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PoliticsNation, Thursday, July 19, 2012

Read the transcript from the Thursday show

Guests: Dana Milbank; Ana Marie Cox; Michelle Cottle, Alan Grayson,
Benjamin Crump, Angela Marie Vogel

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

Tonight`s lead, running from the past. Forget the talk you`ve heard
about division in the Romney campaign on whether he should come clean and
release more details on his finances. Today the candidate`s wife herself
told America what you get is what you get.


ANN ROMNEY, MITT ROMNEY`S WIFE: You know, because there are so many
things that will be open again for more attack and you just want to give
more material for more attack. And that`s really -- that`s just the
answer. And we`ve given all people need to know and understand about our
financial situation and about how we live our life.


SHARPTON: The American people disagree. A new USA today poll shows
the majority of Americans, 54 percent think Mitt Romney should release more
of his tax records. And it`s no wonder he has the fewest financial
disclosures of any recent candidate in history. In fact, the four last
presidents and Romney`s father George all thought the American people
deserved to see more. Just look at that. But the Romneys, one year`s tax
return is all we get.

It`s a potentially risky stand they`re taking. Especially as more
facts about Romney`s financial past come into focus. And there`s more.
Today the "Los Angeles Times" reports that Bain Capital raised more than a
third of its initial investment fund from wealthy foreigners. The "Times"
says quote, "most of the foreign investors` money came through corporations
registered in Panama, then, known for tax advantages and unusual banking

But it didn`t matter to Romney where the money was coming from. He
knew there was little risk to him in starting his investment fund. He was
assured by his boss Bill Bain back in 1984 that starting up Bain Capital
would be a non-risk prospect for Romney.

Ezra Klein at the Washington Post writes, Romney would get his old job
and salary back plus any raises he would have earned during his absence.
And Bain promised that if necessary he would craft a cover story saying
that Romney`s return to Bain and company was needed because of his value as
a consultant.

So there was no professional or financial risk. No professional or
financial risk. That`s the kind of security that`s denied to most
Americans. There`s also news today undercutting Romney`s claim that he
left Bain back in 1999 to run the Salt Lake City Olympics.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I had no association with
the banishment of Bain Capital after February of 1999. That`s when I left
the firm. I`m very pleased with the experience I had with the firm, but as
everyone knows, I went off to run the Olympics for three years. I was
there full-time. After that I came back and ran in Massachusetts for
governor. I have no role with regards to Bain Capital after February of


SHARPTON: Turns out that`s not what his official biography on the
salt lake Olympics Web site said. In 2002 it read quote, "Romney is the
founder and CEO of Bain Capital, Inc." A year after Romney claims he left
Bain he was still being introduced as its CEO. Just listen how they
introduced him at the Washington press club in 2000.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From 1978 to 1984, Mr. Romney was a vice president
of Bain and company an international management consulting firm. And he`s
the founder and CEO of Bain Capital, a private company that was organized
in 1984.


SHARPTON: The questions about Romney`s past just keep coming. No
matter what he or his campaign wants us to believe.

Joining me now is David Corn, Washington bureau chief for "Mother
Jones" and MSNBC political analyst. He`s also the author of "Showdown."
and Michelle Cottle, Washington reporter for "the Daily Beast."

Let me thank both of you for being here tonight.


SHARPTON: David, let me start with you. Do the Romneys think the American
public; don`t deserve to know more about their finances?

CORN: Well, there was certainly a tone of entitlement in Ann Romney`s
voice this morning. For Pete`s sake, you people. You know? It`s like,
I`ve been saying this for days all over our network, Reverend, that I think
that Mitt Romney has made a calculation that it`s better to have a slow
bleeding wound than to open your chest cavity.

This guy went to Harvard and they teach you cost benefit analysis. He
knows if he gives tax returns, it`s like a road map to Romney-land where
our race magically grown, tax havens aren`t tax havens and everybody has a
Swiss bank account.

And as you know, I`ve been doing a lot of reporting on Bain. I have a
good story coming out tomorrow. I can`t tell you what it is yet, about
Bain and some of its investments. It`s very hard for him to sustain. They
don`t want this sort of scrutiny because, you know, it just doesn`t look
good. They can`t explain to average Americans all the benefits,
advantages, and deals that they`ve put together.

SHARPTON: Michelle, you, what do you feel? Do you feel they don`t
feel the American people are entitled to know? I mean, his wife coming out
today saying basically we`ve given the American people all they need to

David`s right. When you get to be as wealthy as the Romneys, you have
very, very complicated tax returns. You have a very special way of -- we
already know he paid a vastly lower tax rate than what normal people would
think you would pay when you make that much money.

If you hand over those documents, the Romneys are correct. You`ll
have people fine tooth combing them and there are of course going to be
things that even if they`re legal, are almost impossible to explain to the
average American who, you know, pays a lot higher tax rate and doesn`t have
nearly the advantages or the tax shelters or the offshore accounts or
whatever else that may be in there.

SHARPTON: Now David, Karl Rove wrote today in "the Wall Street
Journal" that the Romney`s response to the tax return controversy is
worrying many in the GOP. This is Rove announced today`s "the Wall Street
Journal" writing quote, "the Romney campaign`s response which included
whiney demands that the president apologize for his attacks has unsettled
GOP activists causing them to wonder how prepared Mr. Romney and his team
are for the mud fest they`ve entered. It`s interesting from Karl Rove.

CORN: Well boohoo, hoo. The Republicans went through this in the
primary. In fact during their primary, you have the Republican candidates
who turn out not to be fans of transparency to begin with, hammering Mitt
Romney on his tax returns. The questions come up in the debate. You had
journalist raising this back then. And I didn`t see Karl Rove and others
made, you know, coming out there thought (INAUDIBLE) a strong stand that
Mitt Romney had to be transparent and had to give out this information.

You elect a one percenter with this sort of financial background and
that`s what you`re going -- I mean you nominate, and that`s what are you
going to get. I keep coming back to this same point, though. You know,
Bill Kristol and Karl Rove can suck their thumb and give the best
conventional political advice they can to Mitt Romney. But they don`t know
what`s there to be revealed. Mitt Romney does. He`s not a dumb man. He`s
a smart man who does risk management. I have to believe that he`s done the
risk calculation here. And it`s riskier for him to tell people what he`s
done than take attacks.

SHARPTON: Well, aside from that Michelle, I mean, we`re her hearing a
lot on the right today, the conservative blog Red State, Eric Eriksson
shocked that Romney`s not dealing with the tax question better.

But there`s something else that comes to mind here. I`m looking at
the "Huffington Post" on why Republicans are so quick to abandon Romney on
tax returns. And there was this posting that says they just don`t like
him. Quote, "the fact is no one likes the guy or believes in him, said
campaign manager for former Romney rival who declined to be quoted by name.
No one wants Obama to win, but no one likes the guy who`s running against

Then another one in the same "Washington Post" site but another
article -- "Huffington Post," I`m sorry. But another article but the same
site "Huffington Post" says Republicans think Mitt Romney`s a loser.
Quote, "there are those who think Romney is destined to lose and they`re
behaving accordingly according to another campaign manager who remained

So, aside from all this, it`s a pile on somewhat from his own fellow
GOP party members because "a" they don`t like him and "b" they believe in


SHARPTON: Michelle, let me give Michelle on this David.

COTTLE: They`ve always had this issue. If you remember last
campaign, there were all these stories about the candidates on the
Republican side were -- you know, whoever was going to run they wanted to
make sure it wasn`t Romney. That has not changed to some degree. And you
add on to that concern that he just doesn`t have the fire in the belly and
he`s not tough enough to go up against what is, you know, the Chicago
machine of Obama.

So, I didn`t think that this is in addition to whatever personal
issues. They want to slap him around and say hey, you`ve had plenty of
time to figure out what to say about this. Why haven`t you and you needs
to kind of man up about it. He can`t whine.

SHARPTON: He`s the nominee. Be careful what you ask for.

David Corn, Michelle Cottle. Thanks for your time tonight.

CORN: Sure thing. Thank you.

COTTLE: Thanks.

SHARPTON: Coming up, President Obama steps up his campaign to define
Mitt Romney calling him out for his attacks on the most reliable voting
bloc in America.


seniors to pay more for Medicare just so millionaires and billionaires can
pay less in taxes.


SHARPTON: Plus, George Zimmerman says he has no regrets about his
action on the night of Trayvon Martin`s death. We`ll get some reaction
from the lawyer of Trayvon`s parents.

And Willard says corporations are people, so what`s to stop someone
from taking one to the altar?


ROMNEY: May you own this nation lock, stock, and barrel until freedom
is no more. You may kiss and merge.


SHARPTON: That`s right. She married a corporation. And we`ll have a
live interview with the blushing bride.

You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: Folks, the Emmy awards were announced today and there`s a
great award that`s just perfect for Mitt Romney. In fact, the way he`s
going, it might be a lifetime achievement award. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Welcome back to "Politics Nation."

Folks, it was a big day in Hollywood. The nominees for the 64th
annual Emmy awards were announced. "Madmen" led the way with 17
nominations for yet another year. Alec Baldwin snagged a nod for his role
on "30 rock." But, there was one major award that isn`t getting a lot of
attention. Can the control room play that clip for us, please?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This year`s honorary award for misleading man in a
presidential campaign goes to Willard Mitt Romney 2012,Republican


SHARPTON: Wow. I`m so glad the academy finally recognized Willard`s
achievements. He`s been out misleading man for quite a while now. And
we`re having some fun. But seriously, just look at the ad that came out


OBAMA: Let me tell you something. If you got a business, you didn`t
build that. Somebody else made that happen.


SHARPTON: OK. Now, let`s go to the tape for a look at his actual


OBAMA: Let me tell you something. There are a whole bunch of hard
working people out there. If you were successful, somebody along the line
gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life.
Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have
that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and business. If
you`ve got a business, you didn`t build that.


SHARPTON: That whole chunk in the middle wasn`t important for Mr.
Romney. But it shouldn`t surprise anyone. His very first campaign ad did
the exact same thing. And when asked to comment on the misleading edit,
his campaign said quote, "all ads do that. They are manipulative pieces of
persuasive art."

Persuasive art. That`s a nice phrase. But where I come from, we call
it something else.

Joining me now is Dana Milbank, columnist for "the Washington Post"
and Ana Marie Cox, Washington correspondent for "the Guardian."

Thank you both for being here tonight.


SHARPTON: Dana, this happens in politics, but this feels different.
What do you think?

MILBANK: Yes, look, Reverend. All politicians at some point will say
the truth. But Romney has been a prolific provocateur. And that`s no
right, there`s group called --

SHARPTON: Provocateur? That`s a nice way to put it.

MILBANK: Prolific . Prolific.

SHARPTON: Not quite where I came from but I got you.

MILBANK: We are getting closer.

SHARPTON: Yes, you are getting there.

MILBANK: So, this group called Politifact which looks at both side of
it. I looked at Romney back in April already 32 times he had gotten the
rating of false from that group or the worst rating pants on fire. If your
pants are on fire 32 times, you`re going to have some trouble sitting down.

What`s surprising about Romney is he does even when he doesn`t have
to. He could make plenty good case against Obama because of the economy,
because of things Obama has actually said, gaffes he has actually made. He
seems to want to guild the lily even when he doesn`t have to. And that`s
what`s very unusual.

SHARPTON: Well, but Ana Marie, Rupert Murdoch apparently approves of
it. And he wants this more strike meaner from Romney. He tweeted today,
at last Romney attacks. Looks better. Keep it up. Still needs to address
all Hispanics.

think it`s interesting, like this kind of gaffe that Romney seems to be
trying to take advantage of is kind of thing that I think undecided voters
aren`t really paying attention. It is something that really resonates with
the base. It`s probably going to help with his fund raising and people
like Rupert Murdoch. He stands on going the attack.

But it`s also the thing if you don`t already think the president is
some mean un-American guy born in Kenya, then, you`re probably not going to
read it the same way that somebody who believes as that did. People who
actually hear what the president had to say are going to hear it the way he
meant it which is that if you`re successful, you probably had help along
the way. Exactly what he said, right? And if you don`t believe that the
president thinks that way, then, you`re going to hear it the way the Romney
people edited it to be heard.

SHARPTON: Well Dana, because maybe what she is saying goes to --
well, let me show you the kind of balancing act that it seems like Willard
is trying to play. Yesterday a woman at an event called the president a
monster. Take a listen to the exchange.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because of this awful economy that Obama`s
created, now he`s had to lay off people and may have to close some stores.
And it`s all because of what this monster has done to this country. We
have to have you as president.

ROMNEY: That`s not a term I would use, but --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can. I`m an angry mom.

ROMNEY: You`re an angry mom. Good. You have every right to be


SHARPTON: Now, he says he wouldn`t use the term kind of slide it away
from it. But then today, let me show you where after showing a little
backbone, he comes back continuing to say things about the president.
Listen to this.


ROMNEY: I just don`t think the president by his comments suggests an
understanding of what it is that makes America such a unique nation. Why
people have come here for hundreds of years.


SHARPTON: So Dana, it`s like he`s having it both ways. One, I
wouldn`t use the term monster but I would say he doesn`t understand America
and he doesn`t know what America is and why people came here for hundreds
of years, this un-American theme.

MILBANK: Right. It`s sort of a nod and a wink to the far right
there, Reverend. We heard it when Rush Limbaugh went after the woman who
testified about birth control went after in the most vulgar way, and all
Romney would tell you, I wouldn`t use those terms. It`s almost exactly the
same thing.

A woman in a rally recently accused the president of treason. A
capital offense. He had nothing to say about that. I think presumably in
his own mind he feels otherwise, but he is frightened to take on people who
are saying that kind of thing.

Now, there`s nothing wrong with Rupert Murdoch saying that Romney
should be going on the attack. That`s what politicians should be doing.
But there has to be some basis for accuracy in that attack or people are
going to figure it out and there`s going to be blowback.

SHARPTON: Ana, you covered John McCain. What was the difference
between how McCain acted in terms of distortions and when people got
extreme in their language and what you`re observing from Mr. Romney?

COX: Well, you know, I`ve been thinking a lot about that campaign
lately, especially given John McCain going to the floor of the Senate to
defend Huma Abedin and against the tax of Michele Bachmann, showing some
nobility and some respect for people of dignity that Romney seems unwilling
to drudge up for himself. I think McCain, you know, has a real concept of
what dignity is and a real concept of what fair play is having been robbed
of that for so long and having to have grown appreciation for it that most
of us will never have to grow.

And I think Romney just doesn`t have that sense of fair play. It
could be because, you know, he`s never experienced a level playing field.
You know, he was born on the stadium box. He wasn`t born out of the level
playing field.

And so, maybe he just doesn`t know what that`s like to have things be
fair and the dignity that comes with fairness. It is quite a remarkable
thing to watch, to watch him just take a step back from these attacks and
not even dirty his hands in trying to defend people who cannot defend

SHARPTON: But Dana, I think maybe the real problem is because he
keeps trying to visit both ways, play to the extreme right, try to act
reasonable some time. There`s no real continuity. No thread in his
campaign. It`s like we really don`t understand what the strategy is, other
than not disclosing certain financial documents.

MILBANK: Right. And this has been the problem for a long time. He
disavows the birther movement. Then he hangs out with Donald Trump on the
day Donald Trump is reviving the birthing claim. You had John Sununu on a
Mitt Romney conference call raising questions about whether the president
understands America. And then, he tiptoes back away from it.

So, the idea -- I think it`s a sense of weakness that he doesn`t want
to push away from the conservative base too much. He needs to keep
rallying those people. But it is a problem for him as he tries to reach
out to the rest of America who doesn`t want to hear this nonsense.

SHARPTON: Dana Milbank and Ana Marie Cox, thank you for your time
this evening.

MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Ahead, President Obama making the case for Medicare against
those who were taken away.

And do not adjust your television set. Yes, that is Newt Gingrich
sitting next to Snooki. What do they have in common,? A lot, actually.

Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Folks, have you joined us on facebook yet? The
conversation is going all day long.

The international man of mystery Mitt Romney was a hot topic on our
wall today.

Deborah says that Romney is auditions for a job but refuses to provide
a resume.

Oba wonders, when last was Mitt Romney audited by the IRS?

And many facebook fans weighed in on George Zimmerman`s interview.

Kevin says quote, "I don`t understand how taking a life is God`s plan
when it clearly states thousand shalt not kill in the bible.

My thoughts on that later in the show.

We want to hear what`s on your mind. Head over to facebook and search
"Politics Nation" and like us to join the conversation that keeps going
long after the show ends.

We hope to see you there.


SHARPTON: Today, President Obama launched a new phase of his campaign
to define Mitt Romney. The President spoke to a feisty crowd in
Jacksonville, Florida. Contrasting Romney`s concern for the one percent
with his policies to hurt America`s seniors.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: He plans to turn Medicare into
a voucher program. So if that voucher isn`t worth enough to buy the health
insurance that`s on the market, you`re out of luck. You`re on your own.
One independent nonpartisan study found that seniors would have to pay
nearly $6400 more for Medicare than they do today. Florida, that`s the
wrong way to go. It`s wrong to ask seniors to pay more for Medicare just
so millionaires and billionaires can pay less in taxes.


SHARPTON: The President is right. While there`s a lot we don`t know
about what Romney actually believes, we do know he loves Congressman Paul
Ryan and his plans for Medicare.


excellent piece of work and very much needed. I spent a good deal of time
with Congressman Ryan. When his plan came out, I applauded it as a very
important step. This is a guy who`s willing to stand for something.
Congressman Ryan, he`s a great leader.


SHARPTON: And if you listen to Congressman Ryan, you can tell the
feeling is entirely mutual.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R, WISCONSIN: Mitt Romney has the skills, the
tenacity, the principles, the courage and the integrity to do what takes to
get America back on track. And I`m hoping that we deliver in Wisconsin for
Mitt Romney. And I`ve actually really grown to like him quite a bit. He`s
actually very funny as well. He`s got a really quick wit. He`s a funny
guy, he`s got good sense of humor.


SHARPTON: Folks, this mutual admiration society is bent on bringing
down just about every part of the safety net. "The Wall Street Journal"
famously said, the Ryan plan would essentially end Medicare. It would turn
Medicare into a voucher program. It would raise the eligibility age to 67
and it would make seniors pay $6400 more for their coverage. And the worst
part is, Romney wants to force these sacrifices on America`s seniors just
so he can pay for massive tax break for the rich. The President called him
out for it today.


OBAMA: My opponent doesn`t just want to keep these tax cuts, he wants
to cut those taxes by another $5 trillion including a 25 percent tax cut
for every millionaire in the country.


Hold on. It gets better. To pay for this he plans to gut things like
job training and financial aid for college. And potentially raise taxes on
the middle class, on you.



SHARPTON: Joining me now is former democratic Congressman Alan
Grayson now running again for office in Florida`s ninth district.
Congressman, thanks for joining me.


SHARPTON: As always, Florida will be close this year. Could the
Medicare issue make the difference?

GRAYSON: Absolutely. You know, we do have a few senior citizens in
Florida, you may have heard that. And in fact, seniors are learning more
and more about exactly how bad the Ryan plan is going to be for them. I
think Ryan also has a sense of humor. His plan is a joke and the joke is
on all of us. I think that all of us hope one day that if we`re not
already getting Medicare, we will be. And we don`t want to pay an extra
$6500 in order to have it.

But the fundamental problem with his plan is that right now, seniors
get care and what they want to do is substitute the care with a check that
they know is not going to be enough for the care.


GRAYSON: It`s some kind of scheme, some kind of game that they`re
playing on senior citizens. And it`s a game of life and death.

SHARPTON: Now, Congressman.

GRAYSON: If they don`t get the care they need, then seniors are going
to die.

SHARPTON: Congressman, if a senior`s watching right now, what do they
need to understand that the Romney/Ryan plan actually says to them? What
is it really proposing?

GRAYSON: First they need to understand that as soon as Mitt Romney
does what he`s promised to do in his first week in office which is to get
rid of Obamacare, that immediately means an extra $600 that they have to
pay for their drugs every single year. Every year. That`s what that means
right off the bat. Then beyond that, even without any change in the law,
simply allowing what they want their budget to go into effect will mean
thousands and thousands of dollars more that seniors will have to pay.

And it`s not just seniors. You know, look, I`m in my 50s. One day,
I`ll be on this plan myself and I`ll be paying more. So will people in
their 40s, people in their 30s. There`s no end to it. And for what? For
what purpose that Mitt Romney can have a tax cut? You know, Mitt Romney
wants millionaires in America to have a tax cut because Mitt Romney wants a
tax cut.


GRAYSON: That`s what it comes down to. And he and his selfish
friends are going to gut government and gut the economy for the sake of
that. Now, we have a president who believes in good government and we have
a candidate who believes in no government. Americans can figure out which
one is better for America.

SHARPTON: Now, Congressman, the President was in Jacksonville,
Florida, today. Nationwide seniors are 10 percent of the population. But
in Florida, they`re 31 percent of the population. As you campaign around
your district in Florida, are people talking about this? Are seniors
talking about the difference between the Romney/Ryan plan and what the
President is talking about?

GRAYSON: Yes. You`ve given the correct numbers on the proportions on
it. Because seniors vote in higher numbers than younger people do, and
that truth is your like -- you might see seniors making up as much as half
of the electorate in Florida this year. And seniors are beginning to
realize that Romney is basically conducting a shell game.

The interesting thing is when the President points out all these
elements, deficiencies in what Romney`s proposing for the country, Romney
doesn`t take a stab at defending the Ryan plan. He doesn`t even try to do
it even though he`s endorsed him in the past. He can`t explain why it`s
right after the President explains why it`s wrong. That means it`s wrong.

SHARPTON: Now, when you look at the polling, commonwealth fund polled
it and people were reporting excellent coverage in the past year. Thirty
seven percent seniors on Medicare. Twenty five percent employer-based
health care. So, I mean, people know the difference and people know what`s
effective for them.

GRAYSON: Yes. Right now, one-third of the country received its
health coverage from the government. One-half of the country receives its
health coverage from the private sector, from private insurance. And one-
sixth of the country doesn`t get any health coverage at all. That`s 50
million Americans. And when you ever heard, Romney or any other republican
explain what they`re going to do to give coverage to those 50 million
Americans who can`t see a doctor when they`re sick.

Now, I`ll tell you, those 50 million Americans, they`re probably sick
and tired of being sick and tired. And they`re disgusted with the
Republicans because the Republicans will never even take a stab at solving
the problems in their lives.

SHARPTON: Congressman Grayson, thank you so much for your time.

GRAYSON: Thank you too.

SHARPTON: Ahead, how about this one? A Seattle woman just married a
corporation. That`s right. Maybe Willard was right. We`ll talk to her


SHARPTON: We`re back with a pause from the political battles of the
day. A time to rest, relax, and recharge. That`s right. It`s time for
the POLITICS NATION summer break. We start in Indonesia where a clever
whale shark has figured out how to score an easy meal. A hole in fishing
net gave her a whale sized big gulp. No word on whether Mayor Bloomberg
will ban large fishing nets in Indonesia.

And over in Japan, meet Janken the robot. It`s the rock, paper,
scissors robot that cannot lose. The robot uses high speed cameras to
watch the opponent`s hand. And counter with the winning move in just a
millisecond. That`s fine. But can they please create a robot to predict
the GOP`s next move to repeal the affordable care act? And here`s one from
the you can`t make this up files. Yes, that is indeed Snooki and Newt
Gingrich together on Leno. This was reality TV at its finest.


JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": Newt, Snooki. Snooki, Newt.



SNOOKI: What up?

GINGRICH: Congratulations on having two "New York Times" best

SNOOKI: Thank you. I`m trying to be like you.



SNOOKI: Did you have strippers?


LENO: Do you drink, newt, by the way?

GINGRICH: Sometimes, yes.

SNOOKI: Good for you.

LENO: When was the last time you just got wasted? Was there a time
you just --

GINGRICH: Thinking about coming on this show.

LENO: Thinking about coming on this show?


SHARPTON: Maybe they can bond over their shared dislike for the
tanning tax. And if Newt ever gets around to building his moon colony, I`m
sure Snooki will be invited. And that`s today`s summer break.


SHARPTON: We`re back with some news in the Trayvon Martin shooting
case. George Zimmerman is speaking out publicly for the first time since
the February 26th shooting.

Joining me now, Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump. Attorney
Crump, thank you for your time tonight.


SHARPTON: Let`s get right into the interview and the question about
regrets that night. Take a listen.


SEAN HANNITY, HOST, "HANNITY": Do you regret getting out of the car
to follow Trayvon that night?


HANNITY: Do you regret that you had a gun that night?


HANNITY: Do you feel you wouldn`t be here for this interview if you
didn`t have that gun?


HANNITY: You feel you would not be here?

ZIMMERMAN: I feel that it was all God`s plan and for me to second
guess it or judge it --

HANNITY: Is there anything you might do differently in retrospect now
that time has passed a little bit?



SHARPTON: What`s the family`s response to this?

CRUMP: Well, they were just flabbergasted, Reverend Sharpton. And
they could not believe that he said that this was God`s plan. Mr. Martin
said that he don`t know what God George Zimmerman worships because the God
that he serves would not have a plan that his 17-year-old unarmed son be
shot by George Zimmerman. So they`re just overwhelmed that he would even
say such a thing.


HANNITY: Now, he said he wouldn`t do anything differently. And on
the questions, let me show you a couple that struck me. He was asked about
the police call in which he was asked if he was following Trayvon. This is
how he responded last night.


HANNITY: Dispatcher asked you are you following him and you said yes.
Explain that.

ZIMMERMAN: I meant that I was going in the same direction as him to
keep an eye on him so that I could tell the police where he was going. I
didn`t mean that I was actually pursuing him.

HANNITY: So this moment where some had suggested you were out of
breath on that tape, you yourself were not running?



SHARPTON: So he was not pursuing him. But let`s listen to the actual
tape of him talking to the 911 dispatcher.


POLICE DISPATCHER: Are you following him?


POLICE DISPATCHER: OK, we don`t need you to do that.



SHARPTON: So if he wasn`t following him, then he was telling the
dispatcher something that wasn`t true. Another part of the interview that
I want to get to -- but let me get your response to that. Let me go one at
a time.

CRUMP: Well, very simply, Reverend Sharpton. It`s like Sybrina
Fulton said. She wishes Trayvon was here to tell you his version of the
story. And what I`ve said in reference to that is there`s a legal concept
called Res ipsa loquitur which is Latin for the thing speaks for itself.
And we said, don`t take our word for it, just listen with your own ears.

And we know when we listen to that tape, what`s happening. Right
before that he said oh, explicit word and he`s getting away. And then you
hear his seat belt and he gets out of the car and pursues him. So, why is
he trying to make us believe that we didn`t hear what we heard?

SHARPTON: Well, let`s go back to the tape again. The interviewer
last night mentioned Trayvon was on the phone with his girlfriend at the
time. Then he was asked if he thought Trayvon may have been running
because he was afraid. This is how Zimmerman responded last night.


ZIMMERMAN: Maybe I said running but he was more --

HANNITY: You said he`s running.

ZIMMERMAN: Yes. It was like skipping, going away quickly. But he
wasn`t running out of fear.

HANNITY: You could tell the difference?

ZIMMERMAN: He wasn`t running.

HANNITY: So, he wasn`t actually running?



SHARPTON: But let`s go back to the police call where Zimmerman says,
Trayvon is running. Listen.


ZIMMERMAN: He`s running.

POLICE DISPATCHER: He`s running. Which way is he running?

ZIMMERMAN: Down towards the other entrance of the neighborhood.


SHARPTON: So, I mean, it is almost unthinkable a defense attorney
would put a defendant on television that clearly locks him into statements
that clearly runs contrary to the evidence. Why do you think they even did
this interview?

CRUMP: You know, Reverend Sharpton, I can`t fathom why they would do
the interview with him being charged with second degree murder. But I just
want to recognize that you hit a point that most people haven`t caught. He
said he was running on that tape and now he`s trying to change it. And so,
it really goes back to the objective evidence versus George Zimmerman`s
subject of statements. And this interview last night is a gift for the
State Attorney who is going to cross examine George Zimmerman.

SHARPTON: Now, he said he was sorry. He said he prays for the
family. But he says he has no regrets that he thought it was God`s plan
and he would do the same thing all over again. How do you reconcile the
two statements?

CRUMP: Reverend Sharpton, both parents said that they think his
apology is insincere. His statements about he prays for them is insincere.
Especially in light of the fact that he showed no remorse. He said, he
doesn`t regret anything that he did. And as Mr. Martin said, he regrets
something. He and his family regret that George Zimmerman got out of that
car with a gun and pursued Trayvon Martin.

Because had he not did that, their son would still be here. And
that`s the hardest thing to stomach at the end of that tape, he says well,
Trayvon put him in a position to where he had to do what he did. Well, had
he not got out that car, he wouldn`t have been in a position to cause this.

SHARPTON: Attorney Crump, thank you for your time tonight.

CRUMP: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

SHARPTON: I also heard on the tape that I was questioned and told I
should apologize for rush to judgment. And let me show you what I`ve said
during the whole rallying around trying to bring this case from the back
rooms of the police station to where it could be tried openly and we see
what happened.


SHARPTON: I can`t for the life of me understand how they can justify
not making an arrest. Arrest doesn`t mean conviction. But clearly there`s
probable cause here even with this law that we would question. If you have
a dead young man, no crime, no weapon, no drugs and you have 911 tapes that
clearly has Zimmerman pursuing him even after the dispatcher said do not
do it, how is that not probable cause to make an arrest? I`ve been saying


SHARPTON: What I said was that we need to stop the rush to judgment.
The rush to judgment that was made in the police station that night that
determined that Mr. Zimmerman had not done anything wrong and could go
home. I didn`t rush to judgment. I said let`s not have a rush to judgment
where the police in Sanford become the judge and the jury. We ask for an

A republican Governor Rick Scott appointed a special prosecutor. The
republican special prosecutor went over the evidence and came back and said
yes, there is probable cause. And indicted him for murder two. So, I`m to
apologize for saying what ended up being right there was probable cause?
Or maybe the governor should apologize? Or maybe the special prosecutor
should apologize? Or maybe we should try to find out what really happened.
And not rush to judgment in a police station. We`ll be right back.


SHARPTON: You`re probably asking why the wedding music? Well, Mitt
Romney famously said, corporations are people and he might have a point.
One woman is proving it.

Joining me now is Angela Marie Vogel, a Seattle woman who married a
corporation. Angela, it seems a congratulations are in order. But in all
honesty, you have a political reason for doing this. So, why did you marry
a corporate person?

Sharpton, I married a corporate person because if our country is going to
say that corporations have free speech rights, then they should have
marriage rights as well.

SHARPTON: Now, when you say free speech rights, you`re talking about
the Citizens` United decision of the Supreme Court gained that corporations
could spend all the money that they wanted in campaigns that was free
speech. Do you also feel inspired by Mitt Romney?


VOGEL: Sure. We`ll give him a little credit for this one. No

SHARPTON: He said corporations are people.

VOGEL: Yes. He did and we`re out to prove it.

SHARPTON: So, take me through the process. After you got married,
you actually got a marriage license?

VOGEL: We did. King County did hand us a marriage license.

SHARPTON: And -- go ahead.

VOGEL: And they have not sent us any formal communication yet to
rescind that license.

SHARPTON: And what was the ceremony like?

VOGEL: Oh, it was beautiful. Everybody in the community showed up.
We had musicians and we even had a florist donate flowers and everybody got
involved. And it was a really beautiful ceremony complete with a marching

SHARPTON: Did people cry?

VOGEL: There were a few people that claimed to have some tears of

SHARPTON: Now, this was all trying to raise awareness about
initiative 103, Seattle ballot initiative that would ban corporate spending
on elections, ban corporate personhood, and you need 20,000 signatures to
be considered. So, this is, you`re really dramatizing a point.

VOGEL: That`s right. We think it`s very, very important for people
to band together in their communities and start to eliminate corporate
personhood. Local action is where we can affect the most change.

SHARPTON: And I guess if corporations are people with free speech,
they can get married, too, and that was your point.

VOGEL: That`s right.

SHARPTON: Angela Marie Vogel, thank you for your time tonight. And
have a happy life, you and your corporation.

VOGEL: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

SHARPTON: Thank you for your time.

VOGEL: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Well, I think interesting times require interesting
responses. Thank you for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts
right now.


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