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PoliticsNation, Tuesday, November 1, 2011

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Guests: Emanuel Cleaver, Richard Wolffe, Marcia Fudge, Melissa Harris-Perry, Jonathan Capehart, Andrea Kaminski

REV. AL SHARPTON, HOST: Americans want jobs. So why are
congressional Republicans just wasting time?

Tonight, GOP leaders find a new way not to create jobs. You won`t
believe what they have come up with this time.

The real class warfare. Republicans protect billions for oil
companies, but sock it to the working poor. How does that make sense?

And Herman Cain rewrites his own history as conservatives go ugly
defending him.

POLITICS NATION starts right now.

Welcome to POLITICS NATION. I`m Al Sharpton, live from Washington,
D.C.

Tonight`s lead, watch what they do, not what they say.

Here`s a picture of a penny. On the top is the national motto, "In
God We Trust." The same motto also appears on the front of the nickel.
It`s there on the dime. It also pops up on the quarter.

And it`s not just coins. "In God We Trust" is on all our paper
currency, too.

Here it is on the dollar bill. In fact, it`s been on paper money
since 1957.

We see it every day. But for Republicans, that`s not enough.

Any moment now, Speaker Boehner`s House will push a resolution
reaffirming "In God We Trust" as the national motto.

I don`t even know what to say.

Mr. Speaker, why don`t you help me out?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE SPEAKER: The American people are
still asking the question, well, where are the jobs?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Good question. Where are the jobs?

Earlier this year, Republicans railed against symbolic measures like
this. House Republicans wouldn`t even vote on a resolution honoring the
troops that killed Osama bin Laden.

Eric Cantor said at the time that his party wanted to focus on
legislation that was "substantive and meaningful." That`s funny. He`s
fine with today`s resolution.

I don`t find a lot of meaning in a bill that adds zero jobs to the
economy. And do you know what`s worse? Roll Call estimates that this "In
God We Trust" vote will cost taxpayers more than $215,000. How fiscally
conservative.

And as Republicans waste the American people`s time and money, they
still keep attacking.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

BOEHNER: There is nothing that has disappointed me more over the last
eight weeks than to watch the president of the United States basically give
up on the economy, give up on the American people, decide he`s going to
quit governing.

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Quit governing? This man has quit governing?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We`re going to keep on
pushing Congress to get its act together, to get it done. In the meantime,
I`m not waiting.

So, this past week, for example, I put forward an executive order to
help families refinance their homes. We put forward plans to help students
manage their debt and their student loans.

Those are things that we can do that, you know, is a vision that I
think the American people find appealing. And frankly, you know, we`re
just not getting enough help from the other side, and that`s what I`m going
to keep on pushing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Yes, he keeps on pushing for jobs, but he`s facing a united
Republican front that considers defeating him. Not creating jobs, their
number one job.

Now, let me be clear. I`m a minister. I believe in God. But I do
not believe in the political use of God as obstruction toward the people of
God. That`s my personal belief.

Joining me now is Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, Democrat from Missouri.
He`s also the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. And Richard
Wolffe, MSNBC political analyst.

Thank you both for coming on the show tonight.

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Thank you.

REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D), MISSOURI: Good to be here with you.

SHARPTON: Congressman, Mr. Chairman, let me start with you.

As the Republicans are doing this "In God We Trust," you are not only
the chairman of the caucus and a congressman, you`re pastor of one of the
largest churches in Missouri. You and I are ministers, so we`re certainly
not against the theme of "In God We Trust." But don`t you think this is to
distract from the real issues of the American people and to try to play to
some religious right rather than deal with the substantive issues like in
the American Jobs Act?

CLEAVER: This is unfortunate, Reverend.

I don`t feel comfortable in voting on somebody else`s trust. We
already have this as a motto. It was voted on in 1956, put on money in
1957. And nobody is fighting it.

Gandhi said, "Action expresses priorities," so what we`re saying and
hearing now is that this is a priority for the United States. I don`t want
to question anybody`s motives. All I want to say is that this is not a
priority that the public wants us to deal with.

And after this vote what`s going to happen? I mean, tomorrow morning,
the Dow Jones is still going to be what it was going to be. The sun is
still going to rise in the East. I mean, this is meaningless, and the
whole issue of trust is theological, and I can get into a theological
discussion.

SHARPTON: Right.

CLEAVER: We don`t have time. But this is unfortunate and a waste of
time.

SHARPTON: Well, I think, Reverend, Congressman, it`s time for the
Christian right to meet the right Christians, because I think this is
certainly not only a waste of time, if they want to bring up affirming "In
God We Trust," why don`t they bring up how 99 percent of the country
doesn`t get enough of that currency and that one percent does?

If you want to bring up currency, why aren`t we debating about how the
currency is distributed in this country, Richard?

WOLFFE: Yes. Look, where do they think these Christian conservatives
are going to go here?

Yes, there are real social issues that Christians should care about
around the country, but honestly, I have sympathy when I hear Republicans
trying to reach for this kind of card, because it`s really hard for
Republicans right now to wrap themselves in the flag. They have got a
president who killed the public enemy number one, got Osama bin Laden,
pulled out of the situation in Iraq, beefed up the presence in Afghanistan.
So the national security flag is gone.

The jobs promise isn`t being delivered on. And maybe they don`t need
to deliver on it because the economy is growing at 2.5 percent anyway.
But, you know, of course they could do more on jobs, that would be nice.
But they are stuck in a dynamic where they can`t give the president
anything.

So what have they got? They`ve got meaningless stuff like this which,
like the representative said, nobody is questioning. I don`t know where --
it`s like the war on Christmas. Who is waging this one?

SHARPTON: Yes. Well, they will be doing that next, affirming
Christmas, like someone is trying to act like we`re canceling Christmas.

But let`s look at what Herman Cain tried to say about the president.
Herman Cain raised whether the president used "God" enough in his speeches.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe it was
intentional, because he did it three times, two of which I know about. And
a friend of mine said he actually knew of a third one.

Now, with all of his teleprompters, how could you not put there in
there? No. I believe it was intentional.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, a lot of people on the right are trying to put this
around the blogosphere, that the president doesn`t mention "God." And
clearly, they are trying to play now toward this real right-wing, religious
right kind of thing, which I think is unfortunate, and that`s why I wanted
to raise it.

And I`m glad you`re on, Reverend Cleaver, because clearly, you and I
and many Christians have a firm belief, but it`s based on your work. You
can`t use God in Christianity, and then turn around and vote against trying
to feed the hungry and care for the outcast, clothe the naked. Your
action, faith without works, is a dead thing. They need to read the bible
that they quote.

CLEAVER: Yes. I`m so really frustrated by all of this.

The amazing thing is that we`re seeing more and more people more
religious than God. I mean, there are people who are actually making God
look irreligious.

I mean, after all, if you look at the times that Jesus used the name
"God," there are very few. From time to time, he used "Father" and so
forth. But the fact that somebody doesn`t use the word "God" doesn`t say
anything about them. God is supposed to be in our heart and, more
importantly, in our actions.

SHARPTON: Well, "Why call me, Lord, Lord and not do what I say?" I
read that somewhere, and it wasn`t Richard Wolffe that wrote it.

But Richard, let me put this up to you. Let`s look at the jobs bill
that the House of Representatives, the Republicans, have put forward, and
let`s see how moral they were in terms of caring for those that need help
in this country.

Eight aimed at deregulation, and deregulation helps big business.
Five aimed at oil drilling.

So, their so-called 15 forgot jobs bills that they want the Senate to
pass doesn`t seem to me to be caring for those that we were told that we
should care for if they want to use religion as the basis and the bible as
their book of what they want to go by.

WOLFFE: Yes. And, look, you`re a much better theologian than I am,
but I thought caring for God`s planet was part of it.

And, you know, regulating the oil industry to make sure that they
don`t spoil the planet seems caring about the world around us. But in any
case, look, we`re talking about a presidential debate among Republican
candidates that`s currently being led by a guy whose (INAUDIBLE) research
amounts to a friend who may have heard something about a speech.

I mean, really, where`s the quality to the debate? Where are the
people who are actually listening or just reading the White House
transcripts where the president ends just about every speech saying, "God
bless the United States of America"? They obviously missed the prayer
breakfast and everything else.

Yes, get the economy moving, get it moving for everyone, because the
economics are a moral issue, too. It`s tearing families and communities
apart. But do your homework, for Pete`s sake. Let`s get out there and
find people who are paying attention and watching the news.

CLEAVER: Reverend --

SHARPTON: Now, ,Congressman Cleaver, how do we get this back on track
to start talking about jobs and the things that the American people and the
things that you`ve been pushing with the jobs tour? How do we get this off
of distractions and back on what the American people need?

CLEAVER: Well, I`m going to vote against this innocuous resolution
tonight, and hopefully two-thirds of the House will not vote for it. And
it would then provide us an opportunity to say to our colleagues that it`s
time to move to the agenda that the American people sent us here to
address, and that is jobs.

There`s nobody going to get a job with the passage of this resolution.
In fact, we may lose four or five jobs with the cost that will be incurred
from doing this.

And one of the things that has to happen, the American public must
become articulate in demanding that Congress move toward jobs. I don`t
think that we need to waste another day.

Every time I go home, every weekend, I run into people who are
jobless, and they would like for us to take some action. And I would
rather stay here all week, every week until we do it. We`ve got to get
people back to work, or it`s going to do immeasurable damage to the spirit
of America.

SHARPTON: Congressman Cleaver and Richard Wolffe, thanks for coming
on the show tonight.

And let me say I want to be real clear that we are not at all anti-
God. I`m a firm believer in God. I`m a firm believer in my faith and in
my denomination, which is why I resent people playing with it and using it
for political means.

I resent people telling children to say their blessing on food that is
not going to be on the table because daddy and mommy cannot work. I resent
people that hold up a bible, ,but won`t read the part that says, how can
you love God, whom you`ve never seen, but hate your brother and sister who
you see every day?

Any night you want, Mr. Cain, we can sing "Amazing Grace" together,
but then we ought to come out and be graceful.

Ahead, Rush Limbaugh comes to Herman Cain`s defense, and he resorted
to an appalling way to do it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: What`s next, folks, a cartoon on
MSNBC showing Herman Cain with huge lips eating a watermelon? What are
they going to do next?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: You better believe I`m responding.

Plus, the political world is still buzzing about Rick Perry`s speech
heard round the world. We bring you outtakes.

And the effort to roll back the GOP is in full swing. The fight
against voter suppression grows.

You`re watching POLITICS NATION, live from Washington, D.C.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Welcome back to POLITICS NATION.

Another day, and even more evidence of the GOP`s class warfare.
Remember Paul Ryan`s speech last week when he had the nerve to attack
President Obama for being divisive?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: Hope and optimism that were the
hallmarks to his first campaign. He has launched his second campaign by
preying on the emotions of fear, envy and resentment. Selling 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: It amazes me that Republicans can say things like that and
practically the same breath, they vote against jobs for teachers and
firefighters.

Now they have turned their attention to a new target which they claim
is one of the biggest drains on the budget. It`s not subsidies for big
oil, it`s also not tax cuts for the wealthy. It`s food stamps.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No program in our government has surged out of
control more dramatically than food stamps, and nothing is being done about
it. We cannot do this. We don`t have the money.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Going after food stamps?

More than 40 million Americans relied on the program to feed their
families last year, a number which has increased because of the recession.
And while the GOP is bravely protecting the richest one percent from class
warfare, a group of Democratic lawmakers has accepted a challenge to try to
live off the same grocery budget food stamp recipients do. That`s a little
over $30 a week.

Joining me now is one of those lawmakers, Representative Marcia Fudge,
who will start the food stamp challenge next Monday.

Thanks for being on the show, Congresswoman.

REP. MARCIA FUDGE (D), OHIO: Thank you, Reverend Al. It`s a pleasure
to be here.

SHARPTON: First of all, tell me, what do you hope to achieve by the
campaign of going on a $30 a week food budget starting Monday?

FUDGE: Well, look, the main thing that I and my other colleagues want
to achieve is to just make people understand the increasing incidence of
poverty throughout this country.

I`m going to for just one week do what people do every day. Forty-
five million Americans are on food stamps every day. And when you take the
$31.50 a week per person that they receive, that`s $1.50 a meal.

Reverend, no one can live on that and not be healthy. I mean, we as a
nation are talking about we can`t afford food stamps when we are cutting
things that most people feel we can live without very easily. But we have
to feed the hungry people, especially the children.

More than half of the people on food stamps today are children,
Reverend Al. What did the children ever do to these people? I just don`t
understand.

SHARPTON: No, it`s amazing. And these are the people voting on "In
God We Trust" as we speak.

FUDGE: Right.

SHARPTON: Look at this graph here. This is what is so outrageous to
me.

When you look at the oil subsidies versus the food stamp cuts, oil
subsidies, $4 billion a year. Paul Ryan proposes to cut food stamps for
$12.7 billion a year.

I mean, it is amazing to me they want to subsidize oil billionaires
and give tax breaks, $4 billion, and then cut from poor children $12.7
billion.

FUDGE: That`s right. And they have already been doing it, Reverend
Al, quite frankly. They have already used food stamp dollars as offsets to
other things that they want to do.

So what we`re doing right now is trying to say to them, enough is
enough. We`re not going to allow the super committee to cut food stamps
any further, we`re not going to allow the farm bill to be reauthorized with
cuts to food stamps.

But they would rather take the food stamp money than pay for WIC, or
pay for black farmers, or pay for teachers or firefighters. They do not
understand the gravity of the situation in this country.

SHARPTON: And the gravity, let me point out, Congresswoman Fudge, one
in eight Americans --

FUDGE: That`s right.

SHARPTON: -- are getting food stamps. We just showed the graph. One
in eight Americans are getting food stamps.

And you`re talking about a lot of people. When you look at this
graph, one in four of those getting are children, like you say.

FUDGE: That`s right.

SHARPTON: Innocent children.

Then when you look at fact that in August, 45.8 million Americans
filed for food stamps -- 45.8 million Americans filed for food stamps --
we`re looking at American people and shutting down $1.50 a meal while we`re
saying don`t give tax cuts for the rich, don`t bring them back to the taxes
they used to pay, and give all kind of tax breaks to oil billionaires.

If that`s not immoral, I don`t know what is.

FUDGE: Well, it goes back to what you were saying, Reverend Al.
That`s the real class warfare here, to let the poor continue to be poor, or
to become poorer, and let the wealthy continue to increase their wealth.
That`s the real class warfare here.

It`s not us in government who are trying to take care of the people
who we believe are the most needy and the most vulnerable people in our
community. It is them trying to make sure that, at all costs, the
wealthiest people in this nation continue to be wealthy. That`s the real
class warfare.

SHARPTON: Now, while I have you here, Congresswoman Fudge, you have a
big vote going on in Ohio. Election Day is next Tuesday and there`s voting
on.

FUDGE: Yes.

SHARPTON: I joined you a few Saturdays ago. How is that looking?
And what can you tell the country? Because a lot of what happens in Ohio
is going to have a lot of national ramifications.

FUDGE: Thank you for asking, Reverend Al.

It is going extremely well. We are going to win. We are going to
defeat, absolutely defeat, issue two, and we`re going to set the bar for
the rest of the United States to say, look, if Ohio can do it, you can do
it, too.

We don`t have to take it. We are the people, and it is a government
for the people, by the people. And we are the people, and we`re going to
make sure that our governor and the people in the state of Ohio can no
longer dictate to us how we should live and how we should work.

SHARPTON: And for people that didn`t watch the show last night, issue
two is around collective bargaining and unions, and we`re dealing with that
in Ohio, and then also going to have to deal with voter I.D.

FUDGE: Right.

SHARPTON: Thank you, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge. And keep on
fighting. And thank you and your colleagues for dramatizing this
egregious, egregious proposal.

FUDGE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Thank you for being with us tonight.

FUDGE: My pleasure.

SHARPTON: Ahead, conservatives are rallying around Herman Cain and
playing ugly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANN COULTER, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: That`s why our blacks are so much
better than their blacks.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The latest on the right-wing effort to rescue Herman Cain.

Plus, Kim Kardashian and the Republican candidates. Yes, there`s a
connection. I`ll explain coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That was one of the many highlights from the New Hampshire
speech Rick Perry gave that everyone is still talking about. Clips of the
speech have gone viral, racking up more than 500,000 hits on YouTube.

We showed you some of it yesterday, but didn`t have time to fit in all
our favorite outtakes. So here`s more Rick Perry.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY: Way before this other project came along, we had agreed to
come up here, and I said, "You think there will be snow?"

I can`t stand here in front of this crowd and not just, you know, love
on you a little bit.

They declared that our rights were endowed by our creator, and among
those were life. I love it that they start with that one.

My plan is really pretty simple. It does deductions for the
mortgage, deduction for charitable, yes, you can keep that in there, and
you can wave good-bye to the capital gains tax. I always have fun with
your name.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, you would think Perry would want to run as far as he
could from that performance. Think again. Here`s what he said about it
today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY: I guess you can do anything you want with a video and make it
look any way you want, but I felt good, felt great. I think the message
got across very well, so it was a good speech.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY: Governor, you think the message got across well?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY: Or that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: OK, Governor. Maybe you`re on to something. Coming up,
Herman Cain`s damage control.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Ladies and gentlemen, there has been medical miracle made,
a medical miracle in the republican raise. Herman Cain has overcome his
amnesia. Yesterday, yesterday morning he was denying all reports he
sexually harassed two workers during his time as president of the National
Restaurant Association back in the `90s.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If the Restaurant
Association did a settlement, I am not -- I wasn`t even aware of it and I
hope it wasn`t for much because nothing happened, so if that was a
settlement it was handled by some of the other officers that worked for me
at the associations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He was singing the same song just two hours later at the
National Press Club luncheon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I am unaware of any sort of settlement. I hope it wasn`t
for much because I didn`t do anything, but the fact of the matter is I`m
not aware of a settlement that came out of that accusation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But miracle of miracles, somewhere between the National
Press Club and the FOX News studio in Washington, he got his memory back.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN: Yes, there was some sort of settlement for termination. We
ended up settling for what would have been a termination settlement quite
frankly.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Any idea about what she was
making a year?

CAIN: Four hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year maybe.

SUSTEREN: Did you ever see the settlement agreement with her?

CAIN: No.

SUSTEREN: You didn`t sign it?

CAIN: No. I don`t recall signing it. Now, the fact that I say I
don`t recall signing it doesn`t mean that I didn`t sign it, but I simply
don`t recall if I signed it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: OK. He didn`t totally recover his memory, but after a good
night`s sleep he remembered even more today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN: The word settlement was in the political article, I remember an
agreement and in many companies and organizations, sometimes you call
separation agreements. You don`t call them separation settlements so this
is why later the idea of the agreement did come back to memory. After 12
hours during the day, many events, many interviews, I was able to gradually
recall more and more details about what happened 12 years ago.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That explains it. He needed a few hours to jump start his
memory. Look, we don`t know exactly what happened. We do know Herman Cain
is failing in damage control, but conservatives are making this a different
issue.

Joining me now, MSNBC contributor Melissa Harris-Perry, a professor of
political science at Tulane and a columnist for "The Nation." And Jonathan
Capehart, editorial writer for "The Washington Post" and an MSNBC
contributor. Melissa, you saw the tape and let me say this, again, you and
I have agreed that we don`t know what happened. We`re not accusing him.

MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Right.

SHARPTON: But is this inconsistency of reaction, and let`s remember,
Melissa, they were given ten days to respond to Politico, not 12 hours, and
they never came up with a consistent response, so I think that is what`s
troubling is that with a ten-day notice and then after those ten days, you
still get different answers at different hours, it just doesn`t fit right.

PERRY: Well, there are a lot of troubling aspects of this, and you
know, as you and I were talking about on the radio earlier today, it`s
certainly true that we do not have enough facts of this case to adjudicate
whether or not an act of sexual harassment occurred. As we know, the women
have not yet been able to come forward apparently as a result of the way
that this settlement agreement was structured. So, we have not heard fully
their side of the story, but, you know, I was thinking back again to the
fact that this was 12 years ago, and we just celebrated or just marked the
20th anniversary of the Anita Hill testimony at the Clarence Thomas Senate
nomination, Senate confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court, which means
that this was less than a decade after that, and employers were very kind
of sensitized to the question of sexual harassment in the workplace. It
had become much more of an issue after those Hill/Thomas hearings, and so
the idea that someone could have faced an accusation, one that then led to
a financial settlement or a severance of employees and have no memory of
it, I`m realizing, you know, again just today as I`ve been thinking about
it over the past 12 hours, just how surprising that is for him to say that
he just doesn`t remember that.

SHARPTON: Well, Jonathan, your paper this afternoon, let me show you
a statement that Joel Bennett, attorney for a woman who accused Herman
Cain of sexual harassment, said to your paper, quote, "If we didn`t have a
written settlement agreement that says, confidential and no disparagement,
I think she`d be very comfortable coming forward." Well, do you think that
the political media is going to ask Mr. Cain to then waive that and let her
come forward and put this to bed?

(LAUGHTER)

JONATHAN CAPEHART, "THE WASHINGTON POST": You better believe it. I
think some have already called on him to do that, and in that same story
that`s on the Web right now, the lawyer says that there`s some question as
to whether because of the remarks made by Herman Cain on this issue,
particularly when, you know, he recovered that part of his memory, whether
he had already waived the confidentiality agreement by some of the comments
that he`s made, but that`s -- that`s a legal question that has to be
answered later on. You know, Rev, there`s something to keep in mind here.
It`s not that Politico asked Herman Cain and his campaign the question ten
days ago and left it at that.

They approached that campaign on October 20th, October 24th, October
26th and then Jonathan Martin, the person who wrote the story, went up to
Herman Cain on Sunday, October 30th, and asked him point blank after those
three other attempts got no answers whatsoever from -- from the media
organizations, so Herman Cain to say, oh, after 12 hours of being able to
sleep and recall, you know, recover my memory, that`s a load of bunk.

SHARPTON: Well, I mean, I think you -- you don`t understand,
Jonathan. Let me help you out.

CAPEHART: Oh, please.

SHARPTON: And Melissa, the problem is that, well, Ann Coulter cleared
it up. The problem is that he`s just a different grade of candidate. Look
at how Ann Coulter explained it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANN COULTER, POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Our blacks are so much better
than their blacks. We have very impressive blacks in our party. White
woman in Scarsdale who say, I didn`t like that you called me honey. This
isn`t dropping your pants and saying kiss it. This is an outrageous attack
on a black conservative who is doing extremely well and I think will be our
vice presidential candidate.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, I`m missing something here. But how did race come in
this, Melissa?

PERRY: Well, I just want to know whose black you are, Reverend Al.

(LAUGHTER)

SHARPTON: I`m not owned by either side. If she`s talking about who
owns a black, I`m not one of those, and it`s interesting to me is Mr. Cain
saying that he`s owned by Coulter and that crowd because she says our
against their -- I don`t fit in either category. I wonder if she had some
ownership papers on Mr. Cain. He said that the rest of us were
brainwashed. It`s very interesting.

PERRY: I don`t know. It really was distressing to hear this, just
the possessive, you know, pronounce, our blacks and their blacks. I mean,
that alone is indicative of sort of where at least this one republican
pundit is on the question of sort of, you know, the freedom of African-
Americans in this country, but listen, there`s no way that race isn`t going
to be part of this. So, I think it`s actually OK and we should take a deep
breath on this. I don`t think this is happening because Herman Cain is
African-American. This is happening because Herman Cain is an extremely
unlikely front-running candidate who part -- part of what`s so surprising
is it`s so unlikely that he`s a front-runner that he wasn`t quite prepared
to deal with this. So, any front-runner is going to have this.

CAPEHART: Right.

PERRY: But that said, it doesn`t mean that race won`t inflict this
conversation, that it won`t be some part of it. We`re not allowed to just
talk about race when it happens on one side. It clearly is going to be
some part of this conversation as well, but the notion that this is a high-
tech lynching is again, sort of an obscene idea.

SHARPTON: I`m glad you brought that up because no greater defender of
racial harmony that Rush Limbaugh also brought in race today, Jonathan.
Let me show you what he said.

CAPEHART: Oh, boy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: What`s next, folks? A cartoon
on MSNBC showing Herman Cain with huge lips eating a watermelon, what are
they going to do next? The racial stereotypes that these people are using
to go after Herman Cain, what is the one thing that it tells us? It tells
-- well, it tells us who the real racists are, yes. But it tells us that
Herman Cain is somebody, don`t you see? We cannot have a black republican
running for the office of president. We can`t have one elected. We can`t
have an Hispanic. The left owns those two groups.

SHARPTON: Now, aside from the fact that Mr. Limbaugh is the one that
has done things against President Obama with songs like "Proper Negro" and
all other kinds of things. And he has this imaginary MSNBC story when we
have real racial derogatory references that he`s made and of others on the
right about the president, I don`t think the left is the one that filed
these lawsuits that we are talking about the fact, that there were lawsuits
and settlements, we`re not talking about somebody made an accusation.

CAPEHART: Right.

SHARPTON: There were lawsuits and settlements here.

CAPEHART: Right. And Reverend Al, this is not a vast left wing
conspiracy to bring down Herman Cain. What this is a self-inflicted wound
by Herman Cain and his campaign to not answer questions put to them now 12,
13 days ago. You know, the thing that galls me about Rush Limbaugh and Ann
Coulter suddenly showing concern about all this is like, why is all of a
sudden this concern you all after years of stereotyping and derision and
putting down African-Americans and people of color? Why suddenly are you
rallying around the defense of this one man? You know, this guy is in
trouble because he got himself in trouble, whether he did what he did back
in the late `90s.

That`s, you know, we`ll find out what happened or hopefully we will as
more information comes out, but the trouble Herman Cain finds himself in
today has nothing to do with the left, has nothing to do with African-
Americans who don`t like -- like the fact that Herman Cain is a
conservative. It has everything to do with the fact that Herman Cain,
front-runner for the republican presidential nomination, didn`t expect to
be here and is not prepared for the media spotlight he`s under. We`ve seen
the changing of his answers from, you know, abortion, to the border fence,
to a whole lot of other things, and we`re seeing the same pattern now with
this.

SHARPTON: And I think that we`ve got to have one standard. I defend
Mr. Cain having the same standard I say of anybody else. He`s innocent
until proven guilty, but you don`t give inconsistent answers, and we don`t
call you on that, and I still say that and Professor Perry said that today.
We will defend that he be treated the same way.

CAPEHART: Sure.

SHARPTON: But don`t tell us to defend inconsistencies and don`t tell
people that you own them, Miss Coulter. You`re not helping them.

PERRY: And can I just say, Reverend Al, I just want to go on the
record right now as somebody who works at least part-time for MSNBC that I
enthusiastically like with us a certain kind of glee that goes from my
toes to my ears would love Herman Cain to be the republican nominee for the
U.S. presidency.

SHARPTON: Good. I want every republican out there to vote for Herman
Cain. I think there wouldn`t be a better match than Cain versus President
Obama. We don`t want to bring him down.

PERRY: I would love it.

CAPEHART: That would be fabulous.

SHARPTON: Jonathan Capehart, thanks for your time tonight.

Ahead, voter suppression is happening right now in America, but new
signs today show Democrats are fighting back, and it was fun while it
lasted. Kim Kardashian`s marriage over in 72 days. But what can
Republicans learn from it? Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The fight against republican efforts to suppress the vote
is on and gaining momentum. And we have been reporting on this. Fourteen
states now have photo I.D. laws on the books. Democratic law makers John
Conyers and Jerrold Nadler are calling for Congressional hearings to
investigate this wave of new laws. Democrats in Tennessee are pushing
back, too, announcing efforts to educate voters there. Next week,
Mississippi will vote on a ballot initiative that could make them the 15th
state to enact a voter I.D. law. Also on the front lines Wisconsin. The
league of women voters is suing to stop the voter I.D. law passed by
Governor Scott Walker and his Republicans. Filing a lawsuit to block the
law, hoping to overturn it before it goes into effect next year.

Joining me now is Andrea Kaminski, executive director of the League of
Women Voters of Wisconsin. Andrea, thanks for joining me today.

ANDREA KAMINSKI, LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS WISCONSIN: Happy to be here.

SHARPTON: Why did you think it was important to fight back against
this law, Andrea?

KAMINSKI: Well, the League of Women Voters for 91 years has believed
that voting is a fundamental citizen right that must be guaranteed. It`s a
core issue and this law violates that principle.

SHARPTON: Now, the League of Women Voters is non-partisan, but let me
just show the American public the partisan, or not partisan but the
political reality. If you look at this graph, President Obama in 2008 won
Wisconsin by 414,818 votes to be exact. With this voter I.D. law,
according to one study, this is the -- they would affect 475,000 people of
voting age who don`t have proper I.D., so you`re actually talking about a
margin of victory that could be impacted politically next year if these
voter I.D. laws go into effect. I know that`s not the league`s motive, but
I want people to understand this is no just casual matter. We`re talking
about what could really be a deciding factor in a presidential election in
the state.

KAMINSKI: That`s correct, and -- and every vote counts and we know
that -- that this law has a greater -- places a greater burden on some
groups of people than others. The league`s position on this goes back way
before the current political polarization, but we do see in Wisconsin that
every vote counts.

SHARPTON: Now, the thing that I think is most disturbing to me and
many of our colleagues in the voting rights and civil rights community is
when you look at the voter fraud in Wisconsin, according to the probe of
2004 fraud allegations. There were 26 confirmed cases out of nearly three
million votes cast, 26, three million people voting in 2004. Twenty six
cases are the only confirmed allegations. So, I mean, we`re not talking
about a problem here. We`re talking about, there`s something else here
going on because clearly you`re not talking about something that`s a
widespread problem and you`re going to affect hundreds of thousands of
people.

KAMINSKI: That`s correct.

SHARPTON: Thank you, Andrea. I`m going to have to go. Go ahead.
Finish your statement.

KAMINSKI: Well, those 26 cases were not cases where the voter I.D.
law would make any difference. They were cases of felons who were voting
who should not have been voting. They could have had I.D. I.D. wasn`t
required then. Voter I.D. only prevents actual voter impersonation. We
don`t have a single case of that.

SHARPTON: All right. Thank you so much. We`re out of time, but we
will have you back. Thank you. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We end the show tonight by talking about Kim Kardashian.
For the first and probably the last time. She married Kris Humphries back
in August, and they just announced their divorce. The marriage lasted only
72 days, and they got a rough reception on the morning shows.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The marriage lasted just 72 days, 13 less than
the engagement.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: She was reportedly sick of his partying and
mooching. He called her materialistic.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Raise your hand if you think this may, may have
been part of some kind of reality TV publicity stunt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But the Kardashian news got us thinking about some other
relationships that didn`t last very long. For example, Iowa`s love affair
with Michele Bachmann. She won the GOP straw poll in mid-August, but by
early October, she had fallen to fourth place in the state. That courtship
lasted just 59 days. Rick Perry was the next republican to walk up the
aisle. He surged to number one in the national polls by late August, but
he fell from grace in just over a month. The GOP`s love affair with Rick
Perry lasted just 35 days, and then there`s Herman Cain, the newest darling
of the GOP. Just 20 days ago he hit number one in a poll for the first
time, but now will republican voters leave him at the altar as well? My
advice to the next darling of the Republicans get a pre-nap. And don`t
dance too long at wedding.

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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