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tv   Politics Nation  MSNBC  April 12, 2013 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT

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fight against gay marriage, how the libertarian marriage, standing hard against any widening of background checks. you've got republicans going in both directions, some pushing harder to make it more difficult for women to have abortions, some insisting on making it easy as pie to buy any gun that you want. are we watching a major party on the road to a civil war. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. >> thanks, chris. hollywood squares, the republican national committee has invaded tinsel town to reboot the party. they are out to lunch in la-la land, just as clueless as ever about why they lost in 2012. late today, rnc members unanimously voted to oppose gay marriage. they are doubling down on gay
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marriage. isn't that exactly what the rnc said they had to stop doing last month? >> described our party as narrow minded, out of touch, and, quote, stuffy, old men. >> narrow minded, stuffy old men, that's a big problem. and you know who the rnc is asking for help on that? a narrow-minded stuffy old man, dick cheney. he was one of the headliners at this rnc meeting, talking to them about how to rebrand their image. now, that's funny. but the minority outreach, it's a complete joke. yesterday the rnc held a workshop called growing the party, working with minority, working with minority. i mean, who talks like that? and let's meet another rnc guest
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speaker. conservative columnist david horowitz. he wrote the book, "hating whitey and other progressives." we shouldn't be surprised. this is the same party that let kentucky senator rand paul actually lecture students about black history. >> do you think the republicans or democrats, would everybody in here know that they are republicans? >> yes. >> all right 6. you know more than i know. i don't mean that to be insulting. i'm trying to find out what the connection is. >> the gop is trying to find out what the connection is. okay. but they need to try a little harder. joining me now is melissa harris-perry, also lauren ashburn.
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thank you both for coming on the show tonight. >> thank you. >> tonight, melissa, let me ask you, did republicans flunk those classes they took earlier on how to talk to women and minorities? i mean, minority. >> you know, it's funny. it's like listening to the rand paul lecture very closely. it's like they were excited about this moment in american history when republicans were, in fact, the party of progressive, racial change. right? so they are thinking, all i've got to do is remind people that this label republican used to be on the people who were for integration or at least for full human equality against slavery, that sort of thing. the problem is, we already read the books. we already know that history and the way in which it shifted. the party now is going to have to make a claim about the party that it is today, not the party from the 19th century.
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>> lauren, not only read the books. i mean, we talked to our parents, our grandparents, my mother, father, and bishop were republicans and i remember when they turned democratic and why. so when rand paul -- let me show you how jon stewart did a stake on that. rand paul talks to young black students. they know the history in their own family but listen to jon stewart. >> we see horrible jim crow and horrible racism that happens in the '30s, '40, '50s, it was all democrats. it wasn't republicans. >> right. but for the most part, the bigoted democrats became republicans post the modern civil rights era because of it. you can't just yada, yada, yada the last 50 years. republicans freed the slaves, gave black people the vote,
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yada, yada, yada, now all blacks vote democratic. what the hell. >> you know, lauren, in the '40s, the democrats fighting for segregation were dixiecrats. we are all in the mingle and we know the history, mr. senator paul. i think the problem is that they don't understand the history. the policies changed so people changed part of their affiliation. >> i think the problem, rev, is that they don't understand their party right now. they don't know what to do. they are a party without a soul. on the one hand, you have the republicans, the republican national committee that wants to hold their bylaws, basically, down and say, we are against this, we are against this, and then they have the congressmen who have to run on these issues
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and say, wait a minute. we need these independent voters. we need the vote of african-americans and so we start to see here in washington a little crack. you've got republicans now or rob portman, movement on immigration, movement by republicans on gun control and what they are trying to do is change their image but they don't quite know how to do it. >> but melissa, what happened to the autopsy? they just did the autopsy and here they are less than 30 days later at the big rnc meeting and they've forgotten all of the lessons of the autopsy? >> i think part of the problem is it was about style and not substance. >> right. >> so interestingly enough, if we look at senator rand's speech and try to take it seriously, what it tells us is that when policy changed, voters, particularly black voters, changed along with that policy change. they supported the party that supported their interest and
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when that party no longer supported their interest, they supported a new party. the story isn't, go back and tell me who you used to be. it's about change or policies. if you in fact went to outreach, that's not a style question. it's a substance question. it's about whether they are prepared to govern for all people, not just for a narrow slice, not just for the 1%. >> and it also makes people even more outraged when you look at this kind of cosmetic attempt without substance, lauren. it reminds me my mother used to tell my cousin, you can't put on dee owed drapt until you bathe. when you see the chairman of the republican party, he's against compromise with the president after the rnc meeting. this is the one that did the autopsy. let's look at what priebus says. he says, when it comes to
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compromise, i think our party has done its fair share and it doesn't seem like we get a lot in return. >> it comes down to whether you're going to get a different pizza or just change the box. and it seems to me that that's the big argument in the party right now. this reminds me of the era before president clinton when the democrats have really lost their way. they lost three elections and bill clinton had to come in and center in order to govern the country and what the republican party needs right now is not just a new pizza box, it needs a new kind of leader and someone and someone who can make sure that those policies are reflecting the changing times of
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our court. >> melissa? >> there's an institutional change that has made it tough to get those people there and that's the redistricting that they did in 2010. >> the gerrymandering? >> the gerrymandering. what happens is that you need a party that can be a big tent. in these individual districts, they have stacked and packed. in fact, congressional representatives running for re-election right now, they can pull pretty far to the right. they can say things that sound outrageous because they are in these gerrymandering districts. >> well, i'm going to leave it there. melissa harris perry and lauren ashburn, thank you for your time. don't forget to watch melissa harris perry at 10:00 a.m. saturday and sundays. i think the republicans meeting in l.a. is symbolic. most people that act, they try
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to make it in hollywood. the problem is, they don't always do well with the public when the box office call comes in. ahead, a sitting congressman rolled out this bumper sticker today. if babies had guns, they wouldn't be aborted. speaker boehner, you've got a problem. elizabeth warren is hammering regulators for protecting big banks. but what is scott brown doing? and something new happened to michelle obama this week and it has some wondering about her political future. stay with us. [ male announcer ] how do you measure happiness? by the armful? by the barrelful? the carful? how the bowlful? campbell's soups give you nutrition, energy, and can help you keep a healthy weight. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
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have you joined the "politicsnation" conversation on facebook yet? we hope you will. today people couldn't believe
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paul ryan's comments that he wants a country where abortion isn't even considered. craig says, "i want a country where extreme people are not in control or in government". jamie says, "rebranding this party has to come from the inside from the soul of a person." and neil writes, "i only wish the gop cared about jobs, infrastructure, the environment, and poverty as much as abortion." we'll have much more ahead. first, let us know what you think. head over to "politicsnation" on facebook and join us long after the show ends. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro.
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it's one of the most important and underreported political stories of the year. a massive, coordinated attack on women's rights. it's happening in the halls of congress and in state capitols all across the country. last night, one of the party's superstars, congressman paul ryan, revealed exactly what republicans want to do. >> we don't want a country where abortion is simply outlawed. we want a country where it's simply not even considered. that's the kind of country we want. >> paul ryan doesn't want to strictly strip away women's rights, he wants to stop women from thinking about those rights. that's how extreme he is.
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ryan sponsored a so-called personhood bill. these akttacks on women's right are essential to the gop agenda across this country. joining me now is terry o'neil, president of the national organization for women and laura bassett from "the huffington post." thank you both for your time. >> thank you. >> great to be here. >> terry, paul ryan with was clear about the gop's ultimate goal last night. they want to take away all abortion rights, correct? >> absolutely. this is a man who said that he thought that rape should not be a reason to -- and there should be no exception for a woman having an abortion because he didn't think it would matter what the type of -- what the
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means of conception is. as long as we have rape in this country, taking a woman's abortion rights away is completely outrageous. >> that, as you say, could include rape as another means of conception? >> yes. he was specifically asked, don't you think there should be an exception for rape? he said it doesn't matter the means of conception. >> lauren, his response was weird to me. >> it's an odd strategy, i think. one that's a xeniccynical ploy
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thumping defeat. >> wasn't that what happened in 2012? >> that's exactly what happened in 2012. what is interesting you hear about him eliminating abortion but never talk to him about the need for abortion. the u.s. has one of the highest unplanned pregnancy rates in the developed world but want to eliminate the title 10 family program, so what are they doing to eliminate the need for abortion? because banning abortion isn't going to make it stop. >> so we're going to defund contraception and ban abortion. doesn't make much sense. having to deal with attacks on
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women's rights, look at what you're dealing with so far this year. states have introduced 326 proposals to restrict access to abortion. 93 approved by at least one legislative body. in only three months republicans have introduced 326 proposals. they think this is a winning strategy? >> you know, they do, reverend. you're exactly right. it's a massive, coordinated attack on women's rights. in fact, most of these anti-abortion laws are not coming up sort of from the ground. they are being parachuted into these states by the sister of a.l.e.c. it's the americans united for life which has sort of stepped in and taking then anti-women provisions from a.l.e.c. and is creating these cookie cutter measures.
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it's in state after state after state. virginia and other states are dealing with trap laws. we've got criminalization of abortion after 20 weeks. it's absolutely coordinated and it's being done because of the tsunami of right wing legislators being swept into office. >> that is what is frightening, lauren. you talk about the significant vote that women gave the president but let's not forget there are 21 states with anti-choice governors and republican state legislators. they have a significant presence on the state level and they are using that presence. >> yeah, absolutely. if you look at the way that the districts are drawn, a lot of the states where there are anti-abortion majorities in the
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house and the senate and the governor, these people are a lot more worried about the republican that is going to primary them than they are about losing and it pushes them further out to the right and that's what we're seeing in the states right now. they don't give up on restricting abortion because they don't have to. >> you know, when you look at this, just looking at the laws that are attacking women's health rights in 2013, virginia requires abortion clinics meet strict hospital building codes. alabama requires admitting privileges for doctors. arkansas, 12-week abortion ban. north dakota, six-week abortion ban. strictest law in the nation. kansas, gop governor is about to sign a personhood bill in the law that would outlaw stem cell research and even forms of contraception. republicans claim there's no war on women but gop lawmakers are trying to roll back abortion rights all over the country.
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a if this is not a war, i don't know what it is. >> you're absolutely right. if it's not a war, i don't know what it is. it's completely out of step with the preferences of the voters. what we found is the more that the right wing and republican party went after birth control, the more we saw support for abortion rights increase. in fact, exit polling in 2012 found 77% of voters do not want roe versus wade to be overyour honor overturned and even pro life voters do not want it to be overturned. >> yet we know that some in the party, republican party really want to see if they can push this all the way to the supreme court and test roe versus wade and many of us are afraid of what would happen, given this court. >> i'm very much afraid of what would happen. we know at least four justices are eager to overturn roe versus wade and really hinges on
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justice kennedy. >> terry o'neil and justice, thank you very much. ahead, the first lady's new role in the president's agenda. you won't believe what rush limbaugh is saying about her now. and new fighting words from elizabeth warren. she's standing up for the little guy and speaking out against the big banks. stay with us. ♪ roundup ♪ now roundup has a new sharp-shootin' wand ♪ ♪ just point and shoot, and weeds are gone ♪
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remember scott brown? he was that former massachusetts senator who pretended to be a regular guy and like riding around in his pickup truck. he was named one of wall street's favorite senators. he's toying with running from new hampshire and he's giving a speech called from washington to wall street, the impact on over-regulation on hedge funds. and the speech is being put on by an investment firm. that's funny. giving a speech on regulation to a bunch of wall streeters. it makes you wonder what his old opponent is up to in washington. let's just say those federal regulators are sweating. >> i just want to make sure i've got this straight. families get pennies on the dollar in this settlement for having been the victims of illegal activities or mistakes in the bank's activities.
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you let the banks and you now know individual cases where the banks violated the law and you're not going to tell the homeowners, or at least it's not clear whether or not you're going to do that. people want to know that their regulators are watching out for the american public, not for the banks. >> wow. those regulators are probably wishing they were riding shotgun in scott brown's pickup truck instead of getting grilled by elizabeth warren. did you think we wouldn't notice elizabeth warren making a difference in washington? nice try but she got you.
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welcome back to "politicsnation." i'm al sharpton. we're going back in time to a republican vision of america where john wayne is riding the range. i love lucy is the hit show and
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frank sinatra is topping the charts. welcome to the gop's world on gun, on immigration, on same-sex marriage, on women's rights. they are living in the past but, of course, it's not the 1950s. the country is changing. president obama is working to move the country forward on guns, on immigration, on same-sex marriage, on women's rights, and today, encouraging signs that it's working. in 1999, just 29% of americas said our society's top goal should be encouraging greater tolerance. today that number is 44%. the republicans went from 18% in 1999 to 16% today. they are more concerned with traditional values with encouraging tolerance. tolerance you can't even find that word in the modern right
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wing dictionary and the result is that the loudest voices in the party are those of ugliness, viciousness, and intolerance. >> there is a gay mafia that has inflicted political death in the republican party, for example. >> it's kind of like marriage when you say it's not a man and a woman anymore, then why not have three men and one women or four women and one man or why not somebody has a love for an animal. >> marriage is between a man and a woman. no group, be the gays, be the nambla, be the people who believe in bestiality, it doesn't matter what they are, they don't get to change the definition. so it's not something that's against gays. >> my father had a ranch. we used to hire 50 to 60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes. it's done by machine.
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>> we just went back to that republican whirl of the past. i've got to get out of here. joining me you no in this republican world, joe madison and dana milbank, that's for being here tonight c. get back to reality. why is it bringing out ugliness in the right? >> well, because they are just unenlightened. most enlightened societies throughout history become more tolerant. i mean, we know that. people went from the dark ages to an enlightened age and they became tolerant of change that is inevitable. but the real reason -- and people will ask -- well, why do they have such a large mega phone? a lot of it has to do with the elimination of the fairness doctrine that was in place from 1949 to, i think, the reagan
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administration and deregulating the ownership of radio stations and other media outlets and so if you end up disagreeing, wanting to present the opposite side, the reality is, you don't have access. >> right. >> and that, in essence, becomes problem beg propaganda. and that's what we're dealing with. >> the opposite of tolerance and growth. dana, when you look at the fact that today -- today, congressman steve stockman sent out a tweet and it reads, "our campaign bumper sticker is, if babies had guns, they wouldn't be aborted" and the tweet even includes a picture of his fantasy baby sticker. i mean, dana, you can't make this stuff up. >> steve stockman is a very special individual. he was kicked out of congress by
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the voters after he was elected in 1994 but today's republican party welcomes this sort of thing, reverend, and i think the polls sort of get to that. the country has moved on but the republican party is increasingly becoming defined by this core of conservatism. so i don't think it's surprising that radio or television hosts are going off in that direction because they are preaching to that same segment of the culture that hasn't changed with everybody else. so you're seeing things occur on tolerance towards gay marriage, towards immigration. but you're not seeing that segment. i think the republicans, by embracing that pure conservatism, not allowing the more tolerant element into the party, are sort of heading for a
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marginali sdplchlt ation. >> but doesn't that help the president. the more slil they become in terms of their tolerance only makes more americans understand how they can identify with them? danny was talking about radio and tv people glenn beck is comparing the president so a french monarch. listen. don't believe me. >> i have a feeling we're headed for a monarchy. maybe in this time, maybe in marie an toin net keep their heads while all of their subjects lose theirs. >> i mean, this is some way-out stuff, joe. >> let me speak to the bumper sticker. i've got a fantasy bumper sticker, too. if men got pregnant, they'd have abortions in barber shops.
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make that a bumper sticker. glenn beck clearly, actually lecturing to black people about why they are misled and should be members of the republican party and the list goes on and on and on, look, the reality is that these are low-hanging fruit people. >> right. >> they are not enlightened. they are propaganda and the reality is that glenn beck knows darn well the basis of the foundation of this country is life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and our laws allow us to pursue that and in an he have table fashioequitable fashion. same sex, that's their right,
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and our laws protect individual rights. but i find it fascinating how a man like president obama, who got actually more white votes than he did black votes, numerically speaking, and for dpl glenn beck, i'll tell you, quite honestly, it's a question of white subpoena prem ma see. it's a question of they are worried about this change that's coming to america and they can't handle it. >> you know, i think, again, when you look at beck, dana, comparing the president to a french monarch and is on every issue, race issues, gender issues, gay and lesbian issues, it's a question of intolerance. and they have also fallen out of steps with americans on these issues. gun sale laws, 61% of americans support the principle but only
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37% of republicans support them. path to citizenship, 57% of americans support it. only 35% of republicans. same-sex marriage, 53% of americans support it. only 27% of republicans. so across the board they are out of step with where the majority of americans are. >> that's right. >> reverend, glenn beck is right about people losing their heads and he's exhibit a for that case. i think what you've got happening here is this sort of echo chamber effect. this conservative core that has taken over the republican party excludes other people, it becomes a cyclical effect. the party continues to shrink and then you've got people like limbaugh and beck who are just preaching to the choir while the rest of the country is moving on. >> but the choir is out of tune,
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dana. >> they have their own choir. they are living in a parallel universe where things are still in black and white instead of that brilliant purchase puple t have on today. >> the reality is, if you put a clean glass next to a dirty glass, people chose a clean glass. the more people are saying, americans may not agree on everything are saying, i don't want to be part of this kind of intolerance. i think that's my real point. >> and your real point is well made and not lost, particularly on their children. i keep pointing this out. this younger generation, you saw it at howard university, you see it even among those who don't go to universities. >> correct. >> these young people, your children, my children, they have competed with folks of different
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genders, different races, different backgrounds and, guess what, the country is still standing. we're still a great court and the reason we're great is because, unlike france, unlike those european countries, we are a multiplicity of racists and cultures and background and everyone has a chance to aspire to be what they want to be. >> and we are learning to respect each other. >> each other. that's absolutely right. >> joe madison, dana milbank, thank you both for your time tonight. >> thank you, reverend. >> ahead, first lady michelle obama gets political this week. so what happens? they come out hammering her. but we're about to set the record straight. my response is coming. [ male announcer ] this is george.
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that's why we designed our newest subaru from the back seat forward. introducing the all-new, completely restyled subaru forester. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. it's the final days of tax season and today the obamas releas released their 2012 returns. that's a rate of 18.4%. we know the president's all about fairness. his tax plan would raise taxes on high-income earners, including himself. these returns also give us insight into the first family's charitable donations. in total, the first family gave over $150,000 to 33 charities. they donated $3,000 to the
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american red cross, an organization still responding to the victims of hurricane sandy, $5,000 to a florida county police fund for this officer, bruce st. laurent. he was killed in september while serving in the president's motorcade and gave over $301,000 to the fisher house foundation, a group the first lady visited just last month. it provides homes for military families while their injured veterans are in recovery. fairness and charity. the proof is in the tax returns for the first family. a confiden. those dreams have taken a beating lately. but no way we're going to let them die. ♪ ameriprise advisors can help keep your dreams alive like they helped millions of others. by listening. planning. working one on one. that's what ameriprise financial does. and that's what they can do with you. that's how ameriprise puts more within reach.
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this week, something new happened to first lady michelle obama. she made a turn to politics and policy when they went to her hometown of chicago to deliver a speech on violence, calling for commonsense reforms. it was michelle obama the
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activist. she was emotional and powerful talking about 15-year-old hadiya pendleton who lost her life to gun violence. >> as i visited with the pendleton family at hadiya's funeral, i couldn't get over how familiar they felt to me. because what i realized is hadiya's family was just like my family. hadiya pendleton was me. and i was her. the story of ha dhadiya's life and death we read it over and over in this city and country this country. i'm not talking about something that's happening in a war zone halfway around the world. i am talking about what's happening in the city that we call home. >> so what happens? this happens.
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>> i'm just like you. it's like a bullet missed. and now i'm first lady and you're getting gunned down. and somehow my husband's working on it. she's trying to show them she cares. she's trying to show them that she's not far removed from their roots but that's not true. and i just this is all about michelle going in a calculated way to exploit this circumstance. >> another attack on the first lady from rush limbaugh. i mean, does he even know how pathetic he sounds? joining me now is commentator nancy giles. >> did you think this speech was more of an active role for the
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first lady? >> here's what's interesting. i love listening to her. i listen to her on c-span. she's always been so down to earth and real, i always felt like there was an activist kind of flavor. i think this is ramped up and what make this is so poignant and emotional, unlike what rush limbaugh said, is that she has a real connection to hadiya. it's a real, palpable connection. >> that's what i question because obviously i've met with her and talked with her a lot over the last few years. i'm not sure that she is stepping out of her more laid back role in terms of being expansive but she wasn't as much policy driven as much as it really touched her personally what happened to hadiya in here home town, what happened in newtown, and maybe she says, i feel personally about this, i'm going to do this. >> i think you're right. when you just think about the fact that this is a girl that grew up very similarly to the way michelle grew up and she
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says it in a speech and i cried when i heard her say that the difference between her and hadiya is that she got to grow up. it's so random the acts of violence, these senseless gun violence. i think as a mother, as a human being, as a feeling person, a mother of two daughters that she wants to see grow up -- >> and that is key because i think some things are not politics. >> absolutely. >> if you're raising two daughters, that if you weren't the first lady, your husband wasn't the president, might be one of those kids in chicago. >> hey, man. yeah. >> you sleep at night and think about that, it may make you get up and going to chicago and make a speech like that. >> hadiya's school was a mile away from obama's house. yeah, it can happen. violence happens everywhere. that's another thing i really loved about the way -- it's a tragic situation but it's an opportunity to connect the kind
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of senseless violence that happens unmasked and in columbine and in newtown, virginia tech, with what happens in cities all around the country. and it's all death. it's all senseless gun death. >> and the reality is that all of those were somebody's daughters, somebody's sons. >> absolutely. >> speaking more on controversial issues like gun violence could affect the first lady. it says -- and i'm reading their quote "by speaking out now, michelle obama risks being seen as leveraging her widespread popularity to advance her husband's legislative agenda. that would be an unusual move for any first lady but technically so for obama who has appeared careful to preserve her broad nonpartisan appeal. but maybe something moved her. >> i believe it did. >> that said, put caution to the wind if that's what you call caution, somebody needs to stand
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up and deal with this kind of problem. >> i totally agree. first ladies like to call the projects that they are involved with pet projects. if you look at her work with military families, hey, that's actually about the economy. and that's about unemployment. and that's about labor unions because our veterans end up working for the post office. if you look at childhood obesity, that has to do with nutrition for young kids, kids being more attentive in school. everything is connected to everything else. >> well, i think that you're right and i've really enjoyed having you with us tonight. nancy giles, thank you for your time tonight. and let me say, nancy is right. they attack this first lady no matter what. rush limbaugh and that crowd, i mean, didn't they become offended that she told the kids to eat healthy when they came to the white house for the easter egg roll? i mean, that's real controversy. still ahead, the far right
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when families of newtown victims came to capitol hill this week to fight for change, they demanded face-to-face meetings with key lawmakers they staged an all-night vigil where they read the names of every person killed since the sandy hook shooting. they were joined by members of the clergy who filled the national mall with 3300 crosses and stars of david. with the key vote to move to the debate in the senate, now the right wingers are claiming they are just political palms. >> it's naked exploitation of grieving fa mlys.
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it families. >> the newtown families are human shields, in a sense. they are out there to protect the democrats from any criticism to shut it down. >> is it exploitation, senator, of the democrats of the horrific deaths of children? >> i think it is certainly taking advantage of a terrible tragedy. >> the right wing is missing the point. this isn't about politics. this is about people. this debate is about 6-year-old ben wheeler who was murdered at sandy hook elementary. his mother talked about her commitment to the cause. >> we're just -- we're not going anywhere. we're here. and we're going to be here. >> she will speak out again tomorrow when she gives the president's weekly address in his place. the debate is about hadiya pendleton whose mother appeared and spoke out just days after her daughter's murder. the debate is about carolyn
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murray whose son was killed in november. her pain clearly evident when she attended the state of the union. this week, their meetings with lawmakers were raw, frank, emotional, senator joe manchin visibly shaken, was barely able to answer reporters' questions about how the families affected the debate. >> i'm a grand. i just can't imagine. >> they live on mainstreet where people still love their children. they live on martin luther king boulevard w


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