But now as my own children
grow older, I more fully understand.
You see my father was grateful for the work he had. But that was not the
life he wanted for his children. He wanted all the dreams he once had for
himself to come true for us. He wanted all the doors that closed for him
to open for me.
And so my father stood behind a small, portable bar in the back of a room
for all those years so that tonight I could stand behind this podium in
front of this room and this nation.
RUBIO: That journey -- that journey from behind that bar to behind this
podium, that`s the essence of the American dream.
AUDIENCE: It is.
RUBIO: And whether we remain a special country will depend on whether that
journey is still possible for those who are trying to make it right now.
The single mother who works long hours for little pay so her children don`t
have to struggle the way she has to. The young student who takes two
busses before dawn to attend a better school halfway across town, the
workers in our hotel kitchens, the landscaping crews in our neighborhoods,
the late-night janitorial staff that clean our offices, and even the
bartenders who tonight are standing in the back of a room somewhere in
If their American dreams become impossible, we will have just become
another country. But if they succeed, this 21st century will also be an
RUBIO: This will be the message of my campaign and the purpose of my
presidency. And to succeed on this journey, I will need your prayers and
your support and ultimately your vote.
RUBIO: And so tonight I`m asking you to take that first step with me by
joining us at our website, Marcorubio.com.
My wife Jeanette and my four children are here tonight.
RUBIO: The next 19 months will take me far away from home. I`ll miss
watching Amanda run track and Daniella play volleyball and Anthony play
football and Dominic play soccer. But I have chosen this course because
this election, this election is about them.
RUBIO: Theirs is the most important generation in (AUDIO GAP)
RUBIO: And I`ll tell you why. Because if we can capture the promise of
this new century, they will be the freest, and most prosperous Americans
that have ever lived.
But, if we fail, they will be the first generation of Americans to inherit
a country worse off than the one left for their parents. The final verdict
on our generation will be written by Americans who have not yet been born.
Let us make sure they record that we made the right choice.
That in the early years of this century, thanks to the rapidly changing and
uncertain world, our generation rose to face the great challenges of our
And because we did -- because we did there was still one place in the world
where you -- where who you come from does not determine how far you go.
RUBIO: Because we did -- because we did the American miracle lived on.
Because we did, our children and theirs, lived in a new American century.
Thank you. God bless you. God bless the United States.
Thank you. Thank you.
SHARPTON: That was Senator Marco Rubio announcing his candidacy for
president of the United States. He really touched on a lot of things in a
short period of time. Of course, touching on immigration and Obamacare and
Iran and Cuba. But framing it generational trying to allude to putting
Mrs. Clinton who he didn`t refer to by name but mentioned yesterday she
announced her candidacy and talked about bringing us backwards, rather than
forward, and really casting a lot into his message of, this is a new
century. We can`t go back.
And he framed it all in the context of being a working class family guy
coming from immigration and working roots and identifying with those that
want to make it and become successful in the country, really, his turn on
the whole income inequality gap.
Victoria, what is your reaction to senator Rubio`s announcement?
VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO SOTO, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: The take home for me was
American dream. This reminded me, why you cannot count Marco Rubio out. I
followed his campaign very closely in 2010 when he was an underdog. No one
knew who he was. And then he became U.S. senator.
So I think we need to watch him very carefully. He is tremendously
charismatic, energetic, young, handsome, and most importantly, he is a
really good fund-raiser and he doesn`t have anything to lose, Reverend. If
he doesn`t get nomination, he`s 43. He can go for it again. He can run
for governor. He can run for senate again. So do not count Marco Rubio
out. He is making a really powerful stand in the political arena.
SHARPTON: Dana, what is your reaction? Did he come off impressive? Did
he come off with enough gravitas? He only drunk water three times.
MILBANK: Yes. He was having a perennial dry mouth problem there. It
actually does suggest that he is a little nervous when he is up there on
the stage and I suppose any of us would be when running for president,
although I don`t think you were when you were doing it.
But he hit all the right points. All the things he needed to do. But that
doesn`t mean he`ll break through. He was, of course, the conservative
boilerplate on a whole range of issues. He has a compelling story to tell.
Others do too. He is not the only child of immigrants in the race. And
there is Ted Cruz is even more conservative, who is also a young candidate
and then Jeb Bush vying for the votes from the Latinos. I think he hit all
the right points.
SHARPTON: Jess, he seemed like he would be willing to take Mrs. Clinton
on. He really directly attacked her and tried to cast her in a generation
gone. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUBIO: Now just yesterday, a leader from yesterday -- began a campaign for
president by promising to take us back to yesterday. Yesterday is over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Yesterday is over. Is that an effective way to run against
Hillary Clinton if he becomes the nominee?
JESS MACINTOSH, EMILY`S LIST: I mean, I think we saw a really clear
contrast between these two campaigns, just in style alone. Yesterday when
Hillary Clinton announced, her video and her launch was all about American
families. She didn`t appear in her own campaign launch until 90 seconds
into that video.
Today we see Marco Rubio announce and it is ball Marco Rubio, which is
good. I mean, he has got rhetoric. He has the story. If he scratches t
the tiniest fir beneath the surface, to come out with that working class,
it`s hypocritical. He talk about a single mom who doesn`t make enough but
he thinks advocating for equal pay is a waste of time.
So I understand that he wants Americans to think that he cares for these
people. But eventually in this campaign, he is going to have to talk about
what he wants to do it. And more corporate tax giveaways won`t help so I
don`t know what he wants to offer.
SHARPTON: Now, Victoria, you say don`t count him out. When you look at
the polling, he is in the middle of the pack of the GOP crowd. But there
are signs, he has a big upside. 56 percent of GOP primary voters say they
could see themselves supporting him. That is the best number of any
Republican. Does Rubio have a clear path to the nomination? And what
needs to happen for him to achieve that?
SOTO: I think he is going to try to carve out a middle road, Reverend. He
is not a Ted Cruz. I don`t think he is going to stakeout that uber
conservative place. He will allow Huckabee and maybe Santorum do that.
And I also think he is going to position himself as the fresh face. Yes,
he had some barbs at Hillary Clinton, but I also interpreted it as barbs
toward Jeb Bush. He is saying, look, I`m younger. I`m new, I`m not going
on wait in line and I don`t come from power and privilege. So he is going
to stake out that unique position by saying I am a self-made man. And you
know what? I can be a more moderate. I`m not off to the far left. I can
win a general election. That`s the path that Marco Rubip is going on carve
SHARPTON: Is that, Dana, also risky? Given where we are in the country
with our conflicts with Iran, with the conflicts with terrorism. Is saying
that you are new and you don`t have a track record. Is that a potential
down side for him?
MILBANK: Potentially ,but senator Rubio has been very active in foreign
affairs since coming to the Senate. And he is with an eye toward this
moment, running for the presidency try to be very visible on foreign
affairs issues. So I don`t think that`s what will discredit him. And
there is definitely a path for him. Unlike many of the others in that
field. It is not an easy path. Though he has to count on Jeb Bush or
Scott Walker imploding in getting that support. And trying to fuse the
main stream support with the conservative support. It is difficult for
anybody to do. But it is wide open enough that it certainly can`t be
SHARPTON: Dana, Jess and Victoria, stay with me.
Coming up, President Obama`s comments about Hillary Clinton and what she
brings to the White House.
Also, dramatic new tape from the South Carolina shooting. Why did the
officer laugh afterwards?
Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I think she will do great. I`ve
known her for a very long time. We had a really tough primary in 2008.
And I saw firsthand how tenacious and determined and compassionate she is
when it comes to the issues facing the middle class. And she was an
outstanding secretary of state. So, I`m be going to do any political
prognosticating. That`s your job. But I will tell you that I think she
would be an excellent president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: President Obama just moments ago on Hillary Clinton`s 2016 run.
Because this weekend she made it official. She is in. Again.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I`m getting ready to do
something, too. I`m running for president. Americans have fought their
way back from tough economic times. But the deck is still stacked in favor
of those at the top. Every day Americans need a champion and I want to be
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Clinton is on her way to Iowa in a van. Her campaign is calling
the Scooby-Doo van. She filed her official FEC paperwork this morning and
is just hours away from its first event.
Back with are Dana Milbank and Jess McIntosh. Dana, the Scooby-Doo van is
headed to Iowa. Is this the right move for Hillary Clinton?
DANA MILBANK, THE WASHINGTON POST: Rock roll, Reverend. Yes. You know,
it`s as we were just discussing a moment ago with Marco Rubio. This is a
time when everybody needs to bring attention to them. Now, Hillary Clinton
is the behemoth in the field. She does not have to compete for attention
the way all the republicans in the field do. But she needs to do something
to get noticed. And because she doesn`t have any viable challengers, she
has to keep people engaged. So, I think in that sense, the sort of soft
launch of her candidacy did do a fairly good job of that. As measured at
least on social media. People are paying attention to what was essentially
an event without news. Everybody in the world knew that Hillary Clinton
was running for president. And yet she seemed to get them to pay attention
to it anyway.
SHARPTON: You know, all the republicans went after Mrs. Clinton, after the
announcement just. But two of them already have ads out against her. I
want to play parts of these.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We must do better than the Obama-Clinton foreign policy
that has damaged relationship with our allies and embolden are enemies.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Hillary Clinton represents the worst of the Washington
machine. The arrogant, the power, corruption and cover-up. It is time for
a new leader and a new way. Rand Paul.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: It raises the question Jess, are they going to be firing more at
her than each other?
JESS MCINTOSH, EMILY`S LIST: Well, I mean, I think yesterday was the day
to talk about her and they`ll have plenty of time to outrun each other to
the right during this primary process. But I think it is important to
remember that there`s a really huge disconnect with our political system
between average Americans and what their leaders are doing. And that kind
of campaign rhetoric on day one is just exactly the same old thing that has
been turning everybody off and making people not engaged in their political
process and not think their leaders are doing anything for them. Whereas
what Hillary is doing is very smartly turning this entire campaign on
actual American families.
And Dana is totally right. This was like the weirdest surprise in the
world. Because we knew it was coming. We knew what it was. We knew
basically down to the hour. We knew that there was going to be a video.
And still when she did it I was surprised. Watching 90 seconds of that ad
before the candidate makes an appearance? I don`t think I`ve ever seen
that in a political ad. I`ve never seen a campaign launched quite like
this where literally all we`re left to talk about it the next day is how
much she is focused on American families. I mean, that`s just fantastic
and a fantastic contrast with each republican standing up stadium style and
saying, this is why I am personally, I`m the best man for this job.
SHARPTON: Dana, what does she have to do differently than she did in 2008?
MILBANK: Well, hopefully do a whole lot of things differently. And I
mean, she had all kinds of trouble within her campaign and did defining a
message that time. So it is unclear whether she is going to be able to be
a better candidate in terms of that discipline this time. But clearly, you
know, barring from some sort of shock to the system that we don`t yet know
about this election will have a lot to do with income inequality and
Hillary Clinton is not Elizabeth Warren. And that`s sort of where the
energy is right now. So, she has to find some populist energy and inject
that into the campaign.
SHARPTON: Dana Milbank and Jess McIntosh, thank you both for your time
MILBANK: Thanks, Rev.
MCINTOSH: Good to be here, Rev.
SHARPTON: Straight ahead, developing news tonight out of Charleston where
investigators are looking at a new police tape.
SHARPTON: Developing news on the investigation in North Charleston, South
Carolina. New dash cam video from Officer Michael Slager`s in car camera
takes us inside the moments right after the shooting of Walter Scott.
State agents charged Officer Michael Slager with murder after this video
surfaced. Now for the first time, we`re hearing what Officer Slager said
right after firing his gun. A voice believed to be Slager the speaking on
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OFFICER MICHAEL SLAGER, NORTH CHARLESTON: Hey, everything is okay, okay?
I just shot somebody. Yes. Everything is okay.
UNIDENTIFIED SUPERVISOR: Once they get there, I`ll be real quick. They`re
going to tell you, you`re going to be off for a couple days, we`ll come
back and interview you then. They`re not going to ask you any kind of
questions now. They`ll going to go take your weapon and we`ll go from
there. That`s pretty much it. They`re going to probably, the last one we
had they waited a couple of days to interview, official interview like sit
down and say what happened. So, I`d probably when you get home, probably
be a good idea to kind of jot down your thoughts or what happened, you
know, one, you, the adrenaline quits pumping and stuff --
SLAGER: IT`S pumping -- (LAUGHTER).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Some are saying he sounded laid back in the conversation that
happened right after a man lost his life. And we would not be hearing it
if it was not for in-car cameras. Again with this story. It all comes
back to the video.
Joining me now is South Carolina State Senator Marlon Kimpson. Thank you
for being here, Senator.
STATE SEN. MARLON KIMPSON (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: Thank you so much, Reverend
SHARPTON: What`s your reaction to the new dash cam video?
KIMPSON: Well, actually, it is the first time I`ve heard that. But it is
not surprising and it is also consistent with his relaxed demeanor during
the time of the shooter. I can tell you this. I`m a civil litigation
attorney and this is a treasure trove production for the attorneys for the
family because I can most certainly tell you with respect to civil and
municipal liability, this will be evidence that can be used to hold the
city responsible for punitive damages.
SHARPTON: Well, they had very good lawyers. Stewart and his partner
Justin seemed to know what they`re doing. But let me ask you about another
person in this. The "New York Times" reports official here have not ruled
out that other officers, including Officer Clarence Habersham could be
disciplined. A video if you full screen Officer Habersham is the second
one on the scene of this video. He wrote in the police report, quote, "I
attempted to render aid to the victim by applying pressure to the gunshot
wounds and directing the best route for EMS and fire to take, to get to the
victim faster." But here`s the video. His words and the video do not seem
to match. This weekend, I called for him to be prosecuted in the shooting.
What do you think? Should we see more discipline?
KIMPSON: Well, I think we can expect more discipline. In fact, after you
called and the National Bar Association called for the immediate
termination and prosecution against the second officer, that call by the
community has certainly been escalated. Listen, we are talking about
people who, whose main objective is to serve and protect. And this is a
total breach of professional conduct and gross negligence. And I can tell
you this, as an elected official, I will demand answers to our questions.
And I think the community deserves answers. When will this officer be
terminated? And if the evidence is what I think it is in the video,
hopefully it won`t be long.
SHARPTON: Well, we`re going to be watching, as well as your fight and some
of your colleague to have cameras, body cameras made law in that state
which would be instructive, including now we have long time NYPD
Commissioner Ray Kelly saying this case in South Carolina changed his mind
about body cameras. So we`re going to be watching this and staying on this
South Carolina State Senator Marlon Kimpson, thank you for your time
KIMPSON: Thank you so much, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Straight ahead, Marco Rubio uses his 2016 announcement to attack
Hillary Clinton. How nasty is this campaign going to get? "Conversation
Nation" is next.
SHARPTON: Time now for "Conversation Nation." Joining me tonight, MSNBC`s
Krystal Ball, MSNBC contributor and Columbia University Professor Dorian
Warren and HuffPost Live host Alyona Minkovski. Thank you all for being
KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC CO-HOST, "THE CYCLE": Thanks, Rev.
DORIAN WARREN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you, Rev.
SHARPTON: We start with the breaking news of the hour. Senator Marco
Rubio just announced his run for president and he wasted no time attacking
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARCO RUBIO (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now, just yesterday, a leader
from yesterday, began a campaign for president by promising to take us back
to yesterday. Yesterday is over.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Krystal, how ugly is this about to get?
BALL: Oh, it is about to get ugly. I mean, I was thinking while I was
watching that, Marco was getting a little ahead of himself. He has to get
through a primary before he gets to take on Hillary Clinton. But you know,
if your best argument against her is essentially that she is old and that
she harkens to return to the `90s, well, a lot of folks really liked what
was going on in the economy during the `90s. So, I`m not sure that that`s
a great attack line.
SHARPTON: You might want to look at the age of voters too. But Dorian?
WARREN: I mean, it`s going to be ugly and Rev, do you have a glass of
water, because I think I need some water. I mean, he needs some better
speech writers too. He doesn`t even sound convincing even saying those
attack lines. He`s going to keep saying them but he doesn`t have that it
factor. He doesn`t have that the charisma. I mean, even someone like
crazy Ted Cruz has more charisma. And I think authenticity than someone
like Marco Rubio, that`s going to be nasty, of course.
SHARPTON: Alyona, is there a passion gap there, too?
ALYONA MINKOVSKI, HUFFPOST LIVE HOST: Yes. I think that there is a little
bit of a self-confidence gap when it comes to Marco Rubio which might sound
odd to other people. But he always seems a little nervous to me when he is
speaking in public and I haven`t seen him get better at this over the
years. But when it comes to Hillary Clinton, I think that this is going to
be one of the challenges of having zero challengers in the democratic
primary. She is the only one that republicans and GOP candidates are going
to be hitting and really drawing all their fire against.
SHARPTON: Will this primary though Krystal be about who attacks Hillary
Clinton the best?
BALL: You know, I`m sure it won`t hurt them to score points on her.
Because they all know she is the one that whoever is going to be the GOP
nominee has to go up against. So, if you look like the person who can
really knock down Hillary, that`s going to be a selling point for you, both
in terms of the tone that the GOP base wants. They want it to be kind of
ugly and nasty toward the President, toward Hillary. And also it`s a point
towards electability, I can really take fight to her, I can really cut her
down and show people that I can be the better candidate. You know, the
smart money has been on Jeb Bush would be the stronger general election
But I have to say someone like Marco Rubio or even Scott Walker, there is a
greater contrast there in terms of the personal narrative. You can more
skillfully than Marco Rubio did there. You can make the contrast between
we need to take the country in a new direction versus the time tested, the
experience, and our own polling here at NBC News showed that people really
resonate with that idea, we need to change the country, move it in a new
SHARPTON: But Dorian, don`t you have to say and show what that new
direction is? And that you can govern us toward that new direction? More
than just attack the old?
WARREN: Well, what was smart about Marco Rubio`s line of attack in the old
was that, it is a twofer. He can attack Clinton and Bush.
SHARPTON: You`re right.
WARREN: So, he can attack Bush in the republican primary and say he is
from a previous era generation, his family. So, he can attack both
dynasties at the same time. But he is still peddling old ideas. And this
Republican Party is old, literally. And to reach out to a new generation,
he`s going to have to come out with some new policy ideas and not continue
to -- on immigration reform for instance. That`s very popular among young
MINKOVSKI: You`re also forgetting that he is also being able to attack
here President Obama and the Obama administration because Hillary Clinton
served as the secretary of state for this administration, so he is tripling
down instead of doubling down. But it is a realistic and a genuine concern
as to whether or not there is enough fresh blood out there, and whether or
not voters are going to be intrigued and really buy into Hillary Clinton a
second time around.
SHARPTON: But I`ll go back to you saying, the polling shows people want a
SHARPTON: But in the first primary states, Iowa, New Hampshire, South
Carolina, they`re mostly older voters.
BALL: They are mostly older voters.
SHARPTON: Will they get offended by all of this?
BALL: Well, I mean, that`s such a great point. Right. Because, not only
are we talking about Iowa, New Hampshire, primary voters, but we`re talking
about republican primary voters. And this is a fact. They tend to be
older and they tend to be whiter. So, if your attack line is she is too
old, I don`t know how well that`s going to hit those voters.
SHARPTON: I mean, can you see him Dorian in someone`s living room in Iowa
who is a grandmother and he is attacking -- and a grandmother?
WARREN: As long as he has lots of bottles of water, he will be fine, Rev.
He will be fine. It will be interesting to see how he distinguishes
himself from what would be a very crowded republican primary. He can
distinguish himself from Bush in terms of the old line. But in terms of
the Ted Cruz or Rand Paul? Rand Paul has much more support I think among
young voters right now than Marco Rubio. And so to piece together the
different constituents and factions of the Republican Party is going to be
SHARPTON: Alyona, doesn`t he also have to distinguish himself in terms of
what his programs and policies are? He just can`t run on, I was the last
MINKOVSKI: Yes. Certainly. This has been a problem I think for the GOP
as a whole too. Right? They have voted time and time and time and time
again to try to repeal ObamaCare. But what is the alternative that they`re
offering when it comes to comprehensive health care for the country. And
speaking of old policies, you look at someone like Marco Rubio who is still
very much support as taking a hard stance against Cuba.
MINKOVSKI: Not re-opening our diplomatic relationships with the country.
That`s not what younger, newer, people --
SHARPTON: This is about 50 years old.
SHARPTON: Krystal, Dorian and Alyona, thank you all for being here
BALL: Thanks, Rev.
WARREN: Thank you, Rev.
MINKOVSKI: Thank you, Rev.
SHARPTON: Be sure to catch Krystal on "THE CYCLE" weekdays at 3 p.m.
Eastern right here on MSNBC. And watch Dorian on "NERDING OUT" Thursdays
at 11:00 a.m. on Shift by MSNBC. We`ll be right back.
SHARPTON: Coming up, working together for change. I was in South Carolina
yesterday and I talked about officials there listening to the community.
SHARPTON: Finally tonight, coming together for change. It takes law
enforcement and the community to make things better. I was in North
Charleston, South Carolina yesterday. Commending the police chief for
their response to the fatal shooting of Walter Scott.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: When we felt he was wrong, we would protest when he`s right, we
should have the same courage to say he was right.
And he said it best. When he said wrong is wrong.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Wrong is wrong. He said it and he said it contrasting with
other prosecutors have said. But it must go beyond that. It must now lead
to change and real change and structural change. And we`ve got a long way
to go in achieving justice for the Scott family. Their very competent
lawyers, I believe, will secure that. But can the community and the police
come together and do real change? They must listen to the community as
they protest for real change.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
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