tv Politics Nation MSNBC May 9, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
you with us. i'm sure you have a fabulous mother. >> "politics nation" starts right new. [ applause ] >> good evening. i'm coming to you live from the sweet auburn festival in downtown atlanta, georgia. the crowds are coming out and we're getting fired up. we're here as part of msnbc's growing hope initiative. to help people share their hope for change and raise awareness of americans giving back to their community. just steps away from here is ebinezer baptist church as martin luther king organized some of the greatest triumph ofs
of the civil rights movement. he succeeded in growing hope for the entire country and it's up to aum of us now to continue and extand his legacy. >> we start tonight with tonight's lead. and president obama throwing down the gaunt let let for econ fairness. with. >> the republicans who are in charge of the house right now and want to take over the senate -- [ booing ] >> don't boo. vote. work. but they have said no to every proposal that we know could make a difference in the lives of hard-working americans. they have said no to equal pay for equal work. in fact, they denied there's even a problem. i'm just saying. they said no to increasing the
minimum wage. >> the minimum wage is a central front in this datle. 93% of democrats support an increase. so do 69% of independence, and 52% of republican voters. and yet republicans in congress refuse to act. >> they are operating on a theory that time and again has proven to be wrong. it's the theory that says you're on your own. it's a theory that says if we just reward folks at the very top then everybody else is going to do just fine. it's a theory that discounts the possibility of common action in order to make sure that opportunity is real for every american and not just some. they have a different theory about how america moves forward. >> a different theory and a
different agenda. an agenda pushing scandals and politicizing strategy. democrats are considering a boycott of the benghazi commit too e. minority leader nancy pelosi sent a letter to speaker boehner calling the new panel unacceptable. and referring to the repeated abuses of ore gop commune phillips can you imagine if they put this kind of efforts into a jobs bill or extending unemployment benefits or fighting inequality? instead it's phony scandals and fake outrage. why? to get attention off their do-nothing record of obstruction. joining me now is hank johnson of georgiamsnbc krystal ball.
. >> thanks for having us. >> the rain is pouring down but it's not dampening our spirits. don't we noo ed to drop this obsession with phony scandals and focus on what really matters? like economic justice? >> they want us to shift away from the affordable care act. now they have shifted into benghazi and the irs. >> these are all subjects we have spelt with before. >> investigated through the roof. republicans now want to make it into a political spectacle. >> that's right. >> it's really a disrespect to lives that we lost so who riffically and tragically.
krystal, if you listen to some of the the ugly attacks the benghazi committee members have made on the president, listen to this. >> you can not trust this administration. there's no way you can make that work. >> we are seeking to finally stop constitutional overreaches by the executive branch. i wish president obama and his administration had the self-restraint to act within their constitutional bounds. >> you know, mr. president, you want to run roughshod over the constitution, we have the power of the purse. we're not going to fund your pet projects. >> they say these ugly thing, yet they say this is not political. >> they say these ugly things, they base them in nothing but their ownfantasies and they use
this meme about him being lawless as this excuse to do nothing. i think the american people can really see such a dichotoe koch between what republicans want to focus on, these is a raids, these show trials. time and time again after questions have already been answered. rather on the issues that people really care about and affect their lives every day. if you passed a minimum wage increase today, it would impact the lives of tens of millions of americans. it would be so important for people struggling to get by today. republicans don't want to talk about it, they don't want to think about it. they don't want to put it on the table. while the president is out there, while they're looking at the future of america, republicans are having show trials and trying to score political points. >> this week, congressman trey
gowdy, who chairs this committee, made a big show of claiming that he is against fundraising off of benghazi. watch this. >> i have never sugt to raise a single penny on the backs of four murdered americans. still, even in a culture of hyperpartisanship, certain things that ought to be above politics, like the murder of our four fellow americans. >> should be above politics. never did fundraising. but last year, the lancaster news in south carolina reported that congressman gowdy attended a fundraiser and talked about benghazi, quote, referring to the scandals surrounding the murders of four american citizens in the benghazi. gowdy said, quote, it is a scandal. that's what he was saying at a campaign fundraising,
congressman johnson. >> i'm sure the republican party and my friend mr. gowdy will continue to raise money and stek up anger about this false narrative that they're projecting on benghazi. it just seems to be a scheme to help drive out those extreme voters who want to hear about this. and clekd money payment and then try to get those voters out to try to win the senate. >> the republicans keep going on scandals, scandals, scandals, yet the president is seen focused on the economy, on the upcoming midterm elections. listen to this. >> and so the question is, what are we going to do about it in this midterm? the choices couldn't be clear. the choices could not be clear. as democrats, i believe we
should be fighting for equal pay for equal work. they do not. that's a choice. if you work full time, you should not be in poverty, we should increase the minimum wage. it's the right thing to do. >> is that what is going to be critical in these midterm elections that democrats should remain focuses on these issues? >> absolutely. this is what people want to here about in this election. even in red states like ar ar, like this state here in georgia where we are right now, you know, people are looking for a fair shot. they understand the country has gone in the wrong direction. with all the money going to the top and the people, the working class, the middle class, those are the issues that people really care about. i have to think about at the end
of the day, that's going to be the message that wins. republicans try to play on fear, right? they try to play on hanger and hate and fear. these ugly emotions. and that's what they're appealing to with benghazi. that's what they were appealing to before with their health care attacks. >> two republicans this week came out again talking about the minimum wage. speaking out against it when we need help with our -- those that are suffering economically, including right here in georgia. >> 2/3 of the minimum wage workers are female. it's shame these workers have to try to squeak by on $7.25 an hour. or string together maybe two or three part-time jobs if they can't find a full-time job. work hard, they're still eligible for public assistance. and that's wrong.
>> we have rain here tonight, but we are determined not to let it get us down. we're growing hope right here in atlanta. coming up right now, republicans govrers are turning down money that can literally save lives. we'll show you how the medicaid fight started right here in georgia. plus, the koch brothers have spent hundreds of millions on elections. just wait until you hear what they have planned now. and major victories in the fight for voting rights this vek wooek. here in atlanta, the reverend dr. martin luther king jr. used to preach about the fight for voting rites at the ebinezer baptist church. why his words ring true today. it's a big friday show.
we're growing hope. live from the sweet auburn festival in atlanta. you're watching a special edition of "politics nation" only on msnbc. can you start tomorrow? yes sir. alright. let's share the news tomorrow. today we failrly busy. tomorrow we're booked solid. we close on the house tomorrow. i want one of these opened up. because tomorow we go live... it's a day full of promise. and often, that day arrives by train. big day today? even bigger one tomorrow. when csx trains move forward, so does the rest of the economy. csx. how tomorrow moves.
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kaiser permanente doctors. and though they are all different, they work together on a single mission: saving lives. discover how we are advancing medicine at kp.org join us, and thrive. >> douglas hope is restoring and improving voter rights. i agree, dug. i hope that i can make a difference in a young person's life. great one, tom. and we want to hear from you. what's your hope? please go to msnbc.com/growing
hope. and let us know. my hope is that republican governors start playing politics with people's lives. it's happening here in georgia and it's truly shapeful. you, my friend are a master of diversification. who would have thought three cheese lasagna would go with chocolate cake and ceviche? the same guy who thought that small caps and bond funds would go with a merging markets. it's a masterpiece. thanks. clearly you are type e. you made it phil. welcome home. now what's our strategy with the fondue? diversifying your portfolio? e*trade gives you the tools and resources to get it right. are you type e*?
constituents. and it's happening right here in georgia with governor nathan deal. but the people here are fighting hard in protest. >> medicaid expansion now! >> inside the senate chambers, and outside the doors, dozens of people erupting in cheers, chants and sat down on the floor. some were arrested this morning and even more late this afternoon during coordinated protests. >> 39 people were arrested at that protest here in atlanta in march. since january, demonstrators have taken action in the state capitol as part of the moral monday movement. refusing to stand by while governor deal and the republican legislature continue to block the medicaid expansion. this is really a small price to pay, given the fact that there are a lot of people handcuffed to poverty.
>> the real criminal act is nathan deal not doing the right thing by people of the state. . >> they're calling it a criminal act by governor deal by denying 650,000 people coverage. louisiana is also among those in 24 states denying care. but that is why the fight continues here in georgia. that is why people are demonstrating. that's what gives me a lot of hope. joining me are georgia state senator nan olrach and the
national youth director of my civil rights organization the national action network, who was one of those arrested in georgia. denies medicaid expansion denies coverage to 650,000 people. en e he signed a law giving the general assembly the right to expand medicaid so even if there's a democratic governor, the legislature can still block this. how do they justify this? >> i think it's hard to justify it. when dignity and respect is accorded to everyone, that's a win-win. this move is foolish, shortsighted, hurts our economy, hurts our families and i think
they'll have to come off of that position at some point. you're absolutely right. there will be $30 billion federal dollars, already allocated into the federal budget that would come into our state's economy. that would help our hospitals, restore hope to families who have access to health care for the first time many of them in their lives. and also that family that loses a job, loses that health insurance. we have an option for them. i don't think that is it's a defensible position in any way, shape or form. we've spoken out against it, supported moral mondays. >> you were one of those that helped lead here and were arrested. the health care law still isn't very popular in georgia, but the medicate expansion is. why would the republicans go out against what the meem wapeople ? >> i think uh it's with a lot of
things they don't push through. a lot of republicans do not understand or don't remember how it was to be a normal person or understand the issues that affect everyday people. >> you were at the '63 march on washington. and you're still here fighting. you were there as a young person. you're now a seasoned activist like me. she's only 16 years old. does it encourage you seeing stagers? we had no influence on her going. >> that's right. my son is at every moral monday demonstration they have as well. the youth are our hope. and you and i know it's the young people that have the vision, the look ahead. i mean, right here, the incredible gardens, all around us, truly living will, that's the energy
of youth, the guidance from a very senior -- >> that's right, seasoned experts in the agriculture and urban farming. we transformed city blocks here. so yes, the youth are the hope of the future. and this battle around medicate and accepting those federal dollars into our economy, that's more than 500,000 georgians being denied by this move. we need to threw out the, you know, the elections are going to make a big difference in november. >> you're marching with a lot of young people. what makes you come out and fight this fight? >> we fight this fight because it really does affect us. young people, millennials, who graduate from college and are working minimum wage jobs. the last thing they want to do liing below the poverty level is
worry about if they're going to have health insurance. we fight this fight because it helps us. we just wobt to fight. >> the governor's office has been quietly discussing options hoping to craft a compromise. they're working towards a deal in montana. is that a good sign? >> it's a good sign. there are many republican governors that realize this is exactly where they need to put their state. they need to be part of the economy. they need to be part of having federal dollars in their state. right now, we're wasting taxpayer dollars by the millions, treating people that are uninsured in emergency
rooms. it's just common sense that they move in the direction of accepting these federal dollars. and i believe that the pressure is going to mount and build and grow here in georgia because it's the right thing to do. '. >> what do you hope will happen and why? soo. >> i hope millennials will get jobs. i'm not a politician. i hope to be one day. but still, millennials can get job. if 500,000 people don't have health insurance in the state of georgia. that not only makes it morally right to make this happen, but it also makes it economically right. that's 70,000 jobs that will be created. that's more nurses and doctor jobs, more insurance jobs that millennials can have when they leave college. >> the president is fighting hard, do you feel that as we keep fighting that people will understand this is not about just partisan politics?
>> i think you hit exactly the right now. that is exactly the says. and right here, we're in the shadow of ebinezar baptist church. he's gone to jail, he's standing up, speaking out. and it is a moral question. are we going to move into the 71st century providing health care coverage for all god's people? >> well, i thank both of you some say she's another al sharpton. i wasn't nearly there at 15. thank you both for being here tonight. >> coming up, atlanta was the home base for martin luther king jr. he organized some of the greatest triumph ofs of the civil rights movement here. what his words mean today in the fight for voting rights. and a confidential memo from a koch-backed conservative group reveals a secret plan.
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what's your name? >> isiah. >> and the sign says al sharpton, msnbc, the magical super nice blessed and cool guy on "politics nation." you're out here here growing hoe. happy mother's day grandma. >> we love you. we watch you every day. is we're taping you right now. >> thanks for coming to sellman. we were at breakfast when vice president joe biden was there. >> fighting for voting rights is where it started. >> we got to vote, people. we got to get some of these people health care, get our rights back. stand your ground.
>> focus on our women's rights right now here in georgia. >> it's jane crow down here. they are sending us back to the past in georgia. and governor deal is nothing but pure evil. absolute peer evil. >> jim crow jr., now jane crow. >> we need to start infrastructure and get the union more involved. >> help, nigeria, please, we need help. the whole country. not just the girls. >> god bless you. thank you. in the rain we're growing hope. right in the shadows where dr. king started a movement that's still going on. "politics nation" will be right back.
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"start your engines" >> today, more proof this election will be battle against big money. politico obtained a confidential memo from the koch-backed group americans for prosperity. it says the group plans to spend more than $125 million in the midterm election. the article goes on to say that a source familiar with the group says that a figure is, quote, very conservative estimate. we are on track for more than that. a very conservative estimate? a spokesman declined to comment, but did not dispute the authenticity of the memo. was if you need a sense of just how much money that is. look at this chart.
combined, the major party campaign committees have about $109 million in the bank. the kochs blow that figure out of the water. the billionaire brothers are pouring money into battles all over the country, including the state i'm in to eight noo. georgia. as the president said we can't be complacent in this midterm. >> in this midterm with the stakes as high as they are, with the progress that needs to be made, with families out there who are desperate to see a washington that is on their side? with we're going to have to make sure that we are coming out with the same generalcy and the same enthusiasm that we typically show during presidential years. that's what we're going to need. >> we beat back the big money interests in $2012.
the koch networks spent $400 million. but couldn't beat people power. let's send that message to them again this year. >> with the news of the koch spending, it almost makes you feel like they're a political party all on their own, doesn't it? >> absolutely. there are the most influential unelected force in american politics. it's the volume of money they spend and the transparency or lack of transparency with which they're able to spend. they spend money as a business gesture. everything they're doing is to do better for their buzz. this is all constructed to make koch industries a bigger than better industry.
they defend the koch brothers, listen to this. >> the koch brothers, because they've stood up and expressed their views are subject to vilify case and personal attack. >> i just thank god there's a billionaire or two on our side. all the billionaires seem to be on the radical left. >> two american entrepreneurs who have built a business, created jobs and created wealth and philanthropy in this country, harry reid should get back to work and stop picking on great americans who are creating great things in our country. >> thaw seem to be very animated in their defense of the koch brothers. >> of course. the republican party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the koch
brothers. they defend the interests of the richest people in america. that's why the republicans want no regulation, they want taxes as low as possible. >> the thing in my view that's sad is there are a number of older working class whites who vote republican in cycle after cycle, but the republican party is doing absolutely nothing for them. because those working class whi whit whites need the minimum wage increased. they need better regulations in the industries where they go to work every day. but the run party is busy defending the rich. >> the koch brother memo says they have to at least create the image that they care about the poor. the presidential election told us anything it's that americans place a great importance on taking care of those in need and
avoiding harm to the weak opinion. now, the koch brothers are against minimum wage. that means the koch brothers who are worth a combined $80 billion are opposed to full-time minimum wage workers earning about $21,000 a year. >> right. as you said, they are a prime driver of the inequality that the 1% of the 1% can make more money and keep it for themselves and it doesn't spread around. one thing ted cruz referenced there was this idea of meritocracy. the right believe the people who make the most are the smartest, they should have the largest say. even if we accept that bogus arguments, they're heirs. their father, one of the founders of the john burkes society found this company then gave them $300 million upon this
death. they started with a massive advantage. when we have folks like them, who are heirs, who are able to perpetuate wealth, then we have an aristocracy. >> how do you fight it? what could beat all this money? >> as you said, progressives beat it in 2012. all of the oligarchs are busy trying to make sure average people can't vote. we still can in this country .every man and woman over 18 still has a right to vote. that's how they got defeated in 2012. and that's how they'll be defeated in 2014. the obama coalition absolutely has to go to the polls. >> when we allow people to donate as much as they want via campaign.
the wealthy are having their say on both sides. largely on the right. >> how are they going to get their vote out on the left? >> well, that's an excellent question. that is up to every right thinking american to make sure that people know how important it is to go to the polls in the midterms. you know, one of the things that the koch brothers do is absolutely focus their advertising in important races. and it's not just the big races we think about. it's not just the senate races. it's the smaller races, too. they are in the state legislative races all over the country.
>> when you're drenching people with advertising, it's too easy to confuse them. and not enough to say well, we have more votes than they have money. >> we're going to continue this discussion. be sure to catch touray on "the cyc cycle" right here on msnbc. ahead, dr. king fought for voting rites from his home base right here in atlanta. and this week, we're reminded that his struggle is still alive and well. but there's a reason to be hopeful because of a new victory. that's coming up as we continue live from the sweet auburn festival in downtown atlanta. stay with us.
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>> in order to achieve the purpose of freedom and human dignity is that short walk to the voting booth. so this must be done on an extensive scale throughout the south. >> dr. king in 1959 walking about our right to vote. 55 years later, that right is under attack. since the supreme court gutted the voting rights act, politicians have been trying to roll back the franchise all across the country, including right here in georgia.
voter id, early voting, even the number of polling sites have all come under assault. but we're fighting back and winning. the pennsylvania gop governor just dropped his legal bat toll keep the voter id laws. and voter id laws in wisconsin, arkansas, missouri and texas have all been struck down in the courts. joining me now is the reverend marquel hutchins. thank you for being here, reverend. >> it's fitting to be in martin luther king's birthplace and talking about the fight for voting rights. tell me about the fight now. the fight is not over. >> it's interesting that we are in this space, which is really a sort of ground zero for the fight for civil rights and social justice.
now we're having a concerted attack on people like joseph lowry and andrew young. all that they fought and put on the books is at risk if we don't preserve it is this year. do people understand the intricacies of how these new voting laws impact the vote rights of all american citizens? >> do we have in this generation a growing home to make sure this concerted attack on the hard line gains of the 50s and 60 sz not rolled back. but there is another generation on my view that is standing up of latinos, hispanics and other, joining with the
african-american and progressive communities to fight against what we know is a concerted attack. >> this is georgia's current voter id law. if someone goes to the polls and doesn't have a valid id, that voter will vote on a provision of ballot and has tho return within three days to show a valid id. take a look at this. georgia's percentage of eligible african-american voters has more than doubled the national average. 30% in georgia to 12% nation side. in your opinion, is this why georgia is ground zero for a lot of these voter suppression laws? >> the more we open up ballot access, the more progressive, liberal and democrat candidates are elected. that's what this whole fight is about. it's about denying the basic and fundamental right to access because of the greed and power grabbing we see on the far right.
>> but these people claim to be patriarchs. can you move to suppress and bring down the number of voters and at the same time say you're the patriarchs of holding democracy? >> now the hold right is upset and still engaged in this ridiculous conversation about benghazi. the question we must ask is how can we sewer promoting democracy and freedom and benghazi and iraq across the world when we statistic deny the basic right of democracy to people right here in america. it's an importland and illogical conversation. what is going to happen that will demand that people stand up. we saw line, as many of us are organized around voting rights, in '12. will we see those lines again and that will make people line up and wait hours to vote.
>> that's going to depend on how aggressively people go out and talk about the issues important to the american people. we can't talk about these ridiculous gun laws like we see here in georgia. if the candidates at the top of the ticket are not strong and aggressive, we won't sew the kind of turnout we saw in 2012. >> thank you for being here tonight. you say the right on the left, you're on the left, i'm on the right. i'm on the right side of history. coming up, on a night when we're celebrating hope, it's very kiting. we're celebrating a mayor milestone for nelson mandela. that's coming up as we continue live from the sweet auburn fest sflal downtown atlanta.
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switch to comcast business internet and get two wifi networks included. comcast business built for business. tonight we're here in atlanta at the sweet auburn festival for growing hope. looking at ways we can give back to our communities and improve the lives of people around us. we're on the site for the center of natural urban agriculture. it's a great organization. their motto is they grow jobs and they grow children.
but perhaps nobody gave back more or helped improve more lives than nelson mandela. so it's fitting that 20 years ago today, mab tell la was officially chosen to be the president of south africa by the first ever parliament elected by voters of all races. that night, he ushered in a new era for south africa and the world. >> today, we enter a new era for our country and it's people. >> today, we celebrate. not the victory of apartheid, but a victory for all the people of south africa. in his inaugural address, he spoke of healing after decades of apartheid.
>> come on, isiah. let's go see the people. it's time for the people to speak. >> thanks a lot for coming. >> we love what you do on tv every day. >> you're doing a great job. so proud of you. >> thank you, reverend. keep fighting for us. >> great job. keep fighting. >> growing hope, growing hope. >> keel keep fire on the minimum wage. >> i just wanted to see you.
>> prices go up but wages don't. >> sound like a slogan to me. >> what you think about the drug test? >> i think that is archaic. i think we should be drug testing some of these big guys spending money on wall street that broke the economy. all right. >> i think the economy need to be lowered. i think the people in african-american heritage and culture are treated badly on their finances and opportunities on unemployment, too. that needs to change. >> all right, thank you, young people out there. let me say this. sunday is mother's day. my mother was born and raiseds not far from here in ral al. she raised me in the north. many mothers had to use what they could, initiatives and innovation and determination to raise us. they did not race us to shrink from the responsibilities of continuing to fight for fairness for everyone. i will celebrate mother's day standing up for mothers all over
this country being denied medicaid expansion. my mother raised me to stand up and i won't sit down for anybody. this is "politics nation" growing hope. where we refuse to have despair. we're growing home from georgia. "politics nation" with al sharpton. "hardball" starts rite now. >> the shame game. let's play "hardball." the accusations now from fox to limbaugh to all corners of the planet hate is that the