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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, August 15, 2012

August 15, 2012

Guests: Erin McPike; Ana Marie Cox; Dana Milbank, Barney Frank, Sanaa Lathan

"Politics Nation." I`m Al Sharpton.

Tonight`s lead, 83 days until voters hit the polls and the president
is laying it all on the line.

In a passionate speech today, he made it crystal clear who`s really
fighting for America`s seniors. And he lashed out at Congressman Ryan`s
radical proposal to gut Medicare.

But folks, someone else suddenly seems unsure of the Ryan plan too.
Someone who wouldn`t think.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Doesn`t your budget also kind of play
very major savings on Medicare on something like this in amount?

raids $716 billion from Medicare.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: But you make savings. How much?

RYAN: The point -- I joined the Romney ticket.


SHARPTON: The Romney ticket? Huh? Someone suddenly isn`t so proud
of his bold plan that turns Medicare into voucher programs raising
eligibility age to 67 and forces seniors to pay $6400 more for health care.
Mr. Ryan only wants to talk about the Romney ticket? He`s flipping and
flopping on his own legislation? Well, that makes him the perfect running
mate for governor Romney.

On the day Ryan unveiled his budget, Mr. Romney couldn`t stop gushing.


excellent piece of work and very much need.


SHARPTON: Very much needed. Excellent piece of work. Let`s hear him
applaud it some more.


ROMNEY: This is a guy who`s willing to stand for something.
Congressman Ryan and I are in the same position with regards to making sure
we save Medicare. This is the proposal which congressman Paul Ryan has
adopted. It`s a proposal I believe is absolutely right on.


SHARPTON: Is right on. They`re in the same position until when
they`re not.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Some people are saying you are making it
a referendum on Paul Ryan`s budget plan.

ROMNEY: Well, I have my budget plan, as you know, that I`ve put out.
And that`s the budget plan that we`re going to run on.


SHARPTON: Your budget plan? What happened to right on Ryan? What
happened to having the same position as Ryan? Maybe Mr. Romney has
clarified since then.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Are there is any specific policies in
your budget that you disapprove on? (INAUDIBLE).

ROMNEY: There may be. We`ll take a look at the differences.


SHARPTON: OK. I got it straight. Mr. Romney`s going to look at the
differences. Well, surely he`s looked at them since Monday.


ROMNEY: There are some differences, but they`re very similar.


SHARPTON: You heard the governor, their budgets are different, but
very similar. That explains everything, folks. This is why governor
Romney and Paul Ryan are making up absurd claims that the president is
taking money away from seniors.

Let`s be clear. They`re wrong. President Obama has been fighting for
Medicare and our seniors since day one and he made that point today.


plan`s not very popular. You can tell that because they`re being pretty
dishonest about my plan.

Here`s what you need to know. I have strength in Medicare. I have
made reforms that have saved millions of seniors with Medicare hundreds of
dollars on their prescription drugs. I proposed reforms that will save
Medicare money by getting rid of wasteful spending in the system. Reforms
that will not touch your Medicare benefits, not by a dime.

Their plan ends Medicare as we know it. My plan reduces the costs of
Medicare by cracking down on fraud and waste and subsidies to insurance
companies. Their plan makes seniors pay more so they can give another tax
cuts to millionaires and billionaires. That`s the difference between our
plans on Medicare. That`s an example of the choice in this election and
that is why I`m running for a second term as president of the United States
of America.


SHARPTON: That`s the president`s plan. Pretty straightforward, huh?
Guess that`s easy when you`re proud of your policy.

Joining me now is Ana Marie Cox, Washington correspondent for "the
Guardian" and Jared Bernstein, an MSNBC contributor and former chief
economist for vice president Joe Biden.

First, thanks to both of you for coming on the show tonight.

JARED BERNSTEIN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Thank you for inviting me, Rev.


SHARPTON: Jared, let me start with you. Did Romney not read the Ryan
plan before he signed him on as his running mate?

BERNSTEIN: Not only did he read it, but he very much endorsed it as
you just saw.

Look. The first thing these two guys need to do is take a day off
campaigning, get in a room together, and figure out what the heck they`re
talking about. Because it`s not that they`re contradicting each other on a
minor detail. This is over $700 billion. That`s real money.

What the president said is precisely accurate on the policy which
matters the most. The affordable care act, the kind of efficiency savings
that generates in Medicare that he plows into helping to improve coverage
to pay for prescription drugs, to provide wellness visits free of charge
for seniors, that extends the life of the program by eight years.


BERNSTEIN: Now, if the Republicans, Ryan and Romney, want to take
that away, then it`s bye-bye to those eight years and it, very clearly,
weakens the Medicare trust fund. But they`re so all over the map with this
that it`s hard to figure out where they`re coming from today.

SHARPTON: Now, Ana Marie, congressman Ryan in a radio interview not
too long ago, really just a short time ago, he said the president is
vulnerable on Medicare. Take a listen.


RYAN: I am eager to have this debate. We`re going to have this
debate. And we`re going to win this debate. And the reason you`re hearing
these kinds of things is because the president knows he is so vulnerable on
this issue. It`s the president who took 716, the number is $716 billion
from the Medicare program to spend on Obama care. That`s cuts to current
seniors that will lead to less service for current seniors.


SHARPTON: Now, Ana Marie, he says the president is vulnerable, not
him. What do you say to that?

COX: Well, you know, maybe what we`re seeing here is a little bit of
the audacity of hope for the Republican ticket. I mean, it`s certainly an
audacious thing to do to accuse this president, a Democrat, of weakening
Medicare which has been such a strong, you know, plank for the Democrats
for so long.

And also, I have to say that we`re having this Medicare debate and I
think they`re happy to have that. You know, Ryan`s budget cut $800 billion
from Medicaid which would start taking effect right away and would affect
like something like six million seniors right away. And that`s just as
important in this idea that we`re having this debate that will somehow have
an impact down the line. I think distracts people from the real choice
that they`re looking at that will have an effect. You know, just in a few
years from now.

SHARPTON: Absolutely.

Now Jared, you`re the economist. Explain to me. The president`s $716
billion that was taken out was not taken out from the insured or from the
benefits, it was cut on fraud and cut on other waste. It was not taken
from the benefits.

What the Ryan plan does takes actually from the benefits and from the
people that would be serviced. So we`re talking apples and oranges.
Though they`re trying to say that the $716 billion was taken from the
actual benefits or the seniors to pay for Obama care which is blatantly
untrue, am I right?

BERNSTEIN: You are right. But the last point is absolutely -- what
we just heard Representative Ryan say is blatantly untrue and the president
made this point. That`s that the cuts, the $716 billion of savings in
Medicare, cuts in the Ryan budget, are used in very different ways. They
do not hurt beneficiaries at all. In fact, Medicare services improve under
the affordable care act in ways I just mentioned. Prescription drugs,
closing this thing called the doughnut hole insuring more people under both
Medicare and Medicaid and other factors I`ve mentioned so far.

Under the Ryan plan. So it`s really a matter of who you`re targeting
here. The delivery system or the beneficiaries. Under the Ryan plan by
turning Medicare into a voucher whose value rises slower than the cost of
purchasing Medicare coverage, now you`re shifting the risk on to Medicare

Now, the median income of Medicare beneficiaries in this country is
$25,000. And if you think those folks can easily reach into their pockets
and make up the difference between what that voucher is going to pay for
and what they need for Medicare, I think you`re wrong.

SHARPTON: So Ana Marie, if we`re taking the money from the
beneficiaries, if we`re impacting the beneficiaries under Ryan`s plan, yes
I see the audacity in him saying that the president`s plan which really
deals with waste and fraud, something I thought Republicans always want to
eliminate, is clearly not hurting the beneficiaries. Then when you look at
the fact that Mr. Ryan`s plan clearly guts Medicare. It turns it into a
voucher program, it raises the age to 67 to be eligible and it makes
seniors pay $6400 more. I mean, one can understand how they eve don`t want
to discuss this or have to start making bold distortions to even get a fair
or to get a hearing here where people would look at them like what they`re
saying was not totally irrational.

COX: Well, you know, sometimes it is easier to get people to believe
the big lie, you know, rather than a series of small lies. And this is
certainly a big, big lie. And as we`ve been discussing, the numbers don`t
lie about this. The numbers don`t lie, just Paul Ryan does.

And it`s also true that the president is right about where these
savings in Medicare go. They go to tax cuts for the rich. It`s not only
taking money from people who need it, it`s giving money to people who don`t
need it which is the essence of the Republican, you know, tax plan in
general. But this is a very specific example of it.

SHARPTON: And some seniors can`t even afford it, but, my time is up.

Thank you Ana Marie Cox and Jared Bernstein. Thank you very much.

BERNSTEIN: Thank you.

COX: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Ahead, Paul Ryan on the ticket is sending shock waves
through the Republican party. Everyone is forced to run with him. And you
won`t believe what Speaker Boehner is saying to reassure his team.

Plus, more secrets from the Republican ticket. They won`t explain how
their policies add up. So I guess we shouldn`t be surprised to hear this


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The more we release, the more we get attacked.
The more we get questioned, the more we get pushed. And so, we have done
what`s legally required and there`s going to be no more tax releases.


SHARPTON: And Mr. Romney says President Obama is running a campaign
of division and hate. He has it all wrong.

You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.


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

Today, the debate over Medicare was a popular topic.

Tiara reminds us that Romney once called Romney`s Medicare-destroying
budget marvelous.

This photo of the president and first lady sharing a kiss on the trail
was a hit too.

Carol says they complement each other so well. You can see the love
on their faces.

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.


SHARPTON: We`re back on "Politics Nation" with Paul Ryan`s selection
sending shock waves through the rest of the Republican party. Republicans
are terrified that if the Ryan`s plan Medicare cuts become the issue of
this campaign, insiders are actually telling politico that every house
candidate now is racing to get ahead of this issue. And Republicans are
very concerned. Ryan as VP could cost party House and Senate seats.

Now, Speaker Boehner is trying to rally his caucus and shake their
nerves. NBC news Kelly O`Donnell reporting Speaker Boehner tried to
reassure the Republican caucus on a conference call with members last night
telling the GOP Congress quote, "Paul Ryan gives us the ability to go on
the offensive in the battle over Medicare." Republicans go on the
offensive in the battle over Medicare? Good luck with that plan, Mr.

Joining me now is Dana Milbank, columnist for "the Washington Post"
and Erin McPike, passionate reporter for "Real Clear Politics."

First of all, thanks for joining me tonight, both of you.



SHARPTON: Tonight, let me ask you, Dana, seriously no jokes aside.
Boehner trying to rally the troops by saying he wants to go on the
offensive. Is this even believable?

MILBANK: Well, many Americans do find the Republican position to be
offensive, so it`s not surprising from what point of view. You know, the
truth is Republican house members and senators running for re-election were
going to be charged with the Ryan plan anyway, particularly in the house.
They didn`t just vote for this thing once, they did it over and over in
this obsessive-compulsive tick.

So, it was already there. But now, it is so fun and center, it is
official. It is the Republican ticket. So, you know, look, for the vast
majority of Republican like Democrats, they are districts. It`s not going
to matter. But where the battle is and those, you know, 50 or so seats
seat that are really in play, this makes their challenge that much more
difficult to hold on to control of the house.

SHARPTON: Dana`s right. When you look at the vote on Republicans on
the Ryan plan, 228 voted yes. Only ten voted no. And three didn`t vote at
all. So you have at least 228 Republicans that are not only attached to
the plan, they voted for it.

MCPIKE: Sure. That just tells you that they believe in it. And so,
I would say that they`re not terrified of this. I would say that they
might be jittery about it. And so of course, Speaker Boehner is going to
talk to his caucus and tell them what they should be saying about it.

I mean, the other thing to point out is this. Mitt Romney has been
distancing himself from the Ryan plan. One of the first things on his Web
site says a frequently asked question about Medicare is how is this
different from the Ryan plan. And he explains that Paul Ryan instead
introduced something with Senator Ron Wyden that`s a bipartisan plan. And
that what is he says closely mirrors his own plan. So, there is some
distancing from this, but it is what Republicans on the hill believe in.
And they do want to push something along these lines too.

SHARPTON: But how do they campaign in districts where you have
seniors that are now looking at the plan, $6400 in additional money,
raising the age of eligibility, and dealing with the fact that in many
ways, this plan will gut out Medicare as we know it? How do you campaign
on that, Erin, in a district like in many of these areas that have a large
senior population.

MCPIKE: The biggest thing that we see coming from the Romney campaign
right now is they are saying his plan would not change Medicare for anyone
who is a senior citizen now. It would only change it for people under 55
because Medicare is not solvent after a certain year as it is anyway. And
it will change. It will not be the same as we know it today. And that is
the case that they`re making.

I wrote about this just yesterday and I heard from a number of senior
citizens in Florida who said we`re not stupid. We know that it won`t
change for those of us who are already over 65 and are in the plan now. So
you know, that`s the point they`re making. Whether it`s true or not, we
have to wait and see what the plans are going to be like when they go under
this investigation from some nonpartisan analysts.

SHARPTON: But, Dana, we`re told that is going to change in ten years.
And I had people tell me in Ohio, yes, what does that mean? Do I not got
to be around in ten years? I mean, what is that really mean?

MILBANK: Well, of course, it`s going to change for people currently
on the program. I mean, yes, Paul Ryan says for those 55 and younger.
Well, guess what, they`re also going to repeal Obama care which puts a
whole lot more into the Medicare program. That will be gone.

Ryan also decimates the Medicaid program which benefits anybody in a
nursing home and all these other things. And on the other hand, Romney
says I`m embracing the Ryan plan but at the same time, I want to spend
another $5 trillion on defense over the next ten years. Where`s that going
to come out of? Presumably some have to come out of entitlements like
Social Security and Medicare. It doesn`t all add up if you`re going to
exempt any over 55?

SHARPTON: Then you also have an unnamed GOP strategist Tolah Hill
that putting Ryan under jeopardizes his control of the house. Let me read
you the quote. "There are a lot of races that are close to the line we`re
not going to win now. It could put the Senate out of reach. In the house
it puts a bunch of races in play that would have otherwise been safe. It
remains to be seen how much damage this causes, but my first blush is this
is not good."

Erin, some of the Republicans at least are saying they are concerned.
You say maybe not terrified, let`s say they are concerned. Maybe very

MCPIKE: There`s no question that there is a lot of concern throughout
a big chunk of the Republican party. I`ve talked to a number of
strategists who said much the same thing. But one caveat to this is they
want to see how the Romney/Ryan ticket and that campaign over the next
couple weeks talks about this.

So far they`ve been a little bit slow to respond just saying well,
look, the president took $700 billion out of Medicare. But they haven`t
gone -- they haven`t done a lot to talk about their own plan yet. So we`ll
see how they do that over the next two weeks and how they make it crystal
clear at the convention, that I think is the key here how they talk about
it over the next few weeks.

SHARPTON: Well, if we are going to see how they do based on what
they`ve done in the last several days that they`ve been together, Dana, I
won`t be looking for a lot of fiery orator.

MILBANK: No. It`s a very delicate exercise. I think the main
strategy now is to say well, we were going to be with this anyway. Better
to have Paul Ryan out for this because he is an articulate spokesman for
this. But he is an articulate spokesman for somebody who is, let`s face
it, is going to end the Medicare program. That`s not a political spin.
That`s a fact. He`ll replace it with something else but he is getting rid
of the Medicare.

SHARPTON: And he`s very articulate about it. I understand him

Dana Milbank and Erin McPike, Thank you for your time tonight.

MILBANK: Thanks, Reverend.

MCPIKE: Thank you.

SHARPTON: Coming up, this dynamic duo swears voters will love their
policy. They just won`t tell anyone what those policies are. Congressman
Barney Frank is on that ahead.

Plus, major news out of Ohio and Pennsylvania on the coordinated
effort to suppress the vote. That`s next.


SHARPTON: We`re back with a major announcement on voting in the
battleground state of Ohio. Moments ago Republican secretary of state John
Husted announced all Ohio counties will have uniform hours for early
voting. Husted had been under fire for helping Democratic leaning counties
restrict early voting hours while Republican leaning counties were
expanding their hours.

His new decision sets restrictive hours across the board. Meaning
some counties that had expanded hours will now be limited. But this means
all Ohioans are on a level playing field, neither decision could have been
better, but at least it`s fair. The pressure and attention is working.

And that brings me to Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania, that`s where the
pressure needs to be ramped up. In a shocking decision today, commonwealth
court judge Robert Simpson, a republican, refused to block the new strict
voter ID law that passed this year. According to his ruling, quote, "The
photo ID requirement is a reasonable, non-discriminatory, non-severe
burden. And it imposes only a limited burden on voters."

Limited burden? Reasonable? Non-discriminatory? This is a slap in
the face of democracy. And a clear upholding of voter suppression. This
law could keep as many as one to 1.5 million voters from casting their
ballot this fall. Ninety-three-year-old voter Viviette Applewhite who
marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the lead play in this case,
here`s what she said on this show back in May.


don`t want Obama in there, so I think they`re trying to do something to
keep the black people from having the right to vote.


SHARPTON: Now, this shocking clip of a top republican lawmaker in
Pennsylvania was even heard by the court.


going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.


SHARPTON: Judge Simpson responded to that by saying, quote, "It is
disturbing," but went on to say he didn`t have proof that quote, "Other
members of the general assembly shared the boastful views of Representative
Turzai." We know what this is really about. Opponents are planning to
appeal to the state`s Supreme Court this week. We must keep the pressure
on. We must ramp up. We must fight back.


SHARPTON: Folks, as of today the right wing admitted that Paul Ryan
is serious. That he`s willing to face tough budget realities is over.

Instead, he`s living in a land of make believe. He`s flat out
refusing to explain how in the world the numbers in his tax plan add up.


plan that`s specific about which loopholes to close?

PAUL RYAN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That is something we should do
in the light of day through Congress.


SHARPTON: In the light of day through Congress? So, don`t worry
about details, America. We`ll fill you in after the election. I wonder
where he could have picked this up.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I haven`t laid out all the
details of how we`re going to deal with each one of the deductions and
exemptions. So, I think it`s kind of interesting for the groups to try and
score it. Because frankly, it can`t be scored. Because those kinds of
details are going to have to be work out with Congress. And we have a wide
array of options.


SHARPTON: A wide array of options. That`s the plan? Today Romney
doubled down telling Fortune Magazine his tax plan will be worked out.
Eventually. Some day. After he`s in office. Look, the Romney/Ryan tax
plan is at the heart of this selection. The tax policy center found the
plan would actually raise taxes on the middle class by $2,000 while giving
a tax break of $87,000 to millionaires. Ryan and Romney say that`s not
true. And yet they refuse to explain why it`s not true. They`re trying to
play a magic trick. Let`s not get fooled.

Joining me now is Congressman Barney Frank, democrat from
Massachusetts. He`s also the top democrat on the House Financial Services

Mr. Chairman, first, thanks for joining me this evening. Now,
Congressman -- I`m not -- let me get your mic straight. All right. I
think that as we`re getting the mic straight of Congressman Frank who
certainly lives up to his name of being Frank and can help to explain to me
one of the things that I was looking at in my notes is that Mr. Ryan more
than anything else what is bothering me today, is Ryan refuses even in an
interview that is friendly to lay out what hiss policies are.

Congressman Frank, you`ve worked with him. You know him. Why is he
ducking on policy questions?

REP. BARNEY FRANK (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Because he is a combination of
a very extreme right wing ideologue, a --s one and a pretty good
politician. So, we understand that what he wants to do is very unpopular
with the American people. And some of it has some popularity. So, what
you get from them is, yes, if you`re very wealthy, we`re going to cut your
taxes substantially. We`re going to reduce the top rate, we`re going to
reduce the capital gains rate.

And he then says, we`ll make it up somewhere else. They won`t tell
you how as you`ve noted, because the somewhere else will come from some
people. So they`ll tell you what they`re going to cut. They won`t tell
you where they`re going to have to increase. And it`s clear as the people
you`ve quoted, as you`ve pointed out, that`s going to come from people who
are less wealthy. So, what you have is a very conservative man, I believe
an economic extremist, who understands politics and understands that what
he would like to do isn`t popular.

They will talk about some things that will make some people happy.
And let me throw in one other thing, oh it`s relevant to him, when we
figure out what he`s going to do to clean water, to police on the streets,
to housing for the elderly. To any other kind of program we want to
improve the quality of life here. This is a man who wants to reduce taxes
on the whole and reduce the deficit and increase military spending. The
Ryan budget brags in his writing that he plans to give an increase to the
military in real terms.


FRANK: That is above inflation. So we`re out of Iraq. We want to
get out of Afghanistan, he`s resisted. And two weeks ago, and this is
relevant, I teamed up with a Tea Party guy (INAUDIBLE) from South Carolina
to begin to bring down the military budget. It`s too high, the Soviet
Union has collapsed. And we asked for a fairly small cut, a very small
cut, a billion dollars out of the 500-something billion. And we won. And
89 Republicans voted with us including this guy from the Tea Party. Paul
Ryan voted no. Paul Ryan voted against any --


SHARPTON: You had a Tea Party guy with you on this, voting with you
for this small cut, and Paul Ryan voted even though you were partnering
with a Tea Party guy on this?

FRANK: He voted no. I`m afraid I might have given the poor Tea Party
guy a bad reputation and some -- we had an amendment to often to try and
speed up getting out of Afghanistan who Ryan voted against it. We had
amendment that said, the President could not cut nuclear weapons. Ryan
voted for that. I mean, this is a man who wants to increase military
spending which is already too high even as we pull back from the wars. And
by the way, he voted for both wars. He has always voted for increased
military spending. So, it`s a three legged stool but all the pressure does
on one leg.

He wants to reduce taxes on the whole. He wants to increase military
spending and cut the deficit. That means everything we do to improve the
quality of life here at home, build highways, build public transportation,
clean up the water, have the FBI out there helping us, it all has to get
slashed deeply.

SHARPTON: Yes. Well, you know, the right wing calls Ryan a deficit
hawk. But look at his record. He voted for the Bush tax cuts adding $1.7
trillion to the deficit. Voted to extend the cuts adding another $620
billion. Voted for TARP, 224 billion. Authorized military force in Iraq,
$853 billion. Medicare part D another $180 billion. All together, more
than $5 trillion added to the deficit. This is a hawk, Congressman?

FRANK: No, but I will note the TARP did not cost us $224 billion. It
cost us in the tens of billions to save the automobile industry and he now
says he was not in favor of that. He was in favor of voting the money to
go in the financial institutions but not to the automobile industry.
Especially when you look at the overall impact, no. What it is, is this.
These are right wingers who have this philosophy going back to Ayn Rand
that says, we should not come together to do things to the come and good.

That individualism is the answer and that everybody should be on his
or her own. So feeding poor children, cleaning up the atmosphere, putting
out fires in all the cities, those are things in which they would deny
funding. Now, they are really using the deficit frankly as an excuse to
perpetuate an ideological agenda. Because if you genuinely for just
reducing the deficit, you don`t cut taxes for people making huge amounts of

And by the way, what we`re talking about? We`re talking about raising
taxes from 36 percent to 39 percent on people making over $1 million. That
means every $100,000 you make over a million, you`d pay a few hundred
dollars extra in taxes. It`s $3,600. It`s nothing. These wealthy people,
if we raise taxes at that level, wouldn`t know it unless the accountant
called them and told them. So, they`re not for reducing the deficit,
they`re for diminishing everything we`ve tried to do since Franklin
Roosevelt to come together and say, you know, what? We`re a rich country.

We want the private sector to produce good services. But we have to
live together in this common space. We want to worry about people who
aren`t going to make it on their own quickly children -- older people. And
we`ll take some of our resources and work together. And there again is
that ideological. He said, he`s a big Ayn Rand follower (INAUDIBLE)
religious views. And what he`s then saying is, how do we get people to
reduce Medicare and Social Security which are popular programs? We don`t
say we`re going to it to reduce them for philosophical reasons. We say we
got to get rid of the deficit. But as you point out, that`s inconsistent
for what they do to raise the deficit.

SHARPTON: We`ve got to have you back more to talk about this.
Chairman Barney Frank, thanks as always. Very enlightening.

FRANK: Thank you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, star power. Why adding Paul Ryan to the
republican ticket is firing up President Obama`s Hollywood supporters?

Actress Sanaa Lathan joins us on that ahead.


SHARPTON: Mr. Romney says, President Obama`s running a campaign of
division and hate. But he has this one all wrong. That story is ahead.


SHARPTON: Welcome back. Now that Governor Romney`s got his running
mate, the money race to November is on. And we know the GOP has big money.
Romney`s always had the billionaire boys club on his side. From casino
mogul Sheldon Adelson to billionaire Koch Brothers to his former partners
at Bain Capital. But the President`s got a not so secret weapon of his
own. Hollywood. This year, celebrity fundraisers includes actor
entertainer Tyler Perry. Who hosted an event for the President in his
Atlanta home.

George Clooney who hosted a $15 million star studded Obama fund
raiser. And movie mogul Harvey Weinstein who joined Vogue Magazine`s
editor in a fundraiser this month.

Meantime, the Hollywood reporter says, "Loyal Obama back is a hoping
concern over Paul Ryan`s radical agenda will move even more celebrity
supporters to get active."

Well, joining me now is actress Sanaa Lathan. She this week joins the
cast of the political drama "boss" which stars Kelsey Grammer as the
ruthless, corrupt mayor of Chicago, 2008, she Lathan supported President
Obama and served as one of his celebrity surrogates. Thank you for being

SANAA LATHAN, ACTRESS: I`m excited to be here with you.

SHARPTON: I`m a big fan of yours.

LATHAN: I`m a big fan of yours.

SHARPTON: Oh, thank you so much for saying that. Helps me with my
daughters. I want to talk to you about "Boss" in a moment. But let me
start by talking about you in politics. You were a big supporter of the
President in 2008.

LATHAN: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: Are you still a supporter?

LATHAN: Absolutely, yes. In 2008, I went to Vegas, I went to Ohio.
I talked to students in colleges. I went to barbershops, to churches. I
got people registered. I was really surprised about how many people
supported the President and actually weren`t registered. They were like
yes, I`m going to vote. And yet, I was like, well, you got to register
first. So, it was great to be able to educate people. This year, I`ve
been so busy. I`m about to start production on a play. So, I wasn`t able
to travel. So, I`m just kind of doing my work from, you know, L.A.

SHARPTON: Now, in 2008 there was a lot of enthusiasm.


SHARPTON: Are you feeling that now or has it changed?

LATHAN: Yes, I mean, I think, you know, it`s human nature. It`s no
longer a new thing. I mean, people are a little bit, you know, they`re
suffering because of the economy. And I mean, he`s human. I think he`s
done so much for America, for health care, for women. For, you know, I
mean, there`s a long list. If people do their research, they`ll realize
how much Obama has done for this country. And I think it`s going to take
time to get us back into good economic shape. And I think people have to
be patient.

SHARPTON: Now, when you see ads, Americans for prosperity has an ad
out. Let me show it to you and tell me how you respond to this when you
hear people say things like we hear on this ad.


RICHARD: In 2008 I voted for President Obama with no reluctance.

ROBIN: He presented himself as something different.

MARIA: I had hoped that the new president would bring new jobs. I
think he`s a great person. I don`t feel he is the right leader for our
country though.

ROBIN: I still believe in hope and change. I just don`t think Obama
is the way to go for that.

MARIA: The president has not earned re-election.


SHARPTON: Now, you`ve kept your support --


LATHAN: That music was very melodramatic, huh?


Those ads are a trip. What do I say to that? I think that, you know,
in this day and age, it`s like, it`s going to cut throat, obviously, how
people are campaigning. And, you know, I mean, they`ll do whatever they
can. I just -- I think it`s just unrealistic to think that we`re going to
just become brand spanking new and shiny again in four years.


LATHAN: It takes time. And so, I think people just have to really be
real about that.

SHARPTON: Let`s talk about "The Boss."


SHARPTON: Kelsey Grammer is not your lovable, kind of warm guy. We
remember he`s ruthless in part because he`s secretly coping with a fatal
illness, I believe.

LATHAN: Yes. This is mayor, he plays Mayor Cain, a Chicago mayor.
It`s a fictional mayor of Chicago. And the mayor is dealing with a
debilitating illness and he`s trying to maintain his power by any means

SHARPTON: And you are new in this season.


SHARPTON: You`re going to go to work for him.


SHARPTON: Take a look. I`m going to show a clip.


LATHAN: If we lose the majority, Cain votes in a tie breaker and
wins. That can`t happen.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You stay where you are imaging change. Or decamp
and make it happen.

LATHAN: How do I know this isn`t you taking home a trophy on top of
winning the vote?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Only one way to find out. Offer expires as soon
as I walk out the door.


SHARPTON: That`s Mona. And you play Mona.


SHARPTON: Does Mona have any idea what she`s getting into?

LATHAN: I think, you know, Mona is she`s kind of the moral center of
this season. Everybody is kind of corrupt in this world of "Boss." And I
think she has hope. And she goes to work for the mayor because she`s an
advocate for her community. She`s very smart, she`s very politically
savvy. And she really thinks that the mayor is going to help her with the
community. And you have to tune in to see if that really happens.

SHARPTON: We`ll be watching. The second season of "Boss" on Friday
night on Starz Cable Channel. And you, I`ll be watching. I`m a big fan of
hers. Good luck to you.

LATHAN: Oh, thank you.

SHARPTON: Thank you for being here tonight. I really mean it.

LATHAN: My pleasure.

SHARPTON: Coming up, a comment Vice President Biden made has Governor
Romney saying, the President is driven by hate. He couldn`t be more wrong.
That`s next.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, I want to talk about a comment Vice
President Biden made that`s getting a lot of attention. Initially, I
didn`t want to bring it up, but the right wing won`t let it go. Take a


VICE PRES. JOE BIDEN (R), UNITED STATES: Romney wants to let the --
he said in the first hundred days he`s going to let the big banks once
again write their own rules. Unchain Wall Street. They`re going to put
you all back in chains.


SHARPTON: Now, the saying misspoke is a good argument. But here`s
what the Romney team has been saying instead for the last two days.


ROMNEY: This is what an angry and desperate presidency looks like.
Mr. President, take your campaign of division and anger and hate back to

The comments of the Vice President as I heard them, I thought were one
more example of a divisive effort to keep from talking about the real


SHARPTON: Hate? Division? Anger? What? As I said, the Vice
President could have used different or better language, but it was a
mistake. But where is the hate in that comment? He wasn`t talking about
blacks, he was talking about Wall Street, regulation, middle class. The
middle class was never in chains. But while we`re on it, let`s talk about
the hate in this campaign. Mr. Romney`s surrogates have been out there
saying things like this for months.


DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR: This one line called place of birth. I`d
like to see what it said. Perhaps it`s going to say Hawaii. Perhaps it`s
going to say Kenya.

REINCE PRIEBUS, RNC CHAIRMAN: If they want to punch us, we`re going
to punch back with brass knuckles.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: If any person in this entire debate has blood on
their hands in regard to Medicare, it`s Barack Obama.

FMR. GOV. JOHN SUNUNU (R), NEW HAMPSHIRE: I wish this president would
learn how to be an American.


SHARPTON: What do we hear from the Romney team on these statements?
Silence. But we also didn`t hear anything from the President. Because he
doesn`t complain. He knows politics is a tough game.


ROMNEY: This is after all politics. There`s no whining in politics.


SHARPTON: So Mr. Romney, when the Vice President talks about
unchaining Wall Street and then makes another statement you make that hate.
You really don`t want to talk about hate in this campaign when we`ve heard
the President referred to as a food stamp president. When you left the
NAACP and told people that night, they have to know they`re not going to
get free stuff.

Don`t bring up hate, Mr. Romney. Not unless you want to talk about
hate throughout the campaign. Not unless you really want to ask for a real
discussion on what`s over the line. Be careful, Mr. Romney, what you ask

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


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