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PoliticsNation, Friday, April 26th, 2013

Read the transcript from the Friday show

April 26, 2013

Guests: Dana Milbank; Frank Schaeffer, Melissa Harris-Perry, Bob Shrum,
Angela Rye

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

Tonight`s lead, the GOP`s fairness fail. Why the Republican party`s
priorities were on full display as they push to protect airline passengers
but left in place Republican budget cuts that are hurting millions of
Americans from preschoolers to senior citizens.

Today, the house approved a Senate bill to end the drastic cuts that
ended thousands of flight delays this week. The cut, cut, cut party found
a cause worth un-cutting for. They found money to undo some of their cuts.
Why? Because the delays inconvenienced business travelers and company
bottom lines.

But the Republican`s block helped for millions of other Americans hurt
by the same GOP push cut. People who are desperate for housing, food,
health care, education. The reports of how much people are hurting from
these cuts are flooding in from all around the country.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s terrible. All the house come through, the
water brown, it`s terrible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are on the waiting list for federal vouchers
that will one day allow them to live somewhere better.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because of the sequester, no one is getting off
the wedding list.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A little boy teaches me his name in sign


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: 5-year-old Jose De Jesus learned this
skill in his head start class. They have been told to carve out about
$60,000 from their budget.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That could be less classes, lessen less
enrollment, potential less staff.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Jim Silber (ph), with the comprehensive
cancer center of Nevada says federal sequester cuts could cause several
smaller oncology centers altogether.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: For 92-year-old, Helen Demond (ph),
this hot meal delivered to her home is a critical lifeline.

HELEN DEMOND (ph), 92-YEARS-OLD: I really rely on meals on wheels and
I cannot get out to get meals. I can`t afford what meals cost in
restaurants or elsewhere.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: But thanks to the federal funding cuts
brought on by sequestration, meals on meals may have to stop serving to
hundreds of clients in counterparts of county like Helen.


SHARPTON: Meals on wheels, cancer patients, kids in preschool, real
people in real trouble because of the GOP spending cuts. Real people like
the woman we just heard from 92-ye-old Helen Demond (ph).


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Asked what she would do without her
regular visits from meals on wheels, Helen was at a loss.

DEMOND (ph): If I didn`t have it? I`d just have to have someone
deliver groceries.


DEMOND (ph): Not really.


SHARPTON: This is who the Republicans in Washington aren`t listening
to. These are the people who don`t have the high-paid lobbyists in
Washington. This is a matter of fairness. It`s a matter of helping people
who are hurting. If the Republicans aren`t listening, we have to raise our
voices to make sure they hear us.

Joining me now, Dana Milbank and Jared Bernstein, thank you for coming
on the show.



SHARPTON: Jared, you just wrote an article with the titled "this FAA
sequester vote doesn`t smell right." So, Jared, what does that tell you
about why Republicans allowed this vote?

BERNSTEIN: Well, it has everything to do with visibility, access,
politics, and virtually nothing to do with fairness. You know, I thought
Ben Applebaum from "the Times" tweeted something today that made sense.
Maybe the unemployed or kids who are losing head start ought to just hang
around on airport runways. Maybe that`s how they would get notice.

I noticed today in our GDP report, we are a $16 trillion economy now
and you`re telling me that in the state of Indiana they are having random
lotteries to figure out which kids, which low-income kids are getting
kicked off of head start.

SHARPTON: Random lotteries now?

BERNSTEIN: Random lotteries. I mean, there are 800,000 people across
19 states are losing unemployment benefits to the tune of 120 bucks a month
because of the sequestration, but they don`t have the visibility, they
don`t have the access, and that`s why --

SHARPTON: Well, I`ll tell you what else they don`t have, Dana.
Democratic congressman Rick Larson, this is what he said on the FAA vote.
He says no three or 4-year-old is going to call my office and say I have
been kicked of head start replace that money. They don`t have lobbyist
head start kids.

MILBANK: Reverend, this is true. It`s n only, however, just a matter
of unfairness in protecting the rich. The whole idea of trying to do this
ad hoc response to the sequester is foolishness because everybody is going
to get hit by this. OK, so the rich people now have the FAA guys in the
tower. Well, they are not going to have the guys inspecting the plane. Do
they want their airplane to go down? They are not going to have the TSA
guys inspecting passengers in the airport. Do they want that? They are
not going to have meat inspections or drug inspections. This doesn`t
affect rich or poor alike and I think that`s the misconception and the
reputation of takers, as some Republicans put it who would be hurt by the
sequester, it`s everybody.

SHARPTON: And I think that is the real point. And then when you look
at the priorities, Jared, let`s compare to spending cuts that have been
addressed to the ones that have them. Fixed FAA, but not fix, cut to
funding for nutrition aid for children, housing aid, head start, meal on
wheels, cancer screening, I mean, it is an absurd view when you look fix,
non-fixed, it shows the priorities of these that are sitting there and as
you say with this multi-trillion dollar economy.

BERNSTEIN: Well, by the way, it`s actually a little worse than that
in the following sense. The things that are fixed are going to hurt the
things that are not fixed. Actually, it was something that was said
earlier in the report that I want to correct. Congress did not find new
money to shut off the sequester. What they told the transportation
department was, don`t worry about the sequester. You can go into your
budget and find other places to cut.


BERNSTEIN: What that means is when you start replacing parts of the
sequester for people who have the visibility and the access to get their
voice heard and get their sequester pain taken away, it means that the cuts
have to be deeper elsewhere. And where will they come from? From the
poor, the vulnerable, the unemployed, the folks without the voice. So,
this is just, you know, bad budgeting to say the least. But, it is getting

SHARPTON: No. It`s getting much worse and it`s impacting people
because when you look at what they are doing and as you say, they are
shifting cuts of covering themselves, and they are not doing anything that
would really in a substantive way deal with the fact that they have
rendered this country in a situation that increases pain for people.

I mean, when you look at who`s affected by the automatic budget cuts
by the end of the year, 600,000 women and children lose nutrition aid,
125,000 families are going to lose housing aid, 70,000 kids lose head
start, 25,000 fewer cancer screenings.

Dana, a local news report that was referred to by Jared from last
month on how head start programs in Indiana were using lotteries to decide
which preschoolers would get kicked out, look at this report.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Head start has made a big difference in
4-year-old Sage, how he plays with other kids, how he`s advanced

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m very proud of him.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: But Alice just learned her son soon has
to stay home. He is being cut from the program as a result of federal
budget cuts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Our hearts are broken because he loves school.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Earlier this week, staff put all of the
kids` names in a fish bowl. Names picked get to stay. The rest have to
leave the program.

What happened?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: His name didn`t get picked. I don`t know how to
tell him he`s not going back.


SHARPTON: I mean, these are heart-wrenching stories. All right, of
us want to see the flights leave on town, we are fliers. What we want to
see is fairness. We don`t want to see kids like that can`t go to head
start just so business men can fly and business women can go and do what
they have to do to make the bottom line for their companies.

MILBANK: It does show the stupidity of it all, Reverend. This is
your government on auto pilot -- no brain power being used , whatsoever.
Even if we can agree that, OK, government spending in some form or most
likely on the entitlement side needs to be trimmed over time, people could
get together and make sensible cuts. It`s absurd to do things in this way
and it`s going to hurt a lot of the weak and the poor and it`s going to
hurt a lot of people who politicians profess to care about. Guess what
else is going to be taken a whack out of here? Military hospitals. They
have a lottery to tell us which of our soldiers deserved to be treated in

SHARPTON: You know, Jared, the fact is that we as a people, the
citizens need to be heard on this. If they can come together and find a
way to have a nonpartisan vote to deal with the airline delays, it shows
they can come together for what they want to. What do we have to do to
make them want to do this for the rest?

BERNSTEIN: I think it`s a great question. I think it has a lot to do
with both visibility and pressure. The problem with the kinds of cases
that we have documented throughout our discussion here, some kids in
Indiana, some unemployed folks, a woman on meals on wheels, They are the
dispirit folks who around the country, they are not people flying every day
in airports, much more, as I said, high visibility. There needs to be a
mechanism for all of those disparate folks to come together with one voice
and say, you got together to help a bunch of business travelers, how about
getting together to help us as well.

SHARPTON: Dana Milbank and Jared Bernstein.

And I agree with you. Part of the job is to make sure we have
fairness. It is the job o those of us that care about people to make them
visible and make it unavoidable that we are seeing that people are hurting.
And sometimes you have to put it in the face of those that want to ignore
you so they can`t ignore you anymore.

Thank you for your time.

BERNSTEIN: Thank you, Rev.

MILBANK: Keep at it, reverend.

SHARPTON: President Obama takes a stands for women`s rights and
smacks down the Republican bid to roll back the clock.


you`ve also got a president who is going to be right there with you
fighting every step of the way. Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless


SHARPTON: And historical fiction. George W. Bush wants to rewrite
history. We won`t let him once we finish laughing.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: One of the key parts of this museum is
what is called the decision points theater. It`s an interactive exhibit.

JON STEWART, COMEDIAN: Yes. I guess it`s better than its original
name, disaster piece theater.



SHARPTON: And it may be a new low for the right wing. News in the
Boston terror attacks to smear the president of the United States. So much
for their supposed respect for the office. It`s terrible. And we`re going
after them tonight.

You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? We hope you will.

Our facebook fans are still talking about President Bush`s legacy,
including his support of the war in Iraq.

Beatrice says, only Republicans still support the war in Iraq.

Hurley adds, trillions of dollars wasted on a war that was not

And Lane writes, good things times of changed and we are getting rid
of Bush`s policy.

We will have more on president Bush`s attempted rewrite history coming
up. But first, we want to hear what you think, too. 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: How serious is the GOP? Serious enough that today,
President Obama became the first sitting president ever to address planned
parenthood, giving a speech in support of women`s rights.


OBAMA: So when politicians tried to turn planned parenthood into the
punching bag, they are not just talking to you, they are talking to the
millions of women who have been served and they have been involved in
orchestrated and historic effort to rollback basic rights when it comes to
women`s health. When you read some of these laws, you want to check the
calendar. You want to make sure you are still living in 2013.


SHARPTON: The year is 2013. But Republicans are trying to roll back
the clock. Last year, 42 states passed laws to restrict abortion. And
already this year, 326 proposals have been introduced that would restrict a
woman`s right to choose. President Obama says we have to fight back.


OBAMA: No matter how great the challenge, no matter how fierce the
opposition, there`s one thing the past few years have shown, it`s that
planned parenthood is not going anywhere. It`s not going anywhere today,
it`s not going anywhere tomorrow. And as long as we have to fight to make
her own choices about her own health, I want you all to know that you`ve
also got a president that`s going to be right there with you fighting every
step of the way.

Thank you, planned parenthood. God bless you.


SHARPTON: We`re seeing that fight in the halls of Congress and in
states across the country but there`s also a darker side to this story, a
hidden world of violent rhetoric.

This week we heard the prison phone call reportedly done with the man
now serving life for murdering an abortion doctor. In that tape, there is
ugly talk of shooting abortion workers, a sign of hate that is still
festering deep inside that movement.

Joining me now is Frank Schaeffer, former evangelical and columnist
for "the Huffington Post." He is author of "crazy for God."

Frank, thanks for you, being here tonight.


SHARPTON: in 2008 you wrote an op-ed that said quote "the prove life
cause poisoned many of us who were part of it, me included. It led to the
self-righteous hubris that extended to a general attitude of hate toward
the other. Do you still see that kind of poison and hate in anti-abortion
movement today?

SCHAEFFER: Absolutely. You know, when you look for instance at the
tea party and you look at the people who were part of it or you look at the
obstructionist Congress that have done everything in their power to stop
President Obama from having a successful presidency, the bitterness at the
root of many of those movements comes straight out of the heart of the
anti-abortion movement which essential has put itself an opposition to
every women in America, every reasonable man and the laws that protect
women`s rights. And I tell you where you saw it clearly, Reverend Sharpton
within the last election round when it expanded from even abortion rights
to contraception, these were the guys who got together with the anti-choice
roman catholic bishops and tried to paint the president as anti-religious
because he wanted women to have contraceptives paid for by their insurance

So, the move is generally misogynistic. If people read my book "Crazy
for God," they will see why I left the pro-life movement and became pro-
choice. And one of the reasons was that I realized back in mid-1980s that
people picketing clinics were soon be going to be bombing them, people who
are bombing clinics were going to be shooting people.

There was ground swell of violent rhetoric within the movement right
from the beginning which justified murder of people who were disagreeing
with you on these issues.

SHARPTON: That`s what`s so disturbing to me.

Let me play you something that was a little chilling that I played earlier
this week. It`s a tape of a man said to be Scott Roeder, who is talking
about the people who reopened the clinic of the doctor he murdered, if its
Roeder. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a little bit death defying, you know, for
someone to walk back in there, to walk in there and reopen a clinic, a
murder mill where a man was stopped, you know, it`s almost like putting a
target on your back saying, well, let`s see if you can shoot me.


SHARPTON: Now, they just reopened the clinic this month. The clinic
told us that they are treating the threat seriously but they won`t be
intimidated, but he`s talking about this woman having a target on her back.
I mean, help me with this, Frank. How do you love fetuses so you want to
save life but you talk about killing people.

SCHAEFFER: Yes. One does not at all make sense of the other.

SHARPTON: I mean, that one does not at all makes sense of the other.

SCHAEFFER: Yes. I mean, you got to realize, there`s a lot of
inconsistencies in the whole movement. You know, this is the same right
wing bunch of Christians who want people to have access to 31 round
magazine clips and assault weapons and they think that`s freedom.

You know, pro-life is a weird word to use for a far right movement.
The fact the president that killed 5,000 Americans in Iraq for no reason,
250,000 Iraqis ran up $4.5 trillion debt. You know, the right wing is not
pro life. OK? If they were pro life, they would be anti-NRA. They would
be funding women. They would be funding women who have babies and take
care of their children. They would not be doing lotteries in Indiana for
head start. They would be taking care of those babies and those children
once they are born. This is not a pro-life movement. This is simply
misogynistic anti-choice movement. And as I said before you saw it with
the Roman catholic bishops being down on the contraceptives.

And I want to say one other thing. You know, I was watching you the
other the night and you were talking about how shocking it was that people
were not standing up in the Republican party to people like Rush Limbaugh
and have a history of cow-towing.

But, I see it here too. Where are the Republican leaders in the
senate and Congress and the media who call themselves pro-life scanning up
denouncing the fact that you have Roder making statements like this and
just saying listen, this is awful. We got to roll back the clock on this
and go back to a position where we are debating this.

SHARPTON: Well, that is a good question, Frank. Where are they? We
played this by Roder, this tape the other night. Where are the mainstream
moderate pro-life leaders that would say, wait a minute, I`m pro-life but
this is despicable. This is inexcusable. Where are they? Where are those

SCHAEFFER: Well, I tell you where they are, they are in private in
meetings of pro life meetings going back into the `70s and `80s that I was
part of. You have one set of rhetoric for your own people. Then if
someone went too far, murdered someone, burnt a building down, and someone
died, whatever it may be, afterwards you would make very pale statements,
the same kind of sort of after the fact pussy-footing around that you see
from the right wing and the Republicans when people like Limbaugh or people
are outrageous. But that`s it.

What doesn`t happen is preventive action where they read people out of
the movement. Remember, Scott Roder had been hanging around meeting with
people like operation rescue before he was convicted of murder. Why are
people like that welcome in those tenancy?

So you know, if this was the guy who bombed people in Boston and five
years from now he was making statements like this saying talking about
targets on Americans` back who were not Islamic or something, there would
be as huge human pride. But, if it`s targeting providers of healthcare for
women, apparently, there is no outrage.


SHARPTON: Well, it should be human crime no matter who says about
targets on the back and I think it would be right if what you use on it
should be done as well here is right to have an outcry and we don`t hear


SHARPTON: Frank Schaeffer, thank you for your time tonight.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, his buddies are telling some tall tales about
President Bush. You will want to hear this.

But first, the GOP is swinging this on Hillary. They totally numbered
their latest attempt to bring her down.


SHARPTON: These days Hillary Clinton is riding high. A new poll
shows that 64 percent of Americans view her favorably. Of course, this
terrifies Republicans so they`ve kept their favorite line of attack,

As secretary of state Mrs. Clinton testified about the attack on our
consulate and an independent review board cleared her any personal fault.
But the GOP doesn`t care. House Republicans huddled behind closed doors
and cooked up their own report that blames Clinton personally for lower
security at the Benghazi consulate and they have been going on FOX News to
promote it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Secretary of state was just wrong. She said she
did not participate in this. And yet, only a few months before the attack,
she outright denied security in her signature in a cable April 2012.


SHARPTON: Her signature in a cable. That`s a powerful accusation.
There`s only one problem. It`s not true. Democratic congressman Elijah
come and sent this letter to speaker Boehner doing cold water on Issa`s
period. He points out that the cable Issa is talking about has a section
with the secretary`s name typed at the bottom of the page. As just as
thousands of other cables, typed, text, no signature. Clinton never signed
it. There`s no indication she ever even saw it. The fact checkers at "the
Washington Post" looked into this theory, too. They agree. Four
Pinnochios for Congressman Issa`s signature argument. Anything to say
about that Mr. Issa?


REP. DARRELL ISSA (R), CALIFORNIA: Bless the Democrats` hearts. They
like their report but they can`t find a factual error to ours.


SHARPTON: Well, looks like we found one. A big one. Did Congressman
Issa think we would sign off on his major -- attempt to take down Mrs.
Clinton? Nice try, but we got you.



PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I`ve been very clear publicly
but also privately that for the Syrian government, to utilize chemical
weapons on its people process a line that will change my calculus and how
the United States approaches these issues. This is going to be a long-term
proposition. This is not going to be something that is solved easily


SHARPTON: President Obama today making it clear he`s talking very
seriously but he`s not about to rush into war. What a difference. What a
difference from what we saw with President Bush in Iraq. With Iraq, the
WMDs didn`t exist but he led America into war anyway and that`s why the
debate over the Bush legacy is more relevant than ever.

His fail policies still haunt the debate of today, what to do in
Syria, how to treat terrorist suspects and how to deal with the budget
America needs. An honest assessment of the Bush legacy, so we don`t repeat
those mistakes today. But this week leading up to the opening of his
library, President Bush and his allies have been very busy rewriting


FMR. PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH (R), UNITED STATES: I took my duties as
commander in chief, particularly the duties of honoring those who wear the
uniform, very seriously.

I will give you my judgment, removing Saddam Hussein was the right
decision and the world is better off without him in power.

We`ve advanced the cause of peace and freedom and helped improve the
human condition.


SHARPTON: Advancing the cause of peace, improving the human
condition? We need to have an honest conversation about whether that`s
really what happened during the Bush administration.

Joining me now is Melissa Harris-Perry and Bob Shrum. Thank you both
for being here tonight.



SHARPTON: Melissa, how do you react to President Bush and saying he
advanced the cause of peace?

PERRY: I mean, what we know is that President Bush said that history
was going to judge him. But it`s clear that he`s not going to let that be
an impartial jury, that he is going to try to influence that jury because
for him to now rewrite what has been for us more than a decade of war, a
decade of war against an ill-defined enemy, where we can`t really know when
there`s a victory, in sort of responding in the way that he did to the
context of 9/11, as the president said at the moment of his election, we`re
going to shift this back to the people who are responsible for 9/11.

What does the president do, ultimately is responsible for the death,
the capture and the death of Osama bin Laden. But George W. Bush moved us
in a false war built on pretense and lies into Iraq. How does that advance
the cause of freedom?

SHARPTON: And then when you look, Bob, at the former chief of staff
for President Bush, Andy Card, talking about the Bush`s economic record,
President Bush`s economic record, listen to what Andy Card said.


has the best track record of any modern president in terms of fiscal
discipline at the federal government level as well. And that`s something
the government has forgotten about.


SHARPTON: The best record of any modern president. I mean, he`s
driven current and future public debt more than anything else. I mean, the
chart from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows the Bush tax
cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the yellow and red parts of the
graph you see account for nearly half of the public debt. They talk about
the debt and the deficit, half of it comes from Bush tax cuts and the two
wars he put us in.

SHRUM: Look, these people are in a state of illusion and denial. The
fact is that there`s no debate among historians. Historians almost to a
person rank Bush near the bottom of presidents, I think that will continue.
We had out here in California for a while, a Nixon library that was an
exercise and -- geography until the federal government took it over a new
director name Tim Naftali changed it from a fairy tale into historical

I don`t care what exhibits they put up, what interactive things they
have, how they go out and spend this. Melissa is right. Iraq was a
complete disaster, a war we never should have fought. We were misled, if
not lied into. The Afghanistan war was bungled. They took the biggest
surpluses that, you know, Bill Clinton created this enormous surpluses and
we were headed to a $3.5 trillion surplus over a period of years.

And they turned it into massive deficits, gave us the worst economic
crisis since the great depression and then he got re-elected barely in 2004
by appealing to homophobia in the form of state constitutional amendments
to ban marriage equality. The guy should have been a painter in the first
place, never a president, and Barbara Bush is right, we don`t want more
bushes in the White House.

SHARPTON: You know, Melissa, when you think that Andy Card went too
far but let me show you how there`s one upsmanship on that one. Karl Rove,
the architect of the Bush years, let me just let you watch how he reframed
history for Mr. Bush and felt his place in history where it belonged.


KARL ROVE, FORMER BUSH ADVISOR: On the big things, he got it right, I
do believe that the Iraq war was the right thing to do and the world is a
safer place for having Saddam Hussein gone. The greats, you can`t touch.

George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, FDR, the greats.
But yes, I put him up there.


SHARPTON: He would put them up there?

PERRY: Well, let me just say, I live in the city of New Orleans and
we will not forget. There is no library that you can build. There is no
whitewashing of history that you can do that will ever, ever, ever lead us
to forget that this was the man who was president when Americans were left
on the roof of their homes to dehydrate, to die, to have no potable water,
they were left in super domes, they were left in the convention centers.

SHARPTON: Literally.

PERRY: Literally. American citizens left to die in American city
while the President flew over and could not come home from vacation. We
will not forget the legacy of George W. Bush.

SHARPTON: You know what amazes me when I was listening to Bush
yesterday, and I`ve marched on Bush from the inauguration on, because it
hangs in chairs. But if he invited us to the White House, we respected the

PERRY: Right.

SHARPTON: But the thing that got me was when he said New Orleans.
One of the reasons is not just because I went and marched there and
protested but I beat George Bush there and I didn`t have Air Force One. I
got there before he got there and I had to drive in through all of that to
get there to the protest and I went in and saw people in the superdome and
the astrodome in Houston. And how do you see weapons from mass destruction
in Iraq that wasn`t there which you couldn`t see people suffering in New
Orleans that was there?

PERRY: We will never forget that. And I think what you just said was
so important. There is, of course, respect for the office of the
presidency of the United States. And, in fact, I think there was so much
respect and so much difference particularly on the part of the Democratic
Party post 9/11, because we recognized that terrorism was this fundamental
thing that impacted all of us, that despite the fact that you may not have
voted for this president, you nonetheless supported him but so much so, so
much so, refusing to ask the questions that need to be asked about the
patriot act, about authorizing you so forth.


PERRY: That we allowed ourselves to be taken down a path that had
horrible consequences for our economy, for our public safety, and for our
national security.

SHARPTON: And civil liberties. And when you look at this, Bob, he
talked President Bush yesterday about seeing the character of the nation.
And that`s why I heard that reference to Hurricane Katrina. It was
unbelievable. Listen to this.


BUSH: Ultimately the success of a nation depends on the character of
its citizens. The President and I had the privilege of seeing that
character up close. I saw people in New Orleans who made homemade boats to
rescue their neighbors from the floods.


SHARPTON: I mean, why would he even bring that up?

SHRUM: I don`t know. I suppose that he is living as I said earlier
in the state of denial. Melissa is absolutely right. It was one of the
low points of his entire administration and that`s really a pretty big
claim because this administration spent most of its time below sea level.
Look, this is a guy who doesn`t recognize that he made a mistake. You
remember in 2004, he was asked in one of the debates, can you name one
mistakes you made as president, he said he couldn`t. And it goes to
something else.

He fails the other test of presidential consequence. He doesn`t
enlarge or didn`t enlarge in any way or deepen America`s conception of
itself. One of his most famous lines, one I supposed he could put on the
wall of the library was uttered in New Orleans to his FEMA director in the
middle of the mess, heck of a job, brownie. The only other line I can
think of his axis of evil which is part of this terrible war that we fought
that killed so many people and left the country in such terrible shape.

SHARPTON: Melissa Harris-Perry, Bob Shrum, thank you both for your
time tonight.

SHRUM: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Don`t forget to catch Melissa Harris-Perry at 10 a.m.
Eastern on Saturdays and Sundays. Still ahead, the right wing`s moment of
shame, using the Boston bombings to launch a personal attack on the

And Boston, strong. How the city and the country are uniting and
inspiring us all. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: There`s been an unbelievable response to the Boston
marathon bombings from the right wing. Unbelievably bad. There`s new
reference is to use the bombings as an excuse to smear the President. Just
listen to this guest on Sean Hannity`s FOX News show who says the President
is soft on terror and this genius has a cockamamie idea why.


BILL CUNNINGHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Maybe his middle name is a
clue and also the fact that he spent most of his childhood practicing the
Muslim faith. And so I think of course he`s a Christian now but we have to
understand where he came from. He said the sweetest sounds he`s ever heard
are prayers at sunset.


SHARPTON: The President`s middle name and childhood are clues to his
policies on terror? Yes, whatever.

But I`m sure the FOX host said him straight or not.


CUNNINGHAM: So, without an orientation, I think it`s hard for this
president to say anything other than Muslim Jihadist terrorist because it
runs contrary to the things he was taught when he was a boy in Honolulu, in
Chicago, Indonesia. I think Rudy said it best. He`s got a pre 9/11
mentality and he`s getting us killed.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Worse than that. He said it was worse than that.


SHARPTON: The only thing worse than that is your none response. As
the insult of the president of the United States. The freak out is better
enough from the commentators on the right but it`s no better from some
actual elected Republicans. Listen to this one.


REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R), TEXAS: This administration has so many Muslim
brotherhood members that have influence that they just are making wrong
decisions for America.


SHARPTON: That`s Louie Gohmert, a republican from Texas saying the
Muslim Brotherhood is in our government, more insults to this president,
and the sound of silence from the craven republican leaders.

Joining me now is Angela Rye, thanks for being here, Angela.


SHARPTON: You know, you`ve got a lot of experience on Capitol Hill,
don`t you think more moderate Republicans would want to denounce this kind
of rhetoric? I mean, it can go over well with voters.

RYE: Well, Rev, you know, the interesting thing is this rhetoric is
not new. We`ve heard this from the very beginning of President Obama`s
first election. From 2008, this rhetoric is so old, and you begin to
wonder whether the silent strategy really works. There are a couple of
things that folks normally do to respond to this, one is to ignore and
pretend that you know, it never existed and hopefully it will go away.

The other is, to address it head on and condemn it. They`ve never
addressed this rhetoric hit on and condemned it. And perhaps it is now
that time. Louie Gohmert of course is an elected official, a public
servant you would think that you have an obligation to talk facts and
clearly he does not take that oath that he`s required to take in the
constitution, according to article six, to heart. There is some obligation
that you have to act in good faith and that he continues to display that he
doesn`t have any ability to do so. I want him to name one member of the
Muslim brotherhood in the President`s administration.

SHARPTON: Well, let me give you another one. A right wing blogger --
and it`s amazing how they go to these and just grab these things out of
nowhere and try to make them stick. Erick Erickson, he tweeted and I`m
quoting his tweet, "I think the rise of multiculturalism leading to a lack
of common culture played a role in the Boston bombing. Multiculturalism?
Multiculturalism is to blame. I mean, isn`t that just the right wing going
after one of their favorite targets. What does multiculturalism have to do
with this?

RYE: Multiculturalism has nothing to do with this, Rev. In fact we
see people who overtime have utilized whitewashing, Hitler, for example.
That is a very dangerous talking point. You know, America over time has
been built on this principle that we are a melting pot. And that our
differences make us who we are. In fact, our differences in our diversity
is in fact the tie that binds us, is what makes us indivisible. Right?

So, if you have someone saying the exact opposite that our differences
is what needs to, you know, the basis of the fear and you know, the fear
mongering here, it`s tremendously dangerous, particularly in a day and age
where our National Security has been so tremendous and compromised. We
have to come together, we`ve got to stand together and lay partisan
differences aside right in this moment. It is so critical. This rhetoric
that they continue to skew is reckless, it`s very, very dangerous, and it`s
extremely toxic.

SHARPTON: Well, let me tell you another one. I mean, all the tons of
reports about how the Obamas received public assistance. Take a listen to


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Were the two bombing suspects and the entire
family for that matter on the government dole for the entire time that they
lived here in the United states of America, a country they now hate?

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Are we deserved to know whether we paid for that

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Let`s face it, a lot of criminals in the United
States are on welfare. So, that`s isn`t a big surprise.


SHARPTON: A lot of criminals are on welfare. Now we`re going to
criminalize everybody on welfare because of these two bombers. I mean, why
don`t we just go through the litany of people that have done terror attacks
in this country and let`s see how many of them on welfare? Why are we even
getting into this absurd discussion rather than dealing with securing and
uniting the country around securing American people?


RYE: Well, Rev, I think in part, if you look at this -- and I hate to
make this a partisan issue at all, but the fact that they don`t want to
address what would have happened in Boston had we not had the resources
necessary on the state, local, and federal levels to really deal with this
immediately, the best thing for them to do is to talk about whether or not
they are on welfare because it`s a distraction from what really matters.
We know that our resources are stretched very thin and we`ve got to make
really critical decisions to ensure that whether a sequestration or other
budget challenges that we`re still doing what`s right for our nation

SHARPTON: Angela Rye, thank you for your time tonight.

RYE: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: We`ll be right back with the spirit and courage of Boston
shared now with the entire country.


SHARPTON: The cover of this week`s Boston magazines says it all about
the resilience of that great city. It shows the shoes of marathon runner
shape into the heart with the words, "We will finish the race." The two
explosions that ripped into the city`s iconic event are giving rise to
something even more powerful. Forging strong bonds for humanity in the
wake of destruction. He`s bringing people together to give comfort to each
other in the hour of need on Boylston Street.

People left hundreds of running shoes at a makeshift memorial in a
sign of solidarity. This week, a marine who lost both legs in combat
visited a hospital to inspire a mother and daughter. Who never imagined
how their lives would change in an instance. Forty seven year old -- and
our 17-year-old daughter was at the finish line when a blast went off.
Both suffered serious injuries. Celeste lost both legs.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I can`t do anything right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Right now, yes. But I`m telling you, with all my
heart that you are going to be more independent, you know, than you ever
were. And this is basically the start, you know. This is the new
beginning for the both of you. And you know, so many opportunities is
going to come your way.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You look good. You look real good.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This doesn`t matter. This is just a change of
scenery. It really is.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He`s moving, running, he`s doing the Paralympics.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: And you may want to do that one day.


SHARPTON: The start of a new beginning. The marines help show both
women the possibilities ahead. Another victim, Heather Abbott found hope
in a bedside visit from someone she didn`t know.


HEATHER ABBOTT, BOMBING SURVIVOR: If someone had told me that I was
going to have half a leg basically at the age of 38 before this happened, I
think I would have never believed it. I think I would have been devastated
and I really haven`t had a moment yet of being devastated because I`ve
gotten so much support from the hospital. I mean, the hospital`s brought
in individuals who are in the same situation as I am, they live normal
lives, they were able to tell me about that, which has been great.


SHARPTON: We`ve heard so many inspiring stories this week. Including
the story of Victoria McGrath who suffered life-altering injuries. McGrath
left the hospital this week. She`s already on the road to recovery and
ready to get back to normal life.


VICTORIA MCGRATH, BOMBING SURVIVOR: I want to go and have a home-
cooked meal. I want to see my pets. I want to sleep in my own bed.


SHARPTON: Earlier this week, Victoria had an emotional reunion with
the strangers who risked their lives to save hers.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Thanks for seeing us.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Thank you. You saved my life. You saved my
life. Otherwise, I would have bled out because it hit the artery.



SHARPTON: Boston reminds us of the greatest parts of the American
story, that no matter what happened, whatever the crisis, whatever
adversity, get up, stand up, finish the race. We`ve come too far to turn
around now.

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


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