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PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton, Transcript 5/1/2016

Guests: Terry McAuliffe; Adolfo Franco; Dana Milbank; April Ryan

Show: POLITICS NATION Date: May 1, 2016 Guest: Terry McAuliffe; Adolfo Franco; Dana Milbank; April Ryan



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Is this dinner too tacky for the Donald? Is he at home eating a Trump steak, tweeting out insults to Angela Merkel?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Obama`s big night of political lunch lines.

OBAMA: They say Donald lacks the foreign policy experience to be president. But in fairness, he has spent years meeting with leaders from around the world, Miss Sweden, Miss Argentina (INAUDIBLE).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Also, what does Bernie Sanders want? And what to expect from a general election brawl between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think the only card she has is the woman`s card.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We talk to Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe.

All that, plus a Selma veteran tackling the new fight over voting rights.

From Washington, D.C., this is "Politics Nation" with Al Sharpton.


REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Good morning. I`m Al Sharpton. Live this morning from Washington, D.C.

Just a few miles from here last night, President Obama gave his final roast at the White House Correspondents Dinner. And no one was safe, not even the Democrats.


OBAMA: We`ve got the bright new face of the Democratic Party here tonight, Mr. Bernie Sanders.


OBAMA: There he is, Bernie.


OBAMA: Bernie, you look like a million bucks or to put in terms you`ll understand, you look like 37,000 donations of $27 each.


OBAMA: How much I admire Hillary`s toughness, her smarts, her policy chops, her experience. You have got to admit it though, Hillary trying to appeal to young voter is a little bit like your relative who just signed up for Facebook. Dear America, did you get my poke? Is it appearing on your wall? I`m not sure I`m using this right. Love, Aunt Hillary.


SHARPTON: But the president saved his harshest attacks for the Republicans.


OBAMA: Some candidates aren`t polling high enough to qualify for their own joke tonight. Ted had a tough week. He went to Indiana, Hoosier country, stood on a basketball court and called the hoop a basketball ring.

You know I`ve got to talk about Trump, although I am hurt he`s not here tonight. We had so much fun the last time. And it is surprising, you`ve got a roomful of reporters, celebrities, cameras and he says no. Is this dinner too tacky for the Donald? What could he possibly be doing instead? Is he at home eating a Trump steak?


SHARPTON: And he wasn`t done with the Donald yet.


OBAMA: They say Donald lacks the foreign policy experience to be president. But in fairness, he has spent years meeting with leaders around the world Miss Sweden, Miss Argentina, Miss (INAUDIBLE) and there`s one area where Donald`s experience could be invaluable and that`s closing Guantanamo because Trump knows a thing or two about running water front properties into the ground.


SHARPTON: Joining me now, April Ryan, White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for American urban radio networks, "Washington Post" political columnist Dana Milbank and former John McCain adviser, Adolfo Franco.

Thanks for being here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good to be with you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: So April, did the president once again set the blueprint on how to tackle Donald Trump?

APRIL RYAN, AMERICAN URBAN RADIO NETWORK: Yes, I think he did. He had to deal with the topics of the day, even if it was the Trump steak. He dealt with, you know, Donald Trump himself, the lack of him being there. It`s been so poignant that he was there. Every year we watched Donald Trump. The first year Donald Trump was very angry. The second year he knew how to play to the camera. I was sitting right next to the next table was Eric Trump and I can`t laying back and watching to see how Eric played it.

SHARPTON: Because I saw Eric last there --.

RYAN: He laughed. He laughed at the president`s jokes. And there was one point when the president first came out, he kind of was let`s see where we`re going and laid back and started laughing. But I think Donald Trump is fair game like every other presidential candidate and you have to deal with him.

SHARPTON: Dana, you know, the president also, he had a little fun with the rift in the Republican Party when it comes to the presidential race. Listen to this.


OBAMA: On the Republican side, things are a little more, how shall we say this -- a little more lose. Just look at the confusion over the invitations to tonight`s dinner. Guests were asked to check whether they wanted steak or fish. But instead a whole bunch of you wrote in Paul Ryan.


SHARPTON: I mean, all jokes aside, the Republicans are seemingly struggling to get on board with having to support Trump and some seem to be coming kicking and screaming. I`m saying this morning`s "New York Times" saying that very notable names say no, don`t put me on the ticket. I mean, they are going to have to come to terms with this.

DANA MILBANK, COLUMNIST, WASHINGTON POST: Yes. And it was, you know, fish in a barrel for the president last night, making fun of this. In general it`s been because the Republican race has been such a parody. It`s hard to not make fun of it. How can you say something more absurd than what is occur actually occurring? That`s why I actually thought the president, he is funny talking about Donald Trump. I don`t think that`s the blue print for Democrat. I think there has to be more outrage.


MILBANK: The dinner was not the place for outrage.

RYAN: But I think sometimes Donald Trump is a caricature of himself. And for the Democrats, they can play it. I do believe that.

MILBANK: Yes. That`s a piece, that`s an element of it. It`s going to be exquisite watching Republicans now that it seems inevitable for Trump --


SHARPTON: Let me say this, Adolf, we are seeing though someone as notable as George Will, writing a column saying that if Trump is the nominee and it appears he will be, the Republicans should defeat him in all 50 states. This is George Will now.

ADOLFO FRANCO, FORMER JOHN MCCAIN ADVISER: This is George will. But I think as the convention draws more closely and I think after Tuesday frankly, Reverend, I think this will be functionally over if Trump actually wins --

SHARPTON: In Indiana.

FRANCO: In Indiana. But I really believe that the nominee and the alternatives are going to be such you`re seeing the coalescing. You think of three more house endorsements this week. And I don`t believe that the Republican Party is going to become fractured.

About last night`s dinner, though, if I could very well, my biggest observation, because this is the prom for nerds as we all know.

RYAN: No. Don`t call it that, please it`s the White House Correspondents association dinner. It is not the nerd prom.

FRANCO: I think it is. I don`t think the rest of the country was really watching this. But I will tell you this from the dinner. What I thought is too bad the president doesn`t behave more like this more frequently. I think he delivered very well. I think the president`s demeanor and the president`s style is far better than he normally does. So I think this is the Barack Obama people were hoping for we`re seeing seven or eight years ago with all due respect. I do not believe the rest of the country was watching --

SHARPTON: We could debate that about Barack Obama but the fact is he won re-election so I think the public bought it. And talking about demeanor, I think you and I both took exception to George Will using the n word in referring to the president. I thought it was very inappropriate.

FRANCO: I think it was simply unfunny, really.

SHARPTON: Well, sadly, you know, funny. One think it`s another to be offensive, April.

RYAN: Yes, you know, the whole -- and I`m going to say it, there was several things, he was teeing up for you my -- word and I want to say that he is. He said it. He was teeing up for it. He first came out saying Negro nation then he said thugs which is all is now equated to the n-word. Then he went to old term used that was used hate and anger, jiggaboo (ph). OK. Then it came - that, first of all, you have to look at this. It`s a historic night. That`s the last word for this the last correspondents association --

SHARPTON: For first black president. I thought it was --

RYAN: Then on top of that, historically, historically -- I`m one of three African-Americans in the 102-year history of that dinner to ever serve on the board for us to be in the room and then to set us back that way. The history of that word --

SHARPTON: I had to bring that up. It goes, Dana, with another piece talking about this morning`s Times where they talk about Trump and bringing out openly the problem of racism that is still alive in this country.

MILBANK: He`s done a good job and a very bad way of bringing out racism in this country. And now, we see him pivoting to try to bring out the latent sexism to try to boost the white male working class turnout in November. You see this going on.

I think you`re being quite optimistic about, you know, how Republicans will get in line because I mean, certainly a large number of people who don`t have, you know, racist or bigoted motivations will say he`s the guy and we`ll get in line here. A lot of other people, even if this isn`t a third party alternative, I have to say, you know, I have a moral problem with this. This is beyond politics.

SHARPTON: Republicans or Democrats.

FRANCO: Well, obviously, we have heard this and I don`t disagree with this. But we all been around here long enough. When power or the prospect of power and coalescing of it around a nominee who could become president of the United States after all if he is the nominee, he has a chance to become president of the United States, however were difficult role that might be. That just brings people around --

SHARPTON: But don`t you fear, Adolfo, that with the kind of racism and sex or racism as certainly been some of the pillars of his campaign, that it will risk Senate seats and house seats?

FRANCO: There is no question. I think, in our party, I think the trepidation is absolutely it was going to happen down ballot. It isn`t just -- there`s no question about that. However, I am seeing and there are respectable people coming along, people like Giuliani, who is not exactly a --

SHARPTON: Well, we can debate that. Let me take my break and we`ll be back with the whole panel later in the show. Lots more ahead. Let`s go forward.

Ahead, one on one with Terry McAuliffe, former DNC chair and now Virginia governor. What he has to say about the fight within the party.


SHARPTON: Can the Democratic Party get united in time for what could be a brutal general election match-up against Donald Trump? It`s been a rough primary between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders and Trump says he`s been taking notes.


TRUMP: Bernie Sanders says a message that`s interesting, I`m going to be taking a lot of the things that Bernie said and using them. I can re-read some of his features. I can get some very good material. That she has got bad judgment. When he said bad judgment, I said sound bite.


SHARPTON: But this past week, Sanders appeared to be begin shifting from attacks on Clinton to attacks on the Democratic Party.


SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The Democratic Party up to now has not been clear about which side they are on. Are we on the side of working people or big money interests? The Democratic Party has turned its back on many of those states.


SHARPTON: Can Democrats come together in a year they face not just a political challenge but also a challenge to their right to vote itself.

Joining me now is Virginia`s Democratic governor Terry McAuliffe who just made a big move in the fight for voting rights.

Thanks for joining me, governor.

GOV. TERRY MCAULIFFE (D), VIRGINIA: Reverend, good to be with you.

SHARPTON: Now, we will get to that voting order in a moment but let`s start with Democratic politics. You`re a Clinton supporter. How do you feel about the things sander has said about her and the Democratic Party?

MCAULIFFE: Well, if you remember, Reverend, I mean, eight years ago, you know, I chaired Hillary`s campaign for president. We had a rough primary season. We went all the way, as you know to the first week in June, Hillary actually ended up winning one of the last primary contests. It was very hotly contested. I would make the argument. I think it is even rougher than what we`re going through today. And listen. We all came together. And once this process is completed, we are going to unify.

In 2004, when I was national chairman, working with you and other candidates, we wanted to make sure it was inclusive for everybody. That`s the process. I`m excited about in general election.

SHARPTON: Now, you mentioned eight years ago with then senator Obama and Senator Clinton. And both Hillary Clinton and President Obama have tried to sound conciliatory towards Sanders and his supporters. Let me play this to you, governor.


OBAMA: You know, you`ve got to give Bernie Sanders, for example, credit. Building on the work I did, smaller donations grass roots donors.

CLINTON: I applaud senator Sanders and his millions of supporters for challenging us to get unaccountable money out of our politics.


SHARPTON: What kind of concessions will Sanders and his supporters need to come into the fold and support Mrs. Clinton assuming she is the nominee if that`s where we`re heading?

MCAULIFFE: We clearly assume she is the nominee. I mean, she`s got the delegates. She and has many more, I think, couple hundred more at this stage than senator Obama had eight years ago. So she is going to be the nominee. The process is going to go forward. Senator Sanders and his team and his supporters are going to come to us with ideas and thoughts and things we ought to include.

This election is going to be defining moment for our country. Hillary is going to layout out her message. I`m very confident we are going to win. She won the Virginia primary by 29 points. She is going to win Virginia in the general election. With a positive message and that message will help to be crafted by the some of the great ideas as Senator Sanders had.

SHARPTON: Now, on that point, I want to get o to voting rights, but on that point, Pennsylvania voters, for example, in this year`s primaries, Democrats 69 percent say it energized their party. Republicans say 58 percent say it divided the party. Are concerns about the nastiness in the primaries overblown, governor?

MCAULIFFE: Totally overblown. It`s going to happen because, obviously, the issues we care about and senator Sanders supporters and Secretary Clinton`s very common themes on a lot of different issues, don`t agree on everything. Nobody agrees on everything. But I will tell you this A unifying force will be Donald Trump as the nominee of the Republican Party. That will be the greatest unifier for our party.

SHARPTON: You made a very bold historic step in my opinion. And Republicans in Virginia slammed your executive order restoring voting rights for 206,000 ex-felons who have served their time. Speaker Bill Howell said and I`m quoting him, "he is changing the rules in the middle of 2016 election to ensure Hillary Clinton`s victory," end of quote. But weren`t these rules put in place to manipulate elections in the first place, governor?

MCAULIFFE: They were in 1902. We had obviously literacy tests, we had the poll tax, disenfranchisement of felony convicts. So that happened in 1902. What we were able to do is to erase about 115 years what had been very bad history in our state. I don`t understand the Republicans. You know what, their idea of democracy is fewer people voting. I come from the other side. I want as many people to vote as possible.

Since I`ve been governor, I`ve had to veto bill after bill from the Republican legislature where they have tried to take rights away from people`s ability to vote. I don`t understand the Republican Party in Virginia. The leadership wants fewer to vote. They want to disenfranchise voters. I don`t. Why give up on any voters. I told them to quit complaining. These 206 thousand voters go out and talk to them. They are not automatically going to register Democratic voters to go out and say I`m going to vote for Democratic candidate. Go out and try to earn their vote.

SHARPTON: And again, these are people that have already done their time and have served whatever their obligations are to the criminal justice system.

MCAULIFFE: When someone comes up to you and tells you their life story, it emboldened me. I was tired of hearing fathers tell their sons and daughters on Election Day, what they would drive down to the polling booth, try to sneak in and get one of those "I Voted" sticker. Or they drive down the booth and come back and say I votes. They didn`t vote because they weren`t allowed to vote. They were embarrassed to tell their children they didn`t have the right to vote.

Why do we live in society like this? You served your time determine by a judge and jury. I want you back in society. I want you feeling good about yourself. Let`s embolden people, redemption.

You now, second chances matter in this nation and we in Virginia as I say are joining 40 other states. But it is sad to see and I tell the Republicans be very careful of your rhetoric and what you`re saying about this. It is sad to see what the Republican Party in Virginia has done. Once again, stepping out to try and deny people their ability to go out and vote.

Let`s let everybody come and vote. Let`s earn their vote, if you got a good message, then they should vote for you. But by demonizing them, you`re not going to get their vote.

SHARPTON: Governor Terry McAuliffe, thank you so much for your time today.

MCAULIFFE: Thank you, sir.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Next, a judge upholds North Carolina`s voter I.D. law, sparking an appeal in the courts. And an objection in the politics nation gotcha.


SHARPTON: Now to the fight over voting rights, a federal judge this past week upheld North Carolina`s controversial voter I.D. law.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ruled while North Carolina had a sort of racial history, the plaintiffs did not show that the law hamper the ability of minority voters to exercise political power.


SHARPTON: Judge Thomas Schrader (ph) wrote quote "there is significant shameful past discrimination in North Carolina`s recent history. However, certainly for the last quarter century, there is little official discrimination to consider."

Oh, really? No official discrimination. Like the law itself, which creates a shorter early voter period. In 2012, 70 percent of the state`s black voters use early voting. No official discrimination? Like ending same day registration.

In 2012 black voters used the tool at nearly twice the rate of white voters. No official discrimination? Like imposing photo I.D., disproportionately impacting black and Latino voters. We`ll have more on this ahead. But first, Judge Sharpton has a ruling for Judge Schrader (ph), nice try but we`ve got you.


SHARPTON: We are back with more on that crucial fight for voter rights in North Carolina. Critics are already appealing the ruling. Hoping it will be off the books in time for November. One of the fiercest critics is a North Carolina lawmaker who marched from Selma with Dr. Martin Luther King.

Last year on the 50th anniversary of the march, Representative Mickey Michaux took to the statehouse floor.


REP. MICKEY MICHAUX (D), DURHAM COUNTY: Here, now, I`m finding that I have to fight the same fight I fought 50 years when you look at disenfranchised, when you look to suppress, then think about the people who died for that right.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is Representative Mickey Michaux. He testified against the voter ID law. Joining him is Allison Riggs, attorney for the Southern Coalition for social justice which is challenging the law in court. Thank you both for being here.


SHARPTON: Representative Michaux, those were powerful words about the franchise. What was the reaction to the judge upholding the rule in your state?

MICHAUX: I was not surprised at the judge ruling. I figured that it was going to come out, particularly since he held out the portion of the voting -- of the I.D. at the time that -- at the time the trial started. If you remember he only -- we had the trial on one phase and then he took the voter I.D. thing at the later day. And I figured that he was going to do that. And but I mean, he wrote this 487 page novel that is just hard to fathom.

SHARPTON: Alison, where does the legal fight in North Carolina stand now?

RIGGS: We`re encouraged because it`s moving quickly. The fourth circuit court of appeals the next step in the appeals process just yesterday put us on a very expedited review. This is the court that struck down Judge Schrader`s ruling on the preliminary injunction. We`re going to be briefed by the end of June, hopefully argued in July and we`ll -- we`re hopeful we`ll have this fixed in time for the November 2016 election.

SHARPTON: Now, Representative Michaux, how do you respond when the judge says there`s no official discrimination in North Carolina in the last 25 years?

MICHAUX: Well, I think he`s a bit out much touch with what reality is, particularly in North Carolina. One of the things that we tried to stress was the fact that why did they have to go in and do this? We always thought that everybody wanted people to turn out to vote, that you had a big crowd. But here the legislation that was passed puts a damper on that. It suppresses the vote and nobody could give us any good reason. And we thought that that was certainly should have been, you know, foremost in the judge`s mind, but evidently it wasn`t. He thinks, you know, that things are all right like a lot of people think things are all right. But we are still having to fight the same battles.

SHARPTON: Now Allison, many of us have been raising questions and seeking to deal with these voting laws that are around the country and what it has in many ways imped a lot of people from voting. And President Obama won North Carolina but I only won by one percent. Why is North Carolina`s laws in your opinion particularly more egregious than others?

RIGGS: The scope of North Carolina`s laws are the problem. I mean there are problematic individually but this is not just a voter I.D. law or just a cut to early voting. In fact, what this law does is attack every avenue of participation that voters of color availed themselves of in 2008. And so there`s a very obvious attack to restrict participation amongst those voters and the way the -- all of the changes -- I mean this is a monster election law. The way they all interact with each other, creates an election system that`s very hard to navigate.

SHARPTON: Now, Representative Michaux, one of the things that is alarming to me is that it is a solution looking for a problem when you deal with voter I.D. around the country, these new laws in certain states, rather than a problem in need of a solution. But let`s take North Carolina, for example. Because when we look at the facts, in the last presidential cycle, there was just 121 allegations of fraud. Out of nearly seven million, seven million votes cast. That`s a fraud rate of 0.00174 percent. I mean, what`s your response to Republicans in the state warning about voter fraud?

MICHAUX: Well, one thing you have to remember, you had those 121 allegations but you didn`t have any prove of any of those allegations at all. So your percentage drops even lower than what you just gave.

Like I said before, we don`t know what they were thinking about or how they were thinking about we`ve always felt that everybody, you know, wanted everybody to turn out and vote. But it`s just a puzzle actually to all of us who had been involved in this whole thing. I told them they could take that piece of abomination and consign to the streets of hell and lay there forever. And that was the way I felt about it.

And you know, Reverend Sharpton, the other thing is that people are playing on the fact that there was a larger voter turnout in 2014 of African- Americans then there was no loss -- there was no suppression. What they don`t understand is that we will not be intimidated. We will do everything possible to get people who into office who will take these things and backtrack the whole situation. If you had put a poll tax out there we would have scraped together to get enough money to get enough people to the polls to put people in office who would overturn all of this. All it is a backlash and that can`t be really a valid excuse for saying we need voter I.D.

SHARPTON: Representative Mikey Michaux and Allison Riggs, thanks for your time this morning.

MICHAUX: Thank you.

RIGGS: Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Coming up, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump kick start potential general election attacks, our panel weighs in.



TRUMP: I think the only card she has is the women`s card. She has got nothing else going. And frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don`t think she would get five percent of the vote.

HILLARY CLINTON (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Mr. Trump accused me of playing the quote, "woman card." Well, if fighting for women`s health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in!


SHARPTON: This week we got a potential preview of this year`s general election. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump attacking each other on everything, from money to Benghazi.


TRUMP: Instead of taking charge that night, Hillary Clinton decided to go home and sleep.

CLINTON: Donald Trump says wages are too high in America. And I have said come out of those towers name for yourself and actually talk and listen to people.

TRUMP: As far as New York, they are not real New Yorkers because they didn`t come from New York.

CLINTON: Those insults, the kind of demagoguery that we are seeing from him, you have to ask yourself, what really is at stake in this election?


SHARPTON: And now, Trump is hinting that he might bring up Monica Lewinsky again. Trump tweeted that Hillary Clinton is one of the all-time great enablers. Is this a preview of what`s to come?

Let`s bring back our panel, April Ryan, Dana Milbank and Adolfo Franco.

Dana, how will Clinton respond when Trump makes these personal attacks?

MILBANK: Well, I think the way she has been responding is effective. I think the most important thing is look, he is going to label her as crooked Hillary. He has already said that`s what`s he`s going to do, like little Marco, low energy Jeb. So it is going to be crooked Hillary. I think the Democrats need a label for Donald. I think it should be dangerous Donald because you don`t want this guy`s fingers on the nuclear button. So I think the best defense is a strong offense there. It does appear that, you know, Trump is going to try to run this., you know He ran a primary campaign based largely on sort of the white grievances and now it`s going to be male grievances. So bringing out the white male voters --.

SHARPTON: But April, does secretary Clinton take the high road? Does she go aggressively in offense like Dana is saying and how far is too far, I mean? And how does she energize her vote doing this?

RYAN: This is a whole interesting topic. I was there -- we were there during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. It`s a fact. It happened. It`s over. And let me tell you something. Hillary Clinton found her strength in that moment because she stayed. A lot of women would have left. I`m not saying that you should stay or you should go, that`s not the issue. If she would have left President Clinton at that time she would not have become -- would not have kept the (INAUDIBLE) as being a first lady. She would lost but she stepped up. The nation watched her strength in a moment of weakness and hurt and pain. She left the White House to become senator of New York. Then ran for president and then she became secretary of state. She has embraced it. And I`m going to tell you something, Donald Trump likes to take the gloves off. He plays dirty. He hits below the belt. But that`s one of the reasons you don`t see a lot of congressional leaders campaigning with him for office.

SHARPTON: Let me go to that, Adolfo, because when you look at the polls, 2016, women voters, 71 percent disapprove of Donald Trump, 51 percent approve of Hillary Clinton according to the George Washington university poll done very recently. Now, that`s a huge gender gap. And isn`t Trump`s rhetoric helping to continue to move this trend that way?

FRANCO: Well, but these same statistics were used throughout the Republican race. We were all saying if you push the rewind button on these programs, six or seven or eight months ago that no one believed Donald Trump would ever be the nominee. He had crossed the line. He had attacked every single Republican and ethnic group. And the fact of the matter is his popularity only increased.

I think frankly, labeling her as crooked Hillary is probably going to stick. I think it`s going to underscore the email scandals and her own weaknesses. It has played very well and with the Republican electorate so far and I think it possibly will continue to play very well. I think she has a lot of weaknesses. With all due respect, April, I think it`s a lot to have people leave the position of first lady. I think there was some vested interest in herself personally. A lot of people believe --

RYAN: She was a wife of a man who publicly cheated on her.

FRANCO: Yes. And a lot of people believe their marriage has been an arrangement for a long period of time.

RYAN: We can`t -- we can`t talk about anyone`s marriage.

FRANCO: That`s the comments that have been made.

RYAN: That`s up for the perception of the American people.

SHARPTON: Let`s stay on the election. We`ll deal with the --

RYAN: It`s been put on the table though.

SHARPTON: When you look at this from a general election, because Adolfo says that it`s done well with Republicans. But in a general election, we have heard all these emails for a while now. We dealt with Monica Lewinsky for years. Is the public really going to respond the way Republican voters did in a general election?

RYAN: Trust worthiness on both sides.

FRANCO: On her side though --

RYAN: I hear you but on both sides. A lot of people I`m hearing from, it`s like choosing between the lesser of two evils, OK. And so now, when it comes to general election, this is dumping on a woman. He has to be very careful how he dumps on a woman. And women do matter in this - women are the number one electorate in this country. And for him to -- he has to be very careful how he attacks her. And so he`s got -- this does play in a general election. It can play for her or it can play against her and it can be for him or against him.

SHARPTON: And it`s also a matter of styles, Dana, because when you look at the fact that they obviously have different styles on the trail, let me show you what I`m talking about.


TRUMP: In Los Angeles, homicides are up 10.2 percent, rapes are up 8.6 percent and aggravated assault is up 27.5 percent. What the hell is happening? We`re going to build that wall, folks.

CLINTON: Imagine a tomorrow where hard work is honored and streets are safe and communities are strong. And where love Trumps hate.


SHARPTON: Now, I`m going back to your point at the top of this segment. Love Trumps hate. Love Trumps hate. Is that the message for this year? I mean, are there too many angry voters to use love as your message?

MILBANK: That`s a piece of it. But I just think, you know, sanity Trumps Trump is much more of the message. It`s not like Hillary Clinton is all about hope and optimism. She`s definitely a more affirmative candidate to his negativity. I don`t think it`s fair to say that Trump succeed in the primaries, he is -- if not more unpopular now than he was before. He was able to carve up the Republican electorate. He`s got about 36, 37 percent of it. The thing is he is the most unpopular major party nomination.

SHARPTON: I`ll have to leave it there.

I`ll have to leave it there. Adolfo and April and Dana, thanks for your time this morning.

Sanity Trumps Trump. You heard it here first.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ll be right back with more "Politics Nation" with Al Sharpton.



OBAMA: With that I just have two more words to say, Obama out.


SHARPTON: President Obama literally dropping the mic last night at his final White House Correspondents dinner. He joked that the first lady is eager to leave.


OBAMA: You might have heard that someone jumped the White House fence last week but I have to give secret service credit, they found Michelle and brought her back. She`s safe back at home now.


SHARPTON: And he also joked about what he would be doing after the White House.


OBAMA: If this material works well, I`m going to use it at Goldman Sachs next year. Earn me some serious Tubman`s.


SHARPTON: But in reality the president is focused on his legacy laying out how he saved the economy in a "New York Times" magazine cover story this morning.

Joining me now is MSNBC`s Joy Reid who just officially was named as weekend host here on MSNBC.

Thanks for being here, Joy.


SHARPTON: So he still has nine months in office. But how is he already starting to shape his historic place and his views in history and legacy?

REID: Well, you know, I think first of all the president obviously very proud of the affordability care act and taking any opportunity he can to tout that. And look. He is going into his final year in the 50s in terms of approval rating. That`s a very good place to be and it also sets him up to have his preferred successor take over historically a president with those sort of robust approval ratings is in a good position to have the next president be from the same party. So I think what you saw last night was a confident president, ridiculing the likely Republican nominee, mercilessly. And I think feeling very confident going into his final nine months, six, seven, eight months.

SHARPTON: Now, it also is that a lot of people feel he has not gotten the credit that he deserves for what he did for the economy, the affordable care act, that a lot of Americans have seen positive things done. His poll numbers have gone much higher. But a lot of the pundits and critics have not really given him credit, including in the African-American community for things he`s done.

REID: No. It`s interesting because you have, you know, the met tricks of the economy are all very positive. I mean, he has done a good job of turning around what was an economy that was cratering when he took office. The metrics on the economy look good. When you look whether it is on the left or the right, you still have people with a lot of but dot, dot, dot, right, when it comes to President Obama.

SHARPTON: How much is that concrete? How much is that an industry if you know you get a little attention if you kind of like attack him, making noise?

REID: I think some of it is over raw (ph) expectations, right. You heard last night lots of joke about him not closing Guantanamo. So they are picking on the things that he can get done.

SHARPTON: Well, and I was offended to Larry Wilmore (ph) just referring to him as the n word. I had got to say that again because I just thought that was so inappropriate, the state, the president. I`m against n word anyway but I just thought that was a bit much.

REID: Well, I think overall people who have looked at this president as having been racialized - I mean, obviously electing first black president there were going to be racial aspects that we are not going to be avoidable. But I think that generally feel that he is not credited enough tore saving the economy, not credited enough for saving Detroit, not credited enough for the success of the economy under his watch.

SHARPTON: Against a headwind, against obstructionists and look where the economy was and other things when he came into office.

REID: Well, eventually, the obstructionist piece, you know, he played with it last night and talked about the fact that will now the Republicans are going stop taking phone calls and listening to him. That`s pretty much been his presidency from day one.

SHARPTON: All right, Joy Reid, thanks. And be sure to watch Joy Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to noon right here at MSNBC.

That does it for me. Thanks for watching and keep the conversation going. Like us at and follow us on twitter at politicsnation.

I`ll see you back here next Sunday.