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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, December 28, 2011

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Guests: Ed Rendell, Erin McPike, Joe Madison, Maria Teresa Kumar, Judson Phillips, Chaka Fattah, Andrew Young III, Brad Newman

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

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST, "POLITICSNATION": I-o-what? Mitt Romney
soars in Iowa and Newt Gingrich plummets. But wait until you hear what is
leading the party.

Teed off? The Tea Party promised to take Washington by storm, but
instead they`ve been a total washout. Now the GOP is paying for their
mistakes.

And Rick Perry blasts the White House for not honoring the troops
returning from Iraq. Wait a second, governor. Aren`t you the one who
didn`t want them to come home in the first place?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK PERRY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The idea that a commander in
chief would stand up and signal to the enemy a date certain of which we`re
going to pull our troops out I think is irresponsible.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Well country to POLITICSNATION. I`m Al Sharpton.
Tonight`s lead, where there`s a Willard, there`s a way. A brand-new poll
out of Iowa has Willard Mitt Romney back at the top of the GOP pack in
Iowa, and he`s kicked Newton Leroy Gingrich to the curb. But look who is
number three. Rick Santorum. Santorum has 16 percent support, and Newt is
struggling to say in the midst with 14 percent. It`s a complete reversal
of fortune. Willard has risen five percentage points since early December,
while Newt plummeted 19 points in less than four weeks, and Rick Santorum
is soaring up 11 points.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK SANTORUM, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Whether they got down to
the time to really seriously look at the candidates and measure up the
people they had the opportunity to see that we would do well. We had the
right message. We had the bold plans. We had the consistent track record.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Rick Santorum, the right message, Rick Santorum who worried
President Obama might go to Indonesia and bow to more Muslims, who said
that marriage is not desirable among African-American males, who called
elder education programs a government plot to indoctrinate your children,
this is the new GOP flavor of the month. The Republicans have gone
extreme, and they`re not turning back.

Joining me now, NBC News political analyst Ed Rendell, former DNC
chairman and Pennsylvania governor, and live from Des Moines, Iowa, where
she`s cover the race, Erin McPike from Real Clear Politics. Thank you both
for joining me.

ED RENDELL, FORMER DNC CHAIRMAN: My pleasure, Al.

SHARPTON: Governor, let me tart with you. Governor Romney is up and
Rick Santorum is up, but not Newt. Where is this race right now?

RENDELL: A cautionary note. Polls are always difficult to measure,
even in regular elections, primaries, or general elections. But in
caucuses, they`re particularly hard to measure because the caucus voter has
to show up, spend about two-and-a-half, three hours there. So the people
with the most passion and the most organization are likely to do better
than they`re polling, which is why I think Rick Santorum will do a lot
better than 16 percent, because his followers are the evangelical voters.
They`re passionate about him. He`s spoken well. He understands the
issues. Are some of his positions wacky? Of course they are, but that`s
not a problem for the core voters that he`s attracting.

I think he`s going to better. Ron Paul is going to do better because
he has passion behind his candidacy. Mitt Romney has the thinking
Republicans who are saying I want the best person to beat Barack Obama, but
they don`t have the same passion. So I wouldn`t call this over.

For Newt it appears that he`s in free fall. It appears that the
negative attacks have worked. It appears his stumbles in places like
Virginia are starting to come home to roost. But I wouldn`t consider Mitt
Romney home free by any means yet in the Iowa primary.

SHARPTON: Erin, it is true that the caucuses are based on enthusiasm
and turnout, but you`re beginning to see according to the polls there are
more firm decisions by some of the Iowan Republican caucus-goers than there
was before. Look at this poll, December 6th, 55 percent of those polled
said they may change their mind, 27th of December, yesterday, just 43
percent. So more and more we see people at least indicate their mind is
made up. Are you feeling that on the ground there in Iowa?

ERIN MCPIKE, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: Yes, that`s what I`m hearing and
what the Romney campaign is starting to see and say, that their supporters
will come out for them again. And if they can get up to 25 percent in the
caucuses a week from now, then they think they can still win, because
everyone is so fractured on the right.

Now, even if Mitt Romney wins Iowa and New Hampshire, some people are
saying it`s going to be over, but the polls in South Carolina don`t
necessarily bear that out. And as we start to see candidates drop out of
the race after Iowa, let`s say or in New Hampshire, we might not see very
many candidates go to New Hampshire, they may chalk it up as a Romney
victory and then the candidates might go to South Carolina and start
campaigning there. So if candidates start to drop out we could see with
coalesce around -- the electorate coalesce around someone on the right like
a Newt Gingrich or even a Rick Perry or even a Rick Santorum that could
create some trouble for Romney going down the line.

SHARPTON: That`s true, Governor Rendell, if take that bloc that is
against Mr. Romney, it`s like 34 percent, I was just reading. If you add
the Santorum, Bachmann, the whole far extreme right vote, that`s actually
50 percent. So if that 50 percent coalesces around one candidate, if
people start falling out after Iowa, you could in South Carolina have a
very singular, formidable anti-Willard candidate and take some big South
Carolina victory into Florida, and it could upset the whole thing even if
Willard pulls out of Iowa and New Hampshire.

RENDELL: It`s possible, Al. But remember number one he will get a
bounce in South Carolina if he wins Iowa and New Hampshire. That`s the way
this thing always works. That`s number one.

Number two, if he wins Iowa and New Hampshire, he`s going to have
money -- a plethora of money. No one else will raise a dime. He`ll be
able to dominate the airwaves in South Carolina. You saw what happened
when the airwaves were dominated in anti-Newt Gingrich rhetoric. Newt
Gingrich plummeted like a stone. So don`t underestimate the power of
money.

I don`t see anybody out there, and Erin, correct me if I`m wrong, who
has got the ability to raise money to hang in there with Mitt Romney,
particularly if Romney wins Iowa and New Hampshire.

SHARPTON: Now, Erin, talking about money, let me show you this.
Willard played a very, very shrewd game, as far as I`m concerned. He
himself spent in Iowa, $402,000 in ads, all positive. But "Restore our
Future," the Romney PAC, spent $759,000, almost all of it on negative ads
on Newt Gingrich. So the way they`re dealing with this is spending almost
twicex7 more with their PACs to do the dirty work while they pose as pure
as the driven snow.

MCPIKE: Right. But as you know, Al, that`s the way a lot of campaign
advertising is starting to go. Campaign committees based in Washington,
whether it`s the Democratic National Committee or the Republican National
Committee or some of other campaign committees that support Senate and
House candidates do a lot of the dirty work so that the campaigns can claim
that they`re staying positive, staying on their own message.

But you`re right, Newt Gingrich has made an issue of that, because
he`s starting to needle Mitt Romney on his own, but he`s also saying, Mitt,
you need to man up and come at me if you`re going to attack me and do it to
my face. So there`s a back and forth on that, but that`s the way campaigns
are working these days.

SHARPTON: Kind of schoolyard talk among people talking about being
president. But let me go back to you for a minute, Governor Rendell. When
you look at the Iowans` pins of the candidates, it goes to your point.
Santorum has a 56 percent favorable rating, 29 percent unfavorable. But
let`s go down to Willard. He has a 44 percent favorable, 47 percent
unfavorable, Gingrich, 37 percent favorable, 54 percent unfavorable.

So if we`re dealing in a caucus, where you go if your guy in the
caucus doesn`t win and he goes to the second guy, Santorum is more likable
and less unfavorable than anyone in this race right now, which could be
dangerous. This guy could be everybody`s second choice because he`s more
likable.

RENDELL: And you know, Al, everyone talks about peaking at the right
time. And Ron Paul was peaking at the right time and Gingrich was peaking
at the right time. No, Santorum is peaking at the right time because he`s
coming on close enough to the election that he`s the only candidate that
other candidates haven`t run negatives about. And they`re plenty there to
run negatives about if they want to but they`re not going to have enough
time. So Santorum`s timing might be absolutely perfect going into next
Tuesday.

SHARPTON: This comes out on Wednesday, he gets the New Year`s
weekend. They only have one or two days to try to bloody them up and they
can`t get up that fast. But you and I know if Santorum comes out there
soaring, the guy that can really relax is Barack Obama. But that`s my
opinion.

(LAUGHTER)

RENDELL: No question. And what president Obama wants -- look, in the
end, I think Mitt Romney will be the nominee. I can`t close my eyes and
picture anybody accepting the Republican nomination in Minneapolis/St. Paul
other than Mitt Romney. But if Santorum or anybody else can keep this
thing going, it`s points for President Obama day after day after day that
this thing keeps going.

SHARPTON: Governor Ed Rendell and Erin McPike, thanks for your time
tonight.

MCPIKE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, Republicans, meet your candidates. When they`re not
trying to gut health care and attack women`s rights, they`re, well, just
plain awkward.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I thought when I was coming to a place called Clinton I was
going to have some difficulty.

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: At least you`re not called Obama, right?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Rick Perry and Mitt Romney slam the president for not
throwing troops a welcome home party. Wait, aren`t you the guys who said
the troops shouldn`t be staying at home, they should be in Iraq?

Millions of people in Florida have no health insurance. Governor Rick
Scott has found a new way not to help them. Rick Scott and the latest
chapter of when Republican governors do unpopular things. You`re watching
POLITICSNATION live on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Rick Perry loves states` rights so much that he`s suing a
state in federal court. Perry failed to qualify for Virginia`s primary
ballot, so now he`s filing a federal lawsuit against that state`s election
law. It`s a Texas-sized flip from the guy who once talked about secession.
Perry can`t be serious. In fact, none of the GOP candidates are serious.
We`ll talk about that next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`ve been watching these Republican candidates for months
now. And it seems like the more we get to know them, the scarier they get.
Here`s Willard Mitt Romney on the trail today.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You eliminate programs, you
just take some of them and say gone, even some you like. I not only cut
programs, I take programs we need like caring for the poor with our
Medicaid program, and instead of having the federal government run that
program, I`m going to send it back to the states.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Hmm, I guess Romney has bought into the Paul Ryan plan to
kill Medicaid by turning it over to the states. Here`s Rick Perry today
also in Iowa.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RICK PERRY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I talked yesterday to a
cancer patient. She said, governor, if you don`t get rid of Obamacare, I`m
dead. She said they will never take care of me. That`s a powerful
testimony by that lady.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: The truth is the Affordable Care Act takes care of
everyone. What`s the whole point? That`s what it is all about, and it is
already working.

I was also baffled today by Michele Bachmann.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MICHELE BACHMANN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don`t know how to be
a politician. I never want to know how to be a politician. I only want to
be the Iowa girl that my parents raised me to be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Not a politician? You were elected to office a decade ago.

And then there`s Newt Gingrich, who thinks the Greek cruise he took
was a lesson in global economics.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Being in Greece during the
Greek crisis was very helpful and gave me a much deeper perspective of how
hard this is going to be.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It`s hard to believe he wasn`t joking with that line, but
then again humor hasn`t been too big with these folks.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: This is an extraordinary welcome in Clinton. I thought when
I was coming to a place called Clinton I was going to have some difficulty.

(LAUGHTER)

ROMNEY: At least you`re not called Obama.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Sorry, Willard, even your jokes are bad. It`s enough to
make you ask, are they really serious? But the scary thing is they are.

Joining me now, Joe Madison, host of "Mornings with Madison" on Sirius
XM radio, and Maria Teresa Kumar, executive director of Voto Latino and an
MSNBC contributor. Thank you both for joining me tonight.

JOE MADISON, HOST, "MORNINGS WITH MADISON": Thank you.

MARIA TERESA KUMAR, VOTO LATINO: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Joe, let me start with you. These Republicans would be
laughable if it wasn`t so scary. I mean, am I right on this? Can you
imagine any of them becoming president?

MADISON: I better wipe the smile off my face, because I just cracked
up when I heard Newt Gingrich said on his Greek cruise that it was a lesson
in Greek economies.

I`ve said this before, Reverend Sharpton, and I`ll keep saying it.
It`s like watching the Muppet show, except the Muppets have more sense that
these folks do. They are saying anything, and it`s rather an insult, I
think, to the people of Iowa.

But I keep asking myself, and I think I`m not the only one, where are
the real Republicans, the Republicans that we used to know? You know, the
Bill Cohens. When I lived in Michigan there was a governor there that even
the late Coleman Young voted for because he understood what was good for
Michigan -- good for Detroit was good for the state. I don`t know when the
adults in the Republican Party are going to come forward and say enough is
enough, but now I think quite honestly it`s too late.

SHARPTON: No, I think you`re right.

MADISON: And Obama has to be the luckiest candidate for president I
think we`ve had in a long time.

SHARPTON: Well, let me ask you this, Maria. When you look at the
fact that they are attacking the affordable health care act, I`ve had a
lady on this show that talked about how she had questions about it, it
saved her life, she had cancer. When you look at the polling of the
affordable care act, 50 percent of Americans say expand or keep it as it
is, 50 percent. Only 39 percent say repeal it.

Yet you see all the Republicans agree on repealing it. Let me show
you this whole barrage of attacks from each one of these Republican
candidates who seem like they are oblivious to what the American people are
saying about this act.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: First on my list is Obamacare. That will be gone on day one.

BACHMANN: I`m going to repeal Obama-care so we can end socialized
medicine.

GINGRICH: I will ask the new Congress on January 3rd, before I am
sworn in to stay in office and repeal Obamacare.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, Maria, let me surprise you. This is not during the
debate. These statements, every one of them were today. Every one of them
are saying this today. Given the poll I showed you, given all of what
we`ve heard, they`re running around like they`re in another world.

KUMAR: I think what they`re in the business right now of mis-
manufacturing information, and that`s dangerous for the Republican party.
I think the only thing that`s happening action what it shows is they are
running very much an insider game.

But Iowa is not really reflective of the American people. It`s
actually not as diverse, much older Americans. And at the same time,
believe it or not, they consider jobs a second-tier issue for them because
they`re enjoying, luckily for Iowans, a 5.9 percent unemployment where the
rest of the country is enjoying more of 10 or 11 percent unemployment rate.
So I don`t know what it says more than anything is Iowa is becoming
increasingly irrelevant.

But what you were saying is true. Are they serious? Unfortunately
Mitt Romney makes Al Gore look loose, and Rick Perry makes George W. Bush
look like a Rhodes Scholar. So it`s a matter of how much substance do they
actually have?

SHARPTON: Now, Joe, you also have to wonder who they are talking
about, because if you look at the economic plans from Willard to Gingrich
to Rick Perry, all favorite the one percent -- lower taxes for the rich,
lower taxes for corporation, repeal financial reform.

Yet when you look at where the American people are and you poll them
on are think sick of a an economy that blatantly favors the rich so why are
they exacerbating the situation, you have to ask yourself, because
Democrats, 87 percent agree they`re sick of that kind of economy favoring
the rich, 79 percent of independents, and you really need a large
independent vote to win, and even 61 percent of Republicans feel they`re
sick of that kind of economy. Who are these people talking to?

MADISON: Well, I think they`re also talking to, and we`ll never know,
but I bet you these attack ads -- against, Republicans ought to be very
careful what they ask for. Remember, they are the ones that wanted
corporations are people therefore they ought to have the right to buy these
ads. Well, now it`s come to backfire on them.

So they -- they ought to be careful for what they ask for, because
they`re destroying each other, and they`re appealing to the people who are
probably financing these ads. You know, this thing about these are the job
creators quite honestly doesn`t play anymore. Well, for example, Sears
isn`t creating any jobs.

SHARPTON: They`re closing stores.

MADISON: But they had enough money to buy K-Mart, didn`t they? So
people are getting smart behind this.

So let them just keep going and keep going, because I think it will be
different when think get to high unemployment states like South Carolina,
Florida, Ohio. They`re going to have a really tough time trying to sell
that, maybe not to their base. But remember now, this is about the general
election, and they`re giving everybody on our side enough ammunition to
destroy them in the fall.

SHARPTON: There`s no doubt about it.

Now, Maria, let me come to you with something that just came out
today. I`m breaking this.

(LAUGHTER)

SHARPTON: There was a poll that came out about Hispanic voters from
the Pew Hispanic Center. And it says that president Obama leads with
Hispanic voters 68 percent, Romney would only get 23 percent. So despite
some of those that have had misgivings on increased deportations, President
Obama is way ahead with Hispanic voters, which is a significant voting bloc
in the general election. Do you think this poll is correct and reflects
what you`ve been getting in the Hispanic community?

KUMAR: I think that any Republican candidate would be unfavorable
right now in the eyes of a Latino voter. I think where Obama really needs
to concentrate on is spreading his message. He needs to talk locally about
what he`s done specifically to the Latino community on health care. He has
to change the tone of immigration and he has to start talking about job
creation.

Right now the numbers are right in reflecting what folks feel when it
comes to a Republican versus Democratic candidate, but there is an
enthusiasm gap, number one. And number two, we also have to start talking
about the strict voter I.D. laws. It`s not surprising that the Republicans
saw the writing on the wall it would be difficult to win the Latino vote in
2012, so they`ve been pushing strict voter I.D. laws in the states that are
going to count, again, Texas, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and you go down the
list to North Carolina.

So what Obama really needs to do is talk about, one, the stuff he`s
done locally for the Latino community and for Americans in general. Two,
we have to address the voter I.D. laws, and my hats off to Eric Holder
who`s been doing great stuff with South Carolina.

But finally we have to start looking at -- the Republicans don`t have
a shot unless they win at least 40 percent of the Latino vote. The only
way that Mitt Romney can do that, and that`s one of the reasons he`s locked
up the Florida Republican party with Marco Rubio, is because he recognizes
he needs Florida. He may not win South Carolina, but with Florida he has a
shot. But right now I don`t see a clear path for the Republicans.

SHARPTON: And it will be difficult when you have people booing their
own candidates when they talk about a fair immigration policy in the
debates. There are people that have that take. If they don`t, I`ll do it,
and I`ll gladly play them for them all through the general election. Joe,
Maria, thank you for your time tonight.

KUMAR: Thank you very much.

MADISON: Happy Kwanzaa to you.

SHARPTON: Happy Kwanzaa, happy New Year.

KUMAR: Happy Kwanzaa.

SHARPTON: Ahead, Rick Scott, the most unpopular governor in America -
- instead of helping the uninsured in Florida, he`s rejecting help. Geez,
I wonder why he`s so unpopular.

And the Tea Party promised to bring change to Washington. Too bad the
only change I`ve seen is their plummeting approval. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Since taking office in January, Florida Governor Rick Scott
has pounced on every chance to chip away at the affordable care act. In
fact, last month, Scott said the President`s health care law wasn`t the law
of the land, but Think Progress reports that some new numbers show how many
people in Florida need the reform. Last year, just three-and-a-half
million Florida residents had private health insurance, down more than four
percent from the year before. In fact, the number of people with private
health insurance in the state has fallen for the last five years in a row.
Twenty one percent of the state`s residents are uninsured.

That`s the third highest rate of uninsured people in the country. But
even with those staggering numbers, Scott does whatever he can, to block
the affordable health care act from helping those who need it most. He
rejected $37 million for disabled seniors. He turned down a million to
plan for health care exchange and he refused $2 million for Medicare
outreach programs. Governor Scott, did you think we would overlook hour
your right-wing ideology is hurting the most vulnerable in your state?
Nice try, Governor, but we got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Welcome back. The republican presidential candidates are
pulling out all the stops to win over Iowa, Tea Party conservatives.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Repeal Obama-care. Repeal
Dodd/Frank.

MICHELE BACHMANN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will end the practice
of crony capitalisms.

RON PAUL (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The problem is too much debt.
They try to raise taxes.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I happen to think it`s
immoral for us to keep spending money we don`t have and passing on to our
kids our obligations.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But while the GOP candidates are gulping down the tea on
Capitol Hill, the strange brew may be destroying the brands. Republicans
in Congress have just a 20 percent approval rating down 14 points since the
spring. I`m joined now by Tea Party Nation Founder Judson Phillips. Thank
you for your time tonight.

JUDSON PHILLIPS, TEA PARTY NATION FOUNDER: Hey, good even, Al.

SHARPTON: Now Judson, in today`s "Washington Post," Dan Balz, right,
quote, I`m quoting Dan, "The political debacle that played out in Congress
before Christmas is the clearest evidence of a party still divided between
Tea Party insurgents and the governing class," end of quote. So, is the
Tea Party dragging down the GOP, Judson?

PHILLIPS: No, what we`re seeing is the classic fight that is going on
into Republican Party since back before the days of Ronald Reagan. You`ve
got the Washington elites, and you`ve got the grass-roots activists, and
when the politicians come home, they talk about how conservative they are,
what they`re trying to do, and then when they get up to Washington, they
get Potomac fever, they forget about the folks back home, and all this is,
is simply the latest incarnation of that fight.

SHARPTON: Now, when you say that, let me ask you this. The whole
rise that had you guys soaring was you came out with cut the deficit, cut
the deficit. And you seem to have lost the attention of the public,
because people are now saying let`s deal with economic inequality. So,
you`re not only talking about the elite in your party, but the American
public has seen, I mean, if you look at any of the polling, you`ve seen
that the American public now disagrees, Tea Party is declining support, now
27 percent disagree. Last year, only 22 percent, now only 20 percent
agree, last year 27. It`s almost like a turnaround. This is the public,
this is the masses, this is the grassroots, this is not the elite. Don`t
you see that you all are kind of turned around in terms of your approval
standing?

PHILLIPS: Well, you remember what the British prime minister just
rarely once said, there`s lies, there`s damn lies, and then there`s
political polls. You know, the Tea Party, if we look at history, in 2006,
the Republicans had gone moderate and they got their heads handed to them.
In 2008, they got their heads handed to them when being lead by moderates.
In 2010, they had the best victory in a generation. Why? Because of the
Tea Party. And now went off and this entire year, they basically ignored
the Tea Party. They did a couple symbolic acts, and then that`s been it.
And that`s one of the reasons I think Congress is.

SHARPTON: I think 2008, you might have had a little problem and about
a little war, and there was no weapons over there, and the banks failing
and insurance companies. I mean, a lot of things that helped them lose in
2008 but let`s not get stuck in the past. We have another election coming
next year.

PHILLIPS: We lost in 2008 for one reason -- John McCain.

SHARPTON: You lost in 2008 for a lot of reasons, but let me say this,
Judson, you know, if you want to leave it to one, final, just hold on that
the next year. Because if you think it`s one problem, you`ll lose again.
Btu let me say this Judson, won`t you admit that in this battle in
Congress, when it came to the debt ceiling fight and the reason fight over
the extension of payroll tax cuts, that it was the Tea Party freshmen that
you have bring in, that really had a stand-off with Boehner, that really
has made the Republican Party nosedive in public opinion. I mean, would
you rather tell the party and lose to hold on to your ideology? Are you
trying to really save the party and at the same time move towards what you
believe?

PHILLIPS: Actually, the answer is, e., none of the above. What we`re
trying to do is save America. Because what the Congress under both Boehner
and Pelosi and Reid is doing is what they have done in Europe, which is
spend, spend, spend like crazy. And well, guess what? You can see what
happens to a country that spends and spends beyond its means. You know,
Einstein said, insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and
expecting a different result. Well, guess what? The same thing has been
tried over and over again in Europe. We see what kind of basket case the
European economies are, and Pelosi, Reid, Obama and John Boehner and Mitch
McConnell throw him in there, too. They all want to do the same thing,
keep spending and not put any fiscal sanity into government. And so, guess
what? They`re insane, because they`re doing what Europe has done, and
we`re going to end up with the same results.

SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you this, then. Do you support any of the
present candidates running? Who do you consider not part of the elite and
that represents what`s close to your politics?

PHILLIPS: Well, publicly I`ve endorsed Newt Gingrich. And obviously
I like him. I like Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum. You know,
obviously because I`ve endorsed Gingrich, he`s my personal choice and
favorite, but any of those guys are good.

SHARPTON: Well, you know Newt did about $100 million in lobbying in
the last ten years, and had a big account at Tiffany`s. I don`t know how
much more grassroots you can get than that, Judson. Thanks for your time
tonight. Happy New Year.

PHILLIPS: Al, thank you. Happy New Year to you, too.

SHARPTON: Even by republican standards, this hypocrisy on Iraq is
unbelievable. The same Republicans will criticize President Obama for
bringing our troops home are now criticizing him for not throwing them a
parade when they were home. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: That was President Obama making one of the most important
and popular decisions of his presidency, withdrawing our troops from Iraq.
Of course, many Republicans opposed it, and now they`re ripping him for how
these troops are coming home. Today, both Mitt Romney and Rick Perry
criticized the president for not throwing Iraqi troops a ticker tape
parade.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: It really disturbs me that nearly after nine years of war in
Iraq, that the President wouldn`t welcome home our heroes with a simple
parade in their honor.

A welcome home ceremony of some kind makes a lot of sense.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Am I hearing this correctly? Aren`t you the same
candidates who didn`t want the troops to come home?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: The idea that a commander in chief would stand up and signal
to the enemy a date certain of which we were going to pull our troops out I
think is irresponsible, more importantly it`s putting our kids` lives in
jeopardy.

The President`s failure to secure an agreement and maintain 10 to
30,000 troops in Iraq has to be one of his signature failures.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, if Perry and Romney had gotten their way, these troops
would have gotten a parade all right, but the parade would have been in
Baghdad. Joining me now is a leading anti-war voice, Congressman Chaka
Fattah, congressman from Pennsylvania. Thank you for being here.

REP. CHAKA FATTAH (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, thank you for having me.
I think the worst thing that we have done is seen the military in our
foreign -- our foreign policy, including the military has become
politicized. You know, but the public is not confused. Eighty percent of
the public support the President`s decision to bring our troops home. If
the Republicans want to have a parade, let`s have a parade of jobs for our
veterans, and housing and decent health care and education for them. Let`s
make sure that the ones we have on the battlefield and Afghanistan that we
get them home safely. The President was able to execute a withdrawal from
Iraq with none of the troops being shot at our any of the other nonsense
that was talked about. Bring them home, Romney said today, when questioned
about whether he was seeing go back into Iraq, he says, absolutely not.
So, on one days is the single failure of Obama to bring them out, but of
course he now agrees that it`s good to be out.

Well, let me show you something else that helped to break my hypocrisy
scale. Let me show you who signed the status of forces agreement in 2008.
The treaty that set December 31st, 2011, as a deadline for withdrawal.
Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FMR. PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH (R), UNITED STATES: Under this agreement,
we will work together to bring greater stability to Iraq and the region,
pave the way for American forces to return home, as the war in Iraq
approaches a successful end.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So, it was George Bush that had promised to bring them home
at the end of this month anyway, even though he was the one that wrongfully
brought them there, in my opinion. But for them to now come with all of
this, what the President ought to do for them when they came home or come
home. When in fact they attacked the President as I`ve shown, for even
bringing them home. I mean, the cynical manipulation of what we`re doing
with our troops I think is something that is way over the line,
Congressman.

FATTAH: The republican budget, the Ryan budget had a trillion dollars
in savings out of what is called the overseas contingency account over the
next ten years, timing the withdrawal of these troops. And every
republican in the House voted for it. The idea that this was not something
that was contemplated is nonsense. It`s made up of political theater. We
shouldn`t politicize our military. These are young people being shot at,
thousands were killed, bringing them home is not a political matter. They
should not be politicizing it. What the President has done is act as the
commander in chief in a war that we shouldn`t have been in. I voted
against the Iraq war. The President said, however we need to bring them
home responsibly, and not recklessly, and he followed through on that and
got these young people home, and they`re celebrating the holidays with
their families.

SHARPTON: You`re saying in the Ryan budget where the money was there,
and every republican voted for it, and then now they`re acting all
surprised and shocked if they gain political gains?

FATTAH: Absolutely. They counted the savings for bringing our troops
home from Iraq as part of the savings that they were delivering in their
budget, so this is somewhat of a kind of selective amnesia. One day they
kind of remember half of it, the other day they kind of forget the other
half.

SHARPTON: So, because I wanted people to get that, that they actually
put in the Ryan budget, as part of the budget was the savings they had for
bringing the troops home that they criticized the President for doing, even
though they had budgeted that.

FATTAH: Absolutely, as a fact, they had it in there and they counted
it. And CBO scored it as a savings for their budget.

SHARPTON: Now, one of the things that I might add as an important end
to this, is the President has nothing to do with ticker tape parades. If
you`re going to run for office, gentlemen and lady, you ought at least know
what the office does. The President doesn`t throw parades. If they went
out a parades in New York, that would come from the mayor or the Governor
of New York, principally the mayor, and let me show you this, the Pentagon
and the New York City back and forward. Associated Press reported today
officials in New York and Washington said they would be happy to help stage
a big celebration, but Pentagon officials say they haven`t been asked to
plan one. I think that this is going to take all the fun out of Willard
being president when he funds out parades have nothing to do with his
duties.

FATTAH: Well, let`s parade jobs and health care. We`ve got tens of
thousands. I was over visiting at the brain repair center at Bethesda. We
have troops that have been injured. We want to have a parade, let`s parade
real respect for the sacrifices that these young people have made, provide
the jobs and the housing, and the healthcare that they need.

SHARPTON: And don`t cut health care benefits to veterans and housing
benefits to veterans. Parade down to the Congress and join you Congressman
Fattah for protecting the veterans. Congressman Chaka Fattah, thanks for
your time tonight. Happy New Year. We`ll be right back.

FATTAH: Happy New Year, thank you.

SHARPTON: We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back to talk again about helping those in need. Not
just during the holidays, but year round. This weekend volunteers with the
National Action Network spent time with hundreds of families here in New
York who needed little extra help. But they`re not alone. It`s why groups
like give locally.net are stepping in to fill the gap. The site uses
social media to help people.

Joining me now is Andrew Young III, CEO of givelocally.net. He`s also
the son of former Atlanta mayor and Congressman Andrew Young, the civil
rights icon who marched with Martin Luther King, Jr., and a personal hero
of mine, and Brad Newman, founder and chairman of givelocally.net. Thank
you both for joining me tonight.

ANDREW YOUNG III, CEO, GIVELOCALLY.NET: Thank you for having us,
Reverend.

SHARPTON: Let me start with you Andrew. How does your group help
folks in need?

YOUNG: What we do is we get donations into the hands of the people
directly. Our site is set up so that you can log on, register to become a
user of our site, and pick the people that you want to help, knowing that
you can give with confidence, because they have been prescreened by us.

SHARPTON: Now, this is year round, Brad, this is not just a holiday
thing?

BRAD NEWMAN, FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN, GIVELOCALLY.NET: This is 24/7/365
days a year. Because poverty is a serious problem in this country, and we
think we have the recipe to try to take a dent out of it. On our site, you
can select who you want to give to. And our recipients are prescreened,
and we never give them cash. We pay the rent, their utilities, their
landlords, their doctor bills, prescriptions, work safety equipment.
There`s no limit to who we can help.

SHARPTON: So, Andrew, you do direct help. Let me show one, lastly
was a single mother teenage boy with developmental disabilities, women in
Delaware, needed clothing, bed, foods, people have already donated $1,360
to help her. You`re going to do that directly.

YOUNG: What we`ll do is, we`ll give in-kind gifts. So, we`ll pay
landlords, we`ll pay the utilities companies, we`ll get our gift cards to
be able to go to the grocery store and help her with basic needs. One of
the things that I think will be exciting to your listeners and your
viewers, is this is a new and fun way to be able to help people directly
via the internet. We`re taking this platform that is the internet and
revolutionizing the way that people give. And if they register on our site
and read some of the stories of the people that are in need in their
communities or communities where they are from, or situations that resonate
with them, they can choose specifically who they want to help and know that
that person has been prescreened.

SHARPTON: Now, Brad, the need is there. Look at the rise in the
number of school lunches, 2010, 21 million, 2006 and 07, it`s only 18
million. So, the rise in poverty, the rise in need, let me quickly show
this sound bite of a recipient of givelocally.net, a lady that talked about
her needs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I`m a single bottom with four kids, I`m a part-
time substitute teacher, and it`s just really rough raising them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So these are not people that are not lazy, that are not
working. Many of them are working part time, because that`s all they can
find. Many of them are working poor, but need help.

YOUNG: Right. Many of our recipients who have been pre-screened are
hard-working Americans like you and I who go to work 40 hours a week, but
just don`t make enough to make ends meet. And they need assistance, they
need help to stay above the poverty line and keep that confidence that they
need to continue pushing forward. And if your listeners and viewers are
able to go onto our site, they`ll have an exciting experience.

SHARPTON: Can you give that site again?

YOUNG: It`s givelocally.net.

SHARPTON: And Brad, have you been getting a good response?

NEWMAN: Amazing response. You know, Americans are in the mood to
help each other. And these are working-class folks, helping other working-
class folks, $20, $50, $100 at a time. We invite your viewers to log on
and take a look at our site.

SHARPTON: Give me your site again.

NEWMAN: It`s givelocally.net.

SHARPTON: Now, you`ve said it about seven times. You are your
father`s son.

I hope people do check out, people as we show throughout this week.
People helping people. You will not be defined in life by what you get.
You will be defined by what you give.

Andrew Young III and Brad Newman, thanks for all you`re doing in
helping struggling families. Thank you for joining me tonight. And
remember, if you do nothing else, remember you`ll be remembered for what
you give in life.

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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