PoliticsNation, Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Guests: Donna Edwards; Mick Mulvaney, Richard Wolffe, Nia-Malika Henderson,
Jared Bernstein

REV. AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Welcome to "Politics Nation." I`m Al

Tonight`s lead, the GOP wages war on the uninsured. And millions of
Americans are left hanging in the balance. It has been nearly one week
since the Supreme Court issued its landmark ruling on health care. It
marked a victory for this country. A victory for the millions who have
health insurance.

This was a victory for Democrats. Some of whom fought for decades to
pass this legislation. And it was a very personal victory for this
president. But Republicans, it was a major blow. Even senator number one
goal is to defeat Obama, McConnell thinks it is a long shot.


good idea for the federal government to go in this direction, I would say
odds are still on your side because it is a lot harder to undo something
than it is to stop it, in the first place.


SHARPTON: Senator McConnell knows that repealing the affordable care
act is against the odds. But don`t believe for one second that the GOP
will end their tax. They will sought on this law is only getting started.
Republican governors are already pushing back at Medicaid expansion in
their states, widening the program will provide insurance to 17 million of
the country`s poorest citizens. Seems like a winning proposition. Right?

And so does this. The federal government will foot the bill for 90
percent of the program. Why would any governor turn away money to help the
people they represent? Anyone?


GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: Think about adding millions, 16, 17
million Americans into an unrefined Medicaid program. Growing government
health care.

GOV. RICK SCOTT (R), FLORIDA: We are not going to implement Obamacare
in Florida, not going to expand Medicaid. Because we are going to do the
right thing.


SHARPTON: Doing the right thing by not covering the uninsured.
Already 15 governors have given indications that they will not participate
in the program. The National Association of Public Hospitals is calling
this potentially disastrous.

But what`s more disastrous, the fact that millions will lose their
chance at coverage? This is a disaster, all right. But it is a man-made
disaster. And Americans will suffer because the GOP can`t stop playing
partisan politics.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Donna Edwards, Democrat from Maryland.
And Joan Walsh, editor-at-large for salon.com and an MSNBC political

First, thank both of you for being here.



SHARPTON: Congresswoman, let me start with you. Do you think that
the GOP is playing politics by refusing to implement parts of the law?

EDWARDS: Well, I mean, they must be. I mean, it is really
unfortunate and actually pretty unbelievable that in states like Louisiana
that have some of the, you know, most people across the country per capita
who are uninsured. Some of the poorest people in the country that governor
like Governor Jindal would say we are going to refuse the federal dollars
that would help these people be insured.

And I think that once Americans across these states and other states
really understand what the benefits are and understand what their governors
are rejecting, they are going to reject those governor.

SHARPTON: Now, when you look at your state, this expansion of
Medicaid would mean coverage for thousands of low-income Americans. I
belief it is estimated over 309,000 will get insurance under this plan.
Your state.

EDWARDS: I`m excited.

SHARPTON: Why would these governors be taking a position against
similar measures in their state when it helps people?

EDWARDS: I don`t understand it because I know in our state, we have
actually embraced the affordable care act in Maryland. And I`m so proud of
the governor in our state door doing that. We have been full steam ahead
since the affordable care act became law in its implementation.

And so, we are going to be ready in 2014 when it is fully implemented
and we are ready now to accept the resource it is federal government is
providing for us and in order to get implemented. We know already people
are receiving preventative health services. We know already that young
people who would otherwise be denied are being covered. We also know that
young people up to age 26 are now covered on their parents` health care
plans and that seniors are going to have their medications covered and they
won`t have to reach into their pocket with that doughnut hole.

And so, I think in Maryland, we have said you know what, this is the
law. The constitutionality has been decided and we are going to embrace
the implementation.

SHARPTON: Now, and -- these are not some pie in the sky kind of
ideas. These are things that you are citing that are already happen.

Joan, I think that`s one of the reasons that we have seen an upswing
among voters. We have seen it jump five percent among voters, 11 percent
among independent who support this law.

WALSH: Yes. It has been so interesting, Reverend Al. I think the
Supreme Court did give it more legitimacy. Americans like a winner,
whatever we want to say about that psychological reaction, it is real.

And I think, you know, also the Kaiser family foundation fund.
Yesterday the -- survey that said you know, 56 percent of Americans say to
the opponents please move along. Stop trying to repeal this law.

But the way the law was written, they have these red state governors
do have the power to turn down this money. And so it is really tragic. We
are talking mainly about the working poor. And so we are talking about a
situation where you may die of cancer in Louisiana. But if you lived in
Maryland, Representative Edwards` district you would get care.


WALSH: And this is, you know, I understand our traditions where
states have certain powers. But really when it comes to the poor, certain
states are cruel and certain states get it. And basically this is really
about who will live and who is going to die in the end.

SHARPTON: And I want to emphasize what you said working poor. We are
not just talking about charity here. We are talking about people in many
ways that work every day that just cannot afford health insurance.

WALSH: Right.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman Edwards, the thing that to me compounds this
so makes it even more egregious is that the Republicans really have no
plan. I mean, it is not like they are saying this is our alternative to
service these people as opposed to the affordable care act. They have no

Listen to what Congressman Cantor said when he was questioned about a


UNIDENTIFIED MALE ANCHOR: My question again to you, Congressman, is
when will we see a Republican plan that would replace more meritoriously
the Obamacare plan that you are so happy with?

2009 when the Obama care bill was being considered on the house floor. We
put forward our alternative. To sit here and say we don`t have replacement
is not correct. What we have now, though, is the challenge of repealing
this law.


SHARPTON: Now, he was referring, Congresswoman Edwards, to the 2009
alternative to the affordable care act. That plan would have left 52
million people uninsured.

EDWARDS: Well, and we actually heard from Senate leader Mitch
McConnell that the uninsured don`t matter. And so you know, we heard very
directly from them, the fact is that the Republican leadership, Speaker
Boehner, schedule ad vote to repeal the affordable care act that`s now been
declared constitutional and is now in the process of being implemented,
they scheduled a vote to repeal it July 11,in just another week and they
have zero, zip, nada, nothing, to replace it and as they have said they
could care less about the uninsured.

Well, I`m glad that President Obama stuck with the affordable care
act. I`m glad with the Supreme Court has validated and I`m glad that
states like Maryland and all across the country implementing it because it
really is a big deal for millions of people across this country who don`t
have health care.

And I know, I was standing in their shoes and didn`t have health care
at one point and got very, very sick. I think that all across this country
people get up and go to work every day but don`t have health care and
affordable care act changes that.

SHARPTON: Now Joan, the other thing that is so from disturbing is
thousand they are playing this game. They are like tied up in knots around
whether this law is a tax or penalty. I mean, watch this.


what we put in place in Massachusetts was a penalty and he disagrees with
the court`s ruling that the mandate was a tax.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our position is the same as Mitt Romney`s
position. It is a tax.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is Obama care a tax?

GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: Sure. Yes. I mean, listen, I
thought all along it was a tax. I don`t think it is exclusively tax or
penalty. It is both.

FEHRNSTROM: He disagree was the court`s ruling the mandate was a tax.


SHARPTON: Now, I don`t want to do my pretzel roll-up but I mean, they
are twisting -- I mean --

WALSH: They are playing twister.

SHARPTON: This is crazy. And you have the Republican chairman and
Governor Chris Christie, one of their rising stars saying one thing. You
have Romney, spokesperson who is the presumptive nominee saying something
else. I mean, it looks like they can`t get on the same page here.

WALSH: They are all playing twister. Remember that game? It was
really fun.

But it is not going to be fun for Mitt Romney actually. I think Mitt
Romney wishes this issue would just go away. He`s stuck with the fact that
he did have a mandate in Massachusetts. He is stuck with the fact that he
called it a penalty.

I mean, we should point out, Reverend Al, that on Thursday, when the
ruling came down, Mitt Romney did try to spin it as a tax. But then I
guess these people got to him and said, governor, you had the same thing in
Massachusetts. So we shouldn`t call it a tax.

SHARPTON: I don`t think his people got to him. I think he was
watching me on "Politics Nation" and I played the tape of him saying it.

WALSH: That`s right.

SHARPTON: Congresswoman Donna Edwards and Joan Walsh, we have to
leave it there.

Thanks for joining me thing weekend. Have a nice weekend. Enjoy the

WALSH: You, too.

EDWARDS: Thank you and you, too.

SHARPTON: Coming up, an explosive new report follows Mitt Romney`s
money all the way to the islands and reveals his secrets. A man that seems
comfortable going into, quote, "fuzzy gray areas" in business.

Plus, the tea party is getting the band back together for a day of
repeal rallies. But Americans are getting tired of it. We will talk to
Tea Party Congressman Nick Mulvaney.

And the right wing hatred of Justice Roberts is hitting comical
levels. You won`t believe the conspiracy theories flying around now.

You are watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: Folks, have you checked us out on facebook? The
conversation is going all day long.

Today, our fans had a lot to say about the Republican governor`s
rejecting Medicare expansion.

Mark says, quote, "there is no length these folks won`t go to try to
discredit the president. If they weren`t careful, there will be uproar."

While Marcy wonders if it will hurt their re-election chances. Quote,
"GOP voters are famous for voting against their own best interests."

We want to hear what you think, too. Head over to facebook and search
"Politics Nation" and like us to join the conversation that keeps going
long after the show ends.

We hope to see you then.


SHARPTON: On "Politics Nation," with a throwback to the old days.
The days of 2009 and 2010. The tea partiers are getting the band back
together again, busting out the old playbook. And trying to relive the
glory days.

Tomorrow groups are planning local rallies all over the country. The
goal, to repeal President Obama`s health care law. That`s right, folks.
Break out the funny hats because the tea party is back in town. And they
are planning to use the same old tactics. Urging tea partiers to find
members of Congress and flood every parade, town hall, civic speaking
engagement, they plan to attend with video cameras.

Folks, this feels like a one-hit wonder. Planning a reunion tour.
But majority of Americans, 56 percent, would prefer lawmakers to stop
trying to block health care. They say it is time to move on to other
issues. But they are back at it. Only this time it is 2012. And the top
court in the nation has spoken.

But joining me now is Congressman Mike -- sorry, Mick Mulvaney of
South Carolina. He came to Washington in 2010 with the tea party wave.

Congressman, thank you first, for being here tonight.

REP. MICK MULVANEY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: Reverend, it is always a
pleasure to be here. I hope you are well.

SHARPTON: I am very well, thank you.

Let me start with health care in your state. There are 930,000
uninsured people in South Carolina, well over 20 percent of the state. Why
would you want to repeal a law that will give coverage to nearly a million
people in your state and 30 million people nationwide? Why would you want
to do that?

MULVANEY: Reverend, it is a great question and fair question. It`s a
fair question and the answer is fairly simple. We think we can do better.
We have always thought that Medicaid, which is sort of the model for what
will happen under Obamacare hurt us. It almost broke us as a state as
Washington tried to dictate this one size fits all.

I was in the state legislature and always tried to get more and more
flexibility so we could tailor our health care for our poorest citizens the
way we thought was best. For example, we are a very rural, poor state.
Programs that work in New York City or Chicago are not going to work in
South Carolina. And we tried to get that flexibility under the old
Medicaid programs and couldn`t get it.

We see Obama care as an extension of that program and don`t want it.
We think we can do better.

SHARPTON: Let me ask you this then. Let`s get specific. The
affordable care act right now in South Carolina, 50,000 young adults, are
now covered under their parents `plan that weren`t. Medicare patients have
save d $54.4 million in prescription drugs and 1291 with residents - 1291
now with pre-existing conditions are now able on get insurance that didn`t
have it.

What can you do with that is better? What`s on the table? What plan
do you have that could do better and the Republican Party is prepared to do
and do better in your state right now.

MULVANEY: Reverend, look at the part you are ignoring. It`s
impossible in South Carolina right now. Absolutely, totally completely
impossible for a child under the year -- under the age of 18 to get
insurance policy. Simply because when the law came into effect last year,
you could not exclude from pre-existing conditions. And the insurance
companies here was funded by simply no longer offering that policy.

So, for whatever reason, and there are families are out there who are
really hurting because of this, if you need an individual policy for your
10, 12, 15-year-old child, for example, if you have been very ill, it
cannot get a family policy for a reasonable cost and you want the coverage
for your 15-year-old child, you cannot get it in South Carolina anymore.

SHARPTON: Just a second. I`m going to check that fact that you --
have you not -- you are not even in the same town of my question. To come
home to the question, what would you do that would be better? You opened
by saying you can do better. What is the plan that would do better?

MULVANEY: We talked - Reverend, you talked about it at the federal
level. We offered plans before. In fact --

SHARPTON: Such as?

MULVANEY: You can go to hr 3000. It is a -- Mr. Tom Price, Dr. Tom
Price from Georgia put all of our ideas together in one bill so people can
actually --

SHARPTON: And what`s the plan?

MULVANEY: We can talk about different pieces of it. What do we do
that Obama care does not do. We put you in charge of your health care, not
the employer and not the government. We put you in charge. We allow that
patient/doctor relationship to stay in place. We allow you to take it with
you if you change jobs or move from state to state.

SHARPTON: How is it paid?

MULVANEY: We also pay for it through lower premiums because we have
tore reform, medical malpractice reform.

SHARPTON: No, no, no. How is it paid, though?

MULVANEY: You got lower - Reverend, one of the difficulties that we
have with health care and I think you may agree with this, is that nobody
knows what it costs. When you go into the doctor`s office and you ask for
a particular service, you don`t care what it costs because someone else is
paying for it.

SHARPTON: Exactly.

MULVANEY: And once you fix that and once you and I both know what we
are paying, then our own decisions as individuals will help drive down the
cost for everybody. That`s been the basis of the Republican plan for the
last several years it is what we continue to offer. It is altogether in hr
3000. You can go see the list of all of the ideas.

Now, what you won`t see us do is offer it all in one big 2700 page
bill. Because , Reverend, I hope you agree with me that typically when
that happens, there`s stuff in there nobody knows about. There`s stuff in
there nobody reads and it is not a good way to govern.

SHARPTON: Well, you know what, what`s interesting to me, though, you
say that you have a better plan. You talk about costs but you really don`t
tell me how we are going to cover it. When Cantor was asked a couple of
weeks ago about it, he went back to the 2009 bill. Not the hr 3000 that
you raised. So, the Republicans seem to be all over the place here.

And then you have the vote that`s happening next week will mark the
31st time the GOP attacked health care, 31st time. So, it seems like you
are very good at what you are against. Not too good at what you are for.
And if I`m going to have pre-existing conditions, or if I`m on insure, t if
I`m working every day and can`t afford my health care cost, you really just
telling me what not to have and leaving me out there hanging in the wind.

MULVANEY: It`s a fair conversation to have, Reverend. People seem to
like this program about allowing the children to stay on their program
through 26. They like the exclusion for pre-existing conditions. And
what`s not to like? Because right now they think it is free. We have not
had the conversation about the other side of the coin.

The question is not whether or not you want exclusions for pre-
existing conditions. The question is what are you willing to pay so that
other folks can have that benefit? And that`s a discussion that`s never
going to -- never taken place yet. It needs to take place because the
money doesn`t come from nowhere.

SHARPTON: What are you willing to pay if you go to the emergency
room? I mean, we have to get our arms around the cost of health care and
we have to deal with 52 million people uninsured in this country. Let me
ask you something else, Congressman.

MULVANEY: Yes, sir.

SHARPTON: Do you support Governor Romney for president?


SHARPTON: Do you agree with him about mandates?

MULVANEY: No, sir.

SHARPTON: You don`t?

MULVANEY: No, sir. Although I will tell you traditionally in this
country at least up until last week state governments have always had more
authority than the federal government. The federal government was created
as a government of limited powers and state government were not.

So, you can make the argument a state could do something legally. The
United States federal government could not do. Now, with the decision last
week --

SHARPTON: Well, you don`t want to get into a discussion with me on
state`s rights. But let`s stay with Romney because I really don`t think
you want that conversation.

Let`s stay with Romney, do you agree with him that this is not a tax
but a penalty?

MULVANEY: No, sir. I think you probably have to choose one or the
other. And if you -- I heard - I watched the show today and watched the
previous shows. And for folks who like the decision, you have to be
willing to admit it is a tax. You just do it. It is only t only way it
was constitutional.

I happen to think it was a tax. I don`t really have a comment on
Massachusetts health care because I`m not going to defend it. I live in
South Carolina. I don`t gait chance to vote on it. I do get a chance to
vote in the federal health care program and I will be voting to repeal it

SHARPTON: So, let me get this right. Your Republican tea partier and
you don`t agree with your nominee, presumptive nominee, about this is a
penalty and not a tax and you watch "Politics Nation." Boy, you are going
to have fun when they come looking for you at the fourth of July.

MULVANEY: The Republican tent is much bigger than you think it is,

SHARPTON: I hope it is big enough to cover 52,000 uninsured people.

Congressman Mulvaney, appreciate your time tonight. Have a great

MULVANEY: You too, Reverend. It`s always a pleasure. Thanks for
having me.

SHARPTON: Coming up, explosive report exposes where Mitt Romney`s
offshore money lives and reveals his secret and some would say shady
strategies as the CEO of Bain capital.

But first right wingers are still furious with Justice Roberts. You
won`t believe the conspiracy theories they are coming up with now. Stay
with us.


SHARPTON: Folks, usually on this show we focus on politics. But the
holiday is tomorrow. So, let`s talk a little travel. Specifically travel
to Malta. It`s a beautiful island in the Mediterranean. It has three
sites on the world heritage list and it is almost 5,000 miles away from
Washington, D.C. And guess who is there? Chief justice John Roberts.

That`s right. He is hiding out in Malta after his health care ruling
shocked the nation. He even joked, quote, "Malta is an impregnable island
fortress." He`s out there escaping the right wing`s wrath. But less than
a week ago he used to be their guy.

Mitt Romney recently brag, he would nominate judges in the mold of
Roberts. Former Bush secretary Dana Perino says Republicans love their
decision to nominate Roberts.


DANA PERINO, FORMER BUSH SECRETARY: Think about the Roberts as an
almost across the board. Every conservative says he is a solid guy the one
between want.


SHARPTON: The one we want. Well, let`s just say the love isn`t there
anymore. They continue hammering him and the conspiracy theories would be
funny if they weren`t so sad. First, right wing radio host says, Robert
wasn`t thinking straight because of epilepsy medication.


that medication used for seizure disorders, such as epilepsy, can introduce
mental slowing, forgetfulness and other cognitive problems. And if you
look at Roberts` writings, you can see the cognitive disassociation in what
he is saying.


SHARPTON: And if it was than his medicine, Roberts secretly wanted
liberals to like him.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The Washington/New York media
runs the supreme court of the United States. They run the chief justice.

DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR: Roberts gave a very political Washington
establishment Georgetown type opinion. And now they love him in
Washington. And that`s probably what he wanted.


SHARPTON: Yes. The guy behind Citizens United was just dying to make
the liberal media elites happy. Instead of accepting the reality that the
health care law is constitutional, Republicans are attacking the message.


REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: I think the Chief Justice had a
contort logic and reason to come up with this ruling.


SHARPTON: I will tell you what`s contorted logic, trashing a judge
because you`re mad that he followed the law. Roberts is thousands of miles
way but did they think we would let them get away with this one? Nice try
but we got you.


SHARPTON: Welcome back to POLITICS NATION. Another one of Mitt
Romney`s banker buddies is hanging his head in shame today. The CEO of
Barclays Bank Bob Diamond resigned in disgrace after his bank was fined
nearly a half of billion dollars. For trying to manipulate the markets.
He also had to drop out of hosting a Romney fund-raiser in London. Set for
later this month.

I guess Willard will have to find someone else to fill that quiet
role. All this comes as an explosive "Vanity Fair" article blows the lid
off of Willard`s money secrets. Raising big questions about his finances.

Questions like, what happened to a corporation that Romney
mysteriously set up in Bermuda? Or the Swiss Bank account that suddenly
vanished? What about Romney`s not so blind trust accounts? And how did
Romney`s 401(k) account at Bain grow to more than $100 million despite
yearly contribution limits.

"Vanity Fair" says Romney is, quote, "A remarkable financial acrobat,
but careful analysis of his financial and bus affairs also reveals a man
who, like some other Wall Street titans, seem comfortable striding into
some fuzzy gray zones," end of quote.

Romney doesn`t seem too worried about these gray zones as he enjoys
summer vacation up in his sprawling lake side mansion in New Hampshire.
But that might change later this week when President Obama launches a bus
tour across the pivotal Rust Belt states of Ohio and Pennsylvania. I
wonder how Romney`s secrecy, not to mention his Swiss Bank accounts will
play in states where more and more people think Bain is a four-letter word.

Joining me now, MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe. He is the
author of "Revival: The Struggle for Survival Inside the Obama White
House." And Nia-Malika Henderson, national political reporter for "The
Washington Post." Thank you both for being here tonight.



SHARPTON: Nia, no one is suggesting at all that Romney is doing
anything illegal. But this kind of secrecy could it become a problem for
his campaign?

HENDERSON: Well, it was certainly a problem in South Carolina, and
you saw that Newt Gingrich was really able to use his secrecy around --
releasing his tax returns in that primary and also brought it up again in
that Florida primary. I think one of the things you are obviously going on
see is that Democrats are going to seize on this. They already have and
try to link it more generally with Bain Capital and try to paint on Mitt
Romney as someone who is out of touch.

And Mitt Romney as somebody who doesn`t have to play by the same
rules. They will bring out the fact, for instance, of that he`s paid 15
percent -- 15 percent tax rate whereas most people would pay something
upwards of 30 percent. So, I think it is just going to be another bullet
point in this narrative that is really starting to take hold and be
effective for the Romney campaign -- for the Obama campaign. Especially in
these Rust Belt states and these are some of the states that you said,
Obama will be visiting on Thursday and Friday, Western Pennsylvania and

So, I think -- this is just another gift in many ways to the Obama
campaign. The Romney campaign has not been quick to engage and to give any
sorts of explanations in so far. It looks like that`s the stance that
they`re going to maintain.

SHARPTON: Richard, they are already using it in the Democratic Party
and the democratic race. Vice President Biden was at the National
Education Association in Washington today. And he brought up the Swiss
Bank account. Listen.


VICE PRES. JOE BIDEN (D), UNITED STATES: How do you know -- go home
and borrow money to start a new business from your parents? And he says,
the president is out of touch? How many of you have a Swiss Bank account?


SHARPTON: Richard?

WOLFFE: It is just too easy. Look, here is someone that has been
running for president for many years now. You would think he would have
cleaned some of this stuff up by now. It does suggest that maybe he`s not
so confident about unwinding his tax affairs. Maybe he`s not so easy or
maybe he doesn`t think that it really matters or that maybe he is not going
to win. But in any case, you know, it is not just a question of what is
legal. That`s not the only bar here the presidential candidates have to

We can all agree, for instance, John Edwards` behavior was
reprehensible, unpresidential and excluded him from ever being elected
president. It wasn`t illegal thing to have an affair and a baby out of
wedlock but it`s not appropriate, it`s not appropriate in similar ways but
obviously in a very different circumstance about what kind of leadership
Mitt Romney is showing here. For someone that wants to run treasury,
appointed commissioner to the IRS, it is legal but is it actual leadership?

When you put your money overseas, when you invest in foreign
corporations as opposed to investing it in America, what kind of signal are
you sending? What kind of leadership are you giving? And there are more
questions. It happened in the UK just recently and a conservative prime
minister called out, entertainers and showbiz folks who put their money
overseas, he said it was morally repugnant. There was a moral question

SHARPTON: Now, it`s not only putting money overseas Nia, that is
going to be something they are going to have to answer to in the Romney
campaign. But the Obama campaign is continuing to pressure them about Bain
and here is the latest Obama campaign ads that was released today that
talks about them pioneering outsourcing jobs overseas.


ANNOUNCER: What a president believes matters. Mitt Romney`s
companies were pioneers in outsourcing U.S. jobs to low wage countries. He
supports tax breaks for companies that shift jobs overseas.


SHARPTON: So, when you combine Swiss accounts, investments overseas,
and your company that you pointed to as the example of how you operated it
as a CEO and why you know business was a pioneer of outsourcing jobs
overseas, starts building a picture among working Americans that you are
not exactly their kind of guy.

HENDERSON: That`s right. In these ads have just been devastating for
the Romney campaign in these swing states. You had a poll -- NBC News had
a poll out recently that showed the President with a ten-point lead in
these swing states. In many ways, there are two campaigns going on, one in
the swings states, and one here that we see in Washington. Of course, you
saw a lot of pushback from top Democrats who said, stay away from Bain.

But -- Democrats, Obama campaign, have seen lots of results from this.
And again, Romney has been slow to mount much of a pushback and lot of
Republicans are saying, hey, we want to see more fight from Mitt Romney on
this and more in terms of laying out what exactly he did at Bain Capital.
Democrats have been quick to pounce on this and they are going to hear --
we`re going to hear this all summer from Democrats. Especially those swing

SHARPTON: Not only in the swing states but Richard, in the latest
Gallup daily tracking poll, the President leads Mitt Romney 48 to 43, I
think that something is happening to you.

WOLFFE: Yes. The Gallup tracking poll is not even unfriendly to the
president. And this is the widest margin we are seeing since at least
April. And in a close race, you may say, well, four, five points isn`t a
huge lead but -- this race has been tied for months here. And so, you
don`t -- as a challenger want to enter summer months when people will tune
out with that kind of deficit. You know, it was that kind of difference
that really sunk John Kerry because by the time people tune in again, when
he got to the debates, it was too late.

SHARPTON: Richard, Nia, thank you both for your time tonight. Happy
Independence Day and enjoy your weekend.

HENDERSON: Thank you, Rev.

WOLFFE: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Republicans were quick to blame the president
when gas prices were high. So, what are they saying now that prices are
going down?

Plus, if you liked Herman Cain`s political ads during the campaign,
you will love his new attempt at Web TV.


armed lamb contesting the vote. Let`s give a lamb a gun. I`m Herman Cain.
We are not stupid.


SHARPTON: Wow. There`s plenty more where that came from, folks.
That`s next.



ANNOUNCER: Now, for today`s Herman Cain moment. Brought to you by

CAIN: Imagine there`s no pizza, I couldn`t if I tried


SHARPTON: That`s right, folks. Herman Cain is back. And hoping to
become the next king of all media. Now, we all know he had a unique
approach to TV during his presidential campaign. Remember this political
ad featuring his campaign manager?


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Together, we can do this. We can take this country

I am America, one voice united we stand. I am America.


SHARPTON: Herman Cain is now using that sensibility to create Cain
TV. He`s launching his own web-based TV network tomorrow. As you might
guess, Cain is pretty excited about his new endeavor. Here`s the trailer
for the network.


CAIN: Hello. I`m Herman Cain. They think we are stupid. Benjamin
Franklin once said that democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what
to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.
Let`s give a lamb a gun! I`m Herman Cain. We are not stupid.


SHARPTON: Give a lamb a gun. Some networks must have must-see TV.
Herman Cain has give a lamb a gun. I`m not sure what that actually means.
But I wish him all the best.


SHARPTON: As millions of Americans hit the road for the Independence
Day holiday, they will see some good news at the pump. Gas prices are
down. Way down. In fact, the average price of gas right now is $3.33
cents per gallon. Down 61 cents since April. In fact, gas prices have
been falling for 13 straight weeks. That`s the longest downward streak
since 2008.

And experts say, the price of gas should fall below $3 a gallon later
this year. Good news must be getting Republicans excited. They love
talking about gas prices in the spring. When prices will rise earlier this
year, Speaker Boehner told other Republicans, quote, "This debate is a
debate we want to have." And his buddies got the message.


ROMNEY: Well, there`s no question but when he ran for office, he
said, he wanted to see gasoline prices go up.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Let`s give the President credit for one domestic
policy that worked. He wanted higher gas prices and he got them.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: The administration policies are actually designed
on purpose to bring about higher gas prices.

is a direct result of Obama.


SHARPTON: So, if the right was blaming President Obama when the gas
prices were going up, surely they will give him credit now that the prices
are going down. Right? Right? That`s what I thought.

Joining me now is Jared Bernstein, MSNBC contributor and former chief
economist for Vice President Joe Biden. Thanks for being here tonight.


SHARPTON: Jared, tell me, did the GOP think he knows getting get lost
in the mail? I mean, why aren`t they thanking the President for gas prices
going down?

BERNSTEIN: Well, Reverend Al, welcome to what I call the APG
syndrome. The asymmetrical politics of gas. You get blamed on the way up,
you don`t get any credit on the way down. Now, interestingly you haven`t
heard the President going out and saying, I want credit for lower gas
prices because he was telling the truth when they were going up. Which is
that these prices are set in world markets. They are not set by him. They
are not set here. They are set in global markets. It is as global a
commodity as we have. But you are absolutely right. All those clips were
extremely revealing if you are going to attack the guy on the way up, and -
- if it was than for the APG syndrome, you should be giving them credit on
the way down.

SHARPTON: Well, Jared, you said that this is -- a lot of the pricing
is determined by the global markets. But the Republicans said when they
were attacking the President in March that all he had to do to bring the
prices down was open the keystone pipeline. Look at this.


ROMNEY: Somebody wants to get gasoline prices and energy prices down
now. Now, if that`s the case, open up our pipeline from Canada, the
keystone pipeline.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), OHIO: He claims that he wants to address
rising gas prices. But as policies are actually making matters worse. The
only recent action the President has taken on energy on both lobbying
senators personally and successfully, that`s to prevent construction of the
keystone pipeline.

SEN. JOHN THUNE (R), SOUTH DAKOTA: His blocking of the keystone
pipeline is hurting our gas prices in this country.


SHARPTON: Now, I checked right before I went on the show and as of
then, they had not started on the keystone pipeline and the prices are
down. What happened?

BERNSTEIN: Right. This is a great example -- I`m glad you are doing
this segment. Because it is a great example of the way politicians use
phony evidence to gin up all kinds of wrong thinking on this issue. I and
others were on these very airwaves during that debate saying, the keystone
pipeline has absolutely nothing to do with prices at the pump yesterday,
today or tomorrow. It is just too small of a factor to have any
difference. And yet, people see -- the most visible price in the economy
is the price of gas. People see the price of gas going up and they hear us
argue about the keystone pipeline. So, these guys are trying to connect
the two. It is completely erroneous. It is phony and you are absolutely
right. This is the right time to be playing those excerpts and showing the

SHARPTON: And by the way, the -- top five oil companies made record
profits in 2011. Bringing in $137 billion in profits all together and
setting a new all time record. But they still get to keep another $24
billion, thanks to tax loopholes.

BERNSTEIN: Well, they make a lot of money on the way up. And I`m
sure their profits are taking a ding on the way down. But believe me, they
will be fine. Look, the issue here in terms of more of the economy, the
macro economy, is this kind of works like a tax cut for people.


BERNSTEIN: And the kind of rule of thumb is every penny at the pump
translates into something around a billion dollars. So, you are talking
about really $60 billion -- some factor that`s working like a tax cut in
terms of providing more incoming consumers` wallets. And you know, it is
definitely a positive thing right now.

SHARPTON: Jared Bernstein, thanks for being here tonight. Enjoy the

BERNSTEIN: You, too.

SHARPTON: Up next, celebrating freedom where not everyone is free. I
will leave you with some things to think about on this Independence Day


SHARPTON: Tomorrow, we will celebrate the many freedoms and rights we
enjoy in this country. It will be a day for beaches, barbecues, and
fireworks. But tomorrow won`t be a day of freedom for an estimated 2.3
million Americans behind bars. And now that path to prison is getting even
wider. "The New York Times" reports more and more Americans are ending up
in jail because they can`t afford fees. The courts are charging for minor
offenses. These fees are designed to close budget gaps, but they are
falling on people who have no business being in jail.

People like Gina Ray who three years ago was fined $179 for speeding.
She missed her court date. Then saw her fees pile up to more than $1,500.
Since then, she`s been locked up three times for a total of 40 days and
still owes more than $3,000. That`s incredible. And it is a shocking
trend that`s becoming widespread. Two years ago, the Brennan Center for
Justice found that at least 15 states on imposing these so-called user fees
to balance their budgets, the center says the fees, quote, "Create new
paths to prison for those unable to pay their debts and make it harder to
find employment and housing as well as to meet child support obligations."

Some law students of Pennsylvania reaching -- reached out to people
victimized by these fees and made a documentary to highlight the problem.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Now, you owe us 81,000. Where am I going to get
$81,000 from? Why do I owe you $81,000?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Basically they were asking for blood from a stone.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I`m being sued actually for the rest of my life.
You might as well say 41,000 to the city.


SHARPTON: That`s a high price to pay after you have already paid your
debt to society. Since the beginning, when we talked about a nation of
justice and fairness for everyone, all men created equal has been a
struggle to make that for everyone and we still are on that journey.

Dr. King called it living up to the creed of the country and women and
African-Americans and the indigenous had to fight to become part of that
and we continue that fight. We will not arrive until we also stop schemes
like this. So, all people will have the same shot.

Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton. Have a safe and happy holiday.
"HARDBALL" starts right now.


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