updated 10/18/2012 1:17:53 PM ET 2012-10-18T17:17:53

POLITICS NATION
October 17, 2012
Guests: Rick Stengel; Ana Marie Cox, Abby Huntsman, Irin Carmon, Joe
Madison, Maria Teresa Kumar

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Thanks, Chris, and thanks to you
for tuning in.
Tonight`s lead, standing up to a bully. Last night, President Obama
made a lot of strong points, a lot of good arguments. But more than
anything, he stood up to a bully. In the first debate Mitt Romney acted as
though he was in charge that rules don`t apply to him. Last night, that
ended with the resounding wallop from President Obama.

Right from the start, the president literally stood up to Governor
Romney. And in doing that, he stood up to the middle class.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Candy, what Governor
Romney said just isn`t true. Not true, Governor Romney. And when Governor
Romney says the challenges well, Obama didn`t try, that`s not true.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And production of gas is not
nine percent.

OBAMA: It`s just not true. Very little of what Governor Romney just
said is true.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Very little of what Governor Romney just said is true. It
was the theme we heard all night on issue after issue. The 47 percent, the
phony Romney economic policy, the Romney tax giveaway to the rich, on
women`s rights, on immigration, on the auto bailout.

But the most striking response of the whole night came on the
suggestion that he played politics over the death of the Libyan ambassador.
President Obama showed presidential leadership and made the governor look
small.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: The day after the attack, governor, I stood in the Rose Garden
and I told the American people and the world that we were going to find out
exactly what happened, that this was an act of terror, and I also said that
we`re going to hunt down those who committed this crime. And then a few
days later I was there greeting the caskets, coming into Andrew`s air force
base and grieving with the families. And the suggestion that anybody in my
team, whether the secretary of state, our U.N. ambassador, anybody on my
team would play politics or mislead when we`ve lost four of our own,
governor, is offensive. That`s not what we do. That`s not what I do as
president, that`s not what I do as commander in chief.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It was a powerful moment. He took on the bully in
substance, demeanor, and style. He was far more effective than Mr. Romney.

Joining me now is former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, now an NBC
News political analyst and Ana Marie Cox, Washington correspondent for "the
Guardian."

Thanks to both of you for joining us.

ED RENDELL (D), FORMER GOVERNOR, PENNSYLVANIA: Our pleasure.

ANA MARIE COX, WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT, THE GUARDIAN: Good to be
here.

SHARPTON: Governor Rendell, let me go to you, governor, first. How
does President Obama`s perform man last night impact the race with 20 days
to go?

RENDELL: Well, I think it does two things, Reverend Al, and they are
both beneficial. One, I think as you can see from the flash polls, not
only did people generally think he won the debate, but independent voters
by a fairly wide margin thought he won the debate. And I believe there is
still eight or 10 percent that haven`t made up their mind.

You know, the pollsters say they are four percent undecided. But a
lot of people lean that can still be persuaded. So I think he made a very
compelling case. He looked like the leader that he is. He addressed the
issues forthright. He called Governor Romney on the mistakes and
misstatements. He actually left a few of them out like Governor Romney
said he would grow the Pell grants while the Romney/Ryan budget cuts Pell
grants by 20 percent. It cuts them, not grows them.

But in any way, so that helps with the undecided voters. But, two,
for our base. And in many states turn out will decides this election. Our
base is whipped up, as enthusiastic, just as down in the math as we were
two weeks ago. We were enthusiastic, whipped up and ready to go now.

SHARPTON: Ana Marie, 20 days to go, what do you think last night
meant?

COX: Well, I agree with governor Rendell, that definitely
progressives are very excited about the Obama that they saw last night. It
is the Obama that hasn`t been showing up for a little while. That guy,
that guy last night knows how to win a debate and he, I think, definitively
won one. I usually say that it`s hard to call a debate, a presidential
debate as someone actually winning it because we usually, you know, what do
you really judge it on? You judge it on facts, you judge it on rhetoric,
you judge it on the optics?

I think Obama won on almost all point last night and definitely you
call this standing up to bullies. He definitely stepped to Romney. It`s,
you know, just a coincidence. Actually, it`s a national anti-bullying
awareness month and certainly Obama made us all aware of that.

And I was just thinking, you know, to support anti-bullying month, you
are supposed to have it mix it up at lunch day, you supposed to have people
sit by different types of people that they don`t know about. I wonder who
Romney should sit with, you know. Should he sit with a woman, should he
sit a poor person? It seem like there`s a lot of people that this bullying
Romney doesn`t really have a good touch with.

SHARPTON: No, he sure doesn`t. Well, let me get to some of the
substance of the debate, governor. Let me go back to you. The president
repeatedly went after Romney on both the vagueness and unfairness of the
economics of his plan. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Governor Romney says he has a five-point plan? Governor
Romney doesn`t have a five-point plan. He has a one-point plan and that
plan is to make sure that folk at the top play by a different set of rule.

Now, Governor Romney was a very successful investor. If somebody came
to you, governor, with a plan that said, here, I want to spend seven or $8
trillion and we`re going to pay for it, but we can`t tell you until maybe
after the election how we`re going to do it, you wouldn`t take such a
sketchy deal.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I thought that was an effective point, governor, a sketchy
deal. I mean, and we still don`t know what this sketchy deal is with
Governor Romney.

RENDELL: No, we absolutely don`t know. It`s really is seven
trillion. It is the $5 trillion that you get from the cross the board tax
cuts.

SHARPTON: Right.

RENDELL: Plus, two trillion that Governor Romney wants to add to the
defense department budget, even though the joints chief of staff say they
don`t need it. It`s seven trillion. And by the way, he has to account for
that before he has a so-called deficit reduction.

SHARPTON: Exactly.

RENDELL: So there`s no way it adds up. And you know, the only thing
Governor Romney put on the table specific last night, maybe we will do a
cap on deductions of 25,000. Well, if you do that, that doesn`t even begin
to come close to $7 trillion.

Nobody should take that sketchy deal and you cut the president off
before he said that final line. He said, governor, you wouldn`t take that
sketchy deal and then he turned to the audience and said, and neither
should you.

SHARPTON: Right. Exactly, right.

Ana Marie, I want your view on that as well as they also had an
interesting exchange on the pension. Let me play that for you before we
get the responses to both.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Any investments that I have over the last eight years include
a blind trust and I understand they do include investments outside the
United States, including in Chinese companies. Mr. President, have you
looked at your pension? Have you looked at your pension --

OBAMA: I`ve got to say --

ROMNEY: Mr. President, have you looked at your pension?

OBAMA: You know, I don`t look at my pension. It`s not as big as
yours so it doesn`t take you as long.

ROMNEY: Let me give you some advise.

OBAMA: I don`t check it that often.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: You hear the laughter in the room on the pension exchange
which people were not supposed to laugh but I guess they couldn`t help it.
Both on this exchange, which was clearly the president dealing with Mr.
Romney`s Chinese investments and the deal that the governor and I were
discussing that he said Americans should buy and that Romney would. Give
me your response, Ana Marie.

COX: Well, Romney, I feel like really opened him up and gave some
more material to the charge that he doesn`t sort of - even understand how
normal people think about their money and their taxes and their own
investment.

You know, when he answered that woman`s question about the deductions,
he used that line like, pick a number, as though that would help us
understand, as though that would make it look like he had a plan. That
sort of make underscores the fact that he hasn`t shared with us any
specific.

And another thing, do you really want to tell a family that`s
struggling to pay groceries, that struggling to sort of pay their gas on a
weekly basis that they won`t have to pay taxes on their stock investments?
I mean, I don`t think that makes a lot of sense to a family that`s really
struggling. I don`t think that makes a difference to them if they are
thinking that way.

And as for the pension exchange, that was sort of an incredible
moment. It drove shows Romney being a real bully, as we`ve been talking
about, really kind of almost getting in the president`s personal space and
really over eager to kind of drop this line, like have you seen your
pension, have you seen your pension, have are you seen your pension? And
then the president playing it cool under pressure like we know he can and
delivering that kind of really little stiletto of a line to him.

SHARPTON: And never answering about his own Chinese investments, by
the way.

COX: That`s true, too.

SHARPTON: But one of the reasons, governor, I called him a bully last
night and today is he kept badgering the moderator, badgering the
president. I mean, look at how rude he was behaving. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Governor Romney,
there will be plenty of chances here to go on but I will let you absolutely
--

ROMNEY: The rest of the answer way off the mark.

You`ll get your chance in a moment. I`m still speaking. And the
answer is, I don`t think that`s the case -- that wasn`t a question. That
was a statement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I mean, it was like unnecessarily rude and you are talking
to the president of the United States and you are talking to a respective
journalist. And there was no reason to get that edgy with his voice and
his attitude.

RENDELL: Right. And, you know, it`s interesting, when you prepare
for multiple debates, Reverend, and I`ve done it a few times and you
probably have, too. When you prepare for multiple debates, you have to
have a different change of pace.

Look. It worked for Governor Romney in the first debate because
President Obama didn`t challenge him and Jim Lehrer didn`t challenge him.
So, he took over the whole debate and seen like a leader, a strong
affirmative leader. But he should have known that President Obama wasn`t
going to do the same thing twice. He should have known that Candy Crowley
is no Jim Lehrer and he should have are been ready for that. And he should
have had a much softer approach through this debate. You can be soft, you
can be polite, and you can still get your points across. But, I`m not sure
that he`s capable of that. I think he`s the atypical boss who wants to
control the room wherever he goes and it doesn`t work that way in politics.

SHARPTON: Ana Marie, I`m running out of time, but I want to go back
to the moment that everyone is talking about and that`s when Romney,
Governor Romney, insists that the president never said act of terror.
First, let me show you the moderator, Candy Crowley correcting him. Take a
listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I think it`s interesting the president just said something
which is that on the day after the attack he went in the Rose Garden and
said that this was an act of terror.

OBAMA: That`s what I said.

ROMNEY: You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack it was
an act of terror. It was not a spontaneous demonstration.

OBAMA: Please proceed, governor.

ROMNEY: I want to make sure we get that for the record because it
took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act
of terror.

OBAMA: Get the transcript.

CROWLEY: He did, in fact, sir. So, let me - let me call her --

OBAMA: Can you say that louder, Candy.

CROWLEY: He did call it an act of terror.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And Ana Marie, he did. I mean, we clearly have the tape
where he did call it that and I`m sure this is going to be central in
Monday night`s debate on foreign policy. I`m sure that Romney`s going to
try to clean up his big mistake there. And I`m sure Benghazi is going to
be a big issue Monday night.

COX: Well, and I kind of hope it is because I think the president
still has a lot to answer for when it comes to the Benghazi attack. I
mean, the Romney campaign really handed Obama a gift when they made this
about semantics, when they made it about whether or not he called it an act
of terror. Because yes, he did.

What the question really should be is like what happened and what are
we going to do about it. And Obama`s statement that the buck stops with
him is all well and good, but, so we have to examine that buck at some
point. We kind of have to see what happened and learn from it. Of course,
as president, he`s really the only person that can do that and that`s what
I`m looking forward to hearing more about in the next debate.

SHARPTON: Governor Rendell, real quickly, how much did the Benghazi
mistake by Governor Romney hurt him?

RENDELL: It hurt him a lot because it gave President Obama the
ability to stare down Governor Romney and look like the commander in chief
and it`s all about leadership in the end and President Obama looked like a
strong, be effective leader.

SHARPTON: Governor Ed Rendell and Ana Marie Cox, thank you for your
time this evening.

One quick note. As I`ve said many times on this show, you can have
your own opinions but you can`t have your own facts. All day we have had
our team researching Mitt Romney`s biggest whopper from last night`s
debate. We have now fact-checked them and put them on our facebook page
for you. Please check it out. Go to facebook.com/Politics Nation for our
special fact check of Mitt Romney.

Coming up, never did I think I would hear the quote, binders full of
women in a national presidential debate. But do Governor Romney`s binders
even exist? We have got big news out of Boston today and a president on
the attack.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: I`ve got to tell you, we don`t have to collect a bunch of
binders to find qualified, talented, driven, young women and ready for work
and teach in these fields right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: And the whopper`s gain came faster than a Burger King drive
through. But, there is one that really stood out and makes his problem
with women even worse.

All of that, plus, boo, boo, FOX News, Rush Limbaugh, and all of the
usual suspects, they won`t stop winning and complaining about the referee.
But why are they attacking the first lady?

You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Why can`t Mitt Romney close the deal on his ability to run
the economy? Could it be that his numbers just don`t add up? Rick
Stengel, managing editor of "Time" magazine is here next for the answers.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Last night Mr. Romney had a chance to provide some details
when a voter asked a simple question. Which deductions would he target to
pay for his big tax cut?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Concerning the -- these various deductions, the
mortgage deduction, the charitable deductions, the child tax credit, what
would be your position on those things which are important to the middle
class?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Simple question. But today we are still waiting for an
answer. Once again, Mr. Romney refused to get specific about his tax plan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: In terms of bringing down deductions, one way of doing that
would be to say everyone gets, I will pick a number, $25,000 in deductions
in credits. And you can decide which one is to use.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Pick a number? This isn`t raffle. This isn`t a lotto.
This is isn`t a bingo night out at the DAFW. This is a real presidential
debate. The simple truth is, Romney`s tax plan doesn`t added a up. The
definitive study of his plan says it`s, quote, "not mathematically
possible."

Last night on issue after issue, Romney could have actually given some
answers. But instead he just left the American people with a lot more
questions.

Joining me now is Rick Stengel, the managing editor of "Time"
magazine. Good to see you.

Rick, good to see you.

RICK STENGEL, MANAGING EDITOR, TIME MAGAZINE: Good to see you, Al.

SHARPTON: And thank you for coming on tonight. Mitt Romney stayed
vague, especially on the big issues of taxes. Why has he decided to avoid
specifics? And I know you`ve taken both sides at test. I will put that
out front. But, I know you have done a cover story of Mitt Romney. Have
you been able to lock him down on specifics and why not?

STENGEL: No. I did - I interviewed Governor Romney before the
Republican convention. I asked him this very question, what would be the
deductions that you would take in order to pay for a 20 percent across the
board tax cut? You know, there aren`t that many options. I mean, there is
the income tax deduction. There is the philanthropic deductions and all of
that. And I actually think, he should talk about it. I mean, at this
point in the campaign, what would go wrong to say that? He`s been saying
all along, the Democrats will pick me apart.

But again, what we`ve seen in the last two or three election cycles is
that specificity does harm to candidates. The way they both see it.
Because Obama had -- lacks a lot of specifics about the things he`s talking
about as well. They are afraid of being specific.

SHARPTON: Afraid of what?

STENGEL: Well, they are afraid that it will have them lose some
votes, they will lose more votes than they will gain by being specific. I
think that`s the bottom line for both of them.

SHARPTON: All right. But, let`s deal with this. There is some
positive economic news beginning to happen.

September housing starts at 872,000 is the best in four years. That`s
on top of on top of the other recent positive data, like the jobless
claims, 339,000, that`s the best in 4 1/2 years. September auto sales, 119
million cars, best in four years. We`ve got the best unemployment numbers
we had in four year. So, there are some specific things that work to the
president`s benefit.

Clearly, wouldn`t Romney need to answer how he would have even done
better and specifically how if he`s going to counter some of the good news
that I`ve just brought up?

STENGEL: Yes. Although I would be wary about some of the good news.
I mean, month to month, those numbers change. When you are like this kind
of coming out of a trough in the economy, every month there are some good
number, there is some bad numbers.

SHARPTON: Right.

STENGEL: I mean, there are bad manufacturing numbers this past month.
I mean, one of the things that I think has been a mistake for people,
particularly on the left, is to make a fetish out of the unemployment
number. The unemployment number is not representative of the economy as a
whole. Most people think of the economy as a whole in terms of how he or
she himself or herself are actually doing. And the numbers about people
being optimistic about the economy are going up which definitely benefits
the president.

SHARPTON: All right. Let me ask you a bigger question because I know
--

STENGEL: I`m the big picture guy.

SHARPTON: No question about it.

STENGEL: OK.

SHARPTON: Last night, Romney and the president were answering the
question about how Romney is different than George Bush. Let me play that
answer for you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)\
ROMNEY: President Bush had a very different path, very different time. My
path is designed in getting small businesses to grow and help people.

CROWLEY: Thanks.

OBAMA: George Bush didn`t propose turning Medicare into a voucher.
George Bush embraced comprehensive immigration reform. He didn`t call for
self-deportation. George Bush never suggested that we eliminate funding
for Planned Parenthood. So there are differences between Governor Romney
and George Bush, but they are not on economic policy. In some ways he`s
gone to a more extreme place when it comes to social policy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, what`s interesting about that, Rick, you`ve got
Governor Romney saying the difference between Bush and himself is eras,
different eras, different time. You have the president really dealing with
the bigger issue of how the Republican Party has shifted on social issues
even more to the right than George Bush`s time, which is not that long ago
by the way, and really raising some specifics.

What`s happened to the party and Romney that is the personification of
the party 2012 as opposed to George Bush who did reach out on immigration
and some of these other issues?

STENGEL: Right. Now certainly, remember when George Bush ran for the
first time he was running more as a moderate Republican, a Republican with
humanity and empathy.

SHARPTON: And compassion.

STENGEL: And compassionate conservative. You know, what - that they
think that has happened is the tea party has dragged the whole Republican
Party more to the right. And of course, you know, Governor Romney in the
primary, had to run more to the right. Still, the Nixon doctor, which is,
you run to the right in the primaries and you run to the center in the
general election.

SHARPTON: Right.

STENGEL: But because of the tea party shifting everyone in that
direction, he had to be way more conservative than he probably really is
and certainly more than he was as governor of Massachusetts which by the
way is the opposite of a conservative state.

SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you another -- a tactical question.

At the end of the debate, we`re getting ready to wind down and all of
us are going to get ready to do our spin and interpretations. And then
this happens, where Governor Romney mentions the 100 percent and the
president then takes on the 47 percent. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: When he said behind closed doors that 47 percent of the
country considers themselves victims who refuse personal responsibility,
think about who he was talking about. Folks on Social Security who have
worked all their lives, veterans who sacrificed for this country. People
who are working hard every day, paying payroll tax, gas taxes, but don`t
make enough income. And I want to fight for them.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Now, what was interesting to me about that is Governor
Romney had just said his last statement, he brought up the 100 percent.
Either the president followed saying that he was going to answer that with
the 47 percent or he planned to use that anyway as his closing but there`s
nothing more frustrating in a debate in leaving something that you can`t
answer. How bad is that 47 percent lingering out there in the bigger
picture in terms of the American electorate, in your opinion?

STENGEL: You know --

SHARPTON: Whether you think it`s fair or not?

STENGEL: Yes. Here`s the thing. The question is whether it`s going
to be -- whether it`s a base election or an independent election.

SHARPTON: OK.

STENGEL: I would argue that it`s a base election and what the
president did there is he was speaking to his base. His base wanted him to
address that issue. Romney opened the door with it, which is probably
convenient for him. But people who support Obama wanted to hear him say
that. The question is whether independents like that or not and the polls
show that independents are two minds about it and we will have to see.

SHARPTON: Yes. And I think that`s the problem. You are playing to
your base and the independent voters at the same time. And sometimes one
cancels out the other.

STENGEL: Exactly.

SHARPTON: Rick Stengel, managing editor for "Time" magazine. Thank
you for coming on the show tonight.

STENGEL: Good to be here.

SHARPTON: All right.

STENGEL: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, the real story behind Mitt Romney`s binders
full of women. It turns out it may be even worse than just a horrendous
gaffe.

Plus, the right-wing freak out over President Obama`s big victory.
They are complaining about everything, including the first lady.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Oh, oh. Hello. I didn`t know we were back. I was just
taking a look at Governor Romney`s binder. You know, that binder, the one
he brought up last night when asked about equal pay.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FMR. GOV. MITT ROMNEY (R-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: And so we took
a concerted effort to go and find women who had backgrounds that could be
qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went a number of women`s
group and said, can you help us find folks? And they brought us whole
binders full of women.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Binders full of women. Yes. That actually happened. It
was the third fastest rising Google search during the debate, it`s --
Facebook page. Now that with more 310,000 likes. A spoof twitter account
has more than 33,000 followers. Bindersfullofwomen.com went up showing
Governor Romney`s record on women`s issues and hilarious binder team
pictures are making the round on the internet.

In one, Hillary Clinton asks, Romney still using binders, lol. And
another, Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing says, no one puts baby in a
binder. And President Obama`s debate practice partner. Senator John Kerry
got in on the fun. He tweeted out his picture that says, "I`m in
character." I even brought my binder full of women. But while we got a
big kick out of Romney`s awkward line, his record on women`s issues is no
laughing matter. That story is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back with the story everyone is talking about today.
How Mitt Romney answered the question about women making less money than
men.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all of the
applicants seemed to be men and I said, well, gosh, can`t we find some
women that are also qualified. And so, we took a concerted effort to go on
and find women who had background that could qualify to become members of
our cabinet. I went to a number of women`s group and said, can you help us
find folks? And they brought us whole binders full of women.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Whole binders full of women. He needed to sift through a
binder to find qualified women and he never even answered the question.
How would you fix inequality in the workplace?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: They brought us whole binders full of women.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We`re having some fun but it`s serious. It`s like women
are objects. And the president pressed his advantage today in Iowa.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: We should make sure all our
young people, our daughters as well as our sons, are thriving in these
fields. This should be a national mission. I`ve got to tell you, we don`t
have to collect a bunch of binders to find qualified talented, driven young
women ready to learn and teach in these fields right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Governor Romney has a serious issue with women`s issue. Is
there a binder for damage control?

Joining me now is Abby Huntsman, host and producer of HuffPost Live.
And Irin Carmon, a reporter at Salon.com. Thank you both for your time.

IRIN CARMON, SALON.COM: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Abby, when you first heard Romney say binders of women,
what was your response?

ABBY HUNTSMAN, HUFFPOST LIVE: Well, when I first heard the question,
I knew it was going to be a huge challenge for him to answer. I mean,
Romney is given internet ammunition to mock him for the rest of the week
which is a really bad place to be with less than three weeks left to go.
But, listen, the question that was asked was about equal pay rights for
women and not only did he not answer the question but he went on to say
that women need more flexible hours, that they should be home making dinner
for the kids. I think Romney is still living back in 1968 when we are in
fact we are in the 21st century, where women want equality. We don`t want
to be treated any differently.

SHARPTON: Now, Irin, if you look at the fact that David Bernstein of
the Boston Phoenix reports the binder did exist but it was put together by
a bipartisan group called mass gap before he was even elected to, quote,
"From Bernstein, they did the research and put together the binder full of
women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agencies and
authorities and commissions. They presented this binder to the governor --
to Governor Romney when he was elected." So it may not even be accurate
that he sent out for this.

CARMON: It sounds completely inaccurate but it wouldn`t be the first
time that a man is taking credit for a women`s work. I mean, this is a
group of women that came together and they said this was important. Mitt
Romney sounded like he wanted an award just for saying, let`s get some more
diversity around here, where that`s the bare minimum. And he was being
asked about policy. Unfortunately, he just really doesn`t have that much
to offer in terms of policy to help women in the workforce.

SHARPTON: Now, Abby, let`s get to policy. Romney campaign lead the
Lilly Ledbetter act in April, same stand of The Huffington Post, asked the
campaign where they stood. Watch.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Does Governor Romney support the Lilly Ledbetter
act?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Sam, we`ll get back to you on that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: We`ll get back to you on that. Then Romney surrogate Ed
Gillespie on the same Lilly Ledbetter act, he says, Gillespie says, quote,
"The governor would not repeal Lilly Ledbetter act. He was opposed to it
at the time. He would not repeal it."

But today, he put out a statement saying, "I was wrong when I said
last night Governor Romney opposed the Lilly Ledbetter act. He never
weighed in on it." And then Romney was addressing contraception in the
debate last night on and on. The contradictions when you`re dealing with
inequality of pay with women, whether he was with Lilly Ledbetter or not,
we`re going into other areas. I mean, he has a problem with women`s
issues.

HUNTSMAN: He absolutely does, Reverend. I would say beyond the
gaffe of binders for women, the bigger issue here is the fact that he
cannot take a stand on really any issue and last night we saw that this
pertained to women. He can`t take a stand when it comes to a man and women
are very important part of the voting population. He was making strides.
We saw in the latest USA today poll that he was actually doing pretty well.
I don`t know if that`s going to continue on after last night`s comment.
Because he clearly doesn`t relate to women, doesn`t treat them as equal.
And we see how awkward it is for him to even interact on an intimate debate
stage like that.

SHARPTON: How did you see him on last night`s issues, Irin?

CARMON: I mean, I think that to me, the most telling moment was when
Romney was asked about gun violence and he decided that he wanted to
stigmatized single mothers and somehow blame that on them. I mean, he has
nothing to say about gun control, so instead he`s kind of went and ran and
said, well, you know, single mothers need to get married. And I think
that`s actually kind of a racial dog whistle. I think he was blaming
single mothers for their own poverty when he wants to take away from them
Medicaid, he wants to take away food stamps, he wants to cut head start.
So, I think you can`t say on the one hand that you really care about the
lives of women and be so divorced from their reality.

SHARPTON: Now, Abby, you`re a republican but last night you seemed
critical of Mr. Romney`s performance. You tweeted, "Obama won debate as
commander in chief while Romney struggled to express warmth or compassion."
Binders aren`t a way to a woman`s heart." But then you tweeted something
that triggered something in my mind that was different than others. You
wrote, "Imagine if Romney used another minority group. Pretty sure a
binder full of African-Americans or Muslims would have cost him the
election." And I thought that was a good point.

But you know what was interesting to me, if he said he sent out for a
binder Abby because there weren`t enough women and he was looking for
women, is he now endorsing affirmative action? I thought that was the big
debate, that we`re not supposed to be looking for women and minorities,
that affirmative action was no longer needed. That is a description of
affirmative action for a governor to say, go find qualified women.

HUNTSMAN: He definitely made women -- I don`t care if you`re
republican, independent, democrat, he made women feel like a second-class
citizen and that`s why I wrote that tweet, that we almost feel like we are
in the minority group when in fact we are not. But he makes us feel that
way. It`s as if Mitt Romney is sitting on top of this mountain that he
owns and everyone is in their different place. That women are in this
binder and African-Americans are in this one. But, you know, that`s not
the way the world works today and he cannot treat us that as it is that
way.

SHARPTON: Irin, did you hear Abby say that minority is treated as
second class citizens? I see a bipartisan tour. Allen-Abby on the
horizon. Abby Huntsman and Irin Carmon, thank you both for your time
tonight.

HUNTSMAN: Thanks.

CARMON: Thanks.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Rush Limbaugh tells you all you need to know
about how nervous the right wing is today. And in Spanish it says, if you
want to vote, show it. But you don`t need a photo ID to vote in
Pennsylvania. So, why is this billboard still up? Next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: When the right wing is whining about the debate moderator,
you know they are losing. GOP cry babies get a wake-up call. That`s next.


(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: President Obama won last night`s debate and the right can`t
handle it. Just 32 seconds after the debate ended, FOX News went into full
spin mode questioning of all things, the questions in the debate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MEGYN KELLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: The questions equal pay for women. In
fact, there were a lot of women`s issues discussed. Abortion,
contraception, women`s pay, as I mentioned. Some might argue it was
obvious pandering to women. There will be some questions about those
selections.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Oh, those got you questions about equal pay and
contraception. It was ridiculous but it soon got even worse.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: President Obama with 43 minutes, 57 seconds and
Governor Romney with 40 minutes, 58 seconds. So, President Obama getting
the time jump there on the amount of time spoken.

REINCE PRIEBUS, CHAIRMAN, REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE: I`m not
going to whine about, you know, the rules or the moderator. I will say,
though, that tonight, point blank, the president lied to the American
people about Libya. I think the moderator may have helped that along as
well.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: The president got caught?

FMR. GOV. JOHN SUNUNU (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE: He got caught and Candy
Crowley had no business doing a real-time if you will trying to fact check
because she was dead wrong.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Oh, the injustice of it all. The moderator was too tough.
The president had too much time. Boo-hoo, hoo. Someone in the right are
so desperate they`re even attacking the First Lady for clapping during the
debate. It`s laughable, it`s desperate, and it`s a sure sign of who was on
the losing end of the debate.

Joining me now is Joe Madison, nationally syndicated radio host of
"MORNINGS WITH MADISON." And Maria Teresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto
Latino and an MSNBC contributor. Thanks to both of you for being here
tonight.

JOE MADISON, HOST, "MORNING WITH MADISON": Thank you, Reverend
Sharpton.

MARIA TERESA KUMAR, VOTO LATINO: Thank you, Reverend Al.

SHARPTON: Joe, get these right wingers a handkerchief, please.

MADISON: You know, it used to be, what? Four, five, maybe six years
ago, I remember whining was the thing they always said we did. I used to
have these debates and they would say, oh, you`re whining, you`re whining,
you`re whining. And now, here they are once again. But they do this.
They always accuse the other side of doing something that they are actually
doing.

Look, you know, counting three minutes more, well, somebody said that
Mitt Romney used more words than Barack Obama did. It`s absolutely absurd
and, you know, whenever you -- you know when you`ve lost the debate is when
you start looking at the style. I`m surprised they didn`t criticize the
tie he was wearing but they knew they lost. So this is how they deal with
it.

SHARPTON: That may be next. Maria, have you ever seen anything like
this before?

KUMAR: No. And I think exactly what we`re saying is that, it was all
smoke and mirrors. They got upset because Candy Crowley fact checked them
on live national television. But all of a sudden, for the very first time,
voters are paying attention and they know how high the stakes are. Look,
Romney actually had less talking time last time in the last debate.
President Obama had four minutes more last time and he lost. So, it`s
about substance in this case. And again, they got upset because Candy
called them fact check, you know, what? We`re going to do it now.

SHARPTON: Maria, I keep hearing people say that and it`s true she
said that the president did call a terrorist attack but she also said, but
you`re right, Mr. Romney, it took a while for them to not continue to say
there had been a rally out there. So, I mean, they didn`t have a problem
with her agreeing with part of what Romney said. He was just so blatantly
wrong on what he emphasized. It wasn`t her emphasis. It was his.

KUMAR: Right. Well, and I have to say. When the president said,
proceed, governor. I mean, it was one of those things that you just kind
of want to take a step back and say, do you really want to walk off that
edge? Because you`re about to walk off and you`re not paying attention.

SHARPTON: Right.

KUMAR: But I think again, they choose to decide who is leading and
had Mitt Romney won yesterday with the exact same -- they would feel fine.
But it was because, again, Candy Crowley kept her journalist thing
integrity and basically said, the president did say that but you`re right,
Governor Romney, you`re actually right that it did take the administration
a while. So she was doing her job as a moderator but also keeping the
journalistic fact checking integrity that she should do as her profession
is.

SHARPTON: Now, Joe, conservatives` tweeted nasty comments about
Crowley throughout the debate and Rush Limbaugh also attacked Crowley on
his show today, calling her a liar. Let me show you Rush Limbaugh.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Today, the day after, the only
people who are accused of saying things that are not true are Barack Obama
and Candy Crowley. Not Mitt Romney. I kid you not. You know, in a real
world she would have committed career suicide last night. If she had
committed an act of journalistic terror or malpractice last night, if there
were any journalistic standards, what she did last night would have been
the equivalent of blowing up her career like a suicide bomber but there
aren`t any journalistic standards anymore and she`s going to be praised and
celebrated.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joe, I mean, he is livid. All kinds of nasty things. I
can`t imagine what is going to happen after Monday night`s debate if they
are doing this with Candy Crowley.

MADISON: Oh, absolutely. Look, she was -- and you pointed it out.
We`ve all pointed it out. She was fair and balanced. You know, I think
one of the highlights, quite obviously of the evening, and most people
haven`t talked about it, I`m glad she told Governor Romney to sit down. I
mean, that to me was showing that she took control and the reality is, look
who`s talking. I mean, what journalism school did he go to? As a matter
of fact, what school did he ever finish?

I mean, so he`s not in a position to talk about journalistic
standards. And here`s the bottom line with me. The far right wing that
Rush Limbaugh represents and the rest of them represent, they really don`t
like Mitt Romney. They are stuck with him and what they are going to allow
him to do is lie and stretch the truth just to get elected because they
don`t care if Mickey Mouse is the candidate for the Republican Party, they
just want Obama out of there for all kinds of reasons.

SHARPTON: No doubt about it. Maria -- go ahead, Maria.

KUMAR: Well, and I think something with Rush Limbaugh, he`s -- when
he`s addressing Candy Crowley, it`s condescending.

MADISON: Yes, right.

KUMAR: -- going after, it`s incredibly sexist in the way he`s talking
about her. And I bet you had been a man who basically had been same type
of moderator and said the same thing, they wouldn`t have been such an
issue.

SHARPTON: No. I think you`re right. Thank you. I`m going to have
to let it go there, Maria Teresa Kumar, Joe Madison. Thanks for your time
tonight.

MADISON: Any time Reverend.

KUMAR: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: These billboards are on display in key swing states. They
are wrong and they are secretly funded and they could suppress voters. So
why are they still up? That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: The debate is over but the GOP effort to suppress
democratic votes in key states is still in overdrive and we must fight it.
Billboards have appeared in Wisconsin and Ohio, trying to scare people away
from the polls with scary warnings about voter fraud. In Pennsylvania, the
harsh voter ID law there was blocked by the courts but Republicans are not
giving up. Now, there`s a full effort to confuse voters. Radio and TV ads
produced four of the state by a Mitt Romney supporter begins with this
misleading message.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: If you care about this election --

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: If you care about this election --

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: If you have an opinion --

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: If you want a voice --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: If you want a voice --

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: If you want to make a different --

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Then show it.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Show it.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Show it.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Show it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Show it. But the disclaimer only comes later and there`s
more. In Philadelphia, a billboard tells Spanish speaking voters they
still need to show ID. And at least five Pennsylvania Counties are still
falsely claiming ID is required to vote. A week after the court order and
the state`s main energy company admits to sending out misleading mailers to
hundreds of thousands of customers. They all say they are working to fix
the mistake.

The energy company is sending hundreds and thousands of corrections.
Election officials say, they pull any misleading ads, but the damage may
already be done. This election is too important to let scare tactics or
confusion get in the way of your vote. Stand up for your right. Get
educated and go to the polls. Don`t guess. Don`t be tricked. Find out
what is required and vote. Don`t let anything or anyone turn you around.

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

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

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