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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Read the transcript from the Wednesday show

August 7, 2013
Guests: Patrick Murphy; Sunita Patel; David Ourlicht, Goldie Taylor,
Patricia Murphy, Lola Ogunnaike


Qaeda`s top ranks have been hammered. Even though the decimated the al-
Qaeda leadership that attacked us on 9/11, al-Qaeda affiliates and like-
minded extremists still threaten our homeland, still threaten our
diplomatic facilities, still threaten our businesses abroad. And we better
take these threats seriously and do all we can to confront them.


REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: As we speak American diplomats
and members of the military are serving in harm`s way overseas. It`s time
for us all to unite. But some Republican politicians think it`s time to
take pot shots at the president.


REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: It causes our allies to be concerned
and it emboldens our enemies.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: These al-Qaeda types are on
steroids thinking we are weaker and they are stronger.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don`t have to close your embassies like
cowards to go running away.


SHARPTON: A bunch of cowards? That`s beyond offensive. And some
right-wing pundits think the terror threat is just another excuse to attack
the president.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are lying to themselves. They`ve been lying
to us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A year ago the president said al-Qaeda is on the
run. And now we seem to be on the run.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Some have criticized the closings as, you
know, running and hiding when the U.S. should be standing its ground
prepared to fight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where does the truth lie about the so-called
imminent threat in the Middle East?


SHARPTON: So-called threat? Do these right-wingers need a reminder
of what`s at stake here? Fifteen years ago today, al-Qaeda terrorists
bombed our embassies in east Africa. More than 200 people were killed
including 12 Americans. Twelve years ago yesterday President George W.
Bush got a memo entitled bin Laden determined to strike in the U.S. A
month later, nearly 3,000 people died in the worst terrorist attack in U.S.

Americans want their commander in chief to be vigilant. They don`t
want right-wingers trying to score cheap political points while he`s trying
to keep us safe.

Joining me now is former Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy, the
first Iraq war vet to serve in Congress. And Karen Finney, host of
"disrupt" here on MSNBC.

Thank you both for joining me.



SHARPTON: Congressman, one Republican lawmaker said closing the
embassies was done like a bunch of cowards. What`s your reaction to that?

MURPHY: Well, you know, I just think it`s disgraceful, Rev., to be
honest with you. I mean, these are guys that are the biggest chicken hawks
in the world. All they want to do is criticize, criticize, criticize.
It`s like a knee jerk reaction. It is in their DNA. Whatever President
Obama says, they do the opposite.

Now, they should stop this crap when we are talking about the national
security, the safety of our diplomats. Being a diplomat overseas is not an
easy job, neither is being a soldier. And I would just say, you know,
Karen`s boyfriend is over in Afghanistan right now in harm`s way. These
are the type of heroes that are over there fighting for us. The last thing
we should be doing is not being unified here at home.

SHARPTON: And, you know, Karen, I was going to bring that up. Your
boyfriend`s in Afghanistan. Do they even think about the human side of
this? People who have loved ones who are on the front lines protecting all
of us regardless of our politics. And how they feel going through all this
partisan bickering when there is clearly a threat there that the president
and those intelligence leaders and officers of this country have signaled.
I mean, shouldn`t we also be thinking about the human side of this?

FINNEY: Of course we should. But it seems the Republicans only think
of it in terms of what kind of hearing can we get out of this? What kind
of trouble can we cause for the administration? Because you know, to your
point and to what Patrick was just saying, it`s the people who are on the
front lines. It`s their families and loved one who are also very worried.
But also, this is the Republican trying to have it both ways, right? And
you -- I`m sure the president knew when he made this decision he was likely
to get hit. But you have to do what you think is the right thing to do for
the security and safety of people.

It was nice to see over the weekend for a moment we had a little bit
of bipartisanship where there was agreement that the intelligence they were
receiving was very concerning and there did seem to be the reason to close
the embassies. But then a couple days later as always seems to happen,
they flip back to politics.

SHARPTON: And let me show you, congressman, how far they flip back.
They started accusing the Obama administration of revealing our secrets to
the terrorists through this terrorist alert. Look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If the White House is revealing secrets to make
the White House look good, the revelation which tips off our hand to the
enemy, that`s not good.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: So now is how we hear it on his
other fellow members of the board of terrorists inc., now know not to use
that form of communication again because it`s been compromised. Why in the
world leak this? I`ll tell you why leak it. They leak it to as to make
Obama look big and competent and tough.


SHARPTON: Now, this is where Congress goes from the absurd to the
bizarre. First of all, do you think al-Qaeda doesn`t know that we`re
spying on them? I mean, it doesn`t take a rocket scientist to figure out
of course al-Qaeda knows that they are being surveilled.

But secondly, are they trying to suggest or even say blatantly that
this is all some PR image builder for the president when you have human
lives at stake? As I said, people died in embassies 15 years ago today.
Twelve years ago George Bush got a memo and we all know what happened
there. This is not a game.

MURPHY: This isn`t a game. This is people`s lives, Rev. And that`s
why it`s so critically important. And you know, at the end of the day, I`m
not going to listen to Rush Limbaugh on national security because, let`s
face it, when it was his turn to serve, he got out of Vietnam because he
had pimples on his butt. I mean, these guys on the far right wing of the
Republican Party have to stop drinking the hater-ade because that is they
are drinking and it`s wrong and it is disgraceful.

SHARPTON: Now -- yes, Karen?

FINNEY: I was going to say the other thing is this is dangerous.
They are conflating a lot of different things. We now know that we have
got -- there`s core al-Qaeda, there is al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
But we also know there are these sorts of affiliate groups that claim to be
part of al-Qaeda and some are and some aren`t. And so, the point being, we
have to monitor all of that. That is our new reality.

SHARPTON: And some of the other groups could be more dangerous trying
to establish themselves. You know, last night the president was on Jay
Leno and he answered some of his critic critics. Watch this, Karen.


those cynics saying this is an overreaction to Benghazi? How do you
respond to that?

OBAMA: You know, one thing I have tried to do as president is not
overreact. But make sure that as much as possible the American people
understand that there are genuine risks out there, but there are things
that we can do to make sure that we are keeping the pressure on these
networks that would try to injure Americans. And the first thing I think
about when I wake up and the last thing I think about when I go to bed is
I`m doing everything to keep Americans safe.



FINNEY: There`s a delicate balance here that the president and his
national security team are having to balance between keeping people safe,
making sure they`re not revealing information, but also not -- we know what
happens when we don`t connect the dots. We`ve lived through that. And so,
I think the pressure is high on any president to make sure that we are
getting all the information we can, that we are paying attention. Also, to
how these networks are changing and shifting. And it feels like
Republicans are stuck back in that sort of 9/11 mentality not recognizing
that these threats are changing. That`s what we`re trying to speak to.

SHARPTON: Now Congressman, the right is trying to have it both ways.
Because at first, they`re saying these so-called threats. They are saying,
you know, this was an image builder. Then after the president goes on Jay
Leno to try his own way to reassure the American people as he makes these
steps, here`s the headline today on FOX nation.

The web page of Commander in chief or entertainer in
chief? Obama yucks it up with Leno as terror threats mount.

Now, all of a sudden there are real terror threats and the president
shouldn`t have been on Leno. I mean, they don`t know if they are coming or

MURPHY: You are exactly right, Rev. And you know what? The last
time the president was on national TV telling jokes, I think it was two
years ago during a White House correspondent`s dinner, the night we took
out bin Laden. So I wish Barack Obama would tell jokes on national TV all
the time because we would be a lot be safer here at home.

But the point I want to make, because Karen`s right about this. We
have hit al-Qaeda hard on the president`s leadership. But they are now
spread out. There are local affiliates in like Yemen. But that`s why we
have to be cognizant and dutiful to keep us safe.

SHARPTON: Congressman Murphy, thank you for that. Karen Finney,
thank you for your time tonight.

And be sure to catch Karen on "Disrupt" Saturdays and Sundays at 4:00
p.m. eastern right here on MSNBC.

Ahead, police in New York City stopping anyone they say looks
suspicious. But it`s a policy with an 88 percent failure rate. David
Ourlicht has been stopped and frisked more than ten times. His story is

And remember when attacking the first lady was off limits? That`s all
changed with Michelle Obama. It`s been ugly and offensive. But today they
are eating their words in a big way.

And here`s President Obama. He makes another appearance on the
tonight show and has the GOP trying to copy his late night strategy.

And what is on your mind? Have a question or comment about anything?
E-mail me. Friend or foe I want to know. "Reply Al" is coming.


SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? Please do. The president`s appearance with Jay Leno has a
lot of people talking today.

Barbara says so proud of the president. Don`t agree with all his
views, but I love his intelligence and compassionate nature.

The president`s comments on Trayvon Martin prompted a lot of comments

Andrew said we need to learn from that tragedy. We need to talk about

More on that coming up later. But first, we want you to hear what you
think -- and 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`re back with breaking news on the police practice of
racial profiling known as stop and frisk.

The New York police department has just agreed to purge a database
containing the names and addresses of all the innocent people stopped under
the program. It`s part of a settlement ending a state lawsuit against the
department. It`s a big step forward, but there`s a lot more to be done.

Since 2002, New York City police have conducted more than five million
stop and frisks, 88 percent of those stopped were Black or Latino, 88
percent of those stopped did not result in an arrest or summons. That`s
right, 88 percent of those people that were stopped were completely
innocent. Those aren`t just numbers. They represent real people. People
like Alvin who recorded audio of himself being stopped by police officers
back in 2011.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You again, man.

ALVIN, STOPPED AND FRISK IN 2011: I just got stopped two blocks ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You look very suspicious.

ALVIN: Because you are always looking at me crazy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You keep looking back. You want to go to jail?

ALVIN: What for?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Shut your (bleep) mouth, Kid.

ALVIN: What am I getting arrested for?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For being a (bleep) mutt, you know?


SHARPTON: Now, these are -- that tape is New York City policemen
talking to him. The officer said this man looked suspicious. He called
him a mutt. That`s the kind of harassment faced by people of color every
day. Check out this video of a man who was stopped and frisked at a barber
shop this past April.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you stopping and asking me?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let me see your I.D.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you stopping me? I`m going to give him my
I.D. relax. Don`t touch me, man. I was going to give him my I.D.


SHARPTON: These are not isolated incidents. It`s the daily reality
faced by people in New York and all across the country.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of times I ask them what`s the reason for
you stopping me, they don`t have an answer. They say just turn around.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Like why me, you know? Like I didn`t do anything.
I`m just cruising my uncle (ph), did mistake me for someone else.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do get stopped. I mean, it does make me feel
like I have no types of rights or anything like that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s the most dominated you can really feel
standing on two feet is having your hands on the wall, having somebody
patting you up and down and somebody else surveilling and documenting it.


SHARPTON: Stopped for no reason. This practice is unfair and unjust.
That`s why a federal lawsuit has been filed against the New York police
department and the city of New York demanding an end of racial profiling
and Stop and Frisk.

Joining me now is Sunita Patel, attorney for the center for
constitutional rights. The group that filed the lawsuit. And one of the
plaintiffs in the case, David Ourlicht.

Thank you for being here.



SHARPTON: David, you have been stopped and frisked over 15 times in
the past 10 years. Tell me about that.

OURLICHT: I mean, you saw a lot of it on the screen on the clips you
showed. It`s hard to express what it -- you know, what it is to go through
that on a daily basis. And to know that you have that coming for you in
the future. You know, it`s a hard thing to get across for people to

SHARPTON: It`s hard for people that have not gone through this to
understand especially when you`ve done nothing wrong. I mean, you are
doing the normal, regular thing any citizen does. And all of a sudden you
constantly are stopped by police. Give people an example of what happened.

OURLICHT: One of the incidents I was helping my friend move some
stuff in his apartment. He went outside to smoke a cigarette. We`re
sitting in front of his building and police start running at us with their
guns draws. They say we had a gun at rear, everybody down on the floor,
you know. Then a paddy wagon pulled up and then six other cops came out.
And we got on the floor. They just, like, threw the stuff that was in our
hands on the floor. I could feel the guns being pointed at me.

SHARPTON: Guns pointed at you?

OURLICHT: At my head, the whole time I`m laying facing the ground.

SHARPTON: And nothing criminal was done. You have done --

OURLICHT: He said there was a gun in the area. No gun was found.
Nobody was arrested. They just wrote our names and said OK, have a nice
day. I mean, this happens all the time. It`s not just --

SHARPTON: Now, Sunita, Center for Constitutional Rights that filed
this lawsuit have been involved in civil rights activities like I have and
to be very transparent. I have been one of the big critics of stop and
frisk and rallied and marched about it. But we are not saying that we are
not conscious of crime. We are clearly wanting crime stopped. What you
are really saying, though, is that innocent people are being
disproportionately stopped to the point of harassment. And they are being
profiled. Explain the lawsuit.

PATEL: That`s right. We just ended a nine to ten week historic trial
against the largest police department in the country. It`s one of the
first time that a large police department has been put on trial for a
systemic practice like this. And we are saying that racial profiling must

SHARPTON: Now, the mayor and the police commissioner have defended
this practice. Listen to this.


MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG (I), NEW YORK CITY: They seem to believe that
the department should be run according to the standards of political
correctness, not public safety. I can`t imagine any rational person saying
that the techniques are not working and that we should stop them.

happy with it, but I can also assure you that I go to community and people
want more.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: They want more Stop and Frisk?

KELLY: Absolutely.


SHARPTON: Now, David, are you a rational person? I mean, I know that
maybe some of us activists are considered irrational. Are you rational?

OURLICHT: I would like to think so. That`s insulting. It is
insulting. I`m a New Yorker. I was born and raised here. I don`t plan
going anywhere else. This is, in my opinion, this is the greatest city in
the world. And to know that people that represent the hierarchy of this,
are saying stuff like that, you know, it is insulting. It hurts because it
is not OK.

SHARPTON: But what is it like in your community? What are people on
the ground feeling because of this issue?

OURLICHT: Well, most of the people I grew up with and friends, this
is, you know, what we deal with on a day-to-day basis. This is not
something that is foreign. It`s going to keep happening like I said. And
it`s, you know, nobody wants to see their children or their loved ones be
abused by anybody let alone the people that are supposed to protect them.

SHARPTON: Now, one of the things that was interesting to me about
your case, Sunita, is you actually had a New York officer Polanco has blown
the whistle on Stop and Frisk, saying it`s all about filling a quota. Let
me show the public this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are stopping kids walking from school. We stop
kids walking upstairs to their house. We are stopping kids from going to
the stop. Kids, young adults.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: In order to keep your activity --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In order to keep that quota.


SHARPTON: Now, this was a New York City police officer saying that
they would stop people anywhere because they had to make a quota.

PATEL: That`s right. I mean, one of the interesting things about our
case is whistleblower officers like Polanco made our case for us. They
said there is a pressure to perform Stops and Frisks against Blacks and

Now, the city says that this is about crime reduction. And it`s about
going to certain neighborhoods. But the community knows and these officers
know the truth. And these officers know the truth.

SHARPTON: Now, you also had an audiotape where they actually
identified the commander saying young blacks. So -- and the other thing
is, it is not even working as the mayor said in terms of reducing crime
because only 0.12 percent of stops resulted in gun seizures. So it`s not
even working. And the mayor and commissioner, we have worked on other
areas but we adamantly disagreed on this. Racial profiling is wrong and
isn`t even working as a crime stop.

PATEL: That`s right. It`s ineffective. And in fact, it is a
failure. I mean, it is 99 percent failure rate. Would we stand for
schools with that failure rate like that? Now, we wouldn`t.

SHARPTON: Well, a federal judge is going to make a ruling any day
now. We expect the ruling by the end of August.

Sunita Patel and David Ourlicht, thank you both for your time and your
work on this case.

OURLICHT: Thank you.

PATEL: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, why President Obama`s late night strategy works.

Plus, big news today on Michelle Obama`s let`s move anti-obesity
campaign. Has all the right wing critics eating crow and they should be
eating a lot of it.


SHARPTON: The NRA is out with a brand new enemies list. And topping
the list is this guy. That`s right, Yanzi from the San Diego zoo, just
celebrated his fourth birthday. And the NRA considers him and the rest of
the liberal do gooders at the zoo to be threats to freedom.

This new enemies list also includes the Los Angeles zoo and the
California condor recovery team. All groups that the NRA claims are
attacking their God-given right to use lead bullets. Needless to say the
NRA is way off the mark. But they pulled this one before.

Earlier this year we learned about an enemies list that included the
AARP, Hallmark, Ben&Jerry`s, Levi`s, Sara Lee deserts. The NRA were also
afraid of Bon Jovi, Britney Spears, Jerry Seinfeld, Shania Twain, and Jack
Nicholson, and Sean Connery. I`m not sure why the NRA thinks all these
folks are so scary, but then again, it`s usually hard to figure out what
the NRA is thinking.


that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

If it`s crazy to call for putting police and armed security in your
school to protect our children, then call me crazy.


SHARPTON: Call you crazy? I`ll take a pass on that one. Did the NRA
think we`d ignore their latest dive off the deep end? Nice try, but we got
you. And leave poor pandas alone.


SHARPTON: Since President Obama took office, the First Lady has made
it her mission to fight an epidemic in this country. Childhood obesity.
She`s promoted healthy eating even with events at the White House garden.
She`s done a fitness challenge with Jimmy Fallon to promote exercise. And
now her let`s move campaign is even teaming up with artists on a hip hop
album that encourage kids to get healthy. These are great ideas, right? I
mean, who could be against exercise? Against eating right? Anyone?


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: She`s demanding that everybody
basically eat card board and tofu. It doesn`t look like Michelle Obama
follows her own nutritionary dietery advice.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Why would you want to raise your own kids when
Michelle Obama will do it for you?

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: By the way, we have video Kirsten of her
husband the smoker -- let`s see. Oh, let`s see. He`s eating hot dogs.
More junk food. Look at that. You know? How about we start at home
instead of lecturing us.

SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: What she`s telling us is she
cannot trust parents to make decisions for their children, for their own
family, and what we should eat. Just leave us alone. Get off our back.


SHARPTON: Attacking the First Lady for taking a stand against a real
problem? How long can they go? But today the First Lady`s getting the
last laugh. The CDC reports that for the first time in decades childhood
obesity rates are falling in many states. The report even mentions the
"Let`s Move Campaign" as a contributing factor. Looks like the right`s
eating their words.

Joining me now are Goldie Taylor and Patricia Murphy. Thank you both
for coming on the show.



SHARPTON: Goldie, is this for real? I mean, attacking the First Lady
for trying to keep children healthy?

TAYLOR: Unfortunately, Reverend Al. It is for real. First Lady
Obama actually launched the "Let`s Move Program" at my church here in
Atlanta at North Point Ministries in Alpharetta. You know, and she came
down here to talk about healthy eating, eating right, exercising. You
know, I remember when the trend was against including exercise and recess
in our elementary schools.


TAYLOR: And so this isn`t about new regulation. This is about
inspiring parents to do what`s right by their children. And at the end of
the day, it saves us all money. It taxes the public health care system
less when a person learns good healthy habits early. They take that with
them throughout life. So there are fewer incidents of diabetes, of heart
disease, childhood, asthma gets checked. And so, there are other
pathologies that stream from childhood obesity that, you know, this
certainly helps.

SHARPTON: Now, Patricia, you know, when you really look at it though,
they`ve attacked this First Lady just about anything. I mean, listen to
this. They`ve even attacked her for taking part in the Oscars.


BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: But there`s Michelle Obama! Hey, how
are you?


O`REILLY: You know, it`s a pure propaganda play to make them

LIMBAUGH: It has gotten so bad, they had to send Moochelle out there
in a Lady Gaga-type getup. She went shopping at Target.

GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The most Marie Antoinette I have
ever seen of anything with Michelle Obama, did you see the dress she was
wearing while she went down and toured the oil spill?

LIMBAUGH: We don`t like paying millions of dollars for Mr. Obama`s
vacations. That`s a little bit of a waste. They understand it`s a little
bit of uppity-ism.


SHARPTON: I mean, Patricia, aside from everything else, wasn`t this
like off limits attacking the First Lady? I mean, isn`t this unusual to
have this kind of vociferous attack against the First Lady of the United

MURPHY: I think it is unusual, but I think that this White House has
gotten an unusual level of attacks from the right. Really since before
President Obama was the president. And I think what I don`t understand
about this particular criticism of Michelle Obama and her "Let`s Move
Campaign" is that this is 100 percent voluntary. Not one new regulation.
Not one new law. Not one piece of legislation. And Michelle Obama is
actually working with the private sector, working with companies like Wal-
Mart encouraging them to help families. And it`s not by forcing families
to do single thing.

It`s by helping educate people and educating people about health and
healthy habits as really we know the best way to encourage them. It`s just
giving them the tools and helping them have access to healthy foods.
That`s what Wal-Mart was doing.


MURPHY: And they did that with Michelle Obama as a partner. And so I
don`t know where the criticism of this particular campaign comes from.
Reagan had a campaign, Barbara Bush had a campaign. They all have
campaigns. And this is a particularly good one.

SHARPTON: And it seems to be working. But let me go back to you,
Goldie, with this one. Rush Limbaugh has repeatedly used the First Lady`s
campaign to attack her personally. Listen to this.

LIMBAUGH: We have a name for Michelle. Moochelle. Mooch, mooch,
Moochelle Obama. If you`re going to tell everybody to eat twigs and
berries and gravel and all this stuff, you had better look like an
Ethiopian. Obama doesn`t have a butt. Compared to his wife, he`s really
doesn`t have a butt.

SHARPTON: I mean, this is just personal and so disrespectful to the
First Lady of the land. To attack her in these personal kind of vitriolic

TAYLOR: Well, certainly, Reverend Al. And, you know, I`m a former
marine, but I would not challenge this First Lady to a foot race. She is
in excellent great shape. And a great irony that it will be above all
people. Rush Limbaugh may hit asserting the charge that this First Lady
would be overweight or that she may be out of shape or that she has no
basis for talking about nutrition when certainly she does and we know she
does. I know that you`ve seen her in person.

She has a physique, you know, that I just can`t put myself against.
But at the end of the day, this is not necessarily about Michelle Obama.


TAYLOR: This is about Obama derangement syndrome in general. That
anything that this first couple does will come up with this kind of, you
know, unwarranted scrutiny. You know, the idea that this First Lady can`t
take vacations when every First Lady before has taken vacations with the
same security detail, with the same flight arrangements --

SHARPTON: Taken more vacations in some cases.

TAYLOR: Taken more vacations as with President Bush heading to
Crawford, Texas. We call that the Western, you know, White House. And so
to criticize this presidency over the very same issues that they left
unchecked with others, I think reeks have something very, very naughty.

SHARPTON: But Patricia, on top of all of it though, Michelle Obama is
universally popular, almost. I mean, extremely popular, and it doesn`t
work. It seems to backfire on them.

MURPHY: Well, I think that she is the most popular person in
Washington really if you go through any poll, Michelle Obama is very, very
popular. She`s popular actually with Republicans and with Democrats. And
I think a big part of that is because of the way she spends her time.


MURPHY: And really she is out there with military families. She`s
out there promoting her "Let`s Move Campaign." She really lets all of this
criticism go to the wayside and continues to do work that nearly all
Americans think is important and think is valuable. I don`t think there`s
really any room to criticize her with the way that she uses the First
Lady`s office in a way that really it`s just there to help most Americans
if not all Americans.


MURPHY: And I think that her popularity is a reflection of that.
Americans know what they get with Michelle Obama and somebody who has a
very positive semblance.

SHARPTON: Goldie Taylor and Patricia Murphy, thank you both for your
time this evening. By the way, Goldie, I would challenge Rush Limbaugh to
a foot race.

TAYLOR: Yes, I would.

SHARPTON: Shark week POLITICS NATION style. That`s next.


SHARPTON: We`re back with a pause from the political battles of the
day. A time to rest, relax, and recharge. It`s time for the POLITICS
NATION summer break. Counting down today`s top videos, we start with
number three. In the United Kingdom. No, no control room. Not for that
baby. These babies. It`s the British World Championships of lawn mower
racing. And they`re off. Look at those mowers go.

They`re flying around that turn battling for position. And here`s the
big finish. It`s number 58. What a race. Even the fake town crier loved
it. At number two, we go to Russia where the big news today is President
Obama canceling a meeting with Vladimir Putin. It was a big snub, but Mr.
Putin is doing just fine. We have an exclusive. He wasn`t riding horses
when the summer break staff actually caught him with a shirt on.

Yes. He was out fishing. He`s going after the big one. Hurry. Get
that net on him. Wonder if Edward Snowden leaked this video. What a
catch. And he celebrates with a big kiss. Something tells me President
Obama won`t be calling to congratulate him. And at number one, we stay
with the fish theme. America, shark week is back.

(audience): Oh!

SHARPTON: But here on summer break, it`s pig week. The king of bacon
isn`t Chris Christie, it`s on this highway in China. Those pigs are making
it Swine Street escaping from an overturned truck. This guy tried hard,
but he couldn`t escape the police. And this police officer wins the worst
at his job award. His colleagues are working hard, but he`s just
videotaping. I think I know someone who won`t be happy about this scene.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This pork is bad. The old pork was bad. The new
pork is bad.


SHARPTON: And that`s today`s summer break.


SHARPTON: President Obama has made a lot of firsts in his career
including being the first sitting president to go on Late Night TV. It
lets him get out of Washington and speak directly to the American people.
In the comfort of their homes. That`s exactly what he did last night on
"The Tonight Show." He talked about serious issues including relations
with Russia. But President Obama also showed once again he`s comfortable
in the more casual late night format too.


JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW": You told a group of young people
that broccoli was your favorite food. Now, lying to voters is one thing.
Lying to children, that`s -- that is --


LENO: Can you put your right hand on the bible and say broccoli --

OBAMA: I have broccoli a lot. I mean --

LENO: Really?

OBAMA: You can ask my staff. It is one of my staples. Me and
broccoli, I don`t know. We got a thing going.

LENO: Really? Really?

OBAMA: It goes especially well with burgers and fries.

LENO: Right. Right.

OBAMA: Absolutely.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is "Today" show contributor Lola Ogunnaike.
Lola, thanks for being here.


SHARPTON: Why is going on "The Tonight Show" a good strategy for the

OGUNNAIKE: Well, historically the President has been accused of being
aloof and accessible, a little too caught up in the Washington politics, a
little too inside Washington. It`s a great way for him to get into
people`s homes and reintroduce the President Obama that people fell in love
with. The one that did have a personality campaign trail. The one that
was self-deprecating, that one poking fun at himself. The one who felt
like you could actually have a beer with him.

SHARPTON: Yes. You know, he even showed last night he could joke
about other politicians. Watch this.



LENO: You and Hillary had lunch last week. Who invited who to lunch?
I`m curious?

OBAMA: I invited her.


OBAMA: And we had a great time. She had that post-administration
glow. You know?

LENO: Yes.

OBAMA: You know what? When someone folks leave the White House, like
two weeks later they look great.

LENO: Is it me or I see kind of a Bromance with you and John McCain?
I remember, you two had the lovers` quarrel for a while, and oh now, you`re
oh, you`re best friends.

OBAMA: Well, you know, that`s how our classic romantic comedy goes,

LENO: Yes.


SHARPTON: How does this help the President in terms of relating to
the public when they see him joking about his former opponents both in the
primary, Hillary Clinton, and then ended up being his partner in the White
House as secretary of state. And John McCain who he ran against. What
does that do for the President`s image with the average American and the
average voter?

OGUNNAIKE: Well, I think it proves to the American public that he`s
not holding any grudges.


OGUNNAIKE: And he`s able to reach across the aisle and play ball. He
can play in the sandbox. And he`s not going to grab his toys and run away.
So he`s had nothing but glowing things to say about two of his opponents.


OGUNNAIKE: And both of those battles were very dirty. They got

SHARPTON: And that`s what I`m saying. Does it help when people see
that it`s not personal with him?

OGUNNAIKE: Absolutely. You see that it`s not only, is it not
personal, but he can reach across the aisle and say beyond positive things
about people who are his opponents. He can speak glowingly about people
who are his opponents. It`s clear that he`s moved past any sort of
attention, conflict, or drama that may have existed during the campaign.
And he`s able to embrace these people.

SHARPTON: Now, he didn`t only joke last night, Lola. He talked about
Trayvon Martin.

OGUNNAIKE: Sure did.

SHARPTON: Let me show that.


OBAMA: What I wanted to try to explain was why this was a
particularly sensitive topic for African-American families, because you
know, a lot of people who have sons know the experience they have of being
followed or being viewed suspiciously. What we also believe in is that
people, everybody should be treated fairly and the system should work for


And so what I`m trying to do is just make sure that we have a
conversation and that we`re all asking ourselves are there things that we
can do to foster better understanding.


SHARPTON: How important in a late night TV format to discuss
something as serious and heavy as the Trayvon Martin case and the reaction
to it in terms of the verdict. How important is it to do it in that

OGUNNAIKE: I think it`s incredibly important. Because what it proves
to the American viewer again is that this is a subject, that this is a
tragedy that the President has not forgotten about. It`s something that`s
in the forefront of his mind, it`s something that he wants people to
continue to speak about. And he`s going to use a platform like the Leno
Show where he`s being seen by millions of people to speak about Trayvon
Martin case.

I think it was an incredible moment. And I think it allowed him to
let the people know that he is empathetic.


OGUNNAIKE: He is first and foremost a parent. And this is something
that affected him deeply. He`s a parent and he`s a black man living in
American society. And he addressed both issues head on. And I think it
was a pretty powerful moment actually.

SHARPTON: You know, Lola, I took note at the Republicans and right
wing attacking him for going on. But after the 2012 election, the RNC said
Republicans need to get more comfortable on late night TV. But it used to
be a bipartisan tradition. Watch this.


When you`re out at a frat party and having a good time at Yale and
partying with the boys, were you ever thinking, you know, I don`t want to
have that beer, I might want to run for president. Did that ever cross
your mind?



UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Look. Would I rather be on three major networks?
Of course. But I`m a true maverick, a republican without money.


SHARPTON: But maybe they object to it, Lola, because they`re just not
good at it. They need a sense of humor.

OGUNNAIKE: Here`s the thing. President Obama has what the kids call
swagger. And if you don`t have swagger --

SHARPTON: Lola, I`ve got to go. Thanks so much for your time

Friend or foe, I want to know. Reply Al is next.


SHARPTON: It`s time for Reply Al. Remember, friend or foe, I want to

Jelani writes, "What is one action that you think the average citizen
can undertake to help change the policy behind stand your ground and its
implications in the system of justice?"

Well, Jelani, remembering Trayvon is one way. Ebony magazine is
featuring Trayvon Martin`s family in the upcoming issue titled we are
Trayvon. And three other covers include Dwayne Wade and his sons wearing
gray hoodies and others. Let us keep fighting. Let us keep standing up.
Hit your legislators with mails. Let people understand we`re not going
anywhere. And join the rallies and the marches that stand up for that
including August 24th in Washington.

Bob says, why in this country are voting rights constantly under
attack? When will people wake up and vote these people out of office? We
need to vote them out of office. That stands against voting rights. Isn`t
it interesting? The right always talks about family values and
responsibility and I am all for that. And there`s nothing more responsible
than people voting and doing their duty. Why would you fight to limit that
if you really believe in responsibility?

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


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