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PoliticsNation, Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Read the transcript from the Thursday show

September 12, 2013

Guests: Jan Schakowsky, Krystal Ball, Angela Rye, Jamal Simmons, Bill de Blasio


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: The very first political contribution I
ever made in my life was to Jesse Helms. When I was a kid, I sent $10 to
Jesse Helms. The willingness to say all those crazy things is a rare, rare
characteristic in this town. And you know what? It`s every bit as true
now as it was then. We need 100 more like Jesse Helms in the U.S. Senate.


REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: We need 100 more like Jesse
Helms. Really? North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms was notorious for his
offensive, racially charged rhetoric during his 30 years in Congress. He
led the charge against Martin Luther King`s birthday being made a federal
holiday. He supported apartheid in South Africa. And he tried to revive
school segregation through a plan he called freedom of choice.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Freedom of choice is a code word for segregation.

code word for segregation in the minds of some. Now, I`m not saying to you
that we wouldn`t have segregated schools or largely segregated schools
under a freedom of choice plan such as I have suggested. But I will say to
you that that would be the choice.


SHARPTON: Helms called the civil rights act the most dangerous piece
of legislation ever introduced in the Congress. In 1982, he tried to
filibuster the renewal of the voting rights act. And in 1990 he ran one of
the most offensive and racist political ads ever.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You needed that job, and you were the best
qualified. But they had to give it to a minority because of a racial
quota. For racial quotas, Harvey Gantt. Against racial quotas, Jesse


SHARPTON: Is that the future of the GOP? Do we need 100 more like
Jesse Helms?

Senator Helms was opposed to civil rights, voting rates, gay rights,
and the rights for the poor. An agenda that still defines the Republican
party a decade after Helms left office.

Joining me now are Goldie Taylor and Dana Milbank. Thanks for being



SHARPTON: Goldie, what do you say to comments like Cruz`s brand of

TAYLOR: You know, if we had 100 senators like Jesse Helms, it would
set back human rights in this country 100 years. Jesse Helms is
undoubtedly one of the most hateful men ever to stand in the well of the
U.S. Senate and I say that without equivocation.

And so, to see someone like Ted Cruz wrap his arms around that very
troublesome legacy and say that ought to be the future of not only the GOP
but the future of this country really speaks a lot to not only what Jesse
Helms`s legacy was but what the character integrity of Ted Cruz looks like

SHARPTON: You know, Dana, Ted Cruz is making front pages of
magazines. He`s the rising star in the Republican party. For him to say
this, to say that as a kid his first political donation was to Jesse Helms,
I mean, did he grow up in North Carolina? Why would he be attracted from
another state to Jesse Helms? What does that say about Ted Cruz and those
that are like-minded?

MILBANK: Well, he grew up in Canada. So maybe the FEC needs to
investigate that contribution. But look, Ted Cruz is the rising star in a
shrinking party. And I think we can really just look at two book ends
here. A decade ago you had Trent Lott make a very similar remark about
Strom Thurmond. I think it was his 100th birthday. And what happened
there? He lost his job as leader of the Republicans in the Senate.


MILBANK: Largely because president George W. Bush, Republican, helped
drum him out of office. You are always going to have characters who are
saying crazy things, to use Ted Cruz`s own words that he`s copped to here.
The question is what does the rest of the party do? We saw what they did a
decade ago. I would be very surprised if many, or even any get up there
and say no, Ted Cruz, this is not acceptable. They are afraid of him.

SHARPTON: No. But to his credit, George Bush and the Republicans at
that time did take on the statement that was made about Strom Thurmond by
Mr. Lott.

MILBANK: And let`s see if they do it now.

SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you this question, Goldie. Jesse Helms.
Let me show you something. So people won`t think we`re just saying or
making a connection here other than Cruz. Jesse Helms attacked the poor.
Let me show you how he did it.


HELMS: The truly needy do not include that fellow in South Carolina
who bought five automobiles, 32 weapons, and some marijuana with food

We have got too many people riding the wagon and not enough people
pushing in this country.


SHARPTON: Now, that`s Helms. Look at some of the right-wing pundits
and right-wing politicians today.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Look at poverty in this
country. Everybody out of work is eating. They have got big-screen TV,
probably have a car, probably have a cell phone.

SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R), ALABAMA: Why don`t we just pay for your
clothes? Pay for your shoes. Pay for your housing.

REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: We don`t want to hand these out to people
that are gaming the system, so to speak.


SHARPTON: I mean, it`s the same talking points. It`s like Helms has
influenced a whole generation behind him. So Cruz is not alone in a lot of
the same kind of use of language and policy when he talks about his
admiration for Jesse Helms.

TAYLOR: And he makes no apology for it. You know, Jesse Helms was
one of the leaders of a grand white populace that came to grow, you know,
in the `50s and `60s and on really through the `80s. And that kind of
hateful language is a kind of language that we are seeing, you know, they
want to cut the snap program so people can go down to having to eat on
$3.50 a day. And so, these kinds of policies are playing themselves out.

Look, we can`t legislate how someone feels in their hearts. We cannot
legislate, you know, how someone feels about their brothers and sisters.
But what we can legislate is how that plays itself out in public policy.
And Jesse Helms showed a strong propensity to keep people from the voting
booth, to keep people from fair housing, to keep people from meaningful
employment. He showed a strong propensity to violating a woman`s personal
and privacy rights. And Ted Cruz shows that very, very same propensity.

SHARPTON: That is why you`ve got to fight them. They`re always
there, and you`ve got to fight them.

You know, Dana, Jesse Helms said this about Social Security, nothing
more than doles and handouts. Governor Rick Perry today on Social
Security, it`s a ponzi scheme.

We are dealing with the same kind of mentality. We see the tea party
and their antipathy toward President Obama. Jesse Helms warned President
Clinton about coming to North Carolina. Quote "Mr. Clinton better watch
out if he comes down here. He would better have a bodyguard." I mean, do
we hear the same kind of disrespect for the office of president today with
President Obama that Helms demonstrated to President Clinton?

MILBANK: Well, in a way Jesse Helms was ahead of his time in the
Republican party at the time he was far right in his social, economic, and
foreign policy views. I think right now he would be pretty much in the
center of his Republican colleagues today.

The difference is on matters of race where unfortunately you don`t
hear a lot of them saying that sort of thing today. And that`s why I think
the real question will be here when Ted Cruz starts to dance around that
explosive issue. Are people going to say senator, that`s just not
something this Republican party is going to sanction today?

SHARPTON: But Goldie, when we look at the voting rights act being in
many ways neutralized by the Supreme Court and we do not hear the
Republicans in the Congress stand up when we`re talking about a new voting
rights bill, when we see in states all over the country changing in voting
from changing early voting, changing Sunday voting, changing voting I.D. to
now photo I.D., are we not hearing in many ways certain things that lead to
the same results that was more blatant by Jesse Helms but is in many ways
moving toward the same direction?

TAYLOR: You know, you`re right, Reverend Sharpton. But no one is
going to pull Ted Cruz`s coattail, you know, just as they did with Trent
Lott. You know, they`re not going to ask him to take a back seat. In
fact, they`re going to celebrate and promote him even further.

I mean, this is a man who for all practical purposes is ahead of his
time in trying to lock up the 2016 presidential race. And so, we are
really looking at someone who is trying to cobble together, you know, a
very small coalition to win a GOP primary, and he thinks that`s a pathway
to the White House. I have got news for him. You know, in modern times no
one has ever been able to do that, to lock out African-Americans and lock
out Latinos and lock out the LGBT community, and lock out women, to lock
out anyone who is non-white and male and still win a nationwide election in
this country.

And so, if he wants to play those politics, he can play them well
right there in Texas. But I will tell you where it won`t play. Won`t play
in New Jersey. Won`t play in cal. Won`t play in Illinois. Won`t play in
some of these states he is going to need to pull together to win a primary
campaign and a GOP campaign for president.

SHARPTON: Can that work, Dana? Such a small base where he is talking
about the future of the GOP, but he`s really going back to the past in
terms of this kind of lack of diversity, lack of fairness and lack of
inclusion? Can that work in a Republican primary? Has the tea party
really dominated so and intimidated moderates so?

MILBANK: That`s a relevant question. In the Republican primary it`s
certainly possible to work. It certainly seems that way based on where all
the candidates are going. But you know, look, if you can make an argument
that you want a Senate full of 100 Jesse Helms, that might get you so far
in the Republican primary. Can you imagine that being the debate in the
fall of a general presidential election?

It is hard to see that the Democrats wouldn`t want to have just such a
fight on their hand hands. Ted Cruz and the others vying for the
Republican nomination are thinking about the Republican nomination, not
necessarily that that`s going to make them unelectable should they ever get
that holy grail.

SHARPTON: Well, we are going see if any Republicans come out and
denounce this as George Bush and others did to Trent Lott about Strom
Thurmond. In fact, if any Republican leaders in the Senate or the Congress
want to come out, call me. I will have you on tomorrow night. You can
have all the time you need.

Goldie Taylor, Dana Milbank, thanks.

MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.

TAYLOR: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Republicans try again to repeal Obamacare. They
are gutting food stamps and education. Now is the time to fight back.

And some absolutely shocking comments from George Zimmerman`s Florida
police chief. Why he agrees George is another Sandy Hook waiting to

And he is the progressive everyone is talking about. Bill de Blasio
live in studio on Michael Bloomberg`s criticism, on Stop-and-Frisk, on the
curtains. And yes, we will ask him about his son, Dante, who wears the
most famous afro of his generation.

Also, what`s on your mind? E-mail me, friend or foe. I want to know.
"Reply Al" is ahead.


SHARPTON: Today, the House GOP passed for the 41st time a bill to
delay the Obamacare subsidies. Next week, the House is ready to slash $40
billion in food stamps. Today, a new report comes out showing deeper
education cuts in the last five years since the recession.

The GOP`s failed priorities is all over the place. There is a big
fight coming. Are Democrats ready for the fight? Clearly there is an
attempt to turn back the clock in this country.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Democrat from

Thank you for coming on the show, Congresswoman.


SHARPTON: Forty-one times the GOP-led Congress tried to gut
Obamacare. What do you say about this waste of time, Congresswoman?

SCHAKOWSKY: Well, you know, now and next week if we get a vote what
the Republicans are hoping, at least the most radical right-wing
Republicans, that we will include a vote to extend the government, keep the
government open, only if we repeal Obamacare altogether.


SCHAKOWSKY: So that would be the big vote to repeal Obamacare. And
right now you are talking about will the Democrats be able to fight back?
There`s a war going on in the Republican party. John Boehner doesn`t want
to see the government shut down. But he is held captive by a group of
Republicans that is willing to absolutely shut things down, 800,000
employees laid off. You know, I mean, it would be a disaster.

SHARPTON: No, there`s the shutdown threat has really pitched the tea
party versus Speaker Boehner. Watch this.


speculation about these deadlines that are coming up. I`m well aware of
the deadlines and so are my colleagues.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: We need to be a caucus with a spine,
with a heart, and with the will to defund Obamacare.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you continue funding Obamacare, we`re going to
defund you and get you out of office.

BOEHNER: And so we`re working with our colleagues to work our way
through these issues.


SHARPTON: So this battle in the Republican Part y over shutting down
the government to defund Obamacare, which really doesn`t even happen, but I
mean this is as extreme as it gets.

SCHAKOWSKY: It is. But you know, Reverend Al, they understand that
if Obamacare goes into effect and people can begin enrolling on October 1st
and get -- see that they can get lower-cost health care, 129 million people
with preexisting conditions will actually get cover, they know that it will
be impossible to do anything about it because people are going to like it.
They are going to find out what it does for them. So they`re desperate
right now.

SHARPTON: Now, there was a new report that just came out about hunger
in America. And the report says just this past year 20 percent of
Americans lacked enough money to buy the food that they or their families
need. That`s one in five Americans, Congresswoman, and the GOP wants to
cut and gut food stamps?

SCHAKOWSKY: You know, I stood on the house floor, looked over at the
Republican side of the aisle, and said, you really want to take food out of
the mouths of hungry children? Is that the GOP plan? Who are you that you
would want to do that? There is hunger in America.

Almost half of the people on the food stamp program, on the SNAP
program, are children. Others are senior citizens and persons with
disabilities and those who have been laid off and just need a bridge over
troubled waters. And that`s what they want to stop. It`s unbelievable.

SHARPTON: And in addition, they want to cut $400 million from the
budget to head start. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Head start is going to enroll fewer children
because of sequestered mandated budget cuts.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: These are the most devastating cuts that we have
ever seen, the sequestration.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have my four children with me when I was
homeless at the time.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They make you feel bad about being poor, even
though you are doing everything right. I`m going back to school. I`m
doing everything I`m supposed to do. But you can`t cut a break.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We need this program because they help them.
They give them the support that they need. They give them that little
boost. There are kids that needed a lot of help and they got it from this


SHARPTON: Congresswoman, they want to cut education, food, health
care. I mean, these are basic and vital programs for people who need them
the most.

SCHAKOWSKY: Over 57,000 children will be cut off the program. And
all the research shows that kids that get this school education, get a good
quality childcare and education are less likely to be dependent on the
government when they grow up are more likely to be productive citizens and
do well. And these are the children that they want to cut off the program.

It`s hard to imagine that these kinds -- this kind of demonization and
destruction of poor people is going on in today`s Congress.

SHARPTON: Well, these are their priorities, and we`re going to
continue watching and monitoring it.

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, thank you so much for your time.

SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Coming up, it`s the political comeback and the political ad
everyone is talking about. New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio
joins us live.

But first, when there is a crisis in the Middle East, is this who you
want to hear from? Why can`t they stop the ugly Obama derangement and


SHARPTON: Outrageous comments from a GOP senator shows Republican
derangement syndrome is back, if it ever went away. That`s next.


SHARPTON: The seriousness of the situation in Syria cannot be
emphasized enough. The secretary of state is in Geneva now meeting with
his counterpart. We are talking about national security. We are talking
about people losing their lives. We are talking about finding a solution.
In the midst of this that should unite the country with concern even if we
are divided in tactical response, you would think that people would rise
above their petty partisan and ugly ways. But not the GOP. Not the Obama
derangement campaign. Not the crusade of those that want to replace all of
this with hysterics.

Listen at Glenn Beck as he made his comments in the midst of all of


GLENN BECK, RADIO HOST: Twelve years ago we stood united against a
common enemy. And that enemy was killed. And why are we still fighting?
Last night America watched as president of the United States actually
argued something that I believe is treason. That we should join forces
with that very same enemy. This guy, this guy looks like the Nobel peace
prize winner, and our president looks like the mad killer.


SHARPTON: Not only Glenn Beck, though. Not only just Beck saying
these ludicrous thin look at Rand Paul. We are talking about high


SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: Twelve years after we were attacked by
al Qaeda, 12 years after 3,000 Americans were killed by al Qaeda, President
Obama now asks us to be allies with al Qaeda.


SHARPTON: So we`re talking about linking the President to al Qaeda.
Are we serious? A U.S. senator linking the president to al Qaeda. The
president who took out Bin Laden. Are we really having this discussion
while we`re dealing with the seriousness of this moment?

Joining me now, Krystal Ball and Jamal Simmons. Thank you both for
coming on the show.



SHARPTON: Also with us, of course, Angela Rye, who`s sitting there
looking at me saying I`m here too, Reverend.


Let me get serious. Cutting through this, what is the goal here to
this kind of talk, Krystal? I mean, because this is as extreme and bizarre
as you can get, but you have a U.S. senator joining in the pile-on.

BALL: It`s propaganda, pure and simple. You know, they try to make
everything black and white, cut and dry, and do everything they possibly
can to undermine this president. And you contrast that with the president,
who weighed the facts, the actual facts of what`s going on in Syria, came
to a very difficult decision, and then had the respect for the American
people to bring that case to them, to ask Congress to deliberate on, to
bring that information to them in the speech that he gave Tuesday night.
And he did not engage in propaganda. Here`s the cut and dried case. He
said it`s complicated. Here`s the evidence. Here`s the facts. Make up
your mind. It`s the exact opposite of what demagogues like Rand Paul and
Glenn Beck want to do.

SHARPTON: Now, Angela, when you talk about right-wing media, when you
hear them coming out now saying that they are supporting Vladimir Putin
over our president, I mean, watch this --


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Vladimir Putin actually came up with a
good idea and if the world community can get the chemical weapons he just
saved Obama`s back side and Kerry`s back side.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Frankly, in the last week Vladimir Putin has looked
like a statesman. Vladimir Putin has had his faith for the Nobel Peace


GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: This guy looks like the Nobel Peace
Prize winner, and our president looks like the mad killer.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Vladimir Putin is saying that
Obama and Kerry are lying. And I don`t know about you, but I find myself
to be in a really curious situation. Who do I believe? Vladimir Putin or
Barack Obama and John Kerry?


SHARPTON: I mean, even for people that are vehement opponents of the
president, this is way over the line, Angela. Or am I just crazy here?

ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: You`re definitely not crazy, but
they definitely are. I think that they`re reminiscing on W saying that he
looked into Putin`s eyes and can see into his soul. Maybe that`s what they
think they`re seeing into. But the problem is there`s something called
patriotism and supporting the president, particularly when we`re dealing
with matters of national security. I worked on the Committee on Homeland
Security. And this is so far beyond the pale.

This is the one time where the United States of America, where the
American people are supposed to come together and put partisanship aside to
really try to figure out what we need to do. The president talks about
wanting to have debate, wanting to ensure that Congress had the opportunity
to vote on this issue, and the fact that this is the type of debate that`s
happening with no facts is abundantly problematic.

SHARPTON: But you know, Jamal, it seems like there`s debate in the
party, Tea Party versus Boehner and others, but the one thing they`re
united in is this derangement of President Obama not only do they`re
dealing with trying to accuse him of trying to make a deal with al Qaeda
and all of these accusations that whether they believe Putin over him, they
keep trying to make this connection between Syria and Benghazi. Listen to


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: One of the problems with all of this focus on Syria
is it`s missing the ball from what we should be focused on. This week is
the one-year anniversary of the attack on Benghazi. You don`t hear the
president mention Benghazi. Now it`s a phony scandal.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Worst of all, it distracts us from things like the
Benghazi, the IRS --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: To divert attention today from the Benghazi, IRS,
NSA scandals, the failure of Obamacare enforcement.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The American people deserve answers about Benghazi
before we move forward with military involvement in Syria`s civil war.


SHARPTON: I mean, this derangement campaign knows no boundary or no
respect for the situations that we find ourselves trying to deal with right

SIMMONS: Rev, this is one of the most vile moments I`ve seen out of
this Republican Party. I remember when they attacked Max Cleland when he
was running for the Senate in Georgia, you know, with images of Saddam
Hussein and Osama bin Laden. It was the first time we`d ever seen Osama
bin Laden put into a political campaign. These people know no bounds
whatsoever about attacking. Here`s the reality. As Angela said a minute
ago and Krystal was alluding to, this is a moment where the American public
is supposed to come together and unite. There`s no way.

Could you imagine if on this network right now one of us was to start
praising Vladimir Putin the way the Republicans would respond to that?
There is no way that this is acceptable political behavior in this country.
The reality is you`ve got 20 or 30 percent of the United States electorate,
the Republican Party base that cannot stand -- the only theology they have
is if Obama`s for it they`re against it, if he says it`s right then it must
be wrong.


SIMMONS: And it doesn`t matter if it has anything to do with the
facts or with the tradition of American history.

SHARPTON: Well, talking about if we said something like that here,
Krystal, well, let`s go to what was said on another network. Karl Rove
says about President Obama on August 28th, it shows -- this shows how all
of you need to know about how they`re dealing with President Obama. Watch


the president is going to be this one, bill. Does he ask for Congressional
authorization for his action?

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: I think he has to do that.

ROVE: I think he does too. The president cannot do what he did in
Libya, which is not going to the Congress. He has to go to Congress.

O`REILLY: And he`ll get it.


SHARPTON: Now, he has to go to Congress.

BALL: Right.

SHARPTON: Is he going to ask for it? Yes. He has to go to congress.
Well, now listen to what Rove said after the president did go to Congress.


ROVE: I thought that he needed to take it to Congress, but in
retrospect that was a mistake. The president probably should have been
better to take an action. This is unmitigated disaster. It`s amateur hour
at the White House.


SHARPTON: Amateur hour at the White House doing exactly what you said
he should have done. I mean, it`s all about President Obama. Has nothing
to do with policy. Has nothing to do with national security. It`s always
Obama. Obama derangement, Krystal.

BALL: That`s exactly right. And I think it comes down to really a
fundamental respect for the American people that Karl Rove and George W.
Bush obviously didn`t have in the lead-up to the Iraq war, and this
president did have the respect to take the case to the American people.
But I have to say something. I mean, we just have to step back and realize
that the Republicans hate this president so much and want to undermine him
so badly that they have decided to embrace the president of Russia.


BALL: .who is propping up a brutal dictator that has murdered
thousands of his own people. It is an unbelievable state of affairs.

SHARPTON: And not one, Angela, republican leader is denouncing this.
Not one has stepped up and said this is absurd, this is anti-America to
raise the president of Russia as more believable than the president of the
United States would not be tolerated if any other president was in office,

RYE: It`s plainly irresponsible for any elected official in this
country to allow this type of rhetoric to continue. It`s plainly
irresponsible. There`s no excuse for it. It`s absolutely unacceptable.


RYE: It is a massive distraction. It has to change. We`re not going
to be able to get anything done because even, again, in the times when we
need to be standing together, where partisanship should be totally aside,
they can`t even get it together then.

SHARPTON: I have to leave it there. Krystal, Angela, and Jamal,
thank you very much for being on tonight. And remember, you can catch
Krystal on "THE CYCLE," weekdays at 3:00 p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC.

Straight ahead, the New York City candidate getting national
attention. Bill de Blasio is here. We`ll talk about his stunning
comeback, Bloomberg`s criticism, and the campaign ad called the best
they`ve ever seen. That`s next.



We are stronger. We a better as a city. And we make sure that everyone
has a shot.



SHARPTON: That was on Tuesday night as Bill de Blasio was talking to
a crowd after receiving a little over 40 percent of the vote as it stands,
which if it holds he would avoid a runoff and would be the democratic
nominee for the mayor of New York in this November`s race.

He is now live with me in the studio, the present public advocate for
the city of New York and the presumed democratic nominee, Bill de Blasio.
Assuming the numbers hold up. Let me start there. Will there be a runoff,
Mr. De Blasio?

DE BLASIO: Rev, I think the numbers will be consistent throughout the
count and we will break that 40 percent number. A lot of folks in the
Democratic Party are calling for unity, which I appreciate. But the bottom
line is we`re going to, you know, keep talking to the people of this city
about where need to go, the changes we need to make, the break from the
Bloomberg years, the need for a progressive vision for New York City. I`m
going to keep doing that until all of the numbers are resolved in the next
few days.

SHARPTON: Have you talked to Bill Thompson, your closest opponent?

DE BLASIO: On Tuesday night we talked. It`s someone I`ve known for
many years. I have a lot of respect for. And he made clear he wanted to
look at his options. And I respect that.

SHARPTON: You haven`t talked since Tuesday night?

DE BLASIO: No, we have not.

SHARPTON: Let me go to another opponent. If you are the nominee, as
it appears, the republican nominee is Mr. Lhota, Joe Lhota. And he said
today, and I`m quoting him, that your campaign divides people. How do you
respond people?

DE BLASIO: Rev, I think it`s divisive to not talk about the problems
we`re facing. We just had the worst economy since the great depression.
We had a city government study, a New York City government study two months
ago that said 46 percent of the people of this city are at or near the
poverty level.

SHARPTON: Forty six percent in the city of New York?

DE BLASIO: In the city of New York. Unprecedented.


DE BLASIO: It`s divisive not to bring that out in the open and talk
about the inequalities that the city is facing right now. It starts with
income inequality. But let`s talk about healthcare disparities, and
hospital closures. Let`s talk about disparities in the educational system,
in policing. If we don`t talk about these things, we can`t make our city

SHARPTON: But if you do talk about them, you know that those that
have not had to deal with them or in some cases even benefited are going to
come after you with a vengeance. I mean, they`re going to get ugly. Lhota
saying you divided the city. Mayor Bloomberg said your campaign was class
warfare and racist. I mean, are you ready for the attacks? And your
family`s going to be under attack. Are you ready for what could come
between now and November?

DE BLASIO: I think I`m speaking to the world`s leading expert on when
you stand up against --

SHARPTON: But I`ve been in these battles.

DE BLASIO: You`ve been in them. And you`ve only gotten stronger.
And I think I borrow from your example and some other great examples.
We`re talking about the truth here. We`re talking about the fact that
folks are hurting in this city, that the city government is not doing all
it could do to address these inequalities.


DE BLASIO: And I think what will happen is that that message will
actually energize people looking for change and I think it`s a clear
majority in this city that believe we need change. Yes, the attacks will
come. The way to answer, I think progressives need to learn this lesson
over and over. The way to answer those attacks is to stare them down and
stay to what we believe.

SHARPTON: Is your campaign racist, as Mayor Bloomberg said?

DE BLASIO: You know, that was a very interesting choice of words and
a very inappropriate choice of words. My campaign represents my family.
I`m extraordinarily proud of my family. You know, Governor Cuomo to his
credit came out after those comments and said he knew my family very well
and if he were in my shoes he would have portrayed them too and be proud as
I am. And I think the mayor`s comments, partly the part about my family,
but even more so when he said, quote unquote, "class warfare."


DE BLASIO: Suggested that a certain denial about what` happening on
the ground and a lack of understanding that these issues have to be

SHARPTON: Now, I read a banker said in the "New York Times" that you
were terrifying, you`ve talked about taxing the rich in this city to pay
for pre-k. What are you going to deal with those that try to project that
the wealthy will be under some kind of siege if you`re mayor?

DE BLASIO: I don`t think it`s terrifying to ask those that have done
well -- remember, my tax plan starts with folks that make $500,000. And we
can safely say that people who are doing well are in fact doing better all
the time. Because look at the stock market alone as the indicator. Those
who are wealthy are doing quite well. I`m asking them to help us out a
little. We need full day pre-k for our children. The absence of full-day
pre-k holds back our school system. We need more after school programs
because a lot of kids are not getting enough time to learn what they need
and they need to be in a safe secure setting after school.

We`re going to have a clear majority of New Yorkers who believe in it.
Those who are wealthy should realize this is for the good of everyone.
This is so our schools work so, the future of our city can work for
everyone. I think it`s in their interest too. And I believe enough of
them will get it. But honestly, this is a lower tax rate than the one
Michael Bloomberg put in place in the beginning of his administration.

SHARPTON: So they don`t get it now? You think they don`t understand
it? If it`s lower than Michael Bloomberg`s then what is the confusion?
Why are they, as this guy said, terrified?

DE BLASIO: I think there`s a certain amount of fear-mongering out
there. And it`s being used as an excuse, you know, to paint a progressive
in a bad light. But when you think about it, it`s modest additional tax
that will have a big impact. It`s just for pre-k and after school. It
will have a big impact. And I think we`re going to win the day on it.

SHARPTON: Another way they`re going to try to come, they`re already
saying is that the city is going to return to crime. You`ve been
consistent on stop and frisk and other things about police that have been
questioned by people including people like me. But tell me about crime.
What have you done in your career that shows that you are not soft on

DE BLASIO: Well, I work closely with the NYPD for the last 20-plus
years of my life. I was on the staff of the mayor`s office with Mayor
Dinkins and then as a city councilman, republican advocate, close working
relationship right down to the neighborhood level. And crime, by the way,
we know that we`ve learned a lot better in this city how to fight crime.
The CompStat system and the use of technology and the gang intervention
strategy. So in fact, over the last 20, 25 years this city has gotten
better and better at fighting crime and we will continue to get better.
But where`s the problem?

The problem is the relationship between police and community is not
good enough in many neighborhoods because of stop and risk. Rev, you led
the way to your great credit, and we need to follow through on the will of
the people. The people want to end this unfairness. There`s no one in New
York City doesn`t want a safe city. By the way, there`s a lot of people at
the grassroots and Black (ph) associations and tenant (ph) patrol who
worked for years and put their own lives on the line to protect their
neighborhoods. We need to get them reunited with the police and that will
make us safer in the long run.

SHARPTON: When Lhota says you`re softer on crime, what are you going
to say?

DE BLASIO: I`m going to go right back at him and say, I`ve been
honored to work with the NYPD and in fact, we`re going to make this city
safer by bringing police and community back together.

SHARPTON: How would you deal with terror?

DE BLASIO: Same concept. First of all, look, NYPD today, 34,000-plus
cops and that needs to say that way. Second, 1,000 of them devoted to
anti-terrorism and we`re going to keep it that way. But what`s missing on
the fight against terror and the fight against crime in general is the
closest possible working relationship between police and community. The
best intelligence. The best leads come from community members who need to
have that trusting relationship with police. We need to recreate that
community policing approach. Cops on the beat. Cops who get to know folks
at the neighborhood level. That`s going to help us move forward.

SHARPTON: You know, I read in the "Christian Science Monitor" that
there was a group connected to Lhota and Lhota`s campaign has denied it,
that was even polling about mixed marriages in parts of the city because
you`re married to an African-American woman and now have two lovely
children. I mean, this kind of ugliness, are you -- do you have the
stomach for this and your family ready for the kind of stuff that may seem
like it`s not connected but is used in way to really try to play on fear
and divisions in this city?

DE BLASIO: As for my family, I`m so proud of them, first of all. I
will say something that you`ll appreciate. My two kids were born in


DE BLASIO: They are products of New York City public schools. They
are plenty tough. They can handle it. They`re not surprised. My wife`s
not surprised by anything. You know, as for me, I served in the Dinkins
administration. We had everything thrown at us. I was Hillary Clinton`s
campaign manager when she ran for U.S. Senate in 2000. Every conceivable
ridiculous charge thrown at her on a daily basis. I`ve weathered these
storms. If anyone out there thinks they`re going to divide this city by
somehow portraying a multiracial couple as something bad, I think the
people of the city will reject that.

SHARPTON: The fact is you did help run Senator Clinton`s first
campaign. I remember that. Are you planning on asking the Clintons to
come in if you`re the democratic nominee campaign for you? And will you
ask President Obama to come in?

DE BLASIO: Look, I`d be honored by support from leaders that great,
to say the least. But I`ve talked to each of the Clintons and had very
cordial conversations. They kindly both called to congratulate. And I
asked their advice. And you know, we`ll see what happens going forward.
But I think the bottom line is this is a moment where Democrats have a lot
to be proud of including of course President Obama. We have a lot to be
proud of in the way President Obama`s moved this country forward. I think
the fact that there are democratic leaders people admire so much is going
to have a big impact --

SHARPTON: Because we haven`t had a democrat elected in New York since
David Dinkins, since 1989.

DE BLASIO: Twenty years. And I think it`s a democratic, with a
capital D, it`s a democratic moment because people look at the names like
the ones you mentioned and admire them in the city and they`re ready to see
a democrat in city hall.

SHARPTON: Well, you know, one of the ways you can tell they`re taking
you serious is Jon Stewart did a thing about you last night. I want to
show you something.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: And now, the smack down.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Then the entire De Blasio family, including son
Dante and daughter Kiara, did a weird gymnastic move that brought huge
cheers from the crowd.


JON STEWART, COMEDIAN: Adopt me. You got there, you got Kiara, the
confident daughter. You`ve got Dante de Blasio, the teenage son who`s so
charming and so charismatic. I mean, he`s unbelievable.


SHARPTON: Will you adopt Jon Stewart?

DE BLASIO: We`d be honored to have Jon join the family. That would
be great.

SHARPTON: One quick thing. Show dance. Name one thing Michael
Bloomberg did right in the last 12 years.

DE BLASIO: Absolutely, public health. He did a great job on fighting
obesity and fighting smoking. And I`d continue that.

SHARPTON: The democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, thank you
for your time tonight.

DE BLASIO: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: All right. Thank you. All right.


SHARPTON: Ahead, remembering an unsung civil rights hero who worked
for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks, next.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, we remember a man who helped bend the arc
of the moral universe toward justice. Civil rights Attorney Demetrius
Newton, who passed away yesterday morning. Mr. Newton fought in the legal
trenches of the movement. He represented Dr. Martin Luther King and helped
get him out of jail when Dr. King was arrested during civil rights
protests. He also represented Rosa Parks, helping to free her from jail as
well. Mr. Newton worked on the legal cases surrounding the 1965 historic
march from Selma to Montgomery, securing their right to protest peacefully.
He went on to become the first black speaker pro tem of the Alabama state
house, serving for 13 years.

Respected by members of both parties for his dignity and moral
courage. Mr. Newton was 85 years old. When I think of Demetrius Newton, I
think of many of those whose names never made national currency, that never
became household names in generations behind them, but were in the trenches
and fought the fight, even when it was more dangerous. It is because of
them that we are where we are. Some white, some black. But they gave
their lives for all of us. And that is why we should behave in a way that
will show our appreciation and continue that fight until we have the new
America that we all desire.

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


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