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PoliticsNation, Thursday, June 7, 2012

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Guests: Dana Milbank; Cynthia Tucker; Emanuel Cleaver; Wes Moore, Elizabeth Warren, Ted Deutch, Rod Smith

"Politics Nation." I`m Al Sharpton.

Tonight`s lead, the president is fighting to turn this economy around,
but Republicans, they`re just playing games. Just a short time ago,
President Obama spoke to students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
He urged Congress to get on board with making student loans more
affordable, and he lashed out at Congress for standing in the way of
putting Americans back to work.


take right now to help create jobs and grow this economy faster. Last
September, I sent to Congress a job`s bill. Full of the kinds of ideas
that historically Republicans and Democrats had supported. If they had
taken all the steps I was pushing for back in September, when so many
people are pounding the pavement and sending out resumes, so many families
are doing whatever it takes to pay the bill, Congress can`t just sit on
their hands. So my message to Congress is, let`s get to work -- let`s get
to work.


SHARPTON: Let`s get to work. Let`s get affordable loans for
students. That`s hard to object to, right?

Wrong. GOP leadership asks for President Obama to cancel this event
saying he should be in Washington helping them get to work.


students as props in yet another expertise calling on Congress to act.

working with us to ensure they won`t double.


SHARPTON: OK, he should be working with you, speaker Boehner. What
student loan jobs bill are you working on today? That`s right, you`re
working on neither.

The GOP house just passed the 30th bill to dismantle the president`s
health care law. That makes sense because you know what they say, if at
first you don`t succeed, try 29 more times. The Republicans` refusal to
get serious about jobs is astounding. But guess who Willard blames for the
lack of jobs?


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Three and a half years in
as president, with American in crisis, with 23 million people out of work
or stop looking for work, he has not put forward a plan to get us working


SHARPTON: Has not put forth a plan? Guess you weren`t one of the
over 31 million Americans that listened to President Obama sell his jobs
plan before congress. I guess you also missed this.


OBAMA: The purpose of the American jobs act is simple. To put more
people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working.

Congress needs to pass this bill.

Congress should pass this bill knows that every proposal is fully paid
for. This bill will keep cops on the beat and firefighters on call. So,
let`s pass this bill.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, Democrat
from Missouri and chairman of the congressional black caucus.

Congressman Cleaver, thanks for coming on the show tonight.

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

SHARPTON: Let me ask you, calling for jobs, pushing for affordable
student loans, why do you think there so much push back from the other

CLEAVER: Well, first of all, the president has been pushing for a
job`s bill almost since he got into office, and unfortunately, because of
the pathological partisanship we see here in Washington, and there has been
no response on the hill to what the president has put forward.

And with the student loans it`s the same thing. We`re facing the
doubling of the student loans, and at a time when everyone understands that
by year 2018, 63 percent of all of the jobs that will be made available
will be made available for those with post high school education.

So, the president is working hard, Congress on the other hand is
dealing in partisan gamesmanship, and doing so in an election year at the
expense of the American republic.

Millions of people are without jobs today simply because the people on
the hill who have jobs are not working to create jobs.

SHARPTON: Now speaking of that, speaker Boehner they keep getting on
the president for not being in Washington. Look at the hypocrisy of this.
The Republican led house is preparing for their 9th week-long recess this
year despite the fact that Nancy Pelosi has said that she wanted GOP
leaders to keep the house in session.

Now, this comes on the heels of politico writing yesterday which Eric
Cantor admitted the GOP house is done with serious legislation. Politico
writes that quote, "Cantor all but predicted 2012 substantially over."

So, all of these about the president on the come back and work with us
is just a lot of posturing and position.

CLEAVER: This is not serious about trying to get anything done. And
on top of that, governor Romney has said if he wins, and I don`t think he
will, but he says if he wins, he does not want Congress to do anything in
the lame duck session, which means from November to January, nothing should
happen, he said, because he wants to be able to come in and deal with the
issues in his own fashion.

This is absolutely asinine. This is not like people are not being
impacted. There are people hungry. There are people walking the streets
beating the paper everyday looking for jobs, and we`re doing nothing. The
legislation that we have approved, though there has been approved from the
house has been sent over to the Senate. And everybody over here knows
everybody in Washington, all the news media understands that those pieces
of news legislation are not going anywhere. They do nothing and they`re
not going anywhere.

SHARPTON: Well, you talked -- you used the term asinine; talking
about asinine, while the Democrats are focused on jobs, here`s what the GOP
is working on. This week, they passed a measure to prohibit light-bull
standards. What was interesting is that, these light bulbs stands as were
first signed into law by President Bush. I mean, this is ridiculous.
Asinine I think is the work you used.

CLEAVER: Yes, this is a war on light bulbs.


CLEAVER: I mean, we were raging war on light bulbs and people are out
in the world trying to field their families and we`re fighting light bulbs
and we are fighting Republican light bulbs at that. As you mentioned --
and I supported President Bush when he put this forward.

But you know the reality is that we`re not serious about doing
anything here on this hill right now. It`s a political season, and I think
people are afraid that if anything moves that`s positive, it may be a
benefit to President Barack Obama. And we know that is almost a sin on
Capitol Hill.

SHARPTON: Well, we`re not against light bulbs, we are both preachers.
Let there be light for the thousands - couple of million jobs with the
light would not hurt.

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, thanks for joining me tonight.

Joining me now is Wes Moore, best-selling author of "the other Wes
Moore" and Karen Finney, MSNBC political analyst and former communications
director for the Democratic national committee.

Thank you, both, for being here this evening.

I want to start with something that`s getting a lot of attention
lately. Lately, Mitt Romney is accusing the president of intentionally
harming the economy in order to pursue the health care bill, take a listen
to this.


ROMNEY: There was a discussion about the fact that Obama care would
slow down the economic recovery in this country. And they knew that before
they passed it. The idea that they knowingly slowed down our recovery, in
order to put in place balm care, which they wanted, and they considered
historic, but the American people did not want our consider historic, is
something which I think deserves a lot of explaining.


SHARPTON: Now Romney says this argument is made in a book called "the
escape artist." But the very author of that book says quote, "that is
false, in a variety of ways I don`t believe that is substantively true."

Karen, how long can Romney keep going with these misquotes and
fabrications? I mean he is quoting from a book, and the author says no,
that`s not what I`m saying.

it`s not just misquoting anymore, there are just flat out lies. And it`s
not the first time we have seen it from Governor Romney and his campaign
and no doubt, it will not be the last. And I think the reason we`re seeing
this is all of the things the Mitt Romney doesn`t want to talk about, big
story bubbling this week about his multiple choice answers regarding his
service or non-service in Vietnam. Or we`re not supposed to talk about
Bain and his time there, right? And now, we want to talk about his record
in Massachusetts. He doesn`t want to talk about that, I suppose, because
from all that I can tell essentially his strategy in Massachusetts was self
deportation. People left, unemployment numbers went down. I supposed
that`s what he thinks he can do for America.

So I think we just need to be very clear about what this is. This is
a smoke screen. These lies are his smoke screen so that we won`t be
talking about him and examining his record.

SHARPTON: Wes, Karen saying they are just lying, is that term too

WES MOORE, AUTHOR, THE OTHER WES MOORE: I don`t think it is too
strong. I mean, look at the base of what we`re talking about. So say the
president has no job plan just could not be further from the truth. It
completely negates the fact that the president was the one who initiated
start up America which is one of the most innovative programs that he put
in place to actually create entrepreneurs inside this country. It
completely forgets the fact that he gets fact that the president was behind
the veteran`s employment opportunities act which actually put veterans and
who are coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan put them back to work. And
it also completed in the games of really important the affordable care act
that was passed, that wasn`t just about health care, it was also about
jobs. Part of the reason that plan was put in place is so that small
business owners don`t have to take on the burden of additional health care
costs for their employees.

So, this doesn`t just have to do with health care. The reason that
the president was so for this was also this in many ways was a job act as

SHARPTON: Now, Karen, Romney called poverty this week. He said in
this country, that poverty was quote, "a moral failure." Listen to this.


ROMNEY: Record numbers of Americans are now living in poverty. Forty
six million people in this country in this country living below the poverty
line. This is not just a failure of policy. It`s a moral failure of
tragic proportion. Our government has a moral commitment to help every
American help himself.


SHARPTON: But poverty would be far worse under him giving the
proposals that he is supporting.


SHARPTON: Does me forget he supports the Ryan plan? Look at this.
The Romney-Ryan plan which cuts 3.3 trillion from low income programs,
programs like Medicaid, food stamps, Pell grants, and job training. So one
hand you are supporting the Ryan plan that is your plan, and on the other
hand, you talk about poverty is a moral failure.

FINNEY: Well, clearly Reverend, that was a talking point that someone
wrote for him. Because remember, Mitt Romney is also the person who said
that he wasn`t very concerned the very poor because, and I`ll get the full
quote, "there are social safety net programs that cake care of those

What he clearly doesn`t understand, and if we`re going to talk about a
lack of understanding about how things work, is that as you just pointed
out, the Romney-Ryan budget plan would slash all of those social safety net

So, if you want to talk about moral obligations, how about the moral
obligations that we have to the people that rely on those programs
including our veterans, including millions of American children?

SHARPTON: Now Wes, the Republicans in Congress as well as Willard
Romney rail against stimulus every day. But, the evidence keeps mounting
more and more. The "Washington Post" that, and I`m quoting the "Washington
Post," "under questioning from skeptical Republicans, the director of the
nonpartisan and widely respected congressional budget office was emphatic
about the 2009 stimulus, and he said the fast majority of the economists

MOORE: The cast economists to include fed chairman Bernanke
(INAUDIBLE) in which he talks about how ending the taping on progressive
policies in terms of how much stimulus we put inside the economy now could
be the worst thing for the economy.

What the president is trying to do, the president is trying to make
sure that our economy, which would - we still do have a stubbornly high
unemployment rate. What the president is trying to do is make sure the
policies that we`re putting together and the policy that we were putting
forward actually cannot just repress that but then also make sure that true
opportunities happen for people and particularly for people with
generational poverty and generational issues of access. That is what he is
trying to put forward.

So, you know, so ironically, the remarks that came out of Mitt
Romney`s mouth I completely agree with. The problem as you indicated is
that the policies you`re backing up just in no way sync with those.

FINNEY: And, you know Rev, the other piece of the doing, even John
Boehner said today backing up what Cantor had said in your - when you
talked about your interview with Congressman Cleaver, that yes, they`ll
probably do just another short-term extension which everyone in this
country has pretty much said that is a no starter, that is not going to

SHARPTON: Absolutely.

FINNEY: These are short-term solutions. So here, they`re blaming the
president on the one hand, but not even doing the work that they could be
doing to lower the jobs - address the jobs issue on the other.

SHARPTON: Wes Moore and Karen Finney, thank you both for your time

Ahead, Jeb Bush exposes just how hijacked by extremism the party is.

Plus, Republicans shoot down a bill saying men and women doing the
same job should get paid equally. We`ll talk exclusively with Elizabeth
Warren about that and the ongoing fight for fairness.

And a show down brewing in Florida, Rick Scott defines in talking on
the justice department and suppressing voters. The fight in this swing
state is hitting a fever pitch.

You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: You remember that $12 million house Willard is renovating
in California, the one with the four car elevator. Well, he is having a
little trouble with the neighbors. Yes, they`re not happy, but I have them
covered tonight.

Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Folks, have you heard the Republican Party has been
hijacked by extremism? What? You don`t believe me? Fine, don`t take it
from me. Just listen to Jeb Bush.


UNIDENTIFIED MAKE REPORTER: Are you worried about the direction of
your party?

JEB BUSH (R), FORMER FLORIDA GOVERNOR: I worry that its sort sighted
because totally, in terms of the tone of the debate, it sends that we want
your support but you can`t join our team. I mean, that`s the short-term
implications of this.


SHARPTON: He worries about being shortsighted on policies. This is a
major figure in Republican politics. He just called out the Republican
Party. It`s rare to see a Republican standing up to the rest of the party
who pledged never to raise taxes, but he isn`t alone.


REP. STEVE KING (R), IOWA: I signed this pledge, but what do we do
when we get taxes down to where they need to be, at some point we are going
to cut taxes too much, what`s the answer then?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I didn`t know I was signing a marriage agreement,
this would last forever. And I think the majority of members of Congress
understand that you have to have additional revenue.

REP. FRANK WOLF (R), VIRGINIA: Have we really reached a point where
one person`s demand for ideological purity is paralyzing Congress to the
point that even a discussion of tax reform is viewed as breaking a no tax


SHARPTON: Ideological purity is paralyzing Congress. That`s right.
And it`s hurting real Americans and ignoring the majority. Seventy two
percent of Americans want to raise taxes on the rich.

Let`s remember Ronald Reagan. Yes, that Ronald Reagan, raised taxes
11 times. The American people want fairness. They want a fair shot. The
Republican Party has been hijacked by extremism. But maybe we`re starting
to see some cracks in the foundation.

Joining me now is Dana Milbank, political columnist for the
"Washington Post" and Cynthia Tucker, Pulitzer Prize winning syndicated
columnist and now a visiting professor of journalism at the University of

Thank you both, for being here tonight.


SHARPTON: Let me start with you Cynthia.


SHARPTON: Good to see you, Cynthia.

Let me start with you. Does Jeb Bush`s comment matter? Is the
Republican fever, as the president says, about to break?

TUCKER: I`m not so sure that they do matter. This is not the first
time Jeb Bush has said something like this. Back in February in the middle
of the crazy and occasionally terrifying primary debates, he says something
similar. She said I used to be a conservative, and I don`t think I`ve
changed. But I watch debates and wonder about people just appealing to
people`s fears and emotions.

You know, there`s a good reason why Jeb Bush he didn`t run for
president this year. He didn`t want to pay the crazy tax of birthers,
bashing immigrants, and acting like the slightest tax increase is treason.

So, he just ousted out for this year. But there are no signs that I
see that the fever is going to break any time soon, certainly not in 2012.

SHARPTON: Now Dana, the crazy tax. Let me show you the gap between
the right and the left.

Since 1987, Republicans and Democrats have moved further apart in
their belief. The difference of opinion on social safety net in 1987 was
23 points. In 2012, it`s 41. Labor unions in 1987, it was 20 points. Now
it`s 37. Equal opportunity, the split between the left and the right in
`87 was 17 points. Now it`s 33. This gap has gotten a lot wider, Dana.

MILBANK: Yes. And it`s not surprising, Reverend, that given that the
politicians are polarizing in such a way. They are the one sending out
accusers not surprising that everybody else would follow and that`s sort of
what the cancer is in this political system now. And you have even the guy
lie like Jeb Bush. That`s a brave thing he did.

I realized he said something quite similar before. But if he keeps it
up, his own party is going to seek to begin deportation proceeding against
him. That is not something you can do on a party. It is largely a
Republican problem right now, the crazy tax. But, you know, don`t be
fooled. If the Democrats were out of power, the same thing could happen on
that side as well. There is a polarization problem that is going on both
sides there.

SHARPTON: But, let`s not get away from the point of you saying that
you think he had some courage. Let me show you, Cynthia, what he said this
morning answering whether the GOP could agree to raise taxes if there offer
a deal where for every dollar in spending they were given $10 in tax cuts,
listen to this.


BUSH: But if you`re asked a hypothetical question, which I was.


BUSH: And they were.

UNIDENTIFIED MAKE REPORTER: And only you had the courage to say -- I
wouldn`t go there.

BUSH: It was living proof I`m not running for anything more than
anything else.

UNIDENTIFIED MAKE REPORTER: So they would have said something
different if they weren`t run something.

BUSH: I hope so. Because we have unsustainable deficits --


SHARPTON: So, Cynthia, he is saying that he can say this because he`s
not running, they can`t because they`re not running, which is your point
about the crazy tax. But has the extremists so hijacked this party that
people are saying extreme things even if they don`t believe and it doesn`t
help the country. And how do we breakthrough this and make some progress
in this country?

TUCKER: Are they saying anything they think they need to say to get
elected absolutely. I certainly hope that Mitt Romney does not believe
half the things that come out of his mouth.

However, I also believe that were he to be elected, he would not back
away from that. You know, ultraconservatives already suspect Mitt Romney
of not being conservative enough. So I don`t think that being in office
would moderate him at all. I think he would feel pressure to prove to arch
conservatives that he is their guy. He is not a Rhino, a Republican in
name only.

How do you break the fever? I think the Republicans would have to
suffer shattering defeat, not just lose the White House, but perhaps lose
the house as well and be in the wilderness for a few years before the fever

SHARPTON: Dana, do you think that this fever breaks or are we going
to keep going like this for awhile?

MILBANK: I wish I could give you good news on that, Reverend, but I
don`t think so. I mean, ironically, if the Republicans were to win the
White House, then they would be in a position where they can`t say no, we
won`t even take 99 percent. We want 100 percent or nothing which is pretty
much of what you`re getting on this tax verses spending equation here.
When they are actually in a position of governing, then, they have to make
compromises. Then, their own base goes crazy again. So, it`s just becomes
a cycle over and over again.

SHARPTON: Do you think this helps President Obama?

MILBANK: Well, it -- the things hurting President Obama now are not
the polarization so much as things that he can`t control in the economy
here and around the world. But, certainly to have a figure like Jeb Bush
coming out now and saying look guys, you guys are just, you know, flying
off the deep end here, that is certainly for people paying attention to
that should be a warning sign.

SHARPTON: Dana Milbank and Cynthia Tucker, thanks for coming on

MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, a fighter for the 99 percent. Elizabeth
Warren joins me to talk about fairness, equal pay, and why Republicans
don`t have a clue when it comes to Wall Street.

Plus, turns out some of Willard`s neighbors don`t like what he`s doing
to the hood. I have some tips on how he can improve those relations.

Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Folks, have you checked us out on Facebook? It keeps the
conversation going all day long. Today, our Facebook fans were taking
Romney to task for claiming the President does not have a jobs plan.
Dominic wonders if Mitt Romney and his strategist think people have got
amnesia while Lee Ann says, Romney just wasn`t telling the whole story
quote, "Obama has put forth a job`s plan that we like." I wonder if he
could put forth any plan Republicans would like. We want you to hear and
we want to hear what you think to hit over the Facebook and search for
POLITICS NATION and like us to join the conversation that keeps going long
after the show ends. We hope to see you there?


SHARPTON: Welcome back to POLITICS NATION. We`ve talked a lot about
hour fairness is the issue in this election. And this week we saw a
stunning vote against fairness by Senate Republicans. Forty seven
Republicans, every single one present president filibustered the fairness
act to help woman to equal pay for equal work. They blocked attempts to
fix this basic injustice that women make 77 cents for every dollar a man
makes. Fixing this would seem like a no brainer, right? That`s now how
Republicans see it. Massachusetts GOP Senator Scott Browne voted against
it, he also voted against the Buffet Rule, making millionaires pay their
fair share in taxes. And he voted against the American jobs act, to help
the country`s working class. Senator, strange way to fight for fairness.

Joining me now is one of the leading voices for fairness in politics
today, Elizabeth Warren. She helped set up the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau and is now running for Senate in Massachusetts against
Scott Brown. I`m pleased to welcome her to the show tonight. Ms. Warren,
thanks for joining me first. Congratulations on officially becoming the
democratic nominee in this race. You`re a first time candidate, how does
it feel, how is it going?

harder than I thought and easier than I thought at the same time. Is that

SHARPTON: Yes, it is. In public life especially in politics it`s

WARREN: No kidding. You know, that the part easiest about this is
just getting out and talking to people. All across the commonwealth is
really having a chance to sit down, to visit with folks, and to hear about
what`s happening on in their lives and to feel like maybe, maybe I can be
part of making that better.

SHARPTON: Now, what is not easy about it?

WARREN: You know, the parts that are not easy is when we`re not
talking about the things that are happening to real people. It just --
foreclosure rates are up in the commonwealth of Massachusetts, there are
people without jobs right now. In the last month, the Republicans have
voted twice to let the interest rate on student loans double. Do you know
how many people in Massachusetts that just clobbers?


WARREN: Where a place with a lot of colleges and frankly a lot of
families who are trying to send their kids on to school. Those are the
things that are really just hammering families. They`re the reason I`m in
this race.

SHARPTON: Now, your opponent Senator Brown tries to come off to a
moderate mild kind of guy, but he voted against the equal pay this week.
He has voted against the jobs act. I mean, he has better manners than some
of those in his party, but he is followed the republican orthodoxy pretty
much all the way down the line.

WARREN: Oh, yes. Whenever it counts, he has been standing on the
side of his republican buddies, he`s been standing on the side of Wall
Street. He has been standing against families, you know, and that part
really, has been pretty clear vote after vote after vote.

SHARPTON: How can someone rationalize in the U.S. Senate in the 21st
century, women continuing to make 77 cents to a dollar for men?

WARREN: You know, I have to tell you Reverend, that`s what I really
don`t get about this one. It`s called equal pay for equal work, which just
seems to me not only to be right, it`s like the corner stone of who we are
as a people and the kind of country we build. If you get out there and do
the job, you ought to be paid the same whether you`re a man or woman. That
just ought to be how it works. And the idea that my republican opponent
and all of his republican friends line up against that, you know, that`s
really, it`s not just wrong, it`s deeply worrisome. Like, what`s wrong
with these guys? I get that argument maybe 50, 60, 80 years ago, but today
in 2012? It`s like the whole argument around access to birth control.

SHARPTON: Yes, that`s right.

WARREN: Today, in 2012, we`re going to have a fight about whether
insurance companies ought to cover birth control? It`s just the wrong
direction for our country and they just keep pushing it further and

SHARPTON: You fought for fairness all of your life in academia and
government, let`s talk about Dodd Frank. This week, House Republicans
unveiled a new bill to gut funding for the Dodd Frank`s financial reforms.
Are they trying to protect Wall Street banks at all cost?

WARREN: Oh, I think that`s exactly right, you know, and the picture
is now becoming clear every day. They fought and fought and fought against
regulation in the first place after the big crash of 2008. They just
fought it tooth and nail. And Scott Brown, my republican opponent here, he
held the bill hostage until the reforms in it were weakened so that the
financial institutions could keep taken on more risk and so they would not
have to pay a lot of money. And then what happened is once the bill went
through, once the bill passed, it now turns out these guys just moved over
to guerilla warfare instead of fighting out in the open. What they have
doing is they`ve been lobbying, they`ve been pushing, they`ve been pushing
the regulators to try to delay implementation to create more loopholes in
the bill. In other words, to continue business as usual on Wall Street,
that means ordinary families are really getting hurt.

SHARPTON: Well, the presidential nominee Mitt Romney wasn`t even
going guerilla warfare, he was open, he said that I am for the repeal of
Dodd Frank. Watch this statement.


another example of the President`s attack on economic freedom.

My view is, repeal Dodd Frank.

We`ve got to repeal Dodd Frank. If I`m the president of the United
States, we`re going to reign back these regulations.


SHARPTON: How is regulating Wall Street an attack on economic

WARREN: Well, the bottom-line Reverend, is it is not. What it`s
really about is saying, hey, look, we have to have a level playing field
and we`ve got to have a cop on the beat to make sure everybody, everybody
follows the same set of rules. You know what Mitt Romney is talking about
when he talks about repeal? Let me just add the extra piece. The Consumer
Financial Protection Bureau. You know, the bureau that says, you don`t get
to cheat people on mortgages. You don`t get to fool them with fine print
on credit cards, you don`t get to trick them on student loans. His notion
of freedom is you ought to be able, big companies, big banks, ought to be
able to do all of those things, that`s not freedom, that`s a world in which
the biggest guys just come along and beat on the rest of us, and say we`re
taking your money.

SHARPTON: I have to ask you this before I let you go. Your opponent
publicly said, he was for Dodd Frank, but the Boston Globe came up with
some private communications that he was really writing about things
supporting the banks in this matter. What is your view of these
revelations by the Boston Globe?

WARREN: I have to say, Reverend. Isn`t this what people hate most
about Washington? Somebody who stands up and pretends to be on the side of
the people and pretends to be doing the right thing, and then under the
table is out there making it work for the rich and for the powerful? I
think that is what really turns people off and they`re saying, what a
phony, this just doesn`t work.

SHARPTON: Elizabeth Warren, thank you for your time tonight.

WARREN: Thank you. One final note, we`ve reached out to Senator
Brown to come on this show, Senator we hope we`ll be seeing you here soon.
Ahead, Rick Scott`s going right after the Justice Department. He is
refusing to back down on the voter purge. We`re live in Florida with
someone ready to fight back.


SHARPTON: Showdown in Florida, Governor Scott`s defiant. The voter
purge continues, he wants to fight. He`s about to get one, next.


SHARPTON: We`re back on POLITICS NATION with the escalating crisis
over that voter purge in Florida. Attorney General Eric Holder must now
decide what to do about the outrageous act of defiance from the
administration of republican Governor Rick Scott. Scott`s Secretary of
State sent this letter to the Justice Department defending their attempt to
take away the right to vote from thousands of people. But this voter purge
list is retiled with errors. For example, new numbers from Miami-Dade
County show that more than 1600 voters have been targeted by the purge,
just 13 of those people, 0.8 percent have admitted they`re not citizens.
But 500 people, that`s 30 percent, have proved they are citizens. That`s
why the Justice Department many need to intervene. Already the DOJ had
blocked voter ID laws in Texas, and South Carolina, and they expect to
intervene in Mississippi where harsh voting laws are disenfranchising
thousands of voters. Florida could be next on their list.

Joining me now is Congressman Ted Deutch, a democrat from Florida, and
Rod Smith, chairman of the Florida Democratic Party, thanks to both of you
for being here tonight.

REP. TED DEUTCH (D), FLORIDA: It`s great to be with you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Congressman, the governor of your state is refusing to back
down. What do you say to him tonight?

DEUTCH: This is even for Governor Scott, this is a new low for the
governor of the state of Florida to refuse to uphold the law and then to
blame the administration for a plan that he hatched that will purge the
voter rolls of tens of thousands of legal voters, it is shocking even for
Governor Scott. The Attorney General was on Capitol Hill today. And
thankfully, we have an Attorney General who`s going to stand up to protect
the laws to give voters the opportunity to participate our -- because we
have a governor that wants to strip those rights away.

SHARPTON: Your colleague, Congressman Tomas Rooney of Florida
released a statement and letter to Attorney General Holder who you just
referred to saying quote, "The Attorney General is now actively working to
enable voter fraud and allow illegal immigrants to cast votes in the State
of Florida. The DOJ is more concerned with protecting the re-election
prospects of the President than with upholding justice and enforcing the
rule of law. Your response?

Yes. The Attorney General made it clear today that what he is doing
is actually upholding the law. It is outrageous for my colleague. It`s
outrageous for anyone to suggest that this is some electoral strategy that
keeping people on the voter rolls is somehow, at a time when there was 16
cases of fraud out of eight million votes cast in the last election, that
somehow that`s a strategy when the strategy that would work is a strategy
that the Governor has employed. A strategy that`s puts at risk tens of
thousands of legal, illegible, United States citizens were on the voting
rules, World War II veterans, there are business owners, there are
Hispanics throughout the state that are being targeted, that`s the purge,
that`s the efforts that voter suppression that this Governor has now
engaged in. If he wants to showdown with the Attorney General, the
Attorney General is going to stand up for the rights of Floridians.

SHARPTON: And for the record, we invited Congressman Rooney on, and
he couldn`t make it so far. He`s has an open invitation though to come
along. Let me go to you, Rod Smith, can the governor be stopped in this.
Because when I opened this segment, I talked about the hundreds who have
proven that there are citizens that were targeted. And on behalf of those
that are being disenfranchised that are real citizens, how do we top this,

Reverend is several things. Number one, I think that you`re going to see
the Attorney General, if the gauntlet is thrown down as the Congressman
suggests, the Attorney General is not going to back down on this again. He
can`t possibly back down on this. This goes to the core of democracy. And
that`s participation. Second of all, I was proud of our supervisors of
elections in the State of Florida. They have already indicated that they
are not going to defy the warning that was issued by the Department of

SHARPTON: Yes, they are.

SMITH: Really, that`s where the rubber meets the road, and that tells
me that this is going to come to its screeching halt. It`s been suggested
that this Governor and his Tea Party support, and do not kid yourself, and
this is part of a strategy aimed at trying to eliminate voters that they
believe are more likely to vote for the Democratic Party and the democratic
candidates. There is no demonstrable fraud. I`m an old prosecutor, and
the first thing I`d asked in the case is, what are we really about here?
What they`re really about here is they`re worried about a close election in
Florida, and they want to try to eliminate people that they identify as
more likely to be with the Democrats. I would also have more respect if
they just come out and say, what they were doing rather to try and hide
beside, behind some false idea that we are really fighting for a safe
democracy. The league of women voters, all of the outside groups have
said, we don`t have any appreciable fraud of any kind in the State of
Florida. This is about driving down numbers because they realize that for
the last four months in Florida, we`ve out-registered them and voters, are
people are energized, and they want to drive those numbers down to
discourage people.

SHARPTON: Well, the President won Florida with 236,450 votes to be
exact in the 2008 election, and now, they say there are 180,000 potential
noncitizens we`ve already showed with 30 percent of the small -- already
proven them wrong. But if they can knock some people off, this could alter
where the state goes if it`s tight. Is this tight? Have it tipped their
way or is it tipping the Democrats way? How do you read it, Rod?

SMITH: Well, I think it`s going to be a tight election. Florida
always is a tight election. As you know, you`ve watched total number of
years. I remember of course my first assignment on the Florida Senate was
on the recount committee. I know what 1200 votes can mean in Florida, it
can mean the difference between a democratic and republican president.
That`s what happened. We remember that all too well. There were people
who did not get to vote in that election, who should have been allowed to
vote. We know that history is correct on that. We are not going to sit
back and allow people in politics to do the very opposite of what we ought
to do in democracy and that is drive down voter participation. Whether if
people vote, however if they vote, we ought to welcome the participation.
The system is richer, the government is stronger, the tradition is enriched
when people participate rather than feel like they have to prove their way
to vote. And the once that have to prove their way to vote will be
disproportionately those which are targeted, which are going to be
Hispanic, African-American, young and old. You watch the numbers, that
will be the targets.

SHARPTON: Congressman Ted Deutch and Rod Smith, thanks for your time
tonight, we`ll going to keep following this. This is very, very important.
I am very committed to protecting voter rights no matter who you vote for
and no matter where it goes, people gave their everything to get us the
right to vote and no one, no one should be allowed to in any way undermine
that. Willard has got trouble with his neighbors, I`ve got him covered.
Reverend Al`s pot luck advice is up next.


SHARPTON: I want to close tonight by talking about why Willard Mitt
Romney should hold a pot luck. Yes, a pot luck. You might be wondering
what`s the special occasion. Well, "The New York Times" says, some of
Willard`s California neighbors are not happy about him leaving nearby and
his plans for his massive renovation of his home. One local says, she`s
worried about the quote, "Nightmare of Construction." The others aren`t
happy about the giant SUV parked across the entry to the cul-de-sac
blocking all incoming traffic. So, I think Willard should host a pot luck
to win over his neighbors. And I want to give him some tips on interacting
with those humans. First, Willard, be sure to talk about the trees.


ROMNEY: It seems right here. The trees are the right height.


SHARPTON: Next, don`t brag about your plans for an underground
mansion and a new four -- elevator.


ROMNEY: Rick, I`ll tell you what, 10,000 bucks? Ten thousand dollar


SHARPTON: Also, when meeting new neighbors, be careful not to ask
personal questions.


ROMNEY: Hi, how are you? Don`t -- don`t run away, I`ll shake your
hand away anyway. Yes, I know, you haven`t got your make up on yet, right?
You do, you do. Good to see you.


SHARPTON: And we know you don`t have the best track record with dogs.
If a neighbor`s dog gets loose, don`t let it get in front of a car or on
top of one. And lastly, don`t insult what people bring to the pot luck.


ROMNEY: I`m not sure about these cookies. They don`t look like you
made them.

Did you make those cookies? You didn`t. Did you? No, no.

No, they came from the local 7-11, bakery or whatever.


SHARPTON: Willard, I hope you take this advice seriously. We really
do want you to get along with your neighbors, and we definitely don`t want
you moving east to Washington after November. You see, Willard, even I
want what`s best for you because it`s best for the country.

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


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