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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, October 26, 2011

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Guests: Keith Ellison, Jared Bernstein, Joe Madison, Bill Press, Nia-Malika Henderson, Bill Press, Dana Milbank, Carey Pope

REV. AL SHARPTON, HOST: Hey, Republicans. You sure you want to talk
about class warfare?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WYOMING: It appears that the politics of division
are making a great comeback.

SHARPTON (voice-over): "Wrong Way Ryan" says he wants us all to get
along, but he still wants to gut Medicare. His hollow words, on the same
day a shocking report that shows income for the rich has grown -- by 275
percent?

Congressman Keith Ellison and Jared Bernstein on this country`s great
divide.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: How can you say no to
creating jobs at a time when so many people are looking for work? It
doesn`t make any sense.

SHARPTON: The president hammers Republicans in Colorado on jobs and
kick-starting the economy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Government must get off our backs and out of our
way.

SHARPTON: Candidate Cain`s viral video inspires a few spin-offs, but
what about votes? He`s meeting in Ohio. Uh-oh.

Nia Malika Henderson and Dana Milbank on the GOP`s Cain crisis.

And parent alert. The baby whisperer wrangles a fussy infant. Now
can he quiet the big babies on the Hill?

POLITICS NATION starts right now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

Tonight`s lead, class warfare, Republican style.

Folks, everything you need to know about class warfare can be summed
up in this one eye-opening graphic. During the past three decades, the top
one percent in this country saw their earnings grow by 275 percent. But
during that same time, the middle chunk of this country only saw a 40
percent growth.

This is from a government report.

And the poorest fifth, they only saw 18 percent increase. This is
stunning.

For Republicans who might not get it, here`s another chart.

That top line that skyrockets, that`s the income of the top one
percent. That line barely making any progress at the bottom, that`s the
bottom 20 percent. Those numbers are appalling, but Paul Ryan is even more
so.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN: Instead of appealing to the hope and optimism that were the
hallmarks to his campaign, he has launched his second campaign by preying
on the emotions of fear, envy and resentment. Selling (ph) social unrest
and class resentment makes America weaker, not stronger. It`s
disappointing that this president`s actions have exacerbated this form of
class warfare in so many ways.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The president has exacerbated class warfare? Are you
serious?

The top one percent has tripled their income in the past 30 years, and
you`re fighting for their tax cuts? That`s the real class warfare.

Right, Mr. Buffett?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WARREN BUFFETT, CEO, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY: There`s been class warfare
going on for the last 20 years, and my class has won. We`ve the ones who
have gotten our tax rates reduced dramatically.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: You heard the man. But all I hear out of you is this --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE SPEAKER: We could get into this, tax
the rich, tax the rich, but that is not -- that`s not the basis for
America.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN: Higher taxes are not the answer.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MINORITY LEADER: Why are we even talking
about tax hikes?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: Tax increases I think are off the table.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Off the table? Let me show you how ridiculous you are.

Let`s pretend this football field represents America`s taxpayers. The
president is proposing a jobs plan funded by the wealthiest .2 percent of
these taxpayers. That`s about seven inches of a football field.

American taxpayers are this whole field. And your party is concerned
about seven inches of it. That`s about half the length of an actual
football.

And you accuse this president of class warfare?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: When I wake up every single morning, what I`m thinking about
is, how do we create an America in which you have opportunity, in which
anybody can make it if they try, no matter what they look like, no matter
where they come from, no matter what race, what creed, what faith? We are
going to make the dream that all Americans share real once again, and that
starts right now. It starts with you.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now, Congressman Keith Ellison, Democrat from
Minnesota, and Jared Bernstein, former economic adviser to Vice President
Biden, now a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities,
and an MSNBC contributor.

Thanks to both of you for joining me tonight.

Congressman, how are Republicans saying things like this with a
straight face?

REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: It`s impossible to know how they
do it with a straight face, but there is absolutely no doubt that there has
been class warfare. An as Warren Buffett correctly pointed out, his class
has won.

But what`s even more shocking is that every Republican candidate wants
to even intensify and increase the difference between the rest of us and
the super-rich. As a matter of fact, every single candidate running for
the Republican nomination, their plan increases taxes on the middle class,
and yet, if you look at the 9-9-9 plan, which Herman Cain touts, his plan
would cut taxes on the top 10th of one percent by $1.4 million a year, but
it would raise taxes on the average working American by $3,000. On the top
one percent, it would cut their taxes by about 238 percent.

This is outrageous. And you know what? There`s no doubt why people
are occupying everywhere. This is absolutely intolerable, and Americans
aren`t going to stand for it.

SHARPTON: Jared Bernstein, when you look at the Ryan plan -- let`s go
off of what the congressman just said. Look at the Ryan plan.

It says that two-thirds of the cuts come from low-income programs,
$2.9 trillion. Other program cuts, $1.6 trillion. So they`re talking
about the president with class warfare, while they want to cut programs to
the poor --

JARED BERNSTEIN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Right.

SHARPTON: -- while they want to protect tax cuts to the rich, and
then turn around with class warfare.

You know, I come from New York. It`s like going to Times Square with
Three-card Monte. They`re playing a shell game on the American voters.

BERNSTEIN: Right. And, in fact, if you look at Ryan`s budget, what
he does with those savings, the trillions he`s taking from programs for the
most vulnerable, is he pours them right into the tax cuts for those at the
very top of the income scale. In fact --

SHARPTON: Wait a minute. Rewind. Say that again, because I want
people to get this.

So he, in effect, is cutting programs for poor and working-class
people to pay for the richest tax cuts.

BERNSTEIN: To pay for the richest tax cuts. I mean, this is Robin
Hood in reverse, OK? You take from the poor, you give to the rich. Now --

SHARPTON: That`s just plain robbing, but go ahead.

BERNSTEIN: Yes.

So, you can really draw a very consistent line, Reverend, from the
budget that the House Republicans have adopted, Paul Ryan`s budget, to the
very plans that Congressman Ellison was just very accurately discussing.
And the problem that I think the American people have with this is it`s
piling on. It`s unnecessary roughness, to get to your football analogy,
because we already have a big inequality problem. This makes it a lot
worse.

SHARPTON: Now, Congressman Ryan also -- he doesn`t stop there. He
goes into his Medicare plan.

Ryan`s Medicare plan is to privatize, through a voucher program, raise
costs for seniors, by $6,400 in 2022. And "The Wall Street Journal" said
the plan will essentially end Medicare.

I mean, are we going bonkers or what here?

ELLISON: Well, in my opinion, yes, this is a bonkers plan. It is
Robin Hood in reverse. It`s robbing, like you said, stealing, but the
thing is, the American people have a role in this.

We can stand up and say no more, we are not going to tolerate this
cruel, callous economic system which punishes work and rewards people who
already have so much. The fact of the matter is the American people don`t
resent rich people. We just resent being ripped off.

The American people want to have an American dream in which any kid,
anywhere can aspire to do well if they work hard. That`s not too much to
ask for. They are ruining this country.

SHARPTON: But Congressman, see, I think that, again, we have the
wrong premise. You`re absolutely right. Why are we defending it?

We`re not doing anything to rich people. They`re cutting poor people.

It`s not whether we have something against rich people, it`s whether
they have something against poor people and working people. No one is
proposing to do anything to rich people, but say pay your share.

ELLISON: Right.

BERNSTEIN: Exactly. It`s as if you came into the American economy
from outer space, and you looked around, and you decided the problem here
is that rich people don`t have enough money --

SHARPTON: Right.

BERNSTEIN: -- and that retires have too much health care security,
and too much retirement security. And the poor have -- their safety nets
are too strong, so we have to reverse all of that -- and the middle class.

SHARPTON: And we`re going to reward the rich with more money, we`re
going to take it from the poor, and we`re going to accuse the president, as
Ryan said today, of class warfare if you dare interrupt the conversation.

BERNSTEIN: Exactly. So the Republican -- the problem with the
Republican plan, simply put, is that they`re scratching exactly the wrong
itches.

We`ve got a lot of real problems in this economy. You heard the
president talk about them in your introduction, job, incomes for the middle
class. All of these things go exactly the wrong way. And that`s why the
American people are so disappointed, so actively upset that folks in this
town simply aren`t listening to them.

SHARPTON: Now, Congressman, it`s not just Ryan. I would not want
people to think this is just a Ryan problem.

Look at Boehner. Boehner, the Speaker in your House at this point,
certainly no choice of yours --

ELLISON: At least for a short while.

SHARPTON: -- he talked about deregulation today. Look at how he is
trying to deregulate everything so we again expand this inequality.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOEHNER: This is a federal regulatory onslaught like no one has ever
seen.

Listen, I don`t want dirty air. I don`t want dirty water. Come on.
It`s about what makes sense in order for America to be able to compete.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, we need to regulate because we`re trying to protect
people. He calls this -- talking about dirty water and dirty air like it
doesn`t mean anything. And then when he makes these arguments about
deregulation, Jared, let me show you this graph of who did the regulating
and deregulating.

Mr. Obama, President Obama, has done five percent fewer than President
Bush. So, again, they are saying things that are not true. That`s why we
come on every night, so the American people understand the difference
between what is real and what is spin.

BERNSTEIN: Look, the Republican Party, for a long time, as everyone
watching, as you know, Reverend, has an agenda to cut taxes and to
deregulate. The fact that they`re now trying to map this on to a jobs plan
is something that`s very simple to see through.

All of a sudden shuttering, closing the EPA becomes a jobs program?
That`s simply not serious, it`s not credible.

What the president is out there talking about right now, the measures
from his jobs act, will unquestionably create some employment, get the
unemployment rate moving in the right direction. But as long as these guys
are blocking him, again, they`re simply not addressing what America needs
them to address.

SHARPTON: Now, Congressman --

ELLISON: Reverend Al, can I just say two --

SHARPTON: -- let me ask you a question.

ELLISON: Yes, sir.

SHARPTON: Are all of them off track because -- I need to ask you
this. Certainly the populism espoused by Herman Cain and 9-9-9 would
certainly handle some of this inequality, wouldn`t it?

ELLISON: It would expand inequality. As a matter of fact, I hope you
can see this little chart. Let me tell you what it actually says,
Reverend.

It shows that under the 9-9-9, the middle class people would see their
taxes go up by about $3,000, but the top one percent would see their taxes
cut by $238,000 a year. And the top tenth of one percent would see their
taxes cut by $1.4 million a year.

9-9-9 will take an already bad situation and make it way, way worse.
The 9-9-9 needs to be 86`d.

SHARPTON: Et tu, Herman? You stab us too?

ELLISON: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: Congressman Keith Ellison and Jared Bernstein, thank you
for coming on the show tonight.

BERNSTEIN: Thank you.

ELLISON: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Republicans, time to freak out. This man is fighting for
the middle class.

Plus, breaking news. Willard finally found an opinion. Too bad it
comes after another epic flip-flop.

And a day later, we`re still wondering what in the world this Herman
Cain ad is all about. Maybe Letterman is on to something.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Government must get off our backs, out of our
pockets, and out of our way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: You`re watching POLITICS NATION on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Folks, President Obama is winning. He`s all over the
country fighting for jobs, and it`s working.

Let`s just look at the last month.

On the 11th, Republicans shoot down the president`s jobs plan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Any senator who votes no should have to look you in the eye
and tell you what exactly they`re opposed to.

What we`re going to do is we`re going to break up my jobs bill. Maybe
they just couldn`t understand the whole thing all at once.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Then, on the 20th, Republicans say no to another jobs bill,
and the president calls them out on it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Republicans in the Senate blocked a jobs bill for moving
forward, a bill that would have meant nearly 400,000 teachers,
firefighters, and first responders being back on the job. I`m going to
keep forcing these senators to vote on commonsense, paid-for jobs
proposals.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Two days ago, the president announced another plan. This
one was for struggling homeowners.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: The agency that is in charge is going to be taking a series of
steps to help responsible homeowners refinance and take advantage of low
mortgage rates.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And today, the president charged ahead with a plan to help
college students.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We should be doing everything we can to put a college
education within reach for every American.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: This is someone fighting for the 99 percent, and this is
what winning looks like. A new poll showed the president`s approval rating
at 46 percent, up three percent from last month.

And Republicans, beware, because he`s not letting up.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Last week, for the second time this month, Republicans in the
Senate blocked a jobs bill from moving forward.

(BOOING)

OBAMA: It was supported by an overwhelming majority of the America
people, but they still said no. And it doesn`t make sense.

It`s time to put country ahead of party. It`s time to put the next
generation ahead of the next election.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joe Madison, SiriusXM Radio host, and Bill Press, also from
SiriusXM Radio, thank you both for coming on the show tonight.

Joe, how much longer before Republicans wake up and realize that
they`re losing the debate?

JOE MADISON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: They`re not. They won`t wake up
and realize it.

And guess what? The debate really hasn`t started.

They`re debating among themselves while they attack, of course,
President Obama. But can you imagine -- I can`t wait until after the first
Republican primaries. And February, I think, is when you`re going to
really see a debate, because that`s when President Obama, as we both
understand, will really then be able to focus like a laser on whoever the
candidates are, the two or the one.

SHARPTON: Now, Bill, you and many of us have said we wanted in the
early summer to see a more aggressive President Obama take them on, and
he`s starting to do that.

Do you think that is why we`re starting to see the polls changing and
it seems like momentum beginning to go his way, because we`re starting to
see a fighting president?

BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Oh, absolutely, Reverend Al. Let
me tell you, I think we`re seeing a whole new President Obama.

You know, the last couple of years, you and I both at times have said
we`re not really sure this guy really knows how to govern tough enough,
but, boy, he really knows how to campaign, and he`s showing it. And what I
love is, it`s a combination of the right policy and the right politics.

I don`t think we`ve ever seen -- look, he is out there fighting for
jobs, fighting for people who are struggling with those big mortgages,
fighting for students, and he`s painted the Republicans into voting against
cops, against teachers, against firefighters, against construction workers.
I think he is -- this is as strong as we`ll probably ever seen him until,
as Joe says, we get up against one Republican candidate. It`s a brilliant,
populist, popular strategy.

SHARPTON: Now, Joe, the Republicans can`t seem to settle on where
their candidate is, because it seems like the Tea Party has, if not amassed
the power in the party, they certainly seem to have amassed veto power of
the Republican Party. They vetoed whatever candidate they didn`t like.
And it`s like the tail wagging the dog in that kind of analogy.

So, what happens? I mean, as they go through now the early winter,
and they`re all battling, and it`s a different front-runner every month or
so, I mean, how -- if Mitt Romney does end up staying there and becoming
the nominee, he becomes probably the most default nominee we`ve seen in the
last several decades of either party.

MADISON: You ran for president, right? And you know and Bill knows
what`s going to happen.

The sound clips are already there. It`s like a circular firing squad.
They have now given the administration and the Democrats all of the sound
clips they`ll need to defeat them.

SHARPTON: Yes.

MADISON: But I`m smiling, because all of them are jumping aboard this
9-9-9, one form or another. Reverend Sharpton, I`m hear to tell you that
before this is all over, 9-9-9 is going to be 911, and they`re going to be
crying for help.

They`re going to be crying for help because it is a very, very stupid
move for them to get into this flat tax. The congressman from Minnesota --
Minneapolis -- just showed you the red line that went down. Those are rich
people getting tax breaks, and folks know it.

The stars have aligned. I hate to be like this, but the stars have
aligned.

You have got the right attitude. The president is listening now, I
think, to his critics. You have got the timing of the Wall Street and
Oakland people. I think it`s all aligned.

SHARPTON: Well, Bill, the approval rating of the Congress is about as
low as you can go, nine percent. The president is picking up in the polls.

And last night, on Jay Leno, he showed a little humor about how
Americans are not plugged into all of this. Maybe he`s doing the smart
thing by getting out of the beltway and talking about people looking at
their belts.

PRESS: Yes.

MADISON: And looking at that traffic in Los Angeles.

SHARPTON: Look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Halloween is coming up, and she`s been giving for the last few
years kids fruit and raisins in a bag.

JAY LENO, HOST, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO": Ooh.

OBAMA: And I said, "The White House is going to get egged if this
keeps up."

(APPLAUSE)

LENO: Yes, you`ve got to go --

OBAMA: You need to throw some candy in that bag.

LENO: Moderation. Come on. Exactly.

OBAMA: A couple Reese`s Pieces or something.

LENO: Yes. Yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PRESS: You know, Reverend Al, let me tell you, I think one of the
best things the president is doing right now is getting out of the White
House.

North Carolina, Virginia last week, California and Nevada and Colorado
this week, he`s out there with the people. And again, he`s hitting on the
right issues.

And on that poll you talked about, Congress, controlled by John
Boehner and Mitch McConnell, nine percent approval. In that "New York
Times" poll, 70 percent of Americans say that the policies of the
Republican Party favor the rich. Two-thirds of them support raising taxes
on people making over a million dollars a year.

So the president`s message, I think, is getting through.

MADISON: Al, I`m going to have to criticize your staff. They got the
wrong clip. It should have been the Roscoe`s Chicken and Waffle with the
hot sauce.

(LAUGHTER)

SHARPTON: I`m going to use that another night. I`ve got that. Blame
that one on me.

Joe Madison and Bill Press, thank you both for being on with us
tonight.

PRESS: I`ve been to Roscoe`s. I love it.

MADISON: Watch the hot sauce.

SHARPTON: I`m going to show you that later this week.

MADISON: All right.

SHARPTON: Up next, blame it on Rio. Rick Scott is making some
grandiose claims about his junket to Brazil and the jobs back home. We
have the real story.

Plus, even Republicans are saying the new Herman Cain ad is a joke,
but the joke`s on them. They`ve got to remember, he`s still number one in
the polls.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Florida Governor Rick Perry says, his top priority is
creating jobs. Or at least taking credit for it. He`s on a trade mission
to Brazil this week, so he`s touting international investment back home.
Scott`s office conveniently put out this press release, announcing and
welcoming a Brazilian company to Palm Beach to create 75 new jobs. But get
this. The Broward-Palm Beach new times points out the company was already
looking for suppliers for the plant back in June. Enterprise, Florida, a
group devoted to economic development in Florida had a post-dated June 1st,
reporting that America`s natural caffeine was in the process of opening a
facility in Florida. So, it`s not breaking news that Brazilian companies
are opening up shop in Florida, but it sure looks good for Scott having
that press release out when he`s in Brazil. Nice try, Governor, but you
can`t get off Scott-free. We got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The republican presidential race isn`t just getting ugly
and nasty. It`s becoming downright hysterical.

Joining me now to talk about what might be the most ridiculous turn
the campaign has had so far is Nia-Malika Henderson, a political reporter
for "The Washington Post," and once again, Bill Press hanging in there from
Sirius/XM radio. Thanks for joining me tonight.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Good to be here.

BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Good to be here.

SHARPTON: I want to start by showing you this Herman Cain ad, just in
case there`s someone left in America who hasn`t seen it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK BLOCK, CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR HERMAN CAIN: America has never seen
a candidate like Herman Cain. We need you to get involved, because
together we can do this. We can take this country back.

(I AM AMERICAN PLAYING)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Of course, that`s Herman Cain`s campaign manager Mark
Block, blowing smoke at America. The ad is a web hit, and lit up the late
night talk shows, too.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I was so impressed by these ads, folks, that I have
made some ads of my own.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: No one has ever had a vision for America like
Herman Cain. We hope you share or vision.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Another one of this they`re enigmatic at best.
They`re enigmatic. Take a look at this one.

RICH LOWRY, CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER FOR HERMAN CAIN: Rich Lowry here,
chief economic adviser for Herman Cain. Government must get off our backs,
out of our pockets and out of our way.

(I AM AMERICAN PLAYING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You never actually hear Herman Cain speak, so we
added some voice-over. And I think it works even better like this.

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`m Herman Cain, and I
approve cigarettes. If that doesn`t make me sound crazy. Check out this
smile. Yes, 9-9-9.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Also joining us, Dana Milbank from "The Washington Post."
Nia, you have been blogging about this like crazy.

HENDERSON: Yes. This is a joke.

SHARPTON: Herman Cain is number one in the polls.

HENDERSON: He is, you know, is the joke on the GOP, are we being
"punked" with this ad? I mean, every time I see it, I crack up and all of
disparities almost don`t even do justice by the ridiculousness of the
original, but you`re right, I mean, Herman Cain for whatever reason is
souring in the polls, and it could be that he`s doing so well. Because
he`s not actually campaigning for president in a traditional way. You
know, he`s not in Iowa. He`s not in New Hampshire. I think he`s in Texas
yesterday. And maybe this is the key to success, not even campaigning in
these early states.

SHARPTON: Dana, I must say it`s a novel way of campaigning. I don`t
know any other way to explain it. But in fairness, Dana, I want to show
you this, Mark Block, the most famous smoker in America this week, went on
FOX to explain this ad. I think he did a lousy job, but Dana, you are a
more objective than me. Look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BLOCK: There was no subliminal message. In fact, I personally would
encourage people not to smoke. It`s just that I`m a smoker, and as a lot
of the people on the staff said, just let block be block. I`ll tell you,
you walk into a veterans` bar in Iowa, and they`re sitting around smoking,
and, you know, we are resonating with them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLOCK: Now, I don`t know what you know, Dana, but he is right, it`s
not subliminal. It`s blatant. There`s nothing subliminal about the ad.
And now you`re calling the veterans and their bars smoking -- I mean, they
are rewriting politics or flunking one or the other. I haven`t figured it
out yet.

DANA MILBANK, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I think so. You are the
Reverend, so you would no better than I would, but if Michele Bachmann
pointed out, if you flip 9-9-9 upside down, you get 6-6-6. I think maybe
the devil made him too. That`s the best explanation I can come up with
here. But the one perhaps slightly better explanation is he just doesn`t
care any figures, any press is good press, and we`ve got Bill Press. But
the idea is that if you just say his name, as we`re saying it, he thinks
that`s good for him to get his name/idea out there, even if we`re laughing
at him, even if we think he`s ridiculous.

SHARPTON: But while we`re laughing, Nia, and while we`re laughing
Bill, look at the polls. You know, in Ohio, he`s number one, in Iowa, he`s
number one. In South Carolina he`s number one. So, Cain is -- I mean, if
he is a joke and being taken more seriously than the rest of them, then
what does that say?

HENDERSON: Yes. Perry is kind of worrying. And Perry is what, six
percent in these latest polls. It seems like all of that energy and all
those folks who liked Perry initially are perked at Cain`s doorstep now and
waiting for whatever, for him to come to Iowa, come to New Hampshire, but
this is baffling to me. I wish I could come on and explain it and make it
sound perfect, and explain why he`s doing so well. But it`s baffling.
He`s running such an unconventional campaign, as Mark Block says, and he`s
doing amazingly well for now.

SHARPTON: Bill, Perry is trying to get back in this, though. Bill, I
want to show this and I want your reaction. Perry has said, let me try to
pick a fight with Romney. He came in swinging almost recklessly. Watch
this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You can`t be for
banning guns and then all of a sudden you`re, you know, for the second
amendment. You can`t be for the issue of abortion and your pro-life -- he
says, listen, you know, I need to say whatever I need to say, for whatever
office I`m running for.

How do you change at the age of 50 or 60, positions on life?
Positions on guns? Positions on traditional marriage? I mean, those
aren`t minor issues, Bill. So, to change those at the age of 50 or 60
tells you all you need to know about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Well, that`s the perfect ad, Bill, for the Obama reelection
campaign. But go ahead.

PRESS: Yes, yes, I mean, I was going to say, and there`s no doubt, I
mean, we know that Mitt Romney is the perennial flip-flopper. And he did
it again today. In Ohio, he said, yesterday, he didn`t know where he stood
on issue five, and issue two, yes it is. And now he says today, oh no, I`m
totally behind John Kasich. A big flip-flop in the last 24 hours. But,
you know, I just want to issue a little word of reality about Herman Cain
at the top of these polls, and reminding us all that Michele Bachmann was
at the top a while ago. She`s at two percent in the latest poll. And Rick
Perry had his time at the top. He`s not at six percent in the polls. I
think everybody`s just enjoying Herman Cain, he`s different laughing having
a laugh over him. He`ll be down at three or four percent in a couple of
weeks.

SHARPTON: Now, what Dana, explain it to me. You had Donald Trump
first, a big winner in the polls. Then as Sarah Palin, then Michele
Bachmann, then Rick Perry, now you have Herman Cain, I mean, what`s going
on here? Have you ever seen this kind of volatility?

HENDERSON: Volatility. No, it`s been -- Dana, you want to take this
one?

MILBANK: Sure.

HENDERSON: It`s a volatile thing. And it seems, I don`t know if the
Tea Party can`t make up their mind about who they like or what. And you
saw obviously, Perry come in over the -- and try to play the birther card.
He`s backing off of that now, but it`s a volatile time. The Tea Party
happened to seem to make up their mind. Other than the fact that they
don`t like Romney. It`s anybody but Romney. That seems to be what they
have decided.

MILBANK: Exactly.

SHARPTON: Well, Dana, I`m not Lawrence O`Donnell but on this show,
you have the last word.

MILBANK: Well, Newt Gingrich is making a run. I think you`re going
to see him peak pretty soon. Basically, they`re looking for anybody who is
not -- they want anybody who`s not Obama. They want anybody who`s not Mitt
Romney. And I think the lesson they have taken from Herman Cain is that
crazy works, crazy sells, that`s why you have Rick Perry coming back to the
birther movement. So, I think they`re trying to outdo each other into
sound, the opposite of Obama. The opposite of cool and collected, which is
what we`re getting right now.

SHARPTON: Nia-Malika Henderson, Bill Press and Dana Milbank, thanks
as always for your time tonight.

Still ahead, vanity license plates that use taxpayers money to
undermine a woman`s right to choose. It`s an outrageous story, and we`ll
tell you about the fight to stop it.

Plus, being commander in chief is hard enough, but how about baby
whisperer? This is POLITICS NATION on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Tonight`s GOP voter suppression update takes us to South
Carolina. Back in May, republican Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill
requiring voters show a photo ID to vote. The Justice Department is
reviewing the law. In response, the state election commission put out
these ads with the headline, quote, "Voting now requires photo ID."
They`re claiming to get the word out telling voters to have an ID, but
there`s one major problem. They failed to mention that mail-in absentee
voters don`t need a photo ID. Now some voters may choose not to vote.
This is misleading, and we won`t stop fighting it.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Today, the right wing attack on women`s rights to choose
suffered a big setback when a federal judge blocked part of a North
Carolina law that forced women to view ultra-sounds before having an
abortion. But most of the law is still on the books. That includes an
outrageous new choose life license plate. Each plate will send $15 to fund
so-called crisis pregnancy centers. You probably have seen ads for these
centers. They promise options for women facing unplanned pregnancies. But
really they`re just fronts for conservative anti-choice groups. A new
report by Naral North Carolina says, these centers use false advertising,
misleading women with inaccurate information, and use counselors who have
little, if any, medical experience. Recent documentary shows how these
anti-choice activists hide the fact they don`t actually offer abortions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: When she calls and she says, do you do abortions?
I say, are you calling for yourself or you`re calling for a friend? She
says, I`m calling for myself. I say, when did you have a pregnancy test?
And we engage in conversation. Because if she calls and say, do you do
abortions? And I say, no, click.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now is Carey Pope, executive director of Naral
Pro-Choice North Carolina. The group leading this investigation into the
crisis pregnancy centers. Carey, thanks for joining me tonight. And let
me ask you, were you surprised by these findings?

CAREY POPE, EXEC. DIR., NARAL PRO-CHOICE INC.: Yes, we were really
alarmed by these findings. I mean, no matter how one feels about the
question of legal abortion, I think we can all agree that women shouldn`t
be misled about their health care options, and unfortunately that`s clearly
what`s happening at crisis pregnancy centers in North Carolina.

SHARPTON: Now, let me show you this where we have seen in the report,
that it states clearly that several CPCs even outfitted their staff in
scrubs and white lab coats like those worn by doctors and nurses in
legitimate hospitals and clinics. So, in these crisis, pregnancy centers,
they`ve actually were found to be clothing people looking like doctors and
nurses when they in fact had no medical experience at all?

POPE: That`s correct. About 94 percent of the centers we
investigated had no medical training or staff. And yet, they were
outfitting their staff in scrubs, white lab coats, some of them were
actually performing medical services, such as free ultra-sounds and STI
testing.

SHARPTON: Wait a minute, Carey, you`re saying, let me pull that graph
back up. You`re saying 94, our research is 92 percent.

POPE: Sorry, 92.

SHARPTON: Don`t even have medical professionals on staff?

POPE: That`s correct. That`s correct.

SHARPTON: Twenty four percent disclose they`re not medical
facilities? So, how are they allowed to operate advertising to women that
they can come here and get abortions?

POPE: Well, because of the fact that they`re not licensed medical
facilities, they don`t have to disclose that information, and they don`t,
you know, in many of the fine print, it says that our volunteers collected
it says things like, you know, we can disclose your medical information to
anyone we want to. And the reason for that is, is that they`re not bound
by the privacy laws that legitimate medical facilities are upheld to.

SHARPTON: Now, let me show you something else out of your report that
was startling. The false claims that they have put up in this crisis
pregnancy centers, they say abortions increase risk of breast cancer, post-
abortion stress. Abortion is a very risky procedure. Condoms and oral
contraceptives don`t work. I mean, whatever one`s view of abortion or pro-
life or choice, to just outright fabricate things, many women going through
a traumatic and stressful decision-making in their life, to use false
information to further add to that is the most immoral and should be
illegal thing in the country.

POPE: We agree with that. We agree. It`s very alarming and
disturbing that many crisis pregnancy centers are telling women that
condoms just aren`t effective. That putting their health at risk and it`s
putting the health of the community at risk, and scaring women out of
having an abortion by telling them that it`s going to cause things like
breast cancer when the National Cancer Institute, as well as the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention have both debunked that claim, telling
women that abortion causes post-abortion stress syndrome, that`s not even a
medically recognized term. So, these lies that CPCs are continuing to
espouse are incredibly alarming and incredibly disturbing.

SHARPTON: And they seem to be pushing this since 2010. Let me show
you this map. Since 2010, you`ve had measures in 16 states all over the
country in acting laws against abortion, 34 measures in 16 states since
2010. So this is a political movement. And again, people have the right
to agree to it, but you don`t have the right to lie. We can have different
opinions, we can`t have different facts.

POPE: Exactly.

SHARPTON: Carey Pope, thank you for your time tonight.

POPE: Thank you so much for having me, Al.

SHARPTON: We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: It`s tough enough being the commander in chief, but now
folks look for the President to be a baby whisperer too. During this
California trip this week, the President ran into a mother hoping he had
the magic touch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

(BABY CRYING)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I know how to take care of it.

Oh, you`re hungry?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: OK. So, the baby calmed down for just a couple of seconds.
It wasn`t like his home run in June when the President calmed a tot at the
White House.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Oh, yes. That`s it.

OBAMA: You better give her back.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Could I get a picture?

OBAMA: Come on, baby. There you go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Clearly this president is a baby whisperer, but I think he
needs a real challenge.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN BOEHNER, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: And I think at the top of our
list, it`s provided for the safety and security of the American people.

Making sure that these kids have a shot at the American dream.

I`ve spent my whole life chasing the American dream.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: What confuses me when I see Speaker Boehner crying is while
we`re doing the hurting and he`s doing the crying? Why are we feeling the
pain and he`s shedding the tears? Strange. It`s like a Herman Cain
commercial. 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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