tv Politics Nation MSNBC May 2, 2013 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
that's "hardball" for now. "politicsnation" with al sharpton starts right now. thanks, chris, and thanks to you for tuning in. tonight's lead, the american people are lining up with president obama and against the gop. new polls show huge majority support the president's top priorities. and now republicans are feeling the pressure. today, a "new york times" poll showed 83% support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. and 88% of americans support background checks for gun buyers. but republicans don't seem to care. instead of regretting their vote against the american people, they are celebrating, running this ad about the president. >> 100 day mark, he's already faced a string of defeats.
he's already faced a string of defeat. >> the gop ad uses an image of president obama comforting a newtown mother who lost her little boy in the shootings to try and score cheap political points. it's offensive. it's a sign of just how out of touch these republicans have come. now we're even hearing some elected republicans claiming that voters want to take up arms against the government in some sort of revolution. >> they are going to have to use these guns because of our own government. now, is there anything in washington that says any telltale signs that maybe we might be headed for a revolution? did you ever think that these kinds of things are going on? >> a revolution? i think it's a revolution against commonsense. the gop agenda isn't about helping the country. it's about passing good laws.
it's about one thing. it's stopping president obama. that's all they are about. remember what that republican senator said about background checks? "there were some on my side who did not want to be seen helping the president do something he wanted to get done, just because the president wanted to do it. that's no way to govern and the american people are not going to stand for it. joining me now is jim mcdermott, democrat from washington and executive editor of msnbc.com. thank you both for being here. >> thanks, reverend. >> good to be here. >> congressman, you know, it's about passing good laws and we would hope the gop would be about it. but they really went against the background check vote. as there been a lot of fallout
from that vote? what are you hearing from your constituents and has there been any admissions to you from republicans that have refused progress and went against the people because it might help the president if they had voted for this? >> well, i don't think they are ever going to admit it, al. mitch mcconnell said it on the first day of the presidency five years ago, that his job was to get rid of obama. he failed and they are still hanging on to that game plan and i don't think they are ever going to admit it. they are simply willing to throw the country, the economy, the people, the students, health care, everything under the bus in order to make the president look bad and try to make it seem as though an activist democrat who is caring about the people is just not fit to govern.
there's nothing else to explain it besides getting rid of obama. >> democrats were helped by the gun vote. north carolina senator kay hagen, 52% more likely to support her due to the yes on background checks. mary landrieu, 44% support her vote on background checks. these are in southern conservative states. republicans were hurt by the gun vote in those same regional states. north carolina, senator richard burr. 50% less likely to support due to the "no" vote on background checks. that's in the same state as kay hagan. senator david vitter, 40% less likely to support him due to
"no" vote on background checks. you vote for the interest of the people, it helps you. against it, it hurts you. >> you know, it's interesting because karl rove recons they can get the senate back this next time around. it's one thing for people in the house district to go out there saying, i just need to look after the majority of the majority. just the hard cocore republican. even as you point out in these red states, what we've never seen before is when you lose one election, you go out there saying, mitch mcconnell is going to defeat the president. >> right. >> and that doesn't work. that's 2012. but we're going to try it again in 2014 and some reason, even without president obama, even being unable to defeat him once, we're going to defeat him again and somehow win. this strategy doesn't hold. it doesn't hold with the polls. it doesn't hold as well. president obama cannot be defeated anymore. he's there. that's it. he's done.
so it doesn't unify them and it doesn't work statewide. >> congressman, michael writes in the daily beast that public pressure is going to force another gun vote. he says "this bill will come back to the senate, maybe before the august recess, and it already seems possible and maybe even likely to have 60 votes next time. is that wishful thinking or is that possible? >> i think it's absolutely possible. i think what you're hearing as you go around, when everybody says, well, everybody, even the nra says we ought to have background checks, why is it that the republicans refuse it? and i think ultimately, al, they come to the realization as they go into this next election, they are going to run nool ads, one after another from somebody saying, do you realize that x didn't vote for background checks? he doesn't care who gets a gun
or how think get it, he didn't care about you. that kind of ad is going to kill them in the next election. >> what did you think of senator toomey saying that they voted against it just because the president was for it, because there was a time that even the nra was for background checks. >> i have thought, al, ever since january of 2009, that everything was about defeating and embarrassing and humiliating barack obama. that's the only way you can explain it because it never was about public policy. there have been instances where the republicans have been for a particular policy but if barack obama says he's for it, he's against it. there is simply no way except they want to humiliate him and get rid of him. >> i'm disturbed about how even some of the pundits and writers
are sort of blaming the president. you know, if they misbehave, it's his fault. ron forney promoting this same blame obama. he said "obama needs a coach to look him in the eyes and say, mr. president, i'm not excusing the other team, they suck, but you need to beat them, sir, there's no excuse to losing to such a lousy bleeping team. people commit against going against you but you're supposed to find a way for them to go for you? >> you think he has fantasies for being the coach of the president? it's funny to hear these things play out. all you've got to do is get the president to wave his magical wand and suddenly they will fall
into line. he did actually go out there and campaign pretty successfully, making these arguments. now, if people want to go against 80% of the american people, there isn't a whole lot you can do. it is a free country. they are allowed to vote. republicans have to understand, though, this is not the '90s and i think ron fournier needs to understand that, too. voting for gun control kicked out of office where democrats who voted to raise taxes will get kicked out of office. that hasn't played out. remember, the president said before the election he would raise taxes and people still voted for democrats anyway. i think this is a different world. maybe there's another movie they need to see to get some other lessons for how they think -- >> congressman, that is a lot of them may be stuck in a past time and don't understand that the country has moved forward, punt intended, than leaning forward? >> well, you know, they made a
number of calculations in this election that turned out to be wrong. they thought if they beat him up about health care, that would work. they thought if they just keep hammering on his immigration stuff, all the hispanics in the country would stay home. they thought -- they had a lot of ideas about taxes and that the people -- and the people came out and gave him a resounding victory. i mean, it is -- if you're the least -- they have a continue tin ear. if they were listening to people one single bit, they would know that the people have rejected what they are putting forward. >> all right. mr. mcdermott and richard wolffe, thank you. obama knows how to fight for an agenda. david axelrod joins us live, next. plus, town hall gets heated over automatic budget cuts and
who's to blame? >> i am tired of this. >> the president is not some person trying to take your rights away or anybody, for that matter. and 19 years ago today, nelson mandela was elected south africa's first black president. i was a witness to history. that's coming up. stay with us. you make a great team. it's been that way since the day you met. but your erectile dysfunction - it could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use helps you be ready anytime the moment's right. you can be more confident in your ability to be ready. and the same cialis is the only daily ed tablet approved to treat ed and symptoms of bph like needing to go frequently or urgently. tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications, and ask if your heart is healthy enough for sexual activity.
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clark says, "these republicans will do anything to oppose president obama, even at the cost of american's lives." coming up next, we'll talk about how the president can fight back against gop obstructionism with the man who is one of hits closest advisers, david axelrod. but first, we want to hear what you think. please head over to facebook and search "politicsnation" and "like" us to keep the conversation going long after the show ends. so now we've turned her toffee into a business. my goal was to take an idea and make it happen. i'm janet long and i formed my toffee company through legalzoom. i never really thought i would make money doing what i love. [ robert ] we created legalzoom to help people start their business and launch their dreams. go to legalzoom.com today and make your business dream a reality. at legalzoom.com we put the law on your side.
senator barack obama walked on stage at the democratic convention and said this. >> now, even as we speak, there are those that are preparing to divide us. the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. well, i say to them tonight, there is not a liberal america and a conservative america. there is the united states of america. there is not a black america and a white america and latino america and asia america. there's the united states of america. >> now a liberal america and conservative america. there's the united states of america. and afterwards, george w. bush and the republicans did for the country, the message of unity
became the backbone of his presidential campaign. he's been successful. health care reforms, stimulus, wall street reform and what's remarkable is, his decently has been met with a party willing to take politics over people. so how is he continuing to get things done? david axelrod, senior adviser to president obama and now a senior political analyst and msnbc, david, it's a pleasure to have all of you with us tonight. >> great to be with you. >> i'm curious about this. 90% of the country wanted just because the president wanted it. >> i don't think it's any
secret. he was very angry about it. nothing moves him more, in my experience, than when children are abused in some way and we saw it in newtown and on our streets every day. here were commonsense measures that the entire country agreed on and they were blocked in the senate. one thing i want to point out, rev, i was listening to the discussion. there's no doubt that the republican party had a strategy from the beginning to obstruct. that's now well-documented and it's been rooted about quite a bit. there's a responsibility for voters as well. it's true that 90% of people support background checks. but until people in public office stop losing their jobs for defying that 90%, then they
are going to bend in the other direction if they feel that the real heat is coming from the nra. one thing that i've seen is mayor bloomberg training attention and they are beginning to feel the heat and you've been reporting on it. politicians, their first instinct is survival. if they believe that they may lose their seats, they will bend to the public will. they are going to fit the fra. >> i was reading after the background checks failed in the senate, you posted some tough tweets in that regard. you said no senator who healed today on nra's command should have the gall to issue and
bloomberg and others who have worked hard on this issue remain active in the 2014 elections, holding the no votes accountable. so you're pushing outright that these people polled have to go to the polls and if we extract a price out of the people who voted no, then they would understand the will of the people is something that they can't play with. >> absolutely. i think that there has to be a sustained campaign here. and that's the way it's going to get done. i think it's important to note, rev, the brady law. i think there were seven votes over a series of years before it became law and we have to keep at this. the one thing that would be the wrong reaction to all of this is to fold up our tent and go home.
and we have to do it in the memory of newtown kids and others that die in new york, armed with illegal weapons from straw buyers that would be blocked from doing that if we pass these commonsense laws. and we need to hold the politicians accountable. >> now, the man who said that his number one priority was to defeat his president now is tweeting out pictures trying to give the message like he's rating to have a drink with the president. that's mitch mcconnell. the trouble is, he's not really waiting to come to terms with the president, is he? >> i would be satisfied to think even if he doesn't want to drink with the president, the issue he
has right now i'm sure to some degree, to some degree, this doesn't explain all of it, senator mcconnell, his greatest fear is a challenge from the right in kentucky so he's doing everything he can to signify to the tea party folks in kentucky and the anti-obama forces there that he's with them and then see how he is after that. january 2010 he did an interview with the new york times and made a decision from the beginning not to give the president cooperation on any major bill because that would say he's figured this out. that's not what we want from our leaders. we have big problems in this country and they deserve real answers and they deserve some element of cooperation. we have two parties. they don't agree on everything. surely there are things that we ought to agree on and to take a
position of blind obstructionism, it may be good for your base but bad for the country. >> the president moments ago on a trip to mexico said that the fight around background checks is not over. you know them better than most and he's determined when he's committed to something to keep going. the fight is not over, david? >> the fight's not over. absolutely not. i think there will be votes on this issue and i think they will have a different outcome if a mobilized electorate says, you know what, we're keeping a scorecard now. not just the nra. we're keeping a scorecard and we're going to hold you accountable for these votes. >> david axelrod, thank you for being with us tonight. >> great to be with you, rev. ahead, stunning news about hillary clinton. has the right revealed a dirty and ugly plan to take her down. also, remembering one of the great events of my lifetime, the election of nelson mandela as
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been on the forefront of voter suppression for years. back in 2004, they created problems that led to huge problems on election night. and just last year, they did everything they could to limit early voting. now they are targeting college students. a new republican plan would punish universities that help out of state students register to vote at school instead of back home where their parents live. universities to offer these students the lower in-state tuition, which could cost state schools $370 million a year. in effect, the plan would cut funding for schools that helped register students to vote. it's outrageous, totally cynical, and it doesn't take a ph.d. to figure out why republicans want to do this. in the 2012 election, 63% of young voters in ohio supported
president obama. just 35% supported mitt romney. so now ohio democrats are ready to fight back. >> this is a perverse incentive to make it harder for these students to vote. we should let college students vote and people should not play games. >> republicans want to play games but the american people just want to exercise their right to vote. ohio, we'll be watching. he's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with him all day as he goes back to taking tylenol. that was okay, but after lunch my knee started to hurt again, and now i gotta take more pills. ♪ yup another pill stop. can i get my aleve back yet? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. ♪ [ male announcer ] this may, buy aleve and help those in need.
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too many republicans are stuck in the right wing echo chamber. too many. too many swapping conspiracy theories and anti-obama punch lines. but once in a while they run smack in to the truth and their bubble gets burst. that's what happened when alabama republican mike rogers held a town hall back in his
district and a voter stood up to a smack down the far right paranoia. >> what is being done by this administration which appears to be clearly illegal and yet this man is shaking his head. >> no, sir. >> i have 20-something items here. >> you are crazy. i am tired of this crazy talk. >> if i am crazy then -- >> then they are. the president is not some person trying to take your rights away or do anything like that. >> i'm tired of their crazy talk, too. of course the president is trying to take anyone's rights away. and that man also had something to say about the automatic budget cuts that are devastating programs across the country. >> my business is off by 20%
because of the sequester. i have gone from making good money to losing money in one month because of the sequester. the house of representatives have done more to hurt my business than anything government by anybody, state, local, federal has ever done in 15 years. every time y'all do something to cut funding, it hurts my customers. they have less money to spend. when they have less money to spend, they spend less with me, which means i have less money. >> the budget cuts are hurting small businesses. now, republicans might not care about cuts that hurt preschoolers or seniors or even cancer patients. but once they start hurting those small business job creators they are always talking about, you would think republicans would be all ears. joining me now are dana milbank
and karen finney. thank you both for your time. >> hi, reverend. >> karen, is just the beginning of the backlash that the republicans face over the budget cuts? >> i hope so. the gentleman in that video makes a good point. think about it. if customers don't have money to spend in those small businesses or to buy products, then the profits from those companies that make those products are going to suffer. at some point this all comes home to roost and i'm glad to see people standing up for it because i think part of the problem had been the mean was such because nobody felt like the sequester was going to hurt anybody initially, we saw obviously the faa and it's hurt a lot of -- damaged a lot of low-income people. i think there wasn't this sense of urgency. hopefully now that it's starting to have an effect, people will stand up. >> dana, missouri congressman billy long claims that budget cuts are no big deal for his constituents.
in fact, he has a quote. they want to see more sequestration, not less. we haven't seen any measurable effect here at all. but crown congressman long is ignoring, one head start facility is closing its door, meaning dozens of low income children will lose out and another head start is cutting three weeks from its program and a youth summer job program is being cut at an historic battlefield. i mean, is this republican congressman just not paying attention to current events in his home state or are they in denial? >> billy long was an auction neauctioneer and nobody is trying to buy the product that they are trying to sell him right now. i think the obama administration made a mistake that the effects of this sequester would be felt immediately and people would begin to sit back and say, the sky is falling, nothing happened.
guess what, now we're beginning to see these things and it only accelerates. it only snowballs from here and you are asking, is this just the beginning? well, it has to be the beginning. the cuts from the sequester are very little from what has to come in the future if the president and this congress don't get together and make some reasonable decisions about what's to be done in the future. so i think that anger that you're seeing directed at congressman rogers is a real one. i don't think we're at a tea party on the left but i think you're starting to see something building. >> karen, this is outrageous. we're talking about preschoolers, head start, cancer patients, seniors. i mean, how could you be that insensitive and the headlines all over the country, look at these headlines. and if you are one of these people depending on programs and some of the services, imagine
how you would feel looking at these headlines and knowing that you need these things. these are not some gifts. these are needs. >> well, remember, a couple things, though, here reverend. as much as the republicans keep saying they don't want us to be like europe, guess what. these are the kind of headlines that we saw in europe and austerity programs that have created these backlashes and research in this country is damaging the economy. it's not helping. as the president has been saying all along. but the other thing i want to point out, reverend, you're talking about people that are not particularly visible to these members of congress. they don't have big lobbyists walking the halls over at the capitol. and unfortunately, you know, it feels a lot like the mean that we've heard time and again about poor people, takers and makers and somehow there seems to be this acceptance among some
conservatives that while those people don't deserve those programs anyway, they will be fine without it and so they seem very blind to the practical reality of what it means when you make those cuts. >> now, dana, when you look at the fact that when the republicans are not ignoring the budget cuts, they act like they were against them to begin with. i mean, listen to michele bachmann of all people and what she had to say on friday. >> the loss that we'll see for children through head start, for senior citizens through meals on wheels, for children who will be dealing with various other feud nutrition programs, that breaks everyone's hearts. we knew all of these calamaties were in the future and so it reminds me of the shakespeare line, thou proctectist too much. >> michele bachmann voted
against this, now she's a champion for the poor, dana. >> it's astonishing. it sounds like she's channelling the reverend al sharpton. >> it's shakespeare. >> that's truly extraordinary. they are starting to feel the heat that they are going to be blamed for what's going on here. what has to happen is, president obama needs to step up and be making this sort of argument that you're making right here tonight. the problem is, there's this sort of appearance now that, well, they took care of the wealthy business people who were traveling with -- by making sure the air traffic controllers can be in there and kicking the kids out of head start, kicking the cancer patients out. the president should be in their face, vulnerable republicans and really making an issue on this because the democrats should be in a very strong position here. >> you know, can we just call michele bachmann out for what is going on there? >> call her out. >> we see it time and time again, when they are in the
capitol, they vote one way. they make that kind of speech, take a clip of it and give it to their local station so that back home it looks like she's been the champion fighting for the poor people. we know that game, right? they did the same thing, you know, time and again where they vote against something that president obama wants but then if it means money for their d district, they are right there at the ribbon cutting, aren't they? >> the politics of it we get. but when you're talking about real live people, seniors, kids at head start that need these things, how callous and insensitive and cynical can you get, dana? to me it's just so upsetting that it's hard to swallow. >> reverend, you're telling me that michele bachmann has behaved in a cynical way? i am shocked. >> well, i'll leave you shocked because that's exactly what i'm telling you. dana milbank and karen finney, thank you for your time tonight.
and coming up, the gop's version of a two for one plan. president obama and hillary clinton. folks, there's a new right wing conspiracy. that's next. aw, shoot. i missed a payment. discover card. i missed a payment. aw, shoot. shoot! this is bad, isn't it? oh no! we're good! this is your first time missing a payment. and you've got our new card, so we don't charge you a late fee for for that. plus, we won't hike up your apr for paying late either. man, that's great!
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and changed how we all felt 15 years ago, hillary clinton went on national television and talked about a vast right-wing conspiracy. 15 years later, they are conspireing against her. but why? this number, 65. a new poll shows she would get 65% of the democratic vote if she ran for president in 2016. hillary clinton hasn't said either way whether she's running or not. but she hasn't been hiding either. making plenty of appearances this past month and that was -- that has the right very worried. so here comes that vast right wing conspiracy i was talking
about. >> secretary clinton runs for office in the future, she's going to have to explain why, during her helm at the state department, one of two things happened. either number one they were aware of a security situation in libya and failed to act accordingly or, number two, they had such a bad operation that they were not aware of it. >> we now know there was a cable with her signature on it reducing the security parameters. >> the secretary of state was just wrong. she said she did not participate in this and yet only a few months before the attack she out right denied security in her signature in a cable april 2012. >> and the right wing loud speaker has been on it for months. >> the scathing indictment of benghazi libya. they say the obama administration deliberately covered up the acts in benghazi
on september 11th. >> are we going to hear more about the attempting to cover up what happened? >> these have been repeatedly debunked. joining me now is angela rye. >> 60% of democrats for hillary. how scared is the right? >> probably very scared. but even folks that may be supporting other democratic potential democrats may be worried also with our vice president at a distant second with only 16%. we've seen the right wing is scared, period. they are scared of our president, they are scared of the democratically controlled senate. >> now, patricia, after hillary's concussion before testimony on benghazi, the right wing was on the attack. watch this. >> i guess she passed out
somewhere. is she unconscious? >> you don't want to go to a meeting or conference or an event and you have a diplomatic illness. >> we both have great respect for secretary clinton and you're a roman catholic as am i. we are now calling this the immaculate concussion. >> how can she get a concussion when she's been ducking everything? >> this is ugly stuff. they later testify, is this a sign of how ugly it's going to get, patricia, if she in fact runs? >> yes, it is. in other words, yes, it is. i think a lot of this has to do with the way republicans are addressing this issue in such personal terms. it really is no coincidence that hillary is at the end of those attacks but if you look at how she actually handled this, she did go up to the hill. she did eventually testify and she said i take full responsibility. and i think that is what americans want to hear our leaders say. so when republicans now are continuing to say what happened in benghazi, we want more
reports, these are partisan calls for further investigations. it's a lot like last year's fast and furious investigations which ended up in really a very partisan attack on eric holder and holding him in contempt for the first time. i think these are serious issues. fast and furious was issue. benghazi was serious. the way that republicans are going after hillary clinton in a partisan fashion demeans republicans in the process. >> angela, emily's list, the group electing democratic women launched a six-figure campaign to elect a female president. here's part of the ad. i want your reaction. >> the future of washington, d. consider, january 20th. i'm here because of all of the fearless pioneer women who fought 200 years ago at seneca falls. >> i'm here because of the women that came before you. they paved the way for the first women president. >> that's the american way.
we don't give up and this is just the beginning. >> whoo! >> effective ad, angela? i found some women younger than you. >> well, rev, it's not only very effective, it's reminiscent of what we've seen with the young man kid president. he's made it all the way to the white house with some of the things he's done and it's really nice to see young people being inspirational about pursing politics despite the mess that we have going on inside the beltway. the one thing that's really, really important is not just this ad but the way in which the media has been instrumental in changing mind sets. everything from sheryl sandberg's book "lean in" to veep on another network. there are women in powerful roles and, of course, clinton's last presidential campaign where she talked about shattering the glass ceiling, all of that has
paved the way for this. we've seen the american people elect a record number of women to the house and senate and if you look at the house's record with nancy pelosi as our last speaker, this time around there's not much getting done. so i think the country is ready for it. and we're definitely looking forward to seeing what secretary clinton decides to do. >> patricia, the country is ready for it, it seems, look at new polls. 90% of voters in battleground states would vote for a qualified women candidate from their party. 86% say america's ready to elect a woman president. 72% believe it's likely in the next presidential election. 72%. is this just another sign that the country wants hillary clinton to run, patricia? >> well, i think it's hard to ask a hypothetical question about a woman running for president in the next four years and not assume that we're all
talking about hillary clinton. there is nobody else on the horizon like her. she's a celebrity, yes, but she's also a transformative figure and she's such a much better candidate than 2008. democrats want her to run. i've talked to a lot of democrats about this. nobody will join another campaign. nobody will give a dollar. this field is frozen until hillary clinton decides what she wants to do. they would also believe that she would win and that's the most important part to democrats over the next four years. i think the country is ready for a woman president. are they ready for hillary clinton, she just has to give the green light and then we'll all find out. >> we'll be watching. i thought they were talking about michelle obama but we'll see. angela rye and patricia murphy, thank you for your time. >> thank you, rev. we'll be right back with one of the great movements of the 20th century. the election of nelson mandela. i was there. i will never forget it. stay with us.
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the long struggle ends in triumph for mandela. >> history in the making. 19 years ago today, nelson mandela elected president of south africa. it was a moment of joy and liberation for 27 years mandela had been locked it away behind bars. jailed as a political prisoner for opposing the apartheid of south africa. many would emerge with bitterness but mandela left prison as a stronger leader, a man of peace. the people of south africa were free to exercise their right to
vote, to choose a new way forward for the country, for the world. when the moment of victory finally arrived, it was a triumph for the human spirit. >> proclaim from the rooftops, free at last! >> and once in power, mandela immediately began uniting the country in healing the wounds of apart tide. >> let us stretch out our hands to those who have bitterness and to say to them we have had a good fight but now it's time to heal old wounds and appeal to south africa. >> i was in south africa that day and i saw the joy of that victory firsthand. as an elective people who arrived at that moment and said, i feel like a human being for the first time in my life.
reverend dr. wyatt t. walker who was an aide to dr. king took some of us as civil rights leaders to watch and observe and make sure those elections were fair. i watched people stand for miles and days to vote. it reminded me of how my mother told me how they waited to vote in alabama after the voting rights act of '65. we have fought too long to turn back now, to have seen the fight in two continents but i also saw a man with dignity and pride who never would shrink to bitterness. i was proud to be around president mandela. i accompanied him as part of his delegation to the united nations when he addressed the u.n. when he first came to this country after getting out of jail. not only was he regal, but he was a man of peace.
he was a man that did not want to deal with rank or bitterness. he really believed that we must not only win but we must be better than the spirits of hate and oppression that we fight. we must protect the vote but we must protect our spirit of reconciliation while we do. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. strategy of doom. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. imagine being a member of a political party whose only initiative, whose only recent mission, whose only active