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PoliticsNation, Friday, November 30th, 2012

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November 30, 2012

Guests: Molly Ball, Dana Milbank, Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, Irin Carmon

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

Tonight`s lead, power and the president. Time and time again the GOP
has proven that they love to play power politics. So now they are getting
a dose of their own Medicine. President Obama has thrown down the gauntlet
on taxes and while the GOP is stomping its feet at making the wealthy to
pay a bit more, he`s making his pitch to the people. At a toy factory
today, he warned them to play nice.


Costco. He wanted to buy some of this stuff. But I told him he had too
much work to do. I want you to have him building roller coasters.

Now, of course, Santa delivers everywhere. I`ve been keeping my own
naughty and nice list for Washington. So you should keep your eye on who
gets some KNEX this year. There are going to be some members of Congress
who get them and some who don`t.


SHARPTON: What sort of plan do you give the Republican who won`t
agree with anything? This one, of course. The president is asking for a
$1.6 trillion tax increase, $50 billion in economic stimulus, and the power
to raise the debt limit without congressional approval.

Meanwhile, he will work the fine savings in entitlements. Strong
bill, right? Not to the man sitting on the naughty list. Senator Mitch
McConnell said that he quote "burst into laughter at the proposal." You
know what is really funny, senator, the president has the leverage.
Speaker Boehner know it is.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: You think the White House is trying to
squeeze you and, if so, will that work?

know me pretty well. What you see is what you get. And while I may be
affable and someone who can work with members of both parties, which I`ve
demonstrated over the 22 years that I`ve been here, I`m also rather
determines to solve our spending problems.


SHARPTON: I don`t hear an answer to the question. Here`s a hint.
You are being squeezed. The president has 64 million votes behind him and
he has 36 congressional Republicans distancing themselves from the anti-tax
pledge. And, oh yes, the simple matter of fairness. If the GOP doesn`t
agree to a deal, they will be responsible for playing the part of scrooge
this holiday.


OBAMA: If Congress does nothing, every family in America will see
their income taxes automatically go up on January 1st. Every family,
everybody here, you`ll see your taxes go up on January 1st. I mean, I`m
assuming that doesn`t sound too good to you. That`s sort of like the lump
of coal you get for Christmas. That`s a scrooge Christmas.


SHARPTON: That`s a scrooge Christmas all right. But this president
is going to do everything he can to stop it.


OBAMA: I`ve got a bunch of pens ready to sign this bill. I`m ready
to sign. There are no shortages of pens in the White House and I carry one
around for an emergency just in case. Just waiting for the chance to use
it to sign this bill to make sure people`s taxes don`t go up.


SHARPTON: He`s got the pen and the power. From the look on speaker
Boehner today, he`s getting the message.

Joining me now is Chris Hayes, host of "Up with Chris Hayes" here on
MSNBC and Melissa Harris-Perry, host of Melissa-Harris Perry on MSNBC.

Thank you both for being here.



SHARPTON: Melissa, it does seem that President Obama has shifted his
tactics this time around and it`s all about using his power.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. In this case we have to remember that nothing has
fundamentally changed structurally as these players. At this table versus
the players who are at the table, the debt ceiling. This is the same claim
that Congress, you know, the new 113 ones (INAUDIBLE) that are not seated
yet. So, the issue of power in this case is really the power of
persuasion, the ability to convey two things. One, that the American
people voted for him based on the sets of issues that are now before the
country on the fiscal cliff issue. And secondly, he has to be convincing
that Republicans will be punished at the ballot box next time if they don`t
come to a deal.

SHARPTON: But, Chris, speaker Boehner keeps arguing for cuts, but the
second time in as many days he declined to name any of the cuts that the
GOP would make. They seem to be on the defensive. They refuse to give any
specifics on what they offer, any deal. Republicans want entitlement cuts
but often no specifics. They say they will accept new revenue but offer no
specifics. Say they will make concessions on tax deductions, offer no
specifics. They seem to really be on the defensive this time.

HAYES: Not only are we fresh off an election, which this stuff was
intensely litigated, I mean, the center of the debate. We are not talking
about subsidiary issues that didn`t get enough attention.


HAYES: We`re talking about the stuff that was the first thing that
got said in every debate. The position of raising taxes on the top two
percent is incredibly popular. It even polls, a majority among Republicans
in some polls, and cutting social insurance, cutting Medicaid, cutting
Social Security or cutting Medicare is not popular. And in fact, much of
the election was over each side trying to convince the American people that
it was the other side that wanted to go after Medicare specifically.

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes, absolutely.

HAYES: And so, now, what you have is, there is this weird kind of
bipartisan consensus, we got to do something about the cost of Medicare,
but no one wants to be the first person to come out and say, we`re taking
the scissors and --

SHARPTON: But, by giving no specifics, Melissa, are they hoping it`s
Boehner, hoping that the Democrats will come back with a more conservative
proposal, or is he wanting them to say something so he can just disagree
with whatever it is?

HARRIS-PERRY: Well, I mean, I think it depends a little bit on what
we think it is that the president is hoping for at this point. I mean, the
fact is, the president could go over this fiscal cliff and at least
politically for him, there`s not a lot of cost to it. There`s some real
cost to American families. There are some real cause to ordinary people
and particularly to the most vulnerable. And so, the president sort from
that position may certainly be trying to pull us back from it.

But politically there`s no reason for him not to go ahead over.
Because you know, yes, you`ll see your taxes increase on January 1st. But
you don`t have to write a check on January 2nd. So, he will have time to
then, introduce the Obama tax cuts and basically dare this Republican --
the 113th Congress not to vote for him.

SHARPTON: But, when he puts out his plan, then you hear, Chris, I was
very intrigued by the statement that Charles Krauthammer made on FOX, that
the Obama offer is worse than what was offered to general Lee at the end of
the civil war. Listen to this.


This is really an insulting deal. What Geithner offered, what he showed on
the screen, Robert E. Lee was offered easier terms of (INAUDIBLE) and he
lost the civil war. This is almost unheard of. I mean, what do they
expect? They obviously expect the Republicans to cave on everything. I
think the Republicans ought to simply walk away.


SHARPTON: Chris, with Lincoln outdone, do you I think he could have
used a different analogy.


HAYES: Look, the funny thing is the end of that statement, which is
the end of the statement, I keep saying, Rush Limbaugh says, walk away.
Walk away. But, that exactly it, right? That`s why they are boxed into
the corner because if they walk away, then, all of the taxes go up. And
the delicious irony here, I will note, is that when they ran through the
Bush tax cuts, one of the pieces of budgetary gimmickry they did was to
have them sunset so the cost was lower than what it would be actually be
there cut permanent and that was kick -- that can was kicked down the road
two years ago when we make, when we had the deal in that lame duck and now
it`s coming back to bite them because it`s going to expire and blow up in
the Republican party`s face when it was the Republican party who wanted to
put a timeline on it in the first place to get them passed.

SHARPTON: And since you brought General Lee, I will resist the
temptation of saying who Lee was.


SHARPTON: But Lee did lose the civil war. I mean, they lost the

HARRIS-PERRY: And I think many, I think many, many, many would argue
that the generosity of the terms given to general Lee at the end of the
civil war is precisely why we end up with a system of Jim Crow with a very
short reconstruction and with having to fight the battle 100 years again
with the civil rights movement. So, like, OK, good. How about we would
impact -- I think many would make similar claims about world war I and
world war II. Like, if he`s trying to make a claim for really vanquishing
your enemies; that would be the best way to do it.

SHARPTON: Well, the other part is that they -- since they took over
the house, they`ve stopped anything from getting done. Congress is on
track to become the least productive Congress since 1947. How much
pressure does that put on Boehner to make a deal?

HAYES: You know, I think it`s a really interesting open question, for
this reason. They have managed to defy the laws of political gravity in
that respect for basically the first four years of the Obama
administration. Their idea was the normal logic of political gravity is
basically that we have to go back to our districts and campaign on
something. We have to tell them things that we have done and they have
been relatively successful in not obeying that. The question is, does this
election change their mind of what their incentives are in terms of

HARRIS-PERRY: Yes. But, this is one of the kind of basic rules of
American politics, Congressmen vote yes, right? You don`t need to know
what the topic or bill is. They just tend to move legislation forward.
But the very fact that they are a do nothing Congress may work in the
president`s favor at this point because doing nothing is in certain ways
the dominant strategy in this particular game.

HAYES: That`s why it`s so (INAUDIBLE) clever, right? The way they`ve
set this up is precisely to exploit the biggest weakness of the Republican
obstruction which is the thing that they are best at doing is doing


SHARPTON: The problem is, they have defied political gravity. They
did not defy election gravity.

HAYES: No. They lost.

SHARPTON: Chris Hayes, Melissa Harris-Perry, thanks. And have a
great weekend.

And be sure to catch up with Chris Hayes. "Up with Chris Hayes" is the
name of the show. Don`t just catch up with him, but catch "Up with Chris
Hayes" is the name of the show, Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 a.m. to
10:00 a.m. eastern and "Melissa Harris-Perry" Saturdays and Sundays
starting at 10:00 a.m.

Coming up, think you know who Ronald Reagan would be siding with in
this fairness fight? Think again.

Plus, he`s back from his on air meltdown with the re theory, Karl
Rove and the Republicans have a reason for fairer and it all have you
laughing like we did in the office today.

And Bo Obama takes us on a tour of the White House.

You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now, it`s official. Powerball officials said that
two people had the right number to win the $580 million jackpot, two
people. Yes. So congratulations to the lucky winners. Mitt and Ann


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, 580 million, just throw it on the pile.




SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? We hope you will. Our facebook family had a lot to say
Speaker Boehner`s decision to finally appoint a woman to chair one of the
House committees.

Diane says, he must have looked through one of Mitt`s binders of

That`s a good one, Diane.

And Linda said, if women were in charge of all of the committees, they
might be able to get something done.

We`ll have a lot more on Boehner`s new chairman and what she will be
charge of later in the show. But, first, we want to hear what you think.
Please head over to facebook and search "Politics Nation" and "like" us to
keep the conversation going long after the show ends.


SHARPTON: The debate in Washington is revealing just how extreme
Republicans have become and how far they have drifted from their idol,
Ronald Reagan. They think he`s one of the greatest, that he believes on
Mt. Rushmore. In fact, there`s been a push for years to get him up there.
But Republicans have a big problem.

Reagan is too liberal for today`s GOP, just takes Social Security.
Today, conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer attacked the president`s
tax plan saying, quote, "where are the spending cuts, Medicare, Medicaid,
and now Obama care and Social Security?" He goes on to say, quote,
"Democrats pretend that Social Security is coming through 2033 but its
trust fund except that trust fund is a fiction." Really? Here`s what Mr.
Reagan thought about all that.


has nothing to do with the deficit. Social security is totally funded by
the payroll tax levied on employer and employee. If you reduce the outgo
of Social Security, that money would not go into the general fund to reduce
the deficit. It would go into the Social Security trust fund. So Social
Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or lowering
the deficit.


SHARPTON: Social security has nothing to do with the deficit. It`s
not President Obama saying that. It`s president Reagan, their hero. And
he also said this.


REAGAN: We`re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that
allowed the truly wealthy to avoid pay their fair share. In theory, some
of those loopholes were understandable but in practice they sometimes made
it possible for millionaires to pay nothing while a bus driver was paying
10 percent of their salary and that`s crazy. Do you think the millionaire
ought to pay more in taxes or less?


SHARPTON: A millionaire should pay less in taxes than a bus driver.
That`s what this whole debate in Washington right now is all about.

Joining me now is E.J. Dionne from "the Washington Post," an MSNBC

E.J., thank you for your time tonight.


SHARPTON: What do you think when you compare Reagan in clips like
that kind of talk we`re hearing from John Boehner today?

DIONNE: You know, I do sometimes think that Ronald Reagan might well
lose a Republican primary these days because he`s too moderate. Somebody
once said it`s better than it sounds. And Reagan governed in a far more
moderate way than he talked before he became a politician. And I think
particularly in the last four years something happened to conservatism and
the Republican party. My friends, Tom Mann and Norm Ornstein got a lot of
attention for their book. It`s worse than what it looks because they
documented that the Republicans really have become more radical, more
obstructionists and more determined to roll back not only parts of the new
deal but parts of the great society.

Now, I don`t think John Boehner himself is that far to the right but
he`s got to worry about this caucus of his that I think does contain a lot
of people who fit into that radical and it`s created a real problem for our
politics, particularly in the last two years.

SHARPTON: And they also don`t seem to really deal with facts because
when you really dig down into it, the average tax rates for income 50 to
$75,000, taxes were actually higher under Reagan. In 2009, it was 27
percent. In `81 under Reagan, it was 31 percent. So they are really
selling a myth. They made Reagan this great hero but when you actually
watch, using your term how Reagan governed, it is not exactly -- well, it`s
not even near what they are advocating.

DIONNE: Right. In fact, you wouldn`t know it from the campaign
commercials of the last campaign, but taxes have been lower under Barack
Obama than they have been in years. Not only because we kept the Bush tax
cuts going and I wish he hadn`t made that earlier deal but he did, but also
because he gave a lot of tax cuts to people in the middle and at the
bottom. And so the notion that we could govern ourselves at a time when
the baby boom is starting to retire with that very low level of revenue, it
just doesn`t make any sense. If we kept revenue where it is, we`d have to
slash those programs in a way that none of the public wants to do.

And so, all Obama is calling for is an increase on rates at the top.
And I think the Republicans deep down know that that`s where the people are
because they have at least given signals they are prepared to raise those
taxes. They are just not ready to do it the cleanest way, which is to top
the rates.

SHARPTON: No. I think they know deep down would then, that it is
ready, the public is ready to do it. I also suspect they know deep down
that a lot of what they are selling doesn`t really meet the facts. For
example, when Eric Cantor was doing a "60 minute "interview, "60 minutes"
was exposing the GOP`s denial of the real Reagan record. Well, watch what
happens when the far rights starts becoming confronted with facts. Look at


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: You know, your idol, as I`ve read
anyway was Ronald Reagan. He compromised.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Well, he raised taxes. And it was one
of his principles not to raised taxes.

CANTOR: Well, he also cut taxes.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That`s not true. And I don`t want to that stand.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: And at that point, Cantor`s press
secretary interrupted, yelling from off camera saying that what I was
saying wasn`t true.


SHARPTON: I mean, they are going to have to get real here, E.J. They
are going to have to deal with some truth and some facts. Otherwise, we
will never make progress. We will never move forward.

DIONNE: Well, right. I think there is a myth of Ronald Reagan as a
pure ideologue and then, there`s a reality of Ronald Reagan that somebody
who govern. I mean, he`s also the guy who recognized that Gorbachev was
not like the old soviet leaders and that made a lot of conservatives
uncomfortable too. I think the Republicans have been tax-a-phobic ever
since George H. W. Bush had the courage raised the taxes in that budget
deal back in 1990. He lost the election. A lot of Republicans voted
against the tax increase and they have been afraid to do it ever since.

SHARPTON: E.J. Dionne, thank you so much for your time. Have a nice
great weekend.

DIONNE: And great to be with you. Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Karl Rove finally has the answer. He knows
exactly why he blew through $300 million for his billionaire buddies.
You`ve got to hear this.

And Scott Walker`s so concerned about retirees that he want to get rid
of same-day voting registration. I wonder what they think. He won`t like
the response. That`s next.


SHARPTON: After 36 years with same-day voter registration in
Wisconsin, governor Scott Walker thinks it`s time for a change.


GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R), WISCONSIN: States across the country that have
same day registration have real problems because the vast majority on
states of poll workers who are wonderful volunteers who work 13-hour days,
in most cases are retirees, it`s just difficult for them to handle the
valiant of folks who come at the last minute. It would be much better if
it was handled on Election Day.


SHARPTON: Oh, yes. It would be much better. It`s really difficult
for those retirees to handle the volume. The government doesn`t want to
overwork the older poll watchers. Why would he want to do this? It must
be because of those retirees he wants to help. It`s definitely not because
President Obama won in Wisconsin by seven points. Can it get any more
obvious since the voter I.D. law Walker signed is on hold? He`s looking
for any way to suppress voters.

But "the Huffington Post" talked to Wisconsin poll workers, including
those in their 60s and 70s. They say Walker`s way is way off the mark.

61-year-old Ruth Irving says, this whole idea that this is somehow a
burden on poll workers is just not true.

75-year-old Lanore Rusch says, quote, "for Walker to say that the
people who are doing the registration can`t keep up is just foolish."

But the best response may be from 70-year-old Sandra Edhlund. Quote,
"I haven`t actually timed it, but I would expect that voting would take
twice as long if you have to show voter I.D."

Did Walker think that he could pretend suppressing voters was all to
help out some elderly election worker? Nice time. But your own state poll
watchers got you.


SHARPTON: We`re back with some breaking news. Republicans are
finally settling in on the reason for their election night catastrophe.
This is a big moment. How about a round of applause?


Are you ready for this? Their reason for the debacle is tone. That`s
right. Tone. The fastest knew right wing gunslinger in the West Texas,
senator elect Ted Cruz explaining the republican national fair this way.
Quote, "You want to know why Obama won 75 percent of the Hispanic vote,
tone on immigration contributed but I think far more important was the 47

Oh, yes, the big Romney call for self-deportation had nothing to do
with it. Nor did the GOP`s slew of other extremist position on
immigration. And then there`s Mr. on-air meltdown himself, Karl Rove, the
former GOP king-maker. Why not just come right out and call him the man
who blew through $300 million? He said in his speech, he`s no longer
suicidal that President Obama won. Well, that`s a relief. Now, Mr. Rove
is just, quote, "despondent." And here`s his new theory on why they lost.

Quote, "What splinters the Republican Party is intolerant and
judgmental language and an unwillingness to acknowledge differences." So,
the big mystery the Republicans have figured out their party just sounds to
me is about their language. It`s about their tone. Nothing about their
far right policies. Hey, Mr. Rove, we fell for this before. Remember the
compassionate conservative? Not again.

Joining me now is Molly Ball, national political reporter with the
Atlantic Magazine and her latest article down and out with Ted Cruz and the
GOP. She reports on how Republicans are trying to regroup from their
electoral disaster. And here in the studio is Dana Milbank, columnist for
the "The Washington Post." Today, he writes about the GOP and it is urge
to purge. Thank you both for coming on the show tonight.

DANA MILBANK, "THE WASHINGTON POST": Good to be with you, Reverend.


SHARPTON: Molly, it seems like denial to me. Why don`t they just
admit that it`s about their popular policies?

Well, I think you have a lot of different voices in the Republican
Party saying different things. But there definitely is this group of far
right conservatives who you can call it denial or just, you know, sincerely
do not believe that the policies are the problems, do not believe that that
is what has to change. Other more moderate voices saying we do have to
adapt some different policies but they are actually saying, no, we lost
this election because we didn`t talk enough about abortion, because we
didn`t embrace George W. Bush enough. We were afraid to talk about him.

So, and this is the group that Ted Cruz was speaking to at the speech
that I attended last night, where he was saying, as you said, we need to
adopt a friendlier tone, in particular to Hispanics. Now, he also sort to
said, oh, I don`t want to blame the voters here. But there is a lot of
that and speaking to the people who attended this particular gathering,
there are a lot of people saying, well, you know, Americans are going to
get what they asked for. The country is in decline. And once, you know,
this is all going to go to heck and then they will see how bad it is.

SHARPTON: Well, Dana, how do you tell people nicely to self-deport?
I mean, is there a more mannerable and appealing way to do that?

MILBANK: Self deport, please.


MILBANK: But it`s kind of nutty if you just look at what Ted Cruz
said there. OK. So, it`s the 47 percent remark that caused Mitt Romney to
lose 71 percent of the Latino vote. The polls before the 47 percent remark
showed that he was losing 70 percent.


MILBANK: In 2008, the Republicans lost 67 percent of the Latino vote.
It has something -- it`s not just the way the message is being pitched
here. It is actually the theme that they are coming up with and some, like
Marco Rubio and the party is beginning to say that, say that look, we
actually have to change the policy here, not just the way that we`re gift
wrapping it.

SHARPTON: You know Ted Cruz and Cruz is now being, you know, raised
as one of the new voices, new stars of the Republican Party. Has he always
been to the right? Has he always been to where he is now? Or is he a
politician that public pressure and the way public leanings go, he will

MILBANK: He is an ivy league-educated politician. I first met him
working for the George W. Bush campaign back in 1999 where he was a
prominent architect of compassionate conservatism. And then he saw the Tea
Party taking off. He said, that`s the direction to go. And now, it`s
interesting because he`s very good at reading which way the wind is blowing
that he still thinks that there`s something to be made by harnessing
himself to the Tea Party. So, at least he believes and at least down in
Texas he doesn`t believe it`s over.

SHARPTON: Molly, you were there last night for the Cruz speech. Let
me raise another speech to you. Karl Rove, he still doesn`t get it. At a
speech in Kansas this week, he blamed republican losses on moderates and
conservatives going after each other. Listen to this.


KARL ROVE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I was involved in a group called
American crossroads. The worst volunteer job I`ve had in my life. I was
in charge of raising money. We raised $324 million. And I got sick and
tired of spending money in races where the moderate and the conservatives
had gone at each other and made victory impossible.


SHARPTON: Now, Mr. Rove said it`s infighting. Now, I might add, he
was the same guy that had predicted the day before the election they were
going to win. And now all of a sudden he has a different analysis. But
putting aside consistency, the infighting doesn`t stop when you have true
believers on the Tea Party side of this argument.

BALL: That`s the real problem for the Republican Party. Listen, I
don`t think Karl Rove is wrong about this. The republican primary really
hurt Mitt Romney. That`s when he took a lot of those far right stands on
things like immigration, largely for political advantage to get Rick Perry
out of his way. And if you look at a lot of these Senate primaries that
caused so much heartburn for Karl Rove, they would probably own Senate
seats in states like Indiana and Missouri right now if they hadn`t gotten
the candidates that they got out of those primaries.

But like you say, what can they do about these primary voters who are
choosing these candidates, these far right candidates and this is, you
know, possibly why it`s a problem for the Karl Rove of the world. They
represent the republican establishment and the republican establishment has
very little control over the party in this day and age.

SHARPTON: But Dana, the denial is all the way through even to the
pollsters. When you look at new republican got a copy of Romney`s final
internal polling numbers and in which the internal polling he had predicted
he would win New Hampshire by more than three points and he`d win Colorado
by two-and-a-half. In fact, he lost New Hampshire by almost six points and
he lost Colorado by five. So all the way through, they were in denial and
were seeing an election that wasn`t there. He lost largely because they
totally underestimated in their polling the African-American Hispanic and
youth turnout.

And this is why Karl Rove had that election night meltdown because he
was talking to the Romney campaign and they were saying, this is
impossible. We can`t be losing this election. They were already preparing
the transition, they had the website ready to go. Now, I`m glad, as you
are, that Karl Rove isn`t suicidal but it wouldn`t be so bad for him to be
depressed a little bit because he`s been so euphoric in predicting
republican victory after republican victory in each election for the last
12 years that maybe it`s time for him to reassess as he is finally doing.

SHARPTON: Or maybe they should see that there`s a new America out
here that they are not talking to or polling. Dana Milbank and Molly Ball,
thank you both for being here tonight. Have a great weekend.

MILBANK: Thank you.

BALL: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, what would you do with $293 million? The first
Powerball winners have an idea. Corporate America could learn from them.

And the first dog Bo unveils White House Christmas decorations. Stay
with us.


SHARPTON: It`s looking more and more like Christmas at the White
House. Earlier this week First Lady Michelle Obama officially unveiled
this year`s decorations, including 54 Christmas trees. But another member
of the family seems to have had the final inspection.


One decoration really caught Bo`s eyes.


You`ve got to get him, Bo. Folks, that`s a Washington standoff
everyone can enjoy.


SHARPTON: The GOP has a big problem with women and they have no clue
how to deal with it. The other night we told you how the GOP appointed 19
white men to chair house committees. No diversity at all. Well, today,
they attempted to solve their image problem. John Boehner announced that
GOP Congresswoman Candice Miller would chair the house administration
committee. Wow. A woman ahead of a committee can. OK. So oh what
exactly will she do?

Miller`s committee oversees the purchases of office equipment for
Congress, they also manage the capital botanics garden and they look after
the librarian of Congress. They buy art work for the Capitol building,
they keep the house cafeteria up and running and they oversee the
disposition of useless executive papers. So let`s get this straight. They
want the one female republican committee chair to be an office manager, a
gardener, a librarian, an interior designer, a lunch lady, and they wanted
to make sure the trash gets thrown out.

This is the one job they gave to a woman. Today, Speaker Boehner
said, quote, Candice has a big job ahead as chairman of the House
Administration Committee. I think the Republicans have a big job trying to
fix their problem with women.

Joining me now is Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, a fellow at the
university of Texas and an MSNBC contributor and Irin Carmon, a reporter at Let me thank you both for being here tonight first of all.



SHARPTON: Victoria, is the GOP going to win over any woman with this
new appointment?

SOTO: You know, Reverend, the first thing that came to mind when I
heard this new was binders full of women. So women are just an
afterthought in the GOP. There`s no strategy of how to incorporate them
and it`s interesting, given the 2010 election because in the 2010 election
we saw a record number of republican women get elected at all levels of
government. It was the year of Sarah Palin, it was the year of Mama
Grizzlies, of elephants. So, there was a little bit of momentum there and
they really could carry it forward in naming of two important committees.
And they are tone deaf to the conservative women in their own party and to
the general electorate.

SHARPTON: Irin, they have a problem with women. I mean, when you
look at the last election, they lost single women by 36 points.

CARMON: Right. I mean, you can name women to all the housekeeping
committee that you would like. But it`s the fact remains there are fewer
republican women, there were voting for Republicans and there`s frankly
isn`t that much to offer women especially single women who made up a big
part of the electorate from the Republican Party platform. I can`t wait
until they start talking about the violence against women, I thought they

I can`t wait until they start talking about cutting Medicaid which
overwhelmingly affects people of color and women. And so, we have this
situation where, you know, they are looking at the last minute first they
say they don`t believe in an affirmative position, you know, just the first
time that someone through the attention to the fact that there were only
white men on the committee. They said, we don`t believe in quotas.
Overnight, they have been leaving affirmative action in the least
meaningful way.

SHARPTON: Now, even Newt Gingrich wonders never cease. Last night he
was on the tonight show. And he was saying that the GOP has a diversity
problem. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Tell me if this is a problem. Here are the GOP
committee chairs. Everyone is a middle-age white guy. OK. Is there a
diversity problem in the Republican Party?

wrong this year as a party that we really need to fundamentally rethink
what we are doing. Not just have the newest glib of answer from the same
guys who were wrong but actually stop and look at what happened and look at
what went wrong and look at what we didn`t understand about how America is
evolving and changing.


SHARPTON: Victoria, you know you`re in trouble when Newt Gingrich
says you`re wrong.

SOTO: You know, and it`s at every level. So it`s a descriptive
representation but at the core policy level, the policies are actually
getting more conservative and more antagonistic towards women in terms of
abortion, in terms of women against violence, in terms of health care. So
they are actually going backwards rather than forwards. And if you want to
chair these committees, first of all, you need to get women of the
electorate to support you, second, you have to get them elected, and third,
you need to get them to committee chairmanships. I don`t see any progress
on any front.

SHARPTON: But Irin, there is some really rough stuff going on. I
mean, when you look at the fact, 46 states now allow some health care
providers to refuse to provide abortion services. And in those 46 states
where a woman can be denied abortion services, there are 472 provisions
restricting a woman`s right to choose. This is some rough stuff.

CARMON: Right. I think even if the election was a big mandate for
the president, we can`t forget the fact that a lot of the action that I was
going to move to the states, they still control a lot of statehouses. What
they can`t do at the federal level, they will try to do at the state level.
But another thing that I think is going to be really important and ties
into this issue of committee members is that they could practically be
walking around with a banner that says no more Todd Akins. They want to
find more women to run, this is what the -- is doing now. And they want to
find people who are more pr savvy and aren`t going to say ridiculous
things. Keep in mind, as we`ve been talking about, Rev., they are going to
talk about changing any policies.

SHARPTON: But it goes back to tone message, not policy.

CARMON: Right.

SHARPTON: Victoria?

SOTO: It`s so frustrating about the graphic you just showed, is that
states are in terrible financial strait.

SHARPTON: All right.

SOTO: So, they`re using taxpayer money. They are wasting time,
looking at abortions, looking at bails that would provide four dimensional
pictures of fetuses and that you`re going to put them online rather than
talking about school budgets, rather than talking about the children in
these states and how we educate them and how we get them --

SHARPTON: Now, we actually have in Nebraska an anti abortion
legislation being pushed by groups that do exactly that. Right to life
group, they want lawmakers that pass legislation that requires four-
dimensional ultrasound images of human fetuses to be posted on a state
website as part of an informed consent on abortion statute.

CARMON: They are actually pretty effective in getting them passed,
they`re not very effective in changing women`s minds on abortion. And I
agree with you, there`s this sense of being this kind of political theater
around abortion where they just keep trying to throw anything at the wall
and in the meantime, nothing is happening in a kind of substantive way.

SHARPTON: Victoria and Irin, we`re going to be watching this closely.
Thanks for your time tonight. Have a great weekend.

CARMON: Thank you.

SOTO: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Ahead, hey, Republicans, meet America`s newest Powerball
millionaire. You can learn from them. That`s next.


SHARPTON: I want to close tonight with two different very pictures.
On the left, Cindy and Mark Hill, the Missouri couple who won $293 million
in the Powerball lottery. And on the right, a box of Twinkies. We`ll talk
about the Twinkies photo in a moment. But, first, I want to tell you about
Cindy and Mark Hill. He`s a mechanic. She was laid off from her job a
couple of years ago and hasn`t been able to find work since. It`s been
hard for them. But just listen to what they plan to do with their


CINDY HILL, POWERBALL WINNER: We have a very large family and then
next obviously is our charities, you know, that we`ll be giving to. Yes,
it`s like how much does a person need, you know.


SHARPTON: How much does a person need? It`s a good question. The
hills are giving to charity. They are taking a little bit less so those
less fortunate can have a little bit more. They`ll be doing better so the
society at large should do somewhat better as well. It`s a lesson that
hostess, the owner of Twinkie has not learned. The bankrupt company is
giving nearly $1.8 million in bonuses to 19 of his top executives.
Meanwhile, 18 thousand workers will get laid off. That`s 18,000 families
wondering how they will put food on the table. Eighteen thousand families
wondering if they can afford to go to the doctor, wondering how they will
pay for gifts this Christmas.

Nineteen hostess executives are securing their own golden parachute
while 18,000 families are facing a crash landing. It`s not right.
Especially this time of year and especially with the debate we`re having
right now in Washington. You know, it`s not about givers and takers. It`s
about values. It`s about those that say I don`t need to have it all. I
just need to have enough. But I want to see others have enough as well.
That`s what makes a nation great and that`s what make people that have
those values appear even greater citizens and greater people in this world.

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


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