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PoliticsNation, Friday, October 11th, 2013

Read the transcript from the Friday show

October 11, 2013
Guest: Jim McDermott; E.J. Dionne; Bill Press; Hogan Gidley, Dana Milbank,
Maria Teresa Kumar

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: So now they are caving. Offered plan
after plan to the president hoping for a way out. After the meeting, the
Republicans weren`t real interested in talking to reporters.




SHARPTON: Republicans are crumbling. The talks are heating up. Now, some
reports say the government could reopen within days. Yet, die hard still
can`t face reality. Here`s what senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, the guys
leading the GOP`s kamikaze mission, here`s what they were telling right
wingers in Washington just hours earlier at the voters summit.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: House of represents needs to keep doing what
it`s been doing which is standing strong.

SEN. MIKE LEE (R), UTAH: We must stop it. We must de-fund it. We cannot
accept it.

CRUZ: How scared is the president?

LEE: We make no apologies.

CRUZ: This afternoon, look. The Democrats are feeling the heat.


SHARPTON: Democrats are feeling the heat? Really? The truth is the
Republicans have crashed and burned. And now they find themselves on the
losing end of history. Want proof? Here`s what Cruz said today about


CRUZ: One day, we will find ourselves answering questions from our
children and our children`s children what was it like when America was


SHARPTON: And here`s what Ronald Reagan said back in 1961 opposing


you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our
children`s children what it once was like in America when men were free.


SHARPTON: It`s the same talking point, 60 years later. Watch it again.


CRUZ: One day we will find ourselves answering questions from our children
and our children`s children, what was it like when America was free.


SHARPTON: Republicans were wrong about Medicare then. And they`re wrong
about Obamacare now. They are wrong about the debt ceiling. They are
wrong about the shutdown. They are just plain wrong. The American people
know it. Now more and more Republicans know it too and they are
desperately trying to find a way out.

Joining me now are Congressman Jim McDermott, Democrat from Washington and
MSNBC`s Melissa Harris-Perry.

Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Congressman, do Republican leaders see the writing on the wall?
I mean, will this shutdown end soon?

MCDERMOTT: Well, I think you`ve begun to see it. They have elbowed Cruz
off the main stage and they are now bringing Paul Ryan in. Paul Ryan sort
of woke up and said, you know, we should be having a conference committee
in negotiating the budget. And they are beginning to see they have got to
shift away from this business of fighting the president`s Obamacare. That
isn`t going to work. It has been a total failure. So they`re shifting
because they`re looking for a new place to go.

SHARPTON: But, you know, Melissa, Senator Ted Cruz thinks that this is
going well. Polls, look at the public`s view of the GOP. They disapprove
70 percent disapprove with the GOP, approval rating only 24 percent.
That`s a record, the lowest approval ratings since that poll came to
existence. But Ted Cruz is in denial. He thinks the polls are skewed.

Listen to what he said about the NBC poll.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Do you think you have done damage to your

CRUZ; Well, you know, the polling has varied. And that poll was very
heavily weighted with an awful lot of Democrats. With an awful lot of
Obama supporters. If you seek out liberal Obama supporters and ask them
their views, they are going to tell you they are Obama supporters. That
isn`t reflective of where the country is.


SHARPTON: Now, for the record, our pollsters say there are more Democrats
in the poll because there are more Democrats in America. I mean --

HARRIS-PERRY: Right. This is kind of, you know, stats 101, right? It is
a sample from the box, the box that gave the American people. There are
more Democrats than Republicans, so you are going to end up with more
Democrats. It`s not weighted towards it. I don`t think he understands the
word waiting means in the survey.

But you know, what we heard there from Ted Cruz was very similar to what we
heard from the Romney camp during the last presidential election. A kind
of denialism about impure saying that in fact the American people were
supporting President Obama. So much so that you remember on election
night, there was genuine shock on the part of many Republicans.

SHARPTON: No doubt.

HARRIS-PERRY: Because they really honestly simply did not believe those
data. And this is the same party that has been part of climate change
denialism, part of variety of denialisms where they actually look at data,
look at evidence and say that`s just not true.

SHARPTON: Yes. Well, you know, Congressman, when you ask who is to blame
for the shutdown, the poll says 53 percent of Republicans in Congress, only
31 percent blame the president. But here`s what two Republican congressmen
said when confronted with that poll about who is to blame.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: -- that Republicans are taking the blame for

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we`re trying to do the right thing. You know, we
are trying not to be poll driven.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Do you think that there is pressure in that
the Republicans are taxing a majority of the blame and the president is

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apparently in your mind, there is.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There`s a lot of polls all the time. But we can`t run
the government based on polls.


SHARPTON: I mean, Congressman, they are trying to play it off. Obviously,
people in elected office ought to do what they believe. But you can`t
ignore the overwhelming majority of the American people. When you look at
these numbers, this is not just about poll driven. This is amazingly
tinted towards saying to these guys we do not support this shutdown and
flirting with the debt here.

MCDERMOTT: They simply don`t accept the fact that Americans want to have
health security. And the president gave it to them. And they have been
attacking it since the day it was passed. And they used it all through the
election. And the people said yes, we know about having health security
and we want it. And that`s why we`re going to re-elect Mr. Obama. Then
they took it to the Supreme Court and they lost again. And these guys
cannot accept that they have lost. And that the American people want what
the president and the Democrats have put together for them.

They are headed for a real stunning defeat in 2014 if they don`t change
very dramatically.

HARRIS-PERRY: I want to weigh in on this because I think your point was an
important one, Reverend, that if lawmakers are doing what they think to be
right, if they are fundamentally standing on a basic set of principles,
then I do think it`s worth saying look, we don`t simply govern by polls. I
think for me, what`s disturbing is they don`t seem to govern by election.
It is one thing not to govern by the polls.

SHARPTON: Or the Supreme Court.

HARRIS-PERRY: Right. But when you have the election of President Obama,
the reelection of President Obama, and when you look at 2012 during the
reelection of President Obama, you also had many hundreds of thousands of
additional Americans voting for Democrats, but because of how the districts
had been redrawn in 2010, it didn`t translate into those election wins.

SHARPTON: Otherwise you would have lost the majority of the house.

Absolutely lost the house. You know, governing by election does matter.

SHARPTON: Well, I`m going to have to leave it there.

Congressman McDermott, Melissa Harris-Perry, thank you both for your time

And be sure to watch Melissa Harris-Perry weekends at 10:00 a.m. eastern
right here on MSNBC.

Coming up, congratulations are in order. The GOP is breaking more records
for the lowest favorable poll numbers in history. And that means bad news
from the guy who started this mess. Ted Cruz is hearing you today.


CRUZ: Ma`am, thank you for being here. I wish you would participate in
the Democratic process through speaking respectfully. It seems that
President Obama`s paid political operatives are out in force today.


SHARPTON: And Dr. Ben Carson, an accomplished man and a rising star in the
right wing media just compared Obamacare to slavery. My response to him is

Also friend or foe, I want to know. E-mail me. "Reply Al" is ahead.


SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on facebook
yet? We hope you will. Today our facebook fans were le u after hearing
about right wingers comparing the affordable care act to slavery.

Carol says, this is exactly the kind of rhetoric that is turning people off
and is being reflected in the polls. Worst Republican Party ever.

Olivia asks, how can anyone draw a connection between the Affordable Care
Act and slavery? Didn`t see anywhere that it said for whites only on the

And Carol points out, I don`t think people were trying to sign up for

Coming up, we will show you that outrageous Obamacare attack we heard from
a FOX News contributor today.

But first we want to hear what you think too. 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: Since the government shutdown started, President Obama has been
clear with Republicans about where he stands. So see if you can pick up a


negotiate over Congress` responsibility to pay bills it`s already racked

You don`t negotiate by putting a gun to the other person`s head or worse
yet, by putting a gun to the American people`s head.

There will be no negotiations over this. The American people are not pawns
in some political game.

We`re not going to pay a ransom for America paying its bills. That`s
something that should be non-negotiable and everybody should agree on that.


SHARPTON: The president has stood firm staring down Republicans refusing
to give in to their extreme demands. And as we have been reporting,
Republicans are finally getting the message.

On Thursday, Republicans in the House offered a deal to extend the debt
ceiling for six weeks. Today, Republicans in the Senate are reportedly
considering a one-year extension. That`s a huge shift in just 24 hours.
And there are growing signals that the Republicans will cave on the
shutdown within days. A lot of chaos and pain could have been avoided if
Republicans had listened to the president from the start.

Joining me now is E.J. Dionne of "the Washington Post."

Thank you for coming on the show.


SHARPTON: E.J., the headline of your article this week is Obama can`t cave
even a little in the face of GOP extremism. And you wrote, quote, "giving
in is exactly what Obama cannot do.` I guess you and the president were on
the same page, E.J.

DIONNE: Well, I think that the principle here is important, but also the
fact that we have gone through this over and over again since the
Republicans won the house in 2010. And there`s one way to do business.
When you have divided government, each side has to negotiate. One side
gets some of the things it wants, the other side gets some of the things it
wants and you just proceed normally.

In this case, the Republicans avoided negotiating with the Democrats in the
Senate all during the year and then we got to this point and they said, OK,
if you don`t give us these things including for goodness sake the repeal of
Obamacare which he was never going to do, then we are going to cause all
these dire consequences.

So, I think it was very important to establish this principle. And the
polls show that the country has shifted in a very big way as a result of
not only the president, but really the whole Democratic Party standing
strong and saying no, we`re not going to give into this anymore.

SHARPTON: I also hear people that are close to the White House say that
the president feared the presidency is at stake. And if he makes certain
moves, that it compromises the presidency going forward.

DIONNE: Right. Well, I think there were a couple of things here. One is,
you know, back in 2011, he was willing to deal on this. He felt that after
the tea party victory in the election, there was a real chance that they
would go over the cliff and cause us some real problems.

Looking back on that, I think he said we can`t do this anymore. And it`s
not just the next three years of his presidency. If we make it routine to
use the debt ceiling or an endless series of shutdowns as the normal way of
doing business, we`re not going to be a serious country anymore. And
presidents, we don`t want excess in presidential power, but we want
presidents to have the power that presidents are supposed to have.

SHARPTON: But you know, E.J., Paul Ryan didn`t believe that the president
wouldn`t cave. Last month, Paul Ryan was asked about the president`s
promise to stand strong over the debt ceiling. His response was, quote,
"oh, nobody believes that. Nobody believes that."

Well, you think Paul Ryan believes it now?

DIONNE: He sure seems to when that op-ed piece in "the Wall Street
Journal," he didn`t mention Obamacare. I think that the republicans had
got accustomed in the idea that the president will start out giving them
their asking price. And he decided that wasn`t a good way to go forward.

SHARPTON: Which might have been their plan "a" and they had no plan "b"
when he didn`t cave on plan "a." And a growing number of Republicans are
admitting they won`t be able to defund Obamacare. Listen.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: Defunding Obamacare is not achievable. So
let`s not delude o supporters by telling them it is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s not going to work when the guy in the White House
is still named Barack Obama.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They don`t want this to go into law at all, but that`s
obviously not going to happen at this point.


SHARPTON: That`s very interesting that a lot of Republicans are now
admitting they can`t defund Obamacare. And with the president standing
strong, it seems like they had no plan "b," I repeat, E.J.

DIONNE: Well, you know, wars get started because people miscalculate the
other side. And in this case, they badly miscalculated where the president
was. The thing is a lot of Republicans are really angry. I mean, there is
this civil war in their party right now because a lot them said from the
beginning this wouldn`t work.

And John Boehner feeling that pressure from that tea party minority decided
to save his speakership, he had to go with them. There are an awful lot of
Republicans, I talked to one today who were really angry about this
strategy because they think it was failure right from the beginning.

SHARPTON: All right. Thank you for your time tonight. Have a great

DIONNE: You too, Reverend. Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, breaking bad. Ted Cruz and the Republicans hit
record lows in approval. How`s that rebranding going?

And it happened again. Another right winger using the language of slavery
to score political points. Why Dr. Ben Carson should know better.

Stay with us.


SHARPTON: This breaking news just in. The White House says that President
Obama held a conference call with 150 major business leaders about the debt
ceiling which needs to be raised next week. It`s all part of a big story
in Republican politics. Big business is now trying to take down the tea
party. That`s next.


SHARPTON: It`s the conversation no one wants to have. You know the one I


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need to talk.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m sorry if this isn`t the direction you saw things
going between us.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just say it. I want to hear you say it.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m done! I don`t deserve this. I really do not
deserve this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We were on a break!


SHARPTON: And you can add the Republican Party to the list of classic pop
culture breakups. The failed strategy of holding the country hostage to
demand defunding of Obamacare is a massive disaster. And now the tea party
is splintering.

Heritage action, the right wing group that pressured Republicans to jump on
the defund bandwagon, now says it won`t fight a deal on the debt ceiling.
But Americans for prosperity which got its start-up money from the
billionaire Koch brothers says a deal has to include cuts even though the
Koch brothers themselves are waving the white flag.

Their company sent a letter to the members of Congress this week saying it
hasn`t taken a position on tactic of using the continuing resolution to
defunding Obamacare. All of the country`s major business groups are
telling the tea party to quit the nonsense and reopen the government.

But former Senator Jim DeMint who helped get the likes of Ted Cruz elected
has no interest in the end of the shutdown. This drama is to be continued.
But I don`t see it ending well for the right.

Joining me now is Republican strategist Hogan Gidley and radio host Bill

Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Now, Hogan. You`re a Republican. You worked for Rick Santorum
but you told "The New York Times" today, quote, "we were fighting a battle
where we already lost on the same battlefield where we already lost it."
You`re saying it`s over. What do you say to your colleagues that refused
to give in?

I`m just saying, we`re fighting the wrong battle. I mean, it`s obvious
that ObamaCare is the law of the land. It was held up by the Supreme
Court. There are some Republicans, and I don`t know if they refuse to
acknowledge it or not, but we can be smarter and more savvy here if we try
to go to the American people from a braining stand point and say, look, if
you want to sign up for ObamaCare, that`s fine.

But you know, Reverend Al, that the Democrats ran a very effective
campaign against Mitt Romney on fairness and him being a big business guy.
One of the clear openings of the president gave Republicans was not only is
this a mandate, but it`s a mandate that he imposed on some people but not
everybody. He also gave several exemptions in this law. That`s not fair
at all. That`s a hole we could drive a Mack truck through from a messaging
standpoint and no one`s grabbed onto it. It blows my mind, but it`s
something that we could win on. But we can`t get out of our own way.
We`re fighting a repeal and replace battle when we should be fighting the
law itself in individual portions of it moving forward.

SHARPTON: All right. But we can debate ObamaCare, but are you
saying in terms of the politics of where we are right now that they`ve gone
down this road too far to win? I`m talking about your republican

GIDLEY: Right. Well, we`ve already lost it.


GIDLEY: We shouldn`t be going down the road anymore at all. We
should be taking a new road. Right? You know, you get to the split road,
you take one way or the other. We`re going down the same road we`ve
already been down. We`ve been defeated on that way. Let`s try a new way
is all I`m saying.

SHARPTON: Now, Bill Press, everyone in the Republican Party and the
right doesn`t agree with him. For example, pulling the defund ObamaCare
strings behind the scenes is former Senator Jim DeMint. And he thinks
Republicans weren`t conservative enough in 2012. He told Bloomberg quote,
"Republicans were told don`t do anything, don`t be the issue, don`t stand
for anything, make it about Obama. What happened in 2012 was that there
was a void of any inspiration, any attempt to lead. It certainly wasn`t
because the party was too conservative. It was because there were no
conservative leadership at all." Bill, how come Republicans moved further
right than they did?

have to say to hear Hogan, it`s nice to hear a level headed common sense
Republican speak on this issue. He`s not the only one, of course. There
are some level headed Republicans here in Washington like John McCain and
Peter King, Susan Collins and others who are saying the same thing. You
know, Reverend Al, it reminds me of the Democratic Party when we got wiped
out with George McGovern back in the `72. There were some Democrats who
said, the problem is we didn`t go far left enough. Right? No. There are
some time when you just got to realize that the extremists of have taken
over your party and your strategy is not working.

Hogan is absolutely right. And the problem here is, I mean, it`s Jim
DeMint on the outside and it`s Ted Cruz on the inside who and for some
reason with this cockamamie idea that they could after ObamaCare, defeat
ObamaCare, replace it with nothing, but do so by shutting down the
government. And for some strange reason, the Republican Party officially
bought that. It`s a colossal failure proven today.

SHARPTON: Hogan, doesn`t the Republican Party have a problem? Look
at the poll numbers. Look at public opinion. Here some Republican
Congressman saying, repeal just isn`t realistic. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I obviously support the repeal of ObamaCare and
still would like to repeal that law. Repeal`s not going to probably work
when the guy in the White House is still named Barack Obama.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: But you didn`t mention defunding ObamaCare. Is
that off the table now?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That`s currently off the table. We understand
that --


SHARPTON: Now, these guys have strong conservative credentials, but
they`re admitting a repeal just isn`t realistic. Hogan, is that your take?

GIDLEY: It is. And both of those people are basically Tea Party
folks. Right? I know them both. And what they`re saying is absolutely
correct. This is a battle we lost. And we`ve said that many times but
look, this isn`t anything we didn`t see coming. Right? The poll numbers
before this were bad, and now on the backside of this, they`re even worse.
And so, we knew that going in. So, to continue down this road seems a
little bit silly. But, look, I don`t want to be over -- have any
overreaction here. We`ve got serious problems, but the branding can be
changed if we fight it in the proper way going forward.

SHARPTON: Why are they doing this? Why are they moving forward in
this strategy? Is this something about the president? Is this about Obama
for some reason?

GIDLEY: No, I`ll tell you what I think, what is interesting and
something Washington probably hasn`t seen in a long time is, the Tea Party
comes over here and they`re elected in this big way. But they didn`t get
elected to bring back pork, they didn`t get elected to get a bridge named
after themselves and their own home districts or their state or their down,
they came over here to stop spending. And so, the typical way you bring --
how about we give you this committee, we put you on this committee?

And they`re saying, no, we don`t want that, we want to stop spending.
And that`s fine. That`s a good tack to take. But strategically to move
forward, you`re going to have to get people on your side. You can`t just
be a stick in the mind and say, I`m not doing this, I`m not budging.


GIDLEY: The purity matters, but you`ve got to bring people along
with you in the process and that`s what I think we`re missing right now.

SHARPTON: Yes. Bill, I think they`re going to stop spending.
They`re going to stop spending time in Washington if the polls hold up. Go
ahead, Bill.

PRESS: I was just going to say that the reality of what has happened
here is today and look at that NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, the Republican
Party brand has fallen to a new low. Worse than it was in 1995. The Tea
Party brand has fallen to a new low. And ObamaCare is more popular today
than it was before. So Ted Cruz has achieved in three weeks but Barack
Obama could not achieve in three years. He`s made ObamaCare popular of a

SHARPTON: But let me go back to what you were saying, Hogan.


SHARPTON: Because as you talked about how the Tea Party was elected
differently. Now conservative blog Eric Erickson says we are headed toward
a third party. He wrote, John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell, and
John Cornyn will ensure that ObamaCare is fully funded. In doing so, they
will sow the seeds of a real third party movement that will fully divide
the Republican Party. A third party? I mean, I`m hearing what you`re
saying these guys were elected for. I`m seeing what the leadership is
being forced to do. Is it really possible that a third party could happen?

GIDLEY: I don`t think in the current structure that`s a good claim.
And I know Eric and he`s a good guy, I just think he`s missed the mark
here. And look, even if these people were to form a third party, what are
they popular? Twenty five percent I think that poll came out today. So,
they`ve got 25 percent. That still doesn`t win you any election. Right?
It still doesn`t move a people onto your side. These guys came over here
and they have done everything they said they were going to do and they were
elected to do.

So, you can`t blame them for that. Where I blame is leadership from
the top. If you have strong enough leaders on the top bringing these guys
in saying, look, this is the way we have to get this thing done from a
strategic standpoint and how we can actually get some victories and some
successes in the future. Instead it`s become a test of purity. And if
you`re not on the right side of that test early on, then you`re some kind
of phony and fake and they try to ostracize you early on. I just don`t
think that`s the right way to move a nation. I don`t think it`s the right
way to win elections.

SHARPTON: Bill, where is this going? Who`s going to win? How`s this
going to wind down?

PRESS: Well, I think the answer is to look at the contrast with the
Democratic Party to the Republican Party we`ve been talking about
rightfully so. Democratic Party, I`ve never seen it. The Democrats in the
Senate, in the House, in the White House. More united on any issue.
They`re hanging tough. I think the -- continue to hang top. Republicans
already have agreed that they are going to lift the debt ceiling. The only
question is for how long.

And as you indicated a little earlier Bernard, there`s already talk
now that they`re going to reopen the government perhaps tomorrow, perhaps
as early as Monday. I think what we`ve seen finally is that John Boehner
recognized reality. Republicans are going to cave and we`re going to get
back on track. And then start some serious negotiations about the budget
deals including Hogan, some of those changes in the Affordable Care Act
which are necessary.

SHARPTON: Hogan, where is this going? How does it end?

GIDLEY: Oh, gosh. That`s the million dollar question. I`m not
really sure. But Bill is right to a certain degree. Look, but the
Democrats aren`t completely clean here, OK? This ObamaCare bill does have
problems. Reid said it, they`re calling this train wreck, Obama himself
said there are problems. They`ve got glitches up front with the computer
system. This will be altered and changed. But that`s what I`m saying. If
Republicans were on the front side of that changes, pointing out these
things, pointing out it being unfair to mandate it for some and not for
others, kickbacks for big business, not letting them get on it, but forcing
everybody else to be on it. We`d be having a completely different

SHARPTON: I`m going to have to leave it there --

PRESS: And do those changes through the legislative process not by
trying to shut down the government.

SHARPTON: I`m going to have to leave it there. Hogan Gidley and Bill
Press, thank you for your time.

GIDLEY: Thanks.

PRESS: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: And Hogan, if you hear anybody in the Tea Party wants to
start a third party, tell them I`ll give them all the time they need on

GIDLEY: I`m sure they`ll take you up on that. Thanks a lot.

PRESS: I`d love to see it.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Ted Cruz went inside the right wing bubble
today. And guess what was missing. Facts. We`ve got those ahead.

And another conservative just compared ObamaCare to slavery. Why this
ugly trend needs to stop.


SHARPTON: Ted Cruz pretends everything is just fine with the GOP.
All those polls showing record lows, they`re all wrong to him. But inside
that bubble, they believe him. Here`s the welcome he got at today`s values
voter summit.


you stand with Ted Cruz?


Tell me now, does he deserve our gratitude for his magnificent
devotion to liberty? Don`t tell me, tell Senator Ted Cruz!



SHARPTON: He got the rock star treatment. He`s famous with this
group. But everyone else, he`s infamous. And during his speech today, he
got a reminder of that.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: And yet what we saw across this country --
ma`am, thank you for being here. I wish you would participate in the
democratic process through speaking respectfully. It seems that President
Obama`s paid political operatives are out in force today.


And you know why? And you know why? Because the men and women in
this room scare the living daylights out of them.


SHARPTON: Oh, yes, Senator Cruz maybe you`re scaring the daylights
out of the president inside that bubble. But here`s reality. The new NBC
News Poll shows President Obama about six points above water. His positive
ratings are six points higher than his negatives. But Ted Cruz`s, he`s at
minus 14. The Tea Party movement, it`s at minus 26. And the Republican
Party, it`s at minus 29. Senator Cruz may be the best thing since sliced
bread to the Tea Party folks, but the real surprise, Democrats are also
loving him these days.

Joining me now are Dana Milbank and Maria Teresa Kumar. Thank you
both for coming on the show.


SHARPTON: Dana, your column this week is titled, quote, "The
Crucifixion of the GOP." You write the standoff has been a political blood
bath for Republicans and maybe that`s exactly what was needed to right the
political system. What do you mean by that?

MILBANK: Well, look. Ted Cruz did something very good for Ted Cruz
and very bad for the Republican Party. And for that matter, for the
conservative movement now you showed him being under water with that
negative, minus 14, the only reason it`s not much lower than that is
because not enough people know him yet. The more he`s getting known to the
American public, the more that negative his numbers become. So he became
the de facto leader of this shutdown, this -- and it was very clear from
the beginning that it would be indeed a disaster for his party. He took
them in that direction anyway. And they were intimidated into doing it.
You know, Ted Cruz isn`t at this moment scaring the Democrats to death.
He`s scaring his fellow Republicans to death.

SHARPTON: Maria, is Ted Cruz like other states rights defenders who
oppose progress? Will he just fade out?

done a wonderful job with this GOP crisis and the shutdown talking about
me, me, me. And that`s the perfect label when it comes to the Tea Party
movement. It`s all about the individual. And what he`s done is he`s not
only seen an opportunity to become the leader of the Tea Party movement,
but he realizes that they`re the ones that have come out most in primaries.
So, I think he has the short-term and the long-term vision.

The short-term vision is how can I make sure that we still have the
Tea Party folks at the forefront of this political discussion so that when
he announces his candidacy for president in 2016, he already has that base.
A base that was sorely missed when it came to Romney. Romney never had
that Tea Party base. So I think that it will be interesting to see if he
starts shifting his negotiations the closer we get past the primary season
for 2016 I know it`s early but --

SHARPTON: It`s interesting she says that, Dana. Because a huge split
comes when you`re viewing Senator Cruz. When you look at those who aren`t
in the Tea Party, just 13 percent view him positively. Twenty three
percent view him negatively. But look at this. Among Tea Party
Republicans, 52 percent view him positively and just four percent view him
negatively. So there`s this split based on your view from the right on how
you see Ted Cruz.

MILBANK: Right. Well, the Tea Party -- the conservatives are
actually a very small minority. The problem is they`re dominant in the
Republican Party because they have been so powerful in these Republican
primaries. That`s how Ted Cruz got his job. That`s how he`ll keep his
job. Now the real question is, has the rest of the Republican Party had
enough of this? Mostly the business interests that are basically funding
the Tea Party.


MILBANK: They thought they had common interests. Right now with all
the economic destruction the Tea Party has brought about, they are not on
the same page as way at all. They are talking about now getting involved
in running primary opposition against some of these Tea Party candidates.
So if you see this split within the Republican Party, the Tea Party element
that Ted Cruz has ridden to prominence is really a small minority within
that party. It`s just they happen to have a strangle hold over the primary
process now.

SHARPTON: Maria, you know, today Congressman Peter King tore into
Senator Cruz. Listen to this.


REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: It reminds me of the guy in the
schoolyard who doesn`t have the guts to fight himself. He holds the coats
and tells the other guys to carry out the fight. That`s number one. But
number two, no one has done more to strengthen ObamaCare than Ted Cruz.
Because since he started this maniacal crusade of his, the fact is over the
last ten days, support for ObamaCare has gone up seven percent in the
country. So President Obama and the supporters of ObamaCare should thank
Ted Cruz because he is their biggest ally right now.


SHARPTON: Maniacal, he used the word but Cruz is getting praised by
Glenn Beck and others, but even right wing pundits like Charles
Krauthammer. They`re angry with him. Take a listen.


How exactly was he going to achieve abolition of ObamaCare? Explain that
to me. Has he ever explained it? And where is he now? His side kick
Senator Lee said, oh we`re past ObamaCare. We`ve moved on. I mean, you
know, we have the generals who lead people into battle of little bighorn
and then go home and have lunch and leave the troops out there? Where are
they? Where are the generals?


SHARPTON: Little bighorn didn`t turn out that well here, Maria.

KUMAR: Not at all. I mean, when you look at someone like DeMint who
is heading up the Heritage Foundation, you said, there was no way that they
were going to negotiate with the debt ceiling if they didn`t have
ObamaCare. Today basically watch his head and saying actually, go ahead
and we`ll negotiate because we can`t win on ObamaCare. You now have
basically Ted Cruz standing alone in the Republican Party and again, that`s
rich for his opportunity to hold the mantle of leadership within the party.
But it`s very lonely when you don`t have any friends in Washington within
the Senate or outside of the Senate.

Dana Milbank, Maria Teresa Kumar, thank you both for your time this
evening. Have a great weekend.

MILBANK: You too.

KUMAR: You too, Reverend. Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Dr. Ben Carson, the rising star inside the
right wing bubble says ObamaCare is the worst thing since slavery. Next.


SHARPTON: We`ve talked about the ugly trend of the right of using
the language of slavery to score political points. Some are even comparing
ObamaCare to slavery. And it happened again today. Meet the newest FOX
News contributor. He`s Dr. Ben Carson, a world renowned surgeon. He`s
been awarded 38 honorary doctorate degrees and even received a presidential
medal of freedom from President Bush. This is a man we should all be
celebrating, and that`s why I was so surprised to hear him say this today.


DR. BEN CARSON, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: ObamaCare is really, I think,
the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. And it is
in a way, it is slavery.


SHARPTON: ObamaCare is the worst thing since slavery? Dr. Carson is
a smart guy. But he sounds just like those other right wing talkers.


want to do is go back to before those days when we were in different
classes based on income, based on color of skin.

Affordable Care Act is the law. As though we`re supposed to genuflect at
that sunburst of insight and move on. Well, the fugitive slave act was the
law. Separate by equal was the law. A lot of things are the law and we
change them.

LIMBAUGH: The Republicans say, well, we can`t do anything about, it`s
the law of the land. Well, so was slavery one time the law of the land.


SHARPTON: Now, we expect this from them, but Dr. Carson, you should
know better. And this program note, Alec Baldwin`s new show, "UP LATE WITH
ALEC BALDWIN," premieres at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time. His first guest is
New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio. And they`ll talk about the
future of stop and frisk in New York.


Let`s say --

positive thinking.

BALDWIN: Let`s say you become the mayor, long shot. Who`s going to
be the police commissioner?

DE BLASIO: Well, first have to win and go through a thorough process.
But I have said I want a commissioner that is going to end the stop and
frisk era. Kelly`s gone. With all due respect to him, but time for a

BALDWIN: Stop and frisk the only reason Kelly`s gone?

DE BLASIO: No. But it`s a very prominent reason. But I think look,
a commissioner has really going to focus on the relationship between police
and community as the right thing to do and because it will also intensify
our crime fighting efforts and it`s going to respect the U.S. constitution
in the bargain.


SHARPTON: To see the entire interview and a whole lot more, tune in
tonight to "UP LATE WITH ALEC BALDWIN" 10 p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, ObamaCare is working. Approval of the
president`s health care law is up seven percent since the Republicans
shutdown the government. From the start the president refused to back down
from the Republican pressure. In my new book "The Rejected Stone," I talk
about continuing to strive for what you know in your heart is right and
staying hungry. I`m really excited for my new book. If you`d like to read
an excerpt, please go to our Facebook page.
And there you also find information about my next book signing.

Tomorrow, I will be at my civil rights organization`s headquarters.
The National Action Network`s House of Justice on 145th Street in Harlem,
9:00 a.m. to noon. I hope to see you all there. This is a long weekend, a
good weekend for reading. This book deals with your rejection in society
and in the rejections we may have personally. I grew up having to deal
with a single parent home rejected by my dad. I had to get past
insecurities. This is political, but it`s also personal. Because if we
can get by our personal hang-ups, if we can get by society rejections, we
can change to make the country what it should be. And we can make
ourselves the ultimate best of what we intended and wanted to be.

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


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