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PoliticsNation, Thursday, March 21st, 2013

Read the transcript from the Thursday show

March 21, 2013

Guests: Susan Milligan, Jimmy Williams, Victoria DeFrancesco Soto

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks, Chris. And thanks to you
for tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, don`t believe the hype. All the GOP`s talk about
change is just that, talk. A bunch of hot air. Today, almost every single
Republican in the house voted for Paul Ryan`s budget. The budget that
would lower taxes for the rich, cut programs for the poor, and end Medicare
as we know it. It`s unbelievable. Just three days ago, the RNC rolled out
a plan to reboot the party, claiming that they will change the public`s
view that they only care about the rich.


perception that we`re the party of the rich, unfortunately, continues to
grow. That`s frustrating. We want to lift people up from poverty.


SHARPTON: Lift people up out of poverty? Really? What about voting
for Ryan`s budget today, Republicans endorsed a plan to give every
millionaire in the country a $200,000 tax cut while slashing the safety net
for the poor. Doesn`t sound like change to me. Republicans claim they
want to expand the big tent of the party.


PRIEBUS: The report means is no words in telling us that we have to
be more inclusive. I agree.


SHARPTON: More inclusive? Really? Then, why did a leading GOP
senator say this when asked about marriage equality? Quote, "I`m not guy
so I`m not going to marry one." Doesn`t sound like change to me.

Republicans claim they are going to reach out to groups they lost in
the election.

PRIEBUS: We have to do a lot better job and do a lot more to make up
ground in minority communities with women and young voters. The RNC cannot
and will not write off any demographic community or region of this country.


SHARPTON: Make up ground with women in minorities? Really? Then why
did the Republicans in Arkansas ran through a new voter I.D. bill to
suppress the minority vote? Why are Republicans, now decode a poise that
ban all abortions in the state, a state that has the most restrictive laws
in the country?

During the election, President Obama promised change we can believe in
and he`s delivering. Republicans promise change, too. But nobody believes
in it, least of all the Republicans.

Joining me now are Krystal Ball and Joan Walsh.

Thanks for being here tonight.

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC HOST, THE CYCLE: Thanks for having us, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Krystal, are Republicans just hoping we don`t notice their
rhetoric? That it really doesn`t mesh with their reality?

BALL: I don`t think they know what to do, to be honest with you.
Because on the one hand, they see the demographic trends. They know they
are in trouble. Obviously, the RNC conducted an autopsy of their dead body
of their party, right? So, they know that there`s a problem.

SHARPTON: We call it a flaw-topsy (ph).

SHARPTON: Yes, exactly.

But, on the other hand, you know, making any changes would really
upset their base on gay marriage, even as the country moves or even as 58
percent of Americans accept gay marriage, the base of the Republican party
is in this very different place. So they don`t know how to make that
movement without upsetting their base, which is why you saw after that
autopsy, which did make some comments about young people needing to see
that the Republican party was more open on issues of equality for the LGBT
community, even in that press conference right afterwards Reince Priebus
says no, our principles are the same. There is nothing wrong with our
principles. We don`t need to change anything there.

SHARPTON: Now, Joan, it`s almost like they all agree on they don`t
like the president or they don`t like this or that and they start falling
apart in this political civil war when they have to talk about what they do
agree on and I think that part of their problem is that they are against
everything but can`t say what they are for. I think Nancy Pelosi
articulated it best. Listen to this when they just rapid fire gave out
what the Republicans in Congress are doing.


public safety, public education, public transportation, public housing,
public health, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, it just keeps on
unraveling and unraveling and that`s their point.


SHARPTON: I mean, she just rattles off everything to think about that
they are against, but are they for anything and can they all agree with

JOAN WALSH, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, SALON.COM: Well, they are obviously for
big, big tax cuts for the rich, Reverend Al, and they are for cutting
programs for the poor in the middle class. They have shown us that time
and time again. And we know, you know, within three days, it`s clear that
the autopsy, which is what you do on a dead body, so that`s interesting, is
a farce. It`s a complete farce.

I mean, they are saying, OK, we want the votes of young people,
African-Americans, women, even gays, but we`re not going to change our
policies to attract you. We`re not going to be anything different that
will tell you why you should vote for us.

So, it`s a rebranding without any meaning and it`s just gotten the
party -- I mean, it`s gotten the fighting with one of another with social
conservatives saying, are you leaving us out, and you know, even Reince
Priebus having to backtrack immediately. As Krystal said and say, no,
marriage is one man, one woman. They can`t change the substance. They
think they can change the tone but they can`t even change the tone.

SHARPTON: Now, Krystal, when you look at the fact in the autopsy,
they want to move, they say, past 47 percent, past makers and takers
mentality. They say, quote, "The Republican Party must be the champion of
those who seek to climb the economic ladder of life. We must make sure
that the government works for those truly in need." How does that square
with the Ryan budget that shreds the safety net?

BALL: Well, that`s exactly it. It`s fine to say those words, you
know. We are going to be the party of the people. But what does that
actually mean to them? They have no idea. You know, Paul Ryan wanted to
come out and talk about poverty and income and equality on the campaign
trail, but what solutions do they have to offer? They haven`t thought
about it. They`ve got nothing there.

So, just taking the rhetoric out of it. I mean, granted, that`s just
a start. At least, start off by not defending half the country but you
have to offer some solutions to back that up. And that`s the other piece
that was wholly absent from the autopsy. This is a party that has become
divorced from any sort of science or research or data. And if they are
going to win back the trust of the American people, if they are going to
come up with anything that offer as real solution to the country`s
problems, they have to show that what they want to do squares with creating
positive results in some sort of a meaningful way.

SHARPTON: But that`s the point that I`m making. I`m not even saying,
become like those of us that disagree with you.

BALL: Right.

SHARPTON: But show me your plan that comes to a result.

BALL: Right.

SHARPTON: That will help eradicate poverty, or help African-Americans
or Latinos or women.

BALL: There`s no real evidence.

SHARPTON: But give me your way and tell me why it would logically do
that. I mean, you look at roll call, the Stewart Rothenberg. He wrote an
article about the GOP`s struggle, Joan, and he says this.

I recently asked a smart veteran Republican pollster what his party
could do to turn his party around in the near future. His response was
refreshingly honest. Nothing. The Republican brand will improve, he
continued, only when the president screws up.

Hope the president screws up? I mean, that`s the political strategy?
Doesn`t sound like much of a national agenda to me.

WALSH: It goes right back to the leader of the Republican Party, Rush
Limbaugh and what he said on the eve of the president`s first inauguration,
Reverend Al. He said, I hope he fails. And that has been their strategy
and when the president has had hard times, they kind of come back and when
he does a good job, which is what he mostly does, they are in big trouble.
They sit around hoping that the economy gets worse. I mean, it`s too late
now because the president got reelected overwhelmingly, but they wanted the
economy to get worse. They did everything in their power to make it worst.
They blocked action on jobs, just hoping that the American people would
say, hey, eight percent unemployment, we just can`t rehire this guy but we
did and their strategy didn`t work. But they still, even though they are
not going to be running against this man again, they still think that
opposition to the president as well as hits party and what we believe in,
but particularly the president, is the glue that holds them together and is
going to help them win elections. But, I don`t know how that happens when
Barack Obama is no longer on the ballot.

SHARPTON: You know, I don`t know if you remember the Stockton, who
was the congressman Steve Stockton and who was the congressman for Ted
Nugget -


SHARPTON: Well, he, Krystal, he tweeted out, the best thing about the
earth is if you put holes in it, oil and gas come out. I mean, how is that
for kinder and gentler? I mean, he actually tweeted this.

BALL: Well, and that`s part of the problem. I mean, if you have any
concern about the environment, if you have any concern about climate
change, are you going to look to someone to a party that`s saying things
like that? That`s not offering any solutions. And I think that`s part of
the problem is, cap and trade, which has been thoroughly demonized by the
Republican party as cap and taxed, that was a conservative idea. That`s a
market-based approach to dealing with climate change.

So, the Democrats have adopted some of these goods sort of market-
based things that they used to do. And if they are going to be an
effective party and opposition, they have to offer nuance responses. They
have just been demagogue in. It`s worked for them a while, but now that
well has run dry, so to speak.

SHARPTON: Yes. And I think Joan made a very good point. Usually
they take an autopsy after you`ve been pronounced dead. But usually, they
don`t usually take autopsies while you`re still alive.

BALL: That`s not a good sign.

SHARPTON: They need a political resurrection, not change.

WALSH: That`s right.

SHARPTON: Krystal Ball, Joan Walsh, thank you for your time tonight.

BALL: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: And be sure to catch "the Cycle," weekdays at 3:00 p.m.
eastern right here on MSNBC.

Ahead, hey, Republicans, if you do unpopular things, you become
unpopular. Wait until you see what happened today on that.

Plus, three years later and tea partiers are still trying to appeal
Obama care but the cause is losing steam.

And Sarah Palin is back. No, not that one. The funny one.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Your views on gun laws or wolves changed
at all?

I believe that if everybody had guns, then there would be fewer guns in the



SHARPTON: What happens when leaders become a punch line.

It`s coming up. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: We have breaking news tonight in the fight for gun control.
Senate majority leader Harry Reid has announced that he will in the main
gun bill headed to the Senate floor include safety bill that requires
background check for all gun buyers, make gun trafficking a federal crime,
and help schools upgrade their security. Those are all key proposals that
are long overdue, especially the background checks. That`s key.

But, some critical measures have been left out. The assault weapons
ban, limit on high-capacity magazines and new mental health bills have all
been dropped from the main build. Though, they still get voted on as
amendments, they will be in the main bill. When those votes come, we`ll
need our lawmakers to do the right thing and show political courage.
That`s what vice president Biden`s message was today when he appeared with
New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and relatives of Newtown victims. At one
point, Biden spoke directly to the parents of a teacher who lost her life
trying to protect her students.


Think about Newtown. Think about how many of these children or teachers
may be alive today had he had to reload three times as many times as he

For all those who say the politics is too hard, how can they say that?
When you take a look at those 20 beautiful babies and what happened to
them. And those six teachers and administrators. It`s time for the
political establishment to show the courage your daughter showed. And it
doesn`t take one-tenth the courage.


SHARPTON: Courage. If we just give up the assault weapons ban, do
you think the pro gun lobby will start there? Not a chance. They will go
for background checks and magazine clips and gun trafficking and straw
purchases. The NRA and their cronies on Capitol Hill will try to cut any
gun law that Americans want, unless we fight. That`s what we must do.


SHARPTON: The GOP`s failure to follow through on real change for the
party is having a big impact on their would-be saviors. A new poll shows
former Florida governor Jeb Bush losing in a 2016 matchup with Hillary
Clinton in his home state. Hillary beating Jeb in Florida. That`s

And there`s more. Marco Rubio, the Republican`s break-out star of the
year, loses to Hillary, too. He`s trailing by 11 points. The tea party`s
superstar, the establishment heavy weight, both would get pounced on their
home turf. This is the political fallout when the party can`t get away
from unpopular policies. It rubs off on their candidates.

Joining me now is Ed Rendell, former Pennsylvania governor and NBC
News political analyst, and Susan Milligan, contributing editor for U.S.
News and world report.

Thank you both for your time.



SHARPTON: Ed, Hillary Clinton beats both Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio in
their home state? I mean, is it panic time for the Republicans?

RENDELL: Sure. Because she just didn`t beat him in a poll last
month. She beat him by two or three points. Now she`s beating him by 11
points each. And these are the two superstar , the two Florida superstars.
And worse, Hillary`s favorable and the poll was 61 percent, you have it at
50. Marco Rubio has fallen all the way down, Rev., down to 41. That is
pretty stunning. And it has happened in a short period of time. I think
it is because they both waffled on immigration. They both waffled on path
to citizenship. And, again, it`s part of the gun stuff and part of the
whole negativity of the Republican Party and this party`s go the to
understand, it`s not the way they deliver the message. It`s not the
message, it`s the policies. Unless they change their policy, they are not
going to be able to relate to the voters they need to be successful.

SHARPTON: No. That`s my point, Susan. And on that same poll, what
was very interesting is that Hillary Clinton had 26 percent favorability
from Republicans.

MILLIGAN: Amazing.

SHARPTON: But then, let`s go to another part of the poll. You have
Florida governor Charlie Crist who is now Democrat ahead of the current
sitting GOP governor Rick Scott. Crist, 50 percent. Scott, 34 percent.
Crist was literally chased out of the Republican Party after embracing
President Obama, now, he is beating the current Republican in office.

MILLIGAN: Well, yes. I mean, I think that both of those sets of
polls indicate the problem that the Republican Party is having and how
divided it is. You`ve got the establishment doing this study which I read
cover to cover and I thought it was excellent, really got at what their
problems were. They basically, people think that they are mean, stuffy old
men who only care about rich people. That`s a pretty big problem to go
into in 2016. So, there`s got sort of a Marco Rubio type who might attract
the tea party element, the CPAC element, and you got a Jeb Bush type that
might attract the sort of establishment type. But, that`s not going to be
enough to win a general election.

And I think that Crist popularity is well over Rick Scott who is, you
know, that Marco Rubio wing of the party, is emblematic of that. I also
don`t think with Hillary that you can just count her strength as a
candidate as well, not just for strength against those two candidates. I
mean, she has grown tremendously as a candidate.

You look back at 1992 when she got beat up for saying I`m not sitting here
like Tammy Wynett, standing by my man, and then she was not going to bake
cookies and have teas and then she got beaten up for Hillary care and that
failed. And then, you saw her blossom as a senator and then run for
president. And unlike other failed presidential candidates, she didn`t
retreat. She actually grew even more. I mean, I think that her gravitas
her statue has grown tremendously in the past four years that this just
impressed a lot of people including Republicans. And I think she is much
stronger candidate in 2016 when she was in 2008.

SHARPTON: You know, Hillary has established a lot of credibility, but
when you look at the damage that they`ve done to the Republican brand, I
mean, that`s why I showed what Crist would do against the sitting governor
Scott. Look at the fact that Chris Christie`s approval rating is 74

Now, mind you, Ed, Christie also embraced President Obama and so his
approval rating soared. I mean, how can Republicans escape the drag
created by the poor brand of their party?

RENDELL: Well, Rev, I think it`s pretty easy. They have got to
change their policies. They got to be for a path to citizenship and that
may take off some on the far right but so be it. They are not going to
vote for Democrats anyway. They rather come out clearly. Their leaders
and say unequivocally, we are for a path for citizenship. We will work on
the details but let`s be clear, we think that that`s the right thing for
this country. It`s traditionally the way we`ve always done it. We think
it`s the right thing. They have got to send a message to women that pro
choice Republicans are welcome in their party, that we`re going to have --

SHARPTON: Well first, they have to be welcomed.

RENDELL: Well, they have to be welcomes, number one. And number two,
even if you`re pro life, you`ve got to be for exceptions for incest and
rape and health of the mother. They have got to start reaching out. They
can`t attack Planned Parenthood. Ninety percent of what Planned Parenthood
does has nothing to do with abortions. In fact, it`s trying to prevent
abortions by family counseling. So, they have got to take logical
positions on issues. Until they do that, all of the packaging, all of the
rhetoric, all of the studies are meaningless.

SHARPTON: But you know, Susan, even when Jeb Bush tried to do that
with immigration, look at the pushback that he got. And today, Karl Rove
wrote a piece in "the Wall Street Journal." He said this quote
"understanding that today`s technology has the shelf life of a banana,
Silicon Valley Republicans are working to modernize the GOP`s voter file in
advance of next year`s midterm."

Now, Rove didn`t write anything about modernizing the GOP policies,
just their list of voters.

MILLIGAN: Well, this is going to be their problem, too. Because the
tea party element of the Republican Party is that that they don`t think
strategically. You know, otherwise, they would have control of the Senate
right now. They lost in 2010 Delaware and Colorado, and Nevada. They lost
last year Indiana and Missouri because they are not thinking strategically
and they really don`t care so much of the Republican wins so much as
whether the Republican keeps to their very hardcore view of issues like
immigration and like abortion and other things like that.

But the party -- when you talked about abortion, I mean, the party has
a lot more repairing to do with women than just the abortion because there
are a lot of women who are anti-abortion for religious reason. It was a
contraception argument. And basically, the personal insults that came from
some members of the party and the people who didn`t distance themselves
from those comments.

You cannot personally insult people and inspect them to vote for you.
I mean, somebody who is Latino may not completely agree with you on
immigration, but might vote for you but you cannot personally insult them
and expect them to vote for you. You can`t tell women that, you know, you
don`t get pregnant from - unless it is from a legitimate rape and expect
them to vote for you. That`s a lot of recurring to do.

SHARPTON: What they have done in the -- with women and Latinos, and
African-Americans, are things that have united even those differences in
those groups. It`s united those groups, at least inside those groups.

Ed Rendell, Susan Milligan, thank you both for your time tonight.

MILLIGAN: Great to be here.

RENDELL: Have a good night, Rev.

SHARPTON: Ahead, on Obama care`s third birthday, the tea partiers are
celebrating the same way they did three years ago. Amazing.

And tonight, "Nice Try but We Got You Segment," Bill O`Reilly slams
the bogus right-wing attacks against the president. Yes, you heard it.
That`s right. Next.


SHARPTON: We told you about Michele Bachmann`s insane back down (ph)
the halls of Congress last night. She was running from reporters after
claiming President Obama lives it up in the White House. A lifestyle of
excess, talking about chefs on Air Force One, movie workers and a dog
walker. The fact checker called Bachmann`s claims absurd.

Believe it or not, one right wing talker agrees.


BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: This is a trivial pursuit. And
Michele Bachmann made a mistake pursuing it. It`s long past time for
partisan on both the right and the left to cut the nonsense and look at
things clearly.

Michele Bachmann is playing small ball with the president. I can`t
back up her criticism and actually trivializes it as a huge problem
irresponsible spending by the federal government.

Two words, not good.


SHARPTON: OK, everyone. I`ll let you set your DVRs and TIVOs. Are
you ready? Bill O`Reilly is right. I agree with Bill. This is another
trivial pursuit. It`s not about policy. It`s another silly personal
attack like all the ones we`ve become used to. Whether it`s claiming the
President wasn`t born in this country or that he didn`t really go skeet
shooting or attacking his lavish vacations where he grew up or criticizing
the First Lady for presenting an award at the Oscar`s or slamming him for
filling out NCAA brackets. Bill was right. But I wonder if he told his
colleagues that these attacks were a waste of time?


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: The misplaced priorities of our
celebrity president, they were on full display yet again.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight, presidential priorities,
basketball or budget.

HANNITY: President Obama took time out of his busy schedule to fill
out his March madness brackets. He continues to break the law, he is yet
to submit his budget.

SUSTEREN: We want to know what you think about President Obama
getting his brackets done but not his budget for us. Are you outraged or
is it just not a big deal?


SHARPTON: I guess O`Reilly`s colleagues missed his show last night.
But did the right thing think we wouldn`t notice this steelmaking tribal
attack on the President? Nice try, but we got you.


SHARPTON: Three years ago today, the House passed the affordable care
act into law and at the same time something else took on a new life. The
Tea Party. The weekend of the vote, Tea Party protesters spat on a member
of the Congressional Black Caucus. Congressman John Lewis was greeted with
racial slurs.

They heckled Congressman Barney Frank with anti-gay chants but
Democrats were undeterred by this Tea Party furor. The next day, they
marched on and on into the capital to make history and sign health care
into law. And minutes after they did so, Tea Party hero Michele Bachmann
vowed to tear the law down.


REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Going to get every republican
to sign it and anybody else. If we get 218 signatures, Nancy Pelosi is
forced to bring the repeal bill to the floor for a vote.


SHARPTON: So that was then. This was today, three years later.


BACHMANN: That`s why we`re here. Because we`re saying, let`s repeal
this failure before it literally kills women, kills children, kills senior
citizens. Let`s not do that. Let`s love people. Let`s care about people.
Let`s repeal it now while we can.


SHARPTON: Let`s repeal it. Led by Tea Party GOP has tried 36 times
to take an ax to health care, today included. But guess what, the law is
here to stay and the Tea Party, well, these days its bark is a lot worse
than its bite. It turns out the caucus hasn`t met since July of last year.
One member says, quote, "To say we haven`t been real active is an
understatement. We haven`t done anything."

Well, I wouldn`t say you haven`t done anything. You just haven`t done
anything of substance. Joining me now are Jimmy Williams and Victoria
DeFrancesco Soto. Thank you both for coming on the show tonight.



SHARPTON: Jimmy, let me start with you since this is your first visit
with us on POLITICS NATION. Congratulations.

WILLIAMS: Thank you. Thank you.

SHARPTON: Does the Tea Party think -- let me ask you, do they really
think railing against health care will bring back the momentum they used to

WILLIAMS: Well, you can keep putting your finger on the stove, it
keep getting burn over and over. I guess, after 36 times you`ve ran out of
fingers. I don`t think the Tea Party actually matters at this point.

SHARPTON: That`s right.

WILLIAMS: I think if you`ll take my home state of South Carolina, I`d
like to talk about things I know something about South Carolina -- did a
poll back in February, six percent approval rating. I`m sorry. Six
percent of South Carolinians think that their Tea Party is with Republicans
in South Carolina, they`re only at an eight percent approval rating. One
in ten Republicans --

SHARPTON: In South Carolina.

WILLIAMS: This is a home of the Gaston flag, the flag that they`ve
flown for three years now, saying don`t tread on me. Apparently they
forgot no one was treading on them.


WILLIAMS: So, the bottom-line is, if you`re in South Carolina, the
hotbed of the Tea Party nation, if they aren`t getting an approval rating,
if you will, then what is happening with the rest of the country? They
have failed over and over again to pass this, to appeal Obamacare. It`s
not going to matter. By the way, the Supreme Court said so.

SHARPTON: Victoria, you`re in Texas?

SOTO: Another prime spot.

SHARPTON: Arizona as well, I mean, you look at the fact that Tea
Party express endorsed 16 Senate candidates in 2012, only had four-one,
Bachmann`s Tea Party caucus once had 60 members, it lost ten members in
2012. They are weakening, weakening, weakening.

SOTO: There is no reason for the Tea Party to exist anymore. Let`s
think back to 2010. Why did the Tea Party exist? First of all, they
wanted to boot out Barack Obama. They said so that this is our call celeb,
he won reelection.

SHARPTON: Right. And won big.

SOTO: And won big. They wanted to repeal the affordable healthcare
act. Thirty six times later, still not repeal. And another big fight was
immigration. We want to fight against immigration. And now, everybody is
on board for immigration. The devil`s in the detail, and there`s
differences there. But the reason for the Tea Party to exist is no longer

And you`re seeing a fissure in the Republican Party between those
folks and you`re also starting to see the states also separate out when it
comes to Healthcare. So, the Federal level we`re seeing this pushes for
repealing Healthcare but at the state level, they`re saying just give us
the Medicaid dollars, let`s get on with our day to day governing.

SHARPTON: Now, even some members of the right are arguing that repeal
of a Medicare is a losing cause. Look at this, Jimmy.


CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: Are you saying that as part of
your budget, you would repeal you assumed the repeal of Obamacare?


WALLACE: But that`s not going to happen. Ryan is saying his idea in
his budget is to eliminate Obamacare. That`s not practical.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I raised the same point yesterday. I think that
you`re exactly right. How would you factor this in?


WILLIAMS: Listen. If Laura Ingraham and Chris Wallace, these are not
Liberals, they are not even moderates for God`s sake. And they`re fair
saying, that the Republicans are going to the sort of hair on fire we`ve
seen over and over and over again...


WILLIAMS: .from FOX News. Maybe they ought to listen to their own
people. Victoria is right, there is a massive I guess family dissemblance
going on in the Republican Party right now. I`ve always said there`s no
such thing as a Tea Party. It doesn`t exist. When you go to the voting
booth to the poll, it doesn`t say, DR or TP, it says, DR.


WILLIAMS: There`s no TP, it doesn`t exist. I want the Republicans to
own the record. I want the Republicans to own their French element.
That`s the Tea Party, it doesn`t exist. It`s the Republican Party. They
have to own their own people.

SHARPTON: And to own it is to do something about it. In fact, if you
look at what Senator Jeff Sessions argued, Victoria, that Obamacare is
destroying our health care system and he took issue with the notion that
our Healthcare system isn`t the greatest in the world. Take a listen to


SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: And for people to say our health
care isn`t the best in the world, why do people come here from all over the
world? That is one of the most horrible things I`ve ever heard really
around here suggesting we don`t. So we`ve got people that die sooner than
some other countries. Well, we have a lot of things. We have more
obesity. We have more smoking. We have less people taking care of
themselves sometimes. That doesn`t mean our health care isn`t good.


SHARPTON: Forty million people uninsured? You know, so what some, we
die -- I mean, you can`t obviously say with a straight face, so what we die
earlier than some other people. We have obesity spoken. I mean, what is
he talking about? Anything rather than to give health care for everyone
and to open it up for all Americans? That`s how they argue?

SOTO: And the irony here is that we`re still paying for health care.
So in a state like Texas where Rick Perry is standing strong and not
wanting that Medicaid expansion, I`m still paying for the uninsured. If
you walk into a hospital without insurance, the county taxpayers are going
to pay for it. We`re going to pay for it ultimately. So why not do it
smarter? Do it through the Medicaid expansion. And also, it speaks to
that state`s right mentality that Republicans have that you get that
liberty. Once you get the Medicaid dollars, you can implement it in
different ways.

SHARPTON: Well, I`m going to have to hold it there. Jimmy Williams
and Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, thanks for your time this evening. And
remember, this is the third anniversary of the passing of the bill and
we`re celebrating here tonight. That`s why we brought you on, Jimmy. You
even did the POLITICS NATION dress code.


SHARPTON: Ahead, President Obama brings a message of change and hope
to Israel. It was vintage Obama and a speech to remember. But first, the
week of republican rebranding has become a week of punch lines. Stay with


SHARPTON: So the new republican plan is to reach out to pop culture
world. Well, I don`t think this is what they had in mind. That`s next.


SHARPTON: It was supposed to be a big week of rebranding for the
Republicans. Instead, they became a joke again. Sarah Palin was stealing
headlines. She`s back. And so was that other famous Sarah. You know,
that funny one.


as Governor? You served only half a term. So what`s the right term of to

TINA FEY, AS SARAH PALIN: Well, I tell you, I don`t know.


I`m a half governor or you could call me a maverick at large.


LIPTON: I know that you`re very fond of shooting wolves from a
helicopter. Which is understandable enough. Have your views on gun laws
or wolves changed at all?

FEY: You know, Jimmy, I believe that if everybody had guns, then
there would be fewer guns in the stores.


LIPTON: Same-sex marriage, what is your view on that?

FEY: Well, the bible says it`s gross and the amazing wonderful people
I met in the audience at "Dancing With The Stars" seem to feel that way.

LIPTON: Right.

FEY: But no, marriage is meant for people wore different kinds of
swim suits.



SHARPTON: Good to have you back, half governor. We and the comedians
are loving it. Let me bring in comedian and TV personality Chuck Nice.
Thanks for being in tonight, Chuck.

CHUCK NICE, COMEDIAN: Pleasure to be here.

SHARPTON: I mean, does it get any better than Sarah Palin for

NICE: No, it doesn`t. She`s the gift that keeps on giving. You
know, the thing is, what`s funny is Sarah Palin has become a caricature of
herself. And when Tina Fey is doing Sarah Palin, you can actually hear
Sarah Palin saying these things.

SHARPTON: No doubt.

NICE: It`s not like it`s absurd, you know, and it`s because Sarah
Palin keeps doing this. She keeps showing up and doing thing, it will be
like Bill Cosby showing up. It`s just going, I`m Bill Cosby, I would like

SHARPTON: I can`t get enough of Tina Fey doing Sarah Palin. Watch


LIPTON: What does a woman like you make her way through a man`s

FEY: I don`t think of it as a man`s world or women`s world, unless
again, we`re talking about marriage. But I think of it as people being
mavericks or not being mavericks.


LIPTON: May I just have one more?

FEY: OK, then. But you know, sometimes people ask me stuff when I
don`t answer it anyway. So, go ahead. That`s a slippery one.

LIPTON: What do you think of Tina Fey`s portrayal of you?

FEY: It`s the best one I never watched.

LIPTON: Thank you very much. Thank you.


SHARPTON: But you know, Chuck, since the GOP came out with his
autopsy, it`s opened the door to comedians taking all kinds of shots. Let
me show you this and get your critique.


JAY LENO, HOST, NBC`S THE TONIGHT SHOW: After losing two presidential
elections in a row, the Republican Party now has outlined a plan to attract
minorities. Show the newest ad.

NARRATOR: Get ready for America, for a brand-new Republican Party.
We`ve changed our position on just about everything. We`ve decided that
we`re A-OK with same-sex marriages. In fact, we`ll even pay for the
honeymoon. And lastly, we`ll not only embrace immigrants, we`ll make it
easier to get into the country, by installing a moving sidewalk on the

presidential election. The Republicans thought they were going to win the
presidential election and now they are just being cry babies. Someone one
said, let`s get a study. Let`s spend a couple of million dollars on a
study and we`ll find out -- because we don`t think it`s us -- but let`s
find out what the problem was and why we lost. People think the
Republicans are old, white guys.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That`s it right there.

LETTERMAN: A hundred pages. It took them 100.


NICE: That`s funny. And you know the thing that makes this kind of
sad is that it`s so funny because it`s so true.


NICE: You know, that`s the old adage. It`s funny because it`s true
and that`s really the case. The Republicans are in a state of denial.
They are looking at everything except themselves. It`s like, why is my
house keep burning down? Forget about that gasoline in that corner, those
oily rags, forget about that and the lighter. Why does my house keep
burning down?

SHARPTON: Well, isn`t that part of what makes political comedy funny
that it does really refer to things that are basically true? I don`t think
when you`re dealing with politics, it would be funny if they are not
dealing with core items that are true.

NICE: Oh, absolutely. I mean, when you look at Sarah Palin right now
on the screen, I mean, she literally is doing Tina Fey.


NICE: It`s not --

SHARPTON: Exactly.

NICE: She`s doing an impression of Tina Fey doing Sarah Palin.

SHARPTON: Because if Tina Fey was way off from what Sarah Palin has
been shown to be part of a personality or possibly part of it --

NICE: Right.

SHARPTON: Then people would be offended in saying you trivialize it
or you`re insulting a national figure. The fact that they can do it and
there`s that foundation of truth there is what makes it funny.

NICE: No, that is what makes it funny because, you know, it`s not so
far off base. You know, it`s not absurdity. You`re not looking at it
like, what the heck are these people talking about? It`s not slanderous in
any way, shape or form? It kind of spot on. And that`s what make it is so

SHARPTON: Good to have you with us. Chuck Nice, thanks for being
here tonight.

NICE: It`s a pleasure.

SHARPTON: Ahead, a defining moment in this presidency. Talking
change in Israel. What a response. Next.


SHARPTON: Today, President Obama continued his historic trip to
Israel ending the day at state dinner with Israeli President Simon Perez.
Perez awarded President Obama`s Israel`s medal of distinction, they
country`s highest civilian award and at a ceremony -- at the ceremony
President Obama proposed a toast. Using the relaxed humor he`s displayed
throughout the trip.


OBAMA: Since I`ve started to get pretty good at Hebrew, let me
propose a toast, even though you`ve taken away my wine.


So a toast --


That`s good wine.


SHARPTON: It was a light hearted moment capping off a day of serious
issues. Earlier, the President spoke to Israeli students in Jerusalem, he
vowed on wavering support for Israel and he talked about a need for two
states for two people, making his case for a future of peace between
Israelis and the Palestinians and there was this inspiring and unscripted


OBAMA: Before I came here, I met with a group of young Palestinians
from the age of a 15 to 22 and talking to them they weren`t that different
from my daughters. They weren`t that different from your daughters. Or
sons. I honestly believe that if any Israeli parent sat down with those
kids, they`d see I want these kids to succeed, I want them to prosper, I
want them to have opportunities just like my kids do. I believe that`s
what Israeli parents would want for these kids if they had a chance to
listen to them and talk to them.


SHARPTON: Huge cheers and applause from the Israeli students. A big
moment as the president called on Israeli`s to see the world through the
eyes of Palestinians, and he went on to hear a theme we become familiar
with it here at home.


OBAMA: And let me say this as a politician, I can promise you this,
political leaders will never take risks if the people do not push them to
take some risks. You must create the change that you want to see.



SHARPTON: You must create the change that you want to see. In
America or in Israel. Those are important words. And those that take the
risk are the only ones that take change. Change does not come. Without
the risk of doing something different, without the risk of being
misunderstood, without the risk of being criticized. But once the change
occurs, all of the criticism and all of the risks mean nothing because the
change will be there for all of the good reasons that you committed
yourself to it in the first place.

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


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