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PoliticsNation, Tuesday, November 22, 2011

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Guests: Jan Schakowsky, Ed Rendell, Richard Wolffe, Matt Viser, Joy-Ann Reid, Jonathan Capehart, Bob Franken, Joe Madison

CHRIS MATTHEWS, MSNBC HOST: That`s "HARDBALL" for now. Thanks for
being with us. "POLITICSNATION" with Al Sharpton starts right now.

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST, POLITICSNATION: Thanksgiving`s just two days
away. Are Republicans going to be the turkeys of this holiday season?
Tonight, leading, fighting for the middle class, President Obama in New
Hampshire today fighting to get Americans back to work and more money in
everybody`s pockets.

Willard`s got nothing on president Obama, so now he`s just making
stuff up.

Plus, you won`t believe how some conservatives are defending the
pepper spray police in California.

And Rush Limbaugh goes after the first lady. I`m going to respond,
you better believe it.


understand why when the husband and the wife are going to the same place
the first lady has to take her own Boeing 757. They understand it`s a
little bit of uppity-ism.


SHARPTON: Welcome to "politics nation." I`m Al Sharpton. Tonight`s
lead -- President Obama in New Hampshire today showing he`s the warrior for
the middle class.


be a big compassionate country where everybody who works hard should have a
chance to get ahead, not just the person who owns the factory but the men
and women who work on factory floor.



SHARPTON: And the president made it clear just who is to blame for
protecting the very rich at the expense of everyone else by blocking his
jobs bill.


OBAMA: When this Bill came up for a vote, Republicans in the Senate
got together and blocked it. They refused to even debate it. And 100
percent of Republicans opposed it. What we`ve done is we`ve refused to
quit. So I said I will do everything in my power to act on behalf of the
American people with or without congress.



SHARPTON: The president`s giving them another chance to prove they
are not turkeys with a vote to extend the payroll tax cuts for the middle


OBAMA: In the spirit of Thanksgiving we are going to give them
another chance. Congress has a very simple choice next week. Do you want
to cut taxes for the middle class and those who are trying to get into the
middle class, or do you want to protect massive tax breaks for millionaires
and billionaires, many of whom want to actually help?

A $1,500 tax cut for middle class family, that isn`t a Band-Aid. That
is a big deal for people.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Democrat
from Illinois. She`s also a member of the progressive caucus. And Ed
Rendell, former DNC chairman and current NBC News political analyst.

Congresswoman, Republicans love tax cuts, so they are going to extend
the payroll tax cuts, right? I mean, am I missing something?

REP. JAN SCHAKOWSKY, (D) ILLINOIS: Isn`t it remarkable how they seem
reluctant when it comes to lowering taxes for the middle class, that they
have some reservations.

But I`m telling you, this is the Barack Obama that is the fighter. He
is out there. And I dare them. I really do. I dare them to say no to
extending those tax cuts, actually expanding the tax cuts. And you`re
right, $1,500 may not be a big deal to the one percent that the Republicans
are the guard dogs for, but it sure means a lot to ordinary Americans, and
it will mean a lot to our economy.

SHARPTON: Now Governor Rendell, $1,500 means a lot to people that
need money, especially now in this economy, and even 58 percent, look at
this poll, 58 percent of Republicans support the extension of payroll tax


SHARPTON: But interestingly enough Willard Mitt Romney can`t seem to
take a stand here. Let me show you him being questioned about this. This
is Willard.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If the payroll tax cut is not extended, that
would mean a tax increase for all Americans. What would be the
consequences of that?

MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What it takes to create jobs
is more than just a temporary shift in a tax stimulus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you would be OK with seeing the payroll tax
cut --

ROMNEY: I don`t like temporary little Band-Aids.


SHARPTON: Temporary little Band-Aids -- I don`t understand, Governor
Rendell. Maybe you can break that down from Willard-ese to me and explain
to me whether he`s for it or against it.

RENDELL: Well, it sounds like he`s against it, which is phenomenal,
as $1,500 is a lot of money, as you and the congresswoman have said, for
middle class families, especially now. But when you multiply it by all of
the Americans who are going to get it, it`s literally hundreds of billions
of dollars. That`s not a temporary Band-Aid. That money goes right into
the economy and it gets spent.

But the reason that the Republicans are saying that they are against
extending the payroll tax cut and expanding it, Al, is because it`s not
paid for. Well, help me out here. When President Bush gave a huge tax cut
to the top two percent in this country, was that paid for? I don`t think

SHARPTON: No. In fact, we`re still trying to cover that.

RENDELL: Recover from that.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman, a Band-Aid?

SCHAKOWSKY: Well, you know, of course it`s not a Band-Aid. And the
other thing, it`s very simple. If they want to pay for it, then we can
take a bit from the millionaires and billionaires.

SHARPTON: Absolutely.

SCHAKOWSKY: That is unthinkable to them. You know, they get all
excited and nervous. And then that`s the kind of Grover Norquist tax
increase that they don`t like. But a tax cut for middle class people.
That`s really a tax increase for middle class people, that seems to be all
right with them.

RENDELL: Al, I have a suggestion to follow up with what the
congresswoman said. Let`s get Grover Norquist on the show because he says
they are not allowed ever, to sign the no tax pledge, to vote for a tax
increase. Well, if they don`t renew this payroll deduction tax cut, they
will be increasing taxes --

SHARPTON: They will be violating their pledge.

RENDELL: Get Grover on the tube to tell them they can`t do it.

SHARPTON: Grover, I want you to come on. You`ve got to enforce your
pledge, Mr. Norquist.

RENDELL: Right. And he owns --

SHARPTON: You can`t let them kick you to the curb now when it comes
to regular people.

RENDELL: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: I think the governor makes a good point.

Congresswoman Schakowsky, the president has been taking them on. He`s
in a fighting mood, and he`s been really, really taking it to them. Are
the Republicans blinking?

SCHAKOWSKY: You know, they better start blinking, because the
American people are on the side of creating jobs. They are on the side of
saving the middle class and protecting the American dream and protecting
Social Security and Medicare. The Republicans are not just on the wrong
side of history, but they are bucking the vast majority of opinion. I`m
talking not just about Democrats but Republicans and independents --


SCHAKOWSKY: -- who believe that job creation is number one.

SHARPTON: Now, governor, let me show you this that just came out.
The Congressional Budget Office says because of President Obama`s 2009
stimulus package there were 3.3 million more full-time jobs in the third
quarter than there would have been otherwise.

RENDELL: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: Up to 3.3 million, up to 3.3 million. Now the reason it`s
important is everyone is talking about that the stimulus didn`t work. If
we`ve had up to 3.3 million, this is the CBO saying this, how can you say
that the stimulus didn`t work?

RENDELL: Well, everyone, Al, knows the stimulus did work. It
preserved jobs, and it created jobs. The infrastructure we should have,
frankly, had more infrastructure in it. But that worked like a charm,
absolutely like a charm. It helped America dramatically. The CBO said
earlier unemployment could have been as high as one percent or two percent
more without the stimulus.

But we let, and I blame all of us, the Democrats, we let the
Republicans spin the stimulus in that first week and give it such a bad
name that nobody listens to the facts. But the facts are the stimulus
worked and it can work again if the Congress passed the second jobs bill.

SHARPTON: The progressive caucus has been fighting for more
infrastructure, congresswoman. We, again, lost the spin but it did create
jobs. Have we learned something, and will we not back up this time?

SCHAKOWSKY: Here`s the proof, Al, that it really did create jobs. We
could collect all of the videos and the photo opportunities of those
Republicans pushing ahead to grab the scissors to cut the ribbon at all of
the projects that created jobs all over their districts. They know it
created jobs. It`s total hypocrisy for them to say they didn`t.

And now, you`re right, we need to move ahead with more real job
creation. We can do that. That`s what the public sector ought to do right
now. And that generates lots of jobs in the private sector when we do
spend that money.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and Ed Rendell, thank you for
your time.

RENDELL: Al, don`t forget to call Grover.

SHARPTON: Grover Norquist has a special engraved invitation coming.
He must protect the pledge to cut no taxes.

Coming up, Willard sinks to a new low with a misleading ad attacking
the president. This guy will literally do anything to become president,
even lie.

Plus, Mr. Hot Air Rush Limbaugh attacks Michelle Obama, the first
lady, again, saying she`s guilty of uppity-ism. Get ready for my response,

And FOX News weighs in on the video shocking the nation. You really
want to hear this, and you won`t believe it when you do, what their anchors
say about this officer.

You`re watching POLITICSNATION on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: A lot of people have been talking about how Rush Limbaugh
spoke this week about first lady Michelle Obama. Here`s what he said?


LIMBAUGH: The NASCAR crowd doesn`t quite understand why when the
husband and the wife are going to the same place the first lady has to take
her own Boeing 757 with family and kids and hangers-on four hours earlier
than her husband, who will be on his 747. NASCAR people understand that`s
a little bit of a waste. They understand it`s a little bit of uppity-ism.


SHARPTON: Uppity-ism. That`s why some in the NASCAR crowd booed the
first lady and Mrs. Biden, according to Rush. Well, first of all, many
cheered. But second of all, uppity-ism clearly refers to people that don`t
stay in their place. It was always used as a term for blacks. Is it
racist? Yes, unequivocally. It`s a racist use of term. It is something
that people should stay in their place. I guess Mrs. Obama didn`t stay in
her place when she went to Princeton, and she didn`t stay in her place when
she became a lawyer, and she didn`t stay in her place when she went on to
become a senator`s wife and now she`s the first lady. And don`t dare fly
as the first lady. You don`t know your place.

Because, Rush, places have changed in America. But we`re not going to
get distracted by you, Rush. We`re not going to let us get off of focus
here because the problem is that you have as little respect for those
NASCAR people as you do the first lady, because you don`t advocate an
extension of the payroll tax for them. You don`t want them to have the
same rights that the one percent have. You don`t want them to have health
care coverage.

So don`t try to divide them from those that want to have one level
playing field in America by playing the race card. We won`t bite the bait.
Not now. We have a country to save. We`ll take care of you later,

Rush. And I really do understand your problem, because when you`re
playing gutter politics and you lay in the gutter politics, anyone on the
high road looks up to you, Rush. It`s really the vantage point of how you
look at things. Happy Thanksgiving, Rush.


SHARPTON: Willard Mitt Romney has done it again. We already gave him
an award for a best misleading man once, but it seems like Willard is
trying for a second trophy with this new ad.


OBAMA: Thank you, New Hampshire. How is everybody doing today? I am
confident that we can steer ourselves out of this crisis.

We need a rescue plan for the middle class.

We need it provide relief for homeowners. It`s going to take a new
direction. If we keep talking about the economy, we`re going to lose.


SHARPTON: The ad makes it seem like President Obama said he`d lose if
he kept talking about the economy. But let`s take a look at what he
actually said.


OBAMA: Senator McCain`s campaign actually said, and I quote, "If we
keep talking about the economy, we`re going to lose."


SHARPTON: He was quoting John McCain during the 2008 election.
Romney took that clip totally out of context. And it`s not his only
whopper of the day. He also took out a full-page ad in some New Hampshire
newspapers today repeating another bogus claim, saying, quote, "It is not
America`s laziness that is the problem, as you recently suggested," end of

I guess you missed, it Willard, but the "Washington Post" already
fact-checked this and gave it four Pinocchios, saying, quote, "ripped
Obama`s remarks completely out of context." Wonder why Willard keeps
playing fast and loose with the truth?


ROMNEY: I`m running for office, for Pete`s sake.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe
and Matt Viser, a political reporter for the "Boston Globe." He`s been
covering Mitt Romney all year. Thanks for both of you for being with me

Thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: Richard, why does Mitt Romney keep lying? Does he think we
won`t notice, or is there some strategy to this?

what this ad was and where it was played -- 140,000 buy in New Hampshire
which is his strongest state by far kind of leads to some questions. He`s
playing the cable media, for sure, but he`s also kind of desperate here.
This is not a -- an ad you make as a sign of strength.

And the problem for Romney is that his numbers just aren`t strong
enough. As long as this is a referendum, this primary season is a
referendum about Mitt Romney, he`s never going to break 25 point. He has
to shift this to attacking the president and move to a general election
strategy. So he`s overreaching here because that`s his only path to
convincing those very skeptical conservatives that he`s really one of them.

SHARPTON: Now, Matt, is that the strategy that you feel that the
Romney camp has adopted, that just say for their base and try to get the
extreme side of that party energized even at the cost of being truthful?

VISER: I think in part, yes, they are trying to riley up the base and
get Republicans excited about his campaign in a way that some in the party
have not been. And I agree with Richard, too, that they are really
focusing on a general election strategy. This was his first ad of the
campaign to air on television, and it was focused solely on the president.

And in New Hampshire a state that Romney feels like he can make
competitive for a general election, even though it only has four electoral
votes, if this is really close, New Hampshire may end up mattering.

SHARPTON: Now, Richard, the Romney campaign in fairness did release
an explanation, if you want to call it that, saying that they defended this
misleading TV ad by saying "We used that quote intentionally to show that
President Obama is doing exactly what he criticized McCain of doing four
years ago. Obama doesn`t want to talk about the economy because of his
failed record."

I guess they forgot to put in the ad that they were referring to
McCain and Obama four years ago. I guess we just were supposed to know

But aside from that, Richard, I want to show you something Think
Progress put together, an impressive video today on Mitt Romney, Willard in
his own words.


ROMNEY: We should just raise everybody`s taxes.

There`s nothing unique about the United States.

Government knows better than a free people how to guide an economy.

Let us just raise your taxes some more, we need a little bit more.

America is just another nation with a flag.


SHARPTON: That`s very impressive, Willard, on high rotation there,

WOLFFE: You know, they were just trying to make a point and show what
context was all about. Look, a lie is a lie. We can usually use out of
context technical words for it, but it`s a lie. And, again, you might
expect this from Rick Perry struggling in the polls. Why would Mitt Romney
try -- why does he think it`s a good thing? Maybe a good tactic and gets
us talking about it, but this guy`s play is for independent voters. They
don`t like this kind of stuff. It`s not authentic. It`s not honest, and
it`s kind of hyper-partisan really.

So why take the low rode to taking the general election? First of
all, he`s got to win the primaries first. He`s way off target if he thinks
beating Obama over the head with a deceptive ad is going to get him there.
And I think it undermines his brand and appeal to the middle.

SHARPTON: Now, Matt, I read and put on this show your story about how
the governor of Massachusetts at that time, Willard, when he left office,
he -- his staff got back their hard drive and their laptop computers and
all, and really raised the point that no one in the past, no other
governors that we could find, you could find, your paper could find, had
ever done that. And Mr. Romney`s people admitted it. Look at the sound
that -- listen to the sound they come out explaining why they did this.


ROMNEY: There has never been an administration that has provided to
the opposition research team or to the public electronic communications, so
ours would have been the first administration to have done so.


SHARPTON: Now, was he already planning to run for president when he
was governor? Opposition research, so you eliminate public records because
you`re already thinking about opposition research for a presidential
campaign, not what would be part of the history and archives of the state
of Massachusetts?

VISER: Yes. I mean, I think it was never a secret that Romney was
preparing to run for president towards the tail end of his governorship.
He basically left the governor`s office and immediately started his
presidential campaign.

So I think in essence the statements that he was making I think to an
editorial board there is a concession of that, I mean, that they were
preparing and doing everything methodically that they could to prepare for
that run, including purchasing hard drives with 11 of his aides purchasing
17 hard drives as they were leaving office, and as he was leaving office.

SHARPTON: Now, Richard, do you think that this kind of story can
stick to Romney? Does this become a story that goes with him on what is it
that you`re hiding? Why are you so concern, particularly since he has this
flip-flop image?


SHARPTON: Are you so concerned that you would take the hard drives
with you so we don`t even know all of the flip-flopping you may be doing,
even though it`s obvious we know a lot?

SHARPTON: I think honesty is the real issue here. I think this is a
bit too technical. People don`t really care about the records at the
presidential level. You should care and archives do care and there`s laws
to protect that, but I don`t think the voters will make decisions on that.

They`ve got much more information about Mitt Romney just looking at
what he said on a whole range of subjects, on either side of them and back
again. You know, consistency, honesty, authenticity are the key values
here. And John Kerry really got caught up by one flip-flop. Here you`ve
got Mitt Romney with dozens of them. So that`s what will play out here and
the records I think will be a side issue.

SHARPTON: Richard Wolffe and Matt Viser, thanks for coming on the
show tonight.

WOLFFE: Thanks, reverend.

VISER: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, do Republicans care that Newt wants to tear up
child labor laws? Apparently not. He`s number one in yet another new

But first, a case study in what happens when unpopular Republicans
push unpopular ideas. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: There`s no shortage of hypocrisy in the Republican Party,
but Florida Governor Rick Scott really is the poster child for saying one
thing and doing another. In less than a year in office Scott`s pulled off
all of the GOP`s worst moves -- signing a law that claims to prevent voter
fraud but actually makes it harder to vote, check. Running on a jobs
platform and turning down the federal money that would have created jobs,
check. Pushing a law that could have made him money, check. I`m almost
surprised this guy isn`t the republican nominee for president.

But joining me now is Joy-Ann Reid, managing editor of the
and MSNBC contributor. She writes on a today that Scott could
have a major impact in the 2012 election. Joy-Ann, thanks so much for
joining me. In your piece today, you talk about how Florida is part of a
new nonpartisan redistricting process state. You write Scott`s harsh new
law, could still really hurt minority voters and Democrats. Quote, I`m
quoting the article. "Scott signed one of the most restrictive voter laws
in the U.S., reducing the early voting period from 14 days to eight, which
expected to affect black voters and churches, by taking the Sunday before
Election Day off the calendar, imposing new tough restrictions and
penalties on organizations that report and bring people to vote and forcing
anyone who has to change their voter registration information on Election
Day to cast a provisional ballot.


SHARPTON: That I`m quoting your article, right?

REID: Right.

SHARPTON: How will that law impact the 2012 election?

REID: Well, it might be very interesting. As usual, Florida is very
important to both the republican and the democrat that are going to be
running obviously for president. For Barack Obama, he did win it in 2008.
Oh, what Rick Scott has essentially done is he`s taken the advantages
Democrats got from redistricting, they can`t gerrymander now based on
politics, they need to be based on geography.


REID: And he took that advantage and he kind of trumped it in a way.
Because the law that Rick Scott signed, number one, it`s much harder to
register people to vote. You have only two days to turn in those
registrations. That means that if you turn in three days late, you face
huge penalties. And so people like the league of women voters.

SHARPTON: So, you only have.

REID: Two days.

SHARPTON: .from the day you register them.

REID: Exactly. It has to go within two days, used to be ten days.


REID: So now, if you figure if you`re registering voters way out in
some rural area.


REID: Or if you`re registering urban voters and registering lots and
lots of people, you have two days to get those things turned around or face
fines. That`s led groups like the league of women voters to stop doing
voter registration in Florida which hurts women, minorities, people who are

SHARPTON: And this is a critical stage. Now, you also by cutting
early voting down and I`ve worked in Florida with Congresswoman Frederica
Wilson, by limiting the Sunday before.

REID: Exactly.

SHARPTON: (INAUDIBLE) And these people lead their congregations to
vote after. He significantly impacts the black vote there.

REID: Absolutely, and as you know, because you know, we both know
Bishop Curry sold to the polls as a staple of the African-American vote.

SHARPTON: Exactly.

REID: And African-Americans in Florida vote disproportionately during
early vote. When you look at when the black vote happens, it happens
usually before Election Day. Where blacks, you know, tend less to go on
Election Day. So, by cutting the early voting period down from 14 days
down to 18 days, you literally cut right into the African-American vote and
by taking away that Sunday before Election Day, that`s usually the largest

SHARPTON: That insult to the polls in effect. Now, he`s also did
something I think equally bad. He rejected federal money for a rail

REID: Right.

SHARPTON: That would have brought the rail into Florida.

REID: Right.

SHARPTON: But would have brought a lot of jobs. How do you on one
hand talk about you want to provide jobs.

REID: Right.

SHARPTON: And then you turn down federal money that would have
provided jobs for everybody, not just the black community, everybody.

REID: And the thing it`s so crazy about it is that the jobs, 24,000
estimated jobs that would have come from high speed rail, and they would
have gone right through the I-4 corridor, the Tampa to Orlando corridor
which is where the main votes of both parties need are. So, he angered
Republicans, he angered Democrats. We`re talking about a ten-year project.
He threw it away and this is the guy, who if you like Herman Cain`s 9-9-9,
Rick Scott had it first, 7-7-7, it was suppose to be seven plans, seven
years, 700,000 jobs. Well, he threw 24,000 jobs away with high speed rail.
So, Republicans are mad at him. Democrats are mad at him. His approval
ratings are bad across the board.

SHARPTON: Well, you need to read There`s a lot more
there. Joy-Ann Reid, thank you for your time, and Governor Scott, I didn`t
forget. We got you.


SHARPTON: Welcome back to POLITICS NATION. There`s no denying that
the GOP has a Newt flavor of the month. Four straight national polls have
Gingrich ahead of Willard Mitt Romney, and he`s taking the front-runner
position across the board. America, this is who the Republicans want
leading America to a bright and prosperous future.


you take a bath. It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods in
trapping children, first of all, in child laws which are truly stupid.

In America, you`re allowed to be dumb, you know. I mean, we don`t
require you to be brilliant.

Most of these schools ought to get rid of the unionized janitor, have
one master janitor and pay local students to take care of the school.


SHARPTON: Meanwhile, get this one, when it comes to moral character,
Republicans say Romney`s the one. He has 32 percent, and Newt, the front-
runner, gets nine percent. It really tells you a lot about this party, but
let`s not get too excited. Enjoy your time at the top. As we`ve already
learned in this race, Newt. Republicans adhere to Sir Isaac Newton`s
theory of gravity, what goes up, must come down.

Joining me now, Bob Franken, a King Features syndicated columnist.
He`s been writing about the rise of Newt. And Jonathan Capehart, editorial
writer for "The Washington Post" and MSNBC contributor. Jonathan, tell us,
how long can the Newt surge really go on for?

long the republican primary voters decide they want to keep him there.
Remember, Herman Cain was riding the wave for about a month or so. Newt
Gingrich is now back on top, but I think from those clips that you showed,
I wonder how long it will take for republican primary voters to tire of the
scolding, hectoring, belittling, dismissive, demeaning tone from Newt
Gingrich when he talks about just about anything.

SHARPTON: Well, if they don`t tire of that, Bob, let`s look at this
chart of let`s say, some of the things that have come out that have raised
questions, earned millions working for Freddie Mac in the drug industry
when he took positions against them, supported expansion of Medicare,
supported TARP, favored insurance mandate. You`ve been covering Newt for
a long time. How is Newt going to handle all of this?

few little teeny weenie inconsistencies there, I would have to say.

SHARPTON: Just a little.

FRANKEN: Teeny bit. This is a man who has mastered the art of
walking backwards. I have a mental image of Newt Gingrich moon walking.


It`s not a pretty sight, but he -- the hectoring, et cetera, that
Jonathan was just talking about is the kind of thing that Republicans want
to hear right now. He is a master of certain key words, that forum that he
was just at was hosted by Frank Luntz who is the wordsmith of the
Republican Party, and he knows and Newt knows that if he says words like
Islamist and socialist and radical and reactionary, people aren`t going to
really care. His followers, they used to call them ditto heads when we
were talking about Rush Limbaugh, the followers aren`t going to really
listen to the substance of what he says. He knows that he can push
buttons. That used to be called demagoguery.

SHARPTON: Yes, it still is. Jonathan, let me show you though the


SHARPTON: You`ve got Mr. Gingrich at 24, Romney at 20, Cain really
going down 17, Perry 11. He is leading in the polls, despite all of this.


SHARPTON: How do you explain it?

CAPEHART: Hey, I have no idea. I`m the last person who can get into
the mind of the republican primary voter, but there are a couple of
numbers, which I don`t know if you have graphics for them in -- in that
particular poll that are interesting. I believe it`s 67 percent of those
polled said that they could change their mind, so these numbers.

SHARPTON: We`ve had about five front-runners in the last four months.

CAPEHART: Well, right. So that should show Newt Gingrich and his
campaign that, you know, they are going to ride the -- ride the wave for as
long as they can.

SHARPTON: Well, Bob, let me show you this. Gallup graph where it
shows the ups and downs of the front-runners. Look at this, this shows
Romney, Gingrich, Cain, Perry, the peaks and valleys of their position,
this is all Gallup. The only one that kind of remains constant is Romney
who`s basically flattened since July.

FRANKEN: Well, you know, Jonathan just was on to something that I
haven`t really followed before, and that is the polls showing that people
say, they could change their minds and that is what they have in common,
the voters, who are polled with Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. These are
people, politicians who change their minds constantly. That`s it. That`s
the explanation. As for that graph, I have to say that my eyes crossed
when I was looking at it.

SHARPTON: Yes, I think you`re right.

CAPEHART: At least the voters are a little more transparent about
wanting -- more open and honest about changing their minds than Newt
Gingrich or Mitt Romney.

FRANKEN: By the way, I think the explanation here is that the
Republicans are having sort of the cycle that they keep going around with
the same people, and in the corner there you have a few of the other
candidates jumping up and down, Rick Santorum jumping up and down saying
hey, how about me, how about me?

SHARPTON: Yes, saying all kinds of craziness but let me talk about

CAPEHART: And Jon Huntsman.

SHARPTON: The American Federation of State County and Municipal
Employees has put out an ad taking Newt`s comments about getting rid of
child labor laws and marries it to scenes from the movie "Annie" when the
orphan sings, "It`s a hard knock life." This is AFSCME saying.


GINGRICH: Most of these schools ought to get rid of the unionized
janitors, have one master janitor and pay local students to take care of
the schools.


It`s a hard knock life for us.

Don`t it feel like the wind is always howling, it`s going to feel like
there`s never any lights.

Once a day, don`t you want to throw the towel in.


SHARPTON: Quite an effective ad, Jonathan. I didn`t know that Gerry
McEntee and Lee Sanders (ph) would have asked me even though I`ve gone to
see "Annie" but it`s very interesting.

CAPEHART: And you, what I think that shows that we`re going to be --
we`re in for a lot of very clever entertaining hilarious ads like that one
for the next year.

SHARPTON: Well, Bob Franken, Jonathan Capehart, thanks for your time.
You have something Bob, quickly, while we go.

FRANKEN: Well, I just wanted to say, I`m waiting for the speech from
Newt Gingrich proposing sweatshops.

SHARPTON: Stay tuned.

FRANKEN: It`s coming, mark my words.

SHARPTON: Stay tuned. Coming up, you won`t believe what some
conservatives are saying about that shocking pepper spray video out of


BILL O`REILLY, HOST, "THE O`REILLY SHOW": Pepper spray, that just burns
your eyes, right?

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I mean, it`s like a derivative of
actual pepper. It`s a food product essentially.


SHARPTON: Folks, they are on the wrong side of this one. Also, Scott
Walker tries and fails to clean up his record. We`ll be right back.


SHARPTON: It`s hard to find anyone who thinks that cops at UC Davis
did the right thing pepper spraying students from point blank range at a
protest. Leave it to some folks at FOX News. That`s next.


SHARPTON: The 60-day push to recall Wisconsin`s union-busting
Governor Scott Walker is turning ugly. Anti-Walker organizers are
reporting dirty tricks on the republican side, "The Huffington Post"
reports two volunteers received threatening anonymous phone calls and other
volunteers are getting harassed online, but it`s not stopping the Walker
recall effort. Volunteers already have more than 100,000 signatures, and
the push will continue with a Black Friday recall drive at malls all over
the state. Meanwhile, Governor Walker is on spin control. This morning,
he went on local TV and was asked about misleading the public about his
anti-collective bargaining agenda.


GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: I just think they are fundamentally
wrong about it. AFT Wisconsin, one of the unions that has made this
argument literally run flyers last October in the campaign, that said,
don`t vote for this guy to their members, he`s going to change and repeal
collective bargaining. I talked about this sort of step not only in the
campaign, but for eight years, here`s kind of executive, I talked about the
problems with collective bargaining.


SHARPTON: We never knew how extreme he was. But now, we do, hey
Governor, Governor Walker, be thankful for your job this holiday. Because
pretty soon, you might not have it.

Ahead, how some on the right are actually defending what the police
did in that sucking pepper spray video at UC Davis. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: We`re back with the occupy Davis video that still has
America outrage. But now, you`ve seen it. Peacefully protesting students
at University of California, Davis pepper sprayed at point blank range by
cops. The students were sitting down in a row now threatening anyone or
being violent. Now, I don`t care who you are, republican, democrat, white,
black, blue, red, conservative liberal to use this kind of force is
inexcusable and despicable. That`s not how they sought it over at FOX


O`REILLY: They wanted to get this people off the campus, and they
didn`t want to lay hands on them. See, there`s two ways to do this. They
can do the pepper spray or you know, you can physically drag them out.

KELLY: Well, they`ve been this. Listen, I know the tape looks bad, I
agree it looks bad, all I`m saying is that from a legal standpoint, I don`t
know that the cops did anything wrong.


SHARPTON: You don`t think they did anything wrong, and they`re only
two ways to handle this. Look, we don`t know all about the details but one
thing is for sure, there was a -- way to handle this than spraying kids in
the face from a point blank range and then they took on the pepper spray


O`REILLY: Pepper spray, that just burns your eyes, right?

KELLY: Right. I mean, it`s like a derivative of actual pepper. It`s
a food product essentially but a lot of experts are looking at them and
saying, is that the real deal? Has it been deluded because.

O`REILLY: Yes, they should have more of a reaction than that.



SHARPTON: More of a reaction, did they had the screams? Two people
was sent to the hospital, pepper spray is considered a chemical weapon, it
is illegal to use it in warfare but not apparently to attack non-violent

Joining me now is Joe Madison, talk show host at Sirius XM radio, Joe,
can you believe FOX News is actually defending the actions of the UC Davis

JOE MADISON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: No, I mean, I`m sitting here,
first time I really heard that clip. Here`s what I would do, I will go on
O`Reilly show and I will take a pepper spray container and let me spray
that food product on him while he`s on that sound stage and then see how he
reacts. Reverend Sharpton, this is reminiscent, this is a throwback to
Bull Connor in Birmingham, Alabama. This lieutenant reminds me of Bull
Connor. Those students remind me of the students who are washed away with
fire hoses. This is what this is about. Here`s my suggestion. I think
the two of us, Ben Jealous, Mark Moriel, the civil rights community, we
really ought to go to the University of California, Davis and stand in
solidarity with these students.

SHARPTON: Oh, there`s no doubt we ought to stand in solidarity.

MADISON: Absolutely, the way that others.


SHARPTON: Because let me show you Joe what pepper spray actually
does. It causes tissue inflammation in the eyes, nose, throat and lungs,
causes respiratory attacks and makes it very difficult to breathe, causes
nausea and disorientation, causes temporary blindness, causes paralysis, I
mean, it makes impossible to talk, increases blood pressure. This is
serious. This is not some derivative from a vegetable. And these kids,
let`s emphasize, were doing nothing wrong. There was no violence, there
was no provoking. There was all kinds of ways to handle this situation.

MADISON: This is an act of civil disobedience. This is what the
Gandhi did. This is what King did, and quite honestly anybody who looks at
that, you either identify with the lieutenant or you identify with the
students. There`s no middle ground here. I choose to identify with those
students who -- who gave us a perfect example, so in a way they have --
they have done, as the lieutenant has done the movement a favor, much the
way that Bull Connor did the civil rights movement a favor.

SHARPTON: Well, let me say this. In many ways they have shown the
callous disregard for respect of human beings and protests because let`s do
this. Rather than talking about going to O`Reilly show, because we
certainly can deal with this on this show, let`s talk about the fact that
if people had pepper sprayed Tea Party members, what would have been the
reaction over there, and I would have taken the same position.

MADISON: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: That you shouldn`t have treated Tea Party people like that,
and some of them came out with guns, but they shouldn`t have been pepper

MADISON: You know, absolutely. You`re 100 percent right. And that`s
why there is consistency on the part of progressives. We are very
consistent as it relates to that, because I would have been taken the same
position. Now I sat there and I said, this is nothing more than a revision
of Bull Connor. I mean, this is just Bull Connor instead of fire hoses.
It`s -- it`s pepper spray, and for the purpose of doing what? They are
trying to draw attention to the issue so I hope people will now pay

SHARPTON: I`ve got to go, Joe. Thank you very much. Have a
wonderful holiday.

MADISON: Same to you and your family.

SHARPTON: Let me say this. Many of you know and have seen the
coverage now for the last couple of years. Bill O`Reilly and I don`t agree
on much, we from time to time have gone to dinner and had dinner and
debated. Bill, if we go to dinner any time soon, don`t bring Megyn with
you since she believes pepper spray is vegetables. I might ask her to pass
the salt and pepper.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.


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