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PoliticsNation, Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

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Date: June 2, 2015
Guest: Dana Milbank, Shira Center, Robert Reich; Donna Edwards; Cleopatra

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Ed. And thank you for tuning

Tonight on "Politics Nation," the Senate votes to limit key parts of the
patriot act, a big setback for Mitch McConnell.

The run warren folks throw in the towel. How will it affect Hillary

And President Obama gives some heroes their due 100 years after the fact.

But we start with tonight`s lead. A national campaign to fight gun
violence. Today would have been Hadiya Pendleton`s 18th birthday. The
honor student from Chicago was gunned down in Chicago two years ago. Her
friends declared June 2nd the first ever national gun violence awareness
day in her honor turning their tragedy into action with a wear orange
movement. Politicians and celebrities are getting involved in the


ARAIYAH WILLIS, HADIYA`S FRIEND: The first time we asked people to wear
orange we went out all around Chicago, and we passed the t-shirts out and
buttons out. We got a lot of support from people all around the world, all
around the city. We adopted orange because of hunter`s orange.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hunters wear bright color so that they are not

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The orange let`s everyone know that I`m here. You
know, I`m here and I`m standing out.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It can be seen from both near and far.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When the sun hits it, it gets brighter.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And I think it`s beautiful. I think it will save


SHARPTON: After Hadiya died, her mother came on this show telling us why
gun violence and the gun violence fight was so important to her.


whatever I can extend a hand, I plan to help them change the laws to make
others safe. You know, what I am experiencing is unreal, but it is my
life. And if I can save someone else`s child, I`d love to be involved in
that movement.


SHARPTON: Eighty-nine people are killed every day by gun violence. And
today`s awareness today comes as we`re seeing gun violence erupt in major


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Chicago police and activists say at least 17 people
have been shot since yesterday. Residents tell us they feel like prisoners
in their own neighborhoods.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You just want to sit down on your porch you don`t
because just stuff like this happens.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A historically violent month just wrapped up in
Baltimore City and it leaves many wondering what now? And what will city
leaders do?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: City leaders are continuing to voice their concerns
about the increased violence in Baltimore City.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The NYPD says murders are up 20 percent this year,
shootings up nine percent. And police say in May alone, 31 people were
murdered, overwhelmingly by guns.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s particularly significant about that is, again,
the number that were caused by firearms.


SHARPTON: There are ways that we as individuals can prevent gun violence,
but there are things Washington can do and should do, too. House Democrats
heard today from survivors of domestic violence about how simple gun
restrictions can save lives. Thirty-eight percent fewer women are shot to
death by their intimate partners in states that require a background check
for every handgun.

We need to be safe in our streets, our schools and our homes. Everyone has
a right to be safe, and we need action like we`re seeing from these
teenagers in Chicago to get us there.

Joining me now from the wear orange party for peace in Chicago is Hadiya
Pendleton`s mother Cleopatra Pendleton and in Washington congresswoman
Donna Edwards who was in that domestic violence hearing today. Thank you
both for being here.


SHARPTON: Cleopatra, today would have been your daughter`s 18th birthday.
How are you feeling today, first of all?

PENDLETON: It`s tough. She would have graduated next week. She would
have went to prom last week, but instead we`re in a gun violence movement
because she`s no longer with hire. So I`m feeling pretty he have we that.

SHARPTON: You know, with this loss, as you say she would have graduated
and she had been in a prom, but yet you are seeing people across the
country that certainly doesn`t in any way pay for the pain that you`re
suffering. But there is a movement unlike many that have suffered you with
all. There are people moving all over the country with this wearing orange
today movement. What does it mean to you that Hadiya`s friends started
this movement?

PENDLETON: It a means the world to me because it -- it was children
themselves that came together and said we have to do something about this,
that this is an issue, that we`re constantly losing our friends to
senseless violence, you know. And the fact that young people could get
together and create a movement, I think it`s powerful. It speaks volumes
to the capabilities of the youth.

SHARPTON: We`re hearing a lot of why it`s so important for them to wear
orange today. Let me play that for you.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m wearing orange for Hadiya.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wear orange so that no other parent has to lose a

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m wearing orange because I`m a grandparent who cares
about the future of his grandchildren.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wear orange for my sister Nina and for the
countless others who are killed by gun violence every day.

CROWD: We`re wearing orange because gun violence affects the entire

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m wearing orange for my son Noah.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I wear orange for my 14-year-old son who I lost to
gun violence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wear orange because gun violence is going to
continue. It is good people continue to do now.


SHARPTON: All day today people today were wearing orange all over the

Congresswoman, you`re wearing orange. I have orange on. I get up 5:00 in
the morning and I had two emails make sure you`re wearing orange, Rev. Why
are you wearing orange today, congresswoman?

REP. DONNA EDWARDS (D), MARYLAND: Well, I`m wearing orange for Hadiya and
for the thousands of people who die of gun violence in this country
unnecessarily. And I am just so honored by Mrs. Pendleton`s courage and
the call to action by these young people to tell us to do something about
that, something over which we do have control.

SHARPTON: You know, when I look at you, Miss Pendleton, and I`ve been
around you, the strength you`ve shown is amazing. But at the same time you
have to bear the burden of knowing what your daughter was on her way to be
an horror student. How do you communicate to other young people as you
have done all over the country? How do you communicate to them the self-
worth that they need and to really try to penetrate to them how this
senseless violence needs to stop?

PENDLETON: You know, I take every opportunity I can get to talk to the
young people, from adopting someone on my block to, you know, just
connecting with Hadiya`s friends and you know, strangers, because I think
it`s -- I think it`s important that they talk to someone or they believe
that there`s someone who wants to listen, you know. And perhaps it`s a
conversation, a kind word or gesture that could make all the difference in
the next action that they take.

So it`s very important that I have conversations when I`m presented with an
opportunity to talk to someone because, I mean, when I tell you what I deal
with on a daily basis, it sucks. It`s heavy. It`s horrible. I can`t
explain it. There aren`t words to probably convey it enough. That`s why I
call to action because there`s no way for me to explain to you the horror
that I live in on daily basis because my future isn`t with me.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, Cleopatra was at the state of the union address
as a guest and the president addressed gun violence. And we saw the
president and the others at the state of the union dealing with this.
Listen to what the president said.


second amendment have come together around common sense reform, like
background checks that will make it harder for criminals to get their hands
on a gun, senators -- senators -- senators of both parties are working
together on tough new laws too-to-prevent anyone from buying guns for
resale to criminals.


SHARPTON: Congresswoman, what has happened since then? How can the
Congress make this happen?

EDWARDS: Well, very sadly nothing has happened because the gun lobby has
drilled down on members of congress. We held a hearing today that
highlighted the role that guns play in intimate partner violence where
thousands of women every year lose their lives because of gun violence
because we`re not doing background checks efficiently, because guns are
still allowed to be sold through loopholes at gun shows and in parking

These are things, that again, we could do something about, and the American
people, all of us, should be wearing orange and standing up on behalf of
Hadiya Pendleton and the thousands and thousands of people who lose their
lives every year because Congress has failed to do its job in protecting
the American people.

And so I want to be wearing orange today because it`s a call to action for
us. Just last night in Maryland, just miles away from the capitol, a young
woman lost her life to a former boyfriend who killed her with a gun. These
are things that we can prevent. And every death that we can prevent we
should do it by passing effective background checks, by expanding
protections for domestic violence and intimate partners and victims.

SHARPTON: You were part of a hearing today congresswoman on domestic
violence. House Democrats heard from victims, emotional testimonies from
victims of domestic violence. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Years ago my then husband shot me three times and
left me for dead. In the ensuing four months, my son and I were forced
into hiding as he was on the run. Just as awful at the end of that four
months my then husband took his own life with that very same gun. I often
reflect and think that a simple not comprehensive but even a simple
background check would have prevented the assault against myself and
probably would have prevented him from killing himself.


SHARPTON: What can we do, congresswoman, to keep guns out of the hands of
domestic violence offenders?

EDWARDS: Well, you know, even though we passed a domestic violence
offensive gun ban, still, domestic abusers are getting guns by going to gun
shows, they are getting guns with states not reporting their offenses into
a database. Only three states fully report all of their domestic violence
offenses into the FBI database. This is unacceptable because that means
that there are thousands and thousands of people across the country who are
perpetrators, who are known perpetrators who still are allowed access to

Again, as I say, what we heard in this hearing today that there`s something
that we can do about this. We know what we can do and we need to stand
down to the gun lobby to get the hands -- get the guns out of the hands of

SHARPTON: Congresswoman Donna Edwards, we thank you for your time.

Cleopatra Pendleton, we can`t bring Hadiya back, but God knows she has
changed the focus of this country and her legacy because of her work will
be to really make this country deal with it. Wearing orange today is only
the beginning of what Hadiya has become to mean to this country. Thank,
God bless you and our prayers continue to be with you, Cleopatra.

PENDLETON: Thank you.

EDWARDS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, a stunning comment from Senator McConnell as he loses
a big battle on the Senate floor. What he said about a plan to limit
domestic spying.

Also, it was fun while it lasted. The group trying to get Elizabeth Warren
to run is calling it quits. How will that affect Hillary Clinton and
Bernie Sanders?

Plus, two heroes who were unfairly denied the medal of honor finally get
their due.


OBAMA: They both risked their own lives to save the lives of others. They
both left us decades ago before we could give them the full recognition
that they deserved. We have work to do as a nation to make sure that all
of our hero`s stories are told.


SHARPTON: Breaking news. Tonight the Senate has just voted to limit some
government surveillance. First enacted by the Bush administration. The
so-called USA freedom act ends the bulk collection of phone data. It`s now
headed to the White House for President Obama`s signature.

The fight over these reforms created some weird alliances in Washington.
Both President Obama and speaker Boehner supported the bill, pitting them
against senator Mitch McConnell who said its reforms went too far while
independent Bernie Sanders and Republican Rand Paul said those reforms
didn`t go far enough. The bill that passed today is a big defeat for
Senator McConnell, and after today`s vote he cut loose.


Edward Snowden. It is also a resounding victory for those who currently
plotted against our homeland.


SHARPTON: NBC`s Frank Thorp is live on Capitol Hill and MSNBC`s Alex
Seitz-Wald is live at White House.

Frank, let me start with the comments from Senator McConnell saying that
this bill is, quote, "a resounding victory for those who are currently
plotting against homeland." This is a bill that passed with a lot of GOP
support, Frank.

FRANK THORP, NBC CAPITOL HILL PRODUCER: It is, and -- but, you know,
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell genuinely feels that changing this
law and changing the provisions and accepting USA freedom act will
negatively affect national security, I mean. But, unfortunately, for him,
he majorly miscalculated the sentiments within the Senate and thought that
they would actually want to extend these provisions in some way and also --
he also had a number of amendments that he wanted to act to the USA freedom
act that they were unable to pass because they just didn`t have the votes
to pass.

So you know, this is a defeat for Mitch McConnell. He -- he really wanted
to extend this -- these provisions for five years. He had introduced a
bill that would extend the patriot act for five years without any changes
whatsoever, and he miscalculated, unfortunately.

SHARPTON: Alex is this bill what the president wanted?

ALEX SEITZ-WALD, MSNBC POLITICAL REPORTER: It was definitely the bill that
the White House settled on. I`m sure they would have picked some
differences with it if they could write it themselves, and they definitely
did not want the provisions to sunset the way they did thanks to Rand Paul.
But once the house passed this bill overwhelmingly, the White House got
squarely behind it. They often invoke it as a common sense bipartisan
measure, touting that it pass the house by 338 votes, you know, huge
majority and really urging the Congress to pass it -- the Senate to pass it
before these provisions sunsetted.

After the Edward Snowden revelations came out, there was a review panel set
up, and they recommended moving the telephone metadata outside the NSA to
the telephone companies. President Obama got behind that saying that
almost over a year ago and now he says they are finally doing that. So I
think the White House is happy tonight.

SHARPTON: Frank, I mention that had this bill brought together strange
political bed flows. Why didn`t this go along party lines.

THORP: Well, because there are a number of senators that feel like rolling
back the extensive intelligence programs instituted after the 9/11 attacks
should be rolled back, and so you have members on both sides of the aisle
that feel strongly about this. You have the libertarian wing who feels
like they should be rolled back. And then you also have the progressive
wing on the democratic side who feels like they should be rolled back as

Now, like you mentioned, both Senator Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders voted
against this bill because they felt like it didn`t go far enough, but at
the same time there`s enough in the middle that the USA freedom act was the
right way to go.

So this become kind of a coalition of players that felt that this USA
freedom act while it may not be the perfect bill that they feel they could
support, they felt it went far enough to take away the bulk collection of
data from the government. Instead, give it to the telecom companies so that
they felt that there was at least some sense of privacy for Americans who
are making telephone calls.

SHARPTON: You know, the USA freedom act declassified some security
decisions. It also ends the NSA collection of phone data. That data will
now be held by phone companies, and the government can still search it on a
case-by-case basis with court orders. Was there about as dramatic a change
as lawmakers could get while still getting a bill that could pass, Alex?

SEITZ-WALD: I think that`s right. I think it`s about a consensus that
it`s about as far as you could go. And there was really a wide range of
civil liberties groups that supported it from the ACLU on as well as tech
companies like Microsoft and Google.

There were some that didn`t support it. Bernie Sanders as we mentioned and
some other progressive groups said it didn`t go far enough. Because keep
in mind these provisions are only a very small portion of the patriot act,
something like two or three percent of the overall patriot act. So the
rest of the patriot act remains largely intact and will continue to go on
after this vote today. And, you know, advocates say they are going to want
to go back and change some of that, but on this vote today the most of the
patriot act remains.

SHARPTON: Frank Thorp and Alex Seitz-Wald, thank you both for your
reporting tonight.

SEITZ-WALD: Thank you.

THORP: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Straight ahead, many of the GOP contenders were in Florida today
laying out their new economic vision, but it sounded very familiar.

And the worldwide reaction to Caitlyn Jenner. What she`s saying today
about her first major public appearance?


SHARPTON: Now to developing news on the GOP`s economic vision for 2016
which is basically a bunch of leftovers from the Reagan era. Big-name
candidates gathering in Florida for a day-long summit on the economy. They
pushed one big theme, a right wing trickle-down plan based on tax cuts for
big corporations.


RICK PERRY (R), FORMER TEXAS GOVERNOR: Lower that corporate tax rate and
you will see a powerful message sent across the world.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I`ll lower the corporate tax rate so that
it`s competitive with the rest of the developed world.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The best thing we can do is just get the government out
of the way whether it`s lower taxes.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Bring our corporate rate down to 25


SHARPTON: So there`s your 2016 GOP campaign slogan, lower corporate taxes,
and here`s what they said about ways to address income inequality.


SHARPTON: That`s right. It was crickets, almost no mention of inequality,
an issue the president has called the defining challenge of our time, but
they did find time to talk about a favorite old bogeyman.


GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: Nobody signed my yearbook, dear Scott,
good luck becoming dependent on the government, right? That`s not the
American dream, and yet somehow we act like that`s OK. That`s acceptable.


SHARPTON: Government dependency, that`s what conservatives talk about when
they don`t want to talk about real solutions.

Joining me now is Robert Reich, former secretary of labor in the Clinton
administration, and an economics professor at UC Berkeley. Thank you for
being here.


SHARPTON: Good. Professor, let me ask you. Are you surprised these
Republicans didn`t even pay lip service to issues of income inequality and
economic fairness?

REICH: I`m not surprised because they don`t have anything to say about it.
I mean, Republicans have been against increasing the minimum wage. They
have been against expanding the earned income tax credit. They don`t want
to invest more in education and schools. They don`t want to raise taxes on
the rich in order to help investment in infrastructure which would help

Basically, the Republican stance has been all we want is tax cuts for the
rich and we want tax cuts on corporations. And that`s, as you said, I
mean, this is -- we`ve heard this for 35 years now. This is Ronald Reagan,
Reagonomics, trickle-down economics and for 35 years what has happened to
wages? Well, the answer is that the typical worker`s wage has not
increased at all adjusted for inflation, even though the economy is twice
as large. Where did the money go? It went to the top. That`s where you
get from trickle-down economics and that`s what these Republicans are
still, believe it or not, still peddling.

SHARPTON: Now, Jeb Bush made a brief mention of poverty saying President
Obama`s new normal economy won`t fix it, but he has a plan that will.


JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The new normal will create an
environment where people won`t be able to rise up, whether they are in
poverty or stuck in the middle. We have to fix one of the most convoluted
complex tax codes by lowering rates. We have to fix what has become the
most complicated, confusing, intrusive regulatory system. We need to
protect and enhance and strengthen the tenth amendment, wherever possible,
to shift power back to the states.


SHARPTON: So his plan to fight poverty is cutting taxes and giving more
power to the states? Is that a sound economic solution, professor.

REICH: It is not an economic solution at all. It is a political solution,
but it really isn`t even a political solution. I mean, what we know is
that when the states get more income or taxes or more authority, what they
have done essentially because a lot of people are not paying that much
attention to what the states do, they rob the poor and they rob the lower
middle class and the working class and most of the gains go to the top.
They rig the economy even more.

I mean, what we have to really start thinking about here is how to get
control over our economy and control over our democracy in terms of the
needs of average working people and the poor. And the Republicans
basically what they want to do is simply say, no, we`re going to take taxes
off the rich and taxes off corporations, we`re going to get regulations
that actually protect public health, safety, the environment and also small

We want more of what we`ve had before, and before we`ve had basically
Republicans who want to return to the 19th century. I mean, at the very
least you would expect that they would recognize that inequality has been
widening for 30 years and mostly widening under Republicans and mostly
widening because Republican ideas.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you this, Secretary Reich. If we were to implement
as a nation what they are proposing if we were to in fact execute their
economic plans. What would happen to the economy, and what would happen to
poor Americans?

REICH: Well, the economy is still struggling, and it`s struggling because
there`s not enough purchasing power in the middle class. Why isn`t there
enough purchasing power in the middle class because wages haven`t
increased? Why haven`t wages increased because we`ve had a lot of
international trade and a lot of technological displacement and we have a
government that`s basically pulling back and no longer helping people the
way it was at least a while ago.

So what you can expect is that if the Republicans` solution of, again, more
trickle-down economics goes into effect we are going to have an economy
that has even less aggregate demand, even less of a middle class, middle
class already shrinking, even more poor people, and an aristocracy, kind of
a permanent privileged group at top who are going to be basically running
everything because that`s where all at money is and they have no limits on
their campaign contributions.

That`s what the Republicans want. That`s what they have wanted all along.
And, unfortunately, they are spreading kind of a cynicism about the economy
and about our democracy that is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If people feel
like the game is rigged and they feel powerless, they may, unfortunately, a
lot of people may give up which is what the money interest wants.

SHARPTON: Wow. Scary thought. Robert Reich, thank you for your time

REICH: Thanks very much, Rev.

SHARPTON: Ahead, the Warren effect, the push to get her into the race is
over. So why and how will that affect Hillary Clinton?

Also, do you believe that Rand -- that Paul Ryan finally has a replacement
for ObamaCare? Me either. That`s next in tonight`s gotcha.


SHARPTON: Stop me if you`ve heard this one before. The GOP is going to
unveil its replacement for ObamaCare, for real this time. It`s a promise
we`ve heard many, many times before.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We`ll start tomorrow with a replacement. The difference
is it will lower the cost.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We want to take a common
sense step-by-step approach to replacing ObamaCare.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: And let`s talk about --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: After the first of the year we`ll bring forth a bill
that will be able to unite republicans around specific health care issues.

BOEHNER: Members have introduced 126 different ideas about how to fix
ObamaCare, how to replace ObamaCare. Working on this, having discussions
amongst our members. A lot of divergent views.


SHARPTON: In March, Congressman Paul Ryan got into the act, too, promising
a plan before the Supreme Court`s ruling on law later this month saying,
quote, "we have to be prepared by the time the ruling comes to have
something not months later." But now Ryan is kicking the can down the road
yet again. His spokesperson now admitting they won`t release their backup
plan until after the court ruling, so they hope the court tears down
ObamaCare, but they won`t talk about what they will do if that happens.
The truth is Republicans don`t have a plan and they certainly don`t have a
way to cover the millions of people who have insurance now, so Congressman
Ryan, nice try, but we gotcha.


SHARPTON: We began the show tonight talking about the national push to
focus on gun violence, and it was a big topic on social media. The
#WearingOrange was a top trending topic all day, a Hollywood`s heavyweights
got involved as well, like actress Julianne Moore, Russell Simmons was
wearing his orange. Here`s the entire New York Mets baseball team, MTV
even changed the color of its logo to show its support, and I got in on the
action, too. Here`s me earlier with my daughter. Please continue to share
your pictures with us. You can tag our Facebook page or tweet us


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: The game is rigged, and the rich
and the powerful have lobbyists and lawyers and plenty of friends in
Congress, so the way I see this is we can whine about it. We can whimper
about it, or we can fight back. I`m fighting back. I`m ready to fight
back. Are you ready to fight back on this?


SHARPTON: Senator Elizabeth Warren was ready to fight back, but she`s not
running for president. She`s not ready to do that. Today the "Run Warren
Run" movement announced they are throwing in the towel. While they admit
they didn`t achieve their goal, the group leaders say, quote, "There`s a
bigger story that gives us tremendous hope. As one headline put, it
Elizabeth Warren may not be running, but she`s in the 2016 race anyway."
One candidate they are talking about, Bernie Sanders.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (R), VERMONT: Are we happy that 99 percent of all new
income is going to the top one percent? Are we happy that one family in
this country owns more wealth than the bottom 130 million people? We`ve
got to get our act together, and in fact I do believe that all of that
money that has gone from the middle class to the top one percent, I think
it should start coming back to the people who need it the most.


SHARPTON: Now, Sanders has talked like this for years, and now Hillary
Clinton is talking like that as well.


favor of those already at the top. We need to reshuffle the cards and
begin to play a different hand, a hand that includes everybody. There`s
something wrong when CEOs make 300 times more than the typical worker.


SHARPTON: Elizabeth Warren seems to have made her mark on this race
without ever getting into it, but how far in that direction is Clinton
really willing to go?

Joining me now is Shira Center from "The Boston Globe" and Dana Milbank
from "The Washington Post." Thank you both for being here.

DANA MILBANK, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Good evening, Reverend.


SHARPTON: So, Dana, will the Warren effect continue on the democratic
side, or is it basically over?

MILBANK: No. I think it will continue, Reverend, and it has relatively
little to do with Elizabeth Warren. I mean, she`s riding the same populist
wave that others are within the party. This -- this doesn`t exist because
of Elizabeth Warren. It exists because there is a huge amount of
resentment that is built up because of this extraordinary inequality we`re
seeing now, worse than at any point since the great depression, and there
is the beginning of a backlash here. So I think Hillary Clinton has moved
to the Left and into a more populist direction, not necessarily because she
feared Elizabeth Warren who was really, let`s face it, never going to enter
this race, but because that`s where the energy is in the Democratic Party
and that`s where a lot of the energy is in the country now, going in a
populist direction.

SHARPTON: You know, Shira, a political obtained a memo written by a
Clinton ally about how to win over wealthy liberal donors. The memo says
it is no secret that Secretary Clinton is far left -- is fair-left, fair-
left, let me correct it, fair left and not far left. Fair left. How will
that sit with Elizabeth Warren`s voters, Shira?

CENTER: I don`t think Elizabeth Warren supporters are necessarily sold yet
on Hillary Clinton`s agenda for the middle class. She`s talked about the
deck being stacked against people in lower income brackets, but she hasn`t
said specifically at all but she would do to rectify that. You look at
someone like Elizabeth Warren and she`s been more than specific about it.
Today she wrote a 13-page letter to the S.E.C. Chairwoman outlining her
disappointments in her oversight of that organization. So I think Hillary
Clinton still has some work to do and look no further than her, quote,
"opponents," unquote, in the democratic field to see how that`s playing
out. Every single one of the people who is running against her, Bernie
Sanders, Martin O`Malley, Lincoln Chafee, can`t forget about him, is
running to her left.

SHARPTON: You know, Dana, this afternoon Clinton`s campaign announced she
will call for the voting rights act to be restored at a speech later this
week. They say Clinton will urge replacing the provisions struck down by
the Supreme Court. She will also speak about the destructive impact of
restrictive laws that make it harder for voters to access the voting booth
and cast their ballot. Now, this is a big issue for progressives and
minority voters, big issue here on this show. Is this a smart move by her?

MILBANK: Well, it`s a smart move in a sense, Reverend, but it`s also a no-
brainer. I mean, it`s hard to imagine a democratic candidate not taking
that position when the Supreme Court invalidated those parts of the voting
rights act, they invited Congress to go and change it, and you have Jim
Sensenbrenner, an important republican in the house, talking about the need
to restore these provisions, so for Hillary Clinton to do it is no sign of
bravery. It`s an obvious thing for her to do, you know, and I think if she
wants to capture the energy of the Elizabeth Warren wing, if that`s what
we`re calling it, she needs to go much further than this in terms of her
tax policy and in terms of taking on Wall Street and taking much more
dangerous, shall we say, stands rather than simply suggesting that, yes, we
need to restore the voting rights act. I don`t think there`s any
disagreement anywhere in the Democratic Party on that.

SHARPTON: Well, Shira, Mrs. Clinton though surprised a lot of people when
she started talking about campaign finance reform right after announce are
her candidacy. Listen to this.


CLINTON: We need to fix our dysfunctional political system and get
unaccountable money out of it once and for all, even if that takes a
constitutional amendment.


SHARPTON: Now, a new poll shows Americans think money has too much
influence on campaigns. Eight four percent of Americans say money
influences political campaigns too much. Campaign finance reform is an
issue that Elizabeth Warren has fought hard, but will it be a factor in the
primary or the general election, Shira?

CENTER: I think it will be a factor. I don`t think it will be a huge
factor. If you ask voters where this issue ranks on their list of
concerns, so many other things rank above it. For example, the economy,
again, talking about the middle class which she has also discussed quite a
bit. Campaign finance reform is a really easy thing for politicians to
talk about on the campaign trail because Congress is probably never going
to do anything about it any time soon, at least in terms of actually
passing legislation, not just presenting legislation. It`s really hard
once you get as president to try and legislate on this, and it`s hard to
have Congress basically govern themselves in this regard. The law that
passed in 2002, McCain/Feingold is now pretty weak --


CENTER: It`s been gutted by many Supreme Court decisions.

SHARPTON: You know, Dana, I was looking at this new poll in Iowa. Iowa
democrats were asked about the issues they most want to hear candidates
address. Their top five, energy, income inequality, the country`s
infrastructure, job creation, immigration. Now how will Hillary Clinton
have to talk about these progressive issues to connect with them?

MILBANK: Right. Well, in a sense it`s easy, Reverend. These all teed up
for a democratic message when you`re talking about infrastructure and
income inequality, and -- and it is a fairly easy path for her. I think
the disadvantage for Hillary Clinton right now is that she doesn`t have a
real challenger out there, and she`s decided that it`s safe for her to go
through this election season saying very little about anything, but it
would be terrific for her to have some sort of intellectual leadership on
these positions and establish it sooner rather than later.

SHARPTON: Well, Shira, is it healthy for her to have a real strong
opposition maybe from Bernie Sanders, and what does Sanders have to do?
He`s starting to draw big crowds. What does he have to do to be a real
threat to Hillary Clinton?

CENTER: The iron of all this is Bernie Sanders hates Super PACs but he
really needs a Super PAC. He really needs a whole lot of money if he`s
going to propel his message past this kind of insurgent and some democrats
might even call him a fringe candidate on the Left. I mean, he`s a self-
described socialist, right? So I think that`s really what he needs if he
wants to present himself as the alternative to -- as the alternative to
Hillary Clinton in this democratic primary, and it could happen. There`s a
lot of money on the far left that could fund a candidacy like this. I
think that`s why some of Hillary Clinton`s allies are putting out a memo
like the one you described, Reverend, about her being fair-left. I think
it`s trying to court this very liberal donor base, especially rain-makers
in California, who are further to Hillary`s left who might be interested in
supporting someone like Bernie Sanders.

SHARPTON: Shira Center and Dana Milbank, thank you both for your time

MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.

CENTER: Thanks.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, the incredible reaction to Caitlyn Jenner. What
she`s saying today about her first public appearance?

And later, decades after their death, President Obama gives out Medal of
Honor to two American heroes, both who were discriminated against.


SHARPTON: And now to the massive response to Caitlyn Jenner. Her
revelation on the cover of "Vanity Fair" had the world talking and
tweeting. "Vanity Fair" released this behind-the-scenes video of this
shoot. Caitlyn will make her first major public appearance at next month`s
ESPN ESPY Awards where she will receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.
Today Caitlyn jokingly tweeting, "what the heck am I going to wear?" The
"Late Night" comedians also weighed in last night.


JIMMY FALLON, COMEDIAN: I think the most shocking thing is it`s only June
and she`s already in bathing suit shape. What`s the secret?

SETH MEYERS, COMEDIAN: Mostly, just I`m so happy. I can`t believe we`re
sort of living in a time where this is happening and people are being so
positive about it, so congratulations as well to Caitlyn Jenner.



SHARPTON: Well said. And congratulations to Caitlyn.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, a White House ceremony meant to correct wrongs
that date back almost 100 years. Today decades after their death,
President Obama gave out the nation`s highest military award, the Medal of
Honor, to two World War I heroes who were discriminated against. Army
Sergeant William Shimon and Private Henry Johnson were honored for their
bravery under fire. They dodged gunfire and rescued wounded comrades on
the battlefield in France, but because of prejudice they never got the
recognition they deserved. Shimon was Jewish. He landed in France in 1918
and went straight to the horror of the trenches, leaving three separate
times under fire to drag fellow soldiers away from danger. Johnson was a
member of an all-African-American unit known as the Harlem hell fighters.
During a raid, Johnson fought off at least 12 Germans with nothing but a
knife, a jammed gun and his fists. Today President Obama said it`s never
too late to say thank you.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: We are a nation, a people who
remember our heroes. These two soldiers were roughly the same age, dropped
into the battlefields of France at roughly the same time. They both risked
their own lives to save the lives of others. They both left us decades ago
before we could give them the full recognition that they deserved, but it`s
never too late to say thank you.


SHARPTON: Shimon`s medal was accepted by his two daughters who couldn`t
stop smiling. Johnson`s award was accepted by -- by the New York National
Guard command sergeant


OBAMA: Well, it has taken a long time for Henry Johnson and William Shimon
to receive the recognition that they deserve, and there are surely others
whose heroism is still unacknowledged and uncelebrated, so we have work to
do as a nation to make sure that all of our heroes` stories are told.


SHARPTON: By giving these awards it reminds us how sad it is that they
didn`t get it in life but it reminds us not to let our biases blind us from
true greatness. Greatness should never be based on who you are but what
you do.

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


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