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PoliticsNation, Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Read the transcript from the Tuesday show

October 29, 2013
Guest: Emanuel Cleaver; Barbara Lee, Michelle Cottle, Dana Milbank,
Sybrina Fulton, Daryl Parks, Richard Wolffe

REV. AL SHARPTON, POLITICS NATION: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to
you for tuning in.

Tonight`s Lead the truth about the GOP effort to kill ObamaCare. It`s
not really about the health care website, it`s about the entire law. And
today Republican leaders made that clear.


problem with ObamaCare isn`t just the website, it`s the whole law.

REP. ERIC CANTOR, (R-VA) MAJORITY LEADER: And the bottom line is the
problems with ObamaCare run deeper than just the website.


SHARPTON: Hear that? This isn`t about the Web site glitches. It`s
about scrapping the whole thing. Never mind that 17 million children with
pre-existing conditions are now covered. Never mind that insurance
premiums are 16 percent lower than expected. The GOP wants all this to
wither on the vine. And they`re offering no alternatives of their own.

And today Democratic Congressman Bill Pascrell called them out on it.


REP. TIM GRIFFIN (R), ARKANSAS: It is a fault`s choice to say it is
Obamacare or nothing. There are numerous proposals including the one I`m
the coo sponsor of.

REP. BILL PASCRELL (D), NEW JERSEY: Are you serious what you just
said? Are you really serious? After what we have gone through and what we
have gone through in the last three and a half years. You can sit there
and say that you had a legitimate alternative after these years? We gone
through 44 votes, 48 votes now, of you trying to dismantle the legislation.
You call that cooperation? I don`t.


SHARPTON: Wow. That`s an amazing moment.

This law is important. It`s saving lives. And yet the spend from the
right is literally laughable. Want to know who Rupert Murdoch`s "Wall
Street Journal" is pawning off as a health expert? Here`s a hint.


SHARPTON: Suzanne Somers. You know her. She was Christie O`Neil on
the old TV show "three`s company." From there, she became known for her
famous thigh master infomercials. And now, she`s a right wing authority on
health care writing op-ends for the "Wall Street Journal."

See there? She`s one of the, quote, experts. And her article claims
the Affordable Care Act is a socialist ponzi scheme. Of course, that`s not
true. And in fact, there were so many things wrong in her article that the
paper had to issue correction after correction after correction.

But we`re used to hearing bogus facts from the right wing. In fact,
maybe Ted Cruz, Speaker Boehner, and Suzanne Somers should get together. I
hear they`re looking to remake "three`s company."

Joining me now is Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, Democrat from Missouri
and MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor.

Thank you both for coming on the show tonight.

REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D), MISSOURI: Good to be with you, Reverend.


SHARPTON: Congressman Cleaver, this current crusade isn`t about the
glitches anymore, is it? It`s about killing the whole law, isn`t it?

CLEAVER: Yes. It`s the highest level of hypocrisy that I`ve seen
since I`ve been here, almost ten years. To sit at a committee hearing and
hear people talking about the glitches with the enrollment is just
unbelievable, because they`re not concerned about the glitches. They`re
not concerned about what can we do to make the enrollment better. They are
just trying to criticize this and get more people turned off. But it is
hypocrisy at the highest level. The worst part about it is they`re not

SHARPTON: Now -- and, you know, Goldie, Republicans talk about people
having trouble getting insurance on the new exchanges. But by refusing to
expand Medicaid, some Republican states are letting millions go without
insurance. Look at this in Texas. The decision to reject Medicaid
expansion will leave more than one million uninsured. In Florida it will
leave 764,000 uninsured. In Georgia it will mean that over 400,000 people
won`t have coverage.

So, while they`re talking about glitches, they are literally blocking
hundreds of thousands of people from even having the ability to come into
the programs and insure themselves and their families.

TAYLOR: You know, Reverend Al, I`m with Representative Pascrell about
this. They spent the last three and a half years putting of every
conceivable roadblock that they have the legal authority to do. And so,
Republicans in red state like in here Georgia did refuse to expand
Medicaid. They refused to create these market places that could handle
some of these traffics, you know, in states where the market places were
created. People have been able to get on and sign on in a matter of

Now that you have people in this large federal exchange that has not
worked quite as well, then, they have faced some glitches and some trouble
getting through the web portal to get the insurance they so richly deserve.

But you know, at the end of the day, this is about hypocrisy. And you
have senators like Ted Cruz, for instance, who has the macerate (ph) of
health care plans. You got people like Rand Paul who has excellent health
care coverage and certainly would not be denied in a treatment on a
hospital working to follow ills deny. And you`ve got millions of Americans
who want at least a quality, basic standard of care at a reasonable price
and the Affordable Care Act offers this. We ought to be able to fix this
web portal and get as many people enrolled as possible.

But that is what Republicans fear. They fear people are going to get
enrolled and get the care they need and that people are going to get the
care that they need and the they are going to be well, out on a limb come

SHARPTON: Congressman, you know we`re talking about hypocrisy. We
saw hypocrisy again from the GOP today. Just listen to these Republicans
attack the law today.


REP. KEVIN BRADY (R), TEXAS: What`s become abundantly clear, the flaw
is not the Web site. The flaw is the law itself.

REP. TOM PRICE (R), GEORGIA: We on this side of the aisle want the
highest quality of care for all Americans. The ACA violates every one of
those principles.

REP. SAM JOHNSON (R), TEXAS: The problems don`t stop at the technical
failures of a Web site. The real problem stems from the colossal failure
to deliver what this law promised the American people.


SHARPTON: But those exact same Republicans, Congressman, those exact
same Republicans were singing a different tune for the Medicare part "D"
expansion under President George W. Bush. Watch.

Congressman Brady said, quote -- same guy we just saw. He says in a
major reform, there are bound to be glitches. Congressman Price says kinks
in part "d" got worked out. And Congressman Sam Johnson told
administrators, quote, "you guys have done a superb job."

Very different when it was part "D" of Medicaid under George Bush and
now what they`re saying now under the Obama administration on this bill
that is providing health care for millions of people.

CLEAVER: Well, Reverend, you know, I`m a law and order man. And we
have a law that people don`t want to obey. And so consequently, we`re
going to have to order as many young people who want insurance to enroll.
The thing they want more than anything else is for the young people who we
are going to depend on enrolling in the program for it to work not
enrolling. And we`ve got to push that.

Now, all of this stuff that they`re doing and saying, some of it is
silly. I mean, Suzanne Somers, three`s company, yet she won`t keep company
with facts. But I think the things that we`re seeing right now, they are
absurd and they would be laughable if it wasn`t for the fact that millions
and millions of American who is need insurance are being shaded and blocked
from getting that insurance by recalcitrant governors and it`s a sin.

SHARPTON: No, it really is. And, you know, Goldie, FOX News is on
overdrive on this. I mean, overdrive. They seem to think the problem is
that Americans have too much insurance, believe it or not. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`re talking about the health care needs of the
people of the U.S., not the health insurance needs. It`s a totally
different thing. Before they started this, we were all in trouble with
insurance to begin with. There`s too much health insurance. It covers too
much. So many people have it.


SHARPTON: I mean, too much health insurance? There`s too much? Too
many people have it? What world is he talking about?

TAYLOR: I`m actually just stunned, Reverend Sharpton. I am hurt that
come out of anybody`s mouth. You know, maybe absolutely stunned, Reverend
Sharpton. You know, maybe he doesn`t stand guard at your local emergency
room where my better half works. And you know, uninsured people roll in
night after night with no real means of paying for that care, but they`re
catastrophically ill and they need to service and they have to get that
social. Guess who`s paying for that?

The rest of us are paying for that care today. With the Affordable
Care Act, this shifts the burden so that we have an expanded pool of risk
so that we can spread out some of these costs and make certain that we have
a more healthy society and incest in more economically viable society. I
mean, all of this benefits all of us. And so, it really bothers me to hear
someone say that, you know, we had over-insured people when there are
children in this country who couldn`t get basic immunizations to go to
school without having some kind of health care insurance.

SHARPTON: Like Congressman Cleaver said, it`s a sin.

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver and Goldie Taylor, I`m going to have to
leave it there.

Thank you for being here this evening.

CLEAVER: Good to be with you, Reverend.

TAYLOR: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: What happens when a prominent Republican slams his own
party for a war on the poor? It happened today and it will surprise you.

Plus Trayvon Martin`s mother was on Capitol Hill today calling for a
change in the Stand Your Ground law. So why was Senator Cruz talking about
inflaming racial tensions? Trayvon`s mother joins me live on that and her

And one year after hurricane Sandy slammed the northeast, you`ll never
guess where Republicans who voted against emergency aid are. It`s
remarkable. They`re about to be called out. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Have you joined the "politics nation" conversation on
facebook yet? Today everyone was talking about Ted Cruz who claimed that
people who want to change Stand Your Ground laws are exploiting and
inflaming racial tensions.

Mildred says anyone who believes there should be 100 more men in the
Senate like Jesse Helms is the one exploiting.

Betsy says Cruz is a man without the capacity for empathy.

Coming up, Trayvon Martin`s mother Sybrina Fulton joins us to share
her thoughts on Cruz`s comments.

But first we want to hear you share your thoughts. 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: A remarkable thing happened today from someone you wouldn`t

Ohio governor and former FOX News commentator John Kasich. The guy
who tried to crack down on unions, who signed a restrictive abortion law,
proposed slashing taxes for the rich. And today he`s saying this about his
own party. Quote, "I`m concerned about the fact there seems to be a war on
the poor. That if you`re poor, somehow you`re shiftless and lazy."

War on the poor? Shiftless and lazy? Wonder where he heard that.


turn this safety net into a hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lies
and dependency and complacency.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Self-reliance means if anyone
will not work, neither should he eat.

NEWT GINGRICH, CNN HOST, CROSSFIRE: Really poor children in really
poor neighborhoods have no habits of working, and have nobody around them
who works. They don`t have a I do this and you give me cash unless it`s

REP. DAVID JOYCE (R), OHIO: There`s three million jobs every month in
this country that go unfilled. And the trouble is it`s because they either
can`t find people to come to work sober, daily, drug-free and want to learn
the necessary skills going forward to be able to do those jobs.


SHARPTON: This is your Republican party where it`s trendy to demonize
the poor. And it comes two days away from 47 million Americans getting
cuts in their food stamps. That includes 900,000 military veterans. It`s
a party that just last month voted to slash $40 billion from food stamp
funding. A party that literally shut the government down fighting the
courageous fight to take health insurance away from Americans in need.

So yes, Governor Kasich, there is a war on the poor. Now it`s time to
join the fight against it. It`s time for your colleagues to wake up.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Democrat from California.
Thank you for coming on the show. Thank you for coming on the show.

REP. BARBARA LEE (D), CALIFORNIA: Very happy to be with you, Reverend

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, Governor Kasich calling out Republicans for
demonizing the poor. Are some Republicans starting to wake up to reality?

LEE: I think this is a very good sign, because I always say that
Republicans have low income people, people who are poor in their districts
also. When you look at what is taking place and thank you for mentioning
what`s taking place on Friday, Reverend Al, we have now a $5 billion
automatic cut in the SNAP program which is going to take away approximately
20 meals, I think that`s the estimate, for a family of four a month. And
so we`re trying to wake up the country and wake up the Republicans so that
we can get legislation passed very quickly so that we can at least extend
these automatic cuts that will take place on Friday.

SHARPTON: And I might add that as you talk about waking up the
public, let`s not forget that Governor Kasich and others are up for re-
election next year. So an awakened public may be something to consider
when you hear what Kasich is saying.

But let me ask you this. Kasich talked about calling the poor lazy.
Just watch where Republicans get this idea.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at poverty in this country. Everybody out of
work is eating. They`ve got big screen TV, probably have a car, probably
have a cell phone.

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: And in fact to follow up segment, is
America becoming a welfare state? The answer is yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got news for you. In other countries, they`re
not washing their clothes and sitting in air conditioning watching a big
screen TV. They`re dying. That is a poor.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: The thing we`ve got to deal with more
than anything else in the country is deal with this entitlement mind-set
that government is going to help me in every aspect of my life.

O`REILLY: My contention is that the Obama administration is
encouraging parasites to come out and, you know, take as much as they can
with no remorse and this is how our country declines. This is how we
become a weak nation.


SHARPTON: I mean, this ugly venomous portrayal of poor people, the
most vulnerable in society, it is outrageous and it is set up this
dangerous climate, Congresswoman. It`s despicable because to say you`ve
got to be dying to be poor, that you have a sense of entitlement when you
can barely get by on what food stamps pay. It is outrageous and it is
telling boldface lies. That is not what most poor people are dealing with.
And this whole picture of laid back, lazy, watching big screen TVs, this
kind of profiling and stereotyping is utterly despicable.

LEE: Yes, Reverend Al. It`s disgusting. It`s a shame, a disgrace.
First of all, and it`s not American. It is really un-American. Those
aren`t the values that the majority of Americans hold.

Let me just say, the majority of people who are on SNAP benefits, food
stamps, are working. They`re part of the working poor. They`re low wage
workers. And when you look at income inequality in what is taking place,
you`re looking at people who are making $7 and $8 a an hour. What are we
going to do?

You know, we need to raise the minimum wage. We need to have a living
wage for people. We need to provide a pathway to a job, workforce
training. I was on food stamps, Reverend Al. Nobody wants to be on food
stamps. Everyone wants a job. Everyone wants to live the American dream.
Oftentimes people need that bridge over troubled water. We`re barely out
of a terrible, terrible recession.

And so, for the right wing, the extreme radicals to really begin to
demonize people who are just trying to take care of their families and move
forward to live the American dream again, it`s un-American, it`s immoral,
disgust, it is immoral, shame and disgrace. And we really should be
outraged at some of these comments.

SHARPTON: No doubt about it. Quickly, Congresswoman, the center for
American progress issued its annual report on poverty in America. And you
were there to talk about it. The report found there are over 46 million
Americans living below the federal poverty line. That`s one in six
Americans, Congresswoman Lee.

LEE: In the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world.
Forty-two percent of single women head of households live below the poverty
line. And let me tell you, we have a plan, Reverend Al, to cut poverty in
half in ten years. We know how to do it. I have legislation that would
require us to begin to move down that path. And so, I hope that people who
are watching your show tonight really embrace our legislation to cut
poverty in half.

It can be done. We have now children under five, for example, in the
African-American community, 42 percent of children are under five are
living below the poverty line, 37 percent of Latino children living below
the poverty line.

SHARPTON: Children.

LEE: We have unbelievable numbers of children who are poor. What
does that say about who we are as a country? We need to move forward. We
need to have a strategy and a plan to cut poverty in half in ten years.
And I`m very proud as a Democrat and the chair of our WHIP task force on
poverty and opportunity that we know how to get there. If only we had a
bipartisan strategy with the Republicans to do this.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman Barbara Lee, thank you so much for your work
and your time tonight.

LEE: My pleasure.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, ted Cruz uses a stand your ground hearing as
an excuse to score some cheap political points with Trayvon Martin`s mother
in attendance.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: We have seen efforts to undermine the
verdict of the jury and more broadly to inflame racial tensions.


SHARPTON: We`ll talk about it with Sybrina Fulton live in an
exclusive interview.

Plus, the GOP`s Chris Christie problem. One year after Sandy, he`s
not letting Republicans get away with their refusal to help storm victims.

But first, turned out Dick Cheney does believe in recycling.
Recycling his old talking points on Iraq. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Dick Cheney seems to be everywhere these days. He`s
selling a book, he`s hyping his daughter`s Senate race, and of course he`s
trotting out his same old talking points about the invasion of Iraq.


was then and it remains today is that the big threat we face is the
possibility of terrorist groups like Al Qaeda equipped with weapons of mass
destruction with nukes, bugs, or gas. That was the threat after 9/11. And
when we took down Saddam Hussein, we eliminated Iraq.


SHARPTON: That was last night. He`s talking like he found weapons of
mass destruction. Like Saddam actually had something to do with 9/11.
It`s exactly what he was saying ten years ago in the days just before the


CHENEY: We also have to address the question of where might these
terrorists acquire weapons of mass destruction, chemical weapons,
biological weapons, nuclear weapons. And Saddam Hussein becomes a prime
suspect in that regard.


SHARPTON: Dick Cheney has learned nothing despite all the lives lost
and the money spent. Today marks three days in a row that we`ve put him in
our "nice try, got you." But guess what, Mr. Chen, three strikes and
you`re out because we got you, got you, got you.


SHARPTON: It was one year ago today, Hurricane Sandy devastated the
east coast. These were the scenes of destruction. The storm killed an
estimated 160 people in the U.S., damaged hundreds of thousands of homes,
and cost billions of dollars. Out of the storm came this iconic image.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and President Obama embracing. It was
less than a week before the presidential election. A true symbol of
bipartisanship. And later Christie slammed the Republicans in Congress who
dragged their feet on storm aid.


GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: There`s only one group to blame
for the continued suffering of these innocent victims. The house majority
and their Speaker John Boehner. Last night, politics was placed before
oaths to serve our citizens. For me, it was disappointing and disgusting
to watch. Shame on you. Shame on Congress.


SHARPTON: Shame on you, Congress. One year later, how`s this for
shame? Senators Mitch McConnell and Tom Coburn both opposed Sandy relief.
So, where were they last night on the eve of the Sandy anniversary? They
were fund raising, raising money in the New York area. Amazing. Senator
McConnell was at a Greenwich, Connecticut, beach club. A building that
flooded during Sandy. And Senator Coburn, he was the headliner for the New
York young Republican clubs gala last night.

So, they refused to give money when these states needed it most, but
they have no problem taking it on the eve of the anniversary. That takes
some nerve. In the words of Governor Christie, shame on you.

Joining me now are Michelle Cottle and Dana Milbank. Thank you both
for your time tonight.



SHARPTON: Michelle, they were against aid. But now on the eve of the
Sandy anniversary, they`re fund raising in the New York area. Your

COTTLE: Well, it`s not surprising. Especially if you`re in a tough
race like Mitch McConnell is. You`re going to need the money and you
always go with your hand out to the New York area because that`s where the
money is. So, you know, at this point it`s a bygones be bygones kind of
situation and how about writing me that check?

SHARPTON: Well, bygones and not bygones. You still have people out
of houses in New Jersey and far areas of New York. And it`s not over. And
what they did in many ways was something that people that have had the rest
of their lives altered and the families who lost lives, Dana, cannot just
act like it`s just something that can be forgotten that easy while they`re
running around saying, bygones be bygones, give me a check.

MILBANK: No. It`s a bit rich to be raising money on this
anniversary. And it`s worse than that about ignoring the anniversary or
raising money on it. You have Tom Coburn out there complaining that the
aid hasn`t been distributed fast enough.


MILBANK: Well, that`s the aid he opposed in the first place and that
if people Washington put in all these rules to avoid the sort of fraud that
occurred after Katrina. So you have this situation of them, you know,
slashing the tires on the car than complaining that the thing isn`t driving
faster. So opposing the aid in the first place, complaining that the aid
isn`t getting out there, and then raising money in that same location on
the anniversary of the storm.

SHARPTON: You know Michelle, New York Congressman Peter King was
another Republican who criticized his party`s response to Sandy. And
here`s what he said today about Senator Coburn.


REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: The ultimate responsibility here comes
from the Congress. When I see people like Senator Coburn criticizing the
lack of progress when he did all he could to kill the money coming to New
York and New Jersey, these guys have a hell of a nerve. Stay out in New
York. Raise your money in Oklahoma. That`s where you raise your money.
Don`t come to New York and take the money from the people that you wanted
to screw.


SHARPTON: Now, that`s interesting. And let`s not forget, Congressman
King was also very critical of his own party about the government shutdown.
How split is the Republican Party, Michelle?

COTTLE: Well, the Republican Party continues to have this civil war
and identity crisis. And it`s not sure what it wants to do. And I think
with most of Congress` approval rating in the tank, what almost everybody
in the party seems to agree is that come 2016, their best hope is going to
come from the governors. I mean, at this point, no one thinks that
Congress can, you know, legislate its way out of a paper bag. And it`s
going to really hard for these guys who want to be contenders in 2016 to
get the backing even from their own party.

SHARPTON: You know, Dana, in January, Think Progress put together a
list of all Senate Republicans who had voted against Sandy aid but had
requested disaster aid for their own states. But guess what? It included
senators Coburn and McConnell. Another Sandy hypocrite was Mississippi
governor -- I mean Mississippi Congressman Steven Palazzo. After Hurricane
Katrina, he was working for his hometown housing authority and asked the
federal government to quote, "Send us money so we can put families back
together." Palazzo`s hometown newspaper called his vote against Sandy aid
cold-blooded and hardhearted. He finally reversed his position after
touring areas hit by the storm. Now, I know we see a lot of hypocrisy from
politicians, but wasn`t this all just a little beyond the pale, Dana?

MILBANK: And utterly predictable, Reverend. The same thing happens
each time. We saw this during the BP oil spill down in the gulf. These
same guys who were complaining about FEMA and all this money going all
these places is suddenly were piling on the say, why isn`t the government
sending us more money? The irony here of course in places like New Jersey
and New York which requesting as aid put a lot more in taxes than they take
out from the government. And a lot of these red state Republicans wind up
getting much more of a net benefit. So they`re opposing the very aid that
is much more likely to go to their own states.

SHARPTON: You know, Michelle, I don`t agree with Governor Christie
on much. But we have to admit he did work with the president and he`s
campaigning on that. Look at this ad.


CHRISTIE: I stand up strongly for principles and I speak bluntly and
directly. And I say what I believe. But I also know that my job is to get
things done for the people of the state. Everything we`ve done has been a
bipartisan accomplishment. See, I think as long as you stick to your
principles, compromise isn`t a dirty word.


SHARPTON: You know, and that attitude seems to be paying off. Right
now 65 percent of New Jersey likely voters view Christie favorably. And at
the same time, Congress only has a five percent approval rating. You know,
that`s a huge difference. What does that say to you, Michelle?

COTTLE: Well, you can look at it on the very narrow scale. Which is
that Christie is well aware that part of his appeal is distancing himself
from this extremely unpopular Congress. You know, he points out that he
stands up for what he believes and he`s a pragmatic leader. But more
broadly, here again is why we look to the governors for kind of the 2016
contenders or just kind of governors have to get things done for their
states. In a way that Congress is more likely to try and pass the buck or
grand stand or gridlock. And so, Christie is benefiting from both his
individual reputation and just kind of what governors have to do.

SHARPTON: You know, one thing interesting quickly Dana, that is
interesting to me is the Republicans that voted against Sandy aid, they are
not screaming about the glitches that have not come -- or that has caused
some of the things in Sandy aid reaching people. Like they`re screaming
about the website on health care. Maybe it`s because the first glitch was

Thank you Dana, thank you Michelle. Thank you both for your time.

MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.

COTTLE: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, my meetings with the head of Barneys
Department Store about accusations of racial profiling. Will America`s
retailers step up and put an end to shop and frisk?

But first, Senator Ted Cruz claims that stand your ground laws
actually help African-Americans. I`ll talk about it in an exclusive
interview with Trayvon Martin`s mother Sybrina Fulton. Stay with us.


going to the store to get snacks. Nothing more, nothing less. The person
that shot and killed my son is walking the streets today. And this law
does not work.


SHARPTON: Sybrina Fulton testifying in Washington today about stand
your ground laws and the role of them in the death of her son Trayvon
Martin. It was a serious hearing. But Senator Cruz seemed to think it was
just a chance to just score some cheap political points.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: We know that some in our political process
have a desire to exploit that tragic, violent incident. We have seen
efforts to undermine the verdict of the jury and more broadly to inflame
racial tensions.


SHARPTON: The only thing inflaming racial tensions was the unequal
application of unjust law. Cruz went on to claim that the stand your
ground law actually helps African-Americans.


CRUZ: In Florida, the data show that African-American defendants have
availed themselves of the stand your ground defense more frequently than
have Anglo defendants.


SHARPTON: Stand your ground is good law for law for minorities? He`s
wrong. The numbers tell the story. Under stand your ground, if the victim
is black or Hispanic, the killer walks free 78 percent of the time. But if
the victim is white, the killer walks free 56 percent of the time. A 22
point difference. No matter what self-appointed expert Ted Cruz says,
those are the facts that really matter.

Joining me now is Trayvon Martin`s mother Sybrina Fulton and her
lawyer Daryl Parks. Thank you for being here.


FULTON: Thank you.

SHARPTON: You know, I know it`s been an emotional day for you,
Sybrina, but what`s your response to these comments of stand your ground
that Senator Ted Cruz made during the hearing today?

FULTON: I think there`s some disconnect there. I think he certainly
is not aware of the real law and how it affects us as a community. I have
a real problem when teenagers are afraid to walk to the store for a drink
and candy. There are issues there. And you want everybody to feel
comfortable and you want everybody to feel safe in their neighborhood. And
just merely walking down the street and, you know, you`re not armed.
Trayvon was not armed. It just seems like something needs to be fixed.

SHARPTON: What misperceptions did you hear about the law today?
Well, you talk about the disconnect. What did you hear today that made you
believe people in the Senate just really don`t understand the impact of
this law?

FULTON: Well, one of the things that was said that was stand your
ground was not used in this case. I heard stand your ground for over a
year. It wasn`t until the defense had to file a motion that I stopped
hearing stand your ground, which was a year later. Which was April of
2013. From February 26, 2012, I had been hearing about stand your ground
from the police department, from the attorneys, from the news. Everybody
says, stand your ground. And it wasn`t something that we made up. It was
something that they were going to use. So it certainly played a part. In
addition to that, also the jury was given instructions that had information
on there about stand your ground. So it`s not that we`re making -- you
know, making anything up. It`s just that it was being used.

SHARPTON: Well, stand your ground, Attorney Parks, was why they
didn`t -- they let Zimmerman go at the precinct and not charge him. Part
of it was stand your ground.

PARKS: For certain. And Rev, I think you have to focus on the fact
that the police department, they hesitated in arresting George Zimmerman
because they thought it existed. One of the problems that we see here is
the fact that a true equal protection problem and due process problem under
the 5th and 14th amendment that creates a big problem, makes an ambiguous
law is certainly the reason that the law has to be changed.

SHARPTON: Now, Sybrina, you have been fighting diligently. You and
your whole family have been all over the country and in your home state of
Florida fighting this. And I want people to know that there has been
progress. All of the fighting has not gone in vain. In the state of
Florida, they`ve already approved changes in the existing law.
Neighborhood watch people are not allowed to pursue or confront suspects.
Aggressors can`t claim stand your ground in their defense. And now we`re
learning the state is also going to hold a hearing to repeal stand your
ground next week. So there`s been some progress. Are you hopeful about
the direction that lawmakers are taking there?

SHARPTON: Yes. I think any step they`re taking, even today just
coming to Washington, D.C. Just for them to listen to what I have to say
was important. Because I think it`s a step towards the right direction.
And I know it`s not going to be done overnight. I know it`s going to take
time in order for us to get these changes made. But it`s worth it. If we
lose one life unnecessarily, I think it`s worth us just fighting and just
working hard just to try and make some difference.

SHARPTON: Sybrina Fulton and Daryl Parks, thank you both for your
time tonight and thank you for the work you`re doing in honor of your son`s
memory Trayvon Martin. We`ll stay on this story.

FULTON: Thank you.

PARKS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, accusations of racial profiling at Barneys
Department Store. Why was this teenager stopped by undercover police and
detained for buying a belt? I talk to the store CEO today. That`s next.


SHARPTON: We`re back with the shop and frisk problem in America. New
York Barneys Department store has been under fire after two accusations of
racial profiling in just the last week. Nineteen-year-old college student
Trayon Christian was stopped by two undercover police detectives less than
a block from the store after buying a belt. The police claimed his ID was
false and reportedly asked him how a young black man could afford such an
expensive belt. A day after the incident became public, a 21-year-old
nursing student named Kayla Phillips came forward saying she, too, was
stopped by police after buying a Barneys handbag.

Both were released hours after the police found no wrong doing.
Similar complaints have been made against Macy`s. And today the New York
attorney general launched an investigation. This morning, the CEO of
Barneys New York came up to the headquarters of my National Action Network
to talk about the problems with community and civil rights leaders. The
Barneys CEO promises to meet with other heads of department stores and
civil rights leaders to discuss the shop and frisk problem. We`ll be
watching. Racial profiling is unacceptable wherever it happens. Whether
it`s on the streets or in the shopping malls.


SHARPTON: This is a big day here at MSNBC. And it`s a big day for
our entire MSNBC family out there. For the first time in our 17 year
history, we have our own digital home. Moments ago launched.
It`s live as we speak. You can go to it right now. Just type in
and get involved in the conversation. All your favorite shows and
personalities are all there. Including, course, POLITICS NATION.

I`m happy to welcome Richard Wolffe, executive editor of
He`s probably short on sleep tonight. Richard, first of all,

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC.COM EDITOR: Thank you, Rev. I appreciate it.

SHARPTON: Now, I want to start on the home page. Walk us
through this Richard.

WOLFFE: OK. So, what we wanted to do right here was bring the spirit
of what you and others do in the studio right here on this page. So, we`re
talking about the big stories, these are the stories that matter. The
videos that matter about the things that matter to people`s lives. And so
we got ten big stories up here. That`s what`s there on the right. We`ve
got the big headlines. And as you scroll down, you`ll see Rachel and the
things that really fire up our audience. We want them to share things from
here, to save them from later. And to go talk about them to come together.

SHARPTON: Wow. That`s great. You know, all shows have their own
page. Ours is What will you have on our page?

WOLFFE: So, you can right here, Rev, all the great videos from your
show, from last night and later on from tonight as well. And when you go
down underneath here, you`ll see the stories that really speak to the
audience here about -- could be about equality, could be about the economy.
And there are great things here like the news letter, your book as well.
And also one of my favorite things, these groups where people can come
together and talk about the stuff they`ve seen on TV.

SHARPTON: And a big part of this is team Rev.

WOLFFE: Team Rev. And I`m part of Team Rev. I`m sure you are too.
I hope everyone watching tonight is part of Team Rev. Because this is
where people can come together and talk about what they`re seeing on the
show, talk about a story. This is where to comment. You can see other
people that are members of Team Rev, stories that everyone is discussing,
pieces of video. And again, you can share them from here, save them from
here. And really connect with people who like you are big fans of POLITICS

SHARPTON: What are you most excited about?

WOLFFE: You know, I love the fact that all these big stories and
videos are there. But the coolest thing here is that people can connect
with each other. You know, you`ve been doing this for your life. Bringing
people together in all sorts of groups over the issues that really changed
their lives. You know, now people can do it online. Team Rev or any
number of other groups, they can create their own group. We`re giving the
tools to people to organize themselves. For me I think that`s the best
thing that we`re putting together.

SHARPTON: Well, I`m excited about it. If you have a dream, you join
me team. Team Rev. You know, Richard, we have a lot of the team
here tonight. How much coffee have you all consumed?


WOLFFE: You know, Rev, this is a just a fraction of the team.
They`ve done an incredible job over the last year.

SHARPTON: With Morgan Whittaker who`s done a great job for us at
POLITICS NATION is there. If you`ve got Morgan on the team, this is an "a"

WOLFFE: She`s a star. And people who join Team Rev will see her work
every day.

SHARPTON: Well, this is great. We`re excited about it, and I know
this is going to be fantastic. Richard and team, thanks for
being here. And again, congratulations. Now everyone go through right
now. You might even hear from me.

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


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