tv Politics Nation MSNBC October 31, 2011 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
my book is out in stores tomorrow. i'm asking you to get it and please read it. it will live your spirit and also challenge you. that's "hardball" for now. thanks for being with us. "politics nation" with al sharpton starts right now. want to see something really scary? check out what republicans want to do to america. >> we have no idea the source of to witch-hunt. >> i was falsely accused. >> the excel consequence fly out. can he survive the past coming back to haunt him? also dr. jekyll and mr. romney. can willard escape his worst enemy -- himself? >> we don't know what's causing climate change on this planet. >> i believe the humans contribute to that. >> whatever you say. bob shrum and dana milbank.
>> live free or die, victory or death. bring it. >> perry-normal activity, shooting from the lip. alex and erin. and bernie sanders talk about the real slasher movie. >> are they willing to tear down the economy in order to tear down the president? >> republicans and what they want to do. >> trace the call. it's coming from inside the house. all that plus a if you supergnarl surprises. >> welcome, rev. >> hello, al. >> hey, who is that guy? >> it's a spooky special on "politics is nation, and it all starts right now.
welcome to politics nation. i'm al sharpton. tonight's lead, forget halloween. that's only one night. for the republican party, fright night just goes on and on. we'll talk about the herman cain's sexual harassment story in a moment, but first, who is willard mitt romney trying to get this halloween? the flipper or the flopper? george will calls him the human pretzel. ouch. today he's getting tagged as a flip-flopper. it's getting impossible to keep track of his positions. >> when the facts change, i change too, madam.
what do you do? >> i need reinforcements to try to help us understand where willard really stands. so i'd like to welcome a very special guest to "politics nation." welcome, rev. >> hello, al. >> glad i could join me. let's start off with the issue of abortion. i think we can be sure how he feels. listen. >> i will preserve and protect a woman's right to choose, and i do take exception to shannon characterizing my view as being any different than hers in this regard. >> i will preserve and protect. it's pretty hard to argue with that kind of conviction. >> for you, it is. but for willard? it's as easy as argyle. >> i'm and i believe in the saintity of life from the beginning to the end. >> you learn something new every day.
rev, what about guns? that's a no-brainer, we all know where willard stands. >> i believe they help protect us and provide for our safety. >> i won't chip away at them. the man obviously supports gun laws. whoa, cowboy, except when he doesn't, like when he's talking to the national rifle association? >> as grorchor, i worked closely with the nra and gun owners action league to advance legislation that expanded the rights of gun owners in my state. >> wow, talking about shooting yourself in the foot. i guess he didn't think there was a camera nearby. willard has taken a lot of heat for the law he passed in massachusetts as governor. here's what he used to say about it. >> i happen to like what we did. i think it's a good model. >> i don't care how it works politically. in my view it's the right thing
to do. >> it's the right thing to do. it's a good model. in fact he advises with the he met with the obama people at they planned the health care plan, so romney would be for obama health care law. right, rev? >> not so fast. just a few months ago he said this about obama's plan. >> obama care is bad law, constitutionally. it's bad policy, it's bad for american families. >> my head is spinning. >> mine too. i'm seeing double. >> the man can never agree with himself, but we can. this is a great show, if i do say so myself. >> well, thank you, if i must say so. you look marvelous. i would like to thank myself for taking time out of my busy schedule to come on my show. >> you're very welcome.
it's always a pleasure, al. >> now i'm joined by two more guests to talk about the old mitt and his flip-flops. bob shrum and dana mill bank, national political reporter for "the washington post." >> mitt romney needs two to cover -- there seems to be two of him. >> you gave a vivid demonstration of the truth, which is that romney wasn't pro-choice. he was multiple choice.
it's true all across the board, and on issues bit and small. ethanol this week flip flopping on the ballot measure in ohio to repeal the antiunion law, which he said he wasn't going to get into. in the process he doesn't mind throwing out core convictions, if he has any. people are right to wonder who this guy really is. that's why there's been a long search for the non-romney candidate and that's why he's constantly stuck at 25% of the vote when he should have this tied up by now. >> dana, when you look at this long list of flip-flops, and we almost ran out of space on the screen campaign finance reform,
whether or not he's a conser conservati conservative, whether he likes ronald reagan. can he survive this politically? political how do you sell this, when obviously if he's the nominee, this is going to be all over commercials and driven home? >> sure, he can survive this. as you pointed out, this is hallowe halloween. the obama campaign has been encouraging this, and it's great fun, and weakens him in the primaries even fur. there's one occasion here, should the obama campaign decide to appointed out later on the very conservative positions he's taken right now, it may be difficult, so it's possible that
next november voters may see him as less threatening. let me go to george will, certainly well respected conservative columnist. he said this about mr. romney. a straddle is not a political philosophy. he goes on to call him a pretzel. even more, i think harmful, he says republicans may have found that i michael dukakis, who believes elections should be about competent, not ideology. notwithstanding that, given the polls that show us republican voters are more concerned about
ideology, could this trip him up in the republican primaries as dana alluded to? >> sure, it could. i think that's a little unfair to dukakis. that was a very unfortunate line, but i've known him for 40 years. the guy is a person of consistent and deep belief. with romney, you have somebody who has changed not just on incidental issues, but on core issues of conscience. what is sustaining him right now is that the rest of the field is so week, it ranges from what i call the inauthentic to the incredible. herman cain will never be president of the united states, but he's the current non-romney. the question is whether or not rick perry can campaign better and become plausible. about 75% of the republican party, not the establishment but the voters, is looking for someone other than romney.
>> hang around. i'm going to show you rick perry in all of his splendor in a little while, but let's get to another big story of the day. revealed from his time as president of the national restaurant association. politico broke the story reporting at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group. cain spent the day dismissing the allegations. >> i have never sexually harassed anyone. >> little totally baseless and totally false. >> he also did some singing. ♪ i'll never know why jesus came ♪ ♪ to love me so
♪ he looked beyond ♪ all my faults ♪ and saw my needs >> now, dana, i'm not one to rush to judgment on anyone i don't think we have done it when people on the left or liberate side has been accused of harassment or things like this of a sexual nature, and i don't think we ought to do it on the other side. what does raise a flag with people like me that want to be as fair is let me show you this morning at 11:30 on fox, this is what cain said about his
knowledge of the settlement with these ladies with the restaurant association. >> if the restaurant association did a settlement, i wasn't even aware of it, and i hope it wasn't for much, because nothing happened. if there was a settlement, it handled by some of the other officers that worked for me at the association. >> then a few hours later he's going to say in an interview that will be televised, but we have the transcript -- he says "the washington examiner" has learned he told greta van uss tern, quote, that my general counsel said this started out where she and her lawyer were demand ago huge financial settlement, we ended up settling for what could have been a termination settlement. i don't rerm. i do remember my general counsel saying we didn't pay all the
money they demanded i 24i as facts start changing, now you start getting into an area of inconsistency that has nothing to do with the real charge. that's where i think it starts getting troubling. >> it is. he has the contradiction there, and he's tried various different ways to respond to this today. these people obviously didn't get the jokes. he's played that card before with the electrified fence. a lot of times when he makes a gaffe, he says people just didn't understand him. his supporters are so passionate about having somebody that's not a real politician. they're really willing to kim him an extraordinary am of slacks.
he could be -- we could find out he was some kind of psychokiller, and a large number will saying, that's great, at least he wasn't working in the government at that time, so he has a passionate group of people. i don't this chips away at that, but it does raise questions. >> we don't know where the facts are going to lead, but if he continues to look inconsistent and not having a true character and standing up for what they claim they want will that weaken him among his became supporters in the tea party crowd? >> dana may be right that he's got a strong base, though as i said earlier they're looking for a non-romney, and if he looks wounded, they may move away. and if he's lies about whether or not he knew about the settlements, what else could he be lying about?
i think the only way through this is for the release of those reports from the national restaurant association, you can redact the womens' names, but what was he alleged to have done, and is it he didn't do anything, why in the world did they pay tens of thousands of dollars to these women. i think these questions will haunt him, but if he antses them, maybe in dana's world, they won't be fatal, but he won't get enough supporters to be the rep nominee. >> dana said you could have been a serial killer, i said none of this affects my opinion of you, so my guests don't reflect my opinion. this is a person matter that you will deal with.
bop shall rum and dana milbank, thank you for your time tonight. have fun trick-or-treating. ahead, eric cantor takes tea party hypocrisy to a new level. plus president obama's fight for the middle classes working. and speaker boehner has a new line of attack. is the speaker panicking? and it's the speech the political world is buzzing about. america, i give you rick perry. this is such a cool stayed. live free or die? it's like live free or die, victory or death, bring it. we'll figure out what in the world was going on. you're watching "politics nation" on msnbc.
move over, smoking man in the herman cain ad, here comes rick perry in new hampshire. the gop's newest youtube sensation. it's next. ♪ feel the power my young friend. mmm! [ male announcer ] for unsurpassed fruit and veggie nutrition... v8 v-fusion. could've had a v8. and here's what we did today: supported nearly 3 million steady jobs across our country... ... scientists, technicians, engineers, machinists... ... adding nearly 400 billion dollars to our economy... we're at work providing power to almost a quarter of our homes and businesses... ... and giving us cleaner rides to work and school... and tomorrow, we could do even more. cleaner, domestic, abundant and creating jobs now. we're america's natural gas. the smarter power, today. learn more at anga.us. with thermacare heatwraps.
thermacare works differently. it's the only wrap with patented heat cells that penetrate deep to relax, soothe, and unlock tight muscles. for up to 16 hours of relief, try thermacare. welcome back to this special halloween edition of "politics nation." for rick perry the scariest thing in the race right now is rick perry. joining me to talk about his bizarre speech friday night is alex wagner, msnbc analyst, soon to be the newest host on our netwo
network, and erin mcpike, reporter for real clear politics. alex and erin, this perry speech is the latest thing to go viral in the gop race. take a look. >> this is such a cool state. come on, live free or die? live free or die, victory or death, bring it. the texas rangers at 50 years are going to win a world series. oops. i grew up on a farm. i grew up -- i grew up on a farm. if they print any more money over there in washington, the gold's going to be good. are -- that! 20% flat tax, takes your detuxes off. send it in. >> that plan doesn't force the granite state to expand your tax footprint, if you know what i mean. like 9% expansion.
i love herman. is he the best? >> today has been awesome, girl. this has really been a great day. >> alex, erin, i'm an early riser. i get up early, and hit the remote at 6:00 this morning, and i saw this on "morning joe." i actually thought since it was monday, this was a spoof somebody did on rick perry on "saturday night live" because sometimes they do that on monday mornings on "morning joe." i had to watch it three different times before i really believed this was rick perry really speaking. i mean, what did you think when you saw this, alex? >> it was like the four stages of grief. initially it was disbelief, right? i can't believe this is actually real. then some sort of levity, and i definitely laughed. then i just felt really bad.
it's so -- the word wackadoo is somebody who was not on his a game, or b or c or d. >> and erin, when you ask the campaign of perry, they said that he was just being passionate, i think? is that what the response was? >> it's perry being perry. i talked to a lot of people who were actually at the speech s. people in new hampshire, who was there, and they said he was received really well, and it came off well live. but you talk about it going viral. think about if we had had youtube back then, it would have
been nuttier than it was at the time. that's just one thing you have to think about. live, it was perfectly being perry. on camera, not so good. >> i might let you know, erin, that i was in the 2004 race, and without youtube, dean never recovered from the scream, and we didn't -- politically, what does this do, alex? >> i think, erin says it's perry being perry, but i think a lot of people thought he was comb atoes. and it was him overcompensating, and trying to have personality. this is an incredibly critical time for rick perry. i don't think anybody doubts he has on lot of ground to make up. he's got to show he's competent and on point and on message. this completely derails that. it does not help him at all. >> let me -- let me play to you
what he says, though, on fox news sunday, erin, because you can't discount one fact. listen to this. >> this rails isn't settled at all. the thing i have learned is you pace yourself, it's not a sprint. it's a marathon. i'm confident we'll be out there competing. we have a war chest that allows us to get that message out there. >> war chest is the keyword. he's raised $17 million. when you look at the fighting funds, third-quarter fund-raising, rick perry has raised 17 million, mitt romney only $14 million. i will say that i think after this speed speech and it going viral he's going to need every bit of that money, but i think you can't discount a man who's raised more than anyone in the field, despite the fact he's fallen way behind everyone else in the field.
you're right. he's advertising on what his message is supposed to be, that in texas he created 40% of america's new jobs since the recession. once he gets back on message and people hear that again, they might say, that's why we like this guy. he's the guy with the best record in the field. whether or not that sticks we have yet to see, because we haven't seen any ads for mitt romney or herman cain, real tv ads, paid media. we've seen a few web ads, but nothing paid and those are what move voters in those states where they matter. next debate, he says he will do some now, he's got to come out and be on message? >> absolutely. keep in mind, this is someone 34er78en cain is beating rick perry among likely reporters in texas. that is not good news. he's beating them on suburban voters. this is not good.
i think erin is right. the fat lady has not sung. is the war chest will propel him forward. the air wave war has just begun, but he as got to show some core competencies. >> i did a lot of debates in 2004, and willard or herman, when he gets ready to go to message, go like this and say, here's his message. everybody will get it. alex wagner, erin mcpike, thanks so much -- i couldn't resist that. happy halloween. >> you too. >> ahead, paul ryan says the president is divisive, but we have prove to the contrary. you're watching "politics nation" on halloween. stay tuned. [ male announcer ] we asked real people if they'd help us with an experiment
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yes, we fight, but, you know, i'll tell you that 95% of my colleagues i think are doing exactly what their constituents want. >> republicans are doing exactly what their constituents want. that doesn't sound right. nearly two thirds of americans want to raise taxes on millionaires, but your party refuses to do so, and i downed your constituents agree the president plans to help students and homeowners is unconstitutional. >> with regard to the president's activities here over the last week, where he's decided that maybe the constitution doesn't matter -- so we're going to make sure that we're not violating the constitution. >> so, helping is the middle class violates the constitution, but protecting the rich, well, that's the will of the people. speaker boehner, stop accusing
democrats of waging class warfare as think progress points out, that's really more your speed. >> stupid people are ruins america. >> liberals should be ashamed. >> we're engaged in the battle of the american idea. >> if you want to kill jobs, you can. you said the single most important thing we want to achieve is for president obama to be a one-term president. >> that's true. my mice sing the most political goal, along with every active republican in the country. >> joining me is senator bernie sanders, independent from vermont, he's also a member of the progressive caucus, senator, thank you for coming on the show tonight. republicans continue to hammer the president for waging class warfare. am i the only one who finds that ridiculous? >> well, al, the truth is, there is class warfare going on in this country. unfortunately the wrong classes winning. the rich are becoming much
richer. banks and corporations are enjoying record-breaking profits all at the same time that the middle classes collapsing. poverty is increasing, and we have lost 50,000 factories in this country in the last ten years. so there is class warfare going on, but it is the big money interests against the 99% of the other people. >> now, when you look at what -- what mr. paul ryan, representative paul ryan said last week, accusing the president of class warfare, and then look at his plan on medicare, privatize medicare, raise costs for seniors by $6400 the "wall street journal" says the plan would end or eliminate medicare. that's class warfare. >> it certainly is. what you've got to add to that
is these guys not only are protecting all of the tax breaks of the rich -- and remember, the richest people now are paying the lowest effective tax rate in decades as warren buffett reminds us, there are corporations out there that make billion in profit, don't pay a nickel in federal income taxes. so the republicans want to expand that. more tax breaks for the rich, but they also want to slash social security, medicare and medicaid. al, that is precisely what class warfare is about. >> the other thing that really bothers me is every proposal that could try to provide jobs, provide some kind of relief they're voting against. it's almost like it's intentional and totally about trying to defeat this president. let me show you something david axelrod says over the weekend that's the first time a
high-profile person connected directly to the president even went that far. look at this. >> it's something different going on right now. when you have the leader, the republican leader of the senate say our number one goal in the midst of this economy, our number one goal is to defeat the president, and they're acting like it, they don't want to cooperate, they don't want to help, even on measure to help the economy, to you have to ask a question -- are they willing to tear down the economy in order to tear down the president? >> are they trying to sink the ship because they want to change the captains? >> yes. i think you'll note that in the last couple of weeks, the democratic leadership have brought up rather modest, i must tell you, modest proposals to probably the jobs of teachers, firemen, police officers -- i don't believe we've got one republican vote for that. this week, my understanding is we're going to bring forth
legislation to start rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure -- that's roads, bridges, and rail systems -- everybody in america knows that we need to do that, that we're falling farther -- >> senator sanders, you've been arguing infrastructure redevelopment and jobs for infrastructure for a long time. $6 on billion is what the senate will look at this week for roads, bridges, rails, airports, paid for with the surtax on millionaires, something that you've been arguing and a lot of progressives have been saying would provide jobs, and these are services that are needed. this is not like we're creating something that -- >> al, china is now spending 9% of its gdp on infrastructure. they're building thousands of miles of high-speed rail. europe, 5%. we are at 2.2%. we're beinging the laughingstock of the entire world. you want to put people to work
tomorrow? start rebuilding the infrastructure. it is incomprehensible to me that the republicans are opposing that. >> well, i thank you for being with us tonight, senator bernie sanders. i know you will continue to fight. i know that without a doubt. thank you for being with us this evening. >> thank you, al. coming up in public, the tea party hates stimulus, but in private they can't wait to get their hands on it. the story that eric cantor and allan west don't want you to hear. former congressman alan grayson responds. and what zombie mania has to do with today's republican party. stay with us. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. executor of efficiency. you can spot an amateur from a mile away...
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of the things that concerns them most about our future. anchts that's enough of out-of-control spending. >> it was a disaster, mr. president, an absolute disaster. >> every time he identifies a bridge or another project yet unfunded and in disrepair, he's going to remind people that it's his stimulus that was unable to deliver. >> but a new news week investigation reveals they tea party hypocrites have been talking out of both sides of their mouths, ripping spending in public while quietly begging for pork behind the scenes. take eric cantor. here a what he thought two years ago. >> over the last 50 days, we have passed a stimulus bill, we have passed the omnibus spending bill. it is striking to see the lack
of change in that bill just seven months after blasting that project, he signed this her, begging the department of transportation for money for high-speed rail back in his own state. ands dan stone is joining me as well. thank you both for being here. >> good evening. >> congress mast, you voted for the stimulus. they used your vote for stimulus against you.
>> that's right, and many others. in fact, over and over again, what you see is they complaint in public, but then they tell the public that somehow they created. michele bachmann, another example, her own family has received a quarter of a million in federal subsidies. a quarter of a million from one family. ron paul usually is above this sort of thing, but he begged for it to build high-spade rail in texas. houses did they get away with this. >> when kantor was asked about
the consistency, he says how he supported the rail project in, after slamming the rail project from disneyland to las vegas. he said i think -- from all parts of the reason i agree with is we need to do all we can to promote jobs. so we don't care about other areas, a it becomes something that is so wrong and ill-thought out around the country? how do they get away with this? >> this is the politics of pork, really. >> if you're supporting a job or bridge, which is what we found it's only helpful and not pork barrel government spending if it's in your district. a lot of these members of
congress, many from the tea party congress, they all write these letters. we illuminated about 12 in the store looking for this sort of money. >> contingentman gracin, let me go to another alan west is congressman-elect. let me play you what he said. >> i think it's important to get away from the exorbitant debt so that we can present ourselves as fiscally strong in this country. >> now allan west requests money for pet projects. four letters for pet projects in his first ten months on the job.
i think, dan, the thing most revealing about your article is not whether one agrees, but the hypocris hypocrisy, the blatant contradiction, saying one thing, and then actually begging for exactly what you're crusading against. >> right, a lot of these projects, they're pet projects, and this is what representative democracy is, to send a member of congress to get a piece of the pie to bring back home. the problem, plik you said, is a lot of members go out and say exactly this is the problem. someone else's district, someone else's pet, pork barrel project is the problem. what we illuminated is every member of congress does it, even those who rail against it. you have to run against this, you are attacked for this, and they're running around, trying to collect after condemning people like you.
>> that's right. they try to trick the public into thinking they're against federal spending, but they till take all the treats. that's what you see time after time. their verse of the lord's prayer is something like -- please deliver me from temptation the next time. >> let me ask you this, dan. when you look at the spokesman for mr. kantor, now, this one made me go back twice. here's a statement they say on how he supported the rail system being built in richmond, not vegas. quote -- the vegas rail line is essential an $8 billion earmark. the richmond rail has bipartisan support and was a far different animal. so help me out here. this is the map where the rail lines have been linking people, which would have linked commerce, would have provided jobs all over the country, but
that is ear does that mark. but if it's home, and he claims bipartisan, all of a sudden an earmark is not an earmark anymore. how did that work? >> it's important to remember that a lot of these projects are similar, but they're not the same. so what congressman kantor's spokesperson told me was essentially the line from disneyland to las vegas was a frivolous project, not a lot of research, and it wasn't shown to be popular or even lucrative, where richmond to washington, d.c., that was a line that would work much better. he's drawing a very distinct distinction, but it gets back to that point where if it's local and my project, it's all right. if it's also where, my taxpayers and district shouldn't have to pay for it. >> grayson, will the democrats be able to show this contradiction as the congress is up next near during the reelection? >> yes, the is it public
understands the hypocrisy. that's the problem that mitt romney is having right now. he's on both sides of every issue. the case of herman cain, i guess -- >> thank you, i've got to go, but i thank both 6 you, congressmcongress m congressman grayson, and dan stone. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] juice drink too watery?
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happy halloween, everyone. right now kids across the country are dressed up in their costumes going door to door trick-or-treating. over the weekend president obama and the first lady handed out candy to local kids, but folks, this is the year of the zombie. they're everywhere you turn. tv shows like "the walking dead" have helped inspire the trend. today is the day you let your
inner zombie out. the problem with the republicans is they're acting like ghouls every day. it's okay to scare your costume on halloween. it's not okay when you have your policies scaring people every day. your state has executed 234 inmates. have you struggled to sleep at night with the idea that any one of those might have been innocent? >> no, sir, i've never struggled with that at all. >> do you intend to circumvent the progress that's been made -- >> don't blame wall street, don't blame the big banks. if you don't have a job and you're not rich, blake yourself. >> hey, i can join the trend. it's trick or treat. my problem is, when they keep tricking us so they can get the treat.