PoliticsNation, Thursday, April 17th, 2014

April 17, 2014

Guests: Ryan Grimm, Hakeem Jeffries, Jimmy Williams, Dana Milbank, Victoria
DeFrancesco Soto, James Peterson

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Ed. And thanks to you for
turning in. Tonight`s lead, this thing is working. That`s what President
Obama`s message on the health care today was, as he made a surprise
appearance at the White House briefing room.


who`ve signed up for private insurance in the marketplaces has grown to 8
million people. 8 million people. 35 percent of people in the federal
marketplace are under the age of 35. All told, independent experts now
estimate that millions of Americans who were uninsured have gained coverage
this year with millions more to come next year and the year after.


SHARPTON: Do you hear that, Republicans? No matter the spin, the lies,
the scare tactics, the reality is the law is working. 8 million have
signed up for plans on the exchanges. This shatters their prediction of 7
million. And 35 percent of the enrollees on the federal exchanges are
under the age of 35. We kept hearing only older people and sick people
would sign up making premiums unaffordable. Turned out to be totally
wrong, aAnd the president forcefully went after those in denial.


OBAMA: They still can`t bring themselves to admit that the Affordable Care
Act is working. They said nobody would sign up. They were wrong about
that. They said it would be unaffordable for the country. They were wrong
about that. They were wrong to keep trying to repeal a law that is working
when they have no alternative answer for millions of Americans with pre-
existing conditions who would be denied coverage again. Or every woman who
would be charged more for just being a woman again.


SHARPTON: Just about every prediction the naysayers made about this law
turned out not to be true. And the president hammered Republicans for
sticking to their same old tired plan, a full repeal.


OBAMA: We now know for a fact that repealing the Affordable Care Act would
increase the deficit, raise premiums from millions of Americans and take
insurance away from millions more. The 50 or more votes the Republicans
have taken to repeal this law could have been 50 votes to create jobs. The
point is the repeal debate is and should be over.

I recognize their party is going through the stages of grief, right? Anger
and denial, all that stuff. And it`s -- we`re not at acceptance yet, but
at some point, my assumption is that there will be an interest to figure
out how do we make this work in the best way possible.


SHARPTON: We`re definitely not at acceptance yet. But I can think of
about 8 million reasons why that can`t last. Joining me now are Karen
Finney and Ryan Grimm. Thank you both for being here.

Karen, the president says Republicans are still working through their grief
and anger. How much longer till we get to acceptance?

KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC HOST, "DISRUPT": I don`t know, Rev. Let`s not hold
our breath waiting for that one. Because, as you said, every single
prediction that they`ve made has been wrong. And what the president and
administration predicted in terms of getting to that core group of young
people, seeing that group of young people kind of come in towards the end,
I mean, that`s exactly how it all shook out. So I don`t think you`re going
to see Republicans accept the truth for a very long time. Maybe not ever.
I just don`t think there`s anything we can do to help them get to that
final stage of acceptance.

SHARPTON: Ryan, the president made a point of saying one thing Republicans
are doing about the health care law is still really frustrating to him.
Take a listen.


OBAMA: This does frustrate me. States that have chosen not to expand
Medicaid for no other reason than political spite. You have 5 million
people who could be having health insurance right now at no cost to these
states. Zero cost to these states, other than ideological reasons. They
have chosen not to provide health insurance for their citizens. That`s
wrong. It should stop. Those folks should be able to get health insurance
like everybody else.


SHARPTON: Now, the White House, Ryan, says by 2016, 5.7 million people
will be uninsured, just because 24 states haven`t expanded Medicaid. Now
we`ve talked a lot about Charlene Dill, a young mother in the Medicaid gap
who passed away last month. How can Republicans continue to ignore people
like Charlene? People that are in serious jeopardy because of they are
playing politics rather than dealing with policy that would help get the
medical attention and the insurance they need?

RYAN GRIMM, THE HUFFINGTON POST: I mean, hopefully this will collapse
under its own weight, and maybe after November, you know, when there`s --
the final election before they maybe come to terms with the fact that this
is law, that Medicaid will expand in a bunch more of these states.
Because, you`re right, it`s a human tragedy, that people who may have
cancer and not know it and aren`t going to the doctor. They know they`ve
got something, they don`t feel right, but they can`t go to the doctor
because they can`t afford it and because they live in a state where
Republicans have chosen to try to score political points.

And I don`t even necessarily think they`re scoring political points at
home. It`s some gamble that maybe they can weave their way through the Tea
Party on the national stage to try to win their way to becoming vice
president or nominated to be president. So it`s not even that they`re
winning at home. Like, in Florida, you know, people would like to see
Medicaid expanded. And even the governor there, the Republican governor,
has said he`d like to see Medicaid expanded. But the Tea Party element in
the legislature there is the one thing holding it up.

And the irony is that Republicans have searched the country high and low
for people whose plans were canceled and are now sick and they put them up
on these television commercials that are then debunked the next day. All
they have to do to find people who are suffering is find these 5.7 million
people who would be eligible but aren`t.

SHARPTON: You know, Karen, the president also made a big political
statement today by telling Democrats that they shouldn`t run from the
health care law. Take a listen to this.


OBAMA: I think the Democrats should forcefully defend and be proud of the
fact that millions of people like the woman I just described, who I saw in
Pennsylvania yesterday, we`re helping because of something we did. I don`t
think we should apologize for it and I don`t think we should be defensive
about it. I think there`s a strong, good, right story to tell.


SHARPTON: Karen, with 8 million people enrolled, will the Democrats
embrace this and run on this? I mean, will they stop being defensive and
really take the aggressive offense on this?

FINNEY: I think the ones that do are more likely to win. And I think they
need to go beyond offense, not just about the 8 million but also because
now the Republicans are being forced to have a message where they have to
talk about what they`re going to take away from people. And we`ve actually
seen some of that start to shake out even this week as Republican members
have been home and, you know, again, trying to convince one of your
constituents that they don`t deserve health care.

And the other thing I would say is I want to see Democrats out there
campaigning with some of these individuals that fall into that Medicaid
gap, because that is absolutely shameful and there`s no reason for these
states to be denying those people coverage. And I think there are plenty
of ways to stay on offense on this issue, and as the president said, be
perfectly proud and don`t back down.

SHARPTON: You know, Ryan, right after the press conference by the
president, Speaker Boehner released this statement. Quote, "What America
really needs is a health care system that is more affordable, more
accessible, and of the highest quality, and that`s what House Republicans
are working toward."

Now the president talked about denial. Is this what we`re seeing here?

GRIMM: That would imply that he actually believes that, so I don`t know if
it`s denial. The two things that they propose are high risk pools, you
know, for pre-existing conditions which everybody says are going to be
radically more expensive than the current policy, and allowing people to
buy health insurance across state lines. You`ll hear that all the time
from them.

But all that is, it`s kind of a mirror of our credit card law here. And
what happened with credit cards? Everybody moved to Delaware because
Delaware had the lightest consumer protection laws. And that`s why credit
card companies are able to do anything they want, because you`re allowed to
buy across state lines. And they pitch this as if it`s some boon to
consumers that all state consumer laws on insurance would be wiped out.

So, you know, I`m not sure that the speaker actually believes that
statement, because if they had to put it in writing, there`s no way that
the CBO would come up with something that says oh, yes, this is going to
give you higher quality, more affordable coverage.

SHARPTON: Karen --

FINNEY: And don`t forget, the Ryan budget has -- he has fully admitted
that he would take away some of the -- he could not pay for some of the
provisions like, if you have a pre-existing condition, like having your
children on your health insurance, like a lot of people do now. So even
within the budget that they have put forward, that they have to be on
record and say either they`re for it or against it, they`re basically
taking away something from people, acknowledging they won`t pay for those
things in their own budget.

SHARPTON: Now, Ryan, 8 million people, though. I mean, doesn`t this show,
8 million enrollees, doesn`t it show what a government can do in terms of
the people of this country that need help? 40 million uninsured. Now
we`ve made a big dent in that with 8 million people. That does not
disprove what government can do; in my opinion, it proves it.

GRIMM: Right, it does, and that`s the danger to the conservative ideology.
And that`s why you`re seeing the response -- not that they disagree with it
at this point, but that it`s not true. It`s kind of like Obamacare
trutherism. They`re saying, well, this 8.1 million, these numbers are not
accurate. You know, the real number is -- and they`ll throw something out,
then they`ll lob a lot of questions to try to muddy it.

But I think it`s deeply problematic politically for them to make this a
factual debate, because the facts will eventually shake out. Either 8.1
million people and growing next year are getting insurance through
Obamacare or they`re not. And those are facts that we`ll learn. Those are
facts that the voters will learn. And for them to put all their eggs in
that basket could be a big mess for them.

SHARPTON: Karen Finney and Ryan Grimm, thank you both for your time
tonight. And be sure to watch "DISRUPT" with Karen Finney weekends at 4:00
p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC.

Still ahead, remember death spirals, death panels, cooking the books on
health care? What are Republicans going to do when they run out of
Obamacare talking points?


OBAMA: They said nobody would sign up. They were wrong about that. They
said it would be unaffordable for the country. They were wrong about that.
They were wrong to keep trying to repeal a law that is working.


SHARPTON: We`re exposing the financial links between the Tea Party and
right wing talkers on the radio. It`s big business and a big problem for
the GOP.

And 50 years after this picture, conservatives are blatantly pus pushing to
gut the Civil Rights Act. We have to fight back. Big show tonight. Stay
with us.


SHAPRTON: 8 million enrolled. The Affordable Care Act is working and
Republicans can`t take it.


OBAMA: I find it strange the Republican position on this law is still
stuck in the same place that it has always been. They still can`t bring
themselves to admit that the Affordable Care Act is working.


SHARPTON: No, they can`t. So what happens? We get kooky conspiracy
theories. One comes up, gets shot down, up pops another one. That`s next.



OBAMA: They said nobody would sign up. They were wrong about that. They
said it would be unaffordable for the country. It was wrong to try to keep
repealing a wrong that was working.


SHARPTON: The Republicans were wrong over and over again. They`ve trotted
out ridiculous predictions about the Affordable Care Act. Remember when
they claimed that too many sick and old people signing up would lead to an
insurance death spiral?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The exchanges don`t work and you wind up going into
what they call sort of the insurance death spiral.

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS HOST: What did you call it, death spiral?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Insurance death spiral, yes.

KELLY: Scary.

ALLEN WEST, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Obamacare is going towards a death

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is that death spiral.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do a death spiral.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The death spiral --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The death spiral --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What`s called an insurance death spiral.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: You get into what they call that death


SHARPTON: Death spiral. Sounds scary, but of course, it`s not happening.
The big news today is that 8 million people have signed up on health care
exchanges. What`s more, 35 percent of those enrollees are under the age of
35. Exactly the people needed to make the law work. Doesn`t sound like
much of a death spiral to me. In fact, it sounds like the law is alive and


OBAMA: The share of Americans with insurance is up. The growth of health
care costs is down. Hundreds of millions of Americans who already have
insurance now have new benefits and protections from free preventive care
to freedom from lifetime caps on your care. No American with a pre-
existing condition like asthma or cancer can be denied coverage. No woman
can be charged more just for being a woman. Those days are over. And this
thing is working.


SHARPTON: Joining me now, the Democrat from New York. Thank you for being
here, Congressman.

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D), NEW YORK: Thank you for having me, Rev.

SHARPTON: Are your Republican colleagues coming around to realize that
they were wrong about this law?

JEFFRIES: Well, it`s still not clear to me that they get it, Reverend
Sharpton. There`s a serial obsession that I`ve witnessed with the
Affordable Care Act that is almost clinical in nature. The definition of
insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again but expecting
a different result. Yet, this is a group for more than 50 times has
attempted to delay, destroy or defund the Affordable Care Act,
understanding that anything they did in the House of Representatives was
dead on arrival in the Senate and that President Obama would never sign it
into law. Yet they continued to engage in this reckless, irresponsible

SHARPTON: They did it anyway. In fact, the president hit back at the 50
repeal votes you`re referring to that the GOP held to block the health care
law from taking effect. Watch this, Congressman.


OBAMA: The 50 or so votes the Republicans have taken to repeal this law
could have been 50 votes to create knobs by investing in things like
infrastructure or innovation or 50 votes to make it easier for middle class
families to send their kids to college. Or 50 votes to raise the minimum
wage. Or restore unemployment insurance that they let expire for folks
working hard to find a new job. The point is, the repeal debate is and
should be over.


SHARPTON: I mean when you think about, as the president spoke and you
referred to tonight, 50 votes they could have been doing other things. The
energy to keep doing that when you know it`s not going anywhere, because
it`s not going to get past the Senate -- that is politically insane.

JEFFRIES: Absolutely. But it`s a political issue presumably designed to
excite their base but one that`s really just based on lies and
misrepresentations. And they haven`t offered a single alternative for the
American people in terms of providing health care to tens of millions of
people who would otherwise be uninsured, in terms of keeping young people
on their parents` health care plans from the age of 21, which has been
moved to the age of 26, dealing with pre-existing conditions, closing the
Medicare Part D dnout hole.

They have not offered a single alternative. But this is a group that is so
obsessed with the Affordable Care Act and perhaps President Obama that they
shut down the entire government for 16 days based on that obsession. And
cost the American people $24 billion in terms of lost economic
productivity. So the president is right, they wasted a lot of time and a
lot of treasure of the American people as opposed to doing things designed
to turn the economy around.

SHARPTON: The president also said, though, that Democrats ought to run on
this, this year. We`ve seen earlier where some Democrats seem to be
leading the way. What is going on? Are Democrats going to really now at 8
million enrollees see that this is what you should be running on and
advocating for rather than running away from it?

JEFFRIES: Well, I certainly hope and expect that that will be the case.
Things have turned around dramatically. There was a minor blip that
occurred in October related to the Web site, but the remixed version of
Affordable Care Act is spectacular. It`s a platinum hit. Multi-platinum,
I`d argue.

And when more than 8 million Americans have been signed up on the
marketplace and a significant percentage of those are younger Americans,
the so-called invincibles who many argued would never sign up, along with
the many other benefits that the president referred to that millions of
Americans now have that would not be available to them if the GOP got its
way on repeal, this is something that progressive Democrats should embrace,
because it`s good for the American people.

SHARPTON: And people need to keep coming at them, because right after the
press conference today the president had, they didn`t miss a beat. The
right wing was right out there immediately attacking. Watch this.


BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS HOST: Is the Census Bureau deliberately trying to
make it tougher to criticize Obamacare?

ALLEN WEST, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Back in 2009, under the leadership of
then White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, the Census Bureau was brought
under the direct influence and direct control of the White House. So now
that has become a pretty well politicized organization.

RUSH LIMBAUG, CONSERVATIVE TALK RADIO HOST: The number is going to go down
because the regime is massaging the data. They`re changing the questions
that they ask people here to rig the results. And if you don`t like it,
you are a racist.

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS HOST: It`s sort of like me telegraphing to my
parents I`m going to have straight F`s on my report card and I have a
couple of C`s and D`s, they`re thinking I`m Mensa material. But the fact
of the matter is, it`s still a pathetic card.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well the question is are they incompetent or are they
disingenuous? Neither one of those is a good thing, quite frankly.


SHARPTON: The last two, you see, was after the press conference. Others
showed how they`d been building up these conspiracy theories. And even in
the face of evidence that it`s working, 8 million people, 35 percent under
35, I mean, they still are in complete denial.

JEFFRIES: Well, there`s a lot of denial syndrome going on on Capitol Hill
right now that I`ve witnessed over the last couple of years. One thing
that`s interesting, climate change is denied even though that`s a
scientific reality. They deny the fact that defaulting on our debt would
be problematic and catastrophic for the American economy. And they`re
denying the fact that the Affordable Care Act has turned into a smashing
success notwithstanding the empirical evidence because they`ve boxed
themselves into a corner.

They said this was going to result in doom and gloom for the American
people, but the American people have embraced it in spectacular number and
it`s benefiting tens of millions of Americans beyond those who have signed
up on the marketplace because of the pre-existing condition been and other
aspects of the law. And so they have nothing left but to argue this
conspiracy theory that the books are being cooked. But that`s going to
collapse like a house of cards and the Affordable Care Act will continue
its trajectory towards the smashing success that it is on its way to

SHARPTON: All right, that is Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. Collapse like
a house of cards. Us Brooklyn guys have a way with words. Thank you for
your time tonight.

JEFFRIES: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Ahead, what a racket. Tea Party groups are paying millions to
conservative radio hosts. It`s the report you have to hear ahead.


SHARPTON: Attorney General Eric Holder recently said he faced unwarranted
and ugly and divisive adversity. During a contentious hearing last week,
Texas Congressman Blake Farenthold refused to even question Holder.


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


SHARPTON: Congressman Farenthold has also called for Holder`s impeachment.
And he just introduced legislation to withhold Eric Holder`s paycheck
saying, quote, "The American people should not be footing the bill for
federal employees who stonewall Congress or rewarding government officials`
bad behavior."

Withholding his paycheck? Attorney General Holder is getting paid to do
exactly what he`s been doing. Securing voting rights, protecting marriage
equality, and reforming the criminal justice system. And what do the
American people pay Congressman Farenthold to do? Carrying out a petty
vendetta against the country`s Attorney General? Did he think we wouldn`t
notice he`s the one shortchanging the taxpayers? Nice try. Cash this
check because we got you.


SHARPTON: Rush Limbaugh is nothing if he`s not outspoken about his
beliefs. I mean, just listen to him.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: So, they`re sacrificing there.
People in poverty are washing their own dishes. Half of them aren`t. The
reason why only 45 percent have a dishwasher is because things like chicken
mcnuggets don`t come with dishes. I know that Obama looks at the
constitution as an obstacle to what he wants. Every time I hear him say
he`s not a dictator, he doesn`t complete the statement "but I wish I was."
The government is making the decision who lives and dies. That`s what
Obamacare is. It`s just a glaring illustration that there are indeed death
panels in Obamacare.


SHARPTON: He thinks the President is a dictator. He hates Obamacare. It
sounds like he`s reading from the Tea Party play book, doesn`t it? Well,
maybe he is. A new report says conservative groups have spent nearly 22
million for sponsorships of influential talkers like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn
Beck and Sean Hannity. That`s right, the Tea Party is paying up and radio
talkers are toeing the party line. Take Sean Hannity for example. The Tea
Party-backed heritage foundation began sponsoring Hannity in 2008 and paid
$1.3 million for the deal. And would you believe it, soon Hannity was
fundraising for Tea Party Patriots. He`s even promoting the Tea Party
website on his FOX News show.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: The Tea Party Patriots have created a website
HannityforSannity.com. Because they put these ads up and they`re trying to
get these ads out.


SHARPTON: And it`s not just plugs for the Tea Party website. They`re
helping get Tea Party candidates elected. The Tea Party nonprofit freedom
works has paid more than $6 million in recent years to Glenn Beck.
Recently that same group endorsed North Carolina candidate Gregg Brandon
for the Senate. And it wasn`t too long before Beck rallied behind him,


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I want us to make history so we write history. That`s
what I`m looking at.

GLENN BECK, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I could tongue kiss you and I`m not a
guy who -- if you have money, donate. If you have time, donate.
GreggBrandon.com (ph).


SHARPTON: That`s quite an endorsement. Freedom Works also backed another
Tea Party candidate this election. Kentucky`s Matt Bevin, and would you
believe it? Glenn Beck seems to like him, too.


BECK: Matt Bevin and I have not met. I`ve talked to him several times and
I had a good feeling. But I am telling you, I believe that man was called
to God.


SHARPTON: Was God calling or was that just the Tea Party money talking?

Joining me now are Jimmy Williams and Dana Milbank. Thank you both for
coming on the show tonight.


SHARPTON: Dana, for years, it sounded like these guys with the mouthpiece
of the Tea Party. Now it turns out they`re making money while doing that.
What`s your reaction?

MILBANK: Well, Reverend, you have a better sense of whether God is
actually talking to this guy, but certainly money is talking to these guys.
And, you know, it`s gotten to the point where you wonder if like race cars
these guys should have decals on their foreheads perhaps as Glenn Beck
gives his radio show. And Rush Limbaugh gives his and Hannity does his
television show. We`ve reached the point long ago where it was all pay to
play in politics.

And we`ve seen over and over again that groups like Freedom Works, like
Heritage Action, like club for growth are able to get the things they want
out of politicians and we see that organizations such as the Koch brothers
and Sheldon Adelson are able to get what they want out of politics. And
it`s all about money. Now we see that it has yet another leg to that and
that involves the talking heads that are also receiving the same funds to
influence the same policies.

SHARPTON: And now, you know, Jimmy, as I said in the introduction,
conservative groups that spent nearly $22 million in right wing radio
sponsorships since 2008. Now, what a coincidence. That`s about the same
time President Obama was elected and we started hearing talk like this,


LIMBAUGH: In Obama`s America, the white kids now get beat up with the
black kids cheering yes, right on, right on, right on, right on.

BECK: Today is mock Obama day. We`ll be mocking Obama all day today
because that`s what we do in America.

HANNITY: He is the president of a country that clearly I`m beginning to
wonder if he even likes.

LIMBAUGH: This man hates this country.

MARK LEVIN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: You are destroying my children`s future.

HANNITY: Four more years of Obama will end America, the country we love as
we know it.

LIMBAUGH: Bush had shock and awe. We`re looking at shuck and jive here.
That`s what I`m going to name this. The Obama operation in Syria,
operation shuck and jive. Because that`s what this is.


SHARPTON: So Jimmy, coincidence of timing? Or are we seeing something
more here than we`ve known before this report came out?

JIMMY WILLIAMS, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I don`t think anybody even on the
right side thinks this is a coincidence. Look, I have long preached about
the problem of money in politics. This is taking it to a new level.
Because basically what it`s doing is giving a shot in the arm or distilling
it into a very, very sort of think minded group which is people who is in
the talk radio. So, you take $22 million and you spend it on people that
will then say what you want them to say and that goes out to just the true
believers, the foamers, the people I call the foamers. They foam at the
mouth they believe it so much.

And so, basically you`re just doubling down and injecting $22 million into
the same people that we`re going to believe that stuff to begin with, by
the way. Just an echo chamber. But what it does do is the vitriol and the
hate, that is what the $22 million bought epithet is pure vitriol and pure
hate on the part of this right wing people. I wish, I wish someone would
pay me from the outside to come on TV and say exactly what Democrats want.
The sad thing is, they don`t and if they did, I probably wouldn`t say what
they want anyway, so.

SHARPTON: Well, you know, when you look it, though, Dana, the Tea Party
sponsorship have paid off big time. Last year, Glenn Beck`s sponsorship
yielded $60,000 in contribution, $860,000, I`m sorry, $860,000. And the
Limbaugh sponsorship brought $433,000. It`s like a revolving door, isn`t

MILBANK: It is, Reverend. And the thing is of course, the Supreme Court
has said that there`s nothing you can do about it. People are certainly
free to purchase politicians. So it`s obviously an even easier thing to
purchase celebrities or talking heads. And you have to understand, 22
million sounds like a lot of money, but that`s really a very small
investment for the Koch Brothers or other groups to make compared to what
they`re spending in campaigns generally. So for a relatively small
investment, you can get a big bang for the buck by having Glenn Beck`s
mouth behind it or Limbaugh or Hannity.

SHARPTON: You`re shaking your head Jimmy in agreement, I see?

WILLIAMS: Yes. Listen, Dana is exactly right on the Supreme Court. Back
from the Buckley case on to today from Citizens United from the -- case. I
mean, I think if anybody in their right mind thinks that the next campaign
finance case of the court takes up is not going to strike down all
limitations because it violates the First Amendments, then they`re fools.
The court is setting this up to happen. And there`s absolutely nothing you
can do about except pass a constitutional amendment to stop this kind of

And I`m pretty sure with Barack Obama being in the last three years of his
presidency and the Republicans controlling the House, and the Democrats
were trying to hang on the Senate, that`s probably not going to happen. So
what`s going to happen in the 2016 elections is very simple. We`re going
to be outspent from a super PAC and a big money perspective. And there`s
not a thing in the world we can do about it. We just have to suck it up
and try to get our positive message out.

SHARPTON: Jimmy Williams and Dana Milbank, thank you both for you time
this evening.

WILLIAMS: Thank you.

MILBANK: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, fighting hate. Voters are rising up against a
small town mayor who sympathized with the white supremacist accused in that
deadly shooting rampage. Also, why are some conservatives trying to roll
back the clock and gut the greatest victories of the civil rights movement?
That`s next.


SHARPTON: Ten months ago, conservatives on the Supreme Court gutted the
Voting Rights Act. Now the flagship conservative magazine the National
Review is arguing that the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act are
forms of racial discrimination. And that Congress should amend those laws.
In other words, they want to destroy the very protections against racial
injustices that the laws are established. This week, video emerged of a
republican congressman saying he`s not sure the Civil Rights Act is


REP. TED YOHO (R), FLORIDA: Is it constitutional, the Civil Rights Act? I
wish I could answer that 100 percent. I know a lot of things that were
passed that were not constitutional, but I know it`s the law of the land.


SHARPTON: He doesn`t know if it`s constitutional? It`s a stunning
position, and it might help explain why House Republicans are slow walking
a bill to restore parts of the Voting Rights Act. We learned today they
still have not laid out a time line to bring that bill to a vote. This is
unacceptable. Fifty years after the sacrifices and struggles of the civil
rights era, the country has come too far to go backwards.

Joining me now are Victoria DeFrancesco Soto and James Peterson, thank you
both for coming on the show tonight.



SHARPTON: James, have you ever heard conservatives so explicit about
wanting to roll back the gains of the civil rights era?

PETERSON: You know, we have in history, this is certainly bold for this
particular moment, Rev. It`s a clear reminder to activists and educators
that even as we celebrate the different milestones of the civil rights
movement and the achievements of the civil rights movement, there`s still a
tremendous amount of work to be done and it`s clear to us that the
opponents of civil rights and equality and access and opportunity for all
in this nation are speaking louder and more clearly as the days progress in
the 21st century.

SHARPTON: Now, we know, Victoria, last year, House Majority Leader Eric
Cantor, he helped commemorate bloody Sunday. That`s the march from Selma
to Montgomery. He went and later when the Supreme Court was gutting out
the Voting Rights Act, Cantor said, quote, "My experience with John Lewis
in Selma earlier this year was a profound experience." And he hoped to,
quote, "Find a reasonable path forward that ensures that the sacred
obligation of voting in the country remains protected."

But here`s what Cantor`s office said this week about the bill to restore
key parts of the Voting Rights Act. Quote, "We still want to try to get
something on it, but there are objections on both sides, and we`re talking
to folks to see what can be worked out." Do Republicans really want to
restore the Voting Rights Act, Victoria?

SOTO: I think the lack of action speaks volumes. And what`s underlying
here is this notion of color blindness. The National Review article talked
about a color blind society. Regrettably, we have never been a color blind
society. It`s encoded in our founding documents, going back to the --
compromise. Hopefully one day we will be color blind, but we`re not yet.
And we need to go forward with civil rights. We need to understand what
are the new challenges. Maybe they aren`t explicit as they were in 1940s,
1950s, but they`re more implicit and we still need to keep battling them.

SHARPTON: You know, last year, James, Justice Scalia, Antonin Scalia, he
notoriously described the Voting Rights Act as a racial entitlement.


society adopts racial entitlements it is very difficult to get out of them
through the normal political process.


SHARPTON: Now, he said that at the oral argument on voting rights. I was
in the Supreme Court hearing that day. I almost fell out, but I`m
beginning to wonder, well, let me just ask you. Do you think that`s the
view that many conservatives have about the gain of the civil rights era?
That it was some racial entitlement?

PETERSON: I mean, if they have that view, that`s an absolutely absurd
view. I mean, the political discourse here, Rev, is absolutely Orwellian.
I mean, essentially conservatives are accusing these Civil Rights Acts and
these laws as being racially discriminatory when these are the law that are
in place to try to remedy racial discrimination. And when we look across
every single institution in our society, that`s education, criminal
justice, hiring and firing, fair housing, lending practices, when we
coordinate those institutions along the lines of race, we can see that
black folk and brown folk are obviously still being discriminated against
in very institutional ways.

And so do, even the law that we`re talking about, the policy we`re talking
about that Congress is trying to bring to the table, Rev, the reason why
there`s resistance on both sides is because there`s voter ID`s stuff in
there. And there`s only four states. We have nine states in the Voting
Rights Act initially. There are only four states in this proposed bill on
the table right now. So, it seems as if the concessions have already been
made. In this kind of Orwellian double speak where they actually blame the
laws that remedy racial discrimination for being racially discriminatory to
me is absolutely absurd and in many ways, sinister, Rev.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, right wing pundits Victoria keep pushing debunked
talking points about voter fraud. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We don`t like people to vote twice because it cancels
out someone else`s vote.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Double voting.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: And also dead people voting.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Over a million people that voted twice in this election.
The first concrete evidence we`ve ever had of massive voter fraud.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Anybody who talks about voter repression understand
they`re supporting people who would cheat.


SHARPTON: I mean, none of this is true, Victoria.

SOTO: It`s not. And Reverend, the United States actually has one of the
most restrictive voting systems. Most countries in the world are able to
vote on the weekends, when most people aren`t working.


SOTO: Or they call a national holiday for voting. But here rather than
making it easier, they`re using excuses such as voter fraud which is an
important issue, but can be addressed in other ways. And again, it`s
trying to use these mechanisms of voter ID, which are a backdoor poll tax.
Sure, they may not be costly up front, be if you don`t have a birth
certificate. That`s going to be $22. For many people, that may not be a
big deal. But if you`re living dollar to dollar, that`s a big deal and
could prevent you from voting.

SHARPTON: Victoria DeFrancesco Soto and James Peterson, thank you both for
your time tonight.

PETERSON: Thanks, Rev.

SOTO: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, fighting the hate. Eric Holder spoke at a memorial
service in Kansas. After a white supremacist charged with murdering three
in a hate-filled rage. But first, how did to this happen? Joe Biden
selfie that everyone is talking about.


SHARPTON: Everyone loves a good selfie. It`s become part of our pop
culture. Last year, it was proclaimed word of the year, gaining official
status in the Oxford Dictionary. Who could forget the celeb-studded selfie
tweeted out by Ellen DeGeneres at the Oscars this year? I even enjoy
tweeting out a selfie every so often. It`s fun. And politicians have
jumped on the selfie bandwagon, too. Including the Obamas. The first lady
snapped this selfie of herself and her first dog Bo on the White House lawn
this summer.

And President Obama himself has posed for a selfie or two with White House
visitors. He got roped into this selfie by the Boston Red Sox David Ortiz
last month. But the world of selfies is about to be changed forever.
Because there`s a new star on the scene and it`s going to be fun. Vice
President Joe Biden officially joined Instagram yesterday under the handle
VP. This was the first photo he posted, starring his famous aviator
sunglasses. And just a few hours later, he followed that one up with these
classic photos. Telling followers, found a friend to join my first selfie
on Instagram. Thanks for following and stay tuned. Oh, we will stay tune
Mr. Vice President and we look forward to seeing those world through --
seeing the world through your aviators.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, fighting hate with a call to action. Today,
Attorney General Eric Holder spoke out at a memorial service in Kansas for
the victims allegedly killed outside a Jewish community center by a white


ERIC HOLDER, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Every alleged hate crime, no matter
who the intended target is an affront to who we are. And who we always
have been, both as a country and as a people. These acts cannot be
ignored. And their impact is not limited to particular communities or
particular individuals.


SHARPTON: This crime is not who we are as a country and the voices of hate
are being drowned out. We`re seeing that in the nearby town of
Marionville, Missouri, where the mayor made headlines with saying he agreed
with some of the alleged killer`s views.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: He was always nice and friendly. And respectful of
elder people. You know, he respected his elders greatly, as long as they
were the same color of him. I kind of agreed with him on some things, but
I don`t like to express that too much.


SHARPTON: This language is offensive and un-American. And now the man`s
own constituents are rising up against this kind of hate.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We plan to go before the city council or Board of
Alderman and ask for his resignation. And we will be asking if he doesn`t
resign for the Marionville city council to begin impeachment, because we
feel he has failed to do what is in the best interest of the citizens of


SHARPTON: The town is fighting back because we live in a new America, more
tolerant, more diverse and more open minded. And when we find people that
represent the old hate filled and polarizing parts of America, we must
fight it. I was honored to speak at Rosa Parks` funeral, the mother of the
civil rights movement. I said then, we should all act like Rosa. When we
see wrong, stand up, speak out, or get a chair and sit in the way.

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


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