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updated 2/4/2013 12:02:33 PM ET 2013-02-04T17:02:33

POLITICS NATION
February 1, 2013

Guests: Dana Milbank, Bob Shrum, Maria Teresa Kumar, Jonathan Capehart, David Brock

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

We begin tonight with breaking news. Late today, Republicans launched
a new attack on the Obama administration and on regular Americans all
across the country. Senate Republicans are vowing to block Richard
Cordray, President Obama`s pick to head the consumer financial protection
bureau. That`s the agency Elizabeth Warren set up to make sure big banks
don`t prey on regular Americans. But, today, 43 Republicans sent a letter
saying they`re worried the agency has too much power over the banks. And
they won`t allow Cordray`s nomination to go ahead.

This is outrageous. The right wing is doing everything it can to
block this president, to stand against working class people, and to stand
up for Wall Street. They`re even willing to hurt the economy itself. If
that`s what it takes to score some cheap political points and hurt the
president, they`re willing to do it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Any immediate economic setback
or the perception of one could weaken Obama`s clout. Maybe a sour economy
is worth it if it will distract Obama.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: There`s a lot of talk these days about
how the GOP can come back politically. I tell you right now. The quickest
possible way politically with a contracting economy like this, if it
happened again in the next quarter, that`s a recession.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Shrinking the economy is a GOP plan for a quick comeback?
A sour economy is worth it if it distracts Obama?

Folks, they really mean this. But despite it all, the economy is
improving under this president. We now have 35 straight months of private
sector job growth. We have also learned today the economy added over two
million jobs last year, the best year for the jobs since 2005.

Republicans are playing politics with people`s lives. They`re
obsessed with cuts instead of jobs. They`re focused on spending instead of
hiring. The president kept his job because the American people trust him
to create jobs for them. Republicans just don`t get it.

Joining me now is Melissa Harris-Perry and Dana Milbank.

Melissa, let me go to you first. Republicans say this consumer
bureau, it could hurt Wall Street. But, today, the Dow closed over 14,000
for the first time in six years. So what`s this really all about?

MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC ANCHOR, MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY SHOW: Well,
look, this is the mind trick. This is the game of redirection that the
Republicans have been playing really for the first four years of President
Obama`s first term and they`re continuing to play it. And it is this.

The thing that caused the economic crash in 2008, the home values, the
evaporation of wealth, the loss of jobs were the decisions made by those
one percenters on Wall Street. And what happened is they redirected, they
changed the conversation so that suddenly we`d be worried about the deficit
instead of worried about Wall Street.

This consumer financial bureau, the protection bureau, set up under
Elizabeth Warren, this focus on regulating banks that have been de-
regulated under George W. Bush. The reality that we had been raided, our
personal wealth rated by Wall Street, that all of that got turned around so
that instead, it somehow became a government deficit problem when it was
never that.

SHARPTON: And it was that deregulation that caused us to have a
problem.

And if you go, Dana, if we go back, because a lot of people forget
where we came from and how we were able to overcome some insurmountable
odds to get where we are today even though we have a long way to go. If
you go back to when President Obama came into office, 2009, on the eve of
February 2009 jobs report, which turned out to be the worst in 34 years,
the president called for action on the stimulus package. Let me show you
what the president said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The time for talk is
over. The time for action is now. Because we know that if we do not act,
a bad situation will become dramatically worse. And I refuse to let that
happen. We can`t delay and we can`t go back to the same, worn out ideas
that let d us here in the first place.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That was at the very beginning of his first term. He says
we can`t go back to the same ideas which was deregulation, which was tax
cuts for the top, all of that. Then they want, again, change the language
as Melissa says, we went from talking about stimulus to deficit. And like
we could cut our way out of debt.

And when you look at the comparison between private sector job growth
under President Obama and under George W. Bush, according to the Bloomberg,
more than 650,000 private sector jobs were lost under Bush while so far
more than 470,000 private sector jobs had been added under President Obama.
So when you look at where we started, look at the comparison they`re really
trying to play with our minds, Dana.

DANA MILBANK, POLITICAL COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Right,
Reverend.

There`s a terrific irony going on here and that is like each month you
have the Republicans saying aha, the job growth isn`t as high as it should
be. Or saying aha, the economy isn`t growing at the pace that it should
be.

Well, why isn`t it? That`s because the Republicans succeeded in
getting the government to cut back its spending. So the reason the jobs
growth has not been higher is because just as private sector job growth is
increasing, government jobs are decreasing dramatically. So that`s held
back.

Why did the economy contract in the fourth quarter? Well, consumer
spending, construction spending, all of that is going fine. It was a
result of sharp cut backs in government spending which is what the
Republican demanded in the first place. So now they`re saying, look, Obama
is failing because of the contraction their policies that we forced him to
put into place.

SHARPTON: And these are actual numbers, Melissa, 94 -- 9,000
government jobs were lost in January, 74,000 government jobs lost in 2012
alone, 600,000 government jobs lost since February, 2010. These are
government jobs.

HARRIS-PERRY: Right. And two things. Remember, a lot of these are
jobs that are happening at the state level, right? So, these are governors
and local administrators, even mayors, who are cutting their city and state
budgets. What we know is that in 2010, we had a huge overtake of these
gubernatorial positions by Republicans who are primary Republicans who are
cutting these government jobs, right, often jobs that provided an
opportunity to lift into the middle class, so many working class people,
especially people of color.

SHARPTON: But this is one of the reasons why the black unemployment
numbers have not gone because we are over-indexed in the public sector.
That the state and local Republicans are cutting those programs, those
agencies and those jobs.

HARRIS-PERRY: And, remember --

SHARPTON: And blaming it on Obama.

HARRIS-PERRY: That`s right. And we`re over-represented there because
it is the one place where the laws of antidiscrimination have been most
clearly taken care of. It has been hard to get the pry vat sector to focus
affirmatively on furthering the possibility of diverse work force. But
government had been able to do it at the state level.

So, what you end up with the state Republicans, cutting jobs, cutting
a disproportionate share of the minority jobs, then blaming President Obama
for doing it and then many African-American leaders then, saying oh, this
is all worse under President Obama while having no reflection on the
federal system.

SHARPTON: What`s worst is the ability to read what`s going on.
Because if you don`t fight the shrinking in the public sector, you can`t
handle those of us that have a disproportionate amount in there.

And then, it is over, Dana. Because when you deal with the politics
that we`re looking at coming, the sequester, listen to what Paul Ryan said
on "Meet the Press".

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think the
Sequester is going to happen because that $1.2 trillion in spending cuts,
we can`t lose those spending cuts. We think these sequesters will happen
because the Democrats have opposed our efforts to replace those with
others.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But the same Paul Ryan, the very same Paul Ryan that said
on "Meet the Press." Let me show you what he himself a couple of months
ago. He said he wanted to make sure the devastating cuts to defense would
never occur. And while campaigning in Pennsylvania, he warned that nearly
44,000 jobs were at stake. Well, now, he`s singing a different tune.

MILBANK: Yes, Reverend. It`s almost like a hostage situation here.
They`re saying you`ve got to do it our way or we`ll torpedo the economy and
you, the president and your party, will be blamed for that. That is
something like what had happened over the last couple years.

The problem now is that the president just won the election. There`s
a long time for the economy to recover even if they succeed in injecting
more contractionary (ph) effects in to the economy by taking yet more
government spending out of it. It`s a very dangerous theory and it`s not a
long term growth prospect for the Republican Party to say we will gain in
popularity by torpedo and the American economy.

SHARPTON: And Melissa, quickly, this obsession with spending cuts,
everything that answers cut. What about having a good afternoon? Cut.
What about where we`re going this evening? Cut. I mean, look at the cut
obsession of Republicans.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: We have worked all
year to reduce our budget deficit and to cut spending.

RYAN: We have reduced the size and role of government. We`ve got to
cut spending.

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NY), MAJORITY LEADER: We`ll continue to work on
finding smarter ways to cut spending.

BOEHNER: Spend less. Bye.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Cut.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. When we know. When we know in terms of very
clear, empirical evidence that austerity measures makes things worse. And
they will tell you as we saw Governor Romney do when he was candidate say,
corporations are people, my friend. And say governments don`t create jobs.
Well, in fact, governments not only create them, but if we had allowed
government spending to stay and to stimulate it, we would be in a position
where we would have a much lower unemployment rate.

SHARPTON: Much lower and much more money out there consumers, people
be spending money because they`d have it and it would go back in the
system.

Dana, Melissa, thanks for your time. Have a great weekend.

And be sure to watch Melissa Harris-Perry Saturdays and Sundays 10:00
a.m. here on MSNBC.

Coming up, what a day in politics. Scott Brown is not running and now
Geraldo Rivera may be, Geraldo?

Plus, George Bush`s brain really got wrong about the election. It is
much, much bigger than the Karl Rove`s meltdown on FOX News. America is
changing. The president knows it, but Republicans don`t.

And my thoughts on the passing of legendary New York man, Ed Koch, my
friend and my political opponent for decades.

You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? We hope you will.

Today, a lot of people were talking about Scott Brown`s decision not
to run for Senate again.

Bet says living in Massachusetts, I`m thrilled not to have to listen
to Brown again.

Donna says now I can truly celebrate John Kerry`s confirmation as
secretary of state.

Jennifer says smart move. Brown couldn`t afford another loss.

Coming up next, we`ll talk what Brown`s -- Scott Brown`s decision
means for Democrats.

But, first, we want to hear what you think. Please head over to
facebook and search "Politics Nation" and like us to join the conversation
long after the show ends.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: There will be a comeback in Massachusetts for Scott Brown
for now. He`s announced he`s not running for John Kerry`s Senate seat.
No, mad scrambling. So, he`s not running. But you won`t believe who is.
Remember this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m not a witch. I`m nothing you`ve heard. I`m
you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: No, she`s definitely wasn`t you Christine "I`m not a witch"
O`Connell. She`s not running in Massachusetts, either. Her candidacy
became a joke, an embarrassment for the Republicans. But two years later,
it seems Republicans haven`t learned a thing.

In Georgia, Paul Brown appears to be running for Senate. He`s a guy
who thinks President Obama only opposed the soviet constitution.

Over in Iowa, Steve King isn`t ruling out a run. He`s currently
pushing a bill to stop what he calls anchor babies. But what can I say
about this next possible candidate for New Jersey? Roll it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)


GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS HOST, GERALDO AT LARGE: There can be a new
vitalization of the Republican Party concept where we extolled the virtues
of good business and fiscal policy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, are you going to do it.

RIVERA: Well, I very well may.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But, if you do run, you got to come back and catch
to make your official announcement.

RIVERA: I`ll be here every Friday until such time as it`s no longer
legal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Geraldo Rivera leading the GOP comeback? I don`t think so.

Joining me now is E.J. Dionne.

E.J., thanks for coming on tonight.

E.J. DIONNE, COLUMNIST, THE WASHINGTON POST: Good to be with you,
Reverend.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you. What do you -- first, what do you make of
Scott Brown`s decision?

DIONNE: I think it`s a good decision for him. And I think Democrats
are very gleeful. If they dance jigs, and search a life in Nevada, I think
Harry Reid is dancing one. He was the one candidate who could win that
seat. He was running even or slightly ahead of Markey, way ahead of
Stephen Lynch, the other Democrat running. And while I think he was not as
strong as he was going to be, he was when he first won.

If the mood got a little bit bad on President Obama, he could have won
it again. I think he is smart to be running for governor. Because a, he
would have had to run over and over again. And b, Republicans do much
better in governor`s races in Massachusetts that instead of his last
Republican to win before Scott Brown was Senator Ed Brook way back in 1972.
So I think it`s good for Democrats and probably good for Scott Brown.

SHARPTON: Now the Republicans felt they had a shot with brown. And I
remember when they were killing Susan Rice unfairly in my opinion. The
thought was they really were after Susan Rice because they wanted John
Kerry and so that Kerry could -- the seat would go to Scott Brown or
Republican. Now Brown is out, they don`t have a clear shot at the seat.
This has to help the president`s agenda. This has help President Obama.
Scott Brown not running is a big win for the president if the Republicans
can`t come up with a comparable candidate.

DIONNE: No, I think that`s right. I mean, I don`t think they`ll ever
take a seat for granted in Massachusetts again after 2009 and 2010, rather.
But I do think it`s a win for Democrats.

I think the most interesting Republican, and I don`t know whether he`s
announced anything is former governor Bill Weld who just moved back up
there, who could run as a kind of independent Republican. He`s pretty up
predictable. That could be a problem in the election. If he doesn`t run,
I think it`s going to be a very hard for them to come up with someone to
take that seat. But, you know, Scott Brown came out of nowhere, so be
ware.

SHARPTON: Now, it was interesting. He released a statement that I
think put the president in a good light. Scott Brown said in his statement
about his bipartisan tenure in congress.

When I was first sent to the Senate in early 2010, it wasn`t exactly
welcome news for President Obama or many other Democrats. Yes among my
best memories from those years in office are visits to the White House to
see the president sign into law bills that I had sponsored.

Not bad for Brown. Not bad for the president.

DIONNE: I think that absolutely means he`s running for governor.
Because we know that the formula is if you want to run for governor of a
very blue state, you say nice things about President Obama. And the best
example of that is Chris Christie, whose popularity has soared ever since
he started working with President Obama after hurricane Sandy.

SHARPTON: But notwithstanding that, they keep not running these far
right extremist candidates.

"The Washington Post" reports the names are now famous, actually
infamous, I should say in Republican strategist circles Sharron Angle
Nevada, Christine O`Donnell, Delaware, Richard Mourdock, Indiana, and Todd
Akin, Missouri. Over the past four years, each of them took races that
were somewhere between slam dunks and should-have-works and managed to lose
them.

Caution is the right word among the Republicans smarts said twice
bitten, thrice shy or something like that.

DIONNE: But you know, if you look around, they may be bitten a third
time. I mean, you look, you mentioned Paul Broun. You mentioned Steven
King. I think the problem that Republicans have is you can`t control your
primary electorate from above. And because so many moderates have left the
Republican Party, they have a hard time nominating more moderate kind of
conservatives who can actually win the election.

And so, even though they`ve got a decent shot at taking the Senate in
2014, if they get another couple candidates like they got this time and the
time before, it`s going to be very hard for them to turn a good chance into
victories.

SHARPTON: It`s definitely going to be hard.

Thank you, E.J. Dionne. Thanks for your time. Have a good evening
and a great weekend.

DIONNE: And you too, Reverend. Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, Karl Rove wrong again. And President Obama is
getting the laugh. We will explain.

And the president`s charging ahead with a second term agenda and a
super sales pitch is coming.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: 15 years ago, Hillary Clinton was widely mocked for calling
out what she called the vast right wing conspiracy. That was trying at
that time to take her husband down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: The great story here for anybody
willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right
wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day
he announced for president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: As we learned, she was right on target. We all know it`s
only gotten worse under President Obama. And, today, Mrs. Clinton said
good-bye to the state department. She will be remembered for many things,
for being a powerful leader, a force in the Democratic Party and this, her
nonstop fight against the right wing`s vicious attack. That story is
coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Is the Bush brain fried Karl Rove can`t seem to get one
right. Remember this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS WALLACE, FOX NEWS: Do you believe that Ohio has been settled?

KARL ROVE, POLITICAL CONSULTANT: No, I don`t.

This went from being -- when we started this conversation three or
four minutes ago, 1,995 vote margin from President Obama to just now 999.

WALLACE: So you`re not saying that Obama isn`t going to win.

ROVE: No.

WALLACE: But you`re just saying he hasn`t won it yet.

ROVE: I think this is premature --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Long before that, in 2004, he talked about his ultimate
goal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM RUSSERT, HOST: You have said that your ultimate goal is a
permanent republican majority. What does that mean?

ROVE: Well, first of all, there are no permanent majorities in
American politics. They last for about 20 or 30 or 40 or, in the case of
the Roosevelt coalition, 50 or 60 years and then they disappear. But would
I like to see the Republican Party be the dominant party for whatever time
history gives it the chance to be? You bet.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: A permanent GOP majority. But guess who appeared on the
same show. A senator-elect named Barack Obama. And that day, he talked
about a new vision for the Democratic Party, a vision we heard last week at
the inauguration.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: We are true to our creed when
the little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same
chance to succeed as anybody else.

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths, that
all of us are created equal, is the star that guides us still just as it
guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma and Stonewall.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Karl Rove was wrong. President Obama was right. The
country is changing. Republicans better change with it.

Joining me now is Bob Shrum who wrote an article today with the
headline, "Obama Realigns the GOP Declines." And also with me, Maria
Teresa Kumar, thank you both for joining me.

BOB SHRUM, DAILY BEAST: Glad to be here, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Bob, in your article today, you wrote quote, "President
Obama is a Transformative Figure in a Transforming Country." You go onto
call the GOP`s 2012 campaign, quote, "too white, too old, too rural, too
southern." So, how has President Obama realigned the political interests
of the country?

ROVE: Well, partly, there have been independent forces out there like
changing demographics. But he`s recognized that and he ease`s appealed to
it. He`s also I think articulated the progressive vision of the country.
And if you look at the cascade of polling, since the inauguration, people
agree with him not just on individual issues but on the big philosophical
questions. Dealing with income and inequality. The role of government.
Economic fairness.

Equality for women and minorities, inclusiveness and immigration
reform. People are ready to go on that march from Seneca Falls to Selma to
stonewall and beyond. And you have a Republican Party, many of who
strategists recognize the difficulty they`re in which can`t come to grips
with this reality. Because if there senators, and congressmen and
congresswomen respond to it, they`re going to face Tea Party primaries and
they think they`re going to lose their sits.

SHARPTON: But Maria, I don`t think that Rove and the Republicans
understand there`s been a huge change in this country. There is a new
country, the country has fundamentally changed.

Yet, Rove says Republicans don`t need to worry. Wrote in the Wall
Street Journal, Mr. Obama hasn`t fundamentally changed American`s political
structure. He goes on to declare that quote, "Republicans just have a
perception problem with Hispanics." A perception problem? Does he
understand the amount of change that we`ve seen happen in this country?
And how people are not just talking about perception? But reality and
their realities have changed?

MARIA TERESA KUMAR, PRESIDENT, VOTO LATINO: Well, I think Karl Rove
of 2012 needs to have a conversation with Karl Rove of 2004 when he
realized that in 2004, Karl Rove knew that he needed the Hispanic vote.
And he recognized that he didn`t need every single Hispanic, and he didn`t
need every Catholic and he didn`t need every single person of color. He
just needed a percentage off the top in order to move the republican agenda
forward.

Since then, the Republican Party has gone completely, unfortunately
off the deep end, the extreme right has. And they`re also losing, as a
result of being catering to the Tea Party so quickly. They`re also
actually losing a lot of moderate Republicans where increasingly becoming
independent or voting down the democratic card. Because they recognize the
country is moving forward, not only is the country more diverse, it`s
younger and it also has a lot of single women, it has Asians that are
voting for the President because they see the same vision, African-
Americans and Latinos.

So, it`s a whole demographic change. But it`s also of, how do we see
ourselves moving forward as a country? And, again, what Rove understands
but I think he`s having a hard time, you know, letting go of where the
possibility of where the Republican Party was in 2004 is that they have to
realign themselves and actually becoming inclusive not just in rhetoric,
but actually in commitment to prove, to changing legislation as well.

SHARPTON: Now, Bob, when you look at how they have ranted against
minorities, how do they expect to have appeal to them? Look at republican
state senator Jason Rapert. In 2011, just railing against minorities.
Look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STATE SEN. JASON RAPERT (R), ARKANSAS: I hear you loud and clear,
Barack Obama. You don`t represent the country that I grew up. And your
values is not going to save us. We`re going to try to take this country
back to the lord. We`re going to try to take this country back to
conservativism. And we`re not going to allow minorities to run roughshod
over what you people believe in.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, we`re not going to let minorities run a roughshod
over what you believe in. So elected republican state senator in Arkansas.
How do you draw minorities when you have these kinds of elected
Republicans.

SHRUM: Well, you don`t. And the country that guy grew up and he`s
gone just like the country`s segregation is gone. The country where women
couldn`t vote is gone. The country of slavery in the confederate state is
gone. We have a different country. We`re becoming a majority non-white
country. I welcome that diversity. I think it`s going to make us a
stronger America.

But, you know, the Republicans just think -- they wish he would shut
up so that people like Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana could get up
and say, we have to stop being the stupid party, that guy is certainly an
example of the -- of the stupid party. But the Jindal won`t tell you what
dumb ideas they want to jet us in.

SHARPTON: Right.

SHRUM: And he goes back to Louisiana and promotes a tax plan that
would slam the middle class and the poor to lavish a lot more money on the
rich. Now, there`s a new and original idea, huh?

SHARPTON: Right. Yes. And does not stupid, right? But, you know,
let me show you something, Maria. When you look at the changing
demographics, I want to show you two maps. The first map is one we all
recognize. It shows the center of the country is solidly red. But when
that map is weighted for population, it`s very obvious that the country is
going blue. And I think they`re looking at the non-populated map and
thinking about the way we were rather than the way we are.

SHRUM: Yes.

SHARPTON: I think that the best example is that the Tea Party gains
traction during a midterm election. When they -- voters sent to be older
and wider. The fact that in 2012, the majority of the new America came out
and re-elected President Barack Obama and wasn`t an accident and basically
said, we`ve moving forward. But, you know, the one state that isn`t on
that map is Texas. And when you look at Texas, Texas has (inaudible)
Latino voters, 2.4 million Latino voters that are under the age of 40.
That are increasingly participating the electoral process.

So when you start looking at how do you actually change the map, you
focus your energy and your researches on Texas because they`re increasingly
young and they`re increasingly Latino and African-Americans.

SHARPTON: Bob Shrum and Maria Teresa Kumar. Thank you both for your
time.

KUMAR: Have a great weekend.

SHARPTON: Ahead, Hillary Clinton leaves the State Department hitting
the right wing for not living in an evidence-based world. And I have some
thoughts to talk about my friend and sometimes foe, legendary New York City
Mayor Ed Koch. He will be missed. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

Hillary Clinton said, good-bye to her job as secretary of state today.
A crowd of worker center off with cheers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(CHEERS)

HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: I`m proud to have been a
part of you. I leave thinking of the nearly 70,000 people that I was
honored to serve and lead as part of a huge extended family. And I hope
that you will continue to make yourselves, make me and make our country
proud.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: For more than two decades, she`s been a real threat to the
right wing. And they`ve attacked her relentlessly. But long ago, she
called them out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: The great story here for anybody willing to find it and
write about it and explain it is this vast right wing conspiracy that has
been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for
president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The vast right wing conspiracy. She was mocked. But over
the years, she`s been proven right. They were nasty and hateful. And they
kept on coming. But Hillary Clinton stood strong through it all. Today,
we admire not only her public service, but her sheer toughness. She never
let them win. And I respect her resilience.

Joining me now is Jonathan Capehart, opinion writer for The Washington
Post, and an MSNBC contributor and David Brock, founder and CEO of Media
Matters for America.

David, has Hillary Clinton beaten the vast right wing conspiracy once
and for all?

DAVID BROCK, CEO, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA: Well, yes, I think she
has. It`s clearly the case that the vast right wing conspiracy was a real
thing. You showed the clip from the 1990s. There was a lot that was
trumped up them. But it was somewhat menacing. What we`ve seen now is
that with Hillary Clinton leaving the State Department, an effort to
tarnish her legacy in these last three months. But what you have is the
toothless vast right wing conspiracy. It ended up really being a clown
show, Reverend.

And so, I think she has led them to a point where the charges were
just absurd, for example, the idea that she faked her concussion and blood
clot. This was being said by serious right wing people like Charles
Krauthammer and John Bolton. And of course, they were completely
embarrassed when it ended up that her doctors were quoted on the record,
she was seen coming out of the hospital, she`s now wearing glasses for
medical reasons. So, yes, she`s been incredibly resilient as you said and
I think she`s beaten them back possibly for good.

SHARPTON: Now, Jonathan, we`ve seen them toothless as David said,
seems like Hillary Clinton and President Obama might be the ones that did
that little dental work on them.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes. The thing about the
former First Lady Hillary Clinton, former Senator Hillary Clinton and now,
as of today, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is that, you know,
she`s sort of, for better or for worse, she has had this sense of right and
wrong vis-a-vis herself. And that`s been her guiding star. And so, when
she wanted to be a First Lady who didn`t just host teas and did parties at
the White House, she wanted to be involved in policy, that made her an
instant lightning rod for people who had traditional views of where First
Lady should be.

When she decided that she wanted to run for Senate, move for a seat
where she had never live before New York, people called her a carpet bagger
and all sorts of things where she put her nose down and she did the
listening to her around the state and got herself elected, went into the
Senate, put her nose down, did the hard work and gained the respect of a
lot of people who voted to impeach her husband.

And then she become Secretary of State faced where the nation around
the world chosen by the man who beat her in a very tough run for president
of the United State, I say all of this to say that what we have seen in
Hillary Clinton is someone who has been knocked down, beaten up
rhetorically and politically but who has always risen back up to show with
dignity. And I think that`s what the American people like about her so
much. When she`s been knocked down, she gets back up. And the American
people love a comeback story.

SHARPTON: No, I think, David, that`s what I respect about her. I
mean, I`ve had, in my career taken a lot of shots. Still do. I respect
someone that can keep coming back because it shows me they must really deep
down believe in what they`re doing. And they`re not weakening. Hillary
Clinton personifies that. I mean, when you look at an interview published
today, she went right after the right. She says there are some people in
politics and in the press who can`t be confused by the facts. They just
will not live in an evidence-based world. It`s a great statement and a
true statement.

BROCK: Sure, well, she faced a hearing last week as we all saw where
the Republicans were picking up their phony and fake talking points from
the likes of FOX News and Rush Limbaugh right in the hearing room. And she
gave us good as she got. She corrected the record. There were some
blatant lies that were premised in these questions. And she came back and
she set that record straight. She swatted all of that back. And so that
effort to make this Benghazi into some kind of a Watergate like affair
completely backfire until totally flat.

SHARPTON: Now, Jonathan, she leaves on a high note. Sixty percent of
Americans have a favorable view of her. And she leaves with the President
doing an unprecedented interview with her and he together on "60 Minutes"
and the President clearly the most popular political figure in the country
today. She leads on a very high note.

CAPEHART: A very high note. That interview on "60 Minutes" didn`t
shed any new light. There was no real news out of the interview spoken.
But when you watched that interview, it was all about the body language
between those two, between the President and his outgoing secretary of
state. Two people who as I mentioned before and as we all remember, had a
very vigorous, heated competitive race for the democratic nomination for
president and who a lot of people thought didn`t like each other, certainly
their staffs didn`t like each other.

But when you saw them sitting together, they weren`t just sitting side
by side. They were leaning in to each other. They were finishing each
other`s sentences. They were comfortable with each other. And so, I think
for the President to do that with Hillary Clinton, to do that interview
with her on "60 Minutes," to share the stage with her, shows how far those
two have come and how far the nation has come. And actually, it`s a great
symbol for the rest of the world to see that two people can run against
each other in a very, sometimes nasty campaign, come together to work
together for the benefit of the country.

SHARPTON: Yes. And both of them extremely strong. Her numbers
high, the President`s numbers very high. David, you had gone after
Secretary Clinton, former Secretary Clinton now in the past and you`ve seem
to come around to respecting her?

BROCK: Oh, absolute, you know, as you know, I was involved in some of
these shenanigans in the 1990s . I certainly regretted that and recanted a
lot of what I did back in 1998. But, sure, I wrote a biography of Hillary
Clinton back in the mid-1990s. In the course of writing it, she completely
changed my mind by studying the record. And I came away with a lot of the
admiration for both Bill and Hillary Clinton through that experience and
the impeachment was really what was pushed me too far which was a wrongful
scheme to upend the Clinton presidency.

SHARPTON: Thank you for being here tonight David, Jonathan Capehart,
thanks both of you for your time tonight.

CAPEHART: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: We`ll be right back with the passing of a legend. New York
Mayor Ed Koch. And I`ll have some stories to tell you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Am I doing all right?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: How I`m doing?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Am I doing all right?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Hi, everybody, how am I doing?

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Today, like so many New Yorkers, I was saddened to learn of
the death of his honor Mayor Ed Koch. We had a long and missed
relationship dating back to the `70s. Throughout his 12 years in office, I
was one of his most vociferous critics. My first arrest was leading a sit-
in on him about summer jobs for youth in 1978. When our group refused to
leave his office, he called the police. It was my first time in handcuffs.
He and I talked about it briefly when he came on this show in October of
2011.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We met in `77 when I led a demonstration at your office,
refused to leave you, you were the first one to have me arrested.

ED KOCH, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: I made you famous.

SHARPTON: You did it to make me famous?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: No question. The Koch years were tumultuous time in this
city especially on racial issues. And Mayor Koch and I clashed a lot. But
over the years, I did grow to respect his authenticity. A rare quality in
politics. He said what he meant and he meant what he said. We even allied
ourselves on some issues.

In 2000, we appeared together as we traveled around the country on a
national campaign to help nonviolent drug offenders get a second chance in
life. The man supported Rudy Giuliani and later George W. Bush, always
blunt, he told me why he came home to the Democratic Party.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KOCH: Well, I believe that first they don`t care about the country
and would rather have as their single priority the destruction of President
Obama and prevent his reelection. Now, they should certainly disagree with
him. But first comes the country. And they`ve given up on that. And
that`s why I think the American public will give up on them.

SHARPTON: Now, when I look at the fact of, Mr. Mayor, that they
supported things like extending unemployment, extending other matters that
was in the President`s job`s bill, now they don`t support it only because
it`s his bill.

KOCH: Correct.

SHARPTON: So, like don`t make him look good at any cost.

KOCH: Exactly. Well, Mitch McConnell was very honest. He said my
number one priority is to make sure he doesn`t get re-elected. He didn`t
say it, that`s what he`s doing, even if it means preventing good
legislation that I would ordinarily support go down the trough.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Over the years, we built a solid, personal relationship.
In March, 2008, we shared a lighter moment at the swearing in ceremony of
New York Governor David Patterson who we both supported. And he attended
my birthday celebration at a Harlem Church. He later described that day in
2007, an interview the New York Times just released today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You up staged him at his own birthday party.

KOCH: Well, he`s right. I was in a church. We`re behind the altar
and I come out. And I get up and I say to this crowd, moving from left to
right, do you miss me? And they roared with pleasure. And I enjoyed it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We rallied. We marched. We did a lot of things. We
disagreed and still do with some of what was done. Seemed to have a blind
spot in the areas of race. But he seemed to be clear in other areas. Yes,
I had my differences with Ed Koch, but we were both secure enough to talk
through the differences and still stand where we agreed.

He was authentic. If he bleed and agreed, he`d stand with you. If he
didn`t, he would never patronize you. He would tell you. That`s why, yes,
Ed Koch, I will miss you.

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

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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