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PoliticsNation, Thursday, January 5th, 2012

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Guests: Jonathan Capehart, Emanuel Cleaver; Rick Stengel, Patrick Gaspard, Tad Devine, Mike Tate

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: GOP candidates trying to win, but
they`re trying to win ugly. Tonight, Rick Santorum and the rest are headed
right off a cliff, pulling some ugly language front and center in the

Plus, good Willard hunting, GOP rivals teaming up to take down the

And Scott Walker, we hardly knew you. His recall drive is nearly
done. The signatures are piling up, but the governor is still in denial.


SCOTT WALKER, GOVERNOR, WISCONSIN: All the focus from out here in
Washington, in terms of the national unions were focused on defeating me in
the recall, what it comes down to us, I took away the gravy train, the free


SHARPTON: Welcome to "Politics Nation." I`m Al Sharpton.

The Republican candidates are going after each other in New Hampshire.
A new straw poll shows Mitt Romney with a huge lead there, and he`s putting
pressure on South Carolina as well, out campaigning today with senator
McCain. But here`s a word of warning, Willard. Newt`s on the warpath.
More on that, later.

But we start with a message that is emerging in this GOP race, and
it`s a rough message. Here`s Rick Santorum, mocking the idea of health
care for all Americans.


something for everybody. We could have people having better health care
than -- access to better health insurance than other people. No. No. It
all has to be the same. Is that America? Equality of result is it is that
what built the greatest country in the history of the world? No.


SHARPTON: I`m sorry. Access to health care lessens our nation`s
standing? Rick, you seem to be saying let the poor fend for themselves,
and then you demonize anyone who brings up inequality.


SANTORUM: This divide of America, 99/1, you know it`s not 99/1. It`s
anybody that makes money and pays taxes, and anybody who doesn`t. That`s
the 99/1.


SHARPTON: That`s fine, Rick, pick a fight with those too poor to pay
their taxes. But realize this. A new report today shows that economic
mobility is worse in this country than in Canada and much of Europe.
You`re tone-deaf, as much as Newt is, a man who repeated this line twice


I`ll go to their convention and talk about why the African-American
community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps.
If the NAACP invites me to speak, I`m going. If Latin-American group
invites me to speak, I`m going.


SHARPTON: Help blacks and Latinos get off food stamps? Are they the
only people in this country who need food stamps? That tone sounds a lot
like Rick Santorum last week.


SANTORUM: I don`t want to make black people`s lives better by giving
them somebody else`s money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out
and earned the money and provide for themselves and their families.


SHARPTON: Last night, Santorum defended those comments.


SANTORUM: I looked at that and I didn`t say that. If you looked at
it, what I started to say is a word and then sort of changed and it sort of
move came out, and people said I said black. I didn`t. I don`t -- in fact
I`m pretty confident I didn`t say black. And when I think I started to say
a word and sort of mumbled it and changed my thought, but I don`t recall
saying black. No one in that audience, no one listens, no reporter there
heard me say that.


SHARPTON: No reporter heard you say that? If there are had a
journalist in the room, who reported exactly that. Let`s listen to
Santorum`s initial comments again.


SANTORUM: I don`t want to make people`s lives better by gives them
somebody else`s money. I want to give them the opportunity to earn money
and provide for themselves and their families.


SHARPTON: Now, if you don`t say "black people" then what people were
you talking about you didn`t want to go out and get other people`s money?
Who are the blah people? Where do they live? Where, as their ancestor

If you were going to put another word in there, what was that, Rick?
I mean, all of us have said things we regretted. We said we said it, we
either corrected it, or we took the blame and said that is not what my life
is about. But don`t act like we`re silly.

But as I said, as one who has seen these kinds of campaigns before,
from the welfare queen to the Willy Horton, to the angry white male vote
that we heard in the `80s, to now extreme white voters although extreme
white branch that they`re trying to ignite in this party. We don`t need

The only way we can come together is to be open and honest and deal
with reality. And the reality is that we need to come together in this
country and deal with our divisions. That`s the only way we`re going to
heal them.

Joining me is Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, democrat from Missouri, and
chairman of the congressional black caucus. Mr. Chairman, thanks for
coming on the show tonight.

REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D), MISSOURI: Good to be with us.

SHARPTON: Let me, Mr. Chairman, show you three things that make me
become very disturbed that they`re playing to a branch of this party that
you and I have seen in milder forms before, some of which I named before
you came on. If you listen to the same Rick Santorum, in January of last
year, say this about President Obama, and abortion that he brought in race.


SANTORUM: The question is, this is what Barack Obama didn`t want answered
-- is that human life, a person under the constitution. And Barack Obama
says no. Well, if that person, human life is not a person, then I find it
almost remarkable for a black man to say, no, we are going to decide who
are people and who are not people.


SHARPTON: I think he said black man that time. He might have said
blah man. But then, let`s look at Ron Paul`s newsletter, express, horribly
bigoted ideas, saying if you`ve ever been robbed by a black teenage male,
you know how unbelievably fleet of foot they can be. Order was restored in
L.A., only when it came time for blacks to pick up their welfare checks,
things about Dr. King. And then also Ron Paul has gotten support in the
Republican primaries from extreme super mist groups, yet people say to me,
what are you talking about extreme white branch?

Isn`t this clear that there`s an element they`re seemingly playing to
that`s been played to before that we need to deal with it? One thing I
give to president Obama, there have been black extremists, and he said I
will not deal with that, I will not take your endorsement.

CLEAVER: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: And told me it was so important. You can`t deal with that
if you are going to deal with my campaign.

CLEAVER: Absolutely. Look Reverend, one of the problems that is
concerning me a lot and obviously you and all the people of goodwill is
that, obviously these candidates believe that there`s an element that they
can bring aboard and get excited by making these comments. Words and
feathers are easily scattered, but not easily collected.

And what`s going on is that these low-grade words are being used to
further fracture an already politically polarized nation. And what I would
hope is that the people of goodwill and the GOP, maybe even people like
Michael Steele who would come port, and say to his own colleague. Look,
that day is over. We`re not going to run a campaign like this, because
it`s going to do enormous damage to this country.

And I think that all of the candidates who are remaining are making
these comments. And I hope and maybe I should pray that there is not a
receptive audience out there. I don`t believe there is, but I think we`ve
all got to be vigilant to make sure when they make these comments, as you
are doing tonight, we call them out. For example, I think, you know, if
people are forced to eat their words, they may not come back for a second

SHARPTON: Well, I think you`re right. And let me bring in Jonathan
Capehart, MSNBC contributor and opinion writer for "the Washington Post."
Jonathan, thanks for being on.


SHARPTON: Let me ask you, when you look at the facts because I want
people at home to have the facts, about food stamps. Because when Newt
Gingrich says that, and when Mr. Santorum said that the fact is that 34
percent of the people receiving food stamps in this country are white.
Blacks, 22 percentages. Hispanic, 17 percent. So it`s factually
inaccurate, which I believe this is playing to some ugliness.

The only way you are going to deal with ugliness is to expose. We all
want healing, but you can`t have healing if you won`t put the facts on the
table. And when one of these ads that interesting to me when Newt says
he`ll go to the NAACP, he is coming on a convention. If, I talk about the
inequality in education, as long as it was with charter school that was

But if I talk about inequality in income, that`s divisive. So, you
can only speak about inequality when they want to use it to their ends.
How about let`s start talking about inequality, so we can bridge the
unequal gap?

CAPEHEART: You race very good points, Rev. But, you know,
congressman Cleaver said something that was interesting. And he didn`t
think that there wasn`t a receptive audience. We hope that there was a
receptive audience within the Republican Party for some of this rhetoric.

But, keep in mind they`re able to get away with it, because there`s
seemingly no one on the other side or within the party who is willing to
stand up and say, hey, wait a minute. What you`re saying is factually
incorrect. And also, what you`re saying is so coded that it will leave a
negative impression. You showed, Rev, the percentages there. I think it
was food stamps. I couldn`t see it.


CAPEHEART: But we all know that in political discourse, when you hear
words such as poor, welfare, food stamps, entitlements, folks automatically
think black or minority. And so you can have someone like Newt Gingrich,
who can stand up and say without being challenged by anyone in the room
that really poor kids in really poor neighborhoods don`t have a work ethic.
He didn`t put race into the equation. He didn`t have to.

SHARPTON: Now you`re being divisive, you`re being polarizing,


SHARPTON: Mr. Chairman it`s not only race, though, its income, its
women`s rights to choose, its gays` rights. When you look at what the GOP
candidates for president all stand for, the one percent in this country,
tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, new tax cuts for corporations,
support ending Medicare as we know it. Supporting cutting Social Security,
oppose the Buffett rule. They are against various groups and playing to
try to divide groups. If we blame one for something rather than the other,
we all won`t come together to try to really bring this country together.

CLEAVER: Well, I think that could be a strategy. I don`t think it`s
going to work. I hope it won`t work, but you know, Reverend, the best
thing that`s happening to President Barack Obama is the Republican
campaign. The individuals who are out running and making all these
statements I think are turning people off. And even if they don`t turn off
people, they`ll turn some on who might not been excited about this
election, but who might very well come out now, because they see that they
are being attacked. Not just minorities.

SHARPTON: Jonathan, let me say this before we have to go to the next
segment. I think that the chairman is right. I think a lot of people are
getting turned off, because they`re getting frightened by this, and I think
that clearly those that have been marginalized, I think the hope is that we
use electro processing. We can build one country by what we believe.

We don`t have to agree, but we have to have a process. But you cannot
have unity without a fair hearing of the inequality in this country, and
those being robbed of civil rights, not just by race, but by the other
areas I raised as well.

CAPEHEART: Right, Rev. You know, one thing to keep in mind, to jump
off what congressman Cleaver just said, you know, there are a lot of people
within the Democratic Party base, and folks who voted for President Obama
four years ago who are really ticked off. They don`t think he`s followed
through on the promises that he made, they don`t think he`s strong enough,
but I encourage everyone to listen to what`s being said on the other side,
meaning within the Republican Party, both the folks running for president
and the folks on Capitol Hill.

If you think that, you know, things will be better if President Obama
is not reelected, or if you stay home because you`re angry, just take --
you`re going to have yourself to blame if the man you voted for four years
ago and who is more aligned with what you think and what you believe than
the person who`s going to run against him eventually come December -- or
I`m sorry, come November, then you`re only going to have yourself to blame
for what might happen.

SHARPTON: See, Jonathan, I was all the way with you, chairman
Cleaver. I was about to say -- and then you said too simple like you are
trying to trick people and they are not voting in November. I have to
check you out, Jonathan.

CAPEHEART: November.

SHARPTON: We must do it though by responsible enough. I`ve had to
learn even the hard way. We`ve got to denounce extremists on all sides.
White, extremist black, extremist with men that (inaudible). That should
not be how any of the candidates for the president tolerate.

CLEAVER: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: Congressman, chairman Cleaver and Jonathan Capehart, thank
you both for coming on the show tonight.

Ahead, so much for staying positive. Newt hits the ground in New
Hampshire with one goal -- destroy Willard. He`s ripping him for being a
timid moderate.

Plus pop quiz -- what does Willard have in common with speaker
Boehner`s Republican congress? Answer, they do nothing for jobs. We`ll
show you how President Obama plans to run against all of them.

And Scott Walker`s in Washington today bashing unions as recall
signatures are rolling in by the thousands at home. This is about to get

You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: The drama is building in the reality show known as the GOP
race. We`re getting word of a major alliance, and Willard isn`t part of
it. That`s next.


SHARPTON: We`ve been telling you the GOP race is the greatest reality
show on TV. And now, we have our first alliance. Politico reporting today
the Gingrich camp is interested in forging a non-aggression pact with the
Santorum camp. But Newt`s holding nothing back on Willard Romney. He`s in
full-on attack mode in New Hampshire today.


GINGRICH: Governor Romney ran for governor as mod -- called himself,
I`m not making these words of, calling himself a moderate. As governor he
appointed liberal judges to appease the Democrats. As governor, he raised
taxes. As governor, he put Planned Parenthood in Romney-care by name, and
as governor, Romney-care has tax-paid abortions.

And I thought it was very telling that after the millions he spent, he
only got 25 percent in Iowa. Three out of four Iowa Republicans said no.
So, I don`t see him as much of a front-runner, frankly.


SHARPTON: Ouch! That`s Newt`s out with the first Willard-bashing ad.
This one dropped in New Hampshire and South Carolina today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE NARRATOR: Romney`s economic plan, timid, parts of
it virtually identical to Obama`s failed policy. Timid won`t create jobs
and timid certainly won`t defeat Barack Obama.


SHARPTON: So what may Newt forget this promise to stay positive?


GINGRICH: We`re going to stay positive. I am not going to go
negative. They can`t hit me with enough negative ads to make me go


SHARPTON: Probably the rapid free fall. Newt`s dropped from second
to fifth place in New Hampshire. Romney remains way ahead of everybody.
Down a whopping 17 points from last month, Newt finds himself with make no
mistake, it`s personal. And it looks like he has one goal, defeat Willard.

Joining mess is Rick Stengel, managing editor of "Time" magazine.
"Time`s" newest issue hitting newsstands tomorrow has Mitt Romney on the
cover asking, so do you like me now?

Rick, thanks for being here. So, do they like him or is it still an
open question? Because a couple weeks ago -- I am a "Time" magazine
reader, you had the opposite side of that, why don`t like him?

RICK STENGEL, MANAGING EDITOR, TIME: Why don`t they like me? That
was - let`s, you know, our memory is pretty short. As recently as a month
ago, he was polling in the second tier in Iowa. He wasn`t spending a lot
of time there. He hadn`t spent his much money there as he did four years
ago. Then he made a calculated risk which paid off. Which say, you know
what. I seem to be rising in the polls. The other people seem to be
falling except for Rick Santorum. I`m going to go all-in. It was a risky,
interesting thing he did.

And yes, even though as Mr. Gingrich says, only 25 percent of the
people voted for him. That was more than it had been just a few weeks

SHARPTON: So, because of the increase, he seemed to have calculated a
way that didn`t explode in his face, but how do we deal with the fact that
Santorum, who was nowhere on anybody`s radar has now become a legitimate
rival to him?

STENGEL: Well, I think that question remains to be seen, whether he`s
a legitimate rival. Remember, Iowa is the only place -- first of all, it`s
not a primary, it`s a caucus. It`s the only place where retail campaigning
really works. He went to 99 counties.


STENGEL: That worked for Jimmy Carter back in 1976. New Hampshire is
a little bit bigger. It`s a little bit closer to Iowa. But, you need an
organization there. You need endorsements.

Santorum doesn`t have any of those things. He doesn`t have an
organization. He doesn`t have money. What Romney has is a juggernaut and
it`s going to roll over everybody in New Hampshire, maybe the same in South

SHARPTON: But Newt Gingrich was on radio today, and he started
talking about maybe tying some kind of coalition together, alliance with
Santorum. Listen to this.


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 have lots of
things that fit together.


SHARPTON: And, you also see that Huntsman and Santorum both attacking
Romney today. Let me show you that and I want you to tell me whether any
of these matched.



SANTORUM: I`ve never been for governor`s Ron health care-never.
Unlike the other two folks who were running here, who have supported
individual mandate.

sides of all the major issues the day that then, creates a trust problem in
the eyes of the voters.


STENGEL: You see, Al. Let`s look at Iowa and New Hampshire. They`re
as different as chalk and cheese, right? New Hampshire is the northeast.
It`s a primary where independents can vote. There`s no democratic primary,
right? So, if I`m an independent and I`m interested and I`m interested in
a moderate, I even like that Romney-care in Massachusetts, I`m going to
vote in the Republican primary.

Republicans can`t talk about this, because it`s scary to them, but
there are a lot more moderate Republicans and independents in New
Hampshire, than conservatives or evangelicals. Evangelicals are
disproportionately represented in Iowa. All of these staff is great for
Romney. The biggest threat to Romney --

SHARPTON: South Carolina, you don`t have the same demographic, and
maybe not Florida.

STENGEL: But he has - he has a lot - Romney has a lot more
competition to him on the right than he has on the left. Huntsman, in some
ways, is the only guy competing with Romney in New Hampshire and South

And South Carolina is the place, that`s the killing ground of
candidates. That`s where organization and money, I mean, remember what
happened to McCain there eight years ago when they first did to him. I
mean, Romney is just going to try to clear everybody out in South Carolina.
And he has money. He has the organization. I don`t know it`s going to
happen but that would be his strategy.

SHARPTON: So, his strategy you are thinking, win New Hampshire and
then to try to go for wiping everything out in South Carolina.

STENGEL: And then he would be the consensus candidate. His only
enemy in New Hampshire is expectations. He`s polling so well, people would
go -- he was a very strong (inaudible).

SHARPTON: So, when he`s next door to his own safety, they`ll act like
it was nothing though no election is nothing. But South Carolina, suppose
if by then they can get a consensus conservative candidate, and this whole
Gingrich/Santorum, the rest of them kind of come together.

STENGEL: But then they have to drop out, right? I mean again, if I
were there and advisors, I`d say, guys, skip New Hampshire. You know, mitt
has a house there. He was the governor of the state next door. You have
nothing to gain in New Hampshire. Just leave and start campaigning in
South Carolina, but they`re not doing that.

SHARPTON: I think -- so you`re saying that you think because he has
the organizational muscle and the resources, he may be able to outlast
these guys and play on the fact that the right is divided, and he only has
huntsman on the left?

STENGEL: You said it better than I did. If I`m wrong, you can have
me back and you can say, you were --

SHARPTON: I`ll have you back anyway. Rick Stengel, "Time`s"
magazine`s managing editor. Thanks for joining us.

STENGEL: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Goo to see you.

Ahead, President Obama`s fight for jobs is working, and he won`t stop,
some positive news out today.

Plus, pause Yerington are skeletons are flying around in Willard`s
closet at Bain capital.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitt Romney wants to calm himself a job creator.
Mitt Romney doesn`t care about jobs. He cares about money.


SHARPTON: And it`s been exactly one year since John Boehner took the
speaker`s gavel. I`ll survey the damage. That`s next.


SHARPTON: We`ve reported on the progressive wave rolling through
America, from Wisconsin to Ohio and now the wave hits Indiana where the
fight over workers rights is heating up. Democratic lawmakers there are
boycotting the state assembly to keep republicans from ramming through an
anti-workers bill designed to cripple unions. Last year, the same
Democrats fled the state rather than let the GOP pass the bill. As soon as
tomorrow, the republican speaker could start fining the Democrats $1,000 a
day in a bid to drag them back to the table. It looked like Republicans
are starting the New Year off with the same old tricks, but there may be a
few surprises in store for them. Big news on Scott Walker`s recall coming


SHARPTON: Welcome back to POLITICS NATION. Today, we got new signs
the economy is moving in the right direction. Unemployment claims dropped
by 15,000 last week. Moving its best average in three-and-a-half years.
This progress is happening despite the lack of a jobs bill coming out of
Congress. One year ago tonight, John Boehner took the speaker`s gavel, and
promised he would create jobs, but instead Republicans have focused on
blocking virtually every single plan for President Obama. Minority Leader
Nancy Pelosi talked about that today.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: One year in office, no
significant jobs bill, I know they`re saying we passed one piece of the
President`s jobs bill, the veterans` piece. Of course they did. Of course
they did.


SHARPTON: This do-nothing republican Congress has forced the
President to go it alone. That`s why today, the White House announced the
campaign to put at least 180,000 low-income teenagers to work this summer,
a plan he can launch without Congress. It`s why the President bypass the
GOP roadblocks to name Richard Cordray as the nation`s new top consumer


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I`ve got 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: The President`s campaign strategy has becoming clear.
He`ll call out Republicans both in Congress and on the campaign trail for
failing to care about jobs for the middle class.

Joining me now is Patrick Gaspard, executive director of the
Democratic National Committee and democratic strategist Tad Devine. Thank
you both for joining me tonight.

so much for having us on, Rev.

SHARPTON: Let me start with you, Patrick. How will the DNC support
the President`s plan to run against a do-nothing Congress?

GASPARD: Well, Rev, let me back just up for a quick second, if I
could. You just laid out some important metrics about the economy. I want
to also note that as previewed today in "The New York Times," it`s clear
that under this President, under his policies, we`ve managed to grow
manufacturing jobs in this country for the first time since 1997, contrast
that with the Bush administration, we`re manufacturing decline by 29
percent in this country, we`ve managed to grow manufacturing to two
straight years now. You can trust the DNC and the President`s campaign,
we`re going to continue to amplify all the great success that we`ve had in
growing this economy. Sure there`s quite a way to go still.

Americans are still struggling to have economic security, but it`s
clear with 21 straight months of private sector job growth, Reverend, and
with the great news that we had today in manufacturing, in some increase in
consumer confidence that we`re beginning to turn this corner here, and the
vision that this President has laid, and the foundation that he`s laid in
his budget and all the great work that he did in making sure that we
preserve the iconic automobile industry, while Republicans like Mitt Romney
saying, let Detroit die, it`s abundantly clear that those policies are
taking hold, we`re having some success, and we`re going to continue to
knock on the doors, make phone calls and press the case.

SHARPTON: That`s very impressive clearly when you compare the fact
that under Bush construction job will down 29 percent. Tad, will that
resonate with voters? Particularly middle class voters, because when
you`re talking about manufacturing jobs, you`re talking about jobs that
make middle-class families become possible for them to sustain themselves.

resonate. Because I think the President`s record is coming now into a full
view. You know, when he was inaugurated, that one month in January of `09,
this country lost 820,000 jobs in that one month. In the next three
months, we lost 2.2 million jobs. Three million jobs in four months after
he became president. And tomorrow, when the jobs report comes out, I think
we will see that this country has created over three million private sector
jobs in the last 22 months. I think that`s going to put things into
perspective for people. And they`re going to have a choice. Do they want
a president whose adopted policies that are very different from George
Bush, or do they want a republican president, all have whom the candidate
have said, they will take the Bush policies, put them back into force and
move this country in the direction that it was moved in under Bush which
was to the brink under great depression.

SHARPTON: Well, let me say this, Patrick. You can`t blame one man
for another man`s deeds, but let`s look at Willard. While you have talked
about every month the increase of jobs, the President bailed out the auto
industry, Willard wrote November 2008 in "New York Times" an Op-ed titled
"let Detroit go bankrupt." Let me read what he said, this is Willard
speaking. "If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get their bailout that
their chief executives asked for today, you can kiss the American
automotive industry good-bye."

Well, let`s look at the goodbye of the automotive industry, Willard.
Chrysler is still there with a 26 percent increase. Ford 17 percent
increase. General Motors 14 percent increase. It looks like Willard was a
little off the mark, Patrick.

GASPARD: I would say, he was way off the mark, Reverend, that`s a
great point. I mean, let`s look at the facts here. As a consequence of
the courageous position of the President took in the face of ferocious
opposition from Republicans like Mitt Romney and every republican, all the
Tea Party Republicans on Capitol Hill, we preserved 1.4 million jobs in
the heartland of this country, in the automobile industry. Look at what
Mitt Romney did when he was governor of Massachusetts. Under Mitt Romney,
that state declined in manufacturing at twice the national average. Twice
the national average, Rev, and they ranked 47 out 50 in job growth overall
in this country. So, Mitt Romney likes to say that he`s going to conduct
the campaign and prosecute the case about the economy, we welcome that
conversation against a governor who ranked 47 out of 50th in this nation on
job growth.

SHARPTON: And I might add that Ford is the only one that didn`t get a
bailout. Tad, let me ask you this, David Axelrod has called Willard Mr. 25
percent. You`re a political strategist. I mean, how do you deal with a
guy with all this money, with all of the implosions of the flavors of the
month that have challenged him, he can`t get over 25 percent. What`s going
on here?

DEVINE: Well, I think what`s going on is Republicans, conservative
Republicans, base Republicans don`t like Mitt Romney. And there`s a reason
they don`t like him. He has changed his position on fundamental issues.
When I worked against Romney in 1994 for Senator Kennedy in that Senate
race, he was strongly pro-choice. He said publicly he would be better on
gay rights than Ted Kennedy. He said global climate change was happening,
he`s supported Sciences view, and now he`s changed his position on all of
that to appease the right wing of his own party. I mean, this was a guy
who wanted to let Detroit go under, but was more than ready to bailout his
friends on Wall Street when they needed help. So, I think that`s all going
to come into perspective. And I think the Republicans don`t like him for a
simple reasons. They don`t think it`s authentic. They don`t believe a
word he says, and he`s been on both sides of big issues that matter to

SHARPTON: So, you bit this guy. You were part of the Kennedy
campaign that beat him in Massachusetts.

DEVINE: Yes, and I.

SHARPTON: .when he was on the other side of the issues that he`s now.

DEVINE: That`s right. And, you know, I went to Indiana in 1994, and
made some ads to that campaign, and talked to striking workers, a company
that was put out of business by Mitt Romney. They came in there, they
fired everybody, they rehired three quarters of the workers at pre-quarters
of the former pay that they had. The workers say, he didn`t rehire, most
of them were woman, some of them pregnant women, older workers, they took
the most vulnerable people out of the workforce and they turned it into a
profit center. And after several years, they ran that company into
bankruptcy, took $100 million and put into their own pockets and they left

SHARPTON: No, Tad, not the job creator. Don`t say that. Mr. Patrick
Gaspard, let me ask you about one question I need to ask you, the
Congressional races. You`re the executive director of the DNC. How do we
deal with the fact that this Congress has gone in approval numbers from 24
percent in May down now in December to 11 percent. Are you confident that
a lot of the newly elected Tea Party congressmen can be defeated and that
the DNC has a shot of trying to take back the Congress?

GASPARD: Reverend, I am convinced that Republicans in this Congress,
Tea Party leaders in this Congress have been exposed. If you look at all
the data, it`s abundantly clear that the places in this country where the
Tea Party brand is at the absolute lowest or places where Tea Party
Republicans were actually elected in 2010. Let`s be clear, 2010 was a
rough year, Americans have to make a critical choice about the direction of
this was going in. And of course, the economy was the number one issue
that facing all Americans. During that election, Republicans ran with the
promise they would create jobs.

From the moment that they stepped into Congress and Mitch McConnell
said that his number one imperative was to make sure that Barack Obama was
a one term president and every sing the Republicans from Boehner, Cantor,
to folks like Romney and Santorum who have been cheerleading from the
sidelines, all followed suit. So, they`ve been exposed and I`m confident
that when the conversation has had, when the contrast is made in this
country, Americans are going to make the right choice and they`re going to
send Barack Obama back to the White House with democratic majorities in the
House and Senate.

SHARPTON: Patrick Gaspard and Tad Devine. Thank you both very much
for joining us tonight.

GASPARD: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Ahead, the recall drive is hotter than ever. Governor
Scott Walker is in Washington blaming unions for his political free fall.
Smart move, Scott. And a late holiday present for the late-night
comediennes. The Cain train is getting ready to take off again.


SHARPTON: Governor Scott Walker is so unpopular back home in
Wisconsin, he had to fly all the way to Washington, D.C. to find an
audience that actually wanted to hear about his anti-union agenda, and
thought he should keep his job. Walker spoke at a conservative think tank
today defending his move to strip collective bargaining rights and blaming
unions for his own fall from grace.


REP. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: All the focus around here in
Washington in terms of the national unions were focused on getting me
recalled really comes down to us, I took away the gravy train, the free
money they had before, and gave that right back to the workers to make that


SHARPTON: You`re wrong, Governor. This isn`t about gravy, it`s about
workers` rights. That`s why thousands of people turned out in the cold
last winter to oppose your law. It`s why more than half a million people
have signed a petition to recall you from office, a petition drive that
will wrap up in less than two weeks, just today, two top republican
presidential candidates attacked President Obama for naming new officials
to the National Labor Board, a move he made to shore up union rights.


some more labors do. Just on the National Labor Relations Board. It`s
killing jobs. This President is a crony capitalist. He`s a job killer.

reason. He is paying off his union allies. You don`t want to come here to
be have this kind of left-wing union NLRB members, they say that they are
going to tell you how to run your plant.


SHARPTON: Labor stooges? Crony capitalists? This is what unions are
facing this year with Scott Walker and people like him. Reactionaries want
to roll back decades of progress and put corporations before workers.

Joining me now is Mike Tate, chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic
Party, which is helping to coordinate the recall effort. Mike, how strong
is the recall movement right now?

Thanks for having me on. You know, the recall movement is very strong, and
it`s made up not just of labor union households, but people from all over
the state that are concerned about what Scott Walker has done to Wisconsin
in just the one year he`s been in office. And I can tell you, we had half
a million signatures right before Christmas, we are on track to hit our
publicly stated goal of 720,000 signatures collected.

SHARPTON: Seven hundred twenty thousand signatures.

TATE: That is our publicly stated goal. We only need 540,000
signatures to generate election, but we want to hand in a number that so
impressive and so large that they`ll be little question about which side
the public is on and also with this election is going to happen. It`s a
pretty strong movement that is driven by the hundreds of thousands of
people that stood out in the cold here in Wisconsin, and have signed these

SHARPTON: Now, the governor says that if you get the recall in and I
believe you will and I know a lot of people in Wisconsin that are involved,
that the bosses, the union bosses would choose his opponent, let me show
you what Governor Walker says.

TATE: Sure.


WALKER: People ask me who my opponent is going to be. I said the
person does not matter. It will be the big government union bosses here in
Washington who will pour probably limitless amounts of money into our state
and will try to influence our vote. And we`ll going to have to be ready to
get the truth out and counter that.


SHARPTON: Union bosses? They`re going to pour a limited amount of
money. Isn`t this the governor that was talking he thought with the Koch
Brothers. I don`t think they lived in Wisconsin, and he`s talking about
money. But how do you respond to that?

TATE: And he`s raised millions of dollars from outside of Wisconsin
thus far. He spent about, he and his allies spent about $5 million on TV
in the last six, seven weeks alone. It`s kind of ironic Reverend, isn`t it
that he`s talking about the millions of dollars that are going to be
brought in from Washington, D.C. When he`s in Washington, D.C. himself
raising money from people who don`t live in Wisconsin.

SHARPTON: No, he was in Washington -- the clip I just played -- I`ll
let you finish the statement, but what I just want the audience understand
what I just played was him in Washington, speaking to a conservative think

TATE: Right. He`s in Washington today raising probably millions of
dollars from people who want to see unions put out of business, who are not
on the sides of the working-class families that have been affected by Scott
Walker`s just simply reactionary agenda. So, it`s kind of ironic. You
know who`s going to pick the candidate here in Wisconsin, Reverend, is the
people. We have an open primary process in Wisconsin and the people are
going to decide who our candidate is. It`s not going to be someone who
doesn`t live here, anything like that. Those are the people that are
funding Scott Walker`s campaign.

SHARPTON: Now, when you look at the fact that the polls say that 58
percent support the recall of Governor Walker, quickly explain, Mike,
you`re not recalling him for partisan reasons. He didn`t run on what he
did. The reason that a lot of people in Wisconsin all want a recall is had
he told them he was going to come in with this, he probably would have
never got elected in the first place. He ran promising jobs, got in there
and went after the unions.

TATE: That`s absolutely right, Reverend. And look, I think there`s
two main reasons that this recall against the governor is happening.
Obviously things like collective bargaining, cuts education, health care
cuts, those are all part of it. But it`s because he lied to the people
when he campaign for Governor. He did not tell us what he`s going to do.
He`s simply benefited the Koch Brothers.

SHARPTON: I`ve got to wrap it up.


SHARPTON: Thank you so much. I`m going to be watching this and
continue to talk to you. Mike Tate, thank you so much. We`ll be right


SHARPTON: Do you hear that? That music in the background, where have
I heard that before? Late-night comediennes, here`s a belated Christmas


that I got when I ended my candidacy was keep 9-9-9 alive. I`m going to
keep it alive with what I`m calling Cain`s solutions revolution.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST, "HANNITY": You have a bus?

CAIN: Yes, sir, got a bus with my picture on it. The first solution
we`re going to promote actively is 9-9-9 the revolution.

SHARPTON: Cain`s solution revolution? What does that even mean? So,
he`s going on a bus tour. He`s not making an endorsement, he`s not getting
back in the race. He`s just getting on that bus for some more of this.


CAIN: First of all, 9-9-9.


Nine-nine-nine. We`re putting in 9-9-9.


And then we pass 9-9-9.


SHARPTON: Herman-Herman, I think we`ve had it up to hear what 9-9-9.
He`s even got a Web site for it called Nice name
there. Check out this hilarious video he posted today.


CAIN: Politicians are an interesting breed. When they feel the heat,
they will see the light, but sometimes they forget that they work for us.
We will remind them. Welcome to the solutions revolution. Victory.


SHARPTON: Victory? The only victory I see is for our nation`s
comediennes. Well, Herman, have a nice bus tour. I hope you have a lot of
pizza on the bus. I won`t make a bus tour. I`m too busy trying to stop
your colleagues from taking Americans for a ride. Tomorrow, Herman Cain
will be on "NOW with Alex Wagner."

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


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