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PoliticsNation, Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Read the transcript from the Tuesday show

April 8, 2014

Guests: Jim McDermott; Donna Edwards

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks to you for tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, more evidence today the health care law is working for real
Americans. And many on the right who predicted failure just can`t handle
it. How low is it getting? This low.

Yes, that`s Adolf Hitler in a new video attacking the health care law. A
major GOP donor is behind this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through text): Dr. Steiner is not in the physician
network for your new Obamacare Bronze plan.


SHARPTON: They can`t attack the laws on its merits so this is what it
comes to? That`s the fringe. But back on planet reality in Washington,
plenty of Republicans are still working to sabotage the law.

This is the headline in the new conservative leaning "Wall Street Journal"
today. Off the Obamacare deep end. The editorial slams Republicans who
refuse to help make the law work better. They could have been talking
about the house GOP holding yet another hearing today, blasting fixes made
to the law or one of the GOP leaders saying this today.


Obamacare can work. And we don`t feel that it is properly achieving the
goals that the president promised this country it would. And we are about
proposing real health care reform that will be patient-centered and a plan
that we will put forward this year.


SHARPTON: Yes, four years later, and we`re still waiting on that plan.
But while we wait, the president reminded us today what the health care law
is doing.


Americans have signed up for health care coverage under the affordable care


OBAMA: That`s a good thing, too.


SHARPTON: Seven million people signed up under the health care exchanges.
How can anyone be against that? And today, a new study finds even more
Americans are now insured. A total of 9.3 million, 9.3 million people have
gained health insurance since September.

Yet we`re seeing Hitler parody videos from donors and a party still wasting
time and money on repealing a law helping millions. I think "the Wall
Street Journal" may be on to something. They really are off the Obamacare
deep end.

Joining me now is Congressman Jim McDermott and the "Daily Beast" with
Michelle Cottle.

Thank you both for joining me.



SHARPTON: Congressman, a Hitler parody? I mean, why are so many still
slamming a law that`s working?

MCDERMOTT: Well, you`ve nailed it. They really don`t know what to do so
they`re getting wilder and wilder in their accusations. They`re trying to
make it seems as though there`s criminality in the way that the IRS has
been handling this whole issue. They`re trying to show that people are
simply not following the law.

They are making all kinds of legal arguments now. And they`re going to try
to get it all tied up in the courts. You watch. With the next few days,
you`ll see this whole thing. We had a hearing today in which they were
trying to get the man from treasury to say that he had done something
wrong, and he hasn`t done anything wrong.

SHARPTON: No. And it is really bizarre when you think about it, Michelle.
You are not mentioned in the set up this "Wall Street Journal" editorial
slamming Republicans -- Some Republicans have make a mind a change to the
health care law last weekend. Others went crazy. The journal says, quote,
"in a rational world, beating White House industrial policy and allowing
more consumer choice would qualify as a modest conservative victory. But
some Republicans have convinced themselves that the only tolerance change
to Obamacare is to make it worse. I mean, is that true? They only can
think about sabotage, Michelle?

COTTLE: Well, this is the corner that they`ve painted themselves into.
They`ve been elected on a promise of repeal. They`ve banged this repeal
drum to the point that anything short of repeal is seen as selling out.
It`s not seen as trying to improve a flawed law or address what everybody
agrees are certain issues that need to be addressed. The only thing that
will be considered a victory is if they do away with it.

SHARPTON: You know, Congressman, you were at the hearing today.


SHARPTON: Where Republicans blasted fixes made to the health care law. I
want to play some of that.


REP. KEVIN BRADY (R), TEXAS: Why does big business receive better
treatment than normal Americans by some feared and for some of the law but
not others?

REP. ADRIAN SMITH (R), NEBRASKA: Why did you do some of these delays?
Many of the changes made to the health care law have been made without
congressional approval.

BRADY: Is the problem the affordable care act that need to be changed to
make this workable?


SHARPTON: I mean, what is all this about?

MCDERMOTT: Well, what happened was when you implement a law, the treasury
puts out a proposed rule how to implement it and then asks for responses
from business. They did it for over a year and they cooked the ideas of
business and ultimately, they delayed the implementation for a year.

Now, they`re damned if they do and damned if they don`t because if they had
slammed it in and not given business a chance, people would have screamed.
And now these guys are yelling because they listened to business and gave
them some more time. And they`re accusing them of not following the law.
It`s just wrong.

SHARPTON: You know, Michelle, Republicans keep talking about replacing the
law, but one GOP aide told "Talking Points Memo" quote "as far as repeal
and replace goes, the problem with replace is that if you really want
people to have these new benefits, it looks a hell of a lot like the
affordable care act."

I mean, are Republicans backed into a corner here, Michelle?

COTTLE: Absolutely, because it`s one thing to talk about repealing it.
But they have not put forth any alternatives that are going to be able to
keep the parts of the law that people like, not the pre-existing condition,
keeping children on your policy until age 26 without keeping some of the
policy points that they don`t like the individual mandate.

So they know once they start down the road about talking about what
specifics they will and will not include, then their plan would be open to
just as much, you know, criticism as what they`re complaining about with

I mean, if we know one thing about health care reform, it is extremely
complicated and it takes, you know, pretty much an act of God to get it
through. So, it`s not an easy question of repeal and replace.

SHARPTON: Now you know, Congressman, this is a political year, midterm
election. And as Michelle said, when you ask the average voter this
country on specific things that the affordable care act gives them, they`re
all for it. They`ve just been browbeaten in my judgment against the term,
affordable care act and Obamacare. But when you get down to the midterm
elections, they`re going to hear from people that benefitted. People like
this. Let me play you a few people.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Matthew Blalock of Greenville found his
calling in the culinary field. He also found that the jobs don`t always
come with health insurance. But now he`s covered after finding a plan
through the affordable care act.

MATTHEW BLALOCK, GREENVILLE: My insurance is $253 a month, and I got a
little over $100 in a discount from the government.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It just means that I can go to the doctor on a regular
basis, you know?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: The small business owner from York says a
friend convinced her to call the hotline for a quote. Now she`s paying
half the rate of her old insurance.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I walked around for two days and almost chanted, I
have affordable health care.


SHARPTON: Now that`s the political reality. That`s where the rubber meets
the road, Congressman. How will the Republicans justify taking away the
health from those kinds of people?

MCDERMOTT: Well, the more they try to do that, the more it becomes
apparent they don`t care about ordinary people. I could give you a list of
stories as long as my arm like the one you just heard, and people are
benefitting from it and their neighbors are seeing it and their friends and
their family and it`s spreading across the country. And you`re going to
see by election time, people are going to be grateful to the Democrats and
to Barack Obama for putting it through and surviving an enormously
expensive propaganda campaign to destroy it.

SHARPTON: But Michelle, they plan according to some strategists on running
against the Democrats on Obamacare. Couldn`t that backfire as we see more
and more people publicly talking about the benefits? Could it be they are
told that they`re not hearing that that might not be the strategy they

COTTLE: Well, look, they`re all-in with this. There`s not much they can
do other than run against it at this point. But this is exactly why people
like Senator Ted Cruz were so eager to do something to stop this before
people started signing up. Because once people stopped hearing about kind
of the scary abstract changes coming and you had people signing up and
receiving these benefits, then it becomes much harder to demonize the law.
And it becomes increasingly more popular as people understand both kind of
the complications and the upsides to it.

SHARPTON: Do you think, Congressman, that this will be a political asset
or a liabilities or liability to your party this year?

MCDERMOTT: It`s going to be an absolute asset for all of us. The fact is
you voted for the affordable care act and you`re delivering health
insurance and security to people in your district is going to be a positive
thing for everybody who did it and it`s going to be a real drag, it is
going to be a millstone around the neck of some of these people who have
not done anything but say no, no, no I don`t want to give you that.

SHARPTON: All right, I`m going to have to hold it there.

Congressman Jim McDermott and Michelle Cottle, thank you both for your time
this evening.

COTTLE: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, President Obama takes action on fairness for women in
the work place. Is the GOP really against equal pay for equal work?

And a GOP congressman tries to go after attorney general holder and it
doesn`t go well for him.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I realize that contempt is not a big deal to our
attorney general, but it is important that we have proper oversight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don`t want to go there, OK?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t want to go there?



SHARPTON: And later tonight, I`ll address some of the stories about the
mob, the music industry and me. Stay tuned.



OBAMA: Some commentators are out there saying that the pay gap doesn`t
even exist. They say it`s a myth. But it`s not a myth, it`s math. You
can look at the paychecks. You can look at the stubs. It`s basic math
that adds up to real money. It makes a real difference for a lot of
Americans who are working hard to support their families.


SHARPTON: President Obama today calling on Congress to pass the paycheck
fairness act. Obama stepped towards equal pay for women. He also signed
two executive orders beefing up equal pay laws for federal contractors.

The president is trying to fix an obvious economic injustice. The fact
that women make far less than men do for the same job. This chart shows
that whether you`re a CEO, a cop, a teacher, or a nurse, if you`re a woman,
you`re making less than a man. This is a national problem.

But top Republicans in Congress don`t see it that way. Speaker Boehner and
Senator McConnell have repeatedly voted against fair pay laws for women.
And the new GOP talking point is that this whole thing is just a


politicizing women and let`s start focusing on those policies that are
going to help women and everyone in this country have a better life.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Many ladies I know feel like they are being used as
pawns and find it condescending that Democrats are trying to use this issue
as a political distraction.


SHARPTON: I don`t know what`s so condescending about supporting equal pay
for equal work, but Republicans may learn that lesson the hard way when
voters go to the polls in November.

Joining me now Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Democrat for Maryland. She co-
chairs the congressional women`s caucus and chair of the democratic women`s
working group.

Thanks for being here, Congresswoman.

REP. DONNA EDWARDS (D), MARYLAND: Thank you, Reverend. Wow, shocking
statements there from the Republican colleagues.

SHARPTON: Yes. I`ve got to ask you about that. Do you find it
condescending to say women should get equal pay for equal work?

EDWARDS: Well, you know, here is what I think. I mean, they`re talking
about politicizing equal pay. Now, we don`t want to politicize it, we just
want to pay women equal to what their male colleagues make in the same
jobs, the same experience, working alongside them. And this is really an
issue that`s important to women and to families who are deprived of the
income that women would normally be entitled to if they were paid equally.

SHARPTON: You know, the president says this isn`t just about economics to
him. He said it`s personal. Listen to this.


OBAMA: I`ve got two daughters. And I expect them to be treated just like
anybody`s sons. And I think by my single mom working hard, going to
school, trying to raise two kids, all at the same time, and I think about
my grandmother trying to work her way up through her career. And then
hitting the glass ceiling. And I`ve seen how hard they`ve worked. And
I`ve seen how they sucked it up. We have the power to do something about
it for the next generation. And this is a good place to start.


SHARPTON: He says that we have the power. Congresswoman, what will it
take to make this happen?

EDWARDS: Well, you know what, the reality is here in the House of
Representatives, it only is going to take about 20 Republicans to join with
every democrat who`s signed on to the pair check fairness act. It`s being
considered in the Senate. And so, those senators who are standing in the
way, a handful of Republican senators could make the difference for equal
pay for equal work for women.

And so, it is not going to -- it doesn`t take a lot. I think the voices of
women all across this country, Republicans and Democrats have to be raised,
because, you know, when you consider that today women earning 77 cents on
the dollar, you know what, we just started getting paid today for the work
that we put in since the beginning of the year.

For African-American women, 64 cents on the dollar, for Latinas, 54 cents
on the dollar. That deprives us of thousands of dollars in real income
today. But also thousands and thousands of dollars we could contribute to
our own retirement security.

So this is a pocketbook issue. And as the president said, it`s not a myth,
it`s just math.

SHARPTON: You know, the right is really hammering home that pay equity is
a myth. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, the equal pay for equal myth. Can we talk about
things in reality not something based on a bunk study?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They don`t want to hear that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, they think you`re anti-women if you questioned
the me about equal pay.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: To go focus on this issue, a piece of legislation that
we already have laws to protect is nonsense.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: This equal pay for women thing which
is old hat and not even applicable anymore.


SHARPTON: Well, what`s your reaction?

EDWARDS: Well, those guys are and women are really living in the mad men
era. The fact is that women are paid less on the dollar to a man for the
same job and the same experience and the same education. And it`s wrong in
2014 for that to happen.

And you know what? The women of America all across the board, an
overwhelming majority of women, know that it`s true because they experience
it, like the president`s mother, like the president`s grandmother. We
experience it and so we know it.

And so, you know, this idea that somehow, you know, things are being made
up is just not true. And ask anyone woman in virtually any sector of the
economy and she will tell you that she is not being paid the same as a man
for equal work. Let`s stop that kind of discrimination, pass the pay check
fairness act and make sure that women make equal to men and grow our
economy. This is about growing our GDP. It is about growing our economy
if we are paying women equal to what men earn for the same job, same
education and same experience.

SHARPTON: You know, the pay gap really adds up for women over time.

Take a look at this. Over her career, a typical full-time working woman
will lose $431,000. With that money, she could buy a house in the U.S.,
put two kids through college, new nearly 22,000 gallons of gas she could
get. And feed a family of four for over six years.

But Congresswoman, equal pay is only one piece of the puzzle. You worked
on an economic agenda for women with other house Democrats. Why is that so

EDWARDS: Well, I am. An it`s like the president has said, when women
succeed, America succeeds. Whether this that`s a higher minimum wage,
including a tip minimum wage and making sure we have access to quality
affordable child care, making sure is that we get one day of paid leave
off. These are basic guarantees that we should have in every single work
place that would make a huge difference in women`s economic lives. But it
would make a huge difference in the American economy.

And so, our women`s economic agenda, when women succeed, America succeeds,
is about growing all of our economy for every American, men and for women.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman Donna Edwards, thank you for your time tonight.

EDWARDS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, the attorney general slams a Republican congressman
for his contemptible behavior. We`ll show you the tape.

Plus, why is the right so obsessed with making the president to one of the
most evil men in history? It goes back to the beginning. We`ll talk about
it next.


SHARPTON: Coming up, a GOP congressman made a disrespectful comment to
attorney general Eric Holder, and he set the record straight.


REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R), TEXAS: And I realize that contempt is not a big
deal to our attorney general, but it is important that we have proper

ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: You don`t want to go there, buddy.
You don`t want to go there, OK?

GOHMERT: I don`t want to go there?


GOHMERT: About the contempt?

HOLDER: You should not assume that it`s not a big deal to me. I think
that it was un-appropriate, unjust, but never think that was not a big deal
to me. Don`t ever think that.


SHARPTON: They`ve tried to demonize this attorney general again and again.
Enough is enough. Way more than enough. We`ll get to that story coming


SHARPTON: Why would a government donor make an anti-ObamaCare parody
video using Adolf Hitler. We tell you about this earlier. The billionaire
behind it bills the climp as a humorous parody. But what exactly is funny
about this?


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It was a promise! Obama frigging` promised! He
said, if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor!

If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.

Period! He said, period!


SHARPTON: It`s far from humorous, but it`s become a disturbing trend
for some on the right. We previously saw comparisons in this
administration to Hitler and the Nazis at far right rallies. One
conservative investor recently likened critics of the rich to Nazis. Yet
another GOP donor compared the democratic agenda to what Hitler was saying
in Germany. FOX News contributor Ben Carson went so far as to say that
Obama officials were acting like Gestapo. And he`s not the only one.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama,
also ruled by dictate.

GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Progressives didn`t care and so all
of those Jews died. But it was because the universities and the
progressives, this was their thing. They were all anti-Jewish, just as
much as they`re anti-Jewish now.

BEN CARSON, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Most of those people did not
believe in what Hitler was doing. And if you believe the same thing can`t
happen again, you`re very wrong.

TED NUGENT, ROCK MUSICIAN: What we see with the IRS can be compared
accurately, historically to the early maneuvers of the people like Jack
Booted thugs, like the Brownshirts.


SHARPTON: Let me be clear. This isn`t the entire party, I know it`s
a select few, but it`s becoming more of a trend. You can disagree with the
President and you can disagree with the President`s policies, but nothing
compared to Nazi Germany. This is a vile accusation to make, and it`s only
hurting the progress we`re trying to make in this country.

Joining me now are Goldie Taylor and Richard Wolffe, thank you both
for coming on the show tonight.



SHARPTON: Richard, let me start with you. This video is just the
latest in what is become a trend on the right. Why do you think that is?

WOLFFE: So let`s just put aside the lack of humor and the obviously
grotesque distastefulness about this. You know, one thing that is like the
Nazis and that`s the actual Nazis. Why are they going to these kinds of
extreme? Well, you know, Foster Friess is a strange man, he makes these
strange analogies. What you have got here is, people who believe because
they are giving a lot of money, their opinions means something. And
they`re taken with a lot of respect because they can sign big checks. But
just like Sheldon Adelson, you have people who actually are not political
minds, they are not in tune with how normal good humored, well grounded
people think. Why are they doing this about this president? They cannot
decide whether he`s impotent or a dictator and it`s driving them crazy.

SHARPTON: You know, Goldie, here`s another clip of that Hitler
ObamaCare parody. I want you to listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Obama lied. And not even the New York Times can
cover for him now.


SHARPTON: Now here`s why it matters what Foster Friess is doing. He
donated $2.6 million in the 2012 election. And he wants very, very much to
be involved in the 2014 elections, Goldie. So this guy matters, especially
with this new law.

TAYLOR: You know, I think you`re right about that Reverend Sharpton.
But this is not new. Caricatures of political figures including U.S.
presidents sitting in those to be elected, has happened, you know, since
the beginning of this democracy. But you know, on the other hand, we are
now at a different place. We`re at a place where there are many more touch
points, where many more people have a voice or a stake in this discourse.
And sometimes to its good, to its betterment, and sometimes to its
detriment as in this case. And so, you`re finding people like Foster
Friess who are pouring money into campaigns like Rick Santorum.

They`re pouring money to expand their own platform, to expand their
own sense of importance. You know, our Supreme Court said that, you know,
money was speech. Well, Foster Friess is taking that quite literally. He
believes that by putting more money in, then his platform has expanded and
he has, you know, a right to it. But there`s something about this
president, I think as Richard Wolffe said that makes them go a bit further.
That the line hasn`t just been hopped across, it`s been clearly erased.
You know, clearly that, you know, this stuff is more vile than it`s ever
been before. You know, certainly we`ve had it, but not quite to this

SHARPTON: But, you know, Richard, all of these Nazi comparisons, get
to a larger trend from some on the right, that somehow this president is a
dictator. Listen to this.


LIMBAUGH: This is Stalinism. This is sheer brazen lawlessness.

tyrants are made of. This is w45 autocrats are made of.

BECK: He was all of the earmarks of a Marxist dictator. He does. He
doesn`t like anybody to challenge him.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I`m afraid that President Obama may have this king
complex sort of developing.

LIMBAUGH: Did you happen to see the size of those flags behind Obama?
Those flags are getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Every speech he
makes. And you know, that`s what dictators do.

SHARPTON: I mean, this is a clear trend and clear talking points that
some are sharing on that wing of the right.

WOLFFE: They can`t begin to understand how President Obama got
elected, not just once but twice.


WOLFFE: So, they have to delegitimize him. Of course, it`s not
historically accurate. It`s not even linguistically accurate to suggest
that he`s a dictator. There historical references are ignorant and
misplaced. Their used of language is wrong. But what speaks to as a
couple of things. First of all, I`m tempt to say this president is out of
bound when clearly everything he`s done up to and including ObamaCare has
been ruled constitutional by a conservative Supreme Court.

And secondly, you know, elections legitimize a president. There were
that contested elections, he`s won by hefty margins. He`s not abused his
position as president. There are no grounds for impeachment, the idea that
he`s a dictator is ridiculous, but if you are conservative and you believe
that the government is coming in to take your guns away, this fits into a
long theme of paranoia about progressive presidents, and Bill Clinton
suffered much of the same thing.

SHARPTON: You know, but Goldie, it`s been more than a year since
Republican`s autopsy on the 2012 election, and they`re report won the
party, quote, "On messaging, we must change our tone." Doesn`t seem like
everybody got the memo over there?

TAYLOR: You know, well, they`re in a bit of a quandary here. Because
on the one hand, you know, the establishments of the party understand that
they do need to change their tone. They need to change it in terms of how
they deal with African-Americans, how they reach out to Hispanics and
Latino communities, you know, how the reach out to the LGBT community if
they want to make that, that effort.

And so, certainly while they understand that messaging has to be done,
they`ve also got this section of the party the more extreme of them, you
know, who is vested daily in this sort of bigoted, anti-Semitic language.
This kind of Marxist fascist stuff that you sort of see them piling on this
president on a daily basis. The establishment party really cannot say we
don`t want you. They can`t disavow this kind of language because frankly
they need to keep this party together come voting time.

And so, there`s a bit of fear that this extreme right wing is really
holding the establishment of the party hostage. And so, all of the
moderates, well, they are coming home because they can`t deal in this
environment. You know, it`s a toxic environment, it`s not good for this
democracy. It`s certainly destructive to this discourse. You know, does
it delegitimize this president? I don`t think so. I think that this
Affordable Care Act will live on, it will become his legacy throughout, you
know, our history. He`ll be known for it.

It will be known that he made health care affordable for millions of
Americans. And so that will stand. But what will not stand is this kind
of language come Election Day. I think people are going to remember this.
And most importantly, the people who are going to remember are going to be
independents, people who shy away from this kind of language. People who
shy away from this kind of behavior.

SHARPTON: You covered the campaign, Richard, of the 2012. You heard
a lot of this and saw a lot of this up close.

WOLFFE: Yes. Some of this dates back to the very start of the first
Obama campaign in the primaries. People have been coming up with all sorts
of dark conspiracies about where he came from and what he represents. As
skillful a politician as he is, even he can`t be both a Marxist and a Nazi.


WOLFFE: So, at some point, it just becomes ridiculous. And it
shouldn`t be accepted impolite company. That`s the problem about these
mega donors putting these kinds of extreme things out into the Republican
bloodstream. Because how do you get it out once it`s in?

SHARPTON: You know, Goldie, it`s taken its toll, though, because all
of this talk is hurting the GOP brand. Just 25 percent of voters identify
as Republicans. That`s an all-time low.

TAYLOR: Well, certainly it`s hurting this brand and it`s hurting this
Republican Congress, don`t you know? But what it`s really going to hurt is
turnout come this fall. It won`t just be Democrats who are looking to
bring more voters to the polls. But Republicans are going to have a hard
time bringing people to the polls behind messages like this.

SHARPTON: Goldie Taylor and Richard Wolffe, thank you both for coming
on the show tonight.

WOLFFE: Thank you.

TAYLOR: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up. A GOP congressman attacks Attorney General
Holder today. But wait until you see how he responded. Plus Republicans
start their big push for Paul Ryan`s budget. But will they tell the truth
about what it does to the safety net? And later, my comments on the mob,
the music industry, and me, stay tuned.


SHARPTON: For years, Republicans have thrown everything they`ve got
at Attorney General Eric Holder. They`ve insulted him, vilified him, even
held him in contempt. For the right wing, Attorney General Holder has
become a favorite target, second only to President Obama.


REP. RAUL LABRADOR (R), IDAHO: You either lied or you were grossly
incompetent in your actions.

REP. TIM WAHLBERG (R), MICHIGAN: Further, Mr. Attorney General,
you`re well known in this town for not reading memos.

FMR. REP. ANN MARIE BUERKLE (R), NEW YORK: How many more border
patrol agents would have had to die as a part of operation Fast and Furious
for you to take responsibility?

LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Do you think he`s smart?

SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R), TEXAS: I have not been impressed with his
intelligence, no.


SHARPTON: He doesn`t read memos, he`s not smart. These kinds of
personal insults have no place in the halls of Congress. But today when
the Attorney General testified at a House hearing, Republicans did it
again, and the Attorney General didn`t let Congressman Louie Gohmert get
away with it.


REP. LOUIE GOHMERT (R), TEXAS: I read you what your department
promised, and it is inadequate. And I realize that contempt is not a big
deal to our Attorney General, but it is important that we have proper

ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: You don`t want to go there,
buddy. You don`t want to go there, OK?

GOHMERT: I don`t want to go there.


GOHMERT: About the contempt.

HOLDER: You should not assume that that is not a big deal to me. I
think that it was inappropriate. I think it was unjust, but never think
that was not a big deal to me. Don`t ever think that.


SHARPTON: In American history, Congress had never held the head of
the Justice Department in contempt. Of course, the GOP`s reckless action
was a big deal, but the bigger deal is the endless Republican search for a
scandal, any scandal that can damage this Attorney General and this

Joining me now is Susan Milligan and Joe Madison. Thank you for
coming on the show.

JOE MADISON, SIRIUS XM RADIO HOST: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

SHARPTON: Joe, what do you make of these -- the tone, the GOP
lawmakers use towards the Attorney General?

MADISON: Well, the same thing that they used with the president, the
Elijah Cummings. It goes back to something I say every day on my show. In
America, we`re culturally conditioned to believe that you can undervalue,
underestimate and marginalize someone like Eric Holder. The reality is
that you can`t. And what you saw in Eric Holder is the same thing that you
saw with Congressman Elijah Cummings. People aren`t going to take it
anymore. They`re not going to be told what they think, and it`s, you know,
in some private, polite company, we refer to it as righteous indignation.
Bottom line is, I`m so proud of Eric Holder in the way that he responded,
and I think he put the congressman in his place.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, Susan, you`ve been around and have watched
the Congress and report on the Congress for a while. Have you ever seen
the tone and language like you`ve seen under Attorney General Holder?

there`s an animus that exists between the Attorney General and some of the
Republicans in Congress. It`s much deeper than between the President and
the Republican Congress. And I`m not entirely sure where it comes from,
but it`s actually very, very personal. I mean, I thought that, you know,
Louie Gohmert was going to challenge him to a duel. Except that there`s
such a fundamental disagreement on the use of firearms I`m not sure they
could even agree on that. But it`s very personal. The language used is
very, very personal. They have it out for him in particularly in a way
that they don`t even have it out for the President, I don`t think.

SHARPTON: Now, Joe, it wasn`t just Gohmert. It was, let`s go to
Republican lawmaker Blake Farenthold, he suggested the Attorney General
should be in jail. Listen to this.


REP. BLAKE FARENTHOLD (R), TEXAS: I don`t think Mr. Holder should be
here. He`s in contempt of this body. I`ve called for his resignation.
And I just don`t think that it`s appropriate Mr. Holder be here. If an
American citizen had not complied with one of the Justice Department
subpoenas, they would be in jail, not sitting here in front testifying.


SHARPTON: I mean, this is outrageous.

MADISON: Not only is outrageous, but let`s also recognize, this is an
election year. And what each of these individuals are doing, Gohmert, the
last congressman we just saw, they`re playing to their districts. That`s
exactly what they`re doing. And so this is their time to show out, show
off. Look, I`m putting this guy in his place. You know, and that`s
exactly all they`re doing. Look, tomorrow morning, we`re not even going to
know the names of these guys. This is election year circus political
comedy, and the reality is that he is the attorney general. He`s been one
of the most effective attorney generals. Most people know it, and they`re
just playing to their base back home.

SHARPTON: You know, when you look at you and I, Susan, talking and
Joe, and you said that there`s something that you think is even deeper than
their dislike of the president, this Attorney General has fought against
voter suppression. Do you think that some of what has them so animated?

MILLIGAN: Yes, I think they definitely don`t like the agenda that
this particular Attorney General has. But I think Joe is right, and that a
lot of this is just playing to the base. They go after Eric Holder, they
go after, you know, Lois Lerner at the IRS, Kathleen Sebelius. But I think
it`s really unfortunate is that this hasn`t been only an election year
thing. You could argue every year`s an election year nowadays. But the
role of the Congress in performing oversight has really been corrupted
because it has become so political and it has become so partisan.

And there`s a lot of stuff that genuinely needs to be investigated and
should be on a bipartisan basis, but you just look at the names of the
hearings, the oversight hearings and they`ve already seem to have come to a
conclusion before they even listen to the witnesses. So, that`s a
dangerous thing. Congress has a very powerful tool in performing oversight
and they`re not using it properly.

SHARPTON: You know, you used the term corrupted, that`s a heavy term
but Joe, the conclusion, she said, it comes to conclusion, the conclusion
is impeachment. Watch this.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Do you want to start the rattles of impeachment on
Eric Holder?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It`s not, you know, as somebody is saying, hey,
let`s impeach Holder. This is a request coming from our constituents all
around the country.

CORNYN: Your department blocks states from implementing attempts to
combat voter fraud. You leave me no alternative but to join those that
call on you to resign from office.


SHARPTON: Resign for protecting people`s right to vote, Joe?

MADISON: Yes. And what voter fraud? I mean, how many times do we
have to sit-down and watch slide after slide after slide, showing that in
all these states it`s 0000-point whatever.


MADISON: They know this and you had shown it. I have shown it, we
talked about it. The reality is, that`s what they don`t want. They don`t
want -- look, this is the new Jim Crow. Let`s just call it what it is.
It`s the new Jim Crow. It is not Jim Crow, the old hood and rope. It`s
James Crow esquire in a pinstriped suit. It is what it is. And if they
want -- and they`ll peach just to be able to say, we impeached, knowing
full well that the Senate is not going to convict. They know that. So
again, let`s play it back home, let`s rile up, you know, and throw red meat
at our people, bottom line, we`ve got to get re-elected and that`s what it
is. But Eric Holder has done what any decent attorney general would do.
You do not suppress the vote in the United States.

SHARPTON: Well, you have to give him credit. He`s not blinked, he`s
not backed up one bit on voter suppression.

Susan Milligan, Joe Madison, thank you both for your time tonight.

MILLIGAN: Thank you.

MADISON: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, the music industry, the mob and me. A story
from 31 years ago that I`ll revisit tonight. But first, be afraid, be
very, very afraid. It`s Paul Ryan`s vision of America. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Today, the House began debating Paul Ryan`s clue budget.
And the debate will continue tomorrow. The Ryan budget shreds the safety
net and goes out of its way to be harsh on poor people. Sixty nine percent
of his budget cuts come from low income programs. We`ll be addressing the
question of economic justice and fairness this country in my civil rights
organization`s convention the National Action Network that starts tomorrow.
We`ll be talking about jobs and much more. President Obama will be one of
the speakers. That`s tomorrow through Saturday right here in New York


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, the mob, the music industry and me. I was
blessed to know entertainer James Brown. He was like a father to me.
Through him, I got involved in the music industry. That was in the 1970s.
Came to understand that even though many African-American artists were
successful, when it comes to concert promoters, African-Americans was
pretty much shut out. Working toward trying to aid the Michael Jackson
tour with his family in 1984, we demanded black promoters be involved in
promoting their tour.

Soon after that, my life was threatened by people who claimed to be
mobsters. The guys who called themselves Sal actually flew to New York
from L.A. And said that if I didn`t stop interfering, they would kill me.
I contacted the FBI, even though I had recent run-ins with them in a
separate boxing investigation. My call led to my cooperating with the FBI
against those mob guys. Or who they say they were to try to protect myself
and others. That`s the story and it`s not a new story. I wrote about it
in my book "Go and Tell Pharaoh" back in 1996.

And it`s been reported in the press before. I did the right thing,
working with the authorities. I didn`t consider myself, quote, "an
informant." Wasn`t told I was that. I was an American citizen with every
right to call law enforcement. And that`s the lesson I want to emphasize
tonight. Forget me, I`ll fight my battles. But I want to emphasize
especially in my own community where the insidious campaign not to
cooperate with police has taken hold among too many young people.

Many of us are pushing back hard against this no-snitch campaign. We
can`t have kids feeling like there`s something wrong. We`re hoping to
police keep community safe and get guns out of neighborhood. I`ve
certainly had my differences with police and still question them. But we
must live in a country where people can call law enforcement and not be
castigated. That`s an important message and it was one that I will
continue to bring no matter what they say to communities across the country
from crown heights to Chicago.

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


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