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MSNBC's Sharpton: GOP 'Will Stop at Nothing to Tear Down the Poor'

Media Research CenterOn Wednesday's PoliticsNation show, MSNBC host Al Sharpton charged that Republicans are waging a "full-scale war against the poor" because of GOP efforts to reform the food stamp program, and went on to assert that "This party will stop at nothing to tear down the poor. Just as they have time and time again."

With the words "The Hunger Shames" in the background, the MSNBC host began the show:

Tonight's lead, the "hunger shames." The GOP has been called scary, narrow-minded, out of touch. And yet again today they lived up to their reputation. Fresh off of voting to roll back women's rights, today Republicans went after benefits for the poor. The House GOP wants to cut $20 billion from the food stamp program. Money that goes to hungry kids, disabled adults, struggling seniors. Why all the massive cuts? Well, just ask Congressman Sessions.

Then came three clips Texas Republicans Rep. Pete Sessions talking about wanting to remove convicted felons from the food stamp rolls and reserving the program for more deserving people, although the MSNBC host did not seem to get the point. Sharpton responded:

Pedophiles, murders, and rapists? The cuts the GOP want would kick 200,000 kids off the school lunch program. Kids -- not pedophiles, not murderers, not rapists -- kids. They're targeting a program where the vast majority of households includes children, seniors, or disabled people. That's who the GOP is targeting.

The MSNBC host added:

This isn't about fraud. It's a full-scale war against the poor. Just look at the amendments they're offering. They're telling needy mothers they need to get drug tested. They're pushing new work requirements to qualify for food stamps. And while the GOP can`t even talk about gun registry, they want one for people on food aid. This party will stop at nothing to tear down the poor. Just as they have time and time again.

Below is a transcript of relevant portions of the Wednesday, June 19, PoliticsNation on MSNBC:

AL SHARPTON: Tonight's lead, the "hunger shames." The GOP has been called scary, narrow-minded, out of touch. And yet again today they lived up to their reputation. Fresh off of voting to roll back women's rights, today Republicans went after benefits for the poor. The House GOP wants to cut $20 billion from the food stamp program. Money that goes to hungry kids, disabled adults, struggling seniors. Why all the massive cuts? Well, just ask Congressman Sessions.

REP. PETE SESSIONS (R-TX) CLIP #1: What we're trying to accomplish is to end eligibility of food stamps that compete against those families, those needy families that we talked about for rapists, pedophiles, and murders. Whether rapists-

SESSION CLIP #2: -pedophiles or murders will be eligible-

SESSIONS CLIP #3: -but it's pedophiles, murders, rapists. Those who should have enough money.

SHARPTON: Pedophiles, murders, and rapists? The cuts the GOP want would kick 200,000 kids off the school lunch program. Kids -- not pedophiles, not murderers, not rapists -- kids. They're targeting a program where the vast majority of households includes children, seniors, or disabled people. That's who the GOP is targeting.

This isn't about fraud. It's a full-scale war against the poor. Just look at the amendments they're offering. They're telling needy mothers they need to get drug tested. They're pushing new work requirements to qualify for food stamps. And while the GOP can`t even talk about gun registry, they want one for people on food aid. This party will stop at nothing to tear down the poor. Just as they have time and time again.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN): Self-reliance means if anyone will not work, neither should he eat.

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER, CLIP #1: Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working. And have nobody around them who works.

GINGRICH CLIP #2: They have no habit of I do this and you give me cash unless it's illegal.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI): Teach a man how to fish, he can feed himself for a life. Don't simply feed fish.

SHARPTON: Wouldn't it be nice if for once the GOP talked that way about banks and oil companies instead of those struggling to get by?

Joining me now is Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Democrat from Illinois. She just is steps away from where the House is voting. She participated in the SNAP food stamp challenge with other Democrats where they lived on just $31.50 a week. Also with me, Karen Finney, host of MSNBC's Disrupt. ... Congresswoman, does the GOP always target the poor when cuts need to be made?

-- Brad Wilmouth is a news analyst at the Media Research Center