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PoliticsNation, Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Read the transcript from the Wednesday show

November 21, 2012

Guests: Ana Marie Cox; Keith Ellison, Zerlina Maxwell, Margie Omero, Douglas Brinkley

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

Tonight`s lead, let`s talk turkey. President Obama`s back at the
White House after his big overseas trip. He arrived home just in time to
pardon the thanksgiving turkeys and brought some references to the


all about second chances and this November I could not agree more. So in
the spirit of the season, I have one more gift to give and it goes to a
pair of turkeys named cobbler and gobbler.

The American people have spoken and these birds are moving forward.
Love this bird. For the first time in our history, the winners of the
White House turkey pardon were chosen through a highly competitive online
vote. And, once again, Nate Silver completely nailed it. The guy`s


SHARPTON: After his brief remarks, the president and his daughters
Sasha and Malia teamed up for the official pardon.

OBAMA: What do you think? do you want to give it a shot?


All right. You are hereby pardoned.


SHARPTON: Today, the president was kind and merciful. But he may not
be so nice with the Republican. Turns out, speaker John Boehner is back to
his old tricks, refusing to compromise in the debt talks and holding the
middle class hostage. Even right after the election two weeks ago, he was
all sunshine and smiles.


reasonable, responsible person here in Washington. The president knows
this. He knows that he and I can work together. Now, the election is
over, and now it`s time to get to work. It`s pretty clear that the
president was re-elected. Obama care is the law of the land.


SHARPTON: I`m reasonable. I`m responsible. Obama care`s the law of
the land. Now, there`s a guy the president can work with, right? Wrong.

Politico says that Boehner`s offer in his opening offer rather, to the
president is to keep the Bush tax cuts, cut entitlements, and postpone cuts
to the Pentagon. In other words, they haven`t budged at all. How is that
compromise? How is that reasonable?

But it gets worse. Speaker Boehner now says the health care law
should go under the knife. Boehner says, quote "we can`t afford it. We
can`t afford to leave it in tact. That`s why I`ve been clear that the law
has to stay on the table as both parties discuss ways to solve our nation`s
massive debt challenge."

Folks, this debate is over. The American people have spoken. Mitt
Romney ran on two big ideas in this campaign. Cut the taxes and reveal our
Obama care. He lost. Those ideas lost. But they didn`t learn a thing.

Joining me now is Congressman Keith Ellison, Democrat for Minnesota.
He`s co-chair of the progressive caucus. And former Pennsylvania governor
Ed Rendell, now an NBC news political analyst.

Thank you both for joining me tonight.

REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA: Glad to be here, al.


SHARPTON: Congressman, let me start with you. What is your are
reaction to speaker Boehner`s claim that the health care law should be on
the table in these debt talks?

ELLISON: Well, it`s ridiculous. There`s been a national mandate to
keep the health care law. He said that he was going to repeal it on day
one and everybody in America knew it. So what is John Boehner talking

Here`s the thing. We always knew it was going to be a tough fight. I
think the American people need to step up and remind the Republicans what
they said in the campaign. And that means that the election is one thing
but active citizenship is another and these guys are going to try to
balance this fiscal slump on the backs of the most vulnerable. We are not
going to be able to tolerate that. So, it`s time for folks to start
writing, calling, and letting their voices be heard one more time to make
sure that this thing is done right.

SHARPTON: Now, Governor Rendell, a senior aid senate Democratic
leadership is immediately rejecting Boehner`s Omnicare ploy. I`m quoting
what senior aide said. "It`s a total nonstarter. Boehner`s office knows
that. So even bringing it up is counterproductive."

Is it counterproductive? And why are they bringing this up, governor?

RENDELL: Well, first of all, let`s make one thing clear. The CBO has
said definitively that the affordable health care act will not increase the
federal deficit. They said it will reduce it slightly. Ten years slightly
and in 20 years significantly. So, it`s complete BS, Rev., to say that
this has any deficit implications. It doesn`t. This is just a smoke
screen. It`s a red herring. It`s another excuse for not doing what needs
to be done. And as you said so accurately, the American people have

The central issue in the campaign was not only tax fairness but where
we are going to use raising taxes on the top two percent as a means to help
us balance -- get rid of the deficit and eat into the debt. And the
American people have said, yes, that`s one of the components of the deal.

So this is just another smoke screen. It is a plane tactics. And I
truly believe that if they keep this up they will pay for it and they will
pay for it big time, certainly in the election of 2014. But the sad part
is, the nation and people can`t wait. We`ve got to resolve this debt
because if we do so, Rev., will cause the economy to explode. We will see
a resurge in investment, good things happening for the economy.

SHARPTON: Now Congressman Ellison, with all of that at stake and
what`s clear from every expert that we`ve heard, it`s clear that if we
don`t solve this problem, if we have the fiscal cliff, if we go over at the
end of the year, that we go back into a recession. Why would Boehner be
doing this? I mean, you look at the polls, 49 percent people polled say
keep or expand Obama care, only 33 percent say repeal it. That`s the
lowest support for repealing the law since it was passed in March 2010. So
why would Boehner even play with this? Is he still afraid of the tea

ELLISON: He`s afraid of the special interest which is seems to be
afraid of all along. Remember, they were spending $14 million a day to
lobby against Obama care, which I`m glad we`ve embraced that term. I mean,
the reality is the special interests who don`t want to pay any taxes or as
little as they can, who don`t want to reform health care, they are still

I mean, all of those guys who signed those pledges for Grover
Norquist, they are still around. I think the and tea party was somewhat of
a fleeting moment. They are here one moment and gone the next. But the
intrinsic interests that always want to push more and more of the costs of
running society on the people who can least afford it, they haven`t gone
anywhere. That`s why I said before, this is an organizing moment and we
have an opportunity to pull Americans together to drive this thing. I
think it`s a good time to start thinking about some protests and some folks
calling for a fair deal for the American people to resolve these fiscal
matters. Because left on their own, Boehner is going to dig in and he is
going to try to stand up for the special interests, as he always does.

SHARPTON: Now, governor, the congressman mentioned Rush Limbaugh.
Limbaugh stands by Grover Norquist on this no tax pledge for Republican.
Listen to this.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: A friend of mine sends me a note
and says look, Rush, they give me some pressure brought (INAUDIBLE) drive
away between you and Grover Norquist. I have steadfastly opposed tax
increases on just one group of Americans. If we`re going to raise taxes,
we are going to do them on everybody. I don`t think everybody`s taxes
ought to be raised.


SHARPTON: Now, is this what they are afraid of, Grover Norquist, Rush
Limbaugh, governor? Is this because they feel they have an undue influence
on their base, especially Mr. Limbaugh?

RENDELL: Yes, there`s no question. Look, every rational thinking
American, no matter what side of the issue they are on, they know that they
have got to do something about the debt and they know that has to include
revenue. And Grover Norquist said that if you get rid of a tax loophole,
that`s raising taxes. Remember, he sent a letter to Tom Coburn and, the
Republican conservative who voted for Simpson-Bowles and said you can`t do
that because when you eliminate a tax loophole that`s raising taxes.


RENDELL: And Tom Coburn had the courage to send the letter back to
Grover Norquist telling him to pound sand and we need -- and I think
Representative Ellison knows this better than I do. There are good
Republicans out there.

ELLISON: No doubt.

RENDELL: Who I believe are not going to take the lead of this
delaying and officiating leadership that they go down this path. There are
Republicans like Tom Coburn and (INAUDIBLE) and you can name some of the
house I`m sure, Keith. So we`ve got to be willing to move this country
ahead and know that that means entitlement cuts, spending cuts, and it also
means increasing revenues.

SHARPTON: They are not only good Republicans, they are good
politicians because when you look at Grover`s losers, candidates who sign,
there`s no tax pledge. So many lost. Twenty four Republicans for the
Senate, 55 Republicans for the house to sign that pledge lost. It doesn`t
even make good political sense anymore.

ELLISON: You know, Reverend, can I just add, I think when you call on
members of Congress to step up and to do right by the American people but
I`m even asking for chambers of commerce in the business community to tell
their people in congress, solve this financial mess. Let`s get together,
do something that makes sense, let`s protect the vulnerable, let`s make
sure that we get revenue for people who have are it and, you know, the
defense is going to have to take some cuts and let`s get this thing done.

SHARPTON: I hope people at the dinner table tomorrow start talking
about it with their families.

Congressman Ellison, governor Rendell, thanks. And have a great

ELLISON: Thank you, happy thanksgiving to you, Rev.

RENDELL: Happy thanksgiving to you, Rev.

SHARPTON: Coming up, is Mitt Romney hanging out at the happiest place
on earth, his former friends are back stabbing him. But now we`re finding
out what those same haters were doing the Friday night before the election.

Plus, it`s a smack down. Chris Christie shows he`s willing to work
with President Obama so he`s the GOP`s public enemy number one. Can
Christie take down Rush Limbaugh?

And I have a very, very special thanksgiving surprise at the end of
the show. Trust me. You will not want to miss this.

You`re watching "Politics Nation" on MSNBC.


SHARPTON: Have you joined the "Politics Nation" conversation on
facebook yet? Everyone is talking about today`s turkey pardon at the White

Edwina says it was nice to see the kids. A fun tradition.

Perry raises a good point. He says, you mean the GOP didn`t
filibuster this?

And Maryanne jokes, when they say he pardoned the, I thought they made
an excuse Mitt Romney for his (INAUDIBLE) after the election.

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: We`re back on "Politics Nation" with the number of the day.
Here`s a hint. It`s Mitt Romney`s favorite. The number of the day is 47.
That`s how much of the popular vote Mitt Romney is now projected to have
won. Pretty funny, right? What are the chances that Mr. 47 percent is
literally Mr. 47? It`s a fitting end point to the Mitt Romney experience.

Governor Romney knows that it`s all over. He`s enjoying some time on
the rides at Disneyland. But as he`s taking in the fun, his former friends
are politically backstabbing him. It`s a full war inside the party.
Today, one of Romney`s top policy advisers revealed what was really going
on with all of the Romney haters.


DAN SENOR, ROMNEY CAMPAIGN ADVISOR: Watching some of these Republican
officials now trashing Mitt Romney, the Friday night before the election,
we were in Cincinnati for this huge rally, I think there were tens of
thousands of people. You could feel the energy. A hundreds of Romney top
surrogates at the event. I`m backstage with them, I won`t mention the
names and they talked about Romney like he is Reagan. They believe he is a
winner in four, five days. And in fact, some of them were already talking
to a transition, to position itself for a Romney cabinet. And I won`t say
who they are. They know who they are. They were on television. The body
was - I mean, it`s unbelievable. Five, six days later absolutely
eviscerating him.


SHARPTON: Wow. Pull back the curtain and what do you see? He says a
bunch of phonies. Don`t be fooled, they haven`t learned any lessons.

Joining me now is Ana Marie Cox, Washington correspondent for "the
Guardian" and Ryan Grim, Washington bureau chief of "the Huffington Post."

Thanks to you both for being here tonight.


having me.

SHARPTON: Ana, Dan Senior says that they are phonies. What do you
make of this?

COX: What do I make of them being phony? Well, that`s a shock, of
course. I think you were saying before you have to pull back the curtain
to see if they are phony. I mean, I think one thing that we saw in this
election was plenty of people sort of saying two thing at a different sides
of their mouths, sort of back to back. I mean, we didn`t have to uncover
very much to see the phoniness.

I think what is ironic here is that these people who are former
surrogates for Romney or his campaign form in some way, running away from
them. They are not running to anything else. I don`t feel like - I don`t
feel like the Republican Party has figured out that what it is that they do
want. I mean, it`s early yet. But they definitely -- all they figured out
is Romney was toxic. Of course, he was toxic before. But now they are
allowed to say that, I guess.

SHARPTON: No, that`s a good point, Ryan, because when Romney made his
gift comments last week, a slew of his former surrogates and top surrogates
came out and tore them apart. But take a listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are in a big hole. We are not getting out of
it by comments like that. When you are in a hole, stop digging. He keeps

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R), LOUISIANA: If we want people to like us, we
have to like them first. And you don`t start to like people by insulting
and by saying that their votes were bought.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For anyone who want to live there peace in
American dream, you have to show that we are serious about reaching and
helping everyone, not just a group here, not just a group there.


SHARPTON: Now, these are his surrogates, his supporters tearing him
apart after the gift statement but he didn`t say any of that when he was
caught on film talking about the 47 percent. Why not?

GRIM: -- conditions. Only when the two sides are --

SHARPTON: Wait a minute. I think we have lots your mic, Ryan. Let
me go to you to respond to that, Ana Marie, while we get Ryan straight.

COX: I think we are going also saying the same thing. I mean, they
figured out that Romney didn`t work. I think a lot of people probably
figured out that Romney was a toxic candidate before he actually lost. I
don`t know what was going on behind the scene at that rally in Ohio. I
mean, I think a lot of times you get caught up in the group stink of
candidacy and you can have really want someone to win. The people saw the
writing on the wall before this is all over. People who were actually
paying attention to the real poll numbers.

But, what I`m surprised by it is that no one has sort of even started
to think about fast forward for the Republican Party. I mean, this re-
election conclusively prove, you can no longer win campaigning for the
votes of white men. You are going to have to campaign in a different
America with different value. You can maybe argue about what the message
of delivery of certain government services, whether it`s a capital system
or a system that have less of a free market bias to it. But you have to
talk about taking care of everybody. You can`t say that some people don`t
get health care. You have to talk to about and get delivering health care
to everyone, not just some people go to the emergency room.

SHARPTON: But Ryan, you`re back with us now. Is it maybe that they
didn`t attack the 47 percent statement because Dan Senior is right, they
were still holding out that they might win and wanted to be in the cabinet
or wanted some assignment and when he made the gift statement he had
already lost so there was nothing for opportunists to lose at that point?

GRIM: Right. That`s exactly what they are doing. You know, they
kind of ran this campaign the same way they`ve been running every national
presidential campaign since Nixon`s southern strategy, right through a
Ronald Reagan, right to Willy Horton up until today.

Now, they probably knew this was the last time that they could run
this play because of the changing demographics but they figured if we can
eat one more out, let`s take it.

But Ana Marie makes a good point. You know, where are they going to
go next? Because it`s not like they got into this position by accident.
You know, through this southern strategy and extending it, you know, 40
years later, they`ve created a self-reinforcing kind of ecosystem where you
have conservative media and a conservative base all feeding off each other.
And that means that if anybody, if the base tries to move or somebody
within the conservative media try to say, well, let`s try to moderate a
little bit, then that ecosystem expels that person because it`s a threat to
this giant industry that`s been built up. You know, FOX News and all of
the things that are around it.

So it`s going to be really difficult for them to take that final --
that final move. And I think it`s going to have to come from the top
because the grassroots conservatives are so kind of entrenched and so
distrustful of the base in the mainstream media.

SHARPTON: Ryan, Ana Marie was saying that they have to reach out.
And Republicans say that they want to reach out to everyone and being open-
minded. But look at their record. Look at where they stand on the issue.

They oppose the affordable care act. Support privatizing Social
Security, want to reverse student loan reform, refuse to raise tacks on the
rich. They are against government welfare spending. And, I mean, with
these policy positions, how can we believe them?

Paul Krugman said today, he doesn`t trust the Republican Party`s so-
called evolution. Let me read what he says. These new Republicans we`re
told are willing to be more open-minded on cultural issues more
understanding and skeptical on trickle-down economics is enough. So what
should we call these Republicans? I have a suggestion. Why not call them


GRIM: That`s right. They stand for a certain set of values and they
have for a significant amount of time. And so, you know, if they deviate
from that, then they are going to be called traitors by the people who
remain. It`s going to be a tremendous problem. And when you have policies
that are unpopular, say, cutting Medicare, cutting Social Security, it
doesn`t help to, quote/unquote `reach out." You know, hey, OK. Let`s have
a town hall and I`m going to explain to you how am I going to cut your
Social Security.

That doesn`t help. It`s not that people personally dislike the
messenger. They don`t like the message that you want to cut Medicare or
cut Social Security or, you know, or otherwise break the social contract as
they`ve been pushing. So, yes, it`s going to be really tough. And I don`t
quite see how they get out of this.

SHARPTON: Well, Ana Marie Cox and Ryan Grim, thank you both for
joining us and have a great holiday.

COX: Thank you.

GRIM: Happy thanksgiving.

SHARPTON: Coming up, a progressive president with a mandate for
change. What do you think he should focus on in his second term?

Plus, it`s the knock down drag out fight in the GOP. Rush Limbaugh
versus Chris Christie.

And at the end of the show, something we have never done on "Politics
Nation," a thanksgiving surprise. Stay with us.



goodness, who could would have imagined pizza could build this. You know
what, this is really something. Don`t you love this country? What grounds
these are. The pool, the golf course.


SHARPTON: That was Mitt Romney in April gushing all over the Palacio
home of papa John`s founder John Schneider. During the campaign, papa John
became a key Romney surrogate, attacking the president`s health care law,
saying quote "Obama care law will cost 11 to 14 cents per pizza. A whole
extra dime for health care. Oh, my, how are we supposed to afford that?
It was a ridiculous argument. And now papa John has done a total about-
face. He run an op-ed in "the Huffington Post" to say his critics have it
all wrong. He`s going to honor the law. In fact, Papa John wrote, quote,
"the good news is that 100 percent of the population is going to get health
insurance. I`m cool with that."

He`s cool with that? Oh, thank heavens. I was so worried it was
giving me heartburn. It also says, quote, "this I get to provide health
care insurance and not at all be at a competitive disadvantage." Yep, he`s
realized the health care law`s not going anywhere, so Papa John started
eating a big old piece of other pie. If only he talked to those republican
governors who still want to stop the law in his tracks. They know all of
the good law is doing.

Just this week, the Health Department`s put out new rules for
insurance companies. Insurers can`t charge women more than they do men.
They have to offer more prescription coverage and they can`t jack up rates
for older people. Papa John`s finally started serving up some reality.
It`s time the right wing grabbed a slice, too.





GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), NEW JERSEY: I`d like to thank some people,
I`d like to thank the Red Cross and first responders. I`d also like to
give a special thanks to my lovely wife Mary Pat who`s here tonight who has
put up with her husband who has smelled like a wet fleece for the past
three weeks.

MEYERS: Yes, you had been wearing that fleece a lot.

CHRISTIE: Oh, yes. It`s basically fused to my skin at this point

MEYERS: Yes. But I had seen you wearing suit.

CHRISTIE: Oh, yes. But I wear them over the fleece. I`m going to die in
this fleece. But that`s OK, it is a
good fleece.

MEYERS: It is a good fleece.

CHRISTIE: Stop saying things I`ve already said.

MEYERS: All right. OK.



SHARPTON: Governor Chris Christie and his famous fleece on "Saturday
Night Live" and it`s funny, because it`s true, the Governor has been
fighting for weeks to bring back New Jersey, back from Hurricane Sandy that
devastated a huge part of the state and the voters are noticing Christie`s
favorability rating is now at 67 percent. Up 15 points since the storm.
You don`t see that much in American politics. In a state dominated by
Democrats, a state the President won by 17 points. The message is clear,
voters want action, not blind partisanship. Here`s what they are saying.
Do your job, find common ground, do it together.

You would think other Republicans would be getting the hint. But
there`s the problem. Take a look at the republican so-called leaders who
is in charge. Who is in charge here? Not Marco Rubio, not the rejected VP
candidate Paul Ryan. Bobby Jindal is making noise lately but it`s not him.
Mitch number one goal McConnell isn`t it. His speaker John Boehner is
certainly not in charge. That leads to Chris Christie and Rush Limbaugh.
The take charge governor who`s getting -- from Democrats versus the hard
right radio talk show host. How does this GOP movie end?

Joining me now is Zerlina Maxwell, political analyst and contributor
to "The Grio" and democratic strategist Margie Omero. Thanks to both of
you for being here tonight.


SHARPTON: Zerlina, let me start with you. The GOP has a real rush
problem. How do you see this ending?

2009, James Carville did a poll and found that Rush Limbaugh -- many people
find that Rush Limbaugh is the leader of the Republican Party and that has
not changed over the course of four years. Rush Limbaugh doesn`t have to
run for any office. And so, he`s beholden to no one except advertisers and
viewers. And so, elected officials on the republican side need to stand up
to Limbaugh first before they can really go out and get more votes in the
broader sector of the electorate.

SHARPTON: But Margie, is it risky for a republican to stand up to
Limbaugh when he`s popular in the base and he`s no guarantee that they
would be able to broaden their support unless the Christie example on
standing up with the President and doing his job becomes a new model for
our Republicans can say, you know, maybe this is not as risky as I thought?

OMERO: I don`t think it`s risky. I mean, look, you`re trying to
reach more voters. You have to love the voter in order to be able to talk
to the voter and if you are, as an elected official, beholden to Rush
Limbaugh, who really puts, you know, pitting one group of voters versus
another, that`s his M.O. and when he`s talking about Chris Christie, we`re
talking about banishing people in the party for simply the optics of being
bipartisan on an issue that could not be more bipartisan or nonpartisan.
That is emergency relief, right? And so, if the Republican Party wants to
take use from Rush Limbaugh and banish people for seeming too bipartisan in
emergencies, that`s really not a good way to attract more people across
party lines which is what you need to win elections.

SHARPTON: Now, Zerlina, Eric Boehlert at Media Matters says that GOP
doesn`t have a Mitt Romney problem, it has a conservative media problem.
Quote, "The split over Romney`s gift remark highlights the larger divide
within the conservative movement between two distinct camps, activists and
politicians who want to get more Republicans elected versus right-wing
media players who want to grow their audience."

MAXWELL: Right. You know, voters are one thing but your audience is
an entirely different thing. It`s conservatives that are watching FOX News
and listening to Rush Limbaugh and conservative radio and the bottom line
is, the gifts comment, I don`t even like to think of it as gifts. I like
to think of it as rights. Voters went to the polls and voted so that they
could have their rights, health care, affordable reproductive health care,
my right to choose, things of that nature.

And so, it`s important that to note that conservative media is pushing
the line about gifts and that`s why Mitt Romney echoed that because it`s an
echo chamber but voters went to the polls and exercised their right to vote
in order to protect fundamental constitutional rights that are guaranteed
to them.

SHARPTON: Well, isn`t it true, Margie, that everyone votes based on
their interests and there is really some cold language there calling it
gifts like giveaways, like handouts? When everyone votes their interests,
those are not gifts. That is why you vote in any democratic process. You
vote for the people that you feel stand for what you believe and stand for
the interests that you want to see served whether you personally need them
or not.

OMERO: Right. It certainly -- I mean, one person`s gift is another
person`s policies. One person`s gift is another person -- somebody who
actually cares about me as opposed to saying publicly, I don`t really care,
those people don`t care about me and I don`t care about them. And it`s not
just about who`s going to provide me with the XY and Z or this dollar or
matter or this benefit. It`s about who people think will actually fight
for them and supports them and likes them and when you have this really
divisive language, when you have this prioritizing bipartisanship, hyper
partisanship and bickering and fighting and nastiness and negativity,
voters just really reject it and that`s why Congress have record low
approval, that`s why Barack Obama got re-elected and that`s why you`re
seeing all of this in fighting in the Republican Party right now.

And I mention, one other thing, Chris Christie is actually seeing a
lot of the benefits in the polls from his behavior in the last few weeks
before the election where New York City voters say, they really favored his
handling of the hurricane -- crisis.

SHARPTON: Yes. And it`s not even based on what you get personally.
I don`t live in New Jersey but I respect what Chris Christie did. I`m not
a Christie fan, I`m not a woman but I was outraged by the war of women, the
Republicans, this is not a gift, it`s interest. But if you saw how the
republican pundits went after Christie, of what he did, let me show you
some of it.


JOHN FEEHERY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: We cannot be coward by them. We
have to, when they say things that are causally insensitive and stupid, we
need to go after them and say this is not right. We got to stand up, we
need some real leadership within the party to say, you know, you are
alienating voters that we want to attract. Knock it off.

MIKE MURPHY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: We`ve got to get kind of a party
view of America that is not Rush Limbaugh`s dream journal.

conservative. Should not be defined around who agrees with whatever
outrageousness comes out of the mouths of the talk radio hosts.

DAVID FRUM, FORMER BUSH SPEECHWRITER: The conservatives -- have been
fleeced, exploited, and lied to by the conservative entertainment complex.


SHARPTON: That`s actually the tape that I was going to next of some
of the moderates going after Rush Limbaugh and I mean, from saying they
were fleeced, some of the pundits are beginning to take on Limbaugh but
none of the GOP leadership.

MAXWELL: Right. And I think, you know, right now it might be easier
for them to stand up to Limbaugh. When they have to run in a primary, they
are going to need Rush Limbaugh and other conservative media figures
because they need to go on their shows, they need to get their audience in
order to win a GOP primaries. Since they have a problem because they have
to cater to that extreme element in order to get the nomination for
whatever office they are running for.

SHARPTON: Zerlina and Margie, I`m going to have to leave it there.
Thank you for joining me. Have a great thanksgiving to both of you.

MAXWELL: Thank you.

OMERO: Thank you. You too.

SHARPTON: Ahead, the secret to second term success. How President
Obama can turn his political victory into a historic legacy. And a very
special Thanksgiving surprise for the end of the show. You`ll definitely
want to see this one. Stay with us.


SHARPTON: My special Thanksgiving surprise for POLITICS NATION is
coming up.


SHARPTON: Just two weeks after the election, it was all about
domestic issues. President Obama is grappling with a big tested foreign
affairs. The President sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the
Middle East to work on rising violence between Israel and Hamas. And
today, big results. She announced a cease fire. So, what will the
President do next? Will he go big for peace in the Middle East like Bill
Clinton did in his second term? How will he address his opportunities here
at home? The progressive agenda he talked about on election night.


PRES. BARACK OBAMA (D), UNITED STATES: Reducing our deficit.
Reforming our tax code. Fixing our immigration system. Freeing ourselves
from foreign oil.

We want our children to live in America that is unburdened by debt,
that isn`t weakened up by inequality, that isn`t threaten by the
destructive power of a warming planet.

We know in our hearts that for the United States of America. The best
is yet to come.


SHARPTON: Millions of Americans agree. They hope the best is yet to
come and for him and the country, that is our hope.

SHARPTON: Joining me now is Douglas Brinkley, professor at Rice
University, he is also the author of the new biography, "Cronkite." Thank
you for your time, Doug.

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, AUTHOR, "CRONKITE": Happy Thanksgiving, Reverend.

SHARPTON: Thank you. Same to you and your family.

You`ve spoken to the President many times. Where do you think he sees
the greatest opportunity for success in his second term?

BRINKLEY: Well, he has something he calls -- he says a lot in his
speeches at fair shake. I think he wants to be remembered by a term like
that that he gave, spread fairness in the United States. That means in our
urban centers, the schools have to be competitive with good Math and
Science teachers, I think the per share is about getting the affordable
care act part of the law of the land, something like Social Security,
Medicaid and Medicare. Almost a birth right.

All of the points that we know about him as he cares about the middle
class and the people in poverty and I think he`s staking out a claim that
they are not going to be left behind bringing more people into the
prosperity of the United States and in a second term dealing with global
warming climate change. And on that, I suspect you`ll see him hold a
summit of all the world leaders to talk how we can work on the climate
issue together after all it`s not just affecting the United States. Every
country is being affected by the warmer climate.

SHARPTON: Well, we`ve had second term as presidents who have had
achievements and failures. Ronald Reagan tax reform, Bill Clinton,
balanced the budget. George Bush, privatizing Social Security. Where do
president succeed and fail during their second terms?

BRINKLEY: Their big thing this way is to find the right opportunity
to push something forward, sometimes it could come out of crisis. Dwight
Eisenhower in his second term, the soviet put up Sputnik, and he responded
with the creation of NASA, you have Norman Nixon (ph) came in, the Santa
Barbara oil spill took place in the Cuyahoga River in Ohio was on fire and
Nixon with the democratic Congress created the EPA. So, the President can
have to capitalize on the crisis of the moment.

You mentioned a minute ago, peace in the Middle East. All presidents
have been trying to do that. Jimmy Carter famously got peace between Egypt
and Israel, Camp David Accords, I think it`s worked Reverend, the new
secretary of state is to pick up this Baton Overture of today and push it
forward, keep working on Middle East peace process and with just what the
President is doing, go call America pacific basin country also and work on
developing better trade relations with China and the whole of far east.

SHARPTON: Should he look at where Americans are in terms of their
support of policies, for example, 51 percent support gay marriage, 57
percent support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, 60 percent
favor raising taxes, 68 percent say climate change is a serious problem. I
mean, should he go at issues that most of the American public are with

BRINKLEY: Well, as we all know, he`s got to deal with the so-called
fiscal cliff right now. It will be resolved and I think the climate is
right for immigration reform. And he`s going to have about six months
where he`s going to do real business with Congress. But if they stymie him
and if they haven`t seemed to evolve out of the whooping that just took
place, the President is going to have to use executive power and executive

On an issue like climate, there are many cases to be made that an
executive doesn`t need to work with Congress because it`s a national
security concern. How many more Sandy do we need? How many more record
wildfires burning Colorado, a New Mexico do we need? So, he`s going to be
able to lead regardless of whether Congress wants to deal with him. Let`s
hope that Congressman Boehner and others will get on the page of the

SHARPTON: Douglas Brinkley, thanks for your time tonight and a happy
thanksgiving to you.

BRINKLEY: Back at you.

SHARPTON: Coming up next, a POLITICS NATION first. I had a dream.
Actually, it was more like a nightmare. You`ll see it, next.


SHARPTON: I had a terrible nightmare last night. I dreamed Governor
Romney won the election. And how did he celebrate, you asked, well, the
guy who loves to take over companies took over something else. The
Thanksgiving Day Parade. Like I said, it was a real nightmare.


ANNOUNCER: Republican Thanksgiving Day Parade. The GOP stars are out
in force. Forget the turkey this year. We`ve got a -- performance for
Romney back -- meat loaf and what would the republican Thanksgiving Day
Parade be without Governor Romney himself?

above the fruited plain.

ANNOUNCER: Plus, who needs Snoopy when you`ve got this new character
balloon hitting the fall sky for the first time, Rush Limbaugh. He has got
enough hot air to stay up there past Christmas. All this, plus, special
appearances by GOP stars. Speaker John Boehner, Newt Gingrich, and Chris
Christie. Wait a minute, guys. Why didn`t anyone proof this script? He`s
not invited to any more republican functions. And to cap it all off, the
superstar of the super parade, Santa Claus.

Well, wait a second. Apologies once again, Santa has been canceled.
He`s been giving out too many gifts. You`re watching the first annual
republican Thanksgiving Day Parade sponsored by P90x. We send it now to
this year`s host, the Reverend Al Sharpton.


SHARPTON: Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I`m honored to be your host
for this year`s republican Thanksgiving Day Parade. Let`s get right to it.
You`re looking at live pictures of the parade route. You might be asking
yourself where is everyone? Well, 47 percent of America was told to stay
home and not everyone had photo ID. So, they weren`t allowed in either.
You can thank Attorney General Scott Walker for that one. Heck of a job,
Scottie. And now to the musical performance everyone in the GOP has been
waiting for. Meat loaf. Take it away.


Just fantastic. What a way to start. You might be hearing screams in
the background. That`s because we`ve got a real crowd pleaser coming.
What a booking folks. Say hello to Clint Eastwood and his empty chair.
Clint`s saying goes, make my day. Let me tell you, that chair is making a
lot of people`s days out on the parade route. Secretary of Science Todd
Akin. He`s just drinking in all of the festivities. And check out Romney
cabinet member Donald Trump working the crowd. He`s back from another fact
finding mission in Kenya.

Don`t think he found anything. Oh, wow, here comes the yellow bird
that everyone was talking about this year. Of course, I`m talking about
big bird. Whoa. What`s that in Mr. Romney`s hand? I think he`s trying to
pop that bird. Can`t say I didn`t see that one coming. What a day out
here. Let`s see. Here comes an empty float. Oh, I see. All of the
people on it actually self-departed. The crowd here just loves that. And
I`m hearing we have a special guest along the parade route. And here`s the
new secretary of state, Speaker Gingrich, Speaker Gingrich. What are you
most excited about?




SHARPTON: Ironically, no elephants at this parade. Sorry, Newt. No
animals. But we do have bus, maybe he can take you to that moon colony you
are looking to build.

Scary, scary. I know what I`m thankful for this year. That that was
just a dream. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving, everyone.

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


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