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PoliticsNation, Friday, Septembr 4th, 2015

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Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: September 4, 2015
Guest: Angela Rye; Shira Center; E.J. Dionne, Mo Elleithee, Michelle
Cottle, Bill Press, Joe Madison


REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Right now on POLITICS NATION, an MSNBC
exclusive. Hillary Clinton talking about Donald Trump, Joe Biden and
coming back from the email controversy.

Also Donald Trump sets his sights on his next start in the GOP.

Big news from the Obama economy.

And a birthday wish to Beyonce from a very special fan.

Welcome to POLITICS NATION.

We start with a big question for the Republican Party. Is Donald Trump
moving on to his next target? He spent weeks going after Jeb Bush any
chance he could get. But today it was like he couldn`t even be bothered.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Why are you saddened for the plight of Jeb
Bush?

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, you never know what`s
going to happen. Look, he`s out there. He`s a professional. He`s out
there pitching hard. And you never know what`s going to happen with
elections and politics. And you and I and all of everybody around your
table, we`ve seen things change very quickly both good and bad. So I`m not
taking it for granted. And I understand it`s a long -- you know, as you
would say, it`s a marathon, and it is a marathon, although, you know,
there`s a lot of indication of what`s happening. I mean, I think polls are
very indicative maybe of what`s happening.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The numbers tell a very clear story. Donald Trump`s attacks on
Bush have worked. A new Gallup poll shows Trump with a net favorable
rating of 32 percent among Republicans while Jeb Bush is at 19.

And check this out. Trump`s favorables are up 16 points since the
beginning of the month. Jeb Bush is down six points. Maybe Trump has
gotten bored with Jeb Bush, but the one candidate who might be making Trump
sweat, Ben Carson. He`s got a 51 percent net approval rating among
Republicans, highest of all the candidates. And it sounds like Trump`s
waiting to pounce.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: What do you want Republican voters to know
about Ben Carson and why you would be a better president than he?

TRUMP: Well, I`m much better as a counterpunching, so I`d rather have, and
I`m hoping for Ben to really hit me at some point because I love to
counterpunch. And you know, he`s been very nice to me. He`s actually a
really nice guy. I like him. We get along very well, as I do with most of
the other people up on stage. And it`s interesting. But I think I`m
probably going to wait. I do have certain things to say, but I`m not going
to be saying them for a little while. Let`s see what happens.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He`s got certain things to say? Ben Carson better get ready.
Looks like the attacks are coming, and the democratic front-runner said,
that`s exactly what`s wrong with our politics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He`s attacked so many people
including my close aide and myself and many other people. You know, I can
take that. I mean, that`s just par for the course. I do regret that he is
going after so many people, many of them by name. I think it`s an
unfortunate development in American politics that his campaign is all about
who he`s against, whether it`s immigrants or women broadcasters or aides of
other candidates. He is the candidate of, you know, being against. The
vision that I have for America is how we come together.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Trump is the candidate of being against. And the next person he
may be against is Ben Carson.

Joining me now are E.J. Dionne and Shira Center. Thank you both for being
here.

E.J. DIONNE, WASHINGTON POST: Good to be here, Reverend.

SHIRA CENTER, POLITICAL EDITOR, BOSTON GLOBE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: E.J., what do you make of Trump seemingly toning down on Jeb
Bush and hinting at future attacks on Ben Carson?

DIONNE: Well, I`ve got certain things to say, Reverend, but I don`t think
I`m going to say them. I mean, that`s just a remarkable thing he said. I
think that he is really like one of those television series where they`re
trying to keep you off balance. He`s trying to keep people off balance and
tuning in for the next show.

But I do think when you look at the numbers particularly in Iowa, Ben
Carson is actually, at least at this moment, a threat to Donald Trump.
Because he is as much of an outsider as Trump is. He has a much quieter
demeanor. He has -- appears to have a much greater appeal to evangelical
voters who matter a lot out in Iowa. So I suppose at some point Trump is
going to have to take Ben Carson on.

But as those numbers showed, his favorability is so high, Ben Carson`s is,
that Trump might pay a higher price going after Ben Carson than he ever
paid for going after John McCain or Jeb Bush.

SHARPTON: Shira, what do you think an attack back and forward Ben Carson,
is that biting off more than he can chew, as my mom used to say? May that
start to backfire because Ben Carson`s persona and image is a little
different than the rest he`s gone after?

CENTER: Yes, it could backfire in a lot of ways. There`s no doubt that
Ben Carson is a threat to Donald Trump`s candidacy. And that`s because
they are in some ways -- they might not agree on this, but they are in some
ways a very similar type of candidate. They are an outsider candidate.
They come from outside the system as compared to the bazillion (ph) other
people running in the Republican primary. So voters like that about both
of them. If you ask them in polls what they like about Donald Trump and
Bern Carson, it`s that they come from outside the system.

So it`s not surprising that if Donald Trump sees Ben Carson as a threat,
that he`ll attack Ben Carson. That said, Ben Carson is a unique figure in
the Republican Party because he`s so well liked universally. If you ask
voters about their top choices, their top three or four choices for
president, Ben Carson is almost universally on that list.

So it is a bit of a risk for him to go after. And at certain point too, if
two candidates are going after each other, it creates an opportunity for
another candidate to go down the middle and perhaps win the primary.

SHARPTON: You know, E.J., Hillary Clinton says Trump`s rise is
unfortunate, but is it really all that bad for Democrats watching from the
sidelines here?

DIONNE: I think she is trying to say that it`s unfortunate for the country
and quietly is probably very happy that Donald Trump essentially took over
the Republican Party this summer. First, he got a lot of publicity at a
moment when the press seemed most inclined to talk about Hillary Clinton`s
email server. And a lot of Republicans, Bush, Jeb Bush is an exception,
although even he got in trouble on the immigration issue, but a lot of
Republicans are following Trump down this road which is really dangerous to
them as a party that did so badly among Latino voters and also Asian-
American voters in the last election.

So I think she means what she says when she talks about his effect on the
country, but I think this has been good for Democrats and in that sense
good for her.

SHARPTON: You know, Shira, Trump got into another scuffle yesterday with a
conservative radio show host who questioned him on policy. I`m going to
play part of it.

CENTER: Sure.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On the front of Islamic terrorism I`m looking for the
next commander in chief to know who Hassan Nasrallah is and Zawahiri and
al-Julani and al-Baghdadi. Do you know the players without a scorecard
yet, Donald Trump?

TRUMP: No, you know, I tell you honestly, I think by the time we get to
office, they`ll all be changed. They`ll all be gone.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t believe in gotcha questions. I`m not trying
to, you know, quiz you on.

TRUMP: That is a gotcha question. I mean when you ask me about who, you
know, who is running this, this, this, that it not -- I`ll be so good at
the military your head will spin.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, when you look at his base, Shira, does it really hurt
him if he doesn`t know the names that are players on the world scene even
many of who are a threat to us? Doesn`t it hurt him when he just says I`ll
be great and you`re trying to play gotcha? Does it hurt him in his base?

CENTER: So, what is so fascinating about this, isn`t this part of what
tanked Herman Cain`s candidacy a few years ago? He didn`t know the details
of a lot of foreign policy. And you know that is a weakness. This is an
election that is going to partially focus, especially in the Republican
primary, on foreign policy and fighting extremists abroad. So while it
might not hurt him, you know, in a huge way today, I think over the course
of a long term, he has a lot of answers like that. You can just snip,
snip, snip at that and make that into an ultimate campaign at, that makes
him look like he doesn`t know what he is talking about when it comes to
foreign policy.

SHARPTON: So E.J., on the other side of this, I want to play a little more
of what Hillary Clinton said because this goes into what we were just
discussing with Shira. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: He`s great at innuendo and conspiracy theories and really
defaming people. That`s not what I want to do in my campaign, and that`s
not how I`m going to conduct myself. And I also believe the president of
the United States does have to be careful about what he or she says. Loose
talk, threats, insults, they have consequences. So I`m going to conduct
myself as I believe is appropriate for someone seeking the highest office
in our country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, the question, E.J. is as you listen to her say that, is
Donald Trump accidentally helping Hillary Clinton by having her appear even
more presidential in contrast to what he`s done?

DIONNE: Yes, I think that`s right. I think you could hear there, you
know, the thought balloon on Hillary Clinton is, boy, would I love to run
against this guy. She could run that 3:00 in the morning phone ad all over
again, and it would be more effective than it was against Barack Obama in
2008.

And here`s where I think it hurts Trump. It doesn`t hurt him in his base
that he couldn`t answer (INAUDIBLE) questions or call them gotcha
questions, but it will put a lid on his ability to expand in the Republican
Party as this thing goes forward. Republicans care a lot about foreign
policy. The polls show they care more about foreign policy than Democrats
do.

And so a lot of Republicans are going to say, well, I may like some of this
or that that Trump says. I like his sort of outspokenness, but he`s not
ready for this. So I think that is a real problem for him in the long run.

SHARPTON: So if the problems, Shira, may be that it may not hurt his base
but it limits him going way beyond his base, which he will have to do to
win a nomination and clearly if he was the nominee to be competitive in a
general election.

CENTER: Yes, in the general election, but in the nominee, he`s still kind
of ahead of the polls in most of the early states. So in a way he is kind
of -- as much as it`s odd to say it, he is kind of winning right now in a
lot of these polls. I guess the Iowa poll with Ben Carson is an exception
there.

So in a way -- remember, in this Republican primary, there`s so many
candidates, the winner of the Iowa caucus, the winner of the New Hampshire
primary, the winner of the South Carolina primary, may as well win that
with something like 18 or 15 percent of the votes. So it could very well
happen that he can say things like that. A lot of candidates can say
things like that and they can slide right in with a small sliver of the
electorate.

SHARPTON: That`s true.

E.J. Dionne, Shira Center, thank you both for your time tonight. Have a
great Labor Day weekend.

DIONNE: And you too, Reverend.

CENTER: You too.

DIONNE: Thanks.

SHARPTON: Coming up, how GOP presidential candidates are racing to stand
by that clerk in jail for refusing to obey the law.

Plus Hillary Clinton talks about potentially running against vice president
Joe Biden.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: If he gets into this race, there will be plenty of time to get
into the debate and the back and forth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Also, the shout outs for Beyonce`s birthday are coming from all
over, including the White House.

Big show ahead. Stay with us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: During a town hall in Miami this week, Jeb Bush
attacked Donald Trump in both English and Spanish. And later that night
Donald Trump responded in both English and much, much louder English.
"That`s the way I talk!" doers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Still ahead, it`s the new rallying cry for Ted Cruz and other
2016 Republicans. Their vowing to stand by that Kentucky county clerk
jailed for breaking the law on gay marriage.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILLIAM SMITH JR., MARRIED TODAY: We waited for this and we were elated.
I mean, this is our sixth time and we were successful. So yes. We`re just
happy to finally get married.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: For the first time today gay couples in one Kentucky County got
married. Kim Davis, the clerk who refuses to marry them is in jail right
now. To get out all she has to do is issue those licenses, but her husband
says it`s not going to happen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: How long is your wife prepared to stay in
jail?

JOE DAVIS, KIM DAVIS` HUSBAND: As long as it takes. I talked to her last
night. She called me on the phone and she said she`s doing well. She
authorized it. She agrees and approves of this. And we don`t agree and we
don`t approve.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And now, some Republican presidential candidates are rushing to
support her cause.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would send to the justice department everywhere
religious liberty is being trampled.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it`s absurd to put
someone in jail for exercising their religious liberty.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For the first time we`re seeing
a Christian woman thrown in jail for standing up for her faith. I`ll tell
you, I stand with Kim Davis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now is political strategist Angela Rye. Thank you
for being here.

ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Angela, these candidates are embracing a woman who is breaking
the law, but is that what GOP primary voters want?

RYE: That`s exactly what they want. In fact, I was thinking about this on
the way to the studio and saying, you know, for primary voters, this is
actually also good for Democrats. For them to be in a situation where
they`re pushing forward someone whose views are so polar opposite from what
the majority of American people are saying right now, not only about gay
marriage but about marriage equality at large, that means they`re going to
have a more conservative candidate not only on the ballot but hopefully
running against the Democratic nominee in the fall.

SHARPTON: The most recent Gallup poll on same-sex marriage shows 60
percent of Americans agree it should be legal, 37 percent disagree.
Doesn`t it hurt the GOP`s brand to have presidential candidates embracing
intolerance on an issue like this, Angela?

RYE: A hundred percent, Rev. But that`s not the only thing hurting GOP`s
brand with voters right now. We also know the top candidate, the one who
is now has favorability over 50 percent has also said some horribly
egregious things about Latino people in this country. So they`ve got a lot
of work to do when we talk about this again all the time.

Going back to that autopsy report. They haven`t yet gathered their Latino
base and built that base. They haven`t done that with African-Americans.
They certainly haven`t done it with gay folks at this point. And they also
haven`t done it with millennials. They`ve got a whole lot of work to do
and I think they`re running out of time.

SHARPTON: In fairness, though, all of the Republican candidates are not
rushing to defense Kim Davis.

RYE: Sure.

SHARPTON: Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: I hate to see her being put in jail. I understand what they`re
doing. The decision`s been made and that`s the law of the land.

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: She is sworn to uphold the law.
There ought to be a way to figure this out.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This clerk, I understand
her concerns. I believe in traditional marriage, but she`s a public
official.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, how will GOP primary voters in Iowa and South Carolina
react to statements like those?

RYE: I think they will be split, Rev. What we`re seeing in this primary
is that there is no real clear lines on the Republican base. I think that
you have evangelicals. You have folks that are traditionally conservative
when it comes to fiscal policy. And then you have votes that are social
conservative. So I think that they will split. It may make the GOP
primaries in all of the states that you mentioned, the early states more
contentious.

SHARPTON: You know, I think -- and we talked about it on my radio show
today. I think that it is right for somebody to stand up for what they
believe, but then you should quit your job if you feel that your job
requires you to do something against your conscience. You can`t have it
both ways. So if I want to stay in my job, I want to get paid, but I`m
going to decide what I`m going to do and enforce.

Angela Rye, thank you for your time tonight.

RYE: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Ahead an MSNBC exclusive interview with Hillary Clinton speaking
out about Joe Biden and the email controversy.

President Obama has an answer to John Boehner`s favorite question, where
are the jobs.

But first, a viral sensation. An 86-year-old grandmother showing off her
moves and lifting everyone`s spirits.

(VIDEO CLIP PLAYING)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Over the years speaker John Boehner has become well known for
going off script, sometimes singing, sometimes even blowing kisses.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Have you even had this discussion?

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Are you kidding me?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But the fun really starts when Boehner asked his favorite
question. Where are the jobs?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: Where are the jobs?

Where are the jobs?

Where are the jobs?

Where are the jobs?

The American people are continuing to ask the question, where are the jobs?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Good question. And today we got a big reminder the jobs are
right here in America. Today`s unemployment rate shows the economy adding
173,000 jobs last month bringing the unemployment rate down to 5.1 percent.
That`s the lowest unemployment rate since April 2008, more than seven years
ago. And the private sector continues to add jobs. Now with 66
consecutive months of job growth, the longest streak on record. Anything
you want to add, Mr. Speaker?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: Are you kidding me?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: No, Mr. Speaker, we`re not.

Did John Boehner think we wouldn`t notice his question has been answered?
Nice try, but we gotcha.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Hillary Clinton is trying to clear the air over the email
controversy that`s hurting her campaign. She spoke exclusively to MSNBC`s
Andrea Mitchell in just her third national TV interview since launching her
campaign talking about why she used the personal email address for work.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANDREA MITCHELL, NBC NEWS CHIEF FOREIGN AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Are you
sorry? Do you want to apologize to the American people for the choice you
made?

CLINTON: Well, it wasn`t the best choice. And I certainly have said that.
I will continue to say that as I`ve also said many times. It was allowed
and it was fully above board. The people in the government knew that I was
using a personal account, but it would have been better if I had two
separate accounts to begin with. At the end of the day, I am sorry that
this has been confusing to people and has raised a lot of questions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It has raised a lot of questions and a recent survey of voters
show that it affected how people see her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITCHELL: The first words that came to mind when asked about you were
"liar," "untrustworthy," "crooked." How does that make you feel?

CLINTON: Well, it certainly doesn`t make me feel good, but I am very
confident by the time this campaign has run its course, people will know
that what I`ve been saying is accurate. The American people will know that
they can trust me when it comes to standing up for them and fighting for
them. And you know, being their advocate and their champion. And I think
that`s what this election, when it`s all said and done, has to be about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The polls show the damage done by the e-mail controversy, with a
favorability ratings dropping over the last few months.

Joining me now is Mo Elleithee, the former communications director for the
DNC and executive director of Georgetown`s Institute of Politics and Public
Service and the National Journal`s Michelle Cottle. Thank you both for
being here.

MICHELLE COTTLE, NATIONAL JOURNAL: Thanks, Rev.

MO ELLEITHEE, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, DNC: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Mo, let me start with you. Do you think this interview helped
her on the e-mail controversy?

ELLEITHEE: Look, yes, I think so. I think my biggest criticism and I in
full disclosure I worked for her on her last campaign. I think the biggest
criticism I have is that there wasn`t more of this sooner in the process.
And I think there are a lot of Hillary`s supporters out there that would
have like to seen a little bit more of an aggressive explanation pushback
media presence on this early on. Because this story just took on a life of
its own and spun out of control. And so, she`s been unable to really break
through nationally with her main message because this is all anyone`s
talking about. So I think it`s good for her and I think what people are
waiting for or have been waiting for is for her to personally directly
address the issue and try to put it to bed so that she can get out there
and talk about what she wants to talk about. This isn`t what she wants to
talk about, clearly.

SHARPTON: Michelle, help her or hurt her?

COTTLE: Oh, it definitely helps her. I mean, it is not even a question of
exactly what she says or exactly how she fields a particular question. Mo
is absolutely on point. He`s especially being able to gentle here. It`s
been making Democrats crazy that they let this get to this point, that they
didn`t come out and address this more. And so what she really needs to do
is every opportunity she needs to get people bored with talking or hearing
her talk about this. The rap against her is that she`s too secretive, that
she`s doesn`t like to talk about things that are uncomfortable. So, by
doing this, she kind of works against that narrative and that helps even,
you know, regardless of what particular questions get asked.

SHARPTON: Now, Mo, you said you worked with her on the last campaign.
Andrea Mitchell, she asked Ms. Clinton about how she felt toward the end of
her campaign in 2008 compared to how she feels today. Listen to this
exchange.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITCHELL: Do you worry that this could be happening again, that what
happened with your e-mail has created so much controversy that you could be
losing this opportunity a second time?

CLINTON: Well, I don`t feel that. I feel that I have questions to answer,
which I intend to do at every turn with you and others about the whole e-
mail issue and to keep saying the same thing. And then also to keep making
the case that I`m making for the presidency, what I stand for, what I`ve
always stood for, what I will fight for.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Mo, is the Clinton campaign people confident that this e-mail
controversy will just fade away?

ELLEITHEE: No, well, look, by all appearances, I think it doesn`t seem
like it today. The fact that she is out there today and you`re hearing
from the Clinton campaign that they`re going to have her out there more
aggressively in the coming weeks and doing more interviews. And it seems
to me like the Clinton campaign knows that this has been a challenge for
them and that they`ve got to turn the corner and, as Michelle said, that
there are a lot of Democrats out there saying that to them. So it looks
like this is now the beginning of a serious offensive to kind of push back
on this and get the campaign talking about what it would rather be talking
about.

Eight years ago, she had her back up against the wall and she came out and
aggressively and was out there and was talking to people and was connecting
with people and got a little looser and a lot nimbler. You know what, when
she did that, she started to win, she started to win states, she started to
win more delegates and she started to win more votes and she beat Barack
Obama in most of the late primaries. It was too late in the game. But you
saw a more hungry Hillary Clinton out there. And that played well. I
think you`re seeing them start to do that a little bit earlier in this
cycle than they did last.

SHARPTON: Michelle, there`s been a lot of speculation about Vice President
Biden and whether or not he will run. He addressed the rumor head-on at a
speech at Atlanta`s synagogue yesterday. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

VICE PRES. JOE BIDEN (D), UNITED STATES: I will be straightforward with
you, the most relevant factor in my decision is whether my family and I
have the emotional energy to run. The factor is, can I do it? Can my
family undertake what is an arduous commitment that would be proud to
undertake under ordinary circumstances, but the honest to God answer is I
just don`t know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: What do you think, Michelle? Is he likely to make this run?

COTTLE: You know, I`ve learned never to actually try and predict what
Biden`s going to do. But I mean, we`re talking about a guy who has
obviously had presidential dreams not that long ago. But he`s been through
an awful lot. And I think it`s hard for him at this point because so many
Democrats are probably coming to him and they`re a little bit nervous
because of all the trouble Hillary Clinton has had, and for him to sit back
and watch this and think that this is his last shot at doing this, and does
he really want to close the door and not go for it, I mean, that has to be
kind of pushing him forward on some level. But when push comes to shove,
you know, it`s just like a complete commitment, as he points out, and I
don`t think it`s a great time for him to be doing this, but you never know.

SHARPTON: Now, what do you think, Mo, does he run?

ELLEITHEE: I don`t know. And anyone that tries to answer that question
doesn`t know what they`re talking about. I love Joe Biden. I absolutely
love Joe Biden. And that answer may be one of the most heartfelt, honest
answers I`ve ever heard anyone publicly give about their personal decision-
making process. This is a very big decision under normal circumstances,
and he`s making this decision under very abnormal and sad circumstances for
him. And so when the decision becomes that personal that it`s all about
how you and your family are going to handle it, that no one can predict how
it`s going to play out.

SHARPTON: Mo Elleithee and Michelle Cottle, thank you both for your time
tonight, have a great weekend.

COTTLE: Thanks.

ELLEITHEE: Thank you, you too.

SHARPTON: And you can catch Andrea Mitchell`s full interview with Hillary
Clinton tonight on the "Rachel Maddow show" at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

Ahead, Jeb Bush accuses Donald Trump a dog whistle politics on immigration.
Plus, Beyonce`s birthday gets a special notice from the White House.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s Donald Trump`s new buzzword on immigration, "Assimilate"
and today he didn`t back down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: You have many people in this country that feel this is a country
where it`s English, you have to speak English, and in terms of
assimilation, in terms of getting everyone together, this is a country and
we`re based on English. And if you want people to assimilate and go on to
great heights, which everybody wants, we have to learn English.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We`re hearing tough language from Trump on immigration, and
we`re seeing tough tactics from Trump and his staff. Just yesterday a
Trump security guard took a protester`s sign, then hit him in the face
after the protester leapt on his back. And Trump has repeatedly sparred
with high-profile Latino journalists.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: You`re with Telemundo, and Telemundo show be ashamed.

JORGE RAMOS, UNIVISION ANCHOR: I have the right to ask a question.

TRUMP: Go back to Univision. Sit down, please. You weren`t called.

RAMOS: I`m a reporter and I have --

TRUMP: Go.

RAMOS: I have the right to ask a question.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump. He`s clearly tapped
into something on the right, and now Jeb Bush, who Trump criticized for
speaking Spanish, has a label for it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BUSH: Perhaps even more offensive was the notion that somehow I went down
to the border and I spoke Mexican. Those are dog whisper terms. He knows
what he`s doing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Is Donald Trump playing dog whistle politics on immigration or
how will that hurt the chances for Republicans in 2016?

Joining me now are Bill Press and Joe Madison. Thank you both for being
here.

BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Reverend Al.

JOE MADISON, SIRIUS XM RADIO HOST: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Joe, is Jeb Bush right? Is Donald Trump playing dog whistle
politics on immigration?

MADISON: He`s absolutely wrong. This is a full-blown siren.

(LAUGHTER)

This is -- I can hear it. You can hear it. His base can hear it. This
thing of about assimilation, you know, on my radio show, I always ask the
question, what do you call somebody who speaks three languages?
Trilingual. What do you call somebody who speaks two languages?
Bilingual. What do you call somebody who speaks one language? American.

(LAUGHTER)

SHARPTON: Yes.

MADISON: I mean, the reality is that there`s a reason we teach foreign
language in high schools and colleges is because do we not have a global
economy? Do we not have to do business with people? And doesn`t the
president of the United States have to understand the culture of the world
and the global economy? And I`ll just simply put it this way, John
Kennedy, I can still hear that German phrase and the German people went
wild. I can still hear Jacqueline Kennedy speaking at the Orange Bowl, an
entire speech after the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

SHARPTON: Yes.

MADISON: She gave an entire speech in Spanish to American citizens, and
they loved her for it.

SHARPTON: But you`re talking history. Bill, 2016, will this work in the
primaries?

PRESS: It may work in the primary. I would hope that enough Republicans
with any sense would realize what`s going on here. Reverend Al, let`s talk
just a little recent history, 2004 George bush got 40 percent of the Latino
vote.

SHARPTON: That`s correct.

PRESS: In 2008, John McCain got 31 percent. Mitt Romney got 27 in 2012
and at that time Lindsey Graham, another candidate for president, let`s not
forget, said that the Republican Party is in a death spiral unless it
reaches out and leads the way on comprehensive immigration reform, and they
are letting Donald Trump lead the way. I think it works against them both
in the primary and there`s no way, no way they can win the White House with
Trump out there or the others are just as bad as he is.

SHARPTON: Well, I`m getting ready to say that because, Joe, Rand Paul, is
also hopping on board with this, quote, "assimilation language." He`s
talking about Native Americans, though. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think assimilation is an
amazing thing. A good example of how, even in our country, an assimilation
didn`t happen, and it`s been a disaster for the people, has been the Native
American population on the reservations. If they were assimilated within a
decade they`d probably be doing as well as the rest of us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, how did the word "assimilation" become such a buzzword
for the far right?

MADISON: You know, because it`s always been that way. You know, I`m sorry
to keep bringing up history, but has Rand Paul forgotten how many treaties
were broken? Did he forget about Supreme Court decisions that were simply
ignored by presidents of the United States? Are you -- you know, it`s
absolutely amazing. We used to celebrate diversity in this country. I can
go to Chinatown, I can go to little Italy. You know, I guarantee you he
will not go into South Philadelphia and tell Italians that they need to
give up their Italian culture. And I can guarantee you he won`t go into
Boston and tell Irish people we ought not celebrate St. Patrick`s day.
This is absolutely absurd. And they`ve always done it.

SHARPTON: But you know, Bill, this week Rush Limbaugh expressed his shock
that it was a controversial thing to demand people speak English. Here`s
what he said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: It became a controversy that Trump
said Jeb should lead and speak English. Trump or anybody suggesting that
the presidential candidates ought to speak English, that`s a controversy?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, Bill, we all know that Rush is really the head of the GOP.
Is this really where the GOP party is on this issue?

PRESS: I think they are. Again, ignoring the advice of some people.
Remember, the Republican Party itself did their so-called autopsy report on
2012. I love the fact that they called it that, because we only do
autopsies on people that are dead. But in their own report looking at
their own party, Reverend Al, they said that this is their number one
problem and this is their number one goal has to be to reach out. And
again now they`re following the lead of a guy who is going in just the
opposite direction. You know, I wouldn`t call it a dog whistle. I think
it`s an outright racist campaign saying, you`re speaking Mexican or calling
them rapists, on and on wanting to do away with birthright citizenship and
the others are following his lead. Jeb Bush may a little bit disagree.
But the others are saying, Trump, right on. Look at Reince Priebus
yesterday, chairman of the RNC, he wants Trump`s endorsement over this
pledge. What does he do? He comes to New York to the golden throne and
kisses Donald Trump`s ring.

SHARPTON: And I think that these are the things that will hurt in the
ultimate general election, Joe. And the Democrats should just give him
room. You know, a wise old preacher told me once, if you see a man on the
edge of the cliff, don`t get close. You`ll turn a suicide into what will
look like a homicide. Let him go over by himself.

(LAUGHTER)

Bill Press and Joe Madison, thank you for your time, both of you tonight.
Have a great weekend.

PRESS: Thanks, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: The First Lady paying tribute to a queen. How Michelle Obama`s
celebrating Beyonce`s birthday next. And a special look back at four years
of POLITICS NATION. You won`t want to miss it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Beyonce belting it out at President Obama`s second inauguration,
and today another big day. It`s b-day. Today the singer celebrates her
34th birthday and all her loyal fans, all beyhive have been celebrating
like it`s a national holiday. In fact, they made a petition on the
official White House page to get the day recognized. Even the First Lady
gave a shout out. She tweeted, "Happy birthday to the one and only queen.
Thank you for being a role model for young girls around the world.
Beyonce." Certainly is a day fit for a queen.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Welcome to POLITICS NATION. I`m Al Sharpton. Tonight`s lead,
the real showdown in American politics. That was the very first episode of
POLITICS NATION. The critics said, we wouldn`t last four weeks, and it`s
been over four years. And we`re not done yet. Starting October 4th we`re
moving to Sunday mornings at 8:00 a.m. We`re going to make some news, make
some waves and hopefully do some good. We`re also going to have some fun.
We`ve certainly had our fair share over the past four years. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So I`d like to welcome a very special guest to POLITICS NATION.
Welcome, Rev. Hello, Al. Thanks for having me on my show. Glad I could
join me.

Welcome back to the POLITICS NATION science lab. Folks, do not adjust your
television set. We`ve taken a trip back in time.

Happy Darwin Day. Dearly beloved, we`re gathered here today to mourn a sad
loss. The loss of another bogus GOP talking point.

I`m Al Sharpton. Let`s talk about it on POLITICS NATION.

Reverend Al, you take us away.

I can do that. Okay, which one is my camera? Am I over here? Is it this
one? That one?

That`s coming up right after I finish my drink. Hit it, guys. My head is
spinning. Mine, too. I`m seeing double. The man can never agree with
himself. But we can. This is a great show, if I do say so myself. It is
a pretty great show.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It`s been an honor to talk about the big issues of the day.
Speaking with some of the great personalities of this country. And to do
it all on the big stage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Live from the world famous Apollo Theater, here`s your
host, the Reverend Al Sharpton.

SHARPTON: Great to be back here at the Apollo tonight. I`m coming to you
live from the festival in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. Live from the great
city of New Orleans for the 19th annual Essence Festival. We`re live
tonight from democracy plaza in New York`s Rockefeller Center. It`s one
day until millions stream to the polls. ObamaCare is here to stay. Please
help me welcome the queen of soul, Miss Aretha Franklin. Rosie Perez.
George Clinton. Ms. Hillary Clinton. How are you doing, Secretary
Clinton?

CLINTON: I`m doing great. How are you doing?

SHARPTON: It is my honor now to bring the President of the United States,
the leader of the free world, President Barack Obama. Good afternoon, Mr.
President.

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Great to talk to you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Joining me now is Idris Elba.

The one, the only Smokey Robinson. Cuba Gooding Jr., Russell Simmons,
Andre Leon Talley, the legend himself, the one and only Harry Belafonte.

The fight against stand your ground and the legacy of Trayvon Martin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My parents couldn`t take me to have a hamburger at
the Woolworth`s lunch counter, but they had me absolutely convinced I could
be president of the United States if I wanted to be.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I grew up poor but I didn`t had poor dreams.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When I stood here and look out and saw the sea of
humanity. I was gratifying. I was deeply moved.

SHARPTON: And you can`t fight for anyone`s civil rights unless you`re
going to fight for everyone`s civil rights.

(MUSIC PLAYING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Let me say -- so it`s been a great four years as we
move to Sunday mornings, October 4th. Many said when we started that that
can`t last four weeks. How is Sharpton, an activist, going to also do TV?
Well, we did. And many will say whatever they`re going to say now.
Underestimating people only matters if you listen. In fact, you should
always use people underestimating you to motivate yourself to define
yourself and define where you are. We have very serious things to deal
with in this country, and we need to deal with it on the big stage.

I`m glad that Phil Griffin and others gave us the ability to express
ourselves, and we`re going to continue doing that. I thank a beautiful
staff that are competent and believing people like Matt Saul and Dan
McDermott who stood and made this happen. So, we`re going forward Sunday
morning 8:00, October 4th, POLITICS NATION with Al Sharpton. I`m not going
anywhere. I just learned how to read the teleprompter.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

Have a great weekend. "HARDBALL" starts right now.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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