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PoliticsNation, Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Read the transcript from the Tuesday show

Guests: Catherine Crier; Zachary Carter; Tom Owen; Ed Primeau; Walter Zalisko, James Moran, David Corn, Catherine Crier

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Welcome to "Politics Nation." I`m
AL Sharpton.

Tonight`s lead, the investigation into Trayvon Martin`s death is
gaining intensity. Today, FBI is back at the scene of Trayvon Martin`s
death for a second straight day. FBI agents are at the scene of the crime,
going door to door, questioning potential witnesses, and compiling
information on Zimmerman`s background.

One week from today, April 10th, a grand jury is set to begin hearing
details about the case. So there is a rush, a major push for this
investigation, to move forward, to see if there is another enough to make
an arrest. State attorney Angela Corey has said there is no guarantee the
case will go to that grand jury.

Meanwhile Zimmerman`s lawyer says he`s ready to turn himself in as
necessary. Quote, "he`s not hiding from the authorities. If he`s asked,
he will turn himself in. There`s not going to be a man hunt or anything
like that." Today could be a critical day in this investigation.

Joining me now is Catherine Crier, a lawyer, former district court
judge and prosecutor in Texas. She`s also author of the new book, "Patriot
Acts," the Americans must do what Americans must do to save the republic,
and Zachary Carter, the former U.S. attorney for the eastern district of
New York, the first African-American to serve as a U.S. attorney in New
York. He`s now a partner with the law firm of Dorsey and Whitney.

Thank you both for being here tonight.

Let me start with you, Catherine. What do you think of the handling
of the case so far?

CATHERINE CRIER, LEGAL EXPERT: Well, I think it`s very sad. Because
a case -- I don`t care who the participants were. A case like this called
for appropriate investigation by police officials. You take the shooter`s
clothes, you, you know, rope off the area, you do what we`re seeing the FBI
doing now. You don`t make that judgment before any investigation has

And I`m sort of quite surprised, having, you know, started off as a
prosecutor and then, of course, on the bench, you don`t do it backwards.
And you make an arrest, you take him down or at least you take Zimmerman
down and conduct the interrogation, take the clothes, do the forensics.
The assumptions made in this case were actually a bit staggering.

SHARPTON: Now, Zach, is there any rational because part of the
justice department, a review of this, I understand, is not only for hate
crimes, but also the handling of the case. Is there any rational
explanation you could think of that the police could give why they did do
the things that Catherine says is so unusual?

ZACHARY CATER. FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY: No, I don`t think there is an
explanation for why the investigation was incomplete or why they didn`t
view the representations of Zimmerman more skeptically when compared with
the statements of witnesses and when compared with the -- analysis of the
911 tapes. And I`m sure that`s something the federal authorities will be
focused on.

SHARPTON: Now, let me play -- you mentioned the 911 tapes. Let me
play for you, forensic sound expert Tom Owen, explain how he compared the
tape of Zimmerman`s voice. He just reviewed this.


TOM OWEN, FORENSIC EXPERT: I isolated Zimmerman`s voice, and I
isolated the screaming voice and compared the two. These are wave forms of
the actual calls. This is the Zimmerman call, which has been condensed to
include only his voice. This is the 911 call where the screams are, which
has been condensed to include only the screams.

like a gray hoodie and either jeans or sweat pants and white tennis shoes.

OWEN: All Right. That`s the Zimmerman file. And this will be the
scream file.


OWEN: This information, all right, basically tells me, it`s not the
same person.


SHARPTON: Now, this is the screaming that night. Owen talked to one
of our producers today. So you have the actual tape of the screaming,
which was the last tape. And you have the actual conversation of Zimmerman
calling the 911 call. He compared the voices, and his conclusion, and that
of another expert, was that that was not Zimmerman screaming for help.

Would that be critical to a self defense claim of Zimmerman, since he
has said he was screaming for help, now you have experts saying no, that is
not Zimmerman`s voice that`s screaming for help.

CRIER: Well, it doesn`t -- it doesn`t eliminate the possibility he
was screaming, and it didn`t get picked up at a given time.


CRIER: And obviously, the experts will have to undergo authentication
in a court of law if it were to get that far and the testing on this. But
certainly it`s relevant. Because you do look to who might seemingly be the
victim in the case by screams, calling for help, this sort of thing, in a
very short period of time.

You know, something that bothers me tremendously is -- I was reading
today that his 911 call was only -- what was it, six minutes before the
police arrived and the shooting had taken place. And in that time, there
is a lot of information that authorities are now getting their hands on,
whether it`s the call --


CRIER: The alleged call with the girlfriend, 911 call, screaming
call. There is a lot of information that`s going to paint, I think, a
pretty clear picture of the events as this investigation unfolds

SHARPTON: Now, Zack Carter, take us in the courtroom. You were a
prosecutor. How would you handle the tape and the experts in court, as --
as Catherine Crier said, they would have to authenticate it? If you were
prosecuting this case, how would you handle this information?

CARTER: Well, the most important part of the tape, and I grant,
that`s a useful part of the tape in terms of who did the screaming for
help. The most important part of the tape, I think the news media has been
handicapped in presenting to viewers, because of FCC restrictions relating
to profanity. And that is where he refers to f`ing coons.

And what I would suggest, frankly, to your viewers, because they can`t
hear it here or any place else on broadcast or cable TV, is they just go to
a Web site, plug in the search terms, Trayvon Martin, 911 call, and they
will get a host of sites, mostly on you tube, where they can hear the
unedited tape. And I think that once people hear that tape, where he has a
clear, under his breath aside, that`s audible, particularly when you turn
up the volume, it will remove all doubt he used a vial, racial, hostile
epithet during the course --.

SHARPTON: How would you use that in a courtroom? Why would that be
so important?

CARTER: Well, particularly, if there`s going to be a federal
prosecution, for an intentional deprivation of a civil right, based on
race, race bias. The fact that during the course of his exchange with the
911 operator immediately after the 911 operator asked, well, where is he
heading now? He`s heading toward the back entrance. And then an aside,
f`ing coons. That would be dramatic evidence of what his state of mind was
and what his attitude was towards Trayvon Martin, not as a human being, but
as a black, an unnamed black.

SHARPTON: Now when you look at the fact, Catherine, that they have
several calls, a history of calls. And the individuals, five individuals
out of all the calls he made, every one of them black. If you have that,
and if he did use that racial language, it starts to build a pattern that
could be very interesting if it was a federal trial.

CRIER: Well, it`s going to be -- this is a very touchy area, because
sort of have it pattern -- you know, the fact that someone might use an
epithet, the fact that someone converses like that, is very different than
does he have a pattern of attacking or being aggressive with a particular
race. Has he done something physical?

You know, the hate crimes are very difficult. We have to dance
carefully when we`re talking about dissecting someone`s psyche. So you`re
looking for empirical evidence. But I don`t know that a history of using
terms, although we do remember mark vermin in the OJ case when that came
back to grant --.

SHARPTON: Well, if it stopped at using it and not shooting and
killing somebody, it might be more difficult. If you got some terms being
used and then you shoot somebody.

CRIER: Sufficient pattern within a close proximity, it may be
admissible and become relevant at the time of trial.

CARTER: That`s why the state -- using the state process is so
important. Because there`s a far broader array of charges that can be
brought by Zimmerman, if they are supported by the evidence, all the way
from criminally negligent homicide through intentional homicide, you know
reckless, negligent homicide.

SHARPTON: Where the bar is a lot lower.

CARTER: Where the bar is lower.

SHARPTON: Let`s bring in Walter Zalisko, retired police chief and now
president and now the president, CEO of global investigative group.

Walt, let me ask you. Was this investigation done correctly from the

WALTER ZALISKO, RETIRED POLICE CHIEF: Well, from all indications, I
don`t think it was done properly. There have been a number of missteps and
just to cite a few, looking at the initial police report. And let`s keep
in mind, that when an officer responds to the scene, he`s got to complete
that initial investigation report. It`s got to have very important
information on there. That`s the road map for any investigator who is
going to conduct these subsequent investigations.

On that initial report, you have the, who, you have the what, you have
the how. But you don`t have the why. What happened is, the officer, when
he came upon Mr. Zimmerman, he asked him, did he see the subject.
Zimmerman says, "I shot him." Well, any cop would say, "why did you shoot
him?" nowhere is that indicated in the report. That`s not to say that he
didn`t say it and somewhere down the line a police superior or someone else
told that officer to leave it out of the report, so the public doesn`t have
that information right away. But that is -- that is a vital piece of

SHARPTON: Well, why would they tell him to leave it out? I mean,
leave it out? Why would you leave that out?

ZALISKO: Well, that`s the question. That`s -- that`s the big
question everybody should be asking. I can`t --

SHARPTON: So you`re saying that the why was not in the report, and
either he didn`t put it in or was told not to put it in. And that that`s a
question that everyone should be raising.

ZALISKO: Absolutely. You know, that`s a very piece of important

CRIER: I`m also troubled --

SHARPTON: Isn`t that a little strange?

CRIER: Well, it is. Because imagine the questioning. And, again, it
doesn`t matter who the parties are. You show up at a scene like, this
someone has been shot. The cops have an obligation. And the report should
reflect, you know, immediate outcry. You know statements in the heat of
the moment. Those become relevant at the time of trial. So you public
putting those things down. Whether they failed to ask, didn`t put it down,
were told not to put down, we don`t know.


CRIER: But it`s the same thing with the ambulance that apparently was
called back. It`s going to be relevant as to the injuries experienced by
Zimmerman. Today, with civil liability the way it is, I can`t imagine a
police department, if someone says my head was bash on the sidewalk --
again, I`m not making a judgment until --

SHARPTON: I understand.

CRIER: -- I get the information. But I would want a trained medic, a
paramedic out there going the city is not going to be liable, because, in
fact, he doesn`t have a concussion, he has been appropriately treated. And
for us not to then have access to that kind of important investigative

SHARPTON: That`s a very important --

CRIER: It`s critical.

SHARPTON: That`s an important point, Walt, because if the city sent
back the ambulance, and the city had checked him on the back seat of the
police car, has one report has said.

CRIER: He`s got a broken nose?

SHARPTON: Wouldn`t the city have been liable if he has got a broken
nose and all of these kinds of harmful things were an inch from his life
being ended, and they sent an ambulance back? Would they take that kind of

ZALISKO: Well, obviously, no, they wouldn`t take that risk. And that
brings us to the next point. We have the injuries that we have all seen of
Zimmerman, the scrape or the abrasion on the back of his head. You know,
I`ve investigated over 1,000 crimes, you know homicides, to aggravate
assaults. And never have I seen a case where somebody is treated by EMS,
and they`re -- don`t have a Band-Aid or some type of a bandage put on an
open wound. And Zimmerman walked away with that scratch on his head.

SHARPTON: And you do not see a Band-Aid. We`re looking at the

CRIER: Or broken nose.

SHARPTON: Or broken nose. And the city would have put, themselves,
Mr. Carter, in a situation of great liability if they did not feel he was
not in need of at least hospital care.

CARTER: I think that more important than that, it`s -- any time there
are injuries, and you have someone who may have been in police custody, you
want to document how they got the injuries. You want to take pictures.
You want to have reports of medical professionals that evaluated the
injuries or the condition of the person who is in custody. That`s where
they may be potential liability. What`s really more important as an
evidentiary matter than it is in a life.

SHARPTON: We`re going to have to leave it right there.

Catherine Crier, Zachary Carter and Walter Zalisko, it`s been an
interesting week.

Thanks to all of you for your time.

ZALISKO: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, inside the 911 tapes lead forensic audio expert
shows us exclusively why he thinks George Zimmerman was not the one yelling

Plus, hypocrisy movement, Bill O`Reilly attacks me on rallying for
justice. I`ll show you why it`s a huge double standard.

And "mad men," why David Axelrod says Willard is living in the 1960s.

You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: It`s a critical question in the Trayvon Martin case. Who
was actually screaming on the 911 tapes? Was this a case of self defense?
We`ll talk to two top forensic experts on who this was. They have been
studying those tapes and have answers. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Welcome back. At the center of the federal and state
investigation into Trayvon Martin`s killing are the 911 tapes from that
night. Forensic experts say the sounds we hear on those tapes can provide
crucial insight into what really happened, specifically on who was yelling
for help.


911 FEMALE DISPATCHER: 911, do you need police, fire or medical?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE CALLER: Maybe both. I`m not sure. There is just
someone screaming outside.

911 FEMALE DISPATCHER: And is it a male or female?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE CALLER: It sounds like a male.

911 FEMALE DISPATCHER: And you don`t know why?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE CALLER: I don`t know why. I think they`re
yelling help. But I don`t know. Just send someone quick.

911 FEMALE DISPATCHER: OK. Does he look hurt to you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE CALLER: I can`t see him. I don`t want to go out
there. I don`t know what`s going on.

They`re coming.

911 FEMALE DISPATCHER: Do you think he`s yelling "help?"


911 FEMALE DISPATCHER: All right. What is your --?



SHARPTON: In a moment, we`ll talk to two experts who studied that
phone call extensively.

Today we visited one of them, Tom Owen, at his office in New Jersey,
to see how he is able to analyze the tape, to find who is actually talking,
and what they`re saying.


OWEN: When I`m speaking to you, I`m speaking in so many words per
second. I`m speaking in a certain manner. I`m speaking either fast or
slow than somebody else. So these are all individual traits that can be
utilized to make a measurement.

When I speak, I`m creating -- acoustically, I`m creating spectrogram,
giving you the time, energy and frequency of my voice. That translates on
paper to what we call a spectrogram, OK? If you were to take me speaking
now and use a pitch transposer and go up a third or another third or
another third, those spectrograms would still look the same.


SHARPTON: Now, joining me now is Tom Owen, chairman in of American
Board of Recorded Evidence, and Ed Primeau is an audio engineer and expert
in recorded evidence who has also studied the 911 tape.

Thank you to both of you for being here tonight.

OWEN: You`re welcome, reverend.


SHARPTON: Tom, tell us. The voice we hear yelling for help on that
tape, who is yelling "help, help, help"?

OWEN: It`s my opinion that it`s not Mr. Zimmerman.

SHARPTON: Now, it`s your opinion it is not Mr. Zimmerman. How did
you come to that conclusion?

OWEN: Well, I took the Zimmerman alone by himself segment of his 911
call, as well as the screams that you hear on the other 911 call, isolated
those screams, and then compared the two. So Zimmerman is a known sample,
because he identified himself on the tape, and the comparison to that
against the screams, whom we don`t know scientifically who that actually
is, because I have nothing to compare it to.

SHARPTON: So if you would know if it was the Trayvon Martin or not,
because you don`t have any samples of Trayvon Martin`s voice.

OWEN: That`s correct.

SHARPTON: All right. Ed, you did an independent, separate, have no
connection with Tom, and you used a different method, is that correct?

PRIMEAU: I used a more traditional approach to the examination, but
like Tom, I did edit the two samples back-to-back, and I`ve done a little
more work on that today. And I used critical listening skills that I`ve
developed over 28-plus years in the industry and listened to the voices
critically, as well as other scientific evidence within these 911

SHARPTON: And what was your conclusion on who was the one on the tape
yelling help?

PRIMEAU: Here`s my opinion, reverend. It`s not George Zimmerman,
because the voice is completely different. The human voice is like a
symphony. Like Mr. Owen just said, there`s characteristics that every
human being has that differentiates us, just like a fingerprint point. And
in this particular case, there were two people at the scene. And forensic
low speaking, unless there was somebody else there, I think we know who
that voice is.

SHARPTON: Now, let me ask both of you this. I just had Catherine
Crier and former U.S. attorney Zack Carter on. And they said that this
would have to be authenticated. You have, both Tome and Ed, testified in
court and have had to do these kind of testimonies at trials, is that

OWEN: Yes, sir.

PRIMEAU: That`s absolutely correct.

SHARPTON: How does it work? Tell me how it works, Tom.

OWEN: Well, the authentication process is an examination process. In
this instance, the tapes came from the 911 system, which is the law
enforcement system. So -- and nobody said the tapes were not
authenticated. But we can conduct an examination on the original tapes,
should they be provided to us from the 911 call center.

SHARPTON: Ed, your experience in courts, and what kind of experiences
have you had in terms of cross-examinations you feel you would be able, if
you were to be called if there is a trial here to deal with why you have
come to this conclusion.

PRIMEAU: Reverend, we`re forensic experts that are on a legal team
involved in a litigation. It`s our job to bring out whatever clues that we
can find from the recordings to the team captain. And then make a
determination on how to use these. These recordings are authentic. They
came from the 911 call from. I think authentication may not be the word
we`re looking for here, but we`re all trying to find answers and that`s
what Tom and I have been involved in, in the last 48 hours.

SHARPTON: Now Tom, let me ask you something -- let me say something.
You -- I want to talk about another piece of the tape. I know last night
you said, Ed, that on the "Last Word" with Lawrence O`Donnell that you do
hear a racial slur. But Tom, you`re not so sure. Am I right, Tom?

OWEN: That`s correct.

SHARPTON: And let me play to you exactly what was said.


SHARPTON: That`s Tom -- that`s you trying to figure out what was said
where this slur is supposed to be. Is that correct?

OWEN: I believe so.

SHARPTON: And you can`t come up, in your mind, or in your hearing,
with the slur to take a position on this -- that you can affirm it or say
that you hear the slur.

OWEN: Basically, rev, what I hear is -- what I heard is, I didn`t
hear -- the fact of the matter is, I did not hear the word that`s in
question here. And I don`t know if I can say it on the air or not. But --

SHARPTON: But you did hear a curse word.

OWEN: I`m not sure what I hear there. But I just -- I`m looking for
an "ooh" sound, and I`m not getting linguistically an "ooh" sound. And
that`s fairly clear to me. And it`s -- what you were playing before is
just one word. If you play the whole three or four words, it`s easier to
tell exactly what we`re listening to.

SHARPTON: All right. Well, we will -- it will be determined. I know
that what Ed said last night, and I wanted to give you the opportunity for
your opinion.

Tom Owen and Ed Primeau, thanks for your time tonight, to both of you.

PRIMEAU: Thank you very much.

SHARPTON: Still ahead. I`ll respond to critics on the right -- a TV
host has no business fighting for justice.

And then, President Obama puts fairness at the center of the campaign
and calls ought Mitt Romney by name. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: For weeks now, I`ve been part of a movement to bring
justice for Trayvon Martin, because that`s what he deserves. But some in
the right wing media are on their own kind of movement. A hypocrisy
movement. Here`s what Bill O`Reilly laid and said about me last night on
FOX News.


BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: And then you have Al Sharpton, who is
a show. An hour. It`s fine. I mean, the guy is lively. If he can bring
in a number, more power to him. But now, what, is Al Sharpton a show host,
or is he the national activist? What is he? I don`t know what he is.


SHARPTON: So O`Reilly says, I`m crossing the line. But just two
years ago, O`Reilly`s fellow FOX News host, Glenn Beck, held his own event,
called the restoring honor rally. It was held on the national mall on the
anniversary of Dr. King`s "I Have a Dream" speech that promoted it as a
nonpolitical event and even brought up Dr. King a few times as he talked
about restoring American values. Two days later, he went on O`Reilly`s
show to talk about it.


O`REILLY: Now, top story, there he is, the Beck-meister. All right.
Congratulations to you.


O`REILLY: In hindsight, I want to know what you thought was the best
moment in the rally and the worst moment, not just in the rally, but of the
whole experience. Let`s start with the best.


SHARPTON: Congratulations to you. That was from one host to another
host about highlights of the rally. Not about the ethics of organizing a
rally. The two FOX anchors then shifted to the backlash Beck was getting
about the timing of the event.


BECK: There are going to be -- the attacks are going to go out.

O`REILLY: OK. But we`ll defend you, Beck. I have your back. And
I`m not saying that facetiously. I`m basically -- you put yourself out
there and I agree with some stuff you say, I disagree with others. But I`m
going to defend you.


SHARPTON: I have your back. I`m going to defend you. Bill O`Reilly
sticks up for a colleague who was getting criticized for hosting a rally he
says was nonpolitical. Listen how O`Reilly wrapped up the interview.


O`REILLY: Sharpton is going to reply to you, and that should be
interesting. But once again, I want to congratulate you.

BECK: Thank you, sir.

O`REILLY: I don`t think there`s anybody in the country that could
have mobilized that many people at this point in time. I don`t think there
is anybody else, besides Pamela Anderson. She might be able to do it but.

BECK: I don`t --

O`REILLY: No, you don`t think so?


O`REILLY: OK. Cross her off my list. Glenn Beck, everybody. Check
him out at 5:00.


SHARPTON: I want to congratulate you. Interesting. But that was not
the only time Glenn Beck participated in a rally while working in the
media. Back in 2007, when he was a CNN host, he joined me as we marched on
record companies to call for decency in hip-hop lyrics. We advertised it
on his CNN show. In fact, CNN had had for years a civil rights leader at
the said time as they had a talk show there. And Beck worked at headline
news. I raise all that to show, they`re using different standards. All of
this is a distraction rather than to discuss whether there was probable
cause for George Zimmerman to be arrested. That`s the issue. All these
other issues are to take our minds off the point. Nice try. But O`Reilly,
I got you.


SHARPTON: Welcome back to POLITICS NATION. Today, President Obama
kicked off a new phase of his 2012 campaign, attacking Mitt Romney by name.
And making it clear his re-election effort will be all about fairness. The
President launched a full attack on the Paul Ryan budget, which Romney has
endorsed. Which was passed last week by House Republicans. And which has
become the main GOP blueprint for the economy.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: The Republicans running
Congress right now have doubled down. And proposed a budget so far to the
right, it makes the contract with America look like the new deal. In fact,
that renowned liberal, Newt Gingrich, first called the original version of
the budget radical. And said it would contribute to right wing social
engineering. It is a Trojan horse. Disguised as deficit reduction plans.
It is really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It is
thinly veiled social Darwinism.


SHARPTON: Social Darwinism. Only the strong survive. That`s what
the Ryan plan is all about. It literally takes from the poor and gives to
the rich. Sixty two percent of his budget cuts targets programs for the
poor. That`s $3.3 trillion worth of cuts. On the flip side, Ryan rewrites
the tax code to benefit the rich. Millionaires would get an average of
$265,000 in tax cuts from under the Ryan plan. Middle class Americans
would get just $751. This is the real redistribution of wealth. From the
poor to the rich and today, the President ridiculed Romney for supporting


OBAMA: One of my potential opponents, Governor Romney, has said that
he hoped a similar version of this plan from last year would be introduced
as a bill on day one of his presidency. He said that he`s very supportive
of this new budget. And he even called it marvelous. Which is a word you
don`t often hear when it comes to describing a budget. It`s a word you
don`t often hear generally.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is Congressman James Moran, a member of the
appropriations committee and the progressive caucus. And David Corn,
Washington Bureau Chief for Mother Jones and an MSNBC political analyst.
His new book is "Showdown: The Inside Story of How Obama Fought Back
Against Boehner, Cantor and the Tea Party."

Congressman, let me start with you. Do you agree with the President
this Ryan plan is a Trojan horse to radically reshape our government?

REP. JAMES MORAN (D), VIRGINIA: Absolutely. This is a radical
budget. You know, if you compare it to current law, people making more
than $1 million a year on average, would actually save $394,000 a year in
less taxes. Because he doesn`t let the Bush tax cuts expire for the upper
class as President Obama wants to do. While at the same time, he`s cutting
billions, basically, 62 percent, as you said, in programs to benefit the
middle class and the poor, like education and training, research and
development, student loans. And, of course, the biggest cuts come from
Medicare. So, this is defining of the difference between Mitt Romney and
Barack Obama.

Since Mitt Romney has embraced this budget, as the President said,
calls it marvelous, then let`s let him explain why he thinks that it`s
right to take away so many of the programs that have made America the real
land of opportunity, and instead, it will be a land of greater inequality
and disparity. So, that`s why President Obama is right. To get aggressive
on this. You know, if Paul Ryan wants to make this a country of winner
take all, survival of the fittest, I think most Americans realize, this is
not the country, the America that I love and willing to send my children to
war to defend. This is not the kind of country that has made America great
and the rest of the world looks to for leadership. That`s not who we are.
And this budget is not what we are about.

SHARPTON: Now, David, in fact, Romney has praised the Ryan plan. Let
me show you this March 20th, what Mitt Romney said about the Ryan plan.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m very supportive of the
Ryan budget plan. I think it`s a bold and peaceful and exciting effort on
his part and the part of the Republicans. And it`s very much consistent
with what I put out earlier. I applaud it, it`s an excellent piece of work
and very much needed.


SHARPTON: Very much part of what I put out earlier, David. So, now,
because of that kind of warm embrace and comparison to himself, isn`t the
Ryan plan now also the Romney plan, that he`s going to have to really
defend this throughout this race, if, in fact, he is the nominee?

DAVID CORN, MOTHER JONES: I think it is. I think Ryan equals Romney
is a good campaign slogan for the Obama campaign, and they`re using it.
I`ll tell you a story, Reverend. When I was working on that book, which I
was talking to a lot of people inside the White House and I was talking to
a senior White House official at the time, and the end of last year, when
Romney endorsed the first version of the Ryan budget. He kind of doubled
down and supported -- I think it was in November or December. And the
White House people were just giddy, because they think this gives them the
opportunity to draw the stark contrast in values and visions. You know, a
year ago -- it was almost a year ago to the date, the President gave a
speech at George Washington University in which he decried the first Ryan
plan, which is sort of more of less what we have today, as a darkly
pessimistic vision for America. And a couple of days before the speech, he
was in the White House with his top aides and he said, listen, I just came
back from a trip to Latin America, I`ve been in Chile in other countries
where they`re actually investing money in education, alternative energy,
infrastructure. So they have a positive vision of where they can go as a
nation. We can`t do any of that here.


CORN: You know, these people on the other side don`t believe in the
America that I believe in.

SHARPTON: Well, I think that`s the point of believing in the America
we believe in. You mentioned that, Congressman. Isn`t it so that the Tea
Party and the far right has moved this party so far to the right that it is
a place that Romney has had to go, way away from where the American
mainstream is. In fact, let me show you what President Obama said about
Ronald Reagan and his -- or this present Republican Party. This is the
President on Reagan today.


OBAMA: Ronald Reagan, who as I recall, is not accused of being a tax
and spend socialist, understood repeatedly that when the deficit started to
get out of control, that for him to make a deal, he would have to propose
both spending cuts and tax increases. Did it multiple times. He could not
get through a republican primary today.


SHARPTON: Congressman Ronald Reagan couldn`t get through a republican
primary today. They`ve gone that far to the right?

MORAN: I think that`s true. You know, Ronald Reagan increased taxes
11 times and raised the debt ceiling 17 times, I believe. I mean, he --
basically was a pragmatist. He was certainly conservative, but he wanted
to keep the government functioning. He knew that the government does have
roles that are indispensable. This budget basically eliminates the
government by 2050, when our children will be adults in charge of it all.
All that be is Social Security, some defense spending, interest on the debt
that they`ve inherited from us, and a very reduced Medicare plan. There
won`t be the money to put into education and transportation,
infrastructure, even defense of our country, let alone, FBI, law
enforcement and the research and development at the national institutes of

All of those things that have made America greater, they are reduced
to less than three percent -- three quarters percent, actually, of GDP, if
you include defense. So, you know, basically, this is kind of a Sheriff
Nottingham budget, if you will. It takes from the poor, gives to the rich
and that`s not what America is about. I know it`s not what the Democratic
Party is about. And it certainly is not what President Obama is about. I
read David Corn. I bought David Corn`s book. I`m reading it. It`s worth
reading, because it shows what happened in the back rooms how strongly --

SHARPTON: Well, David, before the Congressman ends his plug for your
book, let me ask you quickly. It`s a good book, you gave me a copy, I`m
reading it as well. But, David, is the Tea Party going to take Romney

CORN: I don`t think so. I mean, I think -- not purposefully. I do
think that having to play to the Tea Party is leaving an indelible
impression about Romney with independent voters. It you look at the
polling data from last fall to now, Romney had a very good standing,
initially, amongst independent voters and women in swing states. But now
we see in the last couple weeks, his ratings have plummeted with both
categories. And the issue is once he sort of gets past Rick Santorum,
whether he can sort of pivot again. But the problem Romney has is that he
has been pivoting all his political life. So every time he turns around
again, it supports the narrative that the guy has no political soul.

SHARPTON: Got to go. Thank you both Congressman Jim Moran and David
Corn for your time tonight. Both of you. And Congressman, you`re right
about David`s Book. I`ll join in the plug.

CORN: Thanks.

SHARPTON: All right. Sarah Palin hits morning TV with a co hosting
gig on the "Today" show. We`ll tell you what she didn`t say about Willard
Romney. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Sarah Palin on Romney, the lame stream media and arts and
crafts. Quite a morning co-hosting the "Today" show. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: This morning, Sarah Palin tried out a new gig, co-hosting
the "Today" show. Taking the opportunity to poke a little fun at herself.


MATT LAUER, "TODAY SHOW": It`s 7:30 now on a Tuesday morning, April
3rd. That`s my dressing room, apparently now her dressing room. And she`s
taking notes, getting ready for some upcoming segments here.

SHARPTON: Of course, Palin famously wrote crib notes on her palm for
a big speech back in 2010. Now she`s trying to reboot. But offering all
support for Mitt Romney. Is she the most interesting republican out there?
We`ll talk about that, next.


SHARPTON: We`re back to talk about the newest member of the lame
stream media, Sarah Palin. This morning she co-hosted the second hour of
the "Today" show. And before that, she weighed in on Willard Mitt Romney
in an interview with Matt Lauer.


LAUER: So if Governor Romney does well in Wisconsin today and
Maryland and District of Columbia, it seems he is the nominee. Are you
happy with that?

SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: You know, anything is still
possible. There can still be a bit of a shake-up. But the numbers are
what the numbers are. And, yes, he does seem to be obviously the front
runner. And, you know, I`ve been on the mind-set that anybody but Obama.


SHARPTON: Not exactly a ringing endorsement. But can you blame her?
Willard just can`t connect with people. And whether you like her or not,
Sarah Palin can connect. She did this this morning. And she did it by
poking a little fun at herself.


LAUER: It is a pleasure to welcome the former Alaska Governor Sarah
Palin, to our program this morning. She is -- oh, man. She is doing her
homework. Governor, it`s nice to have you here. By the way, she told me a
funny story. Tell everybody what happened when you were coming to 30 Rock

PALIN: Oh, geez, Matt. Nicest lady in the world, she stopped me,
asked where I was headed, I said 30 Rock. And she said, oh, honey, come
here, I told you, Tina Fey is here.

LAUER: It`s 7:30 now on a Tuesday morning, April 3rd. That`s my
dressing room, apparently now her dressing room. And she`s taking notes,
getting ready for some upcoming segments here.


SHARPTON: Imagine Willard doing that. But this doesn`t make Palin an
effective GOP candidate by any means. But Willard could learn a thing or
two from Sarah when it comes to connecting with people.

Joining me once again is Catherine Crier, she is wearing a different
hat now, this time as a long time award winning journalist. She is also
author of "Patriot Acts." Thanks for staying with us. Now, what can the
GOP learn from Sarah Palin?

has been teaching since she was the VP designee with John McCain, and that
is that charisma is very important. On the campaign trail. Certainly as
politics has become part of the media age for decades now. We understand
that personality and charisma is very, very important. And she`s got it --
she`s got it, you know, by the bucketful.

SHARPTON: On the political side, Matt Lauer said to her, should the
party choose a more seasoned politician, and conservative. She said, no
matter who they choose, they`re going to get clobbered by the media.

CRIER: Well, that`s the standard. I mean, the media is always a
target. You know, no one who was, you know, sitting behind the desk during
the Clinton years and the impeachment years or -- you go back in time. And
the media goes after whoever the incumbency is, they`re challenging the
status quo. Be at the republican or democratic status quo. And we forget
that sometimes. But the media is a very, very effective target to rally
your constituents with.

SHARPTON: It seems you know, that Palin doesn`t like bad press, but
she does like to be the conversation. She does like to stay in the game,
so to speak.

CRIER: Well, she is so smart. Because think about it. She`s
demonstrated a bit of touchiness, and you can`t blame the overwhelming
coverage. But she`ll get angry and then all of a sudden it`s like she
backs off, regroups, goes, we need to take a different approach. And then
we do the newspaper routine this morning. She is writing notes on her
hand, making fun of herself. Charming everyone. So she is -- remember,
she started in the media.


CRIER: Sportscaster. She knows her stuff.

SHARPTON: She was doing cooking and arts and crafts. And let me show
you this. Interesting. The PPP poll had Sarah Palin favorable ratings at
68 percent. This is among republican primary voters. Sixty eight percent.
Rick Santorum, 46 percent. Mitt Romney only 32 percent. So Catherine,
charisma does matter. Thanks for your time tonight. I`ve got to go.

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


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