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PoliticsNation, Tuesday, July 4th, 2015

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Date: August 4, 2015
Guest: Eric Guster; Dana Milbank, Ryan Grim, Jamal Simmons, Martin Luther
King III

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on "Politics Nation," the deadline
for the first GOP debate. Who makes the big stage and who doesn`t?

Also, a key announcement in the Sandra Bland case.

A legal fight over disturbing video of a third grader in handcuffs.

And the voting rights act 50 years later. I`ll talk about the fight ahead
with Martin Luther King III.

Welcome to "Politics Nation."

We begin tonight awaiting the official word on which Republican candidates
will take the main stage Thursday night for the first debate of 2016. FOX
News said it would take the top ten candidates from an average of polls
released by 5:00 p.m. eastern time today. That deadline has come and gone.

According to NBC`s calculations, these are the top ten. But could there be
a tie? Will Rick Perry climb into contention here and be on that main
stage? And how will candidates react to being in the second tier debate?

Those are the questions at this hour. But one thing we know for sure, this
debate is going to be all about one man -- Donald Trump.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My business has been phenomenal.
And I`ve built a great business. And the only reason I say that is because
I think people, you know, like concur with that. I think that people are
tired. They`re sick and tired of incompetent politicians. Nobody knows
the politicians, you know, better than me. Don`t forget, three months ago
I was on the other side of the ledger. I was the fair-haired boy in the
RNC. When I get up and speak, I get the biggest crowds, get standing
ovations and all we do is talk about how great our country could be.


SHARPTON: Joining me now are MSNBC political correspondent Kasie Hunt,
Dana Milbank of "the Washington Post," and MSNBC political analyst Jonathan
Alter. Thank you all for being here.




SHARPTON: Kasie, we`re still waiting for the official announcement, but is
the stage basically set?

HUNT: Well, at this point, Reverend, we know that the people that were
worried about our governor, Rick Perry, former governor Rick Perry of Texas
and sitting Ohio governor John Kasich, those seem to be the two that in our
analysis go back and forth. Now, it`s possible still that there could be
11 candidates on stage. FOX didn`t rule that out. But we should be
finding out pretty surely what their analysis looks like.

And it`s a little tricky either way, right? If you leave out the governor
of Ohio, somebody who has, you know, been on the moves in the polls,
somebody who the Bush campaign, for example, is watching very closely
especially in New Hampshire. Or do you deny Rick Perry the chance to make
a little bit of his redemption tour on the kind of stage that, frankly,
caused his campaign to implode last time?

SHARPTON: Well, we just got the official word, Kasie. Dana, FOX announced
that Kasich is on the stage and Perry is off the stage. Dana, what does
that mean?

MILBANK: Well, it shows that Kasich wasn`t too late in getting into this
and spent enough money to get his name recognition out there. And that
poor Rick Perry`s going to have another oops moment here. But it is kind
of crazy that it`s being called the first primary, that basically this is
decided by a news network and who is really going to be a contender here
and who is going to be at the kiddie table. Though, I suppose, in
fairness, really, this is a debate involving one person and the other 16
people wherever they happen to be seated because it will all be about
Donald Trump.

SHARPTON: Jonathan, the polls say that most Republicans are saying that,
well, let them all debate, but then a substantial amount agreed with this
setup. But it is going to be all eyes on Donald Trump who will be center
and who, by most of the polls, is leading the whole race right now.

ALTER: Yes, but you got to remember that in a big debate like this, Trump
doesn`t get any more time than anybody else. So they are all going to be
out there trying to show their stuff, take shots at Hillary Clinton and
Barack Obama. And that`s what you`ll hear most of the night. You`ll hear
Obama and Clinton`s name mentioned much more than Donald Trump. A couple
of them, like Chris Christie, you know, they need to show that Trump
doesn`t belong there and they do, that they`re the truth teller, quote
unquote, "the blow hard in the race." But the rest of them really don`t
have any need to try to knock Trump out. Trump helps Bush in the race
right now, and somebody like John Kasich, he`s going to try to stay as
positive as he can. He`s Bush without the baggage and has a very decent

SHARPTON: But you have two levels. Those that will be presidential and
those that will try to out-blow hard the blow hard.

ALTER: Right. But you are not going to see Ted Cruz doing that because
he`s not dumping on Trump, right? So Trump could come out of this debate
enhanced where I`m looking for and I hope the moderators ask is his
description of those who went to pay homage to the Koch brothers as puppets
in a tweet yesterday. I want to see Chris Wallace and the other moderators
ask him are these other gentlemen up here, are they puppets.

SHARPTON: And that is going to be interesting. Do the moderators really
come after him and others on things they`ve said?

But you know, Kasie, most of the Republican candidates were at a forum in
New Hampshire last night but Donald Trump wasn`t there but the rest seemed
a bit rusty. Listen to this.


JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: In fact, I got a t-shirt that says -
- the Jeb swag store that says I`m the -- my dad`s the greatest man alive.
If you don`t like it, I`ll take you outside.

speak. You want me to translate, Jeb? When he says, Bill says, I didn`t
have sex with that woman, he did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you saying I`m washed up?


GRAHAM: The next president needs to be sure of who or he she. I`m sorry,
I can`t talk. The next president needs to have their act together.


SHARPTON: Talking about act together, taking the politics out of it,
Kasie. I know you don`t get into the politics. But just based on
delivery, are they ready for prime time? They seemed a little rusty to me.

HUNT: Well, Reverend, I think that many of the people that were on that
stage in New Hampshire were probably glad to have that as a little bit of a
warm-up for what`s coming up on FOX as the actual prime time event. It is
pretty clear that, you know, some of them were rusty in that particular
setting. I think Jeb Bush in particular, if he`s going to not get damaged
coming out of this debate, needs to really step up and show that he is the
front-runner, that many in the establishment believe him to be, that his
bank account shows him to be, for example.

We also have today him talking about cutting millions of dollars in women`s
health funding. And he`s since just recently acknowledged that he misspoke
in saying he would cut that. That`s another one on the list of things that
Bush has in some way struggled to talk about. We had Iraq earlier in the

So, I think it`s going to be in many ways telling to have all these
candidates lined up next to each other. I think we are going to get a much
better sense of who is, at this point, able to take a step up and forward
and who might take a step back. And I think it could -- it has had some
potential to reshuffle the deck a little bit. Even though there is going
to be so much focus on Trump.

SHARPTON: Now, Dana, today the president, President Obama, sent out an e-
mail about the debate to members of the Democratic National Committee. And
he said, I`m quoting, "listen carefully to what the Republican candidates
for president say, and then hold them accountable for trying to undo all of
the hard work we`ve done to move this country forward. I can`t overstate
what an important difference you can make by doing this." Could Thursday
night`s debate be good for the Democrats, Dana?

MILBANK: Well, I think it could in particularly be good for Hillary
Clinton who has been sagging in the polls because a lot of the attention
has been on the Republican side, because frankly, it`s more interesting
than talking about Hillary Clinton`s emails. But when the public gets a
look at who the likely Republican candidate is and now we`re going to get a
look, it`s going to presumably be one of these ten people on the stage, you
start to hear what they`re about, what the contrast is with Hillary

And in order to appeal to the Republican primary electorate which is a
fairly small sliver of the overall electorate, they have to say some pretty
extreme things as they have been doing. And if they want to get recognized
when they`re on the stage there, maybe they need to ramp it up and be a bit
more incendiary. And that, I think that`s what the Democrats are hoping
and counting on them doing.

SHARPTON: But Jonathan, he mentioned Hillary Clinton, but Hillary Clinton
has been under attack, but it seems like the attacks have gotten harsher
lately. Listen to what Scott Walker recently said.


our attention is focused on how bad Hillary Clinton would be as a
presidential candidate, I love to point out that she`d be a pretty good
deceiver in chief, certainly not someone you can trust to be the commander
in chief. And that`s where I`ll focus my time, on how bad Hillary Clinton
would be.


SHARPTON: If everyone spends their time attacking Hillary Clinton, how
will they stand out? So will they spend their time attacking Hillary
Clinton or each other?

ALTER: I think more Hillary Clinton. But to the problem for the
Republicans is similar to what happened to Mitt Romney in 2012. Remember
when he went down that road of self-deportation and then Barack Obama got
70 percent of the Latino vote? So if they talk about Trump`s issue and
Trump is a front-runner, which is immigration, and there`s a lot of
conversation about immigration in this debate, they will lock themselves
into some positions that is going to make it very hard for them to win a
general election. If they can`t get better than 30 percent of the Latino
vote, they can`t win a general election.


Kasie Hunt, Dana Milbank and Jonathan Alter, thank you all for your time

MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.

HUNT: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Ahead, big news in the Sandra Bland case. The family files a
lawsuit against the arrested officer. What happens next?

Also, the disturbing video showing an officer putting an 8-year-old boy in
handcuffs. Is there any excuse for it?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can do what we asked you to or --


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, sit on the chair like I`ve asked you to.


SHARPTON: Plus, the 50th anniversary of the voting rights act. I`ll talk
to Martin Luther King III about the legacy and the new fight ahead. Big
show ahead. So stay with us.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Donald Trump still leading the Republican polls with
support from 19 percent of voters. Of course, it`s only a matter of time
before Trump slips up and says something completely sane.



SHARPTON: Ahead, two big legal cases tonight starting with the major
development in the Sandra Bland case. Today, her mother filed a wrongful
death lawsuit targeting the arresting officer.

Also, it`s the disturbing video everyone`s talking about showing a third
grader restrained in handcuffs. Is there any justification?


SHARPTON: Time now for the justice files. We start with big news in the
Sandra Bland case. Today her mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit against
the arresting officer accusing him of assault and battery for the traffic
stop that landed her in jail. The suit also faults the department -- the
Texas department of public safety, Waller County, two Waller County
officers alleged they didn`t properly monitor Bland while she was being


CANNON LAMBERT. BLAND`S FAMILY ATTORNEY: We are looking for Waller County
and the individuals involved in this situation to take accountability. Mr.
Encinio is still employed. And it just doesn`t make sense that taxpayers
will be paying him for the service he offered on the 10th of July. It`s
just not fair.

This family needs an answer to the principal question, what happened to
Sandra Bland? And that`s what we`re looking to do. It`s why we`re going
to continue our investigation. It`s why we filed suit.


SHARPTON: Bland -- police say Bland hanged herself in her jail cell last
month, but her mother says she`s not convinced.


GENEVA REED-VEAL, SANDRA BLAND`S MOTHER: As a mother, my inner is telling
me that she did not do that. Now, I`m the first one to tell you if the
facts, the facts, I`m not talking about the fiction. If the facts show
without a doubt that that was the case, you know, I`ll have to be prepared
to deal with that, but the bottom line is she never should have been inside
of a jail, period. Justice is going to be served if the justice system
will do what it`s supposed to do.


SHARPTON: A spokesperson for the Texas department of public safety said it
had not received notice of the suit and would not be discussing pending
litigation. The FBI and state officials are investigating the
circumstances surrounding Bland`s death.

Joining me now are Eric Guster and Seema Iyer. Thank you both for being



SHARPTON: Eric, does Sandra Bland`s family have a case?

GUSTER: They absolutely have a case. This is a case about who was at
fault and who did not pay attention to Sandra bland. Because any person
who is in police custody must be supervised, they must be looked after to
protect them from other prisoners as well as themselves. So someone
dropped the ball in making sure she was OK, that even if she did something
to herself, they were in a position where they were supposed to prevent
that from happening.

SHARPTON: And she was in their custody?

GUSTER: She was in their custody and care.

SHARPTON: But Seema, the family also wants the justice department to get
involved. And they made that clear today. Listen to her sister discuss


SHARON COOPER, SANDRA BLAND`S SISTER: The level of inconsistency that
we`ve seen whether a secondary dash cam video when we were expressly told
there was only one, coming out with booking documents that we were told
were not signed by Sandra, then we see something different. These are
things that give us a level of consternation and we don`t have a level of
confidence that the investigation is being looked at through a clear lens.
So that`s what we`re seeking in getting the DOJ involved.


SHARPTON: Seema, should the justice department get involved?

IYER: Absolutely. That is because there is a standard of care, this
police department owes to its citizens. So now there needs to be an
independent investigation by federal authorities to see was that standard
of fair breached. Eric was explaining the duty, the deputy that`s owed to
not only citizens in the community but your defendants. And was there any
negligence, right, in that cell, that garbage bag, was it supposed to be
there? If she had access to drugs she shouldn`t have. And when she was
crying out, why wasn`t someone answering her call?

SHARPTON: Eric, Bland`s family says there`s a lot of information they
still haven`t received from the police. I found that interesting. That
includes police reports, a full toxicology report. They say they don`t
even have the time of her death. Why hasn`t this information been given to
the family?

GUSTER: I`m not sure why it hasn`t, but this lawsuit will force them to
give this information. Because when you file a lawsuit, you can issue
subpoenas which are court required documents --

SHARPTON: But the toxicology report, the time of death.

IYER: That`s not necessarily true. Because toxicology and autopsy comes
from a different department. The medical examiner`s office.


IYER: But if it`s not available, it`s not available because the doctors
and the biologists could still be testing the necessary fluids.

GUSTER: They could be testing it but the family wants answers and that can
force the people who did the toxicology report, the people who did autopsy
to be under subpoena.

IYER: You can force scientists and doctors --

GUSTER: No, you can force them to testify. That`s the purpose of the

SHARPTON: We`ll stay on top of this, but let`s move to another story
that`s getting a lot of attention. A Kentucky sheriff`s deputy faces a
federal lawsuit after allegedly using handcuffs to restrain school kids
with disabilities. We warn you that images we`re about to show are
disturbing. This cell phone video apparently shows Kevin Sumner who works
as a school resource officer handcuffing an 8-year-old boy in 2014. The
lawsuit filed by the ACLU claims the boy has Attention Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder. In the video the officer says the boy tried to hit


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don`t get to swing at me like that. You can do
what we`ve asked you to or you can suffer the consequences.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God, that hurts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now sit down on the chair like I`ve asked you to. It`s
your decision to behave this way. If you the handcuffs off, you`re going
to have to behave and then ask me nicely. And if you`re behaving I`ll take
them off. But as long as you`re acting up, you`re not going to get them


SHARPTON: The lawsuit alleges the handcuffs were around the boy`s biceps
because they were too big for his wrists. And when a 9-year-old girl with
ADHD was also handcuffed. The sheriff responded today saying deputy Sumner
responded to the call and did what he is sworn to do and in conformity with
all constitutional and law enforcement standards.

And Sumner`s attorney told the "Lexington Herald Leader," his client
handcuffed the children because, quote, "they were placing themselves and
other people in danger of harm and that`s what the book says to do."

Seema, should this officer have ever been allowed to handcuff these

IYER: Absolutely not. This is what the rule says, school officers are not
allowed to use mechanical restraints. The only exception is if the child
is causing some type of danger and they weren`t. That little girl, rev,
that incident happened October 2014. And the officer ended up lying saying
the kid was threatening and didn`t fill out a report till months later.


GUSTER: That`s going to be one of the problems. If you`re filling out
police reports later on to try to cover yourself, that`s going to be an
issue for the officer to try to prove his point. And this video, you see
this little boy being handcuffed behind his back, which looks painful. The
child was hollering out, this hurt, this hurts. And it looks like it
hurts. And that`s going to be one of the biggest problems for him.
Because even if restrained, you should never be hurting someone. And
that`s what happened in this case.

IYER: I don`t know why the officer is not being arrested. I`m being
honest. This is an assault.

SHARPTON: You see criminal law exposure here?

IYER: I think the more attention this case gets would perhaps get the DA`s
office to get involve, the prosecutors to get involved and pursue criminal

SHARPTON: Let me ask you another question. And I don`t know who all has
been charged in a lawsuit. But what about a training, what about whether
or not an officer like that was even supposed to be in that position
especially when you`re dealing with young kids with disabilities?

GUSTER: And that`s one of the biggest situations with lawsuits like this
form the ACLU because with ADHD children and other children with other
issues, they have to have special training. And that`s where the police
department could be held liable. Because they are supposed to train their
officer, make sure they`re prepared for every situation and make sure that
they going into the situation, they know exactly how to handle each
individual issue. And that`s going to be a problem for them later on.

SHARPTON: Eric Guster and Seema Iyer. Thank you both for your time

Don`t forget to catch Seema on "the Docket" Tuesdays at 11:00 a.m. eastern
on Shift by MSNBC.

Ahead the new threat to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood.
And it`s coming from someone Republicans have to listen to.

Plus, I talked to Martin Luther King III about the 50th anniversary of the
voting rights act.

But first, watch out for pranksters on the campaign trail. Donald Trump
and Scott Walker didn`t, and they wound up in tonight`s Got You.


SHARPTON: It`s tough out there on the campaign trail. Things don`t always
go according to plan. Take Donald Trump. He thought Harvard`s newspaper
was endorsing him, but not so much. He didn`t realize it, but he was
actually posing with members of Harvard`s comedy newspaper, the lampoon.
He was there for college students but for these college students, it was
one big laugh. Trump`s campaign wasn`t so amused. Calling the students
fraudsters and liars.

Scott Walker also got tripped up. He thought he was taking a picture with
donors. Turns out they were actually climate activists. And the check
they are holding is for $900 million from the Koch brothers. As Rick Perry
might say, oops.

We`ll have a lot more candidates coming up next. But first, nice try. But
they got you.


SHARPTON: We`re getting reaction from the candidates who didn`t make the
cut for the main stage of the GOP debate on Thursday night. Rick Perry was
among those relegated to the second tier stage and responded moments ago
with this tweet. Quote, "I look forward to being at the FOX News 5:00 p.m.
debate for what will be a serious exchange of ideas and positive solutions
to get America back on track." And Rick Santorum said, quote, "The idea
that they have left out the runner-up for the 2012 nomination, the former
four-term governor of Texas, the governor of Louisiana, the first female
fortune 50 CEO and the third third-term senator from South Carolina due to
polling seven months before a single vote is cast is preposterous." Here`s
who made the cut for the main debate including Donald Trump, Jeb Bush,
Scott Walker and Ted Cruz and Chris Christie. And for the guys it will be
all guys -- who will appear on the big stage, here`s what they can expect
to be dealing with.


kicking in. That`s a disaster for the country. In many ways. One of the
things people like about me, nobody`s taking care of me. I don`t need
anybody to take care of me. The nice thing about an executive order, the
new president can come in and sign it away immediately. You don`t have to
worry about Congress or anything else. I have great relationship with
Mexico. They buy my apartments. I think I`m going to win the Hispanics.
And I think I`m going to win the African-American vote.


SHARPTON: Joining me now are Ryan Grim, Washington bureau chief for the
Huffington Post and democratic strategist Jamal Simmons. Thank you both
for being here.



SHARPTON: Jamal, is it better to be the last candidate at the main event
or the first candidate at the kids` table?

SIMMONS: You know, you can probably -- look, they`re stuck with what
they`re stuck with. It`s bad. What you want to be is at the main event
always. You know, it`s better to be the 11th man on the Michael Jordan
Bowls than it is to be, you know, at the first person at a losing squad.
But you got to play the hand you`re dealt. Now I think you`ve got these
candidates who are in the, you know, kind of second tier, lower tier,
they`ve got to find a way to make some news in that tier that the rest of
the media has to cover. So people watching it on news later on, they won`t
know the difference between who is where. They`ll just see the clips.

SHARPTON: You know, Ryan, WMUR in New Hampshire conducted a poll of the
GOP candidates with some surprising results. Republican voters name Trump
the candidate best able to handle policy issues on the economy, terrorism,
illegal immigration and healthcare. Do Trump`s views match beliefs held by
the GOP base, Ryan?

GRIM: You know, to the extent that he reflects anger, then yes. I mean,
you know, nobody really knows what his precise kind of policy positions
are. It`s not like he has any nuanced white papers that he`s putting out
that says this is how I would address this issue or this is how I would
implement a certain policy. What it is, it`s kind of anger and frustration
with the establishment. And they`re saying, look, you know, whether or not
they`re actually going to vote for him on Election Day, just telling a
pollster that they`re going to vote for him is saying something to the
republican establishment. You know, that the establishment is not giving
these people what they want. So they`re going to go to somebody like
Donald Trump to find it.

SHARPTON: Jamal, you know, Donald Trump recently talked about defunding
Planned Parenthood. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only way to get rid of Planned Parenthood money for
selling off baby parts is to shut the government down in September. Would
you support that?

TRUMP: Well, I can tell you this. I would. And I was also in support if
the Republicans stuck together, you could have done it with ObamaCare also.
I think you have to in this case also, yes.


SHARPTON: So Trump would support shutting down the government, and this
came just a few days after he wanted to deport every illegal immigrant in
the country. Is Trump drawing lines in the sand and dragging the field to
the right, Jamal?

SIMMONS: Oh, absolutely. And full disclosure, the firm where I work at
the raven group is working on this Planned Parenthood issue. I`m not, but
they are. The issue around this Planned Parenthood thing is you got to not
just think about the abhorrent things that you hear on TV that are coming
out of these videos, but think about the young women and women who are
stuck in these situations that need the help. So, for Donald Trump to say
to the young woman who can`t get a mammogram, she can`t get, you know,
cervical cancer screenings, can`t get any of these other things. Because
he`s upset about this political issue, he`s cutting out one of the core
constituencies in American politics.


SIMMONS: Are American women who have all decided on the last multiple
decades that they need to have these services be legal and safe for them to
access for their own health care. He`s on the wrong side of this.

SHARPTON: Ryan, in addition to the politics and policy aspects of Donald
Trump saying that, he`ll be saying it if he says it or any of the
candidates on a stage of all men. How is that going to look to women
voters in this country? All men standing up there taking shots at Planned

GRIM: Yes. It`s just suicidal politics. You know, Planned Parenthood was
actually, you know, a quite well liked organization. You know, I think its
approval rating is certainly much higher than Washington or Congress or
Donald Trump, for that matter. You know, almost 50 percent. Which in this
country is extremely -- in this polarized country, that`s extremely high.
So saying you want to shut down the government in order to defund ObamaCare
is just insane politics. And also he`s factually wrong about ObamaCare.
No matter what Republicans did when they shut down the government to try to
stop ObamaCare, it wouldn`t have worked because of the way that ObamaCare
is funded doesn`t have anything to do with the discretionary funding that
comes through Congress. That`s just false, but that`s kind of par for the
course with Donald Trump.

SHARPTON: Let me quickly, Jamal, Rush Limbaugh, he weighed in on the
debates. He thinks the right needs Trump on that stage. Watch.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I wouldn`t be a bit surprised if
Trump`s objective is to blow up this whole format because it`s predictable.
It`s stale. At some point Trump`s just going to say how stupid he thinks
this is. It`s going to be fresh. It`s going to be new. It`s going to be,
to use the cliche, a breath of fresh air and people are going to be
applauding it.


SHARPTON: So, is Donald Trump a much needed breath of fresh air as Rush
claims, Jamal?

SIMMONS: Well, he`s a little right to be a breath of fresh air. He`s been
around for a long time. But what he does understand is that Donald Trump
understands message. And as much as he captures all this fear and taps
into that, he also talks about making America great again. And he`s going
to be willing to upset the apple cart in order to do that. And there
aren`t other Republicans who seem like they`re ready to do that. You know
who might be willing to do it? Not a republican but Joe Biden, if he got
in the race, he`s the kind of person who also might upset the apple cart.
So, I think voters are looking for people like Bernie Sanders who are going
to be pushing the envelope and trying to make this a more interesting

SHARPTON: Ryan Grim and Jamal Simmons, thank you both for your time

GRIM: Thank you.

SIMMONS: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, dramatic rescue. A deputy saves a man from an
oncoming train just moments before impact.

But first, the fight ahead as we mark the 50th anniversary of the voting
rights act. I`ll talk to Martin Luther King III, next.



PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: We know the march is not yet over.
We know the race is not yet won. We know that reaching that blessed
destination where we are judged, all of us, by the content of our character
requires admitting as much, facing up to the truth.


SHARPTON: President Obama in Selma earlier this year marking the 50th
anniversary of bloody Sunday. This week we commemorate another important
day, 50 years since the voting rights act was signed into law. The beating
of civil rights activists on the Edmund Pettus Bridge spurred the nation to
action on voting rights. Just weeks later, the marchers tried again with
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. leading the way. They marched from Selma to
Montgomery where Dr. King spoke from the steps of the Alabama State


know you`re asking today how long it will take. Somebody`s asking how long
will prejudice blind the vision of men. How long? Not long.


KING: Because no lie can live forever.


KING, JR.: How long? Not long.

(Crowd): How long?

KING: Because you shall reap what you sow. How long? Not long. Because
the march to the universe is long but it bends towards justice. How long?
Not long.


SHARPTON: And it wasn`t long after that speech that President Lyndon
Johnson signed the voting rights act on August 6th, 1965. Fifty years
later, the voting rights act is under attack since conservatives on the
Supreme Court gutted the law in 2013, states have rushed to pass new voting
restrictions. Now republicans in Congress are holding up a bill that would
restore the strength to the law. We need action because, as Dr. King wrote
in his letter from a Birmingham jail, justice too long delayed is justice

Joining me now is civil rights activist Martin Luther King III. Thank you
for being here tonight.


SHARPTON: Martin, 50 years since the voting rights act was signed into
law, tell me what`s going through your mind reflecting on this landmark

KING III: What`s going through my mind is basically how we have to
remobilize again to get fair and just legislation put back on the books.
It is clear to me that there is a consciousness even in the nation, but the
consciousness does not exist in the place it needs to be, which is in the
United States Congress.

SHARPTON: Now, when we saw the Shelby versus Holder suit go before the
Supreme Court, many of us, you and I included, were in the courtroom when
the oral arguments were made which, in effect, gutted the voting rights
act. And we heard Justice Scalia say that voting rights act was like a
racial entitlement. So the gap between the court and the Congress and
people around the country, how do we close that gap, Martin?

KING III: Well, I think one of the main things we`ve got to do is to deal
with the facts, more of the facts. I think anyone can say anything,
whether it`s a member of the U.S. Supreme Court or some documentation, but
we have the documentation that shows that there`s consistent
discrimination. And when we talk about -- I don`t think the issue is, for
example, an I.D. I think it`s that we created the new I.D.s and we do not
have the capacity to get them out to the masses of people. And it also
creates a new poll tax. So, there are a number of things I think that we
have to do and most importantly it really is mobilizing young people. The
changes that we seek, as always, are going to come from the energy of the
young, perhaps guided by some of the vision of the elders.

SHARPTON: Now, the voting rights act and voting rights as an issue didn`t
used to be a partisan issue. It was a bipartisan issue. You had
Republicans and Democrats worked together across the aisle to make the
voting rights act happen in `65, restore it. I remember in 2009 when
President George -- 2006 when President George Bush signed the voting
rights act renewal and made a very passionate statement about it. Let me
play that.


FMR. PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH (R), UNITED STATES: Four decades since the
voting rights act was first passed, we made progress toward equality yet
the work for a more perfect union is never ending. Today we renew a bill
that helped bring a community on the margins into the life of American
democracy. My administration will vigorously enforce the provisions of
this law and we will defend it in court.



SHARPTON: Now, that was just nine years ago where he then sat down and
signed the renewal of the voting rights act. I was there on the south lawn
that day. I think you were at the White House. How have we gone from
that, George Bush, who many of us opposed his policies, but stood with all
of us on voting rights, to this partisan divide around it today?

KING III: Well, I think part of the -- the major problem is we fell asleep
in the election of 2014. And although the court passed -- rendered their
decision in 2013, had we voted in a different way than we voted -- because
someone still needs to explain to me how people around the country wanted
and voted for the minimum wage increase as well as not for abortion but for
choice. And then everyone who was elected was people who were against the
things that the people wanted. So something is not clear to me as it
relates to what happened, but the reality is when we look at participation,
participation in the 2014 election was so shallow that we lost a lot of
seats. And at least we could have had some balance where at least we could
get a hearing in Congress. But the way Congress is comprised at this
moment is going to be challenging to get a hearing.

SHARPTON: And you also look at the fact that in the 2010 election the 21
states passed the new laws you referred to some of the voter I.D. laws, but
all kinds of new laws restricting voting rights. And 14 of those states
will see those laws in effect for their first presidential election in
2016. So what we were able to get by in 2012 in some states you have 14
new states that for the first time will have new laws in place in next
year`s election. How do we fight back and make sure that we get our voting
rights protected and get people out to the polls?

KING III: Rev, the only thing that I know is the same thing that you know.
And that is we have to mobilize and mobilize and mobilize again. And the
bottom-line is, if large numbers of us participate in the upcoming
election, at least we may be able to regain a partial playing field. We
have a tough task ahead of us because we have to vote in numbers as big as
when the President was elected on both times and maybe even higher. And so
we have a significant bar to overcome. And I think we have to find a way
to galvanize the energy that we`ve seen when folks have demonstrated in New
York, in Chicago, in Atlanta around the killings as it relates to African-
American men being killed. If we mobilize that energy, I think we will
begin to see some of the changes that we want to see.

SHARPTON: And that was the dream of your father, and it`s a dream we must
still fight for.

KING III: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: Martin Luther King III, thank you for your time tonight.

KING III: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Ahead, dramatic video showing a deputy rescuing a man from an
oncoming train. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Police officers make headlines for the things they do wrong.
But we also want to acknowledge the officers who are heroes for what they
do right. We start with this new dramatic video from California. It shows
a deputy rescuing a man from his car only seconds before it was hit by an
oncoming train. Literally dragging him away moments before the car was
mangled, risking his life to save another. This photo out of Connecticut
has gone viral showing an officer fixing the bike of a young boy from the
community. And this was the scene this past weekend at a block party in
Brooklyn. An officer stepping out to do the ney-ney with local kids. It`s
another way to serve and protect. It`s an essential part of the job. It`s
not just having fun. It`s building trust.


SHARPTON: Breaking news in 2016 politics, former Governor Jeb Bush tonight
is racing to walk back remarks he made late today when he said the
government shouldn`t be spending a half billion dollars on women`s health.


FMR. GOV. JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You could take dollar for
dollar, although I`m not sure we need a half a billion dollars for women`s
health issues, but if you took dollar for dollar, there are many
extraordinarily fine organizations, community health organizations that
exist, federally sponsored community health organizations to provide
quality care for women on a wide variety of health issues, but abortion
should not be funded by the government. Any government in my mind.


SHARPTON: He`s not sure if the government needs to be spending this money.
The comment is already sparking an outcry. Hillary Clinton tweeted at Jeb
Bush, you are absolutely, unequivocally wrong. And Bush said he misspoke
and responded, quote, "What`s absolutely unequivocally wrong is giving
taxpayer money to an organization who practices no respect and regard for
the lives of the unborn." Now, this is going to be a big issue in 2016.
It`s going to be a big issue on that stage at the debate Thursday night
whether it`s Trump talking about closing down government to stop Planned
Parenthood, whether it is Bush and others doing the same. But don`t
forget, they`ll be standing on the stage, all men, debating this issue and
other issues that relate to women.

The picture tells the problem. They are talking in a very narrow way about
broad American problems that should include all Americans based on gender,
sex and vision for what would serve this country. Women are more than half
of this country. They should not be treated like they have no place on the
stage and no seat at the table and their issues and their rights should be
protected by whomever is the standard bearer for either party.

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


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