updated 11/2/2012 11:52:52 AM ET 2012-11-02T15:52:52

POLITICS NATION
November 1, 2012

Guests: Scott Keyes; Joe Madison; Gloria Steinem


REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Thanks, Chris. And thanks to you
for tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, it is getting down so they are getting dirty. Five
days to go, President Obama`s campaigning in three states today.
Meanwhile, Republicans are going ugly. Mitt Romney is trying everything he
can to shake up the race. That is the real story of what is going on in
the campaign now. Romney`s forces are responding to new polls showing
President Obama leading in swing states. Up by six in Iowa, up by five in
Ohio, and ahead in other key states, including New Hampshire, Virginia,
Florida, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Nevada.

And today, a major endorsement coming from New York city`s independent
mayor Michael Bloomberg. No question, this is a close race. But today, in
Wisconsin the president went after one of the key points in governor
Romney`s closing argument to voters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The closing weeks of
this campaign, governor Romney has been using all his talents as a salesman
to dress up these very same policies that failed our country so badly. And
he is offering them change. He`s saying he`s the candidate of change.
Well, let me tell you, Wisconsin, we know what change looks like. And what
the governor is offering sure isn`t change.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: It sure isn`t change. But governor Romney is good at
changing on every position and doing anything to win. On the trail, he`s
trying to sound warm and cuddly. He`s now taking a soft attack. "The New
York Times" is quoting him on the trail as saying, "Democrats love America,
too."

Gee, governor. Thanks for that. But that soft attack apparently ends
there. Because behind the scenes, Republicans are starting to go into
their get ugly, to do anything to win this election.

In Miami, he`s running a Spanish language ad tying President Obama to
Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. Yes, Venezuela dictator Hugo Chavez. That`s
apparently a-OK with Mitt Romney.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: (SPEAKING IN SPANISH)

SHARPTON: Here`s the translation. He approves that message. But the
desperate kitchen sink politics don`t end there.

Mr. Romney`s pushing the widely debunk claim that President Obama is
waging a war on welfare. It`s the same lame story with his comments about
jeep shipping jobs overseas. That`s all ugly enough. But then there`s
this. He`s bringing out the king birther, Donald Trump, to make robo calls
and campaign stops in key swing states and the ugliness extends beyond the
walls. Ralph Reid, a close Romney ally and his far right faith and freedom
coalition have taken to the airwaves with this low piece of political
slime.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Obama claimed in a Muslim country that America is
not a Christian nation, said Congress had better things to do when it
reaffirmed in God we trust. Better things than trusting god? Like what?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: This is what a desperate campaign looks like. This is what
it looked like when a candidate will go to anything that he can to win, no
matter how objectionable, no matter how ugly.

Joining me now is Richard Wolffe, vice president and executive editor
of MSNBC.com. And Michelle Cottle, Washington correspondent for "Newsweek"
and "the Daily Beast."

Thank you both for being here.

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Thanks, Reverend.

MICHELLE COTTLE, WASHINGTON REPORTER, THE DAILY BEAST, NEWSWEEK:
Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Michelle, it`s not a surprise but it seem like we`re in a
phase where behind the Romney smile is a very rough campaign?

COTTLE: Absolutely. We`ve got a few days left. We have entered the
phase of the campaign where time and again you are going to have to ask
yourself, did they really go there? And the answer is almost always going
to be yes. At this point, you are desperate. You need to do whatever you
can in a close race to get that little bit of an edge and that includes
radio ads that are shocking, and billboards that are deceptive, voter
suppression, voter intimidation, whatever it takes.

SHARPTON: Voter suppression, voter intimidation. But linking the
president to Hugo Chavez and say we don`t believe in god we trust? I mean,
Michelle, this is like way beyond the boundaries.

COTTLE: You have to hit people in the gut. You`re not appealing to
reason at this point, if you ever are, in a presidential campaign. You`ve
got to get them in a gut level to get your allies all fired up and to
terrified the other guy winning. And to, you know, hopefully get anybody
who still on the fence, you know, to really just kind of find some way to
get through to them and get them over to your side.

SHARPTON: Richard, what does this say? The politics of desperation,
what does it say about Romney? Does it mean he and his team is worried?

WOLFFE: He`s never had an exact close relationship with the truth
anyway. I mean, he has been running ads on welfare for a long time. And
he doesn`t really mind whether it`s fact-checked. After all, this is a
campaign. He said he wasn`t going to be dictated to by the fact or fact
checkers.

SHARPTON: And that`s quote.

WOLFFE: Right. And that is the direct thing they say. So, you know,
they have been trying to play this kind of game plan for a long time and to
be fair to them, it`s actually worked. It`s worked in the debate.
Reinventing yourself, playing fast and loose with the fact in not new and
it seems to give them some traction. The problem for them is that, in this
last phase, they are not just pushing again the president`s lead in the
polls but they are pushing against the news cycle. A hurricane-led news
cycle that has put the president full square as commander in chief and
executive with bipartisan support. Now, Mayor Bloomberg, but before
Governor Christie. You`ve got to cut through all the white noise. You got
to cut through a news cycle. You got a cut through what the president has
projected. The only way to do that, as Michelle says, is to go for the
gut.

SHARPTON: Well, I think that the advantage they have in trying to
pull the cape off, if there is an advantage, is money. Look at the outside
spending in the 2012 presidential race, Michelle. Eighty-five percent has
gone to support Romney or to oppose President Obama. Eighty-five percent
of the money is going against the president, yet he`s edging ahead.

COTTLE: It has been remarkable how much money has been spent and how
much influence the outside groups have had. So it`s going to be
interesting to see the morning after this whether this is seen as like the
cycle of the super PAC triumph and a whole kind of new way that these
things are going to run or if Obama pulls it out, whether this is going to
be seen as a lot of wasted money on the part of folks like Sheldon Adelson.

SHARPTON: What is the danger of this, Richard, in terms of this all
of this money? Or will it be rethought if, in fact, the president is
deterred?

WOLFFE: Well, a lot of promises were made to those super wealthy
people where this money would be well-spent and effective. They are going
to have to go back after all, most of them are super wealthy people, kinds
of industry and ask were those promises ever delivered?

Never mind about who wins. Every dollar that they have spent has gone
less far than the campaign. They don`t get the same ad rates. So a dollar
of the Koch brothers` money is not the same as the dollar raised by the
Obama campaign. Because the Obama campaign get lower rates as the Romney
campaign does from TV stations. That`s just the facts of life. That is
with the rules of the game.

So if you are super wealthy, you have not really moved the dial. They
are probably, if their projections are right, not going to take back the
Senate. You got to ask themselves - they got to ask themselves, why did I
waste 20 million, 30 million of personal fortune? Maybe it`s chump change
for them. I suspect even billionaires find 10, $20 million hard to
swallow. They didn`t get what they want.

SHARPTON: But, they are trying to hold on to the end, Michelle,
because even you have Karl Rove saying that they are going to win. He`s
calling the election for Mr. Romney, he writes in "the Wall Street Journal"
today, my prediction, sometimes after the cock crows on the morning of
November 7th, Mitt Romney will be declared American`s 45th president.
Let`s call it 51-48 with Romney carrying at least 279 electoral college
votes, probably more.

In light of these polls, is Karl Rove trying to give comfort to his
financial backers, here`s a group and here`s fact, or do you really think
he believes it?

COTTLE: I think Karl Rove incredibly shrewd. He knows that voters
want to go with winners and you want to project the idea that your guy is
going to be the winner so that those soft supporters will get to the polls
and back him and pull that lever and perhaps help you out to that degree.
So I don`t know if he believes it, but I certainly think he wants everybody
else to believe it and he knows that this is a really shrewd strategy on
his part.

WOLFFE: Reverend, interviewed Karl Rove in the White House three days
before the 2006 midterm where he promised that Republicans would hold on to
the house. They lost the house, they lost the Senate. He said at that
time to me, well, you`ve got your mess but I`ve got my math.

This is Karl Rove`s math, OK? And it`s the same mess that he tried to
play before the 2000 election when he said -- promised reporters, swore to
us that he was going to win California, taking 320 votes in the electoral
college. I`m sorry, we have seen this movie before.

SHARPTON: The same Karl Rove?

WOLFFE: This Karl Rove math.

SHARPTON: Michelle, while Romney has gone ugly and negative, he has a
new ad out and uses the endorsement of Colin Powell. Take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Will you endorse President Obama?

GEN. COLIN POWELL, FORMER CHAIRMAN, JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: Yes. When
he took over we were in one of the worst recessions we had seen in recent
times, close to a depression. And I saw, over the next several years,
stabilization come back in the final community. Housing is starting to
pick up. The president saved the auto industry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: So he`s touting his record. He has a Republican Colin
Powell touting his record. He`s going positive in the light of all of this
ugliness.

COTTLE: He is, although if you listen to the radio ads that are
around in Virginia, which is a big swing state, he also has some groups out
there who are doing something akin to what the Republicans are doing. Not
to quite the same degree but scaring people about health care and guy
rights and things like that.

But the Obama people know that he has had this opportunity with Sandy
to get out there and look extremely presidential, to be bipartisan, to kind
of wear the mantel of commander in chief in the midst of this national
tragedy. And they think that that is to their benefit and, of course,
people see that and they are playing on that sort of thing, too. I mean,
he has the advantage of office and it`s not to be sneezed at this stage of
the game.

SHARPTON: All right. I`m going to have to leave it there.

Richard Wolffe and Michelle Cottle. Thank you both for your time
tonight.

WOLFFE: Thanks, Reverend.

COTTLE: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Tonight, a developing investigation into Mitt Romney`s plan
to train an army of poll watchers to intimidate and mislead you at the
polls. It`s a big, important story and we have exclusive new video the
Romney campaign has been trying to stop you from seeing.

Also, the GOP`s freak out over Chris Christie. They just can`t deal
with this praise for the president. And now it`s sinking to a new low.

And George W. Bush has a big October surprise for Mitt Romney. And
he`s definitely not going to like it.

All of this, plus the great Gloria Steinem right here live coming up
on "Politics Nation," MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? Today, everyone loves this photo of the president comforting
a jersey resident hit hard by hurricane sandy.

Michael calls it genuine compassion.

Paulette says this picture touches her heart.

And Pat says, the president is an excellent comforter-in-chief.

How do you think the president has been handling hurricane relief? We
want to know. Please head over to facebook and search "Politics Nation,"
and like us to join the conversation that goes long after the show ends.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: One of the main reasons Mitt Romney is tailing in this
election is because of the anti-women policies of his campaign and of the
Republican party as a whole. The latest Republican that make headlines on
this is a congressional candidate named John Koster who was caught on tape
talking about rape at a fund-raiser this weekend.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN KOSTER, CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: But the rape thing, you know, I
know a woman who was raped and kept the child, gave it up for adoption and
doesn`t regret it. How does -- how does putting more violence on to a
woman`s body and taking the life of an innocent child that`s a consequence
of this crime, how does that make it better?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Koster`s campaign claims the tape was, quote, "edited." We
asked them exactly how. They thought the tape was edited in some way. But
we have yet to get a response. Plus, on their Web site it says, he very
clearly and honestly stated his thoughts on an extremely sensitive subject.
He has nothing to be ashamed of here.

In fact, it seem like a lot of Republicans feel they have nothing to
be ashamed about. Thirteen GOP Senate candidates agree that the government
should force a woman to have her rapist baby against their will, one of
them Todd Akin in Missouri, was ostracized after his comments about quote
"legitimate rape." But now his state party and perhaps even national
Republicans that jumped on board to back him. Akin is now using their
money to bank roll a new ad campaign defending his abortion comments. Mitt
Romney is desperately trying to defend he`s moderated his views on women`s
issues. But Republicans aren`t playing along. I am very pleased and
honored to have the legendary Gloria Steinem joining me here in the studio.
She`s a writer, social justice activist and feminist icon. The magazine
she co-founded `Ms." is still going strong, and out with this 40th
anniversary issue, "a voting guide to the election."

Gloria, thank you for being here.

GLORIA STEINEM, WRITER, ACTIVIST: No, Thank you. Thank you.

SHARPTON: What is your take on this extreme anti-woman rhetoric we
are hearing from the GOP campaign?

STEINEM: These folks are not Republicans. They are pseudo
Republicans. I mean, gold water was pro-choice. The first Bush was
supported Planned Parenthood. Nixon supported the equal rights amendment.

The old right wing that we remember so much from the Democratic Party,
the old Dixiecrats and so on, beginning with just a helms, moved over and
took over the Republican party. And that`s who these folks are. I mean, a
true conservative is not going to want to get government off the backs of
corporations and into the wombs of women.

SHARPTON: Right. Now, you know, I mentioned in the intro, you co-
founded "Ms." magazine in 1972.

STEINEM: Right.

SHARPTON: And you have been iconic legendary activist, with all of
us, in women`s issues, but in many issues. But, did you ever think 40
years later that you would still be fighting some of these same issues? I
mean, it`s almost unbelievable, like we made such progress and now you`re
fighting some of the things that you had to turn around in `72?

STEINEM: Well, as you well know, when you have a front lash and when
the majority of the folks in this country, then you have a backlash.

SHARPTON: Right.

STEINEM: And we have now the majority support on all of the social
justice issues that you and I care about and so the people who believe in a
way through no fault of theirs, I got born into this probably, but
nonetheless, they cling to the idea that people have to be ranked, male
about Female, white above black, class above class, ranked. We now have
won the majority of people who think no, we are linked. We are linked as
human beings. These categories don`t mean anything.

SHARPTON: Right.

STEINEM: And they are in a panic. They are in a panic because women
have rebelled. They are in a panic because in about 20 minutes it`s not
going to be a majority European, American or white country anymore. So the
same people who are hostile about immigration are also hostile about
contraception and safe and legal abortion which, incidentally, one in three
American women needs at some time in her life.

SHARPTON: Now, the evidence that you write about the majority, when
you look at the latest polls, the president is leading in key states among
women. Virginia and Florida he leads by ten points. Colorado, he`s up by
13 points. In Wisconsin, he`s up by 14 point. Iowa, New Hampshire, he`s
ahead by 16 points. In Ohio, 17 points. So clearly the American public
and women are going with their interests in this election, according to the
poll.

STEINEM: Yes, they are. But I think there is still a lot of women --
and I have been out there lately in five or six states talking to women who
are always late deciders because they are busy with their kids, they have
three jobs, you know. And also women who were born into the Republican
party, it feels like home to them and don`t yet know it isn`t the
Republican party. And it`s -- once they realize that they didn`t leave it.
It left them. So let`s just talk about the issues and vote out of self-
respect, then it changes and especially when you consider that this is the
first presidential candidate in my lifetime, long lifetime who doesn`t even
support equal pay.

SHARPTON: Really?

STEINEM: And equal pay is, incidentally the biggest economic stimulus
this country could possibly have.

SHARPTON: So, in your lifetime and your long service to this country,
you have ever seen a presidential candidate?

STEINEM: -- who definitely say that he supports equal pay. I mean,
Obama has done something about it and passed legislation.

SHARPTON: Right.

STEINEM: But Romney and Ryan, Ryan voted against to equal pay pieces
of legislation and Romney has refused to support them too. So, I mean, it
is so blatantly about cheap labor, about preserving economic inequity.

SHARPTON: Wow.

STEINEM: And this would reduce poverty hugely is a average white
women or we get something like $140 more week, the average women of collar
of 250. And you know that those women are going to spent it on their
families.

SHARPTON: Absolutely.

STEINEM: And they are going to create jobs. They are not going to
send this money to a Swiss bank account. They are not going to invest in
China.

SHARPTON: Right.

STEINEM: They are going use that money and therefore create jobs.
And even that they are against.

SHARPTON: Is roe Versus Wade in trouble?

STEINEM: Yes, it`s been in trouble for a long time because they are
(INAUDIBLE) from underneath by actions in state legislature. So poor women
and young women have already had many of their rights taken away.

But Romney is doing something that has not had a lot of publicity
which he has retained the human life amendment which would go around even
the Supreme Court and pass a constitutional amendment saying that the
fertilized egg is a person. All right.

This is like nationalizing women`s bodies. It`s insane. And it`s the
reason that the ultra right has been focusing on state legislators in
recent time. They discovered that bombing abortion clinics and murdering
doctors was not making them popular. But by focusing on the very right
wing state legislatures, they are preparing for the possibility of a human
life amendment which Romney supports. And then, I don`t know what to say
that he has no such plans. You know, he`s really telling two big lies.
I`ve been out there now for a long time and he`s telling women two big
lies. One, that every one of their children will have a debt of $58,000
from the national debt without telling them that that debt would be bigger
if easy elected because he`s spending so much more militarily and not
taxing rich folks.

SHARPTON: Absolutely.

STEINEM: He`s telling them that and saying he has no plans to
overturn Roe V. Wade. At the same time that it`s on paper and Ryan
certainly, I mean, is a choice of a vice presidential candidate certainly
says it. This is the most right wing in his position whether he believes
it or not, who controls the party.

SHARPTON: Right.

STEINEM: I don`t know. But also the least honest. He is the least
honest most plastic candidate I have seen in my lifetime.

SHARPTON: Wow. Gloria Steinem, it was really great to have you on
this show tonight and thank you so much for your time and your service.

STEINEM: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, the right wing attacks the hero in a jealous
rage. They can`t handle Chris Christie praising President Obama and you
won`t believe what they are saying about him.

Plus, the investigation into the Romney campaign training poll
watchers to mislead. We`re learning it`s much bigger than we ever could
have imagined. The new video is out. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: A new investigation into how the Romney campaign it
training poll watchers with misleading information. They will do anything
to win. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re back with a rapidly unfolding investigation into the
Romney campaign training poll watchers to deceive voters and election
officials. Think progress broke the story earlier this week revealing a
misleading training manual in Wisconsin.

But today we`re learning it could be much bigger and widespread than
we knew. It`s called project orca, a state of the art poll monitoring
network that relies on 34,000 volunteers in swing states.

Today, an exclusive report on one of them. Iowa. They are training
poll watchers to, quote, "be on the lookout for anyone who tries to vote
without a photo I.D. But there`s a little problem with that. There is no
photo I.D. law in Iowa. That means you don`t need a photo I.D. to vote.
Check out the training video made specifically for Iowa.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There may be an instance where the voter fails to
show an I.D. and they are still permitted to vote. If you notice this, use
the legal help man to alert the legal team so they can handle the problem
and you can get back to checking voters.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Alert the legal team so they can handle the problem. Why?
You don`t need a photo I.D. in Iowa. After the video was posted, the
Romney campaign scrubbed the original training video from the web and
replaced it.

So why would the Romney campaign train poll watchers in key states
with information that could disrupt the voting process? I guess I just
answered my own question.

Joining me now is Scott Keyes who broke the story for Think Progress
and Joe Madison, nationally syndicated radio host of Sirius XM`s "the
Power."

Thank you both for your time tonight for being here.

JOE MADISON, HOST, MORNINGS WITH MADISON: Thank you, Reverend.

SCOTT KEYES, THINK PROGRESS: Good to be with you.

SHARPTON: Scott, you were here with us on Tuesday and now you have
even more on the Romney campaign to challenge voters. What can you tell
us?

KEYES: That`s right. Think Progress obtained this video that the
Romney campaign was using this as part of this new project orca that amend
to circle of "the Huffington Post" detailed that for months now, the Romney
campaign has been training tens and thousands of poll watchers across the
country. And so we uncovered one of the training videos they used in Iowa
where, as you show, they are showing deliberate misinformation about what
the law requires for voters to present when they get to the poll.

Now, the problem is going to be once they start issuing poll
challenges for folks that don`t show up with photo I.D., that`s going to
end up slowing the process and resulting in folks who aren`t able to cast
the ballot because it went so slow when that`s not even what the law
requires.

COTTLE: Now, Joe Madison, "the Huffington Post" says the Romney
campaign believes that project orca is beyond anything any campaign has
tried before. Quote, "what is different about Romney`s campaign approaches
that it will be utilizing Smartphone technology to receive more data in
real time, allowing it to quickly redirect resources to areas where there
may be low turnout and get voters out to the polls.

MADISON: And that`s exactly right. We`ve never seen this type of
sophistication before. Look, if I took you back 40, 50, 60 years, we would
call it voter intimidation. Well, we know what Dixiecrats did to
intimidate. They were known as Jim Crow. What we have going on today in
the 21st century in 2012 is Jim Crow`s sophisticated cousin, James crow
esquire.

But here`s what people should know and they now need to go on the
offensive. One, they have planned this for months. This has been going on
for months under the radar. It`s now out in the open. Two, I suspect that
this is something that they`ve been doing in multiple states and Scott and
others will probably keep finding out and we`re lucky to find it out just a
few days before the election.

SHARPTON: Absolutely.

MADISON: And finally, Reverend Sharpton, I will say this again. This
is where you tell people, get out of my face because, remember, none of
these people have legal authority. They have no legal authority to stop
you from voting and that`s what you`ve got to remember. Just simply tell
them to get the you know what out of my face and go in there and vote.

SHARPTON: Now, we started seeing this in Wisconsin, now Iowa and
elsewhere.

Scott, some liberal bloggers have suggested that project orca could
lead in this sophisticated apparatus that we`re talking about to voter
suppression. Give you an example. One blogger, Nathaniel Downes, add
addicting info writes quote, "for instance, one can hang out in a parking
lot and when they see a car with Obama sticker on it, they snap a picture
of the person, forwarding it an operative inside the polling station who
then does a direct and focused attack on the voting rights.

KEYES: You don`t even need to get into hypothetical here. I mean,
you can look at just what the Romney campaign is training the poll watchers
to do and to say. In Wisconsin, they are training them to say that anybody
with a felony on their record is not allowed to vote and that`s simply not
what Wisconsin law says. If you served your sentence in Wisconsin, you are
legally allowed to vote. If you show at the polls in Iowa without a photo
I.D., you are legally allowed to vote and that`s not what the Romney
materials are telling folks.

SHARPTON: Joe, go ahead.

MADISON: I was just going to add, imagine you mentioned a bumper
sticker. What happens if Reverend Sharpton a church van shows up with
elderly people or a nursing van shows up with he will elderly people? The
same thing could happen because, once again, they are targeting President
Obama`s base.

SHARPTON: Now, we also have political reporting that super, super Pac
funded in part by Casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson announced a Smartphone
app that will let ordinary citizens target voter fraud quote, "vote stand
will allow users to send photographs or videos of perceived illegal voting
or improper electioneering directly to a team of experts that are
interested in and investigating this issue. Now, so far, thee app hasn`t
been released. But, to all of this towards, really having an unusual and
possibly intimidating presence around the voting process.

MADISON: Well, it is intimidating. Look, Jim Crow used the rope.
James Crow Esquire, uses an app. It`s all the same. It is voting
intimidation.

SHARPTON: And all of it is voter intimidation and I think that James
Crow Esquire, needs to make some freedom fighter juniors.

Scott and Joe, thank you for your time tonight.

KEYES: Great to be with you, Rev.

MADISON: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, George W. Bush`s November surprise. He`s going
somewhere and he`s got to be making governor Romney nervous.

And why the right wing is freaking out over Chris Christie`s praise
for the president is getting ugly. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: We`re just five days from Election Day, but for millions of
American, it`s already come and gone. More than 21 million Americans have
already voted, either in person or by mail. And our facebook fans have
been spending us their best early voting pictures.

Angela sent us this photo of her and her smiling 4-year-old son who
came along with her to vote. She says he loves standing in line the whole
2 1/2 hours.

Michelle and tiffany ran into former congressman Nick Lambston when
they went to vote in Texas. He`s running to replace Ron Paul.

If you`re having any problems at the voting booth, tweet us
@PoliticsNation and use #protectthevote or come to our page and message us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SHARPTON: Welcome back to "Politics Nation."

Former president Clinton has been one of the big stories in this
campaign. Tirelessly stopping for President Obama in critical swing
states. And then there`s former president George W. Bush. He`s out doing
something that makes the Romney camp very nervous. Is he praising the
president like governor Chris Christie has been doing? No, not that. Is
he touting the auto bailout on the improving economy? No, not that.

What President Bush is doing might even be worse for Romney. He`s
jetting to the luxurious Cayman Islands today to give a message about
investing money there. You know, the Cayman Islands, the lush palm trees,
the bright white sand, the glorious sunshine and, of course, the secret
bank accounts.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are home to many of the finer things life has
to offer. We are also mature, well-established provider of global
financial services. We are the Cayman Islands. Tap into the wealth of
investment opportunities available in the Cayman Islands.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: In other words, it`s a perfect place to hide your money.
Something the governor knows all about. Romney`s invested as much as $8
million in funds on the island with another multimillion dollar investment
base there. And his old company Bain has set up nearly 140 secret offshore
funds in this tropical paradise.

Governor Romney, did you think you could sweep all that under the rug
before Election Day? Nice try, governor. But President Bush, he got you.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), GOVERNOR, NEW JERSEY: The president has been
outstanding and I appreciate that type of leadership. I cannot thank the
president enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and
for the people of our state.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s New Jersey governor Chris Christy praising President
Obama and eliciting howls of outrage from the GOP. After all, Christie`s
their hero. He`s their guy. He`s the one that a lot of them actually
wanted to be the nominee. Mitt Romney had Chris Christie give the speech
at the keynote convention. And last year, he is saying his praises as a
true-telling Republican.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I have behind me a man who is an American hero. He`s a real
hero in Republican circles because he`s been forthright. We agree on a
whole host of issues. I think we`re pretty sympathetic on the issues that
matter today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: I wonder if Romney would still say that he`s sympathetic on
the issue of President Obama. Well, Republicans just can`t accept the idea
that one of their favorite Republicans would actually work with the
president to help Americans in need and so it`s getting ugly.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: New jersey governor Chris
Christie has decided to play the role of a Greek column today for President
Obama. Chris Christie`s the only Republican -- not just praising Obama. I
mean, it`s -- it`s -- let me just put it this way. Is it wrong for one man
to love another man? But that man love out there has isolated to the state
of New Jersey. Well, I`ll tell you what I have observed casually with my
busy broadcast eyes. And my cochlear implant aided ears --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: That`s pathetic, even for Rush Limbaugh. The right wing
Web site "the daily caller: saying quote, "if Romney loses, Christie would
surely be tagged for at least contributing to Romney`s defeat." And Ann
Coulter tried to make a joke about it saying quote "I think Christie is
hoping to use Obama to plug a dike."

The truth is, these images are big trouble for the GOP. Mitt Romney
claims he will work with Democrats if he is elected. But, President Obama
has proven he`s the true bipartisan candidate in this race. Chris Christie
even said so. And you do trust what governor Christie says, don`t you, Mr.
Romney?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: He`s a real hero in Republican circles because he`s been
forthright.

I think we`re pretty sympathetic on the issues that matter today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: Joining me now is former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell,
now an MSNBC news political analyst and Maria Teresa Kumar, president and
CEO of Voto Latino and an MSNBC contributor.

Thanks to both of you for being here tonight.

MARIA TERESA KUMAR, PRESIDENT, CEO, VOTO LATINO: Thank you, Reverend.

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

SHARPTON: Governor, what`s the damage to Mitt Romney`s campaign from
all of the Christie praise for President Obama?

RENDELL: Well, it`s significant damage. And, remember, with Chris
Christie you get the whole package. And the whole package is someone who
is honest, who is forthright, who when someone does a good job to help the
people of his state is going to say so. That`s Chris Christie. He doesn`t
hold back.

The damage is significant. One, for the point she made that President
Obama looks like the one who could reach across party lines. Two, because
Chris Christie praised him for taking strong and definitive action in an
emergency. That`s what a strong leader is all about. And, three, because
Chris Christie and Barack Obama agree that government has a role and
government is important and that cuts against the whole story line that
Mitt Romney has been saying for the last six, seven, eight months.

SHARPTON: Maria, today Mr. Romney said who he is the candidate who
can reach across the aisle and work as a bipartisan candidate. Watch this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: I`m going to be regularly with Democrat leaders and
Republican leaders. I want to do that once a year. When I say regularly,
I mean, much more frequently than that. Because we are going to have to
work together. These are critical time. It`s important that we have a
president who understands how to work across the aisle.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SHARPTON: But Greg Sergeant at "the Washington Post" writes, Romney
claims his leadership skills give him an ability to forge agreement between
differing parties to get things done that Obama has proven he lacks. Now
Americans are being treated to images of a Republican governor extensively
praising Obama for working with him cooperatively and displaying leadership
and propensity for quick action at a time of crisis. Can`t be good, Maria,
for the Romney side anyway.

KUMAR: It`s not good at all. Let`s not forget, governor Christie was
the keynote at the Republican national convention criticizing President
Obama. And basically delineating, making a case for why we needed Romney`s
leadership.

Now, what Christie is doing because he does have the authority, he has
seen the suffering on the ground. He`s saying, no, this is beyond politics
and partisanship. We need to know what is good for the American people and
Romney`s camp is scrambling, you know, shaking their head and trying to
find out what to do next.

They don`t have anything. The fact that President Obama has actually
stepped up is basically does believe that there`s a role for government and
Christie validates that. The folks that we`ve been able to see, the
National Guard that you have seen, firefighters, every day workers, the
fact that these are individuals also that are unionized and also folks that
the Romney campaign wants to tear down, we won`t be able actually make sure
that for writing the relief efforts that we need, had it not been for the
federal government and state and local governments working together.

SHARPTON: Now. We`re winding down in the last five days and Republicans
are making a last-ditch effort in Pennsylvania. A big play there five days
leading into this election. Romney`s super PAC restore our future made a
$2 million ad buy.

The Koch brothers, Americans for prosperity, bought $3 million in air
time in Pennsylvania and Michigan to date. And the Romney campaign has
made $120,000 ad buy for November 5th and 6th, the day before the election
and Election Day itself. But the latest poll in Pennsylvania from Suffix
shows Obama 63, Romney 31.

Governor Rendell, no one knows Pennsylvania like you. Is Pennsylvania
in play here?

RENDELL: Not really, Rev, because It`s really about a five-point race
and you can`t make up five points in a week, especially because there`s so
much clutter on TV with all of the other candidates, it`s hard to break
through. If Romney had gone on the air in Pennsylvania the day after the
first debate and stayed on the air at five, $6 million a week for the four
weeks, he might have had a chance of sneaking in. But he hasn`t been in
the state very much. Ryan was in the state once. This buy for one week is
truly a hail Mary pass.

What they figured out is that Ohio is gone and they can`t make the
electoral map unless they had another big states. So, that`s why they are
in Michigan and Pennsylvania and in Minnesota. They`ve got to pull out one
or two of those states to have a chance and I don`t think they are going to
pull out any of them.

SHARPTON: And you`re correct, the race is 49/43. I was talking to
one of the demographics in the figures I gave. It`s 49/43, a five-point
gap.

Let me ask you this, Maria, before we run out of time. The base of
Democratic Party, women, minorities, are they energized, in your opinion,
and will they turn out? It is going to come down to turn out many of us
believe.

KUMAR: I think early voting in Florida, Ohio, and even though what
you`re seeing in Colorado you`re seeing actually a big force of individuals
coming out and in record numbers. The fact that people are staying
overnight to vote early is testament that they are not want to participates
in the electoral process, but they recognizes that this is about us, this
is about every day Americans making sure that we are pulling the country
first and pulling it together.

SHARPTON: Governor, for those that are watching you that have not
voted, they are not in the early voting state or if they are, what is your
message to them five days down? We just have come out of a horrific storm.
We have a bipartisan view of the president. What do you say to them at
home in.

RENDELL: Well, first of all, that`s all Pennsylvanians because we
don`t have early voting. The legislator wouldn`t do anything to make it
easier. But, for all Pennsylvanians and anybody else, look. The president
hasn`t been perfect but he inherited the worst set of problems that any
president in my lifetime has inherited and he`s made things better in each
and every area.

SHARPTON: I`ve got to go.

RENDELL: Get out and vote. Get out and vote.

SHARPTON: Governor Ed Rendell and Maria Teresa Kumar. Thanks for
your time tonight.

And thanks to all of you 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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