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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, November 9, 2011

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Guests: Sherrod Brown, Valerie Jarrett, Nia-Malika Henderson, Dana Milbank, Bob Shrum, E.J. Dionne

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: "POLITICSNATION" with Al Sharpton starts
right now.

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST, "POLITICSNATION": Hey, Republicans, you
ignored the people. You remember the people? Here comes the cavalry.
From Ohio to Mississippi the progressive pushback begins. No to stopping a
woman`s right to choose, no to immigration extremists, no to union busting.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They need to stop the talk of running over people
with the bus.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Tonight Senator Sherrod Brown on the big fight ahead. And
live reaction from White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HERMAN CAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: But I will vigorously defend
my reputation.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Failing Cain -- the candidate says he`s not going anywhere.
And his accusers say they`ll speak out together.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I gave him every opportunity to make this right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Plus GOP fight night in Romney`s home state. I wonder how
voters will react to this --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Let Detroit go bankrupt.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Welcome home, Willard. POLITICSNATION starts right now.

Welcome to POLITICSNATION. I`m Al Sharpton. Tonight`s lead --
America, this is what winning looks like.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Issue two failed, and not by a small margin.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Would you turn around and tell the people behind
you that news.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They just called it. Issue two is gone.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m jubilant. I want to jump up and down, at my
age.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are --

CROWD: Ohio!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The overwhelming majority of Ohioans said we trust
the firefighters. We want our firefighters to have a voice.

GOV. JOHN KASICH, (R) OHIO: The people have spoken clearly. You
don`t ignore the public.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s right, Governor Kasich, don`t ignore the public as
61 percent of voters rejected Kasich`s union-busting law. They saved
collective bargaining for public workers and showed the country how to
fight back. Voters across America from Maine to Mississippi to Arizona
sent a message to Republicans -- their radical agenda will not be
tolerated. Don`t ignore the public because eventually they`ll make
themselves heard, just like they did in Ohio where they collected more than
1 million signatures to put this on the ballot.

The AFL-CIO knocked on more than 1 million doors to get the message
out. And in the process they let the world know the middle class won`t
back down. So, yes, Governor Kasich, you were right when you want this
last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KASICH: The people have spoken clearly. You don`t ignore the public.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now is Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, who`s been a
leading voice in this fight. Senator, in your mind, what does this message
from last night of this victory, what does is it send to America?

SEN. SHERROD BROWN, (D) OHIO: Well, the middle class and those who
aspire to be in the middle class pushed back. It was as simple as that. A
year ago, soon after Governor Kasich was elected and took office, the
legislature and the governor went after collective bargaining rights, they
went after voting rights and went after women`s rights.

And we saw yesterday in Ohio in collective bargaining rights in Maine
on voters rights and Mississippi on women`s rights, the voters said we`re
not going to put up with that. That`s why it was such a huge victory. A
22-point victory with the machine sill of the Republican party and Karl
Rove`s money machine and all of that in the state, the middle class pushed
back and those who aspire to be in the middle call pushed back. And that`s
why it was such a big deal yesterday in Ohio.

SHARPTON: Now a year ago when I was in Ohio the Tea Party had the
momentum. They had taken the governor`s mansion, the state hour. Now we
see the exact reverse. A 21 percent win margin of victory. But what does
this mean going forward? Won last night, saved collective bargaining, but
now what?

BROWN: Well, I think it means that politicians that are part of this
elite that has some sense declared the elite in this country Wall Street,
the CEOs who outsourced jobs, the people like Governor Kasich have declared
war on the middle class. They have declared -- the class war has been from
the elite aimed at the middle class. And last night they pushed back.

And I think those on the politicians on the side of working-class
kids and poor families that want their kids - and the working class and
poor families that want their kids to have opportunity to get ahead, if
you`re on that side, whether it`s the China currency bill or collective
bargaining or whether it`s saving Medicare and Pell grants, if you`re on
that side you`ll win elections. But if you`re on the side of those who
have declared class warfare on the middle class, the voters will get -
you`re going to get political whiplash if you`re playing that game.

SHARPTON: Senator, what does this mean in terms of 2012? Will this
help President Obama carry Ohio?

BROWN: I think it will.

SHARPTON: Will it help with your reelection?

BROWN: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: What does this mean?

BROWN: I think there`s no question that voters are saying we don`t
want this radical agenda, this national radical agenda of turning Medicare
over to the insurance companies, turning Social Security over to Wall
Street, going after bargaining rights, going after voting rights. I think
refusing to increase taxes on millionaires, I think that people in the
country - in Ohio spoke loudly and clearly about that. That helps
President Obama next year as he builds this coalition across the board to
save the middle class in this country.

SHARPTON: When I look at Mississippi last night, the vote, when I
look at the vote in Maine, when I look at Russell pierce being recalled in
Arizona last night, are we beginning to see a real movement of progressives
and the middle class and labor and civil rights coming together again and
actually winning at the poll, beating people that are well-financed that
has had a lot of right-wing media fueling their base, but are losing now at
the polls?

BROWN: Yes, I think no question. You could see it encapsulated in
Ohio when instead of bringing people together -- we`ve had a lot of job
loss in my state for a decade from Bush economic policies. And instead of
coming together after the election last year what do we do together to
create jobs? The governor went after workers bargaining rights, went after
women`s rights when after voting right, and that really energized a whole
group a broad swath of people. And that`s how you get to 61 percent of the
vote.

That wasn`t an accident. I thought we were going to win. I didn`t
think we would win by that much, but that`s why we won by the margin we
did, because all the people that have seen the governor and the legislature
try to take away their rights on all levels I think fought back and said,
no, you`re not going to do that again. I think that carries over into
2012. I don`t know, perhaps these radicals in the legislature in Columbus
learned something. If they did, they`ll come and work with us on creating
jobs. And that`s where we need to go.

SHARPTON: I think you raise the point I raise. I was in Ohio, a
couple times, I was with you a couple weeks ago. No one thought by this
margin, but then when you see the margin in Mississippi, these are not just
victories. It`s almost a repudiation of the radical agenda on the right.
Do you think that maybe the right just over-jumped the runway? They might
have just gone so far that they`ve made people just say, wait a minute, we
had better go out and protect the America that we love?

BROWN: Yes, and you`re a man of the cloth. You know that pride goeth
before the fall. And there`s no question that the arrogance and the hubris
-- John Kasich got 49 percent of the vote. He won by two points against
Governor Strickland in 2010. Yet the way they acted is they had a mandate
with 49 percent of the vote and tried to impose this radical agenda.

People didn`t want radical change. They want jobs. They want to see
the 99 percent get a fair shake. They want to see a government and a
business establishment that is fighting for the 99 percent not just the one
percent. I think that was the strongest lesson that came out of Columbus,
Ohio, yesterday.

SHARPTON: Ohio bible-quoting Senator Sherrod Brown.

(LAUGHTER)

SHARPTON: Thank you for your time tonight. Good to talk with you.

BROWN: Thank you.

As the senator and I were discussing, there were big victories around
the country last night. In Mississippi voters rejected a personhood
initiative that would have declared that life begins at conception. In
Maine voters rejected a law ending same-day voter registration.

And in Arizona, voters threw Russell Pearce, the state Senate
president, out of office. He was the man behind the state`s radical
immigration law.

I am telling you that I`ve been involved in civil rights and in
movements since I was a teenager, even slightly before I was. Movements
are not like campaigns. They`re not neatly woven together. They`re not
figured out by strategists. They`re not budgeted out. They come together
when people stand up and come together because they`re passionate about
what they believe in.

And what we began seeing last night from the deep south in Mississippi
all the way to Maine, to Ohio, clearly states that are critical to where
the election will be next year but critical to how people will be treated
in this country is that people that don`t normally come together have come
together. Why? Because they feel they must protect their right to wages,
their right to a life where they can protect their pensions, their right to
choice in life.

If we hook up this train, this train of progress, we may be in
different cars, some labor, some civil rights, some middle class, but as
long as we`re hooked together that train will ride and bring us home to the
America we want.

The next stop on this train ride is Wisconsin. Next week they start
collecting signatures to recall Governor Walker. Watch out, Walker. That
noise you hear is the train of progress headed your way.

Inside the White House they watched the results very carefully. What
did they learn? We`ll talk live to White House senior adviser Valerie
Jarrett. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Republicans woke up to a very loud and very clear message
this morning -- the middle class will not be bullied. Moments ago the big
win in Ohio, President Obama praised workers for standing up and fighting
for their rights. Vice President Biden said, quote, "Fundamental fairness
has prevailed," and called it a gigantic victory for the middle class.

Now the administration is hoping to ride the wave through the 2012
election. Today the White House fired up the base, hosting an African-
American policy conference with political, business, and community leaders.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: As all of you know,
we have a fierce urgency right now, a fierce urgency of now when it comes
to putting people back to work. If we are persistent, if we are unified,
and we remain hopefully, then we`ll get through the tough times and better
days lie ahead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining us from the White House is Valerie Jarrett, White
House senior adviser and assistant to President Obama. Ms. Jarrett, thanks
for being here.

VALERIE JARRETT, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ADVISER: Good evening.

SHARPTON: In a moment I`d like to talk to you in a moment about the
outreach today at the White House, but let me start with the election.
What did the results tell you?

JARRETT: First of all, good evening, Reverend Sharpton. It`s
terrific to be on your show, as always. I think the results show just what
you said a minute ago, that the people of Ohio spoke out strongly. There
was a lot of organizing on the ground. In the end they said they wanted
fundamental fairness, and they stood up for the rights of workers, stood up
for collective bargaining, and it was a strong victory.

SHARPTON: Now, one of the things that is always surprising to me is
how people almost talk themselves into believing what they want to hear.
When you see the margins that we saw last night in Ohio and Mississippi,
nowhere even close. Then I want to show you these polling numbers. The
polls among Democrats about President Obama, 73 percent approval rating.
Approval rating among African-Americans, 91 percent would vote for
President Obama. This is a NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll.

So when we hear all of this weakness in the base and Democrats moving
away, and African-Americans moving away, I don`t know who they are talking
to other than maybe themselves, because as I travel around the country,
this poll and the vote yesterday reflects that the people are not where
they say they are.

JARRETT: Well, I think the people believe in fundamental fairness,
and I think our philosophy, Reverend Sharpton, is the president wakes up
every morning focusing on the American people, putting them first, pushing
forward his agenda to create jobs right now for Americans. And he`s going
to make his case to the American people and he has confidence they`re going
to support his vision for America, which is one of inclusion, as he said
today, one of hopefulness, one of the growth of opportunity, one of
creating the American dream for our children. And that`s the vision he`s
going to work on each and every day.

SHARPTON: Now, a couple weeks ago, the president had many progressive
leaders, and I was among them. Today he had African-American leaders, and
Latino leaders, different constituencies, where he himself begins to
address them. And I was impressed a couple weeks ago, he answered
questions from all over the room. Tell us what is this effort about where
he is talking directly to constituency leaders and answering to them what
his big tent vision means to them and their particular constituency.

JARRETT: Well, as you know, the president has on which said in the
first couple years he was not able to get outside Washington enough. He
loves nothing better than talking directly to the American people. He`s
been on the road a great talking about the American jobs act.

And you`re right, we had a few opportunities to bring in a broad cross
section of people. Today we had people from all over the country, many of
whom have been working with us since day one. You know you often mention,
Reverend Sharpton, how the economy has hit the African-American community
particularly hard, many of who were suffering long before the economic
crisis in 2008. And so it was an opportunity to highlight all of the
progress we`ve had made so far working together in partnership, but also to
brainstorm about what more we can do, because we still have a long way to
go.

SHARPTON: Now one of the things that has impressed me is people who
have been with you a long time and that have been out a long time have been
there, but a lot of young people, a lot of new people that have been not
part of the discussion because some people just don`t want to make room for
new ideas. And the president and this White House has reached out to have
a broader discussion with people that are in the trenches. And I see this
across the board with each constituency group, which may be why we`re
seeing the reactions the way we are because the normal suspects are no
longer calling all of the shots on the ground.

SHARPTON: Well, we are a very inclusive administration. We reach out
broadly. We want to make sure we provide people an opportunity. Who can`t
come to Washington to participate. That`s why we streamed our sessions
today. We want everyone who was there with us today to go back to their
communities and talk about that they learn and to seek new ideas from the
communities that they represent so that this can be an inclusive
administration.

We talked a lot about private-public partnerships, about government
working with state and local government. I think the theme is one
inclusion. It`s a holistic approach to tackle the challenges that we face
together. And it was also a very hopeful session.

And I think that there is a spirit on the ground outside of Washington
that wants to roll up our sleeves, support innovation, focus on education,
ways of improving opportunities for small businesses. When the president
dropped by the session, it was terrific. The room went crazy when he
walked in the room.

But he talked about how a simple thing such as we`re now paying our
small businesses who do business with the federal government in 15 days
rather than 30 days. It seems like a small thing, but for a small business
that`s on a shoestring budget, it can make the difference in the world.
Today was rich with those ideas.

SHARPTON: White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, thank you, as
always, for your time.

JARRETT: My pleasure, Reverend Sharpton. Have a great evening.

SHARPTON: You too.

Ahead, Republican Congressman Joe Walsh`s meltdown is caught on tape.
He lost his control at his own event.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOE WALSH, (R) ILLINOIS: Quiet for a minute. Quiet for a
minute. Quiet for a minute!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And Herman Cain denies everything, but today even more
details from one accuser. What will he say about it tonight? Stay with
us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: I`ve had some verbal battle with Illinois Congressman Joe
Walsh on this show. He`s known to say some outrageous and controversial
things. But acting like that with his own constituents? Here he is at his
own event called "Cup of Joe with Joe."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALSH: I agree with you about that. That`s not the problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Then came this about the economic mess we`re in.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALSH: The government sets the rules. Don`t blame banks and don`t
blame the marketplace for the mess we`re in right now. I am tired of
hearing that crap. I`m tired of hearing that crap.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So the situation, taking and throwing money at
people who know they can`t afford it?

WALSH: There are already mechanisms in place. This just pisses me
off. Too many people don`t listen. There are already mechanisms in place
to do that. You want to bombard them with more regulations, more
government?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: First, let me disagree with the content of what Walsh said.
Big banks engaged in high-risk lending that misled investors and secretly
bet against them. They certainly contributed to the financial crisis. But
what I really can`t believe is Walsh`s attitude toward his own
constituents. This woman has a serious question, but she`s staying
respectful, she`s even smiling. And he`s getting in her face, and pointing
a finger at her.

This video`s gotten a lot of attention and Congressman Walsh has a
response. He told the website capitolfacts.com, quote, "I was working on
an empty stomach and had a quicker fuse than normal." So Walsh flipped out
because he was hungry? That`s funny, because, as you can see, he was in a
restaurant. But maybe the breakdown wasn`t all bad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WALSH: Quiet for a minute. Quiet for a minute, or I`m going to ask
you to leave. You need to listen, or I`m going to ask you to leave.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: If Walsh keeps talking like that, it would remind his
constituents, they can ask him to leave. Election Day is less than a year
away.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Welcome back to "Politics Nation." Folks, it looks like
Herman Cain`s headache is only going to get worse. This morning the
attorney for Karen Kraushaar, one of the women who accused Cain of sexual
harassment, said she`ll give a joint press conference with other Cain
accusers to release new details of their stories.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOEL BENNETT, ATTORNEY FOR CAIN ACCUSER: My client and I believe that
it would be helpful to the public in judging this matter to see as many of
the women as possible together, and hear the specifics. They were
incidents of sexual harassment, which we will detail when we get to the
joint press conference.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And today, another accuser, Sharon Bialek said that she
would share and did share in fact this morning the last time she saw Cain
at a Tea Party conference just a month ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SHARON BIALEK, CAIN ACCUSER: He clearly, clearly remembered me,
clearly -- in fact, as I walked away from him, he turned around and gave me
a glance, a furtive glance, and it was an uncomfortable one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Herman Cain is in for damage control mode, but his campaign
manager Mark Block is only
making it worse, with statements that turn out to be totally false.

(BEGIN VDIEO CLIP)

MARK BLOCK, CAIN`S CHIEF OF STAFF: Karen Kraushaar had come out as
one of the woman, so we`ve come to find out that her son works at Politico.
The organization originally put the story out.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST, "HANNITY": Have you confirmed that? I`ve been
hearing that all day. Rumors about that. You`ve confirmed that now,
right?

BLOCK: We confirmed it that he does indeed work at Politico and
that`s his mother, yes.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: No, the reporter that Block was talking about works for a
totally different publication, and he`s not even related to Kraushaar. So
Herman Cain has now blamed Politico, Rick Perry, the media, liberal
racists, the so-called democrat machine, and the women themselves for this
controversy. The only person Cain isn`t blaming is himself.

Joining me now is Nia-Malika Henderson, a "Washington Post" national
reporter who also writes for their election 2012 blog, and Dana Milbank,
national political reporter for "The Washington Post." Thanks to both of
you for joining me.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Thank you, Reverend.

DANA MILBANK, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Nia, do you expect more people to be added to Cain blame
list?

HENDERSON: Well, at this point it`s hard to keep track of who is on
there and who is being blamed. Of course, you mentioned the latest episode
of Mark Block pointing to Josh Kraushaar who I used to work with Politico
hasn`t worked there since 2010. Something that a simple Google search
would have revealed. They have since backed off and said they had
misinformation, bad information. Really they didn`t have any information
at all. When this seems to be something that they just made up out of thin
air, but they`re backing away from that now. I think tonight it`s going to
be a big night for Herman Cain on stage with his rivals at the CNBC debate.
It will be interesting to see how his rivals engage with this issue. Do
the moderators bring it up? Do the candidates themselves bring it up? Do
they try to land, you know, kind of a blow against Herman Cain with this
issue that has really consumed his campaign over the last couple of days?

Now, Dana, Reuters poll says after the allegation came out with the
young lady that came forward, that 40 percent of GOP voters see Cain less
favorably. And this is even before his press conference yesterday. Before
the attorney for accuser A said they would do a collective press
conference, which he said on this show last night, even before that, he had
gone down 40 percent, which means that Nia`s point about his opponents
maybe taking a shot at him is possible, but they may want to be cautious
because of the diehards that are going to stay with Cain no matter what,
because he represents some far-right views. What do you think happens
tonight, and do you think that someone takes the risk of going after him?
Do you think they all leave him alone? And the fact that it`s a right-wing
audience means that everyone is going to give him a good applause? What
happens, Dana?

MILBANK: I think the right strategy for them tonight is to let Herman
Cain stew in his own juice. You know, he`s in a lot of trouble now, he`s
doing a great deal of damage to himself and continues to do it. So, why
give him the benefit of actually going on the attack against him and make
him felt prosecuted. You know, he said very clearly in his press
conference yesterday that he doesn`t care about the court of a public
opinion, he only cares about those people who are supporting him. And you
know, maybe that`s 20, 25 percent of the electorate. A lot of those people
are going to buy into the line that he`s being prosecuted by the Democrats,
that he`s being prosecuted by the media, that he`s being prosecuted by
Washington and he`s being prosecuted Al Sharpton. Whatever Al it is,
they`ll going to buy into that and they`ll fed on that. So, I think the
other candidates don`t want to -- they just want to let him perish on his
own without giving him any help.

SHARPTON: Now, when you look at the response of these opponents,
let`s look at how they all kind of like played this kind of like they`re
not going to try to make a big issue tonight, Nia. Look at these.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`ve been focused on
my business and haven`t paid a lot of attention.

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I hope that Herman Cain
can explain it.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don`t have
any information on these allegations whatsoever. I have absolutely nothing
to contribute.

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: They`re allegations.
Herman has his opportunity to tell his side of the story, and the American
public can make a decision.

JON HUNTSMAN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It`s a distraction, and
Herman Cain can deal with it however Herman Cain chooses to deal with it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So, they seemed to all kind of take a safe point at this
point, but Nia, doesn`t this in the words of Dana, doesn`t this leave him
to stew in his own juice? And if we do see the drama of two to four women
standing together, I mean, the drama of that, we`ve seen a lot of different
scandals, and a lot of situations in politics. I don`t know we`ve ever
seen anything like that.

HENDERSON: Yes. I mean, this would be a made for TV moment that`s
going to happen. Apparently, over the next couple of days, the attorney
and these women have been there talking about this, so it`s something that
we`ll certainly see, and it would be a pivot point and possibly a tipping
point in Herman Cain`s campaign. I think the clips you just showed
definitely show that his rivals are wary of attacking him. But I do think
the one to watch tonight is Mitt Romney who has taken sort of the adult
$30,000 foot view on this, and called these allegations disturbing, he`s
called them serious.

So, he would be one to watch. I do think also the republican
strategists I have talked to over the last couple of days, have said that
there is a sense among Republicans, among republican strategists that there
is a sense of Herman Cain fatigue setting in, and that is the sense that
this has dragged on too long, that he hasn`t handled it very well, and that
at some point, he becomes a drag on the party. There isn`t a sense at this
point that he`ll drop out of this race, but there is a sense that really he
needs to stop talking about this, at least. Or at least, talking about it
in a way that thumbs down on more questions being raised.

SHARPTON: Dana, Nia raises a point there`s no case indication that he
would drop out of the race. What do you think would have to happen to make
him consider dropping out, or that would make others tell him it`s time to
go?

MILBANK: I don`t think he would care if others told him. I mean, in
that press conference yesterday, he said he`s never done anything
inappropriate in his life with anybody. I mean, it doesn`t get more
blanket than that. So, he believes that he is perfect. So, why would he
drop out? I mean, I think we`re in a case -- it`s sort of like one of
those zombie movies where, you know, we all know that Herman Cain is dead,
but he doesn`t know it yet. One way or the other, Herman Cain is going
down. Now, it`s not going to happen shortly before the Iowa caucuses? Is
it after the Iowa caucuses, it`s impossible to recover from where he is
right now. It`s just hard to see exactly where that inflection point is
where he decides he`s had enough.

SHARPTON: Nia, do you believe that in the long run, as we head into
the Iowa caucus and beyond that it will be hard for Mr. Cain to move on
back to 9-9-9 or whatever policy things he suggests, particularly if we`re
looking a potential press conferences and other fallout from this scandal?

HENDERSON: Yes, I think it is going to be hard for him to move on
because he has moved from this period where everyone associated with him
with 9-9-9. And now everybody associates him with these allegations. Of
course, some people don`t believe him, some people think that this is a
witch-hunt, and some people are doubling down on their support of him, but
still this is something every Herman Cain`s story that`s written every time
Herman Cain is on TV. This is something that`s going to be raised even if
he`s able to fix it. But I do think that Dana raises a good point. And
that is, there was never a sense that Herman Cain was a viable presidential
candidate to begin with even before they started. And if you look at what
George Will said, he`s a conservative columnist, he said, even if Herman
Cain does fix this, he`s still not a viable presidential candidate. So, I
think in some ways, there is this Herman Cain fatigue setting in, but there
is also this understanding, this analysis that says essentially says, his
candidacy is dead on arrival anyway.

SHARPTON: Well, Nia-Malika Henderson and Dana Milbank, thank you both
for joining me tonight. And Dana, I did by the way notice you added me to
the blame list.

MILBANK: It`s all your fault, Reverend.

SHARPTON: No. Don`t add me to the list. Bill O`Reilly said that I
hadn`t spoken up, and you know how I hate to disappointed Bill O`Reilly.

MILBANK: What a shame.

SHARPTON: Ahead, just weeks ago, Willard took a stand on Ohio.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I fully support Governor
Kasich`s -- I think it`s called question two in Ohio. Fully support that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Uh-oh, how is he going to get out of that one? We`ll get a
chance to see at tonight`s GOP debate. A preview is coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: For the first time in years, things in Detroit are
beginning to look up a little. The lions are having a great season, the
tigers almost made it to the World Series, and the automakers are making
money, hiring workers and reinvesting in America. Thanks to President
Obama and the auto bailout. It was a hand up, not a handout. It saved an
industry, it saved jobs, but every single republican who will be on stage
at tonight`s debate in Michigan said it shouldn`t happen. Three years ago,
Mitt Romney said, we should, quote, "Let Detroit go bankrupt." A view he`s
repeated over and over again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Billions and billions of dollars was written to bail out the
industry, and then they realized that that was not the answer. Were there
some institutions that should not have been bailed out? Absolutely.
Should they have used the funds to bail out General Motors and Chrysler?
No.

The headline you read which have said, "Let Detroit go bankrupt," it
points out that those companies needed to go through bankruptcy to shed
those costs.

There`s no question but if you just write a check that you`re going to
see these companies go out of business ultimately.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: You said, quote, "If General Motors, Ford and
Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday,"
you can kiss the American automotive industry good-bye.

ROMNEY: That`s right exactly right. If you write a check, they`re
going to go out of business.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The American people did write a check, Willard. It saved
1.4 million jobs and it prevented nearly 100 billion in personal income
losses. That`s pretty good thing President Obama and the American people
ignored your advice.

Joining me now, Bob Shrum, former senior adviser to the Kerry and Gore
campaigns, no professor at NYU, and E.J. Dionne, MSNBC contributor and
columnist for "The Washington Post." Today, E.J. wrote about the right-
wing`s shellacking in Tuesday`s election. Thanks both of you for being
here. Bob, can Mitt Romney win Michigan in a general election after
calling for the auto industry to go bankrupt?

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I don`t think he can. I think
he`ll be held accountable for this. The truth is that Michigan would be
flat on his back. And by the way, that bailout in the end, the federal
government is going to do very well on, most of that money is going to come
back. There was a telltale sign not just in the voting in Ohio, but in a
new poll that came out in Ohio today. The states are very similar
economically.

SHARPTON: Right.

SHRUM: The president has a nine-point lead over Romney who has a 28-
48 favorable-unfavorable. That`s not a recipe for caring that state in
election. I think what`s happening is.

SHARPTON: And Romney, for viewers, Romney was born in Michigan, and
his father had been governor of Michigan.

SHRUM: Right.

SHARPTON: And for him to have this kind of attitude and to be looking
this week is very interesting.

SHRUM: Yes. I think what`s coming through in these republican
debates are kind of a right wing echo chamber, they`re pushing people into
positions like this. Romney is trying to explain this position away like
he tries to explain every other position away, but I think what you`re
seeing is a real disconnect between people just concerns about the economy,
and they`re very real, and their willingness to accept any of these
Republicans as a plausible alternative.

SHARPTON: Now, E.J., you wrote a column today, you wrote an article
today that caught the attention of the chatter crowd as well as Bob and I
who are matter crowd. There are those that chatter and there are those
that matter. You got both today.

E.J. DIONNE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: That`s good.

SHARPTON: You talk about the shellacking the right wing took
yesterday. Explain.

DIONNE: Well, I think that in race after race after race, yesterday`s
e election was brought to you by the word "overreach." And in Ohio
obviously which you`ve already talk about. This anti-labor move against
public employees proved to be very unpopular well beyond public workers.
In Maine, trying to restrict access to the ballot box which you been
talking about a lot. That was turned back by voters. In Arizona, you had
a guy who`s really put up vicious kind of anti-immigration legislation, he
lost a recall in a very conservative district, two and other conservative
but the conservative said, we have to be more civil here.

In Iowa, the Democrats held onto the state Senate in a race, kind of a
range by the governor where one seat would have -- didn`t go on and on. In
all these cases, it`s the Republican Party that took an election victory,
that was really about the economy. They had an opportunity here to start
building a new majority. Instead, they moved way over to the right and
scared a lot of middle-class, middle of the road voters who had helped put
them in office. And if they go on like this, they`ll going to have a whole
lot of trouble next year.

SHARPTON: Now, Bob, you`re a celebrated strategist. The right-wing
Tea Party types, Grover Norquist, kind of really made all of the GOP
primary candidates go far right. They had to go way over to the right to
satisfy them. But now you see the election yesterday that E.J. just
described, so you have Romney, who came out against what happened
overwhelmingly was voted against yesterday in terms of the initiative, how
do these guys get back to the Senate when they have gone so far right? How
does whoever becomes a nominee get back to the center after taking these
far right positions in Ohio, in Michigan, in states they`re going to need
to win if they have any chance in the electoral college.

SHRUM: Yes. Listen, I think Romney is the only plausible nominee in
this crew. I think he`s probably going to be the nominee, although
Republicans resist him and they resist him rightly. They`re suspicious
that he actually believes in anything other than himself. I think he`ll
have a very hard time coming back and trying to be centrist. What`s he
going to do? Flip-flop-flip?

SHARPTON: Right.

SHRUM: I don`t see that happening. And I think he`s already eroded
this process, has eroded his standing with voters, has eroded his sense of
character. That`s what those numbers are out of Ohio were about. That`s
why in the NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll, at a time of great economic
dissatisfaction, the President is beating him. So, no, I don`t see the
moving, I don`t see them getting back. By the way, they have an
inconvenient rule in politics. You can`t get into the general election
unless you get nominated. And this year, you got to run the right wing
hurdles to get the republican nomination.

SHARPTON: But the right-wing hurdles, E.J., and if I`m reading your
column correctly, has forced them so far right, it`s almost like you got so
far out into the water, you can`t get back in time to the show.

DIONNE: I think there`s a lot to that. I like that metaphor. You
know, I think that they do have a long time to go, and let`s face it,
politicians sometimes are fairly artful as they shift over and over. But
you know, I was struck when I saw that headline in "New York Times" on Mitt
Romney`s piece, let Detroit go bankrupt. What it reminded me of was a
headline in "The New York Daily News" all the way back in 1976, when
President Ford, a good president by the way wouldn`t help out New York City
when it was going broke, and the headline, "The Daily News" Ford to city
drop dead, was used over and over and over again in New York by the Carter
campaign. I think we`ll going to see that headline used a lot in Michigan
in 2012 if Romney wins the nomination.

SHARPTON: And just for the record, Bob. What happened in that
election with Ford?

SHRUM: Oh, well, Carter won. Ford almost came back, but let me tell
you, Ford hadn`t done that and hadn`t also stumbled on a question about
whether Poland was actually part of the soviet empire, he might have won
but Ford was the last to the moderate Republicans. He was a pro-choice
republican.

SHARPTON: Well, Ford maybe should have said he doesn`t know the name
of the president of Poland. Bob Shrum and E.J. Dionne, thanks.

DIONNE: Good to be with you.

SHRUM: Thank you.

SHARPTON: And thank you both for joining me this evening. Ahead, not
so long ago, Herman Cain was the pizza guy no one knew. What a difference
a presidential race makes. Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Now that the GOP race is heating up, we`re really getting
to know these candidates. And it`s not pretty. Herman Cain is in the
spotlight as more sexual harassment charges come to light. We`ve also
learned his 9-9-9 plan is a massive giveaway to the rich, but the discovery
that might be the person he most valued.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: A businessman by the name of
Herman Cain.

Herman Cain.

Why is Herman Cain doing so well in the polls?

Herman Cain.

Herman Cain doesn`t have a chance.

Herman Cain. That`s the person Herman Cain is.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Then there`s Rick Perry. He`s under fire from his debate
flip-flops and he`s paid a play star politics. We also learned that when
the pressure is on, he starts to crack.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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. If
they pretty any more money there in Washington, the gold is going to be
good.

Today has been awesome, girl!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Then we have Mitt Romney. He`ll let your home go into
foreclosure while claiming he`s a man of the people, but when a Florida
doctor was sitting next to him on a plane tried to talk about health care,
Willard wasn`t of the people then.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: He just looked at me blankly and he said, I
understand, and he put his ear buds back in, and went back to his iPad.
He`s riding around in coach trying to make himself look like one of us, and
I was, you know, four minutes out of two hours, I don`t think I was being
out of line just to want to speak a minute.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Well, I`m not one to pick on candidates. I ran for
president. We all have flaws, we all make mistakes. God knows I`ve made
mine, but I`ll give you little advice, fellas. People expect you to be
what you say you are. And if you`re not that, don`t say yes, they can
accept you not being perfect, but don`t act like they`re stupid. There`s a
difference between people being unemployed or being concerned about their
future and the health care and being stupid. They can see phonies, and
they can see people that are not authentic. Americans are not stupid.

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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