tv Politics Nation MSNBC October 24, 2013 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
>> $17 billion in profit, they ought to be able to fork something decent out to workers. it'd be a great pr move. i'm not so sure that wouldn't help sales. thank you so much. robert's newest film "unmanned: america's drone wars" can be streamed online. i'm ed shultz. "politicsnation" with reverend al sharpton starts right now. >> good evening, ed. good to see you. >> good to see you, buddy. thanks to you for tuning in. tonight's lead, republican hypocrisy on health care. today house republicans launched a new phase of their crusade against the affordable care act by holding a false hearing about the health care website. and their fearless leader in the senate, texas senator ted cruz, today he was back at it heaping on the praise to repeal obama care. >> i think the house republicans
embodied a profile in courage as they stood up and did the right thing. obama care has to be repealed. . >> obama care must be repealed. easy for cruz to say that. he's got great coverage. today we learned he gets health insurance from his wife's goldman sachs plan. goldman sachs. how about that? the guy who wants to destroy obama care gets his health care insurance from the company that nearly destroyed the u.s. economy. republicans like to talk about cadillac insurance plans. well, his plan is a stretch limo. it's worth $20,000 a year. $20,000. to put that in perspective, a texan working a full-time minimum wage job only makes
$15,000 a year. how's that for hypocrisy? and yet it's matched by the hypocrisy from house republicans who today were falling all over themselves to trash the health care website. >> that is a system that is failed. >> after footing the bill, the american people deserve something that works. >> i would submit the average american looking in on this hearing is going to feel like there's really nobody in charge. >> but all those republicans were singing a different tune back when president bush had a big health care plan. when president bush launched medicare part "d" to help seniors pay for drugs, there were lots of issues at first. but here's what those same exact republicans said back then. congressman barton, quote, this is a huge undertaking and there are going to be glitches. congressman murphy, it's going to take a little adjustment.
congressman burrgis, i do believe fundamentally it's a good plan. so glitches were no big deal under president bush, but under president obama it's like the sky is falling. the american people see through this hypocrisy. joining me now are congressman elijah cummings and krystal ball. thank you both for coming on the show. >> good to be with you. >> thanks for having us. >> the gop didn't have problems with glitches under president bush, so what's changed? >> well, clearly they want to do everything that they can to destroy the affordable care act. reverend, they have tried to defund it. they've tried to delay it. and they've tried to destroy it. keep in mind, we're just off of them wasting a $24 billion
trying to do that. in other words, when they shut down the government, they did. that was an effort to kill the affordable care act. and for what? and so they have changed their tactics a little bit. what they've decided to do is they're going to have hearing after hearing after hearing throughout several committees in the congress to simply criticize. they're not about trying to make it better. they're about criticizing it. and i am convinced that the glitches that we see will be worked out, and that when we go back to medicare part "d" that you talked about a moment ago, it had all kinds of problems. quite similar to the ones we're going through now. but it worked out, and now it's a very smooth running program. and so i expect the same thing here. >> you know, krystal, one of the things that got me was congressman joe barton. he was one of the loudest
critics. but in 2010 he apologized to the bp ceo following the gulf oil spill. listen to this. >> i apologize. i do not want to live in a country where any time a citizen or a corporation does something that is legitimately wrong is subject to some sort of political pressure that is, again, in my words amounts to a shakedown. so i apologize. >> he apologized to the ceo of bp. and today it's the complete opposite in terms of how he was so brash and adamant in terms of the problems, the glitches that no one is saying should not be dealt with and that someone shouldn't be accountable. but it's such a huge difference in this seem exact congress. >> as you're pointing out, i've
been critical of the problems with the website and demanding they be fixed. i'm frustrated over this. but what you're pointing out and the congressman is pointing out is the republicans are not acting in good faith here. where in medicare part "d" rolled out, democrats worked with republicans to fix those problems. even in obama care, there are continued fixes to the policy of medicare part "d" to make it work better. on the other hand, republicans have been so hysterical over obama care that they have lost all credibility with the american people. they've been so hypocritical over their opposition of obama care. they have no credibility with the american people. so now when there is a real problem that needs to be dealt with, the american people have no trust in the republicans to be a partner in fixing things the way they need to be. >> you know, congressman, senator ted cruz today said the last election wasn't about obama care at all. listen to this.
>> it was not an election about obama care. president obama didn't campaign on obama care. if you're saying was this appealing to people, i promise you if the obama campaign believed that obama care was a plus, president obama would have campaigned on it. he consciously didn't. and so it was striking that president obama's political team apparently in their judgment obama care was not a good issue to run on. >> now, congressman, it sounds a lot like former senator jim demint last week saying just about the same thing. he said quote, obama care was not the central fight in 2012. the best thing is to declare last year's election a mistrial on obama care. now, maybe i was looking at a different election, but i thought all throughout the campaign and even in the debates with mitt romney and the president, they talked about obama care. romney said he would appeal it.
the president defended it. i mean, am i hallucinating, congressman? >> not at all, reverend. as a matter of fact, the president was very strong with regard to promoting the affordable care act. you know, senator cruz is a very interesting fella. as i listen to him, i wonder what does he say to that person who in his state by the way with one out of every four people being uninsured, i wonder what he says to that person who has a colon cancer and cannot get health insurance. i wonder who he keeps saying he's talking for them. well, there are a lot of people that have been granted an opportunity to buy health insurance. some of them for the first time in their careers. and folks on the other side of the aisle are basically trying to take something that has been given -- when i say given i mean the opportunity to buy it --
away from them. that's significant. in some way, we've got to make sure that we get this right. krystal ball is right. we've got to deal with these issues that we're having with regards to the website. but keep in mind, as the president said, this is much bigger than a website. we've got -- we're talking about children being able to stay on their folks' insurance policies, we're talking about women no longer being considered the fact that they're woman being considered a pre-existing condition, things of that nature. so we have -- i say that failure is not an option. and it's interesting, too, reverend, that in a nation what i've always conceived to be a can-do nation, suddenly we've got so many people saying we can't get this done. this is impossible. well, we can get it done and
we're better than that. >> now, krystal, a group of 32 republicans -- 32 -- a group of congressmen that are republican have signed a letter calling for the resignation of secretary kathleen sebelius. of the 32 at least nine are birthers. five want the president impeached. and one even praised a controversial obama rodeo clown. quite a list. >> and i wonder how many of them also called for eric holder's resignation. that's the problem here, right? there are real problems with the website and they are important and they need to be fixed. but republicans have to go that extra length of making this somehow is conspiracy theory, of calling the resignation of kathleen sebelius. so when they hold these hearings, there's no faith they are actually trying to get to the root of the problem.
they can barely contain their glee. >> i'm going to have to leave it there. thank the both of you for your time this evening. >> thank you, reverend. >> and be sure to catch krystal on "the cycle." week days right here on msnbc. coming up, i cannot even stand to look at you. it's the stunning insult to president obama. and we're learning more from behind the scenes today. plus the republicans on the ropes. president obama's planning something big outside of washington. and a cash reward for this guy. [ yelling ] >> is this justice or injustice? more on the new ruling.
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in the coming days and weeks, we should sit down and pursue a response to a balanced budget. we should do the job of fixing the broken immigration system. we should pass a farm bill. you don't like a particular policy or president? then argue for your position. go out there and win an election. >> go out there and win an election. with the gop on the ropes, president obama's trying to land a political knockout punch. he forced republicans to end the shutdown, and he's now got political momentum. he plans to be the star guest for at least eight fund raising events around the country over the next five weeks. he'll kick things off in new york city tomorrow, and then it's on to cities across america. pushing for house and senate democrats. and first lady michelle obama will lend had her support at a dnc event in washington.
and today the president put his agenda and immigration back in the spotlight. >> everybody knows that our current immigration system is broken. across the political spectrum, people understand that. we've known it for years. let's not wait. it doesn't get easier. to just put it off. let's do it now. let's not delay. let's get this done, and let's do it in a bipartisan fashion. >> let's get this done. with republicans feeling the heat, anything is possible. joining me now is democratic strategist jamal simmons. thanks for being here tonight. >> thank you for having me, rev. >> jamal, how big a problem is the immigration issue for the republican party? >> oh, this is going to be one of the defining issues of the 2014 election and then the 2016 election. the republicans are on the wrong side as a party, they're on the
wrong side of this issue because most people in america support some level of immigration reform. they know they can't win with the level of latino support they've been getting in the last presidential elections. so the president is playing offense by forcing them to have to muscle up and either do what most people in america want or kowtow to their crazy caucus, the radical republicans who have been holding the rational republicans hostage in the house and they can't get anything done. john boehner has got to decide either he's a patriot and get things done for the country and party, or he's going to listen to the radical republicans who want to stop the president from doing anything positive. >> so they're in a real box, the republicans. for example, in a recent poll, 17 incumbent republicans trail the generic democrat in their districts can. those 17 seats could be enough to swing the house to the democrats. which would really end john
boehner's tenure as speaker. i mean, do democrats smell blood in the water, jamal? >> that's right. you've got 16 seats, 16 republicans sitting in seats where president obama won the majority in those districts. so you start off with those 16 seats, and then you start expanding that number out to see who you can go after next. and the problem is that these, you know, probably more moderate or more rational. i don't want to call them moderates because they're pretty conservative. but they're the ones saying we need a government that works. they've been taken in by the radical people who refuse to let the government work. instead of doing what's right, they do whatever the radicals want. >> you know, the hill wrote something today that caught the "politicsnation" eye. says the president is not abandoning his agenda for the 2014 campaign. it quotes in the hill a senior
administration official saying, this conspiracy theory out there that we've given up on legislating and want to take the house. the fact is that there's going to be aggressive engagement on a whole host of issues. that's very interesting. what would be the implications of this? >> they've got to get -- the president just talked about and we talked about the immigration bill. there's also this farm bill. the farm bill is not just what's going to help farmers out in the country. it's also how we fund food stamps, all the food assistance programs. so we've got to make sure the people in the country who are hungry still get food. these aren't just people who are poor. these are people who many of them are working mothers with infant children. all kinds of programs for people who need help. and so the republicans again are going to have to make a decision. are they going to look out for americans or for these tea party republicans who just want to stand in the way of progress and looking after the majority of the country? >> now, the issues in their 2014
agenda for the president has been immigration reform, gun safety, voting reform, minimum wage, and climate change. where is the focus going to be on these issues and can he get them passed? >> again, minimum wage reform is so important. we're talking about getting the country growing. the president's been saying for a long time he wants to grow the country from the middle class out. this is not a trickle down economy anymore. we know that policy doesn't work. we've got to get money in the hands of real people who are going to go out and spend that money and then that will help kick start the economy. that's what's going to have to work. we also know that we're going to have to get latinos involved, women involved, african-americans more involved. and the republicans are on the wrong side with all of those groups. >> jamal simmons, thanks for your time tonight. >> thank you, rev. coming up, i cannot even stand to look at you. republicans deny saying it to
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the right wing talkers keep moving the goal posts on president obama. there's been a lot of talk recently about the team name of the washington redskins. the team has a storied history, but that doesn't change the fact that its name offends many american indians. and the president even said if he were the team's owner, he would think about changing the name. some can't understand why president obama would want to put his pads on for this fight.
well glenn beck kicked this one straight through the uprights. >> you wonder why out of nowhere the washington redskins have been targeted so brutally over their team name. they give 97% of their money to republicans. >> you're kidding me. >> what a surprise that is. >> oh, my gosh. >> out of nowhere. it's all of a sudden this big issue from the president of the united states. 97% of the redskins money goes to republicans. >> follow the money. i will bet you that is to send a message. >> oh, my gosh. oh, my gosh. i'm calling time-out. does he really think an nfl team is being targeted because it donates money to republicans? not because the name is offensive? come on, mr. beck. you're losing your touch with conspiracy theories. you can do better than this.
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congressman pete sessions was behind the insult. after reid heard it from the white house. mr. sessions denied it today as did speaker boehner yesterday and the white house said it was a miscommunication. this is a game of telephone. but this kind of attitude toward this president is not new. the attacks from the president's policies have been personal from day one. it's a level of disrespect for the office we've never seen from the birthers. >> all i can tell you is that the general consensus is that he has produced a birth certificate. the question is, is it legitimate? >> if someone asked for my birth certificate, i'd go get it out and say here it is. >> all the president has to do is show it. >> to this outburst while addressing congress. >> the reforms i'm proposing would not apply to those who are
here illegally. >> you lie! >> there was mitch mcconnell's number one goal to bring down the president. speaker boehner refusing a ride on air force one to a memorial service in arizona. 60 newly elected house republicans snubbing a white house reception. arizona governor jan brewer wagging her finger in the president's face. republican leaders turning down a white house screening of the film "lincoln." speaker boehner refusing a photo op with the president at a holiday party. you see a trend here? anyone still wonder if it's possible someone told the president they couldn't stand to look at him? joining me now is ryan grim. he wrote that article today for the "huffington post." and joe madison, xm radio host. thanks for coming on the show. >> thank you, reverend.
>> ryan, pete sessions denies the remark, but you've been working on this story all day what are you hearing and what really happened? >> so, we don't know exactly what happened in the meeting. here's what we do know. a white house official rob neighbors who was in the meeting, after that meeting went to the senate and told a group of senate leaders which included durbin and harry reid that pete sessions had this disrespectful exchange with the president. the president handled it gratefully, et cetera, et cet a cetera. and he quoted him as saying i can't even stand to look at you. reid immediately after that went to a senate democratic caucus and retold that story to all of the senators there. and that's according to two of the senators who were in the room and told us that. but what's in dispute at this point is what actually was said in the room that caused
neighbors to tell reid and durbin that something had happened. either neighbors made something up and nothing happened in that meeting that was remotely offensive, or there was an exchange that was then blown up by neighbors to reid and blown up again from reid to the senators and then blown up again from durbin to facebook. that seems more likely to me. but the white house is now claiming up, i think they're kind of embarrassed about the way this rolled out. they won the shutdown battle, i think they'd rather just kind of move on from here. they don't want to kind of kick them while they're down. at this point we don't know. i guess we have to wade for woodward's tell all book. >> we're not moving on. joe madison, gop sessions denied that he said it. but he kept harping on whether
someone recorded the meeting with the president which confused reporters today when they questioned him. listen. >> if someone was within earshot, it's not truthful. if somebody taped private conversations in that room, i think that they have violated what i would consider to be a standard of protocol. >> are you suggesting that -- >> i'm not suggesting anything. i'm suggesting -- >> that service taped. >> if somebody is claiming something. i made no public statement in that wager. >> what about in a private statement? >> no, i have no reason to believe that. anybody that is trying to go that way -- >> because it doesn't sound like you're making an absolute denial that you said it. it sounds like you're saying -- >> it is an absolute denial. >> i mean, it seems like he took a route to get to absolute denial talking about recordings, public statement. i mean, either you said it or you didn't.
what does a recording or whether somebody was in earshot, what does it have to do with anything? >> it doesn't have anything to do with it, and i hope that we do find out without having to wait two years from now. but we have a whole litany of these insults both visually with the finger pointing. and this is all precedented in political history. even adams waited until jefferson was dead to insult him. bottom line is that the republicans are any converts.
in the process they're turning off independents. i even think that they're probably going to risk -- especially tea partiers in congress are going to risk their own re-election because, remember, look what happened to former congressman west. he wasn't there long enough to let -- as my grandmother would say -- the paint dry. so my attitude is let them keep doing what they're doing. and i would finally say that everyone else knows that if they're trying to do something, it's to establish a legacy that this president even elected twice is an ill legitimate president and it was an accident. and it's not going to work. >> that's the point. i think we need to not dance around it. since day one, they have made some very vicious personal attacks on this president. starting with the night of his
first inauguration where they were planning to get him out. i mean, watch some of the absolutely insulting personal things that they directed at this president. i mean, maybe sessions got caught. listen to the kind of stuff we've had to hear about this president. >> barack obama does not have his hand on the bible. >> is he still president? >> he's not going to succeed. >> deep seeded hatred for white people. >> in obama's america, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering right on, right on, right on. >> to these muslim terrorists instead of take k them on. >> amnesty for an illegal aliens. >> radical left wing marxism, whatever you want to call it. >> if you're going to be the president of the united states, you have to be born in this country. people are allowed to ask why
president obama won't produce his birth certificate. >> it's not a traditional america anymore. there are 50% of the voting public who want stuff. they want things. and who is going to give them things. president obama. >> barack obama is a socialist. he believes in socialism in redistributing wealth, in confiscating hard-earned dollars. >> so when you see all of these talkers, ryan, when you see all of these people that have been the big boosters of the republicans, i showed at the beginning of the segment elected members of congress in the senate saying things. it's in that context that a lot of us are looking at this accusation on sessions. t's not act like someone is just creating something out of thin air. a senator said it in this atmosphere that we are in our fifth year of the ugliness about the president. >> and there's a feedback loop
here. where people like rush and then palin on fox news and fox news itself rile up the base. the base then riled up then comes back to their members of congress and lets them know how they feel about this president and democrats generally. but specifically the president. and then these representatives then represent that anger. then they go on fox news and fox news riles them up further. it's a cycle that keeps going and going and you see intense hatred build up. if you think about the way that liberals thought about george w. bush towards the end of his term, they hate obama far more than even liberals did to bush. and that's saying something. >> joe madison and ryan grim, i'm going to have to leave it there. thanks for your time this evening. >> thank you, reverend. >> thank you. coming up, more on the evolution of anti-obama
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some of the most offensive lies about president obama spewed by the right wing. these conspiracies can be traced right back to the hateful rhetoric on talk radio and fringe websites. millions hear this toxic talk and start to believe it. here's part of the interview we didn't show you last night. >> he wanted to change our country. not for change for the better, but he has destroyed the american way of life. he has made it a point. you don't have to work, we'll take care of you. people hear free and they think it's free. >> he believes president obama's destroying the american way of life by promising free stuff. that's nearly word for word what we hear from the loudest and most destructive voices in the conservative media.
>> barack obama is trying to dismantle brick by brick the american dream. >> you are destroying my children's future. >> is this still america? is this an america that we understand or have we changed? >> america in some ways is changing, and it's changing in this way is that, you know, it's the lore of free. >> he's calculating that the american voter has changed into a person who wants free stuff from the government. >> these extremist talkers say it. some people believe it, and it corrupts the political conversation in this country. after all, can you work with someone you have demonized? joining me now are karen finney and goldie taylor. thank you both for being here. >> hey, rev. >> thank you, reverend sharpton. >> karen, doesn't this show we can't dismiss the right wing bloggers. the stuff they say actually
effects opinion and policy. >> absolutely. it also means the leaders of the republican party who were in that capitol building behind me, they have to hold them accountable as well. what we've seen is a lot of this rhetoric gets pushed out through talk radio and e-mails and other things, and these guys pretend they're not part of that. and they know it is part of that. that's part of the whole strategy. my former boss hkt used to talk about the vast right wing conspiracy. now they're out in the open with their hatred. at least we know where it's coming from. but absolutely. when you hear and see people citing back to you that rhetoric almost word for word, that should frighten every american. >> here's another part of jonathan's interview that we didn't play last night. it includes another conspiracy theory that the president lost his law license. take a listen. >> the president is a constitutional law professor --
was a constitutional law professor. >> he lost his law license too. >> you know, he said the president lost his law license. that's not true. when he began his run for president, then-senator obama had his law license placed on inactive status. but this story was circulated on chain e-mails and blogs for years. and if you look, a website called birther report said the inactive license didn't pass the smell test. how do these conspiracies become accepted like fact on the far right? >> you know, nothing about this kind of thing, reverend sharpton, is brand new. this populism has moved across this country since its inception. you have people who believe they work hard every day and they don't want their tax dollars to go to those other people to support their way of life. so you see someone like barack obama rise to the presidency. the very embodiment of all of
their fears. a man of color, a man who has a certain strain of compassionate way about him in terms of rising tide lifts all boats. let's invest in everybody, let's give everybody the same fair start. that starts to break down the walls of privilege in this country. those are the very walls that a lot of people fear being broken down because they fear if i get an opportunity, they won't have the same opportunity. that opportunity is a scarce thing. this is fear based populism. these right wing talkers didn't make this up out of hole cloth. it came out of their grassroots. they simply gave rise to it to drive their own ratings. >> the newest conspiracy on the right is that the white house faked the woman fainting during president obama's speech monday. a woman at a blog called lady patriots made this video. >> this video shows that barack
obama and the pregnant woman in the rose garden had a plan. there were several people involved. she nudges her friend to let her know it's time. she is aware this woman is fixing to go down. she's very much part of it and she was the one who prompted it to happen. pay close attention to her. she never looks over and she smiles when the president turns around. the question is, why would they do this? >> now, this video, this is a right wing video. it was picked up by the right wing weekly standard. and the next thing you know, sarah palin's talking about it on facebook. writing quote, it's no wonder that some will ask whether they staged even a fainting lady in the rose garden. i mean, is this how the process works, goldie. it starts on the fringe blog, get picked up by a more mainstream outlet, then big figures start pushing the theory. is that the process? >> sarah palin really ought to know better. she has given birth to children,
as have i. if you are standing still in one place and you are pregnant, the blood begins to pool and you begin to faint. i fainted standing in formation in the marine corps while i was pregnant. it's really a medical condition we're talking about here and not someone who was overcome with excitement because she happened to be in the presence of the president. but the very notion someone would take this notion and make it into something more than that i think is preposterous. >> but we need to take a step back here. i go back to my own experience in the clinton administration and remember that, you know, on the right there is a systemic, integrated strategy to promulgate all kinds of rumors, all kinds of hateful rhetoric, all kinds of fear mongering whether it's true or not. most of it not true. and whether that's through and now it's more sophisticated because we've got blogs and twit and facebook and all these. but, you know, rev, the point
you just made about sarah palin is very important. i want people to pay attention to this. because you can usually trace the lie working its way through the conservative infrastructure. it's in an e-mail, then quotes it, then tweeted out, then on a television show, then the radio. there is a very concerted well-coordinated effort that goes on here. and particularly because our president is a man of color and because that is very frightening to a lot of people about the way the world is changing, this whole idea of 47% and free stuff, we know what that's code for. so that is an added element to that. and it is all fear based. >> karen finney, goldie taylor, i'm going to have to leave it there. thanks for your time tonight. and be sure to watch "disrupt" with karen finney weekends at 4:00 p.m. eastern here on msnbc. ahead, a cash reward for this guy. money awarded to a pepper
students peacefully protesting constitution hikes at the university of california davis pepper sprayed at point blank range. [ yelling ] >> police officer john pike was fired after eight months of paid leave. but today he's back in the news. for getting a $38,000 settlement from the university. a judge awarded workers' compensation after pike suffered from depression and anxiety after receiving death threats. but officer pike got more money than the students. 21 plaintiffs who were sprayed or arrested were to receive $30,000 each. how is this justice? this ruling sends a message to
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[ male announcer ] now try 7 lunch choices at $7.99. sandwiches, salads, and more. finally tonight, remembering an epic moment in music history. james brown live at harlem's apollo theater on this date back in 1962. ♪ >> many consider his first live at the apollo album to be the greatest live album of all time. it introduced james brown to a national audience. he financed the recording himself and it became legendary. the godfather performed all over the world, but nowhere quite like at the apollo. he was my mentor, like a father to me.
and the passion we hear on this album is what i try to bring to this show every night. once in awhile i even show off some of his moves. remember this from last year? >> i've got a mean james brown. hit it, guys. ♪ wait a minute, wait a minute. second thought, i'll save it for 2013. >> but james brown represents something else. i outlined in my book "the rejected stone" how many that grew up like i did where their father was gone saw other figures. and he became like the father i no longer had. he even had me do my hair like his. i did it because a man that never asked me to do something that really validated me as having worth and that somebody wanted me to be like them.