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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Read the transcript from the Wednesday show

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Guests: Maria Teresa Kumar, Jim McDermott; Van Jones; Paul Grijalva, Jonathan Capehart, Bob
Franken, Madalyn Starkey

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

Tonight`s lead, two very different ideas about fairness in the battle
for the White House.

From the beginning, President Obama has been fighting to even the
playing field in this society. Whether was by signing the equal pay act
on the first day he took office, or by bringing affordable health care to
every American. He made the fight for fairness the defining principal of
his presidency. And today he continued that push while speaking to
students in Iowa.


alive is the defining issue of our time. I don`t want this to be a country
- I don`t want this to be a country where a shrinking number of people are
doing really, really well, and then a growing number are barely able to get
buy. I don`t want that future for you. I don`t want it for my daughters.
I don`t want it for America.

I want this forever to be a country where everybody gets a fair shot.
And everybody is doing their fair share, and everybody is playing by the
same set of rules. That`s the America I know, that`s the America I love,
and that`s the America within our reach if we work for it.


SHARPTON: Now, this kind of talk is not new for the president. He
did not have to pivot towards this message, but Willard Romney, he sure


fundamentally fair. We will stop the unfairness of urban children being
denied access to the good schools of their choice.

For grandparents who can`t afford the gas to visit their grandchildren
anymore. For the mom and dad who never thought they would be on food

To all of you, I have a simple message. Hold on a little longer, a
better America begins tonight.


SHARPTON: You`ll stop unfairness? You`ll help urban children? Help
grandparents? Help people on food stamps?

Willard, you and I must use a different dictionary, because you don`t
stop unfairness by giving handouts to the rich. You don`t help urban
children by making cuts to the department of education. You don`t help
grandparents by ending Medicare as we know it, and you don`t help people on
food stamps by taking them away.

So, why the big change in rhetoric, Willard? Maybe you have seen the
new NBC News poll too. It shows that 71 percent of Americans are more
likely to vote for someone who says this country is better off when
everyone gets a fair shot. It`s a powerful message, all right, all more
powerful when you actually mean actually mean it.


OBAMA: This is personal. We can`t price out folks that are trying to
succeed for themselves but help the country succeed. We can`t price the
middle class out of a college education. We can`t do it.


SHARPTON: Joining me now are two men who know what the fight for
fairness is all about and have demonstrated that in their work,
congressman, Jim McDermott, Democrat from Washington and a man who is
trying to help the 99 percent Van Jones, president and co-founder of
rebuild the dream. He is also author of the boor by the same name.

Thank you for being with me tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s good to be here.

SHARPTON: Congressman, let me start with you. What`s your take on
Willard Mitt Romney`s newfound concern for fairness as he sees it?

REP. JIM MCDERMOTT (D), WASHINGTON: Well. You know, Al, he has done what
people said he was going to do. He sailed far to the right to make sure he
could get the nomination, and now he is forsaken, that Mitt Romney is sort
him off the boat, and he has got a Newt guy who is trying to sail to the
middle unlike Barack Obama. But it just won`t sell. This is a guy who
wants to take - want to get rid of food stamps. He wants to raise the
interest rates on students when he is running. And now that he`s got the
nomination, suddenly he wants to bring the interest rate down.

Who do you believe will be the question of the campaign? Is it
today`s Romney, or yesterday`s Romney, or tomorrow`s Romney? We won`t know
who to believe in this race because he has been all over the map. He has
already showing where he is going.

SHARPTON: Now Van, if you look at Romney and you look at the facts,
because take the politics aside, just the facts. Romney is further right
than George Bush. I mean, when you look at President Bush, he passed a
huge tax cut, enacted Medicare expansion. Signed an increase to minimum
wage, says global warming is caused by humans.

Then you have Romney on each one of those issues. He proposed a cut
four times larger in terms of tax cut, wants to end Medicaid as we know it,
opposes increasing the minimum wage, say we don`t know what`s causing
global warming. This guy is to the right of Bush and people like you and I
thought, wish was Obama was right as you can go.

VAN JONES, AUTHOR, REBUILD THE DREAM: I know. I`m starting to miss
George Bush. I`m missing Carl Rove. Where are the reasonable Republicans?
I mean, this guy -- and then he says, he`s so concerned about the Americans
-- don`t forget, this Mr. Marvelous. Remember he said?


JONES: He saw that Paul Ryan budget that dropped $140 billion bomb on
the Pell grants. It basically destroyed Medicare as we know it. He
thought, he said this is marvelous. He loved it. He hugged it. He kissed
that Paul Ryan budget. Now he is totally going the other way. Whenever he
talks I can`t hear him, I just hear the etch-a-sketch, I can`t even hear
him talk.

SHARPTON: Very true.

Let me ask you congressman, Democrats are pushing upcoming votes that
congressional Republicans will likely oppose, but that Romney will need to
think twice about as he runs this race. And they will include student loan
rate extension, violence against women act, paycheck fairness bill, pushed
to block Arizona`s immigration law.

How is Romney going to deal with the clear difference in his political
ambitions and the ideological bend of some of your colleagues on the other
side of the aisle in congress?

MCDERMOTT: His biggest problem is the tea party that has control of
the Republican party. And he is going to be spend all of his time looking
over his shoulder to see if they still think he`s enough of a Republican to
represent him, or they are just going to stay home and not vote.

His real problem is his own party. Because he doesn`t know what he
believes. He, just is like, a weather vain. If the wind is blowing from
the west, he points to the west. If it`s blowing to the east, he points to
the east. He doesn`t know what he believes on any of this stuff. And I
think he is going to have a terrible time running this campaign.

SHARPTON: We, a weather vain is bad when a storm comes - is coming
from all sides. But, Van, when you have a congressman Todd Akin saying
that student loans is like a cancer, let me show you this quote, "America
has gotten the equivalent of the stage three cancer of socialism because
the federal government is tampering in all kinds of stuff is has no
business tampering in."

How do you make, going back to your term, how do you have a reasonable
conversation with people who let fearless about student loans?

JONES: This is - I mean, it`s unbelievable. So, I guess he said the
GI bill is socialism? Is that what he was saying? I don`t understand how
people think. They say we can`t afford to invest in the next generation.
I`m sorry, we can`t afford not to invest in the next generation.

And it`s not just this one guy with this one quote. The most
important Republican on the student loan question, Virginia Foxx, last week
was saying that she doesn`t care about students with $80,000 worth of
loans. She said there`s no reason for that, and yes, she went to UNC
chapel hill, where guess what -- a four year degree cost $80,000.

Now, she says you basically mention she doesn`t care about students
taking enough out of loans to go the school she graduated from in 1968.
These people are so out of touch, they are in this little crazy bubble when
they say always crazy things to each other based on extreme ideology, and
then when they stand in front of the public, people`s mouths hang open.

It`s unbelievable to here of the most important Republican on the
student load questions last week, saying that said she doesn`t care about
it. And then when the president comes out and says we have to do
something, here is etch-a-sketch Romney saying me too, me too, me too.
Well, call Virginia Foxx and tell her and the rest of your party that you
agree with the president.

SHARPTON: Now Congressman, the president in a recent interview with
"Rolling Stone," he addressed the Republicans on the hill saying I think
Republicans up on the hill care about this country, but they have a very
ideologically rigid view of how to move the country forward. And a lot of
how they approach issues is defined by quote, "will this help us defeat the

Is this all that is motivating them? Will this defeat the president?
Or is this that they really believe this stuff?

MCDERMOTT: Al, that`s all it`s been about since the president`s term
began in office. Mitch McConnell said well do everything we can to prevent
the president from being reelected, and they continue to take positions
that they think will make the president look bad or have him fail, or have
him not move the country forward.

They have refused job bills for infrastructure -- I mean my arm is not
long enough to cover all of the things that these people have done to try
and sabotage the president, and it is not going to work. The people can
see through it.

SHARPTON: Van Jones, the other thing I may give this to you as we
close. They act as though those that question and raise fairness don`t
love the country or are not patriotic. In fact, governor Romney last night
said -- he slammed the president for quote, "apologizing" for America.
Listen to this.


ROMNEY: We will stop the days of apologizing for success at home, and
never again apologize for America abroad.

There was a time not so long ago when each of us could walk a little
taller and stand a little straighter because we had a gift and no one else
in the world shared. We were Americans. Those days are coming back.
That`s our destiny.


SHARPTON: Van, to ask for fairness for all Americans, to ask for
everyone to do the same in terms of their investment in America, is to
apologize for America?

JONES: First of all, listen to what he said now. Listen to what he
said. It sounds as if he is saying he`s not proud to be an American right
now. I don`t think that we have seen a person running for president stand
in front of the public and admit they`re no longer proud to be an American,
and the only way they can be proud to be an American is for themselves to
be elected into office. That was an extraordinary statement.

Id democrat have made it, it would be all we were talking about for
next three weeks, they would be looking for a new nominee. This is cheap
patriotism, cheap shots at the president, and there is nobody fighting
harder for liberty and justice for all than progresses and independents who
are out here trying to figure out a way to get these kids a loans taken
care of so they can actually go on, who would fighting against a lot of the
economic issues that people like Mitt Romney have cause and benefited from.

So we have to challenge these cheap patriotisms, these cheap shots
against the president. If a democrat said anything like that, implying he
is no longer proud to be an American. It can only be proud to be an
American if he gets elected, we, for the next three weeks, they are going
to look for a new nominee.

SHARPTON: At least, three weeks.

Congressman Jim McDermott and Van Jones. Have a great day. Thank you
both for joining me tonight.

MCDERMOTT: We will see you soon.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Republicans are embracing the worst immigration
law in the country. On trial today at the Supreme Court, how it could be
the decisive factor in the 2012 election?

Plus, Newt saying he`s dropping out. We forgot he was still in it.
We`ll bring you the highlights and lowlights from the Gingrich campaign.

And the reviews are in from President Obama`s appearance on "Late
Night with Jimmy Fallon."


OBAMA: I`m President Barack Obama, and I too want to slow jam the

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh yes, you should listen to the president, or as
I call him the (INAUDIBLE) of the United specie.


SHARPTON: Of course, today we`re seeing the predictable phony
reaction from the right.

You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: Today, the anti-immigration law signs by Arizona governor
Jan Brewer came to the Supreme Court renewing a fight over racial profiling
and basic decency that could have a huge impact on this election. It`s an
essential divide between Republicans and Democrats.

We will talk about that next.


SHARPTON: Welcome back to "Politics Nation."

Today, one of the worst state laws in America made its way to
Washington. This was the scene outside the Supreme Court today where
justices heard arguments on the constitutionality of Arizona`s outrageous
immigration law, sb-1070.

Since governor Jan Brewer signed it two years ago, the law has
inspired a wave of similar laws across the country, all representing a
threat to outmost basic civil rights. The Arizona law actually makes it a
crime to be in the country illegally, and makes it a state crime not to
carry immigration papers.

It even requires law enforcement officers to demand immigration papers
from anyone stopped, detained, or arrested in the state. A provision that
provides an incentive for racial profiling.

I led protested in Arizona soon after the bill was introduced, and I
haven`t stopped fighting against it since.

This immigration bill is so extreme, it`s astounding that the
Republican party`s presumptive nominee for president would embrace it whole
heartedly. And the difference between his position and the president`s
couldn`t be more clear.


ROMNEY: I think you see a model here in Arizona. The right course in
America is to drop the lawsuits against Arizona and other states, doing the
job that Barack Obama isn`t doing, and I will drop the lawsuits on day one.

OBAMA: We have a remember nominee who said that the Arizona laws are
a model for the country that -- and these are laws that potentially would
allow someone to be stopped and picked up and asked where their citizenship
papers are based on an assumption. So what we need is a change, either of
congress, or we need Republicans to change their mind.


SHARPTON: Joining me now, is representative Paul Grijalva, a
democratic from Arizona. He has been outspoken opponent to his state`s
immigration bill, and Maria Teresa Kumar, executive director of "Voto
Latino" and an MSNBC contributor. (INAUDIBLE) much of the day at the
Supreme Court.

Thanks to both of you for being here.


SHARPTON: Congressman, let me start with you. A lot of reports say
conservatives on the court seem inclined to hold this law, what`s your
reaction to that?

GRIJALVA: Yes. I went into that hearing today apprehensive,
concerned, and I left the hearing equally apprehensive and concerned.
Predictable. The conservatives on the court basically defended the law,
and their questions at the government worked if pro a defense of that law.

I think so much is at stake in this, Reverend. It`s a precedent for
the nation. It`s a precedent that if this law is upheld, the predictions
about what it will do across the nation I think have been under estimated.

The latitude states will have, not only to enact immigration laws, but
quite frankly to get away from the supremacy clause of the constitution,
and be able to do things on their own to the detriment to the classes of
people in their states, I think is a very, very dangerous precedent for the
society and legally does not uphold our constitution.

SHARPTON: Maria, let`s go into that a second. Because I think that`s
something people need to understand. Why, if I`m watching tonight, and I`m
not Latino, how could this be a threat to me? Doesn`t this really set the
basis up that based on what you look like, you can be targeted by law

incredibly alarming. Arizona is not only looking at creating two sets of
American precisely with what you`re saying, what the congressman is saying
based on the color of your skin.

But let`s take real classic examples. Alabama followed in the
footsteps of Arizona, and they`re now pulling American students out of
classrooms in asking them if they`re American or not. That`s not our
country. We have already lived that history.

And for the Republican party not to take heed to that and say that
this is not we are going in the future, it`s not only frightening, but it
also basically brings our country back and not looking us forward of where
we could actually have unity.

SHARPTON: And I think that`s what disturbing, congressman. Because
if you`re in Arizona where this law was signed by governor Brewer, if you
don`t look like a Latino or Mexican which is the target there, then you
automatically assumed to be a citizen which is grossly unfair and
prejudicial. And I think that is where many of us are saying this is
racial profiling and is unconstitutional.

GRIJALVA: Absolutely. And I think as other cases reach the Supreme
Court to target the issue of selective enforcement, target the issue of
racial profiling, I think the court is not going to be done with 1070.
Those sections, if the count does not strike down the law as we`re
speaking, those sections will come. Because it goes at the heart of our
basic rights in this country. It goes at the heart of our judicial history
of this country, and it goes at the heart of our civil rights legislation.

So, this fight is far from over, legally, but the Republican party,
its leadership have completely misread this. They`re assuming that this is
an isolated group of undocumented people. The affect across the spectrum
in the Latino community is one of taking this personal because the affront
is to those fifth, sixth generation Americans that served in the military,
and suddenly they find themselves by a state law --

SHARPTON: Let`s go into the politics of this a minute, Maria.

The fact is that according to polling, 72 percent of Latino voters say
the GOP is hostile or does not care about them, and it`s reflected when you
do the polling on Latino support for president. President Obama 70
percent, Mitt Romney 14 percent.

I mean, are they so blinded by this policy and the support of this
policy that they`re willing to lose the election with this kind of lop-
sided support in the Latino community?

KUMAR: NO, and I think absolutely. They`re very concerned. There`s
a reasonable Karl Rove and Jeb Bush have gotten together and started taking
the Republican party to task, saying that they are too extreme.

There`s no way that a Republican or Democratic presidential nominee
can win without at least 40 percent of the vote. That`s why Romney now is
tracking towards the middle in trying to cozy up to Rubio.

Unfortunately, what he has done, his words, his actions have basically
alienated the majority of the Latino community. It`s the Latino community
at the end of the day, they are going to vote for someone who respects
them. You can`t talked to them about issues if there`s none fundamental
respect between you and that voter. And the voter right now, the Latino
voters specifically, not only feels marginalize marginalized, but at the
same time feel that there`s a political awakening thing, you know, this is
my country and I`m going to participate.

SHARPTON: Now, the irony of this, congressman, when you look at the
data, there are actually less immigrants from Mexico living in a country
now than there was in 2007. There was seven million in 2007. In 2011,
only 6.1 million.

So, again. What are we dealing with here? What is the motivation of

GRIJALVA: The motivation, and I just stated very well, the motivation
by the Republican party, the motivation for this legislation, is driven by
interest that have nothing to do with immigration reform. Alex, Kobach,
those people have been promoting the idea of separation for a long, long
time. And they have a willing audience in Arizona and other states.

The issue before the Supreme Court is much deeper than the ruling at
1070. It goes at the heart of what this nation is, and I really think the
Republican party, no matter how they try to dance around this hostility
toward the Latino community, can`t get away from it.

The words are there, their actions are there, Romney`s words are
there, I will veto the dream act, words are there. And so, there is going
to be a hard, hard effort to try to win back Latino votes, and my
prediction is, based on history and what`s going on in this station right
now, they are not going to be successful.

SHARPTON: Senator Grijalva and Maria - I`m sorry, Congressman
Grijalva and Maria Teresa Kumar, thank you both for your time.

GRIJALVA: Thank you, reverend.

SHARPTON: Thank you.

Still ahead, why some on the right just can`t take a joke. The
hypocritical reaction over President Obama`s trip to late night TV.

Plus, the photo that`s gone viral on the web. We`ll talk to this
student who was very surprised to find the president at her local

Stay with us.



JIMMY FALLON, HOST, "LATE NIGHT": If Mitt Romney was in the room with
you right now, what would you say to him?

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I would say hey, Mitt.

FALLON: Do you know Mitt Romney?

OBAMA: I have met him, but we`re not friends -- he seems like
somebody who cares deeply about his family, and his wife is lovely.


SHARPTON: That was President Obama answering questions about his
republican opponent on late night with Jimmy Fallon. The President also
talked about the impact of Citizens United and unlimited spending on this
fall`s election.


OBAMA: If you look at the republican primary, I wasn`t even involved
at that point, millions of dollars were spent in negative attack ads, but
there`s no accountability because the other candidate can say, well, I have
nothing to do with it, and meanwhile, millions of dollars are being spent
on their behalf in negative ads. So, that`s part of our democracy that
we`re going to have to fix.


SHARPTON: But the interview wasn`t all politics, the President had a
chance to show a lighter side.


FALLON: I was thinking about your home life, and I was thinking,
you`re surrounded by a lot of women.

OBAMA: I`m completely surrounded. It`s basically me and Bo.

FALLON: What do you do when you and Bo, you get together, you go to
the presidential man cave?

OBAMA: We go to man cave, we turn on sports center.

FALLON: Is that what you do?

OBAMA: Yes. Have a couple beers.


SHARPTON: President Obama also took the microphone for part of his
appearance with Jimmy, and the right is getting very worked up quickly over
the President`s slow jamb, that`s next.


SHARPTON: The President showed off his fun side on Jimmy Fallon last
night. Here he is in one of the show`s signature bits, slow jamming to


OBAMA: I`m President Barack Obama, and I too, want to slow jam the
news. On July 1st of this year, the interest rates on Stafford student
loans, same loans that many of you use to help pay for college, are set to
double. That means, some hard working students will be paying about $1,000
extra just to get their education. The reason it`s so important to keep
down cost is so we keep college affordable.

FALLON: And the president knows his stuff y`all, that`s why they call
him the Potus which means, person on top.

OBAMA: What is it? Jimmy, Potus stands for President of the United

FALLON: He`s the Potus with the mostess.


SHARPTON: The crowd loves it, and who wouldn`t, it`s fun. But
predictably the right-wing came out slamming him today. Why? He`s
crashing Willard and all likability polls. The Republican National
Committee is slamming him as quote, "Not funny" in a desperate attempt to
make his likeability look like a weakness. And here is the mouthpiece of
the party today.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: It is supposed to be wildly
funny if you have a low threshold for humor. It`s also funny if you smoke
certain controlled substances too, that could also make it funny as well.
But you know, folks, you really can`t blame the one here. You can`t blame
Obama, he has to do something to win the youth vote back.


SHARPTON: And over on the other network, here is what they`re saying.


of former presidents are like, huh? That`s what we do now when we`re
president of the United States.

STEVE DOOCY, CO-HOST, "FOX AND FRIENDS": When you want the kids.

CARLSON: I don`t care, I think it`s nuts. I think very effective for
President Obama, I just personally do not agree with the highest office of
the land, the most important figure in the world going on these comedy
shows. I think it lowers the status of the office.


SHARPTON: And the right-wing bloggers feel went nuts so to calling
the slow jam an embarrassment. Saying he jumped the shark and asking if it
was presidential. Again, none of this is surprising. I could have told
you what have happened before the President even walked on that stage.
This was a fun way to connect with young people, and I loved it. Just like
I loved it when they slammed him for this.


OBAMA: I`m so love with you.



SHARPTON: From Fallon to singing, golfing to vacation, we have seen
this all before. And we`ll see it again, because they can`t get him on

Joining me now, Jonathan Capehart, opinion writer for The Washington
Post and an MSNBC contributor, and Bob Franken, a King featured syndicated
columnist. Thank you both for being here tonight.



SHARPTON: Jonathan, what do you make of the right slamming the
President on this?

CAPEHART: Well, I think you hit it on the head. They can`t get him
on substance, so they`re going to get in on things that they view as not
being substantive. And as you said, they will criticize him if he woke up
in the morning, went to the Rose Garden, made an announcement to the nation
that the sun rose in the east and set in the west. But you know, there`s
something that.

SHARPTON: Being divisive.

CAPEHART: Right. But there is something that that FOX anchor said
that I found very interesting where she thought it was demeaning to the
office to have the President go on this comedy shows. And yet, I don`t
recall hearing any criticism whatsoever when Mitt Romney went on
Letterman, or now, last I heard, there`s a lot of talk about whether Mitt
Romney would actually do "Saturday Night Live."


CAPEHART: I think Mitt Romney should do "Saturday Night Live," so
that at least he can try to shed the image of himself as a robot and try to
show that there`s a real person there.

SHARPTON: Well, let me go to that, Bob, let me show you, Mitt Romney
actually did the Letterman show, and he did the top ten.


DAVID LETTERMAN, HOST, "THE LATE SHOW": Here to present the top ten
list, former Governor of Massachusetts and the reason the audio was
screwed up earlier, Mitt Romney. Here we got number 10.

president that looks like a 1970s game show host.

LETTERMAN: And the number one thing Mitt Romney would like to say to
the American people.

ROMNEY: It`s a hairpiece.

DOOCY: Good morning to you, sir.

ROMNEY: Good morning, Steve.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It`s a hair piece? That`s what I heard on David
Letterman the other day. It`s a hairpiece?

ROMNEY: I guess I got it clued on real tight.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Way to go, it could be windy out of the road today.


SHARPTON: Now, Bob, that is last time I looked, Letterman is a late
night comedy show, and that is the same group, that very same group that
ridiculed the President this morning. How they were laughing and all
getting with Mr. Romney after his late night comedy hour. Pardon me if
hypocrisy comes to mind.

FRANKEN: Well, hypocrisy in politics, come on, Al. First of all, my
biggest one of all is that Rush Limbaugh didn`t like it, I was totally
stunned by that. Actually what I really stunned by, and I normally don`t
like to talk about this, is that he had the chutzpah to bring up controlled
substances. This is a man who probably should stay away from that subject.
As for Mitt Romney appearing on these shows, obviously he`s not going to be
able to slow jam, but if he does gets an invitation given how much his
backtrack, maybe he can demonstrate the moon walk or something.


SHARPTON: Or the flip-flop.


SHARPTON: But let me get to the politics of this though, Jonathan.
Romney keeps acknowledging that the President is a nice, likable guy in the
trail, even while he is criticizing him. Let me show you this.


ROMNEY: We have a president who I think is a nice guy, but he spent
too much time in Harvard perhaps or maybe does not enough time actually
working in the real world.

The President is a nice guy.

I found him to be a nice guy. I think he`s a nice person. I just
don`t think we can afford him any longer.


SHARPTON: So, a lot of this, I think, is that they seem to be
conceding the likeability, and I think it really annoys and it bothers
people like Rush and them that the people like the President. And every
time he does something like this that shows he has this connection, it just
irritates them.

CAPEHART: It irritates them, but you know, what they`re doing here,
what Mitt Romney is doing is, I believe, is part of the Karl Rove strategy,
which is what`s your greatest weakness, and turn it into something that
could be used to your advantage. Mitt Romney`s greatest weakness is that
he is not likable. Poll after poll after poll, Democrats don`t like him, a
whole lot of Republicans either don`t like him or feel lukewarm to him. So
what can he do to turn that liability into maybe a benefit, and that is to
acknowledge the fact that the President is a nice guy. You might like him,
but you know, what? He is not up to the job. That`s the argument that --
the only argument Mitt Romney can make to try to counter that.

SHARPTON: But they have constantly done this, Bob. You saw where
Newt Gingrich called him the entertainer and chief, well, for singing at
the Apollo, you have all sorts of Republicans bashing him for golfing
vacations where he has clearly taken less days on vacation than some other
republican presidents. I mean, it seems petty politics because they really
can`t debate on the economic policies and education policies and health
care, because really it`s inconsistent with what they really say about
their own colleagues and their own party when they come to office.

FRANKEN: Well, if I were Newt Gingrich, I would probably stay away
from the likeability discussion at all. This is not a man who usually
creates a warm and fuzzy kind of image when he is out campaigning. Oh, by
the way, he is going to be slow jumping off the campaign apparently. He`s
going to spread it out over, what is it? Six days before he finally packs
it in, so he can have a little more slow hamming in front of audiences.
You know, I mean, Newt Gingrich, he`s not exactly a potent critic of
President Barack Obama.

SHARPTON: Now, Jonathan, the strategy of going on a lot of these
shows is to get young voters.


SHARPTON: Does it work? We saw in the early 90s, Bill Clinton played
a trumpet on Late Night television, I mean, does the attempts to do things
like this politically work?

CAPEHART: Well, that`s why politicians go on those shows, Democrats
and Republicans, you just showed Mitt Romney on "Late Night with David
Letterman." The President has been on many late night talk shows, it`s to
reach young people. And let`s keep in mind, the President, yes, he is
going after young people by doing Jimmy Fallon, but where did they do Jimmy
Fallon`s show? North Carolina. The President needs North Carolina in his
column, again, in 2011 as he did in 2008 in order for him to win
reelection. And North Carolina is important because no democrat had won
North Carolina since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

SHARPTON: Bob, should Romney do "Saturday Night Live?"

FRANKEN: Absolutely. Absolutely. First of all, I`ve always thought
that this guy was the typical anchorman, so he will probably do very well
on the show, he reads his lines very well. I think as a matter of fact,
both of them probably would have a great career in television, they both do
great live shots, so yes, he should do "Saturday Night Live."

SHARPTON: Jonathan Capehart and Bob Franken, thanks to both of you
for your time this afternoon -- this evening. And a quick note, I will be
on Jimmy Fallon tonight on NBC. So be sure you stay up late and tune in.
Watch me Jonathan.

Ahead, from Tiffany`s to penguins, Newt Gingrich gave us a lot to talk
about. We look back on his long, strange trip. And imagine this, you`re
having dinner at the local pizza place, and the President walks in. That
is exactly what happened last night in Colorado, and this picture has gone
viral. We`ll talk to that student in that picture in an exclusive
interview, next.


SHARPTON: Look who dropped by the local bar last night? It`s the
picture everyone is talking about. The student in the photo joins us,


SHARPTON: We`re back on POLITICS NATION with a great story to tell.
Imagine you`re out at the local restaurant, getting ready for a casual
dinner, and in walks the President of the United States. Well, it actually
happened last night. Right before a speech at the University of Colorado,
the President was in the mood for a little campus pizza. That`s right,
President Obama made a surprise stop at a local hangout called "The Sink,"
he ordered a pizza, and you can see he made rounds, shaking hands, and
talking to patrons at their tables. Those people now have a story to tell
for the rest of their lives. But perhaps none more than this student.

Madalyn Starkey who is posing with the President here. It captures
her excitement and it went viral moments after she tweeted it out. What a
great picture. Joining me now from Denver is the young woman in that
photo, University of Colorado student, Madalyn Starkey. Madalyn, thanks so
much for being here.


SHARPTON: Now, you`re a celebrity now, I love your shirt.

STARKEY: Apparently.

SHARPTON: Take us through this, how did this happen?

STARKEY: I just went on a date with my boyfriend before the Michael
Franti concert. We could not decide where to go to, we`ve been to The Sink
like three times the previous week, and I`m like, ah, whatever, we`ll go
again. So we sit down, order drinks and then literally like three minutes
later, the security guards come in and they`re like, attention, attention,
the President is coming. If you don`t want to meet him, then either leave
and come to this back room so we can metal detect you. And so like, the
President, let`s go. So, yes, we just get metal detected down. They took
away all of our silver wear, our forks, our knives, and then we just pretty
much sat there and waited, and we were not allowed to stand up or else they
might have tackled us, I don`t really know what the situation was on that,
so yes, it was incredible.

SHARPTON: What was going through your mind when you walked in? You
waited. He finally walked in, what was going through your mind when he
walked in?

STARKEY: It`s just like, it didn`t even seem real, I`m like, I have
seen this guy on TV, and now he is like at the same restaurant with me with
only 30 other people. And he called him the casual Obama because he took
off his jacket, and he was just being all the charismatic guy that he is.
So, incredible.

SHARPTON: What would you say to him? What he say to you? What was
this exchange like?

STARKEY: Yes. That was awkward. He went over to everyone`s table
first off, and finally like the paparazzi that cleared out of the way. And
he got to our table, and the only thing I said to him was, can I get a
picture? And he said, yes, sure, stand up, and then we took the picture,
and then literally all I said was, you smell good -- and then that was the
end of our conversation. Because I just get like so star struck that I was
just like -- I couldn`t say anything.

SHARPTON: How did the picture go viral?

STARKEY: I posted it on Facebook. And I e-mailed it to my parents
and other friends, and then I thought I would put it on twitter, so my 50
friends following me could like take a look at it, and it got re-tweeted by
someone and it just got re-tweeted and re-tweeted, and my phone has not
stopped blowing up. I pretty much ruined the whole date with my boyfriend.

SHARPTON: So, how long did it take for you to realize you were

STARKEY: Literally like 30 minutes after, I looked at my phone, and I
was just like probably like 40 comments on Facebook, and then yes, I just
twitter was going wild, and then I was at the Michael Franti concert, and
like, I just started getting all of the news stations, and they`re like,
can we post this and like? Yes, sure.


STARKEY: And then just started getting huge.

SHARPTON: But I understand you really don`t love the picture.

STARKEY: I mean, it`s not my best picture, but I mean, that`s not
what I was striving for, I was just putting on an excited photo.

SHARPTON: What did your friends saying today, the day after? What
kind of reaction are you getting?

STARKEY: Oh, they are jealous.

SHARPTON: Did you hear another student actually dropped yogurt on

STARKEY: Yes, but apparently it was an accident.

SHARPTON: Yes. Well, she didn`t get the shout around the world that
you`ve gotten.

STARKEY: Poor thing.

SHARPTON: Madalyn Starkey, great story. Thanks for coming on the
show tonight.

STARKEY: Oh, well, thanks for having me.

SHARPTON: All right, ahead, what a long, strange trip it`s been for
Newt. He is leaving the trail. We look back on the good, the bad, and the
ugly, next.


SHARPTON: We`re back with a farewell to Newt Gingrich`s 2012
campaign. He`s dropping and he will make it official next Tuesday. I know
you`re saying to yourself, wait? Newt was still in? It`s been a long
strange trip from luxury cruises through the Greek Islands to Tiffany gate
to being beaten by a penguin. He has given us a lot to talk about. But
he`s also said some disturbing things I would rather forget.


really poor neighborhoods, have no habits of working. And have nobody
around them who works.

Most of these schools ought to get rid of the unionized janitors.
Have one master janitor, and pay local students to take care of the school.

If the NAACP invites me, I will go to their convention and talk about,
why the African-American community should demand paychecks and to be
satisfied with food stamps.

President Obama is the best food stamp president in American history.
I`m not going to compete with Obama in singing because I`m not running for
entertainer in chief. I`m running for president.


SHARPTON: But it wasn`t all bad. He knew how to make headlines.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: She says you asked her, sir, to enter into an open
marriage, would you like to take time to respond to that?

GINGRICH: No, but I will. I`m appalled that you would begin a
presidential debate, on a topic like that.

I don`t think right-wing social engineering is any more desirable than
left-wing social engineering.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Are you calling Mitt Romney a liar?


SHARPTON: And now that he is out, he will have plenty of career
options to consider.

GINGRICH: We will have the first permanent base on the moon, and it
will be American.

And I offer advice, and my historian --


SHARPTON: Well, he`s out. I have been trying to think of some
constructive and positive thing your campaign did for the race, Newt, we
did a tour once on education, and you were constructive. Then, I`ve been
trying to think of what this race you ran added to bringing America to a
better place. Well, I do have until next Tuesday, so I`ll keep trying my
best to think, and I`ll let you know by then.

I`m Al Sharpton, this is POLITICS NATION, thanks for watching.
"HARDBALL" starts right now.


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