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PoliticsNation, Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Read the transcript from the Thursday show

February 13, 2014

Guests: Corrine Brown, Jim McDermott, Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, Krystal
Ball, Bill Press

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you
for tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, verdict watch. Right now 12 jurors are behind closed
doors, deliberating the fate of 47-year-old Michael Dunn. Charged with
first-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis. This case began
at this Jacksonville, Florida gas station on a night in November 2012.
Michael Dunn got into an argument over loud music with four teenagers
sitting inside a parked SUV. Dunn fired ten shots at the vehicle. Jordan
Davis was killed at the scene. Dunn says the killing was in self-defense
and that Davis threatened him with a gun.


MICHAEL DUNN, DEFENDANT: He says yes, I`m going to (bleep) kill you. I
look, and I`m looking at a barrel. He is showing me a gun and he is
threatening me. He said he was going to f-ing kill me. But after he
opened the door, then he looked at me and said you`re dead, (bleep).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And were you still sitting this in shock?

DUNN: Yes, I was.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you still in fear for your life?

DUNN: I became even more fearful at that point.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. At that point, what did you believe was about to
happen to you?

DUNN: I thought I was going to be killed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you even think he might even be able to get a shot

DUNN: Yes, I did.


SHARPTON: That testimony wasn`t backed up by any other witness or any of
the evidence in the case. The prosecution says it never happened.


JOHN GUY, PROSECUTOR: When that defendant opened fire, Jordan Davis was
sitting in his car seat with the door closed, with nothing in his hands.
And he was leaning over, away from the gunfire, toward Leland Bronson.
Jordan Davis didn`t have a weapon, he had a big mouth. And that defendant
wasn`t going to stand for it, and it cost Jordan Davis his life. This case
is not about self-defense, it`s about self-denial.


SHARPTON: This case centers on one question, will the jury believe Mr.
Dunn was really in fear? At the heart of this case is the controversial
stand your ground law that says you can use deadly force if you feel
threatened. The law became a national controversy after George Zimmerman
was acquitted in the killing of unarmed Trayvon Martin seven months ago.

And now seven months later, a jury is right now discussing that same self-
defense claim in the state of Florida. Today, the jury asked four
questions of the judge. They asked to see the gas station video that was
shown in court. It`s 20 minutes of footage from multiple angles. They
also asked to see the dummy used by the prosecution to illustrate where
Jordan was shot. The judge did not allow them to see this because it
wasn`t entered into evidence. And they had additional request. A dry
easel or large paper, which they received, some missing pages from one
juror`s jury instructions. And late this afternoon, they wanted to know
the date of a letter Mr. Dunn sent his brother last June from jail.

So we wait on a jury of 12 inside that Florida jury room to decide if
Michael Dunn is guilty for the killing of Jordan Davis. If convicted, Dunn
could face life in prison.

Back with us tonight is former prosecutor Faith Jenkins and Florida
criminal defense lawyer Ken Padowitz.

Ken, it`s been 11 hours, 11 hours so far. Take us inside that jury room.
What does this mean? What is your take on this?

KEN PADOWITZ, CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER: Well, what it means is that they`re
being very thorough in going through that evidence, taking a look at it,
and deliberating amongst themselves as to the meaning of the evidence, as
to how much weight they`re going to give the evidence, how much weight
they`re going to give testimonial evidence, how much weight they`re going
to give the physical evidence that has been entered into evidence in that

They`re being very thorough. Any other read, anyone who says that it means
by the fact that they`re out longer, it leans more towards one verdict or
another is basically full of baloney. Nobody can say if you have been a
trial lawyer and you have tried more than a few cases, nobody can say which
way this jury is leaning or what it means. They can be deliberating
between first-degree murder and second-degree murder or they may be
deliberating between second-degree murder and a not guilty verdict. No one
can say. But we can say from these questions that they`re being thorough.
And that`s what we want from our jurors. We want them to be thorough with
the evidence.

SHARPTON: Faith, you thought last night, you told me that they would be
back today. It`s 11 hours. They`re not back. What does this mean to you?

Remember, in most cases in Florida, unless it`s first-degree murder, it`s
six jurors. So you have to have 12 people that come to a unanimous
verdict. And also, Michael Dunn testified. And you can see from some of
their questions that they are really considering his testimony and looking
at it closely, which is what happens whenever you have a defendant who
takes the witness stand in a case there is the state`s evidence. But there
is a lot of focus on what the defendant said and if he is telling the
truth, does it line up, is he being consistent? And I think they`re taking
their time and going through that evidence.

SHARPTON: Now, as I mentioned, Ken, this the jury was asked four
questions. I want to recap them and get your response. 7:41 p.m.
yesterday they asked to see the surveillance video from the gas station.
At 1:20 p.m. today, they asked to see the dummy with the sticks used by the
prosecution. That was denied. At 2:55 p.m., they asked for a large paper
or easel. 4:30, they asked when a jailhouse letter was written by Dunn,
asking the date. What does this say to you?

PADOWITZ: Well, what it says to me is it confirms what Faith just said a
few moments ago. In Florida, almost every -- not almost, every single
criminal case in Florida has a six-member jury. The only exception is
first-degree murder where you have 12 jurors. So what these questions mean
to me is you have 12 people back in that room, and various opinions are
being, you know, put forth, various arguments are being made, and they`re
looking at each piece of evidence very carefully. Sometimes to get a
consensus in the room, you know. There is all kinds of things that this
jury is taking a look at. So what it means to me is that they`re being
thorough. We want jurors to take a look at the evidence.

There are very important stakes here. There has been a child who has been
killed, a teenager dead, and there is a man on trial for his life. So, we
want jurors to be thorough and examine the evidence and be convinced beyond
and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt. And they`re doing their
jobs, in my opinion.

SHARPTON: Now, Faith, I want to go back to that letter, because that
caught my eye. The letter the jury asked for was one dictated to his
brother in June of 2013, after the shooting. The prosecution asked about
this. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Five minutes ago, didn`t you just tell this jury he was
outside the car?

DUNN: He sure was. I mean, his door was open.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. But you wrote in your --

DUNN: You know if his feet were outside and his body was inside, that`s a
little splitting hairs.

GUY: Mr. Dunn, did you write he had apparently seen me go for my own
weapon and dove back inside the SUV?

DUNN: Absolutely. That`s what I wrote. But that`s not what I knew at the
time, but this is what I surmised.


SHARPTON: So you said they looked for contradictions.


SHARPTON: He has testified that this young man was outside the car. I
mean, this was his claim. Yet he writes in a letter with his brother from
jail afterward that he was outside the car and jumped in the car, got back
in the car when we saw me go for my gun. Now, again, you two are the
lawyers. But Faith, if he went inside the car after he saw him go for his
gun, how was that being -- how do you establish that I`m shooting him out
of fear when I`m saying to you that he ran from me, not toward me.


SHARPTON: Or that he was pointing a gun at me.

JENKINS: Well, you can`t. And that`s the problem. That`s why the
prosecutor John Guy said his story had evolved over time, and the truth is
the truth. It does not change. Dunn`s story has changed. It`s gotten
better as time has gone on. And now, by the time he gets in to court, he
is saying that Jordan was outside the car, coming at him with a shotgun in
his hands and saying I`m going to kill you, and even using a racial term,
calling him a cracker. And these are things he never said earlier when he
was first arrested. These are things that the story has changed over time.
And the prosecutors are hoping that the jurors will pick up on this, that
Dunn`s story has changed, he has not been consistent, and that he is lying
and trying to make a case of self-defense for himself when there is just
nothing there.

SHARPTON: Ken, the makeup of the jury, four white females, four white
males, two black females, one Asian female, one Hispanic male, will the
makeup of the jury mean anything differently than we saw in the Zimmerman

PADOWITZ: Well, I think it sounds to me like the makeup of the jury is
good. We have a cross section of people from the community. And I think
that`s always a good thing when you`re being judged by your peers in a
trial. And that is what our system is based on, our system of justice is
getting a fair trial from people in the community. And I think this looks
like a good cross section.

Other than that, I think one needs to be very careful about reading too
much into which way this helps the verdict, one way or the other. I would
be very cautious about that.

SHARPTON: Faith, a major flash point in this case came when the
prosecution questioned Dunn and his fiancee on over whether he ever
mentioned he saw a gun in the teen`s car. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you tell her they had a weapon of any kind?

DUNN: Yes, I did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You did? What did you tell her? To tell the jury the
term you used to describe the weapon?

DUNN: I don`t know what I said, but I told her that they had a weapon,
they threatened my life, and they were -- they -- he advanced upon me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did you describe the weapon? Did you say he had a
sword? Did you say they had a machete?

DUNN: Gun.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A gun. You used the word gun with Rhonda Rouer?

DUNN: Yes, I did.


DUNN: Multiple times.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did the defendant ever tell you he saw a gun in that
red SUV?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did the defendant ever tell you he saw a weapon of
any kind in THAT SUV?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is no mention of a stick?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There is no mention of a shotgun?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was no mention of a barrel?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There was no mention of a lead pipe?



SHARPTON: Now, this is his girlfriend. She was there. She was inside the
gas station when he shot the kid. She immediately came out, left with him,
stayed with him the next day. She said he never mentioned a gun.
Obviously you saw on the tape, he said he mentioned it multiple times. How
important is this to a jury?

JENKINS: I think this was a pivotal point in the trial. And I`m sure that
this is something that is being discussed behind closed doors in that jury
room, because Rhonda Rouer came up and said he never, ever mentioned a gun.
And if there was a gun pointed at you and you are afraid for your life, and
your fiancee comes back and gets in the car with you seconds later, one of
the first things you`re going to say at some point that night is I just had
a gun pointed at me and I had to shoot and I had to save my own life. The
only reasonable explanation for him not telling his fiancee that is because
it never happened. He didn`t forget. He wasn`t under stress. The gun
just didn`t exist.

SHARPTON: Well, the jury is about to break for dinner. But you guys are
not. You guys are not -- you are going to hang around in case we need to
get back.

Ken Padowitz, Faith, thank you both for your time.

Ahead, what the Michael Dunn trial means for stand your ground. Could this
unjust law be on the ropes?

Plus, there is a big surprise in the right wing`s latest ad attack in
Obamacare. It`s the dirty little secret they don`t want you to know.

And Rush Limbaugh is practically hopping out of his seat with a new attack
on President Obama. You got to hear this one. Big show tonight. Stay
with us.


SHARPTON: It`s a law that permits someone to shoot first and ask questions
later. And once again, the Michael Dunn trial has reignited a debate over
the controversial law. That`s next.


SHARPTON: We`re still waiting for a verdict in the so-called loud music
trial. The jury has been sent home or to the hotel for the evening. But
one thing is clear. Stand your ground is once again front and center in
Florida. The controversial self-defense law states that if a person isn`t
engaged in unlawful activity in a place they have a right to be, they have
no duty to retreat. A right to stand their ground, and can meet force with
force, including deadly force if they reasonably believe it is necessary.

Michael Dunn`s lawyer used many of those exact phrases in his closing


CORY STROLLA, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Michael Dunn was not engaged in an
unlawful activity and was attacked in a place where he had the right to be,
a public parking lot, asking for a common courtesy, saying thank you,
trying to tell the guy, hey, I said thank you. He had no duty to retreat
and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including
deadly force.


SHARPTON: Dunn himself also used language associated withstand your ground
defense on the stand when he testified.


DUNN: He is showing me a gun and he is threatening me. I thought I was
going to be killed. It was self-defense. I had no choice but to defend
myself. It was life or death. I had already been afraid for my life, but
now the fear was imminent. I`m not going to forfeit my life to somebody.


SHARPTON: Controversy over stand your ground exploded on to the national
stage when George Zimmerman claimed self-defense in the killing of unarmed
Trayvon Martin. It came up again in Florida, with Marissa Alexander, who
was sentenced to 20 years after firing what she says was a warning shot.
Her husband had a history of domestic abuse, yet she wasn`t allowed to
claim stand your ground, and nobody was injured. She is currently awaiting
a new trial.

And now, we have Michael Dunn`s loud music case, the latest to bring
attention to stand your ground. But it`s unlikely to be the last. Florida
was the first state to add the stand your ground law to its books in 2005.
But since then similar laws have spread all over the country. This law
allows someone to shoot first and ask questions later. It`s a law that
actually encourages violence. It`s unjust. And that`s why we have to keep
pushing for its repeal.

Joining me now are Congresswoman Corrine Brown, Democrat of Florida, and
Lisa Bloom. She is a legal analyst for and author of "suspicion
nation: inside story of Trayvon Martin and justice and why we continue to
repeat it."

Thank you for being here to both of you.



SHARPTON: Let me go to you first, Congresswoman. You`ve been one of the
strongest voices speaking out about the need to change stand your ground.
How does the Dunn case affect your fight against stand your ground in your

BROWN: First of all, I`ve been in the courtroom all day today. I`ve been
with the family, the Davis family. And, you know, the mother named her son
Jordan after the Jordan river. And she will never be able, regardless of
the verdict, to be able to see her son graduate. You know, marry, have
children. I mean, we have to change this law. It is so -- it`s a sloppy,
it`s unruly, and it sends the wrong message. It is -- it encourages people
to start the offense, you know. Basically, you`re going to tell me the
music was a weapon?


BROWN: I mean it just --

SHARPTON: Let me ask you this, Lisa. You know, the prosecutors, they also
use the language of stand your ground in their presentation. Listen to


ERIN WOLFSON, PROSECUTOR: This defendant was not justified. He did not
have a reasonable belief that Jordan Davis was about to kill him or cause
great bodily harm.

GUY: That defendant didn`t shoot into a car full of kids to save his life.
He shot into it to preserve his pride, period.


SHARPTON: Lisa, did the prosecution make the case that stand your ground
was not applicable to this situation?

BLOOM: Well, first of all, stand your ground is a terrible law. It`s a
law that has a lot of blood on its hands, including the blood of Jordan
Davis and many others. And let`s get real for a moment when it`s an
African -American victim shot by a white shooter, that white shooter is far
more likely to be acquitted or never even charged in stand your ground
states. So that`s a big problem.

Now, as to how the prosecution handled it, what they should have done is
broken down the law and emphasized the parts that are good for the state,
because even in a stand your ground case, the defendant has to have been in
reasonable fear of great bodily injury or death. Reasonable. He testified
out of his own mouth that he panicked. Panic is not reasonable fear. This
is a man who was in his car. The young man, Jordan Davis was in his car.
He could have easily driven away. Before stand your ground, he would have
been required under the law to start up his car and drive off that would
have been his means of escape. But with stand your ground as the law of
Florida, he was not required to do that. And that`s why it`s so important
and so terrible as applied in this case.

BROWN: Let me just add one other thing to it. Stand your ground is part
of the instructions that the jury receive.


BLOOM: Now that`s a problem.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you this, Congresswoman. You`re absolutely right.
And you know, Michael Dunn`s lawyer talked about George Zimmerman today.
Listen to this.


STROLLA: My personal belief, and I think I said it from the beginning,
because of the George Zimmerman case, a lot more was focused on this case
where had we never heard about George Zimmerman, I don`t think you or I
would be standing in this room talking about Mr. Dunn.


SHARPTON: Now, before George Zimmerman and you and I both were involved in
saying we wanted to see that go to trial, before George Zimmerman had any
one really focused in and heard of this stand your ground your law,

BLOOM: Well, it was the beginning. It started in 2005 and it spread
throughout the country.


BLOOM: And it really embolus people. It sends the wrong message. This is
not the way we should encourage conflict resolution. But it is -- I hate
to say it, it`s like shoot first and then you`ve come up with some reason
why you shot and killed somebody.

SHARPTON: Now, let me go back to you on this, Lisa. The young men that
were in the car with Jordan Davis testifying, and they told what they saw
and what they say occurred. Listen to this.


GUY: What happened to Jordan Davis as Tommie Stornes was backing up. Did
he stay sitting up or did he do something else?

LELAND BRUNSON, BEST FRIEND: No. I tried to pull him down, but when I
pulled him down, he just fell into my lap.

GUY: How did you first learn that Jordan Davis had been shot?

TEVIN THOMPSON, FRIEND: When Tommie began to call our names. Me and
Leland replied, but Jordan didn`t. When we found out Jordan was hit,
that`s when everybody went into a panic.

GUY: Did you touch anything that led you to believe he had been shot?


GUY: What?

THOMPSON: When I reached and touched him, blood appeared on my fingers.

TOMMIE STORNES JR., FRIEND: If you met Jordan and know Jordan, he had a
big heart. Just meeting him, you can get a vibe of what type of person he


SHARPTON: How effective, Lisa, were the three friends of Jordan Davis that
were in the car when he was killed, they were in the car with him?

BLOOM: I think they were very effective. They came across as respectful
young men who were taking a stand to tell the truth. I mean, I can`t say
whether every single thing they said was completely accurate, but they`ve
gone through a terrible trauma. Imagine being 17, 18 years old and having
to do a role call to see whether your friends are still alive after an
argument about loud music at a gas station. And that`s what happened.
That`s the result of a culture of lacks gun laws, racial profiling, and
stand your ground. Until we change those three things, unfortunately,
we`re going to continue to see cases like this.

BROWN: Let me just add one thing to that --

SHARPTON: Regardless of the verdict, Congresswoman, are you determined to
continue to fight with many of us against this law?

BROWN: We have to, because those young men in the car was collateral
damage. If they had been killed, it would have been well, so what.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, you`re right. Congresswoman Corrine Brown.

BROWN: We got to deal with this bill.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman Corrine Brown and Lisa bloom, thank you both for
your time tonight.

BLOOM: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Obamacare enrollment is surging, and it`s sending
some on the right into desperation mode. From Buchanan saying God will
repeal Obamacare to using paid just to attack Obamacare in an ad. And a
right wing trend of comparing president Obama`s administration to Nazi
Germany, A prominent conservative double down. When will the leadership of
the party step in? Stay with us.


SHARPTON: The numbers are in. ObamaCare is working, and the right wingers
are freaking out. Of course, we`ve seen this before. Haven`t we?


REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: Obamacare as we know is the crown
jewel of socialism.

This egregious system that will be ultimately known as death care must be

It will be very unpleasant if the death panels go into effect. Let`s
repeal this failure before it literally kills women, kills children, kills
senior citizens.


SHARPTON: Literally killing people? I think the Republicans are literally
freaking out. And now conservatives like Michele Bachmann are hoping for
some divine intervention. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Get out the popcorn. It`s time for some unreality TV.
Conservatives are out with a new TV ad that accidentally exposes the phony
attacks on ObamaCare.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Dear Mrs. Kelly, your family plan is no longer
available under the Affordable Care Act. Your doctor is no longer in the
network due to the Affordable Care Act.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Due to the Affordable Care Act, your monthly premium has


SHARPTON: Wow. They`re really trying to show you real images of real
people losing their insurance. Just one problem. All these people you see
in the ad are paid actors. They`re just pretending to be victims. They`re
getting paid for it. A spokesman for the group behind the ad defended it,
saying it`s meant to be, quote, "cinematic." Great idea. They`re fighting
real world facts with right wing fictions. But while they`re at it, why
not include some real Hollywood actors? Like this guy.

Go ahead, make his day. What about a real conservative fighter? Or how
about a Republican actor who played a "law & order" type. On second
thought, Hollywood conservatives don`t always make the best spokeswomen.
Take a seat, Clint.


CLINT EASTWOOD, ACTOR: What do you want me to tell Romney? I can`t tell
him to do that. Can`t do that to himself. You`re absolutely crazy.


SHARPTON: Let`s put away the GOP script and look at the facts. Month
after month, the number of Americans getting coverage under ObamaCare is
rapidly growing. All told, 3.3 million Americans have now enrolled in
private plans. 3.3 million. Republicans can produce all the phony attack
ads they want, but Americans are tuning them out, and Americans are getting

Joining me now are Congressman Jim McDermott, Democrat of Washington and
MSNBC contributor Victoria DeFrancesco Soto. Thanks for being on the show

REP. JIM MCDERMOTT (D), WASHINGTON: It`s good to be here.


SHARPTON: Congressman, how can conservatives use paid actors to attack
health care for real people?

MCDERMOTT: Well, they can`t find any real people, I guess. Or maybe they
don`t know any real people. But the fact is that the American people want
to have health security, and the Republicans are swimming, they`re trying
to swim up Niagara Falls. The people have figured out this is a good idea,
and all I got to go is go over there and do a little shopping, a little
thinking, and I can have it for me and my family. And they`re going in by
the millions, actually.


MCDERMOTT: More than three million people. And it`s going to keep coming.
It`s going to be 21 million or more by the time it`s all done. It`s just
driving the Republicans nuts to see what Obama has done is actually

SHARPTON: You know, Victoria, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann predicts
ObamaCare will be stopped by a divine force. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Do you see any path, any path of stopping it?

BACHMANN: You know, I really do. I believe that God listens to his
people, and I think if believers humble themselves, confess their sins and
pray, I think God hears our hearts, and he moves. He moves in miraculous


SHARPTON: So the right wing uses paid actors, and now they`re even looking
to the heavens above to stop ObamaCare. Is this what happens when you
don`t have any real plans to give health care to people of your own?

SOTO: Reverend, I would ask Michele Bachmann what would Jesus do? Would
Jesus want to turn away people with preexisting conditions? Would Jesus
want to see millions upon millions of people who do not have access to
affordable health care go without? I would aspire to think that the answer
is no. And more importantly, for the GOP, where is that compassion in the
conservatism that they so espouse in being a more religious party? So I`m
just dumbfounded when Michele Bachmann brings God into the equation,
because what would a divine God, what would Jesus do in an incident like

SHARPTON: Well, I`m dumbfounded with you. You know, Congressman, for a
long time, the right wingers kept predicting ObamaCare would simply
collapse. Watch this.


SEN. MARK ENZI (R), WYOMING: A law that is so massive, burdensome,
bureaucratic and confusing that it`s collapsing under its own weight.

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST: The collapse of ObamaCare, it`s happening
right before our eyes.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I mean this when I say this. I think the law is going
to collapse under its own weight.


SHARPTON: But it hasn`t collapsed. As you say, over three million have
signed up. Is all of this that we`re seeing that appears to me close to
hysteria, is it because ObamaCare has not collapsed and in fact has begun
to show signs of really working beyond expectations in the last month?

MCDERMOTT: I think, Reverend, they are upset because they have used every
trick in the advertising industry to try and make people afraid and make
people think it wouldn`t work. They spent millions and millions and
millions of dollars in the election of 2012. People looked at it and said
we don`t believe it. We want more of it. We`re going to reelect the
president. And now as it`s going into effect, they`re intensifying the
efforts and the people still keep coming in and signing up because the
people are not stupid.


MCDERMOTT: And the Republicans are acting as though Americans don`t know
what is in their best interest. They do -- they know it`s in their best
interest to provide for their families. And they`re going in and buying
it, because they know it`s good for them and for their kids. It`s just --
they can`t advertise their way out of this. People want it.

SHARPTON: You know, Victoria, right wing politicians in 25 states are
still refusing to expand Medicaid. The result, 5.8 million Americans are
being denied coverage. One state blocking Medicaid expansion is Texas,
your state, where a man named Israel Helton is telling his story for
months. A tumor grew in his brain, but he got minimal medical attention
because he lacked insurance. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: So right now they`re just trying to work as far as
extending the length. And I believe if I did have some type of health care
insurance, I would have been able to afford to get maybe a second opinion
and maybe already gotten more detail as far as the type of exams that they
did on me.


SHARPTON: This is not an actor. This is a real story who is really
saying, Victoria, if he had health insurance, he might have been able to
get a second opinion and deal with this in time. Now he feels he is dying.
He has been told he is dying. This is the reality of what we`re dealing

SOTO: And it`s these real stories, these real people who are going to push
us, inch by inch to eventually adopt the ACA universally. And this is
going to be played out in the 2014 and the 2016 election. We see states
where it is working, and people, like Israel, who would have had a chance
to get health care, are going to want to vote for a party that is going to
extend these benefits.

SHARPTON: Congressman Jim McDermott, Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, I`m going
to have to leave it there, thank you both for your time tonight.

MCDERMOTT: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, think you have heard everything Rush has to say about
the president? Think again. His new rant is a dozy, and it says a lot
about the right wing`s hysteria.


SHARPTON: Some on the right have adopted a new line that this president is
a dictator, that he is ignoring our laws. Well, now there is a new one.


even exist. It exists in Obama`s head. It`s whatever he thinks, he wakes
up in the morning and decides what the law is going to be. That is an
understatement. That`s not the way it`s supposed to work.


SHARPTON: Hear that? All those laws that were passed and signed by
President Obama, it turns out they don`t exist. It was all in his head.
And if that`s not unhinged enough for you, then just listen to Mr.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: What do we do to stop somebody as
lawless, some president as lawless as this? What do we do? Nobody knows.
Nobody knows what to do. Nobody knows how to stop him giving away money.
Nobody knows how to beat him giving away money. Nobody knows how to deal
with a guy who makes up the law every day as he gets up. We`ve never dealt
with it. So nobody knows what to do. Nobody knows what to go on TV and
say. Nobody knows what kind of policy to author. Nobody knows file a
lawsuit? Whose got standing? Who do we sue and on what basis? Nobody
knows what to do.


SHARPTON: Who do we sue? We have to sue somebody, sue anybody, sue
everybody. The right wingers have totally detached themselves from
reality. And if you`re wondering how they can get back, I think Rush said
it best. Nobody knows.

Joining me now is Krystal Ball and Bill Press. Thank you both for coming
on the show.

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


SHARPTON: Krystal, so now apparently ObamaCare only exists in Obama`s
head. I mean, is it mean or are these conservatives cracking up?

BALL: Well, here is the thing that I love. And this is just so typical.
It does not matter what he does, he is going to be criticized from the
Republicans. You know, if he does one thing, they`ll say oh, he is
ineffective. He is leading from behind. He is not being a strong enough


BALL: If he does another thing, then he is a dictator. He is lawless. He
is, you know, he is ruling with an iron fist. And on this particular
example, it`s especially hypocritical, because here they are begging for
the president to eliminate the mandate altogether to change the law in all
these different ways. So when he does make a small tweak to it, suddenly
they`re up in arms when he is doing part of the exact thing that they have
been begging him to do.

SHARPTON: You know, Bill, there has been a disturbing trend from some on
the right, compare the policies of this administration to Nazi Germany.
And last night FOX contributor Ben Carson defended that kind of talk.
Listen to this.


BEN CARSON, FOX CONTRIBUTOR: The objective of many on the left is to take
a single word that you`re not supposed to say. You can`t say Nazis, you
can`t say slavery. That`s political correctness, as you well know. I do
not believe in that. I think it`s a bunch of crap. I`m worried about the
fact that the populous is being silent and is not expressing what they
believe because they`re afraid. They`ve been intimidated.

O`REILLY: By? By whom?

CARSON: By the government.


CARSON: By the government and by the media, by the PC police.


SHARPTON: I mean, Bill, it`s unreal.

PRESS: No, it is unreal. But first, I just got to say, I have a good idea
for Rush Limbaugh. You know what to do? Tell the truth for once.

BALL: Good luck with that.

PRESS: Stop telling the lies, maybe. That`s what they really ought to do.
But as to Ben Carson, Reverend Al, you and I met way back when I was doing
"Crossfire" on CNN, remember, right? We had a rule. Pat Buchanan, Bob
Novak and I, we all agreed. Anybody who used the Nazi word or who used
Hitler, they automatically lost. They lost all credibility. And for Ben
Carson to go there just shows how desperate they are. But here is what
bothers me. Where is the leadership of the Republican Party?


PRESS: Where is Reince Priebus? Reince Priebus got his underwear in a
snit, right, in a twist because somebody at MSNBC said something about a
cheerios ad and didn`t even mention the Republican Party. And he demanded
a correction and boycott MSNBC and all that kind of crap. Why isn`t he
condemning that kind of language? Where is his leadership and why is John
Boehner using the same lawlessness language that we hear from Rush Limbaugh
and Krauthammer? We expect it from those nut jobs. We don`t expect it
from the leadership of the party.

SHARPTON: No, but it`s a trend. And if people like Priebus has a
legitimate complaint, they have a right to exercise it and all of us ought
to be responsible. But it should go both ways.

PRESS: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: But you know, Krystal, it`s personal. It`s not only policy,
it`s personal. Just yesterday, Rush Limbaugh attacked Michelle Obama for
her state dinner attire. Listen to this.


LIMBAUGH: You see that dress is bigger than the president of France. It`s
a Marie Antoinette dress is exactly right. They`re living like royalty,
and they`re on purpose doing so, and they`re flaunting it.


SHARPTON: Now, I mean this -- first of all, I was a guest at the dinner
so, in full disclosure. And a lot of beautiful dresses there. Everyone
was marveling at Mrs. Obama`s dress. What is Rush`s problem?

BALL: Again, they cannot do anything. I mean, she can`t even wear a
beautiful dress without being criticized by Rush Limbaugh in such a nasty
way. And he has been particularly venomous towards her since the
beginning. Remember he called her moo-chelle.


BALL: And it`s just been really nasty, really personal there is no line
that this guy won`t cross. And he still is very much an intellectual
leader in the Republican Party. No one is willing to stand up to this guy.
When he made his comments about Sandra Fluke, calling her a slut and a


BALL: There was no one in the party who was willing to call him out. It`s

PRESS: Right.

SHARPTON: And it`s hurt them, because, Bill, the negative talk has brought
him down to where just 25 percent of Americans identify as Republicans.
That`s the lowest number in at least 25 years.

PRESS: You know what it is, Reverend? They are driven by hate. And I
don`t think the American people want hate in their politics. But that`s
all these people know. It is hate talk against the president, against
Michelle Obama, the first lady, and it`s been that way from the beginning.
Remember back in 2008, Mark Levin, another nut job talk show host said when
President Obama had big crowds at his rallies, they said he is like Hitler
because he had big crowds at his rallies. They`ve had this obsession from
the beginning. They are sick. They`re mentally deranged commentators as
far as I`m concerned.

SHARPTON: But I think the sadness of it, Krystal, is that there is
something that all of us -- I know I`m speaking for myself, would want to
see a viable debate in this country.

BALL: Yes.


SHARPTON: And hearing policies on both sides.


SHARPTON: And not this venom, not this hate, not just this name-calling,
but let`s really debate and come down to some real answers.

BALL: That`s right. Because if you only have one party that is offering
solutions, they`re not going to be as good. You have to have that creative
marketplace of ideas. And Republicans have totally fallen down on the job.
The only thing that they can do is attack the president, attack the first
lady, attack anything that they put forward without thinking of what an
alternative might look like.

SHARPTON: Krystal Ball and Bill Press, I`m going have to leave it there.
Thank you both for your time this evening.

PRESS: All right.

BALL: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Be sure to watch Krystal on "THE CYCLE" weekdays at 3:00 p.m.
right here on MSNBC.

Ahead, Senator Ted Cruz is trying to roll back rights for same sex couples.
We`ve seen this before. Why are we fighting? Coming up.


SHARPTON: Under Jim Crow, businesses were allowed to discriminate. And
right now some Republicans are trying to do it again. Why we won`t let
them roll back progress, next.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, fighting to protect human rights for everyone.
Just a few decades ago, restaurants would deny service to people based
solely on the color of their skin. It took years of struggle and sacrifice
to end this Jim Crow discrimination. Today the fight is back in a new way.
The Kansas state house just passed a bill protecting businesses that refuse
to serve gay couples. Supporters claim it`s all about religious freedom.
But really, it`s just blatant discrimination.

In Idaho, a GOP lawmaker has proposed a bill that would protect doctors and
police officers who refuse to help gays and lesbians. And in Washington,
Senator Ted Cruz is going back to the old state`s rights defense,
introducing a bill that would let states push back against any federal
support of gay marriage. This is discrimination, plain and simple.
America is changing. The GOP needs to change with it. We all deserve our
basic human rights, regardless of color, creed, gender, or sexual
orientation. We ought to stop talking about who was discriminated against
the most. We need to stop all discrimination. To discriminate to any
degree against anyone opens the door of discrimination to everyone. Let us
all start comparing our rules and which rules are deeper and let us all
unite and end discrimination and heal our wounds and heal the nation.

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


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