PoliticsNation, Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Date: February 4, 2015
Guest: Jonathan Capehart, Donna Edwards, Katherine Higgins, Jim Tilmon,
Faith Jenkins, Ken Padowitz, Tara Dowdell, Jimmy Williams, Vanessa De Luca

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC ANCHOR: Thanks to you for tuning in. I`m live tonight
in Chicago.

Tonight`s lead, if you thought Republicans had a serious alternative over
President Obama`s agenda, think again. Today, one of the GOP`s top
contenders for 2016, former governor Jeb Bush went to Detroit and gave what
was supposed to be a major speech on the economy. But instead we heard the
same old talking points, attacking the safety net and slamming the
president on immigration.


JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: I don`t think the president should
use his executive authority where he has gone beyond his constitutional
powers. That creates greater doubts as well. President Obama likes to
say, you play by the rules. But for President Obama, one of the rules is
this. He reserves the right to change the rules. Instead of a safety net
to cushion our occasional falls, they have built a spider web that traps
people in perpetual dependence.


SHARPTON: The safety net traps people`s independence? That`s the new
pitch to attract voters who rejected Mr. 47 percent in 2012?

And there was another problem for Governor Bush today. A deep irony in his
decision to rule out an economic agenda by visiting Detroit, a city whose
economic engine, the auto industry, he once said should have been left to
go bankrupt.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: To report what the president did in bailing
out General Motors.

BUSH: I don`t. I don`t and I think it`s been way overplayed, the
difference between a more traditional approach and a controlled bankruptcy.


SHARPTON: Here`s the bottom line. President Obama has a record of lifting
the country out of a deep recession. And now, he`s outlined a bold vision
for how to fight inequality and move America forward. That`s what
Republicans are up against. But from the 2016 field to the halls of
Congress, the GOP is clearly a party still searching for answers.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Democrats of Maryland and
Jonathan Capehart of "the Washington Post". Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: So Congresswoman, whether it`s Jeb Bush or John Boehner, do
Republicans have any real solutions for issues like inequality or
immigration or health care?

EDWARDS: Well, the short answer is no. And listening to Jeb Bush today,
it`s so sad to see him go to the bankrupt -- you know, bottom of the
Republican Party with the same words but nothing with an action or agenda.
And you can actually see that in the Congress right now.

I mean, the president put up in his state of the union message, and
Democrats has a message that is about hopefulness for people, you know,
dealing with things like affordable child care and college tuition and
creating jobs through infrastructure and Republicans are still stuck to
their same old tired, bankrupt agenda that does nothing for the middle
income Americans.

SHARPTON: You know, Jonathan, Governor Bush also made a bold prediction of
how the country`s economy would do under the GOP leadership. Listen to


BUSH: And for what it`s worth, I don`t think the United States should
settle for anything less than four percent growth a year. At that rate,
the middle class can thrive again.


SHARPTON: Four percent growth? Now maybe he`s forgotten about the other
Bush economies. Under his dad`s presidency, the economy grew at 2.1
percent. Under his brother, it grew at 1.6 percent. Is this a problem,
Jonathan, for his candidacy, that all of his statements will be measured by
his family`s record?

CAPEHART: Yes. He would be measured by his family`s record because he`s a
son of a president, the brother of a president. But what he says will be
judged by the other presidents, President Clinton and President Obama who,
you know, come in between those two.

Look, it`s really difficult and actually not quite smart, I don`t think,
for candidates to make predictions about where the economy will be and how
much they can deliver and how quickly because it`s a recipe for failure,
especially if your prediction does not come true. And many times -- I
mean, how many times did we talk about and did Republicans slam the
president for making predictions early in his first term about green shoes
for the economy digging its way out of the recession? It hammered time and
time again. So I don`t think it`s a smart idea to do that. I mean, maybe
they are thinking that if we put a number out there, then we`re being bold
and we`re being dynamic and in our prediction that, again, sets yourself up
for failure.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, you know House Republicans, as you know, voted
against -- again to repeal the affordable care act. But today we learned
9.9 million people have now enrolled in plans in 2015 beating expectations.
House Republicans have now created a working group to come up with an
alternative to the affordable care act but they claim to be working on an
alternative for years. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My guess is, sometime this fall you`re going to see an
alternative solution from the house Republicans.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: After the first of the year, we`ll bring forth a bill
that will be able to unite Republicans around specific health care issues.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: They have introduced 126
ideas about how to fix Obamacare and how to replace Obamacare.

We are working on this. I have a discussions amongst their members. We
have a lot of different views.


SHARPTON: So the bottom line is they`ve got no alternative, yet they want
to repeal this law anyway, despite the fact it would deny millions of
Americans` health coverage.

EDWARDS: Well, that`s right. And actually, you know, for the first time
on the 56th vote to repeal the affordable care act, the Republicans also
lost three Republicans on that vote precisely because they don`t have an

I mean, listen, here`s the reality, 9.9 million people who now have health
care, hundreds of thousands of young people who can stay on their parents`
health care plan, eliminating the requirement that you can only get health
care by demonstrating that you didn`t have a preexisting condition.

I mean, these are all things that the American people are, you know, just
really eating up by taking advantage of the affordable care act. The
Republicans don`t have any ideas for health care. They don`t have a
replacement for health care. And you know what? The fact is, they don`t
even have a replacement for the way that the president has grown this

Eleven million jobs out of a deep recession, 58 straight months of job
growth. The Republicans really don`t have any answers. And Democrats are
saying, you know what, we`re putting concrete proposals on the table that
are going to grow paychecks and improve the lot of the American middle
class and Republicans have -- you know, what`s that score? Zero.

SHARPTON: Jonathan, how do the 2016 candidates handle the affordable care
act in their campaign? I mean, we talked a little about Jeb Bush. How
does he and the other contenders handle the affordable care act issue?

CAPEHART: Well, they are going to say that it needs to be repealed. Some
of them might even say it needs to be repealed and replaced. We`ll have to
listen to what that --

SHARPTON: But will they have to come up with a specific plan, though?

CAPEHART: Well, the point I`m getting to, Rev., is that they are going to
be forced to come up with a plan if the Supreme Court at the end of it is
term in June renders invalid the subsidies of the health care exchanges,
which would completely gut the affordable care act and suddenly you might
have the situation where millions of Americans, the 9.9 million Americans
that Congresswoman was just talking about. They are going to lose their
health insurance. And that is why that vote yesterday, the 56, 57 votes to
repeal the affordable care act is irresponsible without a replacement

Whether they like it or now, the members in the building behind me are
going to have to come up with an alternative if the Supreme Court renders
of those subsidies invalid.

And right now we`re not even talking about an alternative. You saw how
long it took to get the affordable care act passed. It was a year and a
half. Do you think Congress is going to be able to do that in four months?
Not a chance.

SHARPTON: It`s really going to be a scene if that were to happen, if the
Supreme Court rules that way.

Congresswoman Donna Edwards and Jonathan Capehart, thank you both for your
time tonight.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Rev.

EDWARDS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Straight ahead, shocking video of a plane crashing in Taiwan.
What happened and what clues will this video hold?

Plus, "American Sniper" star Bradley Cooper speaks out about the
controversy surrounding the war movie.

And "Sports Illustrated" swim suit issue makes history.

And this. Let it go, let it go I`m one with the wind and sky


SHARPTON: Why some on the right-wing TV world can`t let it go when it
comes to "Frozen" and male movie heroes.


SHARPTON: Two disasters on opposite sides of the world. A shocking plane
crash in Taiwan caught on dash cam video and a horrific train accident in
New York State. What are investigators looking at right now? That`s next.


SHARPTON: Now to that breaking news on the horrific plane crash in Taiwan.
At this moment, investigators are combing through the wreckage for clues on
what brought the plane down. The crash was caught on this dramatic dash
cam video from a freeway. Rescuers searched for survivors but had
difficulty reaching parts of the plane that was still under water. Thirty-
one are confirmed dead, 15 have been taken to the hospital and 12 are still

Just before the crash, the pilots reported an engine problem and called
"mayday, mayday, engine flame out."

Joining me is Jim Tilmon, retired American airlines captain and Katherine
Higgins, former NTSB board member. Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Jim, it`s rare that we can actually see the plane crash. What
do you see here?

TILMON: Well, I see a lot. And a lot of this is going to have to be
backed up with further investigation. But if you just take a look back at
the first part of this flight that we can see, the airplane was
substantially level and looked to be flying very low, very close to the
buildings but fine and then it began to stall. A stall happens when you
don`t have enough air flow over the wings to give lift to the airplane.
And, of course, if in fact there was a flame out on the left engine, that
would exacerbate that. You would begin to see the plane roll, roll into
the dead engine. The good engine giving the power and rolling the airplane
because it has power on one side and not the other.

So if you look at this in slow motion, look at the wing as it makes contact
with the ground for the first time. It`s not just slicing through it as it
would be if you really had just forward motion. It`s almost falling into
that wing. As a matter of fact, I think at this point the airplane was, in
fact, falling.

SHARPTON: Now, Jim, I want to show the video in slow motion. Do you think
the pilot was intentionally moving the plane away from the freeway?


TILMON: I actually think, Reverend, that he was trying to maintain enough
altitude to clear the buildings. That may have brought the stall on a
little prematurely. Because if he was that close on his air speed to
maintaining flight to anything, to create descent so we could get a little
air speed, it would just exacerbate things. So he did clear the buildings
and, in my view, that was a heroic act and then, of course, he lost it
because he just couldn`t fly without air speed and began to roll.

SHARPTON: Kitty, how important is this video to the investigation?

HIGGINS: Well, it`s extremely important. We always talk about the black
boxes but obviously having visual images that you see will tell them a lot.
And I think your other guest has suggested a scenario that makes a lot of

When we get the black boxes and finish the investigation, we will know
whether, in fact, that`s exactly what happened. Also, the voice records,
we have this apparent message to air traffic control. So that, in this
accident, we`ll know very quickly, I think, what exactly happened and why.

SHARPTON: Jim, you can see a taxi cab was clipped by the wing of the plane
as it crashed. Is it surprising more people weren`t hurt?

TILMON: Yes. This was a miraculous kind of a situation in terms of the
number of people that survived this crash. It could have been a whole lot
worse. I think one of the things that may have helped us is the fact that
it was going so slowly. And, of course, when it did make an impact, the
major impact was in water. We used to call that an auto fire extinguisher.

SHARPTON: Jim Tilmon, thank you for your time tonight.

TILMON: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Now to breaking news on that horrific metro north train crash in
New York. The NTSB board, it`s been on the ground for nearly 24 hours and
trying to find out how the commuter train out of New York City struck an
SUV on the track. A fire through the first car, six people were killed and
five in the train and the driver of the SUV. Moments ago the SUV was moved
off the tracks.

Kitty, one witness was in the car behind the SUV when it was hit and
described what he saw. Watch this.


RICK HOPE, EYEWITNESS: As we`re waiting to cross the tracks, the gate
comes down in front of me and comes down and hits the top of her car. She
gets out of the car. She gets out, walks around the back, looks at the arm
that`s on the back of the car, she looks at me, I gesture to come back, I
backed up again further to indicate that there`s plenty of room to back up.
And she turns, walks and gets back in the car, slight hesitation and then
moves forward and at that instant the train hit.


SHARPTON: How will investigators use witnesses to figure out what
happened, Kitty?

HIGGINS: Well, again, Reverend Al, those reports are very, very
significant. I think there is probably also a camera on the front end of
this train. And that will also tell us what happened. The fact that the
gates came down and she was caught there is very troubling. We have
technology that is apparently supposed to go into effect, I believe by the
end of this year that would, in some instances, perhaps not in this
instance, but stop a train if there is an interruption in the signal going
to the train.

We don`t know that in this case yet but I would argue that we have
technology that could have prevented this accident by automatically causing
the train to brake because there was something on the track.

SHARPTON: These kinds of accidents are not that uncommon. "Today`s" show
Jeff Rosen has that story. Watch this.


JEFF ROSEN, REPORTER, TODAY`S SHOW: It has happened before. Check out
this dramatic video from inside a train crash just outside of Orlando last
May that demolished a sports coupe. The car stalled on a railroad crossing
just before the gates came down. The driver got out with seconds to spare.

Just last month in Houston, a mother, father and six children escaped
injury with when this freight train struck their car at another crossing.
Officers say the conductor sounded the horn several times but the two cars
didn`t move in time.

And in Glendale, California, an SUV stuck on the tracks caused this
commuter train to derail, hitting trains on both sides of it. Killing 11


SHARPTON: Kitty, your reaction?

HIGGINS: Well, my reaction is, these are tragic accidents. The NTSB and
the federal railroad administration, federal transit administration have
tried to improve gray crossings by including more signals, including more
cross-bars to prevent these kinds of accidents. But we still see them.
And the question is, what are the next level of improvements that can be
made so that when people get trapped and they panic in a moment like this,
that there is technology?

I firmly believe there is an answer in technology that will cause the train
to automatically brake so we don`t have the scenario that we saw yesterday
and in previous accidents.

SHARPTON: Well, let`s hope and pray we can get that technology soon.

Kitty Higgins, thank you for your time tonight.

HIGGINS: Absolutely. Good to be with you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, Bradley Cooper speaks out on the "American Sniper"

And Paris Hilton`s brother in trouble for allegedly disrupting a flight,
yelling about the, quote, "peasants on board."

But first, why does FOX News have a problem with "frozen?" We talked to
some special experts about it. And you`re going to want to hear what they
have to say. That`s next in tonight`s "Got You."


SHARPTON: When I woke up this morning, I almost felt like my brain was
frozen after seeing this segment on the FOX News show.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is being called the frozen effect. And no, I`m not
talking about the latest winter storm. Are movies like the Disney smash
hit about the ice queen and her sister empowering girls by turning our men
into fools and villains? It looks like they depict men as evil and cold
and bumblers.


SHARPTON: Let me get this straight. Are they really using their time to
say the most popular animated movie of all time, about the love bond
between two sisters is anti-men? Yes, yes, they were.




SHARPTON: I wouldn`t go that far, Olaf, but there is more.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don`t have to build up women at the cost of
tearing down men.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It would be nice at poor Hollywood end war male figures
in those kind f movies.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Strong male figures.


SHARPTON: Strong male figures as heroes? What a great idea. I wonder why
Hollywood hasn`t thought of that one. I guess except for superman, and
batman or Spiderman. And, of course, there`s iron man and then there`s
captain America. Who can forget the hulk? And buzz lightyear and Woody in
their too, but who is counting?

I guess to the FOX morning show, these heroes are really zeros. But
"Politics Nation" has a world exclusive tonight. Reaction from some of
those very heroes.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: That`s your reaction to this?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it is the best that anybody can have right now,
you know, because we need to have a strong superhero, yes, we do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Do you feel like you`re being overlooked
here? This report is saying there are not enough superheroes. What about

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am the only one. They already miss super hero.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Do you feel like you`re being overlooked?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am. I am over here in Times Square and I`m
overlooked. Yes. This is the (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: And you look like a pretty strong superhero.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are strong. The superheroes are all here. Yes, me
and batman. Yes. The superheroes.


SHARPTON: Thor was so distraught he couldn`t even talk to us. But we did
manage to get exclusive reaction from one of the stars of "Frozen."


SHARPTON: That`s right, Olaf, I think the morning show could use some
advice from one of your co-stars.


SHARPTON: So I can`t conceal, I must reveal and let them know that we got


SHARPTON: It is time for the "Justice Files." Joining me tonight, former
prosecutor and host of "Judge Faith," Faith Jenkins. And criminal defense
Attorney Ken Padowitz. Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Up first, the so-called mommy blogger who`s accused of killing
her young son by poisoning him with salt. Lacey Spears had used her blog
to post about her son`s sickness but prosecutors say she`s the one who made
5-year-old Garnet sick by force feeding him salt through a stomach tube
over time. He died last year when the sodium led to a swelling in his
brain. In opening arguments on Tuesday, the two sides gave two very
different pictures of the defendant.


child killer.

STEPHEN RIEBLING, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Lacey spears did exactly as we wanted
and expected parents in her position to do. She comforted Garnet.


SHARPTON: She pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and second-degree murder.
Ken, the defense says there`s no eyewitness and no motive. So what`s the
prosecution`s case?

PADOWITZ: Well, the prosecution`s case is based on circumstantial
evidence. Nobody actually saw her harm her son but circumstantial
evidence, Reverend, can be very, very powerful. It`s as if you went to bed
at night and grass as far as you could see out your window and then when
you woke up in the morning you saw a snow. You might not have seen
actually snow but you can be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that it
snowed during the night. That`s circumstantial evidence and that`s the
kind of evidence that they have in this case against this woman. And there
appears to be a lot of very powerful circumstantial evidence that indicates
that she, in fact, may be guilty of this crime.

SHARPTON: Faith, investigators say that they found a search on the
mother`s computer for, quote, "dangers of high sodium in a child." How
strong is a search like that as evidence?

JENKINS: Well, when your child ends up dying of sodium poisoning, it`s
very strong and very compelling. If I were the prosecutor, I`d be arguing,
that`s not a coincidence. It reminds me of the case in Georgia with the
hot car dad who left his son in the car and they found out that he searched
his computer about how long it will take for a child to die in a car.
Those things just don`t happen. And then in this case Rev there was a
cover up. She apparently called one of her friends and asked her friends
to get rid of a bag that was used to put salt in the back to feed her son.
She called that friend and asked him to get rid of the bag. So, not only
do you have suspicious behavior before her son died, suspicious behavior in
the hospital taking him to the bathroom and then him getting sick. That`s
on video but also the cover-up afterwards is very compelling evidence
against her.

SHARPTON: All right. Our next topic, the alleged mid-flight meltdown of
Paris Hilton`s brother. Twenty-year-old Conrad Hilton, an add to the
family fortune is accused of going on a midair tirade in July, allegedly
even ranting that he would kill several flight attendants and a co-pilot.
The FBI affidavit says, he told the co-pilot, quote, "If you want to square
up to me, bro, then bring it on and I will fight you." It says, Hilton
also twice called the other passengers peasants saying he would, quote,
"own anyone in this flight. They are peasants." Witnesses say he used the
"f" word 25 times and made children cry before the crew finally handcuffed
him to his seat. He surrendered yesterday to face charges of interfering
with flight crew members. He didn`t enter a plea and was released on
$100,000 bond. Faith, Hilton told investigators that he intimidated crew
members because he was defending himself, he says. What do you make of
that argument?

JENKINS: I think it`s nonsense. And I think his behavior was extremely
outrageous and I`m glad that he was charged. Listen, his defense attorney
has said that he took some type of sleeping pill. There was something
going on with him, there was some kind of mental breakdown. I actually
hope that`s the case. Because if not, if that`s how he acts and he behaves
in such an irrational and irresponsible manner on a flight, that he
deserves to go to jail, that he deserves to spend some time in jail.
Because you can`t do that, you can`t threaten people and also just threaten
the safety of everyone on a flight. That was a 10-hour flight and for four
hours they had to put up with his belligerence and his non-sense completely

SHARPTON: We are talking, Ken, midair and I think Faith`s keyword is
safety. We`re not talking about just something on the ground. This could
be a very scary proposition if you`re on that flight.

PADOWITZ: Absolutely. I mean, this is not a bus where you can just pull
over to the side and get a police officer. You`re over the Atlantic Ocean.
This is an intercontinental flight and it`s very, very outrageous conduct
that he`s accused of. There are numerous witnesses. This is a federal
charge. He`s been charged federally where he`s facing a maximum of 20
years in federal prison. So this is very, very serious and I`m sure that
the defense is going to allege, as indicated, he`s taking a sleeping pill
and these drugs had an effect that caused this outrageous behavior but it
was terrible, I`m sure, for the people on that plane. The defense attorney
has a lot of work ahead of him to cut out a plea bargain to help his client
avoid prison time.

SHARPTON: All right. Ken Padowitz and Faith Jenkins, thank you both for
your time tonight.

JENKINS: Thanks, Rev.

PADOWITZ: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, behind the scenes on election night 2012. Why
President Obama was irritated with Mitt Romney`s concession call.

Plus, the star of "American Sniper" Bradley Cooper responds to the movie`s

And a first for "Sports Illustrated" swim suit edition. A plus-size model.
It`s all coming up in "Conversation Nation," next.


SHARPTON: Time now for "Conversation Nation." Joining us tonight,
democratic strategist Tara Dowdell and Jimmy Williams and MSNBC`s Abby
Huntsman. Thank you all for being here tonight.




SHARPTON: We start with President Obama irritated with Mitt Romney`s 2012
concession call. Former senior Obama adviser David Axelrod writes in his
new book about how the President was not smiling during the call and,
quote, "slightly irritated when it was over." After he hung up, the
President said, "You really did a great job of getting out to vote in
places like Cleveland and Milwaukee and, in other words, black people.
That`s what he thinks this was all about."

Tara, former Romney aide disputes this call calling it, it`s a lie. What
do you make of this?

DOWDELL: Well, if he did make those comments, which I think he did, given
the other comments that -- made about the President, it`s not like this is
in line with other things that have been said. If he did make those
comments, they were weak, they were classless, they were lacking in grace
and they were passive aggressive. So the President should be upset. The
bottom-line is, news flash here, black people only make up 13 percent of
the United States population. So clearly his win was more about more
people than just black people. Seventy percent plus of Asian-Americans
voted for the President. Seventy plus percent of Hispanic-Americans voted
for the President. The majority of Jewish people voted for the President.
Overwhelming numbers of young people voted for the President. This is a
pattern of republicans seeking to diminish this President`s accomplishments
and, frankly, it`s tiring and it`s ugly.

SHARPTON: Now, Jimmy, this was according to David Axelrod, the President`s
interpretation of what Romney said. Do you think Romney was minimizing the
President by only giving them one constituency, his base black vote, or do
you think he was trying to, in some ways, excuse the fact that he had lost
and lost by a large margin?

WILLIAMS: I think Mitt Romney was as ineloquent as he normally is. That`s
what I think happened. I think Mitt Romney said something that he thought
was perfectly nice and what he actually ended up saying to most Americans
was perfectly awful. That`s why when you go into a room and you don`t
think there are cameras, and you say things like the 47 percent. When you
say things -- he didn`t say this but Newt Gingrich said, the food stamp
president, et cetera et cetera. These kinds of things, they are not
mistakes. They just say them because that`s what they believe. And when
you believe something that`s absolutely, you know, opposite of what a
majority of the American voters believe. By the way, don`t forget Barack
Obama beat Mitt Romney by five million votes.

SHARPTON: Absolutely.

WILLIAMS: I`m sure that those five million were not all African-American.
So, here`s the deal, Republican Party, as Tara just said, if you would like
women to vote for you as a majority and gay people and Latinos and black
people, you should probably acknowledge that they exist as gay people, as
Latinos, as women and as black people as opposed to just Americans because,
in fact, they are.

SHARPTON: Abby, you are the republican on the panel tonight. Let me put
you on the spot.


SHARPTON: Do -- you hear that the Romney spokesman said that it`s a lie.
What do you think? Do you think Romney said this?

HUNTSMAN: You also have to remember that this is a book and you want to
sell books. This is the first of -- I mean, not the first, rather, one of
many books that have come out within the Obama administration and with any
book there`s always another side to that story. I think, you know, to
Jimmy`s point, there are a number of things that have been said from folks
within the Republican Party. This, though, I`m not really on the same page
as the panelist because I think you have to think about the man who said
it. Mitt Romney, who is a very awkward guy. And the one thing he wants
more than anything in the world, is to be president of the United States.
So, that call had to be very, very difficult for him to make. So no matter
what he said, it was going to come out awkward. So I don`t know if what he
said really came across the way that people took it. So, you know, I don`t
want to believe it. But I hope that`s not what he meant, if that`s the
case. It`s probably best that he didn`t end up winning in the end. But
look, I`d like to think that there`s another side of this story and maybe
he was just being his normal awkward Romney self.

SHARPTON: Well, I`m sure we`ll hear more. But it`s a little like, you
know, losing the best essay in school and saying to the winner, you did a
great job even though your mother helped you cheat.


SHARPTON: But anyway, from the campaign field to another kind of
battleground, the new Bradley Cooper movie, "American Sniper" has faced all
kinds of criticism with some saying it glorifies war. And now the movie`s
star is speaking out.


BRADLEY COOPER, PRODUCER: The fact that it`s inciting discussion that has
nothing to do with vets and it`s more about the Iraq war or why or what we
did not do to indict those who decided to go to the war, you know, every
conversation that is in those terms, Terry, is moving farther and farther
away from what our soldiers go through and the fact that there`s 22 people
-- 22 vets commit suicide each day.


SHARPTON: He says instead of debating the Iraq war, the movies should make
us talk about veterans. Jimmy, does he have a point?

WILLIAMS: He does. And this is something that you and I discussed last
week on your show, which is exactly this issue. Which is, I don`t plan to
see the movie. I care more about what happens to our veterans. We supply
them to go to war and when they get home except for waiting in the VA line.
There`s a great organization out there called justice for vets,
Justiceforvets.org. It is a place where, here`s what we know, we know that
right now, 700,000 of our veterans are under criminal justice supervision.
We know that one in six out of every one of our post 9/11 vets is somehow,
some way addicted to something, alcohol, prescription drugs, illegal drugs,
et cetera. That`s a problem.


WILLIAMS: Why? Because the community is not there to support them.


WILLIAMS: There`s a great thing called Justice for Vets, which is there to
support them and give them an alternative and that`s something that we
should be talking about on a daily basis, honestly.

HUNTSMAN: Rev, if I can jump in there --

SHARPTON: Abby, jump in.

HUNTSMAN: I was waiting to hear what Bradley Cooper had to say because I
knew he would say exactly what this nation needed to hear and he hit right
on the point. And I have two brothers that are in the military and what he
said is the 22 that commit suicide every day and as an actor you have to
get inside the mind of the person that you`re playing and so I`m sure he
felt with him while he was playing this role. And he wanted all of us to
realize the most important thing here are our veterans and taking care of
them. And that`s more important than any of this other stuff that we`re
talking about right now.

SHARPTON: All right. Everyone, stay with me. When we come back, the
"Sports Illustrated" swimsuit issue makes history with its first plus-size


SHARPTON: We`re back with the panel, Tara, Jimmy and Abby. Making history
in "Sports Illustrated" swimsuit issue for the first time ever, this year`s
issue will feature a plus-size model. Ashley Graham will model a string.
In an ad for plus size swim wear. She talked a lot in the past about how
the media needs to do more to feature women of every size. Tara, is it
about time we`re seeing a plus-size woman in "Sports Illustrated"?

DOWDELL: Absolutely. And it`s about darn time. And she looks fantastic.
She looks hot. I mean, are we still pretending like women are all size 0?
The average woman is not look like this women in the "Sports Illustrated"
magazines. Actually, the women in the "Sports Illustrated" magazines don`t
look like that because they are air brushed. So, I mean, I think this is
great. It`s progress. We need more of it and let`s keep it going. Let`s
reward this. I might buy the magazine just to encourage it.

HUNTSMAN: I mean, the question I have though, Tara is --

SHARPTON: Abby, you seem to be agreeing with this?

HUNTSMAN: I do. And she brought up airbrushing, I do wonder though even
if plus-size models if they like to be air brushed as well. I`m with Tara
though. I mean, she`s so beautiful. She looks so happy out there. And
the crazy thing about it being a plus-size model, the average dress size
for woman is between a 12 and 14 and that`s about what she is. So it`s
really looking at a girl that`s just like you. So, I`m surprised it`s
taken this long for a magazine to put that on the cover. Because you want
to see somebody that is beautiful just like you want to feel beautiful.
So, you know, instead of calling her plus size, we should just call her a
beautiful woman.


WILLIAMS: A little bit supportive in "Sports Illustrated" for the simple
reason that this is an ad. She is now actually a part of the women that
are going to be in the layout if you will.


WILLIAMS: So, kudos. Congratulations. It`s wonderful that they`re doing
it. Although, the non-misogyny part of me thinks, oh, dear, here we are
having this conversation. But again, at least they are acknowledging the
fact, as my colleagues have just said, that most women don`t look like
that. And thank goodness that they are actually putting someone that looks
normal on there. I think it`s fantastic.

DOWDELL: And for the record, a lot of men actually -- I mean, this
magazine`s obviously geared towards men. A lot of men like women --

HUNTSMAN: Yep, they do.

DOWDELL: Who are curvier women.

HUNTSMAN: I was just going to say that, Rev.

DOWDELL: That notion that, you know --

HUNTSMAN: They prefer that.

DOWDELL: Yes, exactly so.

HUNTSMAN: Tara, they don`t want us.


WILLIAMS: I`m so very left out of this conversation.

SHARPTON: Well, I`m not left out but I`m going to stay out of this.


Tara, Jimmy and Abby, thank you for joining this conversation.

HUNTSMAN: Thanks, Rev.

WILLIAMS: Thanks so hot.

SHARPTON: When we come back, "Essence" magazine makes history, next.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, I`m here in Chicago where civil rights and
policing are always big topics of conversation and those topics are also
front and center in this month`s issue of "Essence" magazine. For the
first time in the magazine`s 45-year history, there`s no image on its front
cover. Just these words. "Black Lives Matter." I had the honor of
contributing an essay along with people like Carmen, John Legend and New
York City`s First Lady Chirlane McCray. It`s focusing debate on some of
the biggest challenges facing the African-American community. And the
crucial question, where do we go from here?

Joining me now is "Essence" editor-in-chief, Vanessa De Luca. Thanks for
being here tonight, Vanessa.

VANESSA DE LUCA, ESSENCE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Thank you so much for having me.

SHARPTON: You know, Vanessa, "Essence" has never done a cover like this
before. Why now?

DE LUCA: We felt that it was absolutely essential for us to chronicle and
note and make a point that this is an unbelievable time in our history.
That this is, what we are witnessing is a new civil rights movement
unfolding right before our very eyes.

SHARPTON: You know, in my piece for the magazine, I wrote about how long
it can take to achieve lasting change. How can "Essence" help keep people
focused on these issues?

DE LUCA: Well, one of the things that we`re doing beyond obviously turning
over our coverage this month is continually, from now on, we introduce a
new -- called civil rights watch. It will showcase people in the movement,
who are making great strides, bring attention to people you may not even
know about or have heard off like the young ladies who have organized the
New York City millions march that happened, you know, not too long ago,
people who are on the ground in Ferguson, people who are in the justice

SHARPTON: One of the things that I think is great is that people are doing
different things, different ways. Some don`t even agree on tactics but the
people are moving and that`s a movement.

DE LUCA: What I absolutely love about this. And to our artists, you
mentioned Carmen and John Legend.


DE LUCA: The song that they wrote that`s featured in the movie "Selma,"
Glory --


DE LUCA: That`s a new version of a civil rights anthem, right?


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: We must march, we must stand up.



SHARPTON: And I think that the key for me at this moment is that we -- and
I`m so glad to hear about the civil rights watch, is that we don`t let the
moment pass without being committed to real change.

DE LUCA: Absolutely. And that`s why it was so important for us to hear
not just from a few voices but a lot of desperate voices. Not everyone
agreed on what is the path.

SHARPTON: That`s right.

DE LUCA: How we should move forward. That`s okay.

SHARPTON: And we never were monolithic. I mean, we had Dr. King and
Malcolm X and Thurgood Marshall and Adam Clayton Powell, Ella Baker, all at
the same time.

DE LUCA: Yes. Yes.

SHARPTON: And there`s nothing wrong with that as long as we are headed
towards a better way for everybody, not just us but everybody.

DE LUCA: We just felt that in this issue, particularly, we wanted to make
it clear that there are many different points of view and many different
ways to get to the success that we`re seeking.

SHARPTON: And I think you did a great job. Vanessa de Luca, thank you for
your time tonight.

DE LUCA: Thank you for having me.


SHARPTON: That was my conversation with Vanessa de Luca of Essence earlier
this week. I`m often asked over the last several months of being active
and this question of how we move forward. What community and police is,
what are we going to win out of this? But something we`ve already won.
We`re young activists and veteran activists and those in entertainment and
athletes, white and Black and Latino and Asian, is America has begun to
have a conversation about change. The conversation in itself is a victory.
Now we must turn toward more substantive victories but just getting the
conversation is how it began in the `60s and how it`s beginning now. I`m
glad "Essence" put it on the cover. It`s on the cover of American`s minds.
Let`s move forward even if we don`t all agree on the tactics, we all agree
we need to have this conversation.

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



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