updated 6/14/2011 11:22:21 AM ET 2011-06-14T15:22:21

Guests: Michael Eric Dyson, Joan Walsh, E.J. Dionne, Jared Bernstein, Robert Gibbs, Josh Green

ED SCHULTZ, HOST:  Good evening, Americans.  And welcome to THE ED SHOW, tonight from New York.

Well, the Republican presidential debate, the first one is over.  And tonight, Democrats, I think you could say, are dancing in the streets because Michele Bachmann used her opening statement to announce that she has filed the paperwork.

There‘s a lot to get here tonight and we have an all-star panel.  Joan Walsh, Michael Eric Dyson and E.J. Dionne, all here to weigh in on the debate that many people watch.

And we will also have reaction from the former White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs.  He‘ll be here.

And from the story that refuses to go away, the president himself weighing in on the Anthony Weiner scandal.  You don‘t want to miss those comments.

But, first, tonight, it‘s all about the debate.

This is THE ED SHOW.  Let‘s get to work.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

           

MITT ROMNEY ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  What this president has done has slowed the economy.

NEWT GINGRICH ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  We need a new president in the Obama depression.

TIM PAWLENTY ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  This president is a declinist.  He views America as one of equals around the world.

ROMNEY:  This president has failed.

RICK SANTORUM ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  What has happened in this administration is that they have pressed oppressive policy and oppressive regulation after Obamacare being first and foremost.

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA:  As president of the United States, I will not rest until I repeal Obamacare.  It‘s a promise, take it to the bank, cash the check.  I‘ll make sure that that happens.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

SCHULTZ:  That was the central theme of the night for the Republicans.  Obama has overreached on health care and has underachieved on jobs.  That‘s nothing new.

What else was not new?  They don‘t have any solutions to problems facing this country.

And, you know, I was waiting for the small business pitch.  I was waiting for what we‘re going to do to help the little guy.  I was waiting for someone to announce that they have a solution to outsourcing, meaning jobs going to other countries.

In fact, Mitt Romney went so far tonight to blame the United Auto Workers.

But it was Newt Gingrich who started things out.

You see?  The whole framework is about tax cuts.  The whole framework for the Republicans is about Reagan.

Here‘s Newt.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH:  The Obama administration is anti-jobs, anti-business, anti-American energy, destructive force, and we shouldn‘t talk about what we do in 2013.  The Congress this year, next week ought to repeal the Dodd-Frank bill, they ought to repeal the Sarbanes-Oxley bill, they ought to start creating jobs right now, because for those 14 million Americans, this is a depression now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  OK.  Declarative statement by the Newster, nobody is better at it than he is.

Any solution there for jobs?  Any solution there for health care?  Any solution whatsoever other than to play the blame game?

That‘s what they do best.

I wanted Newt to get to that American exceptionalism that he always talks about.  It didn‘t happen.

Here‘s Mitt Romney.  This is his take on what‘s wrong with America and what we have to do about jobs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY:  As I went around the world—this is an important topic.  I went around the world.

JOHN KING, DEBATE MODERATOR:  We have a lot of time on the topic.  We should—

ROMNEY:  You can tell how to get jobs going in this country and President Obama has done it wrong, and the idea, as Tim described, those are—those are in the right wheel house.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  See right there, Mr. Romney, you had an opportunity at the top of the show to say, I want to get capital to the little guy.  I want to give capital to small businesses because small businesses really is the backbone of the American economy.

Seventy-five percent of jobs in this country come from small businesses.  We‘ve got tight credit so much.

And none of this was acknowledged tonight by the Republicans.  None of it!

And then, of course, the term middle class never came up.  But I will give credit to Tim Pawlenty.  He tried to go in the backdoor telling us that he is so favorable to unions.  I thought Pawlenty scored pretty doggone well tonight because he did talk about trade agreements that are hurting American workers.

Here‘s the former governor of Minnesota.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PAWLENTY:  I grew up in a manufacturing town.  I was in a union for six or seven years.  I understand what it‘s like to see the blue collar communities and the struggles that they‘ve had when manufacturing leave.

So, I‘ve seen that first hand.  But, number one, we have to have fair trade and what‘s going on right now is not fair.  I‘m for a fair and open trade, but I‘m not for being stupid and I‘m not for being a chump.

And we have individuals and organizations in countries around this world who are not following the rules when it comes to fair trade.  We need a stronger president and someone who is going to take on those issues.

Number two, we need to take the costs and burdens of manufacturing in this country lower.  We‘re asking them to climb the mountain with a bag sack full of rocks on their back and we have to take the rocks out.  One of them is Obamacare.

I met somebody in Arizona the other day, he‘s moving his whole company out of the country just because of Obamacare.  The taxes are too high.  The regulations are too heavy.  The permitting is too slow.  And the message everywhere around this country from business leaders, large and small, including manufacturing, is get the government off my back.  As president, I will.

People shouldn‘t be forced to belong or be a member in any organization and the government has no business telling people what group you have to be a member of or not.  I support strongly right to work legislation.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  OK.  So, does that mean you‘re totally against workers, Governor Pawlenty?  The Employee Free Choice Act, would that be off the table?  You don‘t want anybody in this country to have an opportunity to go through collective bargaining even though at the beginning of your answer, you‘re telling us how you understand unions because you come from a union family and you understand manufacturing?

No.  You don‘t understand manufacturing if you don‘t understand the workers.  The fact of the matter is, it‘s the attack on labor in this country that has cost us where we are right now, and none of those candidates tonight who want to be president of the United States would step up and acknowledge that fact.

The next thing, of course, is the government.  The government is always the boogie man.  If there‘s a problem in this country, it‘s going to be because of the government.

And, Mr. Pawlenty, what do you want to do about Obamacare as you call it?  Do you want to tell those people in America that it‘s OK, that you‘re OK with insurance companies dropping them when they get sick?  That the pre-existing condition means that they can‘t get insurance—you want to go back to those days?

And no acknowledge tonight whatsoever by any of them saying that the health care law that was passed over the next 10 years is going to save this country $1 trillion, plus, we‘re going to have more focus on preventative care.  I didn‘t hear that tonight.

In fact, I didn‘t hear any ideas tonight from the Republicans when it came to creating jobs or when it came to, what they love to say, fix Obamacare.

Then, of course, now we have to get to taxes.  And it‘s Michele Bachmann who was the queen up there tonight talking about taxes and how she knows so much more than everybody else.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BACHMANN:  Today, United States has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world.  I‘m a former federal tax lawyer.  I‘ve seen the devastation.  We‘ve got to bring that tax rate down substantially so we‘re the lowest in the industrialized world.

Here‘s the other thing, every time the liberals get into office, they pass an omnibus bill of big spending projects.  What we need to do is pass the mother of all repeal bills, but it‘s the repeal bill that will get job-killing regulations.

And I would begin with the EPA because there is no other agency like the EPA.  It should really be renamed “the job-killing organization of America.”

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  I‘ll tell you what—we‘ve got a lot to be happy about in cable because we have all kind of bullet points to work with, with Michele Bachmann.  Everything is a job killer.  Everything is a job killer.  Even the EPA is out there.

They don‘t care about the environment.  They want to let big oil run wild.  And they also made the statement tonight that we‘re not drilling as much as we‘re used to.

Excuse me, the production of oil in this country is up 11 percent since President Obama has come into office and many liberal are concerned about his policy on that.

I want to know what you think.  Head over to our Web site at Ed.MSNBC.com and vote who you think won tonight‘s GOP debate.  You can skip the text poll.  We need you to go to our website for the vote tonight.  I‘d like to bring you the results later on in the show.  Who do you think won?

And I‘m not talking about personally, style points.  I would be voting on that tonight as to who brought me, you know, hat in cattle, if you know what I mean.

Joining me now, tonight, is our panel: Joan Walsh, editor at large, Salon.com; also, Michael Eric Dyson of Georgetown University and MSNBC contributor; and also, E.J. Dionne, who is a columnist for “The Washington Post” and senior fellow at the Brookings Institute.

So, I just asked our audience to go to the Web site and vote, and now, I‘m going to have these three panelists to tell us right off the top who scored very well tonight, who won this debate.

Joan Walsh, your thoughts.

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM:  Well, you know, since there are really two primaries going on for the Republicans, I‘m going to have to name two winners.  You‘ve really got the—you know, the far right unlike in 2008 has a candidate, has several candidates and I think that side of the primary, I think Michele Bachmann did the best, partly because she didn‘t totally embarrass herself.  She seemed credible.  She had answers.  Sometimes, they had a little bit more than surface to them.

And then on the other side, the kind of primary for the people who might used to formally have been moderate and reasonable.  I think the winner there was Mitt Romney.  I think Pawlenty lost the minute he refused to confront Mitt to his face about his insults, about Obamneycare.

SCHULTZ:  Sure.

WALSH:  And I think—I think that you saw those two sides fighting it out.  Newt Gingrich is gone.  He didn‘t even look interested in this debate.  I feel very sorry for him.

So, I think we can push him and Herman Cain out of the way, even if they won‘t get off the stage themselves.  But I think the winners were Romney and Bachmann.

SCHULTZ:  OK.  Michael Eric Dyson, who impressed you tonight?  Who won this debate?

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR:  Yes, Newt Gingrich was not scoring anything in the fourth quarter.  So, he kind of disappeared and dropped out for sure.

I think I‘d have to agree with Joan that Michele Bachmann, scarily

enough, presented the reasonable face of what has often been a vicious and

vitriolic expression of partisanship and ideology.  Though I think Herman

Cain acquitted himself well, though similar to some others, you know, his -

I think his answer about the Muslims was quite disturbing.

           

WALSH:  Yes.

DYSON:  And the litmus test that he claimed not to be evoking, he certainly evoked.  But he did reasonably well.

So, I‘d have to say Michele Bachmann for that far, far right side.  And between Romney and Herman Cain for the reasonable.  But Herman Cain doesn‘t have chance within the Republican Party to be their face.  So, I‘d have to say Romney.

SCHULTZ:  No doubt.

E.J. Dionne—tonight, did Mitt Romney do what he had to do?

E.J. DIONNE, WASHINGTON POST:  Well, I think Mitt Romney survived the thing.  In other words, I was surprised that there wasn‘t more ganging up on Romney.

I agree with Joan that I thought if Pawlenty was going to talk about Obamneycare, not a bad line in a Republican primary—

WALSH:  Right.

DIONNE:  -- he should have stuck with it.  But I thought because Romney was not damaged tonight and because I think he is ahead, he did well.

But there are a couple of moments, I thought—I picked the same moment you did.  I thought when Pawlenty tried to turn himself into the working class hero with that answer on trade, there are a lot of white working class Republicans.  And so, I think he did well at that moment.

There was one moment that I liked from Romney and that is when he was pretty unambiguous in defending religious liberty.

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

DIONNE:  But Bachmann won the thing—I think if you‘re going to have anybody winning the thing—because she surprised people.

SCHULTZ:  All right.

DIONNE:  She looked more at ease than the other folks.

SCHULTZ:  And there was a big conversation around jobs, obviously, in this country.  Mitt Romney talked about the automobile loan.  Here‘s how it came down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Would you say the bailout program was a success?

ROMNEY:  The bailout program was not a success because it wasted a lot of money.

KING:  Anyone here who given that prospect and President Bush started the program.  Given that, anyone here who would have stepped in and said, I don‘t want to do this, but this is the backbone of American manufacturing, I‘ll do something?

SANTORUM:  No, absolutely not.  We should not have had TARP.  We should not have had the auto bailout.  Governor Romney is right.  They could have gone through a structured bankruptcy without the federal government.

All the federal government did is basically tipped to the cronies, tipped to the unions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Joan Walsh, every economist that I have spoken with and reported on is saying that the auto loan saved millions of jobs, we had the United Auto Workers president, Bob King, on this program here the other night saying it was clearly the right thing to do and they took a hair cut between $7,000 and $30,000.

How does Romney fair with that answer?

WALSH:  Well, you know, that maybe one place where I‘m not—I‘m not assessing a little bit of damage to him because I think he thinks he‘s going to be strong in Michigan.  He‘s a favorite son.  I don‘t know how that‘s going to play in Michigan.  Not only it‘s factually wrong, but it‘s politically tone deaf.

So, between those two things, I think he may have hurt himself there.

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

WALSH:  And, look, you know, of course, the UAW is going to be their scapegoat, but they did take a haircut.  They are reducing jobs.  They‘re reducing benefits.  They played along.  They compromised.

And so, I think it was a really stupid answer.

I also heard the trade, the nod to trade agreements and that was interesting.  But, again, they don‘t have the fundamental idea about how this works.

SCHULTZ:  Michael Eric Dyson, how about, as we move forward in the conversation as far as jobs in this country, Michele Bachmann was saying that the Republicans have a great story to tell.  Let‘s look at this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BACHMANN:  Republicans have an awesome story to tell, every one of us in the three-legged stool.  We need the peace through strength Republicans, we need the fiscal conservatives, we need the social conservatives.  We need everybody to come together because we‘re going to win.

Just make no mistake about it.  I want to announce tonight.  President Obama is a one-term president.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  One-term president because we have a bunch of Bush talk tonight?  I didn‘t hear any new ideas whatsoever, Michael?

DYSON:  Not one championship, not two championships, not three championships, four, five, six or seven.  Yes, we heard that before.

The prognostication about winning is one thing when you‘re in the rev up.  Michele Bachmann scored a coup tonight not only because of what Joan and E.J. have spoken about, but also because she strategically announced her candidacy tonight—so that, you know, she was undecided before she got there.  So, by announcing tonight, she gets even a smaller leg up, so to speak, on her opponents because it makes a different kind of news, as well.

But in terms of the story to tell—look, you can‘t fault her for her passion.  You can‘t falter for her idealism.  But in terms of squaring that with reality—

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

DYSON:  -- the story to be told is, if you were for big business tonight, you felt good.  If you were for people who are not concerned about people whose backs are against the wall, if you‘re talking about Social Security or Medicare, if you‘re speaking about insurance in this Obamneycare that was put together as a kind of neologism, then, fine.

But if you are the person who are working hard and who are party—any part of a union or God forbid making a decision about your life either in the military or your own sexuality, it seems to me, Republicans want the government to stay out of their bedrooms until they want to get into someone else‘s bedroom.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  E.J. Dionne, taking a look at these polls, Romney at 24 percent in “USA Today”/Gallup poll that is out.  Palin was not there tonight and she‘s at 16 percent.

And watching some of the contestants tonight, I thought about what kind of answers Palin would give.  I don‘t think even she‘s in the game.

E.J., what do you think?

DIONNE:  No, I don‘t think she‘s in the game.  I‘m still in the camp that says she‘s not going to run and it turns out Bachmann does a better job of being Palin than Palin does.

But I—you know, looking at this debate, I try to look at it through the eyes of a Republican primary voter and a middle of the road swing voter.  I think there was—if you‘re a Republican primary voter, for example, on the auto bailout, you hate the auto bailout.  So, in that sense, everything would appeal to that base.

But If I‘m running Michigan for Barack Obama, if I‘m that person, I‘m very happy with what came out tonight because I don‘t think a Michigan person would respond to that.

And if you‘re a middle of a road voter, I think you want more than just cut taxes, cut regulation and get rid of the EPA.  And I‘m not sure they had much to give that voter tonight, and I don‘t know how they‘ll pivot off this right-wing position.

SCHULTZ:  Well, and nothing for small business.  Boogie man, obviously, is the government.  Get rid of everything President Obama did.  It was pretty vanilla as far as the Republicans were concerned, I thought, tonight.  They were lacking the devil in the detail of what they wanted to do.

Joan Walsh, Michael Eric Dyson, E.J. Dionne, great to have you with us tonight.  We‘ll have much more on the debate coming up.

Jared Bernstein, former economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, will be here to discuss the economic solutions presented tonight.

And later, Robert Gibbs joins us from Manchester.

Stay with us.  We‘re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  President Obama was the focus of tonight‘s debate, quite a bit, I thought.  While several Republicans spent the better part of the evening vying for Barack Obama‘s job, Mr. Obama, the president, put his attention on the country‘s lack of jobs -- 9.1 percent unemployment.

In North Carolina today, Mr. Obama promoted his job creation plan, assuring Americans that he remains focused on economic recovery.

The president also publicly addressed another issue that just won‘t go away, the saga involving New York Congressman Anthony Weiner.  Here‘s what he told NBC‘s Ann Curry.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANN CURRY, NBC NEWS:  Should Congressman Anthony Weiner resign?

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  Well, obviously, what he did was highly inappropriate.  I think he‘s embarrassed himself, he‘s acknowledged that.  He embarrassed his wife and his family.  Ultimately, there‘s going to be a decision for him and his constituents.

I can tell you that if it was me, I would resign because public service is exactly that.  It‘s a service to the public.  And when you get to the point where because of various personal distractions, you can‘t serve as effectively as you need to.  At a time when people are worrying about jobs and their mortgages and paying the bills, then you should probably step back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  The president now strongly suggesting that Congressman Anthony Weiner should resign.  You could catch more of Ann Curry‘s interview tomorrow on “Today.”  And we‘ll more on the congressman later on the program.

But, next, more highlights from tonight‘s Republican debate.  Who won and who didn‘t.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  It is about jobs.  President Obama faces economic news that could threaten his re-election.  Today, “The Wall Street Journal” said leading economists expect a slow down in hiring to be the biggest threat to the U.S. recovery in four key states: Florida, Nevada, North Carolina and Michigan.  Unemployment is more than 10 percent.

So, how do the Republican candidates respond to the challenges facing the economy?

Well, here‘s Herman Cain from the debate tonight.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HERMAN CAIN ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Lower taxes, lower the capital gains tax rate to zero, so spend taxes on repatriated profits and then make them permanent.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  That tax cut would cost the country close to $80 billion in revenue, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

How about Rick Santorum?  What are his new big ideas?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SANTORUM:  The reason we‘re seeing this second dip is because of energy prices and this president has put a stop sign against oil drilling, against any kind of exploration offshore or in Alaska, and that is depressing.  We need to drill and create energy jobs, just like we‘re doing, by the way, in Pennsylvania.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  I don‘t know what Santorum thinks they‘re doing differently in Pennsylvania, but in the United States, oil production is at its highest level in almost a decade.  That‘s a fact.

So, now, let‘s go to Michele Bachmann for her big idea.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BACHMANN:  The United States has the second highest corporate tax rate in the world.  I‘m a former federal tax lawyer.  I‘ve seen the devastation.  We‘ve got to bring that tax rate down substantially so that we‘re among the lowest in the industrialized world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Have you heard that hit before?  Have you seen that movie before?

Some might want to tell congresswoman that the corporate profits will climb at an average 10 percent a year through 2013, more than three times quicker than the economy.

Here‘s a graph showing corporate profits over the past decade.  They‘ve been sky rocketing since the 2008 collapse—so much for regulation.

And here‘s a chart representing the American workers share of national income.  It seems to go kind of in the opposite direction of the corporate profits, don‘t you think?  Yes, it does.

Let‘s bring in former chief economic adviser to—former economic adviser Jared Bernstein, who worked with Vice President Joe Biden.

Mr. Bernstein, good to have you with us tonight.

What was missing from the debate this evening in your opinion?

JARED BERNSTEIN, FORMER ECONOMIC ADVISER TO V.P. BIDEN:  I guess one word, Ed—memory.  There was massive economic amnesia on that stage tonight.  If this set of ideas had been trotted out, now, say, 11 years ago in 2000, it wouldn‘t have made a lot of sense, particularly coming off the Clinton years -- 25 million jobs created and a very different approach to government and the economy.

But to have this debate tonight with the kind of supply side, trickle-

down, corporate power, cut taxes on the high end, offshore jobs, deregulate

the notion that somehow that recipe singing from that same failed songbook would work in this economy—well, I can—I can only say kind of a massive amnesia.

           

SCHULTZ:  Today, Mitt Romney‘s campaign released a web ad about President Obama‘s comment that there are bumps in the road to recovery.  Let‘s take a look at this ad.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘m an American, not a bump in the road.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘m an American, not a bump in the road.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I‘m an American, not a bump in the road.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  How do you tell that story?

BERNSTEIN:  Sure.

SCHULTZ:  How do you reverse that?  I mean, we showed the graphic, the corporate profits and we‘ve also shown the graph of union membership and middle class incomes over the years.  Here are the corporate profits after the tax cuts.

I mean—you know, but you see an ad like that, they‘re trying to put the blame on the Obama administration as if he doesn‘t care about the unemployed or little guy.

BERNSTEIN:  Ed, I‘m very hung up on this notion of memory.  I mean, I was there in January of 2009 when this president took office.  Do you know how many jobs we lost that month?  Seven hundred and eighty thousand.  The GDP was cratering at 6 percent.

Now, we are not where we need to be, the president says that all the time.  And last month was absolutely a lousy month for jobs, no question about it.

But if you actually want to look at how middle class people were fairing under the policies that I heard on that stage tonight, go back to the Bush years where for the first time on record, median family income, the income of the middle class family adjusted for inflation went no where.  Poverty rates were higher at the end of that business cycle expansion than they were in the beginning.  All the growth and productivity went to corporate profits.

And as you pointed out, profits have recovered while middle class

wages are stagnant.  Again, if you‘re someone who‘s just really not that

interested in a more balanced plan that actually reaches the middle class -

-

           

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

BERNSTEIN:  -- I guess this kind of thing resonates with you.  But if you remember anything about where we‘ve been, I don‘t see how you get any traction out of that agenda.

SCHULTZ:  They all say they will repeal what they call Obamacare.  Isn‘t the health care bill a money saver, like $1 trillion over the next 10 years?

BERNSTEIN:  Actually—

SCHULTZ:  Go ahead.

BERNSTEIN:  Actually, that $250 billion over the next 10 and about $1 trillion after that and that‘s scored by the nonpartisan CBO.

But here‘s the thing, and I think—I think you‘re going to hear the Obama administration making this case.  You know, that stuff is forecasts that are out there and I have them believe they are accurate.

SCHULTZ:  But Michele Bachmann said, definitely, the health care bill was a job killer and it would kill 800,000 jobs.  Is she right or wrong?

BERNSTEIN:  No, she‘s absolutely wrong about that.  I don‘t know where that comes from.

Here‘s the thing: you‘re talking about Affordable Care Act that is already granting important benefits to middle income families.  So, for example, coverage of previously—conditions that were previously denied, the ability to keep your kid on your program.  These are policies that are already in place and you got tens of millions of people who are going to start being covered by this plan as it comes on.

So, what‘s the alternative?  They all—maybe not all—but many of them endorsed Paul Ryan‘s Medicare idea.

SCHULTZ:  Sure they did.

BERNSTEIN:  Yes. And this is a plan where you give somebody a voucher, actually, you give it to the insurer, you give them a voucher, and that voucher which, by the way, grows at a rate well below health care inflation is already $6,000 inadequate relative to current rates and it gets just worse over time.

SCHULTZ:  Mr. Bernstein, who do you think was most impressive tonight?

BERNSTEIN:  You know, I just don‘t really do the political horse race thing.  I mean, I don‘t have—I just don‘t really—I was struck by the lack of anything I hadn‘t heard before and the sticking to a playbook that has demonstratively lost for the middle class.

SCHULTZ:  Jared Bernstein, former economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, thanks for joining us tonight.

BERNSTEIN:  My pleasure.

SCHULTZ:  Tim Pawlenty went on the attack against Mitt Romney yesterday.  But it was a different story when he was standing on the same stage right next to the creator of Romneycare.

As the top Democrats call for his resignation, Anthony Weiner asked Congress for a leave of absence to seek treatment.  Weiner-gate, week three, coming up.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Republican presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty went on “Fox News Sunday” and took a big swipe at his opponent, Mitt Romney.  He called President Obama‘s health care plan Obamneycare, a combination of Obama and Romney care.  But when he was asked about Obamneycare during tonight‘s debate, Pawlenty got a little stage fright while standing right next to the former Massachusetts governor. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM PAWLENTY ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  President Obama stood

before the nation in 2008 and said he promised to do health care reform

focused on cost containment, along with Republicans.  He‘d do it on a

bipartisan bases

JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR:  The question, governor, was why Obamneycare? 

PAWLENTY:  That‘s right.  I‘m going to get to that, John.

KING:  You have 30 seconds, governor.

PAWLENTY:  Yes.  So this is another example of him breaking his promise.  He has to be held accountable.

KING:  and you don‘t want to address why you called Governor Romney‘s Obamneycare? 

PAWLENTY:  Well, the issue that was raised in a question from a reporter was what are the similarities between the two.  And I just cited President Obama‘s own words, that he looked to Massachusetts as a blue print or a guide when he designed Obamacare. 

KING:  You chose—you said you were asked a question, which is fair enough.  But you chose those words.  One of my questions is why would you choose those words, maybe in the comfort of a Sunday show studio? 

Your rival is standing right there.  If it was Obamneycare on “Fox News Sunday,” why is it not Obamneycare standing here with the governor right there? 

PAWLENTY:  President Obama is the person who I quoted in saying he looked to Massachusetts for designing his program.  He is the one who said it‘s a blueprint and that merged the two programs.  And so using the term Obamneycare was a reflection of the president‘s comments that he designed Obamacare on the Massachusetts health care plan. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  That tells me more about Tim Pawlenty than anything else tonight.  When it comes to business, sometimes you have to say things to people that don‘t feel good, that you don‘t want to say, but they have to be said.  And Tim Pawlenty tonight could not turn to Mitt Romney and say, I don‘t agree with what you did in Massachusetts, I don‘t agree with the president of the United States.  And I don‘t agree with the way you put your gig together in your state. 

He couldn‘t do it.  That speaks volumes to me, anyway, about Tim Pawlenty.  And being from Minolta and being a taxpayer in that state, I can tell you, he‘s the same guy that was governor of Minnesota, that left the state with a record deficit of 6.5 billion dollars. 

And, o, I have to ask you tonight, what stood out more in that clip?  Tim Pawlenty‘s relentless back pedaling or Mitt Romney smirking?  Because Minnesota knows what that was all about.  If the right win Republicans thought Pawlenty was the best hope against Romney, they may have learned a hard lesson tonight. 

Coming up, Robert Gibbs will give his take on the Republican debate. 

We‘ll have Psycho Talk tonight.  This time, it‘s Rush Limbaugh blaming Anthony Weiner‘s behavior on liberal women.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Thanks for watching THE ED SHOW tonight.  A couple times during the debate tonight the reference to regulation was made by the candidates, that the Democrats are the big problem when it comes to regulation.  So, pay attention to this story, because this is a regulation story. 

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, now he has now managed to stick his nose into the state‘s beer industry with some very strange results.  Walker‘s budget has a provision to overhaul Wisconsin‘s regulation of the beer industry, according to Think Progress. 

The new regulation would put the state small independent craft breweries on the same level as the big boys like Miller and Coors‘.  So it would be illegal, for example, for a small brewery to deliver a case of beer to a restaurant next door.  The brewery would be forced to use a wholesale distributor.  That, of course, would be a middle man.  That, of course, would hurt the little guy, and expenses go up. 

It‘s a regulation.  And craft breweries in Wisconsin, which just have five percent of the market, well, obviously, they‘re screaming bloody murder because this is going to be what they call jobs.  But the new regulation will benefit the big boys again, for Miller and Coor‘s, because the craft beer industry may be small, but it‘s growing.  And I guess you could say it must be an economic threat. 

Scott Walker sided with the big corporation over the small business, even though he loves to talk about small business is the back bone of our economy.  Maybe it‘s because Miller, Coor‘s donated 22,675 dollars to his campaign.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  In Psycho Talk, Rush Limbaugh desperately trying to juice his sagging ratings.  Limbaugh explained why Congressman Anthony Weiner does what he does. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  I think being surrounded by, raised by, in the same orb as, judged by, what have you, a bunch of feminist oriented liberal women explains why it is that politicians need to keep cutting loose. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  So, it‘s the feminist orb.  Rush loves to blame feminists for just about everything.  He really flushed out his theory today. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH:  Why can‘t we blame liberal women for what these politicians are doing?  They have feminized politics to such a degree that men can‘t be men anymore.  They all got to be out there and try to prove that they‘re Alan Alda.

Weiner was nothing but an average liberal neutered guy afraid to tick off any liberal women.  So, what does he do?  If you had to work for Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz every day—she runs a Democrat national—what if you had to work with Nancy Pelosi. 

These feminists—liberal women have feminized politics to such a degree that politicians—male politicians can‘t even be men, which may explain why politicians as a group are often caught in these sex scandals. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  The social engineering just keeps on coming, doesn‘t it?  Nice one, Rush.  Blame Anthony Weiner‘s behavior on Nancy Pelosi.  It‘s not just Anthony Weiner.  According to Rush, politics is full of male sex scandals because of liberal women. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH:  Women have neutered the business of politics so effectively that the men who are involved in politics constantly have to prove their masculinity to themselves and to others.  As I say, in Weiner‘s case extending all the way to taking a picture of his real congressional member and sending it out on Twitter. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  For blaming Anthony Weiner‘s bad behavior on women, for blaming women for the sex scandals of all male politicians, for saying liberal feminists, liberal women are the real source of the problem, Rush Limbaugh gets tonight‘s triple crown of Psycho Talk. 

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs with his take on the Republican debate and the job record.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Well, as predicted, President Obama was the main target of the seven Republican brain wizards on the stage in Manchester, New Hampshire, tonight.  None of the Republicans laid out any new ideas to help the middle class or the folk of America or the working poor. 

The 2012 election will be about jobs.  When Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts, his state ranked 47th out of 50 in job creation.  What does he know?   The number is not good.

And Tim Pawlenty added a net 6,000 jobs in eight years as the governor of Minnesota.  The rest of the field, they didn‘t really offer anything tonight, other than tax cuts, less regulation that was not defined whatsoever, and, of course, President Obama is taking any of the candidates for granted.

That‘s why he sent former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibes to Manchester tonight.  And he joins us this evening.  Robert, good to see you.  Good to have you on the program. 

ROBERT GIBBS, FMR. WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY:  Ed, it‘s good to be back.  How are you? 

SCHULTZ:  I‘m doing fine.  But I was looking for some new material tonight.  I didn‘t get any in two hours.  It‘s tax cuts.  It‘s regulation.  The health care is terrible.  What did you see?  What stood out tonight? 

GIBBS:  I would say check the tape and make sure this wasn‘t a rerun of four or eight years ago.  Because, look, I think if the American people wanted to see these candidates propose the exact policies that got us into this financial mess to begin with, that‘s what they saw on this stage tonight. 

We‘re not a tax cut for a millionaire or a billionaire away from a good economy.  We don‘t need to privatize Social Security.  We don‘t need to gut Medicare.  We don‘t need to remove responsibility—the responsibility that President Obama put into the financial system, by repealing financial reform. 

Look, I think it was deja vu all over again.  This was more of what was proposed that got us into this mess.  That‘s not what we need to get us out. 

SCHULTZ:  Based on what you saw tonight, who is the biggest threat to President Obama in the field? 

GIBBS:  Well, look, you know, I heard somebody say that this afternoon up here, that maybe Rick Perry‘s going to get in.  Because if you look at the number of jobs that he‘s created in Texas, it certainly beats the statistics you just used, where Mitt Romney finished 47th out of 50.  And let‘s be clear, he would have finished 48th if Hurricane Katrina hadn‘t hit Louisiana.

And Tim Pawlenty wants to take the miracle that he brought to Minnesota, which was, as you said, less than 1,000 jobs created each year and six billion dollars in deficits as he was turning out the lights on the way out to run for president. 

Look, I don‘t think any of these guys or gals has a plan for how to get us out of this mess.  They only have plans to repeat how we got into it. 

SCHULTZ:  None of them mentioned that we have added private sector jobs for the last 15 months.  But they did—unless I heard it wrong, I think they doubled down on voucher care.  I mean, they‘re up there tonight supporting what 80 percent of the American people do not want.  What about that? 

GIBBS:  Well, look, again, you had—if you want to hand a senior a voucher for several thousand dollars less than their medical care, then your candidate was on that stage tonight.  If you want to privatize Social Security, your candidate was on that stage tonight. 

Look, again, I think these are more of the failed policies that have been tried and more of the failed policies that got us into this mess. 

Ed, you talk about it persuasively each night on this show.  It‘s not just a financial and economic calamity that started in 2008.  You speak so eloquently of those families that for years, in 2005 and 2006 and 2007, those middle class families that felt less secure because their energy and their gas and their food prices were going up.  College for their children got more expensive, but their paychecks got smaller. 

That‘s who we‘ve got to talk to, as well.  We‘ve got to strengthen this economy.  We‘ve got to strengthen education and reform our schools.  We‘ve got to have good job training.  And we‘ve got to invest in those jobs for the future. 

That‘s what we‘ve got to do to get this economy back up. 

SCHULTZ:  I didn‘t hear anything about helping small businesses tonight.  I didn‘t even hear the term small business come up. 

GIBBS:  That is a great point. 

SCHULTZ:  This president has done more for small business—look, the financial folks, they don‘t want President Obama in there.  They‘re being tight with the dollar.  Getting the money to small businesses is what this is about at this point, I think.  And I they‘re keeping the corral pretty tight on that right now.  That‘s how I see it.

Robert Gibbs, do it again with us.  Will you?  Great to have you with us tonight.

GIBBS:  Ed, it was fun, thank you.  >

SCHULTZ:  You bet.  The president publicly addresses the Anthony Weiner saga.  Meanwhile, Congress grants Weiner a two week leave.

What kind of counseling and treatment can you get in two weeks?  I‘ll have the latest on Weinergate, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Finally tonight, it‘s been a rough 72 hours for Anthony Weiner of New York.  New pictures of the congressman have surfaced.  And now President Obama is addressing the scandal publicly for the first time.  As we reported earlier, Mr. Obama sat down with NBC‘s Ann Curry and strongly suggested that Weiner should pack his bags. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  I can tell you that if

it was me, I would resign, because public service is exactly that.  It‘s a

service to the public.  And when you get to the point where because of

various personal distractions you can‘t serve as effectively as you need to

-- 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  This as the House Ethics Committee begins a preliminary inquiry into the congressman‘s actions.  House officials telling the Associated Press that committee leaders have not indicated whether they will ask for a more intensive investigation of the congressman. 

Over the weekend, Weiner resisted calls for resignation from top Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi.  Instead, Weiner asked Congress for a leave of absence in order to seek treatment.  Earlier this evening, the House granted him a two-week leave. 

Joining me now is Josh Green, senior political editor for “The Atlantic.”  Welcome.  Good to have you with us tonight. 

JOSH GREEN, “THE ATLANTIC”:  Good to be with you. 

SCHULTZ:  The fact that the president weighed in on this, what does that mean? 

GREEN:  I think it means for Weiner, this is about as clear a signal as the Democratic party can send that they want him out of there and that they want him out of there as soon as possible. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, out of there meaning—

GREEN:  Meaning resign his seat.  A leave of absence isn‘t enough.  It‘s sort of a fig leaf for him to try and cling to his seat, to kind of go the treatment route and maybe leave open the possibility he could come back. 

I think the message from Obama is that, no.  If you look at the way that the president cast the terms as being one of kind of public service and doing what‘s good for the public, rather than kind of selfishly hanging on to this Congressional seat, I think it‘s clear that the power structure in the Democratic party wants him to resign from Congress. 

SCHULTZ:  Josh, what can they do about it?  The caucus is going to be weighing in on this week.  The president has already just weighed in on it with NBC‘s Ann Curry.  I mean, it doesn‘t get any bigger than that.  How could Anthony Weiner come back and be effective working with his colleagues in Congress? 

GREEN:  I don‘t think he can.  As we‘ve seen over the last few days, there‘s been this ratcheting up of pressure, first from congressional colleagues, then the organized statement from congressional leadership, and finally now from the president himself. 

I don‘t think Weiner could really be missing the signal.  And I do think now that the leader of his party, the president of the United States has weighed in and suggested that he should resign.  I expect the pressure will be all but unbearable.

And there has been word that has come from various sources today that Weiner is thinking about resigning, that he is torn.  But I think he‘s being moved, obviously reluctantly, in the direction of having to give up his seat. 

SCHULTZ:  Josh, he‘s going to get a couple of weeks off to go into treatment.  Why didn‘t he ask for that a week ago when he gave his press conference?  It seems like he‘s been in somewhat denial, that he‘s been politically chasing this all week. 

There always seems to be this calculation along the road.  There‘s never really been the full disclosure that he has a problem.  And now it seems like there‘s another calculation when the news of the 17-year-old girl came out.  And then, of course, the police got involved.  And who knows where that is.

And then, of course, Nancy Pelosi officially weighed in and wanted him to step out.  Then it was the treatment after that all happened.  Why not do that a week ago?  Does that hurt his credibility? 

GREEN:  I think it definitely does.  Look, Weiner has been behind the news on this scandal every step along way.  I mean, initially, he lied.  He said that he didn‘t know it was him in the pic, that he hadn‘t done anything inappropriate.

Then I think he gave the press conference with the idea that he would kind of go out there—if you remember how awkward that was, took just about every question thrown his way, I think, with the expectation that if he just went out there and answered everything, he could kind of kill these questions and put it to rest.

Then there‘s more pictures and more people and the 17-year-old.  I think all of this is just kind of pushing him further and further out there. 

SCHULTZ:  As I predicted on this broadcast a week ago tonight, this is how these things evolve.  I knew it wasn‘t going to go away.  That press conference wasn‘t going to do it.  And now we‘re now into week three and the president has weighed in on it. 

Josh Green of “the Atlantic.” good to have you with us tonight. 

Thanks so much.. 

GREEN:  Good being with you. 

SCHULTZ:  You bet.  I asked you for who you thought won tonight‘s GOP debate?  Ron Paul scores with 58 percent of the vote; Bachmann a distant second; Rick Santorum—dude, you got some work to do.

That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz. 

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