updated 8/22/2011 12:25:10 PM ET 2011-08-22T16:25:10

Guests: Jim Moore, Mike Papantonio, Michael Medved, Bev Crumbe-Gesme, John
Nichols


ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, Americans and welcome to THE ED
SHOW, tonight live from Minneapolis.

According to polling out today, Rick Perry, the Texas governor, is
the newly minted front-runner for the Republican nomination.

Today, Perry called the president of the United States the greatest
threat to America. The president is now responding.

And tonight, the Democrats` last stand in the Wisconsin recall
election battle. We`ll have all the results.

This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(MUSIC)

KARL ROVE, FORMER BUSH AIDE: Governor Perry is going to have to
fight the impression that he`s a cowboy from Texas.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): Even Karl Rove can`t get behind Rick Perry.

And he was at it again today, doubling down on its attack on the
president the Fed chairman.

Today, "Bush`s Brain" co-author Jim Moore says Rick Perry is going to
waltz to the Republican nomination.

Yesterday, the president told us where he stands on organized labor.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is an area where
there`s got to be burden-sharing as well.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, I`ll have the retired teacher who asked the
president about collective bargaining if she liked the answer he gave.

And tonight, Wisconsin goes to the polls for the state`s final two
Wisconsin recall elections. Scott Walker`s radical agenda may hang in the
balance.

Tonight, all the late breaking results and John Nichols of "The
Nation" magazine.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHULTZ: Good evening, folks. Good to have you with us tonight.

Rick Perry, I think, has hit a new low. The Texas governor thinks
President Obama is the greatest threat to America?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, I think the
greatest threat to our country right now is this president who is trying to
spend our way out of this disaster.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: This reckless comment comes one day after he told Iowa
voters we need a president who loves America. Perry doesn`t apologize for
the overheated rhetoric coming out of his mouth. He doubles down.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER: Governor, you said you would be a president who loves
America. Are you suggesting the current president does not love America?

PERRY: No, you need to ask him.

REPORTER: Are you suggesting he does not?

PERRY: I`m saying you`re a good reporter, go ask him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Perry is on President Obama`s radar screen. The president
was asked about the governor`s reckless rhetoric today. And like always,
the president took the high road.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: Mr. Perry just got in the presidential race and I think that
everybody who runs for president, it probably takes them a little bit of
time before they start realizing this isn`t like running for governor, or
running senator or running for Congress. And you got to be able to more
careful about what you say. But I`ll cut him some slack. He`s only been
at it for a few days now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: President Obama doesn`t have to get down in the mud with
Perry, not yet. He can`t play Mr. Nice Guy with someone who will say
anything to play to his base.

Perry is playing for keeps, and he`s not shy about it. America has
got its first taste of how dangerous Perry is when he said this about Ben
Bernanke.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY: If this guy prints more money between now and the election, I
don`t know what you all would do to him in Iowa, but we`d treat him pretty
ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this
particular time in American history is almost treasonous in my opinion.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Words like treason -- I mean, just roll off Perry`s lips,
he knows that`s exactly what the Republican base is hungry for. Base
Republicans want to crush everyone in their path.

Now, last night, we played a clip of Governor Perry talking about the
debt being a black cloud over this country. We did not present the full
context of those statements and we should have. Here`s the full clip.
Let`s get it right.

Here`s a full clip.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY: I`m a pro-business governor. I don`t make any apologies
about it, and I will be a pro-business president. Getting America back to
work is the most important issue that faces this country, being able to pay
off $14.5 trillion or $16 trillion worth of debt. That big black cloud
that hangs over America, that debt that is so monstrous -- there`s only one
way you get rid of it that`s practical, that makes sense, and that is to
free up America. Free up American entrepreneurs.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: No doubt about it, it was a mistake, and we regret the
error. On this particular statement, we should not have included it on our
coverage of his overheated rhetoric. That`s our mistake.

The full context of all of these other statements show who he is and
really what he stands for. The master of dirty politics even thinks
Perry`s rhetoric is over the top.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROVE: It`s his first time on the national stage. And it was a very
unfortunate comment. You don`t accuse the chairman of the Federal Reserve
of being a traitor to his country of being guilty of treason and suggesting
that we treat him pretty ugly in Texas -- you know, that`s not again a
presidential statement.

Governor Perry`s going to have to fight the impression that he`s a
cowboy from Texas. This simply added --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: So, there you have it. The man who started a whisper
campaign against John McCain and had federal prosecutors fired for
political reasons thinks that Perry is acting unpresidential?

Rove and Perry have a long history of bad blood in the Lone Star
State.

Back in the `80s and `90s, no Texas Republican could take a breath
without Turd Blossom`s his blessing. Rove helped Perry get his job as ag
commissioner of the state of the Texas and paved the way for him to become
lieutenant governor in the state.

When Bush and Rove went to Washington, Perry started to rip Bush in
private conversations, and it got back to Rove -- and that`s where the
whole thing really gets ugly. Rove is trying to pretend those days are
over, but he`s still taking shots at Perry from the cheap seats.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROVE: He moved heaven and earth to get Rick Perry elected as his
running mate as lieutenant governor.

I know from the perspective of the former president that he has a
cordial, personal, strong friendship of nearly two decades of the governor.
I think that`s true for the governor, too. But why he falls into this
pattern of sounding like he`s dismissive of the former president is not
smart politics strategically or tactically.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: After the Supreme Court ruling Citizens United, Rove really
has become the Republican money train and king maker. But Perry might not
need him. He`s that strong.

The latest conservative Rasmussen poll shows Perry with a commanding
double-digit lead over Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann. I know he`s off
the rails, but the Republican Party is full of wacky talkers.

Republicans know President Obama is really not in the best shape with
his base right now, so they`re going as far right as they possibly can.
They think President Obama is weak. He doesn`t stand up to the
Republicans. So Republicans are out there saying, well, heck, let`s get a
good radical in there.

Perry hasn`t been one to debate against the Republicans, and he has
already running a general election. Take a look at a portion of his
campaign video.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NARRATOR: Record debt and the president`s refusal to control
spending led to our nation`s credit rating being downgraded for the first
time in history. But hope is on the horizon -- not the empty rhetoric of
hope, but a record that gives us hope. That leader, Rick Perry.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: You know, I think that Perry is going to do one thing.
He`s going to make President Obama lot better. Not to be degrading to the
president, but I think this might light a fire with the president`s
campaign.

Perry can try to hang the economy on President Obama, but the
president can make Perry own his own record.

Now, Perry he`s one of these guys -- I mean, he thinks Texas is
everything. He`s proud that Texas is number one in job creation.

Well, let me show you what else Texas is number one in. The Lone
Star State leads the nation in population of people without health care and
children without health care. They`re number one in carbon dioxide
emissions and toxic chemicals released into the water. Texas is also the
top spot for executions.

Perry`s policies have produced some other great numbers. How about
this one? Like 50th in people 25 and older without a high school diploma;
43rd in the country in graduation rate; 41st in the union membership; 49th
in average credit score; and fourth in child poverty.

Now, it would seem to me that the Democrats, especially the White
House in the Obama campaign, would have some pretty easy words to find to
really describe what Mr. Perry is all about. Although they`re getting a
lot of help with the way this guy`s talking as of late.

But if you look at the numbers, Perry has not done a very good job in
Texas.

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: will Rick Perry be the GOP presidential nominee in 2012? Is he
going to get it done? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639, or you can
go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com. I`ll bring you results later on in the
show.

Joining me now is Jim Moore, author of the upcoming book, "Adios
Mofo: Why Rick Perry Will Make America Miss George W. Bush." And he also
is the co-author of "Bush`s Brain." He`s also a contributor to "The
Huffington Post."

Jim, always a pleasure. Good to have you back with us tonight.

I think our audience and the country may be somewhat intrigued about
the bad blood between Rove and Rick Perry. How bad a blood is it? And if
Perry does get the nomination, what would that do to Rove`s position? Your
thoughts.

JIM MOORE, AUTHOR, "BUSH`S BRAIN": I think, Ed, right now, what
Karl`s trying to do is to destroy Rick Perry because he knows that if Rick
Perry is the nominee, he`s not going to be playing on the big football
field. So, he`s firing shots at him from the sidelines, hoping to derail
him. Whether he can do that or not is doubtful.

But there is bad blood, and the bad blood goes all the way back to,
people need to know it is Karl Rove who casts Rick Perry on the American
political landscape. He turned him from a legislator who is a fairly
moderate Democrat into a conservative Republican. He helped Rick become
the lieutenant governor of Texas.

But there was a moment when Texas had an opening for a United States
senator, and Rick wanted to be that person, and Karl chose Kay Bailey
Hutchison, and that caused him some problems.

And then when Rick was running for lieutenant governor, and George W.
Bush was running for re-election, Karl wanted Mr. Bush to be able to run up
the numbers, Rick was in a close race, he wanted to go negative, Karl
wouldn`t let him, Rick won. But, again, that caused problems.

And then we get later on into all of this, and Rick makes his
unguarded comments about George Bush being a country club Republican.
George Bush not really being a conservative fiscally or socially, and then
Karl jumps over and runs Kay Bailey Hutchison`s race for governor in the
GOP primary against Rick. So, they`re completely separate now.

I can`t envision any moment when they`re sitting at the same table.

SCHULTZ: I guess -- I want to know, your opinion, does Rick Perry
need Karl Rove?

MOORE: No.

SCHULTZ: Does he have to have Karl Rove on this team to get this job
done?

MOORE: He doesn`t. Karl has this Crossroads super PAC out of
Dallas. It`s raising a lot of money. But I think what ultimately happens
as time goes by, the donations to this super PAC go down when Rick becomes
the apparent nominee.

And Karl may ultimately end up riding shotgun on the Perry campaign
and going out and spending this money on issues, advertising in places that
are swing states and helping Perry and doing it in a sort of de facto way.
But I don`t see him being at the table.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

MOORE: And frankly, I don`t think Rick needs him.

SCHULTZ: Do you think Rick Perry will get the nomination? I mean,
Iowa, the caucus coming up? How will he do in New Hampshire? Will he
smoke them down in South Carolina? I mean, do you think he`s going to win
this thing?

MOORE: I think it`s a waltz for Rick Perry. He`s a telegenic guy.
He`s great at the podium. He is going to have very broad appeal.

Remember, he didn`t campaign in Iowa for the straw poll, but he`s
going to campaign for the caucus. He`s going to do well with the
fundamentalists in Iowa.

New Hampshire will be a bit closer since that`s a bedroom community
almost to Massachusetts. Mitt Romney will do very well in Massachusetts,
but Rick is going to clean up in South Carolina.

The week after that, we`re looking at Florida and Nevada. He`s going
to do well in the South, and Super Tuesday, March 6th, after Nevada and
Florida, is very heavily weighted toward the South. Rick is going to sweep
the South.

He may wrap this up prior to Super Tuesday which is March 6th.

SCHULTZ: Well, the South is North Carolina and Virginia -- states
that went to President Obama. You think Rick Perry would beat President
Obama in those two states? He would sweep the South, take all Southern
states?

MOORE: Well, I was talking about the primary. Now, in the general
election, it`s going to be a different thing. I think it`s going to be
difficult for the president in South Carolina. And I think Virginia is
going to be a swing state.

Rick Perry is going to be very strong in the conservative states in
the South. But it`s going to be a fight for him against places like
Virginia.

SCHULTZ: Jim Moore, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so
much. Look forward to your book coming out. Thank you.

Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen, I want to know what you think.

President Chris Christie? What about President Paul Ryan? Neither
of them are running yet. But top Republicans are desperate to make it
happen.

And last night, we played you a remarkable answer from President
Obama about collective bargaining.

Now folks -- you know, I will not done talking about this, I`m not
bad mouthing anybody, but I think I need to profoundly point this out.
We`ll bring you the retired schoolteacher who asked the question the key
question on the stump in Iowa yesterday.

And as you have seen at the bottom of the screen, polls are closed in
Wisconsin, the recall elections finishing up tonight, the final two in
district 12, the Democrat Jim Holperin leads his race by eight points with
just over 40 percent of the precincts reporting. In District 22, Democrat
Bob Wirch is trailing his Republican opponent with just 18 percent of the
precincts reporting.

We`ll keep refreshing the numbers and let you know when they come in,
what the results are.

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Good to have you back with us.

Here`s just another update from Wisconsin:

In District 22, Democrat Bob Wirch has tightened the race. He`s
trailing now his Republican opponent by two points with 25 percent of the
precincts reporting.

Now, I have to ask you a question: Is this the new wave of politics?
Is this how it`s going to be in America?

Let`s check the record. Congressman Paul Ryan, this guy went out and
held 19 town hall meetings in Wisconsin last April. Pretty normal. And
his constituents basically got in his face and told him what they thought
of his plan to phase out Medicare and give tax breaks to the rich.

Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CONSTITUENT: You have to lower spending, but it`s matter of there`s
nothing wrong with taxing the top because it does not trickle down.

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: We do tax the top.

(BOOS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, folks, it`s not going to be business as usual. You
see, Ryan is going to now appear at another public meeting in Wisconsin
next month. But this time, Wisconsinites are going to have to pay $15 to
attend the event hosted by a local rotary club? Well, that`s one way to
cut down on the amount of people who want to boo you in public and get in
your face with the tough question.

Now, it`s not only Ryan. Republican Freshman Congressman Dan Quayle
is using the exact same strategy. He`s going to appear at a $35 luncheon
next week. A spokesman for Quayle said the congressman is not avoiding his
constituents.

And Ryan`s office said that the $15 fee is necessary to pay for the
cost of the food. But Ryan may have bigger things on his plate. Is a run
for the White House in his future? Question mark. That`s next.

And later in "psycho talk," Michele Bachmann`s tribute to Elvis
Presley goes wrong, Michele.

We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL KRISTOL, COMMENTATOR: I think it`s 50/50 that Paul Ryan runs.
I think we`ll know in a couple weeks. I think he gets in, he will be
formidable. I hope he runs because I would like to have the option of
considering him at least when I vote in the Virginia Republican primary if
he wants.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: That was Bill Kristol on FOX News. You may remember
Kristol is one of the establishment conservatives who helped pave the way
for vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. Now, he`s doing the same thing
for Paul Ryan.

Kristol`s magazine, "The Weekly Standard," ran a story today
reporting that Ryan, quote, "is strongly considering a run for president."
And other party leaders are once again talking it up New Jersey Governor
Chris Christie as a presidential candidate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROVE: Palin has got a pretty active schedule in early September, I
think Chris Christie and Paul Ryan are going to look at it again. And I
wouldn`t be surprised if all three of them gave serious consideration
whether or not they do at the end.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The push for Ryan and Christie is coming from the top of
the GOP. Karl Rove makes it clear that Republican king makers are nervous
about the current field.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROVE: You don`t want these candidates moving so right in the
Republican primary that it becomes impossible for them to win the general
election because it will become a self-defeating message in the primary.
People want to win. They don`t want somebody who goes so far to the
extremes of either party that they lack a chance to carry out a victory off
in November.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Let`s bring in syndicated radio talk show host Michael
Medved. And the host of the "Ring of Fire" radio show Mike Papantonio.
They come from different spectrums. No doubt about it.

Michael, great to have you with us tonight. I have you on the
program, because you always seem to give us a straight up answer without
the bullet points.

MIKE MEDVED, RADIO HOST: I try.

SCHULTZ: Are you nervous about the current field? Do you want
candidates like Ryan and Christie to get into the mix? What do you make of
all of this?

MEDVED: Yes, and yes. Look, Ed, you watched that debate Thursday
night. That debate, I wrote about it for "Daily Beast." It was a disaster
for the Republican Party -- Mitt Romney was the only one who came across
unscathed.

I mean, everyone looked smaller because there were eight people of
whom not all of them were serious. And they divided tension and they
divided the limelight, and a very, very few of them looked presidential.
And yes, that`s a problem.

And yes, I am enthusiastic about more candidates, fresher candidates,
I`d like to see Chris Christie run, I`d very much like to see Paul Ryan
run. And there is no talk, hold on to your seats, Marco Rubio, a lot of
support for Marco Rubio out there.

Right now, the reason all this is happening, President Obama looks
terribly weak and terribly vulnerable. A lot of people --

SCHULTZ: Well, then, why is everyone jumping in. If President Obama
looks so weak, why aren`t all these guys jumping in, if they think he`s so
easy to beat.

Mike Papantonio, let me ask you -- do you think the GOP is worried
about the current field, and that`s why Rove keeps chipping away at Rick
Perry? What about it?

MIKE PAPANTONIO, "RING OF FIRE": Rove attacked Rick Perry because he
knows Rick Perry doesn`t have the smarts to pull this off. More
importantly, he knows what Rick Perry said before Rick Perry came out on
the national scene. The short list is, he wanted to ban Social Security,
he wanted ban Medicare, he wanted to ban teaching evolution in schools.

And interestingly enough, he wanted to ban America. Remember, this
is the guy who said that he wanted Texas to secede from the United States.

MEDVED: He never said it. Mike, it`s not true.

PAPANTONIO: Let me finish what I`m saying.

MEDVED: He didn`t say it.

(CROSSTALK)

PAPANTONIO: He said in part, because he did -- he didn`t have the
intellect to understand what a shallow simple ton proclamation that was,
and you`re worried about it, because you know that`s going to come up in
this campaign. And you have to defend this simple ton shallow statement.

More importantly, Michael, this is a guy who said, we should abandon
the 16th and 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. And you know when
you go on your radio show, you have to tell your listeners the front-runner
candidate, Perry, your guy, is the guy who said, we need to abandon the
16th and 17th Amendment. We can`t have a standing Army in the United
States.

(CROSSTALK)

MEDVED: Mike, I will agree with you about this. I think that the
biggest problem for Republicans right now is keeping the focus. The focus
has to be on the economy, it has to be on jobs. That`s what Americans care
about, they care about jobs.

And they care about President Obama`s record in not creating jobs,
not lowering the unemployment rate. Anything we get involved with, whether
it`s the 16th Amendment whether it`s the income tax amendment or 17th
Amendment, which is direct elections of senators -- we should not get
involved with those issues, those are distractions.

SCHULTZ: So, does that mean -- what about Rick Perry? Hold on a
second. Rick Perry is out chipping away at the president saying he doesn`t
love the country. That he`s dangerous and all that kind of stuff, and he -
- skyrocketing day one in the polls. What about that, Michael Medved?

MEDVED: Well, first of all, look, I think that Rick Perry`s
statements about Ben Bernanke are regrettable. He shouldn`t have said it.
What he said about the president, he was responding to a question that was
part of a discussion. And what he said the proper way of saying it, is he
believes the president`s policies are a threat to the nation.

I will agree with you, Ed, that it`s clumsy and wrong for anyone to
say that President Obama himself as a person was a threat to the country.

SCHULTZ: And, Mike Papantonio, it`s pretty clear to me that Karl
Rove does not want Rick Perry around and he`s searching for someone else.

MEDVED: I don`t think that`s true.

PAPANTONIO: Karl Rove knows that Rick Perry is the same oddball who
said that the BP criminal disaster that took place in the Gulf of Mexico
was an act of God because he had to say that. He said BP was not wrong at
all.

Karl Rove knows that Rick Perry has more statements like that than we
can count. And a guy like Michael here, has to defend Rick Perry on the
air, and --

MEDVED: No, I don`t.

PAPANTONIO: On my side of it, I go back, and this is like shooting
fish in a barrel.

(CROSSTALK)

PAPANTONIO: Wait, wait, wait a second. Add Chris Christie to this
debate. What about that guy, how much fun are we going to have with that
guy? What about Ryan? How much fun are we going to have with Ryan? The
truth is, Karl Rove knows, the Republican Party --

(CROSTALK)

SCHULTZ: Gentlemen --

PAPANTONIO: -- disastrous disarray.

SCHULTZ: James Moore earlier tonight on this program, and on my
radio show earlier today said that Rick Perry is going to waltz to the
nomination.

Michael Medved, are you OK with that?

MEDVED: It`s not true, it`s wide open, and with very strong
potential new candidates. There will be a huge rush if Paul Ryan gets in.

SCHULTZ: All right. Gentlemen, we`ll have you back.

We`ll have you back. I like the mix. Mike Papantonio, Michael
Medved, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much

Today, I went out and interviewed a man on the street. Hey, that`s
me. That`s next.

Later, the queen of the Tea Party wishes a happy birthday to the king
of rock `n` roll. The problem is: she did it on the day of his death.
It`s her latest gaffe and they are adding up folks and it puts her right on
the zone.

SCHULTZ: Wisconsin result, in district 22, we have a major
development, the "Associated Press" is now projecting Bob Wirch the
Democrat incumbent from district 22 will hold on to his seat. The other
race is undecided. John Nichols of "The Nation" magazine is waiting in the
wings for analysis.

Stay with us. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW, and thanks for watching here on
the streets of Minneapolis. Yesterday on the program, we did a segment man
on the street. I just wanted to get a flavor of what people were thinking
about President Obama on this bus tour in the Midwest. Every person that
we asked, if you had a chance to talk to President Obama, what would you
say? They all took a deep breath.

Republican, Democrat, male, female, all walks of life, all different
professions, about 25 people, they`re just exhausted. They`re exhausted
with our government. They`re exhausted with trying to figure out what the
heck is going on in Washington. And that`s why there`s a 13 percent
approval rating of the Congress right now. And that`s what the president`s
up against.

Now, the president himself has said, in my opinion -- I`ll be the man
on the street tonight. He said some pretty questionable things as of late.
Now, here`s the president today saying I think all the right things about
the American worker.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It`s always a mistake
to bet against America. It`s always a mistake to bet against the American
worker. It`s always a mistake to bet against the American worker, the
American farmer, the American small business owner, the American people.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Now that`s good red meat stuff. That`s confidence in the
American worker, the American farmer, apple pie, the American worker,
business, everything else. But the president yesterday in Iowa asked the
middle class to take another haircut.

I`m troubled by this statement. He says "to my friends in the public
sector unions, it`s important that you are on the side of reform where
reform is needed. Because the truth of the matter is, is that at a time
when everybody is belt tightening, there`s nothing wrong with the union
saying to itself, you know what, we know budgets are hard right now; let`s
sit down and say we`re willing to negotiate so that we`re making some
sacrifices to maintain the number of teachers in the classroom and keep
class sizes at a reasonable level."

The president is asking teachers to give up more in their pension, in
their health care. That could be 60, 70 dollars a month. But yet we
failed as a country to ask the wealthiest Americans, hey, can you give us
another 60 or 70,000 dollars a month to help us balance the budget? Do the
fair share?

And then the president comes back and talks about shared sacrifice.
Mr. President, what reforms are you talking about? How much more can the
middle class give in this country as we live in the greediest generation of
American history. Everything goes to the top, the income disparity that`s
taking place in our economy right now is unconscionable.

And I think for you, Mr. President, to go out and say, well, the
middle class has got to understand that we have to have shared sacrifice,
and middle class wage earners have to give up more? I can`t sit here as a
liberal and say, I`m OK with that.

That`s my man on the street. Coming up on THE ED SHOW, we`re going to
ask the teacher who asked that question of the president in Iowa yesterday
how she felt about his answer.

Later on in the program, more on Wisconsin. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. In my man on the street, I
read you a part of the president`s answer to a question about collective
bargaining. Now I want to play you part of the question. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BEV CRUMB-GESME, RETIRED PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHER: What can you do to
help support collective bargaining in the states? And most of all, support
the public sector unions, the middle class, many of whom are union members?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The president started out by saying I think a lot of right
things. He said the right of workers to form a union is part of what built
America`s great American middle class, and gave us a minimum wage. It`s
why we have weekends, vacations, all that good stuff.

He said, it`s why we have basic protections on the job. The president
also said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: There are a whole range of things that people take for granted
even if they`re not in a union that they wouldn`t have had if it had not
been for collective bargaining.

I do say, though, to my friends in the public sector unions that it is
important that you are on the side of reform where reform is need. As long
as it`s a conversation, as opposed to it simply being imposed and
collective bargaining rights being stripped away.

So I think it`s important -- remember, we talked about shared
sacrifice and burden sharing. Well, this is an area where there`s got to
be burden sharing as well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: A real pleasure to bring in the retired schoolteacher who
asked President Obama that question. Bev Crumbe-Gesme joins me tonight
from Iowa. Bev, great to have you with us. Why did you ask the president
that particular question? What motivated you to do that?

CRUMB-GESME: I`m a retired teacher, I`m also a retired employee of
the South Dakota Education Association and the Iowa State Education
Association. And I`m concerned about what`s been happening in other states
where I`ve seen public employees, members of unions, but public employees
being attacked for their wages, for their benefits.

And I had real concerns about that. I also have friends in Wisconsin
who had been on the front lines for the fights for public employees. And I
wanted to see what would Obama say about what was happening in the fight,
those fights, and where would he come out in support for those public
employees.

SCHULTZ: And the obvious question, were you satisfied with his
answer?

CRUMB-GESME: I think I would have liked to have seen him gone
further. I do understand that he is a politician. He gave a political
answer. But when he talked about the shared sacrifices or the shared
burden, I have some concerns about that. Because I know from working with
teachers and educational support professionals that they have shared a
burden.

They have sacrificed. There`s a school district here in Iowa where
the teachers are taking a roll back in salaries for this year. And I know
lots and lots of school employees where they would -- during bargaining,
what they would do is they would be willing to take less so they could have
insurance benefits. They`ve sacrificed.

And what people fail to remember are those employees are also
taxpayers. And --

SCHULTZ: Well --

CRUMB-GESME: -- too many times we look at union and they`re
taxpayers.

SCHULTZ: No doubt about it. Now the president said that collective
bargaining is important. I think fundamentally he really believes in it.
But the question is, is he fighting hard enough for it? And when he talks
about reform, what do you think he`s talking about? Does he mean that we
have to reform the benefits?

We have to reform the health care? We have to reform the salaries, so
we can have more teachers, so we can have more -- less -- fewer students in
the classroom? What reforms is he talking about in your opinion?

CRUMB-GESME: I can`t read -- I don`t know what was in his mind when
he made that comment. Obviously, the things that have been taking place in
schools and in public employees across the country is that there have been
layoffs. There have been -- salaries have not increased to keep pace with
what`s been going on in the economy.

A lot of people will say, well, they`re still overpaid. They don`t
work as long as we do. That`s not right. And if everyone who has gone
through school has a teacher that they can look to, I would hope that they
can look to and say, I learned something from that teacher. I think our
public employees and our teachers have sacrificed.

SCHULTZ: They have sacrificed. There`s no question about it. The
middle class has sacrificed. Bev, congratulations to you, because you were
in a situation to ask the president the critical question about the middle
class in this country. And no other media person for months on end has
been in that position or seen it -- deemed it important enough to ask that
very question.

And I have to say, as I said last night, I`m troubled by the answer.
I am troubled by the answer. He wants the middle classers in this country
to take another haircut and be on the right side of reforms. I need some
more definition on that. If the president`s going to do a bus tour, he
needs to be crystal clear on where he stands with workers who want a voice
in the workplace.

And when this administration is extending the Bush tax cuts and when
this administration has had other Democrats go out and say, hey look, when
we have this debt commission, we`re not going to be raising taxes, but then
he says that the workers have to be on the right side of reforms, and we
have to be a part of shared sacrifice -- I think that is a dangerous,
dangerous message.

Bev Crumb-Gesme, thank you for joining us tonight. I appreciate it.
Another opportunity to have average Americans here on THE ED SHOW.

Michele Bachmann`s belated birthday wish to Elvis Presley is just one
of many campaign trail flubs. We`ll play you her greatest hits next in
Psycho Talk.

The polls are closed in Wisconsin. The Associated Press is projecting
that Democrat Bob Wirch will retain his seat. He has survived his recall.
The overall tally so far in the nine recall elections is four wins for the
Democrats, four wins for the Republicans. In the one remaining race, the
Democrat Jim Holperin, leads by eight points, with 55 percent of the
precincts reporting. This is the election that will dictate to Scott
Walker just how much power he`s going to have moving forward.

This is huge. We`ll bring you the results as we get them to you.
John Nichols of "The Nation" waiting in the wings for analysis. We`re
right back on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: In Psycho Talk tonight, Michele Bachmann is all shook up
about the facts during her stump speech today in Spartanburg, South
Carolina. You see, Michele Bachmann says she`s such a big fan of Elvis
Presley that today she decided to play the king of rock `n` roll a very
special tribute.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Before we get
started, let`s all say happy birthday to Elvis Presley today. Happy
birthday.

We played you a little bit of "Promised Land" when we pulled up. You
can`t do better than Elvis Presley. We thought we`d celebrate his
birthday, as we get started celebrating the Take Our Country Back Tour.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Oops, that crowd was loving it. There`s really only one
problem with this whole thing. Take a look at our notable Elvis Presley
dates calendar. It looks like the Presley`s actual birthday is in January.
And if we switch two today`s date, August 16th, it isn`t the king`s
birthday. It`s his 34th anniversary of his death, the day he was found
dead in Graceland in a latrine.

When Michele Bachmann figured out she was caught in a trap and
couldn`t walk out, she said she forgot her teleprompter. Just like the
time she said this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BACHMANN: What I want them to know is, just like John Wayne was from
Waterloo, Iowa, that`s the kind of spirit I have too.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Turns out John Wayne Gacy, the serial killer, is from
Waterloo, Iowa, not John Wayne the actor. Then there was the time Michele
Bachmann said the revolutionary war started in New Hampshire, not
Massachusetts. Bachmann is either routinely -- I mean, routinely getting
bad information from her staff, or she`s just not that interested in having
the right information.

Either way, even suspicious minds know Michele Bachmann`s Elvis mix up
is a hunk of hunk of heaping, heaping of Psycho Talk.

They ran out of ballots in Kenosha, Wisconsin today. It`s the final
two elections in Wisconsin`s recall summer. What will this mean for the
reign of Governor Scott Walker in the state. We have the latest updates
and results coming in. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: NBC 26 live at 6:00; the historic recall
elections come to an end tonight. Two Democrats trying to keep their state
senate seats from Republican challengers.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: It has been a summer of outside money, fake candidates and,
of course, Otto Yunkerman style politics. Tonight, once again, the voters
of Wisconsin have spoken. At this hour, we have the results in the final
two recall elections. Senator Bob Wirch topping Republican challenger
Jonathan Steitz. And also, meanwhile, Democratic State Senator Jim
Holperin, thought to be the more vulnerable of the two, tops Tea Party
activist Kim Simac.

Both GOP candidates supported Governor Scott Walker`s radical union
busting agenda, his attack on public workers as the whole reason why we
have been covering these historic races.

There have been nine recall elections in all, with the Democrats
scoring five wins. Last week, the Dems ousted two Republican senators.
And all three of the Democratic senators up for recall kept their jobs.

So let me ask you, where is the huge victory for Governor Scott
Walker? There is none. The math is what it is. The math is just not
there for Walker.

Time now to call in Washington correspondent of "The Nation" magazine,
John Nichols. John, good to have you with us tonight. I don`t know. I go
back to Ms. Harper`s fourth grade class. She was teaching this new math.
Five to four, five for the Democrats, four for the Republicans. Where`s
the Republican victory in this recall season?

JOHN NICHOLS, "THE NATION": Ed, there is no Republican victory.
Let`s be very clear about what has happened. Over the course of a month
and a half, or a little under a month and a half, Wisconsin has had a
series of recall elections. Democrats have won the majority of the recall
elections. They have also won the majority of votes cast in all of these
districts across the state.

And they have created a situation in the state legislature where now
Democrats hold 16 seats, one short of a majority, and there is a maverick
Republican, Dale Schultz, who voted against the governor on collective
bargaining, creating a reality that we now have a collect -- pro-collective
bargaining majority in the state senate.

That doesn`t end Walker`s reign. It doesn`t check and balance him on
every issue. But it does suggest, and I think pretty clearly, that
Democrats have achieved a lot of their goals that they started out trying
to get to.

SCHULTZ: We should point out in these two districts, the money
continued to come from the sky, did it not? There were more outside groups
throwing money at this one. Speak to that tonight, John. How intense was
it?

NICHOLS: Well, northern Wisconsin, where Jim Holperin was just
reelected, in fact reelected by a significantly wider margin than many
people expected, traditionally has very small town politics. You campaign
in the park. You hang a sign from a phone pole.

This year, it looks like as much as five million dollars was spent in
that rural district. Down in southeastern Wisconsin, in Wirch`s district,
it looks to be at least 2.5 million. The Koch Brothers were in. The Amway
De Boss (ph), very big for privatization of schools, was in, and literally
spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to try to defeat these Democratic
incumbents. But it didn`t work.

SCHULTZ: You know Governor Walker. You`ve known him for a while. Do
you think this is going to move him to a moderate position? Do you think
he will now be a negotiator? And also, what does this mean for his recall?
What do you make of it?

NICHOLS: Well, Governor Walker is going to have to moderate, maybe
not by choice, but by reality. In the state senate now, you have a
majority of senators, 16 Democrats and at least one or two Republicans, who
have expressed clear discomfort with the governor`s extreme policies. They
will have the ability to check and balance him on issues like right to work
laws. Privatization of education.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ: Does this fire up the recall effort, do you think? Do you
think there`s enough signal here that he needs to go? Do you think
independents and Democrats and Wisconsinites are feeling that tonight?

NICHOLS: Can I tell you something, Ed? The Democrats and the
independents that are uncomfortable with Scott Walker, and the Republicans
that are uncomfortable with Scott Walker, certainly feel pretty good
tonight.

SCHULTZ: John Nichols of "The Nation" magazine.

NICHOLS: They had a terrific week.

SCHULTZ: They certainly have.

Great to have you with us tonight, John. Great work as always.
Tonight in our survey, I asked, will Rick Perry be the GOP presidential
nominee in 2012? Forty three percent of you said yes; 57 percent of you
said no.

That`s the THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz. "THE LAST WORD" with
Lawrence O`Donnell starts right now. We`ll see you from Las Vegas tomorrow
night.


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BE UPDATED.
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