PoliticsNation, Thursday, August 2nd, 2012
Read the transcript from the Thursday show
August 2, 2012
Guests: Bob Franken; Joe Crowley; Michelle Cottle, Wes Moore, Patricia
Murphy, Daylin Leach
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST, POLITICS NATION: Welcome to
"Politics Nation." I`m Al Sharpton.
Tonight`s lead, horse ballet takes center stage. Today at the
Olympics it was time for this little-known sport to have its moment in the
spotlight. And it did. When a horse owned by Mitt Romney`s wife Ann, a
mare named Rafalca, made her Olympic debut.
The sport is formally known as dressage. It`s also called horse
ballet. Because the horses walk and trot and prance and pirouette. It
takes years to train a dressage horse. And most of the best ones are in
their late teens. Dressage dates back to ancient Greece. But it was
revived in the renaissance as an art form.
This is not a sport for rowdy fans, now. The riders stay silent
during competitions. And fans are supposed to be quiet too. And the
uniforms, well, on the dressage field riders are required to wear a top hat
and white gloves.
Today, Rafalca showed off her moves. She danced. She pranced. She
galloped. Horse ballet isn`t cheap. In 2010 the Romneys declared a
$77,000 loss for Rafalca. And just getting suited up for competition, it`s
not cheap. A coat for the rider is $879. The top hat, a horse ballet
requirement, $400. Britches ring up at $379. Gloves $62. Don`t even
think of going into the ring without your silk tie. That`s $100. As for
the custom boots, they start at $1,000. And a saddle for a top tier horse
like Rafalca, that`s more like $12,000 which means that just getting
dressed to go into the ring costs a whopping $14,820. Horse ballet has
many passionate fans, but surprisingly Mitt Romney says he`s not one of
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have to tell you, this is
Ann`s sport. I`m not even sure which day the sport goes on. She will get
the chance to see it. I will not be watching the event. I hope her horse
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Mr. Romney didn`t even watch today? He`s got an Olympian
in the family, but he`s not watching. At least he hopes Rafalca does well.
Late night comics have become fans, however.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN COLBERT, COMEDIAN: The image of Romney as a privileged
princeling ends today. Because now, Mitt is just your average blue collar
fan of dressage.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: There`s no begrudging Romney their horse or fans of horse
ballet, the sport. But it has to be said that there are times that we`re
facing now when Mitt Romney`s campaign for president seems almost like a
satire of a wealthy man`s presidential campaign. Rather than a real
Romney is like a spoof of who the GOP would nominate in times of
economic anxiety. A time when nearly 50 million Americans don`t have
health insurance, when 12.7 million people are desperately searching for
jobs, and 15.7 million Americans are living in poverty. The highest level
since 1965. America is suffering. And this is the GOP candidate?
Mitt Romney tries desperately to say he`s an every-man. But he is the
man who is doubling the square footage of his mansion and adding a four-car
underground garage with an elevator like this one. And look how he spent
his time off the campaign trail this summer. Zipping around on his jet
ski. Zooming around with 25 members of the family aboard this huge
Yes. Mitt Romney is in touch with the pain Americans are feeling. He
knows what they`re going through. Here, just listen to him tell you.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: I drive a mustang and a Chevy pickup truck. Ann drives a
couple of Cadillacs, actually.
I have some great friends that are NASCAR team owners.
I could tell my story. I`m also unemployed. Rick, I tell you what,
10,000 bucks. $10,000 bet?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: This is the Republican candidate the Republican Party has
chosen for this time in our country. So how`s he going to do it?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROMNEY: I`m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net
there. If it needs repair, I`ll fix it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Folks, I`d be laughing if it wasn`t so scary. Maybe the
joke is really on us.
Joining me now is Michelle Cottle, Washington reporter for "the Daily
Beast" and "Newsweek," and David Corn for "Mother Jones," an MSNBC
political analyst. He is also the author of "showdown."
First of all, thanks both of you for your time tonight.
DAVID CORN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Sure thing.
MICHELLE COTTLE, WASHINGTON REPORTER, THE DAILY BEAST, NEWSWEEK: It`s
SHARPTON: David, let me start with you. We`re having some fun there
with Rafalca, but the point here is very serious. Mitt Romney for this
time in history, I mean, what are we looking at here?
CORN: Well, first I have to say those were the most six gripping
minutes of Olympic sport that I`ve ever seen today in watching Rafalca come
around the third turn. Although, the cantering isn`t as articulated as it
should be. But we all learned a lot from Mitt Romney about this new sport
and about the need for undercar garages and how to have tax savings
offshore. Not for any tax benefit, just for the heck of it, I mean.
But I think your summation this evening, Reverend, sort of puts into
light all the stuff it`s creating an impression about Mitt Romney. If you
look at the latest polls, once again we see the public is a bit
disappointed or concerned with President Barack Obama`s performance on the
economy. We`d like the economy to be doing better and him having better
But yet, when they turn to Mitt Romney, they see someone who doesn`t
seem to care as much for their concerns as the president. And they still
think of him in terms that are close to being a caricature of Mr. Monopoly,
the one percenter. And he has a couple months now to address that and he
just keeps making it worse.
SHARPTON: I think that`s the point, Michelle. I don`t think the
American people certainly, I don`t begrudge him being wealthy. And some
wealthy Americans made president and did well. Roosevelt, the Kennedys to
name a few. But, I think ,the fact that this kind of caricature and his
policies and his awkwardness, I mean, is this danger for him, Michelle,
COTTLE: Absolutely. And as you point out, there have been wealthy
presidents. Part of Mitt Romney`s problem is he seems uncomfortable with
how wealthy he is. He knows that it is a risk. And he also knows that he
has not found a way to kind of address this and convince people that
despite the advantages that he has, he feels their pain, so to speak. So
it`s not just that he`s extremely wealthy and has cars in his garages and
fancy horses, is that he actively seems awkward about his status.
CORN: And it goes beyond that, if I may. Because he won`t explain
all this. He won`t explain his personal finances. He won`t explain his
deals at Bain. He won`t explain his campaign funding as to who his
bundlers are. And he won`t explain his policies like the tax policy issue
that came up with most of the tax cuts that he`s proposed going to benefit
the wealthy. So not only is he awkward and uncomfortable as person as a
candidate, there`s a lot out there that we still don`t know about him that
all points in the wrong direction.
SHARPTON: Now, I think, Michelle, that`s what compounds the problem.
When you look at the fact that we don`t know how many foreign bank accounts
he has, his record as a job creator at Bain that he told us to look at his
record as Bain to find that he is a job creator. How many jobs he`s sent
overseas as a result of his involvement in Bain. And how much he paid in
taxes. And at what rate.
Now, he points us to private sector, his entrepreneurial skills. Then
when we start looking he says but I`m not going to discuss them. I`m not
going to disclose them. Then you see this lifestyle. All of this
compounded I think is what has created this image. I don`t think it`s the
fact that anyone is jealous or envious of someone being successful at all.
COTTLE: With Romney it always comes back. The core is missing.
People don`t understand what motivates him. They don`t understand what he
really believes in. There`s no there, there for a lot people and that
makes them nervous. People like to feel like they know their presidential
candidates and their presidents. And he makes that very difficult.
SHARPTON: Now, she said that the people are looking at this, David,
when you look at the polls. A pew poll raised the question, who connects
best with ordinary Americans? The result, President Obama 59 percent.
Willard Mitt Romney, 28 percent.
CORN: Yes. That`s --
SHARPTON: David corn and Michelle Cottle thank you for your time
You had a response David, go ahead.
CORN: No, I was going to say that`s it in a nutshell there. I mean,
the economy is not doing well. If this guy had any sort of connection and
wasn`t so opaque and secretive. I think a lot would say we gave Barack
Obama a chance. You know, it is not as good as I wanted to be. I will
give this guy a chance. But he`s too far removed and too secretive about
too many aspects of his life and campaign. And then you throw it we didn`t
talk about the flip-flops and everything else. It`s just a very hard sell
at this point in time.
SHARPTON: Michelle, you wanted to add something?
COTTLE: I mean, again, it just all comes back to if he seemed
comfortable with his story that he was telling, he could be more
comfortable with it. Voters could embrace it. But he just can`t seem to
find a narrative that even he can get behind.
SHARPTON: All right. I didn`t want to cut you guys off. But
Michelle, I don`t want to give David the last word.
David Corn and Michelle Cottle, thanks for your time tonight.
CORN: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Coming up, President Obama pounds Mitt Romney for his
ridiculously unfair tax plan and Willard has no response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: He`s not asking you to
pay an extra $2,000 to reduce our deficit. He`s not asking you to pay an
additional $2,000 to help care for our seniors. He`s asking you to pay
more so people like him can pay less.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Plus John Boehner thinks he`s done such a swell job, he`s
taking vacation early. He`s taking the entire month off. Speaker Boehner,
It`s time. Introduce you to a little thing I like to call you to GOPWOT.
I`ll explain what GOPWOT means ahead.
Plus, the world`s biggest cat celebrity has done it again. We`ll show
you more in today`s summer break.
You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.
SHARPTON: Folks, have you checked us out on facebook yet? The
conversation is going all day long. Today`s hot topic was what else?
Wayne says quote, "it`s crazy how they can get a tax write-off for a
horse and he wants us to believe he feels our pain."
Hugh says this dog and pony show from the right and their candidate
We also shared this photo of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor at
a Yankees game yesterday in the bleachers, the cheap seats.
Jimmie thinks she`s earned a break. Quote, "get out of the office and
have a little fun. You go lady justice."
We want to hear what you think too. Head over to facebook and search
"Politics Nation" and like us to join the conversation that keeps going
long after the show ends.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Economic growth is
even worse now and the American people are still asking the question, where
are the jobs?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Speaker Boehner still asking where are the jobs? Too bad
he`s not trying to answer that question.
After tonight, he and his colleagues are on recess until September
10th. Today was their last chance to work on a jobs bill. So, surely they
put it to good use, right? Wrong. Instead, they gave us another
installment of GOPWOT. What`s that, you ask? It`s a term I like to use
that means GOP Wasting Our Time.
Today`s installment of GOPWOT was congressman king`s hearing on making
English the official language. That`s how you focus on jobs? With a
hearing on the English language? That makes no sense. In fact, the only
thing that did make sense was how Democratic congressman John Kanya`s gave
his opening, in Spanish.
SHARPTON: The GOP razor focus on job was also on display when 216
Republicans sponsored a bill to criminalized abortion. Wait, that didn`t
create job either. But here`s what would have passing the American jobs
act, passing the infrastructure bill, passing the White House bill to help
teachers and first responders. All of this would have put people back to
work. But people are suffering because Republicans want to play games.
Let`s call it what it is, GOPWOT.
Joining me now is Congressman Joe Crowley, Democrat from New York and
member of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Bob Franken, feature
Thank you both for being here.
BOB FRANKEN, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Thank you.
REP. JOE CROWLEY (D), NEW YORK: Thank you. Great to be with you.
SHARPTON: Congressman Crowley, let`s start with you. What is the
political calculation for the Republicans here? How is standing in the way
of jobs help them politically?
CROWLEY: I don`t see how it helps them. I love that GOPWOT. That`s
a great line. Wasting our time. That`s what many of us had been feeling,
Reverend Al, for quite some time here in Washington. The lack of progress
of anything meaningful, in fact, I would suggest that they`ve stopped at
nothing, my Republican colleagues, to make it appear as though the
president isn`t doing his job because they`re not doing their job. They`re
not passing any meaningful legislation to give to the president to sign
into law. They don`t want to give this president anything in terms of
meaningful victory. We`ve seen it in so many ways.
I did a speech after the first 100 days of Congress here in the house
floor. It was called the speechless speech because I didn`t say anything.
I just ripped off a number of note pads. In the end it said I was
speechless because they had no offered a jobs bill. And here we are two
years later and they have not offered a jobs bill. The president you said
has offered a bill that would put people back to work, get Americans
building our road, tunnels and bridges and a mass transit system making
sure they`re up to par, hiring teachers, hiring the first responders. And
yet, we can`t get that bill out of the House of Representatives.
SHARPTON: Bob, the approval rating for this Republican-controlled
congress is desperate, just 12 percent approve of it. A whopping 79
percent disapprove of it. You`ve seen a lot of Congresses come and go.
Have you seen anything like this?
FRANKEN: Well, and I mean this with the greatest respect,
congressman. Could you guys just stay out of town? Just go away.
FRANKEN: I mean, certainly the nation would be a better place.
Really about all that you have to do is the appropriation and apparently
everybody has decided that it`s not worth the hassle so they`re going to
pass what they call a continuing resolution. And so there`s nothing really
to do. The fact of the matter is that all that`s going on right now is
that everybody is running this campaign using public money to do it. And
perhaps they should pay something to the Congress to allow them all this
free advertising time.
CROWLEY: I would have to say --
SHARPTON: Bob, in all due respect, I`ve got to pull you back because
Joe Crowley is one of the good guys. I don`t want him to stay out of
FRANKEN: But he`s participating in this. And quite frankly, he made
probably the best speech in house history on April 11, 2011. That is the
speechless speech. And it was sort of an anti-speech. In fact, there was
no sort of about it. I think maybe right now the time has come for people
to just say, OK. Let`s pack it in. There`s nothing we can do.
CROWLEY: Well, I would respond to that, Bob. I think we find
ourselves in what we call the silly season. You know, it typically starts
about six months outside of the presidential Election Day. Unfortunately,
this started about two years ago when the GOP took control of the House of
Representatives. And since that day, they`ve been uncooperative. Have not
done anything to help pass anything of substance to help get this country
back working again. You know, getting people back to work and helping
improve the economy.
The president can`t do it alone. He needs a partner in Congress. And
the GOP simply has been unwilling to be that partner. I`ve done what I
can. I tried to bring attention to the lack of effort on my Republican
colleagues` part, but you know, it`s tough being in the minority. We don`t
control the agenda. We can`t even call a bill up to the floor in the
minority. I`m not whining. It`s a great opportunity to represent the
American people and I take my job seriously. And that`s why I want to stay
here in Washington throughout August and work to get things down in behalf
of the American people.
SHARPTON: Let me interject here. The tone that is set, the speaker
John Boehner had some very harsh words for the president. He says that the
president has never created a job or never even held a real job himself.
Now, of course, the facts are much different. 4.4 million private
sector jobs were created in the last 28 months, straight months, 28 months.
Private sector jobs created under this president. But for the speaker,
Bob, to be saying that he hasn`t gained any jobs contrary to the fact and
he never had a real job himself, and I can certainly take issue with that,
this is the tone we`re dealing with in Washington, Bob.
FRANKEN: Well, I think it`s beyond silly season. I mean, I don`t
disagree with what you`re saying, Congressman. But I think that we`ve
really gotten to the point now that more harm than good is done by Congress
continuing to be here. You have this kind of comment. It just really
highlights the fact that the Republicans are using the legislative branch
of government to try and thwart the president every step of the way. And
that quite frankly is just a waste of time. And certainly that`s not a
profound belief when you talk about the polls as you were. I thought the
12 percent was a little high. It`s I think 11 percent approval right now.
And that`s really kind of a national scorn about the legislative branch of
CROWLEY: Well, Bob, I would just interject --
SHARPTON: I`m going to have to go, but Congressman, let me ask you
another indication of GOPWOT. Today, the house Republicans used a hearing
on the hill to rally against affordable care act again. I mean, it`s like
they`ll beat up on anything but jobs.
CROWLEY: I think it is very politically driven right now given our
proximity to the general elections in November. Having said that, I do
think we have responsibility even in the minority to stand up and call them
out when we think they`re doing the wrong thing. And they`re not doing
anything. I think the business of the American people is too important.
This is a full-time job, being a member of congress. We`re here, we
have deadlines to meet and we`re not even meeting those deadlines. We`re
instead taking time passing one house bill here in the House of
Representatives on a tax break that only benefits the wealthiest two
percent in this country. And neglects the 98 percent of the hard working
American people out there today. And I think that needs to be responded
to. Bob, that`s why I want to stay here and continue to raise these points
for the American people.
SHARPTON: All right, Congressman Joe Crowley and Bob Franken, thank
you both for your time tonight.
CROWLEY: Thank you.
FRANKEN: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Still ahead, President Obama goes after the Romney tax
plan. This will be the fairness election.
Plus here`s a hint. If you`re on the run from the police and want to
make a break for it, don`t do it in a smart car. The world`s worst getaway
is part of tonight`s summer break.
SHARPTON: Questions are being raised about the death of a young man
in Arkansas while in police custody. Twenty-one-year-old Chavis Carter was
pulled over this past Saturday. While police were investigating alleged
suspicious vehicle, police say they searched the vehicle of Mr. Carter and
found a small amount of marijuana.
They then handcuffed his hands behind his back and put him in the back
of their cruiser. A short time later, police say, they heard a noise and
found Carter in a sitting position slumped forward with his head in his
lap. His hands were still cuffed behind his back. Police have labeled his
death a suicide. Saying quote, "Suspect shot himself in the head with a
gun he had concealed on his person."
Carter`s mother says, our son was not suicidal and wants to know what
happened. Police have launched an investigation. We`re investigating this
story, and we`ll report what we find.
SHARPTON: Folks, the Romney campaign is reeling from a devastating
critique of their tax plan. A plan that literally takes from the poor and
gives to the rich. Today, President Obama laid out the facts about that
plan citing a report by the nonpartisan tax policy center.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: They found that folks making
more than $3 million a year, the top one tenth of one percent would get a
tax cut under Mr. Romney`s plan of almost a quarter of a million dollars.
Now, Mr. Romney claims that he`s going to give this tax cut and he`s going
to bring down the deficit. So then the question is, who do you think gets
the bill for these $250,000 tax cuts? This is a smart crowd. You do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The crowd was right. That report says 95 percent of
Americans would see a tax increase under Romney`s plan. Only the rich
would escape. The report cuts to the heart of Mitt Romney`s vision for
America. One where the poor and the middle class get absolutely slammed.
So the response today from Romney`s senior adviser, quote, "pay no
attention to this report."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC FEHRNSTROM, MITT ROMNEY`S TOP ADVISER: That report you`ve
referenced is a joke. There are serious flaws with both the authorship of
that study and the methodology. It was co-authored by a member of the
Obama White House, someone who was part of the White House economic team.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The report`s a joke? Because the co-author worked for
President Obama? What Romney`s adviser forgot to mention is that the other
author of the report, the other author was a staff economist for George
H.W. Bush. The Romney campaign is also now arguing that the tax policy
center is just some liberal group. Even though last year, the Romney camp
called their work quote, "objective, third-party analysis."
Folks, Romney`s claims literally don`t add up. The report said,
Romney`s tax plan was quote, "mathematically impossible." The Romney
campaign is doing anything, saying anything because it doesn`t want to face
Joining me now is retired U.S. army captain Wes Moore. He is author
of the book "The Other Wes Moore." And Patricia Murphy, editor of Citizen
Jane Politics and a contributor for "Newsweek" and "The Daily Beast."
Thanks for joining me.
WES MOORE, AUTHOR, "THE OTHER WES MOORE": Thanks, Rev.
PATRICIA MURPHY, EDITOR, CITIZEN JANE POLITICS: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Patricia, let me start with you. The Romney campaign`s
response has been to go after the tax policy center. So saying that it`s
some Obama-controlled liberal biased far left group. Is that the case?
MURPHY: It is not the case. The tax policy center is a think tank
that is -- I would call it bipartisan. I don`t know if it`s nonpartisan.
There are Democrats and Republicans to work there. Democrats and
Republicans were involved in writing the study. They`re very well
respected and it really in this case it`s a classic case of killing the
messenger. If you get into the details of this report, it`s very damning
against the Romney campaign.
But the Romney campaign will not give details to refute it. So all
they`re saying is it`s not true. We can`t tell you why it`s not true, it`s
just not true. And by the way, don`t listen to those guys. So, it`s just
not a great response from the Romney campaign. If they don`t want people
to believe it, they`re going to have to refute it with some facts.
SHARPTON: Now, Wes, I think that`s right. Rather than go for the
distraction of going for their statements about the tax policy center,
let`s deal with the issues. Let`s deal with their report. But when the
deputy policy director was asked about the report and about Romney`s tax
plan, let me show you what his response was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JONATHAN BURKS, ROMNEY`S DEPUTY POLICY DIRECTOR: It`s not a question
of today, you know, we`ve got a 2,000 page tax plan that could be scored
and demonstrate this. It`s that the governor has laid out a tax program,
he`s laid out goals that are accomplishable. The details of how that would
be accomplished are things that would have to be worked out with Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MOORE: The --
SHARPTON: So --
SHARPTON: So, the full screen on this would be the clip was from
Jonathan Burks, Romney`s deputy policy director.
Now, check out his resume before he worked for Romney, he was a top
policy aide to Paul Ryan. And he worked as a special assistant in the
White House of George Bush. That`s a trifecta, Wes.
MOORE: Well, the challenge is we`ve got issues on this. Not just on
the policy perspective, but also on the politics perspective. And here`s
what I mean, Rev. On the policy, I would love to see definition of
something how it`s going to be both revenue neutral and progressive. You
know, and if they can go into details, explain what exactly that looks like
and exactly that means. I would love to see it.
And I think also on the policy side, you know, when President -- when
Governor Romney talks about how the wealthy, the most wealthy in this
country will either pay the same or more under his plan, that won`t add up.
It`s just not mathematically, it`s just doesn`t make sense. The other
issue though is on the politics side. Is that this actually helps, this
actually compounds a larger narrative that the Governor Romney`s had
throughout this entire campaign.
You know, when Governor Romney earlier makes a statement that, you
know, he doesn`t care about the poor inside of this country, the ultra poor
because they already have safety nets. When he makes comments like the
reason we have economic disparities, in this case he was talking about
Israel -- on this was because of cultural issues.
When he decides to only release two years of tax returns. There`s a
larger narrative that I think people particularly middle class and poor in
this country have a right to be -- have a right to be -- not just be
concerned but also just demand a bit more transparency from someone who
wants to run for the presidency.
SHARPTON: Now, Patricia, what is this strategy of secrecy? Not
giving details to his plan. What is the strategy there?
MURPHY: I think the strategy is pretty clear that the Romney campaign
wants this election to be about Barack Obama, about Barack Obama`s record.
They really don`t want it to be about Mitt Romney. So, they`re hoping to
scoot through this entire election without releasing details. And just
like Wes said, no details, very few details about what kind of taxes he`s
paid. Very few details about his foreign policy, what would he actually
And when you given to the nuts and bolts of his economic policies, he
says that he would reduce tax rates for all Americans. OK, yes, that`s
true. But also he`s going to close some loopholes. He will not say which
loopholes he would close. The middle class balances its checkbooks with
those loopholes, with the mortgage interest`s deductions, charitable
deductions, child tax credit.
Those are loopholes that would have to go away if he wants to keep his
promise to keep this deficit neutral. So, there`s just no way these
numbers don`t add up. But the Romney campaign would really like to talk
about the last three years of the President`s record. It`s not a bad
strategy, but it is their strategy. And you know, voters are going to have
to decide if that`s enough for them.
MOORE: And I`ll say, that`s a great point.
SHARPTON: But Wes, is it a sound strategy, Wes, to not lay out a
plan and to keep giving like announcements with no real content and hope
you just keep the focus on the three years the President`s been in office?
Couldn`t that backfire?
MOORE: It definitely could back fire. Particularly because, and
here`s the fascinating thing about it, Rev, is that if you look at the
generalities of what Mitt Romney is talking about. He actually -- the
generalities make sense. He wants to encourage entrepreneurship, he wants
to help the educational prospects for all people inside this country. He
wants to enhance trade agreements. That all makes sense.
The problem is, it obviously shows that he hasn`t looked into what the
President has already been putting in place for the past three years. If
you want to talk about trade agreements, the fact the President.
MOORE: You look at trade agreements with South Korea, trade
agreements with Panama, trade agreements with Colombia. All done with
President Obama. In terms of entrepreneurship.
SHARPTON: I`ve got to stop.
MOORE: You know, so the President has a real track record, I think
Mitt Romney`s almost trying to, you know, trying to use and compound for
his own politics for.
SHARPTON: I`m going have to let it go there. Wes Moore, Patricia
Murphy, thank you both for being with me tonight.
MOORE: Thank you.
MURPHY: Thank you so much.
SHARPTON: Still ahead, key developments in the voter ID trial in
Pennsylvania. We`ll tell you about the testimony that is devastating the
But first, a cat who`s putting her best paw forward. She`s one of
the hottest things on the Web today. And she`s in your summer break, next.
SHARPTON: We`re back with the pause from the political battles of the
day. A time to rest, relax and recharge. That`s right. It`s time for the
POLITICS NATION summer break.
We start in Japan with Maroop. Now, some of you may already know this
cat. I`m told he`s a bit of an internet celebrity. And he`s out with a
hot new video showing off his Olympic talents. He`s got high jump skills
leaping on to furniture, even rolling chairs. Somersault skills, paper
tunneling skills. And of course he`s the master of jumping out of boxes.
What a pro. Check out that slow mo shot. Watch out Maroop with skills
like these, the Romneys might drop Rafalca and enter you into the cat
ballet Olympic event.
And here`s another little engine that could. That`s right. It`s a
smart car. Speeding away from police in a high-speed chase in Texas.
Reports say, there are 27 clowns inside the car. OK, actually there was
just one guy. He eventually got caught. So while his car might be smart,
the driver sure isn`t. And that`s today`s summer break.
SHARPTON: We`re back with the explosive conclusion of the trial
challenging Pennsylvania`s controversial voter ID law. It began six days
ago with testimony from lead plaintiff 93-year-old Viviette Applewhite who
can`t vote under the new law. She told me what she faced when we spoke in
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VIVIETTE APPLEWHITE, DISENFRANCHISED VOTER: I think it is because
they don`t want Obama in there, so I think they`re trying to do something
to keep the black people from having the right to vote.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Pennsylvania`s one of 19 states to adopt new restrictions
on voting since 2010. New testimony in this trial suggests the law could
disenfranchise more than a million Pennsylvania voters. A million people.
One witness talked about her trouble getting an ID when faced with a less
than helpful state worker. She was told tough luck.
A deputy city commissioner said quote, "We have no plan B for voters
without ID." And the Republicans secretary of state admitted quote, "I
don`t know what the law says." The court has heard this clip of a
republican lawmaker bragging about what voter ID would really do.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STATE REP. MIKE TURZAI (R-PA), MAJORITY LEADER: Voter ID which is
going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: No wonder those fighting the voter ID law left the court
today expecting, quote, "A slam dunk victory." And saying the state really
put up very little defense.
Joining me now is State Senator Daylin Leach, democrat from
Pennsylvania. He`s been a leader in the fight against the new voter ID
law. That`s in Pennsylvania. And he plans to introduce a bill to repeal
it. Senator, thanks for being here tonight
STATE SEN. DAYLIN LEACH (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Good to be with you again,
SHARPTON: Now, voter ID law has literally been put on trial this last
week. Doesn`t it seem like an open and shut case to you?
LEACH: Reverend Al, before I was elected to the legislature, I was a
litigator for 17 years. I have never seen a weaker case. They have to
establish what called strict scrutiny. They have to show that there`s a
compelling state interest in this law and that there`s very little
collateral damage as a result of the law to have fundamental right, the
right to vote. Well, they`ve admitted that there is no problem.
There`s not one single case, zero cases in any state that they can
point to as proof of this voter fraud actually happening. And they`ve
admitted hundreds of thousands of people, they aren`t really know how many,
they keep changing the number. But hundreds of thousands of people in
Pennsylvania will be disenfranchised. They`re left to argue a shocking
thing. Which is that voting is not a fundamental right.
When the attorney for the commonwealth said this today, there was an
automobile gasp in the courtroom. Because everyone believes voting is a
fundamental right. But that`s the only theoretical way they could still
prevail in this case.
SHARPTON: They said in the courtroom under oath that voting is not a
LEACH: Well, it wasn`t under oath. It was during closing statements.
What the attorney for the commonwealth said is, you cannot scrutinize this
law as if it were an important right. Because if you do, we`re going to
lose. So, you have to assume, it`s not really a right at all. It`s more
of a privilege or a discretionary thing. In which case we don`t have to
prove very much. Because they haven`t proved very much. They`ve proved
SHARPTON: Well, see -- I think that that is important. Because those
of us that`s been on this issue and saying, it`s a voting rights issue,
he`s really answered it. They don`t feel that people have the right to
vote. They feel it is a privilege. And correct me if I`m wrong, if this
case, if the state loses in Pennsylvania, could we not use it as a
precedent going around the country to the other states that we`re all now
traveling in trying to turn these laws around?
LEACH: Well, certainly. Especially since Pennsylvania has the most
restrictive law in the nation of all the states that have done this. So,
if we lose in Pennsylvania, that would make it much easier to argue that
other states with slightly less restrictive laws meet constitutional
muster. It would be a disaster according to a number of studies, millions
of voters around the country who disproportionately vote democratic would
be disenfranchised. Whole states could be swung in the presidential
election. This is about winning elections. And it`s obscene.
SHARPTON: It`s serious. That`s why we`re on it. A ruling is
expected by August 13th. And we`ll be watching for that decision. Daylin
Leach, thank you so much for your time tonight.
LEACH: Thank you, reverend.
SHARPTON: We`ll be right back.
SHARPTON: Mitt Romney has a big night ahead of him tonight. He`ll be
rubbing elbows with Karl Rove in Colorado. Politico reports, the two will
meet with GOP donors and governors in a closed door event. Yes, you heard
The republican presidential candidate and the head of one of the
largest conservative Super PACs just happen to be hanging out tonight.
There is no way they`re coordinating their attacks on the President, right?
That would be against campaign finance laws.
So what are they going to talk about? Horse ballet? Give me a break.
It`s these shady dealings that prove how much Super PACs and secret money
are playing into this presidential election. This week, President Obama`s
campaign spent more than Mr. Romney`s campaign on TV ads. But when you
factor the money spent by the party, committees, and Super PACs,
Republicans are outspending Democrats by nearly a two to one margin.
Make no mistake. The floodgates have opened and it won`t be turned
off before the election. Even the President`s been warning voters about
the attack ads and calling on Democrats to get up and get out and get
active in this campaign.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: The other side will spend more money than we`ve ever seen on
ads almost all of them negative. They`ll tell you the same thing that
you`ve been hearing for months.
If you`re willing to stand with me, if you`re willing to organize with
me, I promise you we will finish what we started. And we will remind the
world just why it is that the United States of America is the greatest
nation on earth.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Come January 2013, the President in the White House, the
leader of this country should be there because their policies and their
programs earned the most votes. Not because they raised the most money in
the most undisclosed spots and bought the White House and not cared about
Thank you for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts now.
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