November 10, 2014
Guest: Clarence Page; Maria Teresa Kumar; David Tedrow, Dana Milbank,
Wayne Slater, Josh Barro, Angela Rye
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Tonight`s lead, GOP roadblocks to
immigration reform. Republicans have refused to fix our broken immigration
system for years. And President Obama`s done waiting.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I`m going to do what I can
do, through executive action. It`s not going to be everything that needs
to get done. And it will take time to put that in place. And in it the
interim, the minute they pass a bill that addresses the problems with
immigration reform, I will sign it and it supersedes whatever actions I
take, and I`m encouraging them to do so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: If Congress decides to take action, great, but the president`s
going to do what he can on his own. And that`s got Republicans so mad,
they`re going after our next attorney general.
This weekend, President Obama nominated federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch to
succeed Eric Holder as attorney general. And just hours later, senators
Ted Cruz and Mike Lee demanded that she say whether she approves of
executive amnesty, by releasing, quote, "a statement whether or not she
believes the president`s executive amnesty plans are constitutional and
And what if she does think his executive action is constitutional? Will
they block her nomination? Is that what they`re saying? And it`s not the
only attack we`ve seen on Miss Lynch.
The conservative Web site (INAUDIBLE) claimed Obama`s attorney general
nominee Loretta Lynch represented the Clintons during whitewater.
That would definitely be interesting. But see where it says correction?
It`s really a pretty funny correction. Quote, "the Loretta Lynch
identified earlier as the whitewater attorney was, in fact, a different
attorney." Yes, two completely different people named Loretta Lynch, and
the one they wrote about isn`t nominated for attorney general.
(INAUDIBLE) eventually took the piece down, but it`s just a taste of what`s
to come. We`ve seen Republicans go on a six-year witch-hunt against
attorney general Eric Holder. And it looks like they have already got
their sights set on his successor. All because the president`s doing his
job. Even if GOP lawmakers aren`t doing theirs.
Joining me Maria Teresa Kumar and Clarence Page, thank you both for being
MARIA TERESA KUMAR, PRESIDENT, CEO, VOTO LATINO: Thank you, Reverend.
CLARENCE PAGE, COLUMNIST, CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Thank you, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Maria, could Republicans use immigration as an excuse to hold
Loretta Lynch`s nomination?
KUMAR: I think the Republicans are going to use any practically any excuse
to make sure that everything that the president does fails. And they`ve
been doing it time and time again. He`s been president now for over six
years and they`ve made it very clear that as long as he fails, they feel
they`re succeeding. Unfortunately, it`s at the cost of the American people
and continuous gridlock. And what this election, if anything, showed
because what this past midterm election shows was that that the folks --
that Americans, what they want at the end of the day is their government to
work. And they figure, OK. We`ll go ahead and give you control of
Congress, as long as you work with the administration. Stop the gridlock.
Let`s get something done.
SHARPTON: But, you know, Clarence, the thing that`s really, really crazy
about Republicans politicizing Loretta Lynch`s nomination, is that the
Senate confirmed her twice to positions already.
PAGE: That`s right.
SHARPTON: "The Daily Beast" wrote that in the 2010, the Senate approved
Lynch by voice vote, voice vote. Meaning Republicans didn`t see her as
controversial. I mean, she was approved by a voice vote in 2002. So why
would her nomination be controversial this time, Clarence, other than petty
PAGE: Well, because he`s been nominated by President Obama to another
level and Republicans -- the first time Republicans have suddenly said,
that Loretta Lynch? I mean, we didn`t know she was going to be that
This is kind of the way it comes off. It`s a bit comical. But there`s an
interesting dilemma that President Obama has put congressional Republicans
into now, because they want Eric Holder out, but now that he has named --
President Obama has named someone to replace him, suddenly we hear voices
saying, let`s not be so quick. Let`s let Holder stay there for a while,
hold off until the new majority of Republicans comes into Congress. That`s
the kind of game we`re seeing played here, Reverend.
SHARPTON: You know, talking about the game, Maria, you know, we`ve seen
Republicans use some really crazy language. I mean crazy, to talk about
the president`s executive action. I want to play some of what we`ve heard
over the last week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), KENTUCKY: It`s like waving a red flag in front
of a bull. I hope he won`t do that, because I do think it poisons the
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: When you play with
matches, you take the risk of burning yourself. And he`s going to burn
REINCE PRIEBUS, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: Which is, in our
mind, a nuclear threat.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it would be like the president pulling the pin
out of the hand grenade and throwing it in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It really will, as someone has said, be like throwing a
hand grenade in the middle of congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: A hand grenade? Poison? Nuclear threat? I mean, it isn`t the
end of the world for Republicans if we do something about immigration,
KUMAR: Reverend, I encourage the president to grab the bull by its horns.
I think McConnell doesn`t know his work very well. The matador usually
wins. And I think it`s an opportunity for the president to provide a real
blueprint for the American people what is possible. That actually, if you
provide a path way to citizenship for the majority of the undocumented
citizens, then all of the sudden, you actually have Congress having to do
the real work.
So it`s an option for the president to say to Mitch McConnell, this is not
acceptable. Stop threatening me. That at the end of the day, the will of
the people want immigration to pass. And this is what we are doing.
You`re not flexing any muscle and doing your work.
SHARPTON: Clarence, why is it so important to Republicans to stop the
president from doing something about immigration reform? I mean, why does
it just seem to just drive them batty (ph)?
PAGE: Well, because this is not the highest item on their agenda. They
want President Obama to deal with issues like overseas trade and other
issues that divide Democrats. Immigration divides Republicans. You have
those Republicans who want to seal off the borders, as if that were
possible, and you have other Republicans who want to have a more sensible
visa policy, et cetera, for a number of practical reasons, to help the U.S.
economy, and bring in more younger people to help us pay for Social
Security and other programs like that.
It`s the kind of situation where President Obama knows he`s got this
obstructionist Congress to deal with, so he is putting a big item on his
agenda forth right, immigration, and by saying he`s going to take action by
executive action. And then if Congress wants to come forth and change it,
then they can come back with a bill. In other words, he`s forcing
Republicans to deal with it right now. And that takes a hot button issue
and makes it even hotter as far as congressional Republicans care right
SHARPTON: And it`s so hot, Maria, that there`s talk among GOP members of
impeachment if he uses executive action. Now, many of us feel they want to
find any reason to try to impeach him, but they`re directly saying, if he
uses executive action in the immigration area, that they`re going to move
toward impeachment. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Impeachment is indicting in the house and that`s a
possibility. But you still have to convict in the Senate and that takes a
2/3 vote. But impeachment would be a consideration, yes, sir.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Impeachment would be a consideration. I mean, do you think they
would impeach the president over acting on immigration, when they won`t?
KUMAR: Well, I think that they will try to. But let`s take a step back,
Reverend. The idea that the president wants to use executive action to
provide a path way for legal status for immigrants, it`s not the first time
that`s been done. In fact, President Bush and president Reagan both
provided that path way to over 1.5 million immigrants. So it`s not the
first time. And it was actually was led by the Republicans in the first
place. I think what happens --
SHARPTON: That bears repeating. Ronald Reagan --
KUMAR: Ronald Reagan and Bush.
SHARPTON: That`s correct. Both of them.
KUMAR: Both of them. So this is not something that the president is not
acting arbitrary. He actually has history. He has precedent to say this
is actually within his wheel house.
Now, what I think is happening, though, is that Mitch McConnell has to be
very careful, because the folks that want to hijack the Senate is Ted Cruz
and Mr. Lee. So that at the end of the day they have a platform to run in
But let`s not forget, the only way to the White House in 2016 is through
the Latino and Asian vote. So if you don`t pass this, if you don`t pass
comprehensive immigration reform, you`re not going to see the White House.
SHARPTON: But isn`t that really politically very risky, if not almost
SHARPTON: -- to play with the immigration issue when you cannot win a
national election if you lose the overwhelming part of the Latino vote,
which the president got over 70 percent, I believe in the last election.
PAGE: That`s correct. And Republican leaders, establishment Republicans
understand the long-term challenges that the party has in being too white,
too non-Hispanic, too hostile to the idea of letting more immigrants come
in and at the same time, they are getting a lot of pressure from their base
thinks we got too many immigrants here already, at least undocumented
And that`s a big dividing issue for the Republicans right now. They`re not
going to resolve it very soon. So they`d rather kick it down the road a
little more. But President Obama is not letting them do that.
SHARPTON: All right. I`m going to have to leave this there.
Maria Teresa Kumar and Clarence Page, it bears without saying, we will be
following this very closely, both what they do with the attorney general
nominee and with immigration. Thank you for your time tonight.
KUMAR: Thank you for covering it, reverend. Thank you.
SHARPTON: Still ahead, he`s back, former President Bush is making
headlines talking about Hillary, his brother Jeb, and the war in Iraq.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you have any regrets about that?
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, no, I have
regrets that --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean, do you ever feel that maybe it was the wrong
BUSH: No, I think it was the right decision.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Plus, how will Republicans defend their crusade to take health
care away from millions of people? We`ll talk to a man who says Obamacare
literally saved his life.
Also, a plus-size controversy from Calvin Klein and their version of a
And Angelina Jolie opens up about a possible future in politics. It`s all
in "Conversation Nation."
SHARPTON: The new Affordable Care Act Web site is up and running. Open
enrollment starts in five days, and it`s been trending topic on social
media all day. In "Politics Nation," you had a lot to stay.
Patricia wrote, the president has been right the whole time. America
needed health care reform.
Joe Ellen said, I am thrilled to finally be able to get insurance.
Coming up, the emotional story of a man who said Obamacare subsidies
literally saved his life.
But please, keep the conversation going online, facebook us or tweet us,
SHARPTON: It`s a big day for the Affordable Care Act. The new health care
Web site is up today. Right now you can log on and compare insurance
plans. Open enrollment starts Saturday. We remember the flawed first
launch. But one year later, the reality is, the law is working well. Yet
Republican leaders are still working to repeal it. It comes as the Supreme
Court will rule on a lawsuit challenging Obamacare subsidies. The
government money used to keep costs low. Over seven million Americans
could lose their ability to pay for insurance.
David Tedrow knows it`s a life or death issue, literally. Four years ago,
at the age of 54, he was diagnosed with n-stage liver disease. Now he`s
writing in "the Washington Post," titled without Obamacare, I would have
died. I`m scared the Supreme Court is going to gut the pot that saved me.
Three years into his disease, his high existing high-risk insurance was
dropped. And quote "we could not afford the hundreds of thousands of
dollars a liver transplant would have cost. And without insurance, I would
have been dropped from the transplant list. I would have died."
This isn`t politics. It`s real life. I hope the Supreme Court and those
wanting to repeal the law think about this before they act.
Joining me now is David Tedrow, who is now recovering from a liver
First of all, David, thank you for being here.
DAVID TEDROW, SAYS OBAMACARE SAVED HIS LIFE: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Let me ask you, first of all, and foremost, how are you feeling?
TEDROW: I`m feeling very good.
SHARPTON: What made you want to speak out about this?
TEDROW: Well, I`m really worried about the people that come after me. I`m
OK. I`m getting better. But there are a lot of other David Tedrows out
there who have not found out yet that they have non-alcoholic cirrhosis,
that their livers are dying, and that they`re going to need a transplant.
And if it wasn`t for the Affordable Care Act, I would not have had the
insurance that provided for my transplant. And they`re not going to have
it without it.
SHARPTON: Now, what were you going through physically? I mean, what were
you physically going through when the private insurance dropped you?
TEDROW: Well, at that point in time, I was highly encephalitic, which
means that my brain was heavily influenced by pneumonia. I couldn`t think.
I couldn`t remember things. I couldn`t remember how to get out of a car.
I couldn`t answer a phone. I couldn`t remember how to do simple things. I
was very forgetful. So that was the mental part of it. I was very
lethargic. I was in and out of the hospital. I was constantly bleeding.
I was constantly getting transfusions. Life was not good. I was dying.
SHARPTON: How did Obamacare save your life, David?
Because it gave me the ability to get a transplant. Without insurance, I
would not have been listed. My listing status for a transplant would have
gone away. With insurance, I was maintained on the transplant list, and as
my condition worsened. And miraculously, a liver became available, and
right when I was at death`s door, that happened, and I was able to be
SHARPTON: Wow. You know the law is a political football. Man, the
politicians want this law repealed. This is just in the last week. Listen
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: The house, I`m sure, at some point next year will move to repeal
SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Competition in the health care
system once you repeal Obamacare.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R), TEXAS: Now is the time to go after and do everything
humanly possible to repeal Obamacare.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I know you`re not a politician, or even that political, but
what`s your reaction when you hear stuff like that?
TEDROW: Well, it really saddens me, because obviously, you know, where are
the -- what`s happened to the moral compass in this country? You know, we
need to be concerned about people and their lives. And that`s not
happening. It doesn`t seem to be important. What`s important is the tax
dollar and it`s going to fund a war. It`s not going to fund health. And
that`s just not -- I don`t think that`s what the founders of this country
SHARPTON: And you, as one who lived this, and you said, and it moved me,
at death`s door. And you were able to get a transplant because you were on
that list. I mean, this is bigger than partisan politics. We`re talking
about real Americans that really need help that are not beggars, that are
people that have lived solid lives. They just need that help.
TEDROW: That`s true. That`s very true. And you know, not only are we
stymied by the financial end of it, but there`s also a real need for people
to donate their livers and their lungs and their hearts and their pancreas,
and their kidneys. People are dying every day because there are not enough
SHARPTON: Now, what kind of reaction, comments, have you seen as a result
of your "Washington Post" op-ed? Have you readily the comments --
TEDROW: I have read the comments and they are very much concern me. A lot
of them have been really positive. A lot of them have really, really
frightened me. Again, it`s back to, you know, where is the moral compass
of this country? People have actually said I should have died.
TEDROW: That the money that went to save me should have been better spent.
Or it should have reduced their taxes. And I`m just shocked by that.
SHARPTON: If you could, David, meet President Obama, what would you say to
TEDROW: I would thank him. I would thank him sincerely.
SHARPTON: What are your future plans? What is David going to do?
TEDROW: David`s going to recover. And when I`m fully recovered, I`ll want
to go back to work. I`ve still got some time left and rejoin society. And
make some money and pay for somebody else to have a liver transplant.
SHARPTON: Well, David, you`ve really put a human face on this issue. It`s
not just a political issue. It is a moral issue. Where is the moral
compass, you say.
David Tedrow, thanks so much for your time, and we`ll all be praying for
your continued recovery and good health.
TEDROW: Thank you very much.
SHARPTON: We`ll be right back.
SHARPTON: Senator Rand Paul is trying hard to stay out from the GOP 2016
PAC. And he`s doing it by attacking Hillary Clinton more often and in more
ways, and on more subjects than just about anybody. And on election night
last week, he kept right at it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RAND PAUL (R), KENTUCKY: There`s a referendum not only on the
president but also on Hillary Clinton. It`s a repudiation of the
president`s policies, but also Hillary Clinton.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Hillary Clinton wasn`t on the ballot. But according to Rand
Paul, the election was all about her anyway. His campaign slogan should
practically be "because Hillary." Now Paul is using an age-old tactic to
launch a new attack, going after Mrs. Clinton for her age, saying, quote,
"all the polls show if she does run, she`ll win the democratic nomination.
But I don`t think it`s for certain. It`s a very taxing undertaking to go
through. It`s a rigorous physical ordeal, I think, to be able to campaign
for the presidency."
A taxing undertaking? A rigorous idea? What exactly is he trying to say?
Paul`s hero Ronald Reagan was 69 when he was sworn in, the exact age
Hillary would be. John McCain would be 71 if he was elected. And Senator
Paul`s own father would have been 77.
The only rigorous ordeal here is keeping up with Rand Paul`s hypocrisy.
Did he think we wouldn`t notice his attacks on Hillary are getting old?
Nice try, but we "got you."
SHARPTON: Former President Bush says, he has no regrets about invading
Iraq. That`s the big headline from his media tour promoting his new book
about his father. He says he made the right decision in Iraq.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Do you have any regrets about that, Mr. President?
FMR. PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH (R), UNITED STATES: Well, no, I have regrets
that -- that --
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I mean, do you ever feel that maybe it was the wrong
BUSH: No, I think it was the right decision. My regret is that a violent
group of people have risen up again. This is al Qaeda-plus. And I put in
the book, they need to be defeated.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Years after invading Iraq, the former president still insists it
was the right thing to do, even as a majority of Americans, 57 percent say
it was a mistake. And is striking that the only regret he does sight is
ISIS. A challenge facing President Obama. But he failed to mention that
ISIS grew out of an al-Qaeda in Iraq. A group that sprang up after
President Bush ordered the 2003 invasion. He also failed to mention that
the leader of ISIS was released from American detention in 2004 under
former President Bush.
Joining me now is Dana Milbank of "The Washington Post" and Wayne Slater,
senior political writer for the "Dallas Morning News." He also is the
author of three books on Karl Rove. "Bush`s Brain," "Rove Exposed" and
"The Architect." Thank you both for being here.
DANA MILBANK, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Hi, Reverend.
SHARPTON: So, Dana, still no regrets from President Bush about the Iraq
war. Is this just him, or do a lot of republicans still feel that way too,
MILBANK: Well, it`s a little bit of each, Reverend. I mean, I don`t think
George W. Bush has many regrets about anything in life. I mean, he`s not
one of the more introspective characters. And, you know Wayne and I
quizzed him often during his years in the White House and he was just
stumped when people asked him to come up with something that he`d done
wrong. So it`s not surprising that he would take that position now. What
he does have in common, with a lot of other conservatives, they`re saying,
ha-ha, we told you so, never should have pulled those troops out of Iraq in
the first place. Never mind that it was, in fact, the Bush administration
that set that withdrawal in motion. So it`s not terribly surprising, but
sort of using the convenience of the moment to justify decisions made a
dozen years ago.
SHARPTON: Wayne, how important is it to President Bush and his allies to
rewrite the history of the Iraq war?
WAYNE SLATER, "DALLAS MORNING NEWS": I think it`s very, very important.
Even though what Dana said just a minute ago is absolutely right. He
doesn`t acknowledge making any significant mistakes, said the decision was
the right decision. Clearly this was a decision that American people in
general don`t like. We now find ourselves sending more military forces
back into Iraq. And so what you have is a situation where the father and
the son, in this case, he`s written a book about the father, where George
Bush has said, I think when he became president, I want to redeem the
father. He didn`t say it, but he meant it.
SLATER: And now he`d like to see a situation where maybe his little
brother, Jeb Bush, could reach office and maybe redeem this Iraq war. It`s
a problem. It`s a stain on the legacy of the administration. George Bush
doesn`t acknowledge it, but it`s true.
SHARPTON: Speaking of Jeb, let me go to you, Dana, on this. Because the
former president also talked about the chances his brother Jeb will run for
president in 2016. Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUSH: You know, it`s a lot of speculation about him. I occasionally fuel
the speculation by saying that I hope he runs. I think he`d be a very good
I think it`s 50/50. He and I are very close. On the other hand, he`s not
here knocking on my door, you know, agonizing about the decision.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: A 50/50 chance, he says, Dana. But let me ask you this, if Jeb
Bush does decide to run, how much of the legacy of his brother in office,
including the invasion of Iraq --
SHARPTON: -- how much will that rest on Jeb and put a shadow over his
MILBANK: Well, that`s the thing, Reverend. You see in politics, the
absence makes the heart grow fonder. So George W. Bush is enjoying just a
bit of a rebirth in popularity right now. Not because of anything done,
it`s because he`s writing nice things about his dad and he`s painting
pictures and not leading efforts into war. So sort of the antagonism
towards the whole Bush brand, if you will, is down. Now, Jeb gets into the
presidential race, all of that stuff comes roaring back, and he`s got a
real question there. I mean, the republicans in 2012 wanted to get nowhere
near George W. Bush. Didn`t really even want him at the convention. So a
little bit harder to do that if your kid brother is the nominee. So
republicans are going to think twice about that. Do they really want to
relitigate the Iraq war and Guantanamo Bay and all the other things we`ve
been through over the last decade?
SHARPTON: You know, along those lines, Wayne, and no one knows the Bushes
written more than you, Jeb Bush last year talked about his brother`s legacy
and whether there`s voter fatigue over the name "Bush." Here`s what he
said. Quote, "I don`t think there`s any Bush baggage at all. History will
be kind to George W. Bush, and he said, people will respect the resolve
that my brother showed, both in defending the country and in the war in
Iraq." I mean, will it be a problem for Jeb Bush if he can`t come to terms
with the mistakes that his brother made, Wayne?
SLATER: I think it will be. And fundamentally, consider this, if Jeb Bush
runs, becomes the republican nominee, and Hillary Clinton runs and is a
democratic nominee, and we have an election where it is dynasty versus
dynasty, which of the dynasties in the American will, in the American
opinion, which of those dynasties is in worse odor? The one that`s in bad
odor is the Bush legacy, because of the war, and because of that, it will
be attached to Jeb. And even if his older brother wants him to redeem the
legacy by being elected and having America accept another Bush, it`s still
going to be a problem. He`s still a part of the family that took us to
SHARPTON: Yes. And defended it. Dana Milbank and Wayne Slater, thank you
both for your time tonight.
MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.
SLATER: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Coming up, is this a picture of a regular woman? We`ll talk
about Calvin Klein`s controversial new ad campaign.
And about Angelina Jolie, opening up about her possible life in politics.
All that, plus President Obama. Should he call the GOP`s bluff on
immigration? It`s ahead in "Conversation Nation."
SHARPTON: We`re back with "Conversation Nation."
Joining us tonight, MSNBC`s Krystal Ball, "New York Times" reporter Josh
Barro, and political strategist Angela Rye, thank you all for being here.
KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC HOST, "THE CYCLE": Thanks for having us, Rev.
JOSH BARRO, "NEW YORK TIMES" REPORTER: Thanks, Rev.
SHARPTON: First up. Should President Obama call the GOP`s bluff with an
executive action on immigration? We mentioned this earlier in the show.
Speaker Boehner said it would poison the well. And republicans are lining
up with political threats, comparing it to waving a red flag in front of a
bull. A nuclear threat, like throwing a hand grenade in the middle of
Congress. Krystal, should the President call Speaker Boehner`s bluff, or
will he blink?
BALL: He should absolutely call their bluff. Actually Norm Ornstein and
Thomas Mann had a great idea or thought. Which it was to issue the
executive action and delay the implementation of it and say, look, you have
a window here republicans where you have a chance to enact the reform that
you want to enact, since you think, John Boehner, that it is something that
should happen. And if they don`t do it, then it goes into effect. I think
that makes all the sense in the world. And one thing that is absurd here,
is John Boehner in his press conference talked all about how he thought
immigration reform should happen. He is the one person standing between
had actually happening.
ANGELA RYE, POLITICAL STRATEGIST: Exactly right.
BARRO: I don`t really understand this threat. Because there`s no way that
immigration reform is going to pass out of this Congress. This Congress is
much less favorable than the last Congress. It`s more republican and you
have republicans who just went through an election cycle where they saw
Eric Cantor go down in a primary in large part over the immigration issue.
There`s a clear divide between the republican base on this issue and
republican business interest would like an immigration bill. John Boehner
wants business people to think that he wants an immigration bill.
BARRO: But whether or not they`re happy with the President, they`re not
going to pass one through Congress. So to say, oh, well, we won`t play
nice, they`re not going to play nice either way.
SHARPTON: But Angela, you`re a political strategist, there`s a difference
in the vote in the primary and a general. Isn`t this politically risky for
RYE: Yes, it is but it was politically risky all this past year when they
didn`t act on it. And we even saw them say, okay, we`re going to consider
immigration reform. Okay, we`ll consider it piecemeal. Okay, when John
Boehner said that they were going to consider it. Eric Cantor wrote a memo
the very next week saying, we`re not going to consider it. So he lost his
election. Really lack of political ads, not even the lack of action. So,
now they still aren`t going to do immigration, they`re going to do border
enforcement. Which is vastly different and it`s not going to get Latinos
folks and others who are interested in really comprehensive immigration
reform, on their side.
SHARPTON: But if they`re going to do border security --
SHARPTON: Does that mean the President ought to call it bluff?
SHARPTON: I go back to my original question.
BALL: Yes, absolutely. I mean, in my view, he should have done it this
summer, when he had originally had planned to. But there`s absolutely no
reason to think that this republican Congress is going to act in any sort
of meaningful way. They would have done it already, if they were going to.
It`s gotten harder now. Not easier. So if he`s going to do something, he
has to do it himself.
SHARPTON: So, what are the odds that you think he`ll do it?
BARRO: Oh, I think it`s close to 100 percent. I mean, he`s politically
committed to it at this point. If he backed off, he would greatly
disappoint Hispanic voters and left-wing constituents in general. And he
has nothing to lose politically from the right. You know, people who hate
immigration reform already hate the President. If he decided to years ago,
he wasn`t going to pursue this path --
RYE: And then they keep saying, Rev, as you know, well, if he does this,
it`s going to poison the well. Well, the well is already poisoned. These
are the same folks at that press conference that were saying, we`re going
to repeal ObamaCare.
SHARPTON: They have a lot of wells there you keep talking about.
Let me go to this. To the plus-size controversy erupting on social media.
It`s about a Calvin Klein`s perfectly fit underwear campaign featuring a
size 10 model. Calvin Klein never labelled the model a plus size, but in
the interview, the model calls herself, a quote, "bigger girl, bigger than
all that Calvin Klein has ever worked with." That sparked outrage online.
A Calvin Klein spokeswoman released a statement saying, the campaign was,
quote, "Created to celebrate and cater to the needs of different women, and
these images are intended to communicate that our new line is more
inclusive and available in an extensive range of sizes." Angela, the
company has a right to sell whatever it wants. But now we have a
conversation over body image for women. Are we actually moving in the
right direction because we`re talking about it now?
RYE: No. Because I don`t think they were talking about it in a way that`s
honest. Like number one, she`s not plus size. And she`s not a bigger
girl. Maybe she`s a bigger model, but that is the complete --
BALL: She`s bigger than a size 0.
RYE: Right. Right. There`s a one in front of me and I`m wondering if
those are UK sizes, Krystal. But the other thing is, you know, you have a
situation where women struggle with image, and so do men, but I think
overwhelmingly women struggle with how they`re perceived and how they look.
And this woman talks about in an L article that she was struggling with all
types of eating disorders. And so to now see her as plus size, what about
the bigger women --
SHARPTON: So their offense is she`s not really plus size?
BALL: No, she`s not plus size. To me, it`s a size -- I`m very interested
to hear what Josh Barro has to say.
SHARPTON: I`m definitely going to let him come in last on this.
BALL: But I mean, I think the bigger issue here is that --
SHARPTON: Pun intended.
BALL -- this incredibly beautiful, like perfect looking woman is
surrounded. She`s in an industry where she`s told and she`s internalized
the message that she`s somehow bigger and has something to, in a way,
apologize for. Now, I do think it`s encouraging that there has been a
conversation sparked. We saw this with Victoria`s Secret perfect body
campaign, featuring a lot of size zero, very skinny, one type of body
women. And there was backlash. And they attempted to correct it. So the
fact that there is a level of accountability, to me, it`s a huge step
BARRO: Yes, I mean, well, I don`t think it`s kind of like she was
apologizing. She was describing herself as bigger, and she is bigger than
the typical model who appears in this campaign even though by normal
societal standard. She`s very beautiful and not large.
BARRO: Yes, but I think you have to put some of this on the consumer. I
mean, first of all, people aspire to be thin, and both men`s and women`s
clothing ad campaigns are full of people who are typically unattainably
good looking and part of the message it tells the consumer is, if you put
these clothes on, it will move you --
SHARPTON: Calvin Klein, but they called her plus size.
BALL: That`s right. But okay, part of the problem is with a lot of the
beauty industry. They have actually created the negative self-image that
women have because it helps them sell products. So we created the fact
that you want your thighs to look thinner, so we`ll sell you a product to
make your thighs look thinner. So it`s not just the consumer, it`s the
fact that we`re being driven to these views --
RYE: Let me give you another example. Last summer, there was a huge to-do
about H&M and Beyonce, because they air-brushed her to make her smaller
than she really was. So, I have to agree with Krystal that the way that
the media campaigns work, they reinforce the negative ways in which women
perceive themselves or people perceive their body.
BARRO: But how do you tell when an idea comes from the manufacturer, and
they build an ad campaign and makes people think they wanted, and how do
you tell when it`s a company responding to consumer demand and responding
to the fact that --
BALL: Well, they want to make money.
SHARPTON: I`m going to have to leave it there.
More ahead with our panel, is Angelina Jolie ready for a career in
politics? She`s talking about it.
And President Obama rocks the dark purple silk shirt in China. But who
wore it best? Next.
SHARPTON: We`re back with our panel, Krystal, Josh, and Angela. Is
Angelina Jolie ready for a new role in politics? In a new interview with
"Vanity Fair," the actress opened up her idea of pursuing a career in
politics. Saying, quote, "When you work as humanitarian, you are conscious
that politics has to be considered, because if you really want to make an
extreme change, then you have a responsibility." So Josh, what do you
think? Can you see it happening?
BARRO: Yes, I mean, sure, a lot of actors have historically gone into
politics, and I think people should come into politics from a wide variety
of jobs. There`s no reason acting shouldn`t be on the list. I mean, some
of them fall flat, some of them do well. One thing that was interesting, I
was looking into before this. I was looking into coming up with examples
of actresses who have made the jump into politics, there have been a lot of
BALL: -- thought about it.
BARRO: Right. And actually, Shirley Temple ran for Congress.
SHARPTON: Shirley Temple black.
BARRO: Right. Yes. But she lost.
BARRO: So I wonder if there`s some interesting gender dynamic there where
it`s easier for men to make that jump than women. Or maybe it`s just a
smaller sample size.
RYE: Or maybe women have better thin.
Angelina Jolie has a great platform right now. And I think that even if
you look historically at what happens in the political process, politicians
and campaigns overwhelmingly use celebrities because they`re greater
influence often times than the elected officials or the candidates
SHARPTON: Yes. They could draw crowds and attention, and the ads and all
RYE: Exactly. I think you lose that influence over time. I mean, the
Arnold Schwarzenegger thing.
BALL: Look, I think we need more people in politics, and not less. She
wants to get involved. So more power to her here. And I do think the
general dynamic is interesting. There`s a fraught relationship with beauty
in terms of politics. Voters want candidates who are attractive, but not
too attractive. So I think that`s a challenge for a Hollywood actress.
SHARPTON: And some of the gender bias, whether if you`re pretty, whether
you`re smart, all of that stuff.
SHARPTON: Finally tonight, who wore it best? Take a look at President
Obama in China today. There he is rocking a dark purple shirt at the Asia
Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit. But the world`s most powerful leaders
donning unusual threads ain`t nothing new. It actually began under
President Clinton. President Bush followed suit in 2001, and now the
President continues the time-honored tradition. So Krystal, who wore it
BALL: I have to say, of those pictures, the one that I enjoy the most is
definitely President Bush.
RYE: Enjoy does not mean wore the best.
SHARPTON: Enjoy the most, could be making you crack up.
RYE: That`s exactly right.
BARRO: Bill Clinton is the only one of the three who looks like he`s happy
to be wearing it. So I think I have to give it to him on those grounds.
RYE: Well, you know, the President might have been a little nervous about
this, in part because folks responded and said he kind of looked Star
Trekkish, and I think the other -- your know that your folks said on
twitter over the summer, when he pulled out that tan suit, that it was not
his Sunday`s best, Rev, and he should never do it again.
SHARPTON: We have to go back to the tan suit? I mean, come on!
RYE: I was just saying, he might have been nervous. He might have been
SHARPTON: I thought we got over that.
(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)
BALL: It`s a nice color on him. I think it has a very attractive
neckline. I think he looks good.
SHARPTON: Clean it up, Krystal.
RYE: We have one for you in the green room, Rev.
SHARPTON: You do?
SHARPTON: That`s good.
Now we`re showing the Star Trek thing --
BALL: There`s the comparison.
RYE: I don`t see it.
BALL: I don`t see it there. It`s funny, though.
SHARPTON: I don`t see the comparison either.
BARRO: I think it would be fun to make all of Congress wear these. I
wonder if they might get along better.
RYE: Might pass some legislation.
SHARPTON: Don`t count on it. Thanks to the panel, Krystal, Josh, and
Angela, thank you all for joining me.
RYE: Thank you.
BALL: Thanks for joining us.
BARRO: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Still ahead, the record of the woman who could be our next
attorney general and a look at how far the country has come.
SHARPTON: Passing the torch at the Justice Department. As I mentioned
earlier over the weekend, President Obama nominated Loretta Lynch. The
federal prosecutor in Brooklyn to become the next attorney general.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: It`s pretty hard to be more
qualified for this job than Loretta. Throughout her 30-year career, she is
distinguished herself as tough, as fair, an independent lawyer. Loretta
might be the only lawyer in America who battles mobsters and drug lords and
terrorists and still has a reputation for being a charming people person.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Ask anyone who has ever worked with, dealt with, or interacted
with Lynch, and they will tell you that she is fair, courageous, and
serious when it comes to upholding the law. I`ve had dealings with her
since the Louima case in `97. She`s not always did what we thought that
should have been done. But she`s always operated with fairness and
integrity. And always made us feel the law, and the protection of the
American people, was paramount and would not be intimidated to do anything
otherwise. I think the President made a good choice.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
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