tv Politics Nation MSNBC August 5, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
by some time late november, stop paying the government's bills. the united states would well be, could well be by christmas time the world's greatest deadbeat. the country that goes into default because threatening to do so has become the new happy toy of the hard right. and because the rest of the country's elected leaders have no way of doing business with each other. it wasn't always this way. so why is this way now? well, that's hardball for now. thanks for being with us. "politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. thanks, chris, and thanks to you for tuning in. tonight lead, the shut it down party. republicans are back in their home districts for a long vacation after basically doing nothing. for some of the far right, that means drumming up support for shutting down the government and killing the president's health care law. republican senator ted cruz is leading the charge.
>> there are some democrat, some in the media, maybe even some republicans who portray a shutdown as a horrible calamity. i think the term shutdown is a misnomer. it's actually a partial temporary shutdown. what happened was nonessential government services were temporarily suspended while the cr expired. now, that happens every single week on the weekend. >> sure, it happens every weekend. who cares if soldiers don't get paid? in the gop world, shutting down the government is like going to the movies. it's the kind of logic that claims a shutdown would actually be good politics for the gop. >> there are a great many republicans who are haunted by the ghost of shutdowns past.
it is received wisdom in washington that the 1995 government shutdown was a terrible loss for republicans and we should never go there again. i don't believe the evidence supports that conclusion. >> the shutdown wasn't a terrible loss for republicans? it turned newt gingrich into a national laughingstock. it cost him his job as house speaker and sent president clinton soaring to reelection. but these gop extremists don't care. take house majority leader eric cantor. he wants even more spending cuts. >> but the house really is the only one who has consistently engaged in trying to address the spending problem, all the while keeping our eye focused on trying to deal with the ultimate problem, which is this growing deficit. >> the growing deficit?
that's just wrong. the deficit has gone down by $800 million since the president took office. that the fastest deficit reduction since world war ii. the gop agenda literally doesn't add up. that's why their big challenge now is not on the facts but on how to confuse voters. republicans are heading home armed with a media kit called, quote, fighting washington for all americans. they suggest lawmakers write articles in newspapers saying, quote, every day i serve in congress, i work to fight washington. the gop brain trust came up with tips like use a camera on a tripod when you hold your youtube roundtable. at town halls, make sure there is room for cameras in the back.
oh, and don't forget to talk about the negative effects of obama care. that's their big plan? bring a tripod, smile, and make stuff up about health care? republicans are living in a fantasy world. but their extremist agenda could make millions of americans suffer in the real world. joining me now is congresswoman jan schakowsky, democrat from illinois, and joan walsh, editor at large for salon.com. thank you for coming on the show. >> thanks, reverend al. >> congresswoman, do republicans really think they can sell a government shutdown to voters back at home? >> it's hard for me to imagine. and the question is why. why do they want to shut down the government? well, i guess the way they manage the house right now, nothing is getting done. it's kind of like a government
shutdown since it's the least productive congress that we've had. but what, to get rid of obama care? the majority of americans actually don't want the repeal of obama care. and it's so cynical. it's really kind of a malpractice, political malpractice that they're going into. they're going to be spending their summer not only talking about how we should shut down the government, but that we should repeal -- continue to repeal obama care after 40 votes. and you know, half of all adults have a preexisting condition that will go away in terms of insurance coverage on january 1st. i mean, what a blessing that is for sick americans, for people who are walking around uninsured or underinsured. it's really not only sabotage, but really malpractice. >> now, you know, joan, the former senator jim demint, who is now heading the heritage
foundation. >> yeah. >> he says this is the last chance to stop obama care. watch this. >> this is a very destructive law that is going to hurt our country. it's going to hurt a lot of people. this may be the last opportunity to stop it. we need to fund the government. but we should not fund obama care. >> we should not fund obama care. joan, we're talking about real people, with preexisting conditions, real young people that are now being covered up to 26 years old. on the ground, millions of people will have opportunities for health insurance that would not have had it. and he is talking about this is our last chance to stop it. and he is being backed or at least supported by people like senator cruz that say shut the government down as a way of stopping it. >> well, right, reverend al. i think there is a callousness, and there is also i think a fear that the more of the provisions of obama care that take effect, the more popular it's going to
be. as these protections kick in and people see what a complicated and sometimes confusing bill actually accomplishes, they're going to like it. and they already don't want to have it taken away. they think it's a waste of time to continue to try to repeal it. but the republicans aren't listening. what i think was very interesting this weekend is i think we were really on the verge of a kind of potential civil war within the republican party because even in that interview and the interview with eric cantor, chris wallace is really pushing back. now every once in a while he does that. he's got a solid news background. he is not just a propagandist. and every once in a while he cannot go along with the garbage that he hears. he pushed back on cantor. he pushed back on demint. and i think he asked at one point are they going to shoot the hostage, as in taking the economy hostage and the government hostage. >> yeah. >> you've got the republican governors also protesting this notion that they're going to shut down the government because
they're closer to ground and closer to the people who will be hurt. but they're also really afraid of what this will do to their brand, because voters will blame them. i think you're starting to hear a lot more panic on the republican side about these daredevil anihilists who are trod do this. >> congresswoman, let me go to you on this so-called potential civil war in the republican party joan is talking about, because she is right. scott walker, the republican governor of wisconsin, he says, quote, i have some real concerns about potentially doing something that would have a negative impact on the economy. i think there are other ways to pursue this. and even paul ryan said a shutdown is a bad way to try to repeal obama care. listen to ryan. >> with the government shutdown so to speak, we're talking about discretionary spending, just government agency budgets. but it doesn't affect entitles. obama care is an entitlement.
rather than swinging for the fences and trying to take this entire law out with discretionary spending, i think there are more effective ways of achieving that goal. we think that we can do better by delaying this law. >> so he wants to see the law delayed, but he rightly points out that shutting down the government would not stop major parts of obama care anyway. and that they are kind of misfiring. but isn't this really all about a lot of them not caring about americans, but playing to some of their tea party bases, congresswoman? because they really would not impact obama care for the large part. ryan is right about that. >> no, they wouldn't. and i think joan is absolutely right too that the -- one of the reasons they say this is their last chance is because people are really going to see how great the obama care is for them, and they're going to appreciate it. but in terms of the civil war within the republican party, i
think the more sensible republicans absolutely would -- are appalled by the idea of shutting down the government, because it hurts them. not only hurts the economy, but hurts the republicans politically. and also, there is talk about once again holding paying the bills of the united states of america on debt ceiling, holding that hostage as well. i think these are suicidal strategies for the republicans. i think people want, even people who don't agree with obama care or with the president want to see congress do something for them. these kinds of processed things, shutting down the government and not paying the bills of the united states, these are things that i think are a turnoff to people across the board. >> and, you know, i think, joan and the congresswoman, aside from the politics of it, at some point, i think americans have the right, no, have the obligation to expect that our
members of congress and the senate will be above politics when it comes to things like health care and do what is for the good of the country. we don't elect them to just be partisan players. we elect them to do what is best for the country. congresswoman joan schakowsky and joan walsh, thank you for your time tonight. >> thanks, rev. >> thank you, reverend al. ahead, the man who vowed to make barack obama a one-term president is about to run into a tea party buzz saw. >> i intend to run straight over the top of mitch mcconnell and right into the u.s. senate, be a man, stand up, and put your money where your mouth is. >> ouch. plus, oprah winfrey's powerful and emotional words about the legacy of trayvon martin. >> it's so easy during this time, trayvon martin, trayvon martin parallel to emmett till, in my mind, the same thing.
and we have a report tonight from florida on the new signs of progress on the stopping the stand your ground law. and a milestone in the life of nelson mandela. while today is a day for all of us to remember. and "reply al." have a question or comment? e-mail me. friend or foe, i want to know. i'm beth...
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19 u.s. embassies and consulates across the mideast and africa remain closed on the orders of president obama. they'll be closed for rest of the week in response to a potentially serious terror threat. nbc news reports that threat came from the man who succeeded bin laden as the head of al qaeda, who wanted to do something big. the president has taken swift action to protect americans. this shouldn't be a political issue. but for the right wing, the threat is just an excuse to attack the obama white house. >> a year ago the president said al qaeda is on the run, and now
we seem to be on the run. >> al qaeda on the run? >> we're on the run over there. >> if you're looking at it from a terrorist perspective, you say well, here is an administration that is pulling back, that is timid. >> the perception of a lack of resolve of the united states and a perception of weakness. >> now, some have criticized the closings as running and hiding when the u.s. should be standing its ground, prepared to fight. >> well, looks like everybody got the memo. this is just a standard right-wing alternate universe, ignoring the facts to claim that president obama has made america weak and al qaeda strong. >> al qaeda, in many respects could, be bigger and much worse than it was ten years ago today. >> al qaeda may be more of a threat to us and they were before 9/11 now. >> al qaeda is in many ways stronger than they were before 9/11. >> of course, these talking points ignore a few inconvenient truths.
like killing bin laden and decimating al qaeda's core leadership. shamelessly politicizing national security. now a right wing specialty. joining me now is former congressman, democratic congressman patrick murphy, the first iraq war vet to serve in the congress. and ryan grimm from "the huffington post." thank you both for joining me. >> thank you. >> thanks, rev. >> congressman, how can these pundits and politicians criticize the commander in chief for taking action to protect americans? >> rev, it's absolutely disgraceful what they're trying to do. here you have a president almost one year from losing four americans in benghazi, trying to do the right thing. and you know what? president obama is damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. i mean, it is just frustrating because you have these -- not all republicans.
the right-wing republicans who are criticizing him for trying to do what is right at these 19 embassies to keep those american workers and security apparatus safe. >> you know, ryan, congressman talks about benghazi. it shouldn't take the right wingers long or to use the embassy closing as an excuse to resurrect benghazi. listen to this. >> after benghazi, these al qaeda types are really on steroids, thinking we're weaker and they're stronger. circumstances that the lesson of benghazi instead of closing down and hiding? >> so this is to me a direct consequence from what we saw in benghazi. >> so they want it both ways, ryan. if he closes it down, he is making america look weak and al qaeda strong. if he doesn't, it's benghazi. i mean, it's like a catch-22. >> i think, yeah, the most charitable thing you could probably say at this point is that these people are confused.
i mean, it was no secret that there are soft u.s. targets all across the world. that if you wanted to attack some outpost somewhere with overwhelming force, you could kill the civilian officials that were inside that building. that was no secret. and i think they're also confused in that they seem to be sort of projecting the kind of -- the kind of strategy that a nation state would take on to a terrorist organization. you know, a nation state might care whether or not another country is stronger or weaker when they're deciding whether or not they're going to, you know, go to war with that country or they're going to attack that country. that's not how a terrorist organization thinks. a terrorist organization wants to attack the strongest country that it can find. that's why they target the u.s. we're the center of the empire, so to speak. the idea that if, say, liz cheney were president and she said some very tough things that al qaeda would then say oh,
well, she is really tough. let's get into the business of segway tours for a while. no, that's not -- it doesn't make any sense. >> congressman? >> reverend, ryan, and i think you're being charitable, because they're definitely not confused. they are singing from the same sheet of music, and they are playing politics with our national security. and rev, the worst thing about this is 12 years ago when president bush was on that ranch for over a month, and he got the intelligence briefing that al qaeda might be hijacking one of our airplanes and attacking americans on our soil, which happened a month later on 9/11, you know, all these right-wingers that are now criticizing president obama, they never said anything. they never criticized what happened. but now it is clear they're playing politics with the national security and the safety of our americans serving our country overseas. and it's wrong. >> you know, ryan, when you look at facts, the list of closings
under president bush that was made out due to terror threats, when you look at that, i mean, did republicans back in that time think these closings showed weakness? do you have any record of that? >> i certainly haven't seen it. it's very hard to find republicans criticizing president bush at all before, you know, the midterms of 2006. you know, after the voters spoke, then everybody came out and bush was the worst president ever, according to them. and now, you know, now, they distance themselves from bush as much as liberals do. but you're exactly right. at the time they didn't criticize him for that, for a very good reason. it's not a bad decision. if you get a credible threat that people are at risk, you should take action to protect those people. >> congressman, mr. bush was your commander in chief. >> that's right, reverend. and exactly ten years ago in august of 2003, i was in baghdad. and let me tell you something.
when i used to have to lead these convoys up and down what we called ambush alley in 138 degree heat because august is the hottest month over there they call it fire month. we used to change our tactics all the time. we didn't go to the courthouse. we didn't go up to the palace when we had to run these convoys the same exact route, the same exact time. you switch it up. it's being tough and smart. obviously, the republicans who never served never got that message. >> congressman murphy, ryan grim, thank you both for your time tonight. >> pleasure. >> thanks, rev. coming up, oprah winfrey's passionate words about the death of trayvon martin. her thoughts and why there is a major sign of progress tonight in florida. plus, mitch mcconnell has a major problem with the tea party and with zombies. i'll explain, next. copd makes it hard to breathe... but with advair, i'm breathing better.
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the walking dead. and the gop was sure that they'd flock to the polls to vote for president obama. just remember what fox news said. >> come november, these two million dead people could be considered a critical voting bloc. >> we found out that there were over 900 people who died and then subsequently voted. >> a disturbing new report revealing that tens of thousands of dead people registered to vote right here in the state we're sitting in, north carolina. >> without photo id, let's be clear. i don't want dead people voting in the state of south carolina. >> the democrat machinery is very good at getting the dead vote out. >> actually, democrats were good at getting the vote out in 2012. just not the dead vote. there was no zombie voter fraud, just another breathless and made up gop scandal. but it turns out while the dead weren't voting, they apparently were donating.
a group of supporting republican senate leader mitch mcconnell is raking in the big bucks. and on june 3rd, $100,000 came from gop mega donor bob perry. that was nearly two months after mr. perry's death. oops. officials at the superpac say it was all a computer mistake, and that the money came in the day before perry died. but where is all the right-wing outrage over all the dead money? did they think we'd let their hypocrisy stay in the crypt? if so, they were dead wrong. nice try, ghouls. but we got you. s and the seaside heights business improvement district to restore the historic boardwalk, welcoming beach lovers back with a refreshed and revitalized place to get out, get moving, and have some fun in the sun.
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remember this sad little statement? >> some have said it was indelicate of me to suggest that our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny president obama a second term. >> yes, senator. we think you would think maybe you want to create jobs or boost the economy, or get health care to people in need, even back home in your home state of kentucky. but, hey, why do that hard stuff when you can just attack the president for kicks? but now the senator has a problem. after riding the tea party anger, he now finds himself the target of a very tough reelect challenge. ready to meet the guy who just might send mitch mcconnell to early retirement? this is matt bevin, an up and coming tea partier, and here is what he had to say to big
political rally and barbecue this weekend in kentucky. >> the people of kentucky have had enough of the amnesty. they've had enough of the bailouts. they've had enough of wall street banks being build a out while small kentucky businesses and pharmacy got nothing. they'd had enough. >> the other thing matt bevins had enough of, mitch mcconnell, and he is using all of the tea party's anti-washington, anti-health care talking points to show it. >> we hear a lot of empty rhetoric from mitch mcconnell about ending obama care. obama care is unpopular. stop talking about yanking it out root and branch and start voting in the u.s. senate to kill it by defunding it. stand with senator mike lee. be a man, stand up, and put your money where your mouth is. >> be a man? woo! i know it was a barbecue. but things are getting messy in
the bluegrass state. >> i don't intend to run to the right of mitch mcconnell. i don't intend to run to the left of mitch mcconnell. i intend to run straight over the top of mitch mcconnell and right into the u.s. senate. >> almost makes you feel bad for senator mcconnell, doesn't it? he may need a new priority, keeping his job. joining me now is michelle cottle and james peterson. thank you both for being here. >> thanks, rev. >> michelle, senator mcconnell rode the tea party movement, and now a tea partier wants to kick him out of office. >> exactly. you have increasingly on the senate side what you've been seeing on the house side. you know, the party has taken the tea party energy to gain some seats, but now their biggest concern is that incumbents are going to face an attack from the right. so this is what mcconnell is reaping, and it's going to be very interesting to see how he
walks this line, because at the same time, he's got a democratic opponent whose getting him on the left. so this is a very kind of very fine line he's got to walk in order to pull it off. >> now, james, you know, bevin, the tea partier challenging senator mcconnell, he had some of the tea party's favorite lines this weekend. i want to play one more for you. >> he talks about the money he has. he brags about his war chest. well, i'll tell you this. mitch mcconnell or addison mitchell mcconnell ii, as he might be known, there was another guy that had a war chest. his name was king george william frederick iii. in 1776, he had a war chest, and the people sent him packing. and we're going to send you packing. >> i mean, that's right down the middle, james, to use king george to right-wing tea party crowd. that's almost not fair. >> look, that's straight out of
the tea party playbook, rev. and listen, he is running to the right of mitch mcconnell, and he is doing it by the tea party playbook. you know, this is what is interesting. the republicans love the energy of the tea party. remember, they also love some of the dollars that come into certain kinds of donors who are interested in the policies and the politics of the tea party. but at the end of the day, they can't co-exist with them politically because mitch mcconnell, even though he set out strictly to be against president obama, even though he has all this rhetoric against president obama's policies, at the end of the day, in the senate you actually have to do something. and by virtue of the fact he tries to do anything, the tea party is going to be able to politically outflank him on the right here. >> now, you know, michelle, the senator is not just getting attacked from the right. i want you to take a look at and listen to his likely democratic opponent. >> if the doctors told senator mcconnell that he had a kidney stone, he'd refuse to pass it.
>> that's a great line there, michelle. >> it is. and it's resonating pretty well in kentucky. i mean, allison grimes polling pretty strongly. it has a lot of statewide democrats in office. now that said, mitch mcconnell is not just any old senator, he is the minority leader, and the party cannot afford to have him go down in flames. and they're going to throw all the money they need to and all the resources they need to at this. but as we're talking about, he's got a very tough balancing act to do right now this year. >> james, what does this say about the tea party and the republicans? i mean, they seem to be all tangled up here. >> well, so the tea party doesn't care so much about progress and about policies that will actually impact the state of kentucky. remember, the state of kentucky is one of the states that receives more from the federal government than it gives out in taxes. so if mitch mcconnell was trying
to be representative of the state, he would actually move a little more towards the middle. he would be supporting the affordable health care act and those kinds of policies that support the poor folk in the state of kentucky. but politics unfortunately and the money in politics sort of corrupts this whole process. and that's why you can have like a tea party group that is small with a lot of money and a big voice shaping the outcome of these kinds of elections in the way they have in 2010. >> now, let me show you this, michelle. here is another example of how far right the gop's become. a new poll found among all voters, chris christie is considered the hottest politician in the country. but among republicans, he falls to number eight. so christie is the top republican in the country, but he probably couldn't make it through a gop primary. how long will this last, michelle? >> well, that's the question we're going to see whoever is going to try for the next presidential nomination. i mean, christie is extremely
popular as the republican governor of a very blue state. and he polls well with moderates and independents. people like his independence and his kind of reaching across the aisle on occasion like in the wake of hurricane sandy. but that is exactly what makes him kind of anathema to the republican party which cannot abide any kind of compromise or bipartisanship. these days in the republican party trying to get past that primary is a big hurdle. >> now, you know, mcconnell is not the only incumbent republican facing a primary, james. when you look at lindsey graham in south carolina, i want to show you nancy mace, who is challenging him. >> we cannot change washington until we change who we send to washington. our senator has a track record of trusting this government.
>> do these candidates, james, make it more and more impossible to get something done in washington because they force the republican incumbents even further to the right, which also reinforces gridlock? >> that's exactly right, reverend. remember, when it's all said and done, these tea party challenges are not necessarily going to be so successful at gaining office. what they're successful at doing is polling and leading the republican party, particular these senators, to the right. if you look at the rhetoric of senator mcconnell, look at the rhett wrik syndromely graham, wherever possible they try to critique and antagonize this president. that's because they try to prepare themselves for this whole process of being outflanked by the tea party challengers. at the end of the day, what has happened is the republican party has become less and less representative because it's being controlled by a minority is very, very vocal and has big dollars behind them in these sort of insane challenges in some of these states.
>> michelle, does mcconnell pull it out and win, or do you think we might be looking at the end of mitch mcconnell? >> i'm going to go with mcconnell because structurally and in terms of resources he has so many advantages. but these days anything can happen. >> michelle cottle and james peterson, thank you both for your time tonight. >> thanks, rev. >> thanks, rev. still ahead, oprah winfrey speaks out about the legacy of trayvon martin. you won't want to miss her candid thoughts. plus, why today is a day to remember, not only for nelson mandela, but for the world. [ male announcer ] the wind's constant force should have disrupted man. instead, man raised a sail. and made "farther" his battle cry. the new ram 1500 -- motor trend's 2013 truck of the year -- the most fuel-efficient half-ton truck on the road -- achieving best-in-class 25 highway miles per gallon.
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we're back with a major development in the fight against the stand your ground laws. a group known as the dream defenders have been staging a dramatic sit-in at the florida state capitol in tallahassee for the last 21 days. florida is ground zero to the fight to repeal the stand your ground laws. these protesters are demanding the governor address the controversial law immediately. ♪
>> can't you see, what the state has done to me. they can try to break us out, now we're marching into town. ♪ we who believe in freedom cannot rest until its won ♪ >> repeal stand your ground. repeal sb 21. repeal zero tolerance policies. because they matter. these kids here, they matter. to me, they matter, to florida and governor rick scott, they matter to you. >> they may have won their first victory with florida lawmakers agreeing to hold hearings on the stand your ground law this fall. now oprah winfrey is adding
her voice to the conversation. speaking out about the legacy of trayvon martin. >> it's so easy during this time, trayvon martin, trayvon martin parallel to emmett till. let me just tell you. in my mind, same thing. but you can -- you can get stuck in that and not allow yourself to move forward and to see how far we have come. look at how far we have come. >> she's right. we've come far, but there is still a long way to go. 23 states have stand your ground laws similar to florida's. the time for change, the time for action is now. joining me now is the director of the dream defenders protesting at the florida capitol. thank you for being with us tonight. >> thank you for having me, reverend. >> now this is day 21. do you feel you're making any progress? >> absolutely. every day we make progress. as you mentioned, last week's
announcement that the house would take up a discussion and a debate around stand your ground is a small victory along our path to victory. we came here 21 days ago with a purpose of addressing stand your ground, racial profiling and the school to prison pipeline. and i'd say we're about a third of the way there. >> now the republicans speak of florida's house of representatives will weatherford thinks stand your ground is a good law. i'm quoting him. he says history shows that strong self-defense laws are important to protect the interests of minorities and victims of domestic violence. how do you respond to that? >> um, i think no one in our organization or anyone in florida wants more for people to be safer, wants more for victims of domestic violence to be safer. but history has also shown that folks make mistakes. and i think stand your ground law is a mistake.
it has a number of unintended consequences, and we're looking for toward to the day when we can present our case before lawmakers. >> now, republican congressman matt gates, the criminal justice subcommittee chair who will head the hearing we're told, told the tampa tribune, quote, i don't expect that the legislature's going to move one damn coma. if the members of the committee support changes, they will be proposed, but nobody can count on my vote. how confident are you the legislature will change this law? >> listen, we're confident, supremely confident even in our argument. the political will around the country, the opinions around the law have changed and shifted dramatically, so much so that the organization that crafted the law eventually no longer will support it. and so i think the shoddy legs that it once stood on and the house of cards that support it
are falling and crumbling around the law. we look for it, as i said before, to having that opportunity to discuss it. and they may not change the coma, but we'll change a semi colon, a few periods, and hopefully erase it. >> and the impact that it has. you know, matt gaetz, while we're talking about him, he also accepted your invitation to debate on stand your ground. tell me about that. >> i reached out to him on social media, and he responded this morning in the affirmative. so i'm looking forward to it. we reached out to his office. we're looking forward to having a televised debate around stand your ground. we're not afraid of my debate. the young people in the state of florida are not afraid to speak up. we fought for our seat at the table. well fought for this opportunity, and we're looking forward to speaking with representative gaetz about his views. we both love florida, and i think we're going to come out of that discussion with a better way forward. >> speaker rutherford also had some choice words for those
calling for a special session, dismissing them, saying threats of boycotts, union-sponsored protesters overtaking the governor's office and hollywood elites disparaging our state and threatening the livelihood of hardworking floridians. that's pretty harsh words. how you respond to an elected official dismissing the cause like that? >> listen, to be frank, young people, people of color are dismissed daily by a number of people, both democrat and republican. so hearing that once again is no surprise. i know and i speak or our organization and say we've received the support of many from both sides of the aisle. and we're smart. we're diligent. we're determined. we're disciplined. we came there with the purpose, and i think our record will show that no matter what the issue, we're going to show up and show out any time the opportunity is presented. >> all right. philip agnew, thank you for joining us. and good luck or your debate. we'll be watching. >> okay, thank you. up next, friend or foe?
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it's time for "reply al." remember, friend or foe, i want to know. doris writes i have a republican friend that said that obama gave out cell phones to all the poor people and is now giving them cars. she heard this on fox news. what's the truth? great question, doris. the right-wing loves to hype this particular untruth there is no such thing as an obama phone. there is, however, a program to help low income people have access to basic telephone service. it started under president ronald reagan. so i guess it's the reagan fault. and it was expanded under president george w. bush. so i guess it's a bush phone
too. the same program also helps provide internet access to rural areas and to schools and libraries. it's not funded by taxpayers at all. it's paid for by fees included in most phone bills. another republican fake scandal bites the dust. finally tonight, i want to pay tribute to civil rights lawyer julius chambers, who died on friday. mr. chambers was a brilliant legal mind and an unsung hero in the fight for equality in education. 1971, his victory in a crucial supreme court case led to the full integration of the school system in charlotte, north carolina. mr. chambers' activism brought danger. his home and car were bombed. his law office and his father's store were burned down, but he never gave up. he argued eight cases on
discrimination before the supreme court. he won every one of them. mr. chambers was 76 years old. we want to answer your questions. e-mail me, email@example.com. remember are, friend or foe, i want to know. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. warning, let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. a dozen years ago this month, the united states of america received a sharp warning. bin laden. determined to strike in u.s. that message was delivered to the president directly.