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PoliticsNation, Monday, May 4th, 2015

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Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: May 4, 2015
Guest: John Burris, Marq Claxton, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Jess McIntosh,
Jamal Simmons, Joan Walsh

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

We begin with breaking news tonight. False reports of a police involved
shooting. This afternoon in Baltimore. Police say earlier, officers
approached a man walking with a handgun. The gunman to run and the gun
fell out and misfired. No one was injured. But it sparked a lot of
confusion. And the early conflicting reports show there is still tension
on the ground just one day after Baltimore`s mayor lifted the city`s
curfew.

MSNBC`s Joy Reid is live in Baltimore.

Joy, what is the mood there now after this false report of a police involve
shooting?

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST, THE REID REPORT: Well, Rev., in a word, tense, very
tense. I think the tensions on Pennsylvania North Avenue is the worst that
we`ve -- I personally seen them this week. I got down here on Tuesday.
The moment that the word got out among people in the community that in
their view, they believe there had been a shooting by police of a young man
from the neighborhood. So when we got there to the corner of Pennsylvania
and north, there was raw anger on that street corner. Police set up a
cordon of police in riot gear. They closed off Pennsylvania avenue.

And they -- it was a while before they started to brief the media on what
happened. So you had lots of people snapping pictures with their cell
phones. Lots of people yelling at the police. I spoke with the sister and
the mother of the young man who police say was captured by a surveillance
camera which triggers a 911 essentially call holding a handgun. Police say
he dropped it, as you just said. They say no one was shot. Police trying
to make that point to the media gather there`d that no one was shot. But
people in the area saying he was shot and shot in the back. So the
tensions were extremely high, Rev., extremely high. Emotions, very raw. A
spontaneous protest broke out on the corner of Pennsylvania and north.
People were chanting. People in cop watch t-shirts taking pictures of
police and it was a scene of extreme tension. It was worse than I`ve seen
in a while. Police say the man was taken in an ambulance. He didn`t want
to go by ambulance but did he. I`ve spoken again with the sister of this
young man who said they were not being permitted to see him.

I can tell you that the state senator who is -- the state senate leader is
headed t the hospital. So we will try to get word from her on what`s going
on a little bit later -- Rev.

SHARPTON: Joy Reid, thank you very much for your reporting.

Today in New York President Obama addressed some of the tensions that led
to the demonstrations in Baltimore. And he talked about one program aimed
at solving some of the underlying issues.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That sense of unfairness, of
powerlessness, of people not hearing their voices, that has helped fuel the
protests that we`ve seen in places like Baltimore and Ferguson and right
here in New York. That`s why over a year ago, we launched something we
call my brother`s keeper. An initiative to address those persistent
opportunity gaps and ensure all of our young people, but particularly young
men of color, have a chance to go as far as their dreams will take them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I was at the president`s event and this program has the
potential to make a real impact of young men of color. But we also need
legislative solutions. Particularly when it comes to the criminal justice
system. Now there may be a bipartisan push to get it done. "Politico"
reports, black lawmakers are seeing renewed hope on justice reform. And
here`s what house Republican speaker John Boehner said this weekend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS MODERATOR, MEET THE PRESS: Usually we`re in a
national crisis when it comes to the relationship between African-Americans
and law enforcement?

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I do.

TODD: Body cameras the answer? One of the answers?

BOEHNER: I think most departments around the country are moving toward
body cameras. I think the states, if they want to require it, more than
happy to do so.

TODD: You think federal government should chip in to help with this?

BOEHNER: We have a lot of police grants on the books to be used for this,
why not.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The Republican house speaker endorsing calls for body cameras.
There is a national crisis and now there might be a national momentum to
confront it.

Joining me now, congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. Democrat of
Washington, D.C. and Marq Claxton, former police officer and director of
the black law enforcement alliance. Thank you for being here.

REP. ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON (D), WASHINGTON D.C.: Of course, Rev.

MARQ CLAXTON, DIRECTOR, BLACK LAW ENFORCEMENT ALLIANCE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, how serious are your Republican colleagues about
fighting these problems?

NORTON: Well, you`ll notice that the speaker`s remarks came only upon
being questioning. But I think it is important to know that while you
heard senators like Rand Paul, Senator Grassley, a number of senators began
to speak out on the Republican side. I believe this is the first time
we`ve heard any house Republican speak out. And I think the speaker had to
say something because it is clear now that we are talking about a national
crisis. He was reluctant to say we should fund these. But he did indicate
that there was grant money out there. So I think he recognizes that if he
is the speaker of the house, this chamber has to do something and do
something.

SHARPTON: Now Congresswoman, you`re pushing a bill to combat racial
profiling and policing. Do you think it will get any Republican support?

NORTON: Yes. This is the reason I think so. Not only because Republicans
are beginning to see, by the way, that some of this fits into their agenda.
They want fewer people who have been convicted of low-level drug crimes in
jail. That`s saving money. That jibes with us.

But I have a bill that I think can be put into practice without going
through the house and the Senate. That`s the president`s task force on
21st century policing. What we need to do is to get the community public
officials and police at the same table. If they will take the president`s
own 21st century policing report and offer grants to localities willing to
have the community sit down with public officials and police, we could
begin to see remedies coming out at the local level. And that`s where,
Reverend, that s where policing takes place.

NORTON: The common ground being reached from different vantage points.

Marq, the president talked about the sense of powerlessness young people
can feel. How important is that and how do you fight it?

CLAXTON: Well, it is very important that when there is recognition, an
understanding that there is a vast segment of the larger community, that
feels sort of disenfranchised and removed from opportunities. Whether they
be employment opportunities, housing opportunities, et cetera. And you
need someone in government. Their representatives to speak to their issues
so you don`t have this kind of void. This gap and a space between issues
and solutions. So, it is hugely significant, just the conversation is
significant. But action, something in the form of real action would be
even more significant and could be very tide turning.

SHARPTON: The false report, Marq, in Baltimore, that I opened with shows
how tensions are still very raw. Not only in Baltimore but around the
country, as I travel. How do we deal with that?

CLAXTON: Once again, an understanding. We have to understand. We have to
fully understand and accept that tensions remain, you know, very raw.
Nerve endings are very frayed at this point. And that is why it is
important to develop real strong and committed relationships so that in
times of trouble, you can fall back on those relationships. And if people
believe you and if people trust and respect you, then they are willing to
accept what you communicate with them.

You won`t have as much confusion if you set that tone early on in the
discussion. But right now, we`re at a tenuous time here. Not only
Baltimore but, of course, the nation. People are hyper sensitive and there
has to be a tremendous amount of sensitivity from city officials and
government officials, from law enforcement to those communities.

SHARPTON: And that`s what you`re addressing, Congresswoman, and
challenging some of your Republican colleagues, you see. I saw one poll
today saying 96 percent of Americans feel we`re going to have more racial
unrest throughout the summer facing that kind of crisis, facing the view
and fear of most Americans. Do you think that some of your Republican
colleagues can say, wait a minute. Let`s try to meet somewhere in the
middle and solve some of these problems?

NORTON: I do. You heard the speaker speak about body cameras. I think we
need to be proactive, though. That`s true in the summertime people are out
much more. And let`s face it. Baltimore, like many cities in the United
States, have a long, long history of tense police relations.

But what the president did today was also important because he broadened
the circle. The police should embrace what the president said today
because he mentioned the many areas, social areas outside of police
control. He said police were simply the ones on the front line. So here
is an invitation for police. Come to the table. Sit down with the
community and with officials and, public officials and get this done.

SHARPTON: But at the same time, you have people in denial. For example,
Mitt Romney. He was on television this morning saying Hillary Clinton`s
comments on the issue of the criminal justice system need for reform was
just pandering. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR: What she said, look, we
won`t have mass incarcerations in the future. It is like what is she
referring to? We don`t have mass incarcerations in America. Individuals
are brought before a tribunal and they have council. They`re given certain
rights. Are we not going to lock people up who commit crimes?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So he says there`s no mass incarceration. But more than six
million Americans are incarcerated or on probation or parole. That means
one in 35 adults is under correctional supervision. And nearly one in
three adults has a criminal record.

Marq, how can anyone deny there`s mass incarceration in this country?

CLAXTON: Because it goes beyond even just mere denial. It is a point of
refusal for many people because it doesn`t fit their interests, because it
doesn`t impact their lives. It doesn`t connect or touch their families as
they see it so therefore they`re less connected to it and less honest about
the realities of it. And what is really scary a shame or what`s really,
you know, scary when you examine it is, that Mr. Romney`s comments. And
there are others who speak the same way, really ignore the mass amount of
individual citizens who have expressed the need and desire for things to
change, for criminal justice reform, for law enforcement reform.

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: We just have to build with those that do. We can have different
opinions but we can`t have different facts.

CLAXTON: That`s right.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Marq Claxton, thank you
both for your time tonight.

NORTON: Of course, Reverend.

CLAXTON: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, will the Freddie Gray case be moved out of Baltimore?
New details about the legal case against the accused officers.

Plus, the GOP primary race kicks into high gear. How will these two new
candidates affect the big name contenders?

Also, Bill Clinton`s today interview going on the record about a big
controversy surrounding his wife`s campaign.

But first, Michelle Obama talking about Sasha and Malia as they think about
going off to college.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, FIRST LADY OF THE UNITED STATES: I threaten them that I`m
going to buy an apartment near their campuses and was going to come visit
them and sit in their classes, you know. But that is an idle threat.
Barack and I take great joy in embarrassing our children. Sometimes when
you see me whispering to the kids in a crowd, I`m telling them, sit up
straight or I`m going to embarrass you. And they like mom, no please
don`t. Stop.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back with more on the investigation into the death of
Freddie Gray. The state`s attorney moved quickly to bring charges against
six officers. All six officers are out of jail on bond right now.

The "Washington Post" reports the legal process is expected to be lengthy
and complex. There are many questions about what happened inside the
transport van after Gray`s arrest.

The "Baltimore Sun" reports the video camera on the van transporting Gray
was broken. The state`s attorney does say, her office has collected
evidence that hasn`t been made public yet.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARILYN MOSBY, BALTIMORE STATE ATTORNEY: I am committed to transparency.
What I have revealed here today is a matter of public record. However, the
evidence that we have collected and continue to collect cannot ethically be
released to the public.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now is criminal defense attorney John Burris. Thank
you for being here.

JOHN BURRIS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: John, first of all, if this goes to trial, do you think there is
a chance it could be moved out of Baltimore? We`ve seen other police cases
where they got a change of venue.

BURRIS: Absolutely. If this is a jury trial, then I would imagine that
each one of the lawyers would make a motion to have a change of venue.
Now, that can only happen after there is a preliminary hearing which will
be held in Baltimore. But after that, I can`t imagine these lawyers
wanting to have a trial right there in Baltimore given all the publicities
that has taken place. Given the racial make-up of the potential jury pool.
That it is very likely if they will move for a change of venue. Not to
prince George`s county but to some other county where there is a higher
percentage of -- lower percentage of African-Americans.

SHARPTON: And another thing I`ve seen out through the years is the
possibility to officers could waive their right for a jury and ask for a
bench trial. Well, only the judge would be the trier (ph) of evidence.

BURRIS: That`s absolutely true. And you know, and some jurisdictions that
only the defendant has the right to a jury trial. And as a consequence, in
many police cases they will waive the right to a jury trial depending upon
what judge they get because that`s when you have a lot of judge shopping,
judge -- looking around for the judge that might be more favorably disposed
to you and that can happen.

When I was in Chicago as a lawyer, that happen with great deal of
frequency. No real challenge in controversial case got tried before a
jury. They all got tried as a bench trial before a judge. That could
happen here. If that is the case, the case was not yet moved out of the
jurisdiction.
You just tried right and report judge that you may think might be
(INAUDIBLE).

SHARPTON: But that`s one of the reasons some of us have been talking about
the federal government here because you cannot have a bench trial at the
federal level without consent of the prosecutor and the defense.

BURRIS: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: The state trial is only up to the defendant.

BURRIS: Right. So in federal court, of course, you know, you have to file
federal civil rights violations. And you sure you can make those
allegations pretty easily in this case. And it`s clear. You have a
broader geographical basis for the selection of jury pool. It is just not
an immediate county in which the case is. It will be outside of that.
We`ll take in four or five different counties for that. And so, you have
more of a cross section of a jury pool.

SHARPTON: Now, some critics say there are too many charges here. But
former Maryland prosecutors told the "Washington Post," quote, "they may
want to try to negotiate pleas with the minor players to testify against
the major players." Do you see that as a possible strategy in this case?

BURRIS: Absolutely. And I do think a lot of charges have been filed.
Now, it is not uncommon for prosecutors to overcharge hoping that some laid
a point that they were to negotiate the case down to a lesser offense and
therefore get the conviction.

In this case, you have minor charges particularly those who are not charged
with homicide or manslaughter. You can hope that they could charge, get
those people to change over and plead guilty to some lesser offense or get
immunity. And if that`s the case, they would want to get the people more
seriously charged. You have a second-degree murder charge and you have
involuntary manslaughter charge on a number of those. So I would imagine
that the prosecution hope that they can get some people to turn.

On the other hand, at this stage of the game, I would like to think if they
made all these charges, they would have sufficient evidence. That if they
have to go forward, they have a real good chance of getting convictions
now. We opted don`t know what that evidence is because right now, we don`t
have a smoking pistol, a smoking that lets us directly access know who did
what. Because the real question here is going to be, frankly, whether or
not there will be a way to determine how the cause of death actually
occurred. Because it is pretty clear that something happened, but we don`t
know what happened whether it is an individual did this or was it something
else that happened.

SHARPTON: What happened and can we prove what happened?

John Burris, thank you for your time tonight.

BURRIS: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, breaking news from that Texas shooting. New
details about the alleged terrorist`s back ground of one of the gunmen.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Breaking news tonight in that shooting outside of controversial
cartoon contest involving the depictions of the prophet Mohammad. Today,
officials identifying the two suspects who opened fired outside the event
in Garland, Texas. Last night before they were shot and killed by police,
one suspect, Elton Simpson, had previously been known to the FBI for
suspected terrorism connections. The other, Nadir Soofi, Simpson`s
roommate. Today police and FBI searched their apartment in Phoenix,
Arizona. Officials have not ruled out investigating the incident as a
terrorist attack.

Joining me now, MSNBC law enforcement analyst Jim Cavanaugh.

Jim, what are FBI investigators trying to find out about the suspects right
now?

JIM CAVANAUGH, MSNBC LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: Reverend Al, what they`re
mostly trying to find out now, because of course, they`re dead is, how they
were radicalized and do they have any conspirators or support groups or
logistical people who supported their attack on this event center in
Garland, Texas. It is very important to find out, you know, connections
and how they became radicalized.

SHARPTON: Now, how will investigators determine if these two suspects were
lone wolves or connected to a larger group?

CAVANAUGH: Well, the main thing, go right to their digital signature. You
know, we all live on our computers now or iphones or ipads. They are going
to go right toward that electronic traffic and they are going to see who
they`re talking to, what they`re posting on the web, tweets, message
boards, blogs, you know, are they frequenting these jihadi websites, you
know, on the dark side of the web. And they`ll be able to put a picture
together of who they are and who they contacted.

And this, one guy came up on the radar five years ago with the FBI. So
they`re not totally new. But they were wannabe terrorists but they just
didn`t have the skills. You know, the tremendous military skills. And
they ran into a very courageous and a hero Garland, Texas uniformed officer
who took these two (INAUDIBLE) terrorists, Reverend Al. He took them down
with his pistol. I mean, this is a really profile in courage with this
officer.

SHARPTON: Now, when you say they came on the radar of the FBI. You talk
about Elton Simpson. And we`re starting to get more details about one of
the alleged shooters, Elton Simpson. He was convicted of lying to agents
about plans to travel to Somalia. He allegedly planned to join a terror
group. And he has been on the terror watch list since 2011. What do these
details tell but Elton Simpson, Jim?

CAVANAUGH: Well, he might have had a lot of contacts, Rev. He might have
had a lot of people he was talking to if he`s been involved at least five
years in the movement. And the question is, are any of these people
involved with him in the planning, the execution, the logistical support to
carry out the attack.

You know, if they left Phoenix with the firearms, that`s a federal crime,
interstate transportation of firearms with the intent to commit felonies.
They conspired to do that. Others may have conspired to helped them to do
that. There is a litany of terrorist charges that could be bought against
other conspirators. So the jury terrorism task force, the FBI, law
enforcement, Garland PD, they have a lot to put together because they want
to stop any confederates and they want to learn the lessons from this. But
Garland PD made great decisions. They put tough security near. That
officer was an absolute hero to take down these two guys with rifle with
his pistol. It is unbelievable. I mean, he was already losing that battle
when they showed up. So I mean, really, really great fabulous police work.

SHARPTON: Jim Cavanaugh. Thank you for your time tonight.

CAVANAUGH: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Straight ahead. Two more Republicans jump into the 2016 fray.
What it means for the top contenders.

Plus, Bill Clinton speaks out about an issue giving his wife a big
headache.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s a big day in politics. The GOP stakes just got even more
crowded. With two new candidates jumping into the fray. Bill Clinton in
the spotlight going On the Record about an issue dogging his wife`s
campaign. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The GOP presidential race is getting a lot more crowded. First
today, former CEO Carly Fiorina made her run for the White House official
with a note on Twitter. And then it was Ben Carson`s turn. The doctor
made his announcement at an event that featured a gospel choir and his wife
playing the violin.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. BEN CARSON, NEUROSURGEON: I`m not a politician. I don`t want to be a
politician. Because --

(APPLAUSE)

-- politician do what is politically expedient. I want to do what`s right.
We have to think about that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: There are now five official candidates and many others thinking
about it. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is expected to throw his
hat into the ring tomorrow. One big problem for the GOP. All of the big
names thinking about a run have higher negative ratings than positive
ratings.

Joining me now are Jess McIntosh of Emily`s List. Democratic strategist
Jamal Simmons, and Joan Walsh of Salon.com. Thank you all for being here.

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: Thank you.

JESS MCINTOSH, EMILY`S LIST: Thank you, Rev.

JAMAL SIMMONS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Joan, let`s start with Ben Carson. It was a different kind of
event today. Will he be a different kind of candidate too?

WALSH: Look, I`m very happy to see him in the race, Reverend Al. You
know, he deserves to be there. But in terms of really attracting African-
American voters or changing his party and making it more hospitable to
African-American voters, I just don`t see it. There may be some cultural
resonance and people may applaud him for being out there and throwing his
heart in the ring. But, you know, this is a person who has compared
ObamaCare to slavery. This is a person who does not -- his beliefs, his
policy positions, are very much at odds with the things that polls show us
African-Americans care about. I don`t want to totally generalize about
black people but you know what I`m saying. He has not made voting rights a
part of his platform yet. I don`t expect him to.

SHARPTON: Well, Jamal, there was a big "Washington Post" piece yesterday,
I believe, saying how he had been an icon in the black community and they
feel it was beginning to fade away. He spoke at my civil rights convention
here and had to walk around a lot of his statements. How does he walk back
a lot of the things Joan is referring to, or can he?

SIMMONS: You know, I`m from Detroit. And he is from Detroit when he
announced today. And I grew up, you know, admiring Ben Franklin --

SHARPTON: Ben Carson.

SIMMONS: Ben Carson. The gifted hand story was one that, you know, was
really resonant. They made a TV movie out of it. I think he`s not going
to run back away from what he said. I think the people he`s talking to
really believe the thing that he says. They believe ObamaCare is bad.
They believe the President shouldn`t be in office doing some of the things
he`s doing. And I think to run for the republican nomination, he`s not
going to run away from any of that stuff. He`s going to run toward it.
And, you know, I`m not sure he`ll actually going to make it to the general
election so we`ll worry about that later. But the republican primary, I
think he is who he says he is.

SHARPTON: Now, Carly Fiorina took direct aim at Hillary Clinton in her
announcement. Watch this video that she posted, Jess.

MCINTOSH: Uh-huh.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE: I`m running for president.

CARLY FIORINA, FORMER HEWLETT-PACKARD CEO: Our founders never intended us
to have a professional political class, they believe that citizens and
leaders needed to step forward. We know the only way to reimagine our
government is to reimagine who is leading it. I`m Carly Fiorina and I`m
running for president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, Jess, what do you make of this direct jab at Hillary
Clinton?

MCINTOSH: I mean, usually voters are looking for their presidential
hopefuls to outline some sort of why should you vote for me agenda. Why
would you be the right person to do it? And all that Carly Fiorina seems
to be doing is positioning herself as the woman who isn`t Hilary. She
talks about how that will neutralize the gender card or Hillary won`t be
able to talk about the first woman to be elected president. I think that
she`s just going to go on and expose that women don`t respond to women
because they`re women. It is about the policies and the agendas that
they`re setting out. And the republicans can put a different messenger on
the same package. But if the policies are still anti-woman and anti-
family, women voters are smarter than that and they`re not going to fall
for a different messenger. So, I think this is --

SHARPTON: What do you say to that, Joan?

WALSH: I think Jess is absolutely right. You know, again, just like Ben
Carson is an African-American candidate who holds positions are
diametrically different to a lot of African-Americans. Carly Fiorina is
anti-choice, she wants to defund Planned Parenthood, she opposes the
Affordable Care Act. All things the poll show women disagree with her on.
So, you know, John McCain made a very desperate move in 2008 to add Sarah
Palin to the ticket hoping he could kind of bring over some of those
Hillary voters. That didn`t work. Carly Fiorina is not going to work
either.

SHARPTON: Jamal, could it be that Fiorina and Carson may not be running
for the nomination, but maybe to be put on the ticket, or to be put into
some consideration if the republicans are successful? Maybe the aim is not
to win.

SIMMONS: You know, Rev, maybe the aim is to be on the ticket. Perhaps the
aim is to get a cabinet position. And maybe the aim is just to get better
speaking fees. I mean, we really don`t know what`s going on here. But the
likelihood is that they probably aren`t going to make it all the way to the
nomination. And for Carly Fiorina, I know that her -- it seems like her
role really is to try to go after Hillary Clinton. She is a female voice,
I think that she can do it. But she`s really in danger of over doing and
it I think there may be a blowback factor from some people who feel like,
you know what, ease up a little bit. That`s just not, you`re going a
little too hard at her.

SHARPTON: Now, Chris Christie was not charged and he said he didn`t know
anything about the lane closings. But the "New York Times" reports the
indictment sent the Christie camp into a tail spin. Quote, "Christie`s
aides, his allies and even his wife were mobilized and working the phones
and blasting out memos to supporters trying to hold on to whatever chance
Mr. Christie had to make a run at the presidency." What are his prospects
now in the race, Joan?

WALSH: Oh, I think Chris Christie is dreaming that he`s going to be
president and somebody needs to tap him on the shoulder and wake him up and
say it`s over for you.

MCINTOSH: No, let`s let him sleep awhile.

WALSH: Okay. Okay.

SHARPTON: Jess, you say let him sleep a while. But what do you think his
chances are?

MCINTOSH: Oh, no, I mean, I`m kind of sad that this is the thing that`s
going to do him in. Because I really wanted it to be what a bully he is.
And now it`s going to be the bridge. But no, I think he has no chances. I
think it is delightful to watch him try. I`m having a very good time
watching him scramble to mobilize the troops. I think Joan is right. If
somebody wanted to be kind. They would tap him on the shoulder and say
give it up. Hopefully no one does that.

SHARPTON: Jamal?

SIMMONS: Yes. You know, I think there`s a real chance here that Chris
Christie missed his moment. What he should have done was run for president
in 2012 when he was the kind of consensus candidate from the republican
establishment. But it is a real lesson for people like Marco Rubio and
frankly Barack Obama did it in 2008. You run when the moment is right for
you. It doesn`t mean you will going to win but if you wait, you will
probably are going to lose.

SHARPTON: All right. Everybody stay with me. We`ll going to talk about
the democrats next. We`ll look at Bill Clinton`s feisty interview about
his foundation. And about how it affects his wife`s presidential run.
Also, the Bernie Sanders FACTOR. Now that he`s in. Will he pull Hillary
Clinton farther to the Left? But first, some words about Ben Carson and
his mother Sonya. Dr. Carson`s campaign says she is now critically ill
with Alzheimer`s. And he has rescheduled several events so he can rush
home to be by her side. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Carson and
his family tonight.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Hillary Clinton may be getting pummeled in the right wing media
but it doesn`t seem to be affecting her base. A new NBC poll shows that 81
percent of democratic voters have a positive view of her. That`s virtually
unchanged from March before the media started obsessing about her e-mail
server. And tonight Bill Clinton is getting some attention for an
interview with NBC News defending those controversial foreign donations to
his foundation and talking about how it affects his wife`s campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Is that an acknowledgement that it was a mistake not
to stop the other foreign donations before your wife ran for president?

BILL CLINTON, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: No. Absolutely not. It is an
acknowledgement that we`re going to come as close as we can during her
presidential campaign. We followed the rules when she became secretary of
state.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: He defended the $10 to $25 million given by Saudi
Arabia.

CLINTON: I don`t think that I did anything that was against interests of
the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Do you understand that the perception itself is a
problem?

CLINTON: No.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: You don`t.

CLINTON: No. Look, I don`t want to get into the wiz here. I`m not
responsible for anybody else`s perception. I asked Hillary about this and
she said, you know, no one has ever tried to influence me by helping you.
No one has even suggested they have a shred of evidence to that effect.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Back with me again, Jess, Jamal and Joan. Jess, President
Clinton isn`t backing down from his foundation and Democrats don`t seem to
care about it. What are voters in the general election going to do?

MCINTOSH: Well, first off, the foundation has worked to be really, really
proud of it. The one upside to this story is that we get to talk about the
work that it does and the kids who have gone to school because of it and
the kids that are getting HIV aids medication because of it. This is very
good work done on a global scale. So, I think ultimately people see the
Clinton Foundation as a net positive, it`s global charitable work. More
importantly though, I think we`re going to see two really distinct
campaigns. One is whatever the chatter of the day is going to be about.
And the other is Hillary Clinton talking to everyday Americans about her
agenda and the issues that matter to them. It is getting very stark the
contrast and I think we`re just going to see more of it as we get through
this year.

SHARPTON: Now, Jamal, can Hillary Clinton get above the noise and get her
policy messages out?

SIMMONS: She can get above the noise. But it is almost as if she hasn`t
even really started trying. I mean, she`s been doing bus tours, she`s been
doing a couple of events. Those have gone really well. She dominates the
news cycle which is in there. I think people are hungry. They want to
hear what her policies are, they want to hear what she`s trying to do. And
in response of that, she`ll also be much better off when there is a real
live opponent out there that she can run against, that she can pivot
against that person. This thing is comparative. And right now what people
are doing is they`re comparing Hillary Clinton versus Hillary Clinton or
Hillary Clinton versus Bill Clinton. She`ll be much better off when there
is Hillary Clinton versus another actual republican candidate that she can
runs against.

SHARPTON: But Joan, what about Bill Clinton as the messenger? He was the
messenger in this interview has he, he was certainly a big messenger in
`08. Has he become better or worse as a messenger giving all the last
several years and all of these allegations?

WALSH: Well, I guess we`ll going to find out. Right? I mean, he was the
secretary of explaining stuff in 2012. The President tasked him with a lot
of outreach and he did a great job. He is very defiant in that interview
and I think Jess is right he is very proud of the work that they`ve done.
He also says a couple of times in the interview, look, there are separate
rules for the Clintons. There are the Clinton rules and they`re tougher on
us. This Clinton cash book is mostly trash. There was a lot of smoke and
there was no fire. And so the President is kind of, sending notice
basically that they`re not going to sit back and play dead or play
humiliated or humbled when they`re hit with, you know, the right wing noise
machine. Now, he can go too far on that. I`m not saying he did but we
know, we saw in it 2008. Sometimes he went too far.

SHARPTON: Yes.

WALSH: So, you know, I think he`s learned a lot from what has happened in
the last few years. But we`re going to see.

SHARPTON: Jess, let me go to the newly declared candidate Senator Bernie
Sanders. He says he wants, quote, "a political revolution." Watch this.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: We need a political revolution in this
country involving millions of people who are prepared to stand up and say
enough is enough and I want to help lead that effort. Hillary Clinton has
been part of the political establishment for many, many years. Maybe it is
time for real political shake-up in this country and go beyond
establishment policy.

SHARPTON: Jess, in the first 24 hours following his campaign kickoff. He
raised $1.5 million. What impact will Senator Sanders have on the
democratic race in your opinion?

MCINTOSH: I`m with Hillary. I think it is great that he is in the race.
It`s going to be an exciting debate. They agree on a lot of things, I`m
sure they have other stuff that they can hash out. I think he is a lot of,
he adds a lot of value to progressive politics and I`m glad that he`s doing
it.

SHARPTON: Jamal, former Maryland Governor Martin O`Malley is on damage
control duty as he defends his tough on crime Baltimore policies, watch
this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARTIN O`MALLEY, FORMER MARYLAND GOVERNOR: I did not dedicate my life to
making Baltimore safer and just place because it was easy and I am more
inclined and more deeply motivated now to address what`s wrong with our
country. Baltimore, this has been a setback for us but our story is not
over. We are not defeated as a city and we are not about to throw in the
towel on our country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Was Baltimore a setback for him politically, Jamal work his 2016
possible candidacy for president?

SIMMONS: It is a tough day, a tough week for them. A tough week for the
whole country, for Baltimore in particular. But for this campaign, this
has to be managed. But I think what Martin O`Malley realized is, he can`t
go around what`s going on in Baltimore. He has to go through it. He has
got to go into this fire. He`s got to take it on. And the only path out
of this for him is a path where he figures out how to turn the story in a
direction that he can take advantage of. About the future of American
cities. And I think Martin O`Malley started his own in on that, I don`t
think if he can win the nomination but I do think his voice as somebody who
understands what`s going on in American cities and get a real message about
how to achieve something is one that democrats want to hear.

SHARPTON: Jess McIntosh, Jamal Simmons and Joan Walsh, thank you all for
your time tonight.

WALSH: Thank you, Rev.

SIMMONS: Thank you.

MCINTOSH: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Ahead, we head back to Baltimore. Moments ago, new comments
from Freddie Gray`s family about the public tragedy and the private pain
they feel. That`s ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Did you know that President Obama is about to impose martial law
on the state of Texas? Me neither. But according to the right wing
fringe, the great Barack Obama takeover is imminent. A military training
exercise planned for the southwest this summer is sending the right into a
panic. Rumors are flying that the President in conjunction with the U.S.
military is planning to impose martial law. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has
even ordered the state guard to monitor the federal troops during their
training, saying, quote, "It is important that Texans know their safety,
constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not
be infringed upon." Senator Rand Paul is going to keep tabs on the action
as well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: You know, I`ve gotten a few questions on it
on the road. And I`m not sure exactly what is going on with that.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It is making some people nervous. But it doesn`t take
much to make people nervous nowadays. So if you get a chance, I would like
to know what the rest of the story is on that.

PAUL: We`ll look at that also.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Not to be outdone. Senator Ted Cruz says, he totally gets why
some are worried about the Obama takeover.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I understand the reason for concern and
uncertainty. Because when the federal government has not demonstrated
itself to be trustworthy in this administration, the natural consequence is
that many of the citizens don`t trust what they`re saying.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Of course, the Pentagon says that yes, this is indeed just a
training exercise. And they apparently have no plans to start tearing up
the constitution just yet. In other words, it`s more right wing baloney.
So did these republican officials really think we wouldn`t notice they`re
playing politics with paranoia? Nice try. But this is no conspiracy.
Because we got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: New York lost one of its finest today, Officer Brian Moore who were
shut in the line of beauty Saturday night, passed away earlier today. He
came from a family of police officers. And the family of fellow officers
he joined in the NYPD and across the country deserve our gratitude and our
prayers. Not just today but every day. They have a tough job.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: President Obama speaking today about New York Police Officer
Brian Moore. Officer Moore died after being shot in the face. The alleged
shooter is in custody. And Officer Moore`s family is now in mourning. We
must remember the personal tragedies at the heart of this public debate on
policing. Both in the Police Departments and in the community. Freddie
Gray`s family talked to NBC`s Lester Holt about the pain that they feel.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LESTER HOLT, NBC NEWS HOST: Talk to me as a mother. The pain that you`re
experiencing.

GLORIA DARDEN, MOTHER OF FREDDIE GRAY: The whole, I wish it never
happened. It never happened. And I will never be the same. I will never
be the same.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We also heard today from the family of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-
old boy who was shot and killed in November by a Cleveland police officer.
Five months later, there`s still no announcement on whether the officer
will be charged.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SAMARIA RICE, MOTHER OF TAMIR RICE: Less than a second, my son is gone.
And I want to know how long I have to wait for justice. Please keep us in
spirit. Keep us lifted. Please protest peacefully. And get justice for
our son. Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Rice`s family say they`ve been unable to bury his body because
the criminal investigation is still ongoing. Too often we forget these are
family members. We should mourn the loss of this policeman. We are
questioning policing. But we must protect and respect the life of those
that protect us every day in police departments as we fight for change in
policy.

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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