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PoliticsNation, Monday, June 17th, 2013

Read the transcript from the Monday show

June 17, 2013
Guests: Faith Jenkins; Marcia Clark; Patrick Murphy, Dana Milbank, Angela

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Tonight`s lead, President Obama moving
forward. Republicans are stuck in reverse.

Today the president traveled to northern Ireland, scene of some of the
worst strife in the past century. He went to talk about expanding rights
and opportunity and peace all over the world. He addressed a room full of
Irish school children, and gave a tough, personal speech about progress
back here in America, where we`re going and where we have come from.


cities still had separate drinking fountains and lunch counters and
washrooms for blacks and whites. My own parents` marriage would have been
illegal in certain states. Someone who looked like me often had a hard
time casting a ballot, much less being on a ballot.


SHARPTON: That was the status quo 50 years ago. But people fought for
change. And in some cases, people died for that change. The result was a
better country.


OBAMA: Malia and Sasha`s generation, they have different attitudes about
differences and race than mine and certainly different from the generation
before that. And each successive generation creates a new space for peace
and tolerance and justice and fairness. And while we have work to do in
many ways, we have surely become more tolerant and more just and more


SHARPTON: More tolerant, more just, more accepting. This is the path
forward for the country. But Republicans are trying to take a step back.

Later this week, conservatives on the Supreme Court may decide to roll back
the clock on affirmative action, voting rights, and gay rights. And
tomorrow house Republicans will debate bills to cut billions of dollars
from food stamps and scale back abortion rights. That bill would ban
abortions after 20 weeks, except for cases of rape or incest. It was
sponsored by Trent Franks, the lawmaker who said, quote, "the incidents of
rape resulting in pregnancy are very low."

He is such an embarrassment, that GOP leaders won`t even let him manage his
own bill on the house floor. They have asked a woman, Marsha Blackburn to
do it instead to create better optics.

Republicans are on the wrong side of history, and they`ll keep losing
elections until they realize it. They should remember what Reverend Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr. said just four days before his assassination. He
said the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.

Joining me now are Joan Walsh and former Pennsylvania governor, Ed Rendell.

Thank you both for your time tonight.


SHARPTON: Governor, let me start with you. The president is talking about
expanding rights while the GOP is trying to roll back rights. Don`t
Republicans realize they`re on the wrong side of history?

talked about changing the message, but they have to change their values,
Rev. But changing the message or the messenger doesn`t matter.

Charlie Dent, who is a moderate, one of the last moderate Republicans from
the Lehigh Valley here in Pennsylvania, good guy. Charlie Dent said, he
got it right. He said the stupidity of this is simply staggering. He said
he begged leadership, Republican leadership not to bring to it the floor
because job market is stagnant, the economy is hurting, and they`re
debating rape and abortion.

And look, Charlie Dent is a good but are the Democratic argument against
Charlie Dent is sure Charlie Dent is a good guy. But he is going to vote
for John Boehner for speaker, and they`ll control the agenda. So if you
get rid of Charlie Dent, there is a chance we can get a new speaker who
won`t be bringing things like these. So the Republicans don`t get it.
They should listen to the few people left like Charlie Dent.

SHARPTON: You know, Joan, when you look at the fact that as the governor
just quoted Charlie Dent, this bill that has gone to the floor, they`re
trying to pull back the sponsor because of his outrageous statement. But
they`re still dealing with the bill and having congresswoman Blackburn
manage this bill on the floor.

WALSH: Right. They`ve decided that they`re going to put a woman`s face on
the bill. And congresswoman Blackburn is no friend of women, Reverend Al.
She recently really embarrassed herself by saying that equal pay is not an
issue for most women.

SHARPTON: Wait a minute, the lady congresswoman that is managing this


SHARPTON: They`re debating it tomorrow, in fact.


SHARPTON: She once said equal pay for women --

WALSH: Not a big deal for women. Not a women`s issue.


WALSH: Yes. She said that.

RENDELL: And that was recently.

WALSH: It was about two weeks ago, I think, governor, right?

RENDELL: Stunning, stunning.

WALSH: Yes, stunning. So they think this is going to trick women. And
you know, they`re putting in exceptions for rape and incest into a bill
that will never become law, mind you. But the language in their platform
is the same. They`ve always refused to put in an exception -- always since
1992. So their extremism is not diminished. They`re moving on these anti-
women bills anyway. Having a woman be the front of it is not helping

SHARPTON: You know, the show you -- the way this is really not getting
through to them that the country has changed, governor. Arizona. I was in
Phoenix on Friday, one of the federal court hearings there where clearly
even the judge in Arizona is saying, they`ve got to stop the profiling.

And then, today, the Supreme Court even came back and struck down Arizona`s
law requiring people to show citizenship in order to register to vote.
After the Supreme Court did this and which clearly underwrites the rights
of people in this country with voting, Senator Ted Cruz tweeted, quote,
"I`ll file amendment to the immigration bill that permits states to require
ID before registering voters.

Here you have the Supreme Court saying no, you don`t go through all of
these for people to register to vote. Cruz brings up voter ID as his
answer to the Supreme Court.

RENDELL: Right. And voter ID I think could have -- you can make a case,
Rev., that it cost governor Romney the election, because it fired up the
Democratic base in a way that president Obama`s reelection effort couldn`t
do. When you try to take people`s vote away, and they`re going to come out
and vote with a vengeance. And that`s what happened in Ohio and
Pennsylvania and Michigan and Wisconsin, a lot of different places.

SHARPTON: I know. I traveled a lot of those place and that was real.
People stood in line, governor, not only to support the president, as
clearly many did, but they stayed seven, eight hours because they were
offended that their right to vote was in question.

RENDELL: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: But, Joan, when you look at the fact that on the right -- well,
let`s just look at the Faith and freedom conference this weekend.


SHARPTON: I mean, let me give you a sample of what happened there so you
can see that this party is not at all looking forward. Watch this.


history. We`re the party of equality, freedom, opportunity. It`s our

think that we are the fringe. Guess what? You, us, we are the mainstream.

GARY BAUER, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN VALUES: This is the most aggressive pro-
abortion president in the history of America.

Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, and other minorities? My answer is same way you
reach out to white people.


SHARPTON: Yes. You talk their interests. That`s true. If you talk their
interests and what would enhance them, that is a way to reach out to them.
That`s how they reach out I assume to others on the right.

WALSH: Well, yes. And they are the fringe. They`re just a very, very
powerful fringe. And they have learned to leverage that minority power
that they have to block the president`s agenda, to block the democratic
agenda, to block an agenda that would help people of all races, including
white people, including a lot of white people who sadly vote for them.

They`ve gotten very good at playing dog whistle or racial politics. And
now they`re being left behind by a country that is transforming
demographically, Reverend Al. And you see this, but they`re not changing.
I mean, Reince Priebus had to go there and say I`m a Christian in front of
this crowd, when we don`t have any religious test for government or for
participating in the politics.

SHARPTON: This is a democracy, not a theocracy. But, if you believe in a
second there, governor, I don`t even know that they talked to whites about
their interests.

WALSH: Right.

SHARPTON: Because their policies don`t help anybody in this country when
you really get down to it.

RENDELL: Perfect example of that, Reverend, is the SNAP program, the food
stamp program. In Pennsylvania, the vast majority of the people in
Pennsylvania on food stamps, 1.2 million are white. And yet they try to
position food stamps as an African-American and Latino problem. It isn`t.
And they just don`t get it. It`s not the message. It`s the values. And
until they change the values, they`re not going win.

WALSH: And 60 percent are women. So, again, that`s a women`s issue too.

RENDELL: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: And also, they don`t talk anyone`s interest. That`s how they
should learn to talk to everybody, including white voters is people`s
interest. But they so far have not got that message.

Joan Walsh, Governor Rendell, thank you both for your time tonight.

WALSH: Thanks, Rev.

RENDELL: Thank you.

Ahead, a dramatic day in the George Zimmerman trial. We`ve got some news
on that pivotal 911 tape.

And what does Dick Cheney know about credibility? The answer, of course,
is nothing. So wait until you hear what he is saying about President

And Sarah Palin isn`t a punch line. She is a force in the GOP and could
actually have impact on President Obama`s agenda.

And I love hearing from you. Send me your e-mails. "Reply Al" is coming
up. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on Facebook

Today, everyone was talking about the big Supreme Court ruling striking
down Arizona`s proof of citizenship requirement for voter registration.

Brenda says, voter suppression won`t work. Nice try, Arizona. We got your

Sunny says, we are still fighting for voting rights in this country.
That`s ridiculous and shameful.

I agree, Sunny.

Bill says, so far this June my scorecard says Supreme Court, 2-0. Let`s
hope they keep the winning streak going.

Let`s hope so. Stick around to hear my thoughts on the Supreme Court`s big
decision today.

But first, we want to hear what you think. 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: We are back with day six in the George Zimmerman murder trial
for the death of Trayvon Martin. Mr. Zimmerman has pleaded not guilty and
claims he shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense.

Today, the court resumed a hearing about a key issue in the case -- who is
screaming on the 911 call made by a neighbor the night Trayvon Martin was


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think they`re yelling help, but I don`t know. Just
send someone quick, please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. Does he look hurt to you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I can`t see him. I don`t want to go out there. I
don`t know what is going on. They`re sending.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think he is yelling help?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right, what is your phone number?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is gunshots.


SHARPTON: The defense is trying to keep the jury from hearing the
testimony of the state`s voice expert who wrote this in his report, quote,
"the other male speaker was identified tentatively as Trayvon Martin from
the audio track of a digital video file present on Mr. Martin`s cell phone.
His voice is younger and generates much of what some observers have called

Today, Judge Nelson heard testimony from an expert for the defense who
talked about the technology used in that voice analysis. The judge hasn`t
ruled on this yet.

It`s a key question. Who is screaming on the tape? What experts will the
jury hear from? Whatever the judge decides could have a huge impact on
this trial.

Joining me now is former prosecutor Marcia Clark, and author of "killer
ambition" and former criminal prosecutor Faith Jenkins.

Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Marcia, the hearing over the analysis of the 911 call has
stretched over several days. How crucial is this to both sides?

CLARK: It`s critical. It`s critical. If they get this admitted, the
prosecution gets this admitted, it`s going to be really damning evidence,
because it will establish that the aggressor was Zimmerman and not Trayvon

On the other hand, if it doesn`t come in, it will be a big loss to the
prosecution. There is no question. This is a very big deal. I would be
surprised, though, if the judge keeps it out.

SHARPTON: Faith, the fact is we know that they`re going to play the tape.

JENKINS: That`s right.

SHARPTON: The question is whether they are going to have the expert
witness. And without the expert witness, will the jury be able to come to
the conclusion that this expert witness is that this is likely Trayvon

JENKINS: So, the jurors are going to hear this tape, and they`ll be able
to listen to it and try to come to a conclusion on their own using their
layperson skills. Who is screaming on this tape? That`s also very
powerful, because the tape in and of itself is very emotional. It`s a very
powerful thing to hear. And it sounds like a young man screaming.

With the expert testimony, it just shores up the state`s argument that this
is indeed Trayvon Martin. And what that means is, as Marcia pointed out,
that is such powerful evidence that Trayvon was not the initial aggressor.
He was begging for his life when he was killed.

SHARPTON: Well, isn`t it also problematic when you hear the tape that
whoever was screaming and this expert says it was Trayvon, stopped
screaming once the shots were fired? I mean, if you were the guy shooting
and was screaming, why wouldn`t you stop screaming afterwards? Wouldn`t
you say oh my God, I had to shoot him. I mean, there was silence after the

JENKINS: It was absolute silence. And as a jury, when you come into the
jury room, you don`t leave your common sense at the front door. You bring
that with you. And common sense they tell you the person with the gun is
in a position of power. Why would the person be screaming from the very
beginning anyway.

SHARPTON: Marcia, talking about common sense. Juror H-27 admitted, this
is perspective jurors during the selection process today. He admitted he
donated money to Zimmerman and his defense fund. But he didn`t disclose
that on the jury questionnaire. Listen to this.


BERNIE DE LA RIONCA, STATE PROSECUTOR: He came to the conclusion that this
man was being framed or he was innocent. And you decided based on what you
knew from the media you wanted to contribute to his campaign fund.


RIONCA: You have a stake in this. You have already contributed to his
cause, correct?


RIONCA: The trial. And you still think even though you have already
contributed to his defense that you can sit there and just want everybody
to disregard the fact that you have contributed to his defense?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn`t say that.

RIONCA: Do you think that is fair?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I said I can keep an open mind.


SHARPTON: So, here is a guy that on the questionnaire, Marcia, and you
have been a prosecutor. You understand this better than I do. Did not
reveal he had donated to the defense of the defendant. And when it comes
out at this stage he said, I can keep an open mind even though I donated to
the defense. And what it causes a lot of concern to people around the
country have been e-mailing me is are there other people that may have
slipped through the process that have real biases here or real opinions?

CLARK: I can promise you they did, because they always do. And one of the
biggest, scariest things about these high profile cases is that people come
in with an agenda, and they don`t want that agenda exposed. On one side or
the other, to be fair. It could be either side.


CLARK: But in this case, we know what side. I can promise you that juror
is toast. He is not going to be sitting there very long. So he should not
get comfortable. But nevertheless, yes, you`re going to have people who
have done things like this. Somebody who has donated, for goodness sake,
donated money to the defense, can keep an open mind? Really. OK.

SHARPTON: And by the way, I want people to know, Marcia, when she say he
is toast, she means he won`t be on the jury.

CLARK: Oh, no, no, no. Oh, thank you.

SHARPTON: I know a lot of nerves are frayed in this one.

Another juror, Faith, brought up the fact that she heard Mr. Zimmerman had
followed Trayvon Martin. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Have you heard any discussion whether or not George
Zimmerman Trayvon Martin after being told not to do that?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What did you hear about that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I heard that he was told not to by the dispatcher,
and he did follow him.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What makes you convinced, if that`s not too strong a
word, that George Zimmerman followed Trayvon Martin after being told not to
do that?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, what convinces me is that Trayvon Martin has


SHARPTON: Now, this is something the defense is trying to keep from the
jury in opening statements. Look at this. These are actual words or
expressions that the defense have said they don`t want used in opening
statement. They don`t want the word profiled, vigilante, the phrase self-
appointed neighborhood watch captain, want to-be cop, and the phrase he got
out of the car after the police told him not to and he confronted Trayvon

Now, the judge has not ruled whether she will eliminate any or all of these
statements. But defense does not want any of these statements or words
brought up. Why?

JENKINS: They don`t want them brought up in opening statements because
they are saying, this-- opening statements is supposed to be a preview of
the evidence. And you`re making conclusions when you make those

I actually think it`s more powerful for the prosecution to go in and
describe the conduct that Zimmerman actually did instead of using the word
profile. Describe to the jurors what he actually did step by step and let
them come to their own conclusion. Because the inference is not that
Zimmerman profiled Trayvon because he didn`t like the kind of candy he was
carrying but because he noticed what he was wearing how he looked and
became suspicious of that.

SHARPTON: But, is it also not importance, Marcia, beyond the profiling and
other issues, to deal with the fact that this radio dispatcher from the
police told him we do not need you to follow Trayvon, and he did anyway.

CLARK: Absolutely. And just because the defense is trying to keep these
things out doesn`t mean the judge rules in their favor. The opening
statement, Faith is right, is supposed to be what you intend to prove. But
if what you intend to prove is that he profiled, that he didn`t listen to
the dispatcher, the dispatcher told him not to, if that`s what you intend
to prove, you can certainly say it.

I would be very surprised if the judge rules that all of these things can`t
be said. I mean, they can`t -- they`re basically trying to script the
prosecution`s statement. They can`t do that.

SHARPTON: Yes. Handcuffing your arms behind your back and say let`s have
a fair fight.

CLARK: Exactly.

SHARPTON: Marcia Clark and Faith Jenkins, thank you both for your time

And full disclosure. In civil court, George Zimmerman has sued NBC
Universal for defamation and the company has strongly denied his

Ahead, I know it sounds like a joke, but Dick Cheney is talking about
President Obama`s credibility. Amazing.

And governor Bob McDonald is all about fiscal responsibility, right? Wait
until you see what we caught him spending taxpayers` dollars on, next.


SHARPTON: Do you remember Virginia governor, Bob McDonald, heading into
2012? He was a GOP star. He was always out preaching fiscal


GOV. BOB MCDONALD (R), VIRGINIA: What we`ve got to do now is set
priorities. And we`ve got to cut -- cut spending.


SHARPTON: Cut that spending. That kind of talk had McDonald reportedly in
the running to be Romney`s vice presidential pick. He even gave the
Republican response to the state of the union in 2010, getting cheers for
lines like this.


MCDONALD: The circumstances of our time demand that we reconsider and
restore the proper limited role of government at every level.


SHARPTON: Limited role in government. But lately Governor McDonald`s run
into trouble. The FBI is reportedly investigating his relationship with a
campaign donor who paid for catering at his daughter`s wedding. And now
"the Washington Post" reports spending records show the governor and his
family charged the state for personal items.

That`s right. Taxpayers were on the hook for vitamins for the family dog,
Ginger. Yes, you heard that right, dog vitamins. And state employees ran
errands for the governors` kids, like picking up a box for his daughter`s
wedding dress.

They charged taxpayers for things like body wash and dry-cleaning for the
governor`s children`s clothes. And this one takes the cake. A digestive
system Detox cleanse. What more can I say after that?

Now these were not items that were very expensive. In total, how much did
the McDonalds charge for personal expenses? Less than $600. And when they
were asked, they repaid $300. But what was it governor McDonald`s said
about government?


MCDONALD: The circumstances of our time demand that we reconsider and
restore the proper limited role of government at every level.


SHARPTON: But I guess government shouldn`t be limited for picking up the
tab for your dog vitamins and detox cleanse. Did Governor McDonnell think
we wouldn`t notice his shady spending? Nice try, but ring this one up. We
got you.


SHARPTON: It`s time for reality check for the GOP. What happened on this
day 41 years ago was a scandal.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: One of the most fascinating and exotic stories ever to
come out of Washington, D.C. is the talk of the capital today. Five men
were arrested early Saturday while trying to install eavesdropping
equipment at the Democratic National Committee. And it turns out that one
of them has an office in the headquarters of the committee for the
reelection of the president.


SHARPTON: That president, of course, was Nixon. And those arrests mark
the beginnings of the end of his presidency. It came to light that hush
money was raised for the burglaries. Evidence was destroyed. The
president even tried to stop the FBI from investigating the crime. That
was a scandal. But the so-called scandals the GOP is ginning up to take
down the president, they`re not Watergate, of course. That doesn`t stop
Republicans from invoking it.


SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Somebody the other day said to me this
is as bad as Watergate. Well, nobody died in Watergate.

MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: This makes Watergate look like child`s

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This is far worse than Watergate. I mean nobody died in

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Get to the bottom of it like we did in Watergate and

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: If add Watergate and Iran-contra together and multiply
at times maybe 10 or so, you`re going get in the zone of what Benghazi is.


SHARPTON: Here is a news flash for the GOP. It`s been shown time and
again the president did nothing wrong with the IRS or Benghazi. But now,
if you can believe this, the last person who should be talking is out on TV
pointing fingers at the president.


DICK CHENEY, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: I don`t pay a lot of attention,
frankly, to what Barack Obama says. I find a lot of it in other areas, for
example, IRS, Benghazi, not credible. In terms of credibility, I don`t
think he has credibility. The problem is the guy has failed to be
forthright and honest and credible on Benghazi and the IRS. So he`s got no


SHARPTON: Really, Dick Cheney. He thinks the president is not credible.
Oh, the irony. The same Dick Cheney who told us that Iraq had WMDs, who
said that Saddam Hussein had a role in 9/11, that Dick Cheney. That`s a
funny person to be talking about credibility.

Joining me now is former Congressman Patrick Murphy, Democrat from
Pennsylvania. He is the first Iraq war veteran elected to Congress.
Thanks for coming on the show.

on, Rev.

SHARPTON: Dick Cheney thinks the president has no credibility. I mean, is
he serious?

MURPHY: Rev, you would think ten years after Dick Cheney got us into an
unnecessary war in Iraq that caused 4,486 Americans their lives and tens of
thousands injured and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to be killed, you
would think ten years later that he would have the decency to keep his
mouth shut about credibility of elected leaders.

SHARPTON: Now, you were an Iraq war veteran. So you`re one of those that
went over at the risk of your lives and certainly those that you served
with on Cheney`s policy. I mean how do you feel when you hear this man
just stand there and make these kind of -- sit there and make these kinds
of statements.

MURPHY: Well, it really gets my Irish up, to be honest with you Reverend.
Because here is a guy that basically lied to the American people, that said
we have full confidence that they have weapons of mass destruction, that we
have full confidence that they`re going for nuclear weapon. It was a shell
game, Reverend. He basically said, look, 9/11, look, weapons of mass
destruction in Iraq. We should focus there. Look, 9/11, there is a
connection to 9/11 with Iraq. Both of which were not true.

And Rev, my problem with this is the same shell game that is going on now,
because now they`re saying look, the President doesn`t have any credibility
on the NSA because look at Benghazi. Look at the IRS. The president had
nothing to do with neither one of those. Every single testimony has shown
that, Rev, the testimony of Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said the
White House didn`t make this call. In fact the president said do whatever
is necessary to keep our troops, our people safe.


MURPHY: Wherever they are, including Benghazi. But, Reverend, Panetta
testified in it. Secretary Gates testified on it. And Secretary Gates
said, anyone that says, the president didn`t protect our troops is
cartoonish. That`s Secretary Gates, who served under George Bush and
Barack Obama.

SHARPTON: That`s what he said. Now Cheney also, Congressman, went after
Susan Rice. He said she was peddling misinformation. Listen to this.


CHENEY: She appears to have been part of the cover-up. I just question
whether or not somebody whose judgment was so flawed that they took what
was apparently very bad information and peddled it as aggressively as she


SHARPTON: I mean, she was given information by the CIA. And now she is
the peddler of misinformation? I mean, this is about as crazy as you can

MURPHY: And it really goes after the character of a truly great public
servant. As you know, Rev, Susan Rice is a testament the American dream.
She worked her way through -- I mean one of the brightest people we have in
government. And to attack her service. And she was honest. She was
basically given the facts presented to her. She was given to the American
people. And to call her character in question is really -- from someone
like Dick Cheney, by the way, who had no problem cherry picking the

When our own intelligence agencies were going forward and saying, hey, we
don`t know where he got this. This is against what we`re telling the
commander in chief and what we`re telling folks, and he is saying something
different. He is going off a different sheet of music. I have a real
issue with that.

SHARPTON: Don`t forget that in a recent documentary, I`ll play this as I
let you go, Congressman, when Dick Cheney was asked about how he viewed his
own faults, let me show you what his response was about his moments of
reflections on his own faults and flaws.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What do you consider your main fault?

CHENEY: My main fault? Well, I don`t spend a lot of time thinking about
my faults I guess would be the answer.


SHARPTON: There`s for a lot of self-inspection and reflection. Patrick
Murphy, thanks for your time this evening.

MURPHY: Thanks, Reverend. I appreciate it. Great to be back on.

SHARPTON: Ahead, news on President Obama`s approval rating and what it
means for his agenda.

But first, from punch line to power broker, Sarah Palin is a real force in
the GOP. And Democrats better take her seriously. That`s next.


SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: I say until we have someone who knows
what they`re doing, I say let Allah sort it out.




SHARPTON: As I mentioned earlier today, the Supreme Court struck down a
controversial Arizona law that required voters to show proof of citizenship
to vote in federal elections. In a seven to two decision, the court ruled
the 2004 law is unconstitutional. This is very good news. I applaud the
court for getting this one right. This law disenfranchised the minority
voters and the minority Americans. Often these laws are masked as ways to
prevent voter registration fraud. Today we saw a legal system protect the
right to vote. But we still have a long way to go, and we won`t stop
fighting to protect our rights.


SHARPTON: She`s back! Sarah Palin was out of the national spotlight for a
while. But over the weekend, she had the crowd at the far right faith &
freedom conference roaring. If you thought that whole rebranding idea was
failing before, now comes this.


PALIN: Our government spied on every single one of your phone calls, but
it couldn`t find two pot smoking deadbeat Bostonians with a hotline to
terror central in Chechnya. Really?

You know what I wish the Congress would do? Man, just for a week perhaps,
just put themselves on Cruz control -- Ted Cruz control. I say until we
know what we`re doing, until we have a commander in chief who knows what he
is doing, well, in these radical Islamic countries aren`t even respecting
basic human rights. With both sides are slaughtering each other as they
scream over an arbitrary red line Allah Akbar. I say until we have someone
who knows what they`re doing, I say let Allah sort it out.



SHARPTON: So this is a nightmare for the Republican Party. Whatever you
think about Sarah Palin, she has a loyal following. And now she has the
platform to sound off again.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Governor Palin, welcome -- welcome back to the couch.

PALIN: Thank you.


SHARPTON: That`s right. After an ugly five-month split, Palin is back
with FOX News.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Mayor Bloomberg. Now what he is saying is, wherever you
live in New York City, you`ve got to separate the food scraps from the
regular garbage.


PALIN: Dude, New Yorkers feel like you`re just a bunch of little babies
with thank goodness, you got this nanny over you telling you what to do
every day. And heaven forbid you not, otherwise you couldn`t get through
your day.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Meanwhile, bias alert. CBS News has compared the
Iranian new president to the Tea Party.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: In U.S., terms it was as if all the candidates for the
presidents he came from the Tea Party.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Thank you for that, Elizabeth.

PALIN: OK. Elizabeth, you just put the bs in CBS. It`s things like that
that people here see and realize how out of touch the mainstream media is.


SHARPTON: Good luck, GOP. What could possibly go wrong?

Joining me now are Dana Milbank and Angela Rye. Thank you both for being
here tonight.



SHARPTON: Dana, here we go again. Whatever you think about Palin, she is
a force. How does her comeback impact the GOP?

MILBANK: Well, above all, it`s great news for the media busy, because she
has been a great source of enjoyment and headlines for us for years. I`m
very delighted in a personal way to have her back. What it means for
Republican Party is basically they went on this experiment for the
beginning of the president`s second term here, and that was, could they
behave in a more responsible way.

But what you have seen is when people do that, when Marco Rubio tries to
cut a deal on immigration, when Jeb Bush tacks towards the moderate middle,
they basically get ostracized from the party. So I think what you`re
hearing is a little bit of backlash to that conciliatory effort. And I
think FOX News is recognizing that. They love being in opposition. And so
they want to restore that platform for Sarah Palin.

SHARPTON: And aside from the platform, Angela, you know, she has power on
the right. For example, GOP posted Kellyanne Conway tells National Review,
quote, "She flourishes when she is within her element and among the people
who believe in her message and want to hear red meat with a soft touch."
Amy Kremer says, who is the president of Tea Party Express says, "Her
support if anything has grown. She is a rock star to the conservative

So the fact that there may be some Republicans that want to try to bring
about a moderate stand and make the Republican Party more open, the fact
that this, quote, "rock star" of the far right is something that really
might stand in the way of the Republicans at least doing that easily.

RYE: Well, not only will she stand in the way, a rock star is not what
they need. They need serious policymakers. So the fact that, you know,
they even think that her platform is going to help them in any kind of way
is laughable. The problem is the jokes that she continues to make are the
lighthearted nature in which she treats real, legitimate issues are highly
problematic. The joke that she made about the Boston marathon bombers and
the whole terrorism issue is terrible. The fact that she made this joke
about Allah Akbar and all of these other things related to Islam is
terrible. We have American citizens in this country who worship, our

SHARPTON: And imagine someone saying that about a Christian`s belief? I
mean, it`s unheard of in a country to mock someone`s religion like that.

RYE: Well, not only that, but it`s horrible to think that this is someone
who could have potentially been the representative of -- or been a
representative of the United States government. She was on a vice
presidential candidate. I`m very glad that she didn`t have her opportunity
-- he should be in the vice presidential mansion. She is not a good
reflection of diplomatic efforts in this country. She`d make light of very
serious matters like our National Security.

She is just not a legitimate policymaker. And while she could be a king or
queen maker for the GOP because of Sarah packing the money she raises, I
wish that they would really start asking her tough questions. At the end
of the day, Rev, loose lips sink ships, and perhaps parties as well.

SHARPTON: Well, when she was running for vice president, we asked some not
so tough questions and she didn`t know the answer.

RYE: Or that.

SHARPTON: But Dana, the fact is though she is not only taking shots at
those on the left or Democrats or people`s religion, look what she said
over the weekend challenging Jeb Bush about immigrants. Look at this.


PALIN: Let`s not kid ourselves in believing that we can rebuild our
majority. By the way, by passing a pandering, rewarding the rule breaker,
still no border security, special interest written amnesty bill. I think
it`s kind of dangerous territory, touchy territory to want to debate this
over one racist fertility rate over another one. And I say this as someone
who is kind of fertile herself.


SHARPTON: I mean, that kind of stuff is really a problem for them, Dana.

MILBANK: It is. And I mean, the reason she can get away with this is
because she`s not really in politics now. I mean, nobody expects her --
nobody is talking about another presidential run. Nobody expects her to
hold an office. This is about riling people up. I mean she is in the Ann
Coulter category of that kind of entertainment. What is interesting is
something like FOX News trying to bring her back into the mainstream again.

You would think because the economy is getting better, Americans`
satisfaction with the way things are going is up. Usually that doesn`t
play very well for a Sarah Palin, a Glenn Beck, a Rush Limbaugh. So it is
rather interesting play that they think that there is still enough angry
folks out there, very angry about the direction the country is going and
they still think that they can make some money at this.

SHARPTON: Yes, but Angela, as you stated, she is a little more than Ann
Coulter. I mean, she was the vice presidential nominee on the republican
ticket in 2008. You can`t dismiss her as just Ann Coulter when this woman
ran to be a heartbeat away from the presidency on the ticket of a major

RYE: Yes, you can`t dismiss her. And the fact that, you know, she snuck
in, it was definitely a wild card and surprised everyone, I think
including some of Senator McCain`s staffers, it`s highly problematic
because she has tremendous influence over a certain arm of the party. I
think to Dana`s point about there being enough angry folks, I actually do
think there are enough angry folks. There are still people talk about
taking their country back there.

She words used like amnesty, talking about this very serious debate on
comprehensive immigration currently in the Senate and now in the House this
week. We need people who are not just, you know, spewing out sound bites
and, you know, using hateful rhetoric talking about people who are actually
American citizens or on the pathway to citizenship to reach out to the
parts of this country that the GOP said they want to reach out to with that
$11 million outreach plan. So she`s not helping their cause, to your much
earlier point. And I think she should take a back seat for a little while.

SHARPTON: I`m going have to leave it there. Dana Milbank and Angela Rye,
we`ll be following this one. Thanks for being here with us.

MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.

RYE: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Obamacare. The president`s approval rating, and yes,
James Brown. Reply Al is next.


SHARPTON: It`s time for reply Al. We`ve got plenty of great e-mails to
answer tonight. So let`s get right to it.

Carol asks, "Are you concerned that President Obama`s recent drop in job
approval polls will affect his ability to fight for his/our agenda?"

I think polls go up and down. I think that a lot of what we`re seeing is
reaction to some of the spin that has been given by the right wing. I
think that any of his fights for our agenda has been difficult. I think
they will continue to be. But I think the polls will go back up because I
think the president will keep his eye on the prize and keep moving forward.

KM asks, "It seems that the GOP is ignoring the will of the American people
and continuing to do what they want instead of what we -- what they were
elected to do. How can we let them know that Americans do not agree with
their politics?"

We must vote. We must register people to vote. We must come out to
rallies. We must raise our voices, e-mails, calls. We must never give a
moment`s rest to those that don`t give us a moment of fairness in this

Johnny asks, "I want to know what it was like seeing James Brown on stage
in his prime."

Well, you know, James Brown took me in when I was a teenager and became
like a father to me. And I traveled around, saw him at his prime, saw him
as he got older. He was a force of energy. I was close with Michael
Jackson and others, but nobody commanded a stage like James Brown. No one
had that energy. I would see him do shows for hours and then go to the
studio for hours. He was one of a kind, and I love and miss him.

Continue to send all your questions. E-mail me at ask
Remember, friend or foe, I want to know.

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



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