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PoliticsNation, Monday, November 18th, 2013

Read the transcript from the Monday show

November 18, 2013
Guest: Emanuel Cleaver, Lisa Bloom, Paul Henderson, Allison Samuels

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

Tonight`s Lead, finally, a Republican plan for health care. After
years of attacking, the GOP finally has a plan. Take it away New Hampshire
senator, Ayotte.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: What is a viable alternative that really
solves the problem?

SEN. KELLY AYOTTE (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE: Well, I would say let`s get to
the table on a bipartisan basis and let`s make sure that we have a plan
that has more choice, not less.


SHARPTON: How`s that for a concrete alternative? Senator Ayotte`s
plan also giving every American free puppies when they visit the doctor.
And did I mention it also includes world peace and anything else you can
make up.

Folks, let`s get real. The GOP doesn`t have a health care plan. They
have nothing. So they just attack. Today, the political arm of former
Senator Jim DeMint`s heritage foundation tweeted out this picture with the
quote, "senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee were correct to make a final stand
against the law. And it`s really the president and his policies that are
terrorizing the country."

Terrorizing the country? Since when is helping Americans afford
health care equal to terrorism? And that comes from as former Bush
officials continue comparing the health care rollout to hurricane Katrina.
Yes, comparing a law that helps million of Americans to one of the biggest
disasters in American history. But another Bush adviser went there this


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Is it a political Katrina?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, first of all, I know there`s a qualitative
difference. I know the comparisons we have made in politics. There were
people dying in New Orleans and then people trying to get health care are
not able to get health care. But it is from a political standpoint, it`s
eerily similar to President Bush in the fall of 2005.


SHARPTON: That comparison makes a mockery of the nearly 1,900 people
who died during Katrina. This is a law that can and will work if
Republicans stop rooting for failure. Three governors who embrace the law
tell the Washington Post, quote, "in our states, elected leaders have
decided to put people not politics first."

In states like theirs, nearly 400,000 people now have coverage, thanks
to Medicaid expansion. And it is not just that. In Kentucky, the law will
create 17,000 jobs. In Washington it saved the state $300 million. And in
Connecticut, the health care exchange there in Connecticut has a 96 percent
customer satisfaction rate.

So no, Jim DeMint, it`s not terrorism, and no Bushes, it`s not
Katrina. And no, Senator Ayotte, your joke of a plan is no plan at all.
Here is the plan. We have a health care law and it`s already working right

Joining me now Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, a Democrat from Missouri
and Salon`s Joan Walsh.

Thank you both for coming on the show tonight.

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

SHARPTON: Congressman, let me go to you first. First, it was
Katrina, now Obamacare terrorizes America. I mean, what do you make of all
of this?

CLEAVER: Well, I think it`s phenomenally silly to talk about
something that costs American lives and a program that was approved by
Congress, upheld by the Supreme Court designed to provide health insurance
for all Americans. The great tragedy is that I think many of my colleagues
on the other side are actually hoping for rain instead of sunshine.
Because they fear the sunshine because it will give people insurance and
they think it will be political repercussions that will hurt them instead
of saying all of that aside, my number one goal is the American public.

SHARPTON: Joan, you know, repeatedly the GOP has said that our health
system is just fine. The way it is, is just fine.


SHARPTON: In fact, you know, Senator John Barrasso repeated that
claim this weekend. Listen to this.


SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R), WYOMING: It`s time to start over. This
health care law is terribly flawed. It is broken. This is not what the
American people wanted. The president did not need to destroy a good
health care system to try to make a better one. But that`s what we have


SHARPTON: A good health care system. The status quo is a disaster.
I mean, the average hospital stay in the United States is $21,000. In
France, it just costs over $8,000. And it`s not like care is faster here.
The U.S. is second only to Canada in the number of adults who report
difficulty in getting a next-day appointment when they`re sick. But he
says it`s a fine system we have.

WALSH: Well, right, Reverend Al. Apparently, it works very well for
rich people and it has worked very well for insurance company shareholders.
And it doesn`t work as well for other people. And people find when they
need it that their insurance plan is not as good as they thought.

And you know, it`s so brazen for these Republicans to suddenly care
about people and people`s health care plans when they didn`t care about the
40 million who didn`t have insurance. They don`t care about the 19 or some
million that could have Medicaid. Except they live in states with
Republican governors.

They only care about this relatively tiny subset of people who may in
the end wind up paying more for insurance. We don`t even know that yet.
We don`t even know if a lot of these scare stories are actually people who
can`t get through -- don`t know what they`re eligible for, have been misled
by insurance companies. There will be some people who are unhappy. I know
a few of them. They are very smart. They have the research. They are
going to pay more. There are compared handful of them compared to those
who really helps.

SHARPTON: Congressman, but you know the GOP is using the rollout
problems to attack the president for being dishonest. Listen to this.


two explanations, either they`re being honest or they`re incompetent.
Frankly, I don`t know which is the worst?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It turns out that was a lie. And he repeated it
over and over and over again.

done but it wasn`t. BUT The real problem that the president has is a
broken promise, is dishonesty.


SHARPTON: Now, these are the GOP`s messengers, Congressman? I mean,
Dick Cheney and Paul Ryan are lecturing the president on honesty, really?

CLEAVER: Reverend, at the worst, that the president misspoke and
maybe made a mistake in speaking. But it was not to mislead. Now, I think
the other part of this that is extremely important is that I think in the
absence of an agenda, this is the GOP agenda for the next year. And so, in
the absence of an agenda, they`re going to concentrate on trying to
dismantle something that will help the American public.

Keep in mind, I hope all the viewers understand this, that health care
was one of the chief causes for bankruptcy in this country. And they`re
talking about this was something good that the president has destroyed?
That`s absolutely ridiculous. We can fix this. As the great theologian
said, we`ve seen the enemy and it is us, it is the Congress for failure to
fix something that can be repaired rather easily I think.

Keep in mind, Medicare when it was rolled out also had problems. But
the Democrats did not go out and try to destroy it.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, Joan, I want to raise something interesting.
In a special election in Louisiana, Republican Vance McAllister backed
Medicaid expansion and won by 20 points. Yes, I did say a Republican.

At a time when most Republicans are using every chance they can and
every chance they get to assail the federal health care plan, McAllister
embraced one of the core components. The expansion of Medicaid, the
program that provides health care to low-income Americans and he won by 20

WALSH: Right. And I think you`re going to see more Republican
governors going in that direction. I don`t think this is a winning issue
for them. Even Governor Rick Scott reversed himself, said he supports
Medicaid expansion. The legislature won`t let him do it, but at least he`s
paying lip service to it.

This is not a winner for them, you know. As you said before, Reverend
Al, Medicaid expansion creates jobs in these states. So it`s a crazy,
crazy decision that`s only made because they want to punish poor people for
being poor and they don`t want to help people. But politically, it`s going
to backfire in the end.

SHARPTON: Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, Joan Walsh, I`m going to have
to leave it. Thank you both for your time this evening.

WALSH: Thanks, Reverend.

CLEAVER: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, breaking news out of Florida tonight. George
Zimmerman is behind bars in a Florida prison, held without bail and charged
with assault, aggravated assault on his girlfriend.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She alleged that he had broken a table and at one
point pointed a long barreled shotgun at her.


WALSH: Plus the GOP family feud erupts. We`ve got Dick Cheney, Karl
Rove, Sarah Palin, and the Koch brothers.

And caught on tape, why is a police officer shooting at a car full of

And I had the honor of being interviewed by Oprah on my book. The
result was surprising even to me. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? We hope you will.

Today, George Zimmerman has dominated the conversation. Many people
talking about the charges filed against him after police say he pointed a
shotgun at his girlfriend.

Crew says, as a doctor of psychological with 32 years in private
practice, I can assure you that nothing changes for an individual until he
or she accepts total responsibility for their own behavior.

Nancy says people who know me who defend this guy must be really,
really sick of me being right about him. We`ve got much more on this story
coming up later in the show. But first, we want to hear what you think.
Please head over to facebook and search "Politics Nation" and like us to
join the conversation that keeps going long after the show ends.


SHARPTON: That`s right. It`s time to play the feud. On tonight`s
show, it`s the Cheneys versus the Cheneys. Yes, we have Dick Cheney`s
daughter Liz who`s running for senator in Wyoming and running against same-
sex marriage even though her sister`s married to a woman. It caused a
private fight that`s spilling into the public.


GEORGE WALLACE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: You talk about your position against
same-sex marriage. Your sister, Mary, who is married to a woman put out
this post. She said for the record I love my sister, you, but she is dead
wrong on the issue of marriage.

very much. I love her family very much. This is just an issue on which we


SHARPTON: But her sister wasn`t having it. After that interview,
Mary Cheney posted on facebook, Liz, this isn`t just an issue on which we
disagree. You`re just wrong and on the wrong side of history.

But this show isn`t just about one family. The entire party is
feuding over the future of the GOP. Today, we learned Karl Rove is taking
on the tea party. His political organization, American Cross Roads, is
swearing off unelectable candidates. Guess Rove hasn`t forgotten Todd
legitimate rape Aikin.

But the billionaire right wing Koch brothers are moving full steam
ahead. Their tea party group Americans for Prosperity spent a record $122
million in the 2012 election. A spokesman says when we see opportunities
to engage on our issues, we go all in. You can expect that to continue.

But it`s not just a clash of the big money guys. Sarah Palin spent
the last week ripping anti-choice, anti-gay marriage, and anti-gun control
Chris Christie for not being conservative enough.

So what`s going on inside the GOP? I`m going to say chaos. Can I get
a round of applause for chaos? Survey says, chaos. Chaos is correct. And
this is one family feud that isn`t ending any time soon.

Joining me now are Cynthia Tucker and Krystal Ball. Thank you both
for being here.

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

SHARPTON: Cynthia, do you agree the feud between the Cheney sisters
is part of a bigger Republican civil war?


First of all, let me say that I have sisters and I`m sad to see two
sisters publicly fighting this way when they`ve been close before. But let
me also say I don`t blame Mary Cheney at all for going public with her hurt
and her disagreement. Because, you know, Reverend Al, gay Republicans for
years have stayed hidden in the closet, as it were. Given their resources,
their money, their votes to the party while party big wigs went out and
pandered to the bigots and homophobes. And people like Mary Cheney have
just said it`s enough. I`m not going to take this anymore and I don`t
blame her.

SHARPTON: You know, Krystal, we`re seeing reluctance even from
conservative donors to get vowed in the election. Outside spending on TV
ads for GOP senate candidates is down 60 percent compared to this point
compared in 2011. Are conservative groups holding back because of the
government shutdown, in your opinion?

BALL: Yes, I think they`re holding back because of the government
shutdown, because they don`t think that they have a caucus that would be
willing to govern even if they were in the majority. I think they`re
holding back because a lot of the big donors in the Republican party
traditionally have been, you know, business Republicans. So, money and
people who have been successful in the business world. And in the business
world you want to have the best talent. You want to have an open policy so
that you are able to attract the best talent.

This was a problem for Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia. He had a lot of
Republican businessmen who had been traditional GOP donors who sat on the
sideline, who had supported Bob McDonnell, the previous governor who sat on
sidelines because they thought Ken Cuccinelli was so extreme than he would
actually drive businesses from the state of Virginia.

SHARPTON: And the previous governor, McDonnell was Republican.

BALL: Was Republican, exactly.

SHARPTON: But they were not support or come out as --

BALL: With Cuccinelli because they were so extreme.

SHARPTON: Now Cynthia, you know, some Republicans realize there`s a
problem. For example, Congressman Tom Cole told "the Washington Post,"
quote, "the hard truth is the GOP coalition constitutes a shrinking portion
of the electorate. To change that daunting reality, Republicans must
appeal to groups that are currently outside their ranks or risk becoming a
permanent minority."

A shrinking portion of the electorate. But how are they doing
anything to try to change that, Cynthia?

TUCKER: Well, they can`t get the right wingers in the base to accept
change or the right wingers in Congress for that matter to accept change.
You know, they`ve been talking about this ever since they had this big
autopsy after November 2012. Many of them were surprised that Mitt Romney
lost. They went -- they did this big autopsy, you know, the big wigs said
we need to reach out to appeal to more voters of color. We need to appeal
to women. We have turned off Latinos. We need to appeal to them. We need
to stop being so right wing on gay marriage. But there are too many right
wingers in the Republican party who don`t want a big tent. The idea of a
big tent scares them. They want -- they believe the party is losing
because they`re not right wing enough.

SHARPTON: And they won`t change. It`s like they don`t want to
change, Cynthia. They`re inflexible. And it`s been getting, Krystal,
uglier and uglier since the government shutdown. I mean, when you look at
the fact that you have Sarah Palin out there and others making real live
and in many ways ugly shots at other Republicans. Look at this.


SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I fought against Obamacare before
Senator Lee and Senator Cruz were in the United States Senate. But when
they shut down the government and harmed the lives of my citizens, I`m
supposed to be representing, then I resent it.

REP. PETER KING (R), NEW YORK: We have to anticipate Ted Cruz is
going to try to do this again. Ted Cruz and 30 or 40 people in the house
and we have to start going after him by name.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: We need moderates like Chris Christie
who can win in New Jersey in our party. What that means about the national
party, I`m not sure there is an answer.

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: That`s because it`s been
extreme. OK? So it`s hard to -- it`s hard for some people not to comment
on it.


SHARPTON: Now, here you have Sarah Palin calling Chris Christie`s
appearance extreme. I mean, how ugly is this feuding going to get?

BALL: It`s nasty. I mean, that`s really below the belt and not where
the party should be focused at all. They have much larger problems than
focusing on someone`s appearance. And I think the problem is, you know, as
much as people who want the move the Republican party in a more moderate
direction are doing their best and they issued the autopsy report, they
can`t do it because they have used the fringe of their party for energy to
bring themselves into power to take control of the House.

I mean, they`ve used the religious right. They`ve used the
extremists. They`ve used the tea party to get into power. Now they`re in
power they can`t just turn around and say we were just kidding about that
stuff that we fed you for years. So they`re having trouble making that
turn. And it`s created a huge conflict within the party.

SHARPTON: You know, when -- Cynthia, I want to go back to you for a
minute with the sisters before we have to go. This whole fight with the
Cheney sisters, it shows a real playing to the division in the party.
Because one of the things her sister has raised to reporters is that my
sister`s running now for senator in Wyoming, so she`s taking these
positions, but she embraced me and my mate and came to the wedding and told
us she loved us. Now she`s going out of her way to attack our marriage.

This kind of thing is really exposing the kind of internal
contradictions that they`re having on the inside of the party with this
feeding and playing to the extreme side of the party.

TUCKER: But they`ve been doing this for decades, Reverend Al. You
know, many -- there are many Republican leaders who know better than to
pander to racists. Who know better than to pander to homophobes. But that
brings out a center base of the voters, so they do it over and over again.

I don`t have any reason to believe Liz Cheney is really honestly
against gay marriage because she never said anything about it before. All
those years her father stood up and said he had no problem with gay
marriage. Liz could have come out then and said, but I disagree. She
didn`t. But now that she thinks she needs to run to the right of Mike
Enzi, she is ready to sacrifice her relationship with her sister to do

SHARPTON: That`s very sad.

Krystal Ball, Cynthia Tucker, thank you both for your time.

BALL: Thanks, Rev.

TUCKER: Good to be here.

SHARPTON: Coming up, much, much more on the breaking news out of
Florida. George Zimmerman arrested and charged with aggravated assault by
Florida police today.


SHARPTON: Still ahead, breaking news on George Zimmerman. Police say
he was arrested today after he pointed a shotgun at his girlfriend. He`s
charged with felony aggravated assault and two other charges. There`s
another run in with the law after Zimmerman was found not guilty of second
degree murder in the Trayvon Martin shooting this summer. We`ll have the
story next.


SHARPTON: Breaking news tonight, George Zimmerman arrested in
Florida. At this hour, Zimmerman is behind bars. In a single person cell.
After an incident involving his girlfriend. He`s charged with felony
aggravated assault, domestic battery violence, and criminal mischief.


arrived, the victim in this particular case indicated that she and George
Zimmerman were having a verbal dispute. And at that time that she alleged
that he had broken a table and at one point pointed a long barrel shotgun
at her. She was able to work her way to the front door of the residence on
her cell phone and called 911 to make contact with authorities.


SHARPTON: Police arrived at his girlfriend`s house following a
frantic 911 call.


DISPATCHER: What`s going on?

housebreaking all my (bleep) because I asked him to leave. He has a
freaking gun breaking all of my stuff right now. No this is not.


SCHEIBE: I`m doing this again? You just broke my glass table, you
just broke my sunglasses when you put your gun in my freaking face and told
me to get the (bleep) out. This is not your house. No, get out of here.

DISPATCHER: Where`s his weapon at?

SCHEIBE: He just put it down.

DISPATCHER: OK. And this is --

SCHEIBE: No, get out of my house. Do not push me out of my house.


SHARPTON: Zimmerman will be arraigned tomorrow afternoon.

Joining me now, NBC News legal analyst Lisa Bloom and veteran
prosecutor Paul Henderson. Thanks for being here.



SHARPTON: I mean, Lisa, what do you make of this arrest?

BLOOM: Well, by my account, Reverend Al, this is the third woman
who`s accused George Zimmerman of domestic violence. Of course the worst
thing he did was to take the life of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old
boy. But even putting that asides for a moment, in 2005 we know his then-
fiancee moved for a restraining order against him that was granted. We
know that just in September, Shellie Zimmerman who was his estranged wife
at the time made very similar allegations.

That was just two month ago, she said, he was threatening her with a
gun and assaulting her. But those charges were not pursued. I certainly
hope that there is an investigation today and that these charges if they
are true are pursued by this young woman. Because we can`t have this over
and over again. George Zimmerman accused of threatening people with guns.
We see how deadly that can turn out.

SHARPTON: Now, when you look at the whole facts here, you`re looking
at the fact that police are saying that if, in fact, he`s released on bail,
they`re looking to place him on an electric monitoring device. Listen to
this, Paul.


LEMMA: We have requested that if he is released and is given a bond,
in addition to the normal sanctions of release, we would like the judge to
impose electronic monitoring which we call impact. And this is a extra
step that we ask for in every domestic violence case here in Seminole


SHARPTON: Now, when you look at this, Paul, and you see that in 2005
his ex-fiancee filed a restraining order alleging domestic violence, we
should note that Zimmerman counter filed. In September, this year he was
detained after a domestic incident involving his estranged wife Shellie.
And now today`s arrest. There seems to be a pattern here, Paul.

HENDERSON: There does. And this is why the police are using the
impact program. Because they want that extra bit of protection to make
sure that they can monitor and know when someone has been accused what`s
going on with their relationship, is he trying to go back and contact any
of the people that she`s had these fights with. You know, the real concern
here is, in addition to the assault and the allegations and you heard
comments from the tape. And I guarantee that you all be hearing those
comments used in the future as evidence against him.


HENDERSON: But the real concern is how he responds when he is
stressed. Or how he responds to people when he is frustrated and angry at
them. And we see, again, that his first choice is to reach for a weapon
and point it at someone. And we know his history here. It goes well
beyond the ethics and the moral implications of that behavior. Right now
we`re facing criminal behavior and criminal charges. So, I`m really
curious to see what that arraignment is going to look like tomorrow what
the court is going to tell him about whatever conditions they impose on

And what prosecutors are going to argue about bail and what they`re
going to say about having him released at all. I mean, this is really --
you can`t get much more dangerous than pointing a weapon at someone in the
middle of a domestic violence dispute and knowing what his history has been
and how he has used guns in the past, this has been a big concern and I
know that prosecutors are going to be taking it seriously tomorrow.

SHARPTON: Well, it would be huge knowing that someone`s pointing a
gun at you that had, in fact, killed somebody.

HENDERSON: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: Even though he was found not guilty about it. The jury was
no doubt, he had used a gun and used it that led to someone`s death. Then
you see after that, Lisa, right after that a couple of weeks after he was
acquitted, he received a warning on a speeding ticket in Texas where he was
carrying a gun. On September 3rd he received a speeding ticket in Lake
Mary, Florida. On September 9th he was detained after a domestic incident.
Now today he was arrested. I mean, can he really, if convicted on this,
serve real time in jail? Is this serious enough for jail time, Lisa?

BLOOM: Well, thus far he`s been the Teflon defendant. And he`s
escaped all of the charges just about that has been brought against him in
the past. Eventually though he`s going to catch up with himself. I mean,
is there anyone who thinks George Zimmerman other than he`s paid defense
attorney, is there anybody who thinks it`s safe for George Zimmerman to be,
you know, at loose even in his own home with guns? As many guns as he
wants at his disposal in his home, in his car on his person, concealed.

I mean, this is somebody who clearly has anger management issues that
were not fully addressed in 2005 when he went to those anger management
class, but I can guarantee you that he`s going to come back tomorrow and
say he was the victim. These charges are trumped up. She was coming after
him. He wasn`t pointing the gun at her. I mean, when we hear his side of
it, it`s always George Zimmerman is the victim. That`s what I`m expecting
to hear, next.

SHARPTON: But Paul, you`re a prosecutor for a long time, how would
you counter that if, in fact, that`s how he comes into his arraignment
tomorrow afternoon?

HENDERSON: Well, first of all, you`ve already got the tapes. So, you
hear her explaining and you get all of those excited utterances in.

SHARPTON: And it appears he was right there when she was talking to
the dispatcher.

HENDERSON: Absolutely. And she`s saying that he`s pointing the gun
at her face. So, when the cops came, if they found him there with the gun,
that`s all corroborative. And all make sounds like her story is accurate,
she sounded like at least on the tape that she was angry and upset and
wants to testify. But for purposes of the bail hearing, you know, the
court has to evaluate and look at the charges as if they are true. That`s
not the time to hear all the defenses that a defendant brings in. So, I`m
really curious to see what the court does tomorrow facing this evidence not
just by what the woman said, but by the evidence that the police protected
and information that`s going to corroborate her story.

So that they`ll say and talk about the gun that they may have
confiscated from this incident. And to see what the judge does with that
information in terms of qualifying if he allows Zimmerman to be released.
And if he does, what the terms and conditions are going to be in. Because
I got to tell you, this is not an individual that I would want to continue
to be able to have a weapon. Given these circumstances and given his
history. That`s a real concern of mine.

SHARPTON: When you were talking, it brought back to mind Shellie
Zimmerman, his estranged wife. And what she said about George Zimmerman in
an interview over the summer. Shellie Zimmerman was asked if George
appeared to feel invincible after the trial. Here`s her answer.


more invincible. I just think he`s making some reckless decisions. I have
been married to a person for almost seven years, and I don`t think I ever
really knew him at all.


SHARPTON: Will we hear that tape at a trial if this, in fact, goes to
trial, Lisa?

BLOOM: Probably not because that would be an out of court statement
by Shellie. They might get her into trial to say it, they might get into
trial to say that he had threatened her in similar way. And broken items
with both of these women. Today, we`re hearing about a broken glass table.
That`s a pretty big event in the middle of a domestic argument to break an
entire glass coffee table, to break her glasses. That tends to corroborate
her story that he was out of control in violent.


BLOOM: Also barricading himself in the home, what`s that about? But
I would expect him to say, he was trying to defend himself from her coming
back violently to attack him. I`m sure we`ll going to hear something like

SHARPTON: Well, I`m going to have to leave it there. We`ll certainly
be talking about this probably tomorrow after the arraignment. Lisa Bloom
and Paul Henderson, thank you both for your time tonight.

BLOOM: Thank you.

HENDERSON: Thanks for having us.

SHARPTON: Coming up, why are New Mexico state police shooting at a
car with five kids inside? It`s raising a lot of questions today.

But first, my interview with Oprah. It was surprising even to me.
That`s next.


SHARPTON: Last night on the OWN Network, Oprah interviewed me. It
was quite an experience. We talked about my book "The Rejected Stone," and
as you`d expect from a sit-down with Oprah, she got me to open up about
personal experiences. Some of which I`ve never talked about before on


SHARPTON: I wake up one morning, he gone. And not only is he gone,
my older sister from my mother`s first marriage --


SHARPTON: She was around 18. Left with him and they had a child.
And then they came and took my sister to live with them.


SHARPTON: We`ve all gone through things in life that we have to get
past. And that was why I felt it was important to share those moments in
the interview.

Joining me now is Allison Samuels, senior writer for the Daily Beast
and author of "What Would Michelle Do." She`s also the author of the
"Newsweek" cover story on -- the reinvention of the Reverend Al. That
Oprah mentioned in our interview. Allison, thank you for joining me.


SHARPTON: You know, it was interesting. You did this cover story a
couple of years ago and Oprah and I talked. Your cover story was a lot
about what I was doing in terms of my civil rights career and media. But
Oprah made me get real personal about my father and his relationship with
my stepsister and sister who was very young and who I love and we worked
through our issues. And my little brother who`s an activist in his own
right. And she even had me talk about my mother who since the cover story
passed last March.

And I talked about how my mother scrubbed floors after my father, who
was a very successful businessman, a brilliant businessman had left us.
And my mother meant everything to me, because she actually went from new
Cadillac every year to scrubbing floors so I could preach on Sunday because
I was a boy preacher. And talking about my mother I ended up doing what
everybody does with Oprah. Let me show you this.


SHARPTON: I go every day five days a week to 30 Rockefeller Center.
They need big 30 rock. Every day I walk in there. I think about my mother
got on her knees. I can`t just do that like somebody didn`t believe in me.

WINFREY: I get that.

SHARPTON: You owe because you received. And that`s the way I feel.
I was going to be the only brother talking to Oprah and not cry. I blew
that. I blew that. All right, you win, Oprah.

WINFREY: Is it Luke 12?

SHARPTON: Luke 18. When you know somebody love is when they don`t
have a guarantee. My mother --

WINFREY: That`s amazing. Say that again.

SHARPTON: When they invest in you and have no guarantee that they`ll
going to get a return on the investment. My mother got Alzheimer`s in
2002. When I spoke at the democratic convention that night and spoke about
my mother raising me, I went to Alabama to see her after. And I asked my
older stepsister, did she see me speak? Yes. What did she say when I`ve
talking about her? She said, that young man has had a nice mother. She
had no idea it was me. Never, she died about six months after that, I got
my TV show. She never ever realized my success.

WINFREY: What she`d done.

SHARPTON: But she believed it. So -- hope, we got to stop this.

WINFREY: Take a break.


SHARPTON: And, you know, people know my activism in politics, but one
of the things I want to deal within the book and certainly Oprah brought it
out in the interview that aired last night, is the human side. All of us,
Republican, Democrat, conservative, we have things we need to get through
in our lives. We have scars and wounds.


SHARPTON: And I felt if I put mine out there, people could understand
that you can get by them and still make something. And do something that
is redeeming to society.

SAMUELS: I think that was one of the important things about doing the
cover story on you. That I think for so long you`d been only known as the
man behind the Tawana Brawley story. And it`s like, there is so much more
to Reverend Sharpton than Tawana Brawley. This is a very complex brilliant
man that has a story that needs to be heard. And no one was talking about
it. So, for me that cover story to me was a way to sort of talk about -- I
felt like for African-Americans we`re not able -- many times we`re not
given a chance to tell our complete stories. We`re not able to get that
history that is so full and complete. And I feel now you`ve been given
that chance. From the cover story to this show, from this book. You`re
now able to give people your complete history. And people are inspired by

SHARPTON: But the other thing I think is important is that, you also
have to look at yourself and say where did I feed into that? And I think
when you do things that are just dramatic, I always was very sincere, I
always believed in what I was doing even if it was controversial. But
sometimes you give to antics and you give to sound bites, and you get in
the way of your own message. As I`ve grown, that`s what I wanted to give
advice in the book. You have to be big enough to say, wait a minute. I`ve
got to not get in the way of my own issue.


SHARPTON: I cannot be so dramatic that I`m the issue rather than the
issue. I put it this way when I talked about, you can`t be clowning when
you deal with people`s serious business, serious problems. Let me show you
what I told Oprah.


SHARPTON: You got to at some point start looking at stuff like that.
I think that the kind of work I do and still rise, if you`re representing
people that lost their children, don`t they deserve more than you clowning
on what should be their issue? I mean, we can call it what you want. It`s
not that you don`t believe in it, but you get out there and sometimes your
vanity outruns your sanity.


SHARPTON: And I think that`s what you learn.


SHARPTON: And you say, well, you want to say extreme things, you want
to be the hardest, most progressive guy. But you`re playing to an audience
rather than effectively dealing what you`re trying to get done.

SAMUELS: I agree with that. But I still think it`s the media`s job
to look beyond that. It`s the media`s job to go beyond that and learn the
true story. It is our job to sort of listen to those cues. To go and ask
the questions, to ask the serious questions to learn who you are. If we
don`t ask those questions, how do those answers actually come? We know
there`s more to every story than what`s on the surface.


SAMUELS: And I think today we just don`t have those journalists out
there digging deep. You know, everything is superficial. Everything is
sort of the obvious, everything like you said, the vanity of it all. But
where are the journalists really asking, going and knocking on doors. You
know what I mean?

SHARPTON: You know, it`s interesting you say that, Allison, because
people were stopping me today that had saw the Oprah interview last night
and said, I never knew you were a preacher since a little boy. I never
knew that you -- youth director operation bread basket in New York.


SHARPTON: When I was 12, they said, what was your motivation and you
couldn`t have been ambitious and opportunistic there. You`ve done this all
your life. And I don`t think it excuse any time that I might have in my
own opinion, given the more drama than I should, but it puts in context
that I`m doing what I always did. I`m just trying to learn how to do it
better and encouraging others to do the same.

SAMUELS: I think it alters the conversation, it gives people a
different look at your life. It gives people a different understanding of
where you started and why you are the way you are. And I think that was
the important to get my cover story, hearing same conversation about you
and wanting to alter it, wanting to explain, this is who the Reverend
Sharpton is that I had dinners with, that I had conversations with that I
thought was thoroughly fascinating. And I felt like the mainstream
audience didn`t get that. They didn`t understand that it was important as
a journalist to make sure the mainstream got that story.

SHARPTON: The other thing I think is that we can`t be one dimension.
I mean, I notice that Oprah paused when I said there are many different
ways to be black. Just like the many different many ways to any group.
And this lack of values, I really am hard on how we have culturally
accepted this depravity and thuggism as that`s where you -- that`s real
blackness. Street life and calling women out their names misogyny and all
of that. And it`s really unsettling to me. Nobody fights harder than I do
for everybody`s rights. But you also have to have standards and values if
you`re going to be able to uphold and uplift a community. And as you know,
a lot of people that supported me didn`t like me taking that position, but
I don`t apologize for that.

SAMUELS: And that is part of your legacy. Being able to sort of
stand-up and say, this is what I believe in. And I`m not at all sort of
different from that. I`m going to stand behind what I believe in. A lot
of people criticized you for that, but you really have stood behind that.
And I think again that is part of your total story. And it has to be told
every time the story of Al Sharpton is told. And I think that is what your
book does.

SHARPTON: Allison, thank you for coming on tonight. Allison Samuels,
thank you for your time tonight.

And a programming note. My interview with Oprah will re-air this
Friday, November 22nd, at 10:00 p.m. We`ll be right back.


SHARPTON: Coming up, caught on tape. Why did New Mexico police shoot
at a car with five kids inside? That`s next.


SHARPTON: In New Mexico, a minivan is pulled over for speeding. The
driver is ordered out of the car. Then tries to get back inside. Her son
gets out and rushes at the officer. When the cop pulls out his taser, the
driver locks herself and her children inside the car. Then you can see an
officer bash in one of the back windows. When the mother drives away, an
officer shoots at the van three times. A high speed chase ensues resulting
in the arrest of the mother and her son. The state police chief is
conducting a full review. We will be watching this one.

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


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