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PoliticsNation, Monday, July 27th, 2015

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Date: July 27, 2015
Guest: Joan Walsh, Jamal Simmons, Marq Claxton, Tara Dowdell, Clarence

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on "Politics Nation" 2016 smack
down. President Obama slams Mike Huckabee and other Republicans for their
ugly rhetoric in the race for the White House.

Also, crunch time with Donald Trump surging, contenders and pretenders both
fighting to be left off the debate stage.

And attorney general Loretta Lynch speaking out about the death of Sandra
Bland. What she says police need to learn from that dashcam video.

Welcome to "Politics Nation."

We begin tonight with the Trump effect on the 2016 race and President Obama
calling for it to end. Right now, Mike Huckabee is taking a page out of
Donald Trump`s playbook saying something wildly offensive to get attention
and then refusing to back down. Here he is putting that lesson to work
with his comments on Iran.


MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This president`s foreign policy
is the most feckless in American history. He is so naive, he would trust
the Iranians and he would take the Israelis and basically march them to the
door of the oven.


SHARPTON: Comparing the Iran deal to the holocaust is inexcusable.
Governor Huckabee knows better but he is the not backing down or
apologizing, tweeting those exact same comments and, moments ago, repeating


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Do you stand by your comments?

HUCKABEE: Absolutely I do. Absolutely I do. It`s Neville Chamberlain all
over again. We are going to just trust that everyone is going to do the
right thing. Three times I`ve been to Auschwitz. When I talked about the
door, I had stood at that oven door. I know exactly what it looks like.
1.1 million people killed. I will not apologize and I will not re-can`t.


SHARPTON: President Obama addressed the controversy today at a press
conference in Ethiopia.


Mr. Huckabee are I think part of just a general pattern that we`ve seen
that is, would be considered ridiculous if it weren`t so sad. I mean,
we`ve had a sitting senator call John Kerry Pontius Pilot. We had a
sitting senator who also happens to be running for president suggest that
I`m the leading state sponsor of terrorism. These are leaders in the
Republican Party.


SHARPTON: And the president had another idea why we are hearing this kind
of talk.


OBAMA: So when you get rhetoric like this, maybe it gets attention and
maybe this is just an effort to push Mr. Trump out of the headlines, but
it`s not the kind of leadership that is needed for America right now.


SHARPTON: We`ve only got ten days left until the first Republican debate.
Republicans are willing to do anything to stay relevant and it can`t be
helping the brand.

Let`s go talk about it with Joan Walsh and Jamal Simmons.

First, let me thank both of you for being with us tonight.



SHARPTON: Let me, before dealing with the president said that may be just
a matter of them trying to push Trump out of the news and I certainly said
that in my setup, but the ugliness of the statement itself, let`s deal with
your reaction to the actual content, Joan.

WALSH: It`s abysmal (ph) reaction, Rev. I mean, we live in this Donald
Trump world but I venture to say it`s worse than anything Donald Trump has
said or definitely close. I mean, to claim that you have stood at that
oven door as though you were in the holocaust as though you saw that
carnage, it personalizes it and it`s a mockery of the people who died. And
the idea that you would say that about our president is just, it is the
Trump effect but where does it stop? I just couldn`t have anticipated it
getting this ugly to be frank.

SHARPTON: Jamal, your reaction because I think Joan hit right on the head
my feelings. It makes a mockery of what really happened and it almost
marginalizes something that`s horrific.

SIMMONS: You know, one of the true wisdoms of politics and protocols in
public life is don`t compare things to the Nazi or the holocaust. It
almost never really works out.

SHARPTON: Because there is few that compare - I mean, in ancient history
that are very, very grotesque and very despicable, that`s one of them.

SIMMONS: Absolutely. And I think when you have a group like APAC, the
American-Israeli public affairs committee, when APAC which has not really
been supportive of Barack Obama when it comes to the Middle East policies,
when APEC comes out, (INAUDIBLE), the director comes out and says that this
was too far. When other Jewish groups come out and say this is too far, we
disagree with the president. But this is too much. That explain Mike
Huckabee has to sort of back off. But you know what? Mike Huckabee has
taken other advice which is the Bill Clinton advice which is better to be
strong and wrong than we can write. His society double down and be
stronger on something that`s incredibly offensive, which I think the
American people re probably going to (INAUDIBLE) because the one thing the
we surprise our president is temperate and the ability and sort of hold
your own and its up moment. And he is showing that he can`t really stay
steady in the face of Donald Trump.

SHARPTON: And that`s what you want in a commander in chief. What I mean,
if you have someone, Joan, that will deal with the holocaust like this
compared to a foreign policy deal that you made the desirously disagree
with or the slave trade or something that is really incomparable in
history, then how do you trust them to be the commander in-chief. But let
me say this, given the gravity of what he said, Huckabee has refused, I
mean, outright refused to back down. Let me show you what he said a few
minutes ago.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why do we have the holocaust museum in Washington?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To never forget. To never forget.

HUCKABEE: Why? So we never repeat it again. If we`re on the verge of
repeating it with a nation threatening to do that very thing, how do we not
bring up that language?


WALSH: Yes, I`m speechless. I mean, the idea that it`s comparable to the
holocaust to cut this deal with Iran that you`re right, people can disagree
about it. People can say we just don`t think it`s good enough. But to say
to compare it to a deliberate plan to exterminate six million and more
Jews, if they could have got away with it, is just unbelievable.

And I think Jamal is right. I mean, you and I both predicted that Donald
Trump was not going to really pay for his comments about John McCain or for
his comments about Mexican immigrants. The base was rewarded that. I
actually think that the base is going to recoil at this kind of standing up
and making a mockery of something like the holocaust. There is something
so ugly about it that I really don`t, unlike Donald Trump, I really do
think people are going to say whoa. Although, he`s very low in the polls
so I don`t know really how much lower he can go.

SHARPTON: Well, I mean, Jamal, the president said, though, there is
something deeper about it. There is something that`s gotten into the GOP
culture that allows these kinds of things to be said. Listen to this.


OBAMA: And he`s made some of the remarks that for example challenge the
heroism of Mr. McCain, somebody who endured torture and conducted himself
with exemplary patriotism, the Republican Party is shocked. And yet, that
arises out of a culture where, you know, those kinds of outrageous attacks
have become far too common place. And I recognize when outrageous
statements like that are made about me that a lot of same people who are
outraged when they are made about Mr. McCain were pretty quiet.


SHARPTON: The culture and he raises, Jamal, that some of the people that
were outraged about Mr. McCain were not outraged when similar statements
just as bad were made about him. Has it become the part of the GOP
culture? Is it in the water now?

SIMMONS: You know, let`s have real the talk for a second, Rev. I think
you know this. I`m sure a lot of your viewers know this. The way the
Republicans have treated Barack Obama is a level of disrespect that we
haven`t really seen for a sitting United States president. From the
governor wave her finger in the president`s face to people calling you lie
and the house chamber during a speech of joint congress. Those are not
things that we are used to seeing happen with the president. And I`m not
sensitive about this. It`s rough and tumble to be an American politics.
We all know this. But the way that these Republican haves done it and you
know who was really good actually about defending him was John McCain.

Remember in 2008 when the woman went after the president and he took the
mic back and said no, he`s an honorable man and disagree on the issues?
And then that is why the president stood up for him is because you can say
what you want about John McCain`s policies, he was willing to stand up to
this while the rest of these Republicans are milking this very, very
despicable strain in their party. They are milking for political benefit
and I think it is going to hurt the whole party and maybe even the country,
if it doesn`t stop.

SHARPTON: But you`re running for president, Joan, you got to at least show
people that you understand what is going on like I may disagree with
someone`s foreign policy but I wouldn`t compare it or bring it up in the
same light as Sudan, where I want to Sudan and said I went to Sudan
therefore this policy --

WALSH: Right.

SHARPTON: I wouldn`t compare the holocaust to some other great tragedy or
despicable act in history like I mentioned slavery. I don`t compare the
two. But I think that they are distinguishable things that cannot be used
lightly in comparison to anything. So what makes you feel like you could
just throw things like this into a campaign?

WALSH: A combination of desperation and self-righteousness. That`s what
defines Mike Huckabee. He went to Auschwitz as a tourist, Reverend Al.
Let`s just be honest, he went as tourist. And then has the gall to say I
said I stood at the ovens, I looked into the ovens. That`s crazy.

And I think, though, I mean, we really need to step back and look at the
Republican Party and media in allowing this culture where you can just say
whatever you want about Barack Obama and you`re really not shouted down.
You can continue -- people went for Donald Trump`s endorsement in 2012 over
and over. They kissed the ring. The media treated him as a relatively
serious person, and now you have somebody like Huckabee saying this is what
I`m going to do to get attention.

And I also believe that he believes it. He`s that convinced of his owned
self-righteousness and the president is evil. The president sounded so
tired and also kind of sad in that statement and it`s sad to me that he has
to say it. But I`m glad that he called them out and said this is the kind
of stuff you have been saying about me with no rebuke from the party or
much of the media to be honest.

SHARPTON: Are they that desperate, Jamal, to get on stage? We`ll know in
eight days who will be on the stage, ten days is the debate. Are they that
despite I`m going to say anything to get attention and I don`t care how
painful and ugly it may be, I`ll say it because I`ve got to get on the

SIMMONS: I do think they are that desperate. And I think one of the
things they may have learned is that Donald Trump said the most violent
things about Mexican-American immigrants who come in to the country. And
nobody in the Republican Party really blinked about it. And certainly not
the voters who have seen the reward to Donald Trump despite those things.
And he said them about John McCain and Donald Trump still hasn`t faced a

So you know what that says to these other candidates, you can say whatever
you want to say in this campaign. The trick is to get on the news. As
long as I can get on the news, I`ll keep rash it up and that`s what`s so
dangerous about having Donald Trump in the race.

SHARPTON: Well, I think some things should not be used in politics. I
think there are some events in history that should be always treated with
great respect because they stand out. I mean, you shouldn`t compare
between them because when you deal with that, you don`t compare. They are
in different level. And I think that the holocaust is one of them and
others that I mentioned, not the same, some worse, some better, doesn`t
matter. They are horrific and shouldn`t be played with.

Joan Walsh and Jamal Simmons, thank you both for your time tonight.

And Governor Huckabee will be on the "Today Show" tomorrow morning.

Coming up, more on Donald Trump`s surge, he`s dominating the polls and now
there is buzz that the RNC may be afraid to criticize him.

Also, attorney general Loretta Lynch speaks out on the Sandra Bland case
and makes one - makes some news on police reform in America.

President Obama`s historic trip to Africa has called for women`s rights,
gay rights and a passionate plea for what he`s going to do after his
presidency. And he also had a little fun on the dance floor. It`s all
coming up. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: More and more Americans are realizing that we need to fix the
criminal justice system in this country. That awareness is even coming to
late night TV. Just check out John Oliver from last night.


JOHN OLIVER, COMEDIAN: We have two million people incarcerated. If we
keep going this direction, we`ll soon have enough to populate an entire new
country with prisoners and trust me when I say that is not a good idea.
Literally the only good thing to come out of that experiment was Hugh
Jackman and that took 180 years. It was worth it, but it was a long time.
But it was worth it. It was worth it.


SHARPTON: It`s funny stuff, but he makes a serious point, and now the
woman at the center of this push, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, is
speaking out. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Attorney General Loretta Lynch is speaking out in an intense
interview about some tragedies dominating the headlines. She spoke with
MSNBC`s Andrea Mitchell. She spoke about the gunman who killed nine people
in Charleston at a church, saying he tried to create racial strife.


LORETTA LYNCH, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: The recent shootings in Charleston
have shown us that sadly what we thought was in our rearview mirror is
still here living among us. What we see is this type of crime, this type
of racially motivated violence frankly fueled by hatred is the original
domestic terrorism designed to intimidate and strike fear into the hearts
of people.


SHARPTON: Charleston is one of three mass shootings this summer. A gunman
killed five people in Tennessee and in Louisiana a gunman killed two people
at a movie theater. Lynch talked about the need for a real and honest
debate about guns.


LYNCH: If we can get past talking at each other, maybe we can talk to each
other about how to manage the firearms in our society. I`m surrounded
every day by law enforcement officers who train, who qualify, who have to
undergo rigorous tests in order to be able to carry these firearms. And
yet, the same level of responsibility doesn`t seem to be in our population.


SHARPTON: Lynch also discussed Sandra Bland, the woman found dead in her
Texas jail cell just two weeks ago. Her death was ruled a suicide by
hanging. Lynch says there are a lot of things we can learn about police
training from the video showing Bland`s arrest.


LYNCH: As part of my community policing tour, I`ve talked to officers who
have said one of the things they have appreciated most is training in de-
escalation tactics. Many people see this situation escalating. And I
think it shows the frustration that many minority communities feel when
they feel that, you know, maybe it wouldn`t have escalated in a different


SHARPTON: Joining me now is Marq Claxton, former New York City police
officer and director of the black law enforcement alliance. Thank you for
being here.


SHARPTON: Marq, one of the first things Lynch did on the job was to visit
innovative police departments. Can she help shift the culture among
departments nationwide?

CLAXTON: I believe so and I think not only Loretta Lynch, the current AG
but Eric Holder did significant work in opening up the lane for reform in
law enforcement across the nation. They have significant pull, significant
status and the ability really to affect positive change. It`s a matter of
pulling pieces together.

SHARPTON: Now Seattle police department in Seattle Washington, they are
taking part in a de-escalation training with the justice department. "The
New York Times" got to record one of those sessions. Listen to one of the


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I pulled my gun out and stuck it in his nose and go
show me your hands now. She showed me his hands. I deescalated him from
doing something. I`ll argue with you to the death because had I not stuck
my gun in his face, he may have assaulted me.


SHARPTON: Will police have to unlearn a lot of things that they have been
trained with?

CLAXTON: Absolutely. First off, you have to recognize that over the past
20 years or so, there is a significant shift away from a community policing
model, a community relations model, service model and more of an
enforcement model but that doesn`t mean that you can`t retrain the police
or shift the direction that law enforcement has to go.

I think what is missing currently, I think the attorney general is right
that there needs to be some enhancements in community policing programs, et
cetera in funding, but there has to be along with that legislation that
deals, addresses the issues of law enforcement throughout the nation.

And more importantly, an establishment of clear and concise national
standards for law enforcement, for police agencies. We`re not talking
about nationalizing or federalizing the police but absent the legislative
body and the establishment of these clear standards, we`ll keep repeating
the same things over and over again.

That police officer in that video can be redirected and if not redirected,
then that police officer in that video establishing that perspective can be
removed or moved on or accrued off the job as they say.

SHARPTON: Well, national standards and ways of moving on, but also
accountability, if they break the law they need to pay for it. I think
that one of the ways of preventing people that go way over the line and
break the law is to say you do with any citizen that commits a crime. And
that I think gives another impact to police that hey, wait a minute, I`m
going to be held accountable. I`m going to pay for this if I break the

CLAXTON: Yes, absolutely. You know, I`m always - I`m a proponent of law
enforcement and dealing with police. The character stick and I think one
way to really impose many of the significant changes that have been
suggested, some coming out of the 21st century policing task force to
utilize the character stick and incentivize retraining, improving
professional, raising professional standards and penalize those that refuse
to do so.

I think the character stick is the only way to go talking about policing.
They don`t willingly agree to change, or transforming or agree to this
community policing model itself. They really have to be forced into it and
you can`t use the same model.

SHARPTON: Thank you very much, Marq Claxton, for your time tonight.

CLAXTON: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, the Trump fear factor. Why the head of the RNC
went out of his way to avoid criticizing the Donald today.

And President Obama makes a historic trip to Africa showing off his dance
moves and taking a few shots at his critics.


OBAMA: Some of my critics back home are suggesting that I`m back here to
the look for my birth certificate.


SHARPTON: But first, Mitch McConnell comes to work on his day off and
falls right back into tonight`s GOT YOU.


SHARPTON: Being a senator is nice work if you can get it. They are about
to take nearly the entire month of August off, which is why I was surprised
to see the Senate in session yesterday on a Sunday. They must be working
on something really important.


proposal that would repeal Obamacare and allow our country to start over
fresh with a real health reform proposal. There is no question I`ll be
voting for it. There is no question that every senator should join me in
doing so. This is a law that`s failed repeatedly and that continues to
hammer hard working middle class families.


SHARPTON: Mitch McConnell calls senators in on a weekend to repeal
Obamacare. The vote failed in the Senate along party lines. So why even
hold it in the first place? One reason, so first term Republicans can say
they voted to repeal Obamacare.

Freshman senator Dan Sullivan said, quote, "what I`m trying to do in my
short time here is look at the commitments I made to the constituents and
voters of Alaska and follow through on those commitments and that was a
commitment and I want to follow through on it."

Follow through on a commitment to waste the taxpayers` time and money.
Maybe they should stick to staying home next weekend. Nice try. But we
got you.


SHARPTON: For the GOP, these just might be the six scariest words, Donald
Trump is here to stay. Trump is defying all predictions that he would
start slipping after comments about John McCain a week ago it seemed
everyone said it was over. Instead, he`s getting stronger. He`s number
one in the latest GOP national poll. He`s number one in New Hampshire.
The first time he`s led in that key state and he`s second in Iowa trailing
Scott Walker by just two points. And now, Trump is attacking Walker in
Iowa responding to Walker`s fundraiser who called him quote, "dumb dumb."


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`ve been nice to Scott Walker
and you know, he`s a nice guy. He came up to my office like three or four
months ago, presented me with a plaque because I helped him with his
election. And then today, I read this horrible statement from his
fundraiser about Trump. I said oh, finally I can attack. Finally.




The only one beating me in Iowa is Scott Walker and not by that much and he
grew up, you know, I grew up next door. I mean, he`s like right next door,
a little advantage, right? Except Wisconsin is doing terribly. It`s the
turmoil. I can`t believe I`m in second place. I`m finally in second place
to Iowa but he is next door. But folks, will you please put me in first
place so I feel better?



SHARPTON: Trump`s numbers are up. He`s on the attack and he`s got
republican leaders hesitant to criticize him. Here is what RNC Chairman
Priebus said on the "Today Show" when he was asked if Trump might hurt the
party`s brand.


REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: I actually don`t think people think that. I
think that all these candidates speak for themselves and, you know, it`s a
long process. I think people understand that everyone speaks for
themselves and I`m not worried about that. But I do agree that tone
matters and how you speak matters. It`s kind of like what our moms told
us, sometimes it`s not what you say, it`s how you say it.


Let`s talk about it with Krystal Ball and Tara Dowdell. Thank you both for
being here.

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC CO-HOST, "THE CYCLE": Thanks for having us, rev.


SHARPTON: Trump, everybody predicted several times he was going out.

BALL: Yes.

SHARPTON: This was too far.

BALL: Right.

SHARPTON: He`s being in many ways he`s surging.

BALL: Right.

SHARPTON: And he`s being given higher numbers in polls than he ever had.

BALL: Yes, he`s definitely had a much longer shelf life than people
expected in thinking was, you know, when voters realize that he`s held
totally different positions in the past. They`re going to wake up to the
fact that this guy is not their savior but comment after comment he seems
to have staying power. And I will point out, even as he seemed to almost
surge in Iowa, his support was cut in New Hampshire after making those
comments about John McCain.


BALL: But to the point, there is something --

SHARPTON: But now he`s number one in one of the polls.

BALL: That`s right. But there is something about Donald Trump and what he
is speaking to in the Republican Party base that is obviously resonating.
This ugly anger that the Republican Party frankly has nurtured and rode to
victory in election after election now is coming back to bite them in the
form of Donald Trump.

SHARPTON: Now, Tara, what was striking is that the chairman of the RNC
Priebus seemed not to want to attack him, as I showed in the setup, and now
Trump who had threatened the third party run all of a sudden says, they are
treating him nicely. Watch this.


TRUMP: I`ve had some great conversations over the last few days and they
are the terrific people. I`ve known Lynch for a long time and he`s a
terrific guy and the group in there is really good. But, you know, they
view me as an outsider I guess and now they are starting to view me not as
an outsider because I`m leading in all the polls. I think they have been
really nice over the last few days and are starting to see what is


SHARPTON: They are starting to treat him really nice, is that because he`s
resonating with the voters or are they trying to in some way make sure he
doesn`t do a third party run, which would hurt them disproportionally
compared to the democratic candidate.

DOWDELL: I think it`s both but I think it`s definitely more running scared
when Donald Trump made that statement that he would run as a third party
candidate, clearly, people took that very seriously. I know for a fact
from some of my friends on the other side of the aisle who are doing some
advisory work on some of the republican campaigns that they have been
advising their candidates to kind of back off because you don`t want to
engage Trump in a fight because he knows how to command the news cycle.
So, by definition, his ability to command the news cycle, allows him to get
his attacks against them but their attacks don`t come back as strong, they
don`t get the same kind of publicity. So, many of them are actually being
advised to just back off. He`s going to peter out. Just let him go down
in flames on his own. Not everyone is taking that advice but clearly some
people are.

SHARPTON: Well, Krystal, the chair, the party of the RNC did say that he
wasn`t concerned about Trump running as a third party candidate. Watch


PRIEBUS: Certainly, I think, our candidates should pledge not to run as a
third party candidate. But I don`t fear that. I think that and I think
you`ve even seen Donald Trump walk that back over the last few days, as


SHARPTON: How do you react to that? Do you think the Republicans are
afraid of Trump running as a third party candidate?

BALL: Absolutely they are afraid of Donald Trump running as a third party
candidate because he has the money to do it if he wanted to. I don`t know
if he will or not. I don`t know if he would. He`s clearly also softened
his rhetoric about his willingness to jump out and launch a third party
bit. But they have got to be terrified about this. Who knows what he
might want to do to stroke his own ego. So, yes, they are nervous about
it. And the other thing that they are nervous about that Tara eluded to,
is he is tapping into something real in the Republican Party base. So all
of these candidates, they are afraid of throwing stones at Donald Trump
because when his support does eventually wither, they want to be able to
pick up those supporters to pick off these people who are backing Donald
Trump right now.

SHARPTON: Well, part of what he`s tapping into, Tara, a new poll finds
that 53 percent of republican voters say, their views are not represented
in D.C. Fifty three percent. Twenty four percent of those voters support
Trump. That`s the highest number within the GOP. Is this the problem? Is
this a problem for candidates from D.C. that a lot of their base feels D.C.
doesn`t speak for them, Trump is the outsider gets an ordinate amount of
those voters --


SHARPTON: Is that what he`s really been able to benefit from?

DOWDELL: Yes, he`s definitely harnessing that dynamic, he`s calling people
losers. He`s calling people idiots. Those are the things actually hear.
A lot of his supporters say about politicians themselves. So, he`s tapping
into their sentiment. He`s also, and I`ve said this before, he`s saying no
things that are completely unacceptable that people want to be able to say
because there is a sentiment out there particularly amongst Republicans
that everything is so politically correct, they can`t say this. They can`t
say that. The things they want to say are hateful and unacceptable but
Trump is saying them and he`s channeling that for those voters.

SHARPTON: We`re ten days away, Krystal, from the first debate and we may
have a debate that doesn`t have more serious candidates on.

BALL: That`s right.

SHARPTON: Like Kasich, John Kasich, governor of Ohio, Rick Santorum. How
does that play out for the republican brand?

BALL: It`s incredibly problematic. And just think about, if you are one
of these candidates that is going to make the debate stage with Donald
Trump, how in the world do you prepare to go head-to-head with this guy?
You just have no idea what is going to come out of his mouth. You can`t
attack him because he`s going to hit you twice as hard. So, it`s a real
conundrum. So, in some ways, maybe some of those folks that are going to
be at the kids` table debate, maybe they will thank their lucky stars that
they didn`t have to go toe to toe with him.

DOWDELL: And then they have their cell phone number given out.

BALL: Yes.


SHARPTON: They also won`t have the same audience and --

BALL: Certainly not.

SHARPTON: They need audience to get votes with debates.

BALL: Right.

SHARPTON: Krystal Ball and Tara Dowdell, thank you for your time tonight.

BALL: Thanks, Rev.

DOWDELL: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Make sure you catch Krystal on "THE CYCLE" weekdays at 3:00 p.m.
Eastern right here on MSNBC.

Straight ahead, President Obama`s history-making trip to Africa. He was
personal and dropped some hints about his work after leaving the White

And later, my prayers for the family of Bobbi Kristina who passed away at
the age of 22.


SHARPTON: President Obama is on a historic trip to Africa, a trip that has
lots of policy implications for the continent and that`s also very personal
for him. Today he met with leaders from Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.
Tomorrow, he`ll talk about helping more Africans share in the growing
economy but he found time for some fun, too. In Kenya he joined in a
traditional dance and couldn`t resist poking fun at the rights favorite
conspiracy theory.


my critics back home are suggesting that I`m back here to look for my birth


That is not the case.


SHARPTON: President Obama is the first sitting president to visit Kenya.
The birthplace of his father. He also met with members of his very
extended family.


OBAMA: There are cousins and uncles and aunties that show up that you
didn`t know existed, but you`re always happy to meet and there were lengthy
explanations in some cases of the connections.


SHARPTON: The trip was also a chance to make a case for a more progressive
agenda, challenging Kenya on gay rights and women`s rights.


OBAMA: The state should not discriminate against people based on their
sexual orientation as an African-American in the United States, I am
painfully aware of the history of what happens when people are treated
differently under the law. Treating women and girls as second class
citizens, those are bad traditions. They need to change.


They are holding you back. Imagine if you have a team, and you don`t let
half of the team play, that`s stupid.



SHARPTON: The President also hinted about how Africa could be a big part
of his plans after he leaves the White House, as well.

Joining me now is Clarence Page of the "Chicago Tribune" whose done
reporting from Africa and is working on a piece about the President`s trip
today. Thanks being here today, Clarence.


SHARPTON: Clarence, this is an important trip for Africa but it`s
important for the President, too, isn`t it?

PAGE: It`s important on a public level and a personal level, as you can
hear his voice sort of pause as he talked about the connection to his
family over there, half-brothers, half-sisters and all this of course has
been important in his life as we know from his two memoirs. Actually, the
first one where he recounted going back to Africa and I remember how his
half-sister, Alma, I hope I`m pronouncing that correctly came to meet him
in a Volkswagen Beetle when he arrived at age 27.


PAGE: Now, this time he`s running around in the beast, that armored
presidential limousine. As everybody noted how far he has come.

SHARPTON: Now, one of the things that are striking, he`s talking about
economic development and he`s talking about the participation and growth in
Africa, China certainly made a lot of end roads in ten or 12 countries I`ve
been in in Africa, China has a presence.

PAGE: That`s right.

SHARPTON: And he`s also talked about his role after he`s president in
continuing and helping some of the trade and business endeavors, listen to


OBAMA: My hope is, is that some of the philanthropic work that I do after
my presidency is over, builds on some of the things that we`ve been doing
now. I`m not going to stop being interested in the young people of Kenya
and the young people of Africa and developing the talent, the leaders and
entrepreneurs that are going to help make this country and the world
prosper and so, you can anticipate that I`ll continue to make those
contributions where I can.


SHARPTON: Now, I found that interesting, Clarence, because we know about
his My Brother`s Keeper Initiative here in the states but he seemed to talk
about doing things around young people and entrepreneurs after his
presidency is over doing it in Africa.

PAGE: That`s right. I don`t recall him speaking out about Africa before,
although, I suspect that he probably was going to or probably is going to
do the sort of actions that we saw with President Clinton and President
George W. Bush in Africa. Both President Bush while he was in office
leveraged billions of dollars to fight aids in Africa, President Clinton of
course is his global fund has done a lot --

SHARPTON: Well, I`m glad you pointed that out because Clarence, a reporter
raised it to the President about comparing what other presidents
initiatives in Africa. Listen to his response.


OBAMA: I am really proud of the work that previous administrations did
here in Africa and I`ve done everything I could to build on those
successes. This isn`t a beauty contest between presidents. I think
President George W. Bush`s top prior initiative was as significant in
achievement internationally as anything that we`ve done over the last
several decades. It saved millions of lives.


SHARPTON: Interesting. He commended President Bush and later President
Clinton, what could he do differently or that`s complementary in an
initiative post President Obama.

PAGE: I think he`s already making his mark with economic development
though. We`ve heard him talk about power Africa, the idea of wiring Africa
so people will have electricity in their homes and businesses.


PAGE: That has already gotten underway and again, billions of dollars have
been leveraged. And I think ironically, Reverend, you know all the talk
about the import, export debate on Capitol Hill.


PAGE: Most of the folks don`t know what the import, export bank is. But
that`s a key element of Africa development and the fact that Obama is in
favor of it is a big reason why Ted Cruz and other conservatives are
against it. But it`s got the majority of vote support, apparently in both
the House and the Senate if they can get past at the party road blocks here
in this election year. But I think that`s the direction I expect President
Obama to go in. And let`s face it, here is the first American president
with African roots in his own family, African background that can make the
kind of cultural connections that no previous president could do.

SHARPTON: It`s going to be very, very, very interesting and very important
and a very important trip. Clarence Page, thank you for your time tonight.

PAGE: Always a pleasure, Reverend, thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, good news in the fight for healthier kids, how let`s
move may be helping to change what we eat.


SHARPTON: Today, family and friends are mourning the loss of Whitney
Houston`s only daughter Bobbi Kristina who passed away this weekend. The
Houston family on Bobbi Brown released a statement saying, "She is finally
at peace in the arms of God. We want to again thank everyone for their
tremendous amount of love and support during these last few months." Six
months ago, she was found unresponsive face down in a bathtub by a friend.
Since then, she`s been in a coma, and was placed into a hospice care. We
at POLITICS NATION send our condolences to her family, Bobbi Kristina was
just 22-years-old.


SHARPTON: Some positive news in the fight against obesity in America. The
New York Times report that for the first time in nearly four decades,
Americans are finally eating less with calorie consumption on the decline.
Children on average are eating nine percent fewer calories than they have
in decades. Americans now drink 25 percent less soda than they did in 1998
and it`s helping to lower obesity rates for America`s younger kids. Eating
healthy, nutritionist diets has been the corner stone of the First Lady`s
Let`s Move campaign and something that the right has mocked over and over,
remember Sarah Palin`s big gulp moment a few years back? But as the First
Lady said at the first anniversary of Let`s Move, we can`t afford to stop
making these healthy changes.


MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY: We are just beginning to move the needle
on this issue. The statistics are still daunting about one in three kids
in this country today is still overweight or obese. For African-American
and Hispanic kids, it`s nearly 40 percent. We still spend nearly $200
billion a year on obesity related health care costs and that figure will
jump to nearly $350 billion a year by 2018. That`s a 75 percent increase
in just three years. So imagine what those numbers will look like in ten
or 20 or 50 years if we don`t keep the pressure on.


SHARPTON: We need to keep the pressure on. Keep healthy meals in schools
and open more healthy markets in the neediest communities in this country
where we have these food deserts. We must promote healthy eating. It
leads to healthy people. I`m a living witness. It is not just about
looking better, you feel better. You must protect your health. It doesn`t
matter what your politics may be if your health is not what it should be.

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



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