Martin Bashir | November 16, 2012
>> i want to go right to the reverend al sharpton , host of "politics nations" here on msnbc who was at the white house for a meeting the president held with civic leaders from around the nation. the reverend sharpton was there in his capacity as leader of the national action network , the civil rights group he founded in 1991 . good afternoon, sir. we're delighted to have you with us.
>> glad to be with you, martin.
>> how would you characterize the president's mood? obviously many of us have not had the opportunity to see him since the election itself. how is he? how is he reacting?
>> he seemed very energized. he seemed very focused. he met this morning with congressional leaders. he met with 12 of us that lead various organizations in the african- american latino students, and it was a very open and candid meeting about the fiscal cliff. he's committed as he said publicly. he said to us privately that he's not going to back up in terms of protecting the middle class tax cut that is scheduled to expire at the end of the month. and we all, despite whatever other views we have, are committed to standing with him on that.
>> now, you referred and referenced a number of the groups that you yourself represent one, latino groups, students, a number of these people were described, as you know, by mitt romney , as seeking free stuff. these are the people who the president apparently duped into voting for him. did that issue come up at all today?
>> no. i mean, first of all, you had women groups there. you had the sister simone from the nuns on the bus. what free stuff? are we saying middle class americans when we say that they should not have to pay or extend the tax cut , that that's free stuff for middle class americans whether it's in north dakota or north brooklyn, but when we give loopholes to big corporations or tax cuts to the wealthy, that's not a gift? i mean, i think it's absurd. it's insulting, and it's offensive. i think americans voted. they made it clear where they wanted to go. and i think that rather than mr. romney trying some late minute class warfare or race-baiting, he needs to get in step with where the american people are.
>> well, you are a ordained minister , and speaking of strange statements we heard today from franklin graham , son of billy graham . mr. graham tells a right wing website that the president's re-election puts the nation on, and i'm quoting him, a path of destruction and suggested that only, quote, complete economic collapse can put the nation back on the path to godliness. i thought, sir, that godliness was about taking care of the poor and the marginalized. mr. graham seems to be suggesting that the president's concern for these individuals, those individuals represented by people like yourself, that this is a path to destruction.
>> well, i think that what mr. graham's message is certainly something that we could say that we were on the way to economic collapse , and this president brought us back. so not only is he theologically unsound, he's historically inaccurate. the fact of the matter is if he was paying attention, we almost went to our knees, and now we're working our way back 32 months of job creation. we're seeing the whole economy starting a recovery, so i think mr. graham is off base both historically, he is theologically way off base because the whole concept is that jesus came for the downtrodden, the left out, and the lost. he did not come to protect those that were at the top of the economic ladder, and i think that rather than try to use the bible to justify the rich, they ought to read the bible where jesus challenged the rich and their relationship as to how they dell with the poor.
>> reverend al sharpton , sir, straight out of a meeting with the president. thank you, sir, so much for joining us.
>> thank you, martin.
>> you can hear more from the reverend on his white house visit tonight at 6:00 p.m . eastern right here on "politics nati nation" on msnbc.