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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

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Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: June 10, 2015
Guest: Jonathan Capehart; Lloyd Doggett; Herb Wesson, Bob Deans, Majora
Carter, Joel Berg


REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on "Politics Nation," Paul Ryan`s
bait and switch on Obamacare. He says he`s got a plan b, but he`s going to
wait until you lose your insurance before he tells you what it is.

Also, Jeb Bush once said we should, quote, "shame single moms." Does he
still feel that? We reached out to his office today, and we`ll tell you
what they said.

And the first lady`s emotional speech to high school students who overcame
their own personal tragedy.

Welcome to "Politics Nation." We`re just days away from a major court
decision on Obamacare. And Republicans have taken a stunning position on
it. They want the Supreme Court to take away insurance from millions of
Americans. They won`t do anything about it, and then they`ll blame the
president. Just ask Paul Ryan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: Whatever the Supreme Court decides later
this month, I think the lesson is absolutely clear. Obamacare is just flat
busted. It just doesn`t work. And no fix can change that fact. We`re not
talking about a ding or a dent or a fender bender or a flat tire, the whole
law is a lemon. The answer is to repeal and replace this law with patient-
centered reforms. And if the court rules against the administration,
millions of people will be stuck with a government-designed health
insurance that they cannot afford.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, let`s be clear. They`re arguing before for the Supreme
Court that because the language said states rather than federal government,
that they should therefore take away insurance in 34 states. That will
affect 6.4 million people that now have insurance under Obamacare, 6.4
million people in these 34 states will lose their insurance.

Now, it also includes Paul Ryan`s state of Wisconsin. In his state,
166,142 people will lose their subsidy in Wisconsin. Average tax credit
per enrollment, $315 a month, gone. Playing politics on a word game. And
they have the audacity to say, we have a plan b, but we`re not going to
tell you until we take away your insurance. Because we are playing
politics while we`re dealing with people`s lives.

We must see the gravity of this. 6.4 million people, 34 states, you
petition the Supreme Court, and you tell these 6.4 million people, we`ll
tell you what will happen to you, if we win, and we`re going to blame it on
the president, who provided you insurance in the first place. This is
blatant and this, in my opinion, is reprehensible.

Paul Ryan says about this when people, in their understandable fear, say,
well, what`s going to happen if the Supreme Court does what you guys asked
to do? Listen to what he says.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN: We do have an alternative. I don`t think it`s going to be the next
couple days, more like the next couple weeks. But yes, we will have a
Republican alternative to deal with this. We have a lot more about that
later.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We`ll have a lot more on that later? 6.4 million people that
will no longer be dealt with in terms of their subsidies and preexisting
conditions. They are young people, they are children covered until 26.
We`ll have more on that later. Let`s go talk about it.

Let`s bring in Congressman Lloyd Doggett. He was in that house hearing
today and Jonathan Capehart. Good evening, gentlemen.

REP. LLOYD DOGGETT (D), TEXAS: Good to be with you, Reverend.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, WASHINGTON POST: Good evening, Rev.

SHARPTON: Congressman, it amazes me that you would have men elected to
office that would say with a straight face that we will tell you what plan
b will be after you lose your insurance, that we and our colleagues on the
right, have petitioned the Supreme Court for. And mind you, we`re going to
blame it on the president who provided this. We`re going to remove it on a
word game, and we`ll tell you later what we`ll do if you lose your
insurance.

DOGGETT: That`s so very true, Reverend Al. You know, what they`re doing
is picking out four words, established by the state, that appear two places
in a 900-page bill and asking the court to disregard all of the history
about our efforts. Why in the world the Congress would want to
discriminate against some states and their uninsured over others, it makes
no sense at all. And what we have is really a historic moment where
chairman Paul Ryan is saying to the Supreme Court, please deny $52 million
a month in federal tax relief to the people of Wisconsin because I have
such an ideological commitment to destroy this president and his health
care plan. He joined with two senators from Texas, Cruz and Cornyn, where
they proposed to take away $206 million every month from Texas families,
over 800,000 Texans would lose that tax credit that they need in order to
have health security. And to call it a lemon, my goodness, for some of
these families, this is the first time they`ve ever had health security
because of preexisting conditions.

SHARPTON: Absolutely.

DOGGETT: Perhaps a child born with a disability. A family that has had
cancer, they have some security now and these Republicans are begging the
Supreme Court to take that security away and deny their families tax
relief, it`s just so wrong. And then to have almost four years and offer
nothing but platitudes and attacks and 58 attempts to repeal this act, they
don`t have an alternative to Obamacare.

SHARPTON: But Congressman, that`s my point. Not only do they not have a
plan b, if they had a way to insure those Americans, they had five years to
present it rather than Obamacare.

DOGGETT: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: They never presented an alternative plan. They fought the
president`s plan that went through and is working, and now they tell us,
we`ll talk to you later about a plan b, if they succeed with the word game
before the right-wing Supreme Court.

Jonathan, it`s not only Ryan, look at what Senator McConnell said when he
was asked what are we going to do to the millions of people that could be
with no insurance if you succeed in the Supreme Court. Listen to what he
said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Well, depending on what
the Supreme Court decides, we`ll have a proposal that protects the American
people from a very bad law.

I think we have to see what the Supreme Court decides before we announce a
proposal to deal with it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We`ll have to wait. We`ll get to that later. I mean, this is a
callous disregard for how serious this is to 6.4 million people to be
exact.

CAPEHART: A callous disregard for people who -- you`re talking about
people`s health, and it`s not as though if the Supreme Court invalidates
the exchanges and the health care law is gutted, and all these people are
thrown off their health insurance, that the Republicans just can walk in
and in a matter of days or weeks, put in an alternative that would then get
those folks their insurance back. That`s not the way governing works.
That`s not the way any of this works.

If the Supreme Court does what the Republicans have been trying to do for
the last five years and guts Obamacare, you`re going to have millions of
people, 6.4 million people, as you`ve been saying, since the top of the
show, will be without health care, and there will be no alternative on the
horizon, for months. The way things go in Washington and in the capital
and the congressman can talk about this better than any of us right now,
nothing will get done. Nothing.

SHARPTON: And that`s the fear. Let me tell you, it`s not even political
wise. To me, Congressman, it`s a moral outrage. This is a moral argument
to me. But even on the politics side of it, you have several GOP senators,
seven to be exact, who are up for re-election in 2016, who`s in states that
could lose these subsidies.

These are states that elected President Obama. 2.3 million people in those
states could lose insurance. So you`ve got GOP senators that are up for
re-election next year that have 2.3 million together people in their states
that could lose insurance and they`re in states that the president won.
How could they sit by silently and allow their own party to put their
politics in terms of their careers and their positions in jeopardy like
this? This is crazy.

DOGGETT: It really is amazing. And of course some of those states have
the power to act on their own. Pennsylvania, for example, it can solve its
own problem, by simply creating a state exchange. And I think some of
these Republican senators who hopefully are going to be displaced in this
next election, some of those senators want to have their cake and eat it
too. They`d like to keep Obamacare in effect through the 2016 election
year, so those families won`t feel the immediate pain, while at the same
time, claiming that the Supreme Court is throwing out Obamacare. So they
want to delay the pain and make the claim to their right-wing constituency
that they prevented Obamacare.

Hopefully the Supreme Court will come along and do the right thing and
preserve health care security. We need to be ready to act. I`ll have a
bill to file the day any bad decision comes down that would simply
eliminate those four words and preserve protection for everyone. And we
need to stand by the president on this issue.

SHARPTON: So, let me press you right there. You would have a bill ready
right away that would eliminate those words and continue to do what
Obamacare presently does. So you`re not saying that you`ll have a plan
later if they lose or by and by when the morning comes, as we used to sing
in church, you`ll be ready right there specifically with a bill that would
deal with this problem?

DOGGETT: Absolutely. All we need to do is take out those four words. I
don`t think the court will rule against Obamacare. But if it does, simply
removing four words in two places in a 900-page bill, that solves the
problem. We don`t need a lot of hearings or investigation. Just preserve
this health care security that so many of these families across America are
counting on.

SHARPTON: Jonathan, are they on the right so captured, so intimidated by
the far right, the tea party wing, that they would risk seven senators`
seats and risk 6.4 million people`s insurance, because they want to make a
point against this president? Have we come to this?

CAPEHART: I was about to ask, is that a rhetorical question, Rev.?

Look. They`ve within at this for five years. They have been trying to get
this done. And I think, you know, to make the political point, they would
love to have the Supreme Court throw out Obamacare. Losing six or seven
Senate seats, look, this is a group of folks who think in the short-term.
Saving six or seven Senate seats is a long-term situation. And if they`re
thinking that way, they would do themselves, they would do their party, and
they would do their country a favor by presenting an alternative in case
the Supreme Court does their bidding.

SHARPTON: If they have an alternative.

CAPEHART: Right.

SHARPTON: In five years, they haven`t shown an alternative. And that I
think is the problem.

And we`re talking about a decision, Congressman, this month. The Supreme
Court is coming back any day now. This is imminent. Not something far-
fetched. You know this can go either way, and this is frightening for
those people that are sitting there that has the threat of their insurance,
some of them, for the first time in life, being taken away from them.

Congressman Lloyd Doggett and Jonathan Capehart, I`m going to have to leave
it there. Thank you both for your time tonight.

DOGGETT: Thank you.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, the fight for $15 an hour as the minimum wage. One
of America`s largest cities just took a huge step, and your city could be
next.

Also, President Obama moving forward with plans to expand his legacy, and
it could be the summer`s big political fight with Republicans.

Plus, the first lady`s powerful speech to high school grads in her hometown
of Chicago.

And the kid president is trying to help other kids get enough to eat.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me get out my chalk board. Here. So, we got a
problem, people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Coming up, the fight for fairness and a living wage. History
was made in Los Angeles today.

Also, a comment on single mothers from Jeb Bush 20 years ago is raising
questions today. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If you truly believe you can
work full time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, try it.

If not, vote to give millions of the hardest working people in America a
raise.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The president is right. Try it. I can`t count the amount of
people that have come up to me around the country and said, Reverend Al, I
live on the minimum wage, I can`t survive. I can`t keep going like this.
This is real life. And for people to act like they are being extreme, try
living on what they have to live on -- $15,000 a year or less. It`s
amazing that people could be so insensitive. Listen to the real people out
there fighting for higher wages.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I work an entire day of work, and it`s enough to pay
for one can of formula for my son.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mothers that are paying bills with this, utility
bails and, you know, making a way for their children with this pay and we
need a living wage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If the wage goes up, I can provide better for my
family. I`m going to do whatever it takes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It`s a push we`ve seen all over the country. Workers rallying,
calling for a raise. One central front in this fight has been Los Angeles.
And today, history. The Los Angeles city council voted to raise the
minimum wage to $15 an hour.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s going to directly impact thousands of lives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m in the business of helping people, and I believe
this helps people.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People who are poor in this city don`t get their fair
share.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can increase the minimum wage and lift those
families out of poverty.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Los Angeles is now the largest city in the country with a $15
minimum wage. Could it be a turning point?

Joining me now is Herb Wesson, president of the Los Angeles city council.
He presided over today`s vote in the council, which passed 12-1. Thank you
for being here, councilman.

HERB WESSON, PRESIDENT, LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCIL: Reverend, it`s my honor
to spend some quality time with you, to celebrate.

SHARPTON: And it is a celebration for working people. It`s a historic
moment in the fight for higher wages. What`s your reaction?

WESSON: Well, in the line of work that I`m in, and my colleagues, every
now and then, you have an opportunity to change the world. Today we took
advantage of that opportunity. We believe that the winds in this country
blow from the west to the east, and that the action that we took today will
have a ripple effect where it just won`t lift out of poverty, the 700,000,
800,000 people that we have here in Los Angeles. But we think this will
have an effect throughout the country, changing the lives of millions of
working people. And we`re proud to have done that today. We made history.

SHARPTON: That sounds very poetic, the winds blow from the west to the
east. And I hope it proves true. What will this raise mean to the workers
of Los Angeles, councilman?

WESSON: Well, obviously, it will mean a lot. It will take average yearly
income of $15,000 and double it, increase it to about 30, $31,000. That`s
a significant increase. But I would still find it challenging to live on
$31,000 a year.

So this is, for us, Reverend, this is the beginning. We are now going to
be looking at ways to provide aid and assistance to our businesses. It`s
important for us that we recognize that business needs labor, and labor
needs business. So now we need to do something to give a shot in the arm
to our businesses, to ensure that this works. Because the better it works
here, I think that it will give the confidence and the courage to other
areas throughout the country to do what we believe is the right thing.

SHARPTON: Now, when you say businesses, you know, some would say, what is
the down side of giving a heightened minimum wage in this case $15 an hour,
the chamber of commerce, let me play for you what they had to say. The Los
Angeles chamber of commerce.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A year from now, a hotel worker lost his job. A
garment industry worker lost their job. And a dry cleaner picked up stakes
and moved into a neighboring city that doesn`t have these wage regulations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, that was at one of your meetings. What`s your response to
that?

WESSON: Yes, and that was my good friend Ruben Gonzalez who made that
statement. Businesses are concerned, and we understand that. That`s why
we had a nine-month process to try to address this. And that`s one of the
reasons why you will see us trying to assist businesses to ensure that they
can continue.

I don`t believe that that`s what`s going to happen. We`ve had reports from
three different economic analysis. We`ve had two oversight groups that
reviewed what we`re trying to do. The key for us now, is just to try to
find the balance. So the things that the chamber are concerned about are
the very things that we`re concerned about as well. And we think that we
have a plan that`s going to address their concerns and we`re again,
confident.

You don`t get a 12-1 vote, or if every member of the council was there
today, it would have been a 14-1 vote. You don`t get that unless there`s a
high comfort level among the other 14 members of the council. And I was
proud to be a part of it. I was kind of proud to keep this on the rails,
if you will.

SHARPTON: Well, you did that, and it`s a big day, and it could lead to
huge days all over the country.

Councilman Herb Wesson, thank you so much for your time, and
congratulations again.

WESSON: no. It`s my pleasure.

SHARPTON: Coming up, 20 million lower income kids get free school lunches.
So what happens in the summer? We need to get on this issue. The kid
president is taking action.

Plus, Jeb Bush has some explaining to do. A comment he made in 1995 on
single mothers, and shaming, is getting a lot of attention.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: There`s controversy tonight about something Jeb Bush once wrote
about single moms. In his 1995 book, Bush wrote, quote, one of the reasons
more young women are giving birth out of wed lock and more young men are
walking away from their paternal obligations is that there is no longer a
stigma attached to this behavior, no reason to feel shame. Their parents
and neighbors have become ineffective at attaching some sense of ridicule
to this behavior.

So, single moms should feel shame? They should be ridiculed? Does
Governor Bush still feel that way now?

Today we reached out to his office for comment, and they pointed to parts
of his record that address these issues, saying, quote, "governor Bush has
dedicated himself to helping low-income kids in broken homes, single moms,
and victims of domestic abuse, so that they can achieve their dreams.
That`s what he`s all about."

But his office did not say whether he stood by those comments about shaming
single moms and that`s disappointing. There are 10.3 million single moms
in the U.S. nearly 70 percent of them have jobs, working hard to feed and
care for their families. Forty four percent are white. Twenty nine
percent are black. And 23 percent are Hispanic. There are single moms in
every state, in every level of society. They shouldn`t be shamed. They
should be celebrated. Whether they had children out of wedlock or not,
those children should not be stigmatized and those moms should be saluted.
My dad left when I was young. My mother raised me as a single mom, me and
my sister, by herself. She scrubbed floors and did domestic work, but now
the shabby apartment we grew up in and the apartments and the buildings and
the home she cleaned, both can see her son on television.

That`s what America`s about, giving hope, not shame. So people can rise
and fulfill their potential and their promise. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: No challenge, no challenge poses a
greater threat to future generation than climate change.

(APPLAUSE)

That`s why I will not let this Congress endanger the health of our children
by turning back the clock on our efforts.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: President Obama at the beginning of the year, talking about what
could be the biggest political fight of the summer. The environment. The
Obama administration is gearing up for a big push on climate change over
the next few months with plans to limit emissions from planes and trucks,
cut greenhouse gases and crack down on power plants. It`s an extension of
the President`s focus on equality and fairness. Because the environment is
a civil rights issue. It`s about social justice. Think about it. If a
company is dumping some chemicals into a river, will they do it near a
wealthy country club? Or will they do it near a poor neighborhood where
the people don`t have a voice? The headlines tell the story.

Poor Americans face more toxic exposure. Climate change affects poor
neighborhoods the most. Pollution is segregated too. In fact, people
living in poor urban areas are at risk for higher rates of cancer, asthma,
and heart attacks because in part, they`re more likely to be exposed to
harmful air and water. This is not just an issue for our children or our
grandchildren. It`s something we should be focused on right now.

Joining me now is Bob Deans at the Natural Resources Defense Council and
Majora Carter, economic development expert and Public Radio host from the
South Bronx. Thank you both for being here.

MAJORA CARTER, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT EXPERT: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Bob, let me go to you first. How important are these actions
from the Obama administration, the ones they`re taking now?

BOB DEANS, NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL: Well, Reverend, this is
about doing our part to protect future generations and ourselves across
this country, from the dangers of climate change. This President has done
more to accomplish that than any leader at any time anywhere on the face of
the planet. And let`s look at what we`re doing. We`re cleaning up our
dirty power plants, and our trucks, and our airplanes. We`re building
right here in this country, the next generation of energy-efficient cars,
homes, and workplaces. We`re getting more power from the wind and the sun.
We`re driving American innovation, creating millions of American jobs, and
striking a blow against a central environmental challenge of our time. The
President knows we can do this. He`s not listening to people who say we
can`t. He believes in the power of American promise and he`s not going to
let anybody turn him around. That`s what presidential leadership is all
about.

SHARPTON: Majora, a lot of people don`t think of the environment as a
social justice issue, but it is right?

CARTER: I absolutely agree. Because the bottom-line is, if by chance all
those environmentally burdened facilities had been located near wealthy
people, we would have had solutions a long, long, long time ago. But the
leadership the President is showing on this right now and also create the
opportunities to create economic incentives that could support the
development of looking at those communities where those facilities are and
coming up with alternatives that also are market-based, that provide great
opportunities in renewable energy and other kind of projects like that,
than what we have is a way to bring people along through job creation,
wealth creation and ways that we have not done with other sectors.

SHARPTON: We`re seeing issues of environmental justice on the local news
all the time, Majora. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Persistent complaints about a toxic dust that blows off
of those big piles you see behind me there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It would be like black dust. So we have to clean
that, so we keep our windows closed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: An ongoing study of more than 600 children living in
Upper Manhattan, details impact pollution can have on a child`s developing
brain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Children who live in Martis neighborhood of Boyle
Heights are twice as likely as the state average to go to the hospital for
asthma.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In these homes, have an abandoned chemical plant right
in their backyard. Residents say it`s made it hard to breathe.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of people sick in this neighborhood from there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody, the ambulance has been to everybody house on
this street.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Environmental problems disproportionately affect low-income
Americans. How do we fix it? How do we address it?

CARTER: One of the main ways that we can do that is by also creating
economic opportunities to counteract that. With the kind of technological
advances, in all sorts of different types of energy efficiency, all the
techniques are associated with that. We absolutely can have the
opportunity to make this work, and now what the President is actually
saying with this plan, creating more opportunities for states to actually
decide how they want to support innovation in energy reduction and things
of that nature, we can actually say, these are jobs creators. This is how
we can do this. It might be sort of difficult in places where there`s
energy extraction like coal and oil, but in plenty of other states around
this country, we can see an opportunity, in particular, to help poorer
Americans, see that there is a clear path between environmental stability
and their economic well-being.

SHARPTON: Let me go back to you, Bob. The EPA was created ironically, by
President Nixon. But now Republicans are known as the anti-environment
party. Even Lindsey Graham thinks that needs to change. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Here`s a question I need to ask
everybody running as a republican. What`s the environmental policy of the
Republican Party? When I ask that question, I get a blank stare. If I`m
president of the United States, we`ll going to address climate change, CO2
emissions in a business friendly way. I do believe climate change is real.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: This should be a bipartisan issue, but why is there so much
pushback from the right, Bob?

DEANS: Well, Reverend, it has been in the past, a bipartisan issue, as you
say the foundation, environmental safeguards that we all depend on to
protect our air, our water, our wildlife, and lands were passed by huge
majorities of the Republicans and Democrats alike. What`s happened in the
past two years, Reverend, is the fossil fuel industry has spent more than
$720 million supporting its allies and its agenda in Congress. The plan is
simple, put polluter profits first and put the rest of us at risk. The
President is not letting them get away with it. He has a vision for a more
hopeful future, for cleaner, more sustainable America for all of us, and he
has a plan, he recognizes opportunity to advance that vision and we`re
making enormous progress.

SHARPTON: The President is going to restore pollution protections for
streams and wetlands that end up in our water supply. Eighty percent of
the voters overall support it. That includes 94 percent of Democrats, 75
percent of independents and even 68 percent of Republicans. Bob, is
Washington lagging behind the rest of the country on this issue?

DEANS: The republican leadership in Congress is lagging way behind,
Reverend. This is drinking water that affects one out of every three
Americans. The new EPA rule would protect, tens of millions of acres of
wetlands, nearly two million miles of streams, that`s where this drinking
water is coming from. Instead republican leaders in Congress are standing
up for big industry, big polluters, big developers, big agriculture, they
need to be standing up instead for the people of America who depend on safe
drinking water everywhere.

SHARPTON: Majora, you were trying to jump in?

CARTER: Yes. And I bet if we can connect with regular Americans, with the
fact that cleaner water is often dependent on restoring those wetlands
where it`s naturally filtered through, those are jobs. This is how we get
Americans, regular Americans, I`m not talking to policy wonky people, but
regular folks to see that the environment is something that affects them.
It affects them in their pocket book, it affects them in their lungs. And
that`s how we can make regular Americans to come thinking about environment
in a different way.

SHARPTON: Well, this is a social justice issue, a civil rights issue, and
we`re going to stay on it. Bob Deans, and Majora Carter, thank you both
for your time tonight.

Still ahead, the First Lady`s emotional speech to the high school
classmates of Hadiya Pendleton two years after her tragic shooting death.

Also, how kid president is using digital media to highlight an issue that`s
affecting millions of kids this summer. That`s ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: School is coming to an end. The season of young people, kids
really, being off for the summer is upon us. But there is a huge issue
that this presents. Do you know, during the school year -- let me show you
-- how many kids have their lunches in the school year at school? 21.5
million children eat every day, their lunch at school. Now, in the summer,
when we see the summer come on and school`s on vacation, it reduces down to
2.7 million children. So the summer meal program is 2.7 million from the
over 21 million. That gives you a difference in the summer of 18.8 million
children that are not getting summer meals. The kid president and internet
star took this issue on, on the internet, to really try to do something
about it, to bring awareness to it. And I think that it is applaudable and
something that we all need to get behind. Let me show you what the kid
president had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: So, we got a problem, people. The problem is, there are
kids in America who don`t know when their next meal is coming. Especially
when it`s summertime. School`s out. They don`t know when. That`s just
not okay. We got to do something about it. And that`s why I`m talking to
you right now. I need your help.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And he not only needs your help. These 18.8 million kids need
all of our help. Do you realize, some of them, that`s the only balanced
meal they get in a day? For the summer, it`s over. We can`t be that
heartless in this country.

Let`s go over and talk to Joel Berg about it because this is really a
problem. Joel, these are startling figures when you see them right up on
the screen and you realize we`re not talking about just a few here and
there that could be easily dealt with in some city or village.

JOEL BERG, NEW YORK CITY COALITION AGAINST HUNGER: Absolutely, Reverend
Al. Sixteen million American children live in households that can`t afford
enough food.

SHARPTON: Sixteen million?

BERG: Yes. They`re not starving every night the way they might in North
Korea where Somalia most of them, but they`re choosing in the parent`s
households between food and rent, they`re getting less healthy foods,
they`re missing meals. And that`s why we have the school lunch program
which is just so successful. School breakfast program, but as you pointed
out, 80 percent of the kids who get school lunch year round do not get
summer meals.

SHARPTON: You know, the programs to feed kids in the summer, keep kids
healthy, as you say, 16 million in the land of the free and home of the
brave, are not getting the right kind of meal. I mean, it brings parents
relief when they get these meals in school. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I go to work, I said I`m not going to rely on food
stamps to feed my son. But there are times maybe he only ate twice a day.
Sometimes on the weekend, once.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I think it`s pretty good. The kids seem to enjoy it
ask, so it`s an easy meal for me.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: It provides the parents anywhere a simple way to
budget their financial situation a little bit better.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So this is really-life people on the ground, and saying they
need the help, and that their children`s nutrition, the future of our
country, is really being dealt with here.

BERG: Yes, thank goodness there is a federal program, the summer meals
program that does provides meals for kids, funded by the federal
government. And any site that provides meals, any kids under 18 can show
up. The problem is --

SHARPTON: But that safety net is under attack by the right-wing.

BERG: It`s under attack overall. And snap is particularly controversial,
but there steams to be a broader consensus, that child nutrition programs
do need some support and there`s a bipartisan bill in Congress that even
Congressman Don Young, a very conservative congressman from Alaska, is
supporting ways to ease access to these meals. So I`m hopeful that this is
one issue we can find some bipartisan consensus over.

SHARPTON: And some people are stepping up, but we need a whole lot more.
The kid president even interviewed another kid who is doing his part to
help out. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM WINSLOW, DONATED MEALS TO KIDS: For my son`s birthday, I wish that
I could give food and not presents. And after that, I started doing food
drives. And since then I`ve collected 15,000 pounds of food and $18,000.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Wow.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Wow! That is beautiful.

WINSLOW: Thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s a kid. People need to get involved in this, Joel.
Pushing their legislators, pushing whatever. Tell us how people can be
helpful.

BERG: Well, two ways. They can go to our website, www.hungervolunteer.org
and find out how they can volunteer to increase participation in summer
meal sites. And they can also, if they`re hungry who know people who are
hungry, call 1-866-3-hungry, that`s the USDA National Hunger Clearinghouse,
and they can get the information about the summer meals breakfast and lunch
sites closest to them.

SHARPTON: Joel Berg, thank you for your time tonight.

BERG: Thank you.

Coming up, First Lady Michelle Obama delivers an emotional graduation
speech in her hometown of Chicago.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Straight ahead, First Lady Michelle Obama goes home to the South
Side of Chicago and talks personally to students about the struggles she
went through. That`s next.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY: I was born and raised here on the South
Side in South Shore, and I am who I am today because of this community. I
know the struggles many of you face, but more importantly, I also know the
strengths of this community.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: First Lady Michelle Obama has been very open and emotional,
delivering graduation speeches over the last few weeks. She talked
passionately about race and obstacles to overcome. Last night, she went
home to Chicago`s South Side, giving the commencement address to King
College Prep High School, where all 177 graduates from have been accepted
to college. It was personal and moving. It would have been Hadiya
Pendleton`s graduation. Two years ago, she was fatally shot days after
marching in President Obama`s inaugural parade. The school left an empty
chair for Hadiya, draped in purple, her favorite color. Hadiya`s family
was also presented with a cap and gown and class ring, the first lady
talked about the violence students have had to deal with in Chicago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

M. OBAMA: If Hadiya`s friends and family could survive the heartbreak and
pain, if they can find organizations to honor her unfulfilled dreams, if
they can inspire folks across this country to wear orange in protest to gun
violence, then I know you all can live your life with the same
determination and joy that Hadiya lived her life. I know you all can dig
deep and keep on fighting to fulfill your own dreams.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The first lady added, growing up wasn`t easy, talking about her
own South Side struggles.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

M. OBAMA: I was born and raised here on the South Side in South Shore, and
I am who I am today because of this community. I know the struggles many
of you face, how you walk the long way home to avoid the gangs, how you
fight to concentrate on your homework when there`s too much noise at home,
how you keep it together when your families are having hard times making
ends meet. But more importantly, I also know the strengths of this
community. And I`m here tonight because I want people across this country
to know that story. The real story of the South Side. The story of that
quiet majority of good folks, families like mine and young people like all
of you, who face real challenges, but make good choices every single day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Yes, we need to have legislation about guns. Yes, we need to
have better community-police relations, but we also must instill in young
people, a sense of hope, a sense of self-esteem, a sense of, they don`t
have to succumb to the temptations of violence and decadence in our
community. And when a first lady, when anyone that have come out of the
environment could come back and say, I`m a living example of what you could
be, and what you could do, that hope will help get us to where we need to
go.

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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