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PoliticsNation, Thursday, October 6, 2011

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Guests: Robert Menendez, Alex Wagner, Rick Lazio, Brad Miller, Dorothy Cooper, Mary Mancini, Judith Browne-Dianis, Jonathan Capehart

REV. AL SHARPTON, HOST: Hey, Republicans, the issue is jobs. The
time is now. Just do it!

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: People really need help
right now.

SHARPTON (voice-over): A defiant President Obama refusing to let up
on the push for his jobs plan.

OBAMA: If Congress does nothing, the American people will run them
out of town.

SHARPTON: Senator Robert Menendez on the president`s big push.

As the Occupy Wall Street protests spread, Republicans vote against
the man who would police Wall Street for consumers. Congressman Brad
Miller on the Grand Old Party of Wall Street.

Deep in the heart of Tennessee, Republicans` voter I.D. laws are
taking away a 96-year-old woman`s right to vote. Dorothy Cooper is here
tonight to tell her story.

POLITICS NATION starts right now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

Tonight`s lead, President Obama put Republicans on notice. He is
running on his jobs plan.

Earlier today, he held a news conference to promote the plan and
slammed Republicans for doing nothing to boost the economy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: People really need help right now. Our economy really needs a
jolt right now.

This is not a game. This is not the time for the usual political
gridlock.

Will Congress do something? If Congress does something, then I can`t
run against a do-nothing Congress. If Congress does nothing, then it`s not
a matter of me running against them, I think the American people will run
them out of town.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The American people will run them out of town. He`s right.

The latest "Washington Post" poll shows approval rating for Congress
now is just 14 percent, the lowest ever.

Today, the president also showed once again he`s willing to call the
Republicans out by name for putting politics ahead of the country.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I`m also dealing with a Republican Majority Leader who said
that his number one goal was to beat me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MINORITY LEADER: Our top political priority
over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Not put Americans back to work, not grow the economy, not help
small businesses expand, but to defeat me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now is Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat from
New Jersey. He serves on the Banking and Finance Committees.

Senator, thank you for being with us tonight.

SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ (D), NEW JERSEY: Good to be with you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: How do you deal with a party focused more on winning
elections than creating jobs for Americans?

MENENDEZ: Well, I hope we`ll see more of what the president said
today, is what I say as I travel across New Jersey and the country. You
know, every day I go to work, my focus is, how do we grow this economy?
How do we get people back to work? How do we get our private sector to be
engaged in employing people?

How do we get our lending institutions to lend to our communities and
our businesses so they can grow? How do we get America working again?

That`s my focus. It`s not about making anybody a one-term or two-term
president, for that fact. It`s all about, how do we grow this economy?

And if we do those things collectively, America will be better off
and, of course, so will the president. So, when they`re focused just on
making President Obama a one-term president, and use the filibuster 150
times to stop progress here, it says everything about where they`re at,
which is not in the interest of the American people.

MENENDEZ: Now, it seems like that sometimes we`re on different
frequencies in this country. People are outraged, people are upset. I`m
talking about teachers, firemen, policemen, ordinary people, students
marching. We`re getting ready for civil rights leaders to march.

But then you look at Senator McConnell and what he said today, it`s
almost like we`re on one frequency, they`re on another, and we`re passing
in mid air.

Let me show you what Senator McConnell said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCCONNELL: This bill is the same wasteful spending, the same
burdensome union giveaways, and the same temporary tax policy that has
failed the American people in the last two years. By adding a tax on small
business owners, they made it even less attractive to job creators.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: By adding a tax to small business owners, a millionaire`s
tax -- small business owners are not necessarily millionaires. Maybe
middle businesses and higher, but a millionaire -- a surcharge on
millionaires is not small business owners.

I mean, what is going on in their heads?

MENENDEZ: Well, I think Senator McConnell and the Republicans think
that if they just say everything is a tax or everything is a regulation,
that people will believe it.

You know, the reality is, is that the president`s proposal actually
calls for a tax cut for businesses that, on the payroll tax side, if they
hire veterans, they get a tax -- a further tax cut. If they hire a longer-
term unemployed individual, they get another tax cut. So this isn`t about
tax increases for small businesses and the job creators in this country,
this is about giving them tax cuts so that they can create those jobs and
put people back to work.

And certainly the millionaire and billionaire tax, all that is at the
end of the day, I think people who are wealthy in this country, if we call
upon them to be part of solving the nation`s challenges, would be willing
to do so. In essence, all they would be giving up is the Bush tax cuts
that they received for the last decade.

So it seems to me to make a lot of sense at the end of the day to try
to get America back on its feet, back working, prosperous again, growing
again. And when we have people back at work, not only do they have the
dignity of work to help them realize the hopes and dreams and aspirations
of themselves and their families, they have money. That puts money in the
economy. They buy products and services that other Americans are going to
create or to give.

SHARPTON: But we`re talking about 1.9 million jobs if this passes.

MENENDEZ: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: We`re talking about --

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: And I think that -- I mean, for our elected officials in
the Senate to ignore 1.9 million jobs because they`re more obsessed on an
election is a sad day when we have these kinds of serious times.

But Senator Menendez, thank you for your time tonight.

Today, the president also hit Republicans for pushing the wrong ideas
to get this economy growing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: So their big economic plan to put people back to work right
now is to roll backs financial protections and allow banks to charge hidden
fees on credit cards again or weaken consumer watch dogs? Does anybody
really think that that is going to create jobs right now and meet the
challenges of a global economy?

They`re going to have to explain why it is that they would be opposed
to putting teachers back in the classroom or rebuilding our schools or
giving tax cuts to middle class folks and giving tax cuts to small
businesses.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Let`s bring in former Republican congressman Rick Lazio
from IgniteWithRickLazio.com and MSNBC analyst Alex Wagner.

Thank you both for being here tonight.

Rick, can Republicans explain why they are not trying to create jobs?

RICK LAZIO (R), FMR. CONGRESSMAN: Well, I think they are. I think if
you look at the numbers, there`s a reason why President Obama has a 54
percent disapproval number, according to the latest ABC poll, 40 percent
strongly disapprove.

In this jobs speech, all I heard about was the political implications
of what he was doing, not ways in which you could bring the parties
together. In fact, if you look at Republicans in Congress, they`ve only
had the House for nine months. When you talk about the favorability
numbers for Congress, half of that, the Senate, is controlled still by the
Democrats.

And he had a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate, and he
controlled both houses and did not address these key economic issues. If
he really wanted to get something done, he would be calling for a corporate
tax overall and reform, including closing some loopholes, he`d be talking
about pulling back some of that $2 trillion off shore and repatriating some
of that money, and requiring businesses to take that money back to invest
in America and hire people.

There are commonsensical things the president can do. He has just not
called for those things.

SHARPTON: Now, Alex, do you see what I mean when I say that we`re on
different frequencies? I`m on FM and they`re on AM.

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC ANALYST: Yes.

SHARPTON: I said, why don`t they want to create jobs? He said they
are. And rather than lay out a job creation program, he started quoting
polls and he started telling me what the president should do. He still has
not gotten to one Republican idea for jobs.

WAGNER: Well, and also, there`s been a glossing over of the jobs
package that`s on the table. I mean, these are -- and the president said
this over and over again -- these are previously bipartisan measures.

You know, the idea that somehow this is unpalatable to Republicans to
cut payroll taxes and cut taxes for businesses that hire veterans and long-
term unemployed, to invest in infrastructure, I mean, infrastructure --
bridges, roads, tunnels, highways -- these are, as the president outlined
today, the things that have made this country and this economy great and
have previously been things that both parties have supported. I just don`t
understand why it`s been so roundly and quickly dismissed.

SHARPTON: But Rick, this might shock and amaze you, as Muhammad Ali
used to say --

LAZIO: I doubt it.

SHARPTON: -- but let me show you a poll since you like polls.

The American people trust the president more than they do the
Republicans to create jobs.

So, could you, a second time, tell me, then, if the Republicans can`t
back the president, where is the job creation plan of the Republicans? Or
is it just obstruct the president?

LAZIO: The Republican -- no, no. I would say, if you look at the
presidential candidates, for example --

SHARPTON: No, I`m talking about the Senate, McConnell, the people
voting that are obstructing the plan.

LAZIO: So they have a jobs plan, it`s in writing. You can get it --

SHARPTON: You`re talking about the 59 --

LAZIO: No I`m not talking about Mitt Romney, who has got his own 59
points, very specific.

SHARPTON: Oh, you`re talking about the Cantor --

LAZIO: I`m talking about the Senate Republicans have their own bill
which talks about things like trade. For five years, the president has
stalled these trade --

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: For five years the president --

LAZIO: For five years, I would say, since --

SHARPTON: It don`t matter with you guys, but he hasn`t been president
five years.

LAZIO: For five years they have been working on these trade pacts for
Korea, for example, and Panama and Colombia, and they`ve been stalled.

SHARPTON: But the president addressed that today. Even though he
wasn`t there for five years, he says they will not create jobs immediately.
We need jobs immediately. Trade reform will not create jobs immediately.

LAZIO: But here`s the point the Republicans would make. You cannot
raise taxes on businesses and expect them to create jobs. They`re not
incentivized. They`re not more likely to create jobs when they`ve got to
pay the government more money. That`s not how it works.

They need to know that they have a pathway that they`re incentivized
to invest in expansion in the U.S., that they can hire people without the
fear of having less earnings, fewer earnings, less profit, because they`re
going to be taxed more by the government. They need long-term certainty.

WAGNER: They need people buying their product.

LAZIO: But, in my view, short term -- and Republicans I think would
argue this -- a short-term (INAUDIBLE) through the next election, which is
what I think the American people see through -- this looks like it`s just
an Obama plan to get through the election -- is not what we need. We have
got a basic competitive issue.

SHARPTON: So, the way to do it, Alex, is to have a plan to obstruct
so we can`t get through anything. I mean, how are broke people going to
consume from businesses? And you might want to also amaze him by telling
him, since you`re sitting closer than I am, they`ve had a tax cut for 10
years, it didn`t give them an incentive.

I mean, what are they talking about?

LAZIO: No, no. But that`s not true.

WAGNER: Rick, do you genuinely think that the Republicans are really
pushing for any kind of grand bargain? I mean, I really -- and I think,
you know, there`s a lot of empathy for President Obama, a lot of
understanding at his frustration here.

He has said the door is open to compromise. He was ready to put
entitlements on the table. They walked away from it.

LAZIO: Yes, but look at what he puts as a submission to the super
committee -- phony numbers, taking credit for a drawdown in Afghanistan and
Iraq that were already announced. I mean, even the leading expert group
said this was not a credible proposal. You`re not really engaging
seriously with the super committee.

He walks away from Bowles-Simpson, which was his own commission. That
was the moment in which he could have stepped up and took the high ground.
And instead, he turned his back and dissed them. He said nothing about
entitlements, and you can`t fix the entire --

SHARPTON: But he said publicly about it. He made the offers publicly
about entitlements. Some of us were very concerned about it.

I mean, what are you talking about?

LAZIO: But you can`t invest in America if you don`t deal with
entitlements that are growing twice as fast as the economy.

SHARPTON: The private sector has $2 trillion in cash. The private
sector has had everything they want. You said that`s not incentive enough.
The only incentive they want is to win the election.

LAZIO: No, no.

SHARPTON: We want to get some jobs.

LAZIO: You want to get money back from off shore? Stop double-taxing
them.

SHARPTON: We want to get some jobs on shore.

Rick Lazio, thank you.

Alex Wagner -- thank you both for joining us.

WAGNER: Thanks.

SHARPTON: And you see where the debate is, and we`re going to
continue fighting these arguments about policy. But at the end of the day,
we`ve got to get jobs. But we can have our different opinions of how to
get there. We cannot have different facts, and you just heard it.

The Republicans not only blame the president for things that he didn`t
do, they even said he`s been there for five years.

Coming up next, Wall Street protests rage across the country.
Republicans show their allegiance to big business.

Plus, Rick Perry is finally speaking about that explosive racial story
that won`t go away. Does his explanation hold up under scrutiny?

And only in America. My thoughts on the passing of Steve Jobs, a
brilliant visionary who changed all of our lives.

You`re watching POLITICS NATION on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: This morning, Republicans showed who they really pledge
their allegiance to. Not the American people, but American corporations.

Every single Republican on the Senate Banking Committee sided with
Wall Street to vote against the president`s nominee to head the new
consumer watchdog agency, Richard Cordray. Not one Republican vote for
Cordray.

Congressman Spencer Bachus of Alabama recently summed up how
Republicans think about this issue, saying, "In Washington, the view is
that the banks are to be regulated, and my view is that Washington and the
regulators are there to serve the banks."

Joining me now is Congressman Brad Miller, a Democrat from North
Carolina, the home state of Bank of America.

Congressman, thanks for being here tonight.

REP. BRAD MILLER (D), NORTH CAROLINA: Thank you for having me on.

SHARPTON: What do you think, Congressman, about this Republican view
that Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks?

MILLER: Well, it`s been on display the whole time I`ve been in
Congress. They have shown no appetite at all for doing anything that Wall
Street does not favor, and that means leaving consumers to them.

SHARPTON: Now, one of the things I thought was a very direct and I
might say passionate statement Vice President Biden made -- let me play to
you what Vice President Bide said that is markedly different than what
Senator Bachus said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The reason the CEO
of Bank of America or any other -- anybody is in the business, is because
they, that guy making $50,000 bailed him out. Bailed him out.

The middle class folks, these guys with these debit cards, are on
their back, and we`re going to charge them $5 more to use a debit card. At
a minimum, they are incredibly tone deaf. At a minimum. And at a maximum,
they are not paying their fair share.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: A minimum, they are tone deaf. A maximum, they are not
paying their fair share.

Congressman, how do you respond to what the vice president said?

MILLER: Well, I think he`s right. I think Americans are furious.

They see the people who caused the financial crisis as having gotten
away with -- gotten off scot-free. And the people who really are bearing
the brunt of it, the people who have lost their jobs, the people who have
lost their homes, are really entirely without blame. It really offends
Americans` sense of justice.

SHARPTON: Now, you have seen the Occupy Wall Street and we`ve seen
the marches around the country. Some of us are headed to Washington on
King weekend to march next weekend.

The president addressed the outrage on Wall Street himself today.
Let`s listen to what the president set about the feeling that ordinary
Americans are having which, in many ways, have led to these types of
protests.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: You`re still seeing some of the same folks who acted
irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down on abusive practices
that got us into this problem in the first place. So, yes, I think people
are frustrated, and the protesters are giving voice to a more broad-based
frustration about how our financial system works.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Congressman, does your colleagues on the other side of the
aisle understand this frustration is beyond just those of us that protest?
Ordinary, average Americans -- I`m talking about police, firemen, teachers
-- they are frustrated, and they`re seeing bankers that, in many ways, out
of their greed and breaking regulations, helped to bring this economy down,
walking away with exceptional perks and an increase in income, and the only
ones being handcuffed are people that are protesting.

MILLER: I agree with those who say that they are surprised it has
taken this long for there to be protests.

Sunday night there was an organizational meeting in Raleigh. They
called it Occupation Raleigh. It was at a public park.

And I just showed up unannounced. There were about 70 people there.
I knew some of them. They were kind of liberal, and they were certainly
Democrats, but they were not fringe at all. I`m sure there were some
people there who were fringe, but for the most part, it was people who were
just frustrated, and there is great justice in their frustration.

This has not been the economy that I grew up in, in which there was a
broadly shared prosperity. When the nation did better, ordinary Americans
did better, working and middle class families did better.

More and more of the benefit of society, more and more of our
productivity, more and more of our wealth has gone to fewer and fewer
people. And it`s not because they`re doing something of great value to
society. Frequently, it feels like that they got themselves in a position
where they could loot the country.

SHARPTON: Well, Congressman, they`re not the troublemakers, they`re
the trouble breakers, because we`re in trouble, and they didn`t start the
trouble or put us into trouble. They`re trying to stop the trouble by
protesting it and saying let`s stop and go another way.

Congressman Brad Miller, thanks again for your time tonight.

And join me in Washington on Saturday, October 15th, for our March for
Jobs and Justice.

Ahead, Governor Rick Scott can`t remember a promise on jobs.

I`ve got the tape, Rick.

And my interview with Dorothy Cooper, 96 years young. She`s been
voting all her life, but now a Republican law may stop her from exercising
her rights under the Constitution.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Lots of politician forget campaign promises once they`re in
office, but Florida Governor Rick Scott seems to have a real problem with
selective memory.

Since taking office in January, Scott has slashed education funding,
tried to weaken unions, and started drug testing welfare recipients. But
he came into office promising to create jobs.

Scott told voters his policies would create 700,000 jobs in seven
years. But PolitiFact finds Scott is backing away from that promise.

During his campaign, economists predicted Florida would create about a
million jobs over seven years, no matter who the governor was. Scott said
his 700,000 jobs would be in addition to that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Well, our plan is
seven steps to 700,000 jobs. And that plan is on top of what normal growth
would be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, I want to be fair to Governor Scott, make sure we`re
telling the whole story, so here`s another exchange from that debate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: If you were going to add 700,000 jobs on top of
what the economic recovery would bring, we`re talking about -- in seven
year, about 1.7 million. That`s an awful lot of jobs. We`re going to grow
the state.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So, Governor Scott was clear, his plan would add 700,000
extra jobs. But when reporters ask about the plan, Scott sings a different
tune.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your pledge was for 700,000 in addition to normal
growth, wasn`t it?

SCOTT: Seven hundred thousand.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what we were told by your campaign is totally
wrong?

SCOTT: I don`t know who said that, so I have no idea.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I know who said it, Governor. You did! Governor, did you
think no one would notice you completely contradicted yourself on tape?

Nice try, but we got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: If you have any doubt, radical republican voter ID laws are
an effort to suppress the vote, may I introduce you to Dorothy Cooper.
This 96-year-old Tennessee resident has voted in every single election over
the last seven decades, but one. Even during the Jim Crow era, she says
she, quote, "never had any problems casting her ballot." But Tennessee`s
new voter ID law is changing that. Dorothy Cooper doesn`t have a driver`s
license, so she needed to ride to get her voter ID. She had her birth
certificate, a voter registration card, and a copy of her lease, but was
denied, because she didn`t have her marriage certificate. This is
shameless. It`s happening all over the country, and it`s impacting
millions.

From Chattanooga, Tennessee, is Dorothy Cooper. Thanks for joining me
tonight. Tell me, Ms. Cooper, what happened when you went to get your ID?

DOROTHY COOPER, CAN`T GET PHOTO ID TO VOTE: Well, we stood in line
for a while. And we were thinking that we were going to get it. And then
we found out that I would have to have my marriage certificate, so we went
-- we left there, and we went to another place. That`s when they asked me
if I would like to vote absentee.

SHARPTON: So now, for 70 years you`ve been voting with no problem,
and when you heard about this voter ID, you went to tried to get the ID,
and they wouldn`t give you the ID at one place. And then at the second
place, they offered you to vote absentee?

COOPER: Yes. They asked me if I wanted to, and I said yes, because
of my age, I probably won`t be able to go to the polls and vote too many
years, if I live that long.

SHARPTON: So you went an extra effort and finally at the second
place, you voted absentee, because you were denied the right at the first
place. Now, even during Jim Crow days, you didn`t have any problems voting
in Tennessee?

COOPER: No, I haven`t had any problems at all until this time. This
is the only time that I`ve ever had any problems.

SHARPTON: Now, you`re 96-years-old. You took the extra effort to go
try to get the ID, even went to a second polling place, so we can imagine
people that are not as energetic as you are and not as determined as you
are, they would just be discouraged. That would cost a lot of votes.

COOPER: That`s for sure.

SHARPTON: Do you feel that this kind of law is something that you and
others that have lived through the Jim Crow and other eras, do you feel
that this is something that you never thought at this stage in your voting
life that you would have to face? Are you surprised that they would change
and make these kinds of strict requirements at this stage of the game?

COOPER: I never thought it would be like this, ever.

SHARPTON: Well, many of us are going to fight to make sure it doesn`t
stay like this. I thank you for coming out and taking the effort. I thank
you for trying to keep on voting. And you started voting 70 years ago.
And like you just said, you never thought it would be like this. It must
be determined it won`t stay like this. Your generation changing for us.
We can at least maintain it for those of us behind you. Mrs. Cooper, thank
you for your time this evening and effort coming out to share your story
with us. Thank you.

COOPER: Dorothy Cooper lives in Tennessee, but as we`ve been
reporting, the radical republican effort to suppress the vote is happening
across the country. This year 37 states considered laws that restrict
voting. In 13 states, those laws were passed, and across the country,
people are fighting back. A group called Tennessee citizen action launched
a petition campaign to convince lawmakers we shouldn`t have it harder for
people like Dorothy Cooper to vote. And today, the Obama campaign showed
us how they stepped in to fight for voter rights in Ohio, helping to
collect more than 300,000 signatures to block a law shrinking early voting
period.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Ohioans know an injustice when they see it. This
is a spark that really got everybody`s attention. When they started making
it harder for people to cast their ballot, it gets their attention, and we
don`t like it, and we`ve put a stop to it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

COOPER: Thanks to those signatures, voters in Ohio have already begun
casting ballots. In Maine, Republicans passed a law eliminating same-day
voter registration, but the group protect Maine voters collected enough
signatures to get a people`s veto of that law on the ballot in November,
allowing the voters to decide. Republicans will keep trying to suppress
the vote, and we need to keep standing up for the right to vote.

Joining me now is Mary Mancini, executive director of Tennessee
Citizen Action, the group petitioning the repeal that states voter -- that
state`s voter ID laws. And Judith Brown Dianis, co-director of the
Advancement Project, a civil rights organization focused on the issues of
democracy and race. Thank you both for joining me tonight.

JUDITH BROWNE-DIANIS, CO-DIRECTOR, ADVANCEMENT PROJECT: Thank you,
Reverend Sharpton.

MARY MANCINI, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, TENNESSEE CITIZEN ACTION: Thank
you.

SHARPTON: This story of Mary, this 96-year old woman, very, very
touching, a compelling story, 70 years, here`s a woman who was voting when
people in Tennessee that were of African-American descent had to sit in
the back of the bus, and she said I never thought I would see it like this.
This is absolutely unthinkable. When in the 21st century, and this woman
for years -- I never thought I would see it like this. What are we looking
at Mary?

MANCINI: Well, first of all, I want to thank you for having me on the
show. It`s an honor to be on with Mrs. Cooper. Things are really tough in
Tennessee. You know, people are losing their jobs, they`re losing their
homes, they`re under water in their mortgages. Unemployment in Tennessee
in some rural communities is 20 to 25 percent. And now with the stroke of
a pen, they`re losing their vote as well? Their right to vote as well? You
know, this law will affect people -- seniors like Mrs. Cooper, but it`s
also going to affect a lot of other people. It will affect people in the
disabled community, it would affect those who work, you know, two and three
jobs just to make ends meet, just to put food on their table. You know,
they don`t have the luxury of being able to take off work without losing
pay to go stand in line for driver services center for hours.

SHARPTON: Mary, can this be repealed?

MANCINI: You know, I think it can be. I think that the people of
Tennessee are reasonable. We believe in free and fair elections. And all
we need to do is convince the state legislature that we are against this
bill, this law.

SHARPTON: Now, Judith, let me show you something, in Tennessee alone,
let me show you what really was amazing to me. The Chattanooga Times free
press showed that 126,000 seniors don`t have photo ID.

DIANIS: That`s right.

SHARPTON: So this lady that we saw tonight. Mrs. Cooper represents a
large bloc of seniors, I mean, that forth and many of them went through
life, where all they had for redress was the right to vote. And now
because they don`t have voter ID, they`re taking that from them. How can
we allow this to happen, Judith?

DIANIS: You know, this Ms. Cooper`s story is the quintessential story
of this cycle. In 2011, when the republican legislatures took up these
laws, they clearly had a plan of who wasn`t going to be able to participate
in 2012, and we saw the passage of these laws, but we`re fighting back. I
mean, the folks in Ohio have shown us that we will not sit back and allow
these legislators to take away our voice, to take away our participation.
And so, we`re going to have to fight state by state, people will have to
stand up and say that they want to have a voice in our election. You know,
we are seeing the largest rollbacks in voting rights than we have seen in a
century. And we cannot allow that to happen.

SHARPTON: Well, let me show you, Judith, why many of us in the fight
for democracy and the civil rights community, look at this who the voters
are that have no ID, 15 percent of the poor, 18 percent of elderly, 20
percent of young voters between 18 and 29, 25 percent of African-Americans.
These voter ID laws disproportionately attack the people that really had to
fight to get the right to vote. Poor people, African-Americans who
couldn`t vote by law. Young people who we just saw the vote in my lifetime
go down to 18. It seems very targeted.

DIANIS: That`s right.

SHARPTON: And then let me answer the critics who are saying, yes, but
we`ve got to fight voter fraud. Let me tell you something, Mary, let`s
look at the facts. The "Rolling Stone" came out with the fact that in --
from 2002 to 2007, get this, the Bush Justice Departments probe during
those years, out of 300 million votes cast, 300 million, prosecutors
convicted only 86 people.

MANCINI: That`s right.

SHARPTON: These 0.00003 percent, 0.00003 percent. So, we`re going to
disrupt all of the democratic process in this country for 0.00003 percent.
This is incredible.

MANCINI: It is, and you`re right.

SHARPTON: Go ahead, Mary.

MANCINI: You`re right. I mean, this is the right that is -- the
voting is the most level playing field that we have. And right now what
we`re telling people is that we`re taking away their right to vote. And
then in order to get it back they have to get a photo ID. In order to get
their right back to vote, it really is incredible. And, you know, here in
Tennessee, we have a great system in place, a hefty fine, we have a hefty
jail sentence for anyone that perpetrates fraud. And we have caught a few
people, very few, but we have caught people which means that the system
already works, so we don`t need -- this bill is a solution in search of a
problem.

SHARPTON: Judith, you`ve been fighting it all over the country. I`ll
give you the last words. I got one in a second.

DIANIS: Listen, Reverend Sharpton, we`ll going to continue to take
this issue on, because we will not allow these folks to undermine our
democracy. People should be able to participate, and we`re going to make
sure we`re standing by them, fighting every step of the way. And we need
folks to be involved in this fight.

SHARPTON: Mary and Judith, thanks for your time this evening. We
will be watching these cases and staying on this story.

MANCINI: Thank you.

DIANIS: Thank you very much.

SHARPTON: Rick Perry breaks his silence on the explosive story that
raised serious questions about his views on race. But did he really quiet
the critics? That`s next.

Plus, two symbols of American exceptionalism. Steve Jobs and Reverend
Fred Shuttlesworth. We`ll remember two out of the box visionaries. Stay
with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s been five days since "The Washington Post" set off the
controversy of Rick Perry`s hunting camp, the camp he leased where a rock
on the property had the "N" word on it. Now, he`s finally talking. Take a
look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: All of us agree that
the word that was on the rock is a very offensive rock, and a very
offensive word. At the moment we had to move to paint over that rock, we
did.

JULIET HUDDY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Why are people coming and
saying, the ones saying who are saying, wait a second, we`ve seen it.
We`ve seen that word, we saw that word there over the last several years.

PERRY: I think there were some very much and strong inconsistencies
in factual information that was in that story. I know for a fact in 1984,
that rock was painted over. It was painted over very soon.

HUDDY: And your family did that.

PERRY: My family did that. We painted over that rock and it stayed
that way. I have no idea where or why people would say they have seen that
rock. Because that`s not just not the fact.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But we have two accounts. Perry says, it was painted over
in 1984, but seven people interviewed in the post disagree. A game warden
who guided turkey shoots for Perry between 1985 and 1990 recalled seeing
the rock, quoted, he said, "I remember the first time I went through that
pasture and saw that, it kind of offended me truthfully." Another local
saw the rock during the same years, quote, "I thought this was going to
embarrass Rick someday." And one former ranch worker says he saw it as
recently as 2008. So sitting down for one taped interview on FOX doesn`t
even begin to answer all the questions.

Joining me now is Jonathan Capehart, editorial writer for "The
Washington Post." Jonathan, you know all over this story from the start
and wrote about it in his column today.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Hi, Rev.

SHARPTON: Jonathan, what do you make of Perry`s comments, Jonathan?

CAPEHART: Well, I mean, they`re along the lines of what he told "The
Washington Post" when the paper, when reporters who did the story went to
him and asked him about that rock. He said, you know, the word is
offensive, my family painted over it, and they took care of it.
Unfortunately for Rick Perry, this is one more in a series of racially
insensitive, to put it mildly, things, controversies that are laid at his
feet. You know, I wrote two parts, Reverend, I don`t know if you had the
chance to see the second part, because it came out later this afternoon.
In the first part, I grappled with this question of why was I so bothered
by this?

SHARPTON: Right.

CAPEHART: And it boiled down to how could anyone lease a property
that was widely known -- whether it was on the rock or not, painted over,
widely known by the name that we all know, "N" word had. How can anybody
cross the threshold of a place like that, or let alone lease a place like
that? He has to answer that question. And in the second part, I said, you
know, he has to take a page out of Haley Barbour`s book. Remember Haley
Barbour, the governor of Mississippi who was considering running for
president this go-around.

SHARPTON: This go-around. Right.

CAPEHART: He too had a series of racially insensitive controversies
pop up while he was considering running. Remember his comments about the
white citizens councils, his comments about how segregation wasn`t that bad
in this Mississippi town where he grew up. Ultimately he decided not to
run. In a GQ interview that was done with a very close friend of Governor
Barbour`s, he said that if Haley Barbour could figure out a way to talk
about race from his perspective in a way that would be at least persuasive,
he thought that Haley Barbour would run, but if he couldn`t, Haley Barbour
probably wouldn`t run, and as we know, Haley Barbour decided not to run. I
think Rick Perry means too either at the debate, the post-Bloomberg debate
on Tuesday or at some point has to be able to give a speech or some kind of
interview where he can talk.

SHARPTON: Isn`t that kind of late, Jonathan? I mean, it`s five days
now.

CAPEHART: No. Oh sure.

SHARPTON: The Bloomberg debate will be Monday.

CAPEHART: Tuesday. Yes

SHARPTON: I mean, how much time are we going to give him? I don`t
know anybody in public life, including me, that you`ve given this kind of
time to, and this is more blatant than anything I have seen in presidential
politics. You`re talking about rock on a property, seven people say they
saw it beyond the time that he claims it was there. And as you said, they
cross the threshold to get it. At the same time, dealing with him
defending the confederate flag.

CAPEHART: Oh, yes, there`s a whole series. That`s why I say Rick
Perry -- Governor Perry has to come forward and give some kind of
definitive speech or talk on race from his perspective. Yes, five days is
way too long to let something like this simmer.

SHARPTON: Well, Jonathan, I`ve got to go.

CAPEHART: Yes, I know, we`ve got to go.

SHARPTON: I think you`re right. Jonathan Capehart. Thank you for
your time tonight. Governor Perry, if you`re watching, I`ll give you some
advice. I dealt with controversy all my life. You don`t gain anything
hiding under a rock. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: As we all know, Steve Jobs died yesterday. He was
transformative figure in our country. Years ago after he came back to
Apple, after having been fired from the company he founded, the company ran
an ad called think different, about people who operated outside the box.
Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEVE JOBS, 1955-2011, APPLE CO-FOUNDER: Here`s to the crazy ones.
The misfits, the rebels, the trouble makers. The round pegs in the square
holes. The ones who see things differently. They`re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Last night, we had just gotten off the air from this show
when I heard and spoke on the show about Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth had
passed away at 89. He was a pillar in the civil rights movement. A man
who`ve beaten -- and arrested over 35 times. Time and again, he put his
own life at risk in the cause of civil rights. Steve Jobs and Fred
Shuttlesworth were two great men who thought outside the box. Jobs
understood whether you were talking about technology of politics. You need
to think outside the box.

We lost two men that dared to think outside of what was ordinary in
their time, and it became extraordinary in changing our time. When I
thought of Steve Jobs this morning, I sat at my Apple, I looked at his
commercial where he had Dr. King and Gandhi and others. If anyone
understood the link between with a Shuttlesworth and our jobs, it was Steve
Jobs. In some strange way, it showed the greatness of America, they both
left together yesterday, both of them changing our world, and both of them
leaving to get their rewards.

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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