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PoliticsNation, Monday, August 17th, 2015

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Date: August 17, 2015
Guest: Joan Walsh; Henry Fernandez; Peter Goodman, Christina Bellantoni,
Jonathan Alter, Allan Lichtman

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Tonight on "Politics Nation," deporting
people who should be American citizens, even babies. That`s Donald Trump`s
plan and a lot of Republicans agree with him.

Plus, the other Amazon controversy. What`s happened in its warehouses?

Also, Jeb Bush gets slammed for his Iraq comments from both the left and
the right.

And new hints about President Obama`s agenda after the White House.

Welcome to "Politics Nation." We begin with Donald Trump and the GOP`s
lurch to the right on immigration. Forget self-deportation. Their new
line, babies born in America shouldn`t automatically be American citizens.
That plan goes against our constitution and our values, but here is Donald
Trump defending it.


CHUCK TODD, NBC NEWS HOST, MEET THE PRESS: One big thing is going to jump
out and a lot of this should be upset about. You want to get rid of
birthright citizenship.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You have to get rid of it, yes.
You have to. What they are doing, they are having a baby and all of a
sudden, nobody knows --

TODD: You believe they are trying to do this to come here?

TRUMP: You have no choice. When we have some good people, we have some
very good people here, we have a lot of really good people. They are
illegal. They either have a country or not, they go out and we`re going to
try and bring them back rapidly, the good ones, rapidly. You know the word

TODD: I do, yes.

What do you do about the order where you have the grant from the dream act,
how everyone have referred to it, the executive order that the president
that is --

TRUMP: The executive order gets resented. One good thing --

TODD: You`ll resend that one, too?

TRUMP: One good thing --

TODD: You will resend the dream act executive order?

TRUMP: You`re going to have to. We have to make a whole new set of
standards and when people come in, they have --

TODD: You`re going to split up families and deport children.

TRUMP: Chuck, chuck, no, no, we`re going to keep the families together.
We have to keep the families together. But they have to go.

TODD: What if they have no place to go?

TRUMP: We will work with them. They have to go. Chuck, we either have a
country or we don`t have a country.


SHARPTON: Kids born in the U.S. to undocumented parents wouldn`t be
citizens and he would deport 11 million people, including dreamers, young
people who lived here nearly all of their entire lives from a fiscal
standpoint, this plan would cost more than 100 billion-dollars. And from a
moral standpoint is completely bankrupt, but some of the other candidates
refuse to condemn it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If a child is born here from immigrant, illegal
immigrant parents, they become citizens right now.

constitution said over the course of time that`s the case. What I said
recently is that`s got to be something discussed in the course of an entire
reform package.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you believe the issue of birthright citizenship
should be changed for those who have children in the United States and yet
the citizenship, should that be change?

CARLY FIORINA (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you know, we should talk
about what it would take to get it changed. I would take passing a
constitutional amendment to get it changed. This is part of the 14th
amendment. And so honestly, I think we should put all of our energy, all
of our political will over finally getting the boarder secured and fixing
the illegal immigration system.


SHARPTON: And Governor Scott Walker went even further fully agreeing with


citizen ship should be ended?

said it`s not right and that`s something -- yes, absolutely.

HUNT: We should end birthright citizenship.

WALKER: To me it`s about enforcing the laws in this country. I think you
enforce the laws and I think it`s important to send a message that we are
going to enforce the laws no matter how people come here and we need to
uphold the law in this country.

HUNT: And you should deport children of undocumented immigrants.

WALKER: I didn`t say that. I said they need to enforce the law which to
me is focusing on either --


SHARPTON: Let us understand the gravity of what we`re talking about here
again. We`re talking about really changing the 14th amendment. We`re
talking about spending over $100 billion to try to deport 11 million people
who have nowhere that we know they can go.

We`re talking about people that you and I may have known. I went to
school, grew up in Brooklyn, New York. I went to school not only with
people from the Caribbean, Trinidad, Haiti, Jamaica, people that were
Russian Jews, people that were from Puerto Rico, all would have to go back
if their parents were undocumented.

This is outrageous fiscally, it is outrageous morally and it is against the
constitution. But of course, Donald Trump on top of telling you and I
we`re going to spend $100 billion, he`s also going to build a wall and make
Mexico pay for it. He hasn`t told us how he intends to make that happen.

Joining me now is Henry Fernandez, senior fellow for the center for
American progress and Joan Walsh of Thank you both for being


be here.

SHARPTON: Joan, what`s worse, what Donald Trump said or the fact that
others are going along with it?

WALSH: I think the fact that others are going along with it. Donald Trump
is who he is. But this is the Trump effect. This is what he`s doing to
the race. He`s pulling these candidates to the right. I mean, Scott
Walker was totally incoherent in that answer. I don`t really know what he
said. But he said --

SHARPTON: He said follow the law like he never read --

WALSH: He said yes -- right, because that would be against the law. But
when Kasie asked him, he said yes twice. So you know. And Chris Christie
and Carly Fiorina didn`t exactly support it but they didn`t exactly oppose
it either. They didn`t come out morally say this is a terrible idea.
People deserve that birthright. So, you know, and also, I think it`s
really, it would really create a kind of nativist police state to enforce
it. What`s he going to do? Is he going to put them in cattle cars?

SHARPTON: Henry, I mean, to me the thing that is so disturbing, first of
all, how do you find --

WALSH: House to house.

SHARPTON: And house to house. We`re already dealing with a law
enforcement question in this country, in this country.

FERNANDEZ: Nationwide, that`s right.

SHARPTON: But the fact that there seems to be a sense of almost
cowardliness among his opponents afraid to take him on, on something like
this, changing the constitution to take away citizenship, they won`t say
that`s wrong? Do they actually think that`s doable?

FERNANDEZ: I think that the Republican Party has allowed Donald Trump to
take them down this path. Remember that the Republican Party after
President Obama`s second victory in 2012 had what they called an autopsy to
try to figure out why they lost and lost badly and their number one reason
was that they could never again be seen by Latino immigrants, Latino
citizens of the U.S. as being anti-immigrant, as being anti-Latino, same
with Asians so they could no longer be seen this way.

Yet, if they had that autopsy, now they dragged that corpse back out of the
ground and Donald Trump has, is pulling them all in this direction. The
Republican nominee to win the election will need to get 47 percent of the
Latino vote. Right now, Donald Trump is pulling at 13 percent. This is
going to destroy the party.

SHARPTON: After this new plan, I`m sure that 13 percent went way up. He
said he`s going to win the Latino vote.

FERNANDEZ: Yes, there is no polling that shows that. He will lose under
current polling to either democrat by the largest margin for any major
Republican, major party candidate in the history of the United States
because of his positions on issues like this.

SHARPTON: Now Republican candidates, some did criticize, Joan, let me play


JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I appreciate the fact that Mr. Trump
now has a plan, if that`s what it`s called but I think the better approach
is to deal with the 11 million people here illegally in a way that is

Mr. Trump, is going backward on immigration and I think he`s going to take
all of us with him if we don`t watch it.


SHARPTON: I mean, are they the only ones even thinking about respecting
the Latino vote and the law?

WALSH: Well, Lindsey Graham was part of the group, the bipartisan group
that created the Senate bill that passed the senate with Republican support
so that`s not a surprise. Jeb Bush was kind of tepid but at least he came
out and said this is not a good idea.

But, you know, I think it is a majority sentiment in the Republican Party
polls show that Republicans support the idea of mass deportation. They
don`t support the idea of doing away with birthright citizen ship, though.
That`s where he`s gone too far.

SHARPTON: Well, not only Joan, they support, most Americans, Henry, don`t
want to change the constitution to ban children of illegal immigrants from
getting U.S. citizen ship at birth, even among Republicans as Joan said
just 47 percent want that change. But does that minority have all the
power in a Republican primary? It is the political question.

FERNANDEZ: Well, I think they are going to continue to have this problem,
the Republican party and you are continue to see this kind of, it`s really
gone beyond dog whistle races. I`m just straight out, you`re going to
continue to see this kid - it`s really began beyond God was so racist. I`m
just straight out racist. You are going to continue to see this unless
more Republicans come out and say this is simply unacceptable.

We got to this point because this kind of language was allowed. It`s been
allowed by John Boehner in Congress. It`s been allowed to go on. I mean,
Trump got to this point only after he had called Mexican immigrants
criminals and rapists and we did not see a major push back.

And let`s remember Jeb Bush is not for citizenship and the senator from
South Carolina has actually himself dabbled with the idea of getting rid of
the 14th amendment. So there is this problem pretty broadly in the
Republican Party at this point.

SHARPTON: Now, the birther stuff shouldn`t be a surprise, Joan, from
Trump. I mean, after all, he was the original birther with President
Obama. But he was even asked about that this weekend, listen.


TODD: Do you believe President Obama is a citizen born in the United

TRUMP: Well, I don`t like talking about it anymore. Because honestly, I
have my own feelings. I think he should have taken the $5 million. I
don`t know why he spent $4 million in legal fees to keep his records, you
know, away. Nobody seen his records. Maybe the hackers have his records.
So it will be very - no I mean, his college records. I mean, he spent $4
million in legal fees to make sure that nobody ever saw it.

TODD: If you want him to release his, would you release yours?

TRUMP: So I will tell you what. But here is what I do. I`m proud of my
records but he has to do it. If he does it, I`ll do it.


SHARPTON: He`ll release his college records if President Obama. He should
took the $5 million.


SHARPTON: The birth thing against the President Obama is what, when the
GOP started letting him build up, have they gotten the candidate they

WALSH: Absolutely. Remember, they competed for his endorsement 2012.
Mitt Romney was very proud to take it and Trump like doubled down on his
birtherism the day, I believe the day that Romney was headed to accept the
endorsement. So they had plenty of opportunities to repudiate what he said
about the president in 2012. They absolutely refuse to. They did quite
the opposite. They made him a force in the Republican Party. So yes, they
are reaping what they sewed.

SHARPTON: You know, Henry, I want to ask you a question, and I know my
twitter will go crazy, but when you look at the fact that President Obama
was first one he went after with the birther stuff, first African-American
president, then goes after Mexicans, how much is race playing into the
ground-building popularity of Donald Trump?

FERNANDEZ: Well, Donald Trump has a long history of problems in this area.
I mean, his company has been sued by the justice department for refusing to
rent to black people. So not just in his public life but also in his
business life. He has serious problems in this area.

And I think that there is a segment of the electric which appreciates this
kind of racist dog whistling. I don`t think it`s the majority of the
Republican Party. Let`s remember, he has 25 percent support now. He
hasn`t really moved up. The real problem for the Republican Party is that
other candidates can`t get beyond ten or 11 percent because they are not
talking about the kinds of issues that they are going to get people to the
polls. And so, if you have a reality show, which is kind of where they are
right now, it is not surprising that the reality show star is winning.

SHARPTON: Well, I think that they have a reality show and sometimes that
you sew you reap and he`s their candidate right now that`s in the lead.

Henry Fernandez, Joan Walsh, thank you for your time tonight.

WALSH: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump agree on something.
Jeb Bush is wrong on Iraq.

Also, controversy over worker`s rights. The headlines about Amazon you`re
not hearing about today.

And Sanders is surging and the Biden talk is heating up. Is it time for
Clinton to reset her campaign?

Plus, beyond the White House, new details about President Obama`s future
plans from climate change to criminal justice. It is a big show tonight.
Stay with us.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rand Paul said his campaign will focus on taking down
Donald Trump. And Trump said, I`ve tried it myself, I doesn`t work. What
am I supposed to say?



SHARPTON: Jeb Bush had a rough few days on the campaign trail with lots of
criticism for saying the quote "mission was accomplished in Iraq." Bush
got hit from the right with Donald Trump blasting him for saying that Iraq
still wanted help from the U.S.


TRUMP: He said the United States has to prove to Iraq that we have skin in
the game. We`ve spent $2 trillion, thousands of lives lost, wounded
warrior who I love all over the place, and he said we have to prove that we
have skin in the game. I think it may be one of the dumbest statements
I`ve heard. Skin in the game.


SHARPTON: And Hillary Clinton challenged Bush`s version of history.


somewhat curious that Jeb Bush is doubling down on defending his brother`s
actions in Iraq. But if he`s going to do that, he should present the
entire picture and the entire picture as you know includes the agreement
that George W. Bush made with the Maliki government in Iraq that set the
end of 2011 as the date to withdraw American troops. I can only wonder
whether he just either did not know that or thought that other people would
not be reminded of that.


SHARPTON: Today, Bush met with veterans behind closed doors, but made no
mention of his Iraq comments to reporters following the event. He hasn`t
responded to either of his rivals, either, but this is a problem that won`t
go away.

Coming up next, the amazon controversy that you`re not hearing about today.
The history of issues inside the company`s warehouses.


SHARPTON: Lots of folks are talking about "The New York Times" report on
the work environment at Amazon`s main offices. But today a new article
from Vox says there is a history of other issues for the company`s blue
collar workers in its warehouses.

The report cites a long list of examples, it says employees had to sign
details non-compete agreements, that a warehouse in Pennsylvania had
temperatures higher than 100 degrees at times and that a company policy
required workers to go through long security screenings when leaving work
without getting paid for that time.

Vox also highlights a BBC reporter who went undercover at an Amazon plant
in the United Kingdom two years ago. He recorded the challenges he faced.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The hand set tells Adam what to collect and put on the
trolley and gives him a set number of seconds to find each product. The
screen counts him down. He`s working hard but he rarely reaches his

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The pressure is unbelievable.


SHARPTON: We reached out to Amazon today. They said a lot of the issues
raised by Vox have been fixed, such as the air conditions and non-compete
agreements and say the U.S. Supreme Court sided with them on the issue of
workers not getting paid for going through screenings. But today, as
people talk about the company`s corporate culture, we should also think
about the welfare of the blue collar workers packing the boxes that end up
at your door.

Joining me now is the global editor in-chief of the "International Business
Times" Peter Goodman. Thank you for being here, first of all, Peter.

having me.

SHARPTON: Peter, what should people know about the amazon warehouses that
they might not realize?

GOODMAN: They should realize that there is human beings working in these
warehouses. I mean, Amazon like a lot of publicly traded companies like
Walmart that operate a grade scale that are ruthlessly efficient in the
service of the customer. You know, they are trying to give us cheap
prices. They are trying to get our stuff quickly. They are very, very
good at that. But, you know, human beings are not robots.

Human beings have need things. And if they are in a hot place where it`s
110 degrees and they can`t take breaks and they feel like they are slipping
in terms of how they are measured on productivity scale. If they go to the
bathroom or, you know, women are discriminated against when pregnant. This
is a real problem. It is something that we don`t see, that we don`t feel
on a daily basis. We`re happy that our boxes show up full of our stuff.

SHARPTON: The efficiency.

GOODMAN: That`s right.

SHARPTON: But at what cost you`re saying in some of these companies
because "The New York Times" reports quote "in Amazon warehouses employees
are monitored by sophisticated electronic systems to ensure they are
packing enough boxes every hour. How common is this practice in the
warehouses in American companies?

GOODMAN: Well, I mean, Amazon is particularly good at it. They are
geniuses when it comes to vacuuming up data about every aspect of the
operation, measuring their people with this data. They have strict
benchmarks. But this is the trend in American life that especially
publicly traded companies who have a fiduciary responsibility terms much -
returns much profit as possible to the shareholder through looking to cut
cost everywhere to squeeze more productivity out of their people. And they
are using data to keep tabs.

We have got - I mean, in newsrooms now, there are large outfits that are
watching through the computer monitors to see how long their employees are
spending in the bathroom. I mean, this is part of American life now.

SHARPTON: But especially in companies like with assembly lines. There is
a punishing thing to keep up with.

GOODMAN: Yes. I mean, it`s clear that if you work in an Amazon warehouse,
you`re racing against the clock at all times and you are being measured at
all times. And if you don`t meet the measurement, you end up going to have
to work somewhere else.

SHARPTON: Let`s look at the big picture, workers are more productive than
ever but they are not getting paid for it. I mean, since 1968 we`ve seen
140 percent increase in worker productivity but we`ve seen 50 percent drop
in the value of the national minimum wage. What are the keys to turning
that trend around?

SHARPTON: Well, I mean, you just put your finger on the biggest problem in
American economic life which is that for decades, workers have gotten more
and more productive and they are not sharing in the spoils. The spoils are
going to high income earners through dividends on stocks and capital gains.

This is a serious problem that`s not going to be solved by any one thing.
I mean, certainly we have to invest in things like the infrastructure to
create more highly productive, better paid jobs for people in trades like
construction, manufacturing. We have to continue and invest in education,
retraining for people who lost jobs and manufacturing so they can figure
out how to recover the income that they lost. We need to take a look at
our trade policies and make sure that we`re getting a good deal as we
liberalize trade around the globe.

But this is not a problem that is going to solve quickly. I mean, part of
it is cultural. We have to embrace the notion that if work doesn`t pay for
the vast majority of people, if you can`t through your work or a middle
class living, we`re going to have problems. We`re going to have social
problems, we are going to have crime, we`re going to have dysfunction in

SHARPTON: All of that feeds into the other. That`s why, you know, out of
sight, out of mind, that`s why we`re determined to keep the spotlight on
things that go ignored that ought to not be ignored.

Peter Goodman, thank you for your time.

GOODMAN: Thank you very much.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Sanders is surging and there is new talk about what
the Biden campaign would look like. Is team Clinton worried?

SHARPTON: Plus, new details about President Obama`s plans after the White

And Donald Trump talks about batman has put him back in a familiar place.
Tonight`s Got You.


CLINTON: Now I know most of the attention these days is on a certain
flamboyant front runner, but don`t let the circus distract you. If you
look at their policies, most of the other candidates are just Trump without
the pizazz or the hair.


SHARPTON: Holy smokes, Batman, it`s Donald Trump. Trump made a big splash
at the Iowa State Fair this weekend showing off his helicopter and giving
kids rides. That`s what a nine-year-old boy asked Trump an important
policy question. Was he Batman? Trump told the boy, I am Batman. Wow,
that totally makes sense.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I want you to do me a favor, I want you to tell all
your friends about me.




SHARPTON: Trump is Batman. I can see the similarities. To get around
quickly, Batman has his bat mobile and Donald Trump has his Trump mobile,
his helicopter. Batman is never seen without his mask while Trump has his
trusty make America great again hat. It`s where his super hero powers come
from. And of course, instead of the bat signal, Trump has his own signal
when something he loves is in trouble. You know, Donald Trump`s campaign
really reminds me of a line from the "The Dark Knight".


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: He`s the hero the government deserves but nothing what
it means right now.


SHARPTON: Yes, Trump is the candidate, the GOP deserves right now. Nice
try but take off the mask because we got you.



many, many years and everybody who knows Joe likes him and respects him.
The decision as to whether or not he runs his if he does run I promise him
an issue oriented campaign, we`re debating the major issues facing the
American people.


SHARPTON: Senator Bernie Sanders talking about what would happen if Joe
Biden got into the race for the White House. More and more people are
talking about that as a real possibility as the fight for the democratic
nomination heats up. This weekend, a South Carolina paper called for Biden
to run and that state could be crucial because they would be the state that
would be third in line, it would be very critical for Biden`s strategy if
he does enter the race.

Meanwhile, the race for the nomination is heating up between Hillary
Clinton and Bernie Sanders with Sanders surging in the polls, closing the
gap with Clinton to 20 points. She still has a commanding lead but she
could be feeling the heat. Political reports Clinton reset her campaign in
Iowa trying to be more down to earth, approachable, that kind of candidate
both she and Sanders made the push to win over Iowa progressives over the


hardworking families so they can afford a middle class life is the defining
economic challenge of our time.


I`ve been fighting for families and under dogs my entire life and I`m not
going to stop now.


SANDERS: The American people are sick and tired with establishment
politics, with establishment economics and that is why what this campaign
is about is saying loudly and clearly it is not just about electing Bernie
Sanders for president, it is about creating a grassroots political
movement in this country.


SHARPTON: Joining me now are Christina Bellantoni of "The Los Angeles
Times" and MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter. First of all, thank you
both for being with me tonight.



SHARPTON: Jonathan, who is Clinton worried about more? Sanders or Biden?

ALTER: You know, to tell you the truth, I don`t think she is hugely
worried about either one. I think she feels like she would beat either one
of them. Her establishment support, which is important to getting the
nomination is not collapsing in light of Biden`s possible run. In other
words, the fundraisers and the key supporters are not saying oh, I`m
getting wobbly on Hilary, I might go with Joe Biden. Usually, when you get
into the race, the desire for you goes down and Biden would think would be
higher in the polls now than he is. So, I don`t think Biden is frightening
them that much.

Obviously, you know, Bernie Sanders has turned it into a contest and
leading in New Hampshire but I don`t think she feels that once they get out
into the bigger states where there more African-American and Latino voters
who strongly support her, I don`t feel they think she`ll have a problem for
the nomination but she`s going to have to earn this nomination. It`s not
going to be a coronation. A lot of people work for her, I think that`s a
good thing because it gives her some batting practice before the general

SHARPTON: Christina, what do you think? Do you think that they are
nervous? Are you finding from the Clinton folks?

BELLANTONI: Well, that`s exactly right what Jonathan is saying. I mean,
they are nervous, nobody likes to be, you know, with somebody right on your
heels in politics but they did always know that they wouldn`t just have a
walk right up into the White House in either of the primary or the general
election. You know, they didn`t take Martin O`Malley as something that was
going to be a huge threat but he was always going to run. So, nobody
thought that she was just going to go unchecked towards that nomination.
Yes. What the concern is that he`s getting a lot of interest and a lot of
momentum and Hillary Clinton`s team says that she just needs to continue
doing what she`s doing and talk to voters.

The actual language that she`s using really isn`t all that different from
what she was saying and when Jonathan and I were out there on the campaign
trail in 2007 and 2008 it`s a little different tone. Right? The fiery
rhetoric that Sanders is using to really capitalize on this group of people
that is concerning his candidacy is working. But when you look at some of
these polls and drill down into the numbers, the supporters of Bernie
Sanders are not saying they wouldn`t vote for Hillary Clinton, only eight
percent of them in a Wall Street Journal NBC News poll said that they would
never vote for Hillary Clinton and I think that`s a really important number
to keep in mind as we look at the crowds and we look forward to what is
going to happen in the Iowa caucuses.

SHARPTON: I just want to say a news flash, she didn`t win in 2007, 2008
but I notice over the weekend, Jonathan, Bernie Sanders talked a lot about
racial, closing the gap, what is going on in race and he talked about
policing. He went to national urban league convention and came to the
network commission and met with young activists or at least exchanged with
them and talked after being disturbed. Is he now going after minority
voters, something you just mentioned, a law to Hilary, is he trying to make
a dent there?

ALTER: He is. And you know, he has good claim on some minority support.
He was there with Martin Luther King at the march on Washington as a young
man. We went to that, he was part of the civil rights --

SHARPTON: But how many of them know that today?

ALTER: Well, I don`t think it`s well known. I think it`s a bit of a bum
wrap that he`s not good on these issues and it came from, you know, couple
of demonstrators from Black Lives Matter but they may have distorted the
debate, you know, they have a good cause and kind of slimed Bernie Sander a
little bit in the process.

SHARPTON: They wanted to raise issue. We all do it our way I think is a
very legitimate issue.

ALTER: Yes. I think the issue is hugely, hugely legitimate but what I`m
saying is that, you know, as terrific an organization as that is, if it
left the impression somehow Bernie Sanders was not good on these issues or
something, that would be a misimpression. But I think, you know, the
larger point was in that soundbite we just saw from Bernie Sanders where he
said yes, he`s running for president. He knows he`s not going to be
president but what he`s mostly doing is building a grassroots movement and
if that works and it seems to be on root to actually happening, that could
be very helpful in terms of energy for Hillary Clinton in a general
election campaign if you get that real movement, which hasn`t existed
particularly in off year elections.

SHARPTON: Yes, now let me go to this Christina. Let`s go to Biden for a
minute because political as reported the potential strategy for Biden, if
he enters the race, it says quote, "Biden`s strategy, the sources say would
be to focus on South Carolina while almost writing off New Hampshire where
both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have considerable footholds." Can
a sitting vice president write off New Hampshire entirely and expect to
have a shot?

BELLANTONI: You know, it`s important to say, this is not a campaign but if
a campaign were to start a campaign by saying, they would right off any
state, that is not a position of strength. Joe Biden has lost the race to
become the democratic nominee now twice, including one race where Hillary
Clinton was in it and that`s a difficult position to be in. Now sources
that I`ve talked to that are close to Biden say, he genuinely has not made
a decision and then he does have an inner circle, people that are
encouraging him to give this a really strong look. But it would be a very
uphill battle.

Nothing is impossible and certainly the Clinton folks are not taking that
for granted given the fact the Barack Obama surprised him and was able to
win the nomination in 2008 but that is not a position to say look, I`m
going to ignore one of the most important states in this country when it
comes to the nominating process and just focus on a state where I haven`t
won previously and I don`t have a huge bases of support. He`s been there
many times but to be able to up end all of the other candidates in the race
and Hillary Clinton would be very difficult.

SHARPTON: But Jonathan, political also says there is some resistance to
Biden among big democratic donors. Quote, "The donors he needs to be
viable appear to be ruling him out. They were revealing in party unity and
had little appetite for Biden to complicate the feel despite their
affection for him. They said Biden should reject the inclination to run."
If donors aren`t behind him, is this going to detour him from getting in?
I mean, could he have a viable candidacy without them?

ALTER: Well, you know, he doesn`t have to get in until the end of the
year. He has some time to see where this e-mail story is going. For
instance, there is an FBI investigation. It`s not a criminal matter as
"The New York Times" erroneously reported but you don`t know where these
FBI investigations might go and so, Biden might play for time, see where
that investigation goes and then make a determination toward the end of the

SHARPTON: Christina Bellantoni and Jonathan Alter, thank you both for your
time tonight.

ALTER: Thanks, Rev.

BELLANTONI: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, an unusual behind the scenes look into President
Obama`s meetings about his future plans.

Plus, the life and legacy of civil rights hero, my thoughts on Julian Bond.


SHARPTON: Now to President Obama beyond the presidency. So far he`s
played it close to the vets when it comes to future plans but today we`re
getting a look behind the scenes. "The New York Times" is reporting on the
high profile guest he had at the White House earlier this year where he
talked about his post 2016 plans. It was a star-studded meeting that
included our author Malcolm Gladwell, actress Eva Longoria and writer Tony
Morrison. "The Times" says, the plans involve a $1 billion presidential
library and that he`ll focus on issues of criminal justice, race relations
and foreign diplomacy. It`s a serious agenda. A far cry from the
permanent vacation President Obama joked about last year.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where do you see yourself in ten years?


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I know what I`ll do like right
after the next president is inaugurated. I`ll be on a beach somewhere,
drinking out of a coconut, but that probably won`t last too long.


SHARPTON: Nope. The relaxation won`t last long. The President has an
ambitious agenda ahead. Looking to bill on his achievements while he was
in the White House.

Joining me now is Professor Allan Lichtman, presidential historian at an
American University. Thank you for being here.


SHARPTON: The President is already raising money for his foundation, how
common is it for a president to take his post presidency plans this

LICHTMAN: You know, Barack Obama is, of course, a path breaking president
and now he`s being path breaking again in discussing his post presidential
plans in unusual depth and precision. Most presidents are usually not that
specific and open about what they are going to do when they stop zipping
around on Air Force one.

SHARPTON: Now, the President has spoken frequently about what he`s
interested in pursuing after he leaves office. Watch this.


OBAMA: I`ll go back to doing the kinds of work I was doing before. Just
trying to find ways to help people, help young people get educations and
help people get jobs. One of the things that Michelle and I talk about a
lot is we`re really interested in developing young people. And that`s what
my brother`s keeper is about and this will remain a mission for me, and for
Michelle not just the rest of my presidency but for the rest of my life.


SHARPTON: How much clout does a former president have, how much actual
clout and influence does a former president command, Professor?

LICHTMAN: Probably, as much as the former president wants, as we saw with
Jimmy Carter who may have had more cloud and more influence as an ex-
president than he did as a president. We saw the influence Bill Clinton
has had as an ex-president. And let me say this, I think it is really
important to have Barack Obama`s voice and Barack Obama`s activism after
his presidency. Look, I have to tell you as an historian, I have not seen
this kind of scapegoating of immigrants and people of color for many many
decades in this country. It`s very sad and the first African-American
president as an ex-president can really, I think, play a very important
role in getting this country back on track again and helping us to
understand what this country is all about and it`s not scapegoating people.

SHARPTON: Now, the Times also reported about the President`s visibility
once his term is up. One told "The Times" Mr. Obama respected Mr. Bush`s
decision to limit his time in public after leaving office. But also
admired Mr. Clinton`s aggressive use of the spotlight to press his agenda.
Quote, "my sense is that he is probably a blend of the two." In terms of
style, what kind of former president do you think President Obama will be
as former president?

LICHTMAN: I think he`ll be much more activist than George W. Bush. The
issues are just too important, not just race relations and bringing up
young people but let`s not forget the challenge of climate change, perhaps
humanity`s greatest challenge in many, many centuries. Obama has been a
very important voice in climate change involving diplomatic initiatives in
which he`s been deeply involved and I would hope he would become a very
important advocate for climate change as well as these other critical

SHARPTON: Professor Allan Lichtman, thank you for your time tonight.

LICHTMAN: Any time.

SHARPTON: Coming up next, over a year after his car accident, Tracy Morgan
has a big announcement about returning to comedy.


SHARPTON: Live from New York is Tracy Morgan, that`s right. The "Saturday
Night Live" in "30 Rock" will make his big return to comedy hosting SNL on
October 17th. Last year Morgan was critically injured when a Walmart
tractor trailer collided with his limo on the New Jersey turnpike. He
spent two weeks in a coma, comedian James McNair was killed in the
accident. Earlier this summer, Morgan talked to "The Today Show" about
healing and eventually getting back to work.


TRACY MORGAN, COMEDIAN: I love comedy. I love comedy. I`ll never stop
loving her. I love comedy and I can`t wait to get back to her but right
now my goal is just to heal and get better because I`m not 100 percent yet.
I`m not. And when I`m there, you`ll know it. I`ll get back to making you
laugh. I promise you.


SHARPTON: Morgan tweeted today that he`s quote, "stoked to be going home
to SNL." And Tracy, we can`t wait to laugh right along with you this fall.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, remembering a civil rights pioneer. Julian
Bond, he was one of the original leaders of the student nonviolent
coordinating committee. Bond was later chairman of the NAACP, an
integrated Georgia legislature in the modern era. He was an activist,
intellect and organizer on at the same time. He didn`t play his base, he
led his base. Bond was active well into his 70s. In 2013, he spoke at a
rally held by myself rights group, the National Action Network marking 50
years since the march on Washington.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We march for freedom from white supremacy but still we
have work to do. None of it is easy but we have never wished our way to
freedom, instead we`ve always worked our way. The successful strategies of
the modern movement were litigation, organization, mobilization and
coalition. All aimed at creating a national constituency for civil rights.


SHARPTON: That week and I was honored to stand by his side at Lincoln
Memorial. I always looked up to him as a role model. He opposed the
Vietnam War and fought for gay rights and immigrant rights. He always said
civil rights ought to be extended to everyone no matter what. Julian Bond
was 75-years-old. As I thought about him this weekend when I heard of his
passing, I thought one of the most outstanding admirable things about him,
he started a young man, a student and then became middle aged and then he
became older but he never left the movement.

As a young man, a generation or half a generation behind Dr. King, he and
John Lewis and Stokely Carmichael and Jesse Jackson, that generation tried
to push and get things done to make the older guys move faster and then
they became the older guys and people like me and Marc Morial and others
behind them started pushing and now they are younger than us. The key is
that Julian never stopped. From youth to middle age to elderly, he
understood that movements are not about what age you are, it`s that if
you`re committed, your life will fight to the end. He fought to the end.
He fought a good fight and made America better. I`m glad we have that
model in Julian Bond. May he rest in peace because he gave us a lot of
peace in life.

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


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