updated 9/13/2012 1:20:41 PM ET 2012-09-13T17:20:41

POLITICS NATION
September 12, 2012

Guests: Wesley Clark, Rep. Joe Crowley, Krystal Ball, Joe Madison, Jan Klincewicz

REV. AL SHARPTON, HOST: Thanks to you for tuning in. Live tonight
from Dallas, tonight`s lead: Disgraceful -- Mitt Romney`s crass effort to
use the tragedy in the Middle East to score political points, to insert
himself and his campaign into what became a tragic, bloody situation.
Well, that`s our top story, and we`ll spend much of the next hour analyzing
it.

Mr. Romney`s words were hurtful and his actions were unfortunate.
Together, they raise yet again the question of whether Mitt Romney has the
judgment and character to be the president of the United States.

This morning, all of us were shocked to learn that Chris Stevens, our
ambassador to Libya, had been killed in an attack there, along with three
other American diplomats, all murdered in what U.S. officials are now
investigating as a possible terrorist attack on the anniversary of 9/11.

While Americans mourned, Mr. Romney saw a political opportunity.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R-MA), FMR. GOV., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The
administration was wrong to stand by a statement sympathizing with those
who had breached our embassy in Egypt instead of condemning their actions,
in my view, a disgraceful statement on the part of our administration, to
apologize for American values.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Sympathizing with the mob, apologizing for our values?
This is rough talk and ugly stuff. And President Obama responded.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There`s a broader
lesson to be learned here, and I -- you know, Governor Romney seems to have
a tendency to shoot first and aim later. And as president, one of the
things I`ve learned is you can`t do that, that, you know, it`s important
for you to make sure that the statements that you make are backed up by the
facts and that you`ve thought through the ramifications before you make
them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think it was irresponsible?

OBAMA: I`ll let the American people judge that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Mr. Romney was virtually alone today in making a political
issue out of this tragedy. This morning, President Obama and Secretary of
State Clinton struck a far different tone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: We condemn in the strongest
terms this senseless act of violence. And we send our prayers to the
families, friends and colleagues of those we`ve lost.

OBAMA: Today, the American people stand united in holding the
families of the four Americans in our thoughts and in our prayers. Today,
we mourn for more Americans who represent the very best of the United
States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice
is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Today, we learned a lot more about the timeline in this
tragedy, showing that Mr. Romney has his facts wrong. I want to go through
the timeline carefully because it shows at a time of maximum stress for men
and women in harm`s way, Mitt Romney chose to make a political attack.

The day began with unrest in Cairo over an American-made anti-Muslim
video posted on YouTube. At 6:17 AM in Washington, that`s just afternoon
in Cairo, the U.S. embassy there released a statement about the video,
trying to calm the situation, saying the U.S., quote, "condemns the
continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings
of Muslims."

About four hours later, about noon in Washington, the mob breaches the
embassy walls. They climb inside the compound and tear down the American
flag and replace it with an Islamic flag. By then conservative bloggers
back in the U.S. began criticizing the embassy`s initial statement.

Embassy officials respond on Twitter saying, quote, "Of course we
condemn breaches of our compound. We`re the ones actually living through
this."

Meanwhile, in Libya, at 6:25 PM in Washington, the State Department
confirms our consulate in Benghazi was attacked. Militants armed with
rockets and grenades set fire to buildings and cars. By 7:00 PM, there are
reports that a diplomat was killed in Benghazi in the violence. And just
after 10:00 PM, the State Department confirms those reports.

And at 10:25 PM, amidst the chaos and confusion of this breaking news,
Mitt Romney decides to make a political statement. It says, quote, "It`s
disgraceful that the Obama administration`s first response was not to
condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those
who waged the attacks."

But Mr. Romney was wrong when he said the first embassy statement was
a response to the attacks. In fact, it came six hours before the embassy
was breached. And that`s why it`s so appalling to hear Mr. Romney this
morning when he took his statements even further.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: The embassy is the administration. The statement that came
from the administration was a -- was a statement which is akin to apology
and I think was a severe miscalculation. It`s their administration --
their administration spoke. The president takes responsibility not just
for the words that come from his mouth but also from the words that come
from his ambassadors, from his administration, from his embassies, from his
State Department.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And desperate candidates who are falling in the polls
shouldn`t exploit a tragedy to further their political ambitions. It`s not
worthy of a man who wants to be our commander-in-chief.

Joining me now is Congressman Joe Crowley, Democrat from New York, and
retired general Wesley Clark, former NATO commander, now chairman and CEO
of Wesley Clark and Associates.

First, thank you both for being here.

REP. JOE CROWLEY (D), NEW YORK: Thank you, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: General Clark, let me go to you first. How do you assess
Mitt Romney`s action in this situation?

GEN. WESLEY CLARK, U.S. ARMY (RET.), FMR. NATO SUPREME COMMANDER:
Well, you know, the first thing you learn in events like this is that first
reports tend to be wrong, so you don`t react on first reports.

It was ready, fire, aim by Mitt Romney. He should have waited. He
should have listened. He should have taken his time.

Something like -- you know, this is a tragedy for the United States of
America. This is an attack on sovereign U.S. soil. That`s what these
consulates and embassies represent. It`s an affront to all Americans.

And the fact that we lost our senior diplomat in Libya and three other
U.S. embassy personnel is awful. My heart goes out to those families, to
those loved ones and their colleagues. This is terrible.

And to try to convert that into some kind of political advantage and
gamesmanship at 11:00 o`clock at night -- it doesn`t make sense to me.

SHARPTON: Now, General Clark, you and I both ran in `04 together. We
understand politics. But the timeline that we just went through is what
disturbs me because the first statement that was made, was made before
there was even a breach at the embassy in Egypt, or in Cairo, and before
what happened in Libya.

And already, he was saying that -- he being Mr. Romney -- that this
president and this administration had attacked the people that were, in
fact, the Americans who put out the film before they attacked the people
that had breached the embassy that had not even been breached yet.

CLARK: That`s right. And it`s what President Obama was saying, get
your facts straight. Before you make statements, get your facts straight.
And at night, with a crush of other events going, and I`m sure people are
running in and out, telling this is happening, that`s happening, and so
forth, let`s get a statement out -- They did it wrong. They didn`t get
their facts straight.

And he should take it back and he should express condolence to the
diplomats` families and the people that are over there and he should -- he
should make it right with the American people.

SHARPTON: And certainly, all of us should be praying and giving our
condolences to the families of these American diplomats that have lost
their lives.

Congressman Crowley, your response to what has happened over there in
both Cairo and Benghazi and to what Mr. Romney has done?

CROWLEY: Well, thank you, Reverend Al. I want to join you and the
general in expressing my condolences on behalf of my constituents, all
Americans, all freedom-loving people around the world, expressing the
condolences of the loss of these -- these four Americans.

You know, we don`t think enough about the foreign service and what
these men and women do every day. They go into parts of the world that
many of us wouldn`t want to go to. And they relish the opportunity, jump
at the opportunity. The more dangerous the operation, the more they want
to go. And I think that Ambassador Stevens was a fine example of that.

I just -- I was shocked when I heard the response from Governor
Romney. And you know, to politicize this tragic event without having all
the facts or understanding exactly what was happening on the ground. I
think what -- I think what Ambassador Stevens would want us to do now is
put aside this rhetoric, focus on he democratization of Libya, as well as
other parts of the Arab world -- I think that`s what his mission was all
about in the first place -- and to get on the work of just doing just that
and hope that something like this doesn`t happen again.

I think what we have to remember is that words have consequences and
that we should not be fueling any more of this type of activity around the
world and other parts of the world, and as well...

SHARPTON: Well, Congressman, let me -- let me -- let me stop you
right there Because, as you said, not fueling it -- even after we`ve
learned throughout the course of the day that, in fact, what happened in
Benghazi may have been, in fact, a plot and not a spontaneous action...

CROWLEY: Right.

SHARPTON: ... that`s being investigated -- even with that information
now out that there`s an investigation, we don`t know the conclusion yet,
Mr. Romney spoke today and repeated. He doubled down rather than withdrew.

Let me play you something he said and get your reaction, Congressman
Crowley.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: ... a terrible course to -- for America to -- to stand in
apology for our values, and apology for America`s values is never the right
course, a statement which is akin to apology, a disgraceful statement on
the part of our administration to apologize for American values, not
something we shrink from or apologize for.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, Congressman, apologize for America -- first of all,
where was an apology? Before the first breach in Cairo, there was a
statement to try to defuse and certainly not identify with this film. But
where`s the apology? And where is him stepping back saying, Well, wait a
minute, there are new facts out here and I need to review them?

CROWLEY: Well, you yourself said double down. I like to use the word
"In for a penny, in for a pound." No question that he doubled down after -
- you know, after these tragic events further unfolded.

I think the best way to look at this, Reverend Al, is the contrasts,
as to how the president -- how President Obama and how Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton handled this and the mature way in which they handled it
and the way in which they condemned this violence.

Let me be clear. Nothing that was in that film -- I haven`t seen it
yet, nor is written on paper -- can justify the actions that were taken,
whether it`s by terrorists -- and this may very well have been a planned
event. We don`t know yet -- coming on the anniversary of 9/11. But
nothing could justify the actions of these people.

The president never once apologized for any of this. And I think the
president acted correctly and calling on the world to mourn this loss and
to refocus our efforts to bring democracy to that part of the world.

SHARPTON: Now, General Clark, it appears that even his fellow
Republicans are not going out there with him, when you look at the
headlines around Mr. Romney`s reaction from other Republicans. Politico
reports, quote, "Hill GOP leaves Romney out on limb on Libya." "Washington
Post," "GOP leaders less critical than Mitt Romney in response to Libya
attack," TalkingPointsMemo, "Romney`s false Libya attack puts him way
ahead of mainstream GOP."

Then when you hear even Mr. Sununu and Noonan -- let me play to you
what they had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You look at the way things unfolded. You look at
the timing of it. They probably should have waited.

PETTY NOONAN, WALL STREET JOURNAL COLUMNIST: In times of great drama
and heightened crisis and in times when something violent has happened to
your people, I always think discretion is the better way to go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So it appears, General, he`s way out there by himself.

CROWLEY: Yes. You know, the old maxim in politics is if you have dug
yourself a hole, stop digging. And he should have backed out of this
instead of doubling down, and the other members of his party recognize it.

Look, this is a tragedy. We`ve lost four diplomats. We`ve had --
we`ve seen the strength now of, apparently, of some radical Islamic
elements there, if this was a plan. This is not good.

The president`s taken very strong leadership in past against this.
He`s shown strong leadership in this crisis by his statements. There`s no
apology there, and he said these people will be brought to justice. I
think Governor Romney should reconsider his statement.

SHARPTON: General Wesley Clark and Congressman Joe Crowley, thank you
both for your time tonight.

CROWLEY: Thank you, Reverend Al. Great to be with you.

SHARPTON: Coming up: Was the tragedy in Libya a planned terrorist
attack timed to kill Americans on the anniversary of 9/11? We`ll look at
the evidence.

And Governor Romney claims the president is apologizing for America.
I think he should apologize for repeating this totally debunked talking
point.

Plus, the 93-year-old face of the fight for voter rights finally got
her Pennsylvania ID, but we`re learning just how hard it is for all those
Americans without a voice. Our guest tonight describes the process as
"hell." That`s why we`ve got to keep up the fight.

You`re watching POLITICS NATION on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Governor Romney says that the president is apologizing for
America. We`ve heard this line over and over again. What`s he getting at?
It`s ugly. That`s coming up.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back on POLITICS NATION. U.S. officials are now
investigating whether the attack on the Libyan consulate was a planned act
of terror and not the action of a mob that simply got out of control. And
now there are other questions, as well.

Was there a connection to al Qaeda? And was this attack planned to
coincide with the anniversary of 9/11?

To get some answers, let`s bring in Evan Kohlmann, NBC News terrorism
analyst. Evan, thanks for coming on the show tonight. There are signs
this was not the actions of a mob that simply got out of control, Evan.
There are reports that the attack was a commando-style event with
coordinated fire and that the attackers were armed with mortars and rocket-
propelled grenades.

What can you tell us about that?

EVAN KOHLMANN, NBC TERRORISM ANALYST: Well, first of all, if this is
the case, there would be precedents for this. Back in June, just a few
months ago, a group calling itself the Brigades of Sheikh Omar Abdelrahman
carry out an IED attack, a bombing targeting the exact same U.S. consulate
in Benghazi. The same group also carried out an RPG attack against a Red
Cross office in Benghazi the month before.

So certainly, it`s very plausible that there would be an organized
terrorist attack targeting the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. More to the
point, on September 10th, one day before this occurred, al Qaeda issued its
very first response to the killing of Abu Yahya al Libi. To those
unfamiliar...

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: ... September 10th -- September 10th being day before
yesterday.

KOHLMANN: Exactly. Correct. Yes. Abu Yahya Libi was a Libyan
national, basically the number three man in al Qaeda, was killed in a drone
strike in Pakistan back in June. And this was the very first official
response from al Qaeda on this. Ayman al Zawahiri specifically called upon
the Libyan people and said, Where are those who are going to rise up to
avenge the death of your son, your brother? Where are you? Come up and
inspire us by killing the crusaders, by attacking the crusaders. So you
know, again...

SHARPTON: So this could possibly be some form of payback? I mean, he
said this two days ago and then this happens yesterday?

KOHLMANN: Yes. Look, it seems like a very close schedule time-wise.
But if you think about it, number one, this message was put out on the
Internet, meaning that the folks in Libya who watch this saw it at the same
time that we did.

And number two, this area of eastern Libya where this attack took
place -- this is where jihadists have a stronghold. This is where al Qaeda
has a stronghold. This is where individuals have come from who have
carried out suicide bombing attacks in Iraq, in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

There`s one particular group whose names continues to surface with
regards to this latest attack. The group is called Ansar al Sharia. It`s
a jihadi movement. It`s locally based. It`s al Qaeda-inspired or al
Qaeda-aligned, but it is not al Qaeda per se.

And they have already held a press conference in Libya where they more
or less acknowledged that -- they said, We didn`t organize this, but they
more or less acknowledged that their fighters had been involved in what
took place.

So there`s going to be a lot of scrutiny right now on whether or not
this is simply a group of trigger-happy militiamen who lost control and
began firing, or whether this was a coordinated decision on the part of al
Qaeda, Ansar al Sharia, or some other jidhadi faction within Libya to
either avenge generally grievances against the United States, or more
specifically, to avenge that drone strike that killed Abu Yahya al Libi
back in June.

SHARPTON: But isn`t al Qaeda badly wounded? Are they capable of such
an attack?

KOHLMANN: Well, it`s not really so much a question of whether they
organized this in the sense that they had a deliberate plan. But they have
local affiliate groups that are active in places like Yemen, like Libya,
and Ansar al Sharia stands out there, that they can call upon. And these
groups -- they don`t necessarily follow everything al Qaeda has to say, but
they will certainly rally to the cause if you have a message like this from
Ayman al Zawahiri.

Are they a majority of Libyans? I don`t think so. I don`t think they
represent the majority of Libyans. I don`t think they represent the
majority of Libyan Muslims. But nonetheless, they are there and they will
respond to the calls of Zawahiri and they can carry out, obviously, attacks
like this in an unstable environment like such what you find right now
inside Libya.

SHARPTON: Evan Kohlmann, thank you for your time tonight.

KOHLMANN: Thank you very much.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, we`ll dig into the bogus history behind Mitt
Romney`s false claim that President Obama is apologizing for America.

Plus, Republicans think that getting a voter ID is no big deal? Well,
we`ll talk to a citizen who went through it and wants to correct the
record.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Have you checked us out on Facebook yet? The POLITICS
NATION conversation is going all day long. Today our Facebook family is
mourning the killing of American foreign services members in Libya.

Susan says, "My heart goes out to Chris Stevens and the other brave
Americans who lost their lives in these senseless killings." Lilla says
her prayers are with the families. Carol says, "At least Ambassador
Stevens died doing what he wanted to do, trying to help Libya."

If you`d like to join the POLITICS NATION conversation about this
tragedy or anything else, please head over to Facebook and search for
POLITICS NATION, and "like" us to join the conversation that keeps going
long after the show ends.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back on POLITICS NATION with a closer look at Mitt
Romney`s no apologies tour. Here`s what he outlined today as his first
plank of his foreign policy.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FMR. GOV. MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My foreign policy
has three fundamental branches. First, confidence in our cause, a
recognition that the principles America was based upon are not something we
shrink from or apologize for.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Don`t apologize for American values. It`s the first branch
of the Romney doctrine and it`s one of his favorite things to brag about on
the campaign trail.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: It is time for us to have a president who will not apologize
for success at home and will never apologize for America overseas.

Never again apologize for America abroad.

And never again apologize for America abroad.

I will never apologize for American greatness abroad.

We will never again apologize for America abroad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Of course, these suggestions that President Obama
apologizes for the United States are ludicrous. But they`ve been brewing
ever since he took office. Just three months after the President`s
inauguration, Karl Rove wrote a piece called, "The President`s Apology
Tour" for "The Wall Street Journal." Rove claimed President Obama
apologized on three continents for what he views as the sins of America and
his predecessors. But Rove`s accusations were totally bogus.

The President never apologized for the United States. "The Washington
Post" debunked those claims last year. Quote, in none of these cases does
Obama actually use a word at all similar to apologize. The post says,
quote, "Note to GOP speechwriters and campaign ad makers the apology tour
never happened." Four Pinocchios. Mitt Romney was never one to let facts
get in a way of a good talking point, but still maybe it`s time, he offer
an apology of his own.

Joining me now is Krystal Ball, co-host of "The Cycle" here on MSNBC
and Joe Madison, nationally syndicated radio host, "Mornings with Madison."
Thanks to both f you for being here tonight.

JOE MADISON, NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO HOST: Thank you.

KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC CO-HOST, "THE CYCLE": Thanks, Reverend.

SHARPTON: So Krystal, why is Romney using these false apologizing
attacks on the President?

BALL: Well, in the words of his pollster Neil Newhouse, they are not
going to allow their campaign to be dictated by fact checkers and clearly
they have lived that mantra throughout this campaign. I mean, this is
obviously the same guy who has placed a lot of emphasis in his campaign
through ad dollars and in his speeches on a welfare attack on the President
which is also wholly untrue and I actually think, as you correctly pointed
out, he`s been pushing this line about Obama apologizing for America, and
trying to paint the President as un-American throughout his campaign.

You`ll recall his top surrogate, John Sununu, saying that the
President needed to learn how to be an American. So, he`s been pushing
this line from the beginning. So, I think when he saw the opening last
night, that he thought he could jump on to push this mean, it was too much
for him and as you see, it`s gone over like a lead balloon.

SHARPTON: Now, Joe, it is not only Mr. Romney, Karl Rove wrote in the
2009 article that I referred to about the so called apology tour that the
President made, quote, "Mr. Obama told the French -- the French -- that
America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive toward
Europe." If you really listen to what the President said in that speech in
France, it wasn`t an apology at all. Listen to this, Joe.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: There`s been times where
America has shown arrogance and have been dismissive, even derisive but in
Europe there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual but can also be
insidious. Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in
the world. There have been times where Europeans choose to blame America
for much of what`s bad.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, it seems to me the President is chiding the anti-
Americanism in Europe and saying that, yes, there have been times America
seemed to be dismissive but he went after them about an anti-American
feeling, how is that apologizing for America or is this, as Krystal said,
trying to play into painting this image of his un-American or other than
American and all that implies?

MADISON: Krystal, she`s absolutely right and what he did was offer
two perspectives. That`s exactly what he did. He said, look, I`ve got one
perspectives here but then let me be honest about what the United States
has meant to this world and he offered our perspective. That`s what they
missed here. But it also speaks, Reverend Sharpton, to, again, this
meeting in which they went back and said, we`re going to make sure that
this President doesn`t get credit for anything and that anything he does
whether it`s domestically or internationally, we`re going to make it a
negative and we`re going to oppose it.

Now, finally, I`m just going to be straight up. I`m going to be very
straight up. When you run those clips of Romney and him saying everything
the same way, he is stuck on stupid. There`s only one way to explain it.
He`s just stuck on stupid. Here we have a crisis. All of us feel sorry
for these families. We hurt. Here we are attacked again, you know the
President, the Secretary of State, the military, the CIA are meeting late
at night, meeting in the Oval Office trying to come up with a measured
response and then you get this asinine stupid reaction for political
purposes. He does not deserve to be president of the United States of
America. This man can`t even speak to the English properly and he
certainly doesn`t know how to respond in a moment of crisis.

SHARPTON: Well, Krystal, Joe is using some very graphic terms but
let`s say this, the irony of Mr. Romney addressing foreign affairs when he
is clearly in this area shown that he`s not ready for primetime, I mean, we
are talking about Mitt Romney. He made multiple gaffes on his overseas
diplomacy trip this summer, including insulting our closest ally. He
thinks Russia is our number one enemy, not al Qaeda, and he`s completely
failed in his own address to the Republican National Convention to even
mention Afghanistan in his own RNC speech.

BALL: Right.

SHARPTON: So, we`re talking about a guy who has been less than
impressive in foreign affairs that has now jumped in with both feet last
night before the facts even were -- had occurred, less known been looked
into.

BALL: That`s exactly right. And as you pointed out in his speech at
the RNC, his failure to mention our troops, to mention Afghanistan, an
ongoing war, with such an unbelievable oversight that even conservatives
like Bill Kristol were calling him out on it. So, his back with already
against the wall so to speak on foreign policy and this is someone who
doesn`t have foreign policy experience with a running mate who also doesn`t
have foreign policy experience.

So, it`s completely appropriate for Americans to be asking the
question, is this man ready to be commander in chief? Is he prepared to be
the public face abroad of the United States of America? And I think in
this instance he had an opportunity to appear presidential, to be above the
fray, to transcend the moment. Instead he went for the craven political
hit and it has come back to bite him.

SHARPTON: Joe, does this give Americans a comfort that this is the
man they want to get that call at 3:00 in the morning? I think if you just
look at the polls, the majority of Americans trust President Obama to
handle international affairs even before last night. The latest Washington
Post poll has President Obama 51 to 38 in a national affairs. The latest
CNN poll shows Americans think President Obama is strong and decisive as a
leader in this election, 50 to 44. And I suspect that could even become --
that could even turn into a wider gap.

MADISON: This should give all of us a pause. There`s nothing
uncomfortable about what happened today with the Mitt Romney campaign.
This should give us a pause. Wait a minute. And the reality is, you have
to ask yourself the question, who is advising him? What advisers told him
to make these kinds of statements? Because the sad thing is, they may be
the very advisers who will follow him into the White House?

BALL: Well, and many of those advisers are --

SHARPTON: Well, some of those advisers -- yes.

BALL: Go ahead, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Some of those advisers were held over from the Bush
administration and I suspect they may have been the ones that saw weapons
of mass destruction in Iraq. But I`m going to have to leave it there.
Krystal Ball and Joe Madison, thank you for your time tonight.

BALL: Thank you.

MADISON: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: And don`t forget to catch Krystal on "The Cycle," weekdays
at 3:00 p.m. Eastern right here on MSNBC.

Plus, the 91 year old face in the fight for voting rights has a
Pennsylvania ID but what about the millions without a voice? We`re
learning just how hard the process is. Our guest just went through it for
his 87-year-old mom and called it, quote, "hell." His story ahead.

And Paul Ryan`s out with a new ad for his seat in Congress.

And I`m here to help. He left a few things out. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: I think we all know the Romney campaign is having some
major issues these days and it looks like Paul Ryan knows it. But he`s got
a back-up plan. Starting today, Ryan is running this ad in his Wisconsin
district for his seat in Congress. Now, he`s not the first politician to
run for two seats at once but I couldn`t help notice a few, shall we say,
interesting things about this one. Here`s how the ad starts, with seniors
front in center, but Mr. Ryan forgot to tell them about his plan in
Medicare. And just listen to his big pitch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI), VICE-PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: As Americans, we
deserve a choice. You, not Washington, should decide the path we take and
the decisions we make.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: He is running against Washington? Really? Mr. Romney
loves Washington. It`s all he knows. Here he was 14 years ago when he was
first elected. He`s been a congressman for nearly one-third of his life
since his 20s. If that doesn`t make him an insider, what does? And here`s
the other fishy part of Ryan`s re-election pitch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RYAN: If we act now, we can get this right. We don`t want a
government-controlled society, we want a limited government that is both
efficient and effective.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Limited government? I think he forgot a few exceptions,
like when he requested $20 million in stimulus funds and money from the
President`s health care law and federal loans for green card in his
district. Paul Ryan loves government as long as it`s helping him.

Did he think we would not notice the hypocrisy in his new ad just
because he was not part of the presidential race? Nice try, but we`ve got
you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: With 55 days until the election, millions of unregistered
voters in states with new voter ID laws are racing to get proper ID. But
we really need to keep an eye on Pennsylvania. Yesterday, Jim Cramer,
CNBC`s popular host, told his half million twitter followers that his
elderly father, quote, "won`t be allowed to vote because he does not
drive." He is elderly and cannot prove his citizenship. And within seven
hours, Cramer`s dad got his ID, that`s great news. It`s that easy, right?

No. If you have a famous son it is, yes. But what about the millions
without a voice? An ABC News report just detailed how hard it is for
Pennsylvanians trying to get ID. It can include two week long waiting
periods. Four forms and two signed affidavits. One man helping his 87-
year-old mother described, quote, "It was hell all told." That is why
tomorrow is so important.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court will consider whether the law is unfairly
blocking the vote. Court testimony suggested the controversial law could
disenfranchise over a million people. Governor Tom Corbett signed it in
March claiming it would stop voter fraud. But our top Pennsylvania
republican admitted what it`s really about.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE TURZAI (R-ALLEGHENY), HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER: Voter ID, which is
going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: There it is. That`s why we need to fight this. There`s 55
days to go and we`ve come too far to turn back now.

Joining me now in Philadelphia is Jan Klincewicz, the man who took his
87-year-old mother to get an ID and called the process hell. Yan, thanks
for being here.

JAN KLINCEWICZ, STRUGGLED TO GET MOM ID: Thank you, Reverend
Sharpton.

SHARPTON: Tell us what happened after your first trip to the DMV and
what struggle incurred. Tell us what happened?

KLINCEWICZ: Well, what initiated the entire process is back in June,
my mother received a notice of recall of her driving privileges and the
reason given was that a medical authority had reported that she suffered
from seizures. So, naturally my mother being the good citizen that she is,
sent everything in. She licked the stamp ten minutes after reading the
letter. And when my family found out she had done that, you know, we
realized that she now has no idea whatsoever and part of the irony is, that
she did not drive since she was 16.

She`s 87 years old. She had a non-driver`s license. So we called
PennDOT to try to get to the bottom of it and to find out who exactly was
that medical authority who said that she had seizures, at which PennDOT
told us, we would need a court order in order to get that information.

SHARPTON: So, wait a minute. There was no examination, they just
sent her a letter said that she had seizures out of the clear blue?

KLINCEWICZ: Apparently, Pennsylvania has the lowest standards for
medical reporting that results in having driver`s privileges. So,
apparently, anyone can fill out a form DL-14, give them a positions name
and their license, facts at the DMV and without any vetting at all they
will revoke somebody`s driving privileges until they proven --

SHARPTON: Well, all right, I don`t want to get into the driving
because that in itself is terrible. But what happened then when you went
to DMV? This resulted her having no ID, so you had to go get her an ID so
she could vote. What happened?

KLINCEWICZ: Right. Well, we actually called several times trying to
get them to just rescind the ID because we subsequently found out that was
apparently done in error and they just kept on sending the same form over
and over asking for $30 and to repeat the regular process. So my wife,
Barbara, fortunately is a school teacher and did not have to work. So, she
looked at the Web site, looked at the DMV hours and said, OK, you know,
Monday, the photo ID is opened. So subsequently drove the 25 miles there
and back only to find out that the DMV was in fact closed, the PennDOT
office.

SHARPTON: You drove 25 miles there and back and the DMV was closed?

KLINCEWICZ: Correct. So, cumulative of 50 miles. So, she had to
wait until Wednesday, picked up my mom, repeated the process. When she got
to PennDOT, we fortunately, you know, had two teenagers who just recently
got driver`s licenses. So, we`re aware of PennDot. So, she showed up with
all of the proper documentation, you know, a check because they don`t
accept cash, they don`t accept the American Express, debit cards, anything
of that nature. And it was two hours in one line to get the forms and then
subsequently more than another two hours to get the photo taken and finally
get the ID.

SHARPTON: And your mother was not an activist. She was just somebody
wanting to vote and had to go through all of this and if she didn`t have
you and others, she probably would be disenfranchised for this --

KLINCEWICZ: Well, my mother actually, yes, she has not --

(CROSSTALK)

SHARPTON: For no reason.

KLINCEWICZ: She had not really voted in years. However, she does
recognize this is the most important election of her life that, you know,
her quality of life is actually threatened if the wrong party should get
in.

SHARPTON: Right.

KLINCEWICZ: So, she was adamant about exercising her right to vote in
this one.

SHARPTON: Four hours in line. Well, Jan, we`re glad your mother made
it through the system. Thank you for your time tonight and I hope it sheds
lights on people that don`t have help like Jan and others to help their
mother. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HILLARY CLINTON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: He risked his life to stop
a tyrant, then gave his life trying to help build a better Libya.

OBAMA: He was a role model to all who worked with him and to the
young diplomats who aspire to walk in his footsteps.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton honoring
Ambassador Chris Stevens who was killed last night along with three other
U.S. diplomats in Libya. Stevens joined the foreign service in 1991 and
served in several posts in the Middle East. State Department officials
Sean Smith was also killed. He leaves a wife and two children. We don`t
know yet the identity of the two other Americans killed. Our sympathies
and prayers are with the families of those killed while they were serving
their country.

Tragedy like this, our time for unity. They are not a time to advance
a political agenda. But that`s the course Mitt Romney chose. The language
he used to politicize these events is the same language he`s been using
about President Obama for months. He said, the President sympathize with
the mob, making the President out to be different, to be other. This
language is ugly. The President said, Romney should get his facts
straight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: There`s a broader lesson to be learned here and, you know,
Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later and
as president, one of the things I`ve learned is you can`t do that. That,
you know, it`s important for you to make sure that the statements that you
make are backed up by the facts and that you`ve thought through the
ramifications before you`ve made them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I have learned in my career that you cannot rush to
judgment. I have learned how to be more cautious, particularly when you`re
dealing with matters like this. You must learn in your debate to rise
above your differences when you`re dealing with matters like this. Those
that can`t rise above the storm show their judgment makes them fall beneath
what is needed for leadership and the positions they desire.

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

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
BE UPDATED.
END

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