updated 9/29/2010 11:30:51 AM ET 2010-09-29T15:30:51

Guests: Sherrod Brown, Mary Kay Henry, Dick Durbin, Rev. Jesse Jackson,

Todd Webster, Karen Hanretty, Bob Shrum

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR:  Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from New York.

These stories on the table and hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour.

The Tea Party‘s best friend, I‘ll tell you what, this guy is on an ego trip big time.  Jim “Waterloo” DeMint, he is trying to stop the United States government dead in its tracks.  This is exactly why President Obama wants us to buck up.  I‘m following those orders in a commentary tonight. 

And John Boehner and his crew, you see, they don‘t really care about the middle class.  And they don‘t care about the divided America that we live in.  Because, you see, the income gap between the rich and poor right now is at an all-time high and the Republicans have nothing to say about it. 

Jessie Jackson sounds off in “The Battleground” story tonight.  What can we do about it? 

And President Obama takes off the gloves and hammers Fox News.  He says Fox promotes a point of view that is destructive.  Now, for a guy who always rips on the cables, I think the president would do a pretty good job if he was on cable. 

We do it every night, Mr. President. 

This is the story that has me fired up tonight.  The most powerful elected Republican in America is plotting to stop the United States government dead in its tracks, procedurally. 

On Monday night, Senator “Waterloo” Jim DeMint warned his fellows senators that he would place a hold on any legislation that had not been cleared by his office before the close of business today.  DeMint, as I said a couple of weeks on this program, he is drunk with power and he‘s showing it tonight. 

You see, he‘s drunk with power after spearheading Tea Party nut-jobs like Christine O‘Donnell and Rand Paul right into the victory lane, and those Republican primaries across the country where they‘ve had some success.  Now he‘s on a one-man wrecking crew, a one-man mission to shut down the government until Election Day. 

Now, if DeMint and his Tea Party buddies grab the reins of power, they will shut down the government completely during one of the worst economic times this country has ever seen.  Is that a good answer? 

Now, let‘s see, that means no Social Security checks; no food stamps to people who need it; no unemployment benefits, which they really love; and no money left on the table to help create jobs in a tough economy.  Now, this is life or death for millions of Americans, and DeMint, well, he‘s acting like he could care less.  It‘s more about him and his power. 

In the meantime, President Obama is trying to send a wakeup call to the base.  The president told “Rolling Stone” magazine in an interview to come out on Friday, “People need to buck up.  It‘s inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in the midterm election.” 

The president went on to say, “The idea that we‘ve got a lack of enthusiasm in the Democratic base, that people are sitting on their hands complaining, is just irresponsible.”

Wow.  I wish the president would talk like that to Republicans sometimes. 

But the president, I have to say, is exactly right.  It is irresponsible to allow people like Jim DeMint, “The Tan Man” and the Tea Party to undo everything this president and the Democratic majority have been able to do and been able to achieve over the last 20 months.  All they want to do is tear it down. 

I fully believe the Republicans are trying to run out the clock under 2012.  In the meantime, they will shut down absolutely everything that will turn the economy around and make President Obama look good at any level. 

Now, over in the House, Republicans will invent any reason they can to impeach the second Democratic president in a row.  House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn agrees.  He told an African-American Web site, “The White House will be full-time responding to subpoenas about where the president may or may not have been born.  That will define the next two years of the president‘s administration,” Clyburn said. 

Now, folks, it is five weeks from tonight, and I‘m going to ask you to be a fair-minded American.  Look at the facts.  Don‘t take my word for it. 

You know where I stand.  But we don‘t bend the facts on this program.  I give it to you straight and I give you commentary. 

Now, the Republicans I believe are on a doomsday mission to regain power, and they will stop at nothing to bring this president down and to stop the progressive agenda in this country. 

Democrats need to listen to President Obama on this one.  Get it together and stop the Republicans in their tracks, because if we go back to where we were, we will erase a lot of good for a lot of people. 

And on the notion that President Obama is saying that we have to buck up, and he said—uses the words “inexcusable” and “irresponsible.”  Those are pretty tough words.  Let‘s reverse this.  If this were a conservative president, every right-wing talk show host in this country would be saying, yes, we can‘t let those Democrats in. 

This is about power.  We‘re not going to be able to accomplish anything if we are in the minority. 

We had to go reconciliation to do the health care bill.  It is saving lives.  This is a matter of life and death.  Not to oversell it in any way.  It‘s a fact. 

The health care bill, it‘s not some document that is just meaningless to American families.  It‘s going to help out young people, it‘s going to help out people who don‘t have any insurance.  This is just one of the things we‘ve been able to do as a country. 

But where is DeMint?  He‘s on a power grab now.  He‘s thirsty for power because they‘ve had a couple of victories with some psycho candidates that are out there. 

And I think that we as Americans have to take a real hard look at ourselves in our mirror and ask us, where do we want to go?  Is it really about the money? 

I have paid close attention to Education Week on this network for the last few days, and I‘ll bring you a story later on tonight about a gentleman who has dedicated himself to this country when it comes to educating young people and creating opportunities.  Isn‘t that what America is about, those two words, “creating opportunities?” 

Now, if we are going to streamline the money, if we‘re going to have the concentration of wealth in this country, opportunity is going to get choked off for a lot of Americans.  Is that fair?  Are we going to divide people up depending on how much money they make? 

It is appalling what the Supreme Court has ruled.  It‘s taken the voice of the little guy out of the political equation in this country. 

But what do the conservatives call it?  Well, they call it free speech. 

Yes, if you can buy it. 

We‘ve got a lot of problems in this country, but for Jim DeMint, on this day, to shut down business on behalf of the people because they want power so bad should be a wakeup call to every American, and the president hit the nail right on the head.  We do need to buck up. 

They‘re playing for keeps.  We lefties, we have to play for keeps. 

Tell me what you think in our telephone survey tonight, folks.  The number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC. 

My question tonight is: Do you agree with President Obama that the Democrats need to buck up?  Press the number 1 for yes, press the number 2 for no.  I‘ll bring you the results later on in the show. 

Joining me now is Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown. 

Senator, good to have you with us tonight.

SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO:  Thanks, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Give us an update.  What did Senator DeMint do today to stop government in its tracks?  Where is this at this hour, at the close of business?

BROWN:  Well, I mean, you hit it right on the head.  They will do whatever it takes. 

I mean, DeMint is—I don‘t know if he‘s—if this is any different from what he‘s been doing all along, but every chance they‘ve got, for a year and a half, what we‘ve tried to govern, everything from health care reform to Wall Street reform to the Children‘s Health Insurance Program, which meant millions of children now have health care that didn‘t; to equal pay for women, Lilly Ledbetter; to credit card reform so that people that had credit cards had some consumer protections; to the finance consumer protection agency; all these things, while we were governing, Republicans, led by DeMint in most cases, were trying to stop it.  They were playing politics, the same stuff.

SCHULTZ:  But this takes it to a new level.

BROWN:  Yes, this is a new level.

SCHULTZ:  Senator, this takes it to a new level, does it not? 

BROWN:  Yes, I think it does.  I think it does.  I think he‘s going to try to stop us from doing anything. 

I mean, we‘re about to pass the continuing resolution and go back and campaign in our states, those that are up for election in the House, everybody up for re-election.  But DeMint and others have played that game all along. 

They don‘t want President Obama to succeed.  And the whole point is that Democrats—Republicans play for keeps, frankly, ,more than our side, it seems. 

SCHULTZ:  Is the Tea Party running the Senate? 

BROWN:  What‘s that?

SCHULTZ:  Is the Tea Party running the Senate?

BROWN:  It‘s not running the Senate, but it‘s able to block, it‘s able to stop all kinds of things in the Senate in some sense.  I wouldn‘t go quite that far. 

But, you know, today is the first day of voting in Ohio, for instance.  Many states have early voting.  It happens to start particularly early in Ohio, today, up through Election Day. 

And it‘s really important that progressives and Democrats and people that think we‘re moving the country forward—and I really think that‘s the majority of people, because they know what got us into this, and they know that McConnell and DeMint and Coburn are doing nothing to get us out of it, because they want the Democrats to fail.  That‘s why it‘s imperative that we go to vote, that we talk to our friends, that we play a role in getting people out to vote. 

We win this election if we get people out to vote.  If we stay home, we don‘t.  It‘s really pretty simple, as you said. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  Senator, good to have you with us tonight.  Appreciate your time on THE ED SHOW.

BROWN:  Thanks, Ed.  Thanks, as always. 

SCHULTZ:  My next guest shows that Democrats are bucking up.  Joining me now is Mary Kay Henry, international president for the Service Employees International Union. 

Mary Kay, good to have you with us tonight.

MARY KAY HENRY, INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT, SEIU:  Glad to be here, Ed. 

Thanks.

SCHULTZ:  You bet.

I want you to respond to the president saying that, “If people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren‘t serious in the first place when it comes to change.”

What‘s your response to that?  Because the unions have got a lot of boots on the ground.  Your members hear that you‘ve got to buck up, how are they going to respond to that?

HENRY:  I think our members are saying that working people are facing the biggest crisis in our generation, and that we want to stand up and speak out, and we want to vote in numbers like never before, November 2nd, because we need to get back to work.  We need to fix our broken immigration system and we need corporations to share in the responsibility of getting this economy going again. 

SCHULTZ:  You‘re not offended by any way this tough talk by the president and the vice president, for that matter? 

HENRY:  I don‘t take offense to it, because my real offense, Ed, is with corporate America.  We have members that have been laid off in L.A. earning $13.50 an hour, employed by JPMorgan Chase, who you and I bailed out 18 months ago, and are now making record profits.  And JPMorgan has made a decision to lay off 16 janitors in the height of their biggest profitability.  That‘s what I take offense to. 

SCHULTZ:  What does the march on October 2nd, this Saturday, mean to working people in America, the One Nation?  I‘ll be a part of it, you‘ll be a part of it. 

HENRY:  Yes.

SCHULTZ:  What does it mean?  Is this a rallying point?  Is October 2nd all about November 2nd

HENRY:  Yes, October 2nd is about November 2nd.  And it‘s about what we do after November 2nd to hold elected officials and corporate America accountable to getting us back to work. 

SCHULTZ:  What do you say to the broadcaster across the street, Glenn Beck, who has repeatedly vilified your organization, the Service Employees International Union, labeled you as communists, labeled you as a threat to America?  What about that?

HENRY:  Yes.  I say that that attack is completely ridiculous, and that he ought to help get America back to work and stop blaming and attacking, and thinking about how do we pull together as a country and come together to fix our problems? 

SCHULTZ:  Boots on the ground from organized labor.  You didn‘t get the health care bill you wanted, you didn‘t get the Employee Free Choice Act, yet you say wage earners across the country are motivated to do their part, and you don‘t take offense at all to the inexcusable and irresponsible words that have come out from President Obama characterizing Democrats who don‘t engage. 

You‘re a team player. 

HENRY:  Yes, people are facing a deep economic crisis, Ed, and I don‘t think the blame game is the solution that people are looking for.  I think people want us to act in making this economy work again for everybody.  And that‘s what I feel like is my responsibility, not to participate in a blame game. 

SCHULTZ:  Mary Kay Henry, good to have you with us tonight.  We‘ll see you Saturday in Washington, D.C.  It‘s going to be a great crowd and a great event.  Appreciate your time.

HENRY:  Yes, I look forward to it.  Thanks. 

SCHULTZ:  You bet.

For more information on the One Nation March, you can go to my Web site, WeGotEd.com.  It has a mission statement, and I‘m inviting all of you to read the mission statement.

And don‘t come to the march if you don‘t agree with the mission statement.  It‘s about jobs, it‘s about education, it‘s about freedom.  It‘s about all of what America is. 

One Nation March for Jobs, October 2nd, my Web site, WeGotEd.com. 

Coming up, “The Tan Man” and his crew march out their pledge to the top two percent.  They could care less that the income gap between the rich and the poor is at an all-time high.  Jessie Jackson goes after that in “The Battleground” story tonight. 

And I keep telling you these nut-jobs across the street are bad for America.  President Obama just doubled down on that, ripping all of them for being destructive. 

All that, plus Palin gets booed in prime time, and a “Fox & Friend” needs serious legal advice. 

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us.  We‘re right back. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW and thanks for watching tonight.

Now, if you‘re on the fence and you‘re trying to make is decision on where you‘re going to vote this November, I think this story is a classic of right and wrong, and what is right and wrong in America. 

Now, once again, this is just facts.  The Republicans proved, to me anyway, that they don‘t give a damn about the American worker. 

Earlier today, Senate Republicans blocked—they blocked the Cheating American Jobs and End Offshoring Act.  They blocked it. 

The bill would have provided incentives for American companies to hire workers here in our country and replace the jobs that have been shipped overseas.  Now, is that common sense?  Is that American, that, hey, we want to create jobs in America? 

We know that outsourcing is an issue.  We know that companies are racing to the bottom line. 

But you know what?  We‘re not going to penalize them.  We‘re going to give them an incentive if they bring the jobs back to America.  They‘re not going to have to pay tax for two years. 

Only 53 senators voted for the bill, seven short of the 60 votes needed.  And, of course, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa pulled the plug on the American worker today.  He said, “This bill is an unacceptable gamble with American jobs.”

Excuse me?  Senate Republicans have filibustered—here‘s the number—at least 100 bills during this Congress.  This un-American obstruction was encouraged by the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and other big business front groups who are addicted to one thing and one thing only, and that is cheap labor. 

The bill was the last chance Democrats had to help create jobs before the midterm elections.  So, before we go to our guests tonight, just what I‘ve told you in the last minute and a half, whose side are you on?  Does it make sense to want to help our economy, to give a break to businesses for creating jobs here in America? 

And my question to the Republicans tonight is, is there anything we can do that you wouldn‘t block? 

Joining me now is Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the author of the bill. 

Senator, congratulations for sticking up for American workers.  What happened today? 

SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D), ILLINOIS:  Well, Ed, it was predictable.  We had a vote, and not one single Republican senator would join us in closing the tax loopholes that American businesses are using to subsidize shipping American jobs overseas.  Not one single Republican senator would join us in creating the incentives that you talked about to bring these jobs back home.

We‘d give tax breaks to companies that repatriate American jobs back in the states, give them a break to encourage it.  And not a single Republican senator would cast a vote on our side. 

SCHULTZ:  Is it unpatriotic at this point, Senator? 

DURBIN:  Well, it‘s illogical.  You can‘t argue that you want to create jobs in America, then make it easy to ship them overseas. 

I was in Sterling, Illinois with Alexi Giannoulias, who‘s running for the Senate in the state of Illinois.  We met Julie (ph). 

Julie (ph) works for a company there.  She‘s worked there 34 years.  She‘s a grandmother, community activist. 

She‘s in tears.  She‘s about to lose her job. 

And we ran into workers as well.  Let me tell you the ultimate insult, Ed.  They were being asked to train the foreign workers who were brought in from other countries, train them on how to take over their jobs. 

And you know what?  We‘re going to give a tax deduction for the company that brought in the foreign worker to be trained by the American so they can go through the training course. 

Now, to me that‘s unacceptable.  We ought to be rewarding in our tax code companies that create good jobs right here at home in America, living wage, good benefits.  And I‘d like to walk into a store in this country and see “Made in the USA” stamped on the bottom.  Well, the Republicans today wouldn‘t vote that way. 

SCHULTZ:  Explain to our audience, Senator Durbin, what was Senator Grassley talking about when he said this bill is an unacceptable gamble with American jobs? 

DURBIN:  I don‘t get it.  And I‘m glad you really called him for what it is. 

When the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, not the Global Chamber of Commerce—says that this is a bad idea—in fact, they had a sentence in their letter that said bringing a job back to the United States does not create profit and economic growth, in so many words.  And you think to yourself, who are they working for?  If the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is not working for a U.S. company to hire U.S. workers so that we can have a growing economy right here at home, who are they working for? 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

DURBIN:  And today, many people, many senators, Republican senators, hid behind the U.S. Chamber of Commerce position. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, on the common sense board, Senator Durbin, you hit the bull‘s eye on this one.  I appreciate you bringing this up, although the righties over there are saying that this is demagoguery at its best just before the election. 

You know, you can do it the day before the election, the first day President Obama was in, you‘d get criticized for it anyway.  There are a lot of families in this country that are hurting because of outsourcing.  And people should know that you and the Democrats tried to do something about it. 

God bless you for that.

DURBIN:  Let me tell you, when the debate started, I said to my Republican friends, “You pick the state, you pick the town, you pick the meeting.  I will debate you on this issue any place you want to debate it if you‘re going to vote against it.”  Haven‘t had any takers yet. 

SCHULTZ:  Senator Durbin, good to have you back with us.  Appreciate your time tonight. 

DURBIN:  Thanks, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, one of the “Fox & Friends” is amazingly confused again.  He‘s crying about the health care bill, not telling the story. 

Gather around, kids.  It‘s story time in the “Zone,” next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, well, the kids on “Fox & Friends” are back whining about the health care bill again.  They were talking about people being confused by the bill because it‘s just so gosh darn hard to read. 

Then Brian Kilmeade hit us with this whopper—

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BRIAN KILMEADE, “FOX & FRIENDS”:  I think there‘s maybe five people—and I‘m not even exaggerating.  There‘s probably five people in the country who know really what‘s in the entire health care package. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Because that‘s all who have read it. 

KILMEADE:  It‘s impossible.  It‘s stuff that reads like something a lawyer would have trouble getting through.  It‘s almost a legal document.  It doesn‘t tell a story. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Right.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Almost a legal document?  Well, let me break this one down for you, big guy. 

Legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by president is a legal document.  And the health care bill isn‘t supposed to tell a story.  The United States Congress isn‘t directing a movie of the week, they‘re making laws, which to recap, are legal documents. 

Fox News truly is the blind leading the blind.  They complain about people not understanding health care reform, then they go out and they tell lies about it which confuses people even more.  So unlike them. 

For Kilmeade to complain about the health care bill being too hard to understand because it doesn‘t tell a story is legally dumb “Psycho Talk.”  

Coming up, Republicans, well, they don‘t care that there are two Americas. 

The rich just keep getting richer while income falls for the middle class.  Anybody listening?  Reverend Jessie Jackson is.  He calls out the heartless righties in “The Battleground” next. 

And they report and the president of the United States decides.  The commander-in-chief hammers Roger Ailes and his crew for being destructive. 

All that, plus Palin gets booed; Jim Clyburn says if Republicans take over the House the birthers are coming out. 

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. 

Stay with us.  We‘re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

ED SCHULTZ, HOST “THE ED SHOW”:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  The Battleground story tonight, well, a tale of two Americas.  The income gap between the richest and the poorest Americans is, listen up, at an all-time high in this country.  Last year it grew by the largest margin ever.  In 2009, the top 20 percent got almost half of all income in America.  Meanwhile, the 14.3 percent of Americans living below the poverty line got only 3.4 percent of the income.  The top five percent of Americans saw their incomes grow last year while middle-class family incomes declined.  And Republicans, well, they want to make it even worse by cutting taxes for the super-rich, but offering no solutions for the other 98 percent of America. 

For more let‘s bring in Reverend Jesse Jackson, president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.  Reverend, good to have you with us tonight.  What can be.

REV. JESSE JACKSON, PRESIDENT, RAINBOW PUSH COALITION:  Yes, sir.

SCHULTZ:  What can be done about these numbers?  Why is this gap getting this way, in your opinion, and what can be done about it?

JACKSON:  Because the rich are being subsidized, they are getting bailouts, they‘re getting tax cuts, they‘re not getting richer because they‘re working harder, and the poor are not poor because they‘re not working as hard.  There must be some government policy for within that position.  You bail out the banks and not lending out the reinvestment.  The result is you‘re losing 90,000 homes or vacant lots in Detroit for more folks this year.  There must be some connection between billing out the rich and their reinvestment in America.  

SCHULTZ:  If the Republicans take the majority, could we assume that it‘s only going to get worse? Based on what they‘ve said so far, in your opinion.  

JACKSON:  Right now, they are really fighting to protect tax cuts for the real wealthy.  Some other thing, if the rich just got richer slower, you can see (INAUDIBLE), but there‘s this radical leap to the top and leaping without manufacturing jobs.  Leaping without reinvestment but not reconstruction.  You know, Ed, we bail out big auto companies, and the number one market for Buick today is China.  They‘re not re-building plant in Saginaw and Flint and—Detroit.  So, I say reinvesting in America is the key of putting America back to work as for these cities.  If you just had a plan of where people could be taught apprenticeship training or to do landscaping, to do authorization, to take down boards and put them on the page, you could put America back to work, and that‘s marching on this Saturday, October 2nd is all about putting America back to work.  Not welfare, but fair share.  

SCHULTZ:  You and I Reverend have talked recently about turnout and how the base is somewhat disenfranchised, that the voter turnout for the Democrats and some of the metropolitan areas in this country has been very low.  This is what the president said about the base, “People need to buck up.  It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in the midterm election.”  Now, with the story that we‘re doing here and the income gap the way it is, why wouldn‘t it be a motivating factor for the base?  Your response on that and the way the president is handling this.  

JACKSON:  Well, unless you water the rich, you will not have flowers to bloom.  And we need part of the job to the poor.  In Detroit, for example, 600,000 registered voters, 67,000 voted.  They‘re not voting en masse, because they‘re still losing their houses, they‘re still losing jobs.  So, I say, there must be—we bail out the rich, we bail out the elite, the military in Afghanistan, targeted jobs, and just in the bottom will bring about ready simulation.

SCHULTZ:  But Reverend, is the president solid in his strategy to give a polite scolding to the base and tell them they‘ve got to buck up?  What do you think?

JACKSON:  Well, I think it‘s not just a matter of scolding.  For example, if you go to campuses, if you speak up, I have a plan, a plan to a gateway, to student loan dead forgiveness who cause—that is a more than stimulus.  If you say to the poor, I have a chicken in the pot, as Roosevelt did, that‘s concrete.  So, we need concrete job concentration at the base.  We have every reason to vote, because to not vote, you‘re not just losing ratings, you also lose congressional chairman, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

JACKSON:  The stakes are high.  We have a big reason to march on Saturday and the vote on November the 2nd.  

SCHULTZ:  And we will be there on Octobers 2nd, this Saturday in D.C.  

JACKSON:  Ed, by the way, remember, you are Bears against Dallas and Bears against Green Bay, you keep it up, you will be become folks marching on far, not marching Favre.

(LAUGHTER)

SCHULTZ:  You got me.  The Vikes are one and two.  I can‘t brag. 

Reverend, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.

Now, let‘s get some rapid-fire response from our panel on these stories.  The Connecticut Senate race is neck and neck.  Who would have thought, Democrat Richard Blumenthal is down to just a three-point lead over former WWE CEO Linda McMahon. 

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn warns, if Republicans take over the House, they‘ll create gridlock by flooding the White House with subpoenas on every issue including President Obama‘s place of birth.  

And economists say the recession is over, but a new NBC News “Wall Street Journal” poll shows, people don‘t believe it.  And more and more of them are blaming it on the president. 

With us tonight, Todd Webster, democratic strategist, Karen Hanretty, republican strategist.  Great to have both of you with us tonight. 

TODD WEBSTER, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Let‘s talk about Connecticut.  Todd Webster, it was just a few months ago that Blumenthal had a double-digit lead, was way out in front.  What‘s happening here?

WEBSTER:  Well, I think, the polls are going to be going up and down.  There is another poll by Greenberg Quinlan that came out last week that had Dick Blumenthal up by 12 points.  I think, the interesting thing in that poll end is going to Quinnipiac poll, is the Linda McMahon has a 44 percent unfavorable rating, a 36 percent favorable rating.  It‘s hard to win an election and get 50 percent of the vote when nearly half of the electorate thinks she‘s repugnant.  I think as folks look at these two candidates record, as they look at Dick Blumenthal and his record and reform taking on the tobacco companies, the insurance companies, the big health care companies and looking at Linda McMahon and what she has done, running a circus sideshow with a number of people who he had drug abuse problems and been treated very badly, this thing became apart again.  

SCHULTZ:  Karen, how does a guy with a record, attorney general in Connecticut, public service, be this close to someone who‘s made a living in professional wrestling?  These are strange times.  What do you think?  

KAREN HANRETTY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  Well, I have two thoughts on that.  First of all, if a candidate with only 44 percent approval who‘s considered repugnant, Harry Reid.

WEBSTER:  Forty four percent disapproval.  

HANRETTY:  OK.  Well, it still fits my point, which is Harry Reid in Nevada.  Those are about his, you know, disapproval numbers in Nevada and they think he‘s repugnant, so I guess it plays both ways.  But I think the real point in racist across the country right now, I think what we are seeing, and it‘s really fascinating races that are shocking people, like in West Virginia, where it‘s less about personality than it is voters using their vote as a referendum on President Obama and the Democrats.  In other words, you might have a candidate like McMahon, who you don‘t necessarily like her, but they‘re willing to cast a vote for her, because they want to cast a vote against the guy who‘s going to stand with Obama.  You‘re seeing it in West Virginia, which is a race I never thought would be close.  You know, Governor Manchin is so popular, but he‘s neck and neck with the Republicans out there.

SCHULTZ:  There are tight races but since the Supreme Court ruling, the corporations are out funding, the labor work force.

HANRETTY:  Oh, please.  That‘s nonsense.

SCHULTZ:  Well, it‘s a fact, I‘m giving you a fact.  

HANRETTY:  The union have unlimited number, unlimited money.

SCHULTZ:  It is 26 to one, Karen.  Karen, I‘m just giving you a fact.  Karen, this not commentary.  I‘m giving you fact.  Right now the corporations are out raising the union‘s 26 to one.  And that‘s why a lot of these races are so close, because it is all about the money. 

Let‘s talk about House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn.  He says that if the Republicans do get the majority, that it‘s going to be subpoena city USA in Washington, D.C.  And the birthers are going to go after President Obama constitutionally on where he was born.  Todd, what about this? 

WEBSTER:  Well, he‘s absolutely right.  The last time Republicans controlled the House, you had Dan Burton leading a crazy circus sideshow investigating all sorts of nutty ideas with the Clinton White House.  They spent 140 hours, took 140 hours of deposition about whether the Clinton White House misused its credit card—I‘m sorry, its Christmas card list.  So absolutely, if you need another reason to vote for Democrats in November, it‘s to keep the House and keep Dan Burton and Darrell Issa away from the Governmental Affairs Committee as this country is facing two wars and a fragile economy, wasting the president‘s time answering a bunch of subpoenas makes no sense.  

SCHULTZ:  Well, Clyburn says, “The White House will be full time responding to subpoenas about where the president may not have been born, whether his mother and father were ever married and whether his wife‘s family is from Georgetown or Sampit.”  

HANRETTY:  And I‘m pretty sure that Clyburn has his finger on the pulse of what the Republican Party is going to do when they took over the House.

WEBSTER:  Well, just look back at what they did for six years in the ‘90s. 

(CROSSTALK)

HANRETTY:  You know, it‘s more scary tactics.  They are always talking about scary tactics from the Republicans side.  That‘s exactly what this is right now, with voters.  You can‘t motivate your voters to go to the polls and vote for Democrats, because they‘re excited, so you‘re out there trying to terrify them and put all these scary tactics out there and hope that the fear will drive them to the polls. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  Well, Karen, I‘ll tell you what, your last comment here, I want you to know and this is a compliment, we are going to file that comment away, because if the Republicans do take the House, Jim Clyburn told me today on my radio show, that they‘re going to try to impeach President Obama, the subpoenas are going to be coming left and right.  They‘re going to.  

(ALL TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

HANRETTY:  No.  You know what?  Republicans are going to be too busy repealing health care, making sure that cap and tax never passes.  

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  Wait a minute.  Are you saying that the Republicans will not do that?  I‘m trying to work with you.  Are you saying that the Republicans will not try to impeach President Obama if they have the majority, yes or no? 

HANRETTY:  Yes, I‘m saying that they won‘t try to impeach them, because they‘ll be too busy trying to  fix the health care disaster that you all passed, making sure that cap and tax never passes, so that we can get  manufacturers back to work and we can get all those wealthy people out there investing in the economy.

SCHULTZ:  What about today‘s vote in the Senate?  I mean, they‘re not once a republican senator went along with the incentive package to bring jobs back to America.  How do you defend that?

HANRETTY:  I‘ll tell you what.  When Republicans take over the House and hopefully take over the Senate, we can put some real economic.

SCHULTZ:  You didn‘t answer the question.  Todd, I‘ll give you the last word.  

(CROSSTALK)

HANRETTY:  And get the government out of job creation, which is what Jesse Jackson wants.  

SCHULTZ:  OK.  Tax and Senate are now not good.  Todd, what do you think?

WEBSTER:  Well, putting the Republicans back in charge will just lead them more gridlock.  If you look at what this president and this democratic Congress have done and achieved over the last two years, small business, tax credits, financial regulatory reform, credit card reform, a health care bill, they have made enormous progress while the Republicans sat on the sidelines and tried at every moment to blow it up.  

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  Todd Webster, Karen Hanretty, great to have you with us tonight.  Always a pleasure. 

WEBSTER:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Good to have you on. 

HANRETTY:  Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Up next, part two of my sit down interview with former NFL, MVP and hall of famer, Alan Page.  He‘ll tell you why pro-athletes might not be the best role models.

And Caribou Barbie made an appearance at “Dancing with the Stars”?  Now, did she get booed off the floor?  Question mark.  That‘s all coming up in the Playbook.  Stay with us.     

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think.  The number to dial is 1-877-ed-msnbc.  Tonight‘s telephone survey question is, do you agree with President Obama that Democrats need to buck up?  Press the number one for yes, press the number two for no.  Again, the number to dial is 1-877-ed-msnbc.  We‘re right back.           

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in my playbook tonight.  Education nation has been the focal point of discussion on this network in recent days.  Part two of our story tonight, centers around the unselfish attitude and the rule successful Americans need to play in our education system.  And I think that there is no better example than Alan Page.  For the last 18 years, the former NFL hall of famer has been on the Minnesota State Supreme Court.  Twenty two years ago, he‘s started The Page Education Foundation and since then, he has helped thousands of students under the condition, under the condition that they give back to the community by working in the schools. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  The Page Education Foundation, it‘s 20th anniversary a couple years ago, now in its 22nd year.  You‘ve helped over 4,000 students.  And they have to give back, don‘t they? 

ALAN PAGE, MINNESOTA STATE SUPREME COURT JUSTICE:  We provided financial assistance to over 4,000 students.  

SCHULTZ:  OK.  And they have to give back.  

PAGE:  They have to give back to their community.  They have to be involved working with young children as tutors, as mentors, and as role models, sending the strong clear message by both word and deed, because mind you they‘re in school themselves, that education is important, and that with hard work, effort, and a little perseverance, you can use education as a tool to achieve whatever your hopes and dreams really are.  

SCHULTZ:  What was your motivation behind all of this?  You have helped people you don‘t even know. 

PAGE:  As a lawyer, as a judge, I have seen what happens when people are hopeless.  You know, we have too many people in our prisons.  Many of them certainly have no moral compass, but I think more of them have simply given up hope and by creating hope, and I think you create hope through education.  We have the ability to change the future.  For those people, not only those people, but for all of us, to make it better.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  “All Rise: The Remarkable Journey of Alan Page” is an authorized biography on Alan Page.  I think this story, this book is a role model for America when it comes to leadership and exemplifies what we need to do as a country in education. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  What would you say to young people that would like to have the life that you‘ve had?  What do they have to do?

PAGE:  I think they have to prepare themselves.  If they prepare themselves, that puts them in control of taking advantage of opportunities when they come along.  If you‘re not prepared, all the opportunities in the world won‘t matter.  They have to work hard.  That comes with the territory.  I think, one of the things that I have learned and didn‘t quite understand early on, but I‘ve come to realized is that you also have to seek excellence.  You have to work to be as good at whatever it is you happen to be doing as you can.  

SCHULTZ:  Backing up and talking a little bit about your football career and how the NFL has been—has developed into such a big part of our American culture.

PAGE:  It was a big part when I was playing. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you think they bear a responsibility when it comes to education?  Because in our culture, so many young people look up to athletes that are in the spotlight?

PAGE:  From my vantage point, we as a society make the mistake of placing a little too much emphasis on looking up to the athlete.  The reality is that people are influenced by those they can reach out and touch.  And most of us don‘t know any professional athletes, don‘t have the ability to reach out and touch.  But the person next door, the next-door neighbor, the person down the street, the people we see every day, they are the ones who can have far more influence, far more real influence than professional athletes. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  We need more people like Alan Page in this country to step up.  We need them to make a difference and be a part of the solution.  The book is forewarded by former President Bill Clinton.  

Final page in my Playbook tonight, Caribou Barbie dropped by “Dancing with the Stars” last night to watch her daughter compete.  Now, when she walked in, it sounded like she was booed.  The boos were heard before her appearance on camera.  Well, you‘ll be the judge. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  It was a lot of fun.  It‘s good. 

BROOKE BURKE, CO-HOST, “DANCING WITH THE STARS”:  All right.  Well, if you don‘t want to see them meet the same shock, that ended David Hasselhoff‘s ballroom dream, and you need to support them right now.  Call or text—to ABC.com.  There‘s booing in the ballroom, we don‘t know why.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN:  Why is there booing?

BURKE:  I don‘t know.  All right, everybody, you know what to do. 

Support them right now with your votes, Sam.  

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  All right.  Thank you, Brooke.  I‘m here with guest ballroom commentator Sarah Palin who joins us from Alaska. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Was there booing?  I don‘t watch the show, but if Sarah is getting booed every week, I‘ll tune in for sure. 

Coming up.  President Obama is in the no spin zone.  He‘s flat-out saying, FOX News is a destructive political outlet?  Veteran democratic strategist Bob Shrum, we‘ll going to get after that one, next.  Stay with us.         

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Finally tonight, President Obama just slammed FOX in an interview with “Rolling Stone,” he said, FOX follows a tradition to promote view points, quote, “I think FOX is part of that tradition.  It is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view.  It‘s a point of view that I disagree with.  It‘s a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of the country, that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world.”

Let me bring if veteran democratic strategist and NY professor Bob Shrum.  Bob, good to have you with us tonight. 

BOB SHRUM, VETERAN DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  I‘m glad to be here.

SCHULTZ:  I don‘t recall any president ever being so aggressive on a news organization.  How about it?  

SHRUM:  Oh, I think it‘s entirely justified.  Let me put it a little less politely.  FOX News ought to change its slogan to, “we distort, your deceived.”  The far right understands that it can‘t win these arguments on demerits.  So, it‘s a conscious strategy of deception and fear.  You‘ve gone over it again and again in your show.  But think of the list, nonexistent death panels, aiding and abetting the birthers, people like Glenn Beck saying that the government is considering forced abortions as a means of population control.  It corrodes our democracy.  And the president is right as well, by the way, that it‘s at the service of the profit motive, not just Rupert Murdoch‘s profit, but the profit of all the people who somehow are the one to elect officials even if they have to help them line their way into office, who aren‘t going to make them pay their fair share of taxes or live up to their environmental or financial responsibilities.  

SCHULTZ:  The word destructive, what do you make of it?

SHRUM:  Well, I think destructive is exactly right.  First, it destroys the debate.  You know, I used to occasionally debate William F.  Buckley Jr. who is the father of modern conservatism in this country.  We disagreed deeply about issues, we often have vigorous arguments, but we had an agreed-upon set of facts.  What FOX does is create an alternate universe where the debate is distorted.  In fact, the debate is about non-existing things, it‘s about things that aren‘t true, and it leads people in a direction, for example, on economic policy where they think that the solution to a massive downturn in the economy is to cut government spending. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

SHRUM:  That would take us back to the days of Herbert Hoover. 

SCHULTZ:  You know, the president oftentimes is critical of the cables.  Ironically, I think he probably fit right in if he ever hosted a show, if he‘s going to call it destructive.  

(LAUGHTER)

SHRUM:  Ed, you know, the truth of the matter is, I think every time he said cable, he meant FOX.  Today he actually said FOX.

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  Bob Shrum, always a pleasure. 

SHRUM:  Thank you.  

SCHULTZ:  Great to have with us.  Tonight, in our telephone survey, I asked you, do you agree with President Obama that the Democrats need to buck up?  Ninety six percent of you said yes, four percent said no. 

That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  For more information on this Saturday‘s one nation march in Washington, D.C., and I hope you can join us, go to wegoted.com for the mission statement and all the logistics.  “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now on the place for politics, MSNBC.  We‘ll see you tomorrow night.  

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

END   

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