updated 1/19/2011 12:20:55 PM ET 2011-01-19T17:20:55

Guests: Dennis Kucinich, Keith Ellison, Bill Press, Pat Buchanan, Stephanie Miller, Amy Holmes, Bob Shrum, Holland Cooke

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

These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour.

The president elevated the nation on Wednesday night.  Can we at least agree on that?  But the Republicans, they‘re stuck in the gutter again. 

They‘re going ahead with a nasty debate on health care repeal next week, while the Tea Party is making despicable comments in the wake of the Arizona shooting. 

My commentary on that, and Congressman Dennis Kucinich will talk tone with us coming up live. 

Sarah Palin is not backing down.  We‘re learning now that she‘s going to be speaking at a pro-gun convention in Nevada, a key state on the presidential calendar she‘s using, I guess you could say this time, to gun up, just like other righties. 

Pat Buchanan and Bill Press, remember them together?  They‘ll be in “The Battleground” story tonight, going at it.  You won‘t want to miss it. 

And last night, I showed you this billboard in Tucson, Arizona, promoting Rush Limbaugh‘s show.  They took it down, but they were pretty slow about it.  And Rush is saying that, you know, he didn‘t know anything about the billboard. 

I don‘t buy it.  I‘ll tell you why coming up. 

Plus, American voters are showing that they‘re not afraid to participate in democracy.  In the wake of the tragedy in Arizona, Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota is holding a “Congress on Your Corner” event in honor of his colleague Gabby Giffords in Minneapolis tonight.  The congressman will join us coming up in just a moment. 

And late this afternoon, breaking news that Michael Steele, he‘s out as head of the Republican Party.  We‘ll have reaction on that. 

But this is the story that has me fired up tonight. 

Sarah Palin and her buddies in the Republican Party really have learned nothing over the week.  The president set the tone for the nation on Tuesday—in Tucson on Wednesday night, and the Republicans pretty much -- they have not lived up to the plea at all. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  If this tragedy prompts reflection and debate, as it should, let‘s make sure it‘s worthy of those we have lost.  Let‘s make sure it‘s not on the usual plane of politics and point-scoring and pettiness that drifts away in the next news cycle. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Well, that‘s a lofty ask, Mr. President. 

The president, keep in mind, did not demand anything.  It was a request, a plea.  He made a plea to change the tone and pretty much redirect the conversation with colleagues in Washington. 

The very next day, if you‘re keeping score, the Republicans started to gun up.  Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert plans to introduce a bill to allow members of the Congress to pack heat on the House floor.  And now Sarah Palin is going to a gun show.  Great timing there. 

Today, the Safari Club International announced that Palin is going to be the keynote speaker at the annual convention in Reno, Nevada.  Now, later this month, Palin is mixing politics with business by doing a paid-speaking gig at a gun show in Nevada, a state that just happens to be on the early 2012 caucus calendar. 

Meanwhile, the most powerful Republicans in America are behind closed doors, plotting the—to recapture the power of the Tea Party without alienating the rest of the country. 

Now, at this hour, House Republicans are holding their annual retreat

retreat—at the Marriott waterfront hotel in Baltimore.  Over 80 new members who came in on the power of the Tea Party wave, they will be in attendance, I guess getting their marching orders. 

Republicans have named this year‘s three-day long retreat Congress of Tomorrow.  What about Congress of Today? 

John Boehner and his party, they are showing no signs of toning it down tonight, folks.  House Republicans plan to vote on the repeal the job-killing health care law act next Wednesday. 

Last night, I called on the Republicans to strip the word “killing” out of the bill.  TPM is reporting a spokesman for the House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, saying that they‘re sticking with that name. 

The Republicans still have their priority list.  Let‘s not lose focus of that.  They‘re very focused on repealing health care and going on the offensive against the Obama agenda. 

Now, Boehner, well, he‘s kind of facing a tough choice—change the tone or keep it this way.  Here‘s what we heard from Republicans in the last health care debate. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA:  It was Thomas Jefferson who said, “A revolution every now and then is a good thing.”

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I believe we have more to fear from the potential of that bill passing than we do from any terrorist right now in any country. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. PAUL BROUN ®, GEORGIA:  To say that you‘re allowing people to have quality health care at an affordable price is going to kill people. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), HOUSE SPEAKER:  Can you say it was done openly, with transparency and accountability, without backroom deals and struck behind closed doors, hidden from the people?  Hell, no, you can‘t! 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Well, Republicans are worried that that kind of rhetoric won‘t play anymore, so they brought in messaging guru Frank Luntz.  He‘s already addressed the group. 

Insiders are telling me that Luntz is trying to teach the Republicans and the new Tea Party members how to talk about the shooting in Tucson.  Luntz, he‘s got his work cut out for him. 

This week, the Tea Party has treated this tragedy in a reprehensible way.  They claim their rhetoric has nothing do with the shooting, but they have been very vocal all week. 

Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips, he posted this statement on Sunday: “In a moment, a leftist lunatic destroyed a half a dozen lives.”

Is that responsible? 

The Tea Party Express sent out two separate fund-raising e-mails on the Arizona shooting, and an African-American Arizona district party chair stepped down because he didn‘t want to take a bullet.  That‘s what he said. 

John Boehner has to deal with all of this Tea Party rhetoric in his caucus and has no interest in trying to work with the president.  Sarah Palin and “The Tan Man” and the rest of the Republicans have no interest in rising to the president‘s challenge on tone and accepting the plea to change it all. 

They already have a post-Tucson mentality.  They don‘t care about stripping 32 million Americans from getting their health care.  They don‘t give a damn about kids with pre-existing conditions.  And they want every American armed and dangerous. 

It‘s pretty clear.  This is all about putting Democrats on the defensive and filling their campaign coffers for 2012. 

Get your cell phones out, folks.  I want to know what you think about this tonight. 

Tonight‘s text survey question is: Do you think Republicans are serious about changing the tone in America?  Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639.   We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show. 

Joining me tonight is Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich. 

Congressman, great to have you with us tonight. 

I will not belittle you at all by asking you what kind of firearm you‘re going to carry on the House floor, if that were to ever pass, so we‘ll get on to the serious business of real tone. 

The president made a plea not only to members of Congress, but to the country to change the tone.  What effect do you think that it will have in the wake of some of the developments and the stories that we just put out tonight about the actions of the Republicans? 

Your take on all of this? 

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH (D), OHIO:  Well, I‘ve been in Washington ever since the tragic events in Arizona.  And all of us are praying for the recovery of all of the victims, including Congresswoman Giffords. 

But I will say, Ed, that—and you know I love you and I think that you‘re one of the most passionate defenders of the people that‘s in the media.  But, you know, John Boehner has actually, I thought, said set a very good tone. 

I mean, he really rose to the occasion in a way that I suppose surprised some people.  But I‘ve known John a long time, and I think that he‘s really been very statesmanlike in the way that he‘s responded to the tragedy in Arizona. 

Now, we‘ve got a debate coming up on health care.  I don‘t know that John‘s going to be able to control everything that his members will say.  But I think he is trying to understand that the atmosphere‘s changed dramatically, and the president‘s set a tone that I think all of us need to pay attention to. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you know if he has publicly called on his members of Congress in his caucus to tone it down?  Because I missed that story, Congressman. 

KUCINICH:  Well, you know what?  John Boehner is not a person who is a flame-thrower himself.  And it‘s important to remember that, Ed, because he‘s not someone who‘s going to approve of anyone who is—he‘s going to push the Republican agenda.  I got that.  I don‘t agree with him.  But he‘s not going to approve of anything that would increase the intensity of rhetoric that really is something that the country needed to reflect on and something that our president has cautioned about. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, well me ask you, is it a good tone to tell “60 Minutes” that you don‘t believe in compromise? 

KUCINICH:  You know what/  He‘s the Speaker, he‘s elected by the Republicans.  I think he‘s going to run a Republican agenda.  He‘s dedicated himself to that. 

What we have to do as Democrats, what we must do is to stand up for the right of people to have health care, is to challenge the corporations who are trying to use our political system to stop the reforms from happening, to stop our American people from being able to access health care, and we need do that.  It‘s about—the question is, what are Democrats ready to do? 

SCHULTZ:  No doubt.  But what tone does it set to the American people when you actually take someone‘s health care away, when you tell someone with a pre-existing condition that, you know what, you don‘t qualify?  That is flat-out discrimination.  We‘ve already—

KUCINICH:  Well, you‘re absolutely right. 

SCHULTZ:  -- been down this road.  So it may not—

KUCINICH:  Ed, I am with you. 

SCHULTZ:  -- sound like the right-wing talkers of America, but the fact of the matter is, the action, that is a tone of defiance against what is going to help millions of Americans.  Correct? 

KUCINICH:  Well, I‘m with you on health care.   It‘s my bill that I wrote with John Conyers, Ed, that would bring a not-for-profit system, single payer, Medicare for all. 

We‘re going to have a vigorous debate.  I think that in light of the tragedy in Arizona, you know, with our colleague struggling for life, we need to be mindful of the rhetoric and hopefully—

SCHULTZ:  True. 

KUCINICH:  -- Mr. Luntz being at that conference is going to be able to communicate to the rank and file Republicans that things have changed here.  We cannot just say, well, we‘ll wait a couple weeks and then go back to business as usual.  We have to watch the words.  We have to remember the wise words of a great Republican president, Lincoln, “With malice towards none, with charity for all.”

SCHULTZ:  Well, that is not the tone that John Boehner has had since the last two years working as the Minority Leader.  That would be a 180, if he were to have that attitude as Speaker of the House, and that is the point. 

He‘s no longer a congressman anymore.  He is the Speaker of the House. 

Do you—do you think—

KUCINICH:  He might surprise us in that. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, I hope that he does, but I haven‘t seen it yet. 

KUCINICH:  He‘s not going to surprise us what he stands for, but he might surprise us in the tone that he sets. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  Does that mean that we can expect the Speaker of the House to tell the Tea Partiers to tone it down with some of the rhetoric that they‘ve said this week?  Do you think the Speaker has that responsibility?  Because we all know they‘re Republicans. 

KUCINICH:  You know what?  John Boehner is someone who I think even as he‘s taken this office, is maturing into it.  He and I will debate these issues like health care, all the way down the line. 

SCHULTZ:  But do you want him to talk to the Tea Party? 

KUCINICH:  Of course.  I mean, we all need to do that.  I need do that.  We all need to.  We have to have a dialogue. 

SCHULTZ:  So, Congressman, you think the Speaker should speak directly to the Tea Party about toning down their rhetoric, where they have already stated in Arizona that they‘re not going do that? 

KUCINICH:  He has many members who have been directly elected by Tea Party activists, and I think that the message is going to get out.  And it needs to. 

We can be passionate about what we believe in.  I‘m very passionate.  But we‘ve got to be careful about making it so personal, that we try to destroy people and not just keep our eyes focused on the issues. 

SCHULTZ:  It can‘t get anymore personal than taking somebody‘s health care.  I don‘t know how much more personal it can get, so—

KUCINICH:  Ed, I‘m with you that.  I‘ve been carrying that debate, and I carried it—I was the last guy standing among Democrats in holding out for a not-for-profit single payer. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes, very true.

KUCINICH:  But we‘ve got to watch the rhetoric.

SCHULTZ:  But they‘re going forward with the vote next week. 

KUCINICH:  Well, I know that. 

SCHULTZ:  And this is going to hurt a lot of Americans.  It‘s not going to pass in the Senate or the House, but it‘s all about putting you on the defensive. 

KUCINICH:  And I‘ll be on the floor of the House arguing against any attempt to repeal any aspect of it. 

But we need to—we need to keep it focused on the debate, not get personal, and not create more tragedies such as what happened in Arizona.  We‘ve got to stop this super-heated rhetoric which is causing our politics to go off a cliff. 

SCHULTZ:  You think Congress can create tragedies? 

KUCINICH:  You know what?  We have an environment which all of us must be mindful of the role that each one of us plays in either making this a better world, a more peaceful world, or the opposite of that. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman, you know I have a lot of respect for you. 

Dennis Kucinich with us here tonight on THE ED SHOW.

KUCINICH:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Thanks so much. 

KUCINICH:  I love you, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  You bet.  I appreciate that. 

Coming up, Sarah Palin has unleashed a firestorm of controversy this week, but she‘s running to her buddy Hannity for damage control.  Safe haven over there. 

Pat Buchanan and Bill Press debate her future ahead.  I guess you could say it‘s the reverse of “Crossfire.”

To honor Gabby Giffords, Congressman Keith Ellison is holding a “Congress on Your Corner” event in Minneapolis, in that market tonight.  Think this makes a powerful statement?  I think that it does.

We‘ll talk to the congressman at the event here in just a moment. 

And a billion dollars to the president—to be the president?  Bob Shrum of—is going to talk about just how much money has to be raised to be the next president. 

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  On Saturday morning, Gabby, her staff, and many of her constituents gathered outside a supermarket to exercise their right to peaceful assembly and free speech.  They were fulfilling a central tenant of the democracy envisioned by our founders, representatives of the people answering questions to their constituents so as to carry their concerns back to our nation‘s capital.  Gabby called it “Congress On Your Corner,” just an updated version of government of and by and for the people. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

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

Obviously, that was President Obama talking about government of, by and for the people.  Do we know what that means now? 

Well, in Minnesota, they do.  At this hour, Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison is acting on those words.  He‘s about to hold a “Congress On Your Corner” event in honor of his colleague Gabby Giffords of Arizona at the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis. 

Congressman, great to have you with us tonight. 

REP. KEITH ELLISON (D), MINNESOTA:  Absolutely, Ed.  Good to see you.

SCHULTZ:  You bet. 

Was there any reservation on your part to do this less than a week after the tragic shooting in Arizona? 

ELLISON:  No.  We felt it was very important to come out quickly, to let people know that their government is open for business, is responsive to their concerns, open and available to them so they can say what‘s on their heart, what‘s on their mind, what they care about, agree or disagree. 

We thought it was very important to make a statement early about the accessibility of our Democratic institutions, and that‘s why we‘re here. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman, do you have security tonight?  Do you have any reservations whatsoever? 

ELLISON:  We have no reservations whatsoever.  We want folks to come on out.  We encourage them to come. 

We do have our—Minneapolis‘ finest on hand.  They‘re around.  So you should feel comfortable and safe.  But the fact is, is that we‘re open, and we‘re very, very anxious to take people‘s concerns. 

We will have a beginning—in the beginning of our meeting an observance on behalf of the victims of the Tucson shooting.  But then we‘re going to go right into “Congress on Your Corner” and start talking to constituents about what‘s on their mind—foreclosure, Social Security.  Whatever it is, we want to talk about it. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman, the timing of this, do you think it‘s important for you to get out there this early?  I kind of asked you that a moment ago, but is there a mindset amongst her colleagues that we‘re not backing down, that we‘re listening to the president, this is what we do? 

How motivated are the Democrats in caucus to make sure that this is going to be business as usual? 

ELLISON:  Highly motivated.  Let me tell you, earlier today, my good friend Tim Walz was down in Mankato, Minnesota, having “Congress on Your Corner” in honor of Gabby Giffords yet again, and here we are doing it here in the twin cities, in Minneapolis. 

So we‘re—we want to be very clear, look, we had a tragedy.  It is very human to be a little shy about coming to the public square.  So we want to go right back into the public square as soon as we can to let people know that, you know what?  No one‘s going to intimidate us, no one‘s going to scare us, no one‘s going to chase us out of the public square. 

We‘re going to be here doing democracy.  And that‘s why we‘re here so quickly. 

SCHULTZ:  And your event starts in just a few moments.  Do you think you‘ll get a good turnout?  What do you normally get and what do you think you‘ll get tonight? 

ELLISON:  Well, you know what?  The snow is coming down big time here in Minneapolis.  So we know that some folks may be a little bit discouraged by the weather, but not by this government.  We‘re never going to be deterred by that. 

I think we‘re going to get a good crowd tonight.  We‘ve been getting a lot of calls.  We‘ve been getting a lot of interest.  And so I‘m looking forward to seeing folks in good numbers tonight. 

SCHULTZ:  Fantastic.  Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.  You are doing the right thing. 

ELLISON:  Thanks, Ed.  Take care

SCHULTZ:  You bet. 

Coming up, the congressman from Texas who wants members of Congress armed on the House floor is now talking about duels.  Louie Gohmert heads into “The Zone” next. 

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, well, we all know Tea Partying Congressman Louie Gohmert.  He‘s leading the righty to charge to gun up. 

Now, he‘s still planning to introduce his bill to allow members of Congress to pack heat on the House floor.  But while he‘s arguing in favor of guns, he‘s also warning us about another righty talking point. 

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

REP. LOUIE GOHMERT ®, TEXAS:  I take you back a couple hundred years when part of public life and public office was, if you said something that offended somebody, there was going to be a duel and somebody was going to be killed, which is what happened with Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Sure. 

GOHMERT:  So we‘ve come a long way from those days.  We just don‘t need to be reverting backward. 

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Well, we think we‘ve come a long way. 

If Gohmert‘s worried about today‘s politicians getting into a duel like Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr did it, he should be probably reconsidering his bill that would allow politicians to carry guns in the Capitol building.  Don‘t you think? 

And I wonder who he‘s worried about.  I‘m curious here. 

Which members of Congress does he think are going to draw firearms on one another?  Just who doesn‘t like who in the Congress? 

Well, actually, there may be one former lawmaker out there who wants to go back to the dueling days of our forefathers.  Take a look at this classic exchange, this sound bite from former Senator Zell Miller back on “HARDBALL” in 2004.  My favorite. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ZELL MILLER ®, FMR. U.S. SENATOR:  I wish we lived in the day where you could challenge a person to a duel. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Whew. 

Miller, well, maybe he‘ll get back in running for Congress again. 

With guys like Louie Gohmert running around, he just might get his wish.

But for Gohmert to warn against going back to the days of duels at the same time he‘s pushing a bill to allow guns on the House floor, pretty loaded “Psycho Talk,” don‘t you think? 

Coming up, Sarah Palin is in damage control mode after a very damaging week for her political future. 

Pat Buchanan and Bill Press, they are united.  See how much pull I‘ve got around this place?  It‘s Buchanan and Press all over again.  They‘ll go at it next on her political future. 

And all of a sudden, John McCain is praising President Obama and calling for respect in politics.  Is this another reversal?  Do you buy it?  We‘ll see what the panel says. 

And I‘ll show you how Rush Limbaugh went into a new low this week.

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  The “Battleground” story tonight, I guess you could say, Sarah Palin is doubling down.   She has no regrets, she‘s not apologizing.  And she‘s not going to back down from what she said.  Palin set off a firestorm of controversy this week releasing her now infamous video where she never apologized, played the victim, and outraged a lot of people by using the term, blood libel.  Today, “The Daily Beast” reports that she signed on to be the keynote speaker on the program convention in Nevada after the shooting tragedy in Arizona. 

A lot of folks aren‘t going to like that but the righties are gunning up, I guess you could say.  She‘s also scheduled to do her first live interview with Sean Hannity on the republican FOX News Channel Monday night.  She‘s not backing down.  I think we‘ve got that, and she still has her sights set on 2012 and I think she‘s had a pretty tough week but let‘s see what these guys think. 

Bill Press, nationally syndicated radio talk show host and Pat Buchanan, former presidential candidate and MSNBC political analyst.  Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.  

BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Hi, Ed.  

SCHULTZ:  Pat, I almost had to get out the external defibrillator here in the office.  My wife is a nurse because I heard you say earlier this week, you think Sarah Palin is a victim.  Do you believe that, Pat?

PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  I think that for the last week, she‘s been a victim, Ed, in one the saddest smears that I‘ve seen in a long, long time.  From the very moment, they picked up those wounded and dead at that incident, she‘s been charged with moral complicity in a crime which she had no responsibility whatsoever.  It is been day and night.  Day and night.  Until finally, the president of the United States went out there and did a magnificent job I think in Arizona and said, put a stop to it, incivility is not responsible for this tragedy and let‘s not uses it as what means to start up the wars, one against another again. 

PRESS:  Hey, Ed, look, if Sarah Palin‘s a victim, I‘m an astronaut.  Let me tell you something the victims are lying on the ground outside of the Safeway last Saturday in Tucson.  Sarah Palin is a political figure, she‘s a person who has used a lot of inflammatory rhetoric, nobody starting with you, Ed, me, not the president, nobody blamed her for what happened in Tucson, but they did say that she‘s one of the ones who‘s used a lot of gun-filled rhetoric including putting out that map with the crosshairs, she‘s called it bull‘s eyes and telling people to reload.  You know it would had been so easy for Sarah Palin just to say, as I thought you said, Pat, all of a sudden, think about her language and maybe not use that gun-filled imagery anymore.  Instead she whined and she called people, accused them of blood libel, it‘s disgusting and I think her political career is over.  

BUCHANAN:  Well, you‘ve thought a lot of people‘s political careers are over, Bill and they won 63 seats in the house last fall.  President of the United States, Barack Obama said 19 -- what was it 2008 when the Republicans bring a knife to a fight, we‘re going to bring a gun.  That‘s over the top rhetoric.  It had nothing to do with what happened out there in Arizona.  And neither did Sarah Palin.  You talk about her whining, she‘s come out tough.  She‘s not only defended herself but she‘s gone on the attack and that‘s why you folks are out here talking about her tonight.  

PRESS:  But that‘s the problem, Pat.  She went on the attack.  Thank you for saying that.  That‘s exactly what she did.  That‘s not what they.

BUCHANAN:  Right.  

PRESS:  Wait a minute, let me finish, please.  That‘s not what the American people wanted to hear. 

BUCHANAN:  How do you know what the American people want?

PRESS:  Because, because, Pat, you look at the response to that memorial service where the president hit absolutely the right tone.  Sarah Palin is tone deaf, at some point she‘s got to go beyond being a fringe candidate, Pat.  She had a chance.  She missed it.  She blew it.  She‘s done.  

BUCHANAN:  Look, you‘ve got to get beyond being a fringe talk show host, Bill.  Here‘s what happened.  

(LAUGHTER)

PRESS:  You‘re a fringe TV talker.  Come on, Pat, you can‘t—why can‘t—can you get away from the personal attacks?

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Let‘s go back to this, gentlemen, let‘s go back to this.  

BUCHANAN:  All right.  Let me go back to the basic point.  

SCHULTZ:  Pat, you bring up the point about what the president said.  The president ought to apologize for that.  He said it was the wrong use of words, he shouldn‘t have done it.  Sarah Palin‘s apologized for nothing and I have to ask you, is it appropriate to put these crosshairs up and granted the Democrats have done it in the  past but in the environment that we‘re in right now, doesn‘t this deserve you know, maybe I shouldn‘t have done that?  She can‘t even bring herself to do that, Pat. 

BUCHANAN:  Well, look, she‘s got nothing to apologize for because she did nothing wrong.  

SCHULTZ:  OK.  

BUCHANAN:  Going forward, Ed, going forward, because of this, the Democrats showing the bull‘s eyes on the stage, the crosshairs in the states, that goes out.  But, Ed, look, why are you talking. 

SCHULTZ:  How about blood libel?  Is that going forward, Pat?  Let‘s play this sound bite, here it is right here.  

BUCHANAN:  OK. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR:  Especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence that they purport to condemn.  That is reprehensible. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Pat, was that appropriate?

BUCHANAN:  It is appropriate.  I‘ll tell you what, when Alan Grayson says, Republicans want you to die quickly—that is a smear.  

SCHULTZ:  I‘m not talking about Grayson.  I‘m talking about Sarah Palin, was that appropriate?  

BUCHANAN:  He‘s got the same right to use that phrase as Alan Dershowitz did. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.

BUCHANAN:  As Andrew Sullivan did.  As Michael Barone did.  As Ann Coulter did. 

SCHULTZ:  Ann Coulter, there‘s a source for you.  

PRESS:  Oh, boy, oh, boy, oh, boy.  

BUCHANAN:  You know, let me tell you this.  You know, Ed, look, you talk about a climate of hate.  Now I think this last week, there‘s been a climate of hatred built up against this woman who did nothing and I tell you, if she does run for president of the United States, I pray to the lord she‘s given secret service protection from day one.  

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  I tell you what, I hope that she has all of the protection in the world.  Go ahead, Bill.  I‘ll give you—go ahead. 

PRESS:  Just let me get in here, look, all people said is that among with a lot of other people, Sarah Palin used an imagery that was inappropriate.  It would had been so easy for her to say, you know what, I didn‘t intend any harm to anybody and I know she didn‘t.  I don‘t accuse her of that.  

BUCHANAN:  Why you‘ve been talking about her for a week for? 

PRESS:  But she could have said. 

BUCHANAN:  She came out and did a tape.  

PRESS:  Hey, Pat, hey, Pat, hey, Pat.  I know this is cross fire but give me a shot.  Listen, she could have said that was inappropriate.  I wouldn‘t use that language again, that‘s all people wanted to hear and then move on, instead she missed that opportunity, Pat.  The president saw the opportunity.  And I really think that she made a fatal mistake in terms of her political career, just like going to this gun show, Pat.  She‘s already got that crowd.  What‘s that going to get her?  Nothing but more inflammatory rhetoric.  

BUCHANAN:  The last person—Sarah Palin is a national sensation.  The second-most beloved woman in America after respected after Hillary Clinton.  She‘s got great success on the circuit.  Eighteen of the 20 districts.  

PRESS:  Fine.  

BUCHANAN:  She targeted.  She won those races.  She doesn‘t need your advice, Bill.  

SCHULTZ:  OK, all right, Pat.  

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER)

PRESS:  Let her stay on FOX News, Pat.  

SCHULTZ:  Did she have a good week?  Did she use proper judgment in using blood libel?  That will not politically come back to haunt her in your opinion, yes or no?

BUCHANAN:  Ed, you decide in your own way whether things come back to haunt her.  You guys have been working this line and working this thing continually.  

SCHULTZ:  I didn‘t release the tape, Pat, she did.  I didn‘t release the tape, she did.  

BUCHANAN:  She released that tape five days after this smear campaign began and I think she had every right to do so.  

SCHULTZ:  The right to use blood libel. 

BUCHANAN:  She has the first amendment right just like do you, Ed.  

SCHULTZ:  Go ahead, Bill.

PRESS:  Shame on you, Pat.  You know what that word means, that word has no place in American politics whether she knew what it meant or not, it‘s stunningly. 

SCHULTZ:  Buchanan and Press, great to have you guys with us tonight. 

Gentlemen, time-out.  Thanks so much. 

BUCHANAN:  Alan Dershowitz say, it was fine to use it. 

PRESS:  Who cares about Alan Dershowitz?  We‘re talking about Sarah Palin.  We‘re talking about Sarah Palin, Pat.  

SCHULTZ:  All right.  We have to go.  Thanks.  Pat Buchanan and Bill Press, you guys are great.  

Now let‘s get some response from our panel on these stories.  John McCain has written an article praising President Obama‘s memorial speech and calling for more respect and civility in politics.  But I think that he flip-flops a lot, doesn‘t he?  What do you think?  We‘ll ask the panel that.  

And Majority Leader Eric Cantor has come out in support of mixing up the seating at this year‘s State of the Union.  Not bad, huh? 

Tonight, Stephanie Miller, nationally syndicated radio talk show host is with us and Amy Holmes, nationally syndicated radio talk show host. 

All right here we go.  John McCain, Stephanie, we know he‘s never flip-flopped before.  Do you think that he‘ll flip this time or what do you think?

(LAUGHTER)

STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Well, I got to give him credit for this one, Ed, because he did what exactly the point that you‘re trying to make in this last segment, what Sarah Palin did not do.  He took his own responsibility for being part of this climate because he‘s engaged in some pretty nasty rhetoric since he‘s lost the election and he took responsibility for that.  Sarah Palin, as you say, has not.  

SCHULTZ:  Amy?

AMY HOLMES, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Well, actually if you look at John McCain during the campaign, he took an opportunity when Barack Obama became the first African-American nominee of a major political party for president of the United States to congratulate him, to say this was an important moment in America, that he was proud of his fellow Americans, and you know what, and now the bow is on and well, you know, may the best man win.  We saw that graciousness during the campaign.  We‘ve also seen from John McCain as a legislator, that he‘s reached across the aisle to the chagrin of a lot of conservatives and Republicans.  When he did McCain-Feingold, when he did the tobacco deal.  

SCHULTZ:  Well, I don‘t disagree with you on that, Amy.  

(CROSSTALK)

HOLMES:  I‘ve been willing to be a statesman, reach across the aisle. 

Work with the other side.  

SCHULTZ:  Amy, I can‘t wait for that statesmanship.  I can‘t wait for that statesmanship because that means we won‘t have as many filibusters in this next session of the Congress as we did in the last one.  

HOLMES:  We already saw it with this idea of mixing up the state of the union seating.  John McCain came out and said that he was for it.  

SCHULTZ:  That was a good democratic idea and I‘m glad he did, but can John McCain be trusted, amyl?  I mean, he flip-flops on so much stuff.  Do you think he‘s genuine when he comes out on the heels of all of this, you know, obstruction that‘s been going on in the last session of Congress?  So, you think he can be trusted with this letter and with this op-ed, right?

HOLMES:  I think that he can, I think that it‘s actually very important to Senator McCain and his own self-identity, the way that he wanted to be remembered as a United States senator, that‘s been a part his career.  It‘s been part of his legislative history and as I mentioned it was even part of the campaign in 2008 when you know stakes are at their very highest. 

SCHULTZ:  Was he was it that way in 2009 and 2010, what do you think, Stephanie?

MILLER:  Well, he also foisted Sarah Palin on us.  So, let‘s not thank him for that. But in the other thing, in Op-ed, he also defends Sarah Palin and I agree with you, Ed.  There is no defending someone that comes out on the day of mourning when the president is trying to unite us and further divides us and smears another entire group of people doing it.  There is no excuse for her.  There really isn‘t.  She has no place.  If she wants to be on Coulter, fine, but she has no place in leadership in this country in my opinion.  

SCHULTZ:  No.  I have been to a few state of the unions and there‘s a lot of things that happen that are not on camera.  Often times, it‘s just boisterous and thunderous applause.  It was certainly happening under President Bush.  And President Obama when he gave his State of the Union, obviously there was a great deal of enthusiasm in the chamber.  And it was also very contentious.  We know that we like comment from a year ago.  Amy, do you think mixing the seating up.  Making it bipartisan seating is going to have any effect on the demeanor of the chamber, what do you think?

HOLMES:  You know, I think that‘s really an interesting question and if you notice that the biggest proponents of this, at least until Eric Cantor came out and said, he might be open to it, we‘re Democrats.  And I think that‘s because they wanted to dilute the image that they got a shellacking in November.  And they didn‘t want the public to see how much their numbers are diminished and how much the other side of the aisle has grown.  

MILLER:  Oh, please, Amy.  

HOLMES:  But here, in asking the question about demeanor.  

MILLER:  Please.  

HOLMES:  If people are mixed up, it does make it a lot harder to stand up and, you know, applaud when someone else is sitting down next to you.  And I think a lot of this will have to do on the content of the president‘s State of the Union. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.  We‘ll leave it there.

MILLER:  That‘s really cynical, Amy.  That really in the wake of this tragedy. 

(CROSSTALK)

HOLMES:  Cynicism in politics.  Cynicism in Washington, D.C., of course.  

MILLER:  Oh, please.  I love the idea and I hope someone holds John Boehner on their lap because, you know, he‘s probably going to cry, he‘ll need comforting. 

SCHULTZ:  Stephanie miller, Amy Holmes, great to have you with us tonight.  Thank you.  

Coming up, President Obama is bracing for an avalanche of corporate cash against him in 2012.  Insiders say, he needs to raise a billion dollars to win.  Bob Shrum on that hot story next.  And Rush Limbaugh says, he doesn‘t know anything about this offensive billboard promoting his show.  We‘ll get to that in just a moment.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  It‘s not too late to let us know what you think.  Tonight‘s text survey question is, do you think Republicans are serious about changing the tone in America?  Text A for yes, text B for no to 622-639.  Results coming up.  Stay with us.   

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  In my “Playbook” tonight, political experts are saying President Obama might need to run the first $1 billion presidential campaign in American history.  If anyone can, it would probably be Barack Obama.  But, when the president was considering his first run, I had the opportunity to meet with him in the Senate office.  I asked him if he would be able to have the money to defeat the Clinton machine, he looked at me at the time, right in my eyes, and said, “Money won‘t be a problem.”  We went out in the hallway and I said to my wife, do you realize what that guy just said?  Well, I hope he can do the same thing in 2012 since the Citizens United Supreme Court decision allowed unlimited corporate spending the next republican candidate will get more corporate money than any candidate in history.  Bottom line.  President Obama‘s best chance for rallying his big donors and fighting the corporate influence might be Sarah Palin as an opponent. 

For more, let‘s bring in veteran democratic strategist Bob Shrum, also professor at NYU.  Bob, what do you make of this?  Can President Obama in his money machine keep up with the corporate dollars, matching them dollar for dollar, or would he maybe turn to take the public funds, what do you think?

BOB SHRUM, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST:  He won‘t take the public funds and to quote someone you just cited, “Money won‘t be a problem.”  First of all, the great powerful, popular force in 2012 isn‘t going to be the Tea Party, it‘s going to be the Obama generation.  Through the democratic power of the internet, they‘re going to finance most of this campaign, a very large portion of it.  Secondly, they‘re going to be a lot of big donors there.  Some of them are unhappy.  Some of them are worried but there will be new ones and there‘ll be a lot of big money raised.  Thirdly in terms of Citizens United, I think you‘re going to see Democrats do a much better job of getting their act today.  There are some very wealthy democratic donors out there who I think who‘ll going to go out and do the same kind of thing that the Republicans did this year.  

SCHULTZ:  The president raised half a billion dollars online in 2008.  

SHRUM:  Right.  

SCHULTZ:  What would be your prediction for 2012?

SHRUM:  Oh, I think that he‘ll raise $700, $750 million online.  I think he will have the first billion-dollar presidential campaign.  Look, he spent—he raised $740 million, total, in 2008.  Together, John Kerry and George Bush raised 646 million in 2004.  That would have been much higher, by the way, if Kerry had decided not to take public funding which is the decision that, internally at least, I argued we should have made and I think he now believes he should have made.  There is huge power out there in all of those folks who believe in the kind of change Barack Obama stands for, and who, by the way, will be motivated by the extremism of the Republican Party to get involved and to give.  

SCHULTZ:  Would Sarah Palin help President Obama‘s fund-raising?

SHRUM:  Sure, but you know, I‘ve reached the point, Ed, where I can‘t take her seriously.  

SCHULTZ:  OK.  

SHRUM:  I used to say, you know, I think I said this to you.  I used to say, I want her to be the republican nominee because she was so easy to beat.  I don‘t want her to be the republican nominee anymore.  I just want her to go off and give her speeches. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  Let‘s talk about that base you just mentioned.  They are frustrated.  They wanted more and there‘s an element of trust that they feel has been broken with this president in the White House.  Do you think they‘ll come back?

SHRUM:  Oh, I think they‘ll come back for sure.  I think the stakes are going to be very clear when we get into 2012.  Not just what‘s going to happen to the Supreme Court, what‘s going to happen to issues like health care and health reform, which the Republicans are going to make a spectacle of themselves over the next week trying to repeal, whether or not we‘re going to have an administration that stands up for the rights of women and minorities and Hispanics.  I think you‘re going to see young people back voting.  

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  

SHRUM:  And I think you‘re going to see the Obama generation back contributing. 

SCHULTZ:  Michael Steele out as RNC chair, what‘s it mean?

SHRUM:  Well, it means that the RNC will probably be run more competently.  He‘s.

SCHULTZ:  Probably their entertainment budget might be a little different too, don‘t you think?

SHRUM:  Well, I have to hire somebody to do the entertaining.  He could be the entertainment the last two years.  

SCHULTZ:  All right.  

SHRUM:  Look, he was a gaffe machine and he left them hugely in debt.  They decided to get rid of him.  He didn‘t see the message on the wall.  He was given that message today.  And he‘s gone.  

SCHULTZ:  Thanks, Bob.  Bob Shrum with us tonight.  

SHRUM:  Thank you.  

SCHULTZ:  Here on THE ED SHOW.  Final page of the “Playbook,” I‘m gearing up for another week in big football playoff action, right?  Last weekend, I only picked one game correctly.  In fact, tonight I‘m going to make some changes here, staff.  I‘m taking these dealers at home over the ravens.  I‘ll go along with that.  We have to change this.  No, I do not think the Seahawks are going to win on the road.  I think the Bears are going to win at home.  There‘s a change right there.  See how fickle I am.  And I‘d like the Packers at the Falcons.  You‘ve got to go with the cheese heads and the Jets on the road because I think Brady is a righty.   

Coming up, this disgusting billboard in Tucson featuring Rush Limbaugh as a straight shooter.  Came down this week.  He doesn‘t know anything about it?

Legendary radio consultant Holland Cooke tells us if Rush is still too big to fail.  That‘s next.                            

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And finally tonight, Rush Limbaugh, does he have a major branding problem in the wake of the Tucson shooting?  Well, last night, we showed you this billboard that was up in Tucson, promoting his radio show in that market.  Well, it‘s been taken down by the company, and Rush says he didn‘t know anything about it.  He‘s also refusing to back down spending the week attacking Democrats and the media, and of course playing the victim.  His business is confrontation, and despite the events in Arizona this week, it has been business as usual for the drugster. 

For more, let‘s bring in talk radio consultant Holland Cooke. 

Holland, good week or bad week for Rush Limbaugh, what do you think?

HOLLAND COOKE, TALK RADIO CONSULTANT:  I really didn‘t think he was on his game this week.  Candidly, I thought Glenn Beck had a better distilled take.  As I was listening to Rush Limbaugh, it seemed to take him until at least the midpoint of the show to crystallize how he felt about this.  He sounded very defensive.  And as for that billboard in Tucson, I join you in congratulating that station for taking the billboard down.  The problem is, why did it go up to begin with?

SCHULTZ:  Rush says, he doesn‘t know anything about it.  Do you agree with that?  Rush says, he doesn‘t know anything about it.  

COOKE:  I‘ll take his word for that.  Yes, it‘ll take his word for that because I‘ve worked with a lot of radio stations that have “The Rush Limbaugh Show” and he is notoriously detached, and frankly unhelpful to radio stations in all about the very biggest markets.  He won‘t read custom promo copy, et cetera.  So I believe he did not see that board before it went up.  I just cringed when I saw that graphic the first time you showed it.  Because in Tucson, of all places, this week of all times, how hurtful that had to be.  Free speech is very expensive.  When you say free speech, that means everybody gets to talk.  Doesn‘t mean everybody has to listen.  But the problem with putting up a billboard like that is everybody has to see it and we don‘t know if this troubled, deranged young man drove down that particular highway.  

SCHULTZ:  In the meantime, Limbaugh has been playing the victim all week.  What do you make of that?

COOKE:  Well, let‘s never forget that the real victims are not the people who died, the real victims are not the congresswoman who fights for her life.  The real victim is Rush Limbaugh and I have to agree with what Pat Buchanan said, Sarah Palin has been victimized this week.  But she‘s been victimized by Rush Limbaugh.  She‘s the shiny object.  The hypnotist is dangling in front our eyes, but it‘s all about him.  And you hear about gun control and you hear about free speech.  Not from the left but from the right.  These are hobby horses that they are ginning up.  I haven‘t heard anybody on MSNBC say, take away the guns, but I do hear thoughtful people asking, why you have to be able to fire 31 shots without cocking the gun? 

SCHULTZ:  Will the tone in talk radio in America change in the wake of what we‘ve had in the last week?

COOKE:  I doubt it.  I applaud cable TV.  Most of the channels for handling this with restraint this week but I listen to talk radio for a living, and what I heard this week was not our finest hour. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

COOKE:  I heard a lot of defensive talk radio this week.  And if we haven‘t done anything wrong, what do we have to be defensive about?  

SCHULTZ:  Holland Cooke, talk radio consultant.  Great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.  

Tonight in our text survey, I asked you, do you think Republicans are serious about changing the tone in America?  Six percent of you said yes.  Ninety four percent of you said no. 

That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  I want to hear from you, there‘s a lot of ways to get in touch with me and the show.  Go to my Web site, ed.msnbc.com.  Or check out wegoted.com or tell me what you think on facebook.com/edschultzshow.  And you can talk to me on twitter, at twitter.com/wegoted. 

“HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews is next.  We‘ll see you Monday.   

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

END   

Copyright 2011 CQ-Roll Call, Inc.  All materials herein are protected by

United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed,

transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written

permission of CQ-Roll Call. You may not alter or remove any trademark,

copyright or other notice from copies of the content.>

PASTE THE TRANSCRIPT HERE