PoliticsNation, Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Read the transcript from the Wednesday show
Guests: Richard Wolffe, Alicia Menendez; Bob Franken; Lee Saunders, Cindy Hewitt, Tad
Devine, Marisa DeFranco
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, HOST, POLITICS NATION: Welcome to "Politics
Nation," I`m Al Sharpton.
Tonight`s lead, the fight for the soul of the country. Folks, there
is a study out today that really hit home. And it gets at the heart of why
things need to change in this country. Out of 35 developed countries, the
United States has the second highest rate of child poverty. Nearly a
quarter of our kids are living in poverty. The only country where kids are
worse off on this list is in Romania. We rank behind Latvia. We rank
behind Bulgaria. We rank behind Lithuania. We rank behind Estonia, the
Czech Republic, Slovenia. Folks, this is not just a study. This is a wake
up all. It is another sign that our system needs fixing. The only problem
to people propping up Mitt Romney are doing just fine in this current
In Romney`s first 36 hours as the official Republican nominee, he will
have hob knobbed with some of the richest people in this country. Tonight,
he`ll hold a $50,000 head fundraiser with billionaire Meg Whitman. Of
course, Romney`s ties with Whitman running real deep. After all, she
invested a million dollars in his son`s private equity firm.
Yesterday, he takes merely donor worth Donald Trump who Willard
thanked for bringing in the big bucks.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Mr. Trump thank you for
letting us come to this beautiful hotel, and being so many friends. Thanks
you for twisting the arms that it takes to bring a fundraiser together. I
appreciate your help.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: But he didn`t just paddle around with one billionaire in
Vegas? No, of course not. He also met with Sheldon Adelson, the casino
owner who pumped $20 million to Newt Gingrich. We all know that money is
needed to run a campaign, but in this race it`s different. Outside GOP
groups plan to pump one billion dollars into this race. People with
millions at their disposal, we will have more with that at the end of the
show. But Mitt Romney is a perfect candidate. He will keep their pockets
lined. He will keep the system rigged so that they will have what they
need. That`s what Willard`s candidacy is about, and that`s exactly what
this president wants to see changed.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: See the job of a
president is to lay the foundation for strong and sustainable broad based
growth. Not one where a small group of speculators are cashing in on short
term gains. It`s to make sure that nerve this country gets a fair shake.
Everybody gets a fair shot. Everybody is playing by the same set of rules.
The values of everyday Americans of hard work and fair play and shared
We`re in this thing together, and America is not about just a few
people doing well. It`s about everybody having a chance to do well.
That`s what American dream is all about.
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: This isn`t about attacking people because they are rich.
It`s fixing a country where the people that are rich have taken nearly all
the gains in the last 30 years. We can`t let this continue. When we`re
dealing with a quarter of our children living in poverty, how do we turn
our back on the fact that the rich are getting richer, and no one is
adjusting to this level of poverty. We can`t elect a president who thinks
this is fine.
America has a choice. Elect a president whose policies only favor the
company he keeps, or a president who fights to get the quarter of our
children out of poverty. That is what this election is about. That is why
this really matters.
Joining me now is Richard Wolffe, an MSNBC political analyst. He is
also author of "Revival, the struggle for survival in the Obama White
House," and Alicia Menendez, host of "Hoffpost Live."
Thank you, both, for being here this evening.
Richard, let me start with you. What do you make of Romney hanging
around all of these billionaires?
RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, both of these
candidates have to raise money, and that means they get to hang around very
wealthy people and ask them for lots of money. What`s different here is
Romney is that, he is already laboring under the problem that he is super
wealthy himself and that his policies disproportionately favor the super
wealthy. People like him and people this hanging out with right now. So,
that`s one perception problem for him.
The bigger debate this going on as well about economic policies. And
you know, what you got from the Romney campaign right now is this argument
that the president does not like job creators. That`s what these investors
are called now apparently, job creators. In fact, through the course of
this president`s term, the stock market was in free fall when he took
office and since it hits his bottom in mark to his first year in office.
It is almost doubled in value. The Wall Street banks are on their feet
because of this president taking very unpopular moves to prop them up.
So, they like to be done well these so called job creators who are
really simply wealthy investors through this period. They just don`t like
this president has an individual. And that is what it comes down to, it is
SHARPTON: Now Alicia, when you see the results of this new report,
where we are second to last in terms of child poverty, I mean, countries
that most of us don`t even know the name of, or I pronounce them right. I
know my daughters will get on me for that. But, these countries have less
child poverty than us.
Then you see this candidate running for president hanging out with
billionaires in the face, has never dressed in child poverty like he is
with Meg Whitman who just announced by the way, Meg Whitman just announced
27,000 job cuts at Hewitt Packard, the company which she is the CEO of. I
mean, what message are we sending in this political season?
ALICIA MENENDEZ, HOST, HUFFPOST LIVE: I`m so happy you`re talking
about child poverty because it is unfortunately and unsexy issue, so it is
not something you hear about on the campaign trail. They are the most
vulnerable members of our society. And they do not have the type of money
interest and money advocates that you see funneling money into the Romney
So you look at what these millionaires and billionaires stand to gain
under Mitt Romney. They are the ones that are going to get a 20 percent
tax cut. They are the ones who are going to benefit from extension of the
Bush tax cut. And they are the ones who are going to benefit when Mitt
Romney does away with the estate tax. So they have lots to gain from this.
Children living in poverty, they do not have the type of allies that can go
toe to toe with the people that are giving money to Mitt Romney.
SHARPTON: Richard, you know, we spent a lot of time on this show
talking about this is really about fairness. This election is about
fairness. When you look at Willard Romney`s tax plan, it is a give away to
the richest Americans. Under it, the bottom 20 percent would see their tax
as go up an average of $149 with the top 0.1 percent would see a tax cut of
more than $725,000.
Now, if you look at that kind of gap in terms of who benefits in this
country and you put that on top of this report, I mean, it is unbelievable
that someone would even have the nerve to present that in a discussion on
WOLFFE: Well. And here is the problem, Reverend. There is no
discussion going on about the real impact of Romney`s economic policies.
Because, you know, what he has talked is this huge tax cut across the
board, right? Not just extending the Bush tax cut, but 20 percent across
the board over on top of that. So, we can focus on what that means for the
But, there is another side of it which is really where fairness and
what it means for us as a country comes in. And that is the kind of cuts
that Romney has to make to come anywhere close to his promise to cut the
deficit. He always complains about this president and runaway spending,
deficit spending. But with the tax cuts he has in place, he has got to
have huge, huge slashes, unprecedented cuts in the kind of spending that
would help children in poverty, families in poverty, education across the
board, those programs have to come to an end, because there`s no way to pay
for the massive tax cuts. Not just what it does for the wealthy. But what
it does for the people at the bottom of this society. That Mitt Romney is
really going to affect.
MENENDEZ: And they are being pretty transparent about this right now.
You look at the Ryan plan, it slashes funding for food stamps, it slashes
Medicare and Medicaid. For the first time, they are actually being fairly
honest about the fact --
SHARPTON: No. You`re right, because that is exactly I was going to
the Ryan plan which Willard embrace is $2.9 trillion of cuts targeted at
low income programs including as you said Medicaid, Pell grants, food
stamps, and low income housing. So, as you say, they are not even being
quiet about it. This is an open plan that he has embraced as part of his
MENENDEZ: And let`s parts of that. We have been talking about
children in poverty, but a lot of those programs that you just brought up
help the middle class. They help someone move from the working class to
the middle class. A lot of those are cuts to education, Pell grants.
Someone like my father, the first person in his family to go to college, it
was largely through Pell grants. You look at some of those other things
like - like food stamps that people use in difficult times so they do not
remain in a cycle of poverty.
Then you look at Romney`s plans. You look at something like he is
getting all of this money from big oil. And time and time again he chooses
these short term fixes that benefit a very small percent of Americans
rather than long term fixes that benefit us all.
SHARPTON: Now Richard, when we look at the fact that big business has
done fine under this president, there is no mistake about it, he just wants
fairness. But under him, the market has been up 4140 points.
So the question is, why are we seeing Willard Romney getting more
money out of Wall Street, more money out of big business when business has
done fine under this administration, it`s a question of who speaks for who.
WOLFFE: Right, it`s not just the stock market, Reverend. The
corporate profits have gone to record levels; executive pay has gone to
record levels as well. And that gap is growing bigger between what the
executives are getting, what people making on the factory floor.
And so, you know why don`t they like him? Well, when you kind of
scratch under the surface a little bit, this is what you hear. They say,
well he said some nasty things about us. He called some people and Wall
Street fat cats which is really thin skin stuff.
Let`s face it. Given what everyone was saying across the board, what
tea party has said about Wall Street, really it is calling them fat cats
doesn`t really mean a whole lot. And then the idea that he is somehow bad
for business because he is really a socialist. These ridiculous
caricatures and these people are far too smart and far too wealthy to
dilute themselves into thinking that. They just don`t like him. They
don`t see him as one of them. And the regulatory responds that he has made
other financing regulations. What did they expect was going to happen
after Wall Street crashed the entire global economy? They thought they
could get away with nothing?
SHARPTON: Yes. I think that would be what they were hoping for.
Richard Wolffe and Alicia Menendez, thank you both, for joining me
MENENDEZ: Thanks, Rev.
WOLFFE: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Ahead, Democrats demand Florida governor Rick Scott stop
purges Florida voters. So why is this state`s GOP chair comparing the
purge to drunk driving check points.
Plus, money in politics like we have never seen before. Conservatives
plan to pump $1.8 billion into this election. We`ll tell you how the
Democrats can fight back.
And, is Willard Romney really a unicorn? I`m serious. Nearly 20,000
people want to know. He is releasing his birth certificate. But I have
some questions, yes, this is how it starts.
You are watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.
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SHARPTON: Welcome back to "Politics Nation."
What would you do with $1.8 billion? I mean, think about it. What
could you buy with that kind of cash?
For some conservatives, their plan is to guy the election. This
headline made me stop what I was doing today. GOP group plan record $1
Folks, this is a scary number, think about it. This is an
unprecedented amount of money. So, how does it break down? Well, there is
$400 million from the Koch brothers, $150 million from Romney`s super PAC,
Restore Our Future, $300 million from Karl Rove`s super PAC. The chamber
Congress is kicking in $100 million, another $65 million from Bain and
Friends. And that`s just from outside groups. There is another $800
million coming from the RNC, for a grand total of $1.8 billion combined. I
guess Charles Koch knew what he was talking about a year ago when he was
giving his docs all lined up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHARLES KOCH, KOCH BROTHERS: We have Saddam Hussein. This is the
mother of all wars. We`ve got in the next 18 months for the life or death
of this country -- what I want to do is recognize what all of our great
partners, but nose partners who have giving more than a million over the
last 12 months, if you want to the kick in a billion, believe me, we`ll
have a special seminar just for you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The mother of all elections. He wasn`t kidding. The
Republican financial plans are unlike anything seen before in American
politics as Politico wrote today. And this is the proof. But now is not
the time to run and hide. I know a thing or two about fighting back when
you feel that the odds are against you. Now is the time to stand up and
Joining me now is someone who is not afraid to stand up and fight for
what he knows is right. He will ever back down in a fight, Lee Saunders,
secretary-treasurer of the American federation of state county and
municipal employees AFLCIO which represents 1.6 million workers. Lee is
also co-author of the new book, "the main street moment" coming out this
June and Bob Franken, a syndicated columnist with "King Features."
Lee, let me start with you. You co-authored this book "the main
street moment" telling the story of what?
LEE SAUNDERS, AFSCME SECRETARY-TREASURER: It tells a story of working
families and people who are in the middle class who is struggling to make
ends meet ere single day. It personalizes the story by talking about Joan
Raymond who is a sanitation worker in San Diego and fighting back attempts
by the city to cover pension.
It personalizes a story by talking about Cathy Liebarber (ph) from
California, University of California who is a gardener, and she is fighting
back the university as far as privatization is concerned.
And it talks about the need for our community to come together. Not
only, those in the labor movement, Al, but those in our communities
suffering every single day because of the policies that are being set
forward. And we have to fight back. That 99 percent of those who are
trying to put bread on the table, those who are trying to pay their
mortgages every single day, they have to fight back and make their voices
heard. And that is what is happening and that is what we are talking about
in this book.
SHARPTON: Now, one of the things I just showed was the tremendous
amount of money that some right-wing billionaires are putting out. And on
the political side - political spectrum on the other side, labor has been
selling not to the tone of the same money, but has been actively
financially supportive than providing troops for many of Democratic
candidates. Do you feel that is why labor has been targeted and unions
have been targeted by a lot of these groups and a lot of these right-
wingers with big money?
SAUNDERS: There is absolutely no question.
SHARPTON: I mean. You are fighting right now in Wisconsin. We had
one of your members on last night.
SAUNDERS: That is exactly right. There is absolutely no question,
that if they take us out of the ball game - they don`t want to hurt us.
They want to take us out of the ball game because they have to stand and we
are standing in their way.
But, what we got to do is fight back. And we got to fight, not only
back as a labor movement is concerned, but a community across this country.
And that`s why the main street movement, the main street moment is so the
important. We`re fighting back in Wisconsin where there is going to be an
election there on June 5th to recall the governor. We fought back in Ohio
to beat back John Kasich`s attempt to silence our voices. We are fighting
back in Florida and New Hampshire and all across this country. We have to
mobilize and organize like never before. And I`m optimistic because I see
this level of enthusiasm growing every single day because people are tired.
They are saying enough is enough.
SHARPTON: Now, Bob. The reason this unprecedented amount of money
can be spent is because of the citizens` united effect in terms of the
Supreme Court`s decision. You might remember when the state of the union
in 2010, the president talked about the citizens` union decision and its
effect. And check out the justice`s response. He was like noticed, is not
going to happen. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: Last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I
believe will open the flood gates for special interests including foreign
corporations to spend without limit in our elections.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: So had the judge said no, but it looks like what president
said is upon us, Bob.
BOB FRANKEN, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well yes, and I think some of the
people who are operating some of these PACs and these super PACS are making
themselves a lot of money. But, it was interesting when you are going
through your litany of some of the financiers of the Republican campaign,
you forgot the common people and the raffle that Donald Trump was going to
have, $3 a ticket to have dinner with Donald Trump.
Now, how could you forget that? Of course, for $4, you can get a
promise not to have dinner with (INAUDIBLE).
SHARPTON: Lee, when you see this kind of money, you write in the book
coming out in June that you have to deal with super PACs verses the people.
Let me read a quote out of the book.
You say "while the new super PACs are bundling together millions from
a handful of anonymous corporations, sanitation workers and nurses and
office clerks are giving a few of their hard earned dollars each week to
help elect lawmakers who support fair taxation, retirement security, and
saving the American dream."
How do we fight back, Lee?
SAUNDERS: We can`t compete with the money that the other side has. I
mean, we have resources but we don`t have the kind of resources that they
have. But what we do have is people power. What we do have is that 99
percent that is willing to stand up and say this is not the kind of country
that we believe in right now.
We have to move forward, not take the country back ward. We cannot
let that one percent control the wealth and the power at the expense of the
And I believe that`s what`s happening in Wisconsin, in Ohio, and all
over the country where you have workers. We have communities, we have
civil rights organizations, we have women`s groups coming together and
SHARPTON: Those videos you are seeing there are people in Wisconsin
where it all started coming together and they were fighting back.
Bob, you have covered a lot people movement, you covered a lot of
things around the country down through the years. Do you feel that there
is the energy out there to really build a people movement to counter all of
FRANKEN: To be honest with you, I hate to be this country for picnic
but I`m not convinced. This is an election about whether it is going to be
a people`s movement, which is what democracy is supposed to be or whether
it`s going to be, let`s call it an oligarchy. I think that is really an
As an example in Wisconsin right now, it looks like there is a good
chance that the recall effort is going to fail. That the people`s movement
will not have succeeded in Wisconsin. So, I think that before anybody says
people power always succeeds, I think a real question about this election
is whether in fact that is true or not.
SHARPTON: Well Lee, what do people need to hear to make a people
movement work? Are we dealing with apathy, are we dealing with confusion?
What will make what was just said by Bob not true?
SAUNDERS: Well, this is organizing one on one. You have to knock on
doors. You have t make those phone calls. You have to look folks in the
eyes and you have to talk to about their future, their future and the
future of this country.
Let me tell you something. In Wisconsin we are optimistic. We are
throwing all those polls out the windows right now. We are knocking on
those doors. We are developing those coalitions in moving people and we
are stressing to folks they must vote on June 5th.
Let me also say this. There is a chance that we could lose. There is
a chance we could lose. But this is about one election. We have to
continue this movement, this main street movement to fight what is going on
in this country and to continue to build upon a proud history rather than
tear it apart.
FRANKEN: But Al, this is you used a word that I think is really
important. When you have a billion dollars plus to flood that invade us
with commercials, the keyword that you used is confusion.
FRANKEN: You can completely confuse the issue, and make people whose
interests are being deserved; in fact, they are so confused they vote for
somebody who is actually the one who is causing the problems.
SHARPTON: Well, I think that that is the challenge which is saying
with the one-on-one organize.
SAUNDERS: That is exactly right.
SHARPTON: All right, Lee Saunders, the book is "the main street
moment" coming out in June by Lee Saunders, and certainly Bob Franken,
thank you for being here us with tonight.
And Lee, congratulations on the book, by the way.
And let me say this, you that are watching this, the fight is up to
all of us individually. You don`t fight because you guaranteed that you
will win the fight. You fight because if you don`t fight, you`re
guaranteed to lose.
Still ahead, we talk to a woman who says she was forced by Bain
Capital to layoff hundreds of people while Bain walked away with millions
of dollars. Folks this is Mitt Romney`s version of capitalism.
Stay with us.
SHARPTON: Folks, have you liked us on Facebook yet? It`s been a few
minutes since we talked about it. Check us out. The conversation is going
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conversation. Please go to Facebook/POLITICS NATION and like us. We look
forward to you joining us.
SHARPTON: We`re back on POLITICS NATION with the true story of a
company ravaged by Bain Capital. The story of workers sacrificed for
corporate profit is not the story Mitt Romney likes to tell about running
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I worked to become very much
involved in other businesses. Helping start up businesses, helping big
companies that we acquired make it through tough times. Sometimes I was
successful and we were able to create a lot of jobs, sometimes I wasn`t so
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Tonight, the story of one of The Times Willard wasn`t
successful and thousands of workers were fired. In 1994, a group of
investors led by Bain Capital paid $450 million to take over a medical
supply, company called Dade International. Just $30 million came from
Bain. A year later, Romney`s team at Bain pushed Dade to buy two more
companies and former new enterprise called Dade Behring. Let`s be clear
here, Romney and his buddies at Bain weren`t pouring their own money into
this company. They forced Dade to take out loans and increase their own
debt to buy up more companies. But not long after that, Bain decided Dade
was becoming a liability and started laying off workers and closing plants.
First, closing a plant in Puerto Rico, where nearly all of the 300
employees were fired, and then shuttering the doors of two plants in Miami
where 850 workers were laid off. But the cuts weren`t enough for Romney
and the rest of the Bain`s management team. So they came up with a new
plan to make a profit. In 1999, Bain strong armed Dade Behring into buying
back half of the shares belonging to Bain and other investors. In the end,
Bain walked away with $242 million, and Dade Behring went broke. Declaring
bankruptcy after getting $1.5 billion in debt. All told, nearly 3,000 jobs
were slashed from the Dade Behring, thanks to the helping hand of Mitt
Romney and Bain Capital.
Cindy Hewitt saw this devastation firsthand. She was a Human
Resources manager for Dade Behring in the late `90s and was forced by Bain
to fire hundreds of employees. She`s worked with President Obama`s
campaign to talk publicly about that experience. Cindy, thanks for being
CINDY HEWITT, FORMER H.R. MANAGER, DADE BEHRING: Thank you so much
for having me.
SHARPTON: Cindy, tell us what happened when Bain announced they were
closing the Miami plants.
HEWITT: Well, initially when we heard they were closing the Miami
plant, we were all shocked. We have been told that particularly the Dade
East Plant was the most profitable in the company. And when we closed
Puerto Rico and moved employees from Puerto Rico to Miami, we gave those
employees, not guarantees obviously no one can do that. But I would say,
assurances that the Miami plant was safe. We had asked specifically when
those employees are considering coming over, you know, is there any
considerations or any discussions of this plant in Miami closing and we
were told absolutely not. It is not on the table at all. And it was
incomprehensible to me that 60 days or so after the people moved from
Puerto Rico, they announced they were closing the Miami plant as well.
SHARPTON: So, there was no warning. In fact, you had -- reports, and
you were totally taken by surprise. Now, you`ve said that having to fire
people at Dade Behring was one of the worst times you ever felt that you
had to do something and you felt you had to do something unethical, tell me
more about that.
HEWITT: Well, I have been involved in Human Resources and I`ve been
involved in reorganizations and I know people get laid off. And that in of
itself is not unethical. What was unethical in my opinion was, they very
heavily recruited critical staff from Puerto Rico, moved to those Americans
from Puerto Rico where they had grown up and had families and support
systems, persuaded them to come to Miami to maintain their jobs, and after
those people gave up everything and left what they were familiar, and those
Americans came here, they were laid off here. I don`t think any of them
would have come to Miami for temporary jobs. And basically, that`s what
they turned out to be.
HEWITT: And the worst part was when it became known as soon as they
were told, we`re going to close the Miami plant, you know, they came to my
office and started saying, you know, we were told there was no discussion
of this. We want to go back to Puerto Rico, we want to go back where we
have families and support networks and we don`t want to stay through the
closure here. And the company said they would go after them and make them
repay the cost of their relocation from Puerto Rico to Miami if they did
not stay until the company was completely done with them. And I just felt
that was a horrible way to treat people. If it had been truly unplanned,
if it had truly been unexpected and a mistake, then you don`t take
advantage of people. You don`t make them stay when they know that the job
is temporary. When the employment market is getting progressively worse in
Puerto Rico and it was going to be harder for them, the longer they will
stay in Miami, it will be harder for them to find employment in Puerto
Rico, and the expense just the flat out expense for them to move themselves
back to Puerto Rico, it`s not like they can pack it up in a u-haul and
drive home. It was just a horrific way to treat people.
SHARPTON: So, when you hear Willard Mitt Romney talk about being the
CEO of Bain, what do you want American people to know about Bain as one who
worked and had to deal with terminating people?
HEWITT: I`m not arguing the validity of venture capital. My issue
is, there is a dramatic difference between the values and the skill sets
that we would want in a business person whose goal is to create wealth for
your investors and a president who we want to take care of everyone in the
United States. I really, really find his claim that he created jobs to be
offensive. Because the jobs he created were entry level, service and
retail positions, they were not jobs that gave people a living wage where
they can support their families and their kids to school. The jobs he
eliminated in our plant absolutely were. The 850 jobs that were lost in
Miami were jobs that could allow people to send their kids to college and
they could afford to put food on the table. And there`s a tremendous
difference. I really fear that Romney`s policies will create a further
erosion of middle class, and I am concerned that we`re going to just see
more and more people slipping away from the American dream no matter how
hard they work for it.
SHARPTON: Cindy, stay with me. I want to bring in democratic
strategist Tad Devine. He helped run Ted Kennedy`s raise against Mitt
Romney in 1994 and helped create the original ads criticizing his work at
Bain. Tad, thanks for being here.
TAD DEVINE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Good to be with you.
SHARPTON: Giving your work, does Cindy`s story sound familiar?
DEVINE: Reverend, it`s amazing to hear Cindy talked tonight, because
these are the stories that I heard firsthand from the workers at Ampad in
Marion, Indiana back in 1994. What Mitt Romney and his Bain Capital in
France did there and what they did at Dade Behring many years later is the
story of how they made their money. They went in, they took over
companies, they leverage them with enormous debt, they paid themselves
back, and then they left town. And what they left in their wake were
unemployed people, destroyed lives and ruined companies. And it`s
unfortunate to hear this story again, I heard it years ago, and I`m hearing
it again tonight. And I want to hear you, it`s a true story.
SHARPTON: Now, Tad, and I`m very glad you are specific. Because
we`re not talking about were against capitalism or private equity firms or
business, we`re talking about how they chose to do business in Bain Capital
under the leadership of Willard Mitt Romney. And I think Cindy has been
real clear about that. We`re not making a sweeping indictment of all of
that industry, we`re talking about how this company operated under this
DEVINE: That`s right, I think, you know, the problem here is what
Romney is saying, he`s saying that his experience and business was in job
creation. The truth is, it was not. His claim that he created 100,000
jobs while at Bain has been completely debunked by people like Glenn
Kessler at the Washington Post, the fact checkers. His recent claim now
that 80 percent of the companies that Bain invested in grew revenues.
Well, you know, I want to tell you, it`s amazing Dade Behring grew
revenues, Ampad grew revenues because they borrowed money. They bought
more companies. They grew their revenues. Then the Bain people and Romney
took the revenues out and the companies went bankrupt. I mean, it`s really
shocking when you look under the microscope at what they did. All they did
was destroyed companies left and right and enriched themselves.
SHARPTON: Cindy, when you look at the fact that all of these workers
that you had to deal with, laid off, fired some, and relocated and you see
the profits that was made by Bain, I mean, what can you say about people
that have those kind of ethics in terms of how to do business?
HEWITT: Again, I don`t have an issue with capitalism, but I do think
that there is something inherently wrong when the objective is to make
enough money to draw funds out of an organization, and you don`t care how
many bodies you leave in the wake, you don`t care how many families are
destroyed, how many people who lose their jobs. How horribly the entire
community is impacted by that loss of tax base, that loss of revenue. And
the reality is, the impact was much greater than the 850 employees. It
was, you know, the families of those individuals, the businesses and the
communities that benefited from them spending their pay with those
businesses, it was a tremendous -- I think they estimated with something
like a $30 million impact on Miami-Dade. And I just think again, the
greatest issue I have is, that does not qualify you to be president. I
would hope that our President would not be trying to create wealth for an
elite group of individuals but and would in fact, be looking out for the
best interest of all Americans and would want to make sure that we`re
creating jobs that are sustainable jobs that provide a living wage here
rather than sending jobs overseas.
SHARPTON: Tad, let me quickly ask you. Because people would be
saying, well, what he did at Bain was irrelevant. But really he made it
relevant by using his CEO leadership at Bain, his calling card for being a
DEVINE: That`s exactly right, Reverend. I mean, he`s going around
telling people, he understands the economy better because of his experience
at Bain. The truth is, he understands how to make a lot of money for
themselves and other people. And by the way, when he had the opportunity
to demonstrate that he could create jobs in a position of leadership in
Massachusetts as governor, he was 47th in job creation in the nation. So,
I think when you look at Romney`s record, you look behind the story he is
putting out, you will find he doesn`t create jobs, he creates wealth for
himself and others and a lot of people suffer as a result.
SHARPTON: Cindy Hewitt, Tad Devine, thanks very much for your time
DEVINE: Good to be with you.
SHARPTON: Ahead, we`ll talk to the other fiery progressive democrat
in the Massachusetts Senate race. You may not know a name yet but you
will. That`s next.
SHARPTON: In Massachusetts, most people know about the race between
Elizabeth Warren and Scott Browne for the Senate seat. But there is
another candidate in that race, she`s challenging on the democratic side.
Her name is Marisa DeFranco. And she supports a single pair of health
plans, jobs, green jobs, and he was capping federal funds to Wall Street.
She`s got the 10,000 signatures, and hopes to get enough delegates at the
party convention this weekend to get on the ballot. Will she be able to do
Well, joining me now is Marisa DeFranco, democratic candidate for the
U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. Ms. DeFranco, thanks for being here tonight.
MARISA DEFRANCO (D-MA), SENATE CANDIDATE: Hello, Reverend Al. Thank
you so much for having me, it`s a joy.
SHARPTON: Now, you`re unfamiliar to a lot of my viewers, what should
they know about you?
DEFRANCO: The first thing they know, they need to know about me is
that I have been a practicing attorney in the commonwealth representing
people in all walks of life from people in construction, to the restaurant
industry to biotech and kids on foster care. And using that real world
advocacy to get results and help people solve problems. And then I want to
bring that talent and skill to representing people from the State of
Massachusetts into the United States Senate.
SHARPTON: Now, why are you a better match up against Senator Scott
Brown, a GOP candidate than Elizabeth Warren would be?
DEFRANCO: I`m better because I have the real world experience that
speaks to all voters. Not as Democrats because as you know, we need to win
more than just a democrat base in Massachusetts because we have a majority
of independent voters. And independent voters are looking for people,
looking for representatives that, you know, talk to them straight and have
real world experience on the ground of working with them, next to them, in
their homes and in their businesses in the commonwealth across the state
from the Western part to the South shore, to the North shore as well in
Boston. I`m the one who has that experience and I`m the one to take the
case against Scott Brown with that real world, independent streak that he
claims to have but I actually do have.
SHARPTON: But doesn`t Warren have that?
DEFRANCO: Quite frankly, I`m the real fighter in this race because I
have the real world experience. We`re actually working with people and
were representing them. And I don`t have a big university behind me. I
don`t have a big federal government salary behind me. What I do is
grassroots everyday in my office, representing people on a shoe string
budget and actually fighting the federal government when they`re wrong and
winning my client`s cases against those huge odds.
SHARPTON: Now, I understand you`ve challenged Ms. Warren to a debate,
what would you say to her if you debated her?
DEFRANCO: What I would say is, let`s talk a serious plan about jobs.
Because I`m on the record of being an FDR-style democrat who believe in
investment. A federal dollars into putting people back to work. We had
$800 billion to give away to the banks with no terms in shame for Congress
for that. But my plan is $100 billion over two years to create two million
green jobs. We have that money and we should be investing it in the
American worker. I have not seen a jobs plan from my opponent.
SHARPTON: Do you feel that Ms. Warren is too much of an insider for
DEFRANCO: I am clearly the outsider in this race and I was in this
race long before she got in. I was in this race March of 2011. And I set
out to prove that there is still room in this commonwealth in this country
for a candidate who is a real grassroots candidate and not just the party
machine candidate, and not just the candidate of money. Somebody who can
actually come through from the people as a representative of the people,
and bring the people`s case to DC to actually get some things done. That`s
what I do in my practice and in my real world life, and that`s what I want
to do for the people of Massachusetts.
SHARPTON: Well, Marisa DeFranco, thank you. We have invited
Elizabeth Warren to come on the show. She has not come on as of yet. We
hope she will. Thank you for your time tonight.
DEFRANCO: Well, thank you, Reverend Al. I would love to come back
SHARPTON: All right.
DEFRANCO: Thank you so much.
SHARPTON: Ahead, Willard Romney released his own birth certificate,
but the questions are mounting. Here we go. That`s next.
SHARPTON: Folks, we`re back with the birther madness, and for once it
has nothing to do with President Obama. I get a lot of flak for calling
Mitt Romney Willard. But check this out, Romney released his own birth
certificate last night. And take a look at the name, Willard Mitt Romney.
See, I wasn`t making this up, his name is Willard Romney -- or is it? And
let`s take a look at his birth place. It says he was born in Detroit.
He`s a Michigander. Born in American soil. Guess he wasn`t born in Kenya,
or was he? Now folks, there`s a reason I`m a little skeptical. I want you
all to look closely at the certificate. What do you see? You see a
certificate of live birth, not a long form birth certificate. Look, I`m
just raising the question. I`m not saying he wasn`t born in this country,
I`m not saying, his name really isn`t Willard. I`m just asking the
questions, right Donald?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR: Don`t tell me about some long form
certificate of live birth because it`s a much lower standard.
Why he didn`t do it two or three years ago?
Why did he spend millions of dollars trying to get out of the birth
Should give his birth certificate, not a certificate of live birth
which is nothing, which is absolutely nothing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Absolutely nothing. So, Willard, I think it`s time to
release that long form birth certificate. Because the questions are not
going away. There`s a group of progressive activists who are demanding
proof he`s not a unicorn. The group collecting more than 20,000 signatures
asking Mitt to prove he is human. So, POLITICS NATION is calling for
Willard to release his long form birth certificate. You see when we all
start with these distractions where could go Willard, that`s why we should
be talking about the economy and healthcare, rather than hanging out with
the Donald and others who play with our population and voters. But if you
continue this, I`m going to have to support those activists, I`m going to
have to demand that long form, and I`m going to have to make sure it says
Thanks for watching, I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.
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