Politics Nation with Al Sharpton, Transcript, 7/31/2016

Guests:
Hakeem Jeffries, Anita Dunn, Allan Lichtman
Transcript:

Show: POLITICS NATION

Date: July 31, 2016

Guest: Hakeem Jeffries, Anita Dunn, Allan Lichtman 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Turning in the race for presidents.  What happens after 

this?

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE:  America is great.

BARRACK OBAMA, (D) U.S. PRESIDENT:  America is already great.

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE:  They have people that aren`t 

telling the truth about where our country is.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Don`t let anyone ever tell you that this country 

isn`t great.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We are America, second to none.

TRUMP:  They`re giving it rose colored glasses.

CLINTON:  He wants to divide us.

TRUMP:  President Obama has been the most ignorant President in our 

history.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That`s a bunch or malarkey.

OBAMA:  Hillary Clinton is the woman in the arena.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Hillary Clinton has never quit on anything in her 

life.

TRUMP:  We`re going to beat her on November eight.

OBAMA:  That`s another bet that Donald Trump will lose.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  From Rockefeller Center in New York.  This is a Special 

Edition of POLITICS NATION with Al Sharpton. 

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST:  Good morning.  I`m Al Sharpton.  We start with 

Donald Trump`s counter punch.  After a historic week for the Democrats, the 

first woman ever nominated by a major party, Trump is desperate to slow 

Hillary Clinton`s momentum.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  You know what?  I`ve been saying, let`s just beat her on November 

eight, but you know what?  Well no.  You know what?  I`m starting to agree 

with you.  I don`t have to be so nice anymore.  I`m taking the gloves off, 

right?

Just remember this.  Trump is going to be no more Mr. Nice guy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  But of course Clinton and her running mate have come out 

swinging with a three-day bus tour that takes aim at Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON:  I find it highly amusing that Donald Trump talks about make 

America great again.  He doesn`t make a thing in America.  It`s a 

bankruptcies.

SEN. TIM KAINE, (D-VA) VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  The Republican 

convention was a twisted and negative tour.  It wasn`t a tour of this 

country, it was a journey through Donald Trump`s mind and that`s a very 

frightening place.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  Now the race is on.  Will Clinton get a bounce from the 

convention and can she rally independence with the kind of positive 

rhetoric we used to hear from Republicans?  On the other side is clear 

whatever Donald Trump does going forward, he`ll do it alone.  The biggest 

names in the GOP are not behind him.  In Cleveland some could barely say 

his name.  It`s different for Clinton.  In Philly she had the entire party 

behind her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Leaders like Hillary Clinton who has the guts and the 

grace to keep coming back and putting those cracks in the highest and 

hardest glass ceiling.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  One of the smartest, toughest, most tenacious people 

on this planet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the 

United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  She`s the best darn change maker I ever met in my 

entire life.

OBAMA:  There has never been a man or a woman, not me, not Bill, nobody 

more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United 

States of America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  Joining me now is Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat from New 

York.  Thanks for being here.

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES, (D) NEW YORK:  Good morning.

SHARPTON:  Now, before we start Congressman.  You had quite the speech at 

the DNC.  I want to play some of that for my viewers to watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFFRIES:  It`s a choice between a commander-in-chief and a bankrupter-in-

chief.  It`s a choice between the secretary of state and the secretary of 

hate.  Donald Trump is a bounced check but Hillary Clinton is money in the 

bank.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  Congressman, it sounds like this race has gotten you inspired.

JEFFRIES:  Well, you know, I come out of the National Action Network.  It`s 

full of activism so it was an honor and a privilege to have an opportunity 

to share some thoughts for a few moments at the convention.

SHARPTON:  Well, you handled it well.  You know, going into the convention 

with low favorability, let me get to that issue.  And her trust rate – 

where the ratings were low.  Did she do enough to address that in this 

convention?

JEFFRIES:  Well I think so.  If you look at some of the validated, just 

from the beginning, the lead-off hitter was Michelle Obama and she was 

phenomenal in talking about what a Hillary Clinton presidency will mean, 

and how deeply she respects her as an individual, as mother, as grandmother 

and certainly as a person who is serious in the public policy space.

And someone who`s going to inspire people like Michelle Obama`s own 

daughters, to be the best that they can be in the United States of America.  

And then you had that one, two punch on Tuesday and Wednesday of President 

Bill Clinton, President Barrack Obama to really validate her in a variety 

of different ways.  Talk about her character, her intelligence, her warmth, 

her humor as President Obama did in the video and also in his remarks.  And 

then you had Hillary Clinton as the clean-up hitter introduced by Chelsea 

Clinton, that humanized her again as a mother and grandmother and that 

someone who …

SHARPTON:  And just stayed (ph) right in that area.

JEFFRIES:  That`s right.

SHARPTON:  Let me go to a policy question though.  You had a very 

progressive agenda that came out to the convention, progressive in terms of 

climate change, in terms of inequality and income inequality, in criminal 

justice system.  Did they do enough though or did they go too far left to 

appeal to independents?

JEFFRIES:  Well, it was actually a very interesting balancing act because 

you have 45 percent at the delegates who are there as Bernie Sanders 

supporters.  Who were strongly committed to an agenda on the left relative 

to climate change and income inequality and getting rid of citizens united 

and things that Bernie Sanders himself has been very passionate about.  And 

it was important to speak to that group of people to unify the party.

But to your point we also had to make sure that we were appealing to the 

independents and to the moderate voters, to suburban women and others who 

are going to decide this election.  And I think whether that was true the 

presentation that was made by our former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Who did 

a great job of speaking to independents and individuals and accomplished a 

lot in his remarks and strongly denounce Donald Trump.  Whether that was 

the general who spoke in very strong terms as it relates to …

SHARPTON:  Yeah.

JEFFRIES:  … the view that Hillary Clinton is the best person to lead.  

The Nick (inaudible) for the United States of America and help people safe.  

I think it was a great balancing act in terms of speaking to the base but 

also brought it in the potential electorate.

SHARPTON:  I need to ask this.  You mentioned some of the progressives and 

supporters of Senator Sanders.  There were some boos, there were even some 

walk out by some of Bernie supporters.  Is this something that Mrs. Clinton 

should be concerned about going forward?

JEFFRIES:  Well, there was some anxiety in the hall particularly on Monday.  

But I think it was a brilliant decision to have Senator Sanders speak the 

first night, and he gave a very clear throated endorsement of Secretary 

Clinton.  And talked about the fact that they had begun the work together 

on a wide variety of policy issues of importance to his supporters, such as 

free college education and reducing the massive crashing burden of student 

debt that so many millennials are suffering through right now.

And that began a set a tone, I thought that bring people closer together 

throughout the duration of the convention.  There`s still some work that 

needs to be done.  But as you recall from 2008, it was tense between …

SHARPTON:  Oh yeah.

JEFFRIES:  … Obama supporters and Clinton supporters.  And the end of the 

day, we came together again.  I think we can come together again.

SHARPTON:  Let me just ask you this, what do you think Trump was thinking 

watching this campaign this week …

JEFFRIES:  Well I think he`s probably thinking that he`s in trouble, 

because you`ve got the entire Democratic line-up behind Secretary Clinton 

whereas on the other side of the aisle you have a situation where you got 

governors, and senators, and congress members, former presidents running as 

far away from Donald Trump as can happen.  So, how far will his carnival 

act take him?  Not very far.

SHARPTON:  I want to get into, comparing what happened there in Cleveland, 

his convention and what happened this week in Philadelphia later in the 

show.  Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, thank you for you time this morning.

JEFFIRIES:  Thank you Rev.

SHARPTON:  And of course, one of the biggest stories at the convention was 

the role of President Obama, who will be campaigning for Mrs. Clinton.

Joining me now is Anita Dunn, former senior advisor to Barrack Obama`s 2008 

Presidential campaign and former White House communications director for 

President Obama.  Thank you for being here.

ANITA DUNN, FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR TO BARRACK:  Oh, thank you for having me.

SHARPTON:  Anita, you were part of President Obama`s historic campaign.  

What are your thoughts on Hillary Clinton`s historic nomination?

DUNN:  You know, in 2008 when I worked for, then Senator Obama, when he was 

running for president, one of the great things about that year was knowing 

that, no matter who won the nomination this country was going to make 

history, and a really important piece of history I think for anyone who 

isn`t a white man in America.

You know, Barrack Obama respected Hillary Clinton as an opponent and that`s 

something that, you know, primaries are ugly things, sometimes they 

certainly get very personal pretty quickly.  And, you know, we had our 

share in 2008 but he always respected her and he always felt like, you 

know, if he lost to her that would be OK because he respected her.

And, you know, I watched this now in 2016, I think some of the problems 

Hillary Clinton`s had is that for eight years now, we`ve all kind of 

assumed she would make this sort of history.  This week actually seeing it 

happen was a different kind of excitement, and I think anyone who was 

around that hole last night or any time this week felt that yes they were 

part of history again.  And that`s a special thing, you know, kids who were 

born in the mid 2000s, 2004, 2005, they are growing up.  They`ve gotten to 

grow up seeing an African American president and now, hopefully, a woman 

president, and it`s going to change America for the better.  I just don`t 

know how yet. 

SHARPTON:  Let me go back to what you said, you were part of his 2008 

campaign.  So you`re there for really have for the campaign against Mrs. 

Clinton.  What were the weaknesses and how do you judge her campaign now in 

comparison to her campaign in 2008, since you have seen it now from both 

sides in terms of seeing how she and her campaign operates?

DUNN:  Well, you know, it`s an interesting thing.  I spent a little time 

thinking about that this week.  In 2008, you know, Barrack Obama was the 

right candidate for that moment in America.  It was – you had the sense 

that America was ready to turn a page and move forward and was ready given 

the wars, given the economic meltdown to try something really different.  

And, of course in 2008, a big part of the campaign that we run against 

Hillary Clinton was this idea that she was part of a status quo and that 

Barrack Obama represented real change, you know, hope and change.  And that 

he would do big things.

But if you look at 2016, in many ways, Hillary Clinton is now exactly the 

right candidate for this moment in history.  That, you know, she is, I 

think the person who is by far best positioned to continue the progress, 

continue the change that Barrack Obama has begun. 

SHARPTON:  Now let me ask you this, it`s funny when you say she`s the right 

one for this time.  Something I alluded to earlier with Congressman 

Jeffries, the difference between the two conventions when it came to 

identifying with their candidate.  At the RNC, Donald Trump`s name was 

mentioned 386 times, at the DNC, Hillary Clinton`s name was mentioned 915 

times, almost three time as much.  If you`re in the Trump campaign, how 

alarming is this that it seems that at own convention, people didn`t even 

want to call you a name 

DUNN:  Listen, if you`re in the Trump campaign you had a convention where 

one of your prime-time speakers not only didn`t want to call your name but 

he refused to endorse you and told people to go vote their conscience.  So 

very, very different conventions.

You know, I thought the Cleveland convention was like the Trump campaign.  

It was kind of disorganized, it was kind of, you know, it had a strange 

fascination because you had no idea what was going to happen next.  And at 

the Democratic convention that just finished in Philadelphia, was 

reflective not just of the Clinton campaigns, I mean much higher degree of 

kind of organization and strategy, but also of the Democratic Party.

You know, when Donald Trump said I alone in his acceptance speech last week 

in Cleveland, when he said I alone can fix it, you know, you`re beginning 

to wonder if it isn`t a reflection of the fact that nobody in that 

Republican Party is willing to stand next to him.  And he`s going to have 

to do this stuff alone.

You know, think about it, though, you really do have, and as you pointed 

out, an enormous difference. 

SHARPTON:  Thank you so much Anita Dunn, thanks for your time.  Have a 

great Sunday. 

DUNN:  Hey, thanks for having me on. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Ahead hope versus fear.  Two visions clash at the 

conventions and set the stage for the campaigns.

Also, how President Obama`s speech compares to the best from his own 

record.

OBAMA:   Amazing grace how sweet the sound …

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON:  Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are laying out two different 

visions of America.  At the Democratic convention speakers focused on the 

positive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON:  America is great because America is good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  When someone is cruel or acts like a bully you don`t 

stoop to their level.  No our motto is when they go low, we go high.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We are America, second to none and we own the finish 

line.

OBAMA:  America is already great.  America is already strong.  America 

isn`t about, yes he will.  It`s about yes we can.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  But at his convention and again this past week, Donald Trump`s 

message had a darker tone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  So much to straighten out in this country.  Then you wonder why 

we`re going to hell.  That`s why we`re going to hell.

When you look at the joblessness …

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  Joining me now is Elise Jordan, MSNBC political analyst and 

former advisor to Senator Rand Paul`s campaign; and Jonathan Capehart, 

MSNBC contributor and editorial writer for the Washington post.  Let me 

thank both of you for being here.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON:  So Jonathan, it`s almost like Trump and Clinton are talking 

about two different countries.  Which message will win out here?

CAPEHART:  Well, I mean in elections past the ones with the sunnier vision 

of America is the person who wins.  And what`s been interesting about, you 

know, having gone to Cleveland and now just getting back Philadelphia, I 

think what we`ve seen is sort of a role reversal where the Democratic 

convention with it`s, you know, open displays of patriotism, love of 

country, national defense and wrapping that around sort of the Democratic 

Party`s sort of traditional sense of pulling people in.  Being the big tent 

talking about love and compassion and moving the country forward with 

everybody pushing the country forward.

You know, those are some of the things that you used to hear traditionally 

at Republican conventions, and what I like most about Democratic convention 

is that this idea of patriotism and love of country which used to be is 

sort of like a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party.  Democrats 

got to show the nation, for the first time in my lifetime, that they too 

share this vision of America and share that love of country, share that 

vision.

SHARPTON:  I want to hold you right there a minute because I think that`s a 

point we need to drill down on a little.

Elise, let me go to President Obama`s speech for example.  President 

Obama`s speech had positive reactions even from Republicans.  Let me play 

you some of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  The America I know is full of courage and optimism and ingenuity.

We, the people can form a more perfect union.  That`s who we are.  That`s 

what drove patriots to choose revolution over tyranny but our G.I.`s to 

liberate a continent.

Reagan called America a shining city on a hill.  Donald Trump calls it a 

divided crime scene that only he can fix.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  So Elise, let me go back to Jonathan`s point, optimism, 

patriotism, was the president reclaiming that kind of language for 

Democrats?

ELISE JORDAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  I think the President did a 

masterful job of welcoming Republicans who aren`t sold on Trump into the 

Democratic Party.  And he really balanced to fine line of still being 

Democrats and still, you know, showing Bernie Sanders supporters that the 

Democratic Party is there for them too.  But he really brought in that, 

this is about patriotism, this is about hope, this is about a united 

country.

SHARPTON:  But will Republicans repelled by Trump, will they actually vote 

for Clinton or will they just stay home?

JORDAN:  What I`m hearing from a lot of Republicans is voting for Gary 

Johnson or in swing states, Republicans who …

SHARPTON:  Gary Johnson being the …

JORDAN:  Gary Johnson being a libertarian candidate.  But in swing states 

Republicans who are strongly opposed to Clinton in a normal year are 

thinking, our vote is so important, can we risk letting Donald Trump get a 

hold of the nuclear codes?

SHARPTON:  Jonathan, you know, the – Mr. Trump on Thursday, he said that 

the President`s vision was misguided.  He tweeted quote, “President Obama 

spoke last night about a world that doesn`t exist.  70 percent of the 

people think our country is going in the wrong direction.”  He`s actually 

right about that number.  How can Clinton speak to those concerns while 

keeping a positive message?

CAPEHART:  Well, she`s going to have to figure that out.  But look, the 

fact that 70 percent of the American people think that the country is going 

in the wrong direction, it requires a leader to show that 70 percent that, 

yes, I hear you, I understand where that concern and fear is coming from, 

but as president of the United States here is how I am going to lead you, 

lead the nation into feeling better about where the country is going.

And the only way that that can happen, at least the message that were 

coming out of Cleveland and Philadelphia, the message out of Cleveland was, 

yes 70 percent, everything is going to hell in the ham basket and only I 

can fix it.  And everything is terrible and it`s going to stay terrible 

unless you elect me, whereas the message coming out of Philadelphia was yes 

I hear you, there are problems but together as a nation if we work together 

and band together we can change the direction that you think that the 

country is going in because the fundamentals of the country, whether it`s 

the economy, public safety, you name it, the fundamentals are there to push 

forward.  We just have to ban together to do it.  And I think …

SHARPTON:  Elise, this is gloom and doom message, will this stick to the 

GOP or Trump losses does it just go away?

JORDAN:  Well I think when Trump loses there`s going to be a huge 

reckoning.  If he does lose and right now …

HARPTON:  I heard you say when I was …

JORDAN:  Right now I would – I think that`s where the numbers are looking.  

But, that said, I think that there`s going to be big reckoning within the 

Republican Party and those who stood with Trump and win against Republican 

principles, I think that they`re – essentially those political careers are 

going to be plateaued because Trump is not the future of this country and 

he`s certainly not future of the Republican Party.

      

SHARPTON:  Elise Jordan and Jonathan Capehart, stay with me. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Coming up, the first lady`s powerful statement about 

slavery and the misguided reaction on the right.  And, did President Obama 

outshine even himself?  We`ll see how his DNC speech compares to the 

greatest from his past.

OBAMA:  There`s not a liberal America and a conservative America, there is 

the United States of America.  There is not a black America, and a white 

America, and Latino-America and Asian-America, there`s the United States of 

America.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY:  I wake up every morning in a house that 

was built by slaves.  And, I watch my daughters, two beautiful, 

intelligent, black young women playing with their dogs on the White House 

lawn.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  The powerful comment that got America talking.  And exposed how 

some people still want to deny or distort history.  Of course the first 

lady was speaking the truth.  Slaves did help build the White House.  

PolitiFact confirmed it but said some leaders was still unconvinced by the 

true rating for her White House claims.  They just couldn`t believe it or 

didn`t want to.  Other people weight in with an odd view of slavery like 

Bill O`Reilly over on Fox News.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST:  Slaves that work there were well fed and had 

descent lodgings provided by the government which stopped hiring slave 

labor in 1802 however the Feds did not forbid subcontractors from using 

slave labors.  So Michelle Obama is essentially correct in citing slaves as 

builders of the White House but there were others working as well. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  Many pointed out that you don`t hire slaves and that it`s 

strange to talk about being, “well-fed with descent lodging” in the context 

of this kind of atrocity.  O`Reilly is entitled to his own opinion but 

maybe he should have listened more to the first lady.  I`m not talking 

about Michelle Obama, I`m talking about first lady Abigail Adams when she 

and President Adams moved into the White House in 1800 it`s still wasn`t 

finished, and in a letter to a friend she wrote that, “The effects of 

slavery are visible everywhere.”

Adams went on to describe the slaves as, “Half-fed and destitute of 

clothing.”  It`s true.  You can look up the letter at the national 

archives.  We all know that O`Reilly likes to write history books but maybe 

he should read a few more too.  Nice try.  But we got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON:  I want to thank Bernie Sanders. 

OBAMA:  That`s right feel the Bern.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  Democrats made sure to give Bernie Sanders his due at their 

convention, and he gave Hillary Clinton a national endorsement.  But he 

also said he is returning to the Senate as an independent not a Democrat, a 

decision that raising some eyebrows.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) VERMONT:  I was elected as an independent so I`ll 

stay two years more as an independent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  After all, Sanders became a Democrat to be in their primary, to 

be in their debates but now he is leaving the party, it`s exactly what his 

campaign manager promised he would not do just a few moments ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  If Senator Sanders is not the nominee will he stay in 

the Democratic Party forever now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, he said he`s a Democrat.  He said he`s a Democrat 

and he`s going to be swore the Democratic nominee whoever that is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  But he`s a member of the Democratic Party now for life?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes he is.  Yes he is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  In this campaign Sanders brought valuable focus to issues like 

income inequality and poverty.  But if he`s not going to belong to the 

Democratic Party, it makes you wonder what all this talk of party unity is 

all about.

Let`s bring back Elise Jordan and Jonathan Capehart.  Jonathan, how are 

Democrats supposed to feel about Bernie`s decision to go back as an 

independent?

CAPEHART:  Well I can imagine that there are a lot of Democrats who are 

probably scratching their heads.  But look, you know, it`s interesting …

SHARPTON:  Maybe feeling a different burn?

CAPEHART:  Yeah.  Absolutely, feeling burned I think.  You know, that sound 

bite that you just played, I had not heard that before because I was 

wondering when the announcement was made that Senator Sanders had 

officially changed his registration from independent to Democrat.  So, when 

the announcement was made or when he gave the interview saying that he 

would remain an independent that didn`t come as a surprise to me.

Look, If Senator Sanders really wanted to be a member of the Democratic 

Party he would have switched his registration, that he would also have 

raised money for the Democratic National Committee and he would have 

registered those thousands of people who showed up to his rallies all over 

the country.  He would have registered them as Democrats.

SHARPTON:  But doesn`t that raise the question, Elise, he ran in the 

Democratic primaries, he used their stage, their infrastructure, put it out 

there and I played, his campaign manager said he`s a Democrat, a Democrat 

for life, which now ends up being something else.  And you look at that and 

you look at how some of his supporters wouldn`t even follow his support to 

Mrs. Clinton.  Does this become a problem for him in the Senate, and does 

it seem like he lost control of some of his supporters?

JORDAN:  I don`t think it`s a problem for him in the Senate because he is 

Bernie Sanders, the ultimate rogue Vermont Senator.  He is known as an 

independent, I think that`s part of the problem of trying to run as a 

Democrat and then not getting the support that he probably should have from 

the DNC.  I think that you look at what happened at the Democratic 

convention this week and it was really impressive that despite all the 

animosity within the party people did come together.

Hillary Clinton let Bernie Sanders have his night.  The supporters were 

able to, you know, air their grievances, that without there and I think it 

plays much better than at the Republican convention when never Trump 

supporters weren`t able to air their concerns and then – the same thing 

happened in 2012 with Ron Paul supporters and arguably laid the ground work 

for the mess we have today in the Republican Party.

SHARPTON:  Quickly, Jonathan, will Bernie Sanders supporters end upcoming 

home to the Democratic Party or for some that`s not home coming to support 

Hillary Clinton?

CAPEHART:  Well look, from the polling that we know, specifically that the 

Pew Poll, 90 percent of the people who said they had supported Bernie 

Sanders said they are going to vote for Hillary Clinton.  So, I think a 

majority of them are already home.

SHARPTON:  Elise Jordan, Jonathan Capehart, thank you both for being here.

CAPEHART:  Thanks Rev.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Still to come, how president Obama compares to himself 

when it comes to his big DNC speech.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  What greater expression of faith in the American experiment than 

this?  What greater form of patriotism is than the belief that America is 

not yet finished?  That we are strong enough to be self-critical.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

M. OBAMA:  How we explain that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully 

you don`t stoop to their level.  No, our motto is, when they go low, we go 

high.

And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughter and all of our sons and 

daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United 

States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  The first lay giving the speech of her life at the Democratic 

convention.  Just two days later, the President rose to the moment as well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  We`re not fragile people.  We`re not a frightful people.  Our power 

doesn`t come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can 

restore order as long as we do things his way.  We don`t look to be ruled.

The American dream is something that no one will ever contain.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  The President delivering a powerful rebuke of Donald Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  What makes us America, what makes us patriots, is what is in here.  

That`s what matters.  That`s why anyone that threatens our values, whether 

fascist or communist or jihadist or home-grown demagogue will always fail 

in the end.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  It got us wondering, how that speech stacks up against his own 

record?  Just a few days ago, the Washington Post asks, “Which Barrack 

Obama speech is the one for the history books?  Will it be the 2004 DNC, 

when he exploded on to the national stage, or his speech on race from 2008?  

His eulogy after Charleston or speech in Selma.

Joining me now is Allan Lichtman, presidential historian and distinguished 

professor at American University.  First, thanks for being here.

ALLAN LICHTMAN, AMERICAN POLITICAL HISTORIAN:  My pleasure.

SHARPTON:  Allan, how does the President`s speech last week compare to the 

greatest speeches from his own record?

LICHTMAN:  I thought it was right up there in the pantheon of great Obama 

speeches.  It was great for two reasons.  First of all, without effort, he 

seamlessly linked the candidacy of Hillary Clinton to his own presidential 

quest to the values and goals that he has been pursuing and made her the 

natural heir (ph).  Secondly you mentioned those other speeches.  This 

speech is great because it harkened back to compelling themes of earlier 

speeches.  The 2004 speech told his personal story and linked that personal 

story to the promise of America.  Something he talked about here.

He`s speech on race was raw and honest and personal.  Like here, he 

recognized white and black Americans might have anger but we have to 

transcend that and find a way of finding common ground.

SHARPTON:  So, is there a common thread, a common theme with all of his 

great speeches?

LICHTMAN:  I think there is a common theme.  And the common theme is, 

America has enormous promise.  America is a great nation but there`s still 

a lot of work to be done.  That the vigilance that gives us freedom and 

civil liberties and security is never completed.  We have to keep working 

at it and we can`t do it alone.  We can have, you know, some dictatorial 

personality come in and say, I`m going to solve everything.  It`s going to 

take a common effort of all Americans.  And Obama has admitted he hasn`t 

transcended the political divide.  That`s been one of the great themes of 

his presidency.

SHARPTON:  Now let me ask you something a little different.  I want to play 

a very personal moment from the first lady`s speech.  Listen to this.

LICHTMAN:  Yeah.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

M. OBAMA:  I will never forget that winter morning as I watched our girls, 

just 7 and 10-years-old pile into the black SUVs with all those big men 

with guns.  And I saw their little faces pressed up against the window.  At 

that moment I realized that our time in the White House would form the 

foundation for who they would become, and how well we manage this 

experience could truly make or break them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  I mean, watching her, could she follow her husband`s footsteps 

and go into politics?  I mean, we now have a precedent of first ladies 

going into politics?

LICHTMAN:  Hey we have two precedents now. An African-American president 

and the first woman nominee of a major party, isn`t Michelle the natural 

recipient of both of those two extraordinary breakthrough changes?  And you 

know what?  She held her own with the best speakers, the best politicians 

in America and in some ways was the shining light of that convention along 

with her husband and Hillary Clinton and others.  Absolutely if she wants 

it.  And yet, have to have that fire in the belly, you know that Reverend.  

If she wants it she has an extraordinary political future.

SHARPTON:  All right, historian Allan Lichtman.  Thank you for being here.

LICHTMAN:  My pleasure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Next, a new POLITICS NATION report on the challenges 

facing low income families in the summer, and what a group of educators and 

police are doing about it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON:  None of us can raise a family, build a business, heal a 

community, or lift a country totally alone.  So let`s be stronger together 

my fellow Americans. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  Hillary Clinton saying we need to tackle problems together.  A 

point we see in the next installment of our “Bending toward Justice” 

series.  For some Americans, summertime is about vacation and fun in the 

sun but for millions of low income families it can be a serious hardship.  

When school is out, these parents face a lot of challenges.  They need to 

find child care and a way to pay for it.  Their kids have no longer access 

to free or subsidized lunches at school.

These kids also face the summer slide, losing reading and math abilities at 

higher rates than higher income children.  And in the summer months, safety 

and crime can be a more serious concern.  If you`re a mom or a dad working 

two or three jobs, what do you do about all of this?

POLITICS NATION went to New Haven, Connecticut to look at how some groups 

are working together under one roof to tackle all these issues.  In Wilbur 

Cross High School, summer meals partners with educators and local police to 

make sure all kids enjoy the summer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Not only do we take the kids off the streets during 

summer months we actually feed them.

We give breakfast, we give lunch and then at the end of the day, towards 

the end of the day we give them a snack.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I see that (ph) where people come they don`t have 

support (ph) or the money (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We actually go to parks, low-income housing, 

neighborhoods just to try to reach our students in the summer time because 

there`s a good gap.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I`m grateful that they have it here because that`s 

also less that I have to spend to provide lunch and breakfast when they 

come here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Not only does it feed kids but it educates kids and 

keeps them going.  It feeds the mind and the body. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It`s going to be easier to forget, when they go back 

to school they`re in the group of things anymore.

(OFF-MIC)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The man in the picture is a little three blocks away.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  When they go back to school in the fall, they don`t 

have the summer slide.  They haven`t lost all the things that they learned 

before they left. 

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Can we have some more out loud. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It costs the parent nothing.  We hope that it helps the 

parent who is maybe a single mom or dad working the whole day and this can 

enable them to work while we keep their child safe and having fun here.

And we have arts and crafts, we have reading, music. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Many of these officers that work in the program are 

people that grew up in New Haven.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I`m just letting you know, no one making me bracelet 

yet.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Well.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I`ve seen a few others here with bracelets but I don`t 

have one. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I`m sorry but …

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We dress down and they can see that we are human too.  

They don`t see just the uniform, they see that we can play, you know, 

different games with them.  We can dance with them we can laugh and joke 

with them. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  They`re like (inaudible) and they`re fun. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It`s just like having older plan by your side (ph).

(OFF-MIC)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Some of them grew up in the neighborhood where there`s 

gun violence, there`s gang violence, shootings, there`s crime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Some of them are truly escaping.  This is like the safe 

place they don`t want to leave in some cases. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The houses may not look as nice and perfect but 

there`s still families living there and working and trying to do the best 

for their family what they can. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Kids that were able to connect some of those resources 

to have done better.  Attendance has gotten better.  They have been able to 

graduate. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Being here where we ask them to be creative, we ask 

them to work with others.  You can see it in their eyes they love it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  Good people doing good work.  Maybe that`s how we should define 

America and what makes America great.  That does it for me.  Thanks for 

watching.  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.

END 

Transcription Copyright 2016 ASC LLC ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is 

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litigation.>

Show: POLITICS NATION

Date: July 31, 2016

Guest: Hakeem Jeffries, Anita Dunn, Allan Lichtman

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Turning in the race for presidents.  What happens after

this?

 

HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE:  America is great.

 

BARRACK OBAMA, (D) U.S. PRESIDENT:  America is already great.

 

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE:  They have people that aren`t

telling the truth about where our country is.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Don`t let anyone ever tell you that this country

isn`t great.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We are America, second to none.

 

TRUMP:  They`re giving it rose colored glasses.

 

CLINTON:  He wants to divide us.

 

TRUMP:  President Obama has been the most ignorant President in our

history.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That`s a bunch or malarkey.

 

OBAMA:  Hillary Clinton is the woman in the arena.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Hillary Clinton has never quit on anything in her

life.

 

TRUMP:  We`re going to beat her on November eight.

 

OBAMA:  That`s another bet that Donald Trump will lose.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  From Rockefeller Center in New York.  This is a Special

Edition of POLITICS NATION with Al Sharpton.

 

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST:  Good morning.  I`m Al Sharpton.  We start with

Donald Trump`s counter punch.  After a historic week for the Democrats, the

first woman ever nominated by a major party, Trump is desperate to slow

Hillary Clinton`s momentum.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

TRUMP:  You know what?  I`ve been saying, let`s just beat her on November

eight, but you know what?  Well no.  You know what?  I`m starting to agree

with you.  I don`t have to be so nice anymore.  I`m taking the gloves off,

right?

 

Just remember this.  Trump is going to be no more Mr. Nice guy.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

SHARPTON:  But of course Clinton and her running mate have come out

swinging with a three-day bus tour that takes aim at Trump.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

CLINTON:  I find it highly amusing that Donald Trump talks about make

America great again.  He doesn`t make a thing in America.  It`s a

bankruptcies.

 

SEN. TIM KAINE, (D-VA) VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  The Republican

convention was a twisted and negative tour.  It wasn`t a tour of this

country, it was a journey through Donald Trump`s mind and that`s a very

frightening place.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

SHARPTON:  Now the race is on.  Will Clinton get a bounce from the

convention and can she rally independence with the kind of positive

rhetoric we used to hear from Republicans?  On the other side is clear

whatever Donald Trump does going forward, he`ll do it alone.  The biggest

names in the GOP are not behind him.  In Cleveland some could barely say

his name.  It`s different for Clinton.  In Philly she had the entire party

behind her.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Leaders like Hillary Clinton who has the guts and the

grace to keep coming back and putting those cracks in the highest and

hardest glass ceiling.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  One of the smartest, toughest, most tenacious people

on this planet.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the

United States.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  She`s the best darn change maker I ever met in my

entire life.

 

OBAMA:  There has never been a man or a woman, not me, not Bill, nobody

more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United

States of America.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

SHARPTON:  Joining me now is Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat from New

York.  Thanks for being here.

 

REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES, (D) NEW YORK:  Good morning.

 

SHARPTON:  Now, before we start Congressman.  You had quite the speech at

the DNC.  I want to play some of that for my viewers to watch.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

JEFFRIES:  It`s a choice between a commander-in-chief and a bankrupter-in-

chief.  It`s a choice between the secretary of state and the secretary of

hate.  Donald Trump is a bounced check but Hillary Clinton is money in the

bank.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

SHARPTON:  Congressman, it sounds like this race has gotten you inspired.

 

JEFFRIES:  Well, you know, I come out of the National Action Network.  It`s

full of activism so it was an honor and a privilege to have an opportunity

to share some thoughts for a few moments at the convention.

 

SHARPTON:  Well, you handled it well.  You know, going into the convention

with low favorability, let me get to that issue.  And her trust rate –

where the ratings were low.  Did she do enough to address that in this

convention?

 

JEFFRIES:  Well I think so.  If you look at some of the validated, just

from the beginning, the lead-off hitter was Michelle Obama and she was

phenomenal in talking about what a Hillary Clinton presidency will mean,

and how deeply she respects her as an individual, as mother, as grandmother

and certainly as a person who is serious in the public policy space.

 

And someone who`s going to inspire people like Michelle Obama`s own

daughters, to be the best that they can be in the United States of America. 

And then you had that one, two punch on Tuesday and Wednesday of President

Bill Clinton, President Barrack Obama to really validate her in a variety

of different ways.  Talk about her character, her intelligence, her warmth,

her humor as President Obama did in the video and also in his remarks.  And

then you had Hillary Clinton as the clean-up hitter introduced by Chelsea

Clinton, that humanized her again as a mother and grandmother and that

someone who …

 

SHARPTON:  And just stayed (ph) right in that area.

 

JEFFRIES:  That`s right.

 

SHARPTON:  Let me go to a policy question though.  You had a very

progressive agenda that came out to the convention, progressive in terms of

climate change, in terms of inequality and income inequality, in criminal

justice system.  Did they do enough though or did they go too far left to

appeal to independents?

 

JEFFRIES:  Well, it was actually a very interesting balancing act because

you have 45 percent at the delegates who are there as Bernie Sanders

supporters.  Who were strongly committed to an agenda on the left relative

to climate change and income inequality and getting rid of citizens united

and things that Bernie Sanders himself has been very passionate about.  And

it was important to speak to that group of people to unify the party.

 

But to your point we also had to make sure that we were appealing to the

independents and to the moderate voters, to suburban women and others who

are going to decide this election.  And I think whether that was true the

presentation that was made by our former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Who did

a great job of speaking to independents and individuals and accomplished a

lot in his remarks and strongly denounce Donald Trump.  Whether that was

the general who spoke in very strong terms as it relates to …

 

SHARPTON:  Yeah.

 

JEFFRIES:  … the view that Hillary Clinton is the best person to lead. 

The Nick (inaudible) for the United States of America and help people safe. 

I think it was a great balancing act in terms of speaking to the base but

also brought it in the potential electorate.

 

SHARPTON:  I need to ask this.  You mentioned some of the progressives and

supporters of Senator Sanders.  There were some boos, there were even some

walk out by some of Bernie supporters.  Is this something that Mrs. Clinton

should be concerned about going forward?

 

JEFFRIES:  Well, there was some anxiety in the hall particularly on Monday. 

But I think it was a brilliant decision to have Senator Sanders speak the

first night, and he gave a very clear throated endorsement of Secretary

Clinton.  And talked about the fact that they had begun the work together

on a wide variety of policy issues of importance to his supporters, such as

free college education and reducing the massive crashing burden of student

debt that so many millennials are suffering through right now.

 

And that began a set a tone, I thought that bring people closer together

throughout the duration of the convention.  There`s still some work that

needs to be done.  But as you recall from 2008, it was tense between …

 

SHARPTON:  Oh yeah.

 

JEFFRIES:  … Obama supporters and Clinton supporters.  And the end of the

day, we came together again.  I think we can come together again.

 

SHARPTON:  Let me just ask you this, what do you think Trump was thinking

watching this campaign this week …

 

JEFFRIES:  Well I think he`s probably thinking that he`s in trouble,

because you`ve got the entire Democratic line-up behind Secretary Clinton

whereas on the other side of the aisle you have a situation where you got

governors, and senators, and congress members, former presidents running as

far away from Donald Trump as can happen.  So, how far will his carnival

act take him?  Not very far.

 

SHARPTON:  I want to get into, comparing what happened there in Cleveland,

his convention and what happened this week in Philadelphia later in the

show.  Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, thank you for you time this morning.

 

JEFFIRIES:  Thank you Rev.

 

SHARPTON:  And of course, one of the biggest stories at the convention was

the role of President Obama, who will be campaigning for Mrs. Clinton.

 

Joining me now is Anita Dunn, former senior advisor to Barrack Obama`s 2008

Presidential campaign and former White House communications director for

President Obama.  Thank you for being here.

 

ANITA DUNN, FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR TO BARRACK:  Oh, thank you for having me.

 

SHARPTON:  Anita, you were part of President Obama`s historic campaign. 

What are your thoughts on Hillary Clinton`s historic nomination?

 

DUNN:  You know, in 2008 when I worked for, then Senator Obama, when he was

running for president, one of the great things about that year was knowing

that, no matter who won the nomination this country was going to make

history, and a really important piece of history I think for anyone who

isn`t a white man in America.

 

You know, Barrack Obama respected Hillary Clinton as an opponent and that`s

something that, you know, primaries are ugly things, sometimes they

certainly get very personal pretty quickly.  And, you know, we had our

share in 2008 but he always respected her and he always felt like, you

know, if he lost to her that would be OK because he respected her.

 

And, you know, I watched this now in 2016, I think some of the problems

Hillary Clinton`s had is that for eight years now, we`ve all kind of

assumed she would make this sort of history.  This week actually seeing it

happen was a different kind of excitement, and I think anyone who was

around that hole last night or any time this week felt that yes they were

part of history again.  And that`s a special thing, you know, kids who were

born in the mid 2000s, 2004, 2005, they are growing up.  They`ve gotten to

grow up seeing an African American president and now, hopefully, a woman

president, and it`s going to change America for the better.  I just don`t

know how yet.

 

SHARPTON:  Let me go back to what you said, you were part of his 2008

campaign.  So you`re there for really have for the campaign against Mrs.

Clinton.  What were the weaknesses and how do you judge her campaign now in

comparison to her campaign in 2008, since you have seen it now from both

sides in terms of seeing how she and her campaign operates?

 

DUNN:  Well, you know, it`s an interesting thing.  I spent a little time

thinking about that this week.  In 2008, you know, Barrack Obama was the

right candidate for that moment in America.  It was – you had the sense

that America was ready to turn a page and move forward and was ready given

the wars, given the economic meltdown to try something really different. 

And, of course in 2008, a big part of the campaign that we run against

Hillary Clinton was this idea that she was part of a status quo and that

Barrack Obama represented real change, you know, hope and change.  And that

he would do big things.

 

But if you look at 2016, in many ways, Hillary Clinton is now exactly the

right candidate for this moment in history.  That, you know, she is, I

think the person who is by far best positioned to continue the progress,

continue the change that Barrack Obama has begun.

 

SHARPTON:  Now let me ask you this, it`s funny when you say she`s the right

one for this time.  Something I alluded to earlier with Congressman

Jeffries, the difference between the two conventions when it came to

identifying with their candidate.  At the RNC, Donald Trump`s name was

mentioned 386 times, at the DNC, Hillary Clinton`s name was mentioned 915

times, almost three time as much.  If you`re in the Trump campaign, how

alarming is this that it seems that at own convention, people didn`t even

want to call you a name

 

DUNN:  Listen, if you`re in the Trump campaign you had a convention where

one of your prime-time speakers not only didn`t want to call your name but

he refused to endorse you and told people to go vote their conscience.  So

very, very different conventions.

 

You know, I thought the Cleveland convention was like the Trump campaign. 

It was kind of disorganized, it was kind of, you know, it had a strange

fascination because you had no idea what was going to happen next.  And at

the Democratic convention that just finished in Philadelphia, was

reflective not just of the Clinton campaigns, I mean much higher degree of

kind of organization and strategy, but also of the Democratic Party.

 

You know, when Donald Trump said I alone in his acceptance speech last week

in Cleveland, when he said I alone can fix it, you know, you`re beginning

to wonder if it isn`t a reflection of the fact that nobody in that

Republican Party is willing to stand next to him.  And he`s going to have

to do this stuff alone.

 

You know, think about it, though, you really do have, and as you pointed

out, an enormous difference.

 

SHARPTON:  Thank you so much Anita Dunn, thanks for your time.  Have a

great Sunday.

 

DUNN:  Hey, thanks for having me on.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Ahead hope versus fear.  Two visions clash at the

conventions and set the stage for the campaigns.

 

Also, how President Obama`s speech compares to the best from his own

record.

 

OBAMA:   Amazing grace how sweet the sound …

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

SHARPTON:  Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are laying out two different

visions of America.  At the Democratic convention speakers focused on the

positive.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

CLINTON:  America is great because America is good.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  When someone is cruel or acts like a bully you don`t

stoop to their level.  No our motto is when they go low, we go high.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We are America, second to none and we own the finish

line.

 

OBAMA:  America is already great.  America is already strong.  America

isn`t about, yes he will.  It`s about yes we can.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

SHARPTON:  But at his convention and again this past week, Donald Trump`s

message had a darker tone.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

TRUMP:  So much to straighten out in this country.  Then you wonder why

we`re going to hell.  That`s why we`re going to hell.

 

When you look at the joblessness …

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

SHARPTON:  Joining me now is Elise Jordan, MSNBC political analyst and

former advisor to Senator Rand Paul`s campaign; and Jonathan Capehart,

MSNBC contributor and editorial writer for the Washington post.  Let me

thank both of you for being here.

 

JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  Thanks, Rev.

 

SHARPTON:  So Jonathan, it`s almost like Trump and Clinton are talking

about two different countries.  Which message will win out here?

 

CAPEHART:  Well, I mean in elections past the ones with the sunnier vision

of America is the person who wins.  And what`s been interesting about, you

know, having gone to Cleveland and now just getting back Philadelphia, I

think what we`ve seen is sort of a role reversal where the Democratic

convention with it`s, you know, open displays of patriotism, love of

country, national defense and wrapping that around sort of the Democratic

Party`s sort of traditional sense of pulling people in.  Being the big tent

talking about love and compassion and moving the country forward with

everybody pushing the country forward.

 

You know, those are some of the things that you used to hear traditionally

at Republican conventions, and what I like most about Democratic convention

is that this idea of patriotism and love of country which used to be is

sort of like a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party.  Democrats

got to show the nation, for the first time in my lifetime, that they too

share this vision of America and share that love of country, share that

vision.

 

SHARPTON:  I want to hold you right there a minute because I think that`s a

point we need to drill down on a little.

 

Elise, let me go to President Obama`s speech for example.  President

Obama`s speech had positive reactions even from Republicans.  Let me play

you some of it.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

OBAMA:  The America I know is full of courage and optimism and ingenuity.

 

We, the people can form a more perfect union.  That`s who we are.  That`s

what drove patriots to choose revolution over tyranny but our G.I.`s to

liberate a continent.

 

Reagan called America a shining city on a hill.  Donald Trump calls it a

divided crime scene that only he can fix.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

SHARPTON:  So Elise, let me go back to Jonathan`s point, optimism,

patriotism, was the president reclaiming that kind of language for

Democrats?

 

ELISE JORDAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  I think the President did a

masterful job of welcoming Republicans who aren`t sold on Trump into the

Democratic Party.  And he really balanced to fine line of still being

Democrats and still, you know, showing Bernie Sanders supporters that the

Democratic Party is there for them too.  But he really brought in that,

this is about patriotism, this is about hope, this is about a united

country.

 

SHARPTON:  But will Republicans repelled by Trump, will they actually vote

for Clinton or will they just stay home?

 

JORDAN:  What I`m hearing from a lot of Republicans is voting for Gary

Johnson or in swing states, Republicans who …

 

SHARPTON:  Gary Johnson being the …

 

JORDAN:  Gary Johnson being a libertarian candidate.  But in swing states

Republicans who are strongly opposed to Clinton in a normal year are

thinking, our vote is so important, can we risk letting Donald Trump get a

hold of the nuclear codes?

 

SHARPTON:  Jonathan, you know, the – Mr. Trump on Thursday, he said that

the President`s vision was misguided.  He tweeted quote, “President Obama

spoke last night about a world that doesn`t exist.  70 percent of the

people think our country is going in the wrong direction.”  He`s actually

right about that number.  How can Clinton speak to those concerns while

keeping a positive message?

 

CAPEHART:  Well, she`s going to have to figure that out.  But look, the

fact that 70 percent of the American people think that the country is going

in the wrong direction, it requires a leader to show that 70 percent that,

yes, I hear you, I understand where that concern and fear is coming from,

but as president of the United States here is how I am going to lead you,

lead the nation into feeling better about where the country is going.

 

And the only way that that can happen, at least the message that were

coming out of Cleveland and Philadelphia, the message out of Cleveland was,

yes 70 percent, everything is going to hell in the ham basket and only I

can fix it.  And everything is terrible and it`s going to stay terrible

unless you elect me, whereas the message coming out of Philadelphia was yes

I hear you, there are problems but together as a nation if we work together

and band together we can change the direction that you think that the

country is going in because the fundamentals of the country, whether it`s

the economy, public safety, you name it, the fundamentals are there to push

forward.  We just have to ban together to do it.  And I think …

 

SHARPTON:  Elise, this is gloom and doom message, will this stick to the

GOP or Trump losses does it just go away?

 

JORDAN:  Well I think when Trump loses there`s going to be a huge

reckoning.  If he does lose and right now …

 

HARPTON:  I heard you say when I was …

 

JORDAN:  Right now I would – I think that`s where the numbers are looking. 

But, that said, I think that there`s going to be big reckoning within the

Republican Party and those who stood with Trump and win against Republican

principles, I think that they`re – essentially those political careers are

going to be plateaued because Trump is not the future of this country and

he`s certainly not future of the Republican Party.

     

SHARPTON:  Elise Jordan and Jonathan Capehart, stay with me.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Coming up, the first lady`s powerful statement about

slavery and the misguided reaction on the right.  And, did President Obama

outshine even himself?  We`ll see how his DNC speech compares to the

greatest from his past.

 

OBAMA:  There`s not a liberal America and a conservative America, there is

the United States of America.  There is not a black America, and a white

America, and Latino-America and Asian-America, there`s the United States of

America.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY:  I wake up every morning in a house that

was built by slaves.  And, I watch my daughters, two beautiful,

intelligent, black young women playing with their dogs on the White House

lawn.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

SHARPTON:  The powerful comment that got America talking.  And exposed how

some people still want to deny or distort history.  Of course the first

lady was speaking the truth.  Slaves did help build the White House. 

PolitiFact confirmed it but said some leaders was still unconvinced by the

true rating for her White House claims.  They just couldn`t believe it or

didn`t want to.  Other people weight in with an odd view of slavery like

Bill O`Reilly over on Fox News.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST:  Slaves that work there were well fed and had

descent lodgings provided by the government which stopped hiring slave

labor in 1802 however the Feds did not forbid subcontractors from using

slave labors.  So Michelle Obama is essentially correct in citing slaves as

builders of the White House but there were others working as well.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

SHARPTON:  Many pointed out that you don`t hire slaves and that it`s

strange to talk about being, “well-fed with descent lodging” in the context

of this kind of atrocity.  O`Reilly is entitled to his own opinion but

maybe he should have listened more to the first lady.  I`m not talking

about Michelle Obama, I`m talking about first lady Abigail Adams when she

and President Adams moved into the White House in 1800 it`s still wasn`t

finished, and in a letter to a friend she wrote that, “The effects of

slavery are visible everywhere.”

 

Adams went on to describe the slaves as, “Half-fed and destitute of

clothing.”  It`s true.  You can look up the letter at the national

archives.  We all know that O`Reilly likes to write history books but maybe

he should read a few more too.  Nice try.  But we got you.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

CLINTON:  I want to thank Bernie Sanders.

 

OBAMA:  That`s right feel the Bern.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

SHARPTON:  Democrats made sure to give Bernie Sanders his due at their

convention, and he gave Hillary Clinton a national endorsement.  But he

also said he is returning to the Senate as an independent not a Democrat, a

decision that raising some eyebrows.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) VERMONT:  I was elected as an independent so I`ll

stay two years more as an independent.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

SHARPTON:  After all, Sanders became a Democrat to be in their primary, to

be in their debates but now he is leaving the party, it`s exactly what his

campaign manager promised he would not do just a few moments ago.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  If Senator Sanders is not the nominee will he stay in

the Democratic Party forever now?

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, he said he`s a Democrat.  He said he`s a Democrat

and he`s going to be swore the Democratic nominee whoever that is.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  But he`s a member of the Democratic Party now for life?

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes he is.  Yes he is.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

SHARPTON:  In this campaign Sanders brought valuable focus to issues like

income inequality and poverty.  But if he`s not going to belong to the

Democratic Party, it makes you wonder what all this talk of party unity is

all about.

 

Let`s bring back Elise Jordan and Jonathan Capehart.  Jonathan, how are

Democrats supposed to feel about Bernie`s decision to go back as an

independent?

 

CAPEHART:  Well I can imagine that there are a lot of Democrats who are

probably scratching their heads.  But look, you know, it`s interesting …

 

SHARPTON:  Maybe feeling a different burn?

 

CAPEHART:  Yeah.  Absolutely, feeling burned I think.  You know, that sound

bite that you just played, I had not heard that before because I was

wondering when the announcement was made that Senator Sanders had

officially changed his registration from independent to Democrat.  So, when

the announcement was made or when he gave the interview saying that he

would remain an independent that didn`t come as a surprise to me.

 

Look, If Senator Sanders really wanted to be a member of the Democratic

Party he would have switched his registration, that he would also have

raised money for the Democratic National Committee and he would have

registered those thousands of people who showed up to his rallies all over

the country.  He would have registered them as Democrats.

 

SHARPTON:  But doesn`t that raise the question, Elise, he ran in the

Democratic primaries, he used their stage, their infrastructure, put it out

there and I played, his campaign manager said he`s a Democrat, a Democrat

for life, which now ends up being something else.  And you look at that and

you look at how some of his supporters wouldn`t even follow his support to

Mrs. Clinton.  Does this become a problem for him in the Senate, and does

it seem like he lost control of some of his supporters?

 

JORDAN:  I don`t think it`s a problem for him in the Senate because he is

Bernie Sanders, the ultimate rogue Vermont Senator.  He is known as an

independent, I think that`s part of the problem of trying to run as a

Democrat and then not getting the support that he probably should have from

the DNC.  I think that you look at what happened at the Democratic

convention this week and it was really impressive that despite all the

animosity within the party people did come together.

 

Hillary Clinton let Bernie Sanders have his night.  The supporters were

able to, you know, air their grievances, that without there and I think it

plays much better than at the Republican convention when never Trump

supporters weren`t able to air their concerns and then – the same thing

happened in 2012 with Ron Paul supporters and arguably laid the ground work

for the mess we have today in the Republican Party.

 

SHARPTON:  Quickly, Jonathan, will Bernie Sanders supporters end upcoming

home to the Democratic Party or for some that`s not home coming to support

Hillary Clinton?

 

CAPEHART:  Well look, from the polling that we know, specifically that the

Pew Poll, 90 percent of the people who said they had supported Bernie

Sanders said they are going to vote for Hillary Clinton.  So, I think a

majority of them are already home.

 

SHARPTON:  Elise Jordan, Jonathan Capehart, thank you both for being here.

 

CAPEHART:  Thanks Rev.

 

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Still to come, how president Obama compares to himself

when it comes to his big DNC speech.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

OBAMA:  What greater expression of faith in the American experiment than

this?  What greater form of patriotism is than the belief that America is

not yet finished?  That we are strong enough to be self-critical.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

M. OBAMA:  How we explain that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully

you don`t stoop to their level.  No, our motto is, when they go low, we go

high.

 

And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughter and all of our sons and

daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United

States.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

SHARPTON:  The first lay giving the speech of her life at the Democratic

convention.  Just two days later, the President rose to the moment as well.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

OBAMA:  We`re not fragile people.  We`re not a frightful people.  Our power

doesn`t come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can

restore order as long as we do things his way.  We don`t look to be ruled.

 

The American dream is something that no one will ever contain.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

SHARPTON:  The President delivering a powerful rebuke of Donald Trump.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

OBAMA:  What makes us America, what makes us patriots, is what is in here. 

That`s what matters.  That`s why anyone that threatens our values, whether

fascist or communist or jihadist or home-grown demagogue will always fail

in the end.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

SHARPTON:  It got us wondering, how that speech stacks up against his own

record?  Just a few days ago, the Washington Post asks, “Which Barrack

Obama speech is the one for the history books?  Will it be the 2004 DNC,

when he exploded on to the national stage, or his speech on race from 2008? 

His eulogy after Charleston or speech in Selma.

 

Joining me now is Allan Lichtman, presidential historian and distinguished

professor at American University.  First, thanks for being here.

 

ALLAN LICHTMAN, AMERICAN POLITICAL HISTORIAN:  My pleasure.

 

SHARPTON:  Allan, how does the President`s speech last week compare to the

greatest speeches from his own record?

 

LICHTMAN:  I thought it was right up there in the pantheon of great Obama

speeches.  It was great for two reasons.  First of all, without effort, he

seamlessly linked the candidacy of Hillary Clinton to his own presidential

quest to the values and goals that he has been pursuing and made her the

natural heir (ph).  Secondly you mentioned those other speeches.  This

speech is great because it harkened back to compelling themes of earlier

speeches.  The 2004 speech told his personal story and linked that personal

story to the promise of America.  Something he talked about here.

 

He`s speech on race was raw and honest and personal.  Like here, he

recognized white and black Americans might have anger but we have to

transcend that and find a way of finding common ground.

 

SHARPTON:  So, is there a common thread, a common theme with all of his

great speeches?

 

LICHTMAN:  I think there is a common theme.  And the common theme is,

America has enormous promise.  America is a great nation but there`s still

a lot of work to be done.  That the vigilance that gives us freedom and

civil liberties and security is never completed.  We have to keep working

at it and we can`t do it alone.  We can have, you know, some dictatorial

personality come in and say, I`m going to solve everything.  It`s going to

take a common effort of all Americans.  And Obama has admitted he hasn`t

transcended the political divide.  That`s been one of the great themes of

his presidency.

 

SHARPTON:  Now let me ask you something a little different.  I want to play

a very personal moment from the first lady`s speech.  Listen to this.

 

LICHTMAN:  Yeah.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

M. OBAMA:  I will never forget that winter morning as I watched our girls,

just 7 and 10-years-old pile into the black SUVs with all those big men

with guns.  And I saw their little faces pressed up against the window.  At

that moment I realized that our time in the White House would form the

foundation for who they would become, and how well we manage this

experience could truly make or break them.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

SHARPTON:  I mean, watching her, could she follow her husband`s footsteps

and go into politics?  I mean, we now have a precedent of first ladies

going into politics?

 

LICHTMAN:  Hey we have two precedents now. An African-American president

and the first woman nominee of a major party, isn`t Michelle the natural

recipient of both of those two extraordinary breakthrough changes?  And you

know what?  She held her own with the best speakers, the best politicians

in America and in some ways was the shining light of that convention along

with her husband and Hillary Clinton and others.  Absolutely if she wants

it.  And yet, have to have that fire in the belly, you know that Reverend. 

If she wants it she has an extraordinary political future.

 

SHARPTON:  All right, historian Allan Lichtman.  Thank you for being here.

 

LICHTMAN:  My pleasure.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Next, a new POLITICS NATION report on the challenges

facing low income families in the summer, and what a group of educators and

police are doing about it.

 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

CLINTON:  None of us can raise a family, build a business, heal a

community, or lift a country totally alone.  So let`s be stronger together

my fellow Americans.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

SHARPTON:  Hillary Clinton saying we need to tackle problems together.  A

point we see in the next installment of our “Bending toward Justice”

series.  For some Americans, summertime is about vacation and fun in the

sun but for millions of low income families it can be a serious hardship. 

When school is out, these parents face a lot of challenges.  They need to

find child care and a way to pay for it.  Their kids have no longer access

to free or subsidized lunches at school.

 

These kids also face the summer slide, losing reading and math abilities at

higher rates than higher income children.  And in the summer months, safety

and crime can be a more serious concern.  If you`re a mom or a dad working

two or three jobs, what do you do about all of this?

 

POLITICS NATION went to New Haven, Connecticut to look at how some groups

are working together under one roof to tackle all these issues.  In Wilbur

Cross High School, summer meals partners with educators and local police to

make sure all kids enjoy the summer.

 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Not only do we take the kids off the streets during

summer months we actually feed them.

 

We give breakfast, we give lunch and then at the end of the day, towards

the end of the day we give them a snack.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I see that (ph) where people come they don`t have

support (ph) or the money (inaudible).

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We actually go to parks, low-income housing,

neighborhoods just to try to reach our students in the summer time because

there`s a good gap.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I`m grateful that they have it here because that`s

also less that I have to spend to provide lunch and breakfast when they

come here.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Not only does it feed kids but it educates kids and

keeps them going.  It feeds the mind and the body.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It`s going to be easier to forget, when they go back

to school they`re in the group of things anymore.

 

(OFF-MIC)

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The man in the picture is a little three blocks away.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  When they go back to school in the fall, they don`t

have the summer slide.  They haven`t lost all the things that they learned

before they left.

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Can we have some more out loud.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It costs the parent nothing.  We hope that it helps the

parent who is maybe a single mom or dad working the whole day and this can

enable them to work while we keep their child safe and having fun here.

 

And we have arts and crafts, we have reading, music.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Many of these officers that work in the program are

people that grew up in New Haven.

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I`m just letting you know, no one making me bracelet

yet.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Well.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I`ve seen a few others here with bracelets but I don`t

have one.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I`m sorry but …

 

(CROSSTALK)

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We dress down and they can see that we are human too. 

They don`t see just the uniform, they see that we can play, you know,

different games with them.  We can dance with them we can laugh and joke

with them.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  They`re like (inaudible) and they`re fun.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It`s just like having older plan by your side (ph).

 

(OFF-MIC)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Some of them grew up in the neighborhood where there`s

gun violence, there`s gang violence, shootings, there`s crime.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Some of them are truly escaping.  This is like the safe

place they don`t want to leave in some cases.

 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The houses may not look as nice and perfect but

there`s still families living there and working and trying to do the best

for their family what they can.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Kids that were able to connect some of those resources

to have done better.  Attendance has gotten better.  They have been able to

graduate.

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Being here where we ask them to be creative, we ask

them to work with others.  You can see it in their eyes they love it.

 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

 

SHARPTON:  Good people doing good work.  Maybe that`s how we should define

America and what makes America great.  That does it for me.  Thanks for

watching.  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.                                                                                                    

END

 

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