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PoliticsNation, Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Read the transcript from the Thursday show

October 24, 2013
Guest: Elijah Cummings, Ryan Grim, Joe Madison, Karen Finney, Goldie

AL SHARPTON, POLITICSNATION HOST: Good evening, Ed. Good to see you.

SCHULTZ: Good to see you, buddy.

SHARPTON: Thanks to you for tuning in. Tonight`s Lead with
Republican hypocrisy on health care. Today, House Republicans launched a
new phase of their crusade against the Affordable Care Act by holding a
false hearing about the health care website.

And their fearless leader in the Senate, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, today
he was back at it heaping on the praise to repeal Obamacare.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: I think the House Republicans embodied a
profile in courage as they stood up and did the right thing. Obamacare has
to be repealed.


SHARPTON: Obamacare must be repealed. Easy for Cruz to say that.
He`s got great coverage. Today we learned he gets health insurance from
his wife`s Goldman Sachs plan. Goldman Sachs. How about that? The guy
who wants to destroy Obamacare gets his health care insurance from the
company that nearly destroyed the U.S. economy.

Republicans like to talk about Cadillac insurance plans. Well, his
plan is a stretch limo. It`s worth $20,000 a year, $20,000. To put that
in perspective, a Texan working a full-time minimum wage job only makes
$15,000 a year. How`s that for hypocrisy? And yet it`s matched by the
hypocrisy from House Republicans who today were falling all over themselves
to trash the health care Web site.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is a system that is failed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After footing the bill, the American people
deserve something that works or start over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I would submit the average American looking in on
this hearing is going to feel like there`s really nobody in charge.


SHARPTON: But all those Republicans were singing a different tune
back when President Bush had a big health care plan. When President Bush
launched Medicare part "D" to help seniors pay for drugs, there were lots
of issues at first. But here`s what those same exact Republicans said back

Congressman Barton, quote, "this is a huge undertaking and there are
going to be glitches."

Congressman Murphy, it`s going to take a little adjustment.

Congressman Burgess, I do believe fundamentally it`s a good plan.

So glitches were no big deal under President Bush, but under President
Obama it`s like the sky is falling. The American people see through this

Joining me now are Congressman Elijah Cummings, Democrat from Maryland
and Krystal Ball, co-host of "the Cycle."

Thank you both for coming on the show tonight.

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: Good to be with you.

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC HOST, THE CYCLE: Thanks for having us.

SHARPTON: Congressman, the GOP didn`t have problems with glitches
under President Bush, so what`s changed?

CUMMINGS: Well, clearly they want to do everything that they can to
destroy the affordable care act. Reverend, they have tried to defund it.
They`ve tried to delay it. And they`ve tried to destroy . Keep in mind,
we`re just off of them wasting a $24 billion trying to do that. In other
words, when they shut down the government, they did. That was an effort,
really, to kill the Affordable Care Act. And for what?

And so they have changed their tactics a little bit. What they`ve
decided to do is they`re going to have hearing after hearing after hearing
throughout several committees in the Congress to simply criticize. They`re
not about trying to make it better. They`re about criticizing it. And I
am convinced that the glitches that we see will be worked out, and that
when we go back to Medicare part "D" that you talked about a moment ago,
Reverend, it had all kinds of problems. Quite similar to the ones we`re
going through now. But it worked out, and now it`s a very smooth running
program. And so I expect the same thing here.

SHARPTON: You know, Krystal, one of the things that got me was
Congressman Joe Barton. Now, he was one of the loudest critics at the
hearing today. But let`s not forget back in 2010, he actually apologized
to the BP CEO following the gulf oil spill. Listen to this.


REP. JOE BARTON (R), TEXAS: I apologize. I do not want to live in a
country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is
legitimately wrong is subject to some sort of political pressure that is,
again, in my words amounts to a shakedown. So I apologize.


SHARPTON: He apologized to the CEO of BP. And today it`s the
complete opposite in terms of how he was so brash and adamant in terms of
the problems, the glitches that no one is saying should not be dealt with
and that someone shouldn`t be accountable. But it`s such a huge difference
in this seem exact congress.

BALL: Right. As you`re pointing out, I mean, I`ve been quite
critical of the problems with the Web site and demanding that they be
fixed. I`m quite frustrated over this. But what you`re pointing out and
what the Congressman is pointing out is that the Republicans are not acting
in good faith here. Whereas back when Medicare part "D" rolled out and
were problems with it, Democrats actually worked with Republicans to help
fix those problems. I mean, even in Obamacare, there are continued fixes
to the policy of Medicare part "D" to make it work better.

On the other hand, Republicans have been so hysterical over Obamacare
that they have lost all credibility with the American people. They`ve been
so hypocritical over their opposition of Obamacare. They have no
credibility with the American people. So now when there is a real problem
that needs to be dealt with, the American people have no trust in the
Republicans to be a partner in fixing things the way they need to be.

SHARPTON: You know, Congressman, Senator Ted Cruz today said the last
election wasn`t about Obamacare at all. Listen to this.


CRUZ: It was not an election about Obamacare. President Obama didn`t
campaign on Obamacare. But look. If you`re saying was this appealing to
people, I promise you if the Obama campaign believed Obamacare was
successful. That was a plus, President Obama would have campaigned on it.
He very consciously didn`t. And so it was striking that President Obama`s
political team apparently in their judgment Obamacare was not a good issue
to run on.


SHARPTON: Now, Congressman, it sounds a lot like former Senator Jim
DeMint last week saying just about the same thing. He said quote,
"Obamacare was not the central fight in 2012. The best thing is to declare
last year`s election a mistrial on Obamacare."

Now, maybe I was looking at a different election, but I thought all
throughout the campaign and even in the debates with Mitt Romney and the
president, they talked about Obamacare. Romney said he would appeal it.
The president defended it. I mean, am I hallucinating, Congressman?

CUMMINGS: Not at all, Reverend. As a matter of fact, the president
was very strong with regard to promoting the Affordable Care Act.

And so, you know, Senator Cruz is a very interesting fellow. As I
listen to him, I wonder what does he say to that person who in his state by
the way with one out of every four people being uninsured, I wonder what he
says to that person who has a colon cancer and cannot get health insurance.
I wonder who he keeps saying he`s talking for them.

Well, there are a lot of people, Reverend, that have been granted an
opportunity to buy health insurance. Some of them for the first time in
their careers. And folks on the other side of the aisle are basically
trying to take something that has been given and when I say given I mean
the opportunity to buy it away from them. And that`s a very significant.

In some kind of way, we`ve got to make sure that we get this right.
Krystal Ball is absolutely right. We`ve got to deal with these issues that
we`re having with regards to the Web site. But keep in mind, as the
president said, this is much bigger than a Web site. We`ve got -- we`re
talking about children being able to stay on their folks` insurance
policies, we`re talking about women no longer being considered the fact
that they`re woman being considered a pre-existing condition, things of
that nature. So we have -- I say that failure is not an option.

And it`s interesting too, Reverend, that in a nation what I`ve always
conceived to be a can-do nation, suddenly we`ve got so many people saying
we can`t get this done. This is impossible. Well, we can get it done and
we`re better than that.

SHARPTON: Now, Krystal, a group of 32 Republicans, 32, a group of
congressmen that are Republican have signed a letter calling for the
resignation of health and human services secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Of
the 32, at least nine are birthers. Five want the president impeached.
And one even praised a controversial Obama rodeo clown. Quite a list.

BALL: And I wonder how many of them also called for Eric Holder`s
resignation. And I mean, that`s the problem here, right? There are real
problems with the Web site and they are important and they need to be
fixed. But Republicans have to go that extra length of making this somehow
is conspiracy theory, of calling the resignation of Kathleen Sebelius.

And so, when they hold these hearings, there`s no faith that they are
actually trying to get to the root of the problem. They can barely contain
their glee that Americans are having trouble signing up for health
insurance and I think that is disgusting.

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

Congressman Elijah Cummings and Krystal Ball, thank the both of you
for your time this evening.

BALL: Thanks, Rev.

CUMMINGS: Thank you, reverend.

SHARPTON: And be sure to catch Krystal on "the Cycle" weekdays right
here on MSNBC.

Coming up, I cannot even stand to look at you. It`s the stunning
insult to President Obama. And we`re learning more from behind the scenes

Plus the Republicans on the ropes. President Obama`s planning
something big outside of Washington and a cash reward for this guy.


SHARPTON: Is this justice or injustice? More on the new ruling. You
make the call.

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


SHARPTON: Republicans at record low approval. So what`s president
Obama doing? Winding up for a political knockout punch. He has a new
plan, and we`ll talk about it next.



weeks, we should sit down and pursue a balanced approach to a response
budget. We should finish the job of fixing the broken immigration system.
We should pass a farm bill. You don`t like a particular policy or a
particular president? Then argue for your position. Go out there and win
an election.


SHARPTON: Go out there and win an election. With the GOP on the
ropes, President Obama`s trying to land a political knockout punch. He
forced Republicans to end the shutdown, and he`s now got political
momentum. He plans to be the star guest for at least eight fund raising
events around the country over the next five weeks. He`ll kick things off
in New York city tomorrow, and then it`s on to cities across America
pushing for House and Senate Democrats.

And first lady Michelle Obama will lend had her support at a DNC event
in Washington. And today, the president put his agenda and immigration
back in the spotlight.


OBAMA: Everybody knows that our current immigration system is broken.
Across the political spectrum, people understand that. We`ve known it for
years. Let`s not wait. It doesn`t get easier to just put it off. Let`s
do it now. Let`s not delay. Let`s get this done, and let`s do it in a
bipartisan fashion.


SHARPTON: Let`s get this done. With Republicans feeling the heat,
anything is possible.

Joining me now is Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons.

Thanks for being here tonight.


SHARPTON: Jamal, how big a problem is the immigration issue for the
Republican party?

SIMMONS: This is going to be one of the defining issues of the 2014
election and then the 2016 election. The Republicans are on the wrong side
as a party, they`re on the wrong side of this issue because most people in
America support some level of immigration reform. They know they can`t win
with the level of Latino support they`ve been getting in the last
presidential elections. So the president is playing offense by forcing
them to have to muscle up and either do what most people in America want or
kowtow to their sort of crazy caucus, you know, the radical Republicans who
have been holding the rational Republicans hostage in the House and they
can`t get anything done.

John Boehner has got to decide either he`s a patriot, he is going to
throw out the House and rule and get some things done for the country and
for his party or he`s going to listen to the radical Republicans who just
want to stop the president from doing anything positive.

SHARPTON: So they`re in a real box, the Republicans. For example, in
a recent poll, 17 incumbent Republicans trail the generic Democrat in their
districts can. Those 17 seats could be enough to swing the House to the
Democrats which would really end John Boehner`s tenure as speaker. I mean
do Democrats smell blood in the water, Jamal?

SIMMONS: That`s right. You`ve got 16 seats, 16 Republicans who are
sitting in seats where President Obama won the majority in those districts.
So you start off with those 16 seats, and then you start expanding that
number out to see who you can go after next. And the problem is that
these, you know, probably more moderate or more rational. I don`t want to
call them moderates because the truth is they`re pretty conservative. But
they`re the ones saying we need a government that works. They`ve been
taken in by the radical people who refuse to let the government work. And
instead muscling up and doing what`s right, they just knuckle under and do
whatever the radicals want.

SHARPTON: Non, you know, the hill wrote something today that caught
the "Politics Nation" eye. Says the president is not abandoning his agenda
for the 2014 campaign. It quotes in the hill a senior administration
official saying, this conspiracy theory out there that we`ve given up on
legislating and want t take the House. The fact is that there`s going to
be aggressive engagement on a whole host of issues. That`s very
interesting, Jamal. What would be the implications of this?

SIMMONS: Well, yes. They`ve got to get -- the president just talked
about and we talked about the immigration bill. There`s also this farm
bill. The farm bill is not just what`s going to help farmers out in the
country. It`s also how we fund food stamps, all the food assistance
programs. So we`ve got to make sure the people in the country who are
hungry still get food. And these aren`t just people who are poor. I mean,
Rev., you know this. These are people who many of them are working mothers
with infant children. All kinds of programs for people who need help. And
so, the Republicans again are going to have to make a decision. Are they
going to look out for Americans or they are going to look out for these tea
party Republicans who just want to stand in the way of progress and looking
after the majority of the country?

SHARPTON: Now, the issues in their 2014 agenda for the president has
been immigration reform, gun safety, voting reform, minimum wage, and
climate change. Where is the focus going to be on these issues and can he
get them passed, Jamal?

SIMMONS: Well again, you know, minimum wage reform is so important.
We`re talking about getting the country growing. The president`s been
saying for a long time he wants to grow the country from the middle class
out. This is not a trickle down economy anymore. We know that kind of
economic policy doesn`t work. We`ve got to get money in the hands of real
people who are going to go out and spend that money and then that will help
kick start the economy. That`s what`s going to have to work.

We also know that we`re going to have to get Latinos involved, are
going to be women involved, are going to be African-Americans more
involved. And the Republicans are on the wrong side with all of those

SHARPTON: Jamal Simmons, thanks for your time tonight.

SIMMONS: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, I cannot even stand to look at you. Republicans
deny saying it to President Obama, but their ugly pattern of disrespect is

And Glen Beck`s losing his touch. We`re throwing the flag on his
latest conspiracy theory about football. We got you, next.


SHARPTON: The right wing talkers keep moving the goal posts on
President Obama. There`s been a lot of talk recently about the team name
of the Washington Redskins. The team has a storied history, but that
doesn`t change the fact that its name offends many American Indians. And
the president even said if he were the team`s owner, he would think about
changing t name. Some can`t understand why President Obama would want to
put his pads on for this fight. Well Glenn Beck kicked this one straight
through the uprights.


GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: You wonder why out of nowhere, the
Washington Redskins have been targeted so brutally over their team name.
They give 97 percent of their money to Republicans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You`re kidding me.

BECK: What a surprise that is.


BECK: Out of nowhere. It`s all of a sudden this big issue from the
president of the United States, 97 percent of the Redskins money goes to

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Follow the money. I will bet you that is to send
a message.


SHARPTON: Oh, my God. Oh, my God. I`m calling time-out. Does he
really think an NFL team is being targeted because it donates money to
Republicans? Not because the name is offensive? Come on, Mr. Beck.
You`re losing your touch with conspiracy theories. You can do better than

The same reporting cites also says the San Diego chargers and the
Houston Texans both donate more money to the GOP. So look out chargers and
look out Texans. President Obama`s about to demand we look into your team

Glenn, did you think we wouldn`t notice you fumbled the ball on this
lame conspiracy theory? Nice try, but I`m throwing a flag on this one
because we got you.


SHARPTON: It`s the stunning insult from a House Republican directed
at President Obama. I cannot even stand to look at you. This according to
Democratic Senator Dick Durbin. It came from a House Republican during a
meeting at the White House. But who said it? Today we`re learning more.
"The Huffington Post" reports Senator Harry Reid told democratic senators
that Congressman Pete Sessions was behind the insult.

After Reid heard it from the White House. Mr. Sessions denied it
today as did Speaker Boehner yesterday and the White House said it was a
miscommunication. This is a game of telephone. But this kind of attitude
toward this president is not new. The attacks against president`s policies
have been personal from day one. It`s a level of disrespect for the office
we`ve never seen from the birthers.


REP. CLIFF STEARNS (R), FLORIDA: All I can tell you is that the
general consensus is that he has produced a birth certificate. The
question is, is it legitimate?

REP. VICKY HARTZLER (R), MISSOURI: I mean, if someone asks for my
birth certificate, I`d go get it out and say here it is.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: All the president has to do is
show it.


SHARPTON: To this outburst while addressing Congress.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: The reforms I`m proposing
would not apply to those who are here illegally.



SHARPTON: There was Mitch McConnell`s number one goal to bring down
the president. Speaker Boehner refusing a ride on Air Force one to a
memorial service in Arizona. Sixty newly elected House Republicans
snubbing a White House reception. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer wagging her
finger in the president`s face. Republican leaders turning down a White
House screening of the film "Lincoln." Speaker Boehner refusing a photo op
with the president at a holiday party. You see a trend here? Anyone still
wonder if it`s possible someone told the president they couldn`t stand to
look at him?

Joining me now is Ryan Grim. He wrote that article today for "The
Huffington Post." And Joe Madison, Sirius XM radio show host. Thanks for
coming on the show.


SHARPTON: Ryan, Pete Sessions denies the remark, but you`ve been
working on this story all day what are you hearing and what really

RYAN GRIM, "THE HUFFINGTON POST": So, we don`t know exactly what
happened in the meeting. Here`s what we do know. A White House official
Rob neighbors who was in the meeting, after that meeting went to the Senate
and told a group of Senate leaders which included Durbin and Harry Reid
that Pete Sessions had this incredibly disrespectful exchange with the
president. The president handled it gracefully, et cetera, et cetera, that
the story he told and he quoted him as saying I can`t even stand to look at

Reid immediately after that went to a Senate democratic caucus and
retold that story to all of the senators there. And that`s according to
two of the senators who were in the room and told us that. But what`s in
dispute at this point is what actually was said in the room that caused
neighbors to tell Reid and Durbin that something had happened. You know,
there are two options, I mean, either neighbors made something up out of
whole cloth and nothing happened in that meeting that was remotely
offensive or insulting. Or there was some type of an insulting exchange
that was then blown up from neighbors to Reid and then blown up again from
Reid to the senators and then blown up again from Durbin to Facebook.

That seems more likely to me. But the White House is now claiming up,
I think they`re kind of embarrassed about the way that this rolled out.
You know, they won the shutdown battle, I think they`d rather just kind of
move on from here. They don`t want to kind of kick them while they`re
down. So, you know, at this point we don`t know. I guess we have to wait
for Bob Woodward`s kind of tell all book two years from now in which people
kind of finally reveal it.

SHARPTON: Well, we`re not moving on. Joe Madison, you know, GOP
congressman sessions denied that he said it. But he kept harping on
whether someone recorded the meeting with the president which confused
reporters today when they questioned him. Listen.


REP. PETE SESSIONS (R), TEXAS: If someone was in earshot, it`s not
truthful. If somebody taped private conversations in that room, I think
that they have violated what I would consider to be a standard of protocol.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Are you suggesting though that --

SESSIONS: I`m not suggesting anything. I`m suggesting --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It was taped that somebody -- that it is audible
in that tape?

SESSIONS: If somebody is claiming something. I made no public
statement in that way during my conversation.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: But what about in a private statement?

SESSIONS: No, I have no reason to believe that. Anybody is trying
to go that way --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Because it doesn`t sound like you`re making an
absolute denial that you said it. It sounds like you`re saying --

SESSIONS: No, no, that`s -- it is an absolute denial.


SHARPTON: I mean, he seems like he took him a secured route to get to
an absolute denial talking about recordings, public statement. I mean,
either you said it or you didn`t. What does a recording or whether
somebody was in earshot, what does it have to do with anything?

MADISON: No, it doesn`t have anything to do with it, and I hope that
we do find out without having to wait two years from now. But we have a
whole litany of these insults both visually with the finger pointing
Congress. This is all unprecedented in modern political history. And
quite honestly, even Adams waited until Jefferson was dead to insult him.
Bottom line is that the Republicans are not winning any converts. So, you
have to wonder, why are they still doing this? President Obama is not
going to run for reelection. He has one reelection, you`ll never run for
another political office. So, we have to sit back and asked theirselves,
what are they doing?

Reality is, they`re talking to each other and in the process they`re
turning off independents. I even think that they`re probably going to risk
-- especially Tea Partiers in Congress are going to risk their own re-
election because, remember, look what happened to former Congressman West.
He wasn`t there long enough to let -- as my grandmother would say -- the
paint dry. And so, you know, my attitude is let them keep doing what
they`re doing. And I would finally say Reverend Sharpton that everyone
else knows that if they`re trying to do anything is to establish a legacy
that this president even elected twice is an illegitimate president and it
was an accident. And it`s not going to work.

SHARPTON: That`s the point. I think we need to not dance around it.
The fact is, since day one, they have made some very vicious personal
attacks on this president. Starting with the night of his first
inauguration where they were planning to get him out. I mean, watch some
of the absolutely insulting personal things that they directed at this
president. I mean, maybe Sessions got caught. Listen to the kind of stuff
we`ve had to hear about this president.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Barack Obama does not have his hand on the bible.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Is he still president?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I still don`t know what the man is going to do.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He`s not going to succeed. Socialism is failed.

GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Deep seeded hatred for white

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: In Obama`s America, the white
kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering, yay, right on, right on,
right on, right on.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: -- to these Muslim terrorists some would say,
instead of actually taking them on.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Amnesty for an illegal aliens via Hitler like
executive order.

LIMBAUGH: He`s religiously an enigma. Radical left wing Marxism,
socialism, fascism, whatever you want to call it.

DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR: If you`re going to be the president of
the United States, you have to be born in this country.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: People are allowed to ask why President Obama won`t
produce his birth certificate.

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: It`s not a traditional America
anymore. And there are 50 percent of the voting public who want stuff.
They want things. And who is going to give them things. President Obama.

SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Barack Obama is a socialist. He
believes in socialism in redistributing wealth, in confiscating hard-earned


SHARPTON: So when you see all of these talkers, Ryan, when you see
all of these people that have been the big boosters of the Republicans, I
showed at the beginning of the segment elected members of Congress in the
Senate saying things. It`s in that context that a lot of us are looking at
this accusation on sessions. Let`s not act like someone is just creating
something out of thin air. A senator said it in this atmosphere that we
are in our fifth year of the ugliness about the president.

GRIM: And there`s a feedback loop here. Where people like Rush and
then Palin on FOX News and FOX News itself kind of rile up the base. The
base then riled up then comes back to their members of Congress and lets
them know how they feel about this president and Democrats generally. But
specifically the president, and then these representatives then represent
that anger. You know, and then they go on FOX News and then FOX News riles
them up even further. And it`s a cycle that just keeps going and going and
you see intense hatred build up. I think if you think about the way that
Liberals thought about George W. Bush towards the end of his term, they
hate Obama far more than even Liberals did to Bush. And that`s saying

SHARPTON: Joe Madison and Ryan Grim, I`m going to have to leave it
there. Thanks for your time this evening.

MADISON: All right. Thank you, Reverend.

GRIM: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, more on the evolution of anti-Obama conspiracy
theories. From the talkers to the voters.

And tonight, Sarah Palin`s out with a new one. It involves a fainting
woman. And as always comes back to President Obama. Next.


SHARPTON: Last night we showed you MSNBC contributor Jonathan
Capehart`s interview with one North Carolina man who repeated some of the
most offensive lies about President Obama spewed by the right wing. These
conspiracies can be traced right back to the hateful rhetoric on talk radio
and fringe websites. Millions hear this toxic talk and start to believe
it. Here`s part of the interview we didn`t show you last night.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He wanted to change our country and he has
succeeded it. Not for change for the better, but he has destroyed the
American way of life. He has made it a point. You don`t have to work,
we`ll take care of you. People hear free and they think it`s free.


SHARPTON: He believes President Obama`s destroying the American way
of life by promising free stuff. That`s nearly word for word what we hear
from the loudest and most destructive voices in the conservative media.


LIMBAUGH: Barack Obama is trying to dismantle brick by brick the
American dream.

MARK LEVIN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: You are destroying my children`s

BECK: Is this still America? Is this an America that we understand
or have we changed?

HANNITY: America in some ways is changing, and it`s changing in this
way is that, you know, it`s the lure of free.

O`REILLY: He`s calculating that the American voter has changed into a
person who wants free stuff from the government.


SHARPTON: These extremist talkers say it. Some people believe it,
and it corrupts the political conversation in this country. After all, can
you work with someone you have demonized?

Joining me now are Karen Finney and Goldie Taylor. Thank you both for
being here.


KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC HOST: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

SHARPTON: Karen, doesn`t this show that we can`t just dismiss the
right wing bloggers and talkers. The stuff they say actually effects
opinion and therefore policy.

FINNEY: Absolutely. It also means that the leaders of the Republican
Party who were in that capitol building behind me, they have to hold them
accountable well. Because what we`ve seen is, you know, a lot of this
rhetoric gets pushed out through talk radio and e-mails and all these other
things, and these guys kind of you know, pretend like they`re not part of
that. And they know that it is part of that. That`s part of the whole
strategy. I mean, you know, my former boss Hillary Clinton used to talk
about the vast right wing conspiracy. Now they`re pretty out in the open
with their hatred. So, at least we know where it`s coming from. But
absolutely. When you see and hear people citing back to you that rhetoric
almost word for word, that should frighten every American.

SHARPTON: Yes. You know, Goldie, here`s another part of Jonathan`s
interview that we didn`t play last night. It includes another conspiracy
theory that the president lost his law license. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The president is a constitutional law professor --
was a constitutional law professor.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He lost his law license too.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Was a constitutional law professor.


SHARPTON: You know, he said the president lost his law license.
That`s not true. When he began his run for president, then-Senator Obama
had his law license placed on inactive status. But this story was
circulated on chain e-mails and blogs for years. And if you look, a
website called birther report said the inactive license didn`t pass the
smell test. I mean, how do these conspiracies become accepted like fact on
the far right?

TAYLOR: You know, nothing about this kind of thing, Reverend
Sharpton, is brand new. This train of populism has moved across this
country really since its inception. And so you have people who believe
that they work hard every day and that they don`t want to see their tax
dollars to go to those other people to support their way of life. And so
you see someone like Barack Obama rise to the presidency. The very
embodiment of all of their fears. A man of color, a man who has a certain
strain of compassionate way about him in terms of rising tide lifts all
boats. Let`s invest in everybody, let`s give everybody the same fair
start. That starts to break down really the walls of privilege in this

Those are the very walls that a lot of people fear being broken down
because they fear that if I get an opportunity, they won`t have the same
opportunity. That opportunity is a scarce thing in this country. So, this
is really fear based populism. But these right wing talkers didn`t make
this up out of whole cloth. It came out of their grassroots. They simply
gave rise to it for their own profit and, you know, to drive their own

SHARPTON: Well, Goldie, the newest conspiracy on the right is that
the White House faked the woman fainting during President Obama`s speech
Monday. A woman at a blog called Lady Patriots made this video.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: This video shows that Barack Obama and the
pregnant woman in the Rose Garden had a plan. There were several people
involved. She nudges her friend to let her know it`s time. She is aware
that this woman is fixing to go down. She`s very much part of it and she
was the one who prompted it to happen. Pay close attention to her. She
never looks over and she smiles when the president turns around. The
question is, why would they do this?


SHARPTON: Now, this video, this is a right wing video. It was picked
up by the right wing weekly standard. And the next thing you know, Sarah
Palin`s talking about it on Facebook. Writing quote, "It`s no wonder that
some will ask whether they staged even a fainting lady in the Rose Garden."
I mean, is this how the process works, Goldie. It starts on the fringe
blog, gets picked up by a more mainstream outlet, and then big figures
start pushing the theory. Is that the process?

TAYLOR: You know, Sarah Palin really ought to know better. She has
given birth to children, as have I. If you are standing still in one place
and you are pregnant, the blood begins to pool and you begin to faint. I
fainted standing in formation when I was in the Marine Corps while I was
pregnant. And so, it`s really a medical condition that we`re talking about
here and not someone who has sort to overcome with excitement because she
happened to be in the presence of the president. But the very notion that
someone would take this notion and make it into something more than that, I
think is preposterous.

FINNEY: But I think we need to take a step back here. And I go back
to my own experience in the Clinton administration and remember that, you
know, on the right there is a systemic, integrated strategy to promulgate
all kinds of rumors, all kinds of hateful rhetoric, all kinds of just fear
mongering and hate whether it`s true or not. Most of it not true.

TAYLOR: That`s right.

FINNEY: And, you know, whether that`s not through and now it`s more
sophisticated because we`ve got blogs and we`ve got twitter, we`ve got
Facebook all these. But, you know, Rev, the point you just made about
Sarah Palin is very important. I want people to pay attention to this.
Because you can usually trace the lie working its way through the
conservative infrastructure. Right? It`s in an e-mail, then somebody
quotes it, and then it gets, you know, tweeted out, then somebody mentions
that it`s on a television show, and then it`s on the radio. I mean, there
is a very concerted well-coordinated effort that goes on here. And
particularly because our president is a man of color and because that is
very frightening to a lot of people about the way the world is changing,
this whole idea of 47 percent and free stuff, we know what that`s code for.
So, I mean, that is an added element to that. And it is all fear based.

SHARPTON: Karen Finney, Goldie Taylor, I`m going to have to leave it
there. Thanks for your time tonight.

TAYLOR: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

SHARPTON: And be sure to watch "Disrupt" with Karen Finney weekends
at 4:00 p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC.

Ahead, a cash reward for this guy. Money awarded to a pepper spraying
cop. Is this justice? You make the call. It`s next.


SHARPTON: We`re back with an update on the video that shocked the
country two years ago. Students peacefully protesting tuition hikes at the
University of California Davis, pepper sprayed at point blank range.


Police officer John Pike was fired after eight months of paid leave.
But today he`s back in the news. For getting a $38,000 settlement from the
university. A judge awarded workers` compensation after Pike suffered from
depression and anxiety after receiving death threats. But officer Pike got
more money than the students. Twenty one plaintiffs who were sprayed or
arrested were to receive $30,000 each. How is this justice? This ruling
sends a message to police, it`s OK to use pepper spray and it`s OK to
violate other people`s rights. And that is not acceptable.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, remembering an epic moment in music
history. James Brown live at Harlem`s Apollo Theater on this date back in

Many consider his first live at the Apollo album to be the greatest
live album of all time. Across over hit that introduced James Brown to a
national audience. He financed the recording himself and it became
legendary. The Godfather performed all over the world, but nowhere quite
like at the Apollo. He was my mentor, like a father to me. And the
passion we hear on this album is what I tried to bring to this show every
night. Once in awhile I even show off some of his moves. Remember this
from last year?


SHARPTON: I`ve got a mean James Brown. Hit it, guys. Wait a minute,
wait a minute. Second thought, I`ll save it for 2013.


SHARPTON: But James Brown represents something else. I outlined in
my book "The Rejected Stone" how many that grew up like I did where their
father was gone saw other figures. And he became like the father that I no
longer had. He even had me do my hair like his. I did it because a man
that never asked me to do something that really validated me as having
worth and that somebody wanted me to be like them. It`s the James Browns
that inspired me and there are a log of James Brown out there that may not
be stars. But have enough passion to survive in the world and enough
compassion to help bring somebody along. Like me.

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


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