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

Guests: Hakeem Jeffries, Anita Dunn, Allan Lichtman

Show: POLITICS NATION Date: July 31, 2016 Guest: Hakeem Jeffries, Anita Dunn, Allan Lichtman  (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Turning in the race for presidents.  What happens after  this? HILLARY CLINTON, (D) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE:  America is great. BARRACK OBAMA, (D) U.S. PRESIDENT:  America is already great. DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE:  They have people that aren`t  telling the truth about where our country is. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Don`t let anyone ever tell you that this country  isn`t great. UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We are America, second to none. TRUMP:  They`re giving it rose colored glasses. CLINTON:  He wants to divide us. TRUMP:  President Obama has been the most ignorant President in our  history. UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That`s a bunch or malarkey. OBAMA:  Hillary Clinton is the woman in the arena. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Hillary Clinton has never quit on anything in her  life. TRUMP:  We`re going to beat her on November eight. OBAMA:  That`s another bet that Donald Trump will lose. (END VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  From Rockefeller Center in New York.  This is a Special  Edition of POLITICS NATION with Al Sharpton.  AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST:  Good morning.  I`m Al Sharpton.  We start with  Donald Trump`s counter punch.  After a historic week for the Democrats, the  first woman ever nominated by a major party, Trump is desperate to slow  Hillary Clinton`s momentum. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP:  You know what?  I`ve been saying, let`s just beat her on November  eight, but you know what?  Well no.  You know what?  I`m starting to agree  with you.  I don`t have to be so nice anymore.  I`m taking the gloves off,  right? Just remember this.  Trump is going to be no more Mr. Nice guy. (END VIDEO CLIP) SHARPTON:  But of course Clinton and her running mate have come out  swinging with a three-day bus tour that takes aim at Trump. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON:  I find it highly amusing that Donald Trump talks about make  America great again.  He doesn`t make a thing in America.  It`s a  bankruptcies. SEN. TIM KAINE, (D-VA) VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  The Republican  convention was a twisted and negative tour.  It wasn`t a tour of this  country, it was a journey through Donald Trump`s mind and that`s a very  frightening place. (END VIDEO CLIP) SHARPTON:  Now the race is on.  Will Clinton get a bounce from the  convention and can she rally independence with the kind of positive  rhetoric we used to hear from Republicans?  On the other side is clear  whatever Donald Trump does going forward, he`ll do it alone.  The biggest  names in the GOP are not behind him.  In Cleveland some could barely say  his name.  It`s different for Clinton.  In Philly she had the entire party  behind her. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Leaders like Hillary Clinton who has the guts and the  grace to keep coming back and putting those cracks in the highest and  hardest glass ceiling. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  One of the smartest, toughest, most tenacious people  on this planet. UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the  United States. UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  She`s the best darn change maker I ever met in my  entire life. OBAMA:  There has never been a man or a woman, not me, not Bill, nobody  more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United  States of America. (END VIDEO CLIP) SHARPTON:  Joining me now is Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat from New  York.  Thanks for being here. REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES, (D) NEW YORK:  Good morning. SHARPTON:  Now, before we start Congressman.  You had quite the speech at  the DNC.  I want to play some of that for my viewers to watch. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JEFFRIES:  It`s a choice between a commander-in-chief and a bankrupter-in- chief.  It`s a choice between the secretary of state and the secretary of  hate.  Donald Trump is a bounced check but Hillary Clinton is money in the  bank. (END VIDEO CLIP) SHARPTON:  Congressman, it sounds like this race has gotten you inspired. JEFFRIES:  Well, you know, I come out of the National Action Network.  It`s  full of activism so it was an honor and a privilege to have an opportunity  to share some thoughts for a few moments at the convention. SHARPTON:  Well, you handled it well.  You know, going into the convention  with low favorability, let me get to that issue.  And her trust rate --  where the ratings were low.  Did she do enough to address that in this  convention? JEFFRIES:  Well I think so.  If you look at some of the validated, just  from the beginning, the lead-off hitter was Michelle Obama and she was  phenomenal in talking about what a Hillary Clinton presidency will mean,  and how deeply she respects her as an individual, as mother, as grandmother  and certainly as a person who is serious in the public policy space. And someone who`s going to inspire people like Michelle Obama`s own  daughters, to be the best that they can be in the United States of America.

And then you had that one, two punch on Tuesday and Wednesday of President  Bill Clinton, President Barrack Obama to really validate her in a variety  of different ways.  Talk about her character, her intelligence, her warmth,  her humor as President Obama did in the video and also in his remarks.  And  then you had Hillary Clinton as the clean-up hitter introduced by Chelsea  Clinton, that humanized her again as a mother and grandmother and that  someone who ... SHARPTON:  And just stayed (ph) right in that area. JEFFRIES:  That`s right. SHARPTON:  Let me go to a policy question though.  You had a very  progressive agenda that came out to the convention, progressive in terms of  climate change, in terms of inequality and income inequality, in criminal  justice system.  Did they do enough though or did they go too far left to  appeal to independents? JEFFRIES:  Well, it was actually a very interesting balancing act because  you have 45 percent at the delegates who are there as Bernie Sanders  supporters.  Who were strongly committed to an agenda on the left relative  to climate change and income inequality and getting rid of citizens united  and things that Bernie Sanders himself has been very passionate about.  And  it was important to speak to that group of people to unify the party. But to your point we also had to make sure that we were appealing to the  independents and to the moderate voters, to suburban women and others who  are going to decide this election.  And I think whether that was true the  presentation that was made by our former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Who did  a great job of speaking to independents and individuals and accomplished a  lot in his remarks and strongly denounce Donald Trump.  Whether that was  the general who spoke in very strong terms as it relates to ... SHARPTON:  Yeah. JEFFRIES:  ... the view that Hillary Clinton is the best person to lead.

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

I think it was a great balancing act in terms of speaking to the base but  also brought it in the potential electorate. SHARPTON:  I need to ask this.  You mentioned some of the progressives and  supporters of Senator Sanders.  There were some boos, there were even some  walk out by some of Bernie supporters.  Is this something that Mrs. Clinton  should be concerned about going forward? JEFFRIES:  Well, there was some anxiety in the hall particularly on Monday.

But I think it was a brilliant decision to have Senator Sanders speak the  first night, and he gave a very clear throated endorsement of Secretary  Clinton.  And talked about the fact that they had begun the work together  on a wide variety of policy issues of importance to his supporters, such as  free college education and reducing the massive crashing burden of student  debt that so many millennials are suffering through right now. And that began a set a tone, I thought that bring people closer together  throughout the duration of the convention.  There`s still some work that  needs to be done.  But as you recall from 2008, it was tense between ... SHARPTON:  Oh yeah. JEFFRIES:  ... Obama supporters and Clinton supporters.  And the end of the  day, we came together again.  I think we can come together again. SHARPTON:  Let me just ask you this, what do you think Trump was thinking  watching this campaign this week ... JEFFRIES:  Well I think he`s probably thinking that he`s in trouble,  because you`ve got the entire Democratic line-up behind Secretary Clinton  whereas on the other side of the aisle you have a situation where you got  governors, and senators, and congress members, former presidents running as  far away from Donald Trump as can happen.  So, how far will his carnival  act take him?  Not very far. SHARPTON:  I want to get into, comparing what happened there in Cleveland,  his convention and what happened this week in Philadelphia later in the  show.  Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, thank you for you time this morning. JEFFIRIES:  Thank you Rev. SHARPTON:  And of course, one of the biggest stories at the convention was  the role of President Obama, who will be campaigning for Mrs. Clinton. Joining me now is Anita Dunn, former senior advisor to Barrack Obama`s 2008  Presidential campaign and former White House communications director for  President Obama.  Thank you for being here. ANITA DUNN, FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR TO BARRACK:  Oh, thank you for having me. SHARPTON:  Anita, you were part of President Obama`s historic campaign.

What are your thoughts on Hillary Clinton`s historic nomination? DUNN:  You know, in 2008 when I worked for, then Senator Obama, when he was  running for president, one of the great things about that year was knowing  that, no matter who won the nomination this country was going to make  history, and a really important piece of history I think for anyone who  isn`t a white man in America. You know, Barrack Obama respected Hillary Clinton as an opponent and that`s  something that, you know, primaries are ugly things, sometimes they  certainly get very personal pretty quickly.  And, you know, we had our  share in 2008 but he always respected her and he always felt like, you  know, if he lost to her that would be OK because he respected her. And, you know, I watched this now in 2016, I think some of the problems  Hillary Clinton`s had is that for eight years now, we`ve all kind of  assumed she would make this sort of history.  This week actually seeing it  happen was a different kind of excitement, and I think anyone who was  around that hole last night or any time this week felt that yes they were  part of history again.  And that`s a special thing, you know, kids who were  born in the mid 2000s, 2004, 2005, they are growing up.  They`ve gotten to  grow up seeing an African American president and now, hopefully, a woman  president, and it`s going to change America for the better.  I just don`t  know how yet.  SHARPTON:  Let me go back to what you said, you were part of his 2008  campaign.  So you`re there for really have for the campaign against Mrs.  Clinton.  What were the weaknesses and how do you judge her campaign now in  comparison to her campaign in 2008, since you have seen it now from both  sides in terms of seeing how she and her campaign operates? DUNN:  Well, you know, it`s an interesting thing.  I spent a little time  thinking about that this week.  In 2008, you know, Barrack Obama was the  right candidate for that moment in America.  It was -- you had the sense  that America was ready to turn a page and move forward and was ready given  the wars, given the economic meltdown to try something really different.

And, of course in 2008, a big part of the campaign that we run against  Hillary Clinton was this idea that she was part of a status quo and that  Barrack Obama represented real change, you know, hope and change.  And that  he would do big things. But if you look at 2016, in many ways, Hillary Clinton is now exactly the  right candidate for this moment in history.  That, you know, she is, I  think the person who is by far best positioned to continue the progress,  continue the change that Barrack Obama has begun.  SHARPTON:  Now let me ask you this, it`s funny when you say she`s the right  one for this time.  Something I alluded to earlier with Congressman  Jeffries, the difference between the two conventions when it came to  identifying with their candidate.  At the RNC, Donald Trump`s name was  mentioned 386 times, at the DNC, Hillary Clinton`s name was mentioned 915  times, almost three time as much.  If you`re in the Trump campaign, how  alarming is this that it seems that at own convention, people didn`t even  want to call you a name  DUNN:  Listen, if you`re in the Trump campaign you had a convention where  one of your prime-time speakers not only didn`t want to call your name but  he refused to endorse you and told people to go vote their conscience.  So  very, very different conventions. You know, I thought the Cleveland convention was like the Trump campaign.

It was kind of disorganized, it was kind of, you know, it had a strange  fascination because you had no idea what was going to happen next.  And at  the Democratic convention that just finished in Philadelphia, was  reflective not just of the Clinton campaigns, I mean much higher degree of  kind of organization and strategy, but also of the Democratic Party. You know, when Donald Trump said I alone in his acceptance speech last week  in Cleveland, when he said I alone can fix it, you know, you`re beginning  to wonder if it isn`t a reflection of the fact that nobody in that  Republican Party is willing to stand next to him.  And he`s going to have  to do this stuff alone. You know, think about it, though, you really do have, and as you pointed  out, an enormous difference.  SHARPTON:  Thank you so much Anita Dunn, thanks for your time.  Have a  great Sunday.  DUNN:  Hey, thanks for having me on.  UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Ahead hope versus fear.  Two visions clash at the  conventions and set the stage for the campaigns. Also, how President Obama`s speech compares to the best from his own  record. OBAMA:

Amazing grace how sweet the sound ... (COMMERCIAL BREAK) SHARPTON:  Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are laying out two different  visions of America.  At the Democratic convention speakers focused on the  positive. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON:  America is great because America is good. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  When someone is cruel or acts like a bully you don`t  stoop to their level.  No our motto is when they go low, we go high. UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We are America, second to none and we own the finish  line. OBAMA:  America is already great.  America is already strong.  America  isn`t about, yes he will.  It`s about yes we can. (END VIDEO CLIP) SHARPTON:  But at his convention and again this past week, Donald Trump`s  message had a darker tone. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TRUMP:  So much to straighten out in this country.  Then you wonder why  we`re going to hell.  That`s why we`re going to hell. When you look at the joblessness ... (END VIDEO CLIP) SHARPTON:  Joining me now is Elise Jordan, MSNBC political analyst and  former advisor to Senator Rand Paul`s campaign; and Jonathan Capehart,  MSNBC contributor and editorial writer for the Washington post.  Let me  thank both of you for being here. JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  Thanks, Rev. SHARPTON:  So Jonathan, it`s almost like Trump and Clinton are talking  about two different countries.  Which message will win out here? CAPEHART:  Well, I mean in elections past the ones with the sunnier vision  of America is the person who wins.  And what`s been interesting about, you  know, having gone to Cleveland and now just getting back Philadelphia, I  think what we`ve seen is sort of a role reversal where the Democratic  convention with it`s, you know, open displays of patriotism, love of  country, national defense and wrapping that around sort of the Democratic  Party`s sort of traditional sense of pulling people in.  Being the big tent  talking about love and compassion and moving the country forward with  everybody pushing the country forward. You know, those are some of the things that you used to hear traditionally  at Republican conventions, and what I like most about Democratic convention  is that this idea of patriotism and love of country which used to be is  sort of like a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party.  Democrats  got to show the nation, for the first time in my lifetime, that they too  share this vision of America and share that love of country, share that  vision. SHARPTON:  I want to hold you right there a minute because I think that`s a  point we need to drill down on a little. Elise, let me go to President Obama`s speech for example.  President  Obama`s speech had positive reactions even from Republicans.  Let me play  you some of it. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA:  The America I know is full of courage and optimism and ingenuity. We, the people can form a more perfect union.  That`s who we are.  That`s  what drove patriots to choose revolution over tyranny but our G.I.`s to  liberate a continent. Reagan called America a shining city on a hill.  Donald Trump calls it a  divided crime scene that only he can fix. (END VIDEO CLIP) SHARPTON:  So Elise, let me go back to Jonathan`s point, optimism,  patriotism, was the president reclaiming that kind of language for  Democrats? ELISE JORDAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  I think the President did a  masterful job of welcoming Republicans who aren`t sold on Trump into the  Democratic Party.  And he really balanced to fine line of still being  Democrats and still, you know, showing Bernie Sanders supporters that the  Democratic Party is there for them too.  But he really brought in that,  this is about patriotism, this is about hope, this is about a united  country. SHARPTON:  But will Republicans repelled by Trump, will they actually vote  for Clinton or will they just stay home? JORDAN:  What I`m hearing from a lot of Republicans is voting for Gary  Johnson or in swing states, Republicans who ... SHARPTON:  Gary Johnson being the ... JORDAN:  Gary Johnson being a libertarian candidate.  But in swing states  Republicans who are strongly opposed to Clinton in a normal year are  thinking, our vote is so important, can we risk letting Donald Trump get a  hold of the nuclear codes? SHARPTON:  Jonathan, you know, the -- Mr. Trump on Thursday, he said that  the President`s vision was misguided.  He tweeted quote, "President Obama  spoke last night about a world that doesn`t exist.  70 percent of the  people think our country is going in the wrong direction."  He`s actually  right about that number.  How can Clinton speak to those concerns while  keeping a positive message? CAPEHART:  Well, she`s going to have to figure that out.  But look, the  fact that 70 percent of the American people think that the country is going  in the wrong direction, it requires a leader to show that 70 percent that,  yes, I hear you, I understand where that concern and fear is coming from,  but as president of the United States here is how I am going to lead you,  lead the nation into feeling better about where the country is going. And the only way that that can happen, at least the message that were  coming out of Cleveland and Philadelphia, the message out of Cleveland was,  yes 70 percent, everything is going to hell in the ham basket and only I  can fix it.  And everything is terrible and it`s going to stay terrible  unless you elect me, whereas the message coming out of Philadelphia was yes  I hear you, there are problems but together as a nation if we work together  and band together we can change the direction that you think that the  country is going in because the fundamentals of the country, whether it`s  the economy, public safety, you name it, the fundamentals are there to push  forward.  We just have to ban together to do it.  And I think ... SHARPTON:  Elise, this is gloom and doom message, will this stick to the  GOP or Trump losses does it just go away? JORDAN:  Well I think when Trump loses there`s going to be a huge  reckoning.  If he does lose and right now ... HARPTON:  I heard you say when I was ... JORDAN:  Right now I would -- I think that`s where the numbers are looking.

But, that said, I think that there`s going to be big reckoning within the  Republican Party and those who stood with Trump and win against Republican  principles, I think that they`re -- essentially those political careers are  going to be plateaued because Trump is not the future of this country and  he`s certainly not future of the Republican Party.

     SHARPTON:  Elise Jordan and Jonathan Capehart, stay with me.  UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Coming up, the first lady`s powerful statement about  slavery and the misguided reaction on the right.  And, did President Obama  outshine even himself?  We`ll see how his DNC speech compares to the  greatest from his past. OBAMA:  There`s not a liberal America and a conservative America, there is  the United States of America.  There is not a black America, and a white  America, and Latino-America and Asian-America, there`s the United States of  America. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY:  I wake up every morning in a house that  was built by slaves.  And, I watch my daughters, two beautiful,  intelligent, black young women playing with their dogs on the White House  lawn. (END VIDEO CLIP) SHARPTON:  The powerful comment that got America talking.  And exposed how  some people still want to deny or distort history.  Of course the first  lady was speaking the truth.  Slaves did help build the White House.

PolitiFact confirmed it but said some leaders was still unconvinced by the  true rating for her White House claims.  They just couldn`t believe it or  didn`t want to.  Other people weight in with an odd view of slavery like  Bill O`Reilly over on Fox News. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST:  Slaves that work there were well fed and had  descent lodgings provided by the government which stopped hiring slave  labor in 1802 however the Feds did not forbid subcontractors from using  slave labors.  So Michelle Obama is essentially correct in citing slaves as  builders of the White House but there were others working as well.  (END VIDEO CLIP) SHARPTON:  Many pointed out that you don`t hire slaves and that it`s  strange to talk about being, "well-fed with descent lodging" in the context  of this kind of atrocity.  O`Reilly is entitled to his own opinion but  maybe he should have listened more to the first lady.  I`m not talking  about Michelle Obama, I`m talking about first lady Abigail Adams when she  and President Adams moved into the White House in 1800 it`s still wasn`t  finished, and in a letter to a friend she wrote that, "The effects of  slavery are visible everywhere." Adams went on to describe the slaves as, "Half-fed and destitute of  clothing."  It`s true.  You can look up the letter at the national  archives.  We all know that O`Reilly likes to write history books but maybe  he should read a few more too.  Nice try.  But we got you. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON:  I want to thank Bernie Sanders.  OBAMA:  That`s right feel the Bern. (END VIDEO CLIP) SHARPTON:  Democrats made sure to give Bernie Sanders his due at their  convention, and he gave Hillary Clinton a national endorsement.  But he  also said he is returning to the Senate as an independent not a Democrat, a  decision that raising some eyebrows. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, (I) VERMONT:  I was elected as an independent so I`ll  stay two years more as an independent. (END VIDEO CLIP) SHARPTON:  After all, Sanders became a Democrat to be in their primary, to  be in their debates but now he is leaving the party, it`s exactly what his  campaign manager promised he would not do just a few moments ago. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  If Senator Sanders is not the nominee will he stay in  the Democratic Party forever now? UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, he said he`s a Democrat.  He said he`s a Democrat  and he`s going to be swore the Democratic nominee whoever that is. UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  But he`s a member of the Democratic Party now for life? UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes he is.  Yes he is. (END VIDEO CLIP) SHARPTON:  In this campaign Sanders brought valuable focus to issues like  income inequality and poverty.  But if he`s not going to belong to the  Democratic Party, it makes you wonder what all this talk of party unity is  all about. Let`s bring back Elise Jordan and Jonathan Capehart.  Jonathan, how are  Democrats supposed to feel about Bernie`s decision to go back as an  independent? CAPEHART:  Well I can imagine that there are a lot of Democrats who are  probably scratching their heads.  But look, you know, it`s interesting ... SHARPTON:  Maybe feeling a different burn? CAPEHART:  Yeah.  Absolutely, feeling burned I think.  You know, that sound  bite that you just played, I had not heard that before because I was  wondering when the announcement was made that Senator Sanders had  officially changed his registration from independent to Democrat.  So, when  the announcement was made or when he gave the interview saying that he  would remain an independent that didn`t come as a surprise to me. Look, If Senator Sanders really wanted to be a member of the Democratic  Party he would have switched his registration, that he would also have  raised money for the Democratic National Committee and he would have  registered those thousands of people who showed up to his rallies all over  the country.  He would have registered them as Democrats. SHARPTON:  But doesn`t that raise the question, Elise, he ran in the  Democratic primaries, he used their stage, their infrastructure, put it out  there and I played, his campaign manager said he`s a Democrat, a Democrat  for life, which now ends up being something else.  And you look at that and  you look at how some of his supporters wouldn`t even follow his support to  Mrs. Clinton.  Does this become a problem for him in the Senate, and does  it seem like he lost control of some of his supporters? JORDAN:  I don`t think it`s a problem for him in the Senate because he is  Bernie Sanders, the ultimate rogue Vermont Senator.  He is known as an  independent, I think that`s part of the problem of trying to run as a  Democrat and then not getting the support that he probably should have from  the DNC.  I think that you look at what happened at the Democratic  convention this week and it was really impressive that despite all the  animosity within the party people did come together. Hillary Clinton let Bernie Sanders have his night.  The supporters were  able to, you know, air their grievances, that without there and I think it  plays much better than at the Republican convention when never Trump  supporters weren`t able to air their concerns and then -- the same thing  happened in 2012 with Ron Paul supporters and arguably laid the ground work  for the mess we have today in the Republican Party. SHARPTON:  Quickly, Jonathan, will Bernie Sanders supporters end upcoming  home to the Democratic Party or for some that`s not home coming to support  Hillary Clinton? CAPEHART:  Well look, from the polling that we know, specifically that the  Pew Poll, 90 percent of the people who said they had supported Bernie  Sanders said they are going to vote for Hillary Clinton.  So, I think a  majority of them are already home. SHARPTON:  Elise Jordan, Jonathan Capehart, thank you both for being here. CAPEHART:  Thanks Rev. UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Still to come, how president Obama compares to himself  when it comes to his big DNC speech. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA:  What greater expression of faith in the American experiment than  this?  What greater form of patriotism is than the belief that America is  not yet finished?  That we are strong enough to be self-critical. (END VIDEO CLIP) (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) M. OBAMA:  How we explain that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully  you don`t stoop to their level.  No, our motto is, when they go low, we go  high. And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughter and all of our sons and  daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United  States. (END VIDEO CLIP) SHARPTON:  The first lay giving the speech of her life at the Democratic  convention.  Just two days later, the President rose to the moment as well. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA:  We`re not fragile people.  We`re not a frightful people.  Our power  doesn`t come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can  restore order as long as we do things his way.  We don`t look to be ruled. The American dream is something that no one will ever contain. (END VIDEO CLIP) SHARPTON:  The President delivering a powerful rebuke of Donald Trump. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) OBAMA:  What makes us America, what makes us patriots, is what is in here.

That`s what matters.  That`s why anyone that threatens our values, whether  fascist or communist or jihadist or home-grown demagogue will always fail  in the end. (END VIDEO CLIP) SHARPTON:  It got us wondering, how that speech stacks up against his own  record?  Just a few days ago, the Washington Post asks, "Which Barrack  Obama speech is the one for the history books?  Will it be the 2004 DNC,  when he exploded on to the national stage, or his speech on race from 2008?

His eulogy after Charleston or speech in Selma. Joining me now is Allan Lichtman, presidential historian and distinguished  professor at American University.  First, thanks for being here. ALLAN LICHTMAN, AMERICAN POLITICAL HISTORIAN:  My pleasure. SHARPTON:  Allan, how does the President`s speech last week compare to the  greatest speeches from his own record? LICHTMAN:  I thought it was right up there in the pantheon of great Obama  speeches.  It was great for two reasons.  First of all, without effort, he  seamlessly linked the candidacy of Hillary Clinton to his own presidential  quest to the values and goals that he has been pursuing and made her the  natural heir (ph).  Secondly you mentioned those other speeches.  This  speech is great because it harkened back to compelling themes of earlier  speeches.  The 2004 speech told his personal story and linked that personal  story to the promise of America.  Something he talked about here. He`s speech on race was raw and honest and personal.  Like here, he  recognized white and black Americans might have anger but we have to  transcend that and find a way of finding common ground. SHARPTON:  So, is there a common thread, a common theme with all of his  great speeches? LICHTMAN:  I think there is a common theme.  And the common theme is,  America has enormous promise.  America is a great nation but there`s still  a lot of work to be done.  That the vigilance that gives us freedom and  civil liberties and security is never completed.  We have to keep working  at it and we can`t do it alone.  We can have, you know, some dictatorial  personality come in and say, I`m going to solve everything.  It`s going to  take a common effort of all Americans.  And Obama has admitted he hasn`t  transcended the political divide.  That`s been one of the great themes of  his presidency. SHARPTON:  Now let me ask you something a little different.  I want to play  a very personal moment from the first lady`s speech.  Listen to this. LICHTMAN:  Yeah. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) M. OBAMA:  I will never forget that winter morning as I watched our girls,  just 7 and 10-years-old pile into the black SUVs with all those big men  with guns.  And I saw their little faces pressed up against the window.  At  that moment I realized that our time in the White House would form the  foundation for who they would become, and how well we manage this  experience could truly make or break them. (END VIDEO CLIP) SHARPTON:  I mean, watching her, could she follow her husband`s footsteps  and go into politics?  I mean, we now have a precedent of first ladies  going into politics? LICHTMAN:  Hey we have two precedents now. An African-American president  and the first woman nominee of a major party, isn`t Michelle the natural  recipient of both of those two extraordinary breakthrough changes?  And you  know what?  She held her own with the best speakers, the best politicians  in America and in some ways was the shining light of that convention along  with her husband and Hillary Clinton and others.  Absolutely if she wants  it.  And yet, have to have that fire in the belly, you know that Reverend.

If she wants it she has an extraordinary political future. SHARPTON:  All right, historian Allan Lichtman.  Thank you for being here. LICHTMAN:  My pleasure. UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Next, a new POLITICS NATION report on the challenges  facing low income families in the summer, and what a group of educators and  police are doing about it. (COMMERCIAL BREAK) (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) CLINTON:  None of us can raise a family, build a business, heal a  community, or lift a country totally alone.  So let`s be stronger together  my fellow Americans.  (END VIDEO CLIP) SHARPTON:  Hillary Clinton saying we need to tackle problems together.  A  point we see in the next installment of our "Bending toward Justice"  series.  For some Americans, summertime is about vacation and fun in the  sun but for millions of low income families it can be a serious hardship.

When school is out, these parents face a lot of challenges.  They need to  find child care and a way to pay for it.  Their kids have no longer access  to free or subsidized lunches at school. These kids also face the summer slide, losing reading and math abilities at  higher rates than higher income children.  And in the summer months, safety  and crime can be a more serious concern.  If you`re a mom or a dad working  two or three jobs, what do you do about all of this? POLITICS NATION went to New Haven, Connecticut to look at how some groups  are working together under one roof to tackle all these issues.  In Wilbur  Cross High School, summer meals partners with educators and local police to  make sure all kids enjoy the summer. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Not only do we take the kids off the streets during  summer months we actually feed them. We give breakfast, we give lunch and then at the end of the day, towards  the end of the day we give them a snack. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I see that (ph) where people come they don`t have  support (ph) or the money (inaudible). UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We actually go to parks, low-income housing,  neighborhoods just to try to reach our students in the summer time because  there`s a good gap. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I`m grateful that they have it here because that`s  also less that I have to spend to provide lunch and breakfast when they  come here. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Not only does it feed kids but it educates kids and  keeps them going.  It feeds the mind and the body.  UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It`s going to be easier to forget, when they go back  to school they`re in the group of things anymore. (OFF-MIC) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The man in the picture is a little three blocks away. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  When they go back to school in the fall, they don`t  have the summer slide.  They haven`t lost all the things that they learned  before they left.  (CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Can we have some more out loud.  UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It costs the parent nothing.  We hope that it helps the  parent who is maybe a single mom or dad working the whole day and this can  enable them to work while we keep their child safe and having fun here. And we have arts and crafts, we have reading, music.  UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Many of these officers that work in the program are  people that grew up in New Haven. (CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I`m just letting you know, no one making me bracelet  yet. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Well. UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I`ve seen a few others here with bracelets but I don`t  have one.  UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I`m sorry but ... (CROSSTALK) UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We dress down and they can see that we are human too.

They don`t see just the uniform, they see that we can play, you know,  different games with them.  We can dance with them we can laugh and joke  with them.  UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  They`re like (inaudible) and they`re fun.  UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It`s just like having older plan by your side (ph). (OFF-MIC) UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Some of them grew up in the neighborhood where there`s  gun violence, there`s gang violence, shootings, there`s crime. UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Some of them are truly escaping.  This is like the safe  place they don`t want to leave in some cases.  UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The houses may not look as nice and perfect but  there`s still families living there and working and trying to do the best  for their family what they can.  UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Kids that were able to connect some of those resources  to have done better.  Attendance has gotten better.  They have been able to  graduate.  UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Being here where we ask them to be creative, we ask  them to work with others.  You can see it in their eyes they love it. (END VIDEO CLIP) SHARPTON:  Good people doing good work.  Maybe that`s how we should define  America and what makes America great.  That does it for me.  Thanks for  watching.  I`ll see you back here next Sunday  (COMMERCIAL BREAK) THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY  BE UPDATED. END 

Transcription Copyright 2016 ASC LLC ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is  granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not  reproduce or redistribute the material except for user`s personal or  internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall  user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may  infringe upon MSNBC and ASC LLC`s copyright or other proprietary rights or  interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of  litigation.> Show: POLITICS NATION Date: July 31, 2016 Guest: Hakeem Jeffries, Anita Dunn, Allan Lichtman

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

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

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

DONALD TRUMP, (R) PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE:  They have people that aren`t telling the truth about where our country is.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We are America, second to none.

TRUMP:  They`re giving it rose colored glasses.

CLINTON:  He wants to divide us.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That`s a bunch or malarkey.

OBAMA:  Hillary Clinton is the woman in the arena.

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

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

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  From Rockefeller Center in New York.  This is a Special Edition of POLITICS NATION with Al Sharpton.

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST:  Good morning.  I`m Al Sharpton.  We start with Donald Trump`s counter punch.  After a historic week for the Democrats, the first woman ever nominated by a major party, Trump is desperate to slow Hillary Clinton`s momentum.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  You know what?  I`ve been saying, let`s just beat her on November eight, but you know what?  Well no.  You know what?  I`m starting to agree with you.  I don`t have to be so nice anymore.  I`m taking the gloves off, right?

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  But of course Clinton and her running mate have come out swinging with a three-day bus tour that takes aim at Trump.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON:  I find it highly amusing that Donald Trump talks about make America great again.  He doesn`t make a thing in America.  It`s a bankruptcies.

SEN. TIM KAINE, (D-VA) VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  The Republican convention was a twisted and negative tour.  It wasn`t a tour of this country, it was a journey through Donald Trump`s mind and that`s a very frightening place.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  Now the race is on.  Will Clinton get a bounce from the convention and can she rally independence with the kind of positive rhetoric we used to hear from Republicans?  On the other side is clear whatever Donald Trump does going forward, he`ll do it alone.  The biggest names in the GOP are not behind him.  In Cleveland some could barely say his name.  It`s different for Clinton.  In Philly she had the entire party behind her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Leaders like Hillary Clinton who has the guts and the grace to keep coming back and putting those cracks in the highest and hardest glass ceiling.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  One of the smartest, toughest, most tenacious people on this planet.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States.

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

OBAMA:  There has never been a man or a woman, not me, not Bill, nobody more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States of America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  Joining me now is Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Democrat from New York.  Thanks for being here.

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

SHARPTON:  Now, before we start Congressman.  You had quite the speech at the DNC.  I want to play some of that for my viewers to watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEFFRIES:  It`s a choice between a commander-in-chief and a bankrupter-in- chief.  It`s a choice between the secretary of state and the secretary of hate.  Donald Trump is a bounced check but Hillary Clinton is money in the bank.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

JEFFRIES:  Well, you know, I come out of the National Action Network.  It`s full of activism so it was an honor and a privilege to have an opportunity to share some thoughts for a few moments at the convention.

SHARPTON:  Well, you handled it well.  You know, going into the convention with low favorability, let me get to that issue.  And her trust rate -- where the ratings were low.  Did she do enough to address that in this convention?

JEFFRIES:  Well I think so.  If you look at some of the validated, just from the beginning, the lead-off hitter was Michelle Obama and she was phenomenal in talking about what a Hillary Clinton presidency will mean, and how deeply she respects her as an individual, as mother, as grandmother and certainly as a person who is serious in the public policy space.

And someone who`s going to inspire people like Michelle Obama`s own daughters, to be the best that they can be in the United States of America.  And then you had that one, two punch on Tuesday and Wednesday of President Bill Clinton, President Barrack Obama to really validate her in a variety of different ways.  Talk about her character, her intelligence, her warmth, her humor as President Obama did in the video and also in his remarks.  And then you had Hillary Clinton as the clean-up hitter introduced by Chelsea Clinton, that humanized her again as a mother and grandmother and that someone who ...

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

JEFFRIES:  That`s right.

SHARPTON:  Let me go to a policy question though.  You had a very progressive agenda that came out to the convention, progressive in terms of climate change, in terms of inequality and income inequality, in criminal justice system.  Did they do enough though or did they go too far left to appeal to independents?

JEFFRIES:  Well, it was actually a very interesting balancing act because you have 45 percent at the delegates who are there as Bernie Sanders supporters.  Who were strongly committed to an agenda on the left relative to climate change and income inequality and getting rid of citizens united and things that Bernie Sanders himself has been very passionate about.  And it was important to speak to that group of people to unify the party.

But to your point we also had to make sure that we were appealing to the independents and to the moderate voters, to suburban women and others who are going to decide this election.  And I think whether that was true the presentation that was made by our former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  Who did a great job of speaking to independents and individuals and accomplished a lot in his remarks and strongly denounce Donald Trump.  Whether that was the general who spoke in very strong terms as it relates to ...

SHARPTON:  Yeah.

JEFFRIES:  ... the view that Hillary Clinton is the best person to lead.  The Nick (inaudible) for the United States of America and help people safe.  I think it was a great balancing act in terms of speaking to the base but also brought it in the potential electorate.

SHARPTON:  I need to ask this.  You mentioned some of the progressives and supporters of Senator Sanders.  There were some boos, there were even some walk out by some of Bernie supporters.  Is this something that Mrs. Clinton should be concerned about going forward?

JEFFRIES:  Well, there was some anxiety in the hall particularly on Monday.  But I think it was a brilliant decision to have Senator Sanders speak the first night, and he gave a very clear throated endorsement of Secretary Clinton.  And talked about the fact that they had begun the work together on a wide variety of policy issues of importance to his supporters, such as free college education and reducing the massive crashing burden of student debt that so many millennials are suffering through right now.

And that began a set a tone, I thought that bring people closer together throughout the duration of the convention.  There`s still some work that needs to be done.  But as you recall from 2008, it was tense between ...

SHARPTON:  Oh yeah.

JEFFRIES:  ... Obama supporters and Clinton supporters.  And the end of the day, we came together again.  I think we can come together again.

SHARPTON:  Let me just ask you this, what do you think Trump was thinking watching this campaign this week ...

JEFFRIES:  Well I think he`s probably thinking that he`s in trouble, because you`ve got the entire Democratic line-up behind Secretary Clinton whereas on the other side of the aisle you have a situation where you got governors, and senators, and congress members, former presidents running as far away from Donald Trump as can happen.  So, how far will his carnival act take him?  Not very far.

SHARPTON:  I want to get into, comparing what happened there in Cleveland, his convention and what happened this week in Philadelphia later in the show.  Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, thank you for you time this morning.

JEFFIRIES:  Thank you Rev.

SHARPTON:  And of course, one of the biggest stories at the convention was the role of President Obama, who will be campaigning for Mrs. Clinton.

Joining me now is Anita Dunn, former senior advisor to Barrack Obama`s 2008 Presidential campaign and former White House communications director for President Obama.  Thank you for being here.

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

SHARPTON:  Anita, you were part of President Obama`s historic campaign.  What are your thoughts on Hillary Clinton`s historic nomination?

DUNN:  You know, in 2008 when I worked for, then Senator Obama, when he was running for president, one of the great things about that year was knowing that, no matter who won the nomination this country was going to make history, and a really important piece of history I think for anyone who isn`t a white man in America.

You know, Barrack Obama respected Hillary Clinton as an opponent and that`s something that, you know, primaries are ugly things, sometimes they certainly get very personal pretty quickly.  And, you know, we had our share in 2008 but he always respected her and he always felt like, you know, if he lost to her that would be OK because he respected her.

And, you know, I watched this now in 2016, I think some of the problems Hillary Clinton`s had is that for eight years now, we`ve all kind of assumed she would make this sort of history.  This week actually seeing it happen was a different kind of excitement, and I think anyone who was around that hole last night or any time this week felt that yes they were part of history again.  And that`s a special thing, you know, kids who were born in the mid 2000s, 2004, 2005, they are growing up.  They`ve gotten to grow up seeing an African American president and now, hopefully, a woman president, and it`s going to change America for the better.  I just don`t know how yet.

SHARPTON:  Let me go back to what you said, you were part of his 2008 campaign.  So you`re there for really have for the campaign against Mrs. Clinton.  What were the weaknesses and how do you judge her campaign now in comparison to her campaign in 2008, since you have seen it now from both sides in terms of seeing how she and her campaign operates?

DUNN:  Well, you know, it`s an interesting thing.  I spent a little time thinking about that this week.  In 2008, you know, Barrack Obama was the right candidate for that moment in America.  It was -- you had the sense that America was ready to turn a page and move forward and was ready given the wars, given the economic meltdown to try something really different.  And, of course in 2008, a big part of the campaign that we run against Hillary Clinton was this idea that she was part of a status quo and that Barrack Obama represented real change, you know, hope and change.  And that he would do big things.

But if you look at 2016, in many ways, Hillary Clinton is now exactly the right candidate for this moment in history.  That, you know, she is, I think the person who is by far best positioned to continue the progress, continue the change that Barrack Obama has begun.

SHARPTON:  Now let me ask you this, it`s funny when you say she`s the right one for this time.  Something I alluded to earlier with Congressman Jeffries, the difference between the two conventions when it came to identifying with their candidate.  At the RNC, Donald Trump`s name was mentioned 386 times, at the DNC, Hillary Clinton`s name was mentioned 915 times, almost three time as much.  If you`re in the Trump campaign, how alarming is this that it seems that at own convention, people didn`t even want to call you a name

DUNN:  Listen, if you`re in the Trump campaign you had a convention where one of your prime-time speakers not only didn`t want to call your name but he refused to endorse you and told people to go vote their conscience.  So very, very different conventions.

You know, I thought the Cleveland convention was like the Trump campaign.  It was kind of disorganized, it was kind of, you know, it had a strange fascination because you had no idea what was going to happen next.  And at the Democratic convention that just finished in Philadelphia, was reflective not just of the Clinton campaigns, I mean much higher degree of kind of organization and strategy, but also of the Democratic Party.

You know, when Donald Trump said I alone in his acceptance speech last week in Cleveland, when he said I alone can fix it, you know, you`re beginning to wonder if it isn`t a reflection of the fact that nobody in that Republican Party is willing to stand next to him.  And he`s going to have to do this stuff alone.

You know, think about it, though, you really do have, and as you pointed out, an enormous difference.

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

DUNN:  Hey, thanks for having me on.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Ahead hope versus fear.  Two visions clash at the conventions and set the stage for the campaigns.

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

OBAMA:   Amazing grace how sweet the sound ...

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON:  Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are laying out two different visions of America.  At the Democratic convention speakers focused on the positive.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON:  America is great because America is good.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  When someone is cruel or acts like a bully you don`t stoop to their level.  No our motto is when they go low, we go high.

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

OBAMA:  America is already great.  America is already strong.  America isn`t about, yes he will.  It`s about yes we can.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  But at his convention and again this past week, Donald Trump`s message had a darker tone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRUMP:  So much to straighten out in this country.  Then you wonder why we`re going to hell.  That`s why we`re going to hell.

When you look at the joblessness ...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  Joining me now is Elise Jordan, MSNBC political analyst and former advisor to Senator Rand Paul`s campaign; and Jonathan Capehart, MSNBC contributor and editorial writer for the Washington post.  Let me thank both of you for being here.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON:  So Jonathan, it`s almost like Trump and Clinton are talking about two different countries.  Which message will win out here?

CAPEHART:  Well, I mean in elections past the ones with the sunnier vision of America is the person who wins.  And what`s been interesting about, you know, having gone to Cleveland and now just getting back Philadelphia, I think what we`ve seen is sort of a role reversal where the Democratic convention with it`s, you know, open displays of patriotism, love of country, national defense and wrapping that around sort of the Democratic Party`s sort of traditional sense of pulling people in.  Being the big tent talking about love and compassion and moving the country forward with everybody pushing the country forward.

You know, those are some of the things that you used to hear traditionally at Republican conventions, and what I like most about Democratic convention is that this idea of patriotism and love of country which used to be is sort of like a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party.  Democrats got to show the nation, for the first time in my lifetime, that they too share this vision of America and share that love of country, share that vision.

SHARPTON:  I want to hold you right there a minute because I think that`s a point we need to drill down on a little.

Elise, let me go to President Obama`s speech for example.  President Obama`s speech had positive reactions even from Republicans.  Let me play you some of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

We, the people can form a more perfect union.  That`s who we are.  That`s what drove patriots to choose revolution over tyranny but our G.I.`s to liberate a continent.

Reagan called America a shining city on a hill.  Donald Trump calls it a divided crime scene that only he can fix.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  So Elise, let me go back to Jonathan`s point, optimism, patriotism, was the president reclaiming that kind of language for Democrats?

ELISE JORDAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  I think the President did a masterful job of welcoming Republicans who aren`t sold on Trump into the Democratic Party.  And he really balanced to fine line of still being Democrats and still, you know, showing Bernie Sanders supporters that the Democratic Party is there for them too.  But he really brought in that, this is about patriotism, this is about hope, this is about a united country.

SHARPTON:  But will Republicans repelled by Trump, will they actually vote for Clinton or will they just stay home?

JORDAN:  What I`m hearing from a lot of Republicans is voting for Gary Johnson or in swing states, Republicans who ...

SHARPTON:  Gary Johnson being the ...

JORDAN:  Gary Johnson being a libertarian candidate.  But in swing states Republicans who are strongly opposed to Clinton in a normal year are thinking, our vote is so important, can we risk letting Donald Trump get a hold of the nuclear codes?

SHARPTON:  Jonathan, you know, the -- Mr. Trump on Thursday, he said that the President`s vision was misguided.  He tweeted quote, "President Obama spoke last night about a world that doesn`t exist.  70 percent of the people think our country is going in the wrong direction."  He`s actually right about that number.  How can Clinton speak to those concerns while keeping a positive message?

CAPEHART:  Well, she`s going to have to figure that out.  But look, the fact that 70 percent of the American people think that the country is going in the wrong direction, it requires a leader to show that 70 percent that, yes, I hear you, I understand where that concern and fear is coming from, but as president of the United States here is how I am going to lead you, lead the nation into feeling better about where the country is going.

And the only way that that can happen, at least the message that were coming out of Cleveland and Philadelphia, the message out of Cleveland was, yes 70 percent, everything is going to hell in the ham basket and only I can fix it.  And everything is terrible and it`s going to stay terrible unless you elect me, whereas the message coming out of Philadelphia was yes I hear you, there are problems but together as a nation if we work together and band together we can change the direction that you think that the country is going in because the fundamentals of the country, whether it`s the economy, public safety, you name it, the fundamentals are there to push forward.  We just have to ban together to do it.  And I think ...

SHARPTON:  Elise, this is gloom and doom message, will this stick to the GOP or Trump losses does it just go away?

JORDAN:  Well I think when Trump loses there`s going to be a huge reckoning.  If he does lose and right now ...

HARPTON:  I heard you say when I was ...

JORDAN:  Right now I would -- I think that`s where the numbers are looking.  But, that said, I think that there`s going to be big reckoning within the Republican Party and those who stood with Trump and win against Republican principles, I think that they`re -- essentially those political careers are going to be plateaued because Trump is not the future of this country and he`s certainly not future of the Republican Party.       SHARPTON:  Elise Jordan and Jonathan Capehart, stay with me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Coming up, the first lady`s powerful statement about slavery and the misguided reaction on the right.  And, did President Obama outshine even himself?  We`ll see how his DNC speech compares to the greatest from his past.

OBAMA:  There`s not a liberal America and a conservative America, there is the United States of America.  There is not a black America, and a white America, and Latino-America and Asian-America, there`s the United States of America.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELLE OBAMA, U.S. FIRST LADY:  I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves.  And, I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black young women playing with their dogs on the White House lawn.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  The powerful comment that got America talking.  And exposed how some people still want to deny or distort history.  Of course the first lady was speaking the truth.  Slaves did help build the White House.  PolitiFact confirmed it but said some leaders was still unconvinced by the true rating for her White House claims.  They just couldn`t believe it or didn`t want to.  Other people weight in with an odd view of slavery like Bill O`Reilly over on Fox News.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS HOST:  Slaves that work there were well fed and had descent lodgings provided by the government which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802 however the Feds did not forbid subcontractors from using slave labors.  So Michelle Obama is essentially correct in citing slaves as builders of the White House but there were others working as well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  Many pointed out that you don`t hire slaves and that it`s strange to talk about being, "well-fed with descent lodging" in the context of this kind of atrocity.  O`Reilly is entitled to his own opinion but maybe he should have listened more to the first lady.  I`m not talking about Michelle Obama, I`m talking about first lady Abigail Adams when she and President Adams moved into the White House in 1800 it`s still wasn`t finished, and in a letter to a friend she wrote that, "The effects of slavery are visible everywhere."

Adams went on to describe the slaves as, "Half-fed and destitute of clothing."  It`s true.  You can look up the letter at the national archives.  We all know that O`Reilly likes to write history books but maybe he should read a few more too.  Nice try.  But we got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON:  I want to thank Bernie Sanders.

OBAMA:  That`s right feel the Bern.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  Democrats made sure to give Bernie Sanders his due at their convention, and he gave Hillary Clinton a national endorsement.  But he also said he is returning to the Senate as an independent not a Democrat, a decision that raising some eyebrows.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  After all, Sanders became a Democrat to be in their primary, to be in their debates but now he is leaving the party, it`s exactly what his campaign manager promised he would not do just a few moments ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  If Senator Sanders is not the nominee will he stay in the Democratic Party forever now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, he said he`s a Democrat.  He said he`s a Democrat and he`s going to be swore the Democratic nominee whoever that is.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Yes he is.  Yes he is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  In this campaign Sanders brought valuable focus to issues like income inequality and poverty.  But if he`s not going to belong to the Democratic Party, it makes you wonder what all this talk of party unity is all about.

Let`s bring back Elise Jordan and Jonathan Capehart.  Jonathan, how are Democrats supposed to feel about Bernie`s decision to go back as an independent?

CAPEHART:  Well I can imagine that there are a lot of Democrats who are probably scratching their heads.  But look, you know, it`s interesting ...

SHARPTON:  Maybe feeling a different burn?

CAPEHART:  Yeah.  Absolutely, feeling burned I think.  You know, that sound bite that you just played, I had not heard that before because I was wondering when the announcement was made that Senator Sanders had officially changed his registration from independent to Democrat.  So, when the announcement was made or when he gave the interview saying that he would remain an independent that didn`t come as a surprise to me.

Look, If Senator Sanders really wanted to be a member of the Democratic Party he would have switched his registration, that he would also have raised money for the Democratic National Committee and he would have registered those thousands of people who showed up to his rallies all over the country.  He would have registered them as Democrats.

SHARPTON:  But doesn`t that raise the question, Elise, he ran in the Democratic primaries, he used their stage, their infrastructure, put it out there and I played, his campaign manager said he`s a Democrat, a Democrat for life, which now ends up being something else.  And you look at that and you look at how some of his supporters wouldn`t even follow his support to Mrs. Clinton.  Does this become a problem for him in the Senate, and does it seem like he lost control of some of his supporters?

JORDAN:  I don`t think it`s a problem for him in the Senate because he is Bernie Sanders, the ultimate rogue Vermont Senator.  He is known as an independent, I think that`s part of the problem of trying to run as a Democrat and then not getting the support that he probably should have from the DNC.  I think that you look at what happened at the Democratic convention this week and it was really impressive that despite all the animosity within the party people did come together.

Hillary Clinton let Bernie Sanders have his night.  The supporters were able to, you know, air their grievances, that without there and I think it plays much better than at the Republican convention when never Trump supporters weren`t able to air their concerns and then -- the same thing happened in 2012 with Ron Paul supporters and arguably laid the ground work for the mess we have today in the Republican Party.

SHARPTON:  Quickly, Jonathan, will Bernie Sanders supporters end upcoming home to the Democratic Party or for some that`s not home coming to support Hillary Clinton?

CAPEHART:  Well look, from the polling that we know, specifically that the Pew Poll, 90 percent of the people who said they had supported Bernie Sanders said they are going to vote for Hillary Clinton.  So, I think a majority of them are already home.

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

CAPEHART:  Thanks Rev.

  UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Still to come, how president Obama compares to himself when it comes to his big DNC speech.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  What greater expression of faith in the American experiment than this?  What greater form of patriotism is than the belief that America is not yet finished?  That we are strong enough to be self-critical.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

M. OBAMA:  How we explain that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully you don`t stoop to their level.  No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.

And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughter and all of our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  The first lay giving the speech of her life at the Democratic convention.  Just two days later, the President rose to the moment as well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  We`re not fragile people.  We`re not a frightful people.  Our power doesn`t come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can restore order as long as we do things his way.  We don`t look to be ruled.

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  What makes us America, what makes us patriots, is what is in here.  That`s what matters.  That`s why anyone that threatens our values, whether fascist or communist or jihadist or home-grown demagogue will always fail in the end.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  It got us wondering, how that speech stacks up against his own record?  Just a few days ago, the Washington Post asks, "Which Barrack Obama speech is the one for the history books?  Will it be the 2004 DNC, when he exploded on to the national stage, or his speech on race from 2008?  His eulogy after Charleston or speech in Selma.

Joining me now is Allan Lichtman, presidential historian and distinguished professor at American University.  First, thanks for being here.

ALLAN LICHTMAN, AMERICAN POLITICAL HISTORIAN:  My pleasure.

SHARPTON:  Allan, how does the President`s speech last week compare to the greatest speeches from his own record?

LICHTMAN:  I thought it was right up there in the pantheon of great Obama speeches.  It was great for two reasons.  First of all, without effort, he seamlessly linked the candidacy of Hillary Clinton to his own presidential quest to the values and goals that he has been pursuing and made her the natural heir (ph).  Secondly you mentioned those other speeches.  This speech is great because it harkened back to compelling themes of earlier speeches.  The 2004 speech told his personal story and linked that personal story to the promise of America.  Something he talked about here.

He`s speech on race was raw and honest and personal.  Like here, he recognized white and black Americans might have anger but we have to transcend that and find a way of finding common ground.

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

LICHTMAN:  I think there is a common theme.  And the common theme is, America has enormous promise.  America is a great nation but there`s still a lot of work to be done.  That the vigilance that gives us freedom and civil liberties and security is never completed.  We have to keep working at it and we can`t do it alone.  We can have, you know, some dictatorial personality come in and say, I`m going to solve everything.  It`s going to take a common effort of all Americans.  And Obama has admitted he hasn`t transcended the political divide.  That`s been one of the great themes of his presidency.

SHARPTON:  Now let me ask you something a little different.  I want to play a very personal moment from the first lady`s speech.  Listen to this.

LICHTMAN:  Yeah.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

M. OBAMA:  I will never forget that winter morning as I watched our girls, just 7 and 10-years-old pile into the black SUVs with all those big men with guns.  And I saw their little faces pressed up against the window.  At that moment I realized that our time in the White House would form the foundation for who they would become, and how well we manage this experience could truly make or break them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  I mean, watching her, could she follow her husband`s footsteps and go into politics?  I mean, we now have a precedent of first ladies going into politics?

LICHTMAN:  Hey we have two precedents now. An African-American president and the first woman nominee of a major party, isn`t Michelle the natural recipient of both of those two extraordinary breakthrough changes?  And you know what?  She held her own with the best speakers, the best politicians in America and in some ways was the shining light of that convention along with her husband and Hillary Clinton and others.  Absolutely if she wants it.  And yet, have to have that fire in the belly, you know that Reverend.  If she wants it she has an extraordinary political future.

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

LICHTMAN:  My pleasure.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Next, a new POLITICS NATION report on the challenges facing low income families in the summer, and what a group of educators and police are doing about it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON:  None of us can raise a family, build a business, heal a community, or lift a country totally alone.  So let`s be stronger together my fellow Americans.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  Hillary Clinton saying we need to tackle problems together.  A point we see in the next installment of our "Bending toward Justice" series.  For some Americans, summertime is about vacation and fun in the sun but for millions of low income families it can be a serious hardship.  When school is out, these parents face a lot of challenges.  They need to find child care and a way to pay for it.  Their kids have no longer access to free or subsidized lunches at school.

These kids also face the summer slide, losing reading and math abilities at higher rates than higher income children.  And in the summer months, safety and crime can be a more serious concern.  If you`re a mom or a dad working two or three jobs, what do you do about all of this?

POLITICS NATION went to New Haven, Connecticut to look at how some groups are working together under one roof to tackle all these issues.  In Wilbur Cross High School, summer meals partners with educators and local police to make sure all kids enjoy the summer.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Not only do we take the kids off the streets during summer months we actually feed them.

We give breakfast, we give lunch and then at the end of the day, towards the end of the day we give them a snack.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I see that (ph) where people come they don`t have support (ph) or the money (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We actually go to parks, low-income housing, neighborhoods just to try to reach our students in the summer time because there`s a good gap.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I`m grateful that they have it here because that`s also less that I have to spend to provide lunch and breakfast when they come here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Not only does it feed kids but it educates kids and keeps them going.  It feeds the mind and the body.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It`s going to be easier to forget, when they go back to school they`re in the group of things anymore.

(OFF-MIC)

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  When they go back to school in the fall, they don`t have the summer slide.  They haven`t lost all the things that they learned before they left.

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Can we have some more out loud.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It costs the parent nothing.  We hope that it helps the parent who is maybe a single mom or dad working the whole day and this can enable them to work while we keep their child safe and having fun here.

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

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Many of these officers that work in the program are people that grew up in New Haven.

(CROSSTALK)

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Well.

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

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I`m sorry but ...

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We dress down and they can see that we are human too.  They don`t see just the uniform, they see that we can play, you know, different games with them.  We can dance with them we can laugh and joke with them.

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

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

(OFF-MIC)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Some of them grew up in the neighborhood where there`s gun violence, there`s gang violence, shootings, there`s crime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Some of them are truly escaping.  This is like the safe place they don`t want to leave in some cases.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The houses may not look as nice and perfect but there`s still families living there and working and trying to do the best for their family what they can.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Kids that were able to connect some of those resources to have done better.  Attendance has gotten better.  They have been able to graduate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Being here where we ask them to be creative, we ask them to work with others.  You can see it in their eyes they love it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON:  Good people doing good work.  Maybe that`s how we should define America and what makes America great.  That does it for me.  Thanks for watching.  I`ll see you back here next Sunday

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

 

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.                                                                                                     END