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PoliticsNation, Monday, July 6th, 2015

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Date: July 6, 2015
Guest: Bernie Sanders, Angela Rye, James Cole

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST, THE CYCLE: Right. And let`s be real about
reality. Lis Winsted, thank you for joining us on a couple stories
tonight. We`re out of time.

That`s "THE ED SHOW." I`m Ari Melber filling in for Ed Schultz. POLITICS
NATION with Reverend Al Sharpton starts right now.

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on "Politics Nation," Donald Trump
doubles down. Moments ago he released a statement refusing to back away
from his immigration comments as more Republicans come out against him.

Also, the Bernie surge. Senator Sanders draws another record crowd, and
the Clinton camp is quoted "as worried about him." Senator Sanders will
join me live tonight.

And a key vote on the confederate flag controversy, moments ago, South
Carolina lawmakers took a big step forward. We`re live in South Carolina.

Welcome to POLITICS NATION. We begin tonight with the biggest story in
politics right now. Donald Trump`s effect on the Republican Party.

Tonight, he`s refusing to back away from his controversial comments saying
most undocumented Mexican immigrants are criminals and rapists. Moments
ago, he released a long statement doubling down on that stance. And with
just a month until the first Republican debate, all the candidates are
talking about is Donald Trump.


JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To make these extraordinarily ugly
kind of comments is not reflective of the Republican Party. Trump is wrong
on this so he`s doing this to inflame and to insight and to draw attention
which is seems to be organizing the principle of his campaign.

inappropriate and have no place in the race even though I like it. He`s
been a friend for 13 years, but sometimes in de-friending your statements
that you don`t agree with.

RICK PERRY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`ve said very clearly Donald
Trump does not represent the Republican Party. I was offended by his

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I say some things very differently. I say every night
I get on my knees and thank god I`m in a country people are trying to break
into rather than one they are trying to break out of.


SHARPTON: It has taken weeks but nearly all of the Republican candidates
are coming out against Trump. But the headline, here is how ugly it is
getting between Trump and Jeb Bush.

At the Bush`s criticism, Trump re-tweeted this from a follower. Quote,
"Jeb Bush has to like the Mexican illegals because of his wife," end of
quote. Bush`s wife Columba is a Mexican immigrant. Trump later deleted

How did we get here at a time the Republican Party is working out outreach,
this is what they are talking about? So what happens in these debates?
He`ll be on that stage next month and at least one other person up there
will stick up for him.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Now, when it comes to Donald
Trump, I like Donald Trump. He`s bold, he`s brash. I solute Donald Trump
for focusing on the need to address illegal immigration. I`m not going to
engage in the media`s game of throwing rocks and attacking other
Republicans. I`m just not going to do it.


SHARPTON: And tonight, Donald Trump is once again refusing to back away
from those comments. He`s the biggest story in Republican politics.

Joining me now are Joan Walsh and professor James Peterson. Thank you both
for being with me tonight.

JAMES PETERSON, PROFESSOR: Thanks for having us, Rev.

SHARPTON: Joan, I mean, this is getting pretty ugly even though Trump
deleted that tweet.


SHARPTON: How ugly is this going to get, he bringing in people`s lives and
their wives` nationality and race, this is pretty ugly stuff.

WALSH: It is ugly. But you know, it took Jeb Bush I think it was 17 or 18
days to get indignant about this. "The New York Times" said he was
indignant. He wasn`t indignant when it happened. And what I can`t
believe, Rev., is that it took Macy`s, it took NBC, it took Ricky Martin,
it took (INAUDIBLE), it took corporate America --

SHARPTON: Serta mattress.

WALSH: It took all these corporate sponsors to ditch him and then the
Republicans started speaking out. And you know, the other thing that we
have to say here tonight is why was Trump kept on all these places when he
was going after our president in the most racist birther terms? He said
this weekend, he was a little surprised that, you know, the backlash was so
strong. Well, I understand why he`s surprised because he didn`t get a
backlash when he asked the president for papers repeatedly over and over
and over.

SHARPTON: Dr. Peterson, isn`t that the point, he really got into this with
these extreme things on President Obama, the birthing campaign and the
Republican candidates at that time came seeking his endorsement. So now,
he goes even uglier with these statements on Mexican immigrants, illegal
Mexican immigrants and now dealing with a personal retweeting of a personal
attack on the assumed candidate`s wife. I mean, this is really way beyond
the pair.

PETERSON: It is. Well, one for the Republican Party it`s a textbook case
of leading from behind following corporate America falling public interest
and then formulate some kind of response. And then for Donald Trump for
those of us that cover news, this is nothing new. You`re right. He said
lots of racist things, some sexist things. He said anti American things.
I mean, he`s really been a sort of negative nay sayer in terms of his

Here is what is interesting, he`s making a political move here, Rev.,
because what he is doing is he is playing to a particular part of the
Republican Party`s base. There is a particular part of the Republican
Party`s base that actually accepts and in some ways embraces this anti-
immigrant, anti-sort of the Mexican, anti-black rhetoric and he is playing
to them to sort of make certain political moves early on in this stage of
the campaign.

SHARPTON: I guess through the ugliness that I`m referring to is one thing
to have a policy in terms of immigration. One thing to say I don`t want to
see people coming, I don`t agree with it, but I don`t want to see them
coming. They are taking our jobs. It`s another thing to say that most of
them are rapist and criminals. Big difference.

PETERSON: It`s a huge difference, Rev., but for the people that he`s
pandering to, they like to connect those things because it`s false logic
that justifies their feelings.

WALSH: Absolutely.

And the right wing media is all over it. They are running with it even
though Native born white people are way more likely to commit crimes that
Mexican immigrants. I mean, the studies are clear. This is a fiction.
Are there criminals out there who have come illegally? Absolutely. But
they seize on examples to prove this point.

And you are right, Rev., Mitt Romney sought Donald Trump`s endorsement last
time even as Donald Trump.

SHARPTON: The famous go to the pizza --.


SHARPTON: I mean -- I want to read more from the statement that just came
out, Trump saying in part quote, "the Mexican government is forcing their
most unwanted people into the United States. They are in many cases
criminals, drug dealers, rapists, et cetera." Now, this is the statement
he just released clarifying what he said.

PETERSON: Pure mythology.

WALSH: Right.

PETERSON: It is pure mythology.

SHARPTON: He went on to said, I`m not finished, at least, Mr. Trump is not
finished. The United States has become a dumping ground for Mexico and in
fact for many other parts of the world.

I mean, where does this go now? He`s refusing to back down, Joan.

WALSH: I think the debates are going to be fascinating, Rev. Because you
remember the 2012 debates where the more outrageous and the meaner people
were, the crowd applauded, they applauded somebody dying without health
insurance, they booed the Iraq war vet who happened to be gay. You can see
Trump making these comments and you can see the crowd going nuts.

PETERSON: It will play to a certain - but here is the thing, what people
have to do is have a long memory here, Rev. Because once we get out of the
primary season, they need to remember this is the same Republican Party,
the same party will then begin to move towards the center, speak to Latino
immigrants, speaks to the Latin American population in a totally different

SHARPTON: But before we get out of the primary, remember going in, Trump
is on that stage and he defended himself this weekend. Watch this.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I used the word rape and all of
a sudden everyone goes crazy. It`s 80 percent of the women, which is hard
to believe to be honest with you, but the (INAUDIBLE) so I think --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think by in large.

TRUMP: I can never apologize for the truth. I don`t mind apologizing for
things but I can`t apologize for the truth.


SHARPTON: Dr. Peterson, I can never apologize. I will never apologize.

PETERSON: Stunning.

SHARPTON: For the truth. He`s underlining this as the truth.

PETERSON: Well, you can`t, first of all, it`s not the truth so he should
apologize for misrepresenting folks and really for misrepresenting what
this debate needs to be about. If we want to talk about immigration
reform, this is not what we should be talking about. There are real issues
to address. There is ways in which we innovate immigration policy. This
is distraction from that and he needs to speak the truth to that.

SHARPTON: And I`m sure the party doesn`t want, the leaders of the party
don`t want to be talking about this.

But let me show you this one, Joan. Last week there was a tragic shooting
in San Francisco. The suspect is an undocumented immigrant that had been
previously deported five times. It is an awful story. Trump put out a
statement saying quote "this senseless and totally preventable act of
violence committed by an illegal immigrant is yet another example of why we
must secure our boarder immediately. This is an absolutely disgraceful
situation, and I`m the only one that can fix it."

This is what he says at a tragedy now. I mean, this is a tragedy. Some
are saying Trump is exploiting it for politics. Joan, it doesn`t get much
more graphic than this in terms of trying to connect something this hideous
into some political kind of example of why I`m the one to vote for, I`m the
only one that can fix this.

WALSH: And when progressives try to bring up gun control after a horrible
gun crime, you know, we`re accused of politicizing a tragedy. He`s getting
off Scott-free.

SHARPTON: It`s a horrible tragedy.

WALSH: And not only he is getting off Scott-free -- it is a horrible
tragedy. It should have never happened. But now you see the right-wing
media which has been kind of looking for an excuse to kind of back Trump or
give him a little support, they are seizing on this. This is now proof of
what Trump said except we could find every demographic, we can find a
criminal in every demographic.

PETERSON: Of course.

SHARPTON: Well, and culture who has been trying to re-surface somewhere
according to, I do read And she says that she`s dealt
with the San Francisco tragedy and also justifies anti-immigration
rhetoric. Look at this.


ANN COULTER, AUTHOR/COLUMNIST: Going into this weekend, the media was
consumed with stories about, you know, Americans have to be on the lookout
for is attacks and terror attack expected and shark attacks. I will bet
you by the end of the weekend, more Americans will have been killed by
Mexicans than by ISIS or by sharks.


SHARPTON: Now, I`m not helping her try to reemerge because she`s been kind
of snuffed out but the statement is something that a lot of people in that
base, Dr. Peterson, will believe and will respond to.

PETERSON: It`s sad, Reverend, but that`s the facts. I mean, the clearest
indication that Trump is playing politics is that he tried to connect his
political campaign to this awful heinous incident. The same thing with for
Ann Coulter. There is way in which they can use the right wing
entertainment news media machine to prompt themselves up and really to
campaign to a very small percentage of the Republican Party that feeds. It
is just like we call the red meat base (INAUDIBLE) even smaller than that.
There are folks that respond to this and they are responding to Donald

SHARPTON: And it poisons the whole atmosphere and the politics of this

Joan Walsh, James Peterson, thank you both for your time tonight.

WALSH: Thanks, Rev.

PETERSON: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Just moments ago, a key vote on the taking down of the
confederate flag in South Carolina. You got to hear what the flag`s
defender said about why it should stay and why the civil war was fought.

Also, the Bernie effect, I`ll talk to Senator Sanders live about why the
Clinton campaign admits they are worried about him.

Plus, President Obama planning another big move to expand his legacy.

And the game that brought America together.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Game over, the U.S. wins the 2015 world cup.


SHARPTON: How millions of Americans came together to watch history.


SHARPTON: Lawmakers in South Carolina just held a critical vote on the
taking down of the confederate flag, and the debate included some
inflammatory rhetoric from lawmakers who wanted to keep it. We`ll go live
to the state house next.


SHARPTON: Breaking news from South Carolina, late today state lawmakers
held a key vote in the fight to take the confederate flag off the state
house grounds. The Senate voted 37-3 to move the flag into museum. There
will be a final vote tomorrow, but today an overwhelming majority said it`s
time to move the flag.


STATE SEN. VINCENT SHEHEEN, SOUTH CAROLINA: It is not about the history.
It is not heritage. It is not about hate. It`s about how to heal wounds
that stretch back many, many years.

soldier, I don`t get goose bumps and feel warm and fuzzy. I respect the
fact that you do. All I`m saying is you can`t force all of us to have the
passion that some of you have about certain things.


SHARPTON: The three voting against the idea are all Republicans, including
the Senate majority leader. One of those lawmakers actually waved a book
with the name of every confederate soldier from South Carolina who died in
the civil war. Then he said this.


STATE SEN. LEE BRIGHT, SOUTH CAROLINA: Lincoln was not about ending
slavery. Removing this flag from out front is not going to do anything to
change this nation. I said it, you know and I`ll say it again because it`s
been printed so many times but I believe that it`s a purge of cultural


SHARPTON: Governor Nikki Haley just released a statement saying quote "I
applaud the Senate`s deciding action and ask that the house act swiftly."
Each senator faced a reminder of the late Senator Clementa Pinckney as they
voted. His desk sits empty draped on a black cloth, a memorial to the
victims of the Charleston massacre.

Joining me now live from the statehouse to South Carolina state senator
Karl Allen.

Thank you for being here, Senator.

STATE SEN. KARL ALLEN, SOUTH CAROLINA: Thank you for having me.

SHARPTON: Senator, right now the flag is still flying behind you but today
the Senate spoke loud and clear, is that right?

ALLEN: The Senate spoke resoundingly loud and clear. The flag that you
see flying behind me, in my opinion, days are numbered.

SHARPTON: Now the state Senate`s majority leader explained why he does not
think the flag ought to be moved to a museum. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The state house capitol complex is the greatest museum
in the entire state. This is museum. We are standing on history`s
acreages, the very roles of this building so as the results of (INAUDIBLE).
This is museum.


SHARPTON: I mean, how do you respond to your colleagues when they make
these arguments, another one saying this is a stole nest purge? Don`t they
understand from the legacy of slavery, that the confederates were trying to
over throw the United States government of Abraham Lincoln and in fact were
anti this country?

ALLEN: It`s no doubt, Reverend, that the -- what they are trying to do is
to continue the divisive nature of oppression, hatred and to continue
slavery and that ideology. When you hear them talk about the state house
being a museum, they are misplaced. The statehouse of South Carolina is
the people`s house, the citizens of the great state of South Carolina and
what the citizens are told the members of the Senate and general assembly
is that we want to move South Carolina in the right direction. We want to
improve the quality of life. And so, we`re not going backwards into
slavery. We`re going forward into prosperity, economic health care and
things of that nature that will actually make a difference in the people`s

SHARPTON: Now people in South Carolina this weekend received a robo call
about the flag controversy. I want to play it to you, senator.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don`t think the P.C. haters will stop if Governor Haley
gets her way and the confederate memorial is taken down and hidden away in
museum. Just like ISIS, Obama haters want monuments down, graves dug up
and schools, roads, towns and counties renamed.

Leave our flag alone. Do not stand with leftist fanatics who want to
destroy the south we love.


SHARPTON: How do calls like this affect the nature of the debate so far?

ALLEN: When you have inflammatory statements being made, then what it does
is effect the fault pattern of those that are trying to compromise, those
trying to enlightening other colleagues so they will join in doing the
right thing for South Carolina. It`s obvious that when you have those far-
reaching comments that it takes South Carolina backwards. And so, the
ideology of us is to ignore that type of inflammatory and keep our eyes on
the prize.

Senator Pinckney, one of the greatest human beings this earth said to us
and make that the ice of the nation is upon South Carolina and will South
Carolina rise up and be great? That`s where we are, Reverend.

SHARPTON: And it is a hopeful and optimistic day. And I will say this and
hard workers behind that because as one of the opponents said, bring the
flag down won`t change in the anything in the nation. We got to not only
bring the flag down, we got to make sure he`s not right that`s all that
changes is bringing the flag down. The work is still before us.

South Carolina state senator Karl Allen, thank you for your time tonight.

ALLEN: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, Bernie Sanders is surging and now the Clinton campaign
admits they are quote "worried." We will talk to him live from the
campaign trail.

Also a key piece of the Obama legacy, how the president will soon make a
big move to correct injustice.

But first, Donald Trump`s comments about America and Japan put him right in
tonight`s got you.


SHARPTON: Donald Trump`s immigration comment had dominated the news cycle
for nearly three weeks but something else he said at that announcement is
standing out today.


anything? They send their cars over by the millions, and what do we do?
When was the last time you saw a Chevrolet in Tokyo? It doesn`t exist,
folks. They beat us all the time.


SHARPTON: "Politifact" rated this statement mostly false because Chevy
does in fact sell cars in Japan. But today that statement is totally 100
percent false. Why? Because the U.S. women`s soccer team beat japan for
the world cup last night. We`ll show you how these amazing women brought
the country together.

But before we go, Mr. Trump, here is my red card on your statement because
we got you.


SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: We`ve talked about how there`s a hunger in this
country to tackle inequality. Americans want a fair shot, a level playing
field. President Obama called it the defining challenge of our time. Now
it`s shaping the 2016 election. You can see it in the surging campaign for
democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. He is drawing huge
crowds, a record 5,000 people in Denver last month. A record 10,000 in
Madison, Wisconsin last week. A record 2500 in Iowa two days later. The
biggest Iowa rally this cycle and tonight his rally in Maine had to be
moved to a bigger venue to accommodate the crowd. He`s driving the
progressive economic message.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Make sure that every public college and public
university in America are tuition free.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This president I will fight for 12 weeks of paid family

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now is the time for a federal jobs program to create
millions of descent paying jobs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got to tell the top one-tenth of one percent they
cannot have it all. This government, this country belongs to all of us and
not just to the billionaire class.



SHARPTON: That message is resonating and putting pressure on Hillary
Clinton. Late today, "The New York Times" reporting the Clinton campaign
is quote, "wary of Sander`s strength in Iowa." And a Clinton advisor today
saying, the team is quote, "worried about the Sanders campaign." Now
Clinton is fighting to make the case that she`s the progressive champion.


inequality. I have a long history of doing that. I take a backseat to no
one when you look at my record and standing up and fighting for progressive


SHARPTON: It`s at the center of the 2016 battle and increasingly so is
Senator Bernie Sanders.

Joining me now from Portland, Maine ahead of his jam-packed rally tonight
is Senator Bernie Sanders. Senator, first, thank you so much for your time


SHARPTON: Are you surprised by the record turnouts for your events? I
mean, has this caught even you off guard?

SANDERS: Between you and me, yes, I am a little bit surprised. You know,
I knew we would going to do well but the momentum is moving so quickly, the
fact that we`re going to have over 5,000 people tonight in Portland, Maine
or the fact that we have 250,000 people who made individual campaign
contributions and even more who have prepared to help out on the campaign,
yes, things are moving a little bit faster than I anticipated.

SHARPTON: Now, as I mentioned, the New York Times is reporting tonight the
Clinton campaign is quote, "wary of your momentum in Iowa." What is your
response to that?

SANDERS: Well, they should be wary of it. We are doing very, very well.
We have had meetings all over the state of Iowa. The turnout has been
great. We`re now focusing on how you win the rather complicated caucus
process in Iowa. We`re getting support from trade unionests. We`re
getting support from students. We`re getting support all across the
spectrum and I`m feeling very good.

SHARPTON: You know, we heard Hillary Clinton embrace many of your
progressive policies. In fact, you`ve gotten everyone talking about income
inequality and economic inequality in this campaign which has become the
issue of this, not only this campaign cycle but at the times at which we
live. But we heard Hillary say that she has advocated those progressive
policies that you talk about. Listen to this.


CLINTON: I have advocate raising the minimum wage, and fight for universal
Pre-K and to expand something called early head start. I support President
Obama`s proposal for two years of free community college. We also have to
be honest about the gaps that exist across our country, the inequality that
stalks our streets.


SHARPTON: Now, you`ve been talking about this for the last 40 years. She
says she takes a backseat to no one when it comes to progressive values.
What`s your reaction, Senator?

SANDERS: Well, I`ll let the people decide on that one, Al. But look, here
is the reality. You have the top one-tenth of one percent in America today
owning almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. Almost all new
income is going into the hands of the top one percent. I, in my career,
I`ve taken on Wall Street, I`ve taken on the insurance companies, taken on
the drug companies, taken on the military industrial complex. I`ve taken
them all on. And people have to judge whose record is stronger in taking
on the billionaire class. I think people will conclude that my lifetime
efforts and my efforts today are stronger than Secretary Clinton`s.

SHARPTON: And even the Republicans are talking about these issues. Let me
raise this, "The New York Times" called you a virtual unknown among black
voters but I know about your involvement in civil rights causes. You are
there and march of Washington in `63. You`ve been arrested on civil rights
causes. You spoke just two or three months ago at our National Action
Network Convention here in New York and dealt for it right with these
issues. And I understand you are going into a real outreach to bring that
record forward among African-American voters because you do have a track
record there.

SANDERS: Al, I`ve been involved in the civil rights movement for my entire
adult life, and as you`ve indicated, I was arrested way back when and
fighting a school segregation in Chicago, work with our friends in the
student non-violent coordinating committee trying to end segregation in the
south, worked against segregated housing at the school that I went to the
University of Chicago and marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. in
Washington, D.C.

But here is the point. That`s not only that I have a strong record on
civil rights, the economic positions that we are advocating in fact mean
more to the after condition American community, to the Hispanic community
than they do even to the white community and this is the reason why. When
you look at unemployment in America, you`re looking at youth unemployment
for young African-American kids and over 50 percent. When you`re looking
at the ability to go to college, it is harder today for African-American
families to send their kids to college, and that`s why we have fought for
and implement a program which calls for public colleges and universities to
be tuition free.

John Conyers and I, John is from Michigan and I worked on legislation to
$5.5 billion into youth employment programs, so our kids get the education
and the training they need to be creative and significant members of our
society rather than ending up in jail or doing drugs on street corners.
So, I think it is not only my record on civil rights, but the economic
agenda that we`re talking about is going to make sense I think to the
African-American community, the Hispanic community and virtually the entire

SHARPTON: Let me bring this up. You called Hillary Clinton, quote, "the
establishment candidate." Now, Elizabeth Warren has not ruled out
endorsing you last week and neither has Bill de Blasio. And I think those
are the like two leading half profile progressives in the country. What,
and I remember you and Bill de Blasio sat together on the National Action
Network Convention, what did it mean to you to get one or two of their
endorsements, are their endorsements important to you?

SANDERS: They sure are. Look, I think Bill de Blasio is playing a great
role in New York City talking all of the time about a nation in which we
have so many people living in poverty while people on the top are doing
phenomenally well. Elizabeth Warren is my colleague in the Senate, she has
been a breath of fresh air in the Senate, being just a -- fighter, taking
on Wall Street, taking on the money. Of course, I would welcome either or
both of these fine people with their support.

SHARPTON: Well, Senator, I know you have another big night and I
appreciate you taking time to talk to us live. Senator and presidential
candidate Bernie Sanders, thank you so much for your time tonight.

SANDERS: Thank you all.

SHARPTON: Joining me now is political strategist Angela Rye. Angela, your
take on Bernie Sanders campaign surge?

ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Well, Rev, he`s certainly riding a huge
wave but what I would like to quite frankly is the honeymoon stage of any
relationship. Folks are riding high right now because even though Bernie
Sanders is absolutely not a new name in politics, he`s new to this
particular space and I think folks are excited about the fact that he`s
unfiltered. He`s certainly not raw like Donald Trump but he`s unfiltered
in telling it exactly like he sees it and I think that`s an important voice
to have at this particular point in a democratic primary process. I think
that he`s certainly going to continue to hold Hillary Clinton`s pick to the
fire but I want to hear a lot more from Bernie Sanders.

I want to hear about his campaign team. I know when Hillary Clinton was
rolling out her campaign team, it is very, very clear that Hillary
Clinton`s campaign team reflects the face of America. Where are the
diverse folks that are running Senator Sanders campaign? I`m not saying
they don`t exist but I haven`t heard anything about them. So, there are
whole lot more questions and I think as we near the end of this honeymoon
stage, there will be a whole lot more questions for Bernie Sanders.

SHARPTON: In terms of diversity of campaign stance and history, I mean,
men Young Moors (ph), the others that have been there for a long time and
the younger people now --

RYE: Sure.

SHARPTON: Hillary is there but on these issues, what is resonating with
these crowds coming out and the polls narrowing, income inequality,
progressive ideas and as he just said, the disproportionally effects
diverse audiences. How do we hear Mrs. Clinton deal with that? I mean,
and how do you deal with, Angela, the fact that "The Times" says this
afternoon that the Clintons are wary of his strength in Iowa. Quote, "I
think we under estimated that Sanders would quickly attract so many
democrats in Iowa who weren`t likely to support Hillary said one Clinton
adviser." Could Bernie Sanders actually win Iowa?

RYE: He could win Iowa Rev, and I think the important thing for us to
remember is that in Iowa, Jon Edwards also beat Hillary Clinton. So there
are a lot of things that can happen in Iowa and frankly, for him, probably
should happen in New Hampshire. He has the advantage there, as well, and
of course, you know that he has the polling advantage right now. But
again, it`s very, very early. We`re several months out from a primary
process and we do need to continue to hear from the candidates on the
issues. Right now I`m not really seeing a ton of difference in between
what they are saying. It`s the democratic process. So, at this point, we
need to wait to see what they can say and how quickly they can pivot when
they get to a general.

SHARPTON: All right. We`ll be closely watching this one. Angela Rye,
thank you for your time tonight.

RYE: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Straight ahead, President Obama on the verge of another historic
move. This one on criminal justice reform.

And later, champions, champions, champions, the U.S. women bring home the
World Cup and bring our nation together.


SHARPTON: President Obama will soon be making a push to cement his legacy
in another key area, criminal justice reform. "The New York Times" reports
that in the coming weeks, he`ll use his clemency powers to free dozens of
federal prisoners locked up on non-violent drug offenses. He talked about
it earlier this year.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I think what you`ll see is not only
me exercising that pardon power in clemency power more aggressively for
people who have, who meet the criteria, non-violent crimes and served
already a long period of time and shown that they are rehabilitated. But
also, we`re working with Democrats and Republicans around criminal justice
reform issues. If we can get some action done at the federal level, that
will make a difference in terms of how I think more and more states
recognize it doesn`t make sense for us to treat non-violent drug offenses
the way we do.


OBAMA: In recent decades, presidents have been less and less willing to
use their clemency power to correct injustice. With the number falling off
tremendously since FDR and Johnson. President Obama wants to change that.
In his part of his broad push, his broader push to address the worst
injustices of the criminal justice system, he already set new guidelines on
sentencing for federal drug offenders and he wants broader action from
Congress. America has more inmates than any country in the world worth 2.3
million adults in prison. If President Obama can begin fixing that, it
will be another huge achievement for his legacy.

Joining me now is former deputy Attorney General James Cole. Last year he
helped create the initiative for non-violent inmates to have their
sentences commuted. Thanks for being here, James.

for having me.

SHARPTON: James, when the President commutes these sentences, obviously
it`s life-changing for the people involved, but there is also a larger
symbolic reason for this doing this, isn`t there?

COLE: Well, there is. This is trying to show that there is in fact some
fairness in our system. People have to believe in our system. They have
to think that it operates in a fairway and a lot of these sentences really
told people that it wasn`t operating in a fairway. We had the crack powder
cocaine disparity that was out of whack, but when that got fixed, it didn`t
fix it for the people who had been sentenced in the past. What is
happening now is we`re fixing that. We`re telling people that fairness is
fairness today and it applies into the past, as well.

SHARPTON: Now, this is part of a larger push to reverse the over
sentencing that is ramped in the system that you referred to. Take a look
at this, a new federal guidelines for drug offenders have retroactively
reduced sentences for more than 9500 inmates so far and nearly three-
quarters of them are black or Hispanic. Can these new federal guidelines
inspire reforms at a state level, as well, James?

COLE: Well, I think the state level is where the leadership has been in
this area. The federal government has been the one that`s fallen behind
and we`ve been trying to find ways to fix the system. When I first came
into office as Deputy Attorney General, I looked at the states to see what
they did to fix the problem and they all told me the thing they needed most
was a state legislature that would work with them, and that`s one thing
that we haven`t had. We need reform from the Congress right now to make
this permanent and to make it lasting.

SHARPTON: The so-called war on drugs is locked up a lot of people who have
no business in prison. Drug offenders make up 50 percent of the federal
prison population. That`s over 95,000 people, more than any other criminal
offense. How has this policy gotten so out of hand?

COLE: Well, I think it started with the theory that you just take
criminals off the street and crime will be solved. But that turned out to
not be the case. You take a look back and you see that there is too many
people in jail for way to long a period of time. And there`s no good
reason for that kind of length of sentence. We really need to do things to
try and solve the problems that brought these people into the criminal
justice system in the first place. We haven`t been doing that. The focus
right now is to make sure people get some treatment, get some help, get
some attention to the things that drove them to drugs, drove them to crime
in the first place.

SHARPTON: And we`re seeing some bipartisan support on this, James, some
Republicans are coming on board on this. Grover Norquist and others have
done this show around some of the issues of criminal justice.

COLE: It`s caught on in a bipartisan way like I had never imagine it would
and I welcome that. I think the devil is in the details though. There is
a lot of different bills floating around the United States Congress. Some
are good. Some are not so good.


COLE: We need a good one.

SHARPTON: Former Deputy Attorney General James Cole. Thank you for your
time tonight, and your important work on this issue. Thank you so much.

COLE: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, USA makes history, sets records and brings the
country together.


SHARPTON: This holiday weekend we saw a stunning and tragic surge of gun
violence in Chicago. The youngest victim was a 7-year-old boy who was
watching fireworks with his family.


AMBER HALEY, MOTHER OF VICTIM: My baby was seven-years-old. Seven.

He had plans. He wanted to be somebody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amari`s family will remember him as a young man who
wanted to be a dancer or police officer and now they just want justice.

HALEY: Tell you all kids, tell them you love them every day. Tell them
you love them every day, keep them with you, Lord, Jesus because these
streets is not right.


SHARPTON: Another teenager was gunned down while playing basketball at a
park named after Hadiya Pendleton, the young woman killed in that same park
two years ago. In all, 55 people were wounded in the violence this
weekend, ten people were killed. This is unacceptable. Everyone from
parents and community leaders to police and elected officials need to step
up and address this crisis. Children are dying in the street. The
violence must stop.






SHARPTON: A legendary call on Telemundo for a legendary game not to be
forgotten. The women`s U.S. soccer team are world champions taking home
the World Cup last night and fans across the country were celebrating.






SHARPTON: The game set a TV record, more than 20 million tuned in. Vice
President Joe Biden was there celebrating with his grandchildren and Sasha
Obama. The star of the game, Carli Lloyd scored three goals and she woke
up early to celebrate on "The Today Show."


CARLI LLOYD, WORLD CUP CHAMPION: I think that a lot of us needed to pinch
ourselves and see if this was really happening because just the way that it
all unfolded from start to finish, it was just an epic journey, one we`ll
never forget.


SHARPTON: She inspired mems online, that went viral like this one showing
Carli on the $10 bill, her Wikipedia page listed her playing position as
president of the United States. The real president tweeted, "What a win
for team USA, great game Carli Lloyd, your country is so proud of all of
you. Come visit the White House with the World Cup soon."

Congratulations team USA, thank you for making all of us proud and thank
you for giving all Americans something to celebrate together.

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


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