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PoliticsNation, Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Read the transcript from the Thursday show

May 2, 2013

Guests: Jim McDermott, Dana Milbank, Karen Finney, Angela Rye, Patricia Murphy

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: New polls show huge majority
support the president`s top priorities. And now Republicans are feeling
the pressure.

Today, a "New York Times" poll showed 83 percent support a path to
citizenship for illegal immigrants. And 88 percent of Americans support
background checks for gun buyers. But Republicans don`t seem to care.
Instead of regretting their vote against American people, they are
celebrating, running this ad about the president.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 100 day mark, he`s already faced a string of
defeats. It is only 100 days into a second term, already faced a string of


SHARPTON: The GOP ad uses an image of President Obama comforting a
Newtown mother who lost her little boy in the shootings to try and score
cheap political points. It`s offensive. It`s a sign of just how out of
touch these Republicans have come. Now we are even hearing some elected
Republicans claiming that voters want to take up arms against the
government in some sort of revolution.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are going to have to use these guns because
of our own government. Now, is there anything in Washington that says any
telltale signs that maybe we might be headed for a revolution given the
fact that these kinds of things are going on?


SHARPTON: A revolution? I think it`s a revolution against

The GOP agenda isn`t about helping the country. It`s about passing
good laws. It`s about one thing. It`s stopping President Obama. That`s
all they are about.

Remember what that Republican senator said about background checks?

Quote "there were some on my side who did not want to be seen helping
the president do something he wanted to get done, just because the
president wanted to do it."

That`s no way to govern and the American people are not going to stand
for it.

Joining me now is Congressman Jim McDermott, Democrat from Washington
and Richard Wolffe, vice president and executive editor of

Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Congressman, you know, it`s about passing good laws and we
would hope the GOP would be about it. But they really went against the
background check vote. As there been a lot of fallout from that vote?
What are you hearing from your constituents and has there been any
admissions to you from Republicans that have refused progress and went
against the people because it might help the president if they had voted
for this?

MCDERMOTT: Well, I don`t think they are ever going to admit it, Al.
Mitch McConnell said it on the first day of the presidency five years ago,
that his job was to get rid of Obama. He failed and they e still hanging
on to that game plan and I don`t think they are ever going to admit it.
They are simply willing to throw the country, the economy, the people, the
students, health care, everything under the bus in order to make the
president look bad and try to make it seem as though an activist Democrat
who is caring about the people is just not fit to govern. There`s nothing
else to explain it except wanting to get rid of Obama.

SHARPTON: You know, Richard, when you look at the fact, red states,
for example, show Democrats were helped by the gun vote. North Carolina
senator Kay Hagen, 52 percent more likely to support her due to the yes on
background checks. It is North Carolina.

Louisiana senator, Mary Landrieu, 44 percent support her due to yes
vote on background checks.

Now, these are in southern conservative states. Republicans were hurt
by the gun vote in those same regional states. North Carolina, Senator
Richard Burr, 50 percent less likely to support due to the "no" vote on
background checks. And that`s in North Carolina, same state as Kay Hagan.

Louisiana, same state as senator Landrieu, Senator David Vitter, 40
percent less likely to support him due to "no" vote on background checks.

It`s clear, you vote against the interest of the people, it hurts you.
You vote for it, it helps you. I mean, they are willing to sacrifice
politics because of a despise of the president so?

WOLFFE: You know, it`s interesting because Karl Rove is out with a
column saying he reckons that they can get the Senate back this next time
around. You know, it`s one thing for people in the house district to go
out there saying, I just need to look after the majority of the majority.
Just the hard core Republicans, that`s all, because they got to gerrymander
the district.

Statewide is a totally different thing, even as you point out in these
red states. And what we have never seen before is when you lose one
election, you go out there saying, Mitch McConnell is going to defeat the


WOLFFE: And that doesn`t work. That`s 2012. But we`re going to try
it again in 2014 and some reason, even without President Obama, even being
unable to defeat him once, we`re going to defeat him again and somehow win.
This strategy doesn`t hold. It doesn`t hold with the polls. It doesn`t
hold as well because President Obama cannot be defeated anymore. He`s
there. That`s it. He`s done. So, it doesn`t unify them and it doesn`t
work statewide.

SHARPTON: Now Congressman, Michael Tomasky writes in "the Daily
Beast" that public pressure is going to force another gun vote. He says
and I`m quoting him "this bill will come back to the Senate, maybe before
the August recess, and it already seems possible and maybe even likely to
have 60 votes next time. Is that wishful thinking or is that possible?

MCDERMOTT: I think it`s absolutely possible. I think what you`re
hearing as you go around, when everybody says, well, everybody, even the
NRA says we ought to have background checks, why is it that the Republicans
refuse it?

And I think ultimately, Al, they come to the realization as they go
into this next election, they are going to run into ads, one after another
from somebody saying, do you realize that x didn`t vote for background
checks? He doesn`t care who gets a gun or where they get it or how they
get it, he didn`t care about you. That kind of ad is going to kill them in
the next election.

SHARPTON: What did you think of senator Toomey saying that some of
his friends, his fellow Republican, voted against it just because the
president was for it, because there was a time that even the NRA was for
background checks.

MCDERMOTT: I have thought, Al, ever since January of 2009, that
everything was about defeating and embarrassing and humiliating Barack
Obama. That`s the only way you can explain it because it never was about
public policy. There have been instances where the Republicans have been
for a particular policy but if Barack Obama says he`s for it, they are
against it. There is simply no other explanation except they want to
humiliate him and get rid of him.

SHARPTON: Richard, you know, I have been talking on the show about
how I`m disturbed about how even some of the pundits and writers are sort
of blaming the president. You know, if they misbehave, the term the
president used, it`s his fault. He should handle it.

"National Journal" columnist Ron Fournier promoting this same blame
Obama theory of GOP obstruction. He says quote "Obama needs a coach to
look him in the eyes and say, Mr. President, I`m not excusing the other
team, they stink, but you need to beat them, sir. There`s no excuse to
losing to such a lousy bleeping team."

I mean, does makes sense to you? People committed no matter what, to
go against you, but you`re supposed to find a way for them to go for you?
How do you do that?

WOLFFE: You think Ron has fantasies for being the coach of the
president? I mean, you know, it`s funny to hear these things play out,
right? Because , all you have got to do is get the president to wave his
magical wand and suddenly they will come fall into line. I mean, he did
actually go out there and campaign pretty successfully, making these

Now, if people want to go against 80 percent of the American people,
there isn`t a whole lot you can do. It is a free country. They are
allowed to vote which I really want. Republicans have to understand,
though, this is not the `90s and I think people like maybe Ron Fournier
needs to understand that, too.

The laws of the `90s democrats voting for gun control would be kicked
out of office where Democrats who voted to raise taxes will get kicked out
of office. That hasn`t played out. Remember, the president said before
the election he would raise taxes and people still voted for Democrats
anyway. So, I think this is a different world. Maybe, you know, there`s
another movie they need to see to get some other lessons on how they think
the president --

SHARPTON: But Congressman, is that is a lot of them may be stuck in a
past time and don`t understand that the country has moved forward, punt
intended, than leaning forward?


MCDERMOTT: Well, you know, they made a number of calculations in this
election that turned out to be wrong. They thought if they beat him up
about health care, that would work. They thought if they just keep
hammering on his immigration stuff, all the Hispanics in the country would
stay home. They thought -- they had a lot of ideas about taxes and that
the people -- and the people came out and gave him a resounding victory. I
mean, it is -- if you`re the least -- they have a continue tin ear. If
they were listening to people one single bit, they would know that the
people have rejected what they are putting forward.

SHARPTON: All right. Mr. McDermott and Richard Wolffe, I`m going to
have to leave it there. Thank you both for your time tonight.

WOLFFE: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: When we come back, the guy who started this journey with
President Obama many years ago knows how to fight for an agenda. David
Axelrod joins us live, next.

Plus, town hall gets heated over automatic budget cuts and who`s to


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am tired of this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The president is not some person trying to take
your rights away or anybody, for that matter.


SHARPTON: And 19 years ago today, Nelson Mandela was elected South
Africa`s first black president. I was a witness to history. That`s coming
up. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? Republican senator Pat Toomey`s revelation about the real
reason the background check failed has everybody talking.

Francena says, I`m grateful to Toomey for being honest.

Clark says, these Republicans will do anything to oppose President
Obama, even at the cost of American`s lives.

Donna says, it just means we have to stand with the president even

Coming up next, we`ll talk about how the president can fight back
against GOP obstructionism with the man who is one of his closest advisers,
David Axelrod.

But first, we want to hear what you think. Please head over to
facebook and search "Politics Nation" and "like" us to keep the
conversation going long after the show ends.


SHARPTON: Nearly nine years ago, Senator Barack Obama walked on stage
at the Democratic convention and said this.


there are those that are preparing to divide us. The spin masters, the
negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I
say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative
America. There is the United States of America. There is not a black
America and a white America and Latino America and Asia America. There`s
the United States of America.


SHARPTON: Not a liberal America and conservative America. There`s
the United States of America is what can afford to senator Barack Obama to
the guy everyone was talking about for president. And afterwards, George
W. Bush and the Republicans did for the country, the message of unity
became the backbone of his presidential campaign and he has been

Health care reforms, stimulus, Wall Street reform, ending the Iraq
war, repealing don`t ask don`t tell and what`s remarkable is, he has done
it with Republicans scheming to block him from day one. His decently has
been met with a party willing to put politics over people.

So how is he continuing to get things done?

Joining me now is the man who has been on the journey from the start,
David Axelrod, former senior adviser to President Obama and now a senior
political analyst and MSNBC and NBC New.

David, it`s a pleasure to have all of you with us tonight.

with you.

SHARPTON: I`m curious about this. What is the president`s reaction
to a senator admitting Republicans block something 90 percent of the
country wanted just because the president wanted it.

AXELROD: Well, I don`t think it`s any secret. He was very pretty
clear about it in the Rose Garden today of that vote and he was very angry
about it. You know, nothing moves him more, in my experience than when
children are abused in some way and we saw it in Newtown, we see on the
streets of our cities every day. And here were commonsense measures that
the entire country agreed on and they were blocked in the Senate. And
obviously, he was very angry about that.

But, you know, one thing I want to point out, Rev, I was listening to
the discussion. There`s no doubt that the Republican Party had a strategy
from the beginning to obstruct. That`s now well-documented and it`s been
rooted about quite a bit. But, there is a responsibility for voters as
well. It`s true that 90 percent of people support background checks. But
until people in public office stop losing their jobs for defying that 90
percent, then they are going to bend in the other direction if they feel
that the real heat is coming from the NRA.

And you know, one of the things that I`ve seen since the election is
mayor Bloomberg, Gabby Giffords and others training attention on those who
cast that vote and they are beginning to feel the heat and you`ve been
reporting on it.

But Politicians, their first instinct is survival. And if they
believe that they may lose their seats, they will bend to the public will
on this issue, they will bend to the public will. If they feel that they
are facing greater peril from the NRA, they are going to vote the NRA way.

SHARPTON: I want to press you there in a minute because I was reading
after the background checks failed in the Senate, you posted some tough
tweets in that regard. You said no senator who heal today on NRA`s command
should have the gall to issue mournful statement the next time gun violence


SHARPTON: You also said interested to see if Bloomberg and others who
have worked hard on this issue remain active in the 2014 elections, holding
the no votes accountable.

So you`re pushing outright that these people polled have to go to the
polls and if we extract a price out of the people who voted no, then they
would understand the will of the people is something that they can`t play

AXELROD: Absolutely. I mean, I think that there has to be a
sustained campaign here to pass these measures and to hold people
accountable round these measures. And that`s the way it`s going to get
done. I think it`s important to note, Rev., that the Brady law, I think
there were seven votes over a series of years before it became law and we
have to keep at this.

The one thing that would be the wrong reaction to all of this is to
fold up our tent and go home. We have to keep fighting and we have to do
it in the memory of those kids, not just in Newtown, but the kids who died
in the streets of New York and Chicago and other cities armed with illegal
weapons from straw buyers that would be blocked from doing that if we pass
some of these commonsense laws. We owe to the memory of those kids and the
kids we can save if we take those actions to hold the politicians

SHARPTON: Now, the man who said that his number one priority was to
defeat this president now is tweeting out pictures trying to give the
message like he`s rating to have a drink with the president. Of course,
I`m talking about Mitch McConnell. The problem with that is, he`s not
truly really isn`t waiting to come to terms and work with the president, is

AXELROD: Well, I would be satisfied if he is willing to think with
the president even if he doesn`t want to drink with the president, but the
issue that he has right now I`m sure to some degree, to some degree, this
doesn`t explain all of it, is that senator McConnell, his greatest fear is
a challenge from the right in Kentucky. And so, he is doing everything to
signify to the tea party folks in Kentucky and the anti-Obama forces there
that he`s with them and then see how behaves after that.

But you know, it is true also that in January 2010, he did an
interview with "the New York Times" and he said we made a decision from the
beginning not to give the president cooperation on any major bill because
that would say to the American people that he`s figured this out. And we
didn`t want t give him that. And that`s really not what we want from our
leaders, not people in positions of responsibility.

We have big problems in this country and they deserve real answers and
they deserve some element of cooperation. We have two parties. They don`t
agree on everything. But surely, there are things that we ought to agree
on and to take a position of blind obstructionism, and so, may be good for
your base but it bad for the country.

SHARPTON: No doubt about it.

The president moments ago on a trip to Mexico said that the fight
around background checks is not over. You know him better than most and I
have seen from being around him, he`s determined when he`s committed to
something to keep going. The fight is not over, David?

AXELROD: The fight`s not over. Absolutely not. I think there will
be votes on this issue. And again, I think they will have a different
outcome if a mobilized electorate says to their elected officials, you know
what, we are keeping a scorecard now, not just the NRA. We`re keeping a
scorecard and we are going to hold you accountable for these votes.

SHARPTON: David Axelrod, thank you for being with us tonight.

AXELROD: Great to be with you, Rev. Nice to see you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, some stunning news today about Hillary Clinton. Has
the right revealed a dirty and ugly plan to take her down?

Also, remembering one of the great events of my lifetime, the election
of Nelson Mandela as president of South Africa. It happened 19 years ago
today and it is still inspiring people all over the world.


celebration for South African still trying together to celebrate the death



SHARPTON: Republicans in Ohio have been on the forefront of voter
suppression for years. Back in 2004, they created problems that led to
huge problems on election night. And just last year, they did everything
they could to limit early voting.

Now, they are targeting college students. A new Republican plan would
punish universities that help out of state students register to vote its
school instead of back home where their parents live.

The Republican who won the polls, universities to offer these students
the lower in-state tuition, which could cost state schools $370 million a
year. In effect, the plan would cut funding for schools that helped
register students to vote. It`s outrageous, totally cynical, and it
doesn`t take a Ph.D. to figure out why Republicans want to do this.

In the 2012 election, 63 percent of young voters in Ohio supported
President Obama, just 35 percent supported Mitt Romney. So now Ohio
Democrats are ready to fight back.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is a perverse incentive to make it harder
for these students to vote. We should let college students vote and people
should not play games.


SHARPTON: Republicans want to play games but the American people just
want to exercise their right to vote.

Ohio, we will be watching.


SHARPTON: Too many Republicans are stuck in the right wing echo
chamber. Too many. Too many swapping conspiracy theories and anti-Obama
punch lines. But once in a while they run smack into the truth and their
bubble gets burst. That`s what happened when Alabama republican Mike
Rogers held a town hall back in his district and a voter stood up to a
smack down the far right paranoia.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What is being done by this administration which
appears to be clearly illegal, not constitutional and yet this man is
shaking his head.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I list 20-something items here sir. I can give
you list of stuff that the House of Representatives has done that is
unconstitutional, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You are crazy. I am tired of this crazy talk.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: If I am crazy then --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Then they are. The President is not some person
trying to take your rights away or do anything like that.


SHARPTON: I`m tired of their crazy talk, too. Of course the
President is trying to take anyone`s rights away. And that man also had
something to say about the automatic budget cuts that are devastating
programs across the country.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: My business is off by 20 percent because of the
sequester. I have gone from making good money to losing money in one month
because of the sequester. The House of Representatives have done more to
hurt my business than anything government by anybody, state, local, federal
has ever done in 15 years. Every time you all do something to cut funding,
it hurts my customers. They have less money to spend. When they have less
money to spend, they spend less with me, which means I have less money.


SHARPTON: The budget cuts are hurting small businesses. Now,
Republicans might not care about cuts that hurt preschoolers or seniors or
even cancer patients. But once they start hurting those small business job
creators they are always talking about, you would think Republicans would
be all ears.

Joining me now are Dana Milbank and Karen Finney. Thank you both for
your time.



SHARPTON: Karen, is this just the beginning of the backlash the
Republicans will face over these budget cuts?

FINNEY: Well, I sure hope so. The gentleman in that video makes a
good point. I mean, think about it. If customers don`t have money to
spend in those small businesses or to buy products, then the profits from
those companies that make those products are going to suffer. I mean, at
some point this all comes home to roost and I`m glad to see people actually
standing up for it because I think part of the problem had been, you know,
the mean was such that because nobody felt like the sequester was going to
hurt anybody initially, I mean, we saw obviously the FAA and it`s damn hurt
a lot of -- damaged a lot of, you know, low-income people. But I think
there wasn`t this sense of urgency. And so, hopefully now that it`s
actually starting to have an effect, people will stand up.

SHARPTON: Dana, Missouri Congressman Billy Long claims that budget
cuts are no big deal for his constituents. In fact, he has a quote. He
says, "They want to see more sequestration, not less. We haven`t seen any
measurable effect here at all." But Congressman Long is ignoring the very
real cuts in his own home state, one head start facility is closing its
door, meaning dozens of low income kids will missed out on early child

Another head start is cutting three weeks from its program and a youth
summer job program is being cut at an historic battlefield. I mean, is
this republican congressman just not paying attention to current events
down in his home state or are they in denial?

MILBANK: Reverend, Billy Long was in auction here before he came to
Congress and I don`t think anybody is buying the product that he is trying
to sell them right now. Look, I think the Obama administration made a
tactical mistake in suggesting that the effects of this sequester would be
felt immediately and people would begin to sit back and say, "the sky is
falling, nothing happened."

Well, guess what, now we`re beginning to see these things and it only
accelerates. It only snowballs from here and you are asking, is this just
the beginning? Well, it has to be just the beginning. Because if
anything, the cuts from the sequester are very little compared to what`s
going to have to come in the future if the President and this Congress
don`t get together and make some reasonable decisions about what`s to be
done in the future. So I think that anger that you`re seeing directed at
Congressman Rogers is a real one. I don`t think we`re at a Tea Party on
the left but I think you`re starting to see something building.

SHARPTON: No, but I mean, Karen, this is outrageous. We`re talking
about preschoolers, head start, cancer patients, seniors. I mean, how can
you be that insensitive and the headlines all over the country, look at
these headlines. And if you are one of these people depending on programs
and some of the services, imagine how you would feel looking at these
headlines and knowing that you need these things. These are not some
gifts. These are needs.

FINNEY: Well, remember, you know, a couple of things, though, here
Reverend. I mean, you know, as much as the Republicans keep saying they
don`t want us to be like Europe, well, guess what? These are the kinds of
headlines that we saw in Europe after all these austerity programs that
have created all these backlashes and now come to figure out that those
austerity programs in just as research in our country is showing, that
actually all these cutting is damaging the economy. It`s not helping. As
the president frankly has been saying all along.

But the other thing I want to point out, Rev, is that, you know,
you`re talking about people who are not particularly visible to these
members of Congress. They don`t have, you know, big lobbyists walking the
halls over, you know, at the capitol. And unfortunately, you know, it
feels a lot like the mean that we`ve heard time and again about poor
people, you know, takers and makers and somehow there seems to be this
acceptance among some conservatives that while those people don`t deserve
those programs anyway, they will be fine without it and so they seem very
blind to the practical reality of what it means when you make those cuts.

SHARPTON: Now, Dana, when you look at the fact that when the
Republicans are not ignoring the budget cuts, they act like they were
against them to begin with. I mean, listen to Michele Bachmann of all
people and what she had to say on Friday.


REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: The loss that we`ll see for
children through head start, for senior citizens through Meals on Wheels,
for children who will be dealing with various other food nutrition
programs, that breaks everyone`s hearts. We knew all of these calamities
were in the future and so it reminds me of the Shakespeare line, thou
protestest too much.


SHARPTON: I mean, am I missing something? Michele Bachmann voted
against the President on this, saying the cuts didn`t go deep enough. Now
she`s the champion for the poor, Dana.

MILBANK: It`s astonishing. It sounds like she`s channeling the
Reverend Al Sharpton there.

SHARPTON: No, it`s Shakespeare.

MILBANK: That is truly extraordinary. But you see that they are
starting to feel the heat that they are going to be blamed for what`s going
on here. What has to happen is, President Obama needs to step up and be
making this sort of argument that you`re making right here tonight. The
problem is, there`s this sort of appearance now that, well, they took care
of the wealthy business people who were traveling with the -- by making
sure the air traffic controllers can be in there and they`re kicking the
kids out of head start, they`re kicking the cancer patients out. The
President should be in their face on this, campaigning in districts
vulnerable Republicans and really making an issue on this because the
Democrats really should be in a very strong position here.

FINNEY: You know, can we just call Michele Bachmann out for what is
really going on there?

SHARPTON: Call her out. Call her out, Karen.

FINNEY: We see it time and time again, when they are in the capitol,
they vote one way. But then they go and they make that kind of speech, and
they take a clip of that and they give it to their local station so that
back home it looks like she`s been the champion fighting for the poor
people. I mean, we know that game, right? They did the same thing, you
know, with, time and again where they vote against something that President
Obama wants but then if it means money for their district, they are right
there at the ribbon cutting, aren`t they?

SHARPTON: Exactly. And I think that the politics of it we get. But
when you`re talking about real live people, seniors, kids at head start
that need these things, how callous and insensitive and cynical can you
get, Dana? I mean, to me it`s just so upsetting that it`s hard to swallow.

MILBANK: Reverend, you`re telling me that Michele Bachmann has
behaved in a cynical way? I am shocked.


SHARPTON: Well, I`ll leave you shocked because that`s exactly what
I`m telling you. Dana Milbank and Karen Finney, thanks so much for your
time tonight.

And coming up, the GOP`s version of a two for one plan attack both
President Obama and Hillary Clinton. Folks, there`s a brand new vast right
wing conspiracy. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Nineteen years ago, Nelson Mandela after spending 27 years
in jail was elected with his party to lead South Africa. I was an election
observer. I will never forget a moment in history that changed the world
and changed how we all felt about possibilities. We`ll talk about it.


SHARPTON: Fifteen years ago, Hillary Clinton went on National
Television and talked about a vast right-wing conspiracy. Fifteen years
later, they are conspiring against her. But why? This number, 65. A new
poll shows she would get 65 percent of the democratic vote if she ran for
president in 2016. Hillary Clinton hasn`t said either way whether she`s
running or not. But she hasn`t been hiding either. Making plenty of
appearances this past month and that was -- that has the right very
worried. So here comes that vast right wing conspiracy I was talking


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Secretary Clinton runs for office in the future,
she`s going to have to explain why, during her helm at the State
Department, one of two things happened. Either number one they were aware
of a security situation in Libya and failed to act accordingly or, number
two, they had such a bad operation that they were not aware of it.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We now know that there was a cable with her
signature on it reducing the security parameters.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The secretary of state was just wrong. She said
she did not participate in this and yet only a few months before the attack
she out right denied security in her signature in a cable April 2012.


SHARPTON: And the right wing loud speaker has been on it for months.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The scathing indictment of the Obama
administration`s response to the September 11th terror attack in Benghazi
Libya. They found the Obama administration deliberately covered up facts
surrounding the attacks in the consulate in Benghazi, Libya last September

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Are we going learn more than at this May hearing
about attempts to cover up what really happened?


SHARPTON: These baseless attacks have been repeatedly debunked and it
reached a fear.

Joining me now is Angela Rye and Patricia Murphy. Thanks for being here.



SHARPTON: Angela, 65 percent of Democrats for Hillary. How scared is
the right?

RYE: Probably very scared. But even folks that may be supporting
other democratic potential candidates may be a little worried also with our
beloved vice president as a very distant second with only 13 percent. But
we`ve already seen the right wing is scared, period. They are scared of
our President, they are scared of the democratically controlled Senate.
And as a result, they are working against any type of agenda that would
move the country forward.

SHARPTON: Now, Patricia, after Hillary`s concussion before testimony
on Benghazi, the right wing was on the attack. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I guess she passed out somewhere. Is she

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You don`t want to go to a meeting or conference or
an event, you have a diplomatic illness.

LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: We both have great respect for
Secretary Clinton and you`re a Roman Catholic as am I. So, we are now
calling this the immaculate concussion.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: How could she get a concussion when she`s been
ducking everything?


SHARPTON: I mean, this is some ugly stuff. Someone falls and have a
concussion. They later testify, is this a sign of how ugly it`s going to
get, Patricia, if she in fact runs?

MURPHY: Yes, it is. I mean, in the words, yes, it is. And I think
that a lot of this has to do with the way Republicans are addressing this
issue in such personal terms. It really is no coincidence that Hillary
Clinton is at the end of those attacks. But if you go back and look at how
she actually handled this, she did go up to the hill. She did eventually
testify and she said, I take full responsibility. And I think that is what
Americans want to hear our leaders say.

So when Republicans now are continuing to say what happened in
Benghazi, we want more reports, these are not bipartisan calls, they`re
partisan calls for further investigations. It`s a lot like last year`s
fast and furious investigations which ended up in really a very partisan
attack on Eric Holder and holding him in contempt for the first time. So,
I think these are serious issues. Fast and Furious was serious. Benghazi
is serious. But the way that Republicans are going after Hillary Clinton
in such a partisan fashion I think demeans his seriousness and demeans
Republicans in the process.

SHARPTON: Angela, Emily`s list, the group dedicated to electing pro-
choice democratic women launched a six-figure campaign to elect a female
president. Here`s part of the ad. I want your reaction.


UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: The future of Washington, D.C. January 20th. I`m
here because of all of the fearless pioneer women who fought 200 years ago
at Seneca Falls.

UNIDENTIFIED BOY: I`m here because of the elected women that came
before you. They paved the way for the first women president.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: That`s the American way. We don`t give up and
this is just the beginning.



SHARPTON: Effective ad, Angela? I found some women younger than you.

RYE: Well, Rev, it`s not only very effective, it`s reminiscent of
some of what we`ve seen with them. The young man kid president. He`s made
it all the way into the White House with some of the things he`s done and
it`s really nice to see young people being inspirational about pursing
politics despite the mess that we have going on inside the beltway. So,
the one thing that`s also really, really important is not just this ad but
the way in which the media has been instrumental in changing mind sets.

Everything from Sheryl Sandberg`s book, you know, "Lean In" to the
number of host that are women on this network too. You know, veep on
another network, there are all types of women in powerful roles and, of
course, Clinton`s last presidential campaign where she talked about
shattering the glass ceiling. All of those things have laid the groundwork
for this. And we`ve seen the American people elect in a way where they
have elected a record number of women to the House and to the Senate.

And if you look at the House`s record with Nancy Pelosi as our last
speaker, there was a record number of bills past and this time around,
there`s not much getting done. So I think the country is ready for it.
And we`re definitely looking forward to seeing what Secretary Clinton
decides to do.

SHARPTON: Now, Patricia, the country is ready for it, it seems, look
at the new polls. Ninety percent of voters in battleground states would
vote for a qualified women candidate from their party. Eighty six percent
say, America`s ready to elect a woman president. Seventy two percent
believe it`s likely America will elect a woman president in the next
presidential election. Seventy two percent. Is this just another sign
that the country wants Hillary Clinton to run, Patricia?

MURPHY: Well, I think it`s hard to ask a hypothetical question about
a woman running for president in the next four years and not assume that
we`re all talking about Hillary Clinton. There really is nobody else on
the horizon like her. She`s a celebrity, yes, but she`s also a
transformative figure and she`s such a much better candidate than she was
in 2008. Democrats want her to run. I`ve talked to a lot of Democrats
about this.

Nobody will join another campaign. Nobody will give a dollar. This
field is frozen until Hillary Clinton decides what she wants to do. If
because Democrats love her, they would also believe that she would win and
that is the most important part to Democrats over the next four years. And
so, I think the country is ready for a woman president. Are they ready for
Hillary Clinton, she just has to give the green light and then we will all
find out.

SHARPTON: Well, we`ll be watching. I thought they were talking about
Michelle Obama but we`ll see. Angela Rye and Patricia Murphy, thanks for
your time.

MURPHY: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: We`ll be right back with one of the great moments of the
20th century. The election of Nelson Mandela. I was there. I saw it
firsthand. And I will never forget it. Stay with us.


ANNOUNCER: The long struggle ends in triumph for Mandela as the clerk
officially concede the presidency.


SHARPTON: History in the making. Nineteen years ago today, Nelson
Mandela elected president of South Africa. It was a moment of joy and
liberation for 27 years Mandela had been locked it away behind bars.
Jailed as a political prisoner for opposing the apartheid regime of South
Africa. Many people would emerge from that on deal with bitterness forged
by years of oppression. But Mandela left prison as a stronger leader, a
man of peace. At the decades of apartheid, the people of South Africa were
free to exercise their right to vote, to choose a new way forward for their
country, for the world. When the moment of victory finally arrived, it was
a triumph for the human spirit.


rooftops, free at last!



SHARPTON: And once in power, Mandela immediately began uniting the
country in healing the wounds of apartheid.


MANDELA: Let us stretch out our hands to those who have bitterness
and to say to them, we are South Africans, we have had a good fight but now
this is the time to heal the old wounds and to appeal to new South Africa.



SHARPTON: I was in South Africa that day and I saw the joy of that
victory firsthand. As an election observer, I saw people who had waited
their whole lives to vote. And who arrived at that moment and said, I feel
like a human being for the first time in my life. Reverend Dr. Wyatt T.
Walker who was an aide to Dr. King and shared National Action Network for
us took some of us as civil rights leaders to watch and observe and make
sure those elections were fair.

I watched people stand for miles and days to vote. It reminded me of
how my mother told me how they waited to vote in Alabama after the voting
rights act of `65. We have fought too long to turn back now, to have skims
undermine our vote. I`ve seen the fight in two continents but I also saw a
man with dignity and pride who never would shrink to bitterness. I was
proud to be around President Mandela.

I accompanied him as part of his delegation to the United Nations when
he addressed the U.N. when he first came to this country after getting out
of jail. Not only was he regal, but he was a man of peace. He was a man
that did not want to deal with rank or bitterness. He really believed that
we must not only win but we must be better than the spirits of hate and
oppression that we fight. We must protect the vote but we must protect our
spirit of reconciliation while we do.

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


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