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PoliticsNation, Tuesday, Septembr 1st, 2015

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Date: September 1, 2015
Guest: Paul Henderson, Aisha Moodie-Mills, Sonia Manzano, Dan Moran;
Eugene O`Donnell; Marq Claxton; Cornell Belcher; Jonathan Alter

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Right now on "Politics Nation," the manhunt
for three alleged killers accused of gunning down an Illinois police

Also Jeb Bush hits Trump and Trump hits back as only the Donald can. You
got to see what he said.

A dramatic showdown over marriage equality.

And Maria from "Sesame Street" stops by to talk about teaching kids and
breaking down barriers.

We start tonight with breaking news. The massive manhunt for three
suspects in Illinois tied to the deadly shooting of a police officer. It`s
unfolding north of Chicago in a town called Fox Lake. Officials there just
released the name of the officer killed, Joseph Gliniewicz.


family member, I lost a dear friend. Our community is having a difficult
tile. The coming days will be even more difficult to remember him as a
police officer, a father and a member of our community. Many residents in
here knew him as G.I. Joe. And remember him as someone deeply committed to
Fox Lake, to the profession and his fellow officers.


SHARPTON: Police say Gliniewicz was chasing three suspects and called for
backup. Here`s the call that went out to his fellow officers.


DISPATCHER: Officer safety, man with a gun. 128 honing in Fox Lake,
wanted subjects are a male white and male black who fled from scene taking
the officer`s side arm and pepper spray. Shots were fired.


SHARPTON: But when help arrived they found Gliniewicz had been shot and
killed. Today, investigators also released a call for help from the
officers on the scene.


OFFICER: I`m here with Lieutenant Schimler. Send everybody you possibly
can. Officer is down.


SHARPTON: Late today parents were allowed to pick up their kids from
schools that had been locked down for hours.

MSNBC`s Adam Reiss is reporting live from the scene at Fox Lake.

Adam, what does this search look like right now?

ADAM REISS, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Reverend, good evening.

Right now we`re seeing choppers in the air. At one point there were four
choppers in the air about an hour ago. We`re seeing members of all kinds
of law enforcement agencies on the ground. Local, state and federal, right
on this main road here.

Typically, you might see a search of cars, but we haven`t seen that. We
have searched around the area. We haven`t seen a car-to-car search. There
is also k-9 units all around the area. This is a bit of a rural area. We
are between Chicago and Milwaukee. We are about an hour north of Chicago.
So there are k-9s out.

These three guys are arm and dangerous. So they`re using all types of
resources. A number of different law enforcement agencies just to recap,
to bring the audience up to date, it was around 8:00 a.m. this morning. So
we`re now ten hours into this massive manhunt.

Officer Gliniewicz was on a regular routine patrol. He saw something
suspicious, three men. He decided to pursue it. He radioed in to dispatch
and then that`s when they lost contact. When they finally did find him in
a marshy area, he had been shot and he was missing his gun and his gun
belt. He had lost some of his gear.

So the massive manhunt has been going on for about ten hours now, Reverend.
And they`re using all resources at their disposal to find these three guys
before night fall comes.

SHARPTON: Adam Reiss, thank you for your reporting tonight.

I want to turn now to former NYPD officers Marq Claxton and Eugene
O`Donnell and to Dan Moran from the Chicago Tribune who joins us by phone.
Thank you all for being here.


SHARPTON: Dan, how are people in the area reacting to this massive
manhunt? Do they seem nervous? Give me the mood of the people there.

DAN MORAN, CHICAGO TRIBUNE (on the phone): This is a very tense day in Fox
Lake is a community of about 10,000 people. It`s really more of a suburb
of Chicago. It`s at the end of one of the train lines that goes directly
to downtown Chicago. Those trains have been delayed today. The schools
were on hard lockdown. Just gridlock right now in downtown Fox Lake.
People trying to pick up their kids.

I live about 10, 12 miles away. My kids were on a soft lockdown, all the
schools around Lake County, and my kids are on their way home right now.
But there was just people lining -- route 12 is kind of a (INAUDIBLE)
highway through Lake County. As you are coming into Fox Lake, it becomes
the business district and it slows down. That`s where the shooting took

SHARPTON: In the business district is where the shooting took place?

MORAN: Right. It`s a four-lane road, kind of slows down. Today you had
people ling the business district just kind of taking in the scene. There
was a woman carrying a sign saying blue lives matter. Trying to find out
that her son was one of the local high school explorer posts who worked
with that officer. Just a lot of emotion, very tiny community.

One thing I just wanted to add is that Lake County straight north of
Chicago, you know, very big mix of -- Reverend, you covered a story years
ago, you were in North Chicago.


The north Chicago Waukegan area to give your speech. So you know there are
cities along the shoreline and they`re very well populated and very much
American cities. You get out to the western part of the county, it`s a lot
quieter, but we did have the last shooting of officers that we had that we
can recall was 1991. And those officers, they did pull through. But that
was also farther south in the lake area. This just doesn`t happen very
often. And just a very sad day, very tense day for everyone involved.

SHARPTON: No, it`s horrific. And this officer didn`t pull through. It`s

You know, Marq, we don`t have much information about the suspects. How
does the unknown affect how police search in these situations?

tremendous impact on the ongoing investigation and, in this case, the
manhunt, you know, as it moves forward. I mean, the unknown is what
requires additional resources and manpower and technology and you throw
everything out there.

Let`s be clear about something. This is really a clear example of the
inherent danger in police work. And I think most people understand and
respect that. And it`s often been said you can never really pay a police
officer, a professional police officer what he deserves because, you know,
there are times when, unfortunately -- and it`s like this scenario
displays, there are times when the police officer will make the ultimate
sacrifice in defense of a community or individuals such as themselves.

So I think the community, the community of police officers, law enforcement
and larger community are all really shell shocked at this point and clearly
disturbed and really looking for just in this particular case, I`m sure.

SHARPTON: Now, Eugene, the search is near water and a major city. There
are a lot of options to run. How do police cover all their bases?

easily. It has to be done with a lot of different agencies involved and
coordination is a big issue and clearly the terrain is a big challenge.
And it is not just the manhunt that`s really important to say that it`s
ultimately going to be identifying these guys individually. You have to
make three criminal cases for murder. And that has to be pinned down also
and can`t be overlooked. And you also have to anticipate there may be
defenses that they put -- juxtapose, put in the middle of the case like
self-defense, like there`s some other motive for this.

So the police in addition to the immediate need to get these people to
secure the community, bring these people to justice, they`re thinking how
do we secure the evidence, do we need search warrants, are there other
people involved? And ultimately, 18 months from now, whenever this case
ends up in front of a jury, how do we assemble a case that will
definitively and categorically pinpoint each of these individuals and also
defeat the possibility of an illegitimate claim as some sort of
justification on the part of these defenders.

SHARPTON: Marq, the officer`s gun and pepper spray was taken. How are
officers preparing for the weapons, the suspects may have with them?

CLAXTON: Well, first off, the responding officers and the subsequent
officers involved in this manhunt, if you will, clear, that obviously are
just based on the fact that there`s a missing firearm and pepper spray or
some other equipment that`s missing that there was a struggle. So you have
individuals who are at this point repairs and more than willing to engage
in a struggle and even use deadly physical force.

So you can approach this situation and deal with and address and approach
those individuals with that understanding. You have to, of course,
maintain, you know, and establish clear tactical guidelines. You have to
remind everyone even in the midst of the emotional trauma and it is very
emotional out there for those individuals who involved and engaged, you
know, in this investigation. They have to maintain their tactics. They
have to be aware of the obvious threat because we want to avoid any
additional tragedies. We want to bring this individual to justice and want
to prepare this case, as Eugene said, we want to make sure we have a rock
solid case to provide no out for individuals who would murder a police

SHARPTON: Now, Eugene, we`re getting close to dark. How do police
continue their search through the night?

O`DONNELL: There will be a lot of command posts. There will be a lot of
integration of the different units. They`re trying to establish a
perimeter where can these guys reasonably have gotten to? And they have
technologies, of course, to help them work at night. But night is not
ideal among other reasons that you can encounter one or more of these
people that are armed. And there are issues about how if you locate them,
how you approach them. It is could be the most dangerous part of this is
the final approach. So those are the kinds of things.

Firearms, discipline has to be maintained so that officers don`t
unnecessarily shoot any of these people or shoot each other. One thing
that law enforcement will try to do hopefully is open up a communication to
the families of these people that these guys should surrender. This is the
option. The police union just said this. Enough blood has been shed here.
Let these guys come now and surrender and face justice in a court of law.
That will be ideal.

And law enforcement should encourage the family members and friends of
these individuals if they know who they are to do everything they can to
get these guys to surrender and to go before the bar of justice.

SHARPTON: Certainly, we give our condolences and prayers to the family of
this officer. And we encourage people to come forward if they know
anything and certainly to come forward if they are in possession of any

There is nothing more horrific and despicable than to keep seeing these
daily shootings and killings and police officers that are there for all of
us. Don`t let people demagogue you. Those of us that question police
procedures and behavior want to see police reform. We do not in any way,
shape or form identify with this vicious inhuman act. It is the exact
opposite of a society we all are trying to build.

Marq Claxton, Eugene O`Donnell and Dan Moran, thank you for your time

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rev.

CLAXTON: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, Jeb Bush hits back after weeks of being Donald
Trump`s punching bag.

Plus what`s next for the county clerk trying to defy the Supreme Court over
gay marriage?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you not issuing marriage licenses today?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why? Under what authority?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Under God`s authority.


SHARPTON: And why fans of actor Edris Elba are furious over comments why
he shouldn`t play James Bond.


SHARPTON: After weeks of getting slammed by Donald Trump, Jeb Bush is
finally punching back. And it could signal a big change in the fight for
the GOP nomination. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Jeb Bush has a new message for Donald Trump. Enough is enough.
After weeks of Trump attacking him on the campaign trail, Bush is finally
hitting back. Starting with this video.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`ve been living in the city of
Manhattan all my life. OK? So, you know, my views are little bit
different than if I lived in Iowa.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Partial-birth abortion?

TRUMP: I`m very pro-choice. Hillary Clinton I think is a terrific woman.
You`d be shocked if I said that in many cases I probably identify more as a


SHARPTON: Bush followed that up with his strongest public statement yet
against Trump While speaking to reporters in Spanish today in Miami.




SHARPTON: Sounds like Donald Trump might be getting under Bush`s skin.
And Trump has already responded tweeting quote "yet another weak hit by a
candidate with a failing campaign. Will Jeb sink as low in the polls as
others who have gone after me?" Later he posted this video.


BUSH: Do you recognize the commitment of someone who has devoted her life
to public service. I want to say thank you to both secretary Clinton and
to President Clinton.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What does that make Hillary Clinton to
the Bush family?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My sister-in-law.


SHARPTON: Joining me now are Jonathan Alter and Cornell Belcher. Thank
you for being here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nice to be here, Rev.

SHARPTON: Jonathan, Jeb Bush looked visibly irritated with Trump today.
Do you think Trump`s attacks are getting to him?

JONATHAN ALTER, THE DAILY BEAST: Well, I think it was authentic
irritation. That`s what we like to see in politics is when people are
authentic. And I think he`s decided that, even though you`re never
supposed to get into a pissing match with a skunk, he doesn`t have any
choice. He has to try to take Trump down even though the beneficiary will
likely be other candidates.

SHARPTON: Well, Cornell, just for the record, that was Jonathan referring
to a skunk, not me, when the right wing starts their blogging.


Bush, Cornell, is going after Trump`s record saying he`s not a real
conservative, but will Trump supporters even care?

CORNELL BELCHER, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: I think they won`t. I mean, when
you look at the new poll of Iowa caucus goers and 41 percent of them said
they`re not looking for a candidate who`s actually detailed on the policy
or only 41 percent are looking for a candidate that`s detailed on the
policy, the vast majority are not.

But I got to say this, Rev., it is in sports they say this is why we play
the game, you know. You go back two months ago and on paper, there was no
way Donald Trump was going to be leading the pack. Certainly no way that
you were going to get the establishment favorite like Jeb Bush taking,
spending the time and effort to actually attack Trump.

It means something in politics when you have the establishment, the
supposed front-runner now attacking someone who is the actual front-runner
when they had planned to ignore him for the most part. He`s made them pay
attention right now.

And I got to be like Jonathan on this. When you look at the Iowa poll, the
other thing interesting about the Iowa poll is that, you know, a majority
of them, two-thirds were looking for someone outside of politics. So I`m
not so sure that Jeb Bush is going to, in fact, benefit by taking on Trump
if he knocks Trump down a couple points. I`ve got a feeling those points
will go to someone else, not Bush.

SHARPTON: Now Jonathan, you know, Bush made a real point to separate
himself today from Trump on immigration. Listen to this.


BUSH: I think birthright citizenship is embedded in the 14th amendment. I
don`t think we`re going to round up 11 million people and put them in camps
to deport them, breaking up families. I`m for a rational approach to


SHARPTON: Now, it may be more rational, Jonathan, and practical, but does
the right care?

ALTER: I don`t think the right does particularly care, but the thing is
Jeb Bush wants to be president, not just the Republican nominee. And I
think he understands that if he doesn`t reach out to Latinos -- that`s why
you saw him speaking in Spanish -- he has no chance of being president.

If the Republican candidate doesn`t get 35, 40, even 45 percent of the
vote, of the Latino vote, he or she cannot be elected president. So Bush
is trying to play a longer game here and start to try to repair some of the
damage that`s been done to the relationship between Latinos and the
Republican Party.

It`s a bit of a long shot at this point because Trump has been so effective
in riling up the base, riling up the kind of ugly wing of the GOP that for
-- you know, for Bush to fight back does look a little bit, as Trump says,
a little low energy because he`s not, you know, playing at the same decibel
level as Trump is.

SHARPTON: But Cornell, in order to win for president, you first have to
win the nomination. And the problem I think is that he`s getting beyond
the nomination process playing to a general election base. And you know,
you`re the pollster and the strategist, you will not be in the big game if
you do not win the nomination. And you don`t need 35 percent of African-
American, Latinos or anyone to win the nomination.

BELCHER: No. It is really interesting --

SHARPTON: Not the Republican nomination.

BELCHER: No, it`s really interesting, the long game, I agree with
Jonathan, the long game that Jeb is playing here because I would argue that
it`s hurting him in the Republican primary.

Look, think about what you just saw. You saw Jeb speaking Spanish. There
is a big, you know, English-only movement that is based in the Republican
Party. So every time you see Jeb doing things like that that probably help
-- that will ultimately help the Republicans in the general election, it
undermines him in the base of the Republican Party. He is stuck between a
rock and a hard place right now.

SHARPTON: You know, Jonathan, for Trump it seems like it`s getting
personal. You know --

BELCHER: Getting personal?

SHARPTON: -- told "the Washington Post," quote, "he`s very smart, he`s
driven and he has two goals -- one to be elected president and two to have
Jeb not be president." If Trump goes down, will he try to take Jeb Bush
with him, you think, Jonathan?

ALTER: No question about it, you know. Which is why I believe that John
Kasich, even though most people have never heard of him, is the favorite to
be the Republican nominee and would be a strong competitor to Hillary
Clinton or another Democrat in the general election. Because often what
happens, Rev., in these campaigns is if the person who tries to take down
the front-runner ends up hurting themselves, too, especially if they
succeed in taking down the front-runner, then the front-runner is angry
about it, goes after them. Meanwhile, somebody from back of the pack comes
up. And right now it looks like, you know, that`s a Ben Carson or Carly
Fiorina, they`re the beneficiary of many of the voters who are peeling off
of Trump.

But when they get out into these big states where there are more mainstream
Republicans voting in the primaries next year, states like Ohio, where
Kasich is from or Pennsylvania or Illinois, those states have more
mainstream Republicans. They`re more likely to vote for a mainstream guy
and that`s more likely to be Kasich rather than Jeb Bush.

SHARPTON: He says Kasich. What do you say, who do you think could be the
one that could break through the middle, Cornell, and in the middle of all
this fray, try to make a dash for the front of the line?

BELCHER: Well, I think I`m going to - Jonathan make awful lot of sense.
But I`m going use a saying one of my old mentors say, you`re making too
much sense.

ALTER: That`s true.

SHARPTON: You do have a base in the Republican Party that is angry beyond
reason about a number of things. And you see mainstream Republican
candidates and they can`t anyone but the mainstream Republican candidates.
Kasich -- look, I`m a Democrat, Kasich would probably be as strong a
general election candidate as you possibly can get. But can he win the
Republican primary right now?

ALTER: Maybe not, maybe not.

BELCHER: That`s the question.

ALTER: I think that`s a very good question.

SHARPTON: That is going to be the question that we`re going to be

Jonathan Alter, Cornell Belcher, thank you both for your time tonight.

BELCHER: Thank you.

ALTER: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Ahead, controversy in Kentucky. A Kentucky clerk - a county
clerk there refused to issue a same-sex marriage license defying the
Supreme Court.

Plus the GOP reads Hillary Clinton`s emails searching for a smoking gun.
And winds up in tonight`s got you.


SHARPTON: Republicans are desperately hoping the controversy over Hillary
Clinton`s emails will be enough to bring down her campaign. It`s just
about all they talk about.


continue to insult Americans` intelligence by these falsehoods and these
lies that she tells on a regular basis?

BUSH: Secretary Clinton should just be transparent about this. If she did
nothing wrong, just give out the information, for crying out loud. Don`t
do the drip, drip thing.

risk, national security at risk, it`s put your families at risk.


SHARPTON: So what`s in the latest batch of emails released by the state
department? In 2010 secretary Clinton wanted to know what time the TV
shows "Parks and Recreation" and "the Good Wife" aired. Another time she
asked about the status of gefilte fish. And once she got an alert when her
new ipad arrived.

These aren`t explosive secrets. These are plain old emails. Did
Republicans think we wouldn`t notice their bombshells would turn out to be
duds? Nice try. But we got you.


SHARPTON: Now, to the fight in Kentucky over same-sex marriage. A county
clerk, Kim Davis, has been ordered to a federal hearing on Thursday after
refusing to issue gay marriage licenses. It defies the Supreme Court
ruling legalizing gay marriages. Now, Davis could be held in contempt.
Today she cited her religious beliefs. Quote, "To issue a marriage license
which conflicts with God`s definition of marriage with my name affixed to
the certificate would violate my conscience." It is not a light issue for
me. It is a heaven or hell decision. This morning, it all boiled over
when several same-sex couples attempted yet again to obtain marriage
licenses. Davis said she was acting under, quote, "God`s authority."


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Supreme Court denies your stay.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are not issuing any licenses today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Based on what? Why are you not issuing marriage
licenses today?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Under what authority are you not?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Under God`s authority.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t think God tell you to do this. Did God tell
you to treat us like this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`ve asked you all to leave. You`re interrupting --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can call the police if you want us to leave.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m asking you to leave.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m not leaving.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You all are welcome to stay, just back away from the


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just push back from the counter.


SHARPTON: The couple shown arguing with Davis in the clip says this is


DAVID ERMOLD, DENIED MARRIAGE LICENSE: We can go to another county and get
a license, we can do that. We can`t go to another county and solve the
discrimination problem that`s going on in our courthouse here. So, this
needs to happen here and this needs to end here.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is veteran prosecutor Paul Henderson and Aisha
Moodie-Mills, president and CEO of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and
Institute. Thank you both for being here.

PAUL HENDERSON, VETERAN PROSECUTOR: Thanks for having me, Reverend.

Glad to be here.

SHARPTON: Paul, the clerk now has a hearing on Thursday morning and could
face charges on civil contempt. When does a claim to be acting under God`s
authority fit in?

HENDERSON: It doesn`t fit in at all. It is no defense. The court has
already evaluated all of her arguments and ruled. There is a separation of
church and state, and she does not own the right to assert her authority by
interpreting what she believes to be what God`s will is. What I think is
really interesting on this is she`s asserting trying to fight for
traditional marriages, and this is her third or fourth marriage herself.
So this has already been determined as wrong by the court and now she is
facing legal issues because of her decisions, because of her actions and
because of her ignorance. So that`s exactly why she`s being called right
back into the court, and she`s going to be on the wrong side of history and
the law very soon.

SHARPTON: Aisha, we just played a video of that heated confrontation in
the clerk`s office. Are you surprised we`re seeing something like this

MOODIE-MILLS: No, I`m not surprised at all. So here`s the thing, Rev, if
you look at history, you look at Supreme Court rulings, no Supreme Court
ruling has ever truly set a community free, quote, unquote, nor has a
Supreme Court ruling stomped out the ignorance and the hate and the vitriol
that is leading this woman to deny someone their basic rights of being able
to have a marriage license. And so, I`m not surprised that we`re seeing
this at all. What we do know to be true, and Paul is right, is that she`s
the one who is breaking the law at this point in time.

And so I think that the licenses will be issued in short order. But what
this reminds us is that this is about the politics, and this is where
politics are really, really, really critical. This woman won her election
to have this office by 23 votes in the primary. Twenty three. So I would
love it if we`re able to run an LGBT candidate against her to get rid of
her because she is completely disserving the community and the office that
she holds and that she was elected to. And the only way to get rid of her
is if we get people out to the polls to vote her out.

SHARPTON: Paul, you know, her attorney, the clerk`s attorney says there`s
an easy fix to this issue. Here`s what he told NBC News today.


MATT STAVER, KIM DAVIS` ATTORNEY: The governor could issue an executive
order right away and remove the clerk`s names from these licenses. The
legislature could also -- and I think there are some that are willing to do
this -- centralize everything in the state capital so that the clerks are
not even involved in these issues. There`s no need to have this tension
that takes place here. Kim is only asking for her rights of conscience to
be accommodated.


SHARPTON: I mean, would this be a legitimate way to address the
controversy, Paul?

HENDERSON: Absolutely not. And that`s exactly why she`s facing contempt
charges right now in the federal court and then even beyond those charges
there`s a number of different things that are being evaluated in this
situation beyond what her attorney is suggesting that he wants people to do
based on her misconduct. So, we have charges that are being evaluated at
the attorney general`s office about her misconduct that actually a
misdemeanor that carries beyond just a fine, actual custody time.

And this is actually the reason why she can`t just be outright fired or
removed immediately because she is an elected official. One of the things
that I think is really interesting in this case are the civil suits that
have been filed against her because what she`s going to try and use as a
defense is that she is acting in her role as an elected official so she`s
immune, but because she`s acting outside of the scope of a court order and
her duties, she may not be immune. And I don`t think that she will be a
good symbol for the conservative cause or the traditional marriage cause --

SHARPTON: Well, talking about the symbol issue, you know, some GOP
presidential contenders actually encourage clerks not issue marriage
licenses if they don`t want to. Watch this.


MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If they have a conscientious
objection, I think they should be excused. I`m not sure that every
governor and every attorney general should just say, well, it`s the law of
the land because there`s no enabling legislation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think they should be allowed to opt out of
issuing licenses?

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, absolutely. Ours is a
country that was built by men and women fleeing religious oppression.


SHARPTON: I mean, will we see more clerks refusing to grant licenses
issue, to same-sex couples?

MOODIE-MILLS: I don`t think that we`re going to see any more clerks who
are doing this. I mean, look, every time someone has used religious
objection to violate someone else`s constitutional right to push their own
religion off on others as if that was acceptable, we`ve seen that been shot
down by the courts, and it`s just not something that`s going to persist.
It`s never persisted in this country. So no, I don`t think we`re going to
see more of this. But I do want to highlight the irony of this
conversation getting into the politics of it. This woman ran as a
democrat. She ran as a democrat.

And so, you see her aligning with these republican, quote, unquote, ideals
which just shows us that some of this rhetoric is really outside of a
partisan scope. I think that it is the minority of voices in America who
believe in the values that she believes in and believes that religion and
Christianity is about hate and about excluding people. And so I`m excited
to see that her political philosophy is actually going to become and is
becoming the minority.

SHARPTON: Yes. Well, let me say this. I have been a preacher all my
life, and I believe deep down in my heart what I preach. But I also do not
believe I have the right to impose my belief on others. We live in a
democracy not a theocracy. I believe people should exercise their
conscience. I`ve done it. I`ve been arrested for it in civil rights
demonstrations. Done 90 days in jail, 30 days in jail because of what I
believe. But I do not believe you can take a public office and decide that
God told you something and you defy the law. It is despicable to be
demagogic when you`re dealing with people`s rights even if they`re contrary
to your belief. People have the right to disagree with our belief. And
you can`t fight for anyone`s civil rights unless you`re going to fight for
everyone`s civil rights.

Paul Henderson and Aisha Moodie-Mills. Thank you both for your time

MOODIE-MILLS: Thank you, Rev.

HENDERSON: Thanks so much for having us, Rev.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, President Obama`s Alaskan adventure. What he`s
doing to push his message on climate change.

And after 44 years on the famous children`s show, Maria Moves from "Sesame
Street" to retirement.


SHARPTON: It`s the question millions of kids have asked for more than 45
years. How to get to Sesame Street. One of the most familiar faces on the
street for much of that time is Maria. Played by actress Sonia Manzano.
She got to "Sesame Street" when she was just 21-years-old.


SONIA MANZANO, AS MARIA, "SESAME STREET": Well, who are the people in your
neighborhood, the people that you meet each day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Say, I got a riddle for you. What has four wheels and

MANZANO: Oh, I know that old joke. What has four wheels and flies is a
garbage truck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s right. But what else has four wheels and flies?

MANZANO: I don`t know. What else?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Me, I`m an airport pilot. I fly planes.

MANZANO: But you don`t have four wheels.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, I just said that to make it hard.


SHARPTON: One of the first Latinas to appear on national TV, Manzano was a
role model for millions of kids who saw her as someone who looked like
them. And understood their culture.


Hello not good-bye, why everywhere you go, the girls say hola, they boys
say hola because hola means hello.


SHARPTON: She taught kids the importance of reading and writing, but she
also helped teach kids the importance of friendship and love.


MANZANO: Grover, you forgot something.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What? Something else?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s that? Oh, it can kiss. Oh, Maria.


SHARPTON: Recently Sonia Manzano announced she was retiring from "Sesame
Street." Now, she`s written a book about her childhood and growing up.

Joining me now is Sonia Manzano, author of "Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos
in the South Bronx." And the actress perhaps best known and loved by
millions as Maria on "Sesame Street." Thank you so much for being here.

MANZANO: Oh, sure.

SHARPTON: I`m a big fan.

MANZANO: Thank you, thank you.

SHARPTON: Now, we`ll talk about the book in a minute. I really do want to
talk about it, but I have to ask you about your time on "Sesame Street."
You recently announced that after 44 years you are retiring and won`t
return to the show in the fall. Why did you choose to do this now?

MANZANO: Well, I had been thinking about it for several years. We started
shooting 160 shows a season, and now we`re down to 23. And the cast got
bigger. So as the cast and Muppets got bigger, less shows were being
produced. I had all of this creative energy, and I needed someplace to put
it. And I decided to put it into writing.

SHARPTON: You were one of the first Latina actresses to be on television
every day.


SHARPTON: What did it mean to you to be such a groundbreaker in that

MANZANO: Well, it`s been remarkable. I was born in the `50s and raised in
the South Bronx. And at that time, there were no people of color on
television. There were no Asian people, there were no Native American
people. So, I would spend my day watching television wondering what part
of society I was going to fit into, what part I was going to play in a
society that didn`t see me. I was really invisible. So, when I saw Susan
and Gordon on "Sesame Street" in `69, I flipped. There was this beautiful
African-American couple talking to me from a street that looked very much
like a lot of the neighborhoods that I lived in. So, I think that I kind
of grew up to be what I needed to see myself when I was a kid growing up in
the Bronx and not seeing any people of color on television.

SHARPTON: "Sesame Street" transformed the way Americans saw one another.
You said one of the show`s missions in the early days, in addition to
educating underprivileged children, was to end racism. How big of an
impact do you think it had?

MANZANO: Well, not as much as we had hoped, obviously.


MANZANO: We thought that we were going to close the education gap, and end
racism. It reflected the times. It was 1969. It was an idealistic time.
Even President Johnson was going to create the great society.

SHARPTON: Right. War on poverty.

MANZANO: War on poverty, all that kind of stuff.


MANZANO: So, you know, we thought we were going to kind of eradicate
everything. And when you`re young, you think you can fix everything.

SHARPTON: I want to play you a clip from one of your favorite moments from
the show. Listen to this.



MANZANO: It`s not easy being green. Having to live each day the color of
the beans when I think it would be so much easier being red or yellow or
gold or something much more colorful like that.


SHARPTON: Why is this one of your favorite clips from your 44 years on the

MANZANO: Oh, my gosh, I`m getting emotional just seeing it here in your
studio. This is a time when children`s television could be more nuanced
and that could imply a lot of things. It wasn`t data driven. When I
walked into the studio and there`s Lena Horne singing, "It`s Not Easy Being
Green," I`m thinking, is she singing about what I think she`s singing
about? And well, it all depends how you look at it, who you were and how
old you were. So, that was really a moving moment for me. And I was most
proud to be part of the show then.

SHARPTON: Let`s talk about the book. You talk very honestly and openly
about your childhood including stories about your father`s alcoholism and
physical abuse. What moved you to write this now?

MANZANO: Well, I think that when you get older, you want to reflect on
what your life was. And the art of writing allows you, as I`m sure you
know, when you write, to put things outside of you so you can analyze them
and look at them and look at them from different perspectives. Maybe
understand my family more and the dreadful situation and poverty that they
came from, to make them act in such an inappropriate manner. So, I guess
it gives you a little perspective when you write, I guess a lot of
perspective. There`s got to be something good about getting older, and
that`s I think one of the things that`s good about it.

SHARPTON: Well, I think it gives you a different view. You look at life


SHARPTON: And you want to help others.


SHARPTON: It`s a great book.

MANZANO: Thank you.

SHARPTON: You share a lot of things that really, really are touching. And
I guess it takes time and security in yourself to embrace yourself --


SHARPTON: -- to be able to say things that you just don`t say when you`re

MANZANO: No. And you`re so angry when you`re young about it, you know.

SHARPTON: You`re angry and you don`t know if you want to put all that out
there, but if you survive a lot of things you say, hey, I got through it.
I can tell it all.

MANZANO: Right, right.

SHARPTON: Sonia, I really appreciate you coming.

MANZANO: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Sonia Manzano. Thank you for your time tonight. Again, the
book is called "Becoming Maria, Love and Chaos in the South Bronx." A must

Still ahead, President Obama is literally going where no other president
has gone.

But first, Idris Elba as James Bond? Wait until you hear what the author
of the latest 007 book is saying about the actor that is blowing up on the


SHARPTON: Will Actor Idris Elba will be the next James Bonds? Fans have
been pushing for the London-born star to get the role for several years
now. But today a new development. The author for the next James Bonds
book, Anthony Horowitz, has said, Elba, is, quote, "too street to play the
role." The backlash was immediate. An unhappy fans blew up the internet
with their displeasure. Today, Horowitz issued an apology via Twitter
saying, quote, "I`m really sorry my comments about Idris Elba have caused
offense. It was a poor choice of words. I`m mortified to have caused
offense." I`m happy Horowitz apologized. It was the right thing to do.
We must continue to move past this sort of race-based rhetoric in
Hollywood. Elba has yet to respond to this latest news, but in the past he
said it would be an honor to play James Bond. As for my two cents, I think
he`d be a perfect fit.


SHARPTON: Finally, President Obama climbs into history with his three-day
visit to the Alaskan arctic. Just moments ago, he finished hiking a
melting glacier in Seward, Alaska. It`s all part of his call to action on
climate change. The area has been covered in ice left over from the ice
age thousands of years ago. But now the exit glacier is melting rapidly at
a rate of 43 feet per year and there`s no sign of it slowing down.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: This glacier`s lost about a mile
and a half over the last couple hundred years, but the pace of the
reductions of the glacier are accelerating rapidly each and every year. It
is spectacular, though. We want to make sure that our grandkids can see


SHARPTON: Climate change is a real problem. It`s a social issue that
affects everyone. We need to do something about it now. So our
generations and the generations after us can enjoy the world around us.
Whether you approach it from a scientific point of view with facts that are
irrefutable or a moral point of view. I`m not defiling the land that we
did not give to ourselves. We need to come together to understand we`re on
one planet that`s facing some real climate change. We owe it to our
children and generations to come to deal with this.

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


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