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PoliticsNation, Monday, June 18, 2012

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Guests: Jim McDermott; Alicia Menendez; Felipe Matos, Barb Byrum, Terry O`Neill, Dana Milbank

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

Tonight`s lead, flee the people. Flee the people. Folks, Willard
Romney is on a bus tour. He`s having burgers with Speaker Boehner,
campaigning with wrong way Paul Ryan. Hitting the Sunday shows. Well, one
Sunday show.

But today, it was Wisconsin where the Republican nominee campaigned
with Congressman Ryan and Governor Scott Walker. Quite a trio against
public unions, against Medicare, against firemen, cops, and teachers.
That`s not how Congressman Ryan saw it.


great leader are people who actually say what they believe. We need a
leader who has a moral compass. We need a leader with a bedrock of
principles. That leader is Mitt Romney.


SHARPTON: Are we talking about the same Willard? Because the one I
know is afraid to take a stance on anything. The harder you look, the less
substantive he appears. In fact, he`s fading before my very eyes. This
weekend he dodged questions on the president`s new immigration plan. It
was quite a disappearing act. Twice he was asked if he would keep the
president`s policies. Twice he refused to answer. As for all those tax
cuts for the wealthy, well, he couldn`t give a real answer on that either.


about telling us where you want to cut taxes. When are you going to tell
us where you`re going to get the revenue, which of the deductions are you
going to be willing to eliminate? Which of the tax credits are you going
to be -- when are you going to be able to tell us that?

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, we`ll go through that
process with Congress.


SHARPTON: He`s a regular vanishing act. Of course, Romney`s whole
campaign has been built around avoiding the big questions. He admitted
that his tax plan is so vague it can`t even be scored. And forget about
women`s rights. He hasn`t taken a stance on the paycheck fairness act.
He`s dodging on violence against women act. And as for the Lilly Ledbetter
fair pay act, well, let`s just say we still waiting for a response from his


supports the Lilly Ledbetter act?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE ROMNEY AIDE: Sam, we`ll get back to you on that.


SHARPTON: That was April. And we`re still waiting.

Romney`s refused to take a position time and time again. So is it any
wonder that he`s completely disappeared from the picture on issue after
issue? But there`s one thing he`s failed to hide. That`s the company he

If you`re campaigning with Paul Ryan and Scott Walker, you`re
campaigning against the working class.

Joining me now is Congressman Jim McDermott, Democrat from Washington.
And Jared Bernstein, MSNBC contributor and a former chief economist for
vice president Joe Biden.

Thank you both gentlemen for joining me.


SHARPTON: Congressman McDermott, let me star with you. Romney
refuses to take a stance on issue after issue. Is he afraid his views will
be out of step with the American public?

Jared, let me ask you that.

BERNSTEIN: OK. Yes, I think so. I think what you see here if you
look at these plans -- the beginning, they`re starting to shape up. You
don`t get any details. So you have to look at these things from 40,000
feet up, and what you see is basically Robin Hood in reverse.

If they`re going to do anything like what they say they want to do
which is to give big, big tax cuts to those at the top of the scale and not
increase the budget deficit, the only way to do that is to cut tons of
spending from everybody else. So this is trickle up with a vengeance.

SHARPTON: Now, Congressman, I`m going to come to you in a minute, but
Jared let me ask you. We heard Romney questioned again and again this
weekend if he would support a deficit reduction plan that included tax
increases. Listen.


SCHIEFFER: I remember once back during one of the primaries you were
asked if you would agree to $1 in taxes if you could get $10 cut in
spending cuts. And you said at that time, no, I wouldn`t even accept that.
Do you still feel that way?

ROMNEY: Well, we all felt that way. Government is big and getting
larger. And there are those who think the answer is just to take a little
more from the American people. The only solution to taming an out of
control spending government is to cut spending.


SHARPTON: Now, first of all, does that make economic sense to you as
a policy maker and secondly do you think that he is just afraid to take a
position or is he afraid of the right wing flank of his party?

BERNSTEIN: Well, first of all, it doesn`t make sense in -- to me as
an economist or to me as a person. Because really what he`s saying there
is I refuse to raise taxes. That`s the ten to one thing. But at the same
time he`s saying I`m going to cut taxes by five trillion. That`s the cost
of his tax cut over ten years as scored by the neutral tax policy center

Now, the only way you`re going to be able to cut taxes that much and
to not raise taxes on anybody else is to massively cut spending. But then,
when you hit him with that, he says no, I`m going to close exemptions and
deductions. I`m going to close a bunch of tax loopholes to raise more

So, listen to what he is saying. I`m going to cut the heck out of
taxes, I`m not going to raise revenue, but I`m going to raise a bunch of
revenue. So, if your head is spinning, it`s because it doesn`t make any
sense, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Yes. Well, it`s spending and it doesn`t make sense.

Congressman, let me come to you on this. It makes sense that Romney
is for the Ryan plan if he`s playing to the far right. But does the policy
and legislation make sense?

Sixty two percent of the cuts come from low income programs. That`s
$3.3 trillion. When you read the "Wall Street Journal," it points out that
Romney is not only touring with GOP members of Congress, he`s walking in
lots of steps with them on legislation. He quotes "Republicans are saying
he`s our guy. We`ve been pleased that he`s embraced the Ryan budget plan."

Isn`t this politically risky to the broader electorate?

REP. JIM MCDERMOTT (D), WASHINGTON: My view is, Al, that he is
promising seniors that if they elect him, he`ll give them a voucher plan.
Wipe out Medicare as we know it. He will privatize Social Security. He`s
embraced the Ryan plan and the Ryan budget. He put out his own that`s
almost an exact replica of what Ryan has been pushing here for the last two
years as the right wing`s plan.

He wants to hang on to the right wing as long as he can so he can milk
them for as much money for the campaign. Then he`ll pivot away from that.
Then closer to the election, he`ll say I`m really over here towards the
middle. I`m not really as far out of sight scene. But he is marrying Paul
Ryan in this trip through Wisconsin today. He`s saying this is my guy.
This is my thinking. I really like this. And the middle class is going to
get clobbered.

SHARPTON: But, can he pivot given the strong feelings? When you look
at the polls, 87 percent of people want the same or increase on education,
83 percent say the same on Medicare, 76 percent say the same about aid to
the needy, 75 percent say that about infrastructure, 68 percent say that
about unemployment aid. How does he pivot late when you have these
overwhelming numbers of people that disagrees with all of the policies that
the Ryan plan is esthetical to.

MCDERMOTT: Well, it starts with the assumption that Mr. Romney must
have that the middle class is stupid or asleep or doesn`t understand what`s
going on. Because when he starts that pivot, they`re going to recognize
it. And he`s going to get clobbered.

He`s already done it on his own health care plan. He put it in
Massachusetts. Then when he gets down the street and run on professor, he
said I had nothing to do with that. That was not a good idea. I don`t
believe in it. That`s a bad idea.

It`s exactly the same thing he did then he`s doing now. And I think
the American people -- I trust them. They see this guy for what he is.
He`s a panderer for the top one percent. He will say whatever they want.
And no, it doesn`t make any sense to anybody who knows -- I sit on the tax
raising committee. And we talk about how you`re going to cut taxes and you
cannot do what he`s saying without raising -- you`ve got to take away the
home mortgage deduction.

SHARPTON: And Jared, I think that`s the real point. Is when you look
at the actual plan and the actual numbers, Romney needs to make a lot of
cuts. Because he needs the tax plan that caters to the richest Americans.
The poorest would see their taxes increase by $149. The top one percent
would see a tax cut of more than $725,000.

BERNSTEIN: So, that`s the problem. As the congressman was saying.
The arithmetic doesn`t get anywhere close to adding up. And I get it.
Mitt Romney doesn`t want to tell anybody what he`s really going to do.

But he`s actually said enough that you can kind of back out a lot of
this stuff. So, for example, he says I plan to balance the budget. I plan
to cut $5 trillion in taxes over ten years. And I plan never to raise
anybody`s taxes.

Now, the only way to do that is to cut Social Security, to cut
Medicare, to cut Medicaid by at least 30 percent in the first few years and
twice that if you go out a decade. That`s just the way the arithmetic

Now, what I tried to say at the beginning of our segment here is that
if you think about it for a second, it`s really taking -- because you think
about it. Who does he spending help? It is like Congressman McDermott set
the middle class and lower income people. So, it`s taking programs that
are actively helping people in today`s economy, cutting the heck out of
them and just taking that revenue and giving it to the rich people, the
very folks -- really the only group who`ve done well in recent years.

SHARPTON: But he`s not pandering, congressman. He said himself that
he`s not a life-long politician. He says that he`s not been in politics
all his life. Watch this quickly.


ROMNEY: I`m really not a guy that`s going from the next step in my
political career.

Bob, I don`t have a political career. I served as governor for four
years. I spent my life in the private sector. The private sector is where
I`ve made my mark. I am in this race because I want to get America back on
the right track. I don`t care about re-elections. I don`t care about the
partisanship that goes on.


SHARPTON: But he`s been running for office since `94. I mean, if
he`s not a life-long politician, the last 18 years he`s run inactively in

MCDERMOTT: He reminds me of the line from Groucho Marx, that the
first thing if you`re going into politics, you`ve got to try to look
honest. And he`s trying to look honest when he`s trying to deceive the
people on every single level. He does not want to tell them what he has to

He will not do that in this campaign. He`ll try to get there on smoke
and mirrors. And the American people are going to see straight through
that. And Barack Obama is going to be re-elected.

SHARPTON: Congressman McDermott and Jared Bernstein, thank you for
your time this evening.

MCDERMOTT: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, a new policy from President Obama could reshape
the political landscape. And that`s a big problem for Mitt Romney.

Plus, Republicans literally silence democratic women lawmakers trying
to speak out for their rights.


REP. CORRINE BROWN (D), FLORIDA: I`m flattered that you`re all so
interested in my vagina, but no means no.

REP. BAR BRYUM (D), MICHIGAN: You should have recognized me, Mr.
Speaker. I represent the same number of people as you do.


SHARPTON: But of course Republicans still say, the war on women is
totally imaginary.

Also the life and legacy of Rodney King. He changed the way Americans
think about race and police violence in this country. And posed the
question we`re still grappling with today.

You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: On Friday President Obama took a big step. Even critics
called it a bold move. On Sunday, Mitt Romney responded and showed he`s
still stuck in the past. That`s next.



stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a
degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people.


SHARPTON: That was President Obama on Friday announcing his decision
to stop deporting hundreds of thousands of young people who were brought
here without documentation by their parents.

Crowds in front of the White House applauded the new policy which
could affect as many as 800,000 undocumented immigrants living in the
United States. The new policy put Mitt Romney on the defensive. When he
was asked about it this weekend, he just wouldn`t give a straight answer.


SCHIEFFER: Would you repeal this order if you became president?

ROMNEY: Well, let`s step back and look at the issue.


SHARPTON: He wants us to step back? How about just answer the


SCHIEFFER: Would you repeal this?

ROMNEY: Well, it would be overtaken by events, if you will, by my
putting in a long-term solution.


SHARPTON: Still no answer. He is crafted. But third time`s a charm,
right Mitt?


SCHIEFFER: Would you leave this in place while you worked out a long-
term solution or would you just repeal it?

ROMNEY: We`ll look at that setting as we reach that.


BERNSTEIN: Don`t worry about a thing, folks. He`ll figure it out
once he gets there.

On Sunday, President Obama wrote an op-ed for "Time" magazine
explaining his decision saying quote, "we didn`t raise the statue of
liberty with its back to the world, we raised it with its light to the

Mitt Romney may agree with that or not, he`s just not saying.

Joining me now is Alicia Menendez, a host of "HuffPost Live" and
Felipe Matos, national field director of "get Equal." In 2010, Felipe
walked 1500 miles from Miami to Washington to draw attention to the plight
of young, undocumented immigrants. He came here at the age of 14 from

Thanks to both of you for being here tonight.


SHARPTON: Alicia, what`s your reaction to Romney`s refusing to take a
position on the new policy from the president?

ALICIA MENENDEZ, HOST, HUFFPOST LIVE: Am I supposed to be surprised
with this? Earlier in the show you played the clip of Lilly Ledbetter. We
are accustomed to him dodging.

What is hard for him is that during this primary, he tacked so far to
the right on this issue that he is going to find it virtually impossible to
get back to the middle. He said he would veto the dream act. He called
Arizona a model for the nation when it comes to immigration. He said that
immigrants should self-deport.

So, I am completely unsurprised this is the answer that he`s giving
given that he`s in a untamable political position where either he says he
would go in, he`d get rid of this which then puts him in a bad spot with
Hispanic voters. Or he says, you know what, this is actually sensible then
he loses the far right of his own party.

SHARPTON: So, he`s between a hard and a rock place politically.


SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you this, Felipe. You came here at 14 from
Brazil. Congressman Blake Farenthold of Texas said a lot of kids who are
here have no say in coming or they have a say at coming at an age many of
us question. Let me show you first what he said.


REP. BLAKE FARENTHOLD (R), TEXAS: Well, you`re also talking about
people who came over at 16 years of age. I mean, at that point you had a
say in it. That looks more like amnesty.

SOLEDAD O`BRIEN, CNN HOST: You think a 16-year-old whose parents are
coming across the border has a say in whether or not they`re going to stay
behind in their country?

FARENTHOOD: They`re certainly in a position to have a conversation
with their parents about it.

O`BRIEN: A 16-year-old is in a position to have a conversation with
their parents about coming across the border, you think?

FARENTHOOD: Believe me. My 16-year-old daughter has given me some
input on everything that -- pretty much everything the family wants to do.


SHARPTON: Now, he`s saying that 16-year-olds, you came at 14, could
refuse to come. I don`t know. When I was 16 in my mother`s household, I
might have had input and went ahead and did what she told me to do. That
was the input.

But tell us your story and what you went through. Because this is not
academic to you. This is what you went through. And what led you to
coming here. And until Friday what kind of fear did you have to deal with?

MATOS: Yes. Well, so basically when I was 14 years old, my mother
had gotten very sick back in Brazil. At that point she was put in a very
difficult situation. She couldn`t continue working. And we had family
members who lived in Miami at that point. So, she decided to send me over
to the United States.

So when I came, I remember, you know I had a tourist visa at that
point. And I got in the plane and cried for eight hours straight.
Finally, arrived in the U.S. then when I got here, my family set me down
and said all the sacrifices your mother had made, it was so for one day
you`d become a great person to fulfill your dreams. And that`s what I did.

I worked hard. I we want to school. I just graduated from college
recently with a business degree. And I did all of that because I wanted to
make my mother proud, but also, because I wanted to make my community proud
that has invested so much in my personal growth.

SHARPTON: So you didn`t make a personal choice to come here? In
fact, you didn`t want to come. But once you got here, you`ve led a
constructive and productive life and want to be a productive American

MATOS: Well, that`s correct. You know, I want to say that I am so
grateful for what my mother did. You know she didn`t herself feel she had
many choices at that point. But if it wasn`t for her, I wouldn`t be here
today. I wouldn`t have learned English and many other things. Our parents
have made great sacrifice.

So, even when people say it`s our parents` faults, I feel a little bit
-- I don`t necessarily like that rhetoric. Because I feel our parents did
what they had to do. What any parent would have done at that point.

If you`re poor in a developing nation and your family is going hungry
and you feel that on another country you`re going to face a different
situation, you`re going to do whatever you need to do to give your children

So what happened on Friday was really historic and it changed my
personal life forever. Because beyond just being an undocumented
immigrant, I`m also a gay man in this country. And as a gay person here,
even though I`m legally married to a person who could have sponsored me for
immigration purposes, he couldn`t because of the defense marriage act. I
was stuck. And I had nothing to help me out. Then what President Obama
has done for me and for 800,000 people like me is that he has given us a
breath of hope for the next two years.

SHARPTON: Well, let me ask you after hearing that, Alicia. I mean,
which is a moving personal testimony. But the politics of it, even
conservatives recognize that Romney might have a problem if he can`t get
some momentum with Latino voters. Let me show you no less than George Will
in that particular.


GEORGE WILL, COLUMNIST: He knows the Republicans have a problem.
They spent the primary season competing to see who could build the longest,
thickness, tallest, most lethally electrified fence. And Hispanics
listening to this detected hostility. They`re funny that way. And so
Romney has a big hole to dig out of. If he gets under, say, the 31 percent
of Hispanic voters that McCain got, he`s going to lose.


SHARPTON: How can Romney attract those voters without agreeing to the
president in terms of his decision but without angering the Latino voters?

MENENDEZ: I think there is room. You had Marco Rubio saying he`s
going to put this, you know, this piece of legislation that in some ways
mirrors the dream act. He`s saying he`s not likely to put that forward.

They should be doubling down. They should be saying, you know what,
this isn`t enough. Let`s do even more. Let`s get this on the books so
someone like Felipe who is our best, our brightest, he is the very best
America has to offer, so that he can stay here and earn his path to

Right now, Felipe has a lot more rights than he had earlier. He can
drive. He can apply for jobs. Those are huge things in the life of a
young person, but it does not matter if that can be repealed. There`s much
more Congress should be doing and Republicans have an opportunity to take
the lead. It`s an opportunity that they are missing.

SHARPTON: Alicia Menendez and Felipe Matos, thank you both, for your

MENENDEZ: Thank you.

MATOS: Thanks.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, outrage in Michigan after women lawmakers were
literally silenced by Republicans trying to limit women`s rights. Tonight,
we`ll talk to one of those lawmakers and let her voice be heard.


SHARPTON: Big news tonight in the unfair GOP campaign against
attorney general Eric Holder. Mr. Holder and house oversight chair Darrell
Issa will meet tomorrow on the issue of the so-called fast and furious gun-
walking program.

Issa said, he may delay a contempt of Congress vote against the
Attorney General planned for Wednesday. This bogus controversy has already
exposed major GOP hypocrisy. Particularly from Texas, Senator John Cornyn.
He attacked the Attorney General last week.


SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R), TEXAS: You won`t cooperate with legitimate
Congressional investigation and you won`t hold anyone including yourself
accountable. Your department blocks states from implementing attempts to
combat voter fraud. You leave me no alternative but to join those that
call upon you to resign your office.


SHARPTON: But as the "Huffington Post" points out, Cornyn sang a
different tune when it was his party in the White House. When the Senate
investigated Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez in 2007, Cornyn said it
was turning into a political witch hunt. He was upset that the leader of
the effort was the chairman of the democrat Senate Campaign Committee Chuck
Schumer. Cornyn said it quote, undermined the apparent legitimacy of what
is a legitimate inquiry. End of quote. Interesting. Because now Cornyn`s
now the chairman of the very same committee on the republican side and his
buddies over at the Republican National Committee are actually using the
"Fast and Furious" issue to raise money.

Let`s not forget the Senator`s past experience. Before Senator Cornyn
came to Washington, he was a district judge, a member of the Texas Supreme
Court, and the Texas Attorney General. Did a man with that kind of law
background think we`d let him play by a different set of rules for his
party? Nice try. But we got you.


SHARPTON: Welcome back to POLITICS NATION. Republicans keep saying
they aren`t waging a war on women`s rights. But they continue to pass
policies that hurt women and silence women`s voices when it comes to their
own bodies. First, it was this GOP-led hearing on birth control mandate
with an all-male opening panel. Then yet another GOP-led hearing to limit
abortion rights in D.C. where the district`s female delegate was not even
allowed to speak. Now it`s Michigan`s turn. Two female lawmakers there
were banned from speaking at the state house last week after they opposed
what`s been called the most restrictive anti-choice proposal this year.
The republican speaker complained this comment from state Rep. Lisa Brown
violated decorum.


REP. LISA BROWN (D), WEST BLOOMFIELD: I`m flattered that you`re all
so interested in my vagina, but no means no.

CROWD: Wooo!

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Members, I do ask that you respect the decorum of
the house.


SHARPTON: And her colleague State Representative Barb Byrum was
banned after she protested not being allowed to speak about the bill.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Representative Byrum offers one amendment
identified as amendment 2-I.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The question before the House is on the adoption of
Amendments 2-I. The clerk will open the board. Members may vote at the

REP. BARB BYRUM (D), MICHIGAN: I`d like to speak Mr. Speaker.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The amendment is not adopted. Are there further
amendments? Representative, you are out of order.

BYRUM: You should have recognized me, Mr. Speaker. I represent the
same number of people as you do.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is Democratic State Representative Barb
Byrum. One of the two female lawmakers banned from debate last week. And
Terry O`Neill, president of the National Organization of Women. Thanks to
both of you for being with me tonight.

BYRUM: And it is my honor. Thank you so much.

SHARPTON: Let me start with you Representative Byrum, why were
Michigan Republicans so afraid to let you speak about the bill?

BYRUM: I don`t understand why they would be afraid. If we`re going
to legislate it, we need to be able to say it. So the thought of
Representative Brown talking about a vagina and he talking about a
vasectomy, I don`t understand what the concern would be. It was an open
dialogue. The bill unfortunately was not debated in committee. Many
people were there wanting to testify against it or even for it that were
denied the opportunity to testify. So, we need to talk about it on the
House floor.

SHARPTON: Now, what actually happened? I mean, they were dealing
with the bill. I understand it was the last day, so it had to be dealt
with that day. What happened?

BYRUM: Well, they brought the bill up. That was on Wednesday. And
they -- I offered my amendment which would have required the same
consideration given for vasectomies. The argument often is, we need to
make sure that many children are born as possible. So, I thought we should
talk about all medical procedures that would arguably limit the birth of
children, not only abortion but also vasectomy. As I offered my amendment
to I and you heard, I rose my hand and said, Mr. Speaker, I`d like to
speak, Mr. Speaker. I`d like to speak to my amendment, Mr. Speaker. And
he denied me that opportunity and just gaveled my amendment down. And then
when I walked away, he gaveled me again said, I was just disrespecting
decorum in the house. And I hold him that I represent the same number of
people that you do, Mr. Speaker. I`ve seen many things on this house floor
and what I did and what Representative Lisa Brown did is not violating
decorum on the House floor. I`ve seen much worse things on the House floor
and I`ve heard significantly worse things on the House floor.

SHARPTON: Terry, you as National Organization of Women, I know among
other things now is watching this all over the country. And what seems to
be disturbing is a pattern of how they`re not only moving the toward more
restrictive measures, but they`re actually shutting women out of the
discussion. And I showed the all-male panel when they were dealing with
the mandate and I dealt with delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton not being able
to address a bill designed for her district. I mean, are we seeing not
only a real pattern of more restrictive bills being proposed on a state
level but even a shutout of women even being able to address those bills?
Women that are elected to deal with these matters.

TERRY O`NEILL, PRESIDENT, NOW: Yes. You know, Reverend, it`s
unprecedented. So these folks who, by the way, they`re anti-reproductive
rights agenda is supported by very, very few actual Americans out there.
And they are so eager and in such a rush to push this through. I think
part of the reason that they think they need to push it through right now
right away, silence all dissent, silence all the women legislators who are
speaking out against it, is because they know that come this November, many
of the people who have voted against women`s reproductive rights and
women`s economic security by the way at the same time are going to be voted
out of office. So, I think what they`re trying to do is take advantage of
what happened in the elections in 2010 when as a result of Citizens United,
Tea Party extremists frankly flooded into both the state and federal

SHARPTON: Now, Representative Byrum, when you look at the bill that
you were trying to address, it includes banning abortions after 20 weeks,
criminalizing coercing a woman into an abortion, requires women to take
abortion medication in the presence of a doctor, and heavily regulates
clinics. I mean, this is some very heavy stuff and they don`t want open
debate, open discussion or amendments discussed about this.

BYRUM: Absolutely. Which is part of the concern. I mean, certainly
this omnibus legislation is bad public policy. But then they squash the
voices of doctors, of women`s organizations, and of just individual women
and men that came to committee and wanted to testify on this bill. And
they just squashed it. Just like they squashed the voice of two elected
female state representatives.

SHARPTON: Now, Terry, there are 944 restrictive bills on women`s
rights around the country. Is that a new high in the amount of bills that
has been presented across the country in state legislatives?

O`NEILL: You know, believe it or not, last year was even worse. But
for an election cycle year, yes, this is a new high. And I believe 75
measures have passed. At least one chamber in the state legislatures. And
that is a high for an election year. This time in 2010, I think you had
far fewer bills that had actually been approved by one of the houses. So
it`s unusual in an election year for the kind of extremist anti-women,
anti-reproductive health care legislation that is being proposed here. And
that`s why I say, it`s really unprecedented. The good news is that women
are paying attention. They are paying attention very much. There`s a
woman that in Planned Parenthood in Michigan who said, you know, the
legislature -- these guys in the legislature have just awakened a sleeping
giant. I think that`s happening. I think that this giant is not going to
go to sleep. Whatever happens in November of 2012, this giant is awake for
the long haul. And there will be repercussions over the next few election

SHARPTON: Well, Mitt Romney says, they`re going to care about jobs.
They promote jobs more than this and in fact, let me go back to you
Representative Byrum. When you look at the gender gap with Mr. Romney and
Mr. Obama, men and women seem to trust the judgment of the President when
it comes to women rights more than they do Mr. Romney. According to our
research polls say, 51 percent say they trust Mr. Obama`s judgment on
reproductive health. Only 27 percent say that about Romney. And when the
question was raised who do you trust to do a better job looking out for the
best interests of women, 55 percent say Obama. Only 30 percent say,
Romney. You`re from Michigan. Mr. Romney, his father was governor of
Michigan. How`s he going to do in your state?

BYRUM: I believe that President Obama will take Michigan. Because
quite frankly we have been promised jobs by the Republicans over and over
again. But over and over again, we`re talking about these social issues
rather than talking about our unemployment rate and how we`re going to
create jobs and make Michigan the best place to raise our families, we`re
dealing with abortion and social issues that only divide us as a state.

SHARPTON: State Representative Barb Byrum and Terry O`Neill of NOW,
thanks to both of you for your time tonight.

BYRUM: Thank you so much.

O`NEILL: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, another hateful attack on President Obama.
Where is the GOP leadership? Silent is not surprising, but it is wrong.
That`s next.


SHARPTON: Rodney King was an ordinary man who didn`t seek national
attention, but the police beating he suffered forever changed this country.
That`s next.


SHARPTON: We`re back with new evidence of just how much some
Republicans disrespect this president. Outside the Montana GOP convention
this weekend, they unveiled this outhouse. A toilet with the sign saying
on it quote, "Obama presidential library." It was covered with fake bullet
holes. Inside there was a fake birth certificate for the President stabbed
with the words B.S. There was also a vile joke about the first lady. This
is a shameful display right outside where Republicans were selecting
delegates to the national convention to nominate Mitt Romney. It should be
condemned by party leadership, but it hasn`t been. The GOP state chairman
there called it quote, "a sideshow." Of course, this isn`t the first we`ve
heard about Republicans behaving badly.

Last year, California Republican Committee member e-mailed a racist
photo depicting President Obama as a monkey. In 2010 the chairman of the
Virginia Beach GOP resigned after sending a racist e-mail about someone
trying to get welfare for their black dog. And at last year`s republican
leadership conference, a racist joke telling Obama first impersonator was
hired as entertainment. Where`s the leadership in the GOP? Where`s the
outrage? Where`s Reince Priebus? Today, we called the head of the
Republican National Committee to see if he would condemn the Montana
outhouse? We`re still waiting for a response.

Joining me now is Dana Milbank, political columnist for "The
Washington Post." He`s written extensively about the birth of friends of
the GOP. Dana, where is the GOP outraged over this inappropriate display
in Montana?

DANA MILBANK, "THE WASHINGTON POST": You know, Reverend, I`ve been
saying for some time that politics has gone down on the toilet in this
country. Even now, it`s actually out in the White House, out in the
outhouse. And I suspected that the Montana Republican Party is so backward
that they`re not yet familiar with indoor plumbing. The insult here is not
that such a thing exists. Look, there are nut cases in either party. And
these sorts of things are going to happen. The real insult here is that
nobody`s stepping forward. And first of all, get rid of the thing, and
second of all condemn it. I think your instinct to call the Republican
National Committee is correct. And I think that the idea of dismissing it
as a sideshow and saying, the Montana Republican Party didn`t officially
sanction this is irrelevant. What`s necessary is for people in positions
of responsibility to actually behave responsibly.

SHARPTON: Especially if the outhouse is standing in front of where
you`re convening to select delegates. Clearly you have reason to condemn
it. But it is even getting more serious than that. Let me give you an
example. A birther named Gary Kreep is about to be elected to a local
judgeship in San Diego. The North County Times up San Diego, California
rights, he is the founder of the United States Justice Foundation which
takes on conservative causes including a case challenging President Obama`s
birth in the U.S. He also represented a marine booted from service after
he made anti-Obama statements on quasi-military social media site and has
represented members of the minutemen. This man`s about to become a judge.
And then last week as you know, the President was heckled by a reporter in
the Rose Garden of the White House. Watch this.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: It is the -- it is the right
thing to do. Excuse me, sir. It is not time for questions, sir. And the
answer to your question, sir -- and the next time I prefer you let me
finish my statements before you ask that question. I didn`t ask for an
argument. I`m answering your question. It is the right thing to do for
the American people? And here`s why.


SHARPTON: So we`re not Dana just talking about nut cases on the
fringe of either party. We`re talking about people that will become
judges. We`re talking about people standing up in the Rose Garden of the
White House and using a press badge to heckle the president of the United
States in the middle of a speech.

MILBANK: Uh-huh. And Reverend, I think that says, less about that
individual than it does about the Daily Color, his organization. He`s made
the whole bunch of them look bad. Look, if I or one of my colleagues did
that at the White House of this president or any president, we`d be fired
and rightly so. Tucker Carlson came out and defended this reporter for
doing that. The clown who`s going to be elected to a judgeship, well,
that`s unfortunate. What`s more unfortunate is that the presumptive
nominee of that party is hanging around with the nation`s leading birther
Donald Trump and saying, well, you know, all kinds of people support me.
The reason we`re seeing this a lot is that people at the top are not
pressing it down.

SHARPTON: Dana Milbank, thanks for your time tonight.

MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: We`ll be right back with my final thoughts on the death of
Rodney King. What his life showed America about race and police brutality
in this country.


SHARPTON: It`s hard to watch someone be viciously beaten and not feel
something. Bearing witness as fist and feet and batons and pure evil rain
down on a defenseless person isn`t something most of us would ever want to
experience. Yet we all did. And we can never forget it.

On March 3rd, 1991, Rodney King became a household name for being
beaten by police. He was hit more than 50 times and suffered permanent
injuries including kidney damage. The video sparked national outrage and
called for justice across the globe. Despite that evidence, the officers
were tried and eventually found not guilty on numerous charges. And within
hours of that verdict, Los Angeles was on fire. The L.A. riots would
become the worst in U.S. history. At least 53 people died. King himself
made an emotional plea for peace.


RODNEY KING, APRIL, 1965 - JUNE, 2012: I just want to say, you know,
can we all get along? Can we get along? Can we stop making it horrible
for the older people and the kids?


SHARPTON: In the years after the incident, King battled his share of
personal demons. He came out with a book in April documenting his
struggles and in it he talked about his legacy. He writes quote, I don`t
want to be remembered as the person who started the riots. I`d like to be
remembered for the person who threw water on the whole thing. I want to be
remembered as the person who tried to keep peace in this country. I spoke
with Rodney King earlier this year about his legacy.


KING: We got a younger generation that`s coming -- that`s growing
every year. We have to leave a legacy for them, something for them to --
so it`ll be easier for them to deal with problems and issues that come up.
It`s important that we keep that going.


SHARPTON: Since, King`s beating this country has continued to grow,
but we still have a long way to go. That`s why I marched with thousands
yesterday to protest the stop and first policy of The New York Police
Department, the policy of the new form of racial profiling. And
unnecessary new chapter in the long history between police and the people
they`re sworn to serve and protect. As I marched, I was told of Rodney`s
death at 47 years old. I thought about before Rodney people thought we
were just making up police brutality. I thought of a man who on his body
bored the scar of unfairness but rose above the scars to call for peace.
Can`t we get along?

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


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