updated 9/13/2011 9:57:50 AM ET 2011-09-13T13:57:50

Guests: Jim Moore, Harold Cook, Dr. James Peterson, Herman Cain, Rick
Santorum, Larry Cohen

ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW
tonight from Las Vegas.

The Republican Tea Party debate just ended and Mitt Romney did his
best to nail Rick Perry on Social Security.

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

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The term "Ponzi scheme" is
what scared seniors, number one. And, number two, suggesting that Social
Security should no longer be a federal program and returned to the states
and unconstitutional is likewise frightening.

Look, there are a lot of very bright people who agree with you. And
that`s your view. I happen to have a different one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks, from Las Vegas,
where workers is a focus of my trip out here. And I`ll talk more about
that later in the program.

Let`s talk about the debate first tonight. It was the Super Bowl for
me. I`m loving this stuff.

Romney and the other candidates can punch Perry all they want on
Social Security, but it won`t work, with Republican primary voters.

A new CNN poll shows Perry with a commanding lead over Romney and the
rest of the field when it comes to who Republican voters think has the best
chance to beat President Obama in 2012. Perry still has a 16-point lead
after he called Social Security a Ponzi scheme and a monstrous lie in the
MSNBC debate last Wednesday, which made a lot of news.

Tonight, Perry did his best to clarify exactly what he meant.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is a broken
system. It has been called a Ponzi scheme by many people long before me.
But no one`s had the courage to stand up and say here is how we`re going to
reform it, transform it for those in those mid-career ages. But we`re
going to fix it so that our young Americans that are going out into the
workforce today will know without a doubt that there were some people who
came along that didn`t lie to `em, that didn`t try to go around the edges
and told them the truth.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Perry`s in the same place he was last week. He never said
he wanted to abolish Social Security. He wants to create private accounts.
I think the country has tried that before and rejected it.

Romney pounced on Perry for changing his tone.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: The real is that, in writing his book, Governor Perry pointed
out that in his view that Social Security is unconstitutional, that this is
not something the federal government ought to be involved in, that instead
it should be given back to the states. And I think that view and the view
somehow Social Security has been forced on us over the past 70 years, that
by any measure -- again quoting from his book -- by any measure Social
Security has been a failure, this is after 70 years of tens of millions of
people relying on Social Security. That`s a very different matter.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Governor Perry didn`t let Romney push him around. The Texas
governor fired right back by reminding Romney what was in his book. The
crowd was clearly on Perry`s side. Take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: And I think that Social Security is an essential program that
we should change the way we`re funding it --

PERRY: Governor, you called it a criminal -- you said if people did
it in the private sector --

ROMNEY: Did what?

PERRY: -- it would be called criminal. That`s in your book.

ROMNEY: Yes, what I said was --

(CHEERS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Romney I think is a complete fraud for accusing Perry of
softening his position on Social Security, because during a 2007 FOX
Republican debate, Romney had the same position as Perry. Check it out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROMNEY: Currently, we`re taking more money into Social Security than
we actually send out. So, our current seniors, their benefits are not
going to change. For people 20 and 30 and 40 years old, we have four major
options, for instance, for Social Security. One is the one Democrats want,
raise taxes. It`s the wrong way to go. Number two, the president said
let`s have private accounts and take that surplus money that`s being
gathered now in Social Security and put that into private accounts. That
works.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Can you trust him?

Romney has been on both sides of almost every major issue in this
campaign. He can`t stand Perry`s meteoric rise and his pathetic poll
numbers.

Bachmann is even more guilty. Take a look at what she said about
Social Security and Medicare just last year.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R), MINNESOTA: What we need to do like you
said is people who are currently on Social Security need to have the
promise kept to them. Also, people within about 10 years of receiving
Social Security, they`re in a very difficult position. But people that are
younger than those ages, they need to have some options in their life so
that going forward, they can have an ownership of their own Social
Security, their own retirement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: I mean, this is exactly what Rick Perry was saying tonight
in the debate. Here`s Bachmann and Romney going after him.

Rick Perry is mopping the floor with the other candidates for one
reason. The Republican Party is just as radical as he is.

Mitt Romney is desperately, desperately trying to take Perry down on
Social Security because Romney doesn`t stand a chance with southern
conservative Christian base.

Perry is dead wrong on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and
almost every other issue. So is the Republican Party.

President Obama, for the record, has done nothing to put Social
Security in jeopardy. Nor has he given any hint that Social Security would
be insolvent in the short term, for years to come.

This is strictly, as I see it, a straw man argument by the
conservatives. If you want to break down the debate tonight -- I mean,
Perry is a basic guy. He kind of reminds me of Jesse Ventura. I mean,
he`s got a hell of a headline but he doesn`t have much story.

But for the Tea Partiers and Republican base, you don`t have to give
detail. All you have to is talk about cutting taxes, talking regulations.
Tonight, they threw in tort reform. That was one they did last week.

But what struck me about tonight`s entire debate, very little focus on
jobs.

We have an unemployment rate that is nailing our country, yet they
could not focus their ideas on exactly what we`re going to do to get this
country back working again.

Look, Romney is smooth. There`s no question about it.

But the rest of the crowd -- you know, they`re just not exciting
anybody. This is Perry`s to lose. Perry has got the money. Perry has the
infrastructure. Perry`s got the conservative right wing Christians. Perry
-- it`s his to lose.

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think.

Now, talking about tonight`s Social Security. Do you trust the
Republicans with your Social Security? Text "A" for yes, text "B" for no
to 622639. And you can always go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com and make a
comment. We`ll bring you the results later on in the show.

Let`s turn now to Jim Moore, "Huffington Post" contributor and author
of the upcoming book, "Adios Mofo: Why Rick Perry Will Make Americans Miss
George W. Bush." Also, MSNBC contributor and "Slate" political reporter
Dave Weigel with us tonight. And Harold Cook, Democratic strategist out of
Texas.

Gentlemen, glad to have us tonight.

I want to focus first on Social Security.

Mr. Cook, did Rick Perry do anything to hurt himself tonight in
defending his position on where he stands on Social Security?

HAROLD COOK, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: No, I don`t think he did. I
actually think he helped himself tonight. I did think, though, that last
week during the MSNBC debate, he got off his own narrative by talking so
ardently about Social Security, and that`s what gave the other candidates
the idea that they had an opening to chip on Perry`s lead.

The other candidates were wrong, but here`s why I think it was a
mistake for Perry because Perry`s jobs narrative is what got him where he
is now. Now, there`s a lot of holes in that narrative, but at first blush,
it looks good.

Now, here`s the problem. His opponents are so weak that they really
haven`t touched him on the holes in his jobs narrative. Instead, they have
been so busy trying to chip away at this perceived Social Security weakness
that they haven`t even gotten to jobs.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

COOK: And until they get back to the holes in Perry`s jobs narrative,
I don`t think they`re going to -- I don`t think they`re going to beat him
out of first place.

SCHULTZ: Dave Weigel, how long is it going to take the media to
realize that both Romney and Bachmann had the exact same position that
Perry is purporting in these day baits when debates when it comes to
Social Security? I just played the sound bytes a moment ago. I mean,
they`re trying to make him out to be a radical. They got sound from these
guys that are exactly like Perry.

What about that?

DAVE WEIGEL, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: We can be slow learners but we`re
getting there. I think people who have been looking at the polling, the
poll you just cited, noticed that Republicans don`t disagree with Perry
when he make this argument. And candidates who had been in his position,
where they`re trying to approve their conservative bone fides to people
have had the same stance on Social Security.

The weakness I heard, the thing that might come up in the future
wasn`t that basis position that you frame this as Romney defending the New
Deal is very wise for a Republican primary. I think the problem came when
Perry kept getting pressed on what his solution was, he didn`t really have
one. He said we should start to have the conversation about it.

He didn`t mention the Galveston plan which we came familiar with six
years ago when he talked about reforming Social Security. Why doesn`t he
present details? That`s one problem I hear coming from Republicans about
Perry.

Look, if you`re going to force the discussion and not the discussion
you should be having, come up some kind of plan. The media is going to
attack it. But don`t just hang this out there and let them beat you up.

SCHULTZ: Jim Moore, about that? I mean, when does Rick Perry get
detailed in these debates? And is he going to be forced to be detailed by
other candidates?

JIM MOORE, HUFFINGTON POST: He doesn`t have to be detailed, Ed. He`s
doing well without any kind of detail whatsoever. What people are starting
to see and learn about this guy, the thing nobody is talking about is that
he is decisive. He makes decisions and he stands by them.

You talk to -- they talked tonight about the Gardasil decision and
vaccine for 11-year-old and 12-year-old girls. He acknowledged he made a
mistake.

And the truth is it was his former chief of staff, it was a lobbyist
who brought the drug company to the table. And Perry made it clear it
couldn`t be bought for $5,000. It`s apparently $200,000 according to
lobbyists at the Capitol.

But the thing you need to understand about this guy is that he makes
decisions. He sticks with those decisions. There`s no mistakes in his
world.

When there`s a tragedy of policy or something, he basically buries his
dead and moves his wagons westward. He just gets on with it and starts
over.

SCHULTZ: Gentlemen, I want to address the elephant in the room, if I
may, and that is religion. The Christian conservatives, will they accept
Mitt Romney who is a Mormon as their candidate when they know that a
Christian conservative such as Rick Perry would have a much better chance
at winning all of the Southern states? Or am I off base on that?

Dave Weigel, will the Christian conservative base vote for Mitt
Romney? I mean, if Romney is out there talking about, oh, his position in
Social Security, Perry will never win the general election, I think we are
to ask the question, would Romney`s faith get in the way in the South?
What do you think?

WEIGEL: Well, it did last time. Last time, Mitt Romney`s competition
for the hardcore conservative vote, the vote John McCain had trouble
winning, was Mike Huckabee, who had far more of a problem on the
ideological button pushing contest than Perry did. You know, he had raised
more taxes than Perry had

Start right there. The Republicans who swear they won`t vote for a
candidate like that. And he ate Romney`s lunch across the South. So, this
is -- this is a big problem.

We see these national polls of who`s ahead nationally. There is no
national primary. There`s going to be Iowa, New Hampshire, these are early
states, and then a swath of Southern primaries with a lot of delegates.
It`s very tough. You`re in the position of a religious conservative and
they want a candidate. Perry looks strong from the outset.

SCHULTZ: And, gentlemen, I want to bring up quickly Michele Bachmann.

Harold Cook, do you think he may have resurrected her campaign or put
new life into tonight? Because she was clearly attacking the front-runner
Rick Perry.

COOK: She might have put a little life back into it after getting
completely lost in the crowd last week at the MSNBC debate. But I got to
tell you, that would be easy to overstate. If you were watching the
debate, you would think she put some life back into it, but that I think
was mostly because the crowd in the room was kind of her crowd and Perry`s
crowd and probably Ron Paul`s crowd and nobody else`s.

But by and large, you know, these guys are not these guys are not
talking to the audience in the room. They`re talking to a national
audience. And, you know, those folks in the room knew when to applaud
Bachmann and knew when to applaud Perry and knew when to appreciate some
pretty good Ron Paul lines.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

COOK: But other than that, I think it can be overstated --

SCHULTZ: All right.

COOK: -- the extent to which she might have breathed new life into
it.

SCHULTZ: We had a former governor and current governor come out today
and stake their claim.

This is Tim Pawlenty who recently left the race endorsing Mitt Romney.
Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM PAWLENTY (R), FORMER GOVERNOR OF MINNESOTA: Governor Romney wants
to fix Social Security. He doesn`t want to abolish it or end it. He
doesn`t believe it should be thrown out. He believes it should be reformed
and fixed.

And I think that`s the right approach. I think most Americans, most
Republicans, understand we`re going to need Social Security in a reformed
and improved fashion going forward. Governor Perry has said in the past
that he thought hit was failed and unconstitutional.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I`m reporting what he`s saying today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And, Jim Moore, Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, came
out today in support of Rick Perry. Do any of these endorsements early on
mean anything at all? And, once again, it was Pawlenty talking about
Social Security. What about all that?

MOORE: Usually, endorsements don`t matter a great deal except in
strategic primaries they can help. But I want to go back to what you
talked about earlier, Ed, in this whole question of winning the South. Any
Republican who is going to get the White House is going to have to do so
with the Southern strategy.

A Mormon is not going to carry the South. And on Super Tuesday,
you`re looking at states like Texas and Oklahoma and Virginia and
Tennessee. It`s very, very difficult for a Mormon to win those votes.

And I said on this program from the beginning of this process that the
prayer rally was about going out there and say, look at me, I`m a
Christian, I`m not a Mormon, vote for me. And I think it`s working very
well for Rick.

SCHULTZ: Jim Moore, Dave Weigel, Harold Cook, stay with us. We`re
staying on the debate. We have a little bit more coming up. Stay with us.
We`re right back.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

PERRY: He had $800 billion worth of stimulus in the first round of
stimulus. It created zero jobs. Half of zero jobs is going to be zero
jobs.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): The candidates were going after the president
inside the debate.

Outside, Tea Partiers are still looking for a birth certificate. I
thought we were done with that garbage.

Our debate discussion continues.

On jobs, the president sent his bill to Congress. Tonight, one
staffer is admitting Republicans will block the plan just to hurt the
president.

Mitt Romney is whacking the president for supporting American workers.
Tonight, labor is responding.

And in "Psycho Talk," Serena Williams threw a hissy fit. And "FOX and
Friends" are playing the race card.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: (AUDIO BREAK)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Here`s what Governor Rick Perry had to say about President Obama`s
jobs plan.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PERRY: He had $800 billion worth of stimulus in the first round of
stimulus. It created zero jobs. $400-plus billion in this package, and I
can do the math on that one. Half of zero jobs is going to be zero jobs.

This president does not understand how to free up the small
businessmen and women, or for that matter, Wall Street.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: As you might expect, Republicans are eager to slam President
Obama`s plan as another failed stimulus. What they offered was more of the
same. Tax cuts, deregulation.

They also argued with each other over exactly how to do that. Perry
and Romney had no hesitation attacking each other on the record on jobs.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

ROMNEY: I think Governor Perry would agree with me if you dealt four
aces that doesn`t make you necessarily a great poker player.

Zero income tax, low regulation, a right to work state, oil in the
ground and the Republican legislature.

PERRY: Well, I was going to say, Mitt, you were doing pretty good
until you got to talking poker.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

SCHULTZ: Let`s bring back "Huffington Post" contributor Jim Moore,
"Slate" political reporter Dave Weigel, and Democratic strategist Harold
Cook.

Gentlemen, when we start talking about deregulation, we get a lot of
generics from the Republicans -- tax cuts, deregulation, tort reform.

Harold Cook, is this all Republicans have to is stay vanilla, stay
generic and not get into the detail? What regulation are they talking
about?

COOK: Well, they`ll get into tort reform stuff. And beyond that,
it`s all just a bunch of sound bites that sound good to Republicans. And
for the most part, there isn`t really even a public policy that goes with
it.

Rick Perry, especially, you know, he`s got a pretty good rap going on
jobs. I mean, it`s absolutely wrong. But it worked for him so far. But
he`s got to end the sentence with something and he`s got to complain about
Obama somehow. So it`s always going to be about taxes and deregulation.

But let`s talk about Rick Perry`s jobs claims for a moment. It`s
amazing that his Republican opponents have let him get away with it. All
he has to say is that I`ve created more jobs than anybody else in America.

What his Republican opponents have not bothered to say is that the
unemployment rate in Texas is also as high as it`s been since Ronald Reagan
was president. They also haven`t said most of those jobs are minimum wage
jobs. They haven`t said the public sector job growth is growing at twice
the rate as the private sector job growth which kind of hints that a lot of
Perry`s job growth is based on the Obama stimulus package.

But his Republican opponents, they haven`t figured out how to crack
the Perry code and they just -- they won`t get there for some reason. And
until they figure out how to get there, Perry`s going to stay in the lead.

SCHULTZ: Dave Weigel, is it just toxic for any of the Republicans to
embrace any part of the jobs bill? Because that might appear that they are
supporting President Obama. Is that a bad path for the Republicans to
take?

WEIGEL: Well, the funny thing is, there was a little bit of an
embrace the jobs bill, not by name, not explicitly. Newt Gingrich was
saying that he would keep tax cuts for people -- I think the way he put was
-- living on Social Security and Medicare. He was talking about the
payroll tax cut basically.

When they talk about the stimulus -- I like the point you just heard
here -- when you talk about the stimulus and you`re a governor who used the
stimulus to help pay for a budget hole, you`re leaving out the fact that
you used it. When you talk about the stimulus and how much it cost by just
putting the number out there, you`re leaving out the hundreds of billions
of dollars of that was tax cuts.

And Republicans even today in Congress are not ruling out the tax
portion of this.

Now, this is -- this is same old thing for the Republicans. But this
is one of the moments in the debate where you wish they asked a few more
follow-up questions because if you`re serious in talking about what was
actually in the stimulus and whether it worked, you got governors who took
advantage of the spending and governors who will defend the tax cuts and
not really have a good answer for why that didn`t work the way that they
hoped it would. They say that`s the stimulative part. And now they say
the whole thing was a waste of time. But which is it?

SCHULTZ: Jim Moore, it is a fact that more jobs have been created in
Texas than any of the other states. And, of course, Mitt Romney played
Texas fair I thought pretty much tonight in that debate.

Whether they`re low-wage jobs or whether they`re government jobs, it
is still a positive number. Is this something that Rick Perry is going to
ride all the way through the primary process? And is the increasing of the
jobs strong enough for him to do that?

MOORE: It is his metanarrative that he thinks it will take him to the
White House. But if you want to sell fishing rods in a big box sporting
goods store, you all come down to Texas, Ed. I mean, the truth is they are
mostly minimum wage jobs. And on top of that, many of the good jobs in
government and elsewhere in the energy industry came from the stimulus
package, came from tax cuts and came from what the White House has done.

And Mr. Romney is right. We drew some good cards in Texas -- good
weather, energy and growth. But the population increase has not kept up
and it has outstripped the job growth. So, it`s a problem.

SCHULTZ: Jim Moore, Dave Weigel, Harold Cook -- great to have you
guys with us tonight. Appreciate it so much. We`ll do it again.

Next up, Gretchen Carlson is all worked up about Serena Williams`
court meltdown, on the court meltdown. She`s so out of line her "FOX and
Friends" sidekicks don`t even agree with her. "Psycho Talk" is next.

And in my "Playbook," Mitt Romney seems to be confused about political
donations. He has a problem with unions giving money to candidates but he
has no problem taking from banks while promoting their agendas.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And in Psycho Talk tonight, Fox`s favorite beauty queen
Gretchen Carlson lobs another shot in the right ring war against
entitlements. Now yesterday tennis player Serena Williams had I guess you
could say a McEnroe moment during the U.S. Open final.

She got upset about a call and spent a few minutes yelling at the
umpire, calling her a hater. And ugly on the inside -- Williams has been
fined for her on-court tantrum. But Gretchen thinks it was more than just
unsportsmanlike conduct.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRETCHEN CARLSON, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: See, this is what`s wrong with our
society today. That`s the entitlement generation right there. Don`t look
at me.

BRIAN KILMEADE, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: No, it isn`t.

CARLSON: Yes, it is.

KILMEADE: It`s John McEnroe. It`s Ilie Nastase. It`s Jimmy Connors
from the `60s, `70s, `80s.

CARLSON: Then they were all bad role models for kids.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Gretchen`s bogus entitlement generation claim is so
ridiculous, her buddy, Brian Kilmeade, isn`t even onboard. But Carlson`s
outrage didn`t end there.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KILMEADE: Use it as a teaching moment.

CARLSON: I don`t know.

KILMEADE: If you`re going to be in a heated situation, please don`t
call the referee unattractive on the inside.

CARLSON: And a hater.

KILMEADE: And a hater.

And a loser.

CARLSON: Was that a racial undertone? I didn`t quite get that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: So we have one more addition to the list of things Gretchen
Carlson doesn`t get. Let me see if I can help her out. Athletes get upset
and yell at umpires and referees all the time. Sometimes athletes and
umpires are of different races.

It doesn`t automatically mean there are racial overtones. And there
was nothing in Serena Williams` outburst to suggest race had anything to do
with it. Gretchen Carlson was the only person to bring it up.

For her to use an on-court meltdown as an excuse to pander to her
right wing audience on entitlements and imaginary racial undertones is ugly
Psycho Talk.

House Republicans say at least a half of President Obama`s jobs bill
is dead in the water. But the president is fighting back against the
Republican strategy to sink his bill.

And later, more debate highlights. And Heidi Harris and Joe Madison
are here tonight. Michele Bachmann basically accused Rick Perry of
corruption. Stay tuned. You`re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching tonight.
President Obama sent his American Jobs Act to Congress today. And
Republicans are already trying to torpedo it. House Republican Leader Eric
Cantor tried to paint the bill as another stimulus plan, telling reporters
today, "I will tell you that over half I think of the total dollar amount
is so-called stimulus spending. We`ve been there, done that. The country
cannot afford more spending like the stimulus bill."

But the real reason Republicans are opposing the bill was revealed to
"Politico" today by an anonymous House GOP aide who said, quote, "Obama is
on the ropes. Why do we appear ready to hand him a win?"

But the president knows this is the Republican strategy. He stayed on
the offensive today, telling Congress to pass the whole bill, not just
parts of it.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There are some in
Washington who`d rather settle our differences through politics and the
elections than try to resolve them now. In fact, Joe and I, as we were
walking out here, we were looking at, you know, one of the Washington
newspapers. And it was quoting a Republican aide saying, I don`t know why
we would want to cooperate with Obama right now; it`s not good for our
politics.

It was very explicit. That`s the attitude in this town. Yeah, we`ve
been through these things before. But I don`t know why we`d be for them
right now.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight to talk about the fight over jobs -- this
bill -- is, Dr. James Peterson, director of Africana studies and associate
professor of English at Lehigh University.

Professor, good to have you with us tonight. That sound bite that we
just played of President Obama today, a year ago, he wouldn`t have said
that. But everybody back a year ago was saying these Republicans are going
to do absolutely anything they possibly can to defeat this president. Now
it`s like the light bulb has gone on. And now the president appears to be
more on the offensive. Is that a turning point in your opinion?

DR. JAMES PETERSON, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY: Well, I think the turning
point started a little ways back. I mean, he revealed the Republicans --
and really this is is not the Republican party. This is the Tea party
controlled Republican party. He revealed them as obstructionists during
the whole debt ceiling debacle and the whole debt ceiling talk.

So I do like the strategy here, to be on the offensive, to go into the
districts where some of these Tea Party Republican Congress-folk are, and
to reveal for the people the fact that Obama is offering some real
solutions. We can actually get the economy turned around, slowly but
surely here.

But let`s be clear. There`s some political theater. Part of the
reason why Obama can make some of the moves -- part of the reason why he
can be on the offensive is because of efforts of folk like you and what the
Congressional Black Caucus did, in terms of getting out into the streets,
showing America that people want jobs and that people want to work.

That gives the president leverage to not just reveal the Republicans
and the Tea Party Republicans as obstructionist, but to also show the
country that, listen, they`re actually not willing to work on your behalf.
Because it`s one thing to obstruct the president. It`s another thing when
the interests of a particular party are caught up between a radical
religious white and a very, very wealthy business interest.

SCHULTZ: What do you want to see the president and the White House do
when it comes to this jobs bill? Be on the offensive, be visible every
single day?

PETERSON: I think they have to, yes. They have to continue to talk
about what they`re talking about. Continue to get the points out there.
Continue to make it clear that, listen, when people are talking about anti-
government, they`re talking about being against police force, first
responders. They`re talking about being against nurses, teachers.

When people are talking about cutting taxes, they`re not talking about
cutting taxes for middle class folk. They`re talking about not addressing
the corporate tax loopholes that exist in our system right now.

We have to have real conversations about the ways in which to move
forward. The political theatrics are going to be part of the process.
Again, Obama can`t be so aggressive without folk from the CBC and other
folk coming out and saying, hey, we need jobs. And on the folk on the
right, especially the Tea Party controlled areas of the Republican
Congress, will no longer be able to obstructionist if we take it --
straight to their constituencies and say, hey, we`re trying to help you out
here, but your homeys over here in Congress are not working with us.

SCHULTZ: It is going to be interesting to see, because the
Congressional Budget Office is going to score this bill. If it comes out
positive, we`re going to have to see exactly what the Republican response
to that is going to be. I don`t think it`ll be positive --

PETERSON: I think we`ve already seen it. Again, this is more the Tea
Party than the Republican party. The Tea Party folk are committed to
getting Obama out of there. They have a very, very specific philosophy and
ideology. They`re sticking to it.

They`re very well organized. And they`re a very, very loud minority.
They know what they want to do. They know how they`re going to do it. The
question remains is whether or not President Obama can rise to the
challenge.

SCHULTZ: I think he has to stay on the offensive. Dr. James
Peterson, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.

Coming up in my Playbook, Mitt Romney is taking on unions.
Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen will join me on
that subject next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Joining me right now here on
THE ED SHOW, fresh off the Republican debate, presidential candidate Herman
Cain. Mr. Cain, good to have you with us tonight.

We had quite a discussion amongst you candidates tonight about Social
Security. But we really don`t -- these debates don`t give us the format to
get into the detail of exactly how all of you want to privatize this. I
want you to take a moment, Mr. Cain, and tell me, tonight where`s the
cutoff line?

We heard seniors have nothing to worry about. When does it change?
What`s the age? How would you do it, sir?

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I referred to it as personal
retirement accounts, Ed, because that`s really what it does. One possible
cutoff would be age 45. If you are 45 years of age or young e younger, you
have the option to take half of your Social Security contribution and put
it in a personal retirement account, handled by a private firm, and you
still have to help fund the existing system for those people that are on
Social Security or those that are near Social Security.

This is the structure that was used in Chile when they converted from
their system. Now I`m not saying that 45 years of age is the exact number.
It will be somewhere in that vicinity.

But the idea is you will make more money by investing it in a personal
retirement account, based upon some safe investments, in 20 years -- more
than you will make if you were contributing to Social Security all the way
until you`re age 65.

SCHULTZ: Mr. Cain, I think it`s fair to point out that the Bush
administration attempted this starting in January of 2005, after the `04
election. And if we had gone down the road of private accounts, then we
saw the stock market crash. What about that? I mean, wouldn`t this be a
risky model, whereas Social Security, the way the government has run it,
has never defaulted on a payment to Americans? What about that?

CAIN: No, that -- Ed, I`m sorry. With all due respect, that is not
correct. First of all, let me address a couple of questions that you
raised. President Bush did propose it, a personal retirement account
approach. But, quite frankly, he didn`t do a good job of explaining it to
the American people. He didn`t have all of his party members behind him to
explain this to the American people.

It was demagogued. And so it died.

Now this isn`t about turning people loose investing in the stock
market. No. Just like 401(k) plans work in companies, people are given
some conservative options that they can select where it will grow. Right
now when people put money into the Social Security fund, it doesn`t grow.
It disappears.

So there`s a big difference between that. So you`re not turning
people loose on the stock market. You have some very conservative
guidelines to make sure that over the long haul they, in fact, will have
money when they retire.

SCHULTZ: OK. Well, what about Social Security, how it has performed
since the day it was put in place some 70 years ago? It is secure. And
for the next 25 years, it`s going to be secure. And some are out there
saying that all you have to do is raise the cap and that will take enough
money to carry us another 75 years. What would be wrong with that?

CAIN: Well, Ed, what`s wrong with that is that, number one, Social
Security is not sustainable. I don`t -- even though you say we can go for
another 25 years, you`re still not fixing the problem. I believe in fixing
the problem.

Secondly, if we fix the problem with the personal retirement account
approach, like I have described, like they use in Galveston, Texas, like
they use in Chile, this is going to help people have more money when they
retire.

So I don`t agree with that. Secondly, the Social Security Fund has
been raided for years . And so they --

SCHULTZ: they borrowed against --

CAIN: -- they borrowed against it.

SCHULTZ: That`s what they`ve done.

CAIN: With no intention -- with no intention of putting the money
back. It`s not sustainable the way it is, which is why I believe we should
restructure it.

SCHULTZ: All right. Mr. Cain, good to have you with us tonight. I
appreciate your time. Thanks so much. More debate coverage is coming up.

CAIN: Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: You bet, sir. More debate coverage coming. Stay tuned.
You`re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And in my Playbook tonight, Mitt Romney is going after labor
unions. First it was his campaign`s new web ad depicting union protests in
Missouri as attacks on small business. Then it was his speech at a Boeing
facility in South Carolina where he said he would outlaw unions from making
campaign donations using member dues.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We have no problem with
unions. Unions can be productive and helpful in keeping enterprises
successful and thriving. But when a president runs over the principles of
democracy to pursue an agenda which happens to be associated with the
interest of people that donated hundreds of millions of dollars to his
campaign, it is something we cannot abide.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: So Romney doesn`t agree with the agenda of organized labor,
but he`s fine with the agendas of his biggest donors. Romney has said that
he would repeal the Dodd/Frank Financial Reform Act because of its
regulations on Wall Street financial firms. The "Washington Post" reported
the largest corporate sources of money for Romney are mostly finance
industry leaders, including Morgan Stanley and the Bank of America.
Goldman Sachs employees have given nearly a quarter of a million dollars in
contributions.

Let`s bring in Larry Cohen, president of the Communication Workers of
America. Mr. Cohen, good to have you with us tonight. I want you to
address right now, do members of a union -- are they forced to give their
dues to political campaigns? Because it seems like this is what Mr. Romney
is out there saying.

LARRY COHEN, COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS OF AMERICA: Yeah, absolutely not.
If there is political fundraising, it is totally voluntary I. Mr. Romney
would know that`s the law. Once again, we see him flip-flopping. One
stance when he`s the governor of Massachusetts, another one pandering to
the right wing base today.

I`d say, in general, watching that debate, you had to stop from
laughing, on the one hand, or crying on the other. You see 19th century
capitalism, fairytale economics, and confusing liberty and freedom. I
think for working people in this country, you know, we do have a jobs
crisis. We have a health care crisis. We have a retirement security
crisis. And we have a crisis of living in a global economy.

And we need people who are elected who are serious and don`t just
pander to their fund-raisers, as you just said.

SCHULTZ: What do you make of his position to attack unions? It`s
somewhat paralleled with these radical governors that have brought on this
legislation in a number of states where your organization obviously is
involved in. That is Ohio and Wisconsin and Michigan and Florida and New
Jersey. Is this, do you think, a -- just a basic strategy that Romney is
using just to get more favor? Or does he really believe that collective
bargaining is not good for the American worker?

COHEN: Well, I think, again, he`s flip-flopping to deal with the
right wing base and to deal with the primaries to come and to deal with the
debate tonight and who`s around him, particularly the folks in the
audience, some of whom do have some decent populous leanings. But for the
most party, they have a 19th century view of the country, or like Michele
Bachmann, an 18th century view when she talks about the thing I`ll bring is
the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

SCHULTZ: Mr. Cohen, good to have you with us tonight. I appreciate
your time. Thanks so much. We will visit more on these issues.

Let`s bring in now -- let`s bring in now a former Pennsylvania Senator
Rick Santorum, who was part of that debate tonight. Senator, good to have
you with us tonight. I appreciate your time.

I must say, 15 years ago, as a former conservative, I think I know
where you`re coming from on a number of these issues. One of the things --

RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: One of the things that seems there`s just a big disconnect
in this country about how we value workers and what workers` rights are.
Could you speak to that tonight? Can you say as a Republican candidate
that you could stand up for the middle class, that you could stand up for
organized labor? I know in your state of Pennsylvania, organized labor is
very strong. What about that?

SANTORUM: Yeah. Well actually, Ed, one of the things I talk about in
all of the debates -- you know, I put my economic policy together. And I
put it in mind growing up in Pennsylvania. I grew up in a steel town,
Butler, Pennsylvania. And you know, all of my friends, you know, their
dads worked at the mills.

And when I was growing up, 21 percent of the people in this country
were employed in manufacturing. It`s down to nine. You want to know where
the middle of America went? It went with the jobs going overseas.

The plan I put in place is a pro-manufacturing jobs plan, which cuts
the corporate tax for all manufacturers from 35 percent to zero. The
reason those jobs went off shore -- you know, Ed, people say it`s labor
costs. Well, that was part of it. The reason they went offshore is they
couldn`t be profitable here. Labor was only one component of that.

It was tax. It was regulations. It was a whole host of things. We
need to create an environment here where we can go to those manufacturers -
- I`ve talked to a lot of them. They don`t want to send their jobs
overseas,. They`d rather have them in their hometowns.

Let`s give them the tax incentives. Let`s give them the regulatory
incentives. Let`s give them the energy incentives, by developing our
energy resources, so manufacturing can succeed.

You want to be pro-worker, you get those manufacturing jobs back, you
will see workers be able to go from the bottom rungs of the earnings
quintiles all the way up toward the middle and even beyond.

SCHULTZ: Senator, I couldn`t agree with you more. We have lost our
manufacturing base in this country. But a lot of it is because of labor
costs. You know, it`s a race to the bottom line. I mean, the overseas
labor is a hell of a lot cheaper. Their work standards are a lot cheaper.
Their environmental conditions, their standards are a lot less. Our trade
agreements are terrible.

SANTORUM: My point is, Ed, we have to compensate for that. We want
the higher paying jobs here. We have to create a situation with our tax
code, with our regulatory code and with our energy prices, which is very,
very important for -- number one, not just for energy prices, but for jobs,
because those energy jobs create jobs.

You do those three things, labor is only one component. As you know,
Ed, you were growing up when I was growing up. Labor was a big part of the
manufacturing bill. It isn`t as much anymore. Why? Because it`s a lot of
automated -- I was saying it`s not as much now because of automation.

So we can get both the manufacturing jobs here and the higher skilled
work, and get that middle income America back, which is really what I`m all
about.

SCHULTZ: Senator, I appreciate you coming on the program tonight. I
want you to come back because I show a graph -- I show a graph on this show
about where CEO pay has gone in this country and where the middle class pay
has gone in the last 30 years. I`m just not convinced the Republican party
has an answer for that. I want to give you that opportunity on our program
to talk about that.

We`ll hopefully do it again. I appreciate your time tonight. Thank
you.

We`ll have more on THE ED SHOW. Stay with us. We`re right back after
this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Tonight in our survey, I asked
you, do you trust the Republicans with your Social Security? Five percent
of you said yes` 95 percent of you said no.

This programming note, MSNBC`s THE ED SHOW -- we`re going to be on the
road this coming Wednesday and Thursday night with television town halls.
Wednesday night we`re going to be in Toledo, Ohio, on the corner of South
Huron and Washington. Thursday night, we`re going to be in Columbus, Ohio,
at the Columbus Firefighters` Union Hall.

You can get more details on our website at Ed.MSNBC.com. It`s free.
It`s open to the public. It`s the Voices of America here on THE ED SHOW on
MSNBC. Looking forward to it.

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

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