PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton, Transcript 1/10/2016

Guests:
Valerie Jarrett; Cannon Lambert; Geneva Reed-Veal; Sabrina Siddiqui; Susan del Percio; Lisa Nichols
Transcript:

Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: January 10, 2016
Guest: Valerie Jarrett; Cannon Lambert; Geneva Reed-Veal; Sabrina
Siddiqui; Susan del Percio; Lisa Nichols

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Battle Royale, Republicans start 2016 with a new
resolution to attack.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If a Jeb type, which won`t
happen, no energy. I mean this guy`s got no energy.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Say yes or no.
Senator Rubio can`t even seem to get that that down.

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Chris has a liberal
record to a Republican.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did Trump`s birther being hurt Cruz and do voters care
about Bill Clinton`s past? Our panel weighs in.

Also, President Obama`s final state of the union. We`ll talk to senior
White House adviser Valerie Jarett about why it could be unique in American
history.

And the state trooper indicted in the Sandra Bland case, now trying to get
his job out of the car.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Get out of the car, I will light you up!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Wow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now! Get out of the car!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will get reaction from Sandra Bland`s mother.

From Rockefeller Center in New York, this is “Politics Nation” with Al
Sharpton.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good morning. I`m Al Sharpton.

The first full week of 2016 shows the Republican race has gotten tougher,
nastier, and trumpier. With less than a month until Iowa, Donald Trump is
dominating the field and the national debate with his unique brand of
political entertainment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP: Throw him out into the cold. You know, don`t give them their coat.

I`m winning with the smart people. I`m winning with the not so smart
people, too. I`m winning with everything.

They never show the crowd. That`s why I love protesters. Whenever there`s
a protester, you know, I think they can`t move the cameras, right. That
they are fixed. They turn into pretzels, they can move them. If there`s a
protester behind and under the camera, it will do a somersault.

Hillary Clinton doesn`t have the string, the stamina.

We need someone with strength, stamina, with energy, with big, big, big,
beautiful fat brain.

If a Jeb type, which won`t happen, but if Jeb – that one can`t happen. No
energy. This guy`s got no energy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Trump is also reviving birther questions about Ted Cruz, who was
born in Canada to an American mother. Most experts agree Cruz is allowed
to become president, but that doesn`t stop other Republicans from jumping
on Trump`s birther band wagon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Absolutely without question
he is qualified and eligible to be the prime minister of Canada.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I think there is a question. I am not a
constitutional scholar on that, but I think it`s worth looking into.

TRUMP: I`m doing this for the good of Ted. I`m not doing it for me
because I like him and he likes me.

SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As a legal matter the
question is quite straightforward and settled law that the child of a U.S.
citizen born abroad is a natural born citizen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Meanwhile, Chris Christie getting stronger in New Hampshire,
suddenly finds himself under attack, and he is firing back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUBIO: Chris has a liberal record for a Republican. I mean, he supported
common core, he ran for office as a supporter of gun control.

CHRISTIE: You want someone on that stage against Hillary Clinton who has
been through the wars, not somebody who say first term United States
senator who has never had a tough race in his life. She`ll pat him on the
head and then cut his heart out.

TRUMP: Look, here`s the story. The George Washington Bridge, he knew
about it.

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My record is one as a conservative,
applying conservative principles and moving the needle in the right
direction. I don`t think he can make that same claim.

CHRISTIE: You know, if that`s what Jeb, and John and Marco want to do,
that`s fine. I`m going to continue to do what I did.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me is our panel, MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Alter,
Sabrina Siddiqui of “the Guardian” and Republican strategist Susan Del
Percio. Thank you all for being here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Great to be here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Rev.

SHARPTON: Well, Susan`s first full week of the year and Donald Trump still
dominating Donald Trump`s race.

SUSAN DEL PERCIO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: It is, right now it is. He is
leading in all the polls nationally. He is leading in some polls in Iowa.
He is looking good in New Hampshire but a lot of things can change. Ted
Cruz does have a good organization in Iowa. And Iowa is an organizational
state. And folks in New Hampshire are known to change their mind at the
very last minute, which I think is most likely. I think you are going to
see a lot of independents who can vote in the New Hampshire primary, vote
to kick Trump out, and fire him from the primary.

SHARPTON: But isn`t the hope, Sabrina, that if the independents vote in
New Hampshire, is the hope of many progressives they will go Sanders and
not Trump. I mean, isn`t that going to be a problem there? And isn`t it a
lot of wishful thinking by the Republican establishment that something may
trip up Trump in Iowa, something may trip him up in New Hampshire, and he
hasn`t tripped up yet and he is done everything that people would feel
would have undermined any other candidate?

SABRINA SIDDIQUI, THE GUARDIAN: Right, I think the big question mark, when
I talk to a lot of rival of these Republican campaigns is, are these
supporters of Donald Trump going to turn up and caucus for him? Are they
going to turn up at the polls in New Hampshire and vote in this primary?

But when you – outside of Donald Trump then get into the alternative
candidates, Marco Rubio in New Hampshire is a slightly comfortable second
but he still only leads by a few points. And then you have this very
fractured field where you have John Kasich, Jeb Bush and Chris Christie
trying to make a mark. And I think that – part of why you`re seeing them
bring out the knives and sharpen their attacks against each other, is
because if your name is not Ted Cruz or Donald Trump, I mean, there`s a
sentiment among them this is potentially anyone`s for the taking if there
is going to be an alternative. And I think what you`re trying to see
especially from Marco Rubio`s point of view since he is seen as from
formidable and his rival trying to take him down a peg in Iowa, because if
he does not post a strong showing in Iowa, they hope he`ll have a ripple
effect in New Hampshire and some of them can break through.

SHARPTON: When you see, Jonathan, Trump go birther on Cruz, is that fear?
Is that he thinks that Cruz is gaining in Iowa, and possibly the south? Is
that safing his bet? What is the birther stuff all of a sudden with Cruz?

JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: So Trump wants to beat Cruz in
Iowa. Right now, everybody says, Cruz is going to win Iowa easily. Trump
is nowhere. That`s not what Trump thinks. And by the way, in recent weeks
he has developed a pretty good ground game in Iowa. If he wins Iowa –

SHARPTON: He, being Trump.

ALTER: Trump. If he wins Iowa, Rev., it`s over, he is the Republican
nominee. I mean, you can never say it is over.

SHARPTON: Do you agree with that?

ALTER: You can never say it`s over. But he will then win New Hampshire
and then go south with a huge head of steam and I think it would be very
hard to stop if he won both Iowa and New Hampshire. I don`t think it`s
likely. Probably Cruz winning Iowa, Trump winning New Hampshire and then
the question becomes who does better than expected. It becomes an
expectations game. And so, if a Chris Christie –

SHARPTON: I want to come back to that. Do you agree if he wins Iowa, do
Trump wins Iowa, it`s over?

DEL PERCIO: No, I don`t.

SHARPTON: OK, let me then ask you this –

DEL PERCIO: Because based upon just to follow this –

ALTER: I shouldn`t say it`s over. I`ve been covering this long enough to
know you should never say it`s over like Yogi Berra.

DEL PERCIO: I don`t think if he wins Iowa he wins New Hampshire. That`s
where the disconnect.

SHARPTON: But it gives him more momentum.

But let me ask this. If he wins in Iowa or New Hampshire and heads south,
it`s very difficult then, but don`t you start seeing a lot of the other
candidates fall off and you end up with a narrower race? Couldn`t he get
clipped if becomes a three or four-person race?

ALTER: Yes. I mean, if you have a Cruz/Trump/Kasich race or Cruz, Trump,
Rubio, yes. The so-called establishment candidate is going to get a lot of
votes. But you have these winner-take-all primaries early in the
Republican process. So if Trump is leading going into a lot of those. He
is going to rock up a lot of delegates before they get to the proportional
primaries. So anyone who thinks that, you know, Trump is just going to
collapse now, that`s real 2015 thinking. He is going to go to that
convention with a lot of delegates whether he wins or not.

DEL PERCIO: And there was also something in your introduction, I kept
seeing all those clips of candidates looking to kill each other especially
the Christie/Cruz/Rubio/Bush folks all after each other. I mean, I was
like well, that`s a food fight. Who wins a food fight?

SHARPTON: And it is about who is the establishment candidate?

SIDDIQUI: And that`s where, you know, let`s say you have a situation where
Ted Cruz wins Iowa and Donald Trump wins New Hampshire, it depends on what
the margins are for the remaking candidates.

ALTER: Right.

SIDDIQUI: Because if Jeb Bush posts better than they are expected to and
Marco Rubio does not in fact have a significant second or third showing,
then there isn`t the same incentive for them to drop out right away. They
might want to live see another day there in South Carolina.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you something. You are one of my favorite
Republicans, and it is early in the year.

DEL PERCIO: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Explain something to me. What is this fascination with Rubio`s
heels being high on his shoe?

DEL PERCIO: Dear.

SHARPTON: I mean, we have so many serious problems going on in the
country. Do you all really have nothing to talk about, obsess about in the
Republican Party than he has on higher heels?

DEL PERCIO: I have not discussed or tweeted about Marco Rubio`s shoes
until right this very minute.

SHARPTON: All right, well, go ahead.

DEL PERCIO: That`s the first time I`m talking about him and hopefully it
is last time.

SHARPTON: But you are in the minority because the others have, let me show
you.

DEL PERCIO: OK.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you think of those boots?

TRUMP: Well, I can`t quite – I don`t know what`s – you won`t see me
wearing them. I don`t know what to think of those boots. They`re big
heels. They`re big heels. I mean, those heels were really up there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Governor, you changed your shoes.

BUSH: I did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For New Hampshire snow or what happened?

BUSH: The heels are low heels, just for the record.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Were you letting loose in those boots?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, were you wearing the boots?

MARCO: No, not that day. I don`t think I had them yet. I like them.
We`ll see. Listen, they may make a comeback at some point. They`re for
special occasions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DEL PERCIO: I don`t think they`ll come back any time soon.

SHARPTON: Not the thing I would want to be talking about if I was running
for president.

ALTER: Look. I`m an Imelda Marcos fan that I love shoes. I am happy to
talk about the shoes, but this is the silly season.

SHARPTON: Yes.

ALTER: `Any time there`s something that gets people like us talking,
that`s not about, you know, what`s their tax policy, what`s their policy
on, you know, increasing the defense budget, all the things that voters at
a person point –

SHARPTON: Well, maybe they talked about their tax policy and all that,
maybe they will afraid they`ll get the boot.

ALTER: That`s a good one. Also they don`t have a lot to say that`s fresh.
It`s not like they`re offering the American people a lot of really new,
fresh ideas to argue about.

SHARPTON: Everybody, stay with us. There`s a lot more ahead we have to
talk about. Stay with us.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming up, President Obama`s final state of the union.
It will not be what you`re used to. We will hear from White House senior
adviser Valerie Jarrett.

Also, should Bill Clinton hit back against Donald Trump?

And Sandra Bland`s mother talks about the new indictment in her daughter`s
case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: President Obama`s final state of the union on Tuesday will be
non-traditional. Lots of laundry list of policies and then a call to
action. Over the past seven years, this speech has given us some of the
president`s most memorable moments.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They deserve a vote. Gabby
Giffords deserves a vote. The families of new town deserve a vote. The
families of Aurora deserve a vote.

I have no more campaigns to run. My only agenda – I know, because I won
both of them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It`s also become a forum for Republican opposition. One GOP
congressman invited Ted Nugent as his guest. Last year others invited
stars of “Duck Dynasty.” Now, Ted Cruz says he is going to skip Tuesday`s
speech to campaign. His spokeswoman says it`s not meant as disrespect.

Joining me now is White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. Thank you
for being here.

VALERIE JARRETT, WHITE HOUSE SENIOR ADVISER: My pleasure. How are you
doing, Reverend Sharpton?

SHARPTON: I`m very well. Let me ask you at the outset here. There are
reports this will be a quote “nontraditional state of the union.” What can
we expect?

JARRETT: Well I think, I don`t want to get too far ahead of President
Obama, but he is really looking forward as he always does to having an
opportunity to speak directly to the American people, and really tell his
story about his vision for America, which is a very optimistic and hopeful
vision, which I know won`t surprise you.

It`s not going to be the traditional state of the union where he talks
through all of the accomplishments of the prior year, and the challenges of
the year ahead, so it will be much more visionary. And it`s one that he is
spending a lot of his personal time working on, because as you know, it`s
his last state of the union.

SHARPTON: As you say, it`s the last state of the union. He is in his last
year. What are his priorities? What are his goals for this last year?

JARRETT: Well, several, Reverend Sharpton. As you saw from last week, as
we entered into the second half of the fourth quarter, the president really
had a lot that he announced in terms of what we want to do to keep guns out
of the hands of people who shouldn`t have them, keep our communities safe,
focus on where we can provide broader mental health services, improve the
way that we do data collection to ensure again guns don`t fall into the
wrong hands and work on gun technology so that we can have smart guns. If
you can figure out a way to design an iPad so your thumbprint keeps it from
falling into the wrong hands we should be able to do the same with our
guns.

So he started with a big week. We had a great jobs number on Friday of
292,000 jobs, unemployment rate five percent, coming down strongly in the
African-American community as well, over well over one percent in just one
month although it does tend to fluctuate. So we have a lot going for us.
And so, looking to the year ahead he is going to focus on criminal justice
reform. As you know, he gave a speech last year at the NAACP, focusing on
what we can do in our community, what we can do in our courtrooms and what
we can do in the cellblock to reduce the number of people who are
incarcerated for overly lengthy sentences. And once people have pay their
debt to society and earn the right to re-enter we need to make it easier
for them to do that. We are going to focus a great deal on how we can
continue to strengthen the relationship between police and the communities
they serve, monitoring the implementation of the 21st century task force
report, climate change is a big, big priority for the president. We want
to figure out what we can do to make sure that we leave our planet in
better condition for our children and our grandchildren.

SHARPTON: I want to get back to the unemployment numbers, but I want to
delve a minute into what you talked about when you say gun control, because
the president in an op-ed he wrote for the “New York Times” this week, he
said the following and I`m quoting from him, he says “I will not campaign
for a vote for or support any candidate, even in my own party, who does not
support common-sense gun reform.” That`s a pretty heavy statement for
incumbent president.

JARRETT: Well, there are going to be a lot of people who expect him to get
out there and campaign for them and he wanted to set the record very clear,
what his expectations will be. And he is hoping that the American people
do the same thing. He is convinced the only way we are going to break the
stranglehold that special interest groups such as the NRA have over members
of Congress is if there is a counter force and there`s no better counter
force as we know than that, that the American people can provide.

On Friday the president had a call with over 25,000 volunteers from around
the country who have been working very hard on putting in place ways of
keeping guns out of the wrong hands, and he called on them to spread the
word about how important it is to educate the American people about what`s
at stake here.

The town hall that he had last week on Thursday where he had a chance to
speak directly and have a conversation with those who disagreed with his
program, as well as with those who did, demonstrating one can disagree
without being disagreeable and it was an honest conversation. And gave him
a chance, Reverend Sharpton, to debunk a lot of this nonsense that you`re
hearing about his intent to take guns way.

He is in the seventh year of his administration. What evidence is there
that he is trying to take any law-abiding citizen`s guns away? He just
wants to make sure that everybody goes through the same background check
that the law-abiding citizens who buy guns from licensed dealers do, and
that it shouldn`t matter where you buy your gun. If somebody`s in the
business of selling guns, then they should register and they should perform
background checks before they sell to people.

SHARPTON: Let me go back to the unemployment numbers because they are
impressive. I mean five percent unemployment, 8.3 unemployment among
blacks, over a point lower than last year. I mean, these are very, very
important figures, and a good forecast as he gets ready to make his last
state of the union address.

JARRETT: Yes, they are very good numbers, and we`ve seen consistent, you
know, over the last 70 plus months of private sector job growth and that`s
tremendous. But we also know, Reverend Sharpton, that there are a lot of
people out there who want work and we need to make sure that they have the
training that they need, and the opportunity to work and it shouldn`t
matter what your zip code is. Every young person should have that
opportunity to have a job, provide for their family, thrive in our
communities.

And so for the president`s last year, what he has said to his team is look,
do not take your foot off the accelerator. I want you to leave it all on
the field, to use a sports analogy. Do everything we can to focus on how
we can improve the quality of life of the American people. They`re
counting on their government to work. The president tends to lead by
example and I`m sure that he could do everything within his power to
deliver on behalf of that promise.

SHARPTON: White house senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett, thank you for your
time and we`ll all be watching the president Tuesday night.

JARRETT: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Up next, the state trooper in the Sandra Bland case,
trying to get his job back. We will hear from Sandra`s mother.

And then, Bill Clinton`s strategy for dealing with Donald Trump.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The Texas state trooper who was fired after being charged with
perjury in the Sandra Bland case wants his job back. Trooper Brian
Ensignia pulled bland over in July for making an improper lane change. She
died days later in her jail cell. Her death was ruled a suicide. This
week, a grand jury indicted Ensignia on suspicion of lying in a police
report about her arrest. He was just fired and surrendered on a perjury
charge. He wrote in his report quote “I had Bland exit the vehicle to
further conduct a safe traffic investigation.” This part of that arrest
from the camera on his traffic report.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANDRA BLAND, VICTIM: Don`t touch me. I`m not under arrest.

BRIAN ENSIGMA, TROOPER POLICE: You are under arrest?

BLAND: I`m under arrest for what?

ENSIGMA: FM 290, send me another unit. Get out of the car. Get out of
the car. Now!

BLAND: Why am I being apprehended? You`re trying to give me a ticket in.

ENSIGMA: I`m saying get out of the car?

BLAND: Why am I being apprehended?

ENSIGMA: I`m going to drag you out of here.

BLAND: So you`re going to drag me out of my own car.

ENSIGMA: Get out of the car! I will light you up.

BLAND: Wow.

ENSIGMA: Get out of the car, now!

BLAND: Wow.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: If convicted, the trooper could face up to a year in jail, and a
$4,000 fine. He turned himself in, and is out of jail on bond. His
attorney now says his termination was “unwarranted.”

Joining me now is Sandra Bland`s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal and Bland family
attorney, Cannon Lambert. Thank you for being here.

Let me go to you first as the mother. What is your reaction to the news
that this trooper wants his job back?

GENEVA REED-VEAL, SANDRA BLAND`S MOTHER: Well, Reverend, my reaction is, I
am hopeful that the system will do what it needs to do, so that that
doesn`t happen. The gentleman should not be allowed to interface with
another individual and cause this type of pain to anyone else`s family
member.

SHARPTON: Now, you talk about the pain. Your daughter died in that jail
cell. The grand jury did not indict this officer or find forward anyone on
the death. How do you feel now that a grand jury indicted him for perjury
and he faces a year in jail? Is that any form of justice to you?

REED-VEAL: No, sir. That is not a form of justice to me. It actually
just feels like a slap on the wrist. For me, my daughter is gone. She
doesn`t have the ability to do administrative leave, and so she is gone.
And to be afforded the opportunity to have someone up on a perjury, perjury
charge, where there is that type of up to a year and $4,000 fine, that`s
not justice. I feel like that`s a slap on the wrist. And ultimately I
just feel like it may be yet another obstacle, another ploy here to keep my
side from getting what it is they need to have, so that they can move
forward and find what really happened to my daughter.

SHARPTON: Attorney Lambert, when she says her side and the family`s side
getting what they want, what other measures can be done now?

CANNON LAMBERT, BLAND FAMILY ATTORNEY: Well, as you know, we are pursuing
a civil action, and part of the civil action requires that we do as much as
we can to investigate what took place. Part of that includes getting the
Texas Ranger report. The Texas rangers did an investigation and we want to
know what the outcome of that investigation was.

SHARPTON: You do not have that report, the Texas Ranger report?

LAMBERT: No, sir, and as it stands, what we are hopeful of, is that we`ll
obtain it, but my fear is, frankly, that they will use as a tactic to try
and prevent that from happening the fact that there now is an indictment,
but an indictment on a misdemeanor shouldn`t prohibit this family from
finding out what happened to their daughter.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you, Ms. Reed-Veal, you are a mother, and as people
around the nation watch you, we hear a lot of cases, stand with a lot of
cases, but give us a sense of your daughter. You lost your child. What
type of person was she? The officer said she was threatening. We watched
the tape. Give us a sense of the type of person she was that you lost and
mourn for.

REED-VEAL: The type of person Sandy was, was very, very, very, very smart.
She was aggressive. When she needed to be. Take note, Sandy did not get
aggressive with the officer until she was asked to exit her vehicle, OK?
That`s when she began to really, there was a shift there. Sandy was a
smart, beautiful young lady who had a lot going on for her and was ready
for the next chapter in her life.

I often tell people, when they say to me, well, my goodness, don`t you
think, why couldn`t she have just gotten, just shut her mouth and just
moved on? Well, you know what? What would have happened if Rosa Parks
would have moved on? What would have happened if Malcolm X would have
moved on? What would have happened if Martin Luther king would have moved
on?

I totally feel that Sandy was called for such a time as this, and I am
thankful that she was able to realize who she was, who she was becoming,
and she was ready for that journey to let people know that she was totally
and completely against social injustice, and she was going to be loud about
it. And she is still being loud about it. So just as there was one of the
individuals I mentioned to you, there was one Sandy Bland. One Sandy
Bland.

SHARPTON: Well, I think we`re going to leave it at that. I think you
stated it exactly the way you would want to.

Geneva Reed-Veal, Cannon Lambert, thank you both for your time and we`ll
stay on top of this story.

LAMBERT: Thank you.

REED-VEAL: Thank you, Reverend.

LAMBERT: Thank you so much.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: This morning by popular demand, we are bringing back our
“gotcha.” And today it`s about the conservative reaction to President
Obama on guns. The president moved to tears when talking about the victims
of the Sandy Hook school shooting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Every time I think about
those kids, it gets me mad. And by the way, it happens on the streets of
Chicago every day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: A president`s pain on display for all to see, but some
Republicans weren`t moved by the emotional call to action. Like house
speaker Paul Ryan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: What did you think when the president cried?

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), HOUSE SPEAKER: I didn`t really think about his
crying.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Were you affected by it?

RYAN: I was affected by it but I thought we should have had the same kind
of reaction when James Foley was beheaded, when San Bernardino and Paris
occurred.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Ryan also called President Obama`s focus on gun control a quote
“distraction” from issues like terrorism.

But look at this. Last year 20 Americans lost their lives in terrorist
attacks in places like Paris and San Bernardino. That`s 20 too many. But
in that same period, over 13,000 Americans were killed by gun violence,
13,000. This isn`t a distraction. It`s a national crisis. And here san
actual distraction. Conservative pundit, wondering whether the president`s
tears were even real.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I would check that podium for a raw onion or some no
more tears. It`s not really believable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: “Not believable”? I can`t believe anyone would say something
like that on an issue like this. Did these righties really think I`d let
them get away with it? Nice try. But here`s something to cry over. We
gotcha.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: President Bill Clinton getting on the campaign trail for the
first time this cycle. The political world kept close watch, and it also
took note when Donald Trump seized the opportunity to dredge up old
scandals.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Women`s rights are human
rights, and human rights are women`s rights. Once and for all, let`s keep
fighting for opportunity and dignity.

TRUMP: Hillary called me sexist, that I had an inclination. What does she
know about me? I had an inclination. When she said that, I said, well,
your husband`s now campaigning, it`s open season.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But the former president didn`t take the bait.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Donald Trump is again today making an issue
of your past transgressions. Do you want to respond and are you worried
that your past could hurt your wife`s campaign?

BILL CLINTON, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I don`t have a
response. If he wins the Republican nomination, we`ll have plenty of time
to talk about it. I have no interest in getting involved in their politics
or doing anything except trying to help Hillary.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: No response?

B. CLINTON: He is said a lot of things.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: What is your reaction to –?

B. CLINTON: I have no response.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Back, back with more of our panel, Jonathan Alter, Sabrina
Siddiqui and Susan Del Percio.

Did the former president do the right thing, Sabrina, by not responding,
not taking the bait, as I put it?

SIDDIQUI: Absolutely. I think that there is no use in them engaging with
Donald Trump on this subject right now. His role right now is to boost
Hillary Clinton`s campaign especially in Iowa and New Hampshire, where she
and Bernie Sanders are still locked in this dead heat. And they don`t want
to at least right now in the primary re-litigate the past.

I will say there has been some concern among some Republican operatives,
though, when you bring these attacks back up against Bill Clinton and his
past, that they actually might help Hillary Clinton in a general. So
that`s where I think there would be concern among Republicans if anything
that is this something she can rally women around? Is this something that
makes her seem more sympathetic? Because polling in the past has shown
that amid, you know, the scandal that plagued them at the time was when her
favorite ratings were at the highest.

SHARPTON: Jonathan, you know the Clintons. You written books on the last
race and many other things. They had to assume that these issues were
going to rise, arise at some point when they decided she was going to run.
Is this, in your opinion, their strategy to really not comment on it until
later when there`s a nominee or what? I mean, what is the strategy here?
Because you and I know Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton did not imagine
this was not going to come up at some point.

ALTER: I think they`re comforted by the fact even in 1998, 1999, 2000,
when Republicans tried to raise this as an issue it boomeranged so much,
and book actually went up. And Hillary Clinton`s number went up so much
that she walked into the United States Senate in 2000 partly because people
thought this was ridiculous and had no place in our politics.

But having said that, some things have changed, and the conversation over
feminism and assault, sexual assault, has changed in the last 15 years. So
when Hillary tweeted not too long ago she believed the woman when, in any
he said/she said situation involving sexual assault, you now have a
situation where people are going, you know, reasonable people are going,
all right, well if you always believe the woman, then why not believe
Juanita Broadderick who claims that Bill Clinton sexually assaulted her in
1978. And she says, well there`s no evidence of it. Well, often there`s
no evidence. So they could get into one of these discussions about sexual
assault that would not be helpful for their campaign.

SHARPTON: Do you think it`s smart or not for your leading Republican
candidate to start digging this kind of mud-throwing, when in fact, there
are so many hard issues that people really care about and where he,
himself, has, I don`t know anything about women or anything, but has a
flashy kind of lifestyle. I mean, why would he want to even get into whose
lifestyle and all of that kind of stuff is an issue.

DEL PERCIO: Because Donald Trump doesn`t care about what`s politically
right to do, smart. He hasn`t been brought up through the trenches saying
this is what you have to say in front of these people. He just goes out
there and does it by gut.

The fact is, while Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton may have been expecting
them to be challenged on some of those issues, they never expected a Trump-
like challenge. It`s over the top. No one would do that. How could
anyone in this, any of the other candidates on the Republican side would
never go there until Donald Trump went there.

So I think it`s very smart for Donald Trump. I don`t like that kind of
politics, but he is doing a great thing. He is doing the one thing that
Republicans for the last 16 years have wanted. They wanted someone to go
after the Clintons and go after them hard, and that`s what he is doing.
It`s a great strategy.

SHARPTON: But Sabrina, he is still Bill Clinton, isn`t he an asset on the
trail?

SIDDIQUI: On the campaign trail, especially in a Democratic primary right
now, I think they view him as an asset. He is one of the most, you know,
popular living presidents and most polling continues to show that he
remains to be that way. And I think that one of the benefits that he
brings is, when he was campaigning for her, I was out there in New
Hampshire, he really humanizes her. I think he really was able to
effectively tell the personal story behind Hillary Clinton, you know, one
of the things people often criticized she doesn`t come across as personable
and relatable and he is effective in peeling back behind who she is as a
person. And I also think that one of the cases he was making was why she
should be the standard bearer for the Democratic Party and he didn`t
mention Bernie Sanders, but of course, the argument being why should he not
be –

SHARPTON: But Sanders is showing real support in New Hampshire. And he is
competitive in Iowa. Jonathan?

ALTER: Well, if Bernie Sanders wins Iowa and New Hampshire, we are going
to be talking a lot about the Democrats in this campaign. It`s quite
possible that he could do so. I think he will amass some delegates in some
liberal states. And you`re going to see him being a factor all the way
through, this especially with younger Democrats who really, really like
him.

And so she can`t take anything for granted. She is very likely to be the
nominee, but she is going to have to continue to work for it. I think it`s
good for her to have this competition, if it was just a coronation, she
would be rustier when it came to the general election so it is probably –
ultimately a good thing, but could be a painful thing for a while.

DEL PERCIO: But the problem is even with the democratic primary, I think,
you have Bill Clinton being the story of the day when it comes to Trump`s
attacks. That`s what we heard the last couple of days. It`s not going to
go away because Trump will not stop this line of attack. So it reminds a
lot of people they don`t like the Clinton baggage, while Hillary Clinton`s
very popular. If he remains the story on this kind of, you know, Bill
Cosby and Anthony Weiner, that is the last thing that the Clinton campaign
wants to see, so he could become problematic.

SHARPTON: We`re out of time. You notice, Sabrina, that Susan got in Bill
Cosby and Anthony Weiner. That was a little Republican drop.

Jonathan Alter, Sabrina Siddiqui and Susan del Percio, thank you and enjoy
the rest of the weekend.

DEL PERCIO: Thank you.

ALTER: Thanks, Rev.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We will be back with life coach and bestselling author
Lisa Nichols who advice on how to keep the New Year`s resolutions.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: 2016 is just getting started but already some people may be
struggling with those New Year`s resolutions. That brings me to my next
guest.

Lisa Nichols, she knows a thing or two about setting goals. Two decades
ago, she was a single mother with $11 to her name. Today, she is a life
coach, a motivational speaker, and a bestselling author. Just over a year
ago, Nichols made her own New Year`s resolution, to lose weight. Since
then, she shed 78 pounds. She did it while writing her new book “Abundance
Now.”

Joining me now is Lisa Nichols. Thank you for being here.

LISA NICHOLS, AUTHOR, ABUNDANCE NOW: Thank you for having me, Reverend, I
appreciate it.

SHARPTON: I got to ask you, first, how did you lose the weight?

NICHOLS: Well, you know, the first thing I realized was that a lot of it
was emotional. We never look at that. We look at eat less, work out, but
I had on a 78-pound jacket, and I had to look at what was it covering, what
was it doing for me. And so I looked at the things that I, that cause me
to put it on, shame, blame, guilt, resentment, you know, the things I never
want to talk about on stage and I dealt with those. And then it was easy,
because I wasn`t afraid of the woman that would show up. I wasn`t afraid
of being beautiful in my physical body again. I didn`t have to hide behind
a bunch of colors or a bunch of hair.

SHARPTON: Now, it is a lot of this emotion as you know, you know I lost a
lot of weight.

NICHOLS: I do. Congratulations.

SHARPTON: But tell me, what stops people from remaining committed to their
new year`s resolution? People are just starting this year, and many of
them won`t get to the end of the month. What stops people from keeping
their resolution?

NICHOLS: People expect to move their lifestyle, but they haven`t moved
their mind-set, that your mind-set, you need to look at how you think about
money, how you think about success, and some of us need to pack our bags
and literally move our mind-set to a whole another zip code, because
anywhere your mind-set is, your lifestyle will follow.

When people win the lottery, but they haven`t thought about money any
differently, they go back to broke. It takes them a little longer and
they`re in a lot more debt when they get back in debt. So when you shift
your mind, when I wrote this book, it was about a single mom who had $11.42
to her name.

SHARPTON: Tell me about your path. You are talking about your journey,
the struggles of a single mother with no money.

NICHOLS: Yes. I was born and raised in south central L.A. I lived in the
(INAUDIBLE) `50s and `60s, not cheerleading squads. And when I was 28
years old I had my son and had to get on government assistance to have my
son. I had to get on public assistance just to give birth to him. I had
to get on WIC, Women, Infant and Children, and I was grateful. I was
grateful for the pasta, the cheese, the butter, everything, the milk,
everything.

But when my son was eight months old, I went to the ATM to get money to get
him pampers, and I only had $11.42 in the bank. I had to wrap my son,
Reverend, in a towel for two days. And nothing was more shameful than
having to wrap my son in a towel. And that day I said, obviously I don`t
know enough. I need to go somewhere and learn something that I don`t know,
because what I know got me here. I need to learn something different. I
look up 21 years later, my company just went public a year and a half ago,
and my life is barely recognizable, which is why I wrote this book.
Because people kept asking me how did I go from public assistance to going
public?

SHARPTON: The book “Abundance Now,” what is it and how can people achieve
it?

NICHOLS: It explodes the myth that abundance is for some people. That is
for a select few of a certain hue or origin or a certain status. It allows
you to see abundance is available to all of us. It also explodes the myth
that abundance is singly focused, it`s just money, just possession. True
abundance is a 360 experience. Its abundant spirituality, its abundant
relationships, its abundant finances and its abundant health. I have a lot
of very wealthy friends who are not abundant. They are just wealthy.

SHARPTON: There`s been a poll how angry a lot of Americans are. How do
you feel we should channel that anger?

NICHOLS: Right. So grab something that`s bigger than you. Serve some
people. Have a goal this year that literally pours into the lives of other
people. While you`re building your own life, while you`re mad, channel it
into something that`s going to make a difference. Plant new seeds to grow
new fruits.

SHARPTON: Lisa Nichols, thank you for your time. And her new book is
“Abundance Now: amplify your life and achieve prosperity today.”

That does it for me. Thanks for watching. I hope you are having luck with
all your new year`s resolutions. I`ll see you back here next Sunday.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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