PoliticsNation, Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Guests: Ed Rollins, Michael Steele, Jonathan Capehart, Matt Glazer, Larry
Cohen, Peter Goodman, Barney Frank

AL SHARPTON, HOST: Republicans, looks like you`ve been stood up.




SHARPTON: OK, Chris Christie. Not your time. So it`s up to these
guys? The sinking as fast as a racist rock cowboy, governor flip-flop and
Mr. 999.


HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I take every opportunity to
talk about my 9-9-9 plan.


SHARPTON: Whatever you say, Mr. Cain, but can you please add some
pepperoni to that plan. Tonight, meet the new GOP field, same as the old
GOP field. Republican strategist Ed Rollins and Michael Steele on that.

Rick Perry silence is deafening, but we are hearing lots about his
strange history on the issue of race.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nobody ever gets what they want.


SHARPTON: You heard that right, Speaker Boehner especially with your
do-nothing Congress.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I hope they won`t reject the job act because of
the word Obama in the title.


SHARPTON: President Obama fighting for his jobs bill. We`ll hear
live from Congressman Barney Frank on how to fight the party of no.

And the Wall Street protests are growing, and the biggest march is
planned for tomorrow. Is this the wake-up call for fairness we`ve been
waiting to hear? Hold on tight. POLITICS NATION starts right now.

Welcome to Politics Nation. I`m Al Sharpton. Tonight`s lead,
Republicans get jilted. After weeks of speculation, New Jersey Governor
Chris Christie said today he`s not running for president, and GOP voters
better find somebody else.


CHRISTIE: Now is not my time. I have a commitment to New Jersey that
I simply will not abandon so, New Jersey, whether you like it or not,
you`re stuck with me. The deciding factor was it did not feel right to me,
in my gut, to leave now when the job here is not finished.


SHARPTON: Christie also made it clear he`s not throwing his support
to any of the current candidates any time soon.


CHRISTIE: I`m not prepared to make any endorsement today. You know,
as I`ve said before, I`m not a halfway kind of guy. If I feel like there`s
someone in the field who gives us the best chance to defeat the president,
I`ll endorse that president and I`ll work hard for that person.


SHARPTON: Today, the Republicans actually running for president
breathed a huge sigh of relief.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Competition is always a good thing, and he would
have been a very fine contender, excellent competitor if he were in the


SHARPTON: Christie`s announcement comes as "Washington Post" polls
show Mitt Romney back in first place, with 25 percent, just about where
he`s been all year. Rick Perry has dropped all the way down to 16 percent,
tied with Herman Cain.

The poll also shows there`s a huge block of conservatives who do not
want Romney on the ticket. A total of 39 percent of Republicans support
someone more conservative than Romney, either Perry, Cain or Michele
Bachmann. Not the best news for the new old front-runner Willard "Mitt"

Joining me now are two of the leading Republican analysts, Michael
Steele, MSNBC analyst, and former chairman of the Republican National
Committee, and Ed Rollins, until recently senior adviser to Michele
Bachmann`s campaign and, of course, one-time political director for Ronald

Let me start with you, Ed. With Christie out of the race, the
dropping like a rock, pun intended of Rick Perry, what does this mean?
Does Romney have this locked, and if so, how does he get the conservatives
to go along with him?

months before anybody gets to vote so the bottom line here is there`s a
long, hard battle. It`s not about national polls. It`s about Iowa, South
Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia and -- and other places across the
country, not Virginia, Nevada.

And at the end of the day, Florida has now moved its primary to the
end of the month. So in January, we`re going to have a full scale, these
guys and gal, have that three months to get their campaigns together and
basically make their case to the public.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you, Michael Steele. David Brooks had this to
say in the "New York Times" this morning, and I think it`s something it`s
interesting. He says "Mitt Romney doesn`t fit the mold of what many
Republicans want in a presidential candidate. They want a bold, blunt,
radical outsider who are take on the establishment, speak truth to power
and offend the liberal news media. They don`t want organization man. They
want brave heart." Is that true, and if so, then where are they going to
get it from?

MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER RNC CHAIRMAN: Well, that may be true for some.
Let me just say hello to my buddy Ed Rollins. It`s good to see him.

ROLLINS: How are you?

STEELE: Good, buddy. I think, Rev, yes, that`s true for some folks.
There`s no doubt about it, and I know Ed has had a chance to meet and talk
with a lot of those folks, but as he just noted, this is a slog.

This is a fight all the way through the next three months before the
first vote takes place. Chris Christie was pushed more by the money
interests of the party as well as the media. There wasn`t an overwhelming
groundswell, grass root support clamoring for Christie to get in the race.

The basis that largely measured in their response to these candidates
for good reason because they have they believe the time to vet these guys
and see what they are about. I think you`re going to see the field tighten
a little bit more.

I think you`re going to see these guys focus, and gal, focus their
messages a little bit more. So now it gets interesting because all the
speculation should be over, Reverend, and we can focus on the folks who are
in this race and in this hunt until the finish and see how it turns out.

SHARPTON: Ed, no one has been able to make the case, it seems, for
longer than a week or two that they are the great outside radical fighting
the establishment. But yet the polls show that most Republicans, according
to the polls, still don`t want Romney.

Is the problem that Romney is just not catching fire with the majority
of Republicans, even though you can`t get that one anti-Romney conservative
Republican candidate?

ROLLINS: One of the advantages of having done this for four decades
is I`ve kind of seen it all before. And the bottom line here is, you know,
Mike Huckabee was about 2 percent in the poll four years ago. He won Iowa.

John McCain was dead and gone at this point in time. He came back and
became a nominee. Bob Dole obviously had -- had rough times in the course
of his campaign, and even Ronald Reagan had rough times back in 1980 when
he lost the Iowa straw poll to George Bush.

So this is -- this is about retail, and we have some very fine retail
politicians. Rick Perry has never been defeated in 25 years in Texas,
second largest state in the country. Romney obviously won in
Massachusetts. Michele Bachmann has a great ability to connect with voters
out there.

They may not be moving polls, but at this point in time it comes down
to connecting with voters. That`s why you have Iowa, New Hampshire, South
Carolina as opposed to just TV stations.

SHARPTON: Well, Michael Steele, you said Ed was your good friend, so
interpret for me what I just heard. Is he saying that there`s still hope
for Rick Perry and that he should just hold on, things can still turn
around and even implied that there`s still a pulse on Michele Bachmann`s
presidential campaign?

STEELE: Reverend, I love you, man. You`re awesome. You know,
there`s a pulse on everybody, and the pulse is beating throughout the
party. Folks are paying attention, and they are deciding, right now, how
they want to move forward, the campaigns are.

This thing is going to tighten up, and I think Ed was very clear about
this. This is a long race here. This is not something that`s going to get
over and done with just because someone is in or someone is out.

Yes. Perry has a chance. Bachmann has a chance. You`ve seen it.
You`ve watched Mr. Cain go from 3 percent to 16 percent. You`ve watched
someone like Santorum go from 2 percent to 7 percent. There`s movement
throughout the -- the team.

SHARPTON: What made Perry the big guy, Ed, let`s be honest? He came
in and knocked Romney from being number one in the polls, but, look, look
at the new poll. He dropped 11 points. You can`t use polls to make
yourself the main guy and then ignore the polls when you start falling.

ROLLINS: At the end of the day, the polls are a count of the voters.
Perry was governor of the second largest state in the country, governor for
10 years. It`s the biggest Republican state.

Any poll you take, you say 400 sample, you get 40 from Texas, so
obviously he showed well in polls. People had great anticipation when he
got into the race. He is not a great debater.

He obviously proved that in the first couple of debates here, but he
is a good retail politician. I`m not arguing either one will win this
thing, but I`m arguing you`ve got some big candidates in here. You now
have Romney and you have Perry.

Both who have resources, great staffs and then you have the outsiders,
the second tier, which are people like Michele and Herman Cain and others
and always have Gingrich who basically is a great void of new ideas.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you. You are a strategist and you were the
political director of Ronald Reagan. If you were advising Perry, what
would you tell him to do, and if you were advising Romney, what would you
tell him to do the way it is now?

ROLLINS: Well, the immigration is the big issue that Governor Perry
has got to talk in terms of how he put troops on the border or rangers on
the border and he basically is -- he got all tangled up on immigration.

And I think that drove a lot of the Tea Party vote away from him and
back to Mr. Cain. In the case of Romney, I would say run your own race.
Whatever it is, go out there and connect with voters, talk about who you
are and talk about the differences between you and the president.

And obviously do it in a respectful way and not a disrespectful way
and voters are going to listen to him at this point in time because they
want change.

SHARPTON: Well, Michael Steele, I got Ed Rollins give some free
advice to both of the candidates that are - well, one of them, anyway, is
leading the pack, the other tied for second.

STEELE: Right.

SHARPTON: But when we look at the money trail, we`re told that Rick
Perry may file more money than Romney when the filing comes. Both of them
have a lot of resources, but we`re told that Rick Perry may file around $15

Mitt Romney $11 million to 13 million so there is a question of do
they have enough money to hang in there a little while and hopes Santa
Claus brings them something.

STEELE: Well, Santa Claus will bring them both something because they
are good at connecting, not only with the major dollar donor, but also with
the small dollar donor and I think you`re going to see them being able to
hold their numbers, if you will, throughout the campaign.

But it`s also important to note as well, Rev, that the likes of a
Michele Bachmann and a Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich will also continue to
raise money and that, of course, is going to make this race so much more

It really will begin to settle after that first ballot is cast in Iowa
and as we move into New Hampshire, you`ll begin to see this thing tighten
and those folks winnow out. By the end of the month this will be narrowed
down a lot more than it is right now. But between now and then you`ve got
a good race on your hand.

SHARPTON: You guys are really a breath of fresh air, because I always
thought Democrats like me were dreamers and Republicans were realists. Ed
Rollins is sitting there telling me there`s still hope for Michele

You`re telling me that these guys are going to get something from
Santa Claus. I want to take both of you to see a bridge in Brooklyn that I
want to work out a deal with you so you can buy at a price I`ll arrange.
We`ll talk about it after the show.

ROLLINS: If you sell it to us, we`ll name it after you.

STEELE: That`s right. We`ll create a few jobs.

SHARPTON: I`ll write it in the contract. Michael Steele, Ed Rollins,
thank you so much for your time tonight.

STEELE: All right, Al.

SHARPTON: Coming back, Rick Perry is still not talking about his
hunting camp`s racist name, but we are hearing about his record on race,
and it`s not good.

Plus, Wall Street protests. Why the same banks we bailed out are
sitting on piles of cash and President Obama on the road in Texas and
naming names.


Cantor to come down here to Dallas and explain what exactly in this jobs
bill does he not believe in? What exactly -- what exactly is he opposed


SHARPTON: More on the president`s big day ahead. You`re watching


SHARPTON: Rick Perry`s record on race is not good. We`ll have the
details next.


SHARPTON: It`s been three days since the "Washington Post" revealed a
hunting camp Rick Perry leased in Texas had the "n" word in its title and
still we haven`t heard from the governor.

But the new reports show a disturbing pattern of behavior on race
issues. The Associated Press reports Perry was a prominent opponent of the
NAACP`s efforts to have confederate flags removed from statehouses and
government buildings across the south in 2000.

In a letter to Sons of Confederate Veterans Perry wrote, quote, "I
oppose efforts to remove confederate monuments, plaques and memorials from
public property. I also believe that communities should have the right to
decide whether statues or other memorials are appropriate for their

And "The Huffington Post" reports, the governor has largely ignored
allegations of racism on the part of at least one subordinate and on one
occasion was accused of racial insensitivity himself. In 1991, as Texas
agricultural commissioner, Perry supported his assistant commissioner after
he was accused of saying this in a meeting, quote, "we already have one "n"
word. We don`t need another."

Perry called the accusation vial and offensive in spite of sworn
statements from the accusers and another witness. The aide was eventually
forced to resign over the scandal. So questions are mounting. Where are
you, Mr. Perry? I`m waiting.

Joining me now to help answer that question who did show up is Matt
Glaser, Executive Director of Progress Texas, a group that has followed
Perry`s past and Jonathan Capehart, editorial writer for the "Washington
Post" and MSNBC contributor. Gentlemen, thank you for your time tonight.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, Rev. Great being here.

SHARPTON: Let me start with you, Jonathan. Three days, no Perry. We
hear some spinning, if you want to call it that from some of his campaign
aides. He didn`t come forth. He didn`t explain anything. He hasn`t really
said anything about this. Does that speak volumes?

bit, but to be fair to the governor, he did send a statement to the
"Washington Post" saying that the word was -- I believe he said either
offensive or insensitive. I think it was offensive.

He talked about how, you know, efforts were made to, you know, paint
over the word, which was painted over a rock. I think the bigger issue
though is it`s one thing to talk about this through a statement and the day
the story comes out and then have your spokesperson push back against the
criticism of the governor through other statements.

I think this issue, race issue with the governor being a governor of a
southern state and a white southern governor. He is going to have to come
out and talk definitively and forthrightly about race, in the same way that
this was an imperative for Haley Barbour, governor of Mississippi.

Remember, he was the big Republican hope way back when he was trying
to decide whether to run for the presidency, and he decided not to and one
of the reasons, it`s rumored to be why he did not run, decided not to run,
was because he did not -- he didn`t think he could do a credible job of
talking about race that would allow him to go forward to not only win the
nomination, but to also win the general election.

SHARPTON: Well, let me pick up on that with you, Matt. The fact of
the matter is that this governor had written a letter in 2000 defending
local communities that wanted to keep the confederate symbol on public
buildings. How do you run for president of the United States for all
people defending that position?

possible, and if you look at what we`ve been doing at progresstexas.org,
over 30,000 people from across the state of Texas don`t support that racist
rally being endorsed by the state and being put on state license plates,
something that`s actually being considered by the Texas Department of Motor

SHARPTON: Wait a minute. Say that again slow because somebody may not
have heard that. The Texas -- say that again? Texas Motor Vehicle are
considering what?

GLAZER: They are considering putting the confederate flag on state
license plates.

SHARPTON: This is now.

GLAZER: Right now. It is up for consideration. It was tied 4-4.
Rick Perry just appointed the ninth member to the board. That member has
been called by our members, by other organizations, by press, and it
continues to be silent on the issue.

Jerry Patterson, General Land Commissioner here in Texas who is
looking at being lieutenant governor here in Texas, has told the San
Antonio News Board, editorial board, that he doesn`t know if the Texas DMV
is going to be able to get this controversial image on state license plates
and has advocated and actually suggested that it should go to the courts
for judges to go ahead and legislate from the bench. That is where we are
in Texas right now.

SHARPTON: Mr. Capehart, let me say this to you. Mr. Perry, the
present governor of Texas, right now running for president, in his own
state, debating whether to put this license plate that has the Sons of
Confederate Veterans with the confederate flag on the license plates of
people in Texas while he offers himself to this country as the president of
the United States. Now, we can argue back and forth about did they paint
over a rock that should never have painted in the first place?


SHARPTON: But what do we talk about? The governor has laryngitis now
when they are talking about putting the confederate flag on license plates
in the state he`s already governor?

CAPEHART: Right. He has a problem here, a serious problem. Now, it
might not be a problem for him in Texas, and if he had decided not to run
for president, we wouldn`t even be talking about this on a national level.

But he has put himself forth -- forward to be considered to be the
Republican presidential nominee -- Republican nominee for president, and if
you`re going to run for president, you have to convince 50.1 percent of the
American people that they should entrust you with the presidency.

You`re not going to win the election with only white voters and
particularly only white voters who think it`s perfectly fine to have a
license plate with the stars and bars on it. He hasn`t -- Governor Perry
has a problem.

He`s going to have to address it. As you call, it laryngitis, he
better hope that it clears up, and he clears it up before the next
Republican debate because guaranteed this issue is going to come up.

SHARPTON: Well, Matt and Jonathan, thank both of you for your time

GLAZER: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Let me say this. This is not, as some say, a regional
thing because we did have a president that came from Texas. His name was
Lyndon Johnson. He signed the Voting Rights Act. He signed the Civil
Rights Act. He stood before Congress and said we shall overcome.

He was from Texas, too, but it looked like he brought a little more
courage and moral backbone from Texas to the nation. Read about Lyndon
Johnson, Governor Perry, on your way to showing up because I`m still

Ahead, "Occupy Wall Street" protests are growing and for good reason.
The people must be heard on the unfairness from Wall Street. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: Republicans claim to hate unnecessary government spending,
so why are they shelling out more money to defend discrimination?

Earlier this year, House Speaker John Boehner condemned President
Obama`s decision to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act in court.
The law known as DOMA bans same-sex marriage.


won`t lead, the president won`t defend DOMA then you`ll see the House of
Representatives defend our actions in passing a bill that frankly passed


SHARPTON: In April, Boehner appointed a solicitor general under
President Bush to defend DOMA on behalf of Congress, and now Clement and
his firm are getting a whole lot more taxpayer money. House Republicans
have approved spending another $1 million on DOMA`s defense up from
$500,000 they had already set aside.

Problem is most Americans oppose the law Republicans are fighting to
uphold. A recent poll showed 53 percent of Americans support gay marriage,
but while Republicans increase spending to defend an unpopular law, they
want to cut programs that actually help people.

In the last week alone, House Republicans have proposed slashing
funding for job training, heating subsidies for the poor and family
planning programs, so GOP lawmakers say, we can`t afford to help poor
people stay warm. But there`s plenty of money for lawyers to defend
discriminatory laws. Did the Republicans think we wouldn`t notice their
real priorities? Nice try, guys, but we got you.


SHARPTON: A lot of us have been watching the Wall Street protests and
wondering if they can actually make real change here in America. Occupy
Wall Street is growing. Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston have organized
their own protests and more events are planned in other cities. Today,
some unions are pledging to provide food to the protesters and some unions
will join in a march tomorrow. These protests highlight what we all know,
people are angry, and they should be.

Last year CEOs at the nation`s top 500 companies received on average
over $11 million in total compensation, and the Federal Reserve says U.S.
companies are sitting on more than $2 trillion in cash. That`s money they
are not investing and using to hire new people. They are just sitting on
it. People are angry. They are getting less and less every year while
millionaires get more and more. They are sick of it, and they are
demanding everyone pay their fair share. Of course, the GOP calls this
class warfare, and you know what? It is.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: If asking a millionaire to pay
the same tax rate as a plumber makes me a class warrior, a warrior for the
working class, I will accept that. I will wear that charge as a badge of


SHARPTON: And you know what else? The American people agree with the
president. A new CBS poll shows 64 percent think we should raise taxes on
millionaires. Eighty three percent of those people are Democrats, 65 are
independents, but 40 percent of those people are Republicans, but the GOP
is worried about class warfare. Well, too late. The war is already here,
and it doesn`t look like it`s going away any time soon.

Joining me now is Larry Cohen, president of the Communications Workers
of America. Their members will be joining protesters tomorrow in a march
from City Hall to Wall Street and Peter Goodman, executive business
director of "The Huffington Post." Larry, your members are marching
tomorrow. Are they also marching with us in Washington on the jobs march
on October 15th? Why are you back in the streets, CWA?

in the streets, as you said, fight for our rights. There`s been a war on
workers, there`s a class war. Unfortunately, management has been fighting
their own workers for years, sending their jobs out of country, cutting
their pay, gutting their benefits, destroying the retirement. There is a
class war. There`s a war on workers, and our members are saying, whether
it`s being out here with you a week from Saturday as we remember Dr. King
and how he stood with workers or whether it`s tomorrow, and even today and
last Friday, being with young workers in the park and then marching on
Verizon, we call it Wall Street to West Street, we`re out there because we
believe that in addition to doing political work and being out at the
polls, we`ve got to wake up America.

We`ve got to say to working class America, to working Americans, you
know, we have to fight for ourselves. As you said, you have the worst
income inequality almost in the history of the country, you have the lowest
rights for workers almost in the history of the country and you have
skyrocketing profits and skyrocketing wages for the top management.
Something is wrong, and we can`t just do that in a political system that`s
now controlled by the wealthy, where anything goes. They don`t even
disclose the money that they put in. We need to do it by being in the
streets, by working for fair contracts on the job, and also build the kind
of political movement based on 15 million Americans standing up for

SHARPTON: Building a political movement. Peter, one of the things
that I`ve noted about the occupation Wall Street, and we had one of the
organizers last night, is these are not people from one political
persuasion or even with the same stated goals, but these are people that
seem to be outraged on the inequality that we are seeing across the board
in this country. Is this in your opinion representative of a widespread
kind of anger that Americans are feeling from different political

themselves the 99 percenters, the 99 percent of the economy that haven`t
been getting the benefits of the growth that we`ve had when we`ve had
growth, outside of this horrible recessions that we`ve got accustom to.
These are people who understand, they may not have a monopoly on the
answers, but they understand that this economy simply doesn`t function for
the benefit of most people. For, you know, a quarter century we`ve had an
economy where most people can`t pay for health care, they can`t pay for
housing, they can`t pay to send their kids to school without going into
debt, and that debt has proven unsustainable. And meanwhile, most of the
profits from corporate growth have flowed to the top, to the people with
the corner offices, to the people making the deals on Wall Street, and
there is very widespread anger and a demand for a new kind of economy. You
know, it must be said that there`s some characterization that this is some
sort of a radical movement.


GOODMAN: These people out on the street as if, you know, they are
asking for something we`ve never seen before. Women`s suffrage. That was
radical, we never had that before. The civil rights movement, taking on an
entrenched racial establishment in the south. This was radical. Opposing
the Vietnam War, taking on the Pentagon, the country was truly divided.
These people are asking for something they already had.

SHARPTON: Well, Larry, it`s very radical for people in to say, in an
economy that`s 9.1 percent unemployed, we want jobs, and I think the
radicals of people that lay off teachers, and lay off workers and dealing
with things you`ve had to deal with even with our Governor Christie. I
mean, it`s amazing when you`re sitting on $2 trillion in cash, won`t invest
in America, and you call people radical because they are saying, hey, we
need to be able to afford our health insurance and we don`t want you
messing with grandma`s Social Security.

COHEN: Absolutely. The radical idea is that only this country of the
industrial democracies doesn`t have health care for all. The radical idea
is that only in this country should retirement mean less and less a
percentage of the income you made before you retired. Radical is cutting
jobs, cutting pay, cutting health care and thinking that you can possibly
have an economic recovery and radical, as you said, most of all is cutting
our rights on the job, destroying bargaining and believing that there`s any
chance, except in fairy tale capitalism that the economy will ever revive.
We need our rights, we need our standard of living or you can`t revive the
American economy.

SHARPTON: Peter, let me show you something that I`m not the great
researcher that you are, but we came up with this clip that really, really
was something to me, a president actually saying with the protesters and
what people like Larry and I are saying, a president saying, millionaires
ought to pay more than ordinary people. Look at the president of the
United States saying this. It`s awesome.


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


SHARPTON: Peter, tell them for me, don`t listen to Larry Cohen.
Don`t listen to Al Sharpton. Listen to Ronald Reagan.

GOODMAN: You know, that`s a wonderful clip that you`ve played, and it
reminds us that we`ve gotten so accustomed to crack pot economic theories
and ideas governing our political process and keeping us hostage in this
country, that you know, it takes looking back at the Reagan years, this
supposed champion of small government, fewer taxes, to remind us that it
is truly insane that we`ve gotten to this place where, you know, proposing
that millionaires pay their fair share of taxes is somehow radical
politics, and the only distinguishing characteristic between the United
States of America and other modern democracies is that we let rich people
not pay taxes.

SHARPTON: That`s right. Even Ronald Reagan said it. Larry Cohen and
Peter Goodman, thanks, and, folks, if you want to learn more about all of
this, check out Peter`s book, "Past Due," the end of easy money and the
renewal of the American economy." Peter really wrote it there. Ahead,
President Obama on the road and going right after Republicans for playing
politics with the jobs bill.


OBAMA: Give me a break. That`s why folks are fed up with Washington!
This isn`t about giving me a win.


SHARPTON: What did republican leaders respond with? Congressman
Barney Frank is live next.


SHARPTON: President Obama went on the offense today, taking his fight
for jobs to Texas and blasting Eric Cantor for denying a vote on the jobs


OBAMA: Yesterday the -- the republican majority leader in Congress,
Eric Cantor, said that right now he won`t even let these jobs bill have a
vote in the House of Representatives. I`d like Mr. Cantor to come down
here to Dallas and explain what exactly is in this jobs bill that he does
not believe in. What exactly is he opposes to? If he won`t do that, at
least put these jobs bill up for a vote, so that the entire country knows
exactly where members of Congress stand.


SHARPTON: Americans deserve to know who is standing in the way, but
back in Washington, Senate republican leader Mitch McConnell was playing
games again, trying to force a vote on the jobs bill immediately, not as a
stand-alone measure, but tacking it into the China currency legislation.
Harry Reid called it a political stunt. The other leading Republicans
continue attacking the president`s jobs bill.


would join us in trying to do some things that actually help people, that
help create an environment for growth, I think we can all see a way to work
together to actually produce a better future.

everything they want. I don`t get everything I want, and I think the
president understands what the legislative process.


SHARPTON: Really, Speaker Boehner? Isn`t that what you said last


BOEHNER: I am not going to compromise on my principles nor am I going
to compromise the will of the American people.


SHARPTON: OK, Mr. Speaker, you want to know the real will of the
American people? Just listen.


OBAMA: They want Congress to do what they were elected to do. They
want Congress to do their job! Do your job, Congress. The time for
gridlock and games is over. The time for action is now. Tell them if you
want to create jobs, pass this bill.



SHARPTON: Joining me now is Congressman Barney Frank, democrat from
Massachusetts. He`s the top democrat on the house Financial Services
Committee. Mr. Chairman, thanks for joining me this evening.


SHARPTON: It`s been a month, since the president offered his jobs
bill and still no vote in the House. What are the Republicans afraid of?

FRANK: They are afraid of revealing the gap between their ideological
right wing extremism and the hold that the Tea Party extremists have on
them and the fact that the American people don`t agree. You know, if they
thought the president`s program was unpopular, they would rush to vote on
it, but they understand, you know, we`re talking about building roads and
highways here. We`re talking about giving money to local communities so
they can rehire police officers, fire fighters and teachers. The
republicans understand that`s popular. Every public indication we have now
is that the public understands this important order of things.

First, you do the things that will get people back to work. Then as
we begin to do that, you go after the deficit, but if you just do deficit
cutting now, as people who are appointed by George Bush have said, you`ll
make things worse rather than better. They understand the American people
think that, but you`ve got to realize, I`m glad you showed that clip from
Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was a mainstream conservative who could work
within the framework of American politics. You now have a group of very
extreme people who don`t accept the fact that there is a need for this kind
of concerted action, and the Republicans are torn between their ideology
and reality.

SHARPTON: Well, Mr. Chairman, let me show you, if you look at this
poll, the American people have clearly spoken. Cut payroll taxes on
individuals, 65 percent, payroll taxes on business, 58 percent, funding for
civil service, 74 percent, funding for infrastructure, 64 percent, funding
for unemployment, 52 percent. The American people have spoken. There is
outrage bursting at the seams. We`re talking, as you say, about rebuilding
schools, jobs and rebuilding infrastructure, re-hiring firemen and
policemen. We`re not talking about things that are not essential, yet they
are playing games. They are gridlock games in Washington.

FRANK: No question, and again, it`s this extreme ideology that they
have that -- look, here`s the problem, Al. They are not listening to the
American people. They are listening to a small segment of the American
people, the people who vote in the republican primary. You see that in the
republican presidential race which is a race to get as far right as
possible, even people who previously had been known as kind of mainstream
conservatives are moving far to the right. And my guess is that`s why
Chris Christie decided not to run, that as conservative as he is, he
couldn`t become the kind of extremist that you would have to be. So, yes,
the American people as a whole say, put people back to work. Let us hire
teachers. Let us some mass transit and put people back to work building

Let us do some things to help clean up the rivers, put the Republicans
-- and let`s pay for that, by the way, by taxing the wealthy, and the
Republicans say no, we can`t do that because the people who dominate our
primaries, the Tea Party people, will punish us if we do it, so, yes, you
have the American people saying one thing, but you have a political party
that I hope is in temporary control of the U.S. House that`s dominated by a
small group. And by the way, people have a right to vote in primaries and
the people don`t vote in the primaries have no right to criticize the
results of those primaries. But that`s a fact, that the Republican Party
today is responding to that small group that dominated their primary, the
most right wing elements in their party and that`s why the American people

SHARPTON: Can we break through? How do we break this? How do we get
through this and get something for the American people that really, really
need a breakthrough here?

FRANK: We keep trying. We keep doing these kinds of shows. We hope
that there will be people who live in the districts of some of these
Republicans who were nominated by the Tea Party and then won because of
dissatisfaction last year. We`ll say to them, you know what, if you want
to get re-elected, it`s not enough to keep the Tea Party happy. You`ve got
to show us that you`re going to respond to the economy as a whole. So,
what we need is for the American people to reach out and say to the people
who represent them, and let me tell you, I`ve been doing this for a while.

People hear from the voters in their districts, they will pay
attention and that`s what we have to have. So, people need to speak out
and tell again, particularly these Republicans, who are saying no to this
and no to that, and we`re not going to make millionaires pay taxes, we`re
not going to keep cops on the street, tell them that if they are going to
keep that up, they won`t vote for them. That`s the only way we can hope to
change them.

SHARPTON: You said they`re temporarily in charge of the House. Does
that mean that you think there`s a possibility that the Democrats can take
the House back next year?

FRANK: Yes. I said I hope that, and I -- I tell you why. I look at
what you just showed. There is a huge gap between what the American people
understand we need in the economy and what the Republicans in the House are
doing, and this is not -- it was not a normal year last year. I don`t
think it will be a normal year next year. I think as people perceive these
differences, they want us to say, let`s hire people and put them back to
work policing the streets and building highways and cleaning up our parks.
They want people who are very wealthy to pay a little bit more tax. By the
way, we`re just talking about getting back to the tax levels that we had
under Bill Clinton when we had a great economy.

One of the things that strikes me is, some of these conservatives who
came to be such believers in the American economy, think the American
economy is this weak frail thing and here`s what we`re talking about, Al.
What I would like to say, for every $1,000 you make above $250,000 in
taxable income, that`s after all your deductions, for every $1,000 you
make, I think we should tax you $40, and these people are swooning in fear
that if they had to pay $40 out of over $1,000 above $250,000 in taxable
income, that would destroy the economy. It`s nonsense, it`s been proven to
be nonsense.

SHARPTON: I think if the Democrats stand for that and hold on to
that, you probably right. The problem is when you stand in the middle of
the road, you get hit with traffic going both sides. We`ve got to make a
stand, and I think you`re right. Mr. Chairman, as always, thank you for
your time tonight.

FRANK: You`re welcome.

SHARPTON: The right wing hates government so much, we`ll see if they
could live with it. That`s next.


SHARPTON: When Republicans talk about government, they always seem to
come back to one conclusion. Whatever is wrong is the government`s fault.


BOEHNER: Our plan is to get government out of the way.

SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: They need to get government out
of the way.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: I also believe that big
government is hurting the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I want to get government out of the way.

GOV. RICK PERRY (R), TEXAS: If we want to get America working again,
we need Washington to get out of the way!


SHARPTON: That`s where I think Republicans have it wrong. We don`t
need to get rid of government. We need to make it better. Let me show you
this picture that is making the rounds online. It makes the point. No
government. We don`t have powerful traffic lights. We don`t have
sidewalks, roads, phone lines, streetlights. I mean, how would we function
every day? Traffic signs? Power lines. No government, we would just be
out there in total anarchy. We need government that works for the people,
just like the traffic light, just like the streets provide us our way of
transporting to and from where we`re going.

Government can work if government works for everybody. Quick saying
stop government and say, let`s make government work for the people, by the
people. Let us have good government. No government is a disaster, or
maybe that`s what some of them watch.

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


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