updated 10/14/2011 9:55:33 AM ET 2011-10-14T13:55:33

Guests: Virg Bernero, Karen Nussbaum, Robert Reich, Dr. James Peterson,
Lizz Winstead


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

The 99 percent movement has the Tea Party going to extremes. And
Bush`s brain is dead wrong about the middle class.

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

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), MINORITY LEADER: It`s young, it`s
spontaneous, it`s focus and it`s going to be effective.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): New polling shows the 99 percent movement is
twice as popular the Tea Party, but Republicans keep mocking protesters and
lying about jobs.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Trust me. We are
continuing to listen to the American people.

SCHULTZ: We`ll talk to America`s mayor, Virg Bernero.

Republicans in the Senate have a new jobs plan. And it`s a joke.
I`ll have commentary.

And in the Republican race for the White House, Mitt Romney gets the
kiss of death from Rush Limbaugh.

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Romney is not a conservative.

SCHULTZ: Front runner Herman Cain is already picking his cabinet.

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`ll give you a name like
Representative Paul Ryan.

SCHULTZ: And Michele Bachmann is turning to a clown for a miracle
endorsement.

DONALD TRUMP, TRUMP ORGANIZATION: If you like your steak, you`ll
absolutely love Trump steaks.

SCHULTZ: Plenty of material for "Daily Show" co-creator, Lizz
Winstead.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for
watching THE ED SHOW.

You know, for years, conservatives have tried to sell the country that
we are a center-right country politically. No matter what the climate in
the country is they always loved after -- after elections to show us this
red and blue map.

See all that red that`s on there? We are a center-right country.

Let me tell you something, with these protests that are going on
around the country -- we are not a center-right country. You may ask, so,
where is the country? Well, personally, I feel like I`m living in a time
warp.

If I may, back in 1968, I was 14 years old, the Vietnam War was
raging, civil rights was in its infancy. I`m a product of forced busing
for racial equality. Changes were taking place in this country.

And the United States government at the time was so out of touch with
the wishes of the people, we wanted out of Vietnam as a country and we
wanted civil rights and social justice. And what happened? The people
took to the streets, just like they`re doing today.

I mean, this is like a flashback to those of us who were in our 40s
and 50s and 60s. And it`s interesting. A new "Time" magazine poll clearly
shows now that 54 percent of Americans have a favorable opinion of these
people who are in the streets, the Wall Street protesters.

The same poll shows only 40 -- 27 percent of Americans approve of the
Tea Party. That`s pretty low number.

My Virginia public school education tells me the 99 percent movement
is twice as popular as the nut jobs in the Tea Party. I guess we could say
now that America is awake to the issues that matter to those people who
have kitchen tables and who are in the middle class.

The movement is striking a passion and some folks are going to
extremes. Give you an example. Down in Covington, Kentucky, a Covington
City commissioner named Steve Frank posted this on Facebook. "Turn out the
lights on the occupiers. I feel like going Taliban on them."

What the hell does that mean? Frank told the "Cincinnati Inquirer,"
"I`m resisting the occupiers and very proud to be a one percenter."

Here are the pictures of Occupy Cincinnati, just across the river from
Covington. Steve Frank wants to be a terrorist against these middle class
Americans?

Now to be fair, it`s no surprise Commissioner Frank wants to rub out
99 percent protesters. Frank has a history of putting American lives in
danger. Here is the Commissioner Frank mug shot after he was thrown in
jail for driving under the influence this July.

Kentucky`s finest is just the tip of the iceberg. Karl Rove now is
attack the 99 percent movement in the pages of "The Wall Street Journal."

Turd blossom is warning Democrats not say things like this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think people are
frustrated ant protesters are giving voice to a more broad-based
frustration about how our financial system works.

PELOSI: And God bless them for their spontaneity. You know, it`s
independent people coming. It`s young, it`s spontaneous, it`s focused, and
it`s going to be effective.

JOSEPH BIDEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The American
people do not think the system is fair or on the level. That is the core
of what you`re seeing on Wall Street. And that`s why -- that`s what`s
started, by the way. There`s a lot in common with the Tea Party.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

SCHULTZ: You know, we could go back n into the archives and pull up
interviews of lawmaker notice `60s about the Vietnam War and about the
social change that was taking place in this country and you would find
sound bites that are very similar to the ones you just heard. Yet Karl
Rove is warning Democrats no to the talk like that.

Rove says Democratic leaders are wrong in believing that "Occupy Wall
Street" is the liberal alternative to the Tea Party. The Tea Party is a
middle class movement. Occupy Wall Street isn`t a movement. It`s a series
of events populated by a weird cast of disaffected characters ranging from
anarchists and anti-Semites, to socialists and LaRouchies.

Rove is a complete fraud in his analysis. Middle class Tea Party folk
carry guns to presidential rallies and to rallies on the banks of the
Potomac, and there were only about 50 of them had, proud Tea Party nut jobs
carried Obama Hitler signs all over America for the last three years. We
have the tape to prove it.

The 99 percenters I met in Chicago, gosh there were teachers in the
crowd, construction workers, engineers, letter carriers. And I even got
tape at an interview with a librarian who was being cut. This is the real
middle class movement in America, the real foundation of America that`s
being attacked.

Rove and the Tea Party are responsible for Americans taking to the
streets. The young protesters grew up under George W. Bush, squandered a
surplus, signed unfunded mandates and got us into two wars off budget. You
think they had something to go to the streets about?

The meltdown on Wall Street was on Bush`s watch and Rove wants to bury
his legacy of failure?

The Tea Party has filibustered and obstructed every jobs package
President Obama has put on the table. That`s a fact. This is why
Americans like the 99 percent movement and disapprove of the Tea Party.

Don`t let anyone tell you America is a center-right country. Right
now, it is not. Americans want jobs and approve of President Obama`s jobs
bill by almost 2-1.

And yes, I`ll say it. It is a liberal package, because it takes tax
dollars and invests in jobs, and only progressive does that. This is what
the country wants.

So, again tonight, we`re going to run the names of the senators who
voted against the bill at the bottom of the screen for the entire hour.

The middle class occupy movement deserves no less.

Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: which is the real mild class movement, the 99 percenter or the
Tea Party? Text A for the 99 percenters, text B for the Tea Party, to
622639.

Love it when you go to our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com and leave comment.
And we`ll bring you the results later on in the program.

Joining me tonight is the mayor of Lansing, Michigan, Virg Bernero,
who has been talking about the middle class ever since I met this man. He
has been one of the fighters, one of the pioneers to say the middle class
is under attack in this country.

Virg has attended the "Occupy Lansing" event. Is this "Occupy
Lansing" a middle class movement?

Virg, good to have you with us tonight.

MAYOR VIRG BERNERO (D), LANSING, MICHIGAN: Great to be here.

Ed, you are such a patriot in every sense of the word. You sent a
chill down my spine. I hope every American can get the message that you`re
sending. You are right on.

The Tea Party hijacked America`s anger. The anger from the melt down,
they hijacked it. They perverted it, and that was not the real deal.

This movement is the real revolt. This is the real deal. This is our
chance to restore the American Dream. That`s what`s at stake. That`s what
was taken from us.

This unholy alliance of Washington and Wall Street hasn`t served
average Americans very well and they are rising up. It started in New
York. It spread. And now it is in Lansing and I welcome it in Lansing,
Michigan.

And I urge Americans who care about the American Dream and believe
that the American Dream should be for everybody, not just the few at the
top, this is your chance. If you`re a teacher, a policeman, a street
worker, a you sewer worker, or you`re unemployed, a student -- I don`t care
-- as long as you`re not one of the filthy rich at the top that don`t give
a damn about anybody else, this is your fight. This is our struggle to
restart American Dream. It`s time to get Wall Street out of the middle of
the economy and get them on the sidelines where they belong, and get a
democracy restored that works for Main Street.

SCHULTZ: You know, Virg, the lines of division are well defined.
Today, Republicans introduced the Real American Jobs bill. I mean this
bill has a balanced budget amendment. They want to repeal the health care
bill. They want to repeal Dodd-Frank. And, of course, they certainly want
to go after unions and bust up labor unions and go after labor.

Will this bill do anything to create jobs, in your opinion?

BERNERO: Look, in the words of Tim Barron, a local radio host, what
it is a pantload. It`s a joke. It`s a sad, pathetic joke on the American
people. They are not going to be fool by it. We are ready for something
more.

Look, deserve meat and potatoes, they suffered long enough. We need
real help. We need the Obama jobs plan that actually provides real jobs,
real help. We need investment.

You know, people are hurting. I started my day this morning at a soup
kitchen. I talked to a lady that lived in the same house for 50 years and
now -- her husband had that house, he`s passed on and now, she is losing
that house because she couldn`t afford the $1,400. She could afford $900 a
month but when the bank moved it up to $ 1,400, she could no longer afford
it. Now, she`s homeless.

What sense does it make? Where is the relief? We have suffered
enough under the rule of these banksters that are taking everything for
themselves.

We need some rules that work for regular people. We need a Main
Street agenda instead of a Wall Street agenda. It is time to put Main
Street back on the agenda, back at the top of the agenda and get some real
regulation over Wall Street.

SCHULTZ: And there is no doubt that the foreclosures continue and the
third quarter in this country, they are up 14 percent. The banks are
getting very aggressive.

Mayor Virg Bernero, Lansing, Michigan -- always a pleasure. Great to
have you with us, my friend.

BERNERO: Great to be with you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Now, let`s bring in Karen Nussbaum, executive director of
Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Karen has been at
"Occupy D.C."

Is this a middle class movement?

KAREN NUSSBAUM, EXEC. DIR., WORKING AMERICA: I`ll say. And it`s not
just the folks who are there in the parks, Ed, as you talked about -- the
teachers and librarians and construction workers who are there in big
numbers. But working America goes out into working class neighborhoods all
over the country every single night and we are talking about occupy Wall
Street in the neighborhoods, in those working class neighborhoods.

And people embrace it. They say, yes, that`s what I`ve been thinking
all along and I`m glad those people are in the parks. We are making that
bridge.

I think one of the things we have to fight against is make sure that
the right doesn`t divide us.

SCHULTZ: Yes.

NUSSBAUM: Doesn`t pretend that folks in the parks are not the same as
folks out in the neighborhoods.

SCHULTZ: You know, Karen, one of the things that`s starting to
frustrate me, so many interviews being given by people who think they have
a pulse of what`s going on here. Look, the people are upset. They are
protesting whether they have this issue, that issue, this issue, that
issue, the fact is they don`t like the way the country is going and they
are motivated enough to go out into the streets, whether it be not taxing
the rich enough or the top 1 percent, whether it be a better health care,
whether it be a jobs package, whether it be Wall Street and what they have
done, whether it be foreclosures.

I mean, there are a multitude of issues out there that people are
frustrated bought about and it`s all coming together. The key here, I
think is that they are in the streets and they are sending a message to the
lawmakers of this country.

So, will the 99 percent -- will it become a bigger political force
than the Tea Party in 2012?

NUSSBAUM: Oh, I think it certainly can. What we found now is that
people who, for a long time have known that what the problem is --
corporations control our government. Folks get that. But now, the people
who are occupying have given that a voice and have expressed it for
everybody. It`s like what happened in the battle of Seattle in the 1999
when, all of a sudden, people got the global economy was working against
people and the environment.

It`s that moment right now and what we have to make sure is that we
keep that movement knitted together, that there`s no division between
occupiers and folks in the neighborhoods. Working America, during
Wisconsin, which I think was the preview of what we are seeing now.

SCHULTZ: I think it was. I don`t think any document you have
Wisconsin now coming up. You got a recall of the governor there. There`s
target right there politically for this crowd to stay engaged about. You
have also got a November 8th vote in Ohio to repeal the collective
bargaining law, Senate Bill 5, which is issue number two on the ballot.

Karen, great to have you with us tonight. I could go for hours on
this subject. I think you got the pulse of it. No doubt.

And an update on our story that we did last night -- the right-wing
group Building a Better Ohio produced a television ad in support of Ohio
Senate Bill 5. And it was a big, fat lie. They used the words of a great
grandmother to suggest she supported Senate Bill 5 when she actually
opposes it.

And now, Building a Better Ohio has finally pulled the television ad.
They were obviously under pressure. More than a dozen local television
stations had had already yanked it off the air and last night, we spent an
entire segment on their dirty tricks and told the truth. I`m glad it`s
gone.

Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen and share your thoughts with us on Twitter @EdShow. We want to know
what you think.

Warren Buffett was right, 25 percent of the wealthiest Americans pay a
lower percentage of taxes than middle classers than this country. But
Republicans want to hike tax for the most vulnerable.

And the pizza man, Herman Cain, well, has led the Republican pack less
than two days but he`s already picking his running mate. Here`s a
confident dude. We`ll talk about it. We`ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

Good news for Mitt Romney. He`s always remained pretty steady in the
polls of the Republican field. Bad news for Romney, he remains steady as
various other candidates take the lead. And if Romney seems stuck at 25
percent, it could be because conservatives just don`t trust him -- like the
Drugster, Rush Limbaugh.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO HOST: Seventy percent of the Republicans polled
are split all over the map but they do not support Romney. The reason is
simple. Romney is not a conservative.

He`s not, folks, but you can argue with me all day long, but he isn`t.
Very nice gentleman. He is a gentleman. But he is not a conservative.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: You see, Limbaugh really wants to be bigger than the
Republican Party and call the shots. His whole game is self-promotion. If
he can sink Romney to draw attention to himself, it`s a win for the
Drugster.

When we come back, Republicans want to raise taxes on Americans who
can afford it the least. They have said so themselves. That`s next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And thanks for watching tonight THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.

Republicans are wrong and Warren Buffett -- he knows he is correct. A
new congressional analysis shows that 25 percent of millionaires pay a
smaller percentage of taxes than middle class families. And remember, when
Republicans say they want to -- they want tax cuts, what they really mean
is tax cuts for the rich.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Part of the
problem is today, only 53 percent of Americans pay any federal income tax
at all, 47 percent pay nothing. We need to broaden the base so that
everybody pays something, even if it`s $1.

GOV. RICK PERRY (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We are dismayed at
the injustice that nearly half of all Americans don`t pay any income tax.
And, you know -- and the liberals thought are saying that we need to pay
more.

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don`t want to raise taxes
on the American people, but I think everybody ought to feel that they are
part of this effort.

I think it`s a real problem when you have half of Americans that are -
- almost half of Americans that are not paying income tax.

(END VIDEO CLIPS)

SCHULTZ: And, Governor Perry, I`m one of those liberals thought say,
yes, the wealthy should pay more.

You see? They want the 47 percent of Americans who are too poor to
even qualify for federal income tax to start paying even though they
already pay state, local and payroll taxes. And Republicans don`t care if
the payroll tax cut comes to an end.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: If the payroll tax cut is not extended, that
would mean a tax increase for all Americans. What would be the
consequences of that?

ROMNEY: No one likes to see tax increases, but look --

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Romney then changed the subject. But when asked again about
the payroll tax cut, he said, "I don`t like little Band-Aids."

And let`s not forget GOP front runner Herman Cain.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HERMAN CAIN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: My top priority is 999.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: And don`t forget that -- 999 is the regressive tax from
hell. The 47 percent of Americans and in the lower bracket would suddenly
pay 27 percent in combined taxes under the 999 plan.

Let`s bring in professor of public policy at the University of
California at Berkeley and author of the book "Aftershock," Mr. Robert
Reich.

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

ROBERT REICH, AUTHOR, "AFTERSHOCK": Good evening, Ed.

SCHULTZ: I want to start with Herman Cain`s 999 plan. Explain why it
is such a grossly regressive, unfair tax.

REICH: Well, it is regressive because if you have a flat tax like
that, 999, essentially it means the rich are paying less and the poor are
paying more. I mean, essentially, it means that we are getting rid of all
the progressivity in the tax code right now, not that much, but getting rid
of whatever is remaining.

SCHULTZ: And let`s be clear, Mitt Romney would basically raise taxes
on the middle class, is that how you read it?

REICH: Well, there`s no question about it. There`s another other way
of balancing the budget if you are not going to raise taxes on the rich and
you are also going to raise taxes on the poor.

I mean, look this is just a matter, as Obama says, as the president
says, of mathematics. It`s also, though, Ed, a question of morality. I
mean, we have seen for years, for years, that more and more and more of the
nation`s income has been going to the very top -- the top 1 percent. More
and more of the nation`s wealth has been going to the very top.

At the very same time, the tax rates paid by the -- the effective tax
rates paid by the very, very rich keep on going down, which means more and
more of the burden is on the middle class and the poor and also means the
public services are being sacrificed. It`s been going on for years, but
now, it`s really completely out of control.

And I think that`s what a lot of the Occupy Wall Street is all about
because with all of that money with all of that wealth at the top, also
comes political power. Political power to keep their tax rates low,
political power to make sure that the rest of America doesn`t get the
medical care they need, doesn`t get the education they need, and
ultimately, does not and is not able to organize and mobilize to take back
America.

SCHULTZ: We`ve used this chart on this program showing the effective
federal tax rate Republicans -- and they won`t be satisfied until the
bottom 99 percent are paying the same rate as the top 400 taxpayers at
America.

How could this politically be a winning with policy for them?

REICH: Well, it`s not a winning policy. I mean, Americans know in
their bones that they are paying more and more and they know that the rich
are paying less and less. And yet the rich are raking in more and more of
the national income.

And if you look at all the polls, the interesting thing, Ed, for
years, a lot of Americans have been hoodwinked by this myth of, you know,
downward trickle-down economics that if you make the rich richer, everybody
else benefits. Well, now, people are beginning to catch on -- that is
absolutely wrong. It is a cruel joke. Trickle down -- nothing trickles
down.

Also, a lot of Americans were fooled by the idea that one day, they
would be very rich, they`d all be millionaires and therefore, they don`t
want to tax millionaires. Most Americans these days know that is also a
mythology. They are not going to be a millionaire, most people.

And they just want to -- they just want a fair deal, this they just
want to make sure if they work hard, they can get ahead. They can save a
little bit for their college education, for their kids` college education,
they can save for retirement. Most Americans are not greedy. This is not
class warfare.

And most people understand this is about fundamental fairness.

SCHULTZ: And there is no better example than Warren Buffett, he
released his tax return providing -- proving, should I say, that he`s
paying lower overall rate at 17 percent, a study came out slowing really is
a problem. Will it ever get fixed? What do you think?

REICH: Well, I think it is going to get fixed because people are
mobilizing and they are energized. I mean, they understand that the budget
deficit is real and if the rich don`t pay their fair share, everybody be
else is going to have to pay more or sacrifice real and important services.
The social safety net is already in shreds and it be even more shredded
unless we get some control over the budget deficit, which means the rich do
have to pay their fair share.

Ed, you know, I`m amused, you have a lot of conservative commentators
and Republicans these days are saying, oh, if Warren Buffett wants to pay
more in taxes --

SCHULTZ: Yes.

REICH: -- if any other rich person wants to pay more in taxes, they
can pay. That`s not the point.

The point is that we need to change the federal tax laws so that there
are more tax brackets at the top, so that there are higher marginal taxes
at the top so people have to pay more, if they are citizens of the United
States and doing extremely well.

SCHULTZ: And we had a rate that was successful in the past at 39
percent. Mr. Reich, always a pleasure, good to have you with us.

REICH: OK, Ed. Thank you.

SCHULTZ: Thank you so much.

Coming up, the tan man says he is listening to the American people.
But you`d never know it by looking at his policies. I`ll tell Boehner what
the American people are really saying in "Psycho Talk."

And the Republican wrecking crew continues its war on postal workers.
Find out what damage was done today in Congress. I`ll talk with the
president of the American Postal Workers Union, Cliff Duffy.

You are watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)


SCHULTZ: And in Psycho Talk tonight, House Speaker John Boehner wants
to you think that Republicans are in touch with the American people.
Here`s the Tan Man on Fox last night.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), HOUSE SPEAKER: In our Pledge to America that
we outlined almost a year ago, on the eve of the last election, one of the
commitments we made was to listen to the American people and to follow the
lead of the American people.

And trust me, we are continuing to listen to the American people. And
the American people are telling us, here`s what you need to do: stop the
regulatory onslaught coming out of Washington. Fix this tax code, so that
American companies can be more competitive in a worldwide economy.

And then thirdly, stop the overspending that`s serving as a wet
blanket over our economy.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: He couldn`t be more wrong. Boehner thinks the American
people want deregulation? Here is the reality. A recent McClatchy survey
of small business owners found none of them complained about regulation,
and most of them welcomed it.

Boehner also says overspending is a wet blanket on the economy, but
the facts tell a different story. States that cut spending during the
recession saw higher unemployment, lower private employment, and more
economic contraction. But states that increased spending saw lower
unemployment, higher private employment and real economic growth.

And Boehner says the American people want corporate tax cuts. But
poll after poll shows most people are in favor of raising taxes on the
wealthiest Americans, including a brand-new NBC News poll, where 64 percent
are in favor of corporate tax hikes.

And the Republicans have had to run around saying, we got to drop it
from 35 to 25. That`s not where the American people are, Mr. Boehner. Mr.
Boehner, this is what the American people are saying. But you are choosing
to disregard their voices.

So for John Boehner to say Republicans are listening to the American
people is flat out dishonest, lying Psycho Talk.

Herman Cain is already picking out his running mate. It`s between the
guy who wants to kill Medicare and Medicaid and voucher the program and the
guy who wanted to kill the health care bill and make sure it was President
Obama`s Waterloo.

And Michele Bachmann is losing ground in the GOP field. So she is
betting on a boost in the polls after meeting with the Trumpster. More on
that coming up on THE ED SHOW.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: You know, I kind of like stories about the pizza man, Herman
Cain. He is entertaining. He has only been leading the Republican
presidential field for a couple of days, but he is already revealing his
picks for the vice presidency.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN: I`ll give you a name, like Representative Paul Ryan. I`m not
saying he would be a VP pick. He might be. But that`s the type of person
that I would want in my cabinet. He is the type of person. Senator Jim
Demint, people who are not afraid to challenge the system.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Yeah. So Herman Cain`s short list for VP includes the guy
who wants to destroy Medicare and Medicaid by turning it into a voucher
program and the guy who use and old southern racist term when talking about
defeating President Obama during the health care debate.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JIM DEMINT (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: If we are able to stop Obama on
this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: "It will break him."

Herman Cain also said he`d hire Newt Gingrich as an adviser, maybe
even chief of staff. I think the reason Herman Cain is surging in the
polls is that he says what no one else is saying. He is so different.

He names his vice presidential picks. He talks about race. He says
he`d take down President Obama in a foreign policy debate. And his tax
plan, you got to admit, it`s got a catchy title, 9-9-9. Herman Cain`s
ideas, in my opinion, are absolutely nuts.

But right now, that doesn`t matter. He understands the media, the
media culture. And what he says can mean something to a reporter and to a
talk show host. And he is capitalizing on the lack of enthusiasm in the
GOP field.

Joining me now is James Peterson, direct of Africana studies at Lehigh
University. Mr. Peterson, good to have you with us tonight.

What do you make -- I want to play this -- I want to play this clip of
Herman Cain explaining why he is leading the Republican field. Here it is.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CAIN: Message is more powerful than money. I have not spent, nor
have I been able to raise the kind of money that my major competitors have.
But yet we have been competitive because of the strength of my message and
the specificity of the solution that I put on the table.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Dr. Peterson, you agree with that?

DR. JAMES PETERSON, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY: Not at off. I think part of
the reason why Herman Cain resonates, though, is because people are
frustrated with government. And so what the 9-9-9 Plan does is basically
empty government of any of its potential or power to affect a social safety
net for people who really need it in this country.

His VP picks reflect this as well, right? He can`t have a 9-9-9 plan
without someone like Paul Ryan, who is prepared to gut Medicaid and
Medicare and probably also Social Security. His shout out to the senator
from South Carolina, Demint, is one way of saying to the Grand Old Party,
listen, I`m not a grace guy. I think we are beyond that and his partnering
or even gesturing towards partnering with Demint is one clear way of
suggesting that to his growing constituency.

SCHULTZ: Well, I think him saying Jim Demint`s name plays into his
southern strategy. Jim Demint is probably the most vocal and the most
radical senator from the south against the Obama platform, agenda, whatever
you want to call it.

He was the first one that was after President Obama. He has never let
up. He`s a Tea Party darling. I mean, if Herman Cain gets the nomination,
he almost needs Jim Demint, someone like him, to shore up the south. What
do you think?

PETERSON: I think he can -- he can effectively use Jim Demint to say
to the south that he is one of those kind of folk who are not going to
engage in sort of racial politics.

You know, you quoted Jim Demint as using the term breaking, and that
is a term that was used to destroy, mentally and physically, slaves during
the institution of slavery in this country. And for him to refer to that
gives you kind of a sense of how dark some of these racial discourses can
be in presidential politics.

What Herman Cain does is he kinds of gives those folk a pass. Yes,
that strategically is going to work very, very well for him.

SCHULTZ: Herman Cain campaigned in Cincinnati today, and took the
following whack at Romney when he said, "Romney`s more of a Wall Street
guy. I`m more of a Main Street guy. As CEO of Godfather Pizza, I actually
made some pizzas myself."

I have to ask you, does flipping a couple of pizzas make him a Main
Street guy?

PETERSON: Absolutely not. And listen, you know the facts here, Ed.
None of these guys are Main Street guys. That`s the problem with politics
in general. That`s especially the problem with the Republican candidates,
is that these folk are so elite, so far removed -- Boehner is talking about
the American people.

The American people, to him, are the lobbyists that represent the
special interests that drive his funding for his campaigns and what he is
trying to do politically, in terms of creating policy and legislation that
reflects those things.

And unfortunately, you know, we can`t fall for this. You know, Herman
Cain is a former CEO, very wealthy guy, who is going to ultimately have a
lot of very wealthy interests behind him. There`s no reason for us to
think that he is an every man. And there`s no way that he can sort of
juxtapose himself with Romney and sort of say he is the Main Street guy and
Romney is the Wall Street guy. They are both Wall Street guys.

SCHULTZ: Howl long do you think he will hang around the polls? Is
his campaign for real or is he just a front runner and the flavor of the
week?

PETERSON: Well, Cain`s candidacy is obviously for real. Again, I
mentioned on your show before, he won that Florida straw poll. That`s an
important straw poll.

Will he be at the forefront for the rest of this campaign? I don`t
think so. I think what we`re seeing -- the reason why have this Merry-Go-
round of candidates who can emerge as front runners amongst Republicans is
because, essentially, there is a fissure in the party between the Tea Party
and the establishment.

And none of these candidates are super strong candidates. They all
have a variety of weaknesses. And that`s why they are vying for this --
you know, they can sort of split the votes and vie for the position at the
front very, very easily and effectively during this sort of pre-
presidential campaign season.

SCHULTZ: You are coming to us tonight from Texas A&M University, I
understand. You are down in College Station, Texas.

PETERSON: I am.

SCHULTZ: What is the buzz about Governor Rick Perry and where he
stands? He has been slipping in the polls for the last three weeks.
What`s the Texas buzz right now? You`re boot`s on the ground.

PETERSON: The Texas Buzz is Baylor versus Texas A&M. That`s what
they are really thinking about right now. But clearly, Governor Perry has
diminished from the national scene. And we see the importance of
presidential debates.

He can`t compete at that level and that`s unfortunately taken its
toll. Maybe not unfortunately, but it`s taken its toll on his campaign.

SCHULTZ: Sure. Dr. James Peterson, always a pleasure. Thanks for
joining us tonight.

PETERSON: Thanks for having me.

SCHULTZ: A new government report spells out more bad news for the
Post Office. That`s next. I want America to really grab this story. You
are watching THE ED SHOW.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Absolutely priceless. That was the former leader of the
free world, George W. Bush, shaking his groove thing at a White House event
in 2007. And despite those smooth moves, the former president has some
disappointing news to share with America. He won`t be appearing on
"Dancing With the Stars" any time soon.

Now, Bush revealed this shocking information in an interview with the
well-known political journal "The Insider." I guess "Access Hollywood"
wouldn`t return his calls. Now, Bush admits that the show`s producers
haven`t exactly asked him to be on the show. But if they do, he will
decline. Glad we got that all cleared up. >

Coming up, the Republicans` war on the Post Office continues. It has
me fired up. We are right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. In my Playbook tonight, there
is even more bad news for the United States Postal Service. Earlier today,
Darrell Issa`s House Oversight Committee took a whack at workers again and
voted to advance legislation that will help destroy what I think is a
fabulous institution in this country.

The bill will now be sent to the full House for consideration. The
Republican proposal would cut labor costs by installing an oversight board
to rule on Post Office closures and service reduction. It would also force
as many as 200,000 workers into retirement.

The top Democrat on the committee, Congressman Elijah Cummings, calls
the bill "fatally flawed." I would say. Bottom line, Republicans want to
privatize yet another great American institution. And middle classers and
small businesses everywhere are going to suffer for it.

Where are the Democrats? Let`s put this into perspective for just a
minute. Congress is at an all-time low approval rating. Only 13 percent
of Americans approve of what the members of Congress are actually doing in
their job right now.

This Postal Service story is part of the reason why. Multi-
millionaires like Congressman Darrell Issa are holding the fate of 120,000
hard working Americans right in his hands. Why? Because he wants to
privatize it.

Issa is the same congressman who called President Obama corrupt on
Limbaugh`s radio show. Issa is morally corrupt for trying to cut an
essential service that Americans have been counting on for 235 years.

Grab these numbers. The president is trying to create jobs in this
country; 120,000 jobs will be lost if the Democrats don`t step up and do
something about this.

And you know what, if the legislation in the lame duck session of the
Congress in 2006 -- before Nancy Pelosi grabbed the gavel, the conservative
Congress passed a law that forced the Postal Service to fund health care
and retirement for 75 years into a little ten-year window.

Mr. Issa, explain to the cameras in Washington how you would run your
business if that kind of government intrusion was put on you. I want you
to grab this tonight, folks. These people, their jobs would not be in
jeopardy had the Congress not passed that law and forced a mandate for them
to prefund all of their expenses.

For what? If they hadn`t had that bill passed, there would be a 1.3
billion dollar surplus. But you see, the conservative agenda in America,
they want to destroy everything they can that the government does and
privatize everything they possibly can.

Let me tell you, Fedex, UPS, they don`t serve in 25 percent of the
areas where the Postal Service goes. That means you folks in the rural
areas, you small business folks of America who are righties -- you know,
you look at that map, there`s so much red in rural America. You`re losing
your Post Office because of the righties. Chew on that for a while.

Coming up, the road to the Republican nomination passes through Trump
Towers. I will tell you why the candidates are clamming for the
Trumpster`s approval.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Survey tonight, I asked you,
which is the real middle class movement? Ninety percent of you say the 99
percenters; 10 percent of you say the Tea Party.

Coming up, Donald Trump may not be running for the presidency, but he
may have a hand in picking the GOP nominee. Comedian Lizz Winstead joins
me. Lots to talk about. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: And in a desperate attempt to jump start her stalling
campaign, Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann met face to
face today with the man who is the new king maker for the Republican party.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: When Republican presidential candidates need to legitimize
themselves in the eyes of the party base, this is the man they turn to.

DONALD TRUMP, "THE APPRENTICE": Rosie is a loser.

You`re fired.

You`re fired.

SCHULTZ: The candidates can`t wait to kiss the wring of a man who
possesses such outstanding business sense. Companies that bare his name
have declared bankruptcy four times in the last two decades. Not even a
casino business is immune to Trump`s chapter 11 touch.

In 1991, his Atlantic City casino was buried under 3.4 billion dollars
in debt. And after a phony presidential run last Spring, when Trump went
full Birther, he was humiliated by the Obama administration when they
released the president`s long-form birth certificate. But still --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Has Donald Trump become somebody you got to go
visit if you are going to want to be president on the Republican side?

SCHULTZ: Apparently, yes. All you need to do is have some lousy
pizza with the Donald and he will say really great things about you in the
press. Even if you`re sinking in the polls, like Rick Perry.

TRUMP: I think he is a very impressive guy with a very good record.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you think of Michele Bachmann?

TRUMP: Well, I think she is a very underrated person.

ROMNEY: He`s always delightful. I enjoy Donald Trump.

TRUMP: We hit it off well, I will say, I think even better than I had
anticipated.

I like him. He should be very proud of himself. People like him.

SCHULTZ: In fact, the only candidate who has spoken negatively about
Trump is Jon Huntsman.

JON HUNTSMAN (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don`t subscribe to the
Don Trump school or the Mitt Romney school of international trade.

SCHULTZ: Guess what Huntsman has to show for it? One point six
percent national average in the polls. So line up, Republicans. This is
what it`s come to.

And if you want to be the Republican presidential nominee, there`s a
new brass ring you have to grab. Make sure you wear gloves.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight to talk about the Republican field, Lizz
Winstead, co-creator of "The Daily Show." Lizz, great to have you with us.
Why does Donald Trump`s endorsement .mean so much to these candidates all
of a sudden?

LIZZ WINSTEAD, COMEDIAN: Ed, I don`t he know. Why would you join a
club that requires Donald Trump`s endorsement? You know, it is like he is
the Baby Jesus and they have to go there and worship him. I don`t even
understand it. What has Donald Trump actually done, besides a reality show
of late, that would make him some kind of -- especially in this day and
age, with jobs, with the economy, with the wars. How is Donald Trump
proven he has any prowess in any of those fields? It is crazy.

SCHULTZ: Well, Michele Bachmann has had lunch with him now three
times. What happens on the third lunch, I don`t know?

WINSTEAD: Guess what, no one else wants to lunch with Michele
Bachmann. Let`s be honest. That is actually why she had to go, because
Donald Trump is the last person who will say yes to Michele Bachmann.

SCHULTZ: What is your take on Herman Cain`s latest rise to the top of
the GOP field?

WINSTEAD: Well, I guess you call his followers 9-9-9 percenters. I
don`t know. I don`t really understand it. But what was fascinating is he
made his money with Godfather Pizza and Burger King, right? And then I was
looking up his economic guy, this rich Lowery who came up with his plan.
And that guy was the senior vice president of like an investment for
McDonald`s.

So I`m like, does he know anyone who doesn`t work in the fast food
industry? Not to mention, if this guy ever got elected, can you imagine
what corporate farming would be like, with him pushing all of this crappy
crap food on us? It would be a disaster.

That`s why he doesn`t want the EPA. He wants to load the water with
poop.

SCHULTZ: Good. And conservatives are -- are they ever going to like
Mitt Romney? Now you got the Drugster who is working against him, saying
he is not a conservative. That doesn`t bode well for him, does it?

WINSTEAD: You know, it`s sort of -- poor Mitt. I mean, he just can`t
move past that number 23. He is at 23 percent. He has been at 23 percent.
I mean, it`s really -- I don`t know how these people who believe in the
Rapture can call Mormonism a cult.

I don`t know why he is getting pinned on this. The whole thing freaks
me out. But he is going to be their candidate and they are going to have
to rally around, aren`t they, and then look into it and say, well, maybe
the Garden of Eden is in Missouri. Who knows?

SCHULTZ: Now as a comedian, do these candidates -- who offers up the
best material, in your opinion. You are a standup. You go all over the
country. Who offers up the best material?

WINSTEAD: You know, it`s day to day, Ed. Sometimes I can`t keep up.
Like I`m in Florida right now. And I have Rick Scott and Marco Rubio to
deal with, and the fact that they are proposing -- get this, they are
proposing to bring back the firing squad and Old Sparky down here, because
of the whole lethal injection controversy.

And they want to legalize dwarf tossing. So that is what is happening
in Florida. And they have Rick Scott. So locally right now, it is that.
But Bachmann doesn`t disappoint. The sad thing is when they go away. But
a new one always seems to pop up, like whack-a-mole.

SCHULTZ: Yes. Rick Perry, is he done or does he still have life?
What do you think?

WINSTEAD: I think he is going to pretty much be done. After him
basically sitting at the debate his pants half-open and his hand half down,
with a beer in the other hand, saying, just let know when it is my turn to
talk -- you know, it was kind of -- kind of over for him.

SCHULTZ: Lizz Winstead, always a pleasure. Great to have you with us
tonight. Thank you. That is THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz.

You can listen to me on Sirius XM radio channel 127, Monday through
Friday, from noon to 3:00 p.m. And follow me on Twitter @EdShow and also
@WeGotEd. "THE LAST WORD" with Lawrence O`Donnell starts right now. We`ll
see you Monday.

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

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