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PoliticsNation, Friday, November 11, 2011

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Guests: John Martin, Bill Fallon, Nia-Malika Henderson, Victoria
DeFrancesco-Soto, Joan Walsh, Bob Shrum

REV. AL SHARPTON, HOST: Welcome to POLITICS NATION. I`m Al Sharpton.
We have a lot of political news tonight.

Newt Gingrich is surging in the presidential race and we are seeing
more shocking Republican attacks on the women accusing Herman Cain of
sexual harassment. But we lead tonight with breaking news in the horrific
child sex abuse scandal at Penn State.

Late this afternoon, news about the assistant coach, who told the
grand jury he witnessed a boy being raped in the shower at Penn State
football locker roan, but failed to stop it, his name is Mike McQueary, who
has allowed to continue as a coach, until now.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROONEY ERICKSON, PENN STATE PRESIDENT: He will not be coaching nor
attending tomorrow`s game. With respect to paid or unpaid, at this point
the leave is paid. That`s subject to further determination.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Meantime, authorities in Texas are looking into whether
former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulted a boy on a team
trip back there in 1999. Sandusky is already facing 40 charges, including
the sexual abuse of eight young boys over a period of 15 years. Also today
-- listen to this -- reports that authorities in Pennsylvania have
interviewed at least two new alleged victims since last week. In an
extraordinary interview that aired this morning, the mother of the boy
known as victim one, talked about the trauma her son suffered.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE, MOTHER OF SEXUALLY ABUSED VICTIM: I had said,
you know, if, you know, maybe we should have, you know, come to this
conclusion earlier, you should have told me, and he was like, well, I --
you know, he said I didn`t know what to do. I just didn`t know what to do,
and you just can`t tell Jerry no.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The school says it`s forming a special committee to
investigate the handling of the abuse allegation, and we`ve learned that
former coach Joe Paterno has hired a top criminal defense lawyer.

Joining me now from Penn State is Michael Isikoff, NBC news national
investigative correspondent. Bill Fallon, a former prosecutor who oversaw
the sexual assault and child abuse units. He`s dealt with many sex abuse
cases involving the Catholic Church and John Martin, staff writer for "the
Philadelphia Inquirer."

Michael, tell me about Paterno`s hiring of this lawyer and what is it
an indication of?

MICHAEL ISIKOFF, NBC NATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Well, it`s
an indication of just how serious the legal issues are for Coach Paterno.
He`s been described as a cooperating witness in the case, not a target or
subject of the investigation, but as you pointed out, this is an ongoing
investigation. There are new witnesses coming framed, and there are
certainly going to be trials of the principles in which Coach Paterno is
going to be a key witness.

So, anybody in that situation needs a top-flight lawyer. In addition,
there is the very real prospect of multiple civil lawsuits here. I can
tell you that the Paterno family and advisers are very concerned about
that. They know its coming. We`ve seen that in the issues in sex abuse
cases involving the Catholic Church and boy scouts, where there have been
massive judgments.

And inevitably, you know, the threshold in civil lawsuits like that
are much lower than in criminal prosecutions, and the very real likelihood
that Coach Paterno could find himself a defendant in those lawsuits. When
you put all that together, he needs a top-flight lawyer.

SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you Bill Fallon, you have prosecuted these
cases, some of the Catholic Church cases as a prosecutor in Boston.

BILL FALLON, FORMER ESSEX COUNTY PROSECUTOR: Yes.

SHARPTON: If Coach Paterno was told and had more knowledge that we
know now, but was told details of a crime and did nothing, could he be
criminally prosecuted? Could he face jail himself?

FALLON: Well, he could face jail himself if in fact the Pennsylvania
statutes say you must be the reporter. The oddity we have here, you know,
Massachusetts has upped its laws, if you will. You can say to somebody, I
know this, then you tell the person in an organization what you know, and
then they have the authority or the burden to report this.

Now, as you just point out, if he then went to his uppers, not that
there was anyone with more authority than Paterno, let`s be honest, but
let`s say he went up the chain of command and left out of the gory, juicy,
horrific victimization details, then someone could say he didn`t in fact do
what he should have, and therefore the people above him wouldn`t have known
what to report and therefore he could be held criminally liable for not
following through with his duty to at least report.

Right now we`re not there yet, and there is the question of legal
obligation versus moral obligations versus what would happen as was just
pointed out in a civil where there they negligence so of the people who are
abused.

SHARPTON: Now, John Martin, you have been writing about this story in
"the Philadelphian inquirer." What do we know?

We know that we were told that, according to the grand jury report,
that McQueary, the assistant coach who has now been put on the sidelines, I
might add with pay, and I don`t why that is, but we`ll get to that in a
minute, but he`s on the sidelines, walked in, saw we are told, a 10-year-
old boy with his hands up being raped by this assistant coach. And that he
went home, did nothing at the scene, we aren`t home, called his father, who
told him to tell Coach Paterno. He told Coach Paterno the next day.

Now, the conflict is what he told Paterno and what Paterno told the
authorities. There is no conflict according to the grand jury, though,
that he actually saw a 10-year-old physically being raped and went home and
called his dad, am I right?

JOHN MARTIN, THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER: Well, I don`t know that --
first of all, he didn`t know how would, the boy was. He said he appeared
at least according to the grand jury presentment that the boy appeared to
be 10 years old, but yes, what he`s testified to is he saw what appeared to
be a sexual assault going on in there.

Now, what Coach Paterno has said in his statements is that he wasn`t
given that details of information, that level of details and the
information, and there we get into the question of actually what he knew or
what he believed he was being told. And I don`t think we have those
answers yet.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you this, John. He said he saw it in the grand
jury. And the grand jury put on the case as what he said. Paterno said he
wasn`t told that detail. Let me go back to you, Mister Fallon. Why would
somebody go home tell their daddy, and they should not tell the horrific
thing he saw when they went to Paterno the next day? I mean that doesn`t
pass the smell test to me.

FALLON: Yes. It`s pretty smelly here, too. And I tell you I can see
why someone would go home -- I can, as a person imagine that, but I
certainly know from the priest abuse scandals, people saw things they
couldn`t believe, but it`s seems strange credibility to say he went home,
spoke to his father, his father said tell the coach and he`s going to tell
the coach, guess what, I saw him fooling around in the shower.

You would be saying what you told your father. You would be telling
him just how horrific it was. And what they are going to try to do is
water it down all the way. McQueary is going to be in trouble if in fact -
but he`s already testified, so I don`t think that anybody is out of the
woods yet.

McQueary, you know, we all say why didn`t he go to the police?
Because you don`t know me or you don`t know me? But I think that there
should be an obligation to tell the police. The laws are not written like
that, I think it`s absurd there`s no way to help children. But I`d say if
McQueary gets up and says I told Joe Paterno this, that is going to put
Paterno in trouble, because everybody up the line, who some of whom are
indicted already, saying I didn`t know those facts.

SHARPTON: Yes. But why is this call -- first of all I think that
Bill Fallon have a lot more feel from that -- I don`t know why you would
leave the scene watching who you think of a 10-year-old being rape? I
mean, I don`t know that I would do that.

FALLON: I wouldn`t --

SHARPTON: And I don`t know if I can stand too blind to stand there.

But let me ask you something. Why would -- let`s say we get past he
went home, he told the father, Isikoff, and the father says, we go to Chief
Paterno in the morning -- Coach Paterno in the morning.

If he, for whatever reason didn`t tell Paterno what he saw, his
father`s there, who he told his father. I mean so we`re to believe that
not only he didn`t tell Paterno, his father who was with him didn`t tell
Paterno?

ISIKOFF: Well, look, if -- there are certainly a lot of
contradictions in that grand jury report in the testimony, and when these
cases go to trial, and they inevitably will, the lawyers on all sides are
going to be exploiting these contradictions, you know.

But I think you put the finger on the eyewitness here is McQueary. He
is the one who witnessed what he says was a pretty grotesque scene in the
shower of coach Sandusky naked with a naked 10-year-old boy. Regardless of
whether he passed along the precise details of what he says coach Sandusky
was doing, you have the basics there of something that seems seriously
wrong, an adult male with a young child naked in the shower. When you look
--

FALLON: Not for the first time.

SHARPTON: Yes, go to that, Fallon. This wasn`t the first time.
There was a case in `98. Tell us about Mister Fallon.

FALLON: This is what is absolutely outrageous about this whole thing,
which is why I think the college has got to give up and butte out
everybody. Because if in fact yet someone in the shower with the kid and
whether or not they could prove they were molesting the child, and
supposedly the assistant coach saying, alright we`re just naked with them
but then he somewhat apologizes or whatever, he`s out in six months.

The university is on notice, Paterno is on notice, everybody is on
notice who at least has something to do with them. If the police
investigated this case and the D.A.`s office investigated this case, even
if they came with no prosecution. Sometimes victims can`t come forward,
don`t want to come forward or there`s a just jump ball on what exactly
happens and what someone saw.

But I`m telling you, this organization is on notice, which is why they
booted out the president, I`m sure, without knowing, I`m sure. But I`m
sure because they know there was a cover-up at the capital scene, and
that`s where Paterno really does fail on this smell test.

SHARPTON: Because they had a case, `98, investigated it, there was
even some recording where they`ve got the assistant coach saying something
that clearly implicates something happened and they decide not to
prosecute. Am I right, Mister Martin?

MARTIN: Yes, you`re right.

SHARPTON: And therefore when this comes up again, this is a pattern
now. Did they have seen this before? And all you do is take the guy`s
keys?

MARTIN: Well, yes. And nobody tried to find the victim. Nobody,
nobody tried to find who the 10 years old bow was in the locker room. No
one tried to ask him anything, apparently. There`s no indication that
where whirl of any way, that anyone went to coach Sandusky and said who
were you with last night? Who was that boy? We would like to talk to him.
I think that what the real question.

FALLON: They didn`t just take his keys. They gave him access with
his new group of kids, boys that he`s helping, quote. They gave him access
to the showers and the buildings for the next decade. That is the ultimate
outrage. Let`s give him a place to molest more, because he`s done it
before.

SHARPTON: Now, also, Mister Isikoff, there was some strange
disappearance of the D.A. from the `98 case?

ISIKOFF: Right. And that has been under investigation for years. I
should point out that I talked to investigators just this week who assured
me this is still an active and open investigation. I think that it`s
pretty clear, they`re certainly getting tips and allegations that might -
he somewhat suggest that it might be in some way related to this, but in
fact there is no evidence at this point that we have --

SHARPTON: We do know there`s a direct connection.

ISIKOFF: -- in this case.

SHARPTON: But John Martin, we do know --

ISIKOFF: We have no evidence of that whatsoever.

SHARPTON: Exactly. But we do know John Martin that this is the D.A.
that has been missing that closed the case in `98.

MARTIN: -- who in 1998 decided not to prosecute for whatever reason.
We don`t know his reasons. And it wasn`t until 2005, six months before his
retirement after 20 years in office that he suddenly and mysteriously
disappears. They find his car, they never find his body, and there has
been a subject -- it`s just been a wild case for six years. No one can
explain it. They say it`s either suicide, homicide or a walk away which
pretty much covers the gambit.

And now you have his friends, everybody is saying, you know, this new
spotlight on this case. And they`re saying maybe if nothing else, there`s
a national spotlight in this case, maybe we`ll find out what happened to
that D.A., Ray Gricar.

SHARPTON: Let me say this by the least of cop before we go. We do
know, before we go to any trials, before we go any further, there was an
investigation in `98 that was the alleged harassment and/or assault of a
young boy by the same Sandusky, and they let him this man go on dealing
with young kids in his program with the knowledge of this accusation.
There`s no doubt about that.

ISIKOFF: That is certainly the evidence that`s in the grand jury
report. And that I should point out that it`s not just the university
that`s under scrutiny here, as we`ll be reporting tonight on "Nightly
News," there`s an increased focus on the charity, second mile, that Jerry
Sandusky had founded and why charity officials did not act sooner to
prevent his conduct.

SHARPTON: Including one out-of-state trip to Texas.

Michael Isikoff, Bill Fallon, John Martin. Thank you and we`ll be
right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Welcome back. I don`t know about you, but I`ve gotten
pretty sick of seeing overconfident Republicans spreading around, even
since the tea party popped up, ever since they started their maneuvers,
there`s been like a strut and swagger in their steps, and hearing a lot of
talk like this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our top political priority over the next two years
should be to deny President Obama a second term.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it`s pretty clear that the Obama-Pelosi agenda
is being rejected by the American people.

GOV. RICK PERRY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: President Obama will be
a one-term president.

MICHELE BACHMANN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The cake is baked.
Barack Obama will be a one-term president.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And that`s one reason why
President Obama will be a one-term president.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But this week, you saw the Republicans fall flat in a big
way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Issue 2 failed and not by a small margin.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They just called it. Issue 2 is gone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Opponents of the personhood amendment gathered
to celebrate as Mississippians voted down the proposals. Those voting yes
on initiative were aiming to stop abortions and set up a challenge to roe
versus wade.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is an important victory for women and
families and we are very, very excited.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: From Ohio to Mississippi to Maine, voters rejected the
GOP`s extreme agenda. Even conservatives are admitting, a columnist
Charles Krauthammer writes, quote," the 2011 off-year elections are a
warning to Republicans. The 2010 party is over."

And over the last month, President Obama`s approval has shot up six
points. He forced Republicans to show their true colors and vote against
the one thing Americans care most about -- jobs. No one on the American
jobs act, no on teachers and first responders, no on infrastructure, no,
no, no. It`s starting to look like the party of no is also the party of no
hope.

Joining me now is Chris Hayes, host of MSNBC`s weekend Morning Show
"up with Chris Hayes." Thanks for being with me. He`s my morning hope on
Saturdays and Sundays.

(LAUGHTER)

SHARPTON: Did we turn the tide this week or am I too hopeful?

CHRIS HAYES, HOST, UP WITH CHRIS HAYES: Well, no, I think it really
was quite an indication that -- here`s what I would say, the electorate is
not in the same place as a year ago. And that I think is for sure.

I mean there was a genuine conservative feel to the electorate in 2010
that if it was the same electorate in 2010 and if they were in the same
place, they would have ratified that issue in Ohio on Tuesday night.

So I think there`s a real marked differentiation between what we saw a
year ago and where the electoral is now. In a bellwether state like Ohio,
and even in Mississippi, which I think obviously isn`t going to be up for
grabs in the presidential election. So I think the mood of the country is
quite different than when we saw it as sort of the high watermark of tea
party, deficit mania. Get government away. Things like that. I think we
have come down from that.

SHARPTON: I`m sensing in the base, because I travel a lot. And last
year in 2010, when I was traveling a lot around the midterm, you could
almost feel a depressed state, and people kind of feeling that no one was
speaking for them.

When I went through Ohio and all around for these times with this
election, people were energized. People out there rallying and I think the
base of the progressive democrat liberal, whatever you want to call it.
They had the energy this time as supposed to 2010.

HAYES: I think that`s exactly right. I mean remember the way the arc
of it was that I think health care reform particularly galvanized the tea
party and galvanize it right. And a lot of money poured in, and there`s a
kind of back caught politics that created the town halls.

And it gave someone the right a very concrete thing to target their
energies against. Stop Obama care. Stop Obama care. And when that, were
unable to stop the health care bill, he was seen to sort of tyrannical in
position over this democratic majority. And that gave them energy into the
midterms.

And I absolutely agree that energy that is flagged considerably and
the exhaustion of the progressives I think felt in 2010 because of the
length for that health care fight which was so drawn out and so exhausting
and kind a demoralizing to see it happen in real time. That is gone and
replaced by the energy on the left.

SHARPTON: Well, I think also that a lot of people on the left wanted
to talk about jobs, and they felt that a lot of the issues were not being
trade.

HAYES: Yes.

SHARPTON: And I think ironically a lot of what some of us were saying
about the corporate leak and the distribution of wealth, that some of the
tea party people agreed with from on a different perspective, I think they
lost their message because they became the representative of the
Republicans I mean --

HAYES: Exactly right.

SHARPTON: When there is not a way even the tea party style.

HAYES: That`s exactly right. And I think what you have of this cycle
in which there is such a sort of sense of serial discontent among the
American voter with the people in charge, whoever they are, in 2006 they
kicked them out. In 2008 they kicked them out. In 2010 they kicked them
out.

SHARPTON: Right.

HAYES: If you are the incumbent, if you are sitting in the seat of
power, you become the establishment, and people target their anger at the
status quo, which is absolutely a justified anger. They target it at you.
And I think we have seen that in Ohio particularly.

SHARPTON: Well, I think you`re right, and I think we are going to see
where it goes. But you and I know the real reason things started to turn
around, because you and I got a TV show.

(LAUGHTER)

SHARPTON: Chris. Thanks for joining me. Be sure to catch up with
Chris Hayes tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m.

HAYES: I like that theory.

SHARPTON: And Sunday at 8:00 a.m. here on MSNBC.

Still ahead, it`s Newt`s turn to be the latest flavor of the month in
the GOP race? We`ll talk about it with Bob Shrum and Nia-Malika Henderson.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Coming up Newt reboot Gingrich, is surging into second
place in the GOP race. Wow. Those folks must really not like Mitt Romney.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: When the front-runners at
18 and the next two you are tied at 15, it is a wide open race.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And the outrageous GOP plan to defend Herman Cain by
attacking his accusers.

This is POLITICS NATION on MSNBC. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Welcome back to "Politics Nation." Poor Republicans, just
54 shopping days until the Iowa caucus. And what do they do? They go
window shopping at Tiffany`s. It`s true. They`re taking a new look at
Tiffany`s favorite customer, Newt Gingrich. A new CBS poll shows, Gingrich
has surged to second place, he`s now tied with Mitt Romney at 15 percent.
Herman Cain still leads with 18 percent, which is amazing on his own. And
a new McClatchy poll also finds Gingrich in second place. He`s at 19
percent. Between Romney who gets 23 percent and Cain who polls on that one
at 17. This is a big turnaround for Newt whose campaign nearly imploded
last spring when most of his staff quit. But here`s a number that`s even
more unbelievable. In both polls, 17 percent of Republicans are still
undecided. Undecided? Remember the part where we said, Iowa caucuses are
just 54 days away?

(BEGIN VDIEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I think it will stay wide
open, you know, until January. I think we`ll be up here in January in a
relatively open race. Nobody is far enough ahead to mean anything.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Bob Shrum is a democratic strategist and professor at New
York University. Nia-Malika Henderson is a Washington Post political
writer who also writes for the papers 2012 blog. Bob, is Newt for real?

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Well, he`s sort of for real. Look,
they`ve been on this long search for un-Romney, they return Newt to the
store a long time ago and now they have tried everybody else out. They`ve
been through Bachmann, they`ve been through Perry. And so, Newt is going
to get a ride. Look, I`m for him. I think he`s an ideal republican
nominee. I`d like to run against him next year. One of the ironies here
by the way is all of that senior leadership of his campaign who quit, they
went to work for Rick Perry, who is now mired in single digits. I the end,
I think it will be Romney.

Republican pros are terrified of the idea that it would be Gingrich.
And they`re going to do everything they can to stop him, but Romney all to
think strategically about whether he wants to go into Iowa, it`s a risk.
But if he could stop Gingrich there, stop the un-Romney there, win New
Hampshire, I think he would roll to the nomination. The danger is that
Gingrich or somebody like Gingrich emerges in Iowa, and especially
Gingrich, if they get to those southern states, this could be a long,
protracted process.

SHARPTON: Nia, I think there are a couple of things very interesting
to me about these polls, the new polls that I just quoted. And one is, of
course, I`ve never heard of a front runner at 15 percent. And that`s where
Romney is, that`s a new one. Second, that you have as many people not
choosing a candidate as the front-runner they`re polling equal, undecided
is almost beating the front runner, but third is the emergence of Newt, who
I know, I mean, Newt Gingrich at the request of President Obama toward, he
and I did five states in education, even called me on this show for my
birthday, which I would gladly give one of the republican opponents in Iowa
if they want it. I mean, what is it with this undecided? Is it that they
are that determined on the right of this party, not to go with Mitt Romney?

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON, WASHINGTON POST: So far that seems to be the
case. As you said, 17 percent still undecided, still doing window
shopping, still not confident that Romney is their guy. They see him as an
establishment figure. And this is the year, 2012 that they want a more
anti-establishment figure. Republicans across the country, Tea Party
folks, middle of the road are Republicans as well, were unhappy in 2008
with the choice of John McCain. They feel like they had to hold their
nose, and vote for him and compromise some of their principles. And this
time around they really want a real dyed in the wool conservative.

And they`re trying to figure out who that is. Is it Herman Cain, who
of course has had some problems over these recent weeks with these sexual
harassment allegations? Is it Newt Gingrich who himself has had problems
in his personal life? I don`t think that`s going to do him any good in
Iowa where 60 percent of those voters in Iowa caucuses are going to be in
the evangelicals, if you look at that last poll, the Des Moines register
had, he was polling fifth. Hard to see him making up any ground in Iowa,
because they are so concerned with social issues there.

SHARPTON: Now, Bob, Rick Perry, who has been underwhelming, to put it
nicely, still hasn`t given up. He`s fighting back. "New York Times" is
reporting he just made a million dollar buy for campaign ads on FOX News.
And he tried to turn around his gaffe, which was disastrous but doing a
couple of shows last night, he went on Letterman, let me show you some of
where he tried to deal with, turning around his gaffe by doing the top 10
with David Letterman last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID LETTERMAN, COMEDIAN: Number six.

GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Hey, listen, you try
concentrating with Mitt Romney smiling at you. That is one handsome dude.

LETTERMAN: Number two.

PERRY: Yes, I wanted to help take the heat off my buddy Herman Cain.

LETTERMAN: OK. And the number one Rick Perry excuse.

PERRY: I just learned Justin Bieber is my father.

LETTERMAN: Oh, my gosh.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I take issue. I like Justin Bieber, but beside that, can
money save him Rick Perry or even put him back in the game?

SHRUM: I don`t believe so. Look, there are moments in politics that
are indelible. We saw one in 1988, when Lloyd Benson turn to Dan Quayle
and said, you know, Jack Kennedy, and even though the Bush/Quayle ticket
one, Quayle was through in American politics.

SHARPTON: Right.

SHRUM: Never be a serious figure again. I think that we saw that
kind of indelible moment the other night when Governor Perry for 53 seconds
couldn`t tell us what one of the three federal agencies he wanted to
abolish was, and then said oops. And I don`t think it matters if they
spent money. I think the biggest impact they may have after they do this
positive ad by, if they decide to go after Romney, they might inflict a lot
of damage on Romney.

SHARPTON: Now, when you look at Romney again, let`s go to where we
saw written, one of the bloggers, Erickson in a red state, an influential
right-wing blogger, he said this about Mitt Romney going to be the
republican nominee and his general election campaign will be another
disaster for conservatives, as he takes the GOP down with him and burns up
what it means to be a conservative in the process. He has neither liberal
nor conservatives, he is simply unprincipled. Nia, that`s about as
devastating as you can get from someone that is politically and
ideologically supposed to be on your side, or at least on your party`s
side.

HENDERSON: Yes, I mean, that statement looks like it was written by
the Democratic National Convention, which has been hammering Mitt Romney
for what they see as his flip-flopping positions on everything, from health
care to abortion to gay rights, but that is the exact sentiment that
Republicans have, that Mitt Romney is a watered-down version, a pastel
version to use Rick Perry`s phrase, of Barack Obama. And that`s what they
fear, because insurgency that they saw in 2010, with the Tea Party really
pushing for smaller government will just go by the wayside if Mitt Romney,
as it looks like the case in terms of him being the nominee, that he will
really set the party back in rollback, all of these gains that they did
make in 2010th.

SHARPTON: Well, Bob, the problem is that Newt is starting to surge
now, and McCain is starting to fade, don`t tell anybody, but they`re
running out of time, 54 days.

SHRUM: Yes, look, I think Newt will fade ultimately, but whether he
fades at the beginning of the process, whether he fades well into or how
long this is, I don`t know, but one thing is happening to Romney is he`s
taking collateral damage, as he`s being forced further and further to the
right indorsing personhood amendments, as people are talking about all the
flip-flops, there was a PPP poll in Ohio the other day that showed his
favorable at 28 and his unfavorable at 48 among her general election
voters. Now, if that`s the way he goes into that state, he`s going to lose
it and he`s going to lose the presidency.

SHARPTON: Bob Shrum and Nia-Malika Henderson, thanks. And both of
you have a great weekend.

SHRUM: Thank you. You too.

HENDERSON: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Up next, the smear campaign against Herman Cain`s accusers.
Conservatives are circling the wagons and attacking the victims.

Plus, we have seen a lot of silliness in the republican race over the
last few days, but today is Veterans Day, a serious day, a reminder of what
being commander in chief is really all about. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Welcome back to "Politics Nation." Herman Cain scare
tactics may have worked. His accusers won`t be sharing their stories of
harassment publicly any time soon. Last night the attorney for Cain
accuser Karen Kraushaar said, she won`t be speaking to the media unless
other accusers come forward with them? But why would they want to come out
and speak?

In just four days, the right has paying to be only Cain accuser to
speak publicly so far. Sharon Bialek as a money hungry fame seeking
harlot. Just listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NIGER INNIS, CAIN CAMPAIGN ADVISOR: You now have folk that will just
going to come out of the woodwork to attack him to try to get their 15
minutes of fame and maybe get $15 of fortune along with the 15 minutes of
fame.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Look forward to a spread in "Playboy."

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: How did he take a lie detector test? Let the
women take lie detector tests.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Now, you have a woman, who if you look at her rap
sheet, 14 years later, she all of a sudden cares about the country? Double
bankruptcy, legal troubles, and illegitimate child? You know, what that
says to me, two words -- scam artist.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Scam artist, liar. No wonder the accusers don`t want to
come forward. Republicans are humiliating them. And let`s not forget
Cain`s attorney warned other accusers this week, that why he doesn`t want
to scare anyone off, they should think twice before coming forward. The
right wingers are trying to intimidate these women into keeping their
mouths shut, but some Republicans don`t see it that way. They see it as a
woman`s thing, a woman thing.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The other women won`t return her
call. She can`t assemble a panel, which it makes sense to me. You have
been to a restaurant where bunch of couples sitting in the same table when
one woman asked to go to the bathroom, boom, they all get up and go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Rush, this is not about a trip to the ladies` room. You
and other Republicans are trying to scare these women into silence.

Joining me now is Victoria DeFrancesco-Soto, assistant professor at
Northwestern University and Joan Walsh, editor-at-large at Salon.com.
Thank you both for being here. Joan, does all of this speak to a bigger
problem, sexism in the Republican Party?

JOAN WALSH, EDITOR, SALON.COM: Yes, I really think it does. Not all
Republicans are sexist by any means, but there`s a real core of misogyny,
and Rush Limbaugh, you know really embodies it in every way. There`s a
fear of strong women and you know as well as I do, Reverend Al, there`s
also a desire to bring us back to the days when, you know, we didn`t care
about sexism, and we didn`t really care about racism either. And it`s
very, very nice for them that they have an African-American as their
standard bearer right now who likewise wants to mock and make fun of
victims, whether it`s, you know, victims of sexual harassment, or victims,
you know, of unemployment. It`s their fault, blame them. This is the
republican strategy to blame people who are having a hard time, and to
smock people who are fighting back. And, you know, whatever is true of
sharing Bialek, she is fighting back. And she doesn`t have a rap sheet,
she`s had some issues in her past. But you know, the language, of course
it`s scaring women off. How would it not?

SHARPTON: You know, Victoria, I think the thing that bothers me, none
of us know the truth or not truth of any of the accusations, but the almost
cavalier way and tone that they`ve dealt with this is offensive. I mean,
first of all, I have two daughters. What do you mean in a restaurant all
women go to the bathroom at the same time? I mean, it doesn`t even make
sense, aside from the fact it`s belittling. And then yesterday, Anita Hill
name was brought up. Anita Hill for those that don`t know was the woman
who had come forward and challenged Justice Clarence Thomas of harassment
20 years ago. So, she`s been a symbol of women that would stand up. Her
name was brought up, a very serious case, serious woman brought up to
Herman Cain. Let me show you Victoria, how Mr. Cain responded.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Did you hear the latest news today? That Anita
Hill is going to come.

(LAUGHTER)

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Is she going to endorse me?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: They break out laughing. And he says, is she going to
endorse me? It`s like there`s no sense of respecting the gravity of women
and the right not to be harassed. Whether you`re saying it`s true or not,
how does it become a joke?

VICTORIA DEFRANCESCO SOTO, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY: Well, first of
all what we saw was arrogance by his part. And you do not have to attack
the victim in order to say that you have not done what you were accused of.
If anything, puts you above the frame, it makes you seem like a gentleman,
but he has gone that route. And I think that this is part of a larger
picture that we`re soon of the GOP trying to bend over backwards to show
that, no, we are in a post-racial society, that racism in our party doesn`t
exist, so we`re going to defend our black candidate and attack these white
accusers. I was thinking of the counterfactual, what would have happened
if a Latina or a black woman would have come out and accused Newt Gingrich?
Would we have seen the same defense? My guess is here that it`s not. But,
you know, the token of that we are in a post-racial society has made this
the defense that we`re seeing on TV today of attacking these women.

SHARPTON: Now, when you look at this, Joan, it even gets more scary
to me, you look at the polling that says, just a new poll says, allegations
against don`t change republican view of him. If you look at this, 61
percent say allegations don`t matter. Now, Joan, what bothers me about
that is not 61 percent according to the language of the poll said, they
don`t believe it, they say it doesn`t matter. What do you mean it doesn`t
matter?

WALSH: Well, look, I think, partly it is saying that they don`t
believe it, but you know, the other thing that`s happening in the poll, his
support has dropped a little bit. And he`s got a gender gap problem, he`s
got a problem of women being more predictably, sadly more disturbed by
these allegations than men are. And, you know, the more that this goes on,
the more that`s likely to be true. And that Anita Hill clip, I`m sorry,
that`s devastating. Anita Hill told the truth. Twenty years later, we
know that for a fact. That has been documented. And so, to continue -- to
continue mocking Anita Hill, who is a black woman, for whatever race
factors in here, Anita Hill told the truth, she`s been mocked and pillared
by the right. The fact that he`s still laughing, he will be sorry. He
will be sorry.

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

SHARPTON: By the way, Mr. Cain has said he`s been his model for a
Supreme Court judges. Let me tell you something else. Mr. Cain, on his Web
site, has gone on the attack. This is on his Web site. He talks about
veteran anchor Bill Curtis says that Bialek, this is the woman that has
gone public against him, was a former CBS employee with a track record.
Hers and Cain`s roles may even have been reversed in the car. I mean,
Victoria. So, now they`re saying that she may have been the one that
harassed him?

SOTO: You know, I`m not going to be surprised if he comes out of
accusing certain women of sexually harassing him. It`s gotten to this
point. But I want to touch a point that Joan made about white women vote.
Women in general vote more than men. And if there`s one demographic that
you do not want to alienate, it`s women. In the primary, I don`t know how
the hard-core republican women are going to vote. But maybe in their heart
of hearts, when they get along into that voting booth, it is going to weigh
on them, and on the off-chance that he does make it into the general, he is
going to be dead in the water with your soccer moms and your independent
female voters who are not going to stand for him accusing these victims of
these horrible things.

SHARPTON: I think Joan, the reality is, no matter what the truth is
on these allegations, I think that part of what disturbs a lot of people
and disturbs me, is how they`re being arrogant about it. Despite the
allegations, Princess Nancy Pelosi, mocking Anita Hill, it`s one thing to
say these are not true, it`s another thing to act like I don`t care, I
don`t respect the whole deal with the whole women and the rights of women.
Joan and Victoria, thanks, and enjoy your weekend.

WALSH: Thank you. You too.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, on this Veterans Day, remembering those who
served. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: This has been a crazy republican presidential race, but
sometimes it seems like a joke. Rick Perry is making fun of his debate
gaffes, while Herman Cain is laughing at his lack of foreign policy
experience.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN: When you ask me who is the president of ubeki-beki-beki-beki-
stan-stan? I`m going to say, you know, I don`t know.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, I like to laugh, too. I`d like to be witty. But
today is a serious today. Veteran Day should remind us that the people who
running for president, who have to make life-or-death decisions if they
become president. What`s hard is making the decision about started a war
and just as important, the decision to end a war.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: After nearly nine years,
America`s war in Iraq will be over. I can say that our troops in Iraq will
definitely be home for the holidays.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Today the president was at Arlington National Cemetery
honoring our troops.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: When your tour ends, when you see our flag, when you touch our
soil, you`ll be home in an America that is forever here for you, just as
you`ve been there for us. On behalf of a proud and grateful nation, we
thank you.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We should thank our men and women in uniform today for
serving this country, but we should also thank our president for taking
this job seriously. At some point, Republicans have to stand up and do the
same. We should respect or veterans on Veterans Day. This is not about
politics, this is not even about whether I agree or not agree with the war
that they may have fought or served in. They served. They protected us.
When they come home, we must protect them with jobs and a life. Happy
Veterans Day.

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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