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PoliticsNation, Thursday, August 13th, 2015

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Date: August 13, 2015
Guest: Dave Weigel, David Yepsen, Joel Berg, Midwin Charles; Eric Guster;
Jess McIntosh

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on "Politics Nation," the Donald
Trump/Rand Paul smack down. Why it could be good news for Democrats.

Plus, Jeb Bush`s Iraq apology tour goes from bad to worse.

A new twist in the case of a woman found dead in her jail cell.

And then outrageous story from right here in New York. Why are some people
taking photos of the homeless and posting them on social media?

Welcome to "Politics Nation." We start tonight with the question for
Republicans in this election cycle. How do you solve a problem like Donald
Trump? If you`re running against him, do you ignore him? Cozy up to him?
Or try to take him down? Rand Paul is the latest to go on the attack.


SEN. RAND PAUL (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The questions are, is Trump
really a conservative or is this all a put-on or a show or an act? And I
think it is an important question because most of Donald Trump`s life has
been as a progressive Democrat and that`s fine. But when someone has a
late life conversion, you wonder whether it is real or whether it is an
act. So the question is, is there sincerity?


SHARPTON: And that was nice compared to this. Here`s Donald Trump


PAUL: So we have now people up there who say such profound things as,
you`re stupid. You`re fired. You`re a pig. You look terrible. You only
have half a brain. And then when you respond with an argument, it`s like,
you`re stupid. My favorite is, you know the reason I tell women they`re
ugly is because I`m so good looking. My other one is, you know, I must be
smart. I`m rich. I`m rich. I have to be smart, right?


SHARPTON: The senator needs to work on his New York accent but Trump is
dishing it right back. Saying in part, quote, "recently Rand Paul called
me and asked me to play golf. I easily beat him on the golf course and
will even more easily beat him now in the world in the politics."

Donald Trump certainly isn`t afraid of a fight and that may be why others
are taking a friendlier approach.


Donald Trump may be the guy that I`m going to look to for support when I
get the nomination. And there is no way that it makes any sense for me to
attack somebody else on the ballot.


SHARPTON: Ted Cruz agrees saying it would be foolish to criticize Donald
Trump. And who knows? If Huckabee and Cruz don`t get nomination, maybe
they`re angling for a spot in a Trump administration.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Give me an idea of what a Trump cabinet, a
Trump White House would look like, maybe VP choice, secretary of defense,
secretary of state, give me some ideas. Names you like.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don`t want to use names. I
could say a Jack Welch, should be great. I could say, you know, Carl,
Henry, Warren Buffett said the nicest things about me the other day.


SHARPTON: Joining me now are Jesse McIntosh and Richard Wolf. Thank you
both for being here.


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

SHARPTON: Richard, what makes more sense for the other candidates? Going
on the attack or playing nice with Trump?

WOLFFE: Well, if you`re desperate, then attacking Donald Trump will help
you but it only helps Trump too. So what is the goal here? What are the
candidates trying to do?

Rand Paul needs to break out in the 0-3 point range? I mean, he is right
there in the barely perceptible level for Republican candidate. The danger
is that we have seen this movie before. When candidates go after each
other, they both knock each other out. So Mike Huckabee has done it before
with Mitt Romney, Dick Hart did it before with Howard Dean.

You know, you can take someone else down but you`re taking down yourself
too. So you get oxygen. You get oxygen to the other person. But you
know, a lot of oxygen in a brush fire and it is just flames all around.

SHARPTON: What do you think, Jess? What is the best strategy if you were
against him?

MCINTOSH: Yes. I don`t even want to think about the staffers that are
trying to sit in those rooms and figure out how to run against Donald Trump
right now. I don`t often express sympathy for Republican operatives, but I
feel it deeply and truly here. I don`t think that the rest of the field
can actually take Donald Trump out. I think they can hit him just like
Richard said to give themselves a little more oxygen.

I mean, the only reason why we`re talking about Rand Paul today is because
he`s taking on Donald Trump. But I don`t think Donald suffers at all
because of that. I think he only grows larger the more you attack him.
And I think that the only person who will take out Donald Trump is Donald
Trump. So we just have to wait and see what target he chooses. Although
it wasn`t immigrants, it wasn`t McCain, it wasn`t Megyn Kelly. Nothing has
been able to deflate him that he has insulted yet and he is an equal
opportunity insulter. But one of these days, I think it is going to
happen. Maybe it is the voters of Iowa that will eventually take him down
but it is not going to be Rand Paul.

SHARPTON: But, you know, Richard, not every candidate is going as hard as
Paul is. But they are starting to say something. Watch this.


JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Donald Trump has clearly tapped into
a sentiment in our party of anger and angst about the future. I get why
people are angry. My belief is that we ought to do is not to appeal to
their angst anymore.

GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: People don`t want to today
in the negative. They want to move to the positive. They want to hear
solution. They want to believe the sun will come up. And that`s what I
try to do out here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Given Mr. Trump`s positions last night during the
debate, you said that you had not given any money to the Clinton foundation
or donated to his wife`s Senate campaign. Is he running in the wrong



SHARPTON: Fiorina didn`t exactly come to his defense there. So are the
other candidates going on the offense?

WOLFFE: Well, look, I think they - that the establishment candidates don`t
know what to do. Donald Trump isn`t just tapping into the anger. He is
tapping into the anti-establishment spirit which means it is extremely
difficult. If you`ve been a governor, if you are a current senator to say
yes, I get this. What are you getting? What is being directed at the
whole party is the disgust, the frustration with elected officials.

That`s why if you look at the NBC News survey monkey pole, three of the
four top candidates at the backend of that debate, were not elected to
office. That`s why Carly Fiorina counts.

Carly Fiorina may be able to make the argument. Look. I`m not a
politician. I can do this better than Donald Trump. There may be a moment
when people say, OK, we want someone who is not a politician but we want
someone who is more respectable, more coherent, more ideologically sound
than Donald Trump. But I think for those electors, former electors, this
is a very hard to make.

SHARPTON: You know, it is true, Jess, because when you see from the so-
called happy hour debate on the earlier debate. Fiorina absolutely kind
got the most attraction out of that. And then Dr. Ben Carson got a lot
even in the debate that Trump was in later. And Trump has no problem
pointing out to people that the two candidates that went the hardest ended
up doing worse off. In fact, he points out that the two who went the
hardest are not doing well in the polls. The "Real Clear Politics" polling
average has Rick Perry in 12th place and Lindsey Graham in 15th. So can
picking a fight with Trump back fire?

MCINTOSH: Absolutely. I think that the folks who are in the back of the
pack, the ones that what we were calling the kids table debate ultimately
outshone. I think because the front-runners are behaving so childishly. I
mean, we`re watching a slap fight that ought to be a presidential primary
debate. I thought we were going to have to wait until the general election
to really see a contrast between parties. But it is really hard to look at
this footage and how this conversation. And remember that on the other
side of the aisle, we have Hillary Clinton talking about debt-free college
and Bernie Sanders engaging in issues of racial justice and Democrats
really excited about what the agenda is going to be and putting out some
really incredibly progressive stuff out there.

While on the Republican side, we`re not talking about issues at all. There
is no issue, there`s no agenda, there`s no this is what I want to do for
the country. I don`t get the sense any of the front-runners have the
people whose votes they actually want in mind at all as they chain saw the
tax code and blow torch their cell phones or whatever it is they`re doing
this week. It is just that the contrast between the two parties could not
be any more stark than it is right now.

SHARPTON: Now, Richard, something that caught my eye was conservative
columnist George will. He wrote a very hard piece on Donald Trump today.
And he called him a counterfeit Republican. This has been Rand Paul`s
line. Will this begin to stick?

WOLFFE: Look. When did the conservative ideologues understand that he is
the ant-establishment candidate? The more they say he doesn`t belong more
the base will say he`s just the guy for us. So, that`s the Rand Paul
argument, he`s not one of us.

Well, you know, what the base is saying we don`t want one of you. This
isn`t going to be a litmus test election like that. And they need to
understand that when you see three of the four top people in the poll.
That`s almost 50 percent of the republican primary voters saying we don`t
want anyone who has been elected before. They do not want someone who
looks like every other conservative. And that`s what George Will is going
to finding very hard to understand.

SHARPTON: All right. So keeping that in mind, Jess, if the combination of
anger and anti-establishment is what is helping to drive as well as some
very far right, and in my opinion, in some cases reactionary things he
said. Then you say the only one that can bring him down is Donald Trump
himself. What does that have to be? What would he have to do? Because
he`s made every gaffe, move, he`s made every gaffe you can think of and
added some. So what does that look like Donald Trump bring down or Trump

MCINTOSH: It is probably not something that I could say on television. I
think that Trump is sort of a perfect nightmare because for the Republican
because of everything Richard just said. The Republican brand is really
terrible right now. It is among lowest it`s ever been. The Republican
Party has been marching really far to the right. And they`ve been
abandoning their more moderates, or their less sort nativist Republican
types along the way as they got more and more extreme.

And I think that those people haven`t identified with the Republican Party
in a really long time. So the fact this guy is coming and then saying, I`m
not like you. I`m something else. And all of the Republicans are saying,
wait, he`s not a real Republican. Well, most people don`t want a real
Republican. Most moderates and independents don`t want a real Republican.
They might not be ready to vote for a Democrat. But the Republican brand
is really couldn`t be more lousy that it is right now. So saying this guy
isn`t one of us just isn`t going to be the silver bullet here.

SHARPTON: Richard, I have to go but I have to ask you. Can you imagine
anything that Trump could do that would just seal it, that this brings him
down? He himself would do.

WOLFFE: I think his first calling card has been about immigration. Let`s
say to Mitt Romney I`m just hypothetically putting this out here. Let`s
say to Mitt Romney situation where he is found to have employed lots of
illegals and maybe knew about it or maybe didn`t know or maybe he didn`t
care. I think that kind of thing would undermine him for the base that has
really rallied around that anti-immigrant sentiment that he`s put out

SHARPTON: Jess McIntosh and Richard Wolffe, thank you both for your time

WOLFFE: Thank you.

MCINTOSH: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, a new twist of an Ohio woman found dead in her jail
cell. Was she overmedicated?

And people using social media to shame the homeless. Why are they taking
photos instead of trying to help?

And Jeb Bush makes a stunning claim about his brother`s war in Iraq.


BUSH: I`ll tell you, though, that taking out Saddam Hussein turned out to
be a pretty good deal.


Plus, you`ve heard the buzz about Joe Biden for president. But what about
Al Gore?

Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Still ahead, big news in the case of an Ohio woman found dead in
her jail cell. Did she received the wrong dose of her medication? That`s


SHARPTON: Tonight we have an update on the case of an Iowa woman found
dead in her jail cell. Documents released to NBC News show Ralkina Jones
may have been improperly medicated while in jail. The prisoner log
indicated she was given medications twice over the course of a 24-hour
period. While a separate jail log shows the drugs were dispensed three

In a letter to NBC News, Cleveland Heights police. Quote, "this matter is
under investigation along with the Cuyahoga County medical examiner`s
investigation of the cause of Miss Jones` death."

Jones was arrested after an alleged fight with her ex-husband in a video
from inside the jail, Jones is seen talking about her health with officers.


RALKINA JONES, FOUND DEAD INSIDE JAIL CELL: I`m not asking any exceptions
to any rules. But what I will tell you is I don`t want to die in jail.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, you has a seizure. You`re taking medication or
what`s going on with that?

JONES: I have my medication. One. Two, I have a brain injury. My main
concern is my pots syndrome, which is a tachycardia syndrome.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s that? In layman`s term.

JONES: What happen is when I go from a sitting or standing position, I


SHARPTON: Paramedics later took her to a health clinic after she was
returned to the jail. She was monitored overnight. But found dead in her
cell the next morning.

Let`s talk about it with Midwin Charles and Judge Eric Guster. Thank you
both for being with me tonight.



SHARPTON: Eric, how does this news about medication affect this case?

GUSTER: It is going to affect in a major way, Reverend Al. Because if the
jail is supposed to have all documentation, all correct documentation of
medications that have been dispensed to make sure that each person gets
medical care they need. And if someone doctored this, if they
overmedicated her or made a mistake, the jail is civilly liable for this
case in the (INAUDIBLE).

SHARPTON: Well, And when you look, Midwin, at one document says two times
in terms of medication, another, three, it does look like not only the
possibility, because again, we`re looking at documents. We don`t know.
But it looks like the possibility that she was medicated ill properly. And
even like someone may have tried to cover-up what happened or try to in
some ways correct what should have happened.

CHARLES: Exactly. So, one of two things can be going on here. One,
either she received incorrect medication or the wrong dosage. Or two, the
documents are improperly filled out. Which both are obviously are
problematic. Because whenever a suspect or a prisoner is in police
custody, police are responsible for making sure --.

SHARPTON: That`s what I want to ask, who would be responsible for
medicating her?

CHARLES: Always whenever you are in custody, police are always responsible
or the government or the authority that has you captive is responsible for
insuring that you get the proper medication.

SHARPTON: I see you nodding your head, Eric.

GUSTER: I totally agree. One document said two times, another said three.
Someone made a mistake. And the mistake possibly led to Miss Jones` death.
Because we do know that something is amiss. Something is wrong and someone
is going to have to answer for it whether they did it correctly or
incorrectly. We know something was bad in those documents.

CHARLES: And what`s interesting is they had notice of her medical
condition. She was incredibly articulate with what wrong with her even you
saw on that video. The police officer saying, what is that in layman`s


SHARPTON: NBC News talked on a pharmacy professor who expressed concern
over some of Jones` medication and said quote "that particular medication,
because of the interactions, we probably want her on the lower side of the
dose so there are potential drug interactions that are present there."

Eric, what happens if it turns out these drug interactions contributed to
her death?

GUSTER: That makes the jailers highly possibly liable. Because if they
did not take her to a hospital. They actually took her to a health clinic.
They knew she had multiple medications. They may not have gotten the
proper care, they may not gotten the proper doctor to look at this to see
whether or not she was taking the correct dosage. If the drugs were
interacting with each other. Because they`re people who work in the jail.
They don`t know about drug interactions. And that`s what is going on --

SHARPTON: Well, we`re going to stay on this. Let me to go this one,

We turn to a fatal police shooting of an unarmed teenager in South
Carolina. The justice department said it will investigate the shooting
death of 19-year-old Zachary Hammond, who was shot and killed by a police
officer while in the driver`s seat of his car last month. Hammond`s family
says he was on a date. Police say the girl he was with tried to sell
marijuana to an undercover officer.

When Lieutenant Mark Tiller approached the car, police say Hammond
accelerated his car toward the police and that he shot Hammond in self-
defense as the car came at her. But a family lawyer says, an independent
autopsy shows Hammond was shot from the side. And they want dash cam video
of the incident to be released.


ANGIE HAMMOND, MOTHER: We just want answers. We have no clue as to what
happened except for what we actually found out ourselves. We would like to
see the video so we can know what happened.

PAUL HAMMOND, FATHER: We need some kind of closure ourselves. Right now,
it is so difficult to move on without having answers.


SHARPTON: The police officer has been put on administrative leave. His
lawyer defended his actions saying quote "if not for Lieutenant Tiller`s
quick reflexes and his ability to push off the car, Lieutenant Tiller would
have easily been run over by Mr. Hammond."

The new federal probe will run parallel to the state`s investigation. So
Midwin, what will investigators be at to determine Hammond`s civil rights
on whether they were violated or not?

CHARLES: Well, they`ll be looking to see whether this police officer
overstepped his bounds. Whether or not his actions were in proportion to
whatever threat it is that he perceived at that time. The problem is, we
see a trend where police officers are not at the very least, 100 percent
accurate with their rendition of what happened. We saw that with Walter
Scott where the police officer said one thing.

SHARPTON: In North Charleston.

CHARLES: Right. However, a video confirmed that was actually not the
case. So that is part of the problem as to why.

SHARPTON: Which is why the family is saying they want to see the dash cam

CHARLES: Of course. And I think if there is dash cam video, whenever you
had these kinds of cases, they should always be made readily available so
that we can continue to have trust in the police.

SHARPTON: Eric, how do you see this?

GUSTER: That`s why we need cameras on all police officers.

SHARPTON: No doubt.

GUSTER: This case shows us that if every police officer had a camera, then
that would eliminate most of the questions. Was the officer in front of
the car when Zachary was driving? Was he in danger? Was someone else in
danger? Because if no one else was in danger, and Zachary was driving and
got shot, then that officer would be held liable civilly.

SHARPTON: But now, I want to bring this up, too because the "Washington
Post" reports that they`ve been tracking fatal police shootings. So far,
601 people have been shot by police this year alone and 60 people, 10
percent, was unarmed. And this issue goes beyond racial boundaries. And I
think this case shows that this case begins to push this way. This becomes
an incident you see even beyond blacks and clearly many of us have been
dealing with the disproportionate amount there. But it is a matter of how
you deal with policing of unarmed people.

CHARLES: Right. And you know, I`ve been covering these cases for quite
some time now and I`ve always said that it is an American issue. It is not
a black issue. We do not live in a military state. We live in a country
where every American has civil rights. And those civil rights must be
protected at all times whether or not the police officer suspects
wrongdoing or not. And what makes some of these cases all the more
egregious is that the underlying offense that the person is, you know,
alleged to have committed is so low level, marijuana? Hello. It is legal
in a few states now.

GUSTER: And the major issue, was the officer in danger and was the uses of
deadly force necessary?

SHARPTON: And I think some of it, much of it in many cases is racial.
Some of it class. Some of it just general in terms of how you use deadly
force. All of it should be dwelt and there should be systemic change.

CHARLES: It`s an American issue.

SHARPTON: Midwin Charles and Eric Guster, thank you both for your time

CHARLES: Thank you.

GUSTER: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, how can people justify posting pictures of homeless
people on social media? It is part of a trend to try and shame the
homeless. Also, what is behind all the buzz about Joe Biden and even Al
Gore running for president?

But first, Jeb Bush makes more outrageous claims about the Iraq war. And
it is landing him in tonight`s gotcha.


SHARPTON: Jeb Bush`s Iraq apology tour hit a new low today. Earlier this
week, Bush gave a speech, blaming Hillary Clinton and President Obama for
Iraq`s decline. But didn`t mention his brother even once. And today, he
continued trying to rewrite history.


JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Isn`t it also the case that had we
not invaded Iraq in the first place, we wouldn`t be dealing with this ISIS

Look, who knows? I mean, it is such a, you know, complicated hypothetical.
You knows? I can`t answer that. I`ll tell you though that taking out
Saddam Hussein turned out to be a pretty good deal. Who knows? I mean,
that`s -- then you`re in back to the future. You might as well make a
movie out of it.


SHARPTON: Make a movie out of it? Taking out Saddam was a pretty good
deal? It wasn`t a pretty good deal for the 36,000 American casualties of
the Iraq war. It wasn`t a pretty good deal for the 134,000 Iraqi civilians
who died or the 1.5 million Iraqis displaced. And it wasn`t a pretty good
deal for the American taxpayers who have spent nearly $1.7 trillion so far.
Did Jeb Bush think we wouldn`t notice this is historical fiction? This is
not nice try. But we still got you.


SHARPTON: A long-standing political tradition just kicked off in Iowa.
The state fair. One by one, presidential candidates will step up and talk
to the voters who will launch the 2016 election. Three of them already
spoke today. And on Saturday, Donald Trump plans to show up to it in
style. Like only Donald Trump can. He`ll land his helicopter near the
fair grounds. And once he`s there, his team say he will check out, among
other things, the famous butter cow. It is a state fair staple. But one
tradition he`ll skip is the soap box speech. And it could come back to
bite him. It is a chance for candidates to relate to the people of Iowa.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is like going home for me. Rural, small town,
farming and ranching people. Are some of the great back bone of America.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The first thing I got to do
coming into this state fair was enjoy pork chop on a stick.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me begin with a recommendation. Pork chop on a
stick. Trust me. It`s what is for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack.


SHARPTON: But skipping the speech could also save Trump some trouble.
Mitt Romney`s campaign hit a defining moment on the soap box. And it
wasn`t good.


friend. We can raise taxes. Of course they are. Everything corporations
earn ultimately goes to people. So, where do you think it goes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It goes into their pockets!

ROMNEY: Whose pockets? Whose pockets? People`s pockets. Okay. Human
beings, my friends.


SHARPTON: That line haunted Romney for the rest of his campaign. And
tonight, many are wondering what kind of reception Donald Trump will get.

Joining me from the Iowa state fair is Dave Weigel of "The Washington
Post." And David Yepsen, the dean of Iowa politics. He worked at the Des
Moines register for 34 years. And is now at the Southern Illinois
University. Thank you both for being here.

Good to be with you, Reverend Al.


SHARPTON: Dave Weigel, do you sense much anticipation for Trump`s arrival

WEIGEL: I haven`t heard much of that specifically. But I was in Michigan
when it went down and Trump was there. And he still draws a bigger crowd
than you might expect for how many mistakes he makes. The mistakes he
makes in the media are not really mistakes with more blue collar fans of
his show or fans of his wealth, frankly. And I met a lot of people who
agree him on trade, on China, on issues like that. I thought it was
noticeable today actually that Mike Huckabee struck all those notes in his
speech. One republican spoke from soap box. He spent a lot of time
talking about China, talking about the loss of manufacturing jobs. That I
think is why Trump connects. And I think he`ll get not the soap box but I
think he`ll have an enormous crowd.

SHARPTON: Now, David Yepsen, he, Dave Weigel talks about connecting with a
crowd. And a new poll shows that Iowa Republicans think Trump has the best
chance of winning the general election. I mean, what`s happening to Scott
Walker and Jeb Bush in Iowa?

Trump is getting a lot of media attention. It is summertime. A lot of
people are not paying attention. That same poll, Reverend Al shows that
about two-thirds of Iowa Republicans have not decided what they want to do.
Donald Trump is getting in the 20s in the polls. To me that`s hardly a
surge. That means that 80 percent of likely Iowa republican caucus goers
want somebody else or haven`t made up their mind. This is the summertime
ebb and flow, Reverend. Sometimes these summer polls get cooked by the

SHARPTON: All right. Rumors are flying Mr. Weigel about Trump`s
appearance at the fair. The Des Moines register had to squash at least two
of them. Trump will use a homicide in Iowa but it will not land at the
state fair. And he will not introduce Def Leopard while he is there. I
mean, the rumors get to a bigger question. How much of Trump`s popularity
in Iowa comes from his celebrity status?

WEIGEL: Less and less. It is being transferred into actual support. It
is about the strong organization Donald Trump is building. Not him
personally. He is spending a lot of time fighting with people on TV. But
Chuck Lautner (ph) who is one doing a lot of work for him did that for Rick
Santorum. And we all remembered how that ended. Rick Santorum starting
with a much lower base of support than Trump, building an organization that
won the state for him. I mean, there is no one who gets this level of
excitement and they`re capitalizing on it in ways they`re only now starting
to see.

SHARPTON: You see, David Yepsen, that Donald Trump is building this kind
of momentum. How does he sustain that? And if he does, where does that
put the other part of the ticket?

YEPSEN: Well, first of all, I`m not sure he can sustain it. For example,
one of the polls that you cited said that 55 percent of the people in Iowa
who saw the debate said they did not think Trump helped himself as a
presence candidate. I mean, there may be a ceiling here to this. It is
early, this is new, he is a celebrity. I agree. Getting Chuck Lautner
(ph) to do your organization as a good move in Iowa. But I think we`re a
long way to six months from now. From translating celebrity and flash in
the pan issues into caucus votes on caucus night. I think that`s a long
way to go. And so, the rest of the field is a jumble. And everybody can
sense that they still have a chance. If you have this many candidates in
the race, Reverend Al, you can win this caucus with just a few thousand

SHARPTON: Now switching gears for a minute, they`re two 2016 headlines
getting attention on the democratic side of the race today. Let me put it
that way, Mr. Weigel. One is, Vice President Biden and his aides are
reportedly calling around about potential 2016 shot at running. Second
supporters of former Vice President Al Gore are trying to figure out that
there`s a path for him to run for president again. What do you make of
these two headlines?

WEIGEL: I would just go off the reaction that Jim Webb and Martin O`Malley
had, two guys that are in the race who are at the fair today. Jim Webb
just flat out refused to answer questions about -- who is in or might be in
the race from people asking Hillary Clinton, he said nothing. Martin
O`Malley was asked twice about Joe Biden. Both times praised him and said,
he would welcome him in the race. I think this has something to do with
Biden`s support. It poll Hillary and him in the same field. It comes
directly from her. I think in the latest CNN poll, she leads over in Iowa
59 percent if she`s not in the race. Fifty one percent if he is. It
doesn`t seem it is different. That`s actually more support than Martin
O`Malley has. But I think they would welcome a late arriving establishment
seeming candidate Because O`Malley more than anyone, Bernie Sanders after
that, Hillary tied with him have put in the work on the ground. And these
two, the guys who looked originally, would be the ones who benefit if it

SHARPTON: Mr. Yepsen, would the entering of the race by the Vice President
or by Al Gore, would it change Iowa? Would it change the race? Or not
that much?

YEPSEN: Oh, you bet it would change the race. Now, both those men have
worked the state for years. They`re well known. They`ve run in past
races. You know, people say it is too late to get in. Well, it is not too
late for somebody to get into Iowa. Somebody of their stature I think
could really open things up. A lot of Democrats are getting more and more
worried about Hillary Clinton`s electability. That`s an important issue to
caucus goers.

SHARPTON: Do you think that either one of them is likely to do it?

YEPSEN: I do not. I think they`re going to think about it. They`ve
thought about it before in their lives. But at this point, I just don`t
have a good sense that they`ll do this.

SHARPTON: All right, David Weigel and David Yepsen. Thank you both for
your time tonight.

YEPSEN: Thank you, sir.

WEIGEL: Thank you, Reverend Al. Great to see you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, we`ll look at whether it is better to try and help the
homeless or just take photos of them to post online. It is an issue
playing out right here in New York City.

Also, how a Florida man is kicking the stereo types out of professional


SHARPTON: Should we try to help the homeless or should we try to shame
them? That`s a big question here in New York where a police union has
launched a social media campaign asking officers to take pictures of the
homeless and post them online.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s the image the sergeant`s benevolent association
wants you to see. With officers being recorded on smartphones regularly,
they`re now turning the phones on the homeless population. On Monday, the
union sent a letter to its members and families asking them to snap
pictures of the growing number of homeless on city streets while they`re
off duty. The union president said failed city policies and more homeless
on the streets are leading to New York`s down fall.


SHARPTON: Several photo captures referred to the homeless as bums.
Another calls a person disgusting. And this kind of shaming is also being
echoed in the right wing media. Who are vilifying the homeless and
progressive policies.


seen it. It`s little tent cities. Stepping over people with animals, with
supplies. There`s new synthetic drugs now where people are out of their
mind. They`re very unpredictable. Why can`t they get these guys in really
plush homeless shelters? It doesn`t any make sense.


SHARPTON: Plus, homeless shelters? Instead of mocking the poor and
instead of trying to shame them on social media, maybe we should focus on
helping them instead.

Joining me now is Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City
Coalition Against Hunger. Joe, first of all, thank you for being here.

Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: What`s behind this trend of shaming the homeless?

BERG: I really don`t know. It violates basic human compassion. It
violates every single religious tradition. It violates common sense. You
know, I know police sergeants in New York City, most are compassionate,
most are hardworking public servants risking their lives for the public.
Most defend the constitution and I don`t think their union is representing
them very well by somehow getting into a war with the mayor perhaps, by
going through homeless people. They should pick on someone their own size
and not the most vulnerable in our society.

SHARPTON: I mean, I just don`t get it. When you look at the statistics of
homeless in America, it is hard to believe they`re being vilified. Thirty
percent are mentally ill. Seventeen percent are physically disabled. Nine
percent are veterans. Isn`t this a population that needs help, not to be

BERG: Absolutely. Look, I live in New York. I don`t like people
urinating on the streets, whether it is a drunk rich person after a game or
a low income homeless person. But the solution isn`t to throw homeless
people in prison. It is to help them get homes. And, you know, as you
said many of the photos are people sleeping. They`re not aggressively
panhandling. They`re not breaking the law. Many are actually in
wheelchairs and as you know, many are veterans. Are police really saying
that we should vilify veterans because they`ve given their all to this
country and now they`re homeless?

SHARPTON: You know, the Justice Department is currently arguing a case
about how cities treat the homeless and they say it is unconstitutional,
unconstitutional to ban them from sleeping outside. In their filling, they
said, quote, "If a person literally has nowhere else to go, then
enforcement of the anti-camping ordinance against that person, criminalizes
her for being homeless."

BERG: We shouldn`t criminalize being homeless. We should criminalize a
nation allowing people to go homeless. It is truly amazing that in a
country of more than 400 billionaires, we have 600,000 of our neighbors.
Many of whom are women and children who can`t earn enough to have housing.
That`s the issue. It is about housing, it`s about mental health care and
it`s about basic human compassion and common sense. And, you know, this is
about dehumanizing people. As we know, Black Lives Matter and homeless
lives matter. And every time you start dehumanizing people, you set up the
ability to take away their rights. Engage in violence against them and
basically say they`re less than human and they don`t deserve basic rights.

SHARPTON: But more and more cities are trying to criminalize homelessness.
I mean, a study of 187 American cities showed 34 percent ban camping in
public. Forty three percent ban sleeping in vehicles. Fifty three percent
ban sitting, lying down in certain public places. Nine percent ban sharing
food with homeless. How can this problem be helped if the homeless are
legally being targeted, Joe?

BERG: We have a funny way of defining dependency in this country. As you
know, Scott Walker said over and over and over again. The success of our
society is by how few people need government. And he just gave $250
million to arena owners. Our priorities are taking care of the wealthiest
instead of ensuring that we don`t have homelessness and hungers. It`s that

SHARPTON: Joel Berg, thank you for your time tonight.

BERG: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, stories to make you smile. Including two dancers
who are breaking barriers and saving lives. Check out those moves. That`s


SHARPTON: Coming up, inspiring stories from around the country. Including
this barber who turned his barber shop into a classroom. That`s next.


SHARPTON: We close tonight with some stories to make you smile. We start
in Florida where one man is using his barber shop as a classroom. Trying
to help raise the county`s 50 percent graduation rate for young black men.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For kids walking into Royal Touch Barbershop, it is so
much more than a haircut.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m reading about nine African-American inventers. And
I`ve never really heard of these inventers, so actually I learned

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No TVs, no radios. Instead owner Reggie Ross says, his
younger customers put their noises to the books. Ross asked the kid
customers to read the books while waiting to get a cut.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the reading doesn`t stop right here. The kids
aren`t finished reading their books, they can continue reading while
getting their hair cut.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is good to see kids learning. I`ve always been an
advocate of learning and education. And just to see kids learning, you
know, there`s a piece of me that I feel like I could past on to them.


SHARPTON: Another Florida man is also bringing smiles to the sunshine
state. This time through dance. Check this out.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Keith played at this year`s Miami Heat dance tryout.
Yes, he is Wilson, the 28-year-old dancer who is going beyond social stereo
types and breaking barriers through his talent.

Why audition for the Miami Heat dance team.

KEITH WILSON, DANCER: Dance and that`s it. It has no gender. It has no
sexuality. It is just dance. It`s an art.


SHARPTON: Video of Wilson`s audition has already gone viral. Viewed over
800,000 time on YouTube in a week. And though he didn`t make the finals
this year, he says he has a lesson for every dancer out there.


WILSON: Never let anyone tell you, you can`t do it because of this. Never
let anyone tell you you`re not good enough or you`re not small enough or
you`re not fit enough. You should always be go for it.


SHARPTON: Finally we go to another dancing story in Boston. Twice a week,
Dr. Adnan Khera hits the streets with a boom box for his doctor be dancing
initiative, raising money for charity.


DR. ADNAN KHERA, ANESTHESIOLOGIST: There`s all sorts of people come dance
with me. The homeless people, kids, college students, parents, basically
ultimately trying to form a connection with another human being and make
their life better.


SHARPTON: You don`t have to be famous to make a difference. I am a firm
believer and proponent that everyone has some basic talent. Some basic
thing that you can do that would make a difference. You don`t have to
imitate or even emulate others. Find something in your lane that will make
a difference and do that and do it better than anyone else. Like these
examples I showed you.

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


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