Guests: Chris Jansing, Berry Gordy; Anthony Decurtis, Donna Edwards, Thomas Reese, Ken
Padowitz, Joe Madison, Dana Milbank
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Welcome to "Politics Nation," I`m
Tonight`s lead, the death of a legend. Tributes are pouring in for
Dick Clark. The TV and music icon who passed away today at the age of 82.
The host of "American Bandstand" and "New Year`s Rockin` Eve" died at Santa
Monica this morning after suffering a massive heart attack.
He started hosting "American Bandstand" back in 1956, help to bring
rock and roll, soul, and other popular music into living rooms for the
In 1972, he launched Dick Clark`s "Rockin` New Year`s Eve" beginning
an annual tradition of helping America drop the ball here in New York`s
I met Mr. Clark during my time as a son to James Brown, the godfather
soul. I didn`t know him well, but he was obviously and all-American icon.
NBC`s Chris Jansing has a look back in his life and career.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Live from Philadelphia --
CHRIS JANSING, NBC NEWS ANCHOR (voice-over): He walked on to the
stage with an effortless appeal.
And we welcomed him in to our homes for what would be a 50 year visit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, here`s Chubb Birches.
JANSING: Often called America`s oldest teenage, he seemed ageless,
hosting "American Bandstand" for more than 30 year, from black and white to
DICK CLARK, TV HOST ICON: The greatest fantasy of my life. Been
working 35 years this television, it`s my first love. And the bandstand
made it all possible.
JANSING: Dick Clark was born Richard Wagstaff Clark in 1929 in Mount
Vernon, New York. His mom a homemaker, his father owned a chain of radio
stations. And after graduating from Syracuse University, he got a job in
radio, too. And music was his passion.
CLARK: Music underscores everything that happens to you. The good
stuff and bad stuff. Music really is one of the tree most important things
in our lives.
JANSING: In Philadelphia, in 1956, Clark took over a popular local
teen music and dance show.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is WFIL-TV.
JANSING: And quickly turned it into a national sensation. "American
Bandstand" launched the careers of hundreds of artists from the Supremes to
the Beach Boys even a young Michael Jackson.
CLARK: Please bid for their first visit. The Jackson five.
JANSING: Clark`s career was threatening this had 1960 when he was
called in front of Congress and accused of taking money to promote artists.
CLARK: I have sworn under oath that I have never taken payola.
JANSING: He was cleared of all charges and went on to succeed far
A prolific entrepreneur, he created the American music awards,
produced the Golden Globes, hosted the $10,000 pyramid until it was worth
$100,000. And in 1972, launched this new year`s eve tradition.
CLARK: When I say New Year`s Eve, do you think of any other place in
the world? No, you think of times square.
JANSING: Clark was that new year`s eve institution until 2004 when
his life took a scary turn.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Clark is recovering tonight from the
JANSING: He was hospitalized for seven weeks after that stroke and
for the first time in 33 year, he was unable to host his rocking eve
countdown. One year later, he made a brave return.
CLARK: It was a long hard fight. My speech is into the perfect, but
I`m getting this there. You and I have been a part of each other for so
many new year`s eves. That I wouldn`t have missed this for the world.
JANSING: After that, he didn`t miss a new year`s in New York co-
hosting with Ryan Seacrest.
RYAN SEACREST, TV AND RADIO HOST: Dick, you`ve done this for the last
40 years. Please take it away. Count us down to the new year.
CLARK: All right. And now the big moment we`ve been waiting for.
Five, four, three, two, one -- Happy New Year!
JANSING: Clark then said good-bye to his loyal audience one more
CLARK: Taken a little time. All that energy, all those happy people.
I`ll remember this night for a long, long time.
JANSING: A father of three gasoline child, Clark once said "American
Bandstand" was like his fourth child that fans were like family.
Now that family is in mourning.
Chris Jansing, NBC news, Los Angeles.
SHARPTON: Joining me is Anthony Decurtis, a contributing editor at
"Rolling Stone" magazine. Joining me on the phone live, is icon, himself,
the legendary music mogul Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown records.
Thanks to both of you for joining us tonight.
Let me start with you, Mr. Gordy. You worked with Dick Clark and your
artists many of them had to deal with them. What did it mean to the world
of music to deal with Dick Clark, how important was he to the world of
music in your developing Motown?
BERRY GORDY, FOUNDER, MOTOWN RECORDS (via telephone): First of all,
Reverend, thanks for calling me and I`m delighted to be here. But I`m so
saddened and devastated over the loss of my dear friend Dick Clark. I was
friends with him for over 50 years.
GORDY: And he gave me my first break with the a record (INAUDIBLE)
that I heard for the very first on his show that I heard it, it was
released and I heard it on local TV and he was playing on national TV at
the same time. And what he has meant to the record business and the world
is too big to even describe.
And what he did for me personally was too big to describe because for
50 years, he and I were just very close. He was from Philly. I was from
GORDY: And we round up being neighbors in Malibu California for a
long time. So he was a major force in changing pop culture.
The first time I heard my record, I got a headache, there was a first
time and I could see white kids, you know, playing my record even before
there was a Motown. And then when there was a Motown, he continued that.
They had a little known record that just came out and he graciously put
them on the Dick Clark care van of stars where their records - when the
care van was finished, he was so popular and to their records was number in
the country. He is so dedicated.
And we became friends after that, you know, for all these years over
50 years, I was also very friendly with his wife, Carrie, who took care of
him so wonderfully, you know, throughout his whole career and during his
sickness, she was right there by his side and I love her so much.
And I saw her recently at American music awards which he promoted.
GORDY: And so, he did everything. Dick Clark did everything with
class and style and integrity. And he always -- of course he loved all
music. But it seemed that he loved Motown music a little more and he was
always there for us.
SHARPTON: Now, he helped to bridge that whole gap of bringing R&B and
soul music into the living rooms of white America.
GORDY: Right. When I first saw my record, it was the first time I
saw white kids dance to go my record on Bandstand. I mean, I got a
GORDY: I could not believe what I was seeing because, you know, it
was just -- and Bandstand was a platform for all artists.
GORDY: I mean, from everybody. Elvis Presley, Chubby Checker,
whoever, black, white, or whatever, Bandstand was there for music and
helped to integrate the country in so many ways more that anybody probably
realizes but he was one of the first. He was the pioneer. And I was just
so thrilled to call him of - call him his my wonderful, wonderful friend.
SHARPTON: Let me ask you here Mr. , you hear Berry Gordy obviously,
the star figure, that the whole world -- speaking with such passion. The
sense of the importance of Dick Clark in American cultural history and
world history could be overstated.
ANTHONY DECURTIS, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, ROLLING STONE: Well, that`s
right. I mean, I don`t think I feel like I can do much more than just
gloss what Berry Gordy said. I mean, here`s a real sense of what, in
cultural terms, a sense of un-intended consequences.
I mean, Dick Clark wasn`t a gut marching around. He wasn`t in a
protest figure. He wasn`t an activist. But look at the impact. I mean,
putting forward these artists as Berry Gordy described. That was him. He
was a kind of wedge figure, you know, in a way, you know, people talk about
there was this kind of white bread quality to "American Bandstand." But
that`s really missing larger point.
DECURTIS: Of Introducing these people in a way that really made it
seem like what`s the big deal. You know, if you think about other figure
somebody like Rick Nelson in Dozy and Harry (ph) or Ed Sullivan functioned
in a similar way. They made something that had an important edge seem like
something that was acceptable and eventually it became acceptable.
SHARPTON: Mr. Gordy, the thing that also struck me and I`m hearing it
in your voice is how people would still be personally close with him. It
seemed like everyone felt like he engaged them personally and liked him
personally, which was not always the case in the music world.
GORDY: Dick Clark was a master at that, you know, at making people
feel important and talking directly to them. I mean, I thought I was, you
know, one of his very, very best friends and of course I was going to live
next door and we would talk and he was just so gracious.
But when I talked to other people, they feel the same way, you know,
because Dick was very humble. You know, being as powerful as he was, he
was very humble. And he had this subtle integration that was happening
just by what he was doing, being himself. He never tried to be anybody
else. And Dick was an entrepreneur, you know.
He was not -- even though he was a great music man and he did all the
music, he had other things. He did Broadway plays. He did other things as
you know right away. I mean, he did the rocking new year`s eve show and he
was all around.
So he brought that -- he helped to bring that social integration long
before the laws changed, long before that. And he was a catalyst for most
of that, you know. And I always looked up to him myself because of the
fact that, you know, on did it he did it from his thing, his emotion, his
GORDY: And while he was an entrepreneur, it was never the money and
fame that he was for, it was just the love of what he was doing.
SHARPTON: That`s who he was. Well, we want to start the show tonight
and give tribute.
Thank you Anthony Decurtis and certainly we`re moved and thank you for
taking time on this day to talk about your friend, to the icon, himself,
Berry Gordy, founder of Motown.
Thanks for your time tonight.
GORDY: Thank you, Reverend. It was wonderful, wonderful just talking
to you. And talking about somebody that I love dearly.
SHARPTON: Thank you.
Coming up, breaking news in the secret service sex scandal. Three men
are leaving the agency. We`ll have the very latest.
Plus, conservatives rally around Ted Nugent despite his outrageous
attacks on the president. Now, the secret service wants to talk to him.
And George Zimmerman gets a new judge in his murder trial. How will
it affect the quest for justice for Trayvon Martin?
You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.
SHARPTON: We are back with breaking news. Three agents involved in
the secret service sex scandal are leaving the agency. One supervisor is
being fired. Another supervisor is being allowed to retire. And the third
agent is resigning. The eight remaining agents are still on administrative
leave. Their security clearances are still suspended.
The secret service says the investigation is still ongoing, including
polygraph tests for the agents involved.
NBC news also reports that investigators are look at surveillance
individual why video from that hotel. We will be right back.
SHARPTON: Republicans think the war on women is as real as the war on
caterpillars. But we know that`s fiction. And women do, too. And it`s
causing a huge problem for Mitt Romney.
A new poll shows he`s down by a whopping 45 points under -- with women
under the age of 30 and it`s not a surprise. He`s been on the wrong side
of basically all women issues. From defunding Planned Parenthood to
supporting a law banning all abortions.
Is it any surprise Willard has issues with women voters?
Joining me now is Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat from California.
And a tireless crusade for women`s for woman`s rights.
SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D), CALIFORNIA: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Senator Boxer, thank you for your time tonight.
SHARPTON: What do these new women polls on Romney tell you?
BOXER: Well, they tell me that women get it. That women are tune in.
And if I do nothing else for this election, it`s to make sure that they
tune in even more. When you look at what Republicans are doing including
Mitt Romney to women`s health, for example, to women equal opportunity for
equality in the workplace, it`s just goes on and on. They`re hurting
Now, you have Mitt Romney saying he wants to, quote, "get rid of,"
unquote, Planned Parenthood. He wants to get rid of Planned Parenthood
that serves three million Americans and gives will them basic health care,
prevention, breast screening, other kinds of cancer screening, STD
I will tell you this. It hurts the American people that type of
policy. When you look at the Republicans in congress, there`s no less than
30 bills introduced by Republicans in the house. All of them by
Republicans that would restrict women`s health including listen to will
this, they want to outlaw the birth control pill and in-vitro
You have Lily Ledbetter who was senator Obama`s model for why new need
equal pay for equal work going around the country telling people don`t vote
for Mitt Romney because he basically said he wasn`t sure if he would sign
the equal pay bill and he called Governor Walker a hero. Governor Walker
from Wisconsin who just repealed the equal pay bill.
SHARPTON: Well, let me say, senator, for people that are watching
this, it was a little stunning that we could not even get the public that
is a straight answer out of Mitt Romney on the Lilly Ledbetter bill. Let
me show you this.
SHARPTON: He says "I`m not going to go back and look at all the prior
laws and say had I been there which ones I would have supported."
That was his answer on equal pay act, Lilly Ledbetter. I mean, how
do you not take affirmative position on something as simple as that?
BOXER: Well, it`s something so straightforward. Equal rights for
women in the workplace. The story of Lilly Ledbetter is amazing. I don`t
know, Reverend, if you`ve had her on her show, but she is compelling. This
is a southern woman who worked as a manager a tire company and a friend of
hers didn`t put his name to a letter, slipped a header into her mail box
and it said. Lilly, I so respect and admire you, you are not getting the
same pay as your male counterparts.
She was stunned. And she sued and the lower courts said absolutely
you deserve a compensation. The Supreme Court said, you know, she wasn`t
treated fairly, but Congress needs to change the law to allow her and
people hike her more time to get justice.
We passed the raw. It`s critical. If Mitt Romney can`t answer that,
he is not going to be able to answer anything. You`re absolutely right.
This is the most black and white issue. Whether you believe in equal pay.
SHARPTON: And we see just in the last week war on women is happening
at the state level, too.
In Arizona, Governor Brewster signed a 20 week abortion ban.
In Mississippi, Governor Bryant signed a restrictive regulatory law
that could close only abortion clinics.
In New Hampshire, Republicans are pushing a blunt amendment like law
to get employers to deny birth control coverage.
In Ohio, Republicans just today unveiled a plan to defund planned
So, on a state by state level, represented by a national candidate, it
seems like they`re digging in their heels against women at a time that they
expect women to vote for them.
BOXER: Yes. They say there`s no war on women and Reverend Al, I`m so
glad you raised the states. There are no less than 500 bills in the
various states in the union, they`re completely outrageous. Ninety percent
of them, 90 percent, are written by Republicans.
And I need to tell you, one of them in Arizona says that life begins
two weeks before conception. That is what is going on in our nation today.
And President Obama is there to protect the women of this country, in the
workplace, in the privacy of their homes, and wants to make sure that a
woman has the right to decide her future in terms of her reproductive
health care. This means respect for women.
And when Mitt Romney doesn`t even know if he`d sign a bill promising
us equal pay for equal work, I got to say to the women out there, whether
you`re a Republican, a Democrat or independent, if you`re a self respecting
human being, please vote for President Obama and to the men who care about
women, do the same thing.
SHARPTON: Now senator, you released a music video for win with women
campaign pushing to get more women elected to congress. Would you say this
war on women we`re seeing makes it more important than ever to have women
go to congress? And that`s why you put that video out?
BOXER: We need democratic women who will fight for women`s rights,
SHARPTON: Well, that`s the video and the music out. So you are
championing the whole election for women and it`s on your Web site and
you`re continuing the fight.
BOXER: I will. And I also think it`s President Obama all the way.
SHARPTON: Senator Boxer, thanks for your time tonight.
BOXER: Thank you.
CLARK: Ahead, breaking news in the George Zimmerman case. This
there`s a new judge. What impact whether this have on Zimmerman`s bail?
We`re live in Florida.
And rocker Ted Nugent will meet with the secret service tomorrow. But
the right wing talkers have no problem with his appalling comments.
Where`s the leadership?
SHARPTON: Republicans spent most of this year accusing President
Obama of waging a war on religion. Yet now GOP leaders are pushing a
budget that catholic bishops say doesn`t meet moral criteria.
You`re watching "Politics Nations." Stay with us.
SHARPTON: This Election Day we need to ask one question, do we want
to live in a country where the poor and middle class are told to fend for
themselves or one where every American gets a fair shot? I know which side
this President is on. Yet the GOP is taking that chance away from the
poorest among us. Republicans are looking to cut $33 billion from food
stamps in order to offset Pentagon cuts. Policies like this are the reason
that Catholic bishops are blasting the republican house budget. Saying
that, quote, "fails to meet moral criteria." But when asked about this
today, Speaker Boehner wasn`t convinced.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Do they have a moral argument though?
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Yes, but I want to
take a bigger look.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Maybe you should take a bigger look. One that asks everyone to pay
their fair share. Not just the poor.
Joining me now is Congresswoman Donna Edwards, democrat for Maryland
and Father Thomas Reese, a senior fellow at Georgetown University`s
Woodstock Theological Center. He joined other Catholic leaders in speaking
out against drastic GOP cuts against the poor. Thank you both for being
REP. DONNA EDWARDS (D), MARYLAND: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Father Reese, let me start with you. It might be obvious,
but why did priests like yourself come out against these cuts?
FATHER THOMAS REESE, SR. FELLOW, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: Well, we`re
not naive. We know that the country is under economic constraints. And
that sacrifices have to be made. But these sacrifices should not be born
only by the poor. And predominantly by the poor. Which is what we have in
the Ryan budget. He`s trying to balance the budget and provide tax cuts
for the wealthy on the backs of the poor. And that`s simply is not just.
That`s not a budget based on the gospel, that`s a budget based on social
Darwinism, on the thought of Ayn Rand, you know who is an atheistic
philosopher who is anti-religion, and said that we should just, you know,
be motivated by selfishness. Christian city says, we should be motivated
to help the poor just like Jesus did.
SHARPTON: Now, Congresswoman Edwards, when we look at the facts about
food stamps, the program is really a lifesaver for the poor. Children are
-- it is proven that it works. And that it impacts 75 percent of his
participants are families with children. It impacts children in a real,
real serious way.
EDWARDS: Well, I think that`s right, Reverend Al. And what the
Catholic bishops understand really clearly and what they`ve articulated is
that the republican budget eviscerates a social safety net and that means
nutrition programs that feed children and the disabled and the elderly. It
means that ripping out from underneath people who are the most vulnerable.
And this is completely against Catholic social teachings and I`m glad the
bishops have come out and said, you know, there`s a morality to a budget,
as well, and this one totally fails the test.
SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you, Reverend Reese, as you know, I`m a
Baptist. You`re Catholic. We`re both Christians. Something confused me.
Paul Ryan, who wrote this budget, in an interview last week, he said his
Christian faith helped guide him in this budget plan. Let me show you
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: The preferential option for the poor
which is one of the primary tenants of Catholic social teaching means don`t
keep people poor, don`t make people dependent on government so that they
stay stuck in their station in life. Help people get out of poverty on to
life of independence.
SHARPTON: Now, you and the Catholic leaders took a position against
his budget. How do you interpret the theology that he just said in that
REESE: Well, I`d like to ask him, you know, how is he going to help
the poor? By throwing them out on the street on their own, by cutting
pell-grants which help the poor get an education, by cutting food stamps
that help the poor eat? You know, as Catholics, we believe that the
government and other institutions have a shared responsibility to work
together for the common good. And to help people, to give people a fair
chance, to educate themselves and improve themselves. You don`t do that by
throwing them out on their own and abandoning them in the streets. You do
it by giving them job training so that they can get work, so that they can
get a step up. This is what a real Catholic social teaching would direct
SHARPTON: Now, let me go back to you, Congresswoman. Mr. Cantor says
that the President is only interested in micro managing small businesses.
And then when you look at small businesses that`s covered under his bill,
they include companies with fewer than 500 employees. But that would
include things like Paris Hilton entertainment or Donald Trump towers sales
and leasing, Los Angeles Dodgers which just sold for $2 billion. There are
a lot of companies under 500 employees, Congresswoman.
EDWARDS: Well, and I think that, you know, this underscores the
problem with the definition here. I mean, small businesses, and I know in
my Congressional district and across the country, we really are talking
about individuals, entrepreneurs really trying to make a go of it who need,
you know, some stability and predict ability in the economy, and they`re
hiring our neighbors. The mom and pop businesses in our communities,
they`re growing technology firm all across the country, that really are
going to be the base of innovation. And so I think when you combine, you
know, that idea of small business with what`s happening with the budget,
it`s really clear that Republicans don`t understand that when we`re all
interested in building ladders of opportunity for success for people to
achieve the American dream, the rungs have to be firm. Education with
pell-grants and student loans, nutrition program, Medicare that`s sustained
and that is targeted toward our elderly and their health care. These are
the opportunities that the American public needs.
SHARPTON: Reverend Reese, Mitt Romney met with regular voters and
they told him not to cut education he is indeed to doing. So, they also
said they don`t mind paying more taxes. Listen to this quickly.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I hate to see any type of cuts towards education.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Most of the fat has been trimmed from those
budgets. A lot of those costs are fixed. Districts have to pay the
teachers enough to earn a decent wage and pay their benefits. None of us
like to pay more taxes, but sometimes that`s necessary.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: It`s a necessary evil.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Right.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I just wanted you to know, Father Reese, and Mr. Romney is
a big supporter of the Ryan budget, that the Catholic leaders are not
alone. Ordinary Americans are raising some of the questions about the
principles in the Ryan bill. Congresswoman Donna Edwards, and Father
Thomas Reese, thank you both for your time tonight.
EDWARDS: Thank you.
REESE: You`re welcome.
SHARPTON: Still ahead, conservatives should be denouncing Ted
Nugent`s attack on the President. Instead they`re embracing him. What
does that say about today`s GOP? Plus, how a new judge could affect the
George Zimmerman trial and the question is, how will it affect the quest
for justice for Trayvon Martin.
SHARPTON: Big news in the case of George Zimmerman. We`re live in
SHARPTON: We`re back with breaking news in the Trayvon Martin
shooting case. A new judge Kenneth Lester is overseeing George Zimmerman`s
murder trial tonight replacing the previous judge who was disqualified.
His first decision could come as soon as Friday when Zimmerman is scheduled
to appear at a bond hearing. And NBC News has obtained this exclusive
video of Florida investigators who were back at the shooting scene today.
Joining me now from Florida, former prosecutor, Ken Padowitz, Ken,
what do you make of this move today?
KEN PADOWITZ, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Reverend Sharpton, the former judge
said in her order that legally there were insufficient grounds to find a
conflict to have her remover herself, but taken in the totality of all of
the circumstances on this specific case, she was basically going to remove
herself from the case in the appearance of fairness to make sure that
justice is done. She thought based on this type of case with all the media
scrutiny, this was the appropriate action on her part.
SHARPTON: So it`s about appearance, not the law. What you can tell
us about the new judge?
PADOWITZ: Well, the new judge, Judge Kenneth Lester grew up in the
Orlando area. At age 17, he joined the navy and actually went to Vietnam.
When he got out of the stint with the armed forces, he went to college at
the University of Central Florida where he not only got a bachelor`s
degree, but received a master`s degree in accounting. From there, he went
over up North in Florida to the University of Florida in Gainesville for
law school where I actually was in my undergrad years in college at the
time. So, he gets points right away for being a Florida gator in my mind.
But after leaving law school, the new judge practiced law for approximately
17 years, practicing criminal law and family law, and then became a judge
in 1996 and he`s been a judge for 15 years. So we have a portrait of a man
who is very, very intelligent, apparently a by the books kind of guy, he`s
going to be conservative and tough sentencer and we should add to top all
these facts about the judge, he`s presently married to a homicide
prosecutor in Orange County.
SHARPTON: Married to a homicide prosecutor. All right. Let me ask
SHARPTON: How will his appointment affect the bond hearing on Friday?
PADOWITZ: Well, I think that he apparently a very intelligent man,
he`s an experienced judge and I think that he can easily take over the
spot, slide into that bond hearing and listen to the evidence from both
sides and make a fair determination as to whether or not a bond should be
granted in this case. And the issues in the bond hearing are whether or
not the defendant has ties to the community, whether he is a flight risk,
and I think the judge is an intelligent person with enough experience that
can he listen to the evidence and make a proper determination as to whether
or not Mr. Zimmerman should be granted bail. And from all things I`ve
seen, I would take a wild guess that bond will be granted in this case.
SHARPTON: That`s not unusual in a murder two case because of whether
he`s a flight risk or task to the community?
PADOWITZ: Well, the judge will have to listen to the evidence very
carefully to make sure that Mr. Zimmerman will in fact show up for trial if
he`s release on bond. But from everything I`ve seen, there appears to be
ties to the community from Mr. Zimmerman, and he doesn`t apparently have a
prior conviction in his background, so there`s a number of factors that a
good defense attorney is going to argue as to why bond would be
appropriate. And in many cases, similar to this, a second-degree murder
charge, the judge does in fact grand a grant a bond.
SHARPTON: Ken Padowitz, thank you for your time tonight.
PADOWITZ: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Still ahead, how the right wing media is embracing Ted
Nugent despite his dangerous rhetoric about President Obama. Stay with us.
SHARPTON: We`re back on POLITICS NATION. With rocker Ted Nugent`s
appalling comments. Today we learned the Secret Service will interview him
tomorrow for these provocative comments he made at an NRA event.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TED NUGENT, MUSICIAN: I`ll tell you this right now, if Barack Obama
becomes the President in November again, I will either be dead or in jail
by this time next year.
Our President and attorney general, our vice president, Hillary
Clinton, they`re criminals.
We need to ride in to that battlefield and chop their heads off in
November. Any questions?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: You`ll be dead in jail if President Obama is re-elected.
What does that mean? What is he saying? These comments are beyond the
pale. But today, Nugent was out making the rounds on conservative radio
and was welcome with open arms.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Ladies and gentlemen, the one, the
only, close personal friend Ted Nugent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: After talking with Beck, he went on the air with former
governor turn FOX anchor Mike Huckabee. Here`s what Huckabee`s take was
after the appearance.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE HUCKABEE, HOST, "THE MIKE HUCKABEE SHOW": It really was not
threatening at all. The Secret Service has their own issues to worry
about. In fact some of them probably need to be inoculated from a little
Colombian cat scratch fever. That might be their bigger worry.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: This is going to another level. A warm welcome on the
radio and the GOP leadership is once again silent. Mitt Romney happily
took Nugent`s endorsement last month and he`s only said divisive language
is offensive. He needs to do better than that. We`ve seen his rhetoric
since President Obama took office, from saying that he pounds around with a
terrorist, to the birthers calling of a liar. He has to stop. Where is
Joining me now is Joe Madison, Sirius XM radio host and Dana Milbank,
political columnist for the "Washington Post." Thank you both for being
JOE MADISON, SIRIUS XM RADIO HOST: Thank you.
DANA MILBANK, POLITICAL COLUMNIST: Hi Reverend.
SHARPTON: Joe, your response to the Secret Service talking to Nugent
MADISON: Well, I think they should talk and they better not be the
same Secret Service that he says he has barbecue with and could shoot a few
rounds of taxpayer ammunition. He also said that in the clip. Number two,
here`s something most people don`t know. And I got a caller to my show
this morning who says, he`s supposed to give a concert at Fort Knox,
Kentucky. Now, let me tell you, I do not think that the military should
allow Ted Nugent to give that concert. That concert should be canceled
based on what he said. And number two, the fact that he`s a draft dodger.
Do you know that Ted Nugent in order to stay out of the draft, Mr. I got
guns for every episode of life, do you know that he did not change his
clothes for 30 days, walked into the draft board with urine and feces 30
days worth of it, so that he would not be drafted by the military. And
here`s a man that`s going to be giving a concert to -- at Fort Knox? This
is what the right wing radio doesn`t tell you about Ted Nugent and the fact
that he also referred to Hillary Clinton as Castro`s whore.
MADISON: This is the language that he uses.
SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you, Dana, let me get to some of the
politics of this. When we had the Hilary Rosen controversy last week when
she made the statement in regard to Ann Romney and she never worked a day
in her life and people reacted rightly or wrongly, the democratic
leadership really stood up, this is it nowhere near, I don`t care what your
politics is, nowhere near what we`re hearing Nugent`s say here calling
Hillary Clinton and the President criminals and what Joe Madison quoted him
about Hillary and saying he`d be dead or in jail if President Obama is re-
elected. But here is the reaction on something nowhere near that.
Michelle Obama says, every mother works hard and every woman deserves to be
David Axelrod also disappointed in Hilary Rosen`s comments about Ann
Romney, they were in-appropriate and offensive. Jim Messina runs the
President`s campaign, I could not disagree with Hilary Rosen anymore
strongly. Her comments were wrong and family should be off-limits. She
should apologize. Democrats came out, first lady of the United States, the
two central figures in the President`s re-election, on what is
comparatively a mild statement. And they were unequivocal. And Hilary
Rosen is not a high profiled endorser of the President.
Now, we find that the President is winning independent states, swing
states as we call it. Forty eight to 39 percent, just on pure politics.
Don`t you think that if Willard Romney would come out and take a firm stand
against these kinds of outrageous statements, politically it would help him
MILBANK: Yes, but it may weaken him, Reverend with his base. And I
think that`s why with the difference is you`re seeing here that President
Obama is much more confident in the support of his base, so he can have his
people come out there and say, no, we`re not with Hillary Rosen on this.
Now, I think Romney would have a good case and say, look, we can`t be
responsible for what every guy says out there except they were the ones who
were pressing after Obama on the Hilary Rosen thing. So, if everybody who
is out there is a supporter of you is therefore your spokesman and your
surrogate, if they`re going to play the game that way, then they`ll going
to have to answer for the sort of thing that that Ted Nugent is saying here
and that`s sort of a problem he`s created himself and why there is pressure
on him right now.
SHARPTON: Joe Madison, do you think that the press will stay behind
Willard Mitt Romney and force a stronger statement or do you think they`ll
let it go?
MADISON: I think, I will. I think you will. I think we better.
Because let`s remember, four years ago, there was a candidate, Barack
Obama, who was forced to, what, leave his church, kick Reverend Wright
under the bus, and give a major address in Philadelphia on race relations.
So where is the other side demanding the exact same thing from Mitt Romney?
He should not soft pedal this. He should denounce it. And I think give a
complete and full speech on hostile rhetoric that cannot be tolerated
particularly in this election. So he should have his sister Souljah moment
like Clinton had and his Reverend Wright moment like Barack Obama had.
SHARPTON: Dana Milbank, Mike Huckabee said, he didn`t hear anything
threatening there. You`re smart and well, well, well versed in politics.
What could somebody mean when they say I`ll either be in jail or dead?
MILBANK: Well, I suppose about if you just left it at that and he
didn`t go on about chopping off their heads, he might have had a better
case there, Reverend.
MILBANK: Suspecting that he`d be in jail because of President Obama`s
policies. But, no, that`s a hard case to make. Look, I suspect this is
more of a political problem than a legal problem. But if he continues to
say things like that he may get his wish of being in jail well before next
SHARPTON: But today, Joe Madison, Senator Jim Inhofe says, Nugent`s
comments were no big deal.
MADISON: You know, well, it is a big deal and the reality is it`s a
dog whistle. And it`s going to be a very dangerous dog whistle. You know,
it`s beyond pail to hear him say that. We know what he was alluding to and
he ought to -- and no one on any side of the political aisle should accept
this type of rhetoric. It`s unacceptable if it was George Bush, it`s
unacceptable, if it`s Barack Obama. It`s un-American. I mean, sitting up
here referring to brave heart or whatever, you know, the movie, well, my
God, he doesn`t even have his education in order. Brave heart was about
being invaded. Not about constitutional rights. He doesn`t even know his
SHARPTON: Joe Madison and Dana Milbank, thanks for your time tonight.
MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.
SHARPTON: I repeat again, that we must as we head into the thick of
this campaign in the next several weeks, bring the language down to where
we are casting more light than heat. All of us, me included, have said
things we regret. But when you go into talking about chopping people`s
heads off, and that he would be dead or in jail, that`s way beyond
something that someone should say in a presidential race.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
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