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PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton, Transcript 12/6/2015

Guests: Praz Michel; McKay Coppins; Yamiche Alcindor; Susan Del Percio

Show: POLITICS NATION Date: December 6, 2015 Guest: Praz Michel; McKay Coppins; Yamiche Alcindor; Susan Del Percio



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Terror, mass shootings, gun violence, and the politics of fear, how America should and should not respond?

Also, panic time in the GOP, Donald Trump jumps to his biggest lead yet.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It seems every time there is a tragedy my poll numbers go up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How will Republican leaders try to dump Trump and are some in denial about him and about next year?

JEB BUSH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will take it to Hillary Clinton and I will whoop her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Plus, new questions about the police shooting of a Chicago teenager. We`ll talk to the men who got this tape released.

And before there was Donald Trump, there was sweet Micky, our interview with the co-founder of the Fujis about his new film covering one of the most bizarre elections the world has ever seen.

From Rockefeller center in New York City this is "Politics Nation with Al Sharpton."


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

Once again, America is facing the question of how to respond to acts of terror without giving in to fear.

The California terrorist pledged allegiance to ISIS before the horrific shooting rampage this past week. And while authorities continue investigating, the political debate is heating up with some pointed comments aimed at the president.


SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We cannot defeat radical Islamic terrorism so long as the president is unwilling to utter the words radical Islamic terrorism.

TRUMP: Radical Islamic terrorism. And I`ll tell you what, we have a president that refuses to use the term. He refuses to say it. There`s something going on with him that we don`t know about.


SHARPTON: Ted Cruz speaking at a gun event held two days after the shooting.


CRUZ: Folks in the media ask at the behest of Democrats, isn`t it insensitive for us to do a second amendment rally following this terror attack? Let me tell you something. I really don`t view our job as being sensitive to Islamic terrorists.


SHARPTON: And on talk radio, the rhetoric goes even farther.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The left knows it is responsible for this. The left knows that it is as guilty as those pulling the trigger here and they are doing everything they can to transfer that guilt and cover it up.


SHARPTON: This kind of talk is over the top, and getting in the way of real policy debates. We need to have real policy debates in this country.

What should be done about ISIS overseas? How should the government monitor people who could be planning terror attacks here at home? Should the government make it harder for would-be terrorists to buy an assault rifle? Why are people on the terror watch list allowed to buy guns?


HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you are too dangerous to fly in America, you are too dangerous to buy a gun in America.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), HOUSE SPEAKER: There are people who are arbitrarily placed on this thing, sometimes people put in there by mistake and we would deprive them of their constitutionally protected due process rights.


SHARPTON: How do we protect the country without demonizing innocent Muslims who are just as horrified by this violence as anyone else or why do some people seem to have separate standards for what should be called an act of terror?

I am with McKay Coppins from BuzzFeed. His new book about the GOP 2016 fight is called "the Wilderness." And Yamiche Alcindor of "The New York Times" and Republican Strategist Susan Del Percio.

Let me ask at the outset. Let me go to you, McKay, you not only BuzzFeed but you have written a book on this Republican primary. The climate of fear now is the worst since 9/11 and the responses of a lot of the Republican candidates, people fear has only reinforced that fear. How do you see that? How do you accept it as one that has studied this primary and now you put Colorado and now San Bernardino within five days on top of that landscape?

MCKAY COPPINS, BUZZFEED: Yes, I think that what`s fascinating and troubling to a lot in the kind of mainstream shrinking mainstream establishment of the Republican party is that people like Donald Trump when they use tragedies and terror attacks like this to fan the flames of Islamaphobia or xenophobia, when they do that, we have seen that increasingly it`s not just -- even conspiracy theories aren`t just catering to far right fringe anymore.

People like Donald Trump with a big mega phone are able to attract vast portions of the Republican electorate around, kind of rally around it and they are bringing and politicians like this are now bringing along some Republican voters.

SHARPTON: I am going to get to Trump and the candidates specifically later in the show, but you know, Susan, and I always go to you as our Republican expert, how has it affected the GOP in terms of the vote is what I`m saying? Because you have this fear, you have this really deeply placed sense of almost panic in some areas of the country, how has this impacted the GOP voting in the primary?

SUSAN DEL PERCIO, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: We know you`re right. People are scared. We saw the largest amount of background checks for gun sales this past black Friday. People are going to get guns. They feel they need to protect themselves. People are scared, you know. When it comes to --

SHARPTON: I think it was over 180,000, I mean this is record gun sales on black Friday.

DEL PERCIO: That`s right. Now, what does that mean when it comes to the Republican Party? It means that people who are yelling on this are trying - are going to garner more support. That`s what people want in the Republican primary right now. They want to hear someone who is going to say I`ll go after the terrorists and let you keep your guns.

When it comes to the general election, whoever comes out of the Republican primary is going to have to mainstream themselves a little bit, but people are still afraid. Democrats, Republicans, independents. It`s not just Colorado and what happened just recently in California. It`s building upon what happened especially in Paris. And I think you`re going to continue to see one thing after the other, and under the leadership of this president who called Paris a setback, said that this current incident in California could have been workplace issue dispute. They don`t feel that the president is leading and caring for them under the terrorist flag, not the flag, I should say, but leading when it comes to terrorism. People want to feel secure so whoever is going to make them feel that way is where people are going to go.

SHARPTON: Yamiche, I have watched you cover some very tense things in Ferguson and all, and was very cool-headed. Now you are at the "New York Times." But let me ask you, now that it has been designated as a terrorist attack by the federal government, how does that make the relevance or none- relevance of the gun debate?

YAMICHE ALCINDOR, NEW YORK TIMES: I think the gun debate is still very important, mainly because we have this idea that gun debating and terrorism are two separate things. But a lot of people say that the idea of what we even talk about in terrorism, and what we designate as terrorism is something that we really pick and choose in a post 9/11 world. We really look at it the as a religious thing.

Loretta Lynch used to say that one of the original domestic terrorists and hate crimes. She was talking about the idea of African-Americans and what they suffered in Lynch mobs and the KKK. So I think that is idea that has been designated as terrorism for some people still means that we still have to figure out how terrorists in America are getting their hands on guns.

SHARPTON: And how we defined who terrorists are.

ALCINDOR: And how we define who terrorists are because a lot of people think that there are some real stereotyping and some real prejudice against who we describe as a terrorist. Because I was down in South Carolina when those nine people were killed in Emmanuel. And we weren`t really -- a lot of people were saying we should really talk about this as terrorism. And the federal definition of terrorism is something that were - an act to intimidate people. And that young man who killed those nine people were trying to intimidate people. This was an African-American chump, mother Emmanuel. So in his actions, he was trying to intimidate people so I think it`s important to think about that.

SHARPTON: And we would not call him a terrorist. And when you hear this terrorist debate that we`re talking about here, McKay, that Yamiche was referring to, and let me play that for you.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We spoke about the issue that happened in Planned Parenthood. It is a terrible tragedy. People should not be killed in that way. What happened there was wrong.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it terrorism?

RUBIO: Well I think it`s important to understand what we`re talking about, obviously terrorized and killed people. But the pathology of that attack is probably more of a mental illness of a deranged individual. These individuals in California were motivated by an ideological belief in radical Islam.


SHARPTON: But how do you take a statement like that in the context of what we`re talking about in?

COPPINS: Right. Well, what you see Marco Rubio trying to do there is separate -- he wants to separate the two forms of terrorism because Republicans are very strong on the issue of foreign radical Islamic radical terrorism. But when the ideological roots of a domestic terrorist attack such as the one in Planned Parenthood, when that occurs, Republicans, obviously, want to distance themselves as much as possible or put as much distance between --

SHARPTON: But Susan, can you have it both ways? If someone is committing murders based on a belief, does it matter whether you agree with what their target is or not or their belief is or not? Isn`t terrorism, terrorism?

DEL PERCIO: It is. But we have come in this country to label things as domestic terrorism, which means it`s all happening as a result of our own policies and our own country. So we have seen that over decades.

SHARPTON: But then, I didn`t hear Rubio call that domestic terrorism.

DEL PERCIO: I understand. But that`s what I`m saying as a general rule that`s what we hear. And do we have to be more careful in how we define our terms in this day and age? Absolutely. And when you talk about the gun debate and terrorism, we should be able to agree, it`s like Hillary Clinton said and I am a Republican, but I do agree with her on this statement. If you`re not allowed to fly on a plane, you shouldn`t be able to get a gun.

SHARPTON: Absolutely.

DEL PERCIO: Now, that is something that Republicans can come forward with and say if you are on a terrorist watch list, if you are in a no fly list, you should not be able to get a gun.

SHARPTON: But Yamiche, they just voted against that. There is loopholes. Governor Andrew Cuomo was on my radio show this week talking about that. They are voting against closing the loopholes where people on the no fly list can go in and buy a gun. We are still -- we can`t get them to vote on background checks.

DEL PERCIO: But at the same time --

SHARPTON: I mean, it is Yamiche. Republican like to over talk. Don`t let them do it.

ALCINDOR: I think what is interesting about that is that it tells you kind of how much - how polarizing this issue is. That when you start thinking of or even saying the word gun control that it already splits the two parties in two. So I think that`s what we are seeing here. We are seeing people saying we need to do something. But Republicans are still thinking I don`t know what that something is and I`m not prepared the week that this happened to say this is what we need to do.

SHARPTON: Well, I`m going to give Susan a chance. Then we will be back. Republicans are saying I know what not to do. I don`t know what to do, and I know what not to do, and that is say something against my base. Everybody stay with us. There`s lots more ahead.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming up, the debate in Congress over terror, guns and Planned Parenthood. Congressman Jan Schakowsky is next.

Also questions new questions in the shooting of Laquan McDonald. Our interview with the activist and journalist who forced the release of the dash cam video.


SHARPTON: The day after the terror attack in California, Senate Republicans pushed a series of revealing and controversial votes. They voted to defund Planned Parenthood. It just came a week after that deadly shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. A shooting many say should also be called a terrorist attack.

Officer Garrett Swasey, one of the three people killed in the shooting was laid to rest on Friday. Senate Republicans also defeated a measure that would have banned people on the terror watch list from buying guns. And once again, they voted to repeal sections, core sections of Obamacare.

Next up is a vote in the house and then a veto by the president, but these votes left no doubt about the priorities of Republicans in Congress.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky Democrat of Illinois. She is the ranking Democrat on the GOP`s new Planned Parenthood committee.

Thank you for being here, Congresswoman.

REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY (D), ILLINOIS: It is my pleasure Reverend Al. It is nice to be on set with you.

SHARPTON: Nice to be on set with you. I mean, I have got to ask how do you respond to the votes the GOP controlled Senate took in light of what`s going on? I mean, this is incredible to me.

SCHAKOWSKY: Isn`t it remarkable when we can actually do something about keeping guns out of the hands of people on the terrorist watch list, do something about real homeland security, they vote no. But at the same time, they want to defund Planned Parenthood. They want to defund Obamacare and not want to really do something about these mass shootings.

SHARPTON: And now these are people that can`t fly, but they can go and buy a gun legally.

SCHAKOWSKY: You`re exactly right. It`s just remarkable. So, you know, now we`re going to have another moment of silence. We are going to send our thoughts and best wishes and condolences to the people who were shot. That is simply not enough anymore. We have to do something serious about the proliferation of guns and stop doing these ridiculous things like going after, well, Planned Parenthood, how about the shootings at the planned parenthood clinic?

SHARPTON: And how do we define that this is not a terrorist attack? I mean, how do we define terrorism, if that`s not terrorism, then what is?

SCHAKOWSKY: You know, they want to define terrorism right now, frankly, Reverend Al, as Muslims. And I`m not even talking about people who associate themselves necessarily with extremist organizations. And I want to tell you, I have a lot of people who believe in Islam in my district. They are scared. People are afraid to send their children to school. They are afraid to cover themselves, and are being attacked right now. It`s really frightening for law-abiding American Muslims in this country.

SHARPTON: And Muslims around the world, but clearly Muslims here in America. And we must not forget that many of those that have been killed by ISIS have been Muslims.

SCHAKOWSKY: But you know, words matter, so when you have people who want to be president of the United States saying that they want to have all Muslims register in the United States, when people who talk about Planned Parenthood and clinics and talk about baby body parts and then the killer repeated those words, echoed those words, when he shot those people at the clinic, words really matter. And right now those words are terrorizing Americans.

SHARPTON: You have taken a position that you want to see the GOP close down this Planned Parenthood committee, where they really have gone after Planned Parenthood. Explain that.

SCHAKOWSKY: Well, I am afraid that the committee continuing along the lines, these inflammatory language that they use, is only going to continue to create an atmosphere that will increase the threat. We have seen since July, when these manufactured doctored tapes came out about the fetal tissue, et cetera, a dramatic increase in threats, in arson, in vandalism, not only Planned Parenthood but other clinics who serve women mainly for preventative care, for primary care.

My fear is that continuing this kind of witch hunt is going to make those clinics even more dangerous. No woman in the United States of America should have to be afraid to go see her doctor for fear of violence.

SHARPTON: Laquan McDonald, you`re a congresswoman from Chicago.


SHARPTON: How do you weigh in on this? A lot of calls for the prosecutor to step aside, a lot of heat on mayor of Chicago, what do you say?

SCHAKOWSKY: Well, this is not going to go away for a while. We are going to have now the investigations by the federal government, by the justice department. And I think that it is important, that we look at what are the procedures? What is the accountability?

And this is not just happening in Chicago, as you well know. This is around the country. And I want to give credit really to the Black Lives Matter movement for raising this as a national issue, and holding our police departments, the majority of whom do the right thing, but saying that we cannot tolerate when those mistakes and misjudgments and killing of black people, you know, that we have to hold everybody accountable.

SHARPTON: We are going to stay on it. We`ve been on it a long time and going to continue to do it.

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, thank you for your time this morning.

SCHAKOWSKY: Thank you for your leadership.

SHARPTON: Thank you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ahead, the stunning surge of Donald Trump, his biggest lead yet in the polls.

And new questions in the police shooting of Laquan McDonald, the men who forced the release of the video join "Politics Nation" next.



MAYOR RAHM EMANUEL (D), CHICAGO: The use of excessive force and misuse of authority is not new in Chicago or isolated only to Chicago. It there say history of it.


SHARPTON: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel announcing he was firing the police superintendent, over a year after the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. But that hasn`t put an end to the controversy or addressed the lingering questions. Critics want to know why the version of events police told immediately after the shooting doesn`t seem to match what`s on the tape and why is the audio missing from this dash cam, and from the four other squad cars at the scene? Why did the city wait 13 months to release the video?

The man says it was to avoid hindering the investigation. And did anyone tamper with the surveillance footage at a nearby burger king? City officials say tests show that it was not tampered with. But the restaurant`s manager says nearly 90 minutes were missing after police assessed the computer. Chicago has a history of police misconduct, and emotions are running high.


PASTOR CY FIELDS, NEW LANDMARK MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH: We`re not going away, Rahm Emmanuel! We will be back! We`ll march. We`ll do whatever it takes to have this system changed from the top to the bottom and that includes you as well!


SHARPTON: I`m joined now from Chicago by independent journalist Brandon Smith, and activist William Calloway. Their hard work, their work is what forced the release of that dash cam video. Thanks for joining me, first of all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you. Thank you for having us.


SHARPTON: Brandon, you are still pushing for answers. What do you want to hear from the city now?

BRANDON SMITH, INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST: There`s all kinds of documents and data that are still missing from this case. We are talking about a video from a car, police car on the scene that had real clear view. The audio from all five videos the city released is really terrible. We are not sure how it got to be that way. It effectively is not audio.

And then because there are so many people saying this is a cover-up, we want the public to see every document related to this case. We think it`s the only real way to restore trust in the police department and the city. We are talking emails from within the city, statements from the officers taken that day to see what they --

SHARPTON: All documents with everything that`s there?

SMITH: Yes, yes, I mean if some of the officers describe what was on the video, you know, the officers should have been cuffed and charged with murder immediately. If they all said no, one shot, and remember, there were 16 shots, but the police department initially said one, you know, if they all lied and said one, then all of those officers are at fault, and liable in the cover-up.

SHARPTON: William, you and Brandon`s persistence and absolute commitment to this is what led to these tapes coming out. What really drove you to really stay on this? We were in the middle of a political campaign there. There were people that were saying let it go. You kept driving it, Brandon kept driving it. Did you have any feeling or have some kind of intelligence that there were things on these tapes that were not being revealed?

WILLIAM CALLOWAY, ACTIVIST: Yes. The lawyer for the family came out and stated that he had seen the video, and that it revealed that Mr. McDonald was shot 16 times, conflicting the fop spokesperson initial reports saying he was shot one time. Immediately then knew that it was a cover-up. And as you said, Rahm Emmanuel, our mayor, or the mayor of this city, he was in an election cycle and he paid the family $5 million and I think all of us think he gave that to hush them up.

SHARPTON: Now, he paid a $5 million settlement, the city did, Brandon, when the years I`ve been out here, involved in a lot of these struggles, I have never seen a settlement with a family that never even filed a lawsuit or even a notice of claim for a lawsuit.

SMITH: It did strike me as fishy, though, the timing of it. And you know, the timing of the charge itself. The charge of murder for this officer, didn`t come from the state`s attorney`s office until after the judge in our case.


SMITH: Said the video had to be released. So I spoke with whistle-blower Lorenzo Davis earlier this morning. He is the whistle-blower that came out of the investigative body, charged with policing the police here. He said that back when he was there, he was asked to change his findings to find all the officers, find that they were justified in what they were doing. And he got fired for pushing back against that.

SHARPTON: 28,500 citizen complaints against the Chicago police department between 2011 and 2015, 97 percent of those complaints no officer was punished. And when you look at this, another tape to be are he leased tomorrow of another case. Then you hear the whistle-blower that talked with Brandon this morning. This is a problem and many don`t trust the prosecutor, many said you need an outside prosecutor. The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo has done that in New York. What do you want to see done to bring about fair and just results in Chicago, William?

CALLOWAY: Well, we would like to definitely see a special prosecutor over this case, over all officer-involved shootings in Chicago. We think that Alvarez has done a horrible job. The Chicago police department as a whole has to be held accountable and I don`t think we have been seeing that. I think that the police and all have been getting away with a lot of crimes. Ronald Johnson, who you were speaking about, he was shot a week before Laquan McDonald was shot. And his tape - well, his shooting was also captured on dash cam. And you know, his mother Dorothy Holmes has been out, you know, we have been supporting her, and she`s been championing to get justice for her son for the past year. And we have been staying in solidarity for that. But the mayor was chosen not to fight in court to release that tape. So he planned on releasing it.

I just really hope that the FBI or the department of justice comes in and do a federal probe into the Chicago police department, because what`s so interesting about the Ronald Johnson case, police say that he had a gun and he recovered a gun on the scene. Now, the lawyer Michael Oppenheimer for the family, he says, he seen. He has watched the video and it clearly shows that Ronald Johnson was unarmed when he was shot.

SHARPTON: Well, we are going to see that tape. I think it will be released tomorrow. I`m going to have to leave it there and I`m certainly going to keep having you guys on. You are the reason these tapes came out, and we`re going to stay on these pursuits for justice.

Brand Smith and William Calloway, thank you both for your time this morning.

CALLOWAY: Thank you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Still to come, Donald Trump opens his biggest lead yet. Can his GOP rivals close the gap?

And later, we will talk to a co-founder of the Fujis about his new film on one of the strangest elections in history.


SHARPTON: GOP elites were already alarmed about Donald Trump`s rise. And now this, a poll showing Trump opening his biggest lead yet. He is at 36 percent, 20 points ahead of the rest of the field. The poll was mostly conducted before the massacre in California. Trump says that means his numbers could go soon even higher.


TRUMP: It seems that every time there`s a tragedy, my poll numbers do go up because they want strength. We have weak people, we have ineffective people and we have incompetent people. Sadly, every single time there`s a tragedy my poll numbers go up because they feel that I am going to take care of them and they feel they want strength.


SHARPTON: As Trump surges, a fresh round of GOP anxiety, new reports of top donors and Republican senators desperately looking for someone to take him town down and we are seeing fellow GOP candidates launching new attacks.


CRUZ: I`ll make it clear, I don`t believe Donald Trump is going to be our nominee. I don`t believe he`ll be our president.

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Listen, Donald is used to intimidating folks but I have no reason to engage with him. His facts are wrong. I know that. He knows it, too. So it`s OK.

BUSH: The next president of the United States better have a servant`s heart rather than trying to push people down to make himself look better.


SHARPTON: But Trump points out previous attempts to go after him have all failed, and he says that`s not going to change any time soon.


TRUMP: Actually we are going to be doing most of the commercials that if somebody hits me, I`m going to hit them back so hard. You have no idea. We are going to hit them back ten times harder than they ever -- which is what we should doing with ISIS and everybody else.

Lindsey Graham, disaster, Perry disaster, all like disasters. Hey, there`s only one way you get to the top and it`s all through Trump, let`s face it, they have to. They have to.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ahead, Donald Trump`s growing lead, and the growing panic in the GOP establishment.

The "Politics Nation" panel weighs in.


SHARPTON: We are back with our panel now to talk about Donald Trump opening his largest lead yet in the Republican race. I`m with McKay Coppins from Buzfeed. His new book about the GOP 2016 fight is called "the Wilderness," and Yamiche Alcindor of the "New York Times" and Republican strategist Susan del Percio.

Susan, I promised to go to you first. Donald Trump at 36 percent is ceiling as much higher than he thought. Many said he will never get above 30. He is at 36 percent. How do they stop this?

DEL PERCIO: First we need to see if that`s actually trending. And he is nowhere close to those numbers if you look at Iowa and New Hampshire the first states that are coming in. If he keeps going in this way, though, he potentially could win this nomination outright.

I believe he is going to have problems in Iowa. I don`t necessarily think he`s going to win there. And the same problems he will have for different reasons he will have problems in New Hampshire. If he loses those two states, it could have him tumbling down. But there`s no way to figure this out at this point and time in December.

SHARPTON: But one of the things that really strikes me, Yamiche, is that 66 percent of Republican voters support so-called outsider candidates, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, or Ben Carson. What does that say about the Republican voter?

ALCINDOR: That says that they are really looking for someone that is going to be a little bit different than what they have seen in the past. That they are really looking for someone that`s going to give them some sort of change. All of those people that you just mentioned are people that are outside of the Republicans that have really had jobs in the Republican party that have led the Republican party in some ways, so I think it really says that people are kind of frustrated with what they are seeing and that we will see if that holds true, though, when it comes to how they`re going to think about who this he want to put up against what will likely be Hillary Clinton.

So I really want to see a little bit more about who overall they pick, because the people that we talk to at the "New York Times," there are a lot of the Republicans are saying they are really nervous about Donald Trump when it comes to the general election. And Republicans are thinking not only will he not only lose the presidency, but that he will hurt the party overall. And that there will be other people that will be losing house seats and things like that.

SHARPTON: Yes. The coat tail effect.

McKay, it seems like there is a lot of concern almost to panic among the Republican establishment that he has to be stopped but it doesn`t seem like anyone wants to step up to take him down. You wrote the book. What is going on?

COPPINS: There`s genuine disagreement about this because some in the Republican establishment think that, you know, it is war, you know. Like let`s camp up on the swing states with negative ads. Let`s blitz, you know, with the super Pac money. Let`s take him down.

The problem is that we`ve seen repeatedly throughout the cycle that every time somebody tries that particularly from a more moderate standpoint or from the establishment, it only strengthens Trump, it only fuels him because his entire message is being built around the outsider.

The other thing we have to watch is that the whole concept of being an outsider now is very different than it was five years ago and I write about that in the book, because there`s this whole right wing counter establishment that`s been built up, right. That supporting candidates like Trump, there`s lots of money in clout and influence there and it`s not easily overcome.

SHARPTON: But Yamiche, I want to go back to something you said, I read in the "New York Times" op-ed columnist Brooks said we have got to see what they do when they go in to vote. That there is one thing talking to the pollsters but when they go in to vote and they think about who do I want to run the country and who can win against Hillary Clinton, who is the front- runner in the Democratic side. Is that what we are looking at? Is that where we have to come back to Susan saying he may lose Iowa, he may lose New Hampshire. And I remember when I ran in 2004 at this time, Howard Dean was the nominee. He came in third. So are we looking at the possibilities of this happening and talking about something that won`t pale out?

ALCINDOR: Well, I think the thing is it`s still early and while we have been talking about the presidential election for months now, people still have a lot of time before they can make their decision. And the idea is that when someone gets up - when someone actually goes in to that to go to protect that ballot box, are they going to say this is who I want to beat Hillary Clinton? And I think Hillary Clinton is going to really be on the minds of Republican voters.

I think that while they will be thinking about all the people that they can choose from, they know that Hillary Clinton has the really strong backing. They know what Hillary Clinton brings to the table. And you have to think, and you know, Susan will probably jump into this, but you have to think who are they going to put in the big ring? Who are they putting there? Because his likability to the overall country, Donald Trump, is really tough.

SHARPTON: Susan, who really putting? I`m hearing that some Republican establishment types are as afraid or more of Cruz as they are Donald Trump.

DEL PERCIO: That is true. They are very, very concerned about Ted Cruz. You see a lot of people who may have been with Jeb going to Marco, and so both you have the Jeb and the Marco folks petrified of what Ted Cruz candidacy can mean. I actually think it would be worse than ballot races than Donald Trump at the top of the ticket. So that is certainly a big concern.

But just to talk about, you know, Yamiche was saying earlier, Republicans are not only wanting an outsider. They want someone who is going to be fighting for them. And that`s what Donald Trump has tapped into. But what he hasn`t tapped into in the first two states is he is speaking to people. He is not out there shaking their hands. In Iowa they don`t consider voting for you until they`re been with them four times. He`s speaking to people at the rallies, not getting to know them handshake by handshake.

SHARPTON: All right. I`m going to have to leave it there, McKay Coppins, Yamiche Alcindor and Susan Del Percio, thank you. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Next, a Fuji co-founder joins "Politics Nation" on his new movie on one of the most bizarre elections ever.


SHARPTON: Right now, a reality TV star is the front-runner in the GOP`s 2016 race. And in 2020, we might have a pop star in the race, if you believe Kanye West. But stranger things have happened. Just look at Haiti, after that country`s devastating earthquake in 2010, they had an election that was like nothing the world had ever seen, and it`s the subject of a new documentary produced by one of the founders of the Fujis, Pras Michel.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You need someone who can inspire the people.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was like you know what? You need to run for president of Haiti

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For over 20 years he`s been one of hate east`s favorite musician, outrageous and outspoken.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From that point I basically --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I read on the internet you used to wear furs performing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s the artist, that`s the actor.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is Praz Michel himself or for those of us who are fans just Pras. Thanks for being here, Pras.


SHARPTON: Sweet Micky. He was a pop star who wore a diaper on stage. Why did you think he could be president?

MICHEL: Well, at that time I knew he was a popular musician in Haiti. I know he had a lot of followers. He was very (INAUDIBLE). People had a lot of affinity for him. And after the earthquake, I thought he can probably be helped to move the country in a direction because people will follow and lead him.

SHARPTON: The documentary talks about that whole movement, and the whole anguish and anxiety that was in the country. What did we learned about the dynamic of a celebrity uniting but then having to govern? What did we learn in the documentary?

MICHEL: Well, I mean, in this documentary is really about the people`s voice. It`s about Haitians getting together and saying our voice is going to be recognized. Because he was the third elected democratic president in 207 years. So it`s all about all that`s possible. That`s really what this documentary is about, but just to give you behind the scenes of what happened in the campaign. It just so happened I`m a musician. He was a musician. It was a real strange happening, but it happened.

SHARPTON: Now, talking about strange, one of your colleagues Wyclef Jean, decided to run also at one point, and you have a little scene that I found interesting in the documentary. Let me play that for you.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wyclef`s band mate, Pras Michel, is endorsing Marteli instead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My strategy play continue it to boost Michel.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We need a radical change in Haiti. We don`t need a celebrity from abroad to come in and think they`re going to save the day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn`t get a sense of what was the real plan of the candidates that are better, more qualified.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The first thing is I guess there won`t be another Fuji album.


SHARPTON: So was that awkward having to go up against Wyclef?

MICHEL: Yes, you know, it`s my band mate. We were like cousins, grew up with each other, but I didn`t know he was going to run until the last minute and I was already endorsing Michel. So it got real political. My first time in that fray got a little bit testy.

SHARPTON: Are you pleased or not pleased with how Micky has been as president? I know you said you still see him as an artist, but what about as president? Are you satisfied that your work has done something?

MICHEL: Well, I think the thing I`m satisfied about is that, you know, down in Haiti, I think the people realize that their vote is very important. And they want their vote to be recognized. As far as the way he governed down in Haiti, a little bit disappointing. You know, it`s like anyone you support, you know. You wish that all the, you know, policies and the mandates that they campaigned on actually happened, but it didn`t go the way, you know that I wanted it to go.

Listen if Abraham Lincoln came back to life and ran for president of Haiti, he would have a hard time in Haiti. It`s just a hard place.

SHARPTON: Your parents are from Haiti. You worked a lot down there particularly after the earthquake and the campaign, of course. Hillary Clinton is front-runner Democrat, a Democratic nomination here. What did you observe about the work of the Clinton foundation? There`s been a lot of questions raised about that.

MICHEL: Well, I know Bill Clinton has done -- I`ve seen him a couple of times in Haiti. I think he has done some incredible work in Haiti. But it is like with anything, some people will be satisfied some people are not. But from what I have seen and witnessed I think between Bill Clinton and Sean Penn, they have done tremendous amount of work, given the condition and the environment down in Haiti.

SHARPTON: Praz Michel, thank you for being here. Congratulations on the film. Go to to see when it`s showing in your area.

Well, that does it for me. Thank you for watching. I`ll see you back here next Sunday.