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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Read the transcript from the Wednesday show

Guests: Lee Saunders, Ben Cardin, Dana Milbank, Erin McPike, Ed Koch

REV. AL SHARPTON, HOST: Hey, Republicans have you met president


take no for an answer.

SHARPTON: The president still fighting for his jobs plan, as a new
innocence news "Wall Street Journal" poll shows 63 percent of Americans
support it. Earth to Republicans you care about what people I mean
corporations want, don`t you? What about that, GOP candidates?



CAIN: Nine, nine, nine.




SHARPTON: Right, nothing new. And speaking of 2012, it`s time to the
Revvies; our awards to the debate de-buckle. We all know Republicans are
running out of fresh ideas but come on, Rick Perry, stealing from a Harlem
renaissance poet? Your rock would be ashamed.

PERRY: Like America, America again.

SHARPTON: And my interview with Ed Koch on Obama, Israel, and what
the GOP is trying to do to America. "Politics Nation" starts right now.


SHARPTON: Welcome to "Politics Nation." I`m Al Sharpton. Tonight`s
lead, the president`s message to the Republican party of no. No just won`t
cut it this time.


OBAMA: A Republican minority got together as a group and job blocked
this jobs bill. No for passing the senate. They said no to more jobs for
teachers, no to more jobs for construction workers and veterans, no to tax
cut for small business owners and middle-class Americans. I`ve got news
for them. Not this time. Not with so many Americans out of work. Not
with so many folks in your communities hurting. We will not take no for an


SHARPTON: President Obama won`t take no for an answer, not when 63
percent of the country supports his jobs bill, 63 percent! What he won`t
accept is the Republicans` warped logic that they`re somehow acting on be
behalf of the American people by killing this jobs plan.


REP. ERIC CANTOR (R), VIRGINIA: The Senate`s action last night proved
that the month-long campaign that the White House has been on to promote
the president`s bill failed.


SHARPTON: Congressman Cantor, every single senate republicans voted
against the president`s plan to put 1.9 million people back to work. All
that actually proves is your party is out of touch. And do you know what
else proves you`re ouch tough? The fact that tomorrow you`re introducing
an abortion bill instead of job legislation. What happened to your focus
on jobs? And I`ve got to say, your party`s presidential candidates are
just as out of touch as you are.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If the payroll tax cut is not extended, that
would mean a tax increase for all Americans. What would be the
consequences of that?

ROMNEY: What it takes to create jobs is more than just a temporary
shift in a tax stimulus.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you would be OK with seeing the payroll tax

ROMNEY: Look, I don`t like temporary little Band-Aids.


SHARPTON: A band-aid, will it? With the country struggling to get
back on its feet, $1500 is a lot more than a little band-aid, but as out of
touch as Republicans are, sometimes you`re just plain funny.

Folks, meet Rich Lowery, the economist behind Herman Cain`s 9-9-9
financial plan. Well, economist might be pushing it. He`s actually not an
economist. It turns out he`s a local wells Fargo branch employee in Pepper
Pike, Ohio, population 6,000, 6,000 people. He`s the guy who reportedly
designed Cain`s plan that got so much respect at the GOP debate last night.
And Herman Cain actually thinks he`s the guy to redesign the economy for
the entire country.

If it weren`t funny, we would be crying. When it comes to the economy
this year, Republicans might not always be funny. But they are a joke.

Joining me now, Senator Ben Cardin, democrat for Maryland. He is the
member of the Senate budget committee, and Lee Saunders, secretary-
treasurer of the American federation of state county and municipal
employees, a union with 1.6 million members. Lee will be joining me this
Saturday. He is co-chairing the march for jobs and justice in Washington,

Thank both of you for coming to the show. Senator, let me start with
you. Let`s take a look again at these numbers. Sixty three percent favors
to president`s jobs bill yet none of your Republican colleagues voted for
the bill, not one. What does this say?

SEN. BEN CARDIN (D), MARYLAND: Well, Americans get it. We need to
create more jobs, and they want congress to help create more jobs. They
support the president`s effort to bring this legislation forward. Al, it`s
interesting. We had a majority of the Senate vote for the jobs bill, this
week, at least to proceed with it so we could at least take up jobs. The
Republicans used the filibuster to block it.

So, it`s not only that they`re voting no. They`re using procedure to
block the Senate from considering jobs legislation. The American people
want us to solve problems. They want the government to work, and the
Republicans are saying no, no, no, we don`t want to see anything done in
this congress.

SHARPTON: Now, Lee Saunders, not only are we having this big march
that you are co-chairing, and labor and AFT, and everybody coming in, you
are beginning, your union is putting out a commercial. You know my mother
used to say, every good buy isn`t gone. Well, it`s not over last night
with the vote. Let me show what is getting ready to go up from the labor
movement, this commercial.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What if middle-class families were finally given
the podium that politicians finally listen to us? Instead of fight for
millionaires and corporations, we tell them to create millions of jobs for
our families, reward companies who hire returning veterans, rebuild roads
and modern I`d our kids` schools. OK. So, maybe we don`t have the podium,
but we do have the plan.


SHARPTON: That`s an ad by AFSCME, your union Lee that`s going up
nationally. Wow, I mean does this mean we`re getting ready to see all
hope, a wide broad fight from media to the streets?

continue, and it`s not over. America needs jobs in this country. The
middle-class needs to be straighten. Working families need help.
Unfortunately, the Republicans just continue to say no. And they do not
have a plan of their own, yet they like to criticize the plan of President

And we`re supporting that jobs plan, and we believe we have to do
everything possible to educate our citizens across this country, and to
mobilize Americans. And we`ve got to broaden out and become once again a
main street movement, which is happening right now. So folks who are
saying, what`s happening to this country? We`ve got to fight back. We`ve
got to fight for stronger economy. We`ve got to fight for jobs in this
country, and that`s what we`re pushing right now, Al.

SHARPTON: Now, you as mobilizing, Lee, and you and AFSCME are
mobilizing. You have many senators that are up for reelection. As you
start these ads already and as you begin organizing, let me show you three
senators that are up for election next year, who voted against the jobs
bill last night. Senator Brown in Massachusetts, Senator Snowe in Maine,
Senator Heller in Nevada. Lee Saunders, should they senators be concerned?

SAUNDERS: They should be. And we`re going to be targeting their
districts and their states based upon the vote they made last night.
Again, the American public understands the importance and understands this
crisis. And they know that we need jobs in this country, 9.1 percent of
Americans out of work.

If you look at the communities with people of color, that percentage
is much higher. We`ve got to realistically address this issue and address
this problem. And the American jobs act addresses this problem. We`ve got
to support it.

SHARPTON: Now, Senator Cardin, what is the calculus here. Why would
a senator particularly running a place in re-election, why would they vote
against this bill when people need jobs?

CARDIN: I think they`re putting their own partisan politics ahead of
the national interests in this regard. We desperately need more jobs. We
need more jobs for our economy to grow. We need more jobs in order to get
or budget into better balance. We need jobs in this country. That should
be our focus.

And the Republicans are saying we shouldn`t even bring it to the
floor. It defies logic. It defies where the American people want us to
be. I don`t really understand their strategy, but I think part of it is
they just don`t want to see President Obama`s plan move forward.

SHARPTON: Now, there`s talk today that they can bring it up, this
bill can be brought back in plots and vote for plots, is that - do you
think that can happen? Will that be a feasible strategy?

CARDIN: We`ll try every way. We will try to do it in pieces if
that`s how they want to do it. But I tell you, when we bring up small
bills, they won`t let it come up to floor. They just had non-relevant
amendment. They have a non-relevant amendment. We saw that on the
currency bill. We saw that on so many other bills that they brought

It`s difficult to see how you can get a number of smaller bills done
with the republicans using their obstructions as politics with just about
any bill.

SHARPTON: Lee Saunders, you`re one of the more powerful leaders,
labor leaders in the country. Whether we look at ads, national ad
campaigns now, starting by ask me. You`re co-chairing the big march on
Saturday. The pushback as we did in Wisconsin, Ohio, the referendum on the
ballot, I think that`s not being as widely covered as it should, but it
seems like labor and working-class people are really building a movement
and fighting back.

SAUNDERS: We`re calling it the Main Street Movement. And you`re
right, Al, we are fighting back from Madison to Tallahassee to New York
City. You look at what`s happening on Wall Street right now, with the
young people and the unemployed. They are joining together. They are
making their voices heard. We`ve got to make our voices heard all over
this country. We`ve got to say that we need jobs. We need good jobs in
this country. We cannot stand by idly while the Republicans are in
Washington, D.C. ignore these kinds of problems. And we`ve got make our
voices heard all over the country.

SHARPTON: Senator Ben Cardin, thank you, and Lee Saunders, I`ll be
see you Saturday, and thank you very much for your leadership.

SAUNDERS: Good to be with you.

SHARPTON: This note, Lee and I want you to join us this Saturday on
October 15th, for the march for jobs and justice. From Wall Street to
Washington, we want to hear you.

Ahead, the Revvies are back. The tension is building. What
Republican will take home a Revvies tonight?

Plus anyone thinking the tea party was dying? Think again. I have
some shocking new evidence. And trust me, it will surprise you.

And a horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse. Willard, the everyman,
has some explaining to do. You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: It`s a very special night here on "Politics Nation." the
celebs are arriving. The red carpet is out. There`s a buzz in the air.
OK, not exactly, but the newest star men of the Revvies award is coming up.
What Republican will take home a Revvies tonight? The excitement is
building next.


SHARPTON: Did you get out of watching the Republicans last night? I
did. Watch.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We debate this evening about spending and taxes,
deficit and debt, about the present and the future, about rich and poor.

CAIN: Nine, nine, nine will pass, and it`s not the price of a pizza
because it`s been well studied and well developed.

BACHMANN: The number one reason employers say they`re not hiring
today is Obama-care.

PERRY: The fact of the matter is the issue is we need to have a
balanced budget amendment in the United States constitution.

ROMNEY: If I had been chosen as vice president, I`m not sure I`m the
nominee yet.




SHARPTON: With such great performances, such amazing words
(inaudible) and stunning misrepresentation, it`s time. My favorite reward
show, so without fur adieu, live from 30 rocks, here in New York City, we
proudly bring you the latest edition of the Revvies.

Joining me to help present tonight`s awards, Dana Milbank, national
political reporter for the "Washington Post", and Erin McPike, national
reporter for "Real Clear Politics". Thank you both for being here for such
an all suspicious occasion.


SHARPTON: Let`s kick off the Revvies with the major category. The
award for best leading man, drum roll please and it goes the award goes to
Mitt Romney! I`m sorry, excuse me, I meant miss-leading man. Romney won
this award for trying to rewrite his record on jobs.

ROMNEY: In the business I was in, we didn`t take things apart, cut
them off and sell them off. We instead helped start businesses. Sometimes
we acquired businesses and tried to turn them around, typically effectively
and net-net created tens of thousands of new jobs.


SHARPTON: Well, Mitt, let`s look at your resume. As CEO of Bain
capital, you shipped jobs overseas, caused corporate bankruptcies and
responsible for thousands of layoffs. And then as Massachusetts governor,
your state ranked 47th in jobs growth.

Dana, what can you say about this misleading man?

thought they were 48th, Reverend, but, you know, look, you`ve got to keep
it in perspective. I think he held off a strong challenge from Rick Perry
who right after the debate said the American Revolution was in the 16th
century which would have placed it before the pilgrims landed. So, he was
up against steep competition there, but you know this is politics. And if
you`ve got to shade things a bit, the voters generally won`t hold that
against you. So, I think he earned that fair and square.

SHARPTON: Well, I think in fairness to Rick Perry, he was looking
over Michele Bachmann`s notes on American history. Let me ask you, Erin,
what do you think of the Mister Willard Romney and his representations on
creating jobs?

as you noticed talked about his record in Massachusetts, because Democrats
and other Republicans are talking about how he was 47th out of 50 in
Massachusetts when he was governor in terms of job creation putting other
states in the country. So I know what you`re talking about when he`s
saying that he`s not creating jobs for Bain Capital, because he, with
moving these companies around as he did, yes, he did get rid of a lot of
jobs in order to be successful. So yes, he was misleading in that for

SHARPTON: Now, let me show you something else about Mister Mitt
"everyman" Romney, Willard Mister everybody`s looks concede himself in
Willard. He has some explaining to do. He and his wife own a racehorse,
according to Roll Call magazine. They uncover this and Romney and two
other women own a dressage horse named Rafalca, which is ridden in

I mean this is very interesting. I`m sure all of us that are sitting
around hoping to extend our unemployment checks are also checking on our
horses. Dana, this is not going to go too well with his plaid shirt I`m
Mister every guy.

MILBANK: Well, there is an excuse here, and that Anne Romney says
it`s important for her MS, and you know who are we to say that it`s not.
The strange part is I understand that they bring these horses over from
France, so I`m not exactly sure why you need French horses to help with the
illness. So, you know it may be some part of a trade deal that Mitt Romney
is working out, but it`s going to take some explaining.

SHARPTON: Next up, the award for best performance in the godfather,
part 999. And this goes to Herman Cain for his nonstop delivery of that
plan of his.


CAIN: Nine, nine, nine.

CAIN: The 999.

CAIN: The 999 plan.

CAIN: The 999 plan I have proposed is a simple bold plan to grow this
economy, which I have put my 999 plan.

CAIN: 999 are bold.

CAIN: My top priority is 999.



SHARPTON: Of course. The plan is not worst very much, right,


BACHMANN: When you take the 999 plan and turn it upside down, I think
the devil is in the details.

need something that`s doable, doable, doable.

ROMNEY: I must admit that simple answers are always very helpful, but
oftentimes inadequate.


SHARPTON: And economist say the plan will explode deficits and
increase taxes on the floor. Erin, should Cain stick to the 999 pizza

MCPIKE: He has to. He`s been talking about it ever since he became a
candidate. And for someone who is adamant about not being a politics, he
has an uncanny ability to stay on message. So of course, he should keep
talking about it. He can`t go off message and he did a good job of that
last night.

SHARPTON: They`re beginning to attack him though Dana and they are
beginning to rip apart the fact that this plan does not work equally across
the board. Has he been able to get this far in talking about this, because
no one took him seriously to now, and now under scrutiny, this may begin to
melt under the glare of hot lights?

MILBANK: I think that`s exactly what`s happening, Reverend, but the
possibility is that I think people, particularly here in Washington, still
don`t take him seriously. Yes, he has risen in the polls, but I don`t
think nobody really gives him a credible chance of wincing. So, they`re
treating it as more of a joke. You know as you know Jon Huntsman
suggesting he thought it was a pizza. But he`ll get a little bit more
scrutiny, but I don`t think he is going to get as much as if he were a Mitt
Romney or a Rick Perry, although Rick Perry hasn`t yet announced his plan
so we can`t scrutinize him.

SHARPTON: Alright, up next, the award for best cameo. And this award
goes to Rick Perry, for his short, brief, and ultimately underwhelming
performance in last night`s debate.


PERRY: Opening up a lot of the areas of our domestic energy area.
That`s the real key, and let me just address this issue of the debt in the
state of Texas.


SHARPTON: Perry was a side character, spoke a total of only ten
times, only got the question during the ask your fellow candidate part, and
all night his jobs plans was hmms, ha`s and hot air.

Dana, is it over for Perry?

MILBANK: Well, I mean he kept talking about domestic energy. He was
the one that needed some domestic energy, or at least a can of red bull or
something. It is the most extraordinary collapse. And people who know him
maybe are not as surprised as others, but just one debate after another has
completely wiped the man out. I mean he`s on his way to being just another
Rick Santorum.

SHARPTON: But he does have $15 million, something to give him
something to work with. Does the money pose a threat?

MCPIKE: Absolutely. He can keep going after the first few states.
And I would disagree a little bit. I don`t think that this debate was all
that bad for him. Because he didn`t dig his hole any deeper. Now, when
they do pan to him when other candidates are talking and the facial
expressions are that of irritation or annoyance, that continues to be a
problem for him that he should fix.

SHARPTON: Well but Dana, didn`t every commentator say that he had to
come out last night and redeem himself for the first bad performances and
he seem to shrink before your very eyes. As the debate went on and on and
on, we almost forgot he was there.

MILBANK: No, no. He just seems to get tired very early at night.
And I think not doing as badly as in the other debates probably isn`t going
to cut it for him. He`s got to you know speed up his delivery. It`s
almost like his record is being played too slow and Mitt Romney is just
being play too quickly and somewhere in between there`s a pretty good count
out there.

SHARPTON: Erin McPike and Dana Milbank thanks for being part of the
Revvies tonight. Enjoy the after party.

Ahead, Herman Cain is the guy. This is the guy that Republicans want.
New evidence to explode the myth that Mitt Romney is inevitable.

And Joe "the plumber`s" dream of Congress might already be down the
drain. You`ll want to hear this one. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: On Monday, we brought you the big news that Joe "the
Plumber" is looking to extend his 15 minutes of fame by filing papers to
run for Congress, but his campaign is not exactly catching Plumber fever.
One Plumbers` union told Politico, there are a number of candidates they
would choose over Joe. The union described Joe as, quote, "Someone who
appears to care more about being a celebrity than actually helping working
families." The head of another Plumbers Association wouldn`t comment on
the race, but did question Joe`s credentials. He told Politico, quote, "I
don`t believe he`s actually a plumber." Correct. Joe is not a licensed
plumber. Nice try, Joe, but we got you.


SHARPTON: Folks, the republican presidential race is about to turn
upside down. We just got some brand-new numbers that will explode the myth
that Mitt Romney is inevitable, and that the Tea Party is fading away.
Herman Cain, yes, Herman Cain is now the front-runner in the GOP primary.
Our new NBC poll shows Cain with 27 percent support among Republicans
nationwide. Mitt Romney is second with 23 percent. I mean, Mitt Romney is
second with 23 percent, and Rick Perry is third with 16 percent. In just
the last month Herman Cain has spiked 22 percent among Republicans, riding
the anti-Romney vote all the way to first place, despite his questionable
racial comments.


HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Will not I be the flavor of
the week? Well, the answer is an emphatic no, because Haagen-Dazs black
walnut tastes good all the time.


SHARPTON: Joining me is MSNBC analyst Michael Steele. Former
chairman of the Republican National Committee. Michael, thanks for being
with us tonight.

MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC ANALYST: Good to be with you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: So, when I woke up this morning, all the headlines were all
about Romney as the inevitable front-runner, suddenly just moments ago, NBC
poll comes out, Cain is number one. Should Willard be worried, Michael?

STEELE: I love the Willard thing, man. No -- well, yes and no. I
think no to the extent that this one poll, taking overnight after I think
Herman survived a very good evening for him, and was able to keep pushing
his 999 plan. Yes, to the extent that if subsequent polls over the next
two, three days come out confirming and affirming the NBC poll, then yes, I
think there`s something to look at.

SHARPTON: Yes. But let me help you out, Michael. The poll was over
four days and it was concluded before the debate last night.

STEELE: No, but what I`m saying is, I understand that, but what I`m
saying is it`s one poll, and now we need to take a look at the polls that
will be coming off the debate yesterday, and see how they match up against
this poll that you`ve just released. So, yes, I think it`s a yes or no
right now, I think Herman Cain has done an enormously good job, look, I
have to say -- and I`m sure you can appreciate as someone who`s run for the
presidency and knows what a gauntlet that is, that there`s an enormous
amount of pride in the effort of his consistency and his ability to move

SHARPTON: I don`t agree with him, but I think he`s done a great job
for his candidacy.

STEELE: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: But let me show you why.

STEELE: And that`s resonated with people, Rev.

SHARPTON: And I think it should. Again, my disagreement is policy,
but I think he`s done a good job as a candidate. No question about it.
But let me show you why I said Willard should be worried. Because if you
look at the last two polls, Mitt Romney in October -- I`m sorry, in August,
23 percent, October it`s 23 percent. Now in August, Perry was and Cain
together, 43 percent. And now in October, Cain and Perry together 43
percent. So, even though Perry was the one that was up and Cain down last
night, not it`s Cain up, Perry down, they both are together, 43 to 23
against Willard. He`s not moving. That`s got to be concerned. So, the
chain is unchangeable, there`s 43 percent blocking your party that will not
buy Willard.

STEELE: Yes, but the flip side of that Reverend is there is a 23 to
25 or even a 30 percent block that is solidly with Governor Romney. And
that is the state call that he has right now. You know, no matter how this
thing has ebbed and flowed, he has been consistent and holding together a
solid core black of votes within the base of the party. And that`s going
to be significant, now that Florida has jumped the gun, and moved the
timetable up in the primary. That favors Romney who has the organization,
who has the money, who has the strategy, and if he continues to do what he
did last night, where he comes off presidential, he sounds presidential,
everyone else is sort of scrapping around the -- this things begins to lock
down very quickly for him.

That`s why I said the poll subsequent to the poll you just released
will begin to tell the tale whether or not this thing has begin to settle
around Romney or there`s still some fluidity in it. I think there`s still
a little bit more fluidity. I think Herman Cain is going to come under a
greater spot light now scrutiny by folks like yourself and others who`ll
going to peel back on the 999 and see the impact on the poor, see the
impact on working families. See the impact on the economy.

SHARPTON: There`s no doubt about that.

STEELE: And then listen to what he has to say about that. And that`s
going to be the difference.

SHARPTON: But let me show you this where it`s a problem for Willard.
Same poll, GOP priorities in questioning Republicans, 67 percent said what
was most important to them is the candidate closest to my views on issues,
only 31 percent say, what`s important to them is who has the best chance to
beat Obama, so if Willard`s plan is to say I may not be as conservative as
you, I may not be Tea Party, but I`m the one that can win the presidency, I
can beat President Obama, well, almost two to one, Republicans are telling
pollsters, no, my views are more important than that.

STEELE: Right. But let me tell you what happens with that, Reverend.
You probably know this as well. You`re talking about a poll like that in
October of 2011. When you get to January, or even late December of this
year is, that number is going change, as voters get closer to the polls,
then questions of electability, sort of balance out with questions of
likability and whether or not this individual is closest to my particular
values. So, those numbers will change, and that`s something again that
works for Romney.

SHARPTON: Well, let me -- before we start passing out pizzas tonight,
let me show you how they match up. This is not good news for Cain. In a
matchup between President Obama and Romney President Obama and Cain,
President Obama against Cain 49 percent to 38, 11 percent gap. President
Obama against Willard is a lot closer, 46-44. So, even though among
republican voters he`s ahead, he`s not in a matchup. Now, let me say this.
I`ve got to say this to you. On a radio show, my name came up with Mr.
Cain. I want to show you this. Mr. Cain, let me show you this sound bite.


NEAL BOORTZ, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Harley Belafonte, Al Sharpton, Joy
Behar, have the Democrats essentially sent them out there to rope you and
bring you back into the corral?

CAIN: Correct. The only tactics that they have, Neal, are name call,
try to intimidate in order to shut me up, and to try to keep other blacks
and other Democrats from possibly liking me.


SHARPTON: Now, Michael, when you talk to Mr. Cain, tell him, I have
not called him any names. I`m not trying to keep blacks and Democrats from
liking it. I disagree with him on 999, because it`s tacked against working
people. I disagree with him saying, blacks are brainwashed, I disagree
with him saying, he`s had an authentic black experience and the president
hasn`t. I disagree with his economic policies, and tell him that given my
new figure, I just don`t take to black walnut Haagen-Dazs. It doesn`t help
my diet. Michael Steele, thank you so much for your time tonight.

STEELE: I`ll do that. You got it, buddy.

SHARPTON: Coming up, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, he`s had
some tough words for Republicans and for President Obama. I`ll ask him
about both of those when he`s here next. You`re watching "Politics Nation"


SHARPTON: We heard a new slogan from Rick Perry at last night`s


worker out in the Gulf of Mexico today, they`re begging for someone to make
America America again.


SHARPTON: Make America America again. It turns out that line isn`t
so new. Perry borrowed the slogan from Rick Santorum, who used it on his
campaign Web site back in April. But it doesn`t end there, folks.
Santorum must have been inspired by Senator John Kerry. Kerry used a
similar line during his 2004 presidential run.


SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream that it used to be.


SHARPTON: And where did Kerry get the line? The line comes from
Harlem renaissance poet Langston Hughes. Hughes wrote this line as part of
his famous 1938 poem, "Let America be America again," challenging this
great nation to live up to its ideas, use rights, let my land be a land
where liberty is crowned with no false patriotic wreath, but opportunity is
real and life is free. Equality is in the air we breathe. Some of us will
be marching to really make America America again this week.

Coming up, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch on Obama and Israel.
That`s next.


SHARPTON: There`s been a lot of tough things said about Republicans
in this election season. One of the toughest I have read is this one,
quote, "Republicans have charted a radical course that I and numerous other
Americans cannot support. For that they will be punished. Their proposals
effectively destroying entitlements through privatization are anathema to
the American public, and that will pay -- and they will pay the price,
defeat." That`s so good, I wish I had said it, but I didn`t. The man who
did is here tonight, the former three-term mayor of New York City, and a
leading democratic voice. And he`s my guest tonight, Ed Koch. Welcome to
"Politics Nation."


SHARPTON: Why did you come down so hard on the Republicans on their
economic policy?

KOCH: Well, I believe that first, they don`t care about the country,
and would rather have as the single priority the destruction of President
Obama and prevent his reelection. They should certainly disagree with him,
but first comes the country. And they have given up on that. And that`s
why I think the American public will give up on them.

SHARPTON: So, because of their drive to defeat this president.

KOCH: Not just the drive, but to make it a single priority, even if
it means injuring the country with respect to a legislation which might,
because it`s good, help the president. They don`t want to help if it helps
him, so far as they`re concerned, it`s taboo.

SHARPTON: Now, when I look at the fact Mr. Mayor that they supported
things like extending unemployment, extending other matters that was in
president`s jobs bill. Now, they don`t support it only because it`s his

KOCH: Correct.

SHARPTON: Don`t make him look good at any cost.

KOCH: Exactly. Mitch McConnell was very honest. He said, my number
one priority is to make sure he doesn`t get reelected. Even though he
didn`t say it, it`s what he`s doing. Even if it means preventing good
legislation, that I would ordinarily support, go down the trough.

SHARPTON: Now, you have chastised the president.

KOCH: Sure. So have you.

SHARPTON: Yes. And you`ve taken positions recently with him on the
Middle East.

KOCH: Yes.

SHARPTON: And then you`ve met with him. What happened.

KOCH: Well, I said that I did not like -- I used strong language,
what he was doing with respect to Israel, and I made clear that I was not
going to vote for him on that basis. He asked to see me, and I did go to
see him. And we had a half-hour chat, which is a long time with a
president. And he was very distressed, thinking that the Jewish community,
which I said he was taking for granted was upset because he thought he was
pleasing them with his statements. And I said, you know, Mr. President,
when you said Israel should go back to the pre-`67 lines, I wouldn`t have
gotten angry as I did get angry.

Even though I disagree with that because it makes Israel indefensible,
no defensible lines, but you didn`t at the same time demand that Hamas give
up terrorism, that it recognize the state of Israel, and that if there were
successful negotiations, recognize it as a Jewish state, and also end its
charter, which sell that every Jew who came to Palestine after 1917 must be
expelled. You didn`t say that. And he said it was really interesting --
he said, I thought I did. But the fact is that I have concluded based on
the speech that he made.


KOCH: .at the U.N. before I met with him that he`s very supportive of
the state of Israel, wants to see justice done, recognizes that they were
there for 3,000 years. It`s not just simply the holocaust that brought
them there. And so I`m back on board the bus, as I said.

SHARPTON: When you say you`re back on board the bus, you`re going to
support him?

KOCH: Well, I`m going to campaign for him.

SHARPTON: You`ve run a campaign.

KOCH: Yes.

SHARPTON: So, Ed Koch went to Florida and places like that, talking
about what you just said here about the Republicans and entitlements, and
that President Obama is not anti-Israel, that would be very effective.

KOCH: He said he needs me and says my voice is heard outside of New
York, but I also sent a message to the White House today. I said in view
of what Iran has just done, uncovered by American security people, that
they were going to kill the Saudi Arabian ambassador here in Washington and
blow up both the Saudi Arabian embassy and the Israeli embassy, the United
States in my judgment should say to Iran that any attack upon Saudi Arabia
or Israel will be deemed by us as an attack upon the United States, and we
will retaliate immediately. If he did that, instead of getting 78 percent
of the Jewish vote and hopefully 78 percent of the Arab vote, he`ll get 90
percent in both cases.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you another question on other issue. Since I
have you here. You and I have been on opposite sides and on the same side.
We met in `77 when I led a demonstration at your office. Refuse to leave,
you were the first one have me arrested.

KOCH: I made you famous.

SHARPTON: You did it to make me famous. Of course, and then later,
we actually toured together on the second chance program. You were
concerned about too many young black men were not given a second chance.

KOCH: Right.

SHARPTON: When I look at Occupy Wall Street, how would you handle it
if you were there? Do you support their right for.

KOCH: Oh, I absolutely do, so long as it`s peaceful, which I think it
has been up to date. I think that they have to worry about the fact that
they have no designated leadership by design, and therefore they`re
vulnerable to anarchy and to people who would want to take over the
movement and pervert it. But I believe so long as they engage in civil
disobedience -- you pay the penalty, which is a civil fine, but that you
have a right to do that.

SHARPTON: What do you think about what they`re saying about the Wall
Street crowd?

KOCH: Oh, I join them. I think that it is an outrage that no CEO, no
CFO of any corporation, major corporation on Wall Street or the banks, has
been convicted and sent to jail for having engaged in criminality and
bringing on the great recession. And some did, no question about that. A
poor kid steals a bike, he goes to jail. A guy steals millions, and he
gets a civil fine, which is becoming the cost of doing business. So that`s
one of the their objectives -- fairness, equity, people who commit crimes
not just of violence, which is terrible, but also crimes against America
that`s deprived America of trillions of dollars and beggared America, they
too should go to prison.

SHARPTON: So, you agree that some of these CEOs and CFOs on Wall
Street should have been criminally prosecuted.

KOCH: And still should be. And I`m distressed that the attorney
general has not been ordered by President Obama to pursue them.

SHARPTON: Well, I`m going to leave it there. I couldn`t agree with
you more. Ed Koch, thank you so much for your time tonight.

KOCH: Thank you. You`ve come a long way.

SHARPTON: Yes. Thank you. Interesting interview. Thanks for
watching. I`m Al Sharpton. "HARDBALL" starts right now.


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