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PoliticsNation, Thursday, August 20th, 2015

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Date: August 20, 2015
Guest: Jesse McIntosh, Molly Ball, Eugene O`Donnell; Marq Claxton; John
Nichols; Maria Teresa Kumar

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Right now on "Politics Nation," to Trump or
not to Trump? Jeb Bush targets Donald Trump, but is he starting to sound
just like him? Wait until you hear this.

Also, a police group`s new study on justifiable shootings. And how to
reduce them.

Former president Jimmy Carter`s extraordinary strength in the face of
cancer, and food for thought for right wingers attacking the first lady`s
school lunch plan.

Welcome to "POLITICS NATION." We begin with Jeb Bush`s Donald Trump
problem. He can`t beat him and he can`t join him. Today, Jeb Bush
struggled to defend himself for using Trump-like language on immigration.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Governor, do you regret using the tern anchor
babies yesterday on the radio?

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, I didn`t. I don`t regret it.


BUSH: No. Do you have a better term?


BUSH: You give me a better term and I`ll use it. I`m serious.


BUSH: Don`t yell at me behind my ear though.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Governor, is that not bombastic language?
Anchor baby - is that not bombastic language?

BUSH: No, it isn`t. Here is the deal. What I said was it is commonly
referred to that. That`s what I said. I didn`t use it as my own language.
Do you want to get to the policy for a second? I think people born in this
country ought to be American citizens.


SHARPTON: So he can`t beat them. He joins them with his language. Then
when he gets questioned, he won`t apologize for using Trump`s favorite
phrase. But in the next breath, he slammed Trump as a phony Republican.


BUSH: There is a big difference between Donald Trump and me. I`m a proven
conservative with a record. He isn`t. I count taxes every year. He has
proposed the largest tax increase in mankind`s history, not just our own
country`s history. I have been consistently pro-life. He, until recently,
was a pro-partial birth abortion.

Look. There should be a little more focus on solving the problems and
talking about ideas that matter rather than just kind of coming in like a
tidal wave and saying things that are just outrageous and don`t make sense.


SHARPTON: One of Jeb Bush`s strongest statements yet against Trump, that
is. But we`re going after Trump back fire? After all, Trump is still the
Republican front-runner and his message is resonating. He even moved an
event in Alabama tomorrow to a 40,000 seat stadium. And we know he won`t
be afraid to go after Bush.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Do you know what is happening to
Jeb`s crowd, as you know just right down the street? They`re sleeping.
They are sleeping now.

Jeb is a low energy person. Between common core, his active, on
immigration and skin in the game with Iraq. That`s the third one that we
now added. I don`t see how he is electable.


SHARPTON: And what can Jeb Bush do? As Trump`s cover story in "Time"
magazine says today, he has to deal with it.

Joining me now on MSNBC contributor and president of Voto Latino, Maria
Teresa Kumar and John Nichols of "the Nation." Both of you, thank you very
much for being with us.



SHARPTON: I want to get to Jeb Bush`s struggle with Trump in a moment.
But Maria, why is he still defending using such an offensive phrase?

KUMAR: This is an opportunity for Jeb Bush to act presidential. To
actually step up to the plate and say we are not going to have this type of
debate and actually set the tone for the Republican Party. Instead, he is
going to the bottom of the barrel and getting down to the dirtiest of
politics and unfortunately, doing it on the backs of immigrants who work
hard every single day.

It is really been surprising, Reverend, that no one in the Republican party
has not only not called out Trump but the fact that Jeb Bush who seemed to
be the front-runner for the nomination is also not acting presidential. It
is actually - it is pretty despicable if you ask me.

SHARPTON: And he is supposedly more moderate on this issue, a little
surprising for Jeb.

KUMAR: Well, not only is it surprising, words matter. The fact that just
two days ago, a homeless Hispanic man was beaten by two thugs that
basically said that they were inspired by the words of Trump. And Trump,
instead of saying that wasn`t acceptable, he actually sounded encouraging
to them saying that people are passionate. That`s not OK. There`s not a
place in our politics for saying it is OK for people to be subhuman. And
the fact that there is not more, again, more authority, more leadership
coming out of the Republican Party saying this is not acceptable tone.
This is not where we want our party to go forth is more than disappointing
and --.

SHARPTON: All people that support me, if they were saying. They were
encouraged by him.

KUMAR: That`s right.

SHARPTON: John, let me ask you. Fourteen months from now, will Spanish
language TV ads have Jeb Bush`s comments on a loop?

NICHOLS: I suspect they will, Reverend. And you know, this is something
that Jeb Bush himself should fully understand this is inappropriate. You
know, he was asking the reporters well, give me a better word. I have a
better word, child. This is -- we`re talking about a child.

KUMAR: Or an American.

NICHOLS: Born in the United States -- and American. But I mean, if you
cannot show basic humanity toward a child, toward an American child, in a
conversation like this, yes, you`re going to have that blow back on you.
It is going to blow back on you, not just with Hispanics, not just Spanish
language television or radio, but also with a lot of Americans.

Remember, not long ago when Martin O`Malley stood up for children at the
border and was very, very blunt about it, he got a lot of positive
response, not merely from Latinos but people across the political spectrum.

SHARPTON: But isn`t that --

NICHOLS: We have to pause and remember that humanity.

SHARPTON: Isn`t that the real point, Maria - I mean, you deal -- you`re
talking about children now. You are talking about American children.

KUMAR: That`s right.

SHARPTON: American born children. Isn`t this the real impact we`re seeing
from the Trump candidacy that he pushed the envelope so to where you were
saying things that we would consider ugly and of lot of Americans are going
to watch and say, wait a minute. Who is going all the way there when we
talk about children, and you can get out there so far, dealing and reacting
and responding to Trump that you won`t get back by the time of the general

KUMAR: Well, that`s absolutely right. And instead of actually saying,
this is the person that we want on the Republican Party, just to
demonstrate they are presidential, let`s have a frank conversation. We
need to have leadership in the White House that can actually help navigate
the changing America, the changing demographics. We need someone that can
actually bring Americans together and move forward.

And what is coming out, the fact that the Republican Party, instead of
putting Trump in his place and saying this is not acceptable, they`re
actually going to the bottom of the barrel and they`re not promoting the
unified voice that most Americans actually want to see.

SHARPTON: No, John. It is like a race to the bottom of how offensive we
could be against certain segments. And then you are going to come back out
of this with anemone and you`re going to say to the American public, I want
to be the leader of the American public when you`ve offended large parts,
if not the majority, of America. How do you then sell to people? You
ought to be the leader of the free world when you have gone after the
children of some of those in that free world, the babies.

NICHOLS: It just doesn`t work, Reverend. And this is an important thing
to understand. Remember, we now have a race within the Republican party of
candidates to embrace the Trump position. And it is people like Scott
Walker and others who are literally trying to sound like them. And at the
same time, the one guy, one of the few who actually disagrees with Trump.
Remember, Bush disagrees with him, won`t effectively call him out.

SHARPTON: And now uses language, and won`t even apologize for it.

Talking about Jeb Bush though, Maria. New poll might have Jeb Bush
worried. It finds Bush losing to Trump among Republicans in Florida.
Trump has 21 percent of Florida Republicans while Bush has 17 percent.
This is where he was governor. Wasn`t Jeb Bush`s experience as a Florida
governor supposed to be a huge part of his appeal? Now he`s losing to
Trump? Is that why there`s this race all the way to imitating and using
the language of Trump while you`re supposed to be disagreeing with him?

KUMAR: I think what the biggest problem with Jeb is that he hasn`t been
able to actually come out for anything. And he`s been very soft-spoken and
what folks are looking for are thoughts and opinions. Now, are Trump`s
thoughts and opinions cohesive? And are they something that actually can
you put pen to paper in policy? Absolutely not. But at least he is
actually providing something. And the Republican Party I think is looking
for that type of authenticity that Jeb is basically not coming up to. And
that`s a big problem.

And I think what we have been talking about is actually true. I think that
is one of the reasons why Marco Rubio has been very quiet. He hasn`t been
talking about - he hasn`t been engaging Trump in any way. And I think he
is basically sitting back in the sidelines and waiting for Jeb basically to
disintegrate so that he can actually step forward as a real viable

SHARPTON: OK. But he did come out today. And what was interesting about
Rubio, John, is that his campaign later confirmed his parents were not,
weren`t U.S. citizens when he was born. Rubio weighed in on the debate
over birth right citizenship today. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: People talking about anchor babies.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, these 13 million human
beings - those are human beings. And ultimately they`re people. They`re
not just statistics. They`re human beings with stories.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Birthright citizenship, one of the things that makes
America exceptional?

RUBIO: Yes. And that`s why I`m not in favor of repealing the 14th
amendment. But what`s the flipside of that argument? There is a
legitimate issue embedded in this debate.


SHARPTON: Now, he took position that he is against the repeal. He took
position that they`re human. He himself born to two parents who were not
U.S. citizens. Wouldn`t you think, John, that he would be personally very
passionate and really confronting Trump and the others that are now with
Trump on this because he himself would be in that position if that was the
case when he was a child?

NICHOLS: Of course you would hope he would. You would hope for some sort
of consistency. And also for some sort of humanity. But this is what
Trump has done to this race. He has made people who know better, people
who honestly know better, not speak up, not take a stand, not come out in
front because they are afraid that Trump is going to then aim at them and
go after them for a week and they`ll get, you know, take some sort of hit.

One of these candidates, and maybe Rubio, he certainly didn`t do well
today. Maybe it will be governor Kasich from Ohio. But one of these
candidates is going to step up at some point and call Trump out. And you
know what I suspect is going to happen? I suspect we may, at least I hope,
that we may have an emperor has no clothes moment where we find out that
even within a very conservative Republican Party, there are an awful lot of
people who are offended when you start to talk about American children.
And when you start to talk about basic American values. The idea that
someone born in this country is an American.

When you start to rip at that, you`re ripping at the very fabric of
America. And some Republican, some conservative Republican ought to step
up and say that`s wrong.

SHARPTON: All right. I`m going to have to leave it there. Maria Teresa
Kumar and John Nichols, thank you both for your time tonight.

KUMAR: Thank you, Reverend.

NICHOLS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Trump-onomics. Wait until you hear what Donald Trump
the economist says about minimum wage.

Also ahead, former president Jimmy Carter talks for the first time about
his cancer diagnosis.


(INAUDIBLE) and I`ll be prepared for anything that comes.


SHARPTON: And a new report with guidance for police after several deadly
interactions between officers and the public.

Plus, the first lady`s school lunch program and some news that Republicans
might have trouble digesting.


SHARPTON: It`s a ground-breaking week in the U.S. army. Two female
soldiers have completed the elite army ranger training. Today, Captain
Shaye Haver and first lieutenant Kristen Griest were asked, what they would
say to other female soldiers hoping to accomplish what they did.


1ST LT. SHAYE HAVER, U.S. ARMY: To the other females who plan on coming, I
hope that they come with a strong mine. That`s what it takes to get
through here just like everyone sitting next to me here had to do to make
it to tomorrow.

CAPT. KRISTEN GRIEST, U.S. ARMY: For other women who have that same goal
in mind, just keep that goal in mind and, you know, just don`t lose sight
of it and just keep remind yourself of why you`re there and you`ll be fine.


SHARPTON: The new rangers also received personal congratulations from
defense secretary Ash Carter who called them trail blazers earlier today.


ASHTON CARTER, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY: Clearly, these two soldiers are
trail blazers. And after all, that`s what it means to be a ranger.
Rangers lead the way.


SHARPTON: Rangers Haver and Griest will officially graduate tomorrow along
with 94 of their fellow soldiers.

Congratulations to you all and thanks for your service.


SHARPTON: A groundbreaking new study examines the way we train police
officers. A report by the executive research forum suggests a training
overall. That report says policing has been shaken by the unrest in
Ferguson after the shooting death of Michael Brown. It says recent video
from high profile cases showing police involved shootings has put more
scrutiny on officers.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: It has been peaceful today. Many here say
they`re disappointed in the police department and want the officers
involved held accountable.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: The police begin shooting as Antonio
Zambrano Montes (ph) runs away. When he turns, police opened fire that
again, killing him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: An officer shot Rice no more than two
seconds after his patrol car drove up to a city park last Saturday after
they received a 911 call about someone with a gun. Rice was holding a
nonlethal pellet gun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: A few dozen demonstrators stood at this by
where Eric Garner, the married father of six accused of selling illegal
untaxed cigarettes died in a struggle with police one year ago today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can`t breathe! I can`t breathe!


SHARPTON: This new report went through how much training officers received
hour by hour. For example, the average officer gets 58 hours of firearm
training and 49 hours of training in defensive tactics. But when it comes
to de-escalation training, the number drops to just eight hours.

The report applauds the changes some departments are making. But a clear
theme jumps out. Police need to slow things down.

Joining me to talk about the report are two former New York police
officers, Marq Claxton, the director of Black Law Enforcement Alliance, and
Eugene O`Donnell, professor at John Jay College for criminal justice.
Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: I mentioned how the report says slow things down. Marq, what
does that look like in a real life situation?

CLAXTON: I think the points of the report is that they refer to things
such as tactical disengage and de-escalation as oppose to what commonly
occurs or what has been occurring more recently and that is really full
involvement, head on, you know, head and straight in by the police

I think tactical disengagement really allows or encourages police officers
to deal holistically with the situation and not have such stringent and
confining rules and regulation, such as many departments train, you know,
about this 21-foot kill zone area. And if you have an office here is
trained and that is embedded in his head and his psyche, he then believes
that under all circumstances, for example, that 21 foot is an actual kill
zone. I think the report is encouraging a more holistic and comprehensive
aspect of police training and tactics, even as it relates to the continuum
of forceful.

SHARPTON: Eugene, what stands out to you in this report?

O`DONNELL: They don`t mince words. The police trainings is not - is
broken. Cops don`t get enough hands-on training. This is well known.
What else stands out is that good ideas, sound ideas, thing like not
shooting at cars, as Marq indicates, slowing thing down, taking cover,
diagnosing situations, these best practices, in 18,000 departments take a
very slow trip from department to department. Some of them never seem to
get there.

So when you look at police academy training, a tremendous amount of it is
bureaucracy and filling out forms and civil liability. But the actual
hands on human approach that should be at the heart of policing gets short
shrift. So hopefully, that is at least one major thing we could say.

It really is distressing now that at this late stage, you have this
acknowledgment that this system has been broken and had been broken out for
so long.

SHARPTON: And it is going city by city which is why many of us are saying
we need national policy. But when we look at the report that they`re
giving several police departments that are making positive change, Kansas
City added tactical disengagement training. Los Angeles training now
includes something it calls, preservation of life training. In Leesburg,
Virginia, officers listen to seminars on bias, de-escalation and community
policing. How can these changes affect what we see on the street from
officers, Marq?

CLAXTON: Well, you know, realistically, Rev., aside from the name changes,
many of these aspects of police training have been going on for several
years, for decades. The question is whether or not there will be a real
commitment to impose or enforce these training models in police departments
across the nation. And the challenge that you have is that one department
may do it one way. Another department may do it another way. And across
the nation, you have several different tactical strategies and training
mechanisms which makes it disjoined in law enforcement, disjoined it from
coast to coast if you will.

So but what can happen in the street with organizations and agencies and
entities that really and fully commit, they can revolutionize the
interactions and the dangers between citizen civilians and law enforcement.
It will be use a significant if those departments fully commit.

SHARPTON: You know, that is why there needs to be national policy, I think
in this whole situation, Eugene. Because also get some police departments
as Marq say, they get started and a new administration comes in and stops
community policing. Under New York mayor David Dinkins was beginning to
work. Then you get a new administration. And so, we really need a lot of
the top to change policies. And it needs to be a national policy.

O`DONNELL: And we have to look. I mean, these events that have so
troubled everybody, the seeds of these events, our political failures,
that`s not addressed in the report and police leadership failures.

We have this helter skelter approach to policing. You`re in one town.
There is no enforcement. You go one town over, the police are stopping
everybody that they can get their hands on. You have unsolved crimes. You
have a lot of issues about the Cincinnati campus police patrolling the
city. You have Sandra Bland being pulled over for the most minor offense.
So I would argue, almost every one of these events, Eric Garner for lose
cigarettes. The seeds of these events, before you get to where the cops
doing is political failure. And some of the legislatures really have to
get involve here and stop rolling back some of these things that
criminalize things that put the police in direct conflict with the

SHARPTON: I think the breakthrough here though is for a group that is so
regarded by police and clearly not considered an anti-police or even left
on these issues group would begin with a breakthrough saying yes, there
needs to be de-escalation.

Marq Claxton and Eugene O`Donnell, thank you for your time tonight.

O`DONNELL: Thanks, Rev.

CLAXTON: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, Trump-onomics.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Low minimum wage is not a bad
thing for this country.


SHARPTON: It may sound ugly when Donald Trump says that. But he has a lot
of company.

Also, Michelle Obama versus the Republicans who targeted her school lunch
program, guess who comes out ahead in this food fight?


SHARPTON: The White House is cooking up some progress on healthy school
lunches and childhood obesity. First lady Michelle Obama has been leading
the charge with her let`s move and healthy eating campaigns. She even
enlisted some Dr. Seuss for some help.


meats and fish they enjoy, although some prefer tofu or milk made from soy.
They like all different foods but are careful to eat only morsels of fat
and few things that are sweet. You`re important, you are special, believe
me it`s true. No one in the world is exactly like you.


SHARPTON: But to some on the right, Michelle Obama`s healthy eating
initiative is an attack on freedom.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Taking a nanny stage to the new level,
Michelle Obama is suggesting what you should feed your children.

SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: What she is telling us is she cannot
trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own
families and what we should eat.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why was the one who raised your kids when Michelle
Obama will do it for you?


SHARPTON: All this over getting kids to eat their fruits and veggies?

But a new poll shows Americans like what Michelle Obama has on the menu.
Since the new school nutrition standards were adopted, 67 percent say
school meals are excellent or good. That`s up 26 percent in 2010. A
whopping 86 percent say the standards should stay the same or even be

Maybe the right-wingers should let those facts marinade for a bit. Did
they think we wouldn`t notice they`re just hungry for attention? Nice try.
But here`s some food for thought. We got you.


SHARPTON: It`s Trump-onomics. And it`s sweeping the GOP. Today on
"MORNING JOE" Donald Trump declared his stance on the minimum wage and it
is pure Donald Trump.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to create jobs so that
you don`t have to worry about the minimum wage. You`re doing a great job
and then making much more than the minimum wage. But I think having a low
minimum wage is not a bad thing for this country, Mika.


SHARPTON: It`s one thing opposed to -- to oppose raising the minimum wage.
But for a billionaire to openly celebrate low wages? Now that`s something.

Strip away the bombast and the other candidates sound a lot like him. Just
listen to Senator Marco Rubio telling the story of a fictional business
owner who is against the minimum wage.


Hillary Clinton and others go on about how cruel business leaders can be
with their low wages. Because he knows if the minimum wage were to jump to
$15 an hour, he would have to cut Danielle`s job entirely.


SHARPTON: Twelve of the top 15 Republicans are against raising the minimum
wage, or even having one at all. Trump might use more colorful language,
but the other GOP candidates are painting with the same brush.

Joining me now are Jess McIntosh of Emily`s List and Molly Ball, staff
writer for the "Atlantic."

Thank you both for being here.

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


SHARPTON: Jess, I`ve got to get your reaction. Donald Trump says a low
minimum wage is, quote, "not a bad thing"?

MCINTOSH: Yes. Well, it`s certainly not a bad thing for Donald Trump. I
think what`s interesting about Trump and always has been is that he has
sort of spoken the subconscious of the Republican Party. There is really
no daylight between him and the rest of the field. As you said, 12 of them
favor no minimum wage at all. They certainly don`t want to raise it.

So the idea that somebody would come out and say they`re totally fine with
a low minimum wage isn`t ideologically different in the least. The fact
is, he says it. And he says, I don`t care if Americans who make minimum
wage make low wages. I don`t care about that. And that is a callous, just
kind of heartless way to put it.

But there is no substantive difference between Trump-onomics and the
Republican Party`s economic platform that it`s had for the last, you know,
almost decade or so. I mean, you had Mitt Romney go down over the 47
percent of this country takers or takers, or Jeb Bush just say that
Americans needed to work more hours.

I mean, this is a party that doesn`t believe that we should be helping out
those of us who are not already wealthy. And Trump is absolutely no
different. He is just going to say it in a meaner way.

SHARPTON: But not withstanding that, Molly. Minimum wage is very popular,
even among Republicans. You would think that some of the other candidates,
or one of the other candidates would step up and stand up against this,
Molly. I mean, Rubio today told his story of an imaginary businessman and
almost went as far as Trump. Why isn`t someone standing up when even
Republicans polled are supportive of the minimum wage?

BALL: Well, It`s not only driven by polls. I think some of it is driven
by ideology. And as a matter of policy a lot of economists disagree with
the idea that the best way to help working people -- the best way to help
people in need is to raise the minimum wage. There are a lot of other
things -- other policies you can pursue that, you know, this is a sort of
time honored debate among economists about whether it actually has a good
effect on the economy.

So this is something a lot of Republicans subscribe to. But I think that
what Jess got at is always very real phenomenon. That a lot of Republicans
fear that the way Trump is framing a lot of these issues does hurt the
party. Does put them in a bad light with voters. Does sort of reveal
things about the Republican field or the Republican electorate that is
going to hurt them in the general election, even if Trump were to magically

SHARPTON: Now, Jess, Trump talked about how his tax plan will save the
middle class. Listen to this.


TRUMP: I want to save the middle class. But I know a lot of bad people in
this country that are making a hell of a lot of money and not paying taxes.
And the tax law is totally screwed up. The complexity of it. I want to
put H&R block out of business. If a man is making $50,000 or $30,000 or
$75,000 a year, he shouldn`t be giving a lot of money to H&R block to have
to fill in his tax return or her tax return.


SHARPTON: I mean, isn`t that standard Republican ideology, Republican
Party economics, calling for lower taxes even though Trump may say it more
colorfully, Jess?

MCINTOSH: Well, yes, and I do want to know who are the bad actors that he
knows that aren`t paying their taxes because I think on the Democratic side
of the aisle, we`re very concerned about making sure that the wealthiest 1
percent and most importantly corporations pay their fair share. Because
that`s how we`re going to alleviate the burden -- the tax burden on the
middle class and on the working class.

It seems like the Republican Party believes that there are people at the
lower end of the economic spectrum who are having a harder time feeding
their families and taking care of themselves and their families who ought
to be paying more.


MCINTOSH: And that just goes right back to that real heartless streak
within the Republican Party right now that I think actually alienates a lot
of their own base. I think most people understand that Americans are in
general very hard working and trying to take care of themselves and their
families. And it`s the billionaires and the corporations that profit at
their expense. I think Americans get that. And the Republican Party is
ignoring it to their detriment.

SHARPTON: You know, I also was looking at Paul Krugman, Molly, and he
wrote about the attacks on Social Security by Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio and
Scott Walker. Let me quote him. He says, "What`s puzzling about the
renewed Republican assault on Social Security is that it looks like bad
politics as well as bad policy. Americans love Social Security. So why
aren`t the candidates at least pretending to share that sentiment?"

I mean, can you explain this combination of bad policy and bad politics?

BALL: Well, this is a very interesting area where Trump is on the right
side of public opinion and in a place where a lot of Democrats agree with
him. The populism of Trump is so interesting because he is talking about,
as a lot of the other candidates aren`t, how it is hard when you make
$30,000 or $50,000 a year to file your taxes because it`s so darn
complicated. He is standing up and defending Social Security and Medicare
when the rest of the Republican field is all saying, we`ve got to reform
entitlements. As you know, that`s a tremendously unpopular stand, even
with Republicans.

And, you know, he`s coming out against these trade deals which a lot of
people including Republicans, when it comes to voters, are skeptical about.
So Trump is tapping into a really unorthodox mixed of political views that
isn`t the straight sort of Republican Party platform. And aside from all
of the personality things that draw people to him, I think some people
sympathize with him on issues like that.

SHARPTON: But, Jess, newsflash. Fairness was the issue of the 2012
election. And in going into 2016, it is still the issue that most American
voters are concerned about.

MCINTOSH: Yes. I think that if you`re a voter who -- Molly is absolutely
right about the unorthodox sort of glamorization of Trump`s principles.
It`s hard to -- it`s hard to call them that but let`s call them that. I do
think, though, that if you`re a voter who is motivated by economic
populism, you`re not going to go for Donald Trump.

I mean, we have an incredible contrast already between the parties, even in
primary phase, hearing what Democrats are offering in terms of correcting
income inequality and making sure that those in the middle and bottom
levels of this country are able to take care of themselves and their
families, versus what Republicans are offering which was back to that
heartless streak I was talking about.

I think if economic populism if you`re motivating, you`re not looking on
the Republican side of the aisle. And what Donald Trump is saying about
the working class and immigrants and women is going to be such a turn-off
that even if you`re like, yes, I wish my taxes were easier to file, you`re
not going to walk in and hold the lever for that guy.

SHARPTON: Yes. Jess McIntosh and Molly Ball, thank you both for your

MCINTOSH: Thanks, Rev.

BALL: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, gun violence and why the nation`s largest theater
chain is now checking bags.

But first, former president Jimmy carter speaks for the first time about
his battle with cancer.


JIMMY CARTER, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: It`s one of hope and acceptance.
Hope for the best and accept what comes.



SHARPTON: A courageous and candid admission from former president Jimmy
Carter today. The 39th president talking for the first time since he
announced that he was diagnosed with liver cancer earlier this month. This
morning, he spoke openly about how the disease has spread.


CARTER: It`s about a tenth of my liver. And they did a biopsy and found
out it was indeed cancer and it was a melanoma. And they did an MRI and
found that there were four spots of melanoma on my brain. They are very
small spots, about two millimeters, if you can envision what a millimeter
is. And I`ll get my first radiation treatment on my brain this afternoon.


SHARPTON: President Carter was in good spirits and says he feels well. He
even joked when asked if he had any regrets about his life.


CARTER: I wish I had sent one more helicopter to get the hostages. And we
would have rescued them and I would have been re-elected. But that may
have --


CARTER: And that may have interfered with the foundation of the Carter


SHARPTON: In a touching moment Carter spoke about his reaction to learning
the disease had spread.


CARTER: I just thought I had a few weeks left. But I was surprisingly at
ease. I`ve had an exciting and adventurous, gratifying existence. Now I
feel, you know, it`s in the hands of God whom I worship. And I`ll be
prepared for anything that comes.


SHARPTON: This afternoon, President Obama tweeted, "President Carter is a
good -- as good a man as they come. Michelle and I are praying for him and
Rosalynn. We`re all pulling for you, Jimmy."

Joining me now is NBC News medical contributor Natalie Azar.

Thank you for being here.

me, Al.

SHARPTON: Dr. Azar, the cancer has spread to his brain. How serious is

AZAR: Well, so basically, once the cancer has spread from the primary spot
which presumably is the skin, right? Because it`s a melanoma.


AZAR: It goes to the brain, it`s considered either a stage 3 or a stage 4
cancer. In this case, I think I believe they`ve committed to the stage 4,
which according to the American Cancer Society the five-year survival is
roughly 15 percent to 20 percent. Ten-year survival, 10 percent to 20 --
10 percent to 15 percent. So, you know, stage 4 cancer in general is a
serious condition. He is undergoing treatment. He got his first therapy
last night. A more newly -- approved melanoma drug.

SHARPTON: Now it is reported he lost his father and three siblings to
cancer. Could this be a genetic problem?

AZAR: Well, melanoma in general is definitely considered -- one of the
biggest risk factors for melanoma is a family history of melanoma so it
roughly increases someone`s chances to 50 percent when you have that.

SHARPTON: Fifty percent increase?

AZAR: Exactly. When you have a first-degree family member with melanoma.
The other risk factors of course would be blistering sunburns and also
having lots of moles. So the history of the pancreatic cancer, obviously,
yes, it would suggest that the -- that the family does have a history of --
you know, of some genetic abnormalities that would lead to cancer but the
pancreatic and melanoma aren`t necessarily related.

SHARPTON: Now he -- President Carter had his first radiation treatment
today. He will get four treatments over three months. He`ll also be given
a drug treatment and will have body scans. What are the chances that
they`ll find it spread to other areas?

AZAR: Well, from what we know so far from this morning is that he already
underwent something called a Pet CT which basically does the job of trying
to figure out whether or not the tumor has spread. And thus far the only
spots that were seen were four spots on the brain which I should add are --
were about -- were considered rather small enough that he might be able to
get very localized radiation therapy, rather than getting the whole brain
radiated so hopefully he`ll tolerate that much better.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you then quickly, in October he`ll turn 91. How does
that factor in given the treatment he`s going to have?

AZAR: Right. That`s a great question. And, you know, hopefully
oncologists generally think that the tolerability of this drug that he got,
Keytruda, is pretty good. But it can have side effects. It can have joint
pain and nausea and rash and diarrhea, you know, which are very
uncomfortable. For older people in general, tolerating something like a
chemotherapy is more difficult. But it`s not supposed to suppress the
immune system so much as other kinds. So, you know, in that case, it`s a
little bit more favorable, but yes, of course, advanced age makes
tolerating chemotherapy a little bit dicier.

SHARPTON: Well, we certainly are praying for him.

AZAR: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: President Jimmy Carter.

Dr. Natalie Azar, thank you so much for your time tonight.

AZAR: Thanks, Al.

SHARPTON: Ahead gun violence in America and why the nation`s largest movie
theater chain is now checking bags before admission.


SHARPTON: Now to a pioneer in politics. Congressman Louis Stokes who died
this week at the age of 90. Louis Stokes was the first African-American
member of Congress from Ohio, serving 15 consecutive terms. He headed the
House Select Committee on Assassinations then investigated the killings of
John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He also helped found the
Congressional Black Caucus.

But Stokes never forgot his beginnings. He was the great grandson of a
slave and he grew up in poverty. He served in the army during World War II
in a segregated unit. After law school he argued against Ohio`s stop and
frisk law. That was in 1968, almost 50 years before it became a national

It was a family affair also. His brother Carl became mayor of Cleveland,
the first black elected mayor of a major U.S. city. And Stokes, of course,
lived to see the first black president a few years ago. He talked about a
special moment they shared.


REP. LOUIS STOKES (D), OHIO: So I turned around and Barack Obama got up
from his seat. And he came up, and the two of us hugged one another. And
then as we broke from the hug and I reached out my hand and we shook hands
and I said -- he said, I`m here because of you and your brother.


SHARPTON: Congressman Louis Stokes has passed away. But his legacy lives

We also learned late last night, longtime Chicago activist Lois McKey
passed, who mentored me, her son Dwight and many others. May both of them
rest in peace and their legacies live on.


SHARPTON: Finally, gun violence in America and the news about America`s
big screens. The country`s largest theater chain, Regal Cinemas, has
announced it will now search bags at the entrance to every theater. The
decision comes after a summer that saw two unrelated theater attacks
involving guns.

It`s a reminder of a sad reality. We`ve seen far too many instances of

This week in Ferguson, a 9-year-old girl was fatally shot while sitting on
her bed doing her homework. This week in Baltimore, the 211th homicide was
recorded, already matching last year`s total.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: More violence in Baltimore.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How many have lost a loved one to violence? Raise your

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Most of us, if not all of us here. I mean, we have
trouble sleeping at night knowing that almost daily, we`re hearing about
our relatives, our friends, our family members being murdered.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do we have? Over 200 homicides? It`s crazy.
I`m starting --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can`t keep going like this because we`re -- what is
it? Genocide? That`s what I`m getting right now.


SHARPTON: You should be able to sit in a movie theater without worrying
about being shot. And a 9-year-old girl should be able to do her homework
in her room without fearing for her life.

There is a problem in this country. Tougher gun laws won`t stop every
shooting. But we can`t sit back and do nothing. Whatever every step
toward stopping this madness is, we need to take those steps. We can`t
wait on one answer that solves it all. We must take every step that leads
to that solution. And by dealing with guns and by dealing with limiting
them, and by making people know that it is not all right, and not be
comfortable walking in theaters, feeling they will not be checked, if that
will start and save any lives, let`s move forward.

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


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