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PoliticsNation, Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

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Guests: Dana Milbank, Joe Madison, Gwen Moore, Charles Schumer

REV. AL SHARPTON, HOST: Hey, Republicans, you`re pushing unpopular
policies, and President Obama knows who you are.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There`s no excuse for 100
percent of Washington Republicans to say no. That means that the
Republicans in Washington are out of touch with Republican voters.

SHARPTON (voice-over): Hammering Republican foot-dragging in four easy
steps. Tonight, Senator Charles Schumer is here live on why the GOP con
job is over.

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thousands and thousands and
thousands of white people can`t pretend that they like me.

SHARPTON: Candidate Cain said race wouldn`t be a factor in his campaign,
but now he`s the one playing the race card?

CAIN: Excuse me. Excuse me!

SHARPTON: Give me a break. Joe Madison and Dana Milbank on the Cain
crumble.

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST, "HARDBALL": Let`s play "HARDBALL."

SHARPTON: Chris Matthews joins us on why Obama`s poll numbers are
climbing, and his new book, "Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero."

Plus, Biden and Cantor having a dinner date? Hope it doesn`t turn into
this --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "ANIMAL HOUSE")

JOHN BELUSHI, ACTOR: Food fight!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: POLITICS NATION starts right now.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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

The Herman Cain sexual harassment scandal continues to grow. It was a day
of fast-moving developments, new accusations, and Herman Cain naming names
as to who he thinks leaked the information to ignite this political
firestorm.

We`ll have all the details on the scandal tonight, but we begin with
tonight`s lead.

The president is winning the argument over jobs. Today he was out pushing
a $60 billion plan to fix our crumbling roads and bridges and help the
nation`s unemployment crisis.

But as expected, Senate Republicans are expected to block the bill. How do
you win an argument with these people?

Well, if you`re the president, you do it in four easy steps. Step 1: name
them to shame them.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I can`t imagine that Speaker Boehner wants to represent a state
where nearly one in four bridges is classified as substandard. When the
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell visited that closed bridge in
Kentucky that I was talking about, he admitted, "Look, roads and bridges
are not partisan in Washington." That`s a quote from him. Paul Ryan, the
Republican in charge of the budget process, recently said, "You can`t deny
that infrastructure does create jobs."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That doesn`t work? Then go to step 2: Win one with "The
Gipper."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Now, if you don`t want to take my word for it, take it from one of
my predecessors, one of the previous presidents. He said that -- and I`m
quoting here -- "The bridges and highways we fail to repair today will have
to be rebuilt tomorrow at many times the cost."

That president was Ronald Reagan. We just put up a statue of him at the
airport. Since when do we have Republicans voting against Ronald Reagan`s
ideas?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s a good one, but step 3 is the clincher. When it doubt,
just preach the truth.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: We had legislation reaffirming that "In God We Trust" is our motto?
That`s not putting people back to work. I trust in God, but God wants to
see us help ourselves by putting people back to work.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And the president`s already mastered step 4: just keep hammering
Republicans with their own message -- where are the jobs?

Joining me now is New York Senator Chuck Schumer. He`s chairman of the
Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Center.

Senator Schumer, thanks for being on the show tonight.

SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D), NEW YORK: Good evening, Rev. And it`s good to
be on your show.

SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you, Senator, are Republicans being honest
brokers in this whole jobs debate?

SCHUMER: I don`t believe so, no. The president, in working with us,
deliberately put pieces in the jobs bill that they had always supported.

As you mentioned earlier in the show this evening, they have always
supported infrastructure and transportation. That`s always been a
bipartisan bill. So the payroll tax cut is a Republican idea. To cut the
payroll tax, keep more money in people`s pockets, and get the economy
going. They haven`t come out for that.

Some breaks for small business to expand, they`re against it. They`re
almost against anything we do, so much so, even things they have supported
before, so much so that some people are asking -- I am asking myself -- I`m
one of those "some people" -- maybe they want the economy to be as bad as
possible, because they think that`s their best road to electoral victory.

You may remember Mitch McConnell said his number one goal is to defeat
Barack Obama, and if that means defeating a good jobs bill that might help
America, I guess he`ll do it and order his troops to do it.

SHARPTON: So you`re saying, Senator Schumer -- and you`re a very
reasonable, thoughtful man -- I`ve known you -- we`re both from Brooklyn.

SCHUMER: You bet.

SHARPTON: You are saying that you`re now thinking that maybe they would
even rink tanking the economy just to defeat this president?

SCHUMER: They certainly don`t want to make it any better, that`s for sure.
And you don`t want to come to that conclusion, but their actions sort of
draw you in that direction.

SHARPTON: Well, let me tell you why that doesn`t seem extreme. Let me
show you not what the president did today, when he called names, let me
show you what they actually said out of their own mouths about
infrastructure, and then they`re going to vote against infrastructure.

Watch this, Senator Schumer.

SCHUMER: I will watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: If you`re a Republican and you
want to create jobs, then you need to invest in infrastructure that will
allow us to create jobs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON (R), TEXAS: The basis for growth is
infrastructure. This is the right way to go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R), ALABAMA: Infrastructure spending is essential to
our long-term economic stability and growth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Here you have Shelby, Hutchison and Graham talking about
infrastructure, yet they`re all talking about voting against it tomorrow.

SCHUMER: Yes, and the bottom line is that if they would come to us and say
here`s how can we vote for it, we would work with them. Now, some of them
say it`s because we want to raise the tax on incomes of over $1 million.
That`s not on millionaires. There are a whole lot of people worth more
than $1 million who don`t have income of a million.

This is on the highest of the high, high, high, high earners. And that`s
sort of -- even though 59 percent of Republicans agree that those folks
should pay an increase in taxes, 80 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of
Independents, so they say, well, that`s their objection. But, you know, we
go to them and say, then tell us a way that you will pay for it, or
whatever, they give no answer. They don`t want to do anything.

SHARPTON: Now, as you said, you have 58 percent, 59 percent of Republicans
even against their own plans.

And then let me play you something Senator Harry Reid said and see if you
agree with Senator Reid.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), MAJORITY LEADER: My Republican colleagues, they`re
in submission to a man whose singular focus is keeping taxes low for the
very, very wealthy, no matter what the effect is on this nation. They fear
his political retribution.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: What do you say to that, Senator Schumer? Do you feel this --

SCHUMER: Yes, they`re all afraid of Grover Norquist`s pledge that they all
signed, and that was a pledge never to raise any kind of tax. Now, the
bottom line is very simple. They care about the deficit. The Republican
Party has always been the party of reducing the deficit.

Well, what created the deficit? You may remember, when Bill Clinton left,
there was a surplus of $300 billion. When George Bush left, there was a
deficit of $800 billion.

What created that? Well, one of the major things that created that were
the Bush tax cuts. So you can`t believe in reducing the deficit and say
I`m not going to be for any increase in revenues. And so they speak sort
of out of both sides of their mouth. The Democrats are really the party of
deficit reduction, Reverend.

SHARPTON: No question about it.

Let me go to a little bit of the politics of it, but let me go into it by
saying you introduced an amendment, really, that authorizes Congress to
regulate the raising and spending of money for federal campaigns. This is
important, because there are groups spending a lot.

SCHUMER: You bet.

SHARPTON: Politico reports the billionaire conservative Koch brothers plan
to spend $200 million in the 2012 election.

Now, you combine that with Karl Rove`s $240 million, that`s $440 million
from outside interests in this campaign. This is amazing.

SCHUMER: And not only that, Reverend, it doesn`t have to be disclosed.
The Supreme Court, in Citizens United, did one of the worst things to
America in the last 100 years. And whether that was part of those
conservative justices, led by Chief Justice Roberts` game plan, to do that
and tilt the political world so heavily in favor of the money interests, I
don`t know, but again, you have got to think that. It is an outrageous
decision.

So, Tom Udall, Jeff Merkley, myself, Sheldon Whitehouse, Michael Bennet,
Dick Durbin, we put in a bill that says repeal constitutional amendment --
it`s going to take a while to pass -- Buckley v. Valeo, which is the
decision that equates dollars with speech. That is not true. Dollars have
never been speech, and the Buckley v. Valeo court is based on the First
Amendment.

Well, the First Amendment is not absolute. You can`t scream "Fire!" in a
crowded theater. You can`t sell child pornography. You can`t slander
somebody.

SHARPTON: Right.

SCHUMER: Well, what is the most sacred value of our Constitution? Having
democracy.

And the Buckley v. Valeo decisions and the Citizens United decision, which
is Buckley v. Valeo on steroids, undoes the basics of democracy, which is
we`re all created equal, each person has a vote, and each person has an
equal right to participate in the process. It was an absurd decision, and
we want to repeal it.

SHARPTON: Now, do you feel that a lot of this money that is being poured
in, and a lot of this changing the rules, is because they`re losing ground?
When you look at the latest polls, not only is the president edging up, you
have polls that are saying that 42 percent of people would vote Democrat,
as opposed to 34 percent Republican.

SCHUMER: Yes. Good, you`re --

SHARPTON: Does that mean that Congress may even -- we may see the House
change a little?

SCHUMER: One of the things we did, starting in August -- and I played a
role in this, and I`m proud of it -- is we started focusing on jobs and the
economy. And we started showing the American people who`s for creating
jobs such as this infrastructure bill and who`s against it.

And the president, to his credit, has called out the Republicans on it, day
in, day out. He did it in one of the clips you mentioned.

It`s changing the whole political structure. The president`s numbers are
going up.

Let me give you one little interesting one.

SHARPTON: OK.

SCHUMER: In August, who is better at creating jobs and getting the economy
going? Which, by the way, is the number one thing America wants you to do.

SHARPTON: No doubt.

SCHUMER: Who is better at doing that -- 40 Republican, 40 Democrat. You
know what it is today -- 49 Democrat, 34 Republican.

And if that keeps happening, and I hope it will -- and I am trying to get
us focused on job bill after job bill after job bill, even if they defeat
it, because it takes a while to get the message through, to get the reality
through. If that keeps happening, we will increase or majority in the
Senate and take back the House.

Now, I am -- I still care about the good of the country. And I am hopeful
our Republican colleagues will not let those on the far right just run them
ragged. But we`ll see what happens.

SHARPTON: Well, that`s why there`s a lot happening, but I start with jobs
every night, because at the end of the day, people need to work. The
distraction shouldn`t get us off of that.

SCHUMER: You bet.

SHARPTON: Senator Schumer, thanks for your time this evening.

SCHUMER: Reverend, it`s good to see a Brooklyn guy like you making good.

SHARPTON: All right. I feel the same way about you, sir.

Coming up, Herman Cain bombshell. He`s now accusing Rick Perry`s campaign
of orchestrating the sexual harassment scandal. And now we`re hearing
about a possible third woman. All the developments, straight ahead.

Plus, President Obama`s fighting for the middle class, and America loves
it. He`s winning, and Republicans don`t have an answer.

We`re playing "HARDBALL" at 6:00 tonight. Chris Matthews joins me live to
talk about politics and his new book about President Kennedy.

And Washington`s new odd couple. What are Joe Biden and Eric Cantor doing
together tonight?

You`re watching POLITICS NATION on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Welcome back to POLITICS NATION.

New signs today that President Obama`s jobs pitch is working. A new poll
shows the president`s approval rating has shot up eight percent in just the
last month, a sign his message on jobs is resonating.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: See, construction workers, they want to do their jobs. We need
Congress to do theirs. And it`s time for folks running around spending all
their time talking about what`s wrong with America to spend some time
rolling up their sleeves to help make us right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: His approval rating is 47 percent, more than double the approval
rating for Republicans in Congress, at just 20 percent.

Joining me now is my friend Chris Matthews, host of "HARDBALL" here on
MSNBC. He`s just written a new book called "Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero."
It is out in bookstores everywhere.

Chris, I want to talk about the book in a moment, but let me ask you what
you make of these new poll numbers for the president.

MATTHEWS: Well, I think he`s beginning to say "we," have you noticed,
rather than "I"? I mean, getting rid of that -- everybody watching what a
brilliant man we have as president, but now seeing him as more of a leader
of the people who have been hurt by this economic downturn.

The "we" is really important. And I think he lost some of that in the last
three years as chief executive, sort of isolated in the White House.

SHARPTON: So you think that he`s captured the message of "we" and he`s
starting to relate to the pain of the voters, and that`s why we`re seeing
the poll numbers go up?

MATTHEWS: Yes, he has to be a "we." I mean, I think I will hold him
against him -- remember being on the Mall on Inaugural Day? For the first
time -- I`ve lived in Washington for 40 years. This is the first time
African-Americans really all came to the Mall, their national capital, and
felt that that part of town was really their part of town, too, and then
they sent everybody home.

And I felt that everybody had sort of been dismissed from the parade, like,
OK, you`ve done your job, I`m here, you`re there, go back to where you came
from, I`m the president. I think he`s got to rally the people and become
our leader.

He`s got to find ways -- and I don`t know them yet -- of bringing people in
a mass way to participate whether it`s a big jobs programs he can get
through, or CCC, or -- I don`t know how he uses his power as commander of
the Army to keep people in uniform while they have jobs, do things that ask
us to do things.

I also think at some point he`s going to have to ask the rich people. Not
just attack them, but ask the good ones out there to say, look, we need
fair taxes in this country. We`ve got people fighting for this country,
you ought to do your share.

I think he ought to shame them a bit but don`t divide the country. At some
point, if he wants to win the election, he`s got to get past 50 percent.
This populism will get him up to the high 40s, I think, but at some point
he`s got to pass the 50-point mark and bring a lot of people in.

SHARPTON: But this crowd that he`s up against seem like they have no
shame. I don`t know if he --

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: I think they scatter the crowd.

MATTHEWS: I`m not talking about the politicians. They`re hopeless. I`m
talking about the people. I think there`s some people -- not just rich
people, people that make above the average, who say we ought to have fair
taxes in this country and not loopholes and corporate power.

That latest poll that we saw, 86 percent -- 86 percent -- agrees on nothing
in this country, but 86 percent believes that Wall Street has got too much
clout on Capitol Hill.

SHARPTON: No doubt about it.

Now, let me ask you a question.

You wrote a book, and I thought no one could come with more inside
information and things we didn`t know on President Kennedy, but you`ve done
it. I`ve got the book, I`ve read it. "Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero" is in
bookstores.

And you talk about some of the stories and inside things that we`ve never
heard about President Kennedy that`s instructive today as we go into a
presidential election. One of the things you know caught my eye is some of
the things during the civil rights movement of the `60s, because I was
barely born and a kid during some of that time. And I always felt that
Kennedy was dragging his feet.

But you talk about how he actually did some steps that were courageous in
private. One story you talk about is when Mrs. King had made the call, he
was put in jail, brought to another jail, and no one knew if he was in
extreme danger. And this was during the `60 campaign. Kennedy did
something that Nixon wouldn`t do, and it really turned the black vote
around.

MATTHEWS: He did something, and it`s always hard to know -- you know.
You`re a reverend. You never know what impulse in people makes them do the
right thing at the right moment out of nowhere.

He gets a call from -- well, what happened was Mrs. King called her friend
Harris Wofford, who was a great civil rights guy. He graduated from Howard
University and Law School, as well as Yale. A really good guy, and he`s
still alive today. And Louis Martin, a great friend I had, a publisher, an
African-American guy, a business guy from Chicago, he was very active in
the civil rights movement.

Those two were working together with Kennedy. And they got to Sargent
Shriver, who had a good heart, as you know, and he got to Kennedy.

And Mrs. King was scared to death. She was pregnant at the time. Her
husband had not only been arrested on a hopped-up charge of not having the
right in-state driver`s license, or whatever, hauled into the backwoods the
Georgia, in some federal prison somewhere. She was scared to death he was
going to get lynched.

And so she called her friends, they went to the president. The president
made the call to Mrs. King expressing his sympathy for her, and then he got
Bobby, who was very resistant -- you talk about being resistant, Bobby`s
first impulse was, we`re blowing this campaign, the white South is going to
kill us with this one.

He got a hold of the governor of Georgia. The governor of Georgia gave
Bobby the advice and the heads-up of how to deal with the judge.

The judge released Dr. King. They got it done. Then the real politics
began.

Louis Martin and Harris Wofford got -- they went to Philadelphia, got two
ministers. They mimeographed, in the old days, or created this pamphlet
called "The Blue Bomb." It was printed in blue ink, the old mimeographed
way, and sent it to two million people via the black church.

SHARPTON: Let me show people what that pamphlet looked like.

MATTHEWS: And you found one. That`s good.

SHARPTON: Yes, I`ve got that pamphlet. They put it to black churches.

And that`s when many blacks, including Martin Luther King`s father, turned
from Republican -- Dr. King`s father had an "I`m a Nixon man" button at the
National Baptist Convention, took it off when Kennedy helped get his son
out.

MATTHEWS: Yes.

SHARPTON: So much for us being brainwashed. It was based on who
politically supported us.

But let`s fast forward in the book, a fascinating part, where now he`s
president, and George Wallace says, I`m going to stand in the door at the
University of Alabama, stop a young black male and young black female from
entering the University of Alabama.

What does the president do?

MATTHEWS: Well, the president obviously went right past me, but sent Nick
Katzenbach right down there, who`s about eight feet tall, a pretty tall
fellow, and he basically stood next to little George Wallace and pushed him
out of the way. And they registered those students in the University of
Alabama. And that night, that president of the United States went on
national television and said that the civil rights of all Americans is as
fundamental as the American Constitution, as deeply held as the bible.

He insisted on the moral right of people to have equal rights.

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: Now, let me tell you something.

MATTHEWS: It is so profound. No president, Reverend, has ever done that.
This is not only the right thing to do, have some rights, this is the
American thing to do. And it was so amazing that he made that statement in
that moment of crisis.

SHARPTON: Now, let me tell you something that I -- when I was reading
this, Chris, was fascinating.

When you look at those two students, that young man and young woman walking
into the University of Alabama, what most Americans don`t know, which is
why they need to read this book, that young lady had a little sister. That
little sister married a young black lawyer years later.

That young black lawyer is now the attorney general of the United States,
Eric Holder. To think that the first black attorney general of this
country is the brother-in-law of that sister that George Wallace stood in
the door, and John Kennedy made him move out the door, shows why some of us
still believe that if we stay on the road, we can make some change happen
in America.

MATTHEWS: And she`s a physician, and he`s the attorney general of the
United States, one of the brightest bulbs in the pack in this country.

And I`m so glad that you see this deliverance that Kennedy played a part.
Dr. King was the man, of course, but Kennedy played a really, really big
role in supporting what happened in `63, the year he died.

SHARPTON: Now, Kennedy was a visionary, talked about putting a man on the
moon. If he was facing the guys that President Obama is facing, they
probably would say it`s not in the budget and call him all kinds of names.
But he was able to raise the vision of the country. And at that time, you
had Republicans that were actually -- Everett Dirksen was actually
eloquent. He was Bertrand Russell compared to this crew we`ve got out here
now in the Republican Party.

MATTHEWS: A good man.

Well, what happened was, as you know, the history -- back in the early
`50s, the Republican party was a northern party, it was a Lincoln party.
And those guys, except for Goldwater, I think, and one other member of the
Senate on the Republican side, all voted for the civil rights bill, the `64
one that really made the difference in public accommodations, where you
didn`t have these "Whites Only" signs at the men`s room of every gas
station.

I mean, they just outlawed all that, not just the department stores and the
fountains and all. It was that -- Dirksen was a big part of that.

But I still sometimes think if Kennedy had been some sort of conservative
Democrat at the time, history wouldn`t have gone as well as it did. It
just wouldn`t have.

SHARPTON: Chris Matthews, thanks so much. Congratulations on the book.

MATTHEWS: Thank you.

SHARPTON: The book is "Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero." It`s in bookstores
everywhere.

And, of course, you can catch Chris on "HARDBALL," weeknights here on MSNBC
at 5:00 and at 7:00.

Thanks, Chris.

Still ahead, Herman Cain says Rick Perry`s campaign is behind the sexual
harassment scandal. A bombshell development in a story getting more
intense by the minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

AL SHARPTON, HOST, MSNBC LIVE: Welcome back to "Politics Nation."
The Herman Cain scandal grew even larger today. Herman Cain accused the
Perry campaign of leaking the information about sexual harassment
complaints against him. In an interview today, Cain called it a
professional hit job by a former adviser, Curt Anderson, who now works for
the Perry campaign. Moments ago, Mark Block, Cain`s campaign manager, the
one that was in the commercial smoking, demanded an apology.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARK BLOCK, CAMPAIGN MANAGER OF HERMAN CAIN: The actions of the
Perry campaign are despicable. Rick Perry and his campaign owe Herman Cain
and his family an apology. Both the Rick Perry campaign and Politico did
the wrong thing by reporting something that wasn`t true from anonymous
sources, and like I said, they owe Herman Cain and his family an apology.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, the Perry campaign shot back, quote, "No one at our
campaign was involved in this story in any way. Any claim to the contrary
is patently false. The first we learned of it was when we read the story
in Politico." This bombshell comes as Associated Press reports a third
woman considered filing a workplace complain against Herman Cain when she
worked for him in the 1990s. NBC has not independently confirmed this.
The Cain campaign called the allegation baseless, but he did show some
signs of the pressure coming on his campaign is getting to him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let me say one thing, I`m
here with these doctors and that`s what I`m going to talk about. So, don`t
even bother asking me all of these other questions that you all are curious
about. OK? Don`t even bother.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: But it`s a good question though.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: But are you concerned about the fact that these
women do want to, that perhaps one of them wants to come forward, are you
concerned about.

CAIN: Excuse me. Excuse me. What part of "no" don`t these people
understand?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now is Dana Milbank, national political
reporter for "The Washington Post," and Joe Madison, talk show host on
Sirius/XM radio. Dana, big developments today. Now, let me ask you
something, because I`m trying to follow this correctly. How do you accuse
Anderson in the Perry campaign of leaking this? How did Anderson of the
Perry campaign get this information in the first place?

DANA MILBANK, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Well, look, this is sort of a
normal course things were take here. The Cain had said first, it didn`t
happen, then he`s changed his story on that, then he`s saying, you know,
various people were out to get him. And saying, it was because of race. I
think this is just another stage in that, saying, my opponents are the ones
who are out to get me. So, you know, I don`t think it`s prior fruitful to
go down the avenue of, you know, exactly what the mechanics are, but
somebody who was close to Cain, who turns against Cain would have some of
the goods on it, because you do opposition research on yourself,
essentially.

SHARPTON: But that`s my point. Here`s what I`m trying to get to,
Dana. Didn`t they say that when he, Anderson worked for Cain running for
the Senate, that Cain told him about an allegation that would been dealt
with about sexual harassment, which was one of these cases?

MILBANK: That`s entirely possible, Reverend, but many people knew
about this as it turns out. It wasn`t just the Politico story. Many
others were working on it. Politico did get it first. My newspaper, "The
New York Times," the Associated Press. Now, this is coming from many
different directions. Now, a lot of people were sitting on this because.

SHARPTON: Yes. I got that. But then, my point is this. Let me
show you where Herman Cain, what he said to "Forbes" today, and I want your
reaction to this, Joe Madison. He says to "Forbes," quote, "When I sat
down with my general campaign consultant Curt Anderson in a private room in
our campaign offices in 2003, we discussed opposition research on me. It
was a typical campaign conversation. I told him there was only one case,
one set of charges, one woman while I was at the National Restaurant
Association. Those charges were baseless, but I thought he needed to know
about them. I don`t recall anyone else being in the room when I told him."

Now, Joe Madison, that is a direct contradiction to several things.
One, he said he didn`t know about this. Second, they`re saying now that
they`re quoting anonymous sources. He`s the anonymous source if he told
Anderson himself about the accusation when Anderson was working for him.
What are they talking about anonymous sources?

JOE MADISON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, you just answered the
question. You`re absolutely right. I mean, you have to go back only,
what, two days or three days and you`re dealing with a man who says he
didn`t know anything about this. He didn`t even know that there was a
settlement, he didn`t -- he tried to get us to believe that there`s a
difference between a settlement and an agreement. He`s got to have the
worst advisers of any campaign that I have seen running, and now this Perry
is responsible? You better have proof when you make these kinds of
accusations. You know, let me just say this.

You know, Jim Henson`s muppets could run a better group of candidates
than what the Republicans have right now. I think what`s going to put all
this to rest and the reporters with the post and Politico in "The New York
Times" are going to get to the bottom of this, and it`s going to be when
the women come out and they tell their side of the story. Can you imagine
sitting there listening day in, night in, day out, night out, to someone on
TV basically maligning you and then you`re not able to say anything?
They`re going to talk.

SHARPTON: Even before we get to the woman part and their coming out,
Dana, my point is how do you come out and I showed black tonight, saying
that these were anonymous stories that you and others were working on when
the candidate is saying, I told the guy the story, he said it was baseless,
but you should have known when it was brought to you, what it was about
when you yourself briefed your campaign aide on this a couple of years ago,
a few years ago when you were running for the Senate.

MILBANK: Right. If that`s the case, he just unmasked the anonymous
-- himself. We don`t know if that`s the case or not.

SHARPTON: Well, he said it. If he`s lying on himself, he was even
more out of control than I think.

MILBANK: Well, he has to be at some point, because first he didn`t
know about the thing at all, and now he is recalling, that they had a
conversations specifically telling some guy about it several years ago.
They both can`t be true at the same time.

SHARPTON: Now, let me go with another element here, Joe. Last night
on FOX he brought in race. Let me play you this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN: There are some people who are Democrats, liberals, who do not
want to see me win the nomination. Relative to the left, I believe that
race is a bigger driving factor. I don`t think it`s a driving factor on
the right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, this is a man who says that race is a factor on the
left in driving this. And this is a man that just a few days ago said this
about race.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN: Some people want to say that they`re still, you know, rampant
racism in America. No it`s not. It is not. I would recognize it if it
were. It`s about content of your ideas, character, and it`s not about
color.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So, three weeks ago. It was about content and character,
but when there`s questions right or wrongly raised about his character, Joe
Madison, now the left is about race, even though we`re now finding out by
his own statement to "Forbes," this information that he gave a guy that
he`s claiming now is in effect using it against him because he`s in
another campaign.

MADISON: I`m going to remind the right of a young senatorial
candidate named Harold Ford in Tennessee, who was on his way to win that
election. And they threw in an ad red meat at certain people on the right.
And I don`t want to generalize this, but I want to tell you what really
upset me this morning. To hear people on the right, on the other channel,
talking about our black folks are smarter than their black folks. Since
when did I become or you become a possession? What are you talking about
"our black folk"? If the right does anything -- when you hear that kind of
language that somehow suggests that I`m owned? It`s absolutely ridiculous.

That kind of discussion doesn`t take place on the left. I don`t hear
Nancy Pelosi talking about "our" they may say African-Americans who are
Democrats, but they don`t say our black people as if we are owned. I mean,
this is the kind of language you get. And Herman Cain better be very
careful, because the women have not been identified. And I`m not being
racist here, but I`ll remind the people of Tennessee, the ads they saw in
that last-minute campaign effort to defeat Harold Ford, it was like red
meat thrown at the right and it brought down Harold Ford`s campaign.

SHARPTON: But Harold Ford was dealing with racial suggestions.

MADISON: Yes.

SHARPTON: These are actual allegations settlement. We`re not
talking about innuendo here. Either it did happen, didn`t happen.

MADISON: That`s right.

SHARPTON: And either these women were telling the truth or they were
not. Let me say this, Dana, the politics of it is that this man is all
over the place. It`s race one minute. It didn`t happen the next minute.
It`s I told this guy Anderson, the other minute -- it`s Perry did it -- let
me tell you something, Mr. Cain. A little advice, a wise man once told me,
a fish wouldn`t get caught if he kept his mouth shut.

Dana Milbank and Joe Madison, thanks for your time tonight.

Ahead, the fight over voter suppression just got a whole lot tougher.
We`ll tell you what President Obama is doing to fight for your rights.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Joe Biden and Eric Cantor are having dinner tonight,
together. I wonder how they`ll split the tab. My guess -- Cantor grabs
one percent, Biden takes all the 99. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Voter suppression in America is real, and it`s happening
right now, but good news, the fight is on. Right, Democrats?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: There is no more fundamental right than the
right to vote.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: This seems to petty and so ridiculous that there
would be a movement among a conservative group of people across the country
to literally try to disenfranchise American citizens.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It`s a phantom menace, a fraud, the basis for a
well-funded movement around the country making it difficult for eligible
voters to cast their votes.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: To all of the governors in all of the states that
have passed this legislation, please understand that it is time for you to
do the right thing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Do the right thing, and if you don`t, someone else will.
Today we learned the president is getting involved in the fight, launching
an unprecedented voter protection effort, fighting to repeal laws and
educate voters, by fielding thousands of volunteers by this spring with a
heavy focus on states like Wisconsin. And if you want to know why the
president has joined the fight, just look. Here`s a map of the 37 states
where we have seen voter suppression laws pushed this year. And this is
how many of those same states were won by President Obama in 2008, only
four states he won have escape this voter suppression push. The fight for
justice is on, and we can`t stop.

Joining me now, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, democrat from Wisconsin,
who sits on the Budget and Financial Services Committees, and co-chair of
the women`s caucus. She`s also one of the Democrats who spoke out against
these voting laws on the house floor last night.

Congresswoman, thank you for joining me tonight.

REP. GWEN MOORE (D), WISCONSIN: Oh, thank you, Reverend Sharpton for
being on top of this issue.

SHARPTON: Republicans say, fraud is the reason for these laws. What
do you say to that?

MOORE: I think that that is absolutely proxy for disenfranchising
hundreds of thousands of Democrats. This is a problem, this is a solution
in search of a problem. When you look at extensive and extensive
investigation of so-called voter fraud in Wisconsin in 2008 after the 2000
election, there were 20 cases of voter fraud. Out of three million votes
cast.

SHARPTON: Let`s go slow on that. Three million votes cast in
Wisconsin, and they came back with only 26, I think, we have cases of
fraud?

MOORE: That`s right. That`s 710,000ths of a percent.

SHARPTON: Right.

MOORE: And not a single one of the cases that they`ve found could
have been solved by a person having a voter identification card. This is a
very clear effort to disenfranchise people. When you stop and look at the
numbers of people in the United States who don`t have this kind of
identification, you`ll see nationwide that 25 percent of African-Americans
don`t have this kind of I.D. Americans in general don`t have this voter
I.D. who when you look in Wisconsin, you`ll see that 17 percent of white
Americans don`t have this ID and you find that 55 percent of all African,
males don`t have this ID. Forty nine percent of African-American women, 46
percent of Hispanic men, 59 percent of Hispanic women. And when you look
at the 18 to 24-year-old group, you`ll find that 66 percent of African-
American females, 18 to 24 don`t have it, and 78 percent of African-
American men between 18 to 24 don`t have this I.D.

SHARPTON: But let me say this, Congresswoman, that one of the
significant points people need to understand how insane this is, in your
state, three million people voted, only 26 cases found of fraud. This is
really motivated by something else. Let me show you what I think. Let me
show you this graph. President Obama`s 2008 margin away, one Wisconsin, it
was 414,818 votes. That`s what he won by.

MOORE: Right.

SHARPTON: Voters lacking proper I.D. now in your state is 475,000,
so the politics of this is that if they can stop people from voting, it`s
the margin of victory next year in your state, and I would argue that`s
going around the country and that is really using the suppressive laws to
try and rob an election from the American people.

MOORE: That`s absolutely the case. And I tell you, there`s no
constitutional right that has been more protected than the right to vote.
The 14th amendment, the 15th amendment, the 19th, the 24th amendment, the
26th amendment, and of course the voting rights act. I mean, there`s no
right, the right to bear arms, or the right of a free press. Nothing is
more protected than the right to vote. And so, I think that, you know, if
all is fair in politics, it is certainly un-American and unconstitutional
to suppress these voting rights, and I think that we are seeing just the
beginning of an effort on a part of Republicans to suppress the vote.

SHARPTON: Well, we`ve got to fight back, Congresswoman.

MOORE: We do.

SHARPTON: And we will be there with you. Congresswoman, thank you
for your time tonight and good luck.

MOORE: Thank you so much, Reverend Sharpton.

SHARPTON: Thank you. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: In Washington, you want to keep your friends close and your
political opponents even closer. Tonight, Vice President Joe Biden is
wining and dining none other than republican majority leader Eric Cantor.
A GOP aide says, Cantor and Biden are buds, quote, "They`ve been trying to
get together for some time and really enjoy hanging." The last time we saw
these two back in June, Cantor was walking out of the Biden budget talks in
a huff. Apparently that`s all water under the bridge, but if things are
still a bit tense, the vice president could set Cantor at ease with a
little mood music. I know just the thing.

(HERMAN CAIN SINGING)

I feel calmer already. Of course, before anyone takes a bite. They
may want to have their food tasters nearby and when it comes to the menu,
I`m sure Cantor will say that everything is on the table except raising
taxes. One thing for sure, Cantor should be eating crow when it comes to
the stimulus. Earlier this week we showed you this letter from 2009
revealing that Cantor was privately begging for stimulus money for his home
state while criticizing the stimulus in public. Well, Mr. Biden, many
progressives say, why do you guys keep trying to work with them? I don`t
begrudge you for having dinner with Mr. Cantor tonight. I just can`t get
over the fact he keeps having us for lunch.

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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