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PoliticsNation, Monday, May 6th, 2013

Read the transcript from the Monday show

May 6, 2013

Guests: James Madison, Ed Rendell, Ben LaBolt, Abby Huntsman, Dana Milbank, James Peterson

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks, Chris, and thanks to you for
tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, right wing horror show. A stunning offensive display from
the far right, a zombie target that appears to resemble President Obama
sold for shooting practice at this weekend`s NRA convention. The target is
officially named rocky. Though customers online call it Barry, both
apparently short for Barack Obama. Fake blood leaks from the target when
it is shot.

Buzz feed broke this story and reports that NRA organized, has asked the
vendor to take it down after two days on display but still let them sell it
from behind the counter. This target was on display at the same convention
that featured fiery speeches from GOP presidential contenders like Ted Cruz
and Rick Santorum.

This is ugly stuff, disturbing stuff. It evokes the worst of what we have
seen from the far right when it comes to this president. They painted him
as the Joker from Batman. They put up billboards comparing him to Hitler
and Lennon. They gave him a hit mustache at Tea Party rallies. They even
joked that he supposedly resembles Satan in a TV show about the bible.

It is all part of the same vile mindset. The rhetoric that says this
president is un-American, that he doesn`t understand America, that he
perhaps even hates America.

Today, the NRA got a new leader, a pro gun activist named James Porter.
Just last year, he was calling Barack Obama, quote "a fake president."
Listen to him.


tired of all these people with this fake president that we`ve got who wants
to say, you know, he hadn`t done anything bad for going on. And I said,
let me tell you something bad that he`s done. His entire administration is
anti-gun, anti-freedom, anti-second amendment.


SHARPTON: Anti-freedom? A fake president? This is the kind of talk that
that we hear from the new leader of the NRA? It has no place in a civil
debate. But it was literally on center stage at the NRA convention this
weekend. Again and again from those who command real respect in today`s
Republican party.


PORTER: The freedom of all mankind, make no mistake, is at stake.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama liberals want to disregard the first amendment
and take away our rights to speak in political speech.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This president flying in grieving parents making them
a backdrop in his perpetual campaign style presidents.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Already, they are conspiring right now, regrouping,
planning, preparing, organizing, even waiting for, quote "the next
Newtown," the next horrific crime, the next senseless horrific crime to


SHARPTON: America`s moving forward. We are moving toward a new push for
sensible gun laws. Bu the NRA and its cheerleaders are stuck in its past.

Joining me now are former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell and Sirius XM
radio host Joe Madison. Thank you both for being here tonight.



SHARPTON: Now, we have yet to hear back from the NRA in all of this, but
we did get a statement from the people who sold to this zombie target.
They told us, quote "to discriminate against African-Americans by not
having them represented in our product selection would be just plain
racist. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or
locales is entirely coincidental. " Zombie industries is sorry if anyone
takes offense to any of our products.

Joe, I`ve got to ask you about this display at the NRA convention.

MADISON: Well, they are sorry. They are a sorry bunch of people that I
can`t use words for. And yes, I take offense and I think anybody else,
black, white or any other color would take offense at this.

This is beyond the pale. This is lower than a snake`s belly. Let me tell
you something, it even goes back to today on our show, a talk show
personality that, listen to this, said he wants 10,000 people to RSVP to
bring loaded rifles to Washington, D.C., on the fourth of July when they
are as a protest, as of a civil disobedience and I swear I will be there on
that bridge by myself if I have to.

Look, I am saying to sensible human beings, you know what, we are not
opposed to first amendment. Keep talking. Keep doing this dumb, this
stupid stuff and you are going to lose not only this generation, you are
going to lose the next generation because nobody in their right mind,
Reverend, wants to be identified with this. Nobody in their right mind.

MADISON: Well, but you see, governor, I think that we have all different
exchanges. We all have disagreement, certainly I`ve been a passionate
activist all my life. But zombies with blood resembling the president, the
president as Satan in the bible? I mean, all of these coincidental
likenesses of the president.

BuzzFeed`s article even says that work as that the Obama zombie booth said
quote, I`m quoting a BuzzFeed article. When asked if the Obama likeness
was intentional, the worker said quote "let`s just say I gave my Republican
father one for Christmas."

I mean, this kind of vile ugliness is way over the line, governor.

RENDELL: Well, it is ugly, Rev. But you know, it sort of fitting that the
name of the company is the Zombie enterprises because if the Republican
Party doesn`t divorce itself from this really quickly, they will be true
zombies. They will be the walking dead.

MADISON: That`s right.

RENDELL: Because the American people hate this stuff. They hate this
stuff. Even if they don`t like President Obama, they hate this stuff.
They hate their children to see it. And this is an organization, think
about this. This is an organization that a few short years ago approved
universal background checks and that`s all the president was trying to do
and yet they lied. I saw Senator Kelly Ayotte last week, I think it might
have been on your show, Rev. She said to an answer to a town meeting, she
said well, I supported this because it was going to establish a federal
registry. But Kelly Ayotte there, hasn`t read the bill. There was lying.
Because the bill make it is a crime to try to establish a federal registry.

SHARPTON: It is in the bill.

MADISON: Yes, federal law offense.

RENDELL: It`s in the bill. So, the NRA is out of touch with it is own
members and it`s turning off the American people. And when the Republicans
align themselves with the NRA, they are signing their death warrant for
2016 for sure and maybe 2014.

SHARPTON: You know, what concerns me, Joe, is the climate it sets where we
get people in such a frenzy that it is a dangerous, unhealthy climate for
the country and for the entire dialogue that we ought to be having about
helping and dealing with people in this country.

Let me go back to some of the facts that come out of this. A poll last
month, 44 percent of Republicans say they think armed revolution may be
necessary in order to protect our liberties. Armed revolution.

Another poll last year, 30 percent of Republicans said they believed
President Obama is a Muslim.

And then you have Glenn Beck while giving a key note speech at this NRA
convention, he unveiled an ugly of mayor Michael Bloomberg, it is not just
President Obama, Michael Bloomberg, they unveiled an image of him giving a
Nazi salute. Here`s a Jewish man being projected as a Nazi.

Let me show you Glenn Beck saying it so you know I`m not making this up.


GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I`ve come up with a new advertising for
New York. We all know I heart New York. I would like to show you my new
advertisement for it, a new slogan. There it is. You will love New York.


SHARPTON: I mean, how much can someone say that this is where above the
line? Here you have the man of New York who happens to disagree with them
on gun legislation but he`s a Jewish American being projected as a Nazi?

MADISON: He can bend over and kiss his butt good-bye. I mean, let me tell
you -- and listen to the audience. It`s a divided audience. If you listen
carefully, you can hear the gasp even in that NRA convention.

Look, man, I went to your conference. It was respectful. We had debates.
People agreed and disagreed. NAACP, urbanely, we have never seen this type
of thing. And the sad thing is, you can`t have a dialogue with people like
that. There is no discussion and all it takes, I`m just telling people
now, all it takes is one fool, one spark and we have got a major problem in
this country and we need to avoid it.

SHARPTON: The whole climate, the poisonous atmosphere is no good. And you
are right, NAACP had Mitt Romney to their conference last year. I`ve had
Bill O`Reilly and Sean Hannity did not actually were in convention. You
have passionate views but you don`t do this stuff.

Let me show you, governor, it didn`t end there. Glenn beck and Wayne
Lapierre of the NRA both even invoked the Boston bombings at this NRA
convention. Watch this.

RENDELL: That`s ridiculous.


many Bostonians wish they had a gun two weeks ago.

BECK: In the people`s republic of Cambridge -- that wasn`t meant to be a
laugh line. That`s what it is, I think. The people`s republic of


SHARPTON: Now, this is the kind of stuff that Glenn Beck and Lapierre
saying, governor, the Nazi salute by the mayor, yet you have mainstream,
quote "Republican politicians there." Candidates for president that ran
and some being projected to run in 2016. Is this the kind of forum they
ought to be at?

RENDELL: No, not only should they not be at the forum but even those
candidates who didn`t go should denounce what happened, should denounce the
clearly referenced to President Obama with the target. They should
denounce it and say this is not what America is all about. And the only
think -- look, from a political standpoint, this is good for the things
that you and I believe in. It`s good because it turns off the average

But Joe make as very good point and the point is that if that`s somebody
disturbed out there who does believe, you know, in the NRA stuff, they may
be prompted to take that gun to Washington and they may be prompted to try
to maybe even think about doing something to the president.

And that`s the type of thing that`s very disturbing. It`s very disturbing
because it almost promotes an atmosphere where violence in the name of the
defense of the second amendment is acceptable. You remember Sharron Angle
who when she was running against Harry Reid said it`s time for to us do
second amendment remedies to people who don`t support our case. And when
asked what second remedy amendments were, she basically implied, take a gun
to someone you disagree with. Well, that`s nuts.

MADISON: So, what happened to Gabby Giffords?

RENDELL: Yes, absolutely.

SHARPTON: But this is the kind of poison that we have to stop and we have
to expose it like any surgery. You`ve got to expose something before you
can surgically cut it out. That`s why I wanted to bring it out.

I have run out of time. I`m going to let you go.

RENDELL: You, Joe, and I can`t be the one to expose it. It`s got to be
some mainline Republican saying, enough.

SHARPTON: Well, where is the courage of the mainline Republican?


SHARPTON: I have the guys on the right at my convention. I`ve toured with
Newt Gingrich. We are trying to show that we can have civil disagreement
but this kind of ugliness that in this kind of threat that is veiled and
unveiled, this should not be tolerated. And I challenge a responsible
Republican leader to stand up and say, wait a minute. This is wrong. This
is what we must see.

RENDELL: If they encourage, we`d have universe stall background checks
passed in the law.

SHARPTON: Well, I would settle for condemnation of the zombie thing and
then let`s take more universal background checks.

Ed Rendell, Joe Madison, thank you for your time tonight.

MADISON: Yes. They don`t deserve to be president of anything.

SHARPTON: Ahead, why our rape victims losing access to recovery programs?
The right`s terrible political choices are threatening Americans.

And from hot air to hot seat, Rush Limbaugh`s got a big problem tonight.

And President Obama meets right wing doom and gloom with a message of hope.

Stay with us.


government is the source of all our problems either because we understand
that this democracy is ours and as citizens we understand that it`s not
about what America can do for us, it`s about what can be done by us
together through the hard and frustrating but absolutely necessary work of



SHARPTON: Have you joined the POLITICS NATION conversation on Facebook
yet? Today, everyone was talking about the news that Rush Limbaugh may end
his radio contract because of all the heat he gets from the Sandra Fluke

Kathy says, I love that his demise is tied to his ugly attacks on Sandra
Fluke. Sweet justice.

Brent says, the airwaves would be better off without a ramble rouser like

And Sandra jokes, she would be a bit sad if he went off the air. He is a
wonderful ambassador for the progressive cause.

Good point, Sandra.

We have got more on Rush`s radio future coming up later in the show. But
first, we want to hear what you think about this one. Please head over to
Facebook and search POLITICS NATION and "like" us to keep the conversation
going long after the show ends.


SHARPTON: Congress is back at work today which means for Republican
lawmakers turning a blind eye to the horrific budget cuts hurting Americans
all across the country.

Today, "Mother Jones" reports programs that fight domestic violence and
sexual assault will lose $20 million this year, meaning more than 70,000
victims of domestic violence won`t have access to recovery programs and
shelters. Thousands of abused women and children with nowhere to go. The
director of one shelter in Utah says it`s already happened.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We literally had a lady call, she had four children
and begged to get in our program, she said, I had 45 minutes to get out.
And we said, we are sorry, we don`t have any room and then the police call
and say that she`s been abused again.


SHARPTON: Because of these budget cuts, they couldn`t afford to protect a
battered woman and unfortunately, these stories aren`t getting the national
attention they deserve. It`s only on a local level that you start to see
the real impact of these cuts.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Fewer meals on wheels. Our most vulnerable
seniors could end up suffering because of the sequester.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don`t know that I could live on my own without

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: The widow can`t walk without assistance and
cannot cook by herself. So you would imagine the excitement when she sees
Margaret (INAUDIBLE) every day at lunchtime.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: It is a federally funded program that
provides a home, counseling and health with education to homeless and
runaway teens.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If it goes away, then, obviously these young people
would be on the streets. No, we have to go (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Head start preschoolers sat down today for
their lunch in one of the 11 classrooms. This program, and the mission, is
losing $200,000 and it means one of the 11 classrooms will be close.


SHARPTON: These cuts are hurting senior, the homeless, and children. But
for many Republicans it seems like if they are out of sight, they are out
of mind.

Joining me now are Ben LaBolt, former national press secretary for the
Obama campaign and MSNBC contributor, Marie Teresa Kumar.

Thank you both for your time.



SHARPTON: Maria, have Republicans stop watching the local news? I mean,
how do they not pay attention to these stories?

KUMAR: Well, I think the idea that they are piecemealing (ph) what they
choose to alleviate with sequestration is (INAUDIBLE). The fact that they
couldn`t get out of D.C. and back to their home district, immediately they
took a red pen and you know what? We are actually going to keep record and
keep it to air traffic controllers but we are going ahead and defund head
start, is tend him to say that they are actually believing in class
warfare, the kind of class welfare where the poorest of the poor, the most
vulnerable, the folks that depend on our safety net are basically being
left behind while they are they are enjoying the riches that Washington
gets offer to them.

SHARPTON: You know, Ben, when you hear Maria talking about piecemeal, you
know that latest effort to reverse part of the sequesters is a house bill
to get rid of cuts for cancer drugs. It would exempt chemotherapy drugs
from budget cuts, it would reimburse doctors for reduced payments and it
has 51 co-sponsors, including 11 Democrats.

But these cuts for cancer drugs are obviously a huge issue. But how many
piecemeal approaches are the Republicans going to take? I mean, it`s
piecemeal that we see with air traffic control and now this. I mean, what
are we looking at here, Ben?

LABOLT: Well, that`s their latest strategy. Remember, in the first place,
they said these were stupid cuts. And then they accuse the president of
exaggerating the impacts of those cuts. And now, they are taking actions
like with the FAA fix for those who got a microphone in their hands. But
the fact is, the children who are being impacted by those head start cuts
don`t have a microphone. The seniors who are being hit hard by the meals
on wheels cuts don`t have a microphone.

The American people on Election Day voted for a balanced approach to reduce
the deficit, which would include some spending cuts but included
investments that strengthen the middle class and we`ve got to take a
comprehensive approach to doing this. We cannot keep doing these one-off
fixes for those folks who have the most power and the biggest microphones
because the most vulnerable are those being hit hardest by the sequester

SHARPTON: Now, the president, Maria, said it very similar. He`s called it
band-aids, when he was talking about what they did to in-flight delays, he
called it a band-aid solution. Listen to this.


OBAMA: Congress passed a temporary fix, a band-aid. But these cuts are
scheduled to keep falling across other parts of the government that provide
vital services for the American people and we can`t just keep putting band-
aids on every cut.


SHARPTON: So Maria, is that what we`re going to keep seeing, Republicans
coming with band-aid solutions?

KUMAR: Band-aid solutions to things that they care about and impact them
immediately. But unfortunately, they are not staying up at night trying to
figure out how do you make sure that wheels on meals on wheels get to the
individual the order that deserve, to make sure that individual that are in
hospice care get the series that they need, that kids have start actually
have a place to go to school every day.

And I think what`s going to happen is that they are having a mi-calculation
of how large this impact is. It`s is not just the most vulnerable of
American`s that are facing the sequestration, but it is also middle class
Americans and those middle class Americans come out and vote come midterm
election. So, I would actually caution the Republicans and have them come
together and actually come together with the president, actually come up
with a solution, otherwise, they are going to be incredibly vulnerable come
the 2014 elections.

SHARPTON: Yes. It`s amazing, Ben, when you look at how they want to cut,
cut, cut government, essential services, people that need government, they
want to cut but when they want government to come in for them they believe
in government.

Look at areas where cuts are being prevented. Here`s another wrinkle to
this. In Wyoming, the tourist towns raise money for Yellowstone. They
raised $170,600 was raised. Roads into park will open on time.

Now, I`m glad to see the national parks giving donation, don`t get me
wrong. But, will we see this on a largest scale for things like head start
and meals on wheels, Ben?

LABOLT: Well, you see them using what are basically earmarks to help out
their personal priorities. But the fact is, they`ve said Republicans
always say that their biggest goals are to grow the economy and reduce the
deficit. Well, this certainly, the sequester certainly isn`t getting the
job done. It`s going to shrink the economy its growth rate by 0.6 percent
this year. It`s going to eliminate 750,000 jobs. And anybody is taking a
look at deficit reduction says you need a mix of spending cuts and smart
investments for the middle class and revenue to be able to reduce the
deficit and grow the economy. And that`s absolutely not what Republicans
are standing for here.

SHARPTON: I`m going to have to let it go there.

Maria Teresa Kumar and Ben LaBolt.

By the way, the neediest and the young and head start and the seniors do
have a microphone, 6:00 eastern time on MSNBC is one of them. There are
some microphones that are going to tell their story.

LABOLT: Thanks for covering that, Rev.

KUMAR: Thank you, reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, that seat Rush sits in is getting hotter and hotter.
Is his ranting coming to an end or just going elsewhere? News on that

And the president`s positive message for the younger generation. Stay with


SHARPTON: Could we be seeing the end of the Rush Limbaugh? He`s made a
career out of spewing awful rants like this on the public airwaves.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: There`s the gay mafia that is
inflicted, just a fear of death, political deaf in the Republican Party for

As the CDC ever published a story about the dangers of catching diseases
when you sleep with illegal aliens? In Obama`s America, the white kids not
get beat up with the black kids cheering, yes, right on, right on, right
on, right on.


SHARPTON: Now, I wonder if those rants is coming back to haunt him. And
it may cause him real damage. That`s coming up.


SHARPTON: When you think about it, the thing the right wing does best in
this country is come up with conspiracy theories, the government is coming
to take your guns, the government power is a threat to our democracy, an
armed revolution is just around the corner. Listening to them, it`s all
doom and gloom coming from the right but over the weekend President Obama
went to Ohio State University with a commencement message of hope and a
call to reject the anti-government movement of the right.


OBAMA: Unfortunately, you`ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn
of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity at the
root of all of our problems, that warn that tyranny is always lurking just
around the corner. You should reject these voices because what they
suggest is that our brave, and creative, and unique experiment and self-
rule is somehow just a sham with which we can`t be trusted.


SHARPTON: You should reject these voices. President Obama said, the
country needs to be energized, they need to engage citizenship, one that
works together.


OBAMA: Yours has become a generation possessed with that most American
ideas, that people who love their country can change it for the better. We
don`t think the government is the source of all of our problems either.
Because we understand that this democracy is ours. And as citizens, we
understand that it`s not about what America can do for us, it`s about what
can be done by us together. Through the hard and frustrating but
absolutely necessary work of self-government.


SHARPTON: Change isn`t bad. It`s necessary. It`s part of what makes
America great. The President then defended voting rights, workers` rights,
women`s rights, gay rights. It`s a progressive vision that a majority of
the country is behind. Eighty three percent support a path to citizenship
for illegal immigrants. Eighty eight percent support background checks for
gun violence. But on all of these issues, the right is relentless what
their cynicism about the future. The President has an answer of hope.


OBAMA: Class of 2013, only you can ultimately break that cycle, only you
can make sure the democracy you inherit is as good as we know it can be but
it requires your dedicated and informed and engaged citizenship. And that
citizenship a higher road to take but it leads to a better place. It`s how
we built this country, together.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is Jonathan Capehart and Abby Huntsman. Thank
you both for being here tonight.



SHARPTON: Jonathan, it`s pretty basic but these days it`s a big deal.

CAPEHART: What? The President`s message?

SHARPTON: The President`s message.

CAPEHART: Absolutely. Yes.

SHARPTON: But in these days, because of the extreme rhetoric, it becomes a
big deal.

CAPEHART: Yes, it is a big deal and I`m glad you shared the percentages
for, you know, path to citizenship, background checks. If you throw in 71
percent of the American people favoring marriage equality. What you have
happening here is you have a country that is moving forward, that is
advancing, that is progressing, if you will.

And the people in the building behind me who are just not listening to the
American people, for a bunch of folks who are fond of saying that they are
listening to the voices of the American people, which was a mantra among
Republicans after the 2010 midterm elections, they are not listening on any
of those issues. And they do so at their peril.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, Abby, the President talked about the struggle for
change. Listen to this.


OBAMA: It was young people just like you who marched and mobilize and
stood up and sat in to secure women`s rights and voting rights and workers`
rights and gay rights, often at incredible odds, often at great danger,
often over the course of years, sometimes over the tranquil and steady
dedication of a lifetime and they never got acknowledged for but they made
a difference.


SHARPTON: Those young people and others that struggled, that made a
difference, those voices that would go against what may have been popping
in their circle, with what was right. Even people I would give credit to
like your father, like you and it may not be helpful to you guys in the
republican circle for me to give you credit but they would say things that
they believe to be right even if it wasn`t popular at that given moment in
a given crowd.

HUNTSMAN: Look, I mean, you have to give credit where credit is due. This
was exactly the speech and that message that college graduates should be
hearing and it`s exactly the message that I think they want to be hearing.
Look, it`s ultimately up to the younger people. And this is what he said,
they have a responsibility to lead the debate and to demand change. You
know, we need new thinking, we need new ideas.

We`re talking about the issues of the day, whether it`s immigration,
whether it`s LGBT, human rights. I mean, it just speaks to the globalizing
in changing world that we now live in. Ultimately, it`s going to come to
the upcoming generation to change that, we want change. We live in this
world, we see how much we are progressing. It`s going to be up to us.
It`s not going to be up to the special interest groups of what we`re seeing
it`s happening now on Capitol Hill. It`s ultimately going to come down to
our generation.

SHARPTON: You know, Jonathan, she`s right. Because progressive policies
is not just young people.


SHARPTON: When you look at the data and you referred to some of it before,
a lot of progressive policies are now very mainstream. Sixty two percent
of Americans want a path to citizenship for immigrants. Fifty eight
percent support gun safety measures, 53 percent support same-sex marriage
and 80 percent believe climate change is the Syria`s threat.

I mean, the country is progressive. Support for same-sex marriage among
young people, 70 percent of Americans born after 1980 support same-sex
marriage. Now, if this is the direction that the country is going in,
particularly young people, can the right get on board when we see this
generation come in to its maturity?

CAPEHART: Well, it`s going to have to get on board. Remember the so-
called Republican Party autopsy that was done earlier in late winter where
they made a point of saying, we can`t keep going down the road, we`re going
down if we want to be a governing program in this party. That they must
come to some moderate position on immigration, that if they want to reach
those millennials, as folks born after 1980, that the way to do it is to
have a more live and let live view of LGBT issues, on gay rights.

If the Republican Party wants to be a serious national party rather than
the reactionary original party that it has become, it`s going to have to
change, it`s going to have to listen to those millennial voices within its
own party. People like Abby Huntsman and Meghan McCain, and I think I
believe it was in a Washington Post, NBC poll where it showed that an
overwhelming majority of millenials who identify themselves as republican,
favor marriage equality. If the GOP wants to advent it, has to listen to
those voices.

SHARPTON: You know, Abby, I missed to be in a millennial but just a little
bit. But, you know, your father called on the party to change. He
recently said this, I`m quoting him, "I`m a lifelong republican and I want
the party to succeed. I also know that the clock is ticking and if we lose
again at the national level in 2016, the chances are pretty good we`ll be
out of office until 2024." I mean, what does the GOP need to do to catch
up with progressive America, in your opinion, Abby?

HUNTSMAN: Look, I`m with my dad. I`ve been a lifelong republican. I want
the party to succeed as well. I wanted to get back to common sense
governance. That`s not what we`re seeing right now. And the younger
generation, we talk about government, I don`t think it`s about, you know,
small government versus larger government. It`s really about a government
that best serves the American people, that coming generation.

We want equality for all Americans. And I think President Obama spoke to
something that so important, it was about citizenship, it was about serving
your country. You know, we all live in our little cul-de-sacs saying, you
know, reading whatever blogosphere we want to read. And it shouldn`t take
events like Sandy Hook or the Boston marathon bombing to remind us that we
are all Americans at the end of the day.

And to move forward, we have to come together, we have to come to some sort
of compromise. I think Republicans need to be willing to come to the
table, willing to realize they have to compromise. We`re not going to get
anywhere, it`s going to come down in common sense, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Yes, it does and you raise an excellent point. It seems that
those that hate America sees us all as one and those of us who claim to
love America most see us mostly divided and that should be the other way
around. Jonathan Capehart and Abby Huntsman, thank you both for your time.


CAPEHART: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Ahead, the response areas are fleeing rush. Is it the end of
his hate on the public airwaves?

Plus, 50 years later, remembering how children stood up to shame adults
into doing the right thing on civil rights.


SHARPTON: Rush Limbaugh`s got a big problem tonight. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Rush Limbaugh has got a big problem tonight, that`s next.


SHARPTON: Rush Limbaugh has made a career out of saying despicable things.
Last year, he attacked a Georgetown law student named Sandra Fluke.

After she pressed lawmakers to mandate insurance coverage, a birth control.


LIMBAUGH: What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke who goes
before Congressional committee essentially says that she must be paid to
have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes
her a prostitute.


SHARPTON: Freedom of speech is one thing but what Limbaugh said was ugly.
It became a national story, leading to a major boycott by advertisers. But
Rush dismissed the backlash, even saying, quote, "Nobody is losing any
money here."

But today we`re realizing that`s just not true. Rush is at war with the
CEO of his radio network and he might leave because the Cumulus CEO Lew
Dickey has blamed the company`s advertising losses or Limbaugh`s
controversial remarks about Sandra Fluke.

In fact, he says, Rush`s comments contributed to $5.5 million in losses
last year. $5.5 million. So is this the end of Rush`s hate on the public

Joining me now are Dana Milbank and James Peterson. Thank you both for
coming on the show tonight.


SHARPTON: Dana, let me start with you. What do you make of this latest
war Rush has found himself in?

DANA MILBANK, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well -- for bringing this up, Reverend
Al. But I`m not going to do a tap dance on Rush Limbaugh`s grave just yet.
Now, there`s precedence for this sort of trouble coming up. This is
basically what happened to Glenn Beck. Advertisers started fleeing his
show, they got more and more obscure advertisers paying less and less. You
see a sort of a smaller version of that happening here. Now, that was
Beck`s situation was with FOX News. One big employer.

This is a little bit different but it does show that when people vote with
their wallets, they actually does have something of an effect here. So,
this is not going to be the end of Limbaugh but it does show that even if
he`s able to say outrageous things politically, sort of the offensiveness
with which he`s able to say things, this may serve some warning to him.

SHARPTON: Well, I mean, and I think you raise a good point about Beck but
I don`t want anyone to think I was asking you tap dance on anyone`s grave.
But I`ll let that go. But James, let me say to you one thing I think that
comes out of this that is already positive for those of us that have talked
about Limbaugh and his advertisers, is this does confirm that these kind of
appeals to advertisers work, that it`s not as Limbaugh tries to play or
even Beck that these things don`t cause money in effective.

PETERSON: That`s exactly right, you know, kudos to the flush Rush campaign
and the stop Rush hash tag, MSNBC is a network and other networks that
covered this and drew attention to it. And kudos to Sandra Fluke who stood
tall and spoke to this particular issue in a way that obviously was
compelling for advertisers. What`s interesting here is that the whole
model around conservative talk radio is becoming more and more complicated
for the way media works.

You know, someone like Rush Limbaugh is very, very good Rev at
consolidating niche markets, you know, conservatives white males,
Christians and Casali (ph), some mixed markets into one. But advertisers
are not always aware of how these ads are placed. And so, an issue like
this makes advertisers go, whoa, we`re advertising this show, we got to
pull that out. And so that domino effect is impacting this network across
the nation.

SHARPTON: Now, today, Dana, Limbaugh didn`t really address the controversy
but he made sure to praise himself, overly reminding people of, well, let
me let you hear what he said.


LIMBAUGH: Greetings, my friends, America`s real anchorman. Rush Limbaugh
here behind the Golden EIB microphone, another exciting sterling week
broadcasts excellence heading your way, the nation`s most listened radio
talk show. Ladies and gentlemen, I, America`s anchorman, the doctor of
democracy, and America`s truth detector all combined one harmless,
loveable, little fuzz ball package.


SHARPTON: Little fuzz ball package, and American`s anchorman, and the most
listened to guy. It`s almost like a guy that`s being on that long trying
to sell himself again. Maybe that was his reaction to being a contributor
to a $5.5 million loss?

MILBANK: Now, see, here I was calling you America`s anchorman, Reverend
Al. I realized that at all. But never a little fuzz ball. You know, this
is sort of Rush Limbaugh`s shtick and talking about his own excellence in
every step of the way. He doesn`t want to get into the loss of advertisers
and listeners because people listening will say, wait a minute, why am I
still listening to this stuff? And that`s sort of gets the -- the sort of
conundrum here that Rush Limbaugh and right wing talk radio has really
never been more influential here in Washington.


MILBANK: People are an immigration on gun control, they`re just -- the
Republicans are just scared to death of defying these guys yet at the same
time, you see all of these cracks in their actual political popular support
for these guys. So, I wonder when politicians here in --


SHARPTON: But isn`t that really good point Dr. Peterson that these guys,
all jokes aside, if Rush Limbaugh`s voice was lessened, it would have
serious political ramifications. It`s not like these guys do not move the
dowel in terms of the body politic. I mean, even the President called out
Rush Limbaugh in an interview earlier this year.

He said, quote, "If a Republican member of Congress is not punished on FOX
News or by Rush Limbaugh for working with a democrat for a bill of common
interest, then you`ll see more of them doing it." So if his voices
lessened or his microphone volume is brought down, is it could have serious
consequences in trying to bring this country together on some issues that
he keeps us so polarized.

PETERSON: It absolutely could. And we`ll wait and see kind of what the
impact is. Remember as Dana`s pointing out, he`s still the number one talk
show, there other networks and other platforms, so he`ll be able to make
lateral moves as necessary but Sears, you know, Netflix, Capital One,
Geiko, the companies that pulled out and the five-and-a-half million Rev
has only the top three markets again. He`s cascaded throughout that.


PETERSON: The entire radio network. And so, there a lot of challenges
presented here. And to be honest with you, it`s the same challenges
presented to the Republican Party, which is, you can talk to that niche, to
that small sort of reserve of your base but you`re not going to be a
political force in this nation unless you open up and speak to the entire
demographic of the American populous.

SHARPTON: There are not enough people in that niche. Dana Milbank, James
Peterson, thank you both for your time this evening.

MILBANK: Thank you, Reverend.

PETERSON: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Ahead, when children stood up to adults in the name of civil
rights. The heroes of the children`s crusade. That`s next.


SHARPTON: This weekend, we marked the 50th year anniversary of a milestone
in the civil rights movement. When children literally stood up to shame
adults into doing the right thing. In early May 1963, thousands of
children marched in Birmingham, Alabama living school to protest
segregation. They were inspired by the example of Reverend Dr. Martin
Luther King who was arrested for his non-violent resistance just days

And who didn`t wrote his famous letter from a Birmingham jail. The police
response to the children led by the infamous Police Chief Bull Connor was
unimaginable. Police used fire hoses to stop their children in their
tracks. Police dogs were unleashed on the young protesters, more than 2500
children were arrested. The memory of those terrible days still linger
with the protesters 50 years later.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: My arm broke right here. It was a day of terrorism.
That`s exactly what it was. Turned dogs on children and have them attack
them, when they jump at their throats. Yes, it was violence. It was
bigotry. It was hatred, it was bloodshed.


SHARPTON: The courageous acts of these children galvanize public opinion
and helped push President Kennedy into his historic support of civil rights
legislation just a few weeks later. These children weren`t political
props, they were standing up for what they knew was right, 50 years later,
their actions still have meaning for all of us.

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



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