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PoliticsNation, Friday, July 10th, 2015

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Date: July 10, 2015
Guest: Caesar McKnight; Leon Howard; Tinetta Scott, Victoria DeFrancesco
Soto, Bill Press, Angela Rye, Ryan Grim

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on "Politics Nation" historic day in
South Carolina. The confederate flag is down, but the fight`s not over.
We`re live at the statehouse.

Also, does Jeb Bush have a Mitt Romney problem? Bush is raking in the
money, and trying to clarify those comments about American workers.

And why the GOP is stuck with Donald Trump? A new poll revealed why
Republicans may actually be too scared to hit back.

We start with breaking news from South Carolina. A moment of history after
a tragedy that should never have happened. The FBI revealing today that
the shooter in the Charleston massacre should never have had a gun. He was
only sold the gun because of a failure in the background check system.
That revelation adding a special poignancy to the historic scene today as
we all watched the confederate flag come down at the statehouse. It`s
prompting new discussions of race and history all across the country. We
saw one take place today literally in the shadow of the flag itself.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do not fly this flag in the name of racism or any
type of white power or supremacy.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What I want is for the state that represents all of
us to not fly that flag. As an individual, we respect your every right to
fly that flag. Nobody is taking that flag from you. Nobody is burning
that flag. I respect to you. I`m talking to you as a person because we
are human. We are human beings. And we deserve that respect for the state
that represents us all to govern itself that way. It should not just fly
this flag alone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But you say the same thing about an African heritage

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If it was up here?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: By all means, of course, because that does not govern
everybody. That does not stand for everybody. That`s not fair to


SHARPTON: We`ve heard a lot of talk about a national conversation about
race. Well, that`s what it looks like. And we`ll need to talk about it
because the passions on this subject run deep as we saw when the flag came


SHARPTON: The state highway patrol honor guard carried the flag off the
grounds for good, moving it to a museum. And hours later the pole that
held the flag up for years came down, too. People were filled with


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Something I didn`t think I would probably see in my

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: its given people an excuse to be mean and ugly. And
today it`s a totally different ball game.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It`s a historical moment. It`s been in the making
for 53 years. I wanted to make sure that my grandchildren and my son would
be able to tell their children when they get older about the confederate
flag being removed from the statehouse grounds.


SHARPTON: Joining me now from the statehouse are state representatives
Leon Howard and Caesar McKnight. Thank you both for being here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Reverend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

SHARPTON: Representative McKnight, what does it mean to you to know that,
for the first time in your life, the flag is not flying on the statehouse
grounds in South Carolina?

thought that I would see this day. I just got elected in November. And we
had freshman orientation for new members in December. And I remember
walking back from lunch and walking past the confederate flag and saying
out loud to myself, I want that flag to go, but I doubt that it would ever
happen. I`m glad that I don`t have the ultimate say and god does because
we see what can happen in a few short months and how history can change for
the better.

SHARPTON: Representative Howard, what did it mean to you?

STATE REP. LEON HOWARD (D) SOUTH CAROLINA: Reverend Sharpton, thank you
for this opportunity. It meant so much to me. I was so excited to see the
flag finally come down. I`ve been on the battlefield quite some time along
with you and others, you know. And so, I just thought it would never
happen. But unfortunately we paid such a major price for this day with the
loss of our friends and colleagues and loved ones in the state of South
Carolina in the Charleston massacre.

SHARPTON: You know, Representative McKnight, the governor, Nikki Haley
spoke to Matt Lauer on the "Today" show this morning of being proud of her
state today. Listen to this.


GOV. NIKKI HALEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The statehouse, that`s an area that
belongs to everyone. And no one should ever drive by the statehouse and
feel pain. I think you can look at the way South Carolina responded to
this tragedy and we can all say that hopefully the Emanuel nine are looking
down and feeling proud today.


SHARPTON: You know, as I said to her at one of the funerals, she and I
disagreed. I`ve even been in marches in front of where you`re standing.
But as much as part of me says why did it take nine innocent people dying
for people to see the egregious nature of the flag, the other part of me
says if they hadn`t done anything, it would have been even worse? And we
should be proud how people responded today -- Representative McKnight.

MCKNIGHT: I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments, Reverend Al. And I
echo the sentiments that the governor said with Matt Lauer today. The
grounds of the statehouse belong to all the people of South Carolina. And
the only spirit that should be conveyed on these grounds is a spirit of
unity and not division. And we could not have a spirit of unity at the
statehouse grounds with the confederate battle flag flying ahead. So I,
too, feel the way that you do, that why did it take the deaths of nine
people who were only at church worshipping and coming closer with the Lord.
But I`m glad that something good came out of the tragedy. And I`m hopeful
that we can spring forward and make some more substantive changes in the
state as well.

SHARPTON: Representative Howard, you`ve been out there on the battlefield
and you know that this is a great day, but the battle does not end the war.
We still have a lot of battles to fight, issues to go forward. How will
you and the state legislators that are committed to fairness and equality,
how will we go forward now telling people is not enough just to take the
flag down. We still have to deal with other issues.

HOWARD: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton. You`re exactly right. We have to
deal with other issues like economic development, health care. In South
Carolina state government is the biggest contributor to slave wages where
African-Americans are not paid fairly. They`re paid less than their
counterpart that a lot of commission over there.

When I go in gas stations and buy gas and I see young African-Americans buy
lottery tickets for hope. And then we would go back, they take all of the
money and educate young white kids not to promote African-Americans at a
fair pay scale at the lottery commission. That is just one example of
unfairness and injustice that we don`t have to deal with - continue to deal
with. We are to ask each state agency to provide an organizational
structure chart to see where we stand in turns of economics. It`s about
economic enslavement at this point.

SHARPTON: Now, Representative McKnight, I want to go back to the headline
today. The FBI says Dylann Roof, the Charleston shooter, should not have
been sold a gun. What`s your reaction to hearing that?

MCKNIGHT: I`m hurt by that. Let me first say that I am a gun owner. And
my parents are gun owners. And I don`t believe that there`s a one size fit
all gun control solution for the entire United States. My parents live in
rural South Carolina, and we have fine law enforcement. But for law
enforcement to reach my parents` home, it takes about 45 minutes. I can`t
advocate a position that would leave my parents at the mercy of an intruder
for 45 minutes. So I believe that law-abiding citizens should be able to
own a firearm.

That being said, we need a system of background checks that work. And the
fact that this background system check failed with regard to Mr. Roof is
quite telling that we need to revisit the issue and wed need to tighten up,
we need to close the gun show loophole, we need to require that once person
are selling guns between each other, they need to do a background check,
the same way you do it in a store. If you go into a store, you fill out a
form, they take down your birthday your Social Security number, they make a
telephone call and two minutes later, you know whether or not you can buy a

It`s that simple. And the excuses that have been put forward for the last
few years about why we shouldn`t have background checks or expand
background checks just don`t hold water any more.

SHARPTON: Rep. Howard, as you`ve outlined some of the road ahead and
battles ahead and you and others have battled these issues a long time,
will you hope that in the primaries South Carolina becomes a key primary
state for the Republicans and the Democrats? I know because I ran into one
about 10, 11 years ago. What issues will you force the presidential
candidates to deal with in light of this historic day and in light of the
focus that has been put on South Carolina with this tragedy and massacre?

HOWARD: Well, Reverend Sharpton, the thing that we`ll have to continue to
work on, education, healthcare and building generations of wealth where our
young people can be independent and be able to provide a good quality of
life for their families.

We`re missing the boat, you know, to take the battle flag down is
wonderful, we all worked many years to do that. But we should not allow
this state to treat our citizens with education that are qualified less
than our counterparts. And now, so often African-Americans train their
bosses over and over to get the better jobs and the better wages.

SHARPTON: Representative McKnight, there are still some states tonight,
Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas, Florida, that still have either flags or
themes of the confederate. What do you hope those citizens and those
states looking at what happened today in South Carolina, what do you hope
they see and do about those remnants of the confederacy that`s still in
their state?

MCKNIGHT: I hope they can learn from what we`ve seen in South Carolina
over the past month. There have been opportunities for us to fall into the
abyss of hatred and division, but we`ve decided to step up and step
together into the future together as one. And we`ve decided in South
Carolina collectively that symbols of hate have no place within the state
grounds, on state property.

I think there`s room in places for Mississippi and other places that have
confederate themes to identify that those themes do have a proper place,
and they belong in a museum. However, when it`s the people`s house, like
our statehouse, and when it`s the people`s grounds, like our state grounds,
they need to remove those symbols as well so they can have an all-inclusive
government that just doesn`t bar some of the people but involves everyone.

SHARPTON: Representatives Leon Howard and Caesar McKnight, thank you both
for your time.

And I want you to know, Representative Howard, I notice how you made it
clear that you and I were not in the generation of Brother Caesar tonight.
I just want you to know I caught that.

Still ahead, reaction of the families of the beautiful nine. I`ll talk to
a cousin of the youngest victim of the Charleston massacre.

Also, a new headache for the GOP. Donald Trump says he`s teaming up with
Clint Eastwood. What could possibly go wrong?

And we`ll look at how Democrats are hoping to use their 2012 game plan for
Mitt Romney against Jeb Bush in 2016. All that plus president and first
lady attending a special state dinner where the kids brought their favorite




OBAMA: I particularly impressed with the Barack-a-mole. So I`m expecting
people to save me a little sampling of the Barack-a-mole.


SHARPTON: Coming up, Donald Trump is number one in a new national poll. I
think the RNC chairman might need to make another phone call.

And with an election laser focused on the inequality fight, does Jeb Bush
have a Mitt Romney problem?

But first, how relatives of the beautiful nine are responding to this
historic day.


SHARPTON: As the confederate flag came down in South Carolina, family
members of the Charleston massacre victims stood with Governor Nikki Haley
to watch history unfold. This conversation about the flag started with
their courage and their grace.

The youngest victim Tywanza Sanders was shot as he protected his mother.
And he died reaching to help another victim. His family and the others
inspired the country last month when they spoke directly to the shooter in


ALICIA SANDERS, MOTHER: We welcomed you Wednesday night in our bible study
with open arms. You have killed some of the most beautifulest people that
I know. Every fiber in my body hurts, and I`ll never be the same. Tywanza
Sanders is my son. But Tywanza was my hero. Tywanza was my hero. But as
we said in bible study, we enjoyed you. But may God have mercy on you.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is Tywanza Sanders` cousin, Dr. Tonetta Scott.

First of all, Dr. Scott, I`m very sorry for your loss.


SHARPTON: You were very close to your cousin. What do you think Tywanza
would have thought watching the flag come down?

SCOTT: Yes, Tywanza was my first cousin. To know that the flag came down
as a result of the assassination of him and eight others, I think he would
be proud now that history has been made and that he`s a part of that

SHARPTON: And I think that not only the assassination, which is one of the
most despicable acts we`ll ever see, but the way your family`s reacted, the
grace and the forgiveness, I think that`s what really brought this country
to a wake-up call that they had to do something, and this flag was a
result. How do you think Tywanza would have reacted hearing the statements
of the family members that they would not let hate win even though he and
the eight others were victims?

SCOTT: Tywanza was about positivity all the time. He was always
encouraging. So to see that we have a heart of forgiveness, I think that
exemplifies his life within us. So he would be proud of the way that we
stand up and that we still have a sense of unity as well as pride and
forgiveness for the young man who did this shooting.

SHARPTON: How is the family doing?

SCOTT: The family`s doing very well. They`re taking it day by day, but
overall we`re doing really well. Continuing to stay positive, continuing
to stay uplifted and to be a support for each other.

SHARPTON: Now, the FBI said today that your cousin`s killer was sold a gun
illegally. What`s your reaction to that?

SCOTT: It shows that we have a gun issue. Not only did the flag come
down, but we have a further gun control issue about legalization of guns
and the access to who can get guns.

SHARPTON: As you move forward and going on with your own life and your own
career, do you feel that this will redouble your commitment to do things
that Tywanza would have wanted and expected of you as a cousin who is as
close as a sister to him?

SCOTT: Yes, Tywanza had high expectations for not only himself but his
family. So that his death is not in vain, we live his life continually
through our lives. So one thing I`ll do is continue to focus on the dreams
and making his life a legacy.

SHARPTON: What do you hope history will remember Tywanza and the other
victims of the massacre as?

SCOTT: As heroes and themselves. They stood up even though they died,
they stood up for a cause. They stood up for a reason. And their lives
and their purpose was intentional. God had a reason for them being at that
particular place at that particular time. So that their lives, there`s a
reason behind this. And maybe it`s because of the flag coming down. Maybe
it`s for gun laws being regulated better. Whatever the situations that
unfolds from the death of these nine people, I know that there`s a purpose
behind it.

SHARPTON: Dr. Tonetta Scott, our prayers are with you and your family and
all of the families. And thank you for sharing your memories of Tywanza

SCOTT: Thank you so much.

SHARPTON: We`ll be right back.



DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We`ve had tremendous success.
We`ve had tremendous crowds. Nobody gets as many standing ovations. And I
spend a lot of time out. I was in South Carolina recently, and we`re all
over. I`m going to -- this weekend I`ll be with Clint Eastwood in
California. Tremendous group of people.


SHARPTON: Well, the weekend is here, and Donald Trump is in Los Angeles
getting ready to hang out with this guy.


CLINT EASTWOOD, ACTOR: So Mr. President, how do you handle -- how do you
handle promises that you`ve made when you`re running for election? And how
do you handle it? I mean, what do you say to people? Do you just -- I
know people are wondering. You don`t -- OK. What do you mean shut up?


SHARPTON: That was a defining moment for the Republican Party. An
embarrassment on a national stage. So Donald Trump in Hollywood tonight,
what could possibly go wrong? That`s next.


SHARPTON: Donald Trump`s taking his one man show -- I mean campaign -- on
the road this weekend. Tonight he`s in Los Angeles getting ready to talk
to a group of Hollywood conservatives including, he says, Clint Eastwood.
Protests from immigrant right groups are expected tonight. I wonder if
he`ll be talking more tonight about that tone it down call from the RNC.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He really called to congratulate
me on being number one in a lot of polls. So he called, Sean, very simply
to say, unbelievable that he`s never seen anything quite like it. And he
just couldn`t have been nicer. I just don`t know how the story got out.
Nobody called us for verification. And honestly, I can`t blame him, unless
he gave out the story, which is possible. Probably he did.


SHARPTON: Trump also saying the RNC chair knows better than to lecture
him. So this is a real problem, but it might be one they helped create,
asking him for endorsements, giving him air time, letting his birther
antics continue. Now, Trump is number one in a new national poll. He says
his campaign had to move at an Arizona event to a bigger space because so
many people wanted to attend. And this week there was no oxygen for other


TRUMP: You wouldn`t even be hearing for the word "immigration" if it
wasn`t for Donald Trump. It`s a lot of money, but fortunately I`m very
rich. It doesn`t matter to me. People like what I say. They agree with
what I say. I`ve had tremendous success.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you accept that President Obama was born in the
United States?

TRUMP: I really don`t know.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don`t know.

TRUMP: I don`t know why he wouldn`t release his records. I`ll tell you
something, if I get the nomination, I`ll win the Latino vote. I`ll win it
because I`m going to create jobs. Jeb Bush is a disaster in so many
different ways. There`s nothing to apologize for. There`s nothing to
apologize for.


SHARPTON: Joining me now are Victoria DeFrancesco Soto and Bill Press.
Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Bill, Trump says he`s meeting with Eastwood this weekend. He`s
got the big event in Arizona. What do you imagine is happening in the --
at the RNC office tonight?

PRESS: I think they`re nervous as hell. Maybe they`re going to have to
make another phone call. As you suggested earlier. But look, two things
about this Clint Eastwood meeting. I think number one, the only thing more
embarrassing to the Republican Party than Clint Eastwood`s empty chair
caper is going to be Donald Trump on stage August the 6th coming up in the
first republican debate. They can`t keep him out of that debate. He`s
number one in the national polls. He is going to embarrass the whole party
and he`s going to attack everybody else who is on that stage. The other
thing is, I think it`s significant that Clint Eastwood, of all the
candidates, is hanging out with Donald Trump. Because whatever you think
of him, Clint Eastwood is a hero to the Republican Party. The fact that
he`s with Trump to me says, Donald Trump is the face of the Republican
Party today, and that`s got to be bad news for 2016.

SHARPTON: Now, let me be real clear, Trump has said this. Eastwood has
not confirmed it yet.

PRESS: All right.

SHARPTON: But I wouldn`t be surprised, Bill.

PRESS: I wouldn`t either.

SHARPTON: Victoria, you know, protesters are planning to rally outside
Donald Trump`s event. And one group has said -- I want to show you what
they`re planning.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The action fund plans a protest outside with Trump
pinatas in hand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re going to have a pinata to show how much of a
caricature Mr. Trump has become.


SHARPTON: I mean, how much of a nerve has Trump hit here, Victoria?

SOTO: He has definitely hit a nerve. There`s always been this anti-
immigrant sentiment in the Republican Party that waxes and wanes. We
really saw it come forward in the 2010 election. It laid dormant, poked
its head up in 2012. But now he`s harnessed it and he`s running with it.
But Reverend, I think the real difference between now and 2010 is that the
moderate Chamber of Commerce Republicans just kind of kept quiet in 2010
and let the anti-immigrant rhetoric roll. Now, we`re seeing a lot of
nervousness, you asked Bill earlier. So, what are they doing at the RNC
headquarters, what is Reince Priebus doing? They`re getting really


SOTO: Because they know that the Latino demographic is crucial to a White
House bid and to the survival of the Republican Party. So, Donald Trump
has hit a nerve and the Republican Party doesn`t know what to do with it.

SHARPTON: Now, Bill, having said that, they`re nervous but "The New York
Times" says that the GOP can`t fire Trump, writing that a republican
victory in 2016 is, quote, "mathematically delicate." And the party`s
quote, "dependence on aging, anxious white voters make it exceedingly
perilous for the Republican Party to treat Mr. Trump as the pariah many of
its leaders now wish he would become." This is perhaps why some of -- this
is perhaps why some have been delicate with Trump, I would put it that way.
Pretty telling, isn`t it?

PRESS: No, it really is. And notices, Reince Priebus might have given
Donald Trump a telephone call. I don`t care how long it lasted. But he`s
not publicly condemned Donald Trump. And some of these candidates, they
may be grumbling a little bit and say, well, I disagree with them. But
they`ve not condemned him, they`ve not repudiated him, they`ve not thrown
him out of the party. And you know why? Because he`s just like the rest
of them. None of them support immigration reform. None of them support
climate change, think it`s a problem. Every one of them disagreed with the
Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. Donald Trump is like every one
of the other 16 republican candidates except he`s got a bigger mouth. And
he`s saying publicly what they think privately.

SHARPTON: Now, Victoria, Lindsey Graham did ramp it up, though. Listen to

SOTO: Well, I think he said something that has brought people who are
frustrated about immigration system to life, but he also said it in a way
that`s going to kill my party. I would prefer that Donald Trump bring his
economic genius and his talents to the table in more constructive ways.

SHARPTON: Now, is he just punching up, Victoria? Because he`s so low in
the polls?

SOTO: I think so. If he just mentions Donald Trump in a sentence, that
raises his poll numbers. But, you know, so this economic genius of Donald
Trump, if he were such an economic genius, he would understand basic supply
and demand economics. But the reason immigrants come here is because
there`s a supply of jobs. There`s demand here. You can build all the
walls you want, but if the United States, if the employers here in this
country keep looking to hire immigrants, no wall is going to keep
immigrants out. And that`s the basic fact that Donald Trump keeps missing
and, quite frankly, the rest of the Republican Party. So, you know, I
don`t see this economic genius anywhere.

SHARPTON: All right. Well, he will be in Arizona and L.A. this weekend,
and --

PRESS: Watch out.

SHARPTON: And we will be watching. Watch out is right, Bill. Thank you,
Bill Press and Victoria Defrancesco Soto.

PRESS: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Thank you both for your time tonight. Have a nice weekend.

Coming up, Senator Bernie Sanders attacks Jeb Bush for policies that
support the wealthy and the powerful.

Plus, we had a big party here in New York for the U.S. women`s soccer team.
And our POLITICS NATION cameras were there.

And top chefs. The kids show off their dishes at the White House today.


SHARPTON: Does Jeb Bush have a Mitt Romney problem? At a time of record
inequality, is the GOP front-runner making his party look out of touch? It
might sound like a leak, but it`s an argument you can bet Democrats will
make. Bernie Sanders is now hitting Bush over fundraising.


Jeb Bush`s super Pac raised over $100 million in a few months. And this
money is clearly coming from the wealthiest people in this country. And it
is no accident that Jeb Bush and other republican candidates who take huge
amounts of money from the wealthy and the powerful come up with an agenda
that represents the wealthy and the powerful.


SHARPTON: In fairness, there`s big money on all sides including Democrats.
But it`s not just the money. It`s also Bush`s policies. And statements
like this one.


JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My aspiration for the country, and I
believe we can achieve it, is four percent growth as far as the eye can
see, which means we have to be a lot more productive, workforce
participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that
people need to work longer hours. And through their productivity gain more
income for their families. That`s the only way we`re going to get out of
this rut that we`re in.


SHARPTON: Americans are already working record hours. And Democrats
jumped all over that statement. Bush clarified saying he was calling for
more full-time openings for people who want them, but it isn`t good when
the top GOP candidate has to explain a comment about American workers.
Economic gaffes and right wing trickle-down theories, I think I`ve seen
something like this before.

Joining me now are Angela Rye and Ryan Grim. Thanks for being here.



SHARPTON: Angela, you heard Bernie Sanders. Will this be the line of
attack on Jeb Bush, that he`s out of touch and represents the wealthy in

RYE: I think that`s just one of the attacks, Rev. I honestly think the
other big attack that`s reasonable is that this guy is the king of the
walk-backs. He has not a walk it out campaign but a walk-back campaign.
He`s continually telling us that this is not what he meant to say, or
clarifying. He also walked back that he wouldn`t have gone into Iraq. So
this is going to continue to be a problem for him. He`s got to say what he
means and mean what he says long term. I think of course folks believe
that he`s out of touch. He comes from a very privileged family.

Not one but two presidents. I think, of course, Hillary Clinton is
privileged, too, but what do you do with that privilege? Do you continue
to surround yourself with people who think just like you think and do just
like you do and have the same amount of money that you have to spend and
then also do things to only protect those people or do you expand that
circle? And we have yet to see if Jeb Bush is willing to do that? It
certainly doesn`t look that way.

SHARPTON: Now, Ryan, earlier this year there were headlines about Jeb Bush
trying to show he`s not another Mitt Romney by focusing on the poor. And
we heard Jeb Bush talk about poverty. Listen.


BUSH: We have a record number of Americans on food stamps and living in
poverty. The opportunity gap is the defining issue of our time. More
Americans are stuck at their income levels than ever before. It`s very
hard for people to go from the bottom rungs of the economy to the top or
even to the middle. This should alarm you.


SHARPTON: How worried do you think the Bush people are about the
comparisons to Mitt Romney?

GRIM: You know, I think they`re pretty worried in this sense. You know,
his brother, George Bush, also, you know, the son of an extremely wealthy
Connecticut family, got around that image with his -- by being quite a good
politician. You know, whether you like him or not, he was quite good at
the kind of aw shucks Texan persona --


GRIM: That made him seem like, you know, this everyman. And even though
he didn`t drink any more, polls consistently said voters would much rather
have a beer with him, you know, than Al Gore or John Kerry.


GRIM: And so that kind of excuses a lot of the wealth, the privilege and
the policies in the mind of a lot of voters. Jeb Bush is not a good
politician, like Angela`s saying, he`s the king of the walk-back lately.
There`s no evidence that he`s going to get a lot better at it because he`s
never been good over his career as a politician. And his business career,
you know, he doesn`t have the baggage that Mitt Romney has of necessarily,
you know, working for, you know, all of these investments that led to so
many layoffs but in ways it was even worse because he was trading on a lot
of his personal political connections and landing on the boards of a lot of
kind of, dodgy companies and making millions of dollars doing it. And
people don`t understand, what did you even do? You know, what does it mean
you`re named to a board and you get paid a lot of money to do what, and
show up and vote yes on CEO compensation. So where does he come up with
the defense against the question that you`re asking? And, you know, it`s a
tricky one for him.

SHARPTON: Now, there`s also the policy debate. And Angela, Hillary
Clinton is supposed to come with the opposite type of economic policies.
"The New York Times" reports Hillary Clinton`s economic plan will include
pre-kindergarten for all four-year-olds, expanded access to child care,
paid sick days and paid family leave, helping to make college students as
debt-free as possible, a higher minimum wage and company profit sharing
for employees. Now, this is the contrast to the right we`re going to see
in this battle for the White House. What will Republicans say to these
proposals, Angela?

RYE: Well, I think we know from their history that these are all proposals
they do not support. They have had ample time to support them under this
presidential administration with President Barack Obama. They have not
demonstrated that. You know, even listening to Jeb Bush talking about
Americans needing to work more hours. Well, he hasn`t talked about the pay
disparity. You showed the clip of him in Detroit talking about, you know,
these are things we need to be paying attention to. Pay attention to for
what purpose? What is the solution after you pay attention to them? We
all know they`re facts. Now, what are you going to do to resolve them? I
certainly don`t think that there`s any room for a progressive agenda like
Hillary Clinton on the republican side.

SHARPTON: Ryan, how do you think they fight her agenda? How does this
debate go? And how is the contrast with her policy positions and theirs?

GRIM: I think we`re looking at a base election where, you know, both
parties are going to be trying to energize their people, get them to the
polls. Republicans clearly, you know, 100 million plus shattering all
records, are going to have all of the money that they need to do that. And
they`re going to zero in on states where Hillary Clinton, assuming that
she`s the nominee, doesn`t poll well. You know, their polls are having her
down in the low 40s in places like Colorado. You know, if somebody like
Bush can maybe pick up a little bit of the Latino vote plus drive out the
base with the resources that they have, then, you know, they think they can
take what is maybe, you know, a 51/49 election and move it over in their
direction. So, I don`t think that you`re going to see a whole lot of
contrasting around those populous issues that the Republicans are going to
be pushing opportunity, deregulation, tax cuts, get the government out of
the way and let the country grow, that sort of thing. I don`t think
they`ll try to match, you know, what Hillary`s doing.

SHARPTON: Angela Rye and Ryan Grim, thank you both for your time tonight.
Have a great weekend.

GRIM: You too, reverend.

RYE: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, the surprise guest at Kids State Dinner at the White
House today. Which recipe was the President`s favorite?

And my parting thoughts on this historic day from South Carolina, and why
it`s the beginning, not the end, of the fight.


SHARPTON: We`re back with two stories to make you smile. Today, First
Lady Michelle Obama hosted the annual Kids State Dinner at the White House.
Kids from across the country submitted original and creative healthy
recipes in a competition to make it to the big event. And look who made a
surprise appearance.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: The food looks outstanding. I
particularly impressed with the Barack-a-mole.


So, I`m expecting people to save me a little sampling of the Barack-a-mole.
In terms of encouraging young people to eat healthy, what really helps is
when their friends at school are all like, oh, you`re having chips? I`m
sorry. I`m having the Barack-a-mole.



SHARPTON: Barack-a-mole? Is that with or without peas? Well, I don`t
know if that fits my strict diet. As the President made the rounds, he met
the top chef behind his favorite recipe.


OBAMA: You`re the Barack-a-mole maker? Way to go. What`s your name?


OBAMA: Aria, where are you from?

PELAEZ: California.

OBAMA: Good to see you. Are you having fun? It looks pretty fun, right?
Well, eat up.

PELAEZ: The Barack-a-mole goes with the Mic-Kale Obama --

OBAMA: Ahah! Very nice.

PELAEZ: Do you get it?

OBAMA: I do.

PELAEZ: They pair it very well.

OBAMA: I get it completely.



SHARPTON: What a clever idea. And hey, looks pretty healthy, too. Maybe
I can try it.

And confetti rained down on Manhattan`s canyon of heroes as the U.S.
women`s World Cup soccer team was celebrated by thousands of fans this
morning in a ticker tape parade.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I had tears in my eyes. I can`t -- I`m so like
heartwarming. It was amazing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The women`s national team actually won a championship,
and I`m so proud of them that they had the courage and prosperity to
actually make it all the way to the end.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think this is just the beginning of a world of
changes because of this. Because of the ticker tape parade. Few and far
in between. So, being this is such a big deal.


SHARPTON: Even some of the players` own families were in the crowd. One
of our producers talked to star midfielder Carli Lloyd`s aunt and cousin.


SANDY JACKSON, CARLI LLOYD`S AUNT: Just hope she enjoys every bit of this
ride because she`s worked her whole life for this -- that moment, for that

GRACE JACKSON, CARLI LLOYD`S COUSIN: She really, like, was a great role
model for everyone because she showed how she trained really hard, and she
never gave up on her dreams.


SHARPTON: The players thanked the fans for their support and reminded them
to dream big.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All the women up here on this stage believed in that
dream, kept believing in that dream, not only from the time that they were
five, 10, 15, but the entire World Cup, and I believe that that is the
reason why we won this World Cup is because none of us ever stopped
believing and neither should you guys. Thank you guys so much!


SHARPTON: No doubt this team has inspired millions of women and girls all
over the world. And they`ve certainly made America proud.


SHARPTON: I want to close tonight on this monumental day in American
history. This was a Martin Luther King moment. For 54 years this battle
flag flew on South Carolina`s capitol grounds until today. It was a huge
political statement. The public said no longer will we pay to be offended
by a symbol that represents slavery.


REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: And I`m so proud of the fact that
the rest of the country -- the rest of the world, if you please, got a
chance to really see the real soul of South Carolinians. They now know
that the so-called silent people are now speaking up through their actions.


SHARPTON: It was a great moment for all. But the reality is we still have
flags flying in South Africa and South Carolina and more work to do even
after both of those places have changed. Part of my campaign in 2004 was
to take this flag down in South Carolina, and I`m constantly reminded of
its origin. The flag was originally raised to insult the friendship nine
civil rights activists who refused bail after staging a sit-in at a whites-
only lunch counter. Over 50 years later, the flag is now being taken down
in honor of the beautiful nine killed in the Charleston massacre. And we
have to give credit to those who made this happen, from President Obama, to
the lawmakers on both sides in South Carolina. And to Governor Nikki Haley
who has shown leadership in this fight.


GOV. NIKKI HALEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Twenty two days ago, I didn`t know
that I would ever be able to say this again, but today I`m very proud to
say that it is a great day in South Carolina.



SHARPTON: We even shared a hug two weeks ago, and it`s in this spirit that
we now need to debate the issues. The fight goes on to policy issues,
voting rights, health care, criminal justice, the economy, but the tone
should not be ugly in these debates. The acrimony should be absent. We
should remember the beautiful nine and fight and debate with dignity for

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. Have a great weekend. "HARDBALL"
starts right now.


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