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PoliticsNation, Monday, August 3rd, 2015

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August 3, 2015



Guest: Tony Dokoupil, Charles Orgbon, Richard Wolffe, Jess McIntosh, Rich

Galen, Barbara Boxer, Terry O`Neill

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on "Politics Nation," GOP candidates

gather in New Hampshire ahead of their first debate. But where is Donald


Also, Republican senators vote to defund Planned Parenthood.

President Obama makes a historic push on climate change.

And first this hour, a new poll that may help explain all the buzz about

Biden and Clinton.

Welcome to "Politics Nation." I`m live from Washington D.C.

We begin with the Republican race for president. At this time tomorrow,

we`ll know which candidates will get on that main debate stage Thursday

night. The latest NBC poll has Donald Trump once again in first place.

Trump will likely be center stage next to Jeb Bush and Scott Walker and the

other candidates are doing anything they can to raise their profiles. For

example, this video of Ted Cruz video of Ted Cruz cooking bacon with a

machine gun.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There is grease coming down.

All right. Machine gun bacon.



SHARPTON: The group behind that video also had Dr. Ben Carson playing the

board game operation and Senator Lindsey Graham attacking his cell phone

after Donald Trump gave out his number.

Today, the Web site Gawker returned the favor, apparently posting Trump`s

number. Just three days before the debate, we`re seeing a whole lot of

silliness and no one can stop talking about Trump including Trump himself.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I understand you have nine other

people that will be shooting at me and that may be true, maybe not.


serious candidate as Donald wants to be. And he`s going to determine

through the depth of his answers and the seriousness of his answers whether

he`s a serious candidate or he is isn`t.

TRUMP: But the fact is, I`m not a debater and they are. But with that

being said, I look forward to it and we`ll see what happens. Who knows?


can more than speak for himself. I don`t need to speak for him.

TRUMP: I think that, frankly, I would like to discuss the issues. I`m not

looking to take anybody out, I mean, nasty to anybody.

RICK PERRY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`ll challenge Donald Trump.

TRUMP: Maybe my whole life is a debate in a way.

CRUZ: You know, I have a lot of skills but predicting Donald Trump is not

one of them.


SHARPTON: In less than an hour most of the GOP field will be gathering in

New Hampshire for a forum that`s essentially a warm up to the debate.

Donald Trump will not be there.

Joining me now is Jess McIntosh of Emily`s List and Republican strategist

Rich Galen. Thank you for being here.

JESS MCINTOSH, EMILY`S LIST: Great to be here, Rev.

SHARPTON: Rich, let me start with you. Three days out from the first

debate, who has the most at stake?

RICH GALEN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: There is no question that Donald Trump

has the most. I think what Trump has to do is do the opposite of what we

just saw Cruz do. I think Trump has to show a, you know, even at 20

percent leading the polls thanks means 80 percent of Republicans think they

would like to see somebody else. And I think at some point, he has to

start acting the part of a true presidential candidate, not just kind of a

joke --

SHARPTON: Eighty percent say they don`t support him and a large percentage

say they could never vote for him for president. Is this the night he has

to really make himself look more serious?

GALEN: I don`t know that he`s got to -- this is his only chance. This is

August and we have a lot more debates to go. And to remind you of how long

this goes, the NFL just started practice four days ago.


GALEN: The super bowl all the way at the other end of that process will be

played two days before the New Hampshire primary. So that`s how far we`ve

got to do. But I think you`re right, I think Trump has to begin the

process of being taken seriously and show he`s taking this seriously. It

is not just a big goof.

SHARPTON: Jess, Ted Cruz is cooking bacon with a machine gun.


SHARPTON: I mean, is that what it takes for second tier candidates to

break out of the pack.

MCINTOSH: I feel like he really lost an opportunity by then eating the

machine gun cooked bacon with a fork. Like if you are trying to prove some

sort of masculinity thing, which I can only assume is the reason why you

are cooking bacon with the machine gun, you are going to eat it with your

hands like an American eats bacon.

SHARPTON: Well, I thought he was doing something with Trump eating pizza

with a fork.

MCINTOSH: That was unforgivable. I`m among those voters that will never -


GALEN: It`s a little bit like ordering, going to pats in Philadelphia and

ordering your steak and cheese with, you know, with Swiss.

MCINTOSH: Or American and then leaving the trash for the employees to

clean up. Yes, everyone fails --


GALEN: You got to learn the rules.

MCINTOSH: I think this week is the most important moment for Trump to

prove himself. I think that with every debate in succession, it will get,

you`ll get diminishing returns. Either he kills it today on Thursday or it

is going to be much, much harder for him to maintain this front-runner


But clearly, the affect is on the rest of the field. Look what they have

to do to compete with him. I think Republican primary voters are shocked

that this primary season has evolved into who can put the most metallic

objects into destructive force.

GALEN: Well, you know, you are more familiar with the Republican primary

voters and I am, obviously. But --

MCINTOSH: Do you think this is what they wanted? Not immigration.

GALEN: This is like, is this is like the earliest days of spring training.

It doesn`t matter. There is a long way to go. My point about Trump is

that he has to begin shifting his -- the people`s view of him. Trump is -

I mean --

SHARPTON: But that`s my point. I know when I ran in 2004, everyone

thought that I would just be bombastic. You have to start slowly letting

people feel that only you are a serious guy, but you take them seriously.

And the problem here is even though it`s limited down to ten, you really

don`t have a lot of time with ten people on the stage, so you`ve got to

make every man at work. Mike Huckabee addressed that. Let me show you.


MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, the format only allows

for one-minute responses and 30 second rebuttal if we are attacked by name.

So probably, a lot of us who are sitting there hoping that we get attacked

by name so we get a little more time.


SHARPTON: I mean, Rich, wanting to get attacked so you get more time. Has

it come to this?

GALEN: I know he`s an accomplished speaker and host and I assume an

accomplished minister, but I don`t think anybody on that stage, maybe any

stage can make an impression in 30 seconds that`s going to change the ark

of this campaign. I think for most of them, they want to get out without

making an oops-type mistake. For some of them, they want people -- Kasich

would be the perfect example. He needs people to say yes, I remember him.

He was on TV. He was a congressman. I think Kasich can really make some

headway by demonstrating the breath of his knowledge.

SHARPTON: Now Jess, the voters, most Republican voters don`t like the way

the debate is shaped up. I mean, the new (INAUDIBLE) poll, (INAUDIBLE)

University, they found 45 percent of Republican voters wanted two back to

back debates with participants randomly chosen, 29 percent wanted to see

all the candidates on one stage and just 23 percent like the top ten debate

format. Why don`t voters like the set up?

MCINTOSH: Well, I think that the polls are so arbitrary at this point and

the margin of e error actually means that you have like 13 candidates in

the top ten. So, you are going to be kicking out people that if you polled

on Tuesday instead of Monday would be getting in.

I would be frustrated if I were Republican primary voter, absolutely. I

would be frustrated at the circus like atmosphere that`s come around this

primary. They are not talking about issues. They are doing things like we

saw on the video and Donald Trump is going to the boarder in golf shoes for

a photo op. There isn`t a substantive debate happening about a Republican

agenda right now and that`s opening up a huge opportunity for Democrats to

talk about what we want to do.

GALEN: You`re exactly right. The margin of error in these polls -- NBC

poll, thousand people, it is a legitimate number for national poll. But to

somehow say that the difference that poll can measure the difference

between somebody at 3.0 percent and 2.5 percent, five, that would be ten

voters across 315 million people changing their mind. And that`s the

difference between somebody getting in and not getting in.

SHARPTON: You`re a Republican strategist. Let me get you to the address

the other big factor, Rich. Donald Trump has not ruled out that he would

run as an independent and is that not a particular problem and lose over

this debate that he could become a third party candidate. Let me show you

what he had to say.


TRUMP: If I am treated fairly and don`t win, but if I am treated fairly by

the Republican Party, I would have no interest in doing that. If I am not

treated fairly by the Republican Party, I very well might consider that and

I would certainly would not give that up.


SHARPTON: Now, aside from the fact that we only can guess what he

considers quote fairly, how big of a problem would it be if Trump went


GALEN: Well, it would be a big problem. There is no question about it.

But it is very difficult to get on enough ballots to make a difference as

an independent. I mean, the system is skewed to Republicans and Democrats.

SHARPTON: You got have a real operation.

GALEN: You have got a lot going on and you got to do it in a hurry.

SHARPTON: And he is got a write a big check.

GALEN: He could do that.

SHARPTON: He could but would he do it is the question.

GALEN: You know, when Perot did it, he had already sold (INAUDIBLE) to GM.

He didn`t have much else to do. He started a new company.

But Trump has a big organization to run. And to your point, the amount of

time and attention it would take the enormous details it takes to do that.

SHARPTON: No, just the legal qualifications and all of that, you got to

know the election on all those things.

MCINTOSH: But he is a man that really likes to execute a vendetta. And if

he feels unfairly treated by the Republican Party, I think, I mean, just

look at the way his spokes people talk to reporters who are writing

something that they don`t like. If he feels mistreated, I think he`s going

to go straight to do it and I think --.

SHARPTON: Somehow, I think that there is a different definition of fair-

treated that we may have and that he may have.

GALEN: He`s a bit litigious. We do know that.

SHARPTON: Just to know good.

Rich Galen and Jess McIntosh, thank you both for your time tonight.

GALEN: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Ahead, breaking news on the GOP vote to defund Planned

Parenthood. I`ll talk to Senator Barbara Boxer who is punching back.

Plus, President Obama`s historic plan to fight climate change and what it

means for the fight against social injustice.



who are actually claiming this will harm minority and low income

communities, even though climate change hurts those Americans the most.


SHARPTON: And the Clinton`s campaign reacts to the reports about Joe Biden

potentially running for president. But first, a video with the first lady

that`s going viral.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you had the opportunity to have a different

occupation, what would it be?


That`s hands up.



SHARPTON: Breaking news from the Senate, Republicans with a vote to defund

Planned Parenthood and some even threatening to shut down the government

again. We will talk about it with Senator Barbara Boxer, next.


SHARPTON: Moments ago Senate Democrats successfully blocked a GOP bill

defunding Planned Parenthood, preventing it from getting the 60 votes

needed to advance. Conservatives behind the bill are seizing on those

undercover videos that critics say were miss leadingly edited.


SEN. DEB FISCHER (R), NEBRASKA: It is time to cut funding for Planned


SEN. DAN COATS (R), INDIANA: Planned Parenthood`s practices I would

suggest should not receive a dime of taxpayer money.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The time has come to end all

taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood.


SHARPTON: Republicans say they are taking a stand against abortion. But

the reality is Planned Parenthood can`t use federal funds for abortion,

except in rare cases. Here is what is really at risk of getting defunded,

4.5 million tests and treatments for STDs, nearly four million

contraception procedures and devices, over a million pregnancy tests,

900,000 cancer tests and treatments. That is at stake right now. But

Republicans won`t quit. But Ted Cruz is hinting that this fall he`ll try

to shut down the government all over again if he doesn`t get his way.

Joining me now is Senator Barbara Boxer from California. Thank you for

being here, senator.

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: What`s your reaction to the vote that just happened on the

Senate floor?

BOXER: Well, my reaction is thank goodness we had enough Democrats to stop

this because you nailed it. We`ve seen this movie before. This is a

continuation of the war on women`s health. And in 2011, the Republicans

tried to shut down the entire government, shut it down unless Planned

Parenthood was defunded and the people of this country said what are you


As you said, not one dime of taxpayer money goes to Planned Parenthood for

abortion. It`s all health. It`s 97 percent of what they do is health

care. They find breast cancer in patients. They give pap smears. They

are stopping STDs. The work they do, free birth control, which in essence

stops abortion in its tracks if you can plan your family. So the American

people don`t understand this, and we`ve seen this before and now they are

using these doctor tapes as a new hook to get us to defund Planned

Parenthood and it didn`t work.

SHARPTON: You know, over a dozen house Republicans you mentioned shut

down, over a dozen house Republicans are threatening to shut the government

down over Planned Parenthood this fall. How serious is that threat,

Senator Boxer?

BOXER: I would just say to you that at the end of the day, honestly, I

don`t think they will do that because I think they will be out of office.

I don`t see how. The people of this country, once they listen to the

things you said, you know, Planned Parenthood provides primary care to 2.7

million women and men every single yea.

And here is the real kicker. I got into it with one of my colleagues

today. He said, well, we will just defund Planned Parenthood and we will

give money to community healthcare centers. Now, you know why we have

9,000 community healthcare centers? It is because we put it into

Obamacare. They all voted against Obamacare, therefore, they voted against

community health care centers.

We had a huge argument over funding them again this year. So, they are

just so much same old, same old, deny women, you know, their rights under

the constitution to deny them health care. And it`s just shocking to me

that they keep running this movie over and over again and we won`t let them

win. But the people of this country must weigh in and vote. They must

understand that we want people in the Senate and in the house who want to

make life better for men and women.


BOXER: And that`s providing health care.

SHARPTON: And to weigh in on the human story. I mean, the human side of

this because you, for example, you were at a press conference today where a

teacher spoke about her personal experiences with Planned Parenthood. Let

me show that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was Planned Parenthood that I turned to for the

low-cost birth control that was right for me. I cannot understand why some

of our elective leaders want to take that access to health care away from

so many women across the country. Many of whom have nowhere else to turn

for basic services like birth control and cancer screenings.


SHARPTON: I mean, isn`t that the point, Senator.


SHARPTON: That Planned Parenthood does so much more than help prevent

unwanted pregnancies.

BOXER: Absolutely. And I have other stories. People wrote me from the

heart about how Planned Parenthood found, sent a woman, had a suspicious

lump in her breast, got her the mammogram, got here the treatment. At the

end of the day, she lives to tell the tale because Planned Parenthood is

the primary care provider for so many men and women, mostly women, but many

men as well.

So Planned Parenthood saves lives. And as you point out, not one federal

dime goes to the part of her work that is ending pregnancy. That`s just

three percent of what they do and no federal money, they are a health care

organization. And by the way, the community health care folks in my state

are telling me they don`t have the ability to take on all those millions of

patients who would have no place to go. My case in California, 700,000


There is no room. We need Planned Parenthood. We should be supporting

them and I hope the men and women in America, regardless of party, will

rally around Planned Parenthood.

SHARPTON: Senator Barbara Boxer, thank you for your time tonight.

BOXER: Thank you so very much.

SHARPTON: Now, I want to bring in Terry O`Neil, president of the national

organization of women.

Terry, thanks for being here tonight.


having me here, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Now, what is your reaction to the Senate vote this evening?

O`NEILL: Well, I think it`s completely outrageous to see United States

senators frankly getting into bed with the violent fringe of the anti-

abortion movement. The people who produce those videos are deeply

connected with an organization called operation rescue. And that is an

organization that has a long and sorted history with violent attacks on

abortion providers and abortion clinics. So that`s one problem.

I think that senator Boxer is exactly right. The people who voted against

Planned Parenthood this evening, they can kiss their careers good-bye. One

by one by one, my organization is going to be targeting them. We will be

taking them down. We will ensure that this vote against Planned

Parenthood, which is a vote against women, that those individuals will not

hold on to their seat (ph).

SHARPTON: So, you`re saying now is going to target those that voted and

directly go after them, this will be a campaign issue for you in 2016.

Many of those senators up for reelection or up for election.

O`NEILL: In 2016, absolutely, Reverend Al. And here is why. You know,

only three percent of what Planned Parenthood does its abortion care. But

to be clear, one in three of us, one in three women will have an abortion

by the age of 45. It is a common and necessarily aspect of women`s

reproductive health care. And we believe that every aspect of our

reproductive health care, not just STD screening, which Planned Parenthood

has brilliantly and birth control but abortion, as well. All of it must be

federally funded.

SHARPTON: But Terry, when you say you are going to attack with people, I

notice this weekend the Republican presidential candidates weighed in on

Planned Parenthood and the debate. Watch this.



defund Planned Parenthood.

PAUL: I support any legislation that will defund Planned Parenthood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In our state, we put Planned Parenthood at the bottom

of getting money.

CHRISTIE: We should just defund Planned Parenthood.


SHARPTON: How big an issue will this be in 2016?

O`NEILL: So here is what they are doing. They are alienating women voters

for 2016. This is absolutely going to hunt them in the general election.

They have alienated millennials, men and women who are voters for

generations to come. So I don`t see that as a good thing for women because

we want Republicans and Democrats to really be competitive for women`s

vote. And what the Republicans are doing is making themselves irrelevant

to women voters. And we are going to make sure that those people who

oppose women`s health care will pay for it at the polls.

SHARPTON: Terry O`Neill, thank you for your time tonight.

O`NEILL: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, sources tell NBC News the suspect in the shooting that

killed a police officer in Memphis is in custody.

Also, President Obama`s historic plan to fight climate change, what it

means for the environment and for social justice.


SHARPTON: Breaking news tonight, sources tell NBC News, the man suspected

of shooting and killing a Memphis police officer is in custody. They say

suspect Germane Wilburn was picked up by U.S. two days after he allegedly

shot Officer Sean Bolton Saturday night. Officer Bolton later died at a

hospital. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.


SHARPTON: Now to President Obama`s historic plan to fight climate change.

Shaping up to be a corner stone of his legacy. Today he unveiled the most

sweeping action ever taken in the U.S. to reduce carbon emissions.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Today we`re here to announce

America`s clean power plant, a plan two years in the making and the single

most important step America has ever taken in the fight against global

climate change.


If we don`t get it right, we may not be able to reverse. And we may not be

able to adapt sufficiently. There is such a thing as being too late when

it comes to climate change.


And the plan`s goal is to make sure America isn`t too late on climate

change. It cuts greenhouse glass emissions, focuses on renewable energy

and establishes state by state targets for meeting goals. It calls for a

32 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 2030. This

is a major environmental issue. But it`s also a social justice issue

impacting people in poor communities disproportionately. President Obama

today called out critics who claim his plan would hurt low income families.


OBAMA: We got critics of this plan who are actually claiming that this

will harm minority and low income communities even though climate change

hurts those Americans the most who are the most vulnerable. Today African

American child is more than twice as likely to be hospitalized from asthma.

A Latino child is 40 percent more likely to die from asthma, so if you care

about low income minority communities, start protecting the air they

breathe and stop trying to rob them of their health care.


Polls show 64 percent of Americans support stricter limits on power plant

emissions. The American people are ready to take action on climate change

before it`s too late.

Joining me now is Tony Dokoupil, host of "Greenhouse on Shift" by MSNBC and

Charles Orgbon, CEO of Greening Forward. An environmental advocacy group.

Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Tony, The Times called this the strongest action taking, ever

taken in the U.S. on climate change. What`s your reaction to the plan?

DOKOUPIL: Well, it`s an accurate statement in the sense that no one has

ever told power plants. No more, we`re going to cap your emissions. So

it`s a big deal in that regard but the question becomes immediately does it

go far enough. We were already reducing our carbon emissions toward 2030

and this plan looks like it`s going to get us about six percent further.

Six percent is a much smaller number than 32 percent. If you look how far

we`ve already come, I don`t know if he would get the same standing ovations

if he had a press conference and said, we`ll going to cut it by six

percent. But that is the reality. It`s only six percent. There is still

a lot more work that needs to get done if we want to avoid the most

catastrophic results of global warming, the things that scientists are

warning the most about.

SHARPTON: Now, Charles, you`re 19 years old now. You started your group

when you were just 12. Are younger voters leading the way on this issue?

ORGBON: From my experience of leading greening forward and working with

young change makers all across the country, the youth of today are ready

for this sort of action. I see how young people get so disillusioned by

whether the future holds any promise for us, but we need to be at this

decision-making table and I`m glad that the President has made a step

forward that requires bold action.

SHARPTON: You know, Tony, Senator Ted Cruz reacted to the President`s plan

yesterday before a group of wealthy conservative donors. Here is what he



SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In the last 18 years, there

has been zero recorded warming. We`ve discovered that the federal

government agencies are cooking the books. They`re actually adjusting the

numbers but publicly reported. Enron used to do their books the same way.


SHARPTON: Tony, cooking the books like Enron? I mean, how can republican

presidential candidates continue to deny one of the biggest crises of our


DOKOUPIL: I mean, that is an unbelievable scandalous lie and I`m upset

that -- jump in and interrupt him. But the criticisms the Republicans have

offer of this plan. There is a truth. They say it`s going to raise

electric rates on families and that`s true. In the short term, most people

base rates, the thing you pay to the power company will go up but what they

don`t mention, is that while you might pay a little bit more, you`ll going

to save lives, you`ll going to save days of sickness in the long term and

it`s a little bit of extra money but we`re talking about 60,000 lives that

right now the EPA says, if we do nothing, if we do nothing, 60,000 people

are going to die in extreme heat and die of heart attack and asthma

attacks. We can prevent that with a plan like this.

SHARPTON: Charles, you know, a 2009 study from USC talks about the impact

of the climate gap which it defines the climate gap as quote, "The

disproportion and unequal impact the climate crisis has on people of color

and the poor." Charles, President Obama talked about this today. How big

an issue is the climate gap and what can we do about it?

ORGBON: People of color already know that race matters when we talk about

environmental issues because race often determines where the trees are put

in a community where the landfills go and even where most of the carbon

pollution is. We already regulate arsenic. We regulate mercury. We know

that these toxins kill people. Carbon does, as well.

SHARPTON: Is a social justice issue, Tony, as well as an issue in terms of

environment. How much do you think the American public gets that?

DOKOUPIL: I think they are waking up to it now. I mean, there is a study

that came out from the University of Minnesota that found no matter where

you live, every single state, every single county, every single city

doesn`t matter where you live within your states is you are non-white or

low income, you are much more likely to be breathing in the poison from a

coal plant than if you`re white and you have some money in your pocket.

And that is a true scandal. And I do think people are waking up to it

because the President is repeating the point over and over again and he`s

going to keep doing it according to his advisors.

SHARPTON: You know, I`ve got to ask you this, Charles, you started at 11.

And when I was reading your -- I took it personally because I started very

young, an activist, and I was youth director of major civil rights when I

wat at 12. What drew you to this issue? What got you involved at 11 years

old? What brought this home to you?

ORGBON: Well, actually, I had to do a service project in fifth grade and

my project was picking up letter. But soon, I realized that the

environmental issue is much greater than things about litter but what I

realize is it`s more than just about saving the planet, it`s truly about

saving us and President Obama hit that right on the mark when he talked

about creating a future for his grandchildren. Some of the dire statistics

that we hear in the news about climate change, my generation, I am going to

be alive to see that actually happen. And so I see my peers excited about

these bold steps forward.

SHARPTON: It is about the youth and the future and it`s about an

increasing problem right now. I would say that I`m very proud of you but I

hated that when I was a teenager and people would say that, so I would just

say carry on.

ORGBON: I`m fine.


SHARPTON: Tony and -- all right. He said it. I am, too, but I didn`t say


ORGBON: Thank you both.

SHARPTON: Tony and Charles, thank you both for your time tonight, too.

DOKOUPIL: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, our brand-new NBC poll shared some light on all the buzz

about Biden and Clinton.

Plus, Amy Schumer teams up with her cousin Senator Charles Schumer and

makes an emotional call for gun control.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Excuse me. Unless something is done and done soon,

dangerous people will continue to get their hands on guns.


SHARPTON: Developing news tonight on the Hillary Clinton campaign. A

brand-new NBC poll shows a dip in Clinton`s favorability. Thirty seven

percent of Americans now have a positive view of her, that`s down seven

points from last month. At the same time, her negative ratings are up.

The poll hits while there is a lot of new buzz about Joe Biden making a

possible run for the White House. One of Beau Biden`s top advisors has

just joined the draft Biden Super Pac to lay the financial groundwork for a

potential presidential bid and every time he`s been asked, Biden has

refused to rule it out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If Hillary does not run, will you, you have said that

if she runs for president, you will not run.


think my knowledge of foreign policy, my engagement with world leaders, my

experience is uniquely positioned to me, to follow through on the agenda

Barack and I have.

Whether she runs or not will not affect my decision.

I honest to God, have not made up my mind and I will do that, I don`t see

any sense of urgency in making that decision quite frankly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any chance you`ll going to challenge her?

BIDEN: Yes. There is a chance.


SHARPTON: So what does all this buzz about Biden mean for Hillary

Clinton`s campaign? Will he run? And if he did, could he have a real


Joining me now is Richard Wolf, executive editor of and author of

the message, "The Reselling of President Obama." Thanks for being here.


SHARPTON: Richard, why now all this new buzz about Joe Biden?

WOLFFE: Well, I think there are two things, first of all, that outpouring

of sympathy after the death of his son and the genuine good feeling there

is about Joe Biden, who he is as a politician, what he`s done in office as

vice president but the second piece of it, the most important piece of it I

think really is persistent concerns among the democratic establishment

about Hillary Clinton. She`s a very strong candidate. But as you saw from

that NBC News poll, just this evening, she shows real signs of weakness.

When you see those favorability numbers turning the way they have so

quickly, that is a sign of trouble and it`s a sign that people were feeling

anyway, where is the excitement? How is she responding to the charges out

there? They want to see more from Hillary Clinton.

SHARPTON: But I couldn`t help but notice yesterday in The Times Maureen

Dowd in her column, they got all this going. She wrote about how right

before he died, Beau Biden tried to convince his dad to run. She wrote and

I`m quoting, "Beau told his dad he was worried about him. My kid`s dying

and anguished Joe Biden thought to himself and he`s making sure I`m okay."

It sounds like Dowd got her account from Biden`s inner circle. What does

that tell you, Richard?

WOLFFE: Well, Joe Biden has a long-standing and quite well populated inner

circles. So, you know, what you generally find and it`s true of the

Clintons, as well, is that the people who have been with them for a long

time have really invested their whole careers in seeing the principle go

all the way and actually make a run for president and in my view hopefully

be president. So, you know, there are plenty of people around Biden. His

old kitchen cabinet who would want to see this happen and yes, these are

intimate stories, they`re also talking about someone who hasn`t formally

made the decision, is he testing the waters? Are they testing the waters?

It`s really hard to tell from this second third -- and I think it`s bit of


SHARPTON: Yes. Well, you know, there is a long history of vice presidents

who have run for the presidency. Since 1960, Richard, three of the four

vice presidents who served two terms ran for president, only Dick Cheney

didn`t run.

WOLFFE: Right.

SHARPTON: Historically, isn`t it unusual for a two-term vice president no

to run?

WOLFFE: It is unusual. Only one of them had a clear victory, we can

debate about Al Gore. But obviously, George Herbert Walker, Bush did win,

and that was an anomaly. So, vice presidents run and they have a pretty

poor track record of winning, when you think about it. Yes, Biden would be

expected to run at least strongly consider it. He`s not doing well in the

polls. If this is an anti-establishment moment in the polls right now,

being a siting vice president, being a former secretary of state is not a

great place to be and the voters including democratic primary voters are

looking for something else and I think that explains Bernie Sanders in some


SHARPTON: How disruptive would it be if Biden came in, you already have

Bernie Sanders who is clearly moving above expectations, you have at least

in this poll it looks as if Mrs. Clinton is declining. How disruptive

would it be if Joe Biden came in? Is that a plus or is it chaotic for the

Democratic Party?

WOLFFE: I don`t think it`s chaotic. I think primaries are supposed to be

messy and Barack Obama was a much better candidate and became a much better

president I think for having run such a long and tough race against Hillary

Clinton. I think Clinton running against Biden would make her a better

candidate if she emerged from there and you`ve got to say, looking at the

polls right now with Biden in there, it`s still her race to lose.

SHARPTON: Richard Wolffe, thank you for your time tonight.

WOLFFE: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, two famous cousins team up to fight gun violence.

The new push from Amy Schumer and Senator Chuck Schumer. But first, Scott

Walker just tore a page from the Donald Trump playbook and fell into

tonight`s got you.


SHARPTON: Call it the Donald Trump effect. 2016 Republicans going extreme

trying to appeal to the far right base and now it`s Scott Walker`s turn.

Back in February, Governor Walker said, I don`t know when he was asked if

President Obama is a Christian. His office scrambled to clarify saying

quote, "Of course, the governor thinks the President is a Christian. He

thinks these kinds of got you questions distract from what he`s doing as

governor of Wisconsin." But six months and a whole lot of Donald Trump

later, Walker is back at it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is President Obama a Christian?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re not going to get different answers than I said

before. I said I don`t know, I presume he is by his comments from the past

but I`ve never asked him about that. And if someone as a believer as

myself, I don`t presume to know someone`s believes about whether they

follow Christ or not unless I have actually talk with him and understand

him. But he said he has, so I`ll take his word.


SHARPTON: The governor doesn`t know because he`s never asked the President

personally, we`ve heard this kind of talk on the right before casting

doubts on President Obama`s faith. Donald Trump even linked it to his

birther obsession.


TRUMP: He doesn`t have a birth certificate. Now, he may have one, but

there is something on that, it may be religion, maybe it says he`s a

Muslim, I don`t know.


SHARPTON: Trump doesn`t know and apparently neither does Scott Walker

despite what his own office said. Well, here is one thing I do know, nice

try, Governor Walker, but we got you.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, new headlines about gun violence. That there

are all too many headlines and it`s become too familiar. Memphis police

officer Sean Bolton gunned down this weekend in the line of duty. And as

we told you earlier, NBC News reports that the suspect is now in custody.

It`s a break in this case, but there are still too many other tragedies of

senseless violence. In New York, three people were fatally shot and 16

wounded this weekend. In Baltimore, two people were fatally shot and 11

others wounded. And in Chicago, 15 people were wounded. We can`t become

numb to these headlines. Instead, we have to fight even harder. We saw

that attitude today with two famous cousins, teamed up to fight for gun

control. Actress Amy Schumer and Senator Chuck Schumer. Amy Schumer says

the issue became personal for her when a gunman opened fire in Louisiana

Movie Theater last month during the showing of her film "Train Wreck."


AMY SCHUMER, ACTRESS: We`re here today to say enough is enough to mass

shootings in our schools, our college campuses, our military bases and even

in our movie theaters. These shootings have got to stop. Anyone that

knows me knows that I love Louisiana. It`s my favorite state. When I have

a couple days off, I go down there because I love the people there. They

are the coolest, strongest people I`ve ever met. And the thought of this

community being turned around and upside down by this just sickens me.

Excuse me.

Unless something is done and done soon, dangerous people will continue to

get their hands on guns. We know what can happen when they do. Preventing

dangerous people from getting guns is very possible. We have common sense

solutions. We can toughen background checks and stop the sale of firearms

to folks who have a violent history of history of mental illness. We can

invest more in treating mental illness instead of slashing funding. No one

wants to live in a country where a felon, the mentally ill or other

dangerous people can get their hands on a gun with such ease.


SHARPTON: From Newtown to Louisiana, from the college campuses to what

we`ve seen from Hartford to Harlem to Chicago, all of these shootings and

yet, we`ve not seen movements on background checks and mental health. I

mean, simple things that all Americans should unite around. We can`t get

numb. We`ve got to stop and we`ve got to stop these inundating our

communities with guns.

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





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