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Melissa Harris-Perry: ‘What is riskier than living poor in America?’

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A discussion on the racialized political rhetoric surrounding welfare took a turn close to home for Melissa Harris-Perry on her show Saturday morning, as she offered author and BusinessWeek columnist Monica Mehta a glimpse at the kind of places in which people who need of social-assistance programs often live.

Harris-Perry’s animated remarks were a response to Mehta’s opinion that President Barack Obama’s much-twisted “You didn’t build that” speech missed an emphasis on risk-taking, something she suggested enabled class mobility in America.

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“What is riskier than living poor in America? Seriously!,” she said, slamming her hand on her desk. “What in the world is riskier than being a poor person in America? I live in a neighborhood where people are shot on my street corner. I live in a neighborhood where people have to figure out how to get their kid into school because maybe it will be a good school and maybe it won’t. I am sick of the idea that being wealthy is risky. No. There is a huge safety net that whenever you fail will catch you and catch you and catch you. Being poor is what is risky. We have to create a safety net for poor people. And when we won’t, because they happen to look different from us, it is the pervasive ugliness”

Mehta attempted to clarify her remarks by saying risk-taking is what separates entrepreneurs from other smart, hard-working people, all of whom use the same government-provided roads.

“Some of us go to Dairy Queen, and some of us start businesses,” Mehta said.

Harris-Perry later apologized for her actions during the segment. Her emphatic response to Mehta starts at the 8:15 mark of this video, posted by MSNBC on Saturday.

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WATCH LIVE: Trump tries to distract from the Democratic debate with his own rally

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President Donald Trump is on a west coast swing to raise Beverly Hills cash. But Wednesday, Trump will deliver one of his classic rambling speeches to a room full of fans in an attempt to distract attention away from the Democratic debate in Arizona.

MSNBC intends to air the debate, where former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg will appear for the first time on the debate stage. There are expected to be fireworks on the stage as Democratic candidates like Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) criticize the former mayor for buying his way into the Democratic debate and the primary.

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WATCH LIVE: Michael Bloomberg faces questions for the first time in Las Vegas Democratic Debate

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Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will appear on the debate stage for the first time in the Democratic primary.

MSNBC will air a Wednesday debate, where there are expected to be fireworks on the stage as Democratic candidates like Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) criticize the former mayor for buying his way into the Democratic debate and the primary.

"The debate will test Bloomberg’s ability to handle the scrutiny he has largely escaped until recently. It’ll be the first time he’ll share the stage with his Democratic rivals and be judged by voters in the sort of uncontrolled environment that even his money cannot buy," reported NBC News.

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Trump threatens federal government takeover of San Francisco: ‘It’s worse than a slum’

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President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the federal government may "step in" to take control of San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The president made the remarks at a White House event in Bakersfield, California. During the event, Trump responded to someone who said he wanted to "get rid" of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"Get rid of Pelosi! That's okay with me!" Trump exclaimed. "Lot of people agree. Look what's happened to San Francisco. So sad what's happened, when you see a slum, where it's a slum. It's worse than a slum. There's no slum like that."

"It's something that we're going to do something about," he added. "Because if they don't fix it up, clean it up, take care of the homeless, do what they have to do but clean up their city, the federal government is going to have to step in. And we're going to do it in Los Angeles and San Francisco."

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