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PoliticsNation, Friday, February 15th, 2013

Read the transcript from the Friday show

February 15, 2013

Guests: Danny Davis; E.J. Dionne, Angela Rye, Dana Milbank, Maureen Forte

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks, Chris. And thanks to you
for tuning in. I`m live from Atlanta.

Tonight`s lead, Republicans need a reality check on guns. They need
to see the human face on tragedy. They need to see the horrible toll this
violence and their policies are taking on our children. That`s what the
president was doing today.

This afternoon, President Obama took his fight for gun safety to his
hometown of Chicago, a city that`s been torn apart by gun violence. In the
crowd was mother of Hadiya Pendleton, the 15-year-old honor student who was
shot and killed just a week after attending the inauguration.


happened to Hadiya is not unique. It`s not unique to Chicago. It`s not
unique to this country. Too many of our children are being taken away from

Two months ago, America mourned 26 innocent first graders and their
educators in Newtown. The over whelming majority of Americans are asking
for some common sense proposals to make it harder for criminals to get
their hands on a gun. These proposals deserve a vote in congress. They
deserve a vote. They deserve a vote.


SHARPTON: They deserve a vote. These victims of violence deserve
courage from our leaders.

This morning, at the White House, the president got emotional. Wiping
away a tear while announcing medals for the teachers and educators at Sandy
Hook elementary who died trying to protect their kids.


OBAMA: They had no idea that evil was about to strike. They could
have taken shelter by themselves, they could have focused on their own
safety, on their own well-being, but they didn`t. They gave their lives to
protect the precious children in their care. They gave all they had for
the most innocent and helpless among us. And that`s what we honor today.
The courageous heart, the selfless spirit, the inspiring actions of
extraordinary Americans.


SHARPTON: The president embraced the family of those Newtown heroes
one-on-one as they came up to accept their medals for their loved ones.
This is what he`s fighting for. This is why now is the time for action.

Joining me now from Chicago is Congressman Danny Davis, Democrat from
Illinois and Melissa Harris-Perry, host "Melissa Harris-Perry" here in

Congressman, let me start with you. How can Republicans see the
violence the president is talking about and still say we don`t need to make
a change?

REP. DANNY DAVIS (D), ILLINOIS: Well, Reverend Al, all they had to do
was come to Chicago to know how impactful it has been in terms of the
numbers of individuals who have been shot, killed, maimed. We`ve got to do
something. We got to do it now. We must do it quickly.

And one of the best things that we can do is reduce the number of guns
on the streets in our possessions and to make sure that nobody except
military personnel and some law enforcement people, have access to these
weapons of mass destruction that people are walking up and down the

SHARPTON: Now, Melissa, when you see the president tearing up and he
had the same reaction tearing up the day that we heard about Newtown, you
get a real sense of how personal and how deeply this affects him as a
person. Something that runs contrary to his cool, unflappable image that
he`s been given since we`ve known him in national politics.

you know, Reverend Sharpton --

SHARPTON: Go ahead, Melissa.

DAVIS: I think the president --

HARRIS-PERRY: Reverend Sharpton, as you know, of course, the personal
nature of this I think that we particularly saw during the president`s
speech today in high park, you know, before he began speaking, you could
see a certain kind of enthusiasm about being back home, about being in high
park. You could hear that enthusiasm reflected back by the young people at
high park academy who were there. And as you know, I continue to have
family who live right there in the Woodland neighborhood. My own daughter
spends every summer. And so, my fear and terror as a parent about what is
happening in terms of violence there, I can certainly feel the president on
that sense of - and it was the connection he made during his speech today
around Newtown. And then he said but here, in Chicago, we get a Newtown
ever four months, right. That`s the number of young people die.

SHARPTON: Let me show that clip, Melissa. Because I think, people
need to understand that it`s not only the mass killings, congressman Davis.
It is the consistent kind of siege that people are living under in certain
parts of this country.

Listen to this part of the president`s speech.


OBAMA: Last year, there were 443 murders with a firearm on the
streets of this city and 65 of those victims were 18 and under. So that`s
the equivalent of a Newtown every four months.


SHARPTON: The equivalent, congressman Davis, of a Newtown every four
months. I mean, I worked with you on our national action chapter network
there. You have been dealing with this for years with your constituents on
the west side and all over Chicago where it`s a constant fear, a constant
kind of hoping that the next time the phone rings, it`s not bringing you
bad news for human beings have to live under this kind of condition is

DAVIS: And I think it`s one of the reasons why it`s so important that
the president came to Chicago. People have been clambering and asking for
him to come home. And while they recognize that he is the president of the
United States of America and must give attention to all areas, all issues
and all parts, but we always say that charity begins at home.

People are ecstatic that the president was here this afternoon. The
young people and others embraced his every word. They were so thrilled and
delighted because he brought hope to them. Hope to their lives. Hope that
we`re going to get a handle on this issue. And I was moved when he talked
about how each one of us must be involved. We need all hands on deck
including young people, including ministers, unity organizers, the schools.
It can`t happen alone. All of us must work together to make it happen.
And convince the Republicans in Congress that we have got to do something
right now to put a stop to this carnage.

SHARPTON: Melissa, talking about Republicans, at the same time,
there`s a Republican state lawmaker in Texas who is actually introduced a
bill creating gun classes in school. And he defended by saying quote "go
to any high school today and you will see them engaging and many what we
could consider probably dangerous activities: welding, auto mechanic,
weight lifting, playing sorts. They can handle this." This is state rep.
James White.

I mean, do Republicans really think that guns are like dumbbells or

HARRIS-PERRY: Right. Look. And I would suggest, actually, that part
of what the president suggested today in his speech, is that as bad as
those sorts of policies are, these kind of direct more access to gun
policies that we`re seeing coming out of the most conservative elements of
the Republican party, that actually, the most cage dangerous elements
aren`t even about Republican economic policy. There are about Republican
economic policy.

So, what the president said today while standing there in High Park is
that, look, when you`re looking at the problem of Chicago, it can`t
exclusively be understood as a gun policy problem because, of course,
Chicago has very stringent gun laws. You have to look at the much broader
questions of economic opportunity that are available.

And so, here is what we have is, for example, Republican congress that
we know is going to stand in the way of the president`s proposal to raise
the minimum wage to $9 an hour. It`s going to stand in the way of the
president`s economic, stimulating proposals that will help communities and
give young people opportunities for jobs and employment and higher
education and the things that we know will really begin to stem the tide of

And, so I think we have to be vigilant about their gun policies. But
we also have to be equally vigilant about economic policy.

SHARPTON: We will have more on this later in the show.

Congressman Davis, thanks for your time.

And as the congressman can tell you even on the gun policy, the
stringent laws of Chicago are one thing. But just a few miles outside of
Chicago, 20 percent of the guns in Chicago comes from minutes outside of
Chicago, one gun store, You`ve got to have national stringent laws. Not
just in the city.

Thank you, Congressman. Thank you, Melissa.

DAVIS: We`ve got to have help across the nation.

SHARPTON: That`s right.

DAVIS: Thank you so much, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Thank you.

HARRIS-PERRY: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: We will deal with more of this later in the show.

Ahead, John McCain has a personal grudge and he is actually admitting
it. And those screams you hear are coming from Wall Street. Elizabeth
Warren gets to work and it`s explosive.

Nothing says change like Karl "meltdown" Rove. You won`t believe what
is going on inside the GOP secret meetings. Big Friday show coming. Stay
with us.


SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? We hope you will. Today, Elizabeth Warren`s first banking
committee hearing was a big hit.

Donna says there`s a new sheriff in town.

Jane says she is what we needed for so long.

Jay says this is why I contributed to her campaign, even though I live
in Georgia.

We have got more on Warren and why Wall Street is scared already
coming up later.

But, first, we need you to come share your thoughts. Please head over
to facebook and search "Politics Nation" and like us to join the
conversation that keeps going long after the show ends.


SHARPTON: For weeks now, I have had this nasty little suspicion that
John McCain was blocking President Obama`s cabinet nominees because of a
personal grudge. And guess what, I was right.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: There`s a lot of ill will towards
senator Hagel because when he was a Republican, he attacked President Bush
mercilessly. It was very anti his own party and people. People don`t
forget that. You can disagree, but if you`re disagreeable, then people
don`t forget that.


SHARPTON: McCain blocks Chuck Hagel for defense secretary because he
said bad things about President Bush, because he stopped hanging out with
his own party, because he stopped hanging out with the cool kids? What is
this? High school?

Well, I sure am sorry Mr. McCain`s feelings got hurt, but it`s to
reason to block a vote on national security, especially when he promised
not to.


MCCAIN: We never filibuster a presidential appointee and I don`t
think we should start here.


SHARPTON: That was Sunday. But just four days later, McCain said no
to holding a vote on Hagel. He broke his promise. He filibustered. John
McCain obviously still had some sour grapes with Chuck Hagel. But he`s
really trying to get back at the man who beat him in 2008. This is all
about trying to settle scores with President Obama.

Joining me now is former Pennsylvania governor, Ed Rendell.

Governor, is this all about losing to the president?

the best proof of it is it has nothing to do with Chuck Hagel. Just like
giving answers on Benghazi should have no place in a Hagel confirmation
process. Hagel had nothing to do with Benghazi. But, to prove that this
hasn`t anything to do with Hagel, is simply what McCain said in 2006.
After Hagel had been a Republican, had been disagreeable, had said bad
things about President Bush, John McCain said, and I know you put up the
quote before, he said I would be honor to have Chuck Hagel as my secretary
of state.

SHARPTON: Right. He said that.

RENDELL: So it`s clearly not about Hagel, it`s about Obama. You`re
absolutely right.

SHARPTON: And to even drive the point further, he once shared similar
views on issues with the president. But, now, he`s flip-flopping, even
though he`s shared those views. So he wouldn`t agree with the president
anymore. He changed. He flip-flopped on tax cuts under President Bush.
McCain actually opposed tax cuts for the wealthy. But under President
Obama, he says those Bush tax cuts should stay. On repealing don`t ask,
don`t tell, under Bush, McCain supported the repeal of don`t ask, don`t
tell. But once Obama was president, he said he was for repeal. McCain
said he was against it.

On the dream act, McCain co-sponsored three versions of the dream act
urn President Bush. But under President Obama, he opposed the dream act.
So all of this flip-flopping on things you used to agree with but anything
the president is for, if his name is Obama, you`re against. This is very,
very petty.

RENDELL: And on global warming, Rev., cap and trade remember, the
McCain-Lieberman plan which the president referred to in the state of the
union this week, the McCain-Lieberman was a good plan and McCain disavowed
that when President Obama became president.

SHARPTON: No, there`s no doubt about it. And when in fact, when the
president was elected in 2008, since that time, McCain has gone after him
and the attacks have just gotten worse and worse. Listen to this.


MCCAIN: It`s interesting how there`s been numerous shifts on a number
of issues since the election.

He`s traveling around on a Canadian bus touting American jobs, so.

This president believes in leading from behind. He does not believe
in American exceptionalism and that accounts for his behavior.

This president is either engaged in a massive cover up deceiving the
American people or he is so grossly incompetent that he`s not qualified to
be the commander in chief.


SHARPTON: Don`t Americans have the right to look for stellar
leadership where people can oppose each other and when the contest is over,
governor, they work together for the good of the country? I mean, there
have been exchanges in the 2008 primary races between then-senator Barack
Obama and then-senator Hillary Clinton. They ended up working together and
then put together as team as secretary of state that I think will be a
study for political science students for decades to come.

RENDELL: No question. And if you even go back a little further to
cross party lines when president George W. Bush was elected, one of his
earliest supporters of it major Bush`s issue was Ted Kennedy. You remember
Ted Kennedy and President Bush put together no child left behind. And
senator Kennedy led his credibility to that.

He didn`t tout because Bush won the election. He worked with the
president on something he believed would be good. And if they had funded
no child left behind properly, it would have been a success. So, this is a
recent phenomena. And I will tell you, the Republicans are hurting
themselves. They are driving home, in the minds of the American people,
that they are obstructionists. They will disagree with the president
regardless, how good is his ideas are. They will disagree just to

SHARPTON: Governor Ed Rendell, thanks for your time tonight.

RENDELL: Thanks, Rev, and nice weekend.

SHARPTON: Same to you.

Coming up, the president pounds his message for fairness in Chicago

And senator Elizabeth Warren gets to work.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Can you identify when you
last took the wall street banks to trial? When did you bring them to
trial? Anyone else want to tell me about the last time you took Wall
Street bank to trial?


SHARPTON: We`re coming right back. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren made her name by
standing up for middle class Americans, for defending main street, for
fighting for consumer protection and for promising to hold banks


WARREN: There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own.

We need a strong cop on the beat to make sure no one steals your purse
on main street or your pension on Wall Street.

Wall street CEOs, the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed
millions of jobs, still shut strut around Congress, no shame, demanding
favors and acting like we should thank them. Does anyone here have a
problem with that? Well, I do, too. I do, too.


SHARPTON: But those CEOs might not be strutting around Congress much
longer. Their worst nightmare is coming true. Senator Warren, senator
Warren is on the job and she`s not guilty holding back. Oh, yes, there`s a
new sheriff in town.

That`s next.


SHARPTON: The defining characteristic of this administration has been
its fight for the little guy. We saw that again this week in the proposals
outlined at the State of the Union. In the push for early childhood
education for all Americans regardless of income. And in his full
throttled crusade to raise the minimum wage.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Today, a family with two kids
that works hard and relies on a minimum wage salary still lives below the
poverty line. That`s wrong. And we should fix them. We should reward an
honest day`s work with honest wages and that`s why we should raise the
minimum wage to $9 an hour and make it a wage you can live on.


SHARPTON: And he`s not the only one crusading for Main Street. Wall
Street`s worst nightmare is coming true. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a
warrior for the middle class held her first banking committee hearing with
the regulators and she came out swinging.


about the last few times you`ve taken the biggest financial institutions on
Wall Street all the way to a trial.



people to a trial --

WARREN: Well, I appreciate that you say you don`t have to bring them
to trial. My question is when did you bring them to trial?

CURRY: We have not had to do it as a practical matter to achieve our
supervisory goals.

WARREN: And so the question I am asking you is, can you identify when
you last talk the Wall Street banks to trial?

ELISEE WALTER, CHAIRWOMAN, SEC: I will have to get back to you with
the specific information.

WARREN: Anyone else want to tell me about the last time you took a
Wall Street bank to trial? You know, I just want to note on this, there
are district attorneys and U.S. attorneys who are out there every day
squeezing ordinary citizens on sometimes very thin grounds. And taking
them to trial in order to make an example, as they put it. I`m really
concerned that too big to fail has become too big for trial. That just
seems wrong to me.



SHARPTON: That seems wrong to me, too. Thankfully, someone is trying
to do something about it. Back with me now, Melissa Harris-Perry and E.J.
Dionne. Thanks for coming on the show tonight.

E.J. DIONNE, WASHINGTON POST: Good to be with you.


SHARPTON: Melissa, let me go back to you. How scared should Wall
Street be?

PERRY: Well, what I love is it was just sort of a clinic in the
Socratic Method. Right? All she did was ask a question. Right? So,
Senator Warren just asked the same question over and over again. Tell me
about when you took Wall Street banks to trial. And by asking that
question, she, of course, reveals the answer itself which is they don`t
take them to trial. They aren`t held accountable. And then that lovely
code at the end which she say, they`re not held accountable even though
ordinary people are.

And I think your point here that this is the juxtaposition of fairness
and what counts as fair and who gets made an example of in this country and
who doesn`t. So I think they ought to be really quite nervous. Because as
soon as questions like that are posed, then the American people do begin to
ask for exactly the accountability that these wall street banks have not
to, in fact, have.

SHARPTON: E.J., she didn`t hold back clearly. What does that tell us
about the future? What do you expect from Elizabeth Warren now a senator?
Elizabeth Warren.

DIONNE: Well, I`m really happy she`s there. And I think one of the
things we`ve learned is that people make fun of professors in politics.
They`re pretty effective -- Elizabeth Warren and oh, yes, Professor Barack
Obama. And I think what gives Warren real power there is that she looks at
it now only what`s wrong at the top but she looks at what`s wrong for
people at the bottom.

She has done a lot of work over the years, problems with bankruptcy
law, particularly, the unfortunate bankruptcy law that got through the
Congress a few years ago, despite her fighting it, where a lot of people at
the bottom of the economy get squeezed when they fall in trouble through no
fault of their own particularly because of medical bankruptcy. And so, I
think she can bring to bear a lot of knowledge about the way the regulatory
system works, about the way Wall Street works and about the way life works
for average people.

SHARPTON: You know, one of the things that bothers me, let me address
this to you, Melissa. And how Republicans actually voting to extend the
pay freeze for federal workers today includes federal custodians, nurses
and doctors at veteran affairs facilities, federal first responders. And
that seems especially callous given that the average member of Congress
makes $174,000 a year, but they`re freezing federal workers that make much
lower than that and they`re freezing their salaries. That`s very callous
to me.

PERRY: Well, and of course, they`ve also know that they`ve made a
variety of decisions about the U.S. postal service that are also leading to
massively lay-offs in the post office. And of course, we know how
important the postal service has been as one of these ladders, as the
President might say into the middle class, particularly for communities of
color and for women who make up a disproportionate share of these workers.

And so, you know, one of the things we`ve seen in GOP discourse over
the past decade is this idea that government doesn`t create jobs. That is
simply inaccurate. We know that these are, in fact, very good jobs. Jobs
that tend to be the least discriminatory jobs because the government
actually asserts sort of high quality, nondiscriminatory policies and
often has some of the best, sort of benefits, retirement, all of that. And
yet, the GOP is going after exactly those jobs and deepening our economic
crisis when there is no need to.

SHARPTON: E.J., not only going after those things in government that
provides jobs, they seemed absolutely outraged that the President would
propose a $9 federal minimum wage when we`ve been showing the last couple
of nights how a single parent with a child is making below the poverty
level. And, in fact, former Reagan advisor Bruce Bartlett, says that
haggling over minimum wage is a bad politics for Republicans.

Let me read you as quote, "In a head to head fight with Democrats on
raising the minimum wage, Republicans will lose." Mr. Bartlett saying
this. "They will pay dearly in next year`s Congressional elections. They
will be seen once again as being in the pockets of the rich against the
interests of working people." Even Bartlett can see this, but they`re
acting as if this is something that is totally unthinkable that we should
be dealing with minimum wage increase.

DIONNE: Well, raising the minimum wage is popular because there is a
moral sense that people have that if you work hard every day, you ought to
be able to make a living. When minimum wage increases, go on ballots in
referenda, they almost always win. If anything, I wish the President would
ask for a slightly higher increase. I don`t think nine bucks brings us
back to where we should be. It doesn`t bring us back to where we were say
at 1968. I would have like ten bucks.

But the point is that we have a lot of people in this society who work
every day and have a lot of trouble supporting their families. I think
this is popular. And I hope he makes a big deal of it until it`s raised.

SHARPTON: Now, the people over at FOX, Melissa, have a theory about
why the President wants to deal with universal early education. Take a
look at this.


STUART VARNEY, FOX BUSINESS NETWORK: Look at what the President is
doing here. It`s a repeat performance of his campaign. Which is you raise
taxes on the rich and you offer all kinds of free stuff to people who will
vote for you in the future. This is one of those occasions. Free pre-
school education for four-year-olds. It`s free. Here it is, hand out the


SHARPTON: Now, maybe I missed something. You`re the professor, I`m
the preacher. But giving education to kids is handing out stuff?

PERRY: Yes, I mean, to potential voters who vote, what, like, you
know, they`re four. Right?

SHARPTON: They`ll be voting in about 14 years.


PERRY: They`re not going to make the next election cycle. Listen,
what we know is a dollar for dollar pre-K that is really a terrific way for
us to spend our money. And the thing that`s really important is it`s not
free stuff. We actually do pay taxes into our system. Right? And what we
know is that pre-K keeps particularly children who are from more
impoverished communities and families, it keeps them ready, it makes them
ready for kindergarten. It makes them more able to be contributing members
of our society.

Every dollar that we spend there has an enormous impact on the other
side. So, it is, I think again, politically, it`s a bad kind of fight.
When you have set up your party to be against folks who work every day and
yet, don`t make enough to support their families and to be against the
four-year-olds getting a head start in being able to read and write and
being excited about learning education, it`s really hard to imagine what
the winning coalition is for that party.

SHARPTON: Well, that`s might be why they`re not the winning
coalition. Melissa Harris Perry and E.J. Dionne. Thanks and have a great
weekend. And don`t forget, catch Melissa Harris Perry tomorrow at 10:00
a.m. and Sunday here on MSNBC. We`ll be right back.

Coming up, it sounds like a joke. But it`s true. Republicans host
secret meetings to hear the wit and wisdom of Karl Rove. Unbelievable

And McCain train is up and running again. Here we go again.


SHARPTON: The GOP`s version of change. Karl Rove. Can`t make it up.
That`s next.


SHARPTON: You really can`t make this stuff up if you tried. Today,
we learned the GOP is holding secret, closed-door meetings to turn the
party around. And who are they going to for wisdom? This guy. Karl "On-
Air-Meltdown" Rove. The guy who blew three hundred million dollars. The
former king maker, nothing says change like Karl Rove.

Meanwhile, Marco Rubio, the GOP savior, Mr. gulp fiction himself, is
out today praising freshman Senator Ted Cruz calling him a superstar and
tweeting happy to see Ted Cruz came to D.C. to make a difference, not just
make some friends. Yes, Rubio thinks this guy is a super star.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I think we have to be prepared to go so far as to
shot the government.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We need to eliminate unnecessary and
unconstitutional agencies.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We need to eliminate Department of Education.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We are living in the days of atlas shrubs.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I will never support new taxes. Period. The end.


SHARPTON: I think it`s time for some more meetings.

Joining me now are Angela Rye and Dana Milbank. Dana, is this really
the GOP`s master plan to save the party?

DANA MILBANK, THE WASHINGTON POST: You know, it`s just so hard to
keep abreast of all of Ted Cruz`s outrages. He`s been on the job for six
weeks and he`s already sort of rivaling Joe McCarthy. So, I mean, you
know, in fairness to Karl Rove, he is telling the Republicans what they
need to hear. And I suspect that republican leaders would like to do it.
The problem is as you can see from a guy like Ted Cruz, and there are
several others like him. There`s just no way to control him.

He has this swollen sense of his own importance. And he`s made --
look, I mean, obviously, he`s infuriating the Democrats. But even members
of his own party are starting to get sore about this. And they realize
there`s absolutely nothing they can do to control him and several others
like him. And they are becoming the face of the party.

SHARPTON: But Angela, some members of his own party may begin to know
it, but Marco Rubio is praising him as a superstar. And it`s not just
partisan things Angela. Look at Ted Cruz`s resume. He believes Sharia law
is replacing American law. He believes Medicaid is unconstitutional. He
proposed state nullification of the affordable care act. He even thinks
there`s a United Nation`s conspiracy to abolish golf courses.

ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Well, Rev. I think that, sorry I`m
laughing, I`m not even -- it doesn`t pass the laugh test. But at the end
of the day, I think we have to look at the commonality that Ted Cruz and
Marco Rubio have. And that is they are both power thirsty. Some more
literally then others but it really is a problem at this point. You know,
they say that they`re elected to come to Washington to create change.

But, at some point, you have to evaluate the types of change that
you`re implementing. If the types of change that you`re implementing is
causing stalemates, preventing laws that make good sense from being enacted
and signed by the President, that is a huge, huge problem. At some point,
you have to say we`re going backwards. Or, Rev, as you know, they say in
the church, we are backsliding.

SHARPTON: Yes, they do say that.

Dana, let me ask you your response to this. Politico has reported
that at the GOP`s secret meetings, here`s some of the rules they reportedly
agreed on. Rule one, stop talking like the world is going to end. No more
doom and gloom. Rule two, start repealing regulations. No one ever heard
of package all cuts together. And, three, sand down the party`s rough
edges. Be nicer.

MILBANK: Well, Reverend, if you sanded out all of these rough edges,
there`d be nothing left on the thing. That`s the problem you`re talking
about. I think in the same article, I`ve heard some of this, well, some
members are beginning to say, what you and I and others have been talking
about for months now. And that is, it`s not just about the packaging, it`s
not just about the messaging. There is a fundamental problem in what the
policies are that are being delivered here.

And there`s no way to dress this up if that`s going to be the policy.
So you can stop talking about the world ending. But if your budget is
still cutting the United States government by 40 percent or so over the
next ten years, well, you`re creating a pretty apocalyptic scene right
there. So there`s a beginning to come to grasps with the notion that some
policies need to change. And then there`s Ted Cruz in the like.

SHARPTON: Angela, it`s not only Ted Cruz and the extremists seem to
keep coming. I`m here in Atlanta. Right here, Congressman Paul Brown who
is running for the Senate in Georgia, he sent out Wednesday a fund raising
letter with this quote. I was the first member of Congress to call him a
socialist who embraces Marxist, Leninist policies like government control
of health care and redistribution of wealth.

This Obama-bashing and extreme distortion of the President is still
being used by some Republicans in statewide office who are already members
of Congress.

RYE: There are conspiracy theories that they put out that are worst
than what you see on the cover of National Enquirer. And at some point, we
have to say, you know, enough with the distraction. We have a lot to deal
with, with our own Grand Ole Party. And at some point, we have to deal
with what`s immediately before us. They have reasons why they can`t
support immigration reform.

Reasons why they can`t support gun control. Reasons why they can`t
implement the Buffet rule. I mean, you continue to go on and on. And,
now, from the President`s State of the Union address, reasons why they
can`t support a minimum wage increase. Like, it`s not about the
President`s, you know, any type of conspiracy theory they can come up with.
This is really about the fact that they are so off base and off -- not just
off message, totally off and out of connection with the American people.
And what really makes sense. There are some really basic things that we
can do to get the country on track. And they`re just not trying to do it.
Anything but to do the right thing.

SHARPTON: Now, Dana, help me with this. They want to rebrand not
only the party, but the right wing and conservatives. They wanted to redo
things. At FOX, they announced they were letting Sarah Palin go, they were
letting Dick Morris go. So we began saying, oh, they`re getting ready to
reshape and deal with some of the rougher edges of the right wing. And
then, all of the sudden, here`s a great announcement. They are bringing on
Mr. 9-9-9, Herman Cane is now at FOX. Explain to me how going from Palin
and Morris to Cane is a redo of where you are as an extreme right party?

MILBANK: Well, they just wanted to sand down the old rough edges,
Reverend. That doesn`t mean they don`t want to install a couple of new
ones. Look, the exciting bomb throws are what generates ratings for FOX
News, and that`s what they`re going to continue to do. And you can`t touch
people like Ted Cruz because they`re not elected by all of America.
They`re elected by conservative Republicans in Texas.

SHARPTON: Angela Rye, Dana Milbank, thanks for your time. Have a
great weekend.

RYE: Thank you, Rev.

MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Ahead, why the fight for gun control is so personal for
this president? Next.



PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Dawn Hochsprung and Mary
Sherlach, Victoria Soto, Lauren Rousseau, Rachel Davino, Anne Marie Murphy.
They gave their lives to protect the precious children in their care. They
gave all they had for the most innocent and helpless among us.


SHARPTON: President Obama today honoring the six educators who died
protecting students at Sandy Hook Elementary. He was emotional shedding a
tear as he spoke about their heroic actions. It was the same emotion we
saw on the day of the shooting, a day he called the worst of his
presidency. And today in Chicago, he hit a familiar thing.


OBAMA: Last year, there were 443 murders with a firearm on the
streets of this city. And 65 of those victims were 18 and under. So,
that`s the equivalent of a Newtown every four months.


SHARPTON: Joining me now from Chicago is Maureen Forte, president of
the Chicago chapter of my National Action Network. She`s been instrumental
in fighting the violence on the city streets and making it a national
issue. Maria, let me show you a map here of all of Chicago homicides just
last year that the President was talking about today.

Four hundred forty three murders with a firearm. Sixty five of those
victims were 18 under. You`ve been in the trenches in the streets for
years. Certainly in the last couple years dealing with gang violence,
dealing with these homicides with other members of National Action Network
and other groups there. How are people dealing with this fear and dealing
with this sense of being under siege?

Reverend, what`s happening, as I listened to the President today as he
recounted his State of the Union address and addressing the violence here
in Chicago. He`s a product of the Chicago area. And my suggestion to him
and to many others to reflect back when he was a street organizer himself
and hit the community, grassroots organizations to come down and speak with
the grassroots organizations.

Because when he said today to the young people, is that you`re
environment does not determine what you`re going to be. That determine if
you`re going to be a failure. The gun violence, regardless of how many
laws are passed, it`s up to the people to unite as one, to build stronger
bridges of communication, to make a difference in the community. The
President, also, today, spoke about he plans to work with the 20
troublesome communities, to work with them, to make sure that they can work
out the problems of the violence in -- communities.

Today, he was in the Woodloch community, which is the first
Congressional district. It`s probably the safe and has the lowest count of
violence. It mainly because of various organizations, there is
organization that we work with for -- peace.


FORTE: They are a preventive program. So, we have to find the
embraced programs that are going to educate and elevate the minds of our
young people. We have to fight exclusion with inclusion. Because the
young people want to be part of the process. It is up to us to make sure
that we`re proud of our process to include them.

SHARPTON: Thank you, Maureen. And I think that is the challenge that
the President gave today. I think that`s the challenge that we must have
all over the country. The President said he`s going to target 20 cities.
But we are, where ever we are, must become part of the solution or are we a
part of the problem? We need people as Maureen Forte has said, from the
bottom up that where the laws are there, where other things are there, that
is fine.

But we need to all be part of change in the mentality, changing the
thoughts, changing the dreams. Of young people to understand that gun
violence and destruction is not something they have to live with. They can
be something no matter what their background. No matter what their
circumstance. We all have to put our shoulder to the wheel. There`s been
1833 people killed since Newtown. We all have to be committed, not just
look to the White House. He`s got to start in your house and my house.

Thanks for watching. I`m All Sharpton. Have a great weekend.
"HARDBALL" starts right now.


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