IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

PoliticsNation, Friday, August 16th, 2013

Read the transcript from the Friday show

August 16, 2013

Guests: Bob Herbert, Nancy Giles, Allison Samuels


And thanks to you for tuning in.

Tonight`s lead: The GOP`s three-ring circus. Today, yet another
sitting Republican congressman is on the hook for embracing this hateful
rodeo clown, who wore a President Obama mask at the Missouri state fair.
Congressman Steve King tweeted, "Mr. President, invite the rodeo clown to
the White House for a beer summit. Take the temperature down. Have a
laugh, relax. It`s not about race.

It`s not about race. The fair goer who shot this video said other
clowns played with the lips on the Obama mask, and that the whole thing
felt like a clan rally. This is ugly and tone deaf. But increasingly, the
Republican Party is refusing to listen to anyone except its own carnival

Today, Republicans voted to boycott NBC and CNN as debate sponsors if
the networks don`t scrap their Hillary Clinton films.


putting up with this nonsense. There are plenty of other news outlets. We
will still reach voters, maybe more voters. But CNN and NBC anchors will
just have to watch on their competitors` networks.


SHARPTON: Now, whether you like the idea of a Hillary movie or not,
it does seem strange that the GOP `s big idea to reach more viewers is to
shut out two national networks from debates, while reportedly trying to get
the GOP ringmaster himself, Rush Limbaugh, to moderate instead.

After the election, the GOP said to get more votes it had to widen the
tent. Instead, the circus tent is collapsing. And today political reports
that establishment Republicans know it. They see 2013 as a, quote,
"disaster in the making." And they realize the party is actually in a
worse place than it was November 7th, the day after the disastrous
election. The GOP `s extremism is doing real and serious damage to itself
and to the country.

Joining me now is Joy Reid, managing editor of, and E.J.
Dionne from "the Washington Post."

Thank you both for joining me.



SHARPTON: E.J., has the rodeo clown become a symbol for everything
that is wrong with the GOP right now?

DIONNE: I don`t know. I think there is a sort of clown car aspect to
all of this. I mean, it`s really striking that people who are talking
about the problems the party confronts aren`t just liberals or Democrats.
There is the piece today in "Politico" under the great headline "eve of
destruction" about how worried Republicans are about the signal they are
going to send if they shut down the government or let us default on debt.
Republicans are very worried.

And in this business about debates, I mean, I don`t particularly care
where Republicans debate, and I think Democrats would actually pay Rush
Limbaugh`s airfare if he were chosen as one of the debate moderator. But
no debate moderator forced Mitt Romney to talk about self-deportation or
forced Rick Perry to forget about an agency of government. I still think
they need to worry a whole lot more about the message, including the
message sent by some of this really pretty vile kind of stuff against
President Obama.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, there may be, Joy, listening to E.J., there
may be a reason that the RNC wants fewer people to watch their debates.
When you listen to what the candidates said in the primary debates last
time around. Look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So if you don`t deport them, how do you send them


RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: It is three agencies of government when I get
there that are gone. Commerce, education and the -- what`s the third one,
let`s see.

have to compare and take care of everybody.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: But congressman, are you saying the society
should just let him die?


PERRY: Let`s see. I can`t. The third one, I can`t. Sorry. Oops.


SHARPTON: Maybe they have a good strategy there to cut off the people
that would view, because these are real live things that happen during the
Republican primary debates last year.

REID: Yes. And I think, Rev., probably the most important part of
the clips you showed was the person in the audience that screamed yes.

SHARPTON: No. Persons.

REID: Persons, right. Who were saying let him die. You have another
debate where a gay soldier stood up and got booed by the audience.

It`s not just the candidates that are problem for the GOP, it`s the
audience. They are getting to the point where the people who were whooping
it up at that rodeo clown show are going to be all they have left. They
are going to be able to fit inside a circus tent because the party is
shrinking down to its most extreme element. And what the Republican Party
is doing, I think in large part, because of the Rush Limbaughs of the
world, because they are letting their immediate people control the
messaging, which they wanted to do for a long time, but the smart people
wouldn`t let them, is they are now just down to extreme talk radio-style
messaging. That`s all they are doing all the time. And they are demanding
that their political people do it too.

SHARPTON: And they will not condemn the extremists.

REID: Exactly.

SHARPTON: They will not stand up to them.

And E.J., that is what is killing them. Republican senator David
Vitter was caught on tape at a town hall meeting just yesterday delivering
an encore performance of Mitt Romney`s infamous 47 percent comments.
Listen to this.


SEN. DAVID VITTER (R), LOUISIANA: I wish you were right, that nobody
wants Obama care. That`s not true. And in fact, the other side, who
absolutely wants it, most of whom are getting something for nothing, came
out in droves in the last election and side sat at home.


SHARPTON: Getting something for now. So now, to get people insured
with preexisting conditions, to get young people covered by their parents`
insurance to age 26, on and on, these are just people that are trying to
get something for nothing, beggars wanting a handout. This kind of a fence
is what is killing this party.

DIONNE: I think that`s right. And by the way, for the record, when I
mentioned those debate moments, I had no idea you were going to show that

SHARPTON: You should never underestimate me, E.J.

DIONNE: I never underestimate you, Reverend. But I think this
comment shows that however much some conservatives try to run away from
Mitt Romney`s 47 percent comments, it`s deeply ingrained, that view, in
part of the right wing. And I don`t think you would hear Senator Vitter
say that about senior citizens who voted larger numbers for Republicans
about Medicare, or about Social Security. Why is it that getting health
care to the uninsured is the only thing that they are really going to talk
about something for nothing when it comes to health care?

And I think the other thing is you are going to start seeing some real
defenses of Obama care. I certainly hope so, because I think a lot of
people will realize they have a lot to lose. A lot of Americans not only
poorer Americans who need health coverage, but a lot of middle class
Americans, who as you suggested, really support a lot of provisions like
being able to keep their kids on their health plan.

SHARPTON: You know, Joy, the "Politico" reports that GOP insiders,
these insiders now, are worried about that. That the fact that the party,
quote "is hurting itself with the very voters they need to start winning
back -- Hispanics, Blacks, gays, women, and swing voters of all stripes.

And listen to all the things Republicans have said in just the last
few months since announcing their big rebranding effort. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My father had a ranch. We used to hire 50 to 60
wetbacks to pick tomatoes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And the incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy
are very low.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How did America get so mediocre?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think parents- both parents started working.
And the mom is in the workplace.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For everyone who is a valedictorian, there is
another 100 out there that they weigh 130 pounds and they have got cabs the
size of cantaloupes because they`re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across
the desert.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even at this point?

TRUMP: Well, I don`t know. Was there a birth certificate? You tell
me. You know, some people say that was not his birth certificate. I`m
saying I don`t know.


SHARPTON: So, with all of this autopsy, Joy, with all of this, we
need to reach out, expand the tent. We need to really make a new party.
These are the kinds of things that they have representing their party. To
the core, they can`t change it.

REID: Exactly. And what you just showed there, that was the core
demographic of the Republican Party now. It is a generation of almost
entirely men, almost entirely White, there are women in it as well, who
come from a generation where they resent the changes that took place in the
20th century. They resent things like bussing. They resent affirmative
action. They resent the social safety net. They themselves even use, that
actually help their families, but now they see the social safety net as
something that only minorities, immigrants are trying to take, and they`re
taking it from them. And that resentment, nurtured on their right wing
talk radio and on FOX News is all they`ve got. You can`t grow if that`s
where you are.

SHARPTON: But I thought they at least would want health care for
grandma and other things. I mean, I understand, E.J. I understand, Joy,
some of them may note me. But don`t they like grandma? I mean their owned

REID: She is a taker.

SHARPTON: Joy Reid, E.J. Dionne, thanks for your time tonight. Have
a great weekend.

REID: Thank you. You too.

DIONNE: You too.

SHARPTON: Coming up, New York City officials begin appealing the
Stop-and-Frisk ruling, even though a judge said it violates the
constitutional rights of minorities.

Plus, first lady Michelle Obama is speaking out on the march on
Washington. And getting personal about having our first African-American

And Bill O`Reilly made a big admission last night in an attempt to
discredit and smear me. Tonight, I`m responding and exposing his
monumental hypocrisy. Stay with us.


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

Today, lots of people were talking about the first lady`s comments
about how her husband`s presidency will help change things for the next
generation of Americans.

Jessica says, I certainly hope so, and hope that change is for the

Tony says, kids do not look at color. It is the adults that put
prejudice and ugly in their minds.

We have got more from the first lady`s new interview coming up.

But first, we want to hear what you think of her comments. 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: Big news tonight about racial profiling in America`s
largest city.

Today, New York City officials made good on their threat and filed an
appeal challenging a judge`s ruling that the police` Stop-and-Frisk policy
violated the constitutional rights of minorities. Mayor Bloomberg took to
the airwaves again today to defend the law and attack the judge for her


who -- and Stop-and-Frisk, what does she know about policing? Absolutely
zero. Your safety and the safety of your kids is now in the hands of
someone woman who does not have the expertise to do it.


SHARPTON: Judge Shira Scheindlin doesn`t have the expertise? She is
a federal judge who also served as a United States attorney. Mayor
Bloomberg certainly doesn`t have her kind of experience.

The truth is this program violates people`s rights and the city of New
York needs to stop defending it. Today`s appeal only serves to delay

Joining me now is "New York Times" -- a former "New York times"
columnist Bob Herbert.

Thanks for being here, Bob.

to be here, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Bob, I want a quote from an article about you wrote about
the Stop-and-Frisk policy. And the quote I want to read you said "imagine
Michael Bloomberg being stopped on the street by police and ordered in
contemptuous tones to spread his arms and legs wide and lean over the hood
of a car. Such humiliating treatment by the police has been a daily
reality for staggering numbers of young black and Latino New Yorkers." I
mean, why is the mayor continuing to defend this policy?

HERBERT: You know, I pointed out in that piece, which is on a blog
post that I wrote at And I pointed out in the piece that the
mayor has been contemptuous of the judge in this case as he and the police
department have been, of the people that they have been stopping under the
Stop-and-Frisk program. I think the important thing for New Yorkers to
understand is how humiliating and degrading this program really is, and the
fact that it is deliberately targeted at Black and Brown New Yorkers.


HERBERT: The second thing, that`s the most important thing.

SHARPTON: Racial profiling.

HERBERT: The government should not be in the business of degrading
its own citizens, all right.

The second thing, though, that is really important is that this --
it`s preposterous to consider this an effective crime fighting tool.
Because as I pointed out, virtually everybody that they are stopping is
innocent. If you use the police department`s own statistics, you will find
that they are arresting criminals.


HERBERT: They are not stopping crimes in progress. And they are not
seizing contraband guns or drugs or that sort of thing. And why? Because
the people that they`re seizing -- that they`re stopping are innocent of
any wrong doing.

SHARPTON: Eighty-eight percent of the people they stop, nothing.
They have nothing. And the percentage of those they do stop --

HERBERT: Very minor offenses.

SHARPTON: Very minor.

HERBERT: As I pointed out in the piece, I have known over the years
many, many people. I have talked to them who have had bogus charges filed
against them, and these charges were thrown out either by the district
attorney`s office or by a judge once it got to court.

SHARPTON: But it almost seems irrational because some of us have
worked with this mayor on different issues, totally irrational on this,
totally attacking everybody that questions it. And now is going from bad
to worse, because let me show you this.

Now, he is suggesting today that fingerprinting public housing
projects would bring down crime. Listen to this.


BLOOMBERG: The people that live there, most of them, want more police
protection. They want more of it. If you have strangers walking in the
halls of your apartment building, don`t you want somebody to stop and say
who are you? Why you here? What we really should have is fingerprinting
to get in. And of course, since lots these allegations that some of these
apartments aren`t occupied by the people who originally have the lease.


SHARPTON: Now, let me tell you what my problem is with that.

You know a few weeks ago, I had challenged the democratic candidates
for mayor to spend the night in a housing project with me, and we did. We
were in apartments that had four and five-year molds on the wall that you
couldn`t get repaired. Elevators that haven`t work. You had teenagers
that had elevators that they have never seen operate in their lifetime.

But you`re going take money to fingerprint people in housing projects,
and you won`t even repair their apartments?

HERBERT: Why people would never put up with it. If you were going to
go into a white neighborhood and start talk about fingerprinting people
before they would be allowed to go in and out of their own homes, there
would be outrage all over the city. The idea that he could suggest this
about African-Americans and Latinos is just disgusting.

And the other thing is, as you`re pointing out, if you want to do
something to help the people who are living in public housing projects,
take care of the conditions in those projects that the city is responsible
for. And if there is crime in the projects, provide them with adequate
police protection.

SHARPTON: Let me get this response from you quickly.

Commissioner Ray Kelly of New York will be on "Meet the Press" this
Sunday. In a preview clip that we just got, he says Stop-and-Frisk helps
fight crime. Watch this and give me your response.


wants to be stopped at the very least, you`re giving up your time. But we
need some balance here. We have record low numbers of murders in New York
City, record low numbers of shootings. We are doing something right to
save lives.


SHARPTON: The crime started going down under Dave Dinkins in 1990.

HERBERT: Yes, it did.

SHARPTON: This is way before Stop-and-Frisk was --

HERBERT: And the police officers that Giuliani and Ray Kelly and
Michael Bloomberg have been able to use to help fight crime in the city are
the result of legislation passed by mayor Dinkins that raise taxes to pay
for additional police officers on the beat.

But just one final point. All the people who say that Stop-and-Frisk
is an important crime fighting tool never explain, they`re never willing to
explain how this fights crime, how does stopping innocent people stop
crime? You never get those answers.

SHARPTON: Bob Herbert, thank you for your time tonight.

HERBERT: Thank you so much.

SHARPTON: Have a great weekend.

Coming up, first lady Michelle Obama is speaking out on the dream and
the 50th anniversary on the march on Washington.

Plus some alarming news on obesity in America. We`ll hear from "the
View`s" Sherri Shepherd on how to fight.

And Bill O`Reilly disagrees with me, so he resorts to smears. My
special response on why he needs to grow up, ahead.


SHARPTON: Raise your hand if you are in the mood for a little
conspiracy theory on a Friday night. I knew you would. It has to do with
this iconic picture of President Obama in the situation room the night of
the bin Laden raid.

This week the president`s former aide said he and the president played
a few rounds of cards that night. And now a conservative radio host named
Brian Fisher says there is no way the president was really in the photo.


BRIAN FISHER, RADIO CONSERVATIVE HOST: I believe if you go look at
that picture, I think the odds are good that he was photo shopped into that
picture. Look at the size of his head compared to the size of the head of
everybody else in the room. Even people standing in the back of the room,
their heads are bigger than his head. And it looks teeny tiny next to the
people he is sitting next to. He looks kind of hunched over and small.


SHARPTON: This is some groundbreaking stuff. Let`s see that picture
again. Wow. Look at the size of the president`s head. It`s so tiny.
Let`s bring out the Pulitzer for Mr. Fisher.

But to be fair, he is really in a long line of esteemed cracked right
wing reporters who continued the good work of exposing the president`s
photo shopping sprees like this one. The president appears to be in
Chicago throwing a football. But thanks to those conservative bloggers
like the Breitbart site, the president is exposed. Why is the president
looking up? Nobody looks up when throwing a football. And his eyes, they
say they`re oddly large. Yes, America, another Walter Cronkite moment from
the fringe.

But this one was the Woodward and Bernstein moment. President Obama
is supposedly skeet shooting at Camp David. But conservative bloggers and
pundits lit up the internet exposing the truth. The angle of the gun is
all wrong. It was a weird smoke pattern. The president`s poor posture
shows it can`t be real. And he is not even wearing a hat. We all know
skeet shooters always wear hats. But guys, wait, you missed one.


months ago my administration put out a photograph of me going skeet
shooting at Camp David? Do you remember that? And quite a number of
people insisted that this had been photo shopped. But tonight I have
something to confess. You were right. Guys, can we show them the actual


SHARPTON: That`s a joke. And so is the crazy conspiracy theory that
the president wasn`t in this photo. Nice try, but frame this one. We got



PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: This is the meaning of our
liberty and our creed while men and women and children of every race and
every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a
man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a
local restaurant, can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.


SHARPTON: 1.8 million people gathered on the National Mall that
frigid January day in 2009 as Barack Obama was sworn in as our nation`s
first black president. It was an historic day, centuries in the making,
and it`s a national milestone that is all the more poignant this summer, as
we get ready to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King
Jr.`s march on Washington.

In a candid new interview, the First Lady reflects on how far we have
come in the decades since, saying, quote, "I have immense hope. We just
finished our visit to Africa and spent time on Robben Island with one of
the President Mandela`s cell block mates. Mandela took a lot of the
lessons from Dr. King`s time to heart. To come back to the United States
with an African-American president who has been influenced by both King and
Mandela, that is a reason to be hopeful about all that Dr. King

When asked if he -- if having African-American family in the White
House has moved the needle on race, the First Lady says, "Absolutely.
Children born in the last eight years will only have known an African-
American man being president of the United States. That changes the bar
for all of our children, regardless of their race, their sexual
orientation, their gender. It expands the scope of opportunity in their
minds, and that`s where change happens."

Real change is happening. And if we -- as we prepare to mark 50 years
since the march on Washington, it`s important to celebrate how far we have

Joining me now are Nancy Giles, TV commentator and humorist. And
Allison Samuels, senior writer for the Daily Beast, and author of the new
book "What Would Michelle Do?" Thank you both for coming on the show



SHARPTON: Allison, let me start with you. What did you make of the
First Lady`s comments?

SAMUELS: Well, I thought that she thought it was very important to
just remind people how far we have come, how important it is to see an
African-American family in the White House in 2013. We`re in the wake of
the Trayvon Martin case, where so many things happened that were very sort
of divisive. And a lot of people sort of felt like we were going backwards
in many ways. And I think what she wanted to do is remind us that many
strides have been made. A lot of progress has been made, and that we can`t
lose sight of that. It is easy to do with the recent events of the last
couple of weeks. But I think what the First Lady was trying to do is just
to remind us to keep hope alive.

SHARPTON: And I think we need a balance, Nancy, of remembering the
progress we`ve made and still dealing with the issues of today as Allison
points out. I mean, the stand your ground laws, voting rights and all, and
we`re marching about that next Saturday. But I think that it should
inspire us to see the progress made that gives us the strength to keep
marching. And no one is a better symbol of that than the First Lady, who
has been the target of so many attacks from the right. And yet she has
made the decision just to ignore the noise. Listen to this.


MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY: I grew up in the same neighborhoods,
went to the same schools, faced the same struggles, shared the same hopes
and dreams that all of you share. I am you. And the only reason that I am
standing up here today is that back when I was your age, I made a set of
choices with my life, do you hear me? Choices. I chose not to listen to
the doubters and the haters.


SHARPTON: I mean, that`s really inspirational.

GILES: I know, she is just -- look, she is magnificent. And she
inspires me in so many ways because she is public school educated. You
know, she just worked really, really hard. And I agree with what Allison
was saying. And I know it can be a very pessimistic time, but just the
sight of she and Barack Obama and their two daughters in the White House is
a mind boggling thing.

I have a friend victor whose son Alex was seven-years-old. This is a
white kid, white family. And he was drawing a picture of all the
presidents of the United States. This is right after President Obama was
elected. It`s going to be on your website, this picture. And all of the
presidents that he drew had brown skin. And some of them had dresses. So
for Alex --

SHARPTON: I think we have the picture. Wow.

GILES: Yes. That`s it. That`s by Alex Slezak.

SHARPTON: This is what Mrs. Obama was talking about.

GILES: This is exactly what she`s saying. Because look, we`re more
than just a nation of immigrants. I hate when people say that that`s all
we are. We`re a nation of, you know, ancestors of kidnap victims, of
victims of genocide. We have got all kinds of colors of people that are
United States citizens. And for young kids, this is normal for them. A
black president and a black family that are successful.

SHARPTON: It changes the psyche.

GILES: It`s powerful. It`s so powerful.

SHARPTON: And we need to show what we have accomplished, to show what
we can.

GILES: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: If we continue to deal with it. But not ducking what is
going on.


SHARPTON: Doesn`t solve it either.


SHARPTON: You know, Allison, Mrs. Obama has approached her
initiatives even differently as First Lady. Her "Let`s Move" campaign is
even out with a hip-hop album. Listen to this.


MICHELLE OBAMA: It`s hard to believe that almost exactly one year
ago, we launched a nationwide campaign called, "Let`s Move" to help solve
the problem of childhood obesity in this country.

Everybody help somebody it`s your body come on, everybody tell


SHARPTON: She is really showing some innovation here, something you
would never have seen a First Lady do.

SAMUELS: No, that`s very true. And what I love about what she has
done, and she took an issue that was important to her. A lot of people
thought, you know, it wasn`t lofty enough, it wasn`t extreme enough. She
felt like this is an issue that she could get a handle on and make a big
difference with and she has. And I think that`s the sort of amazing part
about Michelle Obama, being very clear about who she, what she wanted to do
and the impact she wanted to have. And I think people have seen that
impact now, and they`re amazed that this program has done so well that that
is the genius of Michelle Obama.

SHARPTON: Now, they also in the interview, Nancy, she was asked about
-- talk of a female president. And she said, quote, "Yes, I think country
is ready for it. It`s just a question of who is the best person out

GILES: Right.

SHARPTON: She was then asked about Secretary Clinton. Could she get
the job? And she replied, "She hasn`t announced anything, so I`m certainly
not going to get ahead of her." And when they asked her if she`ll run, the
First Lady said, "Unequivocally No."

GILES: Flatly no. I think she would be -- already she has just
proven to be so magnanimous. I think she could be a brilliant politician.
But come on, this has been the spotlight like you have never seen before.
And the kind of criticism that she has gotten about really, it`s almost
like the people who are criticizing have been reaching for criticisms.


GILES: This is a person who supported military families along with
Dr. Jill Biden, exquisitely. And as Allison was saying, the "Let`s Move"
program has taken something like hip-hop, and some people have problems
with that style of music. It`s gotten kids moving. It`s getting them to
lose weight, they`re planting gardens, they`re eating better.

SHARPTON: It`s a whole new life style.

GILES: It`s a whole new thing. And it helps our nation`s children do
better in school. You know, everything she does is just so positive.

SHARPTON: Allison, do you think she`ll ever want to run for office?


SHARPTON: Do you think that the First Lady will ever run for office?

SAMUELS: No, I don`t think so. I don`t think that`s her temperament.
I think that she, you know, has gone through a lot during this last sort of
years with her husband. And I think she has seen a lot. And I think she
feels like her best work can be done in a less visible spot, you know,
where people work together and it`s not so much division. I think that`s
what she would prefer to do.

SHARPTON: Well, she is certainly inspiring. I told the President the
real reason I lost weight is I wanted to be the pinup guy for the First
Lady`s campaign on health. She never picked me. I didn`t even make the
hip-hop album. But I tried. Nancy Giles, Allison Samuels, thank you for
your time. Have a good weekend.

GILES: Thank you. Thank you so much.

SAMUELS: Thank you. Thank you so much.

SHARPTON: Coming up, troubling news on the obesity epidemic in
America. Sherri Shepherd wrote about it. She wrote about how to fix it,
and you`ll hear from her ahead.

And later, why Bill O`Reilly needs to grow up. How his so-called
revelation actually exposed what kind of person he is.


SHARPTON: A reality check for Bill O`Reilly. He`s trying to get
personal, but he is just exposing his own hypocrisy. That`s ahead.


SHARPTON: We`re back with big news on one of America`s most serious
health problems, the obesity epidemic. We had thought that what obesity
was responsible was for about five percent of the deaths in America. But
that number is actually much higher. A new study finds that 18 percent of
deaths are due to obesity-related illnesses. This is a concern of mine,
and many other people in the news and entertainment industry, including
Sherri Shepherd, co-host on "The View." She is tackling this serious topic
in a new book. And I recently sat down with Sherri to talk about her
struggles with diabetes and weight, and why she decided to go public with
her story.


SHERRI SHEPHERD, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": You know why? I`m always from
my days of doing stand-up comedy, I`ve always been public, you know, I just
felt like I`m letting you know everything about me. There is not too much
you can come to me and say I`m going to blackmail you, because I`m very,
very open. But with diabetes, especially in the African-American
community, and the Latino community, it is like the fourth killer of
African-Americans and Latinos. And I have it. And I`m very passionate
about letting people know, this is something that we have got to get under
control, because it is killing us.

SHARPTON: No doubt about it. Now, you know you said you were
surrounded by diabetes as a child. Let me read a quote.


SHARPTON: It says "My community is like the diabetes hall of fame --
aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins. When I was a kid, I actually thought
limbs, toes, and feet just went away. My family was no different than a
lot of others in my predominantly African-American neighborhood. We kids
were always hearing the adults talk about this person down the street got
the sugar. It sounded harmless." I know about that.


SHARPTON: When did you realize the sugar wasn`t harmless, and that
you were at risk?

SHEPHERD: I realized the sugar was not harmless when my mother passed
away at 41-years-old from diabetic complications. That`s when I realized
wait a minute, this is serious. When I saw that on her death certificate.
She went into a diabetic coma. My mother, I never remember her being --
eating healthy. She would always drink a lot of fruit punch. She had a
lot of donuts, a lot of candy. She was always going to the hospital
because she had insulin reactions. And she found out that her internal
organs just started shutting down, one by one, and she went into a coma.
And I think, you know, with a term called the sugar, you don`t take it
seriously, because it sounds kind of cute.

SHARPTON: Yes. Well, sugar is sweet.

SHEPHERD: Sugar is sweet, you know? And so, when that uncle rolled
up to the table and got macaroni and cheese and he had the one leg, you
didn`t think anything about it. He just got the sugar.

SHARPTON: Right. No, it`s amazing. But you ignored your own
diagnosis for a while. And then you say that you had an experience
involving your son that made you come to terms with this.


SHARPTON: Tell us about this.

SHEPHERD: Right. It wasn`t after my mother passed away that I
changed, it was after I got the diagnosis of diabetes. I went home and had
a big bowl of pasta, and then I remember I got asleep because my blood
sugar had spiked. I didn`t know that at the time. But now, it was my
blood sugar spiking and I got sleepy, and I just had this vision of
Jeffrey, my son, at about five-years-old, holding his teddy bear. He was
in the dark crying, because he was trying to figure out where heaven was,
because everybody was telling him that`s where mommy was.


SHEPHERD: And that vision of my son who was born at five-and-a-half
months, he was a pound and ounces, he`s got special needs, that vision is
what made me lift my head up and say OK, lord, I got it. I got it. I got
to change my life, or I`m going to do to my son what my mother did to me.

SHARPTON: I really, really admire you, because it is cultural. I
have friends that call me now, says I have lost a lot of weight and say,
are you all right? They never asked me that when I was obese. That`s when
I wasn`t all right.

SHEPHERD: Exactly. Yes. We eat so much, we think you must be
getting sick if you lose weight. We come from, like in my family, we eat.
We fry everything. I didn`t know what saute was until I got diabetes.

SHARPTON: That`s right.

SHEPHERD: We don`t saute. We fry it. And we would keep the grease
in a can in the middle of the stove and re-use the same grease.

SHARPTON: That`s right.

SHEPHERD: So not healthy at all.

SHARPTON: I have to ask you about "The View."


SHARPTON: Since I have you here. You all have a hot table.


SHARPTON: You`ve got some -- everybody around political persuasion.
I mean, how does that work for you?

SHEPHERD: You know, I love it. It`s been so challenging. My whole
mantra for my life is do it scared. So anything that scares me, I say yes.
So when Barbara Walters called and asked me to be a regular co-host, I was
scared to death, because I came from a religion. I used to be a Jehovah`s
Witness. We didn`t vote.


SHEPHERD: So we didn`t get involved in politics.


SHEPHERD: So I got put right at the table in the middle of politics.
I didn`t vote until President Obama ran. That was my very first time going
in the voting booth.

SHARPTON: What made you vote then?

SHEPHERD: You know why? Because I was sitting at a table where I had
to learn about politics. And I knew nothing about it. In order to talk to
these ladies about it, I had to learn about it. And I did it one step at a
time. I figured how does politics affect me and my son. That`s how I did
it. That`s how I learned about politics. So I took my son in the voting
booth with me.

SHARPTON: Yes, I was going to ask you about that.

SHEPHERD: Yes. He had a temper tantrum. We almost went republican
for a minute. He almost pulled the wrong lever. But we made it through.

SHARPTON: You took him in and he watched you vote?

SHEPHERD: He watched me vote. Yes. And I taught him victory, we got
it. Yes.

SHARPTON: Now, the President came and did the show a couple of times.


SHARPTON: What was that like?

SHEPHERD: It was pretty awesome. You know, I`m very proud of him for
my son. You know, when President Obama won, I went in my son`s room and I
cried, because I said it`s actually true. You actually could be president
of the United States, Jeffrey.

SHARPTON: And that`s an awesome thing for a mother who couldn`t say

SHEPHERD: I could not say it. You hear it, but you don`t believe it.
And I took Jeffrey out of school, because I wanted him to get a picture
with the president. And he had a meltdown. I don`t want to get a picture
with the president. And I said, if you don`t get in there and sit on his

SHARPTON: Let me show a clip of you guys with the president.

BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": We`re happy to welcome the
President and the First Lady of the United States, Barack and Michelle

We`re very happy that you came on with us, Mrs. Obama, and brought
your date.

MICHELLE OBAMA: I brought him?


MICHELLE OBAMA: He had a few minutes in his schedule.

OBAMA: You know, I told folks I`m just supposed to be eye candy here
for you guys.


SHARPTON: Now -- and they are a wonderful couple.

SHEPHERD: A wonderful couple. I still -- I still grin. I was
grinning like a donkey the whole time I was sitting on the show. It`s just
-- it`s something that I feel very proud of this couple, you know, seeing
someone that looks like me. Because for so many years we had to see other
people. And just it was just a wonderful day when they came on the show.

SHARPTON: Well, I thought it was wonderful. I thought y`all handled
it wonderful. But I`m very, very proud of you and plan D. And I hope a
lot of people, because I`ve certainly got into that mentality. I hope a
lot of people read this book, and change their thinking.

SHEPHERD: I just want people to know if you`re pre-diabetic, don`t be
scared. If you follow the steps that I`ve outlined in this book, you won`t
come over to the side I`m on. And I just tell people, it`s a fun read,
because I`m a fun person. You get to laugh and I`ve broken diabetes down
for people who can`t understand it. Go out and get it. And just don`t
stay in a position of doing nothing and hiding.

SHARPTON: Sherri Shepherd, thanks for joining us tonight. And good
luck with the book.

SHEPHERD: Thank you very much.

SHARPTON: All right.


SHARPTON: Up next, it`s a special edition of "Reply Al." my response
to Bill O`Reilly and a pattern of hypocrisy.


SHARPTON: It`s time for a special edition of "Reply Al." On his show
last night, Bill O`Reilly was apparently offended that I called him out for
labeling some of America`s poor as, quote, "parasites." So he tried to
defend himself by revealing something I`ve never shared with the public
either, that he once donated money to my nonprofit to help provide gifts
and foods to kids at Christmas.


BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: So I gave Sharpton a $25,000 donation
to provide the gifts and the food. I never mentioned it. Because it
wasn`t necessary to mention it. But now it is. To prove exactly what kind
of person Al Sharpton is.


SHARPTON: Bill doesn`t realize it, but this story actually reveals
what kind of person he is. It says more about him than it does me, because
Bill gave that money privately to someone he`s publicly called, quote, "a
race hustler," working in what he calls, the grievance industry. That`s
the term that he uses for civil rights work that I do. What are we
supposed to think about a man who privately is generous, but who says the
most vile and divisive things in public? Why would Bill quietly donate
that money to my group while loudly telling his right-wing audience that
this is what he thinks of me?


O`REILLY: Al Sharpton and the grievance industry strike back, that is
the subject of this evening`s talking points memo. What the grievance
industry does want is to divide the country along racial lines. The tide
maybe turning against the Sharptons and the race hustlers in general. The
race hustlers and their sympathizers have descended into the gutter.


SHARPTON: This is the worst kind of gutter talk. But if Bill really
thinks that about me, why did he agree to speak at a conference for my
civil rights group, the National Action Network, a few years ago? Look,
there he is at a convention for the grievance industry. And why would Bill
give a so-called race hustler $25,000 to help the poor at Christmas? And
why would he write a check to help people that he`s called parasites who
just want stuff?


O`REILLY: The Obama administration is encouraging parasites to come
out, and, you know, take as much as they can.

The majority of blacks want money spent to level the playing field, to
redistribute income from the white establishment.

There are 50 percent of the voting public who want stuff. They want
things. And who is going to give them things? President Obama.


SHARPTON: The sad truth. The sad truth is the good that Bill did
with the check he wrote is filed away by the violent and hateful things he
says on the air night after night. Bill is playing to the extremists in
his audience, and it shows. It shows what is wrong with the right wing
today. They can`t disagree without being disagreeable. They have to make
personal attacks on anyone who has a different point of view, and it`s not
just me, it`s true of everyone, from Sandra Fluke to President Obama. That
needs to change.

America is better than this. And I hope my friends on the right are
better than that too. All right. That`s enough for tonight. That`s it
for tonight`s show. I hope everyone has a great weekend, including you,

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


Transcription Copyright 2013 ASC LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is
granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not
reproduce or redistribute the material except for user`s personal or
internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall
user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may
infringe upon MSNBC and ASC LLC`s copyright or other proprietary rights or
interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of