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PoliticsNation, Friday, May 18, 2012

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Guests: Melissa Harris-Perry; E.J. Dionne, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Ana Marie Cox, Wes Moore, Heidi Harris, Mike Papantonio

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

Tonight`s lead, Willard Mitt Romney has a bridge he wants to sell you.
A bridge to nowhere. The question is who is heading to nowhere?

Today in New Hampshire, he stood in front of this bridge that was
built in the 1880s and attacked the president for using stimulus money to
restore it.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: You all know the story of
this bridge. This is part of the president`s stimulus plan. So, they
said, yes, but we put in place a whole series of elements that are critical
to the future of America. And you have one behind us right there. That`s
what they are saying. This is the absolute bridge to nowhere if there ever
was one. That`s your stimulus dollars at work.


SHARPTON: Well argued. A compelling argument, but here is the
problem -- many of the people Romney was talking to wanted that bridge.
They wanted that bridge restored. The "Huffington Post" reports today that
New Hampshire Republicans, including Romney supporters, overwhelmingly
supported funding to restore their beloved bridge.

The bridge restoration project created jobs after the economic crisis,
and the area around it was built into a public park. The people in New
Hampshire enjoy it to this day, just $150,000 in stimulus funds were put
towards rebuilding the bridge.

Willard, you shouldn`t get too upset over that amount. It`s what he
earns in three days at Bain Capital. But, while he is burning bridges in
New Hampshire, he`s giving the rest of us a look at what the first day of
his presidency would look like in a new ad.

Be afraid, be very afraid. Here is what Romney promises.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would a Romney presidency be like? President
Romney introduces tax cuts and reforms that reward job creators, not punish


SHARPTON: Tax cuts for job creators? That`s his first priority.
Millionaires would get an average of $265,000 in tax cuts under president
Romney, but the middle class just, they just get $750. But, let`s hear
what else he says he will do on his first day on the job.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: President Romney issues order to begin replacing
Obamacare with common sense health care reform. That`s what Romney
presidency will be like.


SHARPTON: Wonderful Willard, way to go on your first day in office.
You`ll ensure that the 31 million people who rely on the affordable care
act for their health care will be uninsured. Sounds like a great plan.
Let`s not forget the other things you plan on doing in your administration
like increasing military spending. Increasing the deficit. And cutting
domestic spending. Let`s not forget about slashing Social Security and

Wow. And to think of what President Obama did in his first days of
office. He signed the Lily Ledbetter fare pay act into law. He announced
ethical guidelines for lobbyist, and signed the stimulus into effect.
That`s an agenda that worked for the country.

But Willard thinks we are going to be impressed with his plans on his
first day. If Willard believed that, then I have a bridge I would like to
sell him.

Joining me now is Melissa Harris-Perry, host of MSNBC "Melissa Harris-
Perry" and E.J. Dionne of "the Washington Post." He is a columnist there
as well as an MSNBC contributor.

Thanks to both of you for being here tonight.

E.J. DIONNE, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Goo to be with you and Melissa.

SHARPTON: Melissa, let me ask you, how does day one of the projected
Romney presidency sound to you?

think we have to take very seriously his point that he would introduce tax
cuts. Now, I appreciate, first of all, that the president does not
actually set tax policy, right? So, we want to be clear that he
understands how all of these works. That would have to happen for the

SHARPTON: Well, let`s assume he does.

HARRIS-PERRY: Right. But that said, given that the he would
introduce tax cuts, let`s just --this has been a party, the Republican
party, has been on a deficit hawk scenario now for, really, since about ten
days into President Obama`s presidency. They have been saying our single
biggest burden, our single biggest problem isn`t jobs, our single biggest
issue isn`t jobs, isn`t the economy, it`s the deficit. And what we have
Mitt Romney saying, is from the moment I am president, I `m going to add to
the deficit. I`m going to make this problem worse. I`m going to introduce
legislation to be in the House of representatives that will, if it passes,
create a bigger deficit.


HARRIS-PERRY: That`s what he is promising.

SHARPTON: And he is doing it at the protection of the wealthy, and
the protection of the tax cuts that could add huge amounts of moneys to
cover the deficit.

Now, you know, let me ask you, E.J., when you look at the fact, your
paper, the latest electoral vote projection, the map shows that President
Obama 196 solid electoral votes, according to "Washington Post." Mitt
Romney, 170 solid electorate vote, 100 votes up toss-up in swing states
like Nevada, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Virginia,
Ohio and New Hampshire.

Now, how do you read this? The battleground states will decide this
in your view?

DIONNE: Yes. I think the battle ground states will decide it in.
And if somebody getting closely to President Obama made an interesting
point today which is in many of those swing states, not all of them but
many of the important ones, Virginia, Iowa, Ohio. The unemployment rates
are actually below where they are nationwide. And that maybe - it is not
an overwhelming advantage for Obama, but it is something that we should
take into account.

But, I can`t resist going back to that bridge reverend that you
mentioned at the beginning. And the idea that the federal government
should not help build bridges reminded me of something Rahm Emanuel liked
to say when he was President Obama`s chief of staff. He said, the
Republicans are now divided between their small government wing and their
no government wing.

I mean, even conservatives who don`t like government like to build
bridges and they know you can`t drive across the river on a tax cut. And I
think it`s really remarkable that this is what he chose to highlight. And
in the very state where the bridge was built. If you`re against bridges, I
don`t know what are you for?

SHARPTON: Well, and a small government against the no government, the
small government is getting smaller every time the small government people

HARRIS-PERRY: It feels like the other piece of E.J., is he misses
localism. He misses like ordinary people and what they care about. And
for him to stand in front of a bridge that people in that state supported
being rebuilt and restored, and say, you using it to mock President Obama
was the indication - it is like kind of tone deafness of Romney.

SHARPTON: But, you are professing corporations are people. You don`t
get it. Corporations are people.

Let me get back to something you touched on E.J. You talked about how
in some of the swing states, unemployment is lower nationally. So, he is
got to try to make an economic argument.

Is that why he is doing what you said a blowing an air kiss to Bill

Let me quote E.J. to E.J. You wrote "There was Romney campaigning
Tuesday in Iowa, praising the nation`s previous Democratic president and
casting him as far superior to the current incumbent."

Is he trying to play this divide and conquer between Clinton and

DIONNE: He is. And I think there are several reasons for that. One
is, Gallup did a poll earlier this year and asked how people look at past
presidents, and Bill Clinton rates really high. I think 60 percent rate
said that he would be rated better than he has been outstanding, or very
good, something like that. and so, he knows, that wrapping yourself around
Clinton is a good idea.

Secondly, he wants to say Bill Clinton was more pro-business than
Obama. But then, you have to look at who is for what policies? Is Mitt
Romney who does not want to go back to Bill Clinton`s tax rates, Barack
Obama wants to for --

SHARPTON: Let`s look, Clinton and Romney. Clinton on raising taxes,
he raised them, Romney is against that, raises taxes on the poor? Clinton
was opposed to that Romney for that. Reduce deficit, Clinton did that,
Romney would increase the deficit as you said, Melissa.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, absolutely. Look, part of what is interesting
here to me is that, it was to pivot away from Reagan by Reagan is the one
that normally did the Republican candidates bring up over and over again.
But, as they have been doing that, It allows so many of us who are
political watchers to say, you know, Ronald Reagan would actually be thrown
out of the current Republican party.

SHARPTON: There`s no question.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. Reagan actually raised taxes by closing

SHARPTON: Several times.

HARRIS-PERRY: Multiple times. And so, the very idea that they kept
invoking Reagan, I thought it was interesting, OK. So now, they are going
to pivot and invoke Clinton instead.

SHARPTON: Well, let me ask you this, E.J..

Is that why we are seeing the politics of distraction, where you`re
hearing some plan, some Republican strategist plan to bring Jeremiah Wright
up or other issues, and then when Romney is confronted about it, he says I
stand by what I said, whatever that was.

Let me show you. I mean, because I`m just amazed every time I watch
him say this. Watch this.


ROMNEY: I have been disappointed in the president`s campaign to date
which is focused on character assassination. I certainly hope you get a
chance to see our first ad. It`s contrasting with the president`s ad that
came out as a character assassination ad. We can talk about a lot of
things. But the centerpiece of his campaign is quite clearly character

I`m actually not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I
stand by what I said whatever it was.


SHARPTON: I don`t know exactly what I said, but I stand by it
whatever it was E.J. That`s a classic. Even for someone that watches this
like you.

DIONNE: That is my second favorite Republican quote of the year. The
first being Newt Gingrich`s attack on Pias Bologna. I still love that
particular line. And I stand by whatever it was I wrote ten years ago. I
won`t know what it was.


DIONNE: And so, this astonishing sound bite, but, this character
assassination --

SHARPTON: Let`s go to the first part. He accused the president of
running a campaign of character assassination, and he said it several

DIONNE: Yes, and I mean, it`s interesting because you go back for
example to Joe Biden`s attack on Bain Capital this week, and on Romney not
getting it. He prefaced that with the whole bunch of stuff about how
Romney is a good family guy, which he is.


DIONNE: You know, A decent American, a patriot. I mean, to take
issue with someone on important issues or to raise questions about their
own claims about what their company did, whether it created jobs or it
didn`t, that`s not character assassination. And you wonder what are they
preparing the ground for if they want to use character assassination now.?

SHARPTON: The vice president and the president have spoke in very
positive terms about him as a person. What character assassination?

HARRIS-PERRY: Well so, here is what I think he might be talking
about. So, he has two records, right? One is a record is his record of
being governor of Massachusetts. He never talks about that record. He
can`t talk about that record, because if he does, then it will be very
clear that he is a supporter of the president`s health care plan because he
passed a very similar one in Massachusetts. He doesn`t talk about that.

SHARPTON: Romney care.


So Romney can`t talk about Romney`s own governing record which is a
relatively moderate record in Massachusetts. And therefore, that would
keep him from earning his conservative credentials.

And he doesn`t want to talk about -- he wants to say I`m a
businessman, but he doesn`t want to talk about his specifics of his role of
business because he wasn`t a job creator. He was a profits creator, he was
not a revenue creator, not a jobs creator.

So what else can we talk about except the fact the he consistently
flip-flops. And it`s like the only thing - the only time he has
consistently Flip-flop was in this moment he said I don`t know what I said,
but I`m not going to flip-flop on it. I`ll stick by it.

SHARPTON: All right. Let me get ready to go and I disagree to
Melissa first time. He was not a moderate governor. He was an extreme
governor. He did extremely bad. They were near the bottom --

HARRIS-PERRY: Just compared to where --

SHARPTON: Melissa Harris-Perry and E.J. Dionne. Thanks and have a
great weekend to both of you.

Don`t forget to catch Melissa Harris-Perry weekends from 10:00 a.m. to
noon right here on MSNBC.

And remember when Republicans refused to let women testify at a
hearing on women`s rights? Well, looks like they`re up to the same old
tricks. I`ll explain next.

Plus, Arizona`s top election official goes birther and even threatens
to keep the president off the ballot.

And conservative rush in to defend the facebook millionaire who is
renouncing his citizenship and avoiding millions of dollars taxes.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO SHOW HOST: If it`s a more favorable tax haven
that you can find elsewhere and you go there, why is it automatically that
you`re unpatriotic. It`s this whole class envy thing rearing its head


SHARPTON: You are watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: Up next, Republicans deny D.C. delegate Eleanor Holmes
Norton the chance to speak on behalf of her constituents. I can tell you
once place she can speak her mind. Right here on "Politics Nation." The
congresswoman joins me next.


SHARPTON: Welcome back.

Republicans may claim their war on women as real as a war on
caterpillars, but their actions speak louder than words. It was barely
three months ago that Congressman Darryl Issac held a now infamous hearing
on the president`s birth control mandate with an all male panel.

But now, Congressman (INAUDIBLE) is silencing another female voice.
Yesterday he held a meeting on a bill to ban abortions in Washington, D.C.
after 20 weeks. But he refused to allow the district`s only congressional
representative to speak. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton is a nonvoting
member of congress. Her words are how she represents her constituents, but
Republicans did not allow her to speak, sparking outrage from her
Democratic colleagues.


REP. JERROLD NADLER (D), NEW YORK: The exclusion of delegate Norton
was relegated to sit in the audience today, and I want to welcome her and
apologize for the rudeness my Republican colleagues are showing, our
colleague for refusing to allow her to be heard, is yet another example of
that abuse of power. Just because we have our power to impose our will on
people who have no voice, does not make it right or moral.

As I have never seen in the past, never in my 20 years as a member of
this party have I seen a colleague treated so contemptuously. The fact
that the minority has been limited to one witness only, demonstrates just
what a parse this hearings are.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is Washington, D.C. delegate, Eleanor Holmes

Delegate Norton, let me just ask you straight out. First of all,
thanks for joining me tonight.

The hearing was about your constituents. About Washington, D.C., and
you were not allowed to speak. I mean, can you even explain that to me?

you asked the question I think the right way. First of all, why should
there have been a bill on limiting abortions to 20 weeks only for the
district of Columbia. If set franks feels as a principle man so strongly
about this, the first thing he should have done was to put in a bill for
the nation.


NORTON: But having decided because he thinks he can bully the
district of Columbia. To put in a bill only affecting the women and the
physicians of the district of Columbia. Why would you not let the only
member of the house or Senate who represents the people on whom you wish to
impose this 20 week ban -- why wouldn`t you let her have a word.

And his answer, Reverend Al, was, well, rules say that the Democrats
can only have one witness. And they have chosen a woman who was affected,
a woman that had to have an abortion after 22 weeks. She gave compelling
testimony, actually we recommended her.

But, since it is very unusual to have a bill aimed only at one
district, the rules could easily have been waived. Trent franks is the
author of this bill. He is the chairman of the committee, and he bullied
us in every way he could.

SHARPTON: But, is it a courtesy usually extended to other members to
allow members to speak, particularly if it`s something that impacts their
constituents. And in this case, only your constituents would be impacted.

NORTON: All the time. Even in this majority, we see members hold
panels of members. And they have given preference. Ha they get to speak
before the witnesses who are called. So, it`s not even a Republican rule.
He says it`s a rule of this committee. What he did say was that the rules
allow that the congresswoman can sit on the desk, but she cannot speak, and
she cannot ask questions.

Now Reverend Al, what I was supposed to do? That was an all male
panel. Was I supposed to walk up there, sit like a dumb woman, just to be
seen, and to integrate that panel with women? And not be able to speak?
That was close to an insult right there.

SHARPTON: Well, I wanted everybody to know about it. Thank you for
being with me. And I might just say for the record, that the district of
Columbia pain-capable unborn child protection act has 193 co-sponsors, none
of them from D.C., 189 Republicans and 176 of them are men.

Delegate Norton, thank you for your time tonight, have a great
weekend, and keep fighting.

NORTON: Thank you, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Up next, big banks going for Willard in a big way. Yes.
The same Willard that wants to cut bank regulation. What a coincidence.

President Obama released his birth certificate over a year ago. So
why is Arizona`s top election official threatening to keep him off the


SHARPTON: It`s no surprise that Willard Mitt Romney likes big
business. After all, he thinks corporations are people. And the big banks
are making it very clear they like Willard back. Romney`s top six donor
groups are people and political action committees affiliated with big
banks. Of course President Obama is getting money from wall street too,
but Willard really got their guy. In fact, the securities and investment
industry has given $20 million to the pro-Romney super PAC. That`s 100
times more than they have given to the super PACs supporting President

So, what`s so appealing about Willard? Well, he sure wasn`t worried
when JPMorgan lost $2 billion on risky trades.


ROMNEY: That`s the way America works. Some people experience a loss
in this case because of a bad decision. By the way, there were some of
them who made a gain, I bet some of the $2 million JPMorgan lost, someone
else gained.


SHARPTON: Yes, $2 billion. Who wouldn`t even notice that? And it`s
definitely not a reason to strengthen regulations over wall street, right


ROMNEY: If I`m president of the United States, we are going rein back
these regulations and say no to the regulations of the Obama years.

We have to repeal serving actually, we got to repeal Dodd-Frank. We
got to repeal Obama care.

My view is, repeal Dodd-Frank.


SHARPTON: Willard wants to repeal Dodd-Frank financial reform. So,
what his plan to prevent more risky banking, nothing? Bloomberg reports
Romney quote, "has remained mostly silent on what, if anything, he would
replace the law with."

Did Romney think we wouldn`t show why big banks love him so much?
Nice try, but we got you.


SHARPTON: Welcome back on POLITICS NATION. With the return of one of
the biggest right wing smears in the country, it`s the birther issue. Now,
we have seen birthers come and go with their absurd questions about the
President. But this time, we are hearing it from a republican official who
is in charge of elections in a potential swing state. Ken Bennett is the
Arizona Secretary of State. In a recent interview he said, it`s possible
President Obama won`t be on the ballot in November.


believe that the President was born in Hawaii, at least I hope he was. I
simply went on Hawaii`s Web site, downloaded a form, got a $5 money order,
and I in a request asking them to just confirm or verify whether they have
a birth certificate I their records for Barack Hussein Obama the second.

MIKE BROOMHEAD, TALK RADIO HOST: If they refuse to comply with this.
Will you remove President from the ballot? Will you exclude him from the

BENNETT: That`s possible.


SHARPTON: It`s possible the President won`t be on the ballot. Now,
keep in mind it`s not just the birther stuff and it`s not just Arizona.
This week, the "New York Times" revealed that some top republican
strategist presented a 54-page proposal to conservative billionaire Joe
Ricketts entitled quote, "The Defeat of Barack Hussein Obama." The plan
was elect the President once again to his former pastor Reverend Jeremiah
Wright. Now, Mitt Romney has come out against the plan.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I want to make it very clear
I repudiate that effort. I think it`s the wrong course for a PAC or a


SHARPTON: But the right wing attack machine is desperate to keep the
smear going and going and going and going.


SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Governor Romney, I have to
respectfully disagree with you. Every candidate though needs to be fully
vetted. Now, that`s something the mainstream media failed to do back in
2008 with Barack Obama. I think for Governor Romney to take it off the
table, he doesn`t have to talk about it, but to repudiate people that do.


SHARPTON: With me now is Ana Marie Cox, Washington correspondent for
The Guardian and retired U.S. Army captain Wes Moore, he`s the author of
the book, "The Other Wes Moore." Thank you both for joining me tonight.
Ana Marie, is the birther issue back and more mainstream in the GOP than

ANA MARIE COX, THE GUARDIAN: I really hope not, I think in some ways,
it`s the media`s own fault that it gets sort of seeming to get bigger.
Because I think there`s a lot of people who it`s true don`t like Barack
Hussein Obama, and I think there are a lot of people are really unhappy
with the way the country is going, we`re very divided country. But I think
there is some people who may be having not heard of this birther issue, and
when you start to talk about it, it starts to make sense to people who are
very angry and let`s face it, maybe don`t like the way he looks. That`s a
problem he`s going to have to face. I think it might get worse before it
gets better. I hope we can stop talking about it. Because like I said, I
think there are some people who maybe didn`t hear about it the first time
around but now they hear about it, it starts to make sense to them just
because they haven`t given it a lot of thought. Because they haven`t heard
it debunk as much as it will be.

SHARPTON: Yes. But I think Ana Marie, if you don`t address some of
it, their saying this in very private settings that if we`re not debunking
it Wes, people might think that it`s true. Let me show you Congressman
Mike Coffman of Colorado, he was at the fundraiser recently, and he was
giving a speech, and he unloaded -- watch this one he unloaded on the


REP. MIKE COFFMAN (R), COLORADO: I don`t know whether Barack Obama
was born in the United States or not. But I do know this. In his heart,
he is not an American, he is just not an American.


SHARPTON: I mean, these sessions are going on, when a tape is put
out, they find a way to oh, I didn`t mean it that way or modify what
they`re saying, but if they`re not called out in these things and not
debunked, we don`t know who is being given information that is wrong.

CAPTAIN WES MOORE, U.S. ARMY (RETIRED): You know, they need to be
called out, but at the same time, you know, I agree to the extent, it`s not
giving them too much, giving them air time than they justify. Because the
fact, is even if you think about the argument of the Secretary of State out
in Arizona. He says, you know, this thing was solved a year ago when they
was released, and we have an official birth certificate that is out there.
Where he says, well, it`s because he received about 1200 letters from
citizens and from constituency whose basically say, they think it`s forged.
And they want to look further into it. Well, the fact is no matter what is
produced now, they`re going to think that`s forged as well. Leadership
means stepping up and saying, listen, enough is enough, it`s been
produced, this is authentic, I`m not sure what your definition of being a
real American is, but the fact is, the President is justified and is
qualified to be in that seat. If you disagree with policy, that`s a whole
another issue. But to say he is not qualified to be in the seat is
something completely different. It needs to be put to rest.

SHARPTON: Now, Ana Marie, Wes said that this was satisfied a year
ago. Well, the Jeremiah Wright controversy was solved about four years
ago. Yet, we`ve see some strategist making a serious proposals, 54 pages
in fact to try to bring that back up, and we saw in this case, Willard Mitt
Romney run out and say after he finally read the paper that he denounced
it. Is this a problem for him? Is this the reason he was trying to
disassociate himself from this?

COX: Well, I think it`s really interesting, this whole, stuff about
this, Joe Rickett`s document that was put out. It`s hard to call it a
serious document by the way if you actually read it. It reads almost like
an Austin Powers dossier. I mean, it`s not very well punctuated. It`s
very over dramatic. It really seems more like a sale document, it seems
like the document of somebody that wants to be given $10 million, not the
document of someone who wants to actually get into politics. But it is of
course playing on some very real fears. And those are fears that again
come along with obviously, with racial politics.

This is not really about the code words here saying that you picked up
on. They want to catch it in the language of character, and whether or not
Obama is like a real American. But really they`re talking about race, and
that`s something that Jeremiah Wright opened up for them. I personally
think the real problem here isn`t that Obama like went and attended
Jeremiah Wright`s church, is that he probably wasn`t actually even that
serious of an attendee. It`s not that he`s as angry as Reverend Wright.
He is probably not angry enough but that of course is not something that
Wright is going to like to hear.

SHARPTON: But Wes, not getting into who should be angry or not, is it
wise if you`re Willard Mitt Romney to even open up a discussion on
people`s past church affiliations and all of that. Isn`t that wise for him
to do what he did, say no, let`s not go there because he really doesn`t
want that discussion in this campaign?

MOORE: I think if Mitt Romney could be honest, the thing that he
would say is, please stop this because this is not helping me.


MOORE: This is not helping my candidacy at all. Mitt Romney wants to
be out there talking about issues such as the economy issues such as
employment. These are the things that Mitt Romney wants to talk about. He
does not want to talk about whether the President of the United States
spent more time or less time in Jeremiah Wright`s church. We have seen
this story before, we`ve seen this playbook before. It was the John McCain
playbook. And did not work. Mitt Romney is trying to go basically
becoming the antithesis of the McCain campaign and these type of things
watching the Citizens United are not allowing him to do that and not the
biggest frustrations he has right now.

SHARPTON: But Ana Marie, isn`t it true though, you covered the John
McCain campaign, wasn`t McCain even more firm though in terms of the
boundaries that he would set and he would stop people if they went too far.
And he tried to play the gentleman in terms of saying that the President
was, at that point, Senator Obama was a good guy, he just disagreed with
him? I mean, didn`t McCain run a different campaign in terms of trying to
pull some of this stuff back when it got out of hand?

COX: I think he really tried to. Some might say that he`s detriment.
There is a lot of Republicans out there whose say that that`s why McCain
lost. Nobody tried to play the gentleman. I think McCain like a lot of
people of his generation really wanted politics to be about issues. And he
is uncomfortable with talking about social issues, he`s uncomfortable with
talking about issues about religion. I think Mitt Romney is probably is as
well and would be more comfortable as Wes says, sticking to issues about
politics and policy and economics. I do think this is probably a losing
way for Romney to go.

Not just because of his own church affiliations which raise some
questions, and raise some questions that are much more an immediate history
than any of Obama`s, but also because, you know, it will be boomerang on
him. Americans however far we are from true, truly being a color blind
nation. We don`t like to be reminded of that, we don`t be reminded of the
ugliness of that history. And I think that bringing up the Wright
connection really all it does that. It might work with some part of the
GOP base, but it`s working in such an ugly way, it`s not really worth it.

SHARPTON: Well, I agree with that, thank you both, Ana Marie Cox and
Wes Moore, thank you both for joining me. Have a great weekend to both of
you. Still ahead, a Facebook founder gives up his U.S. citizenship and
avoids paying millions of dollars in taxes. Looks like the right wing just
found a folk hero. And let`s hug it out. People there may be hope for
Washington after all. We`ll explain.


SHARPTON: Still ahead, a Facebook founder gives up his citizenship to
avoid millions in taxes. The GOP`s found a hero.



UNIDENTIFIED MAN: And I`ll bet what you hated the most, is that they
identified me as a co-founder of Facebook. Which I am. You better lawyer
up. Because I`m not coming back for 30 percent, I`m coming back for


SHARPTON: That was a scene from "The Social Network" where the actors
playing Facebook co-founders Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin tussle for
control of the company. Facebook became a publicly traded company earlier
today making both men instant billionaires. Now, Saverin become a hero to
some on the right for renouncing his American citizenship and by avoiding
millions of dollars in taxes. Saverin insist his decision had nothing to
do with the taxes, but the right-wing is hailing him as a hero anyway.
Forbes magazine published in Op-ed saying, quote, "Those of us who seek
smaller government should view him as a hero. It will force a rethink of a
tax code that penalizes income and investment success. Let`s raise a glass
to Eduardo Saverin, he is a true American hero." And listen to Rush
Limbaugh coming to Saverin`s defense today on his radio show.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: If it`s a more favorable tax
haven that you can find elsewhere and you go there, why is it automatically
that you were unpatriotic? It`s this whole class envy thing rearing its
head again.


SHARPTON: Now, to get some different views on this, I want to go
beyond the belt way, see what people are talking about outside of
Washington. Joining me now is Heidi Harris, host of, "Heidi Harris in the
Morning." And Mike Papantonio, co-host of Ring of Fire radio and the
president of the National Trial Lawyers Association. Thank you both for
joining me tonight. Mike, let me start with you. Where is the heroism in
renouncing your citizenship and therefore avoiding taxes?

MIKE PAPANTONIO, RING OF FIRE RADIO: Reverend, there is no heroism
here. The republican leadership has no choice expect to make the Eduardo
Saverin into a story that they can work with. In other words, for so long,
they told us that it`s OK for the wealthiest Americans in this country to
pay no taxes, for corporations to pay no taxes. Republicans routinely
argue that it`s good for America when we let corporations lead the country
and not stand up to their responsibility. In fact, Reverend, the GOP has
encouraged, in fact, they help legalize off-shore island banking for Wall
Streeters like Mitt Romney and Bain Capital and people just like Mr.
Saverin here.

So, of course the GOP is going to make him into a poster boy kind of
hero because it ties into the ridiculous idea that it`s good for America
when corporations don`t do their patriotic duty and that is to pay taxes
like the rest of us. As a matter of fact, their argument is that we`re
overtaxed and Saverin left the country because he is overtaxed even in --
the fact, Saverin says, you know what, it had nothing to do with taxes.
And we know it has nothing to do with taxes. Corporations dismissed and
this Saverin would admit to this, as I can tell you, he would have to admit
that corporations are anything but overtaxed.

SHARPTON: Let me get Heidi in this. Heidi, let me ask you this.
We`re told by a lot of people on the right that we should allow people in
higher brackets to pay less because they`re job creators, how does somebody
live in the country are renouncing this citizenship, how do you translate
that into job creation?

all, I don`t know why anybody is calling these guys instant billionaires.
They have busting their butt for years, creating Facebook, coming up with
an idea none of us had. And working their buns up to protect it and make
it work for all of us. All of us who use it every single day. So, none of
these guys are instant billionaires, going back to -- the Leftist got to
decide either the right -- they`re not overtax as billionaires or
millionaires, or they are. If they are overtaxed, I don`t blame a guy for
leaving. And the last I heard, slavery was abolished. You can`t force a
guy to stay in America. I mean, give me a break. We don`t own him, and
he`s going to have to pay a percentage of taxes.

SHARPTON: You`re not answering my question. We`re not saying that he
can`t leave the country, certainly nobody owns it. What makes him a hero,
and what about that does that fall in line with this whole job creator
title they`re giving people saying that`s why they should be given a lower
break and lower percentage than middle class and the working class people?

HARRIS: Well, I tell you why it does, Al because in the state where I
do radio, I do radio in Los Angeles, and the state, I mean, in California,
people are leaving in droves, business owners, people who create the jobs
because they can`t afford to survive there financially. When those people
leave, I don`t get the next job from those folks. So, that makes a big
difference, that when you punishing the people who create the jobs to give
us the people who weren`t doing anything in a lot of cases, that doesn`t
benefit America. So, if the sovereign case is an example for the entire
country. Whether it`s on the state level or federal level, local level, we
all have to learned from that. Stop taxing them to death and they won`t


PAPANTONIO: Yes. It`s an example, all right. It`s an example of
greed gun crazy in this country, Reverend. Listen, she wants to talk about
these corporations, so use their blood sweating tears to build the
corporation. Well, how about this? Those same corporations used our
roads, they used our military, they used our police, they used our
infrastructure. We give this same corporation that Heidi is so proud of,
we give them subsidies while they don`t pay taxes. As a matter of fact, if
you just look at the facts, $60 billion a year is lost in corporations that
don`t pay taxes. Now, I got to tell you something Reverend, they call that
tax avoidance, if you`re I did it, it would be called tax evasion. These
same corporations that Heidi is defending, you know what, we lose $100
billion a year because they`re so unpatriotic, that they want to use our
military to keep their company safe, they want to use our Police
Departments, they want to use our infrastructure, but they don`t want to
give anything back.


HARRIS: Give me a break Mike, what about all the people in America
who weren`t doing anything? What about the people in America sitting
around taking welfare, taking food stamps, taking everything else. They
are producing absolutely nothing. And they are deadweight. And we have
millions of those all over the country. That`s the problem, not the

SHARPTON: What about the people getting food stamps that need food
stamps like children?

HARRIS: You don`t need food stamps to buy Doritos.

SHARPTON: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I will let you talk.


SHARPTON: But you`re bringing up something that I want to question.
Don`t act like everybody that`s getting help that all of them don`t need
help and it`s just sitting around doing anything.

HARRIS: Do you know that Reverend Sharpton that you can buy things
like Doritos, Chitos, Fritos, Soda, all that of a garbage was food stumps,
do you realize that with those EBT cards, on the one hand, we hear Michelle
Obama talking about how kids should eat right and then government we
subsidize that.


SHARPTON: And you`re talking about what they can buy?

HARRIS: Right.

SHARPTON: I`m talking about. Don`t act like all of those that get
food stamps and welfare are not just sitting around doing nothing. I`m not
asking you to itemize what they can buy with it. A lot of them can buy
carrots and lettuce too. That has nothing to do with the purpose of food
stamps and welfare. We`re talking about people who as Mike said that are
obviously getting a different kind of bracket, and whether or not they have
a obligation to the country. Do you agree with that or not?

HARRIS: No. We got half of the country that does not pay federal
income taxes, how is that OK? Deadweight is not what we need in this
country, period. If you`re going to have somebody not paying the same
amount of taxes, I would rather have it be the job providers than the
people who are not doing anything except being deadweight and dragging the
rest of the country down.

SHARPTON: All right. Mike, you have the last word.

PAPANTONIO: Reverend, you want to talk about deadweight, deadweight
is when we have Wall Street steal $13 trillion away from the American
public and that we give them corporate welfare in the name of, I guess,
it`s because gee, they made a bad mistake. You`re talking about children
who can`t eat. You`re angry because we have a family that can`t pay for
food, but we`re giving Wall Street, the great -- the Wall Street crowd, you
know, it comes right down to it, that great -- crowd, we gave $800 billion
to because they were so damn incompetent that they lost it in a system that
was almost unlosable. And so, you talk that corporate welfare, that`s
corporate welfare.

SHARPTON: All right. I`m going to have to live it there. There are
a lot of fire out there and you know, I wanted to go outside of Washington,
because you know how reserved and polished we are here on these shows. I
wanted to hear from the outside. You fired us up for the weekend, Mike and
Heidi. Thanks for your time tonight.

HARRIS: Thanks.

SHARPTON: We`ll be right back with signs of hope for Washington.
Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Folks, sometimes the political landscape is downright grim.
We have birthers and Ricketts and Willard out there bashing bridges. It`s
terrible, but it`s also Friday. So we want to offer some hope. Tonight,
new signs that old wounds can heal and we can all be friends. First, let
me take you back a few years to 1998 and the impeachment hearing from Bill
Clinton. Then Congressman Lindsey Graham led the charge to oust him.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I believe the President committed serious crimes,
but if he would reconcile himself with the law so that we could end this
thing on -- I may consider a different disposition than impeachment, but if
he continues to flout the law, I don`t think he should be president.


SHARPTON: But today, a much different tone from now Senator Graham.
He gushed over Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a symposium in


SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: A little pressure on me here
because I don`t want to ruin a promising political career. I here she --
2016 of the year before you know it yet, the risk are ruining in the
career. I almost will say nice things about her, and people out there
listening, don`t hold that against me either on our side. She`s dedicated
to her job. She loves her country. I think she is a good role model, one
of the most effective secretary of states, a greatest ambassadors for the
American people, that I have known in my lifetime. Secretary Hillary


SHARPTON: And then he walked across the stage and gave her a big hug.
See, it doesn`t have to be ugly, it doesn`t have to be personal, let`s get
something done for the country, let`s not make it so personal we can`t get
along. In that spirit, I`m calling one of the people that I fought with in
public, and let`s go to dinner next week. It doesn`t matter what name you
called me, what name I called you, let`s show we can get along. Let`s be
bigger than that. Let`s sit down and break bread together, of course, you
bring your credit card, you`re paying.

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


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