PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton, Transcript 1/3/2016
Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: January 3, 2016
Guest: Joan Walsh; Matt Welch; Clarence Page; Allan Lichtman; Michael
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Today on “POLITICS NAITON” our special 2016 preview,
what to expect in the year ahead. Can Donald Trump become the GOP nominee?
What happens if he does? And could there still be a surprise in the
Also, what President Obama is planning for his final year in office, and
why the real fight in 2016 could be voting rights.
From Rockefeller Center in New York City, it`s “POLITICS NAITON” with Al
REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good morning. I`m al Sharpton. Welcome to
the first “POLITICS NAITON” of the New Year, a special show looking ahead
We start with the GOP presidential race. If there`s one thing that most of
the candidates agree on, it`s that Donald Trump will not be the nominee.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I can guarantee you Donald Trump is
not going to be the nominee.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe that Donald Trump will not be the nominee.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m going to support the
Republican nominee and I`m comfortable that it`s not going to be Donald
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: No, I do not believe that
done alleged is going to be the nominee. I don`t believe he`s going to be
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: But, of course, Donald Trump has a different view.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I just tell you that I`m going
to win. I am. I`m going to win. I believe I`m going to win. I really
have just a great feeling about it and you know, my life has been about
We`re going to win. We`re going to win. I`m not leaving. We`re going to
win. We`re going to win. I think we`re going to win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: If Donald Trump has his way, Donald Trump will win, and what`s
to stop him? In February, Republicans have voting in four states, Iowa,
New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. Trump is strong in all of them.
And then in March we have Super Tuesday, with voting in 12 states,
including many in the south.
What`s to stop Trump in these states other than Trump himself? Right now,
it`s a four-week sprint to the start of voting.
Joining me for our “POLITICS NAITON” panel, Joan Walsh from “the Nation,”
Clarence Page of “the Chicago Tribune” and Matt Welch of “Reason” magazine.
Thank you all for being here and Happy New Year.
CLARENCE PAGE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Happy new year to you too, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Donald Trump has been first to second in the GOP nomination
fight for over 150 days. I mean, the GOP establishment is saying that they
can`t seem to do anything, they`re trying to do what they can to disrupt it
before Iowa. What do you think, Joan?
JOAN WALSH, THE NATION: I think Ted Cruz has a good chance of disrupting.
The problem for the establishment is that Cruz isn`t part of it. But I
think we are going to see in early 2016 the narrowing of this race down to
a few people I think fairly quickly. And the think, you know, the thing
I`m looking forward to as a Democrat the most is seeing how Trump and Cruz
really go at each other and whether Marco Rubio can become the
establishment candidate without saying he is the establishment candidate
because that`s the kiss of death right now.
SHARPTON: But Clarence, can anything other than the hope that maybe Cruz
comes on, rises up, and I`m not sure the GOP establishment even wants that,
what can stop Trump?
PAGE: I want to say first of all, I never thought I was going to be at
this point viewing Ted Cruz as the moderate alternative, but that`s the way
people talk about him now. Maybe Ted Cruz will get it, what a relief. I
mean, it is bizarre. But yes, anything is possible, Rev. because you have
to say this is a new year. Now we can start to get serious.
PAGE: Now voters can start to get serious because that`s what we have seen
in the past. It wasn`t until like, well a couple of weeks out before the
Iowa caucuses that you found voters seriously looking and folks in Iowa
already are because they always are. You have a turnout at the caucuses of
people who are dedicated voters because you would like to make more effort
at a caucus to regular vote. And we already see Ted Cruz ahead of Trump in
Iowa. I think we are going to see that kind of shuffle happening around
the rest of the country, too.
SHARPTON: Shuffle key word there, Matt. Because as we keep seeing this
shuffle, I mean, one minute the surge of Ben Carson, then the surge at
least we were told it would be a surge of Marco Rubio that really didn`t
happen, then Cruz. Could we see a brokered convention in Cleveland at the
MATT WELCH, REASON MAGAZINE: I don`t think so just because political
reporters want that so bad, they`re just praying for this to happen.
WELCH: The Republican –
SHARPTON: Most reporters don`t mostly don`t pray but go ahead.
WELCH: The Republican establishment has been trying to forestall this so
much for months. They set up this entire debate, the time they collapsed
the primary schedule to make sure that the anti-establishment surge,
populist surge, wouldn`t happen and now it`s on their hands kinds of a
I think that the thing we have learned that everyone has been wrong about
Donald Trump. I have been wrong about Donald Trump. I just didn`t think
there is any chance he would in this position. But I think one of the
things that we learned through him and also the other little bubbles for
Ben Carson, for Carly Fiorina and for Ted Cruz is that the anti-
establishment and anti-elite sentiment in the Republican Party right now is
just dominant. And if you can`t tap into it, you can`t win. Marco Rubio
is the ohm person with any kind of establishment cred right now who is
anywhere close to I think Jeb Bush is dead in the water.
SHARPTON: And he is not that close.
WELCH: And he is not that close and he can`t tap in.
SHARPTON: Clarence, which leads me to this question. If there`s not going
to be a brokered convention as some want, or if the establishment does have
its way, will we see Donald Trump run for president on a third party
ticket, even though he kind of waffles on that?
SHARPTON: And the reverse question, if he wins, say the momentum doesn`t
stop and he wins the nomination, do we see a moderate run as a third party
PAGE: Well, that trick never works seems like. It wasn`t for a long time.
I mean, that reminds me of John Anderson running as a third party candidate
and very earnest, but didn`t score that many votes.
SHARPTON: But Perot running as a third party helped elect Bill Clinton.
Let`s not forget it.
PAGE: Yes. Which was not Perot`s intention but, yes, that`s the thing.
SHARPTON: It might be another Clinton`s intention to see a strong third
WALSH: John Huntsman has talked about it. Let`s, you know, let`s be
clear. There is no indication –
WELCH: The Huntsman block is just so –
WALSH: I know.
SHARPTON: What would a Trump nomination does a Huntsman or somebody get a
lot of people to just say you have some elected officials saying I just
can`t go with Trump.
WALSH: Which has strikes me so much is that every time Trump says
something horrible, all the candidates – they didn`t used to criticize
him. Now they criticize him. But in the end, they all, including, I
guess, when Lindsey Graham dropped out, even Lindsey Graham who I don`t
believe is going to go in the voting - voting booths and pull the lever for
Donald Trump. Even Graham has to say that he is going to do it. And I
find that so bewildering. There is no constituency for people whose
actually tell the truth because I really believe that there are a lot of
Republicans who would either vote for Clinton, maybe not Bernie, but
whatever or just not vote.
SHARPTON: But the Democrats then will vote for Trump. And, Clarence, what
I`m asking is the big picture scenario, what would a third party mean in
the race like this.
PAGE: Well, if it`s Trump as the third party, it will hurt Republicans.
If it`s Huntsman it may hurt Democrats more than Republicans because the
parties are polarized now. Huntsman ideologically is closer to the
Democrats in my view than he is to Republicans. I think most Republican,
certainly most conservatives would say that now. And the wild card is
those voters in the middle, the moderate swing voters who have become the
deciders in the end who, by the way, are disproportionately unmarried
women. They tend to be the biggest late swing voters and they can swing it
as they did in favor of George W. Bush or in favor of Barack Obama.
SHARPTON: Matt, let me ask this. Let`s go down the ticket. How does
Trump affect the Republicans in congressional and Senate races? Isn`t that
a lot of the fear of the establishment?
WELCH: Sure it is. It`s a liability. He gets to make the Republican
Party look like the worst description of the Republican Party by Joan Walsh
WALSH: Thank you, Matt.
WELCH: They can portray the Republican Party as this sort of cesspool of
vile racism. And that`s a difficult thing to win. And the hard thing for
the Republican Party is that the people who have been successfully getting
into state houses and these kind of things haven`t really been running on
Trump like campaigns. There`s a handful here and there, but that hasn`t
been the case.
So I think there is going to be a ferocious effort in the New Year to solve
the Cruz/Rubio fight quickly and then tell everyone to get the hell out of
the race and coalesce behind probably in my view Cruz which is going to
make a lot of the establishmentarians freak out. And I think we are going
to see, especially if Trump gets the nomination, this concept of
conservatives for Hillary, especially neoconservatives for Hillary.
SHARPTON: Now, in line with that, Joan, the Latino vote. Has Trump done
the damage that can`t be repaired?
WALSH: Certainly to himself and possibly to the party. I mean if it were
to be a Rubio I think that is a somewhat different game even though he is
kind of repudiated his immigration reform stand.
But I want to go back to something Clarence said because I don`t know if we
know who the deciders are. The deciders are always swing voters and kind
of independent minded voters. And I think single women will be very
important. But there is a question – I think the real question assuming
the nominee is Hillary just for the purposes of this argument, does she
reassemble the Obama coalition, though she strengthen it? Does she
increase Latino turnout for the Democrats?
SHARPTON: And can she get the turnout?
WALSH: And can she get the turnout? Can she get the African-American
turnout? I mean, that`s what - I think that`s what the campaign is
spending a lot of time thinking about.
SHARPTON: And you have these new voting laws which we are going to talk
about. I mean, we do not know the impact of these 15 states with these new
laws. We don`t know what is going to inspire people that`s going to stand
in line those five, six, seven hours that they did before. There`s a lot
of people that are looking at yesterday`s playbook in today`s election and
that playbook may not be applicable.
PAGE: That`s right. What Democrats want is what happened in 2012 where
fear of having their votes stolen inspired more blacks to turn out to vote,
in fact record proportionally record number of black voters. Hillary
Clinton wants that now, but she has to plug into black lives matter and a
lot of other things happening on the ground in the black community.
SHARPTON: And get a lot of older voters who are emotional about the vote
being stolen, she`s got to get them out.
Everybody, stay with us. Lots more ahead.
Coming up, more of our special 206 preview.
Also, reaction to this week`s bombshell news about Bill Cosby and Tamir
Rice. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Fifty years ago, registering
to vote here in Selma and much of the south meant guessing the number of
jelly beans in a jar, the number of bubbles on a bar of soap. It meant
risking your dignity and sometimes your life. What`s our excuse today for
not voting? How do we so casually discard the right for which so many
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: President Obama last year at Selma talking about the need to
protect the right to vote. And in 2016 is shaping up to be a critical
year. It will be the first national election since the Supreme Court
gutted the voting rights act. And in 15 states anti-voting laws will be on
the books for the first time for presidential election. That includes key
swing states like Ohio, Virginia, and North Carolina. And state lawmakers
are expected to pass even more restrictions when they come back here in
this New Year. Many of these in states that formerly had to get their
changes approved by the federal government, but not anymore.
Joining me now is Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for
Thank you for being here. Happy New Year.
MICHAEL WALDMAN, PRESIDENT, BRENNAN CENTER FOR JUSTICE: Happy new year to
SHARPTON: What is your top concern for voting in 2016?
WALDMAN: Well you`re exactly right, Reverend, that we know there are
candidates on the ballot, the presidency is on the ballot, the Congress,
but the integrity of our democracy is on the ballot in 2016. This is the
first time in a high turnout, high stakes national election that these laws
will have been on the books without the protection of the voting rights
act. And since we began to see this wave of anti-voting laws that began to
pass in 2011 all across the country, we don`t really know what the impact
is going to be.
SHARPTON: And see, I don`t think, Michael, a lot of people understand that
many of these states, 15, have never had these laws on the books before in
a presidential election. So when everybody`s talking about turnout, we
don`t know the impediments people are going to face and many of them are
critical states. We really don`t know what impact this is going to have.
WALDMAN: When you look at those states and add up the electoral votes that
they represent, that`s 60 percent of the votes one would need to be elected
SHARPTON: Sixty percent.
WALDMAN: In those states. And you`re right. When the Republicans took
control of a lot of state legislatures in 2011, they began to pass these
laws, 19 states passed 24 new laws to make it harder to vote for the first
time since the Jim Crow era.
In 2012, a lot of times courts, Democrats, Republicans, federal, state,
stepped in and blocked those laws or blunted them or repealed them or
postponed them, but a lot of them now are going into effect. And you know,
look, there`s plenty of voting. There`s plenty of turnout with President
Obama on the ballot certainly voting in the African-American community has
been quite high.
SHARPTON: Long lines.
WALDMAN: Long lines is one of the consequences of a lot of these laws, but
we don`t really know what kind of effect they will have on turnout.
There`s a government agency, the government accountability office, it is
part of Congress. It`s very respected. It`s nonpartisan. Republicans and
Democrats both rely on it. And they did the first real study of this last
year. They said, they looked at Tennessee and they looked at Kansas, and
they found that in fact, the new voter identification laws there harsh
strict new laws did actually bring turnout down but not for everybody
especially in communities of color.
SHARPTON: Let`s look at North Carolina. The North Carolina voting law
subject of a federal trial this past summer, reduced early voting, ended
same-day registration, ended preregistration for teens. I mean, this is
exactly what you`re talking about.
In Alabama, they require photo I.D. and then they shut down the DMVs, the
department of motor vehicles in predominantly black areas where you get
your voter I.D. from. So they say you have to have this - we are going to
shut town where you have to go get it.
WALDMAN: And have to walk basically to go get your I.D. at the DMV. It`s
a striking thing, when you look at the map of Alabama where those offices
have been shut down is, has traditional been known as the black belt,
counties with majority African-American residents.
SHARPTON: My family is from there.
WALDMAN: And it`s just, it`s right –
SHARPTON: The one that gets me, Michael, Florida. Critical state, we keep
hearing all the pundits talking about Florida. It disenfranchised ex-
felons in Florida. That`s 1.54 million voters, a million five voters now
can`t vote off the books.
WALDMAN: So that`s a real tragedy. One out of three of the people in this
country who are prohibited from voting because of a past felony conviction
live in Florida. And in Florida – and actually in a lot of places, this
is something where Democrats and Republicans left and right have actually
come together to say you know, we can do something about this.
WALDMAN: Jeb Bush when he was governor and Charlie Crist, when he was
governor, obviously both Republicans, actually cut back on felony
disenfranchisement. But the current governor, Scott, undid everything they
did as soon as he got in. And it`s not only the high profile things like
voter identification, it`s little things like cutting back on early voting,
especially cutting back on early voting on the Sunday, souls to the polls,
cut back on Election Day registration. In North Carolina they ended public
financing for judicial candidates. And its sort of Smorgas (ph) board.
SHARPTON: We have a lot, a lot, a lot of concerns this year. Michael
Brennan, thank you for your time. And again, Happy New Year.
WALDMAN: Happy new year to you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Next, our look ahead to President Obama`s final year in
Also, surprises from the Hillary Clinton campaign. When will we see more
of Bill and Chelsea?
SHARPTON: We`re back, previewing 2016, and we turn to President Obama
entering his final full year in office. In 2015 he defied expectations of
quote “lame duck” status with historic actions on Cuba, climate change and
more. And at this – at his year-end news conference, he said he`s not
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I said at the beginning of this year that interesting stuff happens
in the fourth quarter and we are only half way through. I plan on doing
everything I can with every minute of every day that I have left as
president to deliver on behalf of the American people. Since taking office
I have never been more optimistic about the year ahead than I am now and in
2016 I`ll leave it all out on the field.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: On the president`s agenda, gun control, closing Guantanamo Bay,
signing a criminal justice bill, and leading the international response to
We have seen two-term presidents take big swings in their final year with
mixed results. In 1988, President Reagan made his first trip to Moscow.
His supporters say it helped thaw out the cold war. In 2000, President
Clinton convened the Camp David summit, but failed to get a Mideast peace
Joining me now, Professor Allan Lichtman, presidential historian at
American University. Thank you for being here, professor.
PROF. ALLAN LICHTMAN, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: My
SHARPTON: Let me ask you, what can we expect from the president this year?
LICHTMAN: President Obama tends to go out with not a whimper but with a
bang. And he can do this mostly by taking care of unfinished business
particularly in the foreign policy realm. You mentioned the campaign
against ISIS. He has got to show progress there.
But I think there are even some bigger issues, except for the affordable
care act, the two biggest elements of his legacy I believe are the Iran
nuclear treaty and the extraordinary almost 200-nation agreement on climate
change in Paris. He has to do everything in his power to make sure those
initiatives are implemented.
The Iran treaty could transform the Middle East and the climate agreement
could be the most important threat perhaps humanity has ever faced.
SHARPTON: Now, as he strives for that, won`t the Republicans be trying to
make him a lame duck president?
LICHTMAN: The Republicans sight unseen have decided they are going to
oppose everything that Obama is for. Therefore, he has got to do this by
skirting around Congress. They are probably not going to compromise with
him on either of those issues. But there`s a lot he can do on climate
change. He has already done some with executive orders. A lot of that is
pending in the court. And he doesn`t need to have the Iran treaty ratified
by the Senate. He just needs to make sure that it gets implemented, that
Iran follows through this spring.
SHARPTON: Now, you are an historian. What lessons can he learn from other
two-term presidents in their last year?
LICHTMAN: Well, you mentioned Ronald Reagan who was very successful in his
last couple of years in foreign policy by following his own muse, by not
listening either to folks within his own party or folks within the
opposition party. That`s what Obama needs to do. This is his last shot.
He needs to decide these are my priorities. I`m going to take care of this
unfinished business and I`m going to do what I can do on new things like
gun control where he can do a lot with executive orders.
So he should not care about the politics of it. He should take all of the
pollsters, the handlers and the hucksters and send them out to a pacific
island for vacation for his last year.
SHARPTON: Well, he said he is looser in this last year. Let me show you
what he said at the White House Correspondents dinner.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: My advisers asked me, Mr. President, do you have a bucket list?
And I said well, I have something that rhymes with bucket list. Take
executive action on immigration? Bucket. Climate regulations, bucket,
it`s the right thing to do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Obama seems to be getting a little loose as he gets ready to
wind this thing down, Professor?
SHARPTON: The looser the better, and the less he listens to these advisers
who I said he should send away, the better off that he is going to be. My
big advice to him is keep your eye on the big picture. That`s what you are
going to be judged by historically. And there are some really big issues
out there that you need to focus on.
SHARPTON: Professor Allan Lichtman, thank you so much for your time.
Happy New Year.
LICHTMAN: Same to you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Next, the year ahead in the Democratic presidential
race. How will the Obama/Clinton dynamic affect the campaign?
Also, predictions from the “POLITICS NAITON” panel.
SHARPTON: We are back in our special 2016 preview show with a look at the
questions ahead in the Democratic presidential race. Will Hillary Clinton
pull away from Bernie Sanders? And if she does, will he give her a full
Here is what senator Sanders told me back in last October.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT), DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If I get
into the Democratic primary process, I think it`s obligatory for me to say,
you know, I`m fighting hard to win. I think we got a good shot to win this
thing. But if I don`t I will support the winner.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Will Clinton be endorsed by Elizabeth Warren? When I spoke to
Senator Warren last year she didn`t show a hand.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Lot of progressives have questions about whether she`ll be a
progressive warrior. What would you say to them?
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: You know, I think that`s what we
got to see. I want to hear what she says she wants to run and what she
says she wants to do. That`s what campaigns are supposed to be about.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Other questions, when and how will Bill Clinton be rolled out on
the campaign trail? Is Chelsea her secret weapon? What role will
President Obama play? Will Clinton be able to energize the Obama
coalition? And how much will she embrace his record while selling her own
Let`s bring back our panel, Joan Walsh, Clarence Page and Matt Welch.
Let`s start with the primary. What obstacles are left for the Clinton
WELCH: Sadly, very, very, very few. I`m afraid as much as I would like to
see Bernie Sanders to put more of a fight where Democrats to give him more
of a fight against Hillary Clinton just for the sake of having an actual
discussion and competitive contest. I think he is going to be the Jerry
Brown of 1992 here, just kind of more road kill.
He is going to push her to the left on economic issues, and already has and
that`s going to be enough to satisfy Democrats, I think, as they start to
contemplate what`s happening on the Republican side of the aisle.
SHARPTON: Do you agree, Joan?
WALSH: I`m close to agreeing, but I still think it is very close in Iowa
and he is ahead in New Hampshire. If he beat her in Iowa and then quickly
New Hampshire that might recalibrate. But he is going to have a really
tough time in South Carolina. I mean, ironically because that state was so
tough for her and really did brand the campaign in 2008 after president
SHARPTON: Well, she lost Iowa, won New Hampshire and was killed in South
Carolina politically. And that was the black vote, Clarence.
WALSH: Right. But that`s her firewall now, Rev. I mean –
SHARPTON: But that`s the irony. Her firewall is the black vote that
really went against her in 2008.
PAGE: That`s right.
SHARPTON: And with Sanders` politics, he is not been able to really,
according to polls, penetrate the black vote and not really have gotten a
lot of opinion makers that have swayed among black voters at least that we
can measure to really come on board with it.
PAGE: And Hillary Clinton also has a lot of friends in the black
establishment, black Democratic establishment especially Congressman Jim
Clyburn in South Carolina. When he switched support to Barack Obama you
remember eight years ago how dramatic that was. That was a signal to
WALSH: He did stay neutral in the primary and will stay neutral in the
South Carolina primary again. So he is, you know, he is playing it down
the middle. But John Lewis is not conflicted, you know, people who were
very conflicted last time around are completely in her camp.
PAGE: And champing at the bit now.
WELCH: And fund-raising. I mean, there isn`t a significant part of
Democratic fund-raising, Hollywood, Silicon Valley, whatever, that is
really conflicted. They are all going behind Hillary. Bernie Sanders is
getting individual donations, and that is really interesting and strong.
But I don`t think it`s enough to go against Hillary.
SHARPTON: Bernie Sanders, how important and what role would he play,
should he lose? How important is he toward her ultimate general election
candidacy if she wins, and Elizabeth Warren?
WALSH: I think he`s really important. I think if this race - I mean,
people – a lot of Democrats have mixed feelings. I would like to see the
race go on. I think that`s good for Democrats, but I don`t want to see the
race go on and get ugly so there`s bad feelings on one side or the other.
So I think if it`s a clean race, she beats him, he concedes at some point
and endorses her, I think he is very important in bringing along his
constituency which is sizeable. I think Elizabeth Warren is hugely
important. She`s going to wait. She`s really I think she is really going
to wait and see what she can, what she hears and what she can – I don`t
mean get out of her of Clinton in a transactional way exactly, but you
know, can she continue to use her silence to pull her to the left.
SHARPTON: Bill Clinton, Matt, how do you roll them out where he helps a
lot but is not used in a way to damage her by the ultimate right wing
attack on bill Clinton?
WELCH: Think it depends in large part how long she`s going to be shadow
boxing with Donald Trump. The more it`s just her against Trump and with
Trump`s record of saying ungodly things or things that we really think were
not possible in a presidential campaign about women, I think he don`t need
Bill around for that. Have the lady going up against Donald Trump. When
it stops being about Donald Trump, if it ever does and becomes more of a
Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio then I think you will see the kind of the energy
brought in by Bill Clinton at that point.
SHARPTON: Barack Obama the president of the United States, how important
and how do you handle his role, because clearly she needs to energize the
SHARPTON: How do you deal with the president, where you need him to
energize the coalition that made him victorious twice, but you need to also
have a distance for your independent voters that may not be as appreciative
of the president as some of the rest of us?
PAGE: Yes. It`s kind of a role reversal now that we are in store for as
he tries to help her election because his legacy is at stake here. He
wants to be able to leave office and be able to hand on the baton over to a
fellow Democrat. And in this case it`s going to be – well, obviously,
there are so many places where Barack Obama is extraordinarily popular and
needs to energize a Hillary Clinton vote especially young voters, minority
voters, urban voters, et cetera. She needs his help in those areas. And
if Donald Trump stays in the race and gets the nomination, that`s just
going to be an immense help to her. She can`t rely on it.
SHARPTON: What we talked about a little bit was these long lines. And I
remember very well in 2012 many of us in the civil rights community not for
a candidate, went out there saying they are trying to rob the vote. And
people stood in lines as much for making sure they didn`t get away with
turning back the clock on voting as they did in supporting the re-election
of the president.
Are we going to see long lines for Hillary Clinton? How does she inspire
that? Because that really made a difference in some states
WELCH: I don`t know if she is going to inspire it, but the grassroots
people who have been fighting against these laws, they are going to be
inspired by that. And then depending on the candidate as, again, if it`s
Trump, the Republican problem already has a problem with every single
hyphenated American. And they did in 2012. They lost among everyone who
wasn`t basically Cuban-American and maybe the amazed Americans. But you
admit, that`s like 50/50 right now. So if it`s Trump, if you are not part
of the Trump coalition, then you are going to be waiting in a line to make
sure that doesn`t happen.
SHARPTON: So Joan, you think that if it`s Trump it helps to energize and
make the lines longer?
WALSH: I think so.
SHARPTON: Suppose if it`s Cruz, suppose if it`s an establishment
WALSH: Trump definitely. Cruz probably. I think the person that –
because he`s said so many things, you know. He recently said that, you
know, women shouldn`t – we have rubbers so we don`t have to worry about
contraception in terms of women controlling with their own bodies. OK.
He, you know, he really galvanizes portions of the community but not like
Trump. Rubio is a little bit scared to me because he is unknown. He has
got a lot of, you know, backward problematic policies.
SHARPTON: Stay with us. It`s crystal ball time with all of your
predictions. We will be right back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ll be back with more from the “POLITICS NAITON”
preview of 2016.
SHARPTON: Welcome back. It`s the part of the show that my panelists have
been dreading, predictions. What`s going to happen in 2016? We will get
them On the Record and then hopefully embarrass them on national TV at this
time next year.
WALSH: Thanks, Rev.
SHARPTON: Will they be able to match Donald Trump`s crystal ball? He
claims to have predicted Osama bin Laden, but his real track record is not
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Our president will start a war with Iran, I believe that he will
attack Iran sometime prior to the election, because he thinks that`s the
only way he can get elected. If he wins, oil and gasoline through the
roof, like never before. The candidates should be, in my opinion, Mitt
Romney. Now he`ll go out. He`s going to do very well against Obama. I
think he`s going to beat Obama.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: All right. Who`s the first victim? Matt, what is your
WELCH: Cruz wins the nomination by a nose over Trump. The GOP convention
is a literally bloody affair. There will be at least one reporter walking
around with a bloody nose.
WELCH: Yes, literally. And Hillary wins in a landslide. And a third
party, libertarian party will get the most it`s ever had. The green party
look at the most (INAUDIBLE).
WALSH: I think it is the year that whoever gets the nomination, the
Republican Party really has to reckon with whether it`s a nativist party,
whether it is a party for white people particularly white men, but white
people. And the Trump campaign has brought out these kind of implicit and
under – these undercurrents of race and made it more explicit that he is
defending the white, – what used to be the white majority, it`s the
minority now, against incursions of these other people. So I think this is
the year the Republican Party especially if he gets the nomination which
Matt says he won`t, so I feel better, especially if he gets the nomination
the Republican Party has to really grapple with that.
PAGE: All of the pundits have done so badly of the last six months on
predictions that I predict, I`m going to take a vacation to Antarctica a
year from now, so you won`t be able to humiliate me with my predictions on
But at this point, I`m going to say that I think that a lot of the folks
saying that they are voting for Donald Trump are saying it because he has
high name recognition, a lot of that vote is going to fade and he will not
get the nomination as a result of that. It will be someone – I`m going to
say Ted Cruz because right now Ted Cruz looks like a moderate, although in
1964 he would have been viewed as a far right looney. But I think he is
going to be a little bit tougher for Hillary to deal with because he
doesn`t generate as much of a negative bash back lash as Trump does.
SHARPTON: Joan, Clarence and Matt, thank you for being here. And I hope
you all have a great 2016.
PAGE: You, too, Rev.
WALSH: Thanks, Rev.
SHARPTON: Still ahead, we will shift gears to talk about Bill Cosby and
SHARPTON: This morning, we`ve been looking ahead to 2016, but there two
are big stories this past week that we need to talk about.
Bill Cosby, criminally charged for an alleged sexual assault in 2004 in
Pennsylvania. Cosby has repeatedly denied the accusation, saying under
oath he had consensual sexual contact with the woman. Over 50 women have
come forward to accuse Cosby of sexual misconduct, but this is the first
criminal charge filed against him.
This week, we also got news out of Ohio, a grand jury declined to indict
any officers in the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. He was killed by a
Cleveland police officer last year.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIMOTHY MCGINTY, CUYAHOGA COUNTY PROSECUTOR: Based on the evidence they
heard and the law as it applies to police use of deadly force, the grand
jury declined to bring criminal charges against Cleveland police officers
Timothy Lawman and Frank Garnback. That was also my recommendation and
that of our office after reviewing the investigation and the law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The family of Tamir Rice says the prosecutor deliberately
sabotaged the case and called on the federal government to investigate.
Joining me is MSNBC national correspondent Joy Reid, who has covered both
of these stories extensively.
Thank you for being here, Joy.
JOY REID, MSNBC NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Thanks, Rev.
SHARPTON: Let`s start with Tamir Rice, 12-year-old on film, police pull up
on film, on the video, and in seconds, shoot. How do you see this outrage
in the community? I`ve been out there several times throughout the process
with the family. Your reaction?
REID: Well, Rev., I think as you know there was definitely outrage, not a
lot of surprise. Tim McGinty, the prosecutor telegraphed really for a year
that he did not intend to prosecute the two police officers. He has put
out expert reports that the family has said were biased from outside
experts justifying the shooting. And I think the only surprise here is
that Tim McGinty went through a grand jury process rather than just make
the decision himself, which he certainly had the right to do. He bypassed
the judges` recommendation there be charges. He bypassed the family`s
request for a special prosecutor and that he recused himself in the case
and I think he got the outcome that he clearly intended.
SHARPTON: Isn`t this another indication with many of us in the civil
rights community talk about why you need outside prosecutor, special
prosecutors like we have done in New York or the federal government because
prosecutors and police with their relationship that is so intertwined very
rarely, “the Washington Post” did a big story this week, very rarely come
with indictments and even when they do, they usually do not succeed at
REID: Exactly. And in this case Tim McGinty did not succeed in the Breilo
trial. This is Michael Breilo. This is was the former police officer
involved in the 137 shot death of two unarmed civilians. That case was won
that was prosecuted and lost. And yes, severing that close relationship
between the prosecutor and police is really impossible.
Prosecutors rely on the same police officers to be their key witnesses when
they are bringing cases to trial. There`s a symbiotic relationship. And
so, without a special prosecutor being involved, the only other remedy and
you`d know this as well as I, Rev., really is the ballot box because the
only other disincentive for prosecutors is losing election.
SHARPTON: And this prosecutor is up in March in Chicago. That prosecutors
of West Palm Beach case, the Jones case up in March.
Let me go to Bill Cosby. Bill Cosby accusations over 50, but this is the
first criminal charge and clearly this is the first time we have seen
someone of his stature, a TV mainstream American TV America`s dad
criminally charged. What does this mean?
REID: Well here again, we see the intervention or, excuse me, the cross-
section of politics and law because when this current prosecutor was
running for election, part of what he did was run against the previous
prosecutor`s failure to bring charges in 2004.
SHARPTON: He had it in his TV commercial.
REID: He had TV commercials accusing the Republican incumbent of failing
to prosecute Bill Cosby and vowing to do it. So, of course, he came right
up against the dead line where the statute of limitations would run out.
The charges are not rape charges. There are something, a little lower on
the scale kind of sexual assault. But it still then fulfills a campaign
promise. So I think what we have seen here is that these kinds of cases
really can gain an import in the political process and prosecutors can be
incentivized as this one was to get justice for the victims.
SHARPTON: And you see the trial will be in the county. It is not in
Philadelphia and it`s a mostly affluent kind of community.
REID: That`s right.
SHARPTON: So the jury pool will not be considered the urban community that
has a lot of respect and administration for Cosby, even after the
REID: Exactly. And you cannot separate or obviously because we are in the
United States of America you can`t separate race ever, but Bill Cosby does
have the Trump card of celebrity of course, irrespective of race. But this
is a case of mainly white victim in this particular case the victim is a
white woman. Bill Cosby, African-American his support base such that he
has. Because I have to tell you most African-Americans that I talked to
about this case feel exactly the same way, the majority of the community
does, outraged about the allegations. But yes, indeed, and it`s highly
unlikely according to attorneys I talked to that it would be moved. This
will take place in this Pennsylvania County.
SHARPTON: We are going to have to leave it there.
Joy Reid, thank you for your time this morning.
REID: Thanks, Rev.
SHARPTON: That does it for me. Thanks for watching. I will see you back
here next week.
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