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PoliticsNation, Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Read the transcript from the Tuesday show

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Guests:Chaka Fattah, Tom Cole, Alex Wagner, Ed Rendell, Nia-Malika
Henderson; Cynthia Tucker

REV. AL SHARPTON, HOST: If you liked "Yes, we can," you`re going to
love "Pass this bill."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Pass the bill! Pass the bill! Pass the bill!
Pass this bill! Pass this bill!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Pass this bill! Hey, pass this bill!

Hey, Republicans, you`re really going against a theme song.

Tonight, the president slams the GOP and demands fast action. Will
they hear the people?

And America, meet your Republican Party: boos for treating a man who
doesn`t have health insurance, and bizarre attacks on protecting women`s
health. How the Grand Ole Party fell into the teapot.

Plus, breaking news. Elizabeth Warren, the woman who took on the big
banks on behalf of consumers, will run for senator in Massachusetts against
Scott Brown. This is going to be a great race.

Welcome to POLITICS NATION. I`m Al Sharpton.

Tonight`s lead, yet another flashing red light that something needs to
be done to help this country.

Today, we learned that over 46 million Americans are living in
poverty. That`s the largest number since the Census Bureau began keeping
track 52 years ago. And what`s even more striking, 22 percent of the
American kids are living in poverty. It`s against this backdrop that the
president is pushing his jobs bill and calling out Republicans for standing
in the way.

Here`s what a boisterous crowd in Ohio stood with him today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This isn`t about giving
me a win. This isn`t about giving Democrats or Republicans a win. It`s
about giving the American people a win. It`s about giving Ohio a win.
It`s about your jobs and your lives and your futures, and giving our kids a
win.

There is work to be done. There are workers ready to do it. So let`s
tell Congress pass this bill, right away.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Pass this bill! Pass this bill! Pass this bill!
Pass this bill! Pass this bill!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Republicans have supported the president`s proposal in the
past, but they are already balking. Senator Jon Kyl has said, "I don`t
think the president is in any position to say it`s `take it or leave,` `all
or nothing." I thought he was Mr. Compromise, but maybe I was wrong about
that."

Let`s be honest. This bill is built on partisan ideas -- bipartisan
ideas -- but it`s the way that it`s funded that Republicans don`t like.
It`s paid for by ending tax breaks for oil and gas companies, hedge fund
managers, individuals making over $200,000 a year, and corporate jets.
That`s the exact reason that the GOP isn`t willing to compromise anymore.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MINORITY LEADER: Make no mistake, what the
president proposed so far is not serious, and it`s not a jobs plan. After
what we learned yesterday, that should be clear to everyone.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JON KYL (R), ARIZONA: The government can only give money to the
food stamp recipient by taxing that money from someone else or from
borrowing the money, and eventually that borrowed money needs to be paid
back. There is no free lunch.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: No free lunch? Not for the 56 million people living in
poverty -- or the 46 million, according to the Census, living in poverty
now. Well, maybe Republicans will back a free lunch for the top one
percent, but not for 16 million children below the poverty line.

Joining me now is Congressman Chaka Fattah, Democrat from
Pennsylvania.

Congressman Fattah, thanks again for joining us tonight.

REP. CHAKA FATTAH (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, it`s great to be here.
And you are talking about the subject that`s on everyone`s mind across the
country.

I visited a plant right outside of Philadelphia, 6,000 people working.
It`s a Boeing plant, believe it or not.

You might not hear this from some of my friends on the other side, but
the president gave Boeing the biggest contract in history, a $35 billion
deal. They got three shifts working, they`ve got a weekend shift. They
are hiring. And when people get a chance to go to work, and make a living
and pay their bills, it helps the entire economy.

We need to pass the jobs bill, and I think that Congress is starting
to hear the message, because the Senate says they are going to tee this
bill up. Senator Reid wants to move it forward aggressively. And I know
that Jon Kyl is retiring from the Senate, but hopefully he`ll be around to
see this bill become law.

SHARPTON: Absolutely.

FATTAH: And the president is not take it or leave it. What he wants
is his proposals considered. If they don`t want to pay for it the way he
suggests, they can look at other ways to pay for it, but we need to put
Americans back to work.

SHARPTON: Well, let`s look at the fact that House Majority Leader
Cantor, rather than even dealing with the fact that you have more poverty
that you`ve had since the Census has recorded, a higher percentage than
we`ve had since `93, he`s worried about the president`s tone. He had the
nerve to say that to say, "To say `pass my bill` 17 times is not the tone
nor is it the way forward for us that will be acceptable to the American
people."

To say pass a bill that will provide jobs is not the tone acceptable
to the American people, I mean, here are the guys, Congressman Fattah,
that, when the president made the speech last weekend, they said it merits
consideration. They talked about some spirit of coming together. And I
guess when they got back in their caucus, all of a sudden they come out
swinging with the old divisive sort of partisanism.

FATTAH: Well, look, I think they protest too much, because they have
called this president every name in the book. And I don`t mean every
Republican, because some have been very statesman-like. But you see what
they have said about him.

They have called him everything other than a son of a -- a son of God.
So, you know, what we have to do now is not focus on tone, not throw names
back and forth. We need to get ready to put people back to work.

We see it right in the Boeing plant right outside of Philadelphia.
The president knows how to get this done, and hopefully Congress will work
with them so that we can do it. And the CBO came out --

SHARPTON: But how do we get this done, Congressman Fattah, with this
climate, with the inflexibility of some of the people in the House on the
other side, as you say, who have a majority right now? If this is the kind
of politics that they want to play over what`s best for the country, how do
you and your colleagues get this past the House?

FATTAH: Well, I think what we have to do is get the Senate to act.
And then we need to have the president out on the road saying pass this
bill. And let`s have the House consider it, and we`ll see whether or not
we can win some votes from some of my colleagues who want to see their
citizens in their districts go back to work.

You know, this is not a thing that cuts in just Democratic districts.
We have millions of people who are working , 130 million. That`s great.
But we`ve got another four million or five million who are ready to go to
work.

We need to get them to work right now. And the CBO, in tomorrow`s
headlines, you`ll see they came out today and told the super committee here
in the Congress --

SHARPTON: Right.

FATTAH: -- that the best thing to do for our economy, the best thing
to do about dealing with the debt, is to spend government money now to
increase economic activity and put more people to work.

SHARPTON: And that`s the CBO, which is nonpartisan.

FATTAH: Nonpartisan experts. They are smarter than all of us put
together here in the Congress. That`s why we hired them. We pay them a
lot of money, and they have given us some very good advice.

SHARPTON: Congressman Fattah, thanks for joining me.

FATTAH: Thank you.

SHARPTON: As the president addressed the crowd in Columbus, Ohio,
today he made it clear the time for partisan bickering is over.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Maybe there`s some people in Congress who would rather settle
our differences at the ballot box than work together right now, but I`ve
got news for them. The next election is 14 months away, and the American
people don`t have the luxury of waiting that long.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So will Republicans make it happen? Will they pass this
bill so Americans can get back to work?

Joining me now is Congressman Tom Cole, Republican from Oklahoma.

Congressman, thank you for coming on the show.

REP. TOM COLE (R), OKLAHOMA: Reverend, thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: Are you going to listen to the American people and pass
this bill?

COLE: I`m going to listen to my constituents, and I`m certainly
willing to sit down. And there`s some things in it I can agree with,
there`s some things, quite frankly, I can`t and won`t. And we`re going to
have to have a pretty serious discussion about how the president`s plan is
paid for.

So it`s a process, we`ll work through it. But I don`t think you begin
a negotiation by saying do everything my way automatically. Nobody is
going to do that.

SHARPTON: Now, you say how we pay for it. Let`s look at a graph of
how the president is talking about paying for this, because the Republicans
said from the beginning, how are we going to pay for whatever the
president`s plan is?

Well, he`s come with how he`s going to pay for it. He says oil and
gas companies, tax breaks ended. Hedge fund managers, end. Those making
over 200k a year, corporate jets.

All of these tax breaks, ending them which only affect the very rich
is how he pays for providing jobs. What`s wrong with that, Congressman?

COLE: Well, first of all, what the president wants is to give you a
temporary tax cut for a permanent tax increase. Not all those things, by
the way, that he proposes are for the rich.

You`re talking about the oil and gas industry. A place like where I`m
from, Oklahoma, that`s what provides employment to tens of thousands of
average Oklahomans. And you start doing some of the things the president
is talking about with this offshore production to Saudi Arabia and OPEC in
general, lower American production, it costs American jobs. It`s a really
poorly-thought-out idea.

Now, there`s some things the president --

SHARPTON: But what about the profits? Wait a minute. What about the
profits in oil and gas? Let`s not act like people are in the oil and gas
business to take care of the working class in your district or anybody
else`s district.

COLE: Actually, they are in business to provide jobs. But any
company is in business to make money. But the reality is, the money they
make they reinvest in exploration production right here at home. So I
think it`s a mistake.

But, having said that, there`s some things I agree with the president
on. His willingness to finally accept free trade deals I think is
admirable. We ought to act on that immediately.

Again, we can do some payroll tax cuts. Remember, they are always
going to be temporary. Sooner or later you`ve got to pay for Social
Security. But we`re willing to look at some of those things.

And certainly some of the infrastructure proposals, although I think,
frankly, turning the Congress into the school board for the United States,
building local schools, is really not our job. Our job is national in
scope. Those are traditionally functions left to state and local
governments.

SHARPTON: Well, if you`ve got 35,000 schools that could stand repair
nationally, and you can provide jobs -- well, you talked about your
district. Let`s look at your district.

The Census came out today saying that we have more poor people than
we`ve had since they have been counting them. In your district, home, you,
10.1 percent living below the poverty line. In your district, 22.4 percent
making less than $25,000 a year. Rich people in your district, only 1.8.

So, I mean, in your district you have more reason to be concerned
about providing jobs and breaking poverty than most. And certainly you`re
not going to tell me that a guy has a corporate jet because he wants to get
around easier to provide jobs.

COLE: Well, if you`ll recall, Reverend, that`s actually a tax cut
proposal that the president put in his first stimulus bill, so I`m happy to
see that go. But he`s the one that proposed it and kept it in the tax
code.

The reality is, some portions of the tax code do stimulate employment
and jobs. But, again, let`s have a discussion about that. Let`s sit down
and find the areas we can agree on. I`ve pointed out several --

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: But shouldn`t we start by being honest? And being honest
is that, certainly, the rich in this country has got to do more. And we
need to be honest about stimulus. The fact is that you brought up the
first stimulus bill. It provided jobs.

COLE: Well, it certainly didn`t work as advertised.

SHARPTON: Look at what Rick Perry said last night. Before I show you
my graph on the jobs, Rick Perry said last night that the stimulus bill did
not provide jobs. Let me show you what he said, a candidate in your party.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He had $800 billion
worth of stimulus in the first round of stimulus. It created zero jobs.
Four hundred-plus billion dollars in this package, and I can do the math on
that one. Half of zero jobs is going to be zero jobs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, if you look at the facts, because that, Congressman,
my mother would call a bald-faced lie, what he just said. Look at the
facts.

The facts are, if you look at the graph of what happened before and
after the stimulus, third quarter, 2008, the economy shrank 3.7 percent.
Fourth quarter, 2008, shrank 8.9 percent. 2009, the economy grew by 1.9
percent and added 2.9 million jobs. The CBO, Congressional Budget Office,
Commerce Department, established these facts.

Why are we going to say let`s have a conversation if we`re not going
to be honest?

COLE: Well, first of all, unemployment was higher after the stimulus
than when it was passed.

SHARPTON: Do you deny 2.9 million jobs?

COLE: Let me finish my argument, Reverend. The president said
unemployment would never go above 8 percent. The reality is it hasn`t
gotten below 8 percent. The stimulus said at this point unemployment would
be at 6 percent and going down. It`s not.

SHARPTON: Because we didn`t have enough stimulus.

COLE: So, clearly, it didn`t come -- well, look, the president got
what he asked for. He had overwhelming majorities.

SHARPTON: He got what he asked for based on misinformation. But
Congressman, are you willing to say --

COLE: Well, I don`t think so. He had the votes to pass what he
wanted.

SHARPTON: -- are you willing to concede that the stimulus did provide
jobs? That was the question.

COLE: It provided some jobs, but no net new jobs.

SHARPTON: So then you disagree with Governor Perry?

COLE: In other words, unemployment --

SHARPTON: Then you disagree with Governor Perry?

COLE: The word I would have used is "no net new jobs," and I think
that would have been a little more precise.

SHARPTON: No net new jobs?

COLE: That`s correct.

SHARPTON: OK. So there were new jobs, but there were no net?

COLE: There were no net new jobs. Look, unemployment is higher today
than the day the stimulus was passed into law, so we can argue forever as
to whether or not it created some jobs, but it didn`t have the effect that
the president said it was going to have.

Unemployment went considerably higher than he thought it would. It`s
considerably higher today than he predicted it would be. And you`re asking
us now, given that track record, to accept a second stimulus package about
half the size, paid for by raising taxes.

SHARPTON: No, not at all. What I`m asking you to do is to be honest.
And what you`re saying is not what Perry said last night, and I repeat what
Perry said last night was a bald-faced lie.

And you can talk any way you want. He did not say what you`re saying.
He said it did not provide -- he said zero.

I know what zero meant. That`s not true. And this stimulus package
would provide jobs as well.

COLE: Reverend, I just speak for myself.

SHARPTON: Let`s be honest, Congressman.

COLE: That`s what I`m trying to be.

SHARPTON: All right. Thank you for joining me this evening.

COLE: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, the ugly truth, how the GOP fell right into the
teapot.

And breaking news about Elizabeth Warren. She fought Wall Street,
will now be fighting for a seat in the United States Senate. You can bet
conservatives are going to go nuts about this one.

Plus, injustice in Georgia. Will the state execute a man who is not
guilty beyond a reasonable doubt?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Breaking news tonight. One of the most progressive voices
in the fight against Wall Street abuses is entering the Massachusetts
Senate race.

Elizabeth Warren made her name as a fierce advocate for American
consumers.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ELIZABETH WARREN, CONSUMER ADVOCATE: I spent my time and my research
on economic death and rebirth. It will not save us if a handful of Wall
Street banks prosper and the rest of America fails.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Last year, Warren set up the new Consumer Protection
Agency, but Republicans blocked her from becoming its director.

Warren`s work has won her fans on the left and pushed her into the
headlines. "The Boston Globe" named her "The Bostonian of the Year" in
2009. She also earned her fair share of enemies on the right.

"The New Yorker" wrote, "The banking lobby sees her as its nemesis,
congressional Republicans are openly hostile to her, and conservatives
decry her as the exemplary totalitarian liberal."

Joining me now is Alex Wagner, reporter for "The Huffington Post," and
MSNBC analyst.

How you doing, Alex?

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC ANALYST: How you doing, Rev? I`m pretty good.

SHARPTON: Let`s look at this WBUR Boston poll. If the election were
held today, according to them, Scott Brown would be at 44 percent;
Elizabeth Warren, 35 percent; don`t know, 18 percent.

That`s pretty formidable coming in.

WAGNER: Yes, considering she hasn`t actually announced yet, and also
considering that as recently as a few months ago, Scott Brown`s popularity
was something like 74 percent.

SHARPTON: Right.

WAGNER: I think that, you know, Elizabeth Warren, as you said, has no
shortage of detractors, but there are a lot of people I think -- and as the
Bostonians and Massachusetts residents come to get to better know her --
who understand what she`s doing, and I think she is not -- she has not
minced words.

She is someone that absolutely sees herself as an advocate for the
working and the middle class. She`s very much trying to give them a seat
at table, and her work at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is
evidence of that.

SHARPTON: Now, she`s going to have to have a primary first, even to
be the Democratic nominee. I don`t want to go straight to Scott Brown,
like she`s the nominee, because that may not be the case. But the question
is, as she questioned a lot of the abuses on Wall Street, where were a lot
of the other Democrats?

I think part of what has made her such a lightning rod is because
she`s taken on issues that even members of her party --

WAGNER: Of course.

SHARPTON: -- were not there for.

WAGNER: Yes. I mean, I think that the word "regulations" at this
point is a very much hot-button issue. The president himself walked back
on EPA ozone regulations just a few weeks ago because there was a huge
outcry from the right and from business interests saying it would cost
jobs.

Elizabeth Warren has done no such thing. I mean, she`s been --
"tenacious," I think, should be her middle name.

This is someone that`s really pushed for reform over credit cards,
over mortgages. She was unapologetic about the CFPB`s role in consulting
with state attorneys general over fraudulent mortgages. She has gone to the
bat every single time on this stuff.

SHARPTON: She kind of brings out the passion and emotion of the left
and the right.

Look at what happened in her hearing with the congressmen talking
about and to Ms. Warren.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PATRICK MCHENRY (R), NORTH CAROLINA: You had no agreement.

WARREN: We had an agreement for the time this hearing would --

MCHENRY: You`re making this up, Ms. Warren. This is not the case.
This is not the case.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Chairman, you just did something that I`m
trying to be cordial here, but you just accused the lady --

MCHENRY: She`s accusing me of making --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: This is a Republican from North Carolina. He seemed a
little less than being civil.

WAGNER: Yes. I mean, at that same hearing she was schooling -- I
mean, there was fighting over the length and the start time for the
meeting. This is someone that the right does not like.

And Elizabeth Warren, to her credit, was schooling some of the members
on that panel of specifics of funding regarding the agency and other
federal agencies. I mean, she knows her stuff. She`s also a Harvard
professor.

SHARPTON: Now, give me the inside. Some say that she didn`t want to
run and that members of the progressive community and others kind of talked
her into it or pushed her into it.

WAGNER: Sure.

SHARPTON: Is that the intelligence you`re getting?

WAGNER: I am, and I will quote David Corn from "Mother Jones," who
said when he spoke with Elizabeth Warren, she said she would rather stab
herself in the eye than run for Senate. But as you said, the Progressive
Change Committee has really been pushing. A lot of people on the left see
her as a champion of their values in a field where there are not a lot
these days, and so she`s apparently taking up the mantle.

SHARPTON: Well, we`ll see, and she`s supposed to announce tomorrow.

WAGNER: She is.

SHARPTON: Alex Wagner, thank you.

WAGNER: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, the Tea Party goes primetime by cosponsoring
CNN`s Republican debate, but they are only pretending to be mainstream.
We`ll talk about that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: I`ve disagreed with GOP policies my whole life, but what I
haven`t been seeing in these presidential debates is on a whole new level.
I hardly recognize the Republican Party anymore. Just look at what`s got
the crowd going last night. Look at what got the biggest reaction, a
question about helping someone who doesn`t have insurance.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: A healthy 30-year-old young man, something
terrible happens. Who pays?

REP. RON PAUL (R), TEXAS: That`s what freedom is all about, taking
your own risk. This whole idea that you have to prepare and take care of
everybody.

BLITZER: Congressman, are you saying the society should just let him
die?

PAUL: No. We`ve given up on this whole concept that we might take
care of ourselves and assume responsibility for ourselves, our neighbors,
our friends, our churches would do it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So much for the party of life, and the word treason was
thrown around like it was a punch line.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: You know that Governor Perry has suggested that Ben
Bernanke, the head of the Federal Reserve potentially should be tried for
treason for what he`s doing.

GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: If you are allowing the Federal Reserve
to be used for political purposes, that it would be almost treasonous.

JON HUNTSMAN, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To say that you can`t secure
the border, I think is pretty much a treasonous comment.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And when did the Republican Party decide to put Social
Security under siege?

MITT ROMNEY FORMER GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS: The real question is
does Governor Perry continue to believe that Social Security should not be
a federal program, that it`s unconstitutional and it should be returned to
the states, or is he going to retreat from that view?

PERRY: I think we ought to have a conversation.

ROMNEY: We`re having that right now, Governor. We`re running for
president.

PERRY: Yes. I`ll finish this conversation. You said, if the people
did it in the private sector, it would be called criminal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Meanwhile, protecting girls from disease is a bad idea?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: You signed an executive order requiring little girls, 11 and
12-year-old girls to get a vaccine to deal with a sexually transmitted
disease that could lead to cervical cancer. Was that a mistake?

PERRY: It was, and indeed.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: And to have innocent little 12-
year-old girls be forced to have a government injection through an
executive order is just flat out wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And helping immigrant kids get an education, that will get
you jeered in today`s Republican Party.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY: If you are working and pursuing citizenship in the state of
Texas, you pay in-state tuition there, and the bottom line is it doesn`t
make any difference what the sound of your last name is. That is the
American way. No matter how you got into that state from the standpoint of
your parents brought you there or what have you, and that`s what we`ve done
in the state of Texas, and I`m proud.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And the breath just even jump into the act. Flying a
banner over the event that read where`s the real birth certificate? Nope,
they haven`t dropped that one yet. One thing is clear. The Tea Party has
made a splash, and they are ready to take over, and Tea Party Express Chair
Amy Kremer said, quote, "We are going to choose the next republican nominee
for president, not the Republican Party."

Joining me now, former DNC chair and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell,
now NBC news political analyst and Nia-Malika Henderson, a political
reporter for the "Washington Post." She was at the debate in Tampa last
night. Thanks for being here, both of you.

Governor Rendell, when I saw people cheering and yelling let him die
about an uninsured person facing death last night, that was outright scary
to me. I mean, what are we looking at?

ED RENDELL, FORMER DNC CHAIRMAN: Well, people ask me who won the
debate last night, and there`s only one winner at the debate last night and
that`s Barack Obama. The president won because if you watch that and you
were anything other than a wild Tea Party enthusiast, it had to scare the
living daylights out of you. People saying that we should stand by and let
someone who is in a coma and can`t make decisions for himself die because
he didn`t buy health insurance, the answer is treat him and then if he`s
got some means, go after that later and try to recoup some of the costs of
the treatment, but you don`t let human beings die. That was frightening.
That was scary. Governor Perry booed for doing the right thing for
children who didn`t do anything illegal, didn`t cross into the state. They
were the children of people who did, getting an education in Texas.
Governor Perry, the favorite of the Tea Party booed. Ron Paul booed badly.

SHARPTON: Yes.

RENDELL: I mean, that`s got to scare you like crazy if you`re a
normal voter.

SHARPTON: Well, I mean, even today Governor Perry himself had to step
back a little from the cheering about the uninsured man with no insurance.
Look at what happened when Governor Perry was questioned about it.

RENDELL: Sure.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Last night we heard some audience members
cheer when a question, I think it was posed to Ron Paul about letting
someone die. Did you hear that? What was your reaction?

PERRY: I did, and I was a bit taken aback by it myself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And here`s a man that doesn`t make any bones about he`s a
Tea Partier and he was taken aback. Nia, you were there. I mean, I don`t
know where you were in the crowd. Hopefully you were.

RENDELL: Safe.

SHARPTON: .not in the middle of all of that. I mean, was it as bad as
it sounded on television in terms of the kind of tension and the go get
them at any cost attitude that I was picking up over the television?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, it was very much
like a standard Tea Party rally. I`ve been to a number of these across the
country, and there is a very vociferous, a very vocal way that they go
about politics, and I think that`s what you saw on stage yesterday. It was
very much almost like a sporting event at times, and you had Bachmann there
who`s very much playing at her home stadium in many ways, and then you had
Romney who was, you know, at an away game in many ways. I think the
surprise for me in coming away was that Perry, who had come into this thing
with a head of steam, ahead in polls by 20, 30 points against Mitt Romney,
and in many ways he came out not quite fitting what the Tea Party wants to
hear from him.

He, you know, whether it`s HPV vaccine, whether it`s his support of
in-state tuition for the children of illegal immigrants, he came away I
think deigned a little bit last night in terms of his -- in terms of his
Tea Party credentials. So, I think going forward we`ll have to see. I
think, you know, the Republican Party obviously has to -- to decide, you
know, who is going to determine this election? Is it going to be the Tea
Party as that woman said, the Tea Party leader in warming up the crowd
said, you know, the Tea Party is going to determine this election. It`s
not going to be those Chamber of Commerce Republicans that have normally
decided this thing, so we`ll have to see. I think, you know, you have seen
a movement away from Perry. People maybe more of the GOP politics people.

SHARPTON: Yes, before I get to the politics of it. And I do want to
get to that, Governor Rendell. Ideally, what I mean, there are some issues
above politics and when you talk about uninsured people dying like in the
last debate when the death penalty was raised by Brian Williams, people
cheering.

RENDELL: Cheering.

SHARPTON: I mean.

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

RENDELL: I`m for the death penalty -- I`m for the death penalty but I
would never cheer.

SHARPTON: But look at what happened when Ron Paul was talking against
hate and the Muslims that could live next door. Look at what happened,
we`re talking about now tolerance. This is beyond republican or Democrats.
Tolerance, look what happened to Ron Paul last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAUL: This whole idea that the whole Muslim world is responsible for
this and they are attacking us because we`re free and prosperous, that is
just not true. Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda have been explicit. They have
been explicit and they wrote and said that we attacked -- we attacked
America because you had bases on our holy land in Saudi Arabia. You do not
give Palestinians a fair treatment, and you have been bombing -- I didn`t
say that. I`m trying to get you to understand what the motive was behind
the bombing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So, Nia, you say this is how they act at Tea Party rallies?

HENDERSON: In some ways, yes. But I mean, they have, you know, views
that might not be considered part of the mainstream, and you know, you saw
some of those -- some performers up there last night or some of the
candidates up there last night trying to play to that base. You saw
Bachmann doing it of course over the HPV vaccine, but you know, they have a
sort of litmus test that almost none of those guys and Bachmann included
can fit, and that`s why you saw, you know, all of them getting into tough,
you know, kind of a back and forth with the Tea Party. They are almost on
the stage and a participant in that debate last night. And what I think
again, this is what the Tea Party is. They were who they were last night.

SHARPTON: Now, Governor Rendell, let`s look at this, the last poll.
This poll was before last night`s debate where Rick Perry, this is a poll
of Republicans, 42 percent felt that he was the person that could best run
against President Obama and defeat him as opposed to only 26 percent
feeling Mitt Romney could. What do you think, if anything, may have
changed last night? Nia says, he came in with a head of steam, might have
hurt himself, but I don`t know how badly. I mean, give me the politics of
this as someone who has run successfully all his life

RENDELL: I think the Tea Partyites are ideologically driven but they
are also somewhat realistic. Michele Bachmann is their purest candidate,
but I think they have come to their conclusion, probably correctly so, that
under no circumstances is she electable. So, I don`t think Perry will see
much of a fall off among Tea Partyites from last night`s debate. I
thought Governor Romney did pretty well by sort of standing up there and
not pandering. I think he may have gained some republican independent
support, but, again, I want to go back to -- to the main theme from last
night is that the -- the Republican Party, whoever their eventual candidate
has lost. Eighty percent of Americans say, they want to see more civility
in the way Congress goes about and does its business. They want to see
more civility in politics and government. Did they see civility last
night? Again. What they saw ought to scare them very badly, and it`s not
an inaccurate picture.

SHARPTON: Now, Nia, let me ask you this. The fact is that Rick Perry
was also booed when he talked about having a fairly humane kind of policy
to Latinos. As governor of Texas. He was challenged about that he was
booed, talking about educating Latino immigrant children. Now, if you look
at the politics of that, George Bush got 44 percent of the Latino vote in
2004. President Obama got 67 percent of Latino vote in 2008. How does the
Tea Partiers think they can win without Latino votes, and how do they win
them with the reactions that they gave last night?

HENDERSON: Yes. This is a fundamental question I think for the Tea
Party and generally for the Republican Party. How do they win this Latino
vote? You see people like Jeb Bush who are really trying to push this
party towards a more big tent party in terms of opening it up to Latinos
and even African-Americans, but last night, you know, that question came
up, and it was sort of rolled into the whole idea of illegal immigration.
You almost heard Rick Santorum equate illegal immigrants automatically with
Latinos which and I don`t necessarily think that`s what Latinos want to
hear and certainly isn`t a way to attract them to the party.

SHARPTON: Well, they may not want to hear it because it`s not true.
But thanks.

HENDERSON: Right. Exactly.

SHARPTON: Governor Rendell, thank you. Nia-Malika, thank you.
Thanks both of you for your time this evening.

RENDELL: Thanks, Al.

HENDERSON: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Up next, is that the state of Georgia, is it about to
execute an innocent man? More tonight on the Troy Davis case with new
calls for clemency and new doubts about the case against him.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: As we first told you last night, the state of Georgia is
scheduled to execute a man named Troy Davis in just eight days, but there
are grave questions about whether Mr. Davis is actually guilty of the
murder he was convicted of 22 years ago. Troy Davis was found guilty of
killing a Savannah police officer, Mark Allen MacPhail. MacPhail was
gunned down in the parking lot of a Burger King in the middle of the night.
No weapon, DNA or fingerprints tied Davis to the scene. He was convicted
on the testimony of nine witnesses, and seven of them have since recanted
or changed their stories. Some time ago Davis` sister returned to the
scene of the crime to expose the doubts around a key witness claim.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She said she heard the shots, right, and then
she came out of her room and ran to the edge of the stairs and then she saw
Troy standing over the body with a smirky smile. This is approximately the
area where it took place right here. So -- but it would have been at
nighttime so it would have been a lot darker, but, still, I don`t think you
can see my face that clear from where you are. Well, she identified Troy`s
face from there. How you supposed to see a black man with a smirky smile
at 12:30, 1:00 in the morning?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The witness later recanted saying she felt pressured to say
Troy Davis was the shooter because she was on parole. Troy Davis has
nearly exhausted his options. Right now he`s making one last appeal for
clemency from the Georgia board of parole -- board of pardon parole, but if
that fails, he will be put to death by lethal injection next Wednesday.
Time is running out.

Joining me now Cynthia Tucker, Pulitzer Prize winning syndicated
columnist for "The Atlanta Journal Constitution." She`s covered this story
extensively. Welcome Cynthia.

CYNTHIA TUCKER, ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Now, we just saw where Troy`s sister showed how far she was
away, one of the witness` testimonies that convicted Troy. You could
barely see her face at all. I don`t see how if this was midnight, after
midnight when it actually happened, one could have seen a smirk. I mean,
the way the testimonies have now been recanted or changed, and this was the
only thing that convicted him. There was no DNA, no evidence, physical
evidence at all. I think that`s why you`ve seen such an outpouring from
across different spectrums of saying this man shouldn`t be executed. Last
night, former republican Congressman Bob Barr was on with me. He`s against
it, we`ve been against, National Action Network, NAACP, John Lewis, former
President Jimmy Carter. You`ve written about it. What is the reality? Do
you think the board then, Georgia, will listen to this?

TUCKER: No, I don`t, Reverend Al. I wish that I had high hopes for a
clemency ruling from the Georgia board of pardons and paroles, but I don`t.
I think that many, many Georgia authorities, particularly those in the
criminal justice system, are heavily invested in the idea that they did it
right the first time. Unfortunately, that`s a very typical attitude from
criminal justice officials. I don`t think they are deliberately looking
the other way or trying to send an innocent man to his death, but they
don`t -- they are in denial. They don`t want to admit that they may have
made a mistake, and the Georgia board of pardons and patrols is also part
of that system. You know, if police had done in the beginning, what Troy
Davis` sister showed us in that video, it would have been obvious that that
witness could not have seen what she said she saw. You know, it`s easy
enough to forget that Troy Davis was arrested on the word of a small time
criminal.

SHARPTON: Right.

TUCKER: A criminal walked into the police station with his lawyer and
said it was Troy Davis. It was from there that police began to finger him,
found witnesses who told them what they wanted to hear, and since then,
even though those witnesses have recanted, nothing has been able to pull
the criminal justice system back from its determination to do this, to put
Troy Davis to death.

SHARPTON: Well, I think, and we must say this, even those of us that
want clemency in this case, that we want justice for the family of the
officer. We just feel they cannot get justice if the wrong person pays for
something they didn`t do.

TUCKER: I -- that is absolutely true. There is absolutely no doubt
that an off-duty police officer was viciously murdered in a dark parking
lot 22 years ago. No doubt about that. But the question is who did it?

SHARPTON: Right.

TUCKER: And I don`t think justice is served by putting Troy Davis to
death when all of these questions about whether he could be innocent. And
let`s say Troy Davis did it. Let`s say that we`re wrong, that he has been
a very good actor for all of these years, that these witnesses for reasons
we can never understand are now lying when they were telling the truth
earlier, let`s say he did it. Well, he would not be any threat to public
safety if he remains in prison.

SHARPTON: That`s true.

TUCKER: Why not let him stay behind bars, and that would give us more
years to sort things out. Who knows?

SHARPTON: I`ve go to the-to-interrupt you. Thank you. We`re going
to stay on top of this case. Cynthia Tucker, thank you so much for taking
time to be with us tonight. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: As we reported, we saw something new at the latest
republican debate last night. It was sponsored by CNN and the Tea Party
express. The "New York Times" says, it`s the first time a news
organization has teamed up with a Tea Party group to hold a debate like
this. The group`s co-founder told "The Times," he hoped the partnership
would, quote, "help dispel misperceptions about the Tea Party as a fringe
movement." But did it? Listen to the first question.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: First coast Tea Party, Jacksonville, Florida. My
question, how will you convince senior citizens that Social Security and
Medicare need to be changed?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That man`s group, the first coast Tea Party, made headlines
in 2009 when people turned up to one of its rallies holding up signs
depicting President Obama as Hitler. The group later said it didn`t
condone such imagery. Another question last night came from a member of
the greater Phoenix Tea Party, one of its co-founders is a woman named
Kelly Townsend. She`s been a prime supporter of a birther bill in Arizona.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Did, you know, Obama, was he born in Hawaii, or
was he not? I don`t know, I wasn`t there when he was born.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Wasn`t there when he was born. I wasn`t there for a lot of
things. I wasn`t there when he was born either. And if that wasn`t
enough, until last year the spokesman for the Tea Party express was a man
named Mark Williams. He once called President Obama, quote, "An Indonesian
Muslim turned welfare thug," and he wrote a mock letter addressed to
President Lincoln from, quote, "The colored people." This is the Tea Party
express, past and present, the ones that said they want us now to see they
are not fringe. I didn`t know all of that until now. I wonder, did CNN
know that? They saw fit to make them a partner in the presidential debate.
We better be careful if they are not the fringe.

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.
END

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