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PoliticsNation, Monday, November 28, 2011

Guests: Richard Wolffe, Erin McPike, Perry Bacon, Dana Milbank, Bob
Franken, Sherrod Brown, Alan Grayson

I`m Al Sharpton. We start tonight with breaking news, another explosive
allegation against Herman Cain. An Atlanta businesswoman is claiming she
had a 13-year affair with him. At this hour, Ginger White is making
allegations on a local TV station in Atlanta. Moments ago the station
posted this clip of their interview.


It wasn`t complicated. And I was aware that he was married. And I was
also aware that I was involved in a very inappropriate situation,


SHARPTON: Inappropriate relationship. We`ll have more from that
interview as it comes in this hour. Herman Cain himself spoke out earlier
this afternoon, preemptively denying the story.


HERMAN CAIN, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I did not have an affair,
OK? And until I see and hear exactly what`s going to be -- what the
accusations are going to be made, let`s move on. But I acknowledge that I
knew the woman. I acknowledge that I`ve known her for about that period of
time. But the accusation that I had a 13-year affair with her, no.
mwvieira workbench4$

SHARPTON: NBC has not confirmed the woman`s story. Herman Cain
married his wife, Gloria, back in 1968. This latest allegation comes after
several other women accused Cain of sexual harassment. He denied those
charges but has seen his poll numbers plummet in the following weeks.

Joining me is Richard Wolffe, MSNBC political analyst and author of
"Renegade, the Making of a President" Perry Bacon, who covers the White
House for the "Washington Post" and Erin McPike, a reporter for Real Clear
Politics. Thanks to you all for joining me tonight. Richard, let`s cut to
the chase. If this is true, how serious is this for the Cain campaign?

race under any circumstances. He can carry on until he loses the last
primary. But it will take his support down to the low single digits. He`s
currently about 15 points in the poll, which is pretty significant when you
consider that Mitt Romney is only in the low 20s. So there`s a lot of Cain
supporters out there who could come in play. Whether or not it`s true at
some point, and we`ve seen it in his polls already, there`s so much smoke,
whether or not there`s fire is kind of irrelevant. The smoke just engulfs
this candidate.

Now, Erin, Mr. Cain also said this, explaining the relationship with
the new accuser --


CAIN: Trying to help a friend because not having a job, et cetera,
and this sort of thing. That`s all there is to the relationship. And here
again, I don`t know what`s going to be claimed in the story. It was
someone who was supposed to be a friend, but obviously they didn`t see it
as a friendship.


SHARPTON: Now, he`s trying to get ahead of the story by going on
earlier before it came out. Was that smart or not, Erin?

ERIN MCPIKE, REAL CLEAR POLITICS: It depends on what there is. If it
comes that there are pictures or hotel receipts or text messages of some
kind that prove him wrong, he`s in trouble. He should have gotten out in
front of the story before if he knew this was coming. And Gingrich has
affairs in his past, but we knew about them. So people don`t seem to care
about Gingrich`s past as much. But Cain, these accusations are new. If we
see some evidence, he`s in trouble.

SHARPTON: Perry, Mr. Cain`s attorney just released this statement.
Let me show you to it you. And he says "This is not an accusation of
harassment in the workplace. This is not an accusation of an assault,
which are subject matters of legitimate inquiry to a political candidate.
Rather this appears to be an accusation of private, alleged, consensual
conduct between adults, a subject matter which is not a proper subject of
inquiry by the media or the public. No individual, whether a private
citizen, a candidate for public office, or a public official, should be
questioned about his or her private sexual life. The public`s right to
know and the media`s right to report has boundaries, and most certainly
those boundaries are outside of one`s bedroom door."

The difference with this accuser, Perry, is that it is not accusing
sexual harassment or assault or abuse of power. It would be true in
infidelity. Is the lawyer right that it`s none of the public`s business?

PERRY BACON, "WASHINGTON POST": The public gets to choose who they
vote for and why. The public criticism, we can choose what to cover and
maybe he`s right about that, but the public can decide if they want to vote
for you if they trust you or they don`t trust you. I don`t think he gets
to decide that.

The other problem with the statement is he seems -- when I read that
statement I thought he seemed to almost confirm something happened versus
Herman Cain strongly denying it. Those statements -- what Herman Cain and
what the lawyer said earlier I thought are in some tension with each other.
One is saying it doesn`t matter and the other saying it didn`t happen.
Those are not consistent views.

SHARPTON: Well, it goes back to you, Richard, you`re saying it`s a
lot of smoke. I and others may argue because we`ve argued it when it has
been Democrats or liberals that personal life is personal life. But I
think the problem here is that it`s accusation, accusation, four
accusations of assault and then this. Maybe if it was only this, it would
be a different matter.

WOLFFE: Well, look, let me rephrase something I said earlier. The
truth does matter if you can prove that other people have been telling
lies. Unfortunately, Herman Cain has not been able to do that in these
previous circumstances.

And moreover, just take that lawyer`s statement. One of the weakest
defenses is to say what is appropriate for press to ask about or not.
Let`s remember. This is a candidate who has not left politics outside the
bedroom door. He has voiced many opinions on sexual activities when it
comes to lesbian and gays. He doesn`t say that there`s a limit to privacy
for those people and yet he`s claiming one -- or his lawyer is claiming one
for himself. That`s a double standard at the very least, and at the very
worst it`s hypocrisy. And many social conservatives may wonder what kind
of social conservative he really is.

SHARPTON: I think that`s a fair statement, Perry. Once owe open up
the door for anyone, you open it up for everyone. And clearly that has
been the case of what`s happened in the past with the right so-called
moralists. They open the door to people`s personal life -- you can`t jump
personal when it comes to yours.

BACON: Exactly. The other thing is, reverend, you may have thought
Bill Clinton should stay in office. But lots of Republicans thought he
should leave office. Lots of Republicans do care about things in the
bedroom. The people who will be voting for Herman Cain or against him do
care about moral behavior and this kind of thing. And I think they can
vote on whatever they choose to. I think some of them have already
expressed concerns about the previous sexual harassment and they are going
to be concerned about rumors of affairs. Whether Herman Cain or his lawyer
like or not, they do happen to care about these things.

SHARPTON: There will also be, as I said at the beginning, the
inconsistencies or the misleading, whatever one does or doesn`t do, if you
mislead people, then you have raised another question. A fish wouldn`t get
caught if he kept his mouth shut.

Erin, talking about opening their mouth, we have more from this latest
accuser, Ms. Ginger White. Listen to her stating why she came forward at
this time.


WHITE: I wanted to come out and give my side before it was thrown out
there and made out to be something filthy, which some people will look at
this and say, well, that`s exactly what it is. He made it very intriguing.
It was fun. It was something that took me away from my sort of humdrum
life at the time. And it was exciting.


SHARPTON: So she said she wanted to come out before in the course of
the race someone brought it out and made it something distasteful, or she
used another term. Erin, how do you respond to that?

MCPIKE: Well, if she`s telling the truth and it was a 13-year affair,
it`s presumable that friends of hers or people around both of them knew
about it. And if that`s the case, maybe some of them were leaking it to
the press.

It`s true, there are rumors going about Herman Cain and the media is
always trying to get to the bottom of rumors they hear about national
politicians. If that`s the case, someone was going to come out with the
story, she wanted to be first and clear her name somewhat. Not that it`s
totally clearing her name. She`s admitting to a 13-year affair. But that
tells you that it might have been coming out anyway.

SHARPTON: Now, the thing that bothers a lot of us is that this
distracts from the serious issues affecting the country. Here we are
dealing with the economic inequality, jobs, the fact that they are voting
this week on the extension of the unemployment in terms of the taxes and
extension of that. And here we are again in the middle of some private
sexual scandal.

Then we see that there are legitimate policy attacks on the other
candidates. The Democrats came out with an ad this weekend on Mitt Romney
that dealt more with his policy flip-flops, Richard. Let me show you where
the DNC came out with an ad on Willard.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: From the creator of "I`m running for office for
Pete`s sake" comes the story of two men trapped in one body -- Mitt versus

MITT ROMNEY, (R) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I will preserve and protect
a woman`s right to choose.

The right next step is to see Roe V Wade overturned.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Two Mitts willing to say anything.

ROMNEY: We put together an exchange and the president is copying that
idea. I`m glad to hear that.

Obamacare is bad news.


SHARPTON: Now, so we`ve got the Democratic Party putting an ad out,
two men trapped in one body, Mitt versus Mitt, Willard versus Willard.
Richard, how effective is that?

WOLFFE: It`s very cute. It`s got a sense of humor. By the way, they
had three or four minutes of this stuff straight out of the gate. There is
so much of this material out there for Romney.

There`s no secret, the Obama campaign, Democrats in general have been
very frustrated at what they see of the malpractice the Republican
candidates have been inflicted on the nation here by not doing this stuff
themselves against Mitt Romney. They have given him a free pass.
Democrats want to say this case is too easy to make and they don`t want to
sit on the sidelines.

All of this stuff is his own words, by the way, in context. It`s not
out of context. It`s in context against himself. And I think it`s very
powerful for Republicans as they look to see who is the authentic, true
politician they want to have as their nominee.

Richard Wolffe, Perry Bacon and Erin McPike, thank you for joining me
tonight. You stay with us. We will give you more on the breaking news on
the accuser against Herman Cain and the Herman Cain reality show. And I`ll
give you some American reality, a mixture. The gloves are off. The new
frontrunner, Newt Gingrich, attacked Willard today.

Plus, nothing is sacred when it comes to Republicans but death, taxes,
and hypocrisy on taxes. I can`t believe they`re saying it with a straight

And lawmakers come and go. But few transform America the way
Congressman Barney Frank has. He announced his retirement today. We`ve
got a highlight reel you don`t want to miss.

You`re watching POLITICSNATION on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: Welcome back. We`re following this breaking story on a new
accuser on Republican candidate Herman Cain and his denial. Joining me now
is Dana Milbank, a political reporter for the "Washington Post" and Bob
Franken of "King Features" syndicated columnist. Tomorrow his column will
be about Newt`s rise to the top. Thanks for both of you being here.

I know that both of you join me in wanting to talk about what`s really
happening in the country and what`s going on with the people. But as this
story has breaking news, it does speak to the honesty or dishonesty and
transparency of someone who has chosen not to remain silent about it. How
damaging, if this is proven to be true and therefore making Cain`s denials
untrue, how damaging will this be in terms of his credibility, Dana?

DANA MILBANK, "WASHINGTON POST": Well, look, Reverend, the only
reason it may not be terribly damaging is because he`s already basically
politically dead. I think we`ve already got various nails in the coffin.
And this is just one more thump for this guy. We`ve been through one after
another of candidates rising and falling. They`ve moved on to the latest
flavor of the week. So this would have been devastating if he were still
really a contender.

SHARPTON: Bob, the new frontrunner, who you wrote about in your
column tomorrow, has survived allegations like this, though he`s probably
handled them better. How does this now position him? Is it now a Romney-
Newt Gingrich race for the Republican nomination?

BOB FRANKEN, "KING FEATURES" COLUMNIST: Well, it certainly seems to
be -- that seems to be the current flavor. I will say, however, that
anytime anybody talks about these latest allegations about marital
infidelity on the part of Herman Cain, it splatters on Newt Gingrich,
because Dana is absolutely correct. He is handling it very proactively,
but everybody else is going to say, hey, wait a minute, what about Newt?

And I have some ambivalence about this. I have not written about that
at all as I`ve been covering Newt in the various columns, thinking there`s
other stuff to talk about. But if it`s out there, we`re certainly going to
have to talk about that. And arguably it`s the Republicans who started all
this when they went so hard after Bill Clinton.

SHARPTON: Let me, Dana, play you what Herman Cain has said about this
situation. Listen to this.


CAIN: I did not have an affair, OK? And until I see and hear exactly
what`s going to be -- what the accusations are going to be made, let`s move
on. But I acknowledge that I knew the woman. I acknowledge that I`ve
known her for about that period of time. But the accusation that I had a
13-year affair with her, no.


SHARPTON: So in your estimation, Dana, his denial is whatever it is.
But it doesn`t matter because you think he was politically finished anyway?

MILBANK: I think so, reverend. But he really brought this on
himself. You remember those absurdly sweeping denials -- "I`ve never done
anything appropriate with anybody at any time." So now he`s back to saying,
I didn`t have a 13-year affair with this particular woman. It was like he
created this Gary Hart situation for himself saying, and he said check it
all out, I`m clean, put a tail on him. That`s what`s happening here.

He`s gotten much further in this race, Herman Cain has, than he ever
expected to. He probably never expected to have this kind of scrutiny into
his private life because he figured people would never care.

SHARPTON: Bob, let me play a new sound bite from the interview with
Ms. White, the new accuser.


WHITE: I think it`s safe to say that after this interview we can
assume that that won`t be the end of it. But, yes, yes, we have a
friendship now. Never worked together. I can`t imagine phoning or texting
me for the late two-and-a-half years just because.


SHARPTON: Well, I don`t know what she says is over their friendship
or whatever, but Newt Gingrich, you`re writing about, you`re saying that
something will splash over on him. But let`s look at this graph showing
that Gingrich should have been dead this summer. In June, he was at 6.7
percent in the polls, went down to 4.9 percent in July. August, went up to
5.5 percent, September, up to 6.8 percent, October, 9.3 percent. Now he`s
at 23.8 percent. What happened, Bob?

FRANKEN: Well, we seem to have -- I think there`s a big hair thing
going on here. We have Mitt Romney, we have Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry,
Michele Bachmann. The only one without big hair who has been up there for
a little while was Herman Cain. But with the rest of them, it was hair
today and gone tomorrow.

But the problem here is that they`re running out of alternatives to
Mitt Romney. You`ve got this large number of Republicans who just don`t
like the man because they view him as a -- it`s the hated word, a moderate.

Now, Dana, when you look at four -- not one, not two, but four
national polls has Newt Gingrich beating Mitt Romney, I mean 26-22, 24-20,
22-21, 23-22. Across the board, he is winning against Mitt Romney in four
national polls. This is an amazing occurrence for someone that was written
off by all of the wise political observers just a couple of months ago.

MILBANK: It sure is, reverend. And we`ve seen something like this
with John McCain. But this isn`t John McCain. When I look at Newt
Gingrich leading in the polls, it tells me that the Republican primary
process has become some sort of a mass suicide movement. I mean, it is
just so hard to imagine the Republicans giving this gift to a very
vulnerable President Obama.

As you were discussing with Bob, we`ve got the family values party
getting involved with this guy who`s on his third marriage. You have got
the cut the budget party dealing with this guy who`s got all these problems
with Tiffany`s and cruising the Greek islands. And you have this anti-
Washington party rallying behind this ultimate Washington insider who`s
received millions from special interest groups. It just boggles the mind
that he could actually come out of this as the nominee. But I`m sure
nothing would delight President Obama more.

SHARPTON: But Bob, you have to admit that Mr. Gingrich has been a
different frontrunner than his proceeding flavors of the month. He`s come
out fighting. Look at how he ripped into Willard today. Watch this.


perfect candidate. I just claim to be a lot more conservative than Mitt
Romney and a lot more electable than anybody else. I wouldn`t lie to the
American people. I wouldn`t switch my positions for political reasons.

It`s wrong to go around and adopt radically different positions based
on your need of any one election. Because then people have to ask
themselves, what will you tell me next time? I never take polls to figure
out where I stand.


SHARPTON: I never take polls to figure out where I stand, I`ll never
lie to the American people. This is today on a radio station in South
Carolina. Those are pretty, pretty harsh terms and references to the
former frontrunner, wouldn`t you say, Bob?

FRANKEN: Well, I would, in addition to which it`s a bit ludicrous
coming from Newt Gingrich who`s been accused of being somebody who has a
position of the minute kind of way of looking at things. The one example I
remember so vividly was what he was first advocating that the United States
should take action of a certain sort in Libya. Then the United States took
that action and he immediately criticized it. And then you recall he
criticized President Obama for his changing positions. Newt Gingrich is
somebody who is frequently accused of being a worshiper of political
expedience. So I think that he may have some problems when he tries to pin
on Mitt Romney the flip-flopping label.

SHARPTON: Now, Dana, how important is the fact that the "Union
Leader," a major newspaper, if not the major newspaper in New Hampshire,
came out today in support of Newt Gingrich?

MILBANK: Right, it is a big surprise, reverend, in part because
Romney so far had in New Hampshire. But, of course, this paper went
against Romney the last time around. It has the potential to shake up the
race. And I think we in the newspaper business think we`re a little bit
more important than we actually are.

But even if Gingrich can perform very solidly out there in Iowa and
get close to if not actually defeat Romney in New Hampshire, he`s going to
be in a very solid position getting to South Carolina. But, again, I have
to believe that the Republicans are going to come to their senses and not
let that happen.

SHARPTON: Well, Dana, I think you`re right. But, Bob, I think that -
- you know, as one who went on the education tour with Newt Gingrich that
President Obama had set up, Newt Gingrich-President Obama debate would be
interesting, more interesting than the rest of the guys on that stage

FRANKEN: It would be. You`d have somebody who would like to position
himself as even smarter than Barack Obama. As for that endorsement from
the "Union Leader," I think that that`s quite significant because this is
Mr. Romney`s neighborhood. This is where he was pinning his hopes on
getting a momentum going because he probably realizes that he`s not going
to do very well in Iowa. So if he gets the wind knocked out of his sails
in New Hampshire, I think that that`s a big deal.

SHARPTON: Dana Milbank and Bob Franken, thanks for coming on the show

MILBANK: Thanks, reverend.

SHARPTON: Ahead, corporations` profits are booming as middle class
wages free fall -- more fuel for the Occupy movement and more proof there
is class warfare by the rich.


SHARPTON: Bashing the environmental protection agency has become as
republican as Ronald Reagan. And tax cuts for the rich. Hear what the GOP
loves to say about the agency that keeps our water and air clear.


EPA and the direction they`re heading with their numerous regulations are
going to cripple our economy.

rules that are grinding our economy to a halt.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: One of the chief offenders is EPA.

really be renamed the job-killing organization of America.


SHARPTON: The EPA should be renamed the job-killing organization of
America? I don`t think so. New data shows regulations on the coal
industry aren`t killing jobs. They`re creating them. There are currently
more than 90,000 coal jobs in the United States. That`s the highest number
of coal jobs since 1996. In fact, specific EPA regulations seem to be
helping to create jobs. In 2009, the EPA issued new rules for mountaintop
coal mining, a practice that has been linked to contaminated water supplies
and damaged property. Since then, the number of coal jobs in Appalachia
has increased by 10 percent. So, if these EPA rules are killing jobs, why
are more people working in the coal industry? Hey, GOP! You should be
congratulating the EPA as a jobs creator. Did Republicans think we
wouldn`t notice their faulty logic? Nice try, guys. But we got you.


SHARPTON: Welcome back to the show. Sometimes something happens in
politics that just brings total clarity to an issue. It happened to the
Republicans over the weekend. And just like that, their total hypocrisy on
taxes and fairness in this country was revealed for what it is. In an Op-
ed this weekend, Senator John Kyle and other Republicans wrote that raising
taxes is, quote, "the wrong medicine for our ailing economy." OK, I get
that, raising taxes is bad, OK. But the very next day, they broke my
hypocrisy meter. Here`s what that same Senator Kyl said in an interview.


CHRIS WALLACE, HOST, "FOX NEWS SUNDAY": Are you saying, no deal on
extending payroll tax cuts?

SEN. JON KYL (R), ARIZONA: The payroll tax holiday has not stimulated
job creation. We don`t think that is a good way to do it.


SHARPTON: Let`s see. Most Republicans were for payroll tax cuts when
they helped extend the Bush tax cuts last December. In fact, 138
Republicans signed on to extend them as did 37 Senate Republicans. But
now, Republicans are in favor of letting the average American family loses
out on payroll tax cuts worth $1,300 a year. That`s good medicine? No.
That`s a tax increase on middle class Americans. I thought tax increases
were the wrong medicine? I don`t think I`m the only one who finds that
total hypocrisy. And Republicans, you owe me a new hypocrisy meter.

Joining me now, Senator Sherrod Brown, democrat from Ohio. Senator,
thanks for coming on the show tonight.

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: Thank you, Reverend Sharpton. And that
hypocrisy meter is working overtime, isn`t it?

SHARPTON: Yes, I`m trying to get a repair. This one was off the
chain. I mean, am I missing something? Is this just one or more blatant
disregard for the good of the middle class?

BROWN: Yes, I mean, you know, one thing we should be able to work
together on, Republicans and Democrats is cutting taxes for working
families and creating jobs. Yet, if there`s a choice between tax cuts for
the rich and anything else -- if anything else is infrastructure, if
anything else is hiring teachers, if anything else is cutting taxes or
refusing to raise taxes on middle income working families, people making
$20,000, $50,000 or $100,000 a year, then the Republicans always choose tax
breaks for people making over $1 million a year. Meaning, it`s pretty
simple as you say. In the end, they always come down for their wealthiest
benefactors for people making a million or two million or five million
dollars a year. And the public`s on to it.

I mean, when you hear John Kyl on those Sunday morning shows saying,
you know, we can`t ever cut taxes, we can`t ever raise taxes on the rich,
that will cost us jobs. But when it comes to some guy making $30,000 a
year, if you raise his taxes or $1,400 per family in Ohio on the average,
you know that hurts the economy because it`s money they`re not putting into
the economy for Christmas presents for their kids or going out once a month
for dinner or buying books for their kid in college. I mean, all of that`s
so clear. We need to generate more economic activity, not give more tax
cuts for rich people who basically just put it away and don`t spend it and
put it in the economy.

SHARPTON: Well, rich people that they call job creators even though
we can`t find the jobs they`re creating. But let me ask you this, Senator.
When we talk about it and certainly $1,300 a family is a lot of money to a
working family, but collectively, this was in "The Washington Post." This
would impact a 0.5 percent of the economy. So collectively, we`re talking
about a real hit in terms of the economy, 400,000 jobs by the end of 2012.
This is serious.

BROWN: Yes, it`s real serious. I was -- and you know, it`s this.
It`s the tax increase that the Republicans are going to force by filibuster
on working families. It`s also their opposition to extending unemployment
benefits. I was just at the Nestle Corporation, which is a Stouffer`s
corporation owned by Nestle, makes lean cuisine and all in Cleveland today.
And I was talking to a couple of workers who had been laid off for a couple
of years. One guy said, I`d never been laid off in my life, I was laid off
for a year. You know, I said, did you come back to work with a lot of
debt? And he said, not too much because I had unemployment benefits and he
said, I was able to keep my family`s head above water for that year. But,
you know, this is important. I mean, John Kyl, nice guy, you know, he`s
retiring, he`s not a bad guy. But everything to him is about tax cuts for
the rich. He ought to come to Cleveland and talk to some of these Nestle`s
workers or walk around, talk to people laid off and.

SHARPTON: Which is why.

BROWN: .find out what they`re thinking.

SHARPTON: Which is Senator, when you look at the polls, you`ve got
support on both sides of the political spectrum among the people. Fifty
six percent of Republicans say they support taxing millionaires. These are


SHARPTON: Fifty eight percent support extending the payroll tax cut.
Fifty eight percent. I mean, it`s not even politically wise what they`re

BROWN: Well, it is politically wise when the people you talk to at
the country club, your closest friends, your best advisers, the people that
sit in the suites with you at Phoenix Suns games or wherever Senator Kyl
goes. Those people are, you know, are affected by tax cuts, by tax
increases for the rich.

SHARPTON: Well, let me show you how you`re right.

BROWN: These voters don`t think that.

SHARPTON: Let me show you how you`re right. When you look at this
graph of how they have gone overboard to protect a few millionaires as
opposed to the masses of the people, I mean, you have 235,000 millionaires
that they`re fighting to protect a tax hike. And if they extended its
payroll tax cut, it would help 160 million American people. So, they would
choose 235,000 people to give their energy to, their effort to, over 160
million Americans. I mean, that is obscene.

BROWN: But not to be cynical about this. Those 235,000 millionaires,
I would guess, in the scale of who contributes to Republican Senate
campaigns, my guess is those 235,000 millionaires give more than 160
million working families that are going this tax -- that they`re going to
raise taxes on if they filibuster our efforts this week.

SHARPTON: Well, I don`t think you were being cynical. I think you`re
making an educated guess.

BROWN: Perhaps.

SHARPTON: Senator Sherrod Brown.

BROWN: My pleasure, thanks Al.

SHARPTON: Thanks for coming on the show tonight and thank you for
continuing the fight.

BROWN: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Up next, Washington moved heaven and earth to bail out the
banks. But the middle class has been left high and dry. We`ll talk to
former Congressman Alan Grayson about why Wall Street made billions while
the American people were getting squeezed.

Also, the Barney Frank highlight reel, how the legendary lawmaker used
his razor-sharp wit to fight for justice over three decades in Congress.
Stay with us.


SHARPTON: You want to see what progress in this country looks like?
Last year, the top office of the marine`s General James F. Amos issued a
dire warning about the repeal of the "Don`t Ask, Don`t Tell" policy.


implementing repeal and assimilating openly homosexual marines into the
tightly woven fabric of our combat units has strong potential for
disruption at the small unit level.


SHARPTON: But now that policy is gone. General Amos sees a new
reality. He says soldiers are adapting well. Gays and lesbians serving
openly in the military. Quote, "I`m very pleased with how it has gone."
So the repeal of "Don`t Ask, Don`t Tell" is working. Officials worried
when the military desegregated. They`re worried when women started
serving. And they worried what gays openly serving. You know what this is
called? Progress.


SHARPTON: We`re back with new signs that the Occupy Wall Street
movement isn`t going anywhere. Today in Los Angeles and Philadelphia,
occupiers are refusing to leave their tent cities, despite warnings and
arrests by police across the country, they`re demanding fairness.


SHARPTON: Today we`re learning just how huge that bailout was, a new
Bloomberg report revealed that secret fed loans helped banks rake in $13
billion in income while they were getting rescued by taxpayers. Wall
Street is doing great. But what about Main Street? A new report reveals
that one in five Americans have been economically insecure in the last
three years. And take a look at these graphs. Since 1960, corporate
profits have always been about six percent of GDP, sometimes a little
higher, sometimes a little lower. But in the last three years, corporate
profits have soared past 10 percent for the first time ever.

Meanwhile, look at the wages, the money that real people are taking
home. That`s at an all-time low, slowly dropping to 44 percent. This is
the real class warfare in America. And Republicans are fighting to make
sure corporations and the rich are the ones who win.

Joining me now is former Congressman Alan Grayson, democrat from
Florida, now running again. Congressman, thanks for being here. Where`s
the urgency for Main Street bailout, Mr. Grayson?

REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA: Well, there hasn`t been in. And
that`s the sad part of it. It`s been three years since the banks got
bailed out to the tune of $16 trillion directly from the Fed and another
$10 trillion lent to foreign central banks and then from there to foreign
institutions. So a total of $26 trillion and that doesn`t even count the
bailouts to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG and all the rest that went
individually. That`s huge amounts of money. We`re talking about almost
$100,000 per person in America for every man, woman and child in America.

SHARPTON: Almost $100,000 per person?

GRAYSON: That`s right. And nothing for the middle class.

SHARPTON: I want to walk through this slowly so people understand
this. These banks were getting these huge bailouts, according to this
Bloomberg report, first payment like $1.2 trillion, while they were still
fighting regulations. So they were having it both ways. Getting bailed
out while they were keeping their levels down in terms of deregulation?

GRAYSON: They call them loans but they took the worst assets, the
garbage assets there on the books of institutions like Citibank and they
pushed them over in the general direction of the Fed, didn`t even give them
control of those assets, called it collateral and they lent out trillions
of dollars at an interest rate of 0.01 percent. Not one percent. But 0.01
percent. Where can I get a deal like that? Where can you get a deal like
that? It looks like if you`re not a Wall Street bank, you`re screwed.

SHARPTON: Now, when you look at the fact that many on the right were
making all kinds of tax and claims about the TARP money, well, let`s look
at this that we get from Bloomberg. $7.77 trillion Fed loans to banks.
Only $700 billion to TARP. What are we talking about? So while $700
billion went to TARP that had some commitments had to be made, some
collections, we had these loans in the trillions, over $7 trillion in loans
with no strings attached that went to banks that they didn`t complain
about, stop or put in check?

GRAYSON: No, this is the way the Fed has done business. And I`m
grateful that I was able to join with Congressman Ron Paul to get this
exposed. The Fed have deliberately held these loans in secret because they
said, if we tell people who`s getting these loans, they won`t have any
faith in those institutions anymore. As if that some kind of excuse for
covering up what you do with taxpayer money. But in fact because I joined
with Ron Paul and got the audit, the Fed bill passed, now we can finally
find out what happened to all this money and who got it. And frankly, when
I look down the list, I see all sorts of names I don`t even recognize.
Dexia, a bank in Belgium, got over $100 million. Who is Dexia? Why they
should they got a $100 billion of our money. I don`t understand that.
Neither does anybody else. But the Fed pushed it out to anybody who seemed
to need it, as long that you are on Wall Street, they took care of you.

SHARPTON: Who is Dexia? They`re people in Belgium who got $100
million of our money.


SHARPTON: I mean, this is absolutely absurd. But let me tell you
when you hear your outrage on Dexia and others that got this money pushed
out by the Fed, I`m sure the Republicans would be outraged, but look at
where they`re taken their anger. Look at who they`re talking about. Watch


MITT ROMNEY, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Corporations are people, my

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Can you raise your hand if you`d feel so
strongly about not raising taxes, you`d walk away on a 10 to one deal.

BACHMANN: Our biggest problem right now is our regulatory burden.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: If we keep taxing our job creators a
lot more than our foreign competitors taxpayers, they win, we lose.

BOEHNER: We are not going to engage in class warfare. The
president`s out there is doing it every day. I frankly think it`s
unfortunate. The top one percent pay 38 percent of the income taxes in
America. You know, how much more they want to pay?

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: When you pick one area of
the economy and say, we`re going to tax those people because most people
are not those people, that`s class warfare.

RYAN: Sowing social unrest and class resentment makes America weaker,
not stronger.


SHARPTON: Are we in parallel universes? I mean, when you look at the
facts and then you hear what they`re saying, it`s almost like we`re on
different planets.

GRAYSON: The one thing you can always count on is that the Republican
Party leadership will always kiss up to the rich, every single time. But
who do the ordinary people in America have to turn to? It`s only the
Democratic Party. I`ve said this before and I`ll say it again. You have
only three friends in life, God, your mama and the Democratic Party.
That`s it.

SHARPTON: Congressman, thanks to you for your time tonight. We`ll be
right back with the greatest hits of the great Barney Frank.


SHARPTON: Welcome back. Lawmakers come and go, but every now and
again, one comes along who truly changes America. That`s what
Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank has done. At a press conference
today, he said after 40 years of service in government, he`s retiring at
the end of next year. In true Barney Frank fashion, he went out fighting
Republicans with a smile.


REP. BARNEY FRANK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: One of the advantages to me of
not running for office is, I don`t even have to pretend to try to be nice
to people I don`t like. Now, some of you may not think I`ve been good at
it. But I`ve been trying.


SHARPTON: Congressman Frank has been a frequent guest on our show and
he never fails to both enlighten and entertain us.


FRANK: On what planet do you spend most of your time?


Ma`am, trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to
argue with a dining room table. Somebody hurt my feelings, so I will
punish the country. I`m making an offer. Give me those 12 people`s names
and I will go talk uncharacteristically nicely to them.

She is apparently going to be the republican nomination by default.
And I guess it`s by default -- it`s default of Newt Gingrich and it`s
default of Herman Cain and everybody else`s fault. Never has the
willingness of the minority to abuse the process of purely political ends
been clearer than today. Parliamentary inquiry, Mr. Speaker, does whining
come out of my time?

This is why Americans don`t trust the government.

This is why your stupidity gets in the way of rational discussion.

Poor Newt is just beside himself. He thought he was a great gift to
the country. And he finds himself being taken back to the return window,
not at Tiffany`s I guess and he can`t deal with it.


SHARPTON: Here at POLITICS NATION and across the country, we would
truly miss his bright sense of humor and his deep sense of justice. He was
the first openly gay member of Congress and a champion for civil rights.
He led the fight for the biggest overall of banking and financial industry
since the depression. And long before Occupy Wall Street, he was fighting
harder than anyone else for fairness. Thank God he`s still with us. He`s
still alive. And he will still, I`m sure, be in public somewhere fighting
because fighters never stop. They just change the ring they`re fighting
in. Stay in the ring, Barney, because we still have a lot of fight left to

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


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