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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, November 30, 2011

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Guests: Ben Cardin, Bill Press, Joe Madison, James Clyburn, Dana Milbank, Richard Wolffe, Tim Collette, Jeff Merkley

REV. AL SHARPTON, HOST: Republicans make their choice, and they are
siding with the rich. Tonight, an outrageous new plan to protect
millionaires by cutting jobs and freezing pay. These people have no shame
and must be stopped.

Right now, millions more school kids are too poor to afford lunch and
need government help. This is what the debate in Washington is really all
about.

Plus, Willard slams Newt, Newt slams Willard, and Newt also slams Fox
News.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: (INAUDIBLE) changes. It
comes when you start running for president, as opposed to being an analyst
on Fox. I have to actually know what I`m talking about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

We start tonight with breaking news, a new Republican plan to protect
the rich by destroying jobs and crushing the middle class. The fight over
the payroll tax cut boils down to one thing: putting more money in the
pockets of 160 million American workers or protecting 345,000 of the
richest people in the country.

And Republicans have made their choice. They have chosen the rich.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R), MINORITY LEADER: We just think it shouldn`t
be punishing job creators to pay for it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: I think you can take
to the bank the fact that they will be paid for.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Yes, the payroll tax cut will be paid for, all right, but
instead of having the top .2 percent of ultra-rich pay for the payroll tax
cut, Republicans want to freeze the salary of federal workers and possibly
cut 200,000 government jobs, lay off 200,000 government workers right
before the holidays, all to protect a couple of hundred thousand rich
people.

The contrast between their fight for the rich and the president`s
fight for the rest of the country could not be clearer. He went to
Pennsylvania today to make his case.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Are you going to cut
taxes for the middle class and those who are trying to get into the middle
class, or are you going to protect massive tax breaks for millionaires and
billionaires?

Are you willing to fight as hard for middle class families as you do
for those who are most fortunate? What`s it going to be? That`s the
choice in front of Congress.

We`re a people who reach for our own success, but we also reach back
for the people to bring somebody up. Reach back to help others earn their
own success as well.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now is Senator Ben Cardin, Democrat from
Maryland and a member of the Senate Budget Committee.

Senator, I mean, what do you make of this outrageous plan? We`re
right before the holidays. They are actually talking about laying off
200,000 people and freezing federal pay. I mean, this is as bizarre as it
gets.

SEN. BEN CARDIN (D), MARYLAND: Al, you`re absolutely right. This is
all about trying to help middle income families so they don`t see an effect
of reduction in their paychecks. We need to make sure we extend the
payroll deductions.

What the Republicans are trying to protect are those that makeover
over $1 million. This is taxable income over a million. The first million
dollars of taxable income, there`s no additional taxes.

What we`re trying to say is, let`s pay for it in a fair way. Those
who have done the best over these last couple of years are the wealthiest.
They can at least help contribute.

Instead, the Republicans are saying, let`s take it out on our federal
workforce. They`ve already had a two-year pay freeze. They say let`s have
more pay freezes, let`s ask them to do more with less. And again, they are
hitting the middle income families.

It`s time that everybody contribute to helping our economy grow. And
I tell you, you summed it up right. Whose side are you on? Are you on the
side of the working families, the middle income, or are you trying to
protect the wealthiest in America?

SHARPTON: Now, let me make this real plain, because I don`t think a
lot of people in the media are really saying to the American people what is
happening here. The Republicans are saying, Senator, we have to pay for
this payroll tax cut, yet how did we pay for the Bush tax cut? I mean,
when there`s a tax cut that`s going to help the middle class, it has to be
paid for. When did we have to pay for the Bush tax cut before it went in?

CARDIN: Well, you`re absolutely right. And, of course, the Democrats
are the ones that balanced the budget last when we did it under President
Clinton. But we do believe we should pay for these expenses. We think
it`s right.

But we think those who are the best off should be paying first, and
that`s why our plan does pay for it. But you`re absolutely right. The
Republicans have a short memory. It`s OK for them to extend their tax cuts
for the wealthiest without paying for it, but when it comes to middle
income families, there always seems to be an excuse.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, politics, they say, starts at home. Let`s
go to Maryland. Let`s show what this will mean right in your home state.

Republicans are protecting about $10,000 (sic) of his state`s
millionaires -- 10,000 of your state`s millionaires with a potential
expense of 3.2 million workers. That`s what we`re looking at here.

So we`re talking about taxing maybe 9,997 millionaires, as opposed to
3.2 million workers. That`s just in your home state of Maryland.

CARDIN: The math here is quite one-sided. Also, it`s a matter of
getting our economy back on track.

We have to expand our middle class, make it easier for people to have
confidence, to have some money that they can spend during the holidays.
And if you take money out of the paychecks out of middle income families,
what you`re doing is you are hurting our economy.

Again, we are not going to affect the first million dollars of taxable
income. This is only taxable income over a million dollars. And, quite
frankly, that`s going to have no impact at all on economic growth. It`s
going to help our economy grow.

SHARPTON: So, when this came out this morning, that the Republicans
were agreeing to this payroll tax cut, and it was being -- the spin that
was put on it by some of the Republicans, and some of the media that bought
it, that McConnell was caving. But then we see McConnell`s office announce
this -- yes, we`re caving all right. We`re going to cave the roof on the
head of the middle class, freeze federal civilian salaries, cut 200,000
government jobs.

This is outrageous.

CARDIN: Well, the strategy, I think, of Senator McConnell is to make
sure nothing passes. They`re trying to give cover to their members so that
when nothing happens, they can say, oh, gee, we had a plan.

The truth is, they know their plan can`t pass, and they are trying to
make sure that we don`t get anything done. That`s not in the best interest
of America.

It`s time we put partisan differences aside and help middle income
families to make sure that they don`t see a reduction in their paychecks.
That`s what is it at stake here. The plan that we brought forward is a
fair plan. We`re hoping that some Republicans can join us and we can get
this done.

SHARPTON: Now, I want to be clear. This cut of 200,000 jobs comes
right from Senator McConnell`s office press release. I`m not surmising
this, this comes right out of the Simpson-Bowles plan. This is cutting
200,000 government jobs.

This clearly says to us what you`re saying, I think, concurs with
that, that, one, he doesn`t want to pass anything. But, two, they have no
shame about hurting the middle class, laying off government workers three
weeks before Christmas to protect the rich at all costs.

CARDIN: Well, I`ll tell you, Al, I wish some of my Republican
colleagues could have been with me when I visited federal workers during
the last month. I went to our federal major facilities in Maryland and saw
workers who were being asked to do a lot more with less money.

These are people who are protecting our food safety at the FDA, people
who are protecting technology growth. This is helping us create jobs.
What they are doing, they are being asked to do more with less, and it`s
affecting the ability to get their jobs done.

People at the Social Security Administration making sure people get
their checks, they are being asked to do more with less. People at the
CMS, every agency. These are middle income families, and they are being
asked -- say we`re going to cut 200,000. That`s going to hurt our economy,
it`s going to hurt middle income families.

It`s the wrong thing to do at any time, but absolutely now, when our
economy is vulnerable. This is the wrong medication.

SHARPTON: Senator, thank you so much for being on tonight. I may
need you. I may need a Senate pass. I`m thinking of coming and visiting
the Senate and painting some blueberries on the doors on some of the
Republicans that are voting for this. My blueberry pie seems appropriate
to really show what they are trying to do here.

Thank you, Senator Ben.

CARDIN: Al, I`ll looking forward to seeing you on Capitol Hill.

SHARPTON: All right.

Coming up, Willard Romney gets a little hot under the collar as Newt
surges past him in the polls. Pop some popcorn, because it`s getting good.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Speaker Gingrich is a good
man. He and I have very different backgrounds. He`s a lifelong
politician.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: I have been a lifetime citizen. I have worked every day.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And news today that three million more school kids are so
poor, they need subsidized lunches.

Wake up, Republicans. Nothing is trickling down except misery.

And fighting a new injustice against our men and women in uniform.

You`re watching POLITICS NATION on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Welcome back.

New troubling evidence today of how bad things are for so many in this
country. "The New York Times" reports three million more school children
are so poor, they need free or subsidized lunches for the first time,
rising from 18 million in 2007 to 21 million today. That`s up 17 percent
in two years.

These are innocent kids on the verge of falling out of the middle
class, and they need our help. These days, lots of people need lots of
help.

By August of this year, 45 million families have signed up for food
stamps, a 75 percent increase in five years. And the latest Census shows
46 million Americans are living in poverty. That`s up 15 percent last
year, in the highest number since 1993.

This is what a generation of Republican policies have done to America.
It`s why President Obama is fighting so hard to restore fairness to our
economy and create jobs.

But Republicans must be tone deaf. Their solution is this --

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You`re looking at
someone who lived at below poverty. And I know what I had to do. I got a
job.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you don`t have a job and
you`re not rich, blame yourself.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Corporations are people, my friend. We can raise taxes on --
of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to
people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: I wouldn`t give anybody money for doing nothing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Tonight, one lone Republican -- one -- is finally admitting
that corporations are not people. Republican Senator Susan Collins is
supporting the Democratic plan to tax the rich to fund a payroll tax cut
for all workers.

Collins said, "I do not want to impose additional taxes on the
employers at a time when our economy is very fragile and we want to
encourage them to hire. On the other hand, I do believe that
multimillionaires and billionaires who are not running businesses could pay
more of their income to help us deal with the deficit."

I`ve got two nationally syndicated satellite radio hosts with me
tonight. Bill Press hosts "The Bill Press Show." Joe Madison hosts
"Mornings With Madison." Both on Sirius XM.

Gentlemen, thanks for your time tonight.

JOE MADISON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Thanks.

BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Reverend Al, good to see you.

SHARPTON: Bill, let me start with you.

Will more Republicans see the light and recognize that millionaires
should pay their fair share like Senator Collins has said?

PRESS: You know, I don`t know, Reverend Al. I would hope so.

I was thinking today back in my seminary days -- and I`m sure you
remember the same from your days -- we used to talk about comforting the
afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. Right?

SHARPTON: Right.

PRESS: I think the Republicans have it totally backwards. Right?
They are just all about further comforting the already comfortable.

I mean, this is, I believe, the number one issue facing this country,
and nobody wants to talk about it. We are a nation of poverty -- 46
million Americans, 20 percent of all school kids living in poverty today.

That`s a disgrace for this country. And all the policies of the
Republican Party are just making it easier and easier for the top one
percent and tougher and tougher for the 99 percent.

SHARPTON: Joe, 46 million living in poverty, 51 million living in
just above poverty. Almost 100 million Americans in poverty, close to
poverty. Children now. We`re seeing an additional three million children,
Joe, needing free lunches in school.

These are the people that talk about being the moralists. Did they
read the bible where it talks about "Suffer little children, the greatest
among you"? St. Matthews -- children are not Republicans or Democrats, Joe
Madison. They are innocent children. That doesn`t mean anything to this
crowd?

MADISON: And they probably didn`t even go to Sunday school, let alone
read the bible.

(LAUGHTER)

MADISON: But let me point out something, too, ,that`s in that "New
York Times" article. Look who they are.

These are not lazy, shiftless people that they try to put a face on.
Rochester, New York, people who work for Kodak, laid off, so embarrassed,
that they are telling school officials, please don`t out our children when
it comes to that.

SHARPTON: Right.

MADISON: It`s rural people, people who have joined the Tea Party,
voted against their own interests.

And then let`s go to Newberry, South Carolina, yesterday or the day
before, where someone mentioned the fact that Newt Gingrich said he wants
to go back to prior 1941. That`s where he wants to take America, which is
a direct attack on labor unions which did more to lift people out of
poverty, including my parents and probably your parents, and your parents`
generation, than any other institution.

And then, finally, this is where most of the food program started,
after World War II, to help with the oversupply of food produced by
farmers, and at the same time, feed children, feed people who are hungry.
And what does the number one, the head candidate for the Republican Party
say yesterday in South Carolina? I want to go back to prior 1941, which
also, June 25, 1941, Al, was the day that A. Philip Randolph said to
Roosevelt, I`ll bring 25,000 people to Washington to change your mind, and
that`s what we are going to have to do here in the United States of
America.

SHARPTON: Well, there`s no doubt about that.

And, Bill, let me say, is that what Senator Collins is finally
beginning to see? Look at the quote she says today about breaking ranks
with the GOP`s hard line on taxes. "What we`ve been hearing over and over
again is that the reason Republicans are opposed to the surtax is because
of the concern of its impact on job creation. Well, if you carve out
employers, you take away that argument."

That`s what she`s saying. She gets it?

PRESS: No, no, no, she does get it. And I`ll tell you what, Reverend
Al. I think the Republicans have painted themselves into a box in this,
and more and more of them are going to have to realize it, because what
they say is, you know, you can`t get rid of that Bush tax cut because that
would be raising taxes. Yes, but then they turn around and they say, well,
we`ll get rid of the payroll tax cut.

Well, that`s raising taxes too, and that`s raising taxes on the very
people we`re talking about, $1,000, $1,300 a year for families that are
barely making it at $50,000 a year. So, Republicans, they painted
themselves as the party that will raise taxes now on the 99 percent. I
don`t see how they can defend that in 2012. Susan Collins is smart enough
to realize it.

SHARPTON: Joe, the only way that we`re going to make this work is
we`re going to have to apply pressure.

MADISON: Right.

PRESS: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: You know next Friday we`re doing 25 cities around the
country. But we also need to look at these Republicans that are in tight
races that need to explain to us why they are not joining the ranks of
Senator Collins.

Scott Brown in Massachusetts, Heller in Nevada, Snowe right there in
Maine, where are they? You`re in tight races. You are seeing the courage
of Senator Collins. We need to start saying directly to them as they face
reelection, what side are you on?

MADISON: Absolutely. Fifteen hundred dollars buys a lot of
groceries, Senator Heller, in Nevada, where, in fact, the construction
industry is the one that got hit the hardest. And here you have President
Obama trying to do what? Stimulate the -- so whose side are you on, $1,500
worth of groceries, or on the side of the one percent in this country that
control what, 40 -- now take home -- one percent takes home 25 percent of
the national income.

PRESS: Right.

You know, Reverend Al, I don`t think there`s going to be a clearer
choice in this election than we`ve ever had. And Joe just nailed it. Who
do you stand for here? Right?

Do you stand for the one percent or the 99 percent? Do you stand for
raising taxes $1,500 for the average family, or do you stand for giving
them a tax break?

SHARPTON: Well, we`re going to occupy some ballot booths.

Bill and Joe, thank you very much.

PRESS: Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Coming up next, Congressman Jim Clyburn on how to get
fairness in this country. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Welcome back to POLITICS NATION.

The fight for fairness is on, and top Democrat from the other side of
Capitol Hill, South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn, the assistant
Democratic leader, is here to talk about the fight.

Congressman, we saw you getting bombarded with Republican talking
points on Fox News earlier today.

REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D), SOUTH CAROLINA: Yes.

SHARPTON: But I had to ask you, what do you make of the GOP`s
priorities in the fight overtax cuts for the working class?

CLYBURN: Well, thank you so much for having me, Reverend.

I had a little fun with them today because I wanted them to know that
there should be some substance to their slogans: "Fair and Balanced."
Let`s have a tax code that is fair. Let`s have a program going forward
that is, in fact, balanced.

As you know, we have been trying now to do the president`s jobs bill.
They refused to move forward on it. They are now saying in order to do the
payroll tax holiday, that we need to pay for it by cutting other programs.

I believe that we ought to do unemployment insurance, the payroll tax
holiday, and the so called (INAUDIBLE). We can do all of that using the
overseas contingency account. They keep saying that`s funny money.

SHARPTON: Right.

CLYBURN: Well, if it is, why did they put it in their budget? I
would ask all your listeners to look at Ryan`s budget, and you will see
that they are used the overseas contingency account to do that, and there`s
$750 billion there for the taking. And that`s what we ought to do.

SHARPTON: And that is in the Ryan plan. But Congressman, you know
this stuff better than I do, but I know some of the political rhetoric a
little better than you do. And that is that they really mean fair to
billionaires and balance the books of millionaires.

Let me show you what I mean. This is you and Mr. Cavuto over at Fox
today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS: Now, whether you`re for raising taxes on any
group at any time, most American people are saying that isn`t the issue.
The spending and getting it under control is.

CLYBURN: But that`s absolutely not true. And most American people
are not saying that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, to show that you`re not just talking partisan, look at
this graph. Most American people, as you say, this is what they are
saying.

Forty-three percent said job situation worried them the most, 22
percent of Americans said deficit worried them the most. This is the Pew
Research Center.

Who is he talking about, most Americans are saying what they are
talking about? Americans have been clear, even Republicans have been clear
in every poll to say tax the rich, Congressman Clyburn.

CLYBURN: Well, you are absolutely correct. And if you recall, what I
said to him was, "That may be the Americans that you are talking to, but
the American people that I`m talking to are saying to the tune of 65, 70
percent, that we ought to make this tax code fairer, and when you`ve got a
tax code that says to the lower 20 percent of households that your income
only increased by 18 percent over the last 30 years and that up at 20
percent experienced household income of 65 percent, that tells you
something is out of kilter. And so, we needed to do what is necessary to
make sure that people of all -- from all walks of life are able to move
forward at least in some similar fashion. The gap is getting wider and
wider. It is unfair. It is you unsustainable and I believe that we all
know what happens to society when there is not a strong middle class.

SHARPTON: That`s right.

CLYBURN: We are squeezing people out of the middle class and there
are two to three million of them in the last three years that have gone
into the unemployment, underemployment and categories and that is
unsustainable and unfair.

SHARPTON: Well, the middle class helped to save this country. It`s
time for the country to save the middle class. Congressman James Clyburn,
thank you so much for joining us tonight. I know you ran over from the
hill to do this and we appreciate it.

CLYBURN: Well, thank you so much for having me.

SHARPTON: Ahead, Gingrich goes after Romney and Willard is feeling
the heat.

And this Iraq war hero might not have a house to come home to because
of a bank foreclosure. It`s outrageous. His father speaks with us live.
Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Welcome back to POLITICS NATION. Willard Mitt Romney and
Newt Gingrich are facing off and it`s getting ugly. Newt landed the first
punch attacking Romney as an un-conservative flip-flopper.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I wouldn`t lie to the
American people. I wouldn`t switch my position for political reasons.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But Willard swung right back attacking Newt as a DNC
insider.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Speaker Gingrich is a good
man. He and I have very different backgrounds. He`s spent his last 30 or
40 years in Washington. I spent my career in a private sector. He`s a
lifelong politician. I think you have to have the credibility of
understanding how the economy works and I do and that`s one reason why I`m
in this race.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Oh, lifelong politician, Willard. And Newt wasted no time
responding telling reporters, quote, "I`m now being attacked by the former
front-runner." Former front-runner? Wow. That one stings.

Joining me now, Richard Wolffe, MSNBC political analyst. He`s the
author of "Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White
House." And Dana Milbank, political reporter for The Washington Post.
Thanks to both of you for being here tonight.

Richard, how does an extended Romney-Gingrich fight affect the race
and a race against President Obama also believed to be between whoever
wins?

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, these guys have both
got to win in Iowa now. So, if Newt has got a path to anything, he`s got
to win there. Romney has got to win Iowa, too. If he wants to cut this
one short. And what this does from the democrat point of view is that it
really -- it wounds both of them because you`ve got two serial flip-
floppers going at each other. They`ve both go the passion for the fight,
the personal hatred for it, you saw a flash of it in that FOX News
interview last night with Mitt Romney and in the end, a protracted fight
for these two guys with the amount of research, the amount of reversals
they have made, it`s not going to help either of them as a nominee moving
forward.

SHARPTON: Now, Dana, we`re starting to see Newt ahead in many of the
polls and this Robo-polls, he`s way ahead and yet you keep saying to
yourself, why is it the Romney people rolling them out? When you see 28,
30, 41 numbers for Newt and then it`s compared to Mitt coming in 12, 15,
17. And this is Iowa, South Carolina, Florida, respectively. I mean, why
aren`t you rolling Mitt out more? Well, they rolled him out on FOX last
night and I`m beginning to see why they had been slow on the roll. Watch a
little bit of his interview with FOX.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Climate change, abortion, immigration,
gay rights, how can voters trust what they hear from you today is what you
will believe if you win the White House?

ROMNEY: Well, Bret, your list is just not accurate. So, one, we`re
going to have to be better informed about my views on issues. This whole
stream of thought that you began with, which is where you say they need to
get elected, if that were the case, would I still be defending
Massachusetts health care?

BAIER: Do you think a mandate mandating people to buy insurance is
the right tool?

ROMNEY: Bret, I don`t know how many hundred times I`ve said this,
too. This is an unusual interview. All right. Let`s do it again.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He doesn`t interview well, Dana.

DANA MILBANK, THE WASHINGTON POST: Yes. I know. I`m afraid Bret
Baier was going to give him a mulligan on that and do it over again. This
is one of those rare interviews where the campaign doesn`t actually set it
out but the Democratic National Committee does is making sure everybody saw
that. So, the problem with keeping your candidate out of the limelight and
hoping everybody fight is that your candidate does not get all of the
experience he might want to have being in the public eye and giving these
sorts of interviews. The Romney strategy had been to let everybody find
out, hopefully carve up the vote, so that no anti-Romney emerged. At this
very late hour, Gingrich has emerged is the anti-Romney. It seems
implausible to a lot of us. But as you can see from the polls, people are
just desperate still for somebody other than Mitt Romney.

SHARPTON: Now, Richard, you`ve got the inside in the White House.

WOLFFE: Yes.

SHARPTON: So, give me the inside in the Romney camp who I don`t think
will ever see the White House unless it`s on visitor`s tour but that`s just
my personal opinion. Are they rattled by all of this?

WOLFFE: Are the Romney people rattled by it? Well.

SHARPTON: I mean, the Gingrich surge in all of this.

WOLFFE: Their path is to be the inevitable candidate. And they
projected pretty well that all of these people that have come and gone and
really if they are getting under the skin of the White House, they are
doing their job. The problem at this stage is those numbers that you
showed up in the early states are bad but they`re not that strong in New
Hampshire or in California now. So, you`re looking at a situation where
they could go down in a lot of this early states and that`s where the
inevitably argument collapses. Just as Hillary Clinton have that goes.
So, you`re inevitable right up to the point where you are not at all viable
and that`s the problem they face. So, are they rattled by it? On the
surface, they`ll say, everything is going fine. It`s going according to
plan. They are much more disciplined, much better organized, their
communication is a lot better. But Canada only works by keeping them out
of the public eye and out of the fray. He`s got to get into the fray to
stop this one now.

SHARPTON: Now, one Dana who doesn`t seem rattled is Newt. I`m not
saying he sounds like what he`s saying makes a lot of sense but he doesn`t
seem rattled because he was confronted at a campaign stop yesterday being
asked about him being a lobbyist and the fact that "New York Times" said
today, set up meetings, he was trying to help persuade congressman, he
engaged in strategies but he says lobbyists, let`s watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: I did no lobbying of any kind, period, for a practical
reason. And I`m going to be really direct, OK? I was charging $60,000 a
speech. I didn`t have to deal with anybody. If I didn`t like the issue, I
didn`t deal with it. If I didn`t agree with you, I didn`t say it. If I`m
standing at a press conference with members of Congress, it is by
definition not lobbying. It is a public event communicating a public good
because I am a citizen.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I wasn`t lobbying because I was charging $60,000 a speech
and I wasn`t lobbying because I was at a public press conference after
private meetings.

MILBANK: Yes, Reverend. The first President Bush actually called
that, you know, high-figure speeches a white collar crime. So, I`m not
sure it`s going to impress Americans that he wasn`t lobbying, so he could
make millions giving speeches. Of course he was not technically a
lobbyist. That`s the oldest racket in this town. All kinds of people are
in the influence peddling business and Newt was doing that. And, you know,
the real irony here is that the republican electorate was looking for the
outsider. The anti-Obama, the guy was really against Washington, they`ve
got the two most consummate insiders as their two finalists here to choose
from.

WOLFFE: Reverend, by the way, technically, that is lobbying. If you
organize a meeting between the government official and an executive, that`s
lobbying. Even with the low -- there isn`t a low right now. He was
lobbying. He may not want to call it that. You don`t have to say, this is
what the legislature should be to a lobbyist. And by the way, what kind of
corporate executives are they who pay this man $60,000 just to give us
speech where everyone is doing a public event anyway? You don`t have to do
that. You`re not getting your bank for the butt. And it is actually
lobbying if these people were meeting on the sides. That`s lobbying.

SHARPTON: Richard, what do you call them? Lovers of history.
Richard Wolffe and Dana Milbank, thanks for joining us.

MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.

WOLFFE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: And this Iraq soldier is ready to come home but he might
not have a house when he gets there. A bank foreclosure on a soldier`s
family. This unpatriotic story is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Welcome back to POLITICS NATION. Out of the ashes of the
economic collapse of 2008, came the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform Act, he
created Consumer Protection Bureau with one responsibility. Protect
consumers against corporate greed. And, of course, Republicans attacked
it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: If you want to put people in jail, I want to second with
what Michele said, you ought to start with Barney Frank and Chris Dodd.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It represents a government driven solution to a
problem government help create.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And I fought on
Barney Frank`s committee against Dodd Frank which the housing and jobs
destruction act.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Housing and jobs destruction act? Actually, it promotes --
and transparency in an industry that fueled the collapse. The mortgage
industry. It helped protect real people, including our country`s men and
women serving in the armed forces. And now, we`re learning banks may have
illegally foreclosed at nearly 5,000 of those members of the military.
People like Tom Collette, father of army specialist Aaron Collette. Aaron
has been serving our country in Iraq for two years and he`s on his way
home. Problem is, there might not be a home when he gets there. Tim`s
home has been foreclosed but he`s fighting to stay there. This is
unpatriotic and is un-American and we have to fight.

Joining me now is Tim Collette, father to army specialist Aaron
Collette who will be home from Iraq this Christmas. And Senator Jeff
Merkley, democrat from Oregon who has been advocating for Tim Collette
since June. Thank you both for joining me tonight.

SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D), OREGON: You`re welcome.

TIM COLLETTE, MILITARY DAD FIGHTING FORECLOSURE: Thank you for having
me.

SHARPTON: Tim, let me go to you first, how have you been fighting
this? What efforts are you making to fight those that are trying to take
your home?

COLLETTE: Well, a few months back, we filed a suit in Federal Court
to basically telling that they couldn`t foreclose on our house. They did
it in an illegal way and we`re going to fight back to try to get the house
back.

SHARPTON: Senator, how are they doing this and what is it that they
are using to try and get away with this? I`m talking about the banks that
have foreclosed on people like Tim.

MERKLEY: Yes. All right. Tim`s story is parallel to thousands that
we hear about across this country, a situation where the servicer said,
here`s what we`re proposing as a modification of your mortgage. Tim
complied with that for a period of I think about two years. Tim, correct
me if I`m a little off there. But essentially then they said, well, it
wasn`t really a modification. And we`re sorry but we`re foreclosing
because you can`t make the full payments that were required in the original
mortgage. This story is repeated time and time again, where the mortgage
modification program intended to help Americans stay in their home, has
been used as an instrument that in fact has misled consumers, misled them
into further dire financial circumstances.

SHARPTON: So, Tim, you modified the way they say you do what they say
and then all of a sudden they flip back on you and say, no, you`ve got to
go by the original price. Here Aaron is on his way home. Been in Iraq two
years, serving this country and if you`re not successful, he may not have a
home to come to?

COLLETTE: That`s correct. When he came home this summer, that was
when the big thing started. And they actually foreclosed two-and-a-half
hours before he showed up on leave coming home from Iraq.

SHARPTON: Now, let me show you this. This is in February. Stephanie
Mudick, vice president of JPMorgan Chase who has admitted overcharging
4,500 service members or mortgages and illegally foreclosing on at least 18
service members homes, apologizes, I`m sorry at a February hearing. Watch
this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANIE MUDICK, V.P., JPMORGAN CHASE: We are deeply disappointed
that we have letdown the men and women of our military. We will work very,
very hard to earn back their trust and yours and we are committed to doing
so.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Senator, but sorry is not enough when you have people like
Tim that are facing having to face leaving their homes. They`re already
been foreclosed.

MERKLEY: Absolutely not. Sorry, it`s not enough. It`s
uncontrollable what`s happened. We have the report from the controller,
the currency that at least 5,000 service members have been illegally
foreclosed on. This is not just morally long, it`s against the law to
foreclose on a service member. And I must say, it disturbs me greatly
that when major financial institutions were in trouble in New York, the
government did back flips to save them but we have done so little, way too
slow, way too little to help the working families in America stay in their
homes.

SHARPTON: Now, we did get a statement today from Chase regarding the
foreclosure to Tim Collette. Let me show you that statement. He says,
"Mr. Collette`s position on change.org asks for one thing, to stay in his
home through his son`s leave, which ends in August. We have granted that
request. All of the options we have offered extend him through the end of
September. We have forwarded his loan modification request to the investor
of Fannie Mae but a modification was not approved." This can`t happen. I
mean, what can we do, Senator, to push the envelope? What can we do to
help Tim?

MERKLEY: We need to do a tremendous amount. We need to confirm a
director, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau so they have the full
power under the law to set fair terms. We need to make the mortgage
modification program which Tim applied to and thought he had been accepted
into. Absolutely, one where there is a single point of contact to reduce
confusion, to make sure that there is not a dual track of foreclosure being
pursued at the same time that the modification is being pursued. We need
to have every single contract go through a third party review because so
many mistakes have been made thousands of times over and certainly in this
particular case, I encourage the bank to reach out and stand by their
original proposal of lowered payments and consider that a modification and
make this right for Tim and his family.

SHARPTON: Tim, let me make it clear for the American people that are
watching. You are not asking for a favor here. You`re not asking, despite
the fact that Aaron has served this country for charity, you just want to
be able to pay at the modified price that they had told you could pay. Am
I right?

COLLETTE: That`s correct. That`s what a lot of us are. I mean, it`s
not just about me. You got a hundred of thousands of people, if not
millions, are in the same position. We don`t want a hand out. A lot of
people have been in their houses for, you know, 18 or 20 years. This isn`t
brand new. And we are hardworking people, a lot are small business owners.
We don`t want a hand out. We just want a fair deal.

SHARPTON: Tim, Senator, I join you. Tim doesn`t want a hand out.
Give him a way out. Thanks to both of you for joining us tonight. We`re
going to stay on this.

COLLETTE: You`re welcome.

MERKLEY: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Straight ahead, Newt and I have agreed in the past and
today I agree with him again. I don`t want to shock you, but I do. You
don`t want to miss what he`s saying about FOX News and what I agree with.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We reported earlier that Newt Gingrich says, he made
$60,000 per speech. That may be a good thing. He may not have his old day
job to fall back on if this presidential thing doesn`t work out. Listen to
this hilarious sound bite from his town hall meeting last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: One of the real changes that comes when you start running
for president, as opposed to being an analyst on FOX, is I have to actually
know what I`m talking about.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Pretty funny Newt, and true. We all remember the hours you
spent in the fat-free zone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: Nazis don`t have the right to put up a sign next to the
holocaust museum. There`s no reason for us to accept any mosque next to
the World Trade Center.

The Obama administration doesn`t understand America. That they don`t
understand how the American people feel.

If you don`t love the job creators, where do you think the jobs are
coming from?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But, of course, it wasn`t just you, Newt. As you said,
nobody over there in Fin balance (ph) land is required to know what they
are talking about.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, HOST, "THE SEAN HANNITY SHOW": He`s blaming the
American people. He`s saying that the American people are lazy.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Governor, we always enjoyed talking to you. It`s
not easy thing you did but you do. No one can question your leadership.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We did one in February of `09. It`s been a
disaster. It`s a lie to say that this is been a success for people.

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST, FOX NEWS SUNDAY: You realize that you messed up
about Paul Revere, don`t you?

SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: You know what, I didn`t mess up
about Paul Revere. I know my American history.

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: First of all, pepper spray, that just
burns your eyes, right?

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Quite a crowd over there, Newt. I used to debate him all
over there a lot myself. Haven`t seen him lately. I`ve been over here
trying to keep the FOX away from the hens.

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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