PoliticsNation, Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April 3, 2013


Guest: Clarence Page; Jim Messina, Patricia Murphy, Tricia Rose, Joe Madison, Jimmy Williams

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

Tonight`s lead, President Obama on the offensive many moments ago he
delivered a passionate speech in Denver, just miles from the Aurora movie
theater where 12 people were shot dead last summer. The president was
there calling for action on gun reform and demanding new laws on universal
background checks.


by the way, most gun owners, more than 80 percent agree this makes sense.
More than 70 percent of NRA members agree. Ninety percent of the American
people agree. So there`s no reason we can`t do this unless politics is
getting in the way.


SHARPTON: The president`s right. Around 90 percent of Americans
support background checks, 87 percent in a new poll out today, 87 percent
can`t agree on anything. This shouldn`t be hard. It`s clear the American
people want change on a range of issues, on stricter gun sale laws,
Democrats, independents, and the majority of Americans want reform.

Just one problem. Republicans don`t.

On immigration, again, a majority of Americans are for path to
citizenship. But not the Republicans.

On gay marriage, once again, a majority of Americans, including
independents, support change. And again, Republicans are in the minority.
Anyone else see a problem here? This is what Americans want yet
Republicans refuse to come pro-might.

Today, Republican senator Susan Collins of Maine said, quote "I think
my party needs to meet President Obama halfway. How about that for a
concept? Meeting President Obama halfway. And former senator Olympia
Snowe was more blunt. She said, Republicans don`t tolerate dissent within
the party. That`s why they find themselves in trouble. Yes, they are in
trouble all right and if they don`t change they might become extinct.

Joining me now are Clarence Page and E.J. Dionne.

Thank you both for being with me tonight.



SHARPTON: Clarence, a majority of Americans want reform. Why don`t
the Republicans see this?

PAGE: Well, they are being pressured. That probably why the
congressional Republicans are being heavily pressured not only by the anti-
rhino surge, you know, Republican in name only, the appearance that former
senator Snowe was talking about. But also, they are worried about primary
fights that they are going to have to fight for ballot position in the
primary just to again, to the general election. That`s because of
gerrymandering and we have got so many red districts out there that any
move towards the middle is viewed as a weakness and in the long run is
hurting the party. Republicans believe that. Sensible Republicans do.

SHARPTON: Now, E.J., Clarence mentioned the Republicans in Congress.
But a brand-new poll shows just how bad the Republican brand is doing.
Just 19 percent approve of the job congressional Republicans are doing. A
full 71 percent disapprove of these Republicans in Congress that Clarence
is referring to, but at the same time, Americans trust Democrats on basic
economic issues. Fifty three percent say Democrats care about the needs
and problems of people like them. Just 37 percent say they trust
Republicans on this issue.

DIONNE: Right. Well, I think you can take a little bit of heart from
Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe speaking out. Olympia Snowe, of course,
isn`t facing a Republican electorate anymore. But Susan Collins is. And I
think you have at least some people in the Republican party who look at
what`s going on. For example, the Republicans risking being tools of the
NRA and blocking or gutting universal background check law. That`s not
going to play in a lot of parts of our country all through the northeast
and parts of the Midwest on the west coast. And the fact that Collins
feels some freedom now despite the tea party surge of three years ago,
suggests that there were more Republicans out there who said, wait a
minute, we have got to change course. And I think on the economics, the
Republicans are still stuck with the 47 percent image and they talked a lot
about the need to move away from what Romney talked about. But, their
policies are still in line with the view that suggest they view a whole lot
of Americans, these people who wanted to be dependents. So, they have a
lot of work to do and that polling suggests it.

SHARPTON: Clarence, look at what Paul Ryan is saying on the deficit.
Let me show you this.


let`s balance the budget so we can make sure that we don`t have a debt
crisis. I hardly think that it is retro. I think the metro people wants.


SHARPTON: But, as he is saying that, 64 percent of people polled say
the top priority of President Obama in Congress should be creating jobs.
Just 33 percent say it should be deficit reduction. They are way off on
where the American people feel that priorities are to be, Clarence.

PAGE: Well, in fact, that`s what the Republican National Committee
leaders are saying in the wake of their autopsy as it`s called, a report on
why their nominee, Mitt Romney, lost to President Obama. The priorities of
the party and the voters were not in the same place, that the voters they
were trying to reach for the higher priority on jobs, that hasn`t changed,
and apparently neither has Paul Ryan.

But there`s got to be some meeting out there that Republicans are
still debating each other over that. And like E.J., I see hopeful signs
out there, too. I mean, senator Mark Kirk of Illinois has come out in
favor of same-sex marriage rights. That, too, is nothing but change. I
mean, you`re seeing some independent voices speaking out and we will see if
more people join them.

SHARPTON: Now, E.J., let me play on what Clarence was saying and a
little bit play this way. When he says the party is fighting itself, Rand
Paul is a good example of that.

When we look at the fact that today Politico reports that gun rights
group that he supports is actually attacking Republicans, quote, this is
what Politico has said. "Rand Paul lent his fundraising pitches for the
national association for gun rights who says that the National Rifle
Association is too willing to compromise on gun rights.

So, dealing with what Clarence says, if you have Rand Paul endorsing
groups that is blasting the NRA, these all fighting each other whether it`s
on this issue or others seems to be something that`s picking up every day
new battles within the Republican right wing circles, E.J.

DIONNE: No. I think that is right. I mean, first of all, to say the
NRA is the right wing enough, it like saying that a double cheeseburger
does not have enough cholesterol in it. I mean, that`s really remarkable.

And I do think it`s happening and that one of the reasons for some
these crazy NRA statements is they are constantly looking over their right
shoulder because they are worried about losing membership. That is a real
problem for the Republican Party because the mainstream of the country is
nowhere near either where the NRA is on guns or where groups to the right
of the NRA are on guns.

And I think the difference we may see and we don`t know this yet is
that at least some of the Republicans who want to say wait a minute we
cannot be apologists for the gun manufacturers, that they -- whether they
will join again Mark Kirk who`s been almost alone right now in being
willing to work for Democrats or there are some other Republicans that are
going to say we don`t want to be here. And then, you really will see some
of this infighting get worse. But, I think Republicans just can`t let
their party become spokespeople for this gun fundamentalist that we`re
seeing from the far right groups.

SHARPTON: And yet, you know, Clarence, I mean, there`s all kinds of
things that just doesn`t make a lot of political sense. Take for example
the attorney general in Virginia who is running for governor. Today, we
learn that he`s keeping to fight anti-sodomy laws on the books in Virginia.
He says he`s protecting sexual predators. So should he write a law about
that? I mean, can you believe this?

PAGE: It`s getting more and more difficult to unravel the logic that
we are hearing from some potential candidates as they try to maneuver both
sides in their pursuit of higher office. I think what we are seeing here
is a state that -- several states, really, a lot like Florida in that
regard, northern Virginia is voting more Democratic, more like Washington,
D.C., and there`s other parts Virginia, the less urban sectors of Virginia
are still very traditional, very Republican and very conservative and you
get that`s the state of Pat Robinson, the late Jerry Falwell.

And so, I think this is why (INAUDIBLE) one day will sound like a man
of the future and the next day will sound like he`s going back to that old-
style GOP religion. I think it is what he is trying to do here.

SHARPTON: All right, Clarence Page and E.J. Dionne, Thanks for your
time tonight.

DIONNE: Good to be with you.

PAGE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, selling the vision. The man behind the Obama
campaign has a new job. Jim Messina joins us live.

Plus, here she comes. Hillary Clinton makes her first public
appearance in two months and it has the GOP shaking in their boots.

And 45 years ago tonight, Doctor Martin Luther King Junior gave the
final speech of his life, the mountaintop speech. Why it still inspires us
today. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? We hope you will. Everybody was talking about president
Obama`s decision to give back five percent of his pay to stand in
solidarity with federal workers facing furloughs because of automatic
budget cuts.

Terry says, it`s a gesture that shows he cares about people.

Craig says, I`d rather have no furloughs.

I agree.

Vincent says, Congress should follow his lead.

That`s not a bad idea.

Coming up, we got more on selling the president`s agenda. But first,
we want you to join the "Politics Nation" conversation. Please head over
to facebook and search "politics Nation" and "like" us to join our
community and get all of the latest news even after the show ends.


SHARPTON: President Obama`s taking the fight for his agenda to the
people. Three months into his new term, he knows how hard it is to get
things done.


OBAMA: We knew from beginning that change wouldn`t be easy and we
knew that there would be powerful voices that would do everything they
could to run off the clock, change the subject, ignore the majority of the
American people. We knew they would try to make any progress collapse
under fear, frustration or maybe people would stop paying attention.

The only way this time will be different is if the American people
demand that this time it must be different, that this time we must do
something to protect our communities and our kids.


SHARPTON: This is what people want.

As we talked about in the last segment, most people are on with the
president, on gun reform, on immigration, on economic fairness. And the
campaign to make progress is still in the early stage, the same
infrastructure that help President Obama win by five million votes is now
pulling his weight behind its policy agenda. It`s said to make a major gun
reform push ahead of common senate vote and planning immigration rallies in
Florida including one outside of senator Rubio`s office. Yes, change is
hard, but when you fight for what you want and what you believe, anything
is possible.

Joining me is Jim Messina, President Obama`s former campaign manager
and now the chairman of organizing for action.

Jim, thanks so much for coming on the show tonight.

are you?

SHARPTON: Good. Let me ask you directly, how does the organization
work to get the key piece of legislation through congress?

MESSINA: Well, look, Reverend, we understand that the grassroots is
the only way we`re going to get this done. The president took a lot of
grief during the campaign saying he can`t change Washington from the


MESSINA: And, we really believe that. We believe the only way to
change the issues on guns, on jobs package, on immigration, is to change
what the grassroots is doing and saying. And so, last week we had over 130
events across this country talking about the president`s commonsense gun
proposals. We have had over 1.5 million people in just the first few weeks
alone volunteer to help us and this is a nationwide movement change. It is
saying a very simple message to Congress, the time to act is now.

SHARPTON: Now, on his radio show today, let me raise this to you,
Jim, Mike Huckabee made some pretty shocking comments during a discussion
with a caller. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There are so many people that have not read and
do not understand how quickly Germany was turned into a -- it was a
democracy and then turned into a dictatorship by everyone having to
register their guns and then they went door to door and collected them.

MIKE HUCKABEE, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: People do forget that. And by
the way, Linda, know that when you bring that up you have people that get
crazy on us and say, there you go, comparing to -- and I understand the
reaction but it`s the truth.


SHARPTON: I mean, how does the president counter such outrageous
comments where he just about says comparing this to the Nazis when we talk
about gun reform and he says it`s the truth? I mean, how do you combat
this kind of crazies?

MESSINA: Well, two ways. First, you know, obviously, Huckabee`s
statement is ridiculous. But, the more important thing is the facts are on
our side. You know, we know that one of the single most effective things
you can do to reduce gun violence is a background check. Over two million
people have not been able to get guns who legally shouldn`t because of a
background check, but 40 percent of all gun sales don`t go through a
background check. And you showed the numbers earlier, Reverend. Almost,
ninety percent of the country supports the background check. There isn`t
any political issue I can think of where you get 90 percent of the country
agreeing yet we are held hostage by a very, very vocal special interest who
is scaring people on the politics. And that`s why we that think when you
go to the grassroots, just how Barack Obama got elected, door to door,
person and changed the politics in some of these issue. It won`t be easy
but it`s essential.

SHARPTON: Now, President Obama has a clear thing for this term. It
has been about the power of every day, Americans. Let me play this to you,


OBAMA: For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed
with a shrinking few do really well and the growing many barely make it.
We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure
of security and dignity.

The election four years ago wasn`t about me. It was about you. My
fellow citizens, you were the change.


SHARPTON: It seems clear that a theme the president hit all the way
through the campaign and after was to try and galvanize and rally people,
grassroots people across all geographic, racial gender lines to come
together and mobilize and do it, as you said, outside of the beltway but do
it in mainstream America.

MESSINA: That`s exactly right. Look, there is real consensus across
this country on how to create jobs, on how to reduce gun violence, on why
immigration reform is so important to our economy. People across this
court have decided. We have just decided this if a presidential election,
yet there`s only one place that is not consensus and that`s the ten-mile
square logic-free zone called Washington, D.C.

SHARPTON: Logic-free zone? That`s interesting.

MESSINA: Logic-free. You know, 90 percent of the country support a
background check and yet people in Washington are working hard to kill this
every single day. It just doesn`t make sense. And that`s why, you know,
the way Barack Obama won two elections was person to person talking about
the issues and he won elections that people say he couldn`t win and that`s
exactly the kind of commitment and the kind of organizing we have to do
around these legislative issues. They are going to spend all of the money
in the world and we`re going to encounter it with fax and people and you
know, I like our chances.

SHARPTON: Well, I think you laid out a real strategy and it`s
interesting when you were talking about he won elections people didn`t
think he could win. I was looking at a quote from you where you talked
about doing health care five different times during the health care. We
went in and told the president it was dead and five different times he put
it together and passed a bill that has made millions of Americans live
better and that`s why he`s the leader who I believe in.

And I think that`s an interesting statement, Jim. It gives a lot of
hope on the policies we`re dealing with now if that`s the way the president
is going to succeed and your organization on the outside help to mobilize.

Thanks for being on the show tonight and have a good evening.

MESSINA: Thanks, Reverend. Take care.

SHARPTON: Ahead, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden share the stage and it
has everyone talking, 2016. And the O`Reilly/rush feud is getting bigger.
Wait until you see who Bill is going after now.

And Ted Cruz has it all figured out. You will have to hear his latest
conspiracy theory about the president.


SHARPTON: We have major news to report.

President Obama`s trying to sabotage his own legacy. That`s right,
folks. All the talk about immigration reform, all the speeches, all the
effort to get a law passed, is just a big act. So says new right wing
senator Ted Cruz.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I think the reason that President Obama is
insisting on a path to citizenship is that it`s designed to be a poison
pill to scuttle the whole bill, so he can have a political issue in 2014
and 2016. I think that`s really unfortunate.


SHARPTON: A poison pill. Way to go there, senator Cruz. You nailed
it. I call that a cruise missile for the truth. I mean, obviously, the
president can`t wait to see his legacy burn up right before his eyes. Only
a cynical political bomb thrower could think the idea of actually wanting
to do some good, something right, something decent for people is the poison

But wait, he is not the only Republican swallowing the same pill.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Create a tough but fair path to
citizenship for those who are here illegally.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: It allows people to access to make
their status at this moment legal. And obviously, once you have a green
card, you`re three to five years away from becoming a citizen.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: If you wish to live and work in
America, then, we will find a place for you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I support the paddle way to citizenship so long as
the path for people who have been waiting patiently is easier and costs

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: They will have a pathway to
citizenship but it will be earned, it would be long, and it would be hard
and I think it is fair.


SHARPTON: Quick, somebody call the dock are t doctor. The GOP has
been poisoned.

Senator Cruz, did you think we wouldn`t call you out for being a pill?
Nice try, but we got you.


SHARPTON: Let the 2016 speculation begin. Here he comes. Hillary
Clinton made her first public appearance since leaving office two months
ago last night. She was greeted like a rock star at a global women`s
initiative award ceremony. A standing ovation.


HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Many of us have worked and
traveled together for decades. We`ve shared struggles and successes and
even some foxholes over the years, it`s a little bit like a family reunion.


SHARPTON: The family reunion included vice President Joe Biden and
Clinton had nothing but praise for his work.


CLINTON: Vice President Biden and I have worked together on so many
important issues and one that is particularly close to his heart is the
fight against domestic violence and I know what a personal victory it was
for him to see the violence against women act reauthorized last month.



SHARPTON: And then the Vice President returned the favor.


VICE PRES. JOE BIDEN (D), UNITED STATES: There`s no woman like
Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton, that`s a fact.



SHARPTON: It has everyone talking in 2016. Here we go.

Joining me now, Patricia Murphy of Citizen Jane Politics and Tricia
Rose, a professor of African Studies at Brown University. Thanks to both
of you for being here tonight.



SHARPTON: Patricia, let me start with you. Let the Hillary
speculation begins. What do you make of the reaction to her last night?

MURPHY: I think the reaction in that room was exactly the reaction of
Democrats across the country and Democrats in Washington. I talked to a
number of Democrats today to ask them what they thought if you sort of put
Hillary against Uncle Joe, who do you want to see in there. Democrats that
I talked to, their top three choices are Hillary, Hillary, and Hillary.
They want her to run and she will freeze these field staffers that don`t
want to join another campaign, donors that want to give another dollar,
nobody else want to get into this race.

Until they know if she`s going to get in it. This is her nomination
really to take if she wants it. Obviously she has a lot of decisions to
make but she cuts across party lines and a number of republican women
support her, 66 percent of American women support her. There`s a good
chance I think she would win if she ran. So, I mean, Democrats can`t stop
talking about it because they believe she would win if she ran.

SHARPTON: Now, Tricia, you know, beyond even the nomination, I notice
that Patricia said she had a possibility to win. Well, a new Marist poll
shows nothing but good news for Democrats in head to head matchups.
Hillary Clinton wins in all head to heads with Republicans. Against Marco
Rubio, she wins 52 to 40 percent. Against Rand Paul, she wins 52 to 41.
Against Jeb Bush, she wins 54 to 38.

The closest match-up is against Chris Christie but she still wins, 46
to 43. Now, there are also similar numbers for Joe Biden, too. Against
Rubio, he wins 53 to 39. Against Rand Paul, he wins 50 to 41. Against Jeb
Bush, he takes in 49 to 41 but loses against to Chris Christie. Biden gets
43 and Christie gets 46.

What do these numbers tell you, Tricia, in terms of a fall, well, not
a full primary but in terms of a November election? Republican against
Hillary, republican against Joe Biden?

ROSE: Well, I mean, I think, you know, despite all this enthusiasm, I
think it`s a bit early, right, to come to these conclusions. A lot can
happen. And I would imagine the Republicans will work incredibly hard to
make sure that she is tainted in some way. So, I mean, I think we don`t
want to celebrate too much but I think what it does mean is that a woman
who is willing to speak about women issues, to connect reproductive freedom
to economic rights and women`s rights to human rights can generate a
substantial segment of Democrats as well as Republicans and hopefully
independent and progressives.

And this would be a wonderful thing because I think those issues
really need to take center stage giving profound levels of attack on women,
their reproductive freedoms and economic rights around the world. And her
connection of the State Department to women`s global issues I think is very
important and I hope that this excitement is a sign that those issues will
become central stage in domestic and global politics.

SHARPTON: It`s interesting Tricia says Patricia because Hillary
Clinton did speak about her legacy of working for women`s rights in a
speech last night. Listen to this.


CLINTON: Our unwavering faith in the potential, the untapped
potential of women and girls is at the heart of the work we`ve done
together. When I became secretary of state, I was determined to weave this
perspective into the fabric of American foreign policies so that our
diplomats and policy makers would see a map of opportunities as well as
challenges. We did put women on the agenda and made it a centerpiece of
all that we did.


SHARPTON: So she`s speaking directly about the women issues that
Tricia raised. If, Patricia, she runs for president, do you think this
will be the cause she champions?

MURPHY: I think this will be the cause she champions no matter what
she does. If she doesn`t run for president, you could envision her running
something like the Clinton global initiative but for women. If she does
run for president, you could absolutely see her candidacy being built
around this. This is where she really built her legacy as First Lady and
in the Senate and the State Department. And this is what she cares about.

You can tell that this is what is in her heart. And one thing that I
did talked to about Democrats today, besides Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden,
a relatively short bench for Democrats without those two on it. So, you
have to think that what she has done has been absolutely extraordinary and
they believe that will translate to votes. Women are the majority of
voters in this country to see a woman have the chance to make history is
what is so exciting about her candidacy to Democrats and some many
independent voters.

SHARPTON: Now, Tricia --

ROSE: Well --

SHARPTON: Go ahead. You can respond if you want to add something to

ROSE: Yes. Well, just very quickly, you know, I think the real
concern is what happens during the presidential race.


ROSE: What is allowable on the public stage in the mainstream and I
think if we look at anything and come away from both the first and the
second election of President Obama, one has to raise questions about
whether or not certain kinds of issues that one is associated with can be
raised and sustained without so much criticism that people back away. So
I`m hoping that these large numbers of women`s voters really do translate
to the kind of agenda that we`re projecting here tonight.

SHARPTON: But isn`t that going to be the challenge, Tricia, to make
sure that this translates from just an enthusiastic reaction to a real
movement that can deliver votes if in fact she decides to run and champion
those issues?

ROSE: It will be a real challenge to do that translation but of
course, you know, you can translate and then Google can reverse your
translation back to something else, right? So, I think part of this is
about what will the attacks be and will they be compelling and will women
be able to be taken up in that kind of central way without a certain kind
of backlash. I think if you know the history of feminism, more of it is a
history of backlash and history of success.


ROSE: So, the map she refers to in that clip, you know, a map of
opportunity, I think it`s important that we also look at the challenger and
make sure we`re ready to overcome them.

SHARPTON: Now, let`s not Patricia forget Joe Biden. He`s a major
power broker on this administration, on gun control, on budget
negotiations, on gay marriage, the true drawdown on Iraq and Afghanistan.
I mean, he`s not someone to just easily dismiss.

MURPHY: No, he`s not. And his biggest successes I think have been
behind the scenes really and I think that`s what people don`t necessarily
see happening when President Obama has been able to get to a deal, a lot of
times that`s because Joe Biden has gone up to Capitol Hill, relayed on his
relationships with Democrats and Republicans and gotten that deal across
the finish line.

The problem is that Joe Biden has run for president twice before. He
never quite caught fire and even when you talk to Democrats and listen to
their enthusiasm about who could run, Hillary absolutely, Joe Biden -- he`s
like your uncle, you`re glad to have him at the dinner table but you don`t
want to live with him and, you know, but they don`t see anybody else behind
him either. So if not Hillary, Joe Biden absolutely is their second choice
right now. Again, I mean, there is a ton of time between now and -- that`s
what it looks right now.


SHARPTON: We`re not talking about tomorrow. But it is something you
have to look at. Let me ask you this, Tricia, Bill Clinton, will he be a
major factor and could be something the Republicans try to use to go after
Mrs. Clinton if she decides to run?

ROSE: There`s no question that we will have all kinds of revisiting
of various scandals associated with Clinton`s presidency and we`ll have a
kind of critique I think of a number of his program revisions at the time,
some of which I think are fair and legitimate but some of which will be
exaggerated. But I think what will be interesting is that Bill Clinton`s
support of the second Obama presidency.


ROSE: .and campaign, particularly in relation to the debate, I think
will actually hold Hillary in good stead. When you couple that with
Hillary`s connection to Obama in the White House, it really gives her
another level of stature and it separates her from the status his
wife/senator in training and puts her on a whole other level. So I think
Bill Clinton will then in a sense be supporters of both of them rather than
only Hillary Clinton`s husband as it were former president. So, I think
there could be quite an interesting Bill Clinton effect in this regard.

SHARPTON: I`m going to have to leave it there, Patricia Murphy and
Tricia Rose, thank you both for your time tonight.

MURPHY: Thank you.

ROSE: Thank you for having us.

SHARPTON: Ahead, 45 years ago tonight, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave
his mountaintop speech. How it`s pushing us to climb even higher today.

But first, the reality show that is the right wing. It`s O`Reilly
versus Rush and the big loser could be the Republican Party.


SHARPTON: Forty five years ago tonight, Dr. Martin Luther King told a
labor rally in Memphis, he had been to the mountaintop, he had seen to the
promise land. He was killed the next day. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Who likes reality TV? The alliances, the backstabbing, the
drama? Well, there`s a new reality show that`s on TV playing now and the
big loser might just be the Republican Party. Party leaders like GOP Chair
Reince Priebus admit they need an image makeover but conservative flame
throwers like Sarah Palin say there`s no need to change. But the main
event is Bill O`Reilly against Rush Limbaugh. The battle over marriage
equality. Bill says, those against it can`t do anything but thump the
bible but it says there`s no family feud.


LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: There is a feud. I think when
you said they have to do more than bible thump, I don`t think you really
needed to say that, right? I think you could say. .

O`REILLY: Number one --

INGRAHAM: Let me finish.

O`REILLY: No, no. We are going to get very specific, you made two
statements that are very fallacious, and I am going to correct them. There
is no feud between me and Limbaugh. I don`t talk to Limbaugh. I never
said anything about Limbaugh on this program.


SHARPTON: No feud? OK, Bill, but you`re right on this one.


INGRAHAM: When you say you can`t cite the bible, well, again, I think
that`s disrespectful to people who really try to live their lives according
to --

O`REILLY: It`s not disrespectful. In their private life they can.
We`re talking a -- here.

Don`t you understand the difference between private beliefs and public

INGRAHAM: I guess I`m not very well-educated. I don`t understand --


SHARPTON: So, how will this reality show in? Who will be voted off
the GOP Island?

Joining me now are Joe Madison and Jimmy Williams. Joe, what does
this fight reveal to you about the state of the party?

JOE MADISON, SIRIUS XM RADIO HOST: Cannibalism. That`s exactly --


SHARPTON: I hope you mean political cannibalism.

MADISON: That`s exactly what I mean. And it also means that there is
no political leadership. Look, if there was strong political leadership,
then these guys be told, look be cool, be quite, you`re hurting us, there`s
no political leadership and what they`re doing is trying to now be the
voice. You know, I never thought I`d defend Bill O`Reilly but he`s
absolutely right. The argument before the United States Supreme Court, the
bible was not mentioned once.


MADISON: It was about the constitutionality of the argument. So,
this is political cannibalism. That`s exactly what it is.

SHARPTON: Jimmy, how do you view it?

JIMMY WILLIAMS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I wouldn`t go so far as
cannibalism. Because I try not to think about this kind of things, but I
don`t disagree with the fact that the Republican Party is having a massive
family feud right now. I kind of feel like -- I`m almost giddy about being
Mrs. Gravich (ph) from "The Witch." I get to look out the curtains and
watch the Republicans eat each other alive to follow up with the
cannibalism thing.

But it`s also -- it`s very sad in a way because this country has
always had a very strong two party or two political party system and what
we have now is, we have Democrats who have since 1988, we have won 240
electoral votes in every single presidential election and the last two
we`ve won Florida. If we keep doing that, if we keep just winning those
two and 42, plus Florida, I`m not talking about Virginia, Ohio...


WILLIAMS: .we will be in the presidency forever. Have the Republicans
figured that out? I don`t think that`s the case. But when your party,
your base is shrinking, when you have 70, 50, 60, 70, 80-year-old white men
who are eventually going to die away and you`re doing nothing to expand
your base with women, with gays and lesbians, with African-Americans, with
the Latino population which is burgeoning left and right.

If you`re doing nothing to bring those groups into you, into your
party, into your political philosophy, not just your message, your
philosophy is your theology. The American people are rejecting the
republican theology every single day.

SHARPTON: Yes, but Joe, when the autopsy, as they called it, came out
to rebrand them, they flipped out, a lot of Republicans. Listen to this.


SARAH PALIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: We`re not here to rebrand the
party. We`re here to rebuild a country.

MARK LEVIN, HOST, "THE MARK LEVIN SHOW": Well, if there`s any
rebranding to be done, it`s to rebrand as a conservative party.

because it`s not conservative. It didn`t get its base up in the 2012

SHARPTON: They think the problem is that they weren`t conservative
enough, not that they need to rebrand but that they should of dug in
deeper, Joe.

MADISON: Well, but you know, there`s something strange when you call
your report an autopsy. Which you only do autopsies on dead things, you
know. So they admit, one, that they are dead. Number two, they act like
the American people didn`t live through the republican presidential primary
debates. Remember all of them holding up their hand about immigration?

They were all talking anti-poor, anti this, they were very
conservative, the entire group was very conservative and the American
people saw that. So, this whole thing about not, you know, they need to
rebrand. This is not about brand, this is about public policy. This is
about all of us are hurting right now and quite candidly you`re right. I
think it`s time for moderates in this party to see an opening and to step
up and be counted. Because that`s really what is going on. That really is
what is needed.

SHARPTON: Jimmy, before we run out of time, Joe and I and probably
you find ourselves on awkward position on agreeing with Bill O`Reilly
because he is right on this debate. But before we get carried away, he
also recently shows he can`t handle facts. Listen to this.


O`REILLY: He has to say, here are the programs that are going to go
down. Here`s how we`re going to reform Medicare and Social Security and
the man refuses --

O`REILLY: Now I`m getting teed off at you. Give me one damn program
he said he`d cut.
COLMES: He has cut entitlements.
O`REILLY: Not entitlements! One program!
COLMES: Why do you want to yell at me?
O`REILLY: Bullshit! Because you`re lying!
COLMES: No, I am not lying.

O`REILLY: You are lying.

COLMES: Don`t you sit there and call me a liar.

O`REILLY: You`re lying.

COLMES: You don`t like the President, you don`t like what he`s doing
but don`t sit there and call me a liar.



SHARPTON: I just didn`t want us to get too carried away with this
O`Reilly love fest, I want us to remember, we are talking about Bill


MADISON: That`s right. That`s right. He`s not patting 1,000.

WILLIAMS: You don`t have to convince me that Bill O`Reilly is as
crazy as ever. I will completely agree with you on that. But look, it`s
very simple, as Chris Matthews says, our colleague Chris Matthews says, if
you say that the capital of Japan is Osaka, over and over again, eventually
in your mind, the capital of Japan is Osaka. But here`s the sad reality,
the capital of Japan is Tokyo and that`s never going to change.

And so, that`s the problem with the Republicans. Listen, 28 percent
of the American people actually think that they want to be a member of the
Republican Party. That means that 72 percent don`t want to be a member of
the Republican Party. When 72 percent of the people don`t like your
philosophy and don`t like your politics, that means you pretty much sucks
at what you`re doing.

SHARPTON: All right. Well, I think that it`s clear that this is a
feud that is going to go on. And this will -- Japan, Tokyo, Jimmy, I
better go while I`m ahead.


Joe Madison and Jimmy Williams, thanks for your time tonight.

WILLIAMS: Thanks for having me.

MADISON: See you Friday. Yes. Look forward to it.

SHARPTON: Forty five years ago tonight, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
took us to the mountaintop. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Forty five years ago tonight, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
gave what would be his final speech in which he famously said, I`ve been to
the mountaintop. Dr. King was in Memphis to support striking sanitation
workers protesting low paying poor working conditions. He was feeling ill
that night, he had not plan to give a speech at all but he did so at the
urging of his friend, Reverend Ralph Abernathy. And speaking without notes
for nearly an hour, he brought the crowd to tears. Dr. King spoke about
his own mortality when he said he was at peace.


DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., 1955-1968: Because I`ve been to the
mountaintop and I don`t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long
life, longevity has its place. But I`m not concerned about that now.


SHARPTON: Dr. King said with him or without him the struggle for
civil and human rights would continue.


KING: We as the people will get to the promise land.


So I`m happy tonight I`m not worried about anything. I`m not fearing
any man. My eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the lord.



SHARPTON: I remember when Dr. King was killed. I was 13 years old.
I had just became youth director of his New York chapter and many of us
will never forget that speech. But you know, climbing a mountain sometimes
when you are on the side where you can see the promise land, it`s full of
hope and it`s clear, and other times, you get on the blind side of the
mountain and it seems so far away.

What keeps many of us going, for all right, for all people, is that
Dr. King promised that if we kept going, we get there, with or without him,
we would make it to the promise land. They killed a dreamer but some of us
will not rest until his dream becomes our reality.

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


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