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PoliticsNation, Monday, October 21, 2012

Read the transcript from the Monday show

Date: October 21, 2013
Guest: Alan Grayson, Patricia Murphy, James Peterson, Joe Madison,
Jimmy Williams

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thank you Dr. Dyson and thanks to
you for tuning in.

I`m live tonight from Chicago. Tonight`s lead, setting the record
straight. Today, President Obama made it clear, his Healthcare Law will
save lives and cut cost. And he also owned up to a problem.


OBAMA: There is no sugarcoating it. The website has been too
slow. People have been getting stuck during the application process.
And I think it`s fair to say that nobody is more frustrated by that than
I am.


SHARPTON: No sugarcoating it. The right-wing is trying to follow
along. That`s what we call a candid honest assessment. But then, he
addressed conservative on the right who are rooting for failure.


Republicans have made blocking the Affordable Care Act, its signature
policy idea. Sometimes it seems to be the one thing that unifies the
party these days. But it`s time for people to stop rooting for their
failure because hard working families are rooting for its success.


SHARPTON: It`s one thing to dislike a policy, but to attack it
with lies and fear is quite another thing. Take the shutdown king
himself. Texas Senator Ted Cruz talking about health care this weekend.
It seemed not even one fact came out of his mouth.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: It is the number one job killer in this
country. Some people coming out of school right now can`t find jobs
because of Obamacare. Single moms all over this country are being
forced into part-time work trying to feed their kids on 29 hours a week
because of Obamacare. Hard-working families are getting in the mail
massive premium increases on their health care that they can`t afford
because of Obamacare. People all over this country, seniors, people
with disabilities, are getting notifications in the mail right now that
they`re losing their health insurance because of Obamacare.


SHARPTON: False statement after false statement and it`s

Today, a reporter from the right wing national review actually sent
out this tweet. Is Obamacare President Obama`s Iraq war? He`s equating
a law designed to give 30 million Americans health care to the tragedy
of the Iraq war? You can fix a Web site. You can`t get back the lost
lives of an unwarranted war.

And how`s this for exaggeration? Republican Senator Jim Inhofe who
recently had successful heart surgery said this.


SEN. JIM INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: You know, you`re talking to someone
right now who probably wouldn`t be here if we had socialized medicine in


SHARPTON: It`s the scare tactics and the fear mongering we`ve
heard from the start. Death panels, it`s going to kill granny, it`s
communism or socialism. It`s time to get out of that made-up universe
and get in touch with reality.

Joining me now is Dana Milbank and Joan Walsh. Thank you for being



SHARPTON: Joan, the president admitted there`s a problem and that
there are problems with the health care Web site. But he also made it
clear the Web site is not the policy that will give health care security
to millions of Americans. What did you make of it?

WALSH: I thought it was great, Reverend Al. You know, people were
saying he was going to come out and apologize which I thought was crazy.
It was set up as kind of apology tour. And he was actually really
defiant and he was really proud of what the Affordable Care Act has
accomplished. It is not a Web site. The Web site has a lot of
problems. And you know, neither of us -- none of us here, you know,
would dismiss that or deny that. But it`s not the Web site. They will
work out the glitches. And it`s really rich for these men who`ve worked
so long to defund or repeal Obamacare to deny these 30 million Americans
government help with health insurance. Suddenly being so concerned that
these people might be having trouble reaching the Web site, getting
their applications through. It`s such hypocrisy.

And you saw a president who I think has learned from these five
years of obstruction and really isn`t having it anymore, you know. He
wants it fixed. Nobody wants it fixed more. But he`s not going to sit
there and apologize and do what a lot of people on the right -- and you
know, I saw some liberal pundits who wanted him to be a little bit more
apologetic. He`s not going to do that anymore. He`s done.

SHARPTON: You know, Dana, the fact is there has been mess ups on
the Web site. There have been enormous problems in glitches and the
president owned up to that. But he also said let`s keep in mind that
the goal here was to provide health care. Listen to this.


OBAMA: But I just want to remind everybody, we did not wage this
long and contentious battle just around a Web site. That`s not what
this was about. We waged this battle to make sure that millions of
Americans in the wealthiest nation on earth finally have the same chance
to get the same security of affordable, quality health care as anybody
else. That`s what this is about.


SHARPTON: Dana, isn`t it the destination of this whole policy to
deal with health care for the uninsured and though we cannot excuse or
minimize glitches, we shouldn`t lose sight of what we are after here.

MILBANK: Well, and I think that`s what the president`s 27 minutes
in the Rose Garden today were about. And it was quite an extensive
sales pitch for the program.

Now, yes, you can take the long view and say does the signups on
the Web site matter for a program that doesn`t even take effect until
next year, it may not matter as a matter of health care policy. The
problem is it`s opened the door for the Ted Cruzs of the world to say I
told you Obamacare was a train wreck. And if that Web site is, there`s
a problem there, they think it`ll give legitimacy to their argument that
all these other things that aren`t necessarily true are also problems
with Obamacare.

So even though it`s just a Web site glitch, it`s left the president
in a defensive kind of position here when it`s a shame that he couldn`t
be rolling out his signature policy initiative with some more

WALSH: He seemed confident to , Dana. I`ve got to say. He seemed
very confident to me.

SHARPTON: Well, I agree with Joan on that one, Dana.

But, you know, let me take it to another part of this discussion.
Jim DeMint in his Heritage Foundation which led the shutdown charge has
a new report out about Obamacare. Let`s talk about the policy. It
finds in the report, quote, "individuals in most states will end up
spending more on the exchanges."

Now, talking points memo found one rather glaring problem with that
report from the heritage foundation. Quote, this is talking memos,
"they didn`t account for the financial help that the affordable care act
gives uninsured people." In other words, they ignored the subsidies for
millions of low-income families that`s the central part of the law.
Millions of Americans get help to buy insurance. I mean, that`s the
whole point of the law.

So in all of this confusion that they`re trying to cause, they`re
putting out outright lies, myths, and exaggerations which gets away from
the point of the law which is why the law was enacted and was put
through in the first place, Joan.

WALSH: Well, right. And you know, ever since heritage has signed
a report on immigration to a white supremacist, I don`t think that their
searches anymore has a whole lot of credibility, Reverend Al. There was
a problem with the report that it wasn`t looking at subsidies.

It was also comparing apples to oranges. I mean, one unappreciated
things about the Affordable Care Act is that it is raising the floor on
our health insurance. It is requiring more from health insurance
companies. So, it is kind of -- it`s not easy to get direct apples to
apples comparisons. We`re really moving into a world where insurance
companies are expected to do more for us.

So, even if you`re trying with good faith even if you were a
nonprofit think tank that was really trying to explain this and study
is, it`s going to be hard to compare for awhile. We`re going to be
shaking -- this is going to be shaking out for a long time. But most
people are going to get tax credits or subsidies. Something like 60
percent of the people who come through these exchanges. Other people
are going to be covered by Medicaid. So if Republican governors will go
along with that.

So most people are going to be in much better shape. I`m sure
there will be a few people that are paying more, but they may be paying
more for a much, much better quality plan.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, Dana, I`ll give you another example of
these exaggerations. FOX News recently did a segment about Obamacare
with some people who claim the law was hurting them personally in their
business. Watch this.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Average Americans, their families
are also feeling the pain thanks to the health care overhaul train
wreck. And six of them, they`re here with us tonight.


SHARPTON: But Salon, Joan`s Web site, followed up with some
investigative work, the report titled inside the FOX News lie machine, I
fact-checked Sean Hannity on Obamacare. And the reporter interviewed
the people supposedly getting gouged by Obamacare. And it turned out
none of them had even visited the insurance exchange. So they`re
jumping on anything because they never wanted the Affordable Care Act
known as Obamacare.

MILBANK: That`s right. And in that same report, this fellow who
is claiming he`s cutting back on employees because Obamacare was
actually misreading the law and wasn`t required to do so in the first
place. I think what`s going on, on the right now, it`s sort of cynical
which may surprise you just a little bit. But the idea is anything that
goes bad in health care in America they feel they can make this
president own. So if anybody`s premiums have go up, if anybody`s lost
their health care coverage, they`re going to say that`s because of
Obamacare even though pretty much by definition, that couldn`t be the
case at this time.

So, what I was saying earlier is that it would be nice if the
president and his administration could be making a more full throated
case right now arguing for the merits. They`ve been hobbled by their
own IT people inside HHS who have not allowed him to make that more
assertive case. Yes, he was quite upbeat in the White House. I was
there in the rose garden today. But it`s just a shame that he`s got
this drag at the moment. He should be making a case for the policy.

SHARPTON: No, I agree with you it`s a shame that he has to deal
with this and someone ought to be held accountable. But as I said at
the beginning of the show, Dana, I`m in Chicago. I`m headed n to New
York tomorrow. Even if the pilot takes a route that`s more turbulent
and out of the way than he could have had a smooth flight, I still keep
in mind my destination is New York, not just a smooth ride.

MILBANK: The key is in getting there.

SHARPTON: But let`s not get off the plane until we arrive at
affordable health care for all Americans.

Dana Milbank and Joan Walsh, thank you both for your time tonight.

MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.

WALSH: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, sore losers in the billionaire boys club.
The Koch brothers have been trying and failing to kill the health care
law. Wait until you hear their latest big money scheme.

Plus, Dick Cheney to the rescue. He left the White House with a 13
point approval rating. Now he`s back with some amazing words about the
tea party. What could possibly go wrong?

SHARPTON: And the Willie Horton ad 25 years later. The ad that
changed an election and American politics. Ho it is still effecting and
infecting our politics to this very day.

Also, friend or foe, I want to know. "Reply Al" is ahead.


SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? Today the president`s big speech on the affordable care
act dominated the conversation.

Terri says Obamacare has truly been a blessing for me. I`m so
tired of the small percentage that want to take away our health care

Dennis says how about using that $24 billion the GOP squandered in
the shutdown to get this thing up and running.

Nice idea. We want to hear what you think.

Please head over to facebook and search "Politics Nation" and like
us to join the conversation that keeps going long after the show ends.


SHARPTON: The billionaire Koch brothers failed in their bid to
stop Obamacare by shutting down the government, so now they moved on to
plan "b," attack the poor. "The New York Times" reports Charles and
David Koch are ramping up their fight to block states from expanding
Medicaid under the law. They can`t win in Washington, so they`re trying
to win out there in the state with the flood of their cash.

The latest battle is in Virginia where 400,000 people would go
without coverage if Medicaid wasn`t expanded. "The Times" says activist
from Koch brother groups in Virginia are crashing town halls and
flooding state offices with mail that even Republicans are calling
deceptive and intimidating.

It`s totally immoral. Two billionaires doing everything they can
to keep poor people from getting insurance. I mean, how low is that?
These are the same guys who are funding those creepy Uncle Sam ads
telling young people not to get insured.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I see you chose to sign up for Obamacare.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, it`s actually my first time here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, here we are then. Change into a gown
and the doctor will see you soon.


SHARPTON: The Koch brothers have spent millions to promote their
far right agenda. They`re behind right wing groups like freedom works,
Americans for prosperity, and generation opportunity. These
organizations have funneled millions of dollars to tea party candidates
and groups who share one set of goals, stop President Obama. But this
effort to deny health insurance to poor people in Virginia may be their
lowest move yet.

Joining me now is Congressman Alan Grayson, Democrat from Florida.

Thank you for being here tonight, Congressman.


SHARPTON: You know, it is pretty unseemly for the billionaire
brothers spending money so that people won`t have health insurance?

GRAYSON: It is (INAUDIBLE). Here in Florida, more than a million
people are not getting health insurance but the federal government will
pay for entirely, 100 cents on a dollar simply because the Tallahassee
Republicans and governor Scott won`t go along with it.

We pay our taxes to Washington, D.C. We get this coverage in
return, and they are preventing that from happening. So one million
Floridians are going to g without health coverage this year, next year
and the year after and a certain number of them are going to tie because
of that.

The Koch brothers are responsible. The Republicans are
responsible. They all will have blood on their hands.

SHARPTON: But, you know, it was interesting congressman. Ten
Republican governors have caved on the Medicaid expansion. In fact
today, we learned Governor Kasich in Ohio has won his fight to bypass
the state Republican legislature to expand Medicaid as well. He Koch
brothers are still fighting this, but aren`t more and more states seeing
that expanding Medicaid is the way to go?

GRAYSON: Well, you`d have to be a fool to think otherwise. We`re
talking here about the poorest of the working poor. That`s what this
expansion covers. It`s people who make less than the poverty level, who
have no children, they don`t qualify under current Medicaid`s standard
in most states. And they still have to work and they simply can`t
afford the coverage any other way.

If you ask people why don`t you have coverage? Ninety percent of
them say because we can`t afford it. So here, the federal government is
stepping in and eliminating discrimination that exist between child,
couples and childless couples and treating everybody the same and these
Republicans have to insinuate themselves and prevent five million people
from getting the coverage they deserve.

SHARPTON: You know, Koch-sponsored organizations are also hosting,
listen to this they`re going further with hosting events for college
students on college campuses to get young people to reject the
affordable care act. They host pizza parties, dance parties with
deejays. They`ll hand out beer koozies that read opt out. The even
have a face Obamacare draft card burning. I man, they`re going all out
to try and deal with turning young people off of something that young
people really need.

GRAYSON: Well, my advice to them is to drink their beer, eat their
pizza and then sign up for the care because in many cases this care
costs less than $100 a month. It`s less than my cable bill and they
need it. If they get in a motorcycle accident, and car accident like so
many young people do, they are going to need that coverage and they`ll
be glad they did.

SHARPTON: I mean, this is really billionaires versus poor people.
And in fact, President Obama recently called out billionaires like the
Koch brothers. Watch this.


OBAMA: Some of the tea party`s biggest donors, some of the
wealthiest men in America are funding a cynical ad campaign trying to
convince young people not to buy health care at all. I mean, think
about it. These are billionaires several times over, you know they`ve
got good health care.


SHARPTON: Now, to be fair, they`re not only spending their money
in this area, Congressman. They have reportedly owned two million acres
of land in northern Alberta. If the Keystone Pipeline is expanded, the
Koch brothers stand to make $100 billion in profits. Isn`t it exactly
this wealth that makes it possible for them to have such enormous
influence over issues that benefit them?

GRAYSON: Well, it is exactly why there are such enormous influence
over the tea party and the Republican Party because the Republican
party`s creed these days is let`s take every tax break, let`s take every
bail out, let`s take every permit like the keystone permit. Let`s take
every government contract and put it up to the highest bidder. Not for
the public, not for treasury, but their own caucus, for their campaign
contributions and that`s the way they do business, from Eric Cantor on

SHARPTON: Congressman Alan Grayson, thank you.

And one last note, we reached out to the Koch brothers on this
story, but they declined to comment.

Congressman Grayson, again, thank for your time tonight.

Coming up, beaten by President Obama, how do Republicans dig
themselves out of the hole they dug? More Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz? I
don`t think so.

But first, nice try got you tonight. Senator Marco Rubio is all
wet, and we got him. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Time for a "Politics Nation" pop quiz. What do these
words have in common? Mess, disaster, failure, debacle. Any guesses?

They were all used to describe the GOP`s shutdown strategy. A
failed strategy supported by senator Marco Rubio, a rising star in the
Republican Party. And a guy talked about as a possible presidential
candidate. So what does the GOP star do now? He runs away from it as
fast as he can. Watch this full blown sprint into action.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I never was in favor of shutting
down the government. I was never in favor of defunding the government.
I was in favor of funding the government fully.


SHARPTON: He was never in favor of shutting down the government?
So I must have just dreamt he was right next to Ted Cruz during that 21-
hour let`s shut down the government over Obamacare phony filibuster
speech thing. Maybe that green eggs and ham just gave me nightmares.
And I guess that big vote, you know, the one where Senator Rubio voted
against reopening the government, it was just a big misunderstanding.
And this must have been the summer heat getting to him.


RUBIO: I believe that we should not vote nor pass a continuing
resolution unless that continuing resolution defunds Obamacare. We
should not pass a continuing resolution and I will not vote for a
continuing resolution unless it defunds Obamacare.


SHARPTON: Translation there, I will shut down the government
unless I get my way. Why does Marco Rubio think he can rewrite history?
It`s like trying to tell us he doesn`t like water. Like saying he never
made an awkward reach for a bottle of spring on national TV.

Senator Rubio, did you think we wouldn`t notice that you`re
watering down the facts? Nice try, but this one`s on us because we got


SHARPTON: The Tea Party is sinking the Republican Party, and
there`s even talk of Democrats winning back the House. And, oh, yes.
Tea Party ring leader Senator Ted Cruz isn`t exactly winning any
popularity contests.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: On a human level, that`s got to bother you to
be sitting in an institution like the Senate and having your not
Democrats, fellow Republicans so angry at you.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: How much do your colleagues just despise you
right now on the floor? I hear some really strong language.

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Senator, good to see you. What`s it
like to be the most hated man in America?


SHARPTON: That`s an average interview for Senator Cruz. Thanks
for joining me, let me ask you why people hate you. But here`s the
thing to the Republican extremist base, he`s a rock star. This week he
received an eight-minute standing ovation at an event in Texas. And
he`s getting presidential buzz because of a trip to Iowa later this
week. But he`s not the only one stoking the Tea Party base. Sarah
Palin`s out with a new op-ed blasting D.C.`s corrupt bastard`s club and
establishment Republicans. This is all bad for the Republicans, right?
Well, not everyone agrees.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: You`ve said in the past that you thought the
Tea Party is a positive influence. Do you still feel that way?

DICK CHENEY, 46TH U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: I do. Because I think the
race issues in an awful lot of Americans care about. That we`ve got a
terrible track record with respect to federal spending. They had much
rather see them in the party that on with the party.


SHARPTON: That`s right, America. Dick Cheney, the man who left
office with 13 percent approval rating, thinks the Tea Party is a-OK.
Keep it going, Republicans, keep it going.

Joining me now are Patricia Murphy and James Peterson. Thank you
both for coming on the show tonight.



SHARPTON: Patricia, doesn`t this eight-minute standing ovation
from Ted Cruz show how disconnected the GOP base is from the rest of the

MURPHY: Well, sure, it does. Because if you look at any recent
polls about who Americans blame for the recent shutdown about which
party they trust me at this point to run the federal government, about
whether they want the federal government to be open or not, polls show
that Americans, Democrat and Republican alike blame what happened, blame
everything that happened merely on the conservative base of the
Republican Party. But if you look at that standing ovation and look at
the details buried within those post, the base of the Republican Party
feels great about what just happened.

And they feel particularly good about Ted Cruz. So, I think that
while this has hurt Republicans generally and not necessarily
conservative Republicans, but just pragmatic Republicans, this has only
helped Ted Cruz. I think his fund raising and when we see start to see
some of the fund raising numbers, will be humongous. I think when he
goes to Iowa he will be hailed as a hero.


MURPHY: And I think this has only been to the better for Ted Cruz.
But for any Republicans I`ve talked to, they are absolutely devastated
at what`s happen and very worried about what`s going to happen in the
future of their party.

SHARPTON: But James, you know, what`s unsettling for most is that
the Sarah Palins and the Ted Cruzs and the Tea Party seems to be driving
the whole GOP party. I mean, you could have a functional car, but if
you have someone at the wheel that can`t drive, you`re going over the

PETERSON: That`s right, Rev. And it looks as if they will
continue to drive at least in some way for the foreseeable future. And
the irony about that rosy applause in the state of Texas that Texas
happens to be one of those states that actually extracts more, they take
more from the federal government than they actually give in taxes. And
so they`re supporting this movement that`s not really conscientious
about the ways in which federal funding and taxation works even in their
own state. And it`s kind of that level of ignorance that I think drives
some of the sort of excitement around political support for Tea Party

It`s not about reality, it`s not about the facts. You know,
sometimes it`s just about their ideology. And their positions. And I
think part of what we`re seeing, though, and it`s interesting to see how
this develops. Some pragmatic Republicans, some people have referred to
them as moderate Republicans, but they`ve lashed out a little bit at the
Heritage Foundation and their former colleague, former Senator Jim
DeMint. They`re lashing out privately at Senator Ted Cruz. Which means
that moderate Republicans understand that that the long game here that
Ted Cruz is trying to play ultimately has too much collateral damage
within the Republican Party for them to stomach at this point.

SHARPTON: And Patricia, the results are voters are realizing the
GOP is not mainstream. Fifty six percent say, the GOP is too extreme
while 60 percent say the Tea Party is too extreme. And the GOP civil
war is hurting the Republicans. And that`s good news for Democrats.
Fifty four percent now say that GOP control of the House is bad for the
country. And according to a new PPP poll, Democrats have the
opportunity to pick up seats in 49 out of 61 House races.

MURPHY: Well, I think if the election were tomorrow, those numbers
would be absolutely true. I think there`s a lot that`s going to happen
between now and the election. And that`s why Democrats are more than
happy for Ted Cruz to run out way ahead of the GOP and keep talking.
Because he distracts quite a bit from what`s going on. And when the
conversations about Ted Cruz, Democrats could not be happier. But I do
think in states like Georgia, states like Louisiana, Kentucky, where
there are strong even business friendly Democrats running for the Senate
in what would otherwise be very Republican friendly states, I think the
last month has been very, very bad for those candidates who are running.

But again, I think that as long as the conversation is Ted Cruz,
Democrats are thrilled because it distracts from the rollout of
ObamaCare, from a lot of things that most Americans have a lot of
anxiety over. As long as we`re talking about Ted Cruz, that is going to
win the day for Democrats.

SHARPTON: But even when you see, James, Republicans try to take
Cruz on, there`s the backlash from these far right wingers. For
example, an established figure like Jeb Bush, he criticized Ted Cruz for
his efforts to defund health care. Listen to this.


FORMER GOV. JEB BUSH (R), FLORIDA: Have a little bit of self-
restraint. It might actually be a politically better approach to see
the massive dysfunction, but we don`t even hear about that because we`ve
stepped on that message. And I think Republicans need to just take a
step back and allow, show a little self-restraint and let this happen
more organically.


SHARPTON: But almost immediately, Glenn Beck took offense at Jeb
Bush`s attacks on Ted Cruz. Listen to this.


GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: If you guys would not have been
shooting at Ted Cruz, you could have been showing the world how bad it
was. And if I just may point out that maybe it`s time to stop listening
to the Bushs. Are we really going to go down the Jeb Bush road now? Is
that really where we`re going to we went down the George H. W. Bush and
now we were going to go down the Jeb Bush road?


SHARPTON: I mean, isn`t this the problem James, that the Rush
Limbaughs and the Glenn Becks, they attack any voices in the party that
advises restraint.

PETERSON: It is part of the problem. You know, they have this
authenticity litmus test. They love to refer to some of these
Republicans as rhinos. Republicans in the name only. But sadly Rev,
there`s not really any place in the Republican Party right now for Jeb
Bush. You know, a pro-immigration, almost moderate Bush brand name
Republican doesn`t have much place. The Tea Party is at times anti-
Bush, and certainly when you look at this pivot the president has made
towards immigration, it poses an incredible challenge for the Republican
Party. Because the far right doesn`t seem to want to come to the table
and have this negotiation.

But the moderate and more pragmatic Republicans understand the
future of the party in some ways rests with his Republican caucus`
capacity to negotiate with the president and show that they can sort of
support immigration reform. You know, the president`s in a win/win
situation when it comes to immigration right now. He`s going to push
for some kind of comprehensive immigration reform. His opponents and
the Tea Party caucus are going to resist that. And the American people
are going wonder why it is that the Republican Party once again is
constricting the tent, closing their tent instead of expanding the base.

SHARPTON: Well, you know, Patricia, James, I`ll end this segment
to how I started. Dick Cheney who left the White House with 13 percent
approval rating endorses the Tea Party. Well, in the spirit of
Halloween, they`ll have to decide if it`s a trick or a treat. Patricia
Murphy and James Peterson, thank you both for your time this evening.

PETERSON: Thanks, Rev.

MURPHY: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, the Willie Horton ad 25 years later. The
political ad that changed American history. And not for the better.
How the ugly spread of that ad is alive and well on the right in the age
of Obama.

Plus, why Dick Cheney wrote his own resignation letter way back in
2001. What was that about? Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Twenty five years ago, America was in the midst of a hot
presidential election. Bush versus Dukakis. The race was close at fall
and it got ugly. A group align for President Bush released the
notorious Willie Horton ad. Playing on racial fears to claim Michael
Dukakis was soft on crime.


ANNOUNCER: Bush and Dukakis on crime. Bush supports the death
penalty for first degree murderers. Dukakis not only opposes the death
penalty, he allowed first degree murders to have weekend passes from
prison. One was Willie Horton who murdered a boy in a robbery stabbing
him boy 19 times. Despite a life sentence, Horton received ten weekend
passes from prison. Horton fled, kidnapped a young couple, stabbing the
man and repeatedly raping his girlfriend. Weekend prison passes,
Dukakis on crime.


SHARPTON: It was the so-called southern strategy at its worst.
Using Horton`s mug shot to pray on racial fears and stereotypes. Even
though 45 states and the federal government had laws allowing furloughs.
The ad was put out by an independent group, but the Bush campaign let it
happen refusing to condemn the ad for 25 days. Then they put out a
similar ad of their own.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: His revolving door prison policy gave weekend
federals to first degree murderers not eligible for patrol. While out
many committed other crimes like kidnapping and rape. And many are
still at large. Now Michael Dukakis says he wants to do for America
what he`s done for Massachusetts. America can`t afford that risk.


SHARPTON: Political analysts say these ads had a huge impact
convincing voters Dukakis was out of the political mainstream. That he
couldn`t be trusted. The bad news for our politics has been that the
tactics of the Willie Horton ad live on.

Joining me now are Joe Madison and Jimmy Williams. Thank you both
for being here.

JOE MADISON, SIRIUS XM PATRIOT HOST: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

SHARPTON: Jimmy, 25 years since the Willie Horton ad, you remember
the ad. How important was it?

JIMMY WILLIAMS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: I absolutely remember it, and I
was a -- let`s see. I was a junior in college. I actually can`t
believe I just admitted that on air, but I do remember. And it was
pretty striking to think that that was being played across the country.
It was especially striking in the south. The south at that point was
pretty solidly Republican, but there were definitely pockets of
Democrats and were still down there. And that ad alone changed the
course of that race. It absolutely changed the course. And it made
white Americans, especially white southerners, raise an eyebrow and
think, we can`t have a man from Massachusetts releasing, quote, "black
criminals all across the country and letting them, you know, rape our
white women and children."

That was the point of that ad. That`s exactly what that was. Now,
I would like to take that and sort of put it here today and think of it
from this perspective. Imagine, if a black democratic candidate
released an ad with a William Horton, a white William Horton and exactly
the same way against a white Republican candidate. Imagine the outcry
you would hear. Racism from the Democrats. Imagine it, because that`s
exactly what they would say. It`s tough when the shoe is on the other
foot, isn`t it?

SHARPTON: And we`re seeing subtleties now. But you know, Joe
Madison, New Yorker reports the Willie Horton ad creator of that ad, he
tricked TV stations into approving the ad by creating two versions of
it. Quote from the article, "the first which he submitted for review
lacked the mug shot. Once the ad had been approved, he replaced it with
a version containing a photo of Horton." Doesn`t this prove that he
knew how toxic this was?

MADISON: Absolutely. Because as you know, a photograph says a
thousand words. I mean, you are 100 percent correct. And what Jimmy
just described when he gave the scenario about the white Democrat, black
Democrat is what is called transference. And this is what we see now.
You see it with the Tea Party. You see it in cable news shows and
that`s where I will call you what I am before you call me that. And
it`s called transference. It`s an old debate technique. And the
difference today, of course, is that now we have a few things. One, big
money financing these ads or similar ads, two, you`ve got this thing
called the internet or social media. So anyone can put this together,
but finally, you have now the southern strategy that is full blown and
full grown.

SHARPTON: Now, Willie -- Jimmy, I`m sorry. Jimmy, when you deal
with the Willie Horton ad, that was in my mind Willie.


SHARPTON: When you deal with the Willie Horton ad, Bush can`t pay
Lee Atwater, he gloated about the Willie Horton connection saying maybe
Michael Dukakis will put this Willie Horton on the ticket. Now, let`s
remember it was Atwater who made no secret of how effective he thought
it was to use coded racism to win votes. Just listen to him in this
audio clip from 1981.


saying (bleep). By 1968 you can`t say (bleep), that hurts you,
backfires. So you say things like bussing, states` rights and all that
stuff. All these things we`re talking about are totally economic
things. And -- blacks get hurt worse than whites.


SHARPTON: So this is an intentional political strategy.

WILLIAMS: Yes, listen. It would be one thing if that was 1981.
It would be one thing if none of these ads, if that was just a one off
like the Willie Horton ad that just one time that it happened. But
that`s not the case. Remember what Jesse Helms did it hard to get?


WILLIAMS: Mayor of North Carolina running for the United States
Senate. Remember what they did to our own Herald Ford, Jr. When we put
the white woman saying call me, Herald. That was nothing more than a
way to strike fear in white men and women to say, oh my gosh, he`s going
to take our white women. They did it to Max Heller (ph), they`ve done
it to numerous candidates. They did it to Barack Obama. The food stamp
president. I mean, how much more explicit can you possibly get?

SHARPTON: And that`s the real point, Joe. Is that this started
back in the `80s and has become more subtle. But justice pointed in
some ways today with the president and others that are still trying to
deal with this.

MADISON: Oh, yes, now. I mean, look, we have photographs that
show the first family as primates and then people try to say that`s not
racist. Witch doctor, that, again -- we forget about these things five,
six years ago. But let me also point out, what reason this continues is
because good people don`t say anything. They keep quiet. Fifty years
ago in July, we had a young Catholic president who did not kiss the
pope`s ring, which is customary, because he was afraid of the backlash
he would get as a Catholic. So all of this expands, whether it`s men,
Catholics, we forget, Italians, Irish. We`re all treated just like
black people. And finally, remember that what`s his name, he actually
apologized on his death bed.

SHARPTON: Lee Atwater.

MADISON: Lee Atwater, on his death bed because he knew what he had
done and apologized to Ron Brown, the first chairman of the Democratic
Party on his death bed.

SHARPTON: I`m going to have to leave it there. Joe Madison and
Jimmy Williams, thank you both for your time tonight.

MADISON: Thank you.

SHARPTON: We`ll be right back.


SHARPTON: Tonight, how can we fight to end the violence in our
cities? Including in this great town of Chicago. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, I want to talk about reducing the
violence in our cities. I`m here in Chicago where the violence has
taken a horrific toll on the community. Just this past weekend at least
seven people were wounded in shootings. And so far this year, 350
people have been murdered. But people here in this great city are
fighting hard to turn it around and are getting results. Homicides are
actually down 18 percent from last year. It`s a start. But we have a
long way to go. And the people here need help. That`s why we`ve rented
an apartment in the Chicago`s west side and plan to stay out here once a
week for next couple of months.

People that will join me at some point include Martin Luther King
III who was inspired by the examples set by his father Martin Luther
King, Jr. who moved into a Chicago apartment himself 47 years ago. My
new neighbors were gracious and welcoming. And I look forward to
working with them on national problems, because as Chicago turns it
around, it can be a model for every city and village in this country.
We need to know about the people in the trenches that are working every
day mentoring young people, talking to them. We need to know about
poverty and how that becomes something that creates a climate of

And how we must challenge young people to rise above those that
have no expectations for them. I spent this weekend talking with those
in the trenches that are willing to fight and that are getting results.
And I want to highlight them and put a national limelight on it. I talk
a lot about renewing our cities and the power of activism in my new book
"The Rejected Stone." And tonight, I`ll be doing another book signing
here in Chicago at the Dusable Museum of African-American history. Hope
to see you all there at 7:30 p.m. Central Time. It`s important that we
struggle together.

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


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