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PoliticsNation, Monday, November 21st, 2011

Read the transcript from Monday's show

Guests: Richard Wolffe, Melissa Harris-Perry, Nia-Malika Henderson, Erin
McPike, Serena Grossjan, Joshua Glover, Chris Hayes

the poor? Hey, GOP, we`re not letting you get away with it. Tonight my
exclusive radio interview with President Obama on the fight for fairness in
jobs, and the Republicans` refusal to raise taxes.

It`s a shocking video that has shook up the nation, police caught
pepper spraying peaceful student protesters. A student injured in the act
and a professor calling for resignations joins us.

And just in time for the holidays, the GOP`s newly crowned front-
runner gets mean with a call to put poor kids to work.


ought to get rid of the unionized janitors, have one master janitor, and
pay local students to take care of the school.


SHARPTON: Welcome to POLITICSNATION. I`m Al Sharpton.

We begin with breaking news. Just minutes ago President Obama
speaking out about the super committee`s failure, the latest example of the
GOP protecting the rich at any cost. The president spoke in the White
House briefing room reacting to the super committee throwing in the towel
on bringing down the national debt.


many Republicans in Congress who have refused to listen to the voices of
reason and compromise coming from outside of Washington. They continue to
insist on protecting the $100 billion worth of tax cuts for the wealthiest
two percent of Americans at any cost, even if it means reducing the deficit
with deep cuts to things like education and medical research, even if it
means deep cuts in Medicare.

So at this point at least they simply will not budge from that
negotiating position. And so far that refusal continues to be the main
stumbling block that prevented Congress from reaching an agreement to
further reduce our deficit.


SHARPTON: The president also had stern warning for Republicans
already trying to backtrack from the deal they set up in the super


OBAMA: Already some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic
spending cuts. My message to them is simple -- no. I will veto any effort
to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense
spending. There will be no easy off ramps on this one. We need to keep
the pressure up to compromise, not turn off the pressure.

The only way spending cuts will not take place is if Congress gets
back to work and agrees on a balanced plan to reduce the deficit by at
least $1.2 trillion. That`s exactly what they need to do. That`s the job
they promised to do.


SHARPTON: Of course many Republicans are blaming the president. Rick
Perry says President Obama`s responsible. Willard Mitt Romney says, quote,
"He`s done nothing." Michele Bachmann says he`s failed to lead.

I talked with President Obama in an exclusive interview for my
syndicated radio show just moments ago and I asked him about today`s news.


SHARPTON: How do you respond to their announcing that they can`t
reach a deal, and where do we go from here?

OBAMA: Look, there`s no doubt that I`m disappointed that not just
Congress generally but the Republicans in particular are not willing to put
serious revenue on the table as part of a balanced plan. This is something
very straightforward, and you understand it, Al. We`ve got to get our
budget under control. And there are basically two ways of doing it.

One, which the Republicans are proposing, is you just cut, education,
you cut science, you cut Medicare. You put more of a burden on people who
can least afford it. Or, alternatively, you make some prudent cuts,
selective cuts in some programs that don`t work anymore, you make some
modifications in things that can work better.

But then you also ask people like you and me, who can afford it, to
pay a little bit more in our taxes. You get rid of the Bush tax cuts. You
make sure the millionaires and billionaires are paying their fair share.
And if you do it that way, then everybody benefits. The economy is
stronger. Markets have more confidence. Ironically, businesses and the
wealthy would do better if the economy was stronger.

So the position they`re taking is short-sighted. But, you know, it
must be my religious faith, reverend, because hope springs eternal and I
continue to believe that at some point common sense will prevail and we`ll
be able to work something out. But in the meantime, this isn`t like August
where we`ve got a major crisis on our hands. We`re just going to have to
keep on pushing to see if we can get Republicans to accept the common sense
of the vast majority of the American people have already accepted, which is
we`ve got to have a balanced plan that`s fair, in which everybody is
sacrificing a little bit for the greater good.


SHARPTON: Republicans are stuck by their pledge never to raise taxes.
They`re willing to cut defense, cut Medicare, cut Medicaid, and cut Social
Security, cut anything to avoid raising taxes on the rich.

Joining me now is MSNBC contributor Melissa Harris-Perry, a professor
at Tulane and columnist for "The Nation," and Richard Wolffe, MSNBC
political analyst. Thank you both for joining me.

Let me start with you, Richard. The president was in the briefing
room. I did moments ago an exclusive interview for my syndicated radio
show with him. And I thought about, in August he was sort of, appeared to
be back on his heels when the deficit talks broke down. But he seemed like
a very confident man in his stride both when I talked with him tonight for
the radio show and what I saw of him in this statement in the briefing

important cards in his hand, doesn`t he? He not only has performed pretty
nimble jujitsu here. We`ve been used to seeing the Tea Party Republicans
saying they`re the party of no and that`s a good thing. Here he is the guy
who is going to stop them backsliding out of these cuts. So that`s a nice
piece of jujitsu politics for the president there.

But he also holds the important cards in his hand which is to say at
the end of the election year, the Bush tax cuts expired, the sequesters,
these automatic cuts kick in and unless they come up with a better plan
that`s all going to go through.

So if Congress wants to step up and do something, they can avert this
and if they don`t want to do anything, all of this is going to go through
and the deficit will come down. If they`re serious about the deficit
coming down, they`ll take that plan or come up with a better one.

SHARPTON: Professor Perry, the fact that he now has taken their term,
no, and emphasized that, and has put it back at them and said they have to
live by a deal they made. These triggers are something they agreed to,
this is not imposed by the Democrats or the president, go by what you
pledge. And the fact that he has a wind to his back rather than his front
-- if you look at the polls, Americans blame the Republicans 39 percent for
the super committee`s failure as opposed to only 27 percent the Democrats,
77 percent of Democrats, 62 percent of independents, 43 percent of
Republicans want to see taxes raised on the rich. Has the Republicans
overplayed their hand, overshot the runway?

American public blames the Republicans for a couple of reasons. One, the
president offered a deficit reduction plan which was rejected. It`s not as
though he hasn`t created and offered a plan. That`s how we ended up in the
debt ceiling drama and all of that in the first place.

The second thing is for all of their pledge not to raise taxes, there
is a tax raise that is part of this, a tax raise on the most vulnerable
working class and middle class families, and that is the end of that
payroll deduction -- excuse me that payroll tax freeze. So they`re
certainly willing to raise taxes on some citizens.

And the third reason is, they`re now trying to say this president
isn`t leading. He`s not strong. And so part of what Richard is pointing
out, this is painful, bad for my base. My base doesn`t want to see any
sacrosanct security programs cut. But this is the deal we made. This is
how our politics is going to work. And if they can`t behave like adults
I`ll treat them the way a parent treats children. I`ve done this when kids
are fighting you say if you can`t agree. I`m just going to take the ball
or the toy away from you, and that`s basically what the president is doing

SHARPTON: Now Richard, what next? We see the president, I spoke with
him about and people can get a hold of you on the radio show but we talked
about he`s going to New Hampshire and he`s going to deal with payroll tax
extension. What is next?

WOLFFE: Well, I tell you what`s next, the federal government runs out
of money in about a month, so we`ll have the whole debate, which is one
reason you`re seeing him pulling back from this. What you`ve got real
tension building up on the conservative side.

The Tea Party folks are happy to see these cuts go through. Think
about Ron Paul. He doesn`t mind the defense budget being cut down.
Republicans, though, the traditional Republicans don`t want to see this
happen. John McCain, Lindsay Graham figures don`t want to see that thing

And you have got their donor base, the business community, the people
who always complain about uncertainty, what have they gotten out of the Tea
Party Republicans? They`ve gotten the debt ceiling debacle and now this
super committee failure. That`s a lot of uncertainty in the market.
You`re seeing hundreds of points coming off the stock market every time
they go through this. And watching that pressure unfold is something that
the president can stand back and say you created this mess, you got to go
clean it up.

SHARPTON: Now, Professor Perry, is the problem that they have made
this pledge with Grover Norquist and this hard ideological right wing have
them captive. John Kerry was on this weekend and John Kerry said this
about Grover Norquist. Is this the problem?


SEN. JOHN KERRY, (D) MASSACHUSETTS: The thing about the Bush tax cuts
and THE pledge to Grover Norquist keeps coming up. Grover Norquist has
been the 13th member of this committee without being there. I can`t tell
you how many times we hear about the pledge, the pledge. All of us took a
pledge to uphold the constitution.


SHARPTON: Now that was John Kerry this morning saying Grover Norquist
was the 13th member of the committee, and Norquist is this activist who got
a significant number of Republicans to sign a pledge that under no
circumstances would they raise taxes at all across the board. Most
Americans don`t know who he is but he seems to have veto power over the
GOP`s decision.

HARRIS-PERRY: We`ve been talking a lot in this Occupy movement around
the one percent. It`s looking like it`s going down to the one. We`re not
long in just the one percent. At this point it`s like the one guy.

SHARPTON: The power of one.

HARRIS-PERRY: The power of one but look, I think what Senator Kerry,
the point that he takes is a critical one which is to say to sign a pledge
is, after all, simply sort of a request. It is not a binding agreement.
What should be a binding agreement, certainly the way the founders saw it,
is the relationship between representatives in a democracy and the people
whom they are meant to serve.

And the fact is, this isn`t serving anyone. As the president points
out, this doesn`t even serve the rich. This doesn`t serve those who have
products to sell on the American product because they can`t sell the
markets because no one has disposable income. You have money in the
markets that are declining every hour of every day. So in a certain way
what is so bizarre about this, it doesn`t even serve the one percent. It
is bad for the country 100 percent.

SHARPTON: Richard, what is the politics of this? Does the president
gain as he goes and fights them and says no, or is it a washout where both
sides just retreat to their side? What`s the politics of this?

WOLFFE: Well, he gains by taking this strong approach, by saying no,
no backsliding. He gains because as you showed recently the majority of
public opinion, including Republicans, want to see taxes go up on the
wealthy. So they`re on the wrong side of the politics, on the wrong side
of the economy, on the wrong side of the values part of this.

It`s a difficult position for Republicans to be in. The real question
here is can he maintain that poise and that position of authority when we
got to deal with the federal budget. The budget is exhausted. They`ve got
to find a new one before the end of the year and that could extend through
this guy`s planned vacation.

SHARPTON: Well you know, Melissa, I did a commercial for the show
where I talked about how, when I was a kid, you used to eat the blueberry
pie and mom would come home and we`d lie and say we didn`t have any and the
pie was all over us and see blueberries. I saw a lot of blueberry pie over
the face of the Republicans when they left the committee room. Maybe
that`s why the American people think they`re responsible. They didn`t say
anything. Look at their face. Hand them a napkin.

Melissa Harris-Perry and Richard Wolffe thank you for your time.

WOLFFE: Thank you, reverend.

SHARPTON: Ahead, Newt wants poor nine-year-olds to work as janitors,
and the GOP loves it. Folks meet your GOP.

And meet Mitt Romney speaking out about buying computers and
obliterating e-mails. You won`t believe what he`s saying.

Plus the smear plan uncovered. We`ve got the secret plan showing you
how the right wing is distorting the Occupy movement.

And it`s the video shocking the nation -- peaceful students getting
pepper sprayed.




SHARPTON: We`re live with one of the students and I`ve got a
commentary. You`re watching POLITICSNATION on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: Welcome back to POLITICSNATION. It`s the holiday season, a
time for cheer, a time for goodwill, a time to give back. Not for
Republicans running for president. We just heard the president`s plan on
how to move the country forward. But Newt Gingrich has a different take on
how to get America working again.


GINGRICH: The left has collapsed as a moral system in this country,
and why you need to reassert something as simple as saying to them, go get
a job right after you take a bath.

The degree to which the left is prepared to impose intolerance and to
drive out of existence traditional religion is a mortal threat to our

It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods entrapping
children in -- first of all in child laws which are truly stupid. Most of
these schools ought to get rid of the unionized janitors, have one master
janitor, and pay local students to take care of the school.


SHARPTON: Get rid of child labor laws and make kids work as school
janitors, telling people to take a bath and get a job -- this is the new
front-runner of the GOP race, and they love it. A new poll shows Newt`s
number one, leading the pack at 22 percent, still surging despite
revelations about his work for Freddie Mac that made him $1.6 million.

But he`s not the only Grinch. Here`s the crew at the Family Leader`s
Thanksgiving forum in Iowa. Remember, it`s supposed to be a thanksgiving


immoral, and the law has to reflect what is right and good and just for our

HERMAN CAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The way you fight back is
not be afraid to express your faith in any setting rather than worrying
about the political correctness police.

RICK PERRY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Marriage is between one man
and one woman, and in that as well you cannot adopt a child unless it is
one man and one woman.

RON PAUL, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If you fail in taking care of
yourself, you don`t do well, you don`t have a right to go to your neighbor
directly and you don`t have a right to go to your government and say go to
my neighbor and take care of me because I didn`t meet one my
responsibilities. They have to face the consequences.



SHARPTON: Joining me now is Nia-Malika Henderson a "Washington Post"
national reporter who also writes for their election 2012 blog, and Erin
McPike a reporter for Real Clear Politics. Thanks for both of you being
here tonight.

Nia-Malika is this a best way to get nominated, the Republican party,
is to be mean? I mean, Newt Gingrich is number one in the latest poll.

have to take a look at the polls a week from now or two weeks from now.
The statements they made are certainly a good way to get cheers in Iowa and
get support there. A lot of religious right folks in that audience on

But again, I think these Republicans forget the lesson of 2000 when
George Bush ran as a compassionate conservative. They`ve forgotten the
compassionate part of that and are really moving towards the far right in
terms of their conservatism, and it won`t do them any good in the general

As I said, it will be good for them for now in terms of trying to get
votes in Iowa and some of these early states like South Carolina, but I
think you know in some ways they`re thinking that they can channel some of
this anger that is certainly present among Tea Party folks. But again I
think they end up setting up a really easy contrast for Democrats who can
say do you want to live in America where we`re rolling back child labor
laws or do we want to live in an America where children are protected
against exploitation in working as janitors in a school.

SHARPTON: Erin, I mean Nia says let`s see where we are a week from
now, but in the last week we saw the revelations about Mr. Gingrich really
being contradictory in his position on Freddie Mac, his position on health
care, notwithstanding the money, we`re talking about the exact opposite
positions. And he`s telling people to get a bath and get a job and talking
about child labor laws.

And the fact with all of that, a "Washington Post" reporter went back
to Iowa and talked to people in Iowa that did not really support Mr.
Gingrich who now see him as the guy to do the job.

ERIN MCPIKE, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: Right. You know, I`ve talked to a
lot of people in New Hampshire, actually, about Newt Gingrich, and they all
told me today they really don`t think Newt Gingrich is going anywhere.
It`s just really a matter of someone has to be an alternative to Mitt

SHARPTON: But if he wins Iowa before he comes to New Hampshire, and
I`ve showed "The Washington Post" article, if he wins Iowa that will change
New Hampshire, South Carolina. It`s easy to see now. Let`s remember now,
a few months ago we were saying it was the end of his campaign. His staff
walked out. He had a half-million dollar credit line he owed at Tiffany`s.
Now he`s number one in the polls. If he wins Iowa it changes New Hampshire
going forward. And it seems like none of this has stopped him. In fact
he`s gone up in Iowa.

HENDERSON: That`s true, but if you look at Iowa specific polls, Iowa
is now a four-way tie between Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, and Newt Gingrich,
and Ron Paul. So it`s not necessarily that Newt Gingrich is poised to win
Iowa. It`s a four-way tie, so it`s a free-for-all right there. And I
think that`s why we`re seeing some of these crazy comments, if that`s what
you want to call them, because they really are going for the religious
right in Iowa, and they eat that kind of stuff up.

SHARPTON: Now, Nia, when you look at the fact that yes, they are
tied, but Mitt Romney is flat. Willard just can`t seem to move the dial no
matter what he does, which means it is very possible that either Mr.
Gingrich or even Cain comes so close until Willard comes limping into New
Hampshire and then limping into South Carolina. What does this tell us
about the Republican Party base?

HENDERSON: Well, it tells us they really don`t like Mitt Romney. Who
knows if that will carries for the next couple of weeks or months through
the campaign, but there is the eternal search for the guy who is not
Romney. They will take Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, they will
take anyone rather than take a look at Mitt Romney.

And we`ve heard that apparently Mitt Romney might double down in Iowa
and try to make some noise there. He wasn`t there on Saturday when those
folks were making those comments about gay marriage, but it does look like
-- I think one key thing to point out is that New Hampshire loves to veto
whatever Iowa does. Mike Huckabee ran in 2008 and did poorly in New
Hampshire. He`s obviously putting all of his eggs in the New Hampshire
basket and thinking that South Carolina will be the decider in this race as
it typically is.

But he, you know, he can`t be happy with the fact that he has seemed
to flat line at 23 percent, 25 percent in these polls. He`ll be up with
some ads in New Hampshire tomorrow.

SHARPTON: Erin, one of the things that was stunning to me, the
Thanksgiving forum, Rick Santorum actually said suffering, I mean like it
was just all right to suffer. Look at this.


SANTORUM: Suffering, if you`re a Christian, suffering is part of
life. And it`s not a bad thing. It is an essential thing in life. And we
-- we suffer -- there are all different ways to suffer. One way to suffer
is through lack of shelter and food and another way to suffer is lack of
dignity and hope. There`s all sorts of ways that people suffer, and it`s
not just tangible.


SHARPTON: I mean, suffering is a part of life, but do we need a
presidential candidate to act like that`s expected? Yes, I`m a Christian,
Rick. I understand the crucifixion. I also kept reading we got to the
resurrection, Rick. You don`t just stop at the suffering. You talk about
how you suffer through until you can resurrect. What are they talking
about? Get a bath, get a job, suffering`s part of life. It`s all right.
Have they lost it?

MCPIKE: As far as Rick Santorum is concerned, let`s just remember one
thing. Rick Santorum is stuck at one percent in national polls, in early
state polls, and right now, he`s just trying to get attention. Of course
he`s going to start saying crazy things because you`re talking about it.
That`s what he wants. He wants some kind of attention. I think that`s the
case with a lot of these candidates.

SHARPTON: None of them that were quoting the Bible quoted what I just
did. Thank you, Erin, thank you, Nia.

MCPIKE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Nia, you said that New Hampshire usually vetoes Iowa.
These guys talk like they`re going to veto Thanksgiving. They may cancel


MCPIKE: It`s a non-traditional campaign this time.

SHARPTON: Ahead, before the 99 percent movement, there was Elizabeth
Warren. We`ll show you how scared conservatives are about her.

And we`ll speak live to a student pepper-sprayed in the video shocking
the nation. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: We`re back on "Politics Nation" to talk about the video
that shocked the nation. A rally for new support to Occupy Wall Street has
occurred. The rally is because police used pepper spray on non-violent
protesters at UC Davis Campus on Friday. So far, three officers have been
put on administrative leave, including the campus chief of police.
Students used phones and video cameras to record the outrage from every
possible angle.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Close your eyes! Close your eyes! Close your

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Oh, oh! Oh! (bleep).

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Get back! Stay back!

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Close your eyes! Protect yourself!

PROTESTERS: Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on
you! Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you!


SHARPTON: I mean, this is amazing to see this video. It`s absolutely
left many of us wondering what we are looking at. This afternoon,
thousands of students rallied to protest this injustice and call for the
school chancellors to resign.

Joining me now are two protesters who were at UC Davis rally today,
student is he Serena Grossjan and English Professor Joshua Glover. Thank
you both for being here.


SHARPTON: Let me start with you Serena. Serena, you were one of the
students who were pepper sprayed. Now, for the Americans who didn`t see
this tape, tell us what happened.

GROSSJAN: So basically, students were all holding a line with tents
in the center and non-violently coming together. Cops started, riot geared
cops started forming this rectangle that looked very militant and
terrifying and just started marching towards us and lining up. Something
was announced but students were chanting and there wasn`t real
communication between the two, and it started to become this battle between
nonviolent students and these police that show up. They came and break
through the circle and the circle was broken and other groups started to
huddle together tighter, terrified. A line at the walkway.

SHARPTON: So, it`s clear from the tape Serena that you guys are just
knelt down. No one being provocative, no one doing anything and they`re
just spraying you. You`re there knelt down and they just start spraying

GROSSJAN: Yes. So, I guess one of the police officers went to one of
the students in the center and told him, we are going to spray you, and so
he said loudly to everyone else, what was about to happen, and we all just
were told to hold tight, cover your face, protect yourself. Something`s
about to happen, and be strong. And I just.

SHARPTON: Professor, let me ask you, I mean, because this is amazing.
There`s nothing going on. There`s no reason that I could see to spray
them. There was no physical or even verbal provocation that one could see
from all angles, and many of us that have been involved in movements have
said to, and these students were talking about lowering tuition and all of
this, we`ve always said the younger people, be nonviolent. They were
obviously that, and this happened. What signal does this send, professor?

JOSHUA GLOVER, UC DAVIS PROFESSOR: Well, that`s a good question, Al.
It doesn`t send any kind of good signal at all. It was utterly shocking.
I must say that in the face of the militarized police advancing on them,
the students were extra ordinary and courageous. I don`t want to say that
first and foremost. It was entirely remarkable. They sat there, they were
nonviolent, they were calm, they were certain. They were committed, and
they were sprayed in the face with a military grade toxin at close range at
the behest of the chancellor and the police and I think it sends a message
not just about what the right or wrong kind of action would be in that
situation with the students showing us that the right kind of action would
be, but it also sends a message that the police are not at this time safe
for anyone involved in this political struggle.

SHARPTON: No, and it sends the worst message around this country.
Let me ask you, you have called, among others, for the chancellor to
resign. The chancellor was on "Good Morning America" Linda Katehi, and
said this.


resisted calls so far to resign. Are you going to stay?

LINDA KATEHI, UC DAVIS CHANCELLOR: Yes, in fact, our university is at
a critical position. And I really feel confident at this point the
university needs me as there are so many critical issues to be addressed.


SHARPTON: Now, there`s been more than 64,000 signatures calling on
her resignation. Your response, Professor, and Serena, to her saying she`s
not going anywhere?

GLOVER: Go ahead.

GROSSJAN: She basically announced to us when she said she was going
to come to the general assembly today that we had out here, she went up and
she said that she is just going to try and gain our trust back and -- yes.

SHARPTON: What is your reaction to that, Professor Glover?

GLOVER: I think there`s at least two reasons that the chancellor has
to go. The first is that she has to be accountable for what`s happened on
this university. She has said she accepts full responsibility and now
she`s going to have to accept the consequences and this is an utterly
intolerable action. But the second reason is, that University of
California Davis and I`m a lifelong University of California person, I was
born in a UC hospital, its reputation matters quite a bit, its ability to
attract students, its ability to attract scholars, depends on how it
behaves and how it appears. And Chancellor Katehi has made it in effect I
think impossible for UC Davis to be thought it was a place that is safe,
that is committed to open and free intellectual pursuit and that damage
can`t be undone until she leaves.

GROSSJAN: Also, I don`t feel -- yes.

SHARPTON: Serena, no, go ahead, finish your statement. I was going
to bid you well but go ahead.

GROSSJAN: I was just going to say, I don`t feel heard, I don`t feel
safe. I feel like public education has turned into something completely
different than I signed up for, and I thought I was going to school and I
got sprayed for trying to stand for my future of education.

SHARPTON: I think that sums up what is so despicable about what
happened. You didn`t sign up for that, and no one in America should. We
should have the right for peaceful protest. This was despicable. Serena,
thank you. Professor Joshua Glover, thank you, from UC Davis. Thank you
both for your time.

GROSSJAN: You`re welcome.

SHARPTON: And keep up the struggle.

GROSSJAN: Thank you for hearing us.

GLOVER: Thank you for having us.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, Newt Gingrich has some ridiculous advice for
the Occupy Wall Street protesters. New signs that Republicans just don`t
get it.

Plus, more from my exclusive radio interview with President Obama.
What does he want families to talk about this Thanksgiving? We`ll be right


SHARPTON: The wave of progressive pushback against unfairness and GOP
extremism is building. In Wisconsin, a group leading the petition drive to
recall union busting Governor Scott Walker says, volunteers collected
105,000 signatures from Tuesday to Friday. That`s about a fifth of the way
toward their goal, in four days. They still have two months to go. Hey
Republicans, remember, if you do unpopular things, you become unpopular.


SHARPTON: The Occupy Wall Street movement is changing the national
debate and the one percent are running scared. This weekend, our friends
at up with Chris Hayes revealed a secret memo written by former Boehner
aides turned lobbyists. It details their plan to spend nearly $1 million
on opposition research and develop negative narratives to discredit the
movement. The concern? Quote, "It may be easy to dismiss Occupy Wall
Street as a ragtag group of protesters, but they have demonstrated they
should be treated more like an organized competitor. To counter that, we
have to do the same," end of quote. The memo was sent to the American
Bankers Association who told Chris Hayes they quote, "chose not to act on
it." But they may not need to spend money on a campaign like this. When
Republicans do the work for them.


NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: All the occupy movement starts
with the
premise that we all owe them everything. Go get a job right after you take
a bath.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Generally spoiled, pampered, unfocused, clueless
young people and smattering of other people who don`t understand this
country and are advocating anti-American solutions.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: A lot of these folks who somehow think money grows
on trees and they`re entitled to it and they don`t understand how wealth is
produced in this country.


SHARPTON: Republicans are scared of Occupy Wall Street. They`re also
scared of Elizabeth Warren. Republicans know that if she`s elected to the
Senate, Warren will be a fierce warrior for the 99 percent, which is why
folks like Karl Rove are running smear ads like this.


Elizabeth Warren sides with extreme left protests, at Occupy Wall
Street, protesters attack police, do drugs and trash public parks. They
support radical redistribution of wealth and violence, but Warren boasts,
"I created much of the intellectual foundation for what they do."

Joining me now is Chris Hayes, host of MSNBC`s "Up With Chris Hayes."
Chris broke the story over the weekend. Thanks for being here, Chris.
What does the memo and Rove`s smear tell you about the right wing?

CHRIS HAYES, HOST, "UP WITH CHRIS HAYES": Well, I think that what
Occupy Wall Street has been able to do in just two short months in terms of
completely altering the focus of the national conversation, is really
remarkable. I mean, let`s remember, two months ago, we were talking about
austerity, deficits, how government needs to cut et cetera, et cetera. And
the last two months, we`ve been talking about inequality, we`ve been
talking about how big the financial system is, we`ve been talking about the
banks getting away with essentially bankrupting the economy and then moving
on with big bonuses. The focus of the national conversation really has
shifted and I think if you are sitting inside the American Bankers`
Association or on the board of Morgan Chase or Goldman Sachs, that has to
start to worry you.

SHARPTON: Now, do you think by they`re now talking about gearing up
to smear the occupiers, others of us in the movement, others like Elizabeth
Warren that they`re of course trying to turn the debate back, which we`ve
always known, that`s what they always do is try discrediting campaign.
What do you think it will work?

HAYES: Well, I don`t think it will work, but I think one thing that
we`ve seen happen is for the right to go after occupy in these sort of
traditional way that they go after progressive protesters, right? I mean,
Newt Gingrich saying "Get a bath." I mean, that`s a throwback to stupid
caricatures from 40 years ago, right? I mean, this is just going after the
hippies and it`s something that every conservative worth his or her salt
knows how to do instinctively, it`s part of their vocabulary. The reason I
think it will work in certain ways, because it will appeal to

What I don`t think will work in the long run is fundamentally this.
The banks are massively unpopular, massively unpopular and yet they still
get away with whatever they want essentially on Capitol Hill. There is a
disequilibrium in that, that is just unsustainable. The memo that we
uncovered shows a lobbying firm recognizing that fairly obvious point. You
cannot continue to have this hold on power the longer and longer it is that
you are so unpopular that the American people realize just what a kind of
negative impact you have on the American economy.

SHARPTON: Well, I think also that is why they`re afraid d of people
like Elizabeth Warren. Let`s look at the fact that now, with technology,
with the internet, unlike the right wing battles in the past, in the `60s,
you have other ways to counter. Look at how Elizabeth Warren has been able
to use ads in the media to counter this.


I`m running for the United States Senate and before you hear a bunch of
ridiculous attack ads, I want to tell you who I am. I stood up to the big
banks and their army of Washington lobbyists. I work to hold them
accountable, I led the fight for a new agency to protect consumers, and we
got it. But Washington is still rigged for the big guys and that`s got to


SHARPTON: And after this ad, they all went after her.

HAYES: Look, Elizabeth Warren is sort of the perfect tribune for this
kind of campaign from progressives, because she does not look, when you see
her on that video, she doesn`t look like a dirty hippie. She doesn`t look
like some sort of -- she looks like a mom that would live down the block
from you.


HAYES: She`s very plain spoken and appealing and, but yet her
politics are really genuinely progressive. She has been fighting this
fight for 20 years. I mean, the book she wrote "Two-Income Trap," an
amazing book that she wrote almost two decades ago that predicted a lot of
what would happen in this country in terms of debt. So, she has them
running scared because they can`t tar her. Even though they`re trying.
She`s much harder to caricature or make into a cartoon of a left wing
radical when she speaks as plainly as appealingly as she does.

SHARPTON: And I think the arrogance, get a bath, and get a job, the
pepper spraying of students that are obviously nonviolent, I think they`re
making the classic errors of creating a situation where everyone can say
wait a minute, this is just not right.

HAYES: You know, Michael Bloomberg could have just sat on his hands
for a few more weeks or a few more months and let it get really cold and
who knows how many people would have stayed in Zuccotti, right? I mean,
it`s cold in New York in the winter. But what he did was he sent cops into
a smash and destroy their stuff, throw out all their books and he
galvanized the movement. What we`ve seen time and time again is what are
in the grand scheme of things relatively small provocations have produced
enormous backlash from the powers that be and it says something about how
worried the powers that be are about how sustainable our current social
order is.

SHARPTON: I think a lot of it also is again the new technology, new
media. People like you on TV, people like me, and others that are on
television. You know, we were for a period where the FOX was guarding the
henhouse pun intended. Now the hens have a coalition, we`re talking for
ourselves. Chris, thank you for joining me on your day off. And catch up
with Chris Hayes Saturdays at 7 a.m. and Sundays at 8:00 a.m.

Up next, more from my exclusive radio interview with President Obama.
We`ll be right back.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, more of my exclusive radio interview with
President Obama. The President says, with Thanksgiving on Thursday, we
have a lot of reasons to give thanks this week.


PRES. BARACK (D), UNITED STATES: I have to tell you, outside of the
United States, people still look to the United States and are still
optimistic about the United States. And we`ve got some big problems, and
we`ve gone through a tough two, three years, but I think that everybody`s
got to remember all the things that we`ve still got going for us. We`ve
got the best workforce in the world. We`ve got the best universities in
the world. We`ve got incredible natural resources. We`ve got a dynamic,
you know, entrepreneur class. We just have to pull it together.


SHARPTON: But, the President had some advice, I`m not sure I agree
with. He said the first lady would tell me to forget about my diet on


OBAMA: Well, you know what? She probably advises that you do just
for Thanksgiving, you know, if you repress yourself too much, then you end
up going on a binge at some point. So go ahead and let loose a little bit
on Thanksgiving Day.

SHARPTON: All right, I`ll blame it on you. Thank you Mr. President.

OBAMA: And eat sweet potato pie.


SHARPTON: Well, you could see the President, I feel, was upbeat in
his radio interview with me, which we`ll play this week, as well as the
statement he gave in the briefing room at the White House, showing
leadership, showing that we`re ready to stand up for the challenges ahead,
not being mean, not being nasty, but also not backing down. Though I
disagree with the President telling me to eat some sweet potato pie, I
agree with his upbeat and determined attitude. And I disagree with Newt
getting a little mean, because all of the protesters I know, Mr. Gingrich,
are clean. But I`ll tell you what, Newt, if we all take on extra bath,
could you tell us where we go to get those jobs? Where? Give me the
address. Call me. Give me the place that we go. You got the number,
Newt. You call me for my birthday. Oh, Iowa is listening.

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


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