November 13, 2012
Guests: Barney Frank; Michael Isikoff; Frank Schaeffer; Michelle Cottle; Alicia Menendez
REVEREND AL SHARPTON, MSNBC HOST: Thanks, Chris, and thanks to you
for tuning in.
Tonight`s lead, seven days later, and Paul Ryan still can`t handle the
truth. One week after President Obama crushed the GOP, congressman Paul
Ryan returned to his day job on Capitol Hill today, carrying his own bags,
like much of the Republican Party, he still seems dazed about the national
rejection he took.
And in an interview he told a local TV station what it felt like to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PAUL RYAN (R), FORMER VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What it had
become clear to us, as things went on, one in Virginia and Ohio weren`t
coming together, that it looked to me sometime early in the evening that it
just wasn`t going to happen.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: And what did that feel like for you?
RYAN: It was very disappointing. We had good days. We had bad days.
It was a great experience. I`m very fortunate to have had this experience,
but losing never feels good.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: No, losing doesn`t feel good. But not learning the lessons
of that loss isn`t good either. At his core this election was about
fairness, giving, everyone a fair shot. Congressman Ryan doesn`t -- he
doesn`t get it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Was this a referendum on your budget
plan, do you think?
RYAN: Well, I don`t think we lost it on those budget issues. I think
people, especially on Medicare, we clearly didn`t lose it on those issues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: They did lose on those issues. Budget, taxes, Medicare.
That`s what this election was all about. During the campaign Paul Ryan
himself said so.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: I bet they`ll talk about Medicare. I`m excited about this
debate. We want this debate. We need this debate and we`re going to win
this debate about Medicare.
We are offering big ideas. We are offering real solutions, real
reforms for a real recovery.
This is a debate we want to have. This is a debate we need to have.
And this is a debate we`re going to win.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: The country did have the debate and Republicans lost in
every battleground except one.
Today we saw what losing looks like. GOP Senate majority leader Mitch
McConnell sat down with the three new Republicans in the Senate. They were
expecting a big wave. Maybe even a new majority in the Senate. Instead,
it was the Democrats, the party of Obama, that gained seats.
So, why do Republicans think they lost? Here`s what Paul Ryan`s
attempt at answering that was.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RYAN: I think the surprise was some of the turnout. Some of the
turnout especially in urban areas, which definitely gave President Obama
the big margin to win this race.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Urban areas? The president won because of urban areas.
Sure, turnout was a factor. But sadly Paul Ryan can`t see was so much more
to why the Republican Party failed, one week ago tonight.
Joining me is Congressman Barney Frank, Democrat from Massachusetts,
ranking member and former chairman of the financial services committee.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for joining me.
REP. BARNEY FRANK (D-MA), FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE: Thank you,
SHARPTON: Given the election loss, do you think the Republicans will
be more open to compromising with the president and the Democrats on taxes?
Let`s start there.
FRANK: Some will and this is going to be a struggle. There are
clearly Republicans who understand that it was their original right wing
policies, the tea party domination that turned off an awful lot of voters,
both on substance and in the way they acted. And the question is whether
they`ll have the courage of their convictions.
Speaker Boehner appears to be torn by this. Mitch McConnell, on the
other hand, appears to be thinking more about winning a primary in Kentucky
in two years after Rand Paul wanted the last time. And what I can only
call his thuggish tactics that tried to mock the president, apparently,
So this is a very interesting question. There are clearly people
within the Republican Party who don`t want them to be more flexible, who
want to go down in flames. And that`s the key issue. There are
Republicans who will be running for re-election for the Senate next time,
Republican members of the house who understand that they have got to be
more flexible. And it`s going to be interesting to watch. I hope they
will find the courage to break with the tea party. To date I`m not
encouraged. To date the tea party continues to have that veto.
SHARPTON: Now, compare this aftermath of an election with 2010, after
the midterm election. What is the difference in terms of the political
landscape and leverage of the Democratic Party?
FRANK: Well, clearly the Democratic message won. Let me point out
one issue, which I`m very pleased to see. Mitt Romney made a big issue out
of military spending. He insisted that we had to increase military
spending. President Obama was the first candidate of present who I can
remember who correctly and forthrightly said, no, we don`t have to spend so
much. We can pull back some of that money as things recede.
There is a mandate to do that, of course. You know, and it`s very
clear Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney, deficit reduction is not their primary
goal. Because if deficit reduction is your primary goal, you raise some
taxes, cut the military and make other cuts. All they want to do is cut
programs that affect the quality of life at home. In other words, they are
using deficit reduction as a club with which to beat up domestic programs.
But you have the big win in the Senate. And while we gain some seats in
the house, if it hadn`t been for redistricting, we would have gained more.
I don`t think we would have quite taken over. I said that but I was wrong.
But, by every measure we won. And that`s the president who talked about
raising tax on the rich, who said we`re going to curtail military spending,
who said we`ve got to have some domestic spending for important issues.
You know, these people say, oh, well, it was too narrow. George Bush
won by a popular margin of minus 500,000. In 2000 George Bush lost the
popular vote and that`s with Ralph Nader pulling 2.5 million votes away
FRANK: So, what you got then was, I don`t them saying, oh, wait a
minute, the country`s divided, slow down. The Republicans had control.
They won, I think, they didn`t really win, but the Supreme Court said they
did. They went right through with wars and tax cuts. I`m not saying we
should run rough shot, go with the three million polarity with that large
electoral vote, with every swing state except one going with us, with every
contested Senate rate but one going with us, clearly that`s a mandate to
raise taxes on the wealthy, keep military spending on the downward path and
do other things but in a balanced way.
SHARPTON: Now, Paul Ryan says this was not a referendum on his
budget. In fact, he says that the president won because of a large turnout
in the urban vote. There was a large turnout. But if you look at the
Obama coalition, women 18 to 44 years old, Asians, Latinos, black,
Catholics, moderates, income less than $50,000, this was the coalition, not
just urban --
FRANK: Oh, absolutely.
SHARPTON: But, let me ask you this, congressman. You have worked in
the congressman with Paul Ryan there. What do you say will be Ryan`s
posture going in? What is Ryan like to work with. Do you think this will
change him, humble him or dig in and have another confrontation with the
FRANK: Paul Ryan is a very pleasant man, but a very rigid one. And
it`s clear to me, he is for higher military spending, he is for keeping
taxes low on the wealthiest people. He`s trying to undo the legacy of
domestic programs to improve the quality of life. And I expect him to
continue to do that.
But, I do have to comment on this very strange complaint. Apparently
his complaint is that people voted. And people voted who were the kind of
people who weren`t supposed to vote. They tried to do voter suppression.
FRANK: I mean, this notion, oh, my God, we lost because people voted.
It`s a little like complaining, you know, we lost that ball game because
the other team got too many runs. I mean, it literally makes no sense to
complain you lost because people voted. That`s what people are supposed to
do. It does reveal their mentality, which is those people, those urban
people. They`re not supposed to vote. We can count on them not voting.
They tried also, of course, to suppress the vote. When people rejected
that and went out and exercised their rights ads citizens, they`re shocked.
SHARPTON: Well, they did all kinds of tactics and they did work. In
fact, they probably woke up a sleeping giant, so I`m glad in that sense
they understand that.
Chairman Frank, thank you so much for your time tonight.
FRANK: My pleasure, Al.
SHARPTON: Tonight, President Obama today met with labor leaders and
other progressives at the White House, chatting away forward for his second
term. "The Huffington Post" reports the president told them he was, quote
"not going to budge when it comes to the Bush tax cuts for the rich."
Joining me now is Michelle Cottle, Washington correspondent for
"Newsweek" and the "Daily Beast" and Alicia Menendez, host and producer for
"Huff Post Live."
Thank you both for joining me.
MICHELLE COTTLE, WASHINGTON REPORTER, THE DAILY BEAST, NEWSWEEK: Hey,
ALICIA MENENDEZ, HOST, HUFF POST LIVE: Thanks, Rev.
SHARPTON: Michelle, is the president going to hold the line on these
tax cuts for the rich?
COTTLE: The progressive community is determined to keep him strong on
this. And they are very heartened by what they`ve heard so far, you know.
He said they need to take the message to the people more. And he is in a
much better bargaining position than he was before the election. I mean,
this fiscal cliff, the Republicans do not want to go over this. If they
do, their priorities are going to get hit. Military spending and all those
Bush tax cuts go away automatically.
The president has them in a much better position for where he wants
them. And I think he`ll probably be pretty tough on this.
SHARPTON: Alicia, will he hold steadfast? And I mean, clearly
progressives are in a much stronger place than they were and Republicans
are much weaker now.
MENENDEZ: Yes, no, I think that he will hold the line. I don`t think
you would have heard those leaders coming out of that meeting talking the
way they were talking, about how confident they are about him holding the
line. He`s in a better position and progressives are better -- in a better
position to hold the line on this. I think the secondary conversation that
comes out of it is the ratio of spending cuts to new revenue. I think
that`s something also that progressive leaders came out of that meeting
feeling good about.
So, you`re right, he`s in a stronger position. And part of that is
not just the electoral support he received but all these exit polls showing
that Americans agree with him on a whole host of issues. Whether that be
this, whether or not we return the Bush era tax cuts or whether it be
something like immigration. So, he has not only the electoral support but
he has the support of the American pop you louse o populous in a whole host
SHARPTON: Now in the second term of possible agenda of minute of
progressive items, Michelle, that can possibly be looked at with some hope
of moving forward, climate change, immigration, voting reform, tax reform,
deficit reduction, alternative energy. And as Alicia said, many of them
not only were central in the campaign and people voted for the president,
some of them that were not central in the campaign when polled, Americans
seem to be going that way. Are we seeing the second term the President
Obama bringing more of progressive policies than we`ve seen in a long time?
COTTLE: I think he thinks he has a mandate and certainly the
progressive message did very well on Election Day. I do think immigration
is one area where Republicans are very nervous and they would do very well
to kind of step up and start working on comprehensive reform. Otherwise
they`re going to have a lot more elections like this one, where they are
just getting throttled on that issue in the Latino community.
But also, as we talk about the budget`s going to be addressed, Obama
care now is not going to be on the table like it was last time around. And
a lot more wiggle room on issues like, you know, climate change and jobs
and stuff like that for the president to maneuver.
SHARPTON: Now Alicia, what do you feel if the progressive agenda that
needs to be pushed through? What would be the priority of items you would
MENENDEZ: I get to push through? I like this game. I mean, number
one for me, immigration reform. And I think you saw a mandate coming out
of this election for it. And Reverend, these numbers have not changed.
The public has been on the right side of this issue for years. Over 60
percent supporting not just comprehensive reform, but an earned path to
citizenship for all of these people who live in the United States.
Twelve million people, two-thirds of them have been here more than a
decade. They consider themselves Americans. Americans are on the right
side of this issue. We have legislation that was drafted as early as 2006-
2007 that we had bipartisan support on. I mean, there`s an actual
framework that you could bring to the table right now. And if you brought
back the Republicans who defected, just a year or two ago, then you would
have enough support to actually put something together and pass it through.
So, you know what, let`s do it. Let`s not take the year it took to do
health care reform. Let`s put it on the table and let`s get it done. I
think that`s an excellent priority for this second term.
SHARPTON: Michelle, how does Latinos, for example, trust the GOP
coming to them with immigration reform unless they confront those tea party
types and far right that have been so conservative and reactionary in this
area without them really standing up and dealing with them and their party,
how can they trust anything that`s said about immigration reform by this
COTTLE: I don`t think they`re going to be able to trust anything
that`s said. They`re going to have to watch and see what`s going to come
out of the Congress. If the Congress over the objection, as you say, of a
lot of the more kind of right wing elements in the party can come up with
some comprehensive non-punitive reform that seriously addresses things like
the dream act and doesn`t just kind of politicize this issue, then they can
start the process toward healing this rift. But, if all they`re going to
do is talk, I don`t think anybody`s going to trust them. It`s going to
take serious legislative work before anybody will listen to them at all.
SHARPTON: Michele Cottle, Alicia Menendez, thank you for your time.
MENENDEZ: Thank you, Rev.
COTTLE: Thanks, Rev.
SHARPTON: One week later and the Republicans are still fighting. But
their problem is, they`re fighting each other. It`s game on. Rush
Limbaugh against the establishment.
Plus, after the landslide victory, thousands of right-wingers are
showing their true colors. Americans in more than 30 states want to
secede. How will the White House respond?
You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.
SHARPTON: New details about the woman who trigger the investigation
of General Petraeus, now another general has been caught up in the
controversy with some flirtatious e-mails, that is next.
SHARPTON: Welcome back. Today we learned another general has been
caught up in the investigation that led to the resignation of CIA director
David Petraeus. General John Allen is the top U.S. commander in
Afghanistan. Officials are investigating him for quote, "inappropriate
communication with Jill Kelley." She`s the woman that got the Petraeus
The Pentagon is looking at more than 20,000 pages of documents and e-
mails between Kelley and General Allen, 20,000. Officials tell the AP that
some of the material was, quote "flirtatious." General Allen denies having
an affair with Kelley, who we know was also friends with general Petraeus.
Joining me now is Michael Isikoff, national investigative
correspondent for NBC News. He`s been breaking some of the big details on
this case over the last few days.
Michael, first, thanks for being here tonight.
MICHAEL ISIKOFF, NBC NEWS NATIONAL INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: Thank
you. Good to be with you.
SHARPTON: Now, let me ask, General Allen is now under investigation
for his relationship with Jill Kelley. What can you tell us about the
relationship and what can you tell us about Miss Kelley.
ISIKOFF: First of all, we should say we don`t know for sure. As you
pointed out, the e-mails, these voluminous -- apparently voluminous e-mails
describe a relationship or -- that appear to be flirtatious but, you know,
potentially inappropriate is the word that was first used by the Pentagon.
But whether it goes more than that, we don`t know. We do know that at
least one woman, Paula Broadwell, appeared to believe there was something
there because she`s the one that started sending these anonymous
threatening e-mails which start out, I should remind you, not referencing
Jill Kelley`s relationship with general Petraeus, but other generals at
U.S. central command and special operations command in Tampa.
Now, we should remember that General Allen, before being the commander
of all U.S. troops and NATO troops in Afghanistan was the deputy commander
at the U.S. central command. So, the presumption would be that it was
Kelley`s relationship with general Allen, whatever that was, that set Paula
Broadwell off and led her to begin these anonymous e-mails.
SHARPTON: But Michael, what was it? I mean, 20,000 pages of e-mails?
I mean, what kind of issue could it have been, then?
ISIKOFF: Well, you know, the 20,000 could be a little misleading.
That`s 20,000 documents in total printed out. There may have been
extensive attachments to these e-mails that could have been hundreds of
pages. Until we see them, you know, it`s hard to make a firm judgment.
We`re expecting a statement from Jill Kelley`s lawyers and
communications advisers this evening in which she, we can presume, is
calling to directly going to address this. She`s already denied there was
any kind of inappropriate relationship with general Petraeus. So, I don`t
want to be too hasty in rushing for judgment.
But we should point out that there are some very odd things going on
here beyond the voluminous e-mail correspondence. We learned about both
general Petraeus and general Allen writing letters in a -- to a D.C. judge
on behalf of Jill Kelley`s sister, who`s involved in a very nasty child
custody case. This was just two months ago. September --
SHARPTON: So just two months ago --
ISIKOFF: Just two months ago, while the FBI investigation was going
on, both general Petraeus as CIA director and General Allen and as
commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, within two days of each other,
write letters vouching for the sister of Jill Kelley saying she deserves
more time with her son. A judge had placed very strict limits on her
visitation with her own son after awarding custody to her ex-husband. The
judge had found -- the judge had found, and I quote that Ms. Khawam, that`s
Jill Kelley`s sister has quote, "extreme personal deficits in the areas of
honesty and integrity." That was in a court ruling in November of 2011.
And then in September of 2012 the director of the CIA is writing a letter
vouching for Ms. Khawam --
SHARPTON: So, the judge has this assessment of Jill`s --
ISIKOFF: Jill Kelley`s sister.
SHARPTON: Jill Kelley`s sister.
ISIKOFF: Right, right.
SHARPTON: And then general Petraeus, as the director of the CIA and
General Allen both wrote letters this past September on behalf of this
sister as a favor to Jill Kelley?
ISIKOFF: Well, we can presume as a favor to Jill Kelley, general
Petraeus, then-CIA director Petraeus in his letter, referenced spending
time with the sister and her son, young son, while the Kelley family,
including Jill Kelley, was visiting with him over Christmas, at a Christmas
dinner at the Petraeus home. So, clearly there was a very close
relationship there between the Kelleys and the Petraeuses.
SHARPTON: But, how does this woman, Jill Kelley, get to close to all
ISIKOFF: Well, you know, that is one of the big unanswered questions
here. She clearly had a lot of access to a lot of high-level people in the
Tampa area. She lived within a mile of McDill Air Force Base where the
central command and special operations commands are located. And she made
a point of volunteering for events and being very social and friendly with
a lot of high-level people in the government, high-level generals in that
SHARPTON: Michael Isikoff, we`ll be following this, of course, with
your help. Thanks for your time tonight.
ISIKOFF: Thank you.
SHARPTON: Coming up, who next to go under the Republican bus?
They`re all pointing fingers at each other. Wait until you hear what one
very prominent Republican is calling his party today.
And one week later, Pat Robertson and the religious right is still
reeling from the big loss. Is the evangelical influence on politics over?
SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? Today, we caught this glimpse of U2 lead singer Bono meeting
with vice president Biden at the White House to discuss a host of global
Ernesto writes, two great humanitarians.
And knowing the vice president`s love of sunglasses, Mary joked that
Mr. Biden wants a pair of those glasses that Bono wears.
We want to hear what you think, too. Please head over to facebook and
search "Politics Nation" and "like" us to join the conversation that keeps
going long after the show ends.
SHARPTON: If you thought the GOP blame game was over, think again.
They`re just getting started. After getting slammed by the GOP
establishment for pushing Mitt Romney so far to the right, Rush Limbaugh
responds. Fasten your seat belt, folks, here comes the GOP crackup.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Just as I predicted, ladies and
gentlemen. Wait until you hear the sound bites. This election was lost
because of your host, Rush Limbaugh. I am the primary reason. There are
others, but I`m the primary reason the Republican Party, and I`m by the
way, the primary reason the Republican Party will keep losing until I am
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: I sense a hint of sarcasm. But, maybe FOX News contributor
Dick Morris will take some responsibility. He is the one who hyped a
landslide victory for Mitt Romney.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Dick, I got to tell you something,
people are furious with you right now. You probably know it.
DICK MORRIS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I`m not sure that -- I don`t
know that they`re furious with me. I hope they`re not. I called it as I
saw it from the polling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Not my fault. It was the polls. And how about Sean
Hannity`s throwing him right under the bus. But let`s see what a
Republican poster has to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FRANK LUNTZ, POLLSTER: The published polls that the Romney campaign
and the Republican establishment were trashing day after day turned out to
be accurate. And to miss so many states and to be this far off, your FOX
News viewers out to be outraged.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Now, that`s a new one. A Republican pollster who`s
outraged by the Republican polls. Everyone`s pointing fingers. The tea
party are blaming the establishment, saying Mitt Romney was too moderate.
And Ronald Reagan`s son says there just wasn`t enough Reagan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got to tell you, the Republican Party may talk
about Ronald Reagan but they haven`t really embraced Ronald Reagan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Somehow I don`t think he hit the nail on the head. But
Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal might be onto something. He says the
Republicans need to stop being the stupid party. Wow, the stupid party.
There is a war inside the GOP and nobody knows how this will end.
Joining me now, Steve Kornacki and Krystal Ball, co-hosts of "the
cycle" on MSNBC.
Thank you both for joining me this evening.
KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC HOST, THE CYCLE: Thanks, Reverend.
STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC HOST, THE CYCLE: Thanks for having us.
SHARPTON: I want to play you something that Rush Limbaugh said. Take
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIMBAUGH: Our guys, the upper echelon of the Republican Party, want
to fashion themselves as members of the ruling class. We, the country
class, were not in the ruling class. We`re in a problem.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LIMBAUGH: Steve, Limbaugh is pointing to a big split in the party.
Where do you think this is going? Is this a fight we`re going to see Rush
and the establishment have?
KORNACKI: Yes. This is the problem for the Republican Party. That
kind of a fight is probably good for Rush Limbaugh in terms of it gives him
something to talk about, gives him status within the conservative movement.
And it really allows him to rile up his audience, his base and say look,
I`m the voice of the, you know, pure conservative. Ad it`s this sellout s
in the party establishment who were trying to get us to fold on our
principles on what we believe on. And Rush, really, throughout his career,
I mean, he can go back two decades and see them fighting George Bush Sr. on
tax increases. He`s really done well defining himself as the voice of the
pure party base. The party base likes hearing that, too.
So, the problem for the Republican Party, there are sort of voices in
what he called the grueling, you know, who sense from this election that
there needs to be shifts in this party, need to change their demographic
outreach a little bit. But a guy like Rush Limbaugh doesn`t have much
incentive to go along. He`ll do fine the way it is.
BALL: He`s a real man of the people, Reverend.
SHARPTON: Of course.
But Krystal, as a man of the people, he has some backing from tea
party types, "the Los Angeles Times" says that the tea party, the anger
that Limbaugh has is backed by the tea party for conservatives who were
identified with tea party. One emotion seems to dominate all others. A
white hot anger at the Republican establishment. Tea party supporters are
angry at GOP for embracing as presidential nominee a moderate in quotes,
like Romney for undermining true conservative candidates and for choosing
to ignore the conservative agenda.
But on the other hand, Bobby Jindal is calling saying that we`ve got
to stop being the stupid party, the Republican Party. I mean, are we
seeing a real fight here, a real split, Jindal calling them the stupid
party, Limbaugh saying let`s dig in and fight the establishment?
BALL: Absolutely. And you will recall after 2008, you know, you
think there would be a lesson taken from there that Republicans needed to
move more to the center, that the country was moving away from them. They
learned the exact opposite lesson. The lesson taken away there was John
McCain was too moderate. Our principles weren`t on the ballot. And in
fact, they got some validation from that in 2010 when the tea party did
take over the Republican Party and used fear, hatred and anger to ride to a
midterm electoral win.
But, in a presidential year when the whole country is turning out it`s
totally a different matter. The problem for the Republican Party is even
as the establishment says, hey guys, we are to come back to the center,
where the country is. We have to back to policies that make sense to
people, is they`ve spent so long using that fear, riding that fear, that
hatred, that, you know, that fear of the other, to electoral wins that
they`ve trained their base that this is where they need to be.
So, it`s going to be very hard, Republican members of Congress are
going to be looking over their shoulder, wondering if they`re going to be
primary by a tea party group, by the (INAUDIBLE).
BALL: And it`s going to be hard for -- they will have to be
politically courageous, something they`re not good at doing, to come back
to the center.
SHARPTON: Now, but Steve, the base, where is the base? Because if
the base is the tea partiers, wouldn`t they in some ways resent saying,
well, wait a minute, 2010 we delivered the House of Representatives to you
guys, unprecedented, historical amount of seats, and now because you give
us a moderate, all of a sudden that`s thrown out the window? Doesn`t this
have the making of a real clash that won`t heal any time soon?
KORNACKI: No, not to encourage that. But two different
interpretations I`m hearing from Republicans of this election. You are
hearing Republicans saying, yes, we lost. Yes, there`s a message here for
But then I saw Newt Gingrich say this morning, on "Morning Joe" on
this channel. Newt Gingrich said, no, the lesson here is the Republican
house got re-elected. You know, Republicans had control of the house
before this election. They still have control of it now. And he`s saying,
you know, think about the principles the house of Republicans stood for in
2010, 2011, 2012. You need to continue holding fast to that. That sets up
this clash. And you look at like the deal that will eventually probably be
cut, you know, on the fiscal cliff, fiscal slope, whatever you want to call
You know, you have Republicans in Washington now talking for the first
time about being open to tax increases. Well, try selling that to
Republicans in the house who are in safe Republican districts who don`t
think they`ve done anything wrong the last couple of years.
SHARPTON: Well, but at the same time, you have Newt on "Morning Joe"
talking about the principles that got them in. Last night you had Huckabee
on "the Daily show" that younger people like I and Krystal watch --
KORNACKI: It`s on past my bedtime.
SHARPTON: Huckabee was on "the Daily show" saying, they out to reach
out more to minorities.
BALL: Right. Yes. Well, he is right. But the problem is you can`t
just reach out to minorities. You have to have policies that make sense.
And they also have a problem with tone. You know, Bill O`Reilly came out
after this election and basically said, minorities voted for Obama because
they wanted stuff. You know, if your party is saying things like that and
no one is calling it out, how successful do you think --
SHARPTON: But Huckabee -- let me show you what he said and we give
you the interesting point on that.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE HUCKABEE, FORMER ARKANSAS GOVERNOR: I think it`s ridiculous for
Republicans to assume, we`re not going to get that vote. It`s automatic
for the Democrats. That`s just not true. I think the fact is, Republicans
have done a pathetic job of communicating what conservatism does to empower
people and how it helps people to move from one rung of the ladder to the
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: See, it`s all message and not substance.
SHARPTON: Because you must remember, Huckabee, when he was governor
of Arkansas got 50 percent of the black vote once as a Republican.
KORNACKI: Yes, but we haven`t seen that at the national level. We
haven`t seen a Republican get more than 20 percent --
SHARPTON: Or a state level.
KORNACKI: Yes. Since 1964 is the last time you go -- 1960 is the
last time you go more than 20 percent of the black vote. The Republican
party, so much of the rhetoric coming out of national Republicans and
conservatives for the last four years has really, you know, subtly in some
cases and not so subtly in other cases, but has been built around race in a
way that I think alienates black voters, alienates Hispanic voters. I
mean, you just saw that.
SHARPTON: Steve Kornacki and Krystal Ball, thanks for your time
tonight. And be sure to catch them on "the Cycle" weekdays at 3:00 p.m.
eastern right here on MSNBC.
Ahead, they are among the biggest losers of all. What the big
election fail means for the right wing religious movement in this country.
And the GOP fringe rises again. The move to secede from the USA is
back. Are they serious? You bet they are. We`ll get at that coming up.
Stay with us.
SHARPTON: One week later and it is still Election Day in Arizona. As
of last night, there were still 215,000 uncounted early and provisional
ballots in Maricopa County. Grass roots groups have been protesting at the
county recorder`s office every day the votes go uncounted.
One group, Adios Peo (ph) registered more than 34,000 new and mostly
Hispanic voters. They hope to oust Maricopa county sheriff Joe Arpioa, who
is known for his extremism on education. But when the new voters tried to
exercise their rights, they said they were incorrectly told to vote by
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: People said I voted in that precinct two years
ago. I voted here in the primary. They`re not in the book. The county
did not do a very good job of taking care of the addresses. It should have
already been in the computer. It should have already been processed. It
should have been in our roster. I think the county will have a lot to look
for in their investigation as to why there were too many, so many
provisionals. And not just in our precinct, but, you know, countywide,
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: Some immigrant rights groups are worried those provisionals
may never be counted. They are calling on the justice department to
investigate. I agree. There should be an investigation. There is no good
reason for it to take this long for votes to be counted. It`s time for
real voter reform.
SHARPTON: One week later and they`re still reeling. The religious
right is trying to figure out what went so wrong. How could they have Laos
like this? For 30 years evangelicals have been a force in the Republican
Party. The evangelical explosion came in 1980 when millions helped Ronald
Reagan win the presidency. Preachers like reverend Jerry Falwell and Pat
Robertson rose to national prominence. The religious right was credited
for helping George W. Bush win in 2004, with 79 percent of the evangelical
The Atlantic writes about the end of evangelical dominance in politics
but points out 79 percent of white evangelicals voted for Romney on last
Tuesday. The evangelical vote was 27 percent of the overall electorate,
the highest it`s ever been in an election. But guess what? It didn`t
matter. America rejected the culture wars. America rejected the religious
rights agendas on issues after issue. Abortion, gay marriage, rejected.
Is it the end of the evangelical force in politics?
Joining me now is Frank Schaeffer, columnist for "the Huffington
Post." He is also author of "Crazy for God."
Frank, thanks for being here tonight.
FRANK SCHAEFFER, COLUMNIST, HUFFINGTON POST: Thanks for having me.
SHARPTON: Now, let me ask you, do you think the religious right poses
a real problem for the GOP?
SCHAEFFER: Yes, you know, before the election, not after, but before
the election I wrote an op-ed for an evangelical progressive group called
patheos.com, and they are open to liberal ideas, obviously. And I wrote a
piece called how the evangelicals have doomed the Republican Party. And it
proved to be true because it was the evangelical agenda more than perhaps
more than any single element in the last election cycle that peeled off so
many voters who were just tired of the extremism, the Misogyny, the anti-
woman platform, anti-abortion platform which many evangelicals hold as
right wing tea party, all these other things.
And so, the fact of the matter is, just as I trace in my book "Crazy
for God," the evangelicals have dug themselves a very deep pit that they
can`t negotiate out of. And guess what, in the last election cycle they
were held by the right wing roman catholic bishops who inexplicably threw
their hat in the ring with Republicans overtly saying Obama was, as you
remember, Reverend, because we did a program about this --
SHARPTON: Yes, we did.
SCHAEFFER: -- anti-religious. They called him anti-religious. SO,
here you have, the Roman Catholic bishops, the evangelicals have been
proved totally ineffective and can the Republican Party move past that?
Not on your life.
SHARPTON: Let me show you some reaction of evangelical leaders on the
right to the president`s re-election. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What have they got? He doesn`t seem to have any
program yet he`s not able to win re-election. What is going on with the
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think this was an evangelical disaster.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Romney was pro life, pro family, but I don`t think
we engaged in the ad war on those issues. I think if we would have engaged
instead of being forced to be on the defensive, I still think we would have
gotten many, many more of what used to be called the Reagan Democrats,
Catholics and others who are pro life and pro family. But may identify
more with the Democrats on economic issues, but with Republicans and
conservatives on values issues.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SHARPTON: So, Frank, when you hear Gary Bower talking like that, Pat
Robertson, it doesn`t sound like they`ve given up. And if they are not
given up, if they`re digging in, that could be a problem for moderate
Republicans that want to recapture the party.
SCHAEFFER: Well, it will be a huge problem for two reasons. One,
theological and ideological. These guys can`t budge because this is part
of their faith. And they have included in their faith now the kind of Karl
Rove agenda of big business and corporate America and capitalism. So,
they`re totally stuck.
But I want to say something else. There are Republican agitators and
extremists like Ralph Reid, who are now also in it just for the money.
Look, he claimed he got $11 million. And you can be sure he took a nice,
big cut off the top of that to get out the evangelical vote.
And like Karl Rove, who will keep coming back like a bad lunch, these
guys aren`t going to go away. Why? Because there`s big money in sucker-
punching evangelicals into thinking you can deliver a vote for them. How
do I know that? Because as I talk about in my book "Crazy for God," I was
one of those guys 30 years ago, raising millions of dollars from people
like Rich DeVos who founded Amway, promising him that we could change
America, bring it back to conservative values, blah, blah, blah, blah.
And since I`ve been there and done that, and had the good fortune to
bail when I was young enough to start a new life, I understand how tempting
the money is to keep sucker these evangelical votes along.
SHARPTON: So is this --
SCHAEFFER: It`s about money. Yes. And the leadership, it is.
Look, Karl Rove, Ralph Reid, Mike Huckabee, these guys earn a lot of
money off pushing this agenda and going the evangelicals again and again
and again and saying you give us donations, whether it is millionaires or
25 bucks a pop and we`ll deliver the vote.
Now, they have failed miserably and they`ll continue to fail and they
are going to take the Republican Party down with them and that`s not good
for our country because we should have a two party democracy even though if
you are like me, I vote Democrat and I`m overjoyed one of the best
presidents that`s ever been elected in this country was just re-elected.
Still in the long term we need two vibrant political parties. And these
evangelicals are like cancer. They`ll take down Republicans with them.
They may even peel off into a third party if they can`t get their way.
Then that will be -- our system will teeter for a while until we readjust.
SHARPTON: Frank Schaeffer, thanks for your time tonight.
SCHAEFFER: Thanks for having me on.
SHARPTON: A week ago millions of Americans celebrated President
Obama`s victory. Since then, thousands of right-wingers are threatening to
secede from the USA. You bet they`re serious. My commentary next.
SHARPTON: There`s a new trend among right wing sore losers. In the
last week Americans in at least 40 states started petitions to the White
House to secede from the union. The Texas petition has more than 82,000
Now, we could just dismiss this as sour grapes. But, claiming you
want to break up the country just because you disagree with some of the
president`s policies? It isn`t funny. And this isn`t the first time we`ve
seen the right talk about secession in years. We have seen tea party
groups and conservative lawmakers pushed the idea. Back in 2009, Texas
governor Rick Perry hinted he would support secession. But this time
around, he says quote "nothing should be done to change our great union.
Threatening secession fits in with the Republican Party`s loose talk.
They take any opportunity they can to undermine the president. But after
his resounding victory across the country, it just shows how frustrated the
tea party and the right wing are and are grasping at anything they can.
You can`t love the country only when you win. I remember how angry
many of us was. I certainly was, when we felt George Bush fairly won the
election in 2000. We never talked about seceding. We talked about
continuing to participate, marching and then voting, and turning it around.
You can`t be a patriot if you feel you are when you win. Patriots stay
with the country, win, lose, even if you lose unfairly.
Thanks for watching. I`m Al Sharpton.
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