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PoliticsNation, Monday, October 31, 2011

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Guests: Alex Wagner, Erin McPike, Bernie Sanders, Alan Grayson, Dan Stone

REV. AL SHARPTON, HOST: Want to see something really scary? Check
out what Republicans want to do to America.


HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have no idea the source
of this witch-hunt.

I was falsely accused.

SHARPTON: The skeletons fly out of Herman Cain`s closet. Can he
survive the past coming back to haunt him?

Also, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Romney. Can Willard escape his worst enemy -
- himself?

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We don`t know what`s causing
climate change on this planet.

I believe that humans contribute to that.

SHARPTON: Whatever you say.

Bob Shrum and Dana Milbank on the fright night in the GOP.

victory or death. Bring it.

SHARPTON: Perry-normal activity, shooting from the lip.

Alex Wagner and Erin McPike on the scary speech Rick Perry hopes you
don`t see.

And Senator Bernie Sanders talk about the real slasher movie.

DAVID AXELROD, OBAMA CAMPAIGN ADVISER: Are they willing to tear down
the economy in order to tear down the president?

SHARPTON: Republicans and what they want to do to jobs in this

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trace the call. It`s coming from inside the
house. Do you hear me? It`s coming from inside the house.

SHARPTON: All that, plus a few supernatural surprises.


SHARPTON: Welcome, Rev.

Hello, Al.

Hey, who is that guy?

It`s a spooky special on POLITICS NATION, and it all starts right now.


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

Tonight`s lead, forget Halloween. That`s only one night. For the
Republican Party, fright night just goes on and on.

We`ll talk about the Herman Cain sexual harassment story in a moment,
but first, who is Willard Mitt Romney trying to be this Halloween, the
flipper or the flopper?

Conservative columnist George Will calls him the "human pretzel."

These days, he`s getting tagged as a flip-flopper over pretty much
every issue under the sun. It`s getting impossible to keep track of all of
his positions.


ROMNEY: It`s not that every single issue I`ve looked at in my entire
life I`ve never changed my view. When the facts change, I change too,
Madam. What do you do?


SHARPTON: You know what I need? I need reinforcements to try to help
us understand where Willard really stands.

So I`d like to welcome a very special guest to POLITICS NATION.

Welcome, Rev.

Hello, Al. Thanks for having me on my show.

Glad I could join me.

Let`s start off with the issue of abortion, an emotional issue, a
moral issue. But I think we can be sure about how Mitt Romney feels about
a woman`s right to choose.



ROMNEY: I will preserve and protect a woman`s right to choose, and I
do take exception to Shannon (ph) characterizing my view as being any
different than hers in this regard.


SHARPTON: "I will preserve and protect." It`s Shermanesque. Pretty
hard to argue with that kind of conviction.

For you, it is. But for Willard, it`s as easy as argyle.


ROMNEY: I`m firmly pro-life, and I believe in the sanctity of life
from the very beginning until the very end.


SHARPTON: Well, you learn something new every day.

Rev, what about guns? When it comes to the Second Amendment, that`s a
no-brainer. We all know where Willard stands.


ROMNEY: We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts. I support them.
I won`t chip away at them. I believe they help protect us and provide for
our safety.


SHARPTON: "I won`t chip away at them." The man obviously supports
gun laws -- whoa, cowboy -- except when he doesn`t, like when he`s talking
to the National Rifle Association.


ROMNEY: As governor, I worked closely with the NRA and Gun Owners
Action League to advance legislation that expanded the rights of gun owners
in my state.


SHARPTON: Wow! Talking about shooting yourself in the foot, I guess
he didn`t think there was a camera nearby.

Let`s move on to health care.

Willard has taken a lot of heat for the law he passed in Massachusetts
as governor. Here`s what he used to say about it.


ROMNEY: I happen to like what we did. I think it`s a good model for
other states.

I don`t care how it works politically. In my view, it`s the right
thing to do.


SHARPTON: It`s the right thing to do. It`s a good model. So he
definitely supports the Obama health care plan since it is a modified
version of Romney`s Massachusetts plan.

In fact, Romney advisers met in the White House with the Obama people
at they planned his health care plan, so Romney would be for Obama health
care law.

Right, Rev?

Not so fast. Just a few months ago he said this about Obama`s plan --


ROMNEY: Obamacare is bad law, constitutionally. It`s bad policy,
it`s bad for American families.


SHARPTON: My head is spinning.

Mine too. I`m seeing double.

The man can never agree with himself, but we can.

This is a great show, if I do say so myself.

Well, thank you.

If I must say so, you look marvelous.

I would like to thank myself for taking time out of my busy schedule
to come on my show.

You`re very welcome. It`s always a pleasure, Al.


SHARPTON: And now I`m joined by two more guests to talk about the old
Mitt and his flip-flops: Bob Shrum, Democratic strategist for the
Democratic Party, as well as NYU professor, and Dana Milbank, national
political reporter for "The Washington Post."

Don`t worry, guys. There`s just one of me now.

look marvelous, Reverend.

SHARPTON: I thank you. I thank you.

Bob, I`m trying to drive my point home with the two of me, because
Mitt Romney needs two of him to cover both positions. Mitt Romney has got
a real problem because- there seems to be two of him.

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, you just gave a vivid
demonstration of the truth of a line that Ted Kennedy said to him in that
1994 debate, which is that Romney wasn`t pro-choice, he was multiple
choice. And that`s true all across the board, and on issues big and small.

Ethanol, this week flip-flopping on the ballot measure in Ohio to
repeal the anti-union law, which he said he wasn`t going to get into one
day. The next day, he was 110 percent in favor of it.

This is someone who I believe has a business plan to become president
of the United States. So he changes whenever he needs to, to sort of suit
the marketplace. And in the process, he doesn`t mind throwing out core
convictions, if he has any.

George Will and other Republicans are right to wonder who this guy
really is. That`s why there`s been a long search for the non-Romney
candidate, and that`s why Romney is constantly stuck at about 25 percent of
the vote, when he should actually have this whole thing tied up by now.

SHARPTON: Now, Dana, when you look at this long list of flip-flops --
and we almost ran out of space on the screen -- but he`s flipped on
everything from abortion, gun control, flat tax, health care, "Don`t Ask,
Don`t Tell," minimum wage, stem-cell research, Social Security, stimulus
money, campaign finance reform, whether or not he`s a conservative, whether
he likes Ronald Reagan. I mean, he`s flipped on all of this.

Can he survive this politically? Politically, how do you sell this,
when obviously if he`s the nominee, this is going to be all over
commercials and driven home to the American voter?

MILBANK: Well, sure, he can survive this, Reverend. I mean, as you
pointed out, this is Halloween. And for people who have been watching all
these vampire shows, the shape (ph) shifters are very powerful and very
dangerous creatures.

Now, the Obama campaign has been encouraging this sort of thing right
now, and it`s great fun, and it weakens Mitt Romney in the primaries even
further than he has been already. I think there`s one caution here,
though, and that is, should the Obama campaign decide to point out later on
all the very conservative positions Mitt Romney has taken right now, it may
be difficult if it`s already been pointed out. He blows whichever way the
wind goes.

So it`s possible that next November, voters might see him as less
threatening, and they`ll say, oh, whatever, he`s not really a conservative,
he`s just wishy-washy and he`ll shift his shape any which way.

SHARPTON: But Bob, let me ask you this, and then I want to go to the
big story of the day.

George Will, certainly a well respected conservative columnist, at
least respected among conservatives. He said this about Mr. Romney. He
said, "A straddle is not a political philosophy." And he goes on to call
him a "pretzel."

I mean, and even more, I think, harmful, he says, "Republicans may
have found their Michael Dukakis, a technocratic Massachusetts governor who
believes elections should be about competence, not ideology."

Now, I heard somebody say earlier today, "I don`t know who should be
offended by that, Dukakis or Romney?" But notwithstanding that, given the
polls that show us that Republican voters are more concerned about
ideology, could this trip him up in the Republican primaries, as Dana
alluded to?

SHRUM: Sure, it could. Look, I think that`s a little unfair to
Dukakis. That was a very unfortunate line, but I`ve known him for 40
years, and the guy is a person of consistent and deep belief.

With Romney, you have somebody who has changed not just on incidental
issues, not just on policy questions, but on core issues of conscience. So
I think, yes, it can trip him up.

What is sustaining him right now is that the rest of the field is so
weak, it ranges from what I call the inauthentic to the incredible. Look,
Herman Cain, who we`re going to talk about in a minute, is never going to
be president of the United States, but he`s the current non-Romney.

The real question is whether or not Rick Perry can somehow or other
campaign better and become a plausible alternative to Romney, because about
75 percent of the Republican Party, not the establishment, but the voters,
is looking for someone other than Romney.

SHARPTON: Well, you hang around. I`m going to show you Rick Perry in
all of his oratorical splendor in a little while.

SHRUM: I know.

SHARPTON: But, OK, let`s get to another big story of the day.

Sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain revealed from his
time as president of the National Restaurant Association in the late `90s.
Politico broke the story, reporting at least two female employees
complained to colleagues and senior association officials about
inappropriate behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade

Cain spent the day dismissing the allegations.


CAIN: I have never sexually harassed anyone.

It is totally baseless and totally false.


SHARPTON: And he also did a little singing at a planned campaign


CAIN (singing): I`ll never know why Jesus came to love me so. He
looked beyond all my faults and saw my needs


SHARPTON: Now, Dana, I`m not one to rush to judgment on anyone. I
don`t think we have done it when people on the left or liberal side has
been accused of harassment or cases of -- things like this, of a sexual
nature, and I don`t think we ought to do it on the other side.

But what does raise a flag with people like me that want to be fair,
as fair as we wanted people to be when allegations were made on our side,
is let me show you this morning, at 11:30 on Fox, this is what Cain said
about his knowledge of the settlement with these ladies with the restaurant


CAIN: If the restaurant association did a settlement, I wasn`t even
aware of it. And I hope it wasn`t for much, because nothing happened. So,
if there was a settlement, it was handled by some of the other officers
that worked for me at the association.


SHARPTON: Now, then, a few hours later, this evening, he`s going to
say in an interview on Fox that will be televised, but we have the
transcript -- he says "The Washington Examiner" has learned he told Greta
Van Susteren in an interview airing tonight, "My general counsel said this
started out where she and her lawyer were demanding a huge financial
settlement. We ended up settling for what could have been a termination
settlement, maybe three months` salary. I don`t remember. It might have
been two. I do remember my general counsel saying we didn`t pay all the
money they demanded."

I think as facts start changing, and as you don`t know anything, then
you did know something, now you start getting into an area of inconsistency
that has nothing to do with the real charge. And that`s where I think it
starts getting troubling, Dana.

MILBANK: It is. I mean, he has the contradiction there, and he`s
tried various different ways to respond to this today.

At first, in a speech this morning, he was basically ignoring it, then
suggesting that he was just a joking kind of fellow, and these people
obviously didn`t get the joke. He`s played that card before with the
electrified fence. And a lot of times when he makes a gaffe, he says,
well, people just misunderstood him.

He`s gotten away with a lot of this so far, I think, because his
supporters are just so passionate about having somebody who`s not a real
politician. They say, well, he makes these kinds of mistakes, and they`re
really willing to cut him an extraordinary amount of slack.

And I suspect those people are going to let him get away with this as
well. I mean, he could be -- we could find out he was some kind of psycho
killer, and a large number of these supporters are going to say, that`s
great, at least he wasn`t working in the government at that time.

So he has got a very passionate group of people behind him. I doubt
this, by itself, chips away at that, but it does certainly raise some

SHARPTON: Bob, they may stand by him, and we don`t, again, know where
the facts are going to lead. But if he continues to look inconsistent, and
not have a true character coming forth and standing up for what they claim
they want, and that is honesty and transparency in their affairs, will that
weaken him among his base supporters in the Tea Party crowd?

SHRUM: Yes. Dana may be right that he`s got a strong base, although,
as I said earlier, they`re actually looking for a non-Romney. And if he
looks wounded, they may move away from him.

He`s clearly, plainly, unequivocally lying here. And if he`s lying
about whether or not he knew about the settlements, what else could he be
lying about?

I think the only way through this is for a release of those records
from the National Restaurant Association. You can redact the women`s`
names, but what was he alleged to have done, what did the investigation
show? And if he didn`t do anything, why in the world did they pay tens of
thousands of dollars to these women?

I think those questions are going to haunt him until he answers them.
But if he answers them, maybe in Dana`s world they won`t be fatal, maybe
he`ll keep some of his supporters, but he won`t get enough supporters to be
the Republican nominee, which is kind of a shame, because I think he`d be a
terrific Republican nominee.

SHARPTON: Well, let me just say for the record, Mr. Cain, that it was
Bob that called you a liar. Dana said you could have been a serial killer.

I said none of this affects my opinion of you. I am opposed to you
because of the 9-9-9 plan and because of all the other things you said,
policy. So my guests don`t reflect my opinion. This is a personal matter
that you will deal with, but the policy matters, you already had sunk in my

Bop Shrum and Dana Milbank, thank you for your time tonight. Have fun

SHRUM: Happy Halloween.

SHARPTON: Ahead, Eric Cantor takes Tea Party hypocrisy to a new

Plus, President Obama`s fight for the middle class is working.

And Speaker Boehner has a new line of attack. Is the Speaker

And it`s the speech the political world is buzzing about. America, I
give you Rick Perry.


PERRY: This is such a cool state. I mean, come on, "Live Free or
Die"? I mean, it`s like live free or die, victory or death. Bring it.


SHARPTON: We`ll figure out what in the world was going on.

You`re watching POLITICS NATION on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: Welcome back to this special Halloween edition of POLITICS

For Rick Perry, the scariest thing in the race right now is Rick

Joining me now to talk about his bizarre speech Friday night is Alex
Wagner, MSNBC analyst, and soon to be the newest host on our network, and
Erin McPike, reporter for Real Clear Politics.

Alex and Erin, this Perry speech is the latest thing to go viral in
the GOP race. Take a look.


PERRY: This is such a cool state. I mean, come on, "Live Free or
Die"? It`s like, live free or die, victory or death. Bring it.

The Texas Rangers, after 50 years, are going to win a World Series.

I grew up on a farm. I grew up -- I grew up on a farm.

If they print any more money over there in Washington, the gold`s
going to be good.

Are -- that. Twenty percent flat tax, put it on there, takes your
deductions off. Send it in.

That little plan that I just shared with you doesn`t force the Granite
State to expand your tax footprint, if you know what I mean. Like nine
percent expansion.


PERRY: I love Herman. Is he the best?

Today has been awesome, girl. This has really been a great day.


SHARPTON: Alex, Erin, I`m an early riser. I get up early, and I hit
the remote at 6:00 this morning, and I saw this on "MORNING JOE."

And I actually thought since it was Monday, this was a spoof somebody
did on Rick Perry on "Saturday Night Live," because sometimes they do that
on Monday mornings on "MORNING JOE." I had to watch it three different
times on "MORNING JOE" before I really believed this was Rick Perry really

I mean, what did you think when you saw this, Alex?

ALEX WAGNER, MSNBC ANALYST: It was like the four stages of grief.
Like, initially, it was disbelief, right? I can`t believe this is actually

Then some sort of levity, and I definitely laughed. And then I just
felt really bad. It`s so -- the word "wackadoo" is not used frequently
when describing politicians, but this was somebody who was not on his A


WAGNER: Yes, or B or C or D, like very far down the alphabet.

SHARPTON: I mean, and Erin, when you ask the campaign of Perry, they
said that he was just being passionate, I think. Is that what their
response was?

talked to a lot of people who were actually at the speech, people who were
in New Hampshire, who were there, and they said he was received really
well, and that live, it came off well. And that`s what people were saying
the next morning.

But you talk about it going viral, after the fact it`s been bad. It
didn`t come off well on camera.

But, you know, think about if Howard Dean, and the Dean scream speech
back after he lost Iowa, if we had had YouTube back then, that would have
been even nuttier than it was at the time. So that`s just one thing you
have to think about. Live, it was Perry being Perry. On camera, not so

SHARPTON: Well, I might let you know, Erin, that I was in the 2004
race, and without YouTube, Dean never recovered from the scream. And we
didn`t have it.

Politically, what does this do, Alex?

WAGNER: Well, look, I mean, I think Erin says it`s Perry being Perry,
but I think a lot of people have thought Perry was basically comatose in
his previous debate performances. And, if anything, I think this is him
overcompensating, and trying to be animated, and trying to have
personality, and going kind of very afield in doing so.

This is an incredibly critical time for Rick Perry. I mean, I don`t
think anybody doubts that he has on lot of ground to make up, and he has to
make up that ground very, very quickly. He`s got to show that he`s
competent and that he`s on point and on message. And this completely
derails that. I mean, it does not help him at all.

SHARPTON: I mean, if I`m Romney, I`d just buy ads and --

WAGNER: You`d sit back and -- over and over again, exactly.

SHARPTON: -- play this speech.

Let me play to you what he says, though, on "Fox News Sunday," Erin,
because you can`t discount one fact. Listen to this.


PERRY: This race isn`t settled at all. The thing that I have learned
is that you pace yourself. It`s not a sprint, it`s a marathon.

Well, I`m confident that we`re going to be out there competing. I
mean, obviously, we have got a war chest that allows us to get that message
out there.


SHARPTON: "War chest" is the keyword, Erin. He`s raised $17 million.

When you look at the fighting funds, third-quarter fund-raising, Rick
Perry has raised $17 million; Mitt Romney has raised only $14 million.
Now, I will say that I think after this speech, and it going viral, he`s
going to need every bit of that money, but I think that you can`t discount
a man that has raised more than anyone in the field, despite the fact that
he fell way behind everyone else in the field.

MCPIKE: You`re right. And he just started advertising in Iowa, and
he`s advertising on what his message is supposed to be, that, in Texas, he
created 40 percent of America`s new jobs since the recession.

Once he gets back on message, and people hear that again, they might
say, oh, that`s why we like this guy. He`s the guy with the best record in
the field.

Whether or not that sticks we have yet to see, because we haven`t seen
any ads for Mitt Romney yet, or from Herman Cain, real TV ads, paid media.
So we`ve seen a few Web ads, but nothing paid. And the paid ads are what
move voters in those states, in Iowa, in New Hampshire, in South Carolina,
where they matter.

SHARPTON: The next debate, he says he will do some now. He`s got to
come out and he`s got to be on message?

WAGNER: I mean, absolutely. Look, keep in mind, this is someone --
Herman Cain is beating Rick Perry among likely Republican voters in Texas.
That is not good news for Rick Perry.

And he is beating them among suburban voters and ultra-conservative
voters. I mean, this is not good.

I think Erin is right. The fat lady has not sung. His war chest is
certainly going to propel him forward. The airwave war has just begun, but
he as got to show some core competency here, and he`s got to do that in
debate format.

SHARPTON: Well, let me tell you something. I did a lot of debates in
2004, and Willard or Herman, if you`re watching, what I would do in the
next debate, when he gets ready to go to message, go like this and say,
"Here`s his message." Everybody will get it.

Alex Wagner, Erin McPike, thanks so much. I couldn`t resist that.
Happy Halloween.

MCPIKE: You too.

SHARPTON: Straight ahead, Paul Ryan says the president is divisive,
but we have video proof to the contrary.

You`re watching POLITICS NATION on Halloween here on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: Welcome back to "Politics Nation." Beware, it`s the
invasion of the republican jobs snatchers. They like to prey on the
economy, but what makes them most frightening is how out of touch they are.
Just listen to Speaker John Boehner today.


we fight, but, you know, I`ll tell you that 95 percent of my colleagues I
think are doing exactly what their constituents want.


SHARPTON: Republicans are doing exactly what their constituents want.
That doesn`t sound right. Nearly two thirds of Americans want to raise
taxes on millionaires, but your party refuses to do so, and I downed your
constituents agree that the President`s plans to help students and
homeowners is unconstitutional.


BOEHNER: With regard to the President`s activities here over the last
week, where he`s decided that maybe the constitution doesn`t matter. So,
we`re going to make sure that we`re not violating the constitution.


SHARPTON: So, helping the middle class violates the constitution, but
protecting the rich, well, that`s the will of the people. Speaker Boehner,
stop accusing Democrats of waging class warfare as Think Progress points
out, that`s really more your speed.


HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Stupid people are ruining

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Liberals should be ashamed.

battle of the American idea.

you can. And Democrats prove it all the time.

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: You said quote, "The single most
important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term

That`s my single most important political goal, along with every active
Republican in the country.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is Senator Bernie Sanders, independent from
Vermont, he`s also a member of the Progressive Caucus. Senator, thank you
for coming on the show tonight. Republicans continue to hammer the
president for waging class warfare. Am I the only one who finds that

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I), VERMONT: Well, Al, the truth is, there is
class warfare going on in this country. Unfortunately the wrong class is
winning. The rich are becoming much richer. Banks and corporations are
enjoying record-breaking profits all at the same time that the middle
classes collapsing. Poverty is increasing, and we have lost 50,000
factories in this country in the last ten years. So there is class warfare
going on, but it is the big money interests against the 99 percent of the
other people.

SHARPTON: Now, when you look at what -- what Mr. Paul Ryan,
Representative Paul Ryan said last week, accusing the president of class
warfare, and then look at his plan on Medicare, privatize Medicare, voucher
program, raise costs for seniors by $6400 about 2022, the "Wall Street
Journal" even says, according to them, the plan would essentially end or
eliminate Medicare. I mean, that`s class warfare.

SANDERS: It certainly is. And what you`ve got to add to that is
these guys not only are protecting all of the tax breaks of the rich and
remember, the richest people now are playing the lowest effective tax rate
in decades as Warren Buffett reminds us, there are corporations out there
that make billions of dollars in profit, don`t pay a nickel in federal
income taxes. So, the Republicans want to expand that. More tax breaks
for the rich, more tax break for large corporations, but they also want to
slash Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Al, that is precisely what
class warfare is about.

SHARPTON: Now, the other thing that really bothers me is that every
proposal that could really try and provide jobs, provide some kind of
relief they`re voting against. It`s almost like it`s intentional and
totally about trying to defeat this President. Let me show you something,
David Axelrod says over the weekend that it`s the first time a high-profile
person connected directly to the President even went that far. Look at


different going on right now. When you have the leader, the republican
leader of the Senate say, our number one goal in the midst of this economy,
our number one goal is to defeat the President, and they`re acting like it,
they don`t want to cooperate, they don`t want to help, even on measures to
help the economy that they`ve traditionally have supported before. So, you
have to ask you a question -- are they willing to tear down the economy in
order to tear down the President?


SHARPTON: Are they trying to sink the ship because they want to
change the captains?

SANDERS: Yes. I think you`ll note that in the last couple of weeks,
the democratic leadership have brought up rather modest, I must tell you
out -- modest proposals to protect the jobs of teachers, firemen, police
officers -- I don`t believe we`ve got one republican vote for that. This
week, my understanding is, we`re going to bring forth legislation to start
rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure -- that`s roads, and bridges, and
rail systems -- everybody in America knows that we need to do that, that
we`re falling farther.

SHARPTON: Let me show people exactly what you`re talking about.
Because Senator Sanders, you`ve been arguing infrastructure, redevelopment
and jobs for infrastructure for a long time. Sixty billion dollars is what
the Senate will look at this week for roads, bridges, rails, airports, paid
for with the surtax on millionaires, something that you`ve been arguing and
a lot of progressives have been saying would provide jobs, and these are
services that are needed. This is not like we`re creating something that`s

SANDERS: Al, China is now spending nine percent of its GDP on
infrastructure. They`re building thousands of miles of high-speed rail.
Europe, five percent. We are at 2.2 percent. We`re becoming the
laughingstock of the entire world. You want to put people to work
tomorrow? Start rebuilding the infrastructure. It is incomprehensible to
me that the Republicans are opposing that.

SHARPTON: Well, I thank you for being with us tonight, Senator Bernie
Sanders. And I know you will continue to fight. I know that without a
doubt. Thank you for being with us this evening.

SANDERS: Thank you, Al.

SHARPTON: Coming up in public, the Tea Party hates stimulus, but in
private they can`t wait to get their hands on it. The story that Eric
Cantor and Allan West don`t want you to hear. Former Congressman Alan
Grayson responds.

And what zombie mania has to do with today`s Republican Party. Stay
with us.


SHARPTON: Trick-or-treating at the White House. Is this a great
country or what?


SHARPTON: It`s the horror story Tea Party Republicans love to tell
over and over again. The tale of scary President Obama, and his terrible,
horrible, no-good, very bad stimulus.

BOEHNER: Spending in Washington is one of the things that concerns
them most about our future.

of out-of-control spending.

Mr. President, an absolute disaster.

identify a bridge or another project that is yet unfunded and in disrepair,
he`s going to remind people that it`s his stimulus that was unable to


SHARPTON: But a new Newsweek investigation reveals, these Tea Party
hypocrites have been talking out of both sides of their mouths, ripping
spending in public while quietly begging for pork behind the scenes. Take
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Here`s what he thought about the
stimulus two years ago.


CANTOR: Over the last 50 days, we have passed a stimulus bill, we
have passed the omnibus spending bill. And it is striking to see the lack
of change in that bill, the type of waist and pork-barrel spending, the
earmarks that`s existing that bill. You`ve got that train from --line in
Las Vegas.

SHARPTON: Maybe, he wouldn`t have criticize that real project quite
so much if it going from Disney Land to Richmond, Virginia, instead of last
Vegas. Because just seven months after blasting that project, he signed
this letter, begging the Department of Transportation for money for high-
speed rail back in his own state.

Joining me now is former democratic Congressman Alan Grayson of
Florida, and Dan Stone, White House correspondent for Newsweek and The
Daily Beast who broke the story. Thank both of you for being here.


SHARPTON: Congressman, you voted for the stimulus. These guys
attacking in public. What do you say about this? I mean, they used your
vote for stimulus against you.

GRAYSON: Well, that`s right, and many others. But the fact is that,
over a hundred of them have taking credit for things that are in the
stimulus bill after they voted against it which is the height of hypocrisy.
In fact, over and over again, what you see is that they complaint in
public, but then they tell the public that all the good things come out of
her, somehow they created. I`ll give you some more examples if you like.
Rick Perry, he took $17 billion, $17 billion from that one bill. And now,
he picks himself as a champion against government spending. Michele
Bachmann, another example, Michele Bachmann, her own family has received a
quarter of a million in federal subsidies.

SHARPTON: That`s a quarter of a million dollars from one family.
Now, the other example is Ron Paul, Ron Paul usually is above this sort of
thing, but he begged for federal money, so that they can build high-speed
rail in Texas.

GRAYSON: Now, Dan, you broke this story and have documented letters.
How did they get away with this? I mean, when Cantor was asked about the
inconsistency, he says and I`m quoting, how he supported the rail project
in Richmond, after slamming the rail project from Disneyland to Las Vegas.
He says, if there`s one thing I think all of us here on both sides of the
political aisle from all parts of the region agree with is that we need to
do all we can to promote jobs here in the Richmond area. So, let me get
this right. We don`t care about other areas, he can beat four stimulus at
home and it becomes something that is so wrong and ill-thought out around
the country? How do they get away with this, Dan?

DAN STONE, NEWSWEEK: Well, Reverend. This is the politics of pork,
really and if not pork, and -- in your someone else`s district. So, if
you`re supporting a project, a bridge or a walkway or an airport retrofit
which is what we found with a lot of these letters, it`s only job
supporting and job creating and helpful and not pork barrel government
spending if it`s in your district. So, a lot of these members of Congress,
many of them are from the Tea Party caucus, fiscal conservatives, they all
write these letters. We illuminated about 12 in the story that we got
about 50 of them from different members who have made this funding request
to different executive branch apartments looking for this sort of money.

SHARPTON: Now, Congressman Grayson, let me go to another Tea Partier,
Representative Allen West. Alan West is congressman-elect talking about
how you won to get away from debt and deficit spending back on January 3rd.
Let me play you what he said.


REP. ALLEN WEST (R), FLORIDA: I think it`s so important that we get
away from, you know, this exorbitant debt that we have, this deficit
spending, so that we can present ourselves as fiscally strong in this


SHARPTON: But now, Allen West requests money for pet projects.
Quote, I`m quoting from article, he has already written four letters
seeking tax dollars for pet projects in his first ten months on the job. I
think, Dan, the thing that is most revealing about your article is not
where the one agrees with stimulus or not, but the hypocrisy, the blatant
contradiction in campaigning and crusading saying one thing, and then
actually begging for exactly what you`re crusading against.

STONE: Right, a lot of these projects, these are pet projects, and
this is what representative democracy is, to send a member of Congress to
get a piece of the pie to bring back home. The problem like you said, is
that a lot of these members go out and say exactly this is the problem.
Someone else`s district, someone else`s pet, pork barrel project is the
problem. What we illuminated here is that every member of Congress does
it, even those who rail against it.

SHARPTON: Now, Congressman Grayson, I mean, that`s representative
democracy but it`s also representative hypocrisy. Because you have to run
against this, you are attacked for this, and they`re running around, trying
to collect after condemning people like you.

GRAYSON: Well, that`s right. In fact, for the Republicans, it`s
trick or treat every single day. They try to trick the public into
thinking that they`re against federal spending, but they still take all the
treats. That`s what you see time after time. In fact, I think that their
version of Lord`s Prayer is something like, please deliver me from
temptation the next time.

SHARPTON: Well, that`s a good line. Let me ask you this, Dan. When
you look at the spokesman for Mr. Cantor, now, this one made me go back
twice. Here`s a statement they say on how he supported the rail system
being built in Richmond, and not Vegas. Quote, "The Vegas rail line is
essentially an $8 billion earmark." The Richmond rail has bipartisan
support and was a far different animal." So help me out here. This is the
map where the rail lines all over the country would have been linking
people, which would have linked commerce, would have provided jobs all
over the country, but that is earmark. But if it`s home, and he claims
bipartisan, all of a sudden an earmark is not an earmark anymore. How did
that work?

STONE: Right. It`s important to remember that a lot of these
projects are similar, but they`re not the same. So, what Congressman
Cantor`s spokesperson told me was essentially the line from Disneyland to
Las Vegas was a very frivolous project, not a lot of research had been
done. And it wasn`t shown that it would be popular or even lucrative,
where as in the other side of the country, Richmond to Washington, D.C.,
that was a line that would work much better. He`s drawing a very, very
distinct distinction, but it gets back to that point where if it`s local
and it`s my project, it`s all right. If it`s elsewhere, my taxpayers and
my district shouldn`t have to pay for it.

SHARPTON: Grayson, will the Democrats be able to show this
contradiction as the Congress is up next year during the reelection of the

GRAYSON: Yes, the public understands hypocrisy above all. That`s the
one thing that both sides seem to agree on. If you talk to talk, you`ve
got to walk to walk. That`s the problem that Mitt Romney is having right
now. It`s a -- of his form of hypocrisy because he`s on both sides of
every issue. The case of Herman Cain, I guess.

SHARPTON: Thank you, I`ve got to go, but I thank both of you,
Congressman Grayson, and Dan Stone. Thank you for showing us the trick,
then showing us where we`re not getting the trick.

We`ll be right back.


SHARPTON: Happy Halloween, everyone. Right now kids across the
country are dressed up in their costumes going door to door trick-or-
treating. Over the weekend, President Obama and the first lady handed out
candy to local kids, but folks, this is the year of the zombie. They`re
everywhere you turn. The National Retail Federation say, more than 2.6
million people would dressed as zombie`s tonight. TV shows like "The
Walking Dead" have helped inspire the trend. Today is the day you let your
inner zombie out. The problem with the Republicans is that they`re acting
like ghouls every day. It`s OK to scare people with your costume on
Halloween. It`s not OK when you have your policies scaring people every


BRIAN WILLIAMS, HOST: Your state has executed 234 death row inmates.
Have you struggled to sleep at night with the idea that any one of those
might have been innocent?

PERRY: No, sir, I`ve never struggled with that at all.

STEPHEN HILL, SOLDIER SERVING IN IRAQ: Do you intend to circumvent
the progress that`s been made for gay and lesbian soldiers for the

CAIN: Don`t blame Wall Street, don`t blame the big banks. If you
don`t have a job and you`re not rich, blame yourself.


SHARPTON: Hey, I can join the trend. It`s trick or treat. My
problem is, when they keep tricking us so they can get the treat. Thanks
for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.


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