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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Read the transcript from the Wednesday show

November 13, 2013


Guest: Kasim Reed; Emanuel Cleaver, Abby Huntsman, Jess McIntosh, Joe
REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening Ed and thanks to you for
tuning in.

Tonight`s Lead, "You`re Covered." New numbers tonight on how
President Obama`s health care law is helping real people across the

The Health and Human Service as department says the law`s gotten more
than half a million Americans positioned to have health care, more than
100,000 have chosen plans from the federal and state health care exchanges,
and nearly 400,000 had been deemed eligible for Medicaid.

That is the reality of the President`s health care law. Half a
million people who didn`t have insurance before are about to get covered.
That`s what really matters. The problem with the website are serious. But
they will be fixed.

The White House says other tweaks to the law will be made sooner
rather than later. But all Republicans want to do is talk about the
problems with the Web site. They`ve done everything possible to try to
stop this law. But today, they were pretending to be upset that it`s not
working better.


weren`t ready. They weren`t close to ready.

REP. JOHN MICA (R), FLORIDA: It`s obvious that Obama care was not
ready for prime time.

flawed data rollout.

ISSA: None of you today can tell us who failed to do their job. And
as a result, the American people lost a month of any effective, real
ability to sign up.


SHARPTON: They opposed the law. But wish it was working better?
That`s what these Republicans expect us to believe? The Democrats in that
hearing didn`t buy it.


REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: Nobody in this room, nobody in
this country believes that Republicans want to fix the Web site.

REP. STEVEN HORSFORD (D), NEVADA: That this has been turned into more
of a game.

in fairness. And the American people do not want to see a kangaroo court


SHARPTON: The American people don`t want to see a kangaroo court or
the Republicans` crocodile tears. They just want better health care and
they`re getting it. President Obama`s law has already meant cheaper
prescriptions and free preventative care for millions of people. And now
hundreds of thousands more are finally able to get insurance.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For a cancer survivor, Caroline Human (ph) said
health insurance for her has never been affordable or easy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But is it deny, deny, deny for seven years.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Under the affordable care act she is now
guaranteed coverage and is saving $7,000 a year.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The 21-year-old works two jobs. So, getting
affordable health insurance was important.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think you will be like, you know, you have to
pay at least like $50 or something a month. But for me, I qualify for
completely free health care which is great.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We qualify to pay $10.90 a month (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That, after a year ago and without insurance
because of lost jobs.


SHARPTON: These are the stories Republicans don`t want to talk about.
Real people who are getting cheaper coverage, who aren`t getting turned
down by insurance companies any more just because they`ve been sick in the
past. That`s what this law is doing, and that`s why Republicans are
desperate to attack it.

Joining me now are Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and MSNBC`s Karen Finney.

Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Mayor Reed, let me start with you. The health care law is
already helping lots of people. But Republican governors in 25 states are
blocking the expansion of Medicaid, denying insurance to nearly five
million people. That includes more than 400,000 people in your home state
of Georgia. Doesn`t this show the Republicans are more interested in
playing political games than helping people get health care, Mr. Mayor?

REED: What it shows is we`ve got to advocate harder. We have the
opportunity in Georgia to make sure 400,000 people have health care. We
also have the opportunity to generate more than $33 billion for the state.

As you know, for the first three years the federal government will
cover 100 percent of the health care cost. And then after the third year,
90 percent of the total cost for the remainder of the time. It`s also an
important jobs generator because businesses are going to opt in states in
order to reduce their health care costs.


REED: So states that have expanded Medicaid coverage are going to
have a competitive advantage in the future.

SHARPTON: You know, Karen, Republicans are harping on problems with
health care Web site.


SHARPTON: But they don`t really want to fix them. Listen to what
Senator Ted Cruz said this morning.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: It is fundamentally flawed. And, you know,
I got to say, at this point in my view stopping Obamacare is the essence of
pragmatism. We need to stop it and start over because it isn`t working.


SHARPTON: Go back and start over?

FINNEY: Right.

SHARPTON: I mean, you notice they never have an alternative, though.

FINNEY: Oh, no. Or what would happen to all the people who are
already in the system while we stop and start over again.

I mean, let`s be very clear, reverend. One of the things those of us
who support the affordable care act have got to be very focused on like
you`ve been doing is refocusing this conversation. It`s not about a Web
site. And you just cited those numbers of who could, five million
Americans could be getting Medicaid coverage.

Essentially the governors of those states are telling those people
their lives do not matter. Because as we know, being healthy is just one
part of healthy communities, healthy families. It creates jobs, but it
also means that someone has the ability, more of an ability to go out and
be a productive member of their community.

SHARPTON: You know, Mr. Mayor, when Mitch McConnell, the Senate
minority leader held a press conference yesterday, he kicked it off in a
kind of funny way. Listen to this.


to be asking, answering questions about anything else, but I`m happy to
respond to questions about Obamacare. I`m not going to do a stake out of
every event. Because as you imagine, I`d prefer the news to be what I`d
like it to be rather than what you all may be interested in pursuing.


SHARPTON: So he`s got his agenda. He wants to just deal with that.
You`re on the ground. Any one knows, Kasim Reed, knows you`re a mayor on
the ground. People need help on the ground, not these Washington games of
just taking political posturing and positioning.

REED: Well, here`s what I know, Reverend Al. The governor of
Kentucky is doing the right thing. He actually is a Democrat that shows
that leadership is vital, and covering your folks matters more than small-
ball politics. I also know this. In the city of Atlanta, Grady hospital
could lose as much as $100 million annually in revenue.


REED: It`s one of the largest public hospitals in the United States
of America. These are the working poor. These are middle class folks in
need. And we could provide a hundred million more dollars in care if we
just embrace Medicaid. No new program. No unfamiliar program. But rather
than doing that, we`re making different decisions and playing games like
Senator Ted Cruz who acts like he actually cares about implementing an
effective health care program. We know that`s not true. That`s why we`ve
got to keep pushing forward, which is exactly what we`re doing today.

SHARPTON: You know, Karen, the mayor talking about senators, in his
own state, you have a candidate for Senate, Georgia congressman Phil
Gingrey who has said that he is still talking like they think they can
repeal healthcare. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a doctor I took it over to do no harm, and
Obamacare is so harmful I voted to repeal or decline it over 40 times.
I`ll help repeal Obamacare in my first term or go home. Because you
deserve senator who gets the job done or gets out of the way. Repeal or go
home. That`s my pledge to you.


SHARPTON: Repeal or go home, Karen?

FINNEY: I mean, lovely props, but yes. I mean, this has been, you
know, a big part of the conversation the whole time. Republicans are still
acting like repealing the law is a viable option. Unfortunately, as you
know, Reverend, what that`s done is that`s done such a disservice to those
Americans who want health care who are still confused as to whether it`s a
law or is it still a bill. And I think the good thing about the focus on
the Web site is that it`s getting the word out.

But as a political strategy, essentially what Gingrey is saying, I
know he thinks he`s saying I`m going to be tough and stand up to Barack
Obama. But what he`s really saying is I`m going to make sure that those of
you who could get health care in my district don`t get it. That`s how, you
know, committed to, you know, partisan politics I am. That`s a terrible

SHARPTON: But Mr. Mayor, at the end of the day, putting all politics
aside, putting all of the posturing aside, putting all of the posturing
aside, real people are hurting. And real people that had pre-existing
conditions and couldn`t get covered can now get covered. People who had to
cover their children until 26 can now get it. I mean, the real people that
are in need, that`s what this is really all about, not who`s winning, who`s
up or down, what the polls are saying. Are we making a difference in the
lives of people?

REED: Well, we know that we`re making a difference. And we`re going
to get the Web site fixed. And we`re going to get seven million people
covered. So we`ve all got to continue to push. And we got to ignore the

You are exactly right. There are real people behind all of these
stories. And we need to make sure that every single American who wants
health care absolutely has the ability to get it. And the big story right
now, what people really care about, Reverend Al, is having a job. And if
you want a growing economy, you want to be an opt-in state, because that
reduces the cost of businesses that want to come to your state or your city
and put people to work, which gives them more control of their own lives
and their own destiny.

SHARPTON: I`m going to have to hold it there, Karen, the mayor one of
the best notice country.

Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Thank you, Karen Finney. Both of you for your
time tonight.

And be sure to watch "Disrupt" with Karen Finney weekends at 4:00
eastern, right here on MSNBC.

Coming up, the GOP`s ugly war on the poor could get worse. The inside
memo on reckless dysfunction and obstruction is next.

And look out, Speaker Boehner, a tea party group is targeting
traitors, and you`re at the top of the list.

Plus Sarah Palin is now going after the Pope. Yes, you heard that
right. You won`t believe what she`s saying.

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


SHARPTON: Republicans are ramping up their war on the poor and taking
marching orders from their boss, Rush Limbaugh. That`s next.


SHARPTON: There he goes again the head of the Republican national
committee is in New Orleans today, pretending yet again to widen the GOP
tent. This time, he`s reaching out to black voters ahead of the 2014
Senate race. His message? Opening the doors of opportunity for all
children. Making sure low income students can attend good schools.

Yes. Great. Just don`t mention what Republican policies actually

But even as he was making that trip today here`s what was happening in
Washington. Paul "makers and takers" Ryan was leading budget talks with
Democrats. And his big new idea? Cut, cut, cut, cuts to head start. A
program for low-income students. Cuts the meal on wheels. Massive cut,
economists say are killing jobs. It`s the plan he`s been pushing for


will decrease the number of makers in society and increase the number of

We don`t want to turn this safety net into a hammock that lulls able-
bodied people into lives of dependency and complacency.

Teach a man to fish, he can feed himself for life. Do simply feed

Insurers are getting more and more takers and makers in American.


SHARPTON: But that was the old Paul Ryan, right? Well, today the
hill had this exclusive. An internal Democratic memo warning the worst may
be yet to come. Republicans may be gunning for even deeper cuts. I wonder
where they got this idea about targeting the poor?


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well Obama, he knows exactly
what he`s doing. They think they`ve got a moral duty to take from people
earning it unfairly, spending it improperly, enriching themselves. And
they have convinced their brain-dead voters that all of this is justice,
social justice. Fairness and equitable behavior and treatment. And, and
that`s why the brain-dead idiots go for it.


SHARPTON: So enough with the pr campaign. It`s time to see real
action. Not just lip service.

Joining me now is Democratic Congressman Emanuel Cleaver from
Missouri. Thanks for being here.

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

SHARPTON: Congressman, you sent out a tweet today about the reckless
Republican budget cuts saying they cost the economy almost a million jobs
this quarter. After outreach events and autopsies (ph), why do they
continue this cut, cut, cut mentality?

CLEAVER: Well, I think in the absence of a legislative agenda, the
house has resorted to petulance and discord. And I also think that many of
the people who are talking about cut, cut, cut, they`re actually talking
about tax entitlements. They`re giving entitlements to people who don`t
deserve them. And there is this strain that seems to be running through
this place that there are unworthy Americans who are lazy and shiftless and
don`t want to work. They don`t want t admit the fact which would be for
example on snap, that the majority of people who receive snap benefits are
elderly and children.


CLEAVER: And he`s talking about work, I mean, you know, you want a 95
year old person to work? Let me throw out a couple of numbers, 138. That
is, those are the number of days that the 213 Congress has worked. We`re
not working. And there is plenty to do. We have no transportation bill.
The transportation bill would create real jobs for real people. And they
need to stop this attack on people who are poor. I don`t know anybody who
enjoys being poor. I used to live in public housing. Everybody I knew in
public housing was trying to get out. My father worked hard and got us

SHARPTON: I have the same experienced in. And they never deal with
one question. Why are people not working? I mean, they act as though
people want to sit around and just get $3 and some cents an hour a day to
eat. Not even an hour a day to eat. I mean, it`s the most preposterous
disconnect I`ve ever heard of.

CLEAVER: Well, what`s happened is that there are people that have
been pushing this idea, this welfare Cadillac deal for so long that now
it`s a part of the thinking of some people in this country. And they
actually brief that people on food stamps are getting lottery tickets, not
owing that the electronic benefit transfer will not allow that kind of
thing to take place. And so they continue to make up these things. And
the sad part, though, is that there are people out buying it who trust
these folk, who are giving bad information. And we have to have this
argument over and over again because the people who are in Congress, the
members here who are pushing this fight around the poor. They know better.
It`s not a deal where they need to be given the truth. They know better,
and they do it anyway.

SHARPTON: Well, you know, today, Congressman, Republican Senator
Chuck Grassley applauded, literally applauded the massive spending cuts
known as the sequester. Listen to this.


REP. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: We`ve heard voices this morning about
sequestration being bad. I don`t know how we could hear that particularly
since sequestration is working.


SHARPTON: You know, but those quote automatic budget cuts is having
major impact on programs like head start. So far 57,000 low-income
children have been dropped from the program. I mean, how can the RNC
chairman go to New Orleans talking about the opportunities for all today
and have a party supporting this?

CLEAVER: Well, the deal is I think they, they believe, and I think
they really believe that outreach means going out and speaking to poor
people or minorities and that that will somehow attract them. They don`t
realize that -- and you said it earlier, that it`s the policies that run
minorities away. It`s the policies. They eventually are going to run
working class people away as well. Because we`re, head start for example
is the most efficiently run federal program. And so why would you want to
cut that knowing that it is an efficient program unless you just really
want to make people believe that anybody who`s receiving any funds other
than the big oil companies and the banks are somehow unworthy.

SHARPTON: Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, thank you for your time

CLEAVER: Good to be with you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, Sarah Palin is now criticizing the Pope. The
Pope! For being too liberal. The Pope! We`ll look at how she`s kind of
driving the GOP right off a cliff.

Plus they keep pretending the 2012 election never happened. But
Elizabeth Warren is reminding them today. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: In February of 2012 rush Limbaugh said this about a women`s
rights activist fighting for insurers to cover contraceptive costs.

LIMBAUGH: What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke who
goes before a committee and says she must be paid to have sex. What does
that make her? It makes her a slut, right? Makes her a prostitute.


SHARPTON: That, of course set up a firestorm of controversy on social
issues in America. Well, today, he`s back at it. That`s next.


SHARPTON: We already know that Sarah Palin has a problem with the
socialist President Obama and Governor Christie. Well, she thinks his
appearance is extreme. But now she has a new enemy.


Francis? What do you think of him?

trying to follow what his agenda is. He`s had some statements that, to me,
sound kind of liberal, has taken me aback, has kind of surprised me.


SHARPTON: Not a liberal, the horror. Is Sarah Palin really serious?
She has a problem with this man?


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The embrace that has gone viral, melting hearts
around the world, Pope Francis laying his hands on a disfigured man.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He`s a simple man of the people from carrying his
own bags to paying his own bills. And now he`s picking up the phone and
calling to people out of the blue.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The Columbian work adopted by an Italian couple
decided his place was center stage with Francis. Those closest to him say
there`s nothing manufactured about the way Francis acts.


SHARPTON: Sounds like he`s got a real agenda, Sarah. Tending to the
poor. Comforting an orphan, showing love to a disfigured man. Oh, I can
see why Sarah Palin would be taken aback. But she`s not the only one on
the far right livid with Pope Francis. One conservative tells the New York
Times, quote, "I feel kind of thrown under the bus by the Pope." Far right
radio host Brian Fisher is alarmed by him. BuzzFeed interviewed one
evangelical who said this about the Pope. Quote, the man needs to read his
bible. I`m pretty sure he`s got a copy already. Well, what about, what
are they really angry about?


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Today it`s the pope`s words making headlines as
he spill out his vision of the Catholic Church. We cannot insist only on
issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive


SHARPTON: Ding, ding, ding. We have the answer, folks. The GOP`s
further right than the pope on social issues. And even Jon Stewart calling
Republicans out for you.


JON STEWART, COMEDIAN: Now, I guess you could you, you know, your
ideology is rigid and outdated when the head of the organization that just
got around to apologizing to Galileo shows more doctrinal flexibility than
you. But, look, you`re both God`s messengers. Who`s to say one of you is
right one of you is wrong. Different interpretations of God`s will as long
as there`s no fundamental schism between this pope and Republicans.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (INAUDIBLE) Pope Francis denounced what he called
idolatry of money and big business.

STEWART: Oh, no, not -- (bleep).


SHARPTON: So a 2,000 year old institution is moving quicker than the
GOP on social issues? As Sarah Palin would say, you bet you.

Joining me now are Abby Huntsman and Jess McIntosh. Thank you both
for coming on the show.


JESS MCINTOSH, EMILY`S LIST: Thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: Jess, what does it say when the Catholic Church is more
flexible on social issues than Sarah Palin and the GOP?

MCINTOSH: It might shock you to learn that I am not actually a papal
scholar. But it sounds like the pope is pretty much in line with a lot of
the American public in that it is 2013. And we are surprised to find
ourselves debating and re-debating contraceptive use and abortion. I mean,
on Emily`s List, we do a lot of polling of voters and women especially of
all stripe, Republican, Democrat, moderate, independent, want to be talking
about jobs and the economy, just like I`m assuming the Catholic Church
wants to be talking about what can we do to help the poor, what we can do
to help working families. They don`t want to be relitigating these social
issue fights that we thought our mother`s generation put to bed. But this
is what happened in 2012 with the rise of the Tea Party. And we`re seeing
it continue through 2014.

SHARPTON: You know, Abby, Rush Limbaugh infamously called the
Georgetown student Sandra Fluke a prostitute nearly two years a because of
her defense of contraception coverage. And he`s still fighting the same
old battle. Listen to him today.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I warned everybody, that`s where
this was headed. This is exactly what -- I forget that woman`s name now,
snerdly, the one that was in that fake Congressional press conference. She
was sitting there and she was basically saying, look, I want to have
limitless, endless sex, and I want you to pay for it. And it`s costing me
$3,000 a month for my birth control, but I can`t afford that with my
tuition and everything else. And I want you all to pay for it. And I was,
like any I think normal responsible person, I was insulted by this.


SHARPTON: Now, Limbaugh says, he feels vindicated because ObamaCare
is promoting -- security. Isn`t that the problem Abby with the GOP, that
they`re still fighting in losing the same battles over women`s issues?

HUNTSMAN: And we`re still trying to recover from comments like that.
And a number of other comments that have been made over the years, you
know, something that I love about Pope Francis is his unique ability to
make all walks of life feel accepted, feel wanted.


HUNTSMAN: .without actually having a change to his policy. That`s a
really fine line to walk and it does it very well. That`s something that
the Republican Party is struggling to figure out. You know that someone
like Sarah Palin who in my mind is the opposite of a figure like that.
She`s polarizing, she`s disrespectful, not only to women but to a number of
different groups. And I think he was a woman who has the microphone in the
party, has the ability to maybe start changing the math, start talking
about women in a respectful way. And that seems like she`s taking the
party further and further way from where they need to be.


HUNTSMAN: She is more focused on her own future, which is very
obvious. If she really cared about the future of the party, she would
probably, she would have looked at the results from the Virginia
gubernatorial election and said look, Cuccinelli lost the single woman vote
by 42 percent. This is where -- this is about the clearest warning sign
the Republican Party is going to get leading in to the 2016 national
election. I mean, this is real, this is serious. And this is someone,
Sarah Palin that is truly going to affect the party down the road. It
really scares me.

SHARPTON: It is really scary, you know, Jess, another aspect that`s
happening is a group, the Tea Party leadership fund has launched a campaign
to primary moderate Republicans. It reads, 87, that`s the number of
Republican traitors, including Speaker Boehner who collapsed once again
under Obama`s lame duck presidency. Help us fund the primaries to oust
those who caved. What`s the implications of this?

MCINTOSH: I think they could be pretty far reaching. I mean, this is
the weirdest rebranding I`ve ever seen. I don`t know that the GOP knows
that re-branding does not mean selling the same product in the same
packaging with the same salesman. It actually means changing course and
trying to appeal to the people that you`ve alienated.

And instead, they seem to be going even further. So, what happened in
2012 was we had a Democratic sweep and a mandate for Democratic women`s
leadership. And I think that because the Republicans are trying to take
their party even farther to the right we`re going to see even more seats
open up for Democratic candidates that maybe nobody thought was going to be
imply. I don`t think the 2014 map is going to be as quite as frightening
as everybody thought, it was going to be. And we have some fabulous
Democratic women candidates stepping up and taking that stand.

SHARPTON: You know Abby, Sarah Palin took a swing at a former running
mate Senator John McCain for comments he made likening the Tea Party to
quote, "hobbits." Take a listen.


PALIN: I`m a hobbit then. I`m a proud hobbit. Because the Tea Party
movement, it`s not a party. It`s a movement. If the GOP machine continues
to try to marginalize that Tea Party patriot who is boots on the ground
doing all the hard work to get Republicans re-elected, then the
establishment will go the way of the wigs.


SHARPTON: I`m a hobbit. I`m a hobbit.

HUNTSMAN: Yes, you know, the most interesting thing about Sarah Palin
is I don`t think she actually thinks about what`s coming out of her mouth.
I don`t think she understands most of the time what comes out of her mouth.
I think she tries to put verbs and adjectives together and that sound smart
and that people will just let that pass. It`s quite embarrassing. But you
know, there are a number of women in the party that should be listened to.
You have even Rick Perry`s wife and Perry for example, says I`m pro-life.
But I`ve seen actually a woman`s right to choose.

You have Barbara Bush who for years has asked the Republican Party to
take out the anti-abortion plank from the platform. I think those are the
voices that you need to be listening to. I think Sarah Palin as we`ve
mentioned is only pushing the party further and further away from the women
vote more than men. So this is real for the party.

MCINTOSH: Abby is so right.

SHARPTON: Jess, let me ask you, will people turn out in 2014? Will
women turn out because of these issues?

MCINTOSH: Oh, yes, yes. And we saw in 2013, which is an off-year
election. In Virginia, black women, Latino women and unmarried women
turned out in 2012 numbers. They turned out in the same numbers for an off
year election as they did to re-elect the president. That is a huge
indicator of enthusiasm among this group and I think we`re definitely going
to see them in 2014.

HUNTSMAN: Got to get the message right, though. Important.

SHARPTON: Yes. Abby Huntsman and Jess McIntosh. Thank you both for
your time this evening. And be sure to catch Abby on "THE CYCLE" weekdays
right here at 3:00 p.m.

Coming up, must see TV today. The crack-smoking mayor of Toronto,
grilled in public by the entire city council. And folks, you`ll want to
see the reaction.

But first, Senator Elizabeth Warren calls out Republicans for trying
to nullify President Obama`s election.


SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: We need to call out these
filibusters for what they are -- naked attempts to nullify the results of
the last presidential election.



SHARPTON: Since day one of the Obama presidency, Republicans have
been doing everything they can to try and make him fail. And even after he
won re-election Republicans started talking about nullifying the results.
Here`s former GOP Congressman Ron Paul talking about ObamaCare last week.


FMR. REP. RON PAUL (R), TEXAS: I`ve been working on the assumption
that nullification is going to come. It`s going to be a de facto
nullification is not legalize because pretty soon, things are going to get
so bad that we`re just going to ignore the fans and run our own lives and
our own states.


SHARPTON: Nullification, nullification? The same concept used to
defend slavery in the 18 hundreds? And he`s not the only one. The
president of the far right Heritage Foundation Jim DeMint recently said
quote, "ObamaCare was not the central fight for 2012." The best thing is
to declare last year`s election a mistrial on ObamaCare. A mistrial? All
because President Obama won? Today, Senator Elizabeth Warren decided
enough was enough. As the Republicans filibustered yet another of
President Obama`s judicial nominees, she called them out.


WARREN: So far they have shut down the government. They have
filibustered people he s nominated to fill out his administration. And
they are now filibustering judges to block him from filling any of the
vacancies with highly qualified people. We need to call out these
filibusters for what they are -- naked attempts to nullify the results of
the last presidential election.


SHARPTON: She`s exactly right. Republicans are trying to nullify the
election. And they need to be held accountable for it.

Joining me now is Joe Madison. Thank you for being here tonight.


SHARPTON: Joe, let me ask you, do Republicans think that no one will
notice that they`re trying to nullify the will of millions of people who
voted for President Obama?

MADISON: Yes. And they`re, they`re talking to themselves. And
they`re talking to their base. And what you are doing is something that
all of us are going to have to do, have the ears of the other half of the
country. Look, there was not only one election. There were two elections
that were won by overwhelming numbers. We didn`t have to get someone
appointed to the presidency by the Supreme Court. The elections were won
straight up without any hanging chads or any controversy whatsoever. But
it`s been everything from birther to you name it, and now this is
nullification. Most judges get confirmed because it`s, to the advise and
consent of the Senate.

SHARPTON: Exactly.

MADISON: And so, this is a very subtle, sophisticated way, in
essence, to stop the government.

SHARPTON: Elizabeth Warren called them out on the hypocrisy of, when
it came to confirming judges, listen to this.


WARREN: Many Republicans have talked openly of their opposition to
any new judges to fill the three vacancies on this court precisely because
the new nominees will give the court more balance and fairness. Democrats
allowed President George W. Bush to put four very conservative judges on
the D.C. Circuit. All four are still serving. One as chief justice of the
United States Supreme Court.


SHARPTON: I mean, they have filibustered recently four judicial
nominees. Four judges the president has nominated. Is this the height of
GOP hypocrisy, Joe?

MADISON: It`s the height of GOP hypocrisy right wing hypocrisy, Tea
Party hypocrisy, and the reality as you know and everyone else knows.
These are highly qualified judges who have not had to worry about any
litmus test. These are excellent judges. And there have been Republican
judges that have been appointed that have taken liberal positions. There
have been liberal judges appointed that have looked at the law and they`ve
taken conservative positions. This is why we have a separation of power in
the United States. But we cannot, we cannot let them get away with this.
And the reality is, you have one senator who said straight up, oh, go
ahead. Get rid of the filibuster. Get rid of this 60 vote needed and
because there`s some judges like Clarence Thomas and Scalia, we`d love to
put on court. Now how hypocritical is that?

SHARPTON: Well, you know in last several weeks when they blocked I
said four, but I think it`s three that I can count that they`ve blocked.
But not only that, you see on a state level conservatives in 11 states have
actually introduced nullification legislation aimed at the Affordable Care

MADISON: Wow! Let me tell you. The word nullification. Listen to
Martin Luther King`s speech about -- and nullification. That is --

SHARPTON: That`s the I have a dream speech.

MADISON: Thank you. Thank you. And that was the argument used to
start the civil war.

SHARPTON: Right. That`s exactly right. You know the GOP rhetoric is
ugly. Sarah Palin latest hobby is to compare the federal debt to slavery.
Listen to this.


PALIN: This isn`t racist, but it`s going to be like slavery when that
note is due, right? We are going to be beholden to a foreign master.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You compared it to slavery.

PALIN: Slavery, yes. And that`s not a racist thing to do, by the


SHARPTON: Not a racist thing to do. What do you think, Joe?

MADISON: It`s a stupid thing to do. You know, look, you know, what I
thought about when I heard it? I had just gone to see 12 years a slave.


MADISON: She ought to go see 12 years a slave. She ought to watch a
Professor Gates special. She ought to go back to school. She ought to
recognize that slavery isn`t just about debt. And let me tell you. Twenty
years ago when I first started in this business, if you brought up
slavery, here`s what the right wing would say -- why do you keep bringing
up slavery. Why do you keep bringing up slavery? And now it`s part of
their rhetoric. And not just her. But it`s Mr. 9-9-9, it is Rand Paul,
all of them are using it. And there`s only one reason, Reverend, that
they`re using it. And that`s because of Barack Obama. That`s why they`re
using it. It`s subliminal. They`re trying to make this association with
him as an African-American and slavery. And so the reality is, I would
tell Sarah Palin, shut up, go to the movie, see 12 years a slave and read a
couple of books.

SHARPTON: Well, the reason she needs to do that is because in the
United States, slavery was based on race. You cannot talk about slavery in
America and not refer to race.


SHARPTON: Ms. Palin should know that.

MADISON: Read the fugitive slave act law. Read a few things, yes.

SHARPTON: Twenty years later, you`re still fighting them, Joe
Madison. Thank you for your time.

MADISON: Hey, you and I together, anytime, brother. We`ll always
stay on the road. That`s right.

SHARPTON: Up next, the amazing spectacle broadcast around the world
today. Toronto city council grilling Mayor Rob Ford over his drug use on
live television.


MAYOR ROB FORD, TORONTO: The reason I drank or did drugs was not
because of stress. It was out of sheer stupidity. That`s all it was.


SHARPTON: You have to see it to believe it. That`s next.


SHARPTON: After months of rumors, last week, Toronto`s conservative
mayor Rob Ford finally admitted to using crack cocaine, saying he was in a,
quote, "drunken stupor at the time." Well, today Mayor Ford faced the
music in front of the Toronto City council in what amounted to a live
televised intervention broadcast around the world.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Mr. Mayor, have you purchased illegal drugs in the
last two years?

FORD: Yes, I have. The reason I drank or did drugs was not because
of stress. It was out of sheer stupidity. That`s all it was.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: That has been deemed or suggested it has been a
crack house.

FORD: No, sir. That is not a crack house.


FORD: That is not a crack house. Have been into that house?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I have no interest being in that house. I`m not a
crack user.

FORD: Have I made mistakes, Councilor Thompson? You`re absolutely
right, I`ve made mistakes. I`m humiliated by it.


SHARPTON: Wow. We`ve never seen anything quite like it. But things
got even weirder when the mayor`s brother, a member of the city council
jumped up to defend his honor by grilling the other officials.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Have you ever smoked marijuana? Have you ever
smoked marijuana? Hold it. Have you ever smoked marijuana? It`s a
question. It`s simple. A yes or a no. Have you smoked marijuana? Answer
it. Yes? Answer is yes, I guess.



SHARPTON: And then this afternoon new details emerged in the Toronto
Sun about Mayor`s Ford use of quote, "booze, drugs and even a suspected
prostitute." Despite all that, Mayor Ford is defiant, still vowing to keep
his job.


FORD: Absolutely not taking a leave of absence. I am not leaving
here. I`m going to sit here. I most definitely keeping this job.


SHARPTON: So if the city council actually thinks Rob Ford is going to
resign out of shame, they`ve got another thing coming. They`ve met this
guy, right? He seems to have no problem playing the clown. He once
dressed up like this. And he even has his own highlight reel.


FORD: You`re not going to continue this meeting until I get to move
that budget. Because this snake should be back in its cage.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Excuse me, guys.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (bleep) Holy Christ.


SHARPTON: We`ll keep following this story, because it`s just too good
not to. She`s agreed to give it up.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, new hope for justice for the Central Park
Five. The black and Latino teenagers accused of raping a jogger back in
1989. Under relentless police interrogation, they confessed to the crime
but almost immediately recanted. But the young men were convicted. And
all spent years in jail. But they didn`t do the crime. This man confessed
to the crime. His DNA matched the DNA found at the scene. After their
release from prison, the Central Park Five filed a civil lawsuit against
the city of New York trying to get correct, trying to correct the injustice
of their convictions.

The lawsuit has been stalled for a decade. But there may be hope on
the horizon. Filmmaker Ken Burns who made a documentary with his daughter
about the Central Park Five says Mayor elect Bill de Blasio has agreed to
settle the case once and for all. That would be justice delayed but not
denied. It`s a hope that this great city will finally do right by these
young men who were so wronged.

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


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