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Msnbc Live at 6 p.m. ET, Monday July 25

Read the transcript from the Monday 6 p.m. hour

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Guest Host: Al Sharpton
Guests: Bob Shrum, Dana Milbank, Rep. Mick Mulvaney, Jared Bernstein,
Michael Eric Dyson, Christina Bellantoni, Clarissa Martinez de Castro,
Maria Teresa Kumar

REV. AL SHARPTON, HOST: President Obama goes prime time. Tonight, a live address to the nation from the White House. Will he use that bully pulpit again?
And, Speaker Boehner runs out of gimmicks. The Tea Party is ready to pounce.
Plus, Republicans running for president just made their job harder. A major snub could cost them.
Also, Rick Perry‘s controversial comments on gay marriage.
And Chris Christie says no way to running. So what‘s he doing in Iowa?
Welcome to the show. I‘m Al Sharpton.
Tonight‘s lead, President Obama goes primetime. In three hours, the president will address the nation on the debt crisis. It comes as Republicans reject another, yet another, fad deal from the Democrats.
Today, Senator Harry Reid offered a proposal that cuts the deficit, doesn‘t raise taxes, so surely, Speaker Boehner is delighted, right? Wrong.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I believe that the plan is full of gimmicks. It doesn‘t deal with the biggest drivers of our deficit and our debt, and that would be entitlement programs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Instead, Boehner is pushing a short term proposal, which the White House and Democrats say is a nonstarter.
And up until a month ago, it was a nonstarter for Republicans as well.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOEHNER: The uncertainty that‘s out there is not going to be overcome by, you know, another little short term gimmick.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I think the president put it best on Friday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, at some point, I think if you want to be a leader, then you got to lead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Joining me now, Democratic strategist Bob Shrum. Also with me, “The Washington Post‘s” Dana Milbank.
Bob, what do you think he will say tonight?
BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, I think it‘s a defining moment for his presidency because we‘ve come very close to the same kind of thing that we had with Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich in 1995.
I think he‘s going to say that he‘s been reasonable, that he‘s trying to meet the Republicans more than half way. He‘s agreed to a grand bargain with John Boehner. He‘s agreed it other forms of doing this. All of which give the Republicans something.
But I think he‘s also going to draw a line. He‘s going to say he‘s willing to see some entitlement reforms, for example, in Medicare. But he is not willing to replace it with a program that will provide seniors with vouchers and cost them $6,500 a year. He is not willing to see us move toward privatization of Social Security.
And I think he‘s going to say the whole American economy is on the line here. Because as Republicans themselves said, if you do this on a short term basis, you‘re going to rattle the markets, which, by the way, is what Boehner did after the markets sustained the day pretty well.
SHARPTON: Right.
SHRUM: And secondly, you will have higher interest rates for the government, for individuals and, in the end, you could end up with a bigger deficit.
SHARPTON: You mean what the Republicans said before because they are saying something totally different now?
SHRUM: Yes. Republicans said it for months, said it for months.
SHARPTON: Right.
Dana, you cover politics as well or better than most. What politically does the president need to say tonight, and then what does he need it say in terms of what is good for the country and are they the same things?
DANA MILBANK, WASHINGTON POST: Well, I think so at this point. I mean, the president‘s got to get back in control of this. There‘s a sense here in Washington that is now being hammered out by John Boehner and Harry Reid up on the Hill. And the president sort of marginalized here. So, this is a very classic universities bully pulpit. And you know, I don‘t think he can say a whole lot beyond what he said before.
I mean, a lot of people have hit him I think properly so for giving in on most every point. I mean, he is essentially waved a white flag of surrender to the Republicans and they say, ha, ha, we refuse your surrender, we want even more.
So, you know, he‘s gone as far as he can, that much is very clear. So, I think this is more of a rhetorical thing he‘s doing tonight than a policy statement. But that‘s one of power things a president can do.
SHARPTON: I mean, I was reading Paul Krugman and he said when you put Medicare on the table, he had a quote that really resonated with a lot of people.
“According to many reports,” I‘m reading from his column, “the president offered both means-testing of Medicare benefits and a rise in the age of Medicare eligibility. The first would be bad policy. The second would be terrible policy. And it would almost surely be terrible politics, too.”
Dana, if he goes any further—I mean, I think that some of his base and a lot to the left, will just walk away.
MILBANK: He can‘t go any further because he‘s basically already given everything up. You know, he gave the Republicans everything they wanted.
The president had a revolt on his hands until John Boehner walked out of these talks this weekend. He was in a great deal of trouble with his own base. So, in that sense, politically, he was rescued by John Boehner. Of course, that doesn‘t help the country right now as we—as the following eight days.
I think there‘s a real sense that because of the brinkmanship here, neither side can afford to say, “OK, we agree to something” before the last second, because they‘ll be accused by their own side of caving in.
SHARPTON: Bob, isn‘t this a case of Republicans being held captive by the Tea Party, snatching the defeat out of the jaws of victory? They can‘t just say yes. I mean, let‘s deal with the fact that Eric Cantor himself—let‘s look at this, Eric Cantor himself, talked about, “You can‘t have short terms. I don‘t see,” I‘m quoting him, “I don‘t see how multiple votes on debt ceiling increase can get us to where we want to go. And to me, it‘s a case of having to make tough decisions.”
What happened to that Eric Cantor?
SHRUM: Well, that Eric Cantor I think would like to replace John Boehner as speaker.
But what really happened here was that Boehner and McConnell and—look, I disagree with them, but, you know, sometimes, there are adults in the room or they act like adults in the room. Boehner tried to do a grand bargain with the president.
Dana is right. The president gave a great deal. He went a long way. There‘s a big difference between requiring higher co-payments for a wealthy Medicare recipients than saying everybody in Medicare is going to pay $6,500 more, which is the Ryan plan.
But president went that distance. And I think Boehner went back it his caucus. He couldn‘t get the support. And so, the speaker has now become a mouth piece for the Tea Party.
And you‘re right and Dana‘s right, I think in the end, there has to be a deal, maybe there won‘t be, there has to be a deal, but it will come at the very last second.
SHARPTON: President may have said, let me throw it all on the table. Let me risk everything. Let me, as he said, show tough leadership. And they still wouldn‘t do it and maybe it was a chess move to show no matter what, this is about trying to bring a president down than to lift a nation up.
Could that have been the strategy, Dana?
MILBANK: You know, well, look, the president did give—how much more could he have done? He gave the Republicans everything they were looking for with the exception of saying, hey, come on, give me some face-saving gesture here. Give me something on the tax revenue side. It was a pittance compared to the overall cuts.
So, and they were saying, no, we can‘t even give you that.
So I think he succeeded in demonstrating—I think polls indicated, you know, given that his numbers are lousy, but the Republicans are worse, that he is the guy who was the most generous in terms of concessions here. I think he‘s won that battle. But you know that and that and a few bucks will get him a coffee at Starbucks.
SHARPTON: Now, Bob, let me ask you a question. Suppose that the president walks in that East Room tonight in prime time and said, “All right, I‘ve had a enough. I‘m going to use the 14th Amendment and I‘m just going to go for it and let the court stop me.”
Then what happens?
SHRUM: Well, if that happens, there will be an attempt by the Republicans—the Republican members of Congress to sue, to take him to court. It‘s very hard to see when you listen to legal scholars, how any of them would have standing. How they can demonstrate that they individually have been hurt.
And the general consensus even among conservative legal scholars seems to be that there is no way to challenge the president in court. That is clearly something you do at the extreme, at the last moment, when people are playing political football with full faith and credit of the country.
But president, in order to get away that, would have to, tonight, make a really persuasive case to people building on the perception that he is reasonable and saying here is why we can‘t go further than this. It‘s going to kill your Social Security, your jobs, your Medicare.
SHARPTON: Well, I think he‘s been very good in the past at making persuasive arguments—but just in case he doesn‘t feel up to it, we can always let Boehner talk and that would convince everybody.
(LAUGHTER)
SHARPTON: Thank you, Bob Shrum. Thank you, Dana Milbank. Thanks for your time this evening.
Joining me now is freshman Republican congressman from South Carolina, Mick Mulvaney. He is a member of the Tea Party.
Congressman, thank you for being here tonight.
Let me ask you, do you support the new Boehner plan that we just heard?
REP. MICK MULVANEY ®, SOUTH CAROLINA: Reverend, the honest answer is I don‘t know yet. I got the summary along with the rest of the Republican conference just a couple of hours ago. One of questions that I specifically asked was when could we see the entire bill. I‘ve gotten a nasty habit here of not relying too much on summaries wanting the actual bill language. We expect to see that before midnight tonight online.
There are some things I liked in it, some things that I didn‘t like under it. But the honest answer to your question is I don‘t know because I haven‘t seen the bill yet.
SHARPTON: Well, you do know that several conservative groups and Tea Party members of Congress have already denounced it and said they don‘t think it‘s gone far enough. You are saying that you‘re not in that rank yet and you‘re not committing to the speaker yet. You‘re waiting it read the bill.
MULVANEY: I have no way to committing one way or another before I read the bill. I don‘t want to be premature and dismiss something that I would like, or say that I like something that ultimately I would not. So, I‘m going to read the bill this evening.
SHARPTON: All right. Fair enough.
Let me say this, Congressman, you, obviously, and I are on different sides of the political spectrum. But both of us are committed to the country. One of the things that people are really concerned about is the weight that this has, this decision has, that seems to be so caught up in partisan politics.
I was reading, let me show you an article that Nicholas Kristof wrote into “The New York Times” over the weekend, where he talked about, “If how China or Iran threatened our national credit rating and tried to drive up the interest rates, if they sought to damage our education system, we would erupt in outrage. Well, wake up. Wake up to the national security threat that‘s happening. Only it is not coming from abroad. It is coming from the own domestic extremists.”
I mean, we are facing something we wouldn‘t tolerate externally. Can‘t we get beyond these partisan differences and extremes on both sides to deal with the fact that this is risking American standing in terms of the foreign markets, and services to our seniors, our young people? I mean, can‘t we get past this in terms of the partisan bickering?
MULVANEY: Reverend, to a certain extent I agree with you. My question is, where have you and where the folks who think as the same as you, where they have been the last 10 years when we have been running up this debt. You‘re absolutely right. It‘s a national security threat that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said as much last year. He didn‘t say it about raising debt ceiling, he said it about the debt and deficit.
So, I agree that this is a really, really big deal and we should be moving on beyond politics.
The difficulty is, I don‘t know who‘s going to start doing that. We did it in the House last week when we had something that was bipartisan.
What do we hear coming out of the White House now? We hear—well, we got to do something that get us past the next election.
You heard Mitch McConnell, a member of my own party, I have a lot of respect for him, but his plan to essentially give controls to the president is designed nothing but to influence the next election. So, I got folks on all sides who want it make politics out of this.
There is a group in the middle who are saying, look, let‘s find something bipartisan. Let‘s find something that actually will work. And we had that last week with “cap, cut and balance” which is still—
SHARPTON: Well, let me say this, Congressman, I‘m so happy you asked the question, where have we been? I‘m going to show you two graphs on where we have been.
Let me show, under George Bush, the president—you said where we been the last 10 years, under George Bush, he spent $5.7 trillion. We were out there saying don‘t spend money on a war where you don‘t have weapons of mass destruction. We were out there saying, we don‘t give tax cuts to the wealthy.
Under President Obama we‘ve only spent $1.44 trillion. So, we‘ve been there 10 years trying to tell people that are in the middle, and I‘m glad you all of sudden put the Tea Party in the middle, that this wasn‘t going to work.
I‘ll show you another graph. We are shocked when we look at the fact of the wealthy in the country, when you take the top richest in this country, look at this graph, Congressman, that from “Forbes,” this is not from me, that the richest Americans are making more than 60 percent of the bottom.
That‘s where we‘ve been. We‘ve been saying if you keep taking care of the rich, at the expense of the middle class, the poor get poorer, the rich get richer. That‘s where we‘ve been.
We‘ve been waiting on people to hear that. You‘re in Washington now. And you have an opportunity to say to your party, we can‘t keep protecting these fat guys at the top. We can‘t keep having this imbalance. Let us come and protect the American people.
That‘s where we‘ve been.
Now that you are there—will you join that call?
MULVANEY: Reverend, I apologize. I don‘t know if you recognize, I can‘t see the graphs but I think I‘m familiar with the ones you just described.
SHARPTON: OK.
MULVANEY: If you are looking for somebody to defend George W. Bush, you‘ve come to the wrong place.
SHARPTON: Well, that‘s refreshing. I‘m glad to hear that.
MULVANEY: I happen to believe that the spending that my own party did between 2000 and 2008 paved the by for spending we see in the last two years. And it‘s obscene on both parties. Both of these parties are to blame.
Regarding defense spending, we‘ll do that quickly. I introduced an
amendment last week that was consistent with the Simpson-Bowles bipartisan
fiscal commission that said, can we at least freeze defense spending at
2011 levels? We just set those levels about three months ago. And I‘ve
been back home telling everybody what a significant spending problem we‘ve
got and that we offer a defense budget this year—actually just last week
that increased the base defense budget by $17 billion.

I offered an amendment to get rid of that. To free spending a the 2011 levels. That the good news.
The bad news, Reverend, is that less than half of the Democrats voted with me. Less than half of the Republicans voted with me.
SHARPTON: What about the rich? What about the rich? You are saying everything music to my ears. Bring it home for me, Congressman. Will you say the rich needs to quit getting their tax cuts?
MULVANEY: Can‘t do it, Reverend. If you take a look at—
SHARPTON: Oh, come on, Congressman, you can‘t balance the budget by making poor people pay and rich people get away. Come on, close the loopholes.
MULVANEY: Reverend, go back and look at the last time we balanced the budget. It was under your Democrat, Bill Clinton. Give credit where credit is due.
He didn‘t do it through his tax increases. In fact, he reduced some taxes. What he did was dramatically reduced government spending. He dramatically reduced the size of the federal government. That‘s what balanced the budget in the late 1990s (ph).
SHARPTON: But he did not reduce the taxes to the point that George Bush did. Otherwise, we wouldn‘t have had tax cuts under Bush. When Bush came in, we were in a surplus. When he left, we were in a deficit.
Congressman, if you stand up to the rich, just like you said you‘d stand up with defense, then you and I—I come to South Carolina and help you out. I‘d endorse your opponent in the next Republican primary.
(CROSSTALK)
SHARPTON: Thank you, Congressman, I‘ve got to go.
MULVANEY: Reverend, tell me if those are the same tax cuts Obama supported last year.
SHARPTON: I don‘t care who supported them. I don‘t and you shouldn‘t. So, let‘s be on the same side of the American people, not the rich.
Mick Mulvaney, thanks for joining us this evening.
MULVANEY: Thanks, Reverend. Have a nice day.
SHARPTON: All right. You, too.
After ripping Republican leadership, President Obama is in full command. What will he say tonight?
Plus, Chris Christie keeps saying, no to running. So, why is he back in Iowa today?
Stay with us.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SHARPTON: What will President Obama say in his primetime speech tonight? I‘m anxious to know. I‘m going to ask Jared Bernstein, former economic advisor to Vice President Biden, what he thinks, next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Are we a people who break the promises we made to seniors or the disabled, and leave them to fend for themselves? That‘s not who we are. We are better than that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: President Obama today calling for shared sacrifice and any deal put forth by both parties.
He‘ll make his case for a balanced approach to the American public once again tonight, in a primetime address.
But joining me now, is someone very familiar with the administration. He is Jared Bernstein, former chief economist for Vice President Biden. He is now a senior fellow with the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.
Jared, what do you expect from the president tonight?
JARED BERNSTEIN, FMR. CHIEF ECONOMIST FOR VP BIDEN: I expect the president to remind the American public of the stakes in this debate, of the extend to which he, more than really anyone else at the table, has bent over backwards to get a deal to avoid default, going deep into discomfort zone even for many Democrats. And then I expect him to contrast the two plans that are on the table right now. One offered by Senator Harry Reid and the other by Republican leader Boehner. Very different plans.
The most important contrast the president will speak to tonight is the fact that the Boehner plan does not get this debt ceiling increased through 2012. It only has a short term increase that would leave us having the same exact debate a few months from now. And reverend if you want to have that debate again, a few months from now, you are a different person than I thought you were.
SHARPTON: Well, here is the point. One, the Republicans claim they didn‘t want a short term solution.
BERNSTEIN: Well, that‘s right.
SHARPTON: Now they have changed that.
BERNSTEIN: Call that a gimmick. Yes.
SHARPTON: It‘s their gimmick, they said. It‘s their gimmick though.
But second point is: aren‘t they playing politics to have it right in the beginning of the 2012 election?
Now, I don‘t know who‘s advising them, because the polls I‘m seeing, the president‘s doing mediocre, they are doing terrible. I don‘t know why they would want to replay this in 2012.
BERNSTEIN: It is not a news flash that politics are being played here. But here is the point I‘d like it make. And I think—I think this is going to resonate with you and with our listeners.
Every minute we are obsessing about deficits and the debt and debt ceiling—a totally manufactured crisis, by the way—we‘re not talking about jobs.
SHARPTON: Right.
BERNSTEIN: And we are in a nation with a measured unemployment rate of above 9 percent, but you can double that real easy if you want to capture the underemployed into the picture.
And everyday we are fretting over this up, and I don‘t care if you are Democrat, independent—we are talking about jobs.
So, if you want to keep obsessing about the problem, a long-term problem—not a trivial problem, but a medium problem, and avoiding the immediate issue, jobs and the economy, then sure, let‘s keep debating this every month up until the election.
SHARPTON: Well, hat‘s my question to you. Are the Republicans doing this on purpose so that it keeps the economy bad and it distracts us from the real issue of talking about jobs and job creation? I mean, I read you a lot on “The Huffington Post” and you keep bringing it up. But it‘s is almost like overshadowed by people that are talking about everything other than what the American people have said in every poll—where is the jobs?
BERNSTEIN: Yes. Well, that‘s exactly right and again, I don‘t—I can‘t speak to the politics as much as the opportunity cost of continuing to focus on this. And I think you‘re going to hear that from the president tonight. And I would listen to the president tonight, to see if he suggests that he will veto a deficit—that he will veto a debt ceiling increase that does not get us through 2012, i.e., the Boehner plan.
SHARPTON: So, we can hear the president saying that he can veto a short term plan. We can even hear him say the 14th Amendment which many people feel he will not go that far. But he clearly, in your judgment, is going to lay out the difference between the Boehner plan. What about the Reid plan?
Let‘s look at what the Reid plan is and is not. Reid‘s plan is, the debt ceiling hike through 2012. Let‘s go past the election he is saying, $2.7 trillion in savings. No new revenue and no new entitlement cuts.
How does that plan sound to you and why would the Republicans not take
that plan? There is no new taxes there, which I think we should cancel the
Bush tax cuts. But they don‘t get any new taxes there at all, and they get
they are cut in terms of the entitlement.

I mean, what‘s the problem?
BERNSTEIN: OK. So, first of all, just to correct that last point, they don‘t get their entitlement cut in the Reid plan.
SHARPTON: I‘m sorry. You‘re right.
BERNSTEIN: But, you‘re absolutely right. There is no revenue, not a cent for miles around in the Reid plan. This is a plan that I view as pretty darn imbalanced. By the way, I suspect the president views it the same way. He is consistently talking about the need to include revenues because if you don‘t, you put too much pressure on the spending cut side of the equation, and that does a lot more harm than good.
So, yes, the Republicans ought to take the Reid plan. But you see, Reverend, it‘s really a matter of posturing, of leveraging, of politics.
If they can keep this leveraging going month after month after month, well, we are not talking about jobs, we are not talking about economy and they are continually trying to jam the president in way that has really led to considerable dysfunction in our politics and our economy in recent weeks.
So, between Reid and Boehner, I mean, neither of them have the revenues. But Reid is far, far better.
SHARPTON: But Reid is saying that we would cut the spending, not the
you‘re right, not entitlements, but spending, which is what they said they wanted.

(CROSSTALK)
SHARPTON: Jared Bernstein, thank you for joining me. I have to go.
I‘m up against a hard break.
Ahead, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says closing DMVs will save money. But he is just driving voters away. I‘m revealing this con job ahead.
And, Rick Perry, making some headlines on gay marriage. What he said could spell trouble big time with the Tea Party.
Stay with us.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SHARPTON: Scott Walker ran through a new voter ID law and now he‘s making it harder for people to get those IDs. That‘s our con job of the day. Wisconsin‘s union busting governor scored a conservative victory this spring when he signed a voter ID law that would likely depress turn out among democratic voters. But the law could have been even a bigger impact than expected. Walker plans to close ten DMV offices in the next year. The remaining DMVs will have extended hours for people to get ID cards. But that won‘t help Wisconsin residents who live far away from a DMV office and those that don‘t drive. Even without the DMV closures, the law would disenfranchise thousands of people since 12 percent of illegible voters don‘t have government-issued IDs, and the law will cost Wisconsin about $7 million to implement. Which is funny since Walker considered himself fiscally responsible. Walker and his cronies claim they are fighting election fraud. But they are really making it harder for voters to get their voices heard. Scott Walker‘s continued attack on voters rights is our con job of the day.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SHARPTON: Welcome back to the show. Now to discuss some of today‘s biggest political stories. We bring in on out Power Panel.
Joining me now, Georgetown University professor and MSNBC political analyst, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson. Also with me, Christina Bellantoni, associate politics editor of Roll Call. And finally, Matt Lewis, senior contributor for The Daily Caller.
Can Republicans say, yes? Our first question tonight, President said on Friday, he doesn‘t know if the president—I mean, if the Republicans are capable of saying yes. That very question he raised after the Republicans walked away from the budget talks. Matt?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Yes. One of the questions that the Republican Parties are going to have to ask itself is, can they say yes to anything. Where‘s the leadership, or alternatively, how seriously are you actually about debt and deficit reduction, or do you simply want to as a campaign for it going into the next election?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: GOP lawmakers have rejected every single democratic proposal. They‘d even rejected the republican plan proposal from Mitch McConnell. Michael is yes, a word not in the republican vocabulary and will the president address it tonight?
DR. MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, PROFESSOR, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: I think Reverend Sharpton that it seems that they cannot say yes. No, no, no. The party of negativity. The party of denial. The party of no. And every deal this put forth so far has been rejected by them. I‘m hoping tonight that the president now will not only address that squarely. I was hoping in my fantasy, in my greatest fantasies, that they would be like DeMaurice Smith and Roger Goodell that announces the deal that‘s been struck. And they were going to have football. So, now we‘re going to have a deficit that‘s been, you know, whose ceiling has been lifted. This is ridiculous, it‘s utterly irresponsible and the American people are growing tired, Reverend Sharpton, of the inability of the Republicans to move even an inch toward conciliation and toward compromise to make certain that this nation will not be in default on August 3rd.
SHARPTON: Well, Matt if we are playing football again in this Washington game, it seems like the working class are the only ones being tackled. I mean, can the Republicans find anything they agree to at all, including the plans they supported? They‘ve said no to McConnell‘s plan, the old guy. You‘ve got now some Tea Party people saying no to what Boehner is even saying. I mean, do you all have any control of your party to where we can get a consensus yes, from Republicans on Capitol Hill?
MATT LEWIS, THE DAILY CALLER: Well, I think Reverend that Republicans of the House, actually, the only entity that has passed the bill. And I think it is entirely plausible that Boehner‘s new idea passes, and so the republican led House of Representatives would have actually pass two bills which would raise the debt ceiling. Let‘s see if Harry Reid and the Democrats and President Obama sign on to it or not. But look, I don‘t think—I don‘t see this as a problem that is solely the responsibility of Republicans. I think everyone has to work together and I think that the American public is getting fed up. But I don‘t think it is any one side that‘s to blame at this point.
SHARPTON: Wait a minute, so the fact that republican congressman came out this afternoon and said that Boehner just allowed a ceremonial vote on their package and pooh-poohed it and in fact that they say that his plan is not going far enough. I mean, you are trying to paint this rosy picture. You‘ve been dealing with a civil war among Republicans that is really would have stalled the whole process. Boehner played golf with the president, seemed to be coming together. Yanked back by the Tea Party. Then, he wouldn‘t have a private meeting with the president, yanked back by the Tea Party. Then he and Cantor went in, yanked back by the Tea Party. Don‘t act like that the Republicans have had this great tiptoe through the tulips. Every time it seems like there‘s a deal, it seems like the leadership gets pulled back by the extremists on the republican side.
LEWIS: I think that might be your perception. I mean, you know, John Boehner claims that he had a deal with President Obama, that President Obama then moved the goalpost.
SHARPTON: Oh, OK.
LEWIS: Look, there is no doubt that there are some Republicans who even now, with the new plan don‘t agree with John Boehner‘s proposal. You‘re never going to get everybody in your party. I think John Boehner can lose 23 to 25 Republicans and the House could still pass this bill, then we will see if the Senate passes it. And if Barack Obama vetoes it. You‘ll never going to get everybody on board.
SHARPTON: Let me ask you. Since the problem is my perception. Maybe you have a better perception. Don‘t we seem to be in a position here where the deal keeps changing and no matter what the deal is, they cannot get the Republicans to say yes?
CHRISTINA BELLANTONI, ROLL CALL: Well, no one‘s really said yes to anything that the other party has offered yet. There is not an actual bipartisan plan out there that everybody‘s endorsed. And I think what is important to look at is Boehner is not going to lose 20 to 25 Republicans. He could lose up to closer to 50 Republicans. And if that‘s the case, then he needs the Democrats. Which is why I think that ultimately everybody has going to have to compromise on this. I think that you‘re going to hear the president talk about that tonight. He‘s probably going to endorse Harry Reid‘s plan. The final deal, Boehner knows that he cannot allow the nation to default on its debt. So, they‘re going to have to find some sort of compromise. It‘s going to be pieces of all these deals put together and of course it‘s going to be at the last minute because this is Washington and this is how it‘s done.
SHARPTON: All right. Let‘s turn the page to another issue because we will certainly going to be wading through what president says tonight. Trouble brewing for Rick Perry. The Texas governor speaking about gay marriage ruling in New York. Said quote, “That‘s New York and that‘s their business, and that‘s fine with me.” While Rick Perry hasn‘t announced he is running for president, he seems to be the candidate to bridge the gap between Tea Party conservatives and party establishment.
Matt, is Rick Perry in trouble with socially conservative Tea Party people who wouldn‘t like him saying it is fine with him that New York went that way? Or is he playing to the state party, state rights party people that say, let every state decide on their own?
LEWIS: I think Perry‘s position would probably be popular with most conservatives. I mean, despite the perception, I think most conservatives really don‘t care that much about the gay issue. In terms of like caring about average gay Americans, it is a little different, you know, when the government comes in and you start fighting over the marriage issue. I mean, he is taking a federalist position which I think is actually very popular. The problem he‘s going to run into is the logistics of it. Because what would happen is, what if somebody got married, a gay couple got married in New York and then moved to Texas. And then sued to have their marriage recognized in Texas.
SHARPTON: Right.
LEWIS: So, I think that philosophically, Perry‘s position would actually be popular but in practice it could run into some major problems down the road.
SHARPTON: Or what happens if it is raised in Iowa? During the first of the states that we see primaries and the like? What happens there of the conservative republican voters in Iowa as open-minded or non-caring about this issue. Dr. Dyson, what do you think? Is this something that could be a non-issue and conservative in Iowa?
DYSON: Well, I think it‘s going to be an issue among conservatives. The Tea Party says, it is not concerned about social issues, it is only concerned about the constitution and the size of the government and the deficit and overspending and taxing and the like. But the reality is, social conservatives are going to be rebuffed by this. Because on the one hand, as you raise the issue, if we talk about states‘ rights and historically, I‘ve certainly had a red flag raise for me when it comes to states writes because state rights have been often applied against the interest of minorities. So in this case, it was recognized in say New York but not recognized in Iowa, then that presents a problem because they have no federally recognized right that the state did is compelled to protect them all. So, I think that the Republicans are going to have to fight this battle at some point. They want to strategically avoid it as much as they can.
SHARPTON: Christina?
BELLANTONI: This is more about Perry sort of tapping into the national mood. Because right now, you seen a really dramatic shift away particularly from the marriage issue. But a dramatic shift away from social conservative issues. You know, abortion will always be sort of a crucial test for republican primary candidates but right now you‘re seeing more and more polls show that as generational change happen throughout the country, people don‘t care as much about marriage. And Iowa is considering measures to look at the marriage issue. So, I think that you‘re going to see a little bit of discussion about this, but this is a way for Perry to position himself as a bit of a national candidate, as a bit of maybe moderate on an issue that more people are caring about less.
SHARPTON: Let me thank all of you for joining me tonight. Great panel. I have to go on.
Ahead, the republican candidates shunned a major event today. What will the snub mean for an eventual 2012 candidate?
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SHARPTON: Is Chris Christie a big tease? From the start, the brash New Jersey Governor said there‘s no way he is running for president. But his actions have a lot of people wondering. Today, he showed up in Des Moines, Iowa for an education conference and republican fund-raiser. Last week, he met with the group of wealthy conservatives who asked him to run.
And back in May, some Iowa businessmen also tried to convince him to get in. Governor Christie, either you are keeping alive the rumor or you need to get a new person in your scheduling office. They have a suspicious way of moving you around.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: We need your voice. Your country needs you. Our American family will only be as strong as our growing Latino community.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: That was President Obama speaking today before the National Council of La Raza, the country‘s largest Latino interest group. The president face the warm but tough audience. One that cheered when he talked about the Latino representation in his administration. But also pushed for him to work harder on immigration reform. But as the president courted the growing Latino community, I can‘t help but notice who didn‘t show up.
Five major republican candidates were invited. None showed. What will a snub like this mean for the Republicans in the 2012 elections?
Joining me now is Clarissa Martinez de Castro, she‘s a director of immigration policy at the National Council of La Raza. And Maria Teresa Kumar, co-founder of VOTO Latino group, bringing young Latinos into the political process.
Let me start with you Clarissa, the reception today, warm but saying we want to see more. How do you read it and how do you read the fact that none of the Republicans came to your conference?
CLARISSA MARTINEZ DE CASTRO, NATIONAL COUNCIL OF LA RAZA: Well, as you stated, it was a warm reception. At the same time, the issue of immigration is cutting our community very deeply and we wanted to hear more from the president. So, the audience in unison sent that message very loudly to the president that he can do more and yes, he can do more. At the same time, we give him credit because we have been very vocal about the disagreements we have with the administration and the president came to face this community and speak about his record and the unfinished business. On the other hand, we invited five members, five republican candidates and none of them chose to come. And I think that tells a lot about how—where the Republican Party is in terms of the demonizing of this community. We do hope they meant cores and they actually show the courage to come and face this community, particularly to defend their positions.
SHARPTON: Maria, let me ask you. As I watched the president today saying that he wanted the Latino community to keep pushing. I remember when he addressed our National Action Network conference here, he says, I know you‘re not satisfied. You‘re not the satisfaction network. Listen to what he said today that almost invited the community, the Latino community to keep challenging he and his partner.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Feel free to keep the heat on me. And keep the heat on Democrats. But here is the only—the only thing you should know, the Democrats and your president are with you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Now, as he keeps saying, keep the heat on him, how do you do that? And the Republicans are ignoring you. I mean, aren‘t they missing an opportunity to try and make some hay out of the heat being on the president?
MARIA TERESA KUMAR, CO-FOUNDER, VOTO LATINO: A huge opportunity. I mean, the biggest problem right now with the Latino community and President Obama is that they feel like they went on several dates with him during the election season, and then all of a sudden he didn‘t call the next day. So, they‘re hurt. So him coming—was a huge move forward saying that he is still reaching out. But there‘s no opportunity for the Republicans. And what is happening is that Republicans realize that they have a Latino problem, and so what they are doing Reverend is instead of actually engaging with the Latino community, there are eight state legislators right now that passed really difficult voter ID laws that now only suppresses the Latino vote but it suppresses young people vote, minority vote and unfortunately the elderly.
And that‘s right now their short term fix. They recognize that they have a long-term problem and they‘re not going to be able to fix in this election. So, instead of engaging smartly, they‘ve decided that they‘re taking it to the state legislator. And that‘s where people really should keep an eye on the ball. That and the fact that, same state legislators, not by coincidence are the same new states, that are going to be getting new Congressional districts because of the boom in the Latino vote from 2008.
SHARPTON: So, they are gaining in terms of Congressional district because of a Latino presence. But at the same time, they are trying to make sure that Latinos don‘t have a vote in those districts.
KUMAR: You‘re absolutely right.
SHARPTON: And how does the president and the Democrats make up the gap in enthusiasm in your opinion, about using the analogy, Maria used about feeling that they went out on a date and he didn‘t call the next day. Well, now the Republicans are living you home with nobody ringing the phone asking for a date at all. So, what do? Clarissa.
DE CASTRO: Well, I got to tell you that for too long, the democratic strategy seems to be that if Republicans aren‘t terrible enough they don‘t need to have to work for this vote.
KUMAR: That‘s right.
DE CASTRO: And Latino voters, that‘s getting a little old. The lesser two of evils, you know. I think that it can have a big impact on people‘s energy towards voting. We as a community know that we have to build political power. But we also need candidates of both parties to not only talk but deliver for this community. And frankly, Republicans needs to start mending cores if they don‘t want to be on a suicidal path at the national level in particular. But Democrats have to start delivering. Because they can‘t just simply count on the Republicans to be that.
SHARPTON: Well, it turns out, it‘s going to be crucial and we have to leave it there. Clarissa Martinez de Castro and Maria Teresa Kumar, thank you very much.
DE CASTRO: Thank you, Reverend.
KUMAR: Thank you, Reverend.
SHARPTON: The secrets Republicans and corporate America don‘t want to you know about, that‘s next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
SHARPTON: Republicans say they are trying to protect corporate job creators in the debt talks. But it turns out, corporate America is doing just fine. The Wall Street Journal reports that so far second quarter profits for S&P 500 companies are at a four-year high but they aren‘t using their profits to create jobs at home. Over the last decade, U.S. corporations cut nearly three million jobs in America while adding 2.4 million overseas. And companies like General Electric, which is a part owner of this network, are adding more jobs in countries where their products are selling. But Republicans claim corporations aren‘t making enough money and are fighting to lower their taxes. President Obama says, this is a terrible investment.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The Republicans in Washington have consistently fought to keep these corporate loop holes open, for the last four years alone. Republicans in the House voted 11 times to continue rewarding corporations that create jobs and profits overseas. That doesn‘t make a lot of sense. It doesn‘t make sense for American workers, American businesses or America‘s economy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Now, night after night as I have said, this seat, I‘ve had Republicans come on, many of them Tea Party freshmen, and tell me that I‘m wrong. That those that are making the big money and getting the loop holes are job creators and I kept arguing with them. I want to give them tonight my heart-felt apologies. Yeah, right, I‘m wrong. They are job creators. They just forgot to tell me which country they were talking about. I was talking about the U.S., they were talking about abroad. I was talking about how we recover the American worker. They were talking about how we protect companies that do their business anywhere, at any cost. As long as they are making a profit, and it doesn‘t matter whether the workers here suffer. I apologize. I‘m sorry. I‘ll work harder.
Don‘t forget tonight, don‘t miss the president will address the nation 9 p.m. Tonight, Lawrence O‘Donnell himself will anchor this special coverage right here live on MSNBC. Thanks for watching. I‘m Al Sharpton. “HARDBALL” starts right now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
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