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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, January 4, 2012

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Guests: Dana Milbank; Glen Johnson; Sherrod Brown

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Republicans get rolled. Happy New
Year, Mitch McConnell.

Tonight, President Obama tells Republicans he won`t take no for an
answer, and he doesn`t care if they don`t like it.

And ripping Romney. Republicans agree on one thing. They want to
take down their front-runner.

Plus, in a party that`s got more extreme, his words and his views are
leading the way. Tonight, meet the real Rick Santorum, in his own words.


doctor that performs an abortion should be criminally charged for doing so.

I don`t want to make people`s lives better by giving them somebody
else`s money. Barack Obama has deliberately turned or back on our allies.


SHARPTON: Welcome to "Politics Nation." I`m Al Sharpton. We`ll talk
a lot tonight about the Republican race and what it all means, because it
is getting ugly.

We start with President Obama, who is starting 2012 the way he ended
2011, fighting for the middle class and standing up to bullying
Republicans. Today, the president announced that he`ll use a recess
appointment to make Richard Cordray a nation`s the chief consumer watchdog
to frying GOP lawmakers repeatedly blocking him every step of the way. And
he dared Republicans to challenge him and the American people.


that we waited was another day when millions of Americans were left
unprotected. That`s inexcusable. It`s wrong. And I refuse to take no for
an answer. Does anybody think that the reason that we got in such finance
mess, the worst financial crisis since the great depression, the worst
economic crisis in a generation, that the reason was because of too much
oversight of the financial industry? Of course not.


SHARPTON: No, that doesn`t make sense. Cordray is need. Who wants
Americans at the will of unregulated mortgage companies, at the will of
unregulated debt collectors? We, as a people need more than that.
Apparently Mitch McConnell doesn`t think so. He thinks the president has
arrogantly circumvented the American people, circumvented the American
people, 63 percent want more financial oversight, not less. You`re
circumventing the truth, but it`s not going to work any longer. The
president is done with your obstruction.

Today, he also announced that he`s appointing three people to the
national labor relations board who have also been consistently blocked by
Senate Republicans. Make no mistake, this next election will come down to
ideas, and we know now more than ever who`s on the side of the middle


OBAMA: I`ve been an obligation to act on behalf of the American
people, and I`m not going to stand by while a minority in the Senate puts
party ideology ahead of the people that we were elected to serve. Not with
so much at stake, not at this make-or-break moment for middle-class
Americans. We`re not going to let that happen.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is senator Sherrod Brown, democrat from
Ohio. Now, when you look at this, the president is saying I`m not -- I`m
done. I`m not going to keep taking no for an answer was his exact words.
This is the president that many of us wanted to see fighting, and this is
the president that is not saying let`s compromise and not saying let`s find
a way to meet in the middle. He`s saying enough is enough.

What took him so long to get to this position? Do you think he just
got frustrated, and saw they didn`t want to try to do the right thing? Or
do you think that is this a new Barack Obama as president?

SENATOR SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: Well, I think the president game the
minority party in the Senate, which has enough votes to block darn near
everything we`ve seen, and whose bleeder Mitch McConnell is said his first
goal in 2012 is to make sure Barack Obama is not reelected.

I think he`s finally said, you know, I`ve tried to work with them. I
moved to the middle. I tried to compromise. There is no compromise with
Mitch McConnell and some of his troops.

And you know, he and four Republicans voted right on some of this
stuff, about you when they`re acting like children, when they say no, no,
no, unless I get my way and stamp their feet, Barack Obama`s acting like
the adult in the room. And he did the right thing. He showed leadership.
He showed strength. He showed resolve. He did what the American public
wants. The American public wants strong rules in place.

If we had Rich Cordray, at Ohio and I might add, when the president
announced this in Cleveland today, if he with Richard Cordray in place
three years ago when President Bush was president, we might not have had a
lot of these financial problems that caused so many workers in my state to
lose their jobs, and so many people to lose their homes.

That`s why I`m just thrilled when I heard the president today in
Cleveland. I was downstate talking to some veterans and farmers, but I
heard him on the radio, I listened to it live, and heard him do this. I
was thrilled.

SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you this, senator. Because it seems to be
very hypocrite cal that they are raising the point about recess
appointments, both to the NLRB and the appointment of Cordray when in fact,
if you look at the record President Reagan and both President Bush`s
appointed NLRB members as resist appointments.

And when you raise the questions to Republicans about Richard Cordray,
let me show you what they say.


SENATOR SUSAN COLLINS (R), MAINE: This has nothing to do with Mr.
Cordray. He`s clearly a qualified individual with a good reputation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We do not believe anyone should be confirmed as
director of the CFPB.

SENATOR ORRIN HATCH (R), UTAH: This is not about the nominee, who
appears to be a decent person and may very well be qualified.


SHARPTON: So they`re not questioning his qualifications, but we hear
McConnell say no one should be elected. I mean, what are they talking
about? They had Republican presidents that used recess appointments. Now
when this president does this, not only with Cordray, but with the NLRB,
all of the sudden, this is something new and something objectionable?

BROWN: Yes. That is exactly right that other presidents have used
these appointments, but even more to the point, Al, that this has never
happened in American history, where one party says no even to someone who,
as Susan Collins and Orrin Hatch and Mitch McConnell said is qualify.
We`re saying no, because we don`t like the agency, we don`t like the law.
Two years ago with 60-plus votes, the U.S. Senate and the House of
Representatives with a majority passed consumer protection law, and wall
street reform law that`s the law of the land. You can`t run a government
if one party is going to say, we`re not going to fill these jobs, because
we don`t like the agency, we don`t like the food & drug administration or
we don`t like the department of interior, or we don`t like how you`re doing
this, even though it`s the law.

The president stepped up not just for Rich Cordray and for the middle
class and for consumers, but stepped up and filled out the NLRB, the
national labor relations board today, including with a Republican, because
he wants his job -- he took an oath three years ago to run this government,
to be the president of the United States. He needs people in place to run
this government, and when one party`s going to act like children and say,
we`re not going to do it until we get our way, the president`s got a
responsibility. He`s the adult in the room. He did the right thing. He`s
showing the resolved leadership that we elected him to do.

SHARPTON: Well, let me show you what the leading republican, Willard
Mitt Romney said today, and I`m quoting him "President Obama`s consumer
financial protection bureau is perhaps the most powerful and unaccountable
bureaucracy in the history of our nation. This action represents Chicago-
style politics at its worst."

But what`s interesting is if you look at a quote from a former
attorney for Mr. Bush, Steven Bradbury. He said last year doing this whole
battle back and forth, "The president should consider calling the Senate`s
bluff by exercising his recess appointment power to challenge the use of
pro forma sessions."

So you have even a former Bush attorney saying, look, enough is
enough, while Willard and the Republicans out there now are trying to play
politics at every turn, particularly when it will protect the average
American and the middle class.

BROWN: Well, you know, I saw it Al, last night you. I saw you and Ed
and Rachel and Chris and others talking about the Iowa primary or Iowa
caucuses. And Mitt Romney is going out in New Hampshire to South Carolina
and trying to out-Newt Gingrich Newt Gingrich, and trying it out-Rick
Santorum Rick Santorum. And he is going to sound like that. He knows
better than that. Mitt Romney knows better than that to say this is like
the worst something in American history and compared to Chicago.

I mean, the president needs to lead when anybody running for president
like him calls what he`s saying. He`s not ready for primetime, period.
So, president -- I repeat, the president did the right thing. He was the
adult in the room. He did what needed to be done so that we can enforce
consumer protection so we can protect main street against wall street
abuses. So we can strength the middle class all the kinds of financial
shenanigans we have seen in this country in the last five years. Just
undercut the middle class. And this is a step back. This is a step to
turn this around and do it right. The president did it today and I`m proud
of him.

SHARPTON: It`s called presiding as president.

BROWN: Exactly right.

SHARPTON: Senator, thank you for your time.

BROWN: Of course. Thank you very much, Reverend Sharpton.

SHARPTON: Ahead, Republicans challengers are racing to New Hampshire,
and all have a plan to take down Mitt Romney with Newt leading the charge.


obvious that people go to anybody but Romney.


SHARPTON: Also, Willard claims he created 100,000 jobs as head of
Bain capital, but the truth came out today. We`ll hear from a man fired by

And Rick Santorum connects with people, but under that smile, there`s
a man filled with extremism and radical positions. My commentary is coming

You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: Remember Reagan`s 11th commandment, thou shall not attack
other Republicans. Yes, that`s over. They`re unleashing attacks on
Willard, and Newt is on fire. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Republicans just love to talk about Ronald Reagan. He
hated taxes, even though he raised taxes 11 times as president. He hated
government spending, except for defense, and he gave us huge deficits. But
one Reagan thing Republicans don`t want to remember these days is his 11th
commandment -- thou shall not speak ill of another Republican candidate.
It`s blood sport now. Newton Leroy Gingrich, who promised to run a
positive campaign, is now doing the political Charles Bronson all over Mitt


GINGRICH: It becomes more and more obvious that people go to anybody
but Romney. The fact is three out of four Republicans rejected him.
Governor Romney is a moderate Massachusetts Republicans to the left of the
vast majority of Republicans, but the fact is that Governor Romney in the
end has a very limited appeal in a conservative party.


SHARPTON: This morning, New Hampshire voter woke up to this Newt
newspaper ad, where says, Romney is a timid moderate and Gingrich is the
real conservative. Newt is not the only one attacking Willard today. The
campaign of Rick Santorum, who finished just eight votes behind Romney in
Iowa, sent an e-mail out calling Romney quote "a bland, boring career
politician who will lose to Barack Obama." Jon Huntsman is betting his
campaign on New Hampshire. And today, he came out swinging after Willard
got endorsed by John McCain. This is what he said.


McCain is war hero. But, you know what, another Dole, another McCain,
another establishment endorsement. Martha, nobody cares. It will mean
zero in terms of any poll improvement for Mitt Romney, because this nation
is tired of the past. It wants something new. It wants a new approach to
problem-solving, not the same old thing.


SHARPTON: Who will win New Hampshire and beyond? That`s a hard
question. But who`s ignoring Reagan`s 11th commandment? That`s easy --

Joining me live from Manchester, New Hampshire, is Dana Milbank,
political economist for "the Washington Post," and Glen Johnson, politics
editor of "the Boston Globe." Thank you to both of you for being here

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good to be with you.


SHARPTON: Dana, let me start with you. The Republican field is
tearing into Willard, but can they actually bring him down? That`s the
real question.

don`t think so, Reverend. It doesn`t look like this is a comfortable plays
here for Mitt Romney. The polls would say it would. Glen and I were at an
event earlier today, I think Romney thought he would come in and perform
some victory sonata, and everybody would applaud and ask for an anchor, but
he got really rough treatment here.

And as you can see, all of the knives are clearly out for him. The
fact that he won in Iowa, where he wasn`t expected to, even if by a narrow
margin, and is now in a very strong position here in New Hampshire would
indicate that nobody can knock him down from this point forward, but
they`re going to give it their best, and it`s going to be a lot of fun to

SHARPTON: Now Glen, I am a frequent Dana Milbank reader, so he`s
rarely, you know, underestimates something. To say a narrow margin, eight
votes. Let me show you something. In 2008, Willard received 30,021 votes.
Last night he received 30,015 votes. I mean, he got six fewer votes last
night than he got in `08, and he got it against candidates who are nowhere
near the stature of John McCain. So, doesn`t that mean Willard can be

yes, sure. I think that, you know, he is vulnerable to attack. It is not
necessary the same as knocking him off as pedestal. I covered him for
number of years now. And he has a way of inspiring not just disliking his
opponents, but making his opponents despised him.

And after the carpet bombing that his pro-Romney super PAC laid on
Newt Gingrich in Iowa, he really has nothing to lose. It`s down doubt
folded that Gingrich can get back up in to the top tier this conversation.
But he is not ready to go out yet, and he really wants to let Mitt Romney
know that he doesn`t appreciate the treatment he gave him.

And for Rick Santorum, that dovetails perfectly with his campaign.
He`s casting himself as a true conservative, raising doubts as Mitt Romney.
And so, those two are working hand in glob to really well together now
against Mitt Romney.

SHARPTON: But Dana, and I`m going to talk later in the show more
about the real Rick Santorum. One thing I observed last night though is
that Santorum does have something that Willard doesn`t. He has an
oratorical ability to connect with voters and to deal with emotions. Let
me show you what he said last night bout his grandfather in the middle of
his speech. I want to say, his victory speech in Iowa last night. Let me
show you this.


SANTORUM: He left to the coal fields of southwestern Pennsylvania.
He worked in the mine in a company town, God paid with coupons, he used to
call them. Lived in a shack. He ended up continuing to work in those
mines until he was 72 years old, digging coal. I knelt next to his coffin,
and all I could do is eye level, was look at his hands. They were enormous
hands. And all I could think was those hands dug freedom for me.


SHARPTON: When and you have candidate that talks about his
grandfather`s hands and connects. You look at the people on the stage
around him watching him, that`s the last thing you see at a Willard Romney
press conference, speech or rally. Then you add to it the fact that Newt
Gingrich -- let me show you now, what Glen was saying. Newt Gingrich is
now saying I`m going to be your assistant in this mission. .Let me show
you what Newt said.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Can you see a scenario under which the
two of you would align together to try to defeat the establishment
candidate Mitt Romney?

GINGRICH: Absolutely, of course. We both dislike deeply the degree
to which the establishment sells out the American people. We both think
Washington has to be changed in very fundamental ways, and we have lots --
we have lots of things that fit together.

Rick and I, between us, will draw a clear enough and sharp enough line
with Romney we`ll go through face one of making clear to the country that
Romney is a Massachusetts moderate.


SHARPTON: Rick and I? Sounds like a new duet getting ready to sing
in New Hampshire, Dana.

MILBANK: Right. It`s the most interesting one since you and Mitt
Romney went on tour together.

SHARPTON: But we were singing on different pages of the hymn book,
but go ahead.

MILBANK: But, no, I think that they`re actually going to -- when Newt
Gingrich talks about performing together with Rick Santorum, in fact the of
them are doing the exact opposite. What the right needs to do here is have
some sort of a solid candidate to be the anti-Romney. That`s what they
needed all along. Santorum - well, he is not the best possible choice but
he could be that. But now, if you have Newt Gingrich going after and now,
if you have Rick Perry flirting with leaving a race but coming back in to
it, they`ve managed to scatter the vote so much that nobody really gets a
clear shot in Mitt Romney. So, Newt is sort of acting out of peak right
now. And he is actually making it more likely rather than less that Romney
gets through this.

SHARPTON: Well, it looks as though we thought Rick Perry said he was
going to reassess and pray about it, and then he came back today and said
he`s headed to South Carolina, Glen. How do you think that that impacts
the whole question of bringing down Mr. Romney?

You see that Santorum is out there. He needs to try and coalesce the
field, but Perry sends out this tweet -- in the next leg of the marathon is
the Palmetto state. Here we come South Carolina. That could have been
cheers on hurting the sweet of Rick Santorum.

JOHNSON: No, I think that Rick Perry had to go to bed feeling
defeated, but wake up saying what am I doing? You know, Rick Santorum in
this national stage is pretty untested right now. And Rick Perry has had
some of the worst moments any politician could have so far, yet he was
basically about to cede the field to Rick Santorum heading into the south,
where he should be strong. And so I think, you know, this morning Perry
woke up and said I really should not do I`m thinking of what I`m going to
do. And so, he did the 180 and decided to go back at him.

SHARPTON: Does Perry have a chance though to really revive himself?

JOHNSON: I think for a guy that`s full of pride, you know, to walk
away from this campaign without really trying the strength of his candidacy
in the bible belt could have been seen as a defeat. And I think if he can
get his self as act together in some of these debates, especially the two
back-to-back ones this weekend, you know, maybe he goes out on a high note.

SHARPTON: But does he have a chance Dana? Look at the polling in
South Carolina. Gingrich 37; Romney 21; Paul nine; Perry six. I mean,
does he have a chance to go to South Carolina to come back from six and
we`re talking about, what, eight or nine days from now?

MILBANK: Reverent, there`s nothing here on planet earth that would
say that Rick Perry has a chance to recover, but he`s basically telling us
that God is telling him to run. Now, you have a pipeline to God as well,
so maybe you may to answer that question.

SHARPTON: I`m not telling.

MILBANK: None of us here on the ground can see how he can pull that

SHARPTON: Glen, what`s going to happen in New Hampshire the next few
days? We know we have the Saturday night ABC debate. We have Sunday
morning debate with David Gregory on "meet the press" what will happen
leading up to those debates? And how much impact will those have on the
voters in New Hampshire?

JOHNSON: Well, actually it`s going to go strangely quiet here
tomorrow for the Mitt Romney campaign perspective. They are going to do an
event in the morning and then they are going to leave for 24 hours to go on
the South Carolina. And that is going to create a huge vacuum here. We
have Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich. Here you have Jon Huntsman running all
over the place.

And so, there`s a real chance for some of these guys to at least get
some attention right now before Romney returns. He came back today. He
had a pretty flat event with John McCain. This guy was a hero here in
2000, and again in 2008.

And the event today at a couple points you could hear crickets in
Manchester High School, just very flat event. McCain just didn`t come off
well. It was not a lot of enthusiasm for Romney who had an event either.
And so, there`s a lot of just sort of belt that is going to make it a
pretty lively week heading towards New Hampshire primary.

SHARPTON: Glen, that`s where you and I disagree because you say that
he`s leaving and that would leave a wide gap. I say when he`s there it
leaves a wide gap.

Dana Milbank and Glen Johnson, thanks for your time tonight.

Ahead, Willard`s been all over the place saying he created 100,000
jobs at Bain capital, but the truth came out today. You won`t believe what
his spokesman is saying now.

And Michele Bachmann danced to way out of the race today. We say no
thanks for the memories. Ahead, stay with us.


SHARPTON: How offensive are some of Rick Santorum`s comments? Check
this out.


deliberately turned or back on our allies in central and South America and
actively embraced those who seek to do us harm. We need a leader who
understands how to make that security for each and every one of you as
opposed to appeasing the other side.


SHARPTON: Appeasing the other side? Wow, the extremism of Rick
Santorum. That`s next.


SHARPTON: The Republicans search for the anti-Romney has brought us
many flavors of the month, but each one has really been the extremist of
the month. And Rick Santorum may just have been the most bitter taste of
all. Here`s his take on a woman`s right to choose.


SANTORUM: I believe that life begins at conception, and that life
should be guaranteed under the constitution. That is a person in my case.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: So, even in the case of rape or incest, that would
be taking a life.

SANTORUM: That would be taking a life. And I believe that any
doctors who performs an abortion that I would advocate that any doctor that
performs an abortion should be criminally charged for doing so.


SHARPTON: That opinion doesn`t fit with nearly two thirds of
Americans who support a woman`s right to choose, but he doesn`t stop there.
He says states should have the right to ban birth control.


SANTORUM: The dangers of contraception in this country. The whole
sexual libertine idea. Many in the Christian faith had said, well, that`s
OK, contraception is OK. It`s not OK. It`s a license to do things in the
sexual realm.


SHARPTON: Americans really disagree with Santorum on this one. They
don`t just support birth control. Three quarters believe it should be
fully covered by insurance companies. Then there`s his take on same-sex
marriage. He said he would annul all gay marriages already performed.


SANTORUM: I think marriage has to be one thing for everybody, that
you can`t have 50 different marriage laws in this country. You have to
have one marriage law.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: What would you do with same-sex couples that got
married? Would you make them get divorced?

SANTORUM: Well, their marriage would be invalid.


SHARPTON: Recent polls show more than half of the country supports
same-sex marriage. Folks, the Republican Party has been in a mad rush to
exit extreme right wing, and Rick Santorum has been there waiting the whole

Joining me, Alex Wagner, host of "NOW WITH ALEX WAGNER" and MSNBC
contributor Melissa Harris-Perry. Thank you both for joining me tonight.



SHARPTON: Melissa, let me start with you. For the past year,
Republicans have engaged on a war on women`s rights and women`s health.
You and I have talked about Rick Santorum saying, food stamps and blacks,
and what he would do for blacks, clearly offending a lot of people in the
black community. When he spoke last night and started talking about his
grandfather`s hands. It was very moving. Then he said his grandfather
came here trying to flee a government like this administration, Mussolini.
And it kind of woke me up reminding me who this guy was. This guy is
probably the most extreme right-wing candidate we have seen in the flavors
of the month.

PERRY: I think that`s right, I think he`s the most extreme of the
kind of cycling of not-Mitt or not-Willard in your case, of candidates to
come through. And I think one of the things we need to pause and remember
is, it`s not really clear that the Iowa caucus-goers chose Santorum based
on his policies or positions. It does seem like, at least at this moment,
it seems like it`s more about timing than it is about specifically what he
stands for. I think it`s going to take us more time to figure out whether
or not GOP voters are actually choosing this kind of social and political
extremism, and particularly social and political extremism that is attached
with an actually kind of economic lack of conservativism, kind of a deficit
growing republican who`s also an extremist on social issues. I just don`t
think they even have quite enough information yet for us to know whether or
not they`re choosing this or this is the flavor not of the month, but
really of the week.

SHARPTON: Now, Alex, when you look at -- let me show you two things
that continues this whole Santorum as an extreme right winger. Santorum
said this -- no marriage, dads or role models in certain neighborhoods.
Look at this.


SANTORUM: The problem is that in many of the communities that these
children live in, marriage is impossibility. It`s a cultural
impossibility. Joe, you`ve been in those neighborhoods. There are no
dads. Not only there are -- there are no male role models of any kind,
except, you know, bad ones.


SHARPTON: Now, he was talking about poor communities, communities of
color. I came out of a single-parent home, but we had ministers, we have
all kinds of positive role models, and all kinds of married people living
in the neighborhood. Then you look at the fact that when we had this
infamous booing of a gay soldier, who was serving this country, most people
don`t remember that question was being posed to Rick Santorum. Watch this.


STEPHEN HILL, SERVING IN IRAQ: In 2010, when I was deployed to Iraq,
I had to lie about who I was, because I`m a gay soldier. I didn`t want to
lose my job. My question is, under one of your presidencies, do you intend
to circumvent the progress that`s been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in
the military?

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: What would you do with soldiers like
Steven Hill? I mean, how he`s out.

SANTORUM: What we`re doing is playing social experimentation with our
military right now, and that`s tragic. I would just say that going
forward, we would reinstitute that policy of Rick Santorum as president.


SHARPTON: So poor people, working class, people of color, don`t have
any good role models in the community that are men and they`re not married,
and he sees a soldier in uniform booed because he`s gay, and he just goes
on talking about social experimenting. He doesn`t even say to the crowd
how disrespectful that is to someone putting their lives on Iraq.

WAGNER: It was the moment for him to say, you know, to thank our men
and women in the armed services for their sacrifice and the fact that
they`re willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the country. But, you
know, this is all, Rick Santorum has a very specifically Catholic vision
for the country, which has at its center the family unit, the nuclear
family comprised of a man and a woman and children, and his economic vision
for the country is predicated on that. Last night his answer to America`s
current economic problems where we need to focus on the family. Which, you
know, there are a number of studies that show two-parent homes tend to be
more stable.

Economically, they do better. But that`s ignoring the reality of
what`s happening in America, that`s ignoring the fact that folks are
starting from different places, and things like education have a lot to do
with how you succeed. You know, the fact that he`s going back, you know,
advocating for the repeal of Don`t Ask/Don`t Tell, against the council of
the joint chief of staff, numerous military commanders, an overwhelming
majority of those serving in the military at present, but it is part of
this very specifically Christian/Catholic idea that Rick Santorum has about

SHARPTON: But Professor Perry, no one does and advocate that people
be responsible. You and I remember when then Senator Obama was running, he
got criticize by some in the civil rights community for chastising some
fathers at a church on Father`s Day for not standing up and being
responsible, so all of us do that. We preach that all the time. But when
you start acting like these kids can`t make it because of that, you remove
any ambition from young people, they feel like there`s something wrong with
them because of the decisions of their parents or because of the
neighborhood. How will you going to be a president when you convince some
people don`t even try because of your environment and your social standing,
you just can`t make it anyway.

PERRY: Well, look, I think part of the other piece here. And, you
know, I hear Alex saying this is part of a Catholic version, but it`s a
narrowly constructive and pretty contemporary version of Catholicism.
Because there is a strain of American Catholicism which is about social
uplift, collective work and responsibility, it`s about people coming
together in parishes and communities, and even when there was a kind of
moral conservatism around for example sexuality and traditional families,
there was also a sense of giving to the poor, not of cutting food stamps,
which is something else that Santorum has talked about. But, you know, my
biggest concern is exactly what you`re articulating there, Reverend, which
is the sense that he literally can`t see some American communities, and
with when you cannot see a community, it can have real impact in terms of

You know, the example that comes to mind immediately for me is the
language that came out in the earliest hours after Hurricane Katrina hit
here in New Orleans. And there were many African-American men doing the
work of rescue, of assisting elderly people, of assisting children, and yet
they were getting framed as looters, as thieves, because there was such a
version of kind of who black men are in this country, that we couldn`t even
see that what they were doing was actually being exactly the kinds of first
responders that we would want them to be. And so, what worries me about a
president is I want a president who can see across difference, who can see
black and white, people of color, who can see men and women, and see them
all as equal citizens who have a right to be part of the broader American

SHARPTON: Well, I think you said it all. And I would love Mr.
Santorum to come on this show as a child of a single parent, who had plenty
of role models, I would tell him how wrong he is. If he doesn`t want to
come here, he can meet me at high noon on Alex`s show.


WAGNER: We hope to have you tomorrow, Rev, if you have time in your
schedule, I will say. And as a daughter of a Catholic, I will say,
Melissa, you will make a very good point, we would love to have Rick
Santorum on the program as well.

SHARPTON: Alex, Melissa, thank you both for your time tonight.

WAGNER: Thanks, Rev.

PERRY: Thanks.

SHARPTON: Ahead, Mitt claims he created 100,000 jobs back when he was
CEO of Bain Capital. We`ll poke some holes in that story, and talk to a
man who was victimized by Mitt`s brand of so-called job creation.

Also, Michele Bachmann was always good for a few gaffes. We`ll have a
special politics nation tribute to her campaign, next.


SHARPTON: Welcome back. Willard Mitt Romney likes to himself as Mr.
Job creator, the man who saved the economy, Mr. Business. Last night 42
percent of Iowa voters said their biggest concern is the economy. And
among that group, 34 percent supported Romney. Romney helped start private
equity firm Bain Capital in 1984, and left as its CEO in 1999. Full
disclosure, NBC Universal and Bain Capital are co-owners of The Weather
Channel. The firm Bain buys out and restructures struggling companies. In
some cases, Bain did create jobs, but in others Bain boosted stock, turned
a profit and fired lots of workers, but Romney doesn`t talk about those.


we invested in about 100 different companies.

If you take those places where we were able to add jobs and subtract
those that lost jobs, we added over 100,000.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Are you proud of your work at Bain Capital?

ROMNEY: Absolutely. We have created tens of thousands of jobs. I`m
proud of the private sector.


SHARPTON: Adding over 100,000 jobs and creating tens of thousands of
jobs? A "Washington Post" reporter pressed Romney`s spokesman to back up
that claim and found out, quote, "Romney is only counting jobs gained at
companies restructured at Bain during and after his years there, and not
factoring jobs lost." That`s incredible. Under this Romney rule, 2.3
million jobs were created until President Obama. Folks, Bain was
responsible for thousands of layoffs. Bain acquired Dade International in
1994. The company went bankrupt. Seventeen hundred jobs killed. Bain
cashed in on a profit of $242 million. Bain acquired GS Industries in the
early `90s. The company went bankrupt. Seven hundred workers lost their
jobs and benefits.

And Bain got a $50 million payout. And then there was American Pad
and Paper. Bain took it over, two plants were closed, and 385 jobs were
lost. Willard left Bain in 1999, but Bain never left him, he`s still
getting paid millions of dollars a year for nothing. What`s the record up
to run on, Willard? Maybe you should run on flip flopping on health care.

Joining me now is Randy Johnson, he lost his job at the aforementioned
American pad and paper plant in Indiana after Bain Capital bought the
company in the `90s, the Democratic National Committee recently flew him to
Iowa to tell his story. Tell me what happened when Bain took over your
company. How do things change?

Bain took over my plant, it was really through Ampad, and in 1994, what
they did they call it an asset sale. They bought only the assets, and they
didn`t take the workers on the union contract where we had. They basically
brought in security guards, walked outside the building and said, if you
want a job with us, you have to fill and application. And once we did,
they brought us back at reduced wages and no benefits. Our retirement was
gone. We had to pay more for health care. We got put on 12-hour shifts.
It was just terrible conditions.

SHARPTON: So, Bain in `94 took over your company, everyone was
terminated, you could reapply to Bain. And when did you, it was lower
wages and all of your benefits and other things had changed. And at the
time, the CEO was the great job creator, Willard Mitt Romney?

JOHNSON: That`s correct.

SHARPTON: Now, do you feel that this policy could have been
intervened by the CEO at that time? Do you feel that the workers could
have, if you`ve got a person that has the concern of being a job creator,
the concern of being compassionate for the American middle class, you guys
were not lazy useless beggars, living off taxpayers, you were doing work,
and yet it didn`t matter to that company or the CEO at that time?

JOHNSON: No, we reached out to him. We tried our best. Some of the
workers actually tracked him down when he was running for Senate in
Massachusetts. And he talked to him, said he would look into it and get
back to them. He never did.

SHARPTON: Some of the workers that were laid off or fired tracked
down Mitt Willard Romney -- I`m sorry, Willard Mitt Romney when he was
running for the Senate and actually talked to him about this?

JOHNSON: Yes, he met with six of them in Massachusetts, and we
thought he`s going to get involved, but nothing happened.

SHARPTON: And this is the man that says, as I`ve just shown in
several clips, he created 100,000 jobs, and tens of thousands of jobs.
Randy, let me ask you quickly. When you see him campaigning saying that,
how do you feel?

JOHNSON: Oh, I think -- to me it`s just simple. It`s profits before
people. I don`t think he`s in touch with the reality of what it means to
be on a shop floor, he`s never been a manager on a shop floor. He`s not
even managed a plant by itself. He`s never produced anything but profits
for the rich.

SHARPTON: Randy Johnson, thanks for your time tonight.

JOHNSON: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, while we`ll miss Michele Bachmann. Our
special POLITICS NATION tribute is next.


SHARPTON: After nearly seven months, Michele Bachmann is off the
reality show that is the GOP race. She quit the race. But while she`s
gone, she`s certainly not forgotten.


I am running for the president of the United States.

I don`t know how to be a politician. I never want to know how to be a

How many of you love the IRS? I went to the inside to learn how they
work because I want to defeat them.

I don`t consider the greatest most deliberative body in United States,
the House of Representatives, a circus.

If anyone will not work, neither should he eat.

Oh, my goodness! Yes!

And I am a woman who says what she means and I mean what I say.

I would be willing to use waterboarding.

He has a lot of chutzpa.

I haven`t had a gaffe or something that I`ve done that has caused me
to fall in the polls.


SHARPTON: Both Bachmann and Herman Cain dropped out of the race after
initially saying, they got some advice from a higher power.


realized that it was God saying that this is what I need to do, I was like
Moses. You got the wrong man, Lord.

BACHMANN: I have a sense of assurance about the direction I think
that God is speaking in my heart that I should go.


SHARPTON: They were told to run, but what happened? I don`t doubt
they got the message. Hmm. Maybe their lines got hacked.

I can tell you, as a person who`s been a minister since I was a child,
beware of right-wingers that create jobs and be very cautious of people
that talk directly to God. Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton.
"HARDBALL" starts right now.


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