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PoliticsNation, Monday, September 26, 2011

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Guests: Marcy Kaptur, Emanuel Cleaver, Bill Pascrell, Nia-Malika Henderson, Erin McPike, Lisa Graves, Gerald Malloy

REV. AL SHARPTON, HOST: Hey, Republicans. It`s game on. Are you
ready for this?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You say you`re the
party of tax cuts. Pass this jobs bill and every worker in America,
including nearly 20 million African-American workers, will get a tax cut.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Two strong progressives, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur and
black caucus chairman Emanuel Cleaver, are here live.

GOP made disaster, why Boehner and his buddies are playing politics
with people`s lives. Congressman Bill Pascrell on the fight for disaster
relief money.

And Republicans are still looking for Mr. or Ms. Right.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

ALEC BALDWIN, ACTOR: Mitt, Romneycare, was it was before he was
before?

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m sorry, what was the question?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Herman Cain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who?

(END VIDEO CLIP, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

SHARPTON: Nia Malika Henderson and Erin McPike on the Republicans`
identity crisis.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reminder to Chris Christie: it`s wide open, buddy.

(END VIDEO CLIP, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE")

SHARPTON: Welcome to POLITICS NATION. I`m Al Sharpton.

Today`s lead, no more Mr. Nice Guy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I don`t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don`t have time
to complain. I`m going to press on.

I expect all of you to march with me and press on. Take off your
bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes.

Shake it off. Stop complaining. Stop grumbling. Stop crying.

We are going to press on. We`ve got work to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: March with me, exactly.

Let`s be clear. This wasn`t a lecture, it was a call to arms,
because, folks, as President Obama said, he`s running against a Republican
agenda that would cripple America.

Republicans are fighting for the rich. The president is fighting for
the middle class.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Give me a break. If asking a billionaire to pay the same tax
rate as a janitor makes me a warrior for the working class, I wear that
with a badge of honor. I have no problem with that. It`s about time.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It is about time. Republicans talk the talk about jobs,
but fail to walk the walk.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: These Republicans in Congress like to talk about job creators.
How about doing something real for job creators? Pass this jobs bill, and
every small business owner this America, including 100,000 black-owned
businesses, will get a tax cut.

You say you`re the party of tax cuts? Pass this job bill, and every
worker in America, including nearly 20 million African-American workers,
will get a tax cut.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: This is about fighting against a very different version of
America, one where crowds boo gay service members and cheer at the
prospects of Americans dying.

As President Obama said this weekend, "That`s not reflective of who we
are." And it isn`t. And the president is making clear that the campaign
is on now.

Joining me now is Representative Marcy Kaptur, Democrat from Ohio.

Congresswoman, first of all, thank you for joining me this evening.

REP. MARCY KAPTUR (D), OHIO: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Is this a message from the president that you and your
constituents are pretty happy to hear?

KAPTUR: We are so happy to hear the president speak loudly across
this country. The people here in Cleveland and across Ohio`s north shore
care about jobs here in America. They want to make cars. They want to
make flexible electronics. They want to make new energy systems here in
America.

They don`t want anymore political stunts by Republicans in Washington.
And they don`t want anymore political crises that are concocted that stop
the progress of the American people.

SHARPTON: Now, let me play something to you that was very interesting
today. The president did a town hall. Let me let you hear what someone
asked the president. This is something very interesting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you please raise my taxes?

(APPLAUSE)

DOUG EDWARDS, RETIRED GOOGLE EMPLOYEE: I would like very much to have
the country to continue to invest in things like Pell grants and
infrastructure and job training programs that made it possible for me to
get to where I am.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, this is a retired Google employee. He`s not
a billionaire, he`s not Warren Buffett, but he understands infrastructure,
providing the things that this country needs to really bring the middle
class and poor people back into the economy so that they can take care of
their families, something the Republicans seem to miss and people like you
have been talking about for a long time.

KAPTUR: We are talking about investment in the United States of
America. As I drive through Parma, Elyria, Lorain, Brook Park, Sandusky,
Toledo, Ohio, do you know how many jobs we could create from Cleveland to
Toledo just on infrastructure and investment in this region? It`s
phenomenal. And across the country, all the numbers show that for every
dollar invested in infrastructure, in improving the efficiency of business
in this country, we get back $1.57.

SHARPTON: Now, if you look at this poll I`m showing you here, the
support for key parts of the president`s jobs proposal -- because this
gentleman that raised the point to the president, not alone -- 85 percent
say tax cuts for small businesses; 75, percent additional funds for civil
servants; 72 percent support funds for the infrastructure; 56 percent,
unemployment benefit extension.

The American people seem to be on the president`s side here, and I
think that it is clear that this is a fight that if he continues to rally,
the people are going to rally behind him.

KAPTUR: I am so glad he`s out of Washington and talking to the
American people, because that`s how we`re going to win this fight. He`s
taking it right to the people.

He`s getting out of the White House, he`s getting out of all those
board rooms in Washington with people who don`t want to cooperate. And I
loved when he took the fight to the Ohio/Kentucky border.

SHARPTON: No, and I think that it is absolutely right.

See, one of the things that I think that was probably being calculated
is that people were sill saying let`s see what we can get done, let`s try
to have a bipartisan agreement, let`s try to work and give the benefit of
the doubt to the other side. But somewhere along the line, I think that
all of us realize the other side didn`t want to work with us. They are
about the election.

So that`s what they want. Let`s get ready for the election.

KAPTUR: That`s right. And, you know, the American people also have a
basic sense of fairness. They`re used to ballgames between the Indians and
the Tigers, they`re used to winning and losing. But they like a fair
fight.

They don`t see this as a fair fight. They feel that progress is being
blocked by a very few. And you know what? They`re right.

SHARPTON: They are right. And we`ve got to move them from blocking.
That very few needs to be removed and get out of the way of people making a
living in this country.

KAPTUR: Yes, sir.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, thank you for joining me this
evening, as always.

KAPTUR: Thank you, Reverend. Our pleasure.

SHARPTON: A few weeks ago we started something on the show called the
"Crybaby Caucus." We`re calling out members of Congress who are crying
back the lack of change instead of fighting for it.

We`d like you all to nominate which lawmakers you think should be
inducted into the Crybaby Caucus. Just log on to
Facebook.com/politicsnation. I`m going to be periodically conducting
Crybaby Caucus induction ceremonies right here on the show.

Joining me now is someone who definitely won`t be inducted into the
Crybaby Caucus. That`s Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, Democrat from Missouri
and chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Thanks for coming on this show again, Mr. Chairman.

REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D-MO), CHAIRMAN, CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS:
Good to be here with you. And I am not going to become a member of the
Crybaby Caucus.

(LAUGHTER)

SHARPTON: No doubt about that.

Now, the president spoke at the CBC, the Congressional Black Caucus,
dinner Saturday night. And you know I was front and center. And I think a
lot of the media distorted his speech because it was really a call to arms.

He outlined in a very clear way what he had done for African-
Americans. People saying he didn`t address it. He addressed it
specifically. And he addressed where African-Americans and other Americans
would benefit from this jobs bill.

And then, at the end, he said now -- in many ways, let`s get to work,
let`s quit complaining, and let`s go and march on and get this done. I
don`t know how people have just taken the end of the speech like it was a
reprimand when it was really a call to arms as I sat there.

CLEAVER: Well, it was. And the people in the banquet hall stood and
cheered. I don`t think there was a single person sitting down at the end
of the speech.

The president was saying to all of us that it was time for us to get
serious and to look at the challenge that we had ahead and to face it with
determination. And I do think that there are people who have redirected
the speech.

There was no subliminal message in the speech that I could detect.
And if I had been able to dissect the speech point by point, I`m not so
sure that I would have seen anything that I would have taken out.

The president had the right to rally his most significant in terms of
percentage of voter turnout part of base. And he rallied that group, and
they are standing with him. The Congressional Black Caucus is going to
support the president. We`re going to go any place and every place we can
in order to do that.

SHARPTON: Now, that morning you had a roundtable of leadership. I
was on the panel with others, and I heard some of the same views that I
heard after the speech.

And you`ve been fair. You`ve held the president accountable and
you`ve been supportive.

I`m just convinced some people want to find a reason to justify their
being critical rather than look at the fact that we are in an almost
depression level of unemployment in certain black communities and
unprecedented numbers in the American community. And it`s not about their
egos and their sound bites and their trying to justify why they did what
they did. It`s about moving forward, Mr. Chairman.

CLEAVER: Absolutely. We`ve got to understand that we either have a
choice, Barack Obama, or Sarah Palin, or Ms. Bachmann and others, who all
are good and decent human beings. I only know Ms. Bachmann. I don`t know
the rest of them.

SHARPTON: Well, you and I both are ministers, Congressman Cleaver.
I`ll show you a statement that the president made that I`ve been quoting
all day that he said about what you just referred to.

He said don`t compare -- "My friend, Joe Biden, has a quote he likes
to use. He says, `Don`t compare me to the Almighty, compare me to the
alternative.`"

CLEAVER: Yes, that is absolutely where I think we`re going. And I
think that most progressives around this country are going to look at the
alternative and vote for Barack Obama.

Has he had a perfect presidency? No. And we don`t have any other
person who has had a perfect anything on this earth but for one that you
and I claim to be our ultimate leader.

But make no miss take about it, President Barack Obama is moving the
nation in a direction that we need to go. It is a difficult time, and one
of the things that I don`t think people understand, the president of the
United States, Barack Obama, does not have a single vote in the House of
Representatives.

SHARPTON: That`s right.

CLEAVER: So it`s going to be difficult for him to cause the people in
the House, the majority of whom are not in his party, to support what he
brings forth. We`ve got to push and pull and scratch and crawl and cry and
do everything we can to get the jobs bill approved, keeping in mind that
there are those who are determined ideologically to prevent that from
happening. And --

SHARPTON: Well, Congressman Cleaver, I`m going to have to interrupt
you because we`ve got to go. Thank you so much.

And I think you laid it right out. There are those that want to stop
it, and we have got to get a jobs bill, people working.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Great weekend you had.

CLEAVER: Good to be with you. Thank you.

SHARPTON: Let me say this -- to those that are trying to distort what
the president said, and those that can`t get past themselves for the good
of the people, don`t be a hypocrite. Don`t take a position with this
president that you never took before.

I remember as I sat there looking at some of those who have been on
the scene a long time when the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton, was
in, there was a lot we disagreed with. He brought the crime bill that
brought back the death penalty in the federal government. He brought the
welfare reform bill which hurt, in my opinion, a lot of our communities.
He did things that I felt were detrimental to our community, even had an
arch conservative, Dick Morris, run his re-election.

You said nothing. You didn`t have any kind of loud voice.

Now you go from who some of you call a black president to a real black
president, and you talk about "Unleash us" and "Let me at him" and all of
that. And then when he responds, you act like he hurt your feelings or you
don`t know who he`s talking to.

Let`s be fair. If you gave a pass in the past, why are you so
vociferous now? I`m not telling you to shut up. I`m telling you, don`t
make some of us have so speak up.

Coming up, Republicans playing politics with disaster relief money.
How they decided that cut, cut, cut is more important than money to help
people.

Plus, a new twist on Republican efforts to suppress the vote. We`re
going to expose it tonight.

And you know it`s bad for Republicans when "Saturday Night Live" goes
after them. Stick around for that.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Tonight, Republicans are doubling down on their radical
view that help for disaster victims must be offset with spending cuts to
job programs. Any moment now, Senate Republicans are expected to block a
Democratic bill that would fund FEMA without any offsetting cuts.

As we speak, FEMA is running out of cash. FEMA has just $114 million
left in its disaster relief fund. That might be enough to last through the
end of the fiscal year this Friday, unless, of course, we`re hit with
another natural disaster.

Republicans seem to be willing to take that risk. Maybe they think
they can predict the weather. But disaster victims are running out of
patience.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: FEMA is a big part. I mean, and without it, what
are the people going to do? How are they going to survive?

I think it`s a big joke. I mean, they`re making six figures a year.
They don`t have to worry about this. Give up $30,000 of your yearly income
and put it towards FEMA, and let FEMA help the people that need the help.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now is Congressman Bill Pascrell, Democrat from
the 8th District in New Jersey, an area still cleaning up after the
flooding from Hurricane Irene.

Thank you for joining me, Congressman.

REP. BILL PASCRELL (D), NEW JERSEY: Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you -- I mean, there`s still to me seems to be
some things that we could put above partisan politics. Is it me, or is
this obscene, almost, that they would play spending cuts to hold hostage
disaster relief with FEMA`s budget?

PASCRELL: No, it`s not you, Reverend Al. This has been going on for
many weeks now, many months. Now we`re talking about FEMA. It will run
out of money by the end of the week.

We provided the money with no strings attached, as we should have, to
the tornado in Joplin, Missouri, or the fires in Texas. Those governors
accepted it because they needed it. Now they want to attach and use this
for leverage so that they can cut more out of the budget.

We have a process that we`re going through at this particular time.
We have 12 congressmen, Democrats and Republicans, who are looking at that
situation.

And I personally believe that we`re doing the wrong thing. This
hurricane affected 32 million people, 52 different congressional districts
throughout the 15 states. We`re talking about billions of dollars.

SHARPTON: Fifteen states were affected by this and 52 congressional
districts?

PASCRELL: Yes, sir.

SHARPTON: Mark Warner, the Democrat from Virginia, let me show you
what he had to say in line with what you`re saying, Congressman.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MARK WARNER (D), VIRGINIA: Why should we, in effect, rebuild
schools in Iraq on the credit card, but expect that rebuilding schools in
Joplin, Missouri, at this moment in time have to be paid for in a way
that`s never been in any of the previous disaster assistance that we`ve put
out before?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, this, to me, is obvious that he`s right. How do we
do things in Iraq and other places, but when it comes here -- mind you now,
we`re not talking about cutting spending dollar for dollar to continue to
help with Iraq, but when it comes to New Jersey and the other 14 states,
we`ve got to have this tradeoff for American lives to be secured in case of
an emergency?

PASCRELL: Yes, the storm was not a Democrat or Republican storm,
Reverend Al. This is a storm that affected everybody. We should be
responding to it as we usually do.

Now that we have a FEMA that finally works, what are we doing? We`re
going to starve it, and we`re going to tell the folks that -- I just went
through my district yesterday, Reverend Al. I went through the entire
district. I drove through that district.

The furniture, the rugs are still on the gutter. People have not
returned to their homes because some of them, you can`t return to it at
this particular time. There are huge health and environmental problems.

And what are we doing? We`re spitting off this idea that we can cut,
cut, cut and solve every problem in the world.

We`re in a huge recession. Maybe the president underestimated how
huge it was, but we`re here now. And we`ve got to address it, we`ve got to
affect it, and we should be helping those people that need help.

I don`t care what their political denomination is. I`m willing to
roll up my sleeves. Why aren`t these other characters?

SHARPTON: Congressman Bill Pascrell, thank you, Democrat from New
Jersey. Thank you so much for your time this evening.

PASCRELL: Thank you, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Ahead, Donald Trump may think he`s becoming the new king
maker in the Republican Party, but we won`t forget when he was the biggest
birther of them all.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Every man Romney -- oh, I mean Willard Mitt Romney -- says
President Obama`s out of touch because he went to Harvard. That line might
work a little better if Willard wasn`t a Harvard man, too.

Last week in Florida, Willard tried to paint the president as an
elitist.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: All those years perhaps in
the Harvard faculty lounge and looking abroad to Europe, and seeing how
Europeans did things, he imagined that somehow, if we were more like
Europe, things would be better.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, Willard might not have spent time in Harvard`s faculty
lounge, but he was on campus plenty. In fact, Willard earned two Harvard
degrees, one from its business school and another from its law school. And
Harvard runs in the Romney family. Three of Willard`s sons went to Harvard
Business School.

And even if Romney wasn`t in the faculty lounge, he sure was happy to
take faculty cash. "The Huffington Post" reports Romney`s gotten more than
$56,000 in campaign money from Harvard professors and their spouses since
2002.

Oh, Willard. You`re making this too easy for me.

Now, there`s no way you`re an average Joe. I think your $12 million
house proves that. But did you think we wouldn`t notice you`re mocking the
president for going to the same school you did?

Nice try, Willard, but we got you. Again.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Welcome back. Message to the 2012 republican candidates.
They`re just not that into you. Over the weekend, Herman Cain won the
Florida straw poll by a landslide. Yes, Herman Cain. He took 37 percent
of the vote, blowing away Rick Perry and Willard Mitt Romney. That is a
complete rejection of the field in a major swing state. Now, straw polls
don`t count for much. After all, Michele Bachmann was the big winner in
Iowa. But even the right wing weekly standard magazine reports the straw
poll has bigger meaning. A no confidence vote in Orlando. But perhaps,
the surest sign these candidates reached the bottom, a skid on "Saturday
Night Live" mocking each and every one of them with a hint of truth.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Now, hook, Mitt Romney might not be the perfect
candidate, but he`s the perfect candidate in comparison to the other
candidates. Next to Rick Perry, I`m a centrist. Next to Michele Bachmann,
I`m a private sector businessman. Next to Newt Gingrich, I have a normal
human sized head. Next to Ron Paul, I`m the fonz. And next to Herman
Cain.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Yep, they got Mitt Romney spot on. And check out Alec
Baldwin nailing Rick Perry.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALEC BALDWIN, AMERICAN ACTOR: Romney said he was for -- against Obama
care, but what about Mitt Romney? I mean Mitt Romney care. Was it before
he was before? Was he was -- he was before -- border control.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: And he`s asleep. That concludes in that debate as
a reminder to Chris Christie, it`s wide open, buddy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: You know they`re having fun, but there`s a lot of truth in
it. Republicans are reportedly begging New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
to get into the race. All along he said no way. But reports have him
taking calls and not ruling a run out. Can`t wait to see the Christie
imitation on SNL.

Joining me now, Nia-Malika Henderson, political reporter for the
"Washington Post." And Erin McPike, national political reporter for Real
Clear Politics. Thanks to both of you for joining me tonight. Nia-Malika,
let`s start with you. How much trouble is the republican field in, in your
opinion?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, it`s certainly
been a bad week for Perry specifically and that`s why you saw so much
activity this weekend with the rebuke of him down in Florida and then those
really stinging jokes from SNL which are really starting to crystallize in
people`s minds what Perry`s main problem is. And that is this problem that
he seems not so sure footed in these debates, not able to come up with
convincing answers even when he`s going on the attack which is supposed to
be his strong point. And now you have again calls for Chris Christie to
get in. This is coming from I think really the republican elite, people
like Bill Crystal who had been calling for him to get in. But he`s
insistent that he doesn`t want to get in.

You know, I think obviously Romney can at this point as he has been
doing so far can sort of sit back, hone his message, be out on the stump
and really start to raise more money, we`ll see some figures out in the
next couple of days about how much he was able to raise. But, again, a lot
of hand wringing going on in the Republican Party about this field and I
think the real fear is that Romney is looking better and better and the
feel, you know, going into the general I think for a lot of Republicans
that he would end up really being more like a Bob Dole figure or John Kerry
and really essentially be weakened in the general even if he comes out of
this fight with Perry on top.

SHARPTON: Well, Erin, let me ask you ask you this Erin. We have a
new CNN poll out. Let me show that and let me ask you this question.
Perry in this poll is still way pretty significant. I won`t say way out
ahead, buts it is certainly not a laugh at when you see him at 28 percent
and Romney at 21 percent. That`s not a statistical tie, not even very,
very close. Is this really that Perry has fallen or is it the republican
establishment never wanted him, so they`re pushing all of the buttons
making the right wing bloggers and media trying to force him out of the
race because they never really wanted him?

ERIN MCPIKE, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: Well, if I saw that correctly, it
still has Perry at 28 percent and Romney at 21 percent.

SHARPTON: Right.

MCPIKE: So, it looks like Perry is still sort of on top. And his
support hasn`t fallen that far. Now, it`s early still. We`ve had a few
debates. He`s now been in three debates. There are many more debates to
come. And voters won`t be casting any of their votes until February of
next year. And he`s just now gotten into the race and that`s what the
Perry campaign is telling us. He`s brand new to the field. He`s just
starting to prepare for these debates and he`s not been that good of a
debater or in the past. He didn`t debate in his re-election race last
year. So, sure, the establishment is starting to get nervous about Perry
that they`re not liking his early performances. But I think we`re going to
see them give him another chance. This is not the end of his candidacy
just yet.

SHARPTON: Well, Mia, the whole push around Chris Christie, now,
they`re saying that he has not ruled it out now. First, he said he wasn`t
going to run, then they`re saying he is. But again, we saw the same push
for Michele Bachmann and then look what happened to her. Now Rick Perry,
some are predicting that he`ll crash. We really don`t know whether Chris
Christie can hold his own on the national stage. I mean, he has any number
of very, let`s say, provocative statements and interesting things that
could be brought back up. Let me show you some of the things that we can
most remember Chris Christie for and I wonder how that would play on the
national stage if he got in the race. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I was talking to my wife this
morning and I was telling her there`s Q&A after I give this speech and she
said to me, you don`t think they`re going to ask you about running for
president. I threatened to commit suicide. I did. I said what do I have
to do short of suicide to convince people I`m not running.

First off it`s none of your business. I don`t ask you where you send
your kids to school, don`t bother me about where I send mine.

Can you guys please take the bat out on her for once? This is the
crap I have to hear. This is for real.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Nia, not bashful about being very blunt and frank. Will
that work though in a presidential campaign? I mean, will people want to
see a brash shoot from the hip kind of guy in charge of foreign policy,
world policy, finances and all? Don`t get me wrong, nothing wrong with a
guy shooting from the hip and brash, including yours truly. But I didn`t
win the democratic nomination.

HENDERSON: Right. No, I think, you know, in some ways, you know,
Christie looks good in isolation. He looks good, you know from here, you
look at, you know, how he`s done in New Jersey. But again, I think, the
lesson of Perry is how hard it is to get in this race at this late date and
really get up to speed on a lot of these very complicated international
issues. And I mean, that`s why you see Perry struggling. And I think
this. And I`m going to try to say this as delicately as I can. You know,
I think if Chris Christie were to get into this race, as much as, you know,
voting is about, it`s in some ways aspirational, people like to vote for
people who really represent the country and represent themselves in the
best way, and I think if Chris Christie were to get in, he would
immediately quite frankly I think face questions about his health and his
weight. Quite frankly, he had to be hospitalized over the summer for
asthma, not really related to his weight, but, again, I think people would
bring up those issues almost immediately if he decided to get into the
race.

SHARPTON: And I don`t know as a former fat guy, I don`t know how fair
that would be. But let me ask you this. ABC is reporting Sarah Palin is
not going to run. If that is true, that leaves just the field that`s out
there unless Christie comes in. Is Michele Bachmann dead, Erin
politically?

MCPIKE: I`m sorry, is Michele Bachmann dead?

SHARPTON: Politically, I`m talking about in terms of this race.

MCPIKE: Right. Absolutely. No, I don`t think she`s dead
politically. You know, candidates come up and down all the time. If you
recall just four years ago, people thought John McCain initially the
frontrunner for the republican nomination for 2008, then his campaign was
dead. But he came back and he got the nomination. That`s not to say that
Michele Bachmann`s going to get the nomination, but she can challenge these
candidates to speak her language and to come to the right some just as Newt
Gingrich can, as Rick Santorum can. And, you know, Jon Huntsman can force
Mitt Romney maybe to the left a little bit in New Hampshire. So, we`ve
been talking about how this race is narrowing and all these candidates are
dead, but I think what you`re seeing with some of these straw polls and
Rick Perry and Mitt Romney not placing first, is that the voters are not
ready to say this is just a two-man race yet. I mean, maybe the nominee
will be Rick Perry or Mitt Romney. That`s probably likely. But none of
these candidates are dead yet. They`re still going to have an impact on
the race.

SHARPTON: Nia-Malika Henderson and Erin McPike, thanks to both of you
for joining me this evening.

HENDERSON: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Ahead, Mitt Romney in New York kissing up to the Donald.
Is it this another reality show? But first, a secret alliance between
right wing operatives and corporate money to suppress the vote. That`s
next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Campaign season has begun. On the campaign trail and
behind closed doors. That`s where a corporate funded effort to suppress
the vote is emerging between big business, special interest groups and
politicians. Billionaire Charles Koch caught on tape at a retreat in June
talking about just how high the stakes are in this election.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHARLES KOCH, BUSINESSMAN: This is the mother of all wars we`ve got
in the next 18 months. For the life or death of this country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Life or death? Sounds like they`ll do just about anything.
Maybe they will. Today, new reporting by ProPublica reveals corporations
are spending big money to enforce how Congressional districts are drawn.
Quote, "Their main interest in the fight over redistricting is not to help
voters in communities they claim to represent but mainly to improve the
prospects of their political allies or to harm their enemies." This comes
after the Center for Media and Democracy recently exposed the group ALEC,
that brings corporations and lawmakers together to literally write laws
including new voter ID laws. The Senate found out that ALEC`s voter ID law
has been part of some of the 34 -- voter ID laws introduced across the
country just this year.

Joining me now is Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for
Media and Democracy. And South Carolina Senator Gerald Malloy, he`s a
democrat and one of the leading voices against voter ID legislation. Thank
you both for your time this evening.

STATE SEN. GERALD MALLOY (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: Thank you sir.

SHARPTON: Lisa, let me start with you. How involved are corporations
in all of this?

LISA GRAVES, CENTER FOR MEDIA AND DEMOCRACY: Well, corporations like
Koch Industries and corporate CEOs like Charles Koch fund ALEC. They fund
efforts of ALEC along with many multinational global corporations that make
these sorts of laws possible, that put these sorts of model laws or model
bills in the hands of politicians across the country and that`s just what
we`ve seen with the voter ID or really voter suppression laws which here
Wisconsin will have the effect of disenfranchising perhaps a quarter
million college students and hundreds perhaps, 100,000 other people in the
state. And that`s what`s happening across the country due this corporate.
And corporate CEO effort to influence our elections.

SHARPTON: What about this public report on redistricting?

GRAVES: Well, I think it`s very revealing. They document how these
shadowy groups have sprung up all over the country, they receive unlimited
funds by unlimited undisclosed donors. And then they work to basically
change the districting maps for Congressional Districts across the country.
It`s an enormous threat to our democracy to have these sorts of groups no
matter who is funding them have such influence when there is no disclosure
to the American people about which corporations, which CEOs and which CEO
foundations are actually funding these efforts to rewrite our districts for
our votes in the Congressional elections next year.

SHARPTON: Senator Malloy, when you look at their involvement in how
we draw district lines and then we find out the support they`ve had in
these drives for voter ID in South Carolina and 33 other states, we really
talking about limiting the participation of voters. Explain how
detrimental to the principles of democracy this is.

MALLOY: Well, in South Carolina, 30 percent of the voting population
is African-American. Right now, we have one congressman in South Carolina
that are African-American. We`re going to seven Congressional districts
and right now with the new plan, they`re not abiding by what is simple
math. Under the new plan, we would only have one in seven that could be
elected. And so with that, they`re encouraging those that are already in
support to continue to be in support and drawing a district that is
obviously packed and they are actually spreading it out so we will not have
a fair representation in our state.

SHARPTON: Let me show you Senator, Lisa, what you Karl Rove had to
say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KARL ROVE, FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR TO PRESIDENT BUSH: If for example
African-American turnout in North Carolina is one point less than it was
last time, his margin is cut two-and-a-half times over.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, that is astounding. Just one percent less African-
American turnout in North Carolina, and he loses the state he won last
time, he being President Obama Senator Malloy. So, this is not just some
pie in the sky conspiracy theory. The numbers are there if they can shrink
some of the voters that are likely to vote for President Obama, the
Republicans take those states, take those districts, and possibly the
White House.

MALLOY: Well, absolutely. In South Carolina, the numbers in the
African-American turned out during the 2008 election went from 69 percent
to about 82 percent of those that were registered to vote. And so it`s no
accident that we had the voter ID law that started in January of 2009 right
after the 2008 elections.

SHARPTON: Now, Lisa, let me connect the dots, so that we`re not just
talking political folk to political folk. I like to talk where everybody
understands what we`re talking about. These corporations, these rich guys
interest in this is because the guys that support them with the loopholes
and tax cuts get in, it`s just good for business. It`s their greed over
the people`s need and they need their people in office to protect that.

GRAVES: Well, that`s exactly right. And what you see through an
organization like ALEC which is nonpartisan or bipartisan, it`s largely led
by right wing Republicans and it`s serving the agenda of corporations that
don`t want to be regulated to protect our air, our water, to protect our
rights if we`re killed or injured by corporations. They don`t want us to
be able to raise revenue in order to meet public needs. They want to
privatize anything that isn`t nailed down and many things that are. And
so, for an organization like ALEC which is largely funded by corporations
and corporate CEOs like Charles Koch, what you see is a desire to basically
ensure that their friends get elected. And it`s really slight of hands to
focus on election fraud when it`s very rare in this country -- when the
real problem of this country is actually having people vote and getting our
votes counted.

SHARPTON: Well, Lisa Graves, Senator Malloy, you know, when you see
the stakes and Senator Malloy, when you break down the African-American
vote, maybe you can understand what President Obama meant by let`s quit
complaining and start moving forward. Maybe there`s a lot at stake more
than just people worried about their egos. Thank you both for your time
tonight.

GRAVES: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Up next, Willard meets the Donald. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Donald Trump is the new king maker of the Republican Party.
Today it was Mitt Romney`s turn to kiss up to the Donald. He met with
Trump in New York because that is where curiously everyone has come. But
in this case, Mitt and the Donald were never caught on camera. Mitt
slipped out of the Trump tower eluding the media. Romney follows Michele
Bachmann, Rick Perry and Sarah Palin who already met with Trump. Today, it
was announced, Herman Cain will get to this meeting next month. So, why is
this guy so popular? Trump has been in business for years and he`s never
had influence with the GOP. I wonder why he`s so popular now?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, BUSINESSMAN: It`s hard to believe that Obama became the
president. Because of all the things that we don`t know about him. Why
did he spend millions of dollars trying to get out of the birth certificate
issue?

If he has a birth certificate, he should release it.

I`ve been told that the birth certificate is either missing or not
there.

Barack Obama should give his birth certificate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Become the king birther and suddenly you`re the man of the
party. Here is his take on FOX today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: All of these candidates like their
Trump moment. What do they ask you when they see you?

TRUMP: Well, I think they respect my views. I think they respect, I
have a big following of people that are tired of seeing this country ripped
off.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Romney is probably happy, he wasn`t asked out for dinner
with Donald. Sarah Palin had dinner with infamous Pizza date with Trump
back in May. The one with Donald, his pizza would have fall. Since then,
her unfavorability ratings hit an all-time high. Earlier this month, Rick
Perry had a fancy dinner meeting with Trump just after he bombs in a debate
and goes from the GOP hero to zero. So, we`ll see what happens to Romney.
By the way, President Obama, if you`re watching, and Donald Trump invites
you to dinner, don`t go. Say you`re busy.

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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