PoliticsNation, Monday, June 8th, 2015
Read the transcript from the Monday show
Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: June 8, 2015
Guest: Jess McIntosh, Margie Omero, Hilda Solis, Emanuel Cleaver; John
REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on "Politics Nation," defending
Obamacare, the president hitting the Supreme Court just days before ruling
that could uphold the law or create a health care disaster.
Also, did they have help? New questions tonight about how they got out and
the manhunt for those two escaped murders.
And a dramatic new move from the White House that could give a raise to
millions of American workers who need it most.
Welcome to "Politics Nation." There is a big Supreme Court ruling on
Obamacare coming any day now. Millions could lose their insurance.
Tomorrow the president is going to talk about it and today he gave a
preview going right after the conservative case against Obamacare.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It`s a bad idea. It`s not
something that should be done based on a twisted interpretation of four
words. And as we were reminded repeatedly a couple thousand page piece of
legislation. Once more, the thing is working. I mean, part of what is
bizarre about this whole thing is we haven`t had a lot of conversation
about the horrors of Obamacare because none of them come to pass. None of
the predictions of how this will work have come to pass.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Now, the president talked about the predictions, the horror
predictions that didn`t come to pass. Well, let`s look at some of
predictions. They said it was a job killer. That didn`t happen. Death
panels. Whatever happened to the death panels that were predicted? Death
spirals and it would pull the plug on grandma.
These were actually said by many respectable people on the right, not just
the French. The fact of the matter, let`s look at what actually happened
under Obamacare. 6.3 million rose now to 10.2 million from 2014 to 2015
actual numbers, and jobs increased every month. Grandma didn`t have the
plug pulled on her, all of hysteria, all of the horror predictions flat on
their face. And on top of that, the American people get I because look at
the new poll on what the public is saying about Supreme Court decision.
Should Supreme Court block federal subsidies? Should not, 55 percent, 38
percent said they should. Fifty five percent said they should not block.
The people get it. Why? Because all of the predictions proved to be a lot
of rhetoric and a lot of horror predictions that didn`t pan out.
Let me bring on John Walsh and the great Congressman Emanuel Cleaver.
Thank you both for being with us.
JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: Thanks, Rev.
REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D), MISSOURI: Good to be with you.
SHARPTON: Congressman, the horror predictions haven`t worked. You are
looking at 10.2 million people are insured, many never insured before they
had prospect before, yet, on a technicality of language, we are talking
about a phrase that by the states rather than by the states in federal
government were playing almost semantics here in my opinion, we may lose
millions of people.
CLEAVER: We are going to lose if the Supreme Court should go the political
route, we`ll lose over six million people who were insured. Look --
SHARPTON: 6.4 million to be exact.
CLEAVER: Yes. Almost six and actually grow if some other states were
SHARPTON: That`s correct.
CLEAVER: But I never missed a single debate, nor did I miss any of the
votes and this issue about whether the federal government could allow tax
credits to subsidize insurance was never brought up by a single member of
congress, not once. Not even a piece of a sentence.
All we heard from them is that if you pass the ACA, Dracula is going to
bite you on the neck and he`s going to send your children to live with
Frankenstein and after that, they will have some kind of a big party with
zombies. It was one of the most ridiculous things I`ve ever seen.
And this is politically motivated. It has no merit whatsoever. And those
who put it together are just trying to find a way in which they can do
damage to the president. But they are going to damage the Republican Party
and they are going do serious damage, I think, to many in the American
public who are getting insurance.
SHARPTON: They will do damage, Joan, if Supreme Court rules in their favor
to specifically 6.4 million people and the American people. Their party
notwithstanding the damage it would do politically. But I want to go back
to what the congressman said because this is the core issue. Let`s get the
right premise to get to the right conclusion.
SHARPTON: There was no confusion.
SHARPTON: That the federal government could give subsidies because
Congressman Cleaver said they never even debated that. It was never even
inferred that we weren`t talking about the federal government. But on this
little technicality that federal was not put in the law, only state, they
want to risk six million people when it was never even discussed in the
WALSH: Well I have hope that the Supreme Court will not do this and the
majority will not come through and overturn this because there are so many
presidents, Reverend Al, where the court looks at the sense of Congress.
And it`s easy to get the sense of Congress and the court doesn`t penalize
Congress for clerical error, which is essentially what this is.
Honestly, if we were in another time, we all know that they would have
cleaned up the language. They have cleaned other things that might have
been fuzzy about the bill. But there was no potential for Republicans to
participate even in the basic cleaning up.
But, you know, I really am so what optimistic, hopeful about the Supreme
Court. I`m very pessimistic about Republicans carrying about this. Even
though this poll shows that in the swing states they actually care more and
even really more don`t want the Supreme Court to overturn the subsidies.
But they are not playing even now to the swing states, where are the 2016
candidates? Why aren`t they standing up and saying, you know, this is what
we need to do. This is an issue to take care of, they are not. They are
sticking to the old script.
SHARPTON: And Congressmen, the fact that they would even propose this to
the Supreme Court and I love that Joan is talking to two preachers and she
has the faith and the hope, but the fact of the matter is that even the
fact remains that they would even propose it and would this court been
right wing, we don`t know which way they would rule shows a real
insensitivity, a gross insensitivity to the people that benefitted and that
need this benefit.
CLEAVER: Well, Joan, it`s good to have faith in our -- I`m going to
embrace her embracing faith. However, I was surprised that the Supreme
Court accepted this case because historically, as you said, or maybe Joan
said it, that legislative intend is what the courts have historically used
when they were dealing with legislation, and the legislative intent is
The structure, the text is clear. And if we don`t somehow get the Supreme
Court to understand this issue, I think that it`s going to do enormous
damage. Human beings, the bottom line here is that people will be heard.
There will people who will go to bed one day and wake up the next day and
they don`t have health insurance. And I hope the people who are pushing
this politically motivated lawsuit will be happy just to see 6.4 million
people without insurance. And that`s almost 200,000 of them in my state of
SHARPTON: Joan, logic would say that no one would want to risk that and
especially when you talk about a word. But then today I look and on
twitter I see a GOP Senator John Thune. Here is what he tweeted. Six
million people risk losing their health care subsidies yet Potus continues
to deny that Obamacare is bad for the American people. Now, I spent a lot
of time rereading this.
WALSH: Yes. Take it apart, Rev.
SHARPTON: And there is absolutely no logic to the point that he`s making.
Six million people risk losing health care.
WALSH: That`s a tragedy, OK.
SHARPTON: But yet, the president continues Obamacare, which is what is
giving them the health care. So he`s against the president doing what he
regrets they are going to lose. With people like this sitting in the
Senate and they are supposed to be logical, do you understand why I`m
nervous about the Supreme Court.
WALSH: I am a little nervous. OK, you guys are making me more nervous.
But that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. You cannot unpack.
You cannot make a sense.
SHARPTON: And they will this.
WALSH: They are shameless. They will blame this on Obama. And all I`m
seeing as we approach 2016, Rev., is that they are going for a turn out the
base strategy. They are not looking at the swing states. They are trying
to win over the base in the primaries and that leaves no one in any kind of
position of leadership saying OK, you know what? We are going to do the
right thing. We don`t like Obamacare but this is going to throw people
into chaos. We`ll repeal it when I become president, maybe I`ll repeal it,
but for now we`ll give them certainty they can have health insurance.
SHARPTON: But Congressman doesn`t that give us a real state of where we
are where politically to where no candidate has come out and said anything
to where you have GOP senators playing to the base vote so to their
incoherent on twitter? I mean, this is a real polarized, I think,
politically poisonous type of atmosphere.
CLEAVER: Yes, this is political tribalism at its very worst. This whole
issue that the Supreme Court will actually hear and, well, actually they
already heard back in March arguments, but they are going to render
decision shortly, and it`s based on politics. I`m not saying the Supreme
Court`s decision was based on politics, but the fact it was even brought to
the judicial system and I hoped the court wouldn`t accept this because it
is clearly political. And as Joan said in a more sane season, those that
we used to have in this country, Congress would simply have amended the
legislation to take care of this little grammatical error. And we will be
on our way. But right now it is so polarized, nothing can be done.
SHARPTON: But that - and I am a man of faith and I am certainly a child of
hope, but the fact they accepted case, it makes me a little nervous. The
fact that even hearing it makes me a little unsettled.
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, Joan Walsh, thank you both for your time
WALSH: Thanks, Rev.
CLEAVER: Thank you, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Coming up, the manhunt for the two escaped murderers. Did they
have help? Where are they now? We`re live at the prison.
Plus both these Republican contenders were asked about Caitlyn Jenner.
Their two different answers reveal a big problem in the GOP.
And tonight, there is a new clan from the Obama White House that could mean
a pay raise for millions of Americans.
Developing news tonight in the indictment of former house speaker Dennis
Hastert, he has hired high powered Washington defense attorney Thomas Green
to represent him against charges he lied to the FBI about bank withdrawals.
According to federal officials, Hastert used the money as pay off to
conceal previous misconduct of a sexual neighbor.
Green has represented clients involved a national scandals including
Watergate, Iran-contra, the Keating five and Whitewater. Hastert will be
arraigned tomorrow in federal court in Chicago. It will be his first
appearance in public since he was indicted nearly two weeks ago.
SHARPTON: Now to a growing manhunt for two convicted killers, the prison
break in upstate New York sounds more like a movie than reality. Today,
police saying over 300 tips have poured on prisoners Richard Matt and David
Sweat who escaped the maximum security Clinton facility this weekend in
upstate New York, just 25 miles from the Canadian border. Officials today
say they could literally be anywhere.
NBC`s Miguel Almaguer with more on the search.
MIGUEL ALMAGUER, NBC NEWS REPORTER: Some 250 heavily-armed officers with
canine combing the woods searching cemeteries and schools for convicts
David Sweat and Richard Matt. Sweat was serving life after killing a
sheriff`s deputy, shooting him 22 times. Matt serving 25 years to life for
kidnapping, beating, killing and dismembering his boss.
The prisoners in side by side cells, stuffed their bunks with clothes to
avoid detection. They cut holes through the steel wall behind their beds,
crawled on the this cat walk six stories up, broke through a brick wall two
feet thick, cutting holes into and out of a 24-inch steam pipe shimmying
beneath the prison wall then breaking out of a manhole more than a block
away. They left behind a post it note with a racist image reading have a
SHARPTON: NBC`s John Yang is live outside the prison.
John, give us the latest in the search for these men.
JOHN YANG, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Reverend, the search is still
going on. Searching the farm land, the woods surrounding this (INAUDIBLE)
village high in the decks, as you say, not very far from Canada along the
Canadians boarder, the U.S. customs and border patrol have set up lanes to
check cars leaving the United States going into Canada. They say there is
a heightened awareness along the border.
They have also notified officials in Mexico because one of the two men who
escaped spent some time in Mexico before he was extradited to face trial
that ended him up here in this prison. They are also trying to figure out
just how this happened, how they were able to get a hold of the tools to
carry all this out, how they knew the laboring (ph) of steam tunnels and
pipes underneath this prison. They are interviewing civilian workers.
They are interviewing private contractors who do work in the prison, all
trying to find out where they are and how they got out, Rev?
SHARPTON: How is the community, the surrounding community? How are they
YANG: Well, I tell you, today there was some anxious times for parents.
They did go to school today. Their children went to school. The schools
were open over the weekend. Officers searched all the schools, secured all
the schools trying to reassure the community that everything was safe.
Everything did go off without a hitch.
New York state police officers were stationed at every school just in case.
This is still a city or village under as fortress, going in and out there
are check points checking the trunks of cars and checking inside cars
trying to figure out if there is still - if those two convicted killers are
still hold up here or on the run somewhere else - Reverend.
SHARPTON: NBC`s John Yang, thank you for your reporting tonight.
Now let`s bring in former FBI profiler and MSNBC contributor Clint Van
Clint, how do investigators begin tracking down the two men?
CLINT VAN ZANDT, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well first, they have to look at their
activities the last few months, Al. So I can hear they are fugitive hunt,
who were they talking to? Who were their friends talking to? You start at
the epicenter, which is obviously this manhole that these two guys popped
out at about 48 hours ago and then you kind of spread out from there.
And there is two prevailing theories, one is that two guys like the this
would stay together, hunker down in a local area, maybe go to the an
abandoned barn, maybe break into a house and hold people captive, but the
police are going door by door.
The other theory says that safe money would say these two guys would split
up, go opposite directions, maybe one to Mexico, one to Canada, but split
up somehow because we`re all looking for these two dangerous-looking guys
traveling together. So put a baseball cap, sunglasses on them, send them
opposite directions, maybe they think they can get away from this point.
SHARPTON: How dangerous do people in law enforcement think these guys are?
VAN ZANDT: Well, look. These two guys were in what`s called the honors
block, which means they hadn`t screwed up in prison so they got certain
privileges. Well, you know, so much for the honor system in prison, we`ve
got two killers that are now on the run.
But we got to qualify that. One of these killed a deputy sheriff,
obviously he`s dangerous. Another guy killed his boss because his boss
fired him. But these two guys are on the run, Al. They are trying to get
away. The last thing they want to do is bring attention on themselves, if
in fact, they want to disappear into society and never be seen again.
SHARPTON: Now, you know, the prison is a maximum prison. I have visited
prisoners there, famous artist was there I visited once.
VAN ZANDT: Yes.
SHARPTON: It`s inconceivable to me they could have done this without help
going through all of what they had to know and the materials they would
have to use. How long do you think it took these men to plot the escape?
VAN ZANDT: I think, Al, it took weeks, maybe months. One of them we`re
told may have been able to motivate or get somebody on the inside to help
them. Some suggest maybe a female employee, maybe somebody on the inside.
Somebody had to help them, had to help them get tools, had to help them
develop the ability to disappear for a few hours at night.
But Al, you and I have seen over the years, guys escape from prison and
they pop out of prison and it`s like what do I do now? Where do I go?
They put all of their efforts on the escape. These guys so far it looks
like have covered the front end and the back end. How do I get out and
where do I go from here? That`s where law enforcement will figure out how
they got out.
What they have to do is get these guys in custody before they run into a
police officer or a member of the public who gets in their way and one or
both of these guys decide they will go over the top of them.
SHARPTON: According to news reports today, a woman inside the prison may
have helped the prisoners. What do you make of these reports, Clint?
VAN ZANDT: Well, you know, these guys are killers, one of these guys has
been identified. The older guy, matt is his last name is supposed to be
somewhat of a conman, somewhat of lady`s man.
You know, Al, you and I remember the case what, half a dozen, ten years
ago, where the guy out in California, he killed his nine month pregnant
wife, Scott Peterson. This guy to this day still gets proposals that are
sent to him. So, you know, guys in prison sometimes they are the mystery
man and there are some women that like that mystery.
SHARPTON: Clint Van Zandt, thank you so much for your time tonight.
VAN ZANDT: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Coming up, a Texas officer is on leave after video surfaces
showing him pushing a teen girl down and pulling a gun.
Also President Obama is on the verge of a historic wage hike, and he can do
it without Congress. That`s next.
SHARPTON: Everything is bigger in Texas, including the hypocrisy. We`re
serving up a lone star size double got you tonight featuring Texas own Ted
Cruz and Rick Perry.
Perry hates regulations until he doesn`t and Cruz hates background checks
until does it.
Former governor Perry gave head-scratching explanation this weekend why
he`s so against the Wall Street reform law Dodd-Frank.
RICK PERRY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We`re fed up by seeing Wall Street
get treated specially and you can`t even get a loan from your community
bank because of Dodd-Frank banking regulations.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What are you going to do about Wall Street, then?
PERRY: Well, regulate them. I mean, regulate them. Make sure that
doesn`t happen. If they make bad decisions, let them live with those bad
decisions and don`t bail them out.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. But isn`t that what Dodd-Frank is,
regulations? You were just saying that was bad.
PERRY: Yes, Dodd-Frank is killing. Dodd-Frank is killing the community
banks. Over regulations and that --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: He`s against Dodd-Frank regulations of Wall Street, but he is
saying we need more regulation on Wall Street?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PERRY: I can`t, sorry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: You said it, governor. Not on our next rodeo act, Senator Cruz
is a proud hunter, so his campaign, in holding a contest for one lucky
donor that comes along hunting with him. There is just one bit of twist,
the winner may have to undergo a background check first.
This is for the same Ted Cruz who helped lead the effort to defeat a bill
that would have expanded background checks nationwide. I can smell the
irony from here. It looks like Ted Cruz and Rick Perry need to lasso in
the hypocrisy. Did these two cowboys think we would ignore the text mess
they made? Nice try but we got you.
SHARPTON: There is not much Republicans say that surprises me anymore, but
when South Carolina`s Senator Lindsey Graham talked about Caitlyn Jenner
this weekend, he said something I didn`t expect.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: I don`t have all of the answers
to the mysteries of life. I can only imagine the torment Bruce Jenner went
through. I hope he, she has found peace. I`m a prolife traditional
marriage kind of guy but I`m running to be president of the United States.
If Caitlyn Jenner wants to be a republican, she`s welcome in my party.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I disagree with Senator Graham on most issues, but on this, he`s
saying the right thing. Good for him. That was a sincere response to
Caitlyn Jenner`s transition, and a sign Senator Graham wants to welcome
more people in his party. But we heard a different reaction to Jenner from
another potential candidate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: It`s a personal decision and to me, I
don`t know there is anything more to come and it`s just a personal
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Wow, that was a quick answer. I`ll play it again in case you
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: Well, I think it`s a personal decision and to me, I don`t know
there is anything more to come and it`s just a personal decision.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Scott Walker spent less than five seconds talking about Caitlyn
Jenner, he couldn`t wait to talk about something else. Like how he would
support a constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WALKER: Well, I personally believe marriage is between one man and one
woman. If the court decides that, the only next approach is for those who
are supporters of marriage being define as between one man and one woman is
ultimately to consider pursuing a constitutional amendment.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: So you would favor a constitutional amendment that would
say the states are allowed to ban same-sex marriage.
WALKER: I believe that the decision to define marriage would be left up to
the states, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: But Governor Walker is on the wrong side of public opinion. A
new poll found 63 percent of Americans think there should be a
constitutional right to marry for same-sex couples, the country is changing
moving forward for the better. It`s too bad candidates like Scott Walker
are still stuck in the past.
Joining me now is Jess McIntosh of Emily`s List. And Margie Omero,
democratic strategist and co-host of the Podcast, "The Post." Thank you
both for being here.
MARGIE OMERO, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Thanks, Rev.
JESS MCINTOSH, EMILY`S LIST: Thank you, good evening, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Jess, some say Scott Walker is the new front runner. What do
you make of his comments on these social issues?
MCINTOSH: I think he thought that putting on a leather motorcycle jacket
was all he needed to do to convince people that he belonged in the 21st
Century. Unfortunately, then he opens his mouth and its becomes very clear
that Scott Walker is going to do nothing to make the republican tent any
bigger and in fact, he`s going to drive away a lot of younger folks who
might even be inclined to vote republican. I mean, marriage equality is a
huge generational split issue, 73 percent of younger people say that they
believe that same-sex couples ought to have a right to marry. So, for
Scott Walker to say, okay, even if the courts don`t agree with me on this,
I think we can keep fighting for this thing that everyone knows is about
love and it`s going to be a part of the world from now on. We`re going to
keep fighting back against this and seeing how far back into the 20th
century we can take our policies.
SHARPTON: Well, Margie, let me play on that last point that Jess made
because there is a real split within the Republican Party that`s
generational, she referred generational in terms of all voters but in the
party over gay rights, only 36 percent of Republicans over 50 say same-sex
couples should have a constitutional right to marry, but among republicans
younger than 50, 59 percent agree, only 36 percent of those over 50 but 59
percent of the young people in their own party agree they should have that.
Are today`s candidates turning off tomorrow`s voters, Margie?
OMERO: Well, absolutely. Because I think the issue here is not just where
people are currently. This has been such a rapidly moving issue. What we
really need to look at is where it`s going and where it`s going, there is
no mistake. And every time a pole comes out about same-sex marriage, the
headline from the outlet is, new record high in our poles show support for
same-sex marriage and that`s been going on for a while, doesn`t matter what
outlet you look at. Pugh just came out with a study and it showed that
nearly three-fourths of Democrats, Republicans, Independents didn`t matter
say, it`s inevitable that we`re going to have same-sex marriage legally
across the country. So people see where this is headed and when you have
republican candidates trying to find terms of art to, you know, reign it in
when everybody sees where this is going, it just reinforces that they are
the party of the past rather than the party of the future.
SHARPTON: Jess, a new poll shows that the country is moving the other way
from this conservatism. New polls show that more voters are describing
themselves as liberal and fewer as conservative. Twenty six percent of
Americans say they are liberal up three percent from last year and 33
percent say they are conservative, which is down four percent from 2014.
What is driving that change in your opinion, Jess?
MCINTOSH: I think we`re seeing a bigger contrast than ever before between
the parties as Republicans have moved farther and farther to the right.
We`re watching Hillary Clinton stake out really popular opinions and issues
when it comes to giving the undocumented immigrations a path to
citizenship. That`s a really popular position that no one on the right
has. They are still debating should we build a fence or should we just
give them something slightly less than citizenship. You know, Hillary
Clinton wants to have voting automatic voting once you turn 18 and
Republicans want to issue more a voting restrictions. We`re seeing a very
clear contrast and I think more Americans that would be in that middle that
might have identified as conservative before are taking a looking at these
totally a -- to our country`s policies and saying, you know what? That`s
not me. And I think that`s why we`re seeing their numbers are smaller than
they have been.
SHARPTON: You know, Margie in 2004 President Bush called for a
constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage and it was a big wedge
issue in the campaign. Listen to what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FMR. PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH, UNITED STATES: If we prevent the meaning of
marriage from being changed forever, our nation must enact a constitutional
amendment to protect marriage in America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Now back then this was an issue that helped the Republican
Party, but 11 years later, won`t this hurt them?
OMERO: It`s clear that it will hurt them and it reinforce and activate as
narrative that people think that some folks on the right are two tied to
the past in digging in against trends of where people are going. I mean,
you said at a poll about an increase in people who self-identify as
liberal. Gallops show that among the republican base there is been a drop
in the percentage of Republicans who identify as both socially conservative
and economically conservative.
You see a drop in folks who identify as socially conservative across party
lines and even when you look at specific issues, a whole variety of issues
whether they`re personal liberty issues or whether there are things like
the death penalty or things where we have more national policy debates,
people are moving left toward on all of them across the board. I mean,
same-sex marriage is one that`s pretty visible and pretty clear, but it`s
happening across the board and for Republicans to dig their heels in and
fight for this right word territory, it really, it puts them at a
disservice for a general election.
SHARPTON: Jess McIntosh and Margie Omero, thank you both for your time
OMERO: Thank you.
MCINTOSH: Thank you so much.
SHARPTON: Still ahead, President Obama has a plan to give a pay raise to
millions of Americans and Republicans can do anything to stop it, we`ll
tell you why. But first, the feel good story of the weekend. Ninety nine-
year-old Aretha Daniels just fulfilled a lifelong dream graduating from
California`s college of the canyons and she`s definitely, she definitely
stole the show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Ninety nine here I am. I accomplished what I wanted
to do and this is my dream come true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Because no one who works full-time
in America should have to live in poverty, I`m going to keep making the
case that we need to raise the minimum wage because it`s lower right now
than it was when Ronald Reagan took office. It`s time for the minimum wage
to go up.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: It`s time for the minimum wage to go up. Why? Because American
workers need to be able to make an income that can provide for their
families. We haven`t seen it go up since Ronald Reagan at the same kind of
gap that we`ve faced decades ago when you compare inflation to income, but
the Republicans were adamant in blocking the President so he has decided to
do something else. Here is the President 15 months ago on hiking overtime
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Over time is a pretty simple idea, if you have to work more, you
should get paid more. If you`re working hard, you`re barely making ends
meet, you should be paid over time, period. Because working Americans are
struggled through stagnant wages for too long. Americans spent too long
working more and getting less in return.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Getting less in return, working more, getting less. Well, that
may change this week by the President directly dealing with this not having
to go through an obstructionists Congress because the reality is, if you
make a little over $23,000 a year, just $23,660 a year, if you make
anything over that, you cannot get over time pay, which means you could be
literally living in poverty if you`re a family of four and working overtime
for nothing. We have got to stop this. I`m glad the President is talking
about moving this week at doing what this Congress should have done with
minimum wage but at least millions will benefit with a change in overtime
We`re going to talk about this important debate with former Secretary of
Labor Hilda Solis. Thank you for being here first of all, Secretary.
HILDA SOLIS, FORMER SECRETARY OF LABOR: Thank you, Reverend, it`s good to
see you again.
SHARPTON: Good to see you. Now overtime pay for over time working, tell
us how this impact people and are we talking about a lot of Americans?
SOLIS: You`re talking about millions of Americans that will be impacted
because this original rule wasn`t updated since back in the 1970s, 1975 to
be exact and right now the threshold for individuals is as you said
$23,600. Well, that`s poverty wages by our account right now.
SOLIS: So if you are to lift that and double it, or at least go up to
40,000, that will help to provide assistance for millions and millions of
working men and women that are working right now, some 60, 70, sometimes 80
hours a week and not getting paid over time and sometimes these employees
are also misclassified. They`re put into a managerial category and they`re
not paid. So, for example, the example we point to a lot is someone
working at, say, McDonalds or a fast food restaurant, they`re classified as
a manager but have to work maybe 40 or 50 hours and don`t get paid over
time. Yet, they are working at the same standard that maybe other
That`s not fair and this is about fairness and this is a law that went into
place back in the 30s. 1938, right, coming out of the recession because
people needed to have some guarantees that you would be paid and honored
for the work hours that you provided. So, that`s all this is and I`m glad
that the President is moving in this direction, we tried to work on this a
couple years ago when I was their secretary but I know how important it is
for working Americans to get relief, especially when you have a Congress
that doesn`t even want to entertain the notion of raising the minimum wage.
SHARPTON: Yes. And you know, Secretary, it is so blatant to me when we
looked back and found that in 1975, 65 percent, 65 percent of workers fell
under the overtime threshold. Today only 12 percent fall under the
overtime threshold. So we are addressing a problem and the President is
making a move this week to fix a problem that exists, this is the not
something that`s just being done to be doing it. This is a real problem
when you see how few people fall under the threshold today percentage-wise
as opposed to the 1970s.
SOLIS: What will happen is the President will actually issue an executive
order. This will then go through the process. It will receive public
comment, people will have a chance to make those comments and then it will
come back to the agency, to the Department of Labor and then if everything
goes well, then that will go into implementation. But you know that
perhaps on the other side, there will be people the naysayers though will
say, oh, no, this is going to be a job killer when in fact it actually
could allow for people to maybe take time off and be able to be with their
family and not families and not have to work so darn hard and not be paid
for it. So, it`s about justice. It`s about equality and it`s about
fairness. Right now with the unemployment rate being what it is at 5.5
percent nationally tells you that the economy is coming back. That
somebody is making money but is it really reaching the people that deserve
SHARPTON: And when you look at the fact that the economic policy institute
says that this increase would and this is their quote, it would
disproportionately help women, Blacks, Hispanic workers under 35 and
workers with low levels of education, so these are the people that really
need it the most. I was also noted this weekend that Hillary Clinton
called in to a conference of fast food workers who were calling for $15
minimum wage, and she says quote, "I want to be your champion. I want to
fight with you every day." So it seems to be a battle now in main stream
politics and be a lead by the President in the White House that we`ve got
to not just talk about income equality, we`ve got to do something about it
for those that are working.
Exactly and people need to contact their legislators, there are people in
Congress and the Senate and let them know that they support this executive
order and this particular procedure that the President is pushing forward.
It`s time for Americans to take back their wages and this is one way to do
it to help remedy our economy, put people back to work and make sure that
they don`t have to rely on public assistance because if you`re making
poverty wages, $23,600, that`s poverty wages below the federal poverty
lines. So, we need to do that, we need to speak up and have our voices
Former Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, thank you for your time tonight.
SOLIS: Thank you, Reverend.
SHARPTON: The South Carolina police officer who shot and killed Walter
Scott charged with murder by a grand jury. What happens now?
SHARPTON: Today, Vice President Biden responded to the outpouring of
support following the death of his son Beau. He tweeted quote, "Our
deepest gratitude for everyone`s kindness and compassion, your love and
admiration for Beau has touched us beyond measure." Beau Biden was laid to
rest this Saturday after dying of cancer. President Obama held back tears
as he delivered a moving and emotional eulogy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Anyone can make a name for themselves in this reality TV age,
especially in today`s politics if you`re loud enough or controversial
enough, you can get some attention. But to make that name mean something,
to have an associated with dignity and integrity that is rare. What
greater inheritance going to be part of a family that passes on the values
of what it means to be a great parent, that passes on the values of what it
means to be a true citizen.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Afterward he hugged his Vice President who he called his
brother. The entire nation has watched their friendship evolve and deepen
over the last seven years, and the emotion we heard in the President`s
eulogy is a testament to that bond.
SHARPTON: Developing news tonight in the shooting death of Walter Scott.
A grand jury has indicted South Carolina Police Officer Michael Slager on
murder charges for Scott`s death. The shooting was recorded by a witness
in April showing the officer firing his gun eight times at Scott`s back as
he ran away. This case highlights the importance of video which can
provide key evidence in interactions between police and the community.
Like in this next case that has a lot of people talking and concerned, a
police officer in McKinney, Texas has been placed on administrative leave
after a video surfaced showing him throwing down a 15-year-old girl at a
pool party, and then pulling his weapon. Police say they were called by
reports of a disturbance among juveniles but cameras did not capture
anything leading up to the encounter with the police. The 15-year-old girl
was detained and released to her parents. The McKinney police say they are
investigating the incident. We`ll monitor this when you have kids in
bathing suits and bikinis, clearly there does not seem to be any reason to
throw a 15-year-old girl and put her face down and then pull a gun. There
were no life extenuating circumstances that we could see. That`s why video
is important. Imagine if there was no video what the story may be. Let`s
continue to monitor this.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
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