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PoliticsNation, Thursday, July 5, 2012

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Guests: Erin McPiken Bob Franken, Keith Ellison, Nicole Lamoureux, Mike Papantonio

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

Tonight`s lead, this election will come down to a clear choice. The choice
between a man betting on the American worker and another who`s all in

Today, President Obama kicked off a two day bus tour through the battle
grounds Ohio and Pennsylvania. Two crucial states where his bet on the
auto industry saved the whole way of life in those states. Against this
backdrop, President Obama delivered a blistering attack on Willard Mitt
Romney and his failed economics, an economics built on profit first and the
people second.


should let it go bankrupt. I refused to turn my back on communities like
this one. I was betting on the American worker and I was betting on
American industry. And three years later the American auto industry has
come roaring back.


OBAMA: And I want goods shipped around the world stamped with made in
America. Unlike my opponent, I want to stop giving tax breaks for shipping
overseas. Governor Romney`s experience has been in owning companies that
were called pioneers of outsourcing. That`s not my phrase. Pioneers of

My experience has been in saving the American auto industry. And as long
as I`m president, that`s what I`m going to be doing. Waking up, every
single day, thinking about how we can create more jobs for your families
and more security for your communities.


SHARPTON: As the president fights for your communities, his opponent is
battling more troubling headlines.

Today, a scathing associated press report raises new questions about
Romney`s offshore assets including one transferred into his wife`s name the
day before he took office as governor. The report comes just days after a
"vanity fair" investigation into Romney`s often murky offshore accounts.
Romney has claimed time and again that these accounts never saved him a


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have not saved one dollar by
having an investment somewhere outside this country.


SHARPTON: Now, that might be true, but the optics of hiding money in
Bermuda or the Cayman Islands doesn`t look good. And the president is
making this election a very clear choice.


OBAMA: My brief was that I had to participate and fight on behalf of the
middle class who had given me so much so that the next generation would be
able to have those same opportunities. That`s what got me in my first
campaign. And it`s that same idea that I believe in, in my last campaign.
It`s the reason I`m here today. It`s the reason I ran for president. It`s
the reason I`m running again for president. Because I want to keep on
fighting for families all across America so they have the same
opportunities that I did.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is Congressman Keith Ellison Democrat from
Minnesota, and MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe. He`s the author of
"revival: the struggle for survival inside the Obama White House."

Let me start with you, Congressman. The Obama campaign is drawing a very
clear contrast between them and Mitt Romney. How`s this going to play out?

REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: It`s going to play out to the benefit
of the American worker who is going to know that the president`s on their
side. And that governor Romney has been on the side of big capital,
offshoring, and all the rest for a long time.

Now, Mitt Romney`s got a lot of trouble because he`s saying well, I haven`t
saved any money by offshoring. Well, has he made any jobs in America by
offshoring decidedly no. And so, he`s going to be in a defensive posture
and be in trouble.

SHARPTON: Now, Richard, the Obama campaign and those supporting the
president have been very aggressive. I mean, there`s a new ad out that
raises the question to every American what they think about Romney`s
offshore holdings. So, they are not holding back. They`re going right at
it. Look at this new ad.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don`t know if he`s doing that because he`s trying to
shelter his money from taxes or whether he just doesn`t believe in the
American economy, but either way it`s not a very good sign.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where there`s smoke, there`s fire, right?


SHARPTON: That`s pretty aggressive, Richard.

WOLFFE: Yes, it is. And look. If this had happened in a vacuum you`d say
well, maybe it`s too aggressive. But this is the environment we`ve been
living in for the last several years where when President Obama tried to
start up his administration, there were number of his appointees. People
like Tom Daschle, people like treasury secretary Tim Geithner who had tax

In the case of Tom Daschle, his appointment was completely ruined by it.
And people said at the time, I remember plenty of conservatives are saying,
you know, if you want to run for an office like House treasury, or if you
want to run treasury, you better make sure your tax affairs are in order
and above and beyond reproach.

Running for president is much bigger job. You`re actually going to be the
guy who appoints a treasury secretary. He should be able to answer these
questions at the very least. And right now, there are so many unanswered
questions that I don`t believe Mitt Romney, if he was running for office
where he was being appointed, if he was health secretary or treasury
secretary. I don`t think he gets for senate confirmation like this.

SHARPTON: Well, Congressman, let me say you raise a question. You said he
was in trouble. The "Wall Street Journal" editorial board, no left-wing
tape was said and not even a centurion`s favor, they actually slammed
Romney for being featured jet skiing this week. It accuses him of feeding
into the rich guy stereo type.

Let me quote it. "The Obama campaign is assailing Mr. Romney as an out-of-
touch rich man. And he rich man obliged by vacationing this week at his
lake-side home with a jet-ski cameo. But candidates who live by biography
typically lose by it. See president John Kerry."

I mean, this "the Wall Street Journal," Congressman.

ELLISON: Well, you know, who would know better than them? I mean, the
fact is he`s really signaling to them that he is their guy. And what
they`re saying back to them is well, then, stop acting like so much of what
you truly are and try to at least then look like a guy who connects to the
working class.

They`re given him -- try to give him some advice which he`s very hand-
handedly not taking. I mean, but it`s only the start. I mean, look. When
the Swiss bank accounts and offshore accounts start coming in, the multiple
homes, money in the -- I mean, it`s just going to keep on coming. And he
is absolutely a poster child for the one percent.

And by the time November rolls around, he is going to be looking like just
what he is, which, is a daddy war-bucks out-of-touch rich man, as "the Wall
Street Journal" correctly said.

SHARPTON: Now, Richard, when you look at the fact that a lot of these
attacks are coming and I might well say that let us not forget that it was
Mr. Romney who just slay his opponents with a tax during the primaries

WOLFFE: Right.

SHARPTON: So, when people talk including me about the Obama campaign is
being aggressive, they`re nowhere near as aggressive as he was on Mr.
Gingrich and Santorum and others during the primary just a month or two
ago. We`re talking weeks ago.

But it seems as though his record on Bain that has been put out there is
working. Swing states like the one that the president was in today are
responding to these commercials.

According to the latest NBC wall street journal poll, 33 percent said the
more they learn about Bain, the more negative opinion they have. Only 18
percent said the more they hear about Bain the more positive they see
Romney`s business background.

Now, that`s a problem. Because Romney raised his business background as
his evidence that he knew how to deal with the economic condition. If you
have these amount of people saying the more I hear about Bain the more
negative my view, 33 to 18, that`s a devastating figure. That`s your sales
placed to be percent.

WOLFFE: Which it is. Look, the problem here for him is he`s the blank
page, right? People don`t know him. Negative attacks have more impact on
the candidate you do not know than the candidate you do know. There are
plenty of people out there who are very negative opinions about the
president. Negative attack on him in the attack ad, so what? People think
badly of him because what he has done or who he is or whatever - whatever
they want to choose, right?

So, the new guy is the one who`s most vulnerable. And remember this is a
candidate as you point out had made his name, emerged from the primary
process by negative attacks in his own right. So there`s a whole aura of
negativity around him these kinds of ads are playing into. Yes, he`s
vulnerable to it and it shows in the polls. Not just state by state, but
also in the Gallup tracking numbers too.


Now, Congressman, the president and his campaign advisers repeatedly keep
bringing up how Mitt Romney had said let Detroit go bankrupt. And when you
look at the fact that not only did the president bail out the auto
industry, the auto industry is now according to the Detroit news, the auto
sales are on track to be the best since 2007. I think collectively for GM
and Chrysler, like, 22 percent up. So, they`re not only survive, they`re
thriving where they can create new jobs and opportunities. And when you
deal with auto parts and other things in the state of Ohio; that is even
outside of Detroit. That`s significant in these battle ground states.

ELLISON: You know what, Rev.? It`s a big deal. I proudly represent
Minneapolis but I was born and raised in the city of Detroit. And my
parents still live there right now. And I can assure you that they see
Barack Obama as somebody who helped them. And they been were resent Mr.
Romney. And they really resent what they try to say he should get some
credit for the turnaround in the auto industry.

He`s going to have trouble in Southeast Michigan big time. And I can tell
you that, you know, you`ve got a lot of other companies that are auto
suppliers throughout the Midwest, and every family knows that. Now, we`re
dealing with an area hit hard by foreclosure, hit hard by unemployment.
And the president is clearly seen as somebody doing somebody about it.

SHARPTON: Well, when you look at the maps, Richard, you see Ohio,
unemployment is at 7.3 percent. Pennsylvania, unemployment is down to 7.4
percent. Maybe that`s why the president is headed to these states because
he`s leading Romney in Pennsylvania by six points and by nine points in

So, as unemployment is going down in these states, you`ve got Republican
governors that are saying we`re on our way back. And you have a president
saying yes, because of me. And Romney`s saying to all the Republican

WOLFFE: Who don`t believe it, right? It`s getting bad and the other guy
is to blame.

You know, the problem of the big number that to worry about, if you are the
Romney campaign is the Ohio number because Pennsylvania is going to look
after itself and the Democrats, big voter registration advantage.

But, if you are Republican candidate, you cannot be nine points down in
Ohio and try and tell people that, you know, in spite of what you`re
seeing, in spite of the auto industry coming back and everyone, you know,
getting hired here, things are really going badly here. That`s a tough
sell that gets to the hard of his premise of being president just as much
as Bain.

SHARPTON: Well, I don`t believe you are lying at us,

Congressman Keith Ellison and Richard Wolffe, thanks for your time, this

ELLISON: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Mitt Romney flip-flops on the health care law. Now
he`s claiming it is a tax after all. And he`s really, really trying to
convince Republicans that he believes it.


ROMNEY: When the Supreme Court has the final word and their final word is
that Obama care is a tax, so it`s a tax. It is a tax and it`s
constitutional. They concluded it was a tax. That`s what it is. It is
now clear that his mandate as described on the Supreme Court is a tax.
They had to find it was a tax and they did. And therefore Obama care is a


SHARPTON: Gee. What are you trying to say, Mitt?

Also, stunning news about how Republican governors are putting politics
above people hurting millions of uninsured citizen right in their own back

And we`ll dig into the biggest mystery of the summer. Who`s leaking
secrets from the Supreme Court?

You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: Today, conservatives are accusing Mitt Romney`s campaign of
being quote, "politically dumb." And that`s one of the nicer things
they`re saying about it. Seems like some on the right are getting nervous
about the presumptive nominee.

We`ll talk about that plus, his latest and greatest flip-flop. Next.


SHARPTON: Welcome back to "Politics Nation."

The right wing is working itself into frenzy over Mitt Romney`s health care
flip-flop and his bumbling campaign. Yesterday Romney finally got on the
same page as the rest of the Republican party claiming the health care
mandate is, in fact, a tax.


ROMNEY: The Supreme Court has the final word, right? They said it`s a
tax, didn`t they? So it`s a tax, of course.


SHARPTON: That`s 180 degree turn from what his spokesman told MSNBC just
on Monday.


CHUCK TODD, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: So he agrees with the president -- but he
agrees with the president that it is not, and he believes you shouldn`t
call the tax penalty a tax, you should call it a penalty or a fee or a



SHARPTON: The back track isn`t silencing Romney`s right wing critics. In
fact, it seems to be inflaming them. "The Wall Street Journal" called the
original position a quote, "unforced error." And said the campaign looks
confused in addition to being politically dumb. That`s in quotes.

The journal also criticized quote, "the campaign`s insular staff and
strategy that are slowly squandering an historic opportunity." End of

At the same time more and more conservatives are criticizing how Romney is
running his campaign calling on him to get specific on something, on
anything. The journal said quote, "the Romney campaign thinks they can
play it safe and coast to the White House. But what Americans want to hear
from the challenger is some understanding of why the president`s policies
aren`t working and how Mr. Romney`s policies will do better." He is losing

And "Weekly Standard" Bill Crystal asked if Romney thinks voters are quote,

Joining me now is Erin McPike, reporter for `Real Clear Politics" and Bob
Franken, King Features Syndicated columnist.

Thank you both for joining me.

Erin, let`s start with Romney`s flip-flop on the tax issue. Will this hurt

already has started to hurt him. There`s no question. And with all of
these Republicans saying this was an unforced error, they need to figure
out what to do.

That`s true. And the one thing I would take issue with is this is not
necessarily a staff problem. This is a candidate problem because the staff
is always a reflection of the candidate himself.

SHARPTON: Now, you spend a lot of time covering Romney, a lot of time on
the road with the campaign. When you have his spokesman on the air Monday
not just saying the campaign feels it`s a penalty, not a tax. But he says
governor Romney feels and he said several times the governor -- he was
speaking for the governor as if he and the governor talked about this.

Then you have two days later governor Romney saying the exact opposite.
Are you saying that Romney`s out of control or unfocused or the campaign
just can`t seem to connect with the candidate? I mean, what`s going on
here behind closed doors in the Romney camp?

MCPIKE: I wouldn`t say that Mitt Romney is unfocused at all. I would say
that this is an example of Mitt Romney being led by the Republican party.
The entire Republican party jumped on the idea that yes, it is a tax. But
Mitt Romney and his campaign were saying something opposite.

Yes, of course, Eric Ferhnstrom spoke with Romney right after the decision
came out. And they agreed on one strategy at that time and then they
changed it. The Romney campaign has followed a set strategy from the very
beginning. And they have not proved to be particularly nimble. I think
that is the key here. They`ve had one strategy to not say much for the
entirety of this campaign and they had head off --

SHARPTON: Well, if there was their strategy, they are succeeding.

Let me go to you, Bob. Here`s how Romney tried to talk his way out of this
tax versus penalty question in an interview with CBS news. I want you to
watch this and help me.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Does that mean the mandate in the state of
Massachusetts under your health care law is also a tax and you raised taxes
as governor.

ROMNEY: Actually, the chief justice in his opinion made a very clear that
at the state level, they can put in place mandates. They don`t need them
to be called taxes in order for them to be constitutional. And as a
result, Massachusetts mandate was a mandate. It was a penalty. It was
described that way by the legislature and by me and so it stays as it was.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: In the state level, and you say the Supreme
Court says that`s different that the federal government said the powers are
different the states and the federal government, what does that make sense
of you?

ROMNEY: Well, just take a read of the opinion.


SHARPTON: What is he talking about? I mean, first of all that is not what
the opinion says. Second of all, I don`t think he`s answering the
question. And you know, I don`t understand how your spokesman Monday says
that the governor, you personally, have said you think it`s a penalty. You
come back with this convoluted answer two or three days later.

And I was on "Morning Joe" this morning and said that I would like to ask
the governor. We called and asked Governor Romney to come on and talk
about this because I just don`t understand what it is he`s saying nor do I
understand how you go from this position Monday and Thursday you had the
complete opposite day.

FRANKEN: See, what bothers me most of all is I think I understand what
he`s saying. I`m a little worried about that. But it`s the same way that
he`s trying to wriggle out of the fact that Obama care was fathered by
Romney care in Massachusetts. And what he`s saying is the difference it
was the state`s right to come up with that plan as opposed to a federal
plan like Obama`s. Most think that`s poppycock and that is a polite term.
But, what we have here is, do you remember the old army slogan be all you
can be?


FRANKEN: Mitt Romney`s slogan seems to be, be all what everyone else wants
you to be. He`s trying to dance on the head of the pin or on this
particular case, water ski on the head of a pin I guess.

SHARPTON: Well, I think that might be good.

But Erin, the fact of the matter is aside from him trying to have it both
ways, the opinion doesn`t talk about the constitutionality of these states.
I mean, some of the stuff he was saying that the opinion does, it really
doesn`t. This fact is I think it was John Roberts who took the position
that it was constitutional, the affordable health care account, because of

The others were clear in saying that it was constitutional because of the
commerce clause. So it wasn`t even -- he`s, like, the Supreme Court says -
- the Supreme Court did not say that. That was Roberts` opinion why he
sided with the other four.

MCPIKE: And remember, in Mitt Romney`s response in that interview, he said
that he personally agreed with the dissent. So he`s having it both ways in
that response. That`s why it`s hard to figure out.

SHARPTON: Yes. He`s saying I agree with the dissenters who say it`s not
constitutional as a tax or commerce. But the Supreme Court has spoken. I
mean, it`s really offensive to the intelligence of the public, Bob. You
don`t agree with it, but I`m going along with it. I mean, it`s crazy.

FRANKEN: Erin to say that he`s trying to have it both ways? You should be
ashamed of yourself. That has been the story of Mitt Romney. He`s been
trying to have it both ways. During the primary, he was to the right of,
you know, Khan. And now, he is trying to move back in trying to play kick
the independent voters who might not have such three key points of, some of
those we was expressed in during the primary.

SHARPTON: Now, but what about - let`s get it where the just independent
voters, what about the right wing voters? How bad is this "Wall Street
Journal" which is clearly right wing editorial page, how bad does this hurt
him when they`re blasting him like this publicly on the editorial pages in
`Wall Street Journal?"

FRANKEN: Well, I mean. They`re sort of asking the impossible. They`re
asking him to come up with alternatives to the Obama programs. And the
fact is the alternatives that he seems to represent would be poison if he
actually did talk about them.

And of course they`re also talking to him and demanding that he fire his
staff. And so you have to wonder what he would do if he did that. And
chances are given his history, he might just outsource the campaign.

SHARPTON: Well Erin, you covered the whole primary season. You travel a
lot with Romney. I mean, are they surprised they won? They seem like they
don`t know what to do now that they`re the winners.

MCPIKE: No. They expected to win for most of this thing. The thing I
would point out that`s interesting about this is that in August of 2008,
all throughout Capitol Hill Republicans were very upset at the campaign
that John McCain was running, but we weren`t seeing it come out of the
press the way it is now in early July from Mitt Romney. So, it`s been a
stunning change. Republicans are more upset with Mitt Romney than they
were with John McCain.

SHARPTON: We`ll leave it there. Erin McPike and Bob Franken, thank you
for your time tonight.

FRANKEN: Thank you.

MCPIKE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, President Obama has tough words for Republicans who
are still trying to roll back his health care law and telling millions of
uninsured they`re on their own.

But first we`ll tell you what UFOs have to do with the fight against voter

Stay with us.


something I really want to talk about -- wait. What was that? That was a
weird sound. Anyway, as I was saying -- there it was again. What`s going
on here? I`m told there`s an unidentified flying object behind me? I
think they`re seeing things in the control room. But hey, you never know.

But take a look at this headline today from Mother Jones. UFO
sightings are more common than voter fraud. So something that we may
barely ever think happens is way more common than voter fraud. In ten
years there were 13 credible cases of in-person voter fraud. Thirteen.
And there were 47,000 UFO sightings. So people were 3,615 times more
likely to report a UFO than to be a victim of in-person voter fraud.

Folks, voter ID laws are a solution to a problem that doesn`t exist.
When the Republicans association tried to prove voter fraud, they came up
with 311 cases. Three hundred eleven since 1997. That puts the fraud rate
at 0.0005 percent. But they won`t stop. Nineteen states passed voter
suppression laws last year. And in Pennsylvania, we`re seeing just how
harmful they are.

Just today we learned that Pennsylvania State officials say, more
than 758,000 voters may not have photo ID. They need those photo IDs to
vote under the new law. Recently a Pennsylvania Republican leader let the
cat out of the bag.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Voter ID which is going to allow Governor Romney
to win the State of Pennsylvania, done.


SHARPTON: This is about helping Republicans get elected. Not
preventing fraud. That`s why my organization, National Action Network has
started a voter engagement tour to get the word out. But we do have some
positive news today. Michigan`s republican Governor Rick Snyder has vetoed
three voter suppression bills saying, they`d confused the voters. I
disagree with Governor Snyder just about on everything. But I`m glad he
recognized these laws are bad for voters. I have my doubts about UFOs, but
there`s more of a chance they`re out there than voter fraud.


SHARPTON: We`re back on POLITICS NATION with some heartless governors
vowing to block President`s health care law. And today, we`re learning the
states with highest number of uninsured are the ones trying to leave them
with nothing. Leading the way is Florida`s republican Governor Rick Scott
whose state ties for second to last in the country. Yet he put the cost
over people.


GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: Any expansion of Medicaid which is
already growing at three-and-a-half times or general revenue is going to be
tough. Every time we expand Medicaid, we make it more difficult to fund
our education system.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: How do you respond to the wide range of sources
that say, you certainly have these numbers wrong.

SCOTT: It depends on what numbers you want to use. How fast will be
implemented. But the truth is, it`s a lot of money. Whatever the number
is, it`s a lot of money.


SHARPTON: It`s a lot of money. But your numbers are wrong. But
now, six other republican governors say, they`re also going to opt out of
the Medicaid expansion. And eight more are leaning towards saying no.
Today, the President had some choice words directed at those who are trying
to repeal his signature law.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: I believe that in America,
nobody should go bankrupt because they get sick.


I`ll work with anybody who wants to work with me to continue to
improve our health care system and our health care laws, but the law I pass
is here to stay.


SHARPTON: Joining me now is Melissa Harris-Perry. Host of the
"Melissa Harris-Perry" show. And Nicole Lamoureux, the executive director
of the National Association of Free Clinics. Thank you both for being



SHARPTON: Melissa, strong words from the President today on the law.
What kind of message is that sending to the governors?

PERRY: Well, I hope he`s just being, you know, really clear. You
know, part of what`s happened here is first you have the attempt to block
this law ever being passed that happened with Republicans in the U.S. House
of Representatives. And then you had these attorneys general bringing suit
against the law in order to bring it to the Supreme Court. The Supreme
Court has now ruled the law constitutional.

And now, you basically have these republican governors saying, well,
OK, yes, the law has passed. Yes, the law has been deemed constitutional,
we are simply not going to enact this portion of the law because this is
the portion of the law that we have the right to opt out of right. Which
they are accurate on. They do have the right to opt out of the Medicaid
expansion aspect.

But to opt out of it is to basically say those poor people who live
in my state -- and I mean people who are actually poor. Who do not have
enough money to afford personal individual health insurance will simply go
without. Because we`re not going to take the overwhelming matching funds
from the federal government in order to provide health coverage and health
care for our own citizens.

SHARPTON: Now, and when you talk about the overwhelming money from
the government, for three years they covered 100 percent. And then I think
it goes to 90 percent. So, I mean, this is just outrageous. But let me
ask you something, Nicole. You work as the head of the clinics, the free


SHARPTON: What does this mean to actual people? You know, nobody
discusses Melissa -- politics better than Melissa. But I`m talking about
human beings that goes into the free clinics that you head up nationally.
Give us an example of not having access to Medicaid. What this will do to
the actual people.

LAMOUREUX: Well, I think it does a couple of things. First and most
importantly, I think the patients that come to free clinics get a bad wrap.
Most people think they`re living on the dole. Eighty three percent of our
patients come from a working household. These are hardworking Americans.

SHARPTON: When you say 83 percent come from a working household, you
mean people in there are going to work. They`re not laying around watching
television living off the government.

LAMOUREUX: Exactly. They`re working every single day. Sometimes
they`re working two jobs.


LAMOUREUX: These mothers are making a hard choice. They`re making a
choice between getting health care for their child or putting food on the
table. That isn`t a choice that anyone should have to make. In this
country, health care should be a right and not a privilege. We see
patients every single day that are already telling us that 2014 is too far.
It`s too far away. I can`t wait that long. I need help now. And more
importantly, when we talk about what is affordable, we have patients who
are telling me I can`t afford a $4 medication. So, if they don`t get
access to health care, they`re not going to get any health care. And
that`s a big problem.

SHARPTON: And these are people that are working poor, Melissa. When
you look at the unemployed. You know, I talked about Rick Scott, Florida,
21 percent of the people needing insurance is unemployed. South Carolina
19 percent under Governor Nikki Haley who`s also talking about turning it
down. Governor Bobby Jindal, your governor in Louisiana, 17 percent. And
when you look at the fact that -- let`s just take Florida, how it is
working there. Two hundred and twenty four young adults are now covered
under their parents` plan in Florida already.

Medicare patients saved $247.5 million on prescription drugs working
in Florida alone right now that number. Fifty nine hundred eighteen
thousand residents with preexisting conditions are now able to get
insurance just right there in Florida. So, I mean, if this is such a
political kind of move built on they want to defeat the President and not
agree with the President that they`re mindful that it`s working and the
thousands, upon tens of thousands of people that are impacting in their own

PERRY: Absolutely. I mean, there is no other explanation for it,
Rev. You are talking about governors who have done everything they can to
make it impossible for minimum wages to be raised to a level of living
wages. So, as Nicole just pointed out, you have people who are working,
who are working sometimes multiple jobs. But because these are the same
governors who have also resisted forcing corporations to provide reasonable
benefits for employees who work say, 35 hours or 30 hours or just enough
but not enough to get benefits.

You have all of these folks living in states. Often states that have
higher percentages of poverty, higher percentages of unemployment than what
we`ve seen at the national level who are also now resisting the most basic
kind of humanizing health care. And I think part of what so appalling
here, is that it`s going to be the most vulnerable. It`s children.


PERRY: It`s women who are raising children without the benefit of a
spouse or partner. It`s people who are dropping into poverty suddenly as a
result of home foreclosure or as a result of other kinds of unstable living
circumstances. Part of what we needed to do in this country is say, as the
President just said, no matter what happens, we just don`t live as
Americans in a country where we think it is OK that simply because you`re
having a hard time that you will also be ill. And that you will not be
able to access this extraordinary health care that we have available in
this country.

SHARPTON: And, you know, there are politico`s reporting today that
there are more legal challenges coming to the law. Quote, they`re going
after pieces of the law like the contraception mandate and the new Medicare
panel that Republicans are calling rationing board. The fact is, though,
Nicole, if these governors opt out, people that come to your free clinic
will have nowhere to go.

LAMOUREUX: That`s right. They will continue to utilize free clinics
which have been filling gaps for years. Where these people don`t have
anywhere else to go. I`ll tell you what`s going to happen. If this
doesn`t get expanded, more people are going to the emergency room for their
health care. And that`s something that we all don`t want.

SHARPTON: And guess who pays for that?


SHARPTON: Melissa, Nicole, thank you both for your time. And don`t
miss Melissa Harris-Perry every Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. right here

Straight ahead, it`s the hottest mystery of the summer. Who is the
Supreme Court leaker? Somebody`s talking. And we`ll try to crack the


SHARPTON: It`s been a week since the Supreme Court ruling on health
care ignited an uproar on the right. And today Mitt Romney became the
latest republican to criticize the key vote saving the law from
conservative Chief Justice John Roberts.


think that was not accurate and not an appropriate conclusion. It gives
the impression that the decision was made not based upon constitutional
foundation, but instead political consideration about the relationship
between the branches of government.


SHARPTON: Now, Romney was speaking to CBS correspondent Jan
Crawford. The same reporter who dropped the bombshell story that Roberts
switched his vote. A story based on sources inside the court. That report
sparked the biggest mystery of the summer. Who`s the leaker?

Joining me now is Mike Papantonio, co-host of "Ring of Fire Radio"
and president of the National Trial Lawyers Association. Thanks for being
here, Mike.


SHARPTON: Let me cut to the chase. I`m fine. Let me cut to the
chase. Who do you think leaked the story?

PAPANTONIO: I think it`s Scalia. I put Scalia at the top of the leak
possibility. And there`s real good reason for that, Reverend. Two hundred
years, the Supreme Court has this history of showing a better decorum than
we saw from Scalia. At what time -- when have we ever seen a Supreme Court
judge in a black robe act more like a politician than he does a judge? We
saw this -- we saw Scalia the day after this decision Rev, come out and
basically accuse our president of being incompetent. He accused our
president of not understand the law. Even though Obama was a
constitutional law professor at Harvard.


PAPANTONIO: So, I think this is a new precedent. We`ve never seen a
judge move politically like this.

SHARPTON: And he did it in his writings. But this is all
speculation. We don`t know. This is just your guess. Let me ask you
whether Scalia, some others are tweeting other members of the court, why
would someone be talking at all in your opinion?

PAPANTONIO: Well, I mean, it`s political gain. You have -- and the
reason I come back to Scalia, Scalia almost shows a reckless abandon Rev
for court decorum. There`s plenty of court decorum where judges don`t talk
about the idea of what happened behind those closed doors. They do that
for a good reason. They do that because they know a man like Scalia is
going to be put in the position of having now to look at other parts of
this law.

He`s going to have to interpret. He`s going to have to sit on a
panel and make decisions when there are disputes about this very law. So
there`s been this idea we don`t do that. Scalia has always been willing to
abandon that kind of decorum. Has a long history of that.

SHARPTON: Now, some are saying it could be a clerk. But whoever it
is, how does this change things inside that court moving forward?

PAPANTONIO: I think it changes things in a big way. I think what it
does is it hurts the credibility problem that they already have. Going
into this, Rev, you had an American public where more than 60 percent
didn`t feel like they could trust what this court was doing. They didn`t
have faith in this court. They thought that this is a political court.
And you can`t have the American public believing like that.

They have to have confidence in this court. And I think what this
conduct is doing, whether it`s Scalia, whether it`s Thomas, whoever. This
conduct now raises further question. Is this really a body of judges or is
it a body of politicos that are more set on having their political and
ideology out there, their message out there rather than giving us a fair
interpretation of what the law should be.

SHARPTON: Now, you know, the National Review -- a senior editor of
National Review a very conservative journal as early as June 2nd wrote
quote, "My understanding is that there`s a five to four vote to strike down
the mandate. Since then interestingly there`s seems to have been some
second thoughts. Not on the part of Justice Kennedy but on the part of
Chief Justice Roberts who seems to be going a little bit wobbly." So,
these leaks were early. This was June 2nd in National Review.

PAPANTONIO: They were. They were, Rev. And let me point something
out. This suggestion that this could be a low level clerk or somebody who
simply worked around the court and might have leaked it that way is very
improbable. Nothing happens especially at this level, this caliber of
information without the people at the top knowing exactly what was going
on. For me, for example, it would be very improbable that Scalia might not
have been -- if he`s the person, might not have been involved at the very
top of the leak. May have been a clerk that, you know, at the end of the
day, that clerk might have released the information.

SHARPTON: Well, Mike Papantonio, thanks for your time tonight. We`re
going to be watching this one and finding out who is the leaker. Thank
you, Mike.

PAPANTONIO: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Ahead, America`s big birthday celebration is over, but
before all the fireworks, something happened at the White House that
defines our great country. That`s next.



OBAMA: I`m not a democrat first. I`m an American first.


SHARTPON: That was President Obama earlier today talking about what
it means to be an American. It was also on the President`s mind yesterday.
When he celebrated the Fourth of July with some of the country`s newest
citizens. He presided over a citizenship ceremony for 25 active duty
service members. Praising the group for their service and dedication to
the nation.


OBAMA: Put on the uniform of a country that was not yet fully your
own. And in a time of war. Some of you deployed into harm`s way. You
displayed the values that we celebrate every Fourth of July. Duty,
responsibility and patriotism.


SHARPTON: And at a time when this country is so deeply divided, the
President chose to highlight our common bonds.


OBAMA: The story of immigrants in America isn`t a story of them,
it`s a story of us. It`s who we are. We are a country that is bound
together not simply by ethnicity or blood lines, but by fidelity to a set
of ideas.


SHARPTON: The President`s right. We`re a nation of immigrants.
Founded on the ideas etched in the stone of the Statue of Liberty. Give me
your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free. Well,
that`s what America`s about. And every birthday we should celebrate how
growing toward making that freedom available to all of our citizens and
being the example of freedom all over the world.

As you celebrate children`s birthdays every year, you should also be
celebrating their maturity. Those of us that love America want to help
them to mature.

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


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