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PoliticsNation, Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Read the transcript from the Tuesday show

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Guests: Alex Wagner, Charles Blow; Tad Devine; Joan Walsh, Tom Barrett, Robert Beaulieu, David Schultz

AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Welcome to "Politics Nation." I`m Al Sharpton.

Tonight`s lead. When is the statement just an accidental misstatement of
facts? And when is it a lie? This election will be fought over the issue
of jobs. It`s what people are desperate for in this country. We need
ideas. We need solutions. What we don`t need is the disappointing answer
we got from GOP front-runner, Willard Mitt Romney, last night.


office three years and he does not have a jobs plan yes. I have got one
out there already and I`m not even president yet.


SHARPTON: The president doesn`t have a jobs plan? Of course he does.
It`s a smart mix of tax breaks, hiring incentives and infrastructure
measures. Missed that? Did you? Did you also miss the nationally
televised address he gave to 31 million Americans and all those speeches he
is gave around the country pushing the plan and all the fights in Congress
about it? OK, maybe you`ve been busy. But then how do you explain that
you knew about the jobs plan after all?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: President Obama`s American jobs act, what do
you think of it?

ROMNEY: Well, his most recent incantation is a bit like his first
versions, which is a lot of money, a lot of political bluster, very little
positive impact on the economy.


SHARPTON: Let me get this straight. Last night, you said there was no
plan. So then what were the plans you were attacking in that clip I just
played? Willard, you are not being serious, not serious about debating
jobs plans, not serious about your tax returns.


someone to release his tax records but it is an established tradition. I
think it was a tradition initiated by then-presidential candidate George
Romney back in 1968.


SHARPTON: Yes, Mitt, it`s a family tradition. Maybe the reason you
haven`t released those returns is they`d show the outrageously low taxes
you paying.


ROMNEY: What`s the effective rate I have been paying? It is probably
closer to the 15 percent rate than anything because my last ten years, I`ve
-- my income comes overwhelmingly from investments made in the past rather
than ordinary income or rather the earned annual income.


SHARPTON: Fifteen percent tax rate? That`s much lower than the 35 percent
rate applied to wages for those in the highest tax bracket. Somehow, I
don`t think we will be hearing things like this any time soon.


to pay our fair share and I believe that most Americans are willing to do
their part.


SHARPTON: As I said, we need a serious conversation about jobs and how we
get this country moving again. Whether Mitt Romney will be serious, we
don`t know yet.

Joining me now democratic strategist Tad Devine, senior adviser for the
Kerry and Gore and many other campaigns, and Joan Walsh, editor at large
for Thank you both for coming on the show tonight.

Tad. Let me start with you. When you faced the fact that Romney may be
the nominee and he is going to run all the way and many feel he is, when
you look at where the American people are on the president`s job proposals,
68 percent support raising taxes on millionaires, 75 percent support hiring
teachers and first responders, 72 percent infrastructure spending, 60
percent extension of unemployment, 59 percent extension, of the payroll
tax, on and on, it seems that most of the American people are in step with
the policies being proposed by President Obama. Politically, won`t this
help him, Tad?

TAD DEVINE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Yes, reverend, it will. I mean, I
think the president is on the side of people. I think he has put out an
Americans job act which speaks directly to the problem that people are
facing in their lives today, a real proposal to try to generate real jobs.

Romney, on the other hand, wants to bring back the policies that almost led
this nation into a second great depression. All he is doing is taking the
Bush policies and saying we need to bring them back into law, we need to
take care of the wealthiest, most powerful interests in our own society.

And I think the debate between President Obama and the plans, the real
plans that he has set forth in detail in a congressional speech, in
speeches across this country, and of detailed and comprehensive way are
going to contrast with what Romney is offering, which is the policies that
almost led this country off the economic edge just a couple of years ago.

SHARPTON: Now, Joan, let`s just be real candid, because everyone is
playing horse races. Willard Romney is acting as if he doesn`t know the
president`s plan when clearly he criticized it. Is it because he doesn`t
want to have to deal with the fact that what`s saying he knows most
Americans are not going to support and the meat of what the president is
saying does have the support of most Americans, including in some areas
many Republicans, if not the majority?

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM: Right. Well, you know, actually, reverend al, I
think it`s more that Mitt Romney is used to saying whatever he feels like
he needs to say on any given day to get elected. And so, he woke up
yesterday and decided he was going to pretend the president didn`t have a
tax plan. But it`s really not going to work.

You know, the stuff about his own taxes, it was just a few days ago that
you and I were talking about this and we speculated that, in fact, he was
not so happy about releasing his tax returns because they would show he
pays a very, very low rate and it is going to turn out that that`s true.
We also learned today that he --

SHARPTON: Well, he, himself, we just played the tape --

WALSH: Fifteen percent, sure.

SHARPTON: Fifteen percent which is outrageously low.

WALSH: Exactly. And it could be lower.

SHARPTON: And it`s not only family tradition, Joan. Everyone that runs,
when I ran in 2004, you have to make disclosure statements to go for
matching money, everyone released it.

WALSH: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: And many of us have had running fights with the IRS. You
release your tax forms.

WALSH: You do. No matter what they say you release them. So, I think we
are right. We are on to something. He pays a very low tax rate. And
also, he said today he makes about 350,000, 375,000 in speaking fees alone
and he said that wasn`t that much. You know what, reverend Al. That
alone, puts him in the top one percent, just in speaking fees. But it is
really that much to Mitt Romney.

SHARPTON: Well, let me show you how much that is, Joan and Tad. He says
speaking fees is not that much. And then we find that from February 2010
to February 2011, he made $374,327 just off speakers` fees.

WALSH: Right.

SHARPTON: That`s not that much. The average $41,592. And I`m telling
you, Tad, that really got me `cause he is not even a great speaker.


DEVINE: Well -- well, I think it is remarkable. I mean, for Governor
Romney`s campaign, listen. The guy needs to just shut up, OK? I mean,
because every time he goes out in public and speaks unscripted, this is
what happens, the speaking fees today. He also said that he donated all
the proceeds of his book and the book proceeds were almost nothing, to
charity. Well, it turns out the book proceeds were between $100,000 and $1
million, somewhere in that range according to his disclosure statement and
whether it`s a guy heckling him in Iowa when Romney stands up and says
corporations are people too or whether he challenges governor Perry to a
$10,000 bet when Romney is on his own, in an unscripted circumstance,
terrible things happen. So, he needs to lock himself up and keep his mouth

SHARPTON: Joan, how does President Obama run against this guy? At the end
of the day, it looks like, particularly if he pulls it out of South
Carolina, and it looks like he will unless there`s some real upset on
Saturday night.

So, why -- I mean, everybody wants to keep playing games, let`s deal with
the meat of what the American people are looking at. How does the
president run against this guy and what is he saying to the American people
and what does the president say when it comes to jobs?

WALSH: Well, I think specifically, he does have a plan, as you lay out.
He has gone to Congress for the whole plan. He has gone to Congress for
parts of the plan. He can`t get it past, reverend Al, but he`s out there
talking about it and people like it. People know about it. I think that
is kind of an easy one.

The other part of this is that, you know, as we have discussed before, Mitt
Romney is Mr. one percent and the president himself, he does not come from
wealth. He had student loans until just a few years before he became
president. He knows what it`s like to struggle, he knows what it`s like to
pinch pennies and this is a man who really does not think that $374,000 is
a lot of money.

So, I think that people day in, day out, are going to understand that this
president with his wife, with his small children, is really much closer to
their own lived experience than Mitt Romney, Mr. one percent.

SHARPTON: Now, Tad, when you look at the fact that he has run, by his own
choice, as a businessman, not running on his record as governor, he wants
to run as -- on his experience in the private sector, then he has claimed
any number of times that he has created thousands of jobs, tens of
thousands of jobs, now has gone up to 120,000.

But when you look at how he explains it, which debunks his statements is
that he is dealing with companies Bain invested in and added 120,000 jobs,
only count success stories, no layoffs, counts jobs as of today but he left
Bain in 1999. So he is taking credit for jobs up to `99, after `99 and we
are in 2011, Willard, and he is not deducting any of the layoffs.

I mean, so he is going to run as a job creator against a president that
inherited the worst economy we have seen in generations and still, there
were jobs every month made -- that were -- that were created in the private
sector that this president can say every month, we created jobs?

DEVINE: Well, you know, I think Romney`s got a problem and his problem is
his record. His record in the private sector is one of self-enrichment and
a lot of job loss. Sure there has been some success stories but he had
very little to do with them. The truth is his business didn`t really --
wasn`t set up to invest in other businesses. Bain capital was set up to do
leveraged buyouts. That`s where they made their big money. They went in,
they took over companies, they turned them upside down, they drained all
the money out and left town.

And when I think when the story of that comes out, also his record of the
job creation as governor. He doesn`t talk about the fact when he was
governor. Massachusetts was 47th in the nation in job creation.

SHARPTON: Maybe that`s why he is not running as governor, Tad. Joan, does
he win Saturday in South Carolina?

WALSH: It looks like it. It really does. Newt Gingrich had a great night
last night with all that race baiting, reverend Al, but I don`t think it is
enough to make up the huge deficit, I think he wins, I think Mitt wins.

SHARPTON: I think Willard wins. Tad, I would bet you $10,000 but I have
to borrow it from Willard.


SHARPTON: Thank you for joining me both tonight, both of you and have a
good evening.

WALSH: Thank you.

DEVINE: Good night.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Newt Gingrich plays ugly at the GOP debate. And the
crowd couldn`t be happier.


NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The fact is that more people
have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American



SHARPTON: Our massive fact check ahead.

Plus, wham mow to wake, the fight against union-busting governor Scott
Walker reaches a major milestone.

And President Obama addresses the birthers like you`ve never seen him

And Betty White is his secret weapon. You are watching "Politics Nation"


SHARPTON: Newt Gingrich brings racial politics front and center in the GOP
debate. It was ugly and its next.


SHARPTON: Welcome back to "Politics Nation." We have been talking a lot
about the ugly racially charged rhetoric playing out in this Republican
race. But last night, Newt Gingrich took it to a new level.


Americans should demand jobs, not food stamps. You also said poor kids
lack a strong work ethic and propose having them work as janitors in their
schools. Can`t you see that this is viewed, at a minimum, as insulting to
all Americans, but particularly to black Americans?


GINGRICH: No. I don`t see that. New York City pays their janitors an
absurd amount of money because at union. You could take one janitor and
hire 30-some kids to work in the school for the price of one janitor and
those 30 kids would be a lot less likely to drop out, they would be getting
money, which is a good thing if you`re poor. Only the elites despise
earning money.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But governor --


SHARPTON: First of all, Newt`s comments are littered with bogus
information. But did you hear that crowd? Republicans cheered for putting
children to work and cheered for taking jobs away from adults who need
them. Then Newt took on minorities.


WILLIAMS: I got to tell you, my e-mail account, my twitter account, has
been inundated with percentage all races who are asking if your comments
are not intended to belittle the poor and racial minorities. It sounds as
if you`re seeking to belittle people.


GINGRICH: First of all, Juan, the fact is that more people have been put
on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history.


GINGRICH: Now, everything you need to know about the difference between
Barack Obama and the five of us, we actually think work is good.


GINGRICH: And we think unconditional efforts by the best food stamp
president in American history to maximize dependency, is terrible for the
future of this country.


SHARPTON: Again, all kinds of misinformation. And after all that, he has
the nerve to say he is the guy to help poor people?


GINGRICH: I`m going to continue to find ways to help poor people, learn
how to get a job, learn how to get a better job and learn someday to own
the job.



SHARPTON: He got a standing ovation for that. It says a lot about this
party, not only are Newt`s comments disgusting and divisive, they are
factually wrong and we are not going to let him get away with.

Joining me now is Charles Blow, op-ed columnist for the "New York Times."
He wrote about Newt Gingrich and the art of racial politics today and Alex
Wagner, host of "Now, with Alex Wagner," here on MSNBC at high noon
showdown of great ideas. Great to have both of you with me.

ALEX WAGNER, HOST, NOW WITH ALEX WAGNER: I`m going to take that one.

SHARPTON: Charles, let`s look at some of Newt`s claims last night. First,
he repeatedly called President Obama the food stamp president. He said the
president wants to maximize dependency on food stamps. You wrote today
that -- how this statement is not factually correct. Tell us about it.

CHARLES BLOW, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Well first, you take the part about the
president being the best food stamp president in American history, right?
So what you can say, if he wanted to just be accurate and say there are now
more people on food stamps than there ever have been.

However, what President Obama inherited is a both a system that was already
growing, so under the Bush administration, the food stamp program grew by
63 percent. Seven out of the eight years that Bush was in office, the
program grew. And only one of those years was a recessionary year. So, he
wasn`t coming out of recession. He got the recession at the end of his
term. Obama inherits a recession, inherits a recession that is unlike any
recession that we have seen going back to the great depression.

You have to remember this is about the food stamp program it is only 15
years old some it doesn`t even stretch the modern food stamp program,
doesn`t stretch back to great depression. So, you don`t -- he says in
American history, he is acting like Abraham Lincoln was giving out food

There`s no Abraham Lincoln giving out food stamps. This is a 15-year-old
program. We have a situation that has never existed in 50 years happens
now. So, what he`s saying is that what was this president supposed to do?
Let the majority of people who were on food stamps, which are people under
18, children, and people over 60 years old, so you wanted to have --

SHARPTON: Seniors and children?

BLOW: You wanted to let them starve.

WAGNER: Most vulnerable.

BLOW: Most vulnerable and the people most dependent on people who had the
jobs and lost them.


BLOW: So these are the people you are depending on, your parent or
somebody taking the care of an older -- their older parent and now they
have lost their job. So, now you have to do something to step into this
breach and that`s what Obama has done. So, for him to say that in the way
he is saying, he knows he is being facetious.

SHARPTON: He knows. Well, Alex, and the fact is he is playing to a


SHARPTON: First of all, the overwhelming majority of people on food
stamps, as Charles Blow said, over 60, under 18, children and seniors, and
a majority are white, they are not black. But he is playing into this
stereotype, black president, food stamp president, trying to act as though
blacks need to get a job and not food stamps, like the majority of blacks
are on food stamps, which is not true.

Isn`t this really playing a real racial kind of game in a way we have not
seen as blatant? Had the welfare queen strategies, but its real blatant
now, even to the point they booed Juan Williams last night. This is not Al
Sharpton. This is Juan Williams that got booed.

WAGNER: And booing a black journalist on an issue affecting not just black
Americans but white Americans, poor people on MLK day is a really telling
moment, I think in this Republican race. The thing that they are trying to
establish is this narrative of the takers versus the makers. And the
Republican party has been doing this over and over again, and it`s a bid to
re-envision the American social comp pact.

And basically, if you can`t make it in this society, too bad, we are
cutting you lose. And the idea that somehow you are a bad person for being
on food stamps, plenty of people on food stamps actually work or are part-
time employed that is not a narrative that is ever explored. And that
somehow, President Obama should be vilified for the fact there is an
economic almost depression in this country and more people are in need,
that`s why there are more people on food stamps, 46, 47 million Americans
on food stamps and you`re going to go out there and make that a cross to
bear? I don`t understand how that a winning strategy to general election.

SHARPTON: Well Charles, he also did something very shrewd. He took a
shot, two for one. Because not only are we going to talk about the food
stamps, I tell you what you do. Put your children to work and take one of
these union jobs because we don`t need unions either making sure that
janitors make money. So, let`s eliminate unions, one. Put children to
work, kill child labor laws. How do you like me now?

BLOW: Right. And see. And this gets to another point that has been
missed since he first made that statement, which is that children already
work, right? There are already laws in place to allow children to work.
They are set up so they don`t allow children to be exploited. So, 14 get
working papers, just make sure you don`t work too many hours, do your
homework in a safe environment. That is the first thing.

Second thing, if you are poor, I have been poor. You are working all the
time. You are cutting grass. You`re babysitting, you`re doing everything
you can do to get an extra nickel because being poor is, in itself, a job.

SHARPTON: Now, when you look at the facts, Alex, and let show where you he
talks about minorities needing to get job. He was on "CBS" this morning
talking about the need for minorities to get jobs.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: The point was made in your comments about that
it`s better for black Americans to seek a job than to seek food stamps,
suspect that simply true for all Americans who are desperately looking for

GINGRICH: It is true for all Americans. It`s true for native Americans.
It is true for Asian-Americans, true for Latino-Americans, true for white
Americans and true for black Americans. The original statement, however,
was in the context of saying I would love to be invited by the NAACP to
come to their convention. We have had 43 percent black teenage
unemployment. That is a disaster.


SHARPTON: I mean --

WAGNER: He is a disaster.

SHARPTON: What does he say there?

WAGNER: I mean --

BLOW: He said that he would want to go to make sure that black people
demanded jobs and not be satisfied with food stamps. Satisfaction. I
mean, what you have to do --

WAGNER: Part of his far this rat at this time.


BLOW: Pick apart what he is saying. The satisfaction factor, no one is
working in your community. You are happy. President Obama wants to
maximize dependency. Those -- these little catchphrases really do mean
something. These are not --

WAGNER: These are dog whistles about you guys are just -- it is part of
the welfare, it`s a continuation of the welfare.

SHARPTON: I have got to go but a one thing I think everyone must know, not
one of his opponents disagreed with him, interrupted and said that`s wrong
or unfair, not one. And if Mitt Romney is the nominee, he stood by,
silence is consent, Willard.

Charles Blow and Alex Wagner, thank you for being here.

WAGNER: Thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: Coming up, not great scot, the people of Wisconsin showed the
world how to fight for their rights. And today, they got to set a recall
record straight. Stay with us.



something. Do you hear that America?


PROTESTERS: Recall Walker. Recall Walker. Recall Walker.


SHARPTON: Recall Walker. Recall Walker. I also hear this.


PROTESTERS: Hey, hey, ho, ho. Scott Walker`s got to go.


SHARPTON: You know what that sound is. That`s the sound of pushback.
Almost a year ago, the people of Wisconsin vowed to fight against Scott
Walker`s war on workers. They marched together, they protested together.
And they never, never gave up. Today is a defining moment for progressives
across America. The Walker recall petitions, all 3300 pounds, were deliver
today and the Wisconsin Democratic Party reporting a whopping one million
signatures, one million to recall Scott Walker, almost double the number
they needed to move forward with the recall election. That`s cause for
celebration. Think about that now. One million people for recall. It is
all a massive outpouring and we could all thank Scott Walker for setting
ablaze a progressive wave all over this country, from Wisconsin, spread to
Ohio, where November voters shut down Governor Kasich`s anti-union bill.


GOV. JOHN KASICH (R), OHIO: It`s clear that the people spoken and you
know, my view is when people speak in a campaign like this and a
referendum, you have to listen when you`re a public servant.


SHARPTON: In Florida, Governor Rick Scott`s war on the poor was met with
strong opposition and Governor Scott`s 38 percent approval makes him one of
the nation`s least popular governors. And in Michigan, Governor Snyder`s
threatening democracy pushing in emergency manager which essentially
removes elected officials and busts unions. Yesterday, over 1,000 people
protested outside the governor`s residence, but that`s progressive waves
starting a year ago back in Wisconsin. It`s where the wave first began and
progressives celebrate today but don`t celebrate too much because tomorrow,
the real fight begins.

Joining me now is Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. He ran against Walker in
the Governor`s race. Mayor Barrett, great to have you here on a big night
like this. Was there ever any doubt in your mind this day would come?

MAYOR TOM BARRETT (D), MILWAUKEE: Well, Reverend Sharpton, first, thank
you for allowing me to appear with you once again, it is great to be on
your show. I think that the people of Wisconsin, the grassroots efforts
here have really shown this nation what this is all about. And once Scott
Walker made the statement on us a year ago, he was going to, these are his
words, drop the bomb, that`s what set the stage for this entire year
because using a military phrase like that and the oncoming disaster that
resulted because of that and I think one of two things are going to happen,
either you`re going to completely obliterate your opposition, which is what
he was trying to do politically or they would fight for their lives and
they would fight like they have never fought before and that is exactly
what we have seen in the last year here in Wisconsin.

SHARPTON: Well, he`s saying he was going to drop the bomb,

BARRETT: There are 30,000 people out there.

SHARPTON: He said he was going to drop the bomb. Let me show you what he
says today in response to the filing of the petitions for recall. He says,
I look forward to talking to the people of Wisconsin about my continued
promises to control government spending, balance the budget and hold the
line on taxes. I expect Wisconsin voters will stand with me and keep
moving Wisconsin forward. He didn`t have too much military language in his
statement today.

BARRETT: Well, I think he realizes what happened. This is one of the most
extraordinary days in the history of Wisconsin politics, and now it is
setting up a classic, classic battle, because he was in New York, he`s been
to Texas, he`s been to Washington, D.C., pouring in dollars, out of state
dollars, special interest dollars and he has frankly shattered records
there. You have had two records shattered, you had the record that was
shattered today, the most recall signatures in this state`s history and
probably in this station`s history and that`s up against the largest fund-
raising month that we have ever seen in the history of the state as well.

So, this is the classic battle. Millions and millions of dollars versus
millions of signatures that come from in-state grassroots people. So, you
are right when you say the real battle begins tomorrow because he has so
much money, it`s unbelievable how much money he has, but I think those
people who are his strongest supporters, they have to be surprised. I
don`t think there were a lot of people on his side who thought that we
would get the 540,000 signatures much less 640, 740, 840, 940, a million

SHARPTON: No, they didn`t.

BARRETT: That is extraordinary. Didn`t see it coming.

SHARPTON: Now, he has raised a big money and some Koch Brothers` money was
in, I understand. Tonight, in fact, he is here in New York, $2,500 per
person fund raiser hosted by Hank Greenberg, former CEO of AIG. He is not
in Wisconsin, he is up here raising money. And I think that it is
interesting when you look at the fact that since July, he has raised
defending himself against the recall 5.1 million from July to December. I
think that the question of millions of dollars against a million signatures
is a question of we`re going to see who really runs democracy, who really
runs the way people are influenced about their own self-interest in

BARRETT: I think this is something the nation will be watching because,
again, he is running on a national agenda, these are national dollars
coming from outside the state of Wisconsin that are fueling his effort. On
the other side, you`ve got literally hundreds of thousands of signatures,
million signatures from residents of this state. So, the question from
this state is, will the future of this state be controlled by people who
live here, who vote here or will it be controlled by outside dollars that
are trying to set a national agenda? Now, what I`m hearing over and over
again is people say, we want our Wisconsin back. This is not our


BARRETT: This is an ideological national movement on the other side that
tries to go from state to state disrupting what had been good policies in
this state throughout this country.

SHARPTON: I understand the policy, and the ideology and the movement,
clearly wedded to the same ideas but give me your political gut, you are a
mare, you runs, you know Wisconsin politics. What does your gut tell you,
will he be recalled?

BARRETT: I think that there is a very good chance that he will be
recalled, that the election will be successful, I think a lot is going to
depend on what happens with the legal challenges, clearly, they have set a
course of trying to gum this up as long as they can through the legal
system and then complained about the cost. So, on the one happened,
they`re trying to make it more expensive and then they want to complain
about the cost. What I call on the Governor`s allies to do is let drop
these legal battles, with a million signatures, it is clear that the
threshold, the 25 percent threshold has been met.

SHARPTON: Yes. Let`s go.

BARRETT: Let`s get out to the election.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you this, you ran against him. And he promised when
you ran against him, 250,000 jobs, he has only created 4500. He only beat
you by five percent. Would you run against him?

BARRETT: Well, Reverend Sharpton, right now, I`m running for re-election
as mayor. And that`s what I`m concentrating on. And today is a day to
celebrate but not just celebrate, prepare for the future. So, there`s
going to be plenty of time. And I guarantee you there will be a strong, if
not more than one strong democratic candidate for this office. But right
now, I don`t think that`s the time to speculate us through the candidate
should be. What we have to do is we have to set our focus and our sights
on making sure that we withstand any legal challenges to these
signatures, because again, they are going to try to color the state`s
perception of what has been an extraordinary historic effort in this state.

SHARPTON: All right. Mayor Tom Barrett, thanks for your time.

BARRETT: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton.

SHARPTON: Ahead, the conservative smear machine tries to prove voter fraud
but fails miserably. We will talk to man they thought was dead.

And President Obama is taking on those birthers in a way you`ve never seen
before. I promise you this will make you laugh. Stay with us.


BARRETT: Today the birthday of two very well known Americans that I
happened to know. We celebrate today the birthday of the first lady of the
United States, Michelle Obama, who is bright, smart and radiant. And her
husband talked about it today.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: It is wonderful to be joined by my
wife, it is her birthday today. When we first married, it was a little
controversial that she was 20 years younger than me, but now it seems to
have worked out OK.


SHARPTON: And also today is the 70th birthday of the greatest of all
times, Muhammad Ali. I have known Muhammad Ali since I was a teenager, I
have admired him. And like much of the world, looked up to him. Muhammad
Ali was a good champion, what made him great was the battles he fought not
only in the ring but out of the ring. Someone that is good learn how to
perfect their profession. Learns how to make and sharpen their skills to
the best of their ability, but somebody that is great is someone that is
willing to give up all that their profession has to offer them in material
things, money, cars, all kinds of things for something they believe in.
Muhammad Ali was willing to give it all up because he believed in

He stood up against the wall and the world learned to respect him,
whether they agreed with him or not. He not only won in the ring, he won
in his own conscience because he represented something more than winning a
battle in the ring, he won a battle in the world, that people can stand
for something and when you stand for something, some time, you can inherit
it all. Happy birthday, first lady, Ms. Obama, and happy birthday to the
greatest champion in human rights that I`ve seen in a long time, Muhammad


SHARPTON: A week ago today, a right wing provocateur sent his cohorts out
to expose the supposed reality of voter are fraud at the New Hampshire
primary. But with only one convicted case of voter fraud in the last
decade, the only way to show there might be voter fraud was to commit voter
fraud themselves. They traveled to more than a dozen polling places,
fraudulently collecting ballot, using the names and addresses pulled from
recent owe bitch words, and it looks like they may have broken federal and
state law in the process by fraudulently obtaining ballots and using a
recording device without consent from all parties.

So, why did they do this? Because after a year of radical voter
suppression laws, 25 new laws and 14 states, we are starting to fight back
and that means Republicans need some new juice to fuel their attack on
voter rights. But this time, O`Keefe, who is already on probation for
breaking the law during another attempted takedown, may have really messed
up. Turns out, one of the ballots his buddy`s picked up belong to someone
who is very much alive.

Joining me now is that very alive resident, Robert Beaulieu and David
Schultz, law professor from Hamlin University, thanks to both of you for
joining us and for your time tonight.


ROBERT BEAULIEU, VICTIM OF BALLOT FRAUD: Thank you for having me on,

SCHULTZ: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Bobby, how did you find out you were involved in this story?

BEAULIEU: That`s my story, my brother Tim who is watching TV with all the
coverage is going on in our state about the supposed voter fraud. It came
across one of the clips of Keith`s people going in there and approaching
the poll. And the person kind of gets out the information of my middle
name, my street address and then accepts the ballot before finally saying,
you know, I need to get my identification card and hand it back. But he
had obtain it through that means and then my brother showed me the video,
which was ridiculous when I finally first saw it and then we looked into it
and the unedited version that they had posted, and it is actually my first
name, my middle name, my last name, my street address and everything and we
said we couldn`t sit on this, this is ludicrous and so we reached out to
try to get it out there that they didn`t get dead people. They got a live,
living person and I`m standing right here.

SHARPTON: So, when they gave your name your middle name, your address,
which was all accurate, thinking they were proving voter fraud on how dead
people vote, you are here to say that your name, your address and you`re
very much alive and they possibly have a live person to complain about
disenfranchising you?
BEAULIEU: Well, I see what they are trying to and do and trying to scare
people into feeling like that IDs at the polls are needed which is not, you
know, if you watch the video, they didn`t have full information. They kind
of got it out of the lady. Kind of accidentally slips a little bit. You
know, maybe she`s need a little bit of training. You know, not to release
information like that. But I just think it is ridiculous that they are
claiming something is absolutely not true.

SHARPTON: So, you do not agree with the voter ID concept that they are
saying, you`re saying maybe some of the election workers need to be a
little more cautious but you do not agree with their aim to prove that
there is widespread fraud there for example the voter ID laws necessary?

BEAULIEU: Exactly. I am fully against ID`ing at the polls, I think there
needs to be better training put in process, she shouldn`t ever give out
information, they maybe need to step back and, you know, I see that`s on --
in a booklet, why we haven`t the computers? Before ever, you`ve been
thinking of stepping towards the ID laws, you need to put better training
in place to make sure that incidents like this don`t occur.

SHARPTON: Well, hold on one minute, Robert. David Schultz, let me ask
you, Professor, were laws broken here?

SCHULTZ: It looks like they were. There is both a federal and a state law
that make it illegal to attempt or to actually try to impersonate somebody
or to cast a fraudulent vote. And for it, I looked at when I saw the video
here. It clearly looks like they crossed the line in terms of getting
false information and in terms of trying to falsely vote and if those
videos are accurate, there is both federal law and state law that they

SHARPTON: So professor, let me get this right, they, in fact, from your
view of the tape, may have committed nine frauds to try to prove that the
one fraud that was convicted was somehow some widespread problem in New

SCHULTZ: That is exactly the case. And let me sort of underscore
something else also. I have done the research, I have calculated the
numbers on this one. There is a greater probability of you being struck by
lightning than there is incidents of voter fraud in the United States
changing the outcome of an election. This is pretty much a fraud in terms
of the argument and there is no widespread voter fraud in the United

SHARPTON: Now, Professor, the secretary of state in New Hampshire says, 50
to 75,000 people voters don`t have voter I.D. in New Hampshire. I`m giving
you the national figures. So, if you take 50 to 75,000 voters and prevent
them from voting because of one conviction in ten years, there seems to be
a political agenda to this.

SCHULTZ: It clearly does because if we look at the people who don`t have
those IDs, they are going to be young people, they are going to be our
grandmas and our grandparents, they are going to be students who have
recently moved, they are going to be immigrants who are legal in the United
States. If you look at it, the photo I.D. requirement aims at going after
a certain demographic in many cases people think are voting democrat and
therefore, we clearly see a pattern out there of trying to target to
suppress individuals. I argued at one point in the article and said, this
is the coming of the second great disenfranchisement in the United States,
an effort to keep people from voting.

SHARPTON: We are going to fight it with all we have. Thank you, Professor
Schultz. Bobby two things, I`m glad you`re alive.

BEAULIEU: Thank you.

SHARPTON: And I`m glad you came forward to stand up for what`s right in

BEAULIEU: Thank you, Sharpton.

SHARPTON: Thank you. Best of luck.

BEAULIEU: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: You`re welcome.

Ahead, President Obama like you`ve never seen him before. Somehow the
birthers and Betty White are involved. You need to see this one. That`s


SHARPTON: Ever since President Obama took office, people have pushed the
ridiculous story that he wasn`t born in the United States. Of course, we
all remember the President addressing the ridiculous issue at that infamous
press conference back in April.


OBAMA: We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We got better
stuff to do. I have got better stuff do.


SHARPTON: But even after that, some people weren`t convinced and can you
believe this? One poll shows 23 percent of Republicans still weren`t
convinced even after he released the birth certificate. Since some people
are so unwilling to listen to reason, the President handles this the way
any great politician would, with humor. Here`s what he did last night in a
special message to actress Betty White for her 90th birthday.


OBAMA: Dear Betty, you look so fantastic and full of energy, I can`t
believe you`re 90 years old. In fact, I don`t believe it. That`s why I`m
writing to ask if you willing to produce a copy of your long-form birth


Thanks and happy birthday, no matter how old you are.



Thank you for being a friend travel down the road and back again, your
heart is true, you`re a pal and a confidant and if you threw a party,
invited everyone you knew.


SHARPTON: Birthers, birthers, you`re done, and by the way, Betty White,
happy birthday. What`s that, Matt? Why didn`t I wish her happy birthday
with the two great Americans? I haven`t seen her birth certificate yet. I
don`t know she`s American.

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


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