Politics Nation, Transcript 6/11/2017
Show: POLITICS NATION
Date: June 11, 2017
Guest: Adriano Espaillat, Liz Plank, Charles Ellison, Robert Traynham, Don
Christensen, Vernice Armour
(START VIDEO TAPE)
JAMES COMEY, FORMER U.S. FBI DIRECTOR: Although the law required no reason
at all to fire an FBI director, the administration then chose to defame me
and more importantly, the FBI. By saying that the organization was in
disarray, that it was poorly led, that the work force had lost confidence
in it leader. Those were lies, plain and simple.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good morning and welcome to “PoliticsNation”.
That was perhaps the most compelling moment in Thursday`s senate hearing of
former FBI director James Comey. And his assertion that President Trump
spread lies about him. Comey came to Capitol Hill after weeks of being
called names by the president. Being called a grandstander, unpopular,
crazy, and a real nut job. It was then Comey`s turn to give his account of
his relationship with Donald Trump. Three days removed, where is this story
moving to now?
Let me ask my panel. Liz Plank is a senior correspondent at Vox.com.
Charles Ellison, a democratic strategist and radio host of “Reality Check”
on WURD Philadelphia. And Robert Traynham, a former Bush-Cheney senior
advisor, now a political strategist and MSNBC contributor.
So, we`re here, Liz, three days later. We are told Tuesday that Attorney
General Sessions has asked to come in front of the intelligence committee
and he was scheduled to talk to judiciary. I understand he`s now has to go
in front of the intelligence committee. What did he learn from Comey? And
did Comey put this president in trouble? I mean, the bottom line is he
walked in. When he walked out, was Donald Trump in more trouble, or was it
a lot of disappointment for that who felt he would do that?
LIZ PLANK, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, VOX.COM: I think it`s hard to see how
Donald Trump not end up in trouble after that Comey testimony. I mean, a
lot of the people on the GOP end, Paul Ryan said, “Donald Trump is just new
to this. I think it`s time to dispel the myth that Donald Trump doesn`t
know what he`s doing. In fact Donald Trump, according to Comey`s testimony,
he knows exactly what he`s doing.
The way that he – what I heard from that testimony is not the behavior of
a president who doesn`t know what he`s doing. It was the behavior of a mob
leader. Taking people outside of the room to make sure there`s no witnesses
when he was talking to Comey and asking him – I hope you can stop this
investigation. Asking for pledges of loyalty. These are all things that are
not normal for the leader of the government to be doing. And are extremely
worrying. And for Comey to be basically not telling the truth, he would
have to have written factious diary entries and then spares him –
SHARPTON: Because diaries – or his copious notes were done in real-time.
PLANK: And shared with his co-workers before he was fired.
SHARPTON: Right. Rob, what do you say? The president asking people
including the attorney general who Comey works for to leave the room. He
wants to talk to them one on one, there is several meetings and phone
calls. How do you say to president, A, he doesn`t know what he`s doing, and
B, that he was not engaged in an effort here to try to get the Flynn
investigation if not the whole Russia investigation sidestepped.
ROB TRAYNHAM, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, to your point, Reverend. Good
morning. I think we learned two things. One, the president knew exactly
what he was doing. Sophistication knowing that, hey, you know what? If Vice
President Pence and if the attorney general is in the oval office with the
FBI director, I`m asking him to do something that`s probably not a good
idea, so I`m going to ask them to leave.
So what we see here – or we think we see is a president that understands
that he probably should have a one on one conversation. We also understand
the president is very sophisticated to call FBI Director Comey from his
personal phone and not to the White House which for knowing that that call
probably would be traced and logged.
We also know that Director Comey – we already knew this already that
Director Comey is a pretty good witness. He was very quick on his feet. He
came across as very earnest. He came across as not arrogant at all. He`s
just actually a little remorseful that he was in this situation.
Memorializing his notes saying, Lordy, I hope there is tapes. I hope – I
don`t care if it`s near. I hope that the American people can hear this
So, again, came across as very earnest, very sophisticated and very
truthful while the president, I believe, came across as a bit cunning.
SHARPTON: And you`re the Bush-Cheney guy on this panel.
Charles, let me ask you that if both my republican strategists and Liz who
is basically on the left, if they think the president is in trouble, what`s
the next step, Charles? Where does this potentially go?
CHARLES ELLISON, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIS: Right. There`s a short game and a
long game here. In the short game, there was this assumption that this
would be extremely damaging for the president politically. But
unfortunately, in the short game, while the optics may be really bad for
the president, and while this Comey testimony was very embarrassing that
day for the president, his base is still intact. I mean, we see polling
numbers coming out about a couple days after. There`s a poll which is
showing that still 80 percent of republicans feel the president is
Still you`ve got a percentage of whites who feel that they`re on board with
the president. His base, that voter for him last year in the 2016 election
is still for him. So the key here really is his base. If he`s still in that
35 percent to 40 percent percentile range, really the key here is what are
democrats going to do? How are they going to get folks mobilized in 2018?
Because at the end of the day, congress has to move one this toward any
sort of impeachment proceedings. They`re the ones who have to basically
draft the articles of impeachment to make this thing move any more as far
as showing that the president did, indeed, commit a crime here. Nothing is
really going to move on this until 2019. So the long run approach –
SHARPTON: What happens, Liz, and I`ll come back to you on it, Charles,
because you kind of brought us there. What happens in `18? At what point as
you`re facing the midterm elections and you`re a republican, in a district
that may not be safe, now one of the gerrymander say districts. How long do
you stay with the president that has been depicted by the FBI director,
this is the first time that I`ve seen people some on the left, some in the
African-American community that I work with every day, actually rooting for
the FBI. I mean, I`ve never seen this before.
PLANK: And let`s remember, James Comey. A couple weeks or months ago
republicans loved Donald Trump during the campaign, praised him for the way
he handled that he the Hillary Clinton investigation. And now suddenly
using that as a reason for why he fired him.
So all of this in addition to the Russian investigation in itself and all
of the – there`s also health care happening right now. There`s a repeal of
ObamaCare that is being drafted right now in the house and that senate
republicans could put out any moment. All of these things are going to add
up and are going to be a difficult hill to sort of surmount for 2018 for
SHARPTON: So, Charles, you`re the democratic strategist on the panel this
morning. How does a lot of the people handle midterms? Not only the
republicans that I asked Liz. But what do the democrats have to sell that
they did not sell before in light of what`s going on with Mr. Trump?
ELLISON: Right. Democrats have to sell themselves. Democrats are going to
have to sell a persuasive policy platform message that shows that, OK.
We`ve given you the reasons why you shouldn`t vote for republicans or why
you shouldn`t have voted for Donald Trump. That`s an old message. That`s
2016. The 2017, 2018 message, because don`t forget we`ve got New Jersey and
Virginia gubernatorial races and we`ve got that special election in 26.
But that – the important message here is why should you vote for
democrats? And it can`t be this it`s all about a resistance thing. No. It
has to be a very positive sort of forward thinking message about, OK, what
makes us better than the republicans? What makes us the future? And that`s
what the focus has to be. That`s how you have to inspire and mobilize
voters for 2018.
SHARPTON: Robert, the thing that probably disturbed me most given my civil
rights background in terms of my own life`s journey, is that in six
meetings, Comey testified they never once discussed the fact that a foreign
government who is perceived as an adversarial foreign government undermined
the voting in this country. I mean, people that fought for voting rights
and all is there, but the whole country, the American Revolution was based
on taxation without representation. The whole idea was to vote. He never,
the president, never asked Comey one time, Comey said, is there anything to
Russian intervention here in terms of our vote? For the head of the free
world not to be concerned that the actual tenets of the country may have
been compromised or violated, that is really a problem for me.
TRAYNHAM: Well, you know, two things. One, I`m not in the president`s head.
And I`m not his spokesperson. Remember the day after the election Sean
Spicer went on national television and said three that three to five
million people voted illegally, Americans. So I think the president`s head
is not with Russia. I think he thinks that three to five million people
voted illegally in this country which we know is not true.
But if I can shift the conversation just very slightly to go back for a
second. I would back and look at the polls back in 1973 and 1974. The
republican base for Richard Nixon never went below 50 percent. Never went
below 50 percent. So back then, there were republicans on Capitol Hill that
did not look at the polls but they looked at themselves and they looked at
themselves in the mirror and they had their own conscience. And Howard
Baker, republican from Tennessee and others went down to the White House,
didn`t even look at the polls but looked at the constitution, listened to
their conscience and said, Mr. President, you have to resign for the good
of the country.
So with all due respect, I mean, the polls are important. There`s no doubt
about it, what`s really important here is congressional republicans in the
house and the senate to do the right thing. And I`m not calling for
impeachment. I`m certainly not there yet. What I`m saying –
SHARPTON: You sound like you`re calling for resignation though and –
TRAYNHAM: No. That`s not what I`m calling for. Let me be very clear. What
I`m calling for is for every single politician to do their constitutional
duty and to put the politics aside. They swore to uphold the constitution.
Just do that. Just be transparent and ask the right questions and have an
open mind. That`s what I`m asking for.
SHARPTON: Well, I`m sure the president watches “PoliticsNation” since we go
way back, and I hope he does the right thing and at least stand up for the
democracy that the country is supposed to be based on even though it took a
long time for some of us to even get participation in it. Thank you, Liz
Plank, Charles Ellison, Robert Traynham.
Now for an important update. Comedian Bill Maher returned to his HBO late
night show Friday after his much maligned use of the “N” word during last
week`s show. He atoned for the controversial social media lightning rod.
Many of us got involved in attacking him. But he atoned for it with
frequent guests, Michael Eric Dyson before a more complex exchange with
entertainer, Ice Cube.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ICE CUBE, ENTERTAINER: What made you think that it was cool to say that?
BILL MAHER, COMEDIAN: You know, I just explained. There was no thought put
into it. Obviously, I was telling Dr. Dyson, comedians, they react. And it
was wrong, and I apologized. And more than that I can`t do.
CUBE: I accept your apology. I like your show. I like you, but I think this
is a teachable moment not just to you but to the people that`s watching
right now. Dude, I`m not –
MAHER: I think the people watching right now are saying that point has been
CUBE: Not by me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I think Mr. Maher got the message. We`ll be right back.
SHARPTON: Is the U.S. Military racist? That`s the question we want to
explore after this week. We learned that black troops are punished far more
than white service members a new study by the advocacy group Protect Our
Defenders found strong discrimination in the military. Where for example
black soldiers were far more likely than white ones to be court marshalled.
More details, I`m joined by retired Colonel Don Christensen, president of
the organization that led the study. And Vernice Armour. A former Marine
Corps officer who was the first African-American female combat pilot in the
armed forces. She`s now a motivational speaker who wrote a book called
“Zero to Breakthrough: The Seven-Step Battletested Method for Accomplishing
Goals that Matter.”
Let me go, first, to you Mr. Christensen. Tell me what the study says that
DON CHRISTENSEN, PRESIDENT, PROTECT OUR DEFENDERS: I`m not sure –
SHARPTON: – documents the fact that blacks are treated more severely
punished, more court marshalled more than whites. Give me the data and how
you arrived at it.
CHRISTENSEN: Thanks, Reverend. The data is that blacks are more
substantially be prosecuted, more substantially to be punished through
administrative process than what white soldiers are. We looked at 10 years`
worth of data through all the services and found that in the army they`re
40 percent more likely. In the navy – excuse me. 61 percent more likely.
In the navy, 40 percent likely.
SHARPTON: Sixty-one percent more likely in the army, 60 percent – 61
percent and 40 percent in the navy?
SHARPTON: OK. Go ahead.
CHRISTENSEN: In the air force, 71 percent more likely. In the Marine Corps
is what really is troubling, the more serious the response to the
misconduct or the alleged misconduct, the more likely an African-American
is to be punished. So in the Marine Corps, when we get to our felony level
courts, they`re almost three times more likely to be punished than they are
in – than a white person is.
SHARPTON: So we`re saying now in the armed services, the defenders of the
country, the people that are there to keep us out of danger`s way, even
their people are treated differently, punished more harshly if they are
black as opposed to others? I mean, it`s almost like stop and frisk on a
Does your study find out the cause? Is this cultural? Is this some kind of
methodical understanding of racial profiling is what operates through the
military? I mean, how does this happen?
CHRISTENSEN: Well, that`s the real question, Reverend, is how and why is
this happening? Our study shows what the raw data is, but we don`t know the
reason. What`s really important about this is the military has known about
this issue for years. You could probably say decades but they have done
nothing to really try to find a cause. And that`s why at Protect our
Defenders, we brought this forward because we`re saying it`s time for
congress to say to the military, what is the cause of this racial
SHARPTON: Let me go to you, Miss Armour. You were in the military. You
certainly are celebrated breakthrough. Did you ever see any evidence of
this in your own military experience of racial discrimination in terms of
how people are more – punished more if they`re black or more severely
VERNICE ARMOUR, FORMER MARINE CORPS OFFICER: Well, my experience was
actually pretty interesting, because I fell into three categories being
black, gay, and a woman. Right? So sometimes you couldn`t tell what the
difference was. But when I was driving through the gate one particular
time, a guard backed up. My mirror hit his back. I immediately stopped.
Hey, if we need to make a report, let`s – go ahead and call your
supervisor. No. Go ahead. Didn`t look at my I.D., didn`t get my plate,
nothing. An hour and a half later, I got a call on my desk from the base
safety officer that said hey, understand you had an incident with one of my
marines at the front gate. I was immediately ticked because I wanted to be
on site when that happened. But after we went through the formal reporting
process, I said, OK. help me out. I came through the front gate, no I.D.,
no tags, no identification. How did you find me? He said, well, ma`am,
honestly, you`re the only black female on a flight suit on the entire base.
So when it comes to minorities, just standing out, looking different, I
could have been standing around with 20 flight students, think of top gun,
blonder hair, blue eye. If something happened, a general walked up. No one
saluted. But when we got back to the squadron and it was reported, he
couldn`t point out any other guys but he remembered a black woman in a
So, you know, there`s unconscious bias and the conscious bias. And I think
sometimes with especially minorities, when we stand out more than the
majority, some of that is absolutely going to happen.
SHARPTON: isn`t it, though, troubling that some people in the African-
American community and other communities of color go into the military to
escape some of the kinds of discrimination and unfairness in their
hometowns in terms of getting a job, getting a career, and to run into it
when you`re doing what is noble to defend a country has got to be even more
of a slap in the face. You`re running to escape, and you`re running to
protect the home of the free, the land of the brave. In here you`re looking
at this kind of situation, Miss Armour?
ARMOUR: Well, first, I don`t think folks really understand that`s a
situation that they`re running to, because they do have the other
objectives in mind, but I remember when I was going into the Marine Corps.
And I`d already been in the reserves as a soldier. Now, I was going to be a
marine. And my dad, he was a marine. Three tours to Vietnam. And
grandfather was a Montford Point marine. World War II, one of the first
platoons that trained blacks to be in the Marine Corps.
And I remember my dad saying, baby, I don`t want you to go into there. I
don`t want you to be treated the way I saw women being treated and I said -
SHARPTON: This was your dad telling you this?
ARMOUR: Yes. And because he`d experienced it himself. Right? And what I
knew is if I – and I said this to my dad. If I don`t go, who. And we`ve
heard if not now, when, but seriously. If we – because the objective here
with the study is not to harp on what it is but how can we change it. And
that`s going to take two things, Rev. Accountability from the top.
Because think about it. The senior leaders in the military right now,
they`ve been in for 30 plus years. It was a different mentality back then.
It was a different mentality when I first came in in 2000 when there hadn`t
been a black female pilot ever in the Marine Corps. Ever. There still
hasn`t been a black female general ever in the Marin Corps. And it`s not
because black woman aren`t smart enough. We do have to get to the real
issue. So, how do we have accountability at the top to truly shift the
needle and how do we take responsibility to stand up when we see something
that can be different?
And I`ll be honest. That`s why I got out of the Marine Corps, not because I
was dissatisfied with my service, but I saw that I could make a change, an
impact as a black woman out here as Miss Armour more than I could as
SHARPTON: Don, you said that it`s been known for decades. You hear a very
eloquent and passionate statement by Miss Armour but nobody doing anything
about it. How do we move the government to deal with what is known, what is
documented now with this new study that documents it again. But it`s
accepted behavior in of all places, the military.
CHRISTENSEN: And I think that`s the most important question. How do we make
sure this is solved? How do we make sure someone is looking at this
seriously? And what we need to do is not accept the military`s answer that
they always give, is that they`re committed to something. They put out a
press statement, and that just – they hope it goes away, and I think that
we really need to do is have public pressure, pressure from the African-
American community, pressure from others, congress especially, saying
military find out why this is happening. Find out why promotion rates for
African-Americans is less. Find out why we had very few African-American
generals. Find out why as we progress African-Americans don`t have the
opportunities that white troops do.
And without that pressure, the military won`t change. And accountability is
the key. Making sure people are held accountable and making sure there is
pressure for change.
SHARPTON: Thank you so much, Don Christensen and Vernice Armour.
Coming up, when it relates to the Trump family, the apple doesn`t fall far
from the tree. My gotcha for the week in just a moment.
SHARPTON: And now for this week`s Gotcha. What`s becoming a family affair,
a Trump family affair here. Last week Donald Trump Junior incensed by
comedian Kathy Griffin`s no infamous photo featuring his father`s severed
head tweeted, “Imagine a conservative did this to Obama.” We at
“PoliticsNation” let it slide. Though the irony of Junior`s implication was
not lost on us. But we`ll get to that shortly, because this week the
president`s younger son, Eric, while criticizing some democrats on Fox News
this week, said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC TRUMP, DONALD TRUMP`S SON: I`ve never seen hatred like this. To me,
they`re not even people. It`s so sad. I mean, morality has just gone.
Morals have flown out the window. We deserve so much better than this as a
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Now while much of the social media response was focused on the
immorality of suggesting that millions of Americans are not even people, at
“PoliticsNation” we couldn`t help but notice that for the second week in a
row a Trump son displayed what we hope is selective amnesia about what
political hatred really looks like.
Allow me to add this history lesson just in case the Trump sons are
watching. Your father went out of his way to convince early 90s New York
City that a group of black teens should have been executed for a crime they
didn`t commit. It was your father that we heard bragging on tape about
being able to sexually assault women with impunity. Not a bridge too far
considering his many, many, many comments on female attractiveness. Not the
least of which being the ones he made to radio host Howard Stern about your
Yeah. You might want to drop the whole morality thing. Oh, and just because
I can hear again – here again is that Obama hatred you apparently missed
for eight straight years. Funny, because one of the central means that the
president was not even a citizen, and therefore a criminal, was famously
pushed by a guy you know. You were maybe just too busy helping your dad
find the birth certificate to notice. Either way, I got some history books
and the internet connection to either of my friends, the adult Trump sons
and. And I Gotcha.
SHARPTON: Welcome back. With controversy surrounding president Trump
evolving each day, one new member of congress has been and has seen enough.
Adriano Espaillat is the first formally undocumented immigrant to be
elected in the House of Representatives, and is now fighting primarily
against President Trump`s proposed immigration ban and his problematic
health care proposal.
Joining me now is Congressman Adriano Espaillat, democrat of New York. He`s
a member of the education and workforce committee as well as the foreign
affairs committee. Thank you for being with us.
ADRIANO ESPAILLAT, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, NEW YORK: Thank you, Rev. Thank you
for inviting me.
SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you. The health care bill, one of the things that
has troubled me is with all of the focus on the Russian investigation and
the Comey testimony which is extremely important, that we`re seeing the
republicans try to move health care and other things in the house almost
below radar, and if it wasn`t for people like you there fighting it, they
would just slip everything through while we weren`t looking.
ESPAILLAT: Well, for two occasions, on two occasions Ryan was unsuccessful
in passing what they call the repeal and replace of ObamaCare. On a third
occasion, they were just slightly able to pass it with a couple of votes.
And now it`s in the senate, the senate said that it was dead on arrival. I
say push it through.
Now, you must consider that this effort not only goes away with the
opportunity for people to have preexisting conditions to access health
SHARPTON: It does away with that.
ESPAILLAT: Yes, it does away with that, because it gives the states an opt-
out option. And that will dramatically increase the cost of health care for
people that have preexisting conditions.
But in addition to that, the ACA, the ObamaCare provided extensive funding
for Medicaid and Medicare. It closed the donut hole for seniors. It allowed
pregnant women to get maternity care. It also provided for mental health
services and opiate drug treatment.
So this is an important piece of legislation that was really watered down
to the bone and was sent over to the senate. The senate said it was dead on
arrival. We`re going to see what they`re going to send back to us.
SHARPTON: So the people that voted for Donald Trump, the people that felt
that they wanted change had no idea they were really getting a health care
bill that would cut their Medicaid and would eliminate preexisting
conditions but the house bill by Paul Ryan and the republicans does exactly
ESPAILLAT: Does exactly that, and not only that but it`s the biggest
transfer of wealth from the middle class and working class back to the
rich. It`s a trillion dollars that will be transferred back to the very
rich. So this is, perhaps, the biggest hoax, the biggest robbery in the
history of our nation. When you had, really, a transfer of wealth the other
way when Obama pass it providing great opportunities for health care for
both working class and middle class families.
SHARPTON: Now, one of the other things that he whipped up firm about was
the whole question of travel bans and immigration. You`re the first
undocumented immigrant to be elected to congress by way of disclosure to
congressman where the home base of National Action Network is located.
SHARPTON: My congress in terms of National Action Network`s offices. Where
are we with the immigration fight now?
ESPAILLAT: We know that courts push back on the Muslim ban, and some of the
immigration initiatives that he very early on in his administration tried
to impose. He tried to circumvent the legislative process and go through
executive orders after having criticized President Obama for DACA and DAPA.
We see how courts throughout the country in different jurisdictions have
pushed back against his executive orders and have pushed back at his notion
that sanctuary cities should be defunded. So the courts have stepped in. I
think he was going to have to take this to the Supreme Court. And we`ll see
what they have say.
SHARPTON: So you`re determined and your colleagues and the democratic
caucus and other caucuses are determined to fight even though you don`t
have near a majority vote in the house?
ESPAILLAT: That`s correct. We`re going to continue the fight, and I think
that the American people are fighting. They have given us the impetus, the
direction to go out there and fight Trump. When I walk around my district
whether it`s Harlem or East Harlem or Washington Heights, what I hear from
my constituents is that they want me to fight.
SHARPTON: Harlem, East Harlem, Washington Heights, not NoHa or SoHa?
ESPAILLAT: That`s correct.
SHARPTON: Thank you, Congressman Espaillat.
Up next, democratic candidates are running and winning political offices
down south in deep red states. Is that evidence of a nationwide trend?
We`ll be right back.
SHARPTON: A lot has been written about GOP vulnerability in red state
congressional races post Trump. And democrats are looking at the upcoming
runoff election for Georgia`s sixth district as a sign that they can win in
a south that went solidly for President Trump in 2016. And elsewhere, we`re
seeing pockets of progressive resistance spring up in those deep red
southern states. Is this the beginning of a trend? And can it continue into
the midterms? I spoke to Georgia`s house minority leader Stacey Abrams, a
democrat who is now running to be the next governor of Georgia.
SHARPTON: Thank you for being with me. Let me ask you. What is the present
climate of politics in the south, particularly as it relates to African-
American candidates? You are taking on this race for governor of Georgia
which is in many of us, a nationwide, a heavy task. Has politics changed a
lot in this age of Trump where you feel you can win, or is it more divided
as it`s appeared around the country, and we`re going to see a polarized
vote in Georgia and around the south?
STACEY ABRAMS, AMERICAN POLITICIAN: I think the reality for Georgia and the
south in the Sunbelt is that we have more opportunity than we realize. What
the Trump phenomenon is doing is galvanizing voters so they do vote, but
the reality is we already have the capacity to win. In Georgia between 2000
and 2010, 1.5 million people moved into the state. Eighty percent were
people of color. What that means is that we have a new opportunity to
reshape our politics by talking to everyone. And unfortunately in the past
elections, we focused on trying to convince a narrow sliver of
conservatives that they really intended to be liberal instead of spending
our time and our energy building a coalition of voters, people of color
African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans and progress of white voters
who can build a coalition that can win.
SHARPTON: And who have common interest in many cases. But for example, take
in Georgia, and it`s true around the country. There`s a lot of people, over
a million, you said, that moved into Georgia. Are they being registered to
vote? Are they being pulled out to vote?
ABRAMS: And that`s a big part of it. The first piece of registration
through a nonprofit that I started in 2014, the new Georgia project
registered more than 200,000 voters of color. Registration is a constant
battle and it has to be an ongoing platform because we have people coming
in but we have voters being purged every cycle. And so we can never relent
on voter registration. But that`s the first part of the puzzle. The second
part is actually talking to the voters who are registered to convince them
And that`s the place where democrats have been the weakest, especially
among black voters and brown voters. We have to have messages that resonate
with those communities and we have to speak to everyone instead of narrowly
tailoring our message to convince conserve voters they really intended to
vote with us. We have to convince our voters, our coalition of progressive
voters that this time, they have a candidate they can trust and a message
they can believe.
SHARPTON: Now, the issue around confederate statutes, the issue around
other matters is one issue that is very near and dear to people like me.
But I think you also got to talk about what`s happening with Medicaid. What
is happening in terms of health care generally? What is happening in terms
of what will tax reform do and other issues that also have broaden appeal
and bring people in the tent with those of us that are concerned about
Medicaid and the confederate statutes coming down.
ABRAMS: We have to recognize that people care about their lives. And that
means they care about having a living wage. And even more, they want to
thrive. We`ve run campaigns for too long based on survival. Let me just
help you get by. We have to run campaigns that talk about success. We have
to talk about prosperity and opportunity. And we have to match it with
policies. Medicaid expansion is a perfect example in Georgia. If we were to
expand Medicaid in the next seven years, we would add 56,000 new jobs in
Georgia. That means were guaranteeing health care for our poorest citizens,
many of whom are working poor.
But we`re also adding jobs so that they can move their families into
economic security. And on the issue of the confederate flag and confederate
monuments, the confederate monuments are history and they belong in museums
where we can study them. They should not be giving places of honor.
And I think what we`re doing has to focus on the lives the people lead but
also where they come from and how they understand themselves. I`m –
SHARPTON: Let me ask you this, Stacey. It`s important. The whole country is
watching your state, the sixth congressional race. Is Ossoff going to win?
ABRAMS: I think he will.
SHARPTON: What message will that send nationwide if in Newt Gingrich`s old
district that we see a democrat elected?
ABRAMS: It`s going to demonstrate that democrats can win everywhere when we
are willing to invest, when we`re willing to work and we`re willing to talk
SHARPTON: And if Ossoff wins, will that also lead to that same kind of
fervor to bring you in in your gubernatorial race?
ABRAMS: I hope that it`s a sustained effort to turn Georgia blue, starting
in the 6th but carrying it all the way through to November 2018. On
November 6th, intend to be the first African-American woman to become
governor of any state.
But more than that, I intend to redefine what we believe it means to lead
in our states and to make sure that everyone feels that they have a part of
SHARPTON: All right, Stacey Abrams, thank you very much for being with us
ABRAMS: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Up next, my final thoughts.
But first, the moment that truly defined game four of the NBA finals.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You are a good man with a good heart. And it`s hard for
a good man to be a king.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The first trailer from Marvel Studio`s “Black Panther” dropped
Friday and the social media`s response was, as the kids say, “So lit,” and
based on the film`s first poster, some are already making the connection
between the fictional Black Panther and the historical ones. We at
“PoliticsNation” can`t wait to help the film make its own history when it
premieres in February of 2018. We`ll be right back.
SHARPTON: As I said to the congressman, while we were not looking, a lot of
things happened that have far-reaching impact on your life and mine if they
go all the way through the senate, and some have already been decided. This
week Dodd-Frank, the house passed the so-called financial choice act,
effectively repealing Dodd/Frank by re-enabling government-backed banks to
take the same kinds of risks that prompted the 2008 crash.
If it passes the senate, there is an issue there that really brings us back
pre-Dodd-frank days. We also saw third-party funding, the Sessions`
Department of Justice decided that it will no longer give part of the money
collected in major fraud settlements to third-parties like community groups
that work to help people harmed by corporate wrongdoing. This was already
decided by the justice department and has far-reaching impact on those
nonprofits and those community groups that work to make sure that whatever
it is that was wrong, found to be wrong, is corrected in the long term.
That has very serious implications.
On ObamaCare repeal, senate majority leader Mitch McConnell invoked a rule
that will allow the house`s ObamaCare repeal bill to bypass the usual
committee process and make it filibuster-proof to democratic opposition. So
as you heard me talk to the congressman about the health care bill that the
republicans propose that would cut Medicaid, that would not include pre-
existing conditions, now we`ve seen McConnell put it through a way that it
will skip the process and be filibuster-proof.
This is serious stuff that happened this week. Yes, we had reason to be
watching the Comey testimony, and we must watch every step of this Russian
investigation, but we must not miss is what I`m trying to say those things
that are happening below the radar. That does it for me. Thanks for
watching. I`ll see you back here next Sunday.
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