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PoliticsNation, Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

October 2, 2012

Guests: Wes Moore; Tad Devine; Chaka Fattah, Ed Rendell, Alicia Menendez, Mudcat Saunders

REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Thanks, Chris, and thanks to you
for tuning in.

Tonight`s lead, a victory for voting rights, and a huge rejection of
the right wings dirty politics. Since 2010 Republicans have been passing
law after law after law to limit your right to vote. Voter I.D., voter
forges, voter registration, early voting. The Republicans want less people
voting in our democracy, not more. They`re trying to roll back the clock
on more than our century`s worth of progress in civil rights.

But now, the tide is turning. Inch by inch, state by state, we`ve
been reclaiming our rights and turning back the wave of voter suppression.
We saw it when the justice department stepped in to block the laws in
Texas, South Carolina and Florida. We saw it when governors in six state
all but one was Democrats, vetoed voter I.D. laws. They were champions of
democracy to do so. And we saw it when state and federal courts rejected
laws in eight states, including today`s major ruling in Pennsylvania.

This morning, a judge blocked Pennsylvania`s controversial voter I.D.
from going into effect before the November election, after it was revealed
that hundreds of thousands of voters face the real pocket that they would
not be allowed to vote. But now this unjust law will not be in effect on
Election Day in this critical swing state. It`s a stunning rebuke to
Republicans and their shameless attempt to rig the system. Just remember
one of those state top GOP lawmakers slipped up and said what these laws
are all about.


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


SHARPTON: Sorry. It`s not done. Not anymore. Not on our watch.
Not when we have our say. But folks, the fight is far from over. Under
this ruling, the law`s merely been delayed. Not dismantled. And across
the country, Republicans are fighting to keep their laws on the books. And
they`re dreaming up new ways to cheat the system. We`ve told you about the
voter fraud scandal surrounding GOP operative Nathan Sproul.

Now, the investigation is taking the federal level with Congressman
Elijah Cummings demanding answers about stimulus signatures, phony
addresses, and even dead people registered as Republican voters. I will
talk to Congressman Cummings about that in a few minutes.

Meantime, millions of Americans are already voting. Today in Ohio,
polling stations were busy with the state`s first day of early voting.
People actually slept overnight in tents so they could be the first in line
to vote. And today the first lady was in Ohio, urging people to get out to
the polls.


already Election Day. Already Election Day. Early voting starts today,
today! I know that after this event, we`ve got a big group that`s going to
walk over to the board of elections and cast their ballot for Barack Obama.


SHARPTON: The right to a voter I.D. fundamental part of our
democracy. Heroes have fought for it, heroes have died for it and we won`t
let anyone take it away.

Joining me now is Congressman Chaka Fattah, Democrat from
Pennsylvania`s second district, centered in Pennsylvania. His district
would have been heavily impacted by this voter I.D. law.

Congressman, thanks for joining me tonight.

REP. CHAKA FATTAH (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Well, it`s a great day. It`s a
day where we can -- we can bring the good news to the people.

SHARPTON: No, it is. And you and I have talked about this almost a
year. Many people have fought in the courts and many of us marching in the
streets. But today, was good because in your district at least this
election, they will not face this impediment.

FATTAH: Well, and more than that, because, you know, we`re focused on
this election and we`re less than 1,000 hours away from Election Day on
November 6th. I know people are voting in early voting around the country,
they are today. But we have to remember this beyond this election season.
We have to continue to fight these impediments.

You know, when this country`s constitution was written right here in
Philadelphia, you know, there were some challenges then that had to be
overcome so that African-Americans could get the right to vote, so that
women could get the right to vote, so that young people, we changed the age
from 21 to 18. This has always been a struggle. And so, we are a new
struggle and we can`t ever forget the fact that this party, the Republican
Party, the party of Lincoln, walked away from its principles and tried to
actually deny people the right to vote.

And I hope not only does chairman Cummings take up this cause and look
at this issue on the House side.


FATTAH: I hope that the United States senate holds hearings and does
an investigation, on how this attempt across the country could be allowed
to go forward in such a blatant way to try to really stand in the way of
tens much of millions of people --

SHARPTON: I think that clearly, and I`m getting ready to talk to
Congressman Cummings, but I think clearly, there are many of us that have
been fighting and bringing this up. I remember it was lonely in the early
days. But that`s why today`s victory, as temporary as it is because it
only impacts now. We still have the long run, it`s important because it
gives a court confirming the language that counters the opponents. Let me
show you your own governor, Tom Corbett, defending the voter I.D. law back
in March when many of us were picking up momentum on this issue. Watch


GOV. TOM CORBETT (R), PENNSYLVANIA: Contrary to some claims, this
bill does not interfere with anyone`s legal right to vote. It prevents
people from cheating in our elections. This is a law of prevention. It is
to prevent voter fraud.


SHARPTON: So, when the courts came back today, it absolutely goes on
the other side of that because they couldn`t establish how they were going
to make this fair for everyone and people could get their I.D. in time to
vote in November.

FATTAH: Well, Al Sharpton, you know that when people are making these
allegations, a lot of times they`re guilty themselves, and that is when we
see voter fraud, we see it play out now. It`s a Republican operation that
is being investigated and brought before the bar of justice for this
activity in Florida and some other states that you just got finished
talking about in your opening.

If we want to seek out voter fraud, it should be fraudulent for them
to create these kinds of laws to try to stop people from exercising their
right. Courts have struck them down. We`ve had great victories in
Colorado, in Iowa, in Texas, in Florida --

SHARPTON: Well, let`s keep going. We have to keep building.

Thank you, Congressman Chaka Fattah. This is a big victory for voting
in your state. Thanks for your time being here tonight. And let me
quickly say to credits. We are not against I.D. We are against changing
I.D. People will use I.D. to vote but use the same I.D. they always did.
It`s the new change that was imposed that we`re fighting. We are not
against I.D.

Now, I want to bring in Congressman Elijah Cummings, ranking Democrat
on the House oversight committee. He wrote the letter demanding answers
into this Republican voting fraud scandal surrounding the GOP consultant,
Nathan Sproul.

Congressman, thanks for joining me.

REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D), MARYLAND: It is good to be with you,

SHARPTON: Now, what are you trying to find out about these
allegations of voter registration fraud?

CUMMINGS: Well, first of all, I believe that voting is a fundamental
right we have to protect. And it`s not a privilege for a selected few.
And anybody who does anything against that right is absolutely committing a
criminal and unpatriotic act and one that I find highly offensive.

So, what we`re trying to do, Reverend, is get to the bottom of why the
national Republican party hired this man, who they know has had a history
of cheating with regard to voter registration.

SHARPTON: Now, let me stop right there because I want people around
the country to understand. The Republican national committee hired this
man, who had been given allegations before of cheating.

CUMMINGS: That`s right, that`s right.

SHARPTON: And, in fact, he was told, according to him, he was told to
start a new group, which he started this summer in June, and he was given a
$3 million contract, a brand new group which clearly looks strange, if he
claims he was told by them to do it so it wouldn`t look like him. So, he -
- it wouldn`t look like him and he would do this in swing states, $3
million he was given to do the swing states. They`re saying they didn`t
tell him, but isn`t it strange, congressman, to give a multimillion dollar
contract, to a brand new group if you didn`t know who was involved?

CUMMINGS: And that`s exactly right, Reverend. And the interesting
thing is he was the exclusive group. They didn`t go to anybody else. They
went to somebody who had been known in the past to throw away democratic
applications for registration, had known to have been submitting fraudulent
documents with regard to registration.

And the thing we are most concerned about here is we believe that he
is probably -- he probably -- some of his people actually registered
Democrats, Reverend Al, and then probably threw their applications away.
And at the same time, continued to submit all of these fraudulent documents
with regard to registration. No elected official, no person has the right
to manipulate the system to the benefit of one party. That`s basically
what the Republicans are doing here.

SHARPTON: Now, the accusations against strategic allied consulting,
which is the firm he formed, to do these jobs and do this work, necessity
are allegations like registered dead people as GOP voters, registrations
contain phony addresses, similar looking signatures on the forms. And as
you just said that there was a suspicion they weren`t only interested in
Republicans that would vote for Romney. I played the tape last night that
someone recorded a young lady that actually said, we`re working for Romney
and do you want to register as a Republican?

CUMMINGS: So, what we`ve asked Mr. Sproul to do is we want him to
appear in Washington on October 12th. And we want to see all the documents
that the RNC have signed and the contract he has with the RNC with regard
to all these states.

Now, we believe that he has been operating in at least ten states,
Reverend. And this is some -- these are very, very serious allegations
that carry some very serious criminal penalties. But, we want him to know
that we want to get to the bottom of this. We are going to bring him to
justice because nobody has the right; nobody has the right to deny folk the
right to vote.

SHARPTON: Well, I`m sure that many of your colleagues that are
Republicans that were screaming when allegations were made against
A.C.O.R.N. will be waiting to join you very vocally and vociferously on
October 12th.

CUMMINGS: Well, we certainly got to be calling on them to sit in the
room and grill Mr. Sproul along with us.

SHARPTON: Congressman Elijah Cummings thanks for your time this

CUMMINGS: Thank you, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Governor Romney is being haunted, no, not by a
ghost, by the ghost of the 47 percent comments past. The issue is just not
going away.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: They look to Mitt Romney`s videotape, that
47 percent comment, and point to that and say, you guys lose this campaign,
it`s because of that event. How damaging was that?

was an inarticulate way of making a point we`ve been making in this


SHARPTON: And now Paul Ryan has his own secret tape about the 30
percent who want welfare. That explosive tape is coming up.

Plus, Eric Cantor and the tea party strutted into Washington with two
years ago pushing radical ideas. Now they`re hiding from their far right
agenda. Too bad we won`t let them.

And this race has been the0 tale of two mitts, but only can show up
for tomorrow night`s debate.

You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mitt Romney has been preparing for the debate by
debating a Republican senator, who`s playing the part of President Obama.
Yes. Meanwhile, President Obama has been preparing for Romney by debating
an ATM machine.




SHARPTON: Have you checked us out on facebook? The "Politics Nation"
nation conversation is going around the clock. Today our facebook family
cheered the voter I.D. decision in Pennsylvania.

Anthony says, it`s the best political news he`s heard this season.

And Patricia says, I live in Pennsylvania and this November I`m voting
against anyone in the state that voted for the I.D. law.

This photo of Romney`s getting lunch at Chipotle in Colorado was the
other big hit of the day.

Heidi says, Romney definitely looks out of his element.

And Janet says, the one percent with the 47 percent.

We want to hear your photo caption, 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: One of the big questions going into tomorrow night`s
presidential debate is, which Republican candidate will show up? Will it
be Romney, the conservative, or Mitt the moderate? On just about every
issue we`ve seen both of them. When he`s rallying the base, Romney throws
out red meat for the right. But when he`s interviewed by the mainstream
press, he tries to give his kinder, gentler side.

Last night Romney told the "Denver Post" he would honor President
Obama`s work permit program for children of illegal immigrants. That
contradicts the extreme position he took during the GOP debates.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: If you don`t deport them, how do you send
them home?

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, the answer is self-
deportation, which is, people decide they can do better going home, because
they can`t find work here because they don`t have documentation to allow
them to work here.


SHARPTON: When he`s talking to the base, Romney is clear about what
he would do to the president`s health care law.


ROMNEY: If I`m president, I will repeal Obama care. I will repeal
Obama care. We`re going to get rid of Obama care.


SHARPTON: But just listen to what he told NBC News about his own
health care record.


ROMNEY: Don`t forget, I got everybody in my state insured. A 10 0
percent of the kids in my state have health insurance. I don`t think
anything shows more empathy and care for the people of this country than
that kind of record.


SHARPTON: Mr. Empathy. But, don`t be fooled. Far right Republicans
like the red meat Romney. They want the red meat Romney. And this is the
kind of stuff they`ll demand from him if he ever gets elected president.


ROMNEY: This is the home of focus on the family, which is --
committed to preserving the foundation of America. He put money in a whole
mess of companies, about $90 billion into green energy companies like
Solyndra. We have seen the number of people on food stamps go from 32
million to 47 million. Fifteen million more people having fallen into
poverty and needing food stamps. By the way, I`m going to get that
pipeline from Canada if I have to build it myself.


SHARPTON: Only one Romney can show up on that stage tomorrow night.
And I bet President Obama will make Mr. Romney choose which one.

Joining me now is democratic strategist Tadd Devine, senior adviser
for Kerry and Gore campaigns and retired captain Wes Moore. He`s the
author of the book "the other Wes Moore."

Thank you for being here.


SHARPTON: Tad, let me start with you. For the debate, isn`t Romney
caught between what his base expects and what independents want to hear?

TAD DEVINE, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: Absolutely. I mean, I think it`s
going to be difficult for governor Romney to square his positions on in so
many issues, you know, and make an appeal to the independent swing voters
who they`re looking to right now, particularly in the battleground states,
and keep it consistent with the things he said in the primary.

Let`s face it. The guy won the Republican nomination by going to the
right of a right-wing slate of candidates, some of the farthest right
candidates in history. So, he`s going to have a really hard time if he
tries to square those things. I think Romney is just going to do whatever
his pollster tells him to do to appeal to the voters that he`s looking for
in this election.

SHARPTON: Now, but what he has to do tomorrow night is appeal to
broader than his base, broader than justice the far right. How does he do
that without alienating his base?

DEVINE: Well, listen, he`s going to have a very difficult time doing
that. I think what governor Romney has to do tomorrow is he`s got to try
to put the president on the defensive about the last four years. He`s got
to adopt a tone, which is aggressive but at the same time respectful of the
president, appropriately aggressive.

And you know, he`s going to make sure he stays in economic issues and
things he know something he knows something about. I mean, the problem
with Romney`s record is, he`s taken almost every side of every issue in
American politics. And if he has to be -- if he`s made accountable for it,
I think people will figure out very quickly, that this guy has one for
everyone in the audience.


DEVINE: That`s his politics.

SHARPTON: Now Wes, national review reports on a plan to retool Romney
for debates. Romney advisers have simply -- have a simple strategy. They
want their candidate to balance his finely tuned arguments with personal
warmth. He can retool it and can someone who`s come off kind of aloof come
off warm and fuzzy?

CAPTAIN WES MOORE, RETIRED U.S. ARMY: Well, I think Governor Romney
has a couple of issues. He is still trying to square away in many cases
his own head. I had a good friend who once said, you know, real character
and real courage doesn`t come from what you saw your enemies. But, it
actually come from what you tell your benefactors.

And that`s when people can get a real gauge as to who you are and
where you stand on things. And I think Governor Romney -- this is also
coming off the heels of two different things, this debate.

One is he`s coming off the heels of the convention. And I don`t know
anyone who can argue that convention was -- that it did a good job of
explaining why Mitt Romney is a good candidate why the Republicans put out
and why he`s the best person to put out against President Obama. They did
more time talking about why the bench is going to be stronger than Governor

The other issue is Governor Romney cannot necessarily run anybody but
this guy campaign when the this guy he`s talking about is the president of
the United States who`s now polling at 50 percent or higher. He
understands that he`s not going to be able to completely veer right because
he has not set his base on fire. The Republican Party is not heavily
excited about Governor Romney. And so, the only way he`ll have a chance at
this, particularly when you look at swing state polls, is if he`s able to
peel off the moderates. And that`s going to be a very difficult act for
him to pull off.

SHARPTON: Now, one of the things people are asking for is specifics.
Paul Ryan on Bloomberg TV today, this morning, in fact, still doesn`t add
much clarity to the tax plan. Watch this.


RYAN: Obviously, the numbers add up. We`ve shown that. Let`s work
together to establish that framework. And it`s not as much as what is in
the tax code as who gets it.


SHARPTON: I mean, what does that mean?

MOORE: Listen, I think that`s -- it`s -- you brought that question
exactly as -- and his answer has been part of the problem with the entire
campaign. I think they`re still trying to come up with this idea of how
exactly do we distinguish, how exactly do we come up with some different
type of policy that makes you better off. And I think they have not been
able to come up with a answer that seems at all cogent to the larger
American population.

SHARPTON: Now, Tad, you actually helped to plan debates against him
when he debated the former senator Ted Kennedy. So you went up against
Mitt Romney and prepared the ads against Mitt Romney. What kind of guy,
how do we deal with this guy? What do you predict we`re looking at
tomorrow night?

DEVINE: Listen, I have to say Mitt Romney has come a long way from
those debates in 1994. He`s a much better debater today. Much more
seasoned than when he was beginning his political career so many years ago.
This is the guy who has been in 20 presidential debates in this election
cycle against Republicans, some very high stakes.

So, I think we are going to see a Mitt Romney who`s totally prepared.
They have spent more time preparing for this debate. I think, than any
candidate in history. And in 1988 I was the campaign manager for Lloyd
Benson, the vice presidential campaign and I saw Senator Benson go from
someone who wasn`t that good to being a great debater, on the night he met
Dan Quayle. So, I think we have to expect he is going to be very well
prepared for tomorrow night and probably give a very good performance.

SHARPTON: Will he have to give specifics? What will independents
want to hear?

DEVINE: Well, you know, that`s his problem. I mean, listen, this guy
cannot defend the math of his proposals because in the math they use to
find the money to pay for a $5 trillion tax cut for the wealthiest
Americans, two plus two equals five. OK, that`s why they can`t do the
math. There`s absolutely no way for this thing to add up.

SO, I think when he`s pressed, and he will be by someone like Jim
Lehrer. He will be pressed by specifics. That`s when the rubber will meet
the road for Mitt Romney. If he doesn`t back up his policies with real
numbers, I think he is going to have a very difficult challenge tomorrow

SHARPTON: Well, I think you will be pressed by Lehrer but there is
another guy going to be there named President Barack Obama that is going to
be pressing too. But, we will be watching.

Tad Devine and Wes Moore, thank you for your time.

MOORE: Thank you.

DEVINE: Thanks so much.

SHARPTON: Coming up, Paul Ryan has his own secret tape, claiming that
30 percent of Americans want their welfare stake. That explosive video is
coming up. It only adds to Mitt Romney`s 47 percent problem in tomorrow
night`s debate.

Plus, Republicans used to have no problem with far right agenda people
like Todd Akin. Now they`re trying to hide who they really are. Stay with


SHARPTON: We`re back with the funny new strategy for Massachusetts
Senator Scott Brown. He`s in a big battle against Elizabeth Warren. So
now, Senator Brown wants everyone to forget, he`s a republican. But in
last night`s debate, he slipped up.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Who was your model Supreme Court justice?

SEN. SCOTT BROWN (R), MASSACHUSETTS: Let me see here. That`s a great
question. I think Justice Scalia is a very good judge.


SHARPTON: His model is Scalia? Maybe the most conservative judge on
the bench? But then Senator Brown hedged with this line.


BROWN: I think Justice Scalia is a very good judge, Justice Kennedy.
Justice Kennedy is obviously very good, and Justice Roberts. They`re --
Justice Sotomayor. I think they`re very qualified people there.


SHARPTON: Now, he was asked to name his model Justice and he names
half the court. How does Brown even justified that answer?


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Scalia, Sotomayor, that`s exactly.

BROWN: Well, you know, what? That`s the beauty of being an
independent, Dave. You can actually.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: If had you to pick one, if you had to pick one.

BROWN: Listen, I don`t need to pick one.


SHARPTON: Oh, he`s an independent. Interesting. We`ve been hearing
that a lot lately.


BROWN: I have a history of working across the aisle.

I`ve been an independent voter and thinker.

The fact that I`m out there working across party lines.

It means that I`m just doing my thinking, independent thinking.


SHARPTON: I`ve got some bad news for the senator. See that "R" next
to his name? That means he`s a republican. And his record shows it, too.
He co-sponsored the blunt amendment which would have let employers deny
women contraception coverage. He voted against the health care law. He
supports subsidizing oil companies. And he wants to extend the Bush tax
cuts for wealthy Americans. But it seems like having his real record
pointing out to him is making the senator a little testy.


BROWN: Excuse me, I`m not a student in your classroom. Please let me
respond, OK?


SHARPTON: Maybe Mr. Brown could use that classroom. There is a
difference between the letters "I" and "R." Did Senator Brown think we
would forget his extreme right wing record? Nice try, but we got you.


SHARPTON: Oh! It`s October. Can you feel the fright? Halloween
might be 29 days away, but it`s already getting spooky out there. Just ask
Mitt Romney. He`s being haunted by the ghost of himself on tape. This
secret tape won`t stop haunting him. He`s the 47 percent guy, the
candidate who thinks half the country is free-loading victims who mooch off
the government.


those people. They should take personal responsibility and care for their


SHARPTON: This is a scary movie for the Romney team. And it`s not
ending well. There`s been an avalanche of negative reaction since it came
out over two weeks ago. The new NBC poll is just out. It shows 45 percent
of Americans see Mr. Romney more negatively after hearing the tape. Almost
half the country. Another poll shows a majority of Americans, 55 percent,
had a negative reaction to hearing Romney`s words on the tape. And the big
one, President Obama leads nationally by seven points. Mr. Romney should
be spooked, but the real fright night is tomorrow, he`ll now have to stand
up there and answer to the 47 percent and to the president.

Joining me now is former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, now an NBC
News political analyst and Alicia Menendez, host and producer for HuffPost
Live. Thanks to both of you for being here tonight.



SHARPTON: Governor, I hope you like the sound effects, I tried to be
dramatic for you.

RENDELL: Again, you know, but if you keep any thinner, Rev. You`ll
look like a skeleton on Halloween night.

SHARPTON: Oh well, anyway, we`ll talk about that another time. Let
me say, the 47 percent is bad enough. It`s haunting Romney and his
campaign. But we have just got from "The Huffington Post" a statement that
Mr. Ryan made a sound bite, about Americans that sounds very similar. Let
me play this to you for the first time and get your reaction. This was a
year ago, Paul Ryan last November, talking about his estimate of how many
people are dependent on government. Listen to this.


we could become a society we were never, ever intended to be. We could
become a society where the net majority of Americans are takers, not
makers. Seventy percent of Americans want the American dream. They
believe in the American idea. Only 30 percent want the welfare state.


SHARPTON: Governor, when you have a candidate for president talking
about 40 percent are moochers, you have the vice presidential candidate
saying that we`re living in a society with more takers than makers, and 30
percent of the country want a welfare state, I mean, what is that saying to
the American people as they head to the polls in 35 days?

RENDELL: Well, it`s pathetic, is what it is. And it says to the
American people that both members of the republican ticket totally out of
touch with Americans and don`t understand ordinary people. Rev., I`ve been
in politics for 34 years and I`ve hardly met one person who wants to be on
welfare. Do you remember that great moment when President Clinton was in
St. Louis and African-American woman stood up and thanked him for helping
her get a job because she said my daughter is starting school at a magnet

And all the best young girls from St. Louis are going to be there.
And the first day of school they`re going to be in the lunchroom and
they`re all going to go around and they`re going to say what their parents
do, my father`s a doctor, and my father`s a lawyer. I didn`t want my
daughter to have so say, my mother`s on welfare.

SHARPTON: That`s right.

RENDELL: I want her to say, my mother works for Ford Motor Company.

SHARPTON: I remember that encounter.

RENDELL: It was a moving moment. A moving moment. And Paul Ryan
doesn`t get that. People don`t want a check. They want the dignity of
working at a job. No one wants to be on the dole. Almost no one in this
country. They just don`t get it.

SHARPTON: Alicia, how do you react to this new Ryan tape that comes
out now as a -- coupled with the presidential candidate`s 47 percent tape?

MENENDEZ: Well, this is not a gaffe, which is what they would like it
to be. It`s an ideology, it goes back to Republicans` ideas about
Medicare, about Social Security, about food assistance. You know, 47
percent of the people on snap are under the age of 18. So, we`re talking
about Americans benefiting from these programs, very often we`re talking
about children and their inability to understand the face of people who are
really dealing with these issues is what you see resonating with voters.
The idea that they -- voters don`t think they understand what their life is
like. That if you`re in the middle class, you`re one strike away from
needing government assistance. They view it as a lifetime of support when
really most Americans view it as a safety net that`s there to catch you.

SHARPTON: Governor, it seems that the president and vice president
are not going to let this go. It is about what you believe about Americans
and where we need to go. In North Carolina today, Vice President Biden
took the issue of the 47 percent comments. It`s clear they`re staying on
message. Listen to what the vice president had to say today.


VICE. PRES. JOE BIDEN (D), UNITED STATES: I know I`m not the only one
who has sounded strange for Governor Romney to write off 47 percent of this
country. What I can`t understand is characterizing almost half the country
as dependent, not willing to take personal responsibility, seeing
themselves as victims. This country is neither dependent nor in decline.
I don`t recognize the country they`re talking about. I really mean it.
It`s never, never, never been a good bet to bet against the American
people. Never! Never!


SHARPTON: Do you predict, Governor, we`re going to hear that from the
President in tomorrow`s speech -- in tomorrow`s debate, I should say, and
speeches throughout the next 35 days from --

RENDELL: Absolutely.

SHARPTON: -- both the President and Vice President?

RENDELL: Absolutely. And they should. As your other guest said,
this was a window into Governor Romney`s basic core of beliefs, into his
political soul. And same thing with Paul Ryan. And they can try to make
it up and say, I`m going to care about all Americans and I gave them all
health care in Massachusetts. But that`s campaign rhetoric. The American
people understand when they hear politicians talking on the campaign trail.
But this was a window into their soul. And what was so shocking about
Governor Romney was that he`s totally wrong.

That 47 percent is about 70 million Americans. Forty two million of
them, Rev, earn less than $19,000. They work, many of them, two or three-
part-time jobs. They make less than $19,000 in a desperate attempt to feed
their family.


RENDELL: You tell me someone with three jobs isn`t willing to take
personal responsibility, wants entitlements? They work like dogs and
they`re not making money. And it`s an insult to hard working Americans,
it`s an insult to disabled vets, it`s an insult to our soldiers who are
part of that 47 percent, because they don`t pay taxes and an insult to
seniors as well.

SHARPTON: Insult. Alicia, it is insulting. And it seems that the
polls are indicating that. Brand new NBC polls just out tonight. Which
candidate is looking out for the middle class? President Obama, 53. Mitt
Romney, 34 percent. New polling shows who will best deal with Medicare.
President Obama, 48 percent. Romney, 36 percent. Who best will deal with
health care? President Obama, 49 percent. Romney, 40 percent. Who best
will deal with taxes? President Obama, 46 percent. Romney, 41 percent.
Brand new NBC polls rolling this out just now. Give me your reaction to
these brand new figures, Alicia.

MENENDEZ: I mean, a lot of those numbers have held this entire
election cycle, especially the numbers about the middle class, the numbers
about a candidate understanding and being able to connect with a voter
about what their life is like. And I think, unfortunately for president --
I`m sorry, for Governor Romney, he came into this wanting to make it a
referendum on President Obama`s stewardship of the economy, and very
quickly it became about his own economic ideology and it became a choice
between Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney and President Obama and Vice President
Biden`s very different visions of our economic future. And so that, we`re
going to see that teased out again in the debate. I mean, those poll
numbers are pretty locked in six weeks out.

SHARPTON: Governor Ed Rendell and Alicia Menendez, thank you both for
your time tonight.

MENENDEZ: Thank you.

RENDELL: Thanks, Rev.

SHARPTON: Still ahead, Eric Cantor and the Tea Party were going to
change Washington. Now they`re hiding from their records. But we won`t
let them. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Still ahead, Eric Cantor and the gang just love pushing
that right wing agenda of theirs. But voters, yes, let`s just say they
didn`t find it as charming. Now, the GOP`s running from their record.


SHARPTON: Two years ago the Tea Party rolled into Washington,
confident, they were pushing their far right agenda. They strutted. They
bragged. They acted like they owned the joint. Well, guess what? They`re
singing a different tune now. In fact, they`re trying to hide. In a
debate last night, Eric Cantor ran away from his own record on the budget
sequester, which cuts over $1 trillion from defense.


REP. ERIC CANTOR (R), VIRGINIA: I keep saying that I support a
sequester, as he knows good and well that`s not true. He knows that the
president insisted of its insertion into the debt ceiling deal.


SHARPTON: Blaming the President for something he supported? Here`s
proof. Right there in black and white. And 173 other Republicans voted
for it with him. Including Paul Ryan. Which makes this even more
ridiculous than he ran from his past, saying this --


RYAN: We would not gut our military because when you get our
military, you got to remember the President is proposing these devastating
defense cuts. So, we don`t agree with that. That`s the point we`re trying
to make.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Who did you vote for?

RYAN: I voted for a bipartisan budget agreement.


SHARPTON: Folks, this is the Tea Party effect. Just look at Mr.
Romney. He said, he was severely conservative. He vowed to repeal
Obamacare. And then there`s this --


ROMNEY: I have experience in health care reform. Now and then the
President says, I`m the grandfather of Obamacare. I don`t think he meant
that as a compliment, but I`ll take it. This was during my primary. We
thought it might not be helpful.


SHARPTON: This goes to the root of the GOP brand problem. They came
in and assaulted programs that people like. And now they`re trying to run
like the wind from it. I`d like to call this move, the walk back.

Joining me now is democratic strategist Mudcat Saunders, he`s
currently advising Wayne Powell, the democrat who`s attempting to unseat
house republican leader Eric Cantor. Mudcat, good to see you.


SHARPTON: Now, Congressman Cantor is latest one to run away from his
record. But can he and the rest of the GOP for that matter get away with
running away from their records?

SAUNDERS: Well, it`s the old story, if you tell a lie enough, it
becomes the truth. I like to say, they told so many people they had a
horse, they finally bought a saddle. But he can run from it as much as he
wants, he can`t hide. Last night in the debate, I mean, it was just one
ride the other. My candidate, Wayne Powell, did a fabulous job of staying
on him, on being aggressive.

And Eric Cantor doesn`t like to be shot at on anything, especially in
his home district. He`s feeling the pain of this battle with Eric Cantor -
- with Wayne Powell. Wayne`s got a hold of him and won`t let him go. In
fact, last week they sent out two different direct mail hit pieces, you
know, on Wayne. And we got a campaign. And even, you know, Cantor`s
strategist said yesterday, this is the most serious contender that he ever
had and we got a campaign here.

SHARPTON: A lot of his contentious is because they kind of put
themselves in a corner, whether it`s Cantor, who your candidate is up
against, or Indiana, Mourdock, the candidate for the Senate there. We`re
seeing people all over the country that have taken this Tea Party far right
position trying to now back away from their position. Let me play the ad
that you guys have put on Cantor and show people how you`ve been really
nailing him on his own record and his own situation there in his own home
district. Let me put this ad on.


ANNOUNCER: Cantor`s received millions from big banks and investors,
pharma, insurance, big oil and other vote-buyers. He`s almost impossible
to get through to. Cantor clearly works for them, not us.


SHARPTON: I mean, they clearly don`t want to talk about what they`ve
done the last two years. They`re trying to hide from it.

SAUNDERS: Well, like I said, Eric Cantor can run, but he can`t hide.
And you know, there`s other, you know, one point that I really need to make
is Eric Cantor`s support in this part of the world with the Tea Party is
limited. I mean, a Tea Party candidate ran against him in the primary.
And the Virginia Tea Party members left the Republican Party because they
had a lot of problems. Not only with social issues but with fiscal issue.
And you know, the great masquerade to me is this guy Paul Ryan and Eric
Cantor going around discussing themselves as fiscal conservatives. But --
budget not only increased the deficit but add a $3 trillion to the national
debt and the budget doesn`t balance for 28 years.


SAUNDERS: And we talked a lot with the Tea Party people, they`ve been
in talk to as their witness to come for a debate with Mr. Cantor. We`re
trying to work that out now. But let`s face it. There`s 15 to 25 percent
that we`re not going to agree with, with the Tea Party on social issue.
But there are in Virginia sensible members of the Tea Party who say to us,
we agree with you on 75 percent.

SHARPTON: Well, that`s -- that`s --

SAUNDERS: A lot of that is --

SHARPTON: That`s very interesting. I`m going to have to leave it
there. Mudcat Saunders. And I`m sure we`ll going to be watching this race
very carefully there in Virginia. Thanks for your time.

A big win for the fight for voting rights today. Why nobody can take
that right away. That`s next.


SHARPTON: Finally tonight, the fight for your voting rights. The
news out of Pennsylvania today is a major win for democracy and for
equality. The fight back is working. And today, we need to remember how
so many Americans fought and died for the fundamental right to vote. In
1965, civil rights activist marched in Alabama to highlight the injustices
of the Jim Crow south. In what forever became known as bloody Sunday.
Hundreds of civil rights activists were attacked by state and local police.
Forces that had gathered with Billy Clubs and tear gas.

Marchers were left bloodied and severely beaten. But that didn`t stop
them. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and thousands marched from Selma to
Montgomery demanding equal voting rights. I retraced those historic steps
and that march earlier this year, because we`re fighting the same battles
now that we did 50 years ago. It brought together civil rights leaders
then and now. I was too young in `65, so were you, but we`re not too young
now. We must maintain what they won in `65.

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


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