PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton, Transcript 11/6/2016
Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: November 6, 2016
Guest: April Ryan, A.J. Delgado
AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good morning. I`m Al Sharpton. Two days from
Election Day. That was the scene last night in Nevada. Donald Trump
rushed off stage after a commotion caused by a protester. Returning when
security calmed the situation.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But he said it was going to be
easy for us. But we will never be stopped. Never, ever be stopped.
SHARPTON: Hours later, Trump was going after Hillary Clinton`s, quote, e-
mail mess, claiming that FBI will likely indict her.
TRUMP: Look what the hell she`s done. This is the way she`ll run the
country. And that situation, we could very well have a sitting president
under a felony indictment and ultimately a criminal trial.
SHARPTON: Meantime, Hillary Clinton, holding a series of star-studded
events. First, with Beyonc‚ and Jay-Z, and then with Katy Perry.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I really think we`re going to
send a message from coast to coast, east to west, north to south, about who
we are as a country.
SHARPTON: This morning, a new national poll has Clinton up by five points.
It could all hinge on voter turnout. Millions of Americans have already
cast their ballots. Coming up, my full conversation with President Barack
Obama on the election, Donald Trump, and the Obama legacy.
But we start with NBC`s Jacob Rascon, in Denver, who was at that Trump
rally last night. Jacob, what`s the latest on that security scare and is
the Trump camp worried that it has become a distraction?
JACOB RASCON, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: So after a big scare, no weapon was
found, and it appears nobody was actually really hurt. Except for maybe
the protester himself. This is a man who described himself as a republican
who`s supporting Clinton this cycle because he doesn`t want to see Trump as
president. He says that he made his way right up to the stage with a
republicans against Trump sign. He said supporters tried to grab it away
and tried to grab him and started hitting, punching and kicking him after a
commotion and Trump rushed off stage. This person was led out in cuffs,
later released and Trump took the stage and said everything was fine, and
played it up, and his team retweeted somebody who said it was an
Notably though, later in the rally after that, Trump didn`t mention it. He
was in five states yesterday, he`ll be in another five today including both
days in Michigan. Al?
SHARPTON: Jacob Rascon, thanks for your reporting.
Now to my interview with President Obama. I caught up with him in
Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he just held a rally for Hillary
Clinton. We covered a lot of ground, including the headlines surrounding
the FBI and Clinton`s e-mails.
SHARPTON: There are reports of leaks from FBI about Mrs. Clinton. It
seems to be geared toward harming her candidacy. Does it disturb you or
even raise an eyebrow that there may be some elements in law enforcement or
even the FBI that are purposefully trying to fix this campaign or this
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Well, I`ll say what I said
before. I`m always very careful about speaking about active cases being
handled by the justice department or the FBI because I don`t want to appear
as if I`m influencing them unduly.
The reason for that is that historically both under democratic and
republican administrations our goal has been and should be that our
investigators and our prosecutors are independent of politics, that they`re
not politicized, that they`re not used as a weapon to advantage either side
in partisan arguments.
And I want to make sure that we continue with that tradition and with that
norm. Now I said before and I will say again, Jim Comey is a good man.
And I do not believe that he is in any way trying to influence the election
one way or another. I think he`s a serious public servant who wants to do
the right thing. I think the overwhelming majority of FBI feel the same
way, the overwhelming majority of people in the justice department feel the
What I have said is I want all of us to think about maintaining these
norms. When you are investigating a case, then unless you have unearthed
something, you need to just do your job. If there are things that you
think are worth presenting, then you present them to a prosecutor. The
prosecutor then makes a judgment, the prosecutor can make a decision either
to file a charge or not to file a charge.
But we give enormous power to our law enforcement officials to keep us
safe, to do a great job, to protect us. But we also put these norms and
rules in place, some of them written, some of them unwritten, to make sure
that any of us are not suddenly affected by innuendo or rumors. And that`s
true for an ordinary citizen, and it`s true for somebody who`s running for
president of the United States.
SHARPTON: You`ve actually criticized Trump for having the support of KKK
sympathizers. I mean, this is frightening for many people in this country.
But I don`t know if it has come home.
OBAMA: Well, I mean, I`ve been critical, not that somebody decides to
support him, but the fact that he doesn`t immediately disown that support.
And sends signals that he is OK with discrimination against minorities,
that he`s OK or sympathetic with respect to discrimination towards Muslims.
You know, these are things that he says on an ongoing basis. Comments that
would have once been considered completely disqualifying by a democratic or
a republican candidate. Imagine if I, when I had been running had said one
tenth of the things that Donald Trump has said. People would immediately
say that person is not qualified to be president.
If Hillary Clinton right now said just a fraction of the things that Mr.
Trump said, people would be outraged and the republicans would say, you
can`t have that person serving. And it`s not just with respect to his
attitudes towards minorities. It`s his lack of respect for the
constitution. I mean, when you stand on a presidential debate stage, and
you say to your political opponent, I`m going to throw you in jail, that`s
what happens in banana republics. That`s what happens in, you know, a lot
of countries around the world that are run by authoritarians. And so I
take him at his word when he says he admires somebody like a Vladimir
And the fact that you got republicans who in the past have criticized me
for even talking to Russians, and now feel comfortable with supporting
somebody who considers the former head of the KGB as a role model,
indicates that either they know better and they don`t care, or they don`t
SHARPTON: You look at this person for a minute, because one of the things
he said, he rose to political prominence outside of his business and
entertainment, with the birther issue. I mean, can you imagine how you
would feel standing on the steps of the capital having to hand over the
power and watch him put his hand on that bible and become your successor
after saying you weren`t even a U.S. citizen?
OBAMA: You know, the thing is, I don`t take any of this personally because
he is not somebody who`s fit to be president in any circumstances. I would
feel deeply frustrated, not because anything he said about me, but because
I would fear for the future of our country. And I say that mindful of the
fact that there are disagreements between republicans and democrats, but
I`ve said this in speeches before. When I ran against John McCain, I
thought he had wrong ideas, and I believed I would be a better president.
But I didn`t think that if John McCain was president that basic standards
of decency, basic constitutional norms would be out the window. When I ran
against Mitt Romney, I disagreed with him on his economic policies, but he
released his tax returns, I wasn`t worried about what kinds of business
interests that he might have.
When Donald Trump says that he is prepared to be president, and he will
have his family run his businesses, not in a blind trust, when he`s got all
kinds of business interests that nobody knows what`s what and where money
is coming from and where it might be going, that is the kind of
unprecedented attitude with respect to the highest office in the land that
would make me concerned about the country as a whole.
And so the good news is that the majority of the American people recognize
that he`s not fit to be president. The challenge that we always have, and
you`re very familiar with this, Reverend, is that who votes doesn`t always
match up with the attitudes of the majority. And if we had a system in
which consistently the majority of the American people voted, not just
during presidential years, but midterms, congress would look very different
and we`d have very different policies.
SHARPTON: There`s been a lot of energy as you`ve been traveling the last
few days, you just finished a rally here in Fayetteville and you said your
legacy is on the ballot. Yet, there are reports that the African-American
vote is not exactly where they would want it.
How do we translate the energy that you clearly inspire and the message
that you inspired about your legacy into actual votes?
OBAMA: Look, the good news is that what we`ve seen over the last several
days is in Florida, in North Carolina, in places all across the country,
votes generally have been up, you`ve seen in the African-American community
big surges in early vote, big surges in Latino vote, big surges in youth
And so if we can just sustain what we`ve done over the last several days,
then I will feel good about the ultimate turnout results. But what is true
is that in part, because I think a lot of people still can`t believe that
Donald Trump would be elected president, there may be a complacency setting
And, you know, the main thing that I`ve been trying to explain to people is
that if you supported me in `08, if you supported me in `12, if you think
that I`ve done a good job, if you believe that Michelle has done a good
job, everything that we`ve done over the last eight years will be reversed
with a Trump presidency. And everything will be sustained and built on
with a Hillary Clinton presidency.
So this vote is as important as any of those other two votes in being able
to maintain a progressive agenda that keeps 20 million people with health
insurance, and hopefully gets the next 20 million, that makes sure that
we`re working on issues like criminal justice reform, and somebody who
actually wants to see a reinvigorated civil rights office in the justice
department, that wants to make sure that things like early childhood
education get put in place so that our young people can get the benefits of
a great education at the earliest stages, all the way through college.
You can`t say you care about those things and then suggest somehow that
you`re feeling cynical or not sufficiently inspired, you know, Michelle and
I, we talk over dinner table, we explain to our daughters, you know, not
everything is supposed to be inspiring, sometimes you just do what you have
to do and one of the things you got to do right now is to make sure to vote
for Hillary Clinton.
SHARPTON: We also talked about the president`s legacy. His record on
civil rights and a lot more. That`s all coming up. Also, still to come,
we`re live with a senior Trump campaign adviser on the strategy with two
days to go.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We got to be nice and cool. Nice and cool. Right. Stay on point,
Donald. Stay on point. No side tracks, Donald. Nice and easy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Plus, our panel on the state of play. But, first, “SNL`s” final
jokes before the election.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KATE MCKINNON, ACTRESS: If you want to elect him president on Tuesday, OK,
go ahead, but then in four years once you all realize you`ve been tricked,
you`re going to come running back to me, begging me to run again, and guess
what, idiots, I`ll do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Progress is on the ballot. Fairness is on the ballot. Decency is
on the ballot. Justice is on ballot.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: President Obama hitting the campaign trail hard for Hillary
Clinton with less than 48 hours until the first polls open on Election Day.
Today, he`ll be in battleground Florida and tomorrow he stops in Michigan
before a big rally in Philadelphia. With the first lady and both Clintons.
Joining me now, two journalists who know the Obama presidency better than
most, April Ryan, Washington Bureau Chief for American Urban Radio Networks
and MSNBC Political Analyst Jonathan Alter. He`s written two books on the
Jonathan, we never seen a sitting president campaign like this for his
successor before. What do you make of it?
JONATHAN ALTER, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think it`s what he just
said to you in your interview. His entire legacy is on the ballot, and the
well-being of millions of citizens. I think what people don`t understand
is if Trump`s policies were enacted and he would likely have a republican
congress, if he was elected, to pay for his tax cuts, you have to cut 40
percent from every other program. And every other program that benefits
people would have to be cut by 40 to 50 percent.
SHARPTON: And this is Trump`s actual proposals.
ALTER: Right. This is actual proposals and you also have, you know,
things like minimum wage, climate change, all kinds of other – go right
down the list of big issues and they`re not small differences between
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. There are huge differences that go to
our values. And the big question now is whether he – President Obama and
Michelle Obama have enough influence to get larger numbers of African-
Americans to the polls, in particular. He`s influenced with all voters.
They`re the swing voters in a lot of states. And also even if you`re not
in a battleground state, if you don`t vote and say Trump lost in the
Electoral College, but won the popular vote, we`ll have a huge
constitutional crisis in this country.
ALTER: So even if you`re in New York or Chicago or a place that`s not real
competitive, if you don`t get out and vote, that really helps Trump.
SHARPTON: April, you know, the president is certainly fired up and I`m
going to play a lot more of the interview as we continue to show –
APRIL RYAN, WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORKS: The
interview as well.
SHARPTON: Thank you. But, you know, it is – he`s fired up about his
legacy, he`s fired up about a lot of the things that all of us that tried
to deal with in this country in the last eight years. How much do you
think, though, is all of the activity we`re seeing from the president about
RYAN: I think a lot of it is about his legacy. I think the vast majority
of it is because number one we have to look at the historic nature. This
was the first African-American president of the United States, not just the
first African-American president, but a president who was now considered a
rights president. You have issues of LGBT community, you have women`s
issues, you have issues for the African-American community, so he is going
to go down in history as a rights president.
But what we also talk about issues of rights, this is the president who has
put criminal justice issues on the forefront. Reverend Al, you know more
than anyone that, you know, through this last eight years, we have seen
this world go through this presidency when it comes to racial profiling.
But then you have a candidate like Donald Trump who`s talking either/or.
It`s like I support the police or I support the people who are complaining
about this. And he`s choosing to support the police, where as you have
Hillary Clinton who`s taking a stance like President Obama, you know, let`s
look at both. Let`s have a strong support for good policing, and weed out
the bad policing.
It`s also issues of the economy. This president did a stimulus package to
help reinvigorate business to put more money into the economy. You have
Donald Trump who`s talking about trickledown economics. Getting, you know,
giving businesses a chance to make more money through tax incentives, but
then will they, will they? That`s the question. Will they send it off to
their employees and people like the national urban league are saying that`s
just not feasible.
And then you have the ACA, very controversial issue. You know, now so many
people. I mean, as you get older, things happen. Pre-existing conditions,
you know, many people now are able to get insurance –
SHARPTON: And where are we going to go with the Affordable Care Act? It
has to be a major concern.
ALTER: Huge. It will be gutted. You will have millions of people who are
thrown off of their insurance. Look, I`m normally a calm guy, you know
this. You know, but this is really serious. And I think what most people
watching this show, they`re already voting, maybe some of them have done so
in early voting. It`s the cousins, the nephews, the nieces, the people
that all of you know who are, you know, they`re a little complacent as the
president said, a little reluctant. And I think a lot of them don`t
understand the stakes that are involved.
SHARPTON: A lot of there are involved, which is why I thought the
president`s talk with me on – And knowing it would air the Sunday before
an election was so important. But at the same time, you have the negative.
You have Donald Trump –
Let me play this quickly to you. He talks about Hillary Clinton and these
terms. Look – watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: Crooked Hillary Clinton, the prime suspect in a far-reaching
criminal investigation. Her current scandals and controversies will
continue throughout her presidency.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: So with all at stake, he`s projecting this, will these e-mail
negative headlines and words from the republican nominee affect voters?
ALTER: Well, I think they already have a little bit. And what he just
said is completely untrue, you know.
ALTER: They did not reopen a criminal investigation.
SHARPTON: So that`s just factually untrue.
ALTER: Just factually untrue. He`s the one who has the court date
November 28th for the fraud that is Trump University, Trump
University, the fake scam that he`s been running. He has to appear in
court then. He`s facing many more legal challenges than she is. But he
talks – look, we just have to call it what it is. He lies consistently
and as we know from history, the big lie works.
Sometimes what it does it just depresses people, so they go, I don`t want
to deal with any of this stuff and they don`t realize how much is at stake.
SHARPTON: April, let me quickly ask you, did President Obama`s presence
and his presidency fire up black voters in these last few days?
RYAN: Well, you know, President Obama has charisma and that`s part of the
problem. He`s not on the ballot. But he`s letting people know I am on the
ballot. And I mean I`m hearing people, you know, they`re watching Mrs.
Obama, who is – I mean, she`s amazing on the road, you know, she`s real.
And she touches people because she`s a mother, she makes no bones about it.
I`m not a politician, but I`m talking from my heart.
SHARPTON: I have to leave it there, April. Thank you. April Ryan. Thank
you, Jonathan Alter. Both of you, thank you for your time today.
RYAN: Thank you.
Ahead, I`ll talk to a Trump campaign senior adviser about that chaotic
scene last night. Also, what President Obama said in our conversation when
I asked had him about this iconic photo.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m a republican, and I`ve been supporting republican
candidates for quite some time. But I just don`t support Donald Trump. I
literally just had one sign that said republicans against Trump.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The protester involved in that security scare last night in
Nevada. Some tense moments, reports that someone shouted gun, but
thankfully the secret service says no gun was found.
But Donald Trump Jr. raised eyebrows, by immediately retweeting the false
claim that his father had survived a, quote, assassination attempt. That
retweet is still up on his account.
Joining me now is Trump campaign senior adviser A.J. Delgado. First, A.J.,
shouldn`t Donald Jr. delete that tweet rather than leave that kind of
misinformation out there?
A.J. DELGADO, TRUMP CAMPAIGN SENIOR ADVISER: No, not at all. And this has
happened to me myself. We know that once we retweet something and then we
undo the retweet then you get as much grief for undoing it and deleting the
tweet. So he retweeted it already. He left it up. Listen, there`s
nothing wrong with retweeting. It`s not endorsing what the person said.
It was just showing the different views on what happened of different
supporters and many did see it as an assassination attempt and tweeted that
at the time that –
SHARPTON: But there was no gun. So there wasn`t an assassination.
DELGADO: Right, thankfully.
SHARPTON: But let`s get to something that is even more interesting to me
than a retweet, certainly an assassination attempt had it happened would
have been very serious, but it just didn`t happen, thank God. But what
raises my eyebrow a little, Donald Trump is hitting eight states today and
tomorrow, including Minnesota, which hasn`t voted republican since Richard
I mean, does the campaign really thinks he has a shot in some of these blue
states? Or this just desperation or misplaced optimism?
DELGADO: We really do. And here`s why. It comes down to jobs and the
economy. We`re seeing a lot of working class democrats who feel
disaffected, abandoned by the trade policies of the Democratic Party, by
the trade policies that Hillary Clinton supports be it NAFTA or TPP. These
are job killing trade deals. So that message is really resonating rightly
so with communities across the country that may trend blue, but are saying,
listen, a democratic party is moving in a way that I don`t really agree
with, especially into Hillary Clinton. Like Barack Obama, I don`t like
Hillary Clinton`s corruption, the lies, which she did with the e-mails and
they`re thinking it might be time to switch.
SHARPTON: But notwithstanding that nearly 40 million people have already
voted early. Democrats hold an edge in seven states, including North
Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia. Republicans hold an edge in Arizona and
Georgia. Florida and Colorado are even. So, is the Trump campaign worried
about these early voting patterns, which tend to appear like it gives the
democrats a little edge?
DELGADO: Not at all, because in several of the key states, for instance
Florida, where they`re up by 7,000 votes last I saw, they`re supposed to be
– democrats tend to be in certain of these critical states, they tend to
be stronger in early voting than republicans tend to vote more on actual
election day. They`re actually not doing the democrats – I mean, are
actually not doing well compared to 2012.
At this point in 2012 in early voting in Florida, the democrats had over
100,000 more votes than the republicans. This year only 7,000 more. The
stats are actually worse for the dems.
SHARPTON: What`s the mood? Real quick. What`s the mood in the campaign?
DELGADO: Optimistic, three more days to victory.
SHARPTON: All right, we`ll see. A.J. Delgado, thank you for your time
Next, what President Obama told me about voter suppression. The answer
might surprise you.
SHARPTON: We`re back with my interview with President Obama, just days
before the election. One big topic, his record on civil rights, and what
he hopes to see on that front from the next president.
SHARPTON: You mentioned civil rights, and I`ve been part of the leadership
that has met with you on all of the civil rights issues since you`ve been
in it. So I know of your sensitivity there from commuting sentences to
when you had Newt Gingrich and I tour on education.
What do you hope continues from your civil rights legacy into the new
administration and how would you tell them to relate to those issues and to
the broad section of people who work with? I think you said a real –
OBAMA: I think there are two ways to think about it. I think that there
is work that has to be sustained to defend civil rights and prevent bad
things from happening. And then there is the body of work we`ve been doing
to make things actually better.
On the defense side, we have reinvigorated the civil rights division of the
voting rights, or voting rights division at the justice department that is
serious about prosecuting discriminatory actions. And that makes a big
difference. That is serious about protecting voting rights. That makes a
So those kinds of institutional structures that we`ve set up we have to
sustain. But as you know, we also have to make sure that all the work
we`ve been doing around criminal justice reform moves forward. Some of
that I`ve been able to do on my own. You know, the commutations of close
to a thousand individuals.
SHARPTON: More in the last 10 –
OBAMA: More than the last 11, I think it is. You know, we have
reinvigorated the office of the pardon attorney, in the justice department,
so that continuously we can review people who have gotten overly harsh
sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. That I think we can sustain. I
think the work we`ve done with the task force for 21st century policing
that at times you participated in, terrific recommendations coming from
Ferguson activists, police chiefs, prosecutors, talking about things like
instituting body cameras, and making sure that they`re used properly, to
having independent inquiries when there is a shooting, things that we
should be able to agree on because it will be better for the police, and
make their lives better and safer, but will also ensure communities feel
that they`re being treated fairly.
A lot of that work requires us to continue to partner with state and local
officials and so we need a president in there who keeps that momentum going
because it`s not as if that problem is going to go away anytime soon.
Ultimately, what I`d like to see is congress pass criminal justice reform
legislation, that would systematically lower the prison time for nonviolent
drug offenses, emphasize diversion programs, think about how we can
rehabilitate those who have actually gone through the penal system so that
they`re getting the education they need and can stay off – stay out of
trouble, but rather can be productive tax paying citizens.
So the good news is, Hillary Clinton has signed up for all these issues.
She is prepared to do it. She has the background to do it. Mr. Trump has
an entirely different approach. His attitude is to drum up fear and
suggest somehow that we`re in the midst of this crime wave when in fact
crime today is as low as it has been since the 1960s. There are particular
cities like Chicago where we are seeing a significant spike in homicides
that we`ve got to pay attention to. But what we don`t need is a president
who is using the issue of crime as a lever, as a signifier in order to get
votes and foster fear in the population.
SHARPTON: People are going to vote, this is Sunday morning when this will
air, and it will be all over radio. What do you want as your closing
argument to be to voters that are saying they`re suppressing the vote, I
don`t know if it matters, what should they know from President Barack
OBAMA: Here`s what they need to know. I would not have become president
unless people turned out to vote. Over these last eight years, we have
gone from coming close to a great depression to unemployment rate that`s
4.9 percent, created 15 million new jobs. Last year, we saw the highest
jump in incomes that we`ve seen in 30, 40 years, saw the biggest drop in
poverty that we`ve seen in 30, 40 years.
We just saw jobs report this week that showed that wages are going up at
the fastest pace since before we saw the great recession. We had made so
much progress and so many areas, all that is at stake. And I won North
Carolina in `08 by two votes per precinct. Two votes per precinct. And so
this notion that your vote doesn`t count, fact of the matter is you might
be one of those two votes that changes the direction of American history.
And in this situation, where we have such a stark choice, where we have
Hillary Clinton, somebody who is an outstanding public servant, knows her
stuff, is as experienced as anybody has ever been for this office, who has
served in my administration, I`ve seen her up close, who has fought the
good fight her entire life, who has put forward probably the most
progressive platform in history, and is committed to making sure that she
builds on the progress that we`ve made over these last eight years.
And you have another guy who is temperamentally unfit to be commander in
chief, unqualified, doesn`t know anything or seem to be concerned about
learning basic public policy, who has shown himself to be a bully and
willing to discriminate against people, who are not like him, or somehow
When you have a choice that stark, the idea that you would sit on the
sidelines is unacceptable. So I am asking everybody who`s watching this
show, if you have not voted, you`ve got to go out there and vote.
And particularly young people who may have been inspired by Bernie but now
say, well, Hillary is too establishment, somebody who`s been marching after
a police shooting, and says, well, all politicians are the same, that`s not
true. The fact of the matter is, is that nobody is going to be able from
this office, as powerful as it is, to deliver everything to everybody right
Progress is never made overnight. Yes, there are going to be times where
compromises need to be made. Yes, there`s no candidate out there who`s
going to be perfect on your issue the way you want it done 100 percent of
the time. But you have to look at the choice we have right now, and it
could not be starker.
And if somebody is not voting right now, who is watching your program, you
are voting for Donald Trump. And if that`s the case, then you need to own
that you think his ideas and his behavior are OK. I don`t. And if you
don`t, then you got to get off your chair and you got to get out there and
vote. And the notion that somehow voter suppression is keeping you from
voting as systematic as republicans have tried to make voting more
difficult for minorities, for democrats, for young people, the truth of the
matter is if you actually want to vote, then you can vote.
And it will take you 15 minutes in most cases where you`ve got early vote,
if there`s no early vote, then, yes, you might have to wait in line for 20
minutes or half an hour to vote.
And the question would be why would you disempower yourself? Why would you
give them that victory if they`re trying to keep you from voting by not
voting? We disempower ourselves all the time. You can`t tell me to all
those folks who don`t vote are doing so because somebody`s turned them away
or somebody`s intimidated them? No, because they decided they had
something better to do. And my suggestion would be in this election, at
this moment, there`s nothing better to do than vote.
And if you need to know how to vote, just go to iwillvote.com, it`ll tell
you exactly how to vote, where to vote. And, you know, I am so proud of
the work we`ve done, but I`ve said before, it`s never the work of just one
person or one president or one term. The work we engage in to make this
country better is an ongoing process and it depends on active citizens
getting educated about issues and going out there and participating. Now
is that moment where people have to be heard.
SHARPTON: Next, what the president said about this powerful photo. And
his effect on young people over the last eight years.
SHARPTON: Finally, this morning, the Obama generation. In my interview,
we talked about the impact he`s made on young people. Starting with an
image that`s become a symbol of the difference he`s made.
SHARPTON: The famous photo of you with the five-year-old African-American
young boy touching your hair something I think many of us will never
forget. What effect do you hope your presidency has on young African-
Americans for years to come?
OBAMA: Well, you know, Michelle and I always say – we can`t judge what
impact will have in history, how people will view us 10 years from now, 30
years from now, 50 years from now. What we have tried to do is to conduct
ourselves in this amazing privileged position, in a way that if children
are watching us, then they are receiving the same kinds of values that
we`ve been trying to teach our kids.
We`ve tried to make sure that people see us as honest, as working hard, as
treating people with respect as being kind to people and, you know, I hope
that children watching are going to see that and say, OK, if I want to
achieve something in life, I don`t need to be a bully, I don`t need to put
other people down, I can lift them up. I can serve.
And I think I met enough young African-Americans and I`ve now been in
office long enough to realize that when I was elected, you know, 10-year-
olds are now in college, to know that I think there are young African-
American boys who feel like maybe there`s nothing they can`t achieve if
they work hard, that might not have felt that way before my election. I
think Michelle has inspired a whole bunch of young African-American girls
to know that you can be beautiful and strong and confident and be a great
mom and be a great speaker and be a lawyer and so you don`t have any
But what I also hope, Al, is that there are a lot of white kids and Latino
kids and Asian kids and gay kids who have heard us and watched us and they
too have felt like the world is big enough for them and their ideas and
their vision and their creativity. And that they can achieve their dreams,
not based on their last name or what they look like, but based on what they
And how useful and hardworking they are. And that is in some ways just as
important, because what I ultimately believe is that America`s strength is
that we come from everywhere. And that we had this ideal that has been
breached many times in the past, but we keep on getting closer and closer
to, where you`re judged on the content of your character. And having a
little white girl come up to Michelle and say, you know, I really admire
you means she`s looking through different eyes. She doesn`t think, well, I
can`t admire Michelle Obama because she doesn`t look like me, she`s seeing
Michelle Obama and she`s saying I can admire you because you`re a little
girl too once and look what you were able to achieve. And that change in
mind set is a powerful thing.
SHARPTON: President Barack Obama for just about eight years now
transformed a lot in this country. Where it will go will be up to what you
and I do on this Tuesday. It is very, very clear that there are two
different roads being offered by the presidential candidates, but also the
down ballot, the senate, the congress, where are we going from here?
We saw where this president was transformative, we see those that want to
change it or those that want to maintain it. You have no excuse. But not
to make sure you vote, whoever you vote for, don`t allow this moment to not
have your input. People fought for you to have that right. Use it. That
does it for me. Thanks for watching. Stephanie Ruhle is up next. I`ll
see you back here next Sunday.
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