IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

PoliticsNation, Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

April 1, 2014

Guests: Jan Schakowsky, Chaka Fattah, Michelle Cottle, David Corn
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: High-five, and high-five back to you,
Ed. And thanks to you for tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, not one, not two, not three, four, five, six, seven million
and counting. President Obama announcing just moments ago that America`s
hit a major milestone when it comes to health care.


now signed up for private insurance plans through these marketplaces, 7.1.



SHARPTON: 7.1 millions of Americans. A million Americans exceeding the
administration`s goal. It`s a dramatic achievement for the president and
the American people. And today President Obama had a message for
Republicans still obsessed with trying to get rid of this law.


OBAMA: Why are folks working so hard for people not to have health
insurance? Why are they so mad about the idea of folks having health
insurance? Many of the tall tales that have been told about this law have
been debunked. There are still no death panels. Armageddon has not

Instead, this law is helping millions of Americans. And in the coming
years, it will help millions more. I`ve said before I will always work
with anyone who is willing to make this law work even better. But the
debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to


SHARPTON: The Affordable Care Act is here to stay. It`s not going
anywhere. But even today Republicans refuse to accept it. Paul Ryan`s new
budget plan includes a full repeal of the health care law. The house is
vote this week on a bill to dismantle part of the law. And Ted Cruz has
the party`s talking point down.


essence of pragmatism to recognize this thing isn`t working. Let`s start
over. Let`s repeal every word of it.


SHARPTON: They still want to repeal every word of it. The president`s got
a word for dead-enders like Senator Cruz.


OBAMA: They have to explain why we should go back to the days when seniors
paid more for their prescriptions, or women had to pay more than men for
coverage. Back to the days when Americans with preexisting conditions were
out of luck. They could routinely be denied the economic security of
health insurance. Because that`s exactly what would happen if we repeal
this law. Millions of people who now have health insurance would not have


SHARPTON: That`s what Republicans want to go back to, the way things used
to be? For more than 7.1 million Americans, that`s just not acceptable.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Democrat of Illinois, and executive editor Richard Wolffe.

Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Congresswoman, let us put in perspective. What does today`s
announcement do to transform the debate over health care?

SCHAKOWSKY: You know, 4.8 million Americans went to the Web site, yesterday, and two million more were on the phone. And
we`re going to make sure that those people that weren`t able to get served
because of the tremendous volume are going to get health care.

What it means in short is that Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act is
working, and people want it. These aren`t just people who are scared of
paying a penalty. These are people who want to have health insurance. And
now they`re going to have it.

SHARPTON: Now, Richard, you know, despite the fact that this is a huge
victory for the American people and the president, and those of us who have
supported the health care law, the Affordable Care Act, the president also
said there is more work to be done to get every American covered because
there is still a large body of people not covered. Listen to this.


OBAMA: No American should go without the health care that they need. No
family should be bankrupt because somebody in that family gets sick,
because no parent should have to be worried about whether they can afford
treatment because they`re worry they`d don`t want to have to burden their
children. The idea that everybody in this country can get decent health
care? That goal is achievable. We are on our way.


SHARPTON: How do we achieve that, Richard?

WOLFFE: So, there is plenty of evidence out there to show that the states
that have for political reasons opposed this law on it`s all really
Republican governors. There are no Democratic governors out there who have
taken this position. But those who have denied their own voters, their own
people in their own states this extended coverage, have refused to go in
with their own websites, they have all seen lower enrollment figures, or no
enrollment figures if they don`t even have websites that is a huge hurdle.

The federal government has clearly struggled with the technology. But as
this goes on, year after year, it`s going to be that much harder for people
to say this is a disaster. I cannot take this money. It will erode the
opposition. Just these numbers will erode that opposition. That`s a huge
step forward for next year`s enrollment.

SHARPTON: And, you know, Congresswoman, the right doesn`t want to admit
that the law is working. So they`re turning to a favorite attack, accusing
the White House of cooking the books. Listen to this.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: With millions of Obamacare applicants
appearing out of thin air now in the last few days, Kathleen Sebelius is
fighting off allegations that they`re cooking the books.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, look. The numbers are a bit of funny math.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You said cooking the books in the administration. Do
you stand by that?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don`t know how many people have actually signed up
for it. We have to take people`s words for that.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The real question is when have they
not lied about Obamacare?


SHARPTON: I mean, is that really the best they can do, Congresswoman?

SCHAKOWSKY: I guess that is the best they can do. But the truth of the
matter is the big numbers do come as Richard Wolffe said from the state.
So to cook the books, the Obama administration would have had to cook the
books in many, many states. And that`s where the big enrollment is.

But let me also say the president`s speech also painted a path of how
candidates and members of Congress should conduct themselves as we go
toward the 2014 campaign.


SCHAKOWSKY: Asking the Republicans, OK, so are you saying you want to put
people back not being able to get insurance if they have preexisting
conditions? Or women should face gender discrimination, or that we should
have lifetime and annual caps on coverage for health care? Is that your
plan? You want to make seniors pay more for prescription drugs? We have
to go on offense here, as he did in his speech.

SHARPTON: You know, Richard, the Congresswoman raise as good political
point. In all of us that are policy happy or very much fulfilled by this
law, exceeding expectations today. The politics of it is will the
Democrats fight aggressively and defend this law or will some run and hide.
And I think that`s been the challenge. Former Clinton has said and others,
embrace this. Go out there. Don`t back up.

WOLFFE: They`re going to have to because the next open enrollment season
just so happens to coincide with the midterm elections. So whether they
like it or not, there is going to be a debate about health care. And they
really need to press forward there is no running away if this. You can say
you want to change things, and you can quite clearly point out that the
Republican position is still from their leadership to repeal the entire
thing. You cannot repeal something when you have ten million plus people
who are enjoying the benefits of it.

Any Republican strategist worth that name will tell every Republican
candidate that this is not a winning platform. They`re going to have to
move to, well, we want to fix this piece or that piece. But right now
they`re caught between this rhetoric. We`re going to have repeal every
word of it or they`re cooking the books, and where voters need to be. It`s
up to Democrats to explain, as the president pointed out, what benefits
have they actually got from this law? Because I think there is still a lot
of confusion.

SHARPTON: Well, you know, Congresswoman, when you look at the people,
because the law is already working. And here is a handful of people that
have already been helped. This is what the Democrats need to bring into
the midterm election. Look at this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Says that the affordable care act has made health
insurance a reality for him and his family.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As cheap as it is, it doesn`t hurt to try it. I got
away with $10 a month.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cavanaugh`s focus is for $200 a month, she`ll have
health insurance for almost the first time in two years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s an easy wait for this 60-year-old who has never
had an individual health insurance plan.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It will be a new experience for me to in having this
sort of care.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As Andrea ward`s finished her health care enrollment
she said a burden has been lifted off her shoulders, knowing that dealing
with her asthma would now be much easier.


SHARPTON: So, I would, Congresswoman, if I was advising a candidate, and
I`m not, but if I was, I would tell them to take the fight to them and let
them say these people that are now making progress, that are now covered,
these people are wrong. These people are cooking the books. Let them
fight with those people.

SCHAKOWSKY: That`s the big scam. The big scam. And I think it`s really
political malpractice are those people, including members of Congress that
are saying don`t enroll. And the Koch brothers who have spent millions and
millions of dollars to no avail, really, because we saw this big rush to

But it`s irresponsible. It is just wrong for members of Congress to say
don`t get insured. And there are those who are doing that right now. I
think they`re going to be on the losing end of this once people understand.
They could at an affordable rate actually have the health insurance that
they need.

SHARPTON: You know, Richard, I think that the politics of 2014 could be
about who has the courage to stand and represent what it is they represent,
because I cannot see if you have people on the far right, with some of the
most bizarre policy ideas that we`ve seen in our lifetimes. But proudly
standing there, how can any Democrat be shaky about standing up for
something as need and popular as health care?

WOLFFE: Look, every voter is their own health care expert. It`s really
hard to spin it when you`ve got ten million people saying I got direct
benefit from this. They all are members of families. They all know
people. They`re all talking about it. And the world won`t end. So
Republicans have got a challenge here. They`ve got to tell people that
this has worked out badly, even though they`re better off.

And that`s why the smarter Republicans out there, even people like Charles
Krauthammer said once this takes hold, we will never stop it. So we have
to throw everything at it to stop it. What we learned today is they
couldn`t stop it.

SHARPTON: They threw everything, but they couldn`t stop it. Seven
million, seven million people above all expectations, 7.1 million and still

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, and Richard Wolffe, thank you both for your
time tonight.

Coming up, we`ve got much more on this historic day for health care in
America. More than seven million Americans covered. We`ll hear some of
the powerful stories ahead.

And Republicans just can`t handle it. Wait until you hear how they`re
recycling old talking points. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Tonight there are 7.1 million arguments against the GOP`s
obsession with repealing the health care law. But do Republicans realize
they`re on the wrong side of history? That`s next.



OBAMA: History is not kind to those who would deny Americans their basic
economic security. Nobody remembers well those who stand in the way of
America`s progress or our people. And that`s what the affordable care act


SHARPTON: Over seven million people enrolled in health care. And once
again, Republicans find themselves on the wrong side of history. They`ve
been here before. Back in the 1930s, Republicans said Social Security
would enslave workers. They said Americans would feel the lash of the
dictator. And that we must repeal it. It sound familiar?


BEN CARSON, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: The worst thing that has happened in
this nation since slavery. And it is in a way, it is slavery.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We did not elect a dictator. We elected a president.

Obamacare. Now, we could repeal Obamacare. That`s why we need to repeal
this law.


SHARPTON: It`s the same talking points 80 years later. Republicans
repeated those same myths again in the `60s during a debate over Medicare.
Here is future President Ronald Reagan talking about health care for


you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our
children`s children what it once was like in America when men were free.


SHARPTON: Reagan said that in 1961. Senator Ted Cruz used those exact
same words to attack President Obama`s health care law in 2013.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: One day we will find ourselves answering
questions from our children and our children`s children what was it like
when America was free.


SHARPTON: The same, same words. They were wrong then and they`re wrong
today. Health care is a right, not a privilege. And this law is here to

Joining me now are MSNBC`s Ronan Farrow and Goldie Taylor.

Thank you both for being here.

Ronan, let me go to you first. Why do conservatives keep those talking
points if history keeps proving them wrong?

RONAN FARROW, MSNBC TALK SHOW HOST: Look, it`s very hard to taken title
manhattans away from people once they`re given. You heard the remarks in
President Obama very pointedly saying this is unrepealable at this point.
It`s done. We`ll see if that prove is true, but I there is an element for
the concerted opposition of this of a little bit of trepidation. Are we
past the finish line? Is it too late to roll this back?

SHARPTON: You know, Goldie, the Republicans had to squirm when the
president gave a shout out to democratic lawmakers who made the law a
reality. Look at this.


OBAMA: And that`s thanks in part to leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Dick
Durbin and all the members of Congress who are here today.. We could not
have done it without them. And they should be proud of what they have
done. They should be proud of what they have done.


SHARPTON: How much of this moment could energize the democratic voters and
the democratic lawmakers with him not only sharing this moment with Durbin
and Pelosi, but having them stand up. And the team won this kind of

GOLDIE TAYLOR, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, they really did. Pelosi, Reed,
Durbin from my hometown of St. Louis, they really did this work to make
this day a reality. Not only are 7.1 million Americans going to get health
care with these new enrollments, but the millions of kids who like my
children who are able to stay on my health care insurance because they`re
under 26 years old, or the people who are eligible under expanded Medicaid
in certain states. And so that is a real win for America.

The real question that we`re going to be asking is not what was America
like when men were free, but what was America like when men and women were
not free? You know, I remember not so long ago when I personally did not
have health insurance. I do now under Obamacare. And so that means that
everyday Americans, my neighbors and yours are going to have access to
quality, affordable care.

And you take Ben Carson, for instance, Ben Carson knows what it`s like to
stand in an emergency room when someone who comes in who is unable to pay
privately, doesn`t have health insurance, and gets turned away. When that
law changed when people had to be accepted, that was an expansion and, you
know, health care for everyone.

This is yet another expansion. And so people like Ben Carson ought to be
ashamed of themselves when they know that people working hard every day
aren`t able to get access to great care, but now they are.

SHARPTON: You know, Ronan, the surge, the surge we have seen in enrollment
comes after this sometimes unorthodox, this big push on social media and
other platforms. Check this out.


OBAMA: Have you heard of

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here we go. OK, let`s get this out of the way. What
did you come here to plug?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sign up now. You never know when you might take a hit.
Spread the word and get covered today.

ELLEN DEGENERES, TV HOST: While I have you, I think it`s only fair we
should talk about Obamacare and that rhymed.

love you. So go to

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it going to be hard in two years when you`re no
longer president and people will stop letting you win at basketball?

OBAMA: How does it feel having a three-inch vertical?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a three-inch horizontal.


SHARPTON: Now, critics on the right mocked this. But they`re not laughing
now. A lot of social media, a lot of ways of communicating to young
people. You work with young people in the administration. You`re a young
guy itself. I have marching shoes older than you, I mean. So was he
talking to a market that a lot of the old Republicans just don`t

FARROW: Look, I think that may be overstating the case somewhat, but it is
true, he is pointedly reaching out to this market exactly as you say. He
mentioned the three million people in these remarks that are staying on
their parents` plans. And there is this common wisdom amongst analysts
that you need the youth element to diversify the risk pool and make sure
it`s keeping costs down for everyone.

I do want to point out the reason high we can`t overstate the importance of
that demographic is because they cannot charge more or less based on
preexisting conditions. But they can under the ACA charge more or less
based on age.

So while young people coming in will lower the cost to everyone to an
extent, they`ll also maybe bringing in less money. So I would say first of
all, even though there is only 25 percent of the new signups that are youth
according to the latest numbers that we have, it`s not as make or break as
many say.

And second of all, as you point sought correctly, that outreach is working,
33 million people watched that between two interference video. It is all
over my twitter. It is all over my facebook. I think that it is making a
dent. And whatever the numbers are, it will be interesting to see after
this new speech with youth specifically.

As we`ve seen with Romney care before it, you see young people coming in at
the tail under things for (INAUDIBLE) and as we see in terms of the long-
term particulars of this particular demographic, the truth tale might not
be told until the next election cycle when the young people are the voters
that this party is depending on.

SHARPTON: You know, Goldie, when you look at the 2008 and 2012 elections
where the president ran an unorthodox election and went a different route,
now he is really rallying around a lot of his legislative goals
differently. You begin to sense that there has been a shift in America
that some people just don`t get that`s in Congress. They just don`t
understand. It`s a new way of communicating, a new way of getting your
message out.

TAYLOR: Well, this administration, Reverend Al, was right to use every
platform available to it, whether it was between two interference or
twitter or facebook, or, you know, getting NBA players to get out front for
this administration on this health care policy.

And so they were right to use every, every opportunity available to them,
because they need to really hit a target market. A target market that was
healthier and younger and is less apt to invest themselves in health
insurance. So this was the right thing to do.

But this system isn`t just dependent upon the young. It`s also dependent
on healthy 35 and 40-year-olds who are also enrolling for the very first
time that will also keep the risk pool low.

But let me just tell you, there is no death spiral. You know, if for
instance this pool is not kept exceptionally low, my premiums will only
rise about 2.4 percent. That`s important. That`s important to know that
we`ve got enough in the system today to make sure that premiums are
stabilized for years to come.

SHARPTON: All right, Ronan Farrow and Goldie Taylor, thank you both for
your time tonight. And be sure to watch Ronan on "Ronan Farrow Daily"
weekdays at 1:00 p.m. eastern daily right here on MSNBC.

FARROW: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Thank you.

And still ahead, the timing couldn`t be worse for Paul Ryan. On the day
when the health care law is a huge success story, guess what he is trying
to get rid of?

Plus, Dick Cheney caught on tape having the gall to criticize President
Obama on foreign policy, and joking about bombing Iran? Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Straight ahead, why is Dick Cheney cheering war and slamming the
president at a closed door jump shot event? You`ll hear the secret audio

And the department of justice is investigating a New Mexico police
department after a deadly shooting is caught on tape. That disturbing
video is ahead.


SHARPTON: On the day we learned the President`s health care law hit a
major milestone of 7.1 million enrollees, Congressman Paul Ryan released
his latest budget. And guess what one of the biggest headlines from the
budget is? It fully repeals the President`s health care law. That`s
right. On the day when we hear that millions of Americans have signed up,
Paul Ryan says, they should all be kicked off. Nice going. But besides
that, I have to admit, my expectations were high for this budget. After
all, over the past few months, Congressman Ryan has become the anti-poverty
crusader for the GOP.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: Concern for the poor, it is not some
policy niche. This goes to the very, very heart of the American experiment
itself. We want to make sure that our poverty fighting programs are meant
to get at the root cause of poverty, to break the cycle of poverty, get
people out of poverty. This is why I am focused on poverty these days.


SHARPTON: Hear that? He is focused on poverty these days. And his
focus on poverty means a budget. That makes a budget that is -- makes a
special effort. But what does he do? He makes an effort to cut Medicaid,
that ruins Medicare as we know it, and then destroys the current food stamp
program. But he is not done will. He also wants to cut Pell Grants for
low income college students, cut pensions for federal workers. Even get
rid of money for public broadcasting. Yes, taking a page from Mitt Romney,
he wants to kill big bird. Because, you see, we just don`t have any money.
And that`s on top of getting rid of the health care law.


RYAN: We can`t just keep spending money we don`t have. That`s the
basic acknowledgment when you`re budgeting, just like families and
businesses do, that you cannot continue to kick the can down the road, that
you cannot continue to spend money we just don`t have.


SHARPTON: See? It`s just basic budgeting. We can`t keep spending
money we don`t have. Even for hungry children. But don`t worry, the so-
called -- managed to find some spare change in his couch cushions for the
military. Just a cool $483 billion. Oh, and he also managed to squeeze
out some tax breaks for corporations and the rich. How is that for a focus
on poverty? All while gutting programs like ObamaCare. That`s poor work
from someone who says he cares about poverty.

Joining me now is Congressman Chaka Fattah, Democrat from
Pennsylvania, and the Daily Beast`s Michelle Cottle. Thank you both for
coming on the show tonight.


REP. CHAKA FATTAH (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Good to be with you.

SHARPTON: Congressman Fattah, Congressman Ryan`s budget hinges on
repealing a law that just marked its most significant achievement. I mean,
what is the logic behind that?

FATTAH: Well, look, you know, 7.1 million signed up. We got another
three million people on their parents` plan. I mean, the President has
done more to uplift families than in terms of health care than you can
imagine. The Ryan budget not only adds 483 billion to the defense, but it
cuts 791 billion from programs to help low income and working class
families. So it is a budget that is challenged on a philosophical basis,
his moral basis. The math doesn`t add up. Not only doesn`t he repeal
ObamaCare, he keeps all of the savings from ObamaCare to fund his defense
spending. So you can`t do both.

If you repeal it, you can`t have the savings that it generates. And
as the CBO has indicated, the ObamaCare or the Affordable Care Act craves
savings for our government because it lowers the rising costs of health
care. So this is a great day for our country on health care. For the
Congress, it`s a little off keynote from the House majority with this
budget. This budget is not going to become the law of the land. We know
that. Paul Ryan knows it. It`s a political document aimed at winning over
more wealthy supporters and contributors to finance Republican campaigns.
It`s not going to be the law.

SHARPTON: Michelle, what do you think about the repeal of ObamaCare
talking point that Ryan and the Republicans are now putting down? Doesn`t
it ring hollow after 7.1 million now have signed up, and expectations have
been beaten?

COTTLE: Well, they`re still betting that this is going to be a
powerful, you know, campaign issue. You know, they looked to that special
House race in Florida, and they think that going forward in the midterms,
they will be able to pummel Democrats on this. And Democrats are still
very nervous about it. So what people are waiting to see is if there is
enough time for the kind of initial unfortunate roll-out glitches to kind
of correct themselves and people to get more comfortable with the law come
November. But the Republicans are betting that the answer to that is no.
And they`re going to try and sweep.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, Congressman Fattah, Ryan`s budget comes just
weeks after he made these comments about so-called inner city culture.
Take a listen.


RYAN: We have got this tailspin of culture in our inner cities in
particular of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking
about working or learning the value and the culture of work. And so there
is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.


SHARPTON: Does his budget deal with that culture? You represent the
inner city, Congressman. What are you going to do about all those men that
just don`t want to work for generations?

FATTAH: Well, Reverend, you know and I know, you name a job fair or
job openings, you`ll see lines around the block. In these places where
there is no culture for people wanting to work. The problem is not that
people don`t want to work, is that we have to create jobs. And the
Republicans have worked against the jobs bill, against the effort to return
our economy. I just want to say something about the expectation that the
Republicans have about how this is going to work for them electorally.
They thought a referendum on ObamaCare was going to win the presidency for
Romney and Paul Ryan. They were wrong.

They thought it was going to win in Virginia. They were wrong. They
pointed a special election in Florida, which was a Republican seat held by
Chairman Bill Young, a great guy who died. And they say well, because we
didn`t win a Republican seat, somehow we`re off kilter. We`re ready and
we`re getting set up for a battle in November. And people should not count
the Democrats out. We`re running for Affordable Health Care, and we`re
running for more jobs. And we believe that the culture of America is that
we should value work. That`s why we want to raise the minimum wage.

SHARPTON: Michelle, you know the Ryan budget also turns Medicare into
a voucher-like program for future seniors. But 69 percent support the
program as it is. So isn`t the move just bad politics? And won`t the
Democrats capitalize on this by running against the Ryan budget and what he
is saying to seniors?

COTTLE: It`s happened before, and it will happen again. I mean,
everybody talks about how much they hate big government in the abstract.
But when you get down to big programs like Medicare and Social Security,
they do not want these tinkered with. I mean, this is what makes people
the angriest. And one of the reasons that Paul Ryan has a hard time making
his numbers come out is because if you`re going to not discuss revenue and
you`re not going cut the military, you don`t have a lot of wiggle room left
other than cutting programs like Medicaid and things that people rely on.

SHARPTON: Congressman, the budget seems to embrace a notion that
we`ve heard before from the right, a lot frankly lately, that somehow the
poor are undeserving and undeserving of help, undeserving of help and
undeserving to the country. Take a listen to this.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Supplemental nutritional
assistance program. The buy beer program with a government credit card.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Studies show that people that are on welfare are
higher users of drugs than people not on welfare.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: And from the amount of obesity in this country by
people we`re told do not have enough to eat.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Why don`t we just pay for your clothes? Pay for
your shoes? Pay for your housing?


SHARPTON: I mean, I`ve got to go, Congressman. But what makes the
rich so deserving of these tax cuts and the poor not deserving of any help?
They`ve served the country.

FATTAH: When we pray this evening, we should pray for our Republican
colleagues that they would have more spirit to help their fellowmen. And
we should be thankful to live in a country where we can now have Affordable
Health Care.

SHARPTON: Congressman Chaka Fattah and Michelle Cottle, thank you
both for your time this evening.

FATTAH: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Dick Cheney caught on tape going after the
President. We`ll give him a much need history lesson. That`s next.

Plus, a deadly police shooting in New Mexico. Caught on tape now, the
Justice Department is investigating it. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: We woke up this morning to some truly great news. Today we
learned March was the first month without American fatalities in Iraq or
Afghanistan in 11 years. This is something to celebrate. And that`s why
it`s so striking to hear former Vice President Dick Cheney is still
speaking out on foreign policy. He was the keynote speaker over the
weekend at the GOP retreat hosted by billionaire Sheldon Adelson in Las
Vegas. The address was behind closed doors. But Mother Jones obtained
audio of the speech where he, quote, "derided President Obama on foreign
policy, especially in the Middle East."


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The bottom-line is that the United States` position
in that part of the world is worse than it`s been at any time in my


SHARPTON: Worse than at any point in his lifetime? Did he forget he
sold us an Iraq war on false pretenses? Did Mr. Cheney forget the
diplomatic mess he and the Bush administration put us in? On a day when
we`re reminded just how deadly war is, former Vice President Cheney isn`t
just a historical footnote. He is still the GOP ringleader.

Joining me now is David Corn, Washington Bureau Chief for Mother
Jones. Thank you for being here, David.

you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Dick Cheney bashing President Obama`s foreign policy behind
closed doors. I mean, how is he still relevant on this topic inside of
this GOP event?

CORN: Well, you know, the stunning thing to me about this tape that
we got at Mother Jones, and I co-wrote the story with my colleague Andy
Crow is not so much that he was bashing Obama yet again and saying that
this guy doesn`t take seriously the responsibility to protect America,
which is exactly the charge he leveled, but also that when talking about
Iran and talking about the idea of bombing Iran, the whole crowd kind of
laugh and applauded as if they were cheering it on. So within this small
slice of the universe of people who want to see more violence and more war
in the Middle East, well, Dick Cheney, well, he`s their guy.

SHARPTON: Well, you know, on the day that we get this news that no
American, I want to repeat, no American deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan in
11 years, you reveal Dick Cheney talk it behind closed doors about Iran, he
told the story of having dinner with the Israeli general. The general was
involved in strikes against Iraq`s and Syria`s nuclear programs. And here
was Cheney`s punch line to the story. Listen to this.


DICK CHENEY, FORMER U.S. VICE PRESIDENT: He looked across the table
over dinner and he said "two down, one to go. I knew exactly what he



SHARPTON: He looked across the table over dinner and he said two
down, one to go. I knew exactly what he`d meant. I mean, David, laughing
and cheering and talking about bombing Iran. This is still what the
Republicans stand for?

CORN: You know, to me, it`s kind of stunning because even if you
believed that it was basic security of the United States to attack Iran,
would you laugh about it? Would you cheer? Would you applaud? I mean,
there is something kind of bloodthirsty, warmongering about the way he
tells that story and about the way the audience takes it in. And at the
same time, he is out there saying there is nothing wrong with the NSA. You
know, Obama isn`t really serious about protecting the country. He blasts
the isolationists in his party. I mean, we`re talking he is becoming a
fringe of a fringe. But because he is a vice president and doesn`t have
the graciousness to give his, you know, succeeding team the space to do
what they want, he still gets out there and he is whipping them up for war.

SHARPTON: You know, we`ve also find that he was wrong about torture
as well.

CORN: Oh, yes.

SHARPTON: The "Washington Post" revealed details from Senate
Intelligence Committees` reports saying the CIA, quote, "Misled over its
interrogation program. I thought this was key -- a key quote. Officials
said millions of records make clear that the CIA`s ability to obtain the
most valuable intelligence against al Qaeda, including tips that led to the
killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011 had little if anything to do with
enhanced interrogation techniques. The argument has always been that
enhanced interrogation helped get Bin Laden. And it was a strong case.
But now how can they still defend this with this report?

CORN: Reverend, this may be one of the most important reports ever
produced by Congress in the history of our country. It`s 6,000 pages long.
We`re still going to fight about what can be released of it. The
committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee and the White House both say
they want to see portions of it. Maybe only the executive summary, which
is 400 pages released so the rest of us can read it. But it really should
put to rest this debate we`ve been having over the past decade about how
far you go in prosecuting the war on terrorism, because not only is the
stuff wrong and horrendous, there are stories in this report about torture.

But it doesn`t work. And we`ve had FBI agents and others tell us over
the years that they don`t believe this is the best way to conduct
interrogations. So it is really important that this report come out and
that you and I and the rest of our fellow Americans can read it for

SHARPTON: David Corn, thank you so much for your time tonight.

CORN: Thank you, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, what`s today`s news on health care? What it
means for the President and the American people.

Plus, there is a new investigation into the New Mexico police
department after a deadly shooting was caught on tape. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: A federal investigation is now under way in the case of a
police shooting caught on tape in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Two weeks ago,
Albuquerque police shot and killed 38-year-old James Boyd, a homeless and
mentally disturbed man camping in the foothills. The whole incident was
caught on tape, on police helmet cameras. I want to warn you, the video
you`re about to see is disturbing.


JAMES BOYD, SHOT BY ALBUQUERQUE POLICE: In the private world, if you
were down at a bar or a bus stop, I have the right to kill you right now
because you are trying to take me now. Don`t get stupid with me.

OFFICER: I`m not going to get stupid.

BOYD: You said we were walking out of here, now you`re bringing up
assault and everybody is going to get hurt again? All right. Don`t change
up your agreement. I`m going to try to walk with you.

OFFICER: Alright.

BOYD: (INAUDIBLE) try to harm you, keep your word. I can keep you
safe, alright? Don`t worry about safety. I`m not a (bleep) murder.
Alright? (INAUDIBLE) to harm you. Alright?


Get on the ground, get on the ground now! Get on the ground! Get on
the ground! Get down!

OFFICER: Hey, buddy?

OFFICER: Move it up.

OFFICER: Get up.

OFFICER: He has a knife in his hands.

OFFICER: Still got knives in his hands.

OFFICER: Stepping up behind you. Is he moving?

BOYD: Please don`t hurt me.

OFFICER: His hands, he is still armed.

BOYD: Please don`t hurt me anymore. I can`t move.


SHARPTON: Please don`t hurt me anymore. I can`t move. But watch
what happened next. Again, the video is disturbing.


OFFICER: Put your hands out to your side and drop the knife. Hands
out to your side.

OFFICER: Beanbag, beanbag. Drop the knife. Drop the knife. Drop
the knife! Still got the knife in his hands? Negative effect?

OFFICER: I can get it on him.

OFFICER: Yes, I don`t want that knife in his hand.


SHARPTON: The video that follows is too graphic to show you. A
police dog was set loose on Boyd`s motionless body. Then they handcuffed
Boyd as he lay face down bleeding. He was taken to the hospital where he
was pronounced dead the next day. Now, the FBI and Justice Department
investigating. The Albuquerque Police Department was already under
investigation for deadly force. There have been 37 police shootings in the
last four years. Twenty three of them deadly. The police chief says the
shooting of James Boyd was justified because he threatened officers with

If there was evidence he was threatening the police, that`s one thing.
But it sure is hard to see. Nothing justifies using deadly force unless it
is certain. We`ll be talking about criminal justice and many other
important issues in my civil rights organizations convention, the National
Action Network next week. That`s April 9th to the 12th here in New York
City. And we`re coming back after this with faces and stories of
ObamaCare. That`s next.



OBAMA: The debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable
Care Act is here to stay.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, 7.1 million reasons to be hopeful about
the future. That`s how many people have signed up for the Affordable Care
Act, and it`s already having an impact. Just look at Kentucky, thanks to
the health care law, Kentucky`s uninsured rate has dropped by more than 40
percent since October 1st. It`s a good day when we can provide coverage
and care to people who couldn`t afford it and couldn`t have it. This is
the country at its best. And let us keep moving forward. Health care is a
right, not a privilege.

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


Transcription Copyright 2014 ASC LLC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is
granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not
reproduce or redistribute the material except for user`s personal or
internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall
user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may
infringe upon MSNBC and ASC LLC`s copyright or other proprietary rights or
interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of